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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May 2004 Archives

Halliburton [war] tab swamps Bush's estimate Spending projection: $150 billion by 2005 --With troop commitments growing, the cost of Halliburton ['the war in Iraq'] could top $150 billion through the next fiscal year — as much as three times what the White House had originally estimated. And, according to congressional researchers and outside budget experts, the war and continuing occupation could total $300 billion over the next decade, making this one of the costliest corporate welfare ['military campaigns'] in modern times. [Chart]

Top brass 'picked man who ordered torture' The torture tactics used to "soften up" Iraqi detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail began under orders from the highest level of the US defence dictatorship, it was claimed yesterday. The creation of torture units was the consequence of orders by the Defence Department – headed by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – to prise information out of prisoners. Unreleased images from Baghdad are reported to show: AMERICAN soldiers beating an Iraqi to a bloody pulp. A MALE US soldier having sex [Rape] with a female Iraqi inmate. SOLDIERS acting inappropriately with a dead body. A VIDEO allegedly showing Iraqi guards raping young boys.

A failure of leadership at the highest levels (ArmyTimes.com) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war... But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons. ...But while responsibility begins with the six soldiers facing criminal charges, it extends all the way up the chain of command to the highest reaches of the military hierarchy and its civilian leadership. The entire affair is a failure of leadership from start to finish... This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential — even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war."

Most Iraqi detainees 'arrested by mistake' Occupation military intelligence officers believed 70-90 per cent of Iraqi detainees were "arrested by mistake", according to a leaked Red Cross report on prisoner abuse, further details of which were disclosed on Monday.

Amnesty report lists 37 'disputed' killings by UK forces Hanan Matrud, an eight-year-old girl shot dead by British troops in Basra. She is one of 37 Iraqi civilians killed in disputed circumstances by UK soldiers. Today, an independent report into all these deaths presents new problems for the allies, already reeling from allegations of torture and abuse

Amnesty: UK troops shot civilians As furor grows over the mistreatment of Iraqi detainees, a report from a human rights group has charged that British troops occupying southern Iraq killed a dozen civilians who posed no threat to them.

Hoon: I never saw abuse report Britain's Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon has told the House of Commons that neither he nor fellow ministers saw a Red Cross report detailing alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some British soldiers.

MoD was told of Iraqi prisoners' abuse a year ago Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, may have only seen details of allegations of brutality by British troops within the past week, but the International Committee of the Red Cross and Amnesty International began investigating claims that occupation forces had abused and humiliated Iraqi captives more than a year ago.

Human stories which implicate British soldiers in Iraqi abuses An Amnesty report on the role of British forces in Iraq paints a devastating picture of soldiers killing civilians, cases not properly investigated and families left in the dark about the fate of their relatives --'Captain apologised for death in the dark'

Troops broke hooding ban, Government concedes British troops in Iraq were acting illegally by "hooding" prisoners, the Government was forced to admit yesterday.

Blair: I will quit if I become electoral liability Tony Blair will stand aside as prime minister and make way for Gordon Brown to succeed him as Labour leader if he comes to believe that he is a liability to his party's electoral prospects, he has told close associates.

Former detainees tell of torture in US prisons throughout Iraq Human rights campaigners say torture is endemic at [US concentration] camps across the country. From north to south, Iraqis have detailed abuse at US-run detention centres as military officials insist gruesome deeds at Abu Ghraib jail were the work of a few and not an indictment of the entire system. But human rights campaigners say torture is endemic at camps across the country, while others lambast the US military for continuing to deny all but the International Committee of the Red Cross access to security detainees.

Mistreatment Of Detainees Went Beyond Guards' Abuse Ex-Prisoners, Red Cross Cite Flawed Arrests, Denial of Rights --Problems in the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq extended beyond physical mistreatment in prison cellblocks, involving thousands of arrests without evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of suspects starting from the moment of detention, according to former prisoners, Iraqi lawyers, human rights advocates and the International Committee for the Red Cross.

Iraq abuse allegations multiply More allegations of mistreatment by US and British prison staff in Iraq have emerged in the international media. The alleged abuses include the stripping and beating of a 12-year-old girl and an imam being forced to wear women's underwear and locked up with female prisoners. According to Italy's La Repubblica newspaper, a group of Sunni clerics is compiling a list of complaints from inmates at Baghdad's infamous Abu Ghraib jail.

Prisoners 'threatened with Guantanamo' British and American soldiers yesterday faced further accusations of abuses against Iraqi prisoners in a report on human rights violations released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The report details incidents of pistol whippings and beatings as well as threats to send prisoners to America's military detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Contractor: Army Happy With Torturers ['Interrogators'] The chief executive of a defense contractor that provides civilian torturers ['interrogators'] to the scandal-ridden Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said the Army is pleased with its work and that its employees fully understand they are under military authority. "It's been reported to us that we're doing a fine job. That's from our customer (the Army), and those are the people who count," J.P. "Jack" London said Monday in a telephone interview.

Soldier: Role was to 'make it hell' for prisoners Reservist tells of orders from intelligence officers There were no rules, by her account, and there was little training. But the mission was clear. Spec. Sabrina D. Harman, a military police officer who has been charged with abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, said she was assigned to break down prisoners for interrogation. Harman, a 26-year-old Army reservist from Alexandria, said members of her military police unit took direction from Army military intelligence officers, from CIA operatives and from civilian contractors who conducted interrogations.

Abu Ghraib photos left on vandalised Gaza graves Protesters damaged 30 grave-stones at the Commonwealth war cemetery near Gaza City at the weekend and plastered others with photographs of occupation soldiers in Iraq abusing detainees in Abu Ghraib prison.

US approved harsh techniques at Guantanamo The US Defence Department last year approved interrogation techniques for use at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba that include forcing inmates to strip naked and subjecting them to loud music, bright lights and sleep deprivation, the Washington Post reported today. The techniques were approved in April 2003 and require approval from senior Pentagon officials and in some cases US Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld, the paper reported on its website, citing unnamed defence officials.

Bush Says Rumsfeld Is 'Doing a Superb Job' He aims to head off speculation that defense chief might resign; senators plan another prisoner abuses hearing. Bush Gives Rumsfeld Strong Endorsement Dictator Bush delivered a strong public endorsement of his embattled defense secretary [W-ar criminal] today and pledged a "full accounting" for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. military personnel in a notorious Baghdad prison. After a meeting at the Pentagon with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top national security officials, Bush made a point of effusively thanking [W-ar criminal] Rumsfeld for his 'leadership' despite growing calls for his removal over the prisoner abuse scandal.

Bush Says U.S. Owes Rumsfeld 'Debt of Gratitude' Dictator Bush strongly backed [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld on Monday and said America owed him a debt of gratitude [?!?], countering calls by Democrats for the defense secretary to resign over his handling of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. Meanwhile, the independent Army Times newspaper, widely read in the U.S. military, on Monday rebuked Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for "a failure of leadership," adding that accountability might mean "relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war."

Speech met with disbelief Arab commentators reacted with shock and disbelief to US Dictator George Bush's robust backing of Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld. Critics had called for Rumsfeld to quit after the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. But analysts, editors and ordinary Arabs were united in their condemnation of Bush on Monday when he said the nation owed the defence secretary a "debt of gratitude".

Rumsfeld Criticized by Influential Military Paper The independent Army Times newspaper, read widely in the U.S. military, on Monday suggested Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top Pentagon civilian and military leaders should be removed over the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal.

275,000 signatures on Kerry petition for Rumsfeld to resign Some 275,000 people have signed a petition launched by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry calling for US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign over the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, his campaign director said. [Sign the petition on John Kerry's website: I support John Kerry's stand: Donald Rumsfeld MUST resign.]

Rumsfeld apologizes, accepts responsibilty for POW abuse (armytimes.com) Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said May 7 he takes "full responsibility" for apparent abuses committed by U.S. troops at Iraq’s now-notorious Abu Ghraib prison, but added he does not think he should resign... Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said troops in Iraq have been deeply affected by the images. "They’re walking with their heads held a little bit lower right now," Myers said.

Soldier's reply to Rumsfeld (militarycity.com) hanging heads low? --by artdlg01 Location: back from Iraq! "The last part of this article says, soldiers are hanging there heads a little low right now. PEOPLE!! soldiers have been hanging thier heads low a lot longer than you think! I was in Iraq for my tour, and will be deploying back within 6 to 10 months. I'm already hanging my head low! ...Soldeirs are starting to feel the strain of this so-called 'libeartion' in Iraq and back home. Who will no look out for the soldiers, we are walking a thin line, and we are going to pay dearly with the loss of our own military men and women. So Mr. Rumsfield apologizing, spilling his heart out to the people and to the house, but it still won't change a thing. The Iraqis hate us, they hate us more than ever. The longer we stay, the futher we fall into a hole, a hole without a cause. Troops will continue die, but for what? Somebody please tell me, because I don't know anymore." [sic: various misspellings]

Armytimes.com Poll: Who do you think is more culpable for recent allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib Prison?

US announces first court martial for abuse The US military sought to stem outrage at home and in the Arab world at the treatment of Iraqi detainees yesterday by announcing that the first court martial of a soldier accused in the affair will be held this month in the Iraqi capital.

Fallujah Rebels, Residents, Police Celebrate Victory over U.S. Marines --by Dahr Jamail "The US 1st Marine Division sent a small convoy into Fallujah today in order to meet with the mayor and show cooperation with the Iraqi Police (IP) and Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC). But the supposed show of force was a pre-arranged exercise. Immediately following the Marines’ departure, the embattled city erupted into what could only be described as a huge victory celebration over the US military. Residents were joined by fully armed resistance fighters who intermingled freely with uniformed IP and ICDC personnel."

Bomb Explosion Damages Iraqi Oil Pipeline Resistance fighters bombed an oil pipeline in southern Iraq, setting off a huge blaze and slashing daily Iraqi oil exports by about 25 percent, or 450,000 barrels per day, an official said Monday.

Sabotage hits Iraq's southern oil exports Pipeline bombing disrupt crude shipments --A sabotage attack on a southern pipeline has struck oil exports from Iraq’s vital Basra terminal, denting Baghdad’s main source of revenue for postwar reconstruction. [No, Halliburton stole Baghdad's main source of revenue for the Bush terrorists.]

FBI Agent Was Prevented From Relaying Warning on 9/11 Hijackers More than a year before 9/11, CIA officials prevented an FBI agent working with the CIA from passing vital information to his agency on two suspected al CIAduh members — men who later would become Sept. 11 hijackers. The CIA maintains the information had already been passed to the FBI, and that was why the agent did not need to warn his bosses. The CIA cites a statement provided to Congress on Oct. 17, 2002. In it, CIA Director George Tenet refers to e-mails that agency officials say prove the information was provided to the FBI. FBI officials, however, told ABCNEWS they had no record of these e-mails.

The White Van Were Israelis Detained on Sept. 11 Spies? (June 21, 2002) A New Jersey homemaker saw something that morning that prompted an investigation into five young Israelis and their possible connection to Israeli intelligence... The arresting officers said they saw a lot that aroused their suspicion about the men. One of the passengers had $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock. Another was carrying two foreign passports. A box cutter was found in the van. But perhaps the biggest surprise for the officers came when the five men identified themselves as Israeli citizens...

Israeli men arrested after high-speed chase in Tenn. The chase began late Saturday afternoon when Unicoi County Sheriff Kent Harris noticed a rental truck traveling at a high speed along former U.S. Highway 23, a lightly traveled highway near the North Carolina state line... Once the men were apprehended, officers found a business card that offered flying lessons in Florida, leading Harris and others to express concern about security at the Nuclear Fuel Services plant in Erwin. Harris said Shmuel Dahan gave authorities a fake Florida driver's license issued in Plantation, Fla., while Almaliach Naor produced a fake identification card.

Homeland Security/Pentagon to simulate toxin attack over NYC Researchers are making plans to release a benign [?!?] gas in the urban canyons of Manhattan, perhaps in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden, to simulate how toxins might disperse in a terrorist attack. The exercise will build on a recently completed pilot study on wind patterns in a nine-block area of Manhattan's West Village. Within the past several months, the proposed New York study was merged into a broader effort being coordinated by the Department of Homeland Security.

NYC police security estimate for GOP convention now $76 million Security costs for the Republican National Convention this summer will hit $76 million, police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday. Just last month, the estimate was $47 million to $65 million.

Study Examines Govt. Web Sites for Terror The overwhelming majority of federal Web sites that reveal information about airports, power plants, military bases and other attractive terrorist targets need not be censored because similar or better information is easily available elsewhere, a taxpayer-financed study found.

Nutball's new Weapon of Mass Distraction: Exclusive: New Bush space speech planned Dictator George W. Bush plans to make a major speech early this summer defending his plan for a new U.S. space exploration initiative, regime sources told United Press International. Sources said although drafting the speech -- termed a vigorous call to support the dictator's new space exploration policy he announced last January -- has not yet begun, aides have been narrowing prospective dates and venues. "The president [sic] wants to speak about space," a senior regime source said.

Medicare Contractor Firm Donates to GOP A few weeks after the Bush regime named Medco to be one of the first Medicare drug card providers, a company executive helped throw a $100,000 fund-raiser for the dictator that was headlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. In all, companies that won approval from Thompson's department to be the first Medicare drug discount card providers spent at least $35 million lobbying in 2003, and their executives and lobbyists donated or raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more for Bush's re-s-election, an Associated Press review found.

Bush's tanked economy: Dow closes below 10,000 U.S. stocks fell for the third straight session on Monday, pushing the blue-chip Dow below the psychologically key 10,000 level for the first time since last December, amid intensifying fears the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as June.

Markets falter amid fears over US rate rises The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed below 10,000 on Monday on a day of turbulence for stock markets around the world, caused by fears of higher US interest rates and a slowdown in the world economy.

Bush approval hits new lows in poll Support for W-ar in Iraq also lowest ever --Dictator Bush holds a single-point lead over Democratic challenger John Kerry in the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of likely voters, but voters' approval of Bush's performance and support for the war in Iraq dropped to new lows in the survey.

Students, faculty protesting Rice's upcoming speech at Vanderbilt Some Vanderbilt students and faculty, including the chancellor's wife, have signed a petition to protest a visit to the school this week by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

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'Snarling dogs used against inmate' US magazines today published graphic new reports of Iraqi prison abuses, including a photo showing a naked prisoner cowering under threat from two military dogs and witness accounts of beatings and rape. The New Yorker magazine, which was among the first to publish photos that have caused an international scandal, showed the man cowering from the dogs and said other photos existed from the same scene, showing the prisoner on the floor with blood pouring from a wound.

Chain of Command How the Department of Defense mishandled the disaster at Abu Ghraib. --by Seymour M. Hersh "One of the new photographs shows a young soldier, wearing a dark jacket over his uniform and smiling into the camera, in the corridor of the jail. In the background are two Army dog handlers, in full camouflage combat gear, restraining two German shepherds. The dogs are barking at a man who is partly obscured from the camera’s view by the smiling soldier. Another image shows that the man, an Iraqi prisoner, is naked. His hands are clasped behind his neck and he is leaning against the door to a cell, contorted with terror, as the dogs bark a few feet away. Other photographs show the dogs straining at their leashes and snarling at the prisoner. In another, taken a few minutes later, the Iraqi is lying on the ground, writhing in pain, with a soldier sitting on top of him, knee pressed to his back. Blood is streaming from the inmate’s leg. Another photograph is a closeup of the naked prisoner, from his waist to his ankles, lying on the floor. On his right thigh is what appears to be a bite or a deep scratch. There is another, larger wound on his left leg, covered in blood."

Boy, 16, 'was subjected to mock execution by US interrogators' American soldiers subjected a 16-year-old Iraqi prisoner to a mock execution inside an American detention centre and made his brothers watch, one of the brothers alleged yesterday.

New picture and military critics increase pressure on Bush · Fresh revelations place Rumsfeld in jeopardy · Blair apologises to Iraqis abused by British soldiers --Fresh revelations about Iraqi prisoner abuse - with photographs of a naked, cowering detainee in front of barking dogs - overwhelmed the Bush regime's efforts to contain the scandal yesterday and placed the future of the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, in further jeopardy.

New pictures and further allegations deepen the mire for Bush and Rumsfeld Shocking new pictures of US soldiers using dogs against naked Iraqi prisoners emerged yesterday - along with compelling fresh evidence that the mistreatment and abuse were a widespread practice, extending beyond the jail of Abu Ghraib.

Congress to See Unreleased Abuse Photos Bracing for what the defense secretary has described as "sadistic" pictures, Congress will see the unreleased photos showing Iraqi prisoners being abused by U.S. soldiers, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday.

Blair Apologizes for Abuses in Iraq Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair apologized Sunday for any abuses committed by British soldiers in Iraq, and said those responsible would be punished.

Hoon to address Commons as abuse scandal deepens Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, has bowed to pressure to make an emergency Commons statement today on the alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war by British troops after Downing Street admitted that it was warned of such allegations by the Red Cross in February.

Early signs were given secondary priority Although the specific abuses at Abu Ghraib occurred far down the chain of command from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, it was a chain closely supervised from the top. Indeed, in cases of high-level detainees, rules imposed by Rumsfeld dictated that Pentagon officials up to and including the Defense secretary be involved in approving the use of coercive interrogation methods.

