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, Page Two

Californians' support for Iraq war hits new low: poll The support of Iraq war among US residents in the most populous state of California dropped to its lowest level, with a clear majority disapproving of Dictator George W. Bush, according to a nonpartisan Field Poll released Tuesday. The poll found that 63 percent of Californians said they do not believe that the war in Iraq is worth the loss of American lives and other costs, against 31 percent who showed support.

Practice doesn't make perfect for Bush speech Two rehearsals for his prime-time speech on Monday were not enough to keep United States Dictator [and moron] George Bush from mangling the name of the Abu Ghraib prison that brought shame to the US mission in Iraq. During the half-hour televised address, Bush mispronounced Abu Ghraib each of the three times he mentioned it while announcing US plans to tear down the infamous jail and replace it with a new facility.

Mr. President [sic], What Planet Are You On? --by Ivan Eland "In 'Spin City,' the nation’s capital, presidential administrations often believe their own propaganda. The Bush administration, however, has been especially self-delusional—particularly when it comes to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Not since the Johnson and Nixon administrations during the Vietnam War and Watergate has an administration been in such denial about its policy course. Like a naïve fawn caught in the headlights, the Bush crowd seems paralyzed and condemned to the oncoming crash."

FBI Apologizes to American Lawyer Offering a rare public apology, the FBI admitted mistakenly linking an American lawyer's fingerprint to one found near the scene of a terrorist bombing in Spain, a blunder that led to his imprisonment for two weeks. The apology Monday came hours after a judge dismissed the case against Brandon Mayfield, who had been held as a material witness in the Madrid bombings case, which killed 191 people and injured about 2,000 others.

Rapper Jadakiss, In New Song Lyric, Suggests Bush Complicity In 9/11 Attacks Jadakiss, a well-known rapper from New York, has invoked a popular 9/11 conspiracy theory in a new song, bluntly stating that Dictator Bush was involved in the taking down "the towers". In his new song titled "Why?", Jadakiss asks "Why did Bush knock down the towers?".

Eisner In Moore Trouble Over Film Michael Moore's documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" could wind up costing Disney more than $100 million and go down as another Michael Eisner blunder. The movie is poised to set a new record for highest-grossing documentary after its release in six weeks' time. Analysts say the movie could match or surpass the take from Moore's "Bowling For Columbine," the highest-grossing documentary of all time. Sources say Disney informed Miramax more than a year ago that it couldn't distribute the film. [Morons!!]

A Cross of Political Infamy --by Jim Hightower "I have been to the cross, and I have felt the passion. Not Mel Gibson's movie, 'The Passion,' where viewers get to see a Jesus character beaten to a bloody pulp and then graphically crucified on a cross. No, there's nothing at all holy or redeeming about the cross I have witnessed. It's a political cross marking the spot in Austin, Texas, where the GOP's diabolical hatchetman, Tom DeLay, beat our state's representative democracy to a pulp. This simple wooden cross, nailed to a telephone pole, is four feet high, painted white, and hand-lettered. The cross-piece says: DEMOCRACY. The center-piece says: RIP/ Killed by Tom DeLay on This Spot. Tom, of course, is the nutball Republican majority leader of the U. S. House who stormed into the Texas State capitol last year and used the GOP's total control of state government to ram through a grossly-partisan, contorted piece of raw gerrymandering that autocratically redraws our state's congressional districts and steals half a dozen seats from the Democrats––a theft that will alter the balance of power in Washington."

Bush Poll Numbers On Iraq at New Low Public approval of DictatorBush's handling of the conflict in Iraq has dropped to its lowest point with growing fears that the United States is bogged down and rising criticism of Bush's handling of the prison abuse scandal, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

Judge Dismisses Florida Voting Lawsuit A federal judge [Bush whore] Monday threw out a Democratic congressman's lawsuit demanding that Florida's new touchscreen 'voting' machines issue a paper receipt. It was the second time Rep. Robert Wexler was turned back in his legal challenge of the machines. A lawsuit filed in state court was dismissed in February, and Wexler has appealed.

Kerry Telephones Millionth Online Donor North Kansas City, Mo. --Cathy Weigel probably never thought she'd hit a jackpot of sorts when she donated $50 to Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign. Weigel turned out to be his 1 millionth online supporter, and that campaign milestone came with the promise of a telephone call from the candidate himself. "If George Bush wins in November, I've got to move to Canada or something," Weigel said while she waited for Kerry to call. "I just cannot stand the way things are going."

U.S. accused of weakening organic standards New government guidelines allowing limited use of pesticides and antibiotics in organic farming have provoked a backlash from farmers and consumer groups who say they devalue the federal organic label.

Az. Supreme Court lets stand gay marriage ban The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a lower court's ruling that upheld as constitutional the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

Net sex scandal rocks US Congress A congressional aide was sacked after posting her lovemaking exploits on the internet. Jessica Cutler, 24 - who has become better known in Washington circles by her nom de plume, "Washingtonienne" - was dismissed last week from her job as an entry-level aide to Republican Senator Mike DeWine.

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US intelligence fears Iran duped hawks into Iraq W-ar · Inquiry into Tehran's role in starting conflict · Top Pentagon ally Chalabi accused --An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday. Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq.

Iraqis fail to regain control of oil revenue The latest Iraqi attempts to recover control of the country's oil revenues from the United States appear to have hit a dead end with a special delegation being rebuffed in its bid secure UN help. The delegation has been in New York in a bid to petition the UN to exert pressure on US occupation authorities, who currently preside over Iraq's oil output. Day light robbery --Muzhir al-Dulaymi, spokesman for the League for the Defence of Iraqi Peoples' Rights, told Aljazeera the US was systematically milking Iraq of its oil. "A daylight robbery is going in Iraq. I have first hand information from sources in al-Bakr port in southern Iraq, and in the Turkish port of Jihan, confirming that three million oil barrels are being taken out of Iraq on a daily basis" al-Dulaymi said.

Bush's Remarks on Iraq at the Army War College (transcript) "Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a massive undertaking. Yet we have a great advantage..." [Yes, we have some experience in the US, trying to construct a democracy after an anti-democratic coup and four years of brutal dictatorship.]

Japanese, South Korean media criticize Bush's speech Strong U.S. ally Tokyo on Tuesday backed the latest plans to return sovereignty to the Iraqis, but Japanese and South Korean media panned Dictator Bush's speech on post-occupation Iraq as a damage-control ploy following the prisoner abuse scandal.

U.N. Resolution Gives Broad Powers to U.S. Troops The United States and Britain asked U.N. members on Monday to endorse a hand-over of power to a new Iraqi interim government but proposed U.S. troops could "take all measures" to keep 'order'. But the draft U.N. Security Council resolution, which asks for backing of a U.S.-led multinational force, has no date for the withdrawal of foreign troops. It is also silent on the future of U.S. prisons, Iraqi control over its own forces and a transitional constitution adopted in March.

Schroeder Wants Total Transfer of Power to Iraqis German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder urged the United States Monday to push through a comprehensive transfer of power to Iraq's interim government, including control over the country's resources and security. "When I say transfer of sovereignty, then I mean it. The responsibilities must be spelt out," Schroeder told reporters, referring to authority over resources and security issues.

Wedding party video casts doubt on American version of attack that killed 42 US military commanders came under new pressure yesterday to account for an attack on an Iraqi village that killed more than 40 people when a video emerged showing a wedding party at the scene hours before the raid. Since the attack on the village of Mukaradeeb, near the Syrian border, last Wednesday the US military has insisted it targeted a "suspected foreign fighter safe house". Several witnesses at funerals and in hospital after the attack insisted that the raid came just hours after a wedding celebration and killed dozens of wedding guests and musicians, including women and children.

Video Shows Iraq Wedding Celebration A videotape shows a dozen white pickup trucks speeding through the desert, escorting a bridal car decorated with colorful ribbons. The bride wears a Western-style white bridal dress and veil. The camera captures her stepping out of the car but does not show a close-up. The videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck. "I don't know where Fatima and my mom were. Siham got hit. She died. I saw Zohra's head gone. I lost consciousness,'' said Moza, covering her mouth with the end of her headscarf.

Report: Soldier claims he was beaten as part of training A former military police officer claimed in a television interview broadcast Monday that he was severely beaten while posing as a detainee during a January 2003 training exercise at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sean Baker, a former member of the 438th Military Police Company, said he played the role of a detainee and was beaten harshly enough at the hands of four U.S. soldiers to suffer a traumatic brain injury and seizures.

General Who Led Abu Ghraib Unit Suspended The Army general who was in charge of the U.S. prison guards accused of abusing Iraqis has been suspended from command of the 800th Military Police Brigade, officials said Monday. Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski and other officers in her brigade were faulted by Army investigators for paying too little attention to the prison's day-to-day operations and not acting strongly enough to discipline soldiers under her command for violating standard procedures.

Explosion Near Hotel in Baghdad Wounds 5 An apparent car bomb exploded Tuesday near a hotel in central Baghdad, and a U.S. military officer said five Iraqis were injured, one critically. Iraqi police said they thought the target may have been the Australian Embassy nearby.

Soldier Killed in Rocket Attack Near Baghdad One U.S. soldier was killed and four others were wounded in a rocket attack on a base northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement on Tuesday.

18 killed in Baghdad clashes Baghdad was yet again the scene of bloodshed yesterday, with at least 18 people dead after clashes between US troops and militiamen, and seven more killed in blasts, one just outside the occupation headquarters.

Britons killed in Baghdad blast Two Britons died when their car was destroyed by a rocket-propelled grenade as it approached a US-controlled checkpoint in Baghdad today, the US military said.

Doonesbury strip to run roll call of US war dead The cartoonist Garry Trudeau, the man behind the Doonesbury cartoon, will devote one of his strips to listing the US military war dead in Iraq. The strip, to be published on Sunday, will list the more than 700 US military personnel who have been killed in Iraq since the start of the US-led campaign over a year ago.

Paramilitary Forces and Reserves: Rare Reserve Call Up The U.S. Armed Forces are calling to active duty the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). These are soldiers in the reserve who are not assigned to a unit (and are thus not paid), but are still serving out there remaining time (that they signed up for) in the reserves or active duty. Until their time is expired, they are liable to call up. Some are going to be called up. This is rarely done.

Two out of three voters say no to more UK troops The British public is overwhelmingly opposed to the government sending up to 3,000 extra troops to Iraq, according to the results of this month's Guardian/ICM poll.

Mega barf headline from CNN: Bruised Bush battles back [Too bad the headless and limbless Iraqi children cannot.] It's not the image one hopes to project in an internationally televised, prime-time speech. But after weeks of bruising criticism over his handling of Iraq, Dictator Bush will go on TV Monday night with a cut on his upper lip and scrapes on his nose, chin and hand.

NBC to fight Russert subpoena in Plame case Denies journalist got information; Time reporter also subpoenaed --Two journalists, one from NBC News, have received federal subpoenas to face questioning about the alleged leak of an undercover CIA weapons expert’s identity, but both news organizations said Sunday they would fight the subpoenas.

Israeli Army Leaves Swathe of Destruction in Rafah Israeli Army Out of Gaza, Says Ruined 56 Buildings --The Israeli army said Monday its forces had withdrawn from a refugee camp in southern Gaza after a six-day operation that drew an international outcry.

Suspicious moving van prompt Kings Bay lockdown Military scare --Military officials locked down Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base for security reasons after two men were detained for questioning. Two Israeli men working for a moving-and-storage company [?!?] attempted to enter the base about 10:30 a.m. Friday to pick up some items in base housing, said base spokesman Ed Buczek. One of them was unable to provide security personnel with proper credentials, so base personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs inspected the van. ''The military dogs were alerted to a scent in the cab of the truck,'' Buczek said. Kings Bay is near Sea Island, which will host the G-8 Summit next month.

Bulletin: New Israeli Nuclear Incident --by Daniel Hopsicker "For the second time in the past two weeks Israelis in a moving van have been detained near a U.S. nuclear facility, this time at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base near St. Marys, GA., near Sea Island, host of the G-8 Summit next month."

Police Empowered to Halt G8 Protests Under Georgia's State of Emergency A new city law in Brunswick gives police the power to halt protests during the G-8 summit now that the governor has declared a pre-emptive state of emergency in coastal Georgia through June 20.

Senate Majority Leader Campaigns Against Daschle In an break with bipartisan traditions in the U.S. Senate, Republican 'Leader' Bill [Nazi] Frist urged voters in South Dakota on Saturday to vote his Democratic counterpart, Tom Daschle, out of office.

Judge Rejects Florida Paper Ballot Lawsuit A U.S. judge [Bush whore] on Monday tossed out a politician's lawsuit demanding a paper trail for touch-screen voting machines in Florida. The lawsuit by Florida Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler sought to win a paper printout of ballots voted on the new electronic systems that replaced punch cards in some counties after the fiasco four years ago, when the U.S. presidency was decided after a five-week court battle.

Petition from Democracy for America "Sorry Diebold. Americans want to: Count Every Vote --Send Congress a Message. Sign the Petition"

Citizens For Legitimate Government Launches B.Y.O.B., Bring Your Own (paper) Ballot, Campaign for "Election" 2004 --CLG Founder and Honorary Chair, Michael D. Rectenwald, announced the CLG's inauguration of the B.Y.O.B., Bring Your Own (paper) Ballot, campaign. The group calls for voters in the 2004 presidential contest to print, fill-out, and notarize their own copy of the CLG paper ballot receipt, as a safeguard against known flaws and vulnerabilities of touch-screen voting and the recent history of discarding votes and overthrowing election results. *Receive B.Y.O.B. updates: ballot_news-subscribe@lists.legitgov.org

When advocates become regulators Dictator has installed more than 100 top officials who were once lobbyists, attorneys or spokespeople for the industries they oversee. [Bush should know all about 'installation', since he himself was installed in the 2000 coup d'etat.] More than 100 high-level officials under Dictator Bush have helped govern industries they once represented as lobbyists, lawyers or company advocates, a Denver Post analysis shows. In at least 20 cases, those former industry advocates have helped their agencies write, shape or push for policy shifts that benefit their former industries. They knew which changes to make because they had pushed for them as industry advocates. The dictator's political appointees are making or overseeing profound changes affecting drug laws, food policies, land use, clean-air regulations and other key issues.

Wall St. Firms Funnel Millions to Bush Finance Sector Produces Surge of Cash to Dictator Who Cut Taxes on Dividends, Gains --At Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., chief executive E. Stanley O'Neal eliminated 24,000 jobs, froze pay and steadily pushed out competitors for executive power, including colleagues who had championed his rise up the corporate ladder. "Ruthless," O'Neal has reportedly told colleagues, "isn't always bad."... When O'Neal sent letters to senior executives at Merrill Lynch in early June asking them to contribute to Dictator Bush's re-s-election campaign, the response was prompt and generous.

Poll: Bush Ratings Continue Slide The W-ar in Iraq continues to tarnish the approval ratings of Dictator Bush. Evaluations of the way Mr. Bush is handling the war in Iraq, how he is handling foreign policy, and how he is handling his job overall are now at their lowest levels ever in his p-Residency. As concern about the situation in Iraq grows, 65 percent now say the country is on the wrong track — matching the highest number ever recorded in CBS News Polls, which began asking this question in the mid-1980's.

White House Asks Media to 'Show Respect' to Bush Twins The White House asked the media on Monday to "show respect" for Dictator Bush's twin daughters as they emerge from private life as [drunken] students to work for their father's re-s-election campaign. [Show respect? You mean the kind of "respect" the Bush regime shows to others: by disenfranchising them, bombing them, raping them, piling them nude in pyramids, bombing their weddings, running up their national debts, giving away their jobs to outsourced scab labor, violating the Geneva conventions, ruining their environment by failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, running up the energy bills of California for his buddies' failing corporate GOLGOTHA, and lying to the American public and the world at large on a minute-by-minute basis? That kind of "respect?" If he means that we should show them THAT kind of respect, we have to answer that unlike him, we are not genocidal W-ar criminals, thieves, and corporate whores. Are his daughters? Furthermore, the media is not supposed to 'show respect'. They are supposed to *do their jobs*. Moreover, Bill and Hillary Clinton did not need to ask the media to 'show respect' to honors graduate Chelsea, who the Reichwing said should be killed. Michael Rectenwald/Lori Price]

Kerry's Campaign Gets New Airplane John Kerry's presidential campaign is scheduled for takeoff Tuesday on a new plane designed for work and some play. The Boeing 757-200 includes two conference tables, eight phone lines, a copy machine, a printer and a power outlet in every seat for laptops and cell phone charging. It also has a standup bar for socializing. The plane is emblazoned "John Kerry" and "President" and can seat 94 in five cabins.

Beef Promotion Case Goes to Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court said on Monday it would decide if the federal government can require cattle ranchers and farmers to pay for an industry [agribusiness] marketing program, famous for its "Beef, It's What's for Dinner" advertisements. The high court agreed to re-examine the constitutionality of so-called farm checkoff programs after a U.S. appeals court ruled the beef program was unconstitutional.

Global warming 'catastrophe' alert Global warming is hitting the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in what may be a portent of wider, catastrophic changes, the chairman of an eight-nation study said today.

Navy gets to use land for free --by Lee Cataluna "Want to get your hands on thousands of acres of crown land along one of Hawai'i's most beautiful and unspoiled coastlines? It's easy. Just mention 9/11. The Navy, in the name of national security, asked for 270 acres of ag and beach land to expand the Pacific Missile Range on the west side of Kaua'i. It also wanted control over 5,371 acres of adjacent former sugar land. The terms the Navy wanted for the lease? For free. For ever... And the state was ready to give it to them."

Vt. Put on List of Most Endangered Places A preservation group put Vermont on its list of America's most endangered places Monday, warning that this New England state's small-town charm is threatened by Wal-Mart.

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General Zinni on Iraq: 'Stay the course? The course is headed over Niagara Falls' Retired General Anthony Zinni is one of the most respected and outspoken military leaders of the past two decades... But Zinni broke ranks with the Bush regime over the war in Iraq, and now, in his harshest criticism yet, he says senior officials at the Pentagon are guilty of dereliction of duty -- and that the time has come for heads to roll. "There has been poor strategic thinking in this," says Zinni. "There has been poor operational planning and execution on the ground. And to think that we are going to 'stay the course,' the course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's time to change course a little bit, or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course. Because it's been a failure... Regardless of whose responsibility [it is]...it should be evident to everybody that they've screwed up, and whose heads are rolling on this?"

U.S., Britain to Present Iraq Resolution The United States and Britain plan to introduce on Monday a long-awaited U.N. resolution on issues raised by the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty on June 30, an American official said. At the center of the debate is the amount of power Iraq's caretaker government will have and how long foreign troops will remain in the country. The resolution is also expected to give the caretaker government control over Iraq's income from oil sales. That money is now deposited in a fund controlled by the United States and Britain.

Taguba report sent to Congress has 2,000 missing pages Another big stack of pages is causing concern over at the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is investigating abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Committee aides discovered belatedly that their copy of the 6,000-page report on prison abuses produced by Major General Antonio M. Taguba might not be complete. The copy they got after Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld's testimony on May 7 was a thick document with 106 annexes, and it was quickly arranged into separate binders. Only later did the committee stack up all the pages, compare them with a ream of 6,000 blank pages and decide that at least 2,000 pages were missing.

Afghan Deaths Linked to Unit at Iraq Prison A military intelligence unit that oversaw interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was also in charge of questioning at a detention center in Afghanistan where two prisoners died in December 2002 in incidents that are being investigated as homicides.

Prison Scrutiny May Spread to Guantanamo A senior Navy admiral who briefly visited Guantanamo Bay in early May at Defense [W-ar criminal] Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's request has recommended a more in-depth look at the prisoners' treatment. Also, the Pentagon is facing allegations by former British detainees who say they were abused and videotaped. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is demanding the Pentagon release any such videos.

Skipped autopsies in Iraq revealed Autopsies were not performed on at least five Iraqi prisoners who died of mysterious causes at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention camps, according to Pentagon records. And the lack of forensic investigations may conflict with international standards, including the Geneva Conventions, for the handling of war-detainee deaths.

Morgue Records Show 5,500 Iraqis Killed More than 5,500 Iraqis died violently in just Baghdad and three provinces in the first 12 months of the occupation, an Associated Press survey found. The toll from both criminal and political violence ran dramatically higher than violent deaths before the war, according to statistics from morgues.

'I will always hate you people' Family's fury at mystery death --The first Mohammed Munim al-Izmerly's family knew of his death was when his battered corpse turned up at Baghdad's morgue. Attached to the zipped-up black US body bag was a laconic note. The US military claimed in the note that Dr Izmerly, a distinguished chemistry professor arrested after US tanks encircled his villa, had died of "brainstem compression". Dr Izmerly's sudden death after 10 months in American custody left his family stunned, not least because three weeks earlier they had visited him in the US prison at Baghdad airport...

Video Film of Wedding Party Captures Revelers Dancing, Singing The bride arrives in a white pickup truck and is quickly ushered into a house by a group of women. Outside, men recline on brightly colored silk pillows, relaxing on the carpeted floor of a large goat-hair tent as boys dance to tribal songs. The videotape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News captures a wedding party that survivors say was later attacked by U.S. planes early Wednesday, killing up to 45 people. The dead included the cameraman, Yasser Shawkat Abdullah, hired to record the festivities, which ended Tuesday night before the planes struck. Video that APTN shot a day after the attack shows fragments of musical instruments, pots and pans and brightly colored beddings used for celebrations, scattered around the bombed out tent. The U.S. military says [lied] that all 'evidence' so far indicates the target was a safehouse for foreign fighters.

