January 2005 Archives
Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman? --by Robert Scheer "Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President [sic] Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist? To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical, especially in the context of the U.S. media's supine acceptance of administration claims relating to national security. Yet a brilliant new BBC film produced by one of Britain's leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this and many other accepted articles of faith in the so-called war on terror."
Audit: Texas Improperly Spent Terror Funds --An audit of the state's spending of nearly $600 million in federal anti-[pro]terrorism funds found that some of the money was spent improperly, including to buy a trailer that was used to haul lawn mowers to "lawn mower drag races."
Michael Newdow vs. America --by Hans Zeiger (conservative columnist mentions CLG Founder/Chair, Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D.) "For fighting terror in Iraq, Ralph Nader once called the president [sic] a 'selected dictator.' Hartford Advocate columnist Alan Bisbort has a 'sense of Bush as a despot' because the president is 'a sick man.' Michael Rectenwald of Citizens for Legitimate Government claims to have lost all of his rights (despite the fact he is a frequent user of the First Amendment) in 'Bush's prison system known as the United States of America.' Bush is a 'classic Old Testament tyrant,' writes bioethicist Gerry Lower. The Bush administration 'is a dictatorship,' the author Gore Vidal told an Australian TV network. And according to the mayor of London, 'Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction.'" [Actually, this is a very good summary, as it stands. He should have just left it right there, <g>]
Allawi Admits Some Areas Unsafe to Vote --U.S.-installed puppet dictator ['Prime Minister'] Ayad Allawi publicly acknowledged for the first time Tuesday that parts of Iraq probably won't be safe enough for people to vote in the Jan. 30 'elections,' and he announced plans to boost the size of the country's army from 100,000 to 150,000 men by year's end.
Rebels Kill 20 in Pre-'Election' Attacks in Iraq --Insurgents killed 20 people in attacks in Iraq Tuesday, and 'Prime Minister' Iyad Allawi acknowledged what he called pockets of the country would be too unsafe for 'voting' in a Jan. 30 'election.'
Fury As Hoon Sends More Scots to Iraq --Hundreds more Scottish troops were sent to Iraq last night after fears of a bloody increase in violence before the country's elections. Around 400 soldiers from the 1st battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers will be in Basra within days. The announcement, by Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, sparked a furious reaction.
Witness: CIA, SEALs Beat Iraq Prisoners --A former Navy SEAL says he saw fellow SEALs and CIA officials kick, choke and eye-gouge detainees at a U.S. military base in Iraq.
Inmate Says Graner Laughed During Abuse --A Syrian inmate at Abu Ghraib said Army Spc. Charles Graner Jr. was the Baghdad prison's primary torturer who laughed while physically abusing him and threatened to kill him more than once.
Detainees Depict Abuses by Guard in Prison in Iraq --Detainees narrated the events captured on film using stark, vivid language, shaking their heads and occasionally thumping themselves in the chest or the head to punctuate the force of the soldiers' fists punching them... Their testimony, videotaped last month in a courtroom at Camp Victory in Iraq, capped the government's effort to portray Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr. as a ruthless abuser who took delight in beating prisoners and forcing them into sexually humiliating positions.
British detainees to be released from Guantánamo --The four remaining Britons held at Guantánamo Bay are to be released within the "next few weeks", foreign secretary Jack Straw announced today.
Health fears for 'torture victims' --The four Britons soon to be released from Guantánamo Bay after up to three years in detention may need months of care when they arrive back home, experts in treating torture victims warned yesterday.
Chemical-arms disposal snagged --The Pentagon plans to delay building two plants crucial to meeting international treaty deadlines for destroying thousands of tons of U.S. chemical weapons, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
E-Mail Shows Toll of Crash on Submarine and Sailors --The nuclear submarine that ran aground Saturday in the South Pacific hit so "incredibly hard" that about 60 of its 137 crew members were injured and the sailor who died was thrown 20 feet by the impact, according to internal Navy e-mail messages sent by a top admiral.
More reports of lasers being shot into airplane cockpits --The FBI is investigating several more reports of lasers being beamed into aircraft cockpits following a rash of similar incidents at the end of 2004.
Bush Picks Ex-Aide to Ashcroft for Homeland Security Post --Dictator Bush on Tuesday chose federal appeals court judge Michael Chertoff to be his new Homeland Security chief, turning to a former federal prosecutor who helped craft the early war on [of] terror strategy. Chertoff's resume includes stints as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey and the Senate Republicans' chief counsel for the Clinton-era Whitewater witch-hunts ['investigation']. [*See: Michael Chertoff: Ashcroft's Top Gremlin --Spreading Mischief from DoJ to the Federal Bench --by Elaine Cassel, June 11, 2003]
Bush Nominee Criticized Over Post-9/11 Policies --Michael Chertoff, Dictator Bush's nominee to be secretary of homeland security, is widely hailed for his intellectual heft and tireless work habits as a federal prosecutor and judge. But he also faces criticism as an architect of some of the most controversial elements of the Bush dictatorships domestic war on [of] terrorism that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Security Nominee Is a Hard Charger on Legal War 'on' Terror --In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, senior Justice Department officials were scrambling to find new ways to prevent 'terror' suspects from slipping away. Michael Chertoff, a tough-minded prosecutor who was in charge of the department's criminal division, pushed a new tactic - declaring suspects to be "material witnesses" and locking them up without charging them with any crime, just as Mr. Chertoff had done with mob figures before.
Ten Things We Learned About 911 In 2004 (Rigorous Institution, Blogspot.com) "1. The World Trade Center Black Boxes were recovered, though officials perpetuate the lie that they weren't. 2. FEMA really did arrive early in New York City, for the 'bioterror drill' Tripod II, and Rudi Giuliani's testimony to that effect before the 9/11 Commission is its only public testimony which remains officially untranscribed. 3. The Total Information Awareness program was ready to roll out before Sept 11, and John Poindexter's office was established in the Pentagon no later than Sept 12."
Ruling gives cops leeway with GPS --Decision allows use of vehicle tracking device without a warrant --In a decision that could dramatically affect criminal investigations nationwide, a federal judge has ruled police didn't need a warrant when they attached a satellite tracking device to the underbelly of a car being driven by a suspected Hells Angels operative.
Justices Rule Action Isn't Necessary to Prove Conspiracy --The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the government can obtain a conviction for a money-laundering conspiracy without the need to prove that any of the conspirators did anything concrete to carry out the scheme.
Oops! Another microbiologist dies in oh-but-another whacko Black Ops murder set up.... that makes about... 20 ??? (since 9-11) Squad seeks tips in death of researcher --A retired research assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia died of multiple stab wounds before firefighters found in his body in the trunk of a burning car Friday... Jeong H. Im was primarily a protein chemist. [*See New York Times article, below, for possible motive.]
A DNA Success Raises Bioterror Concern --Researchers have made an unexpectedly sudden advance in synthesizing long molecules of DNA, bringing them closer to the goal of redesigning genes and programming cells to make pharmaceuticals. But the success also puts within reach the manufacture of small genomes, such as those of viruses and perhaps certain bacteria. Some biologists fear that the technique might be used to make the genome of the smallpox virus, one of the few pathogens that cannot easily be collected from the wild.
A High Level of Alert for the Inauguration --Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, said Tuesday that even in the absence of any specific security threat to next week's presidential inauguration, civilian and military forces had been ordered to an extraordinarily high state of alert. "You can well imagine that the security for this occasion will be unprecedented," Mr. Ridge said at a news conference.
Bush inauguration security will be extensive --Security for Dictator Bush's inauguration — the first swearing-in since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — will be unprecedented with some 6,000 law enforcement personnel, canine bomb teams and close monitoring of transportation.
Donors lavish $18 million on inauguration -- so far --Campaign finance loophole enables $40 million target --Californians have donated at least $3.2 million of the $18 million that has been raised so far to pay for Dictator Bush's coronation ['inauguration'] for a second term on Jan. 20, an affair that will feature nine black-tie balls and thousands of Republican revelers.
Four North Carolina donors give $250,000 for Bush inaugural --Charlotte banking giants Wachovia and Bank of America, Charlotte billionaire C.D. Spangler's company and High Point businessman Dave Phillips each have given the maximum $250,000 to help bankroll Dictator Bush's inauguration festivities.
CBS' Cowardice and Conflicts Behind Purge --Network's Craven Back-Down on Bush Draft Dodge Report Sure to Get a Standing Rove-ation at White House --by Greg Palast "'Independent' my ass. CBS' cowardly purge of five journalists who exposed George Bush's dodging of the Vietnam War draft was done under cover of what the network laughably called an 'Independent Review Panel.' The 'panel' was just two guys as qualified for the job as they are for landing the space shuttle: Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi. Remember Dickie Thornburgh? He was on the Bush 41 Administration's payroll. His grand accomplishment as Bush's Attorney General was to whitewash the investigation of the Exxon Valdez Oil spill, letting the oil giant off the hook on big damages. Thornburgh's fat pay as counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, the Washington law-and-lobbying outfit, is substantially due to his job as a Bush retainer. This is the kind of stinky conflict of interest that hardly suggests 'independent.' Why not just appoint Karl Rove as CBS' grand inquisitor and be done with it?"
Motion to Delay Fails, Gregoire Certified As Governor --Rossi Challenging the Election --A Republican motion to delay the certification of Democrat Christine Gregoire as Governor failed Tuesday, clearing the way for Gregoire to be sworn in on Wednesday.
Voters Challenging Election Results Drop Lawsuit --A group of voters on Tuesday asked to drop their challenge of Ohio's presidential 'election' results, saying congressional certification of the electoral votes last week and the upcoming inauguration render the case moot. Chief Justice Thomas Moyer of the state Supreme Court must still rule on the motion to dismiss the case, although he is expected to go along with the request.
Purging of rolls, confusion anger voters 41% of Nov. 2 provisional ballots axed in Lucas County (Ohio, of course...) Of the 3,122 provisional ballots from the Nov. 2 general election that were rejected in Lucas County, 64 percent were bounced because the voter was 'not registered.' Of those, 405 had been registered until they were purged from the county election rolls in August. More than 28,000 voters were purged from the Lucas County rolls last summer.
Dean to seek chairmanship of Democratic Party --Former presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., once the early front-runner for the Democratic nomination, has decided to seek the party's chairmanship.
Investment pros see bonanza --Social Security proposal would add billions to investments and fees --The prospect of 100 million Americans each having $1,000 of their Social Security contributions to invest every year has investment professionals salivating at the potential financial bonanza. About $100 billion a year would be freed up for stocks, bonds and other investments under a tentative plan Dictator Bush has floated to fix the Social Security retirement system by creating private investment accounts.
Age gap may be trouble for Bush --Dictator Bush will fight for the signature goal of his second term with the support of age groups that are at odds with those that re-selected him.
Bush Paints Grim Outlook to Sell Social Security Plan --Dictator Bush warned younger workers on Tuesday of a grim future for their Social Security benefits but critics accused him of exaggerating the retirement system's problems to try and sell his plan to change it.
The Iceberg Cometh --by Paul Krugman "Last week someone leaked a memo written by Peter Wehner, an aide to Karl Rove, about how to sell Social Security privatization. The public, says Mr. Wehner, must be convinced that 'the current system is heading for an iceberg.' It's the standard Bush administration tactic: invent a fake crisis to bully people into doing what you want."
Fla. gov. eyes changes to state Medicaid --Gov. Jeb Bush outlined a plan Tuesday to link Florida's Medicaid program to private insurance companies that would set limits on health coverage.
Canada Finds Third Case of Mad Cow Disease --Canadian officials have found a third animal infected with mad cow disease -- an almost 7-year-old beef cow with no known connection to the other infected cattle. The cow was born after Canada banned the use of cattle feed that includes animal parts to try to keep the deadly infection from spreading.
U.S. sending team to evaluate new Canadian BSE case --U.S. agriculture officials will send a team to Canada to evaluate the third case of mad cow disease found in Alberta to determine whether the discovery will halt plans to reopen the border to the import of Canadian cattle.
Asia Quake Impacts Va. Well-Water Levels --The South Asian earthquake that spawned deadly tsunami waves also shifted water levels by at least 3 feet in a geologically sensitive Virginia well some 9,600 miles away from the epicenter, researchers say.
Bush 'the king' blows $50m on coronation --Dictator's lavish inauguration is 'obscene' when US troops are dying in Iraq war, say critics --With a price tag of up to $50 million, Dictator George W Bush's inauguration in 11 days' time will be an unashamed celebration of Red America's victory over Blue America in last November's election. [Uh, since there was no 'election,' there could be no 'victory.']
D.C. Says White House Won't Reimburse Inauguration Costs --City Will Be Forced to Divert Money From Homeland Security Projects --D.C. officials said yesterday that the Bush dictatorship is refusing to reimburse the District for most of the costs associated with next week's inauguration, breaking with precedent and forcing the city to divert $11.9 million from homeland security projects.
Bush Dictatorship Trying to Intimidate Protesters... we will protest, regardless. Inaugural Security Draws on Latest Technologies --Intelligence to Stream Into Command Center From 50 Police Agencies Aloft and on the Ground --The nerve center for the most heavily guarded presidential inauguration in history will not be in Washington, where Dictator Bush will take the oath of office, but 25 miles away in a futuristic command post in Northern Virginia. Inside a gleaming steel-and-marble complex, the Secret Service and 50 federal, state and local agencies will monitor action in the sky, on the ground and in the subway system. Giant plasma screens will beam in live video from helicopters and cameras at the U.S. Capitol, along the parade route and at other potential trouble spots. Officials will be able to track fighter jets patrolling the skies, call up three-dimensional maps of downtown, even project the plume of any chemical release.
Inauguration Controversy Widens --Crosses will be banned from this month's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C. The Rev. Patrick Mahoney and the Christian Defense Coalition were granted a permit to hold a prayer vigil and demonstration during the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day. In that permit the list of prohibited "structures" includes crosses—along with bicycles, crates, coffins, cages and statues.
Pentagon mulls military command for intelligence --The Pentagon is considering establishing a new four-star military command for intelligence, reflecting concern that the powerful civilian intelligence post created by Congress last year could weaken the Pentagon's grip on its vast intelligence assets.
U.S. Considers Elite Hit-Squads for Iraq -Report --The Pentagon is debating whether to set up elite hit-squads to target leaders of the Iraq insurgency in a new strategy based on tactics used against leftist freedom fighters in Central America 20 years ago, Newsweek magazine reported on Saturday.
