May 2006 Archives, Page Two
Community of Nations Discusses Military Homeland Defense Role (DoD) 26 May 2006 Twenty-nine nations of the trans-Atlantic community took a first step toward hammering out an understanding of when and how to use military forces to secure the homeland during a conference held here May 22-24... The event was organized by the Marshall Center in cooperation with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. "We've looked at things like, what's the role of the military in managing bird flu?" said conference moderator, Jack Clarke.
'Worst war crime' committed by US in Iraq 27 May 2006 A US military investigation is expected to conclude that a unit of marines killed 24 civilians, among them women and children, in retaliation for the death of a comrade, reports published in America yesterday said. If confirmed when the official findings are published next week the incident would be the worst war crime committed by US forces in Iraq.
Marines may face trial over Iraq massacre --Report likely to say troops shot 24 unarmed civilians --Murder charges likely after killings and cover-up 27 May 2006 In the Marine Corps, they are quietly calling it their My Lai, the massacre of hundreds of villagers in 1968 that became a symbol for American brutality in the Vietnam war. In this generation's war, the village is Haditha, north-west of Baghdad, where US marines killed two dozen Iraqi civilians, including 11 women and children. In what is being viewed as the gravest allegation to date of war crimes in Iraq, a military investigation is expected to present findings in Baghdad next week that a small group of troops shot dead 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including five men in a taxi, and women and children at homes in the town last November 19. Other marines then tried to cover up the killings, the investigation has found.
Official: Marines Unjustified in Killings of Iraqi Civilians 26 May 2006 Investigators believe that their criminal investigation into the deaths of about two dozen Iraqi civilians points toward a conclusion that Marines committed unprovoked murders ['unprovoked murders,' a.k.a. *war crimes*], a senior defense official said Friday. The Marine Corps initially reported 15 deaths and said they were caused by a roadside bomb and an ensuing firefight with 'insurgents.' A separate investigation is seeking to determine if Marines lied to cover up the killings.
Faculty's Chilly Welcome for Ex-Pentagon Official 25 May 2006 Douglas J. Feith's table at the Georgetown University faculty club is shaping up as a lonely one. The move to a teaching position at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown by Mr. Feith, a former Pentagon official, set off a faculty kerfuffle, with 72 professors, administrators and graduate students signing a letter of protest, some going as far as to [accurately] accuse him of war crimes. Some critics complain about the process. (He was hired without a faculty vote.) [Conspire in an illegal and genocidal invasion of a foreign country for Halliburton and you get a job in an elite (and Catholic!) university these days, when you should get a trial as a defendant before a war crimes tribunal! Meanwhile, were Hegel, Marx, Marcuse, Adorno, and Horkheimer alive today, they'd be out of work! --MDR]
UK attacked over rendition flights 26 May 2006 The government should take "active steps" to further investigate credible allegations of so-called extraordinary rendition flights through British airports, MPs and peers said today. The joint committee on human rights (JCHR) said ministers had not "adequately demonstrated" that they had properly looked into claims that the CIA was secretly moving terror suspects in "ghost flights".
Iraqi Oil Terminal Fire Burns Itself Out 26 May 2006 U.S. and occupation naval forces are currently providing assistance to the Iraqis in the aftermath of an oil terminal fire that burned itself out this morning, U.S. military officials here reported today. Coalition Task Force 158, responsible for maritime 'security' operations in the North Arabian Gulf, received a report of a fire on Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal at 8:52 a.m. local time. [More $$$ for Halliburton to rebuild that which they destroyed and more windfall profits for the oil corpora-terrorists.]
Taliban ambush Afghan police, five killed 26 May 2006 Three Taliban militants and two policemen were killed in a clash in southwestern Afghanistan on Friday, a provincial official said.
Chavez spreads his oil wealth in Bolivia 27 May 2006 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged $1.5 billion in energy investments in impoverished Bolivia on Friday, receiving a hero's welcome from coca farmers who applauded his anti-U.S. message.
Filings in CIA Leak Case Paint Cheney as Determined to Counter Critic 27 May 2006 A string of recent court filings in the CIA leak case provide new details of Vice pResident Cheney's role at the center of an administration effort to rebut an outspoken critic of the White House's rationale for the Iraq war in the summer of 2003. They include his repeated discussions of the issue with his top aide and his part in a counteroffensive that resulted in the unmasking of a CIA officer.
Novak Told Rove He Wouldn't Identify Him, Person Familiar Says 25 May 2006 Syndicated columnist Robert Novak assured presidential adviser Karl Rove that he wouldn't identify him to prosecutors investigating the disclosure of a CIA agent's name, a person familiar with the matter said.
Judge rejects reporter CIA leak case subpoena 26 May 2006 A judge rejected a request by former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby on Friday to force ex-New York Times reporter Judith Miller to turn over all her notes, telephone records and appointment calendar.
Hayden Confirmed as CIA Chief --Objections to Role in Domestic Spying Fail to Derail Nomination 27 May 2006 Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, a career intelligence officer who has overseen some of the government's most secret and controversial surveillance programs, was confirmed by the Senate yesterday to head the CIA as it tries to regain some of its lost luster.
Senate Confirms Hayden As CIA Director --First director in 25 years with military career is backed by 78-15 vote 26 May 2006 After hearing assurances he will be independent of the Pentagon, the Senate on Friday easily confirmed Gen. Michael Hayden [the wire-tapper], a career Air Force man, to head the CIA. Hayden, a four-star general, currently is the top deputy to National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.
AT&T leaks sensitive info in NSA suit 26 May 2006 Lawyers for AT&T accidentally released sensitive information while defending a lawsuit that accuses the company of facilitating a government wiretapping program, CNET News.com has learned. AT&T's attorneys this week filed a 25-page legal brief striped with thick black lines that were intended to obscure portions of three pages and render them unreadable. But the obscured text nevertheless can be copied and pasted inside some PDF readers...
ACLU sues phone companies for turning over records to NSA 26 May 2006 Three chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union sued AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. in state court Friday to block the telecommunications companies from providing phone records to the federal government. Two complaints filed in San Francisco Superior Court claim the companies violated state law by helping the National Security Agency assemble the largest database in the world.
Gonzales Said He Would Quit in Raid Dispute 27 May 2006 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, and senior officials and career prosecutors at the Justice Department told associates this week that they were prepared to quit if the White House directed them to relinquish evidence seized in a bitterly disputed search of a House member's office, government officials said Friday.
House leaders concede FBI right to search 26 May 2006 House leaders conceded Friday that FBI agents with a court-issued warrant can legally search a congressman's office, but they said they want procedures established after agents with a court warrant took over a lawmaker's office last week.
NYC Mayor Advocates U.S. Worker Database 24 May 2006 Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg thrust himself into the national immigration debate Wednesday, advocating a plan that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers.
U.S. veterans' data theft may cost taxpayers $500 million 25 May 2006 The head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs faced angry lawmakers on Thursday and described how the theft of a device the size of an iPod containing personal data on 26.5 million veterans may cost taxpayers as much as $500 million. "As a veteran myself ... I am mad as hell," Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson told the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Terrorism accused's jail regime 'absurd' 27 May 2006 The Queensland Council of Civil Liberties says the strict custodial arrangements being enforced on the Brisbane school teacher accused of terrorism-related charges are "absurd". John Howard Amundsen was yesterday transferred from police custody to the maximum security unit at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, where he is being kept in solitary confinement.
US lawmaker admits he gave erroneous tip that shut Congress 26 May 2006 A US lawmaker admitted to being the source of an erroneous report of gunfire in a Congress office building that led authorities to shut down a large part of the legislature's sprawling complex for several hours. Republican Representative Jim Saxton said he was in the elevator at the garage level of the Rayburn House Office building, when he heard what he thought was gunfire. [Note: James Saxton (R-NJ) serves on the House Armed Services Committee... and serves as chair of its Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. In 2000, he was selected by the Speaker of the House to be the Chairman of the House Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism. [They ought to bill the paranoid Repugnican for the extra costs in police time and lost wages and arrest the alarmist idiot for causing a false alarm. That's like yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre. --MDR]
Construction noise confused for gunshots in House Office Building 26 May 2006 A report of gunshots forces the US Capitol Police into action Friday, locking down portions of the capital complex... The House Intelligence Committee was in session when the incident happened. The chairman of the committee, Republican Peter Hoekstra, interrupted testimony to tell the room, "There are reports of gunfire in the building. That there has been gunfire in the building, the request is that everyone to stay in the room, so uh ... yeah, please close the doors."
Police Check Sound of Shots in U.S. House Building 26 May 2006 U.S. Capitol Police are investigating a report that gunshots were heard in the garage of the Rayburn House Office Building near the Capitol. Police locked down the building, telling staffers in an announcement over the building's intercom to stay in their offices. Police yelled at people in hallways to return to their offices during a sweep of the building, and five ambulances and at least six police cars stood outside.
New England states may hold joint bird flu drills 26 May 2006 Health and emergency officials in New Hampshire and five other Northeast U.S. states may hold a region-wide bird flu pandemic emergency drill, New Hampshire officials said on Friday.
Chicago Police Plan to Flood High-Crime Areas In 'Battle Dress' 25 May 2006 Mayor Daley on Wednesday ordered police "in battle dress" to use roadside safety checks, dog searches and high-tech license plate readers to establish an unprecedented weekend presence in high-crime neighborhoods. The Chicago Police Department is already saturating high-crime neighborhoods with its Targeted Response Units... Beginning June 2 and continuing every Friday and Saturday night in June, July and August, they plan to step it up a few notches. Officers from the Targeted Response Unit and Special Operations Section will be dressed in black battle fatigues and flak jackets. They'll be backed up by command vans and light trucks. "Operation Safe Summer" also has another element: roadside safety [sic] checks in neighborhoods plagued by gang violence in partnership with the Illinois State Police and Cook County Sheriff's Department. [Too bad they don't have operation safe summer in Iraq, in which the US military and Iraq Police should be stopped and searched for weapons.]
Secret FEMA Plan to Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law By Paul Joseph Watson 24 May 2006 "A Pastor has come forward to blow the whistle on a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to 'obey the government' in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced relocation... It falls under the umbrella of the NVOAD program... Pastor Revere [pseudonym] outlined the plan to carry out mass vaccination and enforced drugging programs in times of crisis such as a bird flu outbreak. 'In the event of an outbreak or a bio-terrorist attack, there'd be a mass vaccination....they have a program nationwide 'Pills in People's Palm In 48 Hours'," said the Pastor..."
British government criticized over 'torture deals' and CIA flights 25 May 2006 An influential parliamentary committee has urged the British government to investigate more thoroughly 'credible allegations' of so-called extraordinary rendition flights through British airports. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said Thursday that ministers had not 'adequately demonstrated' that they had properly looked into claims that the CIA was secretly moving terror suspects in 'ghost flights.'
MPs and peers want 'torture flights' inquiry 26 May 2006 MPs and peers will today press the government to investigate fully the CIA's alleged use of British airports in moving terror suspects to countries where they are at risk of torture. A report published by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) warns that ministers have not adequately demonstrated that they have properly examined allegations of "extraordinary rendition" on secret flights, leaving them in potential breach of human rights law.
Harsher Abu Ghraib methods condoned: witness 25 May 2006 Senior U.S. officials silently condoned harsher methods at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and one general urged guards to use dogs to the "maximum extent possible" to control detainees, witnesses said on Thursday. The testimony came on the fourth day of the military trial of Army dog handler Sgt. Santos Cardona, who is accused of taking part in abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib that the U.S. government blames on rogue low-ranking soldiers.
Galloway says murder of Blair would be 'justified' 26 May 2006 The Respect MP George Galloway has said it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to murder Tony Blair. In an interview with GQ magazine, the reporter asked him: "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?" Mr Galloway replied: "Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable. And morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Blair did." [He didn't mention Bush, just Blair? WTF!]
Attorney General told to reveal Iraq advice information 25 May 2006 (UK) The Attorney General's office was ordered today to disclose information leading to his advice on the legality of invading Iraq in 2003. Information Commissioner Richard Thomas upheld requests for an explanation of Lord Goldsmith's statement to Parliament on 17 March in that year.
Marine Corps to Probe Iraq Civilian Deaths 25 May 2006 The top Marine general said Thursday that he feared, based on two recent cases of alleged killings of civilians in Iraq, that some Marines could become "indifferent to the loss of a human life." His office announced that he was enroute to Iraq to reinforce the Corps' standards of behavior in combat.
A dozen Marines may face courts-martial for Iraq massacre 25 May 2006 A key member of Congress said he "wouldn’t be surprised" if a dozen Marines faced courts-martial for allegedly killing Iraqi civilians Nov. 19. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., told Marine Corps Times that the number of dead Iraqis, first reported to be 15, was actually 24.
Armed groups shun electronic media to counter U.S. high-tech surveillance 24 May 2006 No mobile phones, no landlines, no Internet – that is the message anti-U.S. rebels have recently received from their commanders... "You are not to use electronic communication or even land lines when communicating," said a leaflet which the groups distributed recently.
Two Soldiers Killed in Baghdad 25 May 2006 Two U.S. soldiers assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad died at about 2 p.m. today when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad.
Bush says "bring 'em on" was big mistake 26 May 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush admitted on Thursday that his bellicose "bring 'em on" taunt to Iraqi 'insurgents' was a big mistake, as he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair carefully avoided setting a timetable for removing troops from Iraq.
Blair and Bush stay silent on withdrawal of troops from Iraq 26 May 2006 Tony Blair and George W Bush were united again at the White House last night to defend their intervention in Iraq... US and British officials made clear that the increasing numbers of people on both sides of the Atlantic who were hoping for an announcement on a timing of troop withdrawals would be disappointed.
Rumsfeld: Iraq timetable wouldn't 'do any good' 25 May 2006 Defense Secretary [war criminal] Donald Rumsfeld refused Thursday to set a date to begin troop withdrawals from Iraq and said he trusted the American people to do "the right thing" in upcoming congressional 'elections.'
Clark: Begin troop withdrawals 25 May 2006 Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark called Thursday for transition of authority in Iraq during the course of this year and said that the United States should soon begin the process of withdrawing the U.S. soldiers.
Rove-Novak Call Was Concern to Leak Investigators By Murray Waas 25 May 2006 On September 29, 2003, three days after it became known that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate who leaked the name of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, columnist Robert Novak telephoned White House senior adviser Karl Rove to assure Rove that he would protect him from being harmed by the investigation, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the federal grand jury testimony of both men.
Iran Proposal to U.S. Offered Peace with Israel 24 May 2006 Iran offered in 2003 to accept peace with Israel and to cut off material assistance to Palestinian armed groups and pressure them to halt terrorist attacks within Israel's 1967 borders, according to the secret Iranian proposal to the United States.
The battle spreads in Afghanistan 26 May 2006 The Taliban's spring offensive is fast turning into a massive resistance against the foreign presence all over Afghanistan, and already some influential characters are jockeying for a post-spring role. And the indications are that the resistance could transcend a simple Taliban-led insurgency to evolve into a powerful Islamic movement... In places beyond the access of allied forces, the Taliban are in control [thanks to Bush].
Justice Department Probe Foiled By Shane Harris and Murray Waas 25 May 2006 An internal Justice Department inquiry into whether department officials -- including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft -- acted properly in approving and overseeing the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program was stymied because investigators were denied security clearances to do their work. The investigators, however, were only seeking information and documents relating to the National Security Agency's surveillance program that were already in the Justice Department's possession, two senior government officials said in interviews.
Bush Orders FBI-Congress Documents Sealed 25 May 2006 President [sic] Bush stepped into a confrontation between the Justice Department and Congress on Thursday, ordering that documents seized in an FBI raid on a lawmaker's office be sealed for 45 days.
Calif. bill would require registered sex offenders to notify employers 25 May 2006 Registered sex offenders who want to work in close contact with children would be required to notify prospective employers of their convictions under a bill approved Thursday by the Assembly. Critics say such restrictions would effectively prevent registrants from getting a job anywhere minors work.
VA Chief Tells Congress He's 'Mad As Hell' 25 May 2006 Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Thursday he is trying to find out why it took his agency two weeks to reveal the theft of personal data from 26.5 million veterans, telling Congress he is "mad as hell" that he wasn't told right away.
Veterans' data theft went unreported 25 May 2006 The Veterans Affairs data analyst who lost the personal data of 26.5 million veterans improperly took the information home for three years before the data was stolen, government investigators told Congress Thursday.
Red Cross warns blood donors of possible ID thefts in Midwest 24 May 2006 About 1 million blood donors in the Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross were warned last week that personal information about them could have been stolen earlier this year by a former employee and might have been used in identity thefts.
Senator stalls FEMA nominee despite panel OK --Lawmaker angry over flood insurance; Paulison had faced tax issues 25 May 2006 Angered over FEMA’s flood insurance program, a senator [Jim Bunning, R-Ky.] said late Thursday he would block the nomination of R. David Paulison as the agency’s chief in the latest hitch in the push for his approval before the start of the hurricane season.
Senate Approves Immigration Bill 25 May 2006 The U.S. Senate voted 62 to 36 late Thursday afternoon to approve an immigration bill that would tighten border security and offer millions of illegal immigrants a navigable path toward citizenship.
President Bush's dwindling popularity affecting Florida race for governor 25 May 2006 President [sic] Bush's plunging popularity seems to be affecting Florida's race for governor, with two little-known Democratic candidates in a statistical dead heat with a pair of Republicans who hold statewide offices, a poll taker said Wednesday.
Treasury's Snow reportedly to leave in June --Speculation of resignation has been circulating for months 25 May 2006 U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow is expected to resign by mid-June, according to CNBC.
Enron founders guilty of fraud 26 May 2006 A US jury has found former Enron chief executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling guilty of fraud and conspiracy over the meltdown of the energy giant... Skilling, 52, was found guilty of 19 of 28 counts of fraud and conspiracy and faces a maximum penalty of 185 years in jail. Enron founder Lay, 64, was found guilty of all six fraud and conspiracy charges he faced and federal bank fraud charges in a separate trial. He faces a maximum of 165 years in jail.
Feds cut off phone tax after 108 years 26 May 2006 A pesky, century-old tax on your phone bill is finally being put to rest. The Treasury Department said Thursday that it will no longer collect a 3% federal excise tax on long-distance calls and would refund about $15 billion to taxpayers. The tax was imposed in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War.
GAO Report Faults Voluntary Programs to Cut Air Pollution --Study Says Administration Has Not Ensured That Firms Set, Meet Goals 26 May 2006 The Bush administration's voluntary programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by industry have yet to deliver promised results, according to a report issued yesterday by the Government Accountability Office.