On Monday, the Army, Marine, Air Force and Navy Times will publish editorials calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Myers. Face the Nation (CBS news) transcript - Sunday, May 9, 2004 (.pdf)

Donald Rumsfeld Should Go (The New York Times) "It is time now for Mr. Rumsfeld to go, and not only because he bears personal responsibility for the scandal of Abu Ghraib... This is far from a case of a fine cabinet official undone by the actions of a few obscure bad apples in the military police. Donald Rumsfeld has morphed, over the last two years, from a man of supreme confidence to arrogance, then to almost willful blindness."

US announces first court martial for Abu Ghraib abuse in Iraq US forces have announced their first court-martial in Baghdad after ordering a military policeman to stand trial this month for connection with abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, a senior military spokesman said Sunday.

Majority of Iraqis want U.S. to withdraw Occupation authorities have commissioned a report which paints the bleakest picture yet of the U.S.-occupation's reputation in Iraq. For the first time, according to Dulame’s poll, a majority of Iraqis said they’d feel safer if the U.S. military withdrew immediately.

Poll shows majority want UK troops to pull out Independent/MOP poll Should British troops pull out of Iraq by 30th June? 55 per cent: YES; 28 per cent: NO; 17 per cent: DON'T KNOW --Voters support the withdrawal of all British troops from Iraq by the end of next month by a majority of two to one, a poll for The Independent reveals today.

Jesse Jackson Calls for Troop Withdrawal The Rev. Jesse Jackson has urged the Bush regime to withdraw American troops from Iraq and carry out a thorough investigation of human rights violations in the war-torn country.

Shiite Cleric's Militia Seizes Control of Baghdad Slum Armed Resistance fighters and commanders loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr took over the giant Sadr City slum in Baghdad on Sunday, seizing control of police forces, municipal administration and schools and 'blocking freedom of movement in an area' just five miles east of U.S. occupation headquarters. Teenagers wielding rocket-propelled grenade launchers commanded entrances to the slum, home to about a third of Baghdad's 5 million residents. [Looks like defeat is at hand for the Bush-Blair terror team...]

U.S. Tanks Push Into Iraqi Stronghold U.S. forces stepped up pressure on Shiite gunmen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, pushing with tanks into the holy city of Kufa and assaulting militia positions in the narrow streets of a Shiite enclave in Baghdad. At least 34 Iraqis were killed.

Blast Rocks Baghdad Hotel, Foreigners Hurt A bomb exploded outside a small hotel in Baghdad on Sunday night, wounding four foreigners and two Iraqi guards, witnesses and police said.

Iraq Oil Exports Cut by Pipeline Sabotage A sabotage attack against a southern pipeline has reduced Iraq's oil exports sharply, the South Oil Company President said on Monday. "The situation is not good,'' Jabar al-Leaby told Reuters, but declined to say how much oil was still being exported.

Our dead are outnumbered: In Memoriam --by Mark Yannone "There were another 10,000 civilians [killed] who were known only to their families and their neighbors. We might remember them too and wonder why we are paying $1 billion a day to have this done. Executive Order 13303 of May 28, 2003, may provide a clue: ...(b) all Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products, and interests therein, and proceeds, obligations, or any financial instruments of any nature whatsoever arising from or related to the sale or marketing thereof, and interests therein, in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons."

US Troops Intrude Into Pakistan Again US forces in the border area of Afghanistan intruded into Pakistani territory for the third time this week late Friday night. The US troops crossed over into the Lawara Mandi area of North Waziristan Agency at around 7 p.m. on Friday.

Heads up! Is the Bush dictatorship preparing to play its trump card, as the Iraq W-ar crimes scandal threatens to topple the principle terrorists in his regime? Threat of 'Dirty Bomb' Growing, Officials Say Radioactive material is common and often not secured. Al CIAduh is said to be planning an attack. Concerns are growing that Al CIAduh or a related group could detonate a "dirty bomb" that would spew radioactive fallout across an American or European city, according to intelligence analysts, diplomats and independent nuclear experts.

U.S. Embassy in Japan Issues Attack Warning E-Mail The United States embassy in Japan issued an e-mail warning to U.S. citizens on Monday about a possible bomb attack against the mission this week, but added that it was unable to determine whether the threat was credible.

Japan's Topix Index Has Biggest Slide Since Sept. 11 Attacks Japanese stocks plunged, dragging the Topix index to its biggest slide since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Kyocera Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. led declines after a U.S. labor report fueled concerns the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as next month.

Japanese stocks plunge, TOPIX loses 5.7 percent Japanese stocks plunged on Monday, with the TOPIX index posting its biggest percentage drop since the September 11, 2001 attacks as the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates fanned fears of further Wall Street losses. Some traders said selling was fuelled by a warning from the United States embassy in Japan about a possible bomb attack against the mission this week, although the embassy said it was unable to determine whether a threat it had received was credible.

Is Mel's next passion to takeover Disney? Gibson reported to be approached about being co.'s new face --Will Mel Gibson fill Walt Disney's shoes? A rumor that Gibson, who demonstrated he can connect to conservative America with "The Passion of the Christ," may be involved with a group looking to engineer a takeover of the Walt Disney Co. continued to gather steam over the weekend....

Gas Prices Jump 10 Cents to $1.93/Gallon Over the past two weeks, average U.S. retail gasoline prices took their biggest jump since last August, when a multi-state power blackout hit prices, and they could go higher yet, an industry analyst said on Sunday.

Kerry Says Bush Must Do More to Lower Oil Price Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry criticized the Bush dictatorship on Friday for not doing enough to fight high petroleum prices, as U.S. crude oil soared to $40 a barrel -- the highest level in more than 13 years.

In New Offensive, Kerry Raps Bush on Health Costs Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Monday will launch a week-long assault against Dictator Bush over skyrocketing health care costs, as part of a new push in battleground states to counter Republican inroads with seniors.

Bank of America expands India outsourcing Bank of America Corp. may hire 1,500 people at its subsidiary after it opens in southern India this month, 50 percent more than previously disclosed, and the bank has reserved land that would allow for even more expansion.

Marchers Demand Bush Extend Assault Weapons Ban Gun control supporters marched through Washington, D.C. on Sunday demanding that Dictator Bush extend a federal ban on the sale of military-style assault rifles.

*****

Blair faces resignation call Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair, dogged by speculation about his future, faced a call for his resignation on Sunday by a senior member of his Labour Party.

Cheney Defends Rumsfeld: 'Get Off His Case' Vice pResident Dick Cheney moved to support Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld amid a firestorm over Iraqi prison abuses, with a statement that people should "get off his case" and let Rumsfeld do his job. "Don Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had," Cheney, who has sometimes taken a lead role in advancing White House positions, said in a statement issued by his office late on Saturday. "People ought to get off his case and let him do his job," Cheney said. [Yes, Rumsfeld will continue to do his job, as Adolf Eichmann did his...]

Rice Says She and Bush 'Strongly' Support Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld retains "the strongest possible support" from Dictator Bush and the White House, the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said Saturday, a day after Mr. Rumsfeld testiLIED for six hours in Congress about the abuse by Americans of Iraqi prisoners.

Prison-Abuse Panel Is Third in Bush's War on 'Terrorism' Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's announcement on Friday that an independent review board would examine the abuse of Iraqi prisoners means that three blue-ribbon panels will be investigating the Bush dictatorship's conduct of what it describes as the war on 'terrorism,' including the war in Iraq.

'Torture camp' alleged at 2nd detention center A U.S. resident who was held prisoner by the United States in another detention center in Iraq last year says prisoners there were also beaten and sexually humiliated. Hossam Shaltout said widespread mistreatment by soldiers in Camp Bucca detention center in southern Iraq was as inhumane as that depicted in recent photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

US military confirms existence of horrific pictures and video The Bush dictatorship was bracing itself last night for the release of new pictures and video footage from Abu Ghraib which show US soldiers having sex with an Iraqi woman prisoner [that would be RAPE], troops almost beating a prisoner to death, and the rape of young boys by Iraqi guards at the jail.

Death Probes on Rise At least 25 POWs have died while in custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, Army officials have revealed. Some were shot during riots or while trying to escape. One died after passing out during an interrogation. Many deaths involved CIA officers and private contractors. Some of the deaths have already been ruled homicides. Others were said to be natural causes. Some are unexplained.

Pic That Proves QLR Took Photos of Beaten Iraqis A soldier has produced damning proof that British troopers took "trophy" photos of Iraqi prisoners being abused. Soldier D photographed a colleague in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment snapping a bound captive with bloodied teeth in the back of an armoured personnel carrier.

When did British ministers know of prison torture? Defence ministers will face angry questions from MPs this week about why the Government claimed to know nothing about allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops, months after the authorities had been tipped off by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, is facing fresh claims about the conduct of British troops in Basra over eight new cases of Iraqi civilians allegedly being shot dead in cold blood, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Amnesty demands US war crimes inquiry Amnesty International has called upon the United States to fully investigate the abuse of Iraqi prisoners "to establish whether war crimes have been committed". In a strongly-worded letter to US Dictator George W Bush, the London-based human rights group expressed its outrage at the abuse of Iraqi detainees by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

Early Iraq Abuse Accounts Met With Silence Detailed allegations of psychological abuse, deprivation, beatings and deaths at U.S.-run prisons in Iraq were met by public silence from the U.S. Army last October — six months before shocking photographs stirred world outrage and demands for action.

Occupation plays down Iraq abuse The occupation dictator in Iraq has insisted Iraq is benefiting from the occupation despite the publicity given to the abuse of prisoners by US guards.

Abuse photos undermine Bush's religious rhetoric Church leaders object to casting God on U.S. side --The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by some U.S. soldiers points to the danger of Dictator Bush describing the occupation of Iraq and the war on terror as battles between forces of good and the "evildoers" of the world, religious leaders say.

Iraq jail abuse albatross on Bush candidacy Abuses US troops inflicted on Iraqi prisoners have also taken their toll on Dictator George W. Bush's re-s-election campaign, which rests largely on his image as a war-time president [sic].

US remains under pressure over Iraq abuse scandal US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remains under intense pressure despite apologising for the Iraq prison abuse scandal and he has warned the revelations could worsen.

This is the new gulag Bush has created a global network of extra-legal and secret US prisons with thousands of inmates --by Sidney Blumenthal "Bush has created what is in effect a gulag. It stretches from prisons in Afghanistan to Iraq, from Guantánamo to secret CIA prisons around the world. There are perhaps 10,000 people being held in Iraq, 1,000 in Afghanistan and almost 700 in Guantánamo, but no one knows the exact numbers. The law as it applies to them is whatever the executive deems necessary. There has been nothing like this system since the fall of the Soviet Union. The US military embraced the Geneva conventions after the second world war, because applying them to prisoners of war protects American soldiers. But the Bush administration, in an internal fight, trumped its argument by designating those at Guantánamo 'enemy combatants'. Rumsfeld extended this system - 'a legal black hole', according to Human Rights Watch - to Afghanistan and then Iraq, openly rejecting the conventions." [a must read]

Stupid is as stupid does: Good ol' girl who enjoyed cruelty Lynndie England, 21, a rail worker's daughter, comes from a trailer park in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, which locals proudly call "a backwoods world". She faces a court martial, but at home she is toasted as a hero. At the dingy Corner Club Saloon they think she has done nothing wrong. "A lot of people here think they ought to just blow up the whole of Iraq," Colleen Kesner said. "To the country boys here, if you're a different nationality, a different race, you're sub-human. That's the way girls like Lynndie are raised. "Tormenting Iraqis, in her mind, would be no different from shooting a turkey. Every season here you're hunting something. Over there, they're hunting Iraqis."

Bush: 'Prison Scandal' [Scandal?!? W-ar Crimes] Won't Deter U.S. The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American military guards is "a stain on our country's honor and reputation" but will not deter America's mission to bring democracy to Iraq, Dictator Bush pledged Saturday. [The illegitimate Bush dictatorship *itself* is 'a stain on our country's honor and reputation.']

Rumsfeld Apology Fails to Calm Arab Anger His apology was late and the damage done, said Arab and European commentators on Saturday, reacting to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

American Muslims Shamed by Prison Photos Basem el-Kurd is a suburban, white-collar Republican who voted for George Bush in the last presidential s-election. But el-Kurd is also a Muslim, a Palestinian by birth, and the photos of U.S. troops abusing Iraqi prisoners have sparked a bitter mix of outrage, shock and shame within him... His anger was shared by many American Muslims, who said they have had difficulty defending their adopted country to relatives back home who saw photos of Iraqi prisoners stripped naked, abused and humiliated by U.S. soldiers.

Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis Form Anti-Occupation Body Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites formed Saturday, May 8, a pan-religious body to stream efforts for ending the occupation. The United Iraqi Scholars Group -- which appointed a 16-strong leadership panel -- has vowed to boycott any political group set up by the United States and called for a stronger army than the small force envisioned by the US-led occupation authority, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Blair calls for Muslim troops as riots begin Tony Blair is to push for Muslim troops from Pakistan to be deployed in Iraq in a desperate attempt to shore up the reputation of the occupation forces following the widely-condemned images of abuse of Iraqi detainees. [Dictator Bush and Poodle Blair, face reality. You have lost your insane and illegal war in Iraq. It is time for you to go.]

Bomb wounds three British soldiers in Basra A roadside bomb has wounded three British soldiers in the Iraqi southern city of Basra. A British patrol was caught in "a large explosion" in the city centre, a British military spokesman said on Sunday, without giving further details.

G.I.'s Kill Scores of Militia Forces in 3 Iraqi Cities American soldiers battled resistance fighters led by a rebel Shiite cleric on Friday, killing scores of Iraqis, as the cleric delivered a defiant, derisive sermon that dismissed Dictator Bush's expressions of regret for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. "What kind of peace could come from you or your agents when you feel pleasure at torturing prisoners?" the 31-year-old cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, said to cheering supporters at his mosque in Kufa. "How are you going to control the world when you can't control a few soldiers here and there? If anyone did this to one of your people, would you accept it?"

U.S. Forces Move in on Sadr HQ in Baghdad Suburb U.S. tanks and armored vehicles briefly circled the offices of rebel Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad's Sadr City on Saturday, stepping up pressure on the militia leader.

Roadside blast injures Iraqi prisoners traveling in U-S convoy Seven Iraqi prisoners who were in the process of being released have been injured in a roadside bombing.

AP president proposes media lobby to fight government secrecy Denouncing increased official secrecy, Associated Press President and CEO Tom Curley unveiled a plan Friday for a media advocacy center to lobby in Washington for open government. "The powerful have to be watched, and we are the watchers," Curley said, "and you don't need to have your notebook snatched by a policeman to know that keeping an eye on government activities has lately gotten a lot harder." At every level of government, records are being sealed and requests for information denied, and courts are imposing gag orders and sealing documents, Curley said, speaking in the Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture series. [Text of Tom Curley's May 7, 2004 speech.]

Energy secretary considers federalized nuclear security The Department of Energy is considering federalizing security forces at nuclear weapons facilities and plans to remove weapons-usable nuclear materials from some sites to protect against 'terrorists.'

Poodle on board with Bush terror team's next move: Report: Mayor's jets will be missile-smart Bush's 9-11 Poodle, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will have nearly $5 million worth of anti-missile equipment installed on two private jets he uses for international trips, according to a broadcast report.

Australia, US sign air marshal agreement The governments of Australia and the United States have signed an agreement to provide armed federal marshals on board random Qantas and United Airlines flights between the two nations.

Super-rich gunning for Bush When George W Bush decided to gift the rich of America a tax break it probably never crossed his mind he would be stoking the fires of a vociferous campaign by some of the wealthiest businessmen in the land to remove him from the White House.

Faux Threatens to Sue Co. Over Billboard Faux News Channel is threatening to take a sign company to court if it does not post a cheeky billboard tweaking archrival CNN.

Summer heat will cause deadly ozone Thousands of Britons may be forced to wear charcoal masks and stay indoors this summer to avoid deadly fogs of ozone that will pollute the country during heatwaves, scientists have warned.

Fashion's finest protest against tyranny of cool This week, those most deeply enslaved to the dictates of cool meet to protest outside Vogue headquarters. Bay Garnett, contributing editor to Vogue and editor of Cheap Date, agrees that picketing outside her own office block in London's West End could be construed as contradictory but believes the message is important enough to risk her intellectual street cred. 'We're against big business brainwashing, built-in obsolescence, heroin chic and anorexia chic, creating physical discomfort by the wearing of uncomfortable clothes and the exploitation of child workers in Asia and elsewhere,' she said.

Saddam deserves 'ultimate penalty': Bush --"He [Saddam Hussein] is a torturer, a murderer, and they had rape rooms, and this is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice," Dictator George W. Bush, December 16, 2003, excerpts of interview released by ABC television.

International Outrage Over Dictator Bush's Rape Rooms and Torture Chambers: Bush In Panic Bid to Curb Torture Scandal Dictator Bush went on Arab TV yesterday in a desperate attempt to quell the growing scandal over abuse of Iraqi prisoners. But as he condemned it as "abhorrent" and not a reflection of "the America I know", more disturbing details were emerging of savagery at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. A captive is said to have been battered to death and then wrapped in ice and Cellophane in an apparent bid to disguise the brutality.

