February 2005 Archives, Page Two
Oops! U.S. Says 'Thousands' of Missiles Missing --It has been known for years that thousands of light and lethal shoulder-fired missiles are in black-market circulation. What is not known is exactly who has them and whether many have fallen into the hands of terrorists or criminals. [Well, it's better than them being in the hands of Bush and Cheney.]
Private, vulnerable 'armies' deploy for modern-day wars --Peter Singer, an expert on national security and Iraq military contracts at the Brookings Institution, has stated that the number of private contractors in Iraq - estimated to be between 20,000 and 30,000 - surpasses the number of soldiers there from all the United States' allies combined.
Halliburton Gets Bonuses for U.S. Army Work --U.S. 'defense' contractor Halliburton, under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq, has been given bonuses for some of its work supporting the U.S. military in Kuwait and Afghanistan, the Army said on Thursday.
Mega barf alert! Army Awards Bonus to Halliburton for Supply Work --The U.S. Army said on Thursday it had given bonuses to Texas company Halliburton for its logistical work in Kuwait and Afghanistan but had not yet decided whether to give a performance-based bonus for disputed dining services [serving rotting food] to troops. [*See: Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens --Sunday, Dec 14, 2003 --The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported on Friday. Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root's promises to improve "have not been followed through," according to a Pentagon report that warned "serious repercussions may result" if the contractor did not clean up. The Pentagon reported finding "blood all over the floor," "dirty pans," "dirty grills," "dirty salad bars" and "rotting meats ... and vegetables" in four of the military messes the company operates in Iraq, NBC said, citing Pentagon documents. The report came as Dictator George W. Bush fended off Pentagon reports that Halliburton-KBR overcharged US$61 million for gasoline it sold the military in Iraq. Dick Cheney ran Halliburton for five years until becoming vice pResident.]
Iraq violence kills 30 in one day --A suicide bomber blew up his car inside police headquarters in predominantly Sunni Arab Tikrit, killing at least 15 people in Saddam Hussein's hometown. This raised the one-day death toll in Iraq to 30 - including two American soldiers.
Some 30 people dead in series of attacks in Iraq --A man wearing a police uniform drove a car bomb into police headquarters in Tikrit in the largest of a series of attacks on Thursday in Iraq that left a total of 30 people dead, including two U.S. soldiers. The violence came a day after U.S. puppet dictator ['interim Prime Minister'] Ayad Allawi announced he was forming a coalition to try to hold onto his post in the next government and block the candidate of the dominant Shiite political alliance. [Sound familiar, Ken Blackwell?]
Churches attack Iraq troop plan --A Christian alliance has savaged the Government's decision to send more troops to Iraq as "scandalous", saying the Prime Minister had broken trust with the Australian people.
Allawi works to keep post --U.S.-installed puppet dictator ['Prime Minister'] Ayad Allawi is stepping up his bid to remain in office, announcing the formation of a secular coalition that he and his supporters say will seek to outmaneuver Shiite religious parties as a new transitional government is formed.
Extent of US abuse cases revealed --The US army says it is conducting more than 100 criminal investigations into claims of detainee abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Maj Gen Donald Ryder, in charge of US army detainee operations, said a further 200 such investigations had already been completed.
Army Revising Policies and Training for Prison Guards --The Army has initiated extensive changes in the way it trains for and conducts its worldwide detention operations, acknowledging that a series of investigations into prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba revealed failures, omissions or confusion in Army doctrine and training that might have contributed to the abuse.
Canada says 'no' to missile defence: Martin --Prime Minister Paul Martin announced Thursday that Canada will not sign on to the controversial U.S. ballistic missile defence program.
Canada rejects US missile defence plan --Canada will opt out of the US missile defence program, in a move expected to further strain relations with the United States. The move will please Canadians who fear the program could lead to an international arms race.
VIDEO: CNN reported no plane hit Pentagon --See shockwave video file of a clip from CNN coverage on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre says he inspected the Pentagon site and it is obvious no plane crashed there. Clip archived by TheWebFairy.com; Transcript by Total911.info "JAMIE MCINTYRE: From my close-up inspection, there's no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon. The only site, is the actual side of the building that's crashed in. And as I said, the only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you pick up in your hand. There are no large tail sections, wing sections, fuselage, nothing like that anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon and then caused the side to collapse. Even though if you look at the pictures of the Pentagon you see that the floors have all collapsed, that didn't happen immediately. It wasn't until almost about 45 minutes later that the structure was weakened enough that all of the floors collapsed."
Visit By Hated U.S. Dictator Costs Lufthansa Million$: Lufthansa May Sue Over Bush Visit Flight Disruption --Lufthansa AG, Europe's No. 2 airline, may seek redress for cancellations and delays from German authorities who temporarily brought the Frankfurt area to a standstill yesterday for a visit by U.S. Dictator George W. Bush, damaging business for local companies. DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, which operates Germany's air traffic control system, said in an e-mailed statement that the U.S. Secret Service had ordered the complete closure of the airport during Bush's arrival and departure two days before the visit, after previously saying it would not be necessary.
Mainz turned into a ghost town --Security for Bush visit on Wednesday causes air and shipping losses in the region --Residents of Mainz, just southwest of Frankfurt, began getting a feel for the restrictions that the visit would impose on their lives in the days that led up to George W. Bush's visit. As part of the prelude, manhole covers were welded shut and cars were towed away. Train travelers around the Mainz region were warned as well...
Thousands protest against Bush visit to Germany --At least 4,000 demonstrators vented their anger at the visit of US Dictator George W. Bush to Germany but were kept well away from the security ring around him. The protesters brandished placards reading "Terrorist Nr 1" and "Bush Swim Home" while police helicopters circled overhead.
Why are we welcoming this torturer? Europe is tacitly condoning the Bush regime's appalling practices --by Victoria Brittain "How can it be that not one mainstream public figure in Europe has denounced these appalling practices and declared that, in view of all we now know of cells, cages, underground bunkers, solitary confinement, sodomy and threatened sodomy, beatings, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, mock executions and kidnapping, President [sic] Bush and his officials are not welcome? Perhaps it's not surprising given the British army's own dismal record in southern Iraq. Why has no public figure had the honesty to admit that the democracy and freedom promised for the Middle East are fake and mask US plans to leave Washington dominant in the area?" [a must read]
Witness in plot to kill Bush is dead --A suspected member of al-Qaida who prosecutors say once talked with Ahmed Omar Abu Ali about assassinating Dictator Bush was killed by Saudi authorities in a shootout 17 months ago, the Justice Department disclosed yesterday. The disclosure that a potential witness in the case is no longer alive could complicate the prosecution of Abu Ali on terrorism charges.
Family of Suspect in Bush Plot to Sue U.S. [Great!] --Family of Suspect in Alleged Bush Plot Plans to Sue Government Alleging Their Son Was Tortured --The family of a 23-year-old accused of plotting with al-Qaida to kill Dictator Bush said Thursday they want to pursue a lawsuit accusing the regime of being behind their son's detention and alleged torture in a Saudi prison. Ahmed Abu Ali "was tortured on orders of the USA; they are monsters," his mother, Faten, said outside a federal courtroom.
Terror Suspect's Family Protests Gag Rules --The parents of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the American student accused of plotting the assassination of Dictator Bush, said Thursday that the government was restricting their access to their son by limiting what they could tell the public about their jailhouse conversations. But inJustice Department officials said the jailhouse restrictions under consideration were standard in 'terrorism' cases as a way of preventing jailed suspects from passing coded messages to outside accomplices [?!? Actually, they are prevented from telling the truth, that Dictator Bush is the terrorist.]
Judge Rules Prosecutor Can't See Times Reporters' Phone Records --A federal judge ruled in New York today that a federal prosecutor could not inspect the phone records of two reporters [sic-one of the 'reporters' is GOP WMD whore, Judith Miller] for The New York Times in an effort to learn their confidential sources.
Reporters' Phone Records Are Protected, Court Rules --U.S. Attorney Can't Force N.Y. Times to Supply Documents --The New York Times has a qualified right under the First Amendment and federal common law to protect the identity of its confidential sources by refusing to release telephone records to a prosecutor, a federal judge in New York ruled yesterday.
Vietnam Looks to Win Agent Orange Law Suit --On Monday, a New York court will begin hearing a lawsuit brought by more than 100 Vietnamese seeking compensation and a clean-up of contaminated areas from more than 30 firms, among them Dow Chemical Co and Monsanto Co, the largest makers of Agent Orange.
Wal-Mart Loses $7.5 Million Discrimination Suit --A New York jury awarded a former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employee who suffers from cerebral palsy $7.5 million in a discrimination lawsuit, the worker's lawyer said on Thursday.
Aussie official: U.S. dollar may collapse --A top Australian treasury official is warning of a global financial tsunami if there is a U.S. dollar and government bond sell off. Treasury Secretary Ken Henry compared the flood of money pouring into the United States to support its budget and current account deficits to the stock market's dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, the Australian reports.
Democrats Criticize Social Security Official --In the midst of a fractious debate over changes to Social Security, a senior official of the agency that administers the program has been joining Republican members of Congress at public events around the country devised to promote personal retirement accounts. Several Democrats are objecting to (Social Security Administration deputy commissioner) James B. Lockhart III's role in an aggressive campaign to promote administration proposals for restructuring Social Security.
Swifties Slime Again --by Maureen Dowd "USA Next, which has spent millions on Republican policy fights, has pledged to spend as much as $10 million on ads and other tactics to 'dynamite' AARP and get Americans to rip up Social Security. It's hiring some of the same consultants who helped the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who dynamited John Kerry, a war hero, by sliming him as a war criminal. Once again, just as W. runs into political trouble, he floats above the fray while the help takes out his opponents."
Holy conflict of interest, Batman! 10 Voters on Panel Backing Pain Pills Had Industry Ties --Ten of the 32 government drug advisers who last week endorsed continued marketing of the huge-selling pain pills Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx have consulted in recent years for the drugs' makers, according to disclosures in medical journals and other public records.
Thanks to Bush's corpora-terrorists: Health-care costs soaring --Largely because of the new prescription drug 'benefit' [corporate welfare] under Medicare, which takes full effect next year, the federal government will be paying half of the nation's health care bills within the next decade, according to a new report by the Bush regime.
Kansas attorney general seeking records of women who had late-term abortions --The attorney general of Kansas wants to know the detailed history of the sex lives of nearly 90 women who received late-term abortions.
Judge Rules Against Gay Couples in N.Y. --A judge has ruled against a group of same-sex couples who challenged the state's anti-gay marriage law after they were denied marriage licenses.
Two more people test positive for bird flu in Vietnam --As a three-day international bird flu conference wraps up in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, health authorities in northern Vietnam confirmed that a brother and sister had tested positive for the virus.
Bird flu in humans may be going undiagnosed --Detecting the start of a pandemic caused by a new form of the H5N1 bird flu virus might be even harder than experts feared. Two children in Vietnam who died of diarrhoea and brain inflammation have been discovered to have had bird flu, suggesting that doctors watching only for the fever and cough typical of normal flu may miss cases.
Cancer dye crisis spreads to 12 EU countries --The British food industry was once again emerging as the dirty man of Europe last night as UK foods contaminated with the illegal cancer-causing red dye Sudan 1 turned up in 12 EU countries. The list of foods affected in the UK rose by 145 last night to 575.
Fla. Man Finds 6-Foot African Rock Python In Toilet --A St. Petersburg man received a rude awakening Tuesday when he lifted the lid on his toilet and found a snake curled inside, with its head sticking out of the bowl... The reptile was confirmed to be a 6-foot African rock python. Experts said the serpent is just a baby, as African rock pythons get as big as 20 feet long or longer. Mr. Scavotto called his boss to tell him he'd be late because he'd had to wrestle a snake out of his toilet. His boss joked he would need a better excuse than that. Scavotto told the boss he'd bring it in so he could see it. So he did. [There are a lot of snakes in Florida. One is posing as the Governor.]
President's Uncle Bucky emerges as a big winner from Iraq war --The Iraq war has produced many winners and many losers. And one small but significant winner is a certain William "Bucky" Bush, brother of one president and uncle to the current occupant of the White House. The good fortune of Uncle Bucky, as he is known within America's ruling family, has been to hold a seat on the board of Engineered Support Systems Incorporated (ESSI), a St Louis-based company that has flourished mightily as a military contractor to the Pentagon. Last month, ESSI shares hit a record $60.39 (£31.64) apiece more or less exactly the moment the presidential uncle chose to sell 8,438 options worth around $450,000, according to obligatory reports filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and disclosed by the Los Angeles Times yesterday. [Note: Martha *Democrat* Stewart is sitting in a prison cell for far, far less.]
Company's Work in Iraq Profited Bush's Uncle --William H.T. 'Bucky' Bush earned $450,000 on stock options with defense contractor ESSI. The Iraq war helped bring record earnings to St. Louis-based defense contractor Engineered Support Systems Inc., and new financial data show that the firm's war-related profits have trickled down to a familiar family name — Bush. William H.T. "Bucky" Bush, uncle of dictator Bush and youngest brother of former President George H.W. Bush, cashed in ESSI stock options last month with a net value of nearly half a million dollars.
Bush's uncle cashes in on Iraq --Dictator George W Bush's uncle, who is on the board of a US defence contractor with over $US100 million ($A126 million) in business in Iraq, recently cashed in on some of that lucrative work, a government filing showed today.
Car bomb kills two in Iraqi city of Mosul --U.S. soldier killed in separate attack north of Baghdad --A car bomb killed two people and wounded 14 in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, and a U.S. soldier was killed in a separate bomb attack north of Baghdad, officials said.
Pressure from Britain, US behind extra troops --Britain and the United States were the driving forces behind Australia's concession of sending more troops to Iraq, regardless of the Howard Government's protestations that the request originated from Japan.
2 British Soldiers Convicted of Abusing Prisoners in Iraq --Two British soldiers were convicted of abusing Iraqi detainees by a military jury in Germany on Wednesday in a case that was widely known as Britain's Abu Ghraib. Lance Cpl. Mark Cooley was found guilty of disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind for driving a forklift with a bound Iraqi dangling from its prongs and for pretending to punch a detainee.
Britain Convicts 2 in Iraq Abuse; Sex Photos Unsolved --Britain convicted two soldiers Wednesday for abusing Iraqi detainees, but failed to punish anyone for making prisoners pose for simulated sex pictures similar to those in the U.S. Abu Ghraib scandal.
Three British soldiers guilty of Iraq abuse --A military jury convicted two British servicemen today on charges of involvement in abusing Iraqi civilians. A third defendant, also from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, had already pleaded guilty.
U.S. Sets Limits on Detainee Interrogation Methods --The Pentagon is implementing new restrictions on detainee interrogations, tying them more closely to the Geneva Conventions and has ordered limits on body cavity searches of prisoners, officials said on Wednesday.
War Crimes: Congress dozes while detainees are sent to other countries to be tortured --by Nat Hentoff "...[I]n the February 14 New Yorker, there is a long, detailed, clearly documented story, 'Outsourcing Torture'—the most important piece run by The New Yorker since John Hersey's internationally resounding essay on what we did to Hiroshima in Japan with the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare. This report by Jane Mayer should be read by every member of Congress, which has yet to conduct a substantive investigation—with subpoena powers—into these horrific practices... The extraditions are so secret that even the 9-11 Commission members were not allowed to ask questions about these 'extraordinary renditions,' as the CIA bureaucratically calls them."
Anti-War Solider May Be Court-Martialed --An Army hearing officer has recommended a court-martial for a soldier charged with desertion after he refused to deploy to Iraq.
Country Bracing For Draft --The United States has not had a military draft since 1973, but fears are growing throughout the country that there might soon be a return to the Selective Service. Students are beginning to take the looming threat seriously as they consider ways of making themselves "draft resistant" as they gear up for conscientious objector status, establishing advance proof that they will qualify.
Bush: Talk of US attack on Iran are "ridiculous" Feb. 22, 2005 "US President [sic] George W. Bush on Tuesday forcefully dismissed the idea that Washington is planning to attack Iran to keep the government in Tehran from developing nuclear arms. 'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous,' Bush told reporters after he met for 90 minutes at a summit meeting with the 25 European Union leaders. 'Having said that, all options are on the table.'"
Bush, Schroeder Say No Concrete Plans to Attack Iraq May 23, 2002 "President [sic] Bush says there are 'no war plans on my desk' for dealing with the threat posed by Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, but that 'we've got to use all means at our disposal to deal with Saddam Hussein.' Speaking at a press availability with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in the garden of the Chancellery in Berlin May 23, Bush said, 'I appreciate the German Chancellor's understanding of the threats of weapons of mass destruction. And they're real.' 'I promise consultations with our close friend and ally. We will exert a unified diplomatic pressure. We will share intelligence,' the President added."
U.S. military not conducting spy flights over Iran: Pentagon --The U.S. military is not conducting spy flights over Iran and "to the best of our knowledge" [?!?] neither are other elements of the U.S. government, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday, denying Iranian and U.S. reports to the contrary.
Canadian PM Turns Thumbs Down on U.S. Missile Shield --Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin decided not to sign on to the U.S. missile defense network, despite urging from Washington, because the political risks were too great, a senior official said Wednesday.
German protesters call Bush 'No. 1 Terrorist' --About 12,000 protesters, some carrying banners saying "Bush go home," [We don't want him here, either!] "War Monger" and "No. 1 Terrorist," marched through the German town of Mainz on Wednesday but were kept away from the visiting U.S. dictator.
