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


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

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April 2007 Archives

Senate bill would tie global warming to national security --Seeks assessments by CIA, Pentagon 09 Apr 2007 The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue.

Bush Warns of Shortfalls In Iraq Funding [Yeah, Halliburton may not get its $72 M bonus this year.] The Pentagon will have to transfer money from other accounts to pay for military operations in Iraq because of delays by congressional Democrats to fund the effort, US President [sic] George W Bush said Tuesday. "The clock is ticking for our troops in the field," Bush said before a group of military veterans in Fairfax, Virginia. [No, the "ticking" that you hear is the time you have left before you're tried, convicted and sentenced for treason. --LRP]
Lest we forget...

 

Memo: Halliburton failed to purify GIs' water --Internal report says contamination could've caused 'mass sickness or death.' 16 Mar 2006 Halliburton Co. failed to protect the water supply it is paid to purify for U.S. soldiers throughout Iraq, in one instance missing contamination that could have caused "mass sickness or death," an internal company report concluded.

Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens 14 Dec 2003 The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported on Friday... The Pentagon reported finding "blood all over the floor," "dirty pans," "dirty grills," "dirty salad bars" and "rotting meats ... and vegetables" in four of the military messes the company operates in Iraq, NBC said, citing Pentagon documents.

Halliburton gets $72 million bonus for work in Iraq 10 May 2005 The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had awarded $72 million in bonuses to Halliburton Co. for logistics work in Iraq but had not decided whether to give the Texas company bonuses for disputed dining services [!!!!!] to troops. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Illinois, said in a statement it had given Halliburton unit Kellogg Brown & Root ratings from "excellent" to "very good" for six task orders for work supporting U.S. troops in Iraq.

'Iraq was awash in cash. We played football with bricks of $100 bills' 20 Mar 2006 At the beginning of the Iraq war, the UN entrusted $23bn of Iraqi money to the US-led occupation to redevelop the country. With the infrastructure of the country still in ruins, where has all that money gone?

Iraq Looms Closer for 13,000 Reservists 10 Apr 2007 As many as 13,000 National Guard soldiers from Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma got an official heads-up yesterday that they should expect possible deployment to Iraq by year’s end or in 2008, sooner than scheduled.

4 U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq 10 Apr 2007 Three U.S. soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, and another was killed in combat in Anbar province, the military said Tuesday.

16 U.S. Soldiers Wounded in Baghdad 10 Apr 2007 U.S. and Iraqi soldiers fought a daylong battle with 'insurgents' in a violent area of central Baghdad on Tuesday, leaving four Iraqi soldiers dead and 16 U.S. soldiers wounded, the military said.

Woman bomber kills 16 at police station 11 Apr 2007 A woman veiled in black and strapped with explosives blew herself up outside a police station in Iraq, killing at least 16 people, many of them volunteering to join the police force.

Shia leader calls for more attacks on US troops as car bomb kills 17 09 Apr 2007 Thousands of Shia protesters converged on the Iraqi city of Najaf last night for an anti-US rally on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. The Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, in a statement distributed in the city, urged Iraqi police and army to stop co-operating with the US, and urged his militia to step up attacks and force the US to withdraw.

"We'll leave when asked." (GW Bush) --"Get out! Get out, occupier!" Shiites Call for U.S. to Leave Iraq --By Mark Yannone 09 Apr 2007 (AP) Tens of thousands of Shiites--a sea of women in black abayas and men waving Iraqi flags--rallied Monday to demand that U.S. forces leave their country. Some ripped apart American flags and tromped across a Stars and Stripes rug . . . And the head of al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc, Nassar al-Rubaie, blasted the U.S. presence as an affront to "the dignity of the Iraqi people. "After four years of occupation, we have hundreds of thousands of people dead and wounded."

Huge Protest in Iraq Demands U.S. Withdraw 10 Apr 2007 Tens of thousands of protesters loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the Shiite cleric, took to the streets of the holy city of Najaf on Monday in an extraordinarily disciplined rally to demand an end to the American military presence in Iraq, burning American flags and chanting "Death to America!"

Ban on 'war stories' follows day of retreat at Whitehall 10 Apr 2007 The government performed a spectacular U-turn yesterday when it banned all military personnel from selling their stories to the media - only hours after defending the right of the Iranian hostages to do so. Facing a storm of criticism from dead soldiers' relatives, opposition politicians and even the head of the army, Des Brown, the Defence Secretary, made his announcement yesterday afternoon.

Injured troops shipped back into battle --Salon has uncovered further evidence that the military sent soldiers with acute post-traumatic stress disorder, severe back injuries and other serious war wounds back to Iraq. By Mark Benjamin 09 Apr 2007 On March 9, Army Spc. Thomas Smith was ordered to board a plane from Fort Benning, Ga., to deploy back to Iraq, even though he was known to be suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous tour there... Smith's medical records, obtained by Salon, also show that doctors had "highly recommended" that Smith not be deployed because of his condition. But that did not stop Smith's commanders from ordering him to Iraq as his unit, the 3,900-strong 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, was rushing to move out as part of President [sic] Bush's so-called surge plan for securing Baghdad.

Medical Budget Cuts Hit --Top Docs Blast Phony Health Budget 'Efficiencies' 30 Mar 2007 The surgeons general of Army, Navy and Air Force have criticized defense officials for imposing $650 million in phony "efficiency wedges" on their medical budgets which will not produce real efficiencies but will only mean cuts in on-base medical services for beneficiaries.

Extremists force women to hide under head scarves 10 Apr 2007 For two years, Faiza Abdal-Majeed has carried a head scarf in her purse for emergencies. For a woman in the Iraqi capital four years after the fall of president Saddam Hussein, these emergencies can include passing unlawful checkpoints manned by [US] armed militiamen, impromptu forays through neighborhoods controlled by religious zealots and taxi drivers who refuse her fare unless she covers her hair. "Some clerics and politicians are forcing religion into our lives," said Mrs. Abdal-Majeed, 45. "We're being pushed back 1,000 years in time." Baghdad once [under Saddam Hussein] was considered a secular, cosmopolitan metropolis where Islamic customs seldom collided with women's fashion. Today, however, religious ideology has strengthened its grip and forced half the population to submit to traditional Islamic dress.

Bush's 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' for women: "We're being pushed back 1,000 years in time." Iraqi women forced to dress traditionally 10 Apr 2007 Religious extremists in Iraq have tightened their grasp on women's rights and wardrobes, women in the country say. During the era of Saddam Hussein, women were free to dress as they wished but now most women wear Islamic hajib, including a headscarf and long, dark skirts, the newspaper reported.

Guantánamo Bay inmates in mass hunger strike over new solitary cells 10 Apr 2007 Inmates at Guantánamo Bay have embarked on a mass hunger strike in protest at the isolation and harsh conditions of a new maximum security unit, detainee lawyers and military officials said yesterday. Thirteen inmates have refused food since the authorities at Guantánamo began transferring detainees in December to the new [KBR-built] $38m (£19m) Camp Six, where inmates are locked in windowless cells with steel walls for 23 hours a day. All 13 are now being force-fed under a regime that has been widely criticised by human rights groups.

Hunger strikers are force-fed at Guantanamo 10 Apr 2007 Thirteen detainees are on hunger strike at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and are being force-fed through tubes, the US Navy said on Monday. "Currently, there are 13 hunger strikers at Guantanamo. Two of the 13 have been on hunger strike since August 2005. Most of the others began their hunger strike in January or February," navy Commander Robert Durand said.

US dismisses inmate torture claims 11 Apr 2007 A US federal court judge has refused to dismiss terrorism charges against alleged al-Qaeda operative Jose Padilla who says he was tortured while held at a US military brig for more than three-and-a-half years.

Judge Rejects Padilla Torture Argument 10 Apr 2007 A federal judge refused to dismiss terrorism charges against Jose Padilla over claims that the alleged al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] operative was tortured in U.S. military custody, removing one of the last major obstacles to the start of his trial next week.

Freed Iranian diplomat claims he was tortured by the CIA in Iraq 09 Apr 2007 Friction between Iran and the US has taken a new twist after an Iranian diplomat [Jalal Sharafi] having been seized in Iraq and held for two months accused the CIA of torturing him during his captivity.

US expert rejects Iran nuke claims 10 Apr 2007 An arms control expert from the United States has dismissed Iran's claim that it is enriching uranium on an "industrial" scale. Michael Levi from the US-based Council on Foreign Relations says... Tehran's latest claims about its production capacity are simply not credible. "There is not a single expert out there who will say this is an industrial capacity," he said. "If the [Natanz uranium enrichment plant] worked perfectly as installed right now, it would still take 10 years to produce enough material to operate Iran's nuclear plan for one single year."

Another step towards a showdown with America 10 Apr 2007 Iran's announcement yesterday that it has started enriching uranium on an industrial scale further raises the stakes in its confrontation with the US and the UN Security Council, and brings it closer to a possible military showdown with Washington.

Australia special forces going back to Afghanistan 10 Apr 2007 Australia is sending special forces commandos back to Afghanistan to hunt down the leaders of the resurgent Taliban as part of a doubling of Australia's troop numbers there, Prime Minister John Howard said on Tuesday.

Taleban kill Afghanistan reporter 08 Apr 2007 The Taleban in Afghanistan have killed an Afghan reporter abducted last month with an Italian journalist. The group said it had killed Ajmal Naqshbandi because the government had refused to meet its demands to release senior figures from prison.

Bush, Defense Dept. Get 'Muzzle' Awards 10 Apr 2007 The Bush administration and the Defense Department are among the winners of the 2007 Jefferson Muzzle awards, given Tuesday by a free-speech group to those it considers the most egregious First Amendment violators in the past year [century].

Access Denied By Mark Yannone 10 Apr 2007 "Have you been in any peace marches, Professor Murphy? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that." "No, but last year I gave a lecture at Princeton that criticized George Bush for violating the United States Constitution." "That'll do it."

Six U.S. Attorneys Given 2nd Posting in Washington 10 Apr 2007 A half-dozen sitting U.S. attorneys also serve as aides to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales or are assigned other Washington postings, performing tasks that take them away from regular duties in their districts for months or even years at a time, according to officials and department records. Acting Associate Attorney General William W. Mercer, for example, has been effectively absent from his job as U.S. attorney in Montana for nearly two years -- prompting the chief federal judge in Billings to demand his removal and call Mercer's office "a mess."

House Panel Subpoenas Gonzales for Documents 10 Apr 2007 The House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today seeking hundreds of pages of new or uncensored records related to the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year, officials said.

GOP-issued laptops now a White House headache --Democrats say a private e-mail system was used in violation of federal rules. 09 Apr 2007 When Karl Rove and his top deputies arrived at the White House in 2001, the Republican National Committee provided them with laptop computers and other communication devices to be used alongside their government-issued equipment [so they could more effectively plan and manage the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2004 coup]. Democrats say evidence suggests the RNC e-mail system was used for political and government policy matters in violation of federal record preservation and disclosure rules. In addition, Democrats point to a handful of e-mails obtained through ongoing inquiries suggesting the system may have been used to conceal such activities as contacts with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was convicted on bribery charges and is now in prison for fraud.

Clinton, Obama join Edwards in skipping Fox-sponsored presidential debate 10 Apr 2007 Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will not participate in a Democratic debate co-hosted by Faux News Channel this fall, campaign aides indicated Monday. The decision by the two Democratic presidential candidates follows an announcement last week by John Edwards, another White House contender, that he would forgo the Fox event.

Obama not in race for second place 11 Apr 2007 US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama dismissed the notion he might consider accepting the No. 2 spot on the 2008 ballot — with Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top. "You don't run for second. I don't believe in that," the Illinois senator said on the talk show Late Show with David Letterman.

Elizabeth Edwards afraid of neighbor 09 Apr 2007 Elizabeth Edwards says she is scared of the "rabid, rabid Republican" [terrorist] who owns property across the street from her Orange County home -- and she doesn't want her kids going near the gun-toting neighbor.

Wal-Mart secures gag order in security scandal --Fired employee can't talk to press about company's spying operations 09 Apr 2007 Wal-Mart has won a gag order to stop a fired security operative from talking to reporters after a string of revelations about the retailer’s large surveillance operations and its business plans, according to court papers made public on Monday.

Bush Would Veto Stem Cell Research 10 Apr 2007 President [sic] Bush [a stem cell himself] will again veto a bill to subsidize stem cell research using human embryos, but would sign an alternative that permits public funding for studies on embryos incapable of developing into fetuses, the White House said Tuesday.

Pet food insider sold shares before recall --CFO calls sale a 'horrible coincidence' 10 Apr 2007 The chief financial officer of Menu Foods Income Fund says it's a "horrible coincidence" that he sold nearly half his units in the troubled pet food maker less than three weeks before a massive recall of tainted pet food. Insider trading reports show that Mark Wiens sold 14,000 units for $102,900 on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27. Those shares would be worth $62,440 today, based on yesterday's close of $4.46 a unit.

Tainted Food May Have Hurt 39,000 Pets 09 Apr 2007 Pet [GM?] food contaminated with an industrial chemical may have sickened or killed 39,000 cats and dogs nationwide, based on an extrapolation from data released Monday by one of the nation's largest chains of veterinary hospitals.

Radio Host Imus Suspended by MSNBC, CBS for Two Weeks 10 Apr 2007 Radio host Don Imus was suspended for two weeks [from CBS Radio and cable-television channel MSNBC] because of his racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

Quick vote: Should WFAN host Don Imus be fired for his racist remarks about Rutgers women's basketball team? 54.3% Yes (6376 responses) 45.7% No (5375 responses) 11751 total responses [Poll snapshot: 17:25 EDT 10 Apr 2007]

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'The enemy [US] used neutron and phosphorus weapons against Baghdad airport... there were bodies burnt to their bones.' US accused of using neutron bombs in Iraq 09 Apr 2007 The former commander of Iraq's Republican Guard has accused the US of using non-conventional weapons in its war against the Middle East country. Saifeddin Fulayh Hassan Taha al-Rawi told Al Jazeera that US forces used neutron and phosphorus bombs during their assault on Baghdad airport before the April 9 capture of the Iraqi capital... "The enemy used neutron and phosphorus weapons against Baghdad airport... there were bodies burnt to their bones," he said.

Iraq most wanted footage aired 09 Apr 2007 The Al-Jazeera news channel broadcast a video recording overnight of what it said was one of the most wanted members of Saddam Hussein's regime still on the run. The Qatar-based network gave no date for the purported footage of elite Republican Guards chief Saifeddin Fulayh Hassan Taha al-Rawi, who was number 14 on the most wanted list drawn up by the US military for the 2003 invasion... In the footage shown, Rawi accuses US forces of using neutron and phosphorus bombs during their assault on Baghdad airport ahead of the capture of the Iraqi capital. [See: Aljazeera Arabic: U.S used neutron bombs in 2003 Baghdad Airport battle 08 Apr 2007]

New regime bans vehicles in Baghdad on anniversary of fall of old regime --Four US soldiers killed by roadside bomb in Diyala as violent attacks leave 32 Iraqis dead. 09 Apr 2007 Baghdad on Sunday declared a 24-hour vehicle ban on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in a bid to prevent car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital. On Sunday, eve of the anniversary, the daily bloodshed showed no let-up with at least 23 people killed in attacks including car bombings.

Iraqis burn US flags on Baghdad fall anniversary --Sadr calls on Iraqis to protest US occupation of Iraqi four years after fall of Saddam Hussein. 09 Apr 2007 Hundreds of thousands of Shiites burned and trampled on US flags on Monday as they gathered in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf for an anti-American rally called by firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Iraqis Protest to Mark Baghdad's Fall 09 Apr 2007 Tens of thousands draped themselves in Iraqi flags and marched peacefully through the streets of two Shiite holy cities Monday to mark the fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall. Demonstrators were flanked by two cordons of police as they called for U.S. forces to leave, shouting "Get out, get out occupier!"

Officials: Attacks on Green Zone increasing 07 Apr 2007 Rocket and mortar attacks against Baghdad’s Green Zone have increased in the past three weeks after a period of relative quiet [?], two American military security personnel in the zone said recently. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Paul Riffle, the senior enlisted member of the International Zone Police, said there had been six or seven separate attacks on the heavily fortified area of central Baghdad in the previous 10 days alone...

10 U.S. Troops Die in Iraq; 6 on Sunday 08 Apr 2007 The U.S. military announced the weekend deaths of 10 American soldiers, including six killed on Sunday. Security remained so tenuous in the capital on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the U.S. 'capture' of Baghdad that Iraq's military declared a 24-hour ban on all vehicles in the capital from 5 a.m. Monday.

Explosion near Iraqi hospital kills at least 15 08 Apr 2007 A pickup truck loaded with artillery shells exploded on Sunday near a hospital south of Baghdad, killing at least 15 people. The blast left a crater 10 metres wide, the Iraqi military said.

Australia pays $260,000 in Iraqi 'blood money' 08 Apr 2007 The federal government has paid over $260,000 to Iraqis as compensation for claims of personal harm or hardship caused by Australian soldiers. At least 45 payments of up to $90,000 have been made, usually in wads of US dollars, to Iraqi civilians in so-called act of grace payments by the Defence Department, according to newspaper reports.

Churchgoers get a grisly message 07 Apr 2007 As parishioners were filing into Parnell's Holy Trinity Cathedral yesterday, Father Peter Murnane waited outside, showing images of deformed Iraqi children. Father Murnane has been protesting against depleted uranium weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the pre-Easter season of Lent outside the United States consulate in Auckland.

Experts bash Bush: Pullout won't bring 'enemy' to U.S. 08 Apr 2007 It's become President [sic] Bush's mantra, his main explanation for why he won't withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq anytime soon. In speech after speech, in statement after statement, Bush insists that "this is a war in which, if we were to leave before the job is done, the enemy would follow us here." The line... suggests a chilling picture of warfare on America's streets. But is it true? Military and diplomatic analysts say it isn't. They accuse Bush of exaggerating the threat that enemy forces in Iraq pose to the U.S. mainland.

