March 2010 Archives
Nato 'covered up' botched night raid in Afghanistan that killed five 13 Mar 2010 A night raid carried out by US and Afghan gunmen led to the deaths of two pregnant women, a teenage girl and two local officials in an atrocity which Nato then tried to cover up, survivors have told The Times. The operation on Friday, February 12, was a botched pre-dawn assault on a policeman’s home a few miles outside Gardez, the capital of Paktia province, eastern Afghanistan. In a statement after the raid titled "Joint force operating in Gardez makes gruesome discovery", Nato claimed that the force had found the women’s bodies "tied up, gagged and killed" in a room.
CIA may have poisoned entire French village 12 Mar 2010 In 1951 a quiet village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were committed to asylums and hundreds afflicted. Now, evidence suggests that the CIA peppered food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind-control experiment at the height of the Cold War. H.P. Albarelli jnr, an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the U.S. army's top-secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, Maryland. During the 1950s, the U.S. launched a vast research program into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops. Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local food products." [Gee, al-Qaeda's a paragon of virtue, alongside CIA terror cells. And so, when CLG asserts that the H1N1 virus, etc., was possibly concocted in a US lab (so the pharmaterrorists could make a *killing* on mercury-laden vaccines) it isn't a stretch, is it?]
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment --A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment. 11 Mar 2010 In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted... An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment. H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD. [Apparently, Fort Detrick was a busy little terrorist bee way back then! And so, when the CLG asserts that the US government possibly carried out both the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax killings (the former to give rise to the phony 'war on terror' - the latter to inspire a skeptical Congress to ram through the Patriot Act) it isn't a stretch, is it?]
'Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld certainly watched 24'. '24', a diplomatic row and a spy chief's lecture on torture --US fury at ex-MI5 chief's claims that Jack Bauer inspired interrogation techniques 11 Mar 2010 American officials have reacted with dismay to the charge by the former head of MI5 that US authorities deliberately concealed mistreatment of terror suspects from their British colleagues... During a lecture given at a meeting in the House of Lords, Dame Eliza said the British government had made an official complaint to Washington over the abuse of detainees... In her speech, highly critical of the US's conduct during the war on terror, the former secret service chief implied that the leadership in Washington was inspired by watching the TV espionage thriller 24. She said: "Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld certainly watched 24". Dame Eliza said: "The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing." She insisted that she had been unaware of what was going on until her retirement in 2007.
Rove defends waterboarding 12 Mar 2010 A senior advisor to the
former US President [sic], George Bush, has defended
Affiliate of Blackwater awarded $39M contract 12 Mar 2010 Presidential Airways Inc., an affiliate of the firm formerly known as Blackwater, has been awarded a $39 million "task order" from the Defense Department to move passengers and cargo by helicopter in Afghanistan. Presidential Airways is based on the grounds of U.S. Training Center Inc., which has a Moyock, N.C., mailing address. Owned by Xe Services LLC, U.S. Training Center was known as Blackwater until February 2009.
Serial blasts wreak havoc in Pakistan's Lahore 12 Mar 2010 A series of [Blackwater?] explosions have rocked Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore, just hours after twin bomb attacks killed at least 45 people and injured about 100 others. A total of seven bomb blasts occurred in the space of one hour on Friday afternoon, targeting mostly residential areas, a Press TV correspondent reported. Among the areas targeted was Allama Iqbal Town in which three people were injured as a result of the incident.
Reprimands Expected in 2008 Afghanistan Battle 12 Mar 2010 A military investigation into the 2008 battle of Wanat, one of the deadliest days of the war for American forces in Afghanistan, is expected to result in serious letters of reprimand for three officers who were in command positions, Pentagon and military officials said Friday. Senior officials briefed on the inquiry said that the disciplinary action, in the form of letters of reprimand signed by a general, would be issued to a captain, a lieutenant colonel and a colonel who were serving as the company, battalion and brigade commanders. The three officers were identified by Pentagon and military officials as Col. Charles Preysler, Lt. Col. William Ostlund and Capt. Matthew Myer.
US-led trooper dies in Afghanistan 12 Mar 2010 A bomb blast has claimed another soldier serving under the United States command in Afghanistan, NATO says. The soldier, whose nationality was withheld, died in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device in south Afghanistan on Friday, said the US-led military alliance NATO, AFP reported. The mortality took to 122 the number of the foreign troops killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the year.
NATO soldier killed in Afghanistan 11 Mar 2010 A NATO soldier has been killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Thursday that a makeshift bomb explosion killed the soldier, but withheld the nationality of the victim. Another report, released today by the British Ministry of Defense, says a British soldier was killed on Sunday while on foot patrol in the Sangin area of northern Helmand province.
Two Israeli soldiers charged in Gaza war case 11 Mar 2010 Two Israeli soldiers have been charged with using a Palestinian child as "human shield" during Israel's last winter assault on the Gaza Strip. The two soldiers, whose names were not released, are facing charges for forcing a nine-year-old boy to open several bags suspected of containing explosives while searching a building in Gaza. The Israeli army pressed the charges on Thursday.
Several injured as Israeli planes bomb Gaza Strip 11 Mar 2010 Several Palestinians have been injured as Israeli aircraft bomb two sites in southern Gaza Strip early Friday, the army and witnesses said. The Israeli military said it blew up a metal workshop in Khan Yunis in the early hours of Friday, injuring several people.
British activist saw Rachel Corrie die under Israeli bulldozer, court hears --Richard Purssell describes 'shocking event' in Haifa court on first day of civil suit brought by Corrie family against Israel 10 Mar 2010 A British witness told a court today about how he had watched an Israeli military bulldozer run over and kill the American activist Rachel Corrie while she was trying to stop Palestinians' homes being demolished in Gaza. Richard Purssell, who was also a volunteer activist in Rafah at the time, seven years ago, described the "shocking and dramatic event" in an Israeli court in Haifa on the first day of a civil suit brought by Corrie's family against the Israeli state.
Iran says US, West support terrorism 11 Mar 2010 Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has accused the US and the Western countries of supporting terrorism. Mehmanparast said the US claims to be a pioneer in fighting terrorism in the region, while it is providing terrorists with safe havens.
Northcom, NORAD, 'Inextricably Linked,' Commander Says 11 Mar 2010 U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command are "inextricably linked" and share an "indispensible partnership," the commander of both commands said here today. Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee on the commands’ missions, ranging from supporting law enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border to monitoring Russian military planes and ships off U.S. borders.
FBI, nuclear agency investigate terrorism suspect 12 Mar 2010 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is working with the FBI to determine whether a New Jersey man suspected of being an 'al Qaeda' member had access to any sensitive areas of the nuclear plants where he once worked, a commission spokeswoman said Friday. The FBI is investigating Sharif Mobley, a 26-year-old from Buena, New Jersey, said Rich Wolf, a spokesman at the agency's Baltimore, Maryland.
'This individual satisfied federal security background checks required to work in the US nuclear industry as recently as 2008.' Alleged Al-Qaeda man worked at US nuclear power plant 12 Mar 2010 An alleged al-Qaeda agent and US citizen involved in a bloody shooting in Yemen five days ago was revealed Friday to have worked for a US nuclear power plant company between 2002 and 2008. Sharif Mobley, said by a source close to the police in Yemen to hold both US and Yemeni citizenship, was employed by PSEG Nuclear in New Jersey as a laborer, company spokesman Joseph Delmar said.
British Airways computer expert 'planned suicide bombings' --Court told Rajib Karim offered to join BA cabin crew in event of strike and had planned his own martyrdom 11 Mar 2010 A British Airways computer expert who allegedly offered to cover for cabin crew in the event of a strike appeared in court today charged with plotting suicide bombings. Rajib Karim, who was born in Bangladesh but now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, faced three charges under counter-terrorism legislation.
Liz Cheney accused of McCarthyism over campaign against lawyers --Keep America Safe group draws backlash after dubbing lawyers who defended terrorist suspects 'al-Qaida seven' 11 Mar 2010 Not long after the Twin Towers fell, Dick Cheney declared the death of more than two centuries of American tradition. "It will be necessary for us to be a nation of men, and not laws," he said. The then vice-president [sic] did his best to follow through by riding roughshod over the constitution and international laws by promoting torture, indefinite detention without trial and support for secretive military tribunals in which defendants were stripped of many of their rights. Now Cheney's daughter, Liz, has taken up the cudgel by heading what some are describing as a McCarthyite campaign to purge the government of lawyers who dared to defend men, and even a child, accused of terrorism.
Internet helped Flight 253 suspect radicalize, attack plane 'within weeks' 11 Mar 2010 'The Internet' allowed extremists to contact, recruit, train and equip the suspect responsible for the attempted Flight 253 bombing on Christmas Day "within weeks," a top Pentagon official told lawmakers Wednesday. That relatively brief timeframe only speaks to how quickly extremist groups have "optimized" the Web and developed a "highly evolved" process by which to develop terrorist networks, added Garry Reid, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism... "If we can stop them upstream when they are becoming radicalized, then obviously we have an easier job of it than when they are downstream and they are getting into all kinds of dangerous activities," said Ambassador Daniel Benjamin during prepared testimony.
More Tasers, more training for Chicago Police officers --$514K Grant; Every beat car to come equipped with guns 11 Mar 2010 On Wednesday, the Chicago Police Department showed reporters how they intend to train thousands of officers on the use of the Taser. It was part of an announcement that 380 more Tasers are hitting the streets. For the first time, an officer in each beat car will carry a Taser. Tactical officers and specialized units like the Mobile Strike Force will get them, too, thanks to $514,000 in federal funding.
IDOT supervisor suspended after peeping Tom charge 10 Mar 2010 An Illinois Department of Transportation civil engineer has been suspended from his job heading road maintenance for the department in Chicago's collar counties following his arrest this week after police saw him peering into a woman's apartment window in Crystal Lake. James A. Stumpner, 48, was charged Monday with three misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, after police arrested him just after 5 a.m. Monday at the Skyridge Club Apartments. They had been staking out the complex since getting complaints about a peeping Tom last week.
Hurdles Remain for City's Settlement of 9/11 Suit 12 Mar 2010 (NY) Lawyers for 9/11 cleanup and rescue workers who sued the city over ensuing damage to their health said on Friday that a deal to settle the cases for up to $657.5 million would right a historic wrong, and predicted that it would result in speedy and just compensation. But several hurdles remain before the million settlement can take effect. At a hearing on Friday, the federal judge overseeing the case, Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, said he would take a week to review the terms of the accord and would reconvene next Friday to give his "initial impressions" and hear from interested parties.
FEMA sells Hurricane Katrina trailers tainted with formaldehyde 12 Mar 2010 In a giant auction, the federal government has agreed to sell for pennies on the dollar most of the 120,000 formaldehyde-tainted trailers it bought nearly five years ago for Hurricane Katrina victims. But the sale of the units, perhaps the most visible symbol of the government's bungled response to the hurricane, has triggered a new round of charges that it is endangering future buyers for years to come. Consumer advocates and environmentalists are outraged that the government resold products it deemed unsafe to live in, saying warning stickers attached to the units will not keep people from misusing them. Besides formaldehyde, units may be plagued by mold, mildew and propane gas leaks, FEMA acknowledged. [FEMA should move their offices into the trailers - problem solved.]
Texas Approves Curriculum Revised by Conservatives --Since January, Republicans on the board have passed more than 160 amendments to the 120-page curriculum standards affecting history, sociology and economics courses from elementary to high school. 12 Mar 2010 After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday voted to approve a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism [fascism], questioning the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light. In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battle between a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin's theory of evolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christian principles.
Greece Grinds to a Halt Amid General Strike --Demonstrations by Unions Against Government Austerity Measures Hobble Transit Services, Spark Clashes With Police 12 Mar 2010 Flights were grounded and trains suspended amid a nationwide general strike Thursday, as Greek police fought running street battles with anarchist youths in fresh and violent signs of anger at the government's austerity plans. Unions called a strike to protest wage and benefit cuts being put in place to trim Greece's swollen budget deficit as the country draws closer to a financial reckoning. An estimated 50,000 people took to the streets.
Greece rocked by riots as up to 60,000 people take to streets to protest against government 11 Mar 2010 Street clashes broke out between rioting youths and police in central Athens today as tens of thousands demonstrated during a nationwide strike against the cash-strapped government. Hundreds of masked and hooded youths punched and kicked motorcycle police, knocking several off their bikes, as police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades. [Why aren't these protests taking place in the US?]
Lehman report may point way for criminal charges 12 Mar 2010 An explosive report by a court-appointed examiner on the collapse of Lehman Brothers may prove to be a roadmap for prosecutors to bring criminal cases against the investment bank's former executives, legal experts say. The 2,200-page report could lay the groundwork for felony charges under securities fraud laws, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or New York's Martin Act, which is more expansive than federal securities laws, the experts say.
Your Retirement Funds to Bail Out Failed Banks? Pension Funds as Corporate Safety Nets By Jayne Lyn Stahl 11 Mar 2010 With the recent spotlight on a runaway Prius, few are paying any attention to the latest government plan to bail out failing banks with retirement money. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., according to Bloomberg, now thinks it's a good idea for public retirement funds over about $2 trillion to "buy out all or part of failed lenders."
Democrats Planning for 'Health' Bill Vote Next Week 12 Mar 2010 The White House and Congressional leaders put Democrats on notice Friday that they would push ahead next week toward climactic votes on the health care legislation, as President Obama delayed a foreign trip and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped to complete House action before he leaves. As early as Thursday or Friday, Democrats said, they would first pass the health care bill already approved by the Senate in December, clearing the way for Mr. Obama to sign it, and then approve a package of changes in a separate bill that the Senate would also pass by a simple majority vote.
Reid says will use "reconciliation" on "healthcare" 11 Mar 2010 Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid formally notified Republicans on Thursday that he will attempt to pass the final changes to a 'healthcare' overhaul through the budget process of reconciliation. The process, used in the past by Republicans, requires only a simple majority in the 100-member Senate, bypassing the need for 60 votes to overcome procedural hurdles.
Cabbies Gouge Passengers Out of Millions, Agency Finds 12 Mar 2010 For the past two years, thousands of taxi drivers overcharged passengers a total of more than $8 million by switching the meter to double the rate, the Taxi and Limousine Commission said Friday afternoon. Using G.P.S. technology installed in cabs, the commission discovered more than 1.8 million trips where passengers were charged the higher rate. The total amount of the overcharge was $8,330,155, or an average of $4.45 per trip, the agency said.
'US might manipulate Iraq election results' 10 Mar 2010 A member of Iraq's National Alliance (INA) has warned that the US is possibly attempting to manipulate the results of the country's general elections as the release of the vote tally was postponed again. INA candidate, Entifadh Qanbar told press TV that the United States might try to intervene in the process of vote counting through the High Electoral Commission. "The concern is that how the ballots from each voting center are going to be processed in the computer center inside the Electoral Commission," Qanbar said. "The reason we are insisting on this issue is that we are afraid there is some sort of American intervention inside the Electoral Commission in processing these numbers and may be altering these numbers," he added. [Count on it! The same 'people' who installed George W. Bush in two US coups d'etat want a similar sociopath at the helm in Iraq to keep Blackwater afloat and the Western oil deals in tact. I sincerely hope that the Iraqis -- unlike the US sheep, who did *nothing* -- will overthrow their illegitimate dictator. --LRP]
US soldiers kill Iraqi couple in Baghdad 11 Mar 2010 US soldiers killed an Iraqi couple for unknown reasons... Iraqi interior ministry officials said that US soldiers opened fire on a civilian vehicle at around 1:00 p.m. (1000 GMT) Wednesday for reasons that are still under investigation. The US military declined to confirm that the couple had been killed by American soldiers, and only said that a joint US-Iraqi probe had been launched into the causes of the incident.
US House rejects bid to end Afghanistan stay 11 Mar 2010 The US House of Representatives has rejected an effort by anti-war lawmakers to force a withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. On Wednesday, Sixty-five lawmakers, most of them Democrats, voted for the pullout resolution, while 356 voted against. The resolution written by Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) called for President Barack Obama to pull out US forces from Afghanistan by the end 2010.
Congressional Democrats back expanded war in Afghanistan --US death toll hits 1,000 in "Operation Enduring Freedom" By Patrick Martin 11 Mar 2010 The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday evening against a resolution to end the war in Afghanistan and begin a withdrawal of US troops within 30 days... The leaders of both parties lined up in unanimous opposition to the resolution, which would have invoked the 1973 War Powers Act. This provides that the president can send US armed forces into war abroad only with the authorization of Congress or if the US is already under attack.
