News Release Archive - 2006

Olmert in Washington

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DANIEL LEVY
Lead Israeli drafter of the unofficial Geneva Initiative detailed peace plan and former official Israeli peace negotiator and advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office to the Barak government, Levy is now senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the Century Foundation and directs their respective Middle East and Peace initiatives. His upcoming piece in the Washington Monthly, “Send the Baker Commission to Gaza,” proposes having the new Congress mandate that the Iraq Study Group expand its scope of inquiry to provide recommendations for diplomatic re-engagement throughout the Middle East region.
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ALI ABUNIMAH
Author of the new book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, Abunimah said today: “By vetoing a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israel’s attacks in Gaza [over the weekend], which have killed nearly one hundred Palestinians in a week and wiped out an entire family, the Bush administration is sending a clear signal that it approves of the Israeli onslaught. If the United States wants to begin to change its profile in the world and rebuild the credibility it will need to solve the catastrophe in Iraq, there could be no worse approach.

“As Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert arrives in Washington this week, it would be good if he were to hear a clear message from the U.S. that Israel must respond positively to recent peace overtures from the Palestinians and Syria, and halt its ongoing military aggression. Yet despite the changes on Capitol Hill, there is an unhealthy consensus among Democrats and Republicans that unquestioning U.S. support for Israel is a sacred cow that cannot be touched no matter how much damage it does to U.S. interests.”
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SETH ACKERMAN
Ackerman is author of the recent piece “Nixed Signals: When Hamas hinted at peace, U.S. media wouldn’t take the message.”
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Dr. MONA EL-FARRA
El-Farra is a physician and community activist in northern Gaza.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Post-Election Iraq Politics: Peace Mandate?

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NANCY NAHVI
CINDY SHEEHAN
Both Nahvi and Sheehan have lost sons in the Iraq War. Following a White House press conference where President Bush announced the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, they were arrested during a protest organized by the group Gold Star Families for Peace.

Nahvi met Sheehan in summer 2005 when Sheehan set up camp outside of the president’s vacation home in Texas. At the time Nahvi’s son Russell was serving in Iraq. He was killed in October of 2005 just weeks after the protest in Crawford.

Nahvi said today: “When I came out to support Cindy, I never could have imagined that I would be standing next to her as a Gold Star mom. I don’t want one more mother to go through this.”

Sheehan said today: “It’s not enough that George Bush is sacrificing Rumsfeld’s career to pacify the demand for accountability. He also sacrificed my son’s life and continues to sacrifice our children and the Iraqi people for a war based on lies, and we’re not willing to pretend that’s okay.”

Sheehan and Nahvi plan on going to Nancy Pelosi’s office this afternoon.
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KELLY DOUGHERTY
MEDEA BENJAMIN
ANN WRIGHT
RAED JARRAR
Dougharty is co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War. She spent 10 months in Iraq.

Wright spent 26 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. She was a diplomat in the State Department for 15 years before resigning in March 2003 to protest the invasion of Iraq.

Benjamin is a co-founder of CodePink. She said today: “The people have spoken out through the midterm election. By voting out pro-war candidates and changing control over Congress, we have repudiated war policies and issued a mandate for new policies that promote peace and international cooperation.”

Jarrar is an Iraqi blogger and the director of the Iraq Project for Global Exchange.

KEVIN MARTIN
HANY KHALIL
JUDITH LEBLANC
Martin is the executive director of Peace Action and a member of the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice.

LeBlanc is the national co-chair of UFPJ. She met with Iraqi parliamentarians this summer.

Khalil is a media coordinator with UFPJ.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Behind Gates and Rumsfeld

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ROBERT PARRY
Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek and is the founder and editor of ConsortiumNews.com. He has written extensively about Robert Gates.

Parry said today: “There have been suspicions that Gates was involved with secret dealings with both Iran and Iraq during the 1980s. Those allegations should be assessed now, before he becomes Secretary of Defense.” Parry is author of the books Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & “Project Truth” and Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN
Holtzman has been a Congresswoman and the district attorney of Brooklyn; she was a member of the House panel that impeached Richard Nixon. She is co-author with Cynthia L. Cooper of the forthcoming book The Impeachment of George W. Bush: A Practical Guide for Concerned Citizens.

Holtzman comments that the departure of Rumsfeld is an attempt to stem public anger which could lead to impeachment.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Virginia Recount?

