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


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

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February 2005 Archives

House approves electronic ID cards --The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday a sweeping set of rules aimed at forcing states to issue all adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses. Under the rules, federal employees would reject licenses or identity cards that don't comply, which could curb Americans' access to airplanes, trains, national parks, federal courthouses and other areas controlled by the federal government. The bill was approved by a 261-161 vote.

Patriot Act strikes Marshall Islands bank -- Residents of the Marshall Islands will be unable to use their credit cards from next week after the central Pacific nation's leading bank was cut off from a US partner by the anti-[pro]terrorist Patriot Act.

Civil Rights Lawyer Is Convicted of Aiding Terrorists --Lynne F. Stewart, an outspoken New York lawyer known for aggressively defending unpopular [?!?] clients, was found guilty today of aiding terrorism by smuggling messages out of jail from a convicted Islamic terrorist she represented. [What does that mean, 'unpopular?' It's irrelevant.]

Lawyer guilty of aiding terrorists faces 20 years in jail --An American civil rights lawyer was yesterday convicted of aiding terrorism by smuggling secret messages [?!?] from an Islamist client, who was jailed for plotting to destroy several New York landmarks, to his followers outside.

Verdict in Lynne Stewart case shakes legal community --Veteran civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart has vowed to fight her conviction on terrorism charges. But her case has already left some of her colleagues on the city's legal scene clearly shaken. "It's a dark day for civil liberties and for civil liberties lawyers in this country," attorney Ron Kuby said on Thursday following the verdict in federal court in Manhattan. "In the post 9-11 era, where dissidents are treated as traitors, it's perhaps no surprise that a zealous civil rights lawyer becomes a convict."

Britain accused over CIA's secret torture flights --UK airports are believed to be operational bases for two executive jets used by the CIA to carry out 'renditions' of terror suspects. Britain's intelligence agencies have been accused of helping America in a secret operation that is sending terror suspects to Middle Eastern countries where prisoners are routinely tortured and abused. Since 11 September 2001, the CIA has been systematically seizing suspects and sending them, without legal process, not only to Guantanamo Bay but to authorities in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Human rights campaigners say the system, officially known as "extraordinary rendition" is a system of torture by proxy.

Dead-End For War Crimes Accusations: German Prosecutor Won't Pursue Rumsfeld Case --Germany's federal prosecutor says the allegations that United States Secretary of Defense [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld and other top Washington brass were responsible for Abu Ghraib must be investigated in the US, not under German war crimes laws. The decision deals a blow to the American group that brought the case, but it could ease German-American tensions.

Iraq to close borders next week --Iraq will seal its borders next week to prevent Shiite pilgrims flooding into the country, the government said today, in the latest emergency measure intended to thwart insurgent violence. The borders will be closed between February 17 and February 22, in a move a government spokesman said was designed to coincide with the climax of Ashura, a major Shiite religious ceremony.

Iraq to seal borders for five days after 38 die in attacks --A remote-controlled car bomb exploded in central Baghdad yesterday, killing two Iraqis but missing a US convoy. On a day in which violence claimed at least 38 lives, Iraqi officials said they would seal the country's borders for five days this month for a Shia religious holiday.

U.S. Military Advisers 'Embed' in Iraqi Units --U.S. forces will use an "advisory, assistance and embedding" strategy to help prepare Iraqi forces to provide security [sic] and ensure stability [sic] within their own borders, according to a senior military officer in the region.

Gunmen Kill Nine People in Baghdad Bakery -- Police --Gunmen opened fire on customers in a bakery in eastern Baghdad Friday, killing nine people, police said.

More than 20 bodies of convoy drivers found near Baghdad --The bodies of more than 20 Iraqi drivers and security forces from a convoy of government trucks carrying sugar [?!? Actually, likely carrying Halliburton's Weapons of Mass Terrorism] were found on Thursday south of Baghdad, police said.

Pentagon regularly reviews war plans against Iran: Centcom --The Pentagon is regularly reviewing its war plans against Iran, but it is not in an active phase of preparing a military campaign against the country, the deputy head of the US Central Command, General Lance Smith, said.

Iran Vows 'Burning Hell' for Any Aggressor --Iran, facing mounting U.S. pressure over its nuclear program, promised Thursday a "burning hell" [<g>] for any aggressor as tens of thousands marched to mark the 26th anniversary of its Islamic revolution.

Iran to take control of world's oil trade in 2005 (theinsider.org) "In 2005, Iran will launch a new oil exchange that is expected to put an end to Western domination of the international oil trade. The US and UK, currently home to the world's largest oil markets, are unlikely to allow Iran to undermine their control of the oil trade without putting up a fight. Iran is to launch an oil trading market for Middle East and Opec producers that could threaten the supremacy of London's International Petroleum Exchange. A contract to design and establish a new platform for crude, natural gas and petrochemical trades is expected to be signed with an international consortium within days."

OIF, OEF Veterans Wanted As Special Recruiters --The Army is asking Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans to volunteer to be part of the Special Recruiter Assistance Program. The Army wants OIF and OEF veterans to go to their local communities to talk about life in the military and their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. This, official say, is an effort to raise awareness about the military, while at the same time encouraging young adults to join the Army.

Wounded Iraq Veterans Get Bills --The Army has identified 129 wounded soldiers who mistakenly received bills for expenses upon returning home from wars — in some cases instead of final paychecks — and it has forgiven their debts.

In Harm's Way --The Pentagon's anti-malaria drug of choice can cause dangerous side effects --by Brian H. Kehrl "Among the myriad side effects for Lariam—according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and anecdotal accounts of patients given the drug—are anxiety, paranoia, depression, vertigo, hallucinations, nightmares, psychotic behavior, brain damage, vestibular (inner ear) damage and suicidal thoughts... At least 18 soldiers have been diagnosed with brain or vestibular damage from Lariam toxicity since the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to [(D-Calif.) Sen. Dianne] Feinstein’s office."

Bush team tried to suppress pre-9/11 report into al-Qa'ida --Federal officials were repeatedly warned in the months before the 11 September 2001 terror attacks that Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'ida were planning aircraft hijackings and suicide attacks, according to a new report that the Bush dictatorship has been suppressing. Critics say the new information undermines the government's claim that intelligence about al-Qa'ida's ambitions was "historical" in nature.

Report: FAA Had 52 Pre-9/11 Warnings --The Federal Aviation Administration received repeated warnings in the months prior to Sept. 11, 2001, about al-Qaida and its desire to attack airlines, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission that investigated the terror attacks. The report by the Sept. 11 commission detailed 52 such warnings given to FAA leaders from April to Sept. 10, 2001, about the radical Islamic terrorist group and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

Before 9/11 attacks, FAA issued 52 hijacking warnings --Panel's report is critical of failure to boost security --The Federal Aviation Administration received repeated warnings in the months prior to Sept. 11, 2001, about al-CIA-duh and its desire to attack airlines, according to a previously undisclosed report by the commission that investigated the terror attacks. The report by the 9/11 commission that investigated the suicide airliner attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon detailed 52 such warnings given to FAA leaders from April to Sept. 10, 2001, about the radical Islamic terrorist group and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

9/11 panel: FAA warned about al-Qaida --In the months before Sept. 11, the Federal Aviation Administration told some of the nation's largest airports that if a terrorist wanted to hijack a plane to commit suicide in a "spectacular explosion," it would likely be a hijacking on U.S. soil rather than overseas.

Petition to Senate to Investigate Oddities of 9/11 --  26,775 signatures; please add yours.

Congress passes 'doomsday' plan (January 9, 2005) 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. "It's a very foolish thing to do, I believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish.''

Students ordered to wear tracking tags --Parents protest school mandate on RFID badges --Sutter, Calif. - The only grade school in this rural town is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move. Some parents are outraged, fearing it will rob their children of privacy. The badges introduced at Brittan Elementary School on Jan. 18 rely on the same radio frequency and scanner technology that companies use to track livestock and product inventory.

Parents protest kiddie tags --California dreaming --A California primary school has created a bit of a hurrukan by demanding children attending the establishment wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move.

U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings --More than 200 scientists employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they have been directed to alter official findings to lessen protections for plants and animals, a survey released Wednesday says. More than half of the biologists and other researchers who responded to the survey said they knew of cases in which commercial interests, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies, had applied political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions deemed harmful to their business.

Kansas board to seek experts' opinion on science standards --The Kansas City Star Conservatives [whackjobs] on the Kansas Board of Education agreed today to solicit opinions from experts on how evolution should be taught in science classrooms.

Bill would add 'Under God' to auto plates --"One Nation Under God" may soon be on Ohio specialty license plates. State Sen. Bob Spada, R-Whackjob-North Royalton, and Rep. Tom Patton, R-Nutball-Strongsville, today will introduce bills to add a "One Nation Under God" license plate to the 70-plus different specialty plates Ohioans motorists can purchase.

Senate OKs Limit on Class Action Lawsuits --With House Passage Expected, Bush Soon to Get Bill Curbing Class Action Lawsuits --Congress is only days away from handing Dictator Bush and business groups a big victory by curbing multimillion-dollar class action lawsuits. Despite complaints the legislation could hurt consumers, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill 72-26 on Thursday.

Joseph Goebbels could have learned a lot from *this* regime: RNC challenges ads criticizing Bush's Social Security plan --Vowing not to "cede one inch" to critics of Dictator Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security, the Republican National Committee is aggressively challenging television ads about the proposal if it thinks they are false or misleading.

Bush EPA Planning Two-Year Amnesty for Factory Farm Polluters (bushgreenwatch.org) "Euphemistically called 'concentrated animal feeding operations,' or CAFOs, the giant facilities also raise an enormous stench, as giant piles of rotting waste produce clouds of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds, and particulates. Their emissions have become so obnoxious that news reports regularly pop up when area residents demand that these corporate farms clean up their mess. There was little coverage, however, when on the day after last month's presidential inauguration, one of the first acts of the second Bush Administration was to hand these polluters a generous free pass."

Yesterday's Gallup Poll Showing Bush Approval At 57% Had 9% More Republicans Than Democrats --by Steve Soto "The poll trumpeted far and wide yesterday by CNN, USAT, and the right wing blogosphere was based on a sample constructed by Gallup that contained 37% Republicans, 35% Independents, and only 28% Democrats."

Trouble Back in Bedrock --by billmon (billmon.org) "A conservative writer who attracted attention by asking President [sic] Bush a loaded question at a news conference last month has resigned amid questions about his identity and background. James D. Guckert, who wrote under the name Jeff Gannon, said on his Web site that he was leaving 'because of the attention being paid to me.' State of Delaware vs. James D. Guckert --State of Delaware County of New Castle I, William M. Remington, Director of Revenue of the State of Delaware, do hereby certify that assessment of: PERSONAL INCOME TAX tax (SEE ATTACHED - MULTIPLE PERIODS) Tax in the amount of $9,484.00 --Penalty in the amount of $7,697.69 Interest in the amount of $3,560.71 Totaling $20,742.40 Was made against:

JAMES D. GUCKERT
5721 KENNETT PIKE

GREENVILLE, DE 19807

William M. Remington Director of Revenue Case No. 96J-10-106 Superior Court of New Castle County, DE"

White House asked to explain role of Web site reporter at briefings --In a letter to Dictator Bush on Wednesday, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., called for an explanation of how a Talon News reporter who used the pseudonym "Jeff Gannon" was admitted to White House briefings. Gannon resigned late Tuesday amid a flurry of accusations about his professional credentials and links to the Republican Party.

Rep. Slaughter Calls on President [sic] Bush to Explain Emerging White House Briefing Room Scandal [Press release from Rep. Slaughter's website] "[Democratic] Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28), long time champion of media reform and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Rules, sent a letter to President [sic] George W. Bush today asking him to explain how discredited 'reporter' Jeff Gannon was credentialed as a member of the legitimate media by the White House."

Scandal in the Press Corps --by Dan Froomkin "The rise and fall of 'Jeff Gannon,' the pseudononymous conservative partisan who bragged of working 'behind enemy lines' in the White House press corps, is turning into the media scandal of the week... Pretty much every day, Gannon got cleared into the White House briefing room by a press office that knew his real name... In the ensuing days, liberal Web sites and an army of bloggers determined his real name, called attention to his lack of journalistic credentials, found a link to gay porn Web sites, pointed out how that ran afoul of his 'family values' positions, and apparently hounded him into resigning."

Mega barf alert! Canada backs terminator seeds --An international moratorium on the use of one of the world's most controversial GM food technologies may be broken today if the Canadian government gets seed sterilisation backed at a UN meeting.

More mega barf! More women contact district attorney's office about Cosby --California attorney Tamara Green's nonstop media blitz about her allegations that Bill ['family values'] Cosby drugged and groped her 30 years ago has prompted other women to come forward.

*****

"Groundhog Day and State of the Union address on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out, it was an ironic juxtaposition: One involved a meaningless ritual in which we looked to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication and the other involved a groundhog..."

9/11 Report Cites Many Warnings About Hijackings --The report takes the F.A.A. to task for failing to pursue domestic security measures that could conceivably have altered the events of Sept. 11, 2001. In the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal aviation officials reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al CIA-duh, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission.

N. Korea admits having nuclear weapons --North Korea's government publicly acknowledged for the first time that it has nuclear weapons, and said the state is suspending participation in six-nation talks aimed at getting it to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

N. Korea Says Made Nuke Weapons, Shuns 6 - Way Talks --North Korea said on Thursday that it had manufactured nuclear weapons for its self-defense and was suspending participation in six-way talks on its atomic arms program for an "indefinite period."

Washington warns Iran that its patience will not last forever --America increased the pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme yesterday, telling European allies that Tehran could not delay indefinitely its compliance with international standards, and warning that Washington had not ruled out any option in its dealings with the Iranians.

The Coalition of the Bribed strikes again! Bush Seeks $400 Million to Reward Allies --Dictator Bush is asking Congress to set up a $400 million fund to bribe ['reward'] nations that have taken political and economic risks to join U.S.-led occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Baghdad Car Bomb Kills Two --A car bomb detonated by remote control exploded in a crowded central Baghdad square Thursday moments after an American military convoy passed, killing at least two Iraqis and wounding two others, the U.S. Army said.

Gunmen Kill Iraqi Journalist, Government Official --Gunmen killed an Iraqi 'journalist' working for a U.S.-funded television network in Basra and assassinated a senior government official in Baghdad on Wednesday in the latest attacks following the Jan. 30 'election.'

TV reporter gunned down in Iraq --At least nine people have been killed in another day of violence in Iraq, including a correspondent for a US-funded Arabic TV station.

Bomb 'likely cause' of Iraq crash --A bomb planted by insurgents "likely" blew the right wing off a Royal Air Force transport in Iraq and caused it to crash more than a week ago, killing 10 servicemen, Britain's The Sun newspaper reported today.

'How Are These People Going to Feel About Americans?' --by Dahr Jamail "Speaking on condition of anonymity, the doctor sits with me in a hotel room in Amman, where he is now a refugee. He'd spoken in the UK about what he saw in Fallujah, and he is now under threat by the U.S. military if he returns to Iraq... The doctor tells me of the bombing of the Hay Nazal clinic during the first week of the siege. 'This contained all the foreign aid and medical instruments we had. All the U.S. military commanders knew this, because we told them about it so they wouldn't bomb it. But this was one of the clinics bombed, and in the first week of the siege they bombed it two times.' He adds, 'Of course, they targeted all our ambulances and doctors. Everyone knows this.'

Pentagon Inquiry Is Said to Confirm Muslims' Accounts of Sexual Tactics at Guantanamo --Detainees Accuse U.S. Female Interrogators --Female interrogators repeatedly used sexually suggestive tactics to try to humiliate and pry information from devout Muslim men held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a military investigation not yet public and newly declassified accounts from detainees.

Lawyers level Guantanamo torture charges --Attorneys representing an 18-year-old Canadian detainee at Guantanamo Bay - accused of killing an American soldier [?!?] - claimed he was tortured by U.S. interrogators Wednesday, while his weeping mother pleaded for his release. Toronto-born Omar Khadr was 15 when captured and 16 when he arrived at the U.S. naval base prison in Cuba in 2002. He has not been charged. "We have evidence that one of Canada's children has been tortured by the United States," said Khadr's American lawyer Muneer Ahmad.

Lawyers for Omar Khadr allege Canadian teen abused in U.S. prison camp --The federal government has "abandoned" a Canadian teenager being held as an "enemy combatant" at a U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, broadening a shroud of secrecy that has failed to ensure his humane treatment for nearly three years, his legal team said Tuesday.

