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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July 2007 Archives, Page Two

Cheney to get new defibrillator Saturday 27 Jul 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney will have a new internal heart defibrillator implanted on Saturday morning because the battery needs replacing [!], his office said on Friday.

State Department accused of stonewalling probe of use of slave labor at Iraq embassy 26 Jul 2007 The State Department has dismissed allegations by Democrats that foreign workrs were mistreated in building the US Embassy complex in Iraq... But the inspector general did acknowledge to a House panel recruiters in foreign countries may have misled potential workers about the pay and living conditions [!] and says he had told the Justice Department about the situation. Despite the assurances, Democrats at the hearing alleged the prime contractor used forced [slave] labor to build the embassy and that the State Department is stonewalling Congress.

House Democrats extend warm welcome to KBR 26 Jul 2007 A representative from giant military contractor KBR got a rare friendly reception Thursday from House Democrats during a hearing examining construction problems at the $592 million U.S. Embassy being built in Iraq. KBR has come under fire in Congress and elsewhere regarding possible overcharges and sloppy paperwork relating to its contract to provide logistical support to the military in Iraq.

U.S. drops Baghdad electricity reports --The daily length of time that residents have power has dropped. The figure is considered a key indicator of quality of life. 27 Jul 2007 As the Bush regime struggles to convince lawmakers that its Iraq war strategy is working, it has stopped reporting to Congress a key quality-of-life indicator in Baghdad: how long the power stays on. Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week that Baghdad residents could count on only "an hour or two a day" of electricity. That's down from an average of five to six hours a day earlier this year. But that piece of data has not been sent to lawmakers for months because the State Department, which prepares a weekly "status report" for Congress on conditions in Iraq, stopped estimating in May how many hours of electricity Baghdad residents typically receive each day.

As U.S. Rebuilds, Iraq Won’t Act on Finished Work 28 Jul 2007 Iraq’s national government is refusing to take possession of thousands of American-financed reconstruction projects, forcing the United States either to hand them over to local Iraqis... or commit new money to an effort that has already consumed billions of taxpayer dollars. The United States often promotes the number of rebuilding projects, like power plants and hospitals, that have been completed in Iraq, citing them as signs of progress in a nation otherwise fraught with violence and political stalemate. But closer examination by the inspector general’s office, headed by Stuart W. Bowen Jr., has found that a number of individual projects are crumbling, abandoned or otherwise inoperative only months after the United States declared that they had been successfully completed.

US accuses Saudis of telling lies about Iraq --First time administration has made concern public --Claims royal family is financing Sunni groups 28 Jul 2007 The extent of the deterioration in US-Saudi relations was exposed for the first time yesterday when Washington accused Riyadh of working to undermine the Iraqi government. The Bush regime warned Saudi Arabia, until this year one of its closest allies, to stop undermining the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

U.S. Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia 28 Jul 2007 The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.

U.S. special forces battle Mahdi Army in holy city of Karbala 27 Jul 2007 American special forces battled Mahdi army militiamen in Karbala on Friday, calling in a deadly helicopter airstrike during a rare operation in one of the country's holiest Shiite cities. The U.S. military said the predawn raid... had captured a "high-level" rogue member of Moktada al-Sadr's militia and two of his aides, killing 17 militants in the process. However, Iraqi hospital officials accused the Americans of killing 9 civilians and wounding 26 others in the Al-Askari district in western Karbala, 80 kilometers, or 50 miles, south of Baghdad.

Military use of airport wrong, says Irish cleric 27 Jul 2007 The Archbishop of Dublin, John Neill, has accused the Irish government of "moral compromise" in allowing hundreds of thousands of US troops to use Shannon airport while on transit flights to Iraq.

House panel acts to limit Iraq troop deployment 27 Jul 2007 A House of Representatives panel approved bills on Friday to require the Pentagon to send lawmakers a withdrawal plan and give troops more leave between deployments. The measures could come to the House floor next week as part of a steady stream of war votes directed by Democratic leaders in hopes of getting more Republicans to abandon Bush's war strategy -- and embarrassing those who do not.

US troop cut 'essential' in Iraq 28 Jul 2007 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates says he is personally engaged in developing contingency plans for a drawdown of troops from Iraq, emphasising that those efforts constitute a priority for the Pentagon. "Such planning is indeed taking place with my active involvement as well as that of senior military and civilian officials and our commanders in the field," Mr Gates wrote in a letter to Senator Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. Such preparation for a troop reduction, he said, "is not only appropriate, but essential".

Three NATO soldiers killed in Afghan clashes 28 Jul 2007 Three NATO troops and an Afghan soldier have been killed in two separate clashes with 'insurgents' in Afghanistan, the alliance said.

U.S. Air Force Prepares for War in Cyberspace 26 Jul 2007 The United States Air Force is actively seeking "cyberspace attack scenarios," according to documents posted on a government Web site for contractors. The attack strategies should "disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy or deceive an adversary's information system," according to the Air Force Requests for Information (RFIs) obtained by ABC News.

Homeland Security Funds LED Light Saber By Ryan Singel 26 Jul 2007 The Department of Homeland Security is funding the creation an LED flashlight that uses powerful flashes of light to temporarily blind, disorient and incapacitate people... Intelligent Optical Systems, a small company in Torrance, CA, is developing the weapon with money from Homeland Security's Science and Technology division, which thinks its possible to have the weapon deployed to cops, National Guard troops and border agents by 2010.

UK wanted US to rule out Bin Laden torture 28 Jul 2007 Ministers insisted that British secret agents would only be allowed to pass intelligence to the CIA to help it capture Osama bin Laden if the agency promised he would not be tortured, it has emerged... The plot is revealed in a 75-page report by parliament's intelligence and security committee on rendition [kidnapping], the practice of flying detainees to places where they may be tortured.

US House votes to tighten terror, spy record probes 28 Jul 2007 The US House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday aimed at clamping down on the government’s collection of telephone and financial records of people it suspects of terrorism or spying. By a vote of 281-142, the House approved a law enforcement spending bill for the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1, which the Senate has not yet debated. The White House has warned that President [sic] George W. Bush would veto the bill...

House Sends Antiterror Bill to Bush --GOP gives lying informants immunity from lawsuits 27 Jul 2007 The House overwhelmingly passed antiterrorism legislation this afternoon, sending to President [sic] Bush a measure intended to tighten security on air and sea cargo and allocate federal money where the threat of attack is deemed greatest. Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican minority leader, said Republicans were especially pleased that they had won inclusion of language to protect Americans [Reichwing whackjobs] who report 'potential terrorist activity' from “frivolous lawsuits,” a favorite Republican target.

Gov't: 2,000 Terror Suspects in Britain --UK Says It Has 2,000 Terror Suspects, Hopes to Extend Detention Time Limits 24 Jul 2007 Britain has about 2,000 terror suspects, hundreds more than was previously thought, a top British official [Home Secretary Jacqui Smith] said Tuesday as she urged lawmakers to extend how long police can hold terror suspects before they are charged.

Brown sets out sweeping but risky terror and security reforms --New plans to extend detention --£70m hearts and minds campaign 26 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown moved yesterday to dominate the terror and security agenda, grabbing a Tory proposal for an integrated single border force and then challenging David Cameron to accept that the scale of the terrorist threat requires an extension of detention without charge to up to 56 days.

Brown considering 56-day terror suspect detention limit, reports say 25 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown will today set out counter-terrorism proposals amid reports that he has been considering doubling the current limit for holding terror suspects from 28 to 56 days.

US to keep EU passenger data for 15 years 26 Jul 2007 The US will now keep European Union passenger name records (PNR) data for fifteen years -- far longer than the three and a half years it kept it previously, reports Out-Law.com. The sensitive data kept on passengers can include racial or ethnic origin, political or religious views, and health details of travellers.

Justice Dept. Lawyers Join Chorus Criticizing Gonzales 28 Jul 2007 Daniel J. Metcalfe, a lawyer who began his government career in the Nixon administration and retired from the Justice Department last winter, said morale at the department was worse under Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales than during Watergate. John S. Koppel, who continues to work at the department as a civil appellate lawyer in Washington, wrote this month that he was "ashamed" of the department and that if Mr. Gonzales told the truth in recent Congressional testimony, "he has been derelict in the performance of his duties and is not up to the job."

Mega barf alert! Snow: Congress 'creating controversies' over Gonzales 27 Jul 2007 The White House and the Justice Department say what looks like a contradiction between testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller is nothing more than a confusion of terms. The apparent contradiction further fueled calls for the embattled Gonzales to resign... White House spokesman Tony Snow said that members of Congress were trying to "create controversies."

White House accuses Democrats of Gonzales "crusade" 27 Jul 2007 The White House accused congressional Democrats on Friday of waging a crusade to bring down U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after lawmakers sought a perjury probe against him.

FBI Chief Contradicts Gonzales' Sworn Testimony 27 Jul 2007 The head of the FBI contradicted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn testimony and Senate Democrats requested a perjury investigation Thursday in a fresh barrage against President [sic] Bush's embattled longtime friend and aide. In a third blow to the Bush administration [which itself blows], the Senate Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to compel the testimony of Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, in connection with its investigation of the firings of federal prosecutors.

FBI Head Contradicts Attorney General's Testimony On Surveillance 27 Jul 2007 The director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has contradicted sworn testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about a secret U.S. surveillance program. FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday that the legality of the surveillance program was the subject of intense debate among justice officials before it was publicly revealed in 2005. Gonzales, who is Mueller's boss, has testified that the program prompted no disagreements within the administration.

Democrat charges U.S. justices "duped" Senate 27 Jul 2007 U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito "duped" the U.S. Senate into confirming them, a top Democratic lawmaker charged on Friday, days after a key Republican questioned if they had lived up to their promises. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, a member of the Judiciary Committee that held hearings on the two, said they staked out moderate positions in congressional testimony but became part of a conservative bloc that issued restrictive rulings on issues from free speech to civil rights.

Schumer to fight new Bush high court picks 27 Jul 2007 New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President [sic] Bush "except in extraordinary circumstances."

Scientists' Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere 28 Jul 2007 Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into three electronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered, according to reports released yesterday by the state.

Voter Caging (NOW) 27 Jul 2007 Was there a White House plot to illegally suppress votes in 2004? Is there a similar plan for the upcoming elections? This week NOW examines documents and evidence that points to a Republican Party plan designed to keep Democrats from voting, allegedly by targeting people based on their race and ethnicity with key battleground states like Ohio and Florida of particular interest.

Michael Moore says he's been served 26 Jul 2007 Michael Thursday said the Bush administration has served him with a subpoena regarding his trip to Cuba during the making of his new film, "Sicko." The Oscar-winning filmmaker, who appeared Thursday on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," said he was notified about the subpoena at the network's studios in Burbank, Calif.

'DC Madam' Phone Records --By Lori Price Updated! 'DC Madam' phone records - 2006 (50 pages, .pdf) has been added. 26 Jul 2007

Oil price within 1 cent of record 27 Jul 2007 U.S. crude oil prices on Friday climbed to within 1 cent of their record closing high, ending up $2.07 at $77.02 a barrel. The record of $77.03 was set in July 2006.

Dow, S&P have worst week in 5 years 27 Jul 2007 Wall Street extended its steep decline Friday, propelling the Dow Jones industrials down more than 500 points over two days... It was the worst week for the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index in five years. The pullback Thursday and Friday wiped out $526.1 billion in shareholder wealth from the stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 index.

Australian reactor temporarily shut down 28 Jul 2007 A new nuclear reactor in Australia has been shut down for at least eight weeks because of three loose uranium fuel plates. Prime Minister John Howard opened the Lucas Heights Research Reactor in southern Sydney three months ago.

Astronauts Flew While Drunk, Report Says 27 Jul 2007 NASA said Friday that it will review its procedures after reports of astronaut drinking before flights were included in medical investigation. The report by the Astronaut Health Care Review Committee was leaked Thursday, and said that on two occasions astronauts flew after flight surgeons and other astronauts expressed concerns about the safety of letting those people fly.

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Exxon Mobil makes $10B on record gas prices 26 Jul 2007 Exxon Mobil reported over $10 billion in quarterly profit Thursday as higher gasoline prices helped offset a decline in revenue from natural gas. But Exxon's profit fell short of last year's and missed estimates. It was also lower than the $10.7 billion it reported in the fourth quarter of 2005, the highest quarterly corporate profit ever.

Shell 2Q Net Profit Rises 18 Percent to $8.67 Billion 26 Jul 2007 Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Thursday net profit rose 18 percent in the second quarter, thanks to asset sales and strong increases in margins at oil refineries — but the company's net gas and oil production dipped. Net profit at the Hague, Netherlands-based company came to $8.67 billion (6.27 billion euros), close to a European record for quarterly earnings, up from $7.32 billion.

Abuse of workers building U.S. embassy in Iraq is alleged 27 Jul 2007 Two American civilian contractors who worked on a massive [$592m ] U.S. Embassy construction project in Baghdad told Congress yesterday that foreign laborers were deceptively recruited and trafficked to Iraq to toil at the site, where they experienced physical abuse and substandard working conditions.

Third Person Charged in Iraq Fraud Case 26 Jul 2007 A third member of a Texas family has been arrested in connection with what a federal official says is the largest Army contract-rigging and bribery case to emerge from the Iraq reconstruction [destruction] effort. Carolyn Blake, a former schoolteacher, was charged Wednesday with laundering money and conspiring to accept $3.1 million in bribes from contractors.

Defence committee: British troops in Iraq face 'nightly suicide missions' --MPs told by soldiers that role in Basra is over --US influence blamed for government strategy 25 Jul 2007 British soldiers are going on "nightly suicide missions" in southern Iraq and they are there only at the behest of the US, Labour MPs on the Commons defence committee told the government yesterday. In evidence that reflects deepening concern among army commanders, the MPs said they were told during a recent visit to British troops in Basra that the UK's military role in Iraq was over.

US: Attackers in Iraq Have Improved Aim 26 Jul 2007 The U.S. military has noted a "significant improvement" in the aim of attackers firing rockets and mortars into the heavily fortified Green Zone in the past three months that it has linked to training in Iran, a top commander said Thursday.

Baghdad car bomb kills 25, wounds 115 27 Jul 2007 A [US] parked car bomb killed 25 people and wounded 115 when it exploded near an intersection in central Baghdad on Thursday and police said the toll could rise as many bodies were believed still buried under rubble.

Eight U.S. troops killed in Iraq 26 Jul 2007 The U.S. military on Thursday reported eight recent troop deaths in Iraq... Also Thursday, police found 20 bodies dumped across the capital, the Interior Ministry said.

Denmark 'pulls out troops early' 26 Jul 2007 Denmark has withdrawn most of the 430 troops it has stationed in Iraq earlier than expected, a report said today quoting the Danish military. The battalion, stationed in the southern city of Basra since 2003, under British command, was supposed to begin pulling out its soldiers on August 10. But, according to a report by the Iraqi correspondent of the Danish TV channel TV2, sustained attacks by 'insurgents' have led to most of them heading home early.

Pentagon says making contingency Iraq pullout plan 26 Jul 2007 The Pentagon is making contingency plans for a U.S. withdrawal of troops from Iraq, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who called the planning a "priority." In a letter delivered on Tuesday to Sen. Hillary Clinton, a New York Democrat and presidential candidate who tangled with the Pentagon to learn whether such plans exist, Gates said he was actively involved in drafting them.

Two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan convert to Islam - paper 26 Jul 2007 Two American soldiers have converted to Islam and married in Afghanistan, a state newspaper said on Thursday. A U.S. military spokesman said he was checking the reports and pointed out that freedom of religion was enshrined in the U.S. constitution.

AP: Tillman killed by M-16 fired from 10 yards away 26 Jul 2007 Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. "The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators. The doctors whose names were blacked out said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away. Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed.

Army to Punish Officers in Tillman Case --Seven Army Officers to Be Reprimanded for Mishandling Tillman Case 26 Jul 2007 ABC News has learned that seven Army officers will receive career-ending administrative punishments for mishandling the Pat Tillman case. The Army has decided not to punish three other officers who had been accused of wrongdoing by the Pentagon inspector general. None of the officers will face criminal charges.

Army May Demote General for Misleading Statements in Tillman Death Probe 26 Jul 2007 Army Secretary Peter Geren is considering disciplinary action against seven Army officials, including a retired three-star general, for making misleading statements in reporting the friendly-fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, according to a service official.

VA Secretary faces wrongful death suit 26 Jul 2007 The family of an Iraq war veteran filed suit Thursday accusing Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson of negligence in the suicide death of their son... The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages names Nicholson, who is leaving his job, and the U.S. government as defendants.

Army's 'Debt Of Service' Leaves Vets Perplexed --Unbelievably, Soldiers Must Pay For Damaged Equipment 24 Jul 2007 Brian Rodriguez is a fighter, an honorably discharged soldier who'd been deployed in Iraq. Former Army Specialist Rodriguez started getting bills for $700 for lost or damaged government property this summer. Although he was discharged some four years ago, bills recently arrived demanding payment, but giving no details on what or why -- nor do they offer a way to dispute the charges... A 2006 government report found more than 1,000 soldiers being billed a total of $1.5 million.

CIA discounted British concerns, say MPs --Americans ignored caveats on intelligence --'Serious implications' after British residents seized 26 Jul 2007 MI5 contributed to the seizure of two British residents by the CIA, which secretly flew them to Guantánamo Bay in a move with "serious implications for the intelligence relationship" between Britain and the US, a cross-party committee of senior MPs said in a damning report released yesterday. The security service passed information to the Americans on Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi, and Jamil el-Banna, from Jordan, as they flew to the Gambia to set up a business there in 2002.

Hundreds of Syrian missiles poised for possible first strike against Israel 26 Jul 2007 Despite appeals by United States, Syria has maintained its forward ballistic missile positions near Israel. Israeli military sources said the Syrian military has positioned its Scud C and Scud D ballistic missile batteries in southern Syria. The sources said the missile batteries have maintained full combat readiness and could be launched at any time.

Sentient world: war games on the grandest scale 23 Jul 2007 Perhaps your real life is so rich you don't have time for another. Even so, the US Department of Defense (DOD) may already be creating a copy of you in an alternate reality to see how long you can go without food or water, or how you will respond to televised propaganda. The DOD is developing a parallel to Planet Earth [the Sentient World Simulation (SWS)], with billions of individual "nodes" to reflect every man, woman, and child this side of the dividing line between reality and AR.

Bush warns Al-Qaida following bin Laden, poses U.S. threat 25 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush on Tuesday presented his most detailed and lengthy argument that al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq was intimately tied to Osama bin Laden's terrorist operation as he sought to rebut his critics' assertion that the Iraqi group was not a threat to American security.

Australia drops bomb plot charges 27 Jul 2007 Australian authorities dropped terrorism charges against an Indian doctor [Dr Mohamed Haneef], arrested in connection with a failed car bomb plot in Britain, Australia's chief prosecutor Damian Bugg said on Friday. Bugg intervened to review the evidence against Haneef after weeks of media leaks and growing public criticism about the lack of strong evidence against the doctor. "On my view of this matter, a mistake has been made," Bugg told reporters in Canberra.

Heathrow puts up legal barricades to keep away protesters --If you're a member of the National Trust, the RSPB, the Woodland Trust or Friends of the Earth, then you could be banned from Britain's biggest airport. And the Piccadilly line. And parts of Paddington station. And sections of the M4. All because the authorities want to halt a protest against climate change... 27 Jul 2007 Five million people in peaceful environmental organisations such as the National Trust and the RSPB have become the subject of an extraordinary legal attempt to limit their right to protest. In legal documents seen by The Independent, the British Airports Authority has begun moves that would allow police to arrest members of 15 environmental groups to prevent them taking part in demonstrations against airport expansion.

Aspirin Spurs ABC News Office Evacuation 26 Jul 2007 A building housing the Washington bureau of ABC News was temporarily evacuated Thursday because of a suspicious envelope containing a white powdery substance that turned out to be aspirin, District of Columbia authorities said. D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter said people were forced to leave the downtown building for about 45 minutes.

Suspicious Package Found at Long Beach Airport Not an Explosive Device 26 Jul 2007 A suspicious item in luggage prompted an evacuation of hundreds of people from the Long Beach Airport terminal Thursday before the object was found to be an electronic game, authorities said. Transportation Security Administration screeners spotted the suspicious item in a checked bag around 9:30 a.m., said Jennifer Peppin, a spokeswoman for the federal agency.

Hundreds evacuated from Long Beach airport 26 Jul 2007 A suspicious piece of luggage prompted the evacuation of several hundred people from the Long Beach Airport terminal Thursday and delayed inbound flights, authorities said. The baggage was discovered by federal Transportation Security Administration workers at about 9:30 a.m., city police spokeswoman Kathy Parsons said. Firefighters, police and a bomb squad were called to the airport, about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

Explosion at Mojave Airport Kills 2 27 Jul 2007 An explosion killed two people and critically injured four others at a Mojave Desert airport site used by the pioneering aerospace company that sent the first private manned rocket into space, authorities said. The blast at a Mojave Air and Space Port facility belonging to Scaled Composites LLC also left some toxic material, said Kern County fire Capt. Doug Johnston.

Tanks of propane, acetylene explode near downtown Dallas; 3 hurt 25 Jul 2007 Flaming debris rained onto a busy highway during a series of explosions at a gas facility near the city's dense downtown area, injuring three people and rattling windows and buildings blocks away.

White House Defends Gonzales 26 Jul 2007 The White House defended Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [aka Tortureboy] on Thursday against accusations he gave misleading testimony to Congress. A key Republican senator critical of Gonzales said there was no sign that President [sic] Bush's support for the attorney general was weakening. [Of course! One lying sack of sh*t defends another!]

FBI director contradicts Gonzales 26 Jul 2007 The head of the FBI [Robert S. Mueller] contradicted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sworn testimony and Senate Democrats requested a perjury investigation Thursday in a fresh barrage against the truthfulness of President [sic] Bush's embattled longtime friend and aide.

Bush aides in 'snooping' case 27 Jul 2007 Karl Rove was one of two White House aides sub-poenaed by the Senate judiciary committee yesterday in a rapidly escalating confrontation between the Bush administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress. Mr Rove, President [sic] Bush’s closest adviser, received the summons just one hour after a group of Democratic senators had demanded that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, America’s most senior legal officer and a member of Mr Bush’s inner circle, be investigated for perjury.

Senate panel subpoenas White House aide Rove 26 Jul 2007 The chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee [Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)] said on Thursday he had subpoenaed two more White House aides, including political adviser Karl Rove, in the probe of fired federal prosecutors.

Senators call for probe of Gonzales' statements --Senate Democrats seek perjury inquiry after contradictory documents found 26 Jul 2007 A group of Senate Democrats called Wednesday for a special counsel to investigate whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales perjured himself regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys and administration dissent over President [sic] Bush's domestic surveillance program.

Alaska Lawmakers Coming Under Scrutiny 25 Jul 2007 A government watchdog group filed a complaint Wednesday with the U.S. Senate ethic committee over a land deal involving Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Another Alaska Republican in Congress, Rep. Don Young, is under criminal investigation, a federal law enforcement official said.

US Senators back web censorship 26 Jul 2007 US senators issued a bipartisan call for filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet. In a meeting where civil liberties groups were not invited, Democrats and Republicans [GOPedophiles] said that the web needed to be censored to protect children.

Judge slams 'absurd' FBI, orders $114m payout 27 Jul 2007 A federal judge has ordered the US government to pay more than $US101 million ($114.4 million) in the case of four men who spent decades in prison for a 1965 murder they did not commit after the FBI withheld evidence of their innocence. The judge called the government's defence that the FBI had no duty to get involved because it was a state case "absurd".

Professor in 9/11 dispute files lawsuit day after firing 25 Jul 2007 The University of Colorado professor who was fired after comparing some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi fought back with a lawsuit on Wednesday, saying the school retaliated against him for exercising his right to free speech.

FCC chair: Fairness Doctrine not needed 26 Jul 2007 The Federal Communications Commission has no intention of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine imposing a requirement of balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.

Senators are asked to block Bush's EEOC nominee --Palmer undermined the unit's mission of securing the employment rights of women and minorities in the public sector, while defending employers' rights to discriminate based on religion. 23 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush's nominee [David Palmer] to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was himself the subject of at least one complaint of employee abuse in his supervisory role at the Justice Department, eight former department civil rights employees charged Monday. [Gee, this maggot sounds like a *terrific candidate* to serve on the EEOC.]

Lawmakers grill EPA chief on Calif. law 26 Jul 2007 The head of the Environmental Protection Agency refused on Thursday to say whether he knew the Transportation Department was lobbying against a California global warming law. "I defer to the Transportation Department," EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson repeated three times in a row in response to questions from Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

Number of environmental cops decreasing 26 Jul 2007 Fewer U.S. environmental cops are tracking criminal polluters these days, their numbers steadily dropping below levels ordered by Congress. The number of the Environmental Protection Agency's criminal investigators has dropped this year to 174, below the 200-agent minimum required by Congress, even as the EPA's overall criminal enforcement budget rose nearly 25 percent over three years to $48 million, according to EPA records.