U.S. ignored torture allegations U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington ignored human rights monitors' repeated pleas for official investigations of American abuse, torture and killings of Iraqi prisoners over the past year, international and Iraqi human rights officials said Friday. And human rights groups rejected Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's assertion that such abuses are "an exception," saying they are widespread in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the U.S. war on 'terror.'

UK forces taught torture methods The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources. The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.

*****

Pentagon Refused Lawyer As Prison Adviser Pentagon officials rejected an Army plan last year to send an experienced military lawyer — who is also a Republican member of Congress — to help oversee the unit blamed for prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib complex outside Baghdad. That left the prison complex, which holds up to 7,000 Iraqis, without an onsite lawyer to guide interrogations and treatment of prisoners.

World calls for Rumsfeld's resignation over abuse Outrage over Iraq prison photos increase pressure, condemnation of U.S. actions. --The image of a U.S. soldier holding a leash attached to a naked Iraqi prisoner brought more condemnation of the United States on Friday, and some calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The picture of the soldier, Spc. Lynndie England, appeared on several front pages in Britain. "No sadistic movie could outdo the damage of this image," reporter Robert Fisk wrote in The Independent newspaper.

Rumsfeld Says Won't Quit Over Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, facing demands from some Democrats he quit over his handling of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, said on Friday he would not resign "simply because people try to make a political issue [?!?] out of it." [NO, it's about the US violating the laws of the Geneva Convention, whackjob.]

Protesters Interrupt Rumsfeld's Opening Statement Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Friday extended "my deepest apologies" to Iraqi prisoners abused by U.S. military personnel and told Congress he accepts full responsibility for the shocking events. Rumsfeld had scarcely uttered his opening apology when protesters interrupted him. "Fire Rumsfeld," some yelled before they were hustled from the room. Rumsfeld sat calmly in his seat while the room was quieted.

Fire Rumsfeld!

Rumsfeld apologizes to abused Iraqis Defense secretary warns that worse photos, videos are yet to come Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld extended his "deepest apology" Friday to Iraqi prisoners abused by U.S. military personnel, telling Congress that he accepted full responsibility for the shocking events. But he warned that worse was yet to come.

John Kerry Dismisses Rumsfeld's Apology Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Friday dismissed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's apology for U.S. abuses of Iraqi prisoners and said the responsibility lies with the commander in thief ['chief.']

US Soldier Says Her Job Was to Make Prison 'Hell' Her job was to "make it hell" for Iraqi prisoners so they would talk, one of the six U.S. soldiers accused of prisoner abuse was quoted as saying on Friday.

General Told MPs to 'soften Up' Prisoners An American general recommended that Army prison guards in Iraq become more involved in "softening up" prisoners for interrogations shortly before abuses occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison last fall, according to an internal report at the heart of the controversy.

They Did It for Jessica Smeared With Shit; Kicked to Death --by Jeffrey St. Clair "The stories of official torture and murder by US troops in Iraq continue to dribble out. Many of the worst incidents are old news, ignored for months by a somnambulant press corps. The most sadistic case to come across our desk involves two US Marines now undergoing court-martial proceedings stemming from the death of an Iraqi citizen called Mr. Hatab. The killing took place last year at Camp Whitehorse outside Nasyriya."

Third Brit Soldier Tells Us: I Saw PoW Beatings Three rogue soldiers got away with spearheading a sickening campaign of abuse against Iraqi PoWs, a British trooper claimed yesterday. Soldier C told the Mirror that suspects had "10 kids of crap" beaten out of them and said officers only stepped in when the appalling beatings got too heavy.

'US soldiers abused young girl at Iraqi prison' The US military has said it will investigate claims by a former inmate of Abu Ghraib prison that a girl as young as 12 was stripped and beaten by military personnel. Suhaib al-Baz, a journalist for the al-Jazeera television network, claims to have been tortured at the prison, based west of Baghdad, while held there for 54 days.

Two children among abused prisoners: report A British television station reported today that a young Iraqi girl held at Abu Ghraib prison was stripped naked and beaten while her brother heard her scream from another cell. The ITV News report quoted Suhaib al-Baz, 24, a cameraman for the Arab satellite TV network Al-Jazeera, as saying he saw the abuse while he was being held at the prison. Soldiers took "torture shots" with their personal cameras, he said.

Female Soldier Charged in Iraqi Abuse Case Army Reserve Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, was charged Friday by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them. England, 21, faces four allegations, according to a statement from the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg.

Fresh Charges of Prisoner Abuse Hit UK Troops British troops faced fresh accusations on Saturday that they abused prisoners in Iraq, with one detainee saying he was viciously beaten by laughing soldiers.

Ex-detainees in Afghanistan also allege mistreatment Some say they were beaten, including an elderly man whose hand was broken. Others allege they were stripped naked, doused with water and left to suffer in freezing cells. Many say they were deprived of sleep and forced to stand or kneel in awkward positions for long periods of time.

Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S. Physical and sexual abuse of prisoners, similar to what has been uncovered in Iraq, takes place in American prisons with little public knowledge or concern, according to corrections officials, inmates and human rights advocates.

U.K. Troops, Cleric Gunmen Clash in Basra Resistance fighters loyal to a radical Shiite cleric attacked British troops in the southern city of Basra on Saturday, a day after the cleric's top aide in the city offered a reward for the capture or killing of occupation soldiers.

Roadside Bomb Kills Four Iraqi Police in Mosul A roadside bomb killed four Iraqi policemen and wounded one other in the northern Iraq city of Mosul on Friday, police and hospital officials said.

Attack in S. Afghanistan Kills Marine An overnight attack on American forces in southern Afghanistan killed a U.S. Marine, the military said Saturday.

Senate Panel Clears $422.2 Billion Defense Bill The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee approved a $422.2 billion bill authorizing next year's defense programs, up 3.4 percent or $21 billion from this year, the committee said on Friday.

U.S. planning for Israeli strike at Iran U.S. authorities have extensively considered the possibility -- or likelihood -- that Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities, perhaps this year.

Arrest in Bombing Inquiry Was Rushed, Officials Say The authorities arrested a Portland lawyer in connection with the Madrid railway bombings before they had a clear idea about the strength of their case and they cut short a planned covert surveillance of him because of concerns that information was leaking out to the news media, law enforcement officials said Friday.

Did airport police alert response jeopardize passengers? The FBI and Police Department said a decision by Los Angeles International Airport police to storm a Singapore Airlines jetliner after it transmitted a hijack alert may have violated protocol and jeopardized the safety of passengers.

Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate -- interview by Jim Hogue "....JH: Let me read you a short quote from Dr. Griffin's book, quoting from War and Globalization: The Truth Behind September 11 by Michel Chossudovsky and ask you to comment on it. '...The transfer of money to Atta [$325,000], in conjunction with the presence of the ISI chief in Washington during the week, [is] the missing link behind 9/11....The evidence confirms that al-Qaeda is supported by Pakistan's ISI (and it is amply documented that) the ISI owes its existence to the CIA.' SE: I cannot comment on that. But I can tell that once, and if, and when this issue gets to be, under real terms, investigated, you will be seeing certain people that we know from this country standing trial; and they will be prosecuted criminally."

Kerry's Wife [Accurately] Calls Cheney 'Unpatriotic' Dictator Bush's campaign on Friday criticized the wife of Democratic candidate John Kerry for calling Vice pResident Dick Cheney "unpatriotic" while defending her husband's service in Vietnam against critics who had avoided the military. In an interview with Telemundo, Teresa Heinz Kerry said, "To have a couple of people, who escaped four, five, six times and deferred and deferred and deferred calling him anything regarding his service is in and of itself unpatriotic. Unpatriotic." [Well-said!]

Oil Prices Hit $40, First Time Since 1990 Oil prices hit $40 a barrel on Friday on concerns over security in the Middle East and US corporate greed ['tight U.S. gasoline supplies,'] underlining concerns that world economic growth may be reined in by rising energy costs.

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Lawmakers to Insist on Oversight of Halliburton ['Iraq'] Money Senior lawmakers in both parties, frustrated by several years of Pentagon secrecy about wartime spending, indicated yesterday that they will not give the Bush dictatorship a free hand in the use of a new $25 billion 'installment' for Halliburton ['the war in Iraq.']

Bush May Seek More Than $50 Billion for Halliburton ['Iraq, Afghanistan'] for Next Year Dictator Bush may seek more money for Halliburton ['wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'] next year than the $50 billion figure his budget director cited months ago, White House officials say. "I'll be very surprised if we don't find ourselves at least" needing $75 billion next year, Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., chairman of the House subcommittee that controls the Pentagon's budget, said Thursday. [Is Dictator Bush planning to steal the election, again? Else, why is he discussing *next year's* allocations?]

US troops crossed border to make a raid inside Pakistan US troops crossed into Pakistani territory from Afghanistan in recent days despite Pakistan expressly prohibiting such actions, but the Pentagon said on Wednesday the incursion was inadvertent [?!?].

US troops take key Najaf building US tanks have surged into the Iraqi holy city of Najaf to take control of the governor's office amid fierce fighting with Shia gunmen.

Visiting a changed Fallujah New graves, damaged mosques, rage at U.S. After nearly a month of intense fighting, the Fallujah Sports Club's dusty basketball court has become the starkest testimony to the ferocity of the city's opposition. Stretching from one broken basketball hoop to the other are neat rows of shallow graves, which hold hundreds of residents killed in the street battles that have raged outside. The headstones identify martyrs of two types -- resistance fighters and civilians picked off by U.S. snipers as they fled the city.

Delta Force, Navy SEALs involved in abuse? Iraqi died while being interrogated at prison As the investigation expands, officials tell NBC News that special operations forces, including both Delta Force and Navy SEALs, were possibly also involved in abusing prisoners in Iraq. In fact, one prisoner, Mon Adel al Jamadi, died while being interrogated in Abu Ghraib by a CIA officer last November, shortly after being captured by Navy SEALs.

Ashcroft Says U.S. Can Prosecute Civilian Contractors for Prison Abuse Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said yesterday that killings or abuse of military detainees in Iraq that involved civilian contractors could be prosecuted by the Justice Department under several statutes, including civil rights violations and anti-torture laws.

'Cooks and drivers were working as interrogators' Private contractor lifts the lid on systematic failures at Abu Ghraib jail --Many of the prisoners abused at the Abu Ghraib prison were innocent Iraqis, picked up at random by US troops and incarcerated by underqualified intelligence officers, a former US interrogator from the jail told the Guardian.

Soldiers Back in U.S. Tell of More Iraqi Abuses Three U.S. military policemen who served at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison said on Thursday they had witnessed unreported cases of prisoner abuse and that the practice against Iraqis was commonplace. Torin Nelson, who served as a military intelligence officer at Guantánamo Bay before moving to Abu Ghraib as a private contractor last year, blamed the abuses on a failure of command in US military intelligence and an over-reliance on private firms. He alleged those companies were so anxious to meet the demand for their services, they sent "cooks and truck drivers" to work as interrogators.

Iraqi inmate: 'Treated like dogs' One of the Iraqi men who says he was photographed in degrading poses by American prison guards in Abu Ghraib jail is unemployed father-of-five Haydar Sabbar Abed. He told his story to the BBC Arabic Service.

Photo Gallery: Iraq prisoner abuse The reverberations have been felt all the way up to the top of the Bush dictatorship. These images represent a harrowing look at the conditions inside a Baghdad prison, where prisoners, it would appear, suffered ritual abuse and humiliation. WARNING: These images, though blurred, are graphic and disturbing.

Red Cross repeatedly warned about jail The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it had repeatedly urged the United States to take "corrective action" at a Baghdad jail at the centre of a scandal over abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

House passes resolution deploring humiliation of Iraqi prisoners The House of Representatives, by a vote 365 to 50, approved a resolution deploring the abuse by some US troops of prisoners detained in Iraq.

Cong. Rangel Calls On Congress to Impeach Rumsfeld (Press Release) "Korean War Combat Veteran says withholding information from the President [sic], Congress, and the public, about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners is a 'high crime and misdemeanor' ...Cong. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a member of Congress since 1971 and a Korean war combat veteran, today called for the impeachment of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld unless he resigns or President [sic] Bush removes him from office. He announced he was drafting articles of impeachment and made the following remarks on the House floor during the debate on a House resolution concerning the torture of Iraqi prisoners..."

Democrat Calls for Rumsfeld to Resign A Democratic senator became the first in Congress to demand Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation over the U.S. military's abuse of Iraqi prisoners, but the White House reaffirmed Dictator Bush's support of the embattled Cabinet officer.

Bush Wants Rumsfeld to Stay as Pentagon Chief Dictator Bush wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to stay in his job [as the world's most dangerous terrorist], the White House said on Thursday, even as the top Democrat in the House of Representatives called for Rumsfeld to resign over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Bush Apologizes for Iraqi Prison Abuse Dictator Bush told Jordan's King Abdullah on Thursday he was sorry for the humiliation suffered by Iraqi prisoners who have been abused by their American jailers.

Labourers claim U.S. held them captive on base Story comes hard on heels of revelations of prisoner abuse --Four Indians who claimed to have escaped from a U.S. army camp in Iraq have returned to southern India, telling harrowing tales of their nine-month stay. The U.S. Embassy said it was investigating reports that the men were held against their will.

Abuse Common in U.S. Prisons, Activists Say Horrific abuses, some similar to those revealed in Iraq, regularly occur in U.S. prisons with little national attention or public outrage, human rights activists said on Thursday.

Powell wasn't told of $25 billion Iraq request Shortly before Bush dictatorship officials presented Republican congressional leaders with a request for $25 billion in Halliburton ['Iraq'] funding this week, Secretary of State Colin Powell was telling members of the Congressional Black Caucus that no such request would be forthcoming.

US Senate confirms Negroponte as ambassador to Iraq The US Senate, by a vote of 95 to three, confirmed [human rights abuser and Reichwing terrorist] John Negroponte, the US envoy to the United Nations, as the country's first ambassador to post-war Iraq. Three lawmakers -- all Democrats -- voted against Negroponte: Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, Mark Dayton of Minnesota and Richard Durbin of Illinois.

Blair accused of appointing Scarlett to head MI6 as 'pay-off for dodgy dossier' Tony Blair was under fire from all sides last night after appointing John Scarlett, who approved the "dodgy dossier" on Iraq, as the head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6.

North abruptly halts Korea talks North Korea abruptly ended Cabinet-level talks on Friday, demanding a halt to the South's joint military exercises with the United States.

F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said today. Petition to Senate to Investigate Oddities of 9/11
24,125 signatures

Moore admits Disney 'ban' was a stunt Less than 24 hours after accusing the Walt Disney Company of pulling the plug on his latest documentary in a blatant attempt at political censorship, the rabble-rousing film-maker Michael Moore has admitted he knew a year ago that Disney had no intention of distributing it.

Bin Laden Said to Offer Gold for Killings An audio recording attributed to [al-CIA-duh?] Osama bin Laden offered rewards in gold Thursday for the killing of top U.S. and U.N. officials in Iraq or of the citizens of any nation fighting there.

Mega barf alert! An American Connection? Law-enforcement officials detain an Oregon man they say may be linked to Europe’s 9/11 --FBI agents today detained a Portland, Ore., lawyer after receiving evidence from Spanish authorities that the man’s fingerprints allegedly were found on bomb-related evidence associated with the March 11 railway attack in Madrid that killed 191 people and wounded 2,000 people, NEWSWEEK has learned.

American Reported Linked to Madrid Bombing-Newsweek A Muslim lawyer from Portland, Oregon, was detained by the FBI on Thursday without explanation, his family said, but Newsweek magazine said he was being held in connection with the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in March. Newsweek said Mayfield was being held as a "material witness" in a grand jury investigation and that allowed the inJustice Department to hold him in secret without formally filing charges against him. Agents raided Brandon Mayfield's home, taking computer equipment and his wife's credit cards, leaving her with just a driver's license, Kent Mayfield said, adding that the couple had three children. "I think the reason they are holding him is because he is of the Muslim faith and because he is not super happy with the Bush administration. So if that's a crime, well you can burn half of us," Kent Mayfield said.

Cartoonist receives death threats, 6,000 e-mails Cartoonist Ted Rall says he has received numerous death threats over a cartoon he did this week that satirized the media's response to the death of Pat Tillman, the former pro-football player killed in Afghanistan.

Bush Outpaces Kerry in Lobbyist Money Dictator Bush has collected far more money from Washington lobbyists than Democratic rival John Kerry — roughly $1.1 million to the challenger's $305,000, according to a nonpartisan group's study.

Americans express worry, Bush support drops in poll Americans are more dissatisfied with the nation's direction than at any time in more than eight years and Dictator Bush's job approval rating has sunk into a tie for his worst-ever showing, according to a new Gallup Poll. [The last time Bush's poll numbers were in the gutter, we had the September 11th terrorist attacks. US citizens need to be fearful of the steps the Bush-Rove terror team may take in order to insure Bush's re-s-election.]