Diplomats: US lobbying to oust ElBaradei from IAEA --The United States is lobbying allies in a bid to oust the head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency, perhaps as early as the end of the month, diplomats and officials said Wednesday.

Canadians leery of Anti-Terrorism Act --Canadians worry federal anti-terrorism powers could be used to invade personal privacy, unfairly target minorities or turn neighbours into snitches, a government study has found.

Bush budget scraps 9,790 border patrol agents --Bush uses law's escape clause to drop funding for new homeland security force --The law signed by Dictator Bush less than two months ago to add thousands of border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border has crashed into the reality of Bush's austere federal budget proposal, officials said Tuesday.

Fineman confirms: Gore considering 2008 bid --Appearing on the Chris Matthews Show broadcast the weekend of February 5-6, Howard Fineman reported that Gore is considering another run for the White House. Gore feels that the political winds are now "at his back"; that his populist message of 2000 is now in harmony with the grassroots focus of the Democratic Party, according to a close friend of Gore, who spoke with Fineman.

Dayton bows out of re-election bid --Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., said today that he will not run for re-election in 2006. One senior Democrat in Washington said Dayton’s decision "doesn’t surprise me." "It’s an uphill climb for him," this individual said. "He has become somewhat of a target for the Republicans."

No-Shows Annoy Group Probing 2004 Election --Starting on a sour note, lawmakers holding the first congressional review of the 2004 vote were upset by the absence of top election officials from Ohio and Florida, states with many balloting complaints.

Judges Dissolve Ohio Vote Machine Deadline --Two judges Wednesday ordered Ohio's secretary of state [Kenneth Whackjob Blackwell] not to enforce a deadline for their counties to choose a voting machine vendor, saying the elections official had exceeded his authority.

Rove's New Position Will Involve Policy --Karl ['Goebbels'] Rove, the senior political strategist who orchestrated Dictator Bush's stolen elections, has been promoted to deputy chief of staff, a job that will involve him in most White House policy and not just politics.

Congresswoman Asks for Probe After 'Gannon' Quits WH Reporting Post --Jeff Gannon, the controversial reporter for conservative Web site Talon News who drew complaints for gaining access to White House press events, resigned from his job last night amid liberal blogs' allegations about his real name and his personal and professional life. Today, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Dictator Bush asking him to "address the matter" in light of "mounting evidence that your Administration has, on several occasions, paid members of the media to advocate in favor of Administration policies."

White House Reporter "Jeff Gannon" Admits He Used Fake Name --Jeff Gannon, the controversial reporter for conservative Web site Talon News who resigned from his job Tuesday, confirmed late Wednesday, in a phone interview with National Public Radio, that he has been using a false name. Yet he still managed to gain access to White House briefings and was one of the few reporters allowed to ask Dictator Bush a (very friendly) question at a recent press conference.

Online Reporter Quits After Liberals' Expose --The conservative reporter who asked Dictator Bush a loaded question at a news conference last month resigned yesterday after liberal bloggers uncovered his real name and raised questions about his background. Jeff Gannon, who had been writing for the Web sites Talon News and GOPUSA, is actually James Dale Guckert, 47, and has been linked to online domain addresses with sexually provocative names.

White House reporter's credentials questioned --Man worked for Web site owned by Republican activist --A New York congresswoman asked the White House to explain Wednesday why a man [Reichwing maggot] who worked for a news Web site owned by a GOP activist was able to obtain White House press credentials under an assumed name.

Leg. Protecting Vaccine Mfrs. from Liability Under Guise of Protecting Americans from Terror --U.S. Newswire/ "Once again, Senators Gregg (R-NH) and Frist (R-TN) have introduced legislation to shield the pharmaceutical industry from responsibility for exposing American children to harmful levels of mercury from thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative widely used in infant vaccines. The bill, S. 3, 'Protecting America in the War on [of] Terror Act of 2005' introduced on January 24th includes language that protects vaccine producers from product liability under the guise of shielding the nation from biological terrorism and increasing the death benefit paid to US soldiers."

Senate Refuses Change to Class-Action Bill --The U.S. Senate pressed ahead on Wednesday with a business-backed bill to curb class-action lawsuits, rebuffing attempts to soften the measure that is part of Dictator Bush's push for sweeping legal reforms.

Health care advisers serve wealthy --Health care advisers are reportedly joining investment, tax and estate-planning experts in serving wealthy families and executives in the United States. A growing number of personal patient advocacy services are cropping up to help research treatment options and arrange health care for clients, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

New White House Estimate Lifts Drug Benefit Cost to $720 Billion --The Bush dictatorship offered a new estimate of the cost of the Medicare 'drug benefit' [corporate welfare] on Tuesday, saying it would cost $720 billion in the next 10 years.

Plan could require all in state to have health insurance --Two state assemblymen told health officials in La Jolla on Tuesday that they plan to propose a sweeping health-care reform package in Sacramento on Thursday that would likely require all Californians to have health insurance.

Wal-Mart Shuts Unionizing Store --Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Wednesday it will close a Canadian store whose workers are on the verge of becoming the first ever to win a union contract from the world's biggest retailer.

Minn. Dems Won't Name Building for Reagan --Around Minnesota's Capitol, the State Office Building is commonly called the S.O.B. But that doesn't make Democrats any more open to putting [Iran Contra terrorist] Ronald Reagan's name on it. State senators rejected a bill Wednesday that would have named the building after the former president -- who lost Minnesota both times he ran for the presidency.

Newsom Blasts Dems For Not Supporting Gay Marriage --San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom got a reception usually reserved for a head of state Tuesday when he addressed students at Harvard University. Speaking at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Newsom dismissed accusations that his decision to allow same-sex marriages helped reselect Dictator George W. Bush and motivated voters in 11 states to approve constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.

2004 Was Fourth-Warmest Year Ever Recorded --Last year was the fourth warmest since systematic temperature measurements began around the world in the 19th century, NASA scientists said yesterday.

*****

Holy disinformation, Batman!! Pentagon to broadcast to millions of U.S. homes --The U.S. military is to beam its own news coverage to millions of Americans. Moving on from its phase of embedding journalists, or as some would say, 'a policy of restricting and controlling the flow of information,' the Pentagon will now produce and disseminate the news itself. It will be beamed to the public at no charge. The service will emanate from what is known as the Pentagon Channel, an internal public relations television unit within the Department of Defense.

With America at war, Hollywood follows --Hollywood has gone to war. In a reflection of America's conflict in Iraq, a proliferation of TV and film projects is focusing on the U.S. military, the war or both... But not any and every angle of war is being depicted. One aspect is glaringly absent from most projects: negativity. The U.S. soldier is the hero; his cause is just. Storylines featuring the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal or war protests are no-nos. [Why is the truth ...'negative'?]

Mossad and U.S. forces in Iraq spy on Iran --According to a report in the Arabic news daily Al Hayat, the Israeli spy agency Mossad in cooperation with American forces in Iraq, have installed radars in the island of Um al-Rassas near the city of Basra. The aim of the operations is to monitor military and security operations in Iran.

US scientists designing new generation of nuclear arms --US scientists are quietly starting work on a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be more rugged [?!?] and reliable [?!?] than warheads in the existing arsenal.

Anger at U.S.scientists designing of new nuclear weapons --Anger has greeted the news that U.S. scientists have been commissioned to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons. A report in the New York Times earlier this week said $9 million and up to 100 people had been allocated for the project.

Official: 13,000-17,000 insurgents in Iraq --The U.S. military faces between 13,000 and 17,000 insurgents in Iraq, the large majority of them backers of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party, a senior military official said Tuesday.

21 Dead, 27 Hurt in Iraq Suicide Bombing --A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of Iraqis outside an army recruitment center Tuesday, killing 21 other people and injuring 27 more, the U.S. military said.

Tanks, officers impose order in Fallujah --Iraqis line up in straggling columns, waiting to pass through barbed-wire checkpoints that ring this former insurgent stronghold left battered by intense fighting three months ago. Men stand in one, women and children in another. The few cars form a third.

Please forward this one to the Iraqi insurgency. 'Torture jet' flies back to Scotland --A CIA jet which takes 'terror' suspects to countries where torture is routinely used during interrogation has again landed at Glasgow airport en route to Baghdad. The Boeing 737 is owned by a company called Keeler and Tate Management LLC of Reno, Nevada. Investigations in America suggest it is a CIA front company.

US set to free last French Guantanamo Bay detainees --The United States and France have reportedly agreed to repatriate the last three French citizens being held at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

C4 lines up Guantánamo-style torture show --Channel 4 is to broadcast what it is styling a Guantánamo Bay-style reality show that will examine the effects of mild torture on seven male volunteers. The Guantánamo Guidebook will recreate some of the practices used at the US naval base where hundreds of so-called "enemy combatants" have been held without trial or access to lawyers for nearly three years.

Fraud and corruption --Forget the UN. The US occupation regime helped itself to $8.8 bn of mostly Iraqi money in just 14 months --by George Monbiot "These violations [UN's oil-for-food programme] consisted of 'illicit sales' of oil by the Iraqi regime to Turkey and Jordan. The members of the UN security council, including the United States, knew about them but did nothing... The government of the US, in other words, though it had been informed about a smuggling operation which brought Saddam Hussein's regime some $4.6bn, decided to let it continue... Four days before [Paul] Volcker reported his findings about Saddam Hussein, the US inspector general for Iraq reconstruction published a report about the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) - the US agency which governed Iraq between April 2003 and June 2004. The inspector general's job is to make sure that the money the authority spent was properly accounted for. It wasn't. In just 14 months, $8.8bn went absent without leave."

Israel, Palestinians Declare Cease-Fire --Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a cease-fire Tuesday at a summit in Egypt aimed at ending more than four years of bloodshed.

Judge Rejects 'Stop Loss' Suit Vs. Army --A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Army's right to force soldiers to serve past the dates of their enlistments, the so-called "stop loss" policy that can keep men and women in uniform during war or national emergencies.

Back from Iraq - and suddenly out on the streets --Social service agencies say the number of homeless vets is rising, in part because of high housing costs and gaps in pay. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are now showing up in the nation's homeless shelters.

Venezuela calls US official "impertinent" --Venezuela described Tuesday as "impertinent" United States expressions of concern regarding planned arms purchases from Russia. Caracas' Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel suggested that the Bush regime address problems closer to home such as the burgeoning deficit and abuse of detainees at Guantanamo and in Iraq [and the second stolen presidential election].

U.S. and allied forces staging space warfare games in Nevada --Military and homeland security officials began a week of space warfare games Saturday involving representatives from 20 US agencies and three allied countries.

Alert: GOP Bill to Suspend Laws Is Moving! --by valabor (dailykos.com) "The House GOP Leadership is apparently moving to pass H.R. 418, 'The REAL ID Act of 2005,' in the House THIS WEEK. This is the bill that would give Homeland Security the power to suspend all laws! The Rules Committee is moving fast. From their website... H.R. 418 is the bill that contains the infamous 'Section 102' -- which would give the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive, at his absolute discretion, any and all laws he deems necessary to waive in order to expedite construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the U.S. border. He decides what is necessary to waive! He decides the scope of his own authority, really, because his decision is NOT REVIEWABLE BY ANY COURT!'"

Homeland Security Budget Jumps, So Do Public Fees --The White House on Monday proposed an almost 7 percent jump in homeland security spending for 2006 -- well above the average for the overall budget plan -- but most extra funds will come from higher public fees.

New Jet Laser Incident Reported --The captain of an American Airlines jet reported a laser beam penetrated the cockpit as the plane prepared to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, on Sunday.

FBI Van Burglarized; SWAT Rifles, Ammo Taken --Jacksonville, Fla.--Four sniper rifles, scopes and ammunition were stolen from an FBI SWAT van parked outside a Baymeadows Road hotel before dawn Sunday. The FBI said the guns belonged to a team from Atlanta in Jacksonville to provide extra security [sic] for the Super Bowl.

Key West Man Dies After Being Pepper Sprayed By Police --Key West, Fla. -- Key West police say a man died early Tuesday after being taken into custody.

LA police kill 13-year-old suspected car thief --Police shot dead a 13-year-old suspected car thief following a three and a half-mile chase which ended when he reversed into their patrol car, sparking anger and shock in a Los Angeles neighbourhood.

Protesters challenge NYC arrests --1,806 people were arrested here during the four-day Repugnant Nazi Carnival in Manhattan last summer... The handful of convictions and large number of dismissals are seen by protesters and their advocates as evidence that police wanted to take demonstrators off the streets and intimidate potential participants into staying home.

Colorado Professor Fires Back as He Defends His Positions --Angry and unrepentant, the University of Colorado professor who compared victims of the 9/11 terror attacks to Nazis gave a fiery speech Tuesday night, chastising college officials, calling journalists "punks" and refusing to apologize for anything he had said. "I'm not backing up an inch; I owe no one an apology!" declared Ward L. Churchill in an address to more than 1,000 mostly cheering students gathered at the university's Boulder campus.

School May Fire Professor for 9/11 Comment --University of Colorado administrators [Reichwing whackjobs] Thursday took the first steps toward a possible dismissal of a [tenured] professor who likened World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi.

Hold onto your hats! Rove Is Promoted to Deputy Staff Chief --Job Covers a Broad Swath of Policy --During Dictator Bush's first term, outsiders often suspected that Karl ['Goebbels'] Rove was really behind virtually everything. Now it's official. Rove, the political mastermind behind two [stolen] presidential elections, yesterday was named White House deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating domestic policy, economic policy, national security and homeland security.

Rove finally given title in US government --George Bush yesterday made official what has been long been an acknowledged fact of Washington life - the involvement of his top strategist Karl Rove not just in politics but in almost every aspect of regime strategy. Henceforth the senior adviser often referred to as "Bush's Brain" will have the formal title of deputy chief of staff, a post that will involve him in policymaking across the board, from domestic issues to foreign affairs.

Ohio Officials Begin Voting Machine Fight --Ohio's attorney general and its secretary of state launched a dispute over voting machines on Tuesday, the day before counties are required to submit their machine choices. Attorney General Jim Petro issued a written opinion Tuesday saying Secretary of State [and GOP whore] Kenneth Blackwell did not have the authority to order counties to use one type of voting machine. Petro said the choice is up to the counties.

GOP Consultant Sentenced in Phone Jamming --The former head of a Republican consulting group was sentenced Tuesday to five months in jail for jamming Democratic telephone lines in several New Hampshire cities during the 2002 election.

Judge demands appearance by Gale Norton --A federal judge has given Interior Secretary Gale Norton an ultimatum: Either appear in his court or face the prospect that he'll rule against her on an accusation that she retaliated against American Indians suing her agency for lost royalties.

Senate Bill Would Hobble Citizen Lawsuits vs. Polluters (bushgreenwatch.org) "Debate began yesterday in the Senate over a proposal that would seriously weaken the ability of citizens to seek redress for harm done by polluters. The so-called Class Action Fairness Act (S.5), would shift all citizens' class action lawsuits from states to already overburdened federal courts."

W.R. Grace indicted in Libby asbestos deaths --Mine company and seven executives face criminal charges --W.R. Grace & Co. and seven of its current or former executives have been indicted on federal charges that they knowingly put their workers and the public in danger through exposure to vermiculite ore contaminated with asbestos from the company's mine in Libby, Mont.

Cable Companies Provide Porn While Funding Politicians --Critics Say Politicians Morally Obligated to Refuse Donations --While its previous owners considered adult entertainment "immoral," Adelphia Communications Corp., the country's fifth-largest cable television provider, last week became the first to offer hard-core adult films on pay-per-view to its subscribers.

German carnival pokes fun at Bush -- Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets of major western German cities for the traditional Rose Monday procession, the highlight of the Catholic carnival season. Political leaders received plenty of exposure, with an effigy of US Dictator George Bush figuring on one float, backside bared, in the city of Mainz while German opposition leader Angela Merkel ran up a ladder behind.

Va. House Passes Gay Marriage Ban --The House of Delegates passed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, despite a warning from the state's first openly gay legislator that the measure will one day shame the state as slavery and racial segregation laws did.

A million flamingos could lose home as Kenyan lake dries up --Kenya's Lake Nakuru, one of the world's great natural spectacles and home to more than a million flamingos, is in imminent danger of drying up, conservationists have warned.

Yes, Gore DID Win! Scads and scads of information detailing the Gore victory and the Bush coup!