BP dumps mercury in lake --Refinery has been exempt—and new permit gives it 5 more years 27 Jul 2007 Although the federal government ordered states more than a decade ago to dramatically limit mercury discharges into the Great Lakes, the BP refinery in northwest Indiana will be allowed to continue pouring small amounts of the toxic metal into Lake Michigan for at least another five years. A little-noticed exemption in BP's controversial new state water permit gives the oil company until 2012 to meet strict federal limits on mercury discharges. In documents, Indiana regulators predict the refinery won't be able to comply and will ask to continue polluting after that date.

Tiny Town Demands Justice in Dioxin Poisoning By Adrianne Appel 25 Jul 2007 A U.S. health agency has made research subjects of people in tiny Mossville, Louisiana by repeatedly monitoring dangerously high levels of dioxin in their blood while doing nothing to get the community out of harm's way, residents say. Further, the agency failed to release important test results for five years, and made it difficult for the community to obtain the actual data, say residents and their lawyers.

Dow slides over 300 points to finish 2nd worst day of 2007 26 Jul 2007 Stocks plunged Thursday, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down over 300 points for its second worst day of the year, as anxiety about shaky credit markets and the troubled housing sector swept Wall Street. The Dow industrials first fell by over 450 points, before recouping a chunk of its losses.

An Ugly Day for Stocks --Credit market worries alarm markets, while new home sales plunge and oil prices rise 26 Jul 2007 The bears roamed freely on Wall Street Thursday as investors weighed a nasty brew of continued dreadful home sales, mixed earnings news, a jump in energy prices, and further retrenchment for the credit markets. In the mid-afternoon on Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 391.4 points, or 2.84%, to 13,393.67.

India confirms bird flu outbreak is H5N1 strain 26 Jul 2007 The Indian government confirmed on Thursday that the latest outbreak of bird flu in poultry in the remote northeast of the country was of the dangerous H5N1 strain. "It has been confirmed as the H5N1 strain," Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Vineet Chawdhry told Reuters.

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FBI Proposes Building Network of U.S. Informants 25 Jul 2007 The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities. Other recent proposals include expanding its collection and analysis of data on U.S. persons, retaining years' worth of Americans' phone records and even increasing so-called "black bag" secret entry operations. To handle the increase in so-called human sources, the FBI also plans to overhaul its database system, so it can manage records and verify the accuracy of information from "more than 15,000" informants, according to the document.

Iraq Parliament Passes Law to Privatize Oil Refineries 25 Jul 2007 Iraq's Parliament has approved a law privatizing the country's oil-refining sector in order to lure investment [US corpora-terrorists] and stem a [US-created] fuel shortage. Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani told United Press International Wednesday from his mobile phone in Baghdad that the government will provide incentives to both domestic and foreign private oil companies whose refinery plans the ministry approves.

Iraqis blame U.S. depleted uranium for surge in cancer 23 Jul 2007 Iraq's environment minister blamed Monday the use of depleted uranium weapons by U.S. forces during the 2003 Operation Shock and Awe for the current surge in cancer cases across the country. As a result of "at least 350 sites in Iraq being contaminated during bombing" with depleted uranium (DU) weapons, Nermin Othman said, the nation is facing about 140,000 cases of cancer, with 7,000 to 8,000 new ones registered each year.

At least 50 Iraqis killed in two blasts 25 Jul 2007 Two suicide [US] bombs on Wednesday killed 50 people in Iraq. The two bombs exploded in Baghdad as Iraqis celebrated their football team's semi-final win over South Korea in the Asian Cup, killing 50 people and wounding 135.

Sunni bloc boycotts Iraq government 25 Jul 2007 Iraq's largest Sunni parliamentary bloc has announced it is expanding its boycott of cabinet meetings to a full withdrawal from the government. Salim Abdullah, a spokesman for the National Accordance Front, said it would give Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, a week to meet its demands before taking further action. "There were a host of demands submitted by the Front to the government, including suspending the raids and arrests," Abdullah said.

Troop withdrawal from Iraq hopes fade --Killed soldier's twin to return to Iraq 26 Jul 2007 Hopes of a rapid British withdrawal from Iraq appeared to diminish yesterday after a minister said the present force level was needed for the safety of the troops. Bob Ainsworth, the Armed Forces minister, admitted there was "not much left in the locker" following disclosures that the Army had almost no reserves.

House Democrats plan vote on Iraq withdrawal --Proposal would compel the pResident to begin pulling out troops within 60 days, but it would not set a deadline for completion. 26 Jul 2007 Plotting yet another challenge to President [sic] Bush's Iraq war 'strategy,' House DemocRATic leaders are preparing to vote on a new withdrawal plan next week. Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, said Wednesday that he planned to introduce a measure that would compel the president to begin pulling out troops within 60 days of enactment. But in a bid to gain more Republican support and increase pressure on Bush, Murtha said, the latest Democratic plan would not set a deadline for completing the withdrawal.

House Bill Bars Permanent Bases in Iraq 26 Jul 2007 The House overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday that would bar the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq and the use of federal dollars to exercise control over Iraqi oil resources. The measure, passed 399 to 24, was part of a barrage of Iraq bills scheduled for this month and designed to raise pressure on Republicans to break with President [sic] Bush on the war.

US rejects Italy's call to withdraw from Afghanistan 25 Jul 2007 The United States on Wednesday rejected Italy's call to end the US military mission in Afghanistan over what Rome termed "morally unacceptable" civilian casualties. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, quoted by the ANSA news agency, said: "The civilian casualties resulting from recent operations against the Taliban are morally unacceptable. They are a real disaster politically and have created major tensions between the Afghan government and the international forces. We think it would be advisable to end" Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pentagon Study Sees Threat in Guantánamo Detainees 26 Jul 2007 Accelerating the public relations battle over terrorism suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, a new study of prisoners in 2004 and 2005 requested by the Pentagon argues that many were a proven threat to United States forces. They included fighters of Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], veterans of terrorism training camps and men who had experience with explosives, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, it said.

Putin calls for response to US 'threat' 25 Jul 2007 Russia must strengthen its military and step up spying on the west in response to US plans to site parts of a missile defence shield in eastern Europe, President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday.

Arab League extends 'hand of peace' to Israel 25 Jul 2007 Arab League envoys paid a historic visit to Israel on Wednesday to present a plan for a regional settlement, saying they were extending "a hand of peace" on behalf of the Arab world.

U.S. Kills Plans to Build Embassy in Hezbollah Area of Beirut 25 Jul 2007 The Blotter has learned that plans for a controversial new U.S. Embassy in Beirut have been put on hold indefinitely, and effectively killed, according to a U.S. State Department spokesperson.

BAE Systems to develop seeker for Multiple Kill Vehicle program 24 Jul 2007 BAE Systems will develop and test a key component of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's Multiple Kill Vehicle payload system. The company will produce, test, and integrate the system's carrier vehicle seeker for the captive carry testbed under a two-year, $6.3 million contract from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

US wants trucks mounted with frikkin' laser beams --Raygun lorries to beam enemy shells out of the sky By Lewis Page 23 Jul 2007 US arms and aerospace manufacturer Boeing announced on Friday that it had landed a contract to develop truck-mounted laser cannons for the US Army. As part of the Army's High Energy Laser Technology Demonstrator (HEL TD) project, Boeing will produce a "rugged beam control system", which will be mounted on a monstrous 20 tonne Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck.

DOD seeks builder for shape-shifting military robot --Looks for technology to become battlefield weapon 25 Jul 2007 Creative scientists have until next week to submit proposals for creating a shape-shifting military robot that can shrink and then reconfigure itself to normal height and shape... The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is accepting proposals for building the so-called Chemical Robot (ChemBot) from researchers until July 2.

Overhaul Urged in Care for Soldiers --Dole-Shalala Commission Wants Bush to Act Quickly 26 Jul 2007 A presidential commission examining the care given to wounded U.S. service members yesterday recommended "fundamental changes" aimed at simplifying the military's convoluted health-care bureaucracy and overhauling the veterans disability system for the first time in more than half a century.

9/11 Workers Not Getting Enough Care, Report Says 25 Jul 2007 Almost six years after the terrorist attack on New York, the federal government still does not have an adequate array of health programs for ground zero workers — or a reliable estimate of how much treating their illnesses will cost — according to a federal report released yesterday. The report, produced by the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, concluded that thousands of federal workers and responders who came to ground zero from other parts of the country do not have access to suitable health programs.

US points out 9 terror camps in Waziristan --American embassy rejects report 26 Jul 2007 The US authorities have pointed out the locations of nine alleged terrorist training camps in North Waziristan to Pakistani authorities and an anti[pro]-terrorism campaign has been started in the area, Geo news reported on Wednesday. Quoting its sources, the channel said that Pakistan and the US would act secretly against terrorists in Waziristan. They said that the action against Abdullah Mehsud in Balochistan was part of the "silent operation started under US pressure". The channel reported that US authorities have warned of "dire consequences" if America was attacked by terrorists during this period.

U.S. ignored UK request, seized two suspects: report 25 Jul 2007 The United States ignored a British request and seized two suspected militants in Gambia in 2002 and sent them to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, a British parliamentary report said on Wednesday. "This case shows a lack of regard, on the part of the U.S., for UK concerns," the Intelligence and Security Committee said in a report on U.S. "renditions," [kidnappings] or the secret transfer of terrorist suspects between countries.

Senate office buildings evacuated due to smoke --NBC: Incident caused by small electrical fire; buildings 'safe for re-entry' 25 Jul 2007 Two Senate office buildings were briefly evacuated Wednesday because of the smell of smoke. They were reopened minutes later, deemed "safe for re-entry," according to an announcement over the Capitol's public address system. The cause was a small electrical fire in an air intake unit, according to NBC's Chip Reid.

CLGers comment on the 'smoky Senate buildings' story:
CLG Outreach Coordinator, siri: I'm thinkin' of Hugo. It's the devil. Smell the sulphur?

CLGer Pat: Hmmm, testing how the virus will travel through the ventilation system and affect the members of Congress? LOL. Now that would explain the "shadow gov" the gov won't let the Oregon Senator see. Just speculating. Every time they have done something like this, it ends up being related to some scummy thing they are going to do to us down the road. LOL.

CLGer Robyn S.: Of COURSE... to push the news of the contempt charges off the headlines!

CLGer Martha:The New World Order types are rigging the demolition circuits and explosives for the scheduled al-CIAduh terrorism. I suspect '9-11, the sequel' is planned for Washington. Kill a bunch of legislators, and power goes to the quasi-legal continuity of government types.

A measure of the public sentiment By Mark Yannone 25 Jul 2007 Today's truckload of heartbreaking news about our country contained the following: Breaking: MSNBC: Two senate office buildings being evacuated due to "smoke condition" --Two Senate Buildings (Dirksen and Hart) have been evacuated due to a "smoke condition." An audible fire alarm has been reported. People have been evacuated from the two buildings. [Story credit] Knowing how concerned my fellow Americans would be about our US Senate being burned to the ground, I passed the word along... Here is a sample. From Oregon: Book burning getting out of hand?

U.S. airports warned of possible attack "dry runs" 25 Jul 2007 Terrorists may be conducting "dry runs" at U.S. airports to test security before a possible attack, according to a Transportation Security Administration warning to airport screeners.

Bomb Threat Forces Jet Back to Sea-Tac 25 Jul 2007 A bomb threat made by a man who missed his flight caused authorities to order a Northwest Airlines jetliner bound for Memphis to return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, officials said. Flight 980, an Airbus 320 with 142 people on board, left Seattle at about 12:33 p.m. and was turned around as a precaution, authorities said.

SIUE student accused of terrorist threat attempt 25 Jul 2007 A Southern Illinois University student who recently ordered several semiautomatic weapons online has been accused of threatening a "murderous rampage" similar to the Virginia Tech shootings that left 32 people and the gunman dead. The 22-year-old from Maplewood, N.J. was charged Tuesday with attempting to make a terrorist threat, a felony.

Tanks of propane, acetylene explode near downtown Dallas; 3 hurt 25 Jul 2007 Flaming debris rained onto a busy highway during a series of explosions at a gas facility near the city's dense downtown area, injuring three people and rattling windows and buildings blocks away. The explosions set off bursts of flames and a billowing stack of black smoke that could be seen for miles.

Gas Tanks Explode at Dallas Facility 25 Jul 2007 A series of explosions at a gas facility sent flaming debris raining onto highways and buildings near downtown Wednesday and injured at least three people. Authorities evacuated a half-mile area surrounding the Southwest Industrial Gases, Inc. facility and shut down parts nearby Interstates 30 and 35 as the explosions continued for more than half an hour.

Cooling System Explodes in UCLA Building 25 Jul 2007 The cooling system of a building at the University of California, Los Angeles, exploded Wednesday, damaging two underground levels of a nanotechnology center, authorities said. No one was injured and an electrical malfunction was suspected as the cause of the blast, the university said in a statement.

Bipartisan group blasts NSA wiretaps 25 Jul 2007 A U.S. bipartisan group Wednesday said the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program is illegal. The Liberty and Security Committee of the Constitution Project said in a statement that the U.S. Congress should finish its probe into the warrantless surveillance program before it heeds the urging of the Bush administration to beef up laws on electronic surveillance.

Report Suggests Laws Broken in Attorney Firings 25 Jul 2007 House Democrats, preparing for a vote today on contempt citations against President [sic] Bush's chief of staff and former counsel, produced a report yesterday that for the first time alleges specific ways that several administration officials may have broken the law during the multiple firings of U.S. attorneys.

Documents Contradict Gonzales' Sworn Testimony 26 Jul 2007 Documents show that eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush regime's terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, come as senators consider whether a perjury investigation should be opened into conflicting accounts about the program and a dramatic March 2004 confrontation leading up to its potentially illegal reauthorization. A Gonzales spokesman maintained Wednesday that the attorney general stands by his testimony.

Gonzo on the Hill: A Comedic Tragedy By Andrew Cohen 25 Jul 2007 Forget about the politicization of the Justice Department. Forget about the falling morale there... Forget about the contorted and contradictory accounts he's offered before in his own defense. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales deserves to be fired for his testimony Tuesday alone; for morphing into Jon Lovitz's famous "pathological liar" character (or maybe just one of the Marx Brothers) as he tried to dodge and duck responsibility before the Senate Judiciary Committee not just for his shameful leadership at Justice but also his shameless role in visiting an ailing John Ashcroft in the hospital to try to strong-arm him into renewing the warrantless surveillance program. Can anyone out there remember a worse, less-inspiring, less confidence-inducing performance on Capitol Hill? I cannot.

Panel Holds Two Bush Aides in Contempt 25 Jul 2007 The House Judiciary Committee voted today to seek contempt of Congress citations against a top aide to President [sic] Bush and a former presidential aide over their refusal to cooperate in an inquiry about the firing of federal prosecutors. The 22-to-17 vote along party lines escalates the battle between the administration and Congressional Democrats over the dismissals of nine United States attorneys last year...

House Panel Finds Bush Aides In Contempt --Committee Met Wednesday Morning 25 Jul 2007 The House Judiciary Committee voted contempt of Congress citations Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and President [sic] George W. Bush's former legal counselor, Harriet Miers.

Alaska's Young, Stevens Face Inquiry --U.S. Prosecutors Look at Ties of Republican Lawmakers to Engineering Firm VECO 25 Jul 2007 A senior House Republican has come under criminal investigation in the Justice Department's widening inquiry into alleged influence-peddling and self-dealing in Congress.

Colo. Professor Vows to Fight Dismissal 25 Jul 2007 A professor scorned for remarks about Sept. 11 victims vowed that his firing over allegations of plagiarism, falsification and other misconduct wouldn't end his 2-year dispute with the University of Colorado. "We're out of kangaroo court and going into real court," David Lane, Ward Churchill's attorney, said. Lane plans to file a lawsuit in Denver Wednesday alleging Churchill's First Amendment rights were violated. He says Churchill was targeted because of his views.

Democrats Push Parcel of Bills That Could Split Republicans 26 Jul 2007 With a final deal yesterday on major homeland security legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress believe they can begin to lift Congress's rock-bottom approval ratings while driving an ideological wedge through the Republican Party on domestic issues.

Lawmakers to discuss 1872 law reform --Under the law, companies haven't paid taxpayers $245B on minerals from public land 23 Jul 2007 A small plane dodging wildfire smoke over Idaho's Rocky Mountains affords a view of an unnatural wonder few hikers ever see: Huge open pit mines... On Thursday, lawmakers will discuss a bill to dismantle the General Mining Act of 1872, signed by President Ulysses Grant to help develop the West's mineral deposits in the 19th century, but unchanged since. Under the law, private companies haven't paid royalties to taxpayers for an estimated $245 billion worth of minerals extracted from public lands in the last 135 years. It also allows companies to buy public land for as little as $5 an acre. And it elevates mining's importance above other uses of public land, making it difficult for agencies like the U.S. Forest Service to deny any mine applications, environmentalists say.

Activists push Home Depot to drop Fox 25 Jul 2007 The Sierra Club and other U.S. activist groups have launched a campaign to get Home Depot to drop its ads from the Fox network. Fox News has run many segments with guest experts who question the validity of global warming, the group says.

Southern Europe bakes in second heat wave --33 deaths in Romania, 5 in Greece as some areas top 110 degrees 25 Jul 2007 Southern Europe sweltered through some of the year's hottest weather Wednesday as the second major heat wave in a month sparked yet more forest fires and had power officials scrambling to avert a repeat of Tuesday's widespread blackouts in the western Balkans. The heat has claimed at least 33 lives in Romania.

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Special Prosecutor Weighed for Gonzales 24 Jul 2007 Angry senators suggested a special prosecutor should investigate misconduct at the Justice Department, accusing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday of deceit on the prosecutor firings and President [sic] Bush's eavesdropping program. Democrats and Republicans alike hammered Gonzales in four hours of testimony as he denied trying, in 2004, to push a hospitalized former attorney general into approving a counterterror program that the Justice Department then viewed as illegal.

Gonzales Hammered On Inconsistencies --Attorney General Faces Close Questioning Before Senate Panel 24 Jul 2007 In a tense exchange Tuesday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales contradicted a predecessor's sworn testimony and said he did not pressure then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, as he lay medicated in a hospital room, to recertify President [sic] George W. Bush's domestic surveillance program in 2004.

'I don't trust you.' Gonzales denies pressuring Ashcroft on spying --AG defends 2004 hospital visit; Specter raises idea of special prosecutor 24 Jul 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales denied Tuesday that he and former White House chief of staff Andy Card tried to exploit then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s frail condition by pressuring him to recertify President [sic] Bush’s intelligence-gathering program during a now-famous 2004 hospital visit. "I don't trust you," Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Gonzales. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) at one point raised the prospect of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate whether the department fired federal prosecutors at the White House’s direction, to make room for new U.S. attorneys who would handle corruption cases in ways that might help Republicans.

Gonzales Digs a Deeper Hole By Jay Newton-Small 24 Jul 2007 Just when it seemed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' reputation on Capitol Hill couldn't possibly get much worse, he showed up Tuesday for yet another hearing... [Sen. Arlen] Specter (R-PA) later circled back to Gonzales on the matter, warning him: "My suggestion to you is you review your testimony to find out if your credibility has been breached to the point of being actionable," Specter said. "The maximum penalty for being caught lying to Congress is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 per count," Specter wryly noted to reporters during a break that there is a jail in the Capitol complex.

'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for July 24 (Transcript) OLBERMANN: If the attorney general was telling the truth today, did he not confirm the existence of yet another domestic spying program? And if he was not telling the truth, did he just open himself to a perjury investigation? And either way, is this a problem for the administration? MILBANK: Well, I guess you could say that he is lying or he is spying... But regardless of the outcome, this was a woeful performance by the attorney general today and it really just sort of made everybody cringe.

House panel plans a vote on contempt --The White House chief of staff and ex-counsel refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas in the probe of U.S. attorney firings. 24 Jul 2007 The House Judiciary Committee said Monday that it would move forward with contempt-of-Congress proceedings against President [sic] Bush's chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, and former White House Counsel Harriet E. Miers for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas pertaining to the probe of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said his committee would vote Wednesday on a resolution to hold Bolten and Miers in contempt for refusing to turn over documents and testimony the panel sought in the politically charged case.

US envoy blasts Iran after Iraq talks 24 Jul 2007 At a second meeting with his Iranian counterpart in two months, the US ambassador blasted Tehran on Tuesday for arming and training Shiite militias but agreed to set up a security subcommittee with Iran and Iraq to carry forward work on stabilizing the country.

U.S. accuses Iran over support for militias in Iraq 24 Jul 2007 The United States accused Iran after talks on Tuesday of having increased support for Shi'ite Muslim militias involved in bloodshed in Iraq since the two sides held ground-breaking talks in May.

US plan sees role in Iraq until 2009 24 Jul 2007 The US government anticipates a significant role for its forces in Iraq until 2009, despite growing congressional pressure to set an early withdrawal date, it was reported today.

Military Trial Begins in Iraqi Killing 24 Jul 2007 A court-martial for the alleged ringleader in the kidnapping and execution of an Iraqi civilian began Tuesday with attorneys in the case screening potential jurors. Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, 23, the leader of the eight-man squad involved in the death, is charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, assault and other crimes.

Germany May Send More Trainers to Help Afghan Police 24 Jul 2007 The German government may step up its commitment to training Afghan police forces, setting aside civilian abductions and mounting voter opposition to any deeper involvement in the country, according to occupation lawmakers.

Roadside Bomb Kills 4 U.S. GIs In Afghanistan 24 Jul 2007 A roadside bomb blast in eastern Afghanistan killed four American soldiers yesterday, while two NATO soldiers died elsewhere, and a battle in the country's poppy-growing heartland killed more than 50 suspected militants.

On Base, a Plea to Give Each Death Its Due 25 Jul 2007 Twenty soldiers deployed to Iraq from this Army base were killed in May, a monthly high. That same month, the base announced a change in how it would honor its dead: instead of units holding services after each death, they would be held collectively once a month. The anger and hurt were immediate... Critics online said the military was trying to repress bad news about deaths.

1,106 soldiers ordered back to recruiting duty 24 Jul 2007 The Army is immediately ordering 1,106 former recruiters back to that duty. The soldiers are being pulled from their current assignments and sent to recruiting stations across the nation as the army struggles to meet its mission in signing up 80,000 new soldiers this year.

Details of Colombia payoffs, U.S. plea agreement sought --Congressional investigators want to know more about Chiquita's payments to violent groups and the handling of the subsequent federal investigation. 24 Jul 2007 As part of an inquiry into corporate payments to violent groups [Reichwing terrorists] in Colombia, some members of Congress want more details about the U.S. Justice Department's handling of the Chiquita Brands International Inc. case, including whether the department was too lenient and why it took four years to file criminal charges after the banana company admitted to making payoffs... Current and former Justice officials said in interviews with the Los Angeles Times that the prosecutors handling the Chiquita case wanted to bring charges of material support of terrorism against the banana company and to pursue charges against some of its top executives by early 2004, if not sooner. Instead, the company was charged three years later with one count of ''engaging in transactions with a specially designated global terrorist'' and levied a $25 million fine, payable over five years.

Pakistan warns US not to send troops after al-Qa'ida 25 Jul 2007 Pakistan has made clear it will not tolerate a US military operation against Osama bin Laden or other al-Qa'ida [al-CIAduh] targets inside its territory, as Washington continues to push President Pervez Musharraf to do more to confront militants.

General: al-Qaida Making New Cells in US 25 Jul 2007 A top U.S. military commander said Tuesday he believes there are al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] cells in the United States or people working to create them and the military needs to triple its response teams to counter a growing threat of attack. Air Force Gen. Victor "Gene" Renuart, who heads U.S. Northern Command, said that as the terrorism threat within the nation's boundaries has increased officials have strengthened intelligence sharing, particularly in an effort to shore up security at ports.

Bush's Martial Law Plan Is So Shocking, Even Congress Can't See It --Executive über alles as member of Homeland Security Committee barred from viewing post-terror attack provisions By Paul Joseph Watson 23 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush's post-terror attack martial law plan is so shocking that even sitting members of Congress and Homeland Security officials are barred from viewing it, another example of executive über alles and a chilling portent of what is to come as constant reminders of the inevitability of terror attacks reverberate... Since [Rep. Peter] DeFazio (D-OR) also sits on the Homeland Security Committee and has clearance to view classified material, the request would have appeared to be routine, but the Congressman was unceremoniously denied all access to view the documents, and the White House wouldn't even give an excuse as to why he was barred.

FBI Seeks to Pay Telecoms For Data --$5 Million a Year Sought for Firms to Keep Databases 25 Jul 2007 The FBI wants to pay the major telecommunications companies to retain their customers' Internet and phone call information for at least two years for the agency's use in counterterrorism investigations and is asking Congress for $5 million a year to defray the cost, according to FBI officials and budget documents.

FBI Seeking to Pay Telecoms to Store Records for Years and Provide Instant Access By Ryan Singel 18 Jul 2007 An FBI unit reportedly facing a criminal investigation for Patriot Act abuses is asking Congress for $5.3 million in 2008 to pay three telecoms to build data centers to store Americans' communication records for years in order to provide the FBI "near real time" access to Americans' phone and internet records. The FBI already pays three telecoms, including AT&T and Verizon, about $1.8 million a year to process written "emergency" requests for telephone and internet records.

UK plans 56-day 'terrorist' detention 25 Jul 2007 07:26 The British government is expected to set out a range of options today for extending the time police can hold suspected terrorists. Currently, suspected terrorists can be held for up to 28 days. Reports say the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been considering plans to double the current limit and hold terror suspects for up to 56 days without charge.

