March 2007 Archives
The Halliburton (Profit) Surge, the US and Iraqi Dirge --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Monday, 12 Mar 2007 Cheney still has the audacity to stand before a powerful "American" lobby and tell us that his war profiteers need more money! ...It takes a stock surge to make a believer in the military surge.
Early withdrawal from Iraq disastrous for Israel, Cheney says --Netanyahu to reporters in Washington: Legislation can be advanced in US to prevent money from being indirectly channeled to Tehran 12 Mar 2007 An early US withdrawal from Iraq would have 'disastrous' consequences for Israel, US Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney told an AIPAC conference on Monday. "Friends owe it to friends to be as candid as possible, so let me say that a precipitous American withdrawal from Iraq would be a disaster for the United States and the entire Middle East," he said.
Cheney: Congress undermining U.S. troops --Cheney says Congress pursues anti-war strategy called 'slow bleeding' in speech to American Israel Public Affairs Committee 12 Mar 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney challenged lawmakers Monday to prove their support for U.S. troops and the war on terrorism by approving the Bush administration's requests for financing military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dems abandon war authority provision 12 Mar 2007 Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President [sic] Bush's [dictatorial] authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war. [Useless is as useless does.]
'El Salvador Option' for Iraq --If the current 'surge' fails, planners suggest relying on 'advisors' [death squads] as the U.S. did in El Salvador in the 1980s. 12 Mar 2007 American military planners have begun plotting a fallback strategy for Iraq in case the current troop buildup fails or is derailed by Congress. Such a strategy is based in part on the U.S. experience in El Salvador in the 1980s [...], according to military officials and Pentagon consultants who spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing future plans. Years after, the U.S. role in El Salvador remains controversial. Some academics have argued that the U.S. military turned a blind eye to government-backed death squads, or even aided them.
'The Salvador Option' --The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq By Michael Hirsh and John Barry 14 Jan 2005 What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is... Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency [freedom fighters] in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called [are-called] death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers.
'I do think they exercised spin. They put exclamation marks instead of question marks.' Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Says Britain Embellished Intelligence on Iraq 12 Mar 2007 The British government embellished intelligence used to justify the decision to invade Iraq in 2003, the former U.N. chief weapons inspector said in an interview broadcast Monday. Hans Blix, who led the U.N. search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq until June 2003, said a later discredited dossier on Iraq's weapons programs had deliberately embellished the case for war.
Anti-War Dems Ponder Bold Action on Iraq --Many in "Out of Iraq" caucus are adamantly opposed to funding bill 12 Mar 2007 The closest thing Congress has to a peace movement - 71 liberals who want to yank Iraq funding and bring troops home swiftly - faces a dilemma: The lawmakers can back a Democratic plan they think is too weak, or they can block it and risk an embarrassing defeat for their cause.
Halliburton's Dubai move sparks US political ire 12 Mar 2007 A weekend announcement by Halliburton, the US oil services giant, that it is shifting its corporate headquarters to Dubai from Texas triggered an angry response from some US lawmakers Monday.
Concern over Halliburton move to Dubai 12 Mar 2007 Halliburton's decision to relocate its chief executive from Houston to Dubai and open a corporate headquarters in the emirate drew fire from critics in Washington on Monday, raising the spectre that the oil services group will be forced to defend the move before Congress. Halliburton did not respond to questions on Monday about how the move to Dubai, which has a zero tax rate, would affect its tax burden.
Leahy On Halliburton Move: 'This Is An Insult to the U.S. Soldiers and Taxpayers' 12 Mar 2007 Yesterday, Halliburton announced that it would be moving its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai. Reincorporating in Dubai would mean that Halliburton — which earned $2.3 billion in profits last year — "will be paying less taxes to the U.S. Treasury, even as it collects billions from government contracts." House Government Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) said he will soon hold a hearing on the matter to "understand the ramifications for the U.S. taxpayer and national security." One lobbyist said, "If there’s a huge tax shift, then it’s taking money from U.S. taxpayers while they’re taking no-bid contracts."
3rd Official Out In Walter Reed Scandal 12 Mar 2007 Army surgeon general Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, who is under fire in the controversy over care of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, will resign. The Army made the announcement on Monday.
Army Surgeon General Submits Retirement Request 12 Mar 2007 On March 11 Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of Army Medical Command, submitted his request to retire from the U.S. Army to Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, current Deputy Surgeon General, immediately assumed the Surgeon General's duties.
VA ordering review of 1,400 clinics after Walter Reed controversy 12 Mar 2007 The VA is ordering its 1,400 hospitals and clinics to report on the quality of their facilities to determine if squalid conditions found at Walter Reed exist elsewhere.
25pc of war vets have mental disorder 13 Mar 2007 A quarter of the Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans treated with US government-funded health care have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a study published today found.
Top general calls homosexuality 'immoral' 12 Mar 2007 Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that he supports the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving in the military because homosexual acts "are immoral," akin to a member of the armed forces conducting an adulterous affair with the spouse of another service member.
Syria Says It Wants Talks With the U.S. 12 Mar 2007 Syria told a visiting U.S. State Department official Monday that it is willing to engage in "serious" dialogue with Washington on all Middle East issues, just days after both countries attended a conference in Baghdad on restoring security to Iraq.
Major Powers Closer to Iran Sanctions 13 Mar 2007 The major powers moved closer to agreement Monday night on a modest package of new sanctions against Iran likely to include an embargo on Iranian arms exports and an asset freeze on more individuals and companies associated with Tehran's nuclear and missile programs.
Missing Iranian official was kidnapped: relatives 12 Mar 2007 The relatives of an Iranian ex-deputy defense minister who went missing in Turkey accused Iran's arch enemies the United states and Israel of kidnapping him, state radio reported on Monday.
BBC correspondent kidnapped in Gaza: police 12 Mar 2007 A BBC correspondent was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip on Monday by unknown assailants, Palestinian police sources said. [Well, I'm sure they're known to Mossad.]
Blair braced for huge revolt over Trident renewal --Scotland leading resistance to Trident, both inside parliament and beyond 12 Mar 2007 It is set to be one of parliament's most tumultuous weeks since Labour came to power in 1997, with a Commons vote that will determine whether Britain retains a nuclear arsenal until 2050 and beyond.
Bush appearance sparks Colombia protests 11 Mar 2007 About 150 protesters attacked riot police with rocks and metal barriers and ripped down lampposts in Colombia's capital on Sunday, just moments after Dictator Bush landed for a six-hour visit. Some 200 helmeted police in full body armor responded with water cannon and tear gas and reclaimed the street [*rats*], about a mile from the presidential palace, banging their batons against riot shields as they marched forward.
House GOP Try to Halt Muslim Seminar 12 Mar 2007 House Republicans said Monday that Democrats should retract an offer to let the nation's largest Islamic civil liberties organization use a Capitol conference room for a seminar. The House Republican Conference [actual terrorists] referred to the Council on American-Islamic Relations as "terrorist apologists" and called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cancel the forum scheduled for Tuesday.
Fox News CEO warns against debate boycotts 09 Mar 2007 Faux News CEO Roger Ailes, speaking in Washington, warned presidential candidates about pulling out of debates based on a sponsoring media company. Ailes used a speech during a Radio & Television News Directors Association Foundation event in Washington to deliver a caution to the candidates, TV Week said.
Hold on to your hats! From the 'people' who brought you the response to Hurricane Katrina's blown levees: Homeland Security Official Presents National Pandemic Plan This Week --Associate Chief Medical Officer for Medical Readiness with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer at the US Department of Homeland Security outlines current national pandemic planning efforts this week at the 4th International Bird Flu Summit in Washington, DC. (New-Fields) 12 Mar 2007 Dr. Tilman Jolly, an emergency medicine specialist with the US Department of Homeland Security, will present a talk on the current status of America's national pandemic plan at the 4th International Bird Flu Summit in Washington on March 14-15.
U.S. Panel: SEC staffed with too many lawyers --Businesses Prepare to Mount a Concerted Attack on Regulation 12 Mar 2007 Among the items the U.S. chamber panelists will promote in their report Wednesday are top-to-bottom reforms at the Security and Exchange Commission, which they say is staffed with too many lawyers who create and enforce rules and too few economists who analyze costs to business. The chamber wants Congress to instruct regulators to study the number and effectiveness of shareholder lawsuits. It also is asking lawmakers to give the SEC more authority to oversee Sarbanes-Oxley and the power to repeal its most burdensome [sic] parts such as a section that requires companies to review their financial safeguards to help prevent fraud and mistakes.
FDA unveils voluntary food safety rules 12 Mar 2007 The government has new rules for preventing food poisoning in fresh-cut produce, but companies don't have to follow them. [...] The new guidance is "totally unenforceable," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.
Republicans seek to 'neuter' new global warming committee --With one exception, Republicans chose a team of climate foes to take part in a new committee on climate change. By Tara Lohan 09 Mar 2007 Speaker Pelosi created a new House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming... ThinkProgress writes, "Unable to block the creation of the committee, House conservative leaders are now doing everything they can to neuter it. Conservative leadership aides reportedly told Republican members that a vote in favor of the bill creating the global warming panel 'would put them out of running for a seat' on the panel."
Researchers see global-warming signs near, far 11 Mar 2007 Global warming, scientists say, is reshaping the landscapes in which they work, forcing some researchers to carry shotguns to fend off stranded polar bears and leaving others to watch once- vibrant coral reefs die. In Siberia, University of Colorado soil biologist Jason Neff has seen melting permafrost create sinkholes in tundra, which fill with murky water. "Things that you'd think would take hundreds of years are happening before your eyes," Neff said.
Top Scientists Warn of Water Shortages and Disease Linked to Global Warming 12 Mar 2007 The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people will not have enough water, top scientists are likely to say next month at a meeting in Belgium. At the same time, tens of millions of others will be flooded out of their homes each year as the earth reels from rising temperatures and sea levels, according to portions of a draft of an international scientific report by the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Halliburton CEO will oversee new Dubai headquarters 11 Mar 2007 Oil industry services provider Halliburton Co. announced Sunday that it will open a headquarters office in Dubai that will be overseen by Chairman and Chief Executive Dave Lesar, the Houston, Texas-based company said in a statement. Lesar will work closely in Dubai with senior vice president, Ahmed Lotfy, who heads eastern hemisphere operations, to bolster the company's ventures in the Middle East and Asia, as well as Africa, the Pacific and Europe. [Gee, wouldn't it be *awful* if Iraq's resistance fighters find Halliburton's headquarters in Dubai?]
Bush to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan 12 Mar 2007 President [sic] George Bush is to send another 3,500 American troops to Afghanistan, which would raise the number of US forces there to 27,000. President Bush announced the planned deployment in a letter sent to Congress on Saturday and the White House said on Sunday the troops would help train the Afghan army and police.
Additional Troop Increase Approved --President Agrees to Send 8,200 More to Iraq, Afghanistan 11 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush approved 8,200 more U.S. troops for Iraq and Afghanistan on top of reinforcements already ordered to those two countries, the White House said Saturday, a move that comes amid a fiery debate in Washington over the Iraq war.
'Smart' rebels outstrip US --Top American generals make shock admission as Iraq leader pleads with neighbouring countries to seal off their borders 11 Mar 2007 The US army is lagging behind Iraq's 'insurgents' tactically in a war that senior officers say is the biggest challenge since Korea 50 years ago. In a bleak analysis, senior officers described the fighters they were facing in Iraq and Afghanistan 'as smart, agile and cunning' [--the opposite of Bush].
Dozens Killed In Separate Attacks Across Iraq 11 Mar 2007 Dozens were killed in separate attacks across Iraq, only a day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had claimed at a Baghdad conference that violence in his country was significantly reduced.
At least 42 killed in Iraq 11 Mar 2007 Suicide bombers blew up a bus and a flatbed truck in separate attacks here today that targeted Shiite pilgrims returning from an annual pilgrimage to the southern city of Karbala. At least 42 people were killed in the explosions.
In New Tactic, Militants Burn Houses in Iraq 12 Mar 2007 Sunni militants burned homes in a mixed city northeast of Baghdad on Saturday and Sunday, forcing dozens of families to flee and raising the specter of a new [US] intimidation tactic in Iraq’s evolving civil war, Iraqi officials and witnesses said.
U.S. Strategy Undermined Iraq's Women: Report (OneWorld) 10 Mar 2007 The United States' four-year-old occupation of Iraq has considerably worsened the lives of the country's women, charges a new report from an international human rights group.
Scandal of treatment for wounded Iraq veterans --Soldiers 'denied proper hospital care' 11 Mar 2007 A shocking picture of neglect and the appalling treatment of wounded British troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan emerged last night in a remarkable series of letters from soldiers' families obtained by The Observer.
The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq --At Fort Benning, soldiers who were classified as medically unfit to fight are now being sent to war. Is this an isolated incident or a trend? By Mark Benjamin 11 Mar 2007 As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.
Defector spied on Iran for years 11 Mar 2007 An Iranian general who defected to the West last month had been spying on Iran since 2003 when he was recruited on an overseas business trip, according to Iranian sources. This weekend Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, the former deputy defence minister, is understood to be undergoing debriefing at a Nato base in Germany after he escaped [kidnapped?] from Iran, followed by his family. [...] "Ali Reza was a wealthy man even before 2003," said an Iranian source. "Since 2003 he has become a very wealthy man."
Iran votes to impose petrol rationing 11 Mar 2007 Iranians are bracing themselves for a fresh round of belt tightening after their government voted to impose petrol rationing coupled with sharp rises in the price of fuel.
Pro-Israel lobby opens US meeting 11 Mar 2007 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) - one of the most powerful pressure groups in Washington and one of the main reasons for America's support of Israel - is holding its annual policy conference in Washington DC. The pro-Israel lobby group works to strengthen relations between the United States and Israel.
Tons of flammable 'beads' reported 10 Mar 2007 A day after the Army issued an alert advising the public not to touch the highly flammable, one-inch bead-like objects floating ashore at Ma'ili Beach, an area diver said he knows where tons of them litter the reef three miles off the Wai'anae Coast. "I'm not talking about a handful," said Cameron Guadiz, an assistant dive instructor with Captain Bruce Scuba Charters. "We're talking about tons of them at Five Inch Reef."
Unmasked agent piles pressure on 'liability' Cheney 11 Mar 2007 The US vice-pResident, Dick Cheney, is expected to come under pressure over his role in the outing of Valerie Plame, the former CIA agent, when she testifies before Congress this week.
Why Libby's Pardon Is a Slam Dunk By Frank Rich 11 Mar 2007 Even by Washington’s standards, few debates have been more fatuous or wasted more energy than the frenzied speculation over whether President [sic] Bush will or will not pardon Scooter Libby. Of course he will. A president who tries to void laws he doesn’t like by encumbering them with “signing statements” and who regards the Geneva Conventions as a nonbinding technicality isn’t going to start playing by the rules now... Either way, the pardon is a must for Mr. Bush. He needs Mr. Libby to keep his mouth shut. [The New York Times.]
'What did the Americans do to him?' Episode at Guantanamo Leaves Family at a Loss 11 Mar 2007 Mishal al-Harbi's brain was deprived of oxygen for several minutes on the evening of Jan. 16, 2003, while he was in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As a result, he cannot stand, his speech is slurred, and he has a twitch that periodically causes his head to shake and his legs to jerk. U.S. authorities say Mishal's brain was damaged when he tried to hang himself at Guantanamo. But his brother Fahd says a beating by prison guards cut off the flow of oxygen, leaving Mishal unable to walk or talk properly. Mishal's family says it is seeking not only financial compensation but also concrete answers from the U.S. government -- either an admission that Mishal was injured by guards or proof that he tried to kill himself.
de la "guerre contre le terrorisme" A network of the US secret prisons in Africa 09 Mar 2007 According to Le Monde, the US started a regional network of US secret prisons in East-Africa, violating international law. Njonjo Moults, head of the of the Commission human rights in Kenya KNCHR, said: 'We asked to have access to the prisoners. That was refused, without explanation.' Humanitarian organization counted at least 155 prisoners from various nationalities were transferred from Kenya to Somalia. [See: Somalie : les prisonniers fantômes d'Afrique de l'Est 09 Mar 2007.]
U.S. and U.K. Asked Poland to Keep CIA Prison a Secret: Report 08 Mar 2007 A new report alleges that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated a detention facility for terror suspects in Poland, with the approval of the United Kingdom.
Democratic senators say Gonzales should go 11 Mar 2007 U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign following disclosures of mass firings of federal prosecutors and a report that the FBI improperly [illegally] obtained information on private citizens, top Democratic senators said on Sunday.
Schumer Calls on Gonzales to Step Down 11 Mar 2007 The Senate's No. 3 Democrat said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign because he is putting politics above the law. Sen. Charles Schumer cited the FBI's illegal snooping into people's private lives and the Justice Department's firing of federal prosecutors.
'More than anyone in the administration, except perhaps Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Gonzales symbolizes Mr. Bush's disdain for the separation of powers, civil liberties and the rule of law.' The Failed Attorney General (The New York Times) 11 Mar 2007 [Alberto Gonzales] has never stopped being consigliere to Mr. Bush’s imperial presidency. If anyone, outside Mr. Bush’s rapidly shrinking circle of enablers, still had doubts about that, the events of last week should have erased them... Mr. Gonzales was disdainful of any attempt by Congress to examine the spying program, let alone control it. The attorney general helped formulate and later defended the policies that repudiated the Geneva Conventions in the war against terror, and that sanctioned the use of kidnapping, secret detentions, abuse and torture. He has been central to the administration’s assault on the courts, which he recently said had no right to judge national security policies, and on the constitutional separation of powers.
Justice Department: FBI acted illegally on data --Audit finds agency misused Patriot Act to obtain information on citizens 09 Mar 2007 The FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the USA Patriot Act to secretly obtain personal information about people in the United States, a Justice Department audit concluded Friday.
Lawmakers Vow Hearings on FBI Errors 09 Mar 2007 Members of Congress vowed today to conduct investigative hearings -- and consider reining in parts of the Patriot Act -- following revelations of pervasive problems in the FBI's use of national security letters to secretly obtain telephone, e-mail and financial records in terrorism cases.
White House says Rove relayed complaints about prosecutors 11 Mar 2007 The White House acknowledged on Sunday that presidential adviser Karl Rove served as a conduit for complaints about federal prosecutors as House investigators declared their intention to question him about any role he may have played in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Rove relayed complaints from Republican officials and others to the Justice Department and the White House counsel's office.
Fuel to the Firings --Eight U.S. attorneys lost their jobs. Now investigators are assessing if the dismissals were politically motivated. 19 Mar 2007 Was there an attempted cover-up? The disclosure of Bud Cummins's e-mail at a Senate hearing last week only stoked the controversy surrounding a Justice Department already under fire for politicizing the legal process. A key question for investigators now: did Justice officials, with involvement from the White House, fire attorneys in retaliation for actions that didn't favor the GOP?
Homeland Security chief defends program 10 Mar 2007 A new Homeland Security program aims to analyze existing, legally collected computer data, not gather new personal information on U.S. citizens, Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday in defending the program from congressional critics. Called ADVISE - for Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement - the program can be used to find "relationships or patterns" from information including financial and telephone records, he said.
Larger CIA and DoD Privatization Scandal Emerging from Walter Reed Story, US Attorneys Firing By leveymg 10 Mar 2007 Rumsfeld and Top GOP Figures Profited from Privatization of VA Hospital, CIA Contractors A large global hedge fund, Cerberus Capital Management (dba, Cerberus-Gabriel), is at the center of an emerging Pentagon and CIA contracting scandal that has the attention of three Congressional Committees.
