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


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

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February 2006 Archives, Page Two

DOD secretly continued intel program 23 Feb 2006 A controversial counter-terrorism program has quietly continued despite being theoretically ended two years ago. The Department of Defense's Total Awareness Information program was halted by lawmakers more than two years ago amid outcries from privacy advocates. However, it was stopped in name only and has quietly continued within the intelligence agency now fending off charges that it has violated the privacy of U.S. citizens, the National journal reported Thursday.

Pentagon Told to Release Guantanamo Transcripts 24 Feb 2006 A federal judge ordered the Pentagon on Thursday to release the identities of hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to The Associated Press, a move which would force the government to break its secrecy and reveal the most comprehensive list yet of those who have been imprisoned there.

Files show military rebuffs FBI Guantanamo worries 23 Feb 2006 FBI agents accused U.S. military personnel at the Guantanamo prison of using illegal "aggressive interrogation tactics" on detainees but senior military officials rejected FBI concerns, documents made public on Thursday showed.

New Documents Provide Further Evidence That Senior Officials Approved Abuse of Prisoners at Guantánamo --FBI Memorandum Details Guantánamo Commander's Repeated Refusal to Abandon Illegal and Ineffective Interrogation Techniques (aclu.org) 23 Feb 2006 "The American Civil Liberties Union today released newly obtained documents showing that senior Defense Department officials approved aggressive interrogation techniques that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents deemed abusive, ineffective and unlawful. ...The memo states that FBI personnel brought their concerns to the attention of senior Defense Department personnel but that their concerns were brushed aside."

Blair condones Amin-style tactics against terrorism, says Archbishop 24 Feb 2006 Tony Blair was accused last night by the Archbishop of York of helping the US to run "Idi Amin-style" tactics in the war on terror. Mr Blair was challenged by Dr John Sentamu after refusing to condemn Guantanamo Bay beyond calling the prison camp run by the US in Cuba an "anomaly".

Memos Detail 74 CIA Landings in Canada 23 Feb 2006 CIA planes have landed in Canada 74 times since the 9/11 terror attacks, underscoring fears that the United States is ferrying suspected terrorists through its neighboring country en route to foreign prisons for torture, according to newly declassified government documents.

Halliburton's Tehran Hideaway --"Halliburton!" Chirped the employee who answered the telephone in Tehran 07 Feb 2005 "Halliburton!" Chirped the employee who answered the telephone in Tehran. Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, part of the "axis of evil"? Yes, the company was a tenant, confirmed the guard in the lobby of a building on Bucharest Street when we dropped in one recent afternoon... In January, Halliburton and the local Oriental Kish Oil won a $308 million contract to drill for gas in Iran's giant South Pars field. "Halliburton and Oriental Kish are the final winners," Akbar Torkan, managing director of Pars Oil & Gas, said on national TV. The statement sparked fury among Iran's hardliners. One newspaper warned, "Footsteps of the Yankees heard moving in on Iran's oil sector."

Gag me with a chainsaw! Pentagon: Ports uproar may pose security risk 24 Feb 2006 The second in command at the Pentagon [Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England] said Thursday that people who publicly oppose allowing a Middle Eastern company to take over management of some U.S. ports could be threatening national security. [LOL! I guess we're not allowed to talk about it, or Al CIAduh will attack!]

UAE Co., White House Had Secret Agreement 22 Feb 2006 The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

President Bush On U.S. Ports: 'People Don't Need To Worry About Security' 23 Feb 2006 President [sic] Bush on Thursday defended his administration's decision to allow a company from an Arab country to operate six major U.S. ports, saying, "People don't need to worry about security." [We just need to worry about *him,* the world's most dangerous terrorist.]

Bush may accept delay in port deal 23 Feb 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush, under fire from Congress for letting a state-owned Arab firm acquire terminal management at six major U.S. ports, would accept a slight delay in implementing the deal, a senior White House adviser said on Thursday.

UAE Gave $100 Million for Katrina Relief 24 Feb 2006 The United Arab Emirates gave the Bush regime $100 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina weeks before a state-owned company there sought U.S. approval for its ports deal.

Dubai 'poised to make £3b buyout bid for P&O ports' 31 Oct 2005 Dubai Ports World, the world's sixth-largest port operator, is set to make a £3 billion bid this week to take over P&O, Britain's biggest ports and ferries group, the Sunday Times News Service reported from London yesterday.

Dubai wants IT business as well as U.S. ports --Dubai is encouraging companies to set up operations in the United Arab Emirates 23 Feb 2006 The United Arab Emirates, which is currently at the center of a controversy over whether outsourcing the management of six U.S. ports to a company based in the Persian Gulf should be allowed, wants to do more than manage ports: It wants Dubai, its capital, to become a major IT outsourcing destination.

Space Adventures Announces $265 Million Global Spaceport Development Project 17 Feb 2006 Space Adventures, Ltd., the world's leading space experiences company, announced today its plans to develop a commercial spaceport in Ras Al-Khaimah (the UAE), with plans to expand globally. The total estimated cost of the global spaceport development project is at least $265 million (USD) and will be funded by various parties, along with shared investments by Space Adventures and the government of Ras Al-Khaimah.

Port Authority: We're suing to stop sale to Dubai firm 23 Feb 2006 The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Thursday it has security concerns over a plan for a Dubai-based firm to take over operations at a Port Newark container terminal and it will file a lawsuit to terminate its lease at the port.

Ports: All 'Bout a Dealer Named Bout --A Russian arms merchant funnels money, guns, and dope through the United Arab Emirates By James Ridgeway 23 Feb 2006 "As for the Customs Service, it inspects as little as 5 percent of the cargo going through the New York ports. This is a dream setup for any arms or dope dealer, and that's exactly what the United Arab Emirates is all about. The ties between its top officials and royal family with the Taliban and Al Qaeda go back at least a decade. The UAE is not only the center of financial dealings in the Persian Gulf, it is switching central for dope and arms dealing."

Dubai Harbored Hijackers? Big Deal, Bush Says By Margaret Carlson 23 Feb 2006 "There is no professional who knows what [Michael] Chertoff is doing in charge of homeland security. The department Bush built from scratch is a disgrace, largely because to Bush all civil servants are bureaucrats and the government a pinata to be hit until all the goodies are disgorged. Oh, Why Not? Plunder Medicare for the drug industry? Done. Give away oil royalties to the energy industry? Done. Let the oil industry write the energy bill in secret? Done. Enrich insurance companies with Health Savings Accounts? Check. Appoint a lawyer to oversee disaster relief and homeland security when there are experts in the field who've devoted their professional lives to the subject? Oh, why not?"

Dubai and Toxic Tank Cars: What are Bush's Priorities? By Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth 23 Feb 2006 "Just look at what [George W.] Bush was already doing in our nation’s capital to prevent the D.C. Council from taking action against the threat of toxic tank cars. A Navy study found that an attack on one chlorine tank car could kill or injure as many as 100,000 people in a half hour in the District. On February 1, 2005, the D.C. Council enacted a law requiring railroads to route such dangerous cargoes around the District. Bush signaled his preference for protecting business interests over protecting the security of the people of Washington by sending his Justice Department to court to overturn the D.C. law. When U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan demolished their arguments in a decision upholding the law, Bush and the railroads appealed, where they succeeded in blocking implementation of the law. By a twist of fate, one of the railroads fighting the D.C. City Council is none other than CSX. Treasury Secretary John Snow, who signed off on this purchase, was formerly the head of CSX before he joined the Cabinet. A year after Snow joined the Cabinet, CSX sold off its overseas port operations to DP World for $1.23 billion. As chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., Secretary Snow presided over the committee’s approval of the ports deal."

Israel claims al Qaeda plans mega-attack 23 Feb 2006 Israeli security officials assess that 2006 is the "target year" set by the global al-Qaeda network to carry out a mega-attack in the country, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.

NSA fights document reclassification 23 Feb 2006 The National Security Archive at George Washington University made headlines Tuesday when it began actively working against federal intelligence agencies that are reclassifying thousands of previously declassified documents. The secret reclassification program, revealed in Tuesday’s New York Times, seeks to remove declassified documents from the public realm.

Vigil protests NSA wiretapping 23 Feb 2006 (Saratoga Springs, NY) More than 30 protesters upset over the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in front of the Broadway post office.

Morrissey Quizzed By FBI 23 Feb 2006 Singer Morrissey was quizzed by the FBI and British intelligence after speaking out against the American and British governments. The Brit is a famous critic of the US-led war in Iraq and has dubbed President [sic] George W Bush a "terrorist" - but he was baffled to be hauled in by authorities.

Peace groups under watch --Authorities keep tabs on non-violent Seattle activists in hunt for al-Qaida 22 Feb 2006 In the post-9/11 world, some unlikely figures have attracted the attention of local police and federal agents: the Raging Grannies, known for musical satire, and Quaker peace activists, known for non-violence. Recently disclosed FBI files show that in Seattle in recent years, federal agents and local police looked for signs of civil disobedience among activists preparing to protest Navy ships arriving for Seafair...

Katrina review suggests bigger role for US military 23 Feb 2006 A new White House report on what went wrong after hurricane Katrina lashed Louisiana and Mississippi in August suggests the U.S. military should play a bigger role in disaster efforts. [Goodbye, Posse Comitatus!]

Military Has Tools to Respond to Domestic Disasters, Report Says 23 Feb 2006 The federal response to Hurricane Katrina demonstrated that the Defense Department is one of the only federal departments capable of playing a critical role in the nation's response to catastrophic events, a government report released today stated.

The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned (whitehouse.gov) 23 Feb 2006 [Click here for full .pdf version of report.]

Iraq Imposes Daytime Curfew 23 Feb 2006 Gunmen killed dozens of civilians Thursday and dumped their bodies in a ditch, as the government [US-installed dictatorship] ordered a tough daytime curfew of Baghdad and three provinces to stem the sectarian violence that has left at least 114 dead since the bombing of a Shiite shrine.

Iraq on brink as sectarian violence kills 130 23 Feb 2006 Sectarian violence killed more than 130 people across Iraq and left dozens of mosques damaged or in ruins as the United States appealed on Thursday to Sunnis and Shi'ites to step back from the brink of civil war.

US military denies Iraq on brink of civil war 23 Feb 2006 The US military rejected the idea that a civil war is brewing in Iraq, saying it had confirmed only seven major attacks on mosques across the country.

Roadside bomb kills three U.S. soldiers in Iraq 23 Feb 2006 Three U.S. soldiers were killed near the Iraqi town of Balad on Wednesday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

Leading female Arab TV reporter killed with crew 23 Feb 2006 reporter famed for the courage of her work on the frontline was among the victims of the country's latest paroxysm of violence.

Exit without a strategy --The popular response to Iraq's latest atrocities has been to blame the occupation, not rival sects By Sami Ramadani 24 Feb 2006 "Iraq is awash with rumours about the collusion of the occupation forces and their Iraqi clients with sectarian attacks and death squads: the US is widely seen as fostering sectarian division to prevent the emergence of a united national resistance. Evidence of their involvement in Wednesday's anti-Sunni reprisals was picked up in the Times, which reported that after an armed attack on the al-Quds Sunni mosque in Baghdad the gunmen climbed back into six cars and were ushered from the scene by cheering soldiers of the US-controlled Iraqi National Guard. Two years ago I argued in these pages that the US aim of installing a client pro-US regime in Baghdad risked plunging the country into civil war - but not a war of Arabs against Kurds or Sunnis against Shias, rather a war between a US-backed minority (of all sects and nationalities) against the majority of the Iraqi people. That is where Iraq is heading." [A must read]

Superbug hits Canadian soldiers injured in suicide bombing 23 Feb 2006 The recovery of three Canadians wounded last month in Afghanistan has been slowed by battlefield bacteria infecting American troops in Iraq, CBC News has learned.

Mo. funeral-protest bill sent to governor 23 Feb 2006 The Missouri House this week approved a bill banning protests near funerals an hour before to an hour after a service, sending the measure to the governor. The legislation was a response to a recent protest at the St. Joseph funeral of a soldier killed in Iraq.

Attorneys want Libby charges thrown out --They say prosecutor in CIA leak case doesn't have proper authority 23 Feb 2006 Lawyers for Vice President Cheney’s former top aide asked a federal judge Thursday to dismiss his indictment because the special prosecutor in the CIA leak case lacked authority [?!?] to bring the charges.

Mexico leftist holds lead in new presidential poll 23 Feb 2006 Leftist candidate and former Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a lead of between 5 and 9 points over his closest rivals for the presidential election in July, new polls showed on Wednesday.

Watchdog Group Questions 2004 Fla. Vote 23 Feb 2006 An examination of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machine records from the 2004 election found possible tampering and tens of thousands of malfunctions and errors, a watchdog group [BlackBoxVoting.org] said Thursday.

Federal Reserve survey: slowest increase in Americans' net worth in over a decade 23 Feb 2006 Americans' net worth grew between 2001 and 2004, but not nearly as strongly as it did between 1998 and 2001, according to the Federal Reserve's triennial Survey of Consumer Finances released Thursday. The big reason: while household assets increased, debts – particularly mortgage debt -- rose considerably more.

U.S. Customs Seizing More Seniors' Medicines --Taxpayer-funded raids subsidize pharma-terrorists' windfall profits 23 Feb 2006 The U.S. government apparently is stepping up seizures of cheap drugs ordered by Americans — mainly seniors — from abroad, Canadian pharmacies say... "It's despicable," said Samuel Robert Greenberg, a Laguna Niguel retiree who lost a package of anti-cholesterol pills and glaucoma eyedrops late last month. "They are playing with people's lives." Greenberg said such seizures were a waste of government resources. "Forget about the heroin," Greenberg said. "They are going to stop the Lipitor."

New Orleans' Uninsured Get Primitive Care 23 Feb 2006 Inside their plastic and canvas walls, the doctors can only offer the most rudimentary care: They can X-ray bones, but not set them. They can draw blood and diagnose an ailment, but not treat it beyond prescribing pills. And with no ER and no capacity to operate, they can't do much more than stabilize trauma patients before sending them by ambulance elsewhere, often far away. These tents are all that remain of Charity Hospital, the 270-year-old institution which for generations was the medical epicenter of the city's uninsured...

US nuclear industry wants no Yucca waste dump limit 23 Feb 2006 The Bush administration should remove federal limits on the amount of nuclear waste that could be stored at a proposed waste dump in the Nevada desert, U.S. nuclear industry lobbyists said on Thursday.

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Press Can Be Prosecuted for Having Secret Files, U.S. Says 22 Feb 2006 The Bush regime said that journalists can be prosecuted under current espionage laws for receiving and publishing classified information but that such a step "would raise legitimate and serious issues and would not be undertaken lightly," according to a court filing made public this week.

CBS Correspondent Killed Story At Pentagon's Request 21 Feb 2006 CBS Pentagon correspondent David Martin acknowledged Monday that he killed a report about how the U.S. was dealing with Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq after a senior military officer complained that it contained information useful to the enemy. [?!?] Martin further acknowledged that he had set aside other stories at the request of the Pentagon "a number of times over the years, and each time it's turned out that going with the story wouldn't have caused any harm."

MPs recall Straw as air traffic controllers confirm 200 CIA flights --Revelations 'fly in face' of government answers --Ministers criticised over attitude to human rights 23 Feb 2006 MPs will today chastise ministers over their stance on the US practice of "extraordinary rendition" amid the first official admission that 200 suspect CIA flights had used British airspace.

More than six dozen CIA-linked landings in Canada: declassified memos 22 Feb 2006 Newly declassified memos show the number of Canadian landings by planes tied to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency far exceeds previously known figures... One note, stamped secret, says 20 planes with alleged CIA ties have made 74 flights to Canada since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Is Now Acknowledged 22 Feb 2006 The military commander responsible for the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, confirmed Tuesday that officials there last month turned to more aggressive methods to deter prisoners who were carrying out long-term hunger strikes to protest their incarceration. The commander, Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, head of the United States Southern Command, said soldiers at Guantánamo began strapping some of the detainees into "restraint chairs" to force-feed them and isolate them from one another...

Straw says US Guantanamo Bay is 'no gulag' 21 Feb 2006 Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has said that the American government has no intention of maintaining a permanent Soviet-style "gulag" at Guantanamo Bay. His comments come a week after a United Nations report called for the closure of the detention centre at the US military base in Cuba.

