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


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

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May 2007 Archives, Page Two

Bush endorses CIA plans for regime change in Iran 28 May 2007 President [sic] George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert 'black' operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs. Under the plan, pressure will be brought to bear on the Iranian economy by manipulating the country's currency and international financial transactions. Details have also emerged of a covert scheme to sabotage the Iranian nuclear programme, which United Nations nuclear watchdogs said last week could lead to a bomb within three years.

Iran says it has uncovered several U.S. spy networks 26 May 2007 Iran is claiming to have uncovered a number of spy rings it says have been organized by the United States and its Western allies. In a statement carried on state[as opposed to corporate]-run television, the Intelligence Ministry says that the espionage networks were made up of "infiltrating elements from the Iraqi occupiers." Iran uses the phrase "Iraqi occupiers" as shorthand for the US and its allies. [Everyone does.]

U.S. Security Contractors Open Fire in Baghdad --Blackwater Mercenaries Were Involved in Two Shooting Incidents in Past Week 27 May 2007 Mercenaries of Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the State Department, opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days last week, and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the mercenaries and Iraqi forces, U.S. and Iraqi officials said. A Blackwater guard shot and killed an Iraqi driver Thursday near the Interior Ministry, according to three U.S. officials and one Iraqi official who were briefed on the incident but spoke on condition of anonymity because of a pending investigation [cover-up].

'Half of the Iraqi security forces are insurgents.' Doubts Grow as G.I.'s in Iraq Find Allies in Enemy Ranks 27 May 2007 The pivotal moment came, Staff Sgt. David Safstrom says, this past February when soldiers killed a man setting a roadside bomb. When they searched the bomber’s body, they found identification showing him to be a sergeant in the Iraqi Army. "I thought, 'What are we doing here? Why are we still here?'" said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. "We're helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us."

Military chiefs give US six months to win Iraq war --Violence expected to rise after UK withdrawal --Troop numbers too low --Coalition is 'disintegrating' 28 May 2007 An elite team of officers advising US commander General David Petraeus in Baghdad has concluded the US has six months to win the war in Iraq - or face a Vietnam-style collapse in political and public support that could force the military into a hasty retreat.

$100bn more to 'fight' terror 26 May 2007 American spending on Iraq and Afghanistan has eclipsed the cost of the Vietnam War, making the War on [of] Terror the second most expensive conflict in United States' history. The Senate approved a budget of almost $100 billion (£50 billion) for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, taking total spending to £300 billion. This is more than the inflation-adjusted £276 billion that the US spent in its ill-fated nine-year war in Vietnam.

Ten US troops killed as Iraq debate heats up 28 May 2007 Ten more American soldiers have been killed in fighting in Iraq, the military announced on today, on the eve of war-weary Washington's annual Memorial Day commemoration of its war dead.

Bombs Kill 2 G.I.'s in Iraq as Death Toll Near Year's High --103 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, not counting unidentified body 27 May 2007 Two more American soldiers have died from roadside bombs, the American military said Sunday, as American forces decided to run DNA tests on a body that could be that of one of the remaining two missing soldiers seized in an ambush on May 12 south of Baghdad.

I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty. By Andrew J. Bacevich 27 May 2007 Money buys access and influence. Money greases the process that will yield us a new president in 2008. When it comes to Iraq, money ensures that the concerns of big business, big oil, bellicose evangelicals and Middle East allies gain a hearing. By comparison, the lives of U.S. soldiers figure as an afterthought. Memorial Day orators will say that a G.I.'s life is priceless. Don't believe it. I know what value the U.S. government assigns to a soldier's life: I've been handed the check. It's roughly what the Yankees will pay Roger Clemens per inning once he starts pitching next month.

U.S. frees 42 Iraqi captives in raid 28 May 2007 American forces freed 42 kidnapped Iraqis — some of whom had been hung from ceilings and tortured for months — in a raid Sunday on an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] hideout north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

Stark choice for Guantánamo detainee: stay in jail or face torture in home country --London man cleared for release after four years --Lawyers demand that he be able to join family in UK 28 May 2007 The government was under pressure last night to allow a London man held in Guantánamo Bay for four years to return to Britain after the US cleared him for release from the notorious prison. Jamil el-Banna was detained by the US in 2002 after Britain sent the CIA false information about him. He had also failed to accept an MI5 offer to turn informant. If refused entry to Britain, Mr Banna could be returned to face torture in his native Jordan, from where he fled to Britain in 1994 after alleging ill treatment.

Senate Moves to Expand Detainee Rights 26 May 2007 Senate Democrats are backing a bill that would grant new rights to terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including access to a lawyer regardless of whether the prisoners are put on trial.

UK police set for war-time powers 28 May 2007 In his final weeks as British Prime Minister, Tony Blair looks set to push through a new anti[pro]-terrorism law that would give police "war-time powers" to stop and question people. Mr Blair, due to resign on June 27 after a decade in office, wrote in an article in The Sunday Times that his Government planned to publish new anti-terrorism proposals "within the next few weeks".

UK Labour wants tougher laws for terrorism suspects 28 May 2007 Tony Blair said his government wanted new anti[pro]-terrorism laws as he accused the courts and Parliament of wrongly stressing the rights of suspects over national security. Writing in The Sunday Times, the Prime Minister argued that the disappearance last week of three terrorist suspects under a form of house arrest resulted from British society's mixed-up priorities rather than from government mistakes.

Shackled in war on terror By Tony Blair 27 May 2007 Within the next few weeks we will publish new proposals on anti-terror laws... As for British nationals who pose a threat to us, we need to be able to monitor them carefully and limit their activities... Their right to traditional civil liberties comes first. I believe this is a dangerous misjudgment. This extremism, operating the world over, is not like anything we have faced before. It needs to be confronted with every means at our disposal.

Group: Terrorism not focus of Homeland Security 27 May 2007 Claims of terrorism represented less than 0.01 percent of charges filed in recent years in immigration courts by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a report issued Sunday by an independent research group. This comes despite the fact the Bush regime has repeatedly asserted that fighting terrorism is the central mission of DHS. The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse said it analyzed millions of previously undisclosed records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act.

Ala. terror Web site angers activists 27 May 2007 The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and anti-war organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists. The Web site identified different types of terrorists, and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. [OMFG! No group has spawned more terrorists than the GOP - Bush's name needs to go at the top of the list!]

Accused rapist claimed to be CIA 26 May 2007 An accused rapist's ex-fiancee testified in his trial in Philadelphia that he claimed to be a CIA agent and talked to his gun. Jeffrey Marsalis said he had gone through astronaut training so he would be employable once he was through with being a CIA assassin.

U.S. scraps missile-defense test as target misfires 25 May 2007 The United States scrapped on Friday a key test of an emerging missile-defense shield after a dummy missile that was to have been the system's target went astray over the Pacific. [LOL!]

Why the US is losing its war on cocaine --America has spent billions battling the drug industry in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. And the result? Production as high as ever, street prices at a low, and the governments of the region in open revolt. Hugh O'Shaughnessy reports from La Paz, Bolivia 27 May 2007 Last week, Professor Paul Hunt of Essex University, the UN Special Rapporteur on Health, speaking in Ecuador said: "There is credible, reliable evidence that the aerial spraying of glyphosate along the Colombia-Ecuador border damages the health of people living in Ecuador... Military helicopters sometimes accompany the aerial spraying and the entire experience can be terrifying, especially for children." If this continues the Ecuadoreans have threatened to shoot the offending aircraft down. [Awesome! That is exactly what should be happening, all over the world.]

Protesters Barred From Cheney's West Point Speech 26 May 2007 A federal appeals court on Friday denied an organization permission to stage an antiwar demonstration on Saturday on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney is to deliver the commencement address. [Why do people ask the government and police for *permission* to protest? It's insane.]

Edwards assails Bush, GOP rivals 25 May 2007 Democratic presidential contender John Edwards argued on Thursday that President [sic] Bush has made the nation less safe and the Republican candidates are trying to become "a bigger, badder George Bush."

Pharma-terrorists given license to kill by Bush regime: Medical experiments to be done without patients' consent 27 May 2007 The federal government is undertaking the most ambitious set of studies ever mounted under a controversial arrangement that allows researchers to conduct medical experiments without first getting patients' permission. The $50 million, five-year 'project,' which will involve more than 20,000 patients in 11 sites in the United States and Canada, is designed to improve treatment [the profit margin for the corpora-terrorists] after car accidents, shootings, cardiac arrest and other emergencies... George J. Annas, a Boston University bioethicist, said "I don't think we should use people like this." Annas was particularly disturbed that children as young as 15 might be included in the research. [Bush's mentors, the Nazis, carried out such experiments on prisoners in concentration camps! Notice that this news tidbit broke in the middle of a holiday weekend, when no one is paying attention! Please forward this news item to your media lists.]

A Letter from Michael Moore: 'Sicko' is Socko in Cannes! 23 May 2007 At the press screening for "Sicko," the Wall Street Journal reported that hardened reporters and critics wept. Even those who have been harsh to me in the past, or who have not agreed with my politics, were moved... The New York Post reported Sunday that the Bush administration, in addition to going after me for filming scenes in or near Cuba, may now go after the 9/11 rescue workers I took with me to get the medical care they were denied by our own government... We've also received word that the HMO and pharmaceutical industries are gearing up to fight "Sicko."

Court: Menu Foods harassed pet owners 26 May 2007 The pet food company [corpora-terrorists, Menu Foods] that recalled 60 million cans of contaminated dog and cat food repeatedly made harassing phone calls to pet owners who had lawyers and said they didn't want to talk, even after a judge ordered the firm to leave them alone, court records show.

Md. probes high gas prices --Comptroller assails prices oil firms charge service stations 26 May 2007 State Comptroller Peter Franchot said yesterday that he is launching a probe into high gas prices and wants answers from oil companies - particularly why the price can range 10 or 20 cents a gallon between nearby stations selling the same brand.

MTA approves steep hikes for bus, rail fares --The cost of a day pass will double by 2009. Transit officials reject mayor's compromise. 25 May 2007 Los Angeles County transit leaders Thursday approved the first across-the-board fare increase in more than a decade, despite emotional testimony from hundreds of bus riders who said they could not afford steep price hikes... The protests were tinged with charges of racism on the part of the MTA board because the vast majority of riders are Latino and black.

Bird flu hits ninth province in Vietnam 28 May 2007 Bird flu has spread to another province in northern Vietnam and now nine cities and provinces have been struck by the deadly virus in less than a month, the Agriculture Ministry said.

US clash with G8 partners looms over climate issues 27 May 2007 The prospect looms of a major clash between the United States and its G8 partners over global warming, with Washington's view threatening to block agreement at next month's summit of the leading industrial nations.

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U.S. show of force in Gulf alarming: Afghan paper 26 May 2007 A U.S. navy show of force on Iran's doorstep is "greatly alarming" for the region and the United States risked a bloody quagmire if it invaded Iran, a state[as opposed to corporate]-run Afghan newspaper said on Saturday. A large flotilla of U.S. ships entered the Gulf on Wednesday in a dramatic show of military muscle, adding to pressure on Iran.

Iran says it has uncovered Western spy networks 26 May 2007 Iran has uncovered spy networks on its territory organized by occupying forces in Iraq and Iraqi groups, the Intelligence Ministry said in a statement published on Saturday. [See: Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran 22 May 2007 The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com. The sources... say President [sic] Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.]

Iraq contractor sentenced for child porn 25 May 2007 A U.S. contractor who worked at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was sentenced to more than three years in prison Friday for possessing child pornography that he obtained using the prison's computer network. Ahmed Hasan Khan, of Woodbridge, had been working at Abu Ghraib for contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. in November 2005 when a network administrator at the prison saw that Khan had been visiting suspicious sites. It is not clear exactly what kind of work Khan was doing at Abu Ghraib. Court records indicate he held a security clearance that was revoked after the investigation. [See: 'I saw ___ fucking a kid...' Details of Bush's child-raping terrorists at Abu Ghraib prison (Graphic) Source: The "Taguba Report" On Treatment Of Abu Ghraib Prisoners In Iraq, statement by Kasim Mehaddi Hilas, Detainee #151108, 1300/18 Jan 04, as published by The Washington Post.]

U.S. violates international law with military tribunals, terror laws: U.N. expert 26 May 2007 The United States apparently violated international law in its military tribunals by using coercion to extract confessions and writing counter-terrorism laws that restrict immigration on questionable grounds, a U.N. investigator said on Friday. Martin Scheinin of Finland, a U.N. rapporteur on rights in countering terrorism, said reports that information was obtained from terror suspects using "enhanced interrogation techniques" amounted to a form of torture or inhumane treatment that is illegal under international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treaty the United States signed.

"Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" By Andrew Sullivan 25 May 2007 A reader writes: "...[T]he hideous term: "enhanced interrogation techniques.' I'm not sure where exactly this came from..." Well, "enhanced interrogation techniques" is a fairly decent English translation of the Gestapo euphemism "verschaerfte Vernehmung" which was the code word for torture in the Third Reich. Look it up.

Bush warned about dangers of trying to stabilise Iraq 27 May 2007 US intelligence analysts predicted, in two papers widely circulated before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that al-Qaeda would see US military action as an opportunity to increase its operations and that Iran would try to shape the post-Saddam Hussein era in Iraq. The US Government's top analysts also said that establishing a stable democracy in Iraq would be a long and turbulent challenge.

Report: Intelligence predicted most problems in Iraq 25 May 2007 Before the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, U.S. intelligence predicted many of the current challenges there, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation report released Friday. Those predicted -- and realized -- problems included an increase in al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operations, sectarian violence within Iraq and Iran's efforts to shape Iraq's future after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Bush signs $100 billion Iraq war funding bill 25 May 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush signed a bill on Friday providing $100 billion to pay for the Iraq war but congressional Democrats who failed to impose a troop withdrawal deadline said their fight was far from over.

White House plays down report of Iraq troop cut 26 May 2007 The White House on Saturday played down a newspaper report that the Bush administration was weighing a scenario for possibly sharp cuts in U.S. troop levels in Iraq next year. The New York Times, citing unnamed senior U.S. officials, reported the administration was developing concepts in which U.S. combat forces would be reduced to around 100,000 by the middle of the 2008 presidential election year from close to 150,000 now.

White House Is Said to Debate '08 Cut in Iraq Troops by 50% [Yeah, as the 'elections' approach, look for gas prices to be cut by 50%, too.] 26 May 2007 The Bush dictatorship is developing what are described as concepts for reducing American combat forces in Iraq by as much as half next year, according to senior administration officials in the midst of the internal debate. The concepts call for a reduction in forces that could lower troop levels by the midst of the 2008 presidential election' to roughly 100,000, from about 146,000, the latest available figure, which the military reported on May 1.

U.S., British forces battle Mehdi Army in Baghdad, Basra 26 May 2007 American and British forces battled Mehdi Army fighters in Baghdad and Basra after their leader, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, used a rare public appearance to call on U.S. troops to get out of Iraq.

Separate attacks kill 8 U.S. soldiers in Iraq --Military says American troops were killed in 5 attacks over 4 days 26 May 2007 Eight more U.S. soldiers have been killed in five attacks in different areas of Iraq over the past four days, the U.S. military said on Saturday. In the worst attack, three soldiers were killed and two were wounded while on patrol in Salahaddin province on Saturday.

Nato soldier killed in Afghanistan 26 May 2007 A Nato soldier was killed and four wounded during an operation in southern Afghanistan early today, while US-led occupation and Afghan forces detained a Taliban commander and two suspected Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] militants in the east, officials said.

Secret memo shows Israel knew Six Day War was illegal 26 May 2007 A senior legal official who secretly warned the government of Israel after the Six Day War of 1967 that it would be illegal to build Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories has said, for the first time, that he still believes that he was right. The declaration by Theodor Meron, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's legal adviser at the time and today one of the world's leading international jurists, is a serious blow to Israel's persistent argument that the settlements do not violate international law... The legal opinion, a copy of which has been obtained by The Independent, was marked "Top Secret" and "Extremely Urgent" and reached the unequivocal conclusion, in the words of its author's summary, "that civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention."

US sends arms to Lebanese troops as militants vow to fight to death 26 May 2007 The United States has sent planeloads of arms and ammunition for the Lebanese army, as tension grows around the besieged refugee camp in the north of the country. The weapons were welcomed by members of the Lebanese government, who said they wanted the army equipped "to the teeth" in the face of threats of renewed violence. US military aircraft flew in yesterday, with more likely to follow today, as a truce held around the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli, following gun battles overnight and throughout yesterday morning.

Army given 'carte blanche' to enter camp, kill militants 26 May 2007 The Lebanese army has carte blanche to do whatever it deems necessary to end its bloody standoff with Islamic fundamentalists, a senior Lebanese cabinet minister said Friday, including forcibly entering the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in violation of a decades-old agreement with the Palestinians.

Pentagon issues blunt warning to China --Report says China's military likely to add to Beijing-Washington strains 26 May 2007 The Pentagon is warning China in blunt language that despite Beijing’s massive military buildup, it lacks the power for a successful attack against rival Taiwan.

Study: Sarin at root of Gulf War syndrome 25 May 2007 As benefits administrators, officials and politicians argue the worthiness of studies on Gulf War syndrome, researchers say they have no doubts that they’ve found the root of the problem. Sarin gas.

Inquiry widens into Justice Department hiring --The move follows testimony by a former Gonzales aide that she had considered politics in screening applicants. 25 May 2007 The Justice Department has broadened an internal investigation into whether aides to Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales improperly took into account political considerations in hiring employees, officials familiar with the probe said Thursday. The expanded inquiry, conducted by the department's inspector general and its Office of Professional Responsibility, comes after testimony Wednesday by former Gonzales aide Monica M. Goodling. She told a House committee that she had considered party affiliation in screening applicants to become immigration judges.

DOJ Made Immigration Judgeships --Political Internal probe examines whether Monica Goodling and other officials broke law by bypassing hiring procedures 28 May 2007 The authority used to bypass the competitive hiring process would be employed again and again during the last year of Attorney General John Ashcroft’s tenure and continue when Alberto Gonzales succeeded him in 2005. And according to the immigration court’s former administrator, it also allowed top political aides at Justice, including former Gonzales chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson and former White House liaison Monica Goodling, to fast-track candidates of their choosing — including a number of lawyers with no immigration law experience but strong ties to the Republican Party or President [sic] George W. Bush’s election campaigns.

Fewer candidates apply for positions as U.S. attorneys 25 May 2007 The Bush administration's decision to fire nine U.S. attorneys last year has created a new problem for the White House: The controversy appears to be discouraging applications for some of the 22 prosecutor posts that President [sic] Bush needs to fill. Of the nation's 93 U.S. attorneys, 22 are serving without Senate confirmation as interim or acting prosecutors.

Special Prosecutor Seeks 30 to 37 Months in Prison for Libby 26 May 2007 Former top Bush administration aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby should spend 30 to 37 months in prison for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald contended in court documents filed yesterday. Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Cheney, has shown no remorse for lying to investigators and "about virtually everything that mattered" in the probe of who disclosed the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame to the media in 2003, Fitzgerald wrote.

Bush In Line of Fire [What a shame!] 24 May 2007 An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards. As President [sic] Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, "I've got confidence in Al Gonzales doin' the job." Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the pResident's sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.

Former Bush Aide Card Is Booed at UMass 25 May 2007 President [sic] Bush's former chief of staff Andrew Card was loudly booed by hundreds of students and faculty members as he rose to accept an honorary degree at the University of Massachusetts on Friday. The boos and catcalls - including those from faculty members who stood onstage with Card - drowned out Provost Charlena Seymour's remarks as she awarded the honorary doctorate in public service. [Awesome!]

UMass faculty, students protest Card's honorary doctorate 25 May 2007 Hundreds of students and faculty erupted in a chorus of boos Friday when President [sic] Bush's former chief of staff Andrew Card rose to accept his honorary doctorate in public service at the University of Massachusetts, blaming him in part for the Iraq war.

NY pressed to review deaths of Ground Zero workers 25 May 2007 Activists, including U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, put fresh pressure on New York City on Friday to compensate Ground Zero workers following the first confirmed death from inhaling the dust of the World Trade Center wreckage.

FEMA Pricing of Trailers Called Unfair And Wasteful 26 May 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has sold trailers to victims of the 2005 hurricanes at prices that range from $1 to $20,000, under inconsistent policies that prompted a temporary ban on all trailer sales, according to a new government report. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Richard L. Skinner warned that uneven sales practices in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were unfair to some victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and wasted taxpayer dollars.