Citizens Who Lack Papers Lose Medicaid 12 Mar 2007 A new federal rule intended to keep illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid has instead shut out tens of thousands of United States citizens who have had difficulty complying with requirements to show birth certificates and other documents proving their citizenship, state officials say.
CDC unsure country is safer from bio-terrorism 11 Mar 2007 Government health officials said they can’t show how $5 billion spent on preparations for a [Bush-engendered] bio-terror attack or flu pandemic has made the country safer. [Right, it's another five-billion-dollar blow job for Bush's cronies.]
'I'm almost using the flu pandemic as an excuse to prepare for a disaster.' Bird flu drill held at senior center 11 Mar 2007 (MA) Last November, 635 elderly people filed into the Worcester Senior Center to get their annual flu shots. They were done in less than four hours. They didn't know they were part of a simulation of what would happen during a flu pandemic at one of Worcester’s nine emergency dispensing sites.
California Health Department Delaying Release of Report on E. Coli Outbreak--Fireworks Expected at Monday Senate Hearing --Senator Notes the Irony with Advent of "Sunshine Week" By Frank D. Russo 10 Mar 2007 The Chair of the California Senate Select Committee on Food-Borne Illness, Dean Florez, has sent a tart but polite letter to the California Department of Health Services (DHS) over their latest refusal on Friday to make available to the committee its report on the deadly September 2006 E. coli outbreak linked to California spinach.
New climate report: More bad news 10 Mar 2007 The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.
Bush: 8,200 More Troops Needed for Wars 11 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush asked Congress on Saturday [when no one is paying attention] for $3.2 billion to pay for 8,200 more U.S. troops needed in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of the 21,500-troop buildup he announced in January. [What are the DemocRATs doing about this?! Nothing, of course, as they are absof*ckinglutely *useless.* Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003]
Bush approves 4,400 more troops for Iraq 11 Mar 2007 President [sic] George W Bush has approved adding 4,400 more US troops to a force buildup already ordered to try to bring security to Iraq, the White House said today. Bush formally requested about $US3.2 billion ($NZ4.73 billion) to pay for the additional deployment, even as he and Democratic lawmakers battle over his Iraq strategy
Bush sends new Iraq budget request to U.S. Congress 10 Mar 2007 It will cost about $3 billion to send extra U.S. troops to Iraq in support of the 21,500 already being deployed under President [sic] George W. Bush's reworked war strategy, the White House said on Saturday. Bush sent House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, a letter revising a $100 billion request for funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama Presses for Iraqi Reforms [Whoop-de-doo, Barack!] 11 Mar 2007 Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday said the U.S. will have to withdraw its troops from Iraq, regardless of the costs, if serious reforms are not made by the Iraqi government. "In the absence of those conditions we're just throwing money away," Obama said during a campaign stop in Dubuque.
For first time since Vietnam, riverboats deploy for Iraq 08 Mar 2007 A riverboat squadron departed Thursday for Iraq, the first deployment of Navy swift boats to a war zone since Vietnam. About 100 members of the Riverine Squadron 1 will integrate with Marines patrolling the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, eventually replacing the Marine force. They will patrol those waters to combat [foment] terrorist operations.
Pentagon struggles to find fresh troops 10 Mar 2007 Military leaders are struggling to choose Army units to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan longer or go there earlier than planned, but five years of war have made fresh troops harder to find.
U.S. military claims deletion of AP footage at attack site in Afghanistan justified 10 Mar 2007 The U.S. military asserted that an American soldier was justified in erasing journalists' footage of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and shooting in Afghanistan last week, saying publication could have compromised a military 'investigation' [cover-up] and led to false [?] public conclusions.
US troops kill Iraqi father, two daughters 10 Mar 2007 US forces opened fire on an unarmed Iraqi family's car and killed a father and his two young daughters, the man's wife said on Saturday. A statement from the US military confirmed that three Iraqis were killed and three more wounded in Friday's shooting in east Baghdad, after the car's driver ignored or missed signals for him to stop.
More than 20 dead in Iraq attacks 10 Mar 2007 A suicide car bomb struck Baghdad's Shiite stronghold Saturday, killing at least 20 people. Police said at least 48 were wounded.
Hussein trial judge seeks asylum in Britain: report 09 Mar 2007 The Iraqi [US-installed] trial 'judge' who sentenced former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to death has asked for asylum in Britain, Al Jazeera television said on Friday.
Top Gun aircraft are seized from US museums in 'paranoia' raids 09 Mar 2007 Federal US agents have seized disabled F14 fighter jets from museums in California because of fears that parts would be sold to Iran. [LOL, I'm sure Halliburton would be on top of that sale like a duck on a June bug.]
U.S., Allies Agree to Drop Proposed Iran Travel Ban 10 Mar 2007 U.S., British, French and German diplomats agreed in a closed-door meeting Friday to drop a proposal to impose a mandatory travel ban on Iranian officials linked to the country's most sensitive nuclear activities, Security Council diplomats said.
Some Guantanamo detainees able to garden 11 Mar 2007 A select group of detainees at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been allowed to plant gardens for the first time, a military spokesman said. Prisoners in Camp 4, which holds the "most compliant" detainees, started growing tomatoes several weeks ago in concrete soil-filled planters, Navy Cmdr Robert Durand said. The military allowed the gardens - and provided plastic gardening tools, watering cans and seeds - at the request of lawyers for detainees, Durand said in an email response to questions about the activity.
Defence requested Hicks court delay 10 Mar 2007 Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks' trial has been pushed back a week due to a defence team scheduling conflict, his military lawyer Major Michael Mori has said. Major Mori said reports that the prosecution requested the delay until March 26 were incorrect.
7 Arrested at Mo. Neo-Nazi March 11 Mar 2007 A neo-Nazi march Saturday attracted hundreds of spectators and counter-protestors, and police used pepper spray to control the crowd. Seven spectators were arrested. About two dozen neo-Nazis marched near the University of Missouri-Columbia campus, protesting what they said were the school's links to Marxism. Police escorted the marchers, who included several people wearing brown-shirted uniforms and carrying Nazi banners. [Of course the police - often closeted Nazis or Nazi sympathizers themselves - *escorted* the marchers and *arrested* the spectators.]
Report: Rove Was Pressed on Prosecutor 10 Mar 2007 The chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party was quoted Saturday as saying he urged presidential adviser Karl Rove and one of his assistants to fire the state's U.S. attorney. McClatchy Newspapers reported that Allen Weh said he complained in 2005 about then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to a White House liaison who worked for Rove, asking that he be removed, and followed up with Rove personally in late 2006 during a visit to the White House. "Is anything ever going to happen to that guy?" Weh said he asked Rove at a White House holiday event. "He's gone," Rove said, according to Weh.
House panel widens probe in firings of 8 U.S. attorneys --Committee wants to interview White House officials, seeks documents 10 Mar 2007 The House Judiciary Committee sharply broadened its investigation yesterday into the firing of eight top federal prosecutors, calling on the White House to provide legal documents and make current and former senior officials available for interviews -- including former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers.
U.S. hires "digital outreach team" to monitor Net chats 09 Mar 2007 The State Department has hired two native Arabic speakers to monitor Arabic political discussion forums on the Internet and to overtly participate in them in an effort to 'correct misperceptions' [spread propaganda] about U.S. policy in the Middle East. The small "digital outreach team," which also includes a supervising Foreign Service officer, was created in December by [Bush whore] Karen Hughes, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy.
Chief of NSA urges 'action' 10 Mar 2007 In what he described as "a call to action," the director of the National Security Agency has urged the nation's largest intelligence agency to transform the way it carries out its mission and speed the development of new spy technology, according to an internal NSA document. A blunt memorandum by Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the NSA's director, said the agency must totally rethink its approach to spying and fix "systemic problems" identified after the Sept. 11 attacks.
ACLU Refutes FBI's Claims of "Unintentional" Patriot Act Abuses, Citing Lies About Authority to Demand Phone Company Records --FBI Should Notify Customers and Name the Phone Companies Involved, ACLU Says 09 Mar 2007 Claims that the FBI’s reported Patriot Act abuses were the "unintentional" result of outmoded computer systems and human error are not credible, the American Civil Liberties Union said today, citing evidence that agents contracted with phone companies to obtain customer records and later sought to cover up the illegal requests.
U.S. struggles with bioterror defenses 10 Mar 2007 More than five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the government cannot show how the $5 billion given to public health departments has better prepared the country for a [Bush-engendered] bioterrorism attack or flu pandemic. Congress responded to the 2001 strikes and anthrax-tainted letters sent to lawmakers by putting much more money toward emergency preparedness. [Right, Rudy Giuliani has made a *killing* on Bush's 9/11 and Cheney's letters, tainted with anthrax made at Fort Detrick.]
Americans still don't trust DHS 09 Mar 2007 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration remain among the least trusted of all U.S. agencies, a new survey finds. Indeed, the DHS came in dead last of all 74 federal agencies that the survey respondents were asked about.
Yeah, they shouldn't trust the FDA, either: Arsenic's use in chicken feed troubles health advocates 10 Mar 2007 Carole Morison steps into a vast metal building where 27,200 chicks cluster in darkness around feeding machines. Along with the corn, fat and protein being snapped up by the young birds is Roxarsone - a feed additive made from arsenic. Perdue Farms requires Morison to feed it to her chickens to fatten them and fight parasites.
The Abramoff Connection: Guam bought more than lobbying By Mindy Fothergill 07 Mar 2007 As the Government of Guam struggles to pay its bills and ensure payroll this Friday the local Judiciary continues its efforts to recover nearly a half-million dollars it believes was inappropriately spent for lobbying services. The Superior Court of Guam paid former powerhouse lobbyist Jack Abramoff $479,000 - for the last few years all we've known is that the money was allegedly used to oppose a congressional measure to unify the local judiciary. But as we began to follow the paper trail, it's obvious local taxpayers paid for much more than lobbying efforts for the court.
Inquiry Sought on Agency Memo About Polar Bears, Climate Change 10 Mar 2007 Two senior House Democrats demanded yesterday that Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne turn over documents to Congress in order to determine whether the administration was preventing federal scientists traveling abroad from discussing how global warming affects polar bears. [See: UnBEARable: Bush regime forbids mention of polar bears "Don't discuss polar bears": memo to scientists 08 Mar 2007.]
Climate Report Warns of Drought, Disease 10 Mar 2007 The harmful effects of global warming on daily life are already showing up, and within a couple of decades hundreds of millions of people won't have enough water, top scientists will say next month at a meeting in Belgium.
Two years to change EU light bulbs 10 Mar 2007 Ordinary light bulbs are to be banned across the European Union within two years in the fight against climate change. The 490 million citizens of the 27 member states will be expected to switch to energy-efficient bulbs after a summit of EU leaders yesterday told the European Commission to "rapidly submit proposals" to that effect.
US refuses to name men at Guantanamo Bay court 10 March 2007 The Pentagon has refused to reveal which of its 14 "high-value" detainees were being examined by military lawyers in closed proceedings in Guantanamo Bay. The military said the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT), which began yesterday, were being held to assess 14 men transferred to the prison last September from secret "black hole" prisons operated around the world.
U.S. holds first hearings for 'high-value' Guantanamo prisoners 09 Mar 2007 The U.S. began a series of secret hearings Friday to determine whether 14 alleged terrorist leaders at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be declared "enemy combatants" who can be held indefinitely and prosecuted by military tribunals.
Gonzales, Mueller Admit FBI Broke Law 10 Mar 2007 The nation's top two law enforcement officials acknowledged Friday the FBI broke the law to secretly pry out personal information about Americans. They apologized and vowed to prevent further illegal intrusions.
FBI abused power to get private records: report 09 Mar 2007 The FBI abused its power by illegally or improperly obtaining telephone, financial and other secret records in investigations of terrorism or espionage suspects, the U.S. Justice Department's inspector general said on Friday.
Bush's Iraq Plan Costs Begins to Balloon 09 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush's troop buildup in Baghdad apparently will be bigger and more costly - and perhaps last longer - than it seemed when he unveiled the plan in January as the centerpiece of a new Iraq strategy.
House Dems Face Uphill Battle Over Iraq 09 Mar 2007 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, her party deeply divided and holding only a narrow majority, faces long odds in passing legislation that would bring troops home from Iraq before the 2008 presidential election.
U.S. Soldiers Accused of Shooting Civilians in Sadr City 10 Mar 2007 American soldiers were accused Friday of opening fire on a car carrying a family in the Baghdad district of Sadr City, killing a man and his two young daughters and wounding his son. [See: The Iraq That George Built --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald 07 Mar 2007.]
Students prevent U.S. forces from raiding university in Baghdad [Great job!] 08 Mar 2007 Iraqi students rallied and prevented, on Thursday, a U.S. force from entering the campus of the second largest university in Baghdad [al-Mustansiriyah university], an eyewitness student said.
Coalition of the Bribed: Georgia to send more troops to Iraq 09 Mar 2007 Georgia is to more than double its contingent of soldiers in Iraq to 2,000. The former Soviet republic's embassy in the US said on Thursday that it would raise the number from the current 850 in an effort to pave the way to joining Nato.
Is the Bush surge already failing? The president just gave a rosy assessment of his plan, but insurgents have adapted and Iraqis continue to be slaughtered. By Juan Cole 08 Mar 2007 On Tuesday, President [sic] Bush said that "even at this early hour, there are some encouraging signs" that the so-called surge is working in Iraq. In fact, three weeks into what the president refers to as the "surge" and what Iraqis call the "new security plan," it's already clear that Bush's last-gasp bid for victory faces challenges that can't necessarily be surmounted by a few thousand additional troops.
Rep. Gingrey Blames Soldiers For Walter Reed Squalor: 'If You Leave Food Around You'll Get Mice' 09 Mar 2007 Yesterday at the House Armed Services Committee hearing on veterans care, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Maggot-GA) attempted to stand out from the rest of Congress and argue that the conditions in Building 18 weren’t that bad. He also tried to blame the soldiers for the conditions, stating, "And, of course, if you leave food around in a motel room or a dorm room at a college, you’re going to get some mice show up at some point in time."
No deal on UN sanctions for Iran 10 Mar 2007 Russia and China have said they have reservations with some of the proposed UN Security Council sanctions to punish Iran for continuing to enrich uranium.
Iran Sanctions Concern China, Russia 09 Mar 2007 Russia raised concerns Friday about proposals to extend U.N. sanctions against Iran to its elite Revolutionary Guards, while China warned that reducing credit to the Islamic country could punish the Iranian people for their government's nuclear defiance.
Iranian general 'hands over vital documents after defecting to US' 10 Mar 2007 An Iranian general [deputy defence minister, Ali Rez Asgari] appears to have defected to the West with vital documents, despite Iranian claims that he was snatched last month from a Turkish hotel by US or Israeli agents.
Israel planned for Lebanon war months in advance, PM says --Olmert's leaked testimony contradicts earlier remarks 09 Mar 2007 Preparations for Israel's war in Lebanon last summer were drawn up at least four months before two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbullah in July, Ehud Olmert, the prime minister, has admitted. His submission to a commission of inquiry, leaked yesterday, contradicted the impression at the time that Israel was provoked into a battle for which it was ill-prepared. Mr Olmert told the Winograd commission, a panel of judges charged with investigating Israel's perceived defeat in the 34-day war, that he first discussed the possibility of war in January and asked to see military plans in March.
Israeli troops 'used 11-year-old girl as a human shield' 10 Mar 2007 The Israeli army stood accused last night of forcing an 11-year-old girl to act as a human shield during a raids in the West Bank. The Israeli Defence Force said it was investigating the claims of the use of civilians in military operations, a practice that has been ruled illegal by Israel's Supreme Court and is prohibited by the Geneva conventions.
Israel unveils portable hunter-killer robot 09 Mar 2007 An Israeli defence firm today unveiled a portable robot billed as being capable of entering most combat zones alone and engaging enemies with an onboard armory that includes a machine-pistol and grenades.
US sends spies into Pakistan to kill bin Laden 10 Mar 2007 America is stepping up its hunt for Osama bin Laden by dispatching additional CIA operatives and paramilitary officers to Pakistan to kill or capture the al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh] leader.
Oops! Tape of Padilla interrogation is missing 09 Mar 2007 A videotape showing Pentagon officials' final interrogation [torture] of 'al-Qaida' suspect Jose Padilla is missing, raising questions about whether federal prosecutors have lost other recordings and evidence in the case.
Chavez Leads Rally Against Bush Visit 10 Mar 2007 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched another verbal assault on Dictator Bush Friday as he led some 20,000 supporters in an anti-American rally [NO, an anti-Bush rally - not an anti-American rally] calling the U.S. leader a "political cadaver" and blasting his policies as "imperialist." "Gringo go Home!" Chavez shouted to raucous applause in a crowded soccer stadium, speaking even as Bush was arriving in neighboring Uruguay as part of a Latin America tour.
Chavez attacks Bush 'domination' 10 Mar 2007 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has attacked US counterpart George W Bush [NO, not a 'counterpart' - Chavez was elected, Bush was not] as a "symbol of domination" as the pair continue rival Latin American tours.
Priests to Purify Site After Bush Visit 08 Mar 2007 Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President [sic] Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday. "That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.
McGovern: Cheney must go --Says Libby's conviction points to vice president's involvement in CIA leak 07 Mar 2007 George McGovern has a word for Vice President Dick Cheney: "Resign." Responding to Tuesday's conviction of Cheney's former chief-of-staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI - after a trial that revealed Cheney's intimate involvement with a scheme to discredit a critic of the administration's war policies - the former congressman, senator and presidential candidate said it was time for the vice president [sic] to go.
Bush's New US Attorney a Criminal? BBC Television had exposed 2004 voter attack scheme by appointee Griffin, a Rove aide. Black soldiers and the homeless targeted. By Greg Palast 07 Mar 2007 ...Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove’s assistant, the President’s [sic] pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election. Key voters on Griffin’s hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women... Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
U.S. halts imaginary Cubans in security drill 08 Mar 2007 Two thousand imaginary Cuban migrants set sail toward Florida during a massive two-day U.S. training exercise but were intercepted by federal, state and local agents armed with teamwork and acronyms. [Too bad we can't halt Bush, the imaginary president. --LRP]
Sweden eyes monitoring e-mail, cellphone calls 08 Mar 2007 Sweden's government presented a contentious plan Thursday to allow a defense intelligence agency to monitor - without a court order - e-mail traffic and phone calls crossing the nation's borders.
Georgia public schools move towards teaching Bible 08 Mar 2007 Georgia is poised to introduce two literature classes on the Bible in public schools next year, a move analysts say would make the state the first to take an explicit stance endorsing -- and funding -- biblical teachings.
Appeals Court Overturns D.C. Gun Ban 10 Mar 2007 A federal appeals court overturned the District of Columbia's long-standing handgun ban Friday, rejecting the city's argument that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applied only to militias.
Nevada Dems Nix Fox Debate 09 Mar 2007 The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno, according to Democratic insiders. The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.