Patrick Kennedy: Media Doing "Despicable" Job Covering Afghanistan 10 Mar 2010 Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) railed against the Washington press corps today on the House floor for paying more attention to the likes of scandal-ridden Eric Massa than the war in Afghanistan. "There's two press people in this gallery," Kennedy yelled during a debate over an anti-war resolution. "We're talking about Eric Massa 24-7 on the TV, we're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press? No press." "You want to know why the American public is fit?" he continued. "They're fit because they're not seeing their Congress do the work that they're sent to do. It's because the press, the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance and that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It's despicable, the national press corps right now."
Militants Attack British Aid Agency Office 10 Mar 2010 'Suspected Islamist militants' have attacked the office of a British aid agency in Pakistan killing up to five people, say reports.The militants stormed the World Vision agency in the Mansehra district, about 40 miles north of Islamabad, then opened fire. "They opened fire and also exploded hand grenades," a senior police officer said.
US drone attacks kill 14 in NW Pakistan 10 Mar 2010 Two US drone attacks on Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region have killed at least 14 people and injured a number of others. Eight people were killed when a drone fired five missiles at a vehicle in Mizar Madakhel village, Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed on Wednesday. The second drone fired three missiles at villagers, who were recovering bodies from the site of the first attack, killing six others, Press TV correspondent reported. Several Pakistanis were also wounded in the strikes. [I don't understand. The drones are there to kill. Ergo, if people see one, they shoot it down. It's a no-brainer.]
SC, GA soldiers killed in Iraq vehicle rollover 10 Mar 2010 Two soldiers from South Carolina and Georgia have been killed in a vehicle rollover in Iraq. The Department of Defense announced Wednesday that 25-year-old Sgt. Aaron Arthur, of Lake City and 23-year-old Spc. Lakeshia Bailey of Columbus, Ga., died Monday north of Al Kut in Iraq of injuries from the incident.
nears decision to use military tribunals 10 Mar 2010 President
Barack Obama appears near a
Israeli supermarket parodies Dubai assassination in TV advert 11 Mar 2010 'Mossad-mania' continued in Israel this week when a supermarket chain filmed a television commercial inspired by the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai by a 27-strong hit squad. The commercials for the Mahsaney Kimat Hinam (Almost Free Warehouse) supermarket chain shows actors carrying tennis rackets, and wearing hats, glasses and wigs -- the same disguises worn by the alleged killers in surveillance images released by Dubai police -- as they make their way through store aisles.
Israel planning 50,000 housing units in East Jerusalem 11 Mar 2010 Some 50,000 new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the Green Line are in various stages of planning and approval, planning officials told Haaretz. They said Jerusalem's construction plans for the next few years, even decades, are expected to focus on East Jerusalem.
US military behind Haiti quake, says Innsbruck scientist 09 Mar 2010 Innsbruck political scientist Claudia von Werlhof has accused the USA of being behind the Haitian earthquake in January, it emerged today (Tues). Werlhof said that machines at a military research centre in Alaska used to detect deposits of crude oil by causing artificial earthquakes had intentionally been set off to cause the Haitian earthquake and enable the USA to send 10,000 soldiers into the country.
USGS: 7.2-magnitude quake SW of Santiago, Chile 11 Mar 2010 A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Chile again at 11:39 a.m. local time Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter was 95 miles southwest of the capital, Santiago. Chile, which was struck by an 8.8-magnitude quake on Feb. 27, continues to suffer from a series of strong aftershocks.
House Democrats ban earmarks for private contractors 10 Mar 2010; House Democratic leaders banned Wednesday the practice of doling out multimillion-dollar, no-bid contracts to private contractors. At a meeting of the Democratic caucus, leaders unveiled the new rule that forbids private contractors from receiving earmarks. House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.), whose panel issues thousands of these line-item grants each year, estimated that the fiscal 2010 budget included more than 1,000 earmarks to private companies, through which businesses reaped billions of dollars.
KBR receives $94 million contract for new hospital 09 Mar 2010 KBR Inc. said Tuesday that its building subsidiary received a $94 million contract to provide various construction services for a new hospital near Atlanta. KBR's Building Group was awarded the contract by Piedmont Healthcare to provide pre-construction and construction services for a replacement facility for Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Newnan, Ga. [Are KBR's rapes, electrocutions and chemical burn pits included in the contract?]
Minot Airman faces trial in alleged abuse case 10 Mar 2010 An airman stationed at Minot Air Force Base faces court-martial in the alleged sexual abuse of his 14-month-old son. Base spokesmen say Senior Airman Clifton Huebner is charged with aggravated sexual contact. Court-martial proceedings are scheduled to begin April 6. The boy’s mother, Rebecca Forteau, says daycare workers reported the alleged abuse in January 2009, when he was living on base with Huebner.
Suicide bomb plot suspect 'volunteered as British Airways cabin crew' 11 Mar 2010 A British Airways computer expert charged with terror offences planned to take advantage of a strike by BA staff to become a temporary member of the cabin crew, a court heard today. Rajib Karim, 30, from Newcastle upon Tyne, faces three charges under counter terrorism legislation. He is accused of two counts of planning suicide bombings and his own martyrdom.
Big brother IS watching By Brian Blum 08 Mar 2010 A small Israeli startup has developed a potentially game-changing, high-tech solution where a single surveillance camera can monitor a panoramic field of view and zoom in on any spot in real time with exceptional clarity. The company, Adaptive Imaging Technologies, calls its invention a "panoramic telescope," and aims to shake up the global security space. The company won the "Most Promising Startup" award from the Global Security Challenge last year, has received a $100,000 cash grant from the US Department of Defense, and already has orders, even though its flagship camera is still only in a pre-prototype stage.
Card for Workers Is at Center of Immigration Plan --All US
workers eventually required to obtain biometric ID card 08 Mar 2010
Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled
on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national
biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be
required to obtain. Under the
Flu Shots Futile: Study --'Didn't find' proof immunization stops virus 11 Mar 2010 A new Canadian-led study has added to a simmering scientific dispute over flu-shot campaigns, concluding that immunizing nursing-home workers does nothing to cut the number of confirmed influenza cases among the homes' elderly residents. "What troubled us is that [shots] had no effect on laboratory-confirmed influenza," said Dr. Roger Thomas of the University of Calgary, lead author of the paper published by the respected Cochrane Library. In media interviews last year, Dr. Jefferson was quoted as saying he "can't see any reason" for vaccinating anyone against flu -- arguing the shots did nothing to save lives -- and that most influenza-vaccine studies are "rubbish."
More Messages Link GOP Senator to Job Effort 11 Mar 2010 Previously undisclosed e-mail messages turned over to the F.B.I. and Senate ethics investigators provide new evidence about Senator John Ensign’s efforts to steer lobbying work to the embittered husband of his former mistress and could deepen his legal and political troubles. Mr. Ensign, Republican of Nevada, suggested that a Las Vegas development firm hire the husband, Douglas Hampton, after it had sought the senator’s help on several energy projects in 2008, according to e-mail messages and interviews with company executives.
California state senator who opposed gay rights announces he is homosexual 10 Mar 2010 Roy Ashburn, a California state senator who has staunchly opposed gay rights has announced that he is homosexual. Mr Ashburn, a conservative Republican, came out in an interview with KERN radio. His pronouncement ends days of speculation following his arrest last week for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Texas Conservatives Seek Deeper Stamp on Texts 11 Mar 2010 Even as a panel of educators laid out a vision Wednesday for national standards for public schools, the Texas school board was going in a different direction, holding hearings on changes to its social studies curriculum that would portray conservatives in a more positive light, emphasize the role of Christianity in American history and include Republican political philosophies [puke] in textbooks. The hearings are the latest round in a long-running cultural battle on the 15-member State Board of Education, a battle that could have profound consequences for the rest of the country, since Texas is one of the largest buyers of textbooks.
Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools 10 Mar 2010 A panel of educators convened by the nation’s governors and state school superintendents proposed a uniform set of academic standards on Wednesday, laying out their vision for what all the nation’s public school children should learn in math and English, year by year, from kindergarten to high school graduation. The new proposals could transform American education, replacing the patchwork of standards ranging from mediocre to world-class that have been written by local educators in every state.
US banks and corporations announce huge pay packages for 2009 --Wells Fargo executives double their compensation By Andre Damon 11 Mar 2010 US corporations are beginning to release figures on CEO pay for last year... Each of the top five executives at Wells Fargo at least doubled their compensation last year over 2008. The five men each received over $11 million in 2009, while Wells Fargo’s chief executive, John Stumpf, took home $21.3 million, far higher than his 2008 package of $8.8 million.
Quick action! Help Protect the Rare Spirit Bear 10 Mar 2010 Next month, a trophy hunt in British Columbia could push the elusive Spirit Bear even closer to extinction. We must speak out now to protect these rare white-coated bears, which were the inspiration for NRDC’s own logo. Tell the premier of British Columbia to cancel this senseless bear hunt. According to government estimates, only 400 Spirit Bears exist today and some experts believe the number to be far lower. Only one in ten black bears in the Spirit Bear’s rainforest habitat carry the recessive gene that will give its cubs a white coat. Yet the government of British Columbia has approved a massive hunt across 98 percent of the black bear's range putting this rare gene in grave jeopardy. While Spirit Bears themselves are protected from hunting, Spirit Bear cubs could face starvation if their black-coated mothers are gunned down. Tell Premier Campbell to reverse course and stop the spring bear hunt. *Please sign petition.*
Ex-MI5 head: US hid torture tactics from UK 10 Mar 2010 A former head of MI5 has accused intelligence services in the US of deliberately hiding the mistreatment of terror suspects from their British allies. Baroness Manningham-Buller, giving a lecture in London last night, said the US was "very keen" to prevent Britain discovering how they were getting vital intelligence. She was surprised at the extent of the information coming from [Guantánamo prisoner] Binyam Mohamed as Britain's previous experience of questioning terrorism suspects during the Troubles in Northern Ireland was that they remained silent. "I said to my staff, 'Why is he talking?' because our experience of Irish prisoners, Irish terrorists, was that they never said anything," she said. "They said, well, the Americans say he is very proud of his achievements when questioned about it. It wasn't actually until after I retired that I read that, in fact, he had been waterboarded 160 times."
UK complained to US about terror suspect torture, says ex-MI5 boss --Waterboarding of 9/11 suspect was 'concealed' --Manningham-Buller criticises Bush staff 10 Mar 2010 The government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, the former head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed last night. She also said the Americans concealed from Britain the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 2001 attacks. "The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing," Lady Manningham-Buller told a meeting at the House of Lords.
Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 (A Bill) To provide for the interrogation and detention of enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States, to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents for such acts, and for other purposes. SEC. 2. PLACEMENT OF SUSPECTED UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS IN MILITARY CUSTODY. 3 (a) MILITARY CUSTODY REQUIREMENT. Whenever within the United States, its territories, and possessions, or outside the territorial limits of the United States, an individual is captured or otherwise comes into the custody or under the effective control of the United States who is suspected of engaging in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners through an act of terrorism, or by other means in violation of the laws of war, or of purposely and materially supporting such hostilities, and who may be an unprivileged enemy belligerent, the individual shall be placed in military custody for purposes of initial interrogation and determination of status in accordance with the provisions of this Act. SEC. 3. INTERROGATION AND DETERMINATION OF STATUS OF SUSPECTED UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS. (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF INTERROGATION GROUPS. (1) INTERROGATIONS TO BE CONDUCTED BY HIGH-VALUE DETAINEE INTERROGATION GROUP...
Facebook group: Unprivileged
Enemy Belligerents --Join us!
Main CLG Fansite: Citizens for Legitimate Government --Join us here, too!
DHS Law Enforcement Personnel Stationed In Israel for First Time --United States and Israel Announce Agreement to Enhance Joint Aviation Security 02 Mar 2010 The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recognizes the need for cooperation between the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Security Department of the Israel MOT to manage aviation-related security incidents--establishing designated points of contact for each agency; protocols for notification in the event of an incident; mechanisms to enhance communication; and regular exercises. The MOU reflects the both nations’ commitment to coordinate mutual security efforts, shown recently by the stationing of DHS law enforcement personnel in Israel for the first time, as well as the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between DHS and the Israeli Ministry of Public Security signed on Feb. 7, 2007, which enhanced the ability of the U.S. and Israel to share vital information relating to their respective domestic security concerns...
Seven Muslims arrested over 'plot to kill cartoonist' 10 Mar 2010 Seven people have been arrested in the Republic of Ireland over a suspected plot to kill a Swedish artist who portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a dog and had a $100,000 (£66,000) al-Qaeda bounty on his head. Anti-terrorist units used information from the CIA, FBI and European intelligence agencies to identify the suspected terrorist cell of three women and four men. They are believed to include Algerian, Libyan, Croatian, US and Palestinian citizens and at least one naturalised Irish citizen.
US woman indicted on terror charges 09 Mar 2010 A Pennsylvania woman in her late 40s has been charged with terror offences including using the internet to recruit militants for deadly attacks abroad. Colleen LaRose - also known as Fatima LaRose and "Jihad Jane" - was arrested in Philadelphia in October 2009.
Are You or Have You Ever Been a Lawyer? (The New York Times) 08 Mar 2010 In the McCarthy era, demagogues on the right smeared loyal Americans as disloyal and charged that the government was being undermined from within. In this era, demagogues on the right are smearing loyal Americans as disloyal and charging that the government is being undermined from within. These voices -- often heard on Fox News -- are going after Justice Department lawyers who represented Guantánamo detainees when they were in private practice. It is not nearly enough to say that these lawyers did nothing wrong. In fact, they upheld the highest standards of their profession and advanced the cause of democratic justice.
over candidate disqualifications could mar Iraqi vote's legitimacy
10 Mar 2010 A controversy over the disqualification of candidates threatened
Tuesday to undermine the [il]legitimacy of Iraq's recent 'elections' and
inflame supporters of a coalition seeking to topple the alliance led by
Miliband: Iraq war won Britain respect 09 Mar 2010 British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has claimed that UK's involvement in the Iraq war has earned it respect in the Middle East. Giving evidence to the public inquiry into Britain's role in the war on Monday, Miliband insisted that many Arab countries now respected Britain more for following through on threats of military force in Iraq. "Even those who disagree with it (the war) would say to me, 'you've sent a message that when you say something you actually mean it. And if you say something's a last chance it really is a last chance'."
Army contractor's use of a cover name for Blackwater angers Sen. McCaskill 09 Mar 2010 "The American people have a right to be outraged that we're playing this kind of game with contracting. It's wrong. It's flat wrong." With those words, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) voiced her exasperation near the end of a three-hour Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about a contract to train Afghan National Army troops last year to use American weapons. One issue at the Feb. 24. hearing was that the $25 million contract, awarded in September 2008, was to a company called Paravant -- well known to those involved as a cover name for Blackwater (now Xe Services).
Suicide attack kills 2 NATO troops in Afghanistan 09 Mar 2010 NATO says a suicide attack on its forces in eastern Afghanistan has left two of its service members dead. The international alliance says the attack took place in the Ali Shir district of Khost province, where the alliance has a base near the Pakistan border. Residents say they heard a large blast at the base.
Japan reveals secret nuclear pact with US 09 Mar 2010 Japan has verified the existence of a secret nuclear pact with the United States that allows US forces to bring nuclear weapons into the country. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said on Tuesday that a panel of experts confirmed the existence of the pact after examining thousands of documents over a period of months. From the 1960s, Japan has allowed the United States to deploy nuclear weapons on the southern island of Okinawa, the panel said.
Iran sanctions could lead to war, Lula says 10 Mar 2010 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has warned that imposing new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program would be a very dangerous step. Sanctions could isolate Iran so much that tensions would spiral out of control, Lula told AP in an interview on Tuesday. He suggested that new Iran sanctions might even lead to war.
Talks 'undermined' by Israeli pledge to build 1,600 more homes 10 Mar 2010 Israel announced the construction of 1,600 homes in east Jerusalem yesterday, drawing criticism from Joe Biden, the US Vice-President, who is in the country trying to kick-start the peace process. Mr Biden had hoped to reinforce progress made by the US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, in reviving a dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis after a year of acrimony. On Monday he managed to cajole both sides to the negotiating table, initiating indirect talks between them.
Israel to start formally monitoring PA incitement 10 Mar 2010 Israel is to begin officially monitoring incitement in the Palestinian Authority and will periodically issue a report on it, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week. Netanyahu also decided to appoint Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the former head of Military Intelligence's research department, as government coordinator for incitement in the PA.
Napolitano says suicide plane crash wasn't related to domestic terrorism 10 Mar 2010 A suicide plane crash that killed the pilot and an Internal Revenue Service worker at an office building in Austin on Feb. 18 was not a case of domestic terrorism, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday in a radio interview. The pilot, A. Joseph Stack, "had his own personal issues and personal motives" and was carrying out a personal agenda, said Napolitano, interviewed on WAMU-FM's "Diane Rehm Show."
