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Rep. Paul says defense bill assures 'descent into totalitarianism'

December 27, 2011 by legitgov

Rep. Paul says defense bill assures 'descent into totalitarianism' 26 Dec 2011 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress this month, will accelerate the country's "slip into tyranny" and virtually assures "our descent into totalitarianism." One controversial provision of the NDAA mandates the detention of terror suspects and reaffirms the administration's authority to detain those suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations. "The president's widely expanded view of his own authority to detain Americans indefinitely even on American soil is for the first time in this legislation codified in law," Paul said Monday. "That should chill all of us to our cores."

TSA screenings aren't just for airports anymore

December 27, 2011 by legitgov

TSA screenings aren't just for airports anymore --Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. 20 Dec 2011 The Transportation Security Administration isn't just in airports anymore. TSA teams are increasingly conducting searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and other mass transit locations around the country. The TSA's 25 'VIPR' (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams have run more than 9,300 unannounced checkpoints and other search operations in the last year. Department of Homeland Security officials have asked Congress for funding to add 12 more teams next year.

US judge rules Iran responsible for 9/11

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

US judge rules Iran responsible for 9/11 --'Findings:' Iran continued to provide material support and resources to al-Qaida by providing a safe haven for al-Qaida leadership and rank-and-file members. 24 Dec 2011 A US judge has signed a default judgment finding Iran, the Taliban and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] liable for the September 11, 2001 attacks. Judge George Daniels in Manhattan signed the judgement a week after hearing evidence in the 10-year-old case. Judge Daniels signed findings of fact saying the plaintiffs had established that the attacks were caused by the support the defendants provided to al-Qaida. [9/11 was an inside job, six ways to Sunday.]

After 10 years, US blames Iran for 9/11

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

After 10 years, US blames Iran for 9/11 --Press TV interview with James Fetzer, founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth 24 Dec 2011 A US judge has signed a judgment that finds Iran, the Taliban and al-Qaeda responsible for 9/11, counter to the FBI's official reports relating to the incident. Press TV talks with James Fetzer, founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth in Madison about why Iran has only now been included in the list ten years after the fact and why Saudi Arabia was excluded from the list even though 15 of the alleged highjackers were from Saudi Arabia according to the FBI list. (Video and transcript.)

Pentagon Finds No Fault in Ties to TV Analysts

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Pentagon Finds No Fault in Ties to TV Analysts 25 Dec 2011 A Pentagon public relations propaganda program that sought to transform high-profile military analysts into "surrogates" and "message force multipliers" for the Bush regime complied with Defense Department regulations and directives, the Pentagon's inspector general has concluded after a two-year investigation. The inquiry was prompted by articles published in The New York Times in 2008 that described how the Pentagon, in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, cultivated close ties with retired officers who worked as military analysts for television and radio networks. The articles also showed how military analysts affiliated with defense contractors sometimes used their special access to seek advantage in the competition for contracts.

Congress calls on Twitter to block Taliban

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Congress calls on Twitter to block Taliban 25 Dec 2011 US congressmen are calling on Twitter to block Taliban propagandists from the micro-blogging site. Senators want to stop feeds which boast of insurgent attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan and the casualties they inflict. Aides for Joe Lieberman, chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said the move was part of a wider attempt to eliminate violent Islamist extremist propaganda from the internet and social media. [Lieberman's just jealous because the Taliban has more Twitter followers than he does.]

20 killed in suicide bombing in Afghanistan

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

20 killed in suicide bombing in Afghanistan 26 Dec 2011 At least 20 people, including a member of parliament, were killed in a suicide bombing on a funeral ceremony in Afghanistan's northern Takhar province on Sunday afternoon. More than 50 people who were injured in the blast have been shifted to a hospital in the provincial capital and are receiving treatment. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. [Blackwater's typically a safe bet.]

MP among scores killed in Afghanistan bombing

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

MP among scores killed in Afghanistan bombing 26 Dec 2011 A suicide bomber has attacked a funeral in north-eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 19 people, including an MP and wounding dozens of others. The attacker detonated his vest after mourners gathered for the funeral of a government official in Taluqan city, the capital of Takhar province. "We have 19 dead including an MP, Abdulmutalib Baig, and about 40 wounded, mostly civilians," said Takhar provincial governor Abdul Jabar Taqwa. "I was also invited to this ceremony but I didn't go. The target was either me or the MP."