'The Salvador Option' --The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq --The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option" ...The Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan regime’s battle against the leftist freedom fighters in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. ...Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi [death] squads to target Sunni insurgents and their 'sympathizers,' even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation.
Insurgents Kill Deputy Police Chief of Baghdad --Two American soldiers were killed by a roadside blast while on patrol in Baghdad today and four were wounded, shortly after the city's deputy police chief was slain along with his son as they left their house.
Iraq Insurgents Increase Explosives' Power --A roadside bomb destroyed a second heavily armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle in less than a week Monday, killing two U.S. soldiers, wounding four others and indicating that insurgents have increased the power of the explosives they are using against American troops.
Bomb Destroys U.S. Tank, Kills Two Soldiers in Iraq --A roadside bomb destroyed a U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baghdad on Monday, killing two American soldiers and wounding four, the U.S. military said.
Britain to Deploy More Troops for Iraqi 'Elections' --The United Kingdom will deploy more troops to Iraq to help provide security support during the upcoming Iraqi elections, the British defense secretary announced today in London.
US deserters flee to Canada to avoid service in Iraq --American Army soldiers are deserting and fleeing to Canada rather than fight in Iraq, rekindling memories of the thousands of draft-dodgers who flooded north to avoid service in Vietnam. An estimated 5,500 men and women have deserted since the invasion of Iraq, reflecting Washington's growing problems with troop morale.
Ukraine orders troops home from Iraq --Ukraine's outgoing president has ordered officials to draw up plans to withdraw the country's 1,600 troops home from Iraq in the first half of 2005 after eight of its soldiers were killed in a blast.
Iraqi Dogs Have Plenty of Food After Response to Soldier's Plea --Just before the New Year, Army Reserve Capt. Gabriella Cook sent an urgent e-mail from Iraq requesting food shipments. Not for her or her unit - for Iraqi police dogs. "The dogs are starving and urgently need dry dog food," Cook wrote in a Dec. 28 e-mail that said the Iraqi Interior Ministry's only bomb-sniffing police dogs were eating table scraps and garbage. The response to the canine crisis has been overwhelming: Offers of help poured in from New Hampshire, Florida, Texas, Ohio and New York.
Iraqi Muslim Scholars offered to call off election boycott if US troop withdrawal was set -- US rejects AMS' poll conditions --The influential Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq has met a senior US embassy official and offered to call off an election boycott in return for a US timetable for troop withdrawal. US embassy spokesman Bob Callahan said on Monday the offer was made at a meeting on Saturday with the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS), which has previously called on Iraqis to boycott the 30 January ballot. But chances of Washington setting such a schedule for the withdrawal of roughly 150,000 troops are slim.
Iraq Elections: A Victory for Terror --by Bernhard Zand, Der Spiegel "Washington and Baghdad are still sticking to plans to hold Iraqi elections at the end of January... It was an astonishing figure, even for Iraqis. Last week the head of Iraqi intelligence, Mohammed Shahwani, reported that the Iraqi terrorist [sic] and resistance movement numbered 200,000... No one at the Pentagon has denied General Shahwani's numbers, even though they exceed Washington's previous estimates by a factor of about ten."
U.S. denies GIs killed Iraq civilians --A U.S. spokesman denied on Monday that American soldiers killed five civilians in a hail of gunfire after a roadside bomb exploded near American troops, and an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman who initially issued the report backed away from the claim.
Shocking New Videos Shown at Iraq Abuse Scandal --A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused ringleader in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, on Monday compared piling naked prisoners into pyramids to cheerleader shows and said leashing inmates was also acceptable prisoner control... Prosecutors also presented shocking new videos and photos from Abu Ghraib prison, including forced group masturbation. Guy Womack, Graner's attorney, said using a tether was a valid method of controlling detainees. ..."In Texas we'd lasso them and drag them out of there."
Witness: Graner Punched Iraqi Prisoner --The alleged ringleader of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal went on trial Monday with witnesses telling a military court they watched him punch an Iraqi inmate in the face and saw him laugh while forcing prisoners to pose naked.
Torture? Not if cheerleaders do it, lawyer claims --Forcing naked Iraqi prisoners to pile themselves in human pyramids was not torture, because American cheerleaders do it every year, a court was told today. A lawyer defending Specialist Charles Graner, who is accused of being a ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, argued that piling naked prisoners in pyramids was a valid form of prisoner control. "Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" said Guy Womack, Sergeant Graner’s lawyer, in opening arguments to the ten-member military jury at the reservist’s court martial.
Lawyer: Iraqi Abuse Was Like Act of 'Cheerleaders' --A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused ringleader in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, on Monday compared piling naked prisoners into pyramids to cheerleader shows and said leashing inmates was also acceptable prisoner control.
Americans make mockery of justice (Gulfnews.com) "Two men were pushed into a river by armed men. One of them died, swept away by the current. One of the accused publicly apologised to his own family, colleagues, but pointedly not to the victim's family. This crime, and the offhand almost insulting manner of the apology, would merit a stiff jail term in Europe or the United States if it had been committed there. The crime was committed in Iraq on an Iraqi by an American sergeant."
Schumer's Gonzales Praise Sickens --by Bill Gallagher "Democratic senators who vote to confirm Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General of the United States are irredeemable whores who believe in nothing and will vote that way for reasons of political correctness -- to avoid the stigma of opposing the first Hispanic to be nominated for that office. The Democrats should use every means at their disposal to thwart his nomination, and that means a filibuster. Opposing the manifestly unfit Gonzales is a profound moral issue that reaches to the very essence of what our nation stands for and what our Constitution means."
Canada's Martin Denies Agreeing to U.S. Missile Defense Plan --Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin denied giving assurances to the U.S. that Canada would join the U.S. ballistic-missile defense system for North America by the end of March.
U.S.: bin Laden may be in eastern Afghanistan --Rove freelancer, Osama bin Laden, and other militant leaders could be hiding in eastern Afghanistan, the commander of U.S. forces along a key stretch of the Pakistani border told The Associated Press on Monday.
Congress passes 'doomsday' plan --With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen. "I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I think it's unconstitutional,'' said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel created to study the issue. GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes, most of which were dropped. Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active on the issue, argued the rule change contradicts the U.S. Constitution, which states that "a majority of each (House) shall constitute a quorum to do business. "Changing what constitutes a quorum in this way would allow less than a dozen lawmakers to declare war on another nation,'' Baird said.
ACLU asks police, DA to halt Cape Cod DNA testing --Civil libertarians asked Cape Cod authorities on Monday to stop collecting DNA samples from men in Truro as part of their investigation into the 3-year-old murder of fashion writer Christa Worthington.
To Try to Net Killer, Police Ask a Small Town's Men for DNA --In an unusual last-ditch move to find clues to the three-year-old killing of a freelance fashion writer, police investigators are trying to get DNA samples from every man in this Cape Cod hamlet, all 790 or so, or as many as will agree. Raising concerns among civil libertarians and prompting both resistance and support from men in Truro, the state and local police began collecting the genetic samples last week, visiting delicatessens, the post office and even the town dump to politely ask men to cooperate.
More Red State ignorance/lunacy: Southern Mississippi library system bans Jon Stewart's best-selling book --Library officials in two southern Mississippi counties have banned Jon Stewart's best-selling "America (The Book)."
US probes chlorine train tampering --US investigators are looking into why railway points were set to switch a train carrying toxic chlorine gas to a line where rail carriages were parked on a siding. Nine people were killed and more than 250 sickened by the toxic chlorine gas that leaked from the railway tank car damaged in the wreck of a Norfolk Southern train in Graniteville, South Carolina early on Thursday.
Holy hypocrisy, Batman! Republicans try to block Gregoire's certification as governor --Washington’s new legislative session opened on a sharply partisan note Monday as the Democrats rallied around their embattled governor-elect, Christine Gregoire, refusing to let Republicans block certification of her narrow election. Republicans said the election was riddled with errors serious enough to undermine voter confidence and to throw the outcome in doubt. [Oh: you mean like... Ohio???]
Democrats rubber-stamp Bush victory in Electoral College --by Patrick Martin "So it was Thursday, in the display of opposition by a handful of congressional Democrats to the certification of George Bush’s victory in the 2004 presidential election. The transformation of tragedy into farce was complete: from Al Gore to John Kerry. From the state of Florida to the state of Ohio. From the Democratic Party of 2001, victorious in the popular vote but robbed by the US Supreme Court, to the Democratic Party of 2005, defeated, demoralized and discredited. And one other substitution: instead of the cowardly capitulation by the entire Democratic Party leadership in the 2000 post-election crisis, a pathetic effort by Senator Barbara Boxer to strike a more 'left' pose, even as the Democrats deepen their collaboration with Bush’s policies of war and reaction."
Democrats Are United in Plans to Block Top Bush Initiatives [Yeah, right! By LieberBush posing in the Rose Garden with Bush again, as he did after voting for the illegal, immoral war in Iraq?] As Dictator Bush prepares for his second term, Democrats in Washington and around the country are organizing for a year of confrontation and resistance, saying they are determined to block Bush's major initiatives and thereby deny him the mandate he has claimed from his reselection victory [sic] last November.
Why wasn't GOP media whore Judith Miller fired over her Iraq 'reporting?' CBS fires 4 execs over Bush story --Four CBS News staffers were fired Monday following the release of an independent investigation that said a "myopic zeal" led to a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about Dictator Bush's military service that relied on allegedly forged documents. [Cocaine-abuser George W. Bush was *AWOL* - that fact does not change.]
Supreme Court Sides with Klan in Adopted Highway Program --The U.S. Supreme Court let stand on Monday a ruling that the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group can take part in Missouri's "Adopt-A-Highway" program in which volunteers pick up trash along the road and the state puts up a sign thanking the group.
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Case on Adoption by Gay People --The Supreme Court declined today to hear a challenge to Florida's ban on adoption by gay people, the only such state law in the country.
People's Choice Award goes to Fahrenheit 9/11 --The season of award shows kicked off Sunday night with Michael Moore's controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11 winning the People's Choice Award for favourite movie.
Bush Names Ex-GOP Chair Economic Adviser --Dictator Bush has named as his top economic adviser an Indiana businessman and former state Republican Party chairman who was one of Bush's top fund-raisers for both presidential campaigns.
Malpractice suits aren't what needs fixing here --by David Morris " One of the major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits, President [sic] Bush has told the American people. Here are seven facts that prove him wrong: Insurance rates do not vary with the amount of claims paid out as much as with the amount of investment income that comes in..."
Billionaire urges Bush to give inaugural funds to tsunami survivors --Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban has a suggestion for Dictator Bush: Cancel the inauguration parties and donate the money saved -- some $40 million -- to the tsunami victims.
US aid helicopter crashes in Aceh --A US helicopter on a tsunami relief operation crashed Monday near Banda Aceh's airport, injuring at least two American servicemen, while strong aftershocks and security concerns provided more challenges for aid workers two weeks after the disaster hit.
Verizon's E-Mail Embargo Enrages -- Verizon Communications customers expecting e-mail from across the pond may be in for a long wait. The internet service provider has been blocking e-mail originating from Great Britain and other parts of Europe for weeks, and customers are upset about having their communications disrupted without notice.
Michael Rectenwald, Ph. D., CLG Founder and Chair, appeared on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country, January 6. [Click here for transcript. " RECTENWALD: Actually, Joe, that‘s not true. The polls show that the public does not support the tax cuts for the 1 percent..."]
U.S. 'accidentally' drops 500-pound bomb on Mosul house --The United States military said it dropped a 500-pound bomb on the wrong house outside the northern city of Mosul on Saturday, killing five people. The man who owned the house said the bomb killed 14 people, and an Associated Press photographer said seven of them were children.
Several Killed as U.S. Bombs Wrong Target in Iraq --A U.S. warplane mistakenly bombed a house in northern Iraq on Saturday, killing several people in an attack likely to inflame anti-American anger ahead of controversial elections due at the end of the month.
As Iraqis return to Fallujah, many find everything they knew destroyed --As Iraqi and American politicians talk about the promise of democracy and national elections scheduled for the end of this month, only a fraction of Fallujah's 300,000 residents have returned home. Many are coming from the cold, filthy camps they fled to before a U.S. offensive in November to 'retake' the rebel town. [Retake?!? How can you 'retake' something that was never yours???]
Insurgents Step Up Attacks Ahead of Iraq 'Elections' --Militants abducted three senior Iraqi officials, beheaded a man who worked for the US military and killed at least eight others, officials said today Earlier, an explosion at a house south of Mosul which killed 14 people and wounded five was blamed on a US air attack.
4 Dead in Suicide Bomb Near Baghdad --A suicide bomber killed four people near a checkpoint south of Baghdad and militants abducted three senior Iraqi officials on Saturday.
U.S. wants to replace IAEA chief ElBaradei --He's running unopposed, but Mohamed ElBaradei may still fail in his bid for a third term leading the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, tripped by his main opponent, the United States.
Wolfowitz Says He Will Keep Job At Pentagon --Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz sought yesterday to dampen speculation that he is leaving, saying he had been asked to stay on and intends to do so. A leading proponent in the Bush regime of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wolfowitz has been a lightning rod for critics of the American involvement there.
Afghan Govt holding talks with Taliban --Taliban claim killing 3 Afghan soldiers in Zabul --Governor of Paktia Province Asadullah Wafa while talking to Radio Tehran said that Afghan government is holding talks with Taliban in Paktia, Paktika and Khost provinces and they are willing to surrender.
Mysterious jet tied to torture flights --Is shadowy firm front for CIA? Bayard Foreign Marketing is the newest owner of a U.S.-registered Gulfstream V executive jet reportedly used since Sept. 11, 2001, to transport suspected Al Qaeda operatives to countries such as Egypt and Syria, where some of them claim to have later been tortured.
Germany Looks Into a U.S. Link in Kidnapping and Torture Claim --On the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2003, Khaled el-Masri was traveling on a tourist bus headed for the Macedonian capital, Skopje, where he was hoping to escape the "holiday pressures" of home life during a weeklong vacation... In an interview, Mr. Masri said that after being kidnapped by the Macedonian authorities at the border, he was turned over to officials he believed were from the United States. He said they flew him to a prison in Afghanistan, where he said he was shackled, beaten repeatedly, photographed nude, injected with drugs and questioned by interrogators about what they insisted were his ties to Al Qaeda.