Smith in new push to extend terror detention beyond 28-day limit 25 Jul 2007 Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, has signalled a new move by the Government to give police the power to hold terror suspects without charge beyond the current 28-day limit.

U.K. Faces 'Serious, Sustained' Terrorism Threat, Smith Says 24 Jul 2007 Britain faces a "serious and sustained" threat from terrorists and the government must remain ready to counter it, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said. "This is a challenge likely to face us over a significant period of time," Smith told Parliament's Home Affairs Committee today.

British Police Tracking 2000 Suspected of Plotting Terrorism 24 Jul 2007 Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Tuesday that hundreds more Britons are suspected of plotting terrorism than was previously known, urging lawmakers to back an extension of the length of time police can hold terror suspects before they are charged with an offense. Intelligence officers now believe there are around 2,000 suspected terrorists in Britain, Smith said, an increase from a figure of 1,600 given last year by departing MI5 chief Eliza Manningham-Buller.

'Mirror' reporters held over fake bomb 25 Jul 2007 The Daily Mirror newspaper faced embarrassment last night after it emerged that two of its journalists had been arrested after trying to plant a fake bomb on a London train. The reporters were stopped by police yesterday afternoon at Stonebridge Park, which is on the Bakerloo line in north-west London... The Mirror said it was carrying out a "legitimate and justified journalistic exercise".

Students guilty over terror charges 24 Jul 2007 Three students and one schoolboy have been found guilty over charges of possession of terrorist material at the Old Bailey. Bradford University students Aitzaz Zafar, 20, Usman Ahmed Malik, 21 and Akbar Butt, 20, and schoolboy Mohammed Irfan Raja, who is now 18, were all convicted of producing internet propaganda to encourage terrorist acts.

Colorado Prof Fired After 9-11 Remarks 25 Jul 2007 The University of Colorado's governing board on Tuesday fired a professor whose essay likening some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi leader provoked national outrage and led to an investigation of research misconduct. Churchill's attorney, David Lane, said that the decision was retribution for Churchill's Sept. 11 remarks and that he would file suit on Wednesday. "For the public at large, the message is there will be a payback for free speech,'' Lane said. "It sends a message out to the academic community generally that if you stick your neck out and make politically inflammatory comments, you will be dragged through the mud for two years and you will ultimately have your tenure terminated."

CU regents fire Ward Churchill 24 Jul 2007 The University of Colorado's Board of Regents today fired [tenured] professor Ward Churchill, 2 1/2 years after his comments about the victims of the 9/11 attacks sparked a firestorm. The regents, in an 8-1 vote, said Churchill committed academic misconduct.

FEMA won't stop selling surplus trailers despite formaldehyde 23 Jul 2007 FEMA [terrorists] says it will keep selling and donating surplus disaster-relief trailers despite concerns the trailers might have unhealthy levels of formaldehyde. The agency drew the ire of Congress last week after documents revealed that FEMA's lawyers discouraged the investigation of high formaldehyde levels in the trailers.

Agency Erred in Canceling Loans to 8,000 Along Gulf, Audit Finds 25 Jul 2007 The Small Business Administration, which runs the federal government’s largest program to help disaster victims rebuild their houses, improperly canceled thousands of loans it had promised homeowners along the Gulf Coast after the 2005 hurricanes, a government audit has found.

Court Voids Higher Limits on Truckers' Hours 25 Jul 2007 A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a Bush administration rule that loosened limits on the work hours of truck drivers, concluding that officials had failed to offer adequate justification for the changes. In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the federal agency that oversees the trucking industry had not provided enough evidence to demonstrate the safety of its 2005 decision to increase the maximum driving hours of truck drivers.

Disfavor for Bush Hits Rare Heights 25 Jul 2007 With 18 months left in office, George W. Bush is in the running for most unpopular president [sic] in the history of modern polling. The latest Washington Post-ABC News survey shows that 65 percent of Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance, matching his all-time low. In polls conducted by The Post or Gallup going back to 1938, only once has a president exceeded that level of public animosity -- and that was Richard M. Nixon, who hit 66 percent four days before he resigned.

GOP fundraiser to feature machine gun shoot 24 Jul 2007 (NH) City Republicans will be packing some serious firepower at their next party fundraiser. Tired of the usual chicken dinners, the Manchester Republican Committee is planning to arm supporters next month with Uzis, M-16 rifles and other automatic weapons for a day of target practice at a Pelham firing range.

S.C. treasurer resigns from office following drug indictment 24 Jul 2007 South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel resigned from office Tuesday, more than a month after he was indicted on a federal cocaine charge... Ravenel, a Republican, had been considered a rising political star before his indictment was announced June 19.

Michigan Young Republican pleads guilty in rape case 24 Jul 2007 The former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans admitted today that he sexually abused a colleague during a national convention here last summer. Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape.

Thousands hit by worst-ever floods 24 Jul 2007 Britain is in the grip of the worst floods in its history, officials said last night as up to 350,000 households faced losing fresh water and 40,000 more were without power. Eight severe flood warnings and 50 other flood warnings remained in place after last week's downpours in which some areas had the equivalent of a month's rain in just one hour.

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Classified Plan: U.S. Seen in Iraq Until at Least '09 24 Jul 2007 While Washington is mired in political debate over the future of Iraq, the American command here has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years. The classified plan, which represents the coordinated strategy of the top American commander and the American ambassador, calls for restoring security in local areas, including Baghdad, by the summer of 2008. "Sustainable security" is to be established on a nationwide basis by the summer of 2009, according to American officials familiar with the document.

General: Training of Iraqis slows 22 Jul 2007 Major military offensives and a changed focus on increasing security have slowed efforts to train Iraqi forces to take control of Iraq, the top U.S. training official said. Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard said U.S. troop levels could start to decrease next spring, but the Iraqis will 'need' U.S. support for at least two more years.

US imposes Nazi Germany-style classification system for Iraq: Authorities plan to issue special IDs to Baghdad residents 23 Jul 2007 ...The Iraqi authorities have decided to issue special IDs to Baghdad residents to make it easy to identify militants, a senior military officer said. "Nine security centres will be opened in Baghdad soon to issue these IDs, five on the western side and four on the eastern side, and these centres will be run by the US army, Iraqi security forces and local officials in each neighbourhood," Brig Qassim al-Mousawi, spokesman of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi armed forces, said.

"Lies, lies, lies." U.S. choppers kill ... who? Enemy or innocents? 21 Jul 2007 This much is agreed upon: at least six Iraqis died overnight Saturday when American attack helicopters pounded a cluster of homes in a dusty, nondescript neighborhood on the northern outskirts of Baghdad... The bodies pulled from the rubble, locals say, were ordinary parents killed with their children in the middle of the night. Locals counted 11 corpses - two men, two women, and seven children. Another 10 were injured. Some Iraqi authorities put the death toll as high as 18... Roadblocks erected around the neighborhood prevented reporters from reaching the scene. "Lies, lies, lies," sputtered Salam al Rubaiye, 35, a computer technician who lives in Husseiniya and works in Sadr City... "I took out with my own hands the bodies of two young children, two men, two adult women and four little girls," said Bassem al Musawi, 30, who lives in the neighborhood. "I don't know why the Americans bombed these homes. I know one was the house of Abu Mustafa. He's a very poor man with only one boy and the rest of his family are girls. And he didn't even have a rifle."

Wave of Baghdad car bombings kills 17 23 Jul 2007 At least 17 people were killed and dozens wounded by a wave of car bombings in central Baghdad on Monday, police and witnesses said.

Injured Iraq war veterans sue VA head 24 Jul 2007 Frustrated by delays in health care, injured Iraq war veterans accused VA Secretary Jim Nicholson in a lawsuit of breaking the law by denying them disability pay and mental health treatment. The lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks broad changes in the agency...

Halliburton nearly triples second-quarter earnings 23 Jul 2007 Eastern hemisphere activity boosted Halliburton Co.'s second-quarter net income. The Houston-based energy services provider reported net income for the three months ended June 30 of $1.5 billion, or $1.62 per share, on revenue of $3.7 billion.

Halliburton profit rises, tops Street view 23 Jul 2007 Halliburton Co., the world's second-largest oil services company, said on Monday that second-quarter profit from continuing operations rose 19 percent, topping Wall Street views, helped by new international contracts. Investors pushed shares of Halliburton up about 3.5 percent to $37.88 in pre-market trading.

Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War By Adam Cohen 23 Jul 2007 The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President [sic] Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it... The war is hardly the only area where the Bush administration is trying to expand its powers beyond all legal justification. But the danger of an imperial presidency is particularly great when a president takes the nation to war, something the founders understood well. In the looming showdown, the founders and the Constitution are firmly on Congress’s side... Members of Congress should not be intimidated into thinking that they are overstepping their constitutional bounds. If the founders were looking on now, it is not Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who would strike them as out of line, but George W. Bush, who would seem less like a president than a king.

Sheehan Wants Impeachment, Pelosi's Job 23 Jul 2007 Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Monday moved another step _ actually several thousand of them _ toward carrying out her promise to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because the California Democrat won't consider impeachment proceedings against President [sic] Bush. Sheehan and about 200 other war protesters began walking from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol Hill office of Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where any impeachment proceedings would begin.

Bush Aide: Military Could Go Into Pakistan --White House Adviser Says Operations Within Pakistan Possible If Musharraf Fails to Stop Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] 22 Jul 2007 The U.S. would consider military force if necessary to stem al Qaeda's growing ability to use its hideout in Pakistan to launch terrorist attacks, a White House aide [Fran Townsend] said Sunday.

US threat to strike al-Qaeda in Pakistan 24 Jul 2007 The Bush Administration is not ruling out direct assaults on al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] hideouts in Pakistan, one of its closest allies in the fight against terrorism. "Just because we don't speak about things publicly doesn't mean we're not doing things you talk about," [LOL!] the White House homeland security adviser, Frances Townsend, told Fox News when asked about the chances of a special operations strike.

US strike on Pakistan soil 'unacceptable' 24 Jul 2007 Islamabad said overnight US threats of possible strikes against militant targets within Pakistan's tribal territories were "ill-conceived" as well as "irresponsible and dangerous". Pakistan, battling an upsurge in 'Islamist' violence, has been angered by US remarks that Washington would not rule out unilateral attacks in Pakistan's Afghan border areas where pro-Taliban tribal leaders hold sway.

Fort Monroe unit devises U.S. pandemic flu plan --The Defense Department group's project incorporates federal, state and local agencies' responses. 23 Jul 2007 Should a pandemic flu spread across the United States, the Defense Department now has a plan of attack that incorporates the response of federal, state and local agencies. The Fort Monroe-based Joint Task Force Civil Support - the Defense Department group responsible for coordinating the military's reaction to everything from a nuclear attack to a contagious disease - took a year to develop what it calls a "pandemic influenza playbook."

Fort Monroe produces flu pandemic playbook 23 Jul 2007 Should a pandemic flu spread across the United States, the Defense Department now has a playbook to address the crisis, care of Fort Monroe. The Fort Monroe-based Joint Task Force Civil Support has spent a year developing the pandemic influenza action plan... There’s even a section in the book on keeping troops responding to a pandemic flu safe from contracting the virus.

Flu threat offers new business for Tamiflu maker 24 Jul 2007 George Abercrombie, chief executive officer of drug maker Hoffman-La Roche, finds himself doing something very unusual these days -- lobbying companies to buy and stockpile his company's pills for their employees. The threat of a bird flu pandemic... has created an unusual business opportunity for Hoffman-La Roche Inc. -- the U.S. prescription drug unit of Switzerland's Roche Holding AG. Roche makes Tamiflu, the No. 1 drug of choice for treating and preventing bird flu. [See: Tamiflu Side Effect Concerns Grow After Japan Deaths 06 Mar 2007 Tamiflu is used to treat the common flu and has been seen as effective against the possible pandemic triggered by bird flu. But concerns over this blockbuster flu drug are growing as the death toll is rising. [See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu 31 Oct 2005 Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.]

Blair wasting his time, says former Mid-East envoy 24 Jul 2007 Tony Blair has begun his first visit to the Middle East as an international envoy, with his predecessor already warning that his mandate is so weak that he will have little chance of significantly aiding the peace process. Speaking from his home in New York, James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank president who resigned after only 13 months as envoy, said the job was doomed because Israel and the US had undermined him. Unless this situation changed, Mr Wolfensohn said, the former British prime minister, who arrived in Jordan yesterday, would in effect be wasting his time.

Pentagon to junk millions in combat gear --Military surplus dealers are worried about trend 23 Jul 2007 Millions of dollars' worth of gear, including combat boots, helmets, vests and aircraft parts, is being junked by the Pentagon rather than stored or sold as surplus to suppliers who sometimes sell it back to the military. Of roughly $1.8 billion worth of equipment the Defense Department downgraded to scrap from January through June, at least $330 million worth came from categories of gear the Pentagon most frequently buys back from surplus dealers, according to the National Association of Aircraft & Communication Suppliers.

Spy chief defends interrogation tactics 23 Jul 2007 The nation's spy chief on Sunday would not identify what CIA interrogators are allowed to do in getting information from terror suspects, but tried to assure critics that torture is not condoned or used. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, in a rare broadcast interview, defended a new order from President [sic] Bush that broadly outlines the limits of how suspects may be questioned in the CIA's terror interrogation program. It does not, however, say what techniques are permitted during harsh questioning of suspects - a matter of debate in the U.S. and elsewhere. McConnell would not elaborate.

Hicks US trial a 'farce': law council 24 Jul 2007 David Hicks' US trial was a farce and the treatment of terror suspect Mohamed Haneef also has an "Alice in Wonderland" quality about it, the Law Council of Australia says. The two cases were compared on Tuesday as the Law Council released its final report into the US military commission trial of Hicks, the former Guantanamo Bay inmate now in a South Australian jail.

Hicks trial 'shambolic' 24 Jul 2007 An independent report into the US military's detention, trial and conviction of Australian David Hicks on terrorism charges has labelled the process "farcical". The report also attacked the Howard Government's unwavering support of the Bush Administration's military commission system. Barrister Lex Lasry, QC - who attended Hicks' March court appearance at Guantanamo Bay - today published a report on behalf of the Law Council of Australia, admitting he had been "angry" about what he had seen.

Patriot Abuse --I Was Gagged By The Patriot Act While The Attorney General Was Free To Tell Falsehoods About It. By Janet Nocek 23 Jul 2007I was one of four library colleagues who challenged an NSL in the courts around the time of its reauthorization. We were under a gag order because of the nondisclosure provision of the NSL [national security letters] section of the Patriot Act... We were therefore not allowed to testify to Congress about our experience with the letters - which seek information, without court review, on people like library users. It is more than irksome to now discover that the attorney general was giving Congress false information - at the same time that we recipients of NSLs were not allowed to express our concerns.

Mega barf alert! Gonzales vows to fix Justice's image 23 Jul 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [aka tortureboy] says he's staying at the Justice Department to try to repair its broken image, telling Congress in a statement released Monday he's troubled that politics may have played a part in hiring career federal prosecutors.

We pay dead people: USDA gave $1.1B to corporations and estates with deceased owners --Department routinely fails to conduct reviews required to ensure proper payments. 23 Jul 2007 The U.S. Department of Agriculture [Agribusiness] distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report.

U.S. dropped Enron-like fraud probe --Prosecutor who built case against Virginia insurer was replaced. 23 Jul 2007 Two years into a fraud investigation, veteran federal prosecutor David Maguire told colleagues he'd uncovered one of the biggest cases of his career. Maguire described crimes "far worse" than those of Arthur Andersen, the accounting giant that collapsed in the wake of the Enron scandal. Among those in his sights: executives from a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment empire overseen by billionaire Warren Buffett... But Maguire never brought those charges. Months after preparing the draft, he was removed as the lead prosecutor on the case and reassigned. His replacement, a prosecutor who hadn't been involved in the case until then, soon announced that the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, General Reinsurance, would not be indicted. By April of this year, the entire investigation, which the Justice Department once hailed as one of the largest insurance-fraud cases in Virginia history, had fizzled.

Growths removed from Bush during colon test benign 23 Jul 2007 Five small growths removed from President [sic] George W. Bush during a routine colon cancer exam were benign but he will be tested again in three years, White House said on Monday. [The growths may be benign, but Bush isn't.]

Senator calls for censure against Bush --Feingold says the measures aim at 'misconduct' of the war and 'attack' on laws. 23 Jul 2007 One of the Senate's most liberal members said Sunday that he would "shortly" propose two censure resolutions against President [sic] Bush and his administration for the war in Iraq, even as the top DemocRATic and Republican leaders in the Senate promptly predicted that the effort would fail.

Activist Arrested In Dispute Over Hot-Button Sales At Public Market --A crowd of about 40 supporters chanted "free speech" and booed the arrest. 22 Jul 2007 The 74-year-old retired mathematician [Alan McConnell] who is fighting Kensington officials over his right to sell buttons urging President [sic] Bush's impeachment was arrested yesterday at a farmers market and charged with trespassing.

Republican Romney: No apology for posing with sign lumping al-Qaida head with Democratic rivals 23 Jul 2007 Republican presidential hopeful [sociopath] Mitt Romney is refusing to apologize for posing with a sign that said "No to Osama, Obama and Chelsea's Moma," lumping two Democratic rivals with the Sept. 11 mastermind.

Radioactive water leaked via electric cable pipe: TEPCO 24 Jul 2007 Radioactive water at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture leaked into the Sea of Japan through a pipe for electric cables following a powerful earthquake a week ago, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday.

Shell Ordered to Suspend Arctic Drilling 21 Jul 2007 A federal appeals court has ordered Shell Oil to stop its exploratory drilling program off the north coast of Alaska at least until a hearing in August. The order, issued Thursday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes after the federal Minerals Management Service in February approved Shell's offshore exploration plan for the Beaufort Sea. Opponents contend that the Minerals Management Service approved Shell's plan without fully considering that a large spill would harm marine mammals, including bowhead and beluga whales. They say polar bears could also be harmed...

Huge Dust Plumes From China Cause Changes in Climate 20 Jul 2007 One tainted export from China can't be avoided in North America -- air. An outpouring of dust layered with man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit and nitrates is crossing the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds from booming Asian economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. These rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

A 21st century catastrophe 24 Jul 2007 Flood-ravaged Britain is suffering from a wholly new type of civil emergency, it is clear today: a disaster caused by 21st-century weather. This weather is different from anything that has gone before. The floods it has caused, which have left more than a third of a million people without drinking water, nearly 50,000 people without power, thousands more people homeless and caused more than £2bn worth of damage - and are still not over - have no precedent in modern British history.

Official: Worst Floods In Modern History 23 Jul 2007 Tens of thousands of people are without electricity or water as Britain suffers its worst flooding in modern history. Submerged areas are bracing themselves for further chaos with water levels not expected to peak until tomorrow morning.

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Officials: U.S. force not ruled out in Pakistan 22 Jul 2007 The U.S. would consider military force if necessary to stem al-Qaeda's growing ability to use its hideout in Pakistan to launch terrorist attacks, a White House aide [Fran Townsend] said Sunday. [See: US renting Pakistan army for $100 million a month 14 Jul 2007 and Aid to Pakistan in Tribal Areas Raises Concerns 16 Jul 2007 The United States plans to pour $750 million of aid into Pakistan’s tribal areas over the next five years as part of a "hearts and minds" [?!?] campaign to win over this lawless region from [fund] Qaeda and Taliban militants.]

Bin Laden alive in Pakistan: US spy chief 23 Jul 2007 Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] founder Osama bin Laden is alive and sheltering in lawless parts of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan, US intelligence chief Mike McConnell said yesterday. Mr McConnell blamed President Pervez Musharraf's government for allowing al-Qaeda to regroup via a peace pact last year with tribal leaders in the border areas.

Pakistan slams US over Al-Qaida reports 22 Jul 2007 Pakistan's government lashed out on Sunday after US officials said Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] was regrouping on Pakistani soil and refused to rule out unilateral strikes against the extremist group's bases. "Pakistan's commitment cannot be doubted by anybody, and that is why some of our people do not like what we read in some of your newspapers, which are more like leaks and calculated leaks," Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said.

America's next big blunder By Eric Margolis 22 Jul 2007 Fears are growing the U.S. may be planning to attack Pakistan's "autonomous" tribal region bordering Afghanistan... In best British imperial tradition, Washington pays Musharraf $100 million monthly to rent his sepoys (native soldiers) to fight Pashtun tribesmen. As a result, Pakistan is fast edging towards civil war... Osama bin Laden is a hero in the region. The U.S. just increased its reward for bin Laden to $50 million and plans to shower $750 million on the tribal region to try to buy loyalty. Bush/Cheney & Co. do not understand that while they can rent President Musharraf's government in Islamabad, many Pashtun value personal honour far more than money, and cannot be bought. Any U.S. attack on Pakistan would be a catastrophic mistake.

Turkish PM threatens to invade northern Iraq 21 Jul 2007 Turkey's Prime Minister has threatened an invasion of northern Iraq if, after the Turkish election on Sunday, talks fail with Iraq and the US on curbing the activities of Turkish Kurd guerrillas.

Witnesses say U.S. attack north of Baghdad hit women, children 22 Jul 2007 A U.S. military missile attack in a town north of the capital left six 'insurgents' dead and five wounded Saturday, officials said. But witnesses in Husseiniya, about 20 miles north of Baghdad, said U.S. helicopters attacked three houses during a four-hour period, killing at least 18 people, including women and children. They said about 21 people were wounded in the attacks, which leveled the buildings.

Blast near Baghdad kills 5 Sunni leaders - police 22 Jul 2007 Five Sunni tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] were killed when a suicide bomber drove a minivan packed with about half a tonne of explosives into a house north of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

Roadside bomb kills U.S. soldier in Baghdad, military says 23 Jul 2007 A roadside bomb killed a U.S. soldier in Baghdad, the military said Monday. The explosion that struck the Multi-National Corps — Iraq soldier's vehicle occurred on Saturday, according to the statement.

Johnson, Lewis, Scott Vow No More Iraq Funding 22 Jul 2007 US Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA), John Lewis (D-GA), and David Scott (D-GA) have each signed on a new letter, joining 67 others Members of Congress in promising they will not support any more funds for the US occupation of Iraq, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time By Craig Murray 21 Jul 2007 According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger... [Afghanistan] now exports not opium, but heroin... Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops... The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect. When we attacked Afghanistan, America bombed from the air while the CIA paid, armed and equipped the dispirited warlord drug barons – especially those grouped in the Northern Alliance – to do the ground occupation. We bombed the Taliban and their allies into submission, while the warlords moved in to claim the spoils. Then we made them ministers.

US to stick with tough interrogations 23 Jul 2007 The US will persist with techniques of interrogating terror suspects that have saved "countless lives," but will stop short of torture, the top US spymaster said today. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell refused to spell out whether methods such as the alleged practice of "waterboarding" were permitted under a new executive order of President [sic] George W. Bush.

Natl. Intel Director Worried About Terror Sleeper Cells in U.S. --Believes Small Numbers of al-CIAduh Operatives Are in This Country Raising Funds 22 Jul 2007 The nation's top intelligence official [Adm. Michael McConnell] today went further than ever before in outlining what he described as a heightened threat of an 'al Qaeda' attack on American soil.

White House, FBI Agents Race to Disrupt 'Summer of '07' Threat 11 Jul 2007 Senior law enforcement officials said today that the growing signs of a "Summer of '07" terror attack on the U.S. have led the FBI to dispatch dozens of agents to track down new leads across the country. The threat has also led the White House to begin a weekly meeting of senior law enforcement and intelligence officials.

Inspector General Confirms Probe of Rogue FBI Anti-Terror Office By Ryan Singel 19 Jul 2007 The Justice Department's Inspector General and the FBI are investigating an office that sent fake, emergency letters to telecoms requesting phone records, according to the Inspector General's office. That office lacked the authority to request the records and did not apply for the subpoenas promised in the letters.

FBI Employees Face Criminal Probe Over Patriot Act Abuse 12 Jul 2007 FBI personnel who used misleading emergency letters to acquire thousands of Americans' phone records are the subject of a criminal investigation, top bureau officials told civil liberties groups Monday. The unprecedented criminal probe, revealed at an outreach meeting led by FBI director Robert Mueller and general counsel Valerie Caproni at FBI headquarters, is looking at the actions of an antiterrorism team known as the Communications Analysis Unit, according to two people who attended the meeting independently and who informed Wired News, requesting anonymity.

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky 20 Jul 2007 A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's military agenda in Iraq. The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq... In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act. The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement.

U.S. bending rules on Colombia terror? Several lawmakers say multinationals that aid violent groups in return for protection are not being prosecuted. 22 Jul 2007 ...Lawmakers say that, in the cases of U.S. corporations in Colombia, the Justice Department has failed to adequately enforce U.S. laws that make it a crime to knowingly provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization — and they have opened their own investigation. Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), who is leading the effort, has questioned whether the Bush administration is putting the interests of U.S. conglomerates ahead of its 'counter'-terrorism agenda.