America's Shame Torture in the Name of Freedom (Der Spiegel) 20 Feb 2006 "The new pictures from Abu Ghraib provide the most recent evidence: America's moral bank account is empty -- and it has lost the image wars. They are photos that make your blood run cold. They take your breath away. They turn your stomach. They are photos that make you wonder what kinds of human beings would do these things to other human beings. They trigger anger, disgust and shame... America has forfeited its aura as a global power. It will be a long time before the United States will be able once again to claim moral superiority. America has inadvertently, but consistently, inflamed the clash of cultures."

Mosque Attack Pushes Iraq Toward Civil War 22 Feb 2006 Insurgents posing as police [Yeah, right!] destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines Wednesday, setting off an unprecedented spasm of sectarian violence. Angry crowds thronged the streets, militiamen attacked Sunni mosques, and at least 19 people were killed.

Battle of the mosques brings Iraq to the brink of civil war 23 Feb 2006 The revenge attacks started within minutes of the devastating dawn blast that wrecked the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest Shia shrines in Iraq.

Iraq erupts in violence after shrine bombing 22 Feb 2006 Shiite Muslims attacked dozens of Sunni mosques across Iraq on Wednesday in retaliation for the devastating bombing of one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, the Askariya shrine in Samarra.

Venezuela debates home guard bill 22 Feb 2006 Venezuela says it is moving to a strategy of guerrilla warfare Venezuelan lawmakers are to begin debating proposals which would include compulsory service in the home guard. Army spokesman Gen Alberto Mueller Rojas told the BBC that the country needed a civilian reserve big enough to deter any would-be aggressors. [Good idea. - President Chavez needs to protect himself from the Bush regime.]

Al Qaeda answers CIA's hiring call [No Sh*t! It's the same personnel director for both!] 22 Feb 2006 As many as 40 possible terrorists may have attempted to infiltrate U.S. intelligence agencies in recent months, CIA expert Barry Royden reported at a national counterintelligence conference in March. ...Though the agencies caught the potential spies at the job application stage, post-Sept. 11 pressures to quickly boost staffing make it increasingly likely that a terrorist could sneak into the intelligence community's ranks.

Al Qaeda's Road Paved With Gold --Secret Shipments Traced Through a Lax System In United Arab Emirates 17 Feb 2002 Dubai, United Arab Emirates --Just as the United States and its allies swept toward Afghanistan's main cities last autumn, the ruling Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network sent waves of couriers with bars of gold and bundles of dollars across the porous border into Pakistan... Dubai is also one of the region's most open banking centers and is the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates, one of three countries that maintained diplomatic relations with the Taliban until shortly after Sept. 11. Sitting at a strategic crossroad of the Persian Gulf, South Asia and Africa, Dubai has long been a financial hub for Islamic militant groups. Much of the $500,000 used to fund the Sept. 11 attacks came through Dubai, investigators believe. [Hurry and read the article, before the PentaPost scrubs it from its archives. --LRP]

UAE royals, bin Laden's saviours 15 Mar 2004 The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday. Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said. The 10-member bipartisan commission is investigating the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Bush to ensure sale of US ports to Dubai 23 Feb 2006 President [sic] George Bush yesterday promised to use his power of veto for the first time to reject any bill that prevents a Dubai company from taking over the management of six important American ports.

Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval 22 Feb 2006 President [sic] Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday.

Bush Threatens Veto Against Bid to Stop Port Deal 22 Feb 2006 President [sic] Bush yesterday strongly defended an Arab company's attempt to take over the operation of seaports in Baltimore and five other cities, threatening a veto if Congress tries to kill a deal his administration has blessed.

Congressional delegation demands stop to ports deal 22 Feb 2006 Members of Louisiana's congressional delegation are vowing to fight the pending sale of two leases at the Port of New Orleans to a company from the United Arab Emirates.

DeLay says Bush making mistake on port sale 23 Feb 2006 U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay said Wednesday that President [sic] Bush is making a big mistake backing a sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. The former Republican majority leader said the administration's approval of the deal is "pretty outrageous."

L.A.'s Counter-Terrorism Team May Get Permanent Status 22 Feb 206 Warning that Los Angeles remains a prime target for terrorists, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced an initiative Thursday to permanently fund expanded counter-terrorism and disaster response units in the police and fire departments. The proposal would assign four LAPD anti-terrorism officers to a new "intelligence fusion center," [LOL!] to be staffed by federal, state and local law enforcement officers in Norwalk in the next few weeks, according to Police Chief William J. Bratton.

Company develops shocking shotgun shell 22 Feb 2006 Stun-gun maker Taser International of Scottsdale, Ariz., is developing a shotgun shell that will be far more powerful than current ones, a report said.

Court Documents: Hospital Gave Lethal Injections to Patients During Hurricane Katrina (LifeSiteNews.com) 22 Feb 2006 "Just after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans rumors circulated that at least one hospital had euthanized patients... In a February 16 report, NPR says it has reviewed secret court documents related to the investigation and not yet released to the public. The documents, says NPR 'reveal chilling details about events at Memorial hospital in the chaotic days following the storm, including hospital administrators who saw a doctor filling syringes with painkillers and heard plans to give patients lethal doses...' Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights organization that leads the disability community's opposition to legalized assisted suicide, euthanasia and other forms of medical killing, points to a section of the NPR report suggesting the staff wanted to eliminate the patients so they could themselves escape."

Two Courts Reject Ban on Abortion Procedure --Appeals panels find the law unconstitutional. New faces on the high court may ultimately help restore the prohibition, experts say. 22 Feb 2006 Two federal appeals courts on opposite coasts Tuesday declared Congress' ban on a controversial late-term abortion procedure unconstitutional — making it a virtual certainty that newly confirmed Justice Samuel A. Alito will have the opportunity to rule on the issue in the future.

S. Dakota legislature passes abortion ban 22 Feb 2006 South Dakota became the first U.S. state to pass a law banning abortion in virtually all cases, with the intention of forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider its 1973 decision legalizing the procedure.

Just as Bush and his pharma-terrorists planned: Reports: Drug prices rise under US Medicare plan 21 Feb 2006 Prices for some of the most popular medicines used by seniors have jumped an average of 4 percent under the new Medicare drug benefit since it began last month, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Bush's budget at odds with new emphasis on alternative energy 21 Feb 2006 President [sic] Bush's own budget shows that programs to increase the energy efficiency of buildings, appliances and vehicles - which their advocates say represent the only way to reduce energy demand in the short run - are being cut back sharply.

Is The GOP "Shock-The-Vote Gang" Planning to Heist California? By RJ Eskow 21 Feb 2006 "The usual suspects are slipping into the Golden State. ...[T]he GOP political 'family' is hard at work. California's appointed (as opposed to elected) Republican Secretary of State has recertified Diebold's voting machines, despite a damning report. Schwarzenegger is hiring a 'steely' Karl Rove insider turned Dick Cheney capo, along with other national GOP campaign pols, to run his re-election campaign. The 'shock-the-vote' gang is ready to roll into the Golden State with their patented blend of dishonest spin, old-fashioned dirty tricks - and easy-to-rig voting machines that are being manufactured by Republicans and purchased by other Republicans."

Pa. Governor to Veto Voter ID Bill 21 Feb 2006 Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday he'll veto a bill that would require voters to show identification at the polls because he believes such a mandate is unconstitutional and would disenfranchise some of the state's most vulnerable residents. People including nursing home residents and poorer citizens might not have proper ID and thus could lose their right to vote under the legislation, Rendell said.

EU approves bird flu vaccinations 23 February 2006 A European Union veterinary expert panel has approved limited preventative [?!?] bird flu vaccination plans presented by France and the Netherlands.

Bird flu scare: Navapur to be sealed off 23 Feb 2006 (India) Officials will begin sealing off the entire town of Navapur, ground zero for the outbreak of bird flu. No one will be allowed in or out of Navapur, which has a population of nearly 30,000.

Bird flu moving freely from Asia to Europe and Africa 23 Feb 2006 Indonesia said a 27-year-old woman died of bird flu as it prepared to scour the capital for infected poultry, while Malaysia and India expanded the slaughter of chickens to try to contain the H5N1 virus.

'Europe has no hope of eradicating bird flu' 23 Feb 2006 Europe has "no hope of eradicating" the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus in the foreseeable future, now that there are infected wild birds across the European Union, a senior bird flu expert said yesterday.

Second duck in France found to have H5N1 bird flu 23 Feb 2006 France, the European Union's biggest poultry producer, has confirmed that a second wild duck on its territory has been found to have the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

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Report says 98 dead in US custody in Iraq, Afghanistan 22 Feb 2006 Nearly 100 prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002, the Human Rights First organisation has said on BBC television. At least 98 deaths occurred, with at least 34 of them suspected or confirmed homicides -- deliberate or reckless killing -- according to the group of US lawyers who will publish the report. Their dossier claims that 11 more deaths are deemed suspicious and that between eight and 12 prisoners were tortured to death.

Religious charities accuse US of interfering in their work 22 Feb 2006 Islamic charities in Doha yesterday accused the United States and other Gulf governments of meddling in their activities and preventing them from delivering aid to disaster-hit areas.

Horrors of Camp Delta are exposed by British victims 22 Feb 2006 An award-winning film director who reconstructed scenes of torture and abuse at Guantanamo Bay has called for the immediate closure of the US-run camp. The White House appears oblivious to the growing international outcry in recent weeks about conditions in Guantanamo Bay.

UK police held Guantanamo actors at airport 21 Feb 2006 The actors who star in movie The Road to Guantanamo were questioned by police at Luton airport under anti[pro]-terrorism legislation, it has emerged. The men, who play British inmates at the detention camp, were returning from the Berlin Film Festival where the movie won a Silver Bear award. One of the actors, Rizwan Ahmed, said a police officer asked him if he intended to make any more "political" films.

Germans investigate CIA kidnap of innocent citizen 22 Feb 2006 Munich state prosecutors have launched an investigation to determine whether Germany secretly helped the CIA in the abduction of one of its citizens who was held and tortured in a US "renditions" jail in Afghanistan after being mistaken for a terrorist suspect.

CIA abductee points to German link 21 Feb 2006 A German abducted by the CIA in late 2003 believes he has identified a man in a police line-up as a native German speaker who was present at his interrogation in an Afghan jail, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

U.S. Still Planting Stories in Iraq Media 21 Feb 2006 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was mistaken when he said last week that the U.S. military had stopped the controversial practice of paying to plant stories in the Iraqi news media, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday. [Note: Bush's sycophants at the PentaPost have *already* changed their own headline.]

Blast Destroys Dome of Shiite Shrine 22 Feb 2006 A large explosion destroyed the golden dome of one of the country's most famous Shiite religious shrines in Samarra early Wednesday, the U.S. military said. Police believed there were victims buried under the debris but had no immediate casualty figures.

Iraq: Bombing outside primary school, 2 boys dead 22 Feb 2006 A roadside bomb exploded Wednesday near a primary school in a mostly Shiite area in southern Iraq, killing two boys and injuring four others, police said.

Car Bomb in Iraq Kills 22, Injures 28 22 Feb 2006 A car bomb exploded Tuesday on a street packed with shoppers in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing 22 people and wounding 28, police said.

US accused of blowing chance for Iran deal 22 Feb 2006 IRAN offered in May 2003 to open talks with the US on everything from its nuclear program to its support for groups Washington regards as terrorist, but the Bush Administration turned it down, a former Administration official says.

Neocon architect says: 'Pull it down' 21 Feb 2006 Neoconservativism has failed the United States and needs to be replaced by a more realistic foreign policy agenda, according to one of its prime architects, Francis Fukuyama, who wrote the best-selling book 'The End of History' and was a member of the neoconservative project, now says that, both as a political symbol and a body of thought, it has "evolved into something I can no longer support".

Would Someone Please Interfere in Our Elections? Superpower as Global Dependent By Paul Craig Roberts "President [sic] Bush's Middle East policy is without rhyme or reason... Bush's invasion of Iraq turned a country with a secular government that suppressed terrorism over to Shia Islamists allied with Iran. Bush's invasion of Afghanistan turned the country back to warlordism from the unified polity that the Taliban were achieving and revitalized the drug trade that helps to finance terrorism. Bush's interference in the Palestinian election brought Hamas to office. Bush's interference in Egyptian elections achieved gains for the Muslim Brotherhood. Bush's interference in the Pakistani elections put half the country into Islamic hands..."

Why there WILL be a war on Iran: Bush's daddy will pay for it 20 Feb 2006 By Jane Stillwater "Now wait a minute. We taxpayers are already spending $118,000.00 a MINUTE to fund the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. Why would George W. Bush want to start a war on Iran? That's going to cost us taxpayers even MORE money. That's going to cost us an arm and a leg. Bush doesn't care. Why should he care? It's not his money."

Dick Cheney - A Big Bowl of Bad (must see video clip) CBS/Letterman, 20 Feb 2006

Bush Would Veto Any Bill Halting Dubai Port Deal 22 Feb 2006 Dictator Bush, trying to put down a rapidly escalating rebellion among leaders of his own party, said Tuesday that he would veto any legislation blocking a deal for a state-owned company in Dubai to take over the management of port terminals in New York, Miami, Baltimore and other major American cities. [Bush bin Laden is making sure that conditions are favorable for his next Blue State terror attack.]

House Democrat says White House nixed NSA briefing 21 Feb 2006 A top intelligence official was prepared to brief the House of Representatives intelligence committee about President [sic] George W. Bush's domestic spying program last December but was stopped by White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, a leading House Democrat said on Tuesday.

CIA withdraws 55,000 pages from open view 22 Feb 2006 The CIA has spent the last seven years covertly sifting through millions of pages of decades-old public archives and removing documents that the agency deems sensitive or embarrassing.

U.S. Charges 3 Men in Ohio With Planning Attacks in Iraq 21 Feb 2006 A federal grand jury indicted three Ohio men on terrorism charges alleging they planned attacks to kill U.S. and coalition [occupation] military personnel in Iraq and other countries. One of the men, a citizen of both the U.S. and Jordan, is also accused of threatening to kill or injure pResident Bush, according to the indictment released Tuesday. [Why aren't 3 men in Washington (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld) charged with planning (and executing) attacks in Iraq?]

Security Pro: Skype Can Foil NSA Wiretappers By Preston Gralla 21 Feb 2006 "If you're worried about the Feds snooping on your phone calls, there may be an easy solution: Use Skype VoIP software. Top security expert Bruce Schneier says that Skype encryption can foil the NSA wiretappers."

Could Skype's Encrypted Calls Kill Wiretaps? 16 Feb 2006 Even as the U.S. government is embroiled in a debate over the legality of wiretapping, the fastest-growing technology for Internet calls appears to have the potential to make eavesdropping a thing of the past.

There is no war on terrorism By Jack Duggan "Of all four missing planes' passenger manifests [from 9/11], not one Middle Easterner was on any of them. A jihadist who is bravely going to his death for the sake of his beliefs in Allah and Islam is a martyr and wants the whole world to know it... Yet not one of the 'terrorists' the American government insists were on the aircraft used their real names or were listed on the passenger lists. At least seven of the nineteen 'hijackers' are still alive... The weekend before the 9/11 WTC demolition, all power was shut down to install 'computer cables.' No one was allowed inside and all security cameras and alarms had no power for 30 hours. Computer cables don't connect with building electricity, so the need to turn off and close both towers to do so is indicative of another motive, like planting charges without alarms and video surveillance. Marvin Bush, brother to President [sic] George and Jeb, was a principal in Securacom, which was in charge of security for the World Trade Center."

Bush's Mysterious 'New Programs' By Nat Parry 21 Feb 2006 "...[T]here was that curious development in January when the Army Corps of Engineers awarded Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root a $385 million contract to construct detention centers somewhere in the United States, to deal with 'an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs,' KBR said... There also was another little-noticed item posted at the U.S. Army Web site, about the Pentagon’s Civilian Inmate Labor Program. This program 'provides Army policy and guidance for establishing civilian inmate labor programs and civilian prison camps on Army installations.'"

Harvard President Summers Quits, Ends Faculty Clashes 21 Feb 2006 Harvard University President [Reichwing whackjob] Lawrence H. Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary, resigned as head of the oldest higher education institution in the U.S. after a five- year tenure marked by clashes with professors.