Iran defeats mock enemy in E-war

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Iran defeats mock enemy in E-war 25 Dec 2011 The Iranian military has tested its most modern home-manufactured electronic warfare gear and defeated mock enemy on the second day of massive Velayat 90 naval exercise. During the second day of the maneuvers, different classes of frigates and submarines, sophisticated and technologically advanced ground-to-sea missile systems, advanced equipment used for communication and the exchange of intelligence were successfully tested and utilized along with modern electro-optical systems. Meanwhile, counterattacks against possible dive bombers, exchange of logistics and deep sea patrol were carried out on Sunday.

7 killed, dozens hurt in Iraq bombing

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

7 killed, dozens hurt in Iraq bombing 26 Dec 2011 At least seven people have been killed and 32 others injured in a car bombing near the Iraqi interior ministry in the capital, Baghdad. The bombing was carried out at about 7:30 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) in the Bab al-Sharji area in central Baghdad. Last Thursday, dozens of people were also killed and scores of others wounded in ten bombing attacks that rocked nine neighborhoods in Baghdad.

'Anonymous' hackers hit US security firm Stratfor

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

'Anonymous' hackers hit US security firm Stratfor 25 Dec 2011 The activist hacker group Anonymous says it has stolen thousands of emails, passwords and credit card details from a US-based security think-tank. The hackers claim they were able to obtain the information because the company, Stratfor, did not encrypt it. They say Stratfor's clients include the US defence department, law enforcement agencies and media organisations. The Austin-based company says it has suspended the operation on its servers and email.

Justice Dept. rejects South Carolina voter ID law

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Justice Dept. rejects South Carolina voter ID law 23 Dec 2011 The Justice Department has rejected South Carolina's voter-identification law, saying it discriminates against minorities. Gov. Nikki Haley [R-Sociopath], who signed the bill into law, called the decision "outrageous," The State reports. State Attorney General Alan Wilson (R) said he'll appeal, saying the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a similar voter ID law in Indiana. The Justice Department said that during an appeal the South Carolina law would be "legally unenforceable."

Yakuza's Debtors Forced to Work at Fukushima Daiichi?

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Yakuza's Debtors Forced to Work at Fukushima Daiichi? 26 Dec 2011 According to a book recently published by Tomohiko Suzuki, a freelance journalist who went undercover as a laborer at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant for two months this year, people who were unable to repay loans from Yakuza gangs were forced to work at the site as a means of repaying their debts. Tokyo Electric issued a refutal, calling the claim that organized crime would be allowed to influence the recruitment process "groundless". With the assistance of a particular organization, Suzuki was able to get employment at Fukushima Daiichi during July and August of this year, until his identity was discovered.

Assange may be investigated over theft of US military secrets

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Assange may be investigated over theft of US military secrets 26 Dec 2011 New claims have emerged that Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange played a role in stealing US military secrets which he published online. The former hacker was accused by lawyers in the US of coaching Private Bradley Manning on how to crack passwords and hack into military computer networks. During Manning's pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, last week lawyers produced logs of online chats that show Assange played a role in Manning uploading 700,000 stolen military documents which were passed on to WikiLeaks. US government digital forensic experts who examined Manning's computer found communications between him and an online chat user identified as Julian Assange, who guided Manning to break "hash codes".

WikiLeaks' Assange may face espionage charges in US

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

WikiLeaks' Assange may face espionage charges in US 25 Dec 2011 Julian Assange may face espionage charges in the US after prosecutors in the case of Private Bradley Manning revealed evidence of the WikiLeaks boss' alleged role in stealing secret military documents. During this week's hearing into the Manning case at Fort Meade, WikiLeaks' lawyers produced online chat logs which purport to show that the 40-year-old Australian coached Manning on how to break passwords and gain anonymous access to military computer networks, The (London) Times reported. The chat logs - revealed in the US military court on Thursday - represent the first evidence the US government has produced alleging that Assange helped Manning, 24, remove and transmit files from a top-secret facility in Iraq, the report said.

Russia test-fires two nuclear missiles

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

Russia test-fires two nuclear missiles 14 Dec 2011 The Russian military has successfully test-launched two intercontinental nuclear-capable missiles, the defence ministry said. The Bulava missiles were fired from a submarine in the White Sea on Russia's northwest coast and the test "went as planned," Lieutenant Colonel Igor Konashenkov told Russian news agency Ria Novosti.