Obama Seeks to Vilify Health Insurers, Give Them $336 Billion Check By Byron Wolf 08 Mar 2010 To help pay for the new insurance requirements the government would give to people money to buy insurance - $336 billion over the next ten years. That money, ultimately, would have to go to... drum roll... insurance companies... During the 2008 Presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama criticized a proposal by Sen. John McCain because it would send government help for people to buy insurance directly to insurance companies. "But the new tax credit [for health insurance] he's proposing? That wouldn't go to you. It would go directly to your insurance company – not your bank account," said Obama in October on the Campaign trail. And yet that's exactly what Democrats' proposal would do and why so many would prefer public insurance option to compete with the private market. [And that's exactly why Barack Obama is a liar.]
Europe bars Wall Street banks from government bond sales --Leading US banks blamed for triggering financial crisis --Policymakers propose a rival European monetary fund 08 Mar 2010 European countries are blocking Wall Street banks from lucrative deals to sell government debt worth hundreds of billions of euros in retaliation for their role in the credit crunch. For the first time in five years, no big US investment bank appears among the top nine sovereign bond bookrunners in Europe, according to Dealogic data compiled for the Guardian.
Threat Level Privacy, Crime and Security Online Feds Move to Break Voting-Machine Monopoly By Kim Zetter 08 Mar 2010 Citing anti-competitive concerns, the Justice Department sued Election Systems & Software in order to force the company to divest itself of the voting machine assets it obtained from Premier Election Solutions last year. The department’s antitrust division, along with nine state attorneys general, filed the civil antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., charging that the acquisition threatened competition.
Massa flirts with the right, but Beck isn't tickled By Dana Milbank 10 Mar 2010 Just seven minutes into Glenn Beck's hour-long interview of Eric Massa on Tuesday evening, things had already gone very wrong. Conservatives had hopes that the now-former Democratic congressman from Upstate New York, who resigned abruptly under an ethics cloud, would deliver the goods about corruption and strong-arm tactics in the Obama White House and Congress. But instead, Massa served up an icky new confession...
Nude Rahm Emanuel Told Massa He "Better Vote With the President" 09 Mar 2010 Former Rep. Eric Massa tells Glenn Beck that Rahm Emanuel approached him in the shower and told him he "better vote with the President."
No ice-cape for polar bears 02 Mar 2010 A polar bear cub is comforted by its mother as they drift TWELVE MILES out from shore on a rapidly shrinking iceberg after hopping on board to take a rest from hunting seals. The future looks bleak for the bears as they balance perilously on the ice that was bobbing around under their weight -- but amazingly experts said the pair probably made it safely back to shore. It is thought the mother and her young cub -- aged around nine months -- had gone out hunting seal and climbed on to the chunk of ice for a rest as it drifted away on the current from the safety of land. The drifting ice shrank to just a few yards wide as it bobbed down the Olga Strait of Svalbard, Norway, forcing the frightened bears to huddle in the middle until they were forced to swim for their lives.
Government attempts to keep torture case secret --Holding case taken by former Guantánamo detainees behind closed doors would set 'very dangerous precedent', says lawyer 08 Mar 2010 The government will attempt today to have a case about torture heard entirely behind closed doors in a move that some lawyers say would extend secrecy to a new area of hearings, overriding ancient principles of English law. This morning a case will come before three appeal judges in London in which seven men are seeking damages against the government for mistreatment during what they say was their "extraordinary rendition" and torture facilitated by the British security services.
Alleged torture victims facing 'secret and one-sided justice' --Legal experts have warned the judgment threatens British principles of justice and have branded it a 'constitutional outrage'. 08 Mar 2010 British intelligence services must be stopped from using secret evidence against former Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Appeal Court heard today. Alleged torture victims seeking to sue the Government over Britain's complicity in their unlawful imprisonment are facing 'secret and one-sided' justice, their lawyer claimed. Six former detainees are hoping to win damages from the Government over allegations that Britain knew about their ill-treatment. Their lawyers have begun a challenge at the Court of Appeal against a ruling which would allow the security services and the Government to withhold evidence from the men during the civil case.
U.S. May Repatriate Omar Khadr From Guantanamo 08 Mar 2010 Canadian-born terror suspect Omar Khadr may eventually go back to Canada, even if the Conservative-led government is exerting efforts to keep him in the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Canadian courts have ordered the repatriation of Khadr, but Ottawa has blocked moves to repatriate him. According to reports, Washington is quietly seeking a way to return Khadr because U.S officials do not want to try him for [alleged] war crimes he committed when he was 15. Obama administration officials are reportedly seeking an offer from Ottawa to avoid a possible political backlash from releasing a terror suspect.
memos resemble Clarence Thomas' way of thinking --The Supreme Court
justice has a history of dismissing prisoner brutality. And it's his former
law clerk who was investigated for authorizing
Army bullets hit journalist in Baghdad 07 Mar 2010 An Iraqi army checkpoint in northeastern Baghdad opened fire on Sunday, targeting the director of a local news agency. Journalist Hayder Hasoon al-Fizaa was wounded in his left arm, according to an advocate of journalists’ rights. "Al-Fizaa was driving in his car at al-Tujar neighborhood, and he showed the checkpoint all the official permissions that allow journalists to move in Election Day, but the checkpoint's personnel opened fire on him," Ibrahim al-Saraji told Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Al-Saraji demanded the Baghdad Operations Command (BOC) to start an investigation to reveal this incident’s details.
Blasts kill 12 in northwest Afghanistan 08 Mar 2010 Two homemade bombs exploding in quick succession killed 12 people, including 10 civilians, in northwestern Afghanistan, police said on Monday. Police spokesman Abdul Raouf Ahmadi said the first blast hit a civilian vehicle in Badghis province, killing 10 passengers. The second, minutes later nearby, struck a police car, killing two policemen. The strikes took place on Sunday, but were not reported until Monday morning.
Police, US troops battle gunmen in E. Afghanistan 08 Mar 2010 Police say attackers have detonated a bomb near a government building in eastern Afghanistan and have holed up in another building nearby where they are firing on Afghan police and U.S. troops. Acting chief of police in Khost, Yaqob Khan, says there are no casualties so far, mostly because the attackers appear to have mistaken an abandoned government building for a police station, which is next door.
US drone attack kills five in Pakistan --Earlier in March, a Washington-based think tank reported that US drone attacks have killed over 1200 people in Pakistan over the past six years. 08 Mar 2010 Pakistani officials confirm the loss of five lives when three missiles fired by a US drone aircraft hit a house in the country's northwestern tribal belt. A man was also injured in the Monday attack in Miran Shah, the main town in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, the officials said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
Bombing kills 15, destroys spy office in Lahore 08 Mar 2010 A car bomb blast in Lahore has destroyed the offices of a Pakistani state spy agency, killing 15 people and injuring 83 others, security officials say. In the incident, a two-storey building used by the Special Investigation Agency (SIA), a police anti-terrorism unit in Punjab province, was destroyed by a bomber using a car laden with up to 600 kilograms of explosives.
Interpol Issues 16 More Warrants for Suspects in Dubai Killing 08 Mar 2010 Interpol today issued international arrest warrants for 16 more suspects sought by Dubai over the murder of a Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in January. The total number of suspects now stands at 27, the Lyon, France-based international police agency said on a statement on its Web site.
Israel 'to unveil plans to build nuclear power plant' [Apparently, only Iran is not allowed to build one.] 08 Mar 2010 Israel is expected to unveil plans this week to build a nuclear power plant, reports say. They say an announcement will be made by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau at an energy forum in Paris. Israel is facing a crisis over electricity supplies, but environmental objections have blocked efforts to build a new coal-fired plant.
US, S Korea begin joint war game, irking N Korea 08 Mar 2010 The United States and South Korea kick off their joint annual military exercise despite North Korean threats of using 'merciless physical force' in reaction to the drills. Some 18,000 American soldiers and an undisclosed number of South Korean troops are taking part in the 10-day war game which include live-firing by US Marines, aerial attack drills and urban warfare training. The exercises, code-named 'Key Resolve and Foal Eagle,' are aimed at practicing how to deploy US reinforcements in time of an emergency [?] on the Korean peninsula, US military spokesman Kim Yong-kyu said.
'Why are they handcuffing me?' Pentagon shooting witness handcuffed, detained 07 Mar 2010 A witness to the shooting in front of the Pentagon says he is still reeling from being taken in by police that day. "I am very traumatized with this whole experience," Dan Namisi told NBC4. Namisi was on his way home to Virginia when John Patrick Bedell opened fire at the entrance to the Pentagon Thursday. Soon after Namisi heard the shots, he found himself in handcuffs. "I heard a 'pop! pop!' so I ducked down to the ground," he recalled. "They gave commands to lay down flat and then they handcuffed me. And I was puzzled. Why are they handcuffing me?" Police did not tell Namisi, who was trying to get to his home in Burke, why he was in handcuffs -- or why it took three hours for him to be released. "They would just say, "We are checking the computer,'" Namisi recalled.
Boy Scouts founder offered Hitler Youth hand of friendship --Secret files reveal Boy Scouts' links to Nazis --Baden-Powell thought Ribbentrop charming --He was Invited to Germany to meet Hitler 09 Mar 2010 The founder of the Boy Scouts founder held friendly talks with senior Nazis about forming closer ties with the Hitler Youth and was even invited to meet Adolf Hitler, newly released security files show. Lord Baden-Powell, who started the Scouts in 1907, held talks with German ambassador Joachim von Ribbentrop and Hitler Youth chief of staff Hartmann Lauterbacher on November 19, 1937. Lauterbacher, then 28, was in Britain to foster closer relations with the Boy Scout movement and Ribbentrop invited Baden-Powell to tea with the Hitler Youth leader, declassified MI5 Security Service files revealed.
Corporaterrorists make a *killing* on US false flags: TSA adds swabbing of palms to arsenal at Pittsburgh airport 07 Mar 2010 The government is spending more than $100 million on screening equipment at Pittsburgh International and other U.S. airports that it hopes will keep terrorists off balance, without inconveniencing passengers or trampling their privacy. But some security experts and passengers question whether the devices will make airports safer, particularly against next-generation terror plots they might not thwart, such as surgically implanted explosives.
ACLU Morphs Obama into Bush in NYT Ad on Terrorism Trials By Chris Good 08 Mar 2010 The civil liberties community isn't letting President Obama off the hook on terrorism trials: after news last week that Obama's advisers will recommend military trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the alleged 9/11 conspirators, the ACLU took out a full-page ad in The New York Times (published Sunday) pressuring Obama not to back away from Attorney General Eric Holder's plan to try them in civilian courts. The ad features images of Obama's face morphing into President [sic] Bush's.
Ad campaign urges Obama to hold firm on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial 07 Mar 2010 A prominent US rights group urged the Obama administration on Sunday not to back down in the face of fierce opposition to its plans to try [alleged] September 11 plotters in a civilian court in New York. President Barack Obama's administration had announced it would try self-confessed [under torture] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other accused at a New York courthouse. But the plan for the "trial of the century" met a backlash from Republican lawmakers who have introduced legislation to require a military 'trial.' "What will it be Mr. President?" the American Civil Liberties Union asked in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times where a portrait of Obama gradually morphs into Bush. "Change or more of the Same?" [WHY does the portrait morph 'gradually?' For the sake of accuracy, the portrait should morph in five picoseconds. --LRP]
Obama taps ex-intel officer for aviation security 08 Mar 2010 President Barack Obama said on Monday he will nominate a retired Army officer with intelligence community experience to lead aviation security efforts amid concerns about passenger planes being bombed or hijacked. Obama chose retired Major General Robert Harding to head the Transportation Security Administration after his first pick, Erroll Southers, withdrew from consideration when Republicans questioned whether he would try to unionize the workforce that screens travelers and luggage at U.S. airports. Harding previously served as deputy to the Army's chief of intelligence and as director for operations in the Defense Intelligence Agency. After he left the Army, he started his own security advisory firm, which he sold in 2009.
F-16s intercept aircraft over restricted D.C. airspace 07 Mar 2010 A slow-moving small private airplane violated the restricted airspace over the Washington region Sunday morning, causing the U.S. military to send Blackhawk helicopters and two F-16 fighter jets to intercept it. The airplane, a Piper 28B, entered the restricted area at 8:26 a.m., and officials quickly sent fighter jets from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland to confront it, said John Cornelio, a spokesman for the Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which provides the country's air defenses.
3 shot inside financial services firm at Dallas bank building 08 Mar 2010 A man apparently disgruntled with a financial service company opened fire on two employees Monday morning at a Dallas high-rise office building before he shot himself as police closed in on him, authorities said. The two employees, Richard Smith and his son, R. Chris Smith, suffered several gunshot wounds in the attack. The father is in stable condition and the son in serious condition at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, police said. The unidentified gunman was in critical condition at Baylor Medical Center, police said.
Former congressman Massa says Democrats set him up over health care 09 Mar 2010 Conservative activists rallied Monday to the side of a liberal New York Democrat who had resigned from the House, after he charged that his party's leaders had conspired to oust him over his opposition to President Obama's health-care legislation. Eric Massa's resignation Monday came after an ethics investigation into his conduct, and allegations of sexual harassment of staffers, became public. And his remarks on a Sunday radio show were only the latest in a series of explanations of why he was leaving the House.
'Rahm is the devil's spawn' 08 Mar 2010 In an amazing, far-ranging interview/monologue with a Rochester-area radio station, Rep. Eric Massa (real D-NY) admits making an off-color, sexual comment to a young staffer -- but still claims Democratic leadership ratted him out to kill a health care "no" vote... "Rahm Emanuel is son of the devil’s spawn," Massa said, according to City Hall... Later in the interview, Massa tells a bizarre story about Emanuel accosting him in the House gym -- in the buff: "Let me tell you a story about Rahm Emanuel," Massa started. "I was a congressman in my first eight weeks, and I was in the congressional gym, and I went down and I worked out and I went into the showers...I'm sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird and here comes Rahm Emanuel not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't going to vote for the president's budget. Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?"
Pa. Dems pick Critz as nominee to fill Murtha seat 08 Mar 2010 Pennsylvania Democrats have chosen former congressional aide Mark Critz as the nominee for a special election to fill the U.S. House seat once held by late Rep. John Murtha. Party officials cite Critz's weekend victory in a nonbinding straw poll by local party members.
Deleted e-mails by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office subpoenaed by grand jury 08 Mar 2010 (AZ) Maricopa County officials said Monday that a federal grand jury investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office for alleged abuses of power has subpoenaed some e-mails that were thought to have been deleted by the sheriff's office but turned out to have been saved by the county. The e-mails had been requested earlier in an ongoing lawsuit that accused Arpaio's office of racially profiling Hispanics in its immigration patrols.
Army faces Afghan gag for election --The Ministry of Defence has been accused of ordering a "truth blackout" over the war in Afghanistan amid warnings it is attempting to "bury bad news" during the election campaign. 07 Mar 2010 British journalists and TV crews are to be banned from the Afghan front line once a date for the election has been set, while senior officers will be prohibited from making public speeches and talking to reporters. MoD websites will also be "cleansed" of any "non-factual" material including anything containing troops’ opinions of the war, according to a memo leaked to The Daily Telegraph.
Nato-backed chief in 'liberated' Afghan town has violent criminal record: Criminal past of man asked to run 'liberated' Marjah --Records in Germany show Zahir served part of a prison sentence for stabbing his son in 1998. 07 Mar 2010 The man chosen as the fresh face of good governance in an Afghan town just seized from the Taleban has a violent criminal record in Germany. But his position as the new civilian chief in Marjah remains secure with officials describing Abdul Zahir Aryan as "doing a good job".
Gordon Brown criticised over Afghanistan visit 06 Mar 2010 Gordon Brown was plunged into a new "spin" row over defence spending yesterday as he paid a whistle-stop visit to British troops serving in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister, who made the trip the day after he gave evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war, found himself facing criticism from retired military top brass and the Conservatives. Former senior military chiefs stepped up their attack on Mr Brown for allegedly misleading the public over the defence budget in his evidence to the inquiry.
US-led forces lose 3 more soldiers in Afghanistan 07 Mar 2010 Three more US-led NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in separate incidents on Sunday, bringing the total number of foreign troops who have died so far this year to 117. In a statement, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said that one soldier was killed by gunfire and another by an improvised bomb in the south of the country, and the third by gunfire in the east.
British Soldier Shot Dead In Afghanistan 06 Mar 2010 A British soldier from 3 Rifles has died from wounds received from small arms fire in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence confirmed. The soldier's death comes after another British soldierfrom 3 Rifles died on Friday morning following an explosion in Helmand Province.