Brown drops 'war on terror,' redefining the fight By David Rieff 22 Jul 2007 Is the war on terror really a war? President [sic] George W. Bush certainly continues to insist that it is, and a war of existential survival at that... [Gordon] Brown, it seems, has concluded that the war rhetoric employed by Blair was divisive, threatening social peace between communities in Britain, and counterproductive, making it harder to turn the British Muslim community into the security services' eyes and ears. In other words, the Brown approach would be the approach of serious crime fighters around the world these days - community policing in which mutual trust is the cornerstone of crime prevention.

NSW wants time extension for terrorism search warrants 22 Jul 2007 The New South Wales Government says it wants to increase the amount of time allowed for crime scene search warrants from six days to 30 days in terrorism cases.

Govt hiding behind anti-terrorism cloak: Beattie 23 Jul 2007 Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has accused the Federal Government of "incompetence" and of hiding behind a cloak of anti-terrorism secrecy in the case against accused terrorism supporter Mohamed Haneef. Speaking on Southern Cross Radio, Mr Beattie said leaks and inconsistencies in the case against Haneef were undermining public confidence in Australia's anti-terrorism laws.

Calls mount for Australia to free Indian doctor 23 Jul 2007 The Australian government is facing mounting calls to explain its treatment of an Indian-born Muslim doctor detained in the wake of the failed bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. The case of Mohammed Haneef, arrested in Queensland three weeks ago, has strained relations with India and sparked accusations that 'anti'-terrorism officers were incompetent. Reports at the weekend suggested that the Metropolitan Police regarded their Australian counterparts as a laughing stock for perpetrating "such a major cock-up".

Italy police arrest 3 in terrorism case 22 Jul 2007 Italian police swooped into a mosque Saturday in central Italy's bucolic Umbria region and arrested an imam and two aides suspected of operating a terrorism training school and preparing fighters for attacks abroad.

Children as young as five to be fingerprinted in schools 23 Jul 2007 Schools have been given the go-ahead to take fingerprints from children as young as five - without asking their parents first. Ministers issued guidance allowing heads to collect pupils' biometric data to use when taking the register, paying for lunch or using the library. Schools can also take retina and iris scans and record children's voices, face shapes, hand measurements, handwriting and typing patterns.

DoJ all but 'operating on autopilot' 19 Jul 2007 Resignations and the on­going furore over allegedly politicised hiring and firing at the US justice department have left so many top positions vacant that the department is all but operating on autopilot, the Financial Times has learnt. Six top DoJ officials have quit since February, when the sackings of at least nine US attorneys prompted an outcry in Congress.

FEMA Runs for Cover (The New York Times) 22 Jul 2007 A Congressional investigation has discovered that in March 2006, FEMA was made aware that trailers housing hurricane [Katrina] evacuees contained levels of formaldehyde that were up to 75 times the recommended safety threshold... The agency received numerous complaints from occupants of the trailers. In June 2006, a man who had complained about formaldehyde fumes was found dead in his trailer... Still, FEMA resisted performing a systematic investigation because, according to FEMA lawyers, this could make the agency liable for health problems.

Mention the President, Lose a Case? Defense motion to ban George W. Bush's name at trial defeated 20 Jul 2007 Apparently President [sic] George W. Bush is now so unpopular that some lawyers believe the mere mention of his name in front of a jury could tip the scales against them. Attorneys Michael P. Laffey and Robert P. DiDomenicis of Holsten & Associates in Media, Pa., are defending Upper Darby Township, Pa., in a civil rights suit brought by Harold Lischner, an 82-year-old doctor who claims he was falsely arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event in September 2003. With the case set to go to trial on July 23, the defense lawyers recently filed a flurry of motions, including one that asked Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Gene E.K. Pratter to prohibit the plaintiff from mentioning Bush's name.

Bush Should Be Censured by U.S. Congress on Iraq, Senator Says 22 Jul 2007 Democratic Senator Russell Feingold is reviving his effort to have the U.S. Congress censure President [sic] George W. Bush... Feingold, of Wisconsin, said today he is preparing two resolutions to censure Bush and other administration officials over their handing of the Iraq war and domestic eavesdropping. "We need to do something serious in terms of accountability,'' Feingold said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "This administration has assaulted the Constitution."

Sen. Feingold Proposes Censuring Bush 22 Jul 2007 Liberal Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold said Sunday he wants Congress to censure President [sic] Bush for his management of the Iraq war and his "assault" against the Constitution. But Feingold's own party leader in the Senate showed little interest in the idea.

Special! CLG humor: One Asshole Replaces Another. 20 Jul 2007 Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG) readers comment on the news that President [sic] Bush will undergo a colonoscopy on 21 July at Camp David, leaving Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney to temporarily assume presidential powers. --Compiled by Lori Price [Updated 21 Jul 2007]

Democrats Press House to Expand Health Care Bill 23 Jul 2007 After a rare bipartisan agreement in the Senate to expand insurance coverage for low-income children, House Democrats have drafted an even broader plan that also calls for major changes in Medicare and promises to intensify the battle with the White House over health care. President [sic] Bush has threatened to veto what he sees as a huge expansion of the children’s health care program.

Fired Official's Endangered Species Decisions Revisited 20 Jul 2007 Eight decisions made by a disgraced Bush administration official under the Endangered Species Act could be reversed after questions were raised about the integrity of the science used and whether the decisions were made illegally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said today.

England under water: scientists confirm global warming link to increased rain 23 Jul 2007 It's official: the heavier rainfall in Britain is being caused by climate change, a major new scientific study will reveal this week, as the country reels from summer downpours of unprecedented ferocity. More intense rainstorms across parts of the northern hemisphere are being generated by man-made global warming, the study has established for the first time ­ an effect which has long been predicted but never before proved.

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Bush Reclaims Power After Doctors Remove Five Polyps 21 Jul 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush resumed the presidency after doctors performing a colonoscopy removed five small polyps in his large intestine that don't appear worrisome, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said. Bush, sedated during the 31 minute exam at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, ceded his presidential powers to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney between 7:16 a.m. and 9:21 a.m. today.

Cheney is acting president; Bush sedated for routine colonoscopy 21 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush transferred the powers of the presidency to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney on Saturday just before being sedated for a routine screening to detect colon cancer. With a signed letter to the leaders of the House and Senate, Bush temporarily transferred his authority at 7:16 a.m. ET to Cheney, who is at his home on the Chesapeake Bay about 30 miles east of Washington. "The vice president is now serving as acting president," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

Iraq unions vow 'mutiny' over oil law [<g>] 20 Jul 2007 Iraq's unions say the draft oil law is a threat and threaten "mutiny" if Parliament approves the bill. "This law cancels the great achievements of the Iraq people," Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, told the al-Sharqiyah TV station. He referred specifically to laws that nationalized Iraq's oil sector. "If the Iraqi Parliament approves this law, we will resort to mutiny," he said. "This law is a bomb that may kill everyone. Iraqi oil does not belong to any certain side. It belongs to all future generations."

Key Exxon Mobil benchmark for Iraq in jeopardy: Secret Report: No Iraq Oil Deal by September 20 Jul 2007 A confidential intelligence report prepared for U.S. officials this week concludes a key U.S. benchmark of progress in Iraq, a law to divide oil revenues equitably among the provinces [Yeah, right!], "will not be agreed by September, even if cosmetic legislation is put in place."

Woodward Shares War Secrets --Journalist Describes Secret Details On White House's Plans For War 18 Apr 2004 Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election - to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day. Woodward says that Bandar understood that economic conditions were key before a presidential election: "They’re [oil prices] high. And they could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly." [So much for "refinery shortages" driving the price of oil sky high. The price of oil is sky high because we are being punished by Bush's corpora-terrorists for the Democratic sweep in 2006.]

Bribery Network to Bloat War Costs Is Alleged 21 Jul 2007 Federal investigators have uncovered what they describe as a sweeping network of kickbacks, bribes and fraud involving at least eight employees and subcontractors of KBR, the former Halliburton subsidiary, in a scheme to inflate charges for flying freight into Iraq in support of the war, according to court papers unsealed yesterday... The value of the contract soared with the Iraq invasion, and has so far paid KBR some $20 billion.

Former Texas exec pleads guilty to military contract kickbacks 21 Jul 2007 A second former executive of a global logistics company [subcontractor for KBR] has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to receiving kickbacks on Iraq war contracts and lying to federal investigators. Kevin Andre Smoot, 43, faces up to 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines after pleading guilty Friday to making a false statement and violation of the Anti-Kickback Act before U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm.

Watchdog group: Government awards contracts despite firms' misconduct 19 Jul 2007 A watchdog organization is calling attention to what it deems the government’s failure to properly vet the companies to which it awards hundreds of billions of dollars in contracts. The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) yesterday released a revamped database detailing misconduct by the top 50 government contractors, including some of the world’s largest military hardware, information technology, construction and energy companies.

We're running out of troops, warns army chief --Defence memo leak says virtually no reserves left --'Intense tempo of life' due to Iraq and Afghan fighting 21 Jul 2007 The head of the army has warned that Britain is almost running out of troops to defend the country or fight in military operations abroad. The warning by General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, to fellow defence chiefs comes at a time when the army is asking for a big increase in reservists to be deployed in Afghanistan, reflecting a crisis in Britain's armed forces.

'Our Army Is Running Out of Troops' 21 Jul 2007 Britain has almost run out of troops to defend the country or fight abroad, according to the head of the Army. A memo from General Sir Richard Dannatt, obtained by the Daily Telegraph, tells senior commanders that reinforcements for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan are now almost non-existent.

Air Force, Navy seeing growing duty in Iraq --Personnel filling roles normally performed by strapped Army 21 Jul 2007 The Pentagon, scrambling to maintain 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, has ordered growing numbers of Air Force and Navy personnel into combat-related assignments with front-line Army and Marine Corps units. The decision to send thousands of airmen and sailors into nontraditional assignments such as convoy duty reflects growing personnel shortages as the armed forces try to sustain the highest troop levels of the war.

Denmark airlifts 200 Iraqi translators and relatives 20 Jul 2007 Denmark said on Friday it secretly airlifted out of Iraq about 200 translators and other Iraqi employees of its troops in Iraq and their relatives this week and most were expected to seek asylum in the Nordic nation.

Aide to Iraq's Top Shiite Cleric Fatally Stabbed --Supporters of Sistani See Attack as a Warning, Consider Moving Leader Out of Najaf 22 Jul 2007 A top aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was stabbed to death in what Sistani's supporters believe was a warning to Iraq's senior Shiite cleric, authorities said Saturday.

U.S. airstrikes in Iraq kill 18 civilians 21 Jul 2007 Aircraft fired missiles and dropped a bomb in a Shiite stronghold in northeastern Baghdad, killing six militants, the U.S. military said Saturday. Iraqi officials claimed a higher death toll, saying 18 civilians were killed.

Three RAF men killed in Basra mortar attack 20 Jul 2007 Three RAF servicemen have been killed in a mortar attack on their Iraqi base, the Ministry of Defence has said. The men died after the Contingency Operating Base in Basra came under fire yesterday.

2 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 21 Jul 2007 Two U.S. soldiers died in separate attacks, the military announced Friday, and a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric criticized the Iraqi government for not spending enough on basic services.

Iraq Army Detains 46 Near Iran 21 Jul 2007 Iraqi troops have detained 46 suspected militants and killed five others in a new operation in eastern Diyala, the army said Saturday, while a U.S. soldier was reported killed in an explosion in the volatile province.

US military needs 'image makeover' in Iraq: study 21 Jul 2007 The US military could take a hint from the advertising world when it comes to building a better image in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a study for the Pentagon released this week. "Just as people think 'safety' when they think of Volvo automobiles, the US military needs to establish a strong brand identity that is consistently communicated through all US force actions and messages," said the study by the independent RAND Corporation.

Envoy Urges Visas For Iraqis Aiding U.S. --Targets of Violence Are Seeking Refuge 22 Jul 2007 The American ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan C. Crocker, has asked the Bush administration to take the unusual step of granting immigrant visas to all Iraqis employed by the U.S. government in Iraq because of growing concern that they will quit and flee the country if they cannot be assured eventual safe passage to the United States.

UK Report: Errors Made in Sailors Kidnap 22 Jul 2007 British diplomats were too slow to contact a key official who helped broker the eventual release of 15 sailors and marines held hostage in March by Iran, a report by lawmakers said Sunday. Officials also bungled a decision that allowed some of the personnel to sell their stories to media organizations after their release, despite strong reservations from some sectors of government, Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee concluded.

CIA to 'toughen up' 21 Jul 2007 The White House has given the Central Intelligence Agency approval to resume some severe interrogation methods for questioning terrorism suspects in secret prisons overseas. Administration officials said the CIA could now proceed with an interrogation program that has been in limbo since the Supreme Court ruled last year that all prisoners be treated in accordance with Geneva Convention prohibitions against humiliating and degrading treatment. A new order signed by President [sic] George Bush on Friday would allow some techniques more severe than those that govern interrogations by military personnel in places like the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

White House preparing to stage new September 11 - Reagan official 20 Jul 2007 A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.

Old-line Republican warns 'something's in the works' to trigger a police state 19 Jul 2007 Thom Hartmann began his program on Thursday by reading from a new Executive Order which allows the government to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies. He then introduced old-line conservative Paul Craig Roberts -- a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan who has recently become known for his strong opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq War -- by quoting the "strong words" which open Roberts' latest column: "Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran." [See: Impeach Now By Paul Craig Roberts 16 Jul 2007.]

New Executive Order Stomps on the Fifth Amendment (Gambling911.com) 19 Jul 2007 Did anyone get the license plate of that Mack truck that ran us over yesterday? By executive order, the Secretary of the Treasury may now seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. The Secretary may make his determination in secret and after the fact... What's it say, you ask? The White House will decide if you are in any way "undermining efforts" in Iraq, or related to Iraq or pretty much anything else, the Treasury Department is authorized to seize your money, property, stocks, etc.

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq (whitehouse.gov) 17 Jul 2007

U.S. Intel Chief: Tall Buildings and Mass Casualties Top AQ's Hit List 20 Jul 2007 Chicago's Sears Tower and other iconic buildings in Seattle, Dallas and Los Angeles still top al Qaeda's [al-CIAduh's] target list in the U.S., according to the top U.S. intelligence official. "Their intentions are mass casualties larger than 9/11 inside the United States," Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said in an interview with the D.C. radio station WTOP. "A very large building. The Sears Tower, or some large building in Seattle or L.A. or Dallas."

Carlyle Group-owned US port security poised to trigger a false flag: Chertoff unveils plan for quick recovery after port attack 20 Jul 2007 Flanked by lawmakers and law enforcement authorities at a fire station in the Port of Los Angeles, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today unveiled a new strategy [!] for the rapid resumption of trade after a terrorist attack at a major U.S. port. [See: Ore. Rep. asks to see gov't plans for aftermath of terror attack, denied access 20 Jul 2007.]

Bush to Veto Ban On Mercury In Vaccines --Bush is calling for an amendment that would remove the children's safety provision from the bill. By Steve Watson 20 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush is to veto a bill that would ban mercury in flu vaccines for children despite its known links to autism and other neurological disorders and despite the fact that he pledged in 2004 to support such a move when campaigning for re-[s]election. The White House stated on Tuesday that President Bush would veto the FY 2008 HHS-Labor-Education Appropriations Bill because of the cost and "objectionable provisions" such as a measure to ban the use of childhood flu vaccines that contain thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, a press release from Autism advocacy group Safe Minds on the PRNewswire-USNewswire states.

Sanofi flu vaccine plant to triple US production 19 Jul 2007 Influenza vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur unveiled a factory on Wednesday that will eventually triple its production of the vaccine as U.S. officials seek to boost output amid fears of a [US-engendered] pandemic. The vaccine arm of Sanofi-Aventis is the only U.S.-based producer of injectable flu vaccine. [See: Scientists Recreate 1918 Flu and See Parallels to Bird Flu 18 Jan 2007, Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007 and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

Italy police raid 'terror school' 21 Jul 2007 Police in central Italy say they have uncovered a bomb school for Islamist militants after raiding a mosque in Perugia and making three arrests. Evidence of training in explosives and poisons, and instructions on flying a Boeing 747 were reportedly found.

Despite all-nighter, Calif. lacks budget 21 Jul 2007 Bleary-eyed legislators failed to reach a deal on the overdue state budget Saturday after Senate Republicans refused to support the spending plan, despite being locked in the chamber all night by the Democratic leader.

U.S. Agency May Reverse 8 Decisions on Wildlife 21 Jul 2007 The Interior Department said Friday that it would review and probably overturn eight decisions on wildlife and land-use issues made by a senior political appointee who has been found to have improperly favored industry and landowners over agency scientists. The appointee, Julie A. MacDonald, resigned on May 1 as a deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, after an internal review found that she had violated federal rules by giving government documents to lobbyists for industry. The agency’s inspector general also found several instances in which Ms. MacDonald browbeat department biologists and habitat specialists and overruled their recommendations to protect a variety of rare and threatened species.

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Claim: U.S. created al-Zarqawi myth 10 Nov 2005 The United States created the myth around Iraq insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and reality followed, terrorism expert Loretta Napoleoni said.

Murder In Samarkand - Documents --UK Ambassador, Craig Murray

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Cheney to Assume Presidential Powers 20 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush will undergo a routine colonoscopy Saturday and temporarily hand presidential powers over to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, White House press secretary Tony Snow said. Snow told reporters Friday that Bush will have the procedure done at his Camp David, Md., mountaintop retreat. [One asshole replaces another. --MDR]

Bush to Undergo Colonoscopy; Cheney to Assume Presidential Authority 20 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush will undergo a medical procedure tomorrow that will require him to temporarily transfer his presidential authority to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Cheney will have "full capability to respond" [!] to any crisis from his beach house on the Eastern Shore, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate pro tempore Robert Byrd, second and third in line to the presidency respectively, had been notified earlier in the day.

Ore. Rep. asks to see gov't plans for aftermath of terror attack, denied access 20 Jul 2007 Oregonians called Peter DeFazio's office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack. As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure "bubbleroom" in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents. On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED. "I just can't believe they're going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack," DeFazio says. Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. "Maybe the people who think there's a conspiracy out there are right," DeFazio said.

Pandemic Influenza Medical Surge Plan Exercise Set for July 24 20 Jul 2007 (AL) State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson said, "Preparing our state for the possibility of a global influenza pandemic is a huge responsibility, and it is one which depends on cooperation of everyone involved to be successful." This one-day exercise will simulate a situation in which large numbers of citizens are becoming ill from influenza. [See: CLG's Flu 'Oddities'.]

FEMA Knew of Toxic Gas In Trailers --Hurricane Victims Reported Illnesses 20 Jul 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency since early 2006 has suppressed warnings from its own field workers about health problems experienced by hurricane victims living in government-provided trailers with levels of a toxic chemical 75 times the recommended maximum for U.S. workers, congressional lawmakers said yesterday.

Radiation Detector Program Delayed --DHS May Have Misled Congress, GAO Audit Finds 20 Jul 2007 A $1.2 billion program to deploy new radiation monitors to screen trucks, cars and cargo containers for signs of nuclear devices has been delayed by questions over whether Department of Homeland Security officials misled Congress about the effectiveness of the detectors. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the contracts for monitors with cutting-edge technology a year ago.

A White House Warning on Contempt Charges 21 Jul 2007 The 'Justice' Department would be likely to block any efforts by Congressional Democrats to seek contempt charges against present and former White House officials for refusing to give information to Congress, a White House spokesman said Friday. Congress and the White House have been moving toward a constitutional confrontation over the administration’s invoking executive privilege to prevent any testimony about its role in last year’s dismissal of federal prosecutors.

Broader Privilege Claimed In Firings --White House Says Hill Can't Pursue Contempt Cases 20 Jul 2007 Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president [sic] has invoked executive privilege.

Bush chief of staff faces possible contempt charge 19 Jul 2007 The White House chief of staff faced possible contempt charges after a congressional panel on Thursday ruled as invalid President [sic] George W. Bush's bid to limit the probe of the firing of federal prosecutors. On a party-line vote of 7-3, a Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary subcommittee rejected Bush's contention that his claim of executive privilege shields the top aide, Joshua Bolten, from having to turn over subpoenaed documents.

Impeach Now By Paul Craig Roberts 16 Jul 2007 Unless Congress immediately impeaches Bush and Cheney, a year from now the US could be a dictatorial police state at war with Iran. Bush has put in place all the necessary measures for dictatorship in the form of "executive orders" that are triggered whenever Bush declares a national emergency. Recent statements by Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff, former Republican senator Rick Santorum and others suggest that Americans might expect a series of staged, or false flag, "terrorist" events in the near future.

Britain almost out of troops, memo reveals 21 Jul 2007 The head of the Army has issued a dire warning that Britain has almost run out of troops to defend the country or fight abroad, a secret document obtained by the Daily Telegraph has revealed. Gen Sir Richard Dannatt has told senior commanders that reinforcements for emergencies or for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan are "now almost non-existent".

Bush seeks more time for Iraq 'strategy' 20 Jul 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush and his generals appealed on Friday for more time to allow his troop increase to work in Iraq, but a key Senate ally said September was still pivotal for evaluating the 'strategy.'

Clinton Hits Back at Pentagon Official 20 Jul 2007 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton hit back Friday at a Pentagon aide who charged that her questions about Iraq withdrawal planning have the effect of helping the enemy - calling the accusation a spurious dodge of a serious issue.

Marine spared prison time in Iraqi death 20 Jul 2007 A military jury that convicted a Marine of kidnapping and conspiracy to murder decided Friday not to send him to prison for his role in killing an Iraqi civilian targeted after troops failed to abduct a suspected 'insurgent.'

S. Korea to Pull Troops Out of Afghanistan --Seoul Plans to Withdraw Soldiers By End of 2007 21 Jul 2007 South Korea reiterated plans Saturday to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year as scheduled, hoping to appease Taliban militants threatening to kill a group of kidnapped South Koreans unless Seoul removes its soldiers.

Taliban kidnap 23 Koreans from Afghan bus: officials 20 Jul 2007 Taliban 'insurgents' have kidnapped 23 Korean Christians from a bus in Afghanistan, officials said on Friday, the biggest group of foreigners seized so far in the militant campaign to oust the government and its Western backers.

Pakistan objects to US strikes 21 Jul 2007 Pakistan said it could not accept "indiscriminate action" on its territory by US forces without first being informed that there was an al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] or terrorist target there.

Court Tells U.S. to Reveal Data on Detainees at Guantánamo 21 Jul 2007 A federal appeals court ordered the government yesterday to turn over virtually all its information on Guantánamo prisoners who are challenging their detention, rejecting an effort by the Justice Department to limit disclosures and setting the stage for new legal battles over the government’s reasons for holding the men indefinitely.

Judges seek all Guantanamo detainee evidence 20 Jul 2007 When Guantanamo Bay prisoners challenge their status as "enemy combatants," judges must review all the evidence, not just what the military chooses, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the Bush regime's plan to limit what judges and the prisoners' attorneys can review when considering whether the Combatant Status Review Tribunals acted appropriately.

Guantanamo Hunger Strikers Stay Defiant 20 Jul 2007 Twice a day at the U.S. military prison here, Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Zaid Salim Zuhair Ahmed are strapped down in padded restraint chairs and flexible yellow tubes are inserted through their noses and throats... In recent months, the number of hunger strikers has grown to two dozen, and the military is using force-feeding to keep them from starving [torture them]. The British human rights group Reprieve labeled the process "intentionally brutal" and Shalabi, according to his lawyer's notes, said it is painful, "something you can't imagine. For two years, me and Ahmed have been treated like animals."

Bush Order Governs CIA Interrogation Techniques --Interrogations of Prisoners to Resume 21 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush set broad legal boundaries for the CIA's harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects yesterday, allowing the intelligence agency to resume a program that was suspended last year after criticism that it violated U.S. and international law. In an executive order lacking any details about actual interrogation techniques, Bush said the CIA program will now comply with a Geneva Conventions prohibition against "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." [Yet, the force-feedings are continuing at Guantanamo.]

Republican US lawmaker questions alleged CIA participation in European prison probe 20 Jul 2007 The top Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee wants an investigation into senior CIA agents' alleged participation in a probe by a Swiss investigator of secret prisons the agency is said to have operated in Europe. The lawmaker made the request in a letter to Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, which supervises U.S. government spy agencies including the CIA. "It would be a serious breach at CIA if what this foreign investigator claims is true," Pete Hoekstra (R-MI-Hypocritical_sack_of_sh*t) said. [Oh, but it's not a 'serious breach at CIA' to leak the name of a covert operative? --LRP]

Romney Backs Intense Interrogation, Patriot Act 20 Jul 2007 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said Friday more intense methods of CIA interrogation [torture] are acceptable in dealing with terrorism and he praised the broad powers granted law enforcement under the USA Patriot Act.

Romney aide accused of creating fake badges resigns 20 Jul 2007 An aide [Jay Garrity] to Republican Mitt Romney resigned from the campaign on Friday, while denying allegations he used fake badges so he and other members of Romney's advance staff could gain access to closed areas and, in one instance, avoid paying a highway toll.

Romney aide's bogus badges: Sources detail 'illegal' security tactic 20 Jul 2007 In an apparent violation of the law, a controversial aide [Jay Garrity] to ex-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Sociopath) created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used on the campaign trail to strong-arm reporters, avoid paying tolls and trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues, sources told the Herald..

