Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.


Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

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January 2004 Archives

Bush advisers debating what to do about Syria Civilians in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office are pushing for military action against Syria short of an invasion and have drawn up plans for punitive airstrikes and cross-border incursions by U.S. forces, according to three officials.

War College Study Calls Iraq a 'Detour' Institute's report warns anti-terror campaign may launch 'open-ended and gratuitous conflict.' A report published by the Army War College criticizes the Bush dictatorship's global war on terrorism as "unfocused" and contends that the war in Iraq is "unnecessary" and a "detour" that has diverted attention and resources from the threat posed by Al Qaeda.

Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope A scathing new report published by the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush regime's handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of taking a detour into an "unnecessary" war in Iraq and pursuing an "unrealistic" quest against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious threat.

War College Report: Iraq War an 'Error' A report published by the Army War College calls the Bush dictatorship's war on terrorism unfocused and says the invasion of Iraq was "a strategic error."

Iraq troop rotation plan: Pentagon prepares for next war --by James Conachy "Over 250,000 US soldiers will leave or arrive in Iraq between now and the end of May in the largest rotation of troops in a combat zone that has been attempted by the American military since World War II. The risks of the massive movement of personnel and hardware are considerable and its implications, given the record of the Bush administration, are ominous."

Bush Sought to Oust Hussein From Start, Ex-Official Says Dictator Bush was focused on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq from the start of his regime, more than seven months before the terrorist attacks that he later cited as the trigger for a more aggressive foreign policy, Paul H. O'Neill, Mr. Bush's first Treasury secretary, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

O'Neill says Cheney told him, 'Deficits don't matter' Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he was told "deficits don't matter" when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis. In a new book chronicling his rocky two-year tenure and in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, O'Neill also said Dictator Bush balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime because of opposition from "the corporate crowd."

I saw *this* one marching down Broadway a mile away: US Treasury seeks probe into papers taken by O'Neill The U.S. Treasury has asked the U.S. inspector general's office to investigate how a possibly classified document appeared on Sunday in a televised interview of ex-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, a department spokesman said on Monday.

Tuition fees, Iraq and Kelly row could end it all for Blair Poodle Tony Blair's fightback over university top-up fees ran into immediate trouble yesterday with one Labour MP urging him to resign if he could not change the "back me or sack me" approach he has adopted over recent days.

US military 'brutalised' journalists News agency demands inquiry after American forces in Iraq allegedly treated camera crew as enemy personnel --The international news agency Reuters has made a formal complaint to the Pentagon following the "wrongful" arrest and apparent "brutalisation" of three of its staff this month by US troops in Iraq.

Reuters protests about detention of staff in Iraq News agency Reuters says it has made a formal complaint to the US military about the arrest and treatment of three of its staff held after a helicopter crash near the town of Falluja.

Large Explosions Rock Central Baghdad Large explosions rocked central Baghdad late Monday, and Iraqi and U.S. security officials said at least two mortars exploded near the Baghdad Hotel.

Nine Iraqis, US soldier killed US occupation forces shot dead seven Iraqis who "were trying to steal oil from a pipeline" [?!?] in central Iraq last night. According to the US Army, a group of 40 men armed with AK-47 assault rifles in 10 to 15 vehicles were spotted at the pipeline by the troops who were led to the area by an Iraqi informant.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Bombing in Baghdad The U.S. death toll in the Iraqi conflict neared 500 Monday, with the explosion of a roadside bomb in the capital that killed one American soldier and wounded two.

Troops Disperse Iraqis Rioting for Food Ukrainian soldiers fired into the air Monday to disperse hundreds of Iraqis who rioted for jobs and food as a second southern Shiite Muslim city was rocked by unrest — a barometer of rising frustration with the U.S. led-occupation in a region of Iraq considered 'friendly' to the Americans. [Oops! I guess not.]

Baker Backed Loans That Added to Iraq Debt Now assigned the task of reducing Iraq's debt, Bush coupmeister and Satanic nutball, James A. Baker III once gave crucial support for continuing a billion-dollar loan program to Saddam Hussein's government that accounts for most of the money Iraq still owes the United States.

Pepsi Refreshes Thousands of Totally Dead Iraqi Children --Mark Morford Pepsi production returning to Iraq PepsiCo Inc. plans to resume producing Pepsi in Iraq, using the same bottler that distributed fake Pepsi after economic sanctions forced the company out of the country... "'Iraqis have been great supporters of Pepsi over many years, and we're delighted to resume local production,' said Saad Abdul-Latif, president of the Middle East/Africa region of PepsiCo International, as lightning did not strike his pathetic ass dead on the spot. 'Because if there's one thing a bloody decimated war-ravaged piss-poor violence-torn rubble-strewn hate-wary completely miserable nation needs as it's being violently and unhappily occupied by the world's least welcome and most obnoxious superpower, it's syrupy sticky heavily carbonated high-sugar American-made fizzy crappy drinks that feed more dollars directly into the American corporate maw,' he really, really should have added. 'Pepsi: It quenches your brutally severed limbs!'"

Ten soldiers killed in Taliban attack Taliban guerillas firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades have attacked an Afghan army post and killed 10 soldiers, according to a spokesman for the group.

U.S. Suffers 100th Death in Afghanistan A U.S. soldier died over the weekend after a traffic accident near Kabul, becoming the 100th American fatality since the U.S.-led military campaign began in Afghanistan two years ago.

Air and Naval Blockade of North Korea to Prevent Nuclear Warhead Export A naval and air blockade of North Korea was insisted on by neo-conservative Richard Perle, Bush’s defense policy advisor. "We need to assure South Korea that the 1962 Cuban-style blockade is the only alternative to avoid war," he added. This argument came from the book titled "An End to Evil: Strategies for Victory in the War on Terror," co-authored by Richard Perle, the former Assistant Secretary of Defense and David Frum, the former special assistant to Dictator George W. Bush.

U.S. Sends 'Anti-Terror' Team to W. Africa The United States is expanding imperialistic ['anti-terror'] efforts to the remote reaches of West Africa's Sahara borders, dispatching U.S. troops and contractors.

U.S. Keeps Military Program in Uzbekistan The United States is continuing to its military relationship with Uzbekistan, including paying to disable nuclear weapons from the old Soviet arsenal, under Dictator Bush's waiver of rules that required improvements in the country's human rights record.

Bush Visits Neighbors No Longer So Friendly A summit will highlight how views have changed in Latin America. Three years after George W. Bush took office [literally, *took* office], Bush is deeply unpopular in much of the region. Latin Americans view him as a distant neighbor at best — often at odds with them over security and trade policies, and aloof from their worst economic and political crises. [Let's say it the way it is: Bush is detested throughout the entire Solar System.]

US jet accidentally drops unarmed bomb in Britain The United States Air Force is investigating how one of its fighter jets dropped an unarmed bomb onto the countryside in northern England last week, a spokesman said on Monday.

Defence rejects Gulf War illness allegations The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has defended its vaccination program after British findings of a possible link between pre-Gulf War vaccinations and serious health issues. [*See: Secret document links vaccines to Gulf War syndrome: report]

Three Firms to Study Defending Airliners Against Missiles The Department of Homeland Suckurity, which has identified shoulder-fired missiles as threats to commercial aircraft, yesterday chose three companies to develop anti-missile technology.

U.S. to Push Airlines for Passenger Records Travel Database to Rate Security Risk Factors --Despite stiff resistance from airlines and privacy advocates, the U.S. government plans to push ahead this year with a vast computerized system to probe the backgrounds of all passengers boarding flights in the United States.

Beware of strangers carrying books, warns FBI (December 30, 2003) The FBI has issued a terror warning to police to look out for individuals carrying almanacs or maps, reports AP.

Supreme Court Allows Secrecy of 9/11 Detainees inJustices let stand lower ruling, opting not to consider civil liberties, freedom of information issues. The Supreme Court today allowed the Bush dictatorship to withhold the names and whereabouts of hundreds of people seized in the United States by the government in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. [Click here (.pdf) for original 'Complaint For Injunctive Relief' filed against the Department of Justice, December 5, 2001.]

inJustices Uphold Policy of Silence on 9/11 Detainees The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal challenging the secrecy surrounding the arrest and detention of hundreds of people, nearly all Muslim men, in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Supreme Court Upholds Secret Detentions inJustices decline to hear challenge to post-9/11 jailings The U.S. Whore High Court on Monday allowed the Bush dictatorship to keep secret the names and other basic details about hundreds of people questioned and detained or arrested after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Bush wants delay of 9-11 report until after 2004 s-election Federal 9/11 commission spokesman Alvin Felzenberg said that because of alleged stonewalling by the Bush dictatorship and by [Bush's New York Poodle] Michael Bloomberg's office, some commissioners want to extend their probe past the May deadline for the final report, while others are against any extension. The White House proposed greenlighting the extension if the commission would agree to release the report after the November election, but then officials pulled back the offer, Newsweek reported yesterday.

Sept. 11 commission will request Bush, Clinton to meet with panel The federal Sept. 11 commission has formally decided to ask Dictator Bush and former President Bill Clinton to meet with the panel and to extend its investigation by several months.

NYC 9-11 Truth Takes Back Ground Zero --by Michael Kane --septembereleventh.org, Jan 12, 2004 "Overwhelming Majority of New Yorkers Supports the Truth Movement! Police illegally and forcibly move two people holding a sign NYC calls for International Day of Solidarity – Every Saturday of Every Week! Respectful Dialogue on the Streets of NYC Where’s a Respectable Memorial for those who died at Ground Zero? The NYC Truth Movement permanently, and completely, took back Ground Zero from the Neo-Conservative false-patriotic agenda. In true New York fashion, 911 Truth activists unveiled the now legendary banner, which read, 'THE BUSH REGIME ENGINEERED 9-11' in front of the World Trade Center footprint."

Brazil Judge Blocks Fingerprinting Rule A federal judge ordered a halt to fingerprinting all U.S. visitors to Rio de Janeiro, a requirement that was imposed in response to anti-terror steps in the United States, a court official said Monday. Later Monday, the government issued an executive order saying the requirement would remain in place for 30 days while an inter-ministerial group studied the issue.

Senate GOP Backs Probe Supports Review of Rowland Gifts (CT) GOP state senators announced Sunday that they unanimously support forming a House committee to decide whether fellow Republican Gov. John G. Rowland should be impeached for accepting gifts from politically connected friends and contractors.

Shays, senate Republicans add voices call for Rowland to resign (CT) Republican U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays added his voice Monday to a growing chorus within the party calling on [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland to resign.

More Urge Conn. Gov. Rowland to Resign [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland came under increased pressure to resign Monday as a prominent GOP congressman called on him to step down and a new poll indicated nearly two-thirds of voters want him out of office.

Top Democrat Criticizes New Schwarzenegger Budget A top California Democrat, whose help new [GOP installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger needs to get his budget passed, on Monday strongly criticized the proposal, saying it hurt the poor without solving the state's deep-rooted fiscal problems.

U.S. Consumer Debt Grows at Alarming Rate Debt Burden Will Intensify When Interest Rates Rise --According to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve, America's consumer debt has topped $2 trillion for the first time, continuing what debt experts view as an alarming surge in recent years.

Gasoline Price Jumps 5 Cents, Highest Since Oct. U.S. drivers can't find relief at the gasoline pump as the national price for motor fuel is at the highest level since last October, the government said on Monday.

Nevada Nuclear Waste Case Set for Court Nevada officials say a federal appeals court hearing this week on a collection of lawsuits will give the state its best chance to block the government's plans to entomb nuclear reactor waste under a mountain just 90 miles outside Las Vegas. [Hello, McFly?!?]

Leaders: Dean Tried to Appoint Minorities During more than a decade as Vermont governor, Howard Dean did not appoint any blacks or Hispanics to his Cabinet, but minority leaders say it was not for lack of trying in the nearly all-white state.

Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? "From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says former Bush Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, who adds that going after Hussein was topic "A" 10 days after the coronation - eight months before Sept. 11. O'Neill says in the book "The Price of Loyalty," by Ron Suskind, he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked. "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president [sic] saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O’Neill. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap."

Blair admits weapons of mass destruction may never be found · PM shows first doubts on central reason for war · Asked was he wrong on WMD, he says: 'I don't know' Poodle Tony Blair yesterday signalled that weapons of mass destruction may never be found in Iraq, in his first admission of fallibility over the central justification he gave for going to war with Iraq.

Blair: I do not know if Iraq had WMDs Key points • Tony Blair was unsure when asked whether he accepted his statement that Iraq had WMD capable of being fired within 45 minutes was wrong • The Poodle's position has been shifting since July last year; he is now looking for "clandestine operations" in Iraq - rather than weapons themselves • Claims that the Iraqi Survey Group had found "clandestine laboratories" were recently dismissed as a "red herring" by US dictator in Iraq Paul Bremer

Blair 'No Longer Believes his Own Wmd Arguments' Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair faced fresh questions over his claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction today after admitting they might never be found. The Poodle yesterday insisted he was right to act on intelligence that Saddam Hussein had a chemical and biological arsenal. But Mr Blair said "it may well not be surprising" if it was never uncovered.

Ex US - Treasury Chief: Saw No Evidence of Iraq WMDs Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he never saw any evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction -- Dictator Bush's main justification for going to war -- and was told "deficits don't matter'' when he warned of a looming fiscal crisis. O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice pResident Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits -- expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone -- posed a threat to the U.S. economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter,'' he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due.'' [*This* is our due: removal by any means necessary of this wicked, murderous and illegitimate regime. They stole the presidency. They allowed 9-11 with foreknowledge. They withdrew from international treaties on war crimes (of which they knew they would commit many) and air pollution standards (endangering the whole planet). They stole the mid-terms in Georgia and elsewhere; they installed a Governor by coup in California. They invaded a country illegally, without UN approval, without due cause, against all evidence, and for nothing but oil and contracts to rebuild what they first had contracts to destroy. These people are evil incarnate. We knew they were lying about the W-ar and they did it anyway, against the will of the world. They are the worst thing that has happened to this planet since Hitler. They must be REMOVED!!!!]