Bombs kill at least 38 as Iraqis go to the polls 07 Mar 2010 A series of deadly bomb attacks on polling stations killed at least 38 people in Iraq on Sunday, as voters turned out in huge numbers for the country's second parliamentary elections since the fall of Saddam Hussein. At least 110 more were injured in the attacks, most of which took place in the capital, Baghdad. Bombs, rockets and mortar rounds also hit other cities, including Baquba, Fallujah and Samarra.
Mortar shells fired at polling stations in Iraq 07 Mar 2010 Mortar rounds were fired at voting centres in Baghdad and in Salahuddin province, a Sunni stronghold that was home to toppled leader Saddam Hussein, as Iraq began a parliamentary election on Sunday, officials said. At least two mortar rounds struck near polling stations in a mixed Sunni-Shi'ite area of western Baghdad and there were unconfirmed reports of rounds landing in the heavily-fortified Green Zone neighbourhood, an Interior Ministry source said.
Seven Dead in Blast in Iraq Holy City on Election Eve 06 Mar 2010 A car bomb near a Shiite Muslim shrine in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf killed seven people today, including four Iranian pilgrims, a day before parliamentary elections that insurgents vowed to disrupt. A booby-trapped car exploded in a crowded bus station near the Imam Ali shrine, Najaf police spokesman Mohammed Karim said in a phone interview. Fifty people were injured, including 37 Iranians, said the official. The bus station is often used by pilgrims from Iran.
Sadr urges Iraqi voters to pave way for US pull-out 06 Mar 2010 Iraq's senior Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr urges the Iraqi electorate to help end the US-led occupation of the country by participating in the parliamentary polls. Speaking at a Saturday press conference in the Iranian capital, Tehran, al-Sadr drew a parallel between participation in the Sunday vote and resistance against the invaders... The senior Iraqi cleric called on the Iraqis to opt for the candidates who would best serve the nation and work for Iraq's liberation. [Yes, and first on the agenda: Kick Blackwater out on its ass and void any oil contracts with all US/UK corporaterrorists.]
Gordon Brown tells Iraq inquiry: I fully backed the war --Gordon Brown has said that he was "fully in line" with the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. 05 Mar 2010 Speaking at Sir John Chilcot's inquiry into the war, Mr Brown gave his most explicit endorsement yet for the conflict. He also insisted that he had fully funded the Armed Forces as they prepared for war. Some Labour supporters believe Mr Brown either harboured private doubts about the war, or was shut out of the decision-making process by Tony Blair, then the prime minister.
Ill. judge won't toss torture suit naming Rumsfeld 05 Mar 2010 A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a civil lawsuit accusing former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld of responsibility for the alleged torture by U.S. forces of two Americans who worked for an Iraqi contracting firm [Shield Group Security]. U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen's ruling did not say the two contractors had proven any of their claims. But it did say they had alleged enough specific mistreatment to warrant hearing evidence of exactly what happened.
Ahmadinejad: Sept. 11 Attacks a 'big Lie' --Ahmadinejad: Sept. 11 attacks a 'big Lie' used by US as excuse to invade Iraq, Afghanistan 06 Mar 2010 Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on Saturday called the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks a "big lie" used by the U.S. as an excuse for the war on terror, state [as opposed to corporate] media reported. Ahmadinejad's comments were made during an address to Intelligence Ministry staff. "September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state TV. He called the attacks a "complicated intelligence scenario and act." The Iranian president has questioned the official U.S. version of the Sept. 11 attacks before, but this is the first time he ventured to label it a "big lie."
Ahmadinejad sees end of capitalism 06 Mar 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the capitalist system, which has been established by Israel is inching towards its end. "Depredation, bullying and killing the reality of humanity are the outcomes of the capitalist way of thinking," Ahmadinejad said on Saturday. He deplored crimes by arrogant powers, saying, "They carry out heinous killings and acts of terror in the world under the guise of [defending] human rights."
Billions in US public money 'spent in Iran' --Details emerge of billions awarded by the US to firms dealing with Tehran 08 Mar 2010 The US taxpayer has given more than $107bn (£71bn)during the past decade to companies which are also doing business with Iran, it was revealed yesterday. That sum includes at least $15bn (£9.9bn) of US Government funds that were channelled to corporations which have defied international sanctions to help Iran develop its vast and strategically important oil and gas reserves.
'State Department blocked Blackwater investigation' 03 Mar 2010 A security official at the US Embassy in Iraq said he believes State Department colleagues tried to block any serious probe of the 2007 massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians by employees of the private military firm Blackwater. According to a court testimony made public on Tuesday the official, David Farrington, told prosecutors that State Department officials handling evidence at the crime scene wanted to ensure the Blackwater guards would avoid punishment. Also in Tuesday’s testimony, Kenneth Kohl, the lead prosecutor in the case against Blackwater, said he had evidence that the inquiry into the affair was tainted.
U.S. diplomats get perks for living in rough countries 06 Mar 2010 The U.S. State Department has labeled virtually every non-European country a "hardship post" for American diplomats. Last year, the State Department told auditors from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that American diplomats deserve extra money for having to live in such harsh and uncomfortable environments... 35% extra pay: Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iraq. All of this extra money means (for example) that American diplomats posted to Iraq earn in excess of $150,000.00 a year. They are provided with all their food and accommodations, and they have access to swimming pools, health clubs, nightclubs, bars and American restaurants. In addition, they receive anywhere from 30 to 50 days vacation a year (depending on seniority).
Raids anger Israeli human rights organization 06 Mar 2010 Children as young as 12 are being seized from their homes in the middle of the night by Israeli security agents and police officers. The youngsters are being taken into custody for interrogation on stone-throwing charges. In recent months there have been many cases in which minors aged 12-15 from Silwan, in East Jerusalem, were arrested in the middle of the night, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem says.
US searching for 'radicalized' Americans --U.S. working with Pakistan and other governments to figure out how to 'identify such people' 05 Mar 2010 The top U.S. diplomat in Pakistan says the Obama administration does not know how many Americans might have disappeared overseas to train with al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] or other terrorist groups. The number is not thought to be large, but Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson says a "nightmare scenario" would be if people holding U.S. passports receive terrorist training then return legally to the U.S. to commit acts of violence.
'Gadahn' calls on US Muslims to attack America 07 Mar 2010 Al-Qaida's
American-born spokesman on Sunday called on Muslims serving in the U.S.
armed forces to emulate the Army major charged with killing 13 people
in Fort Hood. In a 25-minute video posted on militant Web sites,
Fake Al Qaeda (What Really Happened) The FBI lists Gadahn's aliases as Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki, Abu Suhayb, Yihya Majadin Adams, Adam Pearlman, and Yayah. Adam is the grandson of the late Carl K. Pearlman, a prominent Jewish urologist in Orange County. ...'I recently saw the article you linked about Adam Pearlman and his brand new feature film in which he plays the character Azzam Al-Amrika. As someone who speaks Arabic, I thought it would be interesting for WRH readers to know a little bit about this particular name. First, Azzam in Arabic means either "determined" or "resolved". Second, "Al-Amrika" (it's sometimes spelled "Amerika") translates back to "America". Interesting use of words Mr. Pearlman is using for a name, I'd say. But even without having to translate the whole name, no Arab has the last name of Amrika. The name, translated, almost sounds like a Bush soundbite.'
White House Postpones Picking Site of 9/11 Trial 05 Mar 2010 The Obama administration said Friday that a decision on where to prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks would not be made "for weeks," following a flare-up in the debate about whether that trial should take place in civilian court or before a military tribunal. The White House sought to dampen speculation that a decision on where to hold a trial might be imminent.
Large Metro terror drills took place days before Pentagon shooting --Drill will simulate shooting at Metro station 24 Feb 2010 (MD) If you see lots of police and hear commotion at the Friendship Heights Metro station late Wednesday night, relax. It's just a drill. But it is a drill that will simulate gunfire between two shooters in the station, with multiple passengers injured or killed. Metro says its police department's special response team will respond to the incident, along with the police, fire and emergency medical services personnel from D.C., Montgomery County and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Metro Police Unleash Blue TIDE at Union Station 02 Feb 2010 A Metro bus explosion, shooters at a subway station and a blast in a subway tunnel -- staged scenarios, but Metro wants to be ready just in case. The transit agency is planning a series of tactical drills to prepare for emergencies. The drills include all regional partners and will test the coordination and response needed for three different emergencies. The first exercise was conducted from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Tuesday at Union Station. Metro called Tuesday's show of force Blue TIDE (Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort).
Oh. That, and the shooter had submitted a proposal to DARPA in 2004. 05 Mar 2010 Gunman at Pentagon Linked to Anger Against U.S. 05 Mar 2010 The gunman who opened fire at an entrance to the Pentagon on Thursday, injuring two police officers, harbored a deep-seated anger toward federal authorities and may have believed that the government staged the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said Friday... John Patrick Bedell was the chief executive of a Hollister-based company called DNAputer Research, according to filings with the California secretary of state’s office... Yet even as he railed against the federal government, Mr. Bedell also sought to do business with the military. In a 2004 research proposal that he wrote for submission to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, he proposed a $170,000 nanotechnology project that could be useful in warfare.
Dutch government wants to sell flu vaccines back 06 Mar 2010 The Dutch government wants to sell 21 million unused H1N1 flu vaccine doses back to their manufacturers after they proved unnecessary and no other country wanted to buy them, the Health Ministry said on Saturday. A spokeswoman for the ministry said it had approached manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis about buying back the doses.
Regulators close banks in four states 05 Mar 2010 U.S. bank regulators closed four banks in as many states on Friday, bringing the number of failures so far this year to 26. The largest of the four was Sun American Bank of Boca Raton, Florida, which had approximately $535.7 million in total assets and $443.5 million in total deposits, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) said. Regulators also closed Centennial Bank of Odgen, Utah, Waterfield Bank of Germantown, Maryland, and Bank of Illinois of Normal, Illinois.
Stop a $54 Billion Taxpayer Bailout of Rich Nuclear Utilities In 2007, Congress approved $18.5 Billion in taxpayer "loan guarantees" for new reactor construction. In February 2010, President Obama approved the first "guarantee" under this program: for $8.3 Billion to build two new reactors in Georgia. But these aren't just "loan guarantees." The money is coming directly from taxpayers, through a little-known government agency called the Federal Financing Bank. Under this new kind of nuclear socialism, taxpayers would pay to build nuclear reactors. If the project succeeds, the nuclear companies will receive all the profits. If the project fails, taxpayers will pay the costs. And the Congressional Budget Office has predicted that 50% or more of these projects will fail. President Obama has now proposed nearly tripling the "loan guarantee" program to $54 Billion! But Congress has to approve this proposal. Don't let him get away with it. [Sign petition!]
McCain, Lieberman Attempt to Ban Civilian Trials for 'Enemy Combatants' 04 Mar 2010 Two senators are set to unveil sweeping legislation that will prevent "enemy combatants" from being Mirandized, Fox News has learned. The legislation by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, 'I'-Conn., would result in banning all civilian trials for terror suspects who have been classified as enemy combatants and forcing their cases into military tribunals. The bill lays out "comprehensive policy for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected unprivileged enemy belligerents who are believed to have engaged in hostilities against the United States by requiring these individuals to be held in military custody, interrogated for their intelligence value and not provided with a Miranda warning," according to a release from McCain's office. "Unprivileged enemy belligerents considered to be a 'high-value detainee'" would be required "to be held in military custody and interrogated for their intelligence value by a High-Value Detainee Interrogation Team established by the President," the release states.
McCain, Lieberman push military to handle terror cases 04 Mar 2010 Two senior senators unveiled legislation on Thursday to require the military to hold, interrogate and prosecute certain terrorism suspects and also bar them from receiving legal rights afforded most criminals in the United States. Under the proposed legislation, individuals who are deemed to be "suspected unprivileged enemy belligerents" would be held in military custody, interrogated for possible intelligence and tried in a military court. A special team, known as the High-Value Interrogation Team, would recommend which suspects would be sent to the military and the final decision would be made by the U.S. attorney general and Defense Department secretary, according to the proposed legislation.
Kangaroo courts we can believe in: WH considering military trials for 9/11 suspects 05 Mar 2010 In a potential reversal [humiliating climb-down], White House advisers are close to recommending that President Barack Obama opt for military tribunals for 'self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind' Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four of his alleged henchman, senior officials said. The review of where and how to hold a Sept. 11 trial is not over, so no recommendation is yet before the president and Obama has not made a determination of his own, officials said. The review is not likely to be finished this week. [Right, Obama's waiting for the cover of a US holiday weekend to announce the next surrender to the GOP.]
Obama advisers set to recommend military tribunals for alleged 9/11 plotters 05 Mar 2010 President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed [under torture] mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City. The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said.
UK involved in my torture, says suspect --Man claiming ill-treatment in Egypt says Britain 'turned a blind eye' to his rendition 05 Mar 2010 Britain may have colluded with America in the rendition of terror suspects that involved "torture flights" from UK territory, judges were told yesterday. The claim was made by Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni, 28, a former Guantanamo Bay inmate who was returned to Pakistan in August 2009 after seven years in custody. Mr Madni alleges he was detained in Indonesia on 9 January 2002 and sent to Egypt, where he endured three months of torture. He alleges he was beaten, electrocuted, denied medical treatment and hung from metal hooks attached to the ceiling.
Presses Holder on Lawyers Who Defended Gitmo Detainees 02 Mar
2010 Keep America Safe, the [insane] organization launched
by former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's daughter Liz Cheney, put
out a new video today pressing the Justice Department to release the names
of all the lawyers on staff who either represented or advocated on behalf
US creates terror groups, ex-intelligence chief says 04 Mar 2010 Former head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency Hamid Gol says the United States is seeking to create and train terrorist groups in the region. In a Wednesday interview with Fars news agency, Gol said Washington had been making efforts to destabilize the region through supporting groups like the Pakistan-based Jundallah terrorist group. Gol went on to say that such attempts by the US intelligence agencies were in particular directed at fomenting unrest in Iran.
US General: Afghans not receptive to US-led forces 05 Mar 2010 A top US military commander says Afghans are less welcoming to US-led forces in southern town of Marjah, where American marines have launched an offensive against the Taliban. "We've got a very skeptical population here," said Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, commander of US Marines in southern Afghanistan, on Thursday.
Gunmen kill 7 Pakistanis in Afghanistan 04 Mar 2010 Unknown armed men [Blackwater?] have killed seven Pakistani workers and wounded another in Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar, according to police. A police official told Press TV that the attack occurred early Thursday. Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a group of Pakistani construction workers waiting for transport.
Three more US-led soldiers fall in Afghanistan 05 Mar 2010 Three more US-led troops have been killed in separate incidents in volatile southern Afghanistan amid the climbing casualty counts among foreign troops. US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that one of its soldiers died in a Thursday bomb strike in an area where Operation Moshtarak is continuing. According to the ISAF statement, another soldier was killed in a vehicle accident. The third trooper died in a Friday bomb attack in the south, ISAF said, AFP reported.
Two NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan 05 Mar 2010 NATO announced the deaths of two more soldiers fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan's volatile south, bringing the number of foreign troops to die in the war so far this year to 111. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said one soldier died in a bomb strike on Thursday, the other in a vehicle accident. Their nationalities were not disclosed.
Five killed as election begins in Iraq 04 Mar 2010 Five people have been killed and another 10 wounded in a blast near a polling station in the Iraqi capital hours after the country kicked off its long-awaited legislative vote. "Five people were killed and 10 others wounded by a Katyusha rocket which landed on a residential building" in Hurriyah district in northern Baghdad, said Baghdad Operations Command in a statement on Thursday. An interior ministry official confirmed the death toll but put the number of the injured at 22.
doctors report rise in birth defects
04 Mar 2010 Doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high
level of birth defects, with
Levin: Pentagon should reconsider deals with Xe 05 Mar 2010 A senior Senate Democrat says that the Pentagon should reconsider awarding contracts to military contractor XE, formerly known as Blackwater. In letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said that the Pentagon should consider Blackwater's past "deficiencies" in deciding whether to award a new contract worth as much as $1 billion to the company to provide Afghan national police with training.
Iran wants IAEA to switch concern to Israel 05 Mar 2010 Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has urged the top nuclear body to switch its focus from Syria's atomic work to Israel's nuclear arsenal as the main cause for concern. Ali Asghar Soltanieh read out a statement in the Thursday meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on the implementation of the Safeguards Agreements in Syria.
Marine's death came at hands of U.S.-paid security forces By Chuck Goudie 01 Mar 1010 Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Birchfield, 24, left, was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan on Feb. 19. ...[T]he Marine said that Josh Birchfield died for two reasons. "A mix of drugs and gray areas of loyalty between U.S. forces and Taliban seems to be the motivation behind the shooting." Although Birchfield was the first U.S. service member he recalls being killed by a U.S.-paid Afghan guard, "we have been shot at by the contractors on several cases before this incident. We have been told to refrain from returning fire and attempt to identify ourselves as Marines so they stop shooting."