Fed up station owner shuts off gas pumps 25 May 2007 Motorists pulled in to Harvey Pollack's gas station, honked and gave him a thumbs-up -- because he wasn't selling any fuel. The owner of Towne Market Mobil in this suburb north of Milwaukee (MeQuon) shut down his pumps for 24 hours, hoping to start a movement aimed at convincing oil companies to lower their prices.

Glaxo targets US minorities with launch of weight-loss drug in supersized market --Concerns over messy and dangerous side-effects 23 May 2007 A new over-the-counter diet pill from Britain's biggest drugs company, GlaxoSmithKline, is to be specifically targeted at the high proportion of overweight people in the US's black and Hispanic communities.

Mild Strain of Human Bird Flu in Britain 25 May 2007 Four people have tested positive for a mild strain of bird flu, British authorities said Friday. The cases - which are not the feared H5N1 strain, but the less dangerous H7N2 subtype - were reported after poultry died at a small farm in north Wales.

US rejects all proposals on climate change --Embarrassment for Blair as G8 draft covered in red ink --Little hope of any deal at summit in two weeks 26 May 2007 The US has rejected any prospect of a deal on climate change at the G8 summit in Germany next month, according to a leaked document. Despite Tony Blair's declaration on Thursday that Washington would sign up to "at least the beginnings" of action to cut carbon emissions, a note attached to a draft document circulated by Germany says the US is "fundamentally opposed" to the proposals.

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Just Say No: US general wants West to buy Afghan drug crop to curb Taleban 24 May 2007 Western nations should club together to buy Afghanistan’s drug crop and provide incentives to farmers to grow wheat instead, thereby starving the Taleban of funds, a US general said. General William Hobbins, who is advising on the Nato-led assault on Taleban strongholds in Afghanistan, said cash from [US] heroin-producing poppies were paying for smuggled arms.

Iran 'accused of attacks in Iraq to bolster US strategy' 25 May 2007 The Bush administration may be highlighting accusations that the Iranian government is behind attacks in Iraq in order to strengthen its hand in preparing for military strikes on Iran, according to a leading British think-tank. In a report sifting the evidence produced by US authorities against Iran, the independent think-tank Basic cast doubt on the strength of the intelligence, saying that proved links between the Tehran regime and militia inside Iraq remained "sketchy". Given the close ties between Shia Muslim Iran and Iraq, which has a dominant Shia population in the south, the report warned of the dangers of conflating "legitimate acts of foreign relations and cross-border movements of people" with the alleged Iranian involvement in violence.

U.S. navy begins war games on Iran's doorstep 24 May 2007 The U.S. navy began war games on Iran's doorstep on Thursday, navy officials said, a day after a large flotilla of U.S. ships entered the Gulf in a dramatic daytime show of military muscle.

US to protest UN nuclear chief's comments on Iran - diplomats 24 May 2007 British, French and US envoys to the UN nuclear watchdog are to meet with its chief Mohamed ElBaradei on Friday to protest his saying Iran should be allowed to keep some uranium enrichment, diplomats told AFP.

Iran probably 3-8 years off nuclear bomb: IAEA 24 May 2007 Iran is probably three to eight years away from producing a nuclear bomb if it so chooses, the head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.

Former Australian army lawyer says Rumsfeld's handling of Iraq almost criminal 22 May 2007 Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's handling of the Iraq war verged on criminal negligence, a former Australian army lawyer turned political candidate [Col. Mike Kelly] said Tuesday.

Bush predicts bloody summer in Iraq 25 May 2007 President [sic] Bush yesterday predicted "heavy fighting" this summer in what he acknowledged was an unpopular war in Iraq, but said it would be "catastrophic" for the United States to leave before the country is stable.

Analysts warned White House of Iraq invasion dangers 25 May 2007 US intelligence agencies warned senior members of the Bush administration in early 2003 that invading Iraq could create instability that would give Iran and al-Qa'ida [al-CIAduh] new opportunities to expand their influence, according to a coming Senate report. Officials familiar with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation also say analysts warned against a sustained US presence, which could increase extremist recruiting.

Congress approves billions for Iraq war without troop withdrawal timeline 24 May 2007 Bowing to Dictator George W. Bush [as usual], the Democratic-controlled Congress grudgingly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war Thursday night, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 1st Session 24 May 2007 Question: On the Motion (Motion to Concur in House Amdt. to Senate Amdt to H.R.2206) Measure Title: Making emergency supplemental appropriations and additional supplemental appropriations for agricultural and other emergency assistance for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007, and for other purposes.

Final Vote Results For Roll Call 425 --H R 2206 Recorded Vote 24-May-2007 6:45 PM Question: Concur in Senate Amendment with House Amendment No. 2 Bill Title: Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2007

The entire government has failed us on Iraq --For the president, and the majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal By Keith Olbermann 24 May 2007 A President, Mr. Bush, uses the carte blanche he has already, not to manipulate an overlap of arriving and departing Brigades into a 'second surge,' but to say in unequivocal terms that if it takes every last dime of the monies already allocated, if it takes reneging on government contracts with Halliburton, he will make sure the troops are safe—even if the only safety to be found, is in getting them the hell out of there. Well, any true President would have done that, Sir. You instead, used our troops as political pawns, then blamed the Democrats when you did so... "We seem to be very near the bleak choice between war and shame," Winston Churchill wrote to Lord Moyne in the days after the British signed the Munich accords with Germany in 1938. "My feeling is that we shall choose shame, and then have war thrown in, a little later…" That’s what this is for the Democrats, isn’t it? Their "Neville Chamberlain moment" before the Second World War.

Democratic Party completes its capitulation on Iraq By Barry Grey 24 May 2007 The Democratic congressional leadership on Tuesday formally accepted a supplemental war-funding bill that abandons any timelines for withdrawing US troops from Iraq. The bill further gives President [sic] Bush the power to waive economic penalties should the Iraqi government fail to meet a series of "benchmarks" for stabilizing the country and opening up its oil resources to exploitation by American oil conglomerates. The agreement is a full and abject capitulation by the Democratic Party to the Bush administration.

Kucinich claims war masks the real objective: Iraqi oil 24 May 2007 It's all about Iraq's oil - rich, abundant, and coveted by multinational companies waiting to line their deep pockets. Or so said Rep. Dennis Kucinich Wednesday in an unusual hourlong address on the House floor. He laid out his contention that the White House and Democratic-led Congress are helping oil companies grab a stake in Iraq's vast oil fields while claiming to be interested merely in winding down the Iraq war.

Kucinich: Congress Endorses Blackmail of Iraq 24 May 2007 Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) hosted a news conference... to discuss... passage of the Iraqi "Hydrocarbon Act." The Hydrocarbon Act forces the Iraqis to privatize their oil. "The Democrats will have an opportunity today to vote in support of, or against, the blackmail of Iraq. A vote for the benchmarks is a vote to demand the privatization of Iraqi oil... The benchmarks in today’s war supplemental force the Iraqis to privatize their oil industry by demanding passage of the Iraqi "Hydrocarbon Act." ...This administration has misled Congress into thinking that pending Iraqi legislation before their Parliament is about fair distribution of oil revenues. In fact, except for three scant lines, the entire 33-page hydrocarbon law creates a structure to facilitate the privatization of Iraq’s oil. The truth is that the "Hydrocarbon Act" will open Iraq’s oil reserves to foreign investors, giving them, and not the Iraqi people, the ability to develop the majority of Iraq’s 80 known oil fields."

1 in 8 Iraqis dies before fifth birthday --In Baghdad's poorest area, hospital lacks basic supplies, staff 23 May 2007 The mortality rate among Iraqi children younger than 5 rose 150 percent between 1990 and 2005, according to a report released this month by the U.S. humanitarian aid group Save the Children. In its most startling terms, the group estimates that 1 in 8 never makes it to his or her fifth birthday.

Morgue Data Show Increase In Sectarian Killings in Iraq 24 May 2007 More than three months into a U.S.-Iraqi security offensive designed to curtail [foment] sectarian violence in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, Health Ministry statistics show that such killings are rising again. From the beginning of May until Tuesday, 321 unidentified corpses, many dumped and showing signs of torture and execution, have been found across the Iraqi capital, according to morgue data provided by a Health Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

Turkish warplanes violate Iraq's northern airspace 25 May 2007 A military source from Iraq's Kurdistan region said on Thursday two Turkish warplanes violated Iraqi northern Kurdistan airspace near the borders with Turkey. "Two Turkish warplanes violated today the Kurdistan region airspace for a distance of ten kilometers inside the Iraqi territories," the source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Turkish PM would back Iraq incursion after suicide bombing 24 May 2007 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to support any Turkish military incursion in Iraq against Kurdish rebel bases there after a deadly suicide bombing in Ankara blamed on the militants.

21 killed in Fallujah car bomb attack 24 May 2007 At least 21 people were killed and 50 wounded today when a parked car bomb hit a funeral procession for a man who worked against al Qaida in Iraq, police and medical officials said. The attack occurred about 9am local time in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Two U.S. soldiers killed in Anbar province 24 May 2007 Two U.S. soldiers were killed while conducting combat operations in Iraq's volatile Anbar Province, the military announced Thursday.

AP: Marines fail to get gear to troops 25 May 2007 The system for delivering badly needed gear to Marines in Iraq has failed to meet many urgent requests for equipment from troops in the field, according to an internal document obtained by The Associated Press.

Lawsuit in outsourced U.S. war is moved out of court 25 May 2007 After years of high-stakes legal wrangling, a lawsuit stemming from the gruesome deaths of four U.S. contractors in Iraq is moving behind closed doors in an action seen as an important precedent for the booming private security industry. The suit, for wrongful death and fraud, was filed in January 2005 against Blackwater Security Consulting, one of scores of companies now fielding close to 130,000 mercenaries who work alongside the U.S. military in Iraq.

Spanish judge persists with U.S. soldier charges 24 May 2007 A judge decided on Thursday to press on with charges against three U.S. soldiers for killing a Spanish television cameraman during the invasion of Iraq, denying a state appeal.

Army and Air Force Deny Formal Links to Christian Event 25 May 2007 After complaints by a government watchdog group, the Air Force and the Army partially distanced themselves yesterday from a three-day evangelical Christian event this weekend at a Georgia theme park. The Memorial Day weekend "Salute to the Troops" celebration at Stone Mountain Park is sponsored by Task Force Patriot USA, a private group that says its purpose is "sharing the fullness of life in Jesus Christ with all U.S. military, military veterans and families," and whose Web site says "Christ is our Commander-in-Chief."

McClatchy's D.C. Bureau Claims It's Barred From Defense Secretary Plane 23 May 2007 Staffers at McClatchy's Washington, D.C., Bureau -- one of the few major news outlets skeptical of intelligence reports during the run-up to the war in Iraq -- claims it is now being punished for that coverage. Bureau Chief John Walcott and current and former McClatchy Pentagon correspondents say they have not been allowed on the Defense Secretary's plane for at least three years, claiming the news company is being retaliated against for its reporting.

A drive for global domination has put us in greater danger --Moral authority, which is our greatest source of strength, has been recklessly put at risk by this wilful president By Al Gore 24 May 2007 The pursuit of "dominance" in foreign policy led the Bush administration to ignore the UN, to do serious damage to our most important alliances, to violate international law, and to cultivate the hatred and contempt of many in the rest of the world. The seductive appeal of exercising unconstrained unilateral power led this president to interpret his powers under the constitution in a way that brought to life the worst nightmare of the founders. Any policy based on domination of the rest of the world not only creates enemies for the US and recruits for al-Qaida, but also undermines the international cooperation that is essential to defeating terrorists who wish to harm and intimidate America... It is our moral authority that has been recklessly put at risk by the cheap calculations of this wilful president [sic].

Poll Shows View of Iraq War Is Most Negative Since Start 25 May 2007 Americans now view the war in Iraq more negatively than at any time since the invasion more than four years ago, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Sixty-one percent of Americans say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq and 76 percent say things are going badly there, including 47 percent who say things are going very badly, the poll found.

Canadian killed in major assault on Taliban 25 May 2007 A Canadian soldier was killed and another was wounded on Friday in the explosion of an improvised bomb during Operation Hoover in Afghanistan. The Canadian troops had earlier launched their most ambitious assault on the Taliban in nearly two months.

Hamas cabinet ministers seized by Israel troops 25 May 2007 Israeli forces seized a Palestinian cabinet minister and 32 other Hamas officials in overnight West Bank sweeps designed to intensify pressure on the Islamic faction. As Palestinian ministers outside Hamas condemned the detentions, the faction itself defiantly claimed it would use "any means" to free the detained officials and fired more Qassam rockets into Israel.

Poland, U.S. move closer on missile shield deal 24 May 2007 Poland and the United States moved closer to reaching an agreement to build an anti-missile shield on Polish soil, officials of both countries said after a first round of negotiations on Thursday.

U.S. Senate committee pushes to restore basic right for detainees like Khadr 23 May 2007 Eliminating the right of terrorism suspects like Canadian Omar Khadr to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts is a "profound mistake" rivalling the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War, Senator Patrick Leahy said Tuesday. Leahy, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, held a hearing to push for reinstating habeas corpus, a basic constitutional guarantee of access to a U.S. federal court.

We may declare an emergency to quit rights act, says Reid 25 May 2007 Police would be able to continue questioning terrorist suspects after they had been charged under proposals to be published within weeks by John Reid. After the latest fiasco in which three terror suspects went on the run after breaching their control orders, the Home Secretary said yesterday that the Government would consider declaring that there was an emergency threat to the country, allowing it to opt out of human rights legislation, if all other options failed.

Reid warning to judges over control orders --Home secretary ready to invoke state of emergency --Move to stiffen law would suspend human rights act 25 May 2007 The home secretary, John Reid, made clear yesterday he is prepared to declare a "state of emergency" to suspend key parts of the human rights convention if the law lords do not overturn a series of judgments that have weakened the anti[pro]-terrorist control order regime.

Three terror suspects 'are on the run' [let loose so that Reid could invoked the clampdown measures] 24 May 2007 Two brothers of a man convicted of involvement in the fertiliser bomb plot have absconded from a control order imposed on them under terrorism laws. Scotland Yard said they are anxious to trace Lamine Adam, 26, and Ibrahim Adam, 20, and a third man, Cerie Bullivant, 24, who went missing this week.

Bush makes power grab By Jerome Corsi 23 May 2007 President [sic] Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president. The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive," with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 09 May 2007 National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51; Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20

Groups File Legal Papers Renewing Call For Release of NSA Wiretap Records --Justice Department Must Stop Covering Up Program Now Known to Be Illegal, Groups Tell Court (ACLU) 23 May 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Security Archive and the Electronic Privacy Information Center today filed new legal papers urging a federal judge to compel the Justice Department to release documents pertaining to the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program. The move comes after former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified that the Justice Department determined in March 2004 that the NSA program was unlawful.

Arson attacks ruled terrorism 24 May 2007 Ruling that arson attacks on a police office, an SUV dealership and a tree farm were acts of terrorism, a federal judge on Wednesday imposed a 13-year prison term on Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, the first of 10 defendants to be sentenced in the nation's largest-ever investigation of radical underground environmental activists.

Dust victim is added to 9/11 toll 24 May 2007 A US woman has been added to the list of those killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, after dying from dust generated by the towers' collapse. New York's chief medical examiner said he was certain the dust contributed to Felicia Dunn-Jones' death from a rare lung disease five months after 9/11. The toxic cloud contained particles of asbestos, lead, glass, and cement.

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US warns Iran as armada enters Gulf 24 May 2007 The US today threatened new UN sanctions to punish Iran's nuclear drive as it ratcheted up tensions with the biggest display of naval power in the Gulf in years. A bristling US armada led by two aircraft carriers steamed into waters near Iran for exercises, hours before UN watchdogs said Iran was expanding its uranium enrichment program in defiance of international sanctions.

'Al Qaeda in Iraq is a Bush-fulfilling prophesy. They weren't there before; now they're there.' --Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), MSNBC 'Hardball'

Nine U.S. warships in Gulf for show of force [for Exxon Mobil] 23 May 2007 The largest daytime assembly of U.S. warships in the Gulf since the 2003 Iraq war prepared on Wednesday to hold drills off Iran's coast in a major U.S. show of force that unnerved oil markets. U.S. Navy officials said Iran was not notified of plans to sail nine ships, including two aircraft carriers, through the Straits of Hormuz, a narrow channel in international waters off Iran's coast and a major artery for global oil shipments.

6 Navy Commanders Sacked in 6 Weeks By Noah Shachtman 22 May 2007 For the sixth time in as many weeks, the lead officer of a Navy ship has been suddenly relieved of command, DANGER ROOM pal Andy Scutro reports for Navy Times.

Pentagon Studies Long-Term Commitment in Iraq (Morning Edition) 21 May 2007 The White House and Pentagon are under increasing pressure from Congress and the public to end U.S. military involvement in Iraq. But the Pentagon is considering maintaining a core group of forces in Iraq, possibly for decades.

CBP recruiting volunteers to train Iraqi border guards 23 May 2007 U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham is... seeking veteran U.S. Border Patrol agents and CBP officers willing to train Iraqis to guard their borders. In a message to all Border Patrol agents and CBP officers, Mr. Basham said the agency wants to "support the reconstruction [destruction] efforts in Iraq" by deploying volunteers as temporary advisers to help the U.S.-backed Iraqi government seal its border against 'insurgents.' [Can the US seal its *own* borders?! LOL!!]

Occupation forces bombard citizens' houses and orchards in Taji 22 May 2007 (HAQ) Our correspondent in al-Taji area reported that the American occupation forces continue, for the seventh day, to intensively target citizens’ houses and orchards in Shata’ al-Tajiyat, Thera’a Digla, and areas that surround the occupation forces base in Taji.

Car loaded with chlorine explodes in Ramadi 21 May 2007 (HAQ) A [US] car bomb loaded with chlorine gas exploded in the western city of Ramadi in the al-Zenkoreh area led to the killing of number of civilians and wounded dozens.

Iraqis say body found of U.S. soldier 23 May 2007 Iraqi police dragged a body from the Euphrates River on Wednesday and said it was one of three American soldiers abducted in an ambush claimed by al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. The U.S. military has yet to identify the victim and pressed ahead with its search through sweltering flatlands south of Baghdad.

Two American soldiers found beheaded in al-Mahmoudia 19 May 2007 (HAQ) After six days of continuous searching for three captured soldiers, American occupation forces found today two bodies with gotten head cut --two of the three soldiers captured. The third soldier's fate is unknown. Police sources in the city of Mahmoudia told our correspondent that the two bodies, which were found near one of their orchards in the city, appeared to have severe torture signs and with gotten head cut.

Iran Defies UN Over Nuclear Programme 23 May 2007 Iran has defied international demands to scrap its uranium enrichment programme and has instead expanded its activities, the UN's nuclear watchdog has revealed. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had defied a 60-day deadline set by the UN Security Council when it imposed further sanctions on March 24.

Edwards: 'War on Terror' Has Hurt U.S. 23 May 2007 Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists. In a defense policy speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

Terror war 'divisive' 24 May 2007 Fears stoked by the "war on terror" are dividing the world, Amnesty International said yesterday, attacking human rights abuses from China to Darfur, Russia and the Middle East. Human rights are flouted in Iraq and Afghanistan, on the front line of the US-led crackdown on extremism. "The politics of fear is fuelling a downward spiral of human rights abuse in which no right is sacrosanct and no person safe," said Amnesty chief Irene Kahn. "The 'war on terror' and the war in Iraq, with their catalogue of human rights abuses, have created deep divisions that cast a shadow on international relations." Amnesty says 400 detainees from more than 30 countries are still in the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, which it calls "the public symbol of the injustices in the 'war on terror"'.

Shedding light on CIA mystery flights 23 May 2007 "This World: Mystery Flights" (BBC Two) pieces together the jigsaw of "extraordinary rendition", the alleged illegal CIA transfer of terror suspects to secret prisons in Europe. In far eastern Poland in 2002 and 2003 strange planes landed on an old disused runway in a secluded forest - nine times. The airport was closed but Mariola Przewlocka, the airport facilities manager, was told to accept the planes or "heads would roll". Airport staff were told to stay away while the passengers were unloaded out of sight. Mini-vans with blacked-out windows drove them away to a former Soviet military intelligence base, where it is believed the CIA has its own zone.

Tutu compares horror of Guantanamo to apartheid era 23 May 2007 Archbishop Desmond Tutu has sent a message of hope to supporters of Omar Deghayes, the Brighton man held in Guantanamo Bay. Speaking to The Argus during a visit to Sussex, the clergyman and human rights campaigner compared those in the US prison in Cuba to people detained in South Africa during the apartheid era.