Iraqi Details 'Shocking' U.S. Missteps 08 Apr 2007 In a rueful reflection on what might have been, an Iraqi government insider [Ali A. Allawi] details in 500 pages the U.S. occupation's "shocking" mismanagement of his country [Yeah, this one, too] - a performance so bad, he writes, that by 2007 Iraqis had "turned their backs on their would-be liberators."

Pope: 'Nothing Positive' From Iraq 08 Apr 2007 In an Easter litany of the world's suffering, Pope Benedict XVI lamented that "nothing positive" is happening in Iraq and decried the unrest in Afghanistan and bloodshed in Africa and Asia.

Army Is Cracking Down on Deserters 09 Apr 2007 Army prosecutions of desertion and other unauthorized absences have risen sharply in the last four years, resulting in thousands more negative discharges and prison time for both junior soldiers and combat-tested veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army records show.

Levin: Senate Won't Withhold Iraq Funds 08 Apr 2007 The Senate will not stop paying for the Iraq war nor relent from insisting that President [sic] Bush keep pressing the Baghdad government for a negotiated end to the violence, a Democratic leader said Sunday.

Cost of Iraq War Filters Down to States And Cities 08 Apr 2007 The cost of the Iraq war is filtering down to state and local budgets, forcing cuts in transportation funding, Medicaid, education and other federally subsidized programs, according to analysts and lawmakers.

12 Guantánamo detainees on hunger strikes are being force-fed 08 Apr 2007 A long-term hunger strike has broken out at the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, with more than a dozen detainees subjecting themselves to daily force-feeding to protest their treatment, military officials and lawyers for the detainees said. The 13 detainees now on hunger strikes is the highest number to endure the force-feeding regimen on an extended basis since early 2006, when the military broke a long-running strike with a new policy of strapping prisoners into "restraint chairs" while they are fed by plastic tubes inserted through their nostrils.

Guantanamo Hunger Strikes At Yearlong High 09 Apr 2007 Thirteen inmates at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are current engaged in hunger strikes, which is believed to be the highest number of prisoners refusing nourishment in a year, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Active CIA terror cells operate inside Iran 08 Apr 2007 The U.S. has long been believed to be secretly funding separatist and radical groups to create chaos inside Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the government to give up its nuclear programme.

Britain suspends Persian Gulf patrols 09 Apr 2007 Britain has talked of suspending all its patrolling operations in the northern Persian Gulf, following Iran's capture of 15 British sailors. During an interview with the BBC, Admiral Jonathon Band, head of the British Navy, said the navy has suspended its inspection operations of the suspect vessels, adding that the whole practice will be subject to a "complete review."

Iran's uranium enrichment enters "industrial level" 09 Apr 2007 Iran has entered an "industrial stage" in its production of nuclear fuel, the head of the country’s atomic energy program announced on Monday.

Iran Expands Uranium Enrichment 09 Apr 2007 Iran announced Monday that it has begun enriching uranium with 3,000 centrifuges, defiantly expanding a nuclear program that has drawn U.N. sanctions and condemnation from the West. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony at the enrichment facility at Natanz that Iran was now capable of enriching nuclear fuel "on an industrial scale."

Six Canadians killed in Afghan bomb blast 09 Apr 2007 Six Canadian soldiers were killed and two wounded in southern Afghanistan on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb. The Canadian defence ministry said the incident happened west of Kandahar.

Afghanistan Blasts Kill 7 NATO Soldiers 08 Apr 2007 Roadside bombs in southern Afghanistan on Sunday left seven NATO soldiers dead, the alliance said, as its forces continued an anti-Taliban offensive in the world's most fertile opium-producing region.

Hamas gives Israel soldier swap list 09 Apr 2007 Israel received a list of names of Palestinian detainees Hamas wants to be released in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza resistance fighters last June, a spokesman for Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniya said.

Israel reviews names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners --Efforts to free soldier progress 09 Apr 2007 Israel is reviewing the names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners that Gaza militants want released in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier, security officials said yesterday, signaling a possible breakthrough in efforts to win the young man's freedom.

US Navy builds Stingray-esque base in Indian Ocean --Frogmen, mini-subs to operate from nuke motherships 07 Apr 2007 Reports have emerged that the US Navy is upgrading its submarine base at the isolated tropical atoll Diego Garcia, which is formally British territory. The base improvements will allow its new class of SSGN nuclear submarines to operate from Diego Garcia, which is potentially noteworthy.

Revolution, flashmobs, and brain chips. A grim vision of the future 09 Apr 2007 Information chips implanted in the brain. Electromagnetic pulse weapons. The middle classes becoming revolutionary, taking on the role of Marx's proletariat. [Hopefully!] The population of countries in the Middle East increasing by 132%, while Europe's drops as fertility falls. "Flashmobs" - groups rapidly mobilised by criminal gangs or terrorists groups.

First Amendment Defense Is Pursued in Hezbollah TV Case 09 Apr 2007 Two men charged with attempting to broadcast Hezbollah television say the First Amendment protects them from being prosecuted for supporting terrorism. Whether the case against Javed Iqbal of Staten Island and Saleh Elahwal of New Jersey will grow into a major confrontation over the First Amendment is far from certain.

'Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.' Another Enemy of the People? By Mark Graber 08 Apr 2007 I am posting the below with the permission of Professor Walter F. Murphy, emeritus of Princeton University. For those who do not know, Professor Murphy is easily the most distinguished scholar of public law in political science. His works on both constitutional theory and judicial behavior are classics in the field... "On 1 March 07, I was scheduled to fly on American Airlines to Newark, NJ, to attend an academic conference at Princeton University... I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list... I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: 'Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.' I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. 'That'll do it,' the man said."

'Millions to rebel' over ID cards 08 Apr 2007 The government is predicting that some 15m people will revolt against Tony Blair’s controversial ID card scheme by refusing to produce the new cards or provide personal data on demand.

'He's not ready.' Gonzales Crams for a Senate Grilling 16 Apr 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has virtually wiped his public schedule clean to bone up for his long-awaited April 17 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee—a session widely seen as a crucial test as to whether he will survive the U.S. attorney mess... At a recent "prep" for a prospective Sunday talk-show interview, Gonzales's performance was so poor that top aides scrapped any live appearances. During the March 23 session in the A.G.'s conference room, Gonzales was grilled by a team of top aides and advisers... about what he knew about the plan to fire seven U.S. attorneys last fall. But Gonzales kept contradicting himself and "getting his timeline confused," said one participant who asked not to be identified talking about a private meeting. His advisers finally got "exasperated" with him, the source added.

Gingrich: Gonzales should weigh quitting 09 Apr 2007 Joining a growing list of Republicans, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should consider resigning. The possible presidential candidate said the botched firing of U.S. attorneys has destroyed Gonzales' credibility as the nation's top law enforcer.

Another Layer of Scandal (The New York Times ) 09 Apr 2007 As Congress investigates the politicization of the United States attorney offices by the Bush administration, it should review the extraordinary events the other day in a federal courtroom in Wisconsin. The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?

Bush hits new approval rating low 09 Apr 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush is setting a new record for low job approval rating with 62 percent of Americans giving him a failing grade. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll telephone survey of 1,008 adults taken Monday through Thursday, shows Bush's approval rating standing at 38 percent which has not changed for seven consecutive months.

Imus: 'Embarrassed' by racial comments 09 Apr 2007 Calling himself "a good person" who made a bad mistake, radio host Don Imus [the Ignoramus] said Monday he would check his acid tongue after being lambasted for making 'racially charged' comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. [No, not 'racially charged' --racist period. --LRP]

Quick action! CNN Poll: Should Don Imus' apology be enough to end the controversy over his remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team? [Left-hand side of page] Yes 55% 14026 votes No 45% 11325 votes Total: 25351 votes [CNN has phrased the wording so that people vote to 'end the controversy,' but Imus the Ignoramus needs to be *fired!*]

Good eats at no cost for Pennsylvania state senators --Records reveal catered lunches, expensive dinners on taxpayers' tab; Democrats spent much more freely than Republicans 08 Apr 2007 Senate Democrats regularly feasted on salmon cakes, gourmet bread, grilled shrimp and pork tenderloin last session. On the day before 2005's infamous middle-of-the-night pay raise, Democratic Leader Robert Mellow treated his staff to a catered breakfast -- served on china for a $45 extra charge. Senators get a $146 per diem for lodging and meals in Harrisburg, but receipts filed with the Senate chief clerk indicate members also availed themselves of numerous additional options for dining at public expense.

AP: 1.4M Pa. Warrants Pending 08 Apr 2007 Pennsylvania's new statewide computer system makes it possible for the first time to put a number on how many warrants remain unserved across the state - 1.4 million, including more than 100 for homicide, The Associated Press has found.

Unprovoked Beatings of Homeless Soaring 08 Apr 2007 A 2006 report by the National Coalition for the Homeless found 142 attacks last year against homeless people, 20 of which resulted in death - a 65 percent increase from 2005, when 86 were violently assaulted, including 13 homicides.

Occidental CEO got more than $400 million in 2006 08 Apr 2007 Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s chairman and chief executive took in more than $400 million in compensation last year, the company said in a filing, one of the biggest single-year payouts in U.S. corporate history.

U.S. gas prices jump 18 cents in 2 weeks 08 Apr 2007 The average cost of self-serve regular gasoline rose about 18 cents per gallon nationwide over the past two weeks, according to a survey released Sunday.

Stanford's deal with Exxon Mobil raised concerns By Jennifer Washburn 08 Apr 2007 The alliance between the oil giant BP and the University of California, Berkeley, stands out because of its $500 million price tag, its commercial scope and the potential for BP to exert excessive influence over the academic research. But it isn't an isolated case. The second largest such partnership is a 10-year, $225-million deal Stanford University signed with Exxon Mobil and other energy firms in 2002 to fund a Global Climate and Energy Project.

Scientists Approve Global Warming Report --North America Can Expect More Hurricanes, Floods, Droughts, Heat Waves and Wildfires 08 Apr 2007 An international global warming conference approved a report Friday warning of dire threats to the Earth and to mankind -- from increased hunger to the extinction of species -- unless the world adapts to climate change and halts its progress.

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Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation. [*Credit* isn't the word that immediately springs to mind.] Plug it in, fire it up, Mr. President --Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation. 07 Apr 2007 Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President [sic] Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Thief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank. "I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen."

'The situation today is a hundred times worse.' Iraqis Wish to Put up Saddam's Statue 07 Apr 2007 Iraqis who once celebrated and even participated in pulling down Saddam Hussein's statue four years ago when US tanks rolled into Baghdad in a heart-breaking scene for many Arabs and Muslims are now lamenting the good old days under the late president.

Iranian diplomat claims he was tortured by CIA agents 07 Apr 2007 The Iranian diplomat released this week after being abducted in Iraq said that he had been tortured by CIA agents, the official IRNA news agency reported on Saturday. Jalal Sharafi "explained how he was kidnapped and tortured by American troops and agents of an Iraqi organization acting under the supervision of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)," IRNA said. Signs of torture were evident on Sharafi's body and he "is now undergoing medical treatment," IRNA said.

TV interview 'tipped off' Iran about ship's intelligence role 08 Apr 2007 Iranian intelligence officers told the 15 British captives they first became suspicious about their activities after watching an interview with one of them on British television. On 13 March - 10 days before the 15 were seized - Channel 5 broadcast an interview with Captain Chris Air, one of the captured Royal Marines... In the footage that was held back, Air confirmed the ship was engaged in collecting information on the Iranians from passing shipping traffic. 'It's partly a hearts and minds type patrol,' Air said. 'Secondly, it's to gather int [intelligence]... obviously we're right by the buffer zone with Iran.' The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.

Iran says British sailors 'pressured' 08 Apr 2007 An advisor to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied that 15 British sailors and marines seized by Iran had been mistreated, saying they had made such claims under pressure from their superiors. "The mistreatment of the sailors is a lie," said Ali Akbar Javanfekr, top press spokesman for the President. "We envisioned that the 15 sailors would be subjected to pressure by British security and intelligence forces," he said.

Anger as hostages sell stories to highest bidders ['Stories' is right!] 08 Apr 2007 The 15 British military hostages released by Iran were accused last night of cashing in on the ordeal by selling their stories in a string of lucrative media deals. The former captives are expected to make around £250,000 between them. The development was criticised by politicians and relatives of victims killed in the Iraq war.

Britons held by Iran can sell stories to media 08 Apr 2007 The 15 sailors and marines held by Iran for 13 days will be allowed to sell their stories to the media, in a break with usual rules, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

Americans offered 'aggressive patrols' in Iranian airspace 07 Apr 2007 The US offered to take military action on behalf of the 15 British sailors and marines held by Iran, including buzzing Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions with warplanes, the Guardian has learned. In the first few days after the captives were seized... Pentagon officials offered their British counterparts a series of military options, a list which remains top secret given the mounting risk of war between the US and Iran. But one of the options was for US combat aircraft to mount aggressive patrols over Iranian Revolutionary Guard bases in Iran, to underline the seriousness of the situation. The British declined the offer and said the US could calm the situation by staying out of it. [LOL!]

Aides: Iraq PM Barred From Iran Airspace 07 Apr 2007 Iran refused to allow the [US-installed] Iraqi prime minister to fly across its airspace as he was traveling to Tokyo, members of the delegation traveling with Nouri al-Maliki told The Associated Press early Sunday.

Bombs, rockets seized in Iraqi lawmaker's home 07 Apr 2007 U.S. and Iraqi troops raided a house belonging to a Sunni political party in Baghdad and seized a large number of weapons, including bomb-making equipment and rockets, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

U.S. air strikes on Iraqi city kills six 07 Apr 2007 U.S. forces launched an air strike in Diwaniya on Saturday as U.S. and Iraqi troops fought for a second day to wrest control of the city from Shi'ite militias. A local hospital source and a resident said six people, including two children and a woman, were killed in the missile strike on a home in the centre of the city, 180 km (110 miles) south of Baghdad.

McCain says he misspoke in upbeat Baghdad comments 06 Apr 2007 U.S. Sen. John McCain said in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday he misspoke in his recent upbeat comments about security in Baghdad, where he traveled under heavy military protection.'

Trainee clerics in Guantanamo Bay protest 06 Apr 2007 Students training to become Church of Ireland ministers staged a Good Friday protest outside Dublin’s US embassy, calling for President [sic] George Bush to free the alleged terrorists from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Students from the Church of Ireland Theological College in Churchtown were joined by theology students from Trinity College Dublin and UCD at the embassy gates where they prayed for victims of what they claim is extraordinary rendition and torture by the US authorities. "Good Friday is the day when we remember as Christians that Jesus Christ was subjected to a secret trial, rendition, humiliation, torture and execution by the state, even when it knew he was innocent," said David McDonnell, a first year student at the Theological College.

They lived through 'conditions of confinement and interrogation tantamount to torture.' "My Name Used to Be 200343" By David Phinney 05 Apr 2007 A year ago, Donald Vance learned what its like to be falsely accused by the U.S. military of aiding terrorists. He was held without charge for more than three months in a high-security prison in Iraq, and interrogated daily after sleepless nights without legal counsel or even a phone call to his family... In a lawsuit now pending against former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and "other unidentified agents," Vance and Ertel accuse their U.S. government captors of subjecting them to psychological torture day and night.

7 Afghans dead in ambush on mine clearing workers 07 Apr 2007 Seven people were killed Saturday in western Afghanistan in an attack on Afghan employees of an American landmine clearing [?!?] company. Police believe the Taliban are behind the attack.

Fallen troops in Iraq, Afghanistan brought back on charter jets 07 Apr 2007 In an about-face by the U.S. government four years into the war in Iraq, America’s fallen troops are being brought back to their families aboard charter jets instead of ordinary commercial flights, and the caskets are being met by honor guards in white gloves instead of baggage handlers with forklifts.

President Carter: Bush Ordered Me Not to Go to Damascus By Scott Horton 06 Apr 2007 More evidence of the White House's partisan manipulation of relations with Syria emerged yesterday, as President Jimmy Carter told a gathering in New York about his recent request to visit Syrian President Assad. The former president stated: "I have known President Bashar al-Assad since he was a college student, and I thought it might be helpful if I went and urged him to support the peace process in the Middle East. But for the only time in my life as a former president, I was ordered by the White House not to go." The White House has had no criticism of three Republican Congressmen who are currently also visiting Syria.

Wai'anae gets tough on Army 07 Apr 2007 (HI) Wai'anae Coast residents are demanding that the military clean up thousands of tons of explosive and chemical munitions dumped off the Wai'anae Coast decades ago.

White House Looked Past Alarms on Kerik --Giuliani, Gonzales Pushed DHS Bid Forward 08 Apr 2007 When former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani urged President [sic] Bush to make Bernard B. Kerik the next secretary of homeland security... it did not take them long to compile an extensive dossier of damaging information about the would-be Cabinet officer. They learned about questionable financial deals, an ethics violation, allegations of mismanagement and a top deputy prosecuted for corruption. Most disturbing, according to people close to the process, was Kerik's friendship with a businessman who was linked to organized crime... Alarmed about the raft of allegations, several White House aides tried to raise red flags. But the normal investigation process was short-circuited, the sources said. Bush's top lawyer, Alberto R. Gonzales, took charge of the vetting, repeatedly grilling Kerik about the issues that had been raised.

Homeland Security Official Charged In 2nd Gun Case 07 Apr 2007 (MD) Keith A. Washington, the deputy homeland security director of Prince George's County who shot two furniture deliverymen this year, turned himself in to county police yesterday after being charged with pulling a gun on a real estate appraiser who said he mistakenly knocked on his door this week. Washington was charged yesterday morning with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and use of a handgun during a violent crime in connection with Thursday's incident at his house in Accokeek.