Stupid is as stupid does: Solution to Greenhouse Gases Is New Nuclear Plants, Bush Says 25 May 2006 (Limerick, PA) Speaking in front of this hamlet's twin nuclear cooling towers on Wednesday, President [sic] Bush promoted the 2005 energy bill he signed into law, which provides tax incentives, loan guarantees and federal risk insurance for companies building nuclear plants. "For the sake of economic security and national security," he said, "the United States of America must aggressively move forward with the construction of nuclear power plants." [And, the nuclear waste will be stored *where?*]
House Votes to Allow Drilling in Arctic Refuge 26 May 2006 The House voted 225 to 201 yesterday to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling... The measure marks the 12th time since 1995 that the House has voted in favor of opening the refuge to oil and gas development. But it has little concrete impact because its backers have not obtained the 60 Senate votes needed to surmount a filibuster.
Deserts expanding with jet stream shift 25 May 2006 Deserts in the American Southwest and around the globe are creeping toward heavily populated areas as the jet streams shift, researchers reported Thursday... Satellite measurements made from 1979 to 2005 show that the atmosphere in the subtropical regions both north and south of the equator is heating up.
Heads on Pikes By Mark Yannone "Herein is a gallery of criminals whose actions have earned them a vacation from their heads." (Updated, new heads added.)
Lay, Skilling Convicted of Fraud That Doomed Enron 25 May 2006 A U.S. jury convicted Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of orchestrating the fraud that destroyed Enron Corp., giving prosecutors a victory... Jurors in federal court in Houston deliberated six days before finding Lay, Enron's former chairman, and Skilling, its former chief executive officer, guilty today of fraud, conspiracy and other charges.
Lay, Skilling found guilty at Enron trial --Former CEOs convicted of securities, wire fraud 25 May 2006 Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.
Intelligence Czar Can Waive SEC Rules --Now, the White House's top spymaster can cite national security to exempt businesses from reporting requirements 23 May 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations. Notice of the development came in a brief entry in the Federal Register, dated May 5, 2006, that was opaque to the untrained eye.
Terror bill would limit Florida scholars' travels 23 May 2006 Florida could become one of the most restrictive states in the nation for international scholars under a proposal that would forbid professors and students from visiting Cuba and other nations accused of supporting terrorism. ...Many academics opposed the bill on the premise that it would prevent Florida researchers from doing work that would benefit the state and the nation.
Leave spy judgements to government: officials 25 May 2006 The United States government, not any court, is the best judge of whether to keep programs such as its controversial effort to eavesdrop on citizens a secret, an assistant attorney general said on Wednesday. Peter Keisler, an assistant attorney general, and other U.S. officials made the claim in the latest filing to a lawsuit alleging that telecommunications firm AT&T illegally allowed the government to monitor phone conversations and e-mail communications.
ACLU to Launch Campaign Against Government Phone Snooping 24 May 2006 The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut has joined a nationwide campaign against government phone spying. The ACLU is demanding the Federal Communications Commission investigate whether AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth broke laws by sharing customer records with the National Security Administration.
Official Secrets --Be careful what you read. (The Washington Post) 23 May 2006 "Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, asked this weekend whether he believes he can prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, made a statement that should chill the bones of every American who values a vigorous press: 'It depends on the circumstances.'... The administration is seeking to convert a moribund World War I-era espionage law into an American version of Britain's Official Secrets Act."
A Sudden Taste for the Law (The New York Times) 24 May 2006 "It's hard to say which was more bizarre about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's threat to prosecute The Times for revealing President [sic] Bush's domestic spying program: his claim that a century-old espionage law could be used to muzzle the press or his assertion that the administration cares about enforcing laws the way Congress intended... If Mr. Gonzales has developed a respect for legislative intent or a commitment to law enforcement, he could start by using his department's power to enforce the Voting Rights Act to protect Americans, rather than challenging minority voting rights and endorsing such obviously discriminatory practices as the gerrymandering in Texas or the Georgia voter ID program... And he could suggest that the administration follow Congress's clear and specific intent for the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: outlawing wiretaps of Americans without warrants."
Mayor: FBI was trying to spy on Portland government 24 May 2006 (OR) Portland Mayor Tom Potter on Wednesday accused the FBI of using "big brother" tactics in his city by trying to recruit an informant inside the offices of City Hall. Dan Nielsen, the FBI's acting special agent in charge for Oregon, said an agent and a city employee "came across each other in day-to-day activities, Starbucks [LOL!] and they work out in the same gym."
Ten held in police counter-terror raids over claims of channelling cash to Iraq insurgency --Targets include offices of Islamic charity --MI5 involved in operation which used 500 police 25 May 2006 Ten people were arrested yesterday in a series of raids by counter-terrorism police targeting the alleged funding and support of the insurgency in Iraq. A total of 500 officers carried out raids on 19 addresses across England, including the offices of an Islamic charity which is accused by the United States of funding international terrorism and of ties to 'al-Qaida.'
Seven held in nationwide anti-terror raids 24 May 2006 (UK) Seven [Ten - updated number] people were being held by police and immigration officials today following a massive nationwide anti-terror operation focused on suspected activity in Iraq. Greater Manchester Police's anti-terrorism unit, which led this morning's raids, said the operation was targeted at individuals suspected of "facilitating terrorism abroad". [OMG, arrest the obvious culprits: Bush and Blair!! They've been facilitating terrorism in Iraq since 2003!]
Special counsel: Cheney may be called to testify --Prosecutor weighs option of vice president's testimony in CIA leak case 24 May 2006 Vice pResident Dick Cheney could be called to testify in the perjury case against his former chief of staff, a special prosecutor said in a court filing Wednesday.
W to Walk His Poodle Thursday Evening (afterdowningstreet.org) 25 May 2006 "Please join Col. Ann Wright and others in a noisy protest outside the White House at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Police in the UK have dismantled an anti-war display that stood for five years in Parliament Square. Let Tony know that protests will follow him wherever he goes! Let George and Tony know that any partial withdrawal from Iraq is not enough!"
VOA's Baghdad Bureau Still Closed After Six Months 23 May 2006 The Voice of America's bureau in Baghdad has been closed for the past six months, ever since the government-funded agency withdrew its only reporter in Iraq after she was fired upon in an ambush and her security guard was later killed. ...[F]or a federally funded information service to pull out of Baghdad for such a prolonged period raises questions about the Bush administration's insistence that conditions there are gradually improving. Since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 69 journalists have been killed while on duty, along with 26 media support workers.
Court in Abuse Case Hears Testimony of General 25 May 2006 Testilying at the court-martial of a dog handler accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller said Wednesday that he never suggested that dogs be used to intimidate prisoners during interrogations in Iraq [Yeah, right!]. General Miller, the highest ranking officer to testify at any trial involving misconduct at Abu Ghraib, shed little light on Wednesday into questions of command responsibility for the prison abuses.
Trial Opens for 2nd Abu Ghraib Dog Handler 23 May 2006 Prosecutors at the court martial of an Army dog handler said Tuesday he was part of a crew of corrupt soldiers who enjoyed tormenting detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Maj. Matthew Miller said in his opening statement that Sgt. Santos A. Cardona harassed prisoners for "nothing more than the entertainment of the accused and the enjoyment of the other corrupt cops serving on the night shift at Abu Ghraib."
Soldier Killed in Iraq 24 May 2006 A Multinational Corps Iraq soldier was killed while conducting a patrol yesterday south of Balad, U.S. military officials in Iraq reported.
Nine More Arrested in Protests Against Iraq-Bound Army Convoys 25 May 2006 Nine more people were arrested in protests against the delivery of Iraq-bound military vehicles to the Port of Olympia, bringing the total arrested to 16 in three days, police said.
Seven arrested in protests against Iraq-bound Army convoys 24 May 2006 Seven people have been arrested in protests against convoys of Iraq-bound Army Strykers and other military vehicles to be loaded onto a ship at the Port of Olympia, police said.
Violence in Afghanistan surges as Taliban appears more organised 23 May 2006 The spike in Taliban-linked violence in Afghanistan suggests the rebel force is more organised and aggressive and making a stand before NATO's impending expansion into the south, observers and analysts say... "We see every day that Afghanistan is going to become a second Iraq," said political analyst and legislator Kabir Rangebar. "Insecurity is getting to the gates of the cities now."
Bush Prepares to Cut and Run in Afghanistan By Bob Burnett 24 May 2006 "The United States invested several billion dollars in rebuilding the Afghani infrastructure. Once again, the pattern was the same as that in Iraq. Most of the money went to multinationals headquartered in the US and a huge percentage of the cost was for security. Roughly one-third of the total was spent on the construction of one new highway from Kabul to Kandahar, at the expense of $1 million per mile... We haven't installed a democratic government and haven't protected the rights of women. Indeed, it's hard to find good news about Afghanistan. Maybe that's why the Bush administration has decided to cut and run."
Three Americans Arrested in Congo Coup Plot 24 May 2006 Three Americans were among at least 26 security workers arrested and jailed last week in Congo on suspicion of plotting a coup in advance of national elections in July, officials and news services reported Wednesday. Interior Minister Theophile Mbemba told the Associated Press that 32 men were arrested Friday with military gear. "It is clear that they were military personnel with political plans. . . . They were part of a coup attempt, and they will face justice in Congo." [Good! When will those who carried out the U.S. coups in 2000 and 2004 face justice in America?]
House leaders decry seizure of papers 25 May 2006 The Republican House speaker and the House Democratic leader Wednesday escalated a constitutional confrontation with the Bush regime over the FBI’s weekend seizure of files from a congressional office. In a rare joint statement, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, demanded that the Justice Department return documents that the FBI seized from the offices of Rep. William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat, in a bribery investigation.
House Speaker Hastert under investigation: ABC 24 May 2006 The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is probing corruption in Congress, ABC News reported on Wednesday. ABC, citing high level Justice Department sources, said information implicating Hastert was developed from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.
ABC News Update on Hastert Story 24 May 2006 Brian Ross Reports: Despite a flat denial from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement sources tonight said ABC News accurately reported that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is "in the mix" in the FBI investigation of corruption in Congress.
Hastert, ABC spar over investigation report 25 May 2006 House Speaker Dennis Hastert is demanding a "full retraction" of an ABC News report that he is being investigated in connection with the Jack Abramoff corruption probe. The report Wednesday night prompted the Justice Department to take the highly unusual step of denying on the record that the Illinois Republican is the subject of a probe.
Hastert: No. 1 Recipient of Abramoff Money (ABC) 24 May 2006 According to the Center for Responsive Politics, House Speaker Dennis Hastert is the No.1 individual recipient of money from Abramoff and his clients, with a total of $68,300 contributed to his campaign committee and leadership PAC from 1998 to 2004. [List of "Jack Abramoff and his Clients: Campaign Contribution Recipients."]
Bush, Congress tell working folk to go to hell By Lou Dobbs 24 May 2006 "Never before in our country's history have both the president and Congress been so out of touch with most Americans. Never before have so few of our elected officials and corporate leaders been less willing to commit to the national interest. And never before has our nation's largest constituent group -- some 200 million middle-class Americans -- been without representation in our nation's capital."
Power Outage Snarls Northeast Rail Service 25 May 2006 A major power outage stranded thousands of rush-hour commuters Thursday between New York and Washington, stopping trains inside tunnels and forcing many passengers to get out and walk to the nearest station.
Bird flu team 'too late' for answers [Gee, what a surprise.] 26 May 2006 Delays in the investigation of the world's largest outbreak of bird flu may prevent health officials from ever knowing if human-to-human transmission of the disease killed six members of the same family in Indonesia. A team of the world's leading avian flu experts has arrived in the remote village of Kubu Sembelang in North Sumatra to investigate the deaths, which occurred during the past three weeks. However, the director of the World Health Organisation's Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne, Ian Gust, said most of the evidence would already have been destroyed.
Bird flu kills seven family members 26 May 2006 Seven Indonesian family members who died of bird flu may have infected each other, the World Health Organisation said. Health experts were tracing anyone who had contact with them, but to date there was no sign of the virus spreading among villagers, the WHO said.
Plame investigation heating up, ergo: Hunt is on in Alaska for deadly bird flu virus 25 May 2006 From the recently thawed tidal flats that edge Anchorage to the tundra of western Alaska, the hunt for deadly avian influenza virus is on. Biologists and rural hunters have begun testing wild birds to search for signs of the H5N1 virus that has infected birds in Asia, Africa and Europe and caused more than 120 deaths on those continents. [And you can be sure, on the day the next *big political crisis* emerges for the Bush regime, bird flu 'will have arrived' on US shores. Only bioterror panic and/or bioterror can 'save' Bush now.]
Bird Flu Could Arrive In U.S. On Wings of a Swan, Expert Says [Or, on the wings of a Plame-related indictment] 24 May 2006 A federal wildlife expert says swans winging along the Pacific flyway are the wild birds most likely to bring a deadly flu strain to the U.S.
Global warming predictions are underestimated say scientists 23 May 2006 Climate change models have dramatically underestimated the extent to which global warming will raise temperatures, scientists warned yesterday. The flaw means existing predictions for temperature rises are inaccurate and will have to be revised upwards by as much as 2C, suggesting the world could experience a hike of up to 7.7C by the end of the 21st Century.
More Halliburton, Blackwater USA contracts surely on the way: New Orleans seen top target for '06 hurricanes 24 May 2006 New Orleans, still down and out from last year's assault by Hurricane Katrina, is the U.S. city most likely to be struck by hurricane force winds during the 2006 storm season, a researcher said on Wednesday.
Never use police, army, US pandemic expert says 23 May 2006 Dr. D.A. Henderson, who helped wipe out smallpox around the world, has advice for governments fighting bird flu -- don't use the military or police to enforce public health. Henderson is critical of parts of the U.S. national pandemic plan that call for the use of quarantine and other imposed types of enforcement [such as KBR's detention centres] should influenza or any other infectious disease bring on a pandemic.
Web inventor warns of 'dark' net --Warns network would enter "a dark period" if US went ahead with two-tier internet 23 May 2006 The web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it into different services, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said. Recent attempts in the US to try to charge for different levels of online access web were not "part of the internet model," he said in Edinburgh. He warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter "a dark period".
U.S. Urged to Stop Paying Iraqi Reporters to Produce Positive Stories 24 May 2006 A Defense Department investigation of Pentagon-financed propaganda efforts in Iraq warns that paying Iraqi journalists to produce positive stories could damage American credibility and calls for an end to military payments to a group of Iraqi journalists in Baghdad, according to a summary of the investigation.
Iraq arms 'leaking to insurgents' 23 May 2006 The United Nations agency responsible for decommissioning weapons in Eastern Europe (Seesac) has criticised [US] arms exports to Iraq. The US struck a deal with the Bosnian authorities to open up its stockpiles of weapons left over from the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It aimed to send these weapons to help Iraq's new army... There are also concerns that some pistols flown from the UK which were intended for Iraqi police are now in the hands of 'insurgents.' ['Some pistols?!?' LOL! Nothing like *downplaying* the fact that the US is arming the death squads, militias and every other group of terrorists in Halliburton hell!]
Armed Groups Propel Iraq Toward Chaos 24 May 2006 The headlong, American-backed effort to arm tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and officers, coupled with a failure to curb a nearly equal number of militia gunmen, has created a galaxy of armed groups, each with its own loyalty and agenda, which are accelerating the country's slide into chaos... Sometimes, the lines between one government force and another — and between the police and the militias — are so blurry that it is impossible to determine who the killers are. [No, it's not: Bush, Rumsfeld, Blair, Howard.]
Motorcycle bomb kills 11 in Iraq mosque 23 May 2006 Eleven people were killed and at least nine injured when a motorcycle bomb exploded in the courtyard of a Baghdad mosque this evening. The blast came on a day of mostly sectarian violence across Iraq which left a total of 41 dead, according to officials.
Iran Requests Direct Talks on Nuclear Program 24 May 2006 Iran has followed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent letter to President [sic] Bush with explicit requests for direct talks on its nuclear program, according to U.S. officials, Iranian analysts and foreign diplomats.
*Your leakin', lyin', spyin', snipin', druggin', CIA updates for Wednesday*
2 in CIA to testify Libby lied on leak 23 May 2006 Two top CIA officials will bolster prosecutors' charge that Vice pResident Cheney's chief aide lied to them, court papers show. Prosecutors say disgraced Cheney chief of staff Lewis 'Scooter' Libby learned CIA spy Valerie Plame's identity from, among others, agency officials who will be called to testify at his trial for perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.
Group that tracked Colombian drug lord may have had CIA ties 23 May 2006 A Washington-based think tank filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to force the Central Intelligence Agency to search its archives for documents that may help reveal the CIA's links to a vigilante group here that helped Colombian and U.S. authorities track down drug lord Pablo Escobar. In its suit, the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and the law firm of Brian Gaffney said CIA actions "discourage the Plaintiff, its members and other members of the public from obtaining public records from the United States government."
Malvo Describes Two-Step Plan --Young sniper says Muhammad planned to bomb schools and hospitals in second phase of attacks [Oh, just like Bush's second phase of attacks in Iraq.] 24 May 2006 Lee Boyd Malvo testified yesterday that John Allen Muhammad intended to bomb schools, school buses and children's hospitals after the sniper shootings that paralyzed the Washington area in October 2002. Muhammad's ultimate goal was to indoctrinate 140 young homeless men at a compound in Canada who would "shut things down" in cities across the United States, Malvo testified. [If this one doesn't have CIA written all over it, I really don't know what does. --LRP]
Sniper 'Oddities': Washington Sniper Investigation John Allen Muhammed - Terrorist Or Informer? By Jim Rarey 15 Nov 2002 "When [John Allen] Muhammad (using the name of Thomas Alan Lee) was arrested in Antigua in March, 2001 for his involvement in providing false i.d. and other documents for entry of illegal aliens into the United States, he was held for two days and then allowed to "just walk out of the police station and disappear."... Back in the U.S. Muhammad/Williams was detained in Florida when intercepted with forged credentials for at least two false identities. Again he was released without charges being made. Later in Tacoma, he and 17 year-old [Lee Boyd] Malvo were arrested for shoplifting. When he failed to show for his court hearing a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. For some unexplained reason, the warrant was not entered into the FBI national data base... At least two persons, months before the sniper attacks, reported to the FBI that they suspected Muhammad might be a 'sleeper' terrorist. FBI officials say no follow up investigations were done... Muhammad may have been an FBI informer or CIA 'asset.'... Alternatively he may actually be a terrorist with connections in the FBI and CIA as he bragged to people in Antigua. He also could be a double agent with ties to an organized terrorist group. It seems obvious that the government knew a lot about him before the 'tips' started coming in which allegedly resulted in his capture."
Audiotape Reportedly from Al Qaeda Leader Surfaces on the Internet [LOL! Notice that a *videotape* never surfaces?] 23 May 2006 In a new audiotape allegedly made by Osama bin Laden, the al CIAduh leader says Zacarias Moussaoui had no connection to the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Zogby Poll Finds Over 70 Million Voting Age Americans Support New 9/11 Investigation (911truth.org) 22 May 2006 "Although the Bush administration continues to exploit September 11 to justify domestic spying, unprecedented spending and a permanent state of war, a new Zogby poll reveals that less than half of the American public trusts the official 9/11 story or believes the attacks were adequately investigated." [Click here for raw data.]