Pelosi Wants Ethics Probe of Deficit Bill 17 Feb 2006 House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi demanded an ethics investigation Thursday into the passage of deficit-reduction legislation that pResident Bush recently signed, a new twist in an episode of Capitol intrigue that blends election-year politics and questions of constitutional law. "Republican leaders chose to ignore House rules, precedent and even the Constitution itself" in sending the politically charged measure to the White House, said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Dover, Pa., School Board to Pay $1M 22 Feb 2006 The Dover Area School Board unanimously agreed Tuesday to pay $1 million in legal fees to the plaintiffs who successfully sued to end the policy of presenting "intelligent design" as an alternative to evolution.

Supreme Court Reopens Abortion Issue on Alito's First Day 21 Feb 2006 The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear a challenge to a federal law outlawing an abortion procedure, reopening the contentious issue on Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s first day on the bench.

Supreme Court to Consider Law Banning 'Late-Term' Abortions 21 Feb 2006 The Supreme Court, stocked with two new conservative justices, agreed today to consider the constitutionality of the federal law banning "late-term" abortions.

Bush Admits to 'Mixed Signals' Regarding Laboratory on Renewable Energy 22 Feb 2006 Dictator Bush acknowledged on Tuesday that his administration had sent "mixed signals" to the Department of Energy's primary renewable energy laboratory here, where government budget cuts forced the layoff of 32 employees who were then hastily reinstated just before Mr. Bush's visit.

Photo: 21 Feb 2006 Bush the Moron knocks over some lab samples as he receives a tour of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on Tuesday.

Proposals Aimed At High Cost of Electricity 21 Feb 2006 Attorney General Richard Blumenthal unveiled sweeping proposals to lower Connecticut’s skyrocketing electricity costs, including a windfall profits tax on generators and a state authority to purchase power, and finance, build, buy and operate power plants. Richard Blumenthal said Connecticut's electric markets are in a crisis and he blames what he calls several failed federal policies.

Ark. Can't Sue Okla. Over Water Pollution 22 Feb 2006 The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by Arkansas to block Oklahoma from taking legal action against several poultry companies accused of polluting a regional watershed.

Mystery blob eating downtown Los Angeles 21 Feb 2006 A mysterious black blob attacked downtown Los Angeles on Monday with a tar-like goo that oozed from manholes, buckled a street and unmoored a Raymond Chandler-era brick building, firefighters said. About 200 residents were forced to flee as a hazardous materials team and dozens of firefighters worked throughout the day to identify what was first deemed "a black tarry substance" and later morphed into a "watery mud." While outside temperatures struggled to break 60, sidewalks in the vicinity steamed at 103 degrees, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Ron Myers said... Firefighters returned at 1 p.m. to find a Slimer-like ooze lurking beneath central Los Angeles.

Vaccination: Gravy Train to Lifelong Sickness By Sepp Hasslberger 21 Feb 2006 "Evelyn Pringle, investigative writer on health matters, has pulled together in a comprehensive review what we know about the widespread health damage caused by vaccines..."

Deadly Bird Flu Hits Seventh EU Nation 21 Feb 2006 Tests confirmed H5N1 in three birds found dead in Hungary, making the country the seventh EU nation with an outbreak of the deadly strain of bird flu, officials said Tuesday.

Germany fears bird flu is getting out of control 21 Feb 2006 Germany today reported 22 new cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, as politicians gave warning that the virus was getting out of control.

EU weighs immediate flu jab programme 21 Feb 2006 European veterinary experts have met in Brussels to decide whether to grant controversial requests from France and the Netherlands to begin an immediate programme of "preventive vaccination" against avian flu.

Tower Ravens Caged Over Bird Flu Threat 21 Feb 2006 The ravens at the Tower of London have been moved indoors to protect them from the threat of bird flu, the man in charge of the birds said Monday. According to legend, if the ravens leave the 11th century fortress on the River Thames, its White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall.

'Monster' Cat In China Weighs 33 Pounds 21 Feb 2006 A 33-pound cat in Qingdao, China, is being described as a "feline monster" because of its 31-inch waist and large size, according to a report... The cat's owner said it has no interest in eating fish but prefers to eat six pounds of chicken and pork each day.

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U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review 21 Feb 2006 In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years, including some already published by the State Department and others photocopied years ago by private historians... "The stuff they pulled should never have been removed," intelligence historian, Matthew M. Aid, said. "Some of it is mundane, and some of it is outright ridiculous."

US removing documents from public access: report 20 Feb 2006 U.S. intelligence agencies have been secretly removing from public access at the National Archives thousands of historical documents that were available for years, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Emergency war supplemental hides millions for NSA facilities 20 Feb 2006 Buried in last week's $72.4 billion emergency supplemental appropriation bill for the war on terror is nearly half a billion dollars worth of military construction... The supplemental also includes $35 million new money for the expansion of the National Security Agency's top secret listening post at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, England, and authority to spend $700 million appropriated in previous years for construction or expansion of NSA facilities in Augusta, Ga., and Kunia, Hawaii.

Three journalists face prison for revealing existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe 10 Feb 2006 Reporters Without Borders has appealed to the Swiss justice and defence ministers to drop complaints against three journalists who revealed the existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe.

US military planes criss-cross Europe using bogus call sign 19 Feb 2006 The American military have been operating flights across Europe using a call sign assigned to a civilian airline that they have no legal right to use. Not only is the call sign bogus — according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) — so, it appears, are some of the aircraft details the Americans have filed with the air traffic control authorities. In at least one case, a plane identified with the CIA practice of "extraordinary rendition" — [illegally] transporting 'terrorist' suspects — left a US air base just after the arrival of an aircraft using the bogus call sign.

Inquiry into alleged CIA flight over Belgium 20 Feb 2006 The Belgian government is investigating claims a secret CIA flight carrying a detainee made a stopover at the Deurne Airport in Antwerp.

Germans Looking Into Complicity in Seizure by U.S. 21 Feb 2006 For more than a year, the German government has criticized the United States for its role in the abduction of a German man who was taken to an American prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he said he was held and tortured for five months after being mistaken for a terrorism suspect. German officials said they knew nothing about the man's abduction and have repeatedly pressed Washington for information about the case... But on Monday in Neu-Ulm near Munich, the police and prosecutors opened an investigation into whether Germany served as a silent partner of the United States in the abduction of the man, Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Arab descent who was arrested Dec. 31, 2003, in Macedonia before being flown to the Kabul prison.

NZ investigator stands by scathing Guantanamo Bay report 20 Feb 2006 A New Zealand expert on physical and mental health has stood by findings that US detention camp Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, should be shut down.

Close Guantanamo Bay (The Globe and Mail) 20 Feb 2006 "Washington has rejected all criticism, whether from friends or foes, of its treatment of suspected terrorists held without charges or trial at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latest condemnation of a misguided policy that makes a mockery of the rule of law comes in a damning United Nations report prepared by a panel of five respected human-rights experts."

U.S. Envoy Defends Guantanamo Conditions 21 Feb 2006 The top U.S. envoy for public diplomacy [Bush whore, Karen Hughes] on Monday defended the conditions at the prison at Guantanamo Bay and said the detainees were not criminals, but warriors.

Trial may shed light on CIA's detainee tactics 20 Feb 2006 In a case that could shed light on CIA interrogation practices, a veteran Miami lawyer will prosecute the government's case against an ex-CIA worker accused in the beating death of an Afghan detainee.

Iraqis beaten by British troops to face murder charge 20 Feb 2006 Two Iraqis filmed being beaten by British troops are set to be charged with attempted murder.

24 killed in attacks across Iraq 20 Feb 2006 At least 24 people, including an American soldier, were killed by bombings in Baghdad and elsewhere.

U.S. Church Alliance Denounces Iraq War 18 Feb 2006 A coalition of American churches sharply denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq on Saturday, accusing Washington of "raining down terror" and apologizing to other nations for "the violence, degradation and poverty our nation has sown."

Australia to send 200 more troops to Afghanistan 20 Feb 2006 Australia will almost double its troop numbers in Afghanistan by sending a 200-member security and reconstruction team to the country's volatile south, Prime Minister John Howard said on Tuesday.

Backlash at jailing of historian who denied Holocaust 21 Feb 2006 David Irving, the far-right British historian [sic], sat stunned and open-mouthed yesterday when an Austrian court found him guilty of denying the Holocaust and sentenced him to three years in jail. But in Britain there was dismay at a verdict that could turn Irving into a right-wing martyr.

Oil prices surge on fresh wave of Nigerian sabotage [corpora-terrorists' greed] 21 Feb 2006 Oil prices surged in London yesterday after Nigerian militants blew up a pipeline in the latest act of sabotage against the world's eighth largest exporter.

DP World Executive Nominated For Prestigious US Govt Position (DP World) 24 Jan 2006 "Global ports operator DP World today welcomed news that one of its senior executives, Dave Sanborn, has been nominated by US President [sic] George W. Bush to serve as Maritime Administrator a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation and Cabinet Member. The White House has issued a statement from Washington DC announcing the nomination. The confirmation process will begin in February."

Nominations and Withdrawal Sent to the Senate (whitehouse.gov) 18 Jan 2006 "David C. Sanborn, of Virginia [of UAE's DP World], to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration..."

N.J. Senator Latest to Assail Port Sale 20 Feb 2006 Democratic senators assailed an Arab company's [Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates] takeover of operations at six major American ports and said Monday that pResident Bush should stop the deal to better protect the U.S. from terrorists. "We wouldn't turn over our customs service or our border patrol to a foreign government," New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said during a news conference. "We shouldn't turn over the ports of the United States, either."

Congress: Halliburton's war contracts could have helped Katrina victims 20 Feb 2006 A new congressional report on the failed emergency response to Hurricane Katrina concludes that the victims could have benefited from Halliburton's most-scandalous contract in Iraq. The report quotes Bill Carwile of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who concludes that future disaster response programs should involve "much more robust private sector partnerships," including Halliburton's LOGCAP contract with the Army Corps of Engineers.

New Orleans newspaper wins NY journalism award 20 Feb 2006 New Orleans' Times-Picayune newspaper won a prestigious George Polk award in journalism for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina while its staff was displaced and its offices flooded, Long Island University announced on Monday. When the New Orleans' newspaper operations resumed four days after the August 29 storm, its first headline read: "HELP US, PLEASE," the university said.

Google rips Bush administration's search request 17 Feb 2006 Google called the Bush regime's request for data on Web searches as "so uninformed as to be nonsensical" [Just like Bush himself!] in papers filed in San Jose federal court Friday, arguing that turning over the information would expose its trade secrets and violate the privacy of its users.

Ex-Malasian Leader Says He Paid Abramoff 20 Feb 2006 Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to organize his 2002 meeting with pResident Bush, but denied the money came from the Malaysian government.

Bush Would Export Nuclear Fuel, Power Plants to Developing Nations 20 Feb 2006 [Deadly] Nuclear power is the primary focus of his plan to wean the United States off fossil fuels, Dictator George W. Bush said in his radio address to the nation on Saturday. The Bush regime's Fiscal Year 2007 budget includes $250 million to launch this plan as part of the administration's overall $632 million request for the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology to spend on nuclear technology research, development, and infrastructure. [Where is the nuclear waste going to be stored?]

Jobs cut at energy lab restored before Bush visit 20 Feb 2006 The Energy Department said it has come up with $5 million to immediately restore jobs cut at a renewable energy laboratory Dictator George W. Bush will visit on Tuesday, avoiding a potentially embarrassing moment as Bush promotes his energy 'plan.'

'Open skies' air treaty threat --Draft pact curbs UK power to fight global warming --Restricting night flights would need US approval 20 Feb 2006 Britain could lose its ability to impose environmental taxes, restrictions and safeguards on airlines under a draft treaty between the EU and US which curtails the power of national governments. The draft treaty, meant to liberalise aviation, includes a little noticed clause requiring EU states to reach agreement with each other and with the US before taking measures to tackle noise or pollution from airlines.

States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes 21 Feb 2006 In a rare display of unanimity that cuts across partisan and geographic lines, lawmakers in virtually every statehouse across the country are advancing bills and constitutional amendments to limit use of the government's power of eminent domain to seize private property for economic development purposes.

Mega barf alert! FDA Is Urged to Ban Carbon-Monoxide-Treated Meat 20 Feb 2006 The meat industry has quietly begun to spike meat packages with carbon monoxide. The gas gives meat a bright pink color that lasts weeks. The hope is that it will save the industry much of the $1 billion it says it loses annually from having to discount or discard meat...

Deadly viruses mutating to infect humans at rate never seen before 21 Feb 2006 At least one new disease is jumping the species barrier from animals to human beings every year, exposing people to emerging germs at a rate that may be unprecedented. [The Bush bioterror team is working *overtime.*]

India quarantines six as bird flu spreads faster 20 Feb 2006 India quarantined six people in hospital on Monday and began a door-to-door search for anyone with fever as authorities scrambled to contain the country's first outbreak of bird flu.

Study: Containment can't stop flu pandemic 20 Feb 2006 Scientists say they've concluded containment might buy time, but is not enough to stop a flu pandemic. Through mathematical modeling, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and Seattle's University of Washington show flu outbreaks are likely to emerge in multiple locations and containment of all outbreaks is improbable.

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Torture flights landed in UK, admit air controllers 19 Feb 2006 CIA jets suspected of flying terrorist suspects to secret prisons for torture have landed at commercial British airports and received help from UK air traffic control, the authorities have admitted for the first time. National Air Traffic Services (Nats) confirmed that three planes with CIA tail numbers have travelled through Britain "on a number of occasions".

Report: Pentagon Warned on Torture, Abuse 19 Feb 2006 The Navy's former general counsel warned Pentagon officials two years before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that circumventing international agreements on torture and detainees' treatment would invite abuse, according to a published report. Legal theories granting the president the right to authorize abuse in spite of the Geneva Conventions were unlawful, dangerous and erroneous, Alberto J. Mora advised officials in a secret memo.

Shameful: This is the world's view on Guantanamo. But Tony Blair still calls it 'an anomaly' --A UN report condemns 'torture' at the detention camp. But, like other revelations in the 'war on terror', the reaction is to deplore the publicity and ignore the brutality. By Francis Elliott and Raymond Whitaker 19 Feb 2006 "What happens at the US-run detention camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is torture, and the place should be shut down 'without further delay'. That is the conclusion of an independent panel of experts commissioned by the United Nations... So far, Tony Blair will only say that the detention centre holding nearly 500 men, some of them for four years, is 'an anomaly'... In the US, meanwhile, the report barely registered with a media industry still obsessed with Dick Cheney's shooting accident. It got even less attention than the disclosure, earlier last week, of new photographs of the 2003 abuse in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq which were more shocking than any seen before."

The Shame of the Prisons (The New York Times) 18 Feb 2006 "Who needs sophomoric cartoons to inflame the Muslim world when you've got the Bush administration's prison system? One reason the White House is so helpless against the violence spawned by those Danish cartoons is that it has squandered so much of its moral standing at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib... On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Commission issued a scathing report on the violations of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law at Guantánamo Bay: indefinite arbitrary detentions, hearings that mock fair process and justice, coercive and violent interrogations, and other violations of laws and treaties."

Army reservists deployed to Guantanamo Bay [to spread propaganda] 19 Feb 2006 Oahu Army reservists were mobilized for active duty today for a public affairs mission to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba... These reservists will put out a weekly newspaper, broadcast news on radio and T-V, and they will work with visiting media.

UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq shells 19 Feb 2006 Radiation detectors in Britain recorded a fourfold increase in uranium levels in the atmosphere after the "shock and awe" bombing campaign against Iraq, according to a report.

Troops likely to remain in Iraq, says Nelson 19 Feb 2006 Australian troops serving in Iraq are likely to stay on even if Japan withdraws from its humanitarian mission, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson says.

Falcon jet plane crashes on Iran-Iraq border 20 Feb 2006 A small aircraft, Falcon, with 7-8 passengers aboard crashed at Iran's common border with northern Iraq on Thursday February 16 killing all its passengers, MNA reported... The local source did not disclose any further details, but told Mehr News Agency that US troops have restricted access of Iraqi Kurdish officials and the interim government to further information. "A section of the Western media had earlier unofficially reported the crash of a plane in northern Iraq with several German passengers aboard," concluded the press release.