'Anonymous' claims to have hacked U.S.-based security think tank

December 26, 2011 by legitgov

'Anonymous' claims to have hacked U.S.-based security think tank --Hackers promised a week full of Christmas-inspired assaults 25 Dec 2011 Hackers on Sunday claimed to have stolen a raft of e-mails and credit card data from U.S.-based security think tank Stratfor, promising it was just the start of a weeklong Christmas-inspired assault on a long list of targets. Members of the loose-knit hacking movement known as "Anonymous" posted a link on Twitter to what they said was Stratfor's tightly-guarded, confidential client list. Among those on the list: The U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the Miami Police Department. [Awesome!]

Nuclear sub narrowly avoided collision in Strait of Juan de Fuca - newspaper report

December 25, 2011 by legitgov

Nuclear sub narrowly avoided collision in Strait of Juan de Fuca - newspaper report 24 Dec 2011 Port Angeles, WA - A nuclear-powered submarine narrowly avoided colliding with a cargo ship in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in October, according to the Navy Times. The newspaper reported Wednesday that the USS Kentucky, a ballistic-missile sub based at Bangor, was traveling at periscope depth when it came within 900 yards of a 839-foot-long cargo ship on Oct. 12. The officer of the deck had failed to check for other vessels while making a course change, the Navy Times said. Both ships turned to avoid colliding.

CDC: We are tracking swine flu virus in five states and we expect more

December 25, 2011 by legitgov

CDC: We are tracking swine flu virus in five states and we expect more [LOL! Of course you do, since you created it.] 24 Dec 2011 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that it has identified the second case of human infection of swine flu. Since August, 12 people have been infected with the virus, called H3N2, in Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. CDC officials announced that they found another case of human infection with a swine-origin H3N2 virus, this time in a child from West Virginia.

'Afghan civilians killed for no reason'

December 24, 2011 by legitgov

'Afghan civilians killed for no reason' 24 Dec 2011 US-led foreign forces have killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan without any reasons, a fact-finding team appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai has revealed. Tahir Safi, an advisor to Karzai, told reporters on Saturday that one child, who had climbed a tree on December 13, was among the 21 civilians killed by US-led forces. "Our delegation found that a child who went up a tree to collect leaves for sheep was killed in the bombing by the NATO chopper without any pre-coordination with the Kandahar administration," Safi said. "The child's father rushed to the bombing site with other family members as another chopper of the international forces dropped other bombs," he added.

Troops attack protesters in Yemen capital

December 24, 2011 by legitgov

Troops attack protesters in Yemen capital 24 Dec 2011 More than 100,000 protesters who entered Yemen's capital Saturday after a 4-day march from another city were attacked by elite troops loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who opened fire with guns, water cannons and tear gas. Medical officials said at least three protesters were killed. The crowd of protesters had marched from Taiz, a city that has been a major opposition center 170 miles to the south. The protest, called the March of Life, aimed to put pressure on the country's new government not to grant Saleh immunity from prosecution. The violence underlined the continuing turmoil in Yemen even after Saleh signed a U.S.- and Saudi-backed deal last month by which he handed his powers to his vice president and committed to step down completely in return for immunity.

CIA watchdog OKs New York police partnership

December 24, 2011 by legitgov

CIA watchdog OKs New York police partnership 23 Dec 2011 The CIA says its inspector general has found nothing wrong with the spy agency's close partnership with the New York City Police Department. The inspector general concluded that no laws were broken and no evidence exists that the CIA was conducting forbidden domestic spying. [LOL.] The inspector general decided to do a preliminary investigation after a series of stories by The Associated Press revealed how, after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks the CIA helped the NYPD build domestic intelligence programs that were used to spy on Muslims.

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Officers Turn in Credentials

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Officers Turn in Credentials 22 Dec 2011 Jail officers working for Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio handed in their federal credentials during a news conference in Phoenix Wednesday, a day before civil rights attorneys will be in federal court to seek a ruling in a lawsuit that alleges Arpaio systematically discriminated against Latino residents in conducting traffic patrols and so-called "crime suppression sweeps." Arpaio's office organized the public turning-in of the badges after ICE rescinded their authority to run immigration checks on inmates.

