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State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort 14 Mar 2012 Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, "We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People" was published last fall.

Two soldiers killed, one wounded in shooting incident in France

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Two soldiers killed, one wounded in shooting incident in France 15 Mar 2012 Two French soldiers have been killed and another wounded in a shooting incident near a military base in the southwestern city of Montauban in France.

Obama agrees to top-level talks on extradition law after Gary McKinnon case is raised by Cameron

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Obama agrees to top-level talks on extradition law after Gary McKinnon case is raised by Cameron 14 Mar 2012 Barack Obama has agreed to top-level talks on cutting the number of Britons extradited to the U.S. for trial after David Cameron raised the plight of computer hacker Gary McKinnon with him. The Prime Minister told the President that more cases should be dealt with in the British courts. This would follow a joint review of the controversial extradition treaty between the two countries. Officials from the U.S. Justice Department and the Home Office will discuss how the deal signed by Labour's David Blunkett in 2003 is being implemented, with new guidance for courts the most likely outcome.

Syrian envoy to UN: External parties seek to disintegrate Syria

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Syrian envoy to UN: External parties seek to disintegrate Syria --'Civil war is being ignited... this is a prelude to partition of Syria.' 13 Mar 2012 The Syrian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, says "external parties" are fueling the crisis in Syria and seek to disintegrate the Middle Eastern state. "The crisis is not due to peaceful protests or demands for reform. The crisis is due to the influence of external parties bent on afflicting my country, waging a media war against Syria and imposing economic sanctions against the Syrian people," Hamoui said in a UN Human Rights Council session on Monday.

Military source calls incident at Afghanistan airport an 'attempted attack'

March 15, 2012 by legitgov

Military source calls incident at Afghanistan airport an 'attempted attack' --Coalition service member injured during incident, possibly run over by truck 14 Mar 2012 The crash of an unauthorized pickup truck at an airfield in Afghanistan where Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was landing was an attempted attack, a military source told Fox News, though it wasn't immediately clear whether Panetta was a target. [?] The incident Wednesday occurred on the tarmac at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan moments before Panetta arrived via C-17. The attacker was an Afghan interpreter who was carrying gasoline and a lighter with him in the pickup truck, which he managed to steal from a British service member, sources told Fox News.

Panetta Is Safe After Car Ignites Near His Plane at Afghan Base

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Panetta Is Safe After Car Ignites Near His Plane at Afghan Base 15 Mar 2012 A tense visit to Afghanistan by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta got off to an unscripted start when a stolen truck sped onto a runway ramp at the British military airfield as his plane was landing. Mr. Panetta was unhurt, but Pentagon officials said the Afghan driver emerged from the vehicle in flames. No explosives were found on the Afghan national or in the truck, the officials said, and the Pentagon was so far not considering the episode an attack on Mr. Panetta.

Afghanistan shooting: Leon Panetta flies in for surprise visit

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan shooting: Leon Panetta flies in for surprise visit 14 Mar 2012 US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta flew into Afghanistan on Wednesday at a fraught moment in the war after a shooting rampage by a US soldier raised fears of an anti-American backlash. In an unannounced but already scheduled visit, Panetta landed in southern Afghanistan at the Camp Bastion military base. The trip comes in the wake of Sunday's shooting spree that left 16 Afghans dead, most of them women and children. Tensions were running high a day after suspected Taliban insurgents opened fire on an Afghan government delegation attending a memorial service for the civilians who were murdered.

6.8-magnitude quake hits off east coast of Japan's Honshu, tsunami warning in effect -- JMA

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

6.8-magnitude quake hits off east coast of Japan's Honshu, tsunami warning in effect -- JMA 14 Mar 2012 An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted off the east coast of Honshu, Japan at 18:09 p.m. local time (0908 GMT) on Wednesday, said the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). The epicenter, with a depth of 10.00 km, was initially determined to be at 40.7000 degrees north latitude and 145.2000 degrees east longitude. According to the agency, tsunami warnings or advisories are currently in effect. Tsunami measuring 50 centimeters high is expected to reach coastal areas of such prefectures as northeastern Aomori and Iwate at around 18:40 p.m. local time.