Confiscated Poster: "We had our Hitler, now you have yours." About 12,000 protesters arched through the German city of Mainz on Wednesday. Ignoring snow and freezing temperatures, demonstrators held banners chastising Bush in English... Before the march, which Mainz police said was one of the largest ever in the city of about 300,000, one speaker told the crowd: "Mr. Bush, please leave our country. You started an illegal war against Iraq." German police confiscated one poster that read: "We had our Hitler, now you have yours." Some protesters praised Schroeder for his anti-war stance.
With a Hush and a Whisper, Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans --During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice.
Family Support Suspect in Alleged Bush Plot --Family and friends who packed a Virginia courtroom to support Ahmed Omar Abu Ali laughed out loud [LOL!] when prosecutors alleged that the former high school valedictorian had plotted to assassinate Dictator Bush. ...Ali's lawyers expressed concern that the government's case may be based on evidence obtained through torture.
U.S. Wants Man Named in Plot to Kill Bush Held in Jail --U.S. prosecutors urged on Wednesday that an American citizen accused of supporting al CIA-duh and plotting to kill Dictator Bush be held in jail until trial.
FOX News doctors AP reports to mimic White House terminology (mediamatters.org) "Since April 2002, FOX [Faux] News has consistently doctored Associated Press articles featured on the FOX News website concerning terrorist attacks in the Middle East to conform to Bush administration terminology. Without any editorial notation disclosing that words in the AP articles have been changed, FOX News replaces the terms 'suicide bomber' and 'suicide bombing' with 'homicide bomber' and 'homicide bombing' to describe attackers who kill themselves and others with explosives. In at least one case, FOX News actually altered an AP quote from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) to fit this naming convention, and then revised it to restore the quote without noting either the original alteration or its correction."
Kids Say the Darndest, Most Stalinist Things --by Bill Maher "A new survey found that a majority of high schoolers think newspapers should not be allowed to publish without government approval. And almost one in five said that Americans should be prohibited from expressing unpopular opinions... And what's so frightening is that we're seeing the beginnings of the first post-9/11 generation — the kids who first became aware of the news under an 'Americans need to watch what they say' administration, the kids who've been told that dissent is un-American and therefore justifiably punished by a fine, imprisonment — or the loss of your show on ABC."
Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid to join call for Gannon investigation --Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will join Democratic whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) in calling for an investigation discredited White House reporter Jeff Gannon, RAW STORY has learned. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Reid aide said the senator had decided to join the call for an investigation today.
Holiday Greetings  from the GOPUSA Team (gopusa.com, before they remove it from their website) "In particular, I'd like to thank Terri Hillhouse and the entire GOPUSA team for their drive, dedication, and support. I'd also like to send a special thank you to all those who personally provided me with their assistance, guidance, and friendship, including Kathleen Eberle, Bruce Eberle, Mike Hiban, Don Stewart, Paul Teller, Tim Goeglein, Stuart Richens, Matt Smith, Jen Ohman, Bob Johnson, Liz Sheld, Julie Cram, Phillip Stutts, Chuck Muth, Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, and G. Gordon Liddy."
Gannongate: It's worse than you think --Bush's press office gave Jim Guckert access, even knowing his only credentials were from the blatantly partisan group GOPUSA. --by Eric Boehlert "When the press first raised questions about why Jim Guckert had been awarded access to the White House press room for two years running while he worked for Talon News, critics charged that Talon, with its amateurish standards and close working ties to Republican activists, did not qualify as a legitimate news organization. It turns out the truth is even stranger: Guckert was waved into the White House while working for an even more blatantly partisan organization, GOPUSA."
The White House Stages Its 'Daily Show' --by Frank Rich "'Jeff' [Gannon] has now quit Talon News not because he and it have been exposed as fakes but because of other embarrassing blogosphere revelations linking him to sites like hotmilitarystud.com and to an apparently promising career as an X-rated $200-per-hour 'escort.' If Mr. [James D.] Guckert, the author of Talon News exclusives like 'Kerry Could Become First Gay President,' is yet another link in the boundless network of homophobic Republican closet cases, that's not without interest. But it shouldn't distract from the real question - that is, the real news - of how this fake newsman might be connected to a White House propaganda machine that grows curiouser by the day... By my count, 'Jeff Gannon' is now at least the sixth 'journalist' (four of whom have been unmasked so far this year) to have been a propagandist on the payroll of either the Bush administration or a barely arms-length ally like Talon News while simultaneously appearing in print or broadcast forums that purport to be real news." [A must read]
Murder by media: The Dean Scream --by Edward Wasserman "In fact the [Howard] Dean Scream was a fraud, probably the clearest instance of media assassination in recent U.S. political history. Last year, a young cable news producer attended one of our twice-yearly Ethics Institutes at Washington and Lee University, in which students and journalists gather to discuss newsroom wrongdoing. He brought two clips... The second clip was the same speech taped by a supporter on the floor of the hall. The difference was stunning. The place was packed. The noise was deafening. Dean was on the podium, but you couldn't hear him. The roar from his supporters was drowning him out. Dean was no longer scary, unhinged, volcanic, over the top... I saw energy, not lunacy."
Federal Murder Inc. Tied to OKC Terror Bombing --Police Sergeant Suicided To Keep Truth Hidden --by Pat Shannan "[Dr. Charles] Chumley had only worked side by side with [Sgt. Terry] Yeakey during those first hours and days of rescue, but also had defied the federal officers at the scene who reportedly attempted to have him falsify reports... Including Chumley and Yeakey, there have been more than 30 suspicious deaths of witnesses who harbored information pertinent to the truth in the OKC case."
Humanity in 'gravest possible danger' of bird flu pandemic --Key points - Governments warned that quick action is needed to avoid avian flu pandemic - World Health Organisation reveals bird flu has mutated into deadlier forms - Avian influenza killed 45 people over the course of last year
Bird flu pandemic perilously close: WHO --The world is perilously close to a deadly pandemic stemming from bird flu and governments need to take quick action to control its spread, a top international health official warned. "We at WHO (the World Health Organisation) believe that the world is now in the gravest possible danger of a pandemic," said Dr Shigeru Omi, the WHO's Western Pacific regional director.
Bird Flu Experts Take Aim at Roaming Ducks --In the fight against Asia's bird flu, experts are zeroing in on ducks and the role they play in the spread of the deadly disease... What experts fear is that the H5N1 virus could get into a person or animal with a human flu virus and mutate into a strain that could sweep through a world population with no immunity and kill millions.
'Grave danger' seen on bird flu --Experimental vaccine to be tested [?!? LOL, like we're going to be pharma-terror 'guinea pigs' so Bush's installers can have a windfall]; increased surveillance planned --Amid dire warnings of an Asian pandemic, the government is preparing to test an experimental bird flu [deadly] vaccine and is increasing disease surveillance in hopes of reducing the toll from any eventual American outbreak. Antiviral drugs are being stockpiled just in case, and 2 million doses of vaccine are being stored in bulk form to test whether it maintains its potency.
Rocket-Fuel Chemical Found in Breast Milk --Scientists on Tuesday reported that perchlorate, a toxic component of rocket fuel, was contaminating virtually all samples of women's breast milk and its levels were found to be, on average, five times greater than in cow's milk. The contaminant, which originates mostly at defense industry plants, previously had been detected in various food and water supplies around the country.
Bush taper: Keeping quiet cost me a million --The conservative author who secretly taped conversations with Dictator Bush insisted he gave up big bucks by holding his controversial book until after the 2004 election. Doug Wead, who worked for Bush's father, said that decision proves he never planned to betray the future President [sic] by playing tapes of their private conversations for a reporter.
Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., CLG Founder and Chair, was a guest on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country,' February 21, 2005, 10PM EST. The topic was the Wead tapes. The show re-aired at 3AM EST. [From Transcript: RECTENWALD: And if he were Democrat, the letters AWOL would appear on his face. But because he is a Republican and he is a teflon president named Bush, he is able to escape this pressure and this press. And also, thanks to this Christian conversion narrative that says, anything I did back then, that was just before I was saved.]
Not My President (Not anyone's) --by Michael Rectenwald --speech in Manhattan, February 18, 2001
U.S. citizen charged in alleged plot to kill Bush --A former high school valedictorian in Virginia was charged Tuesday with conspiring to assassinate Dictator Bush and conspiracy to support the al-Qaida terrorist network. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, a U.S. citizen, made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court. He claimed that he was tortured while detained in Saudi Arabia since June of 2003 and offered through his lawyer to show the judge his scars. [Note: There is no *evidence* in the indictment that Ali had moved beyond talk of the alleged assassination plot. And, talk of the alleged assassination has been alleged *only* by the U.S. government. In other words, the U.S. government has no case, but wants to push to have 'confessions' elicited via torture, admissible in court. Not gonna' fly...] [The valedictorian plotted to assassinate Bush, while the kid who graduated last probably voted for him. What's that tell 'ya? --Anon.]
U.S. man accused of discussing to kill Bush --Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, a U.S. citizen arrested in 2003 in Saudi Arabia and returned to America, has been charged with supporting al Qaeda and has been accused of discussing ways to kill Dictator George W. Bush.
Belgian Police Fire Water at Anti-Bush Protesters --Belgian police fired water cannon at hundreds of demonstrators protesting against the visit of Dictator Bush to European Union headquarters Tuesday.
Extraordinary security measures for Bush visit to Germany --by Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz "In advance of Wednesday, February 23, a virtual state of emergency is being imposed in the Rhine-Main area, one of the most heavily populated regions of Germany. Four motorways are being completely closed, rail travel restricted, navigation of the rivers Rhine and Main halted, schools and local offices closed down..."
Piss Off --A Belgian novelty shows what the good people of Brussels really think about George W. Bush. When Johan Vande Lanotte, Belgium's Vice Prime Minister, goes to the toilets today, he finds the urinals in the offices of his ministry decorated with stickers. They show an American flag and the head of George W. Bush. "Go ahead. Piss on me," the caption says.
Bush take on world draws international skepticism --A majority of people in eight countries – Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, Spain and Canada – said they thought it should not be the U.S. role to spread democracy, AP-Ipsos polls indicate. Resistance to Mr. Bush's plans was strongest in France, at 84 per cent, according to the polling conducted for the Associated Press by Ipsos, an international polling firm. About as many Germans – 78 per cent – took that position, while two-thirds of those in Britain said they didn't think the United States should be exporting democracy. [The whole world knows it is not 'democracy' Bush is exporting - but corporate terrorism.]
Revealed: the rush to war --The attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, warned less than two weeks before the invasion of Iraq that military action could be ruled illegal. The government was so concerned that it might be prosecuted it set up a team of lawyers to prepare for legal action in an international court. And a parliamentary answer issued days before the war in the name of Lord Goldsmith - but presented by ministers as his official opinion before the crucial Commons vote - was drawn up in Downing Street, not in the attorney general's chambers.
Allawi launches bid to hang onto premier's job --In a surprise [Yeah, right!] political development, Prime Minister Ayad Allawi put in a formal bid to retain his position in the new transitional government, sending a political signal to jostling Shiite parties that he could be a compromise candidate if they are unable to agree on a choice.
US launches fresh raids in Iraq --The US military has been carrying out raids in the western Iraqi province of Anbar in a crackdown on insurgents.
U.S. Marine Killed in Iraq's Anbar Province --A U.S. marine was killed in Iraq's Anbar province, where American and Iraqi forces have launched a major campaign to flush out insurgents, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
Australia doubles military commitment to Iraq (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) TV Program Transcript Reporter: Narda Gilmore TONY JONES: "After months of ruling out any further military contribution in Iraq, the Prime Minister has announced a massive increase in troop numbers. Australia's new deployment will more than double the current military commitment. The Opposition has accused the government of breaking its election promise."
PM admits Iraq backflip, won't apologise --Prime Minister John Howard has admitted the government changed its position on its military commitment in Iraq, but denies he misled the public about increasing troop numbers. Mr Howard defended the backflip, saying governments were not "immobilised in time" and he would not apologise for it.
Army shocked at PM's Iraq order --The leader of Australia's land forces says Prime Minister John Howard's decision to double the number of troops in Iraq came as a shock.
Call for permanent U.S. base in Afghanistan --The United States needs permanent military bases in Afghanistan to protect its [Halliburton's] "vital national security interests" in the region, Arizona Sen. John McCain said Tuesday after talks with the Afghan president.
Bush Denies U.S. Plans to Attack Iran --Dictator Bush said Tuesday that it is "simply ridiculous'' to assume that the United States has plans to attack Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program after discussing the issue with European allies.
Report: 90 U.S. nuclear weapons still in Turkey --The United States has removed its nuclear arsenal from Greece, but maintains nuclear assets in neighboring Turkey. ...Turkey retains 90 U.S. nuclear weapons, said the study, entitled "U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Europe."
US sees insurers as possible tool in terror 'fight' --The White House's 2006 budget request for Homeland Security, unveiled last week, doubled funding for a Freedom of Information Act-exempt program that examines trade secrets from private businesses to assess their vulnerabilities to terrorism. 85 percent of American infrastructure is privately owned and underprotected; companies have lobbied hard to defeat legislation to force them to upgrade their security practices, finding allies among free-market Republicans in Congress.
Wag-the-Dog Protection --by Paul Krugman "The political landscape today reminds me of the spring of 2002, after the big revelations of corporate fraud. Then, as now, the administration was on the defensive, and Democrats expected to do well in midterm elections. Then, suddenly, it was all Iraq, all the time, and Harken Energy and Halliburton vanished from the headlines. I don't know which foreign threat the administration will start playing up this time, but Bush critics should be prepared for the shift... Mr. Bush has repeatedly shown himself willing to play the terrorism card when he is losing the debate on other issues."
U.S. cash funneled to Castro opponents --Ex-envoy calls effort 'colossal mistake' --The U.S. government has been quietly sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to activists [Reichwing whackjobs] seeking to undermine President Fidel Castro's government, according to documents and interviews. The cash payments, totaling about $200,000 a year, are being channeled through the U.S.-financed National Endowment for Democracy [sic] and pays more than two dozen freelance writers for a Miami-based Web site that posts articles critical of the Cuban government.
RNC Holds 6 Times More Cash Than Dems --The Republican National Committee began the month with a 6-to-1 financial advantage over its Democratic counterpart, with $16.5 million in the bank compared to the Democratic National Committee's $2.6 million.
Hinchey sees hand of Rove --'They set up Dan Rather' --Democrat (NY) Maurice Hinchey has suggested that Bush controller, Karl Rove, is behind the fake documents that brought down several top executives at CBS. The controversy led to the early retirement of longtime anchor Dan Rather, many believe. ... Hinchey said he has no plans to stop making allegations against Rove and the Bush dictatorship. "What we are seeing is very new and very dangerous," Hinchey said. "No administration has attempted to manipulate the facts and information and to manipulate the news media to distort the facts ... as what we are seeing in this administration."
Democratic leadership joins call for Gannon inquiry; Whip calls on members to join push --The Senate Democratic leadership is privately circulating a letter calling for other senators to join a call for an investigation into discredited White House reporter Jeff Gannon, RAW STORY has learned. The letter, issued from Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), calls on President [sic] Bush to "order a full inquiry" into how a "fake" journalist working for a "sham" news organization got access to the president.
Civilian patrol at border draws worry --Volunteers could be liability, officials say --Intent on securing the Arizona border from illegal immigrant crossings, U.S. officials are bracing for what they call a potential new threat this spring: the Minutemen. Nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project, anointing themselves civilian border patrol agents determined to stop the immigration flow that routinely seeps past federal authorities.
E-Mail Scams Claim Homeland Security Ties --Federal authorities are investigating two e-mail scams, including one targeting families of soldiers killed in Iraq, that claim to be connected to the Homeland Security Department.
New Round of Speculation About Rehnquist's Farewell --The strong expectation, senior administration officials and others said, is that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is making his best effort to serve out the remainder of the term that ends in June before resigning.
Court to Hear Battle Over Eminent Domain --Supreme Court justices expressed serious doubts Tuesday whether the court has the authority to protect some residents in New London, Conn., who face losing their homes to the city's ambitious program for economic 'revitalization.'
Supreme Court to Decide Appeal on Suicide Law --The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it would decide whether the Bush dictatorship can stop Oregon doctors from helping terminally ill patients commit suicide, despite a state law allowing such assistance.
Court rejects challenge to abortion ruling --The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to its landmark 1973 ruling legalizing abortion by the woman once known as "Jane Roe," who was at the center of the historic case.
Bush's '06 Budget Would Scrap or Reduce 154 Programs --Dictator Bush's fiscal 2006 budget plan calls for elimination of or drastic cuts in 154 programs.
States warn of Medicaid fund crisis --Governors say the system could collapse in 10 years. For many of America's cash-strapped governors meeting in Washington this week, the Social Security debate represents an unwelcome distraction from what they see as a far more pressing crisis: how states are to pay for Medicaid, the health safety net for the nation's poor and disabled.
Crude Oil Prices Push Above $51 a Barrel --Oil prices jumped above $51 a barrel on Tuesday, rallying more than 5 percent as traders focused on the declining value of the dollar, cold weather and the possibility of an OPEC production cut.
IAF: Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran -- Israel Air Force Commander-in-Chief Major General Eliezer Shakedi said Monday that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran in light of its nuclear activity.
Bush puts Iran and Syria on notice --US Dictator George W Bush, on the first overseas trip of his second term, called for spreading democracy [imperialism] in the Muslim world, demanded Syria end its military presence in Lebanon, and warned Iran over its nuclear programs. Bush, who refused to rule out the use of force against Tehran, said he supported diplomatic overtures led by Britain, France and Germany but warned: "Results of this approach now depend largely on Iran."
