August 2007 Archives
Military draft should be considered: US war czar 11 Aug 2007 A top US military officer in charge of coordinating the US war effort in Iraq [Lieutenant General Douglas Lutte] says it makes sense to consider a return of the draft to meet the US military's needs.
'Return to conscription should be considered' 11 Aug 2007 A senior military officer brought into the White House to coordinate the Bush administration's Iraq war policy has said that a return to conscription should be considered because of the increasing demands on United States military. Lt Gen Douglas Lute, President George W. Bush's deputy national security adviser, said: "I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table."
Cheney urging strikes on Iran 09 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush charged Thursday that Iran continues to arm and train 'insurgents' who are killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and he threatened action if that continues. At a news conference Thursday, Bush said Iran had been warned of unspecified consequences if it continued its alleged support for anti-American forces in Iraq... Cheney, who's long been skeptical of diplomacy with Iran, argued for military action if hard new evidence emerges [is planted] of Iran's complicity in supporting anti-American forces in Iraq; for example, catching a truckload of fighters or weapons crossing into Iraq from Iran, one official said.
BAE profits soar on Iraq conflict 09 Aug 2007 Work to re-equip UK and US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has helped profits to soar at defence group BAE Systems. The UK's largest defence firm, BAE made a pre-tax profit of £657m ($1.4bn), compared with £378m a year earlier.
$45,000 bribe to risk life and limb for Exxon Mobil, Halliburton: Army Recruiters May Soon Offer Home Buying, Business Seed Money 09 Aug 2007 Despite spending nearly $1 billion last year on recruiting bonuses and ads, Army leaders say an even bolder approach is needed to fill wartime ranks. Under a new proposal, men and women who enlist could pick from a "buffet" of incentives, including up to $45,000 tax-free that they accrue during their career to help buy a home or build a business. Other options would include money for college and to pay off student loans.
Howard wants the oil *now!* Howard warns Maliki: act or face pullout 11 Aug 2007 John Howard has demanded the Iraqi Government make faster progress towards resolving the country's political differences or face the prospect of a withdrawal of Australian troops and those of other Western nations. The Prime Minister, in a blunt letter to his Iraqi counterpart Nouri al-Maliki, urges the Iraqi Government to speed the 'sharing' of oil wealth among all sections of the Iraqi community...
Four UK troops die in Iraq in 48 hours 09 Aug 2007 Two British soldiers were killed in Iraq early on Thursday, taking the death toll to four in about 48 hours. The Irish Guards soldiers killed shortly after midnight were in a convoy hit by a roadside bomb near the Rumaila oil fields, west of Basra. Two other soldiers were seriously injured.
British plea for US forces to leave Helmand 10 Aug 2007 British commanders have asked for American special forces to be removed from their area of operations because of the number of civilian casualties being caused, it was reported yesterday. Officers operating alongside the small United States contingent in Helmand province have requested their removal because their actions were allegedly damaging the "hearts and minds" operations to win over locals.
Russian bombers in US war games alert 11 Aug 2007 Two Russian TU-95 strategic bombers approached a major US naval exercise near Guam, but not close enough to need air-to-air interception, the Pentagon revealed yesterday. They denied a Russian claim that a long-range Russian bomber flew over the US military base at Guam in the Pacific.
Canada to build first Arctic deep-water port, military base 10 Aug 2007 Canada will build its first Arctic deep-sea port to bolster its disputed claims to the famed Northwest Passage and Arctic seabed, believed to hold oil and gas riches, its prime minister said Friday.
Japan, U.S. sign military data pact 11 Aug 2007 Japan and the United States on Friday concluded an agreement aimed at protecting bilaterally exchanged classified military information, a move expected to facilitate the sharing of sensitive defense-related data as the two countries promote closer defense cooperation.