Bush official resigns in Gonzales row 07 Apr 2007 A Bush administration official [Monica Goodling] believed to have played a pivotal role in the scandal over sacked prosecutors resigned yesterday, further ratcheting up the pressure on the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, to stand down.

Britain delivers damning verdict on Blair's 10 years --Exclusive poll: public says PM has failed to improve country 08 Apr 2007 A remarkable picture of the way Tony Blair has lost the faith of British voters over his 10 years in power is revealed today by a comprehensive study of public attitudes towards the Prime Minister.

National action needed for Hawaii SCR 83 requesting impeachment By Matthew Lopresti 06 Apr 2007 [I suggested and helped] draft for the Hawaii State Senate, Senate Concurrent Resolution 83, requesting Congress to commence impeachment proceedings against the President and the Vice President of the United States. The deadline for this resolution to make it through the Hawaii State Judiciary and Labor Committee is Friday the 13th. Senator Clayton Hee is the chair and he decides whether or not it will be heard... Please send [a letter] to Sen. Hee at senhee@Capitol.hawaii.gov or call his office at 808-586-7330 and say something in favor of him hearing this resolution.

Venezuela's discount oil plan draws 700 more Vermonters 07 Apr 2007 About 700 more Vermont households participated in the discounted heating oil program offered by Citgo Petroleum Corp. of Venezuela this winter than last, according to the nonprofit that administers the program.

U.S. Eliminated Language on Emissions, Toned Down Climate Warnings 07 Apr 2007 Some sections of a grim scientific assessment of the impact of global warming on human, animal and plant life issued in Brussels yesterday were softened at the insistence of officials from China and the United States, participants in the negotiations said. In particular, U.S. negotiators managed to eliminate language in one section that called for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, said Patricia Romero Lankao, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., who was one of the report's lead authors.

How a tiny frog is a deadly portent of what awaits an overheating planet 07 Apr 2007 It is being pushed to the brink of extinction because the puddles in which it splashes for moisture are drying out. But the plight of the tiny harlequin frog has even more disturbing implications.

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Afghan President: I Met With Taliban 07 Apr 2007 President Hamid Karzai acknowledged for the first time Friday he has met with Taliban militants in attempts to bring peace to Afghanistan, which is struggling to quell a rising insurgency. Speaking at the news conference, Karzai, whose administration is increasingly unpopular because of insecurity in the south and east and continuing poverty, struck a conciliatory tone, urging Afghan militants to lay down weapons and join his government. "Afghan Taliban are always welcome, they belong to this country. ... They are the sons of this soil,'' Karzai said.

Hussein's Prewar Ties to Al-Qaeda Discounted --Pentagon Report Says Contacts Were Limited 06 Apr 2007 Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides "all confirmed" that Hussein's government was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday. [Gee, looks like the PentaPost is a little bit *too late.* 650 thousand dead Iraqi civilians...If Bush's trolls at the PentaPost had actually done *their jobs* instead of reporting to the DoD, the Iraqis would be alive and Bush would have been removed from the office (that he stole).]

Cheney Reasserts al-Qaida-Saddam Link 06 Apr 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein's Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

Blair: Deadly Iraq ambush may be linked to Iran 06 Apr 2007 Four British soldiers - including two women - died Thursday in an ambush that Prime Minister Tony Blair called an "act of terrorism" and suggested it may be linked to Iran, forcing him to "reflect" on Britain's relationship with the rogue regime. 'Rogue regime?' Uh, that would be the Bush dictatorship. Regardless, this is one for Mr. Hurl.

Chlorine Truck Bomber Kills 27 in Ramadi 06 Apr 2007 A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas crashed into a police checkpoint in western Ramadi on Friday, killing at least 27 people and wounding dozens, police in the Anbar provincial capital said. [Let's see. Who has access to TNT, chlorine gas, and a truck large enough to transport the explosives and the poison? 'Insurgents?' Uh, no. The US is using Weapons of Mass Destruction on Iraqis.]

70 killed in Iraq attacks 06 Apr 2007 Gunmen killed 18 Iraqi, British and American soldiers in attacks in Baghdad, Basra and near Mosul, officials said yesterday. At least 52 people were killed in shootings, bombings and mortar attacks, including 20 men whose bullet-riddled bodies were brought to the hospital in Baquba a day after they were abducted at an illegal checkpoint. [All of the checkpoints are illegal.]

Militants Kill 8 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq 05 Apr 2007 The U.S. military reported Thursday that eight U.S. soldiers were killed in the Baghdad area over the past three days as militants fought back against a security 'plan' in its eighth week [of failure].

U.S. Army medics train for "shock and horror" 05 Apr 2007 Army Lt. Col. Donald Robinson is no stranger to bloodshed. As a civilian he served as a trauma surgeon at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, a city so violent he says doctors call it the "Knife and Gun Club." Nothing in Camden could fully prepare him for what he saw as chief of surgical and critical care at the U.S. Army's premier medical facility in Iraq, however.

Iraqi detainee dies in US-run prison 06 Apr 2007 An Iraqi detainee at the US-run detention facility Camp Cropper near Baghdad airport died two days ago, the military reported on Friday. The detainee was pronounced dead on April 4 and an investigation is on to determine the cause of death, the military said.

U.S. Sought Other Iranians in Raid: Kurd 06 Apr 2007 American forces who captured five Iranians in the northern city of Irbil three months ago were really after commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards who were visiting Kurdish officials, the Kurdish leader [Massoud Barzani] said in remarks broadcast Saturday. ['Visiting Kurdish officials' --i.e., they were diplomats --illegally detained by the illegal Bush regime in a country the US is illegally occupying. --LRP]

Britain 'Humiliated By Iran' Over Hostages 05 Apr 2007 Britain has been "humiliated" by Iran over the hostage crisis - even as President Ahmadinejad promises to release our 15 captives, a leading analyst claimed today. Robert Bailey, a Middle East specialist, said that Iran had made Britain look "hapless" in front of their Arab neighbours, particularly Iraq.

Treatment in Iran Described by Britons 06 Apr 2007 The 15 British marines and sailors [spies] who were released by Iran on Thursday said today that they were "threatened" and subjected to "psychological pressure" before giving videotaped statements appearing to apologize for trespassing in Iranian waters. [See: 'We Gathered Intelligence' On Iranians --Captain and team were on 'Interaction Patrol' (Sky News) 05 Apr 2007 The captain in charge of the 15 marines detained in Iran has said they were gathering intelligence on the Iranians.

Freed Britons Say 'confessions' Coerced 07 Apr 2007 British sailors and marines freed by Iran said Friday they were blindfolded, isolated in cold stone cells and tricked into fearing execution while being coerced into falsely saying they had entered Iranian waters. [Oh, but --"confessions" obtained from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay --while waterboarded --weren't coerced?! LOL.]

Cheney criticizes Pelosi for Syria trip --He tells Rush Limbaugh that the House speaker has exhibited 'bad behavior.' 06 Apr 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney scolded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday for "bad behavior" in traveling to Syria, a country that he said promoted terrorism. In a conversation with fellow conservative Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh's radio show, Cheney belittled Pelosi's public statement after she met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Wednesday. [Cheney needs to go hunting with *himself.*]

Six killed by bomb near Afghanistan's parliament 06 Apr 2007 A suicide bomber killed six Afghans, including a policeman, in a blast near Afghanistan's parliament in Kabul, President Hamid Karzai says.

Airman injured in heat-beam test 06 Apr 2007 An airman received second-degree burns April 4 during a test of the Defense Department’s nonlethal [?!?] millimeter-wave heat beam at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., according to Marine Corps Maj. Sarah Fullwood, spokeswoman for the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator program, Quantico, Va.

Alternative Easter Egg Hunt Near White House to Use Fake Cluster Bombs 06 Apr 2007 Anti-war and human rights activists plan an unusual take on the Easter egg hunt by holding an Easter cluster-bomb hunt on Monday. Fake cluster bombs made by children will be scattered around Lafayette Park, north of the White House.

Researchers tested pot, LSD on Army volunteers 06 Apr 2007 Army doctors gave soldier volunteers synthetic marijuana, LSD and two dozen other psychoactive drugs during experiments aimed at developing chemical weapons that could incapacitate enemy soldiers, a psychiatrist [James Ketchum] who performed the research says in a new memoir.

Questions Linger About Bushes and BCCI By Lucy Komisar 04 Apr 2007 Now that the U.S. Congress is investigating the truth of President [sic] George W. Bush's statements about the Iraq war, they might look into one of his most startling assertions: that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden... There was a link, but not the one Bush was selling. The link between Hussein and Bin Laden was their banker, BCCI. But the link went beyond the dictator and the jihadist -- it passed through Saudi Arabia and stretched all the way to George W. Bush and his father.

Three charged over London bombings 06 Apr 2007 Three suspects were charged on Thursday in connection with the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings in London which killed 52 commuters, prosecutors and police said.

Did the FBI Flub a Major Terror Investigation? 06 Apr 2007 FBI agents downplayed evidence of burgeoning cooperation between a domestic white supremacist group and an Islamic terrorist supporter, documents reviewed by ABC News show. By curtailing its undercover investigation of the two groups, the bureau lost a "golden opportunity" to infiltrate a potentially deadly union between two violent radical organizations, according to a former FBI agent involved with the case.

Indian Point Nuclear Plant Stable After Explosion 06 Apr 2007 (NY) Investigators are working to determine the cause of Friday's explosion and fire on the grounds of the Indian Point nuclear 'energy center.' The incident forced the shut down of the Indian Point 3 nuclear reactor, and caused plant owner Entergy Nuclear Northeast to issue a "notice of unusual event." [?!?]

Russia bans W. Va. poultry for bird flu 05 Apr 2007 Russia has imposed a temporary ban on poultry products imported from West Virginia after turkeys at a Pendleton County farm tested positive for bird flu.

Georgia Thompson acquitted, set free 06 Apr 2007 In a stunning reversal, a federal court of appeals struck down a state worker's fraud conviction that Wisconsin Republicans used in efforts to paint Gov. Jim Doyle's administration as corrupt. Attorneys on both sides of the case said the three-judge panel likely overruled the trial jury's conviction of former state purchasing officer Georgia Thompson within hours of oral arguments due to a simple lack of evidence.

'We view the recess appointment of Mr. Fox as a clear abuse of the pResident's recess appointment power.' Dems Call for Review of Bush Appointment 06 Apr 2007 Democrats called for an investigation Thursday into whether Dictator Bush acted illegally in appointing Sam Fox ambassador to Belgium. A day earlier, Bush named Republican fundraiser Fox to the post as a recess appointment - a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress, where Democrats had derailed his nomination.

Panel Seeks Written Account From Gonzales 06 Apr 2007 The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales on Thursday to provide the panel with a written account of his role in last year’s dismissals of eight United States attorneys at least two days before his scheduled April 17 testimony.

Top Gonzales aide resigns after refusing to testify 06 Apr 2007 A top deputy [Monica Goodling] to embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned abruptly Friday, two weeks after she said she'd invoke the Fifth Amendment rather than testilie to congressional investigators who are probing the Bush regime's firing and hiring of eight federal prosecutors.

4 In U.S. Attorney's Office Resign In Protest 06 Apr 2007 The four top administrators in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota have resigned their administrative positions. According to highly placed sources, the administrators have quit in protest over the job being done by [Bush troll] Rachel Paulose, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota.

3 federal prosecutors quit manager posts 06 Apr 2007 In a surprising move, three top lawyers in the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office resigned their management positions Thursday and will return to prosecuting cases. The job changes followed a visit to the office by a representative from the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C.

Federal Official in Student Loans Held Loan Stock 06 Apr 2007 A senior official at the federal 'Education' Department sold more than $100,000 in shares in a student loan company even as he was helping oversee lenders in the federal student loan program. The official, Matteo Fontana, now general manager in a unit of the Office of Federal Student Aid, was identified yesterday from government documents as a stakeholder in the parent company of Student Loan Xpress who sold shares in 2003.

Report: NASA watchdog too cozy with boss 05 Apr 2007 NASA's top watchdog [Robert Cobb] routinely tipped off department officials to internal investigations and quashed a report related to the Columbia shuttle explosion to avoid embarrassing the agency, investigators say.

Miami Sex Offenders Live Under a Bridge 07 Apr 2007 Five convicted sex offenders are living under a noisy highway bridge with the state's grudging approval because an ordinance intended to keep predators away from children made it nearly impossible for them to find housing.

US signs on to Aussie forest pact 07 Apr 2007 The United States has agreed to work with Australia on the federal government's global forests plan to address climate change. The Federal Government last week announced the launch of an international fund to 'prevent' [foment] deforestation in the developing world and committed $200 million to targeting Australia's northern neighbours. The Australian Greens and conservation groups accused the government of hypocrisy, saying it had failed to protect forests in Australia.

World Scientists: Global Warming Could Wipe Out ¼ of All Species [As long as Bush and Cheney's species is in the 1/4, I'm actually OK with it. <g>] 06 Apr 2007 Approximately 20 to 30 percent of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction if the global average temperature increases by another 2.2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a major consensus report released Friday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate Report Warns of Faster and Wider Damage 06 Apr 2007 Top climate experts issued their bleakest forecasts yet about global warming on Friday, ranging from hunger in Africa to a thaw of Himalayan glaciers in a study that may add pressure on governments to act. More than 100 nations in the U.N. climate panel agreed a final text after all-night disputes during which some scientists accused governments of watering down some of their findings in a draft 21-page summary.

2,500 Experts Agree On Global Warming Climate Change 06 Apr 2007 From increased hunger to extinction of species, an international global warming conference report warns climate change poses major threats to the planet and humankind. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change document represents the work of about 2,500 scientists examining 29,000 sets of data collected over the past five years. [Click here for IPCC report.]

Southwest could become Dust Bowl, study warns 06 Apr 2007 Rising temperatures will fuel longer and more intense droughts across Arizona and the Southwest, according to a new climate-change report that warns of conditions not seen since the 1930s Dust Bowl. What sets the report apart from others that have painted an equally bleak future is its assertion that changes already have begun, that the state's 12-year-old drought may reflect what scientists call the new climate for the Southwest.

Last chance to speak out for polar bears! Tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Protect Polar Bears (NRDC) The polar bear's Arctic habitat is literally melting away beneath it due to global warming. Over the past three decades, more than a million square miles of sea ice have disappeared. Scientists predict that 80 percent of the summer sea ice that polar bears depend on for survival could be gone in 20 years, and all of it by 2040. As a result, the world's polar bears could face global extinction by the end of this century. Deadline: 09 Apr 2007

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'Obviously we're right by the buffer zone with Iran.' 'We Gathered Intelligence' On Iranians --Captain and team were on 'Interaction Patrol' (Sky News) 05 Apr 2007 The captain in charge of the 15 marines detained in Iran has said they were gathering intelligence on the Iranians. Sky News went on patrol with Captain Chris Air and his team in Iraqi waters close to the area where they were arrested - just five days before the crisis began. We withheld the interview until now so it would not jeopardise their safety. And today, former Iranian diplomat Dr Mehrdad Khonsari said if the Iranians had known about it, they would have used it to "justify taking the marines captive and put them on trial". [Right, they would have been tried as spies --which apparently, they were.]

In His Own Words 05 Apr 2007 Captain Chris Air of the Royal Marines revealed to Sky News that he and his colleagues had been gathering intelligence on the Iranians. Here follows the full transcript of that interview. (Sky News) Captain Air: "This is what's called an IPAT - an Interaction patrol whereby we come alongside or even board the fishing Dhows and basically interact with the crew. It's partly a hearts-and-minds type patrol... Secondly it's to gather int (Intelligence). If they do have any information because they're here for days at a time, they can share it with us whether it's about piracy or any sort of Iranian activity in the area because obviously we're right by the buffer zone with Iran."

Questions Arise About Britons' Actions in Iran 05 Apr 2007 The 15 British marines and sailors held captive in Iran for nearly two weeks arrived back home today. But Britain’s relief at their safe return was tarnished by questions about how they behaved during their detention and why they had been captured in the first place.

Warm Welcome Greets Freed British Crew 06 Apr 2007 Fifteen Royal Navy crew members freed from Iran enjoyed their first night on English soil Thursday. Amid the relief, champagne and tearful embraces, however, some Britons raised questions about the sailors' conduct and their apparent confessions in captivity

British Navy Crew Arrives Home From Iran 05 Apr 2007 Fifteen Royal Navy sailors and marines held captive by Iran returned home Thursday to a nation relieved at their freedom but outraged that they were used for propaganda by Tehran.

12,000 more Guard troops may be going to Iraq above 28,000 for 'surge' 05 Apr 2007 Coming on the heels of a controversial "surge" of 21,000 [actually, 28,000] U.S. troops that has stretched the Army thin, the Defense Department is preparing to send an additional 12,000 National Guard combat forces to Iraq and Afghanistan, defense officials told NBC News on Thursday. [See: Additional Troops for Iraq Surge Will Total About 28,000 16 Mar 2007.]

Gates: 'Troop Surge' Strategy Is Working in Iraq 05 Apr 2007 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates insisted today the United States' "troop surge" strategy is working in Iraq, but he warned against "happy talk" to describe the often-gruesome sectarian [US] violence that continues to mark the four-year-old war. [Right, it's working *so well,* 12,000 additional Guard troops are on their way to Iraq.]

4 British Soldiers Killed in Iraq 05 Apr 2007 Four British soldiers were killed in southern Iraq after their Warrior armoured vehicle was destroyed by a roadside bomb, it was confirmed today. A Kuwaiti civilian interpreter inside the vehicle was also killed, and a fifth soldier was seriously injured, a military spokeswoman said.