E-'Vote' Problems Overwhelm Feds As alarm mounts over the integrity of the ATM-like 'voting' machines 50 million Americans will use in the November s-election, a new federal agency has begun scrutinizing how to safeguard electronic polling from fraud, hackers and faulty software. But the tiny U.S. Election Assistance Commission says it is so woefully underfunded that it can't be expected to forestall widespread voting-machine problems, which would cast doubt on the election's integrity. "We've found some deeply troubling concerns, and the country wants to know the solution," said DeForest B. Soaries Jr., a Republican and former New Jersey secretary of state named by Dictator Bush in December to lead the agency.

Florida orders 40,000 voters purged for 2004 S-election State wants 'felons' purged from voter list --Florida elections officials have ordered local supervisors to begin purging their voter rolls of 'felons' - an election-year directive that would remove up to 40,000 people, many of them likely black Democrats. [We will NOT ACCEPT a *second* coup d'etat in November...]

Oil Nears $40 on US Corporate Greed ['Gasoline, Security Fears'] World oil prices set fresh 13-year highs on Thursday, edging toward $40 a barrel for U.S. crude, stoked by worries about [US corporate-created] summer gasoline shortages in the United States.

Bush, Wife to Skip Daughters' Graduations Dictator Bush and first lady Laura Bush will skip their twin daughters' college graduations later this month because they are among they world's worst parents ['to avoid creating a distraction at the respective schools'], the White House said Thursday.

*****

What?!? The $87 billion is already gone having done a Halliburton-Bechtel disappearing act !?! Bush Asks Congress for $25B Down Payment for Halliburton ['Iraq War'] The Bush dictatorship asked Congress Wednesday for a $25 billion down payment for Halliburton ['next year's U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan'], a retreat from the White House's earlier plans not to seek the money until after the November s-elections.

Democrats: Bush's latest $25 billion request for Iraq is misleadingly low Democrats are lambasting Dictator Bush for his $25 billion request for Halliburton ['fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'] next year, saying they will support the money but accusing him of low-balling the amount for political reasons.

Baghdad car bomb blast kills U.S. soldier Five Iraqis also die in blast near U.S. compound --A suicide car bomb exploded Thursday at a checkpoint to the zone that houses U.S administrative offices in central Baghdad, killing five Iraqi civilians and one U.S. soldier and injuring 25 people, the U.S. military said.

Car Bomb Blasts Entrance to Baghdad's Green Zone A car bomb exploded at an entrance to the central Baghdad compound housing the U.S.-led dictatorship of Iraq on Thursday, inflicting Iraqi and American casualties, witnesses said.

Three U.S. Soldiers Die in Clash with Sadr Militia Three U.S. soldiers were killed in the Iraqi town of Diwaniya during clashes with the militia loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the U.S. military said in a statement Wednesday.

U.S. abuse undermines treaties Prisoners: Images of Iraqis tortured and humiliated at the hands of Americans deflate the United States' standing as a leader of world reform. As images of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners spread to television sets around the globe, human rights organizations are increasingly concerned that a century of building steady support for international treaties banning torture could be irreparably damaged.

U.S. Troops Said to Mistreat Elder Iraqi U.S. soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey, Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal human rights envoy to Iraq said Wednesday. The envoy, legislator Ann Clwyd, said she had investigated the claims of the woman in her 70s and believed they were true. [And the sycophants at moveon.org repudiated their ads comparing Bush to Hitler. Why?]

New Prison Images Emerge Graphic Photos May Be More Evidence of Abuse --The collection of photographs begins like a travelogue from Iraq... And then: a soldier holding a leash tied around a man's neck in an Iraqi prison. He is naked, grimacing and lying on the floor. Mixed in with more than 1,000 digital pictures obtained by The Washington Post are photographs of naked men, apparently prisoners, sprawled on top of one another while soldiers stand around them...

25 Prisoners Died While Held by U.S. Forces Twenty-five prisoners have died while being held by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and two of them were murdered in Iraq by Americans, U.S. Army officials said on Tuesday.

Iraqi prisoner scandal grows The full extent of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners began to emerge last night when the United States announced it had launched investigations into the deaths of 23 detainees and the murder of two others.

U.S. Officer Tells of Violence, Death at Iraq Prison A former U.S. military commander in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison described on Wednesday a chaotic atmosphere of disdain for Iraqi prisoners in which U.S. guards killed at least four during two riots.

Torture Report May Have Broken Classification Rules (FAS Project on Government Secrecy) "By classifying an explosive report on the torture of Iraqi prisoners as 'Secret,' the Pentagon may have violated official secrecy policies, which prohibit the use of classification to conceal illegal activities. The report, authored by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, found that 'between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility, numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees.' 'The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence,' Gen. Taguba wrote. These specific observations, and the report as a whole, were classified 'Secret / No Foreign Dissemination.' Why the secrecy?"

Torture pictures are no hoax, Mirror insists Yesterday, as scepticism in military circles grew about the veracity of pictures showing British soldiers torturing an Iraqi, Mirror employees remained privately confident that their editor, Piers Morgan, had not fallen for a sophisticated hoax.

Howard: Mirror has caused 'enormous damage' Conservative leader [Reichwing whackjob] Michael Howard today waded into the row over the Daily Mirror's allegations of torture by British soldiers, saying they had done "enormous damage" and warning that editor Piers Morgan would have to "take full responsibility" if they turn out to be false.

Pleading prisoners and families outside protest at the horrors of Abu Ghraib jail The American soldiers standing guard outside Abu Ghraib prison could have been under no illusions yesterday as to what Iraqis thought of them... Yesterday, hundreds of demonstrators turned up. They included clerics in impressive white turbans, students, engineers taking the day off, children in flip flops - all of them outraged by the torture of Iraqi prisoners next door.

Guardsman Probed for Iraq Naked Soldier Photos The head of a U.S. military police unit at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison is under investigation following charges he secretly photographed naked female American soldiers, officials said on Wednesday.

Bush does not think Rumsfeld should resign: White House US Dictator George W. Bush "absolutely" still has faith in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and does not believe he should resign, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. [Whether Rumsfeld decides to resign or not, he needs to be tried for treason, along with the other 'lead' terrorists in the Bush dictatorship.]

Bush Privately Chides Rumsfeld Officials Say Pentagon Resisted Repeated Calls for Prison Changes Dictator Bush privately [If it was 'private,' how do *we* know about it?] admonished Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld yesterday, a senior White House official said, as other U.S. officials blamed the Pentagon for failing to act on repeated recommendations to improve conditions for thousands of Iraqi detainees and release those not charged with crimes.

The war of the words --by Terry Jones "You can call people who are defending their own homes from rockets and missiles launched from helicopters and tanks 'fanatics and terrorists' only for so long. Eventually even newspaper readers will smell a rat. Similarly it's fiendishly difficult to get people to accept the label 'rebels' for those Iraqis killed by American snipers when - as in Falluja - they turn out to be pregnant women, 13-year-old boys and old men standing by their front gates. It also sounds a bit lame to call ambulance drivers 'fighters' - when they've been shot through the windscreen in the act of driving the wounded to hospital - and yet what other word can you use without making them sound like illegitimate targets? I hope you're beginning to see the problem. The key thing, I suppose, is to try to call US mercenaries 'civilians' or 'civilian contractors', while calling Iraqi civilians 'fighters' or 'insurgents'." [A must read]

Letter from diplomats tells Bush: Middle East policy is 'dangerous' More than 60 former US diplomats yesterday lambasted George Bush for running a one-sided Middle East policy, claiming that the Dictator's open-ended support for Israel was costing the US "credibility, prestige and friends".

Test Program Screens Rail Passengers for Bombs The government launched a pilot program on Tuesday to screen U.S. rail passengers and their bags for bombs, but expectations are measured as planners assess whether the approach is practical.

Mega Bulimia Alert! Bush says he's earned re-election [sic] --Sitting in a leather captain's chair and tossing back a throat lozenge as his Bush-Cheney campaign bus rolled toward Cincinnati, Dictator Bush told reporters Tuesday he has earned re-election [sic]. [What? he never even earned ELECTION, let alone RE-election.]

Bush, GOP set fund-raising record Republicans rake in $38.5 million in one night --Dictator Bush helped the GOP raise at least $38.5 million Wednesday at its annual gala — all of it in donations limited in size — and smash a one-night record set when political parties could still rake in large corporate contributions.

Scientists: E-'Voting' Needs Paper Backups Scientists told a federal panel Wednesday that electronic 'voting' isn't completely reliable and suggested a backup paper system might be the only way to avoid another coup d'etat ['disputed presidential election'] in November. Citizens For Legitimate Government Launches B.Y.O.B., Bring Your Own (paper) Ballot, Campaign for "Election" 2004 (press release from www.legitgov.org)

Paper Receipts Opposed for Voting Machines Retrofitting electronic voting machines with paper receipts in time for this year's presidential s-election would cause chaos far worse than the security concerns it is intended to address, election officials told the federal 'Election Assistance' Commission yesterday... Commissioners expressed concerns about the power of vendors that create the equipment, pay for certification testing and have technicians play key roles in local election offices. Chairman DeForest "Buster" Soaries Jr. noted that Diebold Election Systems chief executive Walden O'Dell had pledged in a Republican fundraising letter last year that he was "committed" to delivering Ohio's electoral votes to Dictator Bush.

California nixes e-'voting' (May 3, 2004) California's secretary of state has decertified all touch screen 'voting' systems in the state, and has asked the attorney's general office to consider criminal prosecution of Diebold Inc.'s Diebold Election Systems division.

Nuclear waste changes sought New proposal would allow Energy Dept. to skip cleanup of the most lethal material at Hanford and other sites --A South Carolina senator, working in concert with senior Energy Department officials, has quietly proposed changing federal law to allow lethal waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and other nuclear weapons plants to remain in underground tanks rather than being removed and sent to a more secure disposal site. The proposal from Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-Nazi-S.C., is included in the defense authorization bill. It was heavily shaped -- if not written -- by the Energy Department.

Gasoline Hits Another High at Pumps The price of gasoline keeps going up, and U.S. car drivers will be digging even deeper into their pockets at the pumps in the coming weeks.

Washington weighs terror's impact on presidential vote A warning to the American people --by Joseph Kay "According to [New York Times regular correspondent David] Sanger, ...the Bush administration is making its own calculations over whether a terrorist attack can 'change elections' in the US—in Bush’s favor... This concern suggests the obvious possibility that the administration could allow or facilitate an attack during a brief window of opportunity—immediately preceding the election—in order to stampede the American people behind Bush... If such an attack could not be used confidently to manipulate the results of the elections, it could be used as a justification for abrogating the elections altogether."

Kerry gathers doomsday team Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) presidential campaign is preparing for a so-called "October surprise," including Osama bin Laden’s capture and a terrorist attack in the United States, The Hill has learned.

U.S. to Keep 138,000 Troops in Iraq Through 2005 The United States, faced with growing military casualties in Iraq, announced on Tuesday that it was scrapping a plan to reduce its forces and would keep about 138,000 troops in that country through at least the end of 2005.

French TV screens images of US helicopter crew killing Iraqis The French cable television station Canal Plus on Tuesday will broadcast images, stolen in Iraq, of a US army helicopter killing three Iraqis, one of them wounded, who do not appear to be posing any threat.

U.S. Reveals Iraqi Prisoner Deaths as Scandal Grows Two Iraqi prisoners were murdered by Americans and 23 other deaths are being investigated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States revealed on Tuesday as the Bush [Nazi] regime tried to contain growing outrage over the abuse of Iraqi detainees.

U.S. Probe: Two War Prisoners Murdered by Americans The U.S. military has investigated the deaths of 25 prisoners held by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and determined that two prisoners were murdered by Americans, one an Army soldier and the other a CIA contractor, Army officials said on Tuesday.

U.S. Army report on Iraqi prisoner abuse Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba (NBC News) "The report was prepared by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba on alleged abuse of prisoners by members of the 800th Military Police Brigade at the Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad. It was ordered by Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of Joint Task Force-7, the senior U.S. military official in Iraq, following persistent allegations of human rights abuses at the prison."

Iraqi prisoners released at gravel pit after long, hot ride Scores of prisoners released from Abu Ghraib prison Tuesday were forced to take a nearly five-hour trip through central Iraq on three hot, rickety buses escorted by U.S. military Humvees before being deposited without explanation at a gravel quarry near Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

Abu Ghraib prison population to be cut in half The new commander of U.S.-run prisons in Iraq said today he would cut in half the number of Iraqis in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and quash some interrogation techniques considered humiliating, such as hooding prisoners.

Iraqi official resigns to protest detainee abuse Iraq's U.S.-appointed human rights minister said today he had resigned to protest abuses of Iraqi detainees by American guards, and the interior minister demanded that Iraqi officials be allowed to participate in the running of prisons.

Rumsfeld condemns prisoner abuse; 20 probes under way Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday condemned the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers and said the Defense Department would move vigorously to bring those responsible to justice. The Army said 20 investigations into prisoner deaths and assaults were under way in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rice Issues Public Apology for Iraqi Prisoner Abuse National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice today issued a public apology to the Arab world for abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.

Girl raped by a soldier Two soldiers were arrested after being accused of rape by a girl of 13 and her 16-year-old friend, it was revealed yesterday. The Royal Artillery squaddies — aged 19 and 21 — are alleged to have assaulted the teenagers at their barracks.

Guard Commander Disciplined for Nude Photos of Female Soldiers A former National Guard commander is accused of taking naked pictures of female U.S. soldiers while they showered last year at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a newspaper reported.

Militiamen shell U.S. base in Najaf 4 American soldiers die when vehicle overturns near Baghdad --Militiamen launched a barrage of mortar shells against a U.S. base in this holy city and government buildings guarded by Bulgarian forces in Karbala today, a day after intense clashes in Najaf that killed up to 20 Iraqis.

4 American soldiers killed in Iraq during patrol Shiite militiamen fired several mortar shells at a U.S. base in Najaf early Tuesday and at a city hall guarded by Bulgarian troops in another Shiite city. Elsewhere, four U.S. soldiers died after their Humvee overturned during a combat patrol, the U.S. Army said.

Former diplomats attack Bush Fifty-three former United States diplomats on Tuesday accuse the White House of sacrificing US's credibility in the Arab world -- and the safety of its diplomats and soldiers -- because of the Bush regime's support for the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon. The strongly worded rebuke, which paid tribute to last week's broadside from more than 50 former British diplomats against the government's policy in Iraq, marked a rare public display of dissent for state department personnel.

Face the Iraq Fiasco, Senator Former war hero and protester John Kerry has to stop angling for position and confront Bush directly on the war. --by Robert Scheer "In the end, if Kerry is not to become the next Al Gore — triangulating safe positions just this side of a Republican who is probably the most irresponsible American politician in a century — he must challenge President [sic] Bush's entire vision, not just his tactics. What Bush is doing in the name of fighting terrorism has nothing to do with making us safer and everything to do with dressing up the grim goals of empire as a grand (and all-too-familiar) experiment in bringing enlightenment to so-called backward people at gunpoint. To have a real choice in this election, we need to hear the voice of that young Navy hero who once warned us that murderous meddling in other countries' affairs will never win the hearts and minds of the people."

Bombs explode in Athens Three time bombs exploded early Wednesday morning in central Athens. A police station in the city centre was the apparent target.

Worm crashes Coastguard computers (UK) Computers at the Coastguard Agency were among millions of PCs hit yesterday by a new worm that spreads over the internet. The Sasser worm, which exploits a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software, disrupted work at the Marine and Coastguard Agency, forcing staff to use pencil and paper to find ships and locate distress calls on maps.

Military Defenders for Detainees Put Tribunals on Trial The Bush regime's plan to use military tribunals to try some of the detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which has faced considerable skepticism, has been receiving some of its sharpest attacks from the military defense lawyers who are participating in the process.

Lest anyone question whether or not we are actually living under a full-blown dictatorship: Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes Dictator Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday. Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said that Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would anger Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures there.

Rall's 'Tillman' Cartoon Pulled by MSNBC.com A cartoon questioning late footballer-turned-soldier Pat Tillman's credentials as a "hero" was pulled from MSNBC.com this afternoon. Rall said in the cartoon that Tillman -- who gave up a $3.6-million National Football League contract to join the military and then died last month -- "falsely believed Bush's wars against Iraq and Afghanistan had something to do with 9/11. Actually, he was a cog in a low-rent occupation Army that shot more innocent civilians than terrorists to prop up puppet rulers and exploit gas and oil resources."

GOP Convention Security Perimeter Drawn Midtown Manhattan around the site of the Republican National Convention could be locked down for blocks, with major avenues closed and nearby residents and workers required to show identification, officials said Tuesday as they outlined tentative security plans for the four-day event.

Mega bulimia alert! Bush begins bus tour At least one person who said he waited patiently in line came away empty handed. Bill Ward, of Dubuque, said he arrived at about 7:30 a.m., and waited an hour. When it came time to show his identification, Ward said he was asked if he supported Bush in 2000. "I said I didn't vote for him then and I won't vote for him now," Ward said. Saying he is a World War II veteran who served in Germany and France, Ward is strongly critical of the war in Iraq. 'The only thing I wanted to do was get down to the riverfront and ask Bush some questions," he said. Ward's lack of support for the dictator apparently was his undoing.