6.8-magnitude earthquake hits off Japan coast, tsunami alert issued

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

6.8-magnitude earthquake hits off Japan coast, tsunami alert issued 14 Mar 2012 A 6.8-magnitude earthquake has struck a spot in the Pacific Ocean, 210 km off the coast of Japan's Hokkaido Island, prompting authorities to issue a tsunami alert.

Santorum wins Ala., Miss.; Romney takes Hawaii

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Santorum wins Ala., Miss.; Romney takes Hawaii 14 Mar 2012 A resurgent Rick Santorum swept primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday night, upending the race for the Republican presidential nomination yet again and nudging Newt Gingrich toward the sidelines. Mitt Romney finished third in both states, but he salvaged a win in the Hawaii caucuses and won the support of all nine delegates at GOP caucuses in American Samoa. After the double loss in the South, Romney bested Santorum in the Hawaii GOP caucuses. With 82 percent of the caucus sites reporting, Romney had 45 percent of the vote, while Santorum had 25 percent. Gingrich was running fourth, behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Rocket hits Netivot parking lot; IDF strikes in Gaza

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Rocket hits Netivot parking lot; IDF strikes in Gaza 14 Mar 2012 A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in a parking lot in Netivot on Tuesday hours after the introduction of a truce between Israel and Palestinian groups. A man was lightly hurt by shrapnel and 20 people suffered from anxiety. Damage was caused to several vehicles and an apartment building. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Israeli aircraft attacked two [alleged] terror hubs in north Gaza overnight Wednesday in retaliation for the rocket fire.

Two 9/11 suspects on Guantanamo Bay hunger strike

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Two 9/11 suspects on Guantanamo Bay hunger strike 14 Mar 2012 At least two of the suspects in the 9/11 terror attacks [inside job] have been on hunger strikes at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps since January, FOX News has learned. The men, among the so-called "high value 14" who were transferred from the CIA secret prisons in 2006 to the US Navy base in Cuba, are protesting conditions at Guantanamo's Camp 7 and a new policy in which communications between detainees and their defense lawyers are reviewed for security purposes, according to knowledgeable sources who would not provide further detail. As for conditions at Camp 7, a detention facility so secretive that no journalist has ever been given access, it is claimed that they do not satisfy the requirements under the Geneva Conventions that establishes minimum guarantees for the treatment of "law of war detainees".

Mitt Romney wins Hawaii caucuses

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Mitt Romney wins Hawaii caucuses 14 Mar 2012

Rick Santorum scores big in two Southern primaries

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Rick Santorum scores big in two Southern primaries 13 Mar 2012 Scoring major upsets in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, Rick Santorum dealt a potentially crippling blow to Newt Gingrich and effectively emerged as Mitt Romney's lead challenger for the Republican presidential nomination. With most of the votes tallied, Gingrich was finishing a close second to Santorum in both states, followed by Mitt Romney. Santorum's victories in the heart of the GOP's Deep South stronghold give him a burst of momentum heading into the next round of contests in Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana. He has won 10 contests in states spanning the nation.

Afghan tribal leaders: Afghan civilians' massacre pre-planned

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan tribal leaders: Afghan civilians' massacre pre-planned 13 Mar 2012 Afghan tribal leaders say the recent massacre of Afghan civilians by US troops has been pre-planned and not carried out by a lone soldier, Press TV reports. The tribal leaders of the southern province of Kandahar said on Monday that several US forces, not a single soldier, contributed to the brutal carnage of Afghan civilians and that the violent action had been planned previously. They said the carnage was in retaliation against a deadly bomb attack on the US troops in the Zangabad district in the town of Panjwaii in the province of Kandahar, which inflicted serious damage on the American military forces. Following the blast, the American forces summoned local Afghans and tribal leaders of the region and vowed a bloody revenge on their children and wives, Kandahar tribal leaders added.