5 U.S. soldiers killed in separate attacks 05 Apr 2007 The military Thursday reported five U.S. soldiers killed in separate attacks in Baghdad earlier this week. Two Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldiers died and three others were wounded Wednesday after a roadside bomb struck their combat security patrol in southern Baghdad, the military said.

Army Says Friendly Fire May Have Killed Two U.S. Soldiers in Iraq 04 Apr 2007 Two soldiers killed in Ramadi, Iraq, in February may have died as a result of friendly fire, Army officials said Wednesday. The families of the two soldiers were initially told they were killed by enemy fire.

25% of UK Iraq aid budget goes to security firms --Leading beneficiary is company headed by MP 02 Apr 2007 The UK has spent £165m on hiring private security companies in Iraq in the past four years - the equivalent to around a quarter of the entire Iraq aid budget, it has emerged. A further £43m has been spent on private guards in Afghanistan since 2004. In Iraq, a total of £145m has been spent on security guards to protect British assets, with a further £20m going on police training and security advisers to the Iraqi government. The big beneficiaries have been the New York-based risk consulting company Kroll and the UK companies ArmorGroup and Control Risks. ArmorGroup, which is headed by the Conservative MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, earned 50% of its £129m revenues from Iraq last year.

5 Deaths at a V.A. Complex Draw Lawmakers' Concern 03 Apr 2007 Five deaths in recent months at the nation’s largest Veterans Affairs medical complex [West Los Angeles Healthcare Center] are troubling and could be a further sign of a system badly in need of closer oversight, two members of Congress said here Monday.

'None has been allowed to see their lawyers and none has been charged.' CIA 'secretly detaining' al-Qa'eda suspects 05 Apr 2007 American intelligence agents are interrogating hundreds of al-Qa'eda suspects secretly imprisoned in Ethiopia, human rights organisations said yesterday. The detainees, from 19 different countries, have allegedly been illegally deported to Ethiopia where they are being held in horrific conditions in crowded jails, notorious for torture and abuse. The operations, the first of their kind in east Africa, have chilling echoes of the CIA's so-called "extraordinary renditions" [kidnappings] of terror suspects to third-party countries for secret interrogations.

'A travesty of justice' Guantanamo conditions 'worsening' 04 Apr 2007 Conditions for detainees at the US military jail at Guantanamo Bay are deteriorating, with the majority held in solitary confinement, a report says. Amnesty International said the often harsh and inhumane conditions at the camp were "pushing people to the edge".

US weighs Tehran's request to visit 5 Iranians held in Iraq 04 Apr 2007 An American military spokesman said Wednesday that the United States was reviewing an informal request from the Iranian government for an envoy to visit five Iranians imprisoned following an American raid in northern Iraq in January.

Pelosi plays peace broker in Middle East 04 Apr 2007 Israel is ready to hold peace talks with Syria, the speaker of the US House of Representatives said today after meeting the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, in Damascus. Nancy Pelosi's trip has angered the Bush dictatorship, which accused the Democrats of sending mixed signals to Syria, listed by the US state department as a sponsor of terrorism. [The sponsor of terrorism is George W. Bush.]

Polar bear charms way into high-level EU-U.S. talks 04 Apr 2007 Germany's celebrity polar bear cub undertook his first diplomatic mission on Thursday when Knut stuffed toys made a surprise appearance at a two-day meeting of top U.S. and European Union officials in Berlin. U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein praised his German hosts for presenting him with the specially made stuffed toys, complete with Knut labels, during complex negotiations on the sharing of air passenger data with the EU.

Bush Bypasses Senate to Appoint 'Swift Boat' Donor to Ambassador Post 04 Apr 2007 Dictator Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination. Democrats had denounced Fox for his 2004 donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation, Bush withdrew the nomination last month. On Wednesday, with Congress out of town for a spring break, the president [sic] used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.

Former Fed analyst questions M1 currency component spike prior to 9/11 By Ed Haas 22 Mar 2007 William Bergman worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from July 1990 until early 2004... Bergman had noted that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve had issued supervisory letters to the 12 Reserve Banks in the weeks after September 11, 2001 urging scrutiny of suspicious activity reports in tracking terrorism activity and financing. However, Bergman also noticed that the Board of Governors had issued a similar letter, albeit one that did not refer explicitly to terrorism, on August 2, 2001.

Spy Chief Pick for Aide Rejected by WH 06 Apr 2007 The new national intelligence chief is still searching for a deputy after six candidates were either rejected by the White House or turned down the job, according to people familiar with discussions about the key slot.

Gonzales prepping for potential make-or-break testimony 05 Apr 2007 As part of intensive preparations [to lie] for coming congressional questioning concerning the eight fired U.S. attorneys, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales next week will take part in mock question-and-answer sessions that could include outside legal advisers, Justice Department officials said Thursday.

Democrats Delay Gonzales Testimony 05 Apr 2007 Senate Democrats postponed on Thursday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' first chance to testify in his own defense over the firings of eight federal prosecutors. The decision to shelve next week's Senate Appropriations hearing frustrated the White House, which wants Gonzales to quickly give lawmakers his side of the story amid calls for his resignation.

Justice aide refuses to meet House panel on attorney firings --Goodling's lawyers say Democrats acting like Joseph McCarthy 05 Apr 2007 A senior Justice Department aide [Monica Goodling] refused yesterday to submit to a private interview with a House committee investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys. Her lawyers accused Democrats of behaving like the notorious Sen. Joseph McCarthy to intimidate her.

Iglesias Talking to Special Counsel 06 Apr 2007 New Mexico's former U.S. attorney, David Iglesias, is talking with the government's independent counsel about whether Justice Department officials violated federal law when they fired him late last year.

Abramoff probe zeroes in on new target 04 Apr 2007 The head of a Republican environmental advocacy group has been told officially by federal investigators that she is a target for criminal prosecution in the Jack Abramoff corruption probe. Italia Federici, who co-founded the group with former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and conservative GOP activist Grover Norquist, was told by the Justice Department she faces up to five charges in the influence-peddling scandal that has produced convictions against one lawmaker, two senior Bush administration officials and several congressional aides.

Fox-in-the-Henhouse Government By Ruth Marcus 04 Apr 2007 The Bush administration's House of Straw seems to be blowing apart, buffeted by alternating gusts of scandal and incompetence. The tornado of disastrous headlines... has been so overpowering that the day-to-day outrages of life in the Bush administration tend get overlooked. So it's worth pausing to pay attention to some recent events that similarly underscore the failings of this administration and illuminate one of their root causes: a contemptuous attitude toward government itself.

Backlog of requests for public information growing 04 Apr 2007 Many agencies have not kept pace with a growing number of requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, causing the number of pending requests carried over from year to year to steadily increase, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Corpora-terrorists running amok: Monsanto spreading seed crop to Kunia 05 Apr 2007 Agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. yesterday announced an agreement to buy 2,300 acres of agricultural-zoned land in Kunia from the James Campbell Company to expand its seed crop operations, including genetically modified corn. Monsanto didn't say what seeds would be grown on the Kunia acreage, but typically about 60 percent of the company's seed crop involves production of seeds genetically modified for purposes such as insecticide resistance.

FDA to defy Congress by closing food safety test labs --Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, SF and KC Labs on chopping block March 2007 Shrugging off congressional objections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will immediately move to close more than half of its laboratories across the country, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The closures will be completed during the next few months, before the new Congress can act to block the shutdowns through the appropriations bill for the next fiscal year.

Busy hurricane season seen, FEMA vows to be ready 04 Apr 2007 The head of the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday a busy Atlantic hurricane season was likely this year, which the federal government's chief emergency official vowed to be ready for. [Yes, I'm sure the new KBR-built trailers and detention centers are good to go.]

Nuclear waste on our rails 01 Apr 2007 Trains carrying up to 4,500 casks of high-level nuclear waste could roll through downtown Reno and Sparks every week for 24 years under the latest strategy by the U.S. Department of Energy to build a railroad line to Yucca Mountain, according to Nevada officials. [Instead of Yucca Mountain, why not store it at the White House?]

U.N. experts near agreement on bleak climate warning 06 Apr 2007 Climate experts were trying to agree on Friday on the bleakest U.N. warning yet about the impacts of global warming, foreseeing hunger and water shortages in Africa and Asia, extinctions of species and rising oceans.

Climate panel report may be too conservative, new Arctic ice data suggests 04 Apr 2007 Dire predictions expected later this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may in fact be too conservative, according to new Arctic sea ice data. ...Satellites spotted a vast area of open water in the Beaufort for six weeks early this past winter. About 50,000 square kilometres - an area roughly the size of Nova Scotia - suddenly emerged ice-free, 200 kilometres inside the ice pack.

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Iran asks to see Iranians held by U.S. in Iraq 04 Apr 2007 The U.S. military said on Wednesday it had received an "informal" request for an Iranian consular official to meet five Iranians who have been held in Iraq by U.S. forces since January. U.S. military spokesman Major-General William Caldwell said the five were suspected of being intelligence agents. Iran says they are diplomats and has demanded their immediate release.

Iranians release British sailors 04 Apr 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf are free to leave.

Excerpts: Ahmadinejad announces release 04 Apr 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced at a news conference in Tehran that the 15 British sailors and marines would be freed as a "gift to the British people". [Transcript] "On the occasion of the birth anniversary of the great prophet of Islam, and on the occasion of Easter and Passover, I would like to announce that the great nation of Iran, while it is entitled to put the British military personnel on trial, has pardoned these 15 sailors and gives their release to the people of Britain as a gift." [Oops! The Reichwing media forgot to report that Ahmadinejad mentioned Passover, as well.]

Iran announces release of British sailors 04 Apr 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today announced his government would release the 15 detained British sailors and marines as an Easter gift to the British people.

Oil Falls After Iran's President Says He Will Release Britons 04 Apr 2007 Crude oil fell after Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he will release 15 seized Britons, easing concern of a conflict in the Persian Gulf.

Iran's President Retakes Spotlight 04 Apr 2007 With the announcement that 15 Britons were going free, Iran's hardline president retook his favorite spot on the international stage - delighting in Tehran's rising power and lecturing Western powers on their misdeeds.

Bush welcomes release of British sailors by Iran 04 Apr 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush welcomes the news that Iran will release 15 British sailors and Marines taken into custody last month, the White House said on Wednesday.

Terrorist group operating in southeastern Iran hired by CIA 04 Apr 2007 America says its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has hired a Pakistani gang to carry out terrorist operations inside Iran. The gang, called Jondollah, includes members of Baluch tribes and is led by Abdul Malek Rigi who is operating from Pakistan's part of the Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran, ABC News said on Wednesday. The gang has carried out many deadly raids, resulting in the deaths or kidnapping of ordinary Iranian people as well as soldiers and officials in the region.

US to attack Iran by end of April: report 04 Apr 2007 The US is planning to attack Iran's nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities by the end of this month, the Kuwait-based Arab Times newspaper reported Wednesday. Citing anonymous sources in Washington, it said that various White House departments had started preparing the political speech to be delivered by the US president [sic] later this month, announcing the military attack on Iran.

Top Russian general: U.S. attack on Iran would be 'huge mistake' 03 Apr 2007 The head of Russia's general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, warned the U.S. on Tuesday that a war with Iran would be "impossible to win." "Shockwaves from this attack could be felt around the world," said Baluyevksy, adding that the U.S. would not be able to defeat Iran.

Syria, Israel may resume peace talks 04 Apr 2007 Over White House protests [LOL!], House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Syrian President Bashar Assad today in Damascus and said he and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were both willing to resume peace talks. Pelosi, who had visited Israel before moving on to Syria, said Olmert had authorized her to tell Assad that "he was ready to engage in peace talks," Pelosi told reporters after meeting with the Syrian president.

Iraq Loses $8 Billion Through Corruption 04 Apr 2007 Iraq's top corruption fighter said Wednesday that $8 billion in government money was wasted or stolen over the past three years and claimed he was threatened with death after opening an investigation into scores of Oil Ministry employees. In perhaps the most publicized recent case, an estimated $2 billion disappeared from funds to rebuild the electricity infrastructure. Former Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samaraie, who holds both U.S. and Iraqi citizenship, was convicted in that case and sentenced to two years in prison. He 'escaped' from an 'Iraqi-run' jail in the Green Zone on Dec. 17 and turned up in Chicago on Jan. 15. Al-Samaraie has said the Americans helped him escape.

McCain's Baghdad market visit branded a stunt 04 Apr 2007 Merchants at Baghdad's oldest and biggest market say an American congressional delegation has got it wrong about new security measures. The delegation, led by Senator John McCain, arrived at Shorja market on Sunday with more than 100 soldiers in armoured vehicles as attack helicopters circled overhead. Soldiers redirected traffic, restricted access to the Americans and sharpshooters were posted on the rooftops. They wore bulletproof vests throughout their hour-long visit. Senator McCain and his three colleagues described Shorja as a safe, bustling place full of hopeful and warmly welcoming Iraqis — "Like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime," offered Republican Mike Pence. "What are they talking about?" said Ali Jassim Faiyad, owner of an electrical appliances shop. "The security procedures were abnormal. They paralysed the market when they came. This was only for the media."

Petraeus: Iraq deadlines not helpful 04 Apr 2007 The top U.S. general in Iraq [Army Gen. David Petraeus] said Wednesday the congressional troop withdrawal deadlines tip the U.S. hand to the enemy.

Four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq - US military 03 Apr 2007 Four U.S. soldiers were killed in combat in Iraq on Monday, the U.S. military said, bringing the U.S. death toll since the invasion to 3,257.

Murtha says draft would ease military's burden 03 Apr 2007 A military draft would ease the burden placed on soldiers and their families, Rep. John Murtha, a leading Democratic critic of the Iraq war, said Tuesday.

U.S. Army braces for cash shortage 04 Apr 2007 The U.S. Army has circulated a memo saying it's doubtful a funding bill will be passed before the end of April and urging preparation for belt-tightening. The Army Budget Office memo said project managers should prepare to stretch existing funds into June as the Democrat-dominated Congress and President [sic] George W. Bush wrangle over the funding bill.

60 Killed In Afghanistan Fighting 04 Apr 2007 Heavy fighting between Pakistani tribesmen and 'foreign militants allegedly linked to al-Qaida' [i.e., US terrorists] has killed 60 people near the Afghan border, security officials said Wednesday.

Taliban says it kidnapped two French aid workers 04 Apr 2007 The Taliban said on Wednesday they had kidnapped two French aid workers -- a man and a woman -- along with two Afghan colleagues in the southwest of the country. Rebel spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf told Reuters by satellite phone the four were abducted on Tuesday in Nimroz province, between Iran and Afghanistan's [Bush's] opium heartland of Helmand province.

Journos kept in the dark in grim Gitmo 05 Apr 2007 It was not until after 9pm local time Friday at a press conference after David Hicks's extraordinary plea deal had been revealed, and following a week of Kafkaesque proceedings, that things finally began to fall into place... Then there was the silence of the Cuban and Haitian immigrants who were housed in an apartment block about 100m from us. Unfortunately, their tales cannot be told, the US military barring media from making any contact. Exactly where the camps were located, however, I cannot report. All journalists heading to the bay signed a 12-page document agreeing to the rules and conditions while reporting there.

U.S. steps up missile system push in Eastern Europe --The effort may escalate the issue into an international dispute, depending on Moscow's reaction. 04 Apr 2007 The Bush regime has begun to step up its efforts to build a controversial missile defense system in Eastern Europe, launching a public push in recent weeks to counter bitter opposition in Russia and overcome fears of a new arms race elsewhere on the continent.

Briton 'could stage another September 11' 04 Apr 2007 The United States fears that the next September 11-style attack on America could be launched by Muslims from Britain or Europe who feel "second-class citizens" and alienated by a "colonial legacy", according to the US Homeland Security chief. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Michael Chertoff said the US was determined to build extra defences against so-called "clean skin" terrorists from Europe. [No, it will be launched by Bush bin Laden before the 2008 'elections.']

Minutemen to patrol New Hampshire-Canada border on weekends 03 Apr 2007 A group that has patrolled for illegal immigrants along the nation's borders with Mexico and parts of Canada is planning extended operations this month in New Hampshire. The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps wants to patrol starting this weekend, but it needs more volunteers and contributions, organizers said.

Judge rules Katrina bridge blockade didn't violate rights 04 Apr 2007 Authorities did not violate a couple's constitutional right to travel by stopping them from crossing the Mississippi River Bridge to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a federal [racist] judge [Mary Ann Vial Lemmon] has ruled. A trial on the remaining issues in Tracy and Dorothy Dickerson's case — including whether police used excessive force and whether the Dickerson's freedom-of-assembly and equal protection rights were violated — is set for early next year. The Dickersons were among hundreds who tried to flee New Orleans for safety on Sept. 1, but said that police from suburban Gretna confronted them and forced them to turn around.

Students Pelt Karl Rove In Protest 04 Apr 2007 White House Advisor Karl Rove was the target of a protest on the American University campus Tuesday night, NBC 4 reported. Rove was on the campus to talk to the College Republicans, but when he got outside more than a dozen students began throwing things at him and at his car <g>, an American University spokesperson said.

Three Yale Students Charged With Burning American Flag 04 Apr 2007 Three Yale University students have been arrested on charges of setting fire to an American flag hanging from the porch of a Chapel Street home.

Imprisoned freelance journalist released 03 Apr 2007 Josh Wolf, the blogger whose record 7 1/2 months in federal prison stirred debate about who qualifies as a journalist and what legal protections they should receive, was freed today after releasing video footage sought by prosecutors about an anarchist protest.

Feinstein quits committee under war-profiteer cloud --Report documents military contracts for firms owned by senator's husband 28 Mar 2007 Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has abruptly walked away from her responsibilities with the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee after a report linked her votes to the financial well-being of her husband's companies, which received billions of dollars worth of military construction contracts she approved.

