Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003  

The Bush visit gives English newspapers an opportunity to review his presidency. I spent some time this morning reviewing what they're saying.

The Independent is rich with news. As with everyone, they have a story on the reporter who got employment as a footman. But they have have done the best survey of articles on administration policies--most of which they find troubling.

But lawyers and activists say the prisoners - to whom the Bush administration refuses to grant the protection of the Geneva Conventions - face a form of psychological torture by being refused information about their future or access to legal advice. There are regular reports of suicide attempts among the prisoners and recently Commander Louis Louk, the officer in charge of the prison's hospital, revealed that one in five of the prisoners received medication for what he termed "clinical depression".

Steel Tariffs
The Chancellor said it would be "extremely unfortunate" if the EU and US found themselves in a "tit-for-tat protectionist war" reminiscent of previous disputes that hit the sale of goods, including bananas, clementines and cashmere sweaters.

The environment represents a widening chasm between the United States and Britain. America has been criticised for years by green campaigners and George Bush has made it worse.

At the heart of the complaints is the huge, and many think, profligate US consumption of natural resources, with energy the most important of all. America uses nearly twenty times as much energy as India.

Other coverage:

The Scotsman
With tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators planning to converge on the city, more than 5,000 police officers working 14,000 shifts will protect the presidential entourage.

The estimated £8 million cost of the operation and the disruption caused by the exceptional security measures have clouded what was planned as a celebration of the special relationship between Britain and the US.

A discordant note was struck by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, who said the cost of the state visit would add £2 to the average council tax bills of Londoners.

"I think most Londoners would be happy to give £4 for him not to come," said Mr Livingstone, who also urged people to take to the streets in protest at the "illegal" war in Iraq.

The Times
Last-minute security fears have led to Mr Bush, whose Secret Service codename is Trailblazer, cancelling his only major public appearance during his three days in London. The President has hurriedly dropped plans to meet the families of the British victims of the September 11 attacks, at the memorial garden outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square this afternoon. This event would have been the longest time that Mr Bush was in public view and the closest that he would have got to wellwishers and demonstrators.

The official reason for the sudden change of heart is that Mr Bush wants this emotional meeting with the families to take place away from the public glare, so that their private talks will now be held inside the heavily fortified embassy. The President agreed to this change just before he boarded Air Force One to begin his journey....

This means that apart from his official welcome from the Queen in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace this morning, all the public will see of Mr Bush is him getting in and out of his armour-plated car after a 100-yard drive from the side of the Palace to the front.

The Mirror's famous security article
The security scandal will send shock waves across the world. Our investigation exposes the serious flaws in the £10million security operation to protect Mr Bush.

Our probe began less than two months after police vowed royal security had been tightened following “comedy terrorist” Aaron Barscak’s gatecrashing of Prince William’s 21st birthday at Windsor Castle.

But it was the ease with which Parry, 26, got the job that is so shocking. His credentials were never properly checked, although a simple search on the internet would have shown his name and picture next to another Mirror investigation he carried out last summer into security at the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

posted by Jeff | 9:19 AM |
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