Bush's 'Yes, America Can' bus was made in Canada It turns out the "Yes, America Can" bus was made in Canada, by Quebec-based Prevost Car. On Monday night, Bush took the bus into suburban Detroit, where foreign-made vehicles have been anathema... "Seeing the president [sic] drive around in this Canadian-made luxury bus is just another reminder of George Bush's failed economic policies," Kerry spokesman Phil Singer said.

Senate Blocks New Rules on Pay for Overtime Work The Senate handed the Bush dictatorship a significant defeat Tuesday by voting to block new rules on overtime that opponents say would cause millions of workers to lose their eligibility for the extra pay... "This is a blatant and flagrant effort of the administration in order to increase the bottom line for corporate America and to shortchange working families," said Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts.

Gore to Launch Youth Cable TV Network President Al Gore plans to build a youth-oriented cable television network he hopes will become an independent voice in a media industry dominated by large conglomerates, he said on Tuesday.

US to keep high force levels in Iraq indefinitely: officials Faced with a mounting insurgency, the United States has decided to keep force levels in Iraq at beefed up levels of about 135,000 for the foreseeable future, senior defense officials said.

Editor-in-chief of U.S.-funded Iraqi newspaper quits, complaining of American control The head of a U.S.-funded Iraqi newspaper quit and said Monday he was taking almost his entire staff with him because of American interference in the publication. On a front-page editorial of the Al-Sabah newspaper, editor-in-chief Ismail Zayer said he and his staff were ''celebrating the end of a nightmare we have suffered from for months ... We want independence. They (the Americans) refuse.''

Iraq Rights Minister Quits Over Fallujah, Najaf, AFP Says Iraqi Human Rights Minister Abdel Basset Turki has resigned over the U.S.-led occupation's military offensives on the cities of Fallujah and Najaf, Agence France- Presse reported, citing an unidentified ministry spokesman. [*See: The Weasel Watch Tracks Bush Staff Exodus --by Mary Titus (satire)]

U.S. Sent Specialists to Train Prison Units Presented with reports of abusive behavior by U.S. military guards at Baghdad's main prison, the Army two months ago quietly dispatched to Iraq a team of about 25 military police experienced in running detention facilities to shore up training and supervision, Army officials said yesterday. The move followed an internal Army investigation that found military police at the Abu Ghraib prison largely unprepared for their role as guards and accused them of grossly mistreating Iraqi detainees, the officials said.

U.S. Specialists Sent to Iraq to Train Guards -Report In a response to reports of abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers at a prison outside Baghdad, the U.S. Army two months ago sent specialists to Iraq to train inexperienced prison units, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Former human rights minister told Bremer about Iraq detainee abuse Former Iraqi human rights minister Abdel Basset Turki said US overseer Paul Bremer knew in November that Iraqi prisoners were being abused in US detention centres.

CIA inquiry into death of prisoner at notorious jail The CIA's inspection team has launched an investigation into the death of an Iraqi prisoner at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison who died after being interrogated by US agents, it was revealed yesterday.

British Army to send investigators to Iraq in hunt for evidence of torture British army investigators are taking their inquiry to Iraq in an attempt to find the alleged victims of the "torture" photographs published by the Daily Mirror. [Does this mean they're all done hunting for the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction?']

Troops Behaviour 'Out Of Control' Iraqi's arm broken with baton --Soldiers swap 'abuse' photos -- Squaddies regularly swapped photos of degrading treatment of Iraqi prisoners, it was claimed yesterday. One of the two soldiers who revealed the brutal treatment of a suspect told the Mirror: "If the Army would admit it they know of the existence of other pictures of other incidents. "Everyone out there is carrying a digital camera. In some cases they are even Ministry of Defence issue... The other man said: "Maybe the officers don't know what is going on but everybody else does. I've seen hundreds of pictures." And Soldier B added that the behaviour of a number of British troops had been "out of control".

This Is Not A Hoax. I Saw It, I Was There Proof That Abuse Pics Were Real --The two soldiers who disclosed shocking photos of British troops abusing an Iraqi last night rejected claims the shots were fakes. They insisted pictures they gave the Mirror showing a hooded prisoner being urinated on and battered with rifle butts were real. [Soldiers A and B, from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, respond to each charge, one by one, critical of the veracity of the photos.]

Squaddie Abuse Witnesses: We Told the Truth Pictures of torture ARE real, say squaddies --Shock new claims of other attacks on Iraqis --Two soldiers who exposed British troops torturing an Iraqi suspect insisted yesterday they told the truth. Making a point by point rebuttal of claims that pictures of the prisoner being beaten and urinated on were faked, the men said: "This happened. The pictures are real. We stand by every word of our story." Soldiers A and B, from the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, added: "The Army knows there are pictures of other incidents." Soldier A was present at the attack.

Newspaper defends story of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoner A newspaper which printed photographs apparently showing British troops abusing an Iraqi prisoner, defended the authenticity of its story amid fears it could spark renewed violence.

Framed Brit soldiers 'torture' pics fake, say experts Pictures of Brit squaddies abusing an Iraqi PoW were faked, military experts said yesterday. Uniform and kit worn by soldiers in the photos does not appear to be genuine. Doubts were also raised over a rifle, a truck — and prisoner himself. The pictures have heaped shame on the Army. But one expert said: "I have no doubt these are staged." A string of clues were seized on by experts. ***POSSIBLE*** source for the Daily Mirror's photographs: ["They are staged for the porn site 'Uniform Domination' http://www.uniformdomination.com/?id=biglom" --by AZ from Australia, Yahoo message board submission] NOTE: Even if the Daily Mirror's set of pictures is *not* authentic, other narratives and photographs support claims of torture by US/UK occupiers.]

Regiment Chief Says: We'll Nail All The Guilty The Commanding Officer of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment has told his troops: "I want answers right now." Lt Col Jorge Mendonca has vowed to nail the guilty men and summoned his entire unit to a crisis meeting, even though many were off duty. He told them: "This behaviour is totally unacceptable. Those who have committed it do not deserve to wear our distinguished cap badge for one moment longer. "We will get to the bottom of what has happened."

NBC: Iraqi abuse probes include other facilities Seven soldiers reprimanded in investigation at Baghdad installation --U.S. officials are conducting at least six separate investigations of alleged mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at a prison in Baghdad amid indications that abuse of detainees, including humiliating treatment and beatings, may have occurred at other U.S. facilities, NBC News has learned.

7 U.S. Soldiers Receive Reprimands for Prison Abuse Seven American soldiers have received reprimands in connection with the investigation into abuses of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison here, a senior American military official said today. It was the first disciplinary action taken against American personnel in connection with the widening prisoner-abuse scandal.

Excerpts From Prison Inquiry 'Sadistic, Blatant and Wanton Criminal Abuses' Reported at Abu Ghraib --Excerpts of the Army's investigative report on alleged abuses at U.S. military prisons in Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca, Iraq. Article 15-6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade; Secret/No Foreign Dissemination "Several potential suspects rendered full and complete confessions regarding their personal involvement and the involvement of fellow soldiers in this abuse. Several potential suspects invoked their rights under Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution…. Between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility, numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force…. The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence…."

US officer says prison guards tried to cover up abuse of Iraqi prisoners US prison guards and interrogators attempted to cover up the systematic abuse of Iraqi inmates from the international Red Cross according to a US general dismissed after evidence surfaced of torture at a jail near Baghdad.

Top US officers responsible for prison abuse-general The U.S. Army general who oversaw a prison outside Baghdad where Iraqis were abused said on Monday top U.S. military officers in Iraq should be held responsible for such "despicable acts."

'We've had a lot of experience of US weapons' Patrick Graham was the first journalist into Falluja after the US ended its siege of the city on Friday. In this compelling dispatch, he reveals the devastation and the hurt left behind "Standing at the open slit trench, one of five in Falluja's newest cemetery, Mustafa asks: 'Would they do this in New York or California?' A sign nearby reads 'The Olympiads, Champions of Champions', the motto of Falluja's football team. This was their stadium, rows of cinderblock seats overlooking a dusty field. Beside one of the 50-yard trenches, sit a pair of Sunshine high-top sneakers, heavy with rotting blood and flies... In fact, it was the US army that never really 'got' Falluja, militarily or culturally. For over eight months, it has been beyond their control, caught up in a cycle of violence that began on 28 April last year, when 17 Iraqis were killed by US soldiers during a protest."

Prisoner abuse in Iraq scandal "despicable": Powell US Secretary of State [and Bush's lapdog] Colin Powell said that mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners uncovered at a prison near Baghdad was "despicable acts" that should not be seen to reflect on all US troops.

Half-Dozen Blasts Rattle Iraq Capital A series of eight or more heavy explosions rattled the Iraqi capital Monday night. The blasts came in bunches of three or four, spaced in 10-minute intervals.

U.S. Soldier Killed, Two Hurt in Iraq Attack One U.S. soldier was killed and two were wounded Monday when they came under small arms fire south of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement.

W-ar makes Iraq worst place to be a reporter W-ar has made Iraq the most dangerous country for a reporter to work in, but Cuba, followed closely by China, jailed most journalists for doing their job last year, according to reports issued to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Mutiny is the only way out of Iraq's inferno The UN betrayed Iraq by becoming the political arm of US occupation. Now it must redeem itself --by Naomi Klein Saturday "Can we please stop calling it a quagmire? The United States isn't mired in a bog in Iraq, or a marsh; it is free-falling off a cliff. The only question now is: who will follow the Bush clan off this precipice, and who will refuse to jump? More and more are, thankfully, choosing the second option."

MoreSh*tNoBrainsCable explains its most recent act of censorship in favor of the Bush dictatorship: Why we pulled Monday's Ted Rall cartoon [Pull *this.*] Item did not meet MSNBC standards of helping the Bush dictatorship steal the 2004 s-election ['fairness and taste'] MSNBC.com pulled a cartoon by syndicated political cartoonist Ted Rall on Monday. Rall’s cartoon, distributed widely by Universal Press Syndicate to scores of newspapers and Web sites, concerned the late Pat Tillman, the NFL player who quit football to join the Army. Tillman was killed last month in Afghanistan.

Patriot Act Suppresses News of Challenge to Patriot Act The American Civil Liberties Union disclosed yesterday that it filed a lawsuit three weeks ago challenging the FBI's methods of obtaining many business records, but the group was barred from revealing even the existence of the case until now. The lawsuit was filed April 6 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, but the case was kept under seal to avoid violating secrecy rules contained in the USA Patriot Act, the ACLU said. The group was allowed to release a redacted version of the lawsuit after weeks of negotiations with the government.

L.A.-Dulles flight seen as terror target Federal officials have pinpointed an airline flight from Los Angeles to Washington as a potential terrorist target in the past two weeks and have begun scrutinizing the flight crew's luggage and using security agents to follow pilots preparing for the flight.

Vanishing Votes --by Greg Palast "On October 29, 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Hidden behind its apple-pie-and-motherhood name lies a nasty civil rights time bomb. First, the purges. In the months leading up to the November 2000 presidential election, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local election supervisors to purge 57,700 voters from the registries, supposedly ex-cons not allowed to vote in Florida. At least 90.2 percent of those on this 'scrub' list, targeted to lose their civil rights, are innocent. Notably, more than half--about 54 percent--are black or Hispanic... In the last presidential election [sic], approximately 1 million black and other minorities voted, and their ballots were thrown away. And they will be tossed again in November 2004, efficiently, by computer--because HAVA and other bogus reform measures, stressing reform through complex computerization, do not address, and in fact worsen, the racial bias of the uncounted vote." [A must read]

Report: White House Wrong on Medicare [and everything else] Bush dictatorship officials were wrong to prevent a budget expert from giving Congress estimates of the cost of Medicare legislation, congressional researchers have concluded.

Oil Price Hits Highest Level Since 1990 The price of oil rose to its highest level in more than 13 years on Monday as traders 'responded to the weekend killing of five Westerners working for an oil contractor' in Saudi Arabia. [No, they are responding to their own Capitalist greed. Oil firms gushing profits (May 01, 2004) Driven by soaring gasoline prices, ChevronTexaco Corp.'s first-quarter earnings climbed 33 percent, continuing the oil giant's recent run of gushing profits.]

Navy Finds Video Camera In Female Sailors' Shower Navy investigators are searching for whoever is responsible for hiding a wireless video camera in a shower stall for female sailors. The camera was found aboard the San Diego-based command ship Coronado on April 14.

US Mad Cow Test Procedure Violated in Texas-USDA Federal inspectors failed to perform a required mad cow disease test on a suspicious animal in Texas, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, just as the Bush regime is pushing to reopen world markets to U.S. beef.

MSG - Slowly Poisoning America --Author Unknown "So why is MSG in so may of the foods we eat? ...In the book he [John Erb] wrote, an expose of the food additive industry called The Slow Poisoning of America, (www.spofamerica.com), he said that MSG is added to food for the addictive effect it has on the human body. Even the propaganda website sponsored by the food manufacturers lobby group supporting MSG [here] explains that the reason they add it to food is to make people eat more... Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance: NICOTINE for FOOD!"

*****

U.S. Needs 250,000 Troops in Iraq, Weapons Inspector Kay Says David Kay, who led the hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, said the U.S. may need as many as 250,000 troops to keep the 'peace' in the country, after basing plans for the occupation on false assumptions. The situation in the Shia holy city of Najaf "is beginning to look like a genuine civil rebellion'' with resistance fighters "numbering in thousands,'' said Kay in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.

Iraq Costs Surge, May Force Bush to Shuffle Funds, Seek More U.S. military operations in Iraq may be $4 billion over budget by August, forcing Dictator George W. Bush to shift money from other Pentagon accounts or ask Congress for more money before the November s-election, say Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

11 Troops Killed in Attacks In Iraq Military Backtracks on Fallujah Brigade Leader; Civilian Hostage Found Eleven U.S. service members in Iraq were killed in four attacks by insurgents late Saturday evening and Sunday, including six who died in a mortar attack, the military reported. Meanwhile, the former Iraqi general chosen to head a new force here denied there were any foreign fighters in the city, calling into question his commitment to American military objectives, and a top U.S. commander said later the general would not be allowed to lead the armed men he has already assembled.

Falluja confusion as toll mounts America's top soldier has contradicted officers on the ground in Iraq by denying a Saddam-era general has been given control of the city of Falluja. Nine US soldiers died in attacks on Sunday, taking to 12 the death toll for the first two days of May.

Mortar Attack Kills Six U.S. Servicemen in Iraq A mortar attack killed six U.S. servicemen in western Iraq Sunday, Marine Major T.V. Johnson said.

American hostage runs to freedom after three-week ordeal The American truck driver, seized three weeks ago by resistance fighters who ambushed his convoy, escaped early yesterday from a house where he was held and was picked up by an Allied patrol.

Spain's PM: Iraq Should Serve As Lesson Spain's prime minister said Sunday he hopes the deteriorating situation in Iraq will serve as a warning to countries against using preemptive wars in the future.

Zapatero rocks!!
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero waves to supporters during celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Socialist PSOE party at the Vistaalegre Palace in Madrid Sunday May 2, 2004. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)

Tehran says US has taken Hussein's place in Iraq Iran said the United States had taken Saddam Hussein's place as the foe of the Iraqi people, following the circulation of pictures of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Amnesty International Says It Has Evidence of Pattern of Torture' by Occupation Amnesty International said it has uncovered a "pattern of torture" of Iraqi prisoners by occupation troops, and called for an independent investigation into the claims of abuse. The London-based human rights group said it had received "scores" of reports of ill treatment of detainees by British and American troops.

Soldiers say pictures are 'tip of the iceberg' British soldiers in Iraq swapped hundreds of photographs of civilians being mistreated, according to new claims made in the Daily Mirror. The latest allegations, by two soldiers serving in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment who sparked controversy after giving the tabloid newspaper photographs showing British soldiers apparently ill-treating an Iraqi prisoner, suggest the problem is much more widespread than has been admitted to by the Prime Minister, Poodle Tony Blair. the two soldiers said the photographs were "just the tip off the iceberg".

Troops 'Swapped Hundreds of Abuse Pictures' Hundreds of photographs have been taken of British servicemen mistreating Iraqi civilians, it was claimed tonight. Troops serving in southern Iraq have been swapping the pictures among themselves, said the unnamed soldiers from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment who sparked furore over the weekend by releasing photos apparently showing UK personnel abusing an Iraqi prisoner. The potentially explosive claims, if proven, would contradict Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair’s assurance that any misconduct in British ranks was “exceptional” and limited to a handful of servicemen.

30 More Torture Scandals Probed MoD dossier includes Black Watch double murder claims --Thirty cases of torture and murder by British and American troops against Iraqi POWs are being investigated by defence chiefs. The probe will examine photos of members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, who appear to be urinating on a terrified Iraq captive. The dossier of terror includes : Claims that POWs were thrown to their deaths from a bridge. A videotape of the killings is said to have been destroyed. The drowning of 16-year-old Ahmad Jabbar Kareem, who was allegedly forced into a canal by British soldiers near Basra.

CIA accused of link to Iraq prison torture A US Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed as they abused Iraqi prisoners said she knew nothing about the abuse until weeks after it occurred and that she was "sickened" by the pictures. Brigadier-General Janis Karpinski said she suspected the reservists were acting with the encouragement of military intelligence units that ran the special cell block used for interrogation and that CIA employees often joined in the interrogations.