Six bodies found in wreck of small plane in Iraq 19 Feb 2006 Six bodies were found on Sunday in the wreckage of a small plane that crashed in the snow-covered mountains of northern Iraq three days ago, officials said.

Four Iraqi Truck Drivers Die in Ambush 19 Feb 2006 Gunmen ambushed a convoy of trucks carrying construction material to U.S. military north of Baghdad Sunday, killing four Iraqi drivers.

Roadside bombings kill 12 in Iraq 18 Feb 2006 A spate of roadside bombings in Baghdad and north of the capital killed a US soldier and at least 11 Iraqis, officials said.

Two contractors kidnapped in Iraq 18 Feb 2006 Two Macedonian contractors have been kidnapped near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, the British military said on Saturday.

Three British Soldiers Arrested in Iraqi Town 19 Feb 2006 Official sources announce three soldiers from British Army, which controls this part of the country, were arrested in southern Iraqi town of Basra, Arab network Moheet informs. The soldiers were arrested after being accused of rough behavior towards Iraqi youths.

Saddam's lawyer says Iran tried to bribe him not to reveal evidence implicating it in Halabja bombing (truth-about-iraqis.blogspot) "In a shocking statement made live on an investigative talk show - Panorama - aired on Abu Dhabi TV, one of the members of Saddam Hussein's defense team said he had evidence which proved Iran was behind the bombing of Halabja in 1988. ...[O]n Saturday, lawyer Khalil Dulaimi told Abu Dhabi TV that he wanted to see the Halabja crimes go to court because he had evidence - as well as US intelligence reports - that Iran, and not Iraq was behind the attack."

World War III or Bust: Implications of a US Attack on Iran By Heather Wokusch 19 Feb 2006 "...[U]nder orders from Vice President [sic] Cheney's office, the Pentagon has developed 'last resort' aerial-assault plans using long-distance B2 bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles with both conventional and nuclear weapons. How ironic that the Pentagon proposes using nuclear weapons on the pretext of protecting the world from nuclear weapons."

10 Dead in Helicopter Crash Off Djibouti 19 Feb 2006 The U.S. military confirmed Sunday that 10 U.S. troops died when two transport helicopters crashed into the sea last week off the coast of the African nation of Djibouti.

Colombia Activist Flays US Rice 19 Feb 2006 Colombian civil right advocate Piedad Cordoba urged US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to leave Latin American nations in peace because they are not willing to return to the colonial period. "We are not willing to become an Iraq, much less to return to the period of the colony," Cordoba said about Rice´s request for supporting a strike against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Libby's Bid for Classified Documents Opposed 18 Feb 2006 A former White House aide's wide-ranging demand for classified intelligence documents to aid his defense in the CIA leak case would sabotage the case if granted, the prosecutor is arguing.

Court should monitor Bush spy program: Roberts 18 Feb 2006 U.S. pResident George W. Bush's domestic spying program should be overseen by a special court, the Senate Intelligence Committee's chairman [Pat Roberts, R-KS] said in an interview published on Saturday that revealed a split with the White House.

Firm Sues to Block Foreign Port Takeover 18 Feb 2006 A company at the Port of Miami has sued to block the takeover of shipping operations there by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. It is the first American courtroom effort to capsize a $6.8 billion sale already embroiled in a national debate over security risks at six major U.S. ports affected by the deal.

Red State, Meet Police State --A federal employee gets hassled by Homeland Security for antiwar stickers on his car. Is it a mistake, a new rule, or the part of a trend of the First Amendment being bullied out of existence? By Nicholas Collias 15 Feb 2006 (ID) "Officer: Sir, I'm here to tell you now that you have to remove those signs. Dwight Scarbrough: Was the law just changed? O: No, there was no law just changed. DS: Then it's not a violation... This is a fascist state. At least, it's the beginning of a fascist state.'"

In N.C., GOP Requests Church Directories 18 Feb 2006 The North Carolina Republican Party asked its members this week to send their church directories to the party, drawing furious protests from local and national religious leaders.

VP Accident Tale Filled With Discrepancies 18 Feb 2006 Vice pResident Dick Cheney said he didn't immediately disclose his hunting accident because he wanted the confusing details to come out right. Instead, authorized accounts came out slowly — and often still wrong.

The Shot Heard Round the World By Evan Thomas 27 Feb 2006 "[Dick] Cheney testified to the 9/11 Commission that he spoke with President [sic] Bush before giving an order to shoot down a hijacked [sic] civilian airliner that appeared headed toward Washington. (The plane was United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field after a brave revolt by the passengers [sic].) But a source close to the commission, who declined to be identified revealing sensitive information, says that none of the staffers who worked on this aspect of the investigation believed Cheney's version of events... The factual narrative, closely read, offers no evidence that Cheney sought initial authorization from the president... Legally, Cheney was required to get permission from his commander in chief, who was traveling (but reachable) at the time."

Disaster Response: Watch TV, Go Home 19 Feb 2006 Five miles from the White House, inside a nondescript brick building, satellite and video images flash across wall-size computer monitors. Representatives from the C.I.A., F.B.I., Border Patrol, Department of Defense and more than 30 other agencies sit facing those screens, processing reports of potential threats to the nation... The Homeland Security Operations Center was tailor-made to manage a disaster like Hurricane Katrina. But details that have emerged in the last week, through Senate testimony and a new report by a House committee, raise questions about how much it accomplished in the face of human error and indecision.

Leaks found at two more Illinois nuclear plants 15 Feb 2006 Radioactive tritium leaks have been found at two more nuclear power plant sites, Exelon Nuclear announced Wednesday, only weeks after the company disclosed a series of spills at a Will County plant.

Tax Breaks Given on Gas-Guzzling SUVs 18 Feb 2006 New tax breaks are available to anyone who wants to help the environment by purchasing fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. But if owners of small businesses really want to save money, they can get even bigger federal tax breaks by buying the largest gas-guzzling SUVs.

'This disastrous Republican Medicare prescription drug plan' --Drug Plan's Start May Imperil G.O.P.'s Grip on Older Voters 18 Feb 2006 Older voters could end up being a major vulnerability for the GOP in this year's midterm elections, according to strategists in both parties... During next week's Congressional recess, Democrats are set to begin a major new campaign to highlight what Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, describes as "this disastrous Republican Medicare prescription drug plan." Democratic party leaders will assert that the law "was written by and for big drug companies and H.M.O.'s, not American families."

Supervisors committee recommends Bush impeachment 16 Feb 2006 A committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today recommended full board approval of a resolution calling for President [sic] Bush to be impeached.

Impeaching Bush Is 'Cause Worth Fighting for,' Actor Says 17 Feb 2006 Richard Dreyfuss, the actor who starred in movies ranging from "Jaws" to "Mr. Holland's Opus," told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that "there are causes worth fighting for," and one of those is the impeachment of President [sic] George W. Bush.

Washington, D.C. Hosting Bird Flu Summit for Businesses 19 Feb 2006 Email from New Fields, detailing their plans to host Washington, D.C.'s first 'Bird Flu Summit' to be held February 27-28, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City near Reagan National Airport, obtained by Citizens For Legitimate Government. See: New Fields CEO Joins Bechtel, Halliburton on Highly Anticipated SBA Expo '04 Panel (New Fields) 06 May 2004 "New Fields Exhibitions is the organizer of the successful Rebuilding Iraq series, which has brought together business leaders from over thirty countries for networking opportunities with key Iraqi entrepreneurs and government officials."

Germany deploys army in bird flu-ridden island 19 Feb 2006 The German army deployed Sunday a special unit on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen, where over 40 cases of the deadly virus of H5N1 have been found, to intensify the fight against [sic] bird flu. Defense officials said that they had dispatched a 19-member unit specializing in handling decontamination to help defuse the spread of the virus. The ABC unit has already set up their equipment and planned to start disinfecting both vehicles and people [?!?] on the island, which was declared a "protected zone," according to German news agency DPA.

Merkel alarmed by bird flu spread in Germany 19 Feb 2006 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was alarmed by the rapid spread of bird flu on Ruegen after paying a lightning visit to the Baltic Sea Island that lies in her home district on Sunday.

Bird flu spreading, pandemic more likely 20 Feb 2006 H5N1 A New Zealand avian influenza expert says the growing trend of clusters of human bird flu infections in Indonesia is worrying.

Bird flu 'likely to reach Britain' 18 Feb 2006 The Government has confirmed that bird flu is "likely" to reach UK shores following confirmation that a duck in France died of the disease.

Dead duck found in France had H5N1 virus-ministry 18 Feb 2006 A dead duck found in France had the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday, confirming the first case of the virus in France.

Second Bird Flu Fatality Eyed in Iraq 16 Feb 2006 The dead uncle of an Iraqi girl who died last month after contracting the deadly bird flu virus also had the disease, U.S. and U.N. officials said Thursday, citing test results at a U.N.-certified laboratory in Egypt.

Iran confirms dead swans had H5N1 bird flu 18 Feb 2006 Iran's Veterinary Organisation confirmed Saturday that a batch of 135 dead swans found in the northern province of Gilan have tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu, AFP reported.

India Declares Arrival of Avian Flu Where 50,000 Birds Died 19 Feb 2006 India announced its first cases of bird flu on Saturday and said eight people were being checked for the disease after tests on poultry in a western state showed they were infected with the deadly A(H5N1) strain.

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US Military Adding New Construction at Guantanamo 17 Feb 2006 SERGEANT: "Welcome to Camp Five... This facility is actually designed based on an existing facility in Indiana." [!?!] Camp Five is a two-story building surrounded by high fences and barbed wire, with fenced exercise yards nearby... There is another similar building under construction right next to it that will be known as Camp Six.

Rumsfeld Says U.S. Will Not Close Guantanamo 17 Feb 2006 The Pentagon will not close its Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorist suspects, despite U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call to shut it down, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Friday.

Blair admits Guantánamo Bay is 'anomaly' but sidesteps closure calls 18 Feb 2006 Tony Blair yesterday repeated his description of the American prison camp at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba as an "anomaly" which would have to be dealt with but refused explicitly to say if he thought it should be shut.

UN chief says US should close prison at Guantanamo Bay 17 Feb 2006 The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the United States should close the prison at Guantanamo Bay for terror suspects as soon as possible, backing a key conclusion of a UN-appointed independent panel.

Judge's anger at US torture --Stinging comments come as America dismisses UN report on Guantánamo 17 Feb 2006 A high court judge [Justice Collins] yesterday delivered a stinging attack on America, saying its idea of what constituted torture was out of step with that of "most civilised nations".

Your S&M government in action: Abu Ghraib leaked report reveals full extent of abuse · 1,325 images of suspected detainee abuse · 93 video files of suspected detainee abuse · 660 images of adult pornography · 546 images of suspected dead Iraqi detainees · 29 images of soldiers in simulated sexual acts 17 Feb 2006 Nearly two years after the first pictures of naked and humiliated Iraqi detainees emerged from Abu Ghraib prison, the full extent of the abuse became known for the first time yesterday with a leaked report from the US army's internal investigation into the scandal.

Guantanamo Britons win court victory 17 Feb 2006 Three British residents held in Guantanamo Bay have won a legal battle which could lead to the Government demanding that they are freed by the US.

U.S.: Ex-CIA Official Publicly Challenges Pre-War Iraq Assessment 17 Feb 2006 A member of the audience at a public speech given in Washington today identified himself as a retired intelligence analyst with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and challenged the reasons pResident George W. Bush used to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The confrontation occurred during a question-and-answer session after a speech by U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. After the speech, a man brought up the subject in a provocatively-phrased question. "What sort of safeguards, if any, have you introduced to protect the integrity of the intelligence process and product from being bastardized and prostituted by policy-makers to promote a predetermined policy, as was the case with the disinformation campaign that George W. Bush and his henchmen launched to lie this country into its present disastrous war of aggression in Iraq?"

US intelligence rattled once more 17 Feb 2006 Accounts differ as to whether the CIA’s top counter-terrorism official, Robert Grenier, was fired or resigned his post for opposing certain interrogation techniques used by the agency. "It is not that Grenier wasn’t aggressive enough, it is that he wasn’t with the program. He expressed misgivings about the secret prisons in Europe and the rendition of terrorists," said Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counter-terrorism at the CIA, the Times of London reported. Grenier was said to also be opposed to certain techniques like holding suspects under water and other physical abuses.

Phony War for Perpetual War By Len Hart 16 Feb 2006 "Bushco's war on terrorism is a fraud! 'Terrorism' is exploited for the purpose of waging a perpetual war in Iraq. The U.S. media has all but ignored the construction of permanent 'super bases' in Iraq —all in the name of fighting 'terror'. This multibillion-dollar Pentagon investment comes at a time when the U.S. budget deficit may be beyond correction."

While Cheney's Weapon of Mass Distraction explodes: White House asks for supplemental $72.4 bln for Iraq, Afghanistan wars 17 Feb 2006 The White House asked the Congress on Thursday for 72.4 billion U.S. dollars in additional funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton] this year. With the new money, the cost of the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would rise to 120 billion dollars for this year, and would bring the total war-related costs to date to nearly 400 billion dollars since the [US-complicit] Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The Congress already approved in December last year 50 billion dollars to cover this year's war costs.

US gov't $25 mln from debt ceiling-Treasury 17 Feb 2006 The U.S. government has moved to within $25 million of its $8.184 trillion debt ceiling, the Treasury said on Friday... The Treasury said its total public debt subject to the statutory debt limit rose $10.03 billion on Thursday to $8,183,975,000,000.

Two foreigners missing in southern Iraq 17 Feb 2006 Two foreign workers may have been kidnapped in the southern city of Basra, Iraqi security forces said Friday.

Wis. Referendums Call for Troop Withdrawal 17 Feb 2006 Kewaunee, a city of 3,000 on the shores of Lake Michigan, is one of 22 cities, villages and towns in Wisconsin that have an Iraq referendum on their April 4 ballots... Fifty troops from Wisconsin have died in Iraq since the invasion nearly three years ago.

Marine Helicopters Crash Off Djibouti; 10 Missing 18 Feb 2006 Two U.S. Marine Corps helicopters crashed off the coast of northern Djibouti yesterday, and rescuers were searching for 10 missing crew members last night, according to U.S. military officials in the Horn of Africa.

'Accidents ... happen,' Cheney shooting victim tells reporters. Man shot by Cheney says he’s lucky to be alive, doesn't take questions about accident 17 Feb 2006 Harry Whittington, the lawyer accidentally shot by Vice President Dick Cheney, spoke to reporters for the first time Friday [?!?], saying he was a "lucky person" and that "accidents do and will happen, and that's what happened." [Friday? When did the accident actually happen?]

Diagram in Cheney's accident report wrong 16 Feb 2006 In the only publicly available, official report on last weekend's accidental shooting by Vice pResident Dick Cheney, a diagram of a body shows where Austin lawyer Harry Whittington was hit by pellets fired from Cheney's Italian-made shotgun. That diagram has been picked up and faithfully replicated by television and newspapers across the country, Thursday. The only problem is that the diagram is wrong, by all accounts.

Homeland Security Agents Tell Library Patrons Not to View Pornography [Yes, all of the S&M and voyeurism is to be left to the Pentagon and a Houston police chief, respectively. --LRP] 17 Feb 2006 Two uniformed men strolled into the main room of the Little Falls library in Bethesda one day last week and demanded the attention of all patrons using the computers. Then they made their announcement: The viewing of Internet pornography was forbidden. The men looked stern and wore baseball caps emblazoned with the words "Homeland Security." The bizarre scene unfolded Feb. 9, leaving some residents confused and forcing county officials to explain how employees assigned to protect county buildings against terrorists came to see it as their job to police the viewing of pornography.

Spying Inquiry Blocked by GOP 17 Feb 2006 Senate Republicans blocked a proposed investigation of President Bush's domestic spying operation Thursday as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee said he had reached an agreement with the White House to pursue legislation establishing clearer rules for the controversial program... Angry Democrats expressed skepticism over the negotiations, with some describing them as a ploy to protect the Bush administration and the highly classified surveillance operation from congressional scrutiny.

Senate Rejects Wiretapping Probe --But Judge Orders Justice Department to Turn Over Documents 17 Feb 2006 The Bush regime helped derail a Senate bid to investigate a warrantless eavesdropping program yesterday after signaling it would reject Congress's request to have former attorney general John D. Ashcroft and other officials testify about the program's legality.