Gingrich had affair while hounding Clinton over Monica 10 Mar 2007 Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, admitted yesterday that he was cheating on his own wife when he led the Republican charge to impeach Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Firefighters Union Assails Giuliani 10 Mar 2007 The nation's largest firefighters union has accused Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, of committing "egregious acts" against firefighters who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Firefighters Union Letter On Rudy Giuliani 08 Mar 2007 On March 14, 2007, the IAFF will host the first bi-partisan Presidential Forum of the 2008 election cycle... Early on, the IAFF made a decision to invite all serious candidates from both political parties — except one: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani... Many people consider Rudy Giuliani "America's Mayor," and many of our members who don't yet know the real story, may also have a positive view of him. This letter is intended to make all of our members aware of the egregious acts Mayor Giuliani committed against our members, our fallen on 9/11, and our New York City union officers following that horrific day.
U.S. Heating Bills Up, But Fed Help Down 09 Mar 2007 The number of people requiring energy-bill assistance has grown at the same time that Congress and the White House have cut funding by nearly $1 billion from last year. The combination has quickly rippled to the states, and at least seven are either completely out of money or will be shortly. With benefits pared, concern is mounting that many people will start to receive notices that their utilities will be shut off on April 1 unless they pay their bills.
Gas prices may approach all-time high within days 09 Mar 2007 Gas prices may soar another 20 to 30 cents a gallon in California in the next few days - approaching all-time highs - to the frustration of motorists who have seen pump costs jump more than 40 cents in the past month.
Bird flu confirmed in 6 more areas of Afghanistan 10 Mar 2007 The virulent H5N1 bird flu virus has been confirmed in six additional areas in eastern Afghanistan and Kabul, the United Nations said.
Climate change pushes diseases north: expert 09 Mar 2007 Global warming is pushing northwards diseases more commonly found in developing countries, posing a risk to the financial and physical health of rich nations, the head of a livestock herders' charity said.
Don't mention the polar bears, Bush tells US scientists 10 Mar 2007 The Bush Administration has been accused once again of gagging US government scientists by getting them to agree not to talk about polar bears, sea ice and climate change during official overseas trips.
Blair hails 'bold' EU deal to slash carbon emissions and boost renewable power 10 Mar 2007 Europe yesterday claimed leadership of the global battle against climate change as it agreed to slash carbon emissions and generate one fifth of its energy from renewables including solar and wind power.
EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gases 09 Mar 2007 EU leaders agreed Friday on a bold set of measures to fight global warming, pledging that a fifth of the bloc's energy will come from green power sources such as wind turbines and solar panels by 2020 and 10 percent of European cars will run on biofuels.
White House hangs veto over pullout plan 08 Mar 2007 House Democratic leaders vowed Thursday to pass legislation setting a deadline of Sept. 1, 2008, for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, a challenge to President [sic] Bush's war policy that drew a blunt veto threat in return.
Bush Spokesman: Iraq Plan a 'non-starter' 09 Mar 2007 Republicans in the U.S. Congress and the Bush regime denounced a Democratic plan announced Thursday to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq next year.
Democrats Want Iraq Pullout by Fall 2008 [Just before the 2008 'elections.] In a direct challenge to President [sic] Bush, House Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year. The White House said Bush would veto it. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the deadline would be added to legislation providing nearly $100 billion the Bush administration has requested for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. Commander in Iraq Sees Long Commitment 08 Mar 2007 The new American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, warned today that American troops here face a long road ahead, and left open the possibility that even more soldiers would be called to serve here in Iraq.
Buildup in Iraq Needed Into '08, U.S. General Says 08 Mar 2007 The day-to-day commander of American forces in Iraq has recommended that the heightened American troop levels there be maintained through February 2008, military officials said Wednesday. The White House has never said exactly how long it intends the troop buildup to last, but military officials say the increased American force level will begin declining in August unless additional units are sent or more units are held over.
Pentagon deploys more troops to Baghdad 07 Mar 2007 The Pentagon has approved a request by the new U.S. commander in Iraq for an extra 2,200 military police to help deal with an anticipated increase in detainees during the Baghdad security crackdown, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Maliki suspends UK military cooperation 08 Mar 2007 The government of Iraq has put on hold all its collaboration with British military forces deployed to that country, Al-Iraqiyah news network reported. Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Safa al-Din Mohammed al-Safi said the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had condemned British troops for raiding the police information and security building in Basra, ordering all cooperation with British forces be suspended until completion of investigations into the matter.
U.S. commander: "sensational attacks" to continue in Iraq 08 Mar 2007 The top commander of U.S. military in Iraq said Thursday that "sensational attacks" are expected to continue in the war-torn country despite the ongoing security crackdown in Baghdad.
Iraqi anti-corruption head says graft worse than in Hussein's time 08 Mar 2007 Corruption in Iraq is now worse than it was during Saddam Hussein's regime, the Chairman of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity (CPI), Radhi Hamza al-Radhi, said in an interview published Thursday in the Arabic-language Asharq Alawsat newspaper. According to Al-Radhi, the commission was currently investigating the embezzlement of public funds to the tune of eight billion US dollars. Independent observers in Baghdad report that it is very difficult to find an official who will discharge a public service without a bribe.
Oops! Afghan Official a Convicted Trafficker 09 Mar 2007 When the deal went down in Las Vegas, the seller was introduced only as "Mr. E." In a room at Caesars Palace hotel, Mr. E exchanged a pound-and-a-half bag of heroin for $65,000 cash - unaware that the buyer was an undercover detective. The sting landed him in Nevada state prison for nearly four years. Twenty years later and Mr. E, whose real name is Izzatullah Wasifi, has a new job. He is the government of Afghanistan's anti-corruption chief.
Fourth British soldier in a week killed in Helmand 08 Mar 2007 A British soldier died today following an attack on a base in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said.
Clinton Proposes New GI Bill of Rights 08 Mar 2007 In an address to the Center for American Progress Thursday, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., called for strong and immediate action to meet the nation's responsibilities to its military veterans, and announced new legislative initiatives designed to address problems in providing adequate health care to veterans.
Paralysis beam under development by the US Army 21 Feb 2007 A paralysis beam based on a 7.5 million candlepower strobe light from Peak Beam Systems is under development by the US Army. ...[I]appears that US government acquisition records call for Peak Systems to "...design and fabricate a light-based immobilisation system/deterrent device and integrate it with an unmanned aerial system. This will include any necessary medical research on frequency and amplitude modulation of high-intensity light that will cause immobilisation to all those within the beam."
Israel unveils portable hunter-killer robot 08 Mar 2007 An Israeli defense firm on Thursday unveiled a portable robot [the VIPeR, roughly the size of a small television] billed as being capable of entering most combat zones alone and engaging enemies with an onboard armory that includes a machine-pistol and grenades.
Legal Experts Rap Media Ban at Guantanamo 08 Mar 2007 Legal experts criticized the Bush regime Wednesday for barring the news media from military hearings that begin this week for 14 terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay. In a letter to top Pentagon officials, The Associated Press said the decision to close the proceedings "lock, stock and barrel" violates the Defense Department's own regulations.
N.Y. Mosque Leaders Sentenced in Terror Sting 08 Mar 2007 Two leaders of an Albany mosque who were snared in an FBI sting involving a fictional terror strike were sentenced Thursday to 15 years in federal prison. The former imam, Yassin Aref, professed innocence before his sentencing and criticized the government's treatment of Muslims. [They're sentenced for their roles in a *fictional* terror sting? When is Bush bin Laden going to be sentenced for his roles in *actual* terror events?]
Homeland Security revives supersnoop computer 08 Mar 2007 Homeland Security officials are testing a supersnoop computer system that sifts through personal information on U.S. citizens to detect possible terrorist attacks, prompting concerns from lawmakers who have called for investigations. The system uses the same data-mining process that was developed by the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project that was banned by Congress in 2003 because of vast privacy violations.
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence 06 Mar 2007 The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
Libby set to win pardon and escape jail term 08 Mar 2007 A White House official said last night that there was a "strong expectation" that President [sic] George W Bush would pardon Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the disgraced aide. An administration official said that it was highly unlikely that Libby would go to prison. "There's a strong expectation that if it comes to it, then the president will pardon him," he said.
The Problem With Pardoning Libby --President Bush may well pardon Scooter Libby. But he'd have to flout Justice Department guidelines in order to do it. By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball 07 Mar 2007 No sooner had word come down in federal court that I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby had been convicted on four felony counts than conservative allies began pressuring President [sic] Bush to step in and effectively overturn the verdict... But there’s one significant roadblock on the path to Libby’s salvation: Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff does not qualify to even be considered for a presidential pardon under Justice Department guidelines... [which] "require a petitioner to wait a period of at least five years after conviction or release from confinement (whichever is later) before filing a pardon application," according to the Justice Web site.
Valerie Plame to Testify 08 Mar 2007 Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has announced that Valerie Plame Wilson will testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Friday, March 16th.
CIA Leak Case Moves on to Civil Court 09 Mar 2007 The CIA leak saga did not end with I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's conviction this week. On top of his lengthy appeals, he and senior Bush administration officials face a lawsuit for their role in the exposure of a former CIA operative.
Prosecutors' firings slammed as 'purge' --Democrats accuse Justice Dept. of ousting 8 U.S. attorneys who wouldn't toe GOP line 07 Mar 2007 Top Democratic lawmakers Tuesday accused the Bush administration of carrying out a "political purge" by firing at least eight U.S. attorneys, including two from California.
UnBEARable: Bush regime forbids mention of polar bears --Memos Tell Officials How to Discuss Climate 08 Mar 2007 Internal memorandums circulated in the Alaskan division of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to require government biologists or other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.
"Don't discuss polar bears": memo to scientists 08 Mar 2007 Polar bears, sea ice and global warming are taboo subjects, at least in public, for some U.S. scientists attending meetings abroad, environmental groups and a top federal wildlife official said on Thursday. Environmental activists called this scientific censorship, which they said was in line with the Bush administration's history of muzzling dissent over global climate change.
3 appear over plot to kill Bush 07 Mar 2007 Three suspected Jordanian Islamists appeared in court on Wednesday accused of plotting to assassinate US President [sic] George W Bush and to bomb the US and Danish embassies.
Brazil police battle Bush protesters 08 Mar 2007 Police clashed Thursday with students, environmentalists and left-leaning Brazilians protesting a visit by President [sic] Bush. Protesting students also lobbed rocks and homemade explosives called potato bombs at riot police on a university campus in the Colombian capital of Bogota, where Bush is scheduled to visit Sunday as part of his five-nation tour of Latin America. [United for Peace and Justice, take note.]
Tight security in Brazil for Bush 08 Mar 2007 Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed across the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo ahead of a visit by US Dictator George W Bush. Anti-aircraft guns have been brought in and the streets around the hotel where he is staying have been closed.
"Before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment." Chuck Hagel's historic moment, and what it means for a declining presidency. By Charles P. Pierce 07 Mar 2007 "The president [sic] says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore," Hagel (R-NE) says, measuring his words by the syllable and his syllables almost by the letter. "He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends how this goes."
'The school-age girls of Texas are not guinea pigs who may be subjected to medial procedures at the apparent whim of Texas' governor.' Texas families file lawsuit to block governor's order requiring cervical cancer vaccine 23 Feb 2007 A group of families has sued in an attempt to block Gov. Rick Perry's (R-Pharma-Terrorist) executive order requiring schoolgirls to be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer. The lawsuit challenges Perry's authority to issue the order and seeks to block any state money from being spent on the vaccine until that question is resolved, said Kenneth Chaiken, the attorney representing the families.
World on alert over toxic mercury in food chain 09 Mar 2007 A worldwide alert about rising levels of toxic mercury in the food chain is issued today by scientists. The risks posed by mercury-contaminated fish are now big enough to trigger a warning to the public to be careful about how much and which fish they eat.
States Undercharge Polluters: Report 07 Mar 2007 States from Alabama to Wyoming collected such low fees from major polluters that they may have shortchanged efforts to fight air pollution by up to $50 million, an environmental group reported on Wednesday.
7 UPS workers hospitalized after chemical spill 08 Mar 2007 (IL) Seven employees at the UPS center in Hodgkins were taken to hospitals last night after a chemical spill emitted a cloud of fumes, officials said.
The Iraq That George Built --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Wednesday, 07 Mar 2007 Bush and Cheney have more than decimated Iraq. That is, in a country of 26 million people, Bush and Cheney have killed directly, caused the deaths indirectly, or caused the evacuation, of over four million people. That is, over 15% of the population has been cut up, root and branch, from the nation.
Trials of Guantanamo suspects begin without a lawyer or reporter in sight 08 Mar 2007 Campaigners have condemned the Bush administration's plan to proceed with secret proceedings against 14 "high-value" terrorism suspects currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. The military tribunals, scheduled to begin tomorrow, will take place behind closed doors and away from the scrutiny of the media. None of the suspects will be able to have a lawyer present.
US Democrats craft Iraq troop withdrawal deadline 08 Mar 2007 Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have tentatively settled on a timetable and conditions for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, which they hope to attach to a $100 billion Iraq war spending bill, senior lawmakers said on Wednesday. The lawmakers said they hoped to win approval of the plan by the House Appropriations Committee next week.
Over 1,100 journalists killed in decade-report 06 Mar 2007 More than 1,100 journalists and support staff have been killed carrying out their work in the past decade and the annual toll has jumped since 2003, the year of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a report said on Tuesday.
Iraq refugee: 'I feel disaster' as crisis grows 07 Mar 2007 The United Nations estimates 700,000 Iraqis have fled to Jordan -- more than one-tenth the entire kingdom's population. As many as 1 million more Iraqis are estimated to have sought refuge in Syria, about 120,000 are in Egypt and 40,000 in Lebanon, according to the United Nations. Inside Iraq, another 1 million to 2 million people have been forced out of their homes as a result of the violence, according to the United Nations.
Bomber Kills 30 People at Iraqi Cafe 07 Mar 2007 A suicide bomber killed more than 30 people Wednesday in a popular cafe northeast of Baghdad, and three American soldiers died when a roadside bomb exploded northwest of the capital, authorities said.
Three U.S. soldiers killed near Baghdad 07 Mar 2007 Three U.S. soldiers were killed and another was wounded by a roadside bomb near Baghdad on Wednesday, the U.S. military said.
Pentagon orders mine-resistant trucks 07 Mar 2007 A new combat truck with a V-shaped bottom designed to withstand blasts from roadside bombs is performing with such success in Iraq that the U.S. military is pressing a Wisconsin company and others to churn out hundreds more in the coming months. [Coming months? Apparently, the US is not planning to leave Iraq any time soon.]
Only 28 percent of Americans think U.S. will win war in Iraq: poll 07 Mar 2007 Only 28 percent of Americans think their country will probably or definitely win the war in Iraq, down from 35 percent in December, and the lowest since the question was first asked in September 2005, a USA Today/Gallup poll published on Tuesday showed.
Israeli MK predicts attack on Iran 08 Mar 2007 Israeli Knesset member Effie Eitam has a reputation as a hawk, but on the question of Iran and its nuclear program, he believes he speaks for the country’s mainstream strategic thinkers. "Israel is preparing and will definitely take action," Eitam predicted. "Israelis survived the Holocaust not to live under that threat again."
U.S. opens door to bilateral talks with Iran 07 Mar 2007 The United States left open the possibility on Wednesday that U.S. diplomats could meet one-on-one with Iranian officials on the sidelines of a conference of Iraq's neighbors in Baghdad this weekend.
Experts Warn New U.S. Weapon Could Jumpstart Nuclear Arms Race By Haider Rizvi 06 Mar 2007 A U.S. plan to develop a new hydrogen bomb could spark production of new nuclear weapons by other countries, including several foes of the Bush administration, warn some of the nation's leading arms control and disarmament advocacy groups. Last Friday, the Department of Energy announced it was seeking to develop a new hydrogen bomb that would replace the existing W76 warhead now deployed on submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
Blair faces Labour revolt by 100 MPs over Trident 07 March 2007 More than 100 Labour MPs are ready to vote against the Government over the replacement of the £65bn Trident nuclear weapon system, leaving Tony Blair with the humiliation of relying on Conservative votes to get it through the Commons.
Hearings for 14 Guantanamo Detainees to Be Held in Secret, Officials Say --14 detainees will face separate three-officer panels out of view and without a lawyer. 07 Mar 2007 Military tribunals are scheduled to begin Friday for 14 high-value foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but the hearings to determine whether they are enemy combatants will take place behind closed doors, defense officials said yesterday. The hearings will be the first secret Combatant Status Review Tribunals at Guantanamo. The hearings were to be the first time men such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed made public appearances since their arrests and years-long detention in secret CIA facilities.
Australian Guantanamo inmate to face court 08 Mar 2007 Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks will have his first court appearance on March 20 charged with providing material support for terrorism, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said on Thursday.
Liar in the White House: Cheney aide found guilty in CIA leak case --Saga of Washington's discredited WMD claims leads to the conviction for perjury of Dick Cheney's key aide 07 Mar 2007 In a massive new blow to the credibility of the White House, Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney's former chief of staff Lewis Libby has been convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury and lying to the FBI, during the investigation into the leaking of the identity of a CIA agent.
Cheney under political cloud after Libby trial 07 Mar 2007 The White House offered support on Wednesday for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, a powerful proponent of the Iraq war, after the conviction of his top aide dealt a fresh blow to Cheney's political reputation and raised new questions about his influence. The trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby showed Cheney, often portrayed by critics as the shadowy Darth Vader [LOL!] behind the war in Iraq, was deeply involved in an effort to discredit a critic of the administration's prewar intelligence.
Libby Guilty of Lying in C.I.A. Leak Case 07 Mar 2007 I. Lewis Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, was convicted on Tuesday of lying to a grand jury and to F.B.I. agents investigating the leak of the identity of a C.I.A. operative in the summer of 2003 amid a fierce public dispute over the war in Iraq.
Fired U.S. attorneys testify before Congress --One says he 'felt sick' after calls by GOP lawmakers. 07 Mar 2007 A fired federal prosecutor [David C. Iglesias] described Tuesday how two Republican lawmakers from New Mexico made him feel "sick" after they called him — in one case at his home — to ask about criminal charges against Democrats last fall, just as one of the officeholders faced a tight reelection race. [...] The firings have left most of the eight prosecutors angry. At Tuesday's hearings, H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, the former U.S. attorney in Little Rock, Ark., said he was pushed aside to make room for Timothy Griffin, a Republican operative for chief White House political advisor Karl Rove. Cummins also charged that the administration had continued to hound the prosecutors. He said a top Justice Department official warned him last month against talking to the media or Congress about the firings — a "threat" he passed on to his other former colleagues. John McKay, the fired prosecutor in Seattle, said he was incensed by the requests not to go public. Looking around the open hearing room, he told a large group of reporters and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee: "I did not feel at all intimidated. Instead, it made me angry. Hence my presence here."
Prosecutors Say They Felt Pressured, Threatened --Hill Republicans, Justice Dept. Cited 07 Mar 2007 Six fired U.S. attorneys testified on Capitol Hill yesterday that they had separately been the target of complaints, improper telephone calls and thinly veiled threats from a high-ranking Justice Department official or members of Congress, both before and after they were abruptly removed from their jobs.
Prosecutors Describe Contacts From Higher Up 07 Mar 2007 Six ousted United States attorneys told Congressional panels Tuesday new details about lawmakers’ intrusions in sensitive investigations and possible efforts by the Justice Department to squelch their public protests over their firings.