In Europe, Bush Takes Tough Stance on Iran --Dictator Bush insisted on Monday that Iran cut off support for terrorism and disavow nuclear weapons -- and stressed that no response could ever be ruled out. "In safeguarding the security [sic] of free nations no option can be taken permanently off the table," Bush said in a speech on his first trip to Europe since his re-inauguration last month.
Scott Ritter Says U.S. Plans June Attack On Iran, 'Cooked' Jan. 30 Iraqi Election Results --by Mark Jensen (ufppc.org) 19 February 2005 (WA) "Scott Ritter, appearing with journalist Dahr Jamail yesterday in Washington State, dropped two shocking bombshells in a talk delivered to a packed house in Olympia’s Capitol Theater. The ex-Marine turned UNSCOM weapons inspector said that George W. Bush has 'signed off' on plans to bomb Iran in June 2005, and claimed the U.S. manipulated the results of the recent Jan. 30 elections in Iraq."
As tensions with US grow, Iran heightens war readiness --As tensions between Tehran and Washington have increased over Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology, Iran has begun publicly preparing for a possible US attack, announcing efforts to bolster and mobilize recruits in citizens' militias and making plans to engage in the type of "asymmetrical" warfare that has plagued American troops in neighboring Iraq, officials and analysts say.
Iraq: 'Biggest Cultural Disaster Since 1258', Says Expert --One million books, 10 million documents and 14,000 archaeological artifacts have been lost in the U.S.-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq -- the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258, Venezuelan writer Fernando Báez told IPS. [LOL, you have to go back to the days of Genghis Khan, to find another Bush.]
Iraqi women no better off post-Saddam - Amnesty --Nearly two years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, women there are no better off than under the rule of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, the human rights group Amnesty International said on Tuesday. In a report entitled "Iraq -- Decades of Suffering," it said that while the systematic repression under Saddam had ended, it had been replaced by increased murders, and sexual abuse -- including by U.S. forces.
US forces launch new offensive in Iraq --US Marines and Iraqi security forces launched a new offensive against insurgents in troubled cities west of Baghdad after two days of carnage that left nearly 100 people dead. Sunni Muslim tribal leaders met to determine their place in a Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi government.
Three U.S. soldiers killed during medical evacuation --Three U.S. soldiers were killed and eight wounded on Monday when a roadside bomb detonated near a helicopter as it was carrying out a medical evacuation, the U.S. military said.
Insurgents Wage Precise Attacks on Baghdad Fuel --Insurgent attacks to disrupt Baghdad's supplies of crude oil, gasoline, heating oil, water and electricity have reached a degree of coordination and sophistication not seen before, Iraqi and American officials say.
Prisoner Uprising In Iraq Exposes New Risk for U.S. --A bloody inmate riot three weeks ago at the biggest U.S.-run detention facility in Iraq has exposed an increasingly hard-core prison population that is confronting U.S. forces with a growing risk of prison violence, according to military officers... Only after two Army guards in separate towers opened fire with M-16 rifles, killing the inmates, did the violence subside [Yup, that would do it.]
Vandal Tears Down Homeowners' New Anti-War Effigy (CA) An anti-war effigy that has provoked a national discussion on the First Amendment has again been torn from a home in Sacramento's Land Park area.
IAEA head alleges smear campaign against him --The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, denounced what he said was a campaign to discredit him that had called into question his impartially in the Middle East, in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel to be published Monday. "There's a real campaign against me, trying to drag me through the mud," ElBaradei said.
Chavez to suspend oil exports to US in case of assassination attempt --Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to suspend oil exports to the United States if someone tries to assassinate him, adding that US President [sic] George W. Bush would be to blame.
North Korea Said Hints at Return to Talks --North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told a visiting Chinese envoy that his government will return to six-party nuclear disarmament talks if the United States shows "sincerity,'' the communist state's official news agency said Tuesday.
One question each: Europe's leaders are awarded topics for their presidential chat --There have also been question-marks in the past over Bush's attention span and dislike of protracted debate, but, even by the standards of the Bush White House, the assembled heads of Europe will be given short shrift tomorrow when they gather to address the President [sic] of the United States... On the whim of a nervous US secret service, 2,000 Eurocrats will be sent home to keep the two EU buildings Mr Bush will visit as empty as possible.
Bush burning over tapes --He's feeling betrayed by stealthy pal --The White House lashed out yesterday at the "former" Bush family friend who secretly tape-recorded the future Dictator discussing sensitive issues like gays and drug use.
Bush In Secretly Taped Conversations: "It's me versus the world." [He's got that right!] --As George W. Bush was first moving onto the national political stage, he often turned for advice to an old friend, who secretly taped some of their private conversations. In the last several weeks, that friend, Doug Wead, an author and former aide to Mr. Bush's father, disclosed the tapes' existence to a reporter and played about a dozen of them.
'Minutemen' to Patrol Arizona Border --Volunteer Minutemen, Many Untrained, to Patrol Ariz. Border to Curb Illegal Immigration Crossings --Intent on securing the vulnerable Arizona border from illegal immigrant crossings, U.S. officials are bracing for what they call a potential new threat this spring: the Minutemen. Nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project, anointing themselves civilian border patrol agents determined to stop the immigration flow that routinely, and easily, seeps past federal authorities.
Panelists Decry Bush Science Policies --The voice of science is being stifled in the Bush dictatorship, with fewer scientists heard in policy discussions and money for research and advanced training being cut, according to panelists at a national science meeting. Speakers at the national meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science expressed concern Sunday that some scientists in key federal agencies are being ignored or even pressured to change study conclusions that don't support policy positions.
Weather Service Memo Says Cuts Could Curtail Lifesaving Warnings --A National Weather Service official said Congress has cut the agency's budget so drastically that it will impair its ability to warn the public of all sorts of foul weather, which, in turn, "will" lead to "unwarranted loss of life." [Oh, but terrorists Halliburton and Custer Battles have *plenty* of money to abuse prisoners at Abu Ghraib and shoot unarmed Iraqi civilians.]
A New Target for Advisers to Swift Vets --Taking its cues from the success of last year's Swift boat veterans' campaign in the presidential race, a conservative lobbying organization has hired some of the same consultants to orchestrate attacks on one of Dictator Bush's toughest opponents in the battle to overhaul Social Security. The lobbying group, USA Next, which has poured millions of dollars into Republican policy battles, now says it plans to spend as much as $10 million on commercials and other tactics assailing AARP, the powerhouse lobby opposing the private investment accounts at the center of Mr. Bush's plan.
Prepackaged News Gets GAO Rebuke --The Government Accountability Office warned federal departments last week against using a popular public relations tool that already has landed two agencies in hot water for breaking federal anti-propaganda laws. In a Feb. 17 memo, Comptroller General David M. Walker reminded department and agency heads that prepackaged news stories that do not identify the government as their source violate provisions in annual appropriations laws that ban covert propaganda.
Raising children as vegans 'unethical', says professor --A leading US nutritionist [sic - whackjob] today claimed that vegetarian and vegan parents are damaging their children's health by denying them meat. UK experts immediately contested the findings of Professor Lindsay Allen, of the University of California at Davis, and Sir Paul McCartney told the BBC that the claims were "rubbish".
Avian Flu World's No. 1 Threat, CDC Head Says --Avian flu poses the single biggest threat to the world right now and health officials may not yet have all the tools they need to fight it, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.
Airport mystery illness hits 53 --The number of people affected by a mystery leak at Melbourne Airport has risen to 53. The Virgin Blue and Regional Express terminal at Melbourne Airport was evacuated about 10.10am (AEDT) today, two hours after the initial report that six people had fallen ill because of the leak.
Connecticut Questions Federal Wal-Mart Deal --Connecticut's governor ordered inspections of Wal-Mart stores as the state's attorney general accused the U.S. Labor Department of cutting a "sweetheart deal" with the retailing giant on child labor law violations.
New Sober variant from Microsoft or FBI --Surfers are the target of another new variant of the mass mailing Sober worm which pretends to be a message from either Microsoft or the FBI.
Watchdog under fire as cancer-dye foods top 400 --More than 400 well-known processed foods are to be removed from sale because they are contaminated with an illegal red dye which can cause cancer, it emerged yesterday.
Lawmaker wants state to require viewing graphic photos before abortion --BOISE, Idaho Republican Representative Ann Rydalch wants the state to require doctors to show women pictures of a fetus before an abortion. But her legislation may not be supported by all of the state's anti-abortion groups.
Hunter Thompson commits suicide (CO) Hunter S. Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Woody Creek on Sunday night. Regarded as one of the most legendary writers of the 20th century, Thompson is best known for the 1972 classic "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
Secret CIA Plane Shuttles Terror Suspects --Aboard Air CIA - The CIA ran a secret charter service, shuttling detainees to interrogation facilities worldwide. Was it legal? NEWSWEEK has obtained previously unpublished flight plans indicating the agency has been operating a Boeing 737 as part of a top-secret global charter servicing clandestine interrogation facilities used in the war on [of] terror... Together with previously disclosed flight plans of a smaller Gulfstream V jet, the Boeing 737's travels are further evidence that a global "ghost" prison system, where terror suspects are secretly interrogated, is being operated by the CIA. Several of the Gulfstream flights allegedly correlate with other "renditions," the controversial practice of secretly spiriting suspects to other countries without due process.
NEWSWEEK: CIA Has Been Operating a Boeing 737 to Secretly Transport Terror Suspects to Clandestine Interrogation Facilities --Jet's Manifest Conforms to Masri's Account of Alleged Abduction and Transport to U.S. Prison Facility in Afghanistan --PRNewswire --Newsweek has obtained previously unpublished flight plans indicating the CIA has been operating a Boeing 737 as part of a top-secret global charter servicing clandestine interrogation facilities used in the war on terror. And the Boeing's flight information, detailed to the day, seem to confirm the claims of Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, who says he was abducted by American operatives and in early 2004 flown to Afghanistan.
Bush In Secretly Taped Conversations: "It's me versus the world." [He's got that right!] --As George W. Bush was first moving onto the national political stage, he often turned for advice to an old friend who secretly taped some of their private conversations. In the last several weeks, that friend, Doug Wead, an author and former aide to Mr. Bush's father, disclosed the tapes' existence to a reporter and played about a dozen of them.
Australia to take up new Iraq role --Australia had never ruled out sending more troops to Iraq, Defence Minister Robert Hill said today. Australia is about to take its most senior role in the conflict, taking command of the naval force at the northern end of the Gulf, protecting oil rigs and 'deterring' smugglers.
Marines try to 'secure' Ramadi --US Marines and Iraqi troops have set up checkpoints and imposed an 8 pm to 6 am curfew on the rebellious Sunni city of Ramadi, part of a nationwide effort to continue to illegally occupy ['restore order'] after last month's 'election.'
Report: U.S. in secret talks with Iraq insurgents --U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers are conducting secret talks with Iraq's Sunni insurgents on ways to end fighting there, Time magazine reported today, citing Pentagon and other sources.
Inside the Secret Dialogue Between the U.S. and Insurgents In Iraq --And What the Rebels Say They Want --The secret meeting is taking place in the bowels of a facility in Baghdad, a cavernous, heavily guarded building in the U.S.-controlled green zone. The Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein's regime and the senior representative of the self-described nationalist insurgency, sits on one side of the table. He is here to talk to two members of the U.S. military.
U.S. Lawmakers Say No Quick End to Military Involvement in Iraq --The U.S. military will be in Iraq for years, and setting a timetable for troop reductions would embolden the insurgents and hamper a new government, three U.S. senators said after meeting Iraqi officials.
Pathetic is as pathetic does: Iraq Withdrawal Date Would Be Mistake-Sen. Clinton --Setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would offer a "green light" to the insurgency there and could undermine the fledgling Iraqi government, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Sunday.
Marine killed in Al Anbar Province --A Marine assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in action February 19, while conducting 'security and stability' [?!?] operations in the Al Anbar Province.
This war is about money. The money is only making the rich man richer. --by A soldier in Iraq, Name withheld "I am a manipulated stooge who sold his soul to exploit the ignorant with the proud lies our own leaders... This war is about money. Most people believe that dollars are being handed over to Iraq to rebuild their country on the backs of the American tax payers and under the protection of US troops. However, the money never sees Iraq. It leaves your wallet and goes through the system in DC and ends up in a corporation with the sizeable government contract."
UK link to torture jail's rules --Army lawyer saw document on interrogation techniques --A British official was involved in drafting rules permitting extreme interrogation techniques at Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad, centre of the controversy over the use of torture by US forces against Iraqi prisoners.
Army knew of Abu Ghraib months before PM was told --A senior British officer knew about serious abuse allegations at Abu Ghraib prison five months before ministers learnt about the scandal, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
CIA Contractor Facing Charges Over Beating --The former CIA contractor charged with beating a prisoner in Afghanistan who later died says he was made a scapegoat as the U.S. military tries to save face following the scandals at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
'Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib' --'Terror' suspects allege abuse --Defense attorneys call it Brooklyn's Abu Ghraib. On the ninth floor of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park, 'terrorism' suspects swept off the streets after the Sept. 11 attacks were repeatedly stripped naked and frequently were physically abused, the Justice Department's inspector general has found. The detainees - none of whom were ultimately charged with anything related to terrorism - made the allegations in sworn affidavits and in interviews with Justice Department officials.
5 Marines Suspended After Recruit's Death --Five marines have been suspended while the authorities investigate the death of a recruit who died during a training exercise, military officials said on Saturday.
88 groups to protest Bush's Brussels Visit --An alliance of 88 environmental, human rights, peace and other groups planned two days of protests in Brussels, beginning Monday, to demand "no European complicity" in a U.S.-designed world order. Brussels police readied 2,500 officers — 1,000 more than the usual number for the three or four summit meetings that bring European Union leaders to the Belgian capital every year.
Bush chided Harper on missile defence: CP report --George W. Bush scolded Conservative Leader Stephen Harper for his silence on missile defence and asked him to help secure Canadian involvement in the U.S. plan, The Canadian Press has learned.
Pentagon Starts Space War Training (defensetech.org) "Just in case you were wondering whether or not the Pentagon was really serious about knocking other countries' satellites out of orbit, comes this item from C4ISR Journal. The Defense Department, it seems, has 'launched a series of exercises designed to sharpen its understanding and management of counter-satellite operations.' The three-year Joint Space Control Operations-Negation (JSCO-N) program will help the Pentagon figure out which satellite-killers to buy, and determine which procedures to follow when knocking the orbiters out."
Al-Qaeda number two warns West it faces thousands of dead, economic collapse --Al-CIA-duh number two Ayman al-Zawahiri warned the West it faced defeat in what he termed its "new crusade" against the Islamic world, as well as thousands of dead and economic collapse, in a videotape aired by Al-Jazeera television. [Al-Zawahiri doesn't need a 'new crusade' for the west to face 'thousands of dead and economic collapse:' the U.S. has Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove at the helm; Al-Qaeda is unnecessary.]
Audit Faults U.S. for Its Spending on Port Defense --The Department of Homeland Security has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to protect ports since Sept. 11 without sufficiently focusing on those that are most vulnerable, a policy that could compromise the nation's ability to better defend against terrorist attacks, the department's inspector general has concluded.
Ark. Votes Against Church-State Proposal --The state House on Friday voted against affirming the separation of church and state in a resolution brought by a legislator who said he was fed up with a religious undertone at the Capitol. Democratic Rep. Buddy Blair said he offered the measure because he was tired of conservative colleagues "making every issue into a religious issue. It's unbelievable to me. They have just voted against the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of the state of Arkansas," Blair said.
Psychiatrists devise 'depravity rating' to help courts decide on death sentences --A "depravity rating" that measures evil and will help courts decide whether convicted murderers should face execution or just imprisonment has been drawn up by American psychiatrists. [Hmm... where would Bush fall on the scale?]
Texas Ethics Bill Could Allow Appointees to Bar Prosecutions --A key Republican legislator has introduced a bill that would give a Texas agency authority to stop prosecution of election law violations, drawing comparisons to a recent attempt in Washington to rewrite ethics rules to keep House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in power if he is ever indicted. The move by GOP leaders to protect DeLay (R-Terrorist-Tex.) was quashed late last year when even some Republicans in Congress objected. In Texas, critics are calling the bill a similar bold attempt to protect Republican lawmakers who might get caught in a criminal investigation into illegal campaign fundraising.
Gannon's Enemies List --Jeff Gannon is considering suing liberal interest groups, bloggers and others for a "political assassination" that drove him from his job as a reporter for a conservative news outfit called Talon News, he told NEWSWEEK. [Sue me, maggot!]
Web Site Owner Says He Knew of Reporter's 2 Identities --The operator of an activist Republican Web site and news service said Friday night that he had known for two years that his White House correspondent [James Guckert/Jeff Gannon] went by two identities.
The mole, the US media and a White House coup --The reporter who wasn't is part of a wider press scandal, writes Paul Harris "If, during the Clinton administration, a fake reporter from a Democrat front organisation, using a false name, had been exposed as attending White House press conferences it would have been a national scandal. If he had then been shown to be a gay prostitute, the scandal could have threatened a Democrat presidency. With 'Gannon' and Bush there has been no such outcry. The mainstream media has approached the story warily, while right-wing organisations such as Fox News have largely ignored it."