Rockefeller Questions NSA's Authority 17 Feb 2006 The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee [Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.], wants the panel to look into whether the National Security Agency was eavesdropping without proper authority in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Google to feds: Back off 17 Feb 2006 Google lashed out at the U.S. Justice Department on Friday, saying that a high-profile request for a list of a week's worth of search terms must not be granted because it would disclose trade secrets and violate the privacy rights of its users.

Democrats plan bill to block Dubai-US port deal 17 Feb 2006 Two U.S. Democratic senators [Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Hillary Clinton of New York] said on Friday they would introduce legislation aimed at blocking Dubai Ports World from buying a company that operates several U.S. shipping ports because of security concerns.

Voyeuristic police chief wants to peek in your bedroom: Police chief wants surveillance cameras in Houston apartments 15 Feb 2006 Houston's police chief, Harold Hurtt, proposed Wednesday placing surveillance cameras in apartment complexes, downtown streets, shopping malls, and even private homes as a way of combating crime with a shortage of police officers.

Mega bulimia alert! School Bus Drivers Join the Terror Watch 17 Feb 2006 The war on [of] terror has a new front line - the school bus line. Financed by the Homeland Security Department, school bus drivers are being trained to watch for potential terrorists, people who may be casing their routes or plotting to blow up their buses. Designers of the School Bus Watch program want to turn 600,000 bus drivers into an army of observers, like a counterterrorism [sic] watch on wheels.

Bird flu could hit Florida first 17 Feb 2006 Gov. Jeb Bush expects Florida to be among the first bird flu cases if a pandemic spreads to the United States. In a visit to Florida, Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt warned Thursday that bird flu could reach the nation within 30 days - once it starts passing widely from person to person. Bush predicts Florida would get the first wave... Quarantines [!?!] are the start of the logistical challenges during a pandemic outbreak. [Jeb Bush will be the first to get the police state party started, and fill the FEMA camps and KBR's detention centers. Out of the ashes of Jeb's police state and genocide of the sick and poor (à la New Orleans) will arise a Reichwing clamor for him to run for president in 2008, unless his brother has will have already declared himself 'president' for life. --LRP]

Reigniting Spanish flu 05 Oct 2005 The influenza strain that killed up to 50 million people in the 1918 pandemic has been recreated by scientists. ...Other research shows close similarities between the 1918 Spanish Flu virus and the H5N1 bird flu strain that is threatening the world with a new pandemic. Researchers in the United States described how they used a "reverse engineering" technique to re-construct Spanish Flu. [Keep that sentence in mind when you start to see KBR's detention centers filling up with avian flu victims who refuse Bush's mandatory vaccines.]

Bird flu strain is now within 400 miles of Britain's shores 18 Feb 2006 The deadly avian flu strain was closing in on Britain last night after a dead duck was confirmed with the disease in France.

Now France confirms bird flu as deadly virus spreads across Europe 18 Feb 2006 Bird flu was yesterday confirmed in a duck in France - the seventh EU country to be hit by the disease.

Bird flu reaches France for first time 17 Feb 2006 Bird flu spread to France for the first time with the discovery on Friday that a dead duck found in eastern France almost certainly had the deadly H5N1 strain which is transmissible to humans.

French bird flu sparks UK worries 18 Feb 2006 Fears are growing that Britain could be hit by a bird flu outbreak after France confirmed its first case of the virus.

First cases of H5N1 bird flu reported in Egypt 18 Feb 2006 Dead birds found in different regions of Egypt have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the first such cases in the country, the Egyptian government and a regional official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Device Won Approval Though F.D.A. Staff Objected 17 Feb 2006 A top federal medical official overruled the unanimous opinion of his scientific staff when he decided last year to approve a pacemaker-like device to treat persistent depression, a Senate committee reported Thursday.

Reports: China, Iran Near Huge Oil Deal 17 Feb 2006 China and Iran are close to setting plans to develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field, according to published reports, in a multibillion-dollar deal that comes as Tehran faces the prospect of sanctions over its nuclear program.

As gas prices fall, station owners' profits rise --Retailers' average margin has nearly doubled in recent weeks 17 Feb 2006 Gasoline futures have fallen 30 cents, or 17 percent since Jan. 30, while average pump prices have declined just 7 cents, or 3 percent, over the same period... This week’s average profit of 20.7 cents a gallon for retailers is up more than 11 cents from a month ago, according to data from the Oil Price Information Service of Wall, N.J.

Prosecutors Seek 10 Years for Cunningham 17 Feb 2006 Prosecutors on Friday asked that former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-CA) be sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison for his "stunning betrayal of the public trust" by accepting bribes.

Coroner: Boy beaten in U.S. boot camp died of internal bleeding 16 Feb 2006 The 14-year-old beaten by guards in a state-run boot camp for juvenile offenders died from internal bleeding, a medical examiner reported Thursday.

Feds Probe Teen Boy's Death at Boot Camp 16 Feb 2006 The Justice Department is investigating the case of a 14-year-old boy who died a day after entering a boot camp for juvenile offenders, authorities announced Thursday.

Global warming '30 times quicker than it used to be' 17 Feb 2006 Greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere 30 times faster than the time when the Earth experienced a previous episode of global warming.

Sea levels likely to rise much faster than was predicted 17 Feb 2006 Global warming is causing the Greenland ice cap to disintegrate far faster than anyone predicted. A study of the region's massive ice sheet warns that sea levels may - as a consequence - rise more dramatically than expected.

People run away from huge waves crashing onto San Sebastian's seafront 17 Feb 2006 (Spain) A combination of several circumstances such as the full moon season, a squall over the Cantabrian Sea and heavy wind gusts reaching speeds of 110 km (68 miles) per hour contributed to create sea tides to levels not seen in the area for the past 3 years, with waves as high as 10 meters (33 feet).

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White House Ordered to Release Spy Papers 17 Feb 2006 A federal judge ordered the Bush regime on Thursday to release documents about its warrantless surveillance program or spell out what it is withholding, a setback to efforts to keep the program under wraps.

U.S. must release domestic spying documents --Judge rules in favor of civil liberties group in freedom-of-information case 16 Feb 2006 A federal judge Thursday ordered the Justice Department to respond within 20 days to requests by a civil liberties group for documents about Dictator Bush’s domestic eavesdropping program.

Justice Dept. Role in Eavesdropping Decision Under Review 16 Feb 2006 The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has opened an internal investigation into the department's role in approving the Bush administration's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program, officials said yesterday.

Accord in House to Hold Inquiry on Surveillance 17 Feb 2006 Leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday that they had agreed to open a Congressional inquiry prompted by the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program. But a dispute immediately broke out among committee Republicans over the scope of the inquiry.

Renewal of Patriot Act Clears Hurdle in U.S. Senate 16 Feb 2006 Legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act, the anti[pro]-terrorism law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks, cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate today, easing the way for passage by Congress.

Senate easily cuts off Feingold Patriot Act filibuster 16 Feb 2006 The US Senate moved closer towards a long-term renewal of the USA Patriot Act Thursday, easily overcoming a filibuster by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in a 96-3 vote. Sens. Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) cast the only votes joining Feingold in his efforts.

Lonely Defenders of Civil Liberties By John Nichols 16 Feb 2006 "In the first of what will be a number of critical votes on renewal of the Patriot Act, only three members of the U.S. Senate supported Russ Feingold's [D-Wis.] effort to prevent enactment of a version of the law favored by the Bush administration... On Thursday, he sought to clarify the rights of individuals and institutions that might be subject to inquiries under the act. But only two senators, West Virginia Democrat Robert Byrd and Vermont Independent Jim Jeffords sided with him."

"It just doesn't add up." Cheney account questioned 16 Feb 2006 Veteran hunters and shooting experts said Thursday that they still did not understand how the vice president [sic] injured his fellow hunting partner so badly if he was actually 30 yards away as Cheney says. "It just doesn't add up," said John Kelly, a quail hunter from New York with more than 36 years of experience. "With a shotgun, the pellets spread out the further you get, and for that many pellets to hit such a small part of this man's body means Mr. Cheney was far closer" than the 27-meter distance cited.

Cheney Mishap Takes Focus Off CIA Leak 16 Feb 2006 It's not Dick Cheney's hunting mishap that worries Republicans. It's his other scandal _ the CIA leak case and the threat it poses to the embattled vice pResident. ['Mishap?' If it was Bill Clinton, the headline would include the words 'shooting spree.']

Bush Approves Cheney's Handling of Mishap 17 Feb 2006 President Bush said Cheney had handled the situation "just fine. I'm satisfied with the explanation he gave,'' Bush said, making his first public comments about Cheney's accidental shooting of attorney Harry Whittington while aiming for a quail.

U.N. Tells U.S. to Shut Down Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp 16 Feb 2006 The United States must close its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay because it is effectively a torture camp where prisoners have no access to justice, a U.N. report released Thursday concluded. The White House rejected the recommendation.

US attacks UN Guantanamo report 16 Feb 2006 The White House has savaged a UN report demanding the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp calling it "a discredit to the UN". The report says the US should try all approximately 500 inmates, or free them "without further delay". Aspects of the treatment at the camp amount to torture, the UN team alleges.

Guantanamo trio to petition for release 16 Feb 2006 Three Britons held at Guantanamo Bay have been granted permission to petition for their freedom. The trio were granted permission by a High Court judge to seek a court order requiring the home secretary to petition for their release.

The Abu Ghraib files --Never-published photos, and an internal Army report, show more Iraqi prisoner abuse -- evidence the government is fighting to hide. By Mark Benjamin 16 Feb 2006 "Salon has obtained files and other electronic documents from an internal Army investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal. The material, which includes more than 1,000 photographs, videos and supporting documents from the Army's probe, may represent all of the photographic and video evidence that pertains to that investigation."

Salon's Abu Ghraib Photo Gallery 16 Feb 2006 [Warning! Graphic depiction of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld war crimes]

New pictures reveal extent of abuse at Abu Ghraib jail 16 Feb 2006 Damning new photographs and videos purporting to show the abuse and even murder of Iraqi prisoners at the infamous Abu Ghraib jail have been broadcast on Australian television and picked up by Arab channels.

Outrage Spreads over New Images 16 Feb 2006 New footage of British soldiers beating up young Iraqi men in Amarah city in 2003, and the release of more photographs of atrocities by U.S. soldiers against Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison has spread outrage across Iraq.

Iraq seethes after new prisoner abuse footage 16 Feb 2006 New images of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison prompted Iraq's president to condemn his close ally the United States on Thursday, demanding harsh punishment for "savage crimes" as Iraqis seethed over more humiliation.

Iraq calls on US to hand over Iraqi detainees 16 Feb 2006 Iraq's human rights minister called on U.S.-led forces on Thursday to hand over all Iraqi inmates at U.S.-run prisons to the Iraqi government, following more footage of prisoners being abused.

US troops arrest Iraq police death squad 16 Feb 2006 An inquiry has been launched into the infiltration of Iraq's police by militia forces after a 22-member death squad [Blackwater USA?] was caught red-handed at a checkpoint in Baghdad. [The US "discovers" a death squad operating out of Iraq's Ministry of Interior. Let's see. Who invaded Iraq and installed Iraq's Ministry of Interior? The US. Ergo, the US "discovered" themselves.]

Recruiting suicide bombers ruled not terrorism --Italian judges uphold acquittals for men seeking recruits to fight U.S. troops 16 Feb 2006 A panel of Italian judges upheld the November acquittals of three North Africans on international terror charges, ruling that recruiting suicide bombers to fight against U.S. soldiers is not terrorism, a lawyer said Thursday. The judges ruled that recruiting suicide bombers could not be considered terrorism because during an armed conflict the only acts that count as terrorism are "acts exclusively directed against a civilian population," according to a copy of the ruling given to The Associated Press. "The recruitment of volunteers in Iraq to fight against the Americans cannot be considered under any circumstance terrorist activity," it adds. [Ergo, Dictator Bush is the most dangerous terrorist on earth.]

Baghdad car bombs kill seven Iraqis 16 Feb 2006 Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Thursday, killing seven Iraqis and wounding at least 14, police said.

Telegraph concedes to Galloway 16 Feb 2006 The Daily Telegraph has backed down in its libel battle with Respect MP, George Galloway, and could face a huge legal bill. Mr Galloway successfully sued the paper for suggesting he had received money from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. [See also: Galloway wins libel award battle 25 Jan 2006]

Scientists muzzled for Bush election campaign 17 Feb 2006 Political appointees in NASA's press office exerted strong pressure during the 2004 presidential campaign to cut the flow of press releases on glaciers, climate, pollution and other earth sciences, public affairs officers at the agency say.

Climate change: On the edge --Greenland ice cap breaking up at twice the rate it was five years ago, says scientist Bush tried to gag 17 Feb 2006 A satellite study of the Greenland ice cap shows that it is melting far faster than scientists had feared - twice as much ice is going into the sea as it was five years ago. The implications for rising sea levels - and climate change - could be dramatic.

Ehrlich wary of voting method 15 Feb 2006 Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said Wednesday that he has lost confidence in the state's ability to hold fair and secure elections this fall, and called for paper receipts for Maryland's electronic voting machines and the delay of early-voting procedures approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature.

Ballot botch: Coulter votes in wrong precinct 15 Feb 2006 Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections records show Reichwing pundit Ann Coulter voted last week in Palm Beach's council election. Problem is: She cast her ballot in a precinct 4 miles north of the precinct where she owns a home — and that could be a big no-no.

Senate aide's spouse gets a windfall 16 Feb 2006 Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, records show.

CIA Employee Caught --Citizen and police cooperation leads to the arrest of a Falls Church resident, suspected of committing 17 counts of burglary in McLean, VA 15 Feb 2006 George Charles Dalmas III, of Falls Church, was arrested on Tuesday, January 31 and taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Dalmas, a CIA employee, was charged with 17 counts of burglary and 16 counts of grand larceny.

Colo. Landowners Win $554M in Nuclear Suit 15 Feb 2006 Two companies that ran the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant exposed neighbors to plutonium through their negligence, endangering people's health and contaminating their property, a federal jury concluded.

Lott files FEMA bill 16 Feb 2006 Republican Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi proposed legislation today that would establish the Federal Emergency Management Agency as an independent, cabinet-level agency reporting directly to the President.

Reigniting Spanish flu 05 Oct 2005 The influenza strain that killed up to 50 million people in the 1918 pandemic has been recreated by scientists. ...Other research shows close similarities between the 1918 Spanish Flu virus and the H5N1 bird flu strain that is threatening the world with a new pandemic. Researchers in the United States described how they used a "reverse engineering" technique to re-construct Spanish Flu. [Keep that sentence in mind when you start to see KBR's detention centers filling up with avian flu victims who refuse Bush's mandatory vaccines.]

Bird flu epidemic could kill 142 mln, cost 4.4 trln usd - Australian academics 16 Feb 2006 A global bird flu pandemic could kill as many as 142 mln people and wipe some 4.4 trln usd from economic output, according to a worst-case scenario published by Australian academics.

Dead swans litter German island as bird flu spreads 17 Feb 2006 The German Baltic island of Ruegen is littered with the corpses of at least 100 swans just 24 hours after the authorities discovered three dead birds with H5N1 virus on its shores.

Two more countries report bird flu 16 Feb 2006 A deadly strain of bird flu spreading across Europe was reported to have infected birds in two more countries - Romania and Slovenia -Thursday.

Risk to Britain increasing from EU spread of bird flu 17 Feb 2006 Britain is increasingly likely to be hit by bird flu, the government warned yesterday.

Russia Has New Bird-Flu Outbreak; Turkey Finds Suspected Cases 17 Feb 2006 Russian authorities killed more than 270,000 chickens in the country's southwestern-most corner to contain a new wave of lethal bird flu, a day after Turkey reported suspected outbreaks in almost a third of its provinces.

Indonesia considers response to pandemic as fears of bird flu rise 17 Feb 2006 A possible pandemic is looming and the world is on high alert after new cases of avian influenza in poultry were found in Europe and Africa this week.

Iraq: Health alert in south warns of bird flu 16 Feb 2006 The Iraqi government has raised a health alert in a southern governorate after local laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the H5N1 bird flu virus in dozens of birds in the area.