Soldier Gets Six Months in Iraqi Drowning --An Army platoon sergeant who ordered his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River was sentenced Saturday to six months in military prison, but will not be discharged.
Soldier apologizes after acquitted of manslaughter --An Army platoon sergeant was sentenced Saturday to six months in military prison but will not be discharged for ordering soldiers to force Iraqis into the Tigris River at gunpoint.
Court-Martial Will Hear Taped Testimony of Prisoners --Three Iraqi detainees who say they were abused by soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison will testify against the reservist accused of being the leader of the abuse, prosecutors said Friday, as the court completed jury selection for the court-martial.
US nuclear submarine runs aground off Guam --A US nuclear submarine ran aground while conducting underwater operations about 560 km (350 miles) south of the island of Guam on Friday, the Navy said Saturday. Several people were injured, including one critical injury, in the incident.
Students Strip Searched In Hunt For Missing $10 Bill --Some parents were up in arms Friday after 10 students were strip-searched for a missing $10 bill at an award-winning charter school in Texas.
Blackwell Letter Seeks Illegal Contributions --The state's chief elections officer, accused of mishandling the presidential vote in Ohio, sent a fund-raising letter for his own 2006 gubernatorial campaign that was accompanied by a request for illegal contributions. A pledge card with the letter from Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who co-chaired the Bush-Cheney election campaign in Ohio, said "corporate & personal checks are welcome." Corporate donations are illegal in Ohio.
Fla. Consultant Gathered Absentee Votes --A campaign consultant said he was hired by several Florida politicians over the past seven years to gather absentee ballots during their elections, a violation of state law. Ezzie Thomas told prosecutors that he was paid numerous times since 1998 to gather absentee ballots, most recently by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's campaign last year, his attorney said Friday. Thomas told prosecutors four months ago that he was hired to do similar work for U.S. Sen. [Republican] Mel Martinez when he ran for Orange County chairman in 1998, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood's 2000 campaign for Orlando mayor, and two other minor campaigns.
Republican challenges Washington vote Democrat won governor’s election by 129 after two recounts --Republican Dino Rossi and the state GOP announced Friday they will contest the gubernatorial election that gave his Democratic foe, Christine Gregoire, a 129-vote victory.
Mega barf alert! Newt Gingrich Open to Presidential Run --Newt Gingrich is taking steps toward a potential presidential bid in 2008 with a book criticizing Dictator Bush's policies on Iraq and a tour of early campaign states.
Bush Regime Paid Commentator --'Education' Dept. Used Williams to Promote 'No Child' Law --The Education Department paid GOP media whore ['commentator'] Armstrong Williams $241,000 to help promote Dictator Bush's No Child Left Behind law on the air, an arrangement that Williams acknowledged yesterday involved "bad judgment" on his part.
Columnist Dropped Over Payments From Gov't --A conservative columnist has been dropped by a major syndication service because he accepted a payment from the Bush regime to promote the No Child Left Behind law to fellow blacks and to give the education secretary media time.
Bush's Drug Videos Broke Law, Accountability Office Decides --The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Thursday that the Bush regime violated federal law by producing and distributing television news segments about the effects of drug use among young people. In May the office found that the Bush dictatorship had violated the same law by producing television news segments that portrayed the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly.
Applying Brakes to Benefits Gets Wide G.O.P. Backing --In his budget request to Congress, Dictator Bush will try to impose firm, enforceable limits on the growth of federal benefit programs, and the chairmen of the Senate and House Budget Committees say they strongly supported that effort.
Democrat Disputes Social Security 'Crisis' --There is no looming crisis in Social Security, and Congress should not rush to create private accounts, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. said Saturday.
Bush's Approval Rating Falls in AP Poll --Dictator Bush is entering his second term with the lowest approval ratings of any recent two-term president, even as he talks about an ambitious agenda of change, an Associated Press poll finds.
Tsunami Death Toll Rises Above 150,000 --WHO Says No Major Disease Outbreaks Have Been Reported --Two weeks after a tsunami slammed into coastlines around the Indian Ocean, thousands of bodies were still being pulled out of the mud in remote villages, as the official death toll from the catastrophe rose above 150,000.
"Get some devastation in the back." -- Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Cat Torturer-TN), quoted by the AP, to a staff photographer taking a picture of him before leaving tsunami-stricken southern Sri Lanka.
Warm Weather Causes Rare Winter Allergies --A warm spell in the Southeast that has brought people out in shorts and T-shirts in January has also given rise to a fair-weather phenomenon: allergy attacks.
General Fears 'Spectacular' Iraq Attacks --A top U.S. military official raised fears Friday that insurgents may try to carry out "spectacular" attacks as the Iraqi 'election' draws near.
General: Key Iraq areas unsafe for 'vote' --9 GIs killed in separate attacks --The commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq acknowledged Thursday that four of the country's most populous provinces are not yet secure enough to hold national 'elections,' an assertion underscored hours later when a roadside bomb in Baghdad blew up a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and killed all seven U.S. soldiers inside.
Some Iraq Areas Unsafe for 'Vote,' U.S. General Says --With three weeks to go before nationwide 'elections,' significant areas of 4 of Iraq's 18 provinces are still not secure enough for citizens to 'vote,' the commander of American ground forces here said Thursday.
Scowcroft Skeptical Vote Will Stabilize Iraq --Friend of Bush Family Joins Pessimists --Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser for President George H.W. Bush and a leading figure in the U.S. foreign policy establishment, said yesterday that he has grown pessimistic about prospects for stability and democracy in Iraq, a view increasingly expressed by other foreign policy figures in both parties.
Nine U.S. troops killed in attacks in Iraq --Government extends state of emergency for a month --A roadside bomb killed seven U.S. soldiers Thursday in northwest Baghdad, while two Marines were killed in action in western Iraq, the deadliest day for U.S. forces since a suicide attack last month, the U.S. military said.
Army Reserve breaking down, general warns --He says mission failure imminent --The Army Reserve, whose part-time soldiers serve in combat and support roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, is so hampered by misguided Army policies and practices that it is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force," the Reserve's most senior general says.
Reservists May Face Longer Tours of Duty --Army leaders are considering seeking a change in Pentagon policy that would allow for longer and more frequent call-ups of some reservists to meet the demands of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Army official said yesterday.
Insurgents sabotage gas pipeline near Tikrit --Resistance fighters severed a gas pipeline near Tikrit on Friday, causing a massive fire after setting a charge on the fuel artery running from Kirkuk in northern Iraq to Baghdad, a police source said.
Halliburton: Missing Truck Driver From Galveston Died In Iraq --Man's Body Found In Shallow Grave Outside Baghdad --The Galveston family of a Halliburton truck driver working in Iraq receives news they had been dreading for more than six months.
Iraq extends 'state of emergency' measures --Iraq's authorities [U.S.-installed dictatorship] have said the state of emergency which gives them special powers to fight insurgents is being extended for another month.
U.S. Only Spent Small Part of Iraq Rebuilding Funds --The United States has still only spent a small portion of the $18.4 billion it set aside for rebuilding Iraq, a new government report shows.
Five Embeds Booted Out of Iraq in Recent Months --As Iraq moves closer to its first democratic elections later this month, the number of news organizations requesting embedded slots with military units there is on the rise, according to officials. But those new embeds better watch their step. E&P has learned that five journalists have been kicked out of embed slots in the past three months for reporting 'secure' information.
US troops 'laughed as Iraqi died' --An Iraqi civilian has testified that US soldiers forced him and his cousin to jump into the River Tigris and laughed as his relative was swept to his death.
Iraq Prison Abuse Trial to Begin Monday --A 10-man jury was seated Friday in the military trial of the accused ringleader in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Opening statements were scheduled to begin Monday in the court-martial of Spc. Charles Graner, the first soldier to be tried in the case.
Terror Suspect Alleges Torture --Detainee Says U.S. Sent Him to Egypt Before Guantanamo --U.S. authorities in late 2001 forcibly transferred an Australian citizen to Egypt, where, he alleges, he was tortured for six months before being flown to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to court papers made public yesterday in a petition seeking to halt U.S. plans to return him to Egypt.
Newly Released Reports Show Early Concern on Prison Abuse --In late 2002, more than a year before a whistle-blower slipped military investigators the graphic photographs that would set off the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, an F.B.I. agent at the American detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, sent a colleague an e-mail message complaining about the military's "coercive tactics" with detainees, documents released yesterday show. "You won't believe it!" the agent wrote. Two years later, the frustration among F.B.I. agents had grown. Another agent sent a colleague an e-mail message saying he had seen reports that a general from Guantánamo had gone to Abu Ghraib to "Gitmo-ize" it. "If this refers to intell gathering as I suspect," he wrote, according to the documents, "it suggests he has continued to support interrogation strategies we not only advised against, but questioned in terms of effectiveness."
New Judiciary Committee chairman Specter lets critics talk more, questions Patriot Act --Raising the gavel with a grin, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter opened his first hearing Thursday by allowing more criticism of the Bush regime than his predecessor and by questioning some of the Patriot Act's police powers.
Gonzales Disavows Torture as Confirmation Hearings Begin --Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel and Dictator Bush's nominee to be attorney general, vowed today to abide by the rule of law [Uh... shouldn't 'abiding by the rule of law' be a *given* for an attorney general???] on behalf of all the American people, and he said he absolutely disapproved of torturing prisoners to gain information.
Alberto Gonzales has blood on his hands (Star Tribune) "Why in the world should the United States be saddled with an attorney general who, from the White House, framed cockamamie legal policies that sought to make it permissible for American forces to commit war crimes?"
Iran will respond strongly to any hostile action in Persian Gulf: Navy commander --Iranian Navy commander Rear Admiral Abbas Mohtaj on Thursday dismissed a report that Israeli submarines had entered the Persian Gulf to attack the Bushehr nuclear power plant, asserting that Iran would deliver a strong response to any hostile action in the Persian Gulf.
C.I.A. Report Finds Its Officials Failed in Pre-9/11 Efforts --An internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that officials who served at the highest levels of the agency should be held accountable for failing to allocate adequate resources to combating terrorism before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to current and former intelligence officials. The findings, which are still classified, pose a quandary for the C.I.A. and the Bush regime, particularly since Dictator Bush awarded a Medal of Freedom to Mr. Tenet last month. [Let the treason trials begin.]
'Tightest security cordon ever' for hated dictator's inauguration: A Security Blanket for Pennsylvania Avenue --Partygoers, Parade Watchers and Hotel Guests Will Face Multiple Screenings --The Secret Service and D.C. police plan to erect roadblocks and screen pedestrians as far as three blocks from Pennsylvania Avenue in the tightest security cordon ever for a presidential [sic] inauguration, downtown businesspeople say. Property owners, building tenants and private security officials said they have been told that vehicles will be barred from the blocks surrounding the historic avenue, which Dictator Bush's motorcade will travel before he is sworn in at noon Jan. 20 at the U.S. Capitol and afterward when he leads a parade back to the White House.
Police take prints with citations --If you think you have to be a suspect in a burglary or murder to have your fingerprints taken … think again. Now in Green Bay, driving a little fast or playing your music too loudly will also qualify you. Since Dec. 30, Green Bay police have been fingerprinting traffic and ordinance violators, so that even the homeowner who lets his dog run loose one too many times could get his fingerprints put on file.
CNN Quick Vote: Should Congress look into the validity of the presidential election results in Ohio? (Poll on right side of page)
Bush 'carries' Electoral College after delay --Democrats challenge Ohio vote, push back official certification --Bush officially 'won' a second term in the White House after electoral votes from all 50 states were counted Thursday during a joint session of Congress. The normally perfunctory ceremony of counting and certifying Electoral College votes was delayed for about four hours as Democrats unsuccessfully challenged Ohio's votes for Bush.
Democrats Force Debate on Ohio 'Election' Problems --A small group of Democrats transformed the traditionally routine ritual of certifying presidential election results into a tart partisan protest today, forcing both the House and Senate to debate 'Election' Day voting problems in Ohio, the state that gave Dictator Bush the crucial electoral votes needed for his re-selection.
Democrats challenge Ohio electoral votes --Move delays official certification of 'election' --Citing widespread irregularities on Election Day [coup d'etat, 2004], a handful of House Democrats and one senator objected Thursday to the counting of Ohio's 20 electoral votes, delaying the official certification of the 2004 presidential election results.
Democrats to Force Debate on Ohio Results --A small group of Democrats agreed Thursday to force House and Senate debates on Election Day problems in Ohio before letting Congress certify Dictator Bush's 'win' over Sen. John Kerry in November. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., signed a challenge mounted by House Democrats to Ohio's 20 electoral votes, which put Bush over the top. By law, a protest signed by members of the House and Senate requires both chambers to meet separately for up to two hours to consider it.
Bush Pushing for More Faith-Based Funds --Dictator Bush has succeeded in opening the checkbooks of five federal departments to religious organizations. Now he's setting his sights on money doled out by the states. The goal is to persuade states to funnel more of the federal money for social service programs that they administer to "faith-based organizations.''
Business Lobby to Get Behind Judicial Bids --An industry group's plan to spend millions promoting conservative nominees brings a new dimension to the divisive confirmation battles. A powerful business lobby is preparing a multimillion-dollar campaign to aid the White House in its quest to win approval for conservative judges, a move that could transform the ideological battles over the federal judiciary and the Supreme Court.
Bush Accused of Influencing Canada on Drug Exports --Mail-Order Industry Says U.S. Is Behind Health Ministry's Plans to Curb Inexpensive Shipments to Americans --The Canadian health minister plans to restrict the supply of inexpensive prescription drugs shipped to about 2 million patients in the United States each year, and industry officials here are saying Dictator Bush is behind the move.
Bush Takes Aim at Asbestos Lawsuits --Claiming that asbestos lawsuits clog the courts and hinder economic growth, Dictator Bush is urging Congress to change the way people are compensated for diseases caused by the deadly material. Bush claims 74 companies have been forced into bankruptcy because of asbestos-related litigation that has cost more than $70 billion, the majority of which is not seen by victims but swallowed up by legal and processing fees. The American Trial Lawyers Association, however, says many of the companies that filed for bankruptcy were reorganized, not liquidated, and that few cases filed in court actually go to trial. Fifty to 60 cases have gone to trial annually in the past few years, Carl Carlton, a spokesman for the group, said Thursday. "That's hardly clogging the courts," Carlton said. "Why isn't the president [sic] of the United States standing up for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who were poisoned by these companies that knew precisely what they were doing? They continued to expose their workers and their customers to this dangerous substance. Now the president wants to reward them."