Command Errors Aided Iraq Abuse, Army Has Found An internal Army investigation has found that key military intelligence officers and civilian employees in Iraq may have spurred acts of abuse and humiliation by American enlisted personnel against Iraqi detainees at an overcrowded prison outside Baghdad.

Iraqi abuse report hasn't reached top U.S. brass The top U.S. military officer was unable on Sunday to rule out wide scale abuse by U.S. forces of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere.

Fresh Brutality Allegations Made Against British Troops in Iraq Fresh allegations of British military brutality towards prisoners in southern Iraq have been made by the soldiers who released shocking photographs apparently showing an Iraqi man being beaten, Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan said today.

Iraqi Prisoner Details Abuse by Americans Dhia al-Shweiri spent several stints in Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, twice under Saddam Hussein's rule and once under American. He prefers Saddam Hussein's torture to the humiliation of being stripped naked by his American guards, he said Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Iraqis are disgusted but not surprised at PoW abuse Iraqis were disgusted yesterday at further accusations of brutality and torture at the hands of western troops, but few expressed surprise. "I expect much worse than that to come out," said Abu Hashem, an engineer, said, referring to the pictures of naked detainees being ill-treated by US guards in Abu Ghraib prison. "They said they were liberators but in fact they are occupation troops."

Arabs vent anger at sex abuse of prisoners Arab countries have reacted with rage and revulsion after images of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners were broadcast around the world. The sight of a female soldier taunting a naked male prisoner and scenes of male prisoners allegedly forced into sexual poses with one another "are playing on the most sensitive things for Arabs", an Arab diplomat in Washington said.

Torture commonplace, say inmates' families Luke Harding at Abu Ghraib prison, near Baghdad, where stories of US guards routinely abusing prisoners come as no surprise to Iraqis --The photos of US soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqi detainees may have provoked outrage across the world. But for Hiyam Abbas they merely confirmed what she already knew - that US guards had tortured her 22-year-old son Hassan.

Daily Mirror Stands by Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos The Daily Mirror newspaper stood by its report that British soldiers beat an Iraqi detainee and published new allegations on Monday about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.

Framed Brit soldiers 'torture' pics fake, say experts Pictures of Brit squaddies abusing an Iraqi PoW were faked, military experts said yesterday. Uniform and kit worn by soldiers in the photos does not appear to be genuine. Doubts were also raised over a rifle, a truck — and prisoner himself. The pictures have heaped shame on the Army. But one expert said: “I have no doubt these are staged.” A string of clues were seized on by experts.

Two Britons die in al-CIAduh gun rampage Two Britons were among at least nine people killed in Saudi Arabia yesterday in a shooting rampage which appeared to mark a chilling new tactic by al-CIAduh.

Saudi killings spread jitters among western companies Some western companies in the Saudi industrial city of Yanbu were yesterday pulling their staff out after suspected Saudi extremists went on a shooting spree, killing five expatriates at a petrochemicals complex there and raising the stakes in militants' confrontation with the Saudi authorities. In the first attack on an economic interest in the embattled kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter, gunmen killed two Americans, two Britons and an Australian employed by Swiss-based ABB Lummus, an arm of the Swiss-Swedish engineering and oil services group.

Huge blast leaves 25 dead - TV report At least 25 people were killed and 23 wounded when a fuel tank exploded in Afghanistan's western Herat province on Sunday after a welding accident, provincial authorities and state television reported.

Al-Qaida financing plan with blue-chip securities Bin Laden, Chinese Secret Intelligence Service said to launder drug cash through stock market --Al-CIAduh is financing its worldwide terror operations by investing in blue-chip Australian stocks with the assistance of Beijing's powerful Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). Citing information from Britain's MI6 and European intelligence services, Gordon Thomas, security correspondent for the London Sunday Express, writes that the bin Laden organization's investment strategy includes "leading technology and defense corporations in Australia, Singapore and other Pacific Rim countries."

US turns focus from criminals to terrorist suspects For the first time, the number of secret surveillance warrants issued in US federal terrorism and espionage cases last year exceeded the total number of wiretaps approved in criminal cases, statistics show. The data marked a milestone in the history of domestic surveillance by US law enforcement agencies, government officials and legal and privacy experts said.

N.Y. Suitcase Scares Spur Terror 'Dry Run' Fear Police fear five empty suitcases left at Penn Station, New York FBI headquarters and other security hot spots in early April were a test by terrorists bent on a Madrid-type attack on commuter rails, The Post has learned. [Is the Bush-Rove terror team preparing to play their hand --declare martial law and postpone/cancel elections?]

New Internet Site Turns Critical Eyes and Ears to the Right David Brock, the former right-wing journalist turned liberal, will start a new Internet site this week that he says will monitor the conservative media and correct erroneous assertions in real time.

Fed Prepares for Interest Rate Increases A replay of 1994? That's one question facing Federal Reserve policy-makers when they meet Tuesday and try to determine how an economy accustomed to super-low interest rates will react to rising rates.

Why Antarctica will soon be the only place to live - literally Antarctica is likely to be the world's only habitable continent by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked, the Government's chief scientist, Professor Sir David King, said last week.

Fun With PSY-OPS! Make your own FLYER! --by Mary Titus "Drop them from planes! Toss them out car windows! Mail to your favorite multinational!"

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Pressure mounts on Cheney over smears against diplomat and 'outing' of CIA wife Row that began with 'IoS' interview deepens as Vice-pResident's officials are accused of serious felony --Vice-pResident Dick Cheney was under mounting pressure last night after he and his senior officials were accused of smearing a former ambassador and outing his wife as an undercover CIA officer in a deliberate act of revenge hatched inside the White House.

Cheney accused of smear campaign by ambassador The former ambassador Joe Wilson yesterday accused Vice-pResident Dick Cheney and his senior officials of launching a smear campaign against him and of illegally identifying his wife as an undercover intelligence officer in an apparent act of revenge. In doing so they "betrayed America's national security".

Bush Regime Under Fire for Iraq Spending The Bush regime is under fire from U.S. lawmakers who complain that only a tiny portion of the $18.4 billion to feed Halliburton ['rebuild Iraq'] has been allocated and some funds are being diverted for 'security' and administration costs.

Vietnamese general warns US doomed in Iraq Vo Nguyen Giap, the legendary general who masterminded Vietnam's wars of independence against the French and American armies, warned the United States that it faces defeat in Iraq.

Iraqis hail Falluja victory Soldiers of the old Iraqi army led by one of Saddam Hussein's generals are patrolling Falluja, a year after George W. Bush declared the U.S. "mission accomplished" in ousting the Iraqi regime. Cries of "victory over the Americans" echoed from minarets on Saturday and resistance fighters celebrated in the streets under the green banner of Islam and Hussein-era Iraqi flags.

Falluja fighters dent US morale Under cover of darkness, US Marine snipers hunting the fighters of Falluja have spent a long night on Iraq's desert sand, emerging with little but frustration. For weeks US Marines operating near the city have been searching houses, hunting suspected fighters and setting up ambush positions deep in enemy territory. Few results But the operations have yielded few tangible results and despite their high-tech weapons and draconian discipline, US Marines are struggling against resourceful resistance fighters with no clear leadership, structure or supply lines.

Britain to send in a further 4,000 troops to Iraq danger zone Thousands of additional troops are to be sent to Iraq to take control of the Shia holy city of Najaf in the largest expansion of British Forces since the start of the Gulf war, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

Six British soldiers held over Iraqi torture photos Military police are preparing to arrest six British soldiers they suspect of torturing and abusing Iraqi prisoners, The Telegraph has learnt.

Torture at Abu Ghraib American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go? --by Seymour M. Hersh "A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of 'sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses' at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community."

Abuse may have been 'order' Abuse of Iraqi prisoners that sparked worldwide condemnation may have been ordered by US military intelligence to extract information from the captives, and was possibly more cruel than officially acknowledged, The New Yorker magazine and Britain's daily Guardian reported on Saturday.

Iraq prisoners faced "sadistic" abuses Iraqi prisoners have faced numerous "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuses" by U.S. soldiers, including sodomy and beatings, according to a U.S. Army report quoted by the New Yorker magazine. The New Yorker said it had obtained a 53-page, internal U.S. military report into alleged abuses at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad.

Officer Suggests Iraq Jail Abuse Was Encouraged An Army Reserve general whose soldiers were photographed as they abused Iraqi prisoners said Saturday that she knew nothing about the abuse until weeks after it occurred and that she was "sickened" by the pictures. She said the prison cellblock where the abuse occurred was under the tight control of Army military intelligence officers who may have encouraged the abuse. The suggestion by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski that the reservists acted at the behest of military intelligence officers appears largely supported in a still-classified Army report on prison conditions in Iraq that documented many of the worst abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, including the sexual humiliation of prisoners.

Shame of Abuse By Brit Troops Rogue British troops batter Iraqis in mockery of bid to win over people --A hooded Iraqi captive is beaten by British soldiers before being thrown from a moving truck and left to die. The prisoner, aged 18-20, begged for mercy as he was battered with rifle butts and batons in the head and groin, was kicked, stamped and urinated on, and had a gun barrel forced into his mouth. After an EIGHT-HOUR ordeal, he was left barely conscious and close to death. Bleeding and vomiting and with a broken jaw and missing teeth, he was driven from a Basra camp and hurled off the truck. No one knows if he lived or died.

Torture pictures horrify Arab world Shocking photographs apparently showing British troops torturing an Iraqi detainee were published last night. The disturbing images were set to increase the anger of the Arab world after the release of photographs showing United States troops carrying out acts of mock torture on war captives.

Iraq Prisoner Images Anger Arabs Images of smiling U.S. military police humiliating Iraqi prisoners appeared in newspapers around the Middle East on Saturday, angering Arabs who condemned the United States as a champion of rights only for Americans.

Italian hostages 'sitting ducks' after US troops disarmed them The four Italian security guards kidnapped in Iraq had their personal protection weapons confiscated by American soldiers just hours before they were seized by suspected rebels, colleagues have revealed.

Names of Iraq War Dead Read on ABC Show Ted Koppel solemnly read aloud the names of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war during an unusual edition of ABC's "Nightline" Friday night. Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Thursday it would pre-empt "Nightline" on its ABC affiliates, including stations in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Louis, Mo. Maryland-based Sinclair, whose holdings include 62 TV stations, made $65,434 in 2004 political donations — 98 percent of that to Republicans and 2 percent to Democrats — according to the Web site opensecrets.org, which tracks contributions.

Selective Service eyes women's draft The proposal would also require registration of critical skills --The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.

7 dead in shooting attack in Saudi Arabia; at least 1 Canadian hurt Four gunmen opened fire at an oil contractor's office in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Saturday, killing at least seven people before leading police on a bloody chase through residential neighbourhoods, dragging the naked body of one victim behind their getaway car. The offices are across the street from a petrochemicals plant co-owned by Exxon Mobil and the Saudi company SABIC.

Workers Kill 5 Westerners in Saudi Firm Workers at a petrochemical site used their passes to access the complex and kill five Western engineers in a shooting spree in the Saudi oil city of Yanbu on Saturday, the Interior Ministry said. The gunmen killed two Americans, two Britons and an Australian working for the Swiss-based ABB Lummus in the Red Sea city, the first attack on an oil facility in the world's largest oil exporter.

Australian man killed in Saudi attack A Western Australian man is among a number of Westerners killed in a gun attack in Saudi Arabia.

CBS Poll: 56% think there is a 9/11 Cover-up CBS News/New York Times Poll - April 23-27

Australian federal police to accompany athletes in Athens Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has warned the Athens Olympics would be a "spectacular" target for terrorists and said Canberra plans to send federal police officers to protect Australia's team.

Castro Vows Cuban Socialism to Survive Bush Cuban President Fidel Castro on Saturday dismissed Bush dictatorship plans to speed up political change in Cuba and said his government -- in power since 1959 -- will continue building a socialist society at the U.S. doorstep.

Poll: Kerry continues to hold lead over Bush John Kerry continues to hold a large lead in the presidential race over George W. Bush among Connecticut residents, according to a University of Connecticut poll released Friday.

Kerry Urges 'Marching Again' for Veterans Benefits Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a decorated Navy lieutenant who later protested the Vietnam War, urged veterans on Saturday to "get out there marching again" for better benefits.

California puts the brakes on unreliable computer 'voting' California was one of the first US states to embrace computer 'voting' technology, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in touchscreen machines that promised to catapult the balloting process into the 21st century. Now, however, it has become the first state to slam the brakes on computer 'voting,' in response to reports about the systems' susceptibility to breakdown, potentially undetectable malfunction and outright fraud.

Diebold's Secret Fears Lawyer memos warn that the voting-machine company may have violated state law --by Howard Blume and Robert Greene "Okay, it’s not a tale of that vaunted 'vast right-wing conspiracy,' but suddenly the case against Diebold’s electronic-voting machines is gaining momentum. Last week, an advisory panel for the California secretary of state recommended ditching the machines for the November presidential elections. That event was widely reported, including in the Los Angeles Times. What wasn’t reported locally is Exhibit A, internal documents from lawyers for Texas-based Diebold Election Systems, Inc. In these documents, the attorneys concede that the company used uncertified voting machines during elections before January 28, 2004. The memos also state that such actions would violate both California election law and, by extension, Diebold’s $12.7 million contract with Alameda County."

Justice Souter assaulted during jog Police sources: Attack appears to have been random --U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter was assaulted by two men Friday night and taken to a hospital with minor injuries, a court spokeswoman said.

Opponents of gay marriage face chanting protesters at Safeco Field The "Mayday for Marriage'' event opposing gay marriage brought out about 20-thousand to 25-thousand people. But hundreds of pro-gay protesters have been trying to shout down the speakers from the stands. Before the event started, about 15-hundred counter-protesters waved signs and chanted "Bigots go home!'' at those arriving.

Governor bent out of shape over bobbler Having abolished higher car taxes and driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, [GOP-installed] Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is training his sight on his next target: an 8-inch-tall bobblehead doll of himself. The governor has threatened to sue a Canton, Ohio, company that made 1, 000 of the bobbers and is selling them on the Internet, claiming the doll is an "unauthorized commercial exploitation" of Schwarzenegger's image.

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UK troops in Iraqi torture probe The Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation into allegations that British soldiers have been pictured torturing an Iraqi prisoner. The photographs, obtained by the Daily Mirror newspaper, show a suspected thief being beaten and urinated on.

Daily Mirror front page

British troops in torture scandal Mistreatment of PoWs deepens controversy in Iraq --The controversy over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners deepened last night when photographs were released apparently showing the torture of a PoW by a British soldier. The Ministry of Defence launched an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the photographs, in which a prisoner appears to be battered with rifle butts, threatened with execution and urinated on by his captors.

UK army probes alleged torture in Iraq A probe has been launched into allegations British soldiers tortured Iraqi prisoners, a day after similar revelations involving U.S. troops received widespread condemnation.

US military in torture scandal Use of private contractors in Iraqi jail interrogations highlighted by inquiry into abuse of prisoners --Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation. The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees. According to lawyers for some of the soldiers, they claimed to be acting in part under the instruction of mercenary interrogators hired by the Pentagon.

Contractors in Iraq questioned about abuse A private military contractor acknowledged Friday that its employees had been questioned in connection with allegations that U.S. soldiers abused Iraqi prisoners at the U.S. military's main detention center in Iraq. CACI International of Arlington, Va., said the employees had volunteered to be interviewed in a case in which six U.S. soldiers have been charged with sexually and physically abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad.

Warming!! Graphic images The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos (albasrah.net) "It’s the 'liberation' of the Iraqi people. These are just some of the photos that led to an investigation into conditions at the Abu Ghraib prison, now run by the occupation authorities, as revealed in a shocking report broadcast by CBS on 60 Minutes II."

Warning!! Graphic images Photos from Iraq

'I asked for help and warned of this but nobody would listen' After an investigation was launched into the alleged abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, Staff Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick decided to keep a journal to ensure his side of the story would be revealed. The journals seen by the Guardian begin on January 19 2004 and detail the conditions of the prisoners, apparent torture, and the death of one inmate after interrogation.

Families of the 372nd tormented by stories of POW abuses in Iraq Soldier detailed problems in journal sent to father in Md. --For months, members of the 372nd Military Police Company harbored a terrible secret... The Army said yesterday that 14 of the 17 soldiers implicated in an investigation of abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison are from the 372nd. They face either criminal or administrative charges.

Japanese hostages defend captors Despite having been held at gunpoint, threatened with knives and held captive for nine days, two Japanese men who were kidnapped in Iraq expressed sympathy for their captors yesterday, calling them soldiers and resistance fighters. Soichiro Koriyama, 32, a photojournalist, said he believed the abductors were not terrorists. "They were resistance fighters, defending themselves against US troops."

U.S. Marines Hand Falluja to Former Saddam Hussein General U.S. Marines handed control in Falluja to a former general in Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard on Friday but new violence showed that a month of fighting in the besieged Sunni Muslim city was not over.

Saving Ali Where US snipers fire at ambulances --by Lee Gordon in Falluja "I volunteered to ride in ambulances evacuating the wounded. Surely they don't shoot ambulances? In fact, US snipers were targeting ambulances. I learned to pick out the beams of sniper rifles. I remember the medics' anger when the hospital's last working ambulance carrying British and American volunteers returned shot to pieces, how stunned they were when American, British and Australian volunteers came under fire after declaring their nationalities to US troops.