George W. Bush, on his tax cuts: "Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again." Author ["The Price of Loyalty"] Ron Suskind says everyone expected George W. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the dictator was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged. "He asks, ‘Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again,'" says Suskind. "He says, 'Didn’t we already, why are we doing it again?' Now, his advisers, they say, 'Well Mr. President [sic], the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response.' And the president [sic] kind of goes, 'OK.' That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. 'Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, 'You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?'" But according to the transcript, White House nutball [political advisor] Karl Rove jumped in...

Bush was demanding excuse to invade Iraq in January 2001, says ex-treasury secretary The Bush regime started making detailed plans for the invasion of Iraq within days of coming to office, with the Dictator himself anxious to find a pretext to overthrow Saddam Hussein, a high-ranking former cabinet member said yesterday.

Clark Says O'Neill Book Vindicates Him Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark says a book by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill vindicates what he has said all along about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. While rallying campaign volunteers Sunday at his Manchester headquarters, Clark praised O'Neill for "The Price of Loyalty," which contends the United States began the war on Iraq just days after Dictator Bush took office [literally, *took* office] -- more than two years before the start of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Bush war advisors: unfound Iraqi weapons matter little Two of Dictator George W. Bush's military whackjobs [advisors] said that the US inability to find illegal weapons in Iraq means little.

Study Published by Army Criticizes War on Terror's Scope A scathing new report published by the Army War College broadly criticizes the Bush dictatorship's handling of the war on terrorism, accusing it of taking a detour into an "unnecessary" war in Iraq and pursuing an "unrealistic" quest against terrorism that may lead to U.S. wars with states that pose no serious threat.

The Bush dictatorship burns as Iraqis demand real democracy: In Blow to U.S. Plans, Top Shiite Demands Direct Elections In a blow to White House plans for a Halliburton-installed dictatorship ['smooth handover of power to an Iraqi transitional government'] by July 1, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq said today that members of an interim assembly had to be chosen through direct elections. [Too bad we do not have direct elections in the U.S., but rather a Faux-news, Diebold touch-screen 'voting' machine s-elections.]

Iraq Cleric Warns of More Violence if Poll Not Held Iraq's most senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, warned on Sunday of increased political tensions and violence if elections are not held within months. [We need similar protests in the United States if Diebold touch-screen 'voting' machines are used, sans paper trails, in November for a *second* Bush coup d'etat.]

Iraqis Protest to Demand Free Elections Impatience with Iraq's occupying forces boiled over Sunday as unemployed Iraqis pelted British troops with stones and a top Shiite Muslim cleric demanded the country's next parliament be elected — a position at odds with American plans. [The Bush dictatorship vehemently opposes free elections, in America and elsewhere.]

Iraqis Pelt British Troops With Stones Impatience with Iraq's occupying forces boiled over Sunday as unemployed Iraqis pelted British troops with stones and a top Shiite Muslim cleric demanded the country's next parliament be elected _ a position at odds with American plans. [Hey! We're growing *very* impatient with U.S. occupying forces here, as well! The Bush dictatorship needs to be removed, ASAP.]

Danish, British Troops Arrest Six Iraqis Danish and British soldiers arrested six men early Sunday, including a former leader of the Baath party who was leading a resistance cell in southern Iraq, the Danish army said.

Japan Orders Soldiers to Leave for Iraq Japan's defense chief on Friday ordered an advance team of ground troops to leave for Iraq as the military began final preparations for a 'humanitarian operation' that will be its biggest and most controversial overseas deployment since World War II.

U.S. Firm to Run Iraqi TV Harris Corp. Also to Operate National Newspaper --The Pentagon has awarded a $96 million contract to a U.S. communications equipment maker to run Saddam Hussein's old television and radio network, now called al-Iraqiya, for the next 12 months, the chairman of the company said last week.

Secret document links vaccines to Gulf War syndrome: report Medical problems linked to the war in Iraq, dubbed Gulf War syndrome, were probably caused by vaccines administered to soldiers before their departure to the region, according to the findings of a medical report revealed in British newspaper The Times.

US sergeant branded a coward mounts furious fightback Combat Stress --If Jessica Lynch could be described as the accidental hero of the Iraq war, then Georg-Andreas Pogany is the accidental coward. Like Private Lynch, who became an international celebrity largely through the manipulation of the Pentagon's propaganda machine rather than anything she did or did not do on the battlefield, Staff Sergeant Pogany, hired as a translator and interrogator with US Special Forces, did nothing to seek out his poster-child status and almost certainly does not deserve the notoriety that has come his way...

3000 new soldiers desert Thousands of Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers have deserted the fledgling service after completing training by instructors from the United States, France and Britain, defence ministry officials said today.

Report: Pentagon Auditors Altered Files Pentagon auditors spent 1,139 hours altering their own files in order to pass an internal review, say investigators who found that the accounting sleuths engaged in just the kind of wasteful activity they are supposed to expose.

Pentagon Probes Defense Contractors' Hiring - WSJ The Defense Department has launched an inquiry into high-level military officials who have taken jobs at defense contractors over the past few years, prompted by ethical problems at Boeing Co., the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

Camp Delta Briton claims racial abuse Racial abuse claim by Briton Guards at Guantanamo Bay are racially abusing inmates by calling them "ragheads" and "camel-riders", the family of a British detainee claims.

US to release jailed Britons soon, PM says A deal to return Britons imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay was "weeks away" Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair insisted last night. The Poodle denied that he had been holding up plans to bring back the nine British men who are detained at the US-run Concentration Camp Delta, as claimed by one man's solicitor.

Supreme Court to Review Presidential Powers The Supreme Court has set the stage for a series of rulings on the reach of presidential power. Since November, the justices have voted to take up five cases that test the president's power to act alone and without interference by Congress or the courts.

Court takes terror case Taking up what could be the most significant wartime civil liberties case since World War II, the Supreme Court announced Friday that it would decide whether the government can indefinitely detain U.S. citizens it labels "enemy combatants" without giving them access to a lawyer or charging them with a crime.

Air Travel Database Plan Is Set To Advance U.S. Seeks Passenger Records to Rate Risk --Despite stiff resistance from airlines and privacy advocates, the U.S. government plans to push ahead this year with a vast computerized system to probe the backgrounds of all passengers boarding flights in the United States.

Bush security, AP photographer tussle over race, gender query BUSH LEAGUE: Dictator George W. Bush's visit to St. Louis may have gone smoothly (if dodging a couple of hundred angry trade unionists can be so described), but the commander in thief's security managed to raise a few eyebrows. A pair of wire service employees recounted a standoff over their press credentials when an Associated Press photographer was asked to reveal his race and gender.

Bush Economic Policies Come Under Fire Dictator Bush is facing growing criticism that his economic policies, including a planned push to make his tax cuts permanent, amount to land mines in the U.S. economy's path.

Health Spending Rises to Record 15% of Economy Health spending accounts for nearly 15 percent of the nation's economy, the largest share on record, the Bush dictatorship said on Thursday.

Gas prices shoot up The price of gasoline jumped 7 cents a gallon over the past three weeks, the biggest price hike since last February, a survey released Sunday found.

Al Gore to Expose Bush on Environment, Global-Warming President Al Gore will deliver a major address attacking the Bush Dictatorship's policies on global warming and the environment at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City on Thursday, January 15. The speech is being co-sponsored by MoveOn.org and Environment2004.

Rage of a Relic Paul O'Neill is angry that the world has passed him by. --by John Fund "His [former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill] tour of Africa with rock star Bono veered into advocacy for action on AIDS, not exactly a brief of the Treasury Department. He also emerged as an aggressive advocate of action on global warming. At the first meeting of the president[sic]'s cabinet, Mr. O'Neill passed out copies of a speech he gave in 1998 in which he said that there were two issues that transcend all others: 'One is nuclear holocaust. . . . The second is environmental: specifically, the issue of global climate change and the potential of global warming.'"

Rowlands Are No Strangers To Gifts Hawaii Trip, Other Freebies Raise Question: When Is A Little Help From Friends Too Much? Did Republican Governor, John G. Rowland (CT), receive special benefits simply by virtue of holding office? Rowland stands at the brink of impeachment and at the bull's-eye of a federal corruption investigation that someday could lead to his indictment, largely because of a taste for first-class living.

Iowa's Largest Newspaper Endorses Edwards Iowa's largest newspaper endorsed North Carolina Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination while three other Iowa newspapers went for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in weekend editions.

Clinton and Mandela recommended for ancient English military honour The honorary title of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports has been reserved for members of the country's nobility since ancient times, but that could be about to change. Joe Trussler, the speaker of the Cinque Ports and the Mayor of Sandwich, has asked the Queen and the Prime Minister to consider a number of public figures, including Bill Clinton, John Major and Nelson Mandela, for the post.

Powell withdraws al-Qa'ida claim as hunt for Hussein's WMD flags The faltering American and British case for W-ar in Iraq has suffered another blow with an admission by the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, that there was no hard proof of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qa'ida, contrary to his claims before the invasion.

O'Neill: U.S. Planned War in January '01 Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill contends the United States began laying the groundwork for an invasion of Iraq just days after Dictator Bush took office [literally, *took* office] in January 2001 - more than two years before the start of the U.S.-led war that ousted Saddam Hussein.

O'Neill: Bush Planned Iraq Invasion in January, 2001 The Bush Regime began laying plans for an invasion of Iraq, including the use of American troops, within days of Dictator Bush's coronation in January of 2001 -- not eight months later after the 9/11 attacks as has been previously reported. That's what former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says in his first interview about his time as a White House insider. [Interview with O'Neill to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.]

John Kerry Responds to Secretary O'Neill's Iraq Charges (Press Release from johnkerry.com, January 10, 2004) "These are very serious charges by a former high ranking Administration official. We already knew the Administration failed to focus on the threat from Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda. We already knew the Administration broke every promise they made to work through the U.N., use the resolution to enforce inspections, build a coalition, and plan for peace. But Secretary O’Neill’s revelations would mean the Administration never intended to even try to keep those promises. It would mean they were dead-set on going to war alone since almost the day they took office and deliberately lied to the American people, Congress, and the world."

Iraqi police fire on protesters, kill six Iraqi police opened fire on stone-throwing protesters demanding jobs in the southeastern city of Amara on Saturday and at least six people were killed, hospital and police sources said.

American terrorist Forget Hutton. He will not reveal what the US and UK authorities really don't want you to know: that radiation illnesses caused by uranium weapons are now common in Iraq. --by John Pilger "The disaster in Iraq is rotting the Blairite establishment. Blair himself appears ever more removed from reality; his latest tomfoolery about the 'discovery' of 'a huge system of clandestine weapons laboratories', which even the American viceroy in Baghdad mocked, would be astonishing, were it not merely another of his vapid attempts to justify his crime against humanity. (His crime, and George Bush's, is clearly defined as 'supreme' in the Nuremberg judgment.)"

Speaking of 'what they don't want you to know': Judges Order City to Release More Records About 9/11 A state appeals court has ordered New York City to grant expanded public access to records about its response to the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001.

Five impolite questions for the president [sic] --by Don Williams "Does some fundamental religious belief - say, that the end of the world is coming soon - influence your policies on the environment and on nuclear weapons? If not, how do you explain policies that seem designed to destroy the planet? Seriously, if you had run on a platform of destroying the Earth, I don't think your policies would be much different."

It Isn't "Joy" Word of the Year for 2003 --by Ben Tripp "Who has perpetrated the most terrorism in 2003? Golly, I hardly dast say. Al-Qaeda was fairly quiet. The Israeli government kept it local, as did the Palestinians. Could it be the Executive Branch of the U.S. government? They invaded Iraq and continue to occupy it by means of intimidation. The Iraqi insurgents aren't terrorists, despite their tactics- we did the same thing during the American Revolution...

Anti-Bush overkill blackens worthy site --by Antonia Zerbisias "What a pity that the liberal American grassroots group MoveOn... exposed a flank to critics waiting for an opportunity to discredit this burgeoning organization... [F]or readers looking for more than what the mainstream corporate media offer, here's a very short list of my daily must-reads: Danny Schechter's mediachannel.org; William River Pitt's truthout.org; Citizens For Legitimate Government (http://www.legitgov.org); TomPaine.com; the Center for Media and Democracy (prwatch.org); Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (fair.org), Cursor.org; Sam Smith's Progress Review (prorev.com), Commondreams.org and Buzzflash.com."

Chavez calls Condoleezza Rice an "illiterate" following sharp criticism Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as a "true illiterate" for accusing him of not playing a constructive role in Latin America. [President Chavez, you rock!!]

Brazil to Strengthen Fingerprint Policy The Brazilian government will issue an executive order strengthening a new policy of fingerprinting all U.S. visitors in response to anti-terror measures enforced by the United States, news reports said.

Guantanamo Bay: a global experiment in inhumanity The US example now legitimises oppression across the world --by Louise Christian "It has been estimated that at least 15,000 people are being held without trial under the justification of the 'war on terrorism'. They include more than 3,000 detained in Iraq after the war, of whom at least 1,000 are still in detention; an estimated further 1,000 to 3,000 detained at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan; and an unknown number being held on the British territory of Diego Garcia. Bagram is a CIA interrogation centre, practising 'stress and duress' or 'torture lite'."

