Politics and Policy:

  • Yahoo/Reuters: Thousands flock to Anti-War Rallies across Italy
      ROME (Reuters) – Waving banners and ringing church bells, thousands of Italians flocked to peace rallies across the country on Saturday to protest against a possible U.S. military strike on Iraq.

      Anti-war groups said demonstrators in 100 cities from the financial hub of Milan to the tip of the Italian boot participated in the protests.

  • Chicago Tribune: Perils of capitalism? Think water distribution — Oped by Molly Ivins
  • Salon: Verizon faces down music industry over file-swapping
  • NY Times: Hundreds are tracked by F.B.I. on theory of quiet Qaeda cells
      WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to make an open book of the lives of hundreds of mostly young, mostly Muslim men in the United States in the belief that Al Qaeda-trained terrorists remain in this country, awaiting instructions to attack.

      Senior law enforcement officials say the surveillance campaign is being carried out by every major F.B.I. office in the country and involves 24-hour monitoring of the suspects’ telephone calls, e-mail messages and Internet use, as well as scrutiny of their credit-card charges, their travel and their visits to neighborhood gathering places, including mosques. . .

      The bureau’s surveillance campaign has depended heavily on wiretaps obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the government to conduct electronic surveillance of terrorism suspects at a far lower standard of evidence than in normal criminal cases.

      Law enforcement officials said the bureau had worked closely with the National Security Agency in attempting to monitor telephone calls and other communication between suspects in the United States and telephone numbers abroad that are known to be used by Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

      The bureau’s dependence on the surveillance act in the search for sleeper cells helps explain why the Justice Department has so aggressively defended its request to expand its authority under the law, passed in 1978, which has been the subject of a recent court battle involving the secret court in Washington that reviews the bureau’s surveillance requests.

      “The terrorists don’t know it, but we’re listening in all the time,” said a senior law enforcement official, noting that there had been extensive electronic surveillance of the six men charged near Buffalo, including reviews of e-mail messages that had passed back and forth between some of the men as they traveled in the Middle East in recent months.

    Welcome to Pax Americana/”Big Brother”‘s America.

  • a humerous letter on buying votes by Woody Guthrie

    Post edited Oct 5, 2002