Niger: Dead birds raise fears of bird flu 16 Feb 2006 The death of at least 400 chickens, turkeys and geese in Niger – which shares a 1,500-kilometre border with bird-flu-infected Nigeria – has government officials scurrying to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

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Civil liberties fear as US terror suspect list rises to 325,000 16 Feb 2006 Civil liberties organisations expressed outrage yesterday after it was reported that the database of terrorist suspects kept by the US authorities now holds 325,000 names, a fourfold increase in two and a half years.

325,000 Names on Terrorism List --Rights Groups Say Database May Include Innocent People 15 Feb 2006 The National Counterterrorism Center maintains a central repository of 325,000 names of international terrorism suspects or people who allegedly aid them, a number that has more than quadrupled since the fall of 2003, according to counterterrorism officials.

Whistleblower says NSA violations bigger 14 Feb 2006 A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans' Constitutional rights. Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a "special access" electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrantless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

Congressional Probe of NSA Spying Is in Doubt --White House Sways Some GOP Lawmakers 15 Feb 2006 Congress appeared ready to launch an investigation into the Bush regime's warrantless domestic surveillance program last week, but an all-out White House lobbying campaign has dramatically slowed the effort and may kill it, key Republican and Democratic sources said yesterday.

Feingold Again Tries to Block Patriot Act 15 Feb 2006 In a case of legislative deja vu, Sen. Russell Feingold launched another lonely filibuster against the USA Patriot Act, but sponsors predicted enough support to overcome the objection and extend parts of the law set to expire March 10.

Abu Ghraib misery that US wanted to hide 16 Feb 2006 More photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. They include photographs of six corpses, although the circumstances of the deaths are not clear. There are also pictures of what appear to be burns and wounds from shotgun pellets. [Shotgun pellets? Hmm... where was Cheney? --LRP]

More snaps from Abu Ghraib 15 Feb 2006 Some of the 60 previously unpublished photographs (from SBS/Dateline) that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union. [Slideshow - Warning! Graphic depiction of your tax dollars at work.]

New Abu Ghraib abuse photos broadcast in Australia 15 Feb 2006 An Australian television station on Wednesday broadcast what it said were previously unpublished images of physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners inside the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

New Abu Ghraib photos linked to earlier abuses 15 Feb 2006 The Special Broadcasting Service's "Dateline" current affairs program said some of the newly broadcast Abu Ghraib pictures suggest further abuse such as killing, torture and sexual humiliation. The grainy, still photographs and video images show prisoners, some bleeding or hooded, bound to beds and doors, sometimes with a smiling American guard beside them.

Latest Abu Ghraib photos authentic, says official 16 Feb 2006 The Pentagon has confirmed the authenticity of a set of photographs of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib that were aired for the first time by Australian television, a defence official said.

More Abu Ghraib Images Could Harm Troops, Official Says 15 Feb 2006 Publicizing more images depicting alleged abuse of detainees at Iraqi's Abu Ghraib prison could bring harm to U.S. servicemembers, a senior Defense Department official said here today. [Well, isn't that just *too bad!* I am sick of the U.S. propagandists whining that 'our troops could get harmed,' while at the same time giving Halliburton millions of dollars in bonuses and billions in no-bid contracts yet force soldiers to pay for their own body armor! If the Bush regime is so *worried* about the troops, then send them the f*ck home! The U.S. military should have thought of the possible ramifications if the images were released *prior* to establishing the torture center at Abu Ghraib. *Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, Rumsfeld!* The Pentagon is trying to censor Bush's war crimes. --LRP]

UN disturbed by abuse photos 16 Feb 2006 The United Nations has described as "deeply disturbing" pictures of prisoner abuse at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison first aired by Australian broadcaster SBS yesterday. "All these pictures are deeply disturbing and we would hope they are investigated as soon as possible," UN chief Kofi Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Guantanamo Ex-Inmates Tell Harrowing Story in New British Film By Catherine Hickley 15 Feb 2006 "Three British Muslims imprisoned by the U.S. government for more than two years in Guantanamo Bay give a harrowing description of their experiences in a U.K. movie that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival yesterday."

Abu Ghraib a terrorist training ground, say army chiefs 16 Feb 2006 The overcrowded Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad has become a breeding ground for extremist leaders and a school for terrorist foot soldiers, some US commanders in Iraq say.

Hussein Reportedly Warned U.S. of Terrorism 16 Feb 2006 Saddam Hussein told aides in the mid-1990s that he warned the United States it could be hit by a terrorist attack, ABC News reported Wednesday, citing 12 hours of tapes the network obtained of the former Iraqi dictator's talks with his Cabinet.

Bush plans huge propaganda campaign in Iran --Congress asked for $75m to fund programme 16 Feb 2006 The Guardian The Bush regime made an emergency request to Congress yesterday for a seven-fold increase in funding to mount the biggest ever propaganda campaign against the Tehran government, in a further sign of the worsening crisis between Iran and the west.

Cheney may be witness in CIA case 16 Feb 2006 US Vice pResident Dick Cheney may be called as a witness in the case of his former aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who faces perjury and other charges in the leak of a CIA operative's identity.

Cheney Says He Can't Discuss CIA Leak Case 16 Feb 2006 Vice pResident Dick Cheney disclosed Wednesday that he has the power to declassify sensitive government information, authority that could set up a criminal defense for his former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Cheney's disclosure comes a week after reports that Libby testified under oath he was authorized by superiors in 2003 to disclose highly sensitive prewar information to reporters.

Doctors won't risk surgery to remove pellet in Cheney shooting victim 15 Feb 2006 The birdshot pellet that caused the victim of Vice pResident Dick Cheney's hunting accident to suffer a minor heart attack likely will stay lodged in the surface of the 78-year-old man's heart for the rest of his life, experts said Tuesday.

Cheney Could Face Charges in Shooting 15 Feb 2006 If the man wounded by Dick Cheney dies, the vice president could — in theory at least — face criminal charges, even though the shooting was an accident. [Yes, and he needs to be tried for war crimes (Iraq) and for treason (9/11 complicity).]

Man Shot by Cheney to Remain Hospitalized 15 Feb 2006 The lawyer shot by Vice pResident Dick Cheney during a hunting accident is expected to stay in the hospital for about a week after suffering a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet in his chest traveled to his heart. ...A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report issued Monday said Harry Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said. [Something stinks to high heaven about this story. According to the last paragraph, Cheney was 30 yards from the victim, Whittington. That's 90 feet. Lets assume Whittington is 7 feet tall and do the trigonometry here. We have to find the angle whose tangent is 7/90. This works out to an elevation angle of 4.4 degrees. Cheney was supposed to be firing at a small flock of birds that was flushed, which would mean an elevation angle of at least 20 degrees. Cheney's shotgun should have been at an elevation angle of around 20-30 degrees, NOT 4.4 degrees. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? --CLG Reader, Jack Gordon, Brooklyn, NY]

Media Ignores Cheney 'Smoking Gun' --A 28-gauge shotgun fired at 30 yards is too weak to cause Whittington's injuries By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones 15 Feb 2006 "Amidst the swirl of outrage, obfuscation and wisecracking, one fundamental flaw in the White House's Cheney shooting story remains. How can a 28-gauge shotgun fired from supposedly 30 yards away cause pellets to become lodged in someone's heart?"

Gonzales says he's independent, but still a policy advocate for Bush 15 Feb 2006 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose first year in office has been dominated by issues connected to his earlier job as White House counsel, said Wednesday that he regards himself as independent of the Oval Office, but that he nonetheless remains a policy advocate for pResident Bush.

U.S. Rep.: 9/11 Leader ID'd Repeatedly Before Attack 15 Feb 2006 The vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said a secret U.S. security unit identified terrorist Mohamed Atta more than a dozen times before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon also said the secret military team -- code-named "Able Danger" -- found "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the deadly al-Qaida attack on the USS Cole in 2000. But Weldon said the ship commander was not told.

Weldon: 'Able Danger' identified Atta 13 times --Congressman says secret military unit knew of 9/11 hijacker before attacks 15 Feb 2006 Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said Tuesday. During a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., said the unit — code-named "Able Danger" — also identified "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole.

El Al Airlines installs anti-missile systems on passenger aircraft 15 Feb 2006 El Al Israel Airlines has installed anti-missiles systems on its passenger aircraft, completing an overhaul launched after a 2002 attempt to shoot down a plane [?!?], security sources said on Wednesday.

Republicans criticise Bush over response to Katrina 16 Feb 2006 The Bush regime is under siege for its handling of Hurricane Katrina. A scathing report into its "dismal" response has been released by a Republican panel, while withering criticisms have been levelled at the Homeland Security chief in the Senate.

US government admits Hurricane Katrina lapses 15 Feb 2006 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has acknowledged widespread lapses in the government response to Hurricane Katrina as a Congress report blasted the official failures.

Chertoff Admits Katrina Response Fumbled 16 Feb 2006 Acknowledging delayed aid and fumbled coordination, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Wednesday the federal response to Hurricane Katrina fell far short of providing immediate help to the Gulf Coast that could have saved lives.

HHS Awards BioShield Contract for Two Additional Medical Countermeasures for Radiological or Nuclear Incidents ['Incidents?'] (HHS) "The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded a $21.9 million contract to Akorn, Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., for the manufacture and delivery of two medical countermeasures for radiological or nuclear incidents. Akorn, Inc. will deliver 390,000 doses of Ca-DTPA (Pentetate Calcium Trisodium Injection Sterile Solution) and 60,000 doses of Zn-DTPA (Pentetate Zinc Trisodium Injection Sterile Solution)."

Bird flu pandemic would 'kill millions, shut down economy' 16 Feb 2006 Modelling of the consequences of a global outbreak of bird flu has predicted a worldwide recession and a massive death toll. Two papers have been released showing the likely impact of a pandemic.

Bird flu could kill 214,000 Aussies 16 Feb 2006 A serious worldwide outbreak of avian flu could kill up to 214,000 Australians, according to new projections by experts. The research shows the world death toll from a disastrous bird flu pandemic could be as high as 142 million, or 2.2 per cent of the earth's population, Fairfax newspapers report.

Hastert, Frist said to rig bill for drug firms 09 Feb 2006 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits, say witnesses to the pre-Christmas power play. The language was tucked into a Defense Department appropriations bill at the last minute without the approval of members of a House-Senate conference committee, say several witnesses, including a top Republican staff member. Beyond the issue of vaccine liability protection, some say going around the longstanding practice of bipartisan House-Senate conference committees' working out compromises on legislation is a dangerous power grab by Republican congressional leaders that subverts democracy.

Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (Defense Department FY2006 Appropriations bill) The new law providing vaccine makers with protection against lawsuits --Among its key provisions are: It allows the secretary of Health and Human Services to issue a declaration that a "disease or other health condition or other threat to health constitutes a public health emergency." The secretary may also issue a declaration if there is a "credible risk" that there may be such a problem in the future. Excludes any state or federal court from reviewing the secretary's decisions under the law.

Democrats seek to repeal US vaccine liability law [passed in secret by the GOP] 15 Feb 2006 Congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation that would repeal a law that gives vaccine, drug and medical device makers broad protection against lawsuits in a public health or bioterror emergency. Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy and 20 other House and Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Republican leaders saying, "The provision included in the bill is not limited to vaccines for pandemic flu or other major threats to the nation's health, but could instead be used to allow manufacturers of virtually any drug or vaccine to escape responsibility for gross negligence or even criminal acts." [When the avian flu arrives, the corpora-terrorists will pressure the Bush regime to propose mandatory vaccinations, and there will be no recourse. Do you really trust the people who 'handled' Hurricane Katrina (thousands dead) to respond to a bird flu pandemic? Bush said in October 2005 that he would consider using the military to "effect a quarantine" in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza in the United States. In January 2006, KBR was awarded a Homeland Security contract worth up to $385M with four 1-year options to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of a national emergency.]

White House Eyes Atomic Illness Cost Cap 14 Feb 2006 The Bush regime is taking steps to limit costs associated with a benefits program for Cold War-era nuclear workers who developed cancer from radiation exposure, according to a White House document.

Bill would put flags in all Ariz. classrooms by 2007 15 Feb 2006 The state House Committee on Universities, Community Colleges and Technology has approved a bill requiring public schools and universities around Arizona to hang an American flag in every classroom by July 1, 2007.

Bernanke says higher US rates may be needed 15 Feb 2006 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday said the U.S. economy was running so close to capacity that it faced heightened risks of inflation that could require higher interest rates to tame.

Board: Teflon Chemical a Likely Carcinogen 15 Feb 2006 A group of scientific advisers to the Environmental Protection Agency voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a recommendation that a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon and other nonstick and stain-resistant products should be considered a likely carcinogen.

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The photos America doesn't want seen 15 Feb 2006 More photographs have been leaked of Iraqi citizens tortured by US soldiers at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison on the outskirts of Baghdad. Tonight the SBS Dateline program plans to broadcast about 60 previously unpublished photographs that the US Government has been fighting to keep secret in a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Abu Ghraib- New Horrors Revealed 15 Feb 2006 Tonight SBS DATELINE presents a world exclusive – the release of new photographs from Abu Ghraib in Iraq showing new horrific abuses committed there. These images have never been previously shown to the public.

U.N. Report: U.S. Tortures Detainees 13 Feb 2006 A U.N. investigation found that the United States committed acts amounting to torture at Guantanamo Bay, including force-feeding detainees and subjecting them to prolonged solitary confinement, according to a draft report obtained Monday.

Close Guantanamo now, UN tells White House 14 Feb 2006 A UN report is expected to call on the United States to close its Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba without delay and transfer the near-500 supposed "enemy combatants" held there to American soil to guarantee them access to fair trials.

Ex-detainees claim Govt position used against Hicks 15 Feb 2006 Two British former Guantanamo Bay inmates say the US has used what they describe as the Federal Government's lack of support for Australian detainee David Hicks against him in interrogations involving torture.

Soldier arrested over abuse of Iraqis 14 Feb 2006 British soldiers were questioned by the military police yesterday over attacks on captive Iraqi youths, and a corporal who filmed the abuse was arrested.

Your tax dollars at work: CIA secret camps, prisons, and abductions:

EU lawmakers outline plans to probe "CIA camps" 13 Feb 2006 EU lawmakers on Monday outlined plans to probe allegations the CIA ran secret prisons in the 25-nation bloc, and studied a list of people it might call for questioning which includes the head of the CIA.

EU Seeks CIA Info on Secret Prisons 14 Feb 2006 A European Parliament committee investigating allegations that the CIA had secret prisons in Europe will contact senior CIA and Bush regime officials in the next few days - and ask them to testify on the matter, an official said Tuesday.

EU Parliament CIA probe to hear Italian prosecutor 14 Feb 2006 An Italian prosecutor who wants to question CIA agents accused of snatching an imam in Milan will speak to a European Parliament panel probing claims of CIA abductions in Europe, an EU lawmaker said on Tuesday.

Cheney shooting victim suffers heart attack 15 Feb 2006 Harry Whittington, the man United States Vice pResident Dick Cheney accidentally shot while hunting, suffered a minor heart attack today after pieces of birdshot lodged in his heart, doctors said.

Doctors: Man Cheney shot had heart attack, birdshot lodged in heart --Controversy erupts over White House handling of hunting accident news 14 Feb 2006 The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice pResident Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.

Cheney warned over hunting law violation 14 Feb 2006 US vice pResident Dick Cheney has been issued with an official warning after violating Texan hunting regulations. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) cited the vice president for failing to purchase a $7 licence required to shoot upland game birds in the US state. [Where's his treason trial for breaking international law?]

Cheney not licensed to shoot birds (or friends) 15 Feb 2006 Vice-pResident Dick Cheney's office sent a $US7 ($9.50) cheque to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Monday after it emerged he was hunting illegally when he accidentally shot a fellow hunter. Both Mr Cheney and the man he shot in the face, neck and chest on Saturday, Texan lawyer Harry Whittington, 78, had been hunting quail without the $US7 game bird stamps on their licences.

TV Comedians Take Aim At Cheney 14 Feb 2006 "Late Show with David Letterman," CBS: "But here is the sad part -- before the trip Donald Rumsfeld had denied the guy's request for body armor." ..."The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," NBC: "I think Cheney is starting to lose it. After he shot the guy he screamed, 'Anyone else want to call domestic wire tapping illegal?"'