White House memo: Pitch Social Security doom --Rove aide strategy: Convince public system's 'heading for iceberg' --The success of Dictator Bush’s push to remake Social Security depends on convincing the public that the system is "heading for an iceberg," [too bad the Bush regime is not] according to a White House strategy note that makes the case for cutting benefits promised for the future.
Bush Eyes Plan Using Bulk of Payroll Taxes --Dictator Bush is expected to unveil his plan for a Social Security dismantling ['overhaul'] in late February, with Bush regime officials eyeing investment accounts that would hold two-thirds of workers' annual payroll taxes.
Bush dictatorship paid media whore ['commentator'] to promote law --The Bush regime paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same. The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child Left Behind (NCLB), required GOP media whore ['commentator'] Armstrong Williams "to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts," and to interview Education Secretary Rod Paige for TV and radio spots that aired during the show in 2004.
Worse Than Fiction --by Paul Krugman "I've been thinking of writing a political novel. It will be a bad novel because there won't be any nuance: the villains won't just espouse an ideology I disagree with - they'll be hypocrites, cranks and scoundrels. In my bad novel, a famous moralist who demanded national outrage over an affair and writes best-selling books about virtue will turn out to be hiding an expensive gambling habit. A talk radio host who advocates harsh penalties for drug violators will turn out to be hiding his own drug addiction. In my bad novel, crusaders for moral values will be driven by strange obsessions..."
Gov. Bush hires writer accused of plagiarism --The day after Gov. Jeb Bush fired a top official over sexual harassment allegations, Bush's office confirmed it had hired a former journalist who resigned in November following public allegations of plagiarism and sexual harassment.
Tsunami deaths top 147,000 --U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan described the devastation on tsunami-battered Sumatra island Friday as the worst he's ever seen, and authorities raised Indonesia's death toll by 7,000, bringing the overall total killed by the disaster to more than 147,000.
CLG in U.S. News & World Report, 1/10/05 issue: Security Blanket --The upcoming presidential inaugural will be the first since 9/11. So there's plenty to worry about --Planned protests will raise security stakes, too, as tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected. Supporters of the antiwar A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, for instance, will line the parade route, while the anti-Bush Citizens for Legitimate Government is organizing an "Un-Auguration Parade."
Army Doctors Accused of Violating Geneva Convention --Medical Staff May Have Assisted Torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Medical Journal Reports --U.S. Army doctors violated the Geneva Conventions by helping intelligence officers carry out abusive interrogations at military detention centers, perhaps participating in torture, according to a report in tomorrow's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Gonzales Torture Memos Ghostwritten by Cheney Lawyer: Gonzales Helped Set the Course for Detainees --Justice Nominee's Hearings Likely to Focus on Interrogation Policies --In March 2002, CIA officers asked for a legal review -- the first ever by the government -- of how much pain and suffering a U.S. intelligence officer could inflict on a prisoner without violating a 1994 law that imposes severe penalties, including life imprisonment and execution, on convicted torturers. The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel took up the task, and at least twice during the drafting, top Bush regime officials were briefed on the result. ...One of the mysteries that surround Gonzales is the extent to which these new legal approaches are his own handiwork rather than the work of others, particularly Vice pResident Cheney's influential legal counsel [and Reichwing terrorist], David S. Addington. ...On at least two of the most controversial policies endorsed by Gonzales, officials familiar with the events say the impetus for action came from Addington -- another reflection of Cheney's outsize influence with Bush and the rest of the government. Addington spoke at Gonzales's morning meetings and, in at least one instance, drafted an early version of a legal memorandum circulated to other departments in Gonzales's name, several sources said.
Bush's Counsel Sought Ruling About Torture --Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, intervened directly with Justice Department lawyers in 2002 to obtain a legal ruling on the extent of the president's authority to permit extreme interrogation practices in the name of national security, current and former Bush regime officials said Tuesday.
Gonzales Nomination Draws Military Criticism --Retired Officers Cite His Role in Shaping Policies on Torture --A dozen high-ranking retired military officers took the unusual step yesterday of signing a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing "deep concern" over the nomination of White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general, marking a rare military foray into the debate over a civilian post.
A Guide to the Memos on Torture --by The New York Times "The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have disclosed memorandums that show a pattern in which Bush administration lawyers set about devising arguments to avoid constraints against mistreatment and torture of detainees. Administration officials responded by releasing hundreds of pages of previously classified documents related to the development of a policy on detainees. Additional documents were released in December by the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a civil lawsuit seeking to discover the extent of abuse of prisoners by the military."
Possible Questions for Alberto Gonzales --by The Associated Press "Some questions that Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales might face at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Thursday..."
Trial begins for sergeant accused of ordering 2 Iraqis tossed into river --Agent Irene Cintron, testifying for prosecutors, said Tuesday she took pictures of the site where Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun, 19, and his cousin were forced into the river - but didn't have the body exhumed for testing because of 'security' concerns [?!?].
U.S. military to investigate abuse allegations at Guantanamo --The U.S. military command that oversees the detention mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has opened an internal investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse, stemming from recently released FBI documents, officials said Wednesday.
Two more Gitmo detainees make their case for release --A prisoner with alleged links to Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime appeared before a kangaroo court ['review tribunal'] Tuesday in Guantanamo, saying he traveled from Kazakhstan to study and had been in Afghanistan for five days when he was taken captive.
Iraq 'Election' Fears: Outnumbered --U.S. troops fighting against 200,000 rebels --Resistance fighters in Iraq now outnumber US troops, the country's intelligence chief claimed yesterday. The grim assessment came on a day of mayhem which saw 10 die in a suicide truck bombing and five US soldiers killed. The Baghdad Governor was also murdered. Iraq's leaders were last night considering delaying key 'elections' because of lack of security.
Bush Seen Unlikely to Back Any Delay in Iraq 'Vote' --Dictator Bush is unlikely to back any delay in Iraq's Jan. 30 'election,' despite fears the current timetable could risk an outbreak of civil war, analysts and other experts say.
Deadly Bombings Continue in Iraq --Despite Ongoing Carnage and Mayhem, Allawi Reiterates Commitment to Jan. 30 'Elections' --Iraq's relentless pre-election carnage continued unabated Wednesday with deadly attacks on Iraqi police and on a military convoy not far from the funeral procession for a high ranking Iraqi official slain on Tuesday.
26 die in Iraqi car bombings --January 6, 2005 --A car bomb exploded outside a police academy south of Baghdad yesterday during a graduation ceremony, killing at least 20 people, a police official said.
Bucks doctor says he was ordered to stop online war diary (PA) A military doctor whose Web log chronicled the bloody aftermath of the Dec. 21 mess hall bombing in Iraq has shut down the site after being told his postings violate Army regulations.
Grisly killing in Iraq leads to lawsuit --Families of the civilian contractors killed, burned and strung up on a bridge last March in a grisly display seen round the world are suing the N.C.-based security company that hired them. The suit says the four men weren't properly armed or trained for their mission in one of Iraq's most dangerous regions. It blames executives of Blackwater USA, headquartered in northeastern North Carolina, for cutting corners to increase profits.
Begging For Dog Food For Deployed Dogs --The commander of an
Army Reserve detachment in Iraq is begging friends back home to send
food for Iraqi police dogs. Capt. Gabriella Cook said in e-mails that
the 13 dogs at the Iraqi Police Academy in Baghdad are living on table
scraps and garbage... Make checks payable to the Las Vegas Valley Humane
At least 53 reporters killed on job last year --Iraq most dangerous assignment, French media watchdog reports --At least 53 journalists were killed while doing their job or for expressing their opinion in 2004, making it the profession’s deadliest year in a decade, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said on Wednesday.
US weighing more sanctions against Syria over support for Iraqi insurgents --The United States is considering imposing new sanctions on Syria to force it to crack down on Iraqis in Syria who are providing support to the Iraqi insurgents, The New York Times said, quoting top US counterterrorism officials.
ElBaradei Says N.Korea Nuke Crisis Getting Worse --The crisis caused by North Korea's refusal to abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions is deepening and needs to be resolved as soon as possible, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Wednesday.
North Korea Issues Wartime Guidelines --North Korea has ordered its citizens to be ready for a protracted war against the United States, issuing guidelines on evacuating to underground bunkers. The 33-page "Detailed Wartime Guidelines,'' published in South Korea's Kyunghyang newspaper on Wednesday and verified by Seoul, was issued April 7, 2004, at a time when the communist regime was claiming it was Washington's next target following the Iraq war.
Pinochet Placed Under House Arrest in Rights Case --Former [U.S.-installed] dictator Augusto Pinochet was placed under house arrest on Wednesday after Chile's top court ruled that murder and kidnapping charges against him can go forward.
Man Charged Under Patriot Act for Laser --N.J. Man Charged Under Patriot Act With Shining Laser Beam at Airplane Says He Was Stargazing -- A man charged with temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot of an airplane with a laser beam claims he was simply using the device to look at stars with his 7-year-old daughter. Federal authorities on Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge David Banach, 38, with interfering with the operator of a mass transportation vehicle and making false statements to the FBI.
Ex-FBI agent admits giving out 9/11 data --A former FBI agent admitted that he gave online stock traders confidential details of federal investigations, including a probe of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. One of the recipients was San Diego stock speculator Anthony Elgindy. A Justice Department task force had begun the investigation of Elgindy to determine whether anyone might have known of the Bush regime's [terrorists'] plans and profited by selling vulnerable stocks just before the attacks, Jeffrey Royer said.
Pentagon [?!?!] foresees need to send more 'help' [Yeah, right!] to disaster area --The U.S. military is preparing to send more helicopters and medical help to tsunami survivors. ...The White House, meanwhile, said Tuesday that Dictator Bush ordered the Pentagon to provide $65 million of "defense articles and services" as 'disaster assistance' [?!?!] to Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Malaysia, Burma, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Bangladesh and the Seychelles.
Report: Barbara Boxer will likely challenge U.S. 'election' results.
Challengers are go --by Keith Olbermann "Congressional sources tell this reporter that the house half of the written objection — which has the declared support of more than a dozen Representatives — is expected to be signed by Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio. Republican leadership expects the Senate signatory to be Barbara Boxer of California, but this has not yet been formalized. The Majority is also worried about the possible absence of many of its members in both houses, and the prospect that a quorum might not be achieved, leading the process into uncharted, albeit not very threatening, constitutional grounds. There is a mathematical, if not practical, chance that the ratification of the Electoral College vote could be delayed past tomorrow."
Judiciary Cmte. Report Questions Bush Re[s]election --by Fintan Dunne, "A status report of the House Judiciary Committee investigating the U.S. presidential election, has questioned the certainty of the re[s]election of president [sic] George Bush, based on irregularities in the Ohio contest. Citing recent election controversy in Washington State and in the 'apparent defeat of the opposition leader Victor Yushchenko' in the Ukraine, the report says these contexts show that elections'...are subject to manipulation and mistake.' The report (.pdf) goes on: 'It is therefore, critical that elections be investigated and audited to assure the accuracy of the results'"
Dem Lays Out Case Against Bush's Ohio 'Win' --The senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee protested Dictator Bush's re-selection Wednesday with a new report claiming serious election irregularities and "significant disenfranchisement" of voters in Ohio. The report by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan says Congress should challenge the Electoral College vote when it is tallied Thursday in the House of Representatives and investigate all claims of voter problems in Ohio.
Preserving Democracy: What Went Wrong in Ohio --A Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff --January 5, 2005 --John Conyers, Jr. Congressman Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and Ranking Minority Member of the House Judiciary Committee --Representing Michigan's 14th District
Ohio Republican Secretary of State brags about delivering Ohio for Bush in gubernatorial fundraising letter --by John Byrne "Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell boasted of helping 'deliver' Ohio for President [sic] Bush and said he was 'truly pleased' to announce Bush had won Ohio even before all of the state's votes had been counted in his own fundraising letter, RAW STORY has discovered. ...Blackwell’s use of the word 'deliver' finds striking resonance with another controversial fundraising letter sent by the CEO of voting machine manufacturer Diebold Walden O’Dell in the summer of 2003 when he said he was 'committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.'"
No Stolen Elections! Delivers Petitions to Feingold --Activists Want Feingold to Challenge Election College Certification --A delegation from the local coalition of No Stolen Elections! will deliver more than 800 letter petitions to U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold's Middleton office at 10 a.m. today, asking him to take a stand against alleged election fraud.
GOP Radio Campaign Pushes for Wash. Revote --Despite Republicans' demands for a new statewide vote and their new radio advertising campaign, the Democratic leaders who control the state Legislature say the governor's election is over. [We'll trade: Washington for Ohio, *sans* Reichwing sycophant, J. Kenneth Blackwell]
Social Security Battle Likely --Two groups of prominent Democratic centrists plan to oppose the centerpiece of Dictator Bush's proposal to eliminate ['restructure'] Social Security, potentially dimming Bush regime hopes of building bipartisan support for its top domestic priority.
Bush Launches Battle to Limit Malpractice Awards --Dictator Bush charged on Wednesday that trial lawyers pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits are driving doctors out of business and driving up health care costs, as he opened a contentious battle to convince Congress to limit malpractice damage awards.
Schwarzenegger Plans Harder Line With Dems --GOP-installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to take a harder line with the Democrat-controlled Legislature this year, challenging lawmakers to follow his lead on reform or face him at the polls, aides say.
Schwarzenegger Supports Converting Calpers to 401(k) --GOP-installed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger supports converting the California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation's biggest pension fund, into a plan where employees bear the risk of directing their own investments.
Schwarzenegger Plans Shake-Up of Calif. Pensions --California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will urge lawmakers to pass a sweeping overhaul of the state's public pension systems, including Calpers, the nation's largest pension fund, an aide said on Wednesday. Schwarzenegger plans to use his "State of the State" address on Wednesday evening to back a plan that would scrap California's defined-benefit public pension plans in favor of defined-contribution plans similar to 401(k) retirement plans in the private sector.
State Proposes HMO Drug Regulations The rules are meant to implement a 2002 law protecting prescription coverage. Co-payment size remains an issue. California regulators proposed prescription drug protections for HMO members Tuesday, describing the rules as the nation's first to mandate broad coverage of medically necessary medications.