Senate Panel Backs Hayden for CIA 23 May 2006 The Senate Intelligence Committee today approved President [sic] Bush's choice of Gen. Michael V. Hayden to be the new director of the CIA, sending the nomination to the full Senate for a confirmation vote expected later this week.
NSA phone data spy work rings of KGB By Jaak Saame (letter to editor) 23 May 2006 "Thanks, USA TODAY, for the story on the National Security Agency secretly gathering data on Americans. You have helped to expose more of the KGB-style tactics of the Bush administration... My father always called the American people brave and said they'd never stand for the KGB tactics of spying, torture, deportation and murder that were brought upon the people of Eastern Europe. My dad would have been ashamed to discover the tactics that the Bush administration has adopted against Americans."
Hastert tells President Bush FBI raid was unconstitutional 24 May 2006 House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) told President [sic] Bush yesterday that he is concerned the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) raid on Rep. William Jefferson’s (D-La.) congressional office over the weekend was a direct violation of the Constitution. Hastert raised concerns that the FBI’s unannounced seizure of congressional documents during a raid of Jefferson’s Rayburn office Saturday night violated the separation of powers between the two branches of government as they are defined by the Constitution.
FBI's Saturday night Capitol Hill raid raises alarms 22 May 2006 The unprecedented FBI raid Saturday night of the Rayburn House Office Building office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., has stoked tempers on Capitol Hill as some past and present lawmakers and legal experts criticized the Justice Department's actions.
'The Wait-and-See Approach' (Joe's Dartblog) 21 May 2006 "When the annals of journalistic forma are compiled, the one today invented by the left-wing outfit ironically called Truthout should be very highly featured. The organization reported weeks ago that Karl Rove had been officially charged with some crime... A new paradigm in yellow journalism: Make a wild assertion on any day, and if ever it come to be true, your reporting is fully affirmed. Anything more egregious than a parking fine on Rove's part, now, will validate the original Truthout story. [Marc in the Ashes: According to Truthout's logic in their 'partial apology' (Is that like being a little bit pregnant? --LRP) I can report that global warming has caused another ice age and the world as we know it is over. I'm not wrong, I'm just 'too far out in front of the news-cycle.' The part where Ash says what he 'knows' and believes sounds a lot like Rumsfeld about Iraq, 'there are things we know that we know; there are things we know that we don't know. There are unknown knowns,...' --MDR]
Ratings in Tank, Cheney Still Reels In Big-Time Bucks 23 May 2006 His former top aide is under indictment in the CIA leak probe. His poll ratings fall somewhere between bad and atrocious. Still, Dick Cheney can pack in the faithful like few others in the Republican Party... Opinion polls fix Cheney's approval rating at somewhere between 34 percent in the last Gallup Poll and 20 percent in a CBS News survey -- the latter figure worse than Richard Nixon's showing when he quit the White House amid the Watergate scandal.
Mining industry pushing for rollback of rescue rules 22 May 2006 Although the anguish and anger remain raw from January's fatal accidents at the Sago and Aracoma mines in West Virginia, the coal industry wants to roll back or amend most of the federal emergency rescue rules adopted in response to them.
At Home Depot, the Stock Fell but the Chief's Pay Kept Rising 24 May 2006 The Home Depot board has awarded its chief executive, Robert L. Nardelli, $245 million in his five years with the company. Yet during that time, the company's stock has slid 12 percent while shares of its archrival, Lowe's, have climbed 173 percent.
The Al Capone of Electricity --Ken Lay Will Get Away with his Real Crimes By Greg Palast 24 May 2006 "The George W. Bush administration, within 72 hours of his inauguration, issued an executive order lifting the Clinton Energy Department's effective ban on speculative trading in the California power market. The state was still in crisis, facing blackouts and 300 percent increases in power bills, the result of 'deregulating' its electric system, as first suggested by [Ken] Lay. Instead of a 'free' market, California's electricity bidding system became a fixed casino where Lay's operatives and a tight-knit cabal of corporate cronies jacked up prices through such tricks as 'death star,' 'ricochet' and 'kilowatt laundering.'"
Hercules City Council votes to seize Wal-Mart land 24 May 2006 (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) The Hercules City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to take the unprecedented step of using eminent domain to prevent Wal-Mart from building a big-box store on a 17-acre lot near the city's waterfront.
Bird Flu Case May Be First Double Jump 24 May 2006 Reacting to the death on Monday of an Indonesian man, the World Health Organization said yesterday that the case appeared to be the first example of the avian flu jumping from human to human to human.
Former Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen Dies 23 May 2006 Former Senator and Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen, a courtly Texan who as the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in 1988 famously told rival Dan Quayle he was "no Jack Kennedy," died Tuesday.
"In our system, there's no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution."* --Al Gore, on the 2000 presidential 'election' The Comeback Kid By John Heilemann (Interview) 29 May 2006 "Does he, like many Democrats, think the election was stolen? Gore pauses a long time and stares into the middle distance. 'There may come a time when I speak on that,' Gore says, 'but it’s not now; I need more time to frame it carefully if I do.' Gore sighs. 'In our system, there’s no intermediate step between a definitive Supreme Court decision and violent revolution.' Later, I put the question of Gore’s views on the matter to David Boies, his lawyer in the Florida-recount battle. 'He thought the court’s ruling was wrong and obviously political,' Boies says. So he considers the election stolen? 'I think he does—and he’s right.'" *[Since the former got us into this mess, we'll take the latter--to get us out!]
AT&T Whistle-Blower's Evidence, Uncut 22 May 2006 (Wired News) Former AT&T technician Mark Klein is the key witness in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's class-action lawsuit against the telecommunications company, which alleges that AT&T cooperated in an illegal National Security Agency domestic surveillance program... Click here for Klein's statement in its entirety, with inline links to all of the document excerpts where he cited them; click here to download complete file (pdf). The full AT&T documents are filed under seal in federal court in San Francisco.
Prominent Chicagoans Sue AT&T over NSA Surveillance 22 May 2006 A group of high-profile Chicagoans who also are customers of AT&T head to federal court Monday as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the telecommunication giant for divulging private records to the National Security Agency.
Halliburton, Bechtel could be factors in 'border security' plan 21 May 2006 Two big and controversial corporate names -- Halliburton and Bechtel -- could benefit from mammoth increases in federal spending on 'border security.' Houston-based Halliburton formerly was headed by Vice pResident Dick Cheney, and its subsidiary KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root) constructed the prison camps at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. KBR already won one contract to build more detention centers to help with 'border' enforcement. [Yeah, border enforcement: keeping *us* in! See: KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support for Emergency Support Services 24 Jan 2006 (halliburton.com) "The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities... to support the rapid development of new programs."]
Iraq doctor brings evidence of US napalm at Fallujah 23 May 2006 Evidence to support controversial claims that napalm has been used by US forces in Iraq has been brought to Australia by an Iraqi doctor. Dr Salam Ismael, of the Baghdad-based group Doctors for Iraq, said the evidence pointed to the use of napalm on civilians during the second siege of Fallujah in November 2004. It is contained in film and photographs that doctors took of bodies they collected when they were finally allowed to enter the city after being barred for three days of the military operation.
A Word from the Islamic Army 16 May 2006 Call them terrorists, call them resistance fighters. A significant member of one such group spoke to IPS about why he joined. Abu Ayoub, a 35-year-old living in Baghdad, is a member of the Islamic Army. He spoke to IPS in the Adhamiya neighbourhood. "When the occupation forces entered Baghdad, they killed my brother in front of my eyes. He was wounded and bleeding but the occupation forces didn't allow me to save him. When I tried to save him they began shooting at me and after a few minutes my brother died. After that I swore to fight them to the death."
Which is the real Iraq? By Patrick Cockburn 23 May 2006 "A frustrating aspect of writing about Iraq since the invasion is that the worse the situation becomes, the easier it is for Tony Blair or George Bush to pretend it is improving. That is because as Baghdad and Iraq, aside from the three Kurdish provinces, become the stalking ground for death squads and assassins, it is impossible to report the collapse of security without being killed doing so."
7 Police Officers Among 17 Killed in Iraq 22 May 2006 Car bombs and drive-by shootings killed 17 people in Iraq on Monday, including seven police officers.
Marine Killed in Iraq 22 May 2006 A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, was killed in Iraq's Anbar providence yesterday.
Four more years: UK troops to stay in Iraq until 2010 23 May 2006 British troops face up to four more years of service in Iraq... The grim admission that soldiers' lives could still be at risk in Basra in 2010 was made privately by a senior official during a surprise six- hour visit by Tony Blair to Baghdad yesterday.
Iran Target of Apparent Disinformation Ploy 22 May 2006 A story authored by a prominent U.S. neo-conservative regarding new legislation in Iran allegedly requiring Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive colour badges circulated around the world this weekend before it was exposed as false... Juan Cole, president of the U.S. Middle East Studies Association (MESA), described the Taheri article and its appearance first in Canada's Post as "typical of black psychological operations campaigns", particularly in its origin in an "out of the way newspaper that is then picked up by the mainstream press" -- in this case, the Jerusalem Post and the New York Post.
The Administration That Won't Stop Lying By Paul Craig Roberts 22 May 2006 "No statement or claim by a Bush regime official is too outlandish to be received with acceptance. Consider the claim by Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. secretary for war and aggression, made to the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee on May 17, that Iran was to blame for the instability in Iraq. Did the senators laugh Rumsfeld out of the room? No. Did the media remind the 'informed public' that it was actually the U.S. invasion and unsuccessful occupation, together with mass detentions, torture, slaughter of citizens and invasions of their homes, destruction of infrastructure and entire cities, such as Fallujah, and removal of Saddam Hussein's government, which kept the three Iraqi factions from each other's throats, that destabilized Iraq? Needless to say, no."
US sets up £215m deal for Afghan arms - from Russia 22 May 2006 American defence officials have secretly requested a "prodigious quantity" of ammunition from Russia to supply the Afghan army in case a Democrat president takes over in Washington and pulls out US troops [?!?]. The Daily Telegraph can disclose that Pentagon chiefs have asked arms suppliers for a quote on a vast amount of ordnance, including more than 78 million rounds of AK47 ammunition, 100,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 12,000 tank shells - equivalent to about 15 times the British Army's annual requirements.
Libby Prosecutor Focuses on CIA Officer's Status --Filings Say Ex-Cheney Aide Knew That Plame Was Classified, Giving Him Reason to Lie to Grand Jury 22 May 2006 The classified status of the identity of former CIA officer Valerie Plame will be a key element in any trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice pResident Cheney's former chief of staff, according to special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has said that at trial he plans to show that Libby knew Plame's employment at the CIA was classified and that he lied to the grand jury when he said he had learned from NBC News's Tim Russert that Plame, the wife of former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, worked for the agency.
Rove "Scoop" Remains Exclusive By Howard Kurtz 22 May 2006 "The claim that President [sic] Bush's top political strategist had been indicted in the CIA leak investigation was written by a journalist who has battled drug addiction and mental illness and been convicted of grand larceny... The reports appeared on the liberal Web site Truthout.org, run by Marc Ash, a former advertising man and fashion photographer in California... [Rove's spokesman, Mark] Corallo says a man identifying himself as London Sunday Times contributor Joe Lauria called about the story, which Corallo told him 'borders on defamation.' The man left what turned out to be a wrong number. After Leopold told a liberal blogger that Corallo had told him that the story bordered on defamation, Corallo reached Lauria, who acknowledged that he had dinner with Leopold days before the call."
Gag me with a chainsaw! Bush worried about Venezuelan democracy US Dictator George W. Bush expressed Monday concern about erosion of democracy in Venezuela and Bolivia. In a clear reference to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez, the ruler criticized interference in the polls of third countries. [This comment was made by the Idiot Usurping Lying Dictatorial Weasel, who has stolen two elections and has overthrown the elections in third AND fourth countries - so that Halliburton could steal oil (Iraq) and the Bush regime could get the opium routes (Afghanistan) going again.]
Condi's Commencement Appearance Causes Controversy At Boston Campus By Bill Gallagher 23 May 2006 "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a fraud. She wants to be considered a serious and skilled diplomat, an insightful analyst of geopolitics and a thoughtful scholar. She is, in fact, a hack politician and manipulator, a professional sycophant whose serial lying and deceptions helped create the worst foreign policy disaster in American history... Her Ph.D. dissertation -- forged into a book -- is most revealing... The book, 'The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983,' helped her political career with the non-bookish Busheviks, but hardly impressed real scholars." [LOL!]
US films at Cannes go Bush-whacking 21 May 2006 US directors are using this year's Cannes Film Festival to pummel Dictator George W. Bush... Sunday saw one of the most egregious attacks in the form of "Southland Tales" by Richard Kelly. In his new film, a satire set in a dystopian future Los Angeles, broad parallels are drawn between fascist pre-WWII Germany and the United States under a Bush government that holds onto power well into 2008. "Southland Tales" covered some of the same ground as another, edgier US film, "Shortbus", which is filled provocatively with scenes of real sex in what director John Cameron Mitchell said was "a call to arms" against the Bush administration. [*Awesome!* Call, call, call!]
Hitler, Blair & Bush 22 May 2006 Madonna launched her first world tour in two years on Sunday, delighting an enthusiastic Los Angeles crowd by hanging herself from a cross, insulting President [sic] George W. Bush... During one of her half-dozen costume changes, another video montage juxtaposed images of Bush, members of his regime and British Prime Minister Tony Blair with footage of Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. Midway through the new song "I Love New York," she deviated from the script and made a crude [?!?] reference to Bush and oral sex.
Justices Back Police Intervention Without a Warrant 23 May 2006 The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that the police do not need a warrant to enter a private home to break up a fight in which injuries have occurred or are foreseeable.
Justices Allows Police to Enter Homes Without Warrant 22 May 2006 Police officers may go into a home uninvited and without a search warrant in order to break up a fight they have seen through a kitchen window, the Supreme Court ruled today. Usually, homes are off limits to the police and government searches, except when officers have obtained a warrant from a judge.
Ill. Supreme Court allows use of drug dogs in traffic stops --Previous ruling said privacy rights violated by unreasonable search 19 May 2006 In a narrow decision, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed itself Thursday and ruled that police can use drug-sniffing dogs to search vehicles during routine traffic stops.
US court won't decide lethal injection challenge 22 May 2006 The Supreme Court on Monday declined to decide whether a chemical cocktail used to execute convicted murderers violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, clearing the way for the practice to continue.
Judge Steps In for Poor Inmates Without Justice Since Hurricane 23 May 2006 Nine months after Hurricane Katrina, more than a thousand jailed defendants have had no access to lawyers, a New Orleans judge says, because the public defender system is desperately short of money and staffing, without a computer system or files or even a list of clients. And so Judge Arthur L. Hunter Jr., a former New Orleans police officer, is moving to let some of the defendants without lawyers out of jail.
Oops! Data on 26.5 million veterans stolen from home 22 May 2006 Personal data on about 26.5 million U.S. military veterans was stolen from the residence of a Department of Veterans Affairs data analyst who improperly took the material home, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Monday.
A "medical arms race" among hospitals Ouch! How 'Money-Driven Medicine,' Abuse Cost Us $1.8 Trillion By Joan Oleck 22 May 2006 "'Over the past 25 years, power in our health-care system has shifted from the physician to the corporation,' Mahar writes [Maggie Mahar's new book, "Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much'']. 'A professional, the physician pledged to put his patients' interests ahead of his own. The corporation, by contrast, is legally bound to put its shareholders' interests first.''
Category 6 Hurricanes? They've Already Happened 21 May 2006 There is no official Category 6 for hurricanes, but scientists say they're pondering whether there should be as evidence mounts that hurricanes around the world have sharply worsened over the past 30 years -- and all but a handful of hurricane experts now agree this worsening bears the fingerprints of man-made global warming. In fact, say scientists, there have already been hurricanes strong enough to qualify as Category 6s. They'd define those as having sustained winds over 175 or 180 mph.
2006 hurricane forecast: 8-10 storms --National Hurricane Center says 4-6 could be 'major' hurricanes 22 May 2006 The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season will be very active, with up to 10 hurricanes, although not as busy as record-breaking 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and several monster storms slammed into the United States, the U.S. government's top climate agency said on Monday.
To Marc Ash: "We" don't care what you "believe but cannot confirm." "We" don't care who calls you on your cell phone. "We" believe that this latest little self-aggrandizing tactic will backfire on you with redoubled force. "We" believe you are out of your mind and have actually reached a point called "delusion" by professionals. That's what "we" believe. Your beliefs are not founded in reality, but in delusions of grandeur. That's what "we" believe. --Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., Founder and Chair, Citizens For Legitimate Government
Information Sharing on the Rove Indictment Story By Marc Ash 21 May 2006 "We believe that we hit a nerve with our report. When I get calls on my cell phone from Karl Rove's attorney and spokesman, I have to wonder what's up. 'I' believe - but cannot confirm - that Mark Corallo, Karl Rove's spokesman gave Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post my phone number. I believe Howard Kurtz contacted me with the intention of writing a piece critical of our organization. I know that Anne Marie Squeo of the Wall Street Journal attacked us and independent journalism ['Journalism?' Try 'plagiarism!'] as a whole in her piece titled, 'Rove's Camp Takes Center of Web Storm / Bloggers Underscore How Net's Reporting, Dynamics Provide Grist for the Rumor Mill... And we believe that Rove's camp is making a concerted effort to discredit our story and our organization. Further - and again this is 'What We Believe' - Rove may be turning state's evidence."
Testimony from a former U.S. Army Ranger --Jessie Macbeth, a Former Army Ranger and Iraq War Veteran, Tells All 21 May 2006 Excerpt: "When we were doing the night raids in the houses, we would pull people out and have them all on their knees and zip-tied. We would ask the man of the house questions. If he didn't answer the way we liked, we would shoot his youngest kid in the head. We would keep going, this was our interrogation. He could be innocent. He could be just an average Joe trying to support his family. If he didn't give us a satisfactory answer, we'd start killing off his family until he told us something. If he didn't know anything, I guess he was SOL." (Pepperspray Productions video)
'Peacemaker' Blair wants troops out of Iraq next year 21 May 2006 Tony Blair has instructed his aides to draw up plans for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq and Northern Ireland by the autumn of next year. The prime minister believes that his best chance of securing his place in the history books is with a legacy as a "peacemaker" [?!?] after his reputation with the left was damaged by the Iraq war and power sharing in the province collapsed.
'$45m paid to Iraq kidnappers' 22 May 2006 France, Germany and Italy paid about $45 million to obtain the release of hostages kidnapped in Iraq, despite denying it in public, a British newspaper reports.