'The agencies overseeing the units would not detail the problems.' MAFB commander: Missiles remain secure 04 Mar 2010 (MT) Malmstrom Air Force Base's nuclear missiles remain "secure and safe" despite a recent inspection failure, Col. Michael Fortney said Wednesday. The 341st Missile Wing and 16th Munitions Squadron received "unsatisfactory" ratings in February from Air Force inspector general teams evaluating the units' ability to carry out their missions. The agencies overseeing the units would not detail the problems, but the Air Force Materiel Command released a statement saying Malmstrom is correcting deficiencies and will keep its nuclear certification.
4 convicted over foiled German terror plot 04 Mar 2010 Four men were convicted in Germany on Thursday in a foiled terrorist plot against Western targets, court officials said. The men had begun mixing a huge amount of explosive material that could have resulted in a strong blast, bigger than attacks in 2005 on London's public transport network and the 2004 Madrid railway bombings, authorities said.
JPatrickBedell Retrieved 05 Mar 2010 'I have a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied biochemistry at San Jose State University. I've studied electrical engineering with the goal of creating microsystems for molecular analysis. You can see a proposal to use aluminum anodization as an adsorption method for DNA molecules on CMOS chips at v:DNA_integrated_circuit/proposal_import_2007 (which originates from an unsuccessful DARPA proposal to create a "microMIRV" interoperable with standard firearms ammunition), and a proposal to use xenon difluoride to create a picoliter-scale computer-controlled device for sorting biomolecules (available at v:Capillary_electrode_array/proposal_import_2007), including DNA and protein molecules...'
Texas trooper tried to get mental-health hold on Bedell for speeding on freeway 05 Mar 2010 The parents of the man shot to death after pulling a gun on Pentagon police guards Thursday had reported him missing in January and, concerned about his mental health, they asked local authorities to hold him. The parents of John Patrick Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., filed a missing-person report on Jan. 4, said San Benito County, Calif., Sheriff Curtis Hill. Hill said the report stemmed from a call the family received from a Texas state trooper on Jan. 3. The trooper said he had stopped their son for speeding on a freeway heading west outside Amarillo, Hill said. The trooper used Bedell's cell phone to call Bedell's parents, apparently trying to determine whether there was sufficient cause for a mental-health hold on Bedell. "There's an inference in (the report) that he was concerned about his mental health," Hill said. It's unclear what Bedell's mother told the trooper. Apparently finding no cause to hold Bedell, the trooper let him go, Hill said.
Pentagon gunman blamed US government for September 11 attacks 05 Mar 2010 The man who shot two police officers at the Pentagon yesterday was an obsessive follower of the 9/11 truth movement who believed that the Twin Towers were demolished in a US government conspiracy, it has emerged. Police said that John Patrick Bedell, 36, had acted alone and without links to terrorist networks. However online postings apparently by him indicate that he was a passionate 'conspiracy' theorist and opponent of the US Government and armed forces.
Pentagon on high alert after shooting 05 Mar 2010 The Pentagon has been placed on high alert after a gunman opened fire outside a Metro subway station serving the military complex. Two police officers were grazed by bullets before they returned fire and shot the alleged gunman, who was critically wounded, police said. He later died from his wounds, the US Medical examiner's office said.
Louisiana sheriff trains volunteers for 'Project Exodus' to combat terrorism --A .50-caliber machine gun will be mounted on what the sheriff's office calls "the war wagon." 04 Mar 2010 A Louisiana sheriff has begun training 200 local volunteers in basic hand-to-hand combat techniques as part of 'Project Exodus' aimed at protecting the northwestern corner of the state from the danger of terrorists, the Shreveport Times reports. Reporter Drew Pierson writes that Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen's policing plan involves "a mostly white group of ex-police volunteers and a .50-caliber machine gun" and was inspired in part from the Book of Exodus in the Bible. The volunteers will be equipped with shotguns, riot shields and batons, the newspaper says.
US facing surge in rightwing extremists and militias --Civil rights report shows 250% rise in 'patriot' groups 04 Mar 2010 The US is facing a surge in anti-government extremist groups and armed militias, driven by deepening hostility on the right to Barack Obama, anger over the economy, and the increasing propagation of conspiracy theories by parts of the mass media such as Fox News. The Southern Poverty Law Centre, the US's most prominent civil rights group focused on hate organisations, said in a report that extremist "patriot" groups "came roaring back to life" last year as their number jumped nearly 250% to more than 500 with deepening ties to conservative mainstream politics.
'Sovereign Citizens' Claim Immunity From Ind., Federal Law --State Sees Uptick In People Claiming to Be Diplomats Living In Embassies 04 Mar 2010 Fed up and fired up, an increasing number of Indiana residents who have lost confidence in the government are going to extreme measures to claim they are "sovereign citizens." By doing so, residents contend that they no longer have to pay taxes, claiming their homes as embassies and using identification cards that show them as diplomats, 6News reported.
Body scanners are headed to 11 major airports 04 Mar 2010 Eleven major airports will begin using body scanners to screen passengers as the Transportation Security Administration launches a plan to buy 1,000 of the machines over the next two years. The scanners can look under passengers' clothing in order to detect weapons and explosives. Boston Logan International Airport received one new scanner this week and will get two more next week. Among the other airports getting the scanners are Los Angeles International, Chicago O'Hare and Charlotte Douglas International.
Gov't offers new assurance census data is private 04 Mar 2010 With the 2010 population count looming, the government provided new assurances Thursday that information Americans fill out on their census forms will be kept confidential and not be used for law enforcement. In a letter to Congress, the Obama administration provided its legal position that census data cannot be disclosed under the Patriot Act, the nation's main counterterrorism law. The legal assurance had been a sticking point for some minority groups, particularly South Asian and Muslim Americans, who argued that an ambiguity in federal laws could leave their census data open for use in prosecutions involving national security.
150 "Day of Action" protesters arrested in Oakland --150 protesters arrested for blocking I-980/880 connector 05 Mar 2010 Students in California lead a statewide protest against education budget cuts that has also inspired "Day of Action" demonstrations around the country. Nearly 150 demonstrators were arrested, sited, and released after they shut-down the I-980/880 freeway in Oakland. They were all taken to the Alameda County Jail Students expressed their frustration and anger on Thursday morning at a loud, but peaceful rally at UC Berkeley. Then, about 1,000 people moved along Telegraph Avenue, walking six miles to Oakland City Hall.
More Than 1,000 March in Berkeley to Protest Budget Cuts 04 Mar 2010 UC Berkeley--where the idea of the March 4 Day of Action incubated last October--erupted into a riot of noise and colors Thursday afternoon, when more than 1,000 people marched from Sproul Plaza to Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. Students, faculty, staff and workers protested the budget cuts, fee hikes and furloughs in public education, chanting slogans, waving signs and playing loud music as they walked down Telegraph Avenue.
Rallies across California decry high-education funding cuts 04 Mar 2010 A day of passionate protest against education funding cuts attracted thousands of demonstrators Thursday to generally peaceful rallies, walkouts and teach-ins at universities and high schools throughout California and the nation. From Los Angeles to New York and from San Diego to Humboldt, students, faculty and parents at many schools decried higher student fees, reduced class offerings and teacher layoffs in what organizers describe as a "Day of Action for Public Education."
Your Taxes Support For-Profits as They Buy Colleges 04 Mar 2010 ITT Educational Services Inc. paid $20.8 million for debt-ridden Daniel Webster College in June. In return, the company obtained an academic credential that may generate a taxpayer-funded bonanza worth as much as $1 billion... At least 75 percent of new revenue would come from access to the more than $100 billion a year in financial aid the U.S. hands out to college students, according to Michael Clifford, an investor in Del Mar, California, who has participated in the acquisitions of four nonprofit colleges.
New York Rep. Massa resigns under ethics cloud 05 Mar 2010 New York Democratic Rep. Eric Massa, facing a harassment complaint by a male staffer, said Friday that he is stepping down from his seat with "a profound sense of failure..." Later in the day, Massa released a statement saying that after learning he had a recurrence of cancer, he learned he was the subject of an ethics complaint by a male staffer who felt "uncomfortable" during an exchange with Massa. The exchange reportedly had sexual overtones. "I will resign my position," Massa said in the statement. [Three words: Senator David Vitter (R-La.).]
95 per cent chance that Man is to blame for global warming, say scientists 05 Mar 2010 The evidence that human activity is causing global warming is much stronger than previously stated and is found in all parts of the world, according to a study that attempts to refute claims from sceptics. The "fingerprints" of human influence on the climate can be detected not only in rising temperatures but also in the saltiness of the oceans, rising humidity, changes in rainfall and the shrinking of Arctic Sea ice at the rate of 600,000 sq km a decade.
Polar bears survived previous ice thaw... but they won't be so lucky this time, warn experts 02 Mar 2010 A rare fossil jaw found in Norway has revealed that polar bears only split from brown bears a mere 150,000 years ago, which is a blink of an eye in evolutionary terms. Polar bears live much of the year on the Arctic sea ice and have become a symbol for environmental campaigners of the threat of global warming. New research suggests the species was able to rapidly adapt at a time when Earth was in the last stages of an ice age and was beginning to warm. However, scientists have warned they may not be able to repeat this feat, should temperatures continue to rise.
Gordon Brown to stop courts issuing arrest warrants for foreign officials --The Government is to announce plans to stop 'politically-motivated' campaign groups using British courts to secure arrest warrants for visiting foreign officials [alleged war criminals] 03 Mar 2010 The move follows an outcry [?] over a series of attempts to detain high-profile figures during trips to London, including Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister. Under the proposals, the Crown Prosecution Service will take over responsibility for prosecuting war crimes and other violations of international law. It will end the current system in which magistrates are obliged to consider a case for an arrest warrant presented by any individual. Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Gordon Brown says he will set out proposals to put the CPS in sole charge of judging the merits of any case brought under international law.
Dubai police chief says to seek Netanyahu arrest 02 Mar 2010 Dubai's police chief plans to seek the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the head of Israel's spy agency over the killing of a Hamas leader in the emirate, Al Jazeera television reported. Dahi Khalfan Tamim "said he would ask the Dubai prosecutor to issue arrest warrants for ... Netanyahu and the head of Mossad," the television said. It did not give details. Tamim has said he is "almost certain" Israeli agents were involved in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh at a Dubai hotel in January, calling for Mossad's boss, Meir Dagan, to be arrested if it is proved responsible.
U.S. Fears Election Strife in Iraq Could Affect Pullout 03 Mar 2010 The deadly suicide bombings in Iraq on Wednesday highlight the central quandary facing President Obama as he tries to fulfill his campaign pledge [he's broken every other one] to end the war there: Will parliamentary elections, scheduled for Sunday, throw the country back into the sectarian strife that flared in 2004 and delay the planned American withdrawal? Administration officials also acknowledged that the bigger worry for the United States was not who would win the elections, but the possibility that the elections -- and their almost certainly messy aftermath -- could ignite violence that would, at the least, complicate the planned withdrawal. [See: Army awards lucrative contract to KBR for Iraq work 02 Mar 2010 Military authorities say defense giant KBR Inc. has been awarded a contract potentially worth $2.8 billion for work in Iraq. --It's simply more lucrative for the mercenaries and corporaterrorists to stay. And so, they will. Blackwater is a busy little bee, ensuring that there's a quote, unquote need for the US to stay. --LRP]
Bomber poses as patient to attack hospital --32 die and scores injured in Baquba attacks aimed at destabilising Iraq on eve of elections 04 Mar 2010 Three suicide bombers, including one who sneaked his explosives into a hospital, killed at least 32 people yesterday in a former insurgent stronghold north east of Baghdad, sending a deadly signal ahead of Iraq's elections at the weekend. Deputy Interior Minister Iden Khalid said at a news conference afterwards that security forces expect further attacks, but they will not interfere with Sunday's vote.
33 killed, 55 injured on Iraq's black Wednesday 03 Mar 2010 Baquoba bathed in blood after a third [Blackwater] explosion struck a hospital swarming with casualties from two car bombs in the central Iraqi city earlier in the day. Two bombers in explosive-packed cars attacked police stations in Baquoba on Wednesday, followed by a third bomber who blew himself up in a hospital where the wounded were being treated. "The three bombings killed 29 people," AFP quoted an official from the city's operations command as saying initially. Later reports, however, indicate that the death toll has climbed to 33.
Families of dead troops ask Chilcot to confront Brown 04 Mar 2010 The families of troops who were killed in poorly protected Land Rovers have urged the Iraq inquiry to challenge Gordon Brown tomorrow on his funding of frontline forces. They want answers because no one in Government has ever explained why the Snatch Land Rover was not replaced in Iraq and Afghanistan once it became clear that it was vulnerable to roadside bombs. Jocelyn Cockburn, a lawyer acting for relatives... wants Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry chairman, to focus on whether Mr Brown jeopardised soldiers’ lives by cutting funding and forcing them to travel in the unsuitable vehicles.
'70 per cent of Afghan police recruits drop out' 03 Mar 2010 Nearly 70 per cent of Afghan police recruits drop out during training, the top US army officer in charge of shaping the new Afghan security forces said on Tuesday. Lieutenant General William Caldwell said the 67-per cent "attrition rate" among police recruits was "far too high..." The high drop-out rate meant that in order to grow the Afghan police and army from their current level of about 200,000 to 300,000, far more than 100,000 recruits would be required because many would fall by the wayside.
'US-led forces not after peace in Afghanistan' 03 Mar 2010 The Head of the Upper House of the Afghan parliament says the international community does not want to improve the security situation in Afghanistan. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi said on Wednesday that the international community is able to target the al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders but refuses to do so. He also claimed that Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) is involved in the insecurity in Afghanistan to a great extent.
Utah Marine killed in Afghanistan 03 Mar 2010 A U.S. Marine from Orem has been killed in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense says 19-year-old Lance Corporal Carlos Aragon died Monday. He was supporting combat operations in Helmand Province.
NC-based paratrooper killed by bomb in Afghanistan 02 Mar 2010 A North Carolina-based paratrooper was killed when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan. The Department of Defense announced on Tuesday that 25-year-old Spc. Ian Gelig of Stevenson Ranch, Calif., died Monday in Kandahar Province.
General sounds alarm on U.S. Army training 03 Mar 2010 The Army's ability to train its forces is "increasingly at risk" because of the nation's protracted commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the general in charge of training has told the Army's chief of staff. In a Feb. 16 memo to Gen. George W. Casey, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, says that the Army has lost thousands of uniformed trainers because of troop demands in Iraq and Afghanistan, has had to put junior officers in charge of some key training functions... Only 30 percent of the instructors at Army training schools are in the military, Dempsey says, with the Army increasingly dependent on outside contractors.
Army sees sharp rise in unfit soldiers 03 Mar 2010 The percentage of soldiers who are unavailable for combat has risen sharply during the past three years from 11% of each brigade in 2007 to 16% this year, Army records show. Repeated deployments and health problems have driven much of the increase in soldiers listed as non-deployable, said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff. A brigade has about 3,500 soldiers.
Brazil rebuffs US, says it will go own way on Iran 03 Mar 2010 Brazil rebuffed a U.S. appeal for new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, vowing during a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton not to "bow down" to gathering international pressure. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is an outspoken opponent of sanctions, and his country currently sits on the Security Council, which will be asked to approve its toughest-ever penalties on Iran later this year.
Mossad Hit: An Israeli Affront Against Germany 03 Mar 2010 Following the assassination of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, German state prosecutors are considering murder charges in the case... Shortly after al-Mabhouh's death, when Hamas leaders began pointing the finger at Israel, many observers wrote it off as just another Middle East conspiracy theory. But following revelations by police in Dubai as well as their own investigations, governments in the West have little doubt that this was a Mossad hit. Last week, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, told members of the German parliament, the Bundestag, that Mossad was apparently behind the Dubai operation.
'Facebook friends then reported him to military authorities.' IDF calls off West Bank raid due to Facebook leak 03 Mar 2010 The Israel Defense Forces called off a raid in Palestinian territory after a soldier posted details, including the time and place, on the social networking website Facebook, Army Radio reported on Wednesday. The soldier - since relieved of combat duty - described in a status update how his unit planned a "clean-up" arrest raid in a West Bank area, Army Radio said. Facebook friends then reported him to military authorities.
Livni to Netanyahu: With you in power, Israel is a pariah state 03 Mar 2010 Opposition leader Tzipi Livni sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in a speech made during a Knesset session marking the one-year anniversary of Netanyahu's ascension to power. Livni, the head of the Kadima party, also lamented the lack of negotiations with the Palestinians as well as Netanyahu's economic policies and the biannual budget.