The Franklin Coverup Scandal --The Child sex ring that reached Bush/Reagan Whitehouse (thelawparty.com) "Former republican Senator John Decamp was involved in the production a documentary called 'Conspiracy of Silence' it was to air May 3, 1994 on the Discovery Channel. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies. At the last minute before airing, unknown congressmen threatened the TV Cable industry with restrictive legislation if this documentary was aired. Almost immediately, the rights to the documentary were purchased by unknown persons who had ordered all copies destroyed. A copy of this videotape was furnished anonymously to former Nebraska state senator and attorney John De Camp who made it available to retired F.B.I. chief, Ted L. Gunderson."
NAACP Critical of Administration's Social Security Plan --Denouncing Dictator Bush's plan to change Social Security as one that would disproportionately hurt blacks, NAACP leaders asked to meet with Bush to discuss the issue, the NAACP chairman announced Saturday.
EPA Making Illegal, Secret Agreements With Pesticide Makers, Threatening Public Health, Lawsuit Charges --Private Meetings with Chemical Companies Violate Federal Laws Requiring an Open Process Nrdc.org Press Release, February 17, 2005 --"The Environmental Protection Agency is illegally negotiating secret agreements with industry lobbyists over pesticide regulation, according to a lawsuit filed today by NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). The lawsuit specifically cites private agreements between the agency and chemical companies over the regulation of atrazine, one of the most heavily used weed-killers in the country, and DDVP, a highly toxic insecticide. NRDC contends the agreements have undermined public health safeguards by failing to restrict the use of these dangerous chemicals."
Global Warming Could Worsen U.S. Pollution: Report --Global warming could stifle cleansing summer winds across parts of the northern United States over the next 50 years and worsen air pollution, U.S. researchers said on Saturday.
MAG: Avian Flu, On the Verge of an Epidemic --The vicious avian flu that has killed dozens of people in Vietnam, Thailand, and elsewhere in the region "has caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals in nearly a dozen Asian countries" in the past two years and could kill millions of people if it becomes capable of spreading efficiently among humans, Michael Specter reports in "Nature's Bioterrorist" (p.50), in the February 28, 2005, issue of The New Yorker.
Risk of deadly global epidemic as bid to halt spread of bird flu is foiled --Thailand, one of two countries at the centre of the bird flu outbreak, is refusing to act against its spread, scuppering attempts to stop a devastating pandemic expected to kill tens of millions of people around the globe.
Team heads to Congo to fight plague --A team of ten emergency health experts left for a remote area of northeast Congo Saturday to investigate an outbreak of pneumonic plague that has claimed more than 61 lives.
New strains of superbug can kill in 24 hours --Highly virulent strains of the superbug MRSA which infect healthy young people with no connection to hospitals are appearing in the UK. The new varieties cause skin and soft tissue infections such as boils, abscesses and inflammation and, in rare cases so far only seen in other countries, a severe pneumonia that can kill in 24 hours.
Sword Play --by Chris Floyd "'You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force ... the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.' This was the essence of Operation Gladio, a decades-long covert campaign of terrorism and deceit directed by the intelligence services of the West -- against their own populations. Hundreds of innocent people were killed or maimed in terrorist attacks -- on train stations, supermarkets, cafes and offices -- which were then blamed on 'leftist subversives' or other political opponents. The purpose, as stated above in sworn testimony by Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra, was to demonize designated enemies and frighten the public into supporting ever-increasing powers for government leaders -- and their elitist cronies. First revealed by Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in 1991, Gladio (from the Latin for 'sword') is still protected to this day by its founding patrons, the CIA and MI6... Last month, it was widely reported that the Pentagon is considering a similar program in Iraq. What was not reported, however -- except in the Iraqi press -- is that at least one pro-occupation death squad is already in operation."
Washington coroner seeks big shrink-wrap machine --Officials in Washington state want to find a machine that can shrink-wrap something big. A human body. The Thurston County Coroner's Office is on the hunt for a machine that can wrap human remains in plastic in case of a natural disaster or terror attack. Officials say the process would make transporting a big number of bodies easier, while also sealing in biohazards like anthrax. [Those on the Bush-Rove terror team must be busy little bees... what are they planning?]
CIA to Cede President's Brief to Negroponte --White House Decision Seen as Signal to Intelligence Community on New Post --The White House has decided that the new director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, will take over from CIA Director Porter J. Goss the responsibility for producing the intelligence material given to Dictator Bush each morning, Bush Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. said yesterday.
Rice Asks North Korea to Resume Talks, Avoid 'Other Measures' -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on North Korea to return to nuclear-arms negotiations, saying the U.S. and its allies did not want to resort to "other measures" to force compliance.
Report: N. Korea Won't Talk With Nations --North Korea no longer wants to negotiate with the United States and four other nations in an effort to ease the ongoing standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program, China's state news agency said Saturday.
55 Dead in Eight Iraq Suicide Bombings --Eight suicide bombers struck in quick succession Saturday in a wave of attacks that killed 55 people during the commemoration of Ashoura, the holiest day of the Shiite religious calendar. Ninety-one people have been killed in violence in the past two days.
Charges Reduced Against Abu Ghraib Guard England --Military prosecutors have filed new charges that greatly reduce the amount of jail time facing U.S. Army reservist Lynndie England if she is convicted in the abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
US escalates tensions with Syria --The United States heightened tensions with Syria, Dictator George W. Bush leading the way by saying Syria was "out of step" with changes in the Middle East.
Iran preps for a possible war with U.S. --Iran has begun preparing for a possible U.S. attack, or at least trying to dissuade Washington from such an attack by appearing to prepare for war.
Senate Examining Intelligence on Nuclear Terror --The Senate has begun taking a harder look at U.S. intelligence on nuclear threats facing the United States, including revelations of missing nuclear materials in Russia, congressional officials said on Friday.
Va. House Panel Cites 'Liberty' In Yanking Red-Light Cameras --A House committee on Friday rejected legislation that would have allowed Virginia communities to continue using surveillance cameras to ticket red-light runners, signaling the impending end of the state's 10-year experiment with the technology.
Jeff Gannon Admits Past 'Mistakes,' Berates Critics --Jeff Gannon, the former White House reporter whose naked pictures have appeared on a number of gay escort sites, says that he has "regrets" about his past but that White House officials knew nothing about his salacious activities. John Aravosis, a gay activist who posted the pictures of Gannon on his Americablog.org, said the issue is not Gannon's right to be a journalist but his "White House access... The White House wouldn't let him in the door right now, knowing of his background."
Rove-Gannon Connection? (cbsnews.com) --by Dotty Lynch"...[W]hen Jeff Gannon, White House reporter for Talon News, was unmasked last week, the leap to a possible Rove connection was unavoidable. Gannon says that he met Rove only once, at a White House Christmas party, and Gannon is kind of small potatoes for Rove at this point in his career. But Rove's dominance of White House and Republican politics, Gannon's aggressively partisan work and the ease with which he got day passes for the White House press room the past two years make it hard to believe that he wasn't at least implicitly sanctioned by the 'boy genius.' Rove, who rarely gave on-the-record interviews to the MSM (mainstream media), had time to talk to GOPUSA, which owns Talon."
CBS Speculates That Karl Rove Was Jeff Gannon's Contact Inside the White House; Retitles Article to Highlight Gannongate Element (nashuaadvocate.blogspot.com) --by ADVOCATE staff "In a stunning development -- which The Advocate can't help but feel is related to the revelation last fall that Karl Rove was possibly behind Rathergate and (therefore) CBS News's recent decline -- CBS News has gone out on a limb and made it clear that it suspects Karl Rove to be Jeff Gannon's White House Contact. The article, originally titled 'Karl Rove's Warning to GOP,' has just now been renamed, in the last few minutes, 'Rove-Gannon Connection?' to emphasis that aspect of the story (which is not solely about Jeff Gannon) most relevant to the Gannongate scandal"
A hireling, a fraud and a prostitute --Bush's agent in the press corps has given spin a new level of meaning --by Sidney Blumenthal "Thus a phony journalist, planted by a Republican organisation, used by the White House press secretary to interrupt questions from the press corps, protected from FBI vetting by the press office, disseminating smears about its critics and opponents, some of them gay-baiting, was unmasked not only as a hireling and fraud but as a gay prostitute, with enormous potential for blackmail. The Bush White House is the most opaque - allowing the least access for reporters - in living memory. Every news organisation has been intimidated, and reporters who have done stories the administration finds discomfiting have received threats about their careers. The administration has its own quasi-official state TV network in Fox News; hundreds of rightwing radio shows, conservative newspapers and journals and internet sites coordinate with the Republican apparatus. Inserting an agent directly into the White House press corps was a daring operation. Until his exposure, he proved useful for the White House. But the longer-term implication is the Republican effort to sideline an independent press and undermine its legitimacy."
Feds Warned About Fake News Videos --Congressional investigators warned federal agencies this week that the promotion of government policies through video news releases meant to look like TV news stories may violate federal rules against propaganda.
Ridge, Pollsters Met During Bush Campaign --Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met privately with Republican pollsters twice in a 10-day span last spring as he embarked on more than a dozen trips to presidential battleground states. Ridge's get-togethers with Republican strategists Frank Luntz and Bill McInturff during a period the secretary was saying his agency was playing no role in Bush's re-selection campaign were revealed in daily appointment calendars obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
Pulp Nonfiction: A whistle blower alleges that U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney might have rigged the election in South Florida --by Trevor Aaronson "On December 6, 2004, Curtis submitted to Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee a four-page affidavit detailing the meeting with Feeney. The voting machines used in Broward, Palm Beach, and other Florida counties, [programmer Clint] Curtis pointed out, run proprietary software that cannot be examined by the public, making the use of a vote-stealing program feasible. [Republican power broker Tom] Feeney and Yang Enterprises planned to manipulate the vote in Democrat-heavy South Florida, he told the congressmen. That testimony was never reported by major Florida news organizations... Curtis' past involvement with Feeney, however, lends some legitimacy to the vote-rigging charge."
38 AGs send open letter to ChoicePoint --Attorneys general in 38 states have joined an open letter to ChoicePoint Inc. [2000 and 2004 coup d'etat architects], demanding that the data-brokering company do for their states' residents what they did for Californians - inform anybody affected by the security breach that they may be vulnerable to identity theft.
Election Challenge Officially Moves Forward (WA) The Republicans' challenge to the election of Gov. Christine Gregoire will move forward in Chelan County Superior Court, but it may not move very quickly. Republican Dino Rossi and the state Republican Party filed the election challenge in Chelan County last month, seeking to nullify Gregoire's 129-vote victory. They sued Secretary of State Sam Reed, who's a Republican, and all 39 counties. [Oh. I thought the GOP disliked trial lawyers and wanted to end "the lawsuit culture in our country."]
Hollywood Activists Brand Bush a Nazi --Humaneventsonline.com previously reported the conservative group, Citizens United, planned to erect two pro-Bush billboards in Hollywood "thanking" Hollywood for Bush's reselection. The signs were created, coinciding with the buildup to Oscar night. One of those tongue-in-cheek billboards was altered Wednesday night, when a Swastika was painted on Dictator Bush's forehead.
Poorest Face Highest Risk On Social Security --Low-income workers face most challenges under Bush's proposed Social Security 'reforms' [destruction]. More than 60 million Americans 25 to 64 years old reported incomes of less than $25,000 in 2002, the latest year for which government figures are available. Most of these workers have small or no pensions, scant savings, and serious concerns about their retirement years, according to government statistics and polling results.
Idea to Raise Social Security Wage Limit Criticized --GOP House Leaders Say Bush's Proposal Would Amount to a Tax Increase --The House's top two Republicans swiftly rejected an idea floated by Dictator Bush to raise the ceiling on wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax, with Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay saying yesterday that they would consider that a tax increase.
Governors Unite Against Medicaid Plan --National Writer Governors of both parties are uniting to oppose Dictator Bush's proposed cuts to Medicaid while also pushing for much larger changes, arguing that soaring costs have forced a fundamental re-examination of the program that provides health care to 52 million poor, elderly and disabled.
Nebraska Fears Segregation in Schools --Nebraska law allows students to switch schools without giving a reason. ...The situation in Lexington and elsewhere in Nebraska has caught the attention of the state Legislature, which is considering a bill to thwart what some say amounts to legal segregation in the schools.
Mexico Suspends Permits for U.S. Vessel --Mexico announced Friday it has suspended permits for a U.S. research vessel conducting sound-wave experiments [?!?] in the Gulf after the ship ran aground on a coral reef and damaged it.
Exxon Passes GE to Become World's Biggest Company --Exxon Mobil Corp. overtook General Electric Co. as the world's biggest company by market value, underscoring the emergence of energy stocks as leaders amid surging oil prices.
Blockbuster Accused of Violating N.J. Law --N.J. Accuses Blockbuster of Violating Consumer Protection Laws With New Policy on Late Fees --The state of New Jersey claims Blockbuster Inc., the nation's largest movie-rental chain, has violated the state's consumer protection laws with its new policy on late fees. In a lawsuit filed Friday, the state charged that Blockbuster failed to disclose key terms in the policy, including that overdue rentals are automatically converted to a sale on the eighth day after the due date.
Blockbuster Sued Over Late-Fee Claims --New Jersey wants Blockbuster Inc. to hit the pause button on its "No More Late Fees" marketing campaign. The state sued the nation's biggest video rental chain Friday, alleging that the late-fee claim was fraudulent because customers could potentially get stuck buying movies they failed to return on time.
Panel backs 3 risky pain drugs --Millions of people who depend on the popular painkillers Celebrex, Bextra and Vioxx should be allowed to keep using them despite risks of heart problems and strokes, government advisors said Friday, concluding that benefits to suffering patients outweigh the dangers.
Merck gets green light to relaunch Vioxx --Merck & Co's blockbuster painkiller drug Vioxx, withdrawn on September 30 in the world's biggest drug recall, may be sold again, but with the strongest possible safety warning, the US Food and Drug Administration recommended on Friday night. Merck's shares jumped 13 per cent on the news. The FDA said the benefits of Vioxx outweighed its link to heart attacks and strokes and that it should stay on the market but with a label warning and a black box.
Bush Tort Reform: Executive Clemency For Executive Killers --by Greg Palast "It's a great day for the Eichmanns of corporate America. President [sic] Bush minutes ago signed the ill-named 'tort reform' bill into law, limiting class action suits. Doubtless, Ken Lay, former Enron CEO, is grinning as are the corporate suite killers at drug maker Merck who are now safer from the widows and orphans of Vioxx victims. Closing the doors of justice to the ruined and wrecked families of boardroom bad guys is nothing less than executive clemency for executive executioners."
Cancer-causing dye is discovered in 350 foods --Britain's largest food recall was under way last night after an illegal dye known to cause cancer was found to have contaminated millions of ready meals and cooking sauces.
Lead in Environment Causing Violent Crime - Study --Lead left in paint, water, soil and elsewhere may not only be affecting children's intelligence but may cause a significant proportion of violent crime, a U.S. researcher argued Friday.
WHO Reports 61 Deaths From Rare Plague Type --A rare form of plague has killed at least 61 people at a diamond mine in remote northeastern Congo, and authorities fear that hundreds more who fled into the forest to escape contagion are already infected and dying, the World Health Organization said.
Jeb Bush wants to tighten state's grip on election laws --State officials would gain much more control over elections -- and the purging of voter rolls -- under a sweeping legislative proposal drawn up by Gov. Jeb Bush and the Department of State. In a move that would dramatically increase state control of elections, Gov. Jeb Bush and the state elections office will ask the Legislature for greater authority, including the ability to decide which voters should be purged from voting rolls. The secretary of state, who is appointed by the governor, also would be given strong enforcement powers, including the authority to seek criminal charges and fines up to $5,000 against any of the state's 67 election supervisors -- most of whom are elected -- who fail to follow the rules.
Bush election proposal meets resistance --A day after his office announced a plan to put more election supervisory powers under state control, Gov. Jeb Bush ran into a spate of criticism. Facing a firestorm of criticism in the wake of an attempt to consolidate more election supervisory powers under his authority, Gov. Jeb Bush signaled a willingness to compromise Thursday.
Gannon reportedly knew about Iraq attack four hours before it happened --by John in DC - 2/18/2005 (americablog.blogspot.com) "A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the US was going to attack Iraq four hours before President [sic] Bush announced it to the nation. According to the producer, Gannon specifically told them that in four hours the president was going to be making a speech to the nation announcing that the US was bombing Iraq. The producer told me they were surprised that Gannon, working with such a small news outfit, could have access to such information, but 'what did you know, he was right,' the producer said today. The producer went on to say that Gannon often had correct scoops on major stories, including information about Mary Mapes and the Dan Rather BUSH/AWOL scandal that this news outlet got from Gannon before any had the information publicly."
Doubts About White House Reporter Recalled --Ari Fleischer said Thursday that a reporter calling himself Jeff Gannon who presented questionable news credentials from an obscure Internet organization, Gopusa, aroused suspicions at the White House a few years ago. ...Since it became known last week that Gannon had hid his real identity, reports on some Web sites and in The Washington Post linked James D. Guckert ("Gannon") to sexually explicit Web sites that have fueled the story and embarrassed White House officials who for years waved him into the building.
Lawmaker presses White House on 'Jeff Gannon' --Conservative former reporter has links to gay escort service --With the mystery of "Jeff Gannon" deepening, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., yesterday renewed her call for the White House to explain its relationship with a conservative ex-reporter linked to an online gay escort service. Slaughter said the relationship between the White House press office and "Gannon," whose real name is James Dale Guckert, was "anything but typical." The White House should "stop the stonewalling and come clean," she added, following up on her initial request a week ago.