Law and Disorder --Misjudgments Marred U.S. Plans for Iraqi Police 21 May 2006 As chaos swept Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, the Pentagon began its effort to rebuild the Iraqi police with a mere dozen advisers... Three years later, the police are a battered and dysfunctional force that has helped bring Iraq to the brink of civil war. Police units stand accused of operating death squads for powerful political groups or simple profit [Halliburton, Blackwater USA, etc.].
Involvement of Superior Officers at Abu Ghraib to Be Raised --Abuse Trial Revives Old Questions 22 May 2006 The involvement of senior Pentagon officials in policymaking associated with the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib later in 2003 will once again be debated in a military court at Fort McNair beginning today, during one of the last two trials involving Army personnel accused of the abuse recorded in photos circulated around the world. The trial this week of a sergeant who threatened Abu Ghraib detainees with a military dog will for the first time include the testimony of a key military officer who carried out policy instructions issued by senior officials in Washington.
Rice says U.S. can't close Guantánamo 21 May 2006 Secretary of State [war criminal] Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. would be delighted to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, but cannot until settling the fate of ''hundreds of dangerous people'' held there. [?!? Bush is the most dangerous of all - why isn't he in there?]
Honor Plans For Rice Spark Protests [*Honor* plans? We're thinking *treason trial* plans for a war criminal!] 19 May 2006 Plans to greet U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with an honorary degree by Boston Jesuit school has sparked protests by some students and faculty who say her support for war in Iraq contradicts Catholic teaching.
'Fifty die' in Afghan air strike 22 May 2006 Aircraft from the US-led occupation have struck a village in southern Afghanistan killing up to 50 Taleban, a US military spokesman has said. But a BBC correspondent has received reports that 30 civilians were killed in the attack and 50 others injured, including children.
Pressed by U.S., European Banks Limit Iran Deals 22 May 2006 Prodded by the United States with threats of fines and lost business, four of the biggest European banks have started curbing their activities in Iran, even in the absence of a Security Council resolution imposing economic sanctions on Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program.
U.S. Is Proposing European Shield for Iran Missiles 21 May 2006 The Bush regime is moving to establish a new antimissile site in Europe that would be designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies.
Libby Prosecutor Focuses on CIA Officer's Status --Filings Say Ex-Cheney Aide Knew That Plame Was Classified, Giving Him Reason to Lie to Grand Jury 22 May 2006 The classified status of the identity of former CIA officer Valerie Plame will be a key element in any trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice pResident Cheney's former chief of staff, according to special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
Attorney Gen.: Reporters Can Be Prosecuted 21 May 2006 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security. The nation's top law enforcer also said the government will not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation... [Unless it's Judith Miller on the phone with Dick Cheney, outing Valerie Plame.]
ABC's Ross: Surveillance of Journalists 'Makes Me Feel…As If We Are Drug Dealers or Terrorists' 21 May 2006 This morning on CNN’s Reliable Sources, ABC’s chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross — who this week learned he was the target of federal surveillance operations — described the effect that unchecked spying is having on journalists: ROSS: [I]t makes me feel, in a way — and this is, I think, the disturbing part — as if we are drug dealers or terrorists trying to traffic in information, and should we be using bags full of quarters like old Mafia capos to avoid having our phone calls traced?
Verizon says PUC has no authority over NSA records 20 May 2006 Verizon phone company on Friday told the Maine Public Utilities Commission that it should dismiss a complaint seeking to find out if it is giving the National Security Agency information on its telephone customers in Maine.
U.S. report: 2.2 million now in prisons, jails --Almost 1,100 inmates added every week from 2004 to 2005, agency finds 21 May 2006 Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.
2 Congressmen Seek Security Plans --Administration Late With 118 Reports, Democrats Say 22 May 2006 Two key Democrats on the House committee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security criticized the agency last week for not releasing to Congress reports on 118 security plans for mass transit, rail, aviation, ports and borders. Many of the reports were due in 2003.
Despite Pledge, Taxes Increase for Teenagers 21 May 2006 The $69 billion tax cut bill that pResident Bush signed this week tripled tax rates for teenagers with college savings funds, despite Mr. Bush's 1999 pledge to veto any tax increase. Under the new law, teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income will now be taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates.
Edwards: Bush Worse than Nixon --2004 Vice Presidential Contender Blasts Bush and Readies to Run Again 21 May 2006 Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., says George W. Bush is the "worst president [sic] of our lifetime," and "absolutely" worse than Watergate-tainted President Richard M. Nixon. In an exclusive appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," the former presidential and vice presidential contender said of Bush, "He's done a variety of things -- things which are going to take us forever to recover from."
Former top White House official goes to trial --Jury to decide fate of Abramoff associate Safavian in criminal case 21 May 2006 After five guilty pleas in the influence-peddling investigation of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the first criminal trial is set to begin Monday.
Congress Faces Multiple Criminal Probes 20 May, 2006 For the first time since the Abscam scandal a quarter-century ago, multiple lawmakers face criminal and ethics investigations that are tarnishing Congress, already low on public approval. "We have an entire generation who imagines their member of Congress in an orange jumpsuit," said Paul Light, a New York University professor of public service, referring to the common prison uniform.
Lieberman's In Trouble By Kevin Rennie 21 May 2006 (CT) "A curiosity in January, the [Ned] Lamont campaign has become a growing army that could overthrow the incumbent in the Aug. 8 primary. For 90 minutes, party loyalists who have known Joe Lieberman for decades rose and turned their backs on him in favor of an engaging stranger." [See: Ned Lamont.]
Heads On Pikes By Mark Yannone "Herein is a gallery of criminals whose actions have earned them a vacation from their heads. Know anyone who qualifies?" [LOL!!]
Will Your Vote Count in 2006? 'When you're using a paperless voting system, there is no security,' says Stanford's David Dill. By Steven Levy 29 May 2006 "How bad are the problems [with electronic touchscreen ballot machines]? Experts are calling them the most serious voting-machine flaws ever documented. Basically the trouble stems from the ease with which the machine's software can be altered... 'If Diebold had set out to build a system as insecure as they possibly could, this would be it,' says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer-science professor and elections-security expert."
NYSE in race to win battle of the bourses with Euronext merger plan 22 May 2006 Executives from Euronext and the New York Stock Exchange are hammering out terms of an £11bn transatlantic merger ahead of a vital meeting of the European exchange's shareholders tomorrow.
Killer Bug Air Scare 20 May 2006 A woman who arrived in London on a flight from Africa yesterday is reported to have died from the deadly and contagious Ebola virus. Panic has spread among cabin crew and hospital staff after the death of the 38-year-old Briton.
Rising Ocean Temperatures Threaten Florida's Coral Reef 22 May 2006 If global warming summons images of polar bears clinging to shrinking ice floes, this is its face in the Florida Keys: a sun-dappled stretch of shallows along the turquoise reef line, where scientists painstakingly attach russet polyps of regenerated coral to damaged reefs.
Al Gore appears at Cannes 20 May 2006 Former US president Al Gore, who is at the Cannes Film Festival, has warned the world is facing a "planetary emergency" due to global warming. A documentary based on Gore's environmental campaigning is being screened at the festival.
U.S. to use lasers on drivers in Iraq 18 May 2006 The U.S. military is deploying a laser device in Iraq that would temporarily blind drivers who fail to heed warnings at checkpoints, in an attempt to stem shootings of innocent Iraqis... A protocol to the Geneva Convention bans the use of lasers that cause blindness, and human-rights groups have protested previous U.S. attempts to employ such weapons.
Soldiers to get life in jail for refusing to act as occupiers 19 May 2006 (UK) Soldiers who object to taking part in a military occupation of a foreign country will face life in prison under measures due to be rubber-stamped in the House of Commons on Monday. The little-noticed Armed Forces Bill will have its third reading in the Commons on Monday and left-leaning MPs are alarmed that it will legitimise pre-emptive military strikes. It will change the definition of desertion to include soldiers who go absent without leave and intend to refuse to take part in a "military occupation of a foreign country or territory".
Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold --Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and [US] death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale. 20 May 2006 The state of Iraq now resembles Bosnia at the height of the fighting in the 1990s when each community fled to places where its members were a majority and were able to defend themselves. "Be gone by evening prayers or we will kill you," warned one of four men who called at the house of Leila Mohammed, a pregnant mother of three children in the city of Baquba, in Diyala province north-east of Baghdad. He offered chocolate to one of her children to try to find out the names of the men in the family.
Bloody day heralds birth of Iraq's new unity 'government' 21 May 2006 Iraq's new unity 'government' was approved by parliament in Baghdad yesterday in what may be the last chance to hold Iraq together as a unitary state. Underlining how far security has declined since the parliament was elected five months ago, a series of attacks killed 27 people and wounded dozens more yesterday. Police also found the bodies of 21 Iraqis who had been kidnapped and tortured by [US] death squads in and around Baghdad.
The enforcer By Stephen Armstrong 20 May 2006 "Colonel Tim Spicer... is also effectively in charge of the second largest military force in Iraq: the estimated 20,000 private security personnel who outnumber the British army by almost three to one. Spicer's company Aegis has a contract with the Pentagon worth almost $300m to oversee the 16 private security companies providing personnel, security, military training and reconstruction."
Roadside bomb targets UK troops 20 May 2006 Two British soldiers have been injured in a roadside bombing in southern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Guantanamo Bay to remain despite UN anti-torture report 20 May 2006 It has made difficult reading for Washington, but a report by the UN's anti-torture body says the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is illegal and should be closed... The report has no binding authority over the US.
German to fight on after CIA torture lawsuit fails 19 May 2006 A German man who says he was abducted and tortured by the CIA will consider taking his case to a higher court after a U.S. district judge dismissed it on national security grounds, his lawyer said on Friday.
Fighting in Afghanistan Kills 34 20 May 2006 Militants hiding in a vineyard and armed with machine guns ambushed an Afghan army convoy Saturday, shooting dead four soldiers but losing 15 of their own. Violence elsewhere killed another 15 people — including two French troops and a U.S. soldier.
One Soldier Killed, Six Wounded in Afghanistan 20 May 2006 One U.S. Servicemember was killed and six wounded in combat in in southern Uruzgan province (Afghanistan) yesterday. The six wounded service members were evacuated to a nearby medical facility and are in stable condition.
Fugitive pleads with US to 'liberate' Iran 21 May 2006 Amir Abbas Fakhravar, a 30-year-old writer and leader of the dissident Iranian 'student' movement who has been repeatedly jailed, emerged in Washington last week after spending 10 months on the run inside Iran. He surfaced at the end of last month in Dubai, where 24 hours later he was met by the leading American neoconservative, Richard Perle. Fakhravar was whisked to America last weekend and has already met congressmen and Bush officials. He said he was in Washington to spread one message only: "Regime change." [Who funded this whackjob's trip to Washington?]
Pentagon secret spending said at post-Cold War high 19 May 2006 The Pentagon's spending on secret programs has hit its highest point since the end of the Cold War, a Washington-based research group said in a report released this week. Classified programs appear to account for about $30.1 billion, or 19 percent, of the acquisition funds sought in the Defense Department budget for fiscal 2007, according to the report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment.
Ex-deputy secretary of state new figure in CIA leak probe 20 May 2006 Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has emerged as a key witness in the CIA leak probe, the Daily News has learned. Armitage has been questioned several times, but is not expected to be indicted by the federal grand jury investigating who outed CIA spy Valerie Plame to journalists in 2003, sources said.
Eating their own (Capitol Hill Blue) 20 May 2006 "Late Friday afternoon, Truthout executive director Marc Ash issued what he openly called a 'partial apology' [?!?] for the story that didn't pan out... The faithful on Democratic Underground went into a full feeding frenzy on Ash, Leopold and Truthout honcho William Rivers Pitt... 'It's not the first time my editors have had me chasing one of Jason Leopold's red herrings but I sure as hell hope it's the last,' one angry reporter told us Friday night. 'Why anybody continues to hire this fucking nutcase is beyond me.'"
MP to investigate Dr Kelly's death 19 May 2006 A backbench MP is to investigate the "unanswered questions" from the official inquiry into the death of weapons scientist Dr David Kelly. The former Liberal Democrat environmental spokesman Norman Baker today revealed his decision to stand down from the shadow cabinet two months ago was based on a quest to establish the truth behind Dr Kelly's death.
Crowd protests Cheney's visit 20 May 2006 (LA) About three dozen protesters — students, faculty and concerned citizens — marched outside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday as spring graduates mingled with friends and family. The protesters, drawn by commencement speaker Vice pResident Dick Cheney, were careful to keep moving lest they be accused of loitering... LSU linguistics Professor Lisi Oliver said she is fed up with the university booking graduation speakers tied to the Bush administration. LSU astrophysics and mathematics junior Luke Smith has the same complaint.
Graduates at New School Heckle Speech by McCain 20 May 2006 The jeers, boos and insults flew, as caustic as any that angry New Yorkers have hurled inside Madison Square Garden. The objects of derision yesterday, however, were not the hapless New York Knicks, but Senator John McCain, the keynote speaker at the New School graduation, and his host, Bob Kerrey, the university president.
More than 230 terror suspects free to stay in Britain 21 May 2006 More than 230 foreigners identified by MI5 and Scotland Yard as suspected terrorists have been allowed to stay in Britain as asylum seekers.
FBI raids US House of Representatives office 20 May 2006 FBI officers raided a House of Representatives office building on Saturday night, and NBC television said it had searched the offices of Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson. The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed the unusual raid at the Rayburn House Office Building on Washington's Capitol Hill but would not say whose office was searched.
troll Nagin holds on to leadership of New Orleans (via electronic
'voting') Incumbent narrowly fends off challenge from Landrieu in
run-off 'vote' 20 May 2006 New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin narrowly won
re-election over Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu on Saturday, in the race to
oversee one of the biggest rebuilding projects in U.S. history. [See:
Ray Nagin's $1,000
contribution to George W. Bush in 1999.]
Democratic Rival Forces LieberBush Into a Primary 20 May 2006 A 'businessman with little political experience' [That intro, btw, is the Whore York Times trashing the antiwar candidate.] has forced Senator Joseph I. Lieberman [LieberBush] into an August primary, surprising even his own supporters by winning more than twice the number of delegates he needed at the State Democratic Party's nominating convention Friday night. Ned Lamont, 'a cable television executive from Greenwich' [That's slam #2.] who has opposed Senator Lieberman largely over the senator's support for the war in Iraq, won 505 of the 1,509 delegates who cast votes — about 33 percent, compared with the 15 percent required to force a primary.
Lawsuit Is Filed to Force FEMA to Continue Housing Vouchers 20 May 2006 Lawyers for New Orleans evacuees filed suit in Houston yesterday, asking a federal court to stop the Federal Emergency Management Agency from ending housing benefits for tens of thousands of people who fled the flooding of Hurricane Katrina.
2,000 Gallons of Oil Spilled Near Oahu 21 May 2006 An oil tanker spilled up to 2,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning, an official said.
Bonds Hits 714th Homer, Ties Ruth --Giants Slugger Is 41 Short of Aaron's Record 21 May 2006 When Barry Bonds finally hit his 714th home run Saturday, it was a warm, cloudy afternoon, and most of the 35,077 people in attendance rose to cheer him. Bonds jogged purposefully around the bases, stepped on home plate, then gently kissed the San Francisco Giants batboy, his 16-year-old son Nikolai, on the cheek.
Drop dead day (Capitol Hill Blue) 19 May 2006 "...Truthout [puke] and reporter [sic] Jason Leopold, who started this whole [Karl] Rove-watch with an as-yet unproven 'scoop' seven days ago claiming Rove had already been indicted, keep saying time will prove them right and hint that today may be the day they are vindicated... On Democratic Underground, where anything published by Truthout is treated as gospel, an increasing number of clockers and watchers now say today is the drop-dead date for an indictment and, if one doesn't come down, they want answers from Leopold and the web site that published his story. Writes a poster on DU: 'I'll never read Truthout again. That site has let us down and this Leopold character is fool. If he had any integrity he would accept responsibility for his screwups and not try to make up conspiracy theories blaming other people for his failure. That goes for us all.'" [After today, we expect "Truth Out" to change its name to "Lies Out." The rush to steal other people's work has finally cost them their undeserved reputation for 'breaking news.' The only thing they 'break' is copyright law, every time they reproduce a story on their site. --MDR]
U.S. sending additional troops to Iraq 19 May 2006 ABC News has learned additional U.S. troops are being deployed to Iraq. Pentagon officials tell ABC news that two battalions -- about 1,300 troops -- are moving into Iraq from Kuwait. With the additional troops, there will be more than 134,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
19 Killed in Baghdad Bomb Explosion 20 May 2006 A bomb exploded Saturday in a Shiite district of Baghdad, killing 19 people and wounding 58 on the day that Iraq's incoming prime minister was to present his Cabinet to parliament for approval, police said.
US lawmaker says 24 Iraqi civilians killed in 2005 incident 19 May 2006 The civilian death toll in an incident involving American troops in Iraq last year could be about 24, a U.S. congressman said on Friday. Two days ago, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) said that, "They [U.S. troops] actually went into the houses and killed women and children. And there was about twice as many as originally reported by Time." He said there was no firefight.
Guantanamo detainees ambush guards [*Awesome!*] 20 May 2006 Six prisoners have been injured at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after battling guards with makeshift weapons. Military officials said on Friday that the clash erupted on Thursday, the same day two detainees attempted suicide in other parts of the camp.
Guantanamo Prisoners Riot 19 May 2006 A group of prisoners at the US jail in Guantanamo attacked several guards that tried to restrain an attempted suicider. UN Calls to Close US Secret Prisons The revolt occurred when the guards entered the common cell while a prisoner tried to 'commit suicide.'
US Sends More Military to Caribbean 18 May 2006 Three more US warships with 2,000 troops aboard left for the Caribbean Wednesday, to join the combat fleet there since April, at which regional governments and social groups look with a jaundiced eye. The Pentagon-led "Caribbean Lion 2006" [?!?] military exercises to begin Tuesday, include aerial reconnaissance, maritime depth measurements and terrain analysis in addition to other activities, are perceived by local analysts to be evaluating possibilities for an attack against one or more countries in the area.
1 U.S Soldier Killed in Afghan Firefight 20 May 2006 A U.S. soldier was killed and six wounded during a firefight with militants, the U.S.-led occupation said Saturday.
Some Iraq war vets go homeless after return to US 19 May 2006 When single mother Vanessa Gamboa was discharged in April, after her second tour in Iraq, she was 24 and had little money and no place to live. She slept in her son's day-care center. Gamboa is part of a small but growing trend among U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- homelessness.
Wiccan widow threatens to sue over memorial plaque 18 May 2006 The widow of a Wiccan soldier killed in Afghanistan last year says after months of waiting, she is ready to take the Department of Veterans Affairs to court to get a pentacle engraved on her husband’s memorial plaque.
