Weekly Review — June 22, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Pulling the Mule, 1875]
Pulling the Mule.

Chaos continued to rule Iraq; a suicide bomber killed at least 13 people when he attacked a convoy of civilian contractors in Baghdad, whereupon a mob descended on the wreckage and set it on fire under the watchful eyes of Iraqi policemen; on the same day other bombs killed eight people.International Herald TribuneAt least 35 Iraqis were killed and 145 were wounded in a suicide car bombing at an army recruiting office in Baghdad; elsewhere six people were killed in another bombing.Chicago TribuneOil exports from Iraq’s main oil terminal were shut down because of two explosions, at least one of which was caused by a bombing. Officials said that the cost of the shutdown could reach $1 billion.San Jose Mercury NewsPresident Bush said that “life is better” in Iraq.New York TimesPrime Minister Iyad Allawi asked the United States to please hand over all its prisoners, including Saddam Hussein, by June 30, as required by international law, and he also asked the Americans to please return the Republican Palace, which they were planning to use as part of the huge new American embassy complex.New York TimesAmerican officials said that they would probably keep Saddam Hussein anyway, along with about 5,000 other prisoners.Associated PressDonald Rumsfeld admitted that he personally ordered that an Iraqi prisoner be concealed from the Red Cross, a practice that Gen. Anthony Taguba has described as “deceptive, contrary to Army doctrine, and in violation of international law.” Seven months later, the “ghost” prisoner had still not been interrogated, aside from a cursory session when he first arrived at Camp Cropper.Reuters, New York TimesPresident Bush said: “I’m never disappointed in my secretary of defense.”Washington PostThe president held a news conference and said that Afghanistan represents the “first victory in the war on terror”; meanwhile, heavy fighting with the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other forces continued, an official from the Ministry of Refugees and Rehabilitation was assassinated outside his home,New York TimesAl Jazeera broadcast what it said was an Al Qaeda training video recently shot at an Afghan camp, and aAssociated Pressremote-controlled roadside bomb in Kunduz hit a NATO vehicle, killing four people, including two schoolchildren.New York TimesThe Vatican announced that the Inquisition wasn’t really all that bad.Associated Press

The 9/11 commission released two staff reports concluding that there is no credible evidence that Iraq ever entered into an alliance with Al Qaeda; the commission also detailed for the first time the surprising level of confusion and miscommunication among top administration officials on the day of the attacks.New York Times“The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and Al Qaeda, because there was a relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda,” said President Bush at a news conference.Washington PostDick Cheney responded to the reports by attacking the New York Times, andNew York Timessaid that he “probably” had access to better intelligence information than the 9/11 commission; the commission chairmen then called on Cheney to provide them with any documents that could substantiate his claims.New York TimesThe CIA classified most of a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the agency’s failures and mistakes leading up to the invasion of Iraq.ReutersMoktada al-Sadr told his fighters to disarm and go home and said that he planned to enter Iraqi politics.Agence France-PresseA civilian contractor from North Carolina who worked for the CIA was indicted for beating a detainee to death in Afghanistan, andNew York TimesU.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan criticized the United States for seeking to extend immunity for American peacekeeping troops from the International Criminal Court.NewsdaySaudi militants beheaded an American hostage, andReutersWhite House council Alberto Gonzales testified before the grand jury investigating the Valerie Plame affair.New York TimesSinn Fein won a seat in the European Parliament.ReutersProtesting power workers cut off President Jacques Chirac’s electricity.New York TimesPresident Bill Clinton published a memoir, and itWashington Postwas discovered that California ground squirrels heat up their tails to intimidate snakes.Nature.com

Attorney General John Ashcroft, perhaps worried about his recent bad press, announced that the FBI has a new terrorist in custody, a Somali man who was arrested in November, and said that he planned to blow up a shopping mall in Ohio. The purported terrorist was linked to another purported terrorist who allegedly planned to cut the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge.New York TimesIn Los Angeles, an intruder cut off the head of Robert Lees, a 92-year-old former screenwriter (of Abbot and Costello comedies), then ran next door, head in hand, and fatally stabbed a neighbor.ReutersThe Senate refused to increase penalties for companies that overcharge for work done in Iraq, and itNew York Timesagreed to expand the federal definition of hate crimes to include those committed because of “sexual orientation, gender or disability” but defeated a measure that would have eliminated funding for research into “bunker busting” mini-nukes.New York TimesA team of British scientists applied for permission to clone human embryos for stem-cell research.GuardianIn South Africa, a man testified in court that he had killed an interior designer because she “did not make any nice comments about my place, so I went to my garage and fetched an axe.”ReutersTwo separate teams of scientists reported that they had successfully teleported individual atoms a fraction of a millimeter.New York TimesNew strains of Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were found in eight countries; Vancomycin is considered the antibiotic of last resort.New ScientistScientists concluded that men are less sensitive than women and that testosterone is to blame, and aNature.comJapanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak using a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”BBCThe USDA reclassified frozen French fries as “fresh vegetables.”Los Angeles Times

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today