FBI planted spyware on teen's PC to trace bomb threats --15-year-old pleaded guilty after G-men dropped CIPAV on his machine 19 Jul 2007 The FBI planted spyware on the computer used by a Washington state teenager to finger him as the person behind a rash of bomb threats e-mailed to his high school, court documents revealed this week. The 15-year-old, a former student at Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash., pleaded guilty Monday to making the bomb threats, as well as to identity theft charges, according to The Olympian.

SEC suspends "terrorist" watch list tool 21 Jul 2007 The US corporate regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has suspended its online search tool to help investors identify companies active in "sponsors of terrorism" countries after politicians and business groups criticised the site as unfair to some companies.

US to lift ban of lighters on flights 21 Jul 2007 Screeners at US airports will stop confiscating common cigarette lighters because authorities now consider them a distraction from efforts to find bombs and other threats, officials said. Lighters are the most confiscated item at airport security checkpoints - about 22,000 per day, the Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration said.

SAIC Warns Personnel of Possible Data Breach --Unencrypted Data Sent Via Internet 21 Jul 2007 A government contractor handling sensitive health information for 867,000 U.S. service members and their families acknowledged yesterday that some of its employees sent unencrypted data -- such as medical appointments, treatments and diagnoses -- across the Internet. Air Force investigators are probing the security breach at Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) of San Diego, an $8 billion defense contractor that holds sensitive government contracts, including for information security.

CREW Files Senate Ethics Complaint Against Senator David Vitter 19 Jul 2007 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a Senate Ethics complaint against Senator David Vitter (R-LA) asking for an investigation into whether he violated the Senate Rules of Conduct by soliciting for prostitution. On July 9, 2007, it was revealed that Sen. Vitter's telephone number was included in the so-called "D.C. Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey's, list of client telephone numbers.

Senator John Sununu Says He Won't Campaign With Bush in 2008 20 Jul 2007 New Hampshire Republican John Sununu said [in an interview with Bloomberg Television] he won't campaign with George W. Bush next year "in this climate" because of the president's [sic] low job-approval ratings. Sununu, who faces a tough re-election, said "the president's popularity, unfortunately, is at a fairly low level.''

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Iraq Insurgents form front to oust US --Leaders of Iraqi groups say attacks will go on until Americans leave 19 Jul 2007 Seven of the most important Sunni-led 'insurgent' organisations fighting the US occupation in Iraq have agreed to form a public political alliance with the aim of preparing for negotiations in advance of an American withdrawal, their leaders have told the Guardian.

Iraq War Costs Approach $567 Billion, Congressional Report Says 19 Jul 2007 The cost of the war in Iraq will exceed the half-trillion dollar mark once Congress completes its work on a defense measure for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, the Congressional Research Service said in a report. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 that's in various stages of congressional deliberation requests $141.7 billion to fight [foment] terrorism including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Generals Request Delay in Judging Iraq 20 Jul 2007 The top commanders in Iraq and the American ambassador to Baghdad appealed for more time beyond their mid-September assessment... Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, told Pentagon reporters that while he would provide the mid-September assessment of the new military strategy that Congress has required, it would take "at least until November" to judge with confidence whether the 'strategy' was working.

U.S. Officials Say Iraq Gripped by Fear 20 Jul 2007 Iraq is a nation gripped by fear and struggling to meet security and political goals by September, U.S. officials said Thursday from Baghdad, dashing hopes in Congress that the country might turn a corner this summer. One general said not to expect a solid judgment on the U.S. troop buildup until November.

Pentagon extends Iraq tours for 2,200 Marines 19 Jul 2007 The Pentagon has extended the combat tours of 2,200 Marines in Iraq for 30 days, keeping the troops on the ground to help 'stabilize' Anbar province, a Marine Corps spokesman said on Thursday.

2 U.S. Soldiers Charged With Murder 19 Jul 2007 Two U.S. Army soldiers have been charged with the premeditated murder of an Iraqi, and a lieutenant colonel has been relieved of command in connection with the case, the U.S. military announced Thursday.

Turkey bombards northern Iraq, Iraq says 18 Jul 2007 The Iraqi government said Turkish artillery and warplanes bombarded areas of northern Iraq on Wednesday and called on Turkey to stop military operations and resort to dialogue.

5 US Soldiers, Iraqi Interpreter Killed 19 Jul 2007 Five U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter have been killed in separate combat incidents, the U.S. military said Thursday.

Three UK Iraq servicemen killed 19 Jul 2007 Three RAF servicemen have been killed after encountering an "indirect fire attack" in Basra, southern Iraq, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Denmark Pulls Out Dozens of Iraqi Aides 20 Jul 2007 Before the withdrawal of its 480 combat troops from Iraq next month, Denmark has pulled out scores of Iraqi aides and their families. The last of three Danish military flights carrying a total of 200 Iraqis left Friday, the government said. The flights were kept secret because of fears that militants would try to attack the planes.

Sunnis Return to Iraqi Parliament 19 Jul 2007 Sunni legislators returned to Iraq's parliament Thursday after a five-week boycott, raising hopes the assembly can make progress on power-sharing bills demanded by Washington... But the return of the Sunnis and a hard-line Shiite faction loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr could also signal problems for many of the bills, including the [US-backed] oil law, which is a top U.S. priority.

Stymied by G.O.P., Democrats Stop Debate on Iraq 19 Jul 2007 After Senate Republicans yet again thwarted a proposal to withdraw American troops from Iraq, DemocRATic leaders on Wednesday abruptly halted consideration of a major Pentagon policy measure, heading off the introduction of competing Iraq plans.

U.S. Iraq envoy warns skeptical senators on pullout 19 Jul 2007 The U.S. ambassador to Iraq warned skeptical senators on Thursday against an unconditional withdrawal of American troops but was told, in the words of one influential Democrat, "We ain't staying." Ryan Crocker warned that pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq without conditions could provide "more running room for Iran" to expand its influence in the region.

Pentagon Slams Clinton on Iraq 19 Jul 2007 The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda. In a stinging rebuke to a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Clinton raised in May in which she urged the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of American forces.

Go to Iraq and fight, Mr. President --Bush's latest choice of scapegoat — Hillary Clinton — boggles the mind By Keith Olbermann 19 Jul 2007 Let your minions try to spread the blame to the real patriots here, who have sought only to undo the horrors you have wrought since 2002. Let them try it, until the end of time. Though the words might be erased from a million books and a billion memories, though the world be covered knee-deep in your lies, the truth shall prevail. This, sir, is your war. Sen. Clinton has reinforced enemy propaganda? Made it impossible for you to get your ego-driven, blood-steeped win in Iraq? Then take it into your own hands, Mr. Bush. Go to Baghdad now and fulfill, finally, your military service obligations. Go there and fight, your war. Yourself.

How Murdoch had a hotline to the PM in the run-up to Iraq war 19 Jul 2007 Tony Blair had three conversations with the media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the nine days before the start of the Iraq war, the Government has disclosed. Details of the former prime minister's contacts with Mr Murdoch have been released under the Freedom of Information Act. After trying to block disclosure for four years, the Government backed down in a surprise change of heart the day after Mr Blair resigned last month.

US academics admit aiding Iran 'democracy' drive 19 Jul 2007 Two Americans detained by Iran for alleged spying last night admitted involvement in US-backed 'pro-democracy' projects but appeared to stop short of making widely anticipated full confessions.

Canadians balk at extending Afghanistan mission 19 Jul 2007 On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper invoked Canada's "international responsibility" to resolve the conflict, but polls show concern for casualties is taking a toll on support at home.

Suicide blast kills 1 outside Afghan police station 19 Jul 2007 A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station in northeastern Afghanistan [Faizabad] on Thursday, killing one civilian and wounding 11, police said.

Two German Citizens Go Missing in Afghanistan, Likely Kidnapped 19 Jul 2007 Two German citizens are missing, presumed kidnapped in Afghanistan, the German Foreign Ministry said today, just two weeks after the release of another German national held for a week in the southwest of the country.

Iraq Veterans and "(I)Pod People" By Horace Coleman 19 Jul 2007 U.S. policy put the emphasis on Iraq rather than on Afghanistan, where we had trained the Taliban (to fight the Russians). The Taliban that gave a base of operations to Osama bin Laden and suppressed the opium trade now flourishing in Afghanistan. The Taliban, now regaining power, is using drug money to do what? ...The Decider Guy says he listens to the generals while ignoring any who practice reality instead of fantasy.

Judge throws out Plame's lawsuit 19 Jul 2007 A federal judge [John Bates] today dismissed a lawsuit by former CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband seeking damages against Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, former Cheney aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and two others she accused of conspiring to disclose her identity.

Russia set to banish British diplomats 20 Jul 2007 Russia will expel four British diplomats in a tit-for-tat response as tensions escalate over last year's radiation poisoning death in London of the former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko.

Co-operation on fighting terrorism under threat 19 Jul 2007 Russia said on Thursday it would be impossible to pursue counter-terrorism co-operation with the UK after London advised it would suspend contacts with Russia’s Federal Security Service, the main successor of the Soviet-era KGB.

No charges on 'cash for honours' 19 Jul 2007 No-one is to face charges after the 16-month cash-for-honours investigation, the BBC understands. Four people were arrested - including two of Tony Blair's aides - during inquiries into whether honours were sold and whether a cover-up followed.

Nuclear partnership with US in the offing 20 Jul 2007 Australia is negotiating a big nuclear energy plan with the US and is considering whether to join an exclusive American-led club of nations to control the distribution, reprocessing and storage of nuclear fuel worldwide. According to draft plans seen by the Herald, the ministers for foreign affairs and resources have urged John Howard to announce the joint plan during George Bush's Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation visit in September.

Bechtel Jacobs contractor accused of stealing nuclear secrets --National lab worker allegedly stole classified information, tried to sell it 19 Jul 2007 Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused a low-level Bechtel Jacobs contract worker at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory — birthplace of the nuclear bomb — with stealing highly classified information about how to make enriched uranium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons. The suspect was allegedly caught trying to sell it to someone he thought was representing another country, someone who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

FEMA Suppressed Health Warnings for Workers, Katrina Victims --Agency Rejected Environmental Testing on Formaldehyde Gas Levels 19 Jul 2007 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has suppressed warnings from its own Gulf coast field workers since the middle of 2006 about suspected health problems that may be linked to elevated levels of formaldehyde gas released in FEMA-provided trailers, lawmakers said today. [Too bad Bush doesn't live in a FEMA-provided trailer.]

FEMA Slow to Test Toxicity of Trailers --FEMA Lawyers Discouraged Tests of Contaminated Trailers for Hurricane Victims 19 Jul 2007 Lawyers for the government's disaster relief agency discouraged officials from pursuing reports that trailers housing hurricane victims had dangerous levels of formaldehyde, according to documents released Thursday. Lawmakers said they were infuriated.

Con Edison Reports Asbestos Found in Debris From Midtown Steam-Main Rupture 19 Jul 2007 Following yesterday's steam-main rupture at Lexington Avenue and 41st Street, Con Edison and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted extensive air monitoring in the area and tested numerous samples of muddy debris for the presence of asbestos. Air monitoring confirmed no airborne asbestos, however, several of the numerous samples of muddy debris taken from the area were found to contain asbestos.

Bush hits new low in N.H. 18 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush's job approval rating in New Hampshire hit a low for his presidency -- 24 percent -- in a poll released Wednesday. Seventy-two percent of those polled disapproved of Bush's performance in the University of New Hampshire poll for CNN and WMUR-TV.

'Big Brother' plan for police to use new road cameras --Home Office leak reveals clash between ministers --Millions of motorists could be tracked 18 Jul 2007 Traffic cameras in London "Big Brother" plans to automatically hand the police details of the daily journeys of millions of motorists tracked by road pricing cameras across the country were inadvertently disclosed by the Home Office last night.

Daley defends special cop unit amid complaints 19 Jul 2007 Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday defended the Chicago Police Department and its troubled Special Operations Section after revelations that officers in the unit have been the subject of hundreds of citizen complaints... The Tribune, which obtained a list of complaints against officers departmentwide over the last five years, reported in Wednesday's editions that 30 officers from the section have been subjects of a total of 862 allegations of brutality and other wrongdoing.

Elite cops rack up complaints --Many allege brutality, misconduct 18 Jul 2007 The list of Chicago police misconduct allegations that city officials are fighting to keep secret shows that the scandal-plagued Special Operations Section has a disproportionately high number of complaints over the last five years, according to a copy of the list obtained by the Tribune. The top four police officers on the list, who all had 50 or more misconduct complaints in five years, were members of the section, which is currently the focus of a criminal probe by the Cook County state's attorney that has resulted in six officers indicted for robbing and kidnapping people.

Dow closes above 14,000 for first time 19 Jul 2007 The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 14,000 mark for the first time Thursday as U.S. stock indexes advanced after strong earnings reports. The Dow finished at 14,000.41 after closing up 82.19 points, or 0.59 percent, for the day.

Japan nuclear plant ordered shut --Quake damage, leak are worse than thought 19 Jul 2007 An earthquake-racked nuclear power plant was ordered closed indefinitely yesterday amid growing anger over revelations that damage was much worse than initially announced and mounting international concern about Japan's nuclear stewardship.

Radioactive leak at Japan nuclear plant bigger than previously announced 18 Jul 2007 The operator of an earthquake-ravaged nuclear plant said Wednesday a radioactive leak from the plant was 50 percent bigger than first reported two days ago. The mayor ordered the facility closed until its safety could be confirmed. Tokyo Electric Power Co. also said about 400 barrels containing low-level radioactive waste at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant were knocked over, and the lids had come off 40 of them, as a result of Monday’s deadly 6.8-magnitude quake.

Fire nears Idaho nuclear fuel development complex 19 Jul 2007 A fire sweeping across drought-stricken sagebrush and grasslands prompted the closure on Thursday of a nuclear fuel facility at a U.S. Department of Energy research campus in southeast Idaho.

Climate change threatens polar bear population: Ontario 19 Jul 2007 Climate change is threatening to wipe out Ontario’s polar bears and unleash new insect-borne diseases across the province as greenhouse gas emissions push temperatures higher, Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay warned Thursday. Under a scenario outlined on a new government website illustrating the consequences if climate change is allowed to continue, the temperature will rise up to 10 degrees in northern Ontario, essentially driving polar bears into extinction. [See: Polar Bear SOS.]

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Senior Qaeda figure in Iraq did not exist: U.S. military 18 Jul 2007 A senior operative for al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq who was caught this month has told his U.S. military interrogators a prominent al Qaeda-led group is just a front and its leader fictitious, a military spokesman said on Wednesday. Brigadier-General Kevin Bergner told a news conference that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, which was purportedly set up last year, did not exist.

US: Top al-Qaida in Iraq Figure Captured 18 Jul 2007 The highest-ranking Iraqi leader of 'al-Qaida' in Iraq has been arrested and told interrogators that Osama bin Laden's inner circle wields considerable influence over the Iraqi group, the U.S. command said Wednesday. [See: Senior Qaeda figure in Iraq did not exist: U.S. military 18 Jul 2007.]

Bush Aides See Failure in Fight With Al Qaeda in Pakistan 18 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush’s top counterterrorism advisers acknowledged Tuesday that the strategy for fighting Osama bin Laden’s leadership of Al Qaeda in Pakistan had failed, as the White House released a grim new intelligence assessment that has forced the administration to consider more aggressive measures inside Pakistan. [It has? See: US renting Pakistan army for $100 million a month 14 Jul 2007 and Aid to Pakistan in Tribal Areas Raises Concerns 16 Jul 2007 The United States plans to pour $750 million of aid into Pakistan’s tribal areas over the next five years as part of a "hearts and minds" [!] campaign to win over this lawless region from [fund] Qaeda and Taliban militants.]

Bush told Iraq war has helped al-Qa'eda 18 Jul 2007 President [sic] George W Bush was facing increasingly blunt criticism of his Iraq policy last night as a US intelligence report suggested that the war has made al-Qa'eda attacks on American soil more likely. President [sic] Bush is losing support from Republicans in Congress Senator George Voinovich, a close ally of Mr Bush, delivered a withering assessment of the situation in Iraq, declaring that the Bush administration had "f****d up the war".

U.S., U.K. warships to drill off U.S. coast 18 Jul 2007 A massive joint training exercise is scheduled to begin July 26 off the coast of the eastern United States involving 25 ships, dozen of aircraft and thousands of sailors. Named "Operation Bold Step," the Joint Task Force Exercise, or JTFEX, will involve some 15,000 personnel from the U.S. and British navies.

Gunsmoke on the water as Navy trains on Cape Fear --Blackwater USA *plays* terrorists in Navy exercise [In real life, they *are* the terrorists! --LRP] 17 Jul 2007 (Elizabethtown, NC) A wild stretch of the Cape Fear River serves as a classroom. Instructor Paul Imhoff of Blackwater USA, a private security firm based in Moyock, prepares an ambush for a U.S. Navy riverine patrol returning down the river... This is a typical operation for the final training exercise for Riverine Squadron Two as they complete seven weeks of instruction to prepare for deployment to Iraq. Along with U.S. Navy 2nd Class Petty Officer Jeremy Bartrom and another Blackwater operative, who only gives his name as Mack, they set up two M-240 machine guns with 800 rounds of blank ammunition...

Iraq pullout would take up to two years: US officials 18 Jul 2007 Defence officials say a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq won’t be quick or easy. "If we were to come out quickly, it would take upwards of nine months," said one defence official, who spoke with AFP on condition of anonymity. That assumes US forces would leave most of their equipment behind, he added. "It would likely take over two years if we were told to bring most of our equipment out, and also close bases in an orderly process, (and) turn them over to the Iraqis," he said.

'US withdrawal not apocalyptic' 18 Jul 2007 Recent "war games" exercises conducted for the US military conclude that if American combat forces withdraw from Iraq in the near future the result would not be "apocalyptic" but that the country would divide into three separate nations... The "war games" were conducted for the US military by retired marine colonel Gary Anderson, The Washington Post reported. "I honestly don't think it will be apocalyptic," Colonel Anderson told the paper, but "it will be ugly".

Senate Republicans defeat Iraq withdrawal bill --Democrats fail to get 60 votes needed to advance Iraq troop reduction bill 18 Jul 2007 Senate Republicans on Wednesday scuttled a Democratic proposal ordering troop withdrawals from Iraq in a showdown that capped an all-night debate on the war. The 52-47 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate under Senate rules.

Pollies become embedded in Iraq 19 Jul 2007 The boxes of pizza had been delivered. The beds had been dusted off for weary politicians. And the sergeant-at-arms was standing by, ready to fetch any senator who did not arrive in the chamber when the buzzer sounded for a late-night quorum. Tuesday night's marathon debate in the US Senate over the Iraq policy of the President [sic], George Bush, was the first round-the-clock session since 2003.

I'm Done Defending the Iraq Policy By Ed Koch 18 Jul 2007 I'm bailing out. I will no longer defend the policy of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq to assist the Iraqi central government in the ongoing civil war... The American people no longer support our presence in Iraq. They made that clear in the 2006 Congressional election when the majority in both Houses of Congress shifted to the Democrats.

Pentagon chief to seek money for armored vehicles 17 Jul 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will ask Congress for approval to shift about $1.3 billion in his budget to buy special armored vehicles to protect troops in Iraq, defense officials said on Tuesday.

Iran Accepts U.S. Offer for Iraq Talks 18 Jul 2007 Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that his government had accepted a U.S. request for ambassador-level talks on Iraq, to be held "in the near future." Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told state [as opposed to corporate] television that Iran had agreed to a U.S. request for a second round of talks, to be held in Iraq at an unspecified date.

Perry wants pension funds free of connections to Iran 18 Jul 2007 Gov. Rick Perry wants state pension funds to divest any holdings in companies doing business with Iran, an action strongly urged by Israeli officials with whom Perry met last month, Texas Secretary of State Phil Wilson said Tuesday. The Republican governor is talking with legislative leaders and looking at whether he could set divestment in motion without legislation, Wilson said.

Afghanistan attacks kill 15 19 Jul 2007 Taliban suicide bombings and attacks left more than 15 people dead in Afghanistan, officials said today as Britain urged its NATO allies to commit more troops to avoid the country failing. One of the suicide blasts targeted Turkish NATO soldiers in the capital Kabul, wounding a member of the Turkish special forces and an Afghan civilian, Afghan officials and the foreign ministry in Ankara said.

We are failing in Afghanistan --The costs of losing this war far outweigh those of Iraq. We must urgently change the approach. By Paddy Ashdown 19 Jul 2007 In July 2006, Britain's highly respected commander of international forces in Afghanistan, General David Richards, issued a stark warning: "Afghanistan is a good and winnable war but, at the pace we are proceeding, we need to realise that we could actually fail here." A year on, as yesterday's defence committee report indicates, we are indeed beginning to fail in Afghanistan.

RAF scrambles to intercept Russian bombers 18 Jul 2007 RAF fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian strategic bombers heading for British airspace yesterday, as the spirit of the Cold War returned to the North Atlantic once again. While the Kremlin hesitated before responding to Britain’s expulsion of four diplomats... two Tu95 "Bear" bombers were dispatched from their base on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic Circle and headed towards British airspace.

One in four Israeli men dodges the draft 18 Jul 20070 One in four Israeli men eligible for national service last year dodged the draft, the highest proportion in the history of the state. Figures released yesterday by the Israeli Army showed that in the 2006 intake, just 75 per cent of eligible men joined up.

Federal funding cutback worries anti-terrorism officials in L.A. 18 Jul 2007 Los Angeles County law enforcement officials said today that a 10% reduction in federal anti-terrorism money will undercut efforts to share intelligence, upgrade emergency operations centers and equip and train thousands of police to counter attacks. The Los Angeles-Long Beach region will receive $72.6 million in the coming year from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an $8-million decrease from last year.

U.K. Can Control Bird Flu Outbreaks, Scientist Panel Says 18 Jul 2007 The U.K.'s current plans to protect against avian influenza are sufficient to control a possible spread of the disease amongst the country's poultry, a panel of scientists from Imperial College London said.

Steam pipe installed in 1924 explodes downtown 18 Jul 2007 An underground steam pipe explosion ripped through a street in Midtown Manhattan during rush hour Wednesday, killing one person from an apparent heart attack and injuring at least two dozen others. The powerful blast spewed rubble into crowded streets, splashed mud on commuters, and sent a giant plume of murky hot steam billowing into the air.

Huge Steam Pipe Explosion Kills 1 in NYC 19 Jul 2007 An underground steam pipe explosion tore through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal on Wednesday, swallowing a tow truck and killing one person as hundreds of others ran for cover amid a towering geyser of steam and flying rubble.

Explosion rocks Manhattan, revives 9/11 memories 18 Jul 2007 A steam pipe exploded in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, creating a roar and a huge plume of smoke and sending pedestrians fleeing from the area in scenes reminiscent of the September 11 attacks. Officials in New York and Washington promptly ruled out a terrorist attack... Boiling, brownish water and steam gushed geyser-like at least 120 feet high out of a crater about 20 feet wide on Lexington Avenue at 41st Street, one of the busiest areas of New York City near the Grand Central transportation hub.

Vice president hurts GOP's chance to retain White House By Dan Simpson 18 Jul 2007 I thought that by now the White House would have decided that the strains of the job on his health were too much for Mr. Cheney to continue as vice president [sic], that he would then have stepped down for valid health reasons, and the Republicans would have plugged into the position a viable 2008 presidential candidate... [But,] First, Mr. Bush felt he couldn't live without Mr. Cheney around. Second - and I suspect this is probably the truth of the matter - Mr. Cheney didn't want to step down and Mr. Bush decided in the end that he didn't care what happened to the Republican Party after he was out of the White House. There is also the late-at-night, eerie concern that Mr. Bush has in his head some sort of scenario where, for reasons of national security - real or drummed up - the 2008 elections will have to be postponed and he will get to stay on. My suspicions have at their base the feeling I have that, given their operating style now, this bunch will not leave the White House easily in 2009.

Ex-Cheney aide gets 10 years in prison in spy case 18 Jul 2007 A former White House official [Leandro Aragoncillo, a former Marine] who took top secret documents from U.S. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's office and gave them to opposition figures in the Philippines was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in prison. The case caused a political scandal in the Philippines because the documents were used by opponents of President [dictator] Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to try to oust her.

Imprisoned Cunningham outlines depths of corruption to FBI 17 Jul 2007 ...According to an 11-page FBI summary of the sessions, obtained by Copley News Service, [former] Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) was very much the initiator of his corrupt actions, demanding bribes, accepting envelopes with cash and displaying an insatiable appetite for more money, more cars, more drink, more fine food and more expensive goods. Cunningham's answers are bad news for Brent Wilkes, president of Poway-based ADCS Inc., who is fighting bribery charges against him. They set the stage for what could be a dramatic courtroom showdown between the former North County congressman and his longtime benefactor.

Bush Government to Poor Voters: We Don't Want You to Vote --The Justice Department is pressuring 10 states to purge their voter rolls, while states are ignoring laws to help low-income Americans register to vote. By Steven Rosenfeld 17 Jul 2007 State welfare offices across the country are not offering millions of low-income Americans the opportunity to register to vote when applying for public assistance despite a federal law requiring them to do so, according to an analysis of a recent federal voting registration report and experts who say the Department of Justice and states are to blame.