'I think the U.S. would like to get Arar to Jordan where they can have their way with him.' Arar tortured after RCMP handed files over to CIA 10 Aug 2007 Canada suspected Maher Arar was to be sent to the Middle East to be tortured after the RCMP gave intelligence to the CIA, newly uncensored documents reveal. A Washington-based CSIS operative reported there was a new "trend" post-9/11 that "when the CIA or FBI cannot legally hold a terrorist subject ... they have them rendered to countries" that will question them in "a firm manner." The deputy director of Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Jack Hooper, wrote a memo on Oct. 10, 2002, saying: "I think the U.S. would like to get Arar to Jordan where they can have their way with him." Canada was unaware that Mr. Arar, a telecommunications engineer, had already been secretly sent by Central Intelligence Agency Gulfstream jet to Jordan and on to Syria two days earlier from New York. These details, and criticism of related RCMP court testimony, have been kept from the public by government lawyers who have argued that releasing such information would compromise national security.
Khadr to remain in Guantanamo, U.S. official insists 10 Aug 2007 The Bush administration won't ask Canada to take back Toronto-born terrorist suspect Omar Khadr, 20, as part of its efforts to reduce the population at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, a U.S. government spokesman said Friday. The American government is determined to bring Khadr to 'justice' in the United States, said Jeffrey Gordon, a spokesman for the U.S. Defence Department. Khadr, captured six years ago, is the lone Canadian held at Guantanamo.
Are GOP Leaders Leaking State Secrets? [Will waterboarding be required?] 10 Aug 2007 For the second time in as many weeks, a senior House Republican may have divulged classified information in the media. In an opinion article published in the New York Post Thursday, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., reported the top-secret budget for human spying had decreased -- the type of detail normally kept under wraps for national security reasons.
NYPD Steps Up Security In Response to Unverified Dirty Bomb Threat 11 Aug 2007 New York City authorities deployed extra police, fire and EMT teams around the city Friday night in response to an unsubstantiated terrorism threat involving a truck packed with radioactive material. As part of the heightened anti-terrorism stance, the NYPD late Friday night established a series of checkpoints in Lower Manhattan and at other Manhattan entry points, where officers were checking cars and trucks and questioning drivers. Authorities said they were also mobilizing a battery of radiological sensors, including vehicular and helicopter-mounted devices.
NYPD hunt possible dirty bomb 10 Aug 2007 Police are on alert tonight after receiving an "unverified" threat of a possible dirty bomb in Manhattan. According to the NYPD, units have been deployed with radiological sensors, and checkpoints have been established at specific entry points into Manhattan, including the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, as well as the Manhattan Bridge. The center of this threat is reportedly the 34th Street area.
Fed Biological Detection Program Delayed 10 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush's program to rapidly detect biological attacks and disease outbreaks has been anything but speedy in getting started, the victim of bureaucratic bungling, a federal watchdog says... Congressional investigators dispute the department's optimistic assessment of the National Bio-Surveillance Integration System (NBIS). Following Bush's remarks, the program began receiving office space and staff members who were contractors, not government employees.
Va. Tech Shooter May Have Rehearsed Attack 10 Aug 2007 The Virginia Tech killer Seung Hui Cho may have tried a practice run two days before the April 16 massacre, chaining an entrance of the campus building where he would later walk from room to room, methodically killing 30 people before shooting himself, investigators said today. A witness saw a suspicious looking man with a hooded sweatshirt obscuring his face lurking by the entrance to Norris Hall on the morning of April 14, police revealed at a news conference Friday. A second witness recalled that one set of doors was briefly chained shut around the same time, they said. [See: Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities'.]
Reported Drop in Surveillance Spurred a Law 11 Aug 2007 At a closed-door briefing in mid-July, senior intelligence officials startled lawmakers with some troubling news. American eavesdroppers were collecting just 25 percent of the foreign-based communications they had been receiving a few months earlier. Congress needed to act quickly, intelligence officials said, to repair a dangerous situation. Some lawmakers were alarmed. Others, jaded by past intelligence warnings, were skeptical...
Earlier Terrorist Screening to Begin for Flights Into U.S. 10 Aug 2007 By early next year, passengers on flights bound for the United States will have their names checked against terrorist watch lists before departure, instead of after takeoff, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced Thursday. The change is part of a slowly unfolding shift to put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of the watch-list screening for all commercial flights, foreign and domestic.