'The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.' - Wm Shakespeare, Henry VI (Act IV, Scene II). The Bush regime's most recent assault on the law -Compilation by Lori Price [Updated]
Whistle-blower Had to Fight NSA, LA Times to Tell Story 06 Mar 2007 Brian Ross and Vic Walter Report: Whistle-blower AT&T technician Mark Klein says his effort to reveal alleged government surveillance of domestic Internet traffic was blocked not only by U.S. intelligence officials but also by the top editors of the Los Angeles Times. In his first broadcast interview, as seen tonight on Nightline, Klein describes how he stumbled across "secret NSA rooms" being installed at an AT&T switching center in San Francisco and later heard of similar rooms in at least six other cities, including Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Jose and Seattle. Klein says he collected 120 pages of technical documents left around the San Francisco office showing how the NSA was installing "splitters" that would allow it to copy both domestic and international Internet traffic moving through AT&T connections with 16 other trunk lines.
Attorney: Evidence Proves NSA Wiretapped Without Warrants --But now evidence is no longer available and in custody of the Justice Department. By Tuan Nguyen 06 Mar 2007 Last July, U.S. President [sic] Bush blocked an internal investigation into the National Security Agency's (NSA) wire tapping program... Now, a Washington D.C. attorney named Wendell Belew is suing the U.S. government for wiretapping without a warrant, and he has the evidence to prove it.
N.Y. Citizens to Face Lock Up In Psychiatric Centers After Their Prison Terms End 01 Mar 2007 New York's most dangerous sex offenders [perhaps others, as well?] will be locked up in psychiatric centers after their prison terms end if a court determines they continue to pose a threat to the public, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Thursday. Spitzer and lawmakers began negotiating a new ''civil confinement'' law after the state's highest court struck down former Gov. George Pataki's order preventing such offenders from being released.
Vermont: 34 towns call for impeachment probe of Bush, Cheney 06 Mar 2007 Voters in more than 30 towns want Congress to begin an impeachment probe of President [sic] George W. Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney.
FDA: Regulating Tobacco Harmful to Health --FDA: 'I don't think you can inspect the problem away.' 06 Mar 2007 Government regulation of tobacco could backfire by leading smokers to light up more often and inhale more deeply, the Food and Drug Administration chief said Tuesday. [...] On food safety, a recent AP analysis found FDA food inspections fell off by nearly half between 2003 and 2006. "I don't think you can inspect the problem away," Dr. Andrew von [Orwell] Eschenbach told AP.
CSIRO bird flu lockdown 08 Mar 2007 Two Geelong lab technicians exposed to bird flu will sit out the incubation danger period in virtual solitude away from family and friends. Infectious disease specialists have told them to stay isolated in home quarantine while a Department of Human Services doctor monitors their health. Four investigations were launched into the incident yesterday after the Geelong Advertiser reported that workers were exposed to bird flu virus at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Moolap.
Bird flu scientists isolated --Two scientists exposed to bird flu after sharing a faulty lab-suit are being monitored while another has been given the all-clear. 08 Mar 2007 (Geelong, AU) The trio had been involved in an experiment [!?!] on ducks infected with a South-East Asian strain of the avian flu when it was discovered on Monday that an air filter in one of the protective suits was missing.
Bird flu lab bungle 'no cause for alarm' 07 Mar 2007 Victoria's chief health officer has moved to quell concerns over any potential bird flu outbreak after three laboratory workers were exposed to the deadly disease.
Gore calls on EU to take critical role in cutting gas emissions 08 Mar 2007 At a summit in Brussels, EU heads of government will sign a binding promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, a figure that would rise to 30 per cent if there is an agreement by countries in the rest of the world to follow suit. The importance of the issues at stake were underlined by Al Gore, the former American president and environmental activist, who said on a visit to Brussels that the EU had an "absolutely critical leadership role to play".
UN report says global warming effects more severe than expected 07 Mar 2007 A report on climate change to be released by the UN in May reveals that the consequences of global warming are much more severe than have been expected, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Achim Steiner said on Tuesday.
Scooter and a Blood Clot --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Tuesday, 06 Mar 2007 Could a guy named "Scooter" and a blood clot in Cheney's leg be the undoing of the Bush regime? Oh, what a bitter satire that would be.
"Better Luck Next Time!" * 06 Mar 2007 CLG readers comment on Dick Cheney's recent spate of bad luck, including the failed assassination attempt in Afghanistan and the blood clot in his leg that could have "surged" to his brain.*
Will a blood clot force Cheney to step down? 06 Mar 2007 Dick Cheney has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg, leading to speculation he will be forced to resign as U.S. Vice-President [sic]. While the White House is trying to play down the situation, the condition is obviously serious and will again trigger speculation that Mr Cheney could be forced to resign through 'poor health' [impending impeachment and/or treason trials].
"Better Luck Next Time!" * 06 Mar 2007 CLG readers comment on Dick Cheney's recent spate of bad luck, including the failed assassination attempt in Afghanistan and the blood clot in his leg that could have "surged" to his brain. *From an anonymous emailer Legal disclaimer: The comments below represent the views of emailers and in no way represent the views of Citizens For Legitimate Government.
Libby Found Guilty in CIA Leak Case 06 Mar 2007 A federal jury today convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of lying about his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, finding the vice president's [sic] former chief of staff guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice, while acquitting him of single count of lying to the FBI.
Jury convicts Libby on four of five charges --Verdict in CIA leak case reached on 10th day of deliberations 06 Mar 2007 Jurors found I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former White House aide, guilty of four out of five charges in his trial following an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, is the only person charged in the case, which grew out of an investigation into the 2003 leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.
Libby charges and verdicts list:
Will Bush pardon Scooter Libby? 06 Mar 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush has the constitutional power to pardon Lewis "Scooter" Libby, but will he do it? Democrats were immediately suspicious that he will, the White House was careful not to rule it out, and Intrade, an online prediction exchange on issues from politics to weather, opened a futures market on whether it would happen.
Democrats Alter Plan to Restrict Iraq War --Waiver for Bush, Benchmarks Sought 06 Mar 2007 Senior House DemocRATs, seeking to placate members of their party from Republican-leaning districts, are pushing a plan that would place restrictions on President [sic] Bush's ability to wage the war in Iraq but would allow him to waive them if he publicly justifies his position.
Pentagon raises estimate of troops for Iraq 06 Mar 2007 The number of U.S. troops needed to carry out President [sic] George W. Bush's Iraq security plan could approach 30,000, significantly more than he projected in January, a senior Pentagon official said on Tuesday.
Iraqi journalist found dead 07 Mar 2007 An Iraqi journalist kidnapped last month was found dead in Baghdad, bringing to 152 the number of media murdered in Iraq, the group Reporters Without Borders says. The bullet-riddled body of Jamal al-Zubaidi was found on Saturday in Amil south-east of the capital, the nonprofit group said in a statement.
Gunmen storm Iraq jail, free 140 06 Mar 2007 Dozens of gunmen stormed an Iraqi jail in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday and freed up to 140 prisoners in one of the biggest prison breaks since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, police said.
Iraqi president attacks raid that uncovered tortured prisoners 06 Mar 2007 Iraq's [US-installed] Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered an investigation into a joint Iraqi-British raid on a national intelligence agency, which uncovered prisoners who apparently had been tortured. Mr. Maliki has called the raid in the southern, Shi'ite-dominated city of Basra illegal and irresponsible. He did not mention the prisoners.
Death toll from attacks in Iraq's Hilla 115-medics 06 Mar 2007 The death toll from suicide bomb attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims in the Iraqi city of Hilla on Tuesday rose to 115, hospital officials said. They said at least 200 people had been wounded.
38 killed in Iraq suicide bombing 06 Mar 2007 A suicide car bomber turned a venerable book market into a deadly inferno, and gunmen targeted Shiite pilgrims Monday as suspected Sunni 'insurgents' brought major bloodshed back into the lap of their main Shiite rivals. At least 38 people died in the blast, and seven pilgrims were killed.
9 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 06 Mar 2007 Nine American soldiers died in two separate incidents north of the capital, the U.S. military announced Tuesday, in the deadliest single day for U.S. troops in Iraq in nearly a month.
Court-martial says U.S. medic guilty of desertion 06 Mar 2007 A court-martial on Tuesday found a U.S. Army medic who refused to return to Iraq with his unit guilty of desertion.
Police arrest three during protest over Iraq-bound Army equipment 05 Mar 2007 Police arrested three people for investigation of third-degree assault this morning as they protested the shipment of Iraq-bound Army equipment through the Port of Tacoma.
Taliban kidnap Italian reporter accused of spying 06 Mar 2007 The Taliban said on Tuesday they had captured an Italian journalist who they said was spying for British troops in southern Afghanistan, along with two Afghan colleagues.
String of Afghan Deaths Cause Outrage 07 Mar 2007 The deaths of 40 civilians this year can be attributed to NATO or U.S. action, according to an Associated Press tally based on figures from military and Afghan officials. The high number of casualties and fresh accusations that Marines fired on civilians along miles of highway have sparked rage everywhere from dusty streets to the halls of parliament, threatening to turn the support of wavering Afghans against U.S. and NATO troops and, more ominously, President Hamid Karzai's fledgling Western-backed government.
House endorses further NATO expansion 06 Mar 2007 The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to endorse further enlargement of the NATO alliance, after a brief debate in which no one mentioned Moscow's nervousness about such an expansion.
Pentagon Denies Media Access to Guantanamo Tribunals 06 Mar 2007 Reporters will be barred from hearings that begin Friday in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 14 terror suspects transferred last year from secret CIA prisons, officials said Tuesday.
Hearings to begin for Guantanamo inmates 07 Mar 2007 The United States will begin initial hearings on Friday for 14 men transferred to the military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba from secret CIA jails, US defence officials said.
Guantanamo defense lawyer threatened with charges of 'contemptuous words' 06 Mar 2007 The Pentagon-appointed lawyer for Australia's sole inmate at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said yesterday a chief US prosecutor threatened him with charges that could slow his client's case from going to trial. Marine Corps Major Michael Mori said he was warned last week by the US military's chief prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, that he could be charged under Article 88 of the US Uniform Code of Military Justice. The article prohibits officers from using "contemptuous words" against the US president, vice president, secretary of defense and other senior officials.
Guantanamo Intimidation --Lawyers for terrorism suspects are still being bullied. (The Washington Post) 06 Mar 2007 Mr. [David] Hicks's outspoken military lawyer, Marine Maj. Michael Mori, has spent a good deal of time in Australia helping stir up public support for his client, and he has been unsparing in his criticism of the military tribunals, going so far as to call them kangaroo courts... [Pentagon chief Guantanamo prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris] Davis, though he later said he wasn't suggesting a court-martial, noted that it is a crime under military law for an officer to use "contemptuous words" about high public officials. Col. Davis's unsubtle effort to quiet Maj. Mori may be even more disturbing than Mr. [Cully] Stimson's remarks: It's not likely that private law firms are going to be intimidated out of representing their clients, but military lawyers who have to fear for their careers might think twice before zealously representing their clients.
U.S. civil rights group launches lawsuit on behalf of imprisoned Canadian boy 06 Mar 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of a Canadian boy [a nine-year-old named Kevin] who's being held at an immigration detention centre in Texas. The lawsuit against U.S. officials, which includes nine other children at the facility outside Austin, alleges they are being imprisoned under inhumane conditions while their parents await immigration decisions.
Nine 'plotted Sydney jihad' 06 Mar 2007 A Sydney court has been told nine terror suspects possessed the ingredients and instructions to construct explosive devices capable of killing and causing massive damage. The committal hearing for the nine Sydney men heard today that they had all conspired to prepare for an act of terrorism.
U.S. Criticizes U.N. Human Rights Body 07 Mar 2007 For the second year in a row, the United States has decided not to seek a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, the State Department said Tuesday, accusing the panel of an anti-Israeli bias. [The U.S. isn't *qualified* to sit on any human rights boards.]
Human Rights Group Criticizes Israel 07 Mar 2007 Israeli security forces frequently beat Palestinians working illegally in the country, sometimes severely, and detain them for hours without food and water, an Israeli human rights group said in a report published Tuesday.
Poll: Israel, Iran, U.S. have most negative image 06 Mar 2007 Israel, Iran and the United States were the countries with the most negative image in a globe-spanning survey of attitudes toward 12 major nations. Israel was viewed negatively by 56 percent of respondents and positively by 17 percent...
Fired U.S. attorney cites threat 06 Mar 2007 A high-ranking Justice Department official told one of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration that if any of them continued to criticize the administration for their ousters, previously undisclosed details about the reasons they were fired might be released, two of the ousted prosecutors told McClatchy Newspapers.
Fired U.S. Attorney: I Felt 'Leaned On' 06 Mar 20007 A fired federal prosecutor told a Senate committee Tuesday that he felt "leaned on" and sickened as Republican Sen. Pete Domenici hung up on him in disgust last fall when told that indictments in a corruption case against Democrats would not be issued before the fall elections.
Former Prosecutor Says Departure Was Pressured 06 Mar 2007 The former federal prosecutor in Maryland said Monday that he was forced out in early 2005 because of political pressure stemming from public corruption investigations involving associates of the state’s governor, a Republican. "There was direct pressure not to pursue these investigations," said the former prosecutor, Thomas M. DiBiagio. "The practical impact was to intimidate my office and shut down the investigations."
Second Lawmaker Contacted Prosecutor --Wilson Complained About Pace of Probes 06 Mar 2007 Rep. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) acknowledged yesterday that she contacted a federal prosecutor to complain about the pace of his public corruption investigations, as the Senate ethics committee signaled that it had opened a preliminary inquiry into a similar communication by her state's senior senator, Pete V. Domenici (R).
Battle had role in purge of U.S. attorneys before his resignation --Congress probing political motive in prosecutor firings 06 Mar 2007 Michael A. Battle, formerly the top federal prosecutor in Buffalo and now a senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice, called several U.S. attorneys from across the country Dec. 7 and gave them some unusual bad news. It was time for them to resign. [...] Battle on Monday announced that he plans to leave the Justice Department for private practice but stressed that his resignation was not connected to the controversial personnel changes.
Companies to pull ads from Coulter's Web site 05 Mar 2007 At least three major companies want their ads pulled from MAnn Coulter's Web site, following customer complaints about the right-wing commentator referring to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot."
The reason for the blown levees: Voters are hard to find in New Orleans 06 Mar 2007 New Orleans had more than 303,000 registered voters before Katrina hit in August 2005, and roughly 280,000 as of late February. But it is anyone's guess how many are living at their pre-storm addresses or even if they're in the city. Some basic techniques — canvassing neighborhoods and polling, calling and mailing voters — haven't been reliable since Katrina.
Ark. gov. 'frustrated' with tornado response by federal gov't 06 Mar 2007 Gov. Mike Beebe (D) said Monday he was frustrated with the federal government for not declaring a disaster in tornado-struck southern Arkansas. Beebe told reporters he did not understand why a federal declaration had not been made for Dumas, where a tornado wiped out dozens of homes and businesses last month.
Mega barf alert of 2007! Human genes in your food? 05 Mar 2007 The first GM food crop containing human genes is set to be approved for commercial production. The rice is a major step in so-called Frankenstein Foods, the first mingling of human-origin genes and those from plants. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture [Agribusiness] has already signalled it plans to allow commercial cultivation.
USDA Backs Production of Rice With Human Genes 02 Mar 2007 The Agriculture Department has given a preliminary green light for the first commercial production of a food crop engineered to contain human genes, reigniting fears that biomedically potent substances in high-tech plants could escape and turn up in other foods.
NASA Can't Pay For Killer Asteroid Hunt [LOL!] 06 Mar 2007 NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done. The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion, according to a report NASA will release later this week.
'The Redirection' is Treason: Bring in the Trials, There have to be Trials! --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Monday, 05 Mar 2007 The War in Iraq has had more unintended consequences than anyone in the Bush regime had imagined. One of them is a new US strategy to fund the enemy of the US troops. That's right--we are funneling money to the Sunnis, the very same Sunnis who are attached to Al Qaida in Iraq, and the "insurgency." Did anyone doubt that the US is actually fomenting the war that we are supposedly there to squelch?
Privacy Board Clears U.S. Spy Programs 06 Mar 2007 A White House privacy board is giving its stamp of approval to two of the Bush regime's controversial surveillance programs - electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking - and says they do not violate citizens' civil liberties. Democrats newly in charge of Congress quickly criticized the findings, which they said were questionable given some of the board members' close ties with the Bush administration. After operating mostly in secret for a year, the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Board is preparing to release its first report to Congress next week.
Cheney treated at hospital for blood clot --Vice president was experiencing 'discomfort' following overseas trip 05 Mar 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney has a blood clot in his left leg, tests revealed Monday. He will be treated with blood thinning medication for several months, a spokeswoman said. Cheney visited his doctor's office in Washington after feeling minor discomfort in his calf, said spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride. [That's too bad. But at least he HAS a calf to have discomfort in. That's more than we can say for the thousands who've lost legs and other limbs in his war of terrorism! A blood-clot--now there's the kind of 'surge' that we need! --MDR]
White House Likely to Update War Request 06 Mar 2007 The White House is ready to ask Congress for more money for President [sic] Bush's plan - already hotly debated - to send 21,500 new combat troops into Iraq. The latest request could come as early as Tuesday, modifying last month's $93.4 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through Sept. 30. The request probably will come to about $2 billion.
No U.S. Backup Strategy For Iraq --Outside Experts, Not White House, Discuss Options 05 Mar 2007 During a White House meeting last week, a group of governors asked President [sic] Bush and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about their backup plan for Iraq. What would the administration do if its new strategy didn't work? The conclusion they took away, the governors later said, was that there is no Plan B. "I'm a Marine," Pace told them, "and Marines don't talk about failure. They talk about victory." Pace had a simple way of summarizing the administration's position, Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) recalled. "Plan B was to make Plan A work."
Basra Raid Finds Dozens Detained by Iraq Spy Unit 05 Mar 2007 Iraqi special forces and British troops stormed the offices of an Iraqi government intelligence agency in the southern city of Basra on Sunday, and British officials said they discovered about 30 prisoners, some showing signs of torture. [US-installed] Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki condemned the raid. "The prime minister has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident of breaking into the security compound in Basra and stressed the need to punish those who have carried out this illegal and irresponsible act," said the full text of a statement issued late Sunday by his office. It remained unclear why he sought to pursue the raiding force aggressively rather than the accusations of prisoner abuse.
Iraqis Caught Torturing Prisoners Inside Gov't Building (Democracy Now!) 05 Mar 2007 In Iraq, British-led troops have uncovered an Iraqi government facility in the southern city of Basra where Shiite forces were torturing prisoners and producing bomb-making equipment. The torture was going on inside the local headquarters of Iraq's interior ministry's domestic intelligence agency. The troops captured an alleged death squad leader and found 30 prisoners with signs of torture.
Killings continue despite Iraq crackdown 05 Mar 2007 Even as the U.S. was touting a successful initial push into a hostile Shiite neighborhood here, chaotic violence gripped other parts of the city and beyond today as a suicide bombing at a long-standing downtown book market killed 28 people and insurgent gunfire killed at least six Shiite pilgrims elsewhere in Iraq observing a religious holiday. Mass bomb attacks, which the U.S. views as largely the work of Sunni 'insurgents,' continue to occur almost every day, and thus far the enhanced forces have been largely powerless to stop them.
Israelis to supply vehicles for Iraq --Rafael to deliver 60 of its new Golan vehicles for $37M 05 Mar 2007 An Israeli state-owned corporation has won a contract to supply the U.S. Marine Corps with state-of the-art armored vehicles for use in Iraq, the latest in a long line of Israeli defense sales for use in the war.