U.S. Troops Storm Mosque in Attack on Iraq Militia U.S. tanks, ground troops and aircraft launched a major offensive against Iraqi Shi'ite militia Sunday, killing about 20 in one raid on a mosque and pounding other positions around the holy city of Najaf.

'I have not killed but, God willing, I soon will' --by Julius Strauss May 22, 2003 "In the large, dusty market of Najaf, people began to panic. By now men, women and children were running for cover. But for 20-year-old Taha, an English-speaking student of engineering, the fighting was music to his ears... 'We have blown up an American tank,' he said triumphantly, as a pall of smoke began to spiral into the sky. 'I have been fighting for a month now against the American infidels. They are murderers and have given us nothing. So far I have not killed but, God willing, I soon will.' Another former student, Hussein, 26, came running over to join him. 'We have damaged five American vehicles,' he said. 'Do not believe what the Americans tell you. They kill two or three of our men and say they have killed 30.'"

Chalabi calls U.S. mission 'a failure' Former Bush regime ally Ahmed Chalabi yesterday said although U.S. forces successfully liberated Iraq from Saddam Hussein's regime, the subsequent military occupation of the country "has been a failure."

Iran admits regular contact with Chalabi The strange decline in relations between the US military and its one-time Iraqi ally, Ahmad Chalabi, took a new twist yesterday when Iran admitted having had regular dialogue with the former Pentagon favourite. The authorities in Tehran - and Mr Chalabi - were quick to deny suggestions that he had handed US secrets to Iran.

Regarding the Torture of Others --by Susan Sontag "[The photographs] are representative of the fundamental corruptions of any foreign occupation together with the Bush adminstration's distinctive policies. The Belgians in the Congo, the French in Algeria, practiced torture and sexual humiliation on despised recalcitrant natives. Add to this generic corruption the mystifying, near-total unpreparedness of the American rulers of Iraq to deal with the complex realities of the country after its 'liberation.' And add to that the overarching, distinctive doctrines of the Bush administration, namely that the United States has embarked on an endless war and that those detained in this war are, if the president [sic] so decides, 'unlawful combatants' -- a policy enunciated by Donald Rumsfeld for Taliban and Qaeda prisoners as early as January 2002 -- and thus, as Rumsfeld said, 'technically' they 'do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention,' and you have a perfect recipe for the cruelties and crimes committed against the thousands incarcerated without charges or access to lawyers in American-run prisons that have been set up since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

Military's use of malaria drug in question Pentagon studies Lariam's side effects after soldiers' suicides --U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Bill Howell began taking Lariam before going to Iraq in 2003. In March, three weeks after returning home, Howell fatally shot himself in his front yard. Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves also took the anti-malarial medication during his tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2002. Two days after coming home, he killed his wife and himself. Although grieving families and some experts suspect a link between Lariam and the deaths, the Pentagon said it isn't sure. And until its conclusion of a study into the matter, the Defense Department said it intends to hand out the drug to U.S. military service personnel in some regions where malaria is a threat.

UK plans 'mini-nuke' strike force Britain is on the verge of abandoning its long-range nuclear missiles in favour of cheaper 'mini-nukes' that could be used to strike rogue states, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. A decision on whether to replace the ageing Trident system has to be taken by the end of the decade but a secret MoD poll suggests there would be enormous public opposition to spending tens of billions on new missiles.

Revealed: university professor worked for CIA You’re a hard-working undergraduate at Glasgow University studying for your degree in political science, and standing before you in the lecture theatre is your professor – a suave, erudite American. What could be better for a young student trying to get to grips with the affairs of the world than having a US professor explain the pros and cons of regime change in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, just days before the invasion of Iraq. There’s one problem though. The professor’s name is Richard Mansbach and he worked for the CIA the US spying agency equivalent to Britain’s MI6. During his US career, Mansbach is known to have used his own students to unwittingly carry out research for the CIA on perceived "liberal" threats in western Europe such as unions, churches and political activists.

Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical --by Bill Hill "Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics... In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel. A school military liaison [?!?] and the high school principal accused the girl of being 'un-American' because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its 'No child left behind' education policy. The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job. Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal." [A must read]

Group: Bush Muzzling U.S. Park Officials The Bush dictatorship is muzzling national park superintendents by ordering them not to stray in public comments from a list of rosy stances on budget matters, an advocacy group says.

Bush's super fundraisers join the queue for favours The Sun shone on the plush grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Lodge in rolling Georgia countryside. But the resort's four championship golf courses were strangely empty for a pleasant spring weekend. Instead, 300 of America's most powerful men and women sat in a windowless conference room to receive the thanks of their hero: Dictator George Bush. The 300 form part of an elite donor network that has turned Bush's campaign into the most powerful fundraising machine in US history.

Average Gas Price Jumps to $2.07/gallon The average U.S. retail gasoline price hit $2.0744 a gallon on May 21 due to insane price-gouging by corpora-terrorists ['amid higher crude oil prices and U.S. demand'], and may rise further if oil production is kept low, an industry analyst said on Sunday.

Boston in an Uproar Over Democratic Convention Plan Boston business owners and area motorists reacted with disbelief and fury on Friday to plans to shut down major highways for security reasons during this summer's Democratic National Convention. Convention planners had already said one of Boston's two main train stations and some roads would close during the event. But on Thursday, officials unveiled a more draconian set of traffic restrictions involving several miles of highways.

Mega barf alert! Vogue magazine is reaching for the bottom of the barrel in the looks/brains department!! Bush daughters pose for interview and photo spread for Vogue Barbara and Jenna Bush have already sat for an interview and photo shoot for Vogue—the first of many interviews they'll do this summer. Then, after a European vacation with friends, the twins will return to Washington to work for their moron and W-ar criminal 'father.' [Quick action! DO NOT BUY Vogue magazine, and cancel your subscription. Tell the editors of the Condé Nast publication why you will no longer support their magazine. Post in their forum to express your views on the subject. My message: "I am sending a message alert to thousands of Democrats to stop buying Vogue magazine or to cancel their subscriptions, due to your featuring Bush's daughters in an upcoming issue. We look forward to fashion news and cultural trends from Vogue - not Reichwing media promoting the insane policies of Dictator Bush. Cheers, Lori R. Price, General Manager, Citizens for Legitimate Government Contact their editors: voguemail@aol.com.]

'The ice is melting much faster than we thought' Two recent climatic events are warning signs that climate change may be proceeding much more quickly than previously thought, James Lovelock claimed. They are the increasingly rapid melting of the Arctic ice-sheet covering Greenland, which will raise global sea levels considerably, and the extreme heatwave in western central Europe in the first two weeks of last August.

Kyoto heat as Russia ratifies The Howard Government has come under renewed pressure to sign the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gas emissions after Russia's surprise announcement at the weekend that it intends to ratify the deal. When Russia signs the protocol it will become international law and leave Australia and the United States the only two 'developed' countries opposing the international agreement to combat global warming.

New Ebola strain found in Sudan Teams of international scientists are travelling to southern Sudan, following an outbreak of a new strain of the deadly Ebola virus. World Health Organisation officials have traced [created?] an Ebola-like disease to the town of Yambio, in the Western Equatorial region of south Sudan. Fifteen cases of the potentially fatal virus have been confirmed over the past fortnight and four people have died.

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'Spray and slay': are American troops out of control in Iraq? Fresh allegations of American abuse of prisoners continue to appall the world. But now 'The Independent on Sunday' has uncovered proof of US troops deliberately and indiscriminately shooting civilians. Here we examine new evidence that suggests the lawlessness in the American military was never confined to the prison camps and torture rooms but extended to the streets and homes of Iraq --Amid the welter of ugly pictures from Iraq last week were images worse than those of the humiliation and torture of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison. These show chunks of flesh and hanks of women's hair scattered across a scene of devastation. Among the few recognisable objects are musical instruments.

The Marine's tale: 'We killed 30 civilians in six weeks. I felt we were committing genocide' During 12 years in the US Marines, including three years putting new recruits through boot camp, Staff Sergeant Jimmy Massey hardly questioned his role. But what he saw in Iraq changed that. "In a month and a half my platoon and I killed more than 30 civilians," Mr Massey said. He saw bodies being desecrated and robbed, and wounded civilians being dumped by the roadside without medical treatment. After he told his commanding officer that he felt "we were committing genocide", he was called a "wimp".

New allegations of systematic abuse of Iraqis by British troops Five new witnesses to testify against Queen's Lancashires. US military investigates eight suspected prison murders --Evidence that soldiers of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment carried out systematic torture of Iraqi civilians under the direction of an officer is to be put before the High Court, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Five new witnesses come forward to accuse QLR soldiers of violent abuse The statements of men who say they were tortured for three days are at the centre of a High Court action by human rights groups --The Iraqi hotel workers say they were given a very simple choice: reveal the whereabouts of a suspected Iraqi insurgent, or face further violent abuse.

Military Lawyer Asserts: Top U.S. Officer Knew of Prison Abuse A military lawyer for a soldier charged in the Abu Ghraib abuse case testified that a captain at the Baghdad prison said the highest-ranking U.S. military officer in Iraq was present during some "interrogations and/or allegations of the prisoner abuse," according to a recording of a military hearing obtained by The Washington Post. The lawyer said he was told that Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez and other senior military officers were aware of what was taking place on Tier 1A of Abu Ghraib. The lawyer, Capt. Robert Shuck, also said a sergeant at the prison was prepared to testify that intelligence officers told him the abuse of detainees on the cellblock was "the right thing to do"... "Are you saying that Captain Reese is going to testify that General Sanchez was there and saw this going on?" asked Capt. John McCabe, the military prosecutor. "That's what he told me," Shuck said. "I am an officer of the court, sir, and I would not lie. I have got two children at home. I'm not going to risk my career."

Pentagon investigates claims that élite Delta Force abused detainees The investigation into the torture and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners has been extended to include allegations that the US army's élite Delta Force was involved in some of the worst abuses carried out by American troops. Reports say the Pentagon's inspector general is investigating the alleged abuse, said to have taken place at a secretive detention camp, or Battlefield Interrogation Facility, near Baghdad airport, known simply as the BIF.

US tactics 'heavy handed' says Straw memo The first cracks in Britain's coalition with the United States over the occupation of Iraq were exposed last night by a leaked government memo which revealed deep misgivings about America’s "heavy-handed" tactics in the war-torn country. The damning document, produced by a team working for Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, disclosed private reservations within Tony Blair’s administration about Washington’s approach to the post-war occupation.

US 'too heavy-handed', says Foreign Office memo A leaked Foreign Office memo has revealed perceptions within the Blair administration that the Americans are being too "heavy-handed" in Iraq and have landed the occupation in trouble. The memorandum was circulated to senior ministers and officials by the Iraq directorate of the Foreign Office last week and was entitled "Iraq: The Medium Term". It was dated 19 May.

Abu Ghraib: inmates raped, ridden like animals, and forced to eat pork The abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison continued yesterday with the publication of fresh pictures and sworn statements that detailed a teenage boy being raped, prisoners being ridden like animals and other Iraqis being forced to eat pork and drink alcohol in contravention of their religion. For the first time video footage of some of the abuse was also broadcast, a development likely to increase the political impact of the scandal.

Marines admit abuse at second prison While world attention was focused on the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, two Marines were court-martialed May 14 for abusing an Iraqi prisoner with electricity, it was disclosed yesterday. Five more Marines have been implicated in the same early April incident at a Marine-run detention facility and might face charges, according to Marine officials in Iraq.

Academic's book on Arabs linked to abuse Raphael Patai's seminal work, The Arab Mind, published in 1973 and later revised, was aimed at being a "journey of observation through the society of a complex and volatile region", based on decades of the author's personal experiences. Thirty years later and with Mr Patai dead for eight years, the book has surfaced in the scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, where many Iraqi prisoners were abused, tortured and sexually humiliated by US guards. Amid growing evidence that the abuse was systematic rather than sporadic, Mr Patai's book was cited in an article in The New Yorker detailing the genesis of the abuse as "the bible of the neo-conservatives". His book, it is said, gave these hawks in Washington the idea that the Arabs understood only force, and their greatest weakness was shame and humiliation.

Professor Denounced for POW Memo for Bush Some graduating University of California law students used their commencement Saturday to denounce a professor who helped the Bush regime develop a legal framework that critics say led to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. About one-quarter of the 270 graduates of Berkeley's Boalt School of Law donned red armbands over their black robes in a silent protest of a legal memo law professor John Yoo co-wrote when he served in the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel.

Ordinary Iraqis killed: 11,500 and not counting America and Britain have the statistical resources to compute with clinical accuracy the number of pollen grains floating in the air. Yet these two states say they cannot tell anyone how many Iraqi civilians have died in the 14 months since the Iraq conflict began in March last year. As the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, conceded in an interview with The Independent last week, this ignorance is "odd".

Iraqis lose right to sue troops over war crimes Military win immunity pledge in deal on UN vote --British and American troops are to be granted immunity from prosecution in Iraq after the crucial 30 June handover, undermining claims that the new Iraqi government will have 'full sovereignty' over the state. Despite widespread ill-feeling about the abuse of prisoners by American forces and allegations of mistreatment by British troops, occupation forces will be protected from any legal action.

Bush is a war criminal, Livingstone tells rally Ken Livingstone yesterday demanded that Dictator Bush be prosecuted for war crimes over Iraq in an outburst bound to embarrass Poodle Tony Blair. Livingstone told a cheering crowd in Trafalgar Square he hoped Bush would be 'consigned to the dustbin of history' in November's presidential elections. If Bush was defeated he should lose his diplomatic immunity and be 'prosecuted for the war crimes he has overseen and unleashed'.

Bill Clinton attacks Bush over Iraq Bill Clinton said yesterday that the UN, not America, should be taking Iraq towards democracy, and that George Bush erred in forcing out UN weapons inspectors and going to war without UN support.

UK insists it will boycott trial if Saddam faces death penalty Britain's near-total support for the United States' policy in Iraq is about to break down over the question of whether Saddam Hussein and other senior members of the Baath party should face execution. Last week, the Foreign Office slipped out a warning that the UK will boycott the upcoming trial of Saddam if there is any risk of the former dictator being put to death.

Agency: Chalabi group was front for Iran The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources. "Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.

Berg Video - SMOKING GUN? (marc.perkel.com) "There has been a semi-secret government initiative to add digital signatures to various digital consumer products. Photocopiers and digital cameras store an encrypted signature to identify the unit that made the video. This digital signature is totally unique to each device and is more unique than a fingerprint. Today new pictures were released of prison torture at Abu Ghraib prison. But not just still pictures. Today video was released showing prisoners being tortured by Americans. Apparently Kodak film experts are Kodak Park in Rochester New York have compared the digital watermarks of the torture video and the beheading video and have determined that one of the cameras used in the Nick Berg beheading is THE SAME CAMERA that took the prison torture video. If this turns out to be true then there is NO DOUBT that Berg was killed by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison."

GOP Senator Rips Bush on Iraq, Terrorism Republican Sen. Richard G. Lugar on Saturday said the United States isn't doing enough to stave off terrorism and criticized Dictator Bush for failing to offer solid plans for Iraq's future.

Journalists subpoenaed in CIA leak case Two journalists have been subpoenaed by the Justice Department in the investigation into who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative, according to the journalists' media outlets. Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," and Time Magazine columnist Mathew Cooper received subpoenas from investigators trying to learn who disclosed the identity of Valerie Plame, wife of former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson.

Child Killed in Rafah; Incursion Ongoing 3-year-old Palestinian girl was killed in this refugee camp Saturday, on the fifth day of Israeli searches and house demolitions that a senior U.N. official condemned as "completely, completely unacceptable."

Tension rises as bulldozers tear down zoo in Rafah With a parrot that had escaped the Israelis perched on his shoulder, and a kangaroo crouching in the corner of the room, Mohammed Juma contemplated the little that was left of the zoo he had spent five years creating. "This was my life," he declared. "I watched my dream being destroyed." The first bulldozer, he said, had come, escorted by a tank, at 2am on Thursday morning...

US isolated as Russia moves to back Kyoto Dictator George Bush's bid to stop international action to combat global warming faces failure this weekend, as he is left more isolated than ever before both at home and abroad. Russia's President Vladimir Putin - who will effectively decide whether the Kyoto Protocol stands or falls - announced on Friday that his country would "rapidly move towards ratification" in the wake of a complex deal with the European Union.

Terrorist to target office in mock attack Australia's ability to deal with a suicide bomber blowing up a city office building will be put to the test next week in the latest anti-terrorism exercise.

Bush scourge triumphs at Cannes Michael Moore's controversial polemic 'Fahrenheit 9/11' became the first documentary for nearly 50 years to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival last night. The film, which contains scathing attacks on the business dealings of Dictator George Bush as well as the first footage of American soldiers torturing prisoners in Iraq, beat off competition from more famous directors, including Wong Kar-Wai, Emir Kusturica and the Coen brothers to scoop top prize.

Demand Grows to Require Paper Trails for Electronic Votes A coalition of computer scientists, voter groups and state officials, led by California's secretary of state, Kevin Shelley, is trying to force the makers of electronic voting machines to equip those machines with voter-verifiable paper trails. Mr. Shelley said he was requiring counties to allow voters to vote on paper if they wanted to, even if there were no apparent problems with the touch screens. "It's a voter-confidence issue," he said in an interview. "It should be a no-brainer."

New England Prefers Kerry Over Bush Massachusetts senator John Kerry could carry six northeastern states in the 2004 United States presidential election, according to a poll by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut. 51 per cent of respondents would vote for the prospective Democratic nominee, a 19 per cent lead over Republican dictator George W. Bush.

Bush bruised after bicycle bang The Idiot Usurper fell off his mountain bike on Saturday, grazing his chin, upper lip, nose, both knees, and his right hand, a White House spokesman said. [Too bad he wasn't also eating a pretzel! But, we know that he can't walk and chew gum at the same time.]

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Halliburton bills US for transporting (literally) nothing Empty flatbed trucks crisscrossed Iraq more than 100 times as their drivers and the soldiers who guarded them dodged bullets, bricks and homemade bombs. Twelve current and former truckers who regularly made the 300-mile re-supply run from Camp Cedar in southern Iraq to Camp Anaconda near Baghdad told Knight Ridder that they risked their lives driving empty trucks while their employer, a subsidiary of Halliburton Inc., billed the government for hauling what they derisively called "sailboat fuel." Defense Department records show that Kellogg Brown and Root, a Halliburton subsidiary, has been paid $327 million for "theater transportation" of war materiel and supplies for U.S. forces in Iraq and is earmarked to be paid $230 million more.

U.S. Bioweapons Research May Violate Law Arms control advocates are warning the Bush dictatorship that proposed research for a new Homeland Security center [?!?] may violate an international ban on biological weapons and encourage other countries to follow. In a statement posted on the Internet, three arms control experts say proposals for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, established by Congress last year, appear to flout the prohibition on development of bioweapons.

Russert subpoenaed in CIA leak probe NBC, fighting move, says journalist did not receive information --NBC News said Friday night that it would oppose a subpoena issued to Washington bureau chief Tim Russert by the federal grand jury investigating the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA operative last year.

McCain: Entire Taguba report not sent to Armed Services Committee (Transcript, CNN LARRY KING LIVE, aired May 21, 2004 21:00 ET) LARRY KING, HOST: Has the Pentagon told you everything you need to know? SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: No, and I found out today that the Taguba report may not have been completely sent over to us. If that's the case, I'm disappointed in that. There's... KING: What do you mean? MCCAIN: It's our assessment that the entire report by General Taguba was not sent over to the Senate Armed Services Committee. And we need that complete document, and I'm disappointed if we haven't gotten it, and I hope we get it soon.

Rumsfeld approved tough line: Pentagon The US Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal], Donald Rumsfeld, personally approved aggressive interrogation techniques for suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners to 'extract more information about the September 11 attacks and help to prevent future ones', Pentagon officials said. Mr Rumsfeld was presented with a request in December 2002 by Army Major-General Geoffrey Miller, a general with the Pentagon's Judge Advocate General's office said.

US general linked to Abu Ghraib abuse Leaked memo reveals control of prison passed to military intelligence to 'manipulate detainees' --Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, head of occupation forces in Iraq, issued an order last October giving military intelligence control over almost every aspect of prison conditions at Abu Ghraib with the explicit aim of manipulating the detainees' "emotions and weaknesses", it was reported yesterday. The October 12 memorandum, reported in the Washington Post, is a potential "smoking gun" linking prisoner abuse to the US high command. It represents hard evidence that the maltreatment was not simply the fault of rogue military police guards.

Punishment and Amusement Documents Indicate Abuse Was Not an Interrogation Strategy Prisoners posed in three of the most infamous photographs of abuse to come out of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were not being softened up for interrogation by intelligence officers but instead were being punished for criminal acts or the amusement of their jailers, according to previously secret documents obtained by The Washington Post.