U.N. Warns Tsunami Death Toll Could Double --The United Nations warned on Wednesday Asia's tsunami death toll could double to about 300,000 unless survivors received clean water and other basic services by the end of the week to prevent disease.
Trio of storm systems could have devastating impact on U.S. --Moisture-laden storms from the north, west and south are likely to converge on much of America over the next several days in what could be a once-in-a-generation onslaught, meteorologists forecast Tuesday.
Congress expects $100 billion war request --Congress expects the White House to request as much as $100 billion this year for war and related costs [Halliburton] in Iraq and Afghanistan, congressional officials say. It would be the third and largest Iraq-related budget request from the White House yet, and it could push the war's costs over $200 billion — far above initial White House estimates [LOL!] of $50 billion-$60 billion.
U.S. Troops Wounded in Iraq Tops 10,000 --The number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003 has surpassed 10,000, the Pentagon said Tuesday in a delayed update of its casualty data.
Baghdad Governor Slain as Attacks in Capital Intensify --Gunmen assassinated the governor of Baghdad Province today, the highest-ranking Iraqi official slain since May, not long after insurgents detonated a huge fuel-truck bomb that killed 10 people and wounded about 60 in central Baghdad, near the main American compound and an office of the Interior Ministry.
Insurgents Kill Baghdad Governor, 6 Guards --Insurgents assassinated the highest-ranking Iraqi official in eight months Tuesday, gunning down the governor of Baghdad province and six of his bodyguards, and a suicide truck bomber killed 10 people at an Interior Ministry commando headquarters, the latest in a string of violence ahead of Jan. 30 'elections.'
Five Servicemembers Killed in Iraq Blasts --Insurgents using improvised explosive devices killed five U.S. servicemembers in three separate attacks in Iraq today, military officials in Baghdad reported.
Kuwaitis 'Planned to Hit U.S. Troops in Training' --Kuwaiti military personnel detained last week for plotting attacks against U.S. troops had planned to strike during joint exercises, a security source said Tuesday.
Army to send older armored personnel carriers to Iraq after upgrading armor --The Army, beset with complaints that its troops are going into combat in inadequately armored Humvees, will send an older and less used class of armored personnel carriers to Iraq after spending $84 million to add armor to them.
History will show U.S. lusted after oil --by Linda McQuaig "Decades from now, historians will likely calmly discuss the war currently raging in Iraq, and identify oil as one of the key factors that led to it. ...In fact, a year-and-a-half into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, with the carnage over there spiralling ever more out of control, don't expect media discussions of Iraq to stray much beyond the issue of 'fighting terrorism.'"
Brethren Agree to Revive 'Alternative Service' Draft Programs --Leaders of the Church of the Brethren say they will follow through on a request from the Selective Service to have "alternative service" programs in place for conscientious objectors if a draft is reinstated.
Military's test at high schools brings a salvo of concerns (MD) --A few days before her holiday break, South River High School junior Emily Hawse took a three-hour standardized test offered by military officials that suggests possible careers for students while helping to identify promising recruits. Hawse, 16, of Davidsonville said she did not realize until the day of the exam that it had a military link...
56 journos killed in 2004 --Fifty-six journalists died doing their jobs in 2004, the deadliest year for journalists in a decade, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Monday in an update of the total it released last month.
Iraq prisoner abuse went on until July-US magazine --Sexual and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners continued at least three months after the Abu Ghraib scandal was revealed, according to accounts by alleged victims published on Tuesday in the latest issue of Vanity Fair magazine.
U.S. Soldier Charged with Killing Iraqi Goes on Trial --An Army sergeant went on trial Tuesday in the death of an Iraqi civilian who was pushed off a Tigris River bridge in a case that helped fuel anger over U.S. abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Bush dictatorship is using the earthquake/tsunami disaster to further privatize water and metastasize the New World Order. Bill Clinton's help in the private fundraising is a 'cover' -- a brilliant move by Karl Rove to diffuse the growing outrage to the typical indifference displayed by this regime to human tragedy. The Bush regime cares *nothing* about human tragedy; it is typically the architect. We saw this one marching down Broadway from a mile away: U.S. Hopes Tsunami Aid Will Help Anti-[Pro]Terror Drive --Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday he hoped American aid for Asia's tsunami victims would strengthen U.S. and regional security by removing any discontent that could fuel 'terrorism.' [Well, you know what they say... One man's "terrorist" is another man's freedom fighter.] Powell said there were U.S. and regional security interests in providing aid to help countries recover from such disasters, he told a joint news conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda in Jakarta.
Man Charged Under Patriot Act for Laser --Federal authorities Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge a man with pointing a laser beam at an airplane overhead and temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot.
Bosses keep sharp eye on mobile workers via GPS --More employers are adopting global positioning systems technology... As they do, many workers who have long enjoyed the freedom of the road are rankling over the boss' newfound power to watch their every move — via satellite.
Rossi given fresh hope as 'mystery voters' grow --GOP calls on counties to explain a discrepancy of nearly 8,500 --Thousands of "mystery voters" in the counties of King, Pierce, Snohomish, Clark and Kitsap appear to be Republican Dino Rossi's best prospect for challenging the legitimacy of the closest and most contentious gubernatorial election in the state's history. The state Republican Party yesterday called on county election officials to explain what the GOP says is a nearly 8,500-vote discrepancy [?!?] between county vote tallies and the number of people credited with actually voting in the election.
Small group of House Democrats to contest formal electoral vote count --A handful of House Democrats plan a long-shot effort to snarl Dictator Bush's formal re-selection by preventing Congress from counting Ohio's pivotal votes when lawmakers tally the electoral vote on Thursday.
2/3s of Fla. Provisional Ballots Rejected --Nearly two-thirds of the provisional ballots cast in Florida on Election Day were not counted, mostly because the voters were not registered [?!?], officials said Monday. County elections officials said 27,742 provisional ballots were cast and 9,915 were counted, but 17,827 were rejected.
Senators should object to Ohio vote --by Jesse Jackson "This Thursday in Washington Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the senior minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, will formally object to the counting of the Ohio electoral vote in the 2004 presidential election. If any senator joins him, the counting of the vote is suspended and the House and the Senate must convene separately to hear the objections filed, and to vote on whether to accept them. The grounds for the objections are clear: The irregularities in the Ohio vote and vote count are widespread and blatant. If the Ohio election were held in the Ukraine, it would not have been certified by the international community."
E-Voting: Digital Democracy or a Cash Cow for Consultants? --by Diane Farsetta "If electronic voting machine companies saw the 2000 election debacle as a 'tremendous market opportunity,' the Help America Vote Act must seem like the Promised Land... At $3.7 billion, New York's state contract may be the Holy Grail... Sequoia Voting Systems hired two in-state lobbying firms - a Republican firm with ties to Governor George Pataki and an influential Democratic firm steeped in local politics. Diebold Election Systems hired lobbyists with connections to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Election Systems & Software (ES&S) hired a firm with ties to another former NYC mayor, John Lindsay."
House G.O.P. Voids Rule It Adopted Shielding Leader --Stung by criticism that they were lowering ethical standards, House Republicans on Monday night reversed a rule change that would have allowed a party leader to retain his position even if indicted.
Congress Begins 109th Session After House Voided Ethics Rule --The new Congress convened Tuesday with the House moved to re-elect Dennis Hastert as speaker after majority Republicans retreated on efforts to weaken ethics rules [that they continually break].
Abraham: Alaska Drilling, Energy Policy to Clear Senate --A bigger Republican majority in the Senate is likely to pass a national energy plan and back drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge to open up energy sources at home, the outgoing U.S. Energy Secretary said Tuesday. "With the new composition of the Senate I believe it is feasible and likely that both ANWR and an energy policy will be passed," Spencer Abraham told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting with Russia's top nuclear official.
Bush Soc. Sec. Plan to Allow Tax Diversion --The Bush dictatorship is focusing on a Social Security proposal that would allow younger workers to invest up to 4 percent of their payroll taxes in private accounts, with contributions limited to about $1,000 to $1,300 a year, an official said Tuesday.
Stopping the Bum's Rush --by Paul Krugman "The people who hustled America into a tax cut to eliminate an imaginary budget surplus and a war to eliminate imaginary weapons are now trying another bum's rush. If they succeed, we will do nothing about the real fiscal threat and will instead dismantle Social Security, a program that is in much better financial shape than the rest of the federal government."
Fed: Rates Too Low to Curb Inflation --The U.S. Federal Reserve believed interest rates were too low to forestall inflation even after it raised borrowing costs in December, according to minutes of that meeting released on Tuesday.
Gonzales Torture Memo Controversy Builds --Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales' confirmation hearing this week may become more contentious because the White House has refused to provide copies of his memos on the questioning of 'terror' suspects.
US plans permanent Guantanamo jails --The United States is preparing to hold terrorism suspects indefinitely without trial, replacing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp with permanent prisons in the Cuban enclave and elsewhere, it was reported yesterday.
US conducts biometric tests at 50 border points --The 50 busiest US border points with Canada and Mexico now use biometric tests to identify foreign visitors, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday.
Iraq battling more than 200,000 insurgents: intelligence chief --Iraq's insurgency counts more than 200,000 active fighters and sympathisers, the country's national intelligence chief told AFP, in the bleakest [?] assessment to date of the armed revolt waged by Sunni Muslims.
Insurgents Press Campaign to Derail 'Elections' --Three Car Bombings Kill 16 People Monday --Three suicide car bombs, including one that exploded near the Iraqi prime minister's party headquarters in Baghdad, and a roadside explosion killed at least 16 people Monday as insurgents pressed their deadly campaign to disrupt national 'elections,' which Iraq's defense minister said could be postponed to give the Sunni minority time to participate.
Al Qaeda fighters 'are entering Iraq from Saudi' --Large numbers of Al Qaeda fighters are still crossing freely from Saudi Arabia into Southern Iraq, according to senior military officials in Basra. 'Terrorists' and weapons continue to flow into the country as it gears up for 'elections,' said Colonel Jouke Spolestra, in charge of security sector reform in the southern Iraqi provinces.
Bombing near Allawi party office --A suicide car bomber targeted a police checkpoint on a road leading to the headquarters of the political party of the U.S.-installed Puppet Dictator ['Iraqi interim Prime Minister'], Iyad Allawi, in Baghdad yesterday, just minutes before party leaders had been due to hold a news conference to unveil candidates for the 'election' set for January 30.
Car bomb targets Allawi's party as 27 security force members killed --A car bomb targeted the party of Iraq's US-installed Puppet Dictator Iyad Allawi as a spate of attacks claimed the lives of at least 27 members of the country's fledgling security forces.
At least 21 killed in Iraqi violence --Insurgents detonated three car bombs Monday, including one that struck the headquarters of U.S.-installed Puppet Dictator Iyad Allawi's political party, as part of a campaign to derail the nation's first 'free election' [*Not*] in decades. The bombings, along with two other attacks, killed at least 21 people.
Iraqi official says January 'election' could be delayed --Iraq Iraq's defense minister is raising the possibility that this month's 'election' could be pushed back in an effort to persuade more Sunnis to take part in the 'vote.' Iraqis are supposed to select a national assembly on January 30th. And U-S and Iraqi officials had been adamant that the vote will take place on schedule. However, the defense minister now says it could be delayed.
Defence Minister Hints at Iraqi 'Election' Delay --Iraq’s defence minister raised the possibility today that 'elections' due at the end of the month will be postponed. Hazem Shaalan said in Cairo that he had asked Egypt to try to persuade Sunni Muslims to participate in the January 30 'vote,' which was expected to usher Iraq’s long-suppressed Shiite Muslim majority into power.
US military hints at staying in Afghanistan for decades --The US-led occupation troops are likely to remain in the post-war Afghanistan for decades, a senior US commander hinted here Monday.
Ambush claims 1 life, wounds 3 in Afghanistan --An American soldier was killed and three others injured as suspected Taliban and the US-led troops came in contact in eastern Kunar province Monday, US army spokesman said.
Democrats Consider 'Torture Presentation' at Gonzales Hearing --During upcoming confirmation hearings for Attorney General-nominee Alberto Gonzales, senior Democrats want to screen infamous videotapes showing Iraqis being abused at Abu Ghraib prison, top sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
U-S commander: Afghan detainee who died complained snake had bitten him --Afghanistan A military commander is offering a possible explanation for the death of an Afghan man in U-S custody last year. Colonel Gary Cheek says the prisoner at a base in eastern Afghanistan complained he'd been bitten by a snake [?!? Yeah, right!], just hours before his lifeless body was discovered... The dead man's family told Afghan investigators his body was bruised when they retrieved it from the American base.
Bush Asks Judge to Toss Ohio Election Suit --Dictator Bush's re-selection campaign asked the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to throw out a challenge of the election in this swing state, saying the case resembles "a poorly drafted script for a late night conspiracy-theory movie." [Yeah, well, his election theft is like a poorly drafted script of a late night *horror* movie.]
Passionate Voters Chose to Challenge Election Results --Congress to Certify Vote --One voter didn't witness fraud Election Day but was suspicious of the results. Another was surprised by long lines in her suburban city, where voting was always quick in the past.
Rally Challenging Ohio Vote Held --Ohio democrats are refusing to give up the fight and calling for a challenge to the Ohio vote. Reverend Jesse Jackson and fellow democrats were in Columbus Monday for a rally promoting voter rights.
Death toll nears 150,000 · Aceh deaths 'will rise exponentially' · British toll could reach 200 · Clinton to lead US charity drive --Searchers today all but gave up hope of finding more survivors from last week's devastating tsunamis, as the death toll across nearly a dozen Asian and African nations neared 150,000.
Mega bulimia alert!! Jeb's Tsunami Trip Beginning of Bush Dynasty? Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has repeatedly denied any interest in following his brother into the White House. But his high-profile role in the tsunami crisis relief efforts has prompted a frenzy of speculation in Washington.
Elder Bush, Clinton to Lead Fundraising Effort --With the death toll from the South Asia tsunami still rising, George W. Bush today announced an unprecedented private fundraising drive for relief and reconstruction in the affected region to be led by former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
Miami Buildings Evacuated --12:19 pm EST January 3, 2005 --Miami Police have evacuated the Graham Building and the Metro Justice building in Miami after witnesses reported seeing an unidentified person run away from a U-Haul truck.
House GOP Reverses Course on Ethics Rules --Tuesday January 4, 2005 1:01 AM --House Republicans suddenly reversed course Monday, deciding to retain a tough standard for lawmaker discipline and reinstating a rule that would force Majority Leader Tom DeLay to step aside if indicted by a Texas grand jury.