Two on terrorist watch list stopped in Laurel in 2011

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Two on terrorist watch list stopped in Laurel in 2011 --Instructions were given to allow the individuals to leave without being detained or arrested. --'Homeland Security doesn't want us to talk about that at all.' 15 Mar 2012 (MD) Two individuals on a federal terrorist watch list were stopped in a vehicle by Laurel police at some point in 2011, then allowed to leave based on directives from officials at the federal Department of Homeland Security, according to Laurel police and information recently released by the city. Laurel has been linked to al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] cells in the United States before, and the city made national headlines following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when it was reported that some of the 'hijackers' involved in the attacks had stayed in motels in the city and used computers at the Laurel library. But public acknowledgments of the actions taken by local and federal agencies to track or interact with individuals suspected of being involved in or tied to terrorist activities or cells are relatively rare, and such actions often go unreported.

Afghanistan officials fired on at site of civilian massacre

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan officials fired on at site of civilian massacre 13 Mar 2012 Suspected insurgents fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades Tuesday at a government delegation offering condolences to villagers in a district of Kandahar province where a U.S. soldier is accused of going on a shooting rampage. No one in the delegation, which included two brothers of President Hamid Karzai and a number of high-level officials, was injured, but a member of the Afghan security forces was killed and another was wounded, witnesses and officials said. Members of the delegation, which also included the Afghan army chief of staff, a Cabinet minister and the Kandahar governor, had just emerged from a mosque in Panjwayi district when gunfire erupted, officials said.

Vatican confirms second Anonymous hack

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Vatican confirms second Anonymous hack 13 Mar 2012 A Vatican spokesman on Tuesday downplayed the impact of the hack on the Vatican Radio database, saying the hackers had gained access to an old server "shortly after 2pm" on Monday. Anonymous claimed to have hacked Vatican Radio in protest against the Vatican Radio... in a Pastebin post on Monday. AnonOps Communications, a recognised mouthpiece of the hacktivist collective, published a link to the Pastebin post on Tuesday. Comments on the post called for alleged LulzSec members arrested last week by the FBI and international law enforcement to be freed.

US terror drones kill 30 in southern Somalia

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

US terror drones kill 30 in southern Somalia 13 Mar 2012 At least 30 people have been killed and a dozen injured in an attack by US assassination drones in southern Somalia, Press TV reports. The unmanned aircraft fired several missiles at al-Shabab positions in the Dayniile district of south Mogadishu on Tuesday. Sheik Ibrahim Jaabar, a senior al-Shabab official, confirmed the attack, saying the aerial strike caused major damage to the group’s positions.

Santorum Wins Alabama and Mississippi Primaries

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Santorum Wins Alabama and Mississippi Primaries 14 Mar 2012 Rick Santorum captured twin victories in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries on Tuesday, overcoming the financial advantages of Mitt Romney and the regional allegiances of Newt Gingrich to amplify his argument that the Republican nominating fight is becoming a two-man race with Mr. Romney. Mr. Santorum's victories were sure to elevate his candidacy as the contest accelerates as a delegate fight with Mr. Romney.

Poll: Obama's approval rating sinks to new low

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Poll: Obama's approval rating sinks to new low 12 Mar 2012 President Obama's approval rating has hit the lowest level ever in CBS News polling, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey. The drop may be partially attributable to rising gas prices. Just 41 percent of Americans approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, according to the poll, conducted from March 7 to 11. Another 47 percent disapprove of his performance, up from 41 percent last month. Mr. Obama's approval rating was 50 percent last month. [Too bad Obusha doesn't want to annoy his friends on Wall Street, and take action on oil speculators.]

NBC News: Santorum wins Alabama GOP presidential primary

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

NBC News projects that Rick Santorum will win the GOP presidential primary in Alabama --Mississippi 'too close to call' in 3-way tie between Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum 13 Mar 2012

Leaked STRATFOR Memo Says US SOF in Syria

March 14, 2012 by legitgov

Leaked STRATFOR Memo Says US SOF in Syria 09 Mar 2012 U.S. Special Operation Forces reportedly have been in Syria since December training groups to conduct guerrilla attacks and assassinations to bring down Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to a leaked Stratfor memo published by WikiLeaks. But Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. James Gregory suggested the memo warranted being read skeptically. [?] The claim of American Spec Ops Forces operating in Syria is made in an internal email dated Dec. 7, 2011, from an official at Stratfor, a Texas-based private intelligence-gathering company.