House Seeks to Question Aide on Fifth Amendment Claim 03 Apr 2007 House Democrats investigating the firings of eight U.S. attorneys want to question Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's special counsel [Monica Goodling] about her assertion of a constitutional privilege not to answer their questions.

Docked for Duty? --The Justice Department called David Iglesias, the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, an 'absentee landlord'—a key reason listed for his firing last December. Just one problem: Iglesias, a captain in the Navy Reserve, was off teaching classes as part of the war on terror. Now Iglesias is striking back, arguing he was improperly dismissed. 04 Apr 2007 Iglesias’s military service in support of what the Pentagon likes to call the Global War on [of] Terror (GWOT) apparently didn’t go down well with his superiors at the Justice Department... Iglesias confirmed to NEWSWEEK that he was recently questioned by lawyers for the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal watchdog agency, to determine if his dismissal was a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), a federal law that prohibits job discrimination against members of the U.S. military.

Lawmakers Urge Bush to Fire NASA Official --Investigative Report Raised Concern 03 Apr 2007 NASA's inspector general [Robert W. Cobb] created a hostile and dysfunctional workplace with his "aggressive management style," ...two lawmakers said yesterday after reading an investigative report on his conduct. Cobb spent 15 months as an adviser on ethics and conflicts of interest to then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales before being appointed inspector general in 2002.

Obama Raises $25 Million, Almost Matching Clinton 04 Apr 2007 Illinois Senator Barack Obama raised at least $25 million in the first quarter of his presidential campaign, just below the total of Democratic rival and top fundraiser Hillary Clinton.

Pew-USDA report intended to weaken GM regulation 03 Apr 2007 GM Watch comment: Below are some very telling comments from Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a former biotech specialist for the EPA, about a report on the regulation of GM specialty crops. The report is extremely important... because it's intended to help shape future GM regulations in the US for all crops, and to make them even more industry friendly than the notoriously lax regulatory system that currently exists.

Early U.S. Daylight Savings a bust in power savings 02 Apr 2007 The early onset of Daylight Savings Time in the United States this year may have been for naught. The move to turn the clocks forward by an hour on March 11 rather than the usual early April date was mandated by the U.S. government as an 'energy-saving effort.' But other than forcing millions of drowsy American workers and school children into the dark, wintry weather three weeks early, the move appears to have had little impact on power usage.

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USS Nimitz, other warships leave San Diego for the Persian Gulf 02 Apr 2007 The USS Nimitz and several other American warships left San Diego today for the Persian Gulf to join another locally based aircraft carrier strike group already in the region. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will join the San Diego-based John C. Stennis Strike Group and relieve the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, according to Naval Air Forces Public Affairs.

The botched US raid that led to the hostage crisis 'The objective of the Americans was to arrest Iranian security officials who had gone to Iraq to develop co-operation in the area of bilateral security.' 03 Apr 2007 A failed American attempt to abduct two senior Iranian security officers on an official visit to northern Iraq was the starting pistol for a crisis that 10 weeks later led to Iranians seizing 15 British sailors and Marines. Early on the morning of 11 January, helicopter-born US forces launched a surprise raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the city of Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan... The US attack had a far more ambitious objective, The Independent has learned. The aim of the raid, launched without informing the Kurdish authorities, was to seize two men at the very heart of the Iranian security establishment. The attempt by the US to seize the two high-ranking Iranian security officers openly meeting with Iraqi leaders is somewhat as if Iran had tried to kidnap the heads of the CIA and MI6 while they were on an official visit to a country neighbouring Iran, such as Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Terrorist group inside Iran has been secretly advised by U.S. officials since 2005, sources tell ABC News 03 Apr 2007 A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla [terrorist] raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News. The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran. It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials. U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or "finding" as well as congressional oversight.

Iranian Diplomat Seized in Iraq Released 03 Apr 2007 An Iranian diplomat in Iraq seized two months ago by uniformed [US] gunmen in Baghdad has been released, Iran reported Tuesday. Jalal Sharafi, the second secretary at the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, will return to Tehran later Tuesday, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing "informed sources."

Iran outlines conditions for release of UK sailors 03 Apr 2007 Iran's most senior diplomat, Ali Larijani, called for a "delegation" to rule on whether a British naval patrol entered Iranian waters last month before his government would release the 15 marines and sailors it is holding captive. Laying out what appeared to be a vague road map for the freeing of the British personnel, Mr Larijani said that, if it was found they had crossed into Iranian territory, there should be an apology and they would then be released.

Iran claims captured boat personnel have all confessed to trespassing --No 10 refuses to be swayed by 'stage-managed TV' 03 Apr 2007 The Iranian government yesterday insisted that all 15 British naval personnel had "confessed" to trespassing illegally in its waters. However, state [as opposed to corporate] radio said the admissions would now not be broadcast because of what it described as "positive changes" in Britain's negotiating stance.

Blair: We've 48 hours to save sailors 02 Apr 2007 Tony Blair said today the next 48 hours are crucial in negotiating the release of the British hostages. The Prime Minister's comments came as a new picture of the hostages was released by an Iranian news agency. He told Iran the "door is open" to a diplomatic deal.

Channel 4 attacked for Iraqi abuse drama 03 Apr 2007 There was growing opposition last night to Channel 4's plans to broadcast a controversial [What is the controversy?] drama about British troops abusing Iraqi captives. The fathers of two of the British Royal Naval personnel being held in Iran called for the screening to be postponed amid fears it could hamper delicate diplomatic efforts to secure their release.

U.S. strategy on Iran may have backfired [Nah, 'ya think?] 03 Apr 2007 It seemed like a good idea at the time: Increase the military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to get the country to bow to the international community on its nuclear enrichment program and curtail its alleged troublemaking in Iraq. But now, with 15 British sailors and marines held captive and Tehran threatening to withhold its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, that strategy has apparently backfired.

RAF pilots consider the Kamikaze option [Quick! Hurry and get Bush his pilot's license!] 03 Apr 2007 RAF fighter pilots were asked to consider flying suicide missions as a last resort to stop terrorists, the Ministry of Defence said. Air Vice-Marshal David Walker put forward the last-ditch scenario at a conference for air crews. According to The Sun newspaper, he said: "Would you think it unreasonable if I ordered you to fly your aircraft into the ground in order to destroy a vehicle carrying a Taliban or al-Qa'eda commander?"

Bush Criticizes Democrats Over War Funds 03 Apr 2007 President [sic] Bush criticizes the Democratic majority in Congress for substituting its judgment for that of U.S. military commanders in Iraq.

Bush Calls Dems 'Irresponsible' on Iraq 03 Apr 2007 President [sic] Bush denounced "irresponsible" Democrats on Tuesday for going on spring break without approving money for the Iraq war with no strings. He condemned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria, too, accusing her of encouraging a terrorism sponsor.

George Bush's Land Mine: If the Iraqi People Get Revenue Sharing, They Lose Their Oil to Exxon By Richard Behan 30 Mar 2007 Buried deep in the legislation and intentionally obscured is a near-guarantee of success for the Bush Administration’s true objective of the war-capturing Iraq’s oil-and George Bush will not casually forego that... If passed, the law will make available to Exxon/Mobil, Chevron/Texaco, BP/Amoco, and Royal Dutch/Shell about 4/5’s of the stupendous petroleum reserves in Iraq... The legislation pending now in Washington requires the President to certify to Congress by next October that the benchmarks have been met-specifically that the Iraqi hydrocarbon law has been passed. That’s the land mine: he will certify the American and British oil companies have access to Iraqi oil... It is why we went to war.

16 people dead in latest Afghanistan violence 03 Apr 2007 At least 16 people including 12 Taliban fighters, one police officer and three nomads were killed in separate clashes in Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday, while 12 Taliban detainees were also handed over by the US military into the custody of the Afghan government.

Police Log Confirms FBI Role In Arrests --Group Detained, Questioned During D.C. War Protest 03 Apr 2007 A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs, newly uncovered documents and interviews show.

Seattle to pay WTO protesters $1 million 02 Apr 2007 The city of Seattle will pay $1 million to WTO protesters who were arrested in Westlake Park seven years ago and will clear their records, in a settlement announced today.

Undercover agents slip bombs past DIA screeners 30 Mar 2007 Checkpoint security screeners at Denver International Airport last month failed to find liquid explosives packed in carry-on luggage and also improvised explosive devices, or IED's, worn by undercover agents sources told 9NEWS. "It really is concerning considering that we're paying millions of dollars out of our budget to be secure in the airline industry," said passenger Mark Butler...

Louisiana Senator Blocks Corps Nominee 03 Apr 2007 Sen. Mary Landrieu said Tuesday she has blocked Senate confirmation of the nominee to head of the Army Corps of Engineers to allow time for debate on his role in rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Louisiana. Landrieu, D-La., said she had placed a "procedural hold" on the nomination process for Lt. Gen. Robert Jan Antwerp Jr. The corps has come under criticism for installing drainage pumps to protect New Orleans in spite of apparent deficiencies. [See: New Orleans Pumps Were Faulty 13 Mar 2007 The Army Corps of Engineers installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press... The drainage-canal pumps were custom-designed and built under a $26.6 million contract awarded after competitive bidding to Moving Water Industries Corp. of Deerfield Beach, Fla. MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.]

GAO looking into faulty Corps pumps installed in New Orleans 28 Mar 2007 Government Accountability Office investigators are meeting with Army Corps of Engineers officials to ask questions about drainage pumps that were installed before last year's hurricane season even though they apparently were defective. The pumps were produced by a Florida company under a $26.6 million contract awarded after Hurricane Katrina. The pumps were manufactured by Moving Water Industries Corp., a Deerfield Beach, Fla., company owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. The U.S. Justice Department sued the company in 2002, accusing it of fraudulently helping Nigeria obtain $74 million in taxpayer-backed loans for overpriced and unnecessary water-pump equipment.

Grants to Fund Bird Flu Battle 02 Apr 2007 The government's work to 'prevent' [foment] an influenza pandemic took on a more academic look Monday when it selected six universities and medical centers to help lead research efforts.

U of M Awarded $22.5 Million NIH Contract to Study Avian Influenza 02 Apr 2007 The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today named the University of Minnesota as one of six sites across the country that will establish a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance.

Britain's dirty cities more dangerous than an A-bomb 03 Apr 2007 Air pollution in major cities is potentially more damaging to health than being exposed to the radioactive fallout of an atomic bomb, according to a report published today. The study suggests that high levels of urban air pollution cut life expectancy by more than the radiation exposure of emergency workers sent into the 19-mile exclusion zone around the Chernobyl disaster.

High Court Faults EPA Inaction on Emissions --Critics of Bush Stance on Warming Claim Victory 03 Apr 2007 The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration yesterday for refusing to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, siding with environmentalists in the court's first examination of the phenomenon of global warming.

Justices Say E.P.A. Has Power to Act on Harmful Gases 03 Apr 2007 In one of its most important environmental decisions in years, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions.

Mega barf alert! U.S. Seeks to Ease Irradiated Food Label --FDA Proposes Softening Label Requirements for Irradiated Foods 03 Apr 2007 The government proposed Tuesday relaxing its rules on labeling of irradiated foods and suggested it may allow some products zapped with radiation to be called "pasteurized." The Food and Drug Administration said the proposed rule would require companies to label irradiated food only when the radiation treatment causes a material change to the product.

Drugs Are in the Water. Does It Matter? 03 Apr 2007 Residues of birth control pills, antidepressants, painkillers, shampoos and a host of other compounds are finding their way into the nation’s waterways, and they have public health and environmental officials in a regulatory quandary.

Europe tops US in stock market value 02 Apr 2007 Europe has eclipsed the US in stock market value for the first time since the first world war in another sign of the slipping of the global dominance of American capital markets.

'Very Active' Hurricane Season Predicted 04 Apr 2007 A top researcher predicted a "very active" 2007 Atlantic hurricane season Tuesday, with at least nine hurricanes and a good chance one will hit the U.S. coast. The forecast by William Gray predicts 17 named storms this year, five of them major hurricanes.

'Google Search' for Missing Snake in NYC 03 Apr 2007 An employee's python went missing over the weekend in Google's sprawling Manhattan office, sending search teams on an all-out snake hunt. The searchers scoured the complex for the 3-foot-long snake and finally found the serpent, known as Kaiser, on Monday night.

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Department of Homeland and Security wants master key for DNS 30 Mar 2007 The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to have the key to sign the DNS root zone solidly in the hands of the US government. This ultimate master key would then allow authorities to track DNS Security Extensions (DNSSec) all the way back to the servers that represent the name system's root zone on the Internet... At the ICANN meeting, Turcotte said that the managers of country registries were concerned about this proposal.

DHS Wants Master Key for DNS By Anonymous 31 Mar 2007 "At an ICANN meeting in Lisbon, the US Department of Homeland Security made it clear that it has requested the master key for the DNS root zone. The key will play an important role in the new DNSSec security extension, because it will make spoofing IP-addresses impossible. By forcing the IANA to hand out a copy of the master key, the US government will be the only institution that is able to spoof IP addresses and be able to break into computers connected to the Internet without much effort..."

Reid May Move to Cut Iraq War Funds Monday 02 Apr 2007 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday he will try to cut off funding for the Iraq war if President [sic] Bush rejects Congress' proposal to set a deadline for ending combat.

U.S. Congress says Bush is misleading public on Iraq war funding 02 Apr 2007 The U.S. Congressional Research Service has released a report saying President [sic] George W. Bush is misleading the public on Iraq war costs by saying funds are insufficient. Non-partisan budget experts at CRS informed U.S. Congress that the Army could maintain its wartime operations well into July 2007 with funds already provided, UPI reported.

One Third of the "Coalition of the Willing" are Mercenaries By M Taqi 30 Mar 2007 A UN report published recently showed that the number of mercenaries working in Iraq has been steadily increasing and is now estimated that the number of such professional mercenaries to over 30%. Between 30,000 and 50,000 mercenaries are working in Iraq, making them the second largest military force there after the occupying United States.

Mitchell: Petraeus Held Closed-Door Strategy Meeting With Republican Caucus 01 Apr 2007 This morning on the Chris Matthews Show, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell revealed that Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, met "very recently" with the Senate Republican caucus to discuss their strategy on Iraq legislation.

McCain Strolls Through Baghdad Market, Accompanied By 100 Soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apache Gunships By Faiz 01 Apr 2007 Sen. John McCain strolled briefly through an open-air market in Baghdad today in an effort to prove that Americans are "not getting the full picture" of what’s going on in Iraq. NBC’s Nightly News provided further details about McCain’s one-hour guided tour. He was accompanied by "100 American soldiers, with three Blackhawk helicopters, and two Apache gunships overhead."

Snipers back at Baghdad market after McCain visit 02 Apr 2007 The crack of shots fired by unseen snipers echoed on Monday through Baghdad's wholesale Shorja market, a day after U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Insane) held up his visit there as one sign of improving security in Baghdad. [OMG, can someone please buy them a calendar? --LRP]

Iraqi war unwinnable: Kissinger 02 Apr 2007 Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said yesterday the problems in Iraq were more complex than the Vietnam War and that military victory was no longer possible.

Infant among 14 killed in suicide truck bombing in Iraq's Kirkuk city 02 Apr 2007 A suicide truck bomber, his deadly payload hidden under bags of flour, crashed into a police station Monday in the disputed city of Kirkuk, killing at least 14 people, including an newborn girl, and wounding nearly 200. Police found the bodies of 21 executed Shiite men in Baqouba, an hour's drive north of the capital.

Armed forces' suicides surpass combat deaths 01 Apr 2007 (UK) More servicemen and women have committed suicide over the past two decades than have died in military action, according to new figures. The latest death toll for those in the armed forces who have taken their own lives has risen to 687 compared with 438 killed during active service in major conflicts such as the Gulf, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

Seven U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 02 Apr 2007 A total of seven U.S. soldiers were killed and two more injured in separate incidents in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Monday.

A monstrous war crime --With more than 650,000 civilians dead in Iraq, our government must take responsibility for its lies By Richard Horton 28 Mar 2007 Our collective failure has been to take our political leaders at their word. This week the BBC reported that the government's own scientists advised ministers that the Johns Hopkins study on Iraq civilian mortality was accurate and reliable, following a freedom of information request by the reporter Owen Bennett-Jones. This paper was published in the Lancet last October. It estimated that 650,000 Iraqi civilians had died since the American and British led invasion in March 2003.

Heads up! State Department: American Citizen Is Missing in Iran Sources Tell ABC News That the Missing American Is a Former FBI Agent [spy] but That His Trip Was 'Private' [LOL!] 02 Apr 2007 An American citizen is missing in Iran, the State Department said today. Sources tell ABC News that the missing American was a former FBI agent, although they stressed that he was now a private citizen and that his trip to Iran was on "private business" and not associated with official U.S. matters.

U.S. Keeping Pressure on Iran Over Seizure of 15 Britons at Sea 02 Apr 2007 The White House on Sunday sought to increase pressure on Iran to return the 15 British sailors and marines it is holding, but took care to defer to Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has emphasized that he is seeking a diplomatic solution. [Meanwhile, the terrorists at Exxon Mobil are making a *killing.*]

Iran rules out trial for British sailors 02 Apr 2007 Ali Larijani, Iran’s top security official, said on Monday Tehran wanted a speedy diplomatic solution to its dispute with Britain and had no wish to put the 15 British naval personnel it has captured on trial.

13 suspected Taliban, 3 policemen killed in Afghanistan 02 Apr 2007 Clashes and an airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed 13 suspected 'Taliban militants' and three policemen, officials said today.

Report seeks non-white troop cut 01 Apr 2007 Senior officers have sparked controversy by seeking to limit the number of soldiers from Commonwealth countries serving in Britain's armed forces. Confidential papers drafted by the army general staff, headed by General Sir Richard Dannat, proposed that the mostly non-white Commonwealth troops should be limited to 10 per cent of the 99,000 total, The Mail on Sunday said.