Baltimore council nixes 'martial law' 23 May 2007 Baltimore lawmakers have rejected a proposal to allow the mayor to lock down streets and close businesses in high-crime zones, the most recent attempt to curb violence the city. The proposal, which was introduced by City Council member Robert W. Curran (D) also would have granted police extended search powers. "While I do agree that desperate times call for desperate measures, I do not agree that trampling on citizens' civil liberties is the answer," said council member Keifer J. Mitchell Jr., a Democrat running for mayor. "This bill gives the mayor tremendous power, tantamount to declaring martial law, and I have grave reservations about that," said

Double Secret Probation --Police fork over secret RNC documents that make it plain there's plenty more By Sean Gardiner 22 May 2007 The NYPD's RNC spying controversy can't come in from the cold just yet. Some 600 pages of previously secret police records at the center of a months-long legal tug-of-war between the city and the New York Civil Liberties Union were finally made public last week, but now the Voice has learned that the city is holding back yet another set of secret documents regarding the police department's widespread intelligence-gathering in anticipation of the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Germans outraged by "scent profiling" ahead of G8 23 May 2007 Germany's justice minister added her voice on Wednesday to outrage sweeping the country over 'scent profiling' methods police are using for a looming G8 summit that recall tricks by East Germany's nefarious Stasi. Hans-Christian Stroebele, a Greens leader, said: "It's unsavory that our security agencies are now using methods that the Stasi once practiced."

Germany adopts Stasi scent tactic 23 May 2007 The German authorities are compiling a database of human scents to track down possible 'violent' protesters at the G8 summit in June. The method, once used by East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, involves collecting scent samples in advance from selected targets. The scents are then passed to police equipped with sniffer dogs who can pick the individuals out amid a crowd. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor has confirmed that samples of smell were gathered from five people who were detained during recent police raids. Petra Pau, a politician from the opposition Left Party, described the move "as another step away from a democratic state of law toward a preventive security state". "A state that adopts the methods of the East German Stasi, robs itself of every... legitimacy," she said in a statement.

Work bill would create new ID database 21 May 2007 The U.S. Congress is poised to create a set of massive new government databases that all employers must use to investigate the immigration status of current and future employees or face stiff penalties. The so-called Employment Eligibility Verification System would be established as part of a bill that senators began debating on Monday... Because anyone who fails a database check would be out of a job, the proposed database already has drawn comparisons with the "no-fly list" and is being criticized by civil libertarians and business groups.

Claims of 9/11 conspiracy have suspect running scared --Former Denverite says 9/11 work has made him a target 23 May 2007 A former Federal Emergency Management Agency videographer [Kurt Sonnenfeld] accused of killing his wife [The charges against Sonnenfeld were dismissed just before trial in June 2002] in Denver is seeking political asylum in Argentina, claiming the U.S. government wants him silenced for what he saw in the smoldering ruins of the Twin Towers after 9/11... Sonnenfeld said he was arrested by Interpol agents on the new Denver charges a week after delivering a demo video of 9/11 footage to a TV producer in Argentina. Sonnenfeld is quoted as saying, "What I saw (at 9/11) leads me to the terrible conclusion that there was foreknowledge of what was going to happen - the precautions that were taken to save certain things that the authorities there considered irreplaceable or invaluable. "For example, certain things were missing that could only have been removed with a truck. Yet after the first plane hit one of the towers, everything in Manhattan collapsed and no one could have gotten near the towers to do that."

Goodling Says She 'Crossed the Line' in Hiring Attorneys 23 May 2007 Monica Goodling, a former top Justice Department aide, said she went too far in considering the political leanings of job candidates during testimony Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee. "I crossed the line of the civil service rules," said Goodling, who agreed to testify only after being granted immunity for what she said during her appearance.

Goodling Denies Major Role in Dismissals 23 May 2007 The Justice Department's former White House liaison denied Wednesday that she played a major role in the firings of U.S. attorneys last year and blamed Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty for misleading Congress.

AAA wants gas-price inquiry --Auto club asks Senate to investigate why oil profits are soaring despite glitches 16 May 2007 AAA asked the U.S. Senate Tuesday to investigate why oil companies are making huge profits at a time when glitches at gas refineries have caused pump prices to soar. "We are concerned about the number and frequency of refinery outages this year in light of the large profits the industry has been reporting," AAA Public Affairs Director Geoff Sundstrom told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, suggesting the industry should be better able to project and meet demand.

Big Oil buys Sacramento --Why you're not hearing a peep from California politicians on record-high gas prices. By Jamie Court and Judy Dugan 14 May 2007 ...[A]s gasoline prices were breaking last year's record of $3.38 a gallon, Schwarzenegger (R) collected a $100,000 check May 1 from Chevron, the West's largest refiner. The company certainly had the cash on hand. Just three days earlier, it reported a $4.7-billion first-quarter profit, up 18% over the same period last year. The contribution brought Schwarzenegger's take from Chevron to $665,000 (making it his 15th largest donor) since 2003, and his total political tribute from the energy industry is now $4 million.

Fed Up with Gas Prices? Blame the Bush Administration for Not Enforcing Anti-Trust Laws By Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) 23 May 2007 In recent weeks, prices at the pump have hit an all-time high... Paradoxically, this year, rising gas prices are not being driven by increases in the cost of oil. In fact, a barrel of oil is actually $7 cheaper than it was this time last year. How is it possible for gas prices to reach record highs while the price of oil remains relatively stable? We examined this and related questions during a House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force hearing titled, "Prices at the Pump: Market Failure and the Oil Industry."

Bush Threatens Veto of Gas Gouging Bill 23 May 2007 President [sic] Bush is likely to veto legislation that would create hefty fines and criminal penalties for gasoline price-gouging, the White House said Wednesday. The bill would create fines and criminal penalties, including jail time, for industry executives found guilty of gouging.

House Approves Stiff Penalties For Gas Price Gouging --Maggot Face set to veto 23 May 2007 The House, eager to do something about record high gasoline prices in advance of the Memorial Day weekend, approved stiff penalties Wednesday for those found guilty of gasoline price gouging. The bill, approved by a vote 284-141, directs the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to go after oil companies, traders or retail operators if they take "unfair advantage" or charge "unconscionably excessive" prices for gasoline and other fuels. The White House said President [sic] Bush would be urged to veto the legislation should it pass Congress.

House Roll Call: Gasoline Price Gouging 23 May 2007 The 284-141 roll call Wednesday by which the House approved stiff penalties for those found guilty of gasoline price gouging. A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the bill. Voting yes were 228 Democrats and 56 Republicans. Voting no were 1 Democrat and 140 Republicans.

Bush's 'consumer' nominee withdraws 23 May 2007 President [sic] Bush's pick [corpora-terrorist] to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission withdrew his nomination Wednesday amid strong opposition from some Senate Democrats. Michael Baroody is a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, and his critics on Capitol Hill said he would not provide the leadership the agency needed in order to protect consumers. Democrats also had raised questions about a $150,000 payment that Baroody would have received when he left the lobbying group.

Early word on Street bonuses: upbeat --Stocks' gains, dealmaking set to fuel growth over 2006 payouts 22 May 2007 The rich will be getting richer. Again. Bonuses paid on Wall Street at the end of 2007 could exceed last year's totals by 10% to 15% in most areas, according to the latest forecast released Tuesday by executive recruiting firm Johnson Associates Inc.

Expert: Aquatic Virus Hits 2 Great Lakes 22 May 2007 A deadly, fast-spreading aquatic virus is reaching epidemic proportions in New York's two Great Lakes and has already spread into the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, a Cornell University fisheries expert said Tuesday.

Bear Sighting Triggers Elementary School Lockdown 23 May 2007 (Redmond, WA) A Redmond elementary school has been locked down because someone saw a bear near the campus. Northshore school officials said students at Sunrise Elementary School will be kept indoors during recess periods and P.E.

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Opium: Iraq's deadly new export --Amid the [US-engendered] anarchy, farmers begin to grow opium poppies, raising fears [and Bush's hopes] that the country could become a major heroin supplier. 23 May 2007 Farmers in southern Iraq have started to grow opium poppies in their fields for the first time, sparking fears that Iraq might become a serious drugs producer along the lines of Afghanistan. Rice farmers along the Euphrates, to the west of the city of Diwaniya, south of Baghdad, have stopped cultivating rice, for which the area is famous, and are instead planting poppies, Iraqi sources familiar with the area have told The Independent. [Iraq - Afghanistan. Who is the common factor? Bush, funding his war on [of] terror and his oil smuggling operations.]

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran 22 May 2007 The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President [sic] Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.

U.S. mulls military funding plea from Lebanon 22 May 2007 The United States said on Tuesday it was considering an urgent request from Lebanon for more U.S. military aid to battle Islamist militants and warned Syria against meddling in its neighbor's affairs. [Let me get this straight: The US is considering giving military aid to Lebanon, while at the same time warning Syria against 'meddling?' While we're on the topic of 'meddling,' why doesn't the US get out of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan?]

More US 'meddling:' Nine U.S. warships enter Gulf for training 23 May 2007 Nine U.S. military ships, including two aircraft carriers, passed through the Straights of Hormuz on Wednesday, the largest number of U.S. military vessels to enter the Gulf since 2003, the U.S. military said. It said the ships were entering the area for training.

U.S. Government Gave Airtime to Terrorists, Official Admits [Oh, besides every time Bush holds a press conference?] 22 May 2007 Al Hurra television, the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program. That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces. "How does it happen that the terrorists take over?" asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing last Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. [How does it happen that the terrorists take over? They steal the elections! --LRP]

Useless is as useless does: Democrats Drop Troop Pullout Dates From Iraq Bill 22 May 2007 Congressional DemocRATs relented today on their insistence that a war spending measure sought by Dictator Bush also set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq. The decision to back down, described by senior lawmakers and aides, was a wrenching reversal for some Democrats, who saw their election triumph as a call to force an end to the war. [Arming the Left: Is the time now? --by Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against...]

Bush could double Iraq troops by Christmas --Little-noticed second surge is quietly being executed 22 May 2007 The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday. The little-noticed second surge, designed to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq, is being executed by sending more combat brigades and extending tours of duty for troops already there. The actions could boost the number of combat soldiers from 52,500 in early January to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year if the Pentagon overlaps arriving and departing combat brigades.

At Least 100 Iraqis Killed or Found Dead 23 May 2007 A [US] car bomb exploded Tuesday at an outdoor market in a Shiite area of Baghdad, killing 25 people and wounding at least 60 - the deadliest in a string of attacks that stoked 'sectarian' tension in and around the capital.

Car Bombing in Baghdad Market Kills 25 22 May 2007 A [US] parked car bomb ripped through a crowded outdoor market Tuesday in a Shiite area of southwestern Baghdad, killing 25 people and wounding at least 60.

Israel hits Gaza with more strikes, seven wounded 22 May 2007 Israel launched more air strikes on suspected Gaza militants on Wednesday which wounded seven people, hospital officials and residents of the northern part of the coastal strip said. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed an aircraft had fired missiles into a building used to store munitions and that secondary explosions were observed.

U.S. to let START nuclear treaty expire 22 May 2007 The United States plans to let a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia expire in 2009 and replace it with a less formal agreement that eliminates strict verification requirements and weapons limits, a senior U.S. official says.

Halliburton to target $80b projects from Dubai base 23 May 2007 US oil services firm Halliburton said yesterday it was looking for a suitable site to build its corporate headquarters in Dubai. Halliburton is tracking about 60 projects worth $80 billion (Dh294.24 billion) across the world for which it may compete over the next five years. The New York-listed Halliburton plans to have a secondary listing on a Middle East stock exchange.

Govt denies influx of 50 CIA agents 22 May 2007 Pakistan yesterday denied a report that up to 50 US Central Intelligence Agency officials are in the country hunting for 'Al Qaeda' chief Osama bin Laden. The report in the Los Angeles Times at the weekend said a major hunt for bin Laden launched by the CIA last year had unearthed no significant leads on his whereabouts.

UN torture panel presses Poland for details on CIA secret prisons probe 22 May 2007 The UN Committee Against Torture Monday urged Poland to disclose details regarding a parliamentary investigation into the presence of secret CIA prisons in the country on Monday, expressing concern that Poland participated in running terrorist suspect prisons in the country.

White House says bin Laden ordered Iraq plots 23 May 2007 Osama bin Laden ordered al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, to form a cell in 2005 to plot attacks outside of Iraq and make the United States his main target, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. Citing newly declassified intelligence [LOL!] , Fran Townsend, President [sic] George W. Bush's adviser for homeland security, said the information backs the administration's assertion that U.S. troops must stay in Iraq for now to prevent it from becoming a "terrorist sanctuary." Mindful of its trouble selling its war strategy to the American public, the [lying sack of sh*t occupying the] White House is trying to put the spotlight on bin Laden's connections to Zarqawi, the head of Iraq's 'al Qaeda' wing who was killed in a U.S. air strike in June 2006.

Liberty Student Arrested on Bomb Charges 23 May 2007 A Liberty University student was arrested after telling a family member he had made bombs and planned to attend the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, authorities said. Mark David Uhl was arrested Monday night on charges of manufacturing an explosive device, Major Steve Hutcherson said. Campbell County Sheriff Terry Gaddy described the five bombs as "sort of like napalm" and about the size of soda cans. Gaddy investigators in Fauquier County were interviewing several people who had been in an ROTC program with Uhl, of Amissville, in high school and may have been involved in making the bombs. One is now in the Army, he said.

Health fear over new airport scanners 22 May 2007 New X-Ray scanners at British airports could be exposing passengers to potentially dangerous levels of radiation, according to one senior radiologist.

Va. Investigator Threatens Court Fight 23 May 2007 The panel studying last month's massacre at Virginia Tech will go to court if necessary to get gunman Seung-Hui Cho's medical and mental health records, the group's chairman said Tuesday.

Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities' By Lori Price Updated!

Judge Blocks Texas Anti-Immigrant Law --Says Dallas Suburb's Attempt to Force Landlords to Verify Tenants' Citizenship Is Trumped By Federal Law 22 May 2007 A federal judge blocked enforcement of an ordinance which would have prevented apartment rentals to most illegal immigrants in the Texas city of Farmers Branch, just a day before it would take effect. Only the federal government can determine whether a person is in the United States legally, U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay wrote Monday.

Save Internet Radio! 22 May 2007 The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio needs your help! The Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House (H.R. 2060) and Senate (S. 1353) to save the Internet radio industry. Please call your senators and your representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act by clicking here.

Vaccine linked to sickness 22 May 2007 (AU) Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott and health authorities have urged parents not to panic over reports that dozens of teenage girls have been sickened by a new cervical cancer vaccine. In one case being investigated, a girl was left temporarily paralysed and unable to talk after receiving the Australian-developed Gardasil vaccine. The school will press ahead with more vaccinations next month. Hundreds of girls in the US have reported reactions such as temporary paralysis, fainting and broken bones from falling over after receiving the shot.

WHO bans vaccine, sends experts to probe child deaths in Vietnam 18 May 2007 The World Health Organization has suspended the use of a Hepatitis B vaccine worldwide after three newborns died and another became seriously ill in Vietnam after getting shots in the last few weeks. Earlier this month, Vietnam instructed all localities nationwide to stop using the vaccine.

Bush admin opposes Democratic push to sue OPEC 22 May 2007 The Bush regime on Tuesday said it would likely veto a Democratic-sponsored bill in the U.S. Congress that would allow the government to sue the OPEC oil producers group for price manipulation. Committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives have approved versions of the "No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007," or "NOPEC."

22 Governors Request Gas Price Probe --Prices Hit Records Nationwide 22 May 2007 Raising fears of crippled state and national economies, 22 governors have signed a letter to congressional leaders of both parties seeking an inquiry into skyrocketing gasoline prices.

US tries to freeze climate change talks 23 May 2007 The United States is battling to stop next month's Group of Eight summit in Germany from pushing for urgent talks on a new deal to fight global warming after the Kyoto Protocol lapses in 2012. In a draft of the final communique for the June 6-8 summit seen by Reuters, the Bush regime wants references to the urgency of the climate crisis taken out as well as the need for a United Nations conference in Bali in December to open talks on a new global deal.

Fierce, Busy Storm Season Ahead, Experts Say --13 to 17 Named Disturbances, Including 7 to 10 Hurricanes, Are Predicted 23 May 2007 Far away, off the coast of South America, the waters of the Pacific Ocean are cooling ominously. In the Atlantic, the sea surface remains warm. And overhead, the atmosphere is evolving toward what forecasters said yesterday could be a dangerous hurricane season.

Power Restored in Meriden; Woodchucks to Blame 22 May 2007 (CT) Power has been restored in Meriden, and officials said woodchucks are to blame for an outage that affected more than 4,000 people. Officials said a family of woodchucks crawled under a transformer at an abandoned factory on North Colony Street.

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U.N. barred from Texas detention center 21 May 2007 U.S. immigration officials blocked a U.N. observer from visiting a detention facility for illegal aliens in Texas, the ACLU reported. U.N. Special Rapporteur Jorge Bustamante is conducting a fact-finding mission to examine the status of migrants' rights in the United States, but U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prohibited him from making a scheduled stop at a family detention center in Taylor, Texas, the ACLU reported on Friday. The detention center, which was formerly a medium-security prison according to the ACLU, is operated by the Corrections Corporation of America through a contract with the Department of Homeland Security. [See: KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support for Emergency Support Services 24 Jan 2006]

Iraq draws up plans if U.S. forces leave 21 May 2007 Iraq's military is drawing up plans on how to cope if U.S.-led forces leave the country quickly, the defense minister said Monday. The statement by Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi marked the first time a senior Iraqi official has spoken publicly about the possibility of a quick end to the U.S.-led 'mission.' [The 'mission' is passage of the *oil law* for Exxon Mobil and Cheney Halliburton.]

Iraq preparing for US pullout 22 May 2007 Iraq's military is drawing up plans on how to cope with a quick US military pullout, the local defence minister says. A senior US official has warned the United States may reconsider its support if the Iraqis fail to complete major 'reforms' by fall.

Useless is as useless does: Dems set war bill without Iraq timeline 21 May 2007 In grudging concessions to President [sic] Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of at least some of the billions they want for domestic programs, officials said Monday. It would provide funds for military operations in Iraq through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Brown won't pull UK troops out of Iraq: U.S. official 21 May 2007 Washington is confident British prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown will not pull British troops out of Iraq early, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

10 killed in Iraq 22 May 2007 Attackers killed seven civilians near Baquba and a roadside bomb killed three Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad Monday. The Voice of America said a child was among those who died in the Baquba north of Baghdad.

The US is pushing *really hard* for that oil law to pass! Mortar shell hits Iraq parliament 21 May 2007 A mortar shell struck the roof of Iraq's parliament inside Baghdad's heavily protected [apparently *not*] Green Zone on Monday, shaking the building but causing no casualties. "The rocket landed on the roof of the parliament right above the speaker's office," said Sheikh Sabah Saadi, an MP from the Shi'ite Fadhila Party.

7 killed on bus in Iraq; parliament hit 21 May 2007 [US] Gunmen in two cars attacked a minibus heading to Baghdad from a Shiite town north of the capital Monday, killing seven passengers, including a child, police said. A mortar shell hit the roof of the parliament building inside the heavily guarded [?] Green Zone in Baghdad, but no one was injured, a lawmaker said.

U.S. raids don't find 3 missing soldiers 21 May 2007 U.S. soldiers raided suspected safehouses near the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Monday in their search for three captured comrades but found them empty after the militants apparently were tipped off and fled, a military spokesman said.

Iraq War Creates Ammo Shortage --Ammo Shipments Delayed 21 May 2007 The war in Iraq is having an impact on local gun shops and police departments. Experts said ammunition shipments are being delayed for up to a year because the Army has more than tripled its demand for small-caliber ammunition. The government spent $688 million on ammunition last year, up from $242 million in 2001.

Outlaws plunder Iraq's dwindling river fisheries 20 May 2007 For thousands of years fishermen have drawn their livelihoods out of the brown waters of the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which teem with species found nowhere else in the world. But now -- as overlapping civil wars grip much of Iraq [due to the US invasion] -- [US] outlaws equipped with pesticides, hand grenades and electric cables are driving the country's fisheries to extinction and leaving local fishermen with empty nets. "Iraq's fish are suffering from these terrible crimes," said Faiq Salim, one of the oldest fishermen in the central Iraqi town of Kut, 175 kilometres (110 miles) downriver from Baghdad.