9 U.S. Prison Deaths Probed As Homicides Authorities are investigating the deaths of at least nine prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan that doctors classified as homicides. A 10th prisoner death, also determined a homicide, already has been resolved. Officials said that in September 2003, a soldier shot and killed a prisoner in Iraq who 'threw rocks at him'. The soldier was punished and dismissed from the Army for using excessive force.

Abuse Photos (The Washington Post) "Editor's Note: Some images in this gallery may be disturbing because of their violent or graphic nature. A U.S. soldier in a flak jacket appears to be using both hands to restrain a dog facing an Iraqi detainee in the Abu Ghraib prison. The photo is one of hundreds of unreleased pictures and videos that display abusive techniques not seen in earlier images of prison abuse."

Iraqis Provide New Details of Abuse Statements Describe Sexual Humiliation And Savage Beatings --Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets.

Iraqi prisoners 'ridden like animals' New photos released; Male prisoners fondled by women soldiers --Some prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison were ridden like animals, fondled by female soldiers, forced to curse their religion and required to retrieve their food from toilets, the Washington Post reported today. The newspaper also published new photographs and shots from a video of the alleged abuse and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers.

New front in Iraq detainee abuse scandal? U.S. military and intelligence officials familiar with the situation tell NBC News the Army’s elite Delta Force is now the subject of a Pentagon inspector general investigation into abuse against detainees. The target is a top-secret site near Baghdad's airport. The battlefield interrogation facility known as the "BIF" is pictured in satellite photos. According to two top U.S. government sources, it is the scene of the most egregious violations of the Geneva Conventions in all of Iraq's prisons.

U.S. admits to secret interrogation site in Baghdad As hundreds of detainees were released from Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, a senior U.S. official Friday confirmed that a previously undisclosed U.S. military interrogation facility at or near Baghdad International Airport does indeed exist.

Military shrugs off attack on wedding party A US Marines general says he has no need to apologise for an attack in the remote Iraqi desert that killed about 40 people, who witnesses say included women and children celebrating a wedding. Asked about witness testimony and footage from Dubai-based Al Arabiya television that showed weeping relatives lowering bodies, one of a child, into graves, he said: "I have not seen the pictures but bad things happen in wars. I don't have to apologise for the conduct of my men." [sic - men? Sub-humans.]

14 US Military Bases Under Construction In Iraq --by Pepe Escobar "Iraqis also know that 14 US military bases are already under construction, enough to accommodate the (for the moment) 110,000 American soldiers who will stay in Iraq until at least 2007. No sovereign Iraqi government has approved the construction of these bases. Kimmitt - the No 2 Pentagon man in Iraq, and the one who launched total war on Fallujah - said the bases are 'a blueprint for how we could operate in the Middle East'."

Hold Fire: 3,000 Marines and Paras Must Wait A controversial move to send 3,000 British troops to Iraqi tinderbox Najaf is to be shelved. Tony Blair believes taking control of Shia Muslims' holiest city could unleash political and public outrage and fuel demands for him to quit. The delay emerged yesterday as the Premier refused to publicly denounce the US over Iraq, saying it would damage troop morale. Mr Blair was expected to announce the imminent departure of Marines and Paras to Najaf, HQ of radical cleric Moqtadr al-Sadr.

Bomb Kills 5 Outside Iraqi Official's Home A car bomb exploded outside the home of a senior Iraqi security official Saturday, killing at least five people and destroying several vehicles on an east Baghdad street, police said. It was the second blast in a week to target a top Iraqi government official.

Bush 'I am a uniter, not divider' gets results! Islam unites Shi'ite and Sunni rebels against U.S. --Under the dome of the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, guerrilla Salah Jbouri says it makes no difference whether he fights America in the spiritual centre of Shia Islam or in his Sunni hometown of Falluja. "The Muslim who wants to defend his country's honour doesn't care if the battle is in Najaf or Falluja. We are fighting the same enemy," said Jbouri, a Sunni fighter standing outside the Imam Ali shrine, one of the holiest mosques in Shi'ite Islam.

CMU's snooping robot going to Iraq A robot designed for urban warfare will soon be on its way to assist U.S. Marines in Iraq, where the scrappy machine can peer around corners and snoop in areas too dangerous or inaccessible for human soldiers... Dragon Runner was developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute and the National Robotics Engineering Consortium under contract to the Marines. [Where else will 'Dragon Runner' be used?]

Berg beheading: No way, say medical experts --by Ritt Goldstein "American businessman Nicholas Berg's body was found on May 8 near a Baghdad overpass; a video of his supposed decapitation death by knife appeared on an alleged al-Qaeda-linked website (www.al-ansar.biz) on May 11. But according to what both a leading surgical authority and a noted forensic death expert separately told Asia Times Online, the video depicting the decapitation appears to have been staged. 'I certainly would need to be convinced it [the decapitation video] was authentic,' Dr John Simpson, executive director for surgical affairs at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, said from New Zealand. Echoing Dr Simpson's criticism, when this journalist asked forensic death expert Jon Nordby, PhD and fellow of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, whether he believed the Berg decapitation video had been 'staged', Nordby replied: 'Yes, I think that's the best explanation of it.' Questions of when the video's footage was taken, and the time elapsed between the shooting of the video's segments, were raised by both experts, reflecting a portion of the broader and ongoing video controversy."

Military jury convicts Miami Beach soldier of desertion from Iraq A military jury convicted a U.S. soldier Friday of desertion for leaving his combat unit in Iraq in protest of what he called an "oil-driven war." Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia of the Florida National Guard was found guilty by a jury of four officers and four enlisted soldiers.

Computer list criticized for terrorist ID formula A Florida database company's creation of a list of 'potential terrorists' has created privacy concerns, although the company said it has dropped the idea. The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the federal government to withdraw $8 million in funding for a Florida contractor that created a list of 120,000 potential terrorists used for arrests and deportations soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.

New York Funding Flap Ground Zero dollars went to wealthy builders, unaffected neighborhoods. Six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress approved an $8 billion program to repair this city's damaged office towers, build apartment buildings and finance the rebirth of the financial district. But two years later, city records show that much of the money, dubbed Liberty Bonds, has gone to developers of prime real estate in midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and to builders of luxury housing.

Secret Service Expert Charged With Lying in Martha Stewart Case A government expert lied about his role in examining a spreadsheet used in the insider trading trial of Martha Stewart and Peter Bacanovic, federal prosecutors charged Friday. Larry Stewart [no relation to Martha Stewart], the chief forensic scientist for the Secret Service, is charged with two counts of perjury in a complaint released Friday afternoon.

Gov't Witness Charged in Stewart Case A government witness was charged with lying to help convict lifestyle trendsetter Martha Stewart, officials said on Friday, raising questions of whether her conspiracy conviction could be thrown out.

Mutiny by 4 Republicans Over Bush's Tax Cutting Forces Delay on the Budget Vote Unable to a squelch a six-week mutiny over Dictator Bush's tax-cutting agenda, Senate Republican leaders on Thursday conceded that they could not muster enough votes to pass a $2.4 trillion budget plan and abruptly postponed a vote until at least next month.

Maryland voters who requested paper ballots instead of touch-screen won't be counted About 100 Maryland voters who requested paper ballots for the March primary because they did not trust the state's new touch-screen 'voting' machines may never have their votes counted. The provisional ballots they filled out during the primary election have been rejected by local elections boards, which concluded the ballots could not be used as an alternative to the machines.

In Florida, the 2000 S-election Hangs On Lawyer Fights to Save Unused Ballots Piles and piles of perfectly pristine Florida chads are smack in the middle of the latest courtroom squabble to come out of the election that simply will not go away: the 2000 coup d'etat. Gary Farmer -- a South Florida lawyer is in a knock-down, drag-out scrap with Secretary of State Glenda Hood over what should be done with thousands of unused, surplus punch-card ballots from the 2000 s-election.

Kerry weighs delaying nomination Dramatic move would give him access to more cash --John Kerry is considering not accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s July convention so that he can keep spending the millions of dollars that he raised during the primaries, a campaign official said. If Kerry were to delay acceptance of his nomination for a month, he would even the playing field with Dictator Bush, who is planning to accept the nomination at the Republican National Convention five weeks later.

Bush to launch new anti-Kerry ad blitz Dictator Bush's campaign will accuse Sen. John Kerry of "playing politics with national security" in a TV ad assault that begins next week. Bush will replace his other ads with one attacking Kerry's stance on the USA Patriot Act.

Mega barf alert! Bush girls join daddy's re-[s]election campaign With his personal approval rating at the lowest point of his presidency [sic], George Bush is hoping to inject some spark and youthful vitality into his re-s-election campaign by signing up his twin daughters Jenna and Barbara.

Senator to Veneman: Resign Over Mad Cow Dictator Bush should demand the resignation of Agriculture Secretary [Livestock Czar, sow] Ann Veneman because the department quietly allowed imports of some Canadian beef despite the ban it imposed due to Canada's case of mad cow disease, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said Thursday.

Thousands may be harbouring vCJD Scientists have found evidence to suggest that more people could be harbouring the human form of BSE than previously thought. Researchers at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital and the CJD Surveillance Unit tested 12,674 appendix and tonsil samples - three showed signs of vCJD. Extrapolating their findings to the whole population, they estimated that 3,800 Britons may harbour the disease.

Monsanto can hold plant patent: Supreme Court The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against a Saskatchewan farmer Friday, saying since U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto holds a patent on a gene in its canola seed, it can control the use of the plant.

Mystery illness plagues Sudan Health authorities in southern Sudan have reported 15 cases, including four deaths, of a mystery illness similar to the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever, the World Health Organisation said on Friday. WHO has sent a team of experts to Yambio, a Sudanese town near the border with northern Uganda, to [create?] 'investigate and monitor' the outbreak.

Soda Can Spies For its latest sweepstakes, Coca-Cola has hidden specially-marked soda cans among the ordinary cans of cola in its cardboard-cased "multipacks." ...Each winning can, which has the same heft and weight of an ordinary pop can, is really stuffed with the electronic guts of a cell phone and Global Position System (GPS) tracker... Then they must agree to being tracked by the GPS and carry the winning can until one of five national "search teams" locates them.

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FBI Issues 'Homeland' Suicide Bomber Warning FBI memo warns local badge-carriers to look for obvious signs of trouble. [?!?] The FBI bulletin notes that suicide bombers may disguise themselves in stolen military, police or firefighter's garb, or even as pregnant women. [?!?] --The FBI is warning law enforcement agencies to be on the alert for the possibility that suicide bombers may attempt to strike inside the United States. A lightly classified intelligence bulletin circulated Thursday to 18,000 U.S. law enforcement bodies is headlined "Possible suicide bomber indicators," and was distributed via the Bureau’s secure Law Enforcement Online (LEO) Intranet. It warns local badge-carriers to look for obvious signs of trouble — people wearing heavy, bulky jackets on warm days, smelling of chemicals, trailing wires from their jackets — as well, more subtle ones, such as tightly clenched fists. [Heads up! Dictator Bush is trolling for an excuse to postpone or cancel the 2004 presidential s-election, which he cannot win, legitimately. Also, suicide bombings would invoke panic across the 'Homeland' which the Bush dictatorship via Faux News, etc., would exploit in order to gain support. We saw the US government's first PSY-OPS 'suicide bomber' experiment in Erie, Pa. in August, 2003. See: Larger Conspiracy to Erie Bank Robbery "Obvious" and Bizarre Pizza Delivery Bank Heist Gets More Puzzling.]

FBI Agent: 2004 Will Be Remembered as 'Summer of Terror' April 19, 2004 2:50 p.m. EDT --Today on "Fox [Faux] News Live," former FBI Special Agent Harold Copus said that the summer of 2004 will be remembered as the "Summer of Terror." Anchor Gregg Jarrett told agent Copus that Tom Ridge said special attention will be focused on stopping terror attacks on rail, air, hazmat shipment, chemical facilities and the electrical grid. He asked if all of those were vulnerable. Copas said, "They certainly are." Jarrett also mentioned that outgoing Spanish President Aznar told Dictator Bush to beware of possible pre-election bombings in the U.S., and Condi Rice seconded that concern yesterday. He asked, "Will that happen?" Agent Copus said: "Let's hope not. But I suspect that we will see activity." [HOW do they know this in advance???]

Robocops ready for England fans English football fans heading to Euro 2004 were warned today they face a force of hi-tech "robocops". Portuguese police have spent £8 million on an armoury to crush hooliganism at the tournament and will have on standby a rapid-reaction force of specially trained riot officers. The force includes 17,640 pepper sprays, 1,465 riot truncheons and 40 stun-grenade launchers. [Where else will the 'robocops' be used?]

Memo Gave Intelligence Bigger Role Increased Pressure Sought on Prisoners --Shortly before the physical abuses of Iraqis were photographed in Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad last year, the top U.S. military official in Iraq signed a classified memorandum explicitly calling for interrogators to assume control over the "lighting, heating . . . food, clothing, and shelter" of those being questioned there. The Oct. 12, 2003, memorandum signed by Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez called for intelligence officials at the prison to work more closely with the military police guarding the detainees to "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses."

New allegations of detainee abuse at secret Baghdad facility The Pentagon is investigating new allegations of detainee abuse at a secret facility near Baghdad's airport. With attention focused on the seven soldiers charged with abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. military and intelligence officials familiar with the situation tell NBC News the Army’s elite Delta Force is now the subject of a Pentagon inspector general investigation into abuse against detainees. The target is a top-secret site near Baghdad’s airport. The battlefield interrogation facility known as the "BIF" is pictured in satellite photos. Does Secretary of Defense [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld know about the BIF and what goes on there? Several top U.S. military and intelligence officials say 'yes.'

U.S. probes death of prisoner seen in photos Images show 2 U.S. soldiers near body with thumbs-up --The Justice Department is investigating the death of an Abu Ghraib prison detainee whose body, packed in ice, is documented in photos that also show two American soldiers posing nearby with thumbs up, a U.S. official said Thursday.

Iraqis Provide New Details of Abuse Statements Describe Sexual Humiliation And Savage Beatings --Previously secret sworn statements by detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq describe in raw detail abuse that goes well beyond what has been made public, adding allegations of prisoners being ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets.

Videos Amplify Picture of Violence The video begins with three soldiers huddled around a naked detainee, his thin frame backed against a wall. With a snap of his wrist, one of the soldiers slaps the man across his left cheek so hard that the prisoner's knees buckle. Another detainee, handcuffed and on his back, is dragged across the prison floor...

GI: Boy mistreated to get dad to talk A military intelligence analyst who recently completed duty at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq said Wednesday that the 16-year-old son of a detainee there was abused by U.S. soldiers to break his father's resistance to interrogators.

Report of Habib torture in Guantanamo Transcript from PM. (Australia) "Channel Seven has aired an interview with a recently-released British Guantanamo detainee who said he'd heard [Mamdouh] Habib being tortured. Habib's lawyer Stephen Hopper has just been speaking from London to David Hardaker.... STEPHEN HOPPER: He [Habib] was in another isolation cell across, across basically directly opposite where Mr Habib was, and he could see what was going on through the gap in the cell door. DAVID HARDAKER: So he had a narrow frame of vision, and this is the evidence, this is a witness to him being beaten up? STEPHEN HOPPER: He clearly saw it. He clearly saw what was going on. He saw five people go into the prison cell, spray Mr Habib with mace, use their hands and fists and kick and punch him and then drag him out, from chains that were around his feet, out of the cell, um, out of the cell and down the corridor until he lost sight of him."

ALP pressures Govt over detainee abuse claims The Federal Opposition says it wants to know if the Government has seen any photographs or videotapes of alleged abuse of the Australians being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. There are now claims that both Australian men have been beaten by United States guards.

Soldier: Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Normal Interrogators at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison viewed sleep deprivation, stripping inmates naked and threatening them with dogs as normal ways of dealing with "the enemy," a soldier attached to military intelligence at the prison said Thursday.

The other prisoners In December 2003, a woman prisoner inside the jail west of Baghdad managed to smuggle out a note. Its contents were so shocking that, at first, Amal Kadham Swadi and the other Iraqi women lawyers who had been trying to gain access to the US jail found them hard to believe. The note claimed that US guards had been raping women detainees, who were, and are, in a small minority at Abu Ghraib. Several of the women were now pregnant, it added. The women had been forced to strip naked in front of men, it said. The note urged the Iraqi resistance to bomb the jail to spare the women further shame. Late last year, Swadi, one of seven female lawyers now representing women detainees in Abu Ghraib, began to piece together a picture of systemic abuse and torture perpetrated by US guards against Iraqi women held in detention without charge. This was not only true of Abu Ghraib, she discovered, but was, as she put it, "happening all across Iraq".

The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib An evangelical US general played a pivotal role in Iraqi prison reform --by Sidney Blumenthal "Saving General Boykin seemed like a strange sideshow last October. After it was revealed that the deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence had been regularly appearing at evangelical revivals preaching that the US was in a holy war as a 'Christian nation' battling 'Satan' [battling Bush?], the furore was quickly calmed... [H]e was at the heart of a secret operation to 'Gitmoize' (Guantánamo is known in the US as Gitmo) the Abu Ghraib prison. He had flown to Guantánamo, where he met Major General Geoffrey Miller, in charge of Camp X-Ray. Boykin ordered Miller to fly to Iraq and extend X-Ray methods to the prison system there, on Rumsfeld's orders... Boykin was the action hero side of his boss, Stephen Cambone, a conservative defence intellectual appointed to the new post of undersecretary of intelligence. Cambone is universally despised by the officer corps for his arrogant, abrasive and dictatorial style and regarded as the personal symbol of Rumsfeldism. A former senior Pentagon official told me of a conversation with a three-star general, who remarked: 'If we were being overrun by the enemy and I had only one bullet left, I'd use it on Cambone.'"

Iraqis see US as occupiers: poll Opinion poll results to be released next week show nearly nine out of 10 Iraqis see US forces as occupiers rather than liberators or peacekeepers, the British newspaper The Financial Times has reported.

U.S. Warns Iraqi Insurgency Could Grow For months, U.S. officials have warned that the insurgency in Iraq would grow deadliest as the June 30 political transition drew near. Now, they are warning the violence might get even worse once the handover is completed. If that happens, it could mean the need for more U.S. troops, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says.

Hostilities force Bush into deep hole Strategy pushing US into 'abyss' --The Pentagon was attempting the difficult task of digging itself out of the hole dug by the Abu Ghraib prison outrage when it suffered yet another potentially serious setback in Iraq. As in Najaf and Falluja and at other flashpoints, US forces appeared to have been sucked in by the insurgents' strategy: fighting back, killing civilians and in turn strengthening the rebels' support base.

U.S. Troops Raid Chalabi's House in Iraq U.S. soldiers and Iraqi police raided the home of America's one-time ally Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday, seizing documents and computers.

Chalabi Furious at U.S. Over Raid on Baghdad Office Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi launched a bitter attack on his former U.S. mentors and on Iraq's U.S.-appointed police commander after U.S. troops and police raided his home and offices on Thursday.

'US soldiers started to shoot us, one by one' Survivors describe wedding massacre as generals refuse to apologise ...The wedding feast was finished and the women had just led the young bride and groom away to their marriage tent for the night when Haleema Shihab heard the first sounds of the fighter jets screeching through the sky above... By the time the sun rose on Wednesday over the Rakat family house, the raid had claimed 42 lives, according to Hamdi Noor al-Alusi, manager of the al-Qaim general hospital, the nearest to the village. Among the dead were 27 members of the extended Rakat family, their wedding guests and even the band of musicians hired to play at the ceremony, among them Hussein al-Ali from Ramadi, one of the most popular singers in western Iraq. Dr Alusi said 11 of the dead were women and 14 were children.

Red Cross condemns US 'excessive' force in Iraq The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has condemned an "excessive" use of force by the US military, after reports accused troops of killing dozens of Iraqis at a wedding party. "The excessive use of force violates international human rights," the ICRC spokeswoman in Baghdad, Nada Dumani, told AFP.

Five arrested at Halliburton meeting Protesters were arrested for trespassing at oil services company's annual shareholder meeting. Five people were arrested as hundreds of protesters chanting "war profiteers" converged on Iraq contractor Halliburton Co.'s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.

US soldiers could go from pawns to kingmakers Support for Bush slips among some in military --After the Abu Ghraib scandal, families of servicemen and women are beginning to question the merits of war in Iraq --When Iraq war veteran Paul Rieckoff delivered the Democratic Party's response to Dictator Bush's weekly radio address on May 1 - accusing Bush of mismanaging the war in Iraq, neglecting US troops and refusing to acknowledge his mistakes - he laid bare a growing discontent among a key voting block in this November's presidential s-election: members of the US Armed Forces and their families.

Colombia Grenade Attack Kills 4, Wounds 15 A grenade exploded in a small plaza in Medellin on Thursday night, killing at least four people and wounding 15, police said. Colombia is involved in a four-decade-old rebel conflict that pits the government against leftist resistance fighters and right-wing paramilitary troops.

House Democratic Leader Pelosi calls Bush 'incompetent' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Dictator Bush "incompetent" and said he is responsible for hundreds of deaths of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. "Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader," Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle in a 45-minute interview Wednesday in her Capitol office. "He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects that he has to decide upon." [Well-said, Rep. Pelosi!! Bush also is not a leader by virtue of the fact that he was not elected.]