*****

US troops held responsible for KAM AIR crash --A source close to the Afghan government has held United States troops responsible for crash of a passenger plane. Talking to Radio Tehran, on condition of anonymity, the source said that the KAM AIR, which was on its way from Herat to Kabul, did not land at Kabul airport due to bad weather. The pilot of the plane wanted to land at Bagram airbase where the US forces have been stationed; however, the US troops did not allow the plane to land. The source further said that the staff of the plane had informed the US troops at Bagram airbase that it could remain in air for only fifteen minutes.

CIA Renditions of Terror Suspects Are 'Out of Control:' Report --The Central Intelligence Agency's 'rendition' of suspected terrorists has spiralled 'out of control' according to a former FBI agent, cited in a report which examined how CIA detainees are spirited to states suspected of using torture. Michael Scheuer, a former CIA counterterrorism agent, told The New Yorker magazine "all we've done is create a nightmare," with regard to the top secret practice of renditions.

Kuwaitis Allege Torture by U.S. Forces --Six Kuwaiti prisoners said they were severely beaten, given electric shocks and sodomized by U.S. forces in Afghanistan before they 'confessed' to fighting with the Taliban and were sent to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, their lawyer said yesterday.

Lawyer Says U.S. Forces Abused Kuwaiti Prisoners --U.S. forces abused several Kuwaiti prisoners now held at Guantanamo Bay by beating them with chains, sodomizing them and giving them electrical shocks, the detainees' lawyer said Monday.

Gitmo Detainees: U.S. Troops Abused Them --Nearly a dozen detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp contend they were wrongly imprisoned after repeated abuse by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including beatings with chains, electric shock and sodomy, their lawyer said Monday.

Blast at Iraqi army recruiting center kills up to 14 --An explosion shook an Iraqi army recruiting center in Baghdad on Tuesday, and police and hospital officials said up to 14 people were killed.

Insurgents Kill at Least 30 in Iraq -- Insurgents struck at Iraqi police with a suicide bomb, a car bomb and mortars in the cities of Mosul and Baqouba on Monday, killing at least 30 people as they pressed their campaign to undermine the fledgling security forces.

Iraq oil pipeline ablaze after fresh sabotage --A pipeline carrying crude oil from Iraq's northern Kirkuk hub to the key refinery of Baiji was attacked Monday, an official from the North Oil Company said.

Kennedy sticks to war criticism ----Senator Edward M. Kennedy went before a national television audience yesterday to defend his call for the Bush regime to set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Massachusetts Democrat said that the insurgency stems from Iraqis not believing that they "own the country."

Passport racket blows hole in Baghdad's security net --Officials in Baghdad and Washington continually berate Iraq's neighbours, particularly Syria, for their failure to block insurgency movements across their joint borders. But one of the most dangerous security lapses thrives in the heart of Baghdad - the trade in illicit Iraqi passports... only $US200 ($260) for a pass through most of the security checkpoints in a city at war.

Israel and Palestinians Set to Declare Cease-Fire --Israel and the Palestinians will announce a formal cease-fire to halt four years of bloodshed when their leaders meet for a landmark summit in Egypt Tuesday, both sides said Monday.

Big Rise for F.B.I. in Antiterror War --The big winner in Bush's budget among law enforcement agencies - as it has been since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 - is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with state and local police agencies again facing major cutbacks in federal assistance. The budget proposes an 11 percent increase in financing for the F.B.I., to $5.6 billion.

Judge to Inquire Into Secret Tapes of Terrorism Case Witness --A federal judge in Manhattan said yesterday that he would hold a hearing on how the government came to make 28 hours of secret videotapes of interviews with a crucial witness in a terrorism case that were not given to the defense before the trial.

Bush Proposes Steep Cuts in $2.57T Budget --Dictator Bush proposed a $2.57 trillion budget Monday that would erase scores of programs and slice Medicaid, disabled housing and many more but still worsen federal deficits by $42 billion over the next five years.

Bush budget calls for big cuts --Plan to end 150 programs. Dictator Bush sent Congress on Monday what he called a "lean budget" for next year that includes some cuts that may be difficult to enact, overlooks billions needed for Iraq and jeopardizes his pledge to cut the record federal deficit in half by 2009.

Budget proposal calls for Marine Corps Restructuring --The Pentagon wants to restructure the Marine Corps - adding two more active-duty infantry battalions as well as intelligence and reconnaissance units - as part its effort to transform the Cold War-era military to fight [promote] terrorists.

Cheney eyes new borrowing for private accounts --Cheney says 'trillions more' will be needed in future years --Vice pResident Dick Cheney Sunday acknowledged trillions of dollars in future borrowing may be needed to cover the cost of private retirement accounts under Dictator Bush’s plan to retool [terminate] the Social Security system.

Bush Budget Raises Drug Prices for Many Veterans --Dictator Bush's budget would more than double the co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs and would require some to pay a new fee of $250 a year for the privilege of using government health care, Bush officials said Sunday.

Middle Class Hurt by Bush's Values --by Gov. Howard Dean, M.D. "The President [sic] has made his choices, and no matter how drastic the change in circumstance—be it war or recession or his proclaimed 'crisis?' in Social Security—he refuses to revisit those decisions. Yet—as need permeates the middle class and not just the destitute—it is hard to believe that the American people favor more corporate handouts and endless tax cuts. And whether they live in red states or blue states, whether they worship in churches or temples or not at all, Americans do not want to see their neighbors bankrupted by emergency medical care or watch military families barely scrape by on meager salaries augmented by food stamps."

Dean Opponent Bows Out of Chairman's Race --Tim Roemer, the only remaining opponent of Howard Dean in the race to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday he's bowing out of the race.

Asbestos Bill Delayed at Republicans' Request --Senate Majority Leader [and Reichwing whackjob] Bill Frist has requested a one-week delay in the introduction of a bill to create a $140 billion fund to replace asbestos lawsuits, so he could study its provisions, the author of the effort said on Monday.

U.S. snares patient's drug from Canada --FDA confiscates Lipitor en route to Fox Point man, 81, deeming it 'unapproved' --Since last February, Wisconsin residents have been able to buy drugs from Canada as part of a Web-based program set up by the state, one that the FDA warned was illegal... Gov. Jim Doyle said he believed the FDA was confiscating drugs because of pressure from drug companies.

*****

Unqualified medics 'did amputations' --Unqualified US military medics stationed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison reportedly carried out amputations and recycled used chest tubes. A Time magazine report today said staff also lacked medical supplies to treat inmates and that a medic was ordered, by one account [just one?], to cover up a homicide inside the jail.

Triage at Abu Ghraib --by M. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan H. Marks "In late 2003, Major Auch's unit set up a field hospital, bringing a full-time medical presence to the [Abu Ghraib] prison for the first time... Physician's assistants and general practitioners amputated limbs, a dentist did heart surgery, and Major Auch begged and bartered with other medical units for drugs and intravenous fluids... The catastrophic failings of medical care at Abu Ghraib put American lives at risk and violated the United States' obligations to care decently for detainees."

It's fun to shoot people: general --A commander of the US marines who said it was "fun to shoot some people" should have chosen his words more carefully but would not be disciplined, US military officials said yesterday.

4 Egyptians in Iraq ambushed, kidnapped --22 Iraqi troops are reportedly killed by insurgents; U.S. soldier dies in bombing. Gunmen waylaid a minibus Sunday carrying foreign technicians to their jobs at a mobile telephone company in western Baghdad, seizing four Egyptians in the second kidnapping of foreigners in the Iraqi capital within a week. A U.S. soldier was killed north of the capital.

22 Iraqis killed in rebel attack --Insurgents attacked a police station south of Baghdad under cover of darkness last night, killing 22 Iraqi police officers and troops in a one-hour pitched battle, the biggest since national 'elections' eight days ago, police said.

Three U.S. soldiers killed in separate incidents in Iraq --Two Task Force Danger soldiers were killed and four were wounded in an improvised explosive device attack on their patrol near Bayji, Iraq, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced Saturday.

Rumsfeld says no Iraq self-security date --Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld said Sunday he does not know when the United States will have trained enough Iraqis so they can adequately secure the country and begin replacing American troops now helping provide protection.

No plan yet to deploy troops to Iraq: Pettigrew --Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew says Canada has no intention to send troops to Iraq. His response came after reports that Prime Minister Paul Martin will be asked by U.S. Dictator George Bush to deploy 40 Canadian troops to help with reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Homeless vets wait years for aid --There are 93,000 homeless Vietnam veterans, VA officials say. Illinois has the nation's third-largest population of homeless vets -- about 20,000. Already about 100 soldiers from Iraq have turned up at homeless shelters around the country...

US main supporter of terrorism: Iran --Iran accused the United States Sunday of being the world's main supporter of terrorism through its backing of Israel, and shrugged off fresh criticism from Washington as mere sour grapes.

U.S. Redesigning Atomic Weapons --Worried that the nation's aging nuclear arsenal is increasingly fragile [?!?], American scientists have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be sturdier and more reliable and to have longer lives, federal officials and private experts say. Critics say it could needlessly resuscitate the complex of factories and laboratories that make nuclear weapons and could possibly ignite a new arms race.

Lapierre worried about helping keep U.S. secure --The federal transport czar's "worst nightmare'' is the chilling prospect of a terrorist strike on the United States via Canada.

Met chief wants ban lifted on terrorism reporting --Commissioner highlights flaws in coverage of trials --Sir Ian Blair, the new Metropolitan police commissioner, is to challenge the government's ban on reporting some terrorist trials, arguing that it undermines the confidence of the Muslim community in the police.

Terror laws face new court test --State of emergency to be challenged --Suspects detained at Belmarsh prison and Broadmoor high security hospital have launched a case at the European court of human rights that could wreck the government's plan to replace detention in prison with house arrest, the Guardian has learned. The case challenges the policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial.

FBI Pushes to Expand Domain Into CIA's Intelligence Gathering --Common Ground Not Yet Reached on Agency Roles in U.S. --The FBI is dramatically expanding its intelligence role in the United States and is seeking control over the CIA's domestic activities, according to current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials.

What You Don't Know About The Joint Terrorism Task Force --Possible 'Withdrawal' Might Not Be What You Think --Should the City Council vote to "withdraw" from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Portland Police Bureau could continue to assign officers to that Task Force, Portland Communique has learned. At the center of this apparent contradiction is a misconception about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) commonly understood to govern Portland's participation in the controversial JTTF.

Chemical spray used on students --February 4, 2005, Indianapolis --Manual High group was protesting time given to get to classes, saying it's inadequate. A peaceful student sit-in turned unruly at Manual High School, and school police used a chemical spray to disperse the crowd Thursday afternoon.

Paranoia grips the U.S. capital --by Eric Margolis "The film Seven Days In May is one of my all-time favourites. The gripping 1964 drama, starring Burt Lancaster, depicts an attempted coup by far rightists in Washington using a top-secret Pentagon anti-terrorist unit called something like 'Contelinpro.' Life imitates art. This week, former military intelligence analyst William Arkin revealed a hitherto unknown directive, with the Orwellian name 'JCS Conplan 0300-97,' authorizing the Pentagon to employ special, ultra-secret 'anti-terrorist' military units on American soil for what the author claims are 'extra-legal missions.' In other words, using U.S. soldiers to kill or arrest Americans, acts that have been illegal since the U.S. Civil War."

The Right has a License to Write Anything --Ward Churchill and the Mad Dogs --by Alexander Cockburn "[New Republic's Tom] Frank confided to The New Republic's readers, 'Maybe sometimes you just want to be on the side of whoever is more likely to take a bunker buster to Arundhati Roy.' ...Right-wing mad dogs are licensed to write anything, and in our Coulter-culture they do, just so they can burnish their profiles and get invited on Fox talk shows. Why else would Tony Blankley call on the Washington Times editorial page for Hersh to be imprisoned or shot for treason?" [Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell]

CIA Chiefs Quash Revealing Report Pointing Fingers For September 11 --Detailed CIA report is ordered to be kept secret for fear that 'prying eyes' may uncover truth --by Greg Szymanski "An internal CIA report, naming individuals who may have been responsible for intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, has been kept secret despite public outcries and congressional demands to release the incriminating evidence."

C.I.A. Defers to Congress, Agreeing to Disclose Nazi Records --Under pressure from Congress, the Central Intelligence Agency has formally agreed to a broad new interpretation of a 1998 law that requires disclosure of classified records related to Nazi war criminals, a C.I.A. document shows.

Plum assignment awaits Harris --She's a candidate for a coveted seat on the Homeland Security panel. A high-ranking member of Congress says U.S. Rep. [and 2000 coup enabler] KKKatherine Harris will be given one of the most sought-after committee assignments on Capitol Hill. U.S. Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., told a Sarasota crowd at a Republican fund-raiser on Friday night that Harris would get a coveted seat on the Homeland Security Committee. It is a post that Harris, R-Longboat Key, has quietly lobbied to get for months. The new committee will have primary jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and anti-terrorism policy decisions.

Religious right fights science for the heart of America --Creationists take their challenge to evolution theory into the classroom --In the coming weeks, Kansas educators will decide on proposed curriculum changes for high school science put forward by subscribers to the notion of "intelligent design", a modern version of creationism. If the religious right has its way, and it is a powerful force in Kansas, high school science teachers could be teaching creationist material by next September, charting an important victory in America's modern-day revolt against evolutionary science.

Bush Proposes Cuts to Scores of Programs --In his $2.5 trillion 'budget,' Dictator Bush is trying to restrain spending across a wide swath of government from popular farm subsidies to poor people's health programs.

Audit: EPA minimized mercury risks --Internal agency report finds rules based on industry plan --The Bush regime overlooked health effects and sided with the electric industry in developing rules for cutting toxic mercury pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general said Thursday.

Arid Arizona Points to Global Warming as Culprit --Dramatic weather changes in the West -- whether it is Arizona's decade-long drought or this winter's torrential rains in Southern California -- have pushed some former skeptics to reevaluate their views on climate change. A number of scientists, and some Westerners, are now convinced that global warming is the best explanation for the higher temperatures, rapid precipitation shifts, and accelerated blooming and breeding patterns that are changing the Southwest, one of the nation's most vulnerable ecosystems.

Vaccine doses could be limited again next flu season --Flu shots may be limited again next season to people with the greatest health risks if efforts to bolster the vaccine supply fail, U.S. health officials say. [Is the Bush terror team preparing to launch the avian flu pandemic?]

Emergency Measures Avian flu is on the rise in Vietnam and is now endemic in much of Asia. Can heightened vigilance keep it at bay? The disease is already endemic in much of Asia, and a recent WHO report showed that the H5N1 virus has become progressively hardier and more lethal, with a human mortality rate of 75%.

*****

America will not rest until war on [of] terror is won, says Bush --America won't rest until the war against [of] terror is won, and his budget for fiscal 2006 "will give our military all the tools they need for victory," Dictator Bush said during his weekly radio address Saturday.

Bush to Boost Military Budget by 4.8% --The request expected Monday does not include money for Halliburton ['Afghanistan and Iraq'] or future increases. The Bush regime will ask Congress on Monday to boost Pentagon spending to $419.3 billion in 2006, an increase of 4.8%.

Bush to Seek $419.3 Billion for 'Defense' --Dictator Bush will ask Congress for $419.3 billion for the Pentagon for next year, 4.8 percent more than this year's spending as the administration seeks to beef up and reshape the Army and Marine Corps for fighting [promoting] terrorism.

U.S. questions Assad's control in Syria --U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense [and Reichwing terrorist] Paul Wolfowitz said Syria's attitude toward Iraq casts doubt on whether President Bashar Assad is really in charge in Damascus. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wolfowitz said: "There's some argument as to whether President Assad is fully in control in Syria or not. But we do know this is a police state [LOL, he should know!] and somebody's in control and we have a list of, sort of, who the top 12 leaders are."

US troops pledged in case of Korean war --The United States would dispatch 690,000 troops to help defend South Korea if war broke out on the peninsula, Seoul's Defense Ministry said Friday. Some 2,000 military planes and 160 warships would also be sent in the event of an attack from North Korea, the ministry said in its White Paper.

Attacks Kill Three U.S. Troops, 33 Iraqis --...Sunni rebels showed no sign of compromise, killing three U.S. troops and at least 33 Iraqis in a string of attacks.

Bomb kills Iraqi soldiers near Basra --Four Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a motorcycle bomb near the southern city of Basra, as violence elsewhere left another seven Iraqis and two US troops dead.