Documents reveal leaks and spills at national virus lab --250 internal incidents were reported in Winnipeg lab between 2005 and 2009 27 Feb 2010 New documents reveal Canada's National Microbiology Lab isn't immune to leaks, spills and failures in restricted areas where lethal organisms are housed. The incidents range in severity and include benign finger cuts, potential exposures to chemicals and viruses such as avian influenza, and equipment failures in Level 3 and 4 containment labs. One 2006 incident resulted in a person exposed to a "negligible" amount of a Level 4 pathogen. Security breaches at the federal lab made headlines last year after no one noticed 22 vials of biological material went missing from the high-security facility for four months. A former vaccine researcher was arrested by FBI special agents after U.S. Customs discovered the vials stuffed in a glove in the trunk of his car at the Manitoba-North Dakota border crossing. Some of the vials included genes from the deadly Ebola virus.
Inovio Biomedical given OK for H5N1 flu vaccine trials 03 Mar 2010 Inovio Biomedical said it got the go-ahead to begin human trials of a 'preventive' vaccine for H5N1 avian flu in Korea. The San Diego company said it will conduct the 30-patient, three-dose trial together with its Korean affiliate VGX International. The company, which said it plans a parallel study in the United States to begin later this year, is working toward a "universal" vaccine that would work against a broad set of influenza subtypes.
'Something happened in 2008, when drug resistance took hold.' Pandemic flu virus may become resistant to Tamiflu 02 Mar 2010 A new study, conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University, analysing the behaviour of seasonal H1N1 suggests that pandemic flu may become resistant to Tamiflu, the main drug used against it. OSU scientists traced the evolutionary history of the seasonal H1N1 influenza virus, which first infected humans during the 1918 pandemic... Gradually, the H1N1 strain of seasonal influenza surviving around the world has developed mutations that have caused it to become resistant to oseltamivir-based agents.
'Save the country from trending toward Socialism!' POLITICO: RNC document plays on 'fear' of Obama to raise money --The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on "fear" of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism." 03 Mar 2010 The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on "fear" of President Barack Obama and a promise to "save the country from trending toward socialism." The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO. [But, Obusha is not a socialist. He is a corporate troll.]
Obama calls for reconciliation to prevent filibuster on health-care 'reform' 04 Mar 2010 President Obama's endorsement Wednesday of a risky legislative maneuver to complete health-care legislation sent Democratic leaders scrambling to settle policy disputes and assemble the votes necessary for passage in the coming weeks. In a speech at the White House, Obama urged Congress to "finish its work" on health care and indicated support for a strategy that includes the budget maneuver known as reconciliation, which would protect the final product from a Republican filibuster in the Senate. [Obusha will have done his job for his paymasters, the insurance cartel. Obama's goal is to weaken the bill as much as possible before it passes. Since he's using reconciliation anyway, why not push it through with the public option? --LRP]
Obama Offers to Use Some G.O.P. Health Proposals 02 Mar 2010 President Obama offered Tuesday to address some of the concerns expressed by Republicans in the health care debate as the two parties maneuvered for advantage heading into the legislative end game. In a letter to Congressional leaders of both parties, Mr. Obama said he was open to four specific ideas raised by Republicans at the daylong health care forum last week, including encouraging the use of tax-advantaged medical savings accounts and increasing payments to doctors who treat Medicaid patients.
Is Taxpayer Money Being Funneled Through The Chamber of Commerce to Kill Health Reform? By Lee Fang 03 Mar 2010 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an umbrella lobbying organization for international corporations and big business, is one of the driving forces fighting to kill health reform. In 2009, the Chamber dropped $123 million in lobbying, much of it against health reform, and organized an attack ad campaign against health reform, spending another $100 million. Now, as health reform enters its final stages, the Chamber is gearing up to blanket critical districts across the country with a new series of attack ads.
Citibank needs seven days? By Marilyn Barnewall 02 Mar 2010 Late last week, a slight furor arose when it became public knowledge that Citibank sent the following notice to customers: "Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require seven (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change." In my opinion, this was not just a notice about Citibank or Citigroup. It was a notice to people that all banks are undercapitalized and all have the right to take up to seven (7) days to clear a check or to give you all the money in your checking account if you demand it.
Rangel drops tax panel leadership --Ethics problems leads to the longtime representative's exit 03 Mar 2010 Buffeted by ethics inquiries, veteran New York Rep. Charles Rangel stepped down Wednesday as chairman of the House's powerful tax-writing committee, delivering a fresh political jolt to a Democratic Party... Rangel's relinquishing of the Ways and Means Committee gavel spared colleagues from having to vote on a Republican-sponsored resolution to strip him of his post.
Fury as EU approves GM potato --Critics claim plant could spread antibiotic-resistant diseases to humans 04 Mar 2010 The introduction of a genetically modified potato in Europe risks the development of human diseases that fail to respond to antibiotics, it was claimed last night. German chemical giant BASF this week won approval from the European Commission for commercial growing of a starchy potato with a gene that could resist antibiotics. Some EU member states, including Italy and Austria and anti-GM campaigners angrily attacked the move, claiming it could result in a health disaster.
GM potato to be grown in Europe --Critics say the decision to approve the cultivation of a genetically modified potato and the use of three types of GM maize 'puts profit before people' 03 Mar 2010 The EU has approved the cultivation of a genetically modified potato and the use of three types of altered maize, saying they don't pose a health risk. The go-ahead for the Amflora potato - developed by BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany - was the first green light in 12 years to grow a genetically modified food in the EU. Critics accused the European commission of pandering to corporate interests at the expense of public health. The EU executive also approved the marketing of three genetically modified maize products from Monsanto, based in St Louis, Missouri, for food and feed purposes - though not their cultivation.
Dubai asks FBI to investigate terror ties to US 02 Mar 2010 Amid ongoing investigation of the murder of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the UAE police have asked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to look into alleged ties of the suspects to Americans. Dubai police asked the FBI to investigate US-issued pre-paid credit cards used by 13 of the terror suspects in the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Dubai daily The National reported Tuesday.
The Dubai assassination and the "war on terror" By Patrick O’Connor 02 Mar 2010 The reaction of governments around the world to the murder of Hamas member Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month underscores the extent to which basic precepts of international law have been torn up under the "war on terror". As far as the US government and its allies are concerned, extra-judicial executions and so-called targeted killings now constitute a legitimate state activity and do not warrant comment, let alone condemnation... The more or less open acceptance by Washington and its allies of Mossad’s latest atrocity is because similar methods now form a central component of the "war on terror". As well as being subject to indefinite detention without trial, rendition and torture, individuals identified as a threat to the security of the US state are routinely executed in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen.
bans live coverage of Taliban attacks 02 Mar 2010 The Afghan government
has banned live coverage of militant attacks in a bid to prevent
7 occupying troops killed in Afghanistan in 48 hours 03 Mar 2010 The US-led International Security Assistance Force says seven of its soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan over the past 48 hours. According to ISAF, one soldier was killed during a gun attack on Tuesday. One day earlier, six troops were killed in one of the worst days for the alliance in the year 2010.
'US drones killed 1200 people in Pakistan in 6 years' 03 Mar 2010 A Washington-based think tank says that US drone attacks have killed over 1200 people in Pakistan over the past six years. In a report issued on Tuesday, the New American Foundation said that the US military has launched 114 airstrikes in Pakistan since 2004 and stated that one third of the people who have been killed were Pakistani civilians.
US to send Pakistan laser-guided bomb kits 02 Mar 2010 The United States will deliver 1,000 laser-guided bomb kits to Pakistan this month and is considering additional arms sales to help the Pakistani air force crack down on insurgents in the Afghan border region. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters on Tuesday the arms sales came in response to a request made by the air chief of the Pakistani air force in December.
Pakistan lays out terror charges for 5 Americans --Lawyer: Men could be indicted on seven charges at next hearing on March 10 02 Mar 2010 Prosecutors seeking to indict five Americans on terrorist charges submitted their case to a Pakistani judge Tuesday, accusing the men of waging war against Pakistan and plotting to attack the country. All young Muslims from the Washington, D.C., area, the five were arrested in December in Punjab province not long after reaching Pakistan. The men could be indicted on as many as seven charges at their next hearing on March 10, Hamid Malik told The Associated Press.
Supreme Court sends Uighur case back to lower court 01 Mar 2010 The US Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to reconsider the case of five Chinese Muslim Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay. The court originally granted certiorari in Kiyemba v. Obama to determine whether it is within the power of the judicial branch to order the release of detainees into the US. The court ordered the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reconsider the case in light of the fact that each of the remaining Uighurs has received an offer of resettlement by another country.
awards lucrative contract to KBR for Iraq work 02
Mar 2010 Military authorities say defense giant KBR Inc. has been awarded
a contract potentially worth $2.8 billion for work in Iraq as U.S. forces
continue to leave the country. KBR was notified of the award Friday, a
day after the company told shareholders it lost about $25 million in
Bomb blast kills two people in southern Iraq 02 Mar 2010 Two people have been killed and six others injured in a bomb blast in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, as the country braces for the March 7 general 'elections.' The incident took place late on Monday in a commercial area of al-Ashar in the centre of Basra, and damaged a large number of shops, APTN reported on Tuesday. [That's the sound of Blackwater wanting the US to stay beyond the withdrawal date, and get compensated for same.]
Bishkek bows to pressure, renews US lease for airbase 03 Mar 2010 The US has renewed its lease on an airbase in Kyrgyzstan but it has been forced to pay more than three times the previous rate. The Manas base near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek is seen as vital to the US-led war effort in Afghanistan. 35,000 US troops use the base each month on their way in and out of the war zone.
Rigi reveals close ties with Pakistan, Afghanistan 02 Mar 2010 The ringleader of the Jundallah terrorist group, Abdolmalek Rigi, has confessed to having closely cooperated with the security services of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Iranian security forces arrested Rigi on February 23 while he was aboard a Kyrgyz airliner on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Kyrgyzstan. In his 20 hours of confessions, Rigi has revealed intelligence of high importance, including details about his ties with some intelligence agencies such as the CIA, according to the Basirat website, which is run by the Political Department of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
RAF fighters scrambled in jet passenger alert 02 Mar 2010 Two RAF Typhoon fighter aircraft were scrambled today after reports of a disruptive passenger on board a Heathrow-bound transatlantic flight The Typhoons, from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, went to assist an American Airlines Boeing 767 heading for London from Dallas/Forth Worth in Texas following reports of a woman passenger trying to get on to the flight deck. The Typhoons returned to base when it was realised the incident was not terrorism-related.
Denver man charged in white powder mailings 01 Mar 2010 FBI agents have arrested a Denver area man suspected of sending white powder to multiple governmental offices including the offices for U.S. Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and the offices of Reps. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.). The suspect, Jay Devaughn, of Denver, faces a federal charge of mailing threatening communications and was told he could face up to five years in federal prison and up to a $50,000 fine. He is due back in court on Wednesday for a detention hearing.
U.S. to Reveal Rules on Internet Security --Although the budget for the program has been secret, independent estimates have suggested that it may cost as much as $40 billion over the next five years. 02 Mar 2010 The Obama administration on Tuesday plans to declassify portions of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, created during the Bush regime as a secret effort to harness the nation’s defensive and offensive strategies for protecting commercial and government networks. The cybersecurity initiative emerged from a classified National Security Presidential Directive signed by President [sic] George W. Bush in January 2008.
Intelligence Fusion Centers --A De-Centralized National Intelligence Agency By Thomas Cincotta Winter 09/Spring 10 The Department of Homeland Security’s network of fusion centers operate under the auspices of state police or even large local police forces, thus sidestepping the guidelines enacted under the Privacy Act of 1974 that limit information sharing by federal agencies. Yet fusion centers have a national command center feel, with mosaics of television monitors, and desks for all the police agents assigned to work together and enjoy face time -- the county sheriff, local police officers, the FBI, National Guard (restricted by law to drug-related missions), state police, Department of Homeland Security, and the civilian intelligence analysts... Nurtured by more than $327 million in direct grant funding from 2004 through 2008, fusion centers won an additional $250 million in President Barack Obama's stimulus plan to be spent by 2010 on upgrading, modifying, or constructing sites. DHS currently has 41 officers deployed at fusion centers and hopes to have an officer at every fusion center in the country by the end of 2010.
Germany's Top Court Overturns Anti-Terrorism Data Law 01 Mar 2010 Germany’s highest court overturned a two-year-old anti-terrorism law that requires telecommunications providers such as Deutsche Telekom AG to store Internet and phone data for six months, saying the rules violate privacy. The law, which came into effect in December 2007 during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s previous government, calls for phone companies to collect data on phone calls, Internet surfing and text messaging for potential use in criminal or terrorist investigations.
Obama's NHTSA Appointee Defends Bush-era NHTSA's Performance on Runaway Toyotas --Testifying Before His Former Senate Bosses, David Strickland Defends NHTSA's Actions on the 'Toyota Problem,' Calls Camry Complaints 'Unremarkable' 02 Mar 2010 After weeks of ducking the press, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finally spoke out in public today at a Senate hearing investigating the issue of runaway Toyotas. NHTSA administrator David Strickland defended the agency's past investigations of sudden acceleration complaints in Toyotas, and strongly disputed assertions that Toyota was able to influence NHTSA to provide favorable terms on recalls, saying "claims Toyota has made about their influence is false."
Lone wolf terrorist Bunning retreats, Senate approves jobless aid, road funding 02 Mar 2010 The Senate has passed stopgap legislation to extend help for the jobless and keep federal highway dollars flowing. The 78-19 vote came after a GOP senator [senile sociopath] who was single-handedly holding up the legislation finally relented under withering assaults by Democrats and dwindling support within his own party. Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning had been holding up action for days but conceded after pressure intensified with Monday's cutoff of road funding and longer and more generous unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for the jobless.
Texas Gov. Perry beats Hutchison in GOP gubernatorial primary 03 Mar 2010 Texas Gov. Rick Perry cruised to victory in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, crushing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and setting the stage for a run for a third full term this fall. Hutchison conceded the race with only about a third of precincts reporting and Perry holding a steady lead of more than 20 percentage points, just above the 50 percent of votes he needed to avoid a runoff. Debra Medina, an underfunded candidate backed by some within the "tea party" movement, was a distant third.
Hutchison concedes in Texas governor primary 02 Mar 2010 U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison conceded Tuesday night in the Republican primary for governor of Texas. "Tonight we fell short," she told a group of supporters, while urging voters to support Texas Gov. Rick Perry in his re-election bid. Former Houston Mayor Bill White will be the Democratic nominee for the governor's office in Texas, CNN projects, based on votes tallied by the Texas Secretary of State's office.
Government declares martial law in central Chile after earthquake By Rafael Azul 02 Mar 2010 The Chilean government of President Michelle Bachelet has declared martial law in parts of central Chile in the aftermath of Saturday’s devastating earthquake. Ten thousand soldiers have taken control of Maule and Bío Bío, the two regions most directly affected. President Bachelet declared a state of siege on the pretext that it was necessary to maintain order and distribute aid... This is the first state of siege declared in Chile since the fall of the bloody Pinochet military dictatorship in 1989.
Chile doubles troops on quake-hit streets as chaos grows 02 Mar 2010 Thousands more troops have been deployed in towns across Chile as security forces battle to contain the mass looting and unrest that followed Saturday's devastating earthquake and tsunami. President Michelle Bachelet has doubled the number of troops patrolling the worst-hit areas to 14,000, as an overnight curfew in the city of Concepción was prolonged by six hours until midday.
Chile earthquake may have shifted earth's axis --Quake shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds 02 Mar 2010 Earth's days may be a little bit shorter since the massive earthquake in Chile. But the difference would be only about one-millionth of a second. Richard Gross, a scientist at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and colleagues calculated that Saturday's quake shortened the day by 1.26 microseconds.
Northwest at risk of megaquake like one in Chile 02 Mar 2010 Just 50 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast is an earthquake hotspot that threatens to unleash on Seattle, Portland and Vancouver the kind of damage that has shattered Chile. The fault has been dormant for more than 300 years, but when it awakens -- tomorrow or decades from now -- the consequences could be devastating.
Blair warned in 2000 Iraq war was illegal --Secret papers withheld by Chilcot inquiry reveal Foreign Office fears over invasion 02 Mar 2010 An invasion of Iraq was discussed within the Government more than two years before military action was taken - with Foreign Office mandarins warning that an invasion would be illegal, that it would claim "considerable casualties" and could lead to the breakdown of Iraq, The Independent can reveal. The extent of Whitehall opposition to the policy eventually backed by Tony Blair emerges just three days before Gordon Brown will appear at the Iraq Inquiry, where he will be asked to explain his role in the Government's decision to invade.
cash flown out of Kabul includes a wide range of foreign currencies. Most
is in U.S. dollars, euros and -- to the bafflement of officials -- Saudi
Arabian riyals.' Officials
puzzle over millions of dollars leaving Afghanistan by plane for Dubai
25 Feb 2010 A blizzard of bank notes is flying out of Afghanistan -- often
in full view of customs officers at the Kabul airport -- as part of a
cash exodus that is confounding U.S. officials and raising concerns about
the money's origin. But at a time when the United States and its allies
are spending billions of dollars to prop up the
British soldier shot dead in Afghanistan: ministry 01 Mar 2010 A British soldier was shot dead in southern Afghanistan on Monday, defence officials said. The serviceman, from 3 Rifles Battle Group, was killed by small arms fire near Sangin, Helmand Province, said the Ministry of Defence.