'First there was indefinite detention without charge. Then there was the torture, however the Bush lawyers, including his attorney-general, might choose to describe it. Then there was the extorted confession of guilt.' Trial would have done Stalin proud - lawyer 02 Apr 2007 The secret agreement that resulted in David Hicks facing only nine more months in prison may do fatal damage to an already discredited system of dealing with terrorism suspects, legal experts say. Robert Richter, QC, one of Australia's most experienced criminal lawyers and a Hicks supporter, said the trial was a sham that had wholly discredited the Pentagon's war-crimes process. "The charade that took place at Guantanamo Bay would have done Stalin's show trials proud," Mr Richter said in a commentary for The Sunday Age.

We didn't gag Hicks: PM 02 Apr 2007 The Howard Government insists it did not speak to the United States about the sentence that gags David Hicks until after the federal election, even though ministers knew the penalty before the deal on his fate was made public. Senior Government figures were aware of the nine-month sentence at least as early as Tuesday, the Herald understands, even though it was not announced until Friday.

I'm gagged too, says Terry Hicks 03 Apr 2007 The father of "admitted" [tortured] 'terrorist' David Hicks claimed yesterday he had been gagged from revealing facts about his son's five-year incarceration in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. Terry Hicks said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had written to him outlining the 12-month gag order issued to his son as part of his plea bargain to serve only nine more months in jail, mostly in Australia. "This is Big Brother and because the Americans and the Australian Government coalesce on David's charges, at this point in time we're ruled by them," Mr Hicks said from his Adelaide workplace yesterday.

Hicks 'feared interrogators would shoot him' 03 Apr 2007 Former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks feared he would be shot if he did not cooperate with US interrogators, he says in an affidavit for his English court case... "I realised that if I did not cooperate with US interrogators, I might be shot," the ABC quoted Hicks as saying. In the affidavit Hicks also claims that he was slapped, kicked, punched and spat on in Afghanistan, the ABC reported. He could hear other detainees screaming in pain, saw the marks of their beatings and had a shotgun trained on him during interrogation.

'Out Of That Hell Hole' 31 Mar 2007 A US military tribunal has sentenced Australian al Qaeda convert David Hicks to seven years in prison for 'supporting terrorism.' Hicks' father Terry says he will continue to complain about his son's treatment [Oops - not any more], claiming he was abused at the base in Cuba. "The bottom line of all this is that at least he's back home. He's out of that hell hole," Hicks said. Hicks had previously said he was abused by the US military but said in his plea agreement that he has "never been illegally treated while in US custody."

The end of a 'nightmare' for Briton detained in Guantanamo 02 Apr 2007 A British resident released from Guantanamo Bay after five years has spoken of the "horrific experience" he endured and his relief at the end of a "nightmare". Bisher al-Rawi said freedom for him was "bittersweet" with the knowledge that others remained incarcerated.

British resident freed from Guantanamo Bay says prison camp offers "no fair legal process" 02 Apr 2007 A British resident [Bisher al-Rawi] released from Guantanamo Bay after nearly five years in captivity said Sunday his detention at the U.S. prison camp was "profoundly difficult" to endure, his first comments since his release.

Guantanamo inmates left in limbo 03 Apr 2007 The US Supreme Court has decided dozens of Guantanamo Bay prisoners have no right to challenge their detention in a US federal court, handing the Bush regime a major victory for its "war on [of] terror" legal strategy. Only three of the nine judges on the court said they would be prepared to examine the case, one short of the number required for it to be taken up by justices under their rules of procedure.

High court bars Guantanamo prisoners' appeal --Court won't decide legal rights; but administration win may be temporary 02 Apr 2007 The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from Guantanamo detainees who want challenge their five-year-long confinement in court, a victory for the Bush regime's legal strategy in its fight against [of] terrorism. At issue is whether prisoners held at Guantanamo have a right to habeas corpus review, a basic tenet of the Constitution that protects people from unlawful imprisonment.

Guantanamo Bay Inmate Appeals Rejected by High Court 02 Apr 2007 A divided U.S. Supreme Court turned away two appeals from Guantanamo Bay inmates who sought to challenge their detentions in federal court, declining to question a law that scales back judicial wartime powers. The justices, voting 6-3, today left intact a lower court decision that said the 2006 law validly bars federal judges from considering habeas corpus petitions filed by prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

Big business undermined sanctions, says CIA report 02 Apr 2007 British and European economic sanctions imposed on Argentina at the start of the Falklands conflict were undermined by the vested interests of the banks and big business, according to secret documents released by the CIA.

New Generation of Qaeda Chiefs Is Seen on Rise 02 Apr 2007 As Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] rebuilds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, a new generation of leaders has emerged under Osama bin Laden to cement control over the network’s operations, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.

'I'm being treated worse than an inmate.' TB Victim Is Locked Up in Arizona 02 Apr 2007 Behind the county hospital's tall cinderblock walls, a 27-year-old tuberculosis patient sits in a jail cell equipped with a ventilation system that keeps germs from escaping. Robert Daniels has been locked up indefinitely, perhaps for the rest of his life, since last July. But he has not been charged with a crime. Instead, he suffers from an extensively drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis, or XDR-TB. County health authorities obtained a court order to lock him up as a danger to the public because he failed to take precautions to avoid infecting others. "I'm being treated worse than an inmate," Daniels said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press last month.

Democrats to Widen Conflict With Bush 02 Apr 2007 Even as their confrontation with President [sic] Bush over Iraq escalates, emboldened congressional Democrats are challenging the White House on a range of issues -- such as unionization of airport security workers and the loosening of presidential secrecy orders -- with even more dramatic showdowns coming soon.

BYU campus protests Dick Cheney speech 02 Apr 2007 Some students and faculty on one of the nation's most conservative campuses want Brigham Young University to withdraw an invitation for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney to speak at commencement later this month.

Gonzales Preps for Showdown With Senate 02 Apr 2007 His job on the line, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales shelved plans for a family vacation and began prepping Monday for a showdown with senators over the firings of federal prosecutors.

U.S. Senate Democrats reject White House push to move up attorney general's testimony 01 Apr 2007 The administration signaled its interest in moving up Alberto Gonzales' testimony on Sunday, but Democrats rejected the idea, contending it was too late to adjust the schedule. The Senate has just started a one-week vacation, while the House is taking a two-week spring break. Attorney General Gonzales is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17.

Need outstrips beds for homeless vets 31 Mar 2007 According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are about 195,000 homeless veterans on any given night. Last fall, the VA estimated a shortfall of 9,600 "transitional" beds for those vets, accommodations intended to serve as a stepping stone from the streets to independent living.

Vote On Rx Bill: Politics "Ugliest Night" --60 Minutes Reports On Drug Lobbyists' Role in Passing Bill That Keeps Drug Prices High 29 Mar 2007 The [pharmaceutical] lobby has spent over $800 million over the past eight years in political campaign contributions and expenses and lobbyists outnumber members of Congress more two to one, according to an upcoming report from the Center for Public Integrity. "I've been in politics for 22 years and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years," says Jones of efforts by Republican Congressional leaders to persuade defecting Republicans to vote for one of the most expensive bills ever before the House. "The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill," says Jones, who, with Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), was among those defectors. When they tallied votes, there were not enough to pass it, so the vote was kept open for longer than normal. "They're supposed to have 15 minutes to leave the voting machines open and it was open for almost three hours," says Burton. "The votes were there to defeat the bill for two hours and 45 minutes and we had leaders going around…trying to twist [defecting Republicans'] arms to get them to change their votes," says Burton. "It was horrible," Jones tells Kroft. "We had a good friend from Michigan, Nick Smith (formerly R-Mich.) and they threatened to work against his son who wanted to run for his seat when he retired," recalls Jones. "I saw... a member of the House, a lady, crying when they came around her, trying to get her to change her vote."

Top court rebukes administration on warming --Justices order government to re-examine regulations on car emissions 02 Apr 2007 In a defeat for the Bush administration, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a U.S. government agency has the power under the clean air law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions that spur global warming.

High Court Rebukes Bush on Car Pollution 02 Apr 2007 The Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration Monday for its inaction on global warming in a decision that could encourage faster action in Congress on climate change and lead to more fuel-efficient cars as early as next year.

Draft of climate report maps out 'highway to extinction' 02 Apr 2007 A key element of the second major report on climate change being released Friday in Belgium is a chart that maps out the effects of global warming, most of them bad, with every degree of temperature rise.

Lonely Seal Cub Found In Central Helsinki Grabs Headlines 02 Apr 2007 A lonely seal cub spotted on a beach in the Finnish capital Helsinki has grabbed headlines and quickly became the namesake of a celebrity polar bear cub in Berlin, the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper reported Monday. People out for a Sunday stroll on the southern shoreline of Helsinki saw the seal cub and alerted rescue services... Animal keeper Stina Renqvist at the Helsinki Zoo assessed that Knut was likely orphaned or had been abandoned by his mother, a similar fate to that of Knut the polar bear in Berlin. It was unlikely that Knut the seal would meet Knut the polar bear in person - in the wild, seal cubs are one of the main items on a polar bear's diet. [Too bad Bush isn't part of the polar bear's diet.]

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'US ready to strike Iran on Good Friday' 01 Apr 2007 The United States will be ready to launch a missile attack on Iran's nuclear facilities as soon as early this month, perhaps "from 4 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 6," according to reports in the Russian media on Saturday.

IDF intelligence: Iran, Hizbullah preparing for possible US strike 01 Apr 2007 Iran, Syria and Hizbullah are preparing for a possible military confrontation with the United States in the summer, the head of the IDF's Military Intelligence said Sunday. "Their preparation is defensive ahead of war… They fear a war initiated by the Americans because they understand that there might be an attack against Iran over the summer, but not by Israel," Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Cabinet.

Iran Complains to UK Over Consulate Shots In Iraq 01 Apr 2007 Iran has sent a letter to the British embassy in Tehran complaining about shots fired by British troops near its consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Iran's ISNA news agency said on Sunday. Iran previously accused British forces of surrounding the consulate on Thursday and firing into the air in a provocative act. The British military denied any aggressive action.

Britain seeks face-saving deal with Iran 31 Mar 2007 Britain hopes to send a top navy officer to Tehran to deliver a face-saving compromise that will ensure the release of 15 captive British naval personnel, The Sunday Telegraph reported Sunday.

Official Says Britain Is Communicating With Iran 01 Apr 2007 Britain is in "direct bilateral communication" with Iran as it tries to win the release of 15 detained sailors and marines, Defense Secretary Des Browne said on Sunday.

Iranian TV says it will show British 'confessions' --U.K. defense secretary says talks are under way over 15 captured troops 01 Apr 2007 Iran’s Arabic satellite channel announced Sunday it would soon air "confessions" from two of the 15 captured British sailors, hours after about 200 Iranian youths threw rocks and firecrackers at the British Embassy in protest over the escalating standoff between the two nations. [Why are quotation marks used around the word confession when the confessions are made by UK troops held in Iran --but, when prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are tortured into confessing 31 acts of terrorism, no quotation marks are used around the word? --LRP]

Bush tells Iran 'give hostages back' 01 Apr 2007 President [sic] Bush has condemned the capture of 15 British sailors by Iran and demanded that the 'hostages' be released. "It's inexcusable behaviour and I strongly support the Blair government's attempts to resolve this peacefully," the President told a news conference yesterday. [The US needs to give *its* hostages back. See: US rejects Iran captives exchange 31 Mar 2007.]

Bush calls capture of U.K. sailors 'inexcusable' --Ahmadinejad rips U.K. for not following 'legal, logical way' to resolve issue 31 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush said Saturday that Iran's detention of 15 British sailors was "inexcusable" and that Tehran must release them immediately. [Bush's illegal occupation of the White House *and* Iraq is inexcusable.]

Bush Calls for Iran to Free U.K. Sailors 31 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush on Saturday called for the release of 15 British sailors and marines being held by Iran, calling their capture by Tehran "inexcusable behavior." "Iran must give back the hostages,'' Bush said. "They're innocent, they did nothing wrong, and they were summarily plucked out of waters." [See: Fake Maritime Boundaries By Ambassador Craig Murray 28 Mar 2007 The British Government has published a map showing the coordinates of the incident, well within an Iran/Iraq maritime border... A) The Iran/Iraq maritime boundary shown on the British government map does not exist. It has been drawn up by the British Government. Only Iraq and Iran can agree to their bilateral boundary, and they never have done this in the Gulf, only inside the Shatt because there it is the land border too. This published boundary is a fake with no legal force. B) Accepting the British coordinates for the position of both HMS Cornwall and the incident, both were closer to Iranian land than Iraqi land.]

Gaddafi criticises UK reaction to Iran captives 31 Mar 2007 Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday criticised London's reaction to Iran's seizure of British sailors and marines in the northern Gulf. "This British reaction means that Iraq has become a British colony and Iraq's territorial waters have become British waters," said Gaddafi, addressing Tuareg and other tribal leaders in the central Niger town of Agadez.

'If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all.' Call that humiliation? No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch By Terry Jones 31 Mar 2007 We would never dream of treating captives like this - allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world - have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God's sake, what's wrong with putting a bag over her head? That's what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it's hard to breathe. Then it's perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can't be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are. It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn't be able to talk at all. Of course they'd probably find it even harder to breathe - especially with a bag over their head - but at least they wouldn't be humiliated. And what's all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It's time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That's one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

Bombings in Iraq Add to a Week of [Bush's] Carnage 01 Apr 2007 The Iraqi government on Saturday gave its first official reckoning of the truck bombing Tuesday in the northern city of Tal Afar, putting the death toll at 152 people, a number about double that in early reports.

Over 400 killed in Iraq in past four days 31 Mar 2007 Over 400 Iraqi people have been killed over the past four days, AFP reported Iraqi officials and medics as saying. 125 people were killed in a series of coordinated marketplace blasts in Baghdad and town of Khalis on Thursday.

Deadliest bomb in Iraq war kills 152 01 Apr 2007 The Iraqi government has raised the death toll from a lorry bomb this week in the town of Tal Afar to 152, making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old conflict.

Blast hits near hospital as violence tears across Iraq 01 Apr 2007 Car bombs and gunfire killed more than two dozen civilians and wounded more than 60 in attacks throughout Iraq on Saturday, officials said.

British soldier killed in attack on patrol in Iraq 01 Apr 2007 A British soldier died on Sunday after an attack on a patrol in Basra in southern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence said.

Presidential hopeful McCain visits Baghdad market [OMFG! Where were the 'insurgents?' Don't they attack the Baghdad markets every day?!? I guess the US occupation forces kept them at bay for the day.] 01 Apr 2007 Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain toured a Baghdad market on Sunday and said afterwards the American people were not being told the "good news" about the war in Iraq.

U.S. Republican hopeful wants Iraq vote on troops 01 Apr 2007 Former Bush cabinet member Tommy Thompson said in announcing his presidential candidacy on Sunday that he would urge the Iraqi government to hold a vote on whether U.S. troops should stay.

Terrified Republican Senators Set August Deadline for Iraq By Bob Fertik 01 Apr 2007 Labor Day 2007 marks the beginning of the 2008 election campaign. And come Labor Day, the last thing in the world Republicans want hanging around their necks is the disastrous Iraq War. So what will they do about it? Andrea Mitchell spilled the beans on Chris Matthews' show... The Republicans were against the surge but they felt it was fait accompli, and that they were willing to give Petraeus until August. He told them there will be real progress by August. They have told him at a caucus meeting as very, very recently, that if there isn’t progress by August — and real progress means not a day of violence and a day of sanity — that they will pull the plug. This revelation is so stunning it needs to be broken out piece by piece.

Olmert calls for regional summit with Arab leaders 01 Apr 2007 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday invited Arab leaders to a regional peace conference, saying that he would look there for an exchange of views about solving the Mideast conflict.

Opium for the people: Extraordinary move to legalise poppy crops --The 'IoS' can reveal Tony Blair is considering calls to legalise poppy production in the Taliban's backyard. The plan could cut medical shortages of opiates worldwide, curb smuggling - and hit the 'insurgents.' 01 Apr 2007 The buds of millions of poppy flowers are swelling across Afghanistan... And this year's opium harvest will almost certainly be the largest ever. In the five years since the overthrow of the Taliban regime [and installation of the US regime], land under cultivation for poppy has grown from 8,000 to 165,000 hectares. The US wants to step up eradication programmes, crop-spraying from the air [US pharma-terrorists spray poison on Afghan food]. But, desperate to win "hearts and minds" in Afghanistan and protect British troops, Tony Blair is on the brink of a U-turn that will set him on a collision course with President [sic - drug-lord] George Bush.

Poppy farmer: 'If they spray our crops there will be a big rebellion, you'll see' 01 Apr 2007 Agha Nour has had some of his poppy crop eradicated. His neighbour's has remained virtually untouched. Others in the area have lost the lot. The harvest left untouched belongs to his cousin, Haji Abdul Munaf, who just happens to be the Mayor of Lashkar Gah [The mayor -i.e., a US-sanctioned poppy crop], the capital of Helmand, the province that produces around 30 per cent of Afghanistan's poppy. "We have heard aerial spraying kills all crops and affects cattle," says 58-year-old Syed Ali. "If that happens, there will be a big rebellion, you will see."

Taliban kills 7 police, hangs three 'spies' in Afghanistan 01 Apr 2007 Afghanistan's Taliban said it hanged on Sunday three men in a small southern town it has occupied for two months as a police chief said the rebels killed seven of his men. The Taliban said it hanged the men in the town of Musa Qala after a Taliban "court" found them guilty of spying for foreign forces. One body was strung up in the centre of the small town in the southern province of Helmand and the other two at its entrances, a local merchant said over telephone. [It looks like the US has lost the war in Afghanistan, too. Now, why is the word court in quotation marks --but the US kangaroo "court" at Guantanamo Bay is never in cited quotation marks?]