CIA Recruits Terrorist Agents At Guantanamo U.S. efforts to infiltrate Al Qaeda begin with captured compatriots --by Martin Dillon "Behind the barbed wire, gun turrets and searchlights of the Guantanamo concentration camp, the CIA is running a secret program to recruit turncoats to infiltrate al Qaeda and other organizations to which they formerly belonged."

Oh but another oddity in another case of another murdered microbiologist: Reward offered in hit-and-run Chemist was killed in Medical Center --A reward of up to $20,000 was announced Thursday for tips leading to the arrest and charges of a hit-and-run motorist who killed a chemist walking in the Texas Medical Center. Robert Leslie Burghoff, 45, a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine's molecular virology and microbiology department, was walking to his car Nov. 20 when he was hit from behind by a white or light-colored cargo van that jumped the sidewalk in the 1600 block of South Braeswood. A witness reported seeing a round insignia on the right back portion of the van, below the license plate, and suspected it was a city emblem, but no city-owned van of that description was found to have any damage, police Investigator Ronnie Miller said.

New World Order clampdown underway: LAPD wants to ban ski masks from demonstrators' wardrobes The Los Angeles Police Department is seeking the fast track for new laws to ban face coverings, gas masks or even goggles at public demonstrations, where the devices could weaken 'officers' who want to control crowds with pepper spray and other chemicals. The proposal advanced this week after Police Commission members dismissed any First Amendment objections as premature.

Aides Say Bush Is Already Absorbed in 2004 Race George Bush personally made the decision to hold the Republican National Convention in New York City, one adviser said. The person in charge of the campaign is [Reichwing whackjob] Karl Rove, who remains on the White House payroll as the dictator's senior adviser.

Vice pResident would back ban on gay marriage Cheney pledges support if Bush seeks amendment --Vice President Dick Cheney, who argued during the 2000 presidential campaign that the issue of gay marriage is best left to the states, said Friday he would support a presidential push to ban same-sex marriage.

Mega barf alert! Harris entry would jumble 2004 Florida campaigns An enduring figure from the 2000 coup d'etat ['recount'], KKKatherine Harris may soon find herself in the middle of another presidential contest in Florida - as a candidate for U.S. Senate. Bush consigliore Karl Rove has called Florida "ground zero" in the re-s-election campaign, and Harris could complicate the picture by reminding people of the Republican coup d'etat in 2000.

Speaking of corrupt, immoral, hypocritical Republicans: Conn. Governor Called on to Resign Republican Rep. Rob Simmons on Saturday became the first member of Connecticut's congressional delegation to call on [GOP] Gov. John G. Rowland to resign, saying the governor had lost his "moral authority" to lead. [Rowland never had the 'moral authority' to lead in the first place.]

"Governor Rowland, the tribe has spoken. It is time for you to go." (LRP) More Calls To Resign Sentiment Grows That Rowland Can't Govern As House Republicans Seek A Committee And Three Additional GOP Senators Ask For Him To Quit --The bad news got even worse for [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland Friday. One day after Democratic legislators made a historic call to investigate the governor for ethical violations, Republicans in the House of Representatives called for a similar special committee with subpoena powers to probe wrongdoing and, if necessary, call for impeachment.

US job growth virtually zero in December The US unemployment rate fell in December to 5.7 percent from 5.9 percent in November, but the decrease was almost entirely accounted for by workers dropping out of the labor force.

Budget Ax Would Fall Heavily on the Poor, Ill GOP-installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget promises higher costs and hurdles for thousands of Californians, from some children with cancer who would no longer get state help paying for chemotherapy to high school graduates who would be shunted to community colleges instead of universities.

Temperatures Hit Record Lows in Northeast Temperatures [map] dropped well below zero Saturday across the Northeast... St. Johnsbury, Vt., led the list of records Saturday with a low of 27 below zero, the National Weather Service said.

U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq Approach 500 The number of American troops who have died in Iraq since the W-ar began last March is nearing 500, more than U.S. losses in many regional conflicts of the past several decades: the Gulf War, Lebanon, Somalia, Panama, Grenada, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Bomb kills five near Iraqi mosque Car bomb at another mosque in Baqouba fails to explode --A homemade bomb attached to a propane cylinder exploded on a busy street Friday as worshipers streamed out of a Shiite Muslim mosque after midday prayers in the central town of Baqouba, killing five people and wounding dozens of others, doctors and officials said.

Stretched US pilots may quit military Another US helicopter has crashed in Iraq, killing all nine soldiers on board and fuelling Pentagon fears that some of the military's most experienced pilots might quit after prolonged deployments to dangerous hot spots like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Pentagon deploys spyplanes and anti-explosives unit In the face of sophisticated attacks on US forces, the Pentagon is sending flocks of unmanned spyplanes and a new unit formed to deal with deadly explosive devices to Iraq in the biggest rotation of its forces since World War II, a senior Army official said today.

Rules of Engagement Videotape Shows U.S. Helicopter Crew Firing on Suspected Iraqi Resistance Fighters --Graphic video footage from the gun camera of a U.S. Apache helicopter provides a window into the rules of engagement that often determine life and death in Iraq. The video shows grainy images of three Iraqis on the ground handling a long cylindrical object that the helicopter pilots believe is a weapon. The pilots, from the Army's 4th Infantry Division, ask their commanders for permission to engage, then take the three men out one by one, using the Apache's devastating 30 mm cannons.

U.S. commits $75 million to Hussein trial The United States reportedly has set aside $75 million for the prosecution and trial of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The figure will cover the cost of investigating the alleged crimes of the former Iraqi president as well as setting up a 'special tribunal' [?!?] in Iraq. [Will the $75 million cover filmic renditions of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983?]

Hussein Given P.O.W. Status The Defense Department said Friday that it had designated Saddam Hussein a prisoner of war, a legal status that sets standards for how he is treated and allows the International Committee of the Red Cross to see him.

Marine Charged With Lying About Killing A Marine has been charged with making false statements after he said he shot an Iraqi soldier twice in the back of the head and killed another following a grenade attack on his comrades in Baghdad last year.

Last year's State of the Union? Forget about it! --by Mike Pope "The manipulation of intelligence in the months leading up to the war was a more startling crime, one that deserves more attention - especially as President [sic] Bush prepares to confront the nation in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20... This is the kind of willful deception that Sen. Bob Graham said was worthy of impeachment - if only we had a Congress that had the backbone to seriously examine the matter. By the standards set in the Clinton impeachment, Bush's crimes and misdemeanors are worthy of impeachment."

New World Order clampdown on the way: Guard Artillerymen Training as MPs to Support 'Terror War' The third group of National Guard artillerymen is slated to begin retraining as military police at the Army's Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Jan. 12 to support the 'war on terror'.

MPs and peers in Camp Delta plea More than 50 peers, including four retired law lords, and 85 MPs including the former foreign secretary Robin Cook, will file an unprecedented brief with the US supreme court on Wednesday in support of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Justices to Hear Case of Citizen Held as Enemy The Supreme Court, significantly expanding its review of the Bush dictatorship's treatment of those deemed "enemy combatants," agreed Friday to hear a challenge by an American of Saudi descent, Yaser Esam Hamdi, to his open-ended confinement at a military brig in South Carolina.

Ridge Warns Terrorism Threat Not Over The risk of terrorist attacks faded a bit with the end of the holidays, but it didn't go away. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced Friday that the nation's threat level had been lowered, but "critical resources and locales" will remain on heightened alert.

Flight Sim enquiry raises terror alert A mother's enquiry about buying Microsoft Flight Simulator for her ten-year-old son prompted a night-time visit to her home from a state trooper. So alarmed was the Staples clerk at the prospect of the ten year old learning to fly, that he informed the police, the Greenfield Recorder reports...

Phoenix-bound plane gets bomb threat An anonymous bomb threat prompted a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Phoenix to return to Midway Airport and land shortly after it took off Friday afternoon, officials said.

Music Industry Puts Troops in the Streets Quasi-legal squads raid street vendors --Though no guns were brandished, the bust from a distance looked like classic LAPD, DEA or FBI work, right down to the black "raid" vests the unit members wore. The fact that their yellow stenciled lettering read "RIAA" instead of something from an official law-enforcement agency was lost on 55-year-old parking-lot attendant Ceasar Borrayo. The Recording Industry Association of America is taking it to the streets.

Wesley Clark Calls 9/11 Assertions Lies Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark said "the two greatest lies" of the last three years were that the Sept. 11 attacks could not have been prevented and that a future attack is inevitable.

O'Neill Calls Bush a Disengaged President [sic] Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, pushed out of the administration for not being a team player, says Dictator Bush was so disengaged during Cabinet meetings that he was like a "blind man in a roomful of deaf people." [Yikes! Paul O'Neill now needs to avoid planes with no black boxes, lest he get 'Wellstoned'.]

Bush led like a "blind man," says former aide US Dictator George W. Bush was so disengaged that he led cabinet meetings "like a blind man," former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill said in an interview.

Dear God: Please tell me that Bush will be the first 'human' to arrive on Mars: Bush to Announce Ventures to Mars and the Moon, Officials Say Dictator Bush will make a speech next week outlining a major space initiative, the White House said last night. Regime officials said they expected that Mr. Bush would propose a research and development program with the aim of establishing a base on the moon, as a prelude to a longer-term goal of sending humans to Mars. [*See Mary Titus's webpage, Send George Bush, Jr. to the Moon! (satire)]

Cheney Target of Criminal Investigation --by David J. Sirota "Though neglected by major media in the United States, international news sources report that French law enforcement authorities have made Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney the target of a criminal investigation for his role in a massive bribery scandal during his time as CEO of Halliburton."

Major oil stocks fall as Shell restates reserves Shares of major oil companies fell Friday after Royal Dutch/Shell Group shocked investors by slashing its "proven" reserves by 20 percent.

2004's first election stirs ghosts of past A special state House election hinges on a slim margin. A total of 134 Broward voters who went to the polls Tuesday were not recorded as voting for any of seven Republicans on the ballot. The latest election foul-up has brought renewed calls for stronger voter education and a paper record of all votes, something U.S. Sen. Bob Graham and other Democrats have demanded. Florida's touch screen machines are not required to provide paper receipts. [*Check urgent 'action items' at VerifiedVoting.org. This is the link to send a free fax to Senators about S.1980 and this is the link to send a free fax to Representatives about HR2239. Action submission: Cheryl Guttman]

Official reports some voter fraud still unsolved South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Thursday that authorities have never solved some cases of attempted voter fraud investigated before the 2002 November election.

Iowa Senator, Tom Harkin, Endorses Dean as 'Best Shot' Howard Dean won a prized endorsement on Friday for the fast-approaching Iowa caucuses as Senator Tom Harkin, the state's most influential Democratic lawmaker called Dr. Dean "our best shot" to oust Dictator Bush.

Gore Hits Campaign Trail for Dean President Al Gore is hitting the campaign trail again, stumping on Friday for Democratic presidential front-runner Howard Dean on a two-day trek across the crucial caucus state of Iowa.

Moseley Braun Breaks Record in Run for White House Carol Moseley Braun set a new record in her bid for the presidency by making it onto the primary ballot in 20 states. This is more than any other woman running for president, including Sen. Margaret Chase Smith in 1964 and Rep. Shirley Chisholm in 1972.

GA: Court Denies Medicaid Coverage for Abortions (Dec. 23, 2003) A Georgia court on Monday ruled that the state is not required to pay for medically necessary abortions for poor women through Medicaid. Seven Georgia clinics, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), had submitted an emergency request to cover abortions under Medicaid that are deemed necessary to protect a woman's health, basing their claim on the Georgia State Constitution's rights to privacy and equal protection.

GM crops linked to rise in pesticide use Eight years of planting genetically modified maize, cotton and soya beans in the US has significantly increased the amount of herbicides and pesticides used, according to a US report which could influence the British government over whether to let GM crops be grown.

Bush's Policy is Worse than Terrorism. Bush is the Worst Global Terrorist on Earth. 'US climate policy bigger threat to world than terrorism' Tony Blair's chief scientist has launched a withering attack on Dictator George Bush for failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more serious than terrorism. [Bush Must Be Stopped Before He Kills Again!]

Carnegie group says Bush made wrong claims on WMD The Bush dictatorship will today be accused of "systematically misrepresenting" the threat posed by "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction" in a comprehensive report on post-war findings.

Bush Pulls His Inspectors Out Without a Sound (or a Weapon of Mass Destruction Found): US calls off search for weapons of mass destruction The Bush dictatorship has quietly withdrawn a 400-member military team it sent to Baghdad to scour Iraq for evidence of unconventional weapons, write Conor O'Clery in New York & Deaglán de Bréadún in Dublin. The move indicates that the US does not now expect to find illegal weapons, the main reason given by Dictator Bush for the war last year that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Questions About Iraq Weapons Haunt U.S. Election Year The failure to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction looks set to dog the Bush regime in an election year amid persistent accusations it exaggerated evidence in making a case for war.

Nine GIs Killed in Copter Crash in Iraq A U.S. Black Hawk medivac helicopter crashed Thursday near this stronghold of the anti-American resistance fighters, killing all nine soldiers aboard, the U.S. military said. A witness said the helicopter was hit in the tail by a rocket.

Cargo plane hit by missile A US Air Force C-5 cargo plane carrying 63 passengers and crew members apparently hit by a surface-to-air missile today as it took off from Baghdad international airport managed to land safely, a senior US defence official said.

U.S. Arrests 13 Iraqis in Tikrit Raid U.S. soldiers late Thursday launched one of the biggest raids since the American-led W-ar was started, arresting 13 Iraqis wanted for 'bombing' or 'shooting' at occupation forces in Saddam Hussein's hometown.