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SPENCER OVERTON
A law professor at George Washington University, Overton was a commissioner on the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform. Author of the new book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression, Overton just wrote the piece “Bush v. Gore II?: Virginia Election Irregularities and Recount Procedures.”
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WARREN STEWART
Stewart is the policy director of VoteTrustUSA.org and will be available for interviews in New York City. He said today: “About 80 percent of the ballots in Virginia are on one paperless system or another, with no independent means of verifying the accuracy of the electronic tallies. With these machines, a recount would be nothing more than a reprint.

“Should Senator Allen challenge the results of the election, that contest would go to the U.S. Senate Rules Committee for resolution, possibly under the previous leadership. This could leave the control of the Senate in question for months.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Voting Integrity on Election Day

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WARREN STEWART
Stewart is the policy director of VoteTrustUSA.org and will be available for interviews in New York.
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JUSTIN LEVITT
Levitt is associate counsel with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
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DEBORAH NARRIGAN
JOE IRRERA
Narrigan works in Tennessee with Gathering to Save Our Democracy. Irrera, who also works with Gathering to Save Our Democracy, can speak to electronic voting issues.
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MARYBETH KUZNIK
Kuznik is the executive director of VotePA.us in Pennyslvania.
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ROBERT FERRARO
SHELLEY FUDGE
Ferraro and Fudge are coordinators with Save Our Votes in Maryland. Ferraro is also co-founder of TrueVoteMD.
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CYNTHIA HOFFMAN
Hoffman works with Verify the Vote in Indiana.
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JOYCE MCCLOY
McCloy is the founder of the North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting.
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BO LIPARI
Lipari is the executive director of New Yorkers for Verified Voting.
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CAROLE SIMMONS
Simmons works with Iowans for Voting Integrity.
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LINDA BROWN
Brown is the director of Arizona Advocacy Network.

MARY BOYLE
Boyle is press secretary with Common Cause, which has launched a voter phone line, 1-866-My-Vote-1. Common Cause will also be having telephone news conferences Election Day.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Second Look at Saddam Verdict: · Timing · History

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SCOTT HORTON
Horton is chairman of the International Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Law School. He makes frequent trips to Iraq, working as an attorney representing arrested local-hire reporters of U.S. media.

On Oct. 26, Horton was quoted on a news release from the Institute for Public Accuracy (titled “Saddam Verdict and the Election“) noting that the verdict “will be front page news in the papers on Monday — the day before the election.”

Today, Horton pointed out that Iraqis — such as the blogger Riverbend — view the timing of the verdict as being arranged by the U.S. government.

JOYCE BATTLE
A Middle East analyst for the National Security Archive, Battle edited the backgrounder “Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984.”
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NORMAN SOLOMON
Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Solomon is the author of the book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His article today, “Saddam’s Unindicted Co-Conspirator: Donald Rumsfeld,” is posted at Common Dreams.

He wrote: “Saddam Hussein has received a death sentence for crimes he committed more than a year before Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in Baghdad. … On Dec. 20, 1983, the Washington Post reported that Rumsfeld ‘visited Iraq in what U.S. officials said was an attempt to bolster the already improving U.S. relations with that country.’ …

“As the most senior U.S. official to visit Iraq in six years, Rumsfeld had served as Reagan’s point man for warming relations with Saddam. In 1984, the administration engineered the sale to Baghdad of 45 ostensibly civilian-use Bell 214ST helicopters. Saddam’s military found them quite useful for attacking Kurdish civilians with poison gas in 1988, according to U.S. intelligence sources.”

Video of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein on December 20, 1983 is available here.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Will Saddam Verdict Timing Manipulate U.S. Election?

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The verdict and sentencing of Saddam Hussein are scheduled to be announced on Sunday, November 5, just two days before the U.S. midterm elections. The following analysts are available for interviews:

RICHARD FALK
Falk is an emeritus professor of international law at Princeton University and coauthor most recently of the book Crimes of War: Iraq. He said today: “It should come as no surprise that the final verdict in the Saddam Hussein criminal trial seems timed to coincide with the November U.S. midterm elections. …

“The U.S. government should be ashamed to have debased international justice by orchestrating every phase of this trial in Baghdad from start to finish to divert domestic public opinion in this country from the dismal failure of its Iraq policy. It is a sad day for American democracy if the citizens of this country fall for such a cheap propaganda trick amid a dreadful war that is wasting the lives of its young soldiers and bringing massive suffering to the Iraqi people.”
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SUREYA SAYADI, MD
A Kurdish doctor and academic now living in the U.S., Sayadi said today: “I’ve been watching the trial very closely — the Kurdish channels on satellite TV show it late night. Hearing the stories from the victims, how they were blinded, how their families were killed is just heartbreaking. But now the U.S. government is using these people’s death and suffering for an election. Since the 1970s, the U.S. government has played with Kurdish lives. They are playing with Iraqi lives and now they’re even playing with American lives.