Riots After NATO Bombing Kills Family of 9 In Afghanistan 05 Mar 2007 A battle between NATO forces and Taliban insurgents has led to the death of a family of nine after American planes bombed a home in Afghanistan. According to local officials, riots have broken out on the news that a family, which included five women and three children, were killed when the United States dropped "two 2,000 pound bombs" on what was believed to be a "militant complex."
US airstrike in Kabul kills nine members of same family 06 Mar 2007 Afghan confidence in western military forces was further frayed yesterday when an American airstrike on a house near Kabul killed nine people spanning four generations of the same family. American warplanes dropped two 2,000lb bombs on the house in Kapisa province, just north of Kabul, hours after an attack on a nearby US base. The apparent mistake came a day after American Special Forces opened fire on civilians on a busy road in eastern Afghanistan, killing up to 10 and wounding many more.
Afghanistan: US Should Investigate Civilian Deaths 05 Mar 2007 The United States should abide by Afghan President Hamid Karzai's call for immediate investigations into US military operations on March 4 and 5 that resulted in high loss of civilian life, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 4, 2007, Witnesses told journalists and Afghan officials that US forces, while speeding away from a suicide bomb attack, shot at vehicles and pedestrians along at least a six-mile stretch of highway. At least eight and as many as 16 civilians were killed, and approximately 25 others were wounded.
Detainees Seek Legal Rights Guarantee 06 Mar 2007 Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees held more than five years without charges asked the Supreme Court Monday to step in a third time to guarantee that they can challenge their confinement in U.S. courts.
Report: Walter Reed Management Outsourced 03 Mar 2007 U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has subpoenaed a fired Army officer to testify on whether management of Walter Reed Army Medical Center was outsourced... Waxman charged that the Army used an unusual process to award a contract to manage the facility to a company owned by a former executive of Halliburton.
'It Is Just Not Walter Reed' --Soldiers Share Troubling Stories of Military Health Care Across U.S. 05 Mar 2007 Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort Dix in New Jersey.
Army hospital problems widespread, lawmakers say 05 Mar 2007 Problems over treatment of wounded soldiers that created a scandal at the top U.S. military veterans' hospital are prevalent throughout the Army's health care system, lawmakers said on Monday.
'Pack and pray. That's what they told us.' Katrina victims evacuate FEMA park 05 Mar 2007 Dozens of families evacuated from a FEMA trailer park that had been plagued by sewage leaks and power outages [as in Iraq] were in temporary homes Monday, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had requested work permits to dismantle the site this week. Allsee Tobias lost his New Orleans home in Katrina's flooding and then was told to leave his Hammond trailer over the weekend. He and about 20 relatives, including 10 children, lived in four trailers, and were anxious about being split up. "Pack and pray. That's what they told us," he said. [Katrina victims can 'pack and pray' while Bush's private contractors at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq can enjoy, at a budget of $923M per year, 'an ornate former Saddam Hussein palace with soaring ceilings and its own espresso bar.' See: How Much Embassy Is Too Much? 02 Mar 2007. --LRP]
Bush funding paramilitary gangs in Colombia, seeks $3.9B in more 'aid' 05 Mar 2007 A scandal tying allies of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to paramilitary gangs has U.S. Democrats questioning aid and trade deals days before President [sic] George W. Bush meets with his closest Latin American ally. Washington has pumped $4 billion into "Plan Colombia" since 2000 to help fight [foment, as in Afghanistan] the country's cocaine-fueled insurgency, but Democrats are monitoring the "para-political" scandal as they review a White House request for $3.9 billion in new aid.
4 police die disarming bomb in Colombia 03 Mar 2007 Four police officers and a civilian were killed Saturday as officers moved a powerful bomb allegedly planted by leftist rebels as part of an attempt to kill a city mayor [pro-government mayor of Neiva, Cielo Gonzalez], authorities said.
Israeli minister postpones Egypt visit over war crimes allegations 05 Mar 2007 An Israeli Cabinet minister [Binyamin Ben-Eliezer] who commanded an army unit during the 1967 Middle East War on Monday postponed a visit to Egypt following allegations there that soldiers under his command killed 250 unarmed Egyptian prisoners.
CIA Rushing Resources to Bin Laden Hunt 05 Mar 2007 Brian Ross Reports: Armed with fresh intelligence, the CIA is moving additional man power and equipment into Pakistan in the effort to find Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahri, U.S. officials tell ABC News. "Reports that the trail has gone stone cold are not correct," said one U.S. official. "We are very much increasing our efforts there," the official said. [Yes, Bush bin Laden will be 'captured' shortly before the 2008 'elections.']
House Passes Bill Using Technology to Fight Terrorism 05 Mar 2007 The House last week (February 27) passed a bill (H.R. 884) designed to promote the use of technology to fight terrorism. The vote was 396-16. The measure would open an office in the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate international cooperation in the effort to use technology to battle [foment] terrorism.
Lieberman's 9/11 police state bill on Senate floor today By Total Information 05 Mar 2007 Before the Presidents' Day recess, Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Israel) quickly and quietly pushed through his Senate Homeland Security Committee the "Improving America's Security Act of 2007." That bill will be debated by the full Senate this week, beginning today. The 258-page bill is Lieberman's version of the police-state measure which was the first item to pass the U.S. under Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The full Senate is set to take up the measure on the floor in the next week or two.
Rep. Wilson Says She Contacted Prosecutor 05 Mar 2007 Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) acknowledged today that she contacted a federal prosecutor to complain about the pace of his public corruption investigations, as the Senate Ethics Committee signaled that it had opened a preliminary inquiry into a similar communication by the state's senior senator, Pete V. Domenici (R). [See also: Senator Admits Calling U.S. Attorney 04 Mar 2007 Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) acknowledged today that he contacted the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque last fall to inquire about the status of an ongoing corruption probe of Democrats...]
Experts urge big effort to make pandemic vaccines 05 Mar 2007 Top virologists called on Monday for a greater effort in developing effective vaccines against [with] a potential flu pandemic and warned that all contingency plans would be in vain without them. [See: Scientists Recreate 1918 Flu and See Parallels to Bird Flu 18 Jan 2007 In 2005, U.S. Army scientists reconstructed Spanish flu virus by extracting genetic fragments from the bodies of victims exhumed from the Alaskan permafrost.]
High court affirms Colo. redistricting plan 05 Mar 2007 The Supreme Court today ruled against Colorado Republicans challenging a congressional redistricting plan favorable to Democrats.
U.S. Gasoline Rises 31 Cents In Month 05 Mar 2007 U.S. gasoline pump prices have jumped about 31 cents a gallon in the past month and the reasons are unclear, AAA said. [The 'reason' is corpora-terrorists' greed!]
'Delete them, or we will delete you.' Afghan journalists say U.S. soldiers deleted photos, video after bomb attack and shootings 04 Mar 2007 Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack and shooting in eastern Afghanistan Sunday said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death. Afghan witnesses and gunshot victims said U.S. forces fired on civilians in cars and on foot [more US war crimes] along at least a six-mile stretch of road in Nangarhar province following a suicide attack against the Marine convoy. It wasn't clear why the accredited journalists would need permission to take photos of a civilian car on a public highway. The photographer, Rahmat Gul, said the U.S. troops took his camera, deleted his photos and returned it to him. Taqiullah Taqi, a reporter for Afghanistan's largest television station, Tolo TV, said Americans were using abusive language. "According to the translator, they said, 'Delete them, or we will delete you,"' Taqi said.
U.S. Military Kills 16 Civilians in Afghanistan 04 Mar 2007 U.S. forces in Afghanistan opened fire on civilians while fleeing a militant ambush involving a suicide car bomb and gunmen, Afghan witnesses said. Up to 16 people were killed and 24 wounded in the shooting, U.S. military said.
Protests after US troops kill 16 Afghans 05 Mar 2007 Thousands of angry demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan yesterday after US forces were involved in a panicked shooting ['Panicked?' How do they know?] which left 16 civilians dead and 23 injured. Local people as well as a number of Afghan officials accused the American marines of opening fire indiscriminately following a suicide bomb attack on their convoy in Nangarhar province.
UK Afghan deaths reach 50 04 Mar 2007 The deaths of two British soldiers brings the number of UK fatalities in Afghanistan to 50 since 2001. Two British soldiers have been killed in a rocket attack in Afghanistan. The attack happened in the Sangin area of Helmand province in the south of the country.
Executions of government workers and alleged informers signal growing control of insurgents 05 Mar 2007 An unprecedented rash of killings has taken place in Helmand in the past two weeks as the Taliban claim to be settling scores with informers who have aided foreign troops based in the province. In all, eight people were killed in three separate districts of Helmand province within the past 15 days. Four were hanged and the rest beheaded.
'It's hubris.' How Much Embassy Is Too Much? 02 Mar 2007 The nerve center of Iraq reconstruction efforts, housed in an ornate former Saddam Hussein palace with soaring ceilings and its own espresso bar, the embassy in Baghdad is one of the largest foreign missions ever operated by the State Department. Its complexity and expense, some say, hampers reconstruction efforts and drains cash from diplomatic efforts worldwide. According to a State Department count, about 1,000 federal employees report to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, not including hundreds of private contractors. The mission's closely guarded budget - $923 million for the 2006 fiscal year - is a source of controversy at State, and across the federal government.
Arabs want U.N. timetable for U.S. withdrawal 04 Mar 2007 The Arab League said on Sunday the United Nations Security Council should set a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.
U.S. forces enter Sadr City in first major push of Baghdad security drive 04 Mar 2007 Hundreds of U.S. soldiers entered the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday in the first major push into the area since an American-led security sweep began last month around Baghdad. Soldiers conducted house-to-house searches through the densely populated grid of squat two- and three-story buildings, but met no resistance, said Lt. Col. David Oclander.
Saudis funding insurgents in Iraq --U.S. fears proxy war with Iranian-backed Shiites could widen 04 Mar 2007 During his inaugural appearance before Congress last week, the new U.S. intelligence czar made a rare public reference to one of Washington's secret dreads. Mike McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said there are funds coming from Saudi Arabia, an ostensible U.S. ally, to help Sunni 'insurgents' in Iraq, while Iran is supporting the Shiite militias there.
Hersh: U.S. Funds Being Secretly Funneled to Al Qaeda-Linked Groups (Post by Nico) 25 Feb 2007 New Yorker columnist Sy Hersh says the "single most explosive" element of his latest article involves an effort by the Bush administration to stem the growth of Shiite influence in the Middle East (specifically the Iranian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon) by funding violent Sunni groups. Hersh says the U.S. has been "pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight" for covert operations in the Middle East where it wants to "stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence." [See The Redirection --Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism? By Seymour M. Hersh 25 Feb 2007.]
Air strikes on Iran could backfire - report 05 Mar 2007 Military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear ambitions could backfire, increasing Tehran's determination to obtain atomic weapons and bolstering hostility towards the West, a report said on Monday. The report "Would air strikes work?", written by a leading British weapons scientist, said strikes would probably be unable to hit enough targets to cause serious damage to Iran's nuclear facilities.
North Korea ready to end nuclear work-envoy 05 Mar 2007 North Korea is fully prepared to shut down its nuclear facilities and allow inspections, a South Korean official said in New York, where envoys from Pyongyang and Washington are set to begin rare talks on improving ties.
Chavez: Negroponte a professional killer 04 Mar 2007 President Hugo Chavez on Sunday said he believes enemies including the CIA are out to kill him, and called U.S. diplomat [terrorist] John Negroponte a "professional killer."
Walter Reed gave five-year, $120M contract to IAP, run by former Halliburton official 03 Mar 2007 The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and subcommittee Chairman John Tierney asked Weightman to testify about an internal memo that showed privatization of services at Walter Reed could put "patient care services at risk of mission failure." [...] The letter said Walter Reed also awarded a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official.
Waxman to Force Walter Reed Ex-Chief to Talk About Problems, Contract 02 Mar 2007 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wants to ask Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman about a contract to manage the medical center awarded to a company that had documented troubles fulfilling a government contract to deliver ice to victims of Hurricane Katrina. According to a letter from Waxman to Weightman posted today on the committee's Web site, the chairman believes the Walter Reed contract may have pushed dozens of health care workers to leave jobs at the troubled medical center, which he says in turn threatened the quality of care for hundreds of military personnel receiving treatment there. In the letter, Waxman charged that the Army used an unusual process to award a five-year, $120 million contract to manage the center to a company owned by a former executive of Halliburton.
U.S. Army Veterans Scandal Widens 04 Mar 2007 U.S. President [sic] Bush has ordered a probe into all US army veteran facilities following an outcry over poor treatment at the army's top hospitals. The Bush administration's response came on the same day as Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, fired Francis Harvey, the U.S. army secretary.
Hicks lawyer faces removal from case after threats from US prosecutor 05 Mar 2007 Major Michael Mori, the defence lawyer for David Hicks, could be removed from the case after threats from the chief US prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, to charge him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Colonel Davis has accused Major Mori of breaching Article 88 of the US military code, which relates to using contemptuous language towards the president, vice-president, and secretary of defence. Penalties for breaching the code include jail and the loss of employment and entitlements. Major Mori denied he had done anything improper but said the accusations left him with an inherent conflict of interest.
Mori discipline charge could derail Hicks trial 05 Mar 2007 David Hicks's trial could be derailed if his lawyer Major Michael Mori is charged with a US military discipline offence, prompting an angry outburst from the Prime Minister. Maj Mori could be removed from the case after threats from the chief US prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, to charge him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Fairfax newspapers report.
Senator Admits Calling U.S. Attorney 04 Mar 2007 Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) acknowledged today that he contacted the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque last fall to inquire about the status of an ongoing corruption probe of Democrats, saying he regretted the call but "never pressured him nor threatened him in any way." Domenici also said he had told the Justice Department that U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias should be replaced, but said that occurred prior to the call about the criminal investigation of Democrats... Iglesias is one of eight U.S. attorneys who were part of a mass firing that has caused an uproar on Capitol Hill, and said he believed the calls were at the root of his dismissal.
MI5 trains supermarket checkout staff --Workers told how to detect potential terrorists as shops are warned of bomb risk in underground car parks 04 Mar 2007 Supermarket checkout staff are being trained by the security services in how to detect potential terrorists. MI5 has been secretly advising food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, on how to identify extremist shoppers. Measures include increasing CCTV in underground carparks to prevent bomb attacks and being alert to mass purchases of mobile phones, which can be used as bomb detonators. The awareness training for staff also covers bulk sales of toiletries which could be used as the basic ingredient in explosives.
Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites 02 Mar 2007 The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal [?!?] and choose to investigate, CNET News.com has learned. That proposal surfaced Wednesday in a private meeting during which U.S. Department of Justice officials, including Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand, tried to convince industry representatives such as AOL and Comcast that data retention would be valuable in investigating terrorism, child pornography and other crimes.
'To have a published story pulled from our Web site is unprecedented and unbelievable.' Judge Orders 2 Papers to Remove Stories from Web Sites 03 Mar 2007 A judge has ordered two Kansas City newspapers to remove articles about an area utility from their Web sites and temporarily barred the papers from publishing the story. Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Moorhouse issued the temporary restraining order Friday against The Kansas City Star, a daily, and The Pitch, a weekly alternative newspaper that publishes on Thursdays. The judge also ordered the papers to remove articles about the Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., from their Web sites.
The Must-Do List (The New York Times) 04 Mar 2007 The Bush administration’s assault on some of the founding principles of American democracy marches onward despite the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections... Five years of presidential overreaching and Congressional collaboration continue to exact a high toll in human lives, America’s global reputation and the architecture of democracy. Brutality toward prisoners, and the denial of their human rights, have been institutionalized; unlawful spying on Americans continues; and the courts are being closed to legal challenges of these practices... Today we’re offering a list — which, sadly, is hardly exhaustive — of things that need to be done to reverse the unwise and lawless policies of President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney.
Bush impeachment calls gather momentum 04 Mar 2007 Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City, has called for the impeachment of George W. Bush before the Washington State Senate Governmental Operations Committee.
First bank failure in years happens in Pittsburgh By John Hielscher 12 Feb 2007 After nearly 21/2 years without a bank failure, a small Pennsylvania bank collapsed this month. Metropolitan Savings Bank of Pittsburgh was closed by its state banking department. About $12 million in deposits were assumed by Allegheny Valley Bank of Pittsburgh. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Metropolitan had about $1.2 million in deposits in 70 accounts that could exceed the federal insurance limit.
Expert on Soviet Intelligence Shot in Adelphi 03 Mar 2007 Federal and local law enforcement authorities are investigating a shooting in Prince George's County that critically injured a prominent intelligence expert who specializes in the former Soviet Union. Paul Joyal, 53, was shot Thursday, four days after he alleged in a television broadcast that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the fatal poisoning of a former KGB agent in London.
Holt wants hearings on FBI anthrax investigation 04 Mar 2007 Rep. Rush Holt (D-Princeton) wants hearings into what he says is a lack of headway in the FBI's investigation into the deadly [Fort Detrick] anthrax attacks of 2001. "It seems to me this investigation is not making progress. I can't say for sure. They won't brief me," Holt told The Times of Trenton for Saturday newspapers. "Not briefing Congress on the status of the probe into the biggest biological attack in United States history is inexcusable," he said.
Scientists to exhume diplomat's corpse for bird flu clues 05 Mar 2007 Scientists plan to exhume within the next five months the body of a British diplomat who died in 1919 of the Spanish flu, in a move they hope will provide vital clues on how to fight [foment] any future pandemic. Experts see strong parallels between the H5N1 bird flu virus of today and the H1N1 virus of 1918/1919 which sparked the Spanish flu that killed more than 50 million people. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]
Sick people used like laboratory rats in GM trials 04 Mar 2007 Genetically modified potatoes developed by Monsanto, the multinational biotech company [corpora-terrorists], have been fed to sick patients in an experiment. Rats that ate similar potatoes in the research suffered reductions in the weight of their hearts and prostate glands.
Mega barf alert! Cloned beef: It's what's for dinner 04 Mar 2007 After years of research, meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are moving toward supermarkets, restaurants and backyard barbecues. The Food and Drug Administration recently declared the fare safe to eat, although it took scientists 678 pages to make their case. They said the meat was so much like regular beef that special labeling would be unnecessary [!?!]. Thousands of consumers have written the agency in opposition. Still, cloned products could become part of the food supply by year's end.
'I could tell the whole order of things had just gone haywire.' Scientists ask: Where are all the bees? A Dade City beekeeper sounds a nationwide alarm as colonies mysteriously disappear. 03 Mar 2007 Veteran beekeeper, David Hackenberg, who spread the word to scientists and other beekeepers, is credited with sounding the alarm about what may be the most devastating honeybee die-off in U.S. history. The crisis, marked by bees mysteriously vanishing from their hives, has been identified in 24 states in every part of the country, said Jerry Hayes, Florida's chief apiary inspector.
Welcome to Scotland 2080: land of dengue fever and Vin d'Ecosse 04 Mar 2007 There isn't a cloud in the sky, the thermometer's soaring and the vineyards are thriving. Unfortunately, the skiing industry is long extinct, golf courses are shut through water shortages and mosquitoes are spreading dengue fever. Welcome to Scotland 2080, as seen by the Scottish Executive. Apocalyptic portraits of life north of the Border should we fail to tackle climate change are not uncommon, but the government's official predictions make particularly grim reading.
Melting ice shelves reveal secret life 26 Feb 2007 Remarkable images of newly discovered marine creatures have been released by scientists who found a unique ecosystem after the collapse of ice shelves, which had covered the Antarctic ocean bed for thousands of years.