Abducted journalist calls colleague --A colleague of an Italian journalist abducted in Iraq said she received a call from the cell phone of Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday - but heard no voices, only Arabic music in the background - as Italians hoped the strongly anti-war stance of Sgrena's paper could help win her release. Sgrena, 56, a reporter for the left-wing Il Manifesto, was abducted Friday by [U.S.] gunmen who blocked her car near Baghdad University and pulled her into their vehicle while exchanging fire with university guards. [*Why* would Iraqi resistance fighters kidnap a *Left-wing/anti-war* journalist? They would not. Negroponte's death squads abducted the journalist as part of the U.S. campaign of terror against non-embedded journalists.]

3 Frenchmen Among Those U.S. Military Holds in Iraq --Three French nationals are among the dozens of foreign fighters being held by the American military in Iraq, French officials confirmed Friday.

Iraqi oil pipeline sabotaged --An oil pipeline linking two of Iraq's major refineries has been attacked, the second such attack in three days, police and oil sources said.

Russians sue U.S. government for torturing them at Guantanamo camp --Several Russian citizens who alleged they were tortured while being held at the U.S. navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said they plan to sue the U.S. government in interviews published Friday.

Army Refuses to Allow Lawyers to See Classified Evidence --Newspaper lawyers asking that a military hearing on the alleged suffocation death of an Iraqi general be held in open court say the Army has refused to let them see evidence on why the session should be closed.

Post seeks access to sealed papers in GI trials --The CIA is denying Denver Post attorneys access to evidence used in a closed Army hearing that will determine whether Fort Carson soldiers face murder trials in the fatal interrogation of an Iraqi general. Army officials have argued that the evidence must be kept secret for 'national-security reasons' [Yeah, right!] and the safety of the accused.

US appeals Guantanamo decision --The US Justice Department appealed a federal court ban on military tribunals for international terror suspects held at the US Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuba. Judge Joyce Hens Green ruled on Monday that the prisoners have constitutional rights.

U.N.: Detainees May Develop Psychosis --U.N. human rights experts Friday expressed concern about possible "irreversible psychiatric symptoms" developing among suspected terrorists entering a fourth year of virtual solitary confinement at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

3 Guantanamo Detainees Ordered Released --The U.S. military has ordered three detainees at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay to be freed and 25 others to remain as secret hearings were held into the cases of more terror suspects.

U.S. Drops One Charge Against Abu Ghraib Defendant --The U.S. government dropped the main charge on Saturday against a female soldier who posed in front of a pyramid of naked Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.

Army probes 160 Iraq abuse cases --More than 160 separate allegations of abuse by British troops in Iraq have been investigated by army prosecutors, of which nearly a third could lead to highly damaging public courts martial.

Revealed: Britain's role in Guantanamo abduction --Freed detainee tells of horrors in US terror camp --British intelligence officials played a crucial part in the secret abduction of UK citizen Martin Mubanga to Guantanamo Bay. There, he reveals today in an exclusive interview, he endured 33 months of ill-treatment and often abusive interrogation.

Gonzales confirmed: war criminal to head US Justice Department --by Joseph Kay "On February 3, the United States Senate confirmed former White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to be the new attorney general. With the vote, an individual closely associated with the most criminal actions and decisions of the Bush administration will fill the chief law office in the land."

Troops given anthrax shots after judge banned them --The US military gave anthrax shots to more than 900 soldiers after a federal judge ordered a halt to the mandatory vaccination program last October, according to news reports this week. The Department of Defense (DoD) said that 931 people were "mistakenly vaccinated" [?!?] after US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the program stopped on Oct 27, 2004, according to a Feb 1 Associated Press report.

CIA Escapes Charges in Peru Plane Downing --Federal prosecutors have decided not to seek criminal charges against CIA officers who were part of an antidrug operation that was involved in the downing of a missionary plane in Peru and the deaths of two Americans in 2001.

U.S. Drops Criminal Inquiry of C.I.A. Antidrug Effort in Peru --After a secret three-year investigation, federal prosecutors have decided to end a criminal inquiry into whether at least four Central Intelligence Agency officers lied to lawmakers and their agency superiors about a clandestine antidrug operation that ended in 2001 with the fatal downing of a plane carrying American missionaries, Justice Department officials said this week.

U.S. Probes Military-Sponsored Web Sites --The Pentagon's chief investigator is looking into the military's practice of paying journalists [Oh. Just like Bush and Rove.] to write articles and commentary for a Web site aimed at influencing public opinion in the Balkans, officials said Friday.

Some Barred From Bush's North Dakota Speech --Not everyone was welcome, apparently, at Dictator Bush's speech in North Dakota yesterday. The Fargo Forum reported that a city commissioner, a liberal radio producer, a deputy Democratic campaign manager and a number of university professors were among more than 40 area residents who were barred from attending the Bush event. Their names were on a list supplied to workers at two ticket distribution sites. The "Bush blacklist" is "frightening," Tom Athans, chief executive of Democracy Radio, said after learning that a producer for the liberal "Ed Schultz Show" was among those barred. "To blacklist a local citizen because he produces a radio program at odds with the political agenda of the White House is dangerous for democracy."

FBI visits Green Party official --Not every protester felt welcome on the public streets of Great Falls Thursday. Paul Stephens, the 57-year-old secretary of the Montana Green Party, stayed home during Dictator Bush's visit here after the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service paid a visit to his house Tuesday. A newsletter he sent via e-mail piqued their interest."They came to my house six hours after I e-mailed the bulletin,'' Stephens said in a phone interview Thursday.

FBI Shuts Down Public E-Mail System --The FBI said Friday it has shut down an e-mail system that it uses to communicate with the public because of a possible security breach. The bureau is investigating whether someone hacked into the www.fbi.gov e-mail system, which is run by a private company, officials said.

CU professor refuses to apologize for 'little Eichmanns' 9/11 comments --In his first public comments since the University of Colorado launched a review that could lead to his dismissal, a professor who likened World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi refused Friday to apologize to the victims' families.

School May Fire Professor for 9/11 Comment --University of Colorado administrators Thursday took the first steps toward a possible dismissal of a [tenured] professor who likened World Trade Center victims to a notorious Nazi.

Canadians Fight for Privacy --British Columbians are fighting to halt an outsourcing contract recently signed by their government that could place millions of their health records in the hands of a private American company. Activists with the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association are concerned that the data could be susceptible to seizure by American law enforcement agencies if the data resides with a company whose parent firm is in the U.S.

The Emperor's New Hump --The New York Times killed a story that could have changed the election—because it could have changed the election Extra! --by Dave Lindorff "On Thursday, just three days after that first exposé, the paper [New York Times] was set to run a second, perhaps more explosive piece, exposing how George W. Bush had worn an electronic cueing device in his ear and probably cheated during the presidential debates... That the story hadn’t gotten more serious treatment in the mainstream press was largely thanks to a well-organized media effort by the Bush White House and the Bush/Cheney campaign to label those who attempted to investigate the bulge as 'conspiracy buffs' (Washington Post, 10/9/04)."

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley resigns amid investigations (CA) Secretary of State Kevin Shelley resigned Friday amid investigations into his "handling of federal election funds, questionable campaign contributions and bad behavior." Shelley said he was confident the various investigations looking into his activities ultimately would show he had done nothing wrong. [Oh, but Bush whore J. Kenneth Blackwell is *still* Secretary of State, in Ohio, for stealing the 2004 election for his GOP paymasters? Now, here is the *real* story: His move paves the way for [GOP-installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, to name a replacement for the Democrat.

Judge allows GOP challenge to Washington state governor's race to go forward --A judge allowed a court challenge to Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire's excruciatingly close election to go forward Friday, rejecting arguments that the dispute can only be resolved by the Legislature. The ruling by Superior Court John E. Bridges came at a hearing on a Republican attempt to overturn Gregoire's election. [Oh, but what happened to the legal challenges in... *Ohio*?]

Judge Rules There Will Be No Revote -- Chelan County judge has refused to order a revote in Washington's achingly close governor's race. Superior Court Judge John Bridges ruled today that he doesn't have authority under state law to order a statewide, second election, as requested by the Republican Party. However, Bridges did not dismiss the case, as requested by Democrats. It's likely headed now for the state Supreme Court.

Bush tells CBC he's 'unfamiliar' with Voting Rights Act --January 27, 2005 --Dictator George W. Bush met with the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday for the first time as a group in nearly four years, but what CBC members said stood out the most was Bush's declaration that he was "unfamiliar" with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in the history of the United States.

Bush Budget Calls for Cuts in Health Services --Dictator Bush's budget for 2006 cuts spending for a wide range of public health programs, including several to protect [sic] the nation against bioterrorist attacks and to respond to medical emergencies, budget documents show.

Bush Budget Would Cut Law Enforcement Aid --Dictator Bush's budget will propose slashing grants to local law enforcement agencies and cutting spending for environmental protection, American Indian schools and home-heating aid for the poor, The Associated Press learned Saturday.

Americans Wary of Stocks for Social Security -Poll --Fifty-six percent of Americans think the stock market is too risky for Social Security funds, according to a Newsweek poll released on Saturday.

Republicans ask stations to pull Moveon ad --The Republican National Committee asked U.S. broadcasters Friday not to air an ad it said falsely attacks Dictator Bush's Social Security reform [destruction] plan.

Gambling With Your Retirement --by Paul Krugman "For years, privatizers - including Mr. Bush - have claimed that people would do better with private accounts than with traditional Social Security even if they played it safe and invested in U.S. government bonds (which yield 3 percent after inflation). But the official at the briefing made it clear that his boss was fibbing: if you invested your private account in government bonds, you would face benefit cuts equal in value to your investment, so you would be no better off than under the current system."

Young workers/The real victims of Bush's plan (Star Tribune) "There are so many deceptions to discuss in President [sic] Bush's plan for dismantling Social Security, and many of them require complex explanations to show just how deceptive they are... Please pay attention, young workers, because you get taken to the cleaners by his plan... Younger workers should not be bamboozled. Something must be done to ensure Social Security pays them the benefits they deserve, but the system is in no danger of 'bankruptcy.'"

U.S. court of appeals hands Big Tobacco a major victory --Ruling lets firms keep $280 billion in tobacco profits. A federal appeals court on Friday delivered a major victory to the nation's leading tobacco companies, ruling that the government cannot force them to turn over $280 billion in profits if a trial court finds the companies engaged in a conspiracy of fraud and deceit to promote smoking.

US snubs Brown's Africa aid plan --The United States unexpectedly poured cold water yesterday over British hopes for a bold G7 initiative to increase aid flows to the world's poorest countries.

US opposes Brown anti-poverty plan --Chancellor Gordon Brown is facing critical opposition from the United States to his plans for tackling poverty in Africa and the rest of the developing world.

Utah in nuclear waste cross hairs --Yucca budget cuts, reactor plans are raising interest in Skull Valley --Proposed federal budget cuts affecting Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility and a nuclear industry poised to build new reactors may be giving new life to a plan to store that waste in Utah's Skull Valley.

Geese die in droves in Keizer; experts baffled --Bodies of water don't appear to be the cause (OR) Geese are literally falling from the sky in and around Keizer, and wildlife experts don't know why. About 150 Canada geese were found dead Friday at a private pond off Wheatland Road owned by Morse Bros. rock products in rural Marion County. Thirty or so other dead birds were discovered three months ago near Staats Lake, a private lake in Keizer.

NY's same-sex marriage ban struck down --A Manhattan judge ruled Friday that the city clerk cannot deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples because a state law prohibiting such unions is unconstitutional.

NYC to Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Ruling --The city will appeal a judge's ruling against the state ban on same-sex marriages, the mayor said Saturday.

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GOP fundraiser for 'Adopt a Sniper' shut down at college --Marquette University administrators shut down a table set up by the school's College Republicans this week to take orders for bracelets and other trinkets so money could be raised to buy special equipment for American snipers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The university said one slogan was "1 Shot, 1 Kill, No Remorse, I Decide."

Gregoire receives death threat --The Washington State Patrol is keeping close watch over both Gov. Christine Gregoire and her Republican rival, Dino Rossi, after Gregoire received a death threat.

Rice signals harder line on Iran --In a move likely to rattle Iran's rulers and frustrate allies in Europe, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has signaled that the Bush regime is adopting a harder line towards Iran -- but she has stopped short of explicitly calling for regime change.

Bush rejects timetable for exiting Iraq --US Dictator George Bush has rejected calls to set a specific timetable for pulling the roughly 150,000 US troops from Iraq. "That (a timetable) would embolden the terrorists [sic] and make them believe they can wait us out," Bush said in his State of the disUnion address late on Wednesday.

U.S. to Pull 15,000 Troops Out of Iraq --Pentagon authorities have decided to start reducing the level of U.S. forces in Iraq next month by about 15,000 troops, down to about 135,000, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said yesterday. But testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wolfowitz also warned of "a very difficult road ahead" in defeating Iraqi insurgents and indicated that no further drop in U.S. troops was planned this year.

Iraqi soldiers dragged off bus, 12 shot dead February 4, 2005 --Insurgents dragged Iraqi soldiers off a bus and shot 12 of them dead in the bloodiest attack on security forces since last weekend's historic election. Two US Marines were also killed on Wednesday in Anbar province west of Baghdad, a hotbed of anti-American militancy.

22 killed in new Iraq violence February 3, 2005 --The relative lull in violence in post-'election' Iraq came to a bloody end last night, with at least 22 people killed in a series of attacks.

Special forces offered $150K to reenlist --Senior special forces troops who resist going to private security firms and reenlist can get up to $150,000 in bonuses, the U.S. military announced.

Come See Our Brutal Democracy Freedom rings in Iraq! Bush was right all along! American wins! Or, you know, not --by Mark Morford "Not a single one of BushCo's alleged reasons for dragging our fractured and bankrupt nation into one of the most brutal wars since Vietnam has actually proved valid or justifiable. The disgusting array of WMD/nuclear/biotoxin lies and deceptions are not suddenly erased because we set up some polling places. How quickly we forget: A democratic Iraq was never the reason Bush forced us into this war."

Shooting people? Yes sir, it's a hell of a hoot --The top commander of the US Marine Corps said today that one of his generals should have chosen his words more carefully when he proclaimed it was "fun" to shoot people.

U.S. General Says It Is 'Fun to Shoot Some People' --A senior U.S. Marine Corps general who said it was "fun to shoot some people" should have chosen his words more carefully but will not be disciplined, military officials said on Thursday.

Senate confirms Gonzales for attorney general --Memo on torture fails to derail nomination --The Senate voted Thursday to confirm White House counsel Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, setting aside Democratic complaints he helped craft questionable U.S. policies on the treatment of foreign prisoners. The vote was 60-36, with all the opposition coming from Democrats.

Senate confirms Gonzales as attorney general --Alberto Gonzales won Senate confirmation Thursday as attorney general despite Democratic accusations that he helped formulate White House policies that led to overseas prisoner abuse and was too beholden to Dictator Bush to be the nation's top law enforcement official.

Gonzales Added to War Crimes Complaint In Germany; New Evidence Shows Fay Report On Abu Ghraib Protected Officials --CCR Says Attorney General Designate's Testimony before the Senate Confirms His Role In Abu Ghraib Torture --"CCR [Center For Constitutional Rights] filed new documents on January 31, 2005, with the German Federal Prosecutor looking into war crimes charges against high-ranking U.S. officials including Donald Rumsfeld: one includes new evidence that the Fay investigation into Abu Ghraib protected Administration officials – it is a comprehensive and shocking opinion by Scott Horton, an expert on international law and the Chair of the International Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The second is a letter that details how Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee confirms his role as complicit in the torture and abuse of detainees in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq."

Chertoff Apt to Face Questions on Ethics --Stance on Lindh Interrogation at Issue --Michael Chertoff, who has been nominated to run the Department of Homeland Security, gave the Senate conflicting answers last spring when asked whether a government ethics office had warned against interrogating John Walker Lindh -- an American captured while fighting for the Taliban -- without a defense attorney present.

Seven paras accused of murdering Iraqi --Seven British paratroopers are to go on trial accused of murdering an Iraqi teenager, the Attorney General said yesterday.

Boy among prisoners held by British, court martial told --A 12-year-old boy was among a group of looters [Oh, sure he was!!!] could in Iraq who were rounded up and allegedly abused by British soldiers, a court martial in Germany was told yesterday.