Bush's Barberini Faun --by Maureen Dowd "I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon. How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as Hotmilitarystud.com, Workingboys.net, Militaryescorts.com, MilitaryescortsM4M.com and Meetlocalmen.com, get to question the president [sic] of the United States? Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief? ...I know the F.B.I. computers don't work, but this is ridiculous. After getting gobsmacked by the louche sagas of Mr. Guckert and Bernard Kerik, the White House vetters should consider adding someone with some blogging experience."
'Chalabi set to become Iraq's PM' --Ahmed Chalabi is likely to emerge as Iraq's leader, as originally envisioned by the US, Dan Senor, the former spokesman for the US occupation government in Iraq, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "He has a good chance of getting the job," said Senor.
Five Blasts Kill at Least 35 in Iraq --A series of explosions ripped through Baghdad and a nearby city Friday, killing at least 35 people and injuring dozens on the eve of Shiite Islam's most important holiday, officials said. It was the deadliest day since Iraq's 'elections' last month.
Fatal U.S. Military Accidents Up in Iraq --U.S. troops in Iraq have suffered a rash of fatal vehicle accidents and other non-combat deaths in recent weeks, even as the number killed in insurgent attacks has declined [?!?]. Although details of recent accidents have not been made public, some officials believe the jump in their number can be explained in part by turbulence from the troop rotation that is now approaching its peak...
Iraq Insurgents Can Conduct 60 Strikes Daily -Pentagon --The Pentagon has found that Iraqi insurgents can conduct up to 60 strikes a day and occasionally more, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday. [Wow, they are busy little bees! Maybe it's time for the U.S. to *leave.*]
Rumsfeld plays down Iraqi fighter log --US intelligence agencies have failed to provide reliable estimates of the size of Iraq's anti-US forces, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said. During a hearing of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Thursday, Rumsfeld declined to publicly answer lawmakers who asked him the numerical strength of the anti-US forces fighting the roughly 150,000 US troops in Iraq.
Third N.C.-Based Soldier Dies After Exhibiting Flu-Like Symptoms --The mysterious death of a third soldier with North Carolina ties is raising questions. All three died from flu-like symptoms after returning from overseas deployments.
Hurt Troops Often Denied Pay, Benefits --Guard and Reserve soldiers injured in combat face financial and medical 'friendly fire' once back in the U.S., officials say. Hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard troops returning home after being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone months without pay or medical benefits they were entitled to receive, military officials and government auditors said Thursday.
Army destroyed mock Afghan execution pics --Pictures of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing with hooded and bound detainees during mock executions were destroyed after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq to avoid another public outrage, Army documents released Friday by the American Civil Liberties Union show. The ACLU said the probe shows the rippling effect of the Abu Ghraib scandal and that efforts to humiliate the enemy might have been more widespread than thought.
Reports link US troops to new abuses of prisoners --Official reports of torture in US custody in Afghanistan and Iraq and assaults on Afghan civilians by special forces emerged last night in US army files extracted from the military by a civil rights group. In some cases, the abuse was either not investigated or went unpunished, despite official corroboration of the allegations.
Files Show New Abuse Cases in Afghan and Iraqi Prisons --A cache of documents disclosed Thursday provides several instances of prisoner abuse by American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq that appeared to have been investigated only briefly. The documents, released by the American Civil Liberties Union, include one file in which an Iraqi detainee asserted that Americans in civilian clothing beat him repeatedly, dislocated his shoulder, stepped on his nose until it broke, choked him with a rope and hit him in the leg with a bat. Medical reports in the file confirmed the broken nose and fractured leg.
CIA interrogation killed Iraqi prisoner --An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning US soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison died under CIA interrogation while being suspended by his wrists, with his hands cuffed behind his back. According to documents made available recently and reviewed by the Associated Press, Manadil al-Jamadi was one of the CIA's "ghost" detainees at Abu Ghraib - prisoners being held secretly by the agency.
AP: Iraqi Died While Hanging by His Wrists --An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib died under CIA interrogation while in a position condemned by human rights groups as torture — suspended by his wrists, with his hands cuffed behind his back, according to reports reviewed by The Associated Press.
'Nobody is talking' --The evidence of two new books demonstrates that 9/11 created the will for new, harsher interrogation techniques of foreign suspects by the US and led to the abuses in Guantánamo, Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond. In a special report, James Meek reveals that it is the British who refined these methods, and who have provided the precedent for legalised torture. "It has taken more than half a century for Britain's government to put the details of Camp 020 into the public domain. But thanks to a small group of leakers, journalists and freedom of information campaigners, together with the testimony of released detainees, the story of torture and its official endorsement in America's secret overseas prison system - in Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and other locations - is emerging more quickly."
'America would back Israel attack on Iran' --Dictator George W Bush added a new twist to the international tension over Iran's nuclear programme last night by pledging to support Israel if it tries to destroy the Islamic regime's capacity to make an atomic bomb.
Putin: Iran not developing nukes --Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is convinced Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons and that Russia will continue cooperating with Iran on its nuclear program, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.
12 Australians wanted over Hariri's murder --Lebanon’s Justice Minister Adnan Addoum said on Friday that authorities were hunting for twelve Australian men wanted over the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. Addum said that six of the suspects left Beirut for Australia hours after Monday’s deadly blast, adding that police found traces of explosives on aircraft seats. [Oops! Looks like the Neo-CONS have to stop blaming Syria...]
Rice urges Syria to stop its support for terrorism --US Secretary of State [clueless Reichwing terrorist] Condoleezza Rice on Friday urged Syria to engage in more responsible behavior, and put an end to its support [?!?] for terrorism.
Pentagon watching Chinese military --The US Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal], Donald Rumsfeld, said the Pentagon was closely monitoring the growth of China's navy as part of the nation's military build-up.
Protester throws shoe at Richard Perle --Howard Dean, the leader of the Democratic Party, and former Pentagon adviser [Reichwing terrorist] Richard Perle made clear their opposing views on the war in Iraq during a debate 'marred' [No, *enhanced*] by a protester who tossed a shoe at Perle. Perle had just started his comments Thursday when a protester threw a shoe at him before being dragged away, screaming, "Liar! Liar!"
Critics attack new spy tsar for blind eye --US Dictator George Bush has named John Negroponte as the first director of national intelligence, to take charge of US intelligence agencies as they try to recover from missteps on Iraq and the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Senate confirmed Mr Negroponte for the earlier jobs in 2001 and last year by large margins, despite questions about his performance in the early 1980s as ambassador to Honduras. Critics said he had turned a blind eye to human rights abuses.
U.S. Pledges $1.6 Million For OAS Counter-Terrorism Efforts --PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad --The United States has pledged an additional $1.6 million to strengthen and expand counter[pro]-terrorism coordination in the Western Hemisphere bringing the total U.S. contribution to $5 million since the 9/11 attacks.
FAA may close BIA tower for 5 hours a night --Control towers at some airports, including Bangor International Airport, could go dark between midnight and 5 a.m. under a cost-cutting plan the government is considering. The air traffic controllers' union says the move would compromise safety.
DILG chief pushes national ID system against terrorism (Philippines) Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes is pushing his proposal for a national identification (ID) system to help fight [foment] terrorism and crime.
Court: No right to licenses for illegals --Illegal immigrants are not entitled to obtain driver's licenses in Iowa, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Big Brother Lives! States Considering Monitoring, Taxing Motorists With GPS Units --Some states are considering taxing motorists by the distance they drive, which would help them in collecting more revenue.
Rehnquist Won't Be on Bench When Supreme Court Convenes --Chief inJustice William H. Rehnquist, who is suffering from thyroid cancer, will not be on the bench when the Supreme Court convenes for the second half of its term on Tuesday, the court announced today.
Bush Signs Law Curbing Class-Action Lawsuits --Dictator Bush on Friday signed into law legislation to curb class-action lawsuits. Consumer groups had fought it, saying it will prevent victims of fraud and injury of having their day in court.
Denver Cops provoke a confrontation with CO AIM (coloradoaim.org) "Last night, (Feb. 16) Denver cops provoked a confrontation with CO AIM [American Indian Movement of Colorado] members when they harassed and then assaulted 2 members of the CO AIM youth council as a CO AIM meeting concluded."
Scientists: Global warming is real --Studies looking at the oceans and melting Arctic ice leave no room for doubt that it is getting warmer, people are to blame, and the weather is going to suffer, climate experts have said.
Plague outbreak kills 60 in Congo --At least 60 people are thought to have died in an outbreak of plague in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization has said. It is thought to be the worst outbreak of pneumonic plague, which affects victims' lungs, for 50 years.
AOL subscribers, please read. February 20, 2005 --Some AOL folks are inadvertently sending Spam complaints about CLG to our webhoster, by clicking on AOL's 'Spam-report' button. Please be CAREFUL that you don't hit that button, which is *insanely* located above their 'delete' button. Thanks.
Iran Calls for Alliance to Combat U.S. and Israel --Iran urged regional countries to create a powerful alliance today and remain vigilant in the face of "US and Israeli plots."
Bush says US will support Israel against Iranian threat --Dictator George W. Bush said the United States would support Israel if its security came under threat from Iran.
Iran calls blast scare "psychological warfare" --Iran says a brief worldwide scare over a blast near its only nuclear reactor was engineered by Washington as part of "psychological warfare" against Tehran and its nuclear programme.
War Helps Recruit Terrorists, Intelligence Officials Say Testimony to Congress underscores the unintended consequences of the war in Iraq. Intelligence Officials Talk of Growing Insurgency --The insurgency in Iraq continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials told Congress yesterday. "Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Terrorists 'recalibrating,' Rumsfeld says [He should know] CIA, FBI chiefs deliver similar message to lawmakers --The heads of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI on Wednesday warned lawmakers that they fear terrorists groups [he should know], particularly al-Qaida, are still actively looking for ways to carry out a strike in the United States.
Bush terror team poised to strike again: Officials Warn of Future Terror Attacks --Speaking with one voice, Dictator Bush's top intelligence and military officials said Wednesday that [his] terrorists are regrouping for possible new strikes against the United States.
Goss fears WMD attack in U.S. 'a matter of time' --Senior U.S. intelligence leaders told Congress yesterday that "it may only be a matter of time" before terrorists try to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III testified that he is "very concerned" about the lack of data on a network of al Qaeda "sleeper" cells [?!?] in the United States. [Translation: The Bush terror team is trolling for an excuse to spy/clamp down on anti-Bush dissent.]
Bush Names Negroponte New Intelligence Chief --The nation's first national intelligence director will coordinate work of all 15 U.S. agencies in field. Dictator Bush today named veteran diplomat [Reichwing terrorist] John D. Negroponte to the new post of national intelligence chief, picking the former ambassador to Iraq and the United Nations in a surprise choice to oversee 15 intelligence agencies.
Stop Human Rights Obstructer John Negroponte (maryknowll.org)July 17, 2001 "In early 1984, two U.S. mercenaries, Thomas Posey and Dana Parker, contacted Negroponte, stating they wanted to supply arms to the Contra army after the U.S. Congress had banned governmental aid. Documents show that Negroponte connected the two with a contact in the Honduran military. The operation was exposed nine months later, at which point the Reagan administration denied any U.S. government involvement, despite Negroponte’s contact earlier that year. Other documents uncovered a scheme of Negroponte and then-Vice President George Bush to funnel Contra aid money through the Honduran government. In addition to his work with the Nicaraguan Contra army, Negroponte helped conceal from Congress the murder, kidnapping and torture abuses of a CIA-equipped and -trained Honduran military unit, Battalion 3-16."]
Corpses, bombs turn up around Iraq --Iraq Officials have been finding bodies around Iraq as militants continue attacks on American and national forces. Police found the bodies of eight Iraqis in shallow graves in a desert-area north of Baghdad.
Iraqi politician seized, police killed --Armed fighters have kidnapped an official of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's party while four Iraqi policemen have been killed in violence north of Baghdad, security sources said.
'Task Force Freedom' Soldier Killed, Three Wounded During Attack --One Task Force Freedom Soldier was killed and three were wounded by a car bomb while on patrol in Mosul on Feb. 16 at approximately 11:45 a.m.
Man 'blinded at Guantanamo' --A British resident has been blinded in one eye by American military police at Guantanamo Bay, his lawyer claimed today.
AP: Iraqi Died While Hung From Wrists --An Iraqi whose corpse was photographed with grinning U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib died under CIA interrogation while suspended by his wrists, which had been handcuffed behind his back, according to investigative reports reviewed by The Associated Press.
Ecstasy trials for combat stress --American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares.
5 Units of Military Reserve Miss Recruiting Goals --In a sign of continued stress on the armed forces from operations in Iraq, five of the six military reserve components have failed to meet their recruiting goals for the first four months of the current fiscal year, the military's top officer said on Wednesday.
SOA protesters headed for prison --Sister, students among 14 charged with trespass at Army school --Federal Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth gave Maryknoll Sr. Lil Mattingly the maximum six-month prison sentence for trespassing at Fort Benning, Ga., Nov. 21 during the annual protest against the School of the Americas, which has trained scores of Latin American soldiers, many of whom were later charged with human rights violations in their native countries.
Co. Pulls Out of Deal to Track Students --The grade school that required students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move has ended the program because the company that developed the technology pulled out.
Two fined $125 under anti-terrorism laws (Aus.) Two Mackay men are the first to be prosecuted under new maritime anti-terrorism legislation. Heath Snedden and Garry McKenna have been fined $125 each for walking through Mackay Port Authority land without permission on New Year's Day.
Ridge Lied About Political Activity During Election --Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge met privately with Republican pollsters twice in a 10-day span last spring as he embarked on more than a dozen trips to presidential battleground states. Ridge's get-togethers with Republican strategists Frank Luntz and Bill McInturff during a period the secretary was saying his agency was playing no role in Bush's re-selection campaign were revealed in daily appointment calendars obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
Online Nude Photos Are Latest Chapter In Jeff Gannon Saga --The problem for Jeff Gannon, whose real name is James Dale Guckert, is that he told The Washington Post and CNN's Wolf Blitzer last week that he never launched the Web sites whose provocative names he had registered, such as hotmilitarystud.com. But a Web designer in California said yesterday that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request.
GOP Ads Try to Tie Dean to Terrorism --A Jewish Republican group greeted Howard Dean's election to chair the Democratic National Committee this week with an ad campaign seeking to depict him as a supporter of terrorism. The group, the Republican Jewish Coalition, placed full-page advertisements in the Washington newspaper Roll Call and in Jewish weeklies around the country, featuring a large picture of Hamas members decked out in costumes resembling suicide bombers. Above the photo, referring to a long-recanted September 2003 quote from Dean, is the statement: "DNC Chairman Howard Dean Says, 'It's not our place to take sides.'"
Dean: New York GOP chairman must apologize or resign --Howard Dean, just four days into his job as Democratic National chairman, called Wednesday for New York's state Republican chairman to apologize or resign over remarks linking Democrats to a civil rights lawyer convicted of aiding terrorists.
Pataki Decries Remarks by N.Y. GOP Chief --Republican Gov. George Pataki scolded the state's GOP chairman Tuesday for seeking to link the Democratic Party with a civil rights attorney convicted of aiding terrorists.
Rep. Ford will run for Frist's seat --Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) is expected to announce next week that he will run for the Senate, seeking to replace Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Insane-Tenn.) when he retires in 2006.
Sen. Clinton Pushes for Voting Holiday --Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a possible White House candidate in 2008, joined 2004 nominee John Kerry and other Democrats Thursday in urging that Election Day be made a federal holiday to encourage voting.
A Corrupted Election Despite what you may have heard, the exit polls were right --by Steve Freeman and Josh Mitteldorf "Although President [sic] Bush prevailed by 3 million votes in the official, tallied vote count, exit polls had projected a margin of victory of 5 million votes for Kerry. This unexplained 8 million vote discrepancy between the election night exit polls and the official count should raise a Chinese May Day of red flags... [Exit polls] remove most of the sources of potential polling error by identifying actual voters and asking them immediately afterward who they had voted for. The reliability of exit polls is so generally accepted that the Bush administration helped pay for them during recent elections in Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine."
Congress OKs Class-Action Curbs, Sends to Bush --Landmark legislation long sought by business to curb class-action lawsuits was approved by the U.S. Congress on Thursday and now goes to Dictator Bush, who is expected to swiftly sign it into law.
House Joins Senate in Backing Limits on Class-Action Lawsuits --The House of Representatives easily passed a bill this afternoon that would sharply limit the ability of people to file sweeping, multistate lawsuits against companies. The vote to limit class-action lawsuits was 279 to 149.
Bush visit turns up heat on GOP privatization foe --Dictator Bush yesterday took his Social Security public relations tour to New Hampshire, into the heart of a district represented by a Republican who opposes the central aspect of his reforms. Rep. Jeb Bradley maintained during his 2002 campaign that "privatization is not the answer" to reforming Social Security.
Harvard president threatened with academic revolt --Staff angry at comments on women in science --Harvard University suffered a rebellion in the faculty ranks yesterday as some professors sought the departure of its controversial president.
Statute of Limitations Targeted in Abuse Cases --Lawmakers and victims advocates said Wednesday they are building momentum to repeal statutes of limitations that have prevented other abusers from facing lawsuits and prosecution.
House panel approves measure to make abortion a felony --Abortion should be a crime in South Dakota if states are given the right to outlaw the medical procedure, a House panel recommended Friday.
