Category: USA

United States of America

Kissinger Accused of Blocking Scholar

June 5, 2004

Kissinger Accused of Blocking Scholar

The chief Latin American expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, the nation’s pre-eminent foreign policy club, has quit as a protest, accusing the council of stifling debate on American intervention in Chile during the 1970’s as a result of pressure from former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
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A change at the CIA

The scuttlebutt in Washington is that George Tenet is resigning as director of the CIA because several harsh reports were about to descend on his head. Such an explanation — or those that say he is a fall guy or that President Bush finally got fed up with his old buddy or that Tenet was trying to protect his boss — may say as much about the cynical nature of Washington as it does about the situation it purports to elucidate.
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Diebold blocks executives' political donations

By Carolyn Pritchard
Last Updated: 6/4/2004 7:56:00 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS.MW) — Diebold has barred top executives from making political contributions or participating in any political activities other than voting, according to a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The maker of electronic voting systems specifically singled out its CEO, CFO and president, as well as executives responsible for the oversight of its election systems companies and their employees.

The North Canton, Ohio-based company’s move prohibits contributions to any political candidate, party, election issue or cause, either directly or indirectly, and participation in any political activities.

Diebold’s board adopted the amendment to the company business ethics policy on Wednesday, according to the filing.

Shares of Diebold (DBD)ended Friday’s session up 1.8 percent at $50.14.
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One George down, one to go.

One George down, one to go
George Tenet was a hapless bumbler who deserved his fate. But as long as the high-ranking Bush cronies who are really responsible for the Iraq nightmare sit safely inside the Pentagon, Americans will not be satisfied.

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By Martin Sieff

June 5, 2004  |   The resignation of George Tenet, President Bush’s loyal, stolid and invariably hapless CIA chief, will not be enough to appease the angry furies screeching at the Bush administration. As is typical for this administration, the abrupt departure of Tenet had nothing to do with justice and everything to do with expediency.
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Pope lectures Bush on America's duties

Pope lectures Bush on America’s duties

By Peter Popham in Rome

Pope John Paul II read President George Bush a stiff public lecture on America’s duties in the world during an audience at the Vatican yesterday. The American President was in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the city by the Allies.

On the streets, up to 200,000 people streamed through the middle of the city and riot police with shields and batons clashed with small groups of masked protesters, some of whom threw bottles and flares.

@UK Independent

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U.S. court dismisses 1991 POW suit versus Iraq

04 Jun 2004 20:55:21 GMT

(Adds plaintiff’s reaction, paragraphs 10-12)

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out an award of more than $959 million in damages against Iraq, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi Intelligence Service and dismissed a lawsuit by 17 American prisoners of war held during the 1991 Gulf War.

The three-judge panel ruled the plaintiffs, who also included relatives of the prisoners, were not legally entitled to the judgment and that the law at issue does not allow for such lawsuits.

The lawsuit had been filed in April 2002 by 17 of the American troops held captive by Iraq during the war and by 37 of their immediate family members.

They sued Iraq, Saddam and the Iraqi Intelligence Service, claiming personal injuries caused by torture during their captivity and citing the suffering by their family members.

Iraq never responded to the lawsuit. The judgment was awarded by a federal judge in July last year, several months after U.S.-led forces had ousted Saddam.

“We are mindful of the gravity of (the plaintiffs’ allegations) in this case,” Judge Harry Edward wrote in the ruling. That they “endured this suffering while acting in service to their country is all the more sobering,” he added.

He called the circumstances of the case extraordinary in considering what was at stake — a nearly billion-dollar judgment against a foreign government whose stability has become a central preoccupation of U.S. foreign policy.

Edwards said the court cannot ignore the magnitude of the judgment and its impact on the U.S. foreign policy when the law is “indisputably clear” that the plaintiffs “were not legally entitled to this judgment.”

He said the law on foreign sovereign immunity and a previous ruling by the appeals court in another case make clear such lawsuits are not allowed against a foreign state or a leader who acts in an official capacity. He said the lawsuit does not state any claims for which relief may be granted.

Retired Col. David Eberly, one of the plaintiffs, said he was disappointed in the decision.

“This is difficult to take. We served without question and withstood the worst the Iraqi torturers handed out,” Eberly said in a statement.

“On behalf of all those who have suffered, I am disappointed in the legal system of this country. I am also concerned for those who serve our country in the future, as future torturers may now believe that the United States will not stand behind its servicemen and women,” he said.

Saddam was named in the lawsuit as acting in his official capacity as Iraqi president, rather than in a personal capacity for which he could be sued.

The federal judge who awarded the damages later sided with the U.S. government in ruling that seized Iraqi assets could not be used to compensate the plaintiffs. (Additional reporting by Deborah Zabarenko)
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