Man Skips Airport Security, Eludes TSA 10 Aug 2007 Authorities have stopped searching for a man who bypassed security screening Friday at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, and officials said he may have simply walked out of the airport.
Police agencies push for drone sky patrols 09 Aug 2007 Police and public safety agencies across the country are beginning to plot a future in which they can freely launch aerial drones that beam down footage of the scenes below. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted more than 100 certifications for use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by various federal, state and local government agencies last year, and is on pace to approve about 70 applications this year.
'[Giuliani] is self-absorbed, arrogant and deluded.' 9/11 workers outraged by new Rudy claim 10 Aug 2007 Rudy Giuliani drew outrage and indignation from Sept. 11 first-responders yesterday by saying he spent as much time - or more - exposed to the site's dangers as workers who dug through the debris for the missing and the dead. Speaking to reporters at a Cincinnati Reds ballgame he caught between fund-raisers, the GOP front-runner said he helped 9/11 families and defended himself against critics of how he managed the attack's aftermath.
Edwards attacks Giuliani over Sept 11 comment 10 Aug 2007 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani came under attack on Friday from Democratic rival John Edwards for saying he spent as much time if not more at the site of New York's destroyed World Trade Center than rescue workers.
Romney upbeat on eve of straw poll 10 Aug 2007 A visibly upbeat Mitt Romney (R) rallied with supporters and family this evening on the eve of the [bought] straw poll that could substantially boost his presidential bid. Romney is going all-out to lure thousands of supporters to the straw poll in Ames, renting a fleet of air-conditioned buses, buying thousands of tickets and promising free barbecue and entertainment to supporters who make the trip.
Report shows someone edited federal transportation bill --Study: Phrase 'Coconut Road interchange' slipped into $10M earmark after congressional vote 09 Aug 2007 The words "Coconut Road interchange" were not in the federal transportation bill approved by Congress in 2005. Those words were attached to a $10 million earmark sometime after the House and Senate votes but before the president [sic] signed the bill into law. Within that time, someone with access to the bill deleted the earmark’s original language that would have given $10 million more for widening and improvements to Interstate 75 and attached the phrase "Coconut Rd. interchange I-75/Lee County," according to a study by a former federal official who lives on Sanibel Island... "It's amazing. That is all I can say," said Don Eslick, chairman of the Estero Council of Community Leaders, which opposes the Coconut Road interchange. "It certainly tends to point the finger at (Don) Young," the Republican congressman from Alaska who was chairman of the Transportation Committee when the bill passed in 2005.
Three killed in US mine accident 10 Aug 2007 Three people have died in a mine accident in southern Indiana, police have said, in the second mining incident to hit the US this week. It is not known how many people were in the mine at the time of the accident.
'When President [sic] Bush's staff contacted him to request a photo opportunity, "He was just, like, 'Nope,'" she said. Bridge Hero Gets Offer: Paid Tuition 07 Aug 2007 Among the dozens of wrenching accounts to come out of the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, the actions of 20-year-old Jeremy Hernandez were a bright spot: Trapped in a tipping school bus with 50 children, he kicked open the back door and began helping them one by one to safety. Within a day, news outlets across the country were repeating the story... along with a sad footnote — that Mr. Hernandez had recently been forced to drop out of an automotive repair program because he could not afford the $15,000 tuition. That has changed. On Saturday, Mr. Hernandez learned that Dunwoody College of Technology had offered him a full scholarship toward a degree in applied science.
Bush's economy s*cks. They have to send in the 'pumpers' every other day to keep the whole stinking mess afloat. Central Banks Add Cash to Avert Crisis of Confidence 10 Aug 2007 Central banks in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada added about $135.7 billion to the banking system in an attempt to avert a crisis of confidence in global credit markets.
U.S. hurricane outlook gets worse for this season 10 Aug 2007 If the credit crunch isn't enough for Wall Street to worry about, don't forget the chance a major hurricane could swamp U.S. markets in the next several weeks. The U.S. government's hurricane watchdog just hiked its forecast for a worse-than-usual hurricane season, ratcheting up the likelihood that the energy, transportation and insurance industries could face disruptions if storms hit land. [LOL! Isn't that what insurance is for - 'disruptions?' As to the corpora-terrorists at Exxon Mobil -- their GOP trolls are preparing the US sheep for more indefensible price-gouging.]