Iran Charges U.S. Scholar With Trying to Topple Government 21 May 2007 American 'scholar' Haleh Esfandiari has been charged with trying to topple the Iranian government, Iran's state [as opposed to corporate]-controlled television reported today. Iran's Intelligence Ministry accused Esfandiari, director of Middle East programs at the Smithsonian's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of trying to foment a soft revolution by setting up a network "against the sovereignty" of Iran. Esfandiari was imprisoned May 8 after more than four months under virtual house arrest.

Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq 22 May 2007 Iran is secretly forging ties with 'al-Qaida' elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with occupation forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

Iran says anti-U.S. policy "bigger than Hiroshima" 21 May 2007 Iran's policies of standing up to the United States have set off a "powerful bomb in the world of politics" bigger than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday.

Bush doesn't want detente. He wants to attack Iran. The US has swept aside repeated overtures from Tehran. Is it any wonder if the Islamic Republic now wants the bomb? By Alain Gresh 15 May 2007 Although the US administration's current priority is Iraq, it has not given up on Iran. Silently, stealthily, unseen by cameras, the war on Iran has begun. Many sources confirm that the US has increased its aid to armed movements among the ethnic minorities that make up about 40% of Iran's population. ABC News reported in April that the US had secretly assisted the Baluchi group Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), responsible for a recent attack that killed 20 Revolutionary Guards. According to an American Foundation report, US commandos have operated inside Iran since 2004... Despite the disaster in Iraq, there is no indication that Bush has given up the idea of attacking Iran... The idea of an assault against Iran is after all part of the Bushite vision of a "third world war" against "Islamic fascism", an ideological war that can end only in complete victory.

Poland considers CIA prison issue closed: PM 22 May 2007 Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on Monday that Poland considered the CIA prison issue closed, the PAP news agency reported. The UN Committee Against Torture on Monday appealed that it needed additional information on Poland's inquiries into the matter "despite Poland's earlier assurances that no CIA cells were located on its territory."

Paris calls off festival of US culture after threats --Letters claiming 'al-Qaida' link force postponement --Event aimed at celebrating Franco-US relationship 22 May 2007 A festival due to be held in Paris this weekend to celebrate American music and culture has been called off after death threats from an anti-US group claiming links to al-Qaida [al-CIAduh]. The death threats, along with warnings suggesting that the event itself might be attacked, were made in anonymous telephone calls and an apparently badly written letter containing numerous spelling mistakes. [LOL! Bush must have written it.]

Judge may use terrorism penalty in eco-saboteur sentences 21 May 2007 U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled today that federal sentencing guidelines allow her to consider imposing a "terrorism enhancement" on 10 convicted eco-saboteurs, a designation that could make them eligible for longer prison terms.

Pilotless police drone takes off 21 May 2007 The UK's first police remote control helicopter has taken off. Merseyside police are using the "spy drone", fitted with CCTV cameras, mainly for tackling anti-social behaviour and public disorder. The machine is 1m wide, weighs less than a bag of sugar [i.e., they can be easily shot down], and can record images from a height of 500m.

If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out Look! Up in the sky! It's . . . By Mark Yannone 21 May 2007 England's masters of their new police state have launched the Spy Drone, a remote-controlled or GPS-controlled, pilotless helicopter armed with a closed-circuit TV camera... Sporting Brits in Merseyside will love the new machine as it gives them a challenge other than doves and clay pigeons. When the three-month trial of the drones gets under way in June, the country air will be redolent with spent gunpowder. Pull! Another job well done.

Panel receives details, roadblock 21 May 2007 Seung-Hui Cho did not fire half of his ammunition before taking his own life on April 16, Virginia State Police Superintendent, Steven Flaherty, said to the state panel Monday. Police have found 174 used cartridge casings from both a 9 MM handgun and a .22 caliber handgun. Police also recovered 203 live rounds of ammunition... Earlier in the Monday’s testimony, the panel met a roadblock during the presentation from Kay Heidbreder, the University Counsel.

Bush renews support for Gonzales 21 May 2007 With Republican support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales eroding, President [sic] Bush offered renewed confidence in his longtime friend Monday and said the attacks on him were "pure political theater." But the pResident did not respond directly to a question about whether he expected Gonzales to serve until Bush's term ends Jan. 20, 2009.

US senate poised for historic vote against Gonzales --A vote against Bush's man could deal another blow to the White House, which is still recoiling from the ouster of the World Bank's president. 22 May 2007 The US Senate was preparing to take the almost unprecedented move of a no-confidence vote on US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, ramping up pressure on US President [sic] George W. Bush to sack his unpopular longtime aide. After weeks of allegations of politicizing the justice system and, in his earlier position as White House counsel, trying to strong-arm his predecessor at the Department of Justice, Gonzales could face the extremely rare vote in the coming week.

Retail Gasoline Prices Set New Record --Price of Gasoline Jumps to $3.22 A Gallon, Matching the March 1981 Inflation-Adjusted All-Time High Price For Gasoline in the United States 21 May 2007 Retail gasoline prices climbed to another record Monday, while crude oil futures jumped above $66 per barrel amid concerns about gasoline supply heading into the peak summer driving season.

Exxon Mobil profits reach new record 26 Apr 2007 Exxon Mobil Corp earnings continued to hit new records Thursday as the world's largest oil company reported a 10- per-cent rise in first-quarter profits on high petrol prices, despite a fall in the cost of crude oil.

Exxon Mobil profits up 10% in first quarter, set record 27 Apr 2007 Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. kicked off 2007 with a 10 percent rise in profits, its best-ever first quarter, as higher margins on refining and chemical operations offset lower prices for crude oil and natural gas.

Bird flu spreads to 4 more provinces in Vietnam 21 May 2007 Bird flu has spread to another four Vietnamese provinces and could hit more areas, senior government official said Tuesday.

Monkey dead from bubonic plague in Denver 21 May 2007 A Denver Zoo monkey has died of bubonic plague, apparently after eating a squirrel stricken with the disease, Colorado health and zoo officials said on Monday.

Birds decimated by West Nile virus 17 May 2007 U.S. researchers have determined the West Nile virus has apparently caused the continental-scale decline of seven species of birds across North America.

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Secret US plot to kill Al-Sadr 21 May 2007 The US Army tried to kill or capture Muqtada al-Sadr, the widely revered Shia cleric, after luring him to peace negotiations at a house in the holy city of Najaf, which it then attacked, according to a senior Iraqi government official [National Security Adviser, Dr Mowaffaq Rubai'e]. The revelation of this extraordinary plot, which would probably have provoked an uprising by outraged Shia if it had succeeded, has left a legacy of bitter distrust in the mind of Mr Sadr for which the US and its allies in Iraq may still be paying... It is not known who gave the orders for the attempt on Mr Sadr but it is one of a series of ill-considered and politically explosive US actions in Iraq since the invasion. In January this year a US helicopter assault team tried to kidnap two senior Iranian security officials on an official visit to the Iraqi President.

Britain in secret talks with Iraq rebels 20 May 2007 Britain is holding secret talks with leading 'insurgents' in Iraq with the aim of dividing them from Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in a new drive to curb sectarian violence. Dominic Asquith, the British ambassador to Baghdad, is said to have been coordinating the talks over recent months, along with other British representatives believed to be from MI6. Details of the initiative, which followed the failure of similar talks between 'insurgents' and American officials, emerged yesterday as Tony Blair visited Iraq.

Brown to pull troops out of Iraq 20 May 2007 Gordon Brown will remove all British forces from Iraq before the next election under a plan to rebuild support among disillusioned Labour voters. Scotland on Sunday can reveal the Prime Minister elect is working on a withdrawal plan that could see troop numbers slashed from 7,000 to as few as 2,000 within 12 months.

Iraq's VP rejects draft oil bill 21 May 2007 Iraq's vice president [Tariq al-Hashemi] said yesterday he opposes a draft law that is key to the future of his country's lucrative oil sector, saying it gives too many concessions to foreign oil companies.

Iraq-Iranian agreement to lay oil pipeline 18 May 2007 The Iraqi government has agreed with Iran to start laying oil pipeline between the two countries to export Iraqi oil to the neighboring country, the official spokesman for Iraq's Oil Ministry [Essam Jihad] said on Thursday.

Border Agents Recruited for Iraq Duty 19 May 2007 A military contractor is recruiting current and former agents with the U.S. Border Patrol to teach Iraqis how to secure their national borders. [ROFL!] The U.S. State Department has asked Virginia-based DynCorp International to find 120 people with Customs and Border Enforcement experience to go to Iraq for the training. The company already has 700 police trainers [mercenaries] in Iraq. [The US can't seal its own borders, but the terrorists from DynCorp are going to seal Iraq's borders? See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]

Attacks in Iraq Leave 7 Soldiers, 1 Interpreter Dead, Army Says 21 May 2007 Seven American soldiers and one interpreter were killed in attacks in Baghdad and southern Iraq, the U.S. Army said. Six Multi-National Division-Baghdad soldiers and an interpreter working for them died when a roadside bomb hit their patrol in western Baghdad on May 19, the U.S. Army said in a statement e-mailed late yesterday from Iraq. One soldier died and two were wounded in a similar attack on the same day near ad- Diwaniyah, 224 kilometers south of Baghdad, another statement said.

US Soldiers' Spanish Indictment Appealed 18 May 2007 Prosecutors on Friday appealed a judge's decision to charge three U.S. soldiers with homicide in the death of a Spanish journalist in Iraq, a court official said. Prosecutors at the National Court said the troops from the U.S. 3rd Infantry committed no crime [!?!] when their tank fired a shell at Baghdad's Palestine Hotel in 2003, killing Jose Couso, a cameraman for the Spanish television network Telecinco, and Taras Portsyuk, a Ukrainian cameraman for Reuters.

Suicide bomb kills 14, wounds 31 21 May 2007 A suicide bomber walked into a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan and blew himself up, killing 14 people and wounding 31, officials and witnesses said. The blast came a day after a suicide bomber in northern Afghanistan killed three German soldiers and seven civilians.

Israel kills 9; 8 in raid on Hamas official's home 20 May 2007 Israel launched more strikes against Gaza militants on Sunday, killing nine Palestinians in two aerial assaults, including one that struck the home of a prominent Hamas politician, security officials said.

Blix awarded Sydney Peace Prize 21 May 2007 Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, chairman of the UN Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, has been awarded the 2007 Sydney Peace Prize. The Sydney Peace Foundation, which announced the award this morning, said Dr Blix was the unanimous choice of the prize jury.

Top Republican says embattled U.S. attorney general may quit this week 20 May 2007 The top Republican on the U.S. Senate committee [Arlen Specter, PA] investigating Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Sunday he believes Gonzales could resign before a no-confidence vote sought this week by Democrats.

Guantanamo detainee David Hicks starts sentence in Adelaide prison 21 May 2007 David Hicks, the first Guantanamo Bay prisoner to be tried by a US military tribunal, was in a maximum-security prison in Adelaide yesterday after being flown home to his native Australia. Under an agreement with US prosecutors, most of Hicks's seven-year sentence was suspended, and the former kangaroo skinner will be freed at the end of December. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to giving "material support" to al-Qa'ida [al-CIAduh].

Commander: War on terrorism will be long 20 May 2007 The commander of the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile force says the war on [of] terrorism will be long. Maj. Gen. Thomas Deppe, 20th Air Force commander, recently told officials at Minot Air Force Base that he believes that "taking the war to the enemy instead of letting them bring it to us" is the proper strategy.

CIA briefing SEC monthly on terrorists: Barron's 20 May 2007 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is being briefed monthly by the Central Intelligence Agency about terrorists and other criminals [Cheney] active in global stock markets, Barron's said in its latest edition.

Officials mum on plane in Bush no-fly zone 20 May 2007 Aviation and law enforcement officials were mum Saturday about a small plane that was apparently forced from the skies near President [sic] Bush’s ranch by two Air Force fighter jets Saturday morning. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and the McGregor Executive Airport, where the yellow plane landed, said they knew nothing about any plane being forced down because of entering restricted air space near the Bush ranch, just west of Crawford.

'Orwellian' surveillance challenged 21 May 2007 The rapid spread of surveillance cameras raises fears that Britain is moving towards an "Orwellian" society, a senior police officer has warned. Ian Readhead, the Deputy Chief Constable of Hampshire, expressed alarm over the widespread use of closed-circuit television cameras.

'British FBI' creates wanted list of 1,600 most dangerous criminals 19 May 2007 A target list of the country's 1,600 most-wanted criminals, including many millionaires who consider themselves beyond the reach of the law, has been drawn up by the new "British FBI," the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

Freedom of information '‘needs restraints' 21 May 2007 A crackdown on those who abuse the Freedom of Information Act will begin this week as the row intensifies over whether MPs should be exempt from the law. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, will call for a new "charter of restraint" amid growing concerns that the Act is becoming a victim of its own success.

U.S. gas prices jump more than 11 cents, hit record high 20 May 2007 The average price of self-serve regular gasoline hit a record high of $3.18, rising more than 11 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday. The previous record adjusted for inflation was $3.15 per gallon in March 1981.

Coming soon: the shopping channel run by drug firms 21 May 2007 Four of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies are proposing to launch a television station [Pharma TV] to tell the public about their drugs, amid strenuous lobbying across Europe by the industry for an end to restrictions aimed at protecting patients.

States balk at cancer vaccine mandate 20 May 2007 Over the past several months, a vaccine [Gardasil] that once was hailed as a breakthrough to prevent cancer deaths has become embroiled in some of the nation's most politically charged issues: teen sex, parental control, state mandates, a backlash against vaccines and a suspicion of drug companies [pharma-terrorists].

31 states target global warming 09 May 2007 Led by California, 31 states representing more than 70% of the U.S. population announced Tuesday that they would measure and jointly track greenhouse gas emissions by major industries. The newly formed Climate Registry is the latest example of states going further than the federal government in taking steps to combat global warming. All agree that the most important part of the new registry is subjecting emissions statistics to third-party verification — unlike a Bush administration program that does not require verification.

Polar bears at risk as warming thaws icy home 20 May 2007 Time may be running out for polar bears as global warming melts the ice beneath their paws. U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush's administration is due to decide in January 2008 whether to list polar bears as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. [Quick action! (NRDC) Send a message urging the Bush Administration to finalize the listing of the polar bear and designate its critical habitat.]

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US surge is failing, says UK's Iraq envoy 19 May 2007 The "troop surge" by American soldiers in Iraq is not working, one of Britain's senior military officials in Baghdad has said. In a pessimistic assessment of the strategy designed to pull Iraq back from all-out civil war, Alastair Campbell, the outgoing defence attaché at the British Embassy in Baghdad, claimed that extra US forces were not achieving the desired drop in violence.

Bush gets ready for Iraq U-turn by Brown 20 May 2007 Gordon Brown is prepared to risk the future of the "special relationship" with the United States by reversing Tony Blair's support for the Iraq war, President [sic] George W Bush has been warned. He has been briefed by White House officials to expect an announcement on British troop withdrawals from Mr Brown during his first 100 days in power.

Iraq protesters greet Brown at start of tour 20 May 2007 Prime minister-in-waiting Gordon Brown was greeted by protesters demanding he pull troops out of Iraq on Sunday as he launched a campaign tour that has turned into a triumphal procession. About 50 placard-waving demonstrators calling for British troops to come home from Iraq waited at the entrance of the University of Warwick campus for Brown's arrival.

Iraqi parliament speaker: Three-quarters of them responsible for sectarian killings, cleansing --Iraqi parliament falling into disarray 19 May 2007 Iraq's parliament has been making headlines — for all the wrong reasons. The 275-seat legislature is increasingly being viewed as irrelevant and ineffective by many Iraqis for its inability to tackle sectarian violence, soaring crime and a failing economy. The disarray threatens passage of several crucial pieces of U.S.-backed legislation, including a bill for the fair [LOL!] distribution of oil revenues... Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni Arab Islamist and a former physician jailed by former president Saddam Hussein, has taken much of the heat for what many see as his outrageous behavior... The sitting had already been cut short when many lawmakers left the chamber to protest the speaker's claim that three-quarters of them were responsible for the sectarian killings and cleansing.

World's Biggest U.S. Embassy May Not Be Quite Big Enough By Al Kamen 16 May 2007 For all those who keep whining about how the government can't do anything right, we're happy to report that the massive New Embassy Compound in Baghdad, the biggest U.S. embassy on earth, is going to be completed pretty much as scheduled in August. The bad news is that it appears it's not going to have enough housing for all the employees who'll be moving to the 27-building complex on a 104-acre tract of land -- about the size of the Vatican, two-thirds the size of the Mall -- within the Green Zone.

Blasts Hit Green Zone During Blair Visit 19 May 2007 Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose premiership has been dominated by his unpopular decision to join the Iraq war, arrived here on a farewell visit Saturday, and three mortar shells or rockets slammed into the compound where he met with Iraq's leaders. The attack on Baghdad's heavily fortified [LOL!] Green Zone wounded one person, said U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor. One round hit the British Embassy compound, security officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. A fourth projectile exploded just outside the Green Zone. [Four projectiles --and none reached their target?]

CIA tracks Al Qaeda resources from Iraq 19 May 2007 A major CIA effort launched last year to hunt down Osama bin Laden has produced no significant leads on his whereabouts, but has helped track an alarming increase in the movement of Al Qaeda operatives and money into Pakistan's tribal territories, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation. In one of the most troubling trends, U.S. officials said that Al Qaeda's command base in Pakistan increasingly is being funded by cash coming out of Iraq... The influx of money has bolstered Al Qaeda's leadership ranks at a time when the core command is regrouping and reasserting influence over its far-flung network [just in time for Bush bin Laden to attack prior to the 2008 'elections'].

Troops cast wider net in Iraq search 20 May 2007 Two of the three US soldiers missing since a May 12 ambush south of Baghdad are believed to have been alive as recently as two days ago, but the third might be dead, the military said yesterday as it broadened its search for the men. The soldiers have been the focus of a huge dragnet by US troops, who have detained more than 700 people for questioning in and around Yusifiya, a market town 10 miles south of the capital.

'Sort of an affiliate of al-Qaida has US soldiers' --Gen. Petraeus says U.S. knows who kidnapped three American soldiers 19 May 2007 The top U.S. commander in Iraq thinks he knows who kidnapped three U.S. soldiers last weekend and believes that at least two of them are alive, the Army Times newspaper reported. "We know who that guy is," Gen. David Petraeus said in an interview posted Saturday on the Army Times Web site. Petraeus did not give the man's name [?!] but described him as "sort of an affiliate of al-Qaida. He's the big player down in that area. We've tangled with him before."

Eight more US soldiers killed in Iraq 19 May 2007 Eight more American troops were killed In Iraq, seven of them on a single day, the US military said Saturday, amid raging violence and a desperate search for three captured soldiers.

Relations will be less special, Washington fears 19 May 2007 First impressions endure, and those left by Gordon Brown in Washington have prompted senior allies of President [sic] Bush to ask if the special relationship can survive in its current form when the prime minister in waiting gets the keys to Number 10. Administration officials believe that while Mr Brown will inherit Tony Blair's office, he will not take on the mantle of America's closest ally.

US regime 'worst ever' - Carter 20 May 2007 Former President Jimmy Carter says President [sic] George Bush's administration is "the worst in history" in international relations, taking aim at the White House's policy of pre-emptive war and its Middle East diplomacy. The criticism, which a biographer says is unprecedented for Mr Carter, also took aim at Mr Bush's environmental policies and the administration's "quite disturbing" faith-based initiative funding. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history," Mr Carter told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Abominable. Blind. Subservient. Ex-President Carter lambasts Blair for support 19 May 2007 The former US President Jimmy Carter lambasted Tony Blair for his "blind " support of the Iraq war today, saying it had been a "major tragedy for the world". The outgoing Prime Minister's relationship with President [sic] George Bush appeared to have been "subservient" and "abominable", according to Mr Carter.

US raids made 2,000 Afghans homeless: Red Cross 19 May 2007 Bombing by US forces in western Afghanistan last month wrecked 173 houses and left 2,000 people homeless, the Red Cross said, announcing findings of its assessment of the damage. Preliminary UN and Afghan investigations have found that around 50 civilians were killed in the April 27 and 29 assaults, which involved US Special Forces, with final reports due this week.

Afghanistan suicide attack kills 10 19 May 2007 A suicide attacker detonated himself next to German soldiers shopping in a crowded market in northern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding 16, officials said.

Israel decides to "intensify" Gaza strikes 20 May 2007 Israel said on Sunday it would step up strikes against Gaza militant leaders involved in rocket attacks against southern Israel, but stopped short of ordering a wider offensive in the coastal strip.