Four NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan 01 Mar 2010 Four NATO soldiers were killed in a string of attacks in Afghanistan on Monday, the alliance force said. Two soldiers died "in an indirect fire attack" in western Afghanistan and a third in "a small arms attack" in the south, the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
Suicide attack on CIA base 'wasn't planned this way' 01 Mar 2010 The Jordanian triple agent behind the December suicide bombing that killed eight CIA agents in Afghanistan claims in a new video that he lured American and Jordanian intelligence officers into a fatal trap by sending them misleading information about terror targets, and videotapes he had made of senior al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leaders. Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA agents and his Jordanian handler in the attack also claims in the posthumous tape that he intended to kidnap only one Jordanian intelligence officer, but the unexpected opportunity to attack a large group of Americans was too good to pass up.
cleared for release with nowhere to go remain at Guantánamo.' Supreme
Court Refuses to Rule on Guantánamo Detainees --Justices Won't Hear
Uighur Case 01 Mar 2010 The Supreme Court on Monday said it would
not decide a case involving Chinese Muslims
Senate Torture Probe Uncovers Missing Emails 27 Feb 2010 The Justice Department investigation into whether the authors of the George W. Bush-era "torture memos" were guilty of professional misconduct did not have full access to the emails used by those lawyers and by other key figures in the investigation, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft and former counsel to the Vice President David Addington. The missing emails came to light during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday. Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, described the vanishing emails as "suspicious".
Iran reminds IAEA of West's broken promises 01 Mar 2010 Iran has called on the UN nuclear watchdog to bear in mind the West's past breaches of atomic fuel exchange deals with Tehran while reviewing Iran's nuclear program. In a letter to the UN body, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), cited three instances on which Western countries failed to meet their commitments and provide Iran with nuclear fuel.
2 suspected Dubai assassins escaped to US 01 Mar 2010 At least two of the 26 suspects sought for the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai reportedly entered the US shortly after the killing. Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh was killed in a Dubai hotel back in January. Now, the Wall Street Journal says records shared between international investigators show that one of the suspects entered the United States a day later, using an Irish passport. The second suspect entered the US on a British passport in February. [Notice that the *real* terrorists are not on the US 'No Fly' list. --LRP]
Dubai killing: agents head to Israel to interview British nationals --Serious Organised Crime Agency to interview dual British-Israeli nationals whose passport identities were used by assassins of Hamas operative 28 Feb 2010 British police will travel to Israel to interview six British nationals whose identities were used in the Dubai assassination of a senior Hamas official, as new information emerge that Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was drugged before being killed. The intervention by officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) follows the identification of a further 15 suspects wanted over Mabhouh's murder, including another six who used British passports.
'Authorities have not responded to demands that they explain why the journalist was tried in a military court.' Palestinian Authority ignores court, jails journalist 26 Feb 2010 The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to heed a High Court order and release journalist Tariq Abu Zaid immediately. A four-person special military court in Nablus sentenced Abu Zaid, a correspondent who reported on camera for Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV, to 18 months in prison on February 16 on charges of "undermining the status of the authority, and resisting the public policy of the Palestinian Authority," his lawyer, Bassam Karajeh, told CPJ. Abu Zaid has been held at Al-Junied prison in Nablus since he was first arrested in August 2009.
Israeli army tanks open fire on Gazans 01 Mar 2010 Israeli army tanks opened fire on northern Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian and wounding another near the town of Beit Lahia, Palestinian sources say. According to witnesses living in the area, the army tanks fired four artillery shells at the area on Monday, DPA reported.
Israeli Apartheid Week kicks off 02 Mar 2010 Universities in over 40 cities across the world have begun to observe Israeli Apartheid Week in condemnation of Israel's policies regarrding the Palestinians. During Israeli Apartheid Week, which kicked off on Monday, the universities will hold protests and host related speeches, cultural performances, and movie screenings.
Hung parliament looms as Tory poll lead cut to 5 points --Projected result would still leave Conservatives trailing Labour by 17 seats 02 Mar 2010 David Cameron suffered a new setback as the Conservative Party's lead over Labour dropped to just five points in the latest ComRes poll for The Independent. It suggests that Labour would have 17 more seats than the Tories in a hung parliament. The survey puts the Tories on 37 per cent (down one point since last month), Labour on 32 per cent (up one point), the Liberal Democrats on 19 per cent (unchanged) and other parties on 12 per cent (unchanged).
Blunt leftist ex-rebel sworn in as Uruguay president [Awesome! Swear in some current ones, too!] 01 Mar 2010 Jose Mujica, who decades ago served time in prison for taking up arms against Uruguay's "bourgeois state," was sworn in Monday as his country's new president. The former radical leftist guerrilla fighter is now a mellower but still-feisty senior citizen who grows flowers at his ranch and calls himself a pan-theist. Colorful and charismatic in contrast to respected outgoing fellow leftist president Tabare Vazquez, Mujica is known for his willingness for dialogue.
Official: Substance at Utah IRS bldg not hazardous --Probe: Two people who left via stretchers had 'unrelated medical problems.' 01 Mar 2010 A suspicious substance found Monday at an IRS building in Ogden is not hazardous, an official with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said. The FBI's Salt Lake City division said hazardous materials crews were called to the IRS building to respond to a possible threat. Parts of the building were evacuated, and video on the Web site of KSL-TV showed two people being taken out on stretchers. But U.S. Postal Inspection Service national spokesman Pete Rendina told The Associated Press the "matter was non-hazardous." The FBI says some people had medical emergencies but they did not "appear to be related to this incident." [!?!]
Hazmat Crews, FBI Called to IRS Building in Utah - Showers used to deal with 'possible chemical situation' --Reporters not allowed into building after incident 01 Mar 2010 Hazardous material crews were called to an IRS building in Ogden, Utah on Monday, less than two weeks after a man deliberately crashed his private plane into a Texas building that housed IRS workers, according to local reports. The FBI was called to the scene and reporters were not allowed into the building after the incident, The Standard-Examiner reported. Showers were being used to deal with "a possible chemical situation," according to the local ABC affiliate.
Walgreens Told to Pay $25.8 Million Over Teen Pharmacy Tech's Error --Prior to working at Walgreens, the teen had worked at a movie theater where she made popcorn. 01 Mar 2010 A Florida appeals court has upheld a $25.8 million judgment against Walgreens over an error by a teenage pharmacy technician that resulted in a mother of three receiving blood thinner pills with a dosage ten times greater than prescribed. Beth Hippely of Lakeland, Florida, suffered a massive, crippling stroke after taking the pills and was forced to stop treatment for early stage breast cancer. She died in 2007, before the case went to trial. The case highlighted the use by major drug store chains of pharmacy technicians who in many states are not required to have a high school diploma. [No worries for Walgreens or other corporaterrorists, though. The 'problem' will be solved when the High Whore Court overturns the verdict in eight pico-seconds.]
HSBC hands top banker £9 million bonus 01 Mar 2010 One of the biggest bonuses seen this year for any London-based banker was revealed today as HSBC announced it had given Stuart Gulliver, its head of investment banking, a £9.8 million package. Mr Gulliver was awarded a £9 million bonus on top of his £800,000 base pay for his "exceptional performance" in trebling the profits of his division to $10.5 billion, HSBC said.
Jim Bunning Costs 8,000 NYers Checks Today 01 Mar 2010 Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning reportedly flipped the bird at reporters today, but 8,000 New Yorkers are among those who feel he did a lot worse to them. Bunning’s single-handed obstruction of an emergency extension of unemployment benefits last week cost all of those people their checks. "As of yesterday, 8,000 New Yorkers are left without benefits," said Leo Rosales, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor. "What it means is, for the days they’re out, there is no money coming in... You can imagine the worry they have right now."
Ford Decides Not to Run 01 Mar 2010 Under intense pressure from Democratic Party officials, [Wall Street front-man] Harold E. Ford Jr., the former Tennessee congressman, has decided not to challenge Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the primary this fall. He has told friends that, while he is convinced he could prevail against Ms. Gillibrand [in your dreams], he feared the winner of the primary would have little money and remain highly vulnerable to a well-financed Republican challenger at a time when the Democratic party controls the Senate by a slim majority.
Arkansas lieutenant governor to challenge Sen. Lincoln in primary 01 Mar 2010 Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter announced Monday that he will challenge Sen. Blanche Lincoln in the state's May primary, a decision touted by liberal Democrats as a watershed moment in attempts to demonstrate their displeasure with the way the party has conducted itself over the past year. In the immediate aftermath of Halter's announcement, a quartet of liberal interest groups pledged to raise $500,000 for Halter in the first week of his candidacy.
1997 DoD Briefing: 'Others' can set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely using electromagnetic waves By Lori Price 28 Feb 2010 Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, 28 April 1997: 'There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus [OMG! Who would do such a thing?], and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others [LOL] are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.' --Just switch 'yours,' 'others' and 'they' with 'U.S.,' 'U.S.' and 'U.S.' This was in 1997. Imagine, after eight years of George W. Bush turbo-funding these lunatics, what they can do now.
Cybersecurity bill to give president new emergency powers 26 Feb 2010 According to an aide familiar with the proposal, the bill includes a mandate for federal agencies to prepare emergency response plans in the event of a massive, nationwide cyberattack. The president would then have the ability to initiate those network contingency plans... the aide said. When early reports predicted the cybersecurity measure would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," online privacy groups said they felt that would endow the White House with overly ambiguous and far-reaching powers to regulate the Internet. The bill will still contain most of those powers, and a "vast majority" of its other components "remain unchanged," an aide with knowledge of the legislation told The Hill.
More Change We Can Deceive In: Obama signs one-year extension of Patriot Act 27 Feb 2010 President Barack Obama has signed a one-year extension of several provisions in the nation's main counterterrorism law, the Patriot Act. Provisions in the measure would have expired on Sunday without Obama's signature Saturday. The act, which was adopted in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, expands the government's ability to monitor Americans in the name of national security.
Government fury as judges attack security services --Ministers back MI5 after highly critical verdict on secret service involvement in Binyam Mohamed case 27 Feb 2010 The government has launched a co-ordinated counter-attack against three of the country's most senior judges who defied ministerial pressure today to publish a highly critical verdict on secret service involvement in the alleged torture of the Guantánamo detainee Binyam Mohamed. In spite of concerted attempts to keep criticisms of MI5 and MI6 secret, Lord Neuberger, the master of the rolls, made unprecedented public criticisms of the methods and ethics employed by the UK's secret services, stating that officials had a "dubious record" of involvement in Mohamed's mistreatment.
Brown: Britain is not involved in torture 26 Feb 2010 Gordon Brown
has defended MI5 after the security service was strongly criticised by
a senior judge over its role in the case of Binyam Mohamed, the former
'The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural. There were no signs of resistance shown by the victim.' Mahmoud al-Mabhouh kept 'conscious but unable to struggle' as he was suffocated 28 Feb 2010 The Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was injected with a strong sedative before being suffocated in his hotel room by suspected Mossad agents, Dubai police have revealed. The results of a toxicology report released today show that the Hamas commander was paralysed by an injection of succinylcholine, a fast-acting muscle relaxant. He was then suffocated with a pillow. The drug does not induce loss of consciousness or anaesthesia, meaning that al-Mabhouh would have been conscious but unable to struggle as he was suffocated.
Police recover DNA of Dubai hitmen 26 Feb 2010 Dubai police say they have recovered the DNA of assassins who killed a senior Hamas commander in January. "We have DNA evidence... from the crime scene. The DNA of the criminals is there," police chief Dhahi Khalfan said on Friday on the Arab satellite television Al-Arabiya. On January 20, the body of Mahmud al-Mabhouh was found in his hotel room with Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, being widely suspected to be behind the hit.
Iraq rejects US remarks about delay in withdrawal 28 Feb 2010 Iraq has rejected outright remarks by a top US military commander over postponing the withdrawal of combat troops in case the country faces serious political conditions after the parliamentary elections. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Press TV that Baghdad is resolved to take security responsibilities from the United States and that the US forces must leave the country as planned. He rejected remarks made by Army Gen. Ray Odierno that US forces would remain after the planned withdrawal date if the country faced political unrest or widespread [Blackwater] violence after parliamentary elections in March. [See: US as 'Facehugger' By Lori Price I've come to the conclusion that the US government most resembles the 'facehugger,' a stage in the life cycle of an alien, the 'primary antagonist' of the film series 'Alien.' 19 Jan 2010]
In Helmand, blast kills 11 Afghan civilians 28 Feb 2010 A roadside bomb explosion has killed at least 11 civilians in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. Daud Ahmadi, the Helmand governor's spokesman, blamed the attack on the Taliban and said two women and two children were among the dead. Ahmadi told journalists on Sunday that "a civilian car struck a roadside bomb in Nawzad district" in the north of the province.
US unveils Bagram handover plan 27 Feb 2010 Afghan officers will begin to take charge of the prison facility at Bagram, currently run by the US military, from next week. Addressing a news conference at the jail near the capital Kabul on Saturday, US and Afghan officials said the handover of the prison would be gradual over the coming year as Afghan officers still require 'training.' "This is the start of the process," Mohammad Qaseem Hashimzai, Afghanistan's deputy justice minister, told reporters.
Canada, U.S. may extend security measures past Games --Permanent joint maritime policing legislation proposed 26 Feb 2010 Canada and U.S. authorities are talking about extending cross-border security measures that were implemented for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and were to end with the closing of the Winter Games. The RCMP and the U.S. Coast Guard have jointly patrolled the waters off Vancouver since the beginning of the month, boarding nearly 200 vessels and interviewing about 500 people in their efforts to maintain security, RCMP Sergeant Duncan Pound of the border integrity program said in an interview. The joint patrols will end with the Paralympics but spokesmen from the two agencies said yesterday legislation that would allow joint maritime policing on a permanent basis is on the agenda of both the U.S. and Canadian governments.
Secret Service Computers Only Work at 60 Percent Capacity; Agency Uses 1980s Mainframe --System Is 'Fragile' and Cannot Sustain Tempo of Current or Future Operational 'Missions' 27 Feb 2010 A classified review of the United States Secret Service's computer technology found that the agency's computers were fully operational only 60 percent of the time because of outdated systems and a reliance on a computer mainframe that dates to the 1980s, according to Sen. Joe Lieberman, 'R'-Conn. Sources tell ABC News that the Secret Service was so plagued by computer problems that the agency invited the National Security Agency to formally review its information technology systems.
Supreme Court scales back 'Miranda,' eases rules for questioning suspects 25 Feb 2010 The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that investigators may resume questioning a suspect who invoked his Miranda right to a lawyer after the suspect has been out of police custody for 14 days. The 7-2 decision scales back a 1981 high-court decision intended to protect suspects from repeated police badgering to talk and to safeguard the rights established in the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona ruling.
Chilean quake toll jumps to 708 28 Feb 2010 The number of people confirmed dead after Chile's earthquake has increased to 708 and is expected to rise further, President Michelle Bachelet has said. Previously about 300 people had been reported to have been killed in Saturday's 8.8 magnitude quake - one of the most powerful recorded. Massive damage is hampering rescue teams as they struggle to reach those still buried in the rubble. The Chilean government has declared a curfew in two of the worst-hit areas.
Death toll rises after Chile earthquake --The death toll from Saturday's devastating earthquake in Chile rose to more than 700 as rescue workers fanned out across a 600km-long stretch of the country 28 Feb 2010 The death toll from Saturday's devastating earthquake in Chile rose to more than 700 tonight as rescue workers fanned out across a 600km-long stretch of the country searching for bodies and survivors. President Michelle Bachelet directed rescue operations and toured heavily hit areas in a race to provide basic supplies to entire cities that remained without water, electricity or basic communications. She said two million people were affected by the 8.8-magnitude quake, adding that it would take several days to evaluate the "enormous quantity of damage".
90-centimeter tsunami waves hit Japan 28 Feb 2010 Japan put its eastern coastline on alert for a "major" tsunami, as initial waves triggered by Chile's 8.8-magnitude earthquake reached its northern Pacific coast. A 90 centimeter (35 inch) tsunami hit Japan's northern Pacific coast on Sunday. The tsunami was recorded in the town of Kuji, about 500 km (310 miles) northeast of Tokyo, national broadcaster NHK reported.