Global warming will step up after 2009: scientists 09 Aug 2007 Global warming is forecast to set in with a vengeance after 2009, with at least half of the five following years expected to be hotter than 1998, the warmest year on record, scientists reported on Thursday.
UK officer calls for US special forces to quit Afghan hotspot --High civilian toll as teams rely on air strikes to provide cover 10 Aug 2007 Tension between British and American commanders in southern Afghanistan erupted into the open yesterday as a senior UK military officer said he had asked the US to withdraw its special forces from a volatile area that was crucial in the battle against the Taliban. British and Nato defence officials have consistently expressed concern about US tactics, notably air strikes, which kill civilians, sabotaging the battle for "hearts and minds" and infuriating Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president.
Afghanistan more dangerous than Iraq: Howard 10 Aug 2007 A resurgent Taliban has made Afghanistan more dangerous for Australian troops than Iraq, Prime Minister John Howard has warned. Mr Howard said the situation in Afghanistan was heating up generally and Australian forces were operating in a hotspot in Oruzgan province.
Bush Calls on Iranians to Reject Government 09 Aug 2007 Dictator Bush today called on the Iranian people to reject their hard-line government, saying they "can do better" and need not be isolated by a leadership that destabilizes its neighbors and pursues a suspected nuclear weapons program. [The US citizens rejected *their* illegitimate government long ago. When will Bush & Co. step down and be tried for election fraud, war crimes and misuse of government funds (and, a thousand other crimes against humanity)? --MDR]
Bush warns Iraq over ties with Iran 09 Aug 2007 US President [sic] George W. Bush sternly warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Thursday against cozying up to Iran, amid what Washington sees as unsettling signs of warming Baghdad-Tehran relations. Earlier Iran, which the United States blames for fomenting much of the bloodshed in Iraq [LOL! Shock and Awe had nothing to do with 'fomenting much of the bloodshed in Iraq?'], gave visiting Maliki its full support for restoring security but told him a pullout of US forces was the only way to end the violence.
U.S. withdrawal needed for security, Iran tells Iraq 09 Aug 2007 An end to violence in Iraq depends on the United States withdrawing its troops, Iran told Iraq's prime minister on Thursday, seeking to deflect [insane] accusations from Washington that it is responsible for bloodshed there. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won pledges of support from Shi'ite Iran during a visit to the neighboring country.
Iran heaps scorn on UK after 'spy tunnel' find 09 Aug 2007 Iranian newspapers have long poured scorn on the debauchery and deviousness of the British Foreign Office. But now the criticism has been cranked up further with the alleged discovery of a secret tunnel used to sneak "spies and prostitutes" into the British embassy in Tehran. The passage was been uncovered by workmen, according to reports.
British losses soar as they prepare to leave Basra city 10 Aug 2007 Two more British soldiers were killed in southern Iraq yesterday, raising the death toll in the UK's least successful military campaign since Suez in 1956. In both cases the British casualties were low but British forces wholly failed to achieve their objectives. "Basra's residents and militiamen view this not as an orderly withdrawal but rather as an ignominious defeat," according to a report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) on Basra published in June.
Top Democrat: Our policy on Iraq won't imperil Israel, leave chaos 09 Aug 2007 U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md) told Haaretz on Wednesday that the DemocRATs would seek to avoid a policy on Iraq that "will leave chaos and will endanger Israel." Hoyer made his comments ahead of a planned trip to Israel, starting next Sunday, in which he accompanies a group of 20 other Democratic legislators.
Israel: Missile shield before West Bank pullout --Official says 'Iron Dome' necessary, could take up to 7 years to complete 08 Aug 2007 Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israel must have a missile defense system in place to protect it from Palestinian rocket fire before it could carry out a large-scale pullback in the West Bank, an official said Wednesday. Military experts said it would take between two and a half and seven years to develop a system that would protect Israel from the type of crude rockets that Palestinian militants use.