Kucinich out of hospital after apparent food poisoning 18 Jul 2007 Congressman and presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, was headed back to Washington after being released from a Cleveland hospital Wednesday morning. Kucinich was hospitalized Monday with symptoms of suspected food poisoning. Kucinich follows a strict vegan diet. [Is Cheney trying to 'Wellstone' Kucinich?]

NBC Correspondent Received $30K for Speech Attacking Sen. Edwards (mediamatters.org) 18 Jul 2007 This spring, NBC chief Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski took $30,000 from the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce to address its Business EXPO 2007. During his talk, Miklaszewski attacked a prominent presidential candidate. ...[A]s The Providence Journal reported, Jim Miklaszewski not only took $30,000 from the Chamber of Commerce in apparent violation of his employer's policy on paid speaking engagements, the NBC correspondent then proceeded to call presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) a "loser" for attempting to defend a pricey haircut.

AP Poll: GOP pick is 'none of the above' 17 Jul 2007 And the leading Republican presidential candidate is ... none of the above. The latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that nearly a quarter of Republicans are unwilling to back top-tier hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain or Mitt Romney, and no one candidate has emerged as the clear front-runner among Christian evangelicals.

Bush's war on the poor continues: Bush Vows to Veto Health Bill 18 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush today rejected entreaties by his Republican allies that he compromise with Democrats to renew the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Quick action! Justice for the Jena 6 (colorofchange.org) 18 Jul 2007 The lives of six young black men are being ruined by Jim Crow justice in Jena, Louisiana. The District Attorney has refused to protect the rights of Jena's Black population and has turned the police and courts into instruments of intimidation and oppression. We can help turn things around by making it a political liability for the authorities of Jena to continue the racist status quo, and by forcing the Governor of Louisiana to intervene.

EU environment chief wants to put a price on water 18 Jul 2007 How much is a drop of water worth? That was the question posed on Wednesday by the European Union's environment chief [Stavros Dimas] as part of his plans to put a price on the liquid, which he said was becoming a scarce commodity.

Stretch of Daytona Beach Closed After Dozens of Cars Sink In Sand --TV News Truck Gets Stuck Covering Stuck-Vehicle Story 18 Jul 2007 A portion of Daytona Beach was closed to all vehicles Tuesday afternoon when dozens of cars and even a television news truck became stuck in unusually soft sand. The quicksand-like conditions at Daytona Beach caused cars to quickly sink, making escape impossible without help.

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Marine ordered Iraqi women and kids shot, squad member testifies 17 Jul 2007 A Marine charged with murdering two girls and killing several other Iraqis gave orders to shoot into a roomful of children and young women, a squad member testified. Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum then went into the room himself, followed by loud noise that could have been M-16 gunfire or a grenade, said Lance Cpl. Humberto Manuel Mendoza. "I told him there's just womens and kids in the room," Mendoza said Tuesday. "He replied, 'Well, shoot them.'"

New Village Massacre Reported in Iraq 18 Jul 2007 U.S. troops stormed Tuesday into an 'insurgent'-controlled area of a turbulent province where police reported that gunmen -- some wearing military clothing -- had massacred 29 Shiite villagers the night before.

Largest Iraq contract, KBR, rife with errors 17 Jul 2007 Government auditors discovered something odd last year when they reviewed KBR Inc.'s annual cost estimate to provide support services for U.S. troops in Iraq. The contractor proposed charging $110 million for housing, food, water, laundry and other services on bases that had been shut down. KBR got a contract extension for $3.7 billion, but it agreed to drop the proposed $110 million spending on closed bases and an additional $50 million of duplicate charges and math errors, according to Defense Department records obtained by USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.

Pentagon approves disputed Iraq costs 17 Jul 2007 The Pentagon approves disputed costs on Iraq contracts at a much higher rate than on military contracts as a whole, Defense Department records show. Through last October, almost two-thirds of costs challenged by Pentagon auditors as inflated, erroneous or otherwise improper — more than $1 billion — were eventually approved by project managers. That compares with 44% for all defense contracts in 2005.

Silent surge in contractor 'armies' 18 Jul 2007 Estimates of the number of private security personnel and other civilian contractors in Iraq today range from 126,000 to 180,000 – nearly as many, if not more than, the number of Americans in uniform there. Most are not Americans.

A new way to escape Baghdad -- if you're a Westerner 16 Jul 2007 A new no-frills airline that begins weekly flights between Baghdad and Amman, Jordan, in August will accept only certain passengers — U.S. and Western citizens. Iraqis, Indians, Pakistanis and other non-Westerners need not apply. Expat Airways, looking to capitalize on the thousands of mercenaries in Iraq, is believed to be the world's only commercial airline to blacklist a large swath of nationalities.

Iraq oil law 'benchmark' likely to be missed, official says 17 Jul 2007 The U.S.-made benchmark for Iraq's government to pass an oil law is "unfortunate" and will likely be missed, a senior Iraqi official said. "The political environment here (in the United States) impinges directly" on what happens in Baghdad, especially talk of withdrawing troops, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

FBI: Iraqis Being Smuggled Across the Rio Grande 17 Jul 2007 The FBI is investigating an alleged human smuggling operation based in Chaparral, N.M., that agents say is bringing "Iraqis and other Middle Eastern" individuals [?!?] across the Rio Grande from Mexico. An FBI intelligence report distributed by the Washington, D.C. Joint Terrorism Task Force, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, says the illegal ring has been bringing Iraqis across the border illegally for more than a year.

U.S. soldier dies in Iraq 17 Jul 2007 A U.S. soldier died from non-battle related cause in southern Iraq, the U.S. military said on Tuesday. The soldier died on Sunday in Iraq's southern province of Diwaniyah, some 180 km south of Baghdad, the military said in a brief statement.

U.S. soldier killed in bomb attack in northern Iraq 16 Jul 2007 An American soldier was killed in bomb attack in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, the U.S. military said on Monday.

Senate Democrats Lack Support From G.O.P. on Pullout 18 Jul 2007 A handful of Republicans who have distanced themselves from President [sic] Bush on the war in Iraq refused Tuesday to back a plan to withdraw American troops from the conflict, leaving Senate Democrats short of the support needed to force a vote on their proposal.

Reid Gives Senators a Break 18 Jul 2007 It was shortly before midnight when the senators arrived back on the floor of the Senate to cast their second vote of the marathon Iraq war debate. The Democrats circled Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, with a purposeful plea: Won’t you please delay the next vote until a little closer to sunrise? Mr. Reid, who had been considering holding a roll call vote around 3 a.m., listened carefully... All that seemed to be missing was a drum roll as Mr. Reid said the next vote would be at 5 a.m.

Senate to pull an all-nighter on Iraq 17 Jul 2007 The cots were strategically placed near the Senate chamber. Plenty of coffee was ordered. And the sergeant-at-arms was instructed to be prepared to retrieve absent senators early this morning. In a carefully choreographed event, the "world's greatest deliberative body" staged a rare overnight debate devoted to the Iraq war. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the session in an attempt to spotlight Republican opposition to a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal.

'More troops needed in Afghanistan' 18 Jul 2007 Nato must commit more troops and development aid to Afghanistan if it is to succeed in establishing a viable democracy in the country, MPs have warned. The Commons Defence Committee said it was "deeply concerned" at the continuing reluctance of some Nato members to contribute to the alliance's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

Taliban said growing stronger in Afghanistan 18 Jul 2007 The British-led NATO force in Afghanistan doesn't have sufficient troops to carry out its mission [?!?] and the Taliban show worrying signs of growing stronger, an in-depth parliamentary report [by the House of Commons Defence Committee] has found. [What, exactly, *is* the 'mission?' --LRP]

Afghanistan set to break record in opium poppy cultivation, U.S. ambassador says 17 Jul 2007 Afghanistan's heroin-producing poppy crop set another record this season, despite intensified 'eradication' efforts [bullsh*t], the American ambassador said. Ambassador William Wood said preliminary data show that Afghan farmers harvested 185,000 hectares (457,135 acres) of poppies this year, continuing the upward trend of an industry fueling the Taliban, crime, drug addiction, and government corruption [US terrorism].

VA Secretary Is Ending a Trying Tenure --Difficulties Include Big Data Breach and Criticism of Care for Veterans Fresh From War 18 Jul 2007 R. James Nicholson, the secretary of veterans affairs, resigned yesterday and said he would leave his post by Oct. 1, ending a tenure marked by the largest data breach in the federal government's history and sharp criticism of the care given to injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bombings cripple Mexican pipelines 17 Jul 2007 When saboteurs blew up several natural gas pipelines in central Mexico this month, temporarily shutting down production for U.S. automakers and other important manufacturers, a small Marxist resistance group called the Popular Revolutionary Army reportedly claimed responsibility.

Shell pipeline on fire in Nigeria after protests 17 Jul 2007 An oil pipeline feeding Shell’s Bonny export terminal in the Niger Delta is burning in six separate places but there is no impact on production, a company spokesman said yesterday. Precious Okolobo said Shell became aware of the fires on the Trans-Niger pipeline in early June and had been negotiating with local communities in the Ogoni area to try and gain access to the sites.

CIA dissenters helped expose renditions, says inquiry chief 18 Jul 2007 American intelligence officials who were deeply opposed to the secret transfer of terror suspects to interrogation centres across Europe cooperated with an investigation into the CIA's undisclosed network of jails, it was claimed yesterday.

US facing 'persistent terrorist threat' 18 Jul 2007 The United States faces "a persistent and evolving terrorist threat" domestically over the next three years with a regenerated al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] ranked as the most likely terrorist group to launch an attack on American soil, a new threat assessment by the US spy agencies concludes.

U.S. to crack down on terror bankrolls 17 Jul 2007 The Bush regime announced a new tool Tuesday to freeze financial assets of those who want to destabilize Iraq. President [sic] Bush unveiled a new executive order that allows the administration to block bank accounts and any other financial assets that might be found in this country belonging to people, companies or groups that the United States deems are working to threaten 'stability' in Iraq. [In that case, the US Treasury should be first on the list.]

Row over police use of cameras criticised 18 Jul 2007 Moves to allow police to monitor live the journeys of car drivers via 1,500 congestion-charge cameras in London have proved divisive in the Cabinet and provoked immediate criticism... Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: "[This is] a Trojan Horse to secure unprecedented access to information on car drivers' movements without full public scrutiny or debate."

Labor to consider any toughening of terrorism laws 18 Jul 2007 Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd says Labor will consider supporting any changes the Government proposes to anti-terrorism laws.

U.S. will detain those suspected of harboring bird flu virus 18 Jul 2007 More than a year after President [sic] Bush unveiled a plan for coping with a pandemic flu outbreak, the federal government still has limited capacity to detect a disease outbreak and track its progress across the country... The government will try to limit the number of arriving people who might be infected with the virus and detain those suspected of harboring the virus, Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, special assistant to the president for biodefense, said.

Implementation of the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza (whitehouse.gov) 17 Jul 2007 In May 2006, the Administration issued the 'National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan,' which provides a roadmap to achieve the federal government's pandemic preparedness and response Goals. Eighty-six percent of all actions due within 12 months under the Implementation Plan have been completed. We are confronting [fomenting] the threat of an influenza pandemic at its source. [See: Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007 CDC scientists swap genes between bird flu and human strains to 'plot the path of' [*create*] a possible pandemic and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

Non-pathogenic strain of bird flu virus found, could turn pathogenic [by the Bush bioterror team] 17 Jul 2007 The existence of a non-pathogenic strain of the virus causing bird flu has been confirmed in the state according to knowledgeable sources, although state officials are tightlipped about the whole affair... The officials only said that no pathogenic strain of the virus has detected yet, but were mum about the presence of a non-pathogenic strain.

TB patient travel may have been illegal 17 Jul 2007 Local officials may have violated Georgia law when they allowed tuberculosis patient Andrew Speaker to travel. The Atlanta lawyer should have been confined to his home almost two weeks before he flew to Greece for his wedding, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rep. Waxman Suspects White House Politicking --Drug Officials Appeared With GOP Candidates 18 Jul 20007 White House officials arranged for top officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy to help as many as 18 vulnerable Republican congressmen by making appearances and sometimes announcing new federal grants in the lawmakers' districts in the months leading up to the November 2006 elections, a Democratic lawmaker [Rep. Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee] said yesterday.

Papers Detail Industry's Role in Cheney's Energy Report 18 Jul 2007 A confidential list prepared by the Bush regime shows that Cheney and his aides had already held at least 40 meetings with interest groups [by April 4, 2001], most of them from energy-producing industries. One of the first visitors, on Feb. 14, was James J. Rouse, then vice president of Exxon Mobil and a major donor to the Bush inauguration; a week later, longtime Bush supporter Kenneth L. Lay, then head of Enron Corp., came by for the first of two meetings. On March 5, some of the country's biggest electric utilities, including Duke Energy and Constellation Energy Group, had an audience with the task force staff. British Petroleum representatives dropped by on March 22, one of about 20 oil and drilling companies to get meetings. The National Mining Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the American Petroleum Institute were among three dozen trade associations that met with Cheney's staff, the document shows.

Cunningham report portrays entangled panel --The still-unreleased findings say intelligence committee aides were used by the California congressman, now in prison for bribery. 16 Jul 2007 An internal investigation that the House Intelligence Committee has refused to make public portrays the panel as embarrassingly entangled in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal. The report, a declassified version of which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times, describes the committee as a dysfunctional entity that served as a crossroads for almost every major figure in the ongoing criminal probe by the Justice Department. The document describes breakdowns in leadership and controls that it says allowed Cunningham — the former congressman (R-Rancho Santa Fe) who began an eight-year prison term last year for taking bribes and evading taxes — to use his House position to steer millions of dollars to corrupt contractors.

Miers Again Refuses to Comply with Congressional Subpoena By Paul Kiel 17 Jul 2007 Former White House counsel Harriet Miers again refused to comply with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena today, citing executive privilege. The committee had set today as the final deadline for Miers to comply, or else face contempt proceedings.

Congress asked to probe Alabama case 16 Jul 2007 Forty-four former state attorneys general have asked Congress to investigate whether politics at the Justice Department influenced the prosecution of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges. Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted last year of bribery and other charges.

House Panel Issues New Subpoenas for RNC E-Mails By Luke O'Brien 16 Jul 2007 The House Judiciary Committee last week issued new subpoenas targeting e-mails from Republican National Committee accounts that discuss the firings of at least eight U.S. Attorneys, a political brannigan that has bloomed into a legal showdown between Congress and the White House over executive branch secrecy. The Bush administration last week asserted executive privilege in rejecting a separate set of Congressional subpoenas that sought information related to the attorney firings.

Lawmakers decry FDA plans to close half of its labs 17 Jul 2007 Importers have learned to evade close federal scrutiny of the food they ship into the United States, putting consumers at increasing risk, congressional investigators said Tuesday. Lawmakers also criticized the Food and Drug Administration's plan to close half of its laboratories.

Sick 9/11 workers sue $1B insurance fund 17 Jul 2007 Ailing ground zero workers are going to court to demand that the company overseeing a $1 billion Sept. 11 insurance fund uses it to pay for their health care.

New York State sues Exxon over Brooklyn spill 17 Jul 2007 New York State sued Exxon Mobil Corp on Tuesday to force the cleanup of a decades-old, 17 million gallon oil spill in New York City.

Dow Jones board recommends sale to Murdoch 17 Jul 2007 Dow Jones & Co. Inc.'s board of directors on Tuesday accepted a buyout offer from Rupert Murdoch's News. Corp. and recommended the Bancroft family, which controls 64% of the voting shares, approve the $5 billion deal.

NYMEX Sets Open Interest Records on Crude Oil Futures, Brent Crude Oil Complex 17 Jul 2007 The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc., a subsidiary of NYMEX Holdings, Inc., announced today that its crude oil futures contract and Brent crude oil complex contracts reached record open interest levels.

Autopsy: Man killed by police after Katrina was shot in back 17 Jul 2007 A man killed by New Orleans police in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was shot in the back, according to an autopsy report CNN obtained. That autopsy finding seems to raise questions about the police department's conclusion that its officer fired only because his life was in danger.

2007 global temperature the 2nd-warmest ever recorded 17 Jul 2007 The Earth's temperature for the first six months of the year was the second-warmest ever recorded, government scientists reported today. The average temperature of the planet was 1.13 degrees above average, which trails only 1998 for the warmest January-June period on record. January-June 1998 was 1.15 degrees above average.

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New Rec Report! The Double Hypocrisy of the Rightwing: The Vitter’s Victual --The Rec Report --By Michael Rectenwald Monday, 16 Jul 2007 Now, let’s answer the question as to why we at the CLG are doing this [publishing the 'DC Madam' phone records]. The answer is simple: Our aims are strictly political. Why shouldn’t they be? While we want to underscore the contradictions between rightwing ‘family values’ and ‘sanctity of marriage’ platforms, and the behavior of officials espousing such views, we do so only because we want to destroy the remaining political efficacy of our enemy. And why would we want to destroy the remaining political efficacy of our enemy? Because we believe that the views, policies and politics of that enemy are demonstrably anathema to planetary human welfare and to the US Constitution. We are taking this tactic simply because it may serve a greater good. And, unlike our enemies, we are doing nothing illegal. [Click here for previous Rec Reports.]

Senator In Scandal Won't Resign --Republican Acknowledged Connection to 'D.C. Madam' 16 July 2007 With his wife, Wendy, at his side, Louisiana U.S. Sen. David Vitter said Monday he will not resign, a week after he admitted to a connection with the so-called D.C. Madam. Vitter made the comments during a news conference in Metairie, La., his hometown, after a week in seclusion.

Vitter Denies Prostitution Accusations 16 Jul 2007 Sen. David Vitter on Monday denied charges that he had relationships with New Orleans prostitutes and said he will return to work in Washington this week... On July 9, Vitter apologized for committing a "very serious sin in my past," acknowledging that his Washington phone number was among those called several years ago by an escort service that prosecutors say was a prostitution operation. Telephone records show that the service called Vitter's number five times from 1999 to 2001, while he was a U.S. representative.

Pace: US Weighs Larger 'Surge' in Iraq 16 Jul 2007 The U.S. military is weighing new directions in Iraq, including an even bigger troop buildup if President [sic] Bush thinks his "surge" strategy needs a further boost, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday. Marine Gen. Peter Pace revealed that he and the chiefs of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force are developing their own assessment of the situation in Iraq, to be presented to Bush in September.

Democrats Plan to Keep Senate in Session All Night for Iraq Vote 17 Jul 2007 Senate Democrats said Monday they would keep the Senate in session through the night on Tuesday in an effort to highlight Republican resistance to allowing a simple majority vote on a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said he would force lawmakers to go on record in votes around the clock until a procedural showdown Wednesday morning on a proposal to begin withdrawing troops within 120 days, with most troops out by next spring.

Attacks in Kirkuk and Diyala Kill More Than 100 Iraqis 17 Jul 2007 A suicide bomber in the volatile northern city of Kirkuk on Monday crashed his truck into a compound that includes offices of a major Kurdish political party, killing 85 people. Many victims were women and children... Hours later, the Iraqi authorities said, men wearing Iraqi military uniforms stormed into a village in Diyala Province and killed 29 men, women and children... The attack occurred in a remote village north of Baquba, he said, and the bodies of some victims were "desecrated" before the attackers fled.

Just another day in Iraq: 100 more fathers, mothers, sons and daughters killed By Patrick Cockburn 17 July 2007 The United States surge, the use of the American troop reinforcements to bring violence in Iraq under control, is bloodily failing across northern Iraq. That was proved again yesterday when a suicide bomber detonated a truck packed with explosives in Kirkuk killing at least 85 people and wounding a further 183... Dozens of cars were set ablaze and their blackened hulks littered the street. Some 25 of the wounded suffered critical injuries and may not live. In Baghdad, at least 44 people were killed or found dead across the city, police said. They included the bullet-riddled bodies of 25 people, apparent victims of sectarian [US] death squads.

Gunmen kill 29 Iraqi villagers - security official 17 Jul 2007 Twenty nine villagers were killed by men wearing Iraqi military uniforms who stormed their homes north of Baghdad on Monday, an Iraqi security official said on Tuesday. Colonel Raghib Radhi, spokesman for security [terrorist] operations in Diyala province, said a large number of gunmen surrounded Duwailiya village, north of the city of Baquba, on Monday afternoon and then opened fire.

Bomb kills 4 near Iran embassy in Baghdad-police 17 Jul 2007 Four people were killed on Tuesday by a [US] car bomb parked near the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, Iraqi police said. Police said five were wounded in the attack, in a car park opposite the Iranian embassy in the upscale Karadat Maryam district near the fortified Green Zone compound.

Assault on Iran regains support in White House 17 Jul 2007 The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before the US President [sic], George Bush, leaves office in 18 months. The move follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department over the past month. Although the Bush Administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran.

U.S. ready for direct talks with Iran 17 Jul 2007 The United States is ready to hold new direct talks with Iran on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, where the Bush regime accused Tehran of supporting Shia 'insurgents,' the State Department said Tuesday.

Letter: Add-on armor too heavy for new vehicles 17 Jul 2007 Armor intended to protect the Pentagon's new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles against the most powerful roadside bombs is too heavy to use, says the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The add-on armor known as Frag Kit 6 could overwhelm all MRAPs unless they undergo "major redesigns," Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., says in a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Bigger Military Raise, Better Benefits Hit 16 Jul 2007 With President [sic] Bush's popularity scraping bottom in opinion polls, with U.S. casualties rising in Iraq in a force surge that has stretched soldier tours to 15 months, the Bush administration July 10 said it "strongly opposes" key military pay and benefit gains tossed into their fiscal 2008 defense bill.

Reports allege European role in CIA prisoner transfers 17 Jul 2007 Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty brushed aside the threat of legal action - and an interruption from MEP Ioan Mircea Pascu – to reassert his report’s conclusion that illegal prisoner transfers took place on European soil. Speaking to journalists after talks with parliament's justice and home affairs and foreign affairs committees, Marty, together with European parliament rapporteur Claudio Fava, insisted that people had been detained against international laws and conventions.

CIA dissenters aided secret prisons report: author 17 Jul 2007 Dissident U.S. intelligence officers angry at former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped a European probe uncover details of secret CIA prisons in Europe, the top investigator said on Tuesday. Swiss Senator Dick Marty, author of a Council of Europe report on the jails, said senior CIA officials disapproved of Rumsfeld's methods in hunting down terrorist suspects, and had agreed to talk to him on condition of anonymity.

Bush bin Laden poised to attack, cancel 2008 'elections:' Report: Al Qaeda trying to sneak agents to U.S. 17 Jul 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] will try to tap its resources and capabilities in Iraq in its efforts to exact another terrorist attack on U.S. soil, according to a top government intelligence report released Tuesday. ... The report also warns that al Qaeda is beefing up efforts to sneak operatives into the United States. [They already have; they're operating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.]

U.S. intelligence: "heightened threat" environment 17 Jul 2007 U.S. intelligence agencies on Tuesday warned that al Qaeda would intensify efforts to put operatives inside the United States and said there was a heightened threat of attack. The assessment came in unclassified judgments from a "National Intelligence Estimate on the Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland," which is a compilation of views from the various spy agencies.

4000 al-Qa'ida 'suspects and sympathisers' on M15's watchlist --Al-Qa'ida threat 'justifies new anti-terror laws' 17 Jul 2007 Four thousand al-Qa'ida [al-CIAduh] suspects and sympathisers are on M15's watchlist, the Home Office warned as it accelerated plans for new anti[pro]-terror legislation. Ministers are actively considering a fresh attempt to extend the 28-day limit for which terrorist suspects can be held without charge because of the scale of the plots facing Britain.

Bailed then jailed: justice in the new age of terrorism 17 Jul 2007 The Gold Coast doctor accused of supporting terrorists will be held in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre after the Federal Government bypassed a court decision releasing him on bail. Legal experts yesterday condemned the Government's use of migration laws to continue holding Mohamed Haneef, saying it usurped the role of the courts and jeopardised the Indian doctor's chances of a fair hearing on a terrorism charge.

Another doctor charged over UK attacks 17 Jul 2007 The investigation into the Glasgow and London car bomb attacks led to two men being released and another charged in London at the weekend... Dr Ahmed, from Bangalore, India, was arrested in Liverpool on June 30. He worked at Halton Hospital in Cheshire.

US: Muslim charity leaders on trial for terrorism 16 Jul 2007 Jury selection began Monday for one of the most prominent anti-terrorist prosecutions of the past decade, the trial of leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funneling money to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which allegedly used some of it to support the families of suicide bombers in the Middle East.

GOP welcomes new 9/11: Reports lay groundwork for attack, Scholars say By James Fetzer 16 Jul 2007 A new report summarizes evidence suggesting that intelligence agencies in collaboration with their media assets are in the process of preparing the American people for a new 9/11-style attack. James Fetzer, the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, has been taken aback. "This summary from MUJCA-NET forces us to confront the awful prospect that the forces that brought us a fake attack on 9/11 are about to reprise their performance," he stated. "My fear is this will be done on a scale of magnitude greater, involving 30,000 or even 300,000 deaths."

I Accuse… 44 Attorneys General Demand an Inquiry Into the Siegelman Prosecution By Scott Horton 16 Jul 2007 Today forty-four attorneys general from forty of the fifty states of the Union petition the United States Congress demanding a formal inquiry into the prosecution of Don Siegelman, the former Governor of Alabama, who was falsely charged, tried and convicted in federal court proceedings in Alabama. These proceedings constitute an indelible stain on the reputation of our nation for justice, which cannot be purged until they are set aside and those who committed these crimes mockingly in the name of justice are held to account for their misconduct.