House GOP Considers Discipline Changes --Tuesday January 4, 2005 12:31 AM --House Republicans on Monday considered ways to make it harder to discipline members of Congress, prompted by a rebuke of Majority Leader Tom DeLay that infuriated some GOP colleagues.
Republican Hypocrites seek complaint against minority leader --A group of House Republican lawmakers, stewing over a Democratic ethics complaint filed against Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Terrorist-Texas), is pressing for the GOP to file a reciprocal complaint against Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for 'violating campaign-finance law.'
Two Halliburton Units Exit Bankruptcy --Oilfield services company [corpora-terrorists] Halliburton Co. on Monday said its subsidiaries Kellogg Brown & Root and DII Industries have emerged from the year-long bankruptcy proceedings it instigated to facilitate a $4.2 billion asbestos settlement.
States to pay billions under new drug policy --To tamp down the cost of the new Medicare benefit to the federal treasury [so that Halliburton can continue to raid it], lawmakers decided that state-run Medicaid programs should, in effect, give back most of the money they'll save by no longer having to pay medicine bills for some enrollees. In 2006, the first year the prescription drug benefit goes fully into effect, states will have to hand over $6 billion under the "clawback" policy, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.
Native American lands poisoned by military testing, reports say --New research in the American Sociological Review and a related study of Department of Defense data by Indian Country Today point to a silent nuclear ecocide on Aboriginal lands and the systematic takeover of tribal lands for nuclear and explosives operations conducted by the U.S. military. In "The Treadmill of Destruction: National Sacrifice Areas and Native Americans," researchers Gregory Hooks and Chad L. Smith review ongoing military operations on and near Indian land. DOD data meanwhile reveals a concealed and often misleading history of environmental impacts.
U.S. Consumer Groups Against Canadian Cattle Imports --Two U.S. consumer groups on Monday urged the United States to delay reopening its border to young Canadian cattle due to concerns that Canada may find more cases of mad cow disease.
Canada Confirms 2nd Case of Mad Cow --A final laboratory test has confirmed that an Alberta dairy cow had mad cow disease, the second case Canada has found in its herd, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Sunday.
Canada Quarantines One Farm in Mad Cow Search --The Canadian government has quarantined a farm in Alberta in its search for cattle connected to the country's second case of mad cow disease, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Monday.
U.S. to Permit Cattle Imports From Canada --December 30, 2004 --The Bush dictatorship announced Wednesday that it would permit limited imports of Canadian cattle early next year for the first time since May 2003, when a case of mad cow disease was discovered in an Alberta cow. [Update: There are currently (Jan. 3, 2005) two cases of mad cow disease in Canadian cattle.]
Large Gambian Rats Worry Fla. Officials --The Florida Keys, already dealing with invasive exotics from melaleuca to iguanas, have added another to the list of unwanted newcomers: the African Gambian pouch rat.
US had advance warning of tsunami: Canadian professor --A Canadian expert has claimed that the US Military and the State Department were given advance tsunami warning and America’s Navy base on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean was notified but the information was not passed on to the countries that bore the brunt of the disaster. Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa asks in an analysis produced for the Venus Project why fishermen in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand were not provided with the same warnings as the US Navy and the US State Department.
Geologist gave repeated alerts --A leading geologist repeatedly warned Indonesian officials that an earthquake and tsunami would soon strike their shores, it emerged this weekend. Kerry Sieh, professor of geology at California Institute of Technology, has been studying the region for nearly a decade. Last July he became so concerned at the likely massive loss of life that he printed and distributed 5,000 posters and brochures around some of the islands later hit by the earthquake.
US considers permanent detentions --The US government has begun to plan for the possible lifetime imprisonment of detainees it does not have enough evidence to charge in court, according to The Washington Post. Citing intelligence, defence and diplomatic officials, the newspaper said on Sunday that the Pentagon and the CIA had asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for those it would not set free or turn over to courts at home or abroad.
US Said to Mull Lifetime Terror-Suspect Detentions --The Bush dictatorship is preparing plans for possible lifetime detention of suspected 'terrorists,' including hundreds whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts, The Washington Post reported Sunday... As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence [then why aren't they simply *released,* if there is a 'lack of evidence?], defense officials told the newspaper.
Permanent Imprisonment Sought For Terror Suspects --Bush Regime officials are preparing long-range plans for indefinitely imprisoning suspected 'terrorists' whom they do not want to set free or turn over to courts in the United States or other countries, according to intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.
Senator Says Lifetime Terror Detentions 'Bad Idea' --A reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected 'terrorists' imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them in courts was swiftly condemned on Sunday as a "bad idea" by a leading Republican senator. Influential senators denounced the idea as probably unconstitutional. [Nah, 'ya think?]
Fresh Details Emerge on Harsh Methods at Guantánamo --Mohamed al-Kahtani's interrogation was not yielding much at Guantánamo, so they decided in the middle of 2003 to try a new tactic. Mr. Kahtani, a Saudi, was given a tranquilizer, put in sensory deprivation garb with blackened goggles, and hustled aboard a plane that was supposedly taking him to the Middle East. After hours in the air, the plane landed back at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he was not returned to the regular prison compound but put in an isolation cell in the base's brig...
Guantanamo Briton 'in handcuff torture' --David Rose on the allegation that a British detainee was suspended by his wrists as punishment for reciting the Koran while in US military custody --The Observer A British detainee at Guantanamo Bay has told his lawyer he was tortured using the 'strappado', a technique common in Latin American dictatorships in which a prisoner is left suspended from a bar with handcuffs until they cut deeply into his wrists...
Iraqi Abuse Military Trials to Begin at Texas Base --The suspected ringleader of abuse in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison is among two U.S. Army soldiers scheduled for court-martial this week over wartime actions.
Iraq election officials quit after threats --The committee in charge of organising this month's election in a northern Iraqi city has quit after some members received death threats. Muhammad Shahran, who heads the 12-member Baiji Higher Electoral Commission, said on Sunday that the people issuing the threats declared the election illegitimate because it occurs under occupation. [So is ours and so are we...]
Iraqi insurgents waging 'all-out war' on oil industry: minister --Iraqi insurgents are waging an all-out war on the country's vital oil industry which has lost nearly eight billion dollars in revenue since last year's US-led invasion, Oil Minister Thamer Ghadban said.
US, UK consulates in Basra shelled --The US and UK consulates in Basra came under heavy attack, Aljazeera has learned, hours after a car bomb ripped through a bus carrying Iraqi National Guard personnel in the city of Balad.
Insurgent attacks kill 33 across Iraq --Insurgents exposed the vulnerability of Iraq's security forces again Sunday, killing at least 22 national guardsmen and their driver in a suicide bombing and 10 other people in separate attacks with 'elections' just weeks away.
U.S. Soldier Killed in West Afghanistan --A U.S. soldier and an Afghan citizen died after gunfire broke out during a search operation in a village in western Afghanistan on Sunday, the U.S. military said.
N. Korea challenges U.S. approach --Pyongyang warned the danger of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula is growing in a New Year's editorial published in North Korea's three major newspapers.
Coleen Rowley retires from the FBI --Coleen Rowley, the Minneapolis FBI agent whose outspoken criticisms triggered a furor over lapses in the government's pre-Sept. 11 counterterrorism efforts, retired from the bureau Friday.
Bernard Kerik may be under FBI probe --New York City's ex-police Commissioner Bernard Kerik under investigation by the city might be the subject of a FBI inquiry as well.
Terrorist fears over laser attacks on seven planes --The FBI is investigating reports that laser beams have been directed into the cockpits of seven aircraft flying over America since Christmas, amid fears that terrorists [Rove's freelancers?] could use them to blind or disorientate pilots.
Marchers Protest Deaths of Two in Fla. --About 200 people chanting "No justice, no peace" marched through the city Saturday to protest the deaths of two black men in police custody.
UK police 'among the world's worst' --Britain's police forces are among the least effective in the developed world, according to new research which blames the decline on the breakdown of the traditional family and the disappearance of the beat bobby.
Evangelical Leader Threatens to Use His Political Muscle Against Some Democrats --James C. Dobson, the nation's most influential evangelical leader, is threatening to put six potentially vulnerable Democratic senators "in the 'bull's-eye'" if they block conservative appointments to the Supreme Court. [Blue states need to start to appreciate the Second Amendment...]
U.S. Gave $1B in Faith-Based Funds in 2003 --The government gave more than $1 billion in 2003 to organizations it considers "faith-based," [Reichwing]with some going to programs where prayer and spiritual guidance are central and some to organizations that do not consider themselves religious at all.
Bigger Republican Majority Plans to Push Bush Agenda --A more Republican and more conservative Congress convenes on Tuesday, with Republicans intending to use their greater strength in the House and Senate to help Dictator Bush pursue a second-term agenda of major changes in bedrock programs like Social Security and income taxes.
A Big Push On Social Security --Private Accounts Are Bush Priority --Dictator Bush's political allies are raising millions of dollars for an election-style campaign to promote private Social Security accounts.
Report: Documents show company aware of Prozac risks --A British medical journal said Friday that it had given U.S. regulators confidential drug company documents suggesting a link between the popular anti-depressant Prozac and a heightened risk of suicide attempts and violence.
It'll take billions and 10 years: UN --The head of the United Nations is expected to use an emergency summit this week to tell world leaders that the $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) pledged for tsunami relief is not enough to fund an unprecedented recovery effort that could last a decade.
Post-Tsunami Flu Fatalities in Sri Lanka --Recombinomics Commentary --January 1, 2005 "Already, there are fears of an outbreak of disease. On Thursday three people died of a strange flu that was resistant to any antibiotics and the rebels want to get rid of the bodies as quickly as possible --Post-tsunami flu fatalities in Sri Lanka are a significant concern..."
Microchips put into 1,000 unidentified bodies --December 31, 2004 - Phuket - Authorities have installed microchips in about 1,000 bodies that have been autopsied pending claim by their relatives. The microchip stores key data about the victim’s identity, so it will be easier for relatives to claim the bodies later.
Marine life could take centuries to recover from killer waves --Beaches around South Asia devastated by tsunamis could be restored to their former glory within a few years, but the marine life through which the huge waves passed could take centuries to recover, experts say.
Canada Confirms Case of Mad Cow Disease --Canada confirmed Sunday that a second case of mad cow disease has been discovered, just days after the United States said it planned to reopen its border to Canadian beef.
Grizzlies in the cross hairs --The killing of a grizzly bear and her two cubs near Glacier National Park in Montana this summer because they had become dangerously dependent on people symbolizes the latest battle in the West over the threatened animals.
Arab astrologer predicts Bush assassination --Oracle famed for prophesying deaths of Diana, Yassin, Arafat --A Tunisian astrologer who reportedly predicted the deaths of Princess Diana, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Yasser Arafat says Dictator Bush will be killed by an assassin's bullet in 2005. So seriously are Hassan al-Sharibi's predictions taken in the Arab world that a similar prophecy about Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Mahmoud Abbas has resulted in increased security around the candidate to replace Arafat as president of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas' aides put a "great deal of credence" in the prediction, according to a source quoted by the Jerusalem Post. However, the paper tempered its report by saying critics label Sharibi "a quack with flair who relies on logic and wishful thinking...." Sharibi also predicted the sudden death of Saddam Hussein before his trial begins.
Mosul election staff quit en masse --The entire staff of Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission in the northern city of Mosul, amounting to about 700 employees, have resigned amid growing violence in the country. Staff members said on Thursday their resignation followed threats they received in the past few days.
Seven killed in Iraq car bomb attack --A car bomber has killed seven people, five of them Iraqi national guards, near the northern town of Baiji.
Baghdad police report 3 rebels killed in gunbattle --Iraqi police killed three insurgents on Thursday during a gunbattle in a northwestern Baghdad neighborhood that was a flashpoint of violence earlier this week, a city police officer said.
Iraq Edges Towards Civil War --Iraq faces the prospect of civil war as Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's government loses credibility and violence against U.S. forces increases, according to almost a half dozen former and serving administration officials.
Pentagon Misses Goal for Missile Defense System --The Pentagon failed to meet its goal of declaring a missile defense system operational in 2004 and critics said failures in testing the ambitious system show it simply does not work.
Yanukovych resigns as Ukraine prime minister --Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigned Friday and grudgingly admitted he has little hope of winning the presidency of this ex-Soviet republic. But he vowed to continue his court battle to overturn last week's 'elections' that handed victory to his pro-Western [-installed] opponent, Viktor Yushchenko.
New U.S. Memo Backs Off Torture Arguments --The Justice Department released a rewritten legal memo on what constitutes torture, backing away from its own assertions prior to the Iraqi prison abuse scandal that torture had to involve "excruciating and agonizing pain.'' The 17-page memo omitted two of the most controversial assertions made in now-disavowed 2002 Justice Department documents: that Dictator Bush, as commander in chief in wartime, had authority superseding U.S. anti-torture laws and that U.S. personnel had several legal defenses against criminal liability in such cases.
Justice Expands 'Torture' Definition --Earlier Policy Drew Criticism --The Justice Department published a revised and expansive definition late yesterday of acts that constitute torture under domestic and international law, overtly repudiating one of the most criticized policy memorandums drafted during Dictator Bush's first term.
Republican Judge Takes Aim at Bush Terror Policies --Far from the typical corporate Christmas card, a former U.S. federal judge's law firm is embracing controversy with holiday cards showing the historic Supreme Court session where he successfully challenged the Bush administration's treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Even more unusually, the attorney who argued the case before the nation's highest court is a Republican and former federal appeals judge appointed by President Richard Nixon.
American Muslims Singled Out at US Borders --US border authorities came under fire for singling out a cohort of American Muslims for special security checks upon their return from an Islamic conference in neighboring Canada.
FBI investigating laser beam directed into airplane cockpits --The FBI, concerned that terrorists could use lasers as weapons, is investigating why laser beams were directed into the cockpits of commercial airliners six times over the last four days.
Marines to take over parts of Toledo for urban warfare exercise --The Marines will take over parts of downtown Toledo as sounds of gunfire will echo off buildings when training exercises are conducted next weekend. A Marine Corps unit based in Perrysburg will stage the exercises from 9 p.m. Jan. 7 to about noon Jan. 9, Maj. Gregory Cramer said. Major Cramer said Marines will be dressed in green and will be carrying rifles through the streets.