Pentagon Auditors Set to Clear Halliburton Pentagon auditors said on Wednesday they expected soon to receive documents from the Army that Halliburton paid fair prices for fuel brought into Iraq [Insert, 'Yeah, right!' comment here], squashing price-gouging allegations against Vice pResident Dick Cheney's former company.

Experts: U.S. Military Overstretched, Morale Risked The U.S. military is overstretched by deployments in Iraq and elsewhere, forcing the Pentagon to keep thousands of soldiers and reservists in uniform long beyond their release dates with potentially dangerous effects on morale, experts say.

Troops laugh at bonus offer On the barren plain east of Baqouba, word of a new US Army plan to pay soldiers up to $10 000 to re-enlist evoked laughter from a few bored-looking troopers.

Global fears as US goes into the red The huge black hole in the US budget [that Dictator Bush created for Halliburton] and the country's ballooning trade deficit are threatening to push up interest rates across the globe and destabilise the international economy, one of the world's most powerful financial institutions has warned.

Britons will need visas to travel to US In nine months' time, thousands of Britons travelling to the US will have to buy a visa and be fingerprinted upon entering the country, until the government is able to issue hi-tech biometric passports demanded in tough new security measures.

U.S. Probe Turns Up No Known Terrorists on Paris-L.A. Flight After an exhaustive investigation, federal law enforcement authorities have concluded that there were no known terrorists among the passengers ticketed on an Air France flight bound for Los Angeles that was canceled Christmas Eve because of fears that it might be commandeered for an attack, a senior U.S. government official said Thursday.

Threat Level May Fall to Yellow Concerns Could Keep Some Cities and Airports on High Alert --With the holidays safely over, U.S. officials said they are considering soon lowering the nation's threat alert level to "elevated," or yellow, while keeping airlines, airports and some cities on high alert because of continued concern of a 'terrorist attack'.

Yanks will see your tax data U.S. border agents will soon have access to the immigration and tax records of Canadian residents for use in nabbing terrorists before they cross the American border. U.S. officials said an impending merger of Canadian and U.S. immigration and customs databases will also help them intercept 'illegal aliens, criminals and fugitives'. [??? Is the Idiot Usurper planning to bring back the draft for Halliburton?]

3,300 Denied Va. Licenses Under New Regulations Almost 3,300 people were turned away by DMV agents in Virginia on the first three business days of the year after a new law took effect requiring license applicants to prove that they are in this country legally, a spokeswoman from the agency said yesterday.

Bush regime wants entire 9/11 case kept secret In an extraordinary request, the Bush dictatorship asked the Supreme Court on Monday to let it keep its arguments secret in a case involving an immigrant's challenge of his treatment after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Al Gore to Expose Bush on Environment, Global-Warming President Al Gore will deliver a major address attacking the Bush Dictatorship's policies on global warming and the environment at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City on Thursday, January 15.

Jeers greet Bush's migrants plan Hispanic rights groups and illegal immigrants have lashed out at US Dictator George Bush's plan to overhaul immigration as an election-year ploy.

Holocaust Survivor Says Bush May be WORSE than Hitler, so take that, GilleSPIE! MoveOn.org should MOVE OVER and let the real activists stand forth! The Bush Hitler Thing --by SL, Wisconsin "My family was one of Hitler's victims... So far, I've seen nothing to eliminate the possibility that Bush is on the same course as Hitler... I can only hope that in the coming year there will be some sign - some hint - that we are not becoming that which we abhor."

Dear God: Please tell me that Bush will be the first 'human' to arrive on Mars: Bush to Announce Ventures to Mars and the Moon, Officials Say Dictator Bush will make a speech next week outlining a major space initiative, the White House said last night. Regime officials said they expected that Mr. Bush would propose a research and development program with the aim of establishing a base on the moon, as a prelude to a longer-term goal of sending humans to Mars. [Forty-three million Americans don't have health insurance, and this moron wants to spend billions to send people to Mars so he can poison that planet, too.]

Dictator Shows Blithe Indifference to Activists Who Remind Him that He is A Lying Usurper Who Belongs Behind Bars and not in the White House Bush Vows Florida Win as Protesters Recall Recount Unfazed by protesters recalling the recount battle that allowed him to steal the presidency in 2000, Dictator Bush made his first s-election-year visit to Florida on Thursday and vowed to win the state. "It's great to be back in the great state of Florida. We carried it once and we're going to carry [Read "HEISTED" for "carried."] it again," Bush told the audience at a campaign fund-raiser where he added $1 million to his record-large war chest.

New system no easy touch for 134 voters in Broward (FL) Today's recount in the House District 91 race is likely to raise questions about electronic voting, including whether paper records are necessary. In Tuesday's special election to fill state House seat 91, 134 Broward voters managed to use the 2-year-old touch-screen equipment without casting votes for any candidate. How so many happened to cast nonvotes remains a riddle. Unlike with punch cards or paper ballots, there's no paper record with electronic voting that might offer a clue to the voter's intent.

Budget Targets Cities, Counties GOP-installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to unveil a budget plan today that would take $1.3 billion from local governments, significantly cut back money for transportation and reduce the health benefits for low-income Californians, according to officials familiar with the details.

Rowland Probe Status: "Subject" [Republican, Conn.] Gov. John G. Rowland's status in a federal corruption probe has changed from "witness" to "subject," sources told The Associated Press on Thursday.

2-Judge approves Lea Fastow plea deal in Enron case A U.S. judge on Thursday approved a plea agreement for former Enron Corp. assistant treasurer Lea Fastow, possibly paving the way for federal prosecutors to reach a deal with her husband, former Enron financial mastermind Andrew Fastow.

Toxins in Farm-Raised Salmon Pose Health Risk Chemical contaminants in farm-raised salmon are at unacceptably high levels and may dramatically increase the risk of cancer, a new report claims.

Thanks for the memories, Poodle: Blair: I'll quit if I lied British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair indicated on Wednesday that he'd quit if it was proved that he lied in the case of David Kelly, the ministry of defence expert on Iraqi weapons who killed himself last year.

Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper Since Gulf War, Nonconventional Weapons Never Got Past the Planning Stage --Investigators have found no support for the two main 'fears' expressed in London and Washington before the war: that Iraq had a hidden arsenal of old weapons and built advanced programs for new ones. A review of available evidence, including some not known to occupation investigators and some they have not made public, portrays a nonconventional arms establishment that was far less capable than U.S. analysts judged before the W-ar.

Mortar attack hurts 35 U.S. troops in Iraq A mortar attack has wounded 35 U.S. troops at a U.S. base west of Baghdad, according to a U.S. military statement.

Pentagon Resume Anthrax Shots After Judge's Ruling The Pentagon said on Wednesday it will immediately resume compulsory anthrax vaccinations for U.S. troops after a judge lifted an order barring them without individual service members' consent. [Bush rewards one of his installers/paymasters: the pharmaceutical industry.]

U.S. Taking Photos and Fingerprints of Visitors The United States began fingerprinting and photographing foreigners arriving at U.S. airports and ports yesterday in an effort to 'track down wanted criminals and suspected terrorists' and 'identify visitors who overstay visas' [further the Bush dictatorship].

Conn. Governor Records Subpoenaed; Poll Bleak [Republican] Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, facing calls for his resignation or impeachment over corruption allegations, has been ordered by federal investigators to turn over personal financial records, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

Conn. Gov. Makes Public Apology on TV [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland asked the state for the chance "to earn back your trust'' [Mega barf alert!] Wednesday as he delivered a televised address that came amid growing pressure to resign for accepting gifts at his summer cottage and lying about it.

Climate risk 'to million species' Climate change could drive a million of the world's species to extinction as soon as 2050, a scientific study says.

Bush regime seeks secrecy for Supreme Court proceedings The Bush dictatorship asked the Supreme Court to let it keep its arguments secret in a case involving an immigrant's challenge of his treatment after the September 11 attacks.

Three Illinois units called up for anti-terrorism duty Three units of the Illinois National Guard are being called to active duty to help guard against terrorist attacks, a spokeswoman said Sunday. [What IS anti-terrorism duty???? Are they going to arrest Bush?]

Police to Guard 12 City Schools Cited as 'Violent' A task force of 150 police officers will help impose order on 12 of New York City's most 'violent' schools under an initiative announced yesterday by Bush Poodle Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to 'curb school violence' [further the Bush dictatorship].

Bush Grabs New Power for FBI Last month, Dictator George W. Bush quietly signed into law a new bill that gives the FBI increased surveillance powers and dramatically expands the reach of the USA Patriot Act. The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 grants the FBI unprecedented power to obtain records from financial institutions without requiring permission from a judge.

Bursey found guilty, fined $500 A judge fined longtime Columbia political dissenter Brett Bursey $500 Tuesday, ruling that Bursey broke a federal law designed to [stop all dissent against dictator Bush] shield the president [sic] from harm.

US protests fingerprinting of Americans in Brazil The United States today expressed "regret" at Brazil's decision to begin fingerprinting and photographing Americans in response to similar border security measures introduced by Washington.

Hutton delays report over issue of blame Lord Hutton has delayed publication of his long-awaited report on the events leading to the death of David Kelly because he has yet to apportion final blame on the central figures in the drama, the Guardian learned last night.

Two Frenchmen shot dead in Iraq Two French nationals have been killed and a third wounded in a drive-by shooting in the Iraqi town of Falluja.

Iraqi police fire on protesting ex-soldiers in Basra, at least four hit Iraqi police opened fire Tuesday on hundreds of stone-throwing former Iraqi soldiers demanding monthly stipends promised by the U.S.-led occupation, and reporters saw at least four protesters shot in the southern town of Basra.

Assassinations Send Chill Through Iraqi City Gunshots ring out in a quiet district of the Iraqi city of Mosul, and with a screech of tires masked gunmen make their getaway leaving another prominent figure lying dead on the street outside his home.

17 Canadians in custody in Iraq At least 17 people from Canada are under U.S. guard at a camp in Iraq after an American crackdown against a 'shadowy militant group' [?!?] that has vowed to overthrow the government of neighbouring Iran. [The real shadowy militant group are the U.S. occupying forces in Iraq.]

U.S. imposed post war Iraqi Government (Center for Cooperative Research) --detailed research outlining the Bush dictatorship's plans for post-W-ar Iraq.

Army Allows Halliburton to Supply Iraq Fuel Without Giving Price Data The Army has allowed Halliburton to increase the supplies of fuel delivered to Iraq without giving the usual data to justify its cost, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Army Gives Halliburton Waiver for Deal The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had granted Halliburton a special waiver to bring fuel into Iraq under a no-bid deal with a Kuwaiti supplier despite a draft Pentagon audit that found evidence of overcharging.

USAID awards $1.8B Iraq contract to Bechtel San Francisco-based Bechtel National Inc. said Tuesday that the U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded it a $1.8 billion Iraqi infrastructure repair contract.

Bechtel-Parsons win Iraq contracts A partnership of giant companies with ties to US officials has been awarded a $1.8 billion Iraq reconstruction contract.

US soldiers offered cash to stay The US army, stressed by numerous global deployments, is offering re-enlistment bonuses of up to $US10,000 to soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait, army officials say.

Iraqis use tactics of Afghan rebels Iraqi resistance fighters blasting U.S. military convoys with improvised bombs hidden at roadsides may have learned tactics by talking to Chechen rebels and Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan, a U.S. Army intelligence officer told The Associated Press.

Powerful bomb rocks Afghan city A bicycle bomb killed at least 10 people, most of them children, in this southern city Tuesday, underlining the violence still plaguing Afghanistan two years after the fall of the Taliban.

British general may become UN's man in Afghanistan A British army officer may become the UN's top administrator in Afghanistan, in a highly unusual move which reflects international concern at mounting threats to security in the war-torn country.

Protests widen over sky marshals More countries have joined the protests against American proposals to place armed guards on US-bound flights. Portugal is the latest nation to voice concern, as its civil aviation authority said that putting loaded guns aboard an aircraft could endanger it.

Airline rejects guns on flights Britain's biggest holiday flight operator, Thomas Cook Airlines, has become the first carrier to display open dissent to the government's new security requirements by refusing to carry sky marshals on flights to the US.

U.S. Air Marshal Plans Resisted in Europe, Africa Airlines in Europe and Africa vowed on Tuesday to cancel flights rather than comply with American demands to carry armed air marshals on some U.S-bound planes to guard against more September 11-style attacks.

Online Contest Attracts Controversial Anti-Bush Ads Winning Ad to Air During Bush's State of the disUnion Address --Ask liberals to participate in an advertising contest dubbed "Bush in 30 Seconds," and you'll get more than a few negative entries. From 1,500 submissions, 15 television ads have been selected as finalists Monday in the contest sponsored by the liberal online advocacy Web site, MoveOn.org.

3 Top Enforcement Officials Say They Will Leave E.P.A. Three top enforcement officials at the Environmental Protection Agency have resigned or retired in the last two weeks, including two lawyers who were architects of the agency's litigation strategy against coal-burning power plants.

The Weasel Watch Tracks Bush Staff Exodus (satire) --by Mary Titus

Court Upholds Texas Republicans' Redistricting A federal court on Tuesday upheld a congressional redistricting plan by Texas Republicans that will likely add seven seats to the party's delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives in the next election.

Judges Uphold GOP-Drawn Texas Districts A three-judge federal panel Tuesday upheld a new congressional map for Texas that the Republicans pushed through the Legislature after months of turmoil and two walkouts by the Democrats.

Connecticut's Embattled Governor Vows to Stay Connecticut Gov. John Rowland told state lawmakers on Tuesday he had no plans to resign despite a corruption probe and calls for his impeachment, lawmakers said after meeting the embattled Republican.

Teachers Support Schwarzenegger's Plan to Cut Schools by $2 Billion With the support of California's largest teacher's union, GOP-installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to propose cutting at least $2 billion in education spending when he presents his first state budget Friday.