Six Charged With Rigging Army Contracts 19 May 2007 Six people were arrested Friday for allegedly taking part in a contract-fixing scheme at the U.S. Army Medical Command at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. The defendants were indicted on charges they drew up contracts totaling $18 million for companies with which they were associated or even owned outright.

Coast Guard program to upgrade its fleet is taking on water 19 May 2007 When the Coast Guard's first large cutter in 35 years was christened in November at Northrop Grumman's Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard, it was a gleaming symbol of the service's ambitious $24 billion Deepwater program to update its aging fleet. Six months later, Deepwater is listing badly under a storm of congressional criticism for design mistakes, cost overruns, and lax oversight. A botched program to lengthen existing patrol boats from 110 feet to 123 feet [LOL!] has forced the Coast Guard to cancel the conversions and completely scrap eight ships.

Big banana firms paid off terrorists, Colombian ex-warlord tells inquiry 19 May 2007 Some of the world's best-known banana firms financed right-wing Colombian militias that killed thousands of people during a decade-long reign of terror, a jailed warlord has claimed. In testimony to investigators, Salvatore Mancuso named multinationals Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole as having made regular payments to the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), considered a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union. [Gee, isn't funding/supporting terrorists covered under the USA Patriot Act? Why aren't the CEOs of Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole awaiting a military tribunal ('trial') at Guantanamo Bay?]

Australian repatriated from Guantanamo Bay 19 May 2007 'Convicted' al-Qaida supporter David Hicks landed in his hometown in a private jet Sunday after more than five years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Hicks – the first terrorist suspect convicted by a U.S. military commission in Cuba – was transferred to a South Australia state prison to serve the final seven months of his sentence for aiding al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

Ex-Guantanamo officer guilty of leaking U.S. secrets 17 May 2007 A Navy lawyer who gave a human rights attorney the names of 550 Guantanamo Bay prisoners was convicted in military court today of communicating secret information that could be used to injure the United States. Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Diaz also was convicted of three counts of leaking information to an unauthorized person, but was acquitted of printing out national defence information with the intent or reason to believe it would be used against the U.S.

Guantanamo Attorneys Sue NSA and DOJ 18 May 2007 A civil liberties group representing 16 attorneys of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday sued the National Security Agency and the Justice Department, claiming that the government illegally spied on the lawyers with warrantless wiretaps and has refused to turn over records of the snooping. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the FOIA suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Airlines may bar 'dangerous' passengers: Canada rule proposal 19 May 2007 Canada's airlines will have greater leeway to bar passengers who appear to be dangerous under a proposed rule change the Ministry of Transportation announced Saturday. The new rule would "strengthen air operators' ability to protect the safety of all passengers and crew by refusing to board those who may represent a threat to that safety [?!?]," the ministry said in a statement.

Judge denies Arizona attorney general's request for Western Union's data 19 May 2007 A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that the Arizona Attorney General's Office may not force Western Union and two affiliates to turn over electronic data on wires transfers made to and from Nevada and Sonora, Mexico.

Gonzales's Signature Moment By Eugene Robinson 19 May 2007 It just gets worse and worse. We already knew that Alberto Gonzales -- who, unbelievably, remains our attorney general -- was willing to construe the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions however George W. Bush and Dick Cheney wanted. We knew he was willing to politicize the Justice Department, if that was what the White House wanted. Now we learn that Gonzales also was willing to accost a seriously ill man in his hospital room to get his signature on a dodgy justification for unprecedented domestic surveillance... It's hard not to think of that scene in "The Godfather" when Don Corleone is left alone in his hospital bed, vulnerable to his enemies, and Michael has to save him... This is the attorney general of the United States, ladies and gentlemen. Heaven help us.

Whitman to testify on 9/11 health issues 18 May 2007 Christie Whitman, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator, agreed to testiLIE before Congress about the government's handling of air quality and health issues following the Sept. 11 attacks.

House GOP Uses Procedural Tactic to Frustrate Democratic Majority --Motion to Recommit Employed to Delay or Alter Legislation 19 May 2007 House Republicans, fighting to remain relevant in a chamber ruled by Democrats, have increasingly seized on a parliamentary technique to alter or delay nearly a dozen pieces of legislation pushed by the majority this year. In the 12 years of Republican control that ended in January, Democrats passed 11 motions to recommit. Republicans have racked up the same number in just five months of this Congress.

Ruling throws cold water on environmental whistleblowers 18 May 2007 The sentence was buried deep within a recent Labor Department ruling, but the message was clear: Whistleblowers, beware. More specifically: Whistleblowers relying on the protections against official retaliation contained in several major environmental laws, proceed with caution. The sentence was in a footnote at the end of a ruling against a federal whistleblower. It said the Labor Department recognized only the protections written into the clean air and solid waste-disposal acts, not laws governing clean water, drinking water, toxic substances and hazardous waste.

Nation's top weather officials resign 19 May 2007 One day after its hurricane forecasters complained of budget cuts, the head of the National Weather Service [David Johnson] and his deputy [John Jones] announced they will retire next month... Bill Proenza, the center's director, said in an interview that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent of the weather service, is spending up to $4 million to publicize its 200th anniversary while cutting $700,000 for hurricane research.

Tainted Chinese Imports Common --In Four Months, FDA Refused 298 Shipments 20 May 2007 For years, U.S. inspection records show, China has flooded the United States with foods unfit for human consumption. And for years, FDA inspectors have simply returned to Chinese importers the small portion of those products they caught -- many of which turned up at U.S. borders again, making a second or third attempt at entry. Now activists and members of Congress demanding that the United States tell China it is fed up.

Poll: American satisfaction at new low 20 May 2007 Only 25 percent of those surveyed say things in the U.S. are going in the right direction, according to an AP-Ipsos poll this month. The current glumness is widely blamed on public discontent with the war in Iraq and with President [sic] Bush. It is striking for how widespread the mood is among different groups of people.

US government trying to seize new Michael Moore film, says producer 19 May 2007 Sicko, a documentary tackling the state of American healthcare, focuses on the pharmaceutical giants, and particularly on health insurers. The film has already caused Moore - who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2004 with Fahrenheit 911 - to clash with the American authorities. Now, according to movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose Weinstein Company is behind the film, the US government is attempting to impound the negative.

'Sicko' stars thank Moore for Cuba trip 19 May 2007 It could have been a college reunion... but the guy in shorts was Michael Moore, whose new documentary, "Sicko," takes aim at the U.S. health care industry with the same fury — laced with humor, of course, and plenty of statistics — that he directed at the Bush regime in his hit "Fahrenheit 9/11." And the people who'd flown in for this intimate first screening included grateful Sept. 11 "first responders," suffering lung problems or other ailments from their days at ground zero.

The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt --He was the ultimate keeper of secrets, lurking in the shadows of American history. He toppled [implemented] banana republics, planned the Bay of Pigs invasion and led the Watergate break-in. Now he would reveal what he'd always kept hidden: who killed JFK By Erik Hedegaard 21 Mar 2007

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Kidnap and torture: new claims of Army war crimes in Iraq --Robert Verkaik reveals evidence of systemic ill-treatment of civilians by British soldiers in the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam 18 May 2007 The British Army is facing new allegations that it was involved in "forced disappearances", hostage-taking and torture of Iraqi civilians after the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein... The family of another Iraqi civilian claims he was arrested and kidnapped by the British in order to secure the surrender of his brother, who was also accused of being a high-ranking member of the party. He was later found shot dead, still handcuffed and wearing a UK prisoner name tag.

Guantanamo lawyer faces jail term 19 May 2007 A US Navy lawyer faces six months in prison and dismissal from service for sending a human rights lawyer the names of 550 Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Lt Cdr Matthew Diaz, 41, posted a list of the names in an unmarked Valentine's Day card during the final days of his service at Guantanamo Bay in 2005. He apologised during his sentencing for having acted "irrationally". [You know you're living in a police state when they start imprisoning the lawyers. --LRP]

Bahraini in US jail talks of his ordeal 18 May 2007 A Bahraini held at Guantanamo Bay has drawn a painfully bleak picture of his conditions in the US-run prison camp, saying that he was earnestly looking forward to his death. "I can say that life and death here are equal, but death has become my greatest hope to end my misery, suffering and sad life. Now, we are in psychotherapy unit facing different kinds of regular torture at the hands of the officers and physicians. Even the physician of the clinic whom every one calls Flintstone excelled in criminality," Juma Al Dossari has written in an emotional letter to his US lawyer, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan.

Let me die pleads Juma 18 May 2007 A Bahraini prisoner at Guantanamo Bay has begged to be allowed to kill himself in a harrowing letter to his lawyer. Juma Al Dossary says inmates are being tortured physically and psychologically on a regular basis and their life is no longer worth living. He said prisoners are also unable to complain to anyone inside the prison camp - alleging it was those in charge of the facility who are abusing them. "We die here hundred times a day and I swear to God if I have the opportunity, I would end the life of misery, torture and terror I live at the hands of those people," writes Al Dossary.

Secrecy Surrounds Hicks' Imminent Release From Guantanamo Bay 18 May 2007 Convicted [Framed] Australian 'terrorist' David Hicks will arrive back in his home town of Adelaide tomorrow to serve out the remainder of his nine-month sentence negotiated as part of a plea bargain agreement by his military lawyer, Major Michael Mori. Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has signed a "warrant of transfer" and the Australian government has been advised of the time of his transfer though refuses to divulge any details to prevent a "media circus" [?] according to ABC News Radio.

Iran tells US to admit 'failure' in Iraq [Right, just admit the truth.] 18 May 2007 Iran said on Friday the United States should admit to the "failure" of its Iraq policies at the upcoming Tehran-Washington meeting on Iraqi security if it wants the talks to make progress. "If the Americans admit to the failure of their policies in Iraq, have a serious will to correct the current situation, and help the Iraqi people and government to implement security there, these talks can progress and create hope," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.

Saboteurs have upper hand in an endless war, says Iraq's Oil Minister 18 May 2007 Every day saboteurs blow up Iraqi oil pipelines and Oil Ministry teams try to repair them in an endless war to strangle Iraq's oil exports to the Mediterranean. Right now the saboteurs have, perhaps temporarily, the upper hand. The US is pressing for a draft oil bill that has been in dispute for more than a year to be finally passed by parliament... There is some hypocrisy here because the year in which the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority ran the Iraqi oil industry in 2003-04 was famous for managerial incompetence and corruption.

Two ABC News Journalists Killed in Iraq 18 May 2007 Two Iraqi ABC News broadcast journalists were killed in Iraq, ABC News President David Westin announced this morning. Cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz and soundman Saif Laith Yousuf, were returning home from work at the ABC News Baghdad bureau yesterday afternoon when their car was reportedly ambushed and they were killed by 'unknown' assailants. [This one has Blackwater USA written all over it.]

Killed in Iraq: ABC Loses Two Journalists 18 May 2007 ABC News was devastated this week by the kidnapping and subsequent killings of two of its employees in Baghdad. Details surrounding the killings of cameraman Alaa Uldeen Aziz and soundman Saif Laith Yousuf are not entirely clear [LOL, there's a big f*cking surprise] but they bear the markings of the sectarian [US] violence ravaging Iraq today.

Death Toll for Contractors Reaches New High in Iraq --At least 917 mercenaries killed; more than 12,000 wounded in battle or injured on the job 19 May 2007 Casualties among private contractors [mercenaries] in Iraq have soared to record levels this year, setting a pace that seems certain to turn 2007 into the bloodiest year yet for the 'civilians' who work alongside the American military in the war zone, according to new government numbers.

Australian experts in hunt for US soldiers 18 May 2007 Australian forensic experts have been called in to help search for three American soldiers feared captured by 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq. US officials have expressed cautious optimism that the three missing soldiers are still alive, as troops drained canals and questioned [interrogated] children in the search for the trio.

DemocRATs roll over for Bush, again: White House rejects war bill concession 18 May 2007 Democratic congressional leaders on Friday offered their first major concessions in a fight with President [sic] Bush over a spending bill for Iraq, but the White House turned them down. In a closed-door meeting with Bush's top aides on Capitol Hill, Democrats said they'd strip billions of dollars in domestic spending out of a war spending that Bush opposed if the pResident would accept a timetable to pull combat troops out of Iraq. As part of the deal, Democrats said they would allow the pResident to waive compliance with a deadline for troop withdrawals.

Soldier's Smallpox Inoculation Sickens Son 18 May 2007 A 2-year-old boy spent seven weeks in the hospital and nearly died from a viral infection he got from the smallpox vaccination his father received before shipping out to Iraq, according to a government report and the doctors who treated him. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated by the World Health Organization in 1979, and inoculation of military personnel was suspended in 1990. But, the [pharma-terrorists'] government began vaccinating military personnel and many health care workers, with 1.2 million vaccinated as of March of this year.

Condi Rice--Cooked in Oil? By Barry Lando 18 May 2007 ...U.S. oil giant Chevron apparently paid indirectly to Saddam during the same period. Chevron will now pay between $25 to $50 million dollars in fines as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department... In January 2005, during Senate confirmation hearings to be the nation’s next Secretary of State, Ms. Rice expressed her outrage at revelations that Saddam had used some of the billions he skimmed from the Oil-for-Food program to purchase dual use equipment that could have been used to produce WMD. "I think it is a scandal what happened with Oil-for-Food" She told the senators. "We’ve got to get to the bottom of what happened here…and those who were responsible, I think, should be held accountable." Right, except that during much of the period that Chevron was violating the sanctions, Condoleezza Rice was on the Chevron Board of Directors.

Rumsfeld update 18 May 2007 Former Defense Secretary [war criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld has moved to new offices on M Street Northwest where he is working on setting up a new foundation, according to Larry Di Rita, a former Pentagon spokesman and Rumsfeld aide. Mr. Rumsfeld, who until recently worked in office space in Rosslyn during [!] a transition from the Pentagon post, has set up DHR Holdings LLC... The goal is to promote continued U.S. engagement in world affairs in furtherance of U.S. security interests, Mr. Di Rita said.

Rumsfeld's resignation letter remains elusive 15 May 2007 The Bush regime is keeping a tight hold on Donald Rumsfeld's resignation letter nearly five months after the former defense secretary and Iraq war manager stepped down. The Pentagon says it does not have a copy, and the White House office likely to hold the letter is not subject to the law that allows the public to seek release of government documents, the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA.

US to invest $205m in missile defense with Israel 19 May 2007 The US House of Representatives authorized Friday night a sum of $205 million dollars for financing joint US-Israel missile 'defense' system projects, Israel Radio reported.

Israel strikes Hamas in Gaza, threatens more action 18 May 2007 Israel struck Hamas targets in Gaza on Friday and threatened more strong action to stop rocket attacks while Palestinian rival factions fought each other in turmoil verging on civil war. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction has been accused by Hamas of siding with Israel, called U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and asked her to halt an Israeli "military escalation," a Palestinian news agency said.

Army court issues partial stay in Watada court-martial 18 May 2007 The Army's court of appeals issued a partial stay Friday in the planned second trial for a Fort Lewis soldier who refused to go to Iraq and spoke out against the Bush regime. The decision by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Arlington, Va., means the July 23 court-martial for 1st Lt. Ehren Watada of Honolulu could be on hold until the court reviews arguments from both sides.

Newport Loyalty Day controversy stirs boycott 17 May 2007 When two anti-war groups showed up to take part in the annual Loyalty Day Parade in Newport, organizers sent them marching in the other direction. Now two weeks later, as high season on the Oregon coast heats up, Newport finds itself at the heart of a boycott that has tourists pledging to take their loyalty elsewhere. So far, more than 475 people have signed on to an online petition protesting how parade organizers handled the confrontation and promising to bypass Newport merchants.

Senators Press CIA to Release 9/11 Report --CIA Is Only Counterterrorism Federal Office That Has Not Made Some Version of Report Available 18 May 2007 A bipartisan group of senators is pushing legislation that would force the CIA to release an inspector general's report on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA has spent more than 20 months weighing requests under the Freedom of Information Act for its internal investigation of the attacks but has yet to release any portion of it.

MSU student learning about terrorism 18 May 2007 Sterling Raehtz, 19, [Michigan State University] was one of 40 undergraduate students chosen from across the nation to participate in the Anti-Terrorism Fellowship Program. The yearlong program aims to educate students about terrorism directed at democratic nations and show how those nations are working to prevent [foment] it. In August, Raehtz will travel to Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he and the other students will spend 14 days meeting with military officials and international ambassadors.

National ID: Biometrics Pinned to Social Security Cards 15 May 2007 The Social Security card faces its first major upgrade in 70 years under two immigration-reform proposals slated for debate this week that would add biometric information to the card and finally complete its slow metamorphosis into a national ID. The leading immigration proposal with traction in Congress would force employers to accept only a very limited range of approved documents as proof of work eligibility, including a driver's license that meets new federal Real ID standards, a high-tech temporary work visa or a U.S. passport with an RFID chip. A fourth option is the notional tamper-proof biometric Social Security card, which would replace the text-only design.

Salazar: Gonzales should resign 18 May 2007 U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) today called for the resignation of his friend, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose leadership he said had tarnished the Department of Justice.

Top Republican thinks Gonzales will resign 17 May 2007 The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee [Arlen Specter, PA] said Thursday that he expects the investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors will lead to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation.

Blair is urged to hand over power now 18 May 2007 Tony Blair has rejected growing pressure for him to stand down immediately on the grounds that he is a "lame duck" now that Gordon Brown has been confirmed as the next prime minister.

Mega barf alert of 2007, worse than the 20 million melamine-tainted chickens and 56,000 melamine-tainted pigs cleared for sale by the USDA: Blair tipped to be World Bank president as disgraced Wolfowitz resigns 18 May 2007 Tony Blair may be asked to head the World Bank after its president quit in a sleaze row. [LOL!] One of America's top economists today revealed that the retiring prime minister is being considered as a replacement for disgraced Paul Wolfowitz.

Grieving parents rip Virginia gun prizes 18 May 2007 Parents of students slain in the Virginia Tech massacre stood in quiet protest last night against the so-called "Bloomberg Gun Giveaway" run by a Virginia gun-rights group. The Virginia Citizens Defense League - a group that boasts of being to the political right of the National Rifle Association on gun control issues - held its giveaway in a heavily guarded Fairfax County building in Annandale.

Appointed Hobblers of Government (The New York Times) 18 May 2007 Across six years, the Bush administration has mocked all standards of conflict of interest by choosing private industry zealots for high regulatory posts — where they worked to roll back hundreds of rules on transportation, workplace and mine safety, the environment and other issues. The latest in this subversive chain must surely take the fox-in-the-henhouse statuette: President [sic] Bush has nominated Michael Baroody, lobbyist for the powerful National Association of Manufacturers, to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission... As a lobbyist for the N.A.M., Mr. Baroody was a key figure in industry’s successful campaign to water down commission standards requiring notice from companies about defective products, from toys to appliances. He has lobbied to limit the liability of asbestos makers in damage suits. He has lobbied against the growing statehouse campaign to require safer burning cigarettes, arguing this is a national issue. Imagine the priority this safety concern would receive from an agency run by Mr. Baroody.

Report says 1 in 4 in Pa. are 'working poor' 18 May 2007 Ivy Pack of Mount Oliver falls into the demographic of working poor, along with 25 percent of all Pennsylvanians who do not make enough to adequately support their families, according to a report issued yesterday. PathWaysPA, a social service advocacy agency, said southwestern Pennsylvania nearly mimicked the statewide rate of poverty, with 21 percent.

Study: Southern Ocean saturated with CO2 17 May 2007 The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Human activity is the main culprit, said researcher Corinne Le Quere, who called the finding very alarming.

Polar ocean 'soaking up less CO2' 17 May 2007 One of Earth's most important absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2) is failing to soak up as much of the greenhouse gas as it was expected to, scientists say. The decline of Antarctica's Southern Ocean carbon "sink" - or reservoir - means that atmospheric CO2 levels may be higher in future than predicted.

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Group sues Justice, NSA, alleging they spied on Guantanamo lawyers 17 May 2007 A civil liberties organization on Thursday sued the Justice Department and the National Security Agency in New York federal court, alleging that the government illegally spied on 16 lawyers who have represented prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba. The suit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, demands that the government agencies comply with requests filed by the attorneys under the Freedom of Information Act to turn over all records of the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of the attorneys.