Give me my passport back, says Habib --The lawyer for former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib today confirmed his client had applied for the return of his passport seized on his return to Australia by the federal government.

Rumsfeld Says He Offered to Quit --As the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal roiled the Pentagon last spring, Dictator Bush twice rejected formal offers by Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign, Mr. Rumsfeld said in a television interview broadcast on Thursday.

RP, US to hold 28 military exercises --Anti-[pro]terror allies the United States and the Philippines are to undertake 28 joint military exercises this year, a Filipino military spokesman said yesterday.

The Homeland Security State --by Nick Turse "If you're in the United States and reading this on the Internet, the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) may be spying on you at this very moment. Under provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the Department of Justice has been collecting e-mail and IP addresses, without a warrant, using trap-and-trace surveillance devices ('pen-traps'). Now, the FBI, Justice's principle investigative arm, may be monitoring the web-surfing habits of Internet users - also without a search warrant - that is, spying on you with no probable cause whatsoever."

Phoenix deputies fingerprint traffic stops --Sheriff's deputies in the Phoenix area on Thursday began asking drivers getting ticketed for certain traffic violations to provide their fingerprints, drawing criticism from civil rights activists.

Bush Social Security 'Plan' Lesser-Known Tidbit: Most or all of the earnings from new "personal" or privatized accounts will be paid not to the holder of the account, but to the government. State of the Union: Instant Analysis --Washington Post Associate Editor Robert G. Kaiser answered questions and commented on Dictator Bush's State of the disUnion speech. "Even more curiously, a 'senior administration official' who briefed reporters on the Social Security proposal earlier today disclosed details of the White House plan that I don't think will play well in Peoria. Most significantly, this official revealed that most or all of the earnings from new 'personal' or privatized accounts will be paid not to the holder of the account, but to the government. The senior official called this a 'benefit offset.'"

Participants Would Lose Some Profits From Accounts --Under the White House Social Security plan, workers who opt to divert some of their payroll taxes into individual accounts would ultimately earn benefits more than those under the traditional system only if the return on their investments exceed the amount their money would have accrued under the traditional system.

House Republicans Skeptical on Soc. Sec. --Dictator Bush's Social Security proposals stirred fresh political worries Thursday among Republicans and brought calls from some lawmakers to abandon Bush's central idea: letting people divert part of their payroll taxes to private retirement accounts.

Feinstein Gathering Co-Sponsors for Bill to Abolish Electoral College --U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is currently gathering original co-sponsors for her proposed bill to abolish the Electoral College system for the U.S. Presidential Election, and to replace it with a direct vote for the Presidency, according to Feinstein press secretary, Adam Vogt.

Tapes: Enron plotted to shut down power plant --Move came day that rolling blackouts hit California, utility says --A Washington state utility released audiotapes Thursday that it said revealed bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. plotted to take a power plant off-line in 2001 to jack up electric prices in Western states.

Tapes Show Enron Arranged Plant Shutdown --In the midst of the California energy troubles in early 2001, when power plants were under a federal order to deliver a full output of electricity, the Enron Corporation arranged to take a plant off-line on the same day that California was hit by rolling blackouts, according to audiotapes of company traders released here on Thursday.

New Evidence: Enron Was Scamming Years Before Energy Crunch --A Washington state utility says it has new evidence that Enron was running scams to drive up the cost of power years before the West Coast energy crunch.

Shell rewrites history books with huge profit --Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, today sliced another chunk off its proven reserves while at the same time delivering record annual profits for a UK company of £9.32 billion. The profit figure, equivalent to about £295 per second, came on the back of soaring oil and gas prices, as well as strong margins at its refining operations.

Shell profits soar --Royal Dutch/Shell Group revived concerns about its oil reserves overnight by making another big reserves cut and reporting disappointing results in finding new oil supplies in 2004. The news overshadowed the biggest profit in UK corporate history and plans for higher dividends and share buy-backs.

Shell slammed over record profit --The oil giant Shell came under savage attack from all sides yesterday after reporting the biggest profit in UK corporate history alongside yet another cut in its reserves.

More than 100 families win $30 million settlement in asbestos case --More than 100 Northwest families have won a $30 million settlement in an asbestos lawsuit involving a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co.

Antarctic ice sheet is an 'awakened giant' --The massive west Antarctic ice sheet, previously assumed to be stable, is starting to collapse, scientists warned on Tuesday.

Crops face extinction in global warming --Australia faces an ever-shrinking water supply, the extinction of plant and animal species and the loss of billions of dollars from a less productive agriculture sector, says a submission to an international global warming conference.

'We Won't Sink With Our Ice' --For the 155,000 Inuit spread across Russia, Canada, Greenland and Alaska, global warming has taken on a greater urgency. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC), says that the Inuit livelihood is being affected by the changes--and that the United States is at least partly to blame. Watt-Cloutier and her group are planning to file a petition in the next few weeks with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, claiming that their human rights have been have been endangered due to excessive U.S. gas emissions.

E.P.A. Accused of a Predetermined Finding on Mercury --The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general charged on Thursday that the agency's senior management instructed staff members to arrive at a predetermined conclusion favoring industry when they prepared a proposed rule last year to reduce the amount of mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants.

States Sees High Levels of Air Pollution --Air pollution built to unhealthy levels around the upper Midwest, a wintertime rarity caused by the absence of strong wind, and problems were expected to continue Thursday for children and other sensitive groups.

Human Case of Mad Cow Disease Hits Japan --Japan confirmed its first human case of mad cow disease Friday following the death of a man who had symptoms of the fatal brain wasting illness.

*****

State of the disUnion: Bush warns Syria and Iran over terror --Dictator George Bush last night issued clear warnings to Syria and Iran that they were next in his sights in his declared mission to spread democracy [terrorism] around the world.

Transcript: 2005 State of the disUnion Address

Utopian cul-de-sac Bush's take on post-election Iraq was first triumphant, then paralysed. We should be very worried --by Sidney Blumenthal "Vice president [sic] Cheney fantasises about an Israeli air strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker reports that there are clandestine, special operations teams inside Iran trying to identify facilities that might be targets of US bombing. Two Republican senators, Rick Santorum and John Cornyn, have introduced a bill that would authorise the funding of Iranian exile groups and stipulate 'regime change' as official US policy. Yet the US is overstretched militarily, and it cannot be conclusively known that all Iranian nuclear facilities would be eliminated by an Osirak-like strike. If attacked, Iran could create untold mischief within Iraq. But the dream world of ideology trumps the national interest."

Army Considers Extending Reserve --Move Would Help Meet Iraq Demand --Massing enough troops for another rotation in Iraq will be "painful" and may eventually require the Pentagon to adopt policies that would extend the two-year limit on the mobilization of reserves, a senior Army leader told Congress yesterday.

Fraud Rife In Baghdad Elections; Israeli Reporters Allowed to Vote --summary of article by Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice --In order to provide its readers with coverage of the sham elections taking place in Iraq under US insistence on Sunday, Mafkarat al-Islam correspondents went out early Sunday to walk through the streets and lanes of Baghdad. During the day they documented numerous cases of fraud... The second most senior Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in Baghdad reported that he confirmed four cases of false votes within just five minutes in the polling station in Mahallat ash-Shaykh Ma‘ruf al-Karakhi. Members of Ahmad Chelebi's Iraqi National Congress Party were bringing in non-Iraqi citizens, probably Iranians, and the party members would issue them false Iraqi citizenship certificates, which they would use to get into the polls where they would then vote for Chelebi's party.

Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling --Trade was an open secret in administration, U.N. -- Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's government, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.

New book says U.S. has five secret military bases in Israel --The United States has five secret military bases in Israel, according to a new book published recently in the U.S. "Code Names," written by journalist William Arkin, a former U.S. intelligence official, says there have been secret ties between the U.S. and Israel since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Rumsfeld asks for restoration of nuclear 'bunker buster' program --US Defense Secretary [war criminal] Donald Rumsfeld has asked for the restoration of a research program designed to create a new type of nuclear weapons capable of destroying hardened underground targets, a Pentagon official said. The request came in a letter Rumsfeld sent to then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on January 10, in which he insisted that funds for studying the feasibility of the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator be restored.

Force Protection, Inc. to Provide Armored Vehicle for Transport by Blackwater USA --Force Protection, Inc., the leading manufacturer of blast-protected vehicles deployed with U.S. forces in Iraq, announced today the delivery of its first Cougar Security Vehicle (SV) to Blackwater USA for use as a transport vehicle for U.S. Provisional Coalition Authority officials in Baghdad.

Video of Hercules air attack is 'bogus' --A video purportedly showing the moment a British military airplane was shot down by Iraqi insurgents is almost certainly bogus, say defence specialists who studied the footage. Some of the wreckage footage itself may also be suspect, as it is shot in daylight. The airplane crashed at 1635 local time, leaving just an hour before sunset for someone to reach the wreckage and start recording...

CIA Is Ordered to Release Detainee-Abuse Files --The CIA must give civil rights groups sensitive internal files containing information about detainee abuse, a federal judge said in an opinion issued Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein refused to suspend an earlier order that the CIA comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups made in October 2003 and May 2004.

CIA forced to disclose prisoner records --A US federal judge has ordered the CIA to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and turn over records concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq to watchdog groups. It was the second time in six months that the judge suggested the government was impeding the American Civil Liberties Union's quest to monitor government actions in the war on [of] terrorism.

Soldier Says Abu Ghraib 'Deplorable' --Soldier Testifies at Reservist's Sentencing Hearing Conditions at Abu Ghraib Were Deplorable --Conditions at the Abu Ghraib prison were so "deplorable" that rats and wild dogs were a common sight and edible food and water were scarce, a witness testified Wednesday in the penalty phase for a soldier who has pleaded guilty to abusing detainees.

Abu Ghraib Guards Plead Guilty --A U.S. Army sergeant and a military intelligence soldier pleaded guilty to charges in connection with torturing inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison on Tuesday.

Seven UK Soldiers Face Iraq Murder Charges: Report --Up to seven British soldiers are to be charged with the murder of an Iraqi civilian near a checkpoint in southern Iraq, the Daily Mail newspaper reported on Thursday.

AP: Videos Show Guantanamo Prisoner Abuse --Videotapes of riot squads subduing troublesome terror suspects at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay show the guards punching some detainees, tying one to a gurney for questioning and forcing a dozen to strip from the waist down, according to a secret report.

Alberto Gonzales: A Record of Injustice (Center For American Progress) "Gonzales Does Enron's Bidding: As an elected member of the Texas Supreme Court, 'Enron and Enron's law firm were Gonzales's biggest contributors,' giving him $35,450 in 2000. Overall, Gonzales raked in $100,000 from the energy industry. In May 2000,'Gonzales was author of a state Supreme Court opinion that handed the energy industry one of its biggest Texas legal victories in recent history.' Since Bush brought him into the White House, Gonzales has worked doggedly to keep secret the details of energy task force meetings held by Vice President [sic] Cheney. [New York Daily News, 2/2/02]"

Alberto Gonzales --Latest Resources from the Center for American Progress

House Urges Recruiting Decision Reversal --The House on Wednesday urged the federal government to contest a court decision that would allow colleges to limit the activities of military recruiters on their campuses because of the military's ban on openly gay people.

Bin Laden deputy 'urges holy war' after election --Osama bin Laden's top deputy has purportedly delivered another verdict on the Iraq 'election,' saying holy war, not forged elections, was the only path for reform in Islamic nations.

Agilent's Biosciences Products Get OK from Midwest Research Institute for Use in Homeland Security, Biodefense --Agilent Technologies and the Midwest Research Institute revealed today that they have been working on a project to test Agilent's biotechnology instruments for use in biological and chemical defense research. MRI, a leading center for biological and chemical defense research in the United States, said they have been submitting the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and Agilent 5100 automated lab-on-a-chip to "real-world" testing [?!?] that the microarray company cannot perform in its own labs.

Principal bans 'anti-military,' 'anti-American' materials --A Cookeville (Tenn.) High School administrator said Veterans for Peace and a Quaker group can't come back into his school with materials considered ''anti-American'' and ''anti-military.'' The groups plan to go before the Putnam County school board tomorrow with claims that they're being denied privileges afforded to other organizations, including military recruiters.

Senator to Ask C.I.A. to Explain Nazi-File Stance --A Republican senator said Tuesday that he planned to demand a public explanation from the director of central intelligence about his agency's decision to withhold from a government working group hundreds of thousands of pages of documents related to Nazi war criminals. [See: How the Bush Family Made Its Fortune From the Nazis the Dutch Connection --by Attorney John Loftus, July 2, 2002 "[Nazi steel magnate, Fritz] Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts--from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen's partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future President [sic] of the United States."

Castro calls Bush 'deranged' [Good call!] Fidel Castro said Tuesday that U.S. Dictator George W. Bush appears deranged, and that Cubans would much rather live in the Caribbean island's "heaven" than try and survive in what he said was Bush's corrupt, capitalist "hell."

Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. replies to a Freeper who says, 'I feel sorry for you' (Lori Price replies, as well!)

Steelworkers Endorse Howard Dean for DNC Chair --The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) today endorsed Governor Howard Dean's candidacy for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Helms Pleads to Keep Clinton Out of U.N. --In a fund-raising a letter for his senatorial library, former North Carolina Senator (and Reichwing whackjob) Jesse Helms invokes the specter of the former president leading the United Nations after Kofi Annan retires next year.

Watchdog Group Seeks Christian Group Probe --An organization that monitors religious groups has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family broke the law by trying to sway presidential election voters.

It's their party, and they'll spy if they want to --by Paul Farhi "The modern presidential toolbox includes carefully rationed news conferences, say-nothing spokesmen, dead-of-night releases of unfavorable news and phony 'town hall' meetings composed solely of sycophantic supporters. But now the art of press handling has evolved into actual manhandling. The Bush administration has expanded the use of 'minders,' government employees or volunteers who escort journalists from interview to interview within a venue or at a newsworthy event. ...I explained that I been unaware of the escort policy. She ordered a couple of security guards to hustle me out. I appealed to them, saying that I was more than happy to follow whatever ground rules had been laid down. They shrugged and deposited me in the media pen.

White House-friendly reporter under scrutiny --The Bush dictatorship has provided White House media credentials to a man who has virtually no journalistic background, asks softball questions to Bush and his spokesman in the midst of contentious news conferences, and routinely reprints long passages verbatim from official press releases as original news articles on his website. Jeff Gannon calls himself the White House correspondent for TalonNews.com. It is operated by a Texas-based Republican Party delegate and political activist who also runs GOPUSA.com, a website that touts itself as "bringing the conservative message to America."

Holy fox-guarding-the-henhouse, Batman!! GOP Tightens Control Over Ethics Committee --Chair is replaced with party loyalist in effort to protect [criminal] House majority 'leader.' House Republican leaders tightened their control over the ethics committee yesterday by ousting its independent-minded chairman, appointing a replacement who is close to them and adding two new members who donated to the legal defense fund of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). Republican officials have spent months taking steps to ensure DeLay's political survival in case he is indicted by a Texas grand jury investigating political fundraising, and House leadership aides said they needed to have the ethics committee controlled by lawmakers they can trust.

Donors to DeLay Fund Put on Ethics Panel --Two donors to U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay's defense fund were named on Wednesday to the House ethics committee, which twice last year admonished the Texas Republican.

Dictator Bush pushing to destroy Social Security --Bush Outlines Extensive Changes He Wants for Social Security --Dictator Bush sketched a bold domestic and foreign agenda tonight in his State of the disUnion address, calling for an extensive overhaul of Social Security, the reduction or elimination of more than 150 government programs.

Democrats Hit Bush on Iraq, Soc. Security --Congressional Democrats hit Dictator Bush on Wednesday for his Iraq policies and planned Social Security overhaul, following his State of the disUnion speech.

Bush Plan Won't Affect 55 and Up;The rest of us are absolutely f*cked. Social Security benefits promised to workers currently 55 and older would remain unchanged under Dictator Bush's call for voluntary personal accounts for younger Americans, Republican congressional officials said Wednesday, citing information provided by the regime.

Thanks to Bush's pharma-terror corporate welfare: Half of Bankruptcy Due to Medical Bills --Half of all U.S. bankruptcies are caused by soaring medical bills and most people sent into debt by illness are middle-class workers with health insurance, researchers said on Wednesday.

Fed Raises Rates a Quarter Point --The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates today, its sixth increase since last June, and signaled that its strategy of gradually raising rates is far from over. The central bank nudged up the federal funds rate, the rate charged on overnight loans between banks, by a quarter of a point, to 2.5 percent.