Iraq PM flags cabinet shakeup 04 Mar 2007 Iraq's [US-installed] prime minister [Nouri al-Maliki] said today he would reshuffle his cabinet within two weeks and pursue criminal charges against political figures linked to extremists as a sign of his government's resolve to restore 'stability' during the US-led security crackdown in Baghdad.
Sunni Insurgents Ascendant in Iraq's Caldron of Violence --14 Police Officers Found Shot to Death After Call for Retribution in Rape Case 03 Mar 2007 More than two weeks into a new Baghdad security plan, Sunni 'insurgents' are asserting responsibility for an increasing number of violent attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces and civilian targets, while Shiite militias are lowering their profile. In recent months, al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq and other Sunni groups have begun to use more sophisticated tactics, downing U.S. helicopters and staging large attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians.
Al-Qaeda group posts execution video 04 Mar 2007 The al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq has posted a video on the internet showing the execution of 18 Iraqi security troops, shot in the back of their heads while kneeling in a field. The three-minute video, on a website known to be used by the Islamists, said the 18 kidnapped government security forces were slain in retaliation for the alleged rape of a Sunni woman by members of the Shi'ite-dominated police. The video's authenticity could not be immediately verified.
Iraqi general kidnapped in Baghdad 04 Mar 2007 Gunmen have kidnapped a senior adviser to the Iraqi defence minister in Baghdad, his family and a ministry official said.
Gunmen kill 6 Sunnis in Iraq 03 Mar 2007 Six Sunni men were shot to death execution-style by [US] gunmen who stormed their home early Saturday morning in a village south of the Iraqi capital, an official with the Iraqi Interior Ministry told CNN.
Bomb kills 3 U.S. soldiers in Baghdad 03 Mar 2007 On Saturday, three U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb that exploded while they were on patrol in central Baghdad, the military said.
Iraq: Two soldiers, 1 interpreter killed 02 Mar 2007 Two US soldiers and an interpreter were killed in a roadside bomb explosion northwest of Baghdad on Friday, the military said.
Halliburton sees Iraq contract awards in 2nd qtr 28 Feb 2007 Halliburton Co., whose KBR unit is the largest private contractor in Iraq, said on Wednesday it expected the U.S. Department of Defense would announce awards for new Iraq contracts in the second quarter.
KBR billing dispute widens --Army challenge could question as much as $400 million 28 Feb 2007 The U.S. Army could challenge up to $400 million billed by Halliburton's KBR subsidiary because it said those expenses are not covered under the firm's multibillion-dollar military Previously, the Army said it may withhold about $20 million in payments to KBR for what it considers improper expenses KBR subcontractors racked up to hire private security firms in Iraq.support contract in the Middle East, KBR said Wednesday.
US court backing for CIA 04 Mar 2007 The danger that state secrets could be revealed outweighs a German man's claims the CIA tortured him in an Afghan prison, a federal appeals court ruled. The case centres on the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" [kidnapping] program, in which terrorism suspects are captured and taken to foreign countries for interrogation [torture].
CIA torture victim denied his day in US court 03 Mar 2007 A U.S. federal appeals court has upheld a refusal to hear the case of a Lebanese-born German man who was detained and tortured by the CIA for five months. The U.S. government had urged the court to reject the appeal saying that for national security reasons it could not confirm or deny any of the allegations because they were related to the activities of the CIA.
Kuwaiti court acquits 2 former Guantanamo Bay prisoners 04 Mar 2007 A criminal court yesterday acquitted two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners of joining Al Qaida or Taliban in Afghanistan. Omar Rajab Ameen and Abdullah Kamel Al Kundari had denied any terror connections at the start of their trial.
Pakistan: U.S. forces not allowed across border --Ministry rejects American general's assertion of firing on fleeing suspects 03 Feb 2007 Pakistan vehemently denied Saturday the U.S. military’s claim that occupation forces in Afghanistan have the authority to pursue Taliban fleeing across the border into Pakistani territory.
U.S. claims on North Korea come under scrutiny 01 Mar 2007 ...Now there are new questions about the Bush regime's assertions that a bank in Macau knowingly laundered proceedings from North Korean narcotics trafficking, cigarette smuggling and counterfeit American currency. An audit of the Banco Delta Asia's finances by accounting firm Ernst & Young found no evidence that the bank had facilitated North Korean money-laundering, either by circulating counterfeit U.S. bank notes or by knowingly sheltering illicit earnings of the North Korean government.
Prodi confirmed as Italian prime minister 04 Mar 2007 The Italian centre-left leader, Romano Prodi, has been reconfirmed as prime minister after he won a second and final confidence vote in parliament, ending a political crisis and ensuring there will be no snap election.
Anti-war demonstration at CMU facility ends in 14 arrests 03 Mar 2007 An anti-war demonstration that resembled a small street circus, complete with a band and trapeze artist [!], resulted in 14 arrests outside Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville yesterday. [Why are street performers and clowns showing up at protests? The mainstream media typically denigrates these events. We don't need circuses, bands, and trapeze artists at demonstrations as we don't need to provide them with any ammunition (well --unless it's actual ammunition, <g>.) --LRP]
Panel slams treatment of Guard, Reserves 02 Mar 2007 The National Guard and Reserves don't get enough money or equipment and are left out of important planning for national emergencies, an independent panel concluded Thursday, long after the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina exposed serious stresses on the services.
Wounded Troops: Bush's Second Katrina By Brent Budowsky 02 Mar 2007 Walter Reed. Delayed disability benefits and ripoff disability certifications where wounded troops who are 80% disabled are only given 30% disability. Underfunded local veterans care. Undersupported treatment of post traumatic stress syndrome and serious brain injury. Debt collectors threatening foreclosure or repossession of property of wives and husbands of underpaid troops. National Guard and Reserve units 88% unprepared. Chronic shortages of protective equipment. Still. This is Bush's second Katrina.
White House Backed U.S. Attorney Firings, Officials Say 03 Mar 2007 The White House approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys late last year after senior Justice Department officials identified the prosecutors they believed were not doing enough to carry out President [sic] Bush's policies on a certain issues, White House and Justice Department officials said yesterday.
A New Mystery to Prosecutors: Their Lost Jobs 04 Mar 2007 The ouster of Daniel G. Bogden and seven other United States attorneys has set off a furor in Washington that took the Bush administration by surprise. Summoning five of the dismissed prosecutors for hearings on Tuesday, the newly empowered Congressional Democrats have charged that the mass firing is a political purge, intended to squelch corruption investigations or install less independent-minded successors.
Bill Maher Sorry the Assassination Attempt on Dick Cheney Failed (Note: Reichwing source, NewsBusters) 03 Mar 2007 As the discussion moved to the attempted assassination of Vice President [sic] Cheney last week, [HBO's Bill] Maher asked his panel why it was necessary for the Huffington Post to remove comments by readers concerning their disappointment that the attempt failed [LOL!!]... In a nutshell, the host said the world would be a safer place if the assassination attempt succeeded. Barney Frank: They said the bomb was wasted. (laughter and applause)... Maher: But I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn’t be dying needlessly tomorrow. (applause)... I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact. [See: Cheney, The Bomb Magnet --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald 28 Feb 2007.]
UK govt blasted over terrorism curbs 04 Mar 2007 A British parliamentary committee has accused the government of breaking European human rights law with its curbs on terrorism suspects and urged it to do more to prosecute suspects instead. British Prime Minister Tony Blair rushed "control orders" through parliament in 2005 after courts threw out emergency post-September 11 powers to jail foreign suspects indefinitely.
Children of 11 to be fingerprinted for secret database 04 Mar 2007 (UK) Children aged 11 to 16 are to have their fingerprints taken and stored on a secret database, internal Whitehall documents reveal. The leaked Home Office plans show that the mass fingerprinting will start in 2010, with a batch of 295,000 youngsters who apply for passports. The plans are outlined in a series of "restricted" documents circulating among officials in the Identity and Passport Service. They form part of the programme for the introduction of new biometric passports and ID cards.
FDA Rules Override Warnings About Drug --Cattle Antibiotic Moves Forward Despite Fears of Human Risk 04 Mar 2007 The government is on track to approve a new antibiotic [cefquinome] to treat a pneumonia-like disease in cattle, despite warnings from health groups and a majority of the agency's own expert advisers that the decision will be dangerous for people.
Monsanto biotech alfalfa lawsuit ratchets up 02 Mar 2007 Biotech crop critics said they were asking for a permanent injunction to stop the planting of Monsanto Co.'s genetically modified alfalfa after failing to negotiate a settlement with U.S. regulators by a court-imposed deadline on Friday.
New analysis of Bush budget predicts deficit, not surplus 03 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush's proposed federal budget would probably not produce its advertised surplus of $61 billion in five years, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. Instead, Bush's February budget plan would produce a $9 billion deficit by 2012 if it were to be enacted, CBO maintains.
Dow posts worst week in more than four years 03 Mar 2007 The Dow Jones industrials logged their worst weekly performance in more than four years as stocks stumbled in the final session Friday. The Dow, as it had the day before, poked tentatively into positive territory before retreating as the yen furthered its gains and investors failed to shake their unease.
G.O.P. Candidates Criticize Slur by Conservative Author 04 Mar 2007 Three of the leading Republican presidential candidates on Saturday denounced one of their party’s best-known conservative commentators [MAnn Coulter] for using an antigay epithet when discussing a Democratic presidential contender at a gathering of conservatives here.
Warm Winters Upset Rhythms of Maple Sugar 03 Mar 2007 Warmer-than-usual winters are throwing things out of kilter, causing confusion among maple syrup producers, called sugar makers, and stoking fears for the survival of New England’s maple forests.
U.S. Predicting Steady Increase for Emissions 03 Mar 2007 The Bush administration estimates that emissions by the United States of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade, according to a long-delayed report being completed for the United Nations.
Evangelical's Focus on Climate Draws Fire of Christian Right 03 Mar 2007 Leaders of several conservative Christian groups have sent a letter urging the National Association of Evangelicals to force its policy director in Washington to stop speaking out on global warming.
"They had plenty of time to get those kids out because sirens were going off all morning." Ala. School Warned Hours Before Tornado [But the Reichwing whackjobs kept the kids in school, anyway.] Administrators at a high school where eight students died in a tornado were warned about severe weather nearly three hours before the twister struck, raising questions Friday about whether classes should have been dismissed earlier.
An Inconvenient Lie --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Friday, 02 Mar 2007
Iraq 'inconvenient truth' of war on terror: Cheney 02 Mar 2007 US Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney told Democrats Thursday to stop "posturing" on Iraq, warning it was an "inconvenient truth" that the bloody conflict was the key front in the war on [of] terror.
Cheney: Hasty U.S. pullout from Iraq could spread Muslim militants to Afghanistan, elsewhere 02 Mar 2007 A quick withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq could allow victorious Muslim extremists to fan out into other countries, with some militants going to Afghanistan to fight alongside a resurgent Taliban, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney says.
Top U.S. Intelligence Officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Says Internet Is Terrorists' Biggest Recruiting Tool [No, the Bush regime is terrorists' biggest recruiting tool!] is 02 Mar 2007 America's top intelligence officer overseeing Iraq and Afghanistan says terrorists have made the Internet their most important recruiting tool. Brig. Gen. John Custer tells Scott Pelley that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda are influencing Islamic youth to join their cause through Websites devoted to jihad, or religious war.
'Surge' needs up to 7,000 more troops 02 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush's planned escalation of U.S. forces in Iraq will require as many as 28,500 troops, Pentagon officials told a Senate committee Thursday.
18 abducted to avenge Iraq rape 02 Feb 2007 An alliance of Sunni armed groups in Iraq, led by al-Qaeda, said on Friday it had kidnapped 18 interior ministry employees and threatened to kill them, to avenge the alleged rape of a Sunni woman.
Qaeda-linked group says killed 18 Iraqi policemen 02 Mar 2007 An al Qaeda-linked Iraqi militant group said on Friday it had killed 18 policemen it seized in Diyala province after the government ignored demands it made for their release. Iraqi police found the bodies of 14 policemen shot in the head hours after the group showed pictures of the 18 men it said were seized to avenge the alleged rape of a woman last month.
7 at a Baghdad Wedding Are Killed by a Car Bomb 02 Mar 2007 A car bomb that was apparently aimed at a policeman’s wedding party in Falluja, west of Baghdad, killed seven guests on Thursday and wounded six, the local police said.
Bombing Targets Shiite Cleric in Iraq 02 Mar 2007 A roadside bomb exploded Thursday alongside the convoy of a prominent Shiite cleric whose high-level political ties have made him the target of past assassination attempts. The imam was not injured, but several bodyguards were wounded.
Iraq: U.S. Marine Dies in Anbar Province 02 Mar 2007 An American Marine died in combat in Iraq's western Anbar province, the U.S. military said Friday. The Marine was killed during combat operations on Wednesday, but the military announced the death two days later.
Committee subpoenas former Walter Reed chief 02 Mar 2007 The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday.
Army Secretary Ousted in Furor on Hospital Care 03 Mar 2007 Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey was forced to resign Friday over the handling of revelations that wounded soldiers were receiving shabby and slow treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Army Secretary Resigns Amid Walter Reed Probe 02 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush today ordered a "comprehensive review" of care for wounded service members by a new presidential commission, and the secretary of the Army submitted his resignation, as the administration sought to deal with reports of festering problems in outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Bolton Says U.S. Should Seek 'Regime Change' in Iran 01 Mar 2007 John Bolton, the former American envoy to the United Nations, said the U.S. should pursue "regime change" in Iran because European governments refuse to back sanctions tough enough to halt the suspected Iranian nuclear-bomb program.
Democrats move to require approval before any strike on Iran 01 Mar 2007 Fearing that President [sic] Bush may be preparing to launch a military strike against Iran, Senate Democrats are drafting legislation that would require the White House to seek congressional approval before any such action.
Obama blames Bush for stronger Iran 02 Mar 2007 Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday blamed Bush Administration failings in Iraq for strengthening the strategic position of Iran, which he says must be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons.
New UN sanctions on Iran to be "incremental": US 02 Mar 2007 Senior US and European officials indicated Friday that new UN sanctions being drawn up against Iran to curb its nuclear program will involve only a relatively minor tightening of measures imposed by the world body in December.
US-Israel 10-year aid agreement in works 01 Mar 2007 Senior Israeli officials and their American counterparts opened a series of meetings Thursday in a bid to formulate a new economic assistance agreement for the next 10 years. The US allocates $2.4 billion in annual aid to Israel, and Jerusalem is looking to anchor the assistance in a multi-year agreement.
Thanks to Bush: Afghan opium 'hits record output' 01 Mar 2007 Opium production in Afghanistan reached record levels last year, the United States has said. Poppy production rose 25% in 2006, a figure US Assistant Secretary of State Ann Patterson described as alarming.
U.S. forces pursue Taliban into Pakistan 01 Mar 2007 American forces on Afghanistan's eastern border routinely fire upon and pursue Taliban enemies into Pakistan, defense officials told Congress on Thursday, offering the most detailed description to date of U.S. action in that region.
U.S. appeals court dismisses CIA torture lawsuit 02 Mar 2007 A U.S. appeals court Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against former CIA Director George Tenet and 10 CIA employees by a German who says he was kidnapped and tortured by the U.S. spy agency about three years ago.
Aussie Guantanamo inmate faces 'made-up charges' 03 Mar 2007 Lawyers and the family of the first Guantanamo Bay inmate likely to face a US military tribunal for alleged terrorism said yesterday charges were being fabricated and applied retroactively to the man's case. David Hicks, an Australian allegedly fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan when he was captured in late 2001, was charged by the Pentagon on Thursday with providing material support for terrorism, more than five years after he was jailed at Guantanamo Bay.
Hicks 'won't receive justice' 02 Mar 2007 Lawyers and the family of the first Guantanamo Bay inmate likely to face a US military tribunal for alleged terrorism claimed on Friday the charges were tailored to fit his actions and guaranteed he would not get a fair trial.
Australian Charged Under New Terror Law 02 Mar 2007 An Australian man imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay by the United States is the first terror-war suspect to face prosecution under a new system of military tribunals and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted. The Bush administration charged David Hicks captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Thursday with providing material support for terrorism.
British diplomats kidnapped in Ethiopia 03 Mar 2007 A group of British embassy officials and their relatives were kidnapped by gunmen during a trip to a remote north-eastern region of Ethiopia, it emerged yesterday.
Feds select new nuclear warhead design 02 Mar 2007 The Bush regime selected a design Friday for a new generation of atomic warheads, taking a major step toward building the first new nuclear weapon since the end of the Cold War nearly two decades ago. [Why don't they test it on themselves?]
Call to reopen Oklahoma bomb case 02 Mar 2007 The FBI man in charge of collecting evidence from the government building destroyed by the Oklahoma bomb has called for the case to be reopened. Former deputy assistant director Danny Coulson has told the BBC programme The Conspiracy Files that he questions whether everyone involved was caught.
Former FBI Director Calls For New OKC Bombing Investigation By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones 02 Mar 2007 Former FBI Terrorist Task Force director Danny Coulson has called for a new grand jury investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing and for the first time names Andreas Strassmeir as an "agent," in a documentary set to air Sunday, according to lawyer Jesse Trentadue. Trentadue, attorney for bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, last week obtained an astounding declaration from Nichols in which he fingered FBI agent Larry Potts as having directed McVeigh in carrying out the attack.
Sources: GOP lawmakers tried to influence federal investigation 01 Mar 2007 Sen. Pete Domenici (R) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R) of New Mexico pressured the U.S. attorney in their state to speed up indictments in a federal corruption investigation that involved at least one former Democratic state senator, according to two people familiar with the contacts. David Iglesias, who stepped down as U.S. attorney in New Mexico on Wednesday, told McClatchy Newspapers that he believed the Bush administration fired him Dec. 7 because he resisted the pressure to rush an indictment.
Bush aides tied to Denver 3 case 02 Mar 2007 A former White House official who ordered three activists expelled from a 2005 Denver public forum with President [sic] Bush says it was White House policy to exclude potentially-disruptive guests from Bush's appearances nationwide. The former official, Steve Atkiss, revealed the policy today in an interview after two volunteer bouncers identified him and a current White House staffer, Jamie O'Keefe, as the officials who ordered the so-called "Denver Three" activists sent away. Atkiss is now a U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief of staff.
Attorney General halts BBC probe 02 Mar 2007 The Attorney General has obtained an injunction against the BBC to stop it broadcasting an item about the cash for honours investigation. The injunction was obtained on Friday night at a hearing which lasted around two hours at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
Coulter: I Would Talk About Edwards But "You Have To Go Into Rehab If You Use The Word 'Faggot'" 02 Mar 2007 Speaking today at the Conservative Political Action Conference, right-wing pundit [Nazi] MAnn Coulter said: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards."
OMFG: Futures Market to Predict the Next Flu Pandemic (NPR) 01 Mar 2007 Everybody agrees a flu pandemic is inevitable. Governments are spending billions to 'prepare' [start it]. The new project will select 100 flu experts around the world and set them up with $100 trading accounts. They can place their bets on questions like "Will there be a human case of bird flu in the Western Hemisphere by next July?" [The bird flu pandemic will begin prior to the 2008 'elections,' so that the Bush regime can play the bioterror card.]