'Scheduled' curfew in Iraq kicks in early 09 Aug 2007 The Iraqi government imposed a scheduled curfew almost a day early and caught millions of residents off-guard — and, in some cases, without food. The government acted after receiving tips that [US] car bombers were on the move with plans to kill Shiite Muslims in a major religious festival.
Bush Can't Recall on Tillman 09 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush said Thursday he can't recall when he learned that Army Ranger Pat Tillman died by friendly fire, not at the hands of the enemy in Afghanistan, as the Pentagon originally claimed. [Then waterboard him until he does recall. Gonzales claims that waterboarding is legal, so no problem.]
The 'Decider' Says Not Able to Close Guantanamo 09 Aug 2007 Reluctance by other countries to take custody of terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay is delaying Washington's shutting of the widely criticized prison, President [sic] George W. Bush said on Thursday. Washington has faced fierce criticism worldwide for the detention without charge -- often for years -- of suspected al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and Taliban members at the prison on a U.S. naval base in Cuba.
14 'high-value' terror suspects may be tried, U.S. says 09 Aug 2007 The 14 "high-value" prisoners who were transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, last year have all been declared enemy combatants and are subject to trial, the Defense Department said Thursday. The prisoners... will now be thrust into a military trial system mired in legal challenges and hampered by lengthy delays.
U.S. transfers six Guantanamo detainees 09 Aug 2007 The United States has transferred five prisoners from the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Afghanistan and one to Bahrain, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
3 = Huge Manhunt; 1 Million = Nada By Terry L. Clark 09 Aug 2007 Teen Arrested in N.J. Schoolyard Deaths --Police arrested a 15-year-old boy on murder and other charges in the execution-style killings of three college students in a schoolyard, slayings considered jarring even in a city used to violence, law enforcement officials said Thursday. [AP, SF Chronicle, 09 Aug 2007] On the hunt for justice for the murder-for-oil of over a million Iraqis... the cops are nowhere to be found, Nuremberg is not open for business, the slaughter continues unabated, and the corporate media is complicit by its silence.
German journalists face prosecution over rendition documents 09 Aug 2007 Seventeen German journalists from leading national publications are being investigated for having quoted from classified documents in covering the "rendition" [kidnapping] of terror suspects. The investigation, launched after the head of a parliamentary investigating committee complained about leaks to the press, also concerns several members of parliament.
Israeli agent testifies against Muslim charity in U.S. in terrorism funding case 09 Aug 2007 Prosecutors and lawyers for a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorists clashed Thursday over whether jurors should see documents that Israeli soldiers seized during raids of Palestinian organizations. An Israeli agent testiLIED about the documents during the trial of five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
News NSA to spy on 38% of world telecom traffic 09 Aug 2007 The US National Security Agency now has the legal right to monitor some 38% of the world's telephone, data and internet traffic without requiring a judicial warrant. George W Bush signed the relevant legislation last Sunday. According to Telegeography, a research firm that monitors telecommunications traffic flows, some 38% of the world's total telecommunications traffic starts or finishes in the US.
Civil rights group seeks court's spying rulings 08 Aug 2007 A U.S. civil liberties group [American Civil Liberties Union] said on Wednesday it is asking a federal court to disclose its recent legal opinions on the Bush administration's authority to engage in secret wiretapping of Americans.
Data-Mining Our Liberties By Aziz Huq 07 Aug 2007 After enduring weeks of blistering criticism for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's inartful elisions about the National Security Agency (NSA) spying activities, the Bush Administration has successfully forced on Congress a law that largely authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mails. How did they do it? The Protect America Act of 2007--the title alone ought to be warning that unsavory motives are at work--is the most recent example of the national security waltz, a three-step Administration maneuver for taking defeat and turning it into victory.
AT&T Errs in Edit of Anti - Bush Lyrics 10 Aug 2007 Lyrics performed by Pearl Jam criticizing President [sic] Bush should not have been censored from a webcast by AT&T Inc., a company spokesman acknowledged Thursday. AT&T, through its Blue Room entertainment site, offered a webcast of the band's headlining performance Sunday at Lollapalooza in Chicago. But monitors hired by AT&T through a vendor went further and cut two lines from a song.