Security plans [police state tactics] for July emerge During this summer's Democratic National Convention, the FleetCenter will be sealed off by a five-block ring of security in which only credentialed delegates, journalists, and authorized police can enter. A far broader swath of downtown will be designated a "soft" security zone, in which some streets will be closed, police will spot-search pedestrians and vehicles, and residents may be asked to carry special identification.

www.bigbrother.gov The feds want to know who’s been visiting the Web site of voting watchdog Bev Harris, and they’re likely to get what they want. --by George Howland Jr. "In the past 20 months, Harris has become America’s leading critic of electronic voting (see "Black Box Backlash," March 10)... Thousands of people visit her Web site and participate in its reader forums. Now, Harris claims, the government wants our names, forum messages, and computer addresses."

Medicare: Taxpayer-Funded Illegal Covert Propaganda (Center for American Progress) "The non-partisan General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the Bush administration engaged in illegal, covert propaganda when it produced fake news segments about the new Medicare law and distributed them to local television stations. The segment featured individuals purporting to be Washington reporters who were, in fact, 'paid with federal funds through a contractor to report the message.' The GAO found that the news segments were 'not strictly factual news stories as HHS [the Department of Health and Human Service] contends,' and, just like their multi-million dollar advertising campaign, contained 'notable omissions and weaknesses.'"

White House Is Trumpeting Programs It Tried to Cut The Bush White House has used the machinery of government to promote the re-s-election of the dictator by awarding federal grants to strategically important states. But in a twist this s-election season, many regime officials are taking credit for spreading largess through programs that Dictator Bush tried to eliminate or to cut sharply.

Senior Federation sues drug companies The Minnesota Senior Federation sued nine drug manufacturers Wednesday, alleging that they illegally conspired to prevent millions of Americans from buying drugs from Canada.

Bush s-election campaign ran from Noida call centre The political split in the US over outsourcing notwithstanding, till very recently the fund-raising and vote-seeking campaign for the Republican Party was done partly out of India. And this was handled by two call centres located in our own friendly neighbourhood in Noida and Gurgaon. For 14 months between May 16, 2002 and July 22, 2003, HCL BPO Services — the 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of Shiv Nadar-promoted HCL Technologies — had some 125 agents working in seven teams soliciting financial contributions for the Republican Party.

Wisconsin Strip Clubs Register Voters Strip club owners are putting a little bada-bing in the presidential campaign by asking patrons to turn their eyes away from the stage for a moment to fill out a voter registration form - and then vote against Dictator Bush. [The Bush regime is running its own strip clubs in Iraqi Prisons. Why should they outlaw strip clubs in the US? --Michael Rectenwald]

Sudan Investigated for Ebola-Like Illness World Health Organization experts are 'investigating' [creating?] cases of an Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan, WHO officials said Thursday.

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Ruling Says White House's Medicare Videos Were Illegal The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Wednesday that the Bush regime had violated federal law [for the 2,345,678th time] by producing and disseminating television news segments that portray the new Medicare law as a boon to the elderly.

Oil Companies' Profits up 926 Percent Boom for California top oil companies with soaring gasoline prices --As prices at the pump have soared, so have profits at California's top five oil companies, according to a study by a Los Angeles consumer group. The study by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) compared oil company profit reports and gasoline prices over the last two years. The five companies included in the study -- Shell, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron Texaco and BP -- refine 90 percent of California's gasoline, controlling the majority of its gas stations, the group said. The group found that in 2003, an average 35 percent increase in gas prices pumped up average company profits nearly tenfold -- by 926 percent.

Bush Invokes 'War on [of] Terror' in Energy Debate ExxonMobil whore George W. Bush said on Wednesday he would not release strategic oil stocks to curb record gasoline prices while he was waging war on [of] terror and accused Democrats of playing politics on energy.

GOP pushes $2.4T budget through House Republicans began pushing a $2.4 trillion budget for next year through the House on Wednesday and, at the same time, criticized moderate GOP senators opposed to the measure's weakened limits on tax cuts. Under Congress' rules, final congressional passage of a budget would let the House avoid a direct vote later on a politically sensitive bill that would raise the government's borrowing limit by an additional $690 billion to $8.1 trillion.

Consumers Frustrated with Gas Prices Urged to Ask for Investigation of Oil Industry... Citing the growing frustration over skyrocketing gas prices, consumer groups today called on consumers throughout the nation to join them in asking Dictator Bush to investigate the behavior of oil and gas companies and stop further industry mergers that could result in even higher prices at the pump... Consumers Union has set up a special action on its Web site, www.consumersunion.org, where consumers can send a free e-mail letter to the dictator and the Federal Trade Commission to look into the practices of domestic oil companies. [Yeah, right! As if Dictator Bush is going to *investigate* the thievery that Dick Cheney implemented in his secret 'Energy Task Force' meetings!!]

U.S. Kills 40 Iraqis at Wedding Party A U.S. helicopter fired on a wedding party early Wednesday in western Iraq, killing more than 40 people, Iraqi officials said. The U.S. military said it could not confirm the report and was investigating. Lt. Col Ziyad al-Jbouri, deputy police chief of the city of Ramadi, said between 42 and 45 people died in the attack, which took place about 2:45 a.m. in a remote desert area near the border with Syria and Jordan. He said those killed included 15 children and 10 women. Dr. Salah al-Ani, who works at a hospital in Ramadi, put the death toll at 45. [Was this an element of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Just curious...]

40 Killed in U.S. Attack on Iraqi Border Village Residents say the victims were celebrating at a wedding. --U.S. helicopter gunships and ground troops struck a village in Iraq's western desert, hitting what Iraqis said was a wedding celebration, but what the U.S. said was a 'suspected safe house' for foreign fighters. Reports of the number of people killed varied, but Iraqi and U.S. officials estimated that about 40 died in Tuesday's attack on a hamlet of just 11 houses.

Brutal interrogation in Iraq Five detainees' deaths probed 'VERY TROUBLING' --Pentagon records provide the clearest view yet of the U.S. tactics used at Anu Ghraib and elsewhere to coax secrets from Iraqis. Brutal interrogation techniques by U.S. military personnel are being investigated in connection with the deaths of at least five Iraqi prisoners in war-zone detention camps, Pentagon documents obtained by The Denver Post show. [WARNING! The article describes graphic tactics implemented by US W-ar criminals and terrorists in Iraq.]

More Photos Surface Soldiers Shown Giving Thumbs Up Sign By Body of Dead Iraqi Prisoner ABCNEWS has obtained two new photos taken at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq showing Spc. Charles Graner and Spc. Sabrina Harman posing over the body of a detainee who was allegedly beaten to death by CIA or civilian interrogators in the prison's showers. According to testimony from Spc. Jason Kenner, obtained by ABCNEWS, the man was brought to the prison by U.S. Navy Seals in good health. Kenner said he saw extensive bruising on the detainee's body when he was brought out of the showers, dead.

Sergeant Says Intelligence Directed Abuse Military intelligence officers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq directed military police to take clothes from prisoners, leave detainees naked in their cells and make them wear women's underwear, part of a series of alleged abuses that were openly discussed at the facility, according to a military intelligence soldier who worked at the prison last fall.

Abuse Inquiry Focuses on New Head of Iraq Jails Critics say Maj. Gen. Miller's suggestions allowed misconduct. He calls himself a reformer. Critics have suggested that Miller's recommendations for overhauling detention and interrogation procedures in Iraq after an inspection tour here last summer created a climate for the abuses to occur. Others said he declared it was time to "Gitmo-ize" Abu Ghraib by introducing the kind of aggressive techniques used to grill suspects in Guantanamo.

Soldier receives one year sentence for Iraq prison abuse Sivits jailed for 1 year, reduced in rank, discharged for bad conduct --Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits received the maximum penalty Wednesday -- one year in prison, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge -- in the first court-martial stemming from mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. forces at the Abu Ghraib prison. The conviction and sentence will be reviewed by the U.S. military appeals court in Washington. Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, commander of Multinational Force Iraq, can dismiss or reduce the sentence. [When will Rumsfeld start serving his multi-year sentence?]

Berg's Father Says Bush "A Weapon of Mass Destruction" Michael Berg, the father of the American civilian beheaded in Iraq earlier this month, sent a letter to Stop The War Coalition in London, saying that U.S. Dictator George W. Bush's "ineffective" leadership is a "weapon of mass destruction". "We need to let the evildoers on both sides of the Atlantic know that we are fed up with war. We are fed up with the killing and bombing and maiming of innocent people," he said in the letter, e-mailed to IslamOnline.net by the Coalition on May 19.

Nick Berg Was Arrested Twice At OU During Spring 2000 --by Michael P. Wright "Today from the Norman city court clerk I obtained a document confirming that Nicholas E. Berg, who reportedly was decapitated by militants in Iraq, was arrested twice for trespassing on the University of Oklahoma campus during the spring of 2000... The OUPD actually contacted him six times. Today I gave the arrest record to the editor of The Norman Transcript. Friday, I ascertained that Berg had been an OU employee during academic year 2000-2001. The OU personnel directory for that year listed him as a facilities attendant at the Lloyd Noble arena. The thought crosses one's mind that Berg might have been the one who bought the 9/11 hijacker's airline ticket from the OU library computer terminal." [*See also: "An Airline Ticket for a 9/11 Hijacker Was Purchased from the OU Library Computer" subsection in David Boren and George Tenet Was Their Bungled Sting Operation a Factor in the 9/11 Attack? --by Michael Phillip Wright]

Howard's message to Blair: Time to stand up to Bush Michael Howard breaks ranks with Tony Blair over Iraq today by calling on the Poodle to speak out publicly against the United States when he disagrees with Dictator George Bush.

Roadside Bomb Injures 6 in Afghanistan A remote-controlled roadside bomb destroyed a vehicle carrying election workers in southeastern Afghanistan on Thursday, wounding six people, police said.

U.N. Demands Israel End Home Demolitions With the United States abstaining, the U.N. Security Council Wednesday demanded that Israel halt the demolition of Palestinian homes and condemned the killing of Palestinian civilians near a Gaza refugee camp.

Brother and sister gunned down as they collected washing A Palestinian brother and sister, aged 13 and 16, were killed by Israeli fire in a Gaza refugee camp today as they took down the washing from a rooftop clothesline, their family said. Ahmad Mughayer and his sister Asma died from shots fired by troops from the roof of an adjacent building, family members said. Each was killed by a bullet to the head, the relatives said.

NYPD Officers Get "Terrorism" Cards New York City police officials have issued terror prevention tips to patrol cops -- including suspecting people who "express hatred for America." Cards giving possible indicators of terrorist activity were issued last week to police officers. The cards advise them to call counter-terrorism investigators when they have suspicions over anyone who is, among other things, carrying driver's licenses from different states [?!?], videotaping utilities and tunnels or wearing fake uniforms. New York City police were also told to take note of "overtly hostile" people who "express hatred for America and advocate violence against America and/or Americans," or who "support terrorists and their goals."

Database Measured 'Terrorism Quotient' Before helping to launch the criminal information project known as Matrix, a database contractor gave U.S. and Florida authorities the names of 120,000 people who showed a statistical likelihood of being terrorists — sparking some investigations and arrests. The "high terrorism factor" scoring system also became a key selling point for the involvement of the database company, Seisint Inc., in the Matrix project. [I am sure Dictator Bush's name was not on the list - and he is the world's most dangerous terrorist.]

Denver Airport shut down after 'computer glitch' Departing flights were grounded at Denver International Airport Wednesday evening after the airport's main radar failed, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The cause of the problem wasn't immediately known.

Denver Airport shut down, 6th airport "incident" within days (globalfreepress.com) "2 Evacuations within 24 hours, another power outage at LAX, a Delta Airlines Computer glitch and 2 criminal incidents --Denver Airport shut down after computer glitch... ABIA terminal evacuated over gun replica... Handgun at Norfolk... Two More Bodies Discovered Near Killeen Airport... L.A. airport hit with second power outage in days... Delta fixes its computer problem -Glitch grounded flights, caused long delays..."

Terrorism Drill Held In Central Florida A terror drill designed to test emergency response systems in three counties began Wednesday morning, according to Local 6 News. The drills are being conducted in Brevard, Volusia and Martin counties.

Senate OKs $5.6B for Chemical Attacks The discovery of sarin gas [from the 1980's, that the US likely sold to Hussein] in Iraq and the use of [Fort Dietrich's] anthrax and [Bill Frist's fake] ricin against Congress spurred the Senate Wednesday to approve $5.6 billion [in corporate welfare] to help prepare for possible germ or chemical attacks on American soil. The Senate, on a 99-0 vote, approved "Project BioShield" legislation to pay [Bush's paymasters in the pharmaceutical industry] for research, production and stockpiling of vaccines and antidotes for bioterror agents.

Giuliani Testifies Before 9/11 Panel Amid Angry Hecklers Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on Wednesday passionately defended local firefighters and police after the rescue departments' response to Sept. 11 received sharp criticism from the commission investigating the attacks.. Giuliani's ardent testimony was at times interrupted by emotional hecklers, including one who shouted her son was murdered.

Giuliani: N.Y. Never Warned About Attack [Right, but Bush was!] New York officials probably would not have changed security priorities even if they had knowledge of an August 2001 White House briefing paper that warned of terrorists casing city buildings, former mayor Rudolph Giuliani told the Sept. 11 commission Wednesday.

'Excuses' anger some families at 9/11 hearing Monica Gabrielle, whose husband was killed in the 9-11 terrorist attacks, was outraged to hear of emergency radios that did not work, fire chiefs who knew less than television viewers, unhelpful 911 dispatchers and public safety agencies whose mutual mistrust commissioner John Lehman labeled "a scandal." "It was horrible (in 2001), and then to be back here again and have to listen to the excuses ... I'm really angry," Gabrielle said. Instead of admitting to failures, she said, officials were trying to cover themselves. "Unless they start answering the damn questions," she warned, "nothing's going to change."

Air Force Jams Florida Garage Doors Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. --A new $5.5 million two-way military radio system is jamming remote-control garage doors in communities near this Florida Panhandle base. Lauren Van Wazer, a spokeswoman for the Federal Communication Commission, said the Air Force has been running the system within its licensed frequencies, so users of garage door openers may have to change theirs.

Miami judge throws out ship-boarding charges against Greenpeace A judge Wednesday tossed out federal ship-boarding charges against Greenpeace, ruling there was not enough evidence for the case to go to the jury. U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan ended the case after the prosecution rested in the nation's first federal indictment targeting an advocacy group for its protest tactics.

Hastert questions McCain's GOP credentials In a rare public swipe at a fellow Republican, House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday questioned the GOP credentials of John McCain, a U.S. senator who has often challenged party orthodoxy. [That's OK -- we question Hastert's credentials as a human being.]

Kerry Open to OK Anti-Abortion Judges Democrat John Kerry said Wednesday he's open to nominating anti-abortion judges as long as that doesn't lead to the Supreme Court overturning the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal.

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U.S. Faces Growing Fear of Failure Wolfowitz Concedes Errors as Damage Control Continues The Bush regime is struggling to counter growing sentiment -- among U.S. lawmakers, Iraqis and even some of its own officials -- that the occupation of Iraq is verging on failure, forcing a top Pentagon official yesterday to concede serious mistakes over the past year.

Iraqis 'Crawled In Broken Glass' Top brass knew all about prison attacks, claims shamed soldier --Iraqi prisoners crawled over broken glass wearing only sanitary towels, shamed soldier Lynddie England said yesterday. England, 21, said guards who ordered the pain and humiliation took pictures 'because we thought it looked funny'. But the American soldier, pictured pointing and laughing at naked prisoners, insists the abuse went all the way to the top in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. She told investigators probing the scandal: 'The pictures were shown to anyone who wanted to see them. 'Personnel from military intelligence ... would tell us to keep it up, that we were doing a good job.'

Reuters, NBC Staff Abused by U.S. Troops in Iraq U.S. forces beat three Iraqis working for Reuters and subjected them to sexual and religious taunts and humiliation during their detention last January in a military camp near Falluja, the three said Tuesday. An Iraqi journalist working for U.S. network NBC, who was arrested with the Reuters staff, also said he had been beaten and mistreated, NBC said Tuesday. Two of the three Reuters staff said they had been forced to insert a finger into their anus and then lick it, and were forced to put shoes in their mouths, particularly humiliating in Arab culture. [Is this all a part of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom?' Just curious.]

US Troops 'Abused Iraq Reporters' Fresh allegations have emerged in Iraq regarding the alleged mistreatment of Iraqi detainees by US troops. The Reuters news agency says three of its local staff were subjected to sexually degrading treatment after being detained in January. The Reuters employees were allegedly abused at two US military bases, after being detained for covering the shooting down of a US helicopter near the flashpoint city of Falluja.

Reuters: US abused our journalists A British news agency has claimed three of its Iraqi employees suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of US jailers. Reuters decided to go public on Tuesday, even though its journalists informed the agency in January that they were detained for three days in a base near Falluja.

Former Guantánamo chief clashed with army interrogators General's sacking cleared way for Pentagon to rewrite rules --The commander of Guantánamo Bay, sacked amid charges from the Pentagon that he was too soft on detainees, said he faced constant tension from military interrogators trying to extract information from inmates. Brigadier General Rick Baccus was removed from his post in October 2002, apparently after frustrating military intelligence officers by granting detainees such privileges as distributing copies of the Koran and adjusting meal times for Ramadan. He also disciplined prison guards for screaming at inmates.

Officers Say U.S. Colonel at Abu Ghraib Prison Felt Intense Pressure to Get Inmates to Talk As he took charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison last September, Col. Thomas M. Pappas was under enormous pressure from his superiors to extract more information from prisoners there, according to senior Army officers.

Death of Prisoner Detailed in Testimony When CIA officers took the Iraqi detainee to Abu Ghraib prison, his head was covered with an empty sandbag and Army guards were ordered to take him directly to a shower room that served as a makeshift interrogation center at the overcrowded, shell-damaged facility outside Baghdad. An hour later, during intensive questioning by intelligence officers, the prisoner collapsed and died. Only then did interrogators remove the hood to reveal severe head wounds that had not been treated.

Report: Harsh interrogation OK'd for 1 inmate Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise and inducing fear as interrogation methods against a single Iraqi inmate at Abu Ghraib prison, according to a description in the classified annex of a military report on prisoner abuse in Iraq.

Officer Says Army Tried to Curb Red Cross Visits to Prison in Iraq Army officials in Iraq responded late last year to a Red Cross report of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison by trying to curtail the international agency's spot inspections of the prison, a senior Army officer who served in Iraq said Tuesday.

3 Witnesses at Iraq Abuse Hearing Refused to Testify Three key witnesses, including a senior officer in charge of interrogations, refused to testify during a secret hearing against an alleged ringleader of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal on the grounds that they might incriminate themselves. [Yes, we are surely getting to the bottom of the torture scandal, are we not? 'refused to testify during a secret hearing against an alleged ringleader'.]

US bans rights monitors from Abu Ghraib court-martial Human rights monitors have complained they will not be allowed to observe in Baghdad the first court-martial of a US soldier accused of abusing inmates at Abu Ghraib prison.

'Definitely a Cover-Up' Former Abu Ghraib Intel staffer says Army concealed involvement in abuse scandal Dozens of soldiers — other than the seven military police reservists who have been charged — were involved in the abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, and there is an effort under way in the Army to hide it, a key witness in the investigation told ABCNEWS. "There's definitely a cover-up," the witness, Sgt. Samuel Provance, said. "People are either telling themselves or being told to be quiet." Provance, 30, was part of the 302nd Military Intelligence Battalion stationed at Abu Ghraib last September. He spoke to ABCNEWS despite orders from his commanders not to.

Army, CIA want torture truths exposed --by Martin Sieff "Efforts at the top level of the Bush dictatorship and the civilian echelon of the Department of Defense to contain the Iraq prison torture scandal and limit the blame to a handful of enlisted soldiers and immediate senior officers have already failed: The scandal continues to metastasize by the day... [W-ar criminal, Donald] Rumsfeld and his team of top lieutenants have therefore now lost the confidence, trust and respect of both the Army and intelligence establishments. Key elements of the political establishment even of the ruling GOP now recognize this."

UK Protesters Taunt Bush Sr. with Torture Hoods British protesters wearing black hoods like those worn by Iraqi victims of abuse by U.S. soldiers demonstrated against former U.S. President George Bush at a fundraising event for his son's re-s-election campaign Tuesday. Around 150 people picketed outside a London hotel where Bush senior was guest of honor at a dinner costing at least $1,000 to attend, raising funds for Dictator Bush and Vice pResident Dick Cheney's November s-election bid. [Great protest!!]

Fewer Iraqis Working on 'Reconstruction' Fewer than 25,000 Iraqis are working on projects in the U.S. 'reconstruction' effort, tempering expectations that more than $18 billion in American spending would jump-start Iraq's economy and trigger a surge in goodwill toward the United States. [Yes, the $18 billion was for Halliburton and Bechtel, Bush-Cheney's paymasters.]

Dems Allege Conflicts With 2 Cos. in Iraq Two companies monitoring billions of dollars in Iraq 'reconstruction' contracts have business relationships with some of the contractors they're overseeing, a report by congressional Democrats concluded Tuesday. The report questioned the neutrality of Parsons and CH2M Hill, firms hired to detect fraud, waste and abuse in noncompetitive rebuilding contracts that have no cost limitations. "My advice to taxpayers is, 'Hold on to your wallet'," Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., told a news conference.