Detainee says he confessed to stop torture 31 Mar 2007 A detainee accused of being Al Qaeda's Persian Gulf operations chief said in court that his U.S. captors tortured him for years and forced him to falsely confess to the bombing of the U.S. destroyer Cole and to many other terrorist plots, according to a Pentagon transcript released Friday. Abd al Rahim al Nashiri , a Saudi of Yemeni descent, told a military board at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that he had nothing to do with the bombing of the warship in Yemen in 2000 — or with any other terrorist activity.

Hicks faces lifelong shackles 02 Apr 2007 "Confessed" [There's that word again - I added the quotation marks.] 'al-Qaida' foot soldier David Hicks might be electronically shackled after he walks out of an Australian jail on New Year's Eve. Foreign Affairs Minister [terrorist] Alexander Downer [a danger himself] said yesterday he still considered Hicks a danger. US miliary prosecutors also said Hicks remained a threat, describing him as a trained al-Qaida "tool for terrorism". Federal police could seek a control order, under which Hicks could be electronically tagged. [People need to remove any electronic tags.]

Premier asks about Hicks release conditions 01 Apr 2007 South Australian Premier Mike Rann is demanding to know how "confessed" terrorist [tortured] David Hicks will be supervised after serving his nine-month prison term in an Adelaide jail. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer earlier today said it would be up to the Australian Federal Police to decide whether or not Hicks should be monitored once released from jail.

Detainee's plea deal angers some legal experts --If Hicks was such a menace, critics argue, why did he get just nine months? 01 Apr 2007 The first war-crimes trial here drew outrage Saturday from legal experts who described it as a perversion of the rule of law that may fatally discredit the Pentagon's already disparaged handling of terrorism suspects. Australian detainee David Hicks, whom prosecutors cast as a highly trained and dangerous Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative, will be out of prison before the year ends because of a secret deal cut by the Bush regime appointee overseeing the military commissions.

Bush bin Laden selling US atomic secrets: Inspector Lists Computers With Atomic Secrets as Missing 01 Apr 2007 The office in charge of protecting American technical secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified information, the Energy Department inspector general reported on Friday. This is the 13th time in a little over four years that an audit has found that the department, whose national laboratories and factories do most of the work in designing and building nuclear warheads, has lost control over computers used in working on the bombs.

Fence firm hired illegals 30 Mar 2007 The head of a California company [Golden State Fence Co.] hired by the U.S. government to help build a fence along the Southwest border to curb the flow of illegal aliens into the United States has been sentenced on charges of hiring illegals for the job.

Prosecutor Posts Go to Bush Insiders 01 Apr 2007 About one-third of the nearly four dozen U.S. attorney's jobs that have changed hands since President [sic] Bush began his second term have been filled by the White House and the Justice Department with trusted administration insiders. The people chosen as chief federal prosecutors on a temporary or permanent basis since early 2005 include 10 senior aides to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, according to an analysis of government records. Some lacked experience as prosecutors or had no connection to the districts in which they were sent to work, the records and biographical information show.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Forest Management Rules 31 Mar 2007 A federal judge in California on Friday overturned the Bush regime’s revised rules for management of the country’s 155 national forests, saying that the federal Forest Service violated the basic laws ensuring that forest ecosystems have environmental safeguards.

Former top election strategist breaks up with Bush: report 31 Mar 2007 A man who played a key role in securing George W. Bush's reselection has become the first member of the pResident's inner circle to publicly break up with him insisting that Bush's 2004 rival, Democratic Senator John Kerry, was right on Iraq, The New York Times reported on its website late Saturday.

Ex-Aide Says He's Lost Faith in Bush 01 Apr 2007 In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. [Matthew] Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership... He said he believed the president [sic] had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a "my way or the highway" mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.

Attacks on Windows flaw on rise --'Zero-day' hackers breaking into PCs running new Vista 30 Mar 2007 Hackers stepped up attacks Friday on computers running some versions of Windows, a day after Microsoft disclosed a hole related to the mouse cursor.

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US rejects Iran captives exchange 31 Mar 2007 US officials have ruled out a deal to exchange 15 Royal Navy personnel captured in the Gulf for five Iranians seized by American forces in Iraq. State department spokesman Sean McCormack rejected suggestions that a swap could be made.

Ahmadinejad: UK not following 'legal and logical way' to solve crisis 31 Mar 2007 Iran's President has said that Britain is not following the"legal and logical way" in its attempts to solve the crisis over the 15 Royal Navy personnel taken captive by his country. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments to a rally in the province of Khuzestan were reported on Iranian state [as opposed to corporate] radio. Britain has sent a written response to Iran calling for the release of those taken captive.

A peculiar outrage --The treatment of Faye Turney is wrong - but not in the same league as British and US abuses By Ronan Bennett 30 Mar 2007 Turney may have been "forced to wear the hijab", as the Daily Mail noted with fury, but so far as we know she has not been forced into an orange jumpsuit. Her comrades have not been shackled, blindfolded, forced into excruciating physical contortions for long periods, or denied liquids and food. As far as we know they have not had the Bible spat on, torn up or urinated on in front of their faces. They have not had electrodes attached to their genitals or been set on by attack dogs. They have not been hung from a forklift truck and photographed for the amusement of their captors. They have not been pictured naked and smeared in their own excrement. They have not been bundled into a CIA-chartered plane and secretly "rendered" to a basement prison in a country where torturers are experienced and free to do their worst.

Europe threatens action as Iran airs new 'confession' --EU foreign ministers support British position and warn of 'appropriate measures' if 15 sailors and marines not released 31 Mar 2007 The EU threatened to act against Iran last night if it did not immediately and unconditionally release the 15 British sailors and marines it has been holding for more than a week.

Blair furious as second navy hostage 'confesses' on Iranian TV 31 Mar 2007 Condemnation of Iran grew last night after a second British hostage "confessed" to straying into Iranian waters, triggering calls from the European Union to release the 15 hostages immediately.

EU ministers put pressure on Iran 30 Mar 2007 EU foreign ministers have demanded the immediate release of 15 British navy personnel seized by Iran a week ago. The 27 ministers voiced "unconditional support" for Britain in the dispute, in a statement agreed at a meeting in the north German port city of Bremen. They urged "the immediate and unconditional release" of the crew.

Oil spikes above $69 on week-old Iran standoff 30 Mar 2007 The week-old standoff between London and Tehran over the Iranian detention of 15 British naval personnel sent oil prices surging past 69 dollars here -- a near seven-month high -- and analysts warned they could rise further. [If the Bush-Blair generated Iran 'standoff' is resolved, are the oil prices are going to plummet as fast as they soared?]

'Arrow can fully protect against Iran' 30 Mar 2007 Recent modifications made to the Arrow enable Israel's ballistic missile defense system to successfully intercept and destroy any ballistic missile in the Middle East, including nuclear-capable missiles under development by Iran, Arieh Herzog, the head of the Defense Ministry's Homa Missile Defense Agency, has told The Jerusalem Post.

Talabani lashes out at US policy in Iraq under 'occupation' 29 Mar 2007 Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said on Thursday that the US-led invasion of his country four years ago had turned into an occupation with dire consequences for Iraq.

Chairman Waxman Invites Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Testify on April 18th 30 Mar 2007 The Committee has formally requested Secretary Rice to testify before the Oversight Committee on April 18th regarding the Administration’s claims that Iraq sought uranium from Niger, White House treatment of classified information, the appointment of Ambassador Jones as "special coordinator" for Iraq, and other subjects.

Rice Called to Testify on Uranium Claims By Tim Dickinson 30 Mar 2007 Now we get to the juicy stuff. Henry Waxman — head of the House Oversight Committee — has just called on Condi Rice to come to the Hill to testify about the Bush administration’s Iraq/Niger/Uranium claim, the lie that gave credence to the "mushroom cloud" threat that got us into this damned war in the first place.

Pentagon war funds need not urgent -Congress memo 30 Mar 2007 The U.S. Army has enough money on hand to finance the Iraq war through most of July, according to a congressional study that challenges President [sic] George W. Bush's assertions that an infusion of funds is needed more urgently.

Report faults Pentagon for weapons buying problems 30 Mar 2007 The Defense Department has doubled its planned investment in new weapons from $750 billion in 2001 to $1.5 trillion this year, but it is not getting enough bang for its buck, congressional investigators said Friday. The Pentagon program "remains a high-risk area" dogged by cost overruns, schedule delays and performance gaps, said the Government Accountability Office, Congress' nonpartisan audit and investigative arm.

Planned Visit to Syria by Pelosi Is Under Fire From White House 31 Mar 2007 A planned visit to Syria next week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew criticism on Friday from the White House, which accused the Democratic Congressional leader of failing to heed the administration's admonitions [Admonition *this.*] against travel to Damascus. Ms. Pelosi is leading a bipartisan delegation on a weeklong tour of the Middle East that is scheduled to include a meeting with Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

Top General Tried to Warn Bush on Tillman --General Sought to Warn Bush Not to Say Tillman Died in an Enemy Ambush 30 Mar 2007 Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President [sic] Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades. The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman's family.

Text of general's memo on Tillman death --Letter warns that ex-NFL player may have been killed by friendly fire 31 Mar 2007 In a memo sent to Gen. John Abizaid on April 29, 2004, Gen. Stan McChrystal warns him that the possibility that Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire could be embarrassing for President [sic] Bush and the secretary of the Army.

Bush 'supporting [killing] our troops:' Troops losing weight while eating MREs in Afghanistan 30 Mar 2007 After conducting more than 150 interviews with medics, officers and troops on the ground, Lt. Dave Moore concluded that the portable rations called "Meals, Ready-to-Eat" were not doing the job, causing the soldiers to shed pounds that they very much needed. "The standard Meal, Ready to Eat (MRE) does not provide adequate nutrition for dismounted operations in this type of terrain," Moore wrote in his report.

Bush apologizes for poor health care of veterans 30 Mar 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush apologized to wounded U.S. troops who endured dilapidated conditions and bureaucratic delays as he toured Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the flagship military hospital.

US agency tests Massive Ordnance Penetrator 26 Mar 2007 The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) announced on 15 March the successful test of a 30,000 lb (13,600 kg) conventional bomb, which is designed to destroy hardened underground facilities. The 14 March test was a static demonstration, which involved detonating the weapon inside a test tunnel.

Terror suspect 'tortured by US' 30 Mar 2007 A Saudi man held in US custody for five years has told a military hearing he was tortured into confessing a role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 41, said he had faced years of torture after his arrest in 2002, a Pentagon transcript from the closed-door hearing said.

'From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me.' Suspect at Guantanamo claims torture 30 Mar 2007 A suspected Saudi terrorist told a military hearing that he was tortured into confessing that he was involved in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, according to a Pentagon transcript released Friday. "From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me. It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way," Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri said, according to the transcript.

Hicks gets nine month sentence 31 Mar 2007 A US military tribunal has handed down a nine-month prison sentence to David Hicks on a charge of supporting terrorism, a military judge said today. Under the terms of his plea deal, Hicks agreed to withdraw allegations he had been abused at the hands US personnel and is prohibited from speaking to the media for a year about the case.

Australian in Guantanamo to serve 9 months 31 Mar 2007 Australian 'al Qaeda' foot soldier David Hicks was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday but will only serve nine months, a U.S. military tribunal said. The deal allowed all but nine months of the sentence to be suspended, meaning he could be free by New Year's. The United States will send him home by May 29 after holding him for more than five years at the Guantanamo base in Cuba.

Hicks' father hails suspended Guantanamo sentence 31 Mar 2007 The father of convicted 'terrorist' David Hicks, who is to be sent back to Australia and spend nine months in jail, said on Saturday he was relieved his son would serve out his sentence in his homeland. "The bottom line of all this is that at least he's back home. He's out of that hell hole," Terry Hicks told local media.

'We were torturing people for no reason' By Tara McKelvey 28 Mar 2007 As a specialist in a military intelligence battalion, [Tony] Lagouranis interrogated prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Al Asad Airfield and other places in Iraq from January through December 2004. Coercive techniques, including the use of dogs, waterboarding and prolonged stress positions were employed on the detainees, he says. Prisoners held at Al Asad Airfield, about 110 miles northwest of Baghdad, were shackled and hung from an upright bed frame welded to the wall in a room in an airplane hanger, he told me in a phone interview... "I don't care what Alberto Gonzales says. That's torture." Lagouranis was on the NYU panel to talk about torture and its role in the Emmy Award-winning television show "24." ["24: Torture Televised," hosted by the Center on Law and Security of the New York University School of Law on March 21]

Every child to be screened for risk of turning criminal under Blair justice plan --Police would demand DNA samples from all suspects --Tories condemn strategy as 'nanny state gone mad' 28 Mar 2007 A new-style "11-plus" to assess the risk every child in Britain runs of turning to crime was among a battery of proposals unveiled in Tony Blair's crime plan yesterday. The children of prisoners, problem drug users and others at high risk of offending will also face being "actively managed" [!?!] by social services and youth justice workers. New technologies are to be used to boost police detection rates while DNA samples are to be taken from any crime suspect who comes into contact with the police.

In Germany, New Anti-Terrorism Database Stirs Controversy 30 Mar 2007 Germany's first single database from which both police and intelligence officials can tap information about terrorism suspects went into operation Friday... The computer databank allows police and intelligence agencies easier access to a range of information on terrorism suspects, including membership of 'terrorist' groups, firearms registration information as well as Internet and telecommunications data. Other details cover bank account and safety deposit box information, school, university and apprenticeship data, family status and religious affiliation as well as travel data, including visits to areas suspected of housing terrorist training camps.

'My son was murdered because of your incompetence!' 9/11 Presents Challenges for Giuliani 30 Mar 2007 Rudy Giuliani's White House aspirations are inescapably tied to Sept. 11, 2001. Giuliani has been faulted on two major issues: One: His mis-ministration's failure to provide the World Trade Center's first responders with adequate radios, a long-standing complaint from relatives of the firefighters killed when the twin towers collapsed. The Sept. 11 Commission noted the firefighters at the World Trade Center were using the same ineffective radios employed by the first responders to the 1993 terrorist attack on the trade center. Two: A November 2001 decision to step up removal of the massive rubble pile [i.e., destroy evidence] at ground zero. More than 5 1/2 years later, body parts are still turning up in the trade center site.

Ex-Partner of Giuliani May Face Charges --Kerik Counts Said to Include Deception During Cabinet Bid 31 Mar 2007 Federal prosecutors have told Bernard B. Kerik, whose nomination as homeland security secretary in 2004 ended in scandal, that he is likely to be charged with several felonies, including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping.

GOP Lawmaker Urges Gonzales to Resign 31 Mar 2007 A Republican congressman on Saturday urged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, citing what he said were Gonzales' contradictory statements about his role in the firing of eight federal prosecutors. "I trusted him before, but I can't now," said five-term Rep. Lee Terry, whose district includes metropolitan Omaha.

Gonzales says doesn't recall U.S. attorney firing talk 30 Mar 2007 U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Friday he did not recall being involved in talks on dismissing individual federal prosecutors, countering testimony to Congress on Thursday by a former aide that he was involved in such discussions.

An enlarging scandal at Justice (The Boston Globe) Former Justice Department aide Kyle Sampson told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that "the distinction between political and performance-related reasons for removing a US attorney is, in my view, largely artificial." If senators accept this state of affairs, they should close down their inquiry into the purge and accept a new reality: that US attorneys are not objective enforcers of the laws but part of a president's political machine -- 93 Karl Roves with prosecutorial powers. But if the committee rejects that, it should explore further two major disclosures by Sampson. One was that, contrary to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's past denial of involvement in the sackings, Gonzales conferred with Sampson several times about them. Confirmation of his falsehood strengthens the case for Gonzales's resignation. The other revelation by Sampson was that Rove, President [sic] Bush's top political adviser, approached Gonzales about three of the US attorneys who were canned. One of them was ultimately replaced by an aide to Rove. The Senate should move quickly to get Rove to testify before it -- under oath, with a transcript -- even if this requires a subpoena.

Bush at 17 Percent Approval Rating In New Hampshire Poll (Quarterly Survey – March 2007) 29 Mar 2007 The following results are based on 600 completed telephone interviews among a statewide random sample of adults in New Hampshire. Of the 600 interviews, 551 interviews were among registered voters (169 Republicans, 152 Democrats, and 230 undeclared voters).

Ex-Enron exec's guilty plea may finally be withdrawn 30 Mar 2007 The federal government's tally of 16 Enron-related guilty pleas is about to shrink to 15. Today, prosecutors filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal to grant Christopher Calger's long-pending request to withdraw his July 2005 guilty plea to wire fraud in connection with an asset sale and to dismiss the case.

Clinton Blasts Circuit City Layoffs --Thousands to Be Replaced With Lower-Paid Workers 31 Mar 2007 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Circuit City on Friday to reconsider its plan to lay off thousands of workers and replace them with lower-paid new hires.

House panel: Why did Google 'airbrush history?' 31 Mar 2007 Google's replacement of post-Hurricane Katrina satellite imagery on its map portal with images of the region before the storm does a "great injustice" to the storm's victims, a congressional subcommittee said.

FDA: Plastics Chemical In Recalled Pet Food 30 Mar 2007 Government testing of recalled pet food linked to dog and cat deaths has found a chemical used to make plastics. The Food and Drug Administration said it found melamine, also used as a fertilizer [!?!], in samples of the Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat gluten used as an ingredient.

Recall spurs demand for organic pet food 29 Mar 2007 Debra Tarter's two-year-old boxer, Patchez, is just like a member of the family. That's why the national recall of the dog food Patchez had been eating for two years prompted Tarter to switch to brands that cost twice as much, but contain organic and natural ingredients. [Looks like corpora-terrorists win again!]