Ohio Attorney-General's attack on election protection attorneys draws mountain of documentation on state's stolen election, including new study on exit polls --by Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "Stiff legal sanctions sought by Ohio's Republican Attorney General James Petro against four attorneys who have questioned the results of the 2004 presidential balloting here has produced an unintended consequence -- a massive counter-filing that has put on the official record a mountain of contentions by those who argue that election was stolen."

Blaming the Messengers (The New York Times) "Ohio's attorney general, who represents Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell in the matter, has asked the State Supreme Court to sanction Mr. [Clifford] Arnebeck and the others [attorneys] for mounting a "frivolous" challenge... It is odd that Mr. Blackwell, of all people, is requesting sanctions. He made many bad decisions as Ohio's top elections official, including one to reject voter registrations filed on insufficiently thick paper, an order he later retracted. Mr. Blackwell and the officials responsible for the 10-hour lines have not been held accountable for putting unnecessary obstacles in the way of Ohio voters."

Global warming: scientists reveal timetable --A detailed timetable of the destruction and distress that global warming is likely to cause the world was unveiled yesterday. It pulls together for the first time the projected impacts on ecosystems and wildlife, food production, water resources and economies across the earth, for given rises in global temperature expected during the next hundred years.

Antarctic's ice 'melting faster' --A team of UK researchers claims to have new evidence that global warming is melting the ice in Antarctica faster than had previously been thought.

Dramatic change in West Antarctic ice could produce 16ft rise in sea levels --British scientists have discovered a new threat to the world which may be a result of global warming. Researchers from the Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have discovered that a massive Antarctic ice sheet previously assumed to be stable may be starting to disintegrate, a conference on climate change heard yesterday. Its collapse would raise sea levels around the earth by more than 16 feet.

Only *Red* states get storm relief: Southland not getting storm aid --More than three weeks after deadly rainstorms and mudslides devastated Southern California, local officials complained Tuesday they have received no federal aid and that disaster officials seem reluctant to help. Local leaders criticized the White House and Sacramento, saying Los Angeles and Ventura counties and six others hit hard by the storms need help now to get back on their feet. Others noted that Dictator George W. Bush's reaction to California's disaster was a far cry from his pre-selection rush to view hurricane damage in the battleground state of Florida.

Bird Flu Spate Signals Easier Transmission --Outbreaks that killed 12 in Southeast Asia raise fears of a mutated virus spread by humans. The growing number of cases suggests that the virus may be mutating into a form that is more easily transmitted to and among humans, increasing the possibility of a pandemic.

Springtime For Harry --by Paul Krassner "Prince Harry's wearing of a Nazi uniform with a swastika armband at a costume party was the best wardrobe malfunction since Janet Jackson caused a cosmic titter. The insensitive act occurred because he was either ignorant or thought it was a come-as-you-are party. Or maybe he just happened to come upon an ancestor's dusty old uniform in the attic."

*****

CIA report: Baghdad ended its chemical weapons program in '91 --In what may be a formal acknowledgment of the obvious, the CIA has issued a classified report revising its prewar assessments on Iraq and concluding that Baghdad abandoned its chemical weapons programs in 1991, intelligence officials familiar with the document said. The report marks the first time the CIA has officially disavowed its prewar judgments and is one in a series of updated assessments the agency is producing as part of an effort to correct its record on Iraq's alleged weapons programs, officials said.

Together, Again --Judith Miller and Ahmad Chalabi. --by Jack Shafer "...[O]ne of the most prolific chroniclers of Chalabi's views and those of his Iraqi National Congress camp was Times reporter Judith Miller, who wrote or co-wrote at least nine of the 'problematic' stories the Times cited in its mini culpa. ...Citing unnamed 'sources,' [on Hardball, January 30, 2005] Miller claimed that the Bush administration had recently made 'belated and sudden outreaches' to Ahmad Chalabi, 'to offer him expressions of cooperation and support.' She continued, 'And according to one report, he was even offered a chance to be an interior minister in the new government. But I think one effect of this vote is going to be that the Iraqis themselves will decide who will hold.'"

Do US Troops Target Journalists in Iraq? (forumblog.org) "This fiery topic became a real nightmare today for the Chief News Executive of CNN at what was an initially very mild discussion at the World Economic Forum titled 'Will Democracy Survive the Media?'. ...During one of the discussions about the number of journalists killed in the Iraq War, Eason Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted."

Kucinich Demands Broad Investigation of Missing $9 Billion In Iraq --Ranking Member on National Security Oversight Committee Calls For Federal Grand Jury Investigation and Congressional Hearings --Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), the Ranking Member on the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, today demanded a broad investigation of the $9 billion in missing reconstruction funds in Iraq, including a criminal investigation and Congressional hearings.

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote: Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror --by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967) WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- "United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. ...The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting." [Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. --George Santayana]

MPs: Hercules was engaged in operations along Iranian border --Death in the wilderness: what really happened? --The security of military flights in Iraq was under urgent review last night after Islamic militants claimed they had shot down a British transport plane carrying special forces with a ground-to-air missile. It looked increasingly likely that the 10 servicemen on board the Hercules C-130 were killed by insurgents, but details of the crash were shrouded in mystery as ministers faced questions about the plane's mission... Questions were also being asked as to why 10 British servicemen were being flown to a US base in northern Iraq... Labour MPs speculated that the men who were killed were engaged in operations along the Iranian border.

Expert View: Be very afraid if Bush takes the war on terror to Iran --Iran is a much bigger oil producer than Iraq. The surge in prices might be greater this time --by Mark Cliffe "The risk of a US attack on Iran can no longer be dismissed. George Bush has identified the country as the next potential target in his campaign against terrorism and tyranny. A military attack is still unlikely, but the consequences are too serious to ignore. The market impact could surpass that of the Iraq war in 2003."

Venezuela Considers Sale of U.S. Refineries --President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela signaled on Tuesday that his government was interested in selling its American oil-refining operations, in the latest illustration of an energy strategy that has raised doubt whether Venezuela would continue as a reliable source of oil for the United States.

Marine General's Blunt Comments Draw Fire --Some Audience Members Clap --At a panel discussion in San Diego Tuesday, a top Marine general tells an audience that, among other things, it is "fun to shoot some people."

Two soldiers plead guilty to abuses at Abu Ghraib --One receives 10 months in jail and is discharged; the other will seek a light sentence --Two soldiers assigned to Abu Ghraib prison in 2003 pleaded guilty Tuesday to abusing detainees. First to plead guilty was Sgt. Javal Davis, who admitted lying to investigators after intentionally stepping on the fingers and toes of nude, hooded and handcuffed detainees...

Surprise release for terror suspect --Clarke revokes detention order on Egyptian held for three years --An Egyptian terror suspect, known only as internee C, who was detained indefinitely for three years under the emergency anti-[pro]terror law, has been freed "out of the blue", the home secretary confirmed yesterday.

Judge Rules Detainee Tribunals Illegal --A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Bush regime must allow prisoners at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to contest their detention in U.S. courts, concluding that special military reviews established by the Pentagon as an alternative are illegal.

Useless is as useless does: Democrats Rule Out Filibuster of Gonzales Nomination --Reid says up to 30 oppose Bush's choice for attorney general --Democrats won't try to filibuster Alberto Gonzales' nomination to be attorney general but will hold extensive debates in the Senate over his role in developing the Bush regime's policies on treating foreign detainees, the Senate's top Democrat said Tuesday.

N.Y. Using Terrorism Law to Prosecute Street Gang --Critics Say Post-9/11 Legislation Is Being Applied Too Broadly --Gang member Edgar Morales, aka "Puebla," has the distinction of becoming one of the first people ever charged under New York's state terrorism laws. The Bronx district attorney has accused members of the St. James Boys street gang of shootings "committed with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." The other charges include murder, attempted murder, various weapons charges and assault. But prosecutors have not alleged that the gang is connected to any terrorist network.

College Cancels Speech by Professor Who Disparaged 9/11 Attack Victims --Hamilton College 'leaders' on Tuesday canceled a planned speech by a Colorado professor who was invited to talk about American Indian activism but whose earlier essay on the Sept. 11 attacks fueled the criticism and threats. The professor, Ward Churchill of the University of Colorado, Boulder, wrote disparagingly of the victims inside the twin towers and referred to them at one point as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Holocaust. The speech, scheduled for Thursday night, was canceled for security [censorship] reasons, Hamilton officials said.

Fingerprint school lunch programs raise concern --Several Ohio schools are identifying students who receive free or reduced-price school lunches by fingerprint -- a high-tech system that has been praised by school officials, but also questioned because of privacy concerns.

Al-Qaeda focusing on Australia: inquiry --The al-CIA-duh terror group remains active and has Australia on its radar, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. The parliamentary joint committee on ASIO, ASIS and DSD met on Tuesday to review the listing of six 'terror' groups outlawed in Australia.

Infighting Cited at Homeland Security --Squabbles Blamed for Reducing Effectiveness --As its leadership changes for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security remains hampered by personality conflicts, bureaucratic bottlenecks and an atmosphere of demoralization, undermining its ability to protect the nation against terrorist attack, according to current and former Bush regime officials and independent experts.

Stupid is as stupid does: FAA to Outsource 2400 Air Traffic Controller Positions --U.S. Newswire/ --The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today the decision to contract out a portion of the Nation's Air Traffic Control System in what is considered to be the largest, most complex [and dumbest] outsourcing effort of public functions in U.S. Government history.

Los Alamos lab penalized in 'missing' disk case --A report by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has determined that two classified computer disks that apparently disappeared at the Los Alamos National Laboratory last year never even existed.

CIA urged to release Nazi records --The CIA has been urged to release documents about Nazi war criminals hired by US intelligence officials during the Cold War era. The call comes from members of Congress who drew up the 1998 public disclosure law, which requires declassification of all documents about the Holocaust. They say the CIA is withholding details of people it recruited after World War II for their expertise. [Here is another reason they are withholding details: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power --Guardian, September 25, 2004]

Dominance on GOP Agenda --Depriving Democrats of voters and money is among White House policies' other aims. As trial lawyers again funneled tens of millions of dollars to Democrats and their causes in the last election, Republicans were crafting a strategy to choke off that money for future campaigns. Dictator Bush's agenda for the next four years, much of which he will highlight in his State of the Union address tonight, includes many proposals that would not only change public policy but, the GOP hopes, achieve an ambitious political goal: Stripping money and voters from the Democratic Party and cementing Republican dominance for years after he leaves office. [Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell "As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against..."]

Bush to Push for Bigger IRS Budget --Dictator Bush will ask Congress to give the Internal Revenue Service an extra $500 million to pursue poor people ['tax evaders and increase collections'], the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO Presents Evidence Bush Administration Used Trust Fund Dollars to Promote Social Security Private Investment Accounts --Social Security Employees Council Blows Whistle on Agency Propaganda Efforts (afge.org press release) –-"On Friday January 28, officers of the National Social Security Council, which represents workers of the Social Security Administration (SSA), testified before the Democratic Senate Policy Committee regarding reports in the media that employees have been instructed to hype negative projections for Social Security and to promote privatizing Social Security... The testimony suggests that SSA may have violated federal law prohibiting agencies from using funds for propaganda purposes unless those funds are specifically designated for such use by act of Congress."

Healthcare Overhaul Is Quietly Underway -- Emboldened by the results of the 2004 coup d'etat, the Bush dictatorship and Republican leaders in Congress believe they have a new opportunity to move the nation away from the system of employer-provided health insurance that has covered most working Americans for the last half-century. [Now, pay attention to the Orwellian doublespeak from the LA Times:] "In its place, they want to erect a system in which workers — instead of looking to employers for health insurance — would take personal responsibility for protecting themselves and their families." [Yeah, right. We want the pride of the 'personal responsibility for protecting ourselves and our families.' The GOP wants people to take 'pride' in Bush rewarding the corpora-terror complex and burning the workers. Where's the 'personal responsibility' for the 'Yellow-cake uranium from Niger?' lies? Bush whore Judith Miller *still* has a job at the New York Times. Not to mention, all the W-ar criminals in Bush's cabinet who have committed countless crimes against humanity.]

Harvard Study: Half of U.S. Bankruptcies Caused by Medical Bills --U.S. Newswire/ -- Illness and medical bills caused half (50.4 percent) of the 1,458,000 personal bankruptcies in 2001, according to a study published today as a Web Exclusive by the journal Health Affairs.

SBC to Cut Nearly 13,000 Jobs in AT&T Deal --SBC Communications Inc. on Tuesday said it expects to cut around 12,800 jobs as a result of its $16 billion acquisition of AT&T Corp.

Let Them Eat Rocket Fuel --by Erik D. Olson "The fact that there's a rocket fuel additive called perchlorate in your water is bad enough. What's worse is the fact that the Bush administration likely manipulated the National Academy of Sciences to designate a lax perchlorate standard. The National Resources Defense Council sued the White House, Defense Department and EPA to release documents relating to perchlorate contamination and the NAS. What they found was evidence of an elaborate campaign designed to downplay the hazards of a dangerous chemical. More than 20 million Americans have rocket fuel in their drinking water... It’s also likely in your milk. And in your lettuce, too, because farmers out West inadvertently use rocket-fuel-contaminated water to irrigate their crops."

Dean Emerging as Likely Chief for Democrats --Howard Dean emerged Tuesday as the almost assured new leader of the Democratic National Committee, as one of his main rivals quit the race and Democrats streamed to announce their support of Dr. Dean.

Annan Selects Clinton for Tsunami Effort --Secretary-General Kofi Annan has selected former President Clinton to be the U.N. point man for tsunami reconstruction and ensure that the world doesn't forget the needs of those devastated by the Dec. 26 disaster, a U.N. diplomat said Tuesday.

Tsunami toll now nearly 300,000 --The number of people presumed dead in December's earthquake and tsunami rose to more than 290,000 today, with Indonesian authorities announcing a further increase in the number of dead.

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Rumsfeld Seeks to Revive Burrowing Nuclear Bomb --Bush Budget May Fund Program That Congress Cut --Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld sent a memo last month to then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham saying next year's budget should include funds to resume study of building an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon designed to destroy hardened underground targets. [Like what, moles?]

British MP George Galloway: Elections in Occupied Iraq "Flawed Beyond Redemption" (democracynow.org) "British MP George Galloway responds to the Iraqi elections and discusses his victory over various British newspapers which were forced to print retractions of earlier reports that he had received secret payments from Saddam Hussein."

Train wreck of an election --by James Carroll "Iraq is a train wreck. The man who caused it is not in trouble. Tomorrow night he will give his State of the Union speech, and the Washington establishment will applaud him. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead. More than 1,400 Americans are dead. An Arab nation is humiliated. Islamic hatred of the West is ignited. The American military is emasculated. Lies define the foreign policy of the United States. On all sides of Operation Iraqi Freedom, there is wreckage. In the center, there are the dead, the maimed, the displaced -- those who will be the ghosts of this war for the rest of their days. All for what?"

Some Just Voted for Food --by Dahr Jamail BAGHDAD, Jan 31 (IPS) - Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll... "Two of the food dealers I know told me personally that our food rations would be withheld if we did not vote," said Saeed Jodhet, a 21-year-old engineering student who voted in the Hay al-Jihad district of Baghdad. Many Iraqis had expressed fears before the election that their monthly food rations would be cut if they did not vote. They said they had to sign voter registration forms in order to pick up their food supplies.

US to spend $1.5bn on new Iraq embassy --The United States has selected a spot in Baghdad's top security Green zone and will spend more than $1.5 billion to build a new, fortress like embassy in the Iraqi capital, the State Department said. The $1.5 billion will come out of the $80 billion supplemental budget that Dictator Bush sought for Iraq last week.

Deadline for Troop Withdrawal Ruled Out --The Bush regime has for now ruled out creating a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq after today's 'elections.'

Chief Senate Dem to request Iraq exit plan --In a pre-State of the Union challenge to Dictator Bush, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid intends to call Monday for the regime to outline an exit strategy for Iraq.

Four Iraqi detainees killed, six injured in riot at detention facility in southern Iraq --U.S. guards opened fire Monday on prisoners during a riot at the main detention facility for security detainees, killing four of them, the U.S. command said. Six other prisoners were injured.

Three U.S. Marines Killed in Action South of Baghdad --Three U.S. Marines were killed in action Monday south of Baghdad in the lawless area known as the "triangle of death," the U.S. military said.