Obama signs two-month extension of payroll tax cut

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

Obama signs two-month extension of payroll tax cut 23 Dev 2011 President Barack Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut Friday, ending what had been a heated political stalemate and sealing a hard-fought win for Democrats on an issue -- taxes -- that has historically favored the GOP. Earlier in the day, the measure cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives by unanimous consent, a procedural move allowing the measure to pass even though most members of Congress were already home for the holidays. Among other items, the $33 billion bill also includes a two-month extension of emergency federal unemployment benefits and the so-called "doc fix," a delay in scheduled payment reductions to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

8 'Occupy' protesters arrested at Iowa Democratic Party headquarters

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

8 'Occupy' protesters arrested at Iowa Democratic Party headquarters --Protesters were there to demand that President Obama veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the omnibus spending bill. 19 Dec 2011 Eight people affiliated with Occupy Des Moines were arrested this afternoon at the Iowa Democratic Party headquarters in Des Moines. The eight, whose hands were zip-tied behind their backs, were placed in a police wagon and transported to the Des Moines police station, where they were cited and released. Each was to be charged with criminal trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.

'Foreign agents behind Baghdad blasts'

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

'Foreign agents behind Baghdad blasts' 22 Dec 2011 Iran's deputy foreign minister has condemned serial explosions in Iraq's capital of Baghdad as schemes by some of the foreign countries aimed at sowing discord among Iraqi Muslims. "Such efforts are doomed to fail, and Iraq's vigilant and wise people and the country's [democratically] elected government as well as its police and security forces will give a crushing response to the plot's perpetrators," Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Thursday. Warning about the effect of such terrorist attacks on regional security, Amir-Abdollahian said, "Those who have had a hand in these blasts must know that the region's enemies are the only ones who benefit from these measures."

Multiple bomb blasts kill 69 in Iraq

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

Multiple bomb blasts kill 69 in Iraq 22 Dec 2011 Sixty nine people have been killed and scores of others injured in multiple bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad, an official says. Ziad Tariq, spokesperson for the Iraqi health ministry, said people 69 were killed and 176 were injured in 10 bombing attacks that rocked nine neighborhoods of the capital on Thursday morning. The attacks were carried out in the Allawi, Bab al-Muatham and Karrada districts of central Baghdad, the Adhamiyah, Shuala and Shaab neighborhoods in the north, Jadriyah in the east, Ghazaliyah in the west and Amal and Dura in the south. 

CEO pay raises jump a median of 27% in 2010, report finds

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

CEO pay raises jump a median of 27% in 2010, report finds 15 Dec 2011 American CEOs raked in fat paychecks last year, as head honchos netted a median 27% increase in compensation in fiscal year 2010. Top executives from the S&P 500 scored a median 36.5% bump in realized compensation after two years of pay declines in 2008 and 2009, according to the ninth annual report from research group GMI. It's sure to irk Occupy protesters, who have railed against the high-flying lifestyles of the 1% while the average American works more for less money and cuts back on spending.

8 U.S. soldiers charged in death of comrade in Afghanistan

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

8 U.S. soldiers charged in death of comrade in Afghanistan 21 Dec 2011 The U.S. Army, which has struggled in recent years to combat a mounting suicide toll, took an unusual step when it announced Wednesday that it had charged eight American soldiers serving in Afghanistan in connection with the apparent suicide of one of their lower-ranking comrades. The charges in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19-year-old infantryman from New York City, came after a vigorous, weeks-long campaign by advocacy groups and family members hoping to pressure the Pentagon to investigate allegations that Chen had been the subject of hazing within the ranks and had been repeatedly taunted with racial slurs.

Boehner Signs On to Payroll Tax Deal Amid Isolation, Attacks

December 23, 2011 by legitgov

Boehner Signs On to Payroll Tax Deal Amid Isolation, Attacks 23 Dec 2011 Deserted by many of his fellow Republicans, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner surrendered to attacks from President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats and agreed to a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut that he derided hours earlier. The decision kicks the fight over extending the tax cut for 160 million U.S. workers into early next year without resolving deep divides over how to cover the cost through 2012. [The bill is a victory for the mainstream GOP, Wall Street, and Obusha -- one and the same -- as the millionaires' tax was dropped; the deadly Keystone XL pipeline, whereupon the oil will flow only to China, was added, poised for an Obama approval in the next round of 'negotiations;' and Social Security was further de-funded, leading to its eventual privatization and end. Despite the media spin and Boehner's poor leadership, this tax 'deal' was and is a complete capitulation by the Democrats (as usual), thanks to Obama. Any tax cuts to the middle class should be funded by taxing the 'One Percent.' Obama pretends to agree with this notion to win the 'Left,' but notice he's not *once* signed onto it? --LRP]

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