Did Telcos Hire "Scapegoat" to Give NSA Phone Records? By Paul Kiel and Justin Rood 19 May 2006 "A new Business Week article may help explain how AT&T and BellSouth can say they didn't help the NSA, despite the spy agency having millions of their records showing the call details of Americans using their networks. The magazine reveals a hidden corner of the telecommunications world: a small group of companies who specialize in granting the government access to telecommunications records, conversations and real-time data on behalf of the telecom giants. That's right: the government now makes so many requests for wiretaps, phone records and call information that an industry has sprung up to handle the load."
19-year-old threatened Bush's life, created phony Secret Service IDs 19 May 2006 A teenager who was charged last year with threatening the lives of Dictator George W. Bush and other federal officials has again been arrested, this time for manufacturing bogus U.S Secret Service credentials... Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the felony count of threatening Bush in December, noting that Peter Bonfiglio had been "involuntarily committed to the custody of the State of Florida [?!?]." ...Magistrate Roanne Mann released Bonfiglio on $10,000 bond, ordered him to reside with his grandparents in Queens, and restricted his travel to New York City and Long Island. [A line formed (extending for five miles) of people willing to post Bonfiglio's bond. --LRP]
Professors Criticize New Georgetown Hire Feith 19 May 2006 The appointment of a former Bush regime official to the School of Foreign Service faculty has drawn objections from a growing group of Georgetown professors who oppose policies promoted by the appointee and question the legitimacy of the hiring process. The university announced May 1 that Douglas Feith (LAW ’78), a former undersecretary of defense who argued strongly for the military invasion of Iraq, will join the SFS as a visiting professor and distinguished practitioner in national security policy this fall. Since then at least 35 professors have signed a letter claiming that many experts consider Feith’s role in justifying and executing the Iraq war "constitute war crimes … which the most sympathetic would have to think a highly dubious grounds for further employment." The letter from faculty alleges that Feith "has sought to diminish the importance of the Geneva Conventions and has defended the use of torture in a number of public writings and talks."
Congress Agrees to Raise Broadcast-Indecency Fines --Conference to Decide Maximum Penalty 20 May 2006 On Thursday night, the Senate unanimously approved a bill that would increase from $32,500 to $325,000 the maximum fine that the Federal Communications Commission could impose for violating its standards for decency. The House previously passed a version that would raise the maximum fine to $500,000.
One Step Closer to a Police State By Joshua Holland 18 May 2006 "Placing National Guard troops on the border could be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. And that's just fine with the Bush administration."
Some Ships Get Coast Guard Tip Before Searches 20 May 2006 Under intense pressure from shipping companies concerned about costly delays, the Coast Guard is tipping off some large commercial ships about security searches that had been a surprise, according to high-ranking Coast Guard officials.
Durango woman sues Herald for 9/11 cover up --Plaintiff wants $7,500 compensation for research expenses 19 May 2006 A Durango woman issued a court summons to The Durango Herald, its publisher and its chairman on Thursday, demanding the newspaper compensate her for her attempt to uncover what she believes is a conspiracy to suppress the truth about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In the Black(water) By Jeremy Scahill 05 Jun 2006 "According to Blackwater [USA]'s government contracts, obtained by The Nation, from September 8 to September 30, 2005, Blackwater was paid $409,000 for providing fourteen guards and four vehicles to 'protect the temporary morgue in Baton Rouge, LA.' That contract kicked off a hurricane boon for Blackwater. From September to the end of December 2005, the government paid Blackwater at least $33.3 million--well surpassing the amount of Blackwater's contract to guard Ambassador Paul Bremer when he was head of the US occupation of Iraq."
"We watch dead people" By Ilyana 19 May 2006 "[Citing In the Black(water) by Jeremy Scahill] The company, Blackwater [USA], marked up their labor cost by nearly 200%, acting as an armed presence containing people, instead of aiding them after Katrina... There was even more of a mark up in the case of 14 guards and four vehicles, who stood watch at the temporary Baton Rouge morgue, for 22 days in September. That cost broke down to $1,328.00 per man, per day... Blackwater's slogan should be, 'We watch dead people.'"
Millions face a 'doughnut hole' lapse in Medicare coverage 19 May 2006 The Medicare prescription-drug program is bracing for what could be its most significant public-relations hurdle yet. In coming months, millions of older Americans and people with disabilities will face a lapse in coverage known as the "doughnut hole" once their annual drug spending hits $2,250. At that point, Medicare drug plans stop paying for medications and require members to absorb another $3,600 in out-of-pocket costs before coverage resumes. And even while the plans aren't paying for their drugs, participants must continue to pay their monthly premiums.
Homeland Security Medical Officer: States Unprepared for Bird Flu 19 May 2006 Bird flu will hit the United States _ it's only a matter of time _ and not all states are ready to respond to the deadly virus, the Homeland Security Department's top doctor warns. Dr. Jeffrey Runge, homeland security's chief medical officer, said "it's not a matter of if, but when" bird flu enters the country. [How does he know?]
Growing Number of GOP Seats In Doubt --Vulnerability Seen In Unusual Places 20 May 2006 With approval ratings for President [sic] Bush and congressional Republicans at a low ebb, GOP strategists see signs of weakness where they least expected it -- including a conservative, military-dominated suburb such as Virginia Beach -- and fear that their problems could grow worse unless the national mood brightens.
Democratic Activists Seek to Punish Their Own for Backing Bush 19 May 2006 Democratic activist groups that mounted an aggressive campaign against President [sic] George W. Bush in the 2004 election have a new target: Democrats who support his policies.
Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point 17 May 2006 The world is now eating more food than farmers grow, pushing global grain stocks to their lowest level in 30 years. Rising population, water shortages, climate change, and the growing costs of fossil fuel-based fertilisers point to a calamitous shortfall in the world's grain supplies in the near future, according to Canada's National Farmers Union (NFU).
Fish killed as soft drink leaks from factory 19 May 2006 It has become a big no-no in school lunchboxes because of its unhealthy reputation. But it seems that Sunny D, formerly known as Sunny Delight, is not half as bad for children as it is for fish. Around 8,000 litres of concentrate used to make the drink leaked into a watercourse on Wednesday morning, turning the river bright yellow. Dozens of fish were found floating on the surface, poisoned by the lurid mixture. The spill of 'sub-standard' juice was a category one pollution incident, the most serious kind, according to the Environment Agency.
UN body urges US to shut Guantanamo, "secret jails" 19 May 2006 The United Nations top anti-torture body told the United States on Friday that any secret jails it ran for foreign terrorism suspects, along with the Guantanamo Bay facility, were illegal and should be closed. In its first review of U.S. policy since Washington launched its war on terrorism, the Committee against Torture also urged President [sic] George W. Bush to ban interrogation methods that could be regarded as torture or cruel treatment.
UN Warns US to Close Secret Prisons and Guantanamo 19 May 2006 Warning the United States to root out the torture problem towards the prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United Nations’ (UN) Committee for Prevention of Torture called the US to shut down the secret prisons and the Guantanamo Bay. According to the report of the committee formed by 10 independent experts, who studied the US torture record at home and also abroad, the United States should close down any secret prisons abroad and the Guantanamo Bay facility.
US lambasted on secret detainees 12 May 2006 The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross has criticised the US for refusing to let it visit secret detainees held in the "war on [of] terror". Jakob Kellenberger said their names should not be concealed "no matter how legitimate the grounds for detention". The US has been accused of operating secret prisons and transporting some detainees to states which use torture.
Few at Guantanamo are interrogated, commander says 19 May 2006 Only about one-fourth of the prisoners held at the Guantanamo naval base are interrogated regularly because there are not enough translators and interrogators to question them all, the U.S. admiral in charge of the detention operation said on Thursday.
US judge dismisses torture case for national security reasons 19 May 2006 A United States judge has dismissed a lawsuit against former CIA Director George Tenet and several CIA employees by a German of Lebanese origin who says he was abducted and tortured by the American spy agency. US District Judge TS Ellis agreed with government arguments that moving forward with Khaled el-Masri's case would risk national security by exposing state secrets about CIA activities vital to the US war on terrorism. "While dismissal of the complaint deprives el-Masri of an American judicial forum for vindicating his claims .... el-Masri's private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets," Judge Ellis wrote in a 17-page ruling.
CIA torture lawsuit thrown out 18 May 2006 A US court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a German citizen who says he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. Khaled el-Masri aimed to sue former CIA chief George Tenet and other officials for their alleged role in the "extraordinary rendition" programme...
Hayden Urges CIA Critics to Refrain [!?!] Nominee Defends U.S. Surveillance 19 May 2006 Gen. Michael V. Hayden, Dictator Bush's choice to lead the CIA, strongly defended the administration's policies on domestic surveillance and the treatment of detainees during his confirmation hearing yesterday, and urged senators to suspend debate about CIA failures and give the agency a chance to rebound.
Hayden says White House convinced him eavesdropping was legal 18 May 2006 Gen. Michael Hayden, nominated to be the next director of the CIA, told a Senate committee Thursday that he initially resisted Bush administration suggestions to expand domestic wiretaps on U.S. citizens after the Sept. 11 attacks, but that White House officials then convinced him the program was lawful.
CIA chief likely to be confirmed after wiretap deal --Hayden stonewalls on collecting phone data 19 May 2006 The air force general chosen by the White House to lead the CIA put up a robust defence of his controversial wiretapping programme yesterday... Gen Hayden, who is George Bush's chosen candidate for CIA director, pointedly refused to be more forthcoming about two controversial programmes pursued by the NSA: the warrantless wiretapping, and the creation of a vast database of trillions of domestic telephone records. His role as the architect of the wiretap programme had made him a controversial choice to head the spy agency after the previous director, Porter Goss, was forced to resign last week.
CIA nominee under fire over wiretapping 18 May 2006 The White House nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency came under bipartisan fire from politicians on Thursday for keeping members of Congress in the dark about the administration’s controversial warrantless eavesdropping programme.
"CIA needs to get out of the news as source or subject..." General Michael Hayden, during confirmation hearings, 10:12 EDT 18 May 2006. [You wish, whackjob! If the CIA was 'out of the news,' we'd be missing stories like this: EP committee says CIA carried out 50 secret renditions --Seven CIA black sites in countries of Asia, Europe and Africa]
Hayden: No plans to leave military 18 May 2006 CIA director-nominee Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday he will consider retiring from the military if it affects his relationship with CIA employees. Hayden told Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., the only difference between him and any civilian that would take over the job of CIA director is that he doesn't have to decide "what tie to put on."
Hearing on the Nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden to be Director of the CIA (in progress) Part I of II (CQ Transcriptions) 18 May 2006
NO on Michael Hayden at CIA (democrats.org) petition
NSA killed system that sifted phone data legally 17 May 2006 The National Security Agency developed a pilot program in the late 1990s that would have enabled it to gather and analyze massive amounts of communications data without running afoul of privacy laws. But after the Sept. 11 attacks, it shelved the project -- not because it failed to work -- but because of bureaucratic infighting and a sudden White House expansion of the agency's surveillance powers, according to several intelligence officials.
Gag me with a chainsaw! BellSouth to USA Today: retract NSA article --Telecom giant calls paper's report false, unsubstantiated 19 May 2006 BellSouth is demanding that the newspaper that said it provided private phone records to the National Security Agency retract its article. The telecommunications giant sent a letter to USA Today on Thursday asking it to retract last week's story that BellSouth and two other companies helped the NSA compile a massive database of records on domestic phone calls.
Italian Leader Calls Iraq Occupation 'Grave Error' 18 May 2006 Another U.S. ally in the war in Iraq distanced itself from the U.S.- led effort today when Italy's new prime minister, Romano Prodi, called the invasion and occupation a "grave error" and said he would propose a withdrawal of Italian troops.
Inquiry Implies Civilian Deaths in Iraq Topped Initial Report 19 May 2006 An official military investigation into allegations that American marines killed innocent Iraqis last November has uncovered evidence that the number of dead civilians is higher than the 15 originally reported, Congressional and Defense Department officials said.
American Marines 'killed Iraqis in cold blood' 19 May 2006 A respected Congressman with strong ties to the Pentagon has said that US Marines behaved much worse than previously thought in the Haditha incident in western Iraq last November, in which at least 15 civilians were killed. Defence Department officials declined to comment, but did not deny claims by John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and former Marine who saw combat in Vietnam, that Marines killed women and children "in cold blood".
Sailor, Four Soldiers Killed in Iraq 18 May 2006 Four soldiers and a sailor were killed in two separate incidents in Iraq yesterday and today. Four Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers died today when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle northwest of Baghdad. Their Iraqi interpreter also died in the blast. A sailor assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died yesterday as a result of enemy [?!?] action while operating in Anbar province.
Dead soldiers flown home as British presence in Basra is questioned 19 May 2006 Five military coffins, bearing the latest British dead from Iraq, arrived home yesterday. At the same time, 105 people died during two days of carnage in Afghanistan the next battleground for British forces.
Violence escalates in Afghanistan 19 May 2006 The storming of Musa Qala was ferocious... British forces evacuated the injured from Musa Qala, leaving the actual fighting, they insisted, to Afghan forces. The interior ministry, in Kabul, declared that 40 Islamists had been killed, although police said they had recovered only 14 bodies. The official body count registered 13 police killed and five wounded.
Afghanistan Bomb Kills American and Wounds 2 19 May 2006 An American counternarcotics official was killed and two other Americans were wounded in a suicide bombing on Thursday in western Afghanistan, while heavy fighting between forces suspected of being Taliban 'insurgents' and the Afghan police continued in two southern provinces, officials said.
Top Air Force brass said to be under FBI probe 18 May 2006 The U.S. Air Force's highest-ranking officer and his predecessor are the subjects of an FBI investigation into the handling of a $49.9 million dollar contract for the Thunderbirds, an air demonstration squadron, ABC News reported on Thursday.
Border Lords: Immigration Plan is Crony Pork Bonanza By Chris Floyd 18 May 2006 "The NYT reports that Bush is limbering up the federal checkbook to funnel even more millions to masters of war like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, still feasting sumptuously off the bloated corpse of conquered Iraq. These fine purveyors of contemporary 'defense'... will soon string the border with all manner of hugely expensive high-tech gizmonics designed to keep the hemisphere's most desperate and vulnerable people from crossing over to take the slave-wage, no-benefit, no-protection jobs offered to them by, well, Bush's cronies and benefactors in big business and among the wealthy elite (whom he has recently larded with more tax-cut largess). It's a neat scam, really, a win-win situation: your corporate cronies get even more loot from the public treasury – and they still get the cheap Latino labor that keeps them in clover."
FAA Blocks LAX's Use of Funds 19 May 2006 The Federal Aviation Administration told Los Angeles International Airport officials this week that they cannot use $3.3 million in airport revenues for an LAX jobs program meant to attract residents affected by airport operations. The program is a key part of the city of Los Angeles' settlement last year with residents who had sued over plans to renovate the airport. The idea is to use the program to hire people from neighborhoods most affected by LAX air and ground traffic. [Who the f*ck *are they* to block the funding? What does Bush bin Laden want to use the money for anyway, his next 9/11?]
US to monitor behavior at more airports 18 May 2006 The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will soon use more behavioral profiling at American airports to detect suspicious activity, a top official said on Thursday.
Air Marshal Says He Faced Retaliation for Bringing Up Security Issues 18 May 2006 Brian Ross Reports: The head of a group of Federal Air Marshals says the service is badly broken. "Right now we cannot protect the public," says Frank Terreri, an active duty air marshal who represents a group of 1,500 air marshals. "And not because we're not proficient, not that we're not capable, it's because federal air marshal management, along with the Department of Homeland Security, won't let us do our jobs."
The 9/11 Story That Got Away --In 2001, an anonymous White House source leaked top-secret NSA intelligence to reporter Judith Miller that Al Qaida was planning a major attack on the United States. But the story never made it into the paper. By Rory O'Connor and William Scott Malone 18 May 2006 ...[I]n an exclusive interview, Miller reveals how the attack on the Cole spurred her reporting on Al Qaida and led her, in July 2001, to a still-anonymous top-level White House source, who shared top-secret NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT) concerning an even bigger impending Al Qaida attack, perhaps to be visited on the continental United States. Ultimately, Miller never wrote that story..." [But, GOP media whore Miller made sure the phony WMD stories were written, though didn't she?]
5 Professors Quit Religious School --Some Complain of Academic Constraints at Loudoun Institution 19 May 2006 Nearly a third of the faculty members at Patrick Henry College in Loudoun County are leaving the school because of what they described as limitations on their academic freedom, causing unusual introspection at the politically connected Christian liberal arts college... In one case, the professors said, faculty members were reprimanded for writing that the Bible "is not the only source of truth."
High court clashes over police search evidence --Justices spar over whether police must knock before home searches 18 May 2006 Supreme Court justices sparred Thursday over police searches in a case that could signal a change in direction for the court after the arrival of two new conservative members.
Specter to Feingold: 'Good Riddance' --Democratic Senator Leaves Meeting 19 May 2006 A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage yesterday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him "good riddance."
Vote in House Seeks to Erase Oil Windfall 19 May 2006 In an attempt to revoke billions of dollars worth of government incentives to oil and gas producers, the House on Thursday approved a measure that would pressure companies to renegotiate more than 1,000 leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The measure, approved 252 to 165 over the objections of many Republican leaders, is intended to prevent companies from avoiding at least $7 billion in payments to the government over the next five years for oil and gas they produce in publicly owned waters.
House Votes to Keep Offshore Drilling Ban 18 May 2006 The House rejected an attempt late Thursday to end a quarter-century ban on oil and natural gas drilling in 85 percent of the country's coastal waters despite arguments that the new supplies are needed to lower energy costs.
Rove indictment watch update (Capitol Hill Blue) 18 May 2006 "Here we are in day six of the Rove indictment watch, breathlessly waiting to see if Jason Leopold's Truthout 'scoop' from last Saturday was fact, fantasy or wishful thinking... Truthout Honcho William Rivers Pitt, after a couple of obscenity-laced tirades against those who questioned the reports [LOL!!], appears calmer now... Salon, the online magazine that fired Jason Leopold after they couldn't confirm existence of an email he used for a story on Enron, continues to question the writer's credibility."
Duke rape suspect is son of lobbyist linked to Bush family 17 May 2006 The latest Duke University lacrosse player accused of raping a *college student* is the product of the rarefied air of Washington power and privilege. Suspect David Evans is the son of Rae Evans, 50, a prominent lobbyist who boasts topnotch links to the Bush family, and David Evans, a partner at one of the capital's most prominent law firms.