Justice Weighed Firing 1 in 4 --26 Prosecutors Were Listed As Candidates 17 May 2007 The Justice Department considered dismissing many more U.S. attorneys than officials have previously acknowledged, with at least 26 prosecutors suggested for termination between February 2005 and December 2006, according to sources familiar with documents withheld from the public. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified last week that the effort was limited to eight U.S. attorneys fired since last June, and other administration officials have said that only a few others were suggested for removal. In fact, D. Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales's chief of staff, considered more than two dozen U.S. attorneys for termination, according to lists compiled by him and his colleagues, the sources said.

Democrats seek no-confidence vote on attorney general 17 May 2007 Two Senate Democrats [Chuck Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California] said Thursday they will seek a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales over accusations that he carried out President [sic] Bush's political agenda at the expense of the Justice Department's independence.

Was Gonzales' Emergency Visit Illegal? 17 May 2007 When then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales [and White House chief of staff Andrew Card] went to John Ashcroft's hospital room on the evening of March 10, 2004 to ask the ailing Attorney General to override Justice Department officials and reauthorize a secret domestic wiretapping program, he was acting inappropriately, Ashcroft's deputy at the time, James Comey, testified before Congress earlier this week. But the question some lawyers, national security experts and congressional investigators are now asking is: Was Gonzales in fact acting illegally?

'And, the antics - what we saw went on - is reminiscent of something in a Third World dictatorship, not the United States of America.' --Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) on Hardball, commenting on then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card strong-arming John Ashcroft at the intensive care unit of George Washington University Hospital. Ashcroft and Card wanted Ashcroft to reauthorize Bush's illegal domestic surveillance program. 17 May 2007

Can You Even Imagine How Bad it Must Have Been? By Marty Lederman 16 May 2007 I want to put yesterday's incredible [James] Comey testimony in some context, to demonstrate just how otherworldly this story is -- and what an extraordinary tale it tells about the nature of the officials who are running our government... The White House told the DOJ officials that it was going to go forward with the program anyway, even after DOJ had opined that it was unlawful. And yet not only would Ashcroft, et al., not budge -- they were prepared to resign their offices if the President [sic] allowed this program of vital importance to go forward in the teeth of their legal objections.

Watergate Without the Break-In 16 May 2007 By Marie Cocco It is time to stop referring to the "fired U.S attorneys scandal" by that misnomer, and call it what it is: a White House-coordinated effort to use the vast powers of the Justice Department to swing elections to Republicans... Connect the dots and you see an insidious effort to corrupt the American electoral system. It’s Watergate without the break-in or the bagmen.

Iraq is on the verge of collapse: report 17 May 2007 Iraq's government has lost control of vast areas to powerful local factions and the country is on the verge of collapse and fragmentation, a leading British think-tank [Chatham House] said on Thursday.

Army Punished 2 Officers in '06 After Failures in Iraq Ambush 18 May 2007 An Army general relieved a company commander and a platoon leader of their commands last year after enlisted men were ambushed and killed by insurgents at an isolated observation post south of Baghdad in June 2006, Army officials said yesterday.

Suicide bomber hits Kandahar governor - witnesses 17 May 2007 A suicide bomber targeted the governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province on Thursday, witnesses said. It was not immediately clear if the governor, Assadullah Khalid, survived the attack which happened in Kandahar city.

Three blasts in southern Afghanistan kill 10 people, injure information minister 17 May 2007 A suicide car bomber rammed into a government convoy in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing three people on the street and wounding the information minister, the governor said. Earlier, two bomb blasts 15 minutes apart killed seven people in the province, including three police officers responding to the first explosion.

Attorneys Seek Immunity for Cheney, Top Officials 18 May 2007 Attorneys for Vice President [sic] Cheney and top White House officials told a federal judge yesterday that they cannot be held liable for anything they disclosed to reporters about covert CIA officer Valerie Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The officials, who include senior White House adviser Karl Rove and Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, argued that the judge should dismiss a lawsuit filed by the couple that stemmed from the disclosure of Plame's identity to the media.

Lawyer: 'Fanciful Claims' in Plame Suit 17 May 2007 Lawyers for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and two other Bush regime officials belittled Valerie Plame's lawsuit Thursday over the disclosure of her CIA identity. At a nearly-three-hour court hearing, Cheney's lawyer said Plame was making "fanciful claims" in what amounted to "a fishing expedition." ['Fanciful claims?' Those were Cheney Halliburton's assertions that there were WMDs in Iraq. --LRP]

Harry could still go to Iraq, MoD says 17 May 2007 Prince Harry [the Nazi] could still be sent to Iraq at a future date, the Ministry of Defence said today. The news came as military experts questioned whether the third in line to the throne could have any future in the army if he stayed at home. [See: Prince wears Nazi regalia 13 Jan 2005 Prince Harry stunned partygoers by attending a pal’s birthday bash dressed as a Nazi soldier. Harry wore the swastika and desert uniform of Rommel’s hated German Afrika Korps to the party in West Littleton, Wilts.]

Israel launches Gaza air strikes 17 May 2007 Israel's aircraft have struck a number of targets in Gaza after it vowed a severe response to rocket attacks on its soil. A Hamas commander died in an attack on a car and another militant was killed in a housing unit, both in Gaza City. A raid on a Hamas office also killed one person and injured at least 45.

I have witnessed a lot, but this is the worst --Ibrahim Barzak describes a day caught with his family in the factional crossfire in Gaza City. 18 May 2007 With battles raging outside my building and my windows blown out by bullets, I sit in a dark hallway outside my apartment with my wife and baby. It is dangerous inside and outside. Today I have seen people shot before my eyes...

Brown heading for coronation 17 May 2007 Gordon Brown was last night on course for an unopposed "coronation" as the next Labour leader and prime minister after securing the backing of the overwhelming majority of Labour MPs.

The Padilla frame-up rolls on: Expert: 7 Padilla prints found on form 17 May 2007 Seven fingerprints on a purported al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] training camp application came back as matches to suspected terrorist operative Jose Padilla, a government expert testified Thursday... Defense lawyers theorize that Padilla may have touched the form during his long military confinement at a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. He was held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant before he was criminally indicted in Miami in late 2005. Although the form was one of dozens found in a binder in late 2001, it wasn't analyzed for Padilla's fingerprints until August 2006, Morgan said. The fingerprints appear only on the front of the first page and back of the last page, possibly indicating that the form had been simply handed to Padilla at some point, defense lawyers say.

'We have to make sure we're not declaring martial law.' [Right, it's UNdeclared martial law.] Street lockdowns proposed for Baltimore 17 May 2007 A city council leader, alarmed by Baltimore's rising homicide rate, wants to give the mayor the power to put troubled neighborhoods under virtual lockdown. Under City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran's plan, the mayor could declare "public safety act zones," which would allow police to close liquor stores and bars, limit the number of people on city sidewalks, and halt traffic during two-week intervals. Police would be encouraged to aggressively stop and frisk individuals in those zones to search for weapons and drugs.

Judge Orders Police Department Files on Preconvention Surveillance 17 May 2007 A federal magistrate judge [James C. Francis IV] yesterday released about 600 pages of secret documents relating to police preparations for the 2004 Republican National Convention, held in New York.

Detroit council urges Bush impeachment 17 May 2007 The Detroit City Council called for the impeachment of President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, unanimously passing a resolution sponsored by a Democratic congressman's wife. The nonbinding resolution, approved Wednesday, says Bush and Cheney conspired to defraud the United States by "intentionally misleading Congress and the public regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify the war."

Gallup: In Shocking Plunge, Only 1 in 4 Now Satisfied With State of USA By E&P Staff 16 May 2007 What's going on? Gallup reports today a sudden plunge in its regular "satisfaction" index. Only 25% of Americans now say they satisfied with the state of their country -- down 8% in just one month -- and one of the lowest ever measured.

Michigan GOP leader wants Paul barred from future debates 16 May 2007 The chairman of the Michigan Republican Party said Wednesday that he will try to bar Ron Paul from future GOP presidential debates because of remarks the Texas congressman made that suggested the Sept. 11 attacks were the fault of U.S. foreign policy. [Hell, they were carried out by Bush himself!]

Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank 17 May 2007 World Bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz resigned this afternoon, effective June 30, giving in to overwhelming pressure from bank staff and governments around the globe that he depart to end the ethics controversy that has consumed the institution. Wolfowitz agreed to resign in negotiations with the bank's executive board, pre-empting a growing likelihood that he would have been formally reprimanded or fired, said bank officials who spoke on condition they not be named.

Senate Negotiators Agree on Immigration Overhaul Plan 17 May 2007 Senate negotiators reached bipartisan agreement on immigration legislation aimed at providing a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented aliens while improving U.S. border security. [Corpora-terrorists get slave labor and drive down wages for (what's left of) the US workforce. Meanwhile, taxpayers pay the healthcare bills for undocumented workers - instead of their employers.]

White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary 16 May 2007 Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

Sen. Schumer calls for the breakup of Big Oil 17 May 2007 Sen. Chuck Schumer [D-NY], taking a page out of President Teddy Roosevelt's book, yesterday called for the breakup of the big oil companies. Schumer warned a trustbusting move like this will take time. [Schumer rocks!]

Big Oil attacked over record gas prices --Critics tell House panel that mismanagement, lack of competition are behind record prices; call for gas reserve, possible oil company breakup. 16 May 2007 Big Oil went on the defensive Wednesday, getting grilled before a House panel and denying accusations that mismanagement and a lack of competition are the reasons behind this spring's record gasoline prices.

Judiciary Hearing on Oil Prices and Market Failure: A Federal Investigation Denied Posted by Jesse Lee 16 May 2007 The Judiciary Committee Task Force on Antitrust has concluded its hearing, "Prices at the Pump: Market Failure and the Oil Industry." Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, describes a meeting he had with US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting a federal investigation into the oil industry: "We pleaded with Attorney General Gonzales and FTC Chairman Majoras, Platt, [sic] to begin an investigation of the oil industry, and we offered our partnership in that work. All 50 Attorneys General have hands full investigating monopolistic abuses on the part of the oil industry, but we lack the authority, and expertise, and resources of the federal government. And so we invited, we beseeched the federal government to join us in that investigation and so far they have declined to do so."

Hurricane chief: NOAA wasted millions 17 May 2007 The federal government is spending millions of dollars on a publicity campaign while its hurricane forecasters are struggling with budget cuts, the National Hurricane Center's director said Thursday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is spending up to $4 million to publicize a 200th anniversary celebration, said Bill Proenza, who heads the hurricane center, part of the National Weather Service, which is a NOAA agency. At the same time, it has cut $700,000 from hurricane research, he said.

129,000 pounds of beef recalled for E. coli --Meat products in 15 states may be contaminated, agriculture agency says 17 May 2007 A meat company is recalling 129,000 pounds of beef products in 15 states because of possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture [Agribusiness] said.

USDA: 56,000 melamine-tainted pigs cleared for sale 16 May 2007 Roughly 56,000 pigs that were fed contaminated pet food scraps are safe to be eaten, the Agriculture Department said Tuesday. The decision permits the pigs to be slaughtered for human consumption. They had been held off the market in seven states: California, Illinois, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah. The pigs’ feed included scraps from pet food made using an imported Chinese ingredient later found to have been tainted by the industrial chemical melamine and related compounds.[See also: USDA: 20 million melamine-tainted chickens cleared for sale 08 May 2007. God, I hope Bush and Cheney are gobbling up all of this 'food,' since its "safe."]

Rapid rise in global warming is forecast 18 May 2007 The oceans are losing the capacity to soak up rising man-made carbon emissions, which is increasing the rate of global warming by up to 30 per cent, scientists said yesterday.

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Senate Rejects Iraq Troop Withdrawal 17 May 2007 Congressional Democratic leaders signaled on Wednesday that they were ready to give ground to end an impasse with President [sic] Bush over war spending after the Senate soundly rejected [67-to-29 vote] a Democratic plan to block money for major combat operations in Iraq beginning next spring.

Senate GOP Drafts Proposal for Iraq Bill 16 May 2007 A small group of Republican senators, led by Virginia's John Warner, are coalescing around legislation that would threaten billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Iraq and make clear American troops will stay only as long as Baghdad lives up to its promises. [What 'promises' could one nation possibly owe another? Oh, that's right --*oil.* The *oil law* needs to pass the Iraqi parliament, and the US will be satisfied. I wonder if 'insurgents' (actual freedom fighters, not al-CIAduh's car bomb planting teams that the US media calls 'insurgents') will find the oil equipment and blow it all to kingdom come, once the oil law passes and the US leaves? A lot of people would call that justice, after Shock & Awe and all. --LRP]

Quit Iraq by March, say Democrats 17 May 2007 Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have backed legislation to cut off funding for most combat operations in Iraq by March 2008, the first time the top two Democratic presidential candidates have endorsed a firm deadline to end the war. John Edwards has called for an immediate withdrawal of US forces.

Violence across Iraq, mortars hit Green Zone 17 May 2007 Two people were killed in mortar attacks on Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Wednesday, the second serious attack in two days. Violence raged across Iraq, with police confirming on Wednesday that 45 people had been killed the previous day by a [US] chlorine gas truck bomb in Diyala, one of the most volatile provinces since a security crackdown [?] began three months ago.

Attack in Baghdad's Green Zone Kills 2 16 May 2007 At least nine apparent mortar rounds slammed into the U.S.-controlled Green Zone on Wednesday, the second such attack in as many days, an official said. A U.S. Embassy spokesman said two Iraqis were killed and 10 people were wounded. No American casualties were reported. The explosions occurred shortly before 4 p.m., about the same time the Green Zone was hit Tuesday.

Car bomb near market kills 32 in Iraq 16 May 2007 A car bomb exploded near a market in a Shiite enclave northeast of Baghdad, killing at least 32 people and wounding 50, police said Wednesday. Hospital officials and victims said chlorine gas may have been used in the attack, but police denied that. [Gee, I wonder who can get their hands on chlorine - a WMD - in Iraq?]

Prison Supports Iraq Security System 16 May 2007 Supporting the security and 'justice' systems in Iraq is one of the main challenges that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confronts to help the Iraqi government develop the infrastructure countrywide. According to Rick Mers, a project engineer with the Gulf Region South District, the New An Nasiriyah Maximum Security Correctional Facility, which is built by the Army Corps of Engineers in the Dhi Qar Province, is considered to be the biggest prison in the south of Iraq.

Guantanamo Bay detainee claims torture at prison 16 May 2007 A Pakistani citizen who grew up in suburban Baltimore, where his father still lives, told a U.S. military hearing that he was tortured at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay after he was transferred there from secret CIA custody, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon on Tuesday.

Commander's Veto Sank Threatening Gulf Buildup By Gareth Porter 15 May 2007 Admiral William Fallon, then President [sic] George W. Bush's nominee to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), expressed strong opposition in February to an administration plan to increase the number of carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf from two to three and vowed privately there would be no war against Iran as long as he was chief of CENTCOM, according to sources with access to his thinking.

Gas May Have Harmed Troops, Scientists Say 17 May 2007 Scientists working with the Defense Department have found evidence that a low-level exposure to sarin nerve gas -- the kind experienced by more than 100,000 American troops in the Persian Gulf war of 1991-- could have caused lasting brain deficits in former service members.

Many VA officials who got bonuses sat on pay review boards 16 May 2007 Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments. Documents obtained by the Associated Press raise questions of conflict of interest in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' healthcare.

Norfolk Service Members Become U.S. Citizens 16 May 2007 Eight local service members and one military spouse became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony, May 15, at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office in Norfolk. An executive order that passed in 2002 now makes it easier for aliens serving on active duty to apply for naturalization... According to the USCIS, there are currently 40,000 service members who are eligible to become U.S. citizens.

Vet Prosecuted for Opposing Recruitment in Library By Matthew Rothschild 14 May 2007 Tim Coil's wife was putting up 3x5 cards on the window of the room used by the recruiters. "Don’t fall for it! Military recruiters lie," said one. "It’s not honorable to fight for a lying President," said another. Then the police came.

Israeli aircraft fire on Gaza Strip --At least 16 Palestinians die in factional clashes; Israelis target Hamas 16 May 2007 At least 16 Palestinians were killed in factional fighting in Gaza on Wednesday and Israel entered the fray with an airstrike on a [an alleged] Hamas position that killed at least four people. The Israeli army confirmed that it targeted the [alleged] Hamas position in the southern Gaza Strip.

"Web site" baffles Internet terrorism trial judge 16 May 2007 A judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like "Web site" in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet. "The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," Judge Peter Openshaw told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti[pro]-terrorism laws.

Giuliani: Terror Is Biggest Threat [No. The Bush regime is.] 16 May 2007 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday the greatest threat facing the world is terrorism spawned by Islamic fundamentalists [al-CIAduh] and that Republicans are best equipped to combat it.

Rudy Giuliani tied to 'superhighways' --Law firm represents consortia funding NAFTA-related routes 15 May 2007 Questions are being raised over Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's policy on terrorism, after a report revealed he has strong ties to two foreign investment consortia working to own or lease U.S. toll roads, including the Trans-Texas Corridor 35, which is identified as part of the I-35 "NAFTA Superhighway."

Former EPA Chief Refuses to Testify on Post-9/11 Air Quality 16 May 2007 Christine Todd Whitman, the former administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, has refused to testify before a congressional subcommittee, regarding the government's handling of the air quality at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks.

Leahy threatens White House with subpoenas 16 May 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday sent a strongly worded letter to President [sic] Bush’s counsel Fred Fielding and threatened to issue subpoenas if the White House continues to "stonewall" an investigation into its involvement in the firing of several U.S. attorneys.

Democrats Move to Expand Probe of Gonzales, Justice Department 16 May 2007 Senate Democrats, spurred by revelations that then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales pressured hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 to approve a secret spying program, are stepping up a probe of the Justice Department.

James Comey: White House pressed 16 May 2007 A former top Department of Justice (DoJ) official yesterday provided a firsthand account of how the White House recertified a controversial counterterrorism program without the approval of DoJ -- a decision that almost led to the resignation of the department’s leadership. Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the firing of several U.S. attorneys and provided his side of a story that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called both "amazing" and "shocking."

Senators Renew Call for Gonzales' Ouster 17 May 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales came under renewed pressure Wednesday, as two more Republican senators came out against him and Democrats challenged his truthfulness about President [sic] Bush's [illegal] no-warrant eavesdropping program. The developments revived a debate over Gonzales' fitness to head the Justice Department a day after a former deputy attorney general recounted a dramatic hospital bedside confrontation between Gonzales and his predecessor, John Ashcroft.

Hagel Demands Gonzales' Resignation 16 May 2007 Sen. Chuck Hagel on Wednesday became the latest Republican (NE) to call for Alberto Gonzales' resignation, saying revelations about a sick bed visit to his predecessor has undermined his moral authority to lead the Justice Department.

Dead, fired attorneys' Medicare fraud probe linked to White House By Joe Martin 13 May 2007 According to Medical Supply Chain CEO Samuel Lipari who is suing hospital supply company Novation LLC, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire C. McCaskill knew that seven U.S. attorneys—two assistants who turned up dead, three assistants who resigned or were fired and two U.S. attorneys who were also forced out—had something in common: all seven were investigating Medicare and Medicaid fraud in the United States healthcare system involving overcharging for hospital supplies and medical fees amounting to billions of dollars in fraud. Lipari’s suit against Novation has ties to the White House in that the President’s [sic] brother Jeb Bush joined the board of directors of Novation member Tenet Healthcare on April 12, 2007 and George W’s cousin’s company wrote software for hospital equipment global reference numbers...

Wolfowitz Hangs On As Ouster Hits Wall 17 May 2007 The Bush regime spent much of yesterday trying to broker a graceful end to the ethics controversy consuming the World Bank, offering the resignation of embattled president Paul D. Wolfowitz, senior administration and bank officials said. But Wolfowitz said he would not leave, insisting on a measure of vindication.

Crews worry about wind spreading N.J. wildfire --Blaze set off by military jet; fire still raging on Fla.-Ga. border and in Minn. 16 May 2007 Firefighters in New Jersey kept an anxious eye on the weather Wednesday as they battled a wildfire that had consumed about 20 square miles of brush after a military jet dropped a flare on a bombing range [f*cking morons]. With the dry conditions, strong wind gusts quickly fanned the blaze through the Warren Grove Gunnery Range about 25 miles north of Atlantic City.

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White House pressed Ashcroft to recertify NSA surveillance program: ex-deputy AG 15 May 2007 Former US Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified [transcript] before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that in March 2004, in response to Comey's reservations about reauthorizing the controversial warrantless domestic surveillance program, then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card attempted to pressure the hospitalized Attorney General John Ashcroft to reauthorized the program. Comey, who was acting attorney general during Ashcroft's hospitalization, has not previously discussed the incident in public, which was first reported in early-2006 by the New York Times.