Conyers Asks Senators to Object to Certification of Election --Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.) has sent a letter to each of the 100 members of the United States Senate asking them to join with members of the House in objecting to the certification of the election results on January 6. Letter from Congressman Conyers to US Senators Calling for Congressional Debate on 2004 Elections
Jesse Jackson: "We have reason to believe it [the election] was rigged." 'We Will Not Faint' --Jesse Jackson on why he thinks John Kerry really won the election -- "NEWSWEEK: What’s the matter with Ohio? Rev. Jesse Jackson: In Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron, Youngstown, Cleveland, where I was, you had blacks standing in line for six hours in the rain. That's a form of voter suppression. Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell says that machines were allotted based on turnout in past years, and that he didn’t realize they’d need more machines until it was too late. He had to know it because registration was up. Blackwell may have had to deliver for Bush and [Vice pResident Dick] Cheney and he got a lighter rap than [former Florida Secretary of State Katherine] Harris got. But Ohio may have been more stacked than Florida was..."
Ohio's official non-recount ends amidst new evidence of fraud, theft and judicial contempt mirrored in New Mexico --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "The Ohio presidential recount was officially terminated Tuesday, December 28. But the end comes amidst bitter dispute over official certification of impossible voter turnout numbers, over the refusal of Ohio's Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice to recuse himself from crucial court challenges involving his own re-election campaign, over the Republican Secretary of State's refusal to testify under subpoena, over apparent tampering with tabulation machines, over more than 100,000 provisional and machine-rejected ballots left uncounted, over major discrepancies in certified vote counts and turnout ratios, and over a wide range of unresolved disputes that continue to leave the true outcome of Ohio's presidential vote in serious doubt."
DPO Passes Resolution Regarding Voting Irregularities --December 4, 2004 (dpo.org) "Resolved: To deliver the following letter, regarding our concern for the integrity of our electoral process, to our U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators prior to the meeting of the Electoral College on December 13, 2004... We, the representative body of Oregon Democrats urge an immediate and thorough investigation into extensive voting irregularities occurring nationwide during the November 2 election and raising grave doubts as to the validity of the election."
High court disallows appeal for television ad privacy --The Ohio Chamber of Commerce again faces potential fines of $25,000 for each day it refuses to reveal [which Reichwing maggots] bankrolled its television ads targeting a state Supreme Court justice during the 2000 election. The high court yesterday unanimously refused to hear the appeal of Citizens for a Strong Ohio, a nonprofit arm of the chamber that the Ohio Elections Commission has determined was fueled by corporate cash.
Gregoire Focuses on Gubernatorial Duties --Democratic Gov.-elect Christine Gregoire's Republican rival still wants to overturn the election, but now that she's been certified as the winner, she says she has other things on her mind. Like forming a new government in less than two weeks.
Democrat Declared Wash. Governor-Elect --Washington Governor's Election Certified, Showing Win by Democrat; Opponent Seeks New Vote --After three vote tallies and 58 days of waiting, Democrat Christine Gregoire was declared Washington's governor-elect on Thursday. But her Republican rival did not concede and wants a new election. Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, certified Gregoire, the three-term attorney general, as the winner of the closest governor's race in state history.
Watchdog Groups Criticize G.O.P. Plan on Ethics Complaints --Emerging Republican proposals to change the way House ethics complaints are handled present a serious threat to the House's ability to police itself, leaders of independent groups that monitor Congressional ethics say.
Bush to Push for Medical Liability Changes --Dictator Bush will travel to Illinois next week to push for revisions in medical liability law that he has said are needed to eliminate [any justice against pharma terrorists and incompetent doctors] "frivolous lawsuits that are driving up the cost of health care."
Suspected mad cow case in Canada - day after U.S. lifts ban Canada said Thursday it had found a suspected new case of mad cow disease, but the United States said it would not change plans to resume limited Canadian cattle imports after a 20-month ban that has hit Canada's beef industry hard.
Dollar Hits Record Low Vs Euro --The dollar dipped to an all-time low against the euro on Thursday for the sixth consecutive session, as traders took aim at technical targets in a thin market.
Lilly Documents Raised Prozac Concerns, Journal Says --Eli Lilly & Co. documents linking the antidepressant Prozac to violent behavior have been turned over to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by the British Medical Journal, the publication says in its Jan. 1 issue. The documents "appear to suggest a link'' between Indianapolis-based Lilly's Prozac and suicide attempts and violence, the journal said. The papers "went missing'' during a product liability lawsuit 10 years ago and were recently sent to the medical journal by an anonymous source, according to the journal's account.
Teenage girl infected with bird flu in Vietnam --A teenage girl in southern Vietnam has been infected with the lethal strain of bird flu that has killed at least 20 people in the nation since late last year.
Quake rattled Earth orbit, changed map of Asia: US geophysicist --An earthquake that unleashed deadly tidal waves on Asia was so powerful it made the Earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map, US geophysicists said.
Too many bodies to count, says Indonesia --Indonesia has given up on trying to count the exact number of dead from Sunday's Indian Ocean tsunami so it can get on with the task of burying tens of thousands of disaster victims whose corpses lay rotting on the devastated island of Sumatra.
Indonesia Needs Help, Death Toll Expected To Exceed 400,000 -- Dec 30 2004 --The death toll in Acheh, the region worst hit by last Sunday's tsunami, may exceed 400,000 as many affected areas could still not be reached for search and rescue operations, Indonesia's Ambassador to Malaysia Drs H. Rusdihardjo said Thursday.
Aid Trickles Into Asia as Death Toll Estimate Tops 140,000 --The vanguard of a global relief effort converged on the tsunami-ravaged coasts of Indonesia and other stricken nations today as millions of survivors grew increasingly desperate and the estimated death toll soared past 140,000 from a disaster that cast a shroud over the world's New Year celebrations.
Get out while you can, Howard warns --The Prime Minister has issued an urgent plea to Australian travellers to stay away from the tsunami-affected areas in South-East Asia - and for those there to get out - as fears of an outbreak of infectious disease triggered by the [Neo-cons/pharmaceutical terrorists] natural disaster grew.
U.S. Boosts Tsunami Aid Amid Relief Effort --U.S. Aid Pledge Skyrockets As World Rescue Effort Converges on Tsunami-Ravaged Shores --The United States upped its tsunami relief aid tenfold to $350 million Friday as the world's ships and planes converged on devastated shores.
The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami --The SEA-EAT blog for short. News and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts. Note: when donating, remember the American Red Cross *took* the money that was intended for the 9-11 victims and rerouted those funds to Reichwing causes. Suggestion: donate to a different organization, one that is not run by Bush trolls.
Help the Victims of the South Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster --Bring your used and new cameras, computers, consumer electronics, or other items into The UPS Store and AuctionDrop will sell them on eBay and donate 100% of the net proceeds to CARE to benefit the victims of December 26th South Asian earthquake and tsunami. Bring the items to any of the 3,700 UPS Stores around the U.S. and tell them that this is to be sold on AuctionDrop to benefit CARE's South Asian Disaster Relief (Code 00198). For more information call toll free 1-866-376-7486.
Republican seeks 'do-over' in Washington governor's race --Republican Dino Rossi on Wednesday urged his Democratic rival, Christine Gregoire, in the closest governor's race in state history to join him in calling for a revote. The Gregoire camp immediately dismissed the notion that a revote might be feasible. She is scheduled to be certified as Washington's governor-elect Thursday. [Only if the GOP agrees to a 'do-over' in Ohio, sans Bush-Cheney troll J. Kenneth Blackwell!!]
It's Governor-elect Gregoire, but Rossi seeks 'do-over' --The night before Washington's secretary of state was scheduled to certify Democrat Christine Gregoire as the governor-elect, her Republican rival Dino Rossi called for a complete re-do of the governor's race. Gregoire's spokesman Morton Brilliant said she would not be joining Rossi's call.
Rossi's letter calling for new election --Text of Republican Dino Rossi's letter to Democrat Christine Gregoire urging a new election for governor of Washington
Chief justice refuses to remove self from vote challenge --Chief 'Justice' Thomas Moyer of the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to remove himself from a case challenging the results of the presidential election. Moyer also rejected a request by voters challenging the results for a speedy hearing and an order that election boards preserve evidence from the election.
Ruling Puts Democrats in Control in Montana --The Montana Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a Democrat was the winner of a contested seat in the State House of Representatives, a decision that gives the party control of the governor's office and both chambers of the Legislature for the first time since 1977.
Germans Resent Bush's Coming Visit --Anti-globalization groups and peace movements in Germany are planning massive protests against US Dictator George W. Bush's scheduled visit to the European country next February. The German coordination committee of the anti-globalization groups and peace movements said in a statement that it is planning to launch a European campaign titled "Europe resents Bush" in early January, to highlight large scale rejection of US policies and Bush's visit to the country. [Should read, 'The World Resents Bush']
MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country' for Dec. 23 --CLG Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., was a guest on the program. Transcript of 10 p.m. ET show --Updated Dec. 27, 2004 "RECTENWALD: ...George W. Bush owes the world, the United States of America and the Iraqi people an amazing apology. There is a real reason why he didn't join the International Criminal Court, because he knew we were going to be making international criminals out of our own people, including himself... We have a few bad apples. They‘re called Bush, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz."
U.S. accuses Syria of helping insurgents --The Bush regime accused Syria on Tuesday of helping insurgents in Iraq by giving haven to elements of the deposed Saddam Hussein government.
Insurgency in Iraq 'will not end': Powell --US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that the insurgency in Iraq "will not end," as insurgents are determined to derail the country's democratic [sic] transition.
A state of chaos --George Bush has purged the last of his father's senior advisers, handing over control to his neocon allies --by Sidney Blumenthal "In private, [James] Baker is scathing about the current occupant of the White House. Now the one indispensable creator of the Bush family political fortunes is repudiated. Republican elders who warned of endless war are purged. Those who advised Bush that Saddam was building nuclear weapons, that with a light military force the operation would be a 'cakewalk', and that capturing Baghdad was 'mission accomplished', are rewarded."
25 Insurgents Are Killed Trying to Overrun U.S. Outpost in Mosul --United States troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents who used car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades to try to overrun an American combat outpost in Mosul on Wednesday afternoon, the American military said. It was the fiercest fighting the restive northern city has seen in weeks.
Blast Kills 28 During Police Raid in Baghdad --A powerful blast destroyed a house in western Baghdad during an overnight raid by police, flattening several nearby buildings and killing at least 28 people including seven policemen, police said on Wednesday.
700 Civilian Bodies Recovered From Fallujah --by Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice, edited by JUS "Emergency teams from the Fallujah Hospital have recovered 700 bodies of Iraqis from the ruins of houses destroyed in the US offensive on the city. Among the 700 bodies were 504 bodies of women and children; the rest elderly and middle aged men."
Navy SEALs Sue AP Over Alleged Abuse Photos --Six Navy SEALs and two of their wives filed a lawsuit against The Associated Press and one of its reporters today for allegedly revealing their identities in photos published in early December, according to a press release from the plaintiffs.
Ukraine to pull contingent out of Iraq: minister --Ukraine will withdraw its 1,400-strong military contingent from Iraq by the end of next year, Defence Minister Oleksander Kuzmuk was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
Ramsey Clark joins Saddam Hussein's legal team --Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark is to join the defence team of Saddam Hussein, a spokesman for the toppled Iraqi president's lawyers said today. Mr Clark, who held the office of attorney general under US president Lyndon B. Johnson, "is one of the members of the defence team of president Saddam Hussein," Ziad Khassawneh said. "This honours and inspires us."
US rebel joins Hussein legal team --Former US attorney general Ramsey Clark has joined the team of Jordan-based lawyers defending Saddam Hussein. Left-wing activist Mr Clark described the special tribunal established to try members of the former regime as a creation of the US military occupation. He said it had no authority in law as a criminal court.
Needing Cash, Veterans Sign Over Pensions --Kevin D. Jones, a retired Army veteran, was desperate for money. He wanted to get his wife out of the Philippines quickly after her home had been destroyed in a bombing... In exchange for $19,980 after fees and insurance, Mr. Jones signed over his $1,000-a-month military pension for the next five years, a total of $60,000. That is the equivalent of paying interest at a rate of 56 percent a year.
Supercomputer to simulate nuclear blast --Leading nuclear scientists with top security clearances will gather next summer at a screening room east of San Francisco and witness the results of the greatest effort ever in supercomputing. Using a computer doing 360 trillion calculations a second, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab will simulate the explosion of an ageing nuclear bomb in three dimensions.
Top analyst is latest victim of cull by CIA's new regime --The head of the CIA's analysis branch has become the latest victim of a purge of the intelligence agency following the appointment of its new director, Porter Goss, it was reported yesterday. Jami Miscik has told her department she will leave in February, calling her exit part of the CIA's "natural evolution" under new management. But former intelligence officials who know her say she would have preferred to stay and was being forced out by Mr Goss, a close ally of Dictator Bush.
Director of Analysis Branch at the C.I.A. Is Being Removed --The head of the Central Intelligence Agency's analytical branch is being forced to step down, former intelligence officials say, opening a major new chapter in a shakeup under Porter J. Goss, the agency's chief.
FBI Names 6th Counterterrorism Chief Since 9/11 --The FBI announced the appointment yesterday of its sixth counterterrorism director since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, underscoring the bureau's struggle to retain executives in senior positions.
FBI Probing Laser Directed Into Jet's Cockpit -- Authorities are investigating a mysterious laser beam that was directed into the cockpit of a commercial jet traveling at more than 8,500 feet.
Agencies at Odds Over Fingerprint Checks --Terrorists and criminals could slip into the United States because [Let me guess... the Bush - bin Laden team allows them in, such as the 9-11 'hijackers'?] immigration and law enforcement agencies have not coordinated their fingerprint databases, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Fear factor --by Roy Clancy "Fear is a powerful force. Nearly half the Americans who responded to a survey conducted by Cornell University say the U.S. should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim Americans. Researchers found there was a correlation between TV news-viewing habits, respondents' fear levels and their attitudes toward restrictions of civil liberties for Americans. With all the fear-mongering perpetrated both by terrorists and campaigning politicians, it's amazing that 48% of the population remain opposed to the curtailment of civil liberties."
Here is a *BIG* surprise --sarcasm *on* -- G.O.P. to Make Ethics Inquiries Harder to Begin --In the wake of back-to-back ethics slaps at the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, House Republicans are preparing to make it more difficult to initiate ethics investigations and could remove the Republican chairman who presided over the admonishments of Mr. DeLay last fall.