AIDS Case Puts Health Officials on Alert --Local health officials and AIDS advocacy groups say they are closely watching the case of a New York man infected with a highly drug-resistant and possibly aggressive strain of the AIDS virus, but they have not seen similar cases in the Washington area.
FDA Scientist: No Need for COX-2 Drugs --A veteran U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientist said on Thursday the benefits of the pain relievers known as COX-2 inhibitors, a group that includes the withdrawn drug Vioxx as well as Celebrex and Bextra, do not appear to justify the risks of heart damage.
While we spin our wheels discussing Iraq/Iran/Syria/and sometimes North Korea, U.S.-based corpora-terrorists are quietly implementing the New World Order: Border talks called 'disturbing' --An influential tri-national panel has considered a raft of bold proposals for an integrated North America, including a continental customs union, single passport and contiguous security perimeter. The initial debates prompted a sharp reaction from trade skeptics and nationalist groups like the Council of Canadians, who fear business leaders and the politically connected are concocting plans to cede important areas of sovereignty at the behest of American business interests. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow said the summary, a copy of which was obtained by the Toronto Star, was "disturbing" and "shocking."
Syria and Iran vow 'united front' against foreign threats --Regional allies Iran and Syria pledged Wednesday to form a "united front" against foreign threats, with Damascus under global suspicion over the killing of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. [Yes, Bush has proven to be correct: he is indeed a 'uniter,' not a 'divider.']
Syria and Iran to form "common front" --Iran and Syria have announced Wednesday that they would both form a 'common front' to face with challenges and threats. The two countries are currently caught up in 'diplomatic rows' with the United States.
Iran to aid Syria against threats --Iran has vowed to back Syria against "challenges and threats" as both countries face strong US pressure [U.S. imperialistic aggression and W-ar mongering].
It's Neo-Con Groundhog Day: CIA, FBI Warn Panel on Top Threats to U.S. --Groups associated with al-Qaida are at the top of the list of threats to the United States, leading government intelligence officials said Wednesday, saying Iran has emerged as the top threat to American interests in the Middle East.
IAEA Head Disputes Claims on Iran Arms --U.S. Called Inconsistent in Nuclear Talks --The head of the U.N. agency responsible for investigating Iran's nuclear program said Tuesday that there had been no discoveries in the last six months to substantiate claims that the Islamic state is secretly working toward building a nuclear bomb.
Unknown Aircraft Fires Missile in Iran - State TV --An unknown aircraft fired a missile on Wednesday in a deserted area near the southern city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr where Iran has a nuclear power plant, Iranian state television said.
Unknown plane fires missile at Iran's nuclear reactor – Report --An unknown plane fired a missile in a remote area near the southern Iranian city of Dailam in the province of Bushehr where Iran’s nuclear reactor is located, Iranian state television said on Wednesday.
Conflicting Stories Given for Iran Blast --An explosion was reported Wednesday in southern Iran near a nuclear power plant, with state-run media offering conflicting explanations for what happened, from blasting for dam construction, a fuel tank dropping from an Iranian plane, and friendly fire.
Iran Threatens to Shoot Down U.S. Drones --Iran's intelligence chief on Wednesday accused the United States of flying spy drones over its nuclear sites and threatened to shoot down the unmanned surveillance crafts.
Syria Denies Involvement In Lebanon Assassination --Syria is denying involvement in the assassination of Lebanese leader Rafik Hariri. Syria's ambassador to the U.S. said it's illogical to insinuate his country had anything to do with the killing because the death doesn't benefit Syria.
Syrian FM hopes to convey stances directly to US administration --In its first public reaction after Washington has recalled its ambassador to Syria, the Syrian News Agency (SANA) on Wednesday said Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara and his American counterpart Condoleezza Rice exchanged letters related to the recent events in Lebanon, Iraq and the Mideast peace process.
U.S. Recalls Ambassador to Syria --The U.S. ambassador to Syria was called back to Washington on Tuesday as [misdirected] anger swelled against Damascus following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
LOL! Interim Iraqi VP crops up as prime minister contender --former U.S. favorite [puppet dictator] Chalabi also still in running --Iraqi interim vice president Ibrahim al-Jaafari [puppet dictator], a former exile who leads the Dawa party, emerged as a surprise front-runner Tuesday to assume the post of prime minister, several Iraqi officials said. They cautioned, however, that the frenetic negotiations [?!?] among parties on forming the next government were far from complete. [Why are 'election' results 'negotiated?' Even more important: Why isn't anyone *asking* that question???]
Iraqi groups link role in politics to US exit --A meeting by 28 Iraqi groups, which boycotted January's 'elections,' called for a date for US troops to leave Iraq if they are to take part in writing a new constitution. The groups also called for differentiating the resistant force to the foreign occupiers from the terrorist acts against innocent Iraqis, and recognition of the people's right to resist the occupation by foreign troops. [Yes, everyone has the right to resist, by any means necessary, foreign terrorists and occupiers.]
U.S. troops sweep for insurgents across Iraq --U.S. raids netted 53 suspected insurgents across Iraq on Tuesday, as U.S. and Iraqi forces sought to end the frequent bombings and ambushes taking a high toll on Iraqi security forces.
Four US soldiers die in Iraq --February 17, 2005 --Four US soldiers have died in Iraq since yesterday the US military said today. One soldier died and another was injured in a road accident in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, early today. An Iraqi civilian was killed and another two hurt in the same incident.
Insurgents attack Iraqi oil infrastructure --Four oil pipelines sabotaged by string of attacks by resistance fighters, causing further losses in oil export revenues. Four Iraqi oil pipelines were hit by insurgent attacks early Wednesday morning, said the oil ministry.
U.S. contractors in Iraq allege abuses --Four men say they witnessed shooting of unarmed civilians --Employees of a U.S. private contractor, Custer Battles LLC, hired by the U.S. military to protect supplies say the brutality they witnessed against Iraqis led them to quit. There are new allegations that heavily armed private security contractors in Iraq are brutalizing Iraqi civilians. In an exclusive interview, four former security contractors told NBC News that they watched as innocent Iraqi civilians were fired upon, and one crushed by a truck. The contractors worked for an American company paid by U.S. taxpayers. [Scott Custer: 401- 848-7500; Jennifer Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org or 401- 848-7500.]
Iraq Abuse Court Martial Case Draws to Close --The evidence concluded today in the court martial of three British soldiers accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners.
British troops face new charges as bodies of Iraqi civilians are exhumed --Charges against British troops are believed to be imminent following fresh allegations of crimes committed in Iraq, including cases relating to the deaths of civilians.
Six bodies, six grieving families, more accusations against troops --The marriage ceremony had been accompanied by ceremonial gunfire. According to the dead man's family, a group of British soldiers disembarked from a boat. They opened fire from around 200 yards away. They claim Mr al-Roaimi was shot in the back. He was taken to the Basra teaching hospital where he was pronounced dead with a bullet through the heart...
ACLU Urges Investigation of Detainee Abuse --The American Civil Liberties Union asked new Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales yesterday to appoint a special counsel to probe the mistreatment of detainees in the war on [of] terrorism, citing what it claimed was Gonzales's "unavoidable conflict of interest in fully investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing by civilians in this matter."
E-Mail Shows Jordan Seeking U.S. Approval on Oil -- A Jordanian oil firm sought approval from a U.S.-led international naval force to import millions of barrels of Iraqi crude through the Persian Gulf in violation of U.N. sanctions in February 2003, according to an internal company e-mail released yesterday by Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.).
Democrats Want More Accountability for Iraq Spending --Dictator Bush's request to Congress for $82 billion dollars in additional funding for Halliburton ['military and reconstruction needs in Iraq and Afghanistan'] is receiving scrutiny on Capitol Hill. This comes amid growing concern among lawmakers about examples of waste, fraud and abuse in how funds were spent in Iraq.
Energy secretary pushes to ramp up U.S. ability to test nuclear bombs --Although scientists continue work on simulating nuclear bomb tests by computer, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Tuesday that the Nevada Test Site's ability to resume actual underground warhead detonations must be enhanced.
Witness falters in Sydney terrorism case --A Crown witness in the Sydney committal hearing of a suspected 'terrorist' has provided conflicting evidence. Faheem Lodhi, 34, is accused of plotting terrorist attacks on Australia's electricity grid and defence sites.
Goss Plan to Strengthen CIA Is Ready --CIA Director Porter J. Goss plans to deliver to Dictator Bush today his plans for increasing by 50 percent the number of clandestine operations officers and analysts to expand U.S. intelligence on [of] terrorist networks and to counter the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction [?!?], according to senior intelligence officials.
ID checks to toughen for Americans re-entering country --In three years, U.S. citizens and Canadians will have to show passports or federally issued ID cards linked to Homeland Security databases to re-enter the country from across the border.
Chertoff Approved by Senate as U.S. Homeland Security Secretary --Michael Chertoff, a former assistant U.S. attorney general [and Reichwing whackjob], was confirmed by the Senate to be the second secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, after Democrats delayed the vote for a week to question his role in developing U.S. policies on torture. The Senate approved Chertoff on a vote of 98-0.
Deaths prompt concerns, reviews on use of stun guns --The largest association of police chiefs will issue a national bulletin within 10 days urging police departments to review the use of stun guns because of reports that the weapons may be related to numerous deaths.
Fake Passports for Exhibit Seized in Ohio --Fake passports created by an Austrian artist for a contemporary museum exhibit were confiscated at an airport after a customs agent thought they might be harmful if imported, government and museum officials said Tuesday.
Asked to Resign, 3 at CBS Hire Lawyers Instead --More than a month after Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS, requested the resignations of three top journalists at the network who helped oversee a 'flawed' report on the National Guard service of Dictator Bush, they have yet to step down, two CBS officials said yesterday.
Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act Passes --The fast track continues as the House has voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Broadcast Decency [Censorship] Enforcement Act of 2005. The new legislation, approved by the House Commerce Committee on a 46-2 vote, would significantly raise the dollar amount of indecency fines levied on broadcasters and performers from $32,500 per violation to $500,000.
James Roosevelt Jr: Hume's "outrageous distortion" of FDR "calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation" (mediamatters.org) "MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Social Security associate commissioner James Roosevelt Jr. examined how FOX News Washington managing editor Brit Hume and other pundits distorted a quote by Roosevelt Jr.'s grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in order to claim that the former president would have supported privatizing Social Security."
Kyoto Global Warming Treaty Takes Effect --The Kyoto global warming pact took effect today seven years after it was negotiated, requiring dozens of industrial nations to reduce emissions of ”greenhouse” gases believed linked to climate change.
Air Pollution Can Affect Fetal Development, Scientists Say --Exposure to urban air pollution can affect the chromosomes of a developing fetus, a new study suggests. Babies born to mothers exposed to high levels of urban air pollution appear to have a greater chance of chromosomal abnormalities than those whose mothers breathed cleaner air.
Pollution Is Linked to Fetal Harm --Exposure to air pollution, even in the womb, may be linked to genetic changes associated with an increased risk of cancer, researchers said yesterday.
Request to Edit Title of Talk On Gays, Suicide Stirs Ire --HHS Is Being Accused of Marginalization --A federal agency's efforts to remove the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual" and "transgender" from the program of a federally funded conference on suicide prevention have inspired scores of experts in mental health to flood the agency with angry e-mails.
Group Awarded AIDS Grant Despite Negative Appraisal --The Bush regime's global AIDS program [pogrom] last fall awarded a grant to promote abstinence in African youth to a politically connected Washington advocacy group, even though the expert committee reviewing requests for government money judged the request "not suitable for funding."
NHL Cancels Season --Four-and-a-half months after the start of the National Hockey League lockout, commissioner Gary Bettman made it official Wednesday. Bettman climbed up on his soapbox one more time and sadly announced the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season, meaning that for the first time in the history of North American professional sport, a league had lost a full season of competition as a result of a labour dispute.
Rove Met With Saudis Three Months After 9/11 --A congressional panel had issued a report on the roots of the 9/11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 perpetrators were Saudis. The report contained 28 superclassified pages that described evidence of possible Saudi funding for two of the hijackers. In reaction, the Saudis descended on the capital, eager to dispute the charges and reassure George W. Bush and his regime... On July 29, according to lobbying records reviewed by NEWSWEEK, the Saudis' leading Washington fixer, Adel Al-Jubeir, met with Karl Rove to, among other things, "give a status briefing on the Kingdom's reform efforts and war against terrorism." ...The meeting was Al-Jubeir's second with Rove; the first was three months after 9/11.
Sources: FBI Conducting Operations Abroad --The FBI is conducting intelligence operations abroad without notifying colleagues at the CIA and State Department, current and former government officials say.
US accused of plan to muzzle al-Jazeera through privatisation --America and its key ally Saudi Arabia are being accused of quietly seeking to muzzle al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite news station that has often incurred Washington's ire for its coverage of Iraq and Dictator George Bush's "war on [of] terror".
Syria accuses Israel of killing Al Hariri, Arabs call on Lebanon to unite --While the opposition to the pro-Syrian government in Beirut claimed that Syria was behind the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al Hariri, the Syrian media on Tuesday pointed the finger of suspicion at Israel. "What happened was an attempt to shatter national unity in Lebanon, to sow anarchy and divisions which lead to a climate of civil war," said government newspaper Tishrin. [Hmmm... sounds like the Neo-con strategy for Iraq, Iran, etc...]
U.S. Ambassador in Syria Summoned Home --Dictator Bush recalled the U.S. ambassador in Syria for urgent consultations following the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in Beirut, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
U.S. Seems Sure of the Hand of Syria, Hinting at Penalties --The Bush regime, condemning the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in Lebanon, suggested Monday that Syria was to blame and moved to get a new condemnation of Syria's domination of Lebanon at the United Nations Security Council.
CNN's Nuke Plant Photos Identical for Both Iran and N. Korea! (bradblog.com) 2/14/2005 --by Brad "Two stories posted in the last week on the CNN website, one on nukes in Iran last Wednesday, and another on nukes in North Korea on Saturday, both use the same aerial photograph of the same purported nuclear power plant! But one is supposed to be in Iran and the other is supposed to be in North Korea!"
US preparing strategy against North Korea --The United States is preparing strategies to choke off nuclear-armed North Korea's few remaining sources of income, a report said.
Bush asks for $82B extra, most of it for Pentagon --The White House asked Congress for $82 billion in special spending Monday, almost $75 billion of which would go to the Pentagon to help pay Halliburton ['for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq'], fix broken equipment and increase the size of the Army in 2005.
Lawmakers Told About Contract Abuse in Iraq --A government contractor defrauded the Coalition Provisional Authority of tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction funds and the Bush regime has done little to try to recover the money, an attorney for two whistle-blowers told Democratic lawmakers yesterday.
Pentagon Is Investigating Another 8 Air Force Contracts --The Pentagon announced yesterday that it was investigating eight additional Air Force contracts, totaling nearly $3 billion, as part of a broader investigation into influence-peddling involving a former Air Force official and the Boeing Company.
US missile defence te$t flounders again --A te$t of the controversial US missile defence system failed on Sunday - the second time this has happened in recent months. The failure has once again drawn condemnation of the programme from critics.
Rocket Fails to Launch in Test Run --The nation's fledgling missile defense system suffered its third straight test failure when an interceptor rocket failed to launch Sunday night from its base on an island, leaving the target rocket to splash into the Pacific Ocean, the Pentagon said Monday.
Lawyers call for release of Australian held in Iraq --The Federal Government must ensure the United States either charged a Melbourne man being held in Iraq or released him, the Law Council of Australia said yesterday. Iraqi-born Australian citizen Ahmed Aziz Rafiq was arrested by Kurdish forces in northern Iraq in February last year and was reportedly handed over to occupation forces for investigation [read: torture] as a 'terror' suspect.
Display Stirs Controversy In Land Park --Soldier's Uniform Hangs From Noose In Front of Home --Hanging from a house in Land Park, CA, a soldier's uniform in a noose dangles from a rooftop. The words "your tax dollars at work" are scrolled across the chest.
Anti-war display a flash point --Outrage [by Reichwing whackjobs] at Land Park (CA) pair's use of uniform may stifle dialogue. An American soldier's uniform has become a lightning rod for anger and anguish after a Land Park couple posted it on their house, accompanied by anti-war signs.
Global warming as bad as terrorism: ALP --The Labor leader, Kim Beazley, has ranked global warming next to nuclear proliferation and militant fundamentalism as a major threat to the world's security.
Border talks called 'disturbing' --An influential tri-national panel has considered a raft of bold proposals for an integrated North America, including a continental customs union, single passport and contiguous security perimeter. The initial debates prompted a sharp reaction from trade skeptics and nationalist groups like the Council of Canadians, who fear business leaders and the politically connected are concocting plans to cede important areas of sovereignty at the behest of American business interests. Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow said the summary, a copy of which was obtained by the Toronto Star, was "disturbing" and "shocking."
Court: 'Reporters' Must Testify in CIA Leak Case --A U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday that two 'journalists' must testify before a federal grand jury about their confidential sources in an investigation into a leak that exposed the identity of a covert CIA operative. The three-judge panel ruled that New York Times 'reporter' [WMD whackjob] Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine must comply with a subpoena from a grand jury investigating whether the Bush regime illegally leaked the officer's name to the news media.
Appeals Court Says 'Reporters' Must Testify or Go to Jail --Two 'reporters' who have refused to name their sources to a grand jury investigating the disclosure the identity of a covert C.I.A. agent should be jailed on contempt charges, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Washington ruled unanimously today.