White House Livid About Handling of Cheney Incident -CBS 14 Feb 2006 A source described as close to the Bush regime said people inside the White House are "livid" about the way Vice pResident Dick Cheney's office has handled the hunting accident he was involved in over the weekend, CBS News reported Tuesday.

Bush administration spent $1.6 billion on public relations: report 14 Feb 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush's regime spent 1.62 billion dollars on advertising and public relations contracts over two and a half years, an independent agency said Monday.

Legal Group Rips Bush Wiretaps 14 Feb 2006 The American Bar Association denounced pResident Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program yesterday, accusing him of exceeding his powers under the Constitution.

Department of Justice concedes it can begin to release internal warrantless surveillance records on March 3 (The National Security Archive) 13 Feb 2006 "Under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Justice Department on February 10 conceded in federal court that it could begin releasing as early as March 3 the internal legal memos relied on by the Bush administration in setting up the controversial National Security Agency warrantless wiretapping program."

U.S. agency pushes electronic biosurveillance project 13 Feb 2006 The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology is launching four new "breakthrough projects" designed to help spur the adoption of electronic health records (EHR)... The biosurveillance project will include the launch of a nationwide public health monitoring network to be used during a pandemic or [Bush-engendered] bioterrorist attack to send lab results electronically from emergency departments to public health agencies within 24 hours. [Bush wants to be able to round up dissenters, the poor, and the sick ASAP for FEMA's camps and KBR's detention centers.]

MPs to vote again on terror bill 15 Feb 2006 Ministers will attempt to overturn a recent defeat when the controversial Terrorism Bill comes before the Commons again on Wednesday.

Brown backs tougher terror laws 13 Feb 2006 Chancellor Gordon Brown has called for tougher security measures to tackle the threat of [foment] global terrorism. He said police should be given the power to detain terror suspects for more than 28 days without charge.

Blair wins key vote on ID cards 13 Feb 2006 In a politically charged vote in the House of Commons on Monday, the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair faced down opposition to a plan to introduce mandatory identity cards.

United Arab Emirates firm to operate six major U.S. ports 13 Feb 2006 The Bush regime has approved a deal in which a United Arab Emirates company would operate six major ports in the United States. DP World, based in Dubai, has offered $6.8 billion for the purchase of a British firm that operates the ports of Baltimore, Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans and Philadelphia, Middle East Newsline reported. [DP World can help Bush carry out his next 9/11-style terror attack on these Blue state (five out of six) ports.]

Port Insecurity 14 Feb 2006 (New York Post) "Do the feds really want to place the ports of New York and New Jersey in the hands of a Middle East country with ties to the Sept. 11 hijackers? As The Post reported on Sunday, that's what's about to happen, now that Dubai Ports World has won control — for $6.8 billion — of British-owned Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co."

Iraq Has Become the Deadliest Place for Journalists: Report 14 Feb 2006 Iraq has become the deadliest country for journalists in the last quarter-century, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Twenty-two journalists were killed in Iraq in 2005, bringing the total to 61 since the American invasion in March 2003.

Bomb Kills Sailor In Iraq 14 Feb 2006 Military officials said a San Diego-based sailor had been killed by a bomb in Iraq.

Does Halliburton need bake sales? Soldier's wife holds fundraisers for body armor for troops 14 Feb 2006 A U-S soldier's wife is launching real and virtual bake sales to raise money to buy body armor for troops -- even though the government has promised to rush more protective gear to those on Iraq's front lines.

'Don't Ask' Costs More Than Expected 14 Feb 2006 The financial costs to the U.S. military for discharging and replacing gay service members under the nation's "don't ask, don't tell" policy are nearly twice what the government estimated last year, with taxpayers covering at least $364 million in associated funds over the policy's first decade, according to a University of California report scheduled for release today.

Hussein announces hunger strike in protest 15 Feb 2006 Saddam Hussein announced in court he had been on hunger strike to protest against tough stances by the chief judge in a heated start yesterday to the second day of the latest session of his trial.

U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster [Why aren't people talking of Bush's ouster? Hamas was elected; Bush was not.] 14 Feb 2006 The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.

Cuba accuses US of election tampering 14 Feb 2006 Cuba accused Washington on Tuesday of helping manipulate the results of presidential elections in Haiti, where thousands of the frontrunner’s supporters blockaded roads in a second day of protests.

Haiti: mass protests erupt over vote count By Jonathan Keane 14 Feb 2006 "Nearly a week after Haitians went to the polls in the first election since the 2004 Washington-backed coup and subsequent US invasion, official results have yet to be announced, and the impoverished Caribbean country is spiraling into another intense political crisis. More than 10,000 people poured into the streets of the capital of Port-au-Prince Sunday demanding that Rene Préval, the overwhelming winner of the election, be named president and denouncing the right-wing politicians controlling the vote counting for attempting to rig the results."

Abramoff Said to Claim Close Ties to Rove 13 Feb 2006 Three former associates of Jack Abramoff said Monday that the now-disgraced lobbyist frequently told them during his lobbying work he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove.

Former Gov. Rowland Begins Home Confinement 13 Feb 2006 Former Gov. John G. Rowland [R-Conn.] returned home on Monday, three days after finishing a 10-month federal prison sentence for corruption.

U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies 14 Feb 2006 The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years. New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Hotel Aid Ends; Katrina Evacuees Seek Housing Again [But, aid doesn't end for the oil companies, though does it? See: U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies, an article published the same day as the Katrina aid cut-off] 14 Feb 2006 Thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina became transients again on Monday, wheeling their entire lives onto the street on luggage carts or dragging bulging garbage bags through hotel lobbies, when the federal government stopped paying their hotel bills.

'The White House Was Clearly in a Fog' --Katrina Report Says That Disaster Shows Country Is Unprepared for the Worst 14 Feb 2006 A group of Republican Congress members will release a report Wednesday that sharply criticizes the Bush administration's handling of the hurricanes that hit the nation's Gulf Coast last year. According to portions of the draft obtained by ABC News, the report charges Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff with executing his responsibilities "late, ineffectively or not at all."

End Report Slams 'Passivity' Over Katrina 14 Feb 2006 Government at all levels took only an indifferent stance toward disaster preparations after the 2001 terror attacks, leaving the Gulf Coast unnecessarily vulnerable to Hurricane Katrina, a House inquiry has concluded.

U.S. Senate vote derails asbestos bill 14 Feb 2006 The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to block legislation to create a $140 billion privately financed fund to compensate asbestos victims, but sponsors vowed they would not let the bill die.

Harvard study blasts Bush education policy 14 Feb 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind education policy has in some cases benefited white middle-class children over blacks and other minorities in poorer regions, a Harvard University study showed on Tuesday.

Mass. says Wal-Mart must stock morning-after pill 14 Feb 2006 A Massachusetts regulatory board voted on Tuesday to require Wal-Mart stores to stock morning-after contraceptives, two weeks after three women in the state sued Wal-Mart for refusing to fill orders for the pills.

Bird flu spreading across Europe 15 Feb 2006 Two swans found dead in northern Germany have the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus, officials say, marking the first such cases in the country.

Germany says first cases of H5N1 bird flu found in swans 14 Feb 2006 The German government said that preliminary tests on two dead swans showed they were apparently infected by the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Deadly bird flu spreads to Germany, Austria, Iran 14 Feb 2006 Three more countries said on Tuesday they had detected cases of deadly bird flu in wild swans, with Germany, Iran and Austria the latest to find the virus that has killed 91 people worldwide.

Paramount unit to tell Gore's 'Truth' 14 Feb 2006 Paramount's new specialty division has acquired worldwide rights to Participant Prods.' global-warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," featuring Al Gore. Helmed by Davis Guggenheim, the film, which had its world premiere at last month's Sundance Film Festival, weaves the science behind the issue of global warming with the former president's personal history and longtime commitment to communicating the pressing need to reverse the effects of global climate change.

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The CLG (Subliminal) Free Speech Edition!! They said it; we reported it --sedition-free!! And, today the whole world is wondering: Why didn't Dick Cheney go hunting with George W. Bush? --LRP

Yanks Cock Up the Right to Free Speech By Brian Reade 09 Feb 2006 "Here's a challenge to all of those bravehearts currently banging on about how they'd fight to their dying breath to preserve our right to free speech. Pick up your gun, use up your Virgin air miles and go shoot those fundamental religious fanatics who've just suppressed a 62-year-old knight of the British realm's right to express himself. I'm talking about Sir Mick Jagger having two songs censored by American TV networks during Sunday's Super-bowl, for fear they would upset the country's dominant Christian right... These are the same TV networks who decide what their people see whenever BLEEP* sends troops on a foreign military adventure. In this new era of 'embedded journalism' Americans only see what the Pentagon wants them to." [go shoot those fundaMENTAL religious fanatics!]

White House under fire over Cheney shooting [under fire!] Bush knew [yeah, about 9/11, too] but it was owner of Texas ranch who went to the media 13 Feb 2006 President [sic] Bush knew Saturday evening that Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney had accidentally shot a hunting companion, but the information wasn’t made public until the next day — by a private citizen — the White House acknowledged Monday.

Taking Aim at Cheney [taking aim!] A Daily Survey of What the International Online Media Are Saying By Jefferson Morley 13 Feb 2006 "From The Herald in Scotland: 'Cheney bags a lawyer.' Canada.com tops the story with 'Cheney steps up war on lawyers' while New Zealand news site Stuff says 'Whoops!.' The British tabloid Sun proclaims, 'Duck! Cheney blasts pal.' And from the Sydney Morning Herald: 'Cheney Hunts Quail and the World Ducks.'"

Man shot by Cheney listed as 'very stable' --Vice pResident back in D.C. after accident while quail hunting in Texas 13 Feb 2006 A hunting companion of Vice pResident Dick Cheney was recovering in stable condition Monday after Cheney accidentally shot him during a weekend quail hunting trip, a hospital official said.

How Did Dick Cheney Break the No.1 Rule of Hunting? For veteran sportsmen like the vice president [sic], safety is a core value (TIME) 13 Feb 2006 "The cardinal rule of hunting could not be more simple: Don’t shoot the people (or the dogs). If there’s anyone in Washington who knows [sic] this, one would have thought it would be Vice President Dick Cheney, who accidentally shot his friend and fellow hunter Harry Whittington, 78, late Saturday afternoon."

Questions About the Veep Who Couldn't Shoot Straight: What Really Happened in Dick Cheney's Hunting "Accident"? By Doug Ireland 13 Feb 2006 "A smart Midwestern friend who has a lot of quail-hunting experience writes: The delay in announcing it [Cheney hunting accident story] is suspicious, obviously... 1. The news reports say the accident happened 'around 5:30 pm' on Saturday. In Texas, quail can be hunted until 30 minutes after sunset. Sunset on Saturday, in Corpus Christi, was at 6:18, which means they were legal until 6:48. The 'around' is suspicious. 2. The news reports say that after Whittington had gotten off his shot and went looking for his bird, Cheney and the other hunter went to another spot where they saw a covey of quail. Texas quail might be different from Iowa quail, but in Iowa when a shotgun goes off, every quail within earshot flutters away. The story doesn't make sense."

More Questions Raised About Delay in Reporting Cheney Misfire 12 Feb 2006 The more than 18-hour delay in news emerging that the Vice pResident of the United States had shot a man, sending him to an intensive care unit with his wounds, grew even more curious late Sunday. E&P has learned that the official confirmation of the shooting came about only after a local reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, received a tip from the owner of the property where the shooting occurred and called Vice pResident Cheney's office for confirmation.

'10,000 would die' in A-plant attack on Iran 13 Feb 2006 A major American attack on Iran's nuclear sites would kill up to 10,000 people and lead to war in the Middle East, a report says today. Hundreds of scientists and technicians would be targets in the opening salvos as the attacks focused on eliminating further nuclear development, the Oxford Research Group says in Iran: Consequences of a War.

Billions Wasted In Iraq? [*Why* do the GOP sycophants at CBS have a question mark after the title of the article?] 12 Feb 2006 The United States has spent more than a quarter of a trillion dollars during its three years in Iraq, and more than $50 billion of it has gone to private contractors hired to guard bases, drive trucks, feed and shelter the troops and rebuild the country. ...Much of the $50 billion, which is more than the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security, has been handed out to companies in Iraq with little or no oversight. Billions of dollars are unaccounted for, and there are widespread allegations of waste, fraud and war profiteering.

Lights Out Chicago --Lights Out: 30-Day Electricity Fast Begins (Chicago) 13 Feb 2006 "For the next thirty days, local activists for social justice will forgo electricity at home, choosing instead to shed light on the failure of reconstruction efforts in Iraq to create significant and reliable improvements in electrical power supply since the U.S. led invasion and occupation. Lights Out Chicago participants will maintain a vigil at the Federal Plaza in Chicago (Dearborn and Adams) each weekday from 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM and from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM then on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Water Tower Park (Michigan and Pearson). Start: Feb 15, 2006 - 8:00 AM End: Mar 15, 2006 - 7:00 PM" More actions: http://legitgov.org/action.html

Into the valley of death: UK troops head into Afghan war zone 13 Feb 2006 Suicide bombings and firefights, Western troops under attack, sectarian clashes between Shia and Sunni, foreigners taken hostage. Days of escalating violence have left dozens of people dead and more than a hundred injured. This is not Iraq but Afghanistan, a conflict which has now overtaken on the grim league table of body counts - 89 killings in the last eight days in Afghanistan compared with 54 in Iraq during the same period. It is into this maelstrom that the Royal Marines - the first batch of 5,700 British troops being sent to Afghanistan - will begin deploying this week in a mission lasting at least three years at a cost of £1bn. With no exit strategy from Iraq in sight, British forces are entering another deadly conflict.

Taliban ambush Afghan militia unit, 8 dead 13 Feb 2006 Taliban resistance fighters ambushed a militia unit working with U.S. forces in southern Afghanistan, killing two men and capturing and later killing another six, the leader of the militia group said on Monday.

IED Strike Kills Four U.S. Servicemembers in Afghanistan 13 Feb 2006 Four U.S. servicemembers were killed today when a suspected improvised explosive device struck their up-armored Humvee was north of Deh Rahwod in Uruzgan province, officials here reported today.

Revealed: the terror prison US is helping build in Morocco 12 Feb 2006 The United States is helping Morocco to build a new interrogation and detention facility for Al-Qaeda suspects near its capital, Rabat, according to western intelligence sources... The construction of the new compound, run by the Direction de la Securité du Territoire (DST), the Moroccan secret police, adds to a substantial body of evidence that Morocco is one of America’s principal partners in the secret "rendition" programme in which the CIA flies prisoners to third countries for interrogation.

UN calls for closure of military prison 14 Feb 2006 A draft UN report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the US treatment violates their right to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture.

UN inquiry demands immediate closure of Guantanamo 13 Feb 2006 A United Nations inquiry has called for the immediate closure of America's Guantanamo Bay detention centre and the prosecution of officers and politicians "up to the highest level" who are accused of torturing detainees. The UN Human Rights Commission report calls for the United States to halt all "practices amounting to torture", including the force-feeding of inmates who go on hunger strike.

Report: U.S. Is Abusing Captives --A U.N. inquiry says the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay at times amounts to torture and violates international law. 13 Feb 2006 A draft United Nations report on the detainees at Guantanamo Bay concludes that the U.S. treatment of them violates their rights to physical and mental health and, in some cases, constitutes torture. It also urges the United States to close the military prison in Cuba and bring the captives to trial on U.S. territory, charging that Washington's justification for the continued detention is a distortion of international law.

Gore accuses U.S. of 'terrible abuses' 13 Feb 2006 Former U.S. president Al Gore told an audience yesterday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment. Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions.

Video of eight soldiers beating Iraqi youths will be investigated, says Blair 13 Feb 2006 The British Army is facing yet another deeply embarrassing abuse scandal after pictures emerged that appear to show soldiers beating Iraqi captives.

Military Police Make Arrest in Beating of Iraqis, U.K. Says 13 Feb 2006 The Royal Military Police made an arrest in connection with the beatings by British soldiers of Iraqi captives in 2004, a Ministry of Defense spokeswoman said.

Syria switches to euro amid confrontation with US 13 Feb 2006 Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars amid a political confrontation with the United States, the head of state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria said on Monday.

