Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Angry U.S. Iraq War Veteran Criticizes
Excesses of Gala Bush Inaugural Celebrations

Speech by Aidan Delgado,
U.S. Army reservist and Iraq war veteran,
produced by Scott Harris

As George W. Bush took the oath of office for another four years in the White House, more than 10,000 protesters took to the streets of the nation's capital on inauguration day, Jan. 20. Mingling with the president's supporters -- many who were clad in mink coats -- demonstrators carried signs and voiced their opposition to a long list of Bush administration policies, including the war in Iraq, attacks on civil liberties and the rolling back of environmental protections and reproductive rights.

Early in the day, thousands of Bush opponents gathered for several rallies and marches in locations around Washington, with many later attempting to walk through security checkpoints to stand along the inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue. One group, International ANSWER was successful in obtaining a permit to have their own protest bleachers along the route.

Aidan Delgado is a U.S. Army reservist who recently returned from combat duty in the Iraq War. Delgado, who has been granted conscientious objector status, spoke to thousands of Bush opponents at Malcolm X Park, where hundreds of symbolic flag draped coffins were on display, before being carried off in a march toward the White House.

For more information on the local and national groups which organized anti-Bush events at the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, visit the website

Pro-Choice Activists Call
on Progressives to Resist
Attacks on Reproductive Rights

Report on pro-choice rally,
at counter-inauguration in Washington, D.C.,
produced by Melinda Tuhus

Among the many demonstrations organized on Jan. 20 to protest the inauguration of George W. Bush was a rally held at Washington D.C.'s Dupont Circle. The protest was organized by a coalition of women's groups with the theme of mourning the Bush administration's assault on freedom and equality. Speakers denounced the flawed 2004 U.S. presidential election, the war in Iraq and attacks on reproductive rights. Protesters were reminded that likely Supreme Court vacancies during Bush's term could further threaten the high court's January 22nd, 1973 Roe v. Wade Court decision legalizing abortion. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus was at the rally and wove together a collage of speakers and songs which focused on protecting a woman's right to choose.

Just days after the Dupont Circle rally, tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered in Washington to call for the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision and received a supportive call from President Bush. For more information on defending a woman's right to choose, contact National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) at (202) 973-3000. Or visit their website at

White House Campaign to Privatize
Social Security Based
on Phony Crisis

Interview with economist John Miller,
conducted by Scott Harris

As President Bush began his second term in office, he made clear that among his top priorities will be the overhaul of the nation's Social Security retirement system. The Bush administration maintains that Social Security is headed for financial disaster unless Congress adopts a scheme that would partially privatize the popular program launched by Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

But most economists agree that the administration's forecast of catastrophic failure for Social Security are deliberately misleading. If nothing is done to change the current system, Social Security, by varying estimates, will be solvent until 2042 or 2052. Even if nothing else was done to shore up the system and the surplus were to be exhausted, Social Security would still be able to pay retirees 70% of promised benefits. Critics of the Bush plan point out that privatizing the current system will force the government to borrow at least $2 trillion and place retirees benefits into an uncertain stock market where brokerage fees will eat into any gains made from investments.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with John Miller professor of economics at Wheaton College and a member of the Dollars and Sense collective. Professor Miller takes a critical look at the Bush administration campaign to privatize Social Security and the experience of other nations that have undertaken similar conversions.

Read more about Social Security in the pages of Dollars and Sense magazine or online at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Human rights monitors say detention of Iraqi women who are wives, sisters and girlfriends of suspected insurgents, violates Geneva Conventions. ("Unusual Suspects," American Prospect, February 2005)
  • Federal whisteblower has accused U.S. National Institutes of Health of ignoring flaws in an AIDS drug study in Uganda, concerning nevirapine, a drug given to African women and babies to prevent HIV-transmission. ("Whistleblower Says U.S. Bungled AIDS Study," Associated Press, Jan. 4, 2005)
  • Women's advocates in Juarez, Mexico remain skeptical about the recent convictions of 10 men charged with killing a dozen women. ("Activists unhappy with Mexico convictions," Associated Press, Jan. 8, 2005)

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