US sees rising civilian toll in Iraq --At least 232 civilians have been killed while working on US-funded contracts in Iraq and the toll is rising rapidly, according to a US government audit.

Project for the New American Century --January 28, 2005-- Letter to Congress on Increasing U.S. Ground Forces --"So we write to ask you and your colleagues in the legislative branch to take the steps necessary to increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps. While estimates vary about just how large an increase is required, and Congress will make its own determination as to size and structure, it is our judgment that we should aim for an increase in the active duty Army and Marine Corps, together, of at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years."

Natural Gas Pipeline project with Pakistan, India, Iran on --According to Wall Street Journal, Pakistan is accelerating talks with India aimed at building a gas pipeline that would link Iran, Pakistan and India, said Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

U.S. Navy surveying waters near tsunami epicenter --The U.S. Navy is surveying the Malacca Strait and coastal waters off Indonesia for signs that last month's devastating Indian Ocean tsunami altered the sea bed under the world's busiest shipping lane. Suggestions last year by the United States that its forces play a more active role in strait security sparked opposition from Malaysia and Indonesia, whose officials said they could take care of the matter. Singapore appeared more open to the idea.

Guantanamo Bay Tribunals Ruled Illegal --Trials Violate Principles of Due Process, Federal Judge Rules --A federal judge ruled this morning that special military tribunals the Pentagon has used to determine the likely guilt of most of the 500 men held at a prison in Guantanamo Bay -- and to justify their continued imprisonment -- are illegal. U.S. District Judge Joyce Hens Green also concluded that people who are members of or fighters for Afghanistan's former Taliban government are entitled to international protections provided to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention, but members of al Qaeda are not.

Guantanamo tribunals ruled unconstitutional --Judge rules proceedings violate terror suspects' due process rights --A federal judge ruled Monday that some foreign terror suspects held in Cuba can challenge their confinement in U.S. courts and she criticized the Bush dictatorship for holding hundreds of people indefinitely as "enemy combatants," saying that doing so unconstitutionally violates their right to due process.

Justice Dept. to Charge $373K for Records --The inJustice Department says a group that wants to see secret documents about the detention of people jailed after the Sept. 11 attacks first must pay nearly $373,000 to cover the cost of searching for the information. And the advance payment won't guarantee anything that's found will be released.

Amid Praise, Doubts About Chertoff's Post-9/11 Role --On Nov. 28, 2001, then-Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff took a seat before a Senate committee and offered reassurance on two fronts: The Justice Department was unrelenting in pursuit of terrorists... Critics contend that Chertoff was not candid with the senators, and was perhaps misleading about the nature of the tactics he pursued. "Muslim men were rounded up and blocked from getting lawyers, and essentially Chertoff's testimony to the Senate was a coverup," said Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has challenged the government's detention policies.

NAACP Resists IRS Investigation --Group Calls Probe Politically Motivated --The NAACP announced yesterday that it is refusing to comply with an Internal Revenue Service investigation into its tax-exempt status that was launched last year after its chairman criticized the Bush dictatorship in a speech.

U.S. students say press freedoms go too far --One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.

4 Networks Reject Ad Opposing Bush on Lawsuits --An advocacy group, USAction, said on Monday that four television networks had turned down its request to run an advertisement opposing Dictator Bush's effort to clamp down on medical malpractice lawsuits.

Evolution Takes a Back Seat in U.S. Classes --Dr. John Frandsen, a retired zoologist, was at a dinner for teachers in Birmingham, Ala., recently when he met a young woman who had just begun work as a biology teacher in a small school district in the state. Their conversation turned to evolution. "She confided that she simply ignored evolution because she knew she'd get in trouble with the principal if word got about that she was teaching it," he recalled. "She told me other teachers were doing the same thing."

GOP drafts 104-page playbook, "Saving Social Security" --Congressional Republicans, after three months of internal debate, this weekend launched a months-long campaign to try to convince constituents that rewriting the Social Security law would be cheaper and less risky than leaving it alone, as the White House opened a campaign to pressure several Senate Democrats to support the changes. The Republicans left an annual retreat in the Allegheny Mountains with a 104-page playbook titled "Saving [sic] Social Security."

House Panel to Vote on Alaska Refuge Drilling --A House committee is expected to vote next week to revive a broad energy bill that would allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a key part of the Bush regime's corporate welfare ['national energy'] plan that faces opposition in the Senate.

Exxon makes $25bn profit --Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly quoted oil and gas firm, yesterday said it made $25bn (£13bn) in 2004, the highest profits in the company's history. The earnings are roughly equal to the gross domestic product of Luxembourg or Guatemala, and higher than the individual GDPs of Syria, Bulgaria and Kenya.

Shell to make history with $18bn profit --Oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell will this week unveil the largest profit in UK corporate history. Income after tax will climb to around $17.5 billion, and is likely to exceed the takings of its arch-rival BP, which reports the following week.

Feds: Enron made more than $1.6 billion on Western energy crisis --Enron Corp. made more than $1.67 billion in Western states over a six-year period that included the region's energy crisis - money the bankrupt energy company may be required to return, federal energy officials said Monday.

State chairs back Dean for DNC leader --Howard Dean won the backing of state Democratic Party leaders Monday, putting him in a strong position to win the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee.

Senator Clinton Recovers After Collapsing --Sen. Hillary Clinton collapsed while delivering a speech at a noon time appearance today in Buffalo, but was able to walk out of the building on her own and continue to her next appointment, staff members and others said.

Hillary Clinton collapses during speech in Buffalo --Updated: 2:22 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2005 --Senator declines hospitalization; continues on to second event --Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton collapsed Monday during during a speech but aides said the former first lady quickly recovered from what they described as a fainting spell triggered by a 24-hour flu and continued on to a second public engagement.

Schwarzenegger sees his ratings dip --[GOP-installed] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is being called naive and even hypocritical by his adversaries. He angered teachers by refusing to give schools about $2 billion that the educators say they were promised. He is raking in contributions from business interests despite a pledge to end the influence of special-interest money. And his bipartisan image has been tarnished by a government restructuring plan that takes aim at Democratic constituencies like public employees and teachers...

Oops!! Texas Teens Increased Sex After Abstinence Program --Abstinence-only sex education programs, a major plank in Dictator Bush's 'education' plan, have had no impact on teenagers' behavior in his home state of Texas, according to a new study. Despite taking courses emphasizing abstinence-only themes, teenagers in 29 high schools became increasingly sexually active, mirroring the overall state trends, according to the study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University.

More Texans turn to food stamps --Officials report 75 percent rise since 2000 --Outreach efforts, in addition to a sluggish economy [Well, unless you're ExxonMobil, Shell, Halliburton, Monsanto, or other recipients of Bush's corporate welfare (tax cuts)], a growing population and relaxed eligibility guidelines, have fueled a 75 percent increase in the number of Texans on federally funded food stamps since 2000. Yet, despite the jump, fewer people are actually getting food stamps than a decade ago.

Study: Tennessee not ready for state workers to retire --Forty percent of Tennessee state government employees will be eligible for retirement within five years and the state doesn't have a comprehensive plan to fill those positions, an analysis shows.

GOP Funded Pataki Servant --The state Republican Party has secretly funded a personal servant for [New York] Gov. Pataki's wife, Libby, at the Pataki family mansion on the Hudson River, The Post has learned. The servant — whose shocking existence on the party payroll was unknown [Yeah, right!!] even among the state's highest- ranking GOP officials — was described to The Post by two Republican insiders as Mrs. Pataki's "maid" and "personal valet."

Pataki fund-raising official departs -- A top official, Patrick B. Donohue, has left Gov. George Pataki's chief fund-raising firm, according to a memo sent out Friday by the head of the company... Donohue was caught up in a 2000 scandal involving charges that fund-raisers for Pataki had promised paroles for some imprisoned children of Korean families in return for contributions to Pataki's 1994 campaign for governor.

Arctic ozone layer is thinning, scientists report --North Europe faces radiation danger if cold conditions continue --The ozone layer over the Arctic has thinned due to colder-than-normal temperatures, and "large scale losses" are likely if the cold conditions continue, a European research group reported.

Global warming may kill off polar bears in 20 years, says WWF --Many Arctic animals, including polar bears and some seal species, could be extinct within 20 years because of global warming, a conservation group said yesterday.

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Neo-con 'Groundhog Day': Israel, United States say Iran an imminent threat --Israel and the United States have begun efforts to recruit European Union officials to their efforts to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted for in Iraq --The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq was unable to keep track of nearly $9 billion it transferred to government ministries, which lacked financial controls, security, communications and adequate staff, an inspector general has found. When staff members of the U.S. occupation government recommended that payrolls be verified before salary payments, CPA financial officials "stated the CPA would rather overpay salaries than risk not paying employees and inciting violence," the inspector general said. [Is the Iraqi government funding the insurgency?]

U.S. Did Not Safeguard $8.8 Bln of Iraq Money --The U.S.-led authority that governed Iraq after the 2003 invasion did not properly safeguard [Uh, that would be *stole*] $8.8 billion of Iraq's own money and this lack of oversight opened up these funds to corruption, said a U.S. audit released on Sunday.

DOD seized 60TB in search for Iraq battle plan leak --The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) seized hundreds of computers and around 60T bytes of data as part of an investigation into how details of the U.S. invasion plan for Operation Iraqi Freedom were leaked to The New York Times, a DOD official said.

US oil companies return to Libya --US oil companies have been awarded most of the contracts on offer at the first open licence auction in Libya. Companies like Occidental and Chevron Texaco will return to Libya for the first time in more than 20 years.

Shell to make history with $18bn profit --Oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell will this week unveil the largest profit in UK corporate history. Income after tax will climb to around $17.5 billion, and is likely to exceed the takings of its arch-rival BP, which reports the following week.

Bush: Iraqi poll won't end U.S. occupation --Under increasing pressures to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq after Sunday’s 'election,' Dictator George W. Bush said on the eve of the vote that the U.S. involvement in Iraq will not end after the poll.

Deadline for Troop Withdrawal Ruled Out --The Bush regime has for now ruled out creating a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq after today's 'elections,' but military commanders have charted a plan to have Iraqi security forces begin taking the lead in combat operations in certain parts of the country as early as spring.

'What a bloody charade' --by Robert Fisk "In Baghdad on Saturday they were supposed to be preparing for an election. But they were preparing for war. The American Bradley armoured vehicles on the streets, the United States foot patrols, the old Russian personnel carriers that Saddam Hussein bought on the cheap from the Soviet Union - now dressed up in the dull camouflage paint of the new Iraqi army - the hooded and masked policemen: they do not look like the prelude to an experiment in democracy... 'Transition of power', says the hourly logo on CNN's live coverage of the election, though the poll is for a parliament to write a constitution, and the men who will form a majority within it will have no power."

In Samarra, fear keeps voters away -- Heavily-fortified polling centres were deserted and streets empty as Iraqis in the restive Sunni Muslim city of Samarra stayed home, too frightened or angry to vote in the country's historic election.

British Troops Die in Hercules Crash --British troops died today when an RAF Hercules aircraft crashed in central Iraq. Prime Minister Tony Blair confirmed the deaths and paid tribute to those killed, but did not reveal how many perished in the tragedy.

Press: U.K. Crash in Iraq Kills Up to 15 --A British C-130 military transport plane crashed Sunday north of Baghdad, scattering wreckage over a large area, officials said. As many as 15 people were killed, news reports said.

44 Killed In Iraq Violence --On Sunday, insurgents struck polling stations with a string of suicide bombings and mortar volleys, killing at least 44 people, including nine attackers. A British C-130 military transport plane crashed north of Baghdad about a half hour after polls closed at 5 p.m.

Several bomb attacks as polls open --Several sections of the Iraqi capital Baghdad have been rocked by explosions as voters began trickling in to polling stations. Several loud explosions rocked central Baghdad shortly after the start of 'voting' on Sunday.

2 Americans die in rocket attack on U.S. Embassy --4 others wounded in strike on site in Baghdad's Green Zone --A rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad's Green Zone killed two Americans and wounded four, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said on Saturday.

232 civilians die working for US in Iraq --At least 232 civilians have been killed while working on US-funded contracts in Iraq and the death toll is rising rapidly, according to a US Government audit.

US Copter Downed By Surface-To-Air Missile - Witnesses Daily Dispatch - South Africa BAGHDAD, January 27, 2005 (Sapa-AFP) -- At least 31 US Marines were killed in a US transport helicopter crash near the western Iraqi city of Rutbah, according to military and media reports yesterday... Witnesses said the helicopter appeared to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile and exploded on hitting the ground. A second helicopter also came under fire but was able to reach safety, the witnesses said.

40 Afghan/Iraq fatal crashes --by Mary Titus

Australia abandons Baghdad embassy --The Federal Government says officials in Iraq will not return to the embassy that has been the scene of a number of recent insurgent attacks.

Turkey Calls for Withdrawal of Foreign Troops from Iraq --Turkey's foreign minister says foreign forces must withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2005, and that Sunday's elections are a first step toward returning control of Iraq to the Iraqi people.

Reservist Ordered to Attend Bush Inauguration Event and Pay His Own Way (Citizen Journalists on the Iraqi elections --Updated: 3:42 p.m. ET Jan. 29, 2005 --scroll to item) "My son is an army reservist and he returned from Iraq last March. He was ordered to attend one of the inauguration parties... A group of five drove down from Long Island to Washington last Monday morning, and they were to return Tuesday evening. Around midnight on Tuesday, my son returned home, looking tired from the drive. The next morning, he told me he didn’t have a good time because they basically stood around and watched the president [sic] say a few words. He said there was no food provided for them, so they ate after the event at some fast-food restaurant. They spend all this money for this celebration and can't feed my son? He stayed at a local military base with the rest of the group, but they made him pay for the room. Apparently, there was a mix-up, or they were short a room. I don't care what the problem was, he was told to go, this was not an option, orders were cut for this excursion! I am disgusted and horrified that he had to even show his wallet for this event..." —Rebecca Lawson, West Babylon, N.Y. [I bet Halliburton and Monsanto executives didn't have to pay *their* own way.]

Freed Briton reveals horrors of life inside Guantanamo Bay --In this exclusive statement, Moazzam Begg talks of adjusting to life 'without cages or constraints' --by Martin Bright and Paul Harris "The Guantánamo detainee at the centre of allegations of torture at the hands of American officers broke his silence last night, to tell The Observer of the 'continuing evils faced by captives illegally held' and that he had endured 'conditions far below those of the worst convicted criminals in the developed world'."

World Social Forum has Bush in its sights --Campaign to take Bush to justice for crimes against humanity --At the 5th World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a campaign was launched today, Thursday, to take George W. Bush to justice for crimes against humanity. Cebrapaz, the Brazilian organization, together with 35 other entities from around the world, launched a petition which it hopes will be signed by millions of people until September, when it will be presented to the UN General Assembly, with a detailed outline of the crimes committed.

Laying Blame Where Blame is Due --by Stephanie Donald "Although I believe nothing in the politics of the Republican and Free Republic hard line conservative movements I must admit that there is one thing that I admire and that's their philosophy about how to change things: They never stop short or moderate their actions in order to accomplish their goals. This is a failing of the so-called 'liberals' in this country to rise to the occasion in kind. Their flag has 'Moderate' stamped all over it and their seems no way to break their belief that 'moderation' will stem the tide of a rising right-wing extremism that makes the McCarthy Hearings of the 1950s look like a Sunday picnic."

Blue State Burned on Outsourced Presidential Copter Contract --A new fleet of presidential helicopters will be built by Lockheed Martin and its international partners, the Navy announced Friday, ending a fierce competition that had both political and international implications. The decision was a blow to Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft, which has built the presidential fleet since 1957 and saw the contract as a point of pride. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., who was at the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, and other Connecticut lawmakers pledged to fight the decision. "It looks like the U.S. Navy just shot down an American helicopter," said Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn...

CIA refuses to let U.S. officials see records on Nazis --Agency position seems to defy 1998 law --The CIA is refusing to provide hundreds of thousands of pages of documents sought by a government working group under a 1998 law that requires full disclosure of classified records related to Nazi war criminals, say congressional officials from both parties.

C.I.A. Said to Rebuff Congress on Nazi Files [Yes, we can't let the world know that the Bush family was involved up to its *eyeballs* with those who built the death camps in Nazi Germany. See: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power --September 25, 2004 --Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president [sic] --George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.]