Marine Dies in Al Anbar Province A Marine assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force was killed in action May 18 in the Al Anbar Province while conducting security and stability operations.

Britain to dispatch up to 3,000 more troops Britain will announce next week that it is sending up to 3,000 more troops to Iraq in an attempt to restore order before next month's handover of power to an interim Iraqi government, The Times reported yesterday. British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair will argue that the reinforcements are part of an exit strategy [?!?], which focuses on accelerating the training of Iraqi military to take over on June 30, the newspaper said.

U.S. to shift 3,600 GIs from South Korea to Iraq The Pentagon announced Monday that it soon will transfer 3,600 soldiers from duty in South Korea to Iraq, where persistent fighting has forced military leaders to scuttle earlier plans for a troop reduction.

Army may send special reserves to active duty involuntarily The U.S. Army is scraping up soldiers for duty in Iraq wherever it can find them, and that includes places and people long considered off-limits. The Army on Tuesday confirmed that it pulled the files of some 17,000 people in the Individual Ready Reserve, the nation's pool of former soldiers. The Army has been screening them for critically needed specialists and has called about 100 of them since January. Under the current authorization from Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Army could call as many as 6,500 back on active duty involuntarily.The Defense Department would like to be able to tap IRS records for the addresses of those it has lost touch with.

Defense Department may call on IRS to help find reservists The Department of 'Defense,' strapped for troops for Halliburton ['missions in Iraq and Afghanistan'], has proposed to Congress that it tap the Internal Revenue Service to locate out-of-touch reservists. The unusual measure, which the Pentagon said has been examined by lawyers, would allow the IRS to pass on addresses for tens of thousands of former military members who still face recall into the active duty.

Soldier Faces Court-Martial for 'Desertion' A U.S. soldier who left his unit in Iraq rather than fight for what he called an "oil-driven war" faces a court-martial Wednesday on a 'desertion' charge. Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, 28, of Miami Beach, Fla., said he believes the war is unjust because it is about control of oil supplies. He also said he was upset over the death of civilians.

Protesters plan midtown 'die-in' Jason Flores-Williams, 34, says he lies awake at night brooding about the war in Iraq, the prisoner-abuse scandal and the economic policies of George W. Bush. And he knows he is very likely to be arrested at the "die-in" he has planned for 8 a.m. Friday on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets. Flores-Williams hopes Friday's protest will be the opening salvo in a season of raucous and disruptive demonstrations that will define the summer in anticipation of the Republican National Convention, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 2.

Execution: Four Held Four people have [allegedly] been arrested over the beheading of American Nicholas Berg, Iraq sources say. The website said the execution was performed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a top ally of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. It is not known if he was among the four people arrested. [al-Zarqawi's arrest would be difficult to imagine since he was reported *dead* in March, 2004.]

Ashcroft invokes "state secrets privilege" in 9-11 lawsuit Attorney General John AshKKKroft invoked the "state secrets privilege" on May 13, 2004, to prevent former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds from providing a deposition in a pending lawsuit related to the September 11 attacks. (.pdf)

Rocket launcher found near Atlanta rail-transit station A military rocket launcher was found Tuesday near a rail-transit station, but the FBI said it looks to be a less-powerful model commonly used to train soldiers and would be unable to bring down an aircraft or destroy a train [?!?]. Gene Wilson, MARTA police chief, said the launcher was Army green and had military markings on it.

Enron Tapes Hint Chiefs Knew About Power Ploys Enron Corp. employees spoke of "stealing" up to $2 million a day from California during the 2000-01 energy crisis and suggested that their market-gaming ploys would be presented to top management, possibly including Jeffrey K. Skilling and Kenneth L. Lay, according to documents released Monday... In a different conversation in the transcripts, Enron's West Coast trading chief, Timothy N. Belden, discusses the profitability of the company's strategies in California, particularly those executed by a trading desk led by Jeffrey S. Richter: "Well he makes … between one and two [million] a day, which never shows up on any curve shift…. He steals money from California to the tune of about a million — " At this point the other speaker interrupts, asking Belden to rephrase what he just said.

The Social Security Trust Fund is Empty, Economist Says in New Book Every penny of the $1.5 trillion generated by the 1983 Social Security tax increase is gone, says Winter Haven-based economist Dr. Allen W. Smith, who says the crime amounts to "the greatest fraud ever perpetuated on the American people."

Florida approves touch-screen 'vote' system But Diebold's equipment has raised flags in at least four states. --Florida has certified the state's first touch-screen 'voting' system by Diebold, a company whose machines have been banned or scrutinized in California, Maryland, Ohio and Washington. The Diebold AccuVote TSR6 will be available for use in all of Florida's 67 counties, including Duval, where an official said they will be used as early as the Aug. 31 state primary election. Diebold had applied for certification on March 22 after past applications for earlier versions of the machines failed.

FBI Investigates Rowland Poker Games (CT) In the latest turn in a long federal corruption investigation, FBI agents are asking whether [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland's low-stakes poker games were actually something more sinister. One player, David J. Green, said investigators want to know whether Rowland "raked" the pot, in which a portion of the poker winnings are reserved for the house. And they are investigating whether the poker games were a way for contractors at the table to funnel money to the governor, Green said. [Impeach Bush crime family buddy, John Rowland, now!!]

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Rumsfeld says it wasn't necessarily sarin Don't jump to any conclusions just yet. That warning comes from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, after the U-S military in Iraq announced that a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve gas had exploded near a U-S military convoy. Rumsfeld told a Washington, D-C audience that the "field test" showing the presence of sarin may not be accurate. He says more analysis needs to be done -- and that it may take some time to find out just what the chemical was.

Atrocities in Iraq: 'I killed innocent people for our government' --by Paul Rockwell "The Iraq war changed [Staff Sgt. Jimmy] Massey. The brutality, the sheer carnage of the U.S. invasion, touched his conscience and transformed him forever.... [interview] Q: Who gave the order to wipe the demonstrators out? A: Higher command... The order to shoot the demonstrators, I believe, came from senior government officials, including intelligence communities within the military and the U.S. government... My lieutenant and I got into a conversation. The conversation was striking me wrong. And I lashed out. I looked at him and told him: 'You know, I honestly feel that what we're doing is wrong over here. We're committing genocide.'" [a must read]

Pentagon to Keep Cash From Halliburton Pentagon auditors have recommended withholding nearly $160 million in payments to Halliburton Corp., saying the company charged the military for meals in and around Iraq that were never served.

U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite The United States government has decided to halt monthly $335,000 payments to the Iraqi National Congress, the group headed by Ahmad Chalabi, an official with the group said on Monday.

M.P.'s Received Orders to Strip Iraqi Detainees The American officer who was in charge of interrogations at the Abu Ghraib prison has told a senior Army investigator that intelligence officers sometimes instructed the military police to force Iraqi detainees to strip naked and to shackle them before questioning them.

Report: Rumsfeld Authorized Secret Program Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld authorized the expansion of a secret program that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq, The New Yorker reported Saturday.

American Airstrike Hits Resistance Fighters Near Mosque in Karbala In its riskiest attack yet against the forces of a rebel Shiite cleric, the American military called in an airstrike today to kill fighters standing about 160 feet away from one of the holiest shrines in Shiite Islam, military officials said.

U.S. Brigade in Korea to Deploy to Iraq About 3,600 members of the 2nd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division will deploy to Iraq from the Republic of Korea, Defense Department officials confirmed today. The troops will begin deploying to Iraq in mid-summer, a senior official said speaking on background.

Weapon of Mass Distraction located in Iraq! The 'October surprise' arrives six months early!! U.S. Army Says It 'Finds' [plants, then finds?] Shell with Sarin Agent in Iraq The U.S. military said Monday an artillery shell exploded in Iraq had released a small amount of the nerve agent sarin. Brigadier Gen. Mark Kimmitt told a news conference that the substance had been found in an artillery shell 'discovered' by a U.S. convoy.

Sarin bomb 'found' in Iraq by American forces The United States Army announced yesterday that a small amount of sarin was found in an artillery shell inside a bag discovered by a US convoy a few days ago. It said it had been rigged as an improvised explosive device (IED). While the Government hoped that the tests might provide the first, long-awaited evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD, Hans Blix, the UN's former chief weapons inspector, cast doubt on the significance of the discovery. He said the shell was likely to be a stray weapon that could have been dated from the first Gulf War in 1991. Mr Blix said the discovery of the nerve agent was not a sign that Saddam's regime possessed WMD before last year's war. Mr Blix said that the weapon could have been scavenged from a dump that could have been dated from the first Gulf War.

Suicide Car Bomb Kills Iraq Governing Council Chief A suicide car bomber killed the head of Iraq's Governing Council Monday, increasing fears that instability will make a new Iraqi government unable to function when U.S. occupiers 'hand it power' in six weeks.

Explosion snarls U.S. plan for Iraq Leader dies in blast; security change sought The car bombing that killed the president of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council further complicates Dictator George W. Bush's already-troubled plan to return sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government in six weeks, U.S. and Iraqi leaders said Monday. Izzadine Saleem's assassination demonstrated Iraqi resistance fighters' ability to penetrate areas that are supposed to be heavily guarded and to strike high-profile targets who should be closely protected.

Scrambling for Cover -- and Coverage Spiraling Iraq Violence Keeps Reporters Away --by Howard Kurtz "The view from Iraq is getting narrower just as things are getting worse. Growing violence is forcing Western correspondents to change their approach to reporting, restrict their travel and pass up stories that are now deemed too risky... The bottom line is that the fog of war is considerably thicker."

Berg Video: "Someone with U.S. military cap seen in frame" (globalfreepress.com citing Aztlan.net research) Berg decapitation video was filmed inside the Abu Ghraib prison --by Hector Carreon, La Voz de Aztlan, May 16, 2004 "...The most telling evidence that the video of the decapitation of Nicholas Berg was taken inside the Abu Ghraib prison can only be detected by performing a frame by frame analysis. La Voz de Aztlan did just that and some revealing frames came up that are difficult to see if the video is played on normal speed. Towards the end of the video, at frames 9306 through 9368, a person with a US military cap temporarily pokes about a quarter of his left head into the video. His neck, left ear and part of his cap and visor can be seen." [WARNING!! Graphic animated photo on Aztlan.net site.]

Beheading condemned by Hamas and Hezbollah Two Islamic militant groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, issued strongly worded condemnations yesterday of the videotaped beheading of American civilian Nick Berg in Iraq. Both Hezbollah and Hamas said the beheading hurt Arab causes, and predicted that the United States would use it to turn attention away from the prisoner-abuse scandal.

From the White House, a nightmare scenario [The White House *is* the nightmare scenario!] White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We assume," says a top regime official, "an attack will happen leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here." There are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol... Theory 2: smaller but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading up to the election. To prepare, the dictatorship has been holding secret antiterrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do. [Hmmm... Would that be to declare martial law and postpone/cancel elections?] Unclear is the political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally around the dictator. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days after the Madrid train bombings. [Right, we need to toss our 'government' *before* the terrorist attacks!]

Bush quietly begins filling emergency oil reserves at record prices With crude oil trading above $41 a barrel and terrorism fears helping to inflate the price, the U.S. has quietly continued to fill its emergency reserves to the highest level ever -- an amount experts say could be used to bring prices down [?!?], Monday's Wall Street Journal reported. [Thanks to Dictator Bush,] terrorism fears have resulted in a so-called terrorism premium that has pushed up crude prices as much as $5 to $10 a barrel over what supply and demand would suggest, some experts say.

Bush's Handling of Gas Costs Criticized Release of Oil From Reserve Is Sought --With oil prices still climbing, Dictator Bush is coming under increasing criticism for his handling of the burgeoning political issue of gasoline costs, not only from Democrats but also from regime allies in the oil-refining and chemical industries.

Democrats to Ask Bush to Use Emergency Oil Democrats plan to put more pressure on the Bush dictatorship this week to lower U.S. gasoline prices by demanding that up to 60 million barrels of crude oil be released from the nation's emergency stockpile, a Democratic legislative aide said on Monday.

Stocks Fall Globally on Higher Oil Prices and Bombings Stock prices fell around the world today, led down by steep losses in Asia, as investors were unnerved by the persistence of record oil prices and further shaken by a car bombing in Baghdad that killed the head of the Iraqi Governing Council... The price of crude oil, at $41.85 a barrel, and gasoline, at $1.421 a gallon, hit record highs in intra-day trading.

Nasa: $565 billion lost in space! Auditor quits with Nasa finances in chaos As Nasa sets course for the moon and Mars, the space agency's finances are in disarray, with significant errors in its last financial statements and inadequate documentation for $565-billion posted to its accounts, its former auditor reported.

City denies anti-W-ar group's appeal for Central Park protest The New York City Parks Department on Monday denied an appeal from an anti-W-ar group that wants to stage a massive demonstration in Central Park on the eve of the Republican National Convention. The Parks Department previously denied United for Peace and Justice's application for an Aug. 29 rally for 250,000 people, saying such a crowd was too large and would damage the Great Lawn.

Moore blasts Blair at Cannes screening Filmmaker Michael Moore has launched a scathing attack on Tony Blair at the launch of his new documentary in Cannes. Fahrenheit 9/11 is highly critical of the war on terror and, in scenes that will heighten the current controversy about the behaviour of troops in Iraq, contains new footage of US soldiers degrading Iraqi detainees. Moore described Mr Blair's relationship with Mr Bush as an "embarrassment" to the British people.

U.S. marks 50 years since end of segregation in schools It's been 50 years since the momentous Brown vs. Board of Education decision to ban segregation of whites and blacks in U.S. schools, but many Americans say the public system continues to fail minority students and racism is still rampant.

Kerry Marks Desegregation Anniversary with Warning Marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision ending segregation in public schools, Democrat John Kerry warned on Monday that there are forces in the United States that sought "to see it undone."

First state-sanctioned gay marriages held in Massachusetts The first state-sanctioned marriages of same sex couples were carried out in Massachusetts, in a historic new landmark for gay rights in the United States.

Hundreds of Same-Sex Couples Wed in Massachusetts Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples streamed into city halls from Boston to the Berkshires on Monday as Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex marriages.

R.I., Conn. may grant recognition The attorneys general of Rhode Island and Connecticut yesterday raised the possibility that Massachusetts same-sex marriages will be honored in their states, a sign that the Supreme Judicial Court's landmark ruling legalizing gay matrimony may soon shift the legal ground in other states.

Ex-Congressman Janklow Released from Jail Former South Dakota Rep. Bill Janklow was released from jail on Monday after serving 100 days on a manslaughter conviction for speeding through a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist. [HOW long is (Democratic party supporter) Martha Stewart serving for a bad stock sale?]

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Ex-prisoner on U.S. torture: 'I never saw such a thing under Saddam' Saddam Saleh says his U.S. torturers told him he was one of the hooded Iraqi prisoners shown in a picture standing in a row as a grinning female soldier pointed at their genitals... Saleh was arrested by the regime of Saddam Hussein in 1999 and sent to Abu Ghraib because he tried to evade military service. ''I was tortured under Saddam, but the torture was much more preferable to this because they didn't strip off my clothes and make me naked,'' he said.

Did Administration Construct Legal Foundation Clearing Way for Abuse Scandal? The Iraq prisoner abuse scandal shifted on Sunday to the question of whether the Bush dictatorship set up a legal foundation that opened the door for the mistreatment. Within months of the Sept. 11 attacks, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales reportedly wrote Dictator Bush a memo about the terrorism fight and prisoners' rights under the Geneva Conventions. In early 2002, the White House announced that Taliban and al-Qaida detainees would not be afforded prisoner-of-war status, but that the United States would apply the Geneva Conventions to the war in Afghanistan.

Focus shifts to Bush dictatorship in abuse scandal The Iraq prisoner abuse scandal shifted Sunday to the question of whether the Bush regime set up a legal foundation that opened the door for the mistreatment. Within months of the Sept. 11 attacks, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales reportedly wrote Dictator Bush a memo about the terrorism fight and prisoners' rights under the Geneva Conventions. "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions," Gonzales wrote, according to the report in Newsweek magazine. Secretary of State Colin Powell "hit the roof" when he read the memo, according to the account.

Galloway to prosecute Blair for W-ar crimes MP George Galloway has spoken of his plans to prosecute Tony Blair and two other Government figures for war crimes. Mr Galloway was suspended from the Labour party after he accused Mr Blair and Dictator George Bush of invading the Middle East nation like "wolves".

Torture at Abu Ghraib followed CIA's manual --by Alfred W. McCoy "The photos from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison are snapshots not of simple brutality or a breakdown in discipline but of CIA torture techniques that have metastasized over the past 50 years like an undetected cancer inside the US intelligence community. From 1950 to 1962, the CIA led secret research into coercion and consciousness that reached a billion dollars at peak. After experiments with hallucinogenic drugs, electric shocks, and sensory deprivation, this CIA research produced a new method of torture that was psychological, not physical -- best described as 'no touch' torture... For more than 50 years, the CIA's no-touch methods have become so widely accepted that US interrogators seem unaware that they are, in fact, engaged in systematic torture. But now, through these photographs from Abu Ghraib, we can see the reality of these techniques."

Lawmakers Told of POW Abuse Months Ago Two months before pictures of Iraqi prisoner abuse became public, the family of one accused soldier wrote to 14 members of Congress that "something went wrong" involving "mistreatment of POWs" at Abu Ghraib prison. Separately, a suspended Army officer in Iraq wrote to Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania that he was being unfairly punished after "pictures of naked prisoners" were discovered. He sent the letter six weeks before the CBS program "60 Minutes II" first broadcast photographs of the prisoners on April 28.

Iraq Latest: Soldiers Swap Sick DVDs of Iraqi Killings A former Scots soldier last night revealed how gruesome souvenir footage of battlefield deaths is being swapped by Occupation troops. The 36-year-old ex-reservist served for six weeks with an international security firm in Iraq. He told how sick DVDs showing US troops killing Iraqis in battle were exchanged by soldiers. And he said: 'Americans are sticking video cameras on top of their tanks while engaged in a firefight.' The images include grainy footage shot through a nightscope showing an American helicopter gunship killing a wounded Iraqi as he crawls from a burning truck. US troops copy the video footage onto DVDs and pass them to Occupation troops, including the British.

Mirror chiefs say 'we'll name soldiers who hoaxed us' Managers at the Daily Mirror will this week instruct its journalists to reveal the names of two soldiers responsible for the fake photographs of British troops allegedly abusing an Iraqi prisoner.

Mirror editor sacked over fake photos of torture (5/15/04) Piers Morgan was sacked as the editor of the Daily Mirror last night as the newspaper's board made an unreserved apology for publishing fake pictures of British troops torturing Iraqi prisoners.

Allies accused of breaking Geneva Conventions on civilian losses One year and 16 days after Dictator George Bush declared the end to major hostilities in Iraq, the toll of American and British casualties continues to rise. Since the start of the invasion, 566 members of the American military and 211 US civilians have died. The British figures are 59 and 8. But at the same time thousands of others ­ men, women, the elderly and the very young ­ have been killed or maimed with far less fanfare. No one knows how many. They are Iraqi civilians, and the Americans and the British do not bother to keep count of the people they have "liberated" and then killed.

80% in Iraq Distrust Occupation Authority Results of Poll, Taken Before Prison Scandal Came to Light, Worry U.S. Officials --Four out of five Iraqis report holding a negative view of the U.S. occupation authority and of occupation forces, according to a new poll conducted for the occupation authority. In the poll, 80 percent of the Iraqis questioned reported a lack of confidence in the Coalition Provisional Authority, and 82 percent said they disapprove of the U.S. and allied militaries in Iraq.

In policy reversal, US signals possible acceptance of theocracy in Iraq The United States signaled its readiness to put up with an Islamic theocracy in future sovereign Iraq, with Secretary of State Colin Powell saying the US regime "will have to accept" any government created as a result of free and fair elections there.

US admits Shia unrest is 'uprising' Fighting continued in Shia cities across Iraq yesterday in what United States occupation forces now admit is a "minor uprising" by forces loyal to the radical Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr.

Iraq Resistance Drives Italians From Base Fighters loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr drove Italian forces from a base in the southern city of Nasiriyah on Sunday and attacked occupation headquarters there with grenade and mortar fire as tensions in the Shiite region escalated.

Clashes in Iraq; Powell Says U.S. Troops to Stay U.S. and Italian troops fought Shi'ite militia in at least two towns in southern Iraq on Sunday and Italy urged Washington to show restraint and work out a plan for the occupation forces to leave the country.

Britain May Send More Troops to Iraq The British government is still considering sending more troops to Iraq, Britain's defense secretary said Sunday, as lawmakers warned that Prime Minister Tony Blair must rethink his strategy to secure his leadership position.

Occupation Evacuates HQ in Nasiriyah Most of the civilian staff of the U.S.-led occupation was evacuated from their headquarters in the southern city of Nasiriyah because of growing threats from Muqtada al-Sadr's militiamen, an occupation official said Sunday.

U.S. Soldier Killed by Iraq Roadside Bomb Resistance fighters killed three Iraqi women working for the U.S.-led occupation Sunday, while fighters in the southern stronghold of a radical cleric staged hit-and-run attacks on Italian troops and other occupation targets. A U.S. soldier died in a bomb blast.