EP committee says CIA carried out 50 secret renditions --Seven CIA black sites in countries of Asia, Europe and Africa 17 May 2006 Senior sources from the US intelligence community have acknowledged that the CIA has used extraordinary rendition... "Senior sources from the US intelligence community confirmed that between 30 and 50 extraordinary rendition operations have been undertaken in the world since 2001. We also got a list from Human Rights Watch with the names of 27 presumed terrorists held under US custody in unknown places," said the rapporteur of the committee, Italian MEP Claudio Fava... Asked by journalists about the existence of detention centres in Europe, Fava said that "a first hand source" had confirmed "the existence of seven black sites operated by the CIA in countries of Asia, Europe and Africa".
CIA prisons in Europe, Asia, and Africa 17 May 2006 Since 2001, the United States central intelligence agency (CIA) has sent up to 50 suspects to countries where they could face torture. A European Union investigator probing the CIA's actions in Europe, Claudio Fava, said members of his team were given the information by US intelligence officials during a visit to the country last week. The sources had also said the agency ran secret prisons in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Europeans knew of CIA flights: US officials 17 May 2006 A wave of CIA flights that secretly transferred 'terrorist' suspects across Europe could only have been carried out with the knowledge of host nations, EU investigators on Wednesday quoted U.S. officials as saying.
UK And Australian Prime Ministers Both Knew There Were No WMDs 16 May 2006 A former U.N. biological weapons specialist is asserting that the prime ministers of Australia and Britain knew at the time that pre-war intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was false.
Rumsfeld won't promise US troop cut in Iraq 17 May 2006 Defense Secretary [war criminal] Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday he could not promise that the United States would withdraw some of its 133,000 troops from Iraq this year, although he hoped it would be able to do so.
UAE diplomat abducted in Iraq 17 May 2006 A United Arab Emirates diplomat has been kidnapped in Iraq. Attackers shot a security guard and seized the envoy in Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.
8 Iraqis killed in attack on minibus in Iraq's capital 18 May 2006 Gunmen stopped a minibus and killed all eight Iraqis aboard it in Baghdad on Thursday, and 15 athletes were kidnapped in western Iraq while driving to a training camp in neighboring Jordan, police said.
Lawmaker: Marines Killed Iraqis "In Cold Blood" --Navy Conducting War Crimes Probe Into November Violence In Haditha 17 May 2006 A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday. From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children... The video, obtained by Time magazine, was broadcast a day after town residents told The Associated Press that American troops entered homes on Nov. 19 and shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl, after a roadside bomb killed a U.S. Marine.
Full list of Guantanamo detainees (The Independent) 17 May 2006
Halliburton protesters arrested in Okla. 17 May 2006 Sixteen people protesting Halliburton Co.'s role as a military contractor were arrested Wednesday outside a building where shareholders discussed spinning off the subsidiary, KBR. Halliburton announced plans last month to sell just under 20 percent of KBR, which has diluted the company's financial results and drawn criticism of its multibillion contracts in Iraq [and detention centers].
Scores killed in two major Afghan battles 18 May 2006 Thirteen police have been killed in two major battles in southern Afghanistan in which a Canadian soldier lost her life and nearly 60 Taliban rebels died, police and the US-led occupation said.
U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords in Somalia 17 May 2006 Officials of Somalia's interim government and some U.S. analysts of Africa policy say the United States has returned to the African country, secretly supporting secular [?!?] warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu. Leaders of the interim government blamed U.S. support of the militias for provoking the clashes. ['Secular' warlords? LOL! Only the PentaPost could try to make some warlords seem more 'acceptable' than others, to justify the (illegal) actions of the (illegitimate) Bush regime.]
Ecuador moves against US oil giant 16 May 2006 Ecuador began on Tuesday to take over operations of U.S. oil giant Occidental Petroleum Corp, the latest move in Latin America against foreign energy producers after nationalization in Bolivia and growing state intervention in Venezuela.
Spies 'hid' bomber tape from MPs --Bugging revealed earlier plot 14 May 2006 MI5 is being accused of a cover-up for failing to disclose to a parliamentary watchdog that it bugged the leader of the July 7 suicide bombers discussing the building of a bomb months before the London attacks. MI5 had secret tape recordings of Mohammad Sidique Khan, the gang leader, talking about how to build the device and then leave the country because there would be a lot of police activity. However, despite the recordings, MI5 allowed him to escape the net. Transcripts of the tapes were never shown to the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC), which investigated the attacks.
New Pentagon video shows no Boeing airliner (total911info) 17 May 2006 "Following Freedom of Information Act lawsuits dating back to 2004, the Pentagon Tuesday released images recorded on the morning of 9/11 by two security cameras in the Pentagon parking lot. Five frames from one camera had previously been leaked in early 2002. No Boeing 757 airliner is apparent in any of the images... Meanwhile, the government refuses to release 84 other recordings in pending lawsuits. Among those are videos confiscated from a nearby Sheraton hotel and Citgo gas station."
Wider Briefing for Lawmakers on Spy Efforts 18 May 2006 Classified briefings provided to lawmakers on Wednesday about a controversial domestic eavesdropping program have smoothed [?!?] what might have been a contentious path toward confirmation for Gen. Michael V. Hayden as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, senators and Congressional officials said.
Telephone Records are just the Tip of NSA's Iceberg By William M. Arken 12 May 2006 "The National Security Agency and other U.S. government organizations have developed hundreds of software programs and analytic tools to 'harvest' intelligence, and they've created dozens of gigantic databases designed to discover potential terrorist activity both inside the United States and overseas."
FBI seeks help in civil rights probe of GOP convention arrests 17 May 2006 The FBI is investigating whether New York Police Department officers violated the civil rights of protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention, according to a letter sent by the bureau to a civil rights group.
'Vast bulk' of foreign prisoners to be deported after sentence, Blair says --Scheme would disregard threat in home countries --Cameron says PM 'makes it up as he goes along' 18 May 2006 Tony Blair insisted yesterday he would press ahead with plans to deport "the vast bulk" of foreign prisoners after their sentences, regardless of the threat they face in their home countries... Mr Blair was looking for a review of the law on deportations, which could involve amendments to the Human Rights Act, as "a matter of urgency".
Hold on to your hats! Pentagon Tests Bio-Attack Response 17 May 2006 A full-scale bio-exercise in the Pentagon parking lot today tested how the Pentagon police, in partnership with local emergency services, would respond to a [Bush-engendered] biological attack at the military headquarters.
Bush Turns to Big Military Contractors for Border Control 18 May 2006 ...[T]o really patch up the broken border, President [sic] Bush is preparing to turn to a familiar administration partner: the nation's giant military contractors. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, three of the largest, are among the companies that said they would submit bids within two weeks for a multibillion-dollar federal contract to build what the administration calls a "virtual fence" along the nation's land borders.
Senate votes for fence on southern U.S. border 17 May 2006 The Senate voted to build 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the Mexican border Wednesday and clashed over citizenship for millions of men and women who live in the United States illegally.
2 Immigration Provisions Easily Pass Senate 18 May 2006 The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to bar illegal immigrants convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors from having a chance at citizenship and to add hundreds of miles of fencing along the Mexican border.
House FY07 budget sees $348 bln deficit 18 May 2006 The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a fiscal 2007 wartime budget that would continue a string of large deficits and trigger an increase in government borrowing authority. By a vote of 218-210, the House passed the $2.7 trillion budget blueprint...
Huge bill for public retirees hits soon 18 May 2006 Taxpayers will soon get a surprise bill that could exceed $1 trillion for the cost of paying future medical benefits for state and local workers who retire.
Big Oil Launches Attack On Al Gore By Faiz "Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) will unveil two 60-second TV ads focusing on what it calls 'global warming alarmism and the call by some environmental groups and politicians to reduce fossil fuel and carbon dioxide emissions.' The ad, which will be aired in more than a dozen cities across the country, is being released just a week before the May 24th opening (in LA and NYC) of Al Gore’s new movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth."
Ethics Panel Launches Probes of Jefferson, Ney --House committee to investigate bribery allegations related to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and launch separate inquiry into Cunningham scandal. 18 May 2006 ...[T]he House ethics committee launched investigations last night into bribery allegations against Reps. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and William Jefferson (D-La.) and a separate inquiry into the widening scandal surrounding former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).
Enron judge eases way to guilty ruling --Judge Sim Lake said that the act of ignoring red flags can be criminal, stunning the legal community. 17 May 2006 The case against the two top Enron executives goes to the jury Wednesday after 15 weeks of testimony, and it may have just become easier for the jury to convict them. US District Judge Sim Lake, who has been lauded for running an evenhanded and efficient trial so far, stunned the legal community here when he told the jury it may find Enron founder Kenneth Lay and its CEO Jeffrey Skilling guilty of simply ignoring red flags about criminal conduct at the company - of being "deliberately ignorant" - instead of being actually involved in the wrongdoing.
CBS 5 Poll Shows 71% Disapprove of Bush In Calif. 15 May 2006 President [sic] Bush's approval rating among Californians has plummeted to just 28 percent. That's according to a newly released poll conducted by Survey USA for CBS 5 KPIX and several other California television stations.
No Rush to Impeachment By John Conyers Jr. 18 May 2006 "As Republicans have become increasingly nervous about whether they will be able to maintain control of the House in the midterm elections, they have resorted to the straw-man strategy of identifying a parade of horrors to come if Democrats gain the majority. Among these is the assertion that I, as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President [sic] Bush. I will not do that." [How about a rush to a treason trial?]
US inflation figures prompt global share sell-off --New data shatters hopes of end to Fed's rate rises --FTSE 100 suffers largest one-day fall in three years 18 May 2006 World stock markets suffered another battering yesterday as unexpectedly strong inflation numbers from the United States economy stoked fears that central banks would raise interest rates further, choking off economic growth.
World Health Organization Expands Team Probing Bird Flu Cluster 18 May 2006 The World Health Organization sent two officials to Indonesia's North Sumatra province to investigate the largest cluster of human bird flu cases, as a government official said sick animals may have been involved... At this stage, the possibility of human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, said Sari Setiogi, a WHO spokeswoman in Jakarta.
US spells out plan to bomb Iran 16 May 2006 The US is updating contingency plans for a non-nuclear strike to cripple Iran's atomic weapon programme if international diplomacy fails, Pentagon sources have confirmed. The main plan calls for a rolling, five-day bombing campaign against 400 key targets in Iran, including 24 nuclear-related sites, 14 military airfields and radar installations, and Revolutionary Guard headquarters.
$24.4M to Build a G-2 Intelligence HQ in Kabul, Afghanistan 08 May 2006 Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. in Baton Rouge, LA received a $24.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for Design, Construction, and Renovation of a G-2 Intelligence Headquarters Command Building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Work is expected to be complete by Nov. 18, 2007. [Yes, Bush needs to better oversee his opium-for-terrorism trade routes.]
Probes into CIA flights "stonewalled": UN official 16 May 2006 Inquiries into allegations that CIA flights through Europe carried people to countries where they faced possible torture are encountering a stonewall by officials, a U.N. official said on Tuesday.
US names all 759 Guantanamo Bay prisoners [F*ck naming them - *release* them!] 17 May 2006 The Pentagon released the names yesterday of all 759 people who have been held at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba since it opened in 2002 - including 201 people whose identity has never been revealed.
Basra carnage escalates as one person killed every hour 17 May 2006 One person is being assassinated in Basra every hour, as order in Iraq's second city disintegrates, according to an Iraqi Defence Ministry official.
42 Dead In Latest Iraq Attacks 17 May 2006 More than 40 Iraqis have died in another day of bombings and shootings in Iraq on Tuesday. In the worst incident, a shooting and carbombing at a packed market in Baghdad claimed 23 lives and wounded at least 38 people.
Three Soldiers Killed in Iraq 16 May 2006 Three soldiers were killed in two separate incidents in Iraq today and yesterday.
Still lying about real Iraq deaths (aljazeera.com) 14 May 2006 "In the on-going vicious occupation of Iraq, the American and British are seemingly meticulous about reporting their own casualties – as opposed to Iraqi casualties, whom they refuse to count, despite obliged under international law to do so."
Occupation Forces Watch Over Iraq's Oil Platforms 17 May 2006 In the southern waters off Iraq, the patrol ship USS Whirlwind keeps a constant vigil over two offshore oil-transfer platforms that are indispensable to Iraq. [They are? No, the goal of the U.S. is to make sure that the oil platforms and pipelines are sabotaged every five pico-seconds in Iraq so that A) the price of oil continues to skyrocket to keep Exxon Mobil's profits soaring and B) Halliburton can be paid to 'rebuild' that which they destroyed.]
Europeans may offer Iran a reactor 17 May 2006 The three European nations that have been negotiating with Iran over its nuclear ambitions are considering offering Tehran a light-water nuclear reactor as part of the incentives they hope will persuade it to give up its uranium enrichment program, diplomats and officials said Tuesday.
Bolivia unveils plan to distribute land to poor 17 May 2006 Bolivia's leftist government on Tuesday outlined its plan to redistribute idle land to poor peasants, ruling out mass expropriations and proposing instead the distribution of state-owned property. The announcement came two weeks after President Evo Morales nationalised the country's energy industry. [Why is it reporters never refer to the 'US rightist government?' Why is the word 'leftist' curiously inserted whenever certain (legitimate) administrations are discussed? --LRP]
Bush, Australian Leader Recall Earlier Meeting, Hail [Hitler] Common Values 16 May 2006 President [sic] Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard today hailed the long history of U.S.-Australian cooperation and recalled the first time they met as their respective nations' leaders: Sept. 10, 2001.
Bush, Howard United in War on [of] Terrorism 16 May 2006 Australian Prime Minister John Howard pledged to President [sic] Bush Tuesday that his country remains committed to supporting a lengthy war on [of] terror.
C.I.A. Making Rapid Strides for Regrowth 17 May 2006 By next year, Central Intelligence Agency officials say, the agency expects to have tripled the number of trained case officers from the number in 2001... "It's not just about numbers. It's about being more aggressive," said Senator Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Congress may make ISPs snoop on you 16 May 2006 Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is proposing that ISPs be required to record information about Americans' online activities so that police can more easily "conduct criminal investigations." Executives at companies that fail to comply would be fined and imprisoned for up to one year. In addition, Sensenbrenner's legislation--expected to be announced as early as this week--also would create a federal felony targeted at bloggers, search engines, e-mail service providers and many other Web sites.
FBI Secret Probes: 3,501 Targets in the U.S. 16 May 2006 Brian Ross and Maddy Sauer Report: The Department of Justice says it secretly sought phone records and other documents of 3,501 people last year under a provision of the Patriot Act that does not require judicial oversight. The records were obtained with the use of what are known as National Security Letters, which can be signed by an FBI agent and are only for use in terrorism cases. The letters require telephone companies to keep secret even the existence of the request for records.
ABC Claims Government Traced Its Reporters' Calls 16 May 2006 ABC News claimed yesterday that phone calls made by its reporters and journalists at the New York Times and Washington Post are being traced by the federal government as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information.
Verizon sued for alleged NSA cooperation 15 May 2006 Verizon Communications is the latest big phone company to be sued for allegedly violating privacy laws by handing over phone records to the National Security Agency for a secretive government surveillance program. On Friday, two attorneys from New Jersey--Bruce Afran and Carl Mayer--filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Manhattan, where Verizon is located.
Bill may test NSA surveillance's legality 16 May 2006 U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., reportedly has cleared language on legislation on the legality of the National Security Agency's surveillance program... The report said to satisfy the conservatives, Specter agreed to drop a clause requiring the administration to seek legal judgment on the program from a special court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Bush agrees to review of spy program 17 May 2006 The White House, in an abrupt reversal, has agreed to let the full Senate and House of Representatives intelligence committees review President [sic] George W. Bush's domestic spying program, lawmakers said on Tuesday.
Lawyers in CIA leak case seek news media records 16 May 2006 Former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby's lawyer asked a federal judge on Tuesday to force news organizations to turn over reporters' notes, drafts of articles and other material for his trial in the CIA leak case.
Jason Leopold, Sockpuppet Extraordinaire By DHinMI 15 May 2006 "On January 14, 2006 in an excellent post at The Next Hurrah, emptywheel closely examined an article by Leopold in which she demonstrated his claims were not supported by his sources. Leopold showed up in the thread, and things got interesting... If all these comments came from different people, they appear to have all spent that evening together, because all those comments came from just two IP addresses. All eight comments from Jason Leopold came from the same IP address... One could conclude quite easily that Jason Leopold wrote all those comments himself. It would not be out of character, for on another thread a few months later Leopold admitted to posting comments on TNH under the moniker Harry Shep."
Is it real or is it Memorex? (Capitol Hill Blue) 16 May 2006 "The unproven report of a Karl Rove indictment in the investigation of the outing of former covert CIA agent Valerie Plame... has yet to be picked up by any major media outlet... Some of the Democratic-leaning blogs, however, are starting to question [Jason] Leopold's credibility as well... But William Rivers Pitt, the Godfather of Truthout has a lot to lose if Leopold's story turns out to be wrong. He still defends Leopold but seems to be losing his cool on the subject. He posted this on DU in response to one poster who questioned Leopold's credibility: 'The site admins ought to pay me cold hard cash...for outing trolls and other fuckshits of low mental weight.'"
Why NORAD Interceptors Couldn't Catch Those 911 Boeings By Douglas Herman 15 May 2006 "Because NORAD fighter pilots never VISUALLY verified what happened aboard those four Boeings on 9-11, we will never know what occurred in the most crucial part of the plane, the cockpit. Instead we have been given play-by-play cell phone accounts of what occurred. Some of the accounts remain perplexing to say the least... With four slow-moving jets to choose from, why couldn't NORAD intercept and make visual contact with even ONE?... Without the poignant cell phone conversations, the entire 'terrorist hijacking' would have been as fictitious as a Harry Potter fantasy novel. No hijackers, no war on terror. No war on terror, no billions for defense and security upgrades. No cell phone calls about Arab terrorists, no religious war to, ostensibly smash Islamic countries and steal their oil."
Videos Released of Plane Crashing Into Pentagon --Group Wanted to Counter 9/11 Conspiracy [sic] Theories 17 May 2006 The split-second image of the 'hijacked airplane' slamming into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, filled computer screens around the nation yesterday as the Defense Department for the first time officially released two 'videos' of the terrorist attack. ["It's hard to tell just what has slammed into the Pentagon." MSNBC legal analyst, Pete Williams, commenting on the US government's newly released sequence of pictures (not) showing the "AA Flight 77" crashing into the Pentagon. 10:42 PT 16 May 2006 [See:CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]
Confidence In GOP Is At New Low in Poll 17 May 2006 Public confidence in GOP governance has plunged to the lowest levels of the Bush pResidency, with Americans saying by wide margins that they now trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with Iraq, the economy, immigration and other issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that underscores the GOP's fragile grip on power six months before the midterm 'elections.'
Voters Find Problems At Polls --Allegheny County Debuts New 'Voting' Machines 16 May 2006 (PA) Just 10 minutes into using new electronic 'voting' machines, neighbors in Allegheny County reported problems. Many predicted that would happen and it looks like they were right. Voters in Bethel Park (PA) used paper ballots after machines crashed. In some cases elections officials did not know how to repair the machines.