Who orchestrated leak of CIA agent's identity? (The Republican) 13 Feb 2006 "Scooter Libby was just doing what he was instructed to do. The former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, told a grand jury that he talked to reporters about the identity of an undercover CIA agent at the behest of his 'superiors.' It has been reported in The Washington Post and elsewhere that the vice president himself was one of the superiors who authorized Libby to chat about Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent who is married to a critic of the administration's use of intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. If this is proven to be true - and there is every reason to believe that it will be - the White House has some real explaining to do."

Gunman Opens Fire at Ft. Hood 13 Feb 2006 One person is in custody after a sniper opened fire on troops this morning at Ft. Hood, the country's largest military installation, 1200 WOAI news reported this morning.

Bush facilitates his next 9/11-style terror attack: Arab firm to oversee 6 U.S. ports 11 Feb 2006 A company in the United Arab Emirates [Dubai Ports World] is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11 'hijackers' with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism. The $6.8 billion sale is expected to be approved Monday. DP World said it won approval from a secretive U.S. government panel that considers security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry. [We are so screwed that the *light* from screwed is going to take ten billion years to reach the earth.]

Intel pros say Bush is lying about foiling 2002 terror attack By Doug Thompson 10 Feb 2006 "Outraged intelligence professionals say President [sic] George W. Bush is 'cheapening' and 'politicizing' their work with claims the United States foiled a planned terrorist attack against Los Angeles in 2002."

Pennsylvania man accused of terrorist plot: report 12 Feb 2006 Federal investigators have accused a Pennsylvania man [!?!] of trying to conspire with al-Qaeda to blow up major U.S. oil and gas pipelines and wreck the economy, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Sunday.

AT&T sued over alleged role in NSA surveillance program 12 Feb 2006 A San Francisco-based digital civil-liberties group has filed a class-action lawsuit against San Antonio-based AT&T Inc. seeking to end the telecom giant's alleged participation in a domestic surveillance program being carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Company requires RFID injection 10 Feb 2006 Two employees have been injected with RFID chips this week as part of a new requirement to access their company's datacenter. Cincinnati based surveillance company CityWatcher.com created the policy with the hopes of increasing security in the datacenter where video surveillance tapes are stored.

Republicans' Report on Katrina Assails Administration Response 13 Feb 2006 House Republicans plan to issue a blistering report on Wednesday that says the Bush administration delayed the evacuation of thousands of New Orleans residents by failing to act quickly on early reports that the levees had broken during Hurricane Katrina. [We're talking reckless endangerment and depraved indifference - at 'best.' At 'worst,' we're talking multiple charges of premeditated murder as it's possible that Bush wanted to kill as many blacks and poor people as possible - to turn the state Red.]

Katrina response a 'national failure': report 13 Feb 2006 The U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina was a "national failure" marked by "fecklessness, flailing and organizational paralysis," a House of Representatives inquiry has concluded. The natural disaster [well, the jury is still out on whether or not the levies were blown] killed more than 1,300 people in Louisiana and Mississippi in late August of 2005.

Bush Admin. spent over $1.6 Billion on advertising and P.R. since 2003, GAO finds 13 Feb 2006 Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. George Miller, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, and other senior Democrats released a new Government Accountability Office report finding that the Bush Administration spent more than $1.6 billion in public relations and media contracts in a two and a half year span.

Bill tampering - The GOP majority subverts the democratic process (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 13 Feb 2006 "While the Bush administration has earned a well-deserved reputation for acting in secrecy, similar cloak-and-dagger tactics are popping up on Capitol Hill, where the Republican majority has demonstrated that it can make legislation appear or vanish without even a vote. A case in point came before Congress' Christmas recess, when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist inserted an immunity provision for flu vaccine manufacturers in a defense bill after other lawmakers had agreed that it would be left out. Now the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that GOP officials slipped a $22 billion gift to the health-insurance industry into legislation that was supposed to cut the federal budget. The action was taken during a meeting from which Democratic lawmakers and their staff members were excluded. According to congressional observers, such tactics are becoming the norm as Republicans exercise their legislative prerogative in a manner not found in any civics textbook."

Huge oil profits skew earnings picture 12 Feb 2006 The boom in U.S. corporate profits may not be as amazing as it seems. While corporate earnings are in the midst of a record-breaking streak of double-digit growth, the historic profits reported by the energy industry thanks to the soaring price of oil are a big reason why.

WTO Rules U.S. Tax Breaks Illegal; EU to Retaliate 13 Feb 2006 The European Union plans to impose new sanctions on as much as $4 billion a year in American goods after the World Trade Organization said the U.S. failed to end illegal tax breaks to exporters such as Boeing Co.

Global warming: passing the 'tipping point' --Our special investigation reveals that critical rise in world temperatures is now unavoidable 11 Feb 2006 A crucial global warming "tipping point" for the Earth, highlighted only last week by the British Government, has already been passed, with devastating consequences.

Save Yellowstone's Grizzly Bears! The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed removing protection for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park. Kicking grizzlies off the Endangered Species list would allow the majestic bears to be hunted and their habitat to be destroyed. Help us tell the Fish and Wildlife Service not to de-list grizzly bears until their habitat is protected and their long-term survival is secure!

A Record Snow: 26.9 Inches Fall in New York City 13 Feb 2006 The biggest winter storm in New York City history — destined for lionization as the Blizzard of '06 — buried the region and much of the Northeast yesterday under blowing, drifting, thigh-high snows that crippled transportation and commerce, knocked out power and disrupted life for millions in 14 states.

86 vehicles pile up on icy Muskegon freeway 13 Feb 2006 An intense snow squall turned an icy western Michigan freeway into an 86-vehicle pileup, injuring 25 people and forcing authorities to close the road for three hours.

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Cheney shoots man on Texas hunting trip 12 Feb 2006 Vice pResident Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday... Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin, was "alert and doing fine" in a Corpus Christi hospital Sunday after he was shot by Cheney on a ranch in south Texas... Whittington was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest during the incident which occurred late afternoon on Saturday. [*Why* are we hearing about *Saturday's* shooting on *Sunday?!?* Apparently, the White House wanted to bury the incident under the Northeast's two feet of snow!]

Cheney shoots man in hunt error 12 Feb 2006 The US Vice-pResident, Dick Cheney, has accidentally shot and injured a man during a quail hunting trip in Texas.

Book Casts Doubt on Case for War --Believing the evidence fell short, Bush discussed with Blair the possibility of inciting a conflict with Iraq, British author says. 11 Feb 2006 During the end of 2003, Dictator Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were not sure there was enough evidence to convince the Security Council to invade Iraq... Bush proposed an alternative: paint a U.S. spy plane in United Nations colors and see if that didn't tempt Hussein's forces to shoot at it. In any case, he said, the war was "penciled in" for March 10 and the United States would go ahead with or without a second U.N. resolution. Blair replied that he was "solidly with" the president.

CIA chief sacked for opposing torture 12 Feb 2006 The CIA’s top counter-terrorism official was fired last week because he opposed detaining Al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons abroad, sending them to other countries for interrogation and using forms of torture such as "water boarding", intelligence sources have claimed.

U.S. Used 'Most Brutal and Inhumane' Methods In Hunger Strike at Guantánamo 09 Feb 2006 United States military authorities have taken tougher measures to force-feed detainees engaged in hunger strikes at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In recent weeks, the officials said, guards have begun strapping recalcitrant detainees into "restraint chairs," sometimes for hours a day, to feed them through tubes and prevent them from deliberately vomiting afterward. "It is clear that the government has ended the hunger strike through the use of force and through the most brutal and inhumane types of treatment," said Thomas B. Wilner, a lawyer at Shearman & Sterling in Washington, who last week visited the six Kuwaiti detainees he represents. "It is a disgrace."

British soldiers facing new allegations of brutality in Iraq 12 Feb 2006 An amateur video that appears to show British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners is being investigated by military police this weekend. Video footage of soldiers apparently head-butting, punching and kicking prisoners in the genitals while held in a secure military compound is being studied by the Royal Military Police after the existence of the tape was exposed by the News of the World.

British troops videoed 'beating Iraqis' 12 Feb 2006 Details emerged last night of a shocking video which appears to show a group of British soldiers brutally beating and kicking defenceless Iraqi teenagers in an army compound.

Bomb Buster for Iraq Hits Pentagon Snag --Army brass says a device that destroyed 90% of roadside explosives in tests needs further study. Marine Corps decides to bypass the bureaucracy. 12 Feb 2006 A new high-tech vehicle that destroys roadside bombs has passed a series of U.S. military tests but has not yet been sent into battle, prompting charges that Pentagon bureaucracy is slowing the effort to protect American troops in Iraq.

Iraqis Remain Starved of Electricity 12 Feb 2006 Abbas Mutlaq and Thaer al-Mufti live at opposite ends of Iraq, but both have given up on the government to supply electricity, turning instead to private generators to keep the lights on. And both say the power supply situation has worsened since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein despite the billions of dollars set aside by the Bush dictatorship for reconstruction. [Private generators? Gee, it looks like the U.S. corpora-terrorists can make even more money in Iraq.]

Pentagon plans strikes on Iran's nuclear plants 13 Feb 2006 Pentagon strategists are drawing up plans for bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks on Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Tehran's suspected efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites 12 Feb 2006 Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb. Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Iran is prepared to retaliate, experts warn 12 Feb 2006 Iran is prepared to launch attacks using long-range missiles, secret commando units, and terrorist allies planted around the globe in retaliation for any strike on the country's nuclear facilities, according to new US intelligence assessments and military specialists.

Iran's really big weapon By Martin Walker 18 Jan 2006 "Tehran is preparing to open a bourse, a mercantile exchange and potentially a futures market, where traders can buy and sell oil and gas, along the lines of the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) in London and the NYTMEX in New York... This could be a far more profoundly punishing blow to American interests than Iran's ability to manufacture a crude atom bomb that would have little credibility until it became small and stable and reliable enough to be delivered on some putative target."

Senators: Cheney Should Be Probed in Leak 12 Feb 2006 Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald should investigate Vice pResident Dick Cheney and others in the CIA leak probe if they authorized an aide to give secret information to reporters, Democratic and Republican senators said Sunday.

Lawmaker Questions Value of Spy Program 12 Feb 2006 The House Intelligence Committee chairman on Sunday questioned the value of pResident Bush's secret eavesdropping program, saying al-Qaida undoubtedly has changed its means of communication to avoid Washington's monitoring.

Ex-President Carter: Eavesdropping Illegal 07 Feb 2006 Former President Jimmy Carter criticized the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program Monday and said he believes the president has broken the law.

The president, the stripper and the attorney general --The extraordinary legal defence of George Bush's domestic spying reads like a blend of Kafka, Le Carré and Mel Brooks By Sidney Blumenthal 09 Feb 2006 "[Alberto] Gonzales's ahistoricism about technology aside (George Washington had no cell phones to tap, no computers to hack), Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt could not have broken a law that did not exist... Once again [Dick] Cheney, the power behind the throne, has found a way to relieve the frustrations of the past. But he is fulfilling more than the curdled dreams of the Nixon and Ford era. The Bush presidency is straining to realise a pre-Washington ideal - unconstitutional monarchy."

Inquiry Into Wiretapping Article Widens 12 Feb 2006 Federal agents have interviewed officials at several of the country's law enforcement and national security agencies in a rapidly expanding criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding a New York Times article published in December that disclosed the existence of a highly classified domestic eavesdropping program, according to government officials.

Brown pledges new action on terror laws when he takes over 12 Feb 2006 Gordon Brown will tomorrow pledge to succeed where Tony Blair failed. In a key moment in the transition of power, the Chancellor will set out how he plans to win public backing for the fight against international terrorism with legislation to detain terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days.

G8 takes aim at terror finances 12 Feb 2006 Group of Eight finance ministers discussed ways overnight to further choke off funds for terrorism and threats including weapons of mass destruction, US Treasury Secretary John Snow said.

US group implants electronic tags in workers 12 Feb 2006 An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been "tagged" electronically as a way of identifying them.

VA Nurse Investigated for "Sedition" for Criticizing Bush By Matthew Rothschild 08 Feb 2006 "Laura Berg is a clinical nurse specialist at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, where she has worked for 15 years. Shortly after Katrina, she wrote a letter to the editor of the weekly paper the Alibi criticizing the Bush Administration. After the paper published the letter in its September 15-21 issue, VA administrators seized her computer, alleged that she had written the letter on that computer, and accused her of 'sedition.'"

The Line Has Crossed Us All: "Aiding and Abetting" Conviction Brings Six-Month Prison Sentence in SOA Trials By Clare Hanrahan 10 Feb 2006 "Thirty four peaceful protesters arrested during the November 20, 2005, vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, faced trial before Federal Magistrate G. Mallon Faircloth on January 30 and 31st. All defendants were found guilty and sentenced to prison or probation. This year, prosecutors charged one activist with 'Aiding and Abetting.' According to the U.S. Criminal Code, 'Whoever aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures the commission of an offense, is punishable as a principal.'"

Air Force Eases Rules on Religion --New Guidelines Reflect Evangelicals' Criticism, General Says 10 Feb 2006 The Air Force, under pressure from evangelical Christian groups and members of Congress, softened its guidelines on religious expression yesterday to emphasize that superior officers may discuss their faith with subordinates and that chaplains will not be required to offer nonsectarian prayers.

Judge Dismisses Penultimate Ohio Lawsuit 11 Feb 2006 A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit over Ohio's recount of the 2004 presidential election, leaving only one court challenge remaining from the state's role in the re-s-election of pResident Bush.

White House Acknowledges Abramoff Photo 12 Feb 2006 The White House on Sunday acknowledged the authenticity of the first photograph made public that shows Dictator Bush and embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, while stressing it does not mean the two had a personal relationship [?!?].

Gov't Seeks $16M Unpaid Mine Safety Fines 11 Feb 2006 Kentucky mine operator Stanley Osborne has accumulated more than $200,000 in safety fines since the 1980s, but the federal government has not been able to collect the money.

Hurricane victims losing hotel rooms 11 Feb 2006 Twelve thousand families left homeless by hurricanes Katrina and Rita will lose their federally funded hotel privileges Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Saturday.

Bush Administration Details $1B Land Sales 10 Feb 2006 The Bush regime on Friday detailed its proposal to sell more than 300,000 acres of national forests and other public land to help pay for rural schools in 41 states.

White House Faces Opposition to User Fees 12 Feb 2006 Dictator Bush's spending proposal for the budget year that begins Oct. 1 contains $3.5 billion in new user fees. The fees would swell to $47.2 billion over five years, dunning taxpayers and industry to help pay for government services.

Starving polar bears shame Bush to act 12 Feb 2006 Starving polar bears are presenting an unprecedented challenge to George Bush's refusal to take action over global warming - and may succeed where environmentalists and other governments have failed in getting him to curb pollution.

Bird flu spreads to Western Europe 13 Feb 2006 The dreaded H5N1 bird flu virus has been detected in wild birds in Western Europe, the first time its presence has been detected in the European Union, and further cases have been reported in Indonesia and Nigeria.

Bird flu spread by fleeing swans --Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Bulgaria have taken emergency measures after deadly strain was found 13 Feb 2006 The deadly strain of H5N1 bird flu has been detected in four European countries, carried by swans driven south by freezing weather in northern Europe.

Big Snowstorm Sets Record in New York and Disrupts Travel 12 Feb 2006 A record amount of snow fell in Central Park in New York today as a major storm inundated the Northeast, closing regional airports, canceling hundreds of flights and for several hours virtually paralyzing normal traffic for city residents who took to the snow-caked streets in snowshoes and skis.

Nor'easter Dumps Nearly Two Feet of Snow 12 Feb 2006 A major storm slammed the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states with nearly 2 feet of windblown snow on Sunday, nearing record levels... Wind gusting to 40 mph blew the snow sideways and threatened coastal flooding in New England. And in a rare display, lightning lit up the falling snow before dawn in the New York metro area.

R.I. Declares State of Emergency --Blizzard-Like Conditions Blast Into Southern New England 12 Feb 2006 Heavy snow and whipping winds barreled into southern New England Sunday... Gov. Don Carcieri declared a state of emergency in Rhode Island just before noon because of blizzard conditions that caused whiteouts on major roads.

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