U.S. soldier killed in attack in southern Afghanistan Suspected resistance fighters attacked an occupation combat patrol in southern Afghanistan, killing one American soldier and wounding two others, the U.S. military said Sunday.

Berg: Americans "had day-to-day control over me before they transferred me" Contradicting information --What happened next is unclear. The Iraqi police chief has denied that his forces in Mosul took Nick Berg into custody; a U.S. consular official at first told Berg's family that he was in U.S. custody, but officials in Washington later said she was misinformed. According to Berg's own account, in an e-mail sent to his family April 6, Iraqi police arrested him on March 24, and took him to see American military police. They said they would perform a background check on Berg; a day later, they returned and said they had no interest, but that the FBI would want to check him out. The exact timing is not known. He was placed in an Iraqi police cell block with 70 petty criminals and what he called accused "war criminals." The Americans, according to Berg, "had day-to-day control over me before they transferred me" to the Iraqi police cell.

The mystery deepens: US Gov't Disavows E-Mails About Berg's Detention The State Department says an e-mail from a consular officer in Iraq that said beheaded American Nicholas Berg had been in US custody was based on erroneous information [?!?]. Spokeswoman Kelly Shannon says the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq had sent the incorrect information to the diplomat. The diplomat sent Berg's family an e-mail saying he had been in US custody. But officials now insist he had been held by Iraqi police. Berg's brother is calling on the government to come clean about its contacts with the slain American before he died. The family has blamed the government for keeping him in custody for too long while anti-American violence escalated in Iraq. "They're trying to deflect attention to a couple weeks down the road when no one's paying attention," David Berg said. "I think President [sic] Bush needs to be a man about this and tell the truth. I think most, if not all, Americans can figure out who's telling the truth and who's lying."

Proclamation by an adversary of the US government (Text of speech) Fidel Castro Ruz, Havana, May 14, 2004 "Mr. George W. Bush: the million Cubans who are gathered here today to march past your Interests Section is just a small part of a valiant and heroic people who would like to be here with us, if it were physically possible... You have neither the morality nor the right, none whatsoever, to speak of freedom, democracy and human rights when you hold enough power to destroy humanity and are attempting to install a world tyranny, side-stepping and destroying the United Nations Organization, violating the human rights of any and every country, waging wars of conquest to take over world markets and resources and installing decadent and anachronistic political and social systems which are leading the human race into the abyss."

U.S. Using 132-Year-Old Law to Prosecute Greenpeace Over Protest Tactics When the wave-tossed Greenpeace activists boarded a container ship off Miami Beach two years ago, they didn't know it could lead to prosecution under a 132-year-old law aimed at keeping boarding houses from luring sailors to shore. In a trial starting Monday, federal prosecutors will dust off an 1872 law aimed at preventing "sailor mongering" to seek the first conviction of an advocacy group over its protest techniques.

Knapsack Holds Up Major New York Security Drill A major security exercise in New York was shut down for 20 minutes on Sunday when an abandoned knapsack was discovered a few blocks from where the anti-[pro]terror drill was being staged. "Operation Transit Safe," [?!?] a full-scale exercise involving 21 agencies that tested the city's response to an explosion in the subway system, resumed after the bomb squad found the knapsack to be harmless, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management said.

FBI investigates underground tunnel requests Student interrogated after filing FOIA request with UT (University of Texas at Austin) "Hey Mark, we're at your dorm," the voice said. "We want to talk with you." "Who are you?" asked Miller, a physics freshman. "Law enforcement." Two men met him in the hotel lobby and flashed badges: FBI. Secret Service. The questions began. "Do you belong to any student activist organizations?" "Have you ever thought of joining any student activist organizations, like UT Watch?" ...What interested the agents, from Austin's Joint Terrorism Task Force, was an open records request he filed with UT administrators for information about the underground campus tunnel system.

Bishop steps into church, state fray Catholics are considering a pastoral letter from Bishop Michael Sheridan, head of the Diocese of Colorado Springs, in which he said Catholics who vote for a political candidate who supports abortion, euthanasia or illicit stem cell research should decline Holy Communion. The letter was published May 5 in The Catholic Herald, the diocese’s official newspaper. Sheridan's position is the most stringent any U.S. bishop has taken publicly this election cycle and has added grist to the national debate about politics and religion. Sheridan’s letter said in part: "Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia... place themselves outside full Communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences. It is for this reason that these Catholics... may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance." Bishop Sheridan: 719-636-2345

Colorado Bishop Warns Catholics Catholics who vote for politicians in favor of abortion rights, stem-cell research, euthanasia or gay marriage may not receive Communion until they recant and repent in the confessional, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Colorado Springs said. Bishop Michael Sheridan's pronouncement was the strongest yet from a U.S. bishop in the debate over how faith should influence Catholics in this election year. The discussion of withholding Holy Communion had previously been limited to politicians themselves.

White House 'tried to ban film' The White House tried to halt the making and release of Michael Moore's new film Fahrenheit 9/11, the film-maker alleged in Cannes on Sunday. The director told a Cannes audience that the Bush dictatorship wanted to keep the film off screen in the run-up to November's US s-election.

Firefighters association leader calls for Bush's 'firing' Slams dictator during convention, saying he has failed to support fire crews --The president of the International Association of Fire Fighters blasted Dictator George W. Bush and his regime for failing to support firefighters, and called for its members to "fire" the commander- in-thief.

Rehnquist takes corporate jet Ohio court pays $3,800 for flight --Chief Justice William Rehnquist took a utility's corporate jet to Ohio yesterday so he could speak at the dedication of the state's new court building in Columbus. American Electric Power flew Rehnquist at the request of the Ohio Supreme Court, which plans to pay for the $3,800 flight, said AEP spokesman Pat Hemlepp. The cost is more than three times the most expensive round-trip ticket between Washington and Columbus.

Free to marry Historic date arrives for same-sex couples in Massachusetts Massachusetts becomes the first state in the nation today to permit gay and lesbian couples to wed, after centuries of religious, social, and legal obstacles that have prevented people of the same sex from marrying in the United States.

Did Allies kill GIs in D-Day training horror? Scores of US soldiers died in a mock invasion of a Devon beach and their corpses were secretly buried. Mark Townsend investigates --"One of Britain's grimmest wartime secrets, the harrowing tale of how scores of young soldiers were massacred by their own side on a Devon beach, can now be told... Statements collected by The Observer over several years reveal a truth almost too awful to contemplate, perhaps explaining why the Pentagon suppressed the details."

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Rumsfeld Tied to Prison Tactics Report says his policy set stage for abuse --Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld authorized the expansion of a secret program that encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq, The New Yorker reported Saturday.

The Gray Zone -- by Seymour M. Hersh --How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib. "The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq... According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon's operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq. A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.

Rumsfeld's secret OK led to Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse: report US Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld approved a secret program that encouraged interrogation methods used at Abu Ghraib prison, where Iraqi prisoners were abused, it was reported. Rumsfeld had approved "a highly secret operation" last year, which "encouraged physical coercion and the sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq," New Yorker magazine investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote, citing current and former intelligence officials.

U.S. Denies Rumsfeld Approved Iraq Interrogations U.S. Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld and other officials didn't approve any operations that led to the interrogation methods used on Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison, the Defense Department said.

Iraqi Newspaper Urges Rumsfeld to Resign A major Iraqi newspaper urged Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld on Saturday to resign, joining the international outcry for him to step down over the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. The newspaper Azzaman, in its front-page editorial, also cited a meeting between Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, when Rumsfeld served under President Reagan.

Britain arrests four soldiers over Iraqi prisoner abuse Britain's defence ministry said it had arrested four British soldiers as part of investigations into the abuse of prisoners in Iraq, but they were later released and no charges have been filed.

US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp Senator urges action as Briton reveals Guantanamo abuse --Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.

U.S. Criticized Over Iraq Reconstruction The head of the Arab League accused the United States on Saturday of sidelining Arab countries in Iraq's reconstruction efforts and questioned the upcoming role of the United Nations in the war-ravaged country. Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, who has criticized the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, told delegates at the World Economic Forum that Iraq's future is being discussed "only by a few countries" without the involvement of the league's 22 members.

Occupation warns Karbala residents to leave Iraqi holy city after clashes US-led occupation forces urged residents to leave this Iraqi holy city after three civilians were killed and seven others wounded in fighting between Shiite militiamen and Iraqi troops.

U.S. Battles Shiites in Iraq; 5 GIs Die The U.S. military said Saturday it killed 18 gunmen believed loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad, and jet fighters bombarded militia positions on the capital's outskirts. Skirmishes persisted in the southern holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. The U.S. military also announced the deaths of five soldiers, including three killed by rebel attacks. In northern Iraq, resistance fighters fired a mortar round at an Iraqi army recruiting center, killing four volunteers, hospital officials said.

Battles in Najaf and Karbala Near Shiites' Religious Sites Fighting erupted Friday in Najaf when American tank troops and soldiers battled militiamen loyal to the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr in a centuries-old cemetery near the revered Shrine of Imam Ali.

Baker family calls war a betrayal The family of Sgt. Sherwood Baker, a local soldier killed in Iraq, speaks out. Sgt. Sherwood Baker's parents, Celeste and Alfred Zappala, criticized Dictator Bush during a "Democracy Now!" radio interview on Thursday. "It was a senseless death [of their son], just like all those other boys ... and the 10,000 plus Iraqi citizens that got killed in Iraq," Alfred Zappala said Thursday on the independent New York-based news program.

Retreat from Iraq? --by Carlton Meyer "A careful reader of the limited news coming out of Iraq will discover the U.S. military situation is perilous, and a few more bad moves could send the U.S. Army and Marines retreating back to Kuwait in the same manner they fled southward 54 years ago in Korea. That was when a million Chinese foot soldiers suddenly appeared and attacked as overextended U.S. forces approached the Chinese border. American firepower, airpower, and technology were unable to compensate for the confusion and lack of supplies for American ground troops.

Compare the Chairs. (more chairs to compare!) View more white chairs used by US Army, and at Abu Ghraib, which *coincidentally* match Nick Berg's chair. Al Qaeda and Don Rumsfeld apparently shop in the same department stores.

US Army chair same as Nick Berg's

Abu Gharib chair same as Nick Berg's

Address of 'Islamic website' that posted Berg video traced to London "JackBlood.com has traced the address of 'Islamic Website' [Muntada al-Ansar] that posted the Berg decapitation video to London, England --...JackBlood.com has learned the web addresses for the 'Islamic Websites' that posted the Nick Berg decapitation video. The website addresses are www.al-ansar.net and www.al-ansar.biz. Both websites have apparently been disabled by 'authorities.' The location of the web server is reportedly in Malaysia. However, the addresses of the publishers for these sites are located in London, England and Nurnberg, Denmark. ...The London address is the following:"

www.al-ansar.net
Arab Press House

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed

184 High Holborn, WCIV78P, London

tel. 020 78318181

Another Nick Berg execution 'oddity' "Muslims do not wear footwear like those five [as seen in the video of Nick Berg's beheading] were wearing. A dedicated Muslim wears only sandals or kuffs." --Simon Balfre, London, e-mail to CLG, May 15, 2004

Mass rally in Tel Aviv calls for Gaza withdrawal Over 100,000 people are attending a mass demonstration in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square Saturday night, which began with a moment of silence to commemorate the 13 IDF soldiers who died in the past days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Leak Prosecutor Seeks to Question Reporters A special prosecutor investigating whether Bush regime illegally leaked the name of an undercover CIA operative sought yesterday to interview two Washington Post reporters in connection with the probe.

Fire Engineers Call WTC Probe 'Half-Baked Farce' A respected professional magazine read by firefighters and engineers is calling the investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Towers a farce and a sham. --by Christopher Bollyn "Fire Engineering magazine, the 125-year old journal of record among America's fire engineers and firefighters, recently blasted the investigation being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the collapsed World Trade Center as a 'a half-baked farce.' Fire Engineering's editor, William Manning, issued a 'call to action' to America's firefighters and fire engineers in the January issue asking them to contact their representatives in Congress and officials in Washington to demand a blue ribbon panel to thoroughly investigate the collapse of the World Trade Center structures."

Poll: Bush Job Approval Hits New Low Bush's job approval ratings are hitting the lowest levels of his tenure as problems in Iraq crowd out other issues for voters, public opinion specialists say. A Newsweek poll released Saturday put Bush's overall job approval at 42 percent, the lowest yet in that poll.

Poll: Support for Bush, Iraq war dropping As Americans express growing unease about Iraq, Dictator Bush's job approval rating has taken a hit, according to a poll released Friday by CNN and Time magazine. Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, wins the support of 51 percent of likely voters, compared to 46 percent for Bush.

Should cowboy Bush ride into the sunset? --by USA TODAY Founder, Al Neuharth "Only a carefully planned withdrawal can clean up the biggest military mess miscreated in the Oval Office and miscarried by the Pentagon in my 80-year lifetime... He [Dictator Bush] led us astray by falsely claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that threatened us. After the 'Mission Accomplished' boast in May 2003, he put our troops in new jeopardy by taunting terrorists from other countries with his 'Bring 'em on!' challenge last July 2. His anything-goes-against-the-bad-guys attitude and his total lack of postwar planning helped prompt the ongoing prison-abuse embarrassments and brutal retaliations."

Spain's ex-prime minister warns of threats during U.S. election Terrorists will seek to affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election as they did in Spain with the Madrid train attacks, the former Spanish prime minister warned Saturday. Jose Maria Aznar, making his first U.S. visit since voters ousted his conservative party days after the March 11 train bombings, did not say where terrorists would likely strike, nor did he specify what outcome they would desire in the presidential election, but he described the attempt as a certainty [?!?]. "It's important to realize that the terrorists will do all they can to disrupt the upcoming U.S. election," Aznar said on the second day of a visit to California. "They are going to do everything in their power to have the United States fail." [Is Aznar talking about Diebold or Karl Rove?]

Ohio Democrats Pick Jerry Springer as Delegate for Convention Ohio Democrats have chosen talk-show host Jerry Springer to be an at-large delegate for the Democratic National Convention in Boston. "He's made 50 appearances at Democratic events this year. He's been an outspoken advocate for the party," said Dan Trevas, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party.

Arroyo regime vows to crush protests Disgruntled: A spokesman for Reichwing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said soldiers will use 'necessary force' to deal with any attempts by the opposition to 'grab power' --The Philippine government yesterday warned President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's rivals that attempts to use a "people power" revolt to try to 'grab power' would be met with "the full force of the law." Final official results from Monday's election will take weeks, and a "quick count" by an officially sanctioned election watchdog group won't be ready for several days. Arroyo was leading action film star Fernando Poe Jr. in the quick count by a little more than 2 percentage points as of midday yesterday. The president has invited her opponents to join in a government of national unity and reconciliation, but Poe has said he believes he won the election and his party threatened massive street protests to force Arroyo from power if necessary. Arroyo refused to talk about the allegations from the opposition and civic groups of vote tampering and irregularities, or any election-related issues.

U.S. Said to Embrace Alleged Nazi Allies The U.S. government threw moral qualms to the wind in employing ex-Nazis after World War II, contend historians who examined a mountain of declassified papers released Thursday.

US firm strikes secret tobacco-for-maize deal A US financial firm has emerged as central to a secret multi-million dollar plan by Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to bail the country out of a food shortage and prepare the way for his election victory later this year. Sources claim that Mugabe has struck the secret deal with a group of US firms to provide thousands of tonnes of grain in exchange for tobacco and minerals.

Connecticut Forum Referees Ann Coulter And Al Franken at the Bushnell The evening was titled "A Conversation Between Al Franken & Ann Coulter." ...After Coulter made a comment about liberals being liars, Franken brought up her age, something that's been written about often in the press. There are conflicting reports. "I've written books about Joseph McCarthy, Bill Clinton getting impeached, but all Al can argue about with me is that I lie about my age," Coulter said. "I don't lie about my age. I'm 23." Franken shot back: "I think you should be in Guantanamo where under John Ashcroft the rules of the Geneva Convention wouldn't apply." [Vote in the poll! (right-hand sidebar) "Who had the better argument at the Connecticut Forum Friday night?"]

*****

UN Committee Could Investigate U.S., Britain The UN Committee Against Torture is currently meeting in Geneva to discuss whether member states have abided by the Geneva Convention. Experts say the Iraq torture charges could become an issue at the meeting.

Iraqi father 'tortured to death' US troops tortured an Iraqi prisoner to death in January this year and captured the abuse on film, German television reported today Spiegel TV said it had witness accounts and documents to prove that 47-year-old Asad Abdul Kareem Abdul Jaleel had been killed at the US military base at Al Asad, west of the town Khan Al Baghdadi. The investigative news program said that he had been picked up on the open road and taken to the base on suspicion of belonging to an insurgent group. "A fellow prisoner gave Spiegel TV a detailed description how the man was sadistically tortured in the five days after his arrest," it said. "US soldiers also took photos of this abuse."

Britons tell Bush of 'US abuse' Two Britons released from the US base at Guantanamo Bay have sent an open letter to Dictator Bush detailing the alleged abuse they suffered there. Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, held at the base for more than two years, said they were deliberately humiliated.

Red Cross Report Criticizes Guantanamo Prison The International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a new report criticizing the detention of hundreds of suspects at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a Pentagon official said on Thursday.

U.S. Military Bars Some Iraq Interrogation Methods The U.S. military, embroiled in a scandal over the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail, has prohibited several interrogation methods from being used in Iraq, including sleep and sensory deprivation and body "stress positions," defense officials said on Friday.

Occupation troops 'may quit Iraq' The US, UK, Italy and Japan say they will pull their troops out of Iraq, if asked by a new Iraqi government. It is the first time the members of the occupation have said what would happen if the new Iraqi government told them to pull out their troops. But US Secretary of State Colin Powell said he did not think that prospect at all likely.

New Iraqi Gov't Can't Expel U.S. Troops The new Iraqi government won't have the authority to evict American forces from Iraq, a top State Department official said Thursday — quickly reversing a statement made minutes earlier before a House panel.

US troops kill two Sadr fighters U.S. forces have clashed with fighters loyal to Iraq's rebel Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, killing at least two resistance fighters and wounding seven others, witnesses say.

US troops, Shi'ite gunmen clash near holy sites in Najaf, Karbala Shi'ite Muslim gunmen fought pitched battles with American soldiers from the holy cemetery of Najaf and on the streets of Karbala yesterday, while others invaded public buildings in the southern city of Nasiriyah, and still others set dozens of tires ablaze in Baghdad.

American Tanks Charge Into Najaf American tanks firing shells and heavy machine guns made their deepest incursion yet Friday into this stronghold of a cleric who launched an uprising last month against the U.S.-led occupation. One of Shia Islam's holiest shrines was slightly damaged by apparent gunfire, prompting calls for revenge and even suicide attacks. [Yes, Bush is a uniter, not a divider. A uniter of those who wish to seek revenge and those who want to carry out suicide attacks.]

Six die as suspicions of anthrax mount in northern city Mosul, Iraq Press --Six people have died and many other are taken ill due to a disease whose symptoms doctors say resemble those caused by anthrax, according to hospital sources. The sources, refusing to be named, said doctors in the Republican Hospital, the largest medical center in northern Iraq, suspect that the victims were exposed to anthrax.

4 U.S. soldiers killed in separate Iraq incidents The U.S. military on Saturday announced the deaths of four soldiers: two from wounds suffered in rebel attacks, one in a vehicle accident and one from natural causes. As of Friday, May 14, 775 U.S. service members have died since the beginning of military operations in Iraq last year, according to the Department of Defense.

State has no records of Berg's firm Prometheus Methods Tower Services Inc., the business that cost Nick Berg his life in Iraq, has no records with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The company that specialized in building communications towers never registered with the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau, said Brian McDonald, spokesman for the state department. McDonald conducted a search of the bureau’s online list of registered businesses, but found no matches.

"Hey, I've done the research. The guys executing the poor dude are not Arab!! When executing, they don't cover their faces or anything else on their body. They expose everything when beheading someone. I don't know who the guys are, but they're not Arab."--a person not based in the United States who viewed the beheading videotape, as conveyed to CLG.

"Hi Lori --For what it is worth, I was told today by a friend involved with US intelligence, that Nick Berg was himself a US spook who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The same person has suggested on a few occasions that it could be fruitful to examine George Bush's $5,000 per day cocaine habit more thoroughly. He repeated it when I mentioned it was time for the US military to be encouraged to speak out loudly about what they know is wrong and incriminates the Bush government." --A friend from Australia, e-mail to CLG, May 14, 2004

Anti-terrorism law used to indict gang members Nineteen members of a street gang accused of menacing their neighborhood have been indicted on murder and other charges as acts of terror, believed to be the first use of the state's anti-terrorism law against a gang.

Officials announce plan to share terrorism intelligence Attorney General John Ashkkkroft on Friday unveiled an initiative to foster greater information sharing among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

Castro slams Bush as illegitimate leader in fiery tirade against sanctions Cuban President Fidel Castro led a massive protest march against new US moves aimed at speeding the end of his communist rule. He lashed out at US Dictator George W. Bush as an illegitimate leader and said he would die fighting if the United States invades. "You have no moral standing nor any right whatsoever to speak of freedom, democracy and human rights when you boast enough power to destroy mankind and with it, you are trying to impose a global tyranny ... and carry out wars of conquest," Castro said. He added the US dictator had "turned global politics into a genuine insane asylum." [Well, President Castro is only half correct about Dictator Bush: Bush *is* illegitimate, but he is no leader.]