House Resists Call for Papers in Bribery Case 16 May 2006 Justice Department investigators and lawyers for the House of Representatives are wrangling over a request by the department for Congressional committee documents related to its expanding inquiry into the bribery scheme that involved former Representative Randy Cunningham, a Republican Congressional official said Monday.
Ex-Congressional Aide to Testify in Safavian Case 16 May 2006 The government's newest cooperating witness in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, a former congressional aide to Rep. Bob Ney, will testify at the trial of the former top procurement official in the Bush administration, prosecutors revealed Tuesday. Neil Volz, former chief of staff to the Ohio Republican congressman, pleaded guilty last week in the investigation of influence peddling by Abramoff on Capitol Hill, the Interior Department and at the General Services Administration where David Safavian worked.
Judge voids Georgia gay marriage ban 16 May 2006 A Georgia judge on Tuesday struck down a ban on same-sex marriage that was approved by voters in 2004, saying it violated the Southern state's constitution.
Blair presses the nuclear button --New generation of atomic stations endorsed by PM 17 May 2006 Tony Blair ignited a political storm, including within his own cabinet, by endorsing a new generation of nuclear power stations last night.
EU countries urged to appoint bird flu "czars" 16 May 2006 EU governments should each appoint a "bird flu czar" to make sure they could cope with a flu pandemic and put preparations on a par with countries like the United States, a top EU official said on Tuesday.
Utah Campground Closed Because of Bubonic Plague 16 May 2006 A campground at Natural Bridges National Monument has been closed because of bubonic plague detected among field mice and chipmunks.
CIA planes used emirates airports in covert global 'rendition' programme 16 May 2006 A Khaleej Times review of evidence presented against the US Central Intelligence Agency reveals emirates airports were used at least 13 times by the spy agency's fleet of aircraft. Three aircraft publicly linked to the CIA — a Boeing 737, and two Gulfstream executive jets — made multiple take offs and landings from Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports, the evidence shows. All three planes are thought to have been used in the controversial practice of renditions - snatching suspects from one country and transporting them to detention facilities elsewhere.
Pentagon releases promised list of prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay 15 May 2006 The Pentagon gave The Associated Press on Monday the first list of everyone who has been held at Guantanamo Bay, more than four years after it opened the detention centre in Cuba. But none of the most notorious terrorist suspects were included, raising questions about where America's most dangerous prisoners are being held.
U.S. Fights Redress for CIA Kidnapping "Mistake" 15 May 2006 The U.S. government has again invoked the "state secrets" privilege, arguing that a public trial of a lawsuit against a former head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for abducting and imprisoning a German citizen would lead to disclosure of information harmful to U.S. national security. Once rarely used, the "state secrets" privilege has over the past five years become a routine defence used by the George W. Bush administration to keep cases from being tried.
FBI Acknowledges: Journalists Phone Records are Fair Game 15 May 2006 Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report: The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations. "It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.
Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling 15 May 2006 Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report: A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources. "It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
Bush Spying On American Citizens Violates Our Guaranteed Freedoms By Bill Gallagher 16 May 2006 "When the Liar in Chief declares, 'We're not mining or trolling into the personal lives of innocent Americans,' the enlightened know that is precisely what his fascist government is doing... Warrantless searches, phone trolling, torture, kidnapping, indefinite imprisonment without charges, denial of legal representation, you name it. It's all legal. Just ask Attorney General Alberto Gonzales... Bush always plays the fear card, telling us he's 'protecting' us from al-Qaeda as he takes us on our national plunge into fascism. He seizes power with impunity, and the Republicans in Congress are willing accomplices as they abrogate the fundamental responsibilities of their branch of the federal government to a power-crazed madman."
"We've expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more." Bush to send 6,000 Guard troops to border, add beds to detention centers 15 May 2006 "...[U]p to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border... We've expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more... A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof." [Cui bono? Halliburton spin-off, KBR. See: KBR awarded $385M Homeland Security contract for U.S. detention centers 24 Jan 2006. See: Contingency Support for Emergency Support Services 24 Jan 2006 (halliburton.com) "The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities... to support the rapid development of new programs." Also, See: The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. *WHO* are the detention centers actually for? They're certainly not for any undocumented workers - no, Wal-Mart needs their slave labor pool.]
Bringing in Guard Raises Concerns of Militarization 16 May 2006 (Laredo, TX) The front-line fears of some local officials reflect only a few of the broader questions about how the new National Guard role will work. Apart from whether the Guard is the right force to use, Guard officials themselves wonder how their forces, stretched by war-zone deployments and homeland defense, will tackle a new mission, what skills it will demand and -- perhaps most critical -- for how long.
Bush budget scraps 9,790 border patrol agents --Bush uses law's escape clause to drop funding for new homeland security force 09 Feb 2005 Officially approved by President [sic] Bush on Dec. 17 after extensive bickering in Congress, the National Intelligence Reform Act included the requirement to add 10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006. Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border from Texas to California... But Bush's proposed 2006 budget, revealed Monday, funds only 210 new border agents.
US army warns over Iraq war film 16 May 2006 The US army is warning soldiers and their families that a film about an Iraq war medical unit may trigger mental health problems for viewers. Army brass have sent a warning to medical personnel about the soon-to-be-aired Home Box Office documentary Baghdad ER, which gives a graphic view of the Iraq war through the eyes of trauma doctors and nurses.
Iraq Sunnis cry "atrocity" over US raids 15 May 2006 U.S. forces killed over 40 Iraqi "rebels" in raids and air strikes near Baghdad, the military said on Monday, but leading clerics from the Sunni minority accused the Americans of an atrocity that killed two dozen civilians. U.S. military statements said several women and children were "inadvertently wounded by shrapnel" and treated in the site or evacuated, but made no mention of civilians being killed. But the Muslim Clerics Association said 25 civilians were dead in the U.S. action.
2 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Downing of Chopper 15 May 2006 'Insurgents' shot down a U.S. helicopter south of Baghdad and killed two soldiers, the U.S. military said Monday. Their deaths, along with those of three other soldiers and two Marines, brought the weekend toll to seven U.S. service members.
Malnutrition among Iraqi children alarming: survey 15 May 2006 Malnutrition among Iraqi children has reached alarming levels, according to a U.N.-backed government survey showing people are struggling to cope three years after U.S.-forces overthrew Saddam Hussein.
Rove Blames Iraq War for Low Bush Numbers 15 May 2006 Presidential adviser Karl Rove blamed the war in Iraq on Monday for dragging down President Bush's job approval ratings in public opinion polls. "People like this president [sic]," Rove said. "They're just sour right now on the war."
Canada wants to extend Afghan 'mission' to 2009: report 15 May 2006 Canada's new minority Conservative government plans to extend the country's 2,300-soldier 'mission' in Afghanistan by two years to 2009, opposition politicians and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said on Monday.
Chavez offers cheap oil to Britain's poor 16 May 2006 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez used a press conference with Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, to make an extraordinary offer to supply cheap fuel direct to poor Britons who face soaring energy bills.
U.S. Suspends Arms Sales to Venezuela Over Terrorism 15 May 2006 The U.S. ended all commercial arms sales to Venezuela, saying President Hugo Chavez isn't doing enough to support its war on [Bush's] terrorism.
Hugo Chavez [and the Whole World] Says Bush Guilty of Genocide 15 May 2006 Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Monday said America's suspension of arms sales to his country "doesn't matter to us at all." Chavez, who is on a visit to London, also said his government would not respond immediately with punitive measures. "It's the empire and it has a great capacity to do harm to the countries of the world," he said, referring to the U.S. as "an irrational empire." Earlier Monday, speaking at a press conference alongside the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, Chavez called President [sic] Bush a genocidal "assassin" who was the "worst criminal in humanity." [Well said!!]
Media hide truth: 9/11 was inside job By Kevin Barrett 12 May 2006 "Last Saturday, former Bush administration official Morgan Reynolds drew an enthusiastic capacity crowd to the Wisconsin Historical Society auditorium... Reynolds, the former director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the ex-top economist for George W. Bush's Labor Department, charged the Bush administration with gross malfeasance, and proposed the prosecution of top administration officials... [Reynolds] charges the Bush administration with orchestrating the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for launching a preplanned 'long war' in the Middle East, rolling back our civil liberties, and massively increasing military spending."
Minister defends harbour anti-terror drills 16 May 2006 A counter-terrorism exercise conducted publicly on Sydney Harbour by police, defence forces and emergency services may deter would-be terrorists, Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison says. The three-day exercise, Neptune's Treasure [? LOL!], is being conducted at various locations on Sydney Harbour and features some night flying by Black Hawk helicopters.
New York City sues 15 gun dealers 15 May 2006 New York City sued 15 gun dealers from five states on Monday in what officials called the largest lawsuit of its kind to keep criminals from getting guns, and they blamed the federal government for not doing its job.
Justices Block Ohio Taxpayers' Lawsuit 15 May 2006 Taxpayers have no right to challenge nearly $300 million in tax breaks that Ohio's elected officials used to entice DaimlerChrysler Corp. to build a new plant in Toledo, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday. By ruling that the taxpayers had no right to sue, the justices avoided deciding whether tax incentive programs are constitutional.
Budget Cut Would Shutter EPA Libraries 15 May 2006 Proposed budget cuts could cripple a nationwide system of Environmental Protection Agency libraries that government researchers and others depend on for hard-to-find technical information, library advocates say. The $2 million cut sought by the White House would reduce the 35-year-old EPA Library Network's budget by 80 percent and force many of its 10 regional libraries to close, according to the advocates and internal agency documents. [Let's see, where can we find $2 million? Halliburton gets $72 million bonus for work in Iraq 10 May 2005 See: It was the largest one-time cash transfer in the history of the New York Fed. It weighed 28 tons and took up as much room as 74 washing machines. It was $2.4 billion in $100 bills, and Baghdad needed it ASAP... The $2,401,600,000 was delivered to Baghdad on June 22, 2004.]
NOAA Seeks Comment on the Incidental Harassment of Marine Mammals in the Arctic Ocean 10 May 2006 The NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking comment on a request from U.S. oil industries, for the incidental harassment of marine mammals that may result from seismic surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska during 2006. Two major oil companies, Shell and ConocoPhillips, and the seismic company GX Technology plan to conduct several thousand miles of seismic air gun surveys off the Alaskan coast this summer to assess the potential for future offshore oil and gas production... Companies performing these activities are required to obtain an authorization from NOAA under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Media Contact: Daniel Parry, NOAA Fisheries Service, (301) 713-2370
US Military Plans Joint Exercise in West Africa 13 May 2006 Senior military officers from the United States and officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been meeting in Abuja, Nigeria to draw up details for a joint military exercise, called a multilateral command post exercise. ...Africa's growing oil industry, concentrated in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, has also led to an increased U.S. military presence in the region.
Bush Wants Military Border Patrol --President will call for thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed along Southwest border 14 May 2006 President [sic] Bush will call for thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed along the Mexico border in support of patrols aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants, a White House official said Sunday on the eve of an Oval Office address announcing the plan.
Border Security Plan Worries Texas Town 14 May 2006 The last time the U.S. military posted troops on the border near this tiny cluster of farms and ranches, an 18-year-old goat herder was shot to death [May 1997]... With Dictator Bush considering plans to deploy National Guard troops along the Mexican border, Esequiel Hernandez Jr.'s family is worried that other border residents or even his nephews, who tend goats along the same rugged West Texas desert where he was killed, could be the next victims.
Judge to decide if German can sue CIA [for kidnapping and torture. Bush's media whores at CNN forgot to add that element to the headline.] 12 May 2006 The government urged a federal judge on Friday to block a lawsuit filed by a German national who says he was illegally held in a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan for four months and tortured. U.S. Attorney R. Joseph Sher said government secrets could be exposed [?!? Yeah, right!] if Khaled al-Masri were allowed to proceed with his lawsuit.
600 Ugandans reportedly abused while working in Iraq 12 May 2006 A senior U.S. officer has been working to restore the morale of some 600 Ugandan guards, most of them serving abroad for the first time, following the allegations that they were sexually abused while working with the U.S. forces in Iraq.
'Out of Control' Guard Unit Established by U.S. Suspected in Death Squad-Style Executions 14 May 2006 (Baghdad) Last month, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr accused the Facilities Protection Service, known as the FPS, of carrying out some of the killings widely attributed to death squads operating inside his ministry's police forces. L. Paul Bremer, then U.S. administrator of Iraq, signed an order establishing the Facilities Protection Service in 2003. The order also allowed private security firms [i.e., Blackwater USA terrorists] to handle the contracting of FPS guards for the ministries. ...One former adviser in Iraq said he believes that at least some of the death squads come from the special police commando squads that the United States helped establish.
Bombs destroy two Shi'ite shrines in Iraq 14 May 2006 Bombs destroyed two small Shi'ite Muslim shrines in a rural area about 60 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said on Sunday, in what appeared to be the latest acts of 'sectarian' [U.S.] violence in Iraq.
41 killed in Iraq attacks 14 May 2006 A string of deadly attacks ripped through the Iraqi capital on Sunday, killing at least 26 people and wounding nearly 70, police said. Six small Shia shrines also were damaged in a series of blasts around the Baqouba... Elsewhere in Iraq, 15 people died in other attacks, including two British soldiers who were killed in a roadside bomb attack in southern Iraq on Saturday night.
Two killed and one injured in Basra bomb attack on UK troops 15 May 2006 Two British soldiers were killed and another injured in Basra when their armoured Land Rover was hit by a roadside bomb late on Saturday night.
Anti-war mum urges Howard to quit Iraq 15 May 2006 Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon have urged Prime Minister John Howard to pull Australian troops out of Iraq. Mrs Sheehan, whose son was killed while serving with US troops in Iraq, will visit Australia next week (May 22) for a series of anti-war rallies.
Motion filed to intervene in AT&T secrets case 13 May 2006 The U.S. government filed a motion on Saturday to intervene and seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group against AT&T Inc. over a federal program to monitor U.S. communications.
Hayden CIA bid hinges on spying role: senators 14 May 2006 U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden's chances of winning Senate confirmation to head the CIA depend on how he explains his involvement in eavesdropping and data collection programs, two key senators said on Sunday.
Lawmakers Look to Query Hayden on Spying 14 May 2006 The fate of President [sic] Bush's CIA nominee could hinge on how he justifies domestic eavesdropping programs that some lawmakers contend are illegal and started without congressional approval.
Bush's security adviser defends phone data as 'within the law' 14 May 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush's national security adviser insisted Sunday that the newly revealed government effort to compile data on billions of phone calls in search of terrorist-linked patterns was a legal... "The president has been very clear that we are to pursue our intelligence programs within the law," said the adviser, Stephen Hadley, even while refusing to confirm details of the program operated by the National Security Agency.
Negroponte Had Denied Domestic Call Monitoring --Administration Won't Comment on NSA Logs 15 May 2006 When he was asked about the National Security Agency's controversial domestic surveillance program last Monday, U.S. intelligence chief John D. Negroponte objected to the question and said the government was "absolutely not" monitoring domestic calls without warrants.
"I can't figure out any defense here." Experts say phone firms at law's edge --Verizon hit with $5 billion lawsuit 13 May 2006 Some of the nation's top experts in telecommunications law said phone companies that cooperated [with the National Security Agency] might have violated a federal law that severely restricts sharing customer phone records with the government and could be on the hook for billions of dollars in civil liability. Peter Swire, an Ohio State University law professor... said the 1986 Stored Communications Act forbids such a turnover to the government without a warrant or court order.
NSA phone spying program: a blueprint for mass repression By Patrick Martin 15 May 2006 "For the intelligence agencies, the purpose is to select targets for more intensive electronic surveillance, or arrest and (perhaps indefinite) detention... The sheer size of the database makes the NSA surveillance program unique and truly Orwellian in character... Information on all these calls—the number calling, the number dialed, the time and duration—is now in the NSA database, along with historical information of unknown but vast dimensions... No previous regime, no matter how dictatorial—not Nazi Germany, not Stalinist Russia—was able to compile such an all-encompassing record of the private activities of its citizens."
From the same people who brought you the Hurricane Katrina aftermath: How the Bush-Mengele bunch plans to solve the problem of having raided the Social Security Trust Fund to continue to give the top 1% tax cuts: Flu Vaccine Priorities Test Pandemic Planning 12 May 2006 In the event of a global flu pandemic, federal officials have said they intend to give vaccine first to health-care workers, followed by the oldest, sickest patients, a policy aimed at saving the most lives. But one of the government's top medical ethicists [Nazi] is challenging that approach, arguing it is more appropriate to give young adults priority because they are at higher risk of dying in a flu pandemic and still have many productive years left [?!?]. ...Some panel members believe that... "If you save a 65-year-old, you may have only saved 15 years of quality life."
Human Rights Act will not be axed, says Falconer 15 May 2006 The Government's review of the laws which safeguard individual freedom will not result in it scrapping the Human Rights Act, the Lord Chancellor has said. Lord Falconer of Thoroton confirmed that ministers may bring in a new law to ensure that the Act, which incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law in 1998, does not endanger the safety of the public [?!?].
Revolution in the Camden air as Chávez - with amigo Ken - gets a hero's welcome --Show of solidarity for Venezuelan president --Three-hour speech wins over 800-strong crowd 15 May 2006 He has been called a terrorist by Washington but for three and a half hours yesterday in London he could do no wrong. "We love you," shouted a woman at the 800-strong gathering, which President Chávez had been invited to attend by London's mayor [Ken Livingstone].
Santorum Still Slipping In Pennsylvania Senate Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Almost Half of Casey Support Is Anti-Santorum 11 May 2006 Democratic State Treasurer Robert Casey Jr. leads Pennsylvania incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum 49 - 36 percent, with 12 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. [Yes, but Diebold will save Santorum, and most of the other GOPedophiles.]
Media Meltdown: The Jason Leopold Saga 06 Nov 2002 (gnn.tv) "On Sept. 23, after Salon was contacted by the Financial Times and informed that seven paragraphs of [Jason] Leopold's story were nearly identical to part of a previous FT article... 'I can tell you that a reader of the story as he originally wrote it would be aware that Leopold had attributed roughly two sentences to the Financial Times,' said Rosenberg. 'What the reader would not know was that seven paragraphs, or nearly 500 words, had been lifted nearly verbatim from the Financial Times. By every definition I'm aware of, this does constitute plagiarism, whether conscious or unconscious, intentional or accidental.'"
Water firms make £2bn profit as drought hits UK 14 May 2006 Water companies are set to announce profits of nearly £2bn as millions of households across Britain face rising bills and restrictions.
IMF acts to avoid markets meltdown 14 May 2006 The International Monetary Fund is in behind-the-scenes talks with the US, China and other major powers to arrange a series of top-level meetings about tackling imbalances in the global economy, as the dollar sell-off reverberates through financial markets.