Labor Dept. offers ways not to pay overtime While touting the benefits of new overtime rules for poor workers, the Labor Department offers pointers on how to avoid paying the extra wages. The Labor Department is giving employers tips on how to avoid paying overtime to some of the 1.3 million low-income workers who would become eligible under new rules expected to be finalized early this year.

Euro posts new all-time high against dollar The euro pushed to a new high against the dollar Tuesday, rising above US$1.27 for the first time in a continuing rally paced by concerns about the U.S. budget and trade deficits.

No end in sight to dollar's descent Federal Reserve's insistence on rock-bottom interest rates triggers currency rout --Sterling powered to its highest level against the dollar yesterday since its humiliating ejection from Europe's exchange rate mechanism 11 years ago as the American currency entered the new year facing a renewed wave of selling.

Verizon customers to get $30-$45 credit Largest U.S. mobile phone carrier agrees to payout to settle lawsuit --Verizon Wireless agreed to give most of its current and former customers credits and vouchers worth from $30 to $45 to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the nation's biggest mobile phone carrier of improper billing and failing to fully disclose fees and terms.

New York Pays $3 Million to Settle Diallo Shooting Case New York City agreed on Tuesday to pay $3 million to the family of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African whose 1999 killing in a hail of police bullets raised racial tensions and prompted nationwide protests, officials said.

Holy Vietnam, Batman! Britain May Keep Troops in Iraq Until 2007 British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Monday British troops were likely to stay in Iraq for years, possibly until 2007, to try to stabilize a country in the face of an insurgency against occupying forces.

Britain: Troops to Stay in Iraq for Years British forces are likely to remain in Iraq for several more years, a top British official said Monday, a day after Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair made a 'surprise' visit to troops headquartered in Basra.

Easley Woman First Female Pilot Killed In Iraq (SC) Capt. Kimberly Hampton, from Easley, carried a lot of titles: tennis champ, only child, and after enemy fire hit the 27-year-old's chopper Friday, she became the first female pilot to be killed in Iraq.

Three U.S. soldiers discharged for abusing Iraqi prisoners The U.S. Army discharged three soldiers for abusing prisoners at a detention center [concentration camp] in Iraq, a U.S. military spokesman said Monday. The three soldiers, all from Pennsylvania, were scheduled to face courts-martial this month but opted instead to submit to a nonjudicial hearing, in which their conduct was judged by a commander without a jury, Lt. Col. Vic Harris said.

US Coalition [Occupation] forces above the law, according to the CPA --by Dahr Jamail "On Saturday a car was sprayed with gunfire from US soldiers while trying to pass a US convoy in Tikrit..."

Army Trying to Keep Troops From Leaving About 7,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan who were planning to retire or otherwise leave the service in the next few months are getting new marching orders: Stay put.

Gunmen Attack U.N. Office in Afghanistan Gunmen attacked the office of the United Nations refugee agency Monday, throwing a grenade and firing shots but causing no injuries, on a violent day that also saw U.S. forces engage in a firefight and bombard a 'secret drugs laboratory'.

U.S. Army buys $30 million in anthrax shots The Defense Department announced Friday a $29.7 million order for anthrax vaccine based on the assumption that a federal judge's ban on mandatory inoculations will be reversed. [This is one example of the Bush dictatorship rewarding one of its paymasters, the pharmaceutical industry.]

San Francisco Chronicle Settles with Anti-War Reporter The San Francisco Chronicle said on Monday it had reached a financial settlement with a former journalist it fired after he was arrested during an anti-war protest last year. The Chronicle, the largest daily circulation newspaper in northern California, announced the settlement in its pages without detailing the deal with former technology columnist [and CLG friend!] Henry Norr.

Holy too f**king bad, Batman! U.S. Wary of Cuba's Support for Leftists The Bush dictatorship is becoming increasingly concerned [?!?] about what it sees as a joint effort by Cuba and Venezuela to nurture anti-American sentiment in Latin America with money, political indoctrination and training. [Anti-Amerikan sentiment exists internationally without 'money, political indoctrination, and training' --due to the Fascist policies of the Bush dictatorship.]

No. of crimes by U.S. military personnel in 2003 tops 100 The number of crimes committed by U.S. military personnel or members of their families in Okinawa Prefecture reached 103 in the period from January through November, meaning the figure for the whole year will exceed 100 for the first time in nine years, Okinawa prefectural police said Wednesday.

U.S. Air Force Linked to Electronic Warfare Attack in Tennessee Newly released documentary and eyewitness evidence now links an apparent July 6, 2001 electronic warfare attack on a radio station and weekly newspaper in Hartsville, Tennessee to a nearby unacknowledged secret access project (USAP).

Terror Alert Remains High As Holiday Ends The holiday travel season ended without incident but the nation must stay on a high terrorism alert because U.S. authorities continue receiving credible information about possible attacks, federal officials said Monday.

Portugal refuses US request for armed guards on flights Portugal's civil aviation authority said it would not allow Portuguese airlines to carry armed sky marshals as requested by the US, preferring instead to cancel any flight if officials deem there is a terrorist threat.

Fingerprinting, photographing foreign visitors gets under way at U.S. airports Authorities began scanning fingerprints and taking photographs of arriving foreigners Monday as part of a new Fatherland Suckurity program.

US introduces new security checks New US security regulations have come into force that will see most foreign visitors having their photographs and fingerprints taken.

Quarantining dissent How the Secret Service protects Bush from free speech --When Dictator Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined.

White House Seeks Secrecy on Detainee In an extraordinary request, the Bush dictatorship asked the Supreme Court on Monday to let it keep its arguments secret in a case involving an immigrant's challenge of his treatment after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

News Groups Seek to Open Secret Case A coalition of news and legal organizations is seeking public access to information about a post-Sept. 11 detention case now before the Supreme Court that has been handled with unusual secrecy both there and in the lower federal courts.

Principal at drug-raid high school in S.C. resigns The principal of a high school where police drew their guns on students and ordered them to the floor during a drug raid announced his resignation Monday.

U.S. Offers Tips on Avoiding OT Pay A proposed Labor Department rule suggests ways employers can avoid paying overtime to some of the 1.3 million low-income workers who would become eligible this year.

EPA Enforcement Chief Resigns for Wal-Mart Job The Environmental Protection Agency's top enforcement official on Monday said he will leave his post later this month to become head counsel for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest company.

FDA has yet to close loopholes in mad-cow regulation The Food and Drug Administration is under increased pressure to bolster its ban on the use of cattle remains in animal feed [mega barf alert!] after the discovery last month of the first case of mad cow disease in the USA.

The Cow Jumped Over the U.S.D.A. --by Eric Schlosser "Worse, on Wednesday Ms. [livestock Czar, Bush sow Ann M.] Veneman ruled out the most important step to protect Americans from mad cow disease: a large-scale program to test the nation's cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The beef industry has fought for nearly two decades against government testing for any dangerous pathogens, and it isn't hard to guess why: when there is no true grasp of how far and wide a food-borne pathogen has spread, there's no obligation to bear the cost of dealing with it."

Republican Wins Disputed Pa. Court Seat The state on Friday declared a Republican the winner of a disputed seat on a Pennsylvania appeals court, deciding a contest in which only 28 votes separated the top two candidates. [Yes, in any close race, the Republican is declared the 'victor'.]

Bush aims to dodge tough poll issues Dictator seeks second term with a 'soft-focus' campaign --There may be a conflict raging in Iraq that is killing US soldiers on a daily basis. There may be the threat of an economic crisis, too much unemployment and political debate infused with vitriol levels unseen for years. Yet Dictator George W Bush is planning to win re-s-election by turning reality on its head. Bush is drawing up a positive, soft-focus and upbeat campaigning platform portraying him as the candidate of national unity. [Oh, he is. Bush is uniting every Fascist element in Amerika in order to prepare for Coup 2004.]

Bush Bracing for Matchup Against Dean Dictator Bush's re-s-election team is bracing for a general election campaign against Democrat Howard Dean. While Republican advisers welcome the matchup, they are not as cocky about the prospects as they once were. [Rove will have to use the Diebold touch-screen 'voting' machines to steal the election, again.]

Sources: Bill Bradley to endorse Howard Dean Former U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, who lost the Democratic nomination for president to Al Gore in 2000, is expected to endorse front-runner Howard Dean, party officials said Monday.

Democrat Clark Eyes Tax Hike for Wealthy Americans Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark on Monday proposed raising taxes on wealthy Americans as part of an overhaul that would abolish federal income taxes for millions of lower-income families.

Left-Wing Flutters Give Low-Flying Kucinich Some Thrust Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) hasn't attracted much major media attention for his presidential campaign. But he has been steadily and effectively working the left wing of the Democratic base with a message of total withdrawal from Iraq and a complete reordering of public spending priorities. [*See CLG's endorsement of Dennis J. Kucinich as the Democratic nominee for president, 2004 on the CLG website and on Dennis Kucinich's website.]

Unconventional: Kucinich aims for boyhood dream After a stunning political comeback that culminated with his election to the House of Representatives in 1996, Dennis J. Kucinich – the boy mayor who was so bombastic he fired his police chief live on the six o’clock news – is seeking the White House, on a platform of "nonviolence as an organizing principle of society." He wants to pull out of Iraq, slash the Pentagon budget and establish a Cabinet-level "Department of Peace."

Secret police force to be set up in Iraq Nine months after the end of Saddam Hussein's regime and his feared intelligence force, Iraq is to get a secret police force again - courtesy of Washington. The Bush Dictatorship will fund the agency in its latest bid to root out the 'Baathist loyalists' behind the insurgency in parts of Iraq. The force will cost up to $US3 billion ($A4 billion) over the next three years.

Hussein's capture: was a deal brokered behind the scenes? When it emerged that the Kurds had captured the Iraqi former leader, the US celebrations evaporated. David Pratt asks whether a secret political trade-off has been engineered --"It was two weeks ago that the Sunday Herald revealed how a Kurdish special forces unit belonging to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had spearheaded and tracked down Saddam, sealing off the al-Dwar farmhouse long 'before the arrival of the US forces'. PUK leader Jalal Talabani had chosen to leak the news and details of the operation’s commander, Qusrut Rasul Ali, to the Iranian media long before Saddam’s capture was reported by the mainstream Western press or confirmed by the US military."

Who forged the Niger uranium papers? --by Don Sellar "Of all the news stories the Star published in 2003, the disputed tale of an Iraqi quest for nuclear weapons ranks as the most perplexing... Journalism is supposed to be a search for truth. Yet there are few signs the story is being pursued with vigour."

Pentagon to Washington Post Reporter Ricks: Get Lost When George Bush’s Pentagon doesn’t like what a reporter writes, it attempts a preemptive strike. In the case of Tom Ricks, military reporter for the Washington Post, the Pentagon took the attack right to the heart of the enemy. Defense Department spokesman Larry DiRita first sent a letter of complaint to the Post; then he met with the paper’s top editors to press his points.

Controlling what we hear from Iraq --by Dahr Jamail (Electronic Iraq) "I learned yesterday that one of the main sites which posts the writings of independent journalists and activists in Iraq, electronicIraq.net, has been banned from at least one of the US military bases in Iraq. Celebrate free speech, read a banned website! Like other repressive dictatorships and regimes, the US military has now followed suit in Iraq by attempting to select what its personnel should and should not read."

Iraqi Judges Get Trained for War Crimes [They should start by trying the world's biggest international terrorist threat: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove] Judge Qasem Ayash, one of 100 Iraqi jurists fresh out of a crash course in international law, says it was a waste of time.

Speaking of W-ar criminals: Iraq 'test case' in terror fight, Blair tells troops The invasion of Iraq was a test case in the global fight against terror, British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair said today while making a 'surprise' visit to British troops. Meanwhile, his top envoy in the country warned of bigger, more sophisticated attacks by the Iraqi resistance. [Test this.]

British soldiers 'kicked Iraqi prisoner to death' --by Robert Fisk in Baghdad "Eight young Iraqis arrested in Basra were kicked and assaulted by British soldiers, one of them so badly that he died in British custody, according to military and medical records seen by The Independent on Sunday." [When the real criminals are our prisoners...]

UK Soldiers Kicked Iraqi Prisoner to Death - Report Eight young Iraqis arrested in the southern Iraqi town of Basra last year were assaulted by British soldiers, and one of them died of his injuries, a British newspaper said in its Sunday edition.

US troops kill four Iraqis Four Iraqis, including a woman and a child, were killed Saturday when a US convoy opened fire on a car trying to overtake it in the northern town of Tikrit, police said.

More than 250,000 to be flown in and out over the next 4 months Even with the recent reduction in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, war planners are eyeing stepped-up air patrols and other security measures to safely rotate fresh troops into the country early next year out of fear the massive turnover will give resistance fighters a new set of potential targets, according to defense officials.

Extended Iraq Duty Expected for More Troops To stem an exodus of personnel, the Army may prohibit additional soldiers in crucial units from retiring, leaving when enlistment ends or being reassigned. Desperate to stretch its limited ranks, the Army is expected next week to prohibit still more soldiers now in Iraq and soon to be deployed there from leaving military service.

'Accidents' Outside Combat Take Toll on U.S. Military It is not only Iraqi resistance that is cutting down U.S. forces at an alarming rate. Since the war started on March 20, more than 80 have died in noncombat accidents. That's nearly one-fifth of the total fatalities among soldiers.

Resistance fighters' attacks kill three US soldiers Resistance fighters have killed three US soldiers in separate attacks in Iraq, the American military said today, and a top commander warned that resistance fighters' assaults were growing more sophisticated.