Bush Renews Call to Extend Patriot Act --Dictator Bush on Monday urged the nation to stay the course in its "urgent mission" to fight [foment] terrorism, and he called on Congress to move quickly to extend sweeping law enforcement powers under the USA Patriot Act. The White House has signaled that it will veto any effort by Congress to rein in counterterrorism powers.
Public denied access to CIA's decades-old budget information --The Central Intelligence Agency may withhold its decades-old budget information because its disclosure would reveal "intelligence methods," a federal district court in Washington, D.C., ruled Feb. 9. The CIA's 1963 budget must be disclosed, however, because of its previous, accidental release by the agency, the court ruled.
NSA May Be 'Traffic Cop' for U.S. Networks --The Bush dictatorship is considering making the National Security Agency -- famous for eavesdropping and code breaking -- its "traffic cop" for ambitious plans to share homeland security information across government computer networks, a senior NSA official says.
Ban on Matches, Lighters Vexes Airports --The Transportation Security Administration has told airports that it won't begin its ban on lighters and matches until mid-March even though the intelligence bill passed in December mandated that the TSA begin the ban by tomorrow.
Aids and TB tests for all immigrants in Tory plan --The Conservatives will fuel the debate on immigration today by promising that people travelling to live and work in Britain will have to undergo checks for HIV/Aids and other diseases.
Va. school board OKs keeping Bible classes --Public elementary schools will continue to allow Bible classes during class time while the local school board conducts a one-year review to determine if criticism of the practice by some parents is valid.
Ex-Aide Questions Bush Vow to Back Faith-Based Efforts --A former White House official said yesterday that Dictator Bush has failed to deliver on his promise to help religious groups serve the poor, the homeless and drug addicts because the administration lacks a genuine commitment to its "compassionate conservative" agenda.
Budget cuts FDA safety checks --The Food and Drug Administration's proposed budget for next year includes cuts to nearly all its inspection programs, from checks on imported food to reviews of overseas plants that make prescription drugs bound for the USA.
US multinationals awarded huge tax break on foreign earnings --by Jamie Chapman "Under the guise of a provision to create jobs, the US Congress passed a revision to the tax code allowing an 85 percent reduction in taxes on foreign earnings of many of the country's largest corporations...The Wall Street Journal estimates that as much as $750 billion in profits may be subject to the lower rate."
Bush Renominates 20 Failed Judicial Nominees --Dictator Bush set up a showdown with Senate Democrats on Monday by renominating 20 failed judicial nominees, many of whom had been denounced by critics as "right-wing extremists." Senate Majority Leader Bill 'Cat Torturer' Frist, a Tennessee Republican, has threatened to change the Senate's rules to prevent any more procedural hurdles known as filibusters against judicial nominees.
Is Bush Press Aide Gay? An online investigative journalism site Monday suggested that White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is gay and was a regular at gay bars in Texas. Quoting an unnamed source, The Raw Story reported that McClellan visited an Austin, Texas gay bar on March 19, 1995... Raw story also says there is a link between McClellan and the man who posed as a journalist and had been accredited by the White House. It reports that it has found the man claiming to be Jeff Gannon had sent McClellan a wedding card when the Bush aide married.
Reporter with prostitution links and false name got access to Bush; Questions surface on relationship with White House staff --Questions fly on Guckert's relationship with White House (rawstory.com) 2/14/2005 --by admin "The former White House reporter for the conservative website Talon News, who resigned after his links to military escort domains appeared on the Web, is said to have paid two individuals to set up a site on which he intended to prostitute himself, RAW STORY has learned. These individuals claim to have invoices which show the name of the reporter Jim Guckert’s personal business as paying for the website’s development... RAW STORY has been told that the White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan visited a gay bar in Austin, Texas, on March 19, 1995. The date was placed exactly as a local memorial service was held on the same day. The source, who would only comment on condition of anonymity, reserved comment on whether McClellan was actually gay, but said he was frequently seen at gay clubs. Another source also confirmed this account. ...According to a White House transcript, McClellan is married, and Gannon sent the press secretary a wedding card."
Court: Activists Didn't Get Fair Trial --Two vegetarian activists convicted of libeling fast-food giant McDonald's Corp. did not receive a fair trial in Britain, the European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday.
U.S. Said to Pay Iraq Contractors in Cash --U.S. Paid Iraq Contractors With Cash, Some From Gunnysacks and Pickup Trucks, Ex-Official Says --A former U.S. occupation official in Iraq thought he was in the Wild West in 2003 as he watched colleagues pull $2 million in fresh bills from a vault and stuff them in a contractor's gunnysack. Cash payments that weren't stuffed in sacks were made from a pickup truck that bore the name of Iraq's grounded airline.
Ex-U.S. Official in Iraq Says CPA Was 'Wild West' --The U.S. occupation authority in Iraq had a chaotic, "Wild West" approach to contracting there which opened up the system to abuse and waste, a former employee from the authority said Monday.
Bush Sending $82 Bln Package to Congress --Dictator Bush was sending Congress on Monday an $82 billion package to fund Halliburton ['U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan'], pushing the total for both conflicts to nearly $300 billion.
Private firms lure UK troops in Iraq --British soldiers in Iraq have been lured into leaving the army by the high pay of private security companies, a British newspapers say. The UK's Daily Telegraph said on Monday that scores of the soldiers jumping to the private sector were members of the elite Special Air Service.
U.S. Soldier, Three Iraq Guardsmen Killed --Roadside Bombs Kill U.S. Soldier, Three Iraqi National Guard Troops; Insurgents Blow Up Pipeline --Roadside bombs killed a U.S. soldier and three Iraqi National Guard troops Monday and officials said insurgents blew up an oil pipeline near Kirkuk and killed two senior police officers in Baghdad.
Insurgents target oil in Baghdad blast --A roadside bomb has killed three Iraqi National Guard troops and officials said insurgents blew up an oil pipeline and killed two senior police officers in Baghdad, as political leaders sized up their positions in a new government.
Iraq 'election' results fail to stem violence --The first full day after Iraq's 'election' results were announced saw three Iraqi troops die in a roadside bomb, two Baghdad police shot dead in a drive-by shooting, an oil pipeline detonated and a woman and child killed by a mortar attack.
Huge Car Bomb Kills Lebanon's Ex-Prime Minister --A huge car bomb on Monday killed Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, a billionaire who masterminded the country's reconstruction from its 1975-90 civil war.
Fresh Guantanamo torture claims --An Australian freed from Guantanamo Bay last month has claimed he was tortured and abused during his detention at the US prison camp in Cuba. In his first interview since returning home, Mamdouh Habib has strongly denied any links to terrorism.
Australian terror suspect says he was beaten, sexually humiliated --An Australian terror suspect released from Guantanamo Bay says he was beaten, given electric shocks, sexually humiliated and nearly drowned while under U.S. supervision.
I'm no terrorist, but I won't say why I was there --Mamdouh Habib has denied ever training in an al-Qaeda terrorist camp, but has refused to explain why he was in Afghanistan before his capture in 2001, or how he could afford to travel to the region. In his first interview since his release, Mr Habib, who was freed from Guantanamo Bay after more than three years in custody without charge, also told 60 Minutes in a program shown last night that he was tortured by his captors, who gave him electric shocks and threatened him with sexual assault by specially trained dogs.
Spy: Australians questioned held Iraqis --A former Australian spy has contradicted government claims that no Australian was involved in interrogating Iraqi prisoners. Rod Barton, a former senior analyst for Australia's Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) said on Sunday that he had personally interrogated an Iraqi detainee at Camp Cropper, a US centre which held "high value" prisoners.
"Rendition" Case Takes a New Twist --The U.S. Department of 'Justice' may make legal history in seeking to dismiss a lawsuit on behalf of a U.S. citizen being held in Saudi Arabia without publicly disclosing its reasons, citing an "extraordinarily high" government interest in protecting national security [Yeah, right!] issues in the case. Saudi authorities claim they have no case against 23-year-old student Ahmed Abu Ali , and that his detention is at the behest of the U.S. government. The U.S. government responds it had nothing to do with his arrest or imprisonment, but has declined to publicly produce any evidence to document this claim.
Iran Warns U.S. Not to Play with Nuclear 'Fire' --Iran warned the United States on Sunday not to attack its nuclear facilities and said talks with Europe might produce a deal to defuse the dispute over its alleged covert ambitions to build atomic weapons.
CIA Operation in Iran Failed When Spies Were Exposed --Dozens of CIA informants in Iran were executed or imprisoned in the late 1980s or early 1990s after their secret communications with the agency were uncovered by the government, according to former CIA officials who discussed the episode after aspects of it were disclosed during a recent congressional hearing.
Chávez arming to fight attack by U.S. --Venezuela is shifting its military doctrine to set the United States as its No. 1 enemy, and President Hugo Chávez has spoken of guerrilla warfare, as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, if U.S. forces invade his country. ''I propose that we move to the offensive, just like the imperialists have moved to the bloody and ruthless offensive. If you don't believe me, look at Iraq . . .'' Chávez told a news conference in Brazil late last month. ''We have to embrace socialism as a thesis,'' [Awesome!] he continued, in what observers said was his most direct public reference to his socialist views.
Castro Warns of Venezuela Plot --Cuban President Fidel Castro warned that the life of leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in danger, and said he would blame the United States if his close friend and ally is killed. Castro's remarks came during a speech Saturday and closed an international globalization conference in Havana attended by hundreds of economists.
Castro says U.S. to blame if Chavez assassinated -- Cuban President Fidel Castro has warned the United States against plotting to kill his most important ally, Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez. "I say to world public opinion: if they assassinate Chavez, the responsibility will fall squarely on the president [sic] of the United States, George W. Bush," Castro said on Saturday.
U.S. Is Shaping Plan to Pressure North Koreans --In the months before North Korea announced that it possessed nuclear weapons, the Bush regime began developing new strategies to choke off its few remaining sources of income, based on techniques in use against [for] Al Qaeda, intelligence officials and policy makers involved in the planning say.
Missile defense system flunks another test --A test of the national missile defense system failed Monday when an interceptor missile did not launch from its island base [Oops!] in the Pacific Ocean, the military said. It was the second failure in months for the experimental program.
A Newly Meaningful Relationship? --by Al Kamen "There's been K Street chatter... that Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman could be on an administration list to replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the next year or so. That would be convenient for Lieberman, whose term is up in 2006, and could give Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) an opportunity to appoint a Republican to the seat for at least a few months before the election, inching the GOP closer to a filibuster-proof Senate."
Gonzales Steps Aside From CIA Leak Probe --Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has stepped aside from the Justice Department investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity.
US accuses British charity of 'financing terrorism' --A British charity has been accused by the American government of financing Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
Bush Urges Patriot Act Renewal --Gonzales Sworn-In as Attorney General --Dictator Bush on Monday urged Congress to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, the Justice Department's widely criticized anti[pro]-terrorism law.
FEC May Tighten Restrictions On Internet Political Activity --The Federal Election Commission next month will begin looking at tightening restrictions on political activities on the Internet, ROLL CALL reports Monday. Specifically, the FEC is planning to examine the question of how Internet activities, when coordinated with candidates' campaigns, fit into the definition of "public communications."
Blair Backs Plans to Put Terror Suspects under House Arrest --Tony Blair today signalled his determination to press ahead with controversial plans to place terror suspects under house arrest.
Number 10 defends 'house arrest' --The government says it is sticking by plans under which terror suspects could be kept under house arrest. The prime minister is to meet the Tory and Liberal Democrat leaders on Friday, to try to get an all party agreement on controversial anti-terror powers.
Clarke firm on house arrests --Charles Clarke says he will press ahead with plans to detain suspected terrorists in their own homes without trial, countering speculation that he is planning to ditch the proposals.
Madrid Fire Re-opens 9/11 Questions: Why did the twin towers fall so fast? --by 'Apathy Kills' --Madrid Fire Re-opens 9/11 Questions "Prior to 9/11, no steel building had ever collapsed due to fire. Here is a photo of the smoking buildings. WTC2, was on fire for less than an hour when it collapsed. Isn’t it odd, the WTC collapsed after an hour, and the black smoke indicates that fire wasn’t even burning hot. Now compare- this is the Madrid Fire, it burned for 10 hours and still has not collapsed."
Slaughter Spearheads Investigations Into Phony White House 'Journalist' --by Mike Hudson 'Call it 'Gannongate.' Responding to a Feb. 8 Niagara Falls Reporter editorial, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter last week called on President [sic] George Bush to explain how a person operating under an assumed name and with no journalistic background managed to obtain access to the White House briefing room regularly for the past two years. Additionally, Slaughter and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan have asked Robert Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor investigating the leaking of an undercover CIA agent's name to the media, to look into allegations that the phony reporter played a hand in that affair."
After Bush Leaves Office, His Budget's Costs Balloon --For Dictator Bush, the budget sent to Congress last week outlines a painful path to meeting his promise to bring down the federal budget deficit by the time he leaves office in 2009. But for the senators and governors already jockeying to succeed him, the numbers released in recent days add up to a budgetary landmine that could blow up just as the next president moves into the Oval Office.
A Personal Burden --Chile switched to a privatized pension system nearly 25 years ago, and millions of workers still fall through the cracks -- ...The $225 a month Inelia Pardo Acevedo draws under Chile's privatized system doesn't stretch far. And what galls her is that colleagues who stuck with traditional pension plans get three times as much, guaranteed for the rest of their lives. The government "painted this wonderful picture of private accounts," Pardo said. "They fooled me. They fooled us all."
Wal-Mart assailed in Parliament for 'economic terrorism' --Canadian labour minister says workers' rights should be respected --Member of Parliament David Christopherson says the Canadian government should intervene to protect workers' rights against the anti-labour tactics of Wal-Mart, which plans to close a store in Quebec rather than deal with a union. "Wal-Mart's closure of its first unionized store is being characterized as economic terrorism, a blatant attempt to smash organizing activities across the country," the Hamilton, Ontario, MP told the House of Commons.
Wal-Mart settles child labor cases --Company denies charges but agrees to pay penalty--[Economic Terrorist] Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, will pay $135,540 to settle federal charges that it broke child labor laws, the Labor Department said Saturday.
Worry Spreads Over GI Drug Side Effects --Some current or former troops sent to Iraq claim that Lariam, the commercial name for the anti-malarial [deadly] drug mefloquine, has provoked disturbing and dangerous behavior. The families of some troops blame the drug for the suicides of their loved ones. Their reports have raised alarm in Congress, and the Pentagon has stopped giving out a pill it probably never needed to give to tens of thousands of troops in Iraq in the first place.
Verizon to Acquire MCI for $6.75 Billion --Verizon Communications Inc.'s $6.7 billion takeover of long-distance provider MCI Inc. is the latest example of how regulatory changes in Washington are continuing to transform the telephone industry.
Flu Shots May Not Save Lives - U.S. Study --The flu vaccinations that doctors hoped would save the lives of fragile elderly people have apparently failed to lower death rates, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
States fall behind on voting-system improvements --Repairs to the nation's voting system, already long overdue, are likely to remain uncompleted by the 2006 congressional elections, top state election officials warn.
New York GOP leader attacks Dean --New York's Republican state chairman said Monday that Howard Dean's election as Democratic national chairman shows the rival party's leaders "have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election cycles." [Actually, Dean should be fomenting the second American Revolution, in the aftermath of *two* stolen elections.]
Calif. GOP Changes Rule to Back Governor --Although Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not revealed whether he will seek re-selection, the California Republican Party on Sunday changed a party rule and endorsed him 16 months before the 2006 gubernatorial primary.
Alleged Mall Gunman Had Columbine Interest --A man who opened fire in a crowded shopping mall with an assault weapon, wounding two, seemed to have a "lurid fascination" with the Columbine High School shooting, a prosecutor said Monday. Robert Bonelli, 24, is accused of wounding two people and sending shoppers scurrying for safety Sunday after shooting his way into the Hudson Valley Mall, then giving up when he ran out of ammunition.
Gunman opens fire at mall in upstate New York; one person wounded --A lone gunman opened fire with an assault rifle Sunday inside a crowded mall in upstate New York, wounding one person before running out of ammunition and being subdued by employees, authorities said. The gunman began shooting inside the Hudson Valley Mall shortly after 3 p.m. in Kingston, nearly 90 miles north of New York City. An Army recruiter was shot in the leg but was not the target of the attack, said Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, a National Guard spokesman. The recruiter was evacuated by helicopter to an Albany hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
Bill Clinton Wins Second Grammy --Former U.S. President Bill Clinton won the second Grammy Award of his career on Sunday, when he was honored in the spoken word category for his best-selling memoir "My Life."
We are now in Stage one. Stage one: Do not consume at normal levels. Do not buy any surplus goods or make other major purchases. Do not purchase entertainment goods and boycott the corporate media as much as possible. Only do what you have to do to survive. And, get others involved. Help get Citizens For Legitimate Government's Grand Refusal Coalition in motion. Help build the Grand Refusal! Stand by for stage 2. Once we reach critical mass, we will launch Stage 2. Stage 2 will include but will not be limited to: Protests in every city; Stage 3 will include but will not be limited to: Inauguration protests (No Inauguration for Bush: Fascist, election-stealing Dictator Bush must NOT be SWORN IN!); Stage 4 will include but will not be limited to: Massive Walkouts!
Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. replies to a reader who asks, 'DONT YOU GET IT?'
U.S. told two years ago North Korea had nuclear weapons --The U.S. was told privately by North Korea that it had nuclear weapons, two years ago. 'They told us in private. They told us they were developing nuclear weapons then, and they have told us since,' James Lilley a former ambassador to the Republic of Korea, and later to China, told CNN Sunday.