AT&T censors Pearl Jam's anti-Bush lyrics 09 Aug 2007 Pearl Jam fans and Internet watchdogs were up in arms Thursday after it was revealed that AT&T censored portions of the rock band's live concert cybercast on Sunday. While performing "Daughter" during the annual Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Pearl Jam segued into a portion of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," during which frontman Eddie Vedder sang, "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home." Those lyrics were missing from the broadcast.
Homeland Security chief vows to move forward with ID law 08 Aug 2007 (Boston) Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a group of state lawmakers gathered here on Wednesday that he would not retreat from a plan to impose nationwide standards for driver's licenses. Chertoff said he would not support legislative efforts to repeal the controversial law and insisted that insecure travel documents in the hands of terrorists are dangerous.
More Americans Feel Unsafe in Post 9/11 Era 08 Aug 2007 Many people in the United States feel their country is less safe now than six years ago when, it was the target of a major terrorist attack, according to a poll by Hart/Newhouse released by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News. 37 per cent of respondents feel the U.S. is more vulnerable today, up 14 points since September. Conversely, 34 per cent of respondents think the U.S. is safer now—down eight points in 10 months...
To save America, we need another 9/11 By Stu Bykofsky 09 Aug 2007 One month from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America... America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater. What would sew us back together? Another 9/11 attack. The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda. [Don't worry --Bush bin Laden's got 'ya covered. The GOP can't steal a *third* election (without risking a revolution - which actually is what should have transpired on Dec. 12, 2000). No worries. The Bush terror team has busy little bees, assiduously planning the next inside job. In the aftermath, martial law will follow, and then a suspension of the 2008 'elections.' --LRP]
Britain imposes new control zone 10 Aug 2007 British animal health authorities today imposed restrictions around a second site amid fears that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease had spread from an initial control zone... A scientist helping to investigate the outbreaks told The Times, meanwhile, that the police should be involved in the inquiry, suggesting that the disease could have been spread deliberately.
Foot-and-mouth export ban to stay for fortnight as third suspect farm found 09 Aug 2007 Hopes that a ban on Scottish meat and dairy exports could soon be lifted were dashed yesterday, as a European committee decided the whole of mainland Britain was still at "high risk" from foot-and-mouth disease. The European Commission said the UK government felt any relaxation in areas far from the outbreak would be "premature", and the EU standing committee on the food chain and animal health had simply agreed with that decision and decided to maintain high-risk status until 25 August.
Pakistan: Threats to health workers stop polio drive 08 Aug 2007 A polio vaccination programme [pogrom] in a remote Pakistani tribal region has been suspended after villagers threatened health workers, officials say. 'Hardline clerics' in the area are against the programme, saying it is a US conspiracy to render people incapable of producing children. On Tuesday officials said that armed men abducted and beat 11 health workers sent to Bajaur to administer polio vaccinations. They said that health workers were held for four hours as their captors smashed vaccination kits. [Right, they want to stop US bioterrorism in its tracks.]
New bridge-monitoring devices go unused 06 Aug 2007 The disaster caused by the collapse of one of this city's highway bridges points to the need for better technologies to inspect bridges, but states have been slow to spend money on the new methods, national safety and engineering experts said Monday.
Unsecured girders led to Mesa bridge collapse 09 Aug 2007 (AZ) An overpass under construction on the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in east Mesa collapsed Thursday morning, sending more than 75 yards of roadway to the ground.
Administration Fights Dem Plan to Boost School Aid for Vets 09 Aug 2007 The Bush administration opposes a Democratic effort to restore full educational benefits for returning veterans, according to an official's comments last week.
How I Spent My August Recess By Bill Scher 08 Aug 2007 Congressional conservatives are spending their August recess in an interesting way: telling their constituents about their hard work ... to keep health insurance away from kids. Well, they're not quite that honest. Following the lead of the HHS Hacks, they're spreading misinformation about House and Senate legislation around their home states.