Support for Bush plummets over Iraq Public support for Dictator George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq has plunged to only 36 per cent and his approval rating has fallen to the lowest level of his presidency [sic], according to a Zogby poll due out on Sunday.

Police union rejects Bush, backs Kerry Presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry on Friday collected the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, a police union that backed Dictator Bush in the 2000 coup d'etat.

Dean Said Not to Seal As Many Documents A record-keeping error dramatically inflated the number of documents Howard Dean sealed when he stepped down as governor of Vermont last year, state officials said Friday. The sealing of Dean's papers for 10 years became a major issue in his presidential campaign as reporters and opponents continually questioned the candidate on why he sealed so many papers for so long. A revised count shows that Dean sealed 93 of the 283 boxes he gave the state when he left office, meaning he sealed 32 percent of his papers, a figure that is significantly less than his two most recent predecessors'.

Groups Decry Schwarzenegger Timber Plan GOP-installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make it easier for California timber companies to get their logging plans approved - in exchange for paying $10 million more in fees to the state. The proposed tradeoff drew fire Friday from environmental groups and the timber industry. Schwarzenegger's plan amounts to "massive regulatory relief for the industry,'' said the Sierra Club's Paul Mason, who also said the plan could lead to lax forest practice rules.

Supreme Court Won't Block Gay Marriages The Supreme Court refused Friday to block Massachusetts from allowing gay marriages beginning Monday, removing the last legal impediment to what will be the nation's first state-sanctioned same-sex weddings.

N.H. Gov. Signs Bill Blocking Gay Marriage Anticipating future moves into the state by gay couples married in neighboring Massachusetts, Gov. Craig Benson signed a bill Friday that blocks recognition of same-sex marriages performed by other states.

*****

Compare the chairs. Photo from MSNBC, 8:47 p.m. ET May 13, 2004. "Photo may show intelligence officers in charge --Suspect in prison abuse scandal seen in picture exclusive to NBC" [NOTICE the white plastic chair at Abu Ghraib prison (above) and at Nick Berg's execution (below) ...does al Qaeda shop at the same department store as the US Occupation Authority?]

Abu Gharib chair same as Nick Berg's

Spc. Charles A. Graner Jr., leaning against the wall and labeled as No. 1, identified four other soldiers in this photograph (Nos. 4, 5, 7 and 8) as military intelligence officers. No. 2 is a civilian translator. NBC News

Abu Gharib chair same as Nick Berg's

Berg Died for Bush, Rumsfeld 'Sins' - Father The father of Nick Berg, the American beheaded in Iraq, directly blamed Dictator Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday for his son's death.

Berg's 'bizarre mystery with a connection to 9/11' CBS News reports on what is turning into a bizarre mystery with a connection to 9/11. U.S. officials say the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zaccarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before 9/11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota... Since Iraq remains under U.S. military occupation, it seems unlikely that the Iraqi police would have held Berg, or any other American, for such a length of time without at least the tacit approval of U.S. authorities. "The Iraqi police do not tell the FBI what to do, the FBI tells the Iraqi police what to do," Berg's father, Michael Berg told the AP. "Who do they think they're kidding?" The younger Berg told his family that U.S. officials took custody of him soon after his arrest and he was not allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer, his father said.

E-mail from consul says Berg was in U.S. military's hands Diplomat disputed government account --A U.S. diplomatic official in Iraq told the family of slain American Nicholas Berg in early April that he was being detained by the U.S. military, according to e-mails provided by the family Thursday. U.S. government officials say Berg, who was found dead last weekend in Baghdad, was detained by Iraqi police March 24 and was never in the custody of American forces.

Text of e-mails from U.S. consular officer in Baghdad to Berg family Text of e-mails from Beth A. Payne, a U.S. consular officer in Baghdad, to members of the family of Nicholas Berg. Copies of the e-mails were provided to The Associated Press by the Berg family... April 1, 5:23 a.m. (To Suzanne Berg, Berg's mother) I have been able to confirm that your son is being detained by the U.S. military. I am attempting to identify a person with the U.S. military or FBI here in Iraq who you can contact directly with your questions.

Executioner wore gold ring - forbidden by Islam: Behind the Masks --Clues From Graphic Tape of Beheading Could Help Identify Killers (ABCNEWS.com) A close examination of the tape shows none of the five masked men is wearing gloves, so federal officials are trying to determine if there are any tell-tale tattoos on their hands. One of the clues the FBI and CIA is studying is the large gold ring Zarqawi [?!?] is wearing on his right hand, giving off a glare several times during the six-minute tape. [*As to Zarqawi: From the Washington Post, March 4, 2004 Alleged Berg Killer Reported Dead in March Leaflet Says Extremist Al-Zarqawi Killed (The Associated Press, Thursday, March 4, 2004; 10:10 AM) A Jordanian extremist suspected of bloody suicide attacks in Iraq was killed some time ago in U.S. bombings and a letter outlining plans for fomenting sectarian war is a forgery, a leaflet signed by a dozen alleged resistance groups said. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniyah mountains of northern Iraq "during the American bombing there," according to the eight-page leaflet circulated this week in Fallujah, a city 30 miles west of Baghdad that is a hotbed of anti-U.S. resistance activity. ...It said al-Zarqawi was unable to escape the bombing because of his artificial leg.]

CIA Says Al-Zarqawi [who reportedly died in March] Beheaded Berg in Iraq CIA Concludes Terrorist Leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Is Person Shown on Video Beheading Nick Berg --U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the person shown on a video beheading an American civilian in Iraq, based on an analysis of the voice on the video, a CIA official said Thursday. Intelligence officials conducted a technical analysis of the video released on an Islamic web site May 11 and determined "with high probability" that the person shown speaking on the tape wearing a head scarf and a ski mask is al-Zarqawi, a CIA official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. [From the Washington Post, March 4, 2004 Alleged Berg Killer Reported Dead in March Leaflet Says Extremist Al-Zarqawi Killed (The Associated Press, Thursday, March 4, 2004; 10:10 AM) A Jordanian extremist suspected of bloody suicide attacks in Iraq was killed some time ago in U.S. bombings and a letter outlining plans for fomenting sectarian war is a forgery, a leaflet signed by a dozen alleged resistance groups said. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniyah mountains of northern Iraq "during the American bombing there," according to the eight-page leaflet circulated this week in Fallujah, a city 30 miles west of Baghdad that is a hotbed of anti-U.S. resistance activity. ...It said al-Zarqawi was unable to escape the bombing because of his artificial leg.]

FBI told police to hold Berg Nick Berg, the US hostage shown being beheaded by Islamic radicals, was held for two weeks in Iraq at the FBI's request for travelling without documents while his identity was checked, a US general said on Thursday.

Family of Executed American Angry with U.S. Govt. Family and friends of the American civilian executed by 'Islamic militants' are angry about government denials that their son was ever in U.S. custody in Iraq, a family spokesman said on Wednesday.

Nick Berg decapitation video declared "a fraud" by medical doctor --La Voz de Aztlan News Bulletin "We forwarded the video to Doctor Raul Castro Guevara, a surgeon and forensic expert in Mexico City for his expert opinion. He wrote back and commented, 'No hay manera que el individuo en el video estaba vivo y su corazon funcionando cuando le estaban cortando la cabeza. En estos casos, el corazon impela sangre con gran presion, y se corta las arterias del cuello, hay una gran cantidad de sangre que salpica por todos lados. En mi opinion el video es un fraude.' Doctor Raul Castro Guevara is saying that there is no way that the individual in the video was alive and his heart pumping while his neck was being cut. The doctor adds that in these cases, while the heart is pumping, cutting a person's artery in the neck, would cause copious amounts of blood to spurt all over the immediate environment. He says that in his opinion the video is a fraud."

[Technical observation: if there was any break in time-of-day time code on the Berg video, it is a fraud, period. Any break in continuous time code would indicate a stop-down, which would constitute an edit to the videotape.]

Blair urged to loosen ties with US Ministers call for public disengagement --Senior figures across the Labour party are intensifying pressure on Tony Blair to publicly detach himself from the Bush dictatorship, calling on him to spell out an independent British position on the Middle East, peacekeeping in Iraq and the US presidential election.

New Iraqi Gov't Can't Expel U.S. Troops The new Iraqi government won't have the authority to evict American forces from Iraq, a top State Department official said Thursday — quickly reversing a statement made minutes earlier before a House panel.

Request for $25 Billion to Cover [Halliburton's] Near-Term Expenses, Wolfowitz Says Dictator Bush's request for a $25 billion 'emergency fund' is not to be confused with a full fiscal 2005 supplemental funding request planned for early next year, the DoD's second-ranking civilian leader said on Capitol Hill today. Rather, it is meant to ensure commanders have what they need in the meantime – to cover near-term but unpredictable expenses in the global war on [of] terror, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senators oppose giving Bush control of $25 billion for Halliburton ['Iraq, Afghanistan'] The Bush regime may back down from its proposal to fully control the initial $25 billion for Halliburton ['W-ars in Iraq and Afghanistan'] next year after senators demanded a role for Congress.

Bush Team to Rework Halliburton ['Iraq'] Funding After Senate Balks Bush regime officials said they would rework a plan for a $25 billion reserve fund for Halliburton ['Iraq operations'] after Republican and Democratic senators on Thursday deplored it as an effort to get "a blank check" without congressional oversight.

Secret US jails hold 10,000 Almost 10,000 prisoners from Dictator George W. Bush's so-called war on [of] terror are being held around the world in secretive American-run jails and interrogation centres similar to the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison. Some of these detention centres are so sensitive that even the most senior members of the United States Congress have no idea where they are. From Iraq to Afghanistan to Cuba, this American gulag is driven by the pressure to obtain "actionable" intelligence from prisoners captured by US forces.

Guantánamo abuse same as Abu Ghraib, say Britons Two British men who were held at Guantánamo Bay claimed that their US guards subjected them to abuse similar to that perpetrated at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Hicks believes son is a torture victim The father of detained Australian terrorist suspect David Hicks believes his son was a victim of torture techniques by the United States and the Australian government should share the blame.

US abuse of Afghan prisoners 'systemic', says rights group Mistreatment of prisoners by American forces in Afghanistan is systemic, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, a day after the US army in Kabul launched a fresh inquiry into beating and sexual abuse at secret jails. The rights body demanded information on how two Afghans died in US custody 18 months ago and called for wider access to detention centres where hundreds of al Qaeda and other Islamic militant suspects are held.

Italy general backs abuse claims The commander of Italian troops in Iraq says his superiors were told that US-trained Iraqi police abused prisoners. Basra-based Maj Gen Francesco Spagnuolo’s comments to La Repubblica newspaper contradict his government’s line on the allegations. On Wednesday in parliament, the Italian defence minister denied all knowledge of the abuse of prisoners in Iraq. But the general’s account reinforces allegations by a former colonel and the widow of an Italian soldier.

Danish doctors say Britons beat Iraqis A pair of Danish army doctors say that they saw two Iraqi men brought into a British military hospital badly injured after they had been beaten up by British troops. One of the wounded Iraqis was so badly hurt he died of his injuries, it was claimed.

Photo: intelligence officers supervising abuse Suspect in prison abuse scandal seen in picture --Abusive treatment under the supervision of military intelligence officers may have been intentionally used as part of the interrogation of Iraqi captives at the Abu Ghraib prison, according to a previously unpublished photograph of U.S. soldiers and other personnel obtained by NBC News. [Photo, above, under 'Compare the chairs.']

Thread of Abuse Runs to the Oval Office Phony justifications for war led to brutal intelligence-gathering. --by Robert Scheer "Someone's lying — big-time — and neither Congress nor the media have begun to scratch the surface. Clearly we now know enough to stipulate that the several low-ranking alleged sadists charged in the Iraq torture scandal did not control the wing of the prison in which they openly and proudly did the devil's work... The big lie that the United States is merely a selfless battler against terrorists, with no other agendas, opens the door for brutality against any who dare resist. [Dictator] Bush has exercised an arrogance unmatched by any U.S. president [sic] in a century and brandished God's will as his carte blanche. His unilateral, preemptive 'nation-building' — and the settling of old scores in the name of fighting terror — grants license to treat anybody, including U.S. citizens, in a barbaric manner that cavalierly sweeps aside all standards of due process."

Rice Likens Terrorists to Klansmen Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that terrorists today are driven by the same hatred that inspired Klansmen to bomb a church in 1963 in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala. [Dictator Bush is the most dangerous terrorist in the world.]

U.S. Missile Shield Won't Work: Scientist Group The multibillion-dollar U.S. ballistic missile shield due to start operating by Sept. 30 appears incapable of shooting down any incoming warheads, an independent scientists' group said on Thursday.

Congressmen want DHS to speed up 'anti-terrorism' technology program One of the Homeland Security Department’s responsibilities is to foster deployment of 'anti-terrorism' technology by limiting the liability exposure of vendors. But more than a year after the formation of the department few companies have applied for protection under the Support Anti-terrorism [sic] by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 and none have been approved. Several congressmen think that HSD has thrown up unnecessary roadblocks.

World's Poorest People Suffer in 'Anti-Terrorism' War, BBC Says The world's poorest people are suffering because governments are taking funding from aid projects to boost 'anti-terrorism' efforts, the British Broadcasting Corp. said, citing a U.K. charity Christian Aid.

Jittery Industry Pushes for Renewal of Terrorism Insurance Law Proponents of extending the 2002 Terrorism Risk Insurance Act - which is due to expire at the end of 2005 - say that it is needed to prevent a return of conditions after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when many lenders refused to cover terrorist acts or charged prohibitively high rates for the coverage. Opposition has come from the Consumer Federation of America, which says that the insurance industry can well afford to assume the risk of terrorism on its own.

City discusses vaccinations, bio-terrorism Most residents probably don't think about it, but a major bio-terrorism threat could take place leading to a widespread vaccination initiative. (TN) Tullahoma's Emergency Management/Homeland Security Council discussed that issue this week and agreed if a smallpox outbreak were to take place, Tullahoma residents would be bused from the Wal-Mart and Food Lion shopping center parking lots to a large-scale makeshift clinic at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester.

Area officials stage bio-terrorism drill (PA) Montgomery County 911 received a call at 10 p.m. Monday from King of Prussia Mall personnel - a suspicious package was discovered beneath a stairway near Strawbridge's. Within minutes, police departments from across the county joined FBI agents as they swarmed the parking lot, quarantining the nearby entrance. A flood of emergency vehicles waited in another lot, calculating the best way to contain the biological agent inside and decontaminate the area. But it was only a test.

Poll: Kerry Edges Ahead of Bush in Ohio Democrat John Kerry has edged ahead of Dictator Bush in the key swing state of Ohio in a three-way matchup that includes 'independent' [GOP-funded] Ralph Nader, a poll released Thursday found.

Oil prices jump above $41 a barrel U.S. oil prices hit an all-time record high Thursday due to US corporate greed ['amid concerns over thin gasoline supplies ahead of peak demand driving season and tight global crude stocks.']

Judge Denies Bid to Stop Gay Marriages A federal judge Thursday rejected a last-minute bid by conservative groups to block the nation's first state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place in Massachusetts on Monday. U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro said the state's high court acted within its authority in interpreting the Massachusetts Constitution.

Ice age movie is realistic, says Britain's chief scientist The Hollywood blockbuster that depicts a sudden ice age brought about by climate change is "remarkably realistic" in parts, says the Government's chief scientist. Sir David King said The Day After Tomorrow, which he watched yesterday at a private screening in London, will increase the public's awareness of a threat he once described as worse than terrorism.

*****

Alleged Berg Killer Reported Dead in March Leaflet Says Extremist Al-Zarqawi Killed (The Associated Press, Thursday, March 4, 2004; 10:10 AM) A Jordanian extremist suspected of bloody suicide attacks in Iraq was killed some time ago in U.S. bombings and a letter outlining plans for fomenting sectarian war is a forgery, a leaflet signed by a dozen alleged resistance groups said. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in the Sulaimaniyah mountains of northern Iraq "during the American bombing there," according to the eight-page leaflet circulated this week in Fallujah, a city 30 miles west of Baghdad that is a hotbed of anti-U.S. resistance activity. ...It said al-Zarqawi was unable to escape the bombing because of his artificial leg. [MSNBC News Services, 8:34 p.m. ET May 12, 2004 --"Berg was beheaded on a video clip posted Tuesday on a Web site. It bore the title 'Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American,' referring to an associate of Osama bin Laden who is believed to have been behind a wave of suicide bombings in Iraq. In Washington, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was likely that al-Zarqawi himself was 'the lead perpetrator.' Al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, is wanted in the killing of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan in 2002 and is suspected of ordering many suicide bombings in Iraq."]

"We named Rumsfeld as the responsible person, and I still hold him responsible." Parents blame Bush for son's execution --Parents of a US contractor executed by Islamic militants in Iraq are blaming the Bush regime for his death, saying that US authorities had contributed to the tragedy by unlawfully detaining their son for nearly two weeks before his disappearance. Michael Berg claimed yesterday that his son, Nick, was held by US authorities without access to a telephone or lawyer because of suspicions that he was an insurgent or terrorist. By the time he was finally released in early April, according to Mr Berg, the security situation had so deteriorated that it was difficult for him to make his way home. "That's really what cost my son his life, the fact that the United States government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of his due process or civil rights," Mr Berg said... An official familiar with the case acknowledged that FBI agents had interviewed Mr Berg, but said he was in Iraqi - not American - custody. The official was unable to clarify the legal difference between the two, given the US occupation. But Mr Berg's father disputed this, saying it was "the FBI", when asked in a radio interview who had detained his son. "We named Rumsfeld as the responsible person, and I still hold him responsible," Mr Berg said. "It's the whole Patriot Act. It's the whole feeling of this country that rights don't matter any more because there are terrorists about," he added.

FBI Visited Berg 3 Times in Iraqi Jail Family of Decapitated American Contends U.S. Was Responsible for Illegal Detention --An American businessman who was beheaded recently in Iraq was visited by FBI agents while he was being held in an Iraqi jail in late March and early April, and he remained in detention for nearly two weeks even though agents eventually recommended that he be freed, U.S. officials said Wednesday. On April 5, Suzanne Berg and her husband, Michael Berg, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Philadelphia, claiming that the U.S. military had illegally detained their son despite an FBI recommendation that he be released.

FBI Saw Berg During Iraq Police Detention The FBI saw Nick Berg, the American civilian beheaded in Iraq, three times while he was being detained by 'Iraqi' police, the U.S.-led occupation authority said Wednesday. An Islamist Web site Tuesday carried a video clip of Berg's beheading, with a statement saying a group linked to al Qaeda carried it out in revenge for the abuse of Iraqis by U.S. troops. Dan Senor, spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, said Berg had not been in U.S. custody before or after his arrest by Iraqi police on March 24. "My understanding is that they suspected that he was engaged in suspicious activity," Senor told a news conference.

Beheaded hostage 'had been warned to leave Iraq' A US civilian hostage who was beheaded in Iraq had been warned to leave the country but refused to, US officials said today... 26-year-old Nick Berg spoke to his parents on March 24 - when he was later detained by Iraqi police at a Mosul checkpoint - and told them he would return home on March 30. He was then handed over to US officials and detained for 13 days. His father, Michael, said his son had not been allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer.

Beheaded Man's Firm Was On Right-Wing 'Enemies List' The family firm of beheaded American Nick Berg, was named by a conservative website in a list of 'enemies' of the Iraq occupation. That could explain his arrest by Iraqi police --a detention which fatally delayed his planned return from Iraq and may have led directly to his death... On 7th March, 2004, just three weeks before the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, an 'enemies list' of anti-war groups and individuals was posted on the Freerepublic.com forum. [Includes some dubious connections yet worthwhile conjectures.]

Friend of Berg, Ed Bukont, on MSNBC, 17:49 GMT: 'He [Berg] had been in other unfriendly situations before.' Was Nick Berg with a US intelligence agency?

Fishy Circumstances and Flawed Timelines Surround American's Beheading (infowars.com)

Harsh C.I.A. Methods Cited in Top Qaeda Interrogations The Central Intelligence Agency has used coercive interrogation methods against a select group of high-level leaders and operatives of Al Qaeda that have produced growing concerns inside the agency about abuses, according to current and former counterterrorism officials. At least one agency employee has been disciplined for threatening a detainee with a gun during questioning, they said.

Iraqi Prison Abuse Hurts US More than 9-11, Vatican Says The scandal of prisoner abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq has dealt a bigger blow to the United States than the Sept. 11 attacks, the Vatican foreign minister told an Italian newspaper. In an interview published Wednesday in the Rome daily La Repubblica, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo described the abuses as "a tragic episode in the relationship with Islam" and said the scandal would fuel hatred for the West and for Christianity. "The torture? A more serious blow to the United States than Sept. 11. Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves," [is there a difference?] Lajolo was quoted as saying in La Repubblica.

We might fail in Iraq, Rumsfeld admits For the first time in public, a somber Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld raised the possibility yesterday that the U.S. mission in Iraq could fail.