U.K. has the second warmest winter since records began 01 Mar 2007 The U.K. experienced the second warmest winter on record this year with mean temperature touching 5.47 degrees Celsius, according to the Met Office. January was also the second-warmest January on record with a mean of 6 degrees Celsius... The office has been maintaining national records of temperatures since 1914.
Netherlands experiences warmest winter on record 01 Mar 2007 The winter of 2006-2007 was the warmest since measurements began in 1706, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) said on its website Wednesday. The average temperature this winter was 6.5 degrees Celsius, much higher than the average temperature of 3.3 degrees for the winter months, said the KNMI.
Shanghai has warmest winter on record 01 Mar 2007 Shanghai, China's largest city, has experienced its warmest winter since records began in 1873, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. The average temperature over the past three months was 8.1 degrees Celsius (46.6 Fahrenheit), 2.6 degrees warmer than the previous average, Xinhua quoted the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau as saying.
Taiwan sees 2nd warmest winter of last 30 years: CWB 03 Mar 2007 As the spring season has come, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said that Taiwan experienced warmer than average temperatures this past winter. Taiwan's average temperature between this past December and February in the flatlands was 19.49 degrees Celsius, some 1.45 degrees higher than the annual winter average of 18.04 degrees, the CWB said.
Climate Change Impact More Extensive than Thought 02 Mar 2007 Global climate change is happening faster than previously believed and its impact is worse than expected, information from an as-yet unpublished draft of the long-awaited second part of a United Nations report obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE reveals. No region of the planet will be spared and some will be hit especially hard.
Hillary and Obama: The Dynamic Duo? --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Thursday, 01 Mar 2007
US: Secret CIA Prisoners Still Missing --Washington Should Reveal Fate of People 'Disappeared' by US 27 Feb 2007 The US government should account for all the missing detainees once held by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. "President [sic] Bush told us that the last 14 CIA prisoners were sent to Guantanamo, but there are many other prisoners 'disappeared' by the CIA whose fate is still unknown," said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director at Human Rights Watch. "The question is: what happened to these people and where are they now?"
Details of men held in CIA jails demanded 28 Feb 2007 The Bush regime was urged on Tuesday to reveal the whereabouts of 16 men who were allegedly detained in secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons. In a letter to Mr Bush, Human Rights Watch named 16 men it said were held in CIA prisons and another 22 who it said might have been in the secret facilities. The whereabouts of all the individuals concerned was unknown, the group said.
U.S. Blasted for Treatment of Detainees 01 Mar 2007 The U.N. human rights chief expressed concern Wednesday at recent U.S. legislative and judicial actions that she said leave hundreds of detainees without any way to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.
US files charges against Hicks 02 Mar 2007 Australian David Hicks has been charged with "material support for terrorism" and referred to trial by a special military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Judge Susan Crawford dismissed a second charge of attempted murder against Hicks after concluding there was no "probable cause" to justify it, said Commander Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.
Australia's Hicks alleges U.S. abuse at Guantanamo 01 Mar 2007 An Australian detainee facing U.S. terrorism charges, David Hicks, has complained of torture and abuse at the Guantanamo Bay jail in Cuba, Australian media reported on Friday.
Hicks: my life of terror and torture --The Australian has described in detail the brutality of his US captors, writes Tom Allard. 02 Mar 2007 After arriving in Guantanamo Bay, David Hicks was shown a photo of a battered Mamdouh Habib and told he would be sent to Egypt for similar, brutal treatment if he did not co-operate with his US interrogators. The startling new claim of abuse is one of many made by Mr Hicks in a document to be presented in May to a British court as he pursues British citizenship.
Ex-'Enemy Combatant' Competent for Trial 01 Mar 2007 The long-delayed terrorism support and conspiracy trial of Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for 3 years as an "enemy combatant," can go ahead next month after a federal judge ruled him mentally competent. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke rejected defense arguments Wednesday that the suspected al-Qaida operative suffered severe mental damage during his years of interrogation and isolation [and torture] in a military brig.
US 'will not hand over CIA agents to Italy' 28 Feb 2007 Washington would refuse any demand by Rome to give up alleged Central Intelligence Agency operatives to face criminal trial on charges that the agency abducted terror suspects, a leading US official said.
US representatives approve cooperation with Israel --Bill to award $25 million in grants to companies whose technology helps combat [foment] terror 01 Mar 2007 The House of Representatives approved legislation that would enhance homeland-security cooperation between the United States, Israel and four other countries. The bill is expected to pass in the Senate within the upcoming weeks. Sources in Israel and AIPAC worked for two years to advance this bill. The Senate's National Security Committee Chairman is Senator Joseph Lieberman, a strong supporter of the bill.
U.S. Knew of Threats as Cheney Visited Base 01 Mar 2007 NATO and American forces knew that a suicide bomber was at large in the Bagram area before the suicide bomb attack on Tuesday that killed 23 people at the main gate of the United States air base where Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney was staying, a NATO spokesman said Wednesday. But despite the vice president’s presence, the Afghan police chief in the area said he had not been informed of the possible threat.
'The basic rule is this: when Bush and Cheney move around in space, especially Middle Eastern space, other people die. A bomb magnet is going to attract bombs.' Cheney, The Bomb Magnet --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Wednesday, 28 Feb 2007
Taliban: Suicide army is ready 01 Mar 2007 The Taliban's top military commander said his forces have assembled a hundreds-strong army of suicide attackers poised for a spring offensive against NATO troops in Afghanistan. In a rare interview with Britain's Channel Four, Mullah Dadullah -- the man in charge of day-to-day military operations for the hardline Islamic militia -- also claimed he had a regular line of communication with Osama bin Laden. [Yes, but Bush is on his speed dial!]
House Democrats seek more war funds than Bush 01 Mar 2007 House of Representatives DemocRATs will more than fully fund President [sic] George W. Bush's request for money to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year. "There will be $98 billion for the military part," about $5 billion above the Bush administration's request, said Rep. John Murtha, chairman of a defense spending panel overseeing war funds.
Democrats Reject Plan to Cut War Funds by $20 Billion 01 Mar 2007 Senate DemocRATs "overwhelmingly" rejected a proposal to cut the Bush administration's war spending request for next year by $20 billion, according to Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad.
Israel to sell armored vehicles to US troops in Iraq 27 Feb 2007 An Israeli firm is to sell the US 60 armored vehicles for use by its troops in Iraq, army radio said Tuesday. The Golan vehicles, produced by the Rafael firm, are valued at $37 million and will be delivered within three months, it said. [Three months? The Bush regime is obviously not in a hurry to leave Iraq.]
US, Iraq forces set for Baghdad Sadr City push 01 Mar 2007 U.S. and Iraqi troops will soon launch a major sweep in the Shi'ite militia bastion of Sadr City, military officials said on Thursday, a pivotal moment for the make-or-break security crackdown in Baghdad.
Rape Cases Emerge From the Shadows 01 Mar 2007 Reports of the gang-rape of 20-year-old Sabrine al-Janabi by three policemen has set off new demands for justice from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government. Janabi, who lives in the Hai al-Amil area of southern Baghdad with her husband, was taken from her home Feb. 18 to a police station and accused of assisting resistance fighters. Janabi told al-Jazeera channel Feb. 19 that three police commandos raped her in the police garrison after accusing her of cooking for resistance fighters.
Hospital Officials Knew of Neglect --Complaints About Walter Reed Were Voiced for Years 01 Mar 2007 Top officials at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, including the Army's surgeon general, have heard complaints about outpatient neglect from family members, veterans groups and members of Congress for more than three years.
Walter Reed General Relieved of Command 01 Mar 2007 The Army today relieved the commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center [Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command], saying it had "lost trust and confidence" in his leadership in the wake of a scandal over outpatient treatment of wounded veterans at the Washington, D.C., hospital complex.
McCain Says U.S. Lives 'Wasted' in Iraq 01 Mar 2007 Republican presidential contender John McCain, a staunch backer of the Iraq war but critic of how President [sic] Bush has waged it, said U.S. lives had been "wasted" in the four-year-old conflict. Democrats demand the Arizona senator apologize for the comment as Sen. Barack Obama did when the Democratic White House hopeful recently made the same observation.
Mega barf alert! McCain Announces He'll Run for President 01 Mar 2007 Apparently believing that what's good once is even better twice, Republican Sen. John McCain announced his candidacy for president during a TV appearance, and then announced he will announce his candidacy again next month.
Kucinich Introduces HR 1234 to Immediately End the U.S. Occupation of Iraq (kucinich.us) 28 Feb 2007 Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced HR 1234, a bill to immediately end the United States occupation of Iraq, in the House of Representatives today.
White House: U.S. won't talk to Syria, Iran directly 01 Mar 2007 U.S. officials won't hold direct talks with Iran or Syria at a Baghdad conference next month despite the Bush regime's complaints that those countries are allowing weapons into Iraq, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday.
Subcommittee Votes to Compel Testimony on Firings 01 Mar 2007 A House subcommittee voted today to compel testimony from four U.S. attorneys who were part of a wave of firings by the Justice Department, marking the first high-profile subpoenas from the Democratic-controlled Congress.
States Get Five-Year Extension on Real ID 01 Mar 2007 The good news is that states now don’t have to comply with Real ID regulations until 2013. The bad news is that states will still have to do all the same things that has made more than 30 of them pass or submit legislation protesting the act, which is intended to produce a uniform standard for driver’s licenses. The new deadline was revealed in a 162-page document issued today by the Department of Homeland Security.
Black Hat Cancels RFID Demo 27 Feb 2007 Black Hat DC --A presentation that would have exposed potential vulnerabilities in RFID security technology has been pulled from tomorrow's Black Hat conference agenda following threats of a patent lawsuit by the technology's manufacturer.
Ga. Reconsiders No-Knock Warrant Rules 01 Mar 2007 A group of lawmakers wants to make it harder for police to use "no-knock" warrants in the wake of a shootout that left an elderly woman dead after plainclothes officers stormed her home unannounced in a search for drugs. The measure would allow judges to grant the warrants only if officers can prove a "significant and imminent danger to human life."
Bush approval rating at 29 percent 01 Mar 2007 Over all, George W. Bush’s job approval remains at one of its lowest points, with 29 percent of all Americans saying they approve of the way he is doing his job, compared with 34 percent at the end of October. Sixty-one percent disapproved, compared with 58 percent in October, within the margin of sampling error.
Call of the Bears? Stocks Rebound, but Still End Lower 01 Mar 1007 A still skittish Wall Street closed modestly lower Thursday, having clawed its way back from an early-session plunge after upbeat manufacturing data allayed fears about a flagging U.S. economy.
New Orleans seeks $77 billion for Katrina damage 02 Mar 2007 New Orleans filed a claim on Thursday seeking $77 billion from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for damages caused by flooding after Corps-built levees collapsed [were exploded] during Hurricane Katrina.
"We're after an intact body." Scientists want to exhume corpse from 1919 Spanish flu pandemic [to start a *new* pandemic] 28 Feb 2007 Scientists want to exhume the body of a British diplomat [Sir Mark Sykes] who died of Spanish flu during the 1919 pandemic in hopes of discovering clues to fight [start] a possible future global outbreak sparked by the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.
Body in lead coffin may hold key to fighting pandemic --Go-ahead for exhumation of politician and diplomat who died in 1918-19 epidemic 28 Feb 2007 A celebrated politician and diplomat [Sir Mark Sykes] who played a key role in the carve-up of the Middle East after the first world war is to be called on to perform a final service which could reap incalculable benefits for 'global health' [the pharma-terrorists and KBR's detention centers].
Active hurricane season risk grows: meteorologists 01 Mar 2007 The likelihood of an above-average Atlantic hurricane season is growing as a Pacific Ocean El Nino system, which drove storms away from the Gulf Coast in 2006, ended in the past few weeks, meteorologists said on Thursday.
U.S. tornadoes kill 19; school collapses 02 Mar 2007 Tornadoes ripped across the Southern and Midwestern United States on Thursday and killed at least 19 people, most of whom had been taking shelter in a high school that collapsed in southern Alabama.
'The basic rule is this: when Bush and Cheney move around in space, especially Middle Eastern space, other people die. A bomb magnet is going to attract bombs.' Cheney, The Bomb Magnet --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Wednesday, 28 Feb 2007
Military chiefs give US six months to win Iraq war --Violence expected to rise after UK withdrawal --'Coalition' is 'disintegrating' 28 Feb 2007 An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq - or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.
Democrats Back Away From War Fund Plan 28 Feb 2007 House DemocRATic leaders are backing away from a plan to scale back U.S. involvement in the Iraq war by using Congress' most powerful tool - withholding money in the budget.
23 killed in Iraq attacks ahead of security meet 28 Feb 2007 Bomb and mortar attacks tormented war-weary Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 23 people, as Iraq set the date for a security conference that could see Washington sit down with archfoes Iran and Syria.
10 Killed in Baghdad Car Bombing 28 Feb 2007 A car bomb killed at least 10 people packed into a Baghdad market Wednesday, while an Iraqi government spokesman praised a decrease in attacks [LOL!] during a new security plan in the capital.
Troubles for the Iraq Oil Deal 28 Feb 2007 Parliamentarians and Iraq's oil unions have already begun mobilizing against the draft legislation of the new petroleum law, arguing that it is a desperate attempt by Nouri al-Maliki's government to satisfy Western demands, which could damage Iraq's economic future and speed the country's ultimate disintegration. Foreign oil companies will have a stake in Iraq's vast oil wealth for the first time since 1972, when Iraq nationalized the oil industry.
US Afghan base on red alert 27 Feb 2007 Ajmall, a shopkeeper in the market outside the base, called the blast "huge", and said it shook the small market area. US vice-president Dick Cheney, who spent the night at Bagram, left the base about 90 minutes after the 10:00 blast. The explosion sent up a plume of smoke visible by reporters inside the base travelling with Cheney, and American military officials declared a "red alert" inside the base.
Walter Reed patients told to keep quiet 28 Feb 2007 Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media. "Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media," one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Russia Warns U.S. Against Striking Iran 01 Mar 2007 Russia's foreign minister warned Washington not to use force against Iran and criticized what he described as the United States' unilateral approach to other global crises in an interview published Wednesday.
Woman Colonel Urges Troops to Refuse Orders if US Attacks Iran 26 Feb 2007 Adding to the chorus of women leaders demanding that President [sic] Bush retreat from the possibility of war against Iran, retired Army Reserves Colonel and former high-ranking diplomat Mary Wright asked military personnel to refuse potentially imminent orders to attack Iran.
US does about-turn, wooing Iran and Syria 01 Mar 2007 In a sudden policy shift by the Bush Administration, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has announced a conference of Iraq's neighbours, including Iran and Syria, to discuss ways of stabilising Iraq and wider regional issues.
Rice the gracious hostess of Bush's supper of contrition 01 Mar 2007 On January 11 the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, sat at the witness table in Hearing Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building explaining why those who talked about engagement with Syria and Iran were all "wet". "That's not diplomacy - that's extortion," she said. On Tuesday Rice returned to the same witness table in the same hearing room. "I'm pleased to inform you that the Iraqis are launching a new diplomatic initiative, which we are going to fully support," she announced cheerfully. And guess who's coming to dinner? Iran and Syria.
Scandals mount for Israeli cabinet's newest member 01 Mar 2007 In her first week as Israel's new Tourism Minister, the far-right politician Esterina Tartman has announced she wants to strip citizenship from all Arab-Israelis who refuse to swear loyalty to their country as a Jewish state.
Laser weapons are getting closer to reality (Military & Aerospace Electronics) Jan 2007 Laser weapons are not as far away as the average citizen may think. U.S. Department of Defense experts are close to fielding the Airborne Laser (ABL) for missile defense and several other high-energy laser weapons programs received new funding this year. Many of these programs that expect to bring laser weaponry into the hands of the warfighter on the ground involve solid-state laser technology.
Cheney Denies Aiming to 'Beat Up On' Musharraf 28 Feb 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, thinly veiled as a "senior administration official," told reporters on his plane on Tuesday that it was not correct that he "went in to beat up on" the Pakistani president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, for failing to confront Al Qaeda and the Taliban. "That’s not the way I work," said Mr. Cheney, violating the first rule of conducting a background interview: never refer to yourself in the first person, when it makes it obvious who is talking.
U.S. Sees New Al-Qaeda Threat 28 Feb 2007 The new director of national intelligence said yesterday that the United States is "very concerned" that Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leadership are attempting to rebuild their terrorist network and establish training camps in a region of northwest Pakistan "that has never been governed by any power."
U.S. Warns Against EU's CIA Flight Probe 28 Feb 2007 A senior U.S. administration official on Wednesday warned that ongoing inquiries into secret CIA activities in the European Union may undermine intelligence cooperation between the United States and European nations. The European Parliament accused Britain, Poland, Italy and other nations in mid-February of colluding with the CIA to transport terror suspects to clandestine prisons in third countries.
U.S. won't extradite CIA agents to Italy 28 Feb 2007 The United States will reject any request by Italy to extradite CIA agents for the first criminal trial over controversial U.S. "renditions" [kidnappings] of terror suspects, a U.S. government lawyer said on Wednesday. A Milan judge earlier this month ordered 26 Americans, most of them thought to be CIA agents, to stand trial with Italian spies for kidnapping a Muslim cleric and flying him to Egypt, where he says he was tortured.
Gates Downsized War-Crimes Trials Locale 28 Feb 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates downsized a planned compound for war-crimes trials, telling Congress he thought the initial Pentagon plan for a $100 million facility was "ridiculous." [Yes, but not as ridiculous as the 'trials' themselves.]
Australian court reserves its decision on Australian inmate at Guantanamo Bay 28 Feb 2007 A court completed a hearing Wednesday but has yet to rule on whether the government should be ordered to ask for the lone Australian terror suspect at Guantanamo Bay [David Hicks] to be brought home.
Padilla ruled fit for terrorism trial 28 Feb 2007 Former "enemy combatant" Jose Padilla is mentally competent to stand trial on terrorism charges, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday. His lawyers argued that years of secret detention and interrogation [torture] by the U.S. military left him mentally impaired.
New Light Shed on CIA's 'Black Site' Prisons 28 Feb 2007 Marwan Jabour's release from a secret facility in Afghanistan on June 30, 2006, was a surprise to Jabour -- and came just after the Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration's assertion that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to prisoners like him. Jabour had spent two years in "black sites" -- a network of secret internment facilities the CIA operated around the world.
German Antiterror Law Links Large Databases 28 Feb 2007 A law allowing security officials in Germany to create the largest and most comprehensive pool of personal data ever amassed in the country goes into effect Thursday as the European Union's largest member state moves to protect itself against possible terrorist attacks.
S.C. might reject national ID program 28 Feb 2007 South Carolina could once again join a revolt against the federal government — this time protesting new rules outlining security features on state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.
White House threatens to veto 9/11 bill 28 Feb 2007 The U.S. Senate began debating legislation to bolster America's security on Wednesday with the White House threatening a veto because one part would extend union protection to 45,000 airport workers.
CNN, BBC 24 Reports Conclusively Prove Media Prior Knowledge and False-Start Scripting of Building 7 Controlled Demolition By Aaron Dykes and Alex Jones 27 Feb 2007 It has now been discovered that BBC 24 also reported the Building 7 collapse before it fell. Furthermore, CNN’s Aaron Brown reported that Building 7 "has collapsed or is collapsing" over an hour before it fell. These clips both reinforce the shocking, newly discovered BBC coverage wherein Jane Standley reports the collapse early-- with the building still standing behind her.