3 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq attacks Military bombs southern Baghdad to 'root out' resistance fighters --Resistance fighters hit a U.S. base in central Iraq with mortar shells, killing one American soldier and wounding two others, the military said Saturday. In a separate attack, resistance fighters set off a bomb and opened fire on a U.S. convoy in Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding three.

US soldiers ransack Sunni mosque Iraq's minority faith targeted in hunt for weapons --Surrounded by upturned chairs and an abandoned turban, Sabah Al-Kaisey surveyed his ransacked office yesterday. The American troops who burst into his mosque on Thursday morning had smashed down the front gate, broken the air conditioners and ripped up the carpets. They had also thrown several Korans on the floor and allegedly punched the man giving the call to prayer in the face.

Rumors of rape fan anti-American flames Paper's claim against troops widely believed --The allegations can be heard almost everywhere in Turkey now, from farmers' wives eating in humble kebab shops, in influential journals, and from erudite political leaders: American troops have raped thousands of Iraqi women and young girls since ousting president Saddam Hussein.

Taleban in Texas for 1997 Talks on Gas Pipeline That Led to the War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan --by Ma Nguyen Tong 27-1-2002 "In a revealing look at how the US military action in Afghanistan was motivated by something other than terrorism concerns, the Enron debacle quickly exposed that the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States was only a propitious pretext to occupy the country and extract its badly needed energy resources. As late as April 2001, the United States government had ordered Enron and Unocal to begin destroying records of its negotiations with the Taleban in order to minimise the exposure of the fact that the war in Afghanistan had been planned long before the terrorist attacks."

America: The real danger lies within --by Eric Margolis -- "The year 2003 dramatically and dolefully illustrated Lord Acton's famous dictum that absolute power corrupts absolutely. An almighty United States, unrestrained by any rival, international body, or world opinion, bestrode the globe, a belligerent colossus determined to monopolize global oil reserves and use its vast military power to crush lesser nations or malefactors that disturbed the Pax Americana... Those who truly love and respect the United States, like this writer, a conservative and U.S. Army veteran, see the very qualities that made America a beacon to the world - its very soul - now under heavy assault by a cabal of religious fanatics, foreign-leaning ideological extremists, and self-enriching Enron-Republicans. That is a danger considerably greater than al-Qaida."

The spy who is back out in the cold Last January, John le Carre published in The Times in London a no-holds-barred opinion piece entitled "The United States of America has gone mad". "The reaction to 9/11 is beyond anything Osama bin Laden could have hoped for in his nastiest dreams," he wrote . "As in McCarthy times, the freedoms that have made America the envy of the world are being systematically eroded. The combination of compliant US media and vested corporate interests is once more ensuring that a debate that should be ringing out in every town square is confined to the loftier columns of the East Coast press. How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America's anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history," he went on.

Jazeera Airs Audio Tape Said to Be of Bin Laden The Arabic television channel Al Jazeera on Sunday aired a purported audio tape from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden [Insert, 'Yeah, right!' comment here] in which he urged Muslims to fight against the U.S. occupation in Iraq.

Security Delays British Flight to U.S. Extra security checks again delayed a British Airways flight to Washington Dulles International Airport on Sunday as the United States entered a third consecutive week on a high state of alert for 'terrorists'.

BA will refuse to fly with armed guards Controversial plans to put armed guards on British passenger planes were in disarray last night after British Airways effectively refused to fly with them aboard because it would mean there was a 'significant threat' to passengers.

FBI Demanded Names of Las Vegas Hotel Guests During 'Orange Alert' Federal agencies launched the most drastic security measures since 9/11 [during the 'Code Orange' holiday alert]. In Las Vegas, the FBI demanded that hotel owners relinquish the names of everyone who booked rooms through New Year's so they could be matched against a 'master list of suspected terrorists' [???!!!]. When one big hotel refused, it was slapped with a subpoena. In L.A., the FBI began a "disruption" campaign. Agents fanned out into the city and interrogated dozens of Middle Eastern immigrants whose names had popped up in terror-related probes.

FBI Checked Las Vegas Hotel Lists in Terror Alert The FBI demanded Las Vegas hotels turn over their guest lists leading up to New Year's Eve to check against a 'U.S. master list of suspected terrorists' [?!?], a law enforcement official said on Sunday.

U.S. border closing plans revealed Terror attack could force shutdown, documents show American law might hurt Ontario manufacturing, trade --The United States would virtually close the Canada-U.S. border if a terrorist attack were launched anywhere near it, according to documents obtained under access-to-information legislation.

Political Fundraising in Texas Is Target of Probe Officials look at whether money linked to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay improperly financed Republican campaigns. Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into whether corporate money, including hundreds of thousands of dollars linked to U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, improperly financed the Republican Party's takeover of the Texas Capitol.

Florida Will Again Be Presidential Battleground Dictator Bush's re-s-election campaign has trained more than 2,000 volunteers [Waffen-SS] to work in Florida to facilitate the 2004 coup d'etat.

Democrats Say Bush Taking Wrong Economic Path The Bush tax cuts, which total up to $1.7 trillion over 10 years, helped fuel a record $374 billion deficit last fiscal year. Democrats say the cuts favored the wealthy and could push up interest rates and crowd out needed social spending.

Florida Halts Drug Co-Payments for the Poor The state has ended a day-old program that required pharmacists to decide whether poor and medically needy patients should pay a fee for prescriptions that had been free.

Bush Brother Makes Big One - Day Profit Presidential [sic] brother Neil Bush made at least $798,218 on three stock trades in a small U.S. high-tech company where he had been a consultant, according to his tax returns, including $171,370 buying and selling the company's shares in a single day.

An Activist's New Year's Resolution: I Will Show Up --by Carol Schiffler "Each activist will become a human whirlwind, torn into tiny sub-atomic particles by the sheer amount of labor that must be done in order to stop the Bush administration from ripping apart the values we all cherish – compassion, equality, civil rights, civil liberties, a clean environment, education, health care, peace, justice…you name it and there’s a Bush bomb headed its way."

Another U.S. herd quarantined Another farm has been quarantined after authorities located a cow from the same herd as a Holstein stricken with mad cow disease.

Cow ID System May Be Delayed An animal identification system that the Agriculture Department has said would be put in place immediately to help safeguard the meat supply against mad cow disease is expected to take a year or two to phase in, The New York Times reports in its Saturday editions.

Israel faces South African-style boycott over barrier: minister Israel faces a boycott from the international community over its West Bank separation barrier similar to that faced by South Africa during the apartheid era, a senior government minister warned.

U.S. Shoots At, Holds Reuters Staff Near Chopper Crash in Iraq American soldiers on Friday detained three Iraqis working for Reuters as they covered the aftermath of a U.S. helicopter crash near the volatile town of Falluja. A Reuters driver who was working with the three said they had earlier been fired on by U.S. troops as they filmed a checkpoint close to the site where a Kiowa observation helicopter was shot down by resistance fighters.

U.S. Troops Fire Upon, Detain Journalists in Iraq Resistance fighters shot down a U.S. helicopter west of Baghdad on Friday, killing one soldier, and U.S. forces said they came under fire with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades as they guarded the burning aircraft. The military said the attackers who fired at U.S. forces after the crash near Fallujah were posing as journalists. But there was confusion over the claim, since the Reuters news agency reported that U.S. troops fired at its journalists at the scene and later detained three.

U.S. Soldier Is Killed as Helicopter Is Shot Down in Iraq Resistance fighters shot down an American military helicopter near Falluja on Friday, killing one crewman, and angry protesters gathered outside one of Baghdad's principal Sunni Muslim mosques to protest a raid in which American troops arrested a prominent Sunni cleric and 31 others.

Pace of attacks on U.S. troops hasn't slowed since Hussein's capture Saddam Hussein's capture three weeks ago hasn't slowed the anti-American insurgency in Iraq, which now seems more entrenched than ever, according to a review of recent attacks and interviews with U.S. and Iraqi officials.

Iraq women alone, distraught as US rounds up men Khadija's eldest son Ahmad was killed in battle during the war that toppled Saddam Hussein. Now US troops have rounded up her husband and four other sons, leaving the impoverished Iraqi woman to fend for herself...

Human Rights Testimonies from Iraq #1 - Testimony of an Iraqi Minor Detained and Mistreated by US Forces --The following statement was recorded by CPT [Christian Peacemaker Teams] members Le Anne Clausen and David Milne in a neighborhood heavily affected by US house raids in Baghdad. The family has asked that the 16 year old youth who gave the testimony not be identified because his relatives are still detained. "At 2:30am, US troops came to our house, and ordered our entire family outside. They ransacked the house searching for something, but they didn't tell us what they wanted..."

Suspecting US Motives (Arab News) "Many people believe the US invasion of Iraq was primarily about oil, not weapons of mass destruction (WMD). There is still no evidence of WMD, but it is indisputable that Iraq has oil. Suspicions will only be deepened by the news this week that 30 years ago, in the wake of the Arab oil embargo, Washington was seriously considering invading and occupying the production fields of Gulf states."

Bulgarian Troops Refuse to Go to Iraq More than two dozen Bulgarian soldiers are refusing deployment in Iraq, following the deaths of five countrymen in an attack in the Mideast country, a senior military official said Friday.

The CIA Agent Flap: FBI Asks for Reporters to Talk Investigators are pressing Dictatorship officials to let journalists tell whatever they know about the leak of a CIA agent's identity --FBI investigators looking into the criminal leak of a CIA agent’s identity have asked Bush Dictatorship officials including senior political adviser [and Reichwing sickkko] Karl Rove to release reporters from any confidentiality agreements regarding conversations about the agent.

CIA Leak Probe Focuses on Confidentiality Pledges U.S. investigators looking into the unauthorized disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity have asked White House staff members to free reporters from any promises of confidentiality they may have made to their sources, Time magazine said on Friday.

Due to international terrorist George W. Bush's insane policies of global destabilization: Terror Threat Means Uncertainty of Flights Facing another week of uncertainty over the terrorist threat from the air, international airlines and foreign governments are greeting increased security with a combination of skepticism and support as flight cancellations and delays spread.

Terror suspect turned out to be a Welsh insurance agent French irritation over US controls on transatlantic flights was reinforced yesterday when the interior ministry revealed that American 'intelligence' based its suspicions on passengers' surnames only.

Terrorism concerns disrupt more international airline flights The safety net tightened around air travel today as British flights to Washington and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were canceled, while law enforcement officials acknowledged that some delays were caused by mistaken identities.

British Cancel Another Flight as Allies Query U.S. British Airways canceled another flight to the United States on Friday as the Bush dictatorship faced questions from American allies about the reliability of the intelligence information that has led to the recent rash of flight cancellations.

British Flight Called Off After 'Security Concerns' British Airways, citing security concerns, canceled a mid-afternoon flight from London to Washington today for the second day in a row.

Dean Cites Terror Alert As Vindication Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean on Friday cited the higher terror alert and the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq in arguing that he was right to say Saddam Hussein's capture didn't make America safer.

200 keys missing at Oak Ridge plant The Energy Department's Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge discovered about 200 keys to protected areas were missing, an agency spokesman confirmed Friday.

Black Hawk helicopters over Las Vegas, snipers in Times Square 2004 begins with massive military mobilization in US cities --by David Walsh "The new year began in the US under conditions of an unparalleled mobilization of police, army and federal law enforcement agents in major urban centers. Alleging a heightened threat of terrorist attacks and operating under the Department of Homeland Security’s 'Orange Alert,' the Bush administration undertook measures such as were never seen during the Second World War or at the height of the Cold War."

Kucinich Seeks Halt to Deportation of Ohio Muslim Family (Press Release) Venezuelan Muslim Faces Removal Despite U.S.-born Children --Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich will hold a news conference today in Ohio to seek government action in the case of a Muslim woman in that state who faces imminent deportation despite the fact that she has three U.S.-citizen children. Kucinich has written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security about the case.

Labor Dept. Plans To 'End' Overtime Controversy in March Changes Will Affect Who Gets Time-and-a-Half Pay --The Labor Department plans to issue a controversial final rule changing the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime provisions by the end of March, according to a regulatory plan published by the agency last week in the Federal Register. The rule, which would redefine who must receive overtime pay, has drawn opposition in the House and Senate by many Democrats and some Republicans.

Bush drug proposal enrages veterans Plan may alienate military retirees by imposing higher fees for prescriptions The Bush dictatorship is considering dramatic increases in the fees military retirees pay for prescription drugs, a step that would roll back a benefit extended 33 months ago and risk alienating an important Republican constituency at the dawn of the 2004 campaign season.

3rd herd of cattle quarantined in Washington state Authorities have quarantined a third herd of Washington state cattle in a widening investigation of mad cow disease after they located another cow from the same Canadian herd as the infected cow.

Stupid is as stupid does: Pat Robertson: God tells me it's Bush in a blowout Pat Robertson said Friday that God told him [?!?] Dictator Bush will be re-s-elected in a landslide. [Well, God *personally* told the CLG staff that Bush needs to eat a lot more BEEF.]

UK Iraq troops face another year British troops will still be in Iraq on New Year's Day 2005, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has said.

US Has Big Plans for Embassy in Iraq In preparation for 'ending its occupation of Iraq' [Not!!], the United States is making plans to create the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in the world in Baghdad, complete with a staff of over 3,000 personnel, according to U.S. officials.

Digital Warfare System Adapted for Iraq On mud-spattered computer screens in their Humvees, American soldiers scan digital street maps, monitor enemy positions, zoom in on individual buildings through satellite imagery and download instructions from commanders...

Baghdad death toll rises to eight The number of people killed when a car bomb tore through a Baghdad restaurant on Wednesday has risen to eight, occupation authorities say.