High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program 27 Feb 2010 The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance purposes (such as missile detection). The HAARP program operates a major Arctic facility, known as the HAARP Research Station, on an Air Force owned site near Gakona, Alaska... As of 2008, HAARP had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded construction and operating costs.
Latin America creates bloc sans US 23 Feb 2010 Latin America and Caribbean leaders united Tuesday to create a regional bloc excluding Canada and the United States... Bolivian President Evo Morales, one of Hugo Chavez's strongest allies, suggested that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was a U.S. agent sent to sabotage the bloc. "What's my conclusion?" Morales said. "Since we are debating a new organization without the United States, the agents of the United States have come to bog this down to make this event fail."
MoD to destroy future UFO reports 28 Feb 2010 The Ministry of Defence will destroy all future UFO reports it receives so it does not have to make them public, a previously secret memo reveals. Britain's official UFO investigation unit and hotline were closed down at the start of December. Since then reports of strange sights in the skies sent to the MoD have been kept for 30 days before being thrown out, the newly released policy document shows.
Decision Could Allow Anonymous Political Contributions by Corporations 27 Feb 2010 The Supreme Court decision last month allowing corporations to spend unlimited money on behalf of political candidates left a loophole that campaign finance lawyers say could allow companies to pay for extensive political advertising while avoiding the disclosure requirements the court appeared to leave intact... For the first time, as a result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, corporations will be able to spend unlimited amounts of money on advertisements expressly advocating for a candidate’s election or defeat. The ruling also clears the way, for the first time, for corporations to donate money to nonprofit groups that place advocacy advertisements.
US banks veto 'socialist pay' in secret talks 28 Feb 2010 America's top bankers quashed attempts by their British counterparts to persuade the industry to bring down salaries in response to public outrage after the world's governments spent billions rescuing the system. Chief executives from the world's banks discussed the plans at a secret dinner held at Claridge's, the London hotel, last October, at which several leading British bankers are said to have suggested that the sector should take greater responsibility for its part in the crash, and do more to reduce the vast bonuses paid to staff.
FDIC Shuts Down Banks in Nevada and Washington --Regulators shut down banks in Nevada and Washington; putting US bank failures at 22 for year 27 Feb 2010 Regulators shut down banks in Nevada and Washington on Friday, marking the 21st and 22nd failures this year of federally insured banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of Carson River Community Bank, based in Carson City, Nev. and Rainier Pacific Bank in Tacoma, Wash. Carson River Community Bank had $51.1 million in assets and $50 million in deposits as of Dec. 31. Rainier Pacific Bank had $717.8 million in assets and $446.2 million in deposits as of Dec. 31.
D.C. hospital fires 11 nurses, 5 staffers for snowstorm absences 28 Feb 2010 The District's largest private hospital has fired 11 nurses and five support staff members who failed to make it to work during the back-to-back snowstorms that paralyzed the region earlier this month. Dozens of staff members at Washington Hospital Center face internal investigations, union representatives say, and it is unclear how many employees will lose their jobs. On Friday, the nurses union, Nurses United of the National Capital Region, filed a class-action grievance with the hospital
Coffee hit by global warming say growers --Producers meeting in Guatemala this week are in a state of panic over the impact of warming on their livelihoods. 27 Feb 2010 Coffee producers say they are getting hammered by global warming, with higher temperatures forcing growers to move to prized higher ground, putting the cash crop at risk. "There is already evidence of important changes" said Nestor Osorio, head of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), which represents 77 countries that export or import the beans. "In the last 25 years the temperature has risen half a degree in coffee producing countries, five times more than in the 25 years before," he said.
pull provision on penalizing intel personnel for interrogation methods
26 Feb 2010 The House approved an intelligence agency bill Friday after
Democratic leaders hastily removed a provision that would have imposed
prison sentences for personnel using "cruel, inhuman and degrading"
interrogation techniques. The provision would have subjected intelligence
officers to up 15 years in prison for interrogations that violate existing
anti-torture laws, including the use of extreme temperatures, acts causing
sexual humiliation or depriving a prisoner of food, sleep or medical care.
Republicans strongly protested the measure when the bill came to the floor
Thursday, forcing Democrats to
into missing e-mails written by Bush lawyers is demanded
26 Feb 2010 Senior Democrats and watchdog groups demanded Friday that
the Justice Department investigate the disappearance of e-mail messages
by Bush lawyers who drafted memos blessing
reject damning court findings on MI5 --Government denies MI5 misled
MPs after court reinstates criticism in Guantánamo torture case 26
Feb 2010 The government has launched a co-ordinated counter-attack against
three of the country's most senior judges who defied ministerial pressure
today to publish a highly critical verdict on secret service involvement
in the alleged torture of the Guantánamo
record on ex-Guantanamo detainee Mohamed 'dubious' 26 Feb 2010
MI5 officers have been accused by a senior judge of having a "dubious
record" over the treatment of former Guantanamo Bay
'The gunmen drive in mainly four-wheel vehicles and quickly disappear from the crime scene.' Silencer guns kill 67 in one day in Baghdad By Anwar Jumaa 23 Feb 2010 Last Sunday 67 corpses were brought to Baghdad morgue all shot with silencer guns, medical sources said. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said silencer guns have instilled fear and terror in Baghdad and most of the victims were civil servants, former Baathists and army officers. The latest [Blackwater] victim has been a university professor who was shot dead on Monday as he drove home. The sources named the victim as Dr. Thamer Kamel, head of the human rights section at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific research.
General Sir David Richards: Forces reach 'turning point' in Afghanistan --British forces could be pulled out of Afghanistan within five years, the head of the Army, General Sir David Richards, has disclosed. 26 Feb 2010 Sir David said they have reached a "turning point" in the battle against the Taliban. He suggested troop numbers could begin to decline as early as next year while the majority would be withdrawn by 2015. He gave the upbeat [?!?] assessment just seven months after warning the Britain's mission [sic] in Afghanistan could last for up to 40 years. Last summer he said the army’s role would evolve but Britain would be providing governance, development or security for three or four decades.
US 'planning Kandahar offensive' 26 Feb 2010 The United States is planning to launch a military offensive in Afghanistan's Kandahar city following the military operation to drive Taliban fighters out of the town of Marjah in Helmand province, a senior US official has said. "I think the way to look at Marjah, it's the tactical prelude to larger, more comprehensive operations later this year in Kandahar city," news agencies quoted the unnamed official as saying on Friday.
Taliban strike at heart of Kabul, killing at least 16 --Indians believed to be targets, but Italian secret service officer and French film producer also dead 17 Feb 2010 With suicide bombs, grenades and gunfire, insurgents struck at the heart of Kabul yesterday, killing at least 16 people in co-ordinated attacks that the Afghan President said were targeted at Indians, but which also claimed the life of a senior member of the Italian secret service and a French film producer. The targets of the two-hour explosion of violence included two guesthouses used by foreigners and Kabul's first shopping mall.
Dubai killing shines unwelcome spotlight on Mossad 26 Feb 2010 ...Thirty-seven years later, a paper trail - though this time electronic - has once again exposed the work of a group of assassins, pointed the finger of suspicion at Israel, and raised questions about the future of covert operations in foreign countries. On Wednesday, the police in Dubai identified a further 15 suspects in the killing last month of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a leader of the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas, raising the number believed to have taken part to at least 26. As with the previous 11, investigators were able to give the names, nationalities and passport numbers the suspects had used, the photographs inside their fraudulent passports, and provide high-resolution CCTV footage showing what they had done.
Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian protesters 26 Feb 2010 For the fifth consecutive day, Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinian protesters over holy shrines in the West Bank city of al-Khalil. Clashes erupted after Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, Febuary 21, announced plans to add two West Bank holy sites -- the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) and Bilal Mosque (Rachel's Tomb) -- to Israel's so-called Jewish heritage list.
Navy intercepts Argentinian warship near British waters --The Royal Navy has intercepted an Argentinian warship near British waters in an apparent escalation of the row over the Falkland Islands. 25 Feb 2010 Destroyer HMS York spotted the vessel around ten miles inside the disputed "oil zone" around the South Atlantic islands. The British crew had to radio the Argentinian ship, a smaller corvette named ARA Drummond, to demand that it change its course. Sources told The Sun that the ship made an "innocent navigational blunder" and were embarrassed about the mistake.
Canadian Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in Terror Plot 26 Feb 2010 A member of a homegrown terrorist group has pleaded guilty to participating in a plot to set off truck bombs in front of Canada's main stock exchange and two government buildings. Jahmaal James entered the plea Friday in an Ontario courtroom. James and 17 others were arrested and charged with terrorism offenses in 2006. The group came to be known as the Toronto 18.
Judge Expanded Review on Terrorism Suspect 25 Feb 2010 When a federal judge in Manhattan ordered prosecutors to search Justice Department records concerning a terrorism suspect, he granted a broader review than the government wanted to undertake, a newly released court opinion shows. The case involves Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who faces charges stemming from the 1998 bombings of two American Embassies in East Africa. He later worked for Osama bin Laden as a bodyguard and cook, the government has said. After his capture in 2004, he was held for nearly five years in the C.I.A.’s secret jails and later at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, before being moved into the civilian court system last year. He has pleaded not guilty.
US to extend controversial Bush-era law 26 Feb 2010 The US is set to extend a Bush-era controversial counter-terrorism law called the Patriot Act for yet another year. The Patriot Act, hastily adopted six weeks after the 2001 terror attacks, greatly expands the government's ability to spy on Americans in the name of national security. On Thursday, The House of Representatives voted the bill overwhelmingly and sent it to President Barack Obama for his approval.
Congress Reauthorizes Overbroad Patriot Act Provisions --Year-Long Extension Contains No Privacy Or Civil Liberties Safeguards (ACLU) 25 Feb 2010 The House today passed a one-year extension of three expiring Patriot Act provisions without making much-needed changes to the overly broad surveillance bill. The provisions of the Patriot Act which were extended - the John Doe roving wiretap provision, Section 215 or the "library records" provision and the never before used "lone wolf" provision - all lack proper privacy safeguards. The Senate passed the extension by voice vote late last night.
DHS E-Verify Program Flawed --The Department of Homeland Security's online verification system wrongly identifies unauthorized workers more than half the time. 26 Feb 2010 Government system employers can use to check a potential hire's eligibility to work in the U.S. accurately flags unauthorized workers less than half the time, according to a research report. A report from Westat found that the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system inaccurately identifies workers unauthorized for employment in the U.S. as authorized 54 percent of the time.
They can't dump the sh*t fast enough! County to Hold Swine Flu "Super Saturday" 26 Feb 2010 (MD) For the second time this winter, Baltimore County health officials are holding free H1N1 vaccine clinics at 16 different locations Saturday. As part of "Super Saturday II," there will also be a mobile clinic at the health department's Drumcastle location at 6401 York Road. The county is testing the possibility of having a mobile clinic to offer free seasonal flu vaccines. [See: H1N1 shot blamed for Calgary woman's rare disorder 24 Feb 2010 A Calgary woman regrets getting the H1N1 shot after her doctor told her it likely caused a rare and painful disorder.]
Toyota Accelerators are wireless! By stopmk 26 Feb 2010 OK, this whole Toyota thing has bugged me since the beginning. First, they blamed it on bad driving, then floormats, then sticky accelerator assy. Each time, I've raised the BS flag... My suspicions were confirmed when I started searching for wireless throttle assy. Believe me, they don't want this known. Why? Because the military/homeland security is using a wireless signal technology they don't want us to know about. At first, all I could find was Toyota saying that a signal is sent from pedal to control computer, called the ETCS(i) which is outlined in this class action lawsuit. And yes, this dates back to 2002. I searched schematics, forums, nothing would tell me HOW the signal is being sent. And plenty of people have asked the question. Then, I found this... [and this]. Proof that Toyota is not driving by wire but wireless! Cable is expensive, so the savings were probably a bunch.
Oversight chair accuses Toyota of withholding court documents, keeping secret 'Books of Knowledge' 26 Feb 2010 Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee -- which heard testimony from Toyota President Akio Toyoda earlier this week -- accused the company of withholding documents that they were legally required to turn over in liability lawsuits. The documents came from former top U.S. Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller, who is locked in a legal war with Toyota. Biller says he is a whistleblower and has documents that prove that Toyota refused to hand over documents that could have harmed the company in cases in which customers were suing Toyota because of accidents.
Rioters Clash with Police in Streets South of UC Berkeley 26 Feb 2010 A crowd of more than 200 people swarmed the streets of Southside early Friday morning in a riot involving six law enforcement agencies, runaway dumpsters, flaming trash cans, shattered windows and violent clashes between rioters and police. What began as a dance party on Upper Sproul Plaza led to an occupation of Durant Hall at around 11:15 p.m. Thursday to raise support for the March 4 statewide protest in support of public education.
Ex-Klan wizard's son sues Palm Beach County GOP for party seat 18 Feb 2010 The son of a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard on Wednesday sued the Palm Beach County Republican Party, asking a judge to force it to seat him on the party's executive committee. Although Derek Black captured roughly 60 percent of the votes in the August 2008 primary election, the party refused to let him assume the post. It claims he failed to sign a loyalty oath. In the lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, Black claims the party changed the deadline about when such oaths have to be signed but didn't publish the new rules.
Rogers Resignation: Phony GOP Outrage Over WH Security Breach --White House social secretary Desiree Rogers to resign 26 Feb 2010 White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, a friend of President Obama's from Chicago, is leaving her job to return to the private sector, the White House said Friday. Rogers's tenure as the top party and events planner for the administration was marred by the Salahi gate-crashing incident, in which a Virginia couple managed to enter the White House grounds during Obama's first state dinner in November. [No. It was 'marred by' GOP efforts to get her fired. Hypocritical, racist GOPers 'outraged' by the security breach at the White House -- and phony concern for Obama's safety -- i.e., Rep. Pete King (R-NY), staunchly defended tea partiers who sported firearms at town hall meetings where President Obama was speaking only yards away. --Lori Price]
Paterson Drops Out of Governor Race 26 Feb 2010 (NY) Gov. David A. Paterson announced Friday afternoon that he was ending his election campaign and will not run in November. Mr. Paterson, whose administration is caught up in a whirlwind of allegations about its intervention in a domestic violence episode involving a top aide, ended his campaign less than a week after it officially began. But he defiantly denied any wrongdoing in the scandal over his involvement in the abuse case.
Fannie Seeks $15.3 Billion in Aid After 10th Loss 26 Feb 2010 Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance company under federal conservatorship, said it will seek $15.3 billion in aid [bailout $] from the U.S. Treasury after posting a 10th straight quarterly loss. A fourth-quarter net loss of $16.3 billion, or $2.87 a share, pushed the company to request its fifth draw on an unlimited lifeline from the government, Washington-based Fannie Mae said in a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Lone senator blocks unemployment benefit extensions 27 Feb 2010 The Senate adjourned Friday without approving extensions of cash and health insurance benefits for the unemployed, as well as a handful of other federal programs that run out Sunday, after a lone senator insisted that Congress pay for the $10 billion package. Retiring Republican Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky led a spirited Senate debate with Democrats over the issue, at one time cursing while another senator spoke on the floor Thursday night.
Weiner: GOP Is 'Wholly Owned Subsidiary of the Insurance Industry' By Ryan Grim 24 Feb 2010 The Republican Party is "a wholly owned subsidiary of the insurance industry," Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) charged on the House floor. When Republican Rep. Dan Lungren (Calif.) objected to the accusation and took the extraordinary step of asking that Weiner's "words be taken down," Weiner pushed back. "You really don't want to go here, Mr. Lungren," Weiner said. Asking that words be taken down is a move on the House floor that is rarely made and carries great weight. Weiner, after a pause, asked to have his words withdrawn and said he'd substitute new ones. "Make no mistake about it. Every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry," Weiner clarified.
Afflicting the Afflicted By Paul Krugman 26 Feb 2010 In reality, House Republicans don’t have anything to offer to Americans with troubled medical histories. On the contrary, their big idea -- allowing unrestricted competition across state lines -- would lead to a race to the bottom. The states with the weakest regulations -- for example, those that allow insurance companies to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence -- would set the standards for the nation as a whole. The result would be to afflict the afflicted, to make the lives of Americans with pre-existing conditions even harder... Under the Republican plan, the American health care system would become even more brutal than it is now.
Huge iceberg breaks off Antarctica 26 Feb 2010 Scientists say a vast iceberg weighing billions of tonnes which broke off the Antarctic continent this month poses a potential threat to the circulation of the world's oceans. They say the 2,500 square kilometre iceberg, floating south of Australia, could block an area that produces a quarter of the world's dense and very cold seawater, known as bottom water. This water drives ocean currents, and scientists say weather patterns could be affected in decades to come.
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