9/11 cases rejected --An American court has dismissed compensation claims against members of the Saudi royal family and a number of Arab businesses that were alleged to have financed Al-CIA-duh and the September 11 attacks, writes Abul Taher.

Ohio chamber reveals contributors --Businesses spent $4.2 million in 2000 effort to unseat [Democrat] Justice Resnick --Under threat of $25,000 a day in fines, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce yesterday gave up its four-year fight to conceal those who spent $4.2 million targeting a state Supreme Court justice for defeat at the polls. Nationwide Insurance, Honda, DaimlerChrysler, Procter & Gamble, Enron, AT&T, and Owens-Illinois were among nearly 400 corporations and individuals who contributed to Citizens for a Strong Ohio, a nonprofit arm of the chamber.

Democrats Bash Bush Social Security Plan -- Senate Democrats lashed out Friday against Dictator Bush's plan to add personal accounts to Social Security and accused his regime of improperly using the Social Security Administration to promote the plan. A pair of Social Security employees told the Democratic Policy Committee that they objected to internal agency documents that directs employees to talk about the system's problems and the need for reform.

Former Clinton aide backs Dean for party chair --Harold Ickes, a leading Democratic activist and former aide to President Clinton, said Friday he is backing Howard Dean to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee -- giving a powerful boost to the front-runner.

Action governor setting stage for cataclysmic political showdown --[GOP-installed California Governor Arnold] Schwarzenegger himself is giving every indication that he is ready for political war. After introducing his proposals three weeks ago, the governor lashed out at Democratic leaders this week, accusing them of stalling on his program and wasting time.

Loggers Going Into Ore. Old Growth Reserve --A timber company plans to start logging next week in a burned area that had been reserved as old growth forest, setting up a confrontation with environmentalists who believe leaving the dead trees standing is better for fish, wildlife and the forest.

'Dangerous' Global Warming Possible by 2026 - WWF --World temperatures could surge in just two decades to a threshold likely to trigger dangerous disruptions to the earth's climate, the WWF environmental group said on Sunday. It said the Arctic region was warming fastest, threatening the livelihoods of indigenous hunters by thawing the polar ice-cap and driving species like polar bears toward extinction by the end of the century.

Glaciers Shrinking in a Warming World --Up and down the icy spine of South America, the glaciers are melting, the white mantle of the Andes Mountains washing away at an ever faster rate.

Goat With Mad Cow Disease Raises New Fears --A goat slaughtered nearly three years ago in France had mad cow disease, the European Union confirmed on Friday. Testing has confirmed the world's first recorded case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an animal other than a cow.

*****

What if they gave an election... and no one came? 00:08 EST, January 30, 2005 --MSNBC reported (no link) ***NO*** civilian voters, one hour after the polls opened in two districts in Iraq. In another district, there was ***one*** civilian voter, in a city of five hundred thousand eligible voters!!! It appears that Dictator Bush's forced-sham 'election' is an utter and compete fraud, just like Dictator Bush himself. I would not be surprised if Faux News is reporting that millions of people are currently voting in Iraq... *What* on earth is Bill O'Lie-y going to do???

Earth_To_Bush: *No one* in Iraq is voting in your phony, whackjob election. There are not even candidates' *names* on the ballots, LOL! Who picked the parties to *appear* on the ballot, Halliburton's CEO? The only 'Iraqis' voting are the expatriates that you have *paid* to vote with U.S. tax dollars. BTW, why are we subsidizing these Reichwingers to vote *twice,* once in the Iraqi 'elections' and once in the U.S. 'elections?' The *real* terrorists in Iraq --Halliburton, Monsanto, U.S. mercenaries --need to withdraw, NOW.

The Iraqi " Election," Under U.S. Occupation, Will Go Badly for Bush and Allawi --by Sam Hamod "I predict the Iraqi 'election' as Bush and Allawi call it, will go badly because it is being done under occupying American troops and because of the resistance by Iraqis. I do not expect much of a turn-out in most of Iraq except in some Shi’a areas of Najaf and Baghdad and in some Kurdish areas. Basically, the election could have been a success had the Bush administration listened to some of us who understand the Iraqi culture."

*****

MPs plan revolt against house arrest plan --MPs are planning a parliamentary revolt over the Government's "chilling" measures to place the families and friends of suspected 'terrorists' under house arrest. Charles Clarke said yesterday that the 'terror' threat faced by Britain meant it was necessary to restrict the freedom of contact, association and movement of the families, friends and associates of suspected terrorists. Under the proposals, relatives and other associates of suspects could be searched every time they enter their homes or be banned from using telephones or the internet, the Home Secretary said.

US troops likely to stay in Iraq after 'election': Bush --US Dictator George W. Bush said US troops would probably stay in Iraq after the Jan.30 'election' as likely winners of the vote had showed the intention to retain them.

Iraq Sets Dusk-To-Dawn Curfew Before 'Vote' --Just ahead of the 'elections,' the US-installed police state battened down for the vote, imposing a 7 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew on Friday and closing Baghdad International Airport.

Security clampdown starts in Iraq --Iraq has clamped security measures across the country, sealing land borders and curbing travel to foil insurgents bent on wrecking Sunday's 'election,' but 10 Iraqis and two U.S. soldiers have died in fresh attacks.

U.S. Forces Intensify Preparations for Iraq 'Vote' --Five Soldiers Killed in Insurgent Attacks --The U.S. military moved Iraqi security forces and voting materials to polling sites throughout Iraq, ramping up preparations for Sunday's parliamentary 'elections' in the face of insurgent violence that left five American soldiers and 10 Iraqis dead on Friday.

Mega Barf alert! In Armored Vehicles, U.S. Troops Tell Iraqis to Vote --As 30-ton Bradley vehicles pointed their 25 mm cannons down alleyways, Spike cranked up the volume of the loudspeakers on his Humvee. He has a list of taped messages with titles such as "Election news," "Freedom to vote" and "Love and family."

Shiite Faction Ready to Shun Sunday's Election in Iraq --Less than 48 hours before nationwide elections here, Nasir al-Saedy, one of the city's most popular Shiite clerics, stood before a crowd of 20,000 Iraqis and uttered not a single word about the vote.

Three in four Sunnis won't vote in Iraq's 'elections': poll --Three out of four Sunni Arabs will not vote in Iraq's weekend 'elections,' while a majority of Sunnis and Shiites want US troops to leave the country immediately or as soon as an elected government is in place, according to a new poll.

Be sure to vote!! 1010 WINS - New York's All News Station Poll (poll on right-hand side of page) Will the election lead to a lasting and peaceful democracy in Iraq? [Results snapshot, January 28, 2005, 16:10 EST: YES 14.56%; NO 85.44% --6409 votes.]

MSNBC (no link) In the U.S., only ten per cent of eligible Iraqis registered to 'vote' in Bush's phony 'election.' [LOL! What a colossal failure, just like Bush himself! Earth_to_ Bush: Democracy needs to be brought to the U.S. *first,* before 'bringing it' (bombing it into) Iraq.]

Iraq Arrests 3 More Terror Leaders [Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld?] --Iraqi officials say they have arrested three top aides to resistance leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Five U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad --Five American soldiers were killed Friday by roadside bombs and a shooting attack in Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

US Army reports chopper crashed Fri. in Baghdad --The US Army says a helicopter crashed Friday in southwestern Baghdad. Military officials say there's no word on the fate of the crew. The OH-58 Kiowa helicopter is mostly used mostly for surveillance.

Two US soldiers killed in Baghdad helicopter crash --Two US soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed in western Baghdad, the US military said in a statement.

BBC obtains Iraq casualty figures --Occupation troops and Iraqi security forces may be responsible for up to 60% of conflict-related civilian deaths in Iraq - far more than are killed by insurgents, confidential records obtained by the BBC's Panorama programme reveal. Official figures, compiled by Iraq's Ministry of Health, break down deaths according to insurgent and occupation activity.

Holy irony, Batman!! Neo-con whore turns out to actually *be* a whore: War Party's Atrocity Porn --by William Norman Grigg "The horrific experience of an Iraqi woman Jumana Hanna -- supposedly imprisoned, raped, and tortured for years on the orders of Uday Hussein -- was cited by the Bush administration and its supporters as 'reason alone' for the war. But Hanna's story -- like the rest of the administration's case -- was a tissue of fabrications... As it turns out, Hanna did indeed spend time in jail – as a prostitute, not as an innocent victim of Uday Hussein’s murderous whims. After arriving in the U.S., where she has been lavished with attention, given a luxurious home, and buried beneath generous financial gifts, Hanna continued to weave extravagant tales about her supposed experiences."

U.S. Warns EU Firms to Stay Away from Iran-Diplomats --The United States, determined to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons, is piling pressure on European firms to stop them doing business with Tehran, diplomats say. [How come Halliburton can? See Halliburton to wind down Iran operations, reports smaller loss for Q4, from January 28, 2005.]

Halliburton to wind down Iran operations, reports smaller loss for Q4 --The oil services conglomerate Halliburton Co. will wind down its operations in Iran and seek to separate its engineering and construction subsidiary KBR from the parent, chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said Friday. Halliburton does business in Iran through a foreign-owned subsidiary, which is allowed as long as Americans don't participate in or direct that business. But a federal grand jury is investigating whether the Houston-based company or its executives deliberately violated a U.S. ban on trade with Iran.

Security Nominee Gave Advice to the C.I.A. on Torture Laws --Michael Chertoff, who has been picked by Dictator Bush to be the homeland security secretary, advised the Central Intelligence Agency on the legality of coercive interrogation methods on terror suspects under the federal anti-torture statute, current and former regime officials said this week.

Soldier admits failing to report abuse --A soldier told a court martial today how he was "disgusted" with himself for not reporting the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by his fellow British soldiers.

Four years in Belmarsh takes toll on mental state --Mustapha, also known as "S", has spent nearly four years in Belmarsh high security prison, the longest incarceration of all the foreign 'terror' suspects. He was arrested in February 2001 at 6am when the door of his London home was smashed in by anti-[pro]terrorist police officers... Shortly after, the case linking him to German terror cells was dropped but, before he could be released, he was re-arrested [?!?] under a French extradition order. [Boy, Kafka would be rolling over in his grave with *these* tactics.]

Released but not free, Algerian is now a prisoner in his own home --Algerian-born "G" wears an electronic tag on his left leg, has restricted access to his family and is forbidden from using the internet. Since April last year, the 35-year-old accused of links with 'terror' groups has been living under a form of house arrest. When the remaining 11 foreign 'terror' suspects are released in the next few weeks they can expect similar restrictions on their freedom of movement.

FBI in Talks to Extend Reach --Some past and present CIA officials see the bureau's push to change the ground rules of intelligence gathering as a threat to their agency. The FBI is significantly expanding its intelligence-gathering activities in the U.S., including stepped-up efforts to collect and report intelligence on foreign figures and governments, a function that long has been principally the CIA's domain, intelligence and congressional sources said Thursday.

Feds look for caller who threatened Bush --Federal agents Friday tried to find a man who called 911 from metro Detroit and threatened to kill Dictator Bush and the city's mayor.

Man Accused of Threatening Super Bowl With 'Big Bang' --JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --A man accused of leaving voice mail on the City Council president's phone saying "killing 100,000 people would get people's attention," was arrested Thursday, accused of making a bomb threat.

Dick Cheney, Dressing Down --Parka, Ski Cap at Odds With Solemnity of Auschwitz Ceremony --by Robin Givhan "At yesterday's gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President [sic] Cheney... In short, they [world leaders] were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event. The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.

Cheney Under Fire For Attire At Auschwitz Ceremony --Fashion watchers say Vice pResident Dick Cheney stood out at ceremonies Thursday commemorating the lives of those who died in two Nazi concentration camps. While most of the world leaders wore black coats in the chilly weather, Cheney wore an olive parka with a fur-trimmed hood, boots and a knit cap that said, "Staff 2001." Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan described Cheney's look as, "The kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower."

Cheney's Attire Draws Ire --Vice pResident Dick Cheney's utilitarian hooded parka and boots stood out amid the solemn formality of a ceremony commemorating the liberation of Nazi death camps, raising eyebrows among the fashion-conscious [and every other sane person].

Bush payola scandal deepens as third columnist admits being paid --The Bush dictatorship was confronted with fresh evidence of a far-reaching clandestine campaign to influence public opinion yesterday after a third conservative commentator admitted receiving payments for championing its policies. Michael McManus, a newspaper columnist, was paid up to $10,000 (£5,300) to praise the Bush regime's marriage initiative, which diverts funds from welfare to marital counselling, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Federal Contracts With Columnists Prompt Change in Policy --A part-time columnist who heads an organization that promotes marriage was awarded a contract worth up to $10,000 from the Bush administration last year — the third recent case in which a syndicated columnist has received such payments.

GAO to Probe Payment to Armstrong Williams --The General Accountability Office is launching an investigation into the Education Department's deal with a black conservative columnist, who promoted Bush regime policies after receiving a payment of $240,000.

Harris gifts tied to controversial fundraiser --U.S. Rep. KKKatherine Harris, Florida's most infamous member of Congress and a potential candidate for Senate, received early Christmas presents late last year from some controversial benefactors. While raising money in New York on Dec. 12, she received 10 $2,000 checks from people related to or connected to a New York rabbi and campaign fundraiser dubbed "the Brooklyn Bundler" who was indicted on charges of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal money intended for disabled children. The donors came mostly from Brooklyn, N.Y., but also from executives of an Iowa slaughterhouse that was at the time facing allegations of inhumane treatment of animals. [Yup, your typical GOP supporters]

Texas AG announces ERCOT indictments --Former top officials with the organization that runs Texas' electricity grid created bogus companies that charged hundreds of thousands of dollars for fake work done by nonexistent employees, according to allegations in indictments announced today. The 23 indictments against five former officials and one contractor at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas allege organized criminal activity, commercial bribery and theft by receiving stolen property.

U.S.-Cuba Spat Spills Into the New Year --The Christmas quarrel erupted over the U.S. mission's traditional holiday lights display depicting Santa, Frosty and candy canes. The display also included a big 75, which symbolizes a group of 'pro-democracy' [sic] activists serving long prison terms. ...Cuba then erected billboards around the mission with photographs of hooded and bloodied inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. soldiers accosting children, and bold red swastikas and the word "fascists." Lampoons of U.S. foreign policy also went up and peace music was blared at the building. [Great display!!]

Lawyers Defend Challenge to Ohio Vote --Four lawyers behind a failed challenge of Ohio's presidential 'election' results defended themselves Friday against the state attorney general's efforts to have them sanctioned for filing a "meritless claim."

Police alert over vote-rigging --Increase in ongoing cases raises fears of widespread fraud at next general election --Police forces throughout Britain will be warned to be on the alert for widespread electoral fraud in the run-up to the general election.

Commission head: Law enforcement helped Beslan gang --Russian law enforcement officials allegedly helped terrorists to carry out last September's school massacre in Beslan, Russia, that left 344 people dead, according to the head of a special parliamentary commission. Alexander Torshin, the head of the commission investigating the fatal hostage taking, said the suspects included officials ranking "higher than major."

Arctic ozone may drop to new low --The coming weeks could bring the most severe thinning of the ozone layer over northern Europe since records began.

DOE unveils plan [sic] for aboveground nuclear waste storage --The Energy Department unveiled plans Friday for an aboveground site to receive highly radioactive waste destined for storage at a national nuclear waste dump in southern Nevada. Plans call for a 500-by-500-foot facility the department dubbed an "aging pad" that could hold up to 46.3 million pounds, or about one-third of the highly radioactive waste on its way to underground storage at the Yucca Mountain repository. [Insert *bleeping morons* comment here.]

Drilling Expansion Plan to Put Haze Over Great Plains --The largest expansion of natural gas drilling approved by the federal government is expected to degrade air quality in the region that today has the clearest skies in the lower 48 states. The federal Bureau of Land Management, under pressure from the White House to fast-track energy production, approved the drilling plan two years ago without incorporating any requirements to reduce the resulting air pollution.

Bird flu 'passed between humans' --Scientists have said a woman who died of bird flu probably contracted the disease from her daughter. The researchers from the Thai Ministry of Public Health warn it is likely there will be more cases where the virus is passed from human-to-human. Professor John Oxford, a leading UK expert, said the virus had broken down the "final door" which prevented it being spread between people.

First case of BSE in goats found in France --The first case of BSE in a goat was confirmed yesterday in an animal that was slaughtered in France in 2002.

*****

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