Legislators dump US mandates at 'Tea Party' 06 Aug 2007 Mimicking American colonists, four state senators from across the country staged a modern-day Boston Tea Party yesterday, this time protesting an overreaching government on the mainland... Senator Don Balfour, Republican of Georgia, said the Real ID Act, which requires states to comply with federal standards for issuing driver's licenses, is expected to cost states $11 billion over the next five years.
Kent officer tickets man for 'Impeach Bush' sign 09 Aug 2007 (OH) A soft-spoken teacher posted the words "Impeach Bush" in a public garden, and Kent police cast him as an outlaw. Today Kevin Egler is fighting that in Kent Municipal Court in Portage County... Police ticketed Egler for unlawfully advertising in a public place because he put up a free-standing sign near the intersection of Haymarket Parkway and Willow and Main streets.
Peace activist Sheehan announces candidacy for House 09 Aug 2007 Citing her son as inspiration, a tearful Cindy Sheehan announced her candidacy Thursday for the U.S. House of Representatives. The anti-war activist is running as an independent against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has represented San Francisco in Congress since 1987.
Another GOPervert bites the dust: Clark County GOP chairman quits amid investigation that he performed 'unwanted sex act' 08 Aug 2007 A southern Indiana county Republican chairman who was recently named head of a national group for young Republicans has resigned both positions amid allegations of sexual misconduct. No charges have been filed against Glenn Murphy Jr., who announced Tuesday that he was resigning as Clark County's GOP chairman and as president of the Young Republican National Federation because of a new business opportunity that would prohibit him from holding a partisan political office. The Evening News of Jeffersonville and The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., reported that the Clark County Sheriff's Department was investigating a claim that Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on another man after a party in late July.
Ron Paul big on 'Net, but media don't notice By Clarence Page 08 Aug 2007 Of all the interesting little fish swimming beneath the currents of the major candidates in this presidential campaign season, none is making waves as surprising as those kicked up by Rep. Ron Paul. The Texas Republican, who embraces a libertarian point of view, has been riding an unimpressive 2 percent in the polls, but if the presidential election were held in cyberspace, Paul would probably win hands down.
Stock prices tumble again on credit concerns --Dow falls 387 points; French bank's move help fuels 'mini-panic' 09 Aug 2007 Wall Street fell sharply again Thursday, dragging the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 380 points after a French bank’s credit concerns sent shock waves through U.S. financial markets. BNP Paribas said it was freezing three funds that invested in U.S. subprime mortgages because it was unable to properly value their assets.
Temperature Records Falling Across North Carolina --The Triad will see temperatures topping 100 degrees. With the heat index that will feel like 102 to 107 degrees. 09 Aug 2007 Temperature records are falling around the state in the summer heat wave and forecasters predict more scorching weather on Thursday. A reading of 102 degrees at Raleigh-Durham International Airport about 4:00 pm on Wednesday broke a record for the date set in 1999. In Wilmington a high of 98 degrees broke a 128-year-old record.
Chevron, Total sign Iraq oil contract for Majnoon Field (Dow Jones Newswire) 08 Aug 2007 Oil giants Total SA and Chevron Corp. have signed a services agreement that would lead to the two jointly exploring and developing hydrocarbons from one of Iraq's biggest oil fields once the country gets an oil law in place [!] and security on the ground improves, people familiar with the deal say. The two companies signed an agreement last year and are currently assessing above-ground conditions around Majnoon, Iraq's fourth biggest oil field, which sits near the border with Iran, and at least one other field in the south of Iraq, to see what development work is required, the people told Dow Jones Newswires.
Iraq oil minister bans unions, discussions on US-backed oil law 05 Aug 2007 Iraq's energy ministry is using a Saddam-era decree to crack down on trade unions and stifle dissent against foreign exploitation of the country's vast oil reserves, the Basra-based oil workers' union claims. Hassan Juma'a, the union's leader, has been at the forefront of a public campaign against the signing of a controversial new oil law - demanded by Washington - that would lead to long-term profit-sharing contracts being signed with multinational oil giants. But Hussein Shahrastani, Iraq's oil minister, has now issued a directive banning unions from participating in any official discussions about the new law, 'since these unions have no legal status to work within the state sector'.