U.S. to Permit Cattle Imports From Canada --The Bush regime announced Wednesday that it would permit limited imports of Canadian cattle early next year for the first time since May 2003, when a case of mad cow disease was discovered in an Alberta cow.
India Warns Residents of Fresh Tsunamis --Authorities in southern India warned residents in coastal areas to evacuate Thursday, saying there could be fresh tsunamis. "We have issued an alert. There could be a wave attack in the next one hour,'' said Veera Shanmuga Mani, the top administrator in Nagappattinam, a coastal town in southern Tamil Nadu state where most of the deaths from the weekend tsunamis occurred.
Tsunami warning sends thousands fleeing Indian coastline --A government warning that high waves could strike again as aftershocks rattled Indonesia sent thousands fleeing in panic Thursday from the coastline of southern India, correspondents reported.
First tsunami alert lost in Indian bureaucracy --India's tangled bureaucracy bungled the first alerts on the tsunami strike losing precious time which could have saved lives, newspapers have reported. India's air force was warned that a remote base on Car Nicobar island had been flooded well before the giant waves hit the mainland coast hundreds of kilometres away on Sunday morning, the Indian Express said.
Tsunami death toll could reach 100,000 · Unidentified bodies buried in mass graves · 5m left without basic essentials, says UN --As many as 80,000 people may have died in the Indonesian province of Aceh alone, it emerged yesterday as the death toll across the Indian Ocean rim continued to rise.
Five million in need of food, water --Up to 5 million people around the Indian Ocean are waiting for food and clean water as nations hit by one of the biggest tsunamis on record rush to bury their dead and avert the threat of disease.
Holy Neo-Con-venience, Batman!! Disease outbreaks likely within days, U.N. official says --The United Nations warned Wednesday that respiratory and waterborne diseases could break out in areas affected by southern Asia’s tsunami disaster "in the next few days."
Anticipating Wave Of Disease --The United Nations warned Wednesday that respiratory and waterborne diseases could break out within days in areas affected by southern Asia's tsunami disaster.
Aid Grows Amid Remarks About Bush's Absence --The Bush regime more than doubled its financial commitment yesterday to provide relief to nations suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami, amid complaints that the vacationing George W. Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions [That is because he is so used to *creating* them! Also, Bush continued to read a story about a pet goat during the 9-11 attacks, so we are not surprised.]
Tsunami Kills Few Animals in Sri Lanka --Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka expressed surprise Wednesday that they found no evidence of large-scale animal deaths from the tsunamis — indicating that animals may have sensed the wave coming and fled to higher ground.
Warning rejected to protect tourism --December 28, 2004 --Minutes after the earthquake hit northern Sumatra at 7.58am on Sunday, officials of the Meteorological Department, who were at a seminar in Cha-am, convened an emergency meeting chaired by Supharerk Tansrirat-tanawong, director-general. Sources said they did discuss the likelihood that a tsunami could hit Thailand's Andaman Sea coastal towns. This was also played down. "The very important factor in making the decision was that it’s high [tourist] season and hotel rooms were nearly 100-per-cent full. If we issued a warning, which would have led to evacuation, [and if nothing happened], what would happen then?..." said a source who attended the meeting. "We hesitated for a while whether we should issue a warning or not. It was discussed but we didn’t have a chance to do it." Supharerk denied that tourism factored into the discussion at the 11th hour.
Swedish online newspaper: Tsunami warning was stopped (posted by CLiss, democraticunderground.com --source: Expressen, Swedish online newspaper) "Just minutes after the earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Sunday morning, Thailand's foremost meteorological experts were sitting together in a crisis meeting. But they decided not to warn about the tsunami 'out of courtesy to the tourist industry', writes the Thailand daily newspaper, The Nation. The experts got the news around 8:00 am on Sunday morning local time. An hour later, the first massive wave struck. But the experts started to discuss the economic impacts when they were discussing if a tsunami warning should be made..." [Original article, in Swedish: Varning för dödsvågen stoppades --Bara minuterna efter jordbävningen i Indiska oceanen på söndagsmorgonen satt Thailands främsta meteorologiska experter i krismöte. Men de avstod från en tsunamivarning "av hänsyn till turistnäringen", skriver den thailändska dagstidningen The Nation...]
Scientists in USA saw tsunami coming --Minutes after a massive earthquake rocked the Indian Ocean on Sunday, international ocean monitors knew that a tsunami would likely follow. But they didn't know whom to tell. "We put out a bulletin within 20 minutes, technically as fast as we could do it," says Jeff LaDouce of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. LaDouce says e-mails were dispatched to Indonesian officials, but he doesn't know what happened to the information.
rules for school over student Bush 'Chicken-Hawk' T-shirt --A
federal judge has ruled in favor of the Williamstown (VT) public school
officials who forced a student to cover up any 'images of drugs and
alcohol' [dissent of the Bush dictatorship] on a politically
charged T-shirt. U.S. District Court Judge William K. Sessions on Monday
ruled that Zachary Guiles' First Amendment right to free speech was
not violated when Williamstown Middle School Principal [and Reichwing
whackjob] Kathleen Morris-Kortz ordered him to cover up certain images
on a shirt that was critical of President [sic] George W. Bush. The
shirt had a variety of images on it, including cocaine and a martini
glass. It referred to Bush as a lying drunk driver who abused cocaine
and marijuana, and called the president [sic] the "chicken-hawk-in-chief"
who was engaged in a "world domination tour."
GOP demands voter list in Wash. county --Republicans are demanding a list of voters in Washington state's most populous county as the party considers a court challenge of Democrat Christine Gregoire's razor-thin victory in the governor's race, officials said Monday.
GOP's Blackwell Refuses Interview In Vote Challenge --Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell Doesn't Want to Be Interviewed in Vote Challenge --The Ohio secretary of state/Bush-Cheney campaign chairman for Ohio, who declared Dictator Bush the official winner in Ohio, is seeking a court order to keep himself from being interviewed as part of a court challenge of the Nov. 2 vote. Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell claims his deposition is not required, and accused 37 voters challenging the election of "frivolous conduct.''
Ohio GOP election officials ducking subpoenas as Kerry enters stolen vote fray --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "Ohio Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to appear at a deposition on Monday, December 27. The deposition was part of an election challenge lawsuit filed at the Ohio Supreme Court. Meanwhile John Kerry is reported to have filed a federal legal action aimed at preserving crucial recount evidence, which has been under GOP assault throughout the state. Richard Conglianese, Ohio Assistant Attorney General, is seeking a court order to protect Blackwell from testifying under oath about how the election was run."
Kerry Files Motion to Protect Ohio Vote Evidence --by William Rivers Pitt --27 December 2004 "This afternoon, an attorney representing the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign filed two important motions to preserve and augment evidence of alleged election fraud in the November election. The motions were filed in the matter titled Yost et al. v. Delaware County Board of Elections and J. Kenneth Blackwell (Civil Action No. C2-04-1139) with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio."
Protesters say presidential vote flawed --Some 30 protesters gathered yesterday in front of the White Plains office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and demanded an investigation into what they called [and is] the disenfranchisement of black voters in the 2004 presidential election.
Senator will propose end of Electoral College --Sen. Dianne Feinstein said this past week that when Congress returns in January, she will propose a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College and replace it with a one-person, one-vote system for electing the nation's president and vice president.
Ukraine's Yushchenko Calls for Blockade of Government --Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, winner of Ukraine's re-run of a rigged presidential election, called on his supporters on Tuesday to block the country's government building.
Pentagon Is Pressing to Bypass Environmental Laws for War Games and Arms Testing --The Defense Department, which controls 28 million acres of land across the nation that it uses for combat exercises and weapons testing, has been moving on a variety of fronts to reduce requirements that it safeguard the environment on that land.
CIA resists request for abuse data --The CIA is refusing to disclose any information about abuse of detainees in Afghanistan and at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, invoking a legal precedent that involved a secret project by billionaire Howard Hughes to recover a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine in the 1970s.
Trail of torture leads to Washington (The Virginian-Pilot) "When a Federal Bureau of Investigations officer says interrogations of Iraqi prisoners are too rough, that the techniques amount to 'torture,' you’d think somebody would listen. Not in this White House, or at this Pentagon. Since before the first prisoner was taken in Afghanistan, administration lawyers have looked for ways to skirt the restrictions on torture in the Geneva Conventions. Years ago — as early as fall 2001 — White House attorneys began arguing that the Conventions’ prohibition against torture could legally be ignored. It looks as if they succeeded."
Saudi daily says U.S. harvests Iraqis' organs --Government newspaper cites secret European military reports --Citing only alleged European secret reports, an article in a Saudi government daily accused the U.S. Army of harvesting the organs of Iraqis and selling them.
US, Britain holding 10,000 prisoners in Iraq --Over 350 foreigners are among about 10,000 detainees being held in US-run prisons in Iraq, Iraq's Human Rights Minister Bakhtiar Amin Over says.
Iraqi resistance fighters kill 25 in multiple attacks --With car bombs, assassinations and raids on police stations, insurgents killed at least 25 people, including Iraqi policemen and a deputy governor, across the volatile Sunni Triangle on Tuesday, and a militant group claimed it executed eight Iraqi employees of an American security company.
US presses for Sunnis in Iraq 'election,' government --Washington is pressing neighboring countries to persuade Sunnis in Iraq to vote in next month's elections, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Monday, the same day the top party from the minority group withdrew from the ballot.
Main Sunni party pulls out of Iraqi 'election' --Iraq's largest mainstream Sunni Muslim party pulled out of the 'election' race yesterday, saying the violence plaguing areas north and west of Baghdad made a "free and fair vote" on January 30 impossible.
Attacks on Iraqi security forces kill 24 --Gunmen assassinate local police commander in Sunni Triangle --Insurgents launched multiple attacks on Iraqi police across the dangerous Sunni Triangle on Tuesday, killing 24 people — including 19 policemen — a day after the major Sunni Muslim political party pulled out of the Jan. 30 elections citing the deteriorating security situation.
Shiite Muslim politician escapes bombing; at least 10 killed --A car bomb aimed at a leading Shiite Muslim politician missed its target Monday but killed at least 10 people, some of them Iraqis simply passing by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim's house during the morning rush hour.
Two U.S. Soldiers Killed by Roadside Bombs in Iraq --Roadside bombs killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded five in two separate blasts in Iraq, the U.S. military said Monday.
DoD Launches 2005 Health Related Behaviors Survey --The Department of Defense announced today the initiation of the 2005 Survey of Health Related Behaviors among Military Personnel.
Russia, China to hold unprecedented joint military manoeuvres next year --Russia and China will hold unprecedented joint military manoeuvres on Chinese territory next year involving both nations' air forces and navies, Russia's defence minister said Monday.
Jazeera TV: Bin Laden Tape Urges Iraq Polls Boycott --An audio tape purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden urged Iraqis Monday to boycott January's 'elections,' saying anyone who takes part would be an "infidel."
Rumsfeld says 9-11 plane 'shot down' in Pennsylvania --During surprise Christmas Eve trip, defense secretary contradicts official story --Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been questions about Flight 93, the ill-fated plane that crashed in the rural fields of Pennsylvania. The official story has been that passengers on the United Airlines flight rushed the hijackers in an effort to prevent them from crashing the plane into a strategic target... During his surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the flight being shot down.
Pentagon: Rumsfeld misspoke on Flight 93 crash Defense secretary's remark to troops fuels 'conspiracy' theories --A comment Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made during a Christmas Eve address to U.S. troops in Baghdad has sparked new 'conspiracy' theories about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the speech, Rumsfeld made a passing reference to United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to stop al Qaeda hijackers. But in his remarks, Rumsfeld referred to "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania." A Pentagon spokesman insisted that Rumsfeld simply misspoke, but Internet 'conspiracy' theorists seized on the reference to the plane having been shot down.
Ex-official tells of Homeland Security failures --The government agency responsible for protecting the nation against terrorist attack is a dysfunctional, poorly managed bureaucracy that has failed to plug serious holes in the nation's safety net, the Department of Homeland Security's former internal watchdog warns.
Report: Port security funds being misspent --More Homeland Security oversight needed, watchdog says --The Homeland Security Department has allowed federal grants for improving security at America's ports to be spent on low priority problems rather than the most serious vulnerabilities, the agency's outgoing watchdog says.
GOP sets up Senate collision on judges --Dictator Bush's move to renominate 20 judicial candidates whose confirmations have been blocked by Senate Democrats sets the stage for a bitter procedural battle that could have implications for the next Supreme Court nomination and for next year's legislative agenda.
Holiday gift for timber industry (San Francisco Chronicle) "It appears the Bush administration's weakening of environmental protections is going to continue into a second term... The Bush administration's latest proposal is especially disturbing in view of its other actions to promote timber harvesting in public forests." Email the U.S. Forest Service: email@example.com. Or, send comments via snail mail: Forest Service Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 22777, Salt Lake City, UT 84122.
Disease could double tsunami death toll --The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that disease in the aftermath of southern Asia's tsunami disaster could kill as many people as the deadly waves and earthquake have.
Asia Disaster Yields Its Dead, Toll at 59,000 --The sea and wreckage of coastal towns around the Indian Ocean yielded up tens of thousands of bodies on Tuesday, pushing the toll from Sunday's tsunami close to 60,000.
Indonesia ups deaths sending tsunami toll past 52,000 --Mourners in Sri Lanka used their bare hands to dig graves Tuesday while hungry islanders in Indonesia turned to looting in the aftermath of Asia's devastating tsunamis. Thousands more bodies were found in Indonesia, dramatically increasing the death toll across 11 nations to more than 52,000.
'All the Sea Was Like a Desert' --When the first waves rolled in, A.D. Chandaratna was mending a fishing net on the beach in front of the single-story house he shares with his wife and four children. Fearing for their safety, he did the sensible thing and evacuated them to higher ground. Then he committed what could have been a fatal mistake: He went back to take a second look...
Protests line up for Bush inauguration --Democratic and independent activists from across the United States are planning protests to coincide with the inauguration of George W. Bush on Jan. 20... According to the Talon News out of Albuquerque, Citizens For Legitimate Government, "a radical anti-Bush activist group that has never accepted the legitimacy of the Bush administration," is also joining the anti-inaugural protest in what it is calling "The Grand Refusal."
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