President Intervened in Dispute Over Eavesdropping 16 May 2007 President [sic] Bush intervened in March 2004 to avert a crisis over the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program after Attorney General John Ashcroft, Director Robert S. Mueller III of the F.B.I. and other senior Justice Department aides all threatened to resign, a former deputy attorney general testified Tuesday. Mr. Bush quelled the revolt over the program's legality by allowing it to continue without Justice Department approval, also directing department officials to take the necessary steps to bring it into compliance with the law, according to Congressional testimony by the former deputy attorney general, James B. Comey.

Is the Noose Tightening on Gonzales? [Hopefully, and it needs to tighten on some others, as well.] 15 May 2007 Now that the number-two official at the Justice Department has resigned, the question many in Washington are asking is: Will soon-to-be-former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty be DOJ's fall guy — or its worst nightmare?

Pentagon restricting testimony in Congress --Blocks staff of lower rank 10 May 2007 The Pentagon has placed unprecedented restrictions on who can testify before Congress, reserving the right to bar lower-ranking officers, enlisted soldiers, and career bureaucrats from appearing before oversight committees or having their remarks transcribed, according to Defense Department documents. Robert L. Wilkie, a former Bush administration national security official who left the White House to become assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs last year, has outlined a half-dozen guidelines that prohibit most officers below the rank of colonel from appearing in hearings, restricting testimony to high-ranking officers and civilians appointed by President [sic] Bush.

Kabul is moving to curb independent news media 07 May 2007 The government of Afghanistan, competing with the Taliban for public support and trying to fend off accusations that it is corrupt and ineffective, is moving to curb one of its own most impressive achievements: the country's flourishing independent news media.

"You do realize that you degrade the quality of a piece of evidence by handling it with your bare hands?" asked one of Padilla's lawyers, Orlando do Campo. "Yes," replied the CIA agent. Mystery Afghan gave Padilla evidence to U.S. 15 May 2007 An Afghan man drove up to a CIA outpost in Kandahar in December 2001 and delivered a truckload of documents, including what prosecutors say is U.S. citizen Jose Padilla's al Qaeda pledge form, according to trial testimony on Tuesday. The CIA agent who received the documents said he had never seen the man before but understood that he was loyal to a tribal leader cooperating with U.S. forces who were then driving out Afghanistan's Taliban government.

Terror Suspect Claims CIA Tortured Him 15 May 2007 A Pakistani terrorism suspect denied any connection to 'al-Qaida' and said he was tortured and his family was hounded by U.S. authorities, according to a transcript released Tuesday by the Pentagon. Majid Khan, in a lengthy written statement, said the CIA and the Defense Department tortured him after his capture in Pakistan as well as when he was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Guantánamo Detainees' Suit Challenges Fairness of Military's Repeat Hearings 15 May 2007 The military system of determining whether detainees are properly held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, includes an unusual practice: If Pentagon officials disagree with the result of a hearing, they order a second one, or even a third, until they approve of the finding. These "do-overs," as some critics call them, are among the most controversial parts of the military’s system of determining whether detainees are enemy combatants, and the fairness of the repeat hearings is at the center of a pivotal federal appeals court case.

Judges Focus on Guantanamo Bay Tribunals 15 May 2007 Two federal appeals court judges subjected a Bush administration attorney to intense questioning Tuesday as lawyers for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay pleaded for a broad court inquiry on behalf of the detainees.

Navy lawyer on trial for leaking names 15 May 2007 Attorneys for a Navy lawyer facing up to 24 years in military prison for leaking Guantánamo detainee names to a civil liberties group argued at his court-martial Monday that the names weren't secret and did not endanger national security. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Diaz faces five charges ranging from unlawfully releasing classified material to conduct unbecoming an officer.

Cuban exile found guilty of terrorism in mock trial 16 May 2007 Cuban law students declared former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles guilty of terrorism on Tuesday in a symbolic trial of the anti-Castro militant who was recently freed in the United States. A 10-page verdict read out in front of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana found Posada Carriles guilty of plotting the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people and a wave of bomb blasts at Havana tourist sites in 1997.

US Senate to vote Thursday on Iraq budget 16 May 2007 The US Senate will act on emergency funding for Iraq operations on Thursday, a day after anti-war Democrats vent their fury in two symbolic votes designed to pile political heat on President [sic] George W. Bush.

Bush selects Pentagon official as 'war czar' --Lt. Gen. Lute chosen to oversee Iraq, Afghanistan conflicts, officials say 15 May 2007 President [sic] Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a "war czar" after a long search for new leadership [!], administration officials said Tuesday.

Coleman sees Baghdad exit in '08 --U.S. troops will be out of the Iraqi capital by then even if it results in a "Rwanda-style bloodletting," he says. 14 May 2007 Sen. Norm Coleman told a Minneapolis audience Monday that although U.S. troops are "going to be in Iraq for a long time," they will be out of Baghdad sometime in 2008, even if that means leaving behind a "Rwanda-style bloodletting."

Iraq Attacks Stayed Steady Despite Troop Increase, Data Show 16 May 2007 Newly declassified data show that as additional American troops began streaming into Iraq in March and April, the number of attacks on civilians and security forces there stayed relatively steady or at most declined slightly, in the clearest indication yet that the troop increase could take months to have a widespread impact on security.

U.S. Army faces shortage of junior officers: memo 14 May 2007 The U.S. Army, stretched thin by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, has only half of the senior captains it needs and will offer money and other incentives to keep those officers, according to a memo obtained by Reuters on Monday.

Son of professor opposed to war is killed in Iraq 15 May 2007 Boston University professor Andrew J. Bacevich has been a persistent, vocal critic of the Iraq war, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure. This week, the retired Army lieutenant colonel received the grim news that his son had been killed on patrol there.

US says captors of three soldiers in Iraq isolated 15 May 2007 U.S. forces searching for three soldiers said on Tuesday suspected al Qaeda militants holding the men were trapped in an area of farmland near Baghdad. Backed by helicopters and using sniffing dogs, thousands of American and Iraqi troops taking part in the massive hunt have isolated towns south of the capital, where the captors are believed to be hiding, the military said.

Three suspects released in bomb case in Britain 16 May 2007 Three people arrested last week in connection with the suicide bombings in 2005 on London's transport system, including the widow of ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan, have been released without charge, police said. A fourth man, who was also arrested last Wednesday, remained at a London police station after officers were granted a warrant to detain him until May 21.

Update: Silverstein Family Were All "Running Late" --On 9/11 Amazing coincidences spared all three Silversteins from harm By Steve Watson 15 May 2007 Following our article yesterday in which we revealed New York 9/11 truth activist Luke Rudkowski's claims that Silverstein's security had personally told him that Silverstein and his daughter got a warning on the morning of 9/11 not to come to work that day, we have been inundated with emails asking us to highlight the fact that there were in fact three Silversteins working in the towers who were all "running late" on that day.

US schools go to lockdown mode at the drop of a hat, in an effort to acclimate society to the police state tactics the US will implement when Bush bin Laden launches a bioterror attack: East Lyme Schools Go to Lockdown Mode 15 May 2007 (CT) School officials in East Lyme called for a lockdown of schools Tuesday morning. The move was prompted after state police informed school officials that they were looking for someone [?] in the area. A state police representative did not tell NBC 30 News why the person was being sought. School officials decided on their own to lock down the schools.

Gonzales proposes new crime: 'Attempted' copyright infringement 15 May 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [Tortureboy] is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including "attempts" to commit piracy. The Bush administration is throwing its support behind a proposal called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007...

White House staunchly behind Wolfowitz as report finds he damaged World Bank --President broke rules by arranging pay rise for lover --Bush ally faces board before decision on his fate 16 May 2007 The Bush administration circled its wagons round Paul Wolfowitz yesterday, arguing the World Bank president did not deserve to be sacked despite the findings of an investigating committee that he had damaged the organisation. The concerted defence of Mr Wolfowitz, who was found to have broken rules in arranging a pay rise for his girlfriend, came only hours before his scheduled appearance before the bank's board yesterday afternoon to try to keep his job.

Wolfowitz mistakes "not a firing offense": W.House 15 May 2007 The White House acknowledged on Tuesday that World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz erred in the handling of a pay raise and promotion for his companion but said that was not cause for him to be removed from his job.

Bush Nominee to Get Payment From Old Job 16 May 2007 A senior lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers [Michael E. Baroody] nominated by President [sic] Bush to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission will receive a $150,000 departing payment from the association when he takes his new government job, which involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association.

Gas prices rise as oil companies take in record profits By Mark Rainer 15 May 2007 The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States has surpassed the $3.00 mark and is currently at $3.07 per gallon. The sharp rise in gas prices has contributed to record high profits of the major oil companies... In the run-up to the 2006 election, gasoline prices dropped an unprecedented 82 cents over a four-week period. Many Americans felt at the time that the sudden drop was related to the upcoming elections and the attempt to limit pessimism over the economy by temporarily reducing gas prices. This would presumably have had the effect of improving the chances of the Republicans in the elections.

Television Evangelist Falwell Dies at 73 15 May 2007 The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority and used it to mold the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said.

California-Sized Area of Ice Melts in Antarctica 15 May 2007 Warm temperatures melted an area of western Antarctica that adds up to the size of California in January 2005, scientists report.

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Disappeared without a trace: more than 10,000 Iraqis 13 May 2007 Over the past four years, tens of thousands of Iraqis have vanished. Iraqi human rights groups put the figure at 15,000 or more, while government officials say 40 to 60 people disappeared each day throughout the country for much of last year, a rate equal to at least 14,600 in one year. Are they dead? Were they taken prisoner by the United States, which is holding 19,000 Iraqis at its two main detention centers, at Camp Cropper and Camp Bucca?

Senate to vote on ending war funding 14 May 2007 Senate Democrats are staging a dramatic anti-war vote this week, with moderates collaborating behind closed doors on legislation that could call on President [sic] Bush to rethink his war 'strategy.' Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Monday that members will decide whether to cut off money for the Iraq war next year, as well as a softer proposal calling for troops to leave this fall.

Marine colonel says captain not derelict in Haditha killings 14 May 2007 The actions of a Marine captain accused of failing to investigate the deaths of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha never "rose to the level of criminal dereliction," a Marine colonel testified Monday... Also Monday, a Marine major testified that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani shouted "my men are not murderers" after learning of allegations that his troops targeted civilians. [Oh, yes they are.]

Soldier blames death on reporter 15 May 2007 A US soldier being tried in absentia in Rome for killing an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq said today that he did nothing wrong and blamed the death on an Italian reporter who was rescued by the agent. Washington has refused to hand over Mario Lozano, from the US National Guard in New York, so he is on trial in absentia for killing Nicola Calipari as the intelligence agent escorted a newly freed Italian hostage out of the country in 2005.

U.S. scrambles to keep Kirkuk from igniting 15 May 2007 When a bomb goes off here, Lt. Col. Michael Browder's job is to make it seem like the attack never happened. Minutes after a truck exploded near a police station last month, Browder and his unit immediately went to work removing the bodies of the 13 victims, among them a U.S. soldier. By nightfall, wrecked buildings were bulldozed, charred cars towed away, and water and power restored...

U.S. Embassy employees fearful over Green Zone attacks 14 May 2007 U.S. Embassy employees in Iraq are growing increasingly angry over what they say are inadequate security precautions in the heavily fortified Green Zone, where recent mortar and rocket attacks have claimed the lives of six people, including two U.S. citizens.

Militants: Stop Hunt for U.S. Soldiers 15 May 2007 An al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] front group warned the United States on Monday to halt its expanding search for three missing American soldiers "if you want their safety." The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time it believes the servicemen are in terrorist hands.

4 US soldiers killed in Iraq 15 May 2007 Four more US soldiers have been killed in attacks around Baghdad, the military announced yesterday, bringing US losses in Iraq since the 2003 invasion to 3,395. At least 44 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in May alone, putting it on course to be one of the bloodiest months since the invasion.

Iran will 'retaliate strongly' to US attack 14 May 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned today that his country would retaliate strongly to any possible attack by the US over Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

Atomic Agency Concludes Iran Is Stepping Up Nuclear Work 14 May 2007 Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded that Iran appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is now beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before, according to the agency’s top officials.

Red Cross Report Says Israel Disregards Humanitarian Law 15 May 2007 The International Committee of the Red Cross, in a confidential report about East Jerusalem and its surrounding areas, accuses Israel of a "general disregard" for "its obligations under international humanitarian law — and the law of occupation in particular."

Ex-Navy Lawyer on Trial in Guantanamo Case 15 May 2007 A Navy lawyer [Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz] accused of passing 'secret' information about Guantanamo Bay detainees sent a human rights lawyer their names and intelligence about them tucked into a Valentine's Day card, prosecutors said Monday. Diaz printed information including the names of 550 detainees, their nationalities, the interrogators assigned to them and "intelligence sources and [torture] methods," Hoffman said.

Fla. doctor said he'd treat anti-U.S. forces 14 May 2007 A Florida doctor accused of pledging his life to 'al-Qaeda' and Osama bin Laden testified Monday that he promised to treat Iraqis who fought Americans while he worked at a military hospital in Saudi Arabia. Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir said that he had pledged to treat those who were injured in Iraq defending their homes, but that he did not expect any of them to be taken hundreds of miles from Iraq to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was working at a military hospital in 2004 and 2005. Sabir said he believed that his promise to give medical attention to injured Iraqis was consistent with his oath as a physician to treat anyone who needs it. [Exactly.]

FBI, security officials warn of growing threat from Islamic extremists 'next door' 14 May 2007 Plots by American-based Islamic terrorists with no direct ties to international terror networks form a large and growing threat to the American homeland, FBI and other security officials say. "The trend we're seeing is that we are uncovering more instances of people here who have been radicalized … where there is not a direct thumbprint of al-Qaeda," says John Miller, the FBI's assistant director for public affairs.

U.S. Air Marshals Flooding German, British Flights 14 May 2007 As many as five or six U.S. air marshals are now assigned to each U.S.-bound flight from airports in Frankfurt, London and Manchester, England, because of fears terrorists might attempt a coordinated series of mid-air explosions, law enforcement officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

2 Suspended for School Prank That Scared Pupils in Tennessee 15 May 2007 A teacher and an assistant principal were suspended Monday for a prank in which sixth graders on a sleepover trip were told that a gunman was prowling nearby and were ordered to hide in silence.

Chicago-Bound Amtrak Train Evacuated --Passenger Claimed He Had Weapon And Bomb 14 May 2007 A passenger on a Chicago-bound Amtrak train who was detained in Colorado after other passengers became suspicious has been released after the FBI determined he was not a threat. The man, whose name was not released, was taken off the eastbound California Zephyr about 20 miles west of Denver late Sunday after other passengers said they heard him talking about a bomb and a knife, authorities said.

Police accused of 'getting off with Brazilian's murder' as 11 officers escape punishment 12 May 2007 The family of Jean Charles de Menezes accused the Metropolitan Police of "getting away with murder" yesterday after 11 officers escaped punishment over his death. The officers who mistook the Brazilian for a suicide bomber and shot him will not be disciplined, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.

ACLU report: Whistle-blowers left exposed 14 May 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union said the U.S. government gives no protection to some employees who uncover wrongdoing or security breaches. In the report, "Disavowed: The Government's Unchecked Retaliation Against National Security Whistleblowers," the ACLU said U.S. law does not protect national security whistle-blowers.

DHS Privacy Committee Opposes Real ID Bill --U.S. Department of Homeland Security has joined opposition to the Real ID bill, which would create a national standard for state-issued identification. 12 May 2007 A privacy committee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has joined a growing chorus of voices opposed to the controversial Real ID bill, which proposes to create a national standard for state driver's licenses and other forms of state-issued identification.

Reminder: Monday is Wiretap the Internet Day By Kevin Poulsen 11 May 2007 May 14th is the official deadline for cable modem companies, DSL providers, broadband over powerline, satellite internet companies and some universities to finish wiring up their networks with FBI-friendly surveillance gear, to comply with the FCC's expanded interpretation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.

'Honk for peace' case tests limits on free speech 14 May 2007 When one of Deborah Mayer's elementary school students asked her on the eve of the Iraq war whether she would ever take part in a peace march, the veteran teacher recalls answering, "I honk for peace." Soon afterward, Mayer lost her job and her home in Indiana... And when she complained to federal courts that her free-speech rights had been violated, the courts replied, essentially, that as a public school teacher she didn't have any.

McNulty, No. 2 Justice Department Official, to Resign 14 May 2007 Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, a prominent figure in the political furor over the firing of eight U.S. prosecutors, will resign. As the No. 2 Justice Department official, McNulty was responsible for overseeing the 93 U.S. attorneys and helped coordinate the dismissals last year.

Schiff Calls on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to Resign 14 May 2007 In a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday Congressman Adam Schiff, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign. Attorney General Gonzales appeared before the Judiciary Committee and testified regarding the controversial firings of U.S. Attorneys.

Wolfowitz 'broke World Bank laws' 15 May 2007 A panel of executives at the World Bank says its President Paul Wolfowitz broke bank rules in awarding a substantial pay rise to his girlfriend. The directors said the full board of the World Bank should consider whether Mr Wolfowitz was still able to provide effective leadership.

Bank's Report Says Wolfowitz Violated Ethics 15 May 2007 A World Bank committee charged Monday that Paul D. Wolfowitz violated ethical and governance rules as bank president by showing favoritism to his companion in 2005. In response, the Bush administration mounted a last-ditch global campaign to save Mr. Wolfowitz from being ousted from office.

Cheney says Wolfowitz should stay 14 May 2007 US Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said on Monday that embattled World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, who faces demands to step down over nepotism allegations, should keep his job.

Giuliani's Clients Could Pose Conflict 15 May 2007 As a partner in a law and lobbying firm, Rudy Giuliani has profited from his firm's work representing corporate clients before virtually every Cabinet department, exposing himself to a wide range of potential ethical entanglements.

Tenet hands Jeb Bush a big windfall 11 May 2007 Shareholders officially elected former Gov. Jeb Bush to the board of Tenet Healthcare on Thursday -- a part-time job that will bring him over $450,000 in the next year. For this, Bush has already received 34,667 shares worth $260,000, which he has registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gas Prices Hit a New Record at the Pump --Gas Prices at the Pump Exceed Post-Katrina Record, While Gas Futures Prices Slide 14 May 2007 Gasoline prices hit a new record at the pump on Monday, but gas futures prices fell on concerns that $3 gas will crimp demand. Oil prices, meanwhile, rose on reports of refinery problems in the U.S. and abroad.

Vermont state senator wants to reopen nuke waste issue 08 May 2007 A variety of sites around Vermont could be considered as places to store high-level radioactive waste from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, under a proposal floated Monday by Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, D-Windham.

U.S. Aims to Weaken G-8 Climate Change Statement 13 May 2007 Negotiators from the United States are trying to weaken the language of a climate change declaration set to be unveiled at next month's G-8 summit of the world's leading industrial powers, according to documents obtained yesterday by The Washington Post.

Correction: Two guilty of trying to leak details of Blair's talks with Bush 10 May 2007 Tony Blair's ill-fated war with Iraq claimed two more victims yesterday when a civil servant and an MP's researcher were convicted of disclosing details of a secret conversation between the Prime Minister and President [sic] George Bush. [CLG had misidentified the MP's researcher as Anthony Clarke. The researcher was Leo O'Connor. O'Connor worked for the Labour MP, Anthony Clarke. CLG regrets the error. --LRP]

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CLG Poll: Which GOP Weapons of Mass Distraction will explode during the 2006, 2008 'election' seasons? By CLG General Manager, Lori Price

'Sometimes you wonder whose side the Americans are on.' Britain fights to curb US Afghan onslaught 13 May 2007 Britain will step up its presence in Afghanistan this week with the deployment of a high-profile new ambassador as concern mounts that the toll of civilians killed in the war is setting back the occupation’s 'efforts to win' Afghan "hearts and minds". There is growing alarm over a wave of US bombing raids in which 110 civilians have died in the past two weeks. "Sometimes you wonder whose side the Americans are on," said a British official.

ROFL! 5,347,258th key al-Qaeda|Taliban (pick one) leader in Iraq|Afghanistan (pick one) has been killed: Key Taliban Leader Is Killed in Afghanistan 14 May 2007 The man who probably was the Taliban’s foremost operational commander, Mullah Dadullah, was killed in a joint operation by Afghan security forces, American forces and NATO troops in Helmand Province, Governor Asadullah Khaled of the neighboring Kandahar Province said Sunday.