CIA Leak Court Filing Focuses on Cheney 13 May 2006 In a new court filing, the prosecutor in the CIA leak case revealed that Vice pResident Dick Cheney made handwritten references to CIA officer Valerie Plame _ albeit not by name _ before her identity was publicly exposed.
Hand-written notes by Cheney surface in Fitzgerald probe 13 May 2006 The role of Vice pResident Dick Cheney in the criminal case stemming from the outing of White House critic Joseph Wilson's CIA wife is likely to get fresh attention as a result of newly disclosed notes showing that Cheney personally asked whether Wilson had been sent by his wife on a "junket" to Africa. The notes—apparently obtained as a result of a grand jury subpoena—would appear to make Cheney an even more central witness than had been previously thought in the criminal probe.
Cheney Pushed U.S. to Widen Eavesdropping 14 May 2006 In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Vice pResident Dick Cheney and his top legal adviser argued that the National Security Agency should intercept purely domestic telephone calls and e-mail messages without warrants in the hunt for 'terrorists,' according to two senior intelligence officials.
Former NSA officer alleges illegal activities under Hayden 12 May 2006 A former intelligence officer for the National Security Agency said he plans to tell Senate staffers next week that unlawful activity occurred at the agency under the supervision of Gen. Michael Hayden beyond what has been publicly reported, while hinting that it might have involved the illegal use of space-based satellites and systems to spy on U.S. citizens.
Data on Phone Calls Monitored --Extent of Administration's Domestic Surveillance Decried in Both Parties 12 May 2006 The Bush administration has secretly been collecting the domestic telephone records of millions of U.S. households and businesses, assembling gargantuan databases and attempting to sift through them for clues about terrorist threats, according to sources with knowledge of the program.
Spy Agency Watching Americans From Space 13 May 2006 A little-known spy agency that analyzes imagery taken from the skies - the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency - has been spending significantly more time watching U.S. soil.
ABA Raises Fresh Concerns to Senate Regarding Domestic Surveillance 09 May 2006 American Bar Association President Michael S. Greco today called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to carry out "a thorough inquiry into the nature and extent of the warrantless domestic surveillance conducted by the administration," and called any legislative action "premature" until such an inquiry has taken place.
Spying on our own --Congress needs to stop Bush on phone surveillance (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 13 May 2006 "The administration underlined its disregard for logic and justice inherent in its approach to surveillance when the Justice Department informed a member of Congress on Wednesday that it had been forced to close an investigation into the conduct of government lawyers who approved the NSA's domestic surveillance program. The reason was the NSA had refused to give investigators the security clearance they needed for access to the necessary information... Basically, in the face of an assault on Americans' rights to privacy by the Bush administration, rights based in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, the courts have been pushed out of the way. Mr. Bush ignored the requirement to obtain FISA court orders before bugging American citizens. Now the NSA feels free to ignore federal government procedures for the Justice Department to look into the legality of its actions."
Newsweek Poll: Americans Wary of NSA Spying --Bush's approval ratings hit new lows as controversy rages. 13 May 2006 Has the Bush administration gone too far in expanding the powers of the President to fight terrorism? Yes, say a majority of Americans, following this week’s revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone records of U.S. citizens since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Most Americans Oppose NSA Phone Data Program in Newsweek Poll 13 May 2006 More than half of Americans believe the government's secret collection of telephone records is an excessive invasion of privacy, according to a poll released by Newsweek magazine.
Fired Officer Believed CIA Lied to Congress --Friends Say McCarthy Learned of Denials About Detainees' Treatment 14 May 2006 A senior CIA official, meeting with Senate staff in a secure room of the Capitol last June, promised repeatedly that the agency did not violate or seek to violate an international treaty that bars cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees, during interrogations it conducted in the Middle East and elsewhere. But another CIA officer -- the agency's deputy inspector general [Mary O. McCarthy], who for the previous year had been probing allegations of criminal mistreatment by the CIA and its contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan -- was startled to hear what she considered an outright falsehood, according to people familiar with her account.
Ex-WMD Inspector: Politics Quashed Facts 13 May 2006 A year after Bush administration claims about Iraqi "bioweapons trailers" were discredited by American experts, U.S. officials were still suppressing the findings, says a senior member of the CIA-led Iraq inspection team.
Pentagon's finances in disarray: report 12 May 2006 The Defense Department's accounting practices are in such disarray that defense officials can't track how much equipment the military owns, where it all is or exactly how they spend defense dollars every year, according to a report Thursday by a nongovernmental group. The report by Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities called the Pentagon's financial-management practices "an embarrassment" that wouldn't pass muster in the private sector.
Iraq 'Insurgents' Bomb Holy Shiite Shrine 13 May 2006 A series of roadside bombs and explosions [US death squads] damaged a Shiite shrine east of the volatile city of Baqouba late Saturday, police and the Interior Ministry said.
Judge's son among eight killed in Iraq 14 May 2006 Gunmen [US death squads] killed the son of Iraq’s top judge along with two of his bodyguards and dumped their bodies in Baghdad, officials said on Saturday... Police found the bodies of Ahmed Midhat al-Mahmoud, 22, a lawyer, and two of his bodyguards in northern Baghdad’s Azamiyah district, said Hasan Sabri, the head of the local council and Iraq’s deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim Ali.
Roadside Bomb Kills Soldier 13 May 2006 A Multinational Division Baghdad soldier was killed today at about 4 a.m. when his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in southern Baghdad, military officials in Iraq reported.
Report: Suicidal troops sent into combat --U.S. military violated own rules on mentally ill troops, newspaper finds 13 May 2006 U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, The Hartford Courant reported for Sunday editions.
At Falwell's University, McCain Defends the War in Iraq [*Barf*] 13 May 2006 With the Rev. Jerry Falwell at his side, Senator John McCain offered a spirited defense of the Iraq war on Saturday, telling graduating students at Liberty University that victory there was crucial to world security.
Allies urge Blair to stay in power until at least 2009 14 May 2006 Tony Blair's closest confidantes are stepping up the pressure on him to remain Prime Minister until at least 2009, amid renewed speculation that he has agreed to hand over the reins to Gordon Brown next summer.
Blair plans overhaul of human rights law 14 May 2006 Tony Blair is planning to rein in controversial [?!?] human rights legislation following a series of court cases which critics claim have put criminals before victims. Top of the list in Blair's letter to new Home Secretary John Reid is new legislation which would give ministers the power to over-rule court hearings.
Blair vows to end animal terrorism [Oh, he's going to stop Bush? Great!] 14 May 2006 Tony Blair condemned the "appalling" activities of anti-vivisection extremists and re-affirmed the Government's support for animal testing. The Prime Minister pledged to do all that was necessary to root out the criminal minority behind the campaign of terror [?!?]. [The actual 'campaign of terror' is the one that's being waged by Bush and Blair every single day! When are *those* extremists going to be prosecuted???]
Blair plan to protect animal test shareholders 14 May 2006 New moves to protect people who buy shares in companies targeted by animal rights activists are being proposed by the prime minister. Tony Blair has announced plans to consult on exempting some firms from providing full public details of shareholders in future. It follows threats [sic] to shareholders in the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. They were sent letters warning them to sell their stakes within 14 days or risk having their personal details published on a website.
Local agencies' use of U.S. security aid questioned 11 May 2006 Arizona public safety agencies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money on equipment they are not certified to use or to pay for projects with only a tenuous link to homeland security. ...Flush with money after the Sept. 11 attacks, police and fire departments statewide shored up budget shortfalls and bought things like ATVs, Q-Tips and $50,000 worth of binoculars with nearly $178 million in Homeland Security Department grants.
Lewinsky Case's Prosecutor Accused of Stalking Woman 13 May 2006 Robert W. Ray, the former independent [sic] counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica S. Lewinsky, turned himself in to police Thursday on charges of stalking a former girlfriend, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Chavez offers oil to Europe's poor --Venezuelan President promises fuel to the needy and proclaims 'final days of the North American empire' [one can only hope] before visit to Britain today 14 May 2006 Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez arrives in London today with an extraordinary promise to offer cut-rate heating oil for needy families in Europe, modelled on a similar campaign in the US which has been seen partly as a bid to embarrass Dictator George Bush. Last night Chavez also issued a taunting obituary for the 'American empire' on the eve of a visit where he will be shunned by Downing Street but welcomed by London Mayor Ken Livingststone.
British inventor claims to have made world's most fuel efficient car 12 May 2006 A British inventor unveiled a car he claims is the world's most fuel efficient -- capable of doing 8,000 miles (12,875 km) to the gallon (4.5 litres).
Pollution 'could kill off human race' 11 May 2006 Pollution is far more damaging to humans than originally thought and is causing genetic mutations which could eventually wipe us from the face of the planet, according to a leading scientist.
Condoleezza Rice at Boston College? I quit. --An open letter to William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College. By Steve Almond 12 May 2006 "Dear Father Leahy, I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College. I am doing so -- after five years at BC, and with tremendous regret -- as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation. Many members of the faculty and student body already have voiced their objection to the invitation, arguing that Rice's actions as secretary of state are inconsistent with the broader humanistic values of the university and the Catholic and Jesuit traditions from which those values derive. But I am not writing this letter simply because of an objection to the war against Iraq. My concern is more fundamental. Simply put, Rice is a liar."
Secrecy Privilege Invoked in Fighting Ex-Detainee's Lawsuit 13 May 2006 For at least the fifth time in the past year, the Justice Department yesterday invoked the once rarely cited state secrets privilege to argue that a lawsuit alleging government wrongdoing should be dismissed without an airing, this time in the case of a German citizen seeking an apology and monetary compensation for having been wrongfully imprisoned by the CIA.
Hacker fears Guantanamo Bay as judge urges his extradition 11 May 2006 A British man accused of the biggest military hacking operation yet faces trial in the US after a judge recommended him for extradition yesterday. Gary McKinnon believes that he could be sent to Guantanamo Bay and tried by a military tribunal if his extradition goes ahead. He said that he was "practically already hung and quartered" if US government claims that he would face a federal court in Virginia proved correct.
Bush says privacy maintained in spying [LOL! Actual headline!] 12 May 2006 President [sic] Bush defended the Pentagon’s domestic spying Thursday after a report that the National Security Agency, searching for evidence of terrorist communications, has obtained records of telephone calls placed by millions of Americans since Sept. 11, 2001 – a massive database created with the cooperation of three of four major telephone companies.
Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room 07 Apr 2006 AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.
Wiretap Whistleblower's Statement (Wired News) 07 Apr 2006 Former AT&T technician Mark Klein has come forward to support the EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged complicity in the NSA's electronic surveillance.
Verizon Sued for Giving NSA Phone Records 12 May 2006 Two New Jersey public interest lawyers sued Verizon Communications Inc. for $5 billion Friday, claiming the phone carrier violated privacy laws by turning over phone records to the National Security Agency for a secret government surveillance program.
CIA nominee Hayden defends NSA programs 12 May 2006 CIA director nominee Gen. Michael Hayden on Friday defended the secret surveillance programs he oversaw while head of another spy agency as lawful... Hayden's visits to lawmakers on Capitol Hill were complicated by reaction to public disclosure of a National Security Agency program that has been collecting millions of Americans' everyday telephone records.
New phone-tap row threatens President's nominee for CIA 12 May 2006 The Bush regime is embroiled in a new electronic snooping storm, after allegations that major US phone companies had handed phone records of tens of millions of citizens to the ultra-secret National Security Agency. The revelations provoked an uproar on Capitol Hill and could possibly even wreck the nomination of a former NSA chief [Gen. Michael Hayden] to head the floundering CIA.
Qwest's Refusal of N.S.A. Query Is Explained --The telecommunications company Qwest turned down requests by the National Security Agency for private telephone records because it concluded that doing so would violate federal privacy laws, a lawyer for the telephone company's former chief executive said today.
Ousted CIA No. 3 Is Target of Raids --Foggo's Home and Langley Office Swept in Corruption Probe 13 May 2006 Federal agents yesterday searched the CIA offices and Northern Virginia home of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the spy agency's No. 3 official who was forced to resign this week amid a widening criminal investigation into allegations of government corruption and bribery. Officials inside CIA headquarters saw agents hauling away items from Foggo's seventh-floor suite from his rented house in the Oakdale Park section of Vienna.
Home, office of outgoing CIA official searched --Executive director under investigation by FBI, IRS, CIA inspector general 12 May 2006 Law enforcement officials executed search warrants Friday on the house and office of CIA’s outgoing executive director, the FBI said. The agency’s third ranking official, Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, has been under investigation by the FBI, IRS, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the CIA’s inspector general, said FBI spokeswoman April Langwell in San Diego.
US Army Troop Build up on Iraq-Iran Borders 11 May 2006 The US Army in Iraq is claimed to have increased the military build up of US troops on the Iranian border. Tehran local radio announced the US stationed army units on the Iraqi border, increased reconnaissance flights in the region, and trained anti-Iran militias in Iraq. Iranian Interior Ministry confirmed the information.
4 Marines Killed in Tank Accident in Iraq 12 May 2006 Four Marines drowned when their tank rolled off a bridge and plunged into a canal, the military said Friday, adding that while the accident occurred in a Sunni 'insurgent' stronghold, it was not the result of an enemy action [?!?].
Gasoline Pipeline Explodes in Nigeria, Killing About 200 13 May 2006 As many as 200 people were burned to death and dozens of others injured Friday morning when a gasoline pipeline exploded in a Nigerian seaside village some 30 miles east of the country's commercial capital, Lagos.
House Votes to Allow Military to Assist Homeland Security Organizations 12 May 2006 The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to allow military forces to be used in border-security operations under certain circumstances.
Pentagon considers sending troops to border 12 May 2006 The Pentagon has begun drawing up plans to send troops and equipment to the U.S. border with Mexico, where hundreds of thousands of migrants enter the country illegally each year, a defense official said on Friday.
Bush weighs deploying troops to US border 12 May 2006 President [sic] Bush is considering plans to shore up the Mexican border with National Guard troops paid for by the federal government, according to senior administration officials. One defense official said military leaders believe the number of troops required could range from 3,500 to 10,000, depending on the final plan.
Defense agency to use Microsoft Virtual Earth --Mapping program to be used for military and non-military purposes 12 May 2006 A U.S. Department of Defense agency and Microsoft Corp. will collaborate to improve Microsoft's Virtual Earth mapping program for military and non-military purposes, the company said. Microsoft signed a letter of understanding with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which is a "Department of Defense combat support agency," the company said yesterday.
Calls for public inquiry into July 7 12 May 2006 British security services missed a number of opportunities to intercept the July 7 London bombers [because they likely *hired* them, *duh.*], according to an official report published yesterday. The leader of the bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, came to the notice of MI5 at least four times before the suicide blasts, but was deemed not to be a threat. The Security Service (MI5) had a photograph of Khan and his telephone number [?!?] as well as the number of another of the bombers, Germaine Lindsay, and had also come across a third member of the team, Shahzad Tanweer, on three occasions. David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, called for an inquiry...
Tracing Lung Ailments That Rose With 9/11 Dust 13 May 2006 As they push their investigation into the health risks to workers in the recovery and cleanup operations at ground zero, medical detectives are focusing on a group of lung diseases that can lead to long-term disabilities and, in some cases, death.
Inspector General Probes HUD Chief Comment 12 May 2006 An inspector general is investigating Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson's comments to a business group that he rejected an advertising contract because the contractor had criticized President [sic] Bush. Jackson issued an apology Wednesday, saying he made up the story [?!?]. He won Bush's support Friday.
Indictment for Governor of Kentucky 12 May 2006 Gov. Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky (R) was indicted yesterday on charges that he illegally rewarded political supporters with state jobs. The governor could face up to 12 months in prison and $500 in fines.
Matthews on Rove Indictment: 'It Could Be Today' (thinkprogress.org) 12 May 2006 "MSNBC's Chris Matthews appeared was on Don Imus’ show this morning and said that Karl Rove could be indicted today. Transcript: IMUS: Are we expecting something with Karl Rove today? MATTHEWS: Well, it could be today. It could be next week. Everybody is buzzing about when or if."
CNN Poll: Which man would you say was more honest as president? President [sic] Bush 26% 6602 votes - President Clinton 74% 19215 votes Total: 25817 votes [Poll snapshot: 01:20 DST 13 May 2006]
[Cowardly] Democrats Won't Try to Impeach Bush 12 May 2006 Seeking to choke off a Republican rallying cry, the House's top Democrat has told colleagues that the party will not seek to impeach President [sic] Bush even if it gains control of the House in November's elections, her office said last night. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told her caucus members during their weekly closed meeting Wednesday "that impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it," spokesman Brendan Daly said. [Actually, a *treason* trial is more appropriate!]
The Perils of Washington Totalitarianism By Richard Reeves 12 May 2006 "There is a nasty whiff of totalitarianism in Washington today, with a closed administration that seems to spend most of its time and effort trying to prevent the Congress, press and people from getting any information at all about decision-making. There is something comical about 'The Decider' declaring only he decides, but tragedy is in the wings as both friends and adversaries try to see over or under the walls around his decision-making."
Counties warned of security glitch in Diebold machines 12 May 2006 Pennsylvania election officials are urging some counties to take added safety measures before Tuesday's primary because one touch-screen 'voting' machine model contains a security vulnerability that could lead to fraud. The machine, Diebold Election System's AccuVote-TSX, is being used by 16 counties, including five in Western Pennsylvania: Armstrong, Clarion, Somerset, Warren and Washington. According to election officials, a computer expert with unfettered access to the ATM-like machine could, in theory, [and, in practice,] change its software with relative ease and potentially alter 'election' results.
New Fears of Security Risks in Electronic Voting Systems 12 May 2006 With primary election dates fast approaching in many states, officials in Pennsylvania and California issued urgent directives in recent days about a potential security risk in their Diebold Election Systems touch-screen voting machines, while other states with similar equipment hurried to assess the seriousness of the problem.
The US dollar takes a pounding over deficit 12 May 2006 The US dollar suffered a sharp sell-off on Friday, tumbling to its lowest level against a trade-weighted basket of currencies since October 1997, as fears about the US current account deficit crossed world markets.
Don't withdraw from Kyoto, feds advised 12 May 2006 Canada would lose international credibility and the ability to influence future climate-change negotiations if it withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol, say briefing documents prepared for Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay.
Doctors puzzled over bizarre infection surfacing in South Texas [Chemtrail deposits?] 12 May 2006 Doctors are trying to find out what is causing a bizarre and mysterious infection that's surfaced in South Texas. Morgellons disease is not yet known to kill... "Sometimes little black specks that come out of the lesions and sometimes little fibers," said Stephanie Bailey, Morgellons patient. Patients say that's the worst symptom — strange fibers that pop out of your skin in different colors.
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