Political interference alleged in sacking of a U.S. attorney 28 Feb 2007 The U.S. attorney from New Mexico [David Iglesias] who was recently fired by the Bush administration said Wednesday that he believes he was forced out because he refused to rush an indictment of local Democrats a month before November's Congressional elections.
Attorney Says He Was Pressured on Corruption Probe 28 Feb 2007 The fired U.S. attorney in New Mexico says he was pressured by two members of Congress prior to the November elections about the pace of an ongoing public corruption probe that targets local Democrats. David C. Iglesias -- who is leaving today after more than five years in office -- said he received separate calls in October from two federal lawmakers, whom he declined to identify. Iglesias said he suspects the episode led the Justice Department to include him in a wave of firings of federal prosecutors late last year.
Kerry Grills Nominee Over Swift Boat 27 Feb 2007 A Senate hearing that began with glowing tributes to a St. Louis businessman and his qualifications to become ambassador to Belgium turned bitterly divisive Tuesday after he was criticized for supporting a controversial conservative group. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., grilled nominee Sam Fox about why he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race.
U.S. 'stuck in reverse' on fuel economy --Only two super-efficient cars available, down from five, study shows 28 Feb 2007 While Congress and the Bush administration debate how to improve fuel economy in automobiles, a new study says the United States is "stuck in reverse" when it comes to offering consumers a wide selection of fuel-efficient vehicles. The research from the Civil Society Institute, a not-for-profit think tank that focuses on energy and ecological issues, shows a growing "fuel-efficient car gap."
Climate Panel Recommends Global Temperature Ceiling, Carbon Tax 28 Feb 2007 A group of 18 scientists from 11 countries is calling on the international community to act quickly to prevent catastrophic climate change. Peter Heinlein reports that the strategy involves reaching a global agreement on a temperature ceiling.
Weird weather: Adelaide's hottest February 28 Feb 2007 Adelaide has sweltered through it hottest February for the past 100 years. The Bureau of Meteorology said the average for the month was set to come in at 32.9 degrees. That was well above the long-term average of 29 degrees and the hottest recorded in Adelaide since 1906.
Chemical Spills From Barge in Ohio River 01 Mar 2007 Thousands of gallons of a toxic chemical spilled into the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky after a barge struck a lock wall, environmental officials said Wednesday.
Obama's (and our) Burden of Articulation --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Tuesday, 27 Feb 2007
Suicide bomber 'targeted Cheney' 27 Feb 2007 The Taliban say their aim was to target the US Vice-President [sic], Dick Cheney. But all the varying accounts of this morning's attack on the main American base in Afghanistan agree on one thing: that the suicide bomber didn't get anywhere near Mr Cheney. [Yes, it was like the ball rolling through Bill Buckner's legs during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, from the perspective of a Red Sox fan. --LRP]
Cheney OK after bomb blast --Suicide bomber reportedly kills up to 23; Taliban says VP was the target 27 Feb 2007 A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney, who was unharmed, was the target. [The failed suicide targeting of Cheney proves this: When Cheney or Bush move around in space, other people die. --MR]
U.S., Italy ambassadors hurt in Sri Lanka mortar attack 27 Feb 2007 The U.S. and Italian ambassadors to Sri Lanka were "slightly injured" Tuesday when mortars fell near a helipad their helicopters landed on in the country‘s east, officials said.
Bombing at Iraqi Ministry Wounds 2 Top Officials 27 Feb 2007 An explosion inside the Ministry of Public Works on Monday wounded an Iraqi vice president and the public works minister and killed at least five people, in what officials described as a possible assassination attempt.
US intelligence chief predicts worse violence in Iraq 28 Feb 2007 The United States director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, is warning the violence in Iraq may get much worse. Admiral McConnell has told the Senate's armed services committee that sectarian violence in Iraq has become self-sustaining.
Military cast doubt on report of 18 teenagers killed by bomb 28 Feb 2007 Eighteen teenage boys playing soccer in the Sunni triangle city of Ramadi were reported to have been killed yesterday by a suicide car bomber, though the US military cast doubt on the claim.
Car bomb kills 18 children in Iraq 27 Feb 2007 At least 18 children were killed today in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi when a car bomb exploded near a park, police said.
In Iraq, a head wound isn't always a trip home --Military personnel with brain injuries pressured to return quickly to duty By Robert Bazell 27 Feb 2007 Last year when I was reporting on the treatment of brain injuries among troops returning from the war, I learned many experts were concerned about low-level brain injuries among the troops. The rehabilitation experts at Veterans Affairs had been shocked to hear that soldiers and Marines who had been exposed to the concussive force of numerous blasts from roadside bombs, but not obviously injured, were routinely returned to duty.
Special comment: Condi goes too far --Secretary Rice's comparison of Saddam to Hitler is not accurate By Keith Olbermann 27 Feb 2007 You can't keep the facts that fit your prejudices and throw out the ones that destroy your theories. And if you're going to try to do that; if you still want to fool some people into thinking that Saddam was Hitler, and once we gave FDR that blank check in Germany he was no longer subject to the laws of Congress or gravity or physics, at least stop humiliating us... You've been on Fox News Sunday, Secretary Rice. The Fox network has got another show premiering Tuesday night. You could go on that one, too. It might be a better fit. It's called "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?"
US military chief "categorically" denies plans for Iran air strikes 27 Feb 2007 The head of the US military [General Peter Pace, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff], declared "categorically" Tuesday that the United States is not planning air strikes against Iran.
US invites Iran and Syria to talks on Iraq in reversal of Bush policy --Plan seen as attempt to limit criticism of war 28 Feb 2007 The Bush administration gave up one of the central tenets of its Middle East strategy yesterday, reversing its much criticised effort to isolate Iran and Syria by inviting both states to negotiations on stabilising Iraq.
Prodi Defends Italy's Involvement in Afghanistan 27 Feb 2007 Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi defended his government’s foreign policy on Tuesday, including its troop commitment in Afghanistan. In a wide-ranging speech to the upper house of parliament, Prodi tried to convince senators of the need for his government to survive.
Afghanistan: Browne defends additional deployment 27 Feb 2007 MPs fear that the armed forces are being dragged into a more dangerous mission against the Taliban amid concern that Britain could be forced to commit 9,000 troops to Afghanistan by the end of the year. A mobile battle group of 1,400 is being sent to Afghanistan to reinforce the 6,300 men and women already deployed there. But the Defence Secretary Des Browne said yesterday that Britain was under pressure to send a second group.
Taliban offensive awaits British troops 27 Feb 2007 Six years after the declaration of victory in Afghanistan the British government announced the dispatch of 1,400 extra troops yesterday in readiness for an escalation of the violence sweeping the country. The sending of the troops, along with aircraft, armoured vehicles and artillery, will raise the total force there to 7,700 making it bigger than the one now deployed in Iraq.
Spy Chief Pushes for Action in Pakistan 27 Feb 2007 More must be done to go after al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], which is trying to establish training camps and other operations in some of Pakistan's most ungoverned territory, the new U.S. spy chief said Tuesday.
Police 'should pursue terror suspects into mosques' --Moves comes after man under control order escapes police in mosque 20 Feb 2007 Police should be more willing to enter mosques or other places of worship when pursuing terrorist suspects, the government's terror-law watchdog urged yesterday.
US: Secret CIA Prisoners Still Missing 27 Feb 2007 The US government should account for all the missing detainees once held by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 50-page report, "Ghost Prisoner: Two Years in Secret CIA Detention," contains a detailed description of a secret CIA prison from a Palestinian former detainee who was released from custody last year.
Muslim fears torture after court rules on deportation 27 Feb 2007 A landmark court ruling could pave the way for the government to return terror suspects to countries with records of torture if their regimes pledge not to mistreat them. Abu Qatada, a radical Muslim preacher, faces deportation to Jordan after the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) yesterday dismissed his appeal against being sent back to his native country.
Canada's House Scraps Terrorism Measures 27 Feb 2007 Canada's House of Commons voted Tuesday to not extend provisions in the country's anti-terrorism legislation that allow for preventive arrests and forced testimony. The ruling conservative government wanted to extend the pieces of legislation that were set to expire on Thursday, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion was defeated 159-124 in the House of Commons.
Digital IDs face opposition among states 26 Feb 2007 The 2005 Real ID Act says that drivers licenses and other ID documents issued by state governments must comply with a stringent set of rules devised by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that have not yet become public. But dozens of state legislatures are debating whether to stand up to the federal government and oppose federalized IDs, a step that Maine's legislature took in a vote last month.
Bomb-anthrax threat closes Missouri college 27 Feb 2007 A Missouri college was closed down on Tuesday after a student claiming to have a bomb and anthrax threatened to destroy a building on campus, school and law enforcement officials said.
Oops! Video: BBC was half an hour too early reporting on WTC collapse By thedreadzone 26 Feb 2007 'On September 11th 2001, BBC World reported at 4:57pm Eastern Time that the Salomon Brothers Building (more commonly known as WTC7 or World Trade Building 7) had collapsed. This even made the 5pm EST headlines, what is bizarre is that the building did not actually collapse until 5:20pm EST. [...] The woman reporter is telling the world that the building had collapsed when you can see it in the background over her left shoulder.'
Chavez to seize foreign oil assets --Firms could operate as minority partner 27 Feb 2007 President Hugo Chavez ordered by decree on Monday the takeover of oil projects run by foreign oil companies in Venezuela's Orinoco River region. [...] Chave said that Venezuela, a major supplier of petroleum to the United States, doesn't "want the companies to go. ... We just want them to be [minority] partners."
Thieves break into N.H. Dem headquarters 27 Feb 2007 Burglars have broken into Democratic Party headquarters. Instead of Washington's Watergate complex, this burglary took place at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's headquarters over the weekend.
Rell Red-Flags Guard Needs 27 Feb 2007 When Connecticut National Guard units are deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, the state is left with not only fewer troops but less equipment for emergencies. "We're finding that many times, the remaining equipment that is left in our state is not enough to continue to do the exercises that we deem necessary for training," Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R-CT) told reporters.
"We have a food safety crisis on the horizon." FDA Inspections Down Amid Food Recalls 26 Feb 2007 The federal agency that's been front and center in warning the public about tainted spinach and contaminated peanut butter is conducting just half the food safety inspections it did three years ago. The cuts by the Food and Drug Administration come despite a barrage of high-profile food recalls.
Swiftness of Dow drop due to computers 27 Feb 2007 When the Dow Jones industrial average plunged to its low of the session Tuesday, it happened with incredible swiftness -- a matter of seconds -- because of a computer glitch that kept some trades from being immediately reflected in the index of 30 blue chip stocks.
Stocks Have Worst Day Since 9/11 Attacks 27 Feb 2007 Stocks had their worst day of trading since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Tuesday, hurtling the Dow Jones industrials down more than 400 points on a worldwide tide of concern that the U.S. and Chinese economies are stumbling and that share prices have become overinflated.
U.S. stocks dive on Cheney assassination attempt, Iran saber-rattling --Dow drops 200 points as Shanghai slide spooks global markets 1:35 PM ET 27 Feb 2007 U.S. stocks plunged Monday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average towards its worst one-day loss in eight months, as a sell-off in Chinese stocks, reports of a possible assassination attempt on Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney in Afghanistan and saber-rattling with Iran combined to put investors on edge.
Bird Flu Spreads in Asia as Laos Reports Human Case 27 Feb 2007 Bird flu spread in Asia as Laos reported its first-ever human case of the virus, following an outbreak in poultry.
Kuwait confirms 12 new bird flu cases 27 Feb 2007 Kuwait confirmed on Tuesday 12 cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in turkeys and chicken on Tuesday, but said the birds did not belong to poultry farms.
Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Crops and Keepers in Peril 27 Feb 2007 (Visalia, CA) Beekeeper David Bradshaw got the shock of his career when he opened his boxes last month and found half of his 100 million bees missing. In 24 states throughout the country, beekeepers have gone through similar shocks as their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate. "I have never seen anything like it," Mr. Bradshaw said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. "Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home."
Iraqi Cabinet Approves Draft Oil Law 26 Feb 2007 The Iraqi Cabinet approved draft legislation Monday to manage the country's vast oil industry and divide its wealth among the 'population' [to US-UK corpora-terrorists]. The legislation now goes to parliament for approval.
Allies pressure Iraq to hand over oil 26 Feb 2007 Baghdad is under pressure from Britain and the United States to pass an oil law which would hand long-term control of Iraq's energy assets to foreign multinationals, according to campaigners. Iraqi trades unions have called for the country's oil reserves - the second-largest in the world - to be kept in public hands. But a leaked draft of the oil law shows that the Government would sign away the right to exploit its untapped fields in so-called exploration contracts, which could be extended for more than 30 years.
Iraq president in Amman hospital 26 Feb 2007 Baghdad Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is being treated at a hospital in Amman after being flown there from northern Iraq earlier in the day. [Wellstoned? Talabani was probably just a little too slow to hand over the oil to Exxon Mobil and BP.]
Iraqi VP Narrowly Escapes Assassination 26 Feb 2007 Iraq's Shiite vice president narrowly escaped assassination Monday as a blast ripped through a government meeting hall just hours after it was searched by U.S. teams with bomb-sniffing dogs. [?!? *After* U.S. teams searched the area?] At least 10 people were killed. Adel Abdul-Mahdi was slightly wounded in the explosion, which splintered chairs, destroyed a speakers' podium. [I wonder what Abdul-Mahdi's position was on the new oil law?]
Blast hits Baghdad ministry during VP's visit 26 Feb 2007 A deadly explosion ripped through a meeting hall in the Iraqi ministry of public works on Monday during a visit by Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi, security and defence officials said.
Rice: Congress Shouldn't Micromanage War 25 Feb 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to interfere in the conduct of the Iraq war and suggested President [sic] Bush would defy troop withdrawal legislation.
Baghdad Plan Has Elusive Targets --U.S. Patrols Still Unable to Tell Friend From Foe 26 Feb 2007 U.S. troops, Iraqi soldiers and officials, and Baghdad residents say the security 'plan' is hampered because security forces cannot identify, let alone apprehend, the elusive perpetrators of the violence... "I don't know who I'm fighting most of the time," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Lopez, a soldier based in the northern outskirts of the capital. "I don't know who is setting what IED."
Marine Killed in Anbar Province 26 Feb 2007 A Marine was killed today in Iraq, the U.S. military announced. The Marine died while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, an insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad. The military offered no details about the attack.
GIs Petition Congress to End Iraq War --More Than 1,000 Military Personnel Sign Petition Urging Withdrawal 25 Feb 2007 Americans in the military have been asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in recent years, particularly in Iraq, where the casualties are mounting, the tours are being extended, and some of them have had enough.
Judge Dismisses CIA Leak Trial Juror 26 Feb 2007 A federal judge avoided a potential mistrial in the CIA leak case Monday by dismissing a juror and sending the other 11 back to continue deliberating the fate of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton said the juror had seen or read something over the weekend about Libby's trial.
U.N. calls U.S. data on Iran's nuclear aims unreliable --Tips about supposed secret weapons sites and documents with missile designs haven't panned out, diplomats say. 25 Feb 2007 Although international concern is growing about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, diplomats here say most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran.
US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran 26 Feb 2007 President [sic] George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday.
US 'plans to bomb Iran', despite denials 26 Feb 2007 A Pentagon unit is planning for a bombing attack on Iran which could be carried out "within 24 hours", according to a report in the United States, issued just as the Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad warned that Tehran's nuclear programme had "no reverse gear".
U.S. says wants "incremental steps" to pressure Iran 26 Feb 2007 The United States said on Monday it was seeking "incremental" diplomatic steps to pressure Iran to suspend its nuclear activities.
Gulf countries: No air space for Israel 26 Feb 2007 The Arab League said three Arab Gulf countries have denied Israel use of their air space to strike Iran. [...] Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa's remarks came a day after Israel's Haaretz daily said Israel has received a green light from these three oil-rich states to pass through their air space to launch air strikes against Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility near the Arab Gulf region.
Israel to ask U.S. for more military aid 25 Feb 2007 Israel will ask the U.S. government to significantly increase its military assistance to the country as part of a new multi-year aid agreement. The present package, which ends this year, covers $2.4 billion in annual military aid.
Britain to Send Another 1400 Troops to Southern Afghanistan 26 Feb 2007 Britain is to send an extra 1,400 troops and equipment to southern Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Des Browne told parliament in London Monday.
Canada Announces Aid for Afghanistan 26 Feb 2007 Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a new $172 million 'reconstruction aid' package for Afghanistan on Monday, heeding calls by opposition lawmakers for Canada to focus more on development projects in the country.
Outcry as duty to help Hicks denied 27 Feb 2007 Two high-profile Australians have attacked the Howard Government for refusing to secure David Hicks's repatriation from Guantanamo Bay, on the same day commonwealth lawyers argued there was no legal obligation to bring him back. The Federal Court in Sydney heard yesterday that while the Government might have a moral obligation to help Australians who had been arrested overseas, it did not have a legal obligation.
Failure to help Hicks illegal, court told 27 Feb 2007 An attempt to force the Federal Government to ask the United States to release the Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks had no chance of success and should not be allowed to proceed, the Federal Court heard yesterday.
Cheney Warns Pakistan to Act on Terrorism 26 Feb 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney made an unannounced trip to Pakistan on Monday to deliver what officials in Washington described as an unusually tough message Gen. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, warning him that the newly Democratic Congress could cut aid to his country unless his forces become far more aggressive in hunting down operatives with Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh].
Transport chief's terror warning 27 Feb 2007 Australia's top transport bureaucrat has revealed that the terror threat to the sector is high, and warned that an attack would devastate the economy.
Calling extremists: a cyber sting awaits 27 Feb 2007 The Australian Federal Police, assisted by the military's signals intelligence arm, is setting up bogus jihadist websites to track extremists who use cyberspace to recruit followers and plan attacks.
Why Have So Many U.S. Attorneys Been Fired? It Looks a Lot Like Politics By Adam Cohen 26 Feb 2007 Ms. [Carol] Lam is one of at least seven United States attorneys fired recently under questionable circumstances. The Justice Department is claiming that Ms. Lam and other well-regarded prosecutors... who all received strong job evaluations — performed inadequately. It is hard to call what’s happening anything other than a political purge. And it's another shameful example of how in the Bush administration, everything — from rebuilding a hurricane-ravaged city to allocating homeland security dollars to invading Iraq — is sacrificed to partisan politics and winning elections.
Taking back the FDA By Marcia Angell 26 Feb 2007 It's time to take the Food and Drug Administration back from the drug companies... The agency's coziness with industry is underscored by the composition of its 18 advisory committees -- outside experts who help evaluate drugs. Incredibly, many of these advisers work as consultants for drug companies... The FDA now behaves as though the pharmaceutical industry is its user, not the public.
Scholars, Clergy Slam Jesus Documentary 26 Feb 2007 Archaeologists and clergymen in the Holy Land derided claims in a new documentary produced by James Cameron that contradict major Christian tenets, but the Oscar-winning director said the evidence was based on sound statistics.
Western states united to bypass Bush on climate 26 Feb 2007 Five Western U.S. states [Oregon, California, Washington, New Mexico and Arizona] have formed the latest regional pact to bypass the Bush administration to cut emissions linked to global warming through market mechanisms
Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' wins documentary Oscar 26 Feb 2007 "An Inconvenient Truth," the big-screen adaptation of former U.S. President Al Gore's slide-show lecture about the perils of global warming, won the Academy Award on Sunday for documentary feature.
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