Poll: Iraqis Oppose Oil Privatization (OneWorld) 08 Aug 2007 A new public opinion poll has found nearly two thirds of Iraqis oppose plans to open the country's oilfields to foreign companies. The poll found a majority of every Iraqi ethnic and religious group believe their oil should remain nationalized. Some 66 percent of Shi'ites and 62 percent of Sunnis support government control of the oil sector, along with 52 percent of Kurds.
Disaster looms as 'Saddam dam' struggles to hold back the Tigris 08 Aug 2007 As world attention focuses on the daily slaughter in Iraq, a devastating disaster is impending in the north of the country, where the wall of a dam holding back the Tigris river north of Mosul city is in danger of imminent collapse. "It could go at any minute," says a senior aid worker who has knowledge of the struggle by US and Iraqi engineers to save [destroy] the dam. If the dam does fail, a wall of water will sweep into Mosul, Iraq's third largest city with a population of 1.7 million, 20 miles to the south. [I can see this one marching down Broadway from a mile away: Blackwater USA blows up the dam; Bush and Joe LieberBush blame *Iran.*]
Labor Dept: 1,001 contractors have died in Iraq 08 Aug 2007 More than 1,000 mercenaries have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion more than four years ago, according to Labor Department records made available Tuesday. In response to a request from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., the Labor Department revealed that 1,001 mercenaries had died in Iraq as of June 30, including 84 during the second quarter of the year.
45 civilians, four US soldiers killed in Iraq 07 Aug 2007 At least 45 civilians and four US soldiers died during another bloody day in Iraq... Meanwhile, in a village in the north of Iraq, a suicide bomber blew up a truck packed with explosives, unleashing a huge blast that killed 30 people and destroyed a number of homes. 'Sectarian' fighting in other areas claimed the lives of at least 15 Iraqis.
U.S. Attack Kills 32 in Sadr City 09 Aug 2007 An American raid and airstrike killed 32 people in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Wednesday. Hospital officials in the Sadr City district of Baghdad said that the American airstrike had killed or wounded several civilians, including a child, though the military disputed that account. The American attack coincided with an expanded curfew across Baghdad.
4 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraqi Capital 07 Aug 2007 Four more U.S. soldiers were killed in roadside bombings in the Baghdad area, including three in a single strike, the military said Tuesday, raising to at least 19 the number of American troop deaths in the first week of August.
British Criticize U.S. Air Attacks in Afghan Region 09 Aug 2007 A senior British commander in southern Afghanistan said in recent weeks that he had asked that American Special Forces leave his area of operations because the high level of civilian casualties they had caused was making it difficult to win over local people. Other British officers here in Helmand Province, speaking on condition of anonymity, criticized American Special Forces for causing most of the civilian deaths and injuries in their area.
Korean groups to pull out of Afghanistan, ambassador says 08 Aug 2007 South Korea's ambassador told tribal elders from eastern Afghanistan that Korean aid organizations would pull out of the country in a month, an apparent effort to help free 21 hostages being held by Taliban militants, a news report said.
Pakistan May Declare State of Emergency 09 Aug 2007 The government of embattled Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf said Thursday it may impose a state of emergency because of "external and internal threats" and deteriorating law and order in the volatile northwest near the Afghan border.
Miliband adopts a tough stance to demand release of five prisoners from Guantanamo --Move signals shift in policy from Blair regime 08 Aug 2007 Ministers have demanded the return of five former UK residents being held in Guantanamo Bay, in a dramatic break by Gordon Brown with Tony Blair's refusal to intervene on behalf of non-British nationals. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has written to his counterpart Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, to formally ask the men are freed from the contentious US detention camp in Cuba.
Bio-terror link to foot-and-mouth disease? 09 Aug 2007 Britain's health and safety executive has revealed that bio-terrorists may be responsible for the spread of foot-and-mouth disease from an animal health laboratory. The virus could have been deliberately leaked from a hi-tech complex at Pirbright, Surrey, the Daily Express quoted officials, as saying. A preliminary report into the outbreak, first confirmed five days ago, said there was a real possibility it involved "human movement" from the labs. The government Institute for Animal