Senate May Open Inquiry Into C.I.A.'s Handling of Suspects --The Senate intelligence committee is moving toward adoption of a plan to conduct a formal inquiry into the Central Intelligence Agency's handling of suspects captured in the American effort to curb [promote] terrorism, Congressional officials from each party said this week.
Detainee Says He Was Tortured in U.S. Custody --Mamdouh Habib still has a bruise on his lower back. He says it is a sign of the beatings he endured in a prison in Egypt. Interrogators there put out cigarettes on his chest, he says, and he lifts his shirt to show the marks. He says he got the dark spot on his forehead when Americans hit his head against the floor at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
U.S. using pilotless drones to spy on Iran --The United States in recent months has been using drones over Iran in search of nuclear weapons development. A report in The Washington Post on Sunday quoted three U.S. officials as saying the pilotless surveillance planes were using video, still photography, and radar to detect nuclear activity and to assess Iran's air defenses.
U.S. Eyes Iran Via Drones Launched From Iraq --Bush regime has been secretly monitoring Iranian airspace for nearly a year for signs of nuclear weapons. Surveillance Flights Are Sent From Iraq --The Bush regime has been flying surveillance drones over Iran for nearly a year to seek evidence of nuclear weapons programs and detect weaknesses in air defenses, according to three U.S. officials with detailed knowledge of the secret effort.
U.S. Intelligence Reviewing Assessments on Iran --The U.S. intelligence community, responding to Bush regime concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran, has begun reviewing its assessments of the Islamic Republic, from weapons capabilities to the stability of Tehran's government, U.S. officials said on Saturday.
Iraqi insurgents intensify their attacks --A suicide bomber killed at least 17 Iraqis outside a hospital Saturday, and a judge who had investigated crimes in Saddam Hussein's government was gunned down outside his home. Meanwhile, fierce fighting erupted between American forces and insurgents in the northern city of Mosul...
Car bomb kills 17 outside Iraqi hospital --A car bomb exploded in front of a hospital south of Baghdad Saturday, killing 17 people and wounding 16 others, police said. Earlier, masked gunmen in the southern city of Basra assassinated a senior Iraqi judge.
US deserter's refugee claim Canadian government blocks consideration of legality of Iraq war --by Keith Jones "Canada’s federal government intervened in a refugee hearing for a US Army deserter late last year to block discussion of the legality of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. A lawyer representing Solicitor-General Irwin Cotler argued that the legality of the war is beyond the purview of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)."
The Return of the Draft --With the army desperate for recruits, should college students be packing their bags for Canada? --by Tim Dickinson "Richard Flahavan, spokesman for Selective Service, tells Rolling Stone that preparing for a skills-based draft is 'in fact what we have been doing.' For starters, the agency has updated a plan to draft nurses and doctors. But that's not all. 'Our thinking was that if we could run a health-care draft in the future,' Flahavan says, 'then with some very slight tinkering we could change that skill to plumbers or linguists or electrical engineers or whatever the military was short.' ...But experts on military manpower say the focus on drafting personnel with special skills misses the larger point. The Army needs more soldiers, not just more doctors and linguists."
'01 Memo to Rice Warned of Qaeda and Offered Plan --A strategy document outlining proposals for eliminating the threat from Al Qaeda, given to Condoleezza Rice as she assumed the post of national security adviser in January 2001, warned that the terror network had cells in the United States and 40 other countries and sought unconventional weapons, according to a declassified version of the document.
Judge Considers Declassifying Sept. 11 Report on the F.B.I. --A federal judge is weighing whether to make public a secret Justice Department report that officials say is sharply critical of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for failing to piece together terrorism leads before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Ohio Mulls Academic 'Bill of Rights' --Professors would have to include diverse [Read: Reichwing] opinions in classrooms under legislation being pushed in Ohio and several other states by conservatives who fear too many professors indoctrinate young minds with 'liberal propaganda.' The proposal in Ohio to create an academic "bill of rights" would prohibit public and private college professors from presenting opinions as fact or penalizing students for expressing their views. Professors would not be allowed to introduce controversial material [?!?] unrelated to the course.
Texas GOP Trying to Gut Ethics Inquiry, Critics Say --A bill introduced in the Legislature is called a blatant bid to protect Republicans, including Rep. Tom DeLay, from a fundraising probe. A bill filed this week by a veteran state GOP lawmaker would give the Texas Ethics Commission — whose members were appointed by the three top elected officials in the state, all Republicans — the power to quash the prosecution of a politician. Critics call it a brazen attempt to protect GOP leaders who might become entangled in an ongoing criminal investigation into whether illegal fundraising paved the party's rise to power in the state.
Neo-Nazis Aim to Upgrade PR --The National Alliance seeks a higher profile and more members with multimedia campaign. White supremacist groups around the country are moving aggressively to recruit new members by promoting their violent, racist ideologies on billboards, in radio commercials and in leaflets tossed on suburban driveways.
Schwarzenegger Calls Democrats 'Addicts' --In a fiery speech to Republican faithful Friday evening, [GOP-installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ridiculed Democrats as wasteful spending "addicts" who have been taking "sleeping pills," and he characterized California's problems as stemming from "evil." The governor said the Democrat-controlled Legislature has refused to solve serious structural problems with the state budget and its political machinery. "Now we are going to the source — right there where all the evil is — and we're going to fix this problem once and for all," ['Addicts?' He should know! Click here to see the Toke-inator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, smoking marijuana.]
Calif. GOP Rallies Around Schwarzenegger Agenda --California's Republican loyalists said on Saturday they are ready to rally behind [GOP-installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious political agenda that includes ballot measures Democrats vow to defeat.
Howard Dean elected to lead Democrats --Former presidential hopeful promises to rebuild party --Democrats elected Howard Dean chairman of their national party on Saturday. The former Vermont governor and presidential candidate had promised to rebuild the state parties, take the offensive against Republicans, and better explain party positions on issues.
Dean vows to 'take this country back' --Howard Dean won the chairmanship of the national Democratic Party on Saturday, vowing to lead it back to power. His formula: Compete for values-minded voters in Republican states while continuing the blistering criticisms of Dictator Bush that rank-and-file Democrats love.
New DNC Head Dean Hopes to Rebuild Party --New national Democratic Chairman Howard Dean promised Saturday to rebuild the party in the most conservative regions of the country, help develop state and local organizations and let congressional Democrats set the tone on policy.
Text of Howard Dean's remarks at DNC event --Feb. 12, 2005
Up to 70% interest - credit card aimed at the poor --A new credit card aimed at millions of low-income families is to charge interest at up to 70% - the highest ever charged by a credit card company.
San Francisco Mayor Vows to Press for Gay Marriages --Celebrating the first anniversary of his decision to issue marriage licenses to gays, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed on Saturday to stay at the forefront of fights to make same-sex marriages legal.
American Nun Shot Dead in Brazil's Amazon --A 74-year-old American nun was shot to death early on Saturday in Brazil's Amazon jungle, where she worked for decades to defend peasant farmers and the rain forest from illegal loggers and ranchers.
U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Block Start of Canadian Cattle Imports --Ten U.S. Senators are seeking to block a plan by the Department of Agriculture to resume imports of cattle from Canada next month after two cases of mad cow disease were discovered in Alberta last month.
Scope of Unusual HIV Strain Is Unknown, Experts Say --AIDS experts were uniformly worried yesterday about the report that a strain of highly virulent and drug-resistant HIV had been found in a gay man in New York, although they said the ultimate significance of the discovery is unknown.
AIDS strain's a threat - Bloomberg -- Saying that powerful anti-AIDS drugs may have given people a false sense of security, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday urged New Yorkers to take precautions now that a superstrain of HIV has emerged.
Suit Filed for 500 Guantanamo Detainees --A human-rights lawyers' group has filed a lawsuit seeking the release of more than 500 unnamed terror suspects held by the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
C.I.A. Interrogator's Defense to Cite Bush at Brutality Trial --A contract interrogator for the Central Intelligence Agency, charged with beating an Afghan prisoner who died the next day, is basing his defense in part on statements by Dictator Bush and other officials that called for tough action to prevent terrorist attacks and protect American lives.
Torture, American Style --by Bob Herbert "Mr. [Maher] Arar, a Canadian citizen, was not charged with a crime. But, as Jane Mayer tells us in a compelling and deeply disturbing article in the current issue of The New Yorker, he 'was placed in handcuffs and leg irons by plainclothes officials and transferred to an executive jet.' In an instant, Mr. Arar was swept into an increasingly common nightmare, courtesy of the United States of America... Our henchmen in places like Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Uzbekistan and Jordan are torturing terror suspects at the behest of a nation - the United States - that just went through a national election in which the issue of moral values was supposed to have been decisive."
Prominent Iraqi Judge Is Assassinated --A prominent Iraqi judge was assassinated Saturday by two gunmen on a motorcycle in the southern port city of Basra, police said.
Iraq Car Bomb Explodes in Balad Ruz Hours After Rumsfeld's Visit to Mosul --A car bomb exploded in the Iraqi town of Balad Ruz hours after U.S. Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Mosul, the military said. The blast killed 14 people near a mosque, Agence France-Presse said.
Bombing, Bakery Shooting Kills 23 Iraqis --A vegetable truck rigged with explosives blew up Friday outside a Shiite mosque northeast of Baghdad, and gunmen sprayed automatic fire into a bakery in a Shiite district of the capital in sectarian violence that killed at least 23 people.
Chinook Shot Down, 14 US Dead - Ramadi Clashes Kill 9 More --by Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice... "Resistance forces fired a surface-to-air rocket at an American Chinook helicopter that was hovering at a low altitude over the city of al-Qa'im. The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported seeing the huge burning helicopter plunge to earth and exploding in a blast that rocked the whole city."
Cheney's Weapon of Mass Destruction Located: Halliburton's lost radioactive cargo is found -February 11, 2005 --A Halliburton Co. shipment of radioactive material that landed in New York in October was lost en route to Texas and was not found until Wednesday, when it turned up in Boston. The material, two sources of the element americium, which is used in oil exploration, was found intact at a freight facility after an intense search by federal authorities. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it was not alerted to the missing shipment until Tuesday.
CNN Executive Jordan Quits Over Iraq Remarks --CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan quit on Friday over [factual] remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed in Iraq, possibly by U.S. forces, the television network said.
CIA Debacle in Iran Cost Spies' Lives --Up to 50 Iranian citizens on the U.S.'s payroll were 'rolled up' by local intelligence authorities. Dozens of CIA informants inside Iran were executed or imprisoned in the late 1980s or early 1990s after their secret communications with the agency were uncovered by the government, according to former CIA officials who discussed the episode after aspects of it were disclosed during a recent congressional hearing.
North Korea Escalates Its Nuclear Threat --North Korea on Thursday made its boldest claim that it has atomic weapons and said it would not return to six-nation talks to negotiate an end to its nuclear program.
U.S. Refuses One-On-One North Korea Talks --U.S. Says It Is Regional Issue --Arguing it was burned before in one-on-one talks with North Korea, the United States said Friday it had no interest in resuming direct discussions on Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.
Pentagon Uses BioShield Act to Revive Anthrax Vaccinations --Emergency Provisions Invoked to Revive Use --February 2, 2005 --The Pentagon has taken a major step toward reviving its controversial program of giving anthrax vaccine to service members, invoking emergency provisions of the Project BioShield Act that allow use of unapproved drugs and vaccines. The BioShield Act explicitly allows the FDA to approve drugs and vaccines that have not been fully tested during times of declared emergency.
F. Yoo! --UC Irvine protesters humiliate torture-memo author --by Nick Schou "John C. Yoo, the Berkeley Law School professor and former Justice Department attorney who co-authored the Bush administration’s infamous torture memos, prefaced his Feb. 7 speech at UC Irvine’s University Club with a friendly wave at the roughly 200 protesters outside the glass window to his left... During an understandably brief question-and-answer period, a series of people competed with the exterior noise of protesters by yelling at Yoo. One audience member called him 'a disgrace to western civilization.'"
New Memo Shows Expert Warned of Al-Qaeda in 2001 --A newly declassified memo shows that the Bush regime was warned about the threat posed by al- Qaeda in January 2001, five days after Dictator George W. Bush took office.
New Sept. 11 report shows U.S. blunders --A previously undisclosed report from the U.S. Sept. 11 commission shows the risk of suicide aircraft attacks was known months prior to the 2001 attacks.
Judge Questions Gov't Response to Detainee --Concerned about government secrecy in a terrorism case, a federal judge expressed skepticism Friday at the Bush regime's request to dismiss a lawsuit on behalf of a Virginia man held in Saudi Arabia. The government is bolstering its effort to get the case thrown out by submitting classified information to U.S. District Judge John Bates that is unavailable to lawyers for imprisoned terrorist suspect Ahmed Abu Ali.
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. Email sent to CLG as a follow-up, February 11, 2005: "I consult for a prestigious east coast university and within the past week have been asked to modify systems to accommodate a new university standard replacement for the Social Security number field, which was nine characters long. The replacement field is to be called: 'NATIONAL_ID' The new field size is 20 characters long." --Source wishes to remain anonymous.
'I'm a Complete Intellectual Fraud' --Viet Dinh reveals the truth about himself—and the USA Patriot Act—in UC Irvine Speech --by Nick Schou "Viet Dinh, the Bush-appointed former assistant attorney general and main author of the USA Patriot Act, began his Jan. 11 speech at UC Irvine’s Beckman Center Auditorium by admitting, "I am a complete intellectual fraud." It was supposed to be a joke. But it wasn’t funny, because, as his speech would soon reveal, Dinh is, in fact, an intellectual fraud... Having simultaneously revealed himself as a fear monger and an ass-kisser, Dinh then went on to demonstrate that he also possesses an appalling lack of tact. 'It is a simple strategy,' he said of the Patriot Act, grinning expectantly at the half-Asian crowd. 'If you are a terrorist suspect, we will stick to you like white on rice.'"
NDP accuses Wal-Mart of "economic terrorism" --The federal NDP is calling it "economic terrorism.'' Wal-Mart Canada is closing a unionized store in Quebec and New Democrat MP David Christopherson says the federal government should do something to protect workers from "corporate bullies.''
Two Wal-Mart stores in Gatineau, Que., receive bomb threats; one reopens --Two Wal-Mart outlets in this city received bomb threats on Friday, forcing employees and customers to leave both stores, police said. The threats came a few days after the U.S. retail giant announced plans to close a unionized Quebec store in Saguenay, where employees were trying to negotiate a first contract.
Howard Dean Sets Stage to Lead Democrats --Howard Dean is promising Democrats he will rebuild the state parties, take the offensive against Republicans and do a better job of explaining the party's positions on the issues. The 447-member Democratic National Committee was expected to choose former presidential candidate Dean as its next chairman Saturday, replacing outgoing party chief Terry McAuliffe.
Poll Shows Drop in Bush's Job Approval --The public's confidence in Dictator Bush's job performance and the nation's direction has slipped in the opening weeks of his second term, particularly among people 50 and older, according to an Associated Press poll.
Bush Threatens to Veto Medicare Changes --Dictator Bush, faced with complaints from Republicans as well as Democrats about higher cost estimates for a new pharmaceutical windfall ['Medicare drug benefit'], said Friday he would veto any attempt to change the law. Democrats argue that the 2003 Medicare overhaul needs to give seniors more access to affordable prescriptions by permitting drug importation from Canada and allowing the government to negotiate drug prices. Both practices are opposed by Republicans, led by Bush.
Bush's Class-War Budget --by Paul Krugman "It may sound shrill to describe President [sic] Bush as someone who takes food from the mouths of babes and gives the proceeds to his millionaire friends. Yet his latest budget proposal is top-down class warfare in action. And it offers the Democrats an opportunity, if they're willing to take it. First, the facts: the budget proposal really does take food from the mouths of babes."
Citigroup Is Said to Be Planning 1,000 Job Cuts --Citigroup plans to eliminate about 1,000 jobs at its corporate and investment bank, according to a person close to the company.
Drug Regulators Are Trying to Quash Study, Senator Says --The tension and intrigue surrounding a crucial federal drug advisory committee meeting next week, already high, reached a boil on Friday when Senator Charles E. Grassley charged that top federal drug regulators intended to suppress an important study.
FDA Won't Ban Drug For ADHD --The Food and Drug Administration said yesterday that it does not plan to follow the lead of Canadian regulators who took a drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder off the market because of reports that it has been linked to 20 sudden deaths and a dozen strokes, including some among children. The FDA said it has evaluated the reports on Adderall XR and does not believe the data warrant similar action in the United States.
Health Canada pulls ADHD drug off the market --Health Canada has ordered a drug for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder be taken off the shelves after learning it has been linked to 20 sudden deaths and 12 strokes in the U.S. The drug in question is Adderall XR. [Homeland Suck-urity seizes Canadian pharmaceuticals, as the hypocritical U.S. government claims they are 'unsafe' and 'untested.' Yet, Canada yanked Adderall XR, but Bush's pharma-terrorists are allowed to market the killer drug within the U.S.]
Rare and Aggressive H.I.V. Reported in New York --A rare strain of H.I.V. that is highly resistant to virtually all anti-retroviral drugs and appears to lead to the rapid onset of AIDS was detected in a New York City man last week, city health officials announced on Friday.
NYC Health Officials Find New, Virulent HIV Strain --New York City doctors have discovered a man with a previously unseen strain of HIV that is resistant to three of the four types of anti-viral drugs that combat the disease, and progresses from infection to full-blown AIDS in two or three months, the health department said.
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