'It's hell...everything will be destroyed' Military accused of violating Falluja ceasefire --After two nights of bombardment [in Falluja] by US jet fighters, the Ahmed family had had enough... Some 24 hours later, Mr Ahmed made it to Baghdad. "It's hell," Mr Ahmed said, minutes after arriving at a refugee camp set up by the Iraqi Red Crescent on a roadside football pitch. "The Americans have violated the ceasefire. They are attacking us with jet fighters, tanks and artillery. The US snipers are on every roof and minaret. They don't care who they shoot. They are shooting old people, women and children.Where is the UN in all this?"

Bush censorship in Qatar: Qatar pledges al-Jazeera 'review' --Qatar's foreign minister says he will tell the satellite television station al-Jazeera to review its coverage after complaints of bias from Washington. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim was speaking after talks at the White House with US Vice-pResident Dick Cheney and Whackjob Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Bush censorship in the US: McCain rebukes Sinclair 'Nightline' decision Station owner orders affiliates not to air program --The decision of Sinclair Broadcast Group, which ordered its seven ABC stations not to broadcast Friday's "Nightline," has received criticism from U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona). Friday's show [aired] the names and photographs of the more than 500 U.S. troops killed in the Iraq war. Some of the stations have received many calls and e-mails in response to Sinclair's decision. "I have not gotten one positive response," said an assignment desk editor at WSYX, the ABC station in Columbus, Ohio.

McCain Letter to Sinclair Broadcast On Preemption of Nightline (mccain.senate.gov press release) "U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) issued the following letter today to Mr. David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, in response to the preemption of this evening’s Nightline program: I write to strongly protest your decision to instruct Sinclair’s ABC affiliates to preempt this evening’s Nightline program. I find deeply offensive Sinclair’s objection to Nightline’s intention to broadcast the names and photographs of Americans who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq... Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war’s terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves."

US warns Syria of sanctions move The US has reminded Syria it intends to impose sanctions over what it calls its support for 'terrorism' and failure to stop 'militants' from entering Iraq.

U.S. pushes Canada to exploit terror laws Enforcement powers expanded in 2001 haven't been used, State Department says --The Bush dictatorship has faulted Ottawa for not fully exploiting its legal powers against known terrorist groups, including Osama bin Laden's al-CIAduh and an array of regional groups.

Bremer Warned of Terrorism Threat 6 Months Before 9/11 The head of the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq, Paul Bremer, warned six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that the Bush dictatorship seemed to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism and appeared to "stagger along" on the issue.

Bremer Faulted Bush Before Terror Attacks L. Paul Bremer, U.S. Administrator in Iraq, Criticized Bush on Terrorism Before 9/11 Attacks --L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Iraq, said in a speech six months before the Sept. 11 attacks that the Bush dictatorship was "paying no attention" to terrorism.

Five Virginia ships head to war on 'terrorism' Two small Navy ships used for coastal patrols deployed Friday for the war on 'terrorism' [?!?] with the deaths of two fellow Virginia-based sailors a fresh reminder of the volatile situation the crews face. [The phony 'war on terrorism' is actually Bush's W-ar on civil liberties, which is the reason his dictatorship let the 9-11 terrorist attacks to happen.]

Stand by for more terrorism scares, US warns The most senior counter-terrorism official in the US says Australia should expect to uncover more terrorist plots and more terrorists trying to enter the country.

Record income at Chevron-Texaco ChevronTexaco, the second-biggest oil and gas company in the US, on Friday reported record first-quarter net income - $2.56bn, or $2.40 a share, up 33 per cent on the year. The industry has profited from high oil and natural gas prices, as well as increased demand and better margins for refined products and chemicals.

Mega Bulimia Alert! Cheney Praises Faux News Channel Vice pResident Calls Network 'More Accurate' Than Others --Vice pResident Cheney endorsed the Faux News Channel during a conference call last night with tens of thousands of Republicans who were gathered across the country to celebrate a National Party for the President [sic] Day organized by the Bush-Cheney campaign. [This is Faux's reward for their help with the Bush-Rove 2000 coup d'etat.]

Cheney's Five Draft Deferments During the Vietnam Era Emerge as a Campaign Issue It was 1959 when Dick Cheney, then a student at Yale University, turned 18 and became eligible for the draft. By the time he turned 26 in January 1967 and was no longer eligible for the draft, he had asked for and received five deferments, four because he was a student and one for being a new father.

No Politics Please, Florida Students Tell Cheney Students at Florida State University asked for assurances that Vice pResident Dick Cheney won't deliver a "political diatribe" or launch a campaign rally when he speaks at their graduation on Saturday. [The students should prevent him from 'speaking.']

Conn. Panel to Begin Impeachment of Gov. Members of a special legislative committee that has been considering whether [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland should be impeached asked its lawyer to draft an article of impeachment Friday because he has not cooperated with their probe.

Secretary Of State Bans Electronic 'Voting' With harsh criticism, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley ordered the plug pulled on all touch-screen 'voting' machines in the state because of concerns over security. A total of 14 counties and millions of voters were planning to use touch-screens on Election Day in November.

Dean preps for talkshow While everything's still in the early talking stages, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, M.D., is mulling the idea of hosting his own syndicated gabfest. Dean is in Hollywood this week, and he's taking meetings with execs at Viacom-owned Paramount Domestic Television.

Global warming linked to high asthma rates Kids in U.S. inner cities hit hard by smog and increased pollen, study finds --America's cities, blanketed with smog and climate-altering carbon dioxide, have become cradles of ill health and are fostering an epidemic of asthma, according to a report yesterday from a leading group of Harvard University researchers and the American Public Health Association.

Holy cow!! USDA Investigating Condemned Texas Cow The U.S. Department of Agriculture did not test a head of cattle in Texas that displayed central nervous symptoms even though such symptoms could be associated with mad cow disease, USDA officials said on Friday.

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Cheney staff accused of role in CIA leak Vice pResident Cheney was aware of a meeting held by his staff that started a chain of events that ended with the "effective betrayal of our country," former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson charged Thursday in an interview with USA TODAY.

Justices Appear to Support Cheney Task Force Secrecy In a closely watched test of the president[sic]'s right to operate behind closed doors, the Bush dictatorship urged the Supreme Court on Tuesday to preserve the 'freedom of the executive branch' to solicit private outside advice. Most of the justices signaled that they were prepared to do just that. The high court was asked to overturn two lower-court rulings that ordered Vice pResident Dick Cheney to turn over documents disclosing who met with his task force to help formulate the regime's national energy policy in 2001.

US military in torture scandal Use of private contractors in Iraqi jail interrogations highlighted by inquiry into abuse of prisoners --Graphic photographs showing the torture and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners in a US-run prison outside Baghdad emerged yesterday from a military inquiry which has left six soldiers facing a possible court martial and a general under investigation. The scandal has also brought to light the growing and largely unregulated role of private contractors in the interrogation of detainees.

US investigating abuse of Iraqi prisoners The United States military has announced that it is pursuing a widening criminal investigation into allegations that its own soldiers committed acts of abuse, humiliation and torture against Iraqi prisoners, as photographs of the purported incidents were aired for the first time on US network television.

Abuse of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed Last month, the U.S. Army announced 17 soldiers in Iraq, including a brigadier general, had been removed from duty after charges of mistreating Iraqi prisoners. But the details of what happened have been kept secret, until now. It turns out photographs surfaced showing American soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis being held at a prison near Baghdad.

Fleeing Fallujans killed as crisis deepens US soldiers have fired on a minibus full of civilians near a checkpoint on the outskirts of the besieged Iraqi town of Falluja. Witnesses said a hail of bullets from occupation forces on Thursday turned the vehicle into a ball of fire.

Fallujah accord leaves US policy in disarray The United States’ policy on Iraq was in disarray last night, as the Pentagon admitted it was unaware of a breakthrough agreement to end the siege of Fallujah announced by its troops on the ground.

US forces to pull out of Falluja US forces today announced an end to their siege of Falluja, saying they will pull out immediately to allow a newly-created, Iraqi security force to secure the city. The new force, known as the Falluja Protective Army, will consist of up to 1,100 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from the military of Saddam Hussein and will begin moving into the city tomorrow.

Wow, here's a shocker! (sarcasm *on*) Hussein's Agents Are Behind Attacks in Iraq, Pentagon Finds A Pentagon intelligence report has concluded that many bombings against Americans and their allies in Iraq, and the more sophisticated of the resistance attacks in Falluja, are organized and often carried out by members of Saddam Hussein's secret service, who planned for the insurgency even before the fall of Baghdad. [Yes, and Bush the *Moron* did not! 'Mission Accomplished!?!' Bush should be tried for treason! He LIED to get congress to approve of his illegal, immoral occupation of Iraq, which was a ruse to feed Halliburton Hell. And, the Idiot Usurping Lying Dictatorial Weasel thinks he will be re s-elected??? Not without Diebold's vote-fraud and/or the Bush-Rove team considering a terrorist attack on Los Angeles or Chicago ('liberal' areas, kill two birds with one stone) to 'postpone' or cancel elections. We need to *remove* the Bush dictatorship from power. That is the solution.]

Snappy response #2: Hussein's Agents Are Behind Attacks in Iraq, Pentagon Finds [They are? Why, let's HIRE them!! See article summary, below!!]

Marines pull back, make way for all-Iraqi force at Fallujah U.S. marines decided Thursday to end their bloody, 3½-week siege of Fallujah, saying U.S. forces will pull back [surrender?] and allow an all-Iraqi force commanded by a former general under Saddam Hussein to take over security.

Siege of Fallujah provokes second mutiny A second unit of the Iraqi armed forces has mutinied at Fallujah after being involved in heavy fighting with insurgents Ali Allawi, the Iraqi Defence Minister, said yesterday.

Poll: Iraqis Want U.S. Out of Country Despite concerns about their own safety, the majority of Iraqis say they want the U.S. and British troops now in Iraq to leave within the next few months, according to a nationwide poll of people in Iraq.

Soldier who missed duty is arrested His ailing mother says Fort Lewis engineer was caring for her --The mother of a 19-year-old Fort Lewis soldier who was arrested in Salinas, Calif., after being away from the Army for at least four months said he was not avoiding war in Iraq but was caring for her because she has cancer.

10 Soldiers Killed in Iraq, Fallujah Talks Continue A total of 10 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq April 28 and today, Pentagon officials said.

U.S. Deaths in Iraq Up Sharply in April Fewer Casualties in '03 Major Combat --With the deaths of 10 American soldiers in Iraq yesterday, more U.S. troops have died in combat in April than in the six weeks of sustained military operations required to take Baghdad last year. Since April 1, more than 120 troops have been killed in action in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

Pentagon's No. 2 Flubs Iraq Casualties Asked how many American troops have died in Iraq, the Pentagon's No. 2 civilian estimated Thursday the total was about 500 — more than 200 soldiers short.

Sinclair to Preempt 'Nightline' on ABC Stations, Cites Politics Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. ordered its ABC affiliates to preempt tomorrow's broadcast of "Nightline,'' which will air the names and photos of U.S. military personnel who have died in combat in Iraq, saying the move is politically motivated. [This Bush-generated Fascism will not stand. We cannot allow the Bush dictatorship to continue to seize the airwaves. The affiliates need to air Nightline, even if means people enter Master Control to air it.]

Sinclair Stations to Boycott 'Nightline' Tribute A major television chain, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, will bar its ABC-affiliated stations from airing a planned "Nightline" tribute to fallen U.S. troops in Iraq, saying the program is a political statement disguised as news. The Washington-based liberal think tank the Center for American Progress cited campaign contribution reports showing Sinclair executives have donated more than $130,000 to Dictator Bush and his political allies since 2000.

Spanish troops relieved to be back from Iraq The last group of Spanish soldiers returned home from Iraq yesterday, ending Spain's participation in the military occupation of Iraq.

Iraq war's legality ruled out of court Five peace activists charged with trying to stop B-52 bombers attacking Iraq from Gloucestershire failed yesterday to bring the war's questionable legality into their defence.

Polls reveal Iraqi opposition and fall in US support for war In a particularly ominous turn for Dictator George Bush, opinion is hardening in both the US and Iraq against his handling of the Iraq conflict, amid rumblings of unease in the military and among diplomats at the course of events there and the Middle East as a whole.

Five Afghan Soldiers Killed in Taliban Clash At least five government soldiers were killed in clashes with the ousted Taliban militia in Afghanistan's volatile Kandahar province, scene of a growing Taliban insurgency, a provincial official said on Friday.

More Agents Track Castro Than Bin Laden The Treasury Department agency entrusted with blocking the financial resources of terrorists has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money, documents show. [That's because bin Laden might be on Carlyle Group's payroll, while Castro is an enemy of Halliburton.]

Security Tightened at L.A. Malls After Threat Extra police patrolled Los Angeles shopping malls on Thursday but stores stayed open for business after an anonymous phone call threatening an attack in the city's upscale Westside.

Kerry Raps Bush on Security of Chemical Plants Democrat John Kerry on Thursday declared U.S. cities at risk because of a lack of safeguards on chemical plants, as he took aim at Dictator Bush's 'leadership' in the war on 'terror.'

Ben Affleck lobbies lawmakers to raise US minimum wage Matinee idol Ben Affleck came to the US Congress Thursday to lobby for higher pay for some of America's lowest-paid workers. Affleck, who earns millions per screen appearance, appeared alongside Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy to urge lawmakers to increase the federal minimum wage from its current five dollars and 15 cents per hour to seven dollars per hour.

E.P.A. Will Not Withdraw Its Mercury Plan Rebuffing pressure from Democrats and environmental groups, the Environmental 'Protection' Agency announced on Thursday that it would not withdraw its plan for allowing power plants to buy and sell the rights to emit mercury.

Diesel Fouls Marsh Near San Francisco A pipeline that pumps petroleum from refineries in the San Francisco Bay area ruptured, gushing diesel fuel into a marsh that serves as a key nesting ground for migratory birds and prompting an emergency cleanup effort Thursday.

Urgent! Support paper receipts for voting machines before legislation dies in Congress!

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Iraqis offer bounty for US officials Resistance fighters in the Iraqi city of Falluja have placed a $15 million bounty on the heads of key US occupation figures, including Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld. The reward is also offered for the capture of US Commander in Iraq, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez and US occupation forces' spokesperson in the country, Brigadier Mark Kimmit.

Leaflets displaying the wanted 'men' have been distributed
Leaflets displaying the wanted 'men' have been distributed

Iraq war boosts Halliburton profits Controversial US oil and services group Halliburton has said that its contracts in Iraq had helped boost its turnover by about 80% in the first three months of the year. Support work to US military operations and US-funded reconstruction projects made up $2.1 billion out of the company's $5.5 billion of revenue in the first quarter, the Houston-based group said in a statement on Wednesday.

US Congress prepares for new Halliburton ['Iraq'] spending-sources Key U.S. congressional committees are drawing up plans that could provide the Pentagon with up to $50 billion in 'emergency' money for military operations in Iraq before the November election, congressional officials said on Wednesday.

Pentagon Official Under Investigation A senior Defense Department official is under investigation by the Pentagon inspector general for allegations that he attempted to alter a contract proposal in Iraq to benefit a mobile phone consortium that includes friends and colleagues, according to documents obtained by The Times and sources with direct knowledge of the process.

Iraq congress members under investigation Allegations include abduction, robbery, assault, car theft --Members of the Iraqi National Congress and its leader Ahmed Chalabi were airlifted into southern Iraq the day Saddam’s government fell. Chalabi was Dictator Bush’s guest at the State of the disUnion address. Even today, the INC gets $340,000 a month from the Pentagon to feed the United States intelligence information.

Apartheid assassins meet match in Iraq Some of the worst human rights violators of the apartheid era, including a man who helped kill 14 civilians while they slept, have been employed as security contractors in Iraq. A South African killed in Iraq two weeks ago once worked for a secret apartheid death squad known as the Civil Co-operation Bureau. The CCB specialised in assassinating civilians who sympathised with black liberation movements.

Photos show alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners U.S. soldiers stacked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid, and attached wires to one detainee to convince him he might be electrocuted, according to photographs obtained by CBS News which led to criminal charges against six Americans.

In Two Sieges, U.S. Finds Itself Shut Out Officials Find No Good Options for Ending Fallujah, Najaf Standoffs --Perched atop sandbags and peering through powerful binoculars, Marine officers manning front-line positions around this tense city can see the problem clearly enough, even through the swirling dust that gives Fallujah the sepia hue of a Wild West town: Military-age men in white robes swagger about with impunity, they say, hardening their defenses and resupplying their encampments. The Marines say the men are Sunni Muslim resistance fighters who have taken over this Euphrates River city and transformed it into a stronghold of resistance to the American occupation of Iraq.

U.S. Warplane Fires on Fallujah Targets U.S. warplanes pounded Fallujah with 500-pound laser-guided bombs Wednesday and Marines battled resistance fighters near a train station and in neighborhoods that had seemed to be quieting. American forces decided to delay potentially dangerous patrols into the besieged city.