Iraq Car Blast Seen As Tactical Shift The New Year's Eve car bombing of an upscale Baghdad restaurant, which killed eight people, was a sign that opponents of the U.S.-led occupation forces may be shifting to civilian targets, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.

Iraqi police fire on anti-federation protesters in Kirkuk; two reported killed Gunfire erupted Wednesday as hundreds of protesters marched in Kirkuk and at least two people were reported killed in the oil-rich northern city where plans for a 'new democratic Iraq' [Not!!] are dividing Kurd, Arab and Turkmen residents.

British police to train Iraqi police British police officers are being sent to Iraq to train local police. The first batch of 24 volunteers from forces in England and Wales have gone to Basra to work alongside Royal Military Police at the Regional Police Training Academy.

UN adds $US2.6 billion to Halliburton [Iraqi reconstruction] fund The United Nations transferred another $US2.6 billion ($A3.48 billion) left over from its now-defunct oil-for-food program to Iraq's US-led dictatorship to help finance Halliburton [Iraqi reconstruction].

Japan government considers pre-emptive military strikes To counter the growing threat of 'terrorism', Japan's government plans to consider legislation that would relax a long-standing ban against a pre-emptive military strike, allowing troops to fire at suspicious vessels and armed spies - even outside the country's borders, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

UK Welcomed Pinochet's Bloody 1973 Chilean Coup Britain welcomed General Augusto Pinochet's violent 1973 coup in Chile and regarded his military officers as "decent professionals" who were "on our side," documents released Thursday showed.

Brazil Starts Fingerprinting U.S. Travelers Brazilian police on Thursday began fingerprinting and photographing U.S. visitors on orders of a judge who compared planned U.S. security controls on travelers from Brazil and other nations to Nazi horrors.

2 More Flights Are Canceled After Warnings British and Mexican airlines canceled two flights to the United States, one on New Year's Day and another on New Year's Eve, after American and British authorities warned of possible 'terrorist threats' to the flights, government and airline officials said Thursday.

Mexican Flights to LA Canceled Over Security An Aeromexico flight to Los Angeles from Mexico City was canceled on New Year's Eve and Jan. 1 over security concerns, officials said on Thursday.

US Coast Guard shuts down Alaskan oil terminal as security measure The US Coast Guard, citing the nation's elevated 'terror' status, said it had ordered a major oil tanker terminal on Alaska's south shore shut down for security reasons.

Oops! Missing Keys at U.S. Nuke Labs The Energy Department is conducting a widespread review of security at America's nuclear weapons laboratories after reports of hundreds of missing keys, some of which could allow access to sensitive areas.

German military hospital sealed after terror plot tip Hamburg authorities on Wednesday defended their decision to seal off a German military hospital in this northern city saying they received a concrete tip from US officials [?!?] that Islamic extremists planned to attack the facility.

9/11 conspiracy theories abound, and inquiry takes note Kristen Breitweiser of Middletown, N.J., whose husband Ronald died at the World Trade Center, said the Family Steering Committee fears stonewalling and a cover-up. She cited the government's "excessive secrecy," Bush's initial opposition to the commission, his delay in turning over White House intelligence briefings and the naming of Philip Zelikow, a friend of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, as executive director of the panel.

Teresa LeWhore Preps to Sanction Second Election Theft for Bush (FL) Critics warned Monday that computer error or outright fraud easily could alter the outcome of elections conducted on Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines. County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LeWhore[LePore] said their analysis was deeply flawed. "It's just a bunch of lies," she said. LeWhore said it would be impossible to rig the machines.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, AshKKKroft, and *especially* Karl Rove (so no more planes loaded with Democrats just *happen* to crash prior to the s-elections) - go have a big, juicy steak and we'll *all* hope for the best, <g> Bush Eats Beef as U.S. Wants Buyers After Mad Cow Dictator Bush said he ate beef on Thursday, confident the United States was moving to ensure the safety of American beef after the discovery less than a month ago of its first mad cow case.

Disgusting is as disgusting does: Frozen French Fries Prefried In Beef Tallow Sit In Limbo Fallout from the mad cow scare in Washington state has hit the potato industry, with more than $500,000 worth of frozen French fries -- prefried in beef tallow -- held in limbo at ports. [Maybe Bush wants fries with his hamburger???]

Critics Say Education Dept. Is Favoring Political Right When Arizona schools superintendent Lisa Graham Keegan and a group of predominantly conservative educators launched the Education Leaders Council (ELC) in 1995, their proclaimed goal was to upset an educational establishment long dominated by the Democrats and left-leaning teachers unions. Nearly a decade later, Keegan and her allies have become the establishment -- and the left is crying foul.

Medical Malpractice Insurer Raises Rates by 45 Percent A medical malpractice insurance carrier is raising its 2004 rates for Florida doctors by an average of 45 percent.

Gay Community Gave Dean Early Boost Civil Unions Law Signed in Vermont Drew Supporters Former --Vermont governor Howard Dean's record-setting fundraising first took off in large part because of an outpouring of support from the gay community.

Willie Nelson recording anti-war ballad Willie Nelson plans to debut an anti-war ballad that he wrote Christmas Day at a fund-raising concert Saturday for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich at Austin Music Hall.

U.S.  Police State
U.S. police state, December 31, 2003

New Year's Celebration: Military gunships to patrol Strip Despite precautions, officials reiterate no specific threat has been uncovered Armed helicopters will patrol the restricted airspace over the Strip on New Year's Eve to protect Las Vegas from a potential terrorist attack, authorities said Tuesday. The military gunships will be equipped with weaponry that can "dismantle or disrupt any kind of ground attack" involving tankers, trucks or other vehicles, Sheriff Bill Young said.

U.S. Boosts Security for New Year's Eve Celebrations Revelers can expect hovering helicopters and bomb-sniffing dogs with their champagne and confetti as cities hunker down for their most heavily guarded New Year's Eve in memory. From Times Square to the Las Vegas Strip and California's Rose Parade, police were rolling out unprecedented security measures Wednesday, triggered by a hike in the national 'terrorism alert' to orange, its second-highest level.

U.S. restricts flights over 4 cities U.S. officials will clear the skies above New Year's Eve revelers in New York City's Times Square and in three other cities as a guard against 'terrorist attacks'.

Unprecedented Security for New Year Celebrations Warplanes patrolled American skies and international airlines placed sky marshals on some flights Wednesday as fears of a 'terrorist attack' cast a giant shadow over New Year's celebrations across the globe.

Connecticut congressman advises people to avoid Times Square celebration; NYC mayor irked Concerned about terrorism, GOP Rep. Christopher Shays urged revelers not to attend New Year's Eve celebrations like the one at Times Square this year.

Hawks demand an end to all evil, and maybe France, too Washington's hawks have sent a public manifesto to Dictator George Bush demanding regime change in Syria and Iran and a Cuba-style military blockade of North Korea backed by planning for a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear sites. [Well, the citizens of the worlds demand immediate regimes change in the United States as they want to see the unelected dictator removed from office.]

Was America preparing a war for the Gulf oil in 1973? Papers released under the 30-year rule show Britain worried about Middle East conflict and what to buy for a royal wedding. The British Government believed America was preparing for a lightning war in the Middle East to end the 1973 oil crisis, including an invasion of Kuwait, documents released today to the National Archives show.

Suicide bomber kills five in attack on Baghdad restaurant An apparent suicide bomber drove a vehicle packed with explosives into a restaurant crowded with Iraqi Christians in Baghdad last night, blasting the building's side wall on to diners and reportedly killing five people inside.

Large blast rocks Baghdad restaurant, killing five A car bomb ripped through an elegant restaurant crowded with diners at a New Year's Eve party featuring belly dancers, live music and fine wine. The blast killed five Iraqis and wounded 35 others, including at least two Americans and one Briton.

Citizen Soldiers Dying More in Iraq Citizen soldiers of the Army National Guard and Army Reserve are suffering an increasing share of American military deaths in Iraq, according to Pentagon statistics.

Return of U.S. war dead kept solemn, secret During the Vietnam War, the image of caskets arriving at Dover became a staple of the nightly news. Since 1991, the media have been banned from covering the arrival of remains at Dover.

Was it really the US that 'got him'? Reports persist that Kurds first captured Hussein, drugged him, then left him for US troops. It's become a world famous phrase: "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him." More than two weeks after the US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, uttered those words at a press conference in Baghdad, reports continue to circulate that Saddam Hussein was first captured by a Kurdish-led intelligence unit, drugged, then put into the "spider hole" to be taken by the US military.

Tape confirms Iraqis tried to save U.S. POWs Recording shows doctors working valiantly on Lynch, others Iraqi doctors took good care of captured Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch and labored hard but unsuccessfully to save her best friend, according to Iraqi television videotape shot during the soldiers’ captivity in Iraq last spring. *See: Pvt. Lynch Lie-O-Meter page (Humor) --by Mary Titus

U.S. Military to Take Over Halliburton Oil Role The U.S. military said on Wednesday it would soon take over Halliburton's role of getting fuel into Iraq, a decision that follows a draft Pentagon audit that found Vice pResident Dick Cheney's old firm may have overcharged for the job.

Oil Prices Averaged Highest in 20 Years US corpora-terrorists' greed [Instability in oil producing nations like Iraq, Venezuela [?!?] and Nigeria] helped boost U.S. crude oil prices to an average of $31 a barrel in 2003, the highest yearly average in more than 20 years, energy experts said on Wednesday.

Special Counsel Is Named to Head Inquiry on C.I.A. Leak Attorney General John Ashcroft disqualified himself on Tuesday from any involvement in the investigation into whether Bush regime officials illegally disclosed the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer. At the same time, the Justice Department brought in a special counsel to lead the politically charged case.

F.D.A. Rules Shots Effective for Anthrax That Is Inhaled The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that the anthrax vaccine protected against the inhaled form of the bacteria, aiding government efforts to restart the Pentagon's mandatory inoculation program, which was stalled by a federal injunction.

4 More Nations to Exempt U.S. From Court Dictator Bush announced agreements with another four countries to exempt Americans from prosecution by the International Criminal Court, which it staunchly opposes.

Brazil to fingerprint US citizens A Brazilian judge has announced that US citizens will be fingerprinted and photographed on entering the country. Judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva was reacting to US plans to do the same to Brazilians entering the United States. He made the order after a Brazilian government office filed a complaint in a federal court over the new US immigration measures. "I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis," Federal Judge Julier Sebastiao da Silva said in the court order.

Judge declares N.H. parental notice law unconstitutional A federal judge on Monday declared unconstitutional a state law that would have required parental notice before a minor could get an abortion.

Impeachment Is Considered in Hartford House Democratic and Republican leaders of the Connecticut House of Representatives are examining whether to appoint a bipartisan committee of legislators to investigate the actions of [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland, with an eye toward deciding if an impeachment proceeding should be initiated.

Top Democrats Propose Meeting With Beleaguered Governor of Connecticut Top Democrats in the state House of Representatives said Tuesday they want to meet next week with Republican Gov. John G. Rowland before deciding whether to pursue his impeachment.

Schwarzen-Liar raises park fees to new heights California's parks department, under the GOP coup installed governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger, announced Tuesday it will raise entrance and camping fees to their highest levels in history.

Blair made Simpsons drop poodle act: Report British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair agreed to appear in the hit US cartoon The Simpsons only after its makers dropped plans to have him star alongside a dog he feared would portray him as "America 's poodle", a British newspaper said on Tuesday.

US: Hundreds denied early retirement at Verizon telecommunications Hundreds of employees at telecommunications giant Verizon were denied an early retirement package last month and forced at the last minute to decide whether to retire without the extra incentive or continue working.

We want to thank the following people for their news items, article submissions, action alerts, commentary, and words of support for the entire year. Thank you so very much for helping Citizens for Legitimate Government resist the Bush regime.
Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a terrific Bush-less New Year.
Love & Peace, Lori Price

*****

Halliburton pulled from Iraqi oil contract The Defense Department is removing the Army Corps of Engineers from overseeing oil imports into Iraq, acting just weeks after Pentagon auditors said Halliburton -- Vice pResident Dick Cheney's former firm -- may have overcharged taxpayers under the Corps' supervision.

A New Agency Will Oversee Imports of Oil for Use in Iraq The Army Corps of Engineers, criticized for its management of a Halliburton contract to bring fuel to Iraq, will turn over its role managing those fuel imports to another Defense Department agency, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

The Trajectory of Halliburton's Oil Contract (NYT graph) The Pentagon's Iraqi oil infrastructure contract with Halliburton was intended to last for a few months, but it has now been in effect for nearly a year and has grown to more than $2billion.

US-led forces on high alert for possible New Years attacks US-led occupation forces in Iraq were on alert for attacks timed to coincide with the New Year holiday.

Blast in Baghdad Kills One; Troops Arrest Over 100 Resistance fighters set off a roadside bomb in a crowded Baghdad shopping district on Tuesday as U.S. military vehicles drove past, killing one Iraqi civilian and wounding several others. The attack came as U.S.-led forces launched raids across the country to arrest over 100 'suspected' insurgents.

Iraq Arms Hunt May Hinder Other U.S. Aims In nine months, not a single item has been found in Iraq from a long and classified intelligence list of weapons of mass destruction which guided the work of dozens of elite teams from Special Forces, the military, the CIA and the Pentagon during the most secretive, expensive and fruitless weapons hunt in history...

Army's suicide rate has outside experts alarmed Most died serving in Iraq after major combat phase --Since the U.S.-led occupation invaded Iraq last spring, 18 soldiers and two Marines have committed suicide, most of them after major combat was declared over May 1, the military said.

Tape confirms Iraqis tried to save U.S. POWs Recording shows doctors working valiantly on Lynch, others Iraqi doctors took good care of captured Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch and labored hard but unsuccessfully to save her best friend, according to Iraqi television videotape shot during the soldiers’ captivity in Iraq last spring.