Troopers kill Capitol gunman 17 Jul 2007 Gov. Bill Ritter (D) was interviewing a judicial candidate in his office when he heard shots ring out this afternoon. The governor spoke on the steps of the state Capitol barely two hours after a gunman who claimed he was "the emperor" who had arrived to take over state government was killed by state troopers. The man was shot just outside the governor's office around 2:25 p.m., in front of more than a dozen tourists and state workers.

Charges added against 2 who held anti-Bush banner --"IMPEACH Bush and Cheney—LIARS" placed on Great Western Trail over Interstate Highway 355 on May 6 16 Jul 2007 (IL) Two DuPage County residents charged in May with disorderly conduct after displaying a political banner on a highway overpass and allegedly dropping something on the roadway were charged with two more misdemeanors Monday: reckless conduct and unauthorized display of a sign on a highway.

In the Lawless Post-Katrina Cleanup, Construction Companies Are Preying on Workers --After Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast, construction companies have squeezed billions out of federal contracts with few labor regulations and almost no oversight, allowing outrageous worker abuses to occur. By Brian Beutler 16 Jul 2007 After Hurricane Katrina pummeled the Gulf Coast in late August 2005, tens of billions of dollars in federal and private contracts, the largest of which went to companies like Bechtel, Halliburton, and its then-subsidiary Kellogg, Brown, and Root, were dispatched to New Orleans... In the two years since the disaster, there have been thousands of testimonials -- issued to both government officials and private advocates -- about a wide taxonomy of abuses.

Ex-Envoy in Leak Case Backs Hillary Clinton 17 Jul 2007 Former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV -- perhaps better known as the husband of Valerie Plame, of CIA-leak-case fame -- threw his support behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the White House on Monday, issuing a statement through the Clinton campaign office.

Dow Jones Industrial Average tops 14,000 for first time 17 Jul 2007 The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped the 14,000 level for the first time Tuesday... The Dow industrials briefly reached a record high of 14,002, before falling back slightly, recently trading up 33 points at 13,985.

News Corp. Reaches Tentative Agreement to Buy Dow Jones 16 Jul 2007 News Corp. reached a tentative agreement for the purchase of Dow Jones & Co. at its original $5 billion offer price. The deal will be put to the full Dow Jones board tomorrow evening for its approval, said people familiar with the situation.

First Atomic Bomb Test Exposed U.S. Civilians to Radiation 16 Jul 2007 The world’s first atomic bomb test might have exposed unaware civilians in New Mexico to thousands of times the recommended level of public radiation exposure, according to reconstructed data in a new study.

Nuclear plant operator reports 50 cases of malfunctioning after earthquake in Japan 17 Jul 2007 The operator of a nuclear power plant hit by an earthquake in northern Japan says a total of 50 cases of malfunctions and trouble have been discovered at the plant. A statement from Tokyo Electric Power says cases include minor fires, broken pipes and water links triggered by yesterday's powerful quake.

Quake causes radioactive water to leak from nuclear plant 17 Jul 2007 Radioactive water leaked into the sea from the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant after Monday's powerful earthquake in Niigata Prefecture, officials said. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the plant, said the shaking of the quake caused at least 1.2 cubic meters of radioactive water from a spent fuel pool at the No. 6 reactor to flow into drainage ditches leading to the Sea of Japan.

Radioactive water 'leaked' from nuke plant 16 Jul 2007 Water containing some radioactive materials leaked from a nuclear power plant in Japan after a strong earthquake on Monday, a spokesperson for the firm running the facility said. "We have confirmed that water containing a slight amount [?!?] of radioactive materials leaked out of the facility," said Shougo Fukuda, a spokesperson for Tokyo Electric.

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US renting Pakistan army for $100 million a month 14 Jul 2007 The United States is paying around $100 million a month for the deployment of 80,000 Pakistani troops on its border with Afghanistan ostensibly for the war on [of] terrorism, a key US official revealed on Thursday.

al-CIAduh getting paid: Aid to Pakistan in Tribal Areas Raises Concerns 16 Jul 2007 The United States plans to pour $750 million of aid into Pakistan’s tribal areas over the next five years as part of a "hearts and minds" [!] campaign to win over this lawless region from [fund] Qaeda and Taliban militants. But even before the plan has been fully carried out, documents and officials involved in the planning are warning of the dangers of distributing so much money in an area so hostile that oversight is impossible, even by Pakistan’s own government, which faces rising threats from Islamic militants.

Pace: Another troop buildup possible 16 Jul 2007 The U.S. military's top general said Monday that the Joint Chiefs of Staff is weighing a range of possible new directions in Iraq, including, if President [sic] Bush deems it necessary, an even bigger troop buildup.

Pilotless Robot Bomber Squadron Heads for Afghanistan, Iraq --AP: Air Force building 400,000-square-foot expansion of concrete ramp area used for Predator drones at Balad 15 Jul 2007 The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It's outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles. The Reaper is loaded, but there's no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada.

Top U.S. Official Asks Congress Not to Put Limits on Iraq Mission 16 Jul 2007 A top Bush administration official urged Congress on Sunday to drop its efforts to limit the American troop 'mission' in Iraq, at least until a more definitive progress report comes in September, and he appeared to try to set lower expectations for what the report would show. [What, exactly, *is* the 'mission?' --LRP]

White House rejects GOP moderates on Iraq 15 Jul 2007 The White House is holding firm on its Iraq strategy in the face of yet another effort to curb the mission, proposed this time by moderate Republicans the Bush administration can ill afford to lose. President [sic] Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said Sunday the administration's "very orderly process" for reviewing its Iraq plans should be allowed to play out despite a hurry-up initiative [?] from two respected GOP senators.

Call to bring troops home from Iraq grows louder 16 Jul 2007 Australia's involvement in the war in Iraq is becoming less popular with voters. The latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows almost two-thirds believe troops should be withdrawn.

Roadside blast kills Australians in Iraq 16 Jul 2007 Two Australian men were killed and another was injured in Iraq when their vehicle was blown up outside Baghdad hours before they were due to return to Australia on holiday. The men, employed by BLP International, were killed when their vehicle hit an explosive device eight kilometres south-east of Baghdad, just before 8am Sydney time yesterday. The deaths take to six the number of Australian mercenaries killed in Iraq.

Suicide bomb kills at least 85 in Iraq's Kirkuk 16 Jul 2007 At least 85 people were killed on Monday by a suicide truck bomb in the volatile Iraqi city of Kirkuk, some of them trapped on a bus where they burned to death, a witness said. Police also said 180 people were wounded in a blast that heightened tension in the oil-producing northern city...

3 bombings in Kirkuk kill more than 80 16 Jul 2007 A suicide truck bombing followed by two smaller car bombs killed more than 80 people and wounded at least 180 Monday in what's believed to be the deadliest attack in this northern city since the start of the war, police said.

Video: Inside the surge 16 Jul 2007 The Guardian's award-winning photographer and filmmaker Sean Smith spent two months embedded with US troops in Baghdad and Anbar province. His harrowing documentary exposes the exhaustion and disillusionment of the soldiers.

Reuters demands probe into Iraqi employee deaths 16 Jul 2007 Global news and information company Reuters on Monday demanded from the US military a full and objective investigation into the killing last week of two of its Iraqi employees. Reuters said it called for the probe after evidence emerged casting doubt on explanations given for their deaths. Editor-in-chief of Reuters, David Schlesinger, said Reuters was seeking an explanation as to why the two cameras were confiscated and access to any cameras onboard the Apache helicopters that were involved in the incident...

Hundreds of Iraqis protest draft oil law 16 Jul 2007 About 300 oil industry workers gathered in Iraq's main oil port of Basra on Monday to protest a draft law that they said would allow foreigners to pillage the country's wealth. "To compensate for the military and political failure of the US administration in Iraq, this administration is trying to control the country's wealth," the organisers said in a statement distributed to reporters.

Pentagon balked at pleas from officers in field for safer vehicles 16 Jul 2007 Years before the war began, Pentagon officials knew of the effectiveness of another type of vehicle that better shielded troops from bombs like those that have killed at least 1,500 soldiers and Marines. But military officials repeatedly balked at appeals — from commanders on the battlefield and from the Pentagon's own staff — to provide the life-saving Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, for patrols and combat missions, USA TODAY found.

Hundreds of Saudi 'suicide bombers' languish in Iraqi jails 16 Jul 2007 Hundreds of Saudis who sneaked into Iraq to carry out suicide bombing now languish in Iraqi jails, said Iraqi National Security Adviser Mufaq al-Rubaai. He said 160 of them have already been sentenced and the rest are awaiting 'trial.' He did not specify the type of punishment, but Iraqi courts usually pass death sentences with regard to cases involving violence and resistance of U.S. and Iraqi troops.

16 Saudis Arrive Home From Guantanamo 16 Jul 2007 Sixteen Saudis from the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay arrived home Monday and were immediately detained by authorities investigating possible terrorist connections, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Galloway to be suspended from Commons over Iraq 15 Jul 2007 George Galloway, the MP who campaigned against the Iraq war, is to be suspended from parliament over his links to the United Nations oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

Afghan casualty rate 'at level of last war' 16 Jul 2007 The rate at which British soldiers are being seriously injured or killed on the front line in Afghanistan is about to pass that suffered by our troops during the Second World War. The casualty rate in the most dangerous regions of the country is approaching 10 per cent. Senior officers fear it will ultimately pass the 11 per cent experienced by British soldiers at the height of the war 60 years ago.

Cheney pushes Bush to act on Iran --Military solution back in favour as Rice loses out --President 'not prepared to leave conflict unresolved' 16 Jul 2007 The balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before President [sic] George Bush leaves office in 18 months, the Guardian has learned... A well-placed source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo."

US Senate warns Iran on Iraq attacks 12 Jul 2007 The US Senate has unanimously backed a measure censuring Iran for what it said was complicity in the killing of US soldiers in Iraq, intending to send a stern warning to Tehran. The chamber voted 97-0 in favor of the bill, making it one of the few areas of Iraq policy where all Democrats and all Republicans are in agreement, in a turbulent period of political recriminations over the war.

Lieberman: Iran approval for UN inspection of reactors is a ruse 14 Jul 2007 Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman warned Saturday that Iran's announcement it would allow UN officials to inspect its nuclear reactors is a diversionary tactic. The rightwing Yisrael Beiteinu party head said the Islamic Republic's permission for International Atomic Energy Agency members to return to the reactors after they had been banished is an attempt by Tehran to "buy time."

Britain expels four Russian diplomats 16 Jul 2007 Relations between Britain and Moscow today took a sharp dive as the foreign secretary, David Miliband, announced the expulsion of four diplomats from the Russian embassy in London.

North Korea 'shuts down' main nuclear reactor 16 Jul 2007 North Korea says it has shut down its main nuclear reactor, stepping back from confrontation with the United States in a first concrete move towards disarmament.

Bush Defends Missile Defense Shield 16 Jul 2007 President [sic] Bush and Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Monday defended plans for a missile defense shield fiercely opposed by Russia. At a meeting in the Oval Office, Bush [Orwell] called the missile-defense plan a "symbol of our desire to work for peace and security.''

DOD defends security clearance proposal 15 Jul 2007 Defense Department officials insist a proposal to allow some drug users, mentally incompetent individuals and dishonorably discharged troops to get high-level clearances is needed to simplify [?!?] the current security process.

Drug czar gives warning --Federal official calls marijuana growers dangerous terrorists 13 Jul 2007 The nation's top anti-drug official said people need to overcome their "reefer blindness" and see that illicit marijuana gardens are a terrorist threat to the public's health and safety, as well as to the environment. John P. Walters, President [sic] Bush's drug czar, said the people who plant and tend the gardens are terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties. [And yet: Afghan official quits as poppy crop soars 09 Jul 2007 Afghanistan's counternarcotics minister has resigned only weeks after Afghan laborers finished cultivating an opium poppy crop that could exceed last year's record haul.]

German military hospital evacuated after bomb alert 16 Jul 2007 German authorities on Monday evacuated more than a thousand patients and staff from the military hospital in Ulm after receiving a bomb threat, a police spokesman in the southern city said. The spokesman said a man called a local newspaper, the Neu Ulmer Zeitung, at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) and warned that seven bombs would explode at the hospital within hours.

We want endless detention, say police 16 Jul 2007 British police chiefs are demanding the power to lock up terrorism suspects indefinitely. Reopening the debate over detention without trial, the Association of Chief Police Officers called for some suspects to be held for "as long as it takes".

Hold terror suspects 'as long as it takes' 16 Jul 2007 The Chief Constables' leader has been criticised by politicians and civil liberty groups for calling for terrorist suspects to be kept in custody "for as long as it takes" without charge to allow police to complete investigations. Ken Jones, the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers in England and Wales, (Acpo), was accused to trying to bring back internment.

'No need' for a UK Guantanamo 16 Jul 2007 Police chiefs have insisted they needed to hold terror suspects for longer without trial but rejected any move towards Guantanamo Bay-style internment. There was confusion [?] after the head of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) called for a detention period "as long as it takes".

Failed car bomb suspects released 16 Jul 2007 2007 Two trainee doctors arrested over the failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow have been released without charge. The pair, aged 25 and 28, were arrested at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, in the early hours of July 2 by Strathclyde Police and held at London's high-security Paddington Green police station.

Puppy obsessed police make wrongful terror arrests 15 Jul 2007 Two men arrested in connection with the London and Glasgow terror attacks by a British police team obsessed with puppies have been released without charge, authorities admitted today. Strathclyde Police arrested the two trainee doctors of Asian origin at the residences of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley in an early morning raid on July 2. But at that time the police officers were busy installing a "puppy webcam" to enable Internet users to check out the progress of the six newborn pups live via web cam. While Strathclyde Police concentrated on the puppies, the two men languished in a jail cell at London's high-security Paddington Green police station.

Muslim plotter attacked in British jail 16 Jul 2007 A man jailed for plotting synchronised attacks in Britain and the United States is "scarred for life" after being attacked in prison, his lawyer said on Sunday. Mudassar Arani told British broadcaster Channel 4 News that Dhiren Barot, who was imprisoned for life last November, had "lost all hair on his head and he’s got scarring all over his face up to his neck".

Judges rule out recompense for the innocent By Christopher Booker 16 Jul 2007 A recent decision of the High Court has blown a gaping new hole in our criminal justice system. If government officials wrongfully arrest you for a crime you didn't commit, then imprison you in hellish conditions for two years, you no longer have any right of redress.

House Democrats: Miers May Be Held in Contempt; Issue New Subpoena to RNC for E-mails 13 Jul 2007 House Democrats told no-show witness Harriet Miers on Friday that she could soon be held in contempt as they issued the Republican National Committee a new subpoena for White House e-mails. The deadline for replies from both: Tuesday.

CLG Exclusive: La. GOP officials negotiating with governor for Vitter replacement appointment By Lori R. Price 13 Jul 2007 Citizens for Legitimate Government (www.legitgov.org) has learned that Louisiana Democratic Party insiders say that Republican officials are attempting to negotiate with Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) for a possible replacement appointment for Senator David Vitter (R), should he suddenly resign. Citizens For Legitimate Government has also received information that Vitter is in the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans.

Right Madam --The publication of details from an alleged brothel-keeper's phone book has left Washington DC's Republican politicians trembling. The scandal has already claimed its first scalp. By Andrew Purcell 15 Jul 2007 The "DC Madam" scandal has been a staple of congressional gossip for months but on Monday it claimed its first senator [David Vitter]... Ever since they were released, teams of volunteers from anti-George Bush activist group Citizens For Legitimate Government have been calling every number on the list and posting the results online. Spokeswoman Lori Price said: "I believe it will make a difference politically because of the pattern, the cumulative effect of so many people that are espousing conservatism and family values being caught lying. A crime is a crime, but it's so much more egregious if you're preaching against it beforehand. There's a burgeoning anger in the United States at the hypocrisy and double-standards of this government. The Libby pardon is part of the same illness. The Foley page scandal is part of the same illness."

Tucker Carlson vs. CLG's Rectenwald on DC Madam Scandal 11 Jul 2007 (video)

Poetry Corner By Ambassador Craig Murray --Special poem on David Vitter 15 Jul 2007

Abramoff investigation leads to another guilty plea 14 Jul 2007 Another Republican environmental activist has pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges uncovered as part of the investigation of now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Jared Carpenter was the vice president of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (CREA), which derived from a group founded by former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and Italia Federici... Carpenter pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion on July 6 in a plea that was not publicized by the Justice Department and was first reported Friday by Greenwire.

Edwards Begins Tour to Highlight Poverty 16 Jul 2007 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards blamed President [sic] Bush and the federal government for this city's slow recovery from Hurricane Katrina as he launched an eight-state campaign tour focused on alleviating poverty.

Chief vet warns farmers of new bird flu threat 16 Jul 2007 The Government has given warning that wild birds migrating to Britain over the next few weeks may be carrying the H5N1 strain of avian flu.

Quake triggers fire at Japanese nuclear plant 16 Jul 2007 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rushed to the region devastated by a killer earthquake, ordering relevant agencies to do everything possible to help the survivors... Television footage showed fire billowing at a nuclear power plant in Kashiwazaki, close to the epicentre, although there was no apparent risk of radiation. Plant officials said the fire was in the electrical part of the facility and that the reactor automatically shut down following the jolt.

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Rep. compares Bush to Hitler, 9/11 attacks to Reichstag fire 15 Jul 2007 America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President [sic] George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks. Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted." To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box - dismiss you". [See: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]

'I have warned the oil companies before, there will be some consequences.' Fight for control: Iraq oil under pressure 15 Jul 2007 While the violence continues to rage, workers in the devastated country's energy industry are warning that America and Britain are pressing Baghdad to hand over control of its oil industry to foreign multinationals. Hassan Jumaa Awad al Assadi, the head of the Iraqi oil workers' union, was in London last week campaigning against a new law which, he says, will give the oil giants unprecedented rights to his country's vast reserves... 'We will wait to see the reaction of the Iraqi people,' he said. Baghdad has reacted angrily to the union's campaign, issuing arrest warrants for al Assadi and his fellow leaders, and refusing to recognise the 26,000-strong confederation of workers.

Iraqi PM: allies can leave now 15 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown was last night under growing pressure to announce a full withdrawal of British troops from Basra after Iraq's prime minister declared that coalition troops could leave "any time they want". Despite violence continuing to rage in Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki yesterday insisted his forces were in a position to take full responsibility for maintaining security, although he added the police and army needed more weapons.

GOP senators to Bush: Start planning for Iraq withdrawal 13 Jul 2007 Two Republican senators widely respected for their experience in foreign and military affairs — Sens. Richard Lugar and John Warner — on Friday called on the Bush administration to start planning for diplomatic and military changes in Iraq — including a withdrawal of forces.

Bush Leans On Petraeus as War Dissent Deepens --General Set Up as Scapegoat, Some Say 15 Jul 2007 With opposition to George W. Bush's Iraq strategy escalating on Capitol Hill, the president [sic] has sought, at least rhetorically, to transfer some of the burden of an unpopular war to his top general in Baghdad, wielding Petraeus as a shield against a growing number of congressional doubters.

Salvador reducing troop levels in Iraq 14 Jul 2007 President Elias Antonio Saca announced Saturday that Salvador would cut troop levels in Iraq next month from 380 to 300, while admitting Iraq was facing "a very difficult internal conflict."

Parts of Iraq Report Are Grim Where Bush Was Upbeat 15 Jul 2007 The mixed progress report on Iraq that the White House submitted to Congress this week included several grim assessments of the Iraqi government that contrasted with the more upbeat public statements of President [sic] Bush, his top aides and public White House briefing materials in the past few weeks. In several recent cases, the White House discussed progress toward benchmarks that the review found unsatisfactory.

State orders flak jackets in Baghdad's Green Zone 14 Jul 2007 The dress code at the Blue Star restaurant inside Baghdad’s Green Zone now calls for a flak vest and kevlar helmet... At least four mortar rounds hit inside the Green Zone about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, killing two Iraqi civilians, according to a U.S. soldier who could not speak for attribution because he’s not authorized to talk to reporters. Meanwhile, a State Department official, after initially denying that State had ordered its 1,000 Baghdad personnel to wear protective gear, said that a copy of the order obtained by McClatchy was an undiscussable security breach.

Interpreter for news agency is slain in Iraq --Interpreter is third Reuters employee killed in Baghdad this week 15 Jul 2007 An Iraqi interpreter for Reuters was shot to death in Baghdad, an apparent victim of sectarian [US] death squads, the third Reuters employee killed in the Iraqi capital this week, the news agency reported Saturday. The announcement of his death came a day after an Iraqi journalist who worked for the New York Times was killed by gunmen.

Bank guards in Baghdad steal $300m and vanish 13 Jul 2007 Thieves have stolen nearly $300 million from a bank in Baghdad, police and a bank official said yesterday, in what is probably one of the biggest thefts in Iraq since the 2003 war to topple Saddam Hussein. Police said the thieves were three guards who worked at the private Dar Es Salaam bank in the Karrada district.

Marine says beatings urged in Iraq --Witness testifies that officers told troops to 'crank up the violence level' before the slaying of a civilian in Hamandiya. 15 Jul 2007 A Marine corporal, testifying Saturday at the murder trial of a buddy, said that Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after being ordered by officers to "crank up the violence level." Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo said Marines in his platoon, including the defendant, Cpl. Trent D. Thomas, were angry when officers criticized them as not being as tough as other Marine platoons... Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected 'insurgent' in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison... Unable to find their target, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it look like he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Marine: Beating of Iraqis became routine 15 Jul 2007 A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to "crank up the violence level." Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas. "We were told to crank up the violence level," said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense. When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: "We beat people, sir."

US troops tell magazine about 'brutal side' of Iraq war 14 Jul 2007 The leftist weekly magazine The Nation has dedicated its entire July 30 edition to the testimonies of 50 US troops shocked by the heavy civilian casualty toll exacted by the US-led occupation of Iraq.

Car bomb in Baghdad square kills 10 15 Jul 2007 A car bomb packed with explosives detonated Sunday in a central Baghdad square, killing 10 people and wounding 25, the deadliest attack on a violent day that claimed the lives of at least 18 others.

British death rate in Iraq 'worse than US' 15 Jul 2007 The British military death rate in Iraq is proportionally worse than that of the US, for the first time since the 2003 invasion, it was reported today. British troops were being killed at a proportionally greater rate than their American allies in recent months, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined --Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says. 15 Jul 2007 Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping 'insurgents' and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers. About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer.

Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' to be hanged in Halabja: deputy PM 14 Jul 2007 Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh on Saturday said the notorious "Chemical Ali," cousin and aide of Saddam Hussein, would be executed in the northern Kurdish town of Halabja.

Failure in Afghanistan risks rise in terror, say generals --Military chiefs warn No.10 that defeat could lead to change of regime in Pakistan 15 Jul 2007 Britain's most senior generals have issued a blunt warning to Downing Street that the military campaign in Afghanistan is facing a catastrophic failure, a development that could lead to an Islamist government seizing power in neighbouring Pakistan. Amid fears that London and Washington are taking their eye off Afghanistan as they grapple with Iraq, the generals have told Number 10 that the collapse of the government in Afghanistan, headed by Hamid Karzai, would present a grave threat to the security of Britain.

200 Quebec soldiers heading to Afghanistan 15 Jul 2007 About 200 soldiers from Quebec's Royal 22nd Regiment are shipping out to Afghanistan today from CFB Valcartier. A total of 2,500 troops, mostly based in Quebec, will head to Afghanistan this summer to take part in Canada's mission there.

Report: Iran has 600 targets for missile strike in Israel if attacked 15 Jul 2007 The Qatari newspaper Al Watan on Sunday quoted diplomatic sources in Damascus as saying that Iran has marked 600 targets in Israel for missile strikes in case it is attacked.

Iran agrees to new UN nuclear inspections and safeguards 13 Jul 2007 The United Nations nuclear watchdog announced today that it has reached agreement with Iranian authorities to allow new inspections and safeguards at some of its key facilities.

Usama Bin Laden Appears in New Video, Officials Probe Authenticity 15 Jul 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Usama Bin Laden appears on a new recording being analyzed for authenticity, U.S. officials confirmed Saturday to FOX News.

'Killer' Wasps Menace State Department 13 Jul 2007 As if the insurgency in Iraq and the fight against terrorism wasn't enough, U.S. diplomats are now struggling with a new threat: menacing "killer" wasps that have infested areas around the State Department's headquarters.

Lock terror suspects up indefinitely say police --Critics' anger over internment plans --PM briefed on 'extraordinary measure' 15 Jul 2007 One of Britain's most senior police officers has demanded a return to a form of internment, with the power to lock up terror suspects indefinitely without charge. The proposal, put forward by the head of the Association of Police Chief Officers (Acpo) and supported by Scotland Yard, is highly controversial.

Police in unlimited detention plea 15 Jul 2007 Police chiefs are demanding the power to lock up terror suspects indefinitely, it has emerged. Reopening the debate over detention without trial, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) called for some suspects to be held for "as long as it takes".