Rumsfeld Backs Iraq Interrogation [torture, rape, murder] Methods Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld defended military interrogation [torture, rape, murder] techniques in Iraq on Wednesday, rejecting complaints that they violate international rules and may endanger Americans taken prisoner.

Rumsfeld: U.S. interrogation techniques don't violate Geneva Conventions Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld defended military interrogation techniques in Iraq on Wednesday, rejecting complaints that they violate international rules and may endanger Americans taken prisoner.

Kerry Suggests Replacements for Rumsfeld Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday any number of people, including Republican Sens. John McCain and John Warner, could replace Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld, rejecting concerns that a change in Pentagon leadership could hurt the war effort.

FT says Bush should fire Rumsfeld over Iraqi prisoner scandal Britain's influential Financial Times newspaper demanded the resignation of US Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld over the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners and issued a stinging criticism of his boss, George W. Bush... The paper gave a damning assessment of the US-led occupation of Iraq, which it called "a seamless catalogue of errors and misjudgements, of arrogance and ignorance", and said Bush should take the blame for the failure. "He (Bush) is not up to the job. This is not a moral judgment, but a practical one. The world is too complex and dangerous for the pious simplicities and arrogant unilateralism of George W. Bush," the FT said in a separate article.

America's military coup Donald Rumsfeld has a new war on his hands - the US officer corps has turned on the government --by Sidney Blumenthal "Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, told George Bush in February about torture at Abu Ghraib prison. From the limited detail Rumsfeld recalled of that meeting, it can be deduced that Bush gave no orders, insisted on no responsibility, did not ask to see the already commissioned Taguba report. If there are exculpatory facts, Rumsfeld has failed to mention them... One high-level military strategist told me that Rumsfeld is 'detested', and that 'if there's a sentiment in the army it is: Support Our Troops, Impeach Rumsfeld'. The Council on Foreign Relations has been showing old movies with renewed relevance to its members. The Battle of Algiers, depicting the nature and costs of a struggle with terrorism, is the latest feature." [*see: The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 --Submitted by Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Lt Col, USAF --Class of 1992 "The following is a work of fiction. Hopefully, it will remain one."]

General [Religious Nutball] Who Made Anti-Islam Remark Tied to POW Case The U.S. Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by U.S. officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas. A Senate hearing into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was told on Tuesday that Lt. Gen. William Boykin, an evangelical Christian [and complete whackjob] under review for saying his God was superior to that of the Muslims, briefed a top Pentagon civilian official last summer on recommendations on ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners.

Abu Ghraib photos cause gasps in Congress A graphic slide show shown to members of Congress on Wednesday included images of U.S. military forcing Iraqi prisoners into sexual poses and threatening them with dogs. "My stomach gave out," Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said. Chambliss said senators in the room where he saw the images gasped at some images. He said the pictures depicted American soldiers "forcing Iraqis to commit sexual acts, and seeming to enjoy what they were doing."

Lawmakers: New Abuse Photos Disturbing The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel included torture, humiliation and forced sex beyond what has been seen in public, members of Congress said Wednesday after viewing fresh photos and videos in the scandal that has shaken the Bush regime.

'They abused me and stole my dignity' Iraqi was bound, beaten and forced to spend 18 days naked in cell --An Iraqi prisoner who was held for four months at the notorious US-run Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad described yesterday how he spent 18 days naked alone in a cell, often with his hands and feet bound together, and was frequently beaten, urinated on and occasionally photographed hooded and naked by American troops. Saddam Salah al-Rawi, 29, said inmates were ordered not to reveal the abuse to Red Cross officials.

Iraq Prison Scandal A Double Ordeal for Female Prisoners One woman told her attorney she was forced to disrobe in front of male prison guards. After much coaxing, another woman described how she was raped by U.S. soldiers. Then she fainted.

The Taguba Report US Army Report on Iraqi Prisoner Abuse --by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba "Complete text of Article 15-6 Investigation of the 100th Military Police Brigade by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba" (.pdf)

The Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Hearings Tuesday, May 11, 2004 and Friday, May 7, 2004

Missouri Guard Unit Forced to Work for Halliburton in Iraq Gov. Bob Holden and the leader of the Missouri Army National Guard demanded an investigation Tuesday into reports that guardsmen were assigned to work for a private contractor in Iraq. In a letter to Dictator Bush, Holden said he was told that soldiers from the 1221st Transportation Company based in Jefferson City were ordered to work as drivers for Kellogg Brown & Root, a civilian contractor that hauls water, food and other supplies in support of U.S. troops. “If this is true, I most strenuously object to this wrongful use of the U.S. Army personnel in this manner,” the letter said.

Army Screens Reservists for Activation The Army has begun screening about 17,000 reservists to determine which would be available to be called to active duty if needed, a spokesman said Wednesday.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq Bomb Blast A bomb exploded beside a U.S. military convoy in Baghdad, killing one U.S. soldier and injuring another, the U.S. military said Thursday.

Group: Bush's Foreign Policy 'Dangerous' A national religious group representing 36 Protestant and Orthodox denominations said Tuesday that U.S. foreign policy is "dangerous'' and urged Dictator Bush to turn over authority in Iraq to the United Nations.

USDA orders silence on mad cow in Texas The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an order instructing its inspectors in Texas, where federal mad cow disease testing policies recently were violated, not to talk about the cattle disorder with outside parties, United Press International has learned. The order was sent May 6 by e-mail from the USDA's Dallas district office.

Memo to White House: Get your own TV show --by James C. Warren "One of [Ambassador Joseph] Wilson's first appearances was on MSNBC's 'Countdown,' hosted by Keith Olbermann. In advance, the White House was aggressive in contacting Olbermann and suggesting questions to ask Wilson. Undaunted, Olbermann chose to let both his guest and audience know about the attempt to shape the interview. This is a transcript from the MSNBC broadcast. Olbermann: You do know that they are still going after you, right? We promoted the fact that you would be on this show tonight. Today we received three separate copies of the same e-mail with talking points from the White House, one asking a contact here, 'Can you please get this to the Oberman people. Wilson is on the Oberman show.' Misspelled my name, by the way, but that's neither here nor there. Another one asks one of our producers, 'I understand you all have Mr. Wilson on. Can you please call me on this?'"

Bush's Poll Numbers Hitting the Danger Zone While Dictator Bush remains essentially even with Democratic challenger John Kerry in new opinion polls, voters are slowly sinking into the kind of pessimistic funk that doomed other presidents [sic] -- including Bush's father. [Heads up! That means *we* could be in the 'danger zone!' This dictatorship is not yielding power so easily. After all, they installed themselves in a coup d'etat in 2000 and allowed the 9-11 terrorist attacks to take place in order to pass the Patriot Act and invade the Middle East. Be on the alert for any incoming Weapons of Mass Distraction.]

Pressure grows for Blair to go Brown supporters turn up heat as PM urged to change tack on Iraq --Gordon Brown has seen the influential media tycoon Rupert Murdoch twice this week amid fears among allies of Tony Blair that the chancellor is growing more restless in his ambition to succeed the beleaguered prime minister.

San Bernardino County to defy state order on e-'voting' (CA) Election officials in San Bernardino County say they will defy a ban on electronic 'voting' ordered by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley in November's presidential s-election. The move comes as other counties joined a federal lawsuit filed by Riverside County that challenges the ban on touch-screen 'voting' machines.

E-'Voting': 1 County Sues State Five others may follow Riverside in fighting the decertification of digital 'vote' machines. (May 5, 2004) Riverside County's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to sue the state's top election official to regain the 'right' to use electronic 'voting' machines in November. Officials in five other counties said they also might seek court approval to use their touch-screen 'voting' machines on s-election day, which would overturn the temporary ban on their use and keep California on an aggressive path from paper to electronic 'balloting.'

E-'voting' in India can't remove possibility of fraud India put electronic voting through its biggest test yet, as 380 million people pressed buttons to pick candidates over the past three weeks. Critics said the machines were not foolproof. There were nationwide reports of faulty starts, voter confusion and at least one known case of vote tampering. Some also question the reliability of machines developed by the government. A similar argument is broiling in the United States. State election officials and federal legislators are expressing concern over the integrity of the machines that 50 million Americans will use in the November s-elections. Computer scientists say the systems are so vulnerable to software bugs, hackers and equipment malfunctions that they should be scrapped and replaced with machines that provide paper records of every ballot cast. Despite reassurances from equipment makers, at least 20 states are considering legislation to require a paper trail.

ESPN Sports Nation Poll (May 12, 2004) "NFL Champion Patriots visit President [sic] Bush today. Who has the best chance to return to the White House next year? A) George. W. Bush; B) New England Patriots" [As of this update, the Patriots are winning; be sure to vote.]

Investigation: 28 Top Federal Workers Have Bogus Degrees Some Fake Degrees Were Taxpayer Funded --A congressional investigation found at least 28 senior-level federal employees in eight agencies have bogus college degrees. Some of those degrees were even paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Wal-Mart to Pay $3.1 Mln Settlement Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, has agreed to pay a $3.1 million civil penalty to settle charges of violations of the federal Clean Water Act at store construction sites across the country, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.

*****

Berg Was US Prisoner in Iraq: How did Al Qaeda get him? Berg was a prisoner of the U.S. military in Iraq. West Chester contractor missing in Iraq (May 08, 2004, Associated Press) Nick Berg was on his way out of Iraq. He had been released from the prison where he had been held for 13 days by Iraqi police for reasons he said he did not know. Nick Berg, 26, owns a business called Prometheus Methods Tower Service Inc. He first went to Iraq on Dec. 21. He stayed until Feb. 1, making contact with a company that indicated there would likely be work for him later. But he returned on March 14 and there was no work, so he began traveling. He usually called home once a day and e-mailed several times; Michael Berg is his business manager, and they needed to stay in touch... When FBI agents arrived at the Berg's West Chester home on March 31, they were relieved to know their son was alive, but in jail. The agents questioned them about various details that only they and their son would know about. Jerri Williams, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia FBI office, said the agency was "asked to interview the parents regarding Mr. Berg's purpose in Iraq." On April 5, the Bergs filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military in Iraq. The next day, April 6, Nick Berg was released. Nick Berg said he would come home through Jordan, Turkey or Kuwait... The Bergs have hounded the State Department, the FBI and the International Committee of the Red Cross, seeking information. Michael Berg said the State Department sent an official to Nick Berg's hotel, where an employee told the official they had not heard of him. [Question: In the video where Nick Berg is beheaded, why is he wearing an orange jumpsuit, as US prisoners wear? -observation/news item submitted by CLG reader Johnny Asia]

Nick Berg in US prison jumpsuit

 

Berg interrogated by FBI for two weeks (May 7, 2004 5:27 pm US/Eastern) Among those missing in Iraq is a West Chester, Pa. man who went there on his own in March to inspect damaged radio towers... 26-year-old Nick Berg didn't sign a privacy waiver when he went over there. And even though the State Department is using its one person in Iraq to help track him down, they can't tell anyone, including Berg's parents what's going on. Nick last checked in April 9th, saying he was trying to find a safe way home following two weeks of FBI interrogation, after an arrest in Mosul. He was released after his identity and intentions were confirmed.

New York Times 'Swiss Cheese' Version (riddled with HOLES) "Some element of the U.S. government was instrumental in facilitating his release." From a Strange Encounter With Iraqi Police to Fatal Capture As his family and friends in this Philadelphia suburb began mourning Mr. Berg's death, they also struggled to sort out the complicated and still murky circumstances of his beheading. Mr. Berg was detained in March by the Iraqi police in the northern city of Mosul, American officials and his parents said. While he was in police custody, he was questioned by F.B.I. agents who were trying to determine what he was doing in Iraq and whether he was a United States citizen. [?!? Hello, McFly! WHY did that take two weeks? He was interrogated by the FBI for *two weeks.*] At the same time, his parents, frustrated by their inability to find out about their son's whereabouts, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia on April 5 asserting that he was being held by the American military in violation of his civil rights. A day later, he was released. He disappeared soon after that. American officials said that Mr. Berg was never detained by American forces in Iraq. They said he had been detained in part because the Iraqi police thought he was using stolen or fabricated identification. [WHAT?!? They, themselves, CONTRADICTED the 'American official' within the article. Moreover, Berg's family filed a LAWSUIT in federal court, for Nick Berg's illegal detainment. Also, the US government is the occupying 'authority' in Iraq. Ergo, they are in charge of the 'Iraqi' police.] "He was never being held by the U.S. military," an American military official said. "Some element of the U.S. government was instrumental in facilitating his release. He was turned over to U.S. authorities in Mosul, not detained, and then released."

Parents blame Bush for son's execution Parents of a US contractor executed by Islamic militants in Iraq are blaming the Bush regime for his death, saying that US authorities had contributed to the tragedy by unlawfully detaining their son for nearly two weeks before his disappearance. Michael Berg claimed yesterday that his son, Nick, was held by US authorities without access to a telephone or lawyer because of suspicions that he was an insurgent or terrorist. By the time he was finally released in early April, according to Mr Berg, the security situation had so deteriorated that it was difficult for him to make his way home. "That's really what cost my son his life, the fact that the United States government saw fit to keep him in custody for 13 days without any of his due process or civil rights," Mr Berg said.

US pledges to catch Berg killers The Bush regime has vowed to catch the killers of American hostage Nick Berg who filmed themselves cutting off his head after seizing him in Iraq. There has been widespread revulsion in the US after a video of his killing was shown on an Arabic-language website. For reasons that are not yet clear, Mr Berg - a telecoms worker - was arrested by Iraqi police two months ago and handed over to the occupation authorities. According to his family he was held by them for 13 days before being released without charge. [*WHO* is the US going to 'catch'??? Looks like a rallying cry has been generated for Dictator Bush to get his $25 billion for Halliburton's next installment.]

CBS to Air U.S. Soldier's Video Diary of Iraq Abuse An American soldier's video diary showing her disdain for Iraqi detainees who died in her charge is to be broadcast by a U.S. network on Wednesday in a further escalation of the prisoner abuse scandal that has shaken the Bush dictatorship and provoked world outrage. CBS said the home video did not show scenes of abuse but included comments by the soldier, whose name was not revealed to protect her identity, that make clear her dislike for the camp and the prisoners under her control. "...We actually shot two prisoners today. One got shot in the chest for swinging a pole against our people on the feed team. One got shot in the arm. We don't know if the one we shot in the chest is dead yet.'' In her video, the soldier described the hazards of Camp Bucca. "This is a sand viper,'' she said. "One bite will kill you in six hours. We've already had two prisoners die of it, but who cares? That's two less for me to worry about.''

UK troops 'shot harmless Iraqis' UK troops have killed Iraqi civilians including an eight-year-old girl when they were under no apparent threat, Amnesty International has claimed. The human rights group claims in "many" cases the deaths of civilians caused by UK troops had not been investigated. Inquiries were "secretive" and handled by Military Police, its report says. [Amnesty International Report in full (.pdf)]

Tape Shows U.S. Contractor Being Beheaded in Iraq A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed a group affiliated with al Qaeda beheading an American contractor in Iraq, saying the death was revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man [26 year-old Nick Berg] to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting "Allahu Akbar!" -- "God is great." They then held the head out before the camera. "For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused," one of the men read from a statement.

American Contractor Shown Beheaded on Web Site Video A video posted on an Islamic militant web site appears to show a group affiliated with al-Qaida beheading an American contractor in Iraq, saying the death was revenge for the prisoner-abuse scandal. The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit – similar to a prisoner’s uniform – who identified himself as Nick Berg, a US contractor whose body was found near a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday.

Pa. Man's Kin Learns of Beheading Video The family of a businessman who was beheaded after he was captured in Iraq cried Tuesday when they learned details of his videotaped death.

Israeli link possible in US torture techniques In exchange for interrogation training, did Washington award security contracts? The head of the American defense contracting firm implicated in the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has close ties to Israel and visited an Israeli "anti-terror" training camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this year. Jack London, chairman, president and CEO of CACI International Incorporated, traveled to Israel in January this year as part of a high-level delegation of US Congressmen, defense contractors and pro-Israel lobbyists. The purpose of the visit, according to a CACI press release, was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between US and Israeli defense and homeland security companies."

As many as 300 more photos of abuse said to exist Pentagon sources told CNN there are 200 to 300 more photographs of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison. In all, there are about 1,000 photographs on three CD-ROMs. Sources said 200 to 300 photos detail abuse at the prison. Some of the worst photos are of prisoners being sodomized by chemical lights, also known as "glow sticks," the sources said.

Reichwing Senator 'Outraged by Outrage' at Prison Abuse As others condemned the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe on Tuesday expressed outrage at the worldwide outrage over the treatment by American soldiers of those he called "terrorists" and "murderers."

Military Personnel: Don't Read This! How a Pentagon email sought to contain the prison abuse scandal --A Department of Defense memo attempted to forbid Pentagon staff from reading a copy of the Taguba report detailing abuse of detainees at prisons in Iraq that had been posted at the Faux News web site. An email to Pentagon staff marked "URGENT IT (Information Technology) BULLETIN: Taguba Report" orders employees not to read or download the Taguba report at Fox News, on the grounds that the document is classified. It also orders them not to discuss the matter with friends or family members. [Pentagon Email Warning Original document leaked to Time]

An Afghan Gives His Own Account of U.S. Abuse A former Afghan police colonel gave a graphic account in an interview this week of being subjected to beating, kicking, sleep deprivation, taunts and sexual abuse during about 40 days he spent in American custody in Afghanistan last summer. He also said he had been repeatedly photographed, often while naked.

U.S. Rejects Rights Group Access to Afghan Prisoners The U.S. military, under fire for its treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Tuesday turned down a request by Afghanistan's human rights body for access to Afghans in its custody.

Concerns rise over treatment of Indians in Iraq Indian police are hunting a jobs agent who duped poor and illiterate workers into going to US army camps in Iraq where they say they ended up trapped for months working as virtual slaves. Interviews with those at the heart of the complaints indicate the main problems were with the contractor employing them -- on behalf of a unit of US firm Halliburton -- and Iraq's harsh wartime environment and desert climate. ...Abdul Azeez Shajahan stated that several times supervising soldiers tried to hit him, accusing him of not working properly. But far worse were the recruitment agent and their employer, subcontracted to supply labour for Kellogg Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.

Mo. Gov., Guard Question Soldier Drivers Missouri's governor and National Guard leader raised concerns Tuesday that some soldiers in Iraq are improperly being used as drivers for civilian supply contractors. In a letter to Dictator Bush, Democratic Gov. Bob Holden complained that members of the Guard's 1221st Transportation Company were being directed to drive vehicles for contractors of Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton.

Saddam Hussein to be handed over to Iraqis before power 'transfer' The US-led occupation forces will hand over Saddam Hussein and about 100 other top officials of his former regime to the Iraqis before the June 30 power 'transfer,' an Iraqi lawyer said Tuesday.

U.S. Military Strikes Mosque Held by Iraqi Cleric's Militia The American military attacked a mosque in this holy city on Tuesday in its largest assault yet against the forces of the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, even as the first signs emerged of a peaceful resolution to the five-week-long standoff with him.

One Soldier Assigned to First Marine Expeditionary Force Killed --One soldier assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force was killed today as a result of enemy action in the Al Anbar Province while conducting 'security' and 'stability' operations.

Army running out of ammo, seeks bullets from foreigners The U.S. Army said it will seek bullets from commercial and foreign producers because its biggest ammunition supplier, Alliant Techsystems Inc., can't keep up with demand. Edina, Minnesota-based Alliant Friday said demand is rising to its highest level since the Vietnam War.

W-ar in Iraq Becomes Liability for Bush Once his greatest political asset, Dictator Bush's leadership of the war against [of] terror is becoming a potential liability. False prewar claims about Saddam Hussein's arsenal, mounting U.S. casualties and now the sickening images of prisoner abuse in Iraq threaten to turn Americans against the W-ar - and against the self-professed "wartime president [sic]."

Bush's next W-ar? Bush Imposes Economic Sanctions on Syria -Lawmaker Dictator Bush imposed economic sanctions on Syria on Tuesday for allegedly supporting terrorism and failing to stop anti-U.S. resistance fighters from entering Iraq.

Kerry Warns Opponents Not to Attack His Wife Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry warned his political opponents on Monday against attacking his outspoken wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, saying, "They're going to have to go through me."

Executive Calls Vote-Machine Letter an Error Walden W. O'Dell, the chairman and chief executive of Diebold Inc., said on Monday that it had been a "huge mistake" for him, as the head of a voting machine company, to express support for Dictator Bush's re-s-election in a fund-raising letter last year... Mr. O'Dell drew criticism of his company in August when he sent an invitation to a fund-raising party that said, "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [sic] next year."

What Are They Smoking At the Labor Dept.? --by John Crudele "Don't get too excited about all those new jobs that were supposed to have been created in April. I'm not going to waste a lot of my precious space on this, but the bottom line is that most of the 288,000 jobs that the Labor Department says were created last month may not really exist... Without those extra 117,000 make-believe jobs, the total growth for April would have been just 171,000 - sub-par for an economy that's supposed to be growing at more than 4 percent a year, but right on the pros' targets."

GM giant abandons wheat plan The Monsanto Company has scrapped its plan to commercialise genetically modified wheat - in the biggest defeat yet for agricultural biotechnology and a win for GM sceptics who said the crop was not needed.

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