Red Cross demands access to Hussein The international Red Cross has asked the US-led occupation in Iraq for access to captured former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Under the Geneva Conventions the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has the right to contact any prisoner of war or detained civilian.

Ashcroft to Remove Himself From Inquiry Into C.I.A. Leak Attorney General [and Reichwing whackjob] John Ashcroft will remove himself from an investigation into who gave the name of a Central Intelligence Agency officer to a newspaper columnist and turn over the inquiry to a special counsel, the Justice Department said today.

Ashcroft Recuses Himself From Leak Investigation John D. Ashcroft has recused himself from the investigation of the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity as the Justice Department named a special prosecutor to oversee the widening probe, Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey said today.

Pentagon Takes Key Steps Toward Terrorism Trials Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has named a retired Army major general to supervise [illegal] U.S. military trials of foreign terrorism suspects, and picked two former presidential Cabinet members and two sitting judges to hear appeals of convictions or sentences. [When will the entire cabal of terrorists in Bush dictatorship go on trial for treason?]

Nation Amps Up New Year's Eve Security Security will be extra tight at this year's New Year's celebrations around the country, with military helicopters patrolling over the Rose Parade, Times Square and the Las Vegas Strip. In Las Vegas, where 300,000 revelers are expected on the Strip, officials announced that armed military helicopters will fly overhead.

U.S. Restricts Airspace Over New Year Celebrations The skies above New Year's Eve revelers in New York, Las Vegas and some other U.S. cities will be off-limits to certain aircraft and patrolled by warplanes as part of increased vigilance for 'terror attacks', the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Read alert as US lists books as terrorist tools Amid heightened indications that al-Qaeda operatives may be planning catastrophic attacks in the US, the [whackjobs at the] FBI are warning police about a new potential tool for terrorism: almanacs.

FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning. It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways. [The entire whackjob Strangelove-esque Bush dictatorship needs to be tried and imprisoned for imposing its insane Fascist regime upon us.]

U.S. to require armed officers on some international flights over U.S. The U.S. government said Monday it will require international air carriers in certain cases to place armed law enforcement officers on flights over the United States.

Kucinich calls terror alert a government scare tactic The Bush dictatorship is using elevated terror alerts for political gain while confusing Americans and accomplishing little, Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich said.

Takeoffs Continued Until Second Jet Hit Trade Center, Transcripts Show A set of tape transcripts released yesterday open a small window onto the flow of information among aviation authorities on Sept. 11, 2001, showing that air traffic officials in New York knew no more about the attacks than anyone watching television.

Port Authority Releases 9-11 Transcripts The final set of Port Authority transcripts was made available Monday, four months after the agency released 2,000 pages of documents detailing what was said in thousands of other Sept. 11 emergency calls.

'Silence cannot be bought' --by Beverly Eckert "I've chosen to go to court rather than accept a payoff from the 9/11 victims compensation fund... I am suing because unlike other investigative avenues, including congressional hearings and the 9/11 commission, my lawsuit requires all testimony be given under oath and fully uses powers to compel evidence. The victims fund was not created in a spirit of compassion. Rather, it was a tacit acknowledgement by Congress that it tampered with our civil justice system in an unprecedented way."

Democrats air concern on vote fraud Critics warned Monday that computer error or outright fraud easily could alter the outcome of elections conducted on Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines.

E-voting firm reports computer break-in Federal authorities investigating VoteHere intrusion --A company developing encryption-based software for secure electronic voting has itself become the victim of a computer break-in, the company’s top executive has said.

EPA Led Mercury Policy Shift Agency Scuttled Task Force That Advised Tough Approach --For nearly 21 months, a government task force steadily moved toward recommending rules that within three years would force every coal-fired power plant in the country to reduce emissions of mercury, which can cause neurological and developmental damage to humans. But in April, the EPA abruptly dismantled the panel.

Dollar Hits Record Low Against Euro The beleaguered dollar hit record lows against the euro and was down over half a percent against the yen on Monday as security worries and concerns over the U.S. current account deficit kept the greenback under pressure.

Jobless Count Skips Millions The rate hits 9.7% when the underemployed and those who have quit looking are added. The nation's official jobless rate is 5.9%, a relatively benign level by historical standards. But economists say that figure paints only a partial — and artificially rosy — picture of the labor market.

Clark: Bush plans flawed Wesley Clark, in Jackson to court Mississippi voters on his Southern "True Grits Tour," vowed to reach out to millions of Americans without health insurance and took aim at Dictator Bush's Iraq [non]strategy.

Japan refuses to lift ban on US beef imports US attempts to reassure the rest of the world over the safety of America's beef after the discovery of its first case of BSE were dealt a major blow last night when Japan refused to discuss lifting its ban on imports with a delegation of agriculture officials from Washington.

Gays Banned From National Parks Civil Service Group Says All images of gay gatherings at national sites, including the Millennium March on the Washington Mall have been ordered removed from videotapes that have been shown at the Lincoln Memorial since 1995 according to a civil service group.

Enormous rats harass Israeli soldiers Israeli soldiers stationed in the tense West Bank city of Hebron have recently been battling an enemy they define as more scary then Palestinian militants: enormous rats. The rats, lured by piles of garbage in Hebron's streets, have become so daring they have even infiltrated military barracks and bitten at least two heavily armed combat soldier, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

US implicated in Iraq reconstruction scam Iraq's interim trade ministry is investigating alleged corruption of up to $US40 million by members of the US-led 'Coalition Provisional Authority' [Dictatorship] and senior ministry officials.

Revealed: how MI6 sold the Iraq war The Secret Intelligence Service has run an operation to gain public support for sanctions and the use of military force in Iraq. The government yesterday confirmed that MI6 had organised Operation Mass Appeal, a campaign to plant stories in the media about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. The revelation will create embarrassing questions for Tony Blair in the run-up to the publication of the report by Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly, the government weapons expert.

Bush's man rejects Blair weapon claim Poodle Tony Blair was at the centre of an embarrassing row last night after the most senior US official in Baghdad bluntly rejected the Prime Minister's assertion that secret weapons laboratories had been discovered in Iraq.

Bremer rejects Blair WMD claims The American appointed dictator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, appears to have contradicted a statement about alleged Iraqi weapons programs by the British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair.

US rubbishes Blair's WMD claim 'Massive evidence of laboratories' dismissed as red herring --Poodle Tony Blair is facing severe embarrassment after the US official running Iraq dismissed his claims that "massive evidence" of weapons programmes had been found in the country as a "red herring".

More than 600 lawyers sign up to defend Hussein More than 600 lawyers have signed up to defend captive Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the head of Jordan's Bar Association told the Jordan Times newspaper on Sunday.

Casualty rate for U.S. forces in Iraq jumps The number of U.S. service members killed and wounded in Iraq has more than doubled in the past four months compared with the four months preceding them, according to Pentagon statistics.

Rebellion continues despite Hussein capture Resistance fighters lobbed a grenade and fired on U.S. soldiers searching homes for insurgents in the northern city of Mosul on Monday, triggering a firefight that left three Iraqis dead and two U.S. soldiers wounded. Also Monday in Mosul, U.S. troops defused a roadside bomb at a major traffic intersection, and insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms at a U.S. military convoy.

Strong explosion rocks Baghdad A strong explosion rocked the Iraqi capital on Monday at 4:35 pm (local time), AFP correspondents reported, while the US military said it believed the blast was southeast of Baghdad.

Large Explosion Is Heard in Baghdad A large explosion was heard in Baghdad on Monday afternoon. Windows rattled in some buildings on the east bank of the Tigris River.

Baghdad Bombs Kill 2 GIs, 2 Children Roadside bombs in separate resistance fighters' attacks killed two U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi children on Sunday, including one explosion that went off in a densely populated part of Baghdad.

Six dead in Kabul car explosion A huge bomb blast has killed at least six people - including four police officers and a security official - near the airport in the Afghan capital.

Troops kill four Taliban after deadly ambush: US US troops have killed four militants following a deadly ambush on an Afghan intelligence official in troubled eastern Afghanistan, a local official and the US military said.

Taliban claims Kabul suicide blast A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for an apparent suicide blast which killed six people near Kabul airport on Sunday and warned that another 60 suicide bombers planning to attack foreigners had entered the capital.

Afghan Suicide Bomber Kills 5 After Arrest An apparent suicide bomber killed four intelligence agents, their driver and himself in the Afghan capital Sunday, the latest violent incident during a closely guarded convention drawing up the country's first post-Taliban constitution.

Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting Orders Extend Enlistments to Curtail Troop Shortages --Thousands of soldiers are forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions.

Judges beginning to balk in war on terror In the war on terror, federal judges are beginning to balk. Charge the alleged "dirty bomber" with a crime or let him go, one appellate court ruled this month. Give the captured combatants at Guantanamo Bay legal avenues to contest their imprisonment, another said.

With A Whisper, Not A Bang Bush signs parts of Patriot Act II into law — stealthily --by David Martin "On December 13, when U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, President [sic] George W. Bush not only celebrated with his national security team, but also pulled out his pen and signed into law a bill that grants the FBI sweeping new powers...By signing the bill on the day of Hussein's capture, Bush effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the USA Patriot Act to a mere footnote."

U.S. Orders Armed Officers on Some Jets Amid a heightened state of alert for 'terrorists', the U.S. government said Monday it will require international air carriers in certain cases to place armed law enforcement officers on flights over the United States.

Britain May Put Armed Marshals on Jets Responding to a heightened terrorism alert in the United States, Britain said Sunday it had tightened security for trans-Atlantic flights and suggested it might put armed sky marshals on some planes, following the lead of allies like the United States and Israel.

Security Top Priority and Visible, So How Did Bus Get Stolen from Port Authority Terminal? New Year's Eve is close and security around Times Square, the city and the nation are high. So how did someone steal a passenger bus from the Port Authority bus terminal in the middle of the day Sunday?

Small Plane Creates Scare Near LaGuardia A small plane flew into LaGuardia Airport airspace without permission Sunday afternoon, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Pilot Exposes N.Y. Err Patrol Despite the city's high terror alert, a pilot who got lost on his way home was able to fly his small plane through restricted airspace around La Guardia Airport, down the East River and around the Statue of Liberty, authorities said yesterday. The incident sparked investigations by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Homeland Security and had NYPD brass fuming over a dangerous gap in the city's terror-fighting capability. But pilot Richard Langone, 47, insisted he was no terror threat in his single-engine Mooney plane. "I was scared to death," said Langone, of Atlantic Beach, L.I., describing how an NYPD helicopter, armed with machine guns, began escorting him out of the area after he reached the Verrazano Bridge.

Dairy Farmers Contributed to House Panel The dairy industry contributed to most members of a key House committee who voted nearly in lockstep against banning the sale of meat from ill or disabled animals, like the one that tested positive last week for mad cow disease.

Democrats Criticize Bush on Beef Policy The White House isn't doing enough to test and track cattle, candidates say. Four more states are reported to have gotten meat from infected cow. Democratic candidates on Sunday accused the White House of lax regulatory policies, as officials announced that meat from the cow infected with the disease had been distributed to four more states than previously thought.

U.S. Officials Say Suspect Beef Went to a Wider Region Federal officials said Sunday that meat linked to the investigation of a case of mad cow disease had been distributed to eight states and Guam, more widely than investigators initially believed.

Eight States Look for Meat From Sick Cow Investigators and retailers in eight states and a territory are scrambling to recover meat that may have come from a Holstein stricken with deadly mad cow disease.

Meat From Infected Cow Went to 8 States Meat from a Holstein sick with mad cow disease has now reached retail markets in eight states and one territory, but still poses no health risk [Gag me with a chainsaw!], Agriculture Department officials said Sunday.

USFK Mulls Stopping Use of American Beef The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said on Monday no shipments of beef from the United States to its facilities have arrived in Korea since Dec. 24.

Bush still eating beef despite mad cow scare Dictator George W. Bush is still eating beef, despite a scare over mad cow disease which has prompted more than two dozen countries to ban the US-produced meat. [As for the White House, let 'em eat steak!]

Meatpacking Maverick Montana meatpacker John Munsell's against-the-odds struggle for improved food safety. By Michael Schere "Munsell fired off an angry email to the district USDA manager, warning of a potential public-health emergency, and adding that if no one tracked down the rest of the bad meat, 'both of us should share a cell in Alcatraz.' The agency moved immediately and aggressively -- not to recall meat from Greeley, but to shut down Munsell's grinding operation, a punishment that lasted four months."

Democrats Buy Airtime to Explain Views Democrats running for president complain they can't fully explain their views on foreign policy, health care or national security in debates featuring all nine candidates. To compensate, some of the candidates are buying half-hour blocks of airtime in early primary and caucus states to broadcast programs that allow them to speak at length about whatever they choose.

Gephardt: Bush worst president [sic] of last 5 Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt told cheering union workers Saturday that Oklahoma and its labor unions are an important part of his strategy to win the White House.

Some who supported Nader regret decision When the first bombs fell on Baghdad, Jason Salzman took a razor blade to the bumper stick on his car that said: "Unrepentant Nader Voter." He scratched off the "Un."

Mega puke alert! Rowland invoking name of God more often Recent troubles have [Republican whackjob and thief] Gov. John G. Rowland sounding more like U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman or Dictator Bush in one respect: Rowland is invoking the name of God a lot more often.

Pittsburgh Declared 'Distressed' by State Pennsylvania on Monday acknowledged Pittsburgh's long-term financial decline by declaring it "financially distressed" under a state law that will enable the city to regroup.

Thousands of Farmers Protest FTA Thousands of farmers staged a rally in Seoul on Monday to protest the planned approval of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Chile.

*****
 


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