News Release

· Sami Al-Arian Case · Wolfowitz’s Record and Plans


Sugg has covered the controversies around Sami Al-Arian, who was acquitted on terrorism charges Tuesday, for more than a decade. Sugg said today: “This case was entirely an attack on Constitutional rights, especially the First Amendment. The government of Israel wanted Al-Arian silenced, and our government obliged. Meanwhile, while the FBI and federal prosecutors were spending tens of millions of dollars and thousands of people-hours pursuing Al-Arian — a man who never was a threat in any way to America — the same federal agents failed to notice that also living in Florida was Mohammed Atta, busily plotting his attack on the World Trade Center. Had the government spent more time looking for real terrorists in Florida, 9/11 might not have happened.” Sugg is senior editor of the Weekly Planet/Creative Loafing group of newspapers. He began covering Al-Arian while he was an editor of the group’s Tampa paper.
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Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, spoke today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Wolfowitz said today that he had no responsibility for “intelligence failures” of the Bush administration regarding Iraqi WMDs. A senior fellow at the World Policy Institute, Hartung said today: “Even in his new position, Wolfowitz continues to evade responsibility for misusing intelligence to promote the war in Iraq. … It’s outrageous that someone like Paul Wolfowitz, with his tainted credibility and demonstrated lack of judgment, is now charged with running the World Bank. As an architect of the Iraq war … he was among the chorus of Bush administration policymakers who claimed that U.S. troops would be welcomed as liberators, not seen as an occupying force.”
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Wolfowitz claimed today that he is pursuing a policy of poverty alleviation in Africa and around the world. The director of the 50 Years Is Enough Network, which monitors the World Bank, Dossani said today: “While much has been made of small concessions by the U.S. and the EU, the IMF and the World Bank have been forcing unilateral trade liberalization on countries in the global South for more than 20 years. Such policies have resulted in increasing vulnerability of small farmers and local business, increasing trade deficits, and a decline in real wages and formal employment.”
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Simpson is assistant professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a research assistant at the National Security Archive, which has released more than 1,000 formerly secret documents to help East Timor’s Truth Commission determine the role of the U.S. in supporting Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of East Timor. The Truth Commission used the documents to call for reparations from the United States and an international tribunal for Indonesian military officials involved in atrocities in the country.

Simpson said: “Today is the 30th anniversary of the U.S.-backed Indonesian invasion of East Timor. Wolfowitz has been a champion of closer ties with the Indonesian military; he was ambassador to Indonesia for a time. While the trial of Saddam Hussein goes on, no one in either the U.S. or Indonesia has been held accountable for the invasion of East Timor and the massacres that followed.”
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Kilbride is with the D.C. Anti-War Network, a group that protested against Wolfowitz in front of the National Press Building; among their signs was: “Wolfowitz + World Bank = War + Poverty.”
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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