*****

CIA leak prosecutor's job was threatened --Ex-Gonzales aide says in testimony he suggested removing Fitzgerald 29 Mar 2007 D. Kyle Sampson, the former top aide to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that he suggested removing prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who oversaw the CIA leak case involving White House staff, from his post.

Ex-aide: Gonzales signed off on attorney firings --Democratic panel chair Leahy says Justice Department motivation improper 29 Mar 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was briefed regularly over two years on the firings of federal prosecutors, his former top aide said Thursday, disputing Gonzales' claims he was aware of the dismissals from afar and newly undercutting his already shaky credibility.

Ex-Aide Contradicts Gonzales on Firings 30 Mar 2007 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales was more deeply involved in the firings of eight U.S. attorneys than he has sometimes acknowledged, and Gonzales and his aides have made a series of inaccurate claims about the issue in recent weeks, the attorney general's former chief of staff testified yesterday.

Senate Passes Iraq War Funding Bill 29 Mar 2007 The Senate today defied a White House veto threat and narrowly approved a $122 billion war spending bill that calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer.

Senate Sets Stage For Iraq Face-Off War --Funding Passed With Timetable 30 Mar 2007 Faced with his second rebuke in a week from congressional Democrats on Iraq policy, President [sic] Bush yesterday summoned Republican allies to his side in an effort to shift momentum in the escalating battle over the course of the war.

World Bank to loan Iraq power plant $124 million 30 Mar 2007 The World Bank on Thursday approved $124 million in credit for an electricity reconstruction project in Iraq. [Gee, what happened to the *billions* we've already *given* to 'rebuild' Iraq?!? See: Rebuilding Iraq -- The Contractors 28 Apr 2003 Even before the war in Iraq began March 20, the Bush administration was considering plans to help rebuild the country after fighting ceased. According to news reports in early March, the U.S. Agency for International Development secretly asked six U.S. companies to submit bids for a $900 million government contract to repair and reconstruct water systems, roads, bridges, schools and hospitals in Iraq. The six companies -- Bechtel Group Inc., Fluor Corp., Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root, Louis Berger Group Inc., Parsons Corp. and Washington Group International Inc. -- contributed a combined $3.6 million in individual, PAC and soft money donations between 1999 and 2002, the Center reported on its news site, CapitalEye.org. Sixty-six percent of that total went to Republicans.]

Suicide bombers kill 130 in Iraq 29 Mar 2007 Suicide [US] bombers killed nearly 130 people in a crowded market in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad and a mainly Shi'ite town on Thursday, one of the bloodiest days in Iraq in months.

More Than 100 Are Killed in Iraq as a Wave of Attacks Shows No Sign of Letting Up 30 Mar 2007 More than 100 people were killed Thursday in a series of [US] attacks around Iraq that included two suicide bombings that struck crowded markets during the week’s busiest shopping hours, the authorities said.

Four car bombs explode in Iraqi town 29 Mar 2007 Four car bombs exploded simultaneously in a town north of Baghdad on Thursday, police said, and one witness reported seeing at least eight bodies of people killed in one of the blasts.

Exxon Mobil making a killing on Gulf of Tonkin II: Record gasoline prices expected by this weekend 29 Mar 2007 Surging gasoline prices will likely push the cost of filling up in San Francisco to a record this weekend, topping the previous high of $3.36 per gallon perhaps as early as Friday.

U.N. Urges Resolution of Iran Seizure 30 Mar 2007 The U.N. Security Council expressed "grave concern" Thursday over Iran's seizure of 15 British sailors and marines and called for an early resolution of the escalating dispute, but Iran's chief international negotiator suggested the captives might be put on trial. The Security Council's statement was a watered-down version of a stronger draft sought by Britain to "deplore'' Iranian actions and urge the immediate release of the prisoners.

Britain fails to gain strong UN support in row with Iran [LOL!] 30 Mar 2007 A week after Iran captured 15 British naval personnel in the Gulf, the UN Security Council Thursday expressed "grave concern" at their detention but declined to back Britain with a call for their immediate release.

Britain seeks to build diplomatic pressure on Iran in attempt to free captive personnel --Security council issues watered-down rebuke 30 Mar 2007 Britain was attempting yesterday to isolate Iran over its detention of 15 marines and sailors, but there were no immediate signs that the diplomatic offensive had brought their release any closer.

Sharp words from UK have hardened Tehran's resolve 30 Mar 2007 When Iran's top security official, Ali Larijani, revoked an offer to release Faye Turney while accusing Britain of escalating the crisis, he was living up to his reputation as his country's tough-as-nails nuclear negotiator... Analysts in Tehran believe the vocal pressure coming from Britain - including fierce criticism in the press - has made it harder for Iranian leaders to back down without appearing to give in to the West.

Suicide Attack Kills Four Policemen In Afghanistan 29 Mar 2007 A suicide bomber attack killed at least four policemen in southern Afghanistan Thursday outside a police station in the town of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, officials confirm.

Gates: Congress should find way to shut Guantanamo 29 Mar 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday Congress should look for ways to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, but said any solution must ensure some detainees would remain incarcerated for life. [What happened to the Constitution, maggot?]

German minister defends self over Guantanamo case 29 Mar 2007 Germany's foreign minister denied on Thursday he had caused an innocent German-born Turk to be imprisoned for years at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison. Frank-Walter Steinmeier was testifying for the second time before a special parliamentary committee set up to investigate German cooperation with the U.S. "war on [of] terror" after Sept. 11, 2001.

Freed from Guantanamo: Camp Delta inmate 'who helped MI5' to be released 30 Mar 2007 A British resident held for nearly five years at Guantanamo Bay [Bisher al-Rawi] is to be set free after a breakthrough in negotiations between the US and Britain.

Detainee denies offering money to further 9/11 plot 29 Mar 2007 One of 14 so-called high-value prisoners held here as an alleged al Qaeda bagman has told a military panel that he didn't provide money to the 9/11 hijackers and knew little about the plot in advance.

David Hicks has no story plans: father 30 Mar 2007 David Hicks's father says his son does not intend to profit from his time behind bars at a US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Terry Hicks said as far as he knew, all his son wanted to do was return to Australia and re-establish contact with his family.

Struggling Home Office split up to 'combat' terrorism --Security role expanded for home secretary 30 Mar 2007 The home secretary, John Reid, last night justified the decision to split up the "not fit for purpose" Home Office as essential to win "the struggle for values and ideas" against [for] terrorism in Britain. The stronger role for the Home Office in tackling terrorism means the creation of two new units within it - the 450-strong office for security and counter-terrorism which started work yesterday - and a cross-government "research, information and communication" unit to tackle [foment] the spread of radical Islamist ideas.

O'Donnell 9/11 Rant Reaches 30 Million Viewers By Paul Joseph Watson 29 Mar 2007 Rosie O'Donnell is certainly not backing away from her public stance about 9/11, and this morning on The View went on a 9 minute rant about the many questions surrounding the attack, reaching around 30 million viewers in the process. "One and two got hit by planes, 7 miraculously the first time in history, steel was melted by fire - it is physically impossible," states O'Donnell. "I don't know but to say we don't know and it was imploded in a demolition is beyond ignorant, look at the films get a physics expert here from Yale, from Harvard, pick the school, it defies reason."

House approves $2.9 trillion budget 29 Mar 2007 The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $2.9 trillion budget that Democrats said imposes fiscal discipline on the federal government and that Republican opponents said will lead to huge tax increases.

'It's a travesty that a high-level political appointee with no training in biology is rewriting the conclusions of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists.' Report raps Interior official over leaks 29 Mar 2007 A government official broke federal rules and should face punishment for leaking information about endangered species to private groups, the Interior Department's watchdog said. Environmentalists and other critics contend Julie MacDonald undermined federal endangered species protections.

'The department threatened Creekstone with prosecution if it tested all its animals.' Judge Allows Private Testing for Mad Cow, Over Bush Threats 29 Mar 2007 The federal government must allow meatpackers to test their animals for mad cow disease, a federal judge ruled Thursday. Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a meatpacker based in Arkansas City, Kan., wants to test all of its cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. Larger meat companies feared that move because if Creekstone tested its meat and advertised it as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too. The Agriculture Department currently regulates the test and administers it to less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows. The department threatened Creekstone with prosecution if it tested all its animals.

USDA admits skipped meat plant checks for 30 years 29 Mar 2007 For three decades, U.S. inspectors visited 250 meat processing plants as rarely as once every two weeks despite federal law requiring daily inspection, Agriculture Department officials admitted to lawmakers on Thursday.

Gore wins praise from head of Nobel committee 29 Mar 2007 Former U.S. President Al Gore won praise on Thursday from a man with the power to change lives -- the head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee -- after a speech urging more action to fight global warming.

65 Tornadoes in Six States Kill Four People 30 Mar 2007 Four people were killed in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas after 65 tornadoes swept through six states on Wednesday, officials said yesterday. Tornadoes also struck Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska, said Patrick Slattery of the National Weather Service, with some regions pummeled by large hailstones and heavy snowfall.

*****

Bush Vows Not to Negotiate on Iraq Timetable 28 Mar 2007 A defiant Dictator Bush vowed today not to negotiate with Congress about setting a date for withdrawing American troops from Iraq, and he said the American people would blame lawmakers if there is any delay in approving money for the 'war effort' [Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater USA].

Bush vents fury at Congress demand for troop withdrawal 29 Mar 2007 Besieged as never before during his six years in the White House, George Bush lashed out yesterday at his Democratic foes in Congress, accusing them of making reckless "political statements" by insisting a deadline for a US force withdrawal is a condition of any further funding for the war in Iraq.

Dems Prepare for Veto Fight Over War 29 Mar 2007 Democrats are moving unflinchingly toward a high-stakes veto fight with President [sic] Bush over the Iraq war as the Senate wraps up work on legislation ordering combat troops home from Iraq.

U.S. Iraq Role Is Called Illegal by Saudi King 29 Mar 2007 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told Arab leaders on Wednesday that the American occupation of Iraq was illegal and warned that unless Arab governments settled their differences, foreign powers like the United States would continue to dictate the region’s politics.

Saudi king slams 'illegitimate occupation' of Iraq 28 Mar 2007 Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, slammed Wednesday the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh.

Baghdad Green Zone sees spike in mortars, rockets 28 Mar 2007 'Insurgents' have stepped up rocket and mortar attacks on Baghdad's international Green Zone where most Iraqi government offices and the U.S. embassy are located, a senior U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.

70 Killed in Wave of Revenge in Northern Iraq 29 Mar 2007 One of the bloodiest chapters in Iraq’s sectarian strife unfolded over the past two days in the northern city of Tal Afar where [US] gunmen, some of them apparently police officers, participated in the revenge killings of scores of Sunnis in the aftermath of a huge double suicide bombing in a Shiite area. Two hours after the explosion of truck bombs, which killed 83 people and wounded more than 185, the gunmen — some of whom witnesses recognized as police officers — went house to house in a Sunni neighborhood, dragged people into the street and shot them in the head, witnesses and local leaders said. The killing went on for several hours before the Iraqi Army intervened.

Fake Maritime Boundaries By Ambassador Craig Murray 28 Mar 2007 The British Government has published a map showing the coordinates of the incident, well within an Iran/Iraq maritime border... But there are two colossal problems. A) The Iran/Iraq maritime boundary shown on the British government map does not exist. It has been drawn up by the British Government. Only Iraq and Iran can agree to their bilateral boundary, and they never have done this in the Gulf, only inside the Shatt because there it is the land border too. This published boundary is a fake with no legal force. B) Accepting the British coordinates for the position of both HMS Cornwall and the incident, both were closer to Iranian land than Iraqi land.

U.S. navy war games in Gulf come amid Iran tensions 28 Mar 2007 Mounting tensions between Iran and the West have accelerated war games the U.S. navy is conducting in the Gulf, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday. A second U.S. aircraft carrier began exercises in the Gulf on Tuesday -- the first time two such vessels have been sent to patrol Gulf waters since the U.S.-led war on Iraq in 2003.

Big U.S. oil supply to offset Mideast Gulf disruption 28 Mar 2007 The United States could use its large Strategic Petroleum Reserve to counter a short-term disruption in Middle East Gulf oil shipments caused by 'tensions with Iran' [Exxon Mobil], the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday. "We have substantial emergency supplies" of oil to offset problems in Gulf shipping," EIA's Guy Caruso told reporters.

Oil rises more than $1 on Iran concerns 28 Mar 2007 Oil rose more than $1 on Wednesday as escalating tensions between the West and Iran stoked crude supply concerns from the world's No 4 exporter.

Britain seeks U.N. support on its sailors in Iran 29 Mar 2007 Britain wants U.N. Security Council members to endorse a statement on Thursday that would "deplore" Iran's detention of 15 of its sailors, according to a draft text.

Iran: Britain Must Admit Navy Trespassed 29 Mar 2007 Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by the Mideast nation.

Iran puts detained British sailors on television 28 Mar 2007 Iranian television on Wednesday displayed some of 15 British sailors and marines detained at sea last week and showed the only woman crew member saying they had "trespassed" into Iranian waters.

Iran Says It Will Release Female Sailor 28 Mar 2007 Iran said a female British sailor seized with 14 other crew members would be released Wednesday or Thursday, softening Tehran's position by suggesting their boats' alleged entry into Iranian waters may have been a mistake.

Hicks 'pressured' into plea 28 Mar 2007 David Hicks's father Terry says the Australian government put pressure on his son to plead guilty to the charge of providing support for terrorism. Adelaide-born Hicks could be back in Australia by the end of the year after yesterday's shock plea in front of the US military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

Hicks faces about a year in Australian jail 29 Mar 2007 David Hicks will be behind bars in Australia until after this year's election, but his stint in an Adelaide prison will be relatively short, under a plea bargain being hammered out between prosecutors and his defence counsel.

Hicks 'could make $1 million' [Hopefully!] 28 Mar 2007 David Hicks could make more than $1 million if he sells his story of incarceration in one of the world's most infamous prisons. Australian celebrity PR guru Max Markson told smh.com.au: "He could make an absolute fortune, everyone wants to talk to him".

Reid wins cabinet battle to become security tsar 29 Mar 2007 John Reid has won a cabinet battle to become Britain's "security supremo" under a plan for the Home Office to co-ordinate the fight against [for] terrorism. A plan to split the Home Office into two separate security and justice departments is expected to be given the go-ahead by the Cabinet today.

Blair wants to monitor all children for signs of criminality 29 Mar 2007 Tony Blair faced charges of taking a further step towards turning Britain into a "surveillance state" as he set out plans to monitor all children for signs of criminality, to allow police to collect more DNA samples and to expand the use of CCTV cameras.

Navy Lacks Plan to Defend Against 'Sizzler' Missile 23 Mar 2007 The U.S. Navy, after nearly six years of warnings from Pentagon testers, still lacks a plan for defending aircraft carriers against a supersonic Russian-built missile, according to current and former officials and Defense Department documents.

Saudi king calls for end to Palestinian blockade 28 Mar 2007 Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah called on Wednesday for an end to the international blockade on the Palestinian government to revive efforts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict at the heart of the region's problems.

Tillman Case Could Bring Punishments 28 Mar 2007 Two generals singled out for blame in the Pat Tillman case have retired since the Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, but they remain within reach of the military justice system. Because they receive military pensions, Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger and Brig. Gen. Gary Jones could be recalled to active duty and court-martialed, former and current military lawyers say.

White House Withdraws Ambassador Nominee 28 Mar 2007 President [sic] Bush on Wednesday withdrew the ambassadorial nomination of businessman Sam Fox after Democrats denounced Fox for giving money to a controversial conservative group [Swift Boat liars for Rove] that undermined Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Aide: Prosecutors fired over Bush's priorities 29 Mar 2007 Eight federal prosecutors were fired last year because they did not sufficiently support President [sic] Bush's priorities, a standard that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff [Kyle Sampson] says is legitimate.

E-Mail Shows Rove's Role in Fate of Prosecutors 29 Mar 2007 Karl Rove’s role has put him in the center of a Senate inquiry into the dismissal of eight United States attorneys. Democrats and a few Republicans have raised questions about whether the prosecutors were being replaced to impede or jump-start investigations for partisan goals.

Prosecutors Assail Gonzales During Meeting 29 Mar 2007 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales endured blunt criticism Tuesday from federal prosecutors who questioned the firings of eight United States attorneys, complained that the dismissals had undermined morale and expressed broader grievances about his leadership, according to people briefed on the discussion.

Report Says Interior Official Overrode Work of Scientists 29 Mar 2007 A top-ranking official overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service at the Interior Department rode roughshod over agency scientists, and decisions made on her watch may not survive court challenges, investigators within the Interior Department have found. Their report, sent to Congress this week by the department’s inspector general, finds that Julie A. MacDonald violated federal rules when she sent internal agency documents to industry lobbyists.

EPA Fines Energy Department $1 Million Over Violations at Hanford Nuclear Site 28 Mar 2007 The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday fined the federal Energy Department $1.1 million over violations of an agreement to clean up the Hanford nuclear reservation, the nation's most polluted nuclear site.

Income Gap Is Widening, Data Shows 29 Mar 2007 Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.

Retailer TJX says computer breach involved 45.7 million credit, debit card numbers 28 Mar 2007 At least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers of TJX Cos. customers were stolen from the discount retailer's computer system over several years, according to a regulatory filing by the company, which has stores in North America and Europe.

Scientists say Antarctic ice sheet is thinning 29 Mar 2007 A Texas-sized piece of the Antarctic ice sheet is thinning, possibly due to global warming, and could cause the world's oceans to rise significantly, polar ice experts said on Wednesday. They said "surprisingly rapid changes" were occurring in Antarctica's Amundsen Sea Embayment, which faces the southern Pacific Ocean...

*****

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