Terrorism laws 'may be strengthened' 15 Jul 2007 Prime Minister John Howard is leaving open the prospect of strengthening Australia's anti[pro]-terrorism laws.

Two UK bomb suspects released without charge 15 Jul 2007 Two men arrested in connection with failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow were released without charge on Sunday, British police said. The men, aged 28 and 25, were arrested early on July 2 by Strathclyde police at the residences of the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, Scotland, London's Metropolitan Police said.

Doubts on proof of terrorism charges 16 Jul 2007 A leading barrister has raised doubts about the prosecution case against the Gold Coast doctor charged with a terrorist act as a Brisbane magistrate decides today whether to grant him bail. Mohamed Haneef is charged with supporting terrorism after the prosecution alleged a SIM card he gave to a cousin was found in a car used in last month's Glasgow Airport bomb attack. But Sydney lawyer Phillip Boulten, SC, said the section of law under which Haneef was charged specifically required that the person charged intentionally provided support or resources to an organisation engaged in terrorist activity.

Bomb scare shuts Tescos 15 Jul 2007 A bomb threat against supermarket giant Tesco closed 14 stores yesterday, three of them in Scotland. Last night, Tesco sources ruled out extremism of any kind, making it more likely the incident was an attempt at extortion against the UK's biggest supermarket chain.

8-Year-Old Boy Held From Plane for Appearing on No-Fly List 14 Jul 2007 An 8-year-old boy expecting to catch a plane home is denied entry for appearing on a terrorist no-fly list, reported MyFoxKansasCity.com. Bryan Moore was set to catch his first plane trip when he arrived at an airport in Cortez, Colorado to fly home after visiting his sister, said the report.

US lawmaker questions SEC 'terrorism investor list' 14 Jul 2007 A senior Democratic lawmaker urged the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday to either create a more accurate website identifying corporations with investments in "terrorist-financing states" or pull the plug on it. Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, expressed concern about how the list was compiled and asked the SEC to consider using a new methodology.

In Intelligence World, A Mute Watchdog --Panel Reported No Violations for Five Years 15 Jul 2007 An independent oversight board created to identify intelligence abuses after the CIA scandals of the 1970s did not send any reports to the attorney general of legal violations during the first 5 1/2 years of the Bush administration's 'counterterrorism' effort, the Justice Department has told Congress. Although the FBI told the board of a few hundred legal or rules violations by its agents after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the board did not identify which of them were indeed legal violations.

Air traffic cover-up alleged --Dallas/Fort Worth faces inquiry as official blasts 'culture of fraud' that faults pilots 12 Jul 2007 Air traffic controllers who watch over North Texas skies are repeatedly allowing airplanes to fly into situations that could result in a crash – and upper management is systematically shifting the blame to the pilots involved, according to an investigative federal agency.

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Bloggers hunt for names of possible clients in Washington escort service's phone files 14 Jul 2007 With the recent release of reams of phone records from a woman accused of running a Washington prostitution ring, bloggers and others online have taken up the cause of hunting for links to elected officials and other prominent people. "Some top level Republicans are making statements about lifestyles and family values," said Lori Price, editor of the liberal Citizens for Legitimate Government website, explaining her motivation. "We want to see if they are in fact living their lives based on what they are preaching and forcing us to comply with. We see some hypocrisy."

So who's next on the DC Madam's secret sex list? 14 Jul 2007 He was a moral poster boy for the Republican party, lecturing the party faithful on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values. But Senator David Vitter's righteous reputation unravelled this week when he was linked to a prostitution ring run by a woman known in the US capital as the "DC Madam"... "The overall endeavour easily could take many months, if not years to research and report conscientiously," said Jeane Palfrey. But time isn't a problem to Lori Price who manages the Citizens for Legitimate Government website, one of the organisations currently analysing the records.

Full Frontal Assault - The Vitters Square Off? Exposed Senator's Wife Promised a Bobbitt if He Strayed Did God Save the Senator? By Michael Collins 11 Jul 2007 Senator David Vitter, the family values politician from Louisiana, admitted that he’d committed "a serious sin" and strayed from his marriage. There are always consequences. Vitter may be sleeping lightly with good reason.

Ron Paul warns of staged terror attack 13 Jul 2007 Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in "great danger" of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate. The Texas congressman offered no specifics nor mentioned President [sic] Bush by name, but he clearly insinuated that the administration would not be above staging an incident to revive flagging support.

Aide to Iraq PM: U.S. army embarrasses government 14 Jul 2007 Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American forces leave "any time they want." ...One of Al-Maliki top aides, Hassan al-Suneid, was quoted as saying the U.S. was treating Iraq like "an experiment in an American laboratory." He sharply criticised the U.S. military, saying it was committing human rights violations, embarrassing the Iraqi government with its tactics and cooperating with "gangs of killers" in its campaign against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

PM: Iraqis can keep peace without U.S. 14 Jul 2007 Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave "any time they want," though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

Bush Rejects Republican Demands for Troop Withdrawal From Iraq 14 Jul 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush rejected demands from lawmakers in his own political party to develop contingency plans for the Iraq war, including a withdrawal of U.S. troops.

2 GOP senators press Bush for Iraq backup plan 14 Jul 2007 Two senior Senate Republicans on Friday introduced legislation that calls for President [sic] Bush to devise a contingency plan to scale down U.S. military involvement in Iraq by the end of the year. The legislation, drafted by Sens. John Warner (R-Va.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), two longtime foreign affairs experts who have grown disillusioned with the war, perhaps marks the most significant challenge yet of Bush's war policy from within his own party.

Air Force quietly building Iraq presence 14 Jul 2007 Away from the headlines and debate over the "surge" in U.S. ground troops, the Air Force has quietly built up its hardware inside Iraq, sharply stepped up bombing and laid a foundation for a sustained air campaign in support of American and Iraqi forces.

19 Iraqis killed in US raids 12 Jul 2007 At least 19 people have been killed and 20 others wounded as US troops continue a massive raid near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The violence in the capital's eastern Amin district began when the US military captured two gunmen allegedly involved in 'insurgency' against US and Iraqi troops.

New York Times reporter killed in Iraq 13 Jul 2007 A New York Times reporter [Khalid Hassan] was shot and killed today while working in Baghdad, just 24 hours after two Reuters staff were killed in the city.

U.S. soldier killed in eastern Baghdad 13 Jul 2007 An American soldier was killed in an attack in the Iraqi capital, the U.S. military said on Friday.

British soldier killed in Afghanistan 12 Jul 2007 A British soldier was shot dead and two wounded on Thursday in the southern province of Helmand, the Ministry of Defence said. In another incident, six Afghan policemen were killed when a roadside bomb hit their vehicle, part of a convoy of U.S.-led forces in southeastern Afghanistan, a provincial police official said.

U.S. to donate 186 aircraft to Afghanistan by 2012 12 Jul 2007 The United States will provide six helicopter gunships to Afghanistan's fledgling air force in August this year, part of a plan to supply 186 aircraft to the country, the head of the Afghan air force said on Thursday.

Lawyer: Italy cannot try U.S. soldier 14 Jul 2007 A lawyer defending a U.S. soldier charged in the 2005 killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq argued in court Tuesday that Italy does not have jurisdiction in the case. Members of multinational forces operating in Iraq are under "exclusive jurisdiction" of the country that sent them, lawyer Alberto Biffani said in opening remarks in the trial of Spc. Mario Lozano.

House committee accuses administration of withholding key documents on Tillman death 13 Jul 2007 Two influential lawmakers investigating how and when the Bush administration learned the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death and how those details were disclosed accused the White House and Pentagon on Friday of withholding key documents and renewed their demand for the material.

White House Rebuffs Congress on Tillman Papers 13 Jul 2007 The White House has refused to give Congress documents about the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman, with White House counsel Fred Fielding saying that certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests." Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis R-Va., the leading members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, objected to the refusal Friday in letters to the White House and the Defense Department.

US soldier pays man to shoot him in the leg to avoid returning to Iraq 14 Jul 2007 A soldier [Jonathan Aponte] who recently returned from Iraq has admitted he paid someone $500 (€365) to shoot him in the leg so he could avoid returning for another tour.

Reservist tries to stop 5th deployment 13 Jul 2007 Army Reserve Sgt. Erik Botta has been sent to Iraq three times and to Afghanistan once. He thinks that's enough. Botta wants a court to block the military's plan to deploy him for a fifth time Sunday, most likely to Iraq.

More entering Army with criminal records 13 Jul 2007 Nearly 12 percent of Army recruits who entered basic training this year needed a special waiver for those with criminal records, a dramatic increase over last year and 2 1/2 times the percentage four years ago, according to new Army statistics obtained by the Globe.

UK/U.S. unlikely to be "joined at hip": UK minister 14 Jul 2007 A second minister in Prime Minister Gordon Brown's new government has hinted at an apparent shift in foreign policy, predicting that London and Washington would not be "joined at the hip" under the new premier.

KBR Shares Hit New Highs on New Business 13 Jul 2007 Shares of KBR Inc., the military contractor and engineering company, soared to new highs earlier in the week amid a flurry of new business... On the military side of the business, the U.S. Navy on Wednesday awarded KBR an $8.5 million contract boost for additional services for personnel at two Iraqi oil platforms. The company will perform the work in waters off the coast of Iraq through November 2007. Already last month, KBR was one of three companies awarded respective $5 billion contracts from the Army to provide food and shelter to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. [See also: KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support for Emergency Support Services 24 Jan 2006 "The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities... to support the rapid development of new programs."]

Prisoner Transfers Concern Senators 14 Jul 2007 As the Bush administration accelerates discussions about closing the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a growing chorus of Democrats on Capitol Hill is imploring the State Department not to transfer prisoners to countries that may torture them.

Obama: Shift Troops to Fight al-Qaida 14 Jul 2007 The U.S. should shift troops from Iraq to pursue al-Qaida along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday.

Possible New Message From Osama Bin Laden 14 Jul 2007 A brief clip of an older-looking [Dead?] Osama bin Laden is contained in a new al Qaeda [al-CAIduh] videotape praising al Qaeda martyrs posted on jihadi Web sites early this morning.

Terrorism fight 'will last for decades' 14 Jul 2007 Prime Minister John Howard has warned Australians that the war on [of] terrorism is a never-ending battle that will go on for decades, Mr Howard said the threat posed by the "menace of Islamic fanaticism" was "real, constant and insidious."

UK Police Charge Man With Terror Offense 14 Jul 2007 An Indian doctor arrested the same day his brother allegedly drove a Jeep into Glasgow's main airport was charged Saturday with a terrorism offense in Britain. A distant cousin in Australia was also charged in the failed attacks in London and Glasgow.

Terror Commander: New Attack Will Dwarf Failed Bomb Plot 13 Jul 2007 ABC News: As senior intelligence and law enforcement officials met again today in the White House Situation Room to deal with the "summer terror threat," a top terror commander said an attack was coming that would dwarf the failed bombings in London and Glasgow.

Haneef charged with 'supporting terrorism' 14 Jul 2007 Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement today. Police will allege Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef supported a terrorist organisation by "recklessly'' giving his mobile phone SIM card to people planning car bomb attacks in the UK.

NSA Snooped on Lawyers Knowing Spying Was Illegal, Suit Charges By Ryan Singel 10 Jul 2007 The government's surveillance of two attorneys challenging the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of Americans took place partly during a period in which the top secret program operated without the approval of the Bush administration's own Justice Department, according to a newly filed court document. The lawsuit, known as al-Haramain vs. United States, is the only one of more than 50 challenges to the program where the plaintiffs claim to have proof that they were the targets of the warrantless spying, based on a top secret document that had been briefly provided to them in a government paperwork snafu.

Firing by Bush rejected by boundary official 12 Jul 2007 (WA) A dispute over a backyard wall in Whatcom County has reached all the way to the White House, with President [sic] Bush firing International Boundary Commissioner Dennis Schornack over his handling of the matter. But on Wednesday Schornack rejected his dismissal by the commander-in-chief. In a strongly worded letter to Bush, Schornack said the International Boundary Commission (IBC) is an independent, international organization outside the U.S. government's jurisdiction... Thus, Schornack said, the president cannot fire him.

The Balco Case: Judge sends leaker to slammer, chides Bush 13 Jul 2007 A lawyer who admitted leaking grand jury transcripts about athletes' steroid use to The Chronicle was sentenced to 21/2 years in prison Thursday by a federal judge who upbraided President [sic] Bush for commuting the sentence of Lewis "Scooter'' Libby, the former vice presidential aide who faced an identical prison term on nearly identical charges. "Under the president's reasoning, any white-collar defendant should receive no jail time, regardless of the reprehensibility of the crime," U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, a Bush appointee, said before sentencing attorney Troy Ellerman to prison. Ellerman's lawyer, in seeking a lesser sentence, had cited Bush's July 2 decision to commute the prison sentence for Libby, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's former chief of staff.

Rove Strategy Paper Found in Nixon Archive 14 Jul 2007 from the Nixon White House. Tucked away inside 78,000 pages of documents from the Nixon administration, released by the National Archives earlier this week, is a little gem: a strategy memorandum from the man who would go on to become the architect of President Bush’s rise to political power.

LANL faces huge fine in security breach --Two management groups could pay $3.3 million in DOE penalties for violations. 13 Jul 2007 Federal officials have fined the managers of Los Alamos National Laboratory $3.3 million for allowing a major security breach of classified information last year. The $3 million fine for the University of California is the largest ever by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Katrina ice being melted after 2 years 14 Jul 2007 After nearly two years, thousands of truck miles and $12.5 million in storage costs, a cold relic of the flawed Hurricane Katrina relief effort is going down the drain. The federal government is getting rid of thousands of pounds of ice it had sent south to help Katrina victims, then north when it determined much of the ice wasn't needed [i.e, the morons were too late].

$80 a barrel prediction as oil soars again 13 Jul 2007 The price of oil jumped to an 11-month high yesterday, moving even closer to record levels hit last summer... Brent crude reached $77.07 briefly during early-afternoon trading, within $2 of the all-time high of $78.65 set last August.

Exxon's market cap erupts past $500 billion 12 Jul 2007 Exxon Mobil Corp. shares rallied to a record high of $89.73 during Thursday's strong broader market surge, pushing the oil giant's market capitalization past the heady $500 billion threshold.

U.S. confirms low-risk bird flu in Virginia turkeys 11 Jul 2007 Turkeys at a farm in Virginia had antibodies to a low-risk strain of bird flu but direct evidence of infection has not been found, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.

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'I want to ask you questions about your sex life.' 'Tucker' for July 11 (transcript) RECTENWALD: We‘re not the ones that are going on parading our so called superior moral values like the Republican Party? CARLSON: Actually, I think are you. RECTENWALD: No, we‘re not. We‘re publishing records that exist. CARLSON: OK. I want to ask you questions about your sex life. RECTENWALD: Go right ahead. I don‘t have to pay for prostitutes. OK. I get it the way through intimacy and decency. ... CARLSON: Let‘s take a closer look at your sex life now that you say it‘s better morally than David Vitter‘s. RECTENWALD: I have nothing to hide. CARLSON: You don‘t? RECTENWALD: All we did was publish a phone list. [Click here for video.]

Tucker Carlson vs. CLG's Rectenwald on DC 'Madam' Scandal 11 Jul 2007 (video)

Tucker Carlson, stalwart defender of sexual privacy By Glenn Greenwald 12 Jul 2007 Last night on his MSNBC show, Tucker Carlson vehemently objected to the David Vitter story, insisting that Sen. Vitter's repeated and continuous hiring of prostitutes was completely irrelevant and should not be discussed by anyone. Carlson became so upset over the Vitter story that he spent most of the segment screaming at and insulting his guest, Michael Rectenwald, who was arguing that Vitter's holding himself out as the Candidate of Family Values and the Sanctity of Traditional Marriage renders relevant his criminal prostitution activities... Tucker Carlson was on CNN endlessly revelling in every last detail of Ken Starr's investigation, urging more indictments and court proceedings, and never once -- from what I can tell -- objecting to the discussion of every scurrilous detail of Clinton's sex life... Carlson, that Righteous Defender of Sexual Privacy, was a giddy participant in -- and beneficiary of -- the entire sordid spectacle.

CLG General Manager, Lori Price, was interviewed on Colin McEnroe's 'Afternoon Drive' on WTIC NewsTalk 1080 AM, Hartford, CT. Colin McEnroe with Lori Price (Audio) 12 Jul 2007 Lori Price of Citizens for Legitimate Government talks about the DC Madam case and her organization's efforts to comb through all the call lists to see who else might have been calling.

A Firm Bush Tells Congress Not to Dictate War Policy 13 Jul 2007 Dictator Bush struck an aggressive new tone on Thursday in his clash with Congress over Iraq, telling lawmakers they had no business trying to manage the war, portraying the conflict as a showdown with Al Qaeda and warning that moving toward withdrawal now would risk "mass killings on a horrific scale."

US House votes for troop pullout --223-201 vote comes despite George W Bush's threat to veto any timetable. The United States House of Representatives has voted in favour of pulling most combat troops out of Iraq by April next year. The legislation calls for the Pentagon to begin withdrawing combat troops within four months.

Iraq Fails to Meet Key Political Goals Set by U.S. 12 Jul 2007 The Iraqi government has failed so far to meet several key political goals essential for the success of the U.S. effort in that country even as a military offensive has improved security, the Bush administration told Congress.

Operation Iraqi Police State: U.S. is building database on Iraqis 13 Jul 2007 The U.S. military is taking fingerprints and eye scans from thousands of Iraqi men and building an unprecedented database that helps track suspected militants. U.S. troops are stopping Iraqis at checkpoints, workplaces and sites where attacks have recently occurred, and inputting their personal data using handheld scanners or specially equipped laptops. In several neighborhoods in and around Baghdad, troops have gone door to door collecting data.

New York Times says reporter killed in Baghdad 13 Jul 2007 An Iraqi reporter working for the New York Times was shot dead on his way to work in Baghdad on Friday, the newspaper said. Khalid Hassan, 23, died a day after a photographer and driver working for Reuters were killed in the city in what witnesses said was a U.S. helicopter attack and which police described as "random American bombardment".

2 Journalists Among 16 Killed in Clash in Iraq 13 Jul 2007 Clashes in a southeastern neighborhood here between the American military and Shiite militias left at least 16 people dead on Thursday, including two Reuters journalists who had come to the area to cover the turbulence, according to an official at the Interior Ministry.

U.S. forces kill 6 Iraqi police in Baghdad raid: U.S. 13 Jul 2007 U.S. soldiers killed at least six Iraqi policemen and seven suspected militants during a dawn raid in east Baghdad on Friday to arrest an Iraqi police lieutenant accused of militant links, the U.S. military said.

Turkey: US Weapons in Guerrilla Hands 11 Jul 2007 Turkey's ambassador to Washington said Wednesday that U.S. weapons have been turning up in the hands of Kurdish guerrillas staging attacks in Turkey.

Officer slammed over 'friendly fire' deaths 13 Jul 2007 A senior Scottish army officer faced calls to resign last night after a "serious failing" under his command led to the deaths of two British soldiers in Iraq. Lieutenant-Colonel Lindsay MacDuff, now commanding officer of the Black Watch, was strongly criticised after an inquest into the death of Corporal Stephen Allbutt in Basra in 2003.

Afghanistan Attack Kills U.K. Soldier, Wounds 2 More in South 12 Jul 2007 A U.K. soldier was killed during fighting in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. The soldier, from the Grenadier Guards infantry regiment, died from a gunshot wound sustained early today in a firefight, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in an e-mailed statement.

Lieberman: US will back Israeli strike on Iran 11 Jul 2007 Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that he received the tacit blessing of Europe and the United States for an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. "If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the US will support us," Lieberman told Army Radio following a meeting earlier in the week with NATO and European Union officials.

Brown message to US: it's time to build, not destroy 13 Jul 2007 The first clear signs that Gordon Brown will reorder Britain's foreign policy emerged last night when one of his closest cabinet allies [Douglas Alexander, the trade and development secretary,] urged the US to change its priorities and said a country's strength should no longer be measured by its destructive military power.

We must not give in to terrorism: Downer 13 Jul 2007 The world cannot afford to let terrorists win regardless of concern about sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says.

Al-Qaida works to plant U.S. operatives 13 Jul 2007 Al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned. [They're already here, operating out of the White House.]

Senate votes to double reward for Bin Laden's capture --The upper house, frustrated in its attempts to change the policy in Iraq, raises the bounty to $50 million, while Bush quiets a GOP revolt over the war. 13 Jul 2007 The Senate, frustrated with its apparent inability to redirect the course of the Iraq war, voted today to nip around the edges by doubling the reward for the capture of [the deceased?] Osama bin Laden.

Bush reopens White House press room after 11-month reconstruction 11 Jul 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush inaugurated the refurbished White House briefing room on Wednesday, showing off a sparkling upgrade to both the guts and face of the famous space. The cost of the nearly yearlong renovation — which took in the briefing room and media working quarters as well as one section of the White House press office — is unknown. Early estimates were around $20 million (€14.5 million).

U.S. Refuses More Money for New York in Terror Fight 13 Jul 2007 New York State officials said on Thursday that they had not been able to persuade the head of the federal Department of Homeland Security [Michael Chertoff] to give them more grant money to prevent or respond to terrorism attacks.

AA flight diverted to NY in "misunderstanding" 12 Jul 2007 An American Airlines flight was diverted to New York early on Thursday after the crew reported a suspicious passenger in what the FBI said was a misunderstanding.

'Smile, you're on camera!' Police to get 'head-cams' 12 Jul 2007 Police officers in the UK are to be given head-mounted video cameras to film incidents and arrests, the footage of which can then be used in evidence. The Home Office is to give police £3 million to fund a national roll-out of head cameras after regional trials proved they were successful in fighting crime, the Government has announced.

State police have planes watching drivers 08 Jul 2007 (CT) While taking a road trip this summer, keep in mind that you'll be watched - on the ground and from the sky. Three airplanes will be used for a method called "sky timing." Pilot-trained troopers take to the skies, soaring 1,500 to 2,000 feet above state highways looking for speeders, State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.

Sept. 11 Damages Trials Set for Fall 13 Jul 2007 The first lawsuits by families of Sept. 11 victims who decided to sue rather than take compensation from a federal fund will go to trial just days before the sixth anniversary of the attacks, a judge decided. U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein also took the unusual step of scheduling the damages portion of some of the cases _ usually the second phase of a trial _ before a jury even determines if the airlines and their security contractors can be held liable.

Former Bush aide faces possible contempt charges 12 Jul 2007 A congressional panel moved toward seeking contempt charges against former White House counsel Harriet Miers on Thursday after she refused to appear -- under orders from President [sic] George W. Bush -- at a hearing on the firing of federal prosecutors.

Libby judge 'perplexed' by clemency --His 30-month sentence was appropriate for the former Cheney aide, he writes in his first public comments on the issue. 13 Jul 2007 In an unusual expression of frustration, the judge who sentenced former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to 30 months in jail, only to see the sentence commuted by President [sic] Bush, said he was "perplexed" by the act of clemency. In his first public comments on the matter, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton took issue with Bush's statement that the prison sentence ordered for Libby last month was "excessive." Walton defended the sentence, saying that he followed established legal precedents as well as a strict interpretation of federal sentencing guidelines that has been supported by Bush's own administration.

Panel votes to restore Cheney funding 12 Jul 2007 The White House scored a win Thursday on Capitol Hill after a moderate Senate DemocRAT [Ben Nelson, D-NE] broke with his party to restore funding for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's office. The 15-14 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came after the House last month narrowly rejected a companion bid to punish Cheney in a continuing battle over whether he is complying with national security disclosure rules.

U.S. agency warned over threatening whistleblowers 12 Jul 2007 Managers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences may have threatened employees about testifying to Congress about problems there, Chuck Grassley, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, said on Thursday.

Sen. Vitter to Return to Work Next Week 13 Jul 2007 Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, who has been in seclusion since acknowledging dealings with a Washington escort service, "will be back next week," said a Senate colleague who has exchanged messages with him. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who has traded e-mails with his fellow Republican, told reporters that he expects Vitter to return to the Capitol by Tuesday, when the Senate will have roll call votes.

Escort Service Called Lawmaker 5 Times 12 Jul 2007 A woman accused of running a Washington prostitution ring placed five phone calls to David Vitter while he was a House member, including two received while roll call votes were under way, according to telephone and congressional records.

Black found guilty of criminal fraud 13 Jul 2007 A U.S. jury on Friday found Conrad Black guilty of three counts of criminal fraud and one charge of obstruction of justice in a grim Friday the 13th verdict that could send the former media baron to jail for up to 35 years.

Water World: Slipping Toward Climate Catastrophe --New reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change might be absurdly optimistic about the pace of melting ice caps and rising sea levels. By George Monbiot 12 Jul 2007 Rather than taking thousands of years to melt, as the IPCC predicts, Hansen [James Hansen, NASA] and his team find it "implausible" that the expected warming before 2100 "would permit a West Antarctic ice sheet of present size to survive even for a century."

Melting ice drives polar bear mothers to land 12 Jul 2007 Melting sea ice is driving mother polar bears onto dry land to give birth in northern Alaska, U.S. Geological Survey scientists reported on Thursday. They found that just 37 percent of polar bear dens were built on sea ice between 1998 and 2004, compared to 62 percent between 1985 and 1994.

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