Blair: US 'right' to bomb rebels Tony Blair yesterday launched a staunch defence of the occupation tactics in Iraq as the stand-off between United States forces and resistance fighters in the city of Fallujah threatened to escalate into a full-scale military confrontation. The Poodle insisted the approach adopted by the US military in the city was "essentially right" despite reports that hundreds of women and children had been killed during three days of intense fighting.

U.S. rushes tanks to Iraq to crush rebels The U.S. military has rushed more tanks and other armoured vehicles to Iraq after requests from commanders in the bloodiest month for American troops since Saddam Hussein was toppled.

US hurries to reinforce armour after casualties soar Move follows complaints from officers --The Pentagon is rushing more armour to Iraq to protect its troops after casualties reached record levels this month, it emerged yesterday. More tanks and armoured vehicles - which had been left behind by units not expecting full-blown combat - are to be sent, and the production of reinforced Humvee patrol cars has been accelerated.

Army Finds Troop Supply 'Getting Thin' The Army could have a tough time finding more combat troops if they are needed in Iraq. Of the service's 10 active-duty divisions, all or parts of nine are either already in Iraq to serve 12-month tours of duty, or have just returned home in recent weeks after a year's duty.

Army chiefs resist call for more Iraq troops British commanders fear getting sucked into US operations as Falluja battle rages --Senior military chiefs have strongly resisted proposals to send more British troops to Iraq or any extension of their area of command until clearer signals are given about their legal status after the June 30 handover of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government.

Blow to 'rebuilding' hopes as BP backs out Chief oil industry executive cites security and political fears --BP's chief executive delivered a serious setback to hopes of 'rebuilding' Iraq when he said that the oil company has no future there.

Bush's Approval Rating at All-Time Low -Poll Dictator Bush's approval rating is at an all-time low and fewer than half of Americans now believe invading Iraq was the right thing to do, according to a CBS/New York Times poll released on Wednesday.

Poll: Growing Doubts On Iraq One year after the declared end of major combat in Iraq, Americans have new doubts about the W-ar and doubts about what the Bush Dictatorship has said about it. Less than half, 47 percent, now say the U.S. did the right thing taking military action in Iraq, the lowest support recorded in CBS News/New York Times Polls since the W-ar began.

Pulp fictions triumph over truth For those who backed Bush over war in Iraq, the idea of proof has shifted from fact to fervour --by Sidney Blumenthal "... [O]ne year after [Dictator] Bush's triumphant May Day landing on the deck of the USS Lincoln and appearance behind a 'Mission Accomplished' sign, his splendid little war has entered a Stalingrad-like phase of urban siege and house-to-house combat. April has been the bloodiest month by far - 122 US soldiers killed compared with 73 last April in the supposed last month of the war. The unending war has inspired among Bush's backers a rally-round-the-flag effect, a redoubling of belief... The attacks against Kerry are a bodyguard of lies to protect the original ones who are the praetorian guard of Bush's presidency [sic]."

Pressure Mounts in US Congress for Sanctions on Syria U.S. lawmakers are urging Dictator Bush to impose sanctions on Syria, four months after he signed a bill allowing such penalties against Damascus for supporting 'terrorism.'

US warns against travel to Israel The United States has warned its citizens to avoid travel to Israel, and to leave the Gaza Strip immediately. The State Department warning said that the group Hamas had made threats against US interests.

Criticizing Israel Not Always Anti-Semitic -Powell Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, but using Nazi symbolism and racist language to do so certainly is, Secretary of State Colin Powell told an international conference on Wednesday.

Bush Says Looking Forward to 9 / 11 Questions Democrats say the White House insistence that Dictator Bush and Vice pResident Cheney appear together may be an attempt to eliminate the possibility of contradictory testimony over whether the Bush regime did all it could to head off the attacks using four hijacked commercial planes. Past testimony has established that elements of the U.S. intelligence apparatus were aware of threats to American targets from the militant al Qaeda network, led by Osama bin Laden. Rebuffing demands from families of some of the nearly 3,000 dead and other critics for public testimony, Bush and Cheney agreed to the unprecedented interview only under pressure and on the grounds they would appear together and in private. They will not be under oath.

Miller: Legislatures Should Pick Senators Zell Miller, Georgia's maverick Reichwing whackjob ['Democratic'] senator, says the nation ought to return to having senators appointed by legislatures rather than elected by voters. [Why not? The 'president' was appointed by Dick Cheney's duck-hunting nutball on the Whore Court, etc.]

Supreme Court Hears Enemy Combatant Case The war on 'terrorism' gives the government power to seize Americans and hold them without charges for as long as it takes to ensure they are not a danger to the nation, the Bush dictatorship told the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

City Denies Anti-W-ar Rally Permit Organizers Expected 250,000 Demonstrators --An anti-war group planning a massive demonstration at the start of the Republican National Convention in Manhattan has been denied a permit to rally in Central Park because the crowd would be too large. [There will be far, far more than 250,000 protesters who may be forced to have an UN-'permitted' rally.]

ACLU Challenges FBI's Request for ISP Records The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the FBI's use of expanded powers to compel Internet service providers to turn over information about their customers or subscribers. A lawsuit challenging secret FBI national security letters was filed April 6 in U.S. District Court in New York but not made public until Wednesday because of its extraordinary sensitivity. The FBI can issue national security letters, or NSLs, without a judge's approval in terrorism and espionage cases. They require telephone companies, Internet service providers, banks, credit bureaus and other businesses to produce highly personal records about their customers or subscribers. People who receive the letters are prohibited by law from disclosing to anyone that they did so.

Secret Service confiscates anti-Bush drawings by 15-year-old at Prosser High A few political sketches took a 15-year-old Prosser boy from his art class to questioning by the Secret Service. On Friday, the boy was questioned by the Secret Service after his art 'teacher' [Nazi] turned in sketches by the boy featuring Dictator Bush. In one, Bush's head was on a stake.In another, he was dressed as the devil, firing off rockets. The caption on one sketch read, "End the War -- on terrorism." There were more sketches, including one of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in flames. A family friend says the sketchbook has not been returned to the boy. Prosser police Chief Win Taylor says the boy and his sketches were seen as "a threat against the president [sic] of the United States. And we notified the Secret Service because that's their bailiwick." He sees the situation as a clear-cut case. [Note to Taylor: the artwork cannot be 'a threat against the president of the United States,' because Dictator Bush is *not* the President!]

Secret Service Eyes Bush's Head On A Stick [LOL!] Agents Question Art Student Over Drawings --Secret Service agents questioned a high school student about anti-war drawings he did for an art class, one of which depicted Dictator Bush's head on a stick. Another pencil-and-ink drawing portrayed Bush as a devil launching a missile, with a caption reading "End the war -- on terrorism." The 15-year-old boy's art 'teacher' at Prosser High School turned the drawings over to school 'administrators,' who notified police, who called the Secret Service.

Secret Service questions student about anti-war drawings US authorities have been accused of "living in '1984' after a high school student who drew the head of Dictator George W Bush impaled on a stick was interviewed by the Secret Service. The anti-war drawings had been done for an art class. Another pencil-and-ink drawing portrayed Bush as a devil launching a missile, with a caption reading "End the war - on terrorism". The 15-year-old's art 'teacher' at Prosser High School in Washington State on the US West coast turned the drawings over to school 'administrators', who notified police, who called the Secret Service.

Congressional Districts Can Be Drawn to Favor Republicans; Supreme Court Upholds Gerrymandering --by Eric Jaffa "The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Pennsylvania can gerrymander its US Congressional districts to favor Republicans ("Vieth v. Jubelirer.") The same justices who voted against state’s rights to stop Florida from recounting votes for Gore and Bush, voted for state’s rights when it came to gerrymandering Pennsylvania to favor Republicans in the House."

10 counties advised to use voting machines, but have paper ballots on hand (CA) Ten counties that use thousands of touch-screen voting machines will be able to use them this fall but only if they provide alternative paper ballots in each precinct, a state advisory committee recommended Wednesday.

Al Gore to Donate $6 Million to Democratic Groups President Al Gore promised on Wednesday to give more than $6 million left over from his 2000 presidential bid to help Democrat John Kerry fight "outrageous and misleading" Republican attacks. Gore said he will give $4 million to the Democratic National Committee and $1 million each to the party's House and Senate committees. [Why doesn't Al Gore give money toward exposing and ELIMINATING the touch-screen 'voting' machines? Even if the Democrats actually get more votes, Diebold currently owns the outcome, and the GOP owns Diebold.]

Kerry Wants Chem Plant Safety Reviews Democrat John Kerry, accusing the Bush regime of failing to protect chemical plants, says he would require them to assess their risks of catastrophic attack and use less dangerous chemicals when possible.

After emotional debate, King street no more in Zephyrhills Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue again will be known as Sixth Avenue after rancorous debate. The Zephyrhills City Council changed the newly named Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue back to its original name, Sixth Avenue, becoming perhaps the first community in Florida to do so. The 3-2 vote brought mixed reactions from the crowd of 200 people who packed into City Hall.

*****

Justice Department Reviewing Ashcroft FEC Data Pointed to Possible Violations --The Justice Department's Public Integrity Section is reviewing allegations that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft may have violated federal campaign finance and disclosure laws based on information developed by the Federal Election Commission.

U.S. missile defense to be up by September The chief of the U.S. military's missile defense programs said Tuesday he expects to be able to 'protect' [Yeah, right!] all of the United States from a North Korean attack by the end of 2004, but said failures in two upcoming tests could mean "big problems" for the controversial program.

Iraq victim was top-secret apartheid killer A security contractor killed in Iraq last week was once one of South Africa's most secret covert agents, his identity guarded so closely that even the Truth and Reconciliation Commission did not discover the extent of his involvement in apartheid's silent wars. Gray Branfield, 55, admitted to being part of a death squad which gunned down Joe Gqabi, the ANC's chief representative and Umkhonto weSizwe operational head in Zimbabwe on July 31 1981. Gqabi was shot 19 times when three assassins ambushed him as he reversed down the driveway of his Harare home.

Attacks halt rebuilding of Iraq Disaster facing power network as contractors pull out : Attacks halt rebuilding of Iraq --Vital reconstruction work in Iraq has almost completely ground to a halt after being "screwed up" by the deteriorating security situation in the country, senior occupation officials have told the Guardian.

U.S. Warplanes Hit Resistance Fighters in Fallujah U.S. warplanes and artillery attacked Sunni resistance fighters holed up in a slum in a thunderous show of force that rocked Fallujah Tuesday, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the night sky. The assault came after American troops killed 64 resistance fighters near the southern city of Najaf.

Intense explosions rock Fallujah In Najaf, meanwhile, U.S. military says 64 resistance fighters killed --Explosions shook this stronghold of resistance after dark Tuesday as a U.S. AC-130 gunship and tanks hammered targets in the city. "I can hear more than 10 explosions a minute. Fires are lighting the night sky," one witness told Reuters. [Bush/Cheney are testiLYING before the 9-11 Commission on Thursday. Rove needs Weapons of Mass Distraction...]

Warehouse explodes as U.S. troops enter Soldiers killed while [planting] 'looking for chemicals' A workshop believed to be producing chemical munitions exploded in flames Monday moments after U.S. troops broke in to [plant] 'search' it, killing two soldiers and wounding five. Jubilant Iraqis swarmed over the Americans’

Barzani blames U.S. for standoff Iraq's current Governing Council president said Monday the United States has only itself to blame for the military deadlock at Najaf and Fallujah because it allowed its troops to change from "an army of liberation" to "an army of occupation."

Shut out of briefing "Last week Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives were given a closed-door briefing by Condoleezza Rice, President [sic] Bush's national security adviser, about the Iraq war, the extension of duty for U.S. troops and the June 30 handover of Iraqi sovereignty. Democrats in Congress were not invited and not allowed to participate." Rep. Rep. Betty McCollum, Washington, D.C.

Former diplomats' attack on Blair is off the Richter scale, says Cook Robin Cook delivers a fresh and devastating blow to Tony Blair today by claiming that serving British ambassadors support the 52 former diplomats who criticised the Prime Minister over his policy on the Middle East.

Sisters of slain soldier will not return to Iraq Two young Army women who were given the choice of returning to combat in Iraq after their sister was killed in a Baghdad ambush decided Tuesday not to go back.

Welcome to Baghdad, Texas --by Jefferson Morley "A survey of the Baghdad press, as translated by the Iraqi Press Monitor and the World News Connection (subscription required) , shows most Iraqi commentators demand the end of the U.S. occupation, with one calling President [sic] Bush's policies 'surreal.'"

We need to make sure that Reichwing terrorist, John Negroponte, is NOT confirmed by the Senate to 'serve' [Halliburton Hell] in Iraq. [Visit CLG's Actions page and CLG's Peaceprotests page.]

"Friends - please contact your senate offices and tell them to VOTE NO on death squad leader John Negroponte. NO on Negroponte to U.S. embassy in Iraq. You can find the e-mail contact for your senator here. Please pass this on. (The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding hearings today.) Info on his death squads - Death Squad Ambassador: Senate Hearings Begin on Negroponte Iraq Appointment 'The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding hearings today on John Negroponte's appointment to the Baghdad embassy. Negroponte's reputation as ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985 earned him a reputation for supporting widespread human rights abuses and campaigns of terror.'" --Action alert submitted by Mary Titus.

Syrian capital 'rocked by blasts' A series of explosions and gunfire rocked the Syrian capital Damascus on Tuesday evening, reports say. A highway near the Iranian and Canadian embassies is said to have been hit by three to five blasts over the past few hours, and heavy gunfire was heard.

Bush, Cheney to Face 9/11 Questioning in Secret The White House said on Tuesday it would not allow any recordings or transcripts of private testimony this week by Dictator Bush and Vice pResident Dick Cheney to the panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. [Useless is as useless does.]

Translator alleges FBI / State Dept espionage, possible treason --by Tom Flocco "Former FBI contract linguist Sibel Dinez Edmonds did not back down regarding reported evidence she uncovered implicating espionage in the FBI and State Department when we recently asked whether she thought the explosive information would ever see the light of day. 'As you know, I cannot say much about that; but why do you think Attorney General Ashcroft asserted State Secret Privilege in my case when I decided to go public with what I had found in the translations?' she said.... The translator alluded to additional but more volatile allegations in a phone call on Friday night to Kyle Hence, cofounder of 9-11 Citizens Watch, who said in a widely distributed email that Edmonds told him 'if what she knows is revealed, it could lead to charges of treason being leveled against officials at top levels of the U.S. government.'"

Senate Hacking Inquiry Widens The Justice Department opens a criminal probe into allegations that Republican staffers downloaded and read Democratic memos. The Justice Department is opening a criminal investigation into allegations that Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee improperly accessed computerized memos by their Democratic counterparts between 2001 and 2003, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the committee's top Democrat, said Monday.

Bush Regime to Court: Cheney Papers Must Be Secret The Bush dictatorship argued at the Supreme Court on Tuesday that records of Vice pResident Dick Cheney's energy task force should be kept secret to protect the dictator's ability to follow orders of the corpora-terrorists ['get discreet advice'] when preparing legislation.

Key Unanswered Questions: Bush's Record In The National Guard (johnkerry.com press release) "'If George Bush wants to ask me questions about that through his surrogates, he owes America an explanation about whether or not he showed up for duty in the National Guard. Prove it. That's what we ought to have. I'm not going to stand around and let them play games.' -- John Kerry, NBC News, 4/26/04 ...Bush has said he used no special treatment to get into the Guard. How does he explain the fact that he jumped ahead of 150 applicants despite low pilot aptitude scores?"

More Cheney Misleading: Attack Dog Cheney "Disappoints" Host with Low-Road Speech (johnkerry.com press release) "Before misleading Americans across the country in a speech attacking John Kerry today, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney misled his host – Westminster College – about the tone and topic of his speech. Expecting an issue-based discussion on foreign policy and Iraq, students, faculty and staff were instead treated to a series of inaccurate, misleading and false attacks against Kerry. The Vice President[sic]’s decision to “resort to Kerry-bashing” prompted Westminster President Fletcher M Lamkin to email Westminster students, faculty and staff expressing his surprise and disappointment and to inform them that he has invited Kerry to speak at the college in the coming months."

Kerry skips Springfield, will counter Cheney speech in Fulton Vice pResident Dick Cheney spoke at Westminster on Monday. University president Fletcher Lamkin said he was so "surprised and disappointed" by attacks made against Kerry by Cheney that he extended the invitation to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry will appear at the Fulton college at about noon Friday before traveling to St. Louis.

Kerry criticizes Bush over trade Democrat begins 'Jobs First' tour in Wheeling Dictator George W. Bush has failed to enforce trade laws that protect American workers, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a crowd of supporters in Wheeling Monday. "To engage and win in the global economy, we must not only open markets, we must ensure a level playing field for American workers," Kerry said. "When it comes to enforcing our trade laws, this administration has been asleep at the wheel." [Yes, and hopefully it will have a car crash.]

Specter Wins Pennsylvania Senate Primary in Close Vote Senator Arlen Specter, a four-term Republican known for his centrist stands, turned back a ferocious challenge from his party's right wing on Tuesday, barely defeating [Reichwing whackjob] Representative Patrick J. Toomey in the Senate primary in Pennsylvania.

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