Gates: US to be involved in conflict for 'another five or ten years' --Army offering bonuses to keep officers 11 May 2007 The Army will offer incentives to keep midlevel officers as it faces another decade or so in combat around the world, its chief of staff said today. Gen. George Casey, who took over as the Army's chief just a month ago, said the United States will "be in a period of conflict for, I believe, another five or ten years."

Tucker: Active-Duty Generals Will 'Revolt' Against Bush If He Maintains Escalation Into 2008 13 May 2007 Appearing on NBC’s Chris Matthews Show this morning, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Cynthia Tucker revealed that sources within the military are warning of "a revolt from active-duty generals if September rolls around and the president is sticking with the surge into '08."

Iraqis resist U.S. pressure to enact oil law 13 May 2007 Iraq's cabinet, the Council of Ministers, approved a draft oil measure in February. From there, it was to go to parliament. U.S. officials predicted passage would be quick, but it has stalled. The objections are: regional distrust of the Shiite-led central government; wariness of foreign interest; and anger toward the United States, which many Iraqis believe invaded Iraq solely to get its hands on the oil.

Thanks to Bush: Al-Qaeda planning militant Islamic state within Iraq 13 May 2007 A radical plan by 'Al-Qaeda' to take over the Sunni heartland of Iraq and turn it into a militant Islamic state once American troops have withdrawn is causing alarm among US intelligence officials. A power struggle has emerged between the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, an organisation with ambitions to become a state which has been set up by Al-Qaeda, and more moderate Sunni groups.

Iraq to bar press from blast scenes 13 May 2007 Iraq's [US-installed] interior ministry has decided to bar news photographers and cameramen from the scenes of bomb attacks, operations director Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf said Sunday. His announcement was the latest in a series of attempts to curtail press coverage of the ongoing conflict, which has already attracted criticism from international human rights bodies.

DOD blocking YouTube, others 13 May 2007 Starting Monday, the Defense Department will block access to MySpace, YouTube and a host of other sites on official department computers worldwide, in an effort to boost its network efficiency [?!?]. Troops and families living on U.S. bases will still be able to view the sites through private Internet networks, but the move leaves servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan who use the popular picture- and video-sharing sites with little or no access to them.

No More YouTube, MySpace for U.S. Troops By Sharon Weinberger 13 May 2007 Fresh from its battle against blogs, the U.S. military now appears to be going after video and social networking sites (at least those it doesn't control). Effective Monday, U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be allowed access to websites like MySpace and YouTube using military networks, Stars and Stripes reports.

Bloodshed rises in Iraq as US demands 'victory' --As Tony Blair, one of the architects of the Iraq war, prepares to leave office, it is clearer than ever that his ally's strategy of systematically crushing the Sunni insurgency is not working. In this special report from Baghdad, Patrick Cockburn shows why. 13 May 2007

At least 137 dead in Iraq violence 13 May 2007 On one of the deadliest days in Iraq in recent weeks, at least 137 people were killed or found dead. A suicide truck bomb tore through the offices of a Kurdish political party in northern Iraq, killing 50 people, and a car bombing in a crowded Baghdad market killed another 17. Troops surrounded the town of Youssifiyah and told residents over loudspeakers to stay inside.

Dozens Killed In Iraq Attacks 14 May 2007 At least sixty people have been killed and hundreds injured in attacks in Iraq on Sunday. A suicide bomber struck in the Kurdish town of Makhmur in northern Iraq, killing at least 45 people and wounding about one hundred.

U.S. Sweeps Iraq Seeking 3 Soldiers Missing in Attack 13 May 2007 About 4,000 American ground troops supported by surveillance aircraft, attack helicopters and spy satellites swept towns and farmland south of Baghdad today searching for three American soldiers who disappeared on Saturday after their patrol was ambushed, military officials said.

Al-Qaeda group claims capture of three US soldiers 14 May 2007 An 'insurgent' group linked to al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] yesterday claimed to be holding three American soldiers in Iraq who went missing after a dawn attack on their patrol south of Baghdad.

MoD kept failure of best tank quiet 12 May 2007 One of the British Army's Challenger 2 tanks was pierced by an Iraqi 'insurgent' missile more than eight months earlier than the Government has previously admitted. ...The injured soldier's family has accused the Government of a cover-up and demanded to know why soldiers manning Challenger 2 tanks had not been warned of the failings with the tank's armour.

Republicans fear defeat over Iraq 11 May 2007 Talking to Fox News, the conservative broadcaster, on his visit to Baghdad on Thursday, Dick Cheney said: "We didn’t get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican party. Our mission is to do everything we can to prevail...against one of the most evil opponents we’ve ever faced." Back in Washington Mr Cheney’s Republican colleagues are showing growing irritation with the vice-president’s [sic] Iraq war logic.

"The Color of Blood, the Color of Resistance, the Color of Iraq." By Mike Whitney 13 May 2007 It was Cheney who convinced his buddies in the banking and oil industries that Iraq would be "easy pickins". And, it was Cheney who figured out that the American people could be duped into attacking a defenseless nation. And he was right. For 6 years, Cheney has worked the levers behind the scenes to keep the American people in a constant state of fear. That gave him the time to move his armies into place and transform the government into a "one party" police state. For the most part, things have gone smoothly—the criminal activities of the state have been concealed behind the smokescreen of the "war on terror", the biggest public relations swindle in history.

'Blair digging graves to make his legacy' 13 May 2007 Sean Connery has given his most incendiary ever interview on politics, branding Tony Blair an "a***hole" making his legacy from graves in Iraq and suggesting that First Minister Jack McConnell is frustrating democracy in Scotland.

U.S., Iran to hold talks on Iraq 14 May 2007 The U.S. and Iran will hold rare meetings within the next few weeks in Baghdad to discuss the insurgency in Iraq, officials from the two nations said Sunday. The talks, to be conducted between the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad and Iranian officials, would be the highest-level negotiations acknowledged between the two countries in recent years.

Pakistan set to declare state of emergency 12 May 2007 President Musharraf could declare a state of emergency in Pakistan amid growing civil unrest against his increasingly embattled regime. Security forces were placed on high alert yesterday, detaining hundreds of activists on the eve of an anti-government rally in Karachi.

Hicks's lawyer overlooked for promotion 14 May 2007 David Hicks's US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, has been passed over for promotion and knocked back as a trainee judge in what appears to be payback for his work on behalf of the Guantanamo Bay detainee. Major Mori, whose zealous defence of Hicks since November 2003 was admired by many Australians and instrumental in Hicks' lenient deal, has an uncertain future with the military and could potentially be assigned to non-legal work.

Lawyers to give opening arguments in Padilla trial 13 May 2007 Lawyers are to give opening arguments Monday in the trial of Jose Padilla, a US citizen charged with conspiring to commit terror but not with the alleged radioactive bomb plot cited in his arrest five years ago. Padilla, who spent three-and-a-half years in military detention without charge before being moved to the civilian court system, is accused of plotting to murder, kidnap and maim people in Afghanistan and elsewhere outside the United States.

Authorities in Germany Detained 2 With al Qaeda Ties --Men Were Conducting Surveillance on U.S. Base, Security Sources Tell ABC News 12 May 2007 Authorities detained two suspects believed to be part of a cell of the Islamic Jihad Union, an 'al Qaeda'-affiliated Uzbek group, intelligence sources have told ABC News.

FBI says domestic extremists big threat 13 May 2007 Federal authorities say the FBI cannot possibly counter the growing threat posed by homegrown extremists [FBI agents] without the help of two often unreliable allies. One is an American public... the other is a small but growing army of informants, some of whom might be in it for the wrong reasons, such as money, political ax-grinding or their own legal problems.

Tennessee teachers stage fake gunman attack --Staged assault on 6th-graders unfolds on school trip; parents not amused 13 May 2007 Staff members of an elementary school [Scales Elementary School] staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.

Terrorism amendment bill a threat to our civil liberties By John Minto 14 May 2007 (NZ) Here we go again. Our democratic freedoms, civil liberties and human rights are under threat once more under the guise of the war on terror. The most recent assault comes under cover of the Suppression of Terrorism Amendment Bill 2007, which is before Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee, with submissions due by the end of this week. The Government says it is just doing its part supporting international moves to isolate and control terrorism. In reality, it is part of the United States leadership's drive to have its foreign-policy objectives adopted by governments around the world.

Ground Zero Illnesses Clouding Giuliani's Legacy 14 May 2007 From the beginning, there was no doubt that Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his team ruled the hellish [9/11] disaster site. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, all with extensive disaster response experience, arrived almost immediately, only to be placed on the sideline. One Army Corps official said Mr. Giuliani acted like a "benevolent dictator." Kenneth Holden, the Department of Design and Construction commissioner until January 2004, said in a deposition in the federal lawsuit against the city that he initially expected FEMA or the Army Corps to try to take over the cleanup operation. Mr. Giuliani never let them.

Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals 14 May 2007 Nearly half the U.S. attorneys slated for removal by the administration last year were targets of Republican complaints that they were lax on voter fraud, including efforts by pResidential adviser Karl Rove to encourage more prosecutions of election- law violations, according to new documents and interviews.

Bank Files May Undercut Wolfowitz, Critics Say 14 May 2007 Documents circulating at the World Bank suggest that Paul D. Wolfowitz, the bank president, understood that his role in ordering a pay increase and promotion for his companion in 2005 might be seen as a conflict of interest but insisted on proceeding anyway, bank officials who are critics of Mr. Wolfowitz said Sunday.

Hundreds of Birds Falling from the Skies Above Florida --Smoke From Wildfires Leave Birds Dazed and Confused 13 May 2007 The clouds of smoke produced by the fire are causing hundreds of birds in Broward and Miami-Dade counties to drop out of the sky or crash into the windows of buildings. Wildlife officials say hundreds of yellow warblers have died.

Quick action! Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat (Polar Bear SOS) Polar bears are completely dependent on Arctic sea ice to survive, but 80 percent of that ice could be gone in 20 years and all of it by 2040... The Bush Administration's proposal to list the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act is a crucial first step toward ensuring a future for these magnificent Arctic creatures. Yet the administration's proposal does not designate "critical habitat" for protection, even though melting habitat from global warming is the main threat to the polar bear's survival. Send a message urging the Bush Administration to finalize the listing of the polar bear and designate its critical habitat.

Climate change to force mass migration --1bn likely to be displaced by 2050, says report --Environmental factors will exacerbate existing crisis 14 May 2007 A billion people - one in seven people on Earth today - could be forced to leave their homes over the next 50 years as the effects of climate change worsen an already serious migration crisis, a new report from Christian Aid predicts.

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DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack By Lori Price 11 May 2007 Is Bush is getting ready to play the Bioterror Card? The GOP cannot steal an inevitable Democratic landslide in November 2008. Will the Bush regime continue its illegitimate rule and empire by implementing a full-blown police state, in the aftermath of an avian flu pandemic or (Bush-engendered) bioterror attack?

Contingencies for nuclear terrorist attack --Government working up plan to 'prevent' chaos in wake of bombing of major city 11 May 2007 As concerns grow that terrorists [the Bush regime] might attack a major American city with a nuclear bomb, a high-level group of government and military officials has been quietly preparing an emergency survival program that would include the building of bomb shelters, steps to prevent panicked evacuations and the possible suspension of some civil liberties... Fred Ikle said that the government should plan how it could restrict civil liberties and enforce a sort of martial law in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, but also have guidelines for how those liberties could be restored later.

Bush orders contingency plans for attack on U.S. 10 May 2007 President [sic] Bush issued a formal national security directive Wednesday ordering agencies to prepare contingency plans for a surprise, "decapitating" attack on the federal government, and assigned responsibility for coordinating such plans to the White House.

'More troops' call as Iraq murders soar --234 bodies dumped in Baghdad in only 11 days 13 May 2007 The US military surge in Iraq, designed to turn around the course of the war, appears to be failing as senior US officers admit they need yet more troops and new figures show a sharp increase in the victims of [US] death squads in Baghdad.

US general asks for more troops in northern Iraq 12 May 2007 The commander of US forces in northern Iraq said yesterday that he did not have enough troops to bring stability, sharpening the debate in America about the effectiveness of George Bush's war plan.

Iraq MPs gather votes to force US withdrawal 12 May 2007 Iraqi MPs are gathering votes to force their government to set a deadline for US forces to withdraw from the country and think they have a majority, a leading Shiite politician said on Friday. Baha al-Aaraji, a supporter of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told AFP that 144 members of the 275-seat national assembly had signed a draft law that would set a departure timetable for US troops.

Iraqi parliament objects to Baghdad wall 12 May 2007 Iraq's parliament objected Saturday to the construction of walls around Baghdad neighborhoods and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to testify about other security issues. Construction of the walls -- particularly in the Baghdad neighborhood of Azamiyah -- has been criticized by residents and Sunni clerics who say it is a form of sectarian discrimination.

Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Finds 12 May 2007 Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq’s declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through [Cheney Halliburton's] corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report. Using an average of $50 a barrel, the report said the discrepancy was valued at $5 million to $15 million daily.

Pentagon Opens Inquiry of Troop-Support Group 12 May 2007 The Pentagon is looking into complaints that Defense Department officials charged with building public support for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan might have engaged in improper fund-raising and unauthorized spending, officials said Friday. The inspector general is examining whether officials who run "America Supports You," a three-year-old Pentagon program lauded by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, helped arrange a fund-raiser for a private foundation set up last December by former Bush administration appointees.

U.S. Hunts for Missing Personnel in Iraq 13 May 2007 U.S. and Iraqi troops searched house-to-house and combed fields with their bare hands Saturday after American troops and their Iraqi interpreter came under attack in the notorious "triangle of death" south of Baghdad, leaving five dead and three missing.

Attack Kills 5 Troops in Iraq, 3 Missing 12 May 2007 Seven U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army interpreter came under attack Saturday morning during a patrol in a Sunni 'insurgent' stronghold south of Baghdad, leaving five dead and three missing, the military said.

F-16s Destroy Purported 'Terror Camp' in Iraq 10 May 2007 U.S. Air Force F-16s obliterated three truck-mounted anti-aircraft weapons and killed 10 to 14 'al Qaeda operatives' near Fallujah on Tuesday, according to the military.

U.S. officers rejected Haditha probe request: Marine 12 May 2007 U.S. commanders rejected a local council's request for an investigation days after Marines in Iraq killed 24 civilians in the town of Haditha in November 2005, according to testimony on Saturday at a military tribunal.

Blair faces questions over alleged US plan to attack al-Jazeera 12 May 2007 The government is to be questioned in parliament next week over what discussions Tony Blair had with George Bush about plans to bomb the Arabic television satellite station al-Jazeera, at a particularly delicate time in the war in Iraq. Peter Kilfoyle, a former Labour defence minister, is to table questions after repeated allegations that Mr Bush made the threat at a meeting with Mr Blair in the White House in April 2004.

Edwards to Ask Antiwar Stand of Americans 12 May 2007 Stepping up his antiwar stance, John Edwards said yesterday that he would call for Americans to "raise their voices" on Memorial Day against the Iraq war and would say that patriotism required supporting the troops by bringing them home.

3,000 Gather for Obama Rally in Missouri 12 May 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama urged about 3,000 supporters Saturday to help send members to Congress who will oppose the war in Iraq. "We have 51 votes in the Senate, and to have a veto-proof majority the next time we send a bill to end the war, we're going to need 16 more votes," Obama said.

War-funding bill faces uncertain future in Senate 11 May 2007 President [sic] Bush might not get a chance to follow through on his vow to veto a $96 billion war spending bill passed by the House that would tie war funding past July to a progress report. A 221-205 vote on Thursday sends the bill to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future as Republican and Democratic leaders try to work out a compromise with the White House.

Air Force Fleet Wearing Down 08 May 2007 The Air Force's fleet of warplanes is older than ever and wearing out faster because of heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the service's top combat commander [Gen. Ronald Keys]. Compared to 1996, the Air Force now spends 87% more on maintenance for a warplane fleet that is less ready to fly, Air Force records show.

Governors say war has gutted Guard --States fear lack of disaster response 13 May 2007 As wildfires, floods and tornadoes batter the nation, the readiness of the National Guard to deal with those disasters, as well as potential terrorist assaults, is so depleted by deployments to foreign wars and equipment shortfalls that Congress is considering moves to curtail the president's [sic] powers over the Guard and require the Defense Department to analyze how prepared the country is for domestic emergencies.

Ret. Gen: Iraq straining National Guard 12 May 2007 The National Guard isn't as strong as it should be because of the war in Iraq and American communities will suffer as a result, retired Air Force Gen. Melvyn Montano said Saturday. Delivering the Democrats' weekly radio address, Montano said the strain means it will take longer for Greensburg, Kan., to recover from a devastating tornado that leveled the town a week ago.

Arizona guard impacted by national supplies shortfall 11 May 2007 Arizona's National Guard is working with only 35 percent of its needed equipment, a shortfall that has been compounded by the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's part of a nationwide shortfall estimated at $38 billion between now and 2013, one that has governors agitating to get more funding from the federal government to cover the losses.

After 5 years at Gitmo, alleged bin Laden aide charged 10 May 2007 The United States filed charges of conspiracy and providing support for terrorism Thursday against a Guantanamo detainee who [allegedly] worked as a driver for Osama bin Laden. Salim Ahmed Hamdan has been detained at Guantanamo since May 2002.

Cheney meets Saudi king, Iraq and Iran on agenda 12 May 2007 U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney arrived on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally which has grown cold on Washington's Iraq policy, for talks with King Abdullah expected to discuss Iran's growing power.

EU proposes monitoring radical mosques 12 May 2007 Security officials from Europe's largest countries backed a plan Saturday to profile mosques on the continent and identify radical Islamic clerics who raise the threat of homegrown terrorism. The project, to be finished by the fall, will focus on the roles of imams, their training, their ability to speak in the local language and their sources of funding, EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini told a news conference after a meeting on terrorism.

Chertoff urges data-sharing deal with EU 12 May 2007 Pieces of information gathered about airline passengers arriving in the United States can be crucial when least expected to preventing terror attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Saturday as he pushed for a deal with European countries on sharing data. European government are trying to ensure the deal will not violate their strict privacy laws, a legacy of the continent's history with authoritarian regimes [such as the US].

Push to oust Gonzales loses momentum 10 May 2007 Republican members of Congress on Thursday leapt to the defence of Alberto Gonzales, the embattled US attorney-general, as Democratic efforts to oust him appeared to lose momentum.

Former CIA Official, Contractor Faces New Charges 12 May 2007 New charges have been filed alleging that a former top CIA official pushed a proposed $100 million government contract for his best friend in return for lavish vacations, private jet flights and a lucrative job offer. The indictment, returned Thursday, replaces charges brought in February against Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, who resigned from the spy agency a year ago, and Poway-based defense contractor Brent Wilkes. The pair now face 30 wide-ranging counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Critics Bash 'Warrior Culture' of LAPD 13 May 2007 The Police Department's violent response at the end of an immigrant demonstration is the latest incident highlighting what critics describe as the force's "warrior culture."

For Giuliani, 9/11 Led to Riches [Yeah, we call that "motive." --LRP] 13 May 2007 On Dec. 7, 2001, nearly three months after the terrorist attack that had made him a national hero [sic] and a little over three weeks before he would leave office, New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani took the first official step toward making himself rich... Over the next five years, Giuliani Partners earned more than $100 million, according to a knowledgeable source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the firm's financial information is private.

Romney's Estimated Wealth in Millions 12 May 2007 Republican Mitt "Big Dig" Romney is expected to report financial assets between $190 million and $250 million, an amount that would likely make him the wealthiest of the 2008 presidential candidates.

Clinton Says Bush Governs "For the Few" 13 May 2007 Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized President [sic] Bush on Saturday as running a "government of the few, for the few and by the few."

Katrina Aid Program Is $2.9 Billion Short --Uncertainty Plagues La. Homeowners 12 May 2007 The massive federally funded program for rebuilding Louisiana homes is short nearly $3 billion, administrators told a state legislative panel here today, leaving uncertain for now how the owners of roughly 100,000 flood-wrecked houses here will be compensated.

Thousands of Nuclear Arms Workers See Cancer Claims Denied or Delayed 12 May 2007 Unable to access secret government files, or even some of his own personnel records, Walter McKenzie could not sufficiently prove that he was exposed to something that may have made him sick. Nor can most of the 104,000 other workers, retirees and family members who have sought help from a federal program intended to atone for decades of hazardous working conditions at scores of nuclear weapons facilities around the country.

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