She added: “The trial is supposed to show justice, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t examine who gave Saddam the chemical and biological agents to kill people — it was the U.S. and Germany. If we were really after justice, there would be an international tribunal, like for Rwanda. Instead, the U.S. government just wants to use the trial of Saddam to continue its policies in Iraq today. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
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See: “November Surprise? Why Hasn’t Mainstream Media Connected the Dots Between Saddam’s Judgment Day and the Midterm Elections?” by Tom Engelhardt.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Oceans in Peril?

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DAVID HELVARG
Helvarg is president of the Blue Frontier Campaign and author of the book Fifty Ways to Save the Ocean. He said today: “The new study in Science magazine that asserts we could run out of edible fish in the world’s ocean by 2048 is based on our continuing business as usual. But there are alternative ways to turn the tide, to protect, restore and sustainably use these resources.

“We can use existing tools to promote sustainable fishing and reduce coastal pollution and loss of habitat that also contribute to the collapse of marine wildlife. There are a suite of management tools including buy-backs of boats where fleets are too large and the establishment of wilderness parks in the sea that protect both fish and their habitat. (Scientists suggest 20 percent of the ocean be set aside as ‘no take’ zones. At present there is far less than 1 percent fully protected.) Also we need to enforce the marine protections we establish. We also have to reduce coastal sprawl and change our patterns of pollution that create oxygen-starved dead zones in our coastal seas. It’s all possible if people, who get so much from the ocean, decide that they’re willing to give something back.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Election Technology Experts

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MICHAEL ALVAREZ
TED SELKER
RON RIVEST
Alvarez is professor of political science at Caltech. Selker is an associate professor of the program in media arts and sciences at MIT. Rivest is the Viterbi Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT. All three are faculty members from the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project and will be available on a conference call regarding the Nov. 7 election and voting technology. Topics include voter confidence, voting equipment, voter identification, voter registration database implementation, concerns about voting systems, polling-place operations including counting processes and chain of custody.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Poll Watchers Encourage Voters

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WARREN STEWART
JOAN KRAWITZ
Stewart is the policy director and Krawitz is the executive director with VoteTrustUSA.org. Stewart said today: “The first step in protecting your vote is to vote! We advise people to confirm if they are registered before they go to the polls. For many states, you can find much of this information at CanIVote.org. You can also call your county election office. In states where the electronic voting machine is equipped with a paper trail printer, voters should be sure to confirm that their vote is recorded accurately on the paper record. If there is a problem, voters should notify a poll worker before casting their vote.”

Stewart added: “We have seen instances where the problem with the paper trail was as simple as an empty cartridge or a paper jam that could have been corrected easily but nobody notified the poll workers. People should also bring IDs with them just in case, even though many states do not require them. However, in every state, if you are voting for the first time and you registered by mail, you need to bring identification with you to the polls. If you encounter any problems with voting or with voting machines, be sure to call 1-866-OUR-VOTE in English or 1-888-VEY-VOTA in Spanish.”
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ROBERT FERRARO
SHELLEY FUDGE
Ferraro and Fudge are coordinators with Save Our Votes in Maryland. Ferraro is also co-founder of TrueVoteMD. They have been helping train poll watchers who will observe Election Day proceedings in polling places around Maryland. Fudge said today: “I know there are a lot of concerns about the safety and security of our election process. After all, public allegiance to the government is based on trust in the legitimacy of elections. However, one surefire way to not have your vote counted is not to vote. We want to encourage all eligible voters to come out and vote on Election Day. … We must fix our electoral process, not abandon it.”

Fudge added: “We have formed a statewide nonpartisan grassroots organization working for secure, accessible, verifiable elections. We will be there on Election Day with hundreds of poll watchers. We will do our best to preserve the integrity of the voting process. We will also document all problems and irregularities so that we can bring appropriate action after the election.” Ferraro said today: “Maryland had a lot of problems in the primary so all eyes are on the state… We are not about to give up on the electoral process.”
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CANDICE HOKE
Hoke is Director of the Cleveland State University Center for Election Integrity in Cleveland, Ohio, and an election law professor at Cleveland State University.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167