Free Jeremy Hammond

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

Free Jeremy Hammond 14 Mar 2012 Free alleged STRATFOR hacker Jeremy Hammond and all members of LulzSec and AntiSec held captive by the US government. Click here to 'like' the Free Jeremy Hammond Facebook page.

UK police arrest 2 Israelis for 'threatening comments' on Iran

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

UK police arrest 2 Israelis for 'threatening comments' on Iran 13 Mar 2012 British Police have arrested two Israeli men at Heathrow Airport for making "repeated inappropriate and threatening comments" about Iran. The men, who were accused of being disruptive on a British Airways flight from Las Vegas to London, were arrested upon arrival at Heathrow’s Terminal 5. The Metropolitan Police said the two Israeli passport holders, aged 28 and 33, were alleged to be making worrying remarks about Iran on the route of the aircraft.

Brussels Mosque Attacked With Molotov Cocktails; Imam Dies Battling Fire

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

Brussels Mosque Attacked With Molotov Cocktails; Imam Dies Battling Fire 13 Mar 2012 An imam has died trying to extinguish flames in a mosque in Belgium that was attacked by an arsonist. A man carrying an axe, a can of petrol and Molotov cocktails was reportedly seen at the Shi'ite mosque in Anderlecht, a suburb of Brussels, shortly before 7pm local time. The man terrorist then broke the windows of the mosque and threw the incendiary devices inside, the newspaper Le Soir said. "There is a lot of damage, apparently the entire mosque, or almost the entire mosque, burned down," Police spokeswoman Marie Verbeck said.

NATO helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, Taliban say

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

NATO helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, Taliban say 13 Mar 2012 The Taliban say a helicopter manned by US-led foreign forces has crashed in northern Afghanistan, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. A Taliban spokesman said the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter went down in the city of Qaisar in Faryab province on Sunday. He did not specify the cause of the alleged crash or if there were any casualties.

Hague to be sued for aiding US drone attacks in Pakistan

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

Hague to be sued for aiding US drone attacks in Pakistan 12 Mar 2012 A rights group and a law firm are set to take legal action against British Foreign Secretary William Hague over his alleged the contribution of intelligence in assisting US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan. The London-based charity Reprieve and the law firm Leigh Day & Co. confirmed on Monday that they will issue formal proceedings at the High Court on behalf of Noor Khan, a Pakistani man whose father was killed by a US strike. The law firm says it has credible evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to American forces planning attacks in Pakistan. Lawyers claim that civilian staff at Britain's electronic listening agency (GCHQ) could be liable as "secondary parties to murder" as they provided "locational intelligence" to the CIA in directing its drone attacks.

'US forces burned bodies of Afghans after massacre'

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

'US forces burned bodies of Afghans after massacre' 12 Mar 2012 Afghan eyewitnesses say US troopers have burnt nearly a dozen bodies of the Afghan victims, whom American servicemen had killed during an earlier massacre. Early Sunday, US forces opened fire on Afghan civilians inside their homes in the district of Panjwaii in the southern province of Kandahar, killing at least 17 civilians and injuring several others. The Taliban militants said at least 50 people were killed in the massacre. Earlier reports said the assassin was a lone US sergeant.

Judge rules Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional

March 13, 2012 by legitgov

Judge rules Wisconsin's voter ID law unconstitutional 12 Mar 2012 A Dane County judge struck down the state's new voter ID law on Monday - the second judge in a week to block the requirement that voters show photo identification at the polls. "A government that undermines the very foundation of its existence - the people's inherent, pre-constitutional right to vote - imperils its legitimacy as a government by the people, for the people, and especially of the people," Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess wrote. "It sows the seeds for its own demise as a democratic institution. This is precisely what 2011 Wisconsin Act 23 does with its photo ID mandates." Niess's eight-page ruling goes further than the one issued by another judge last week because it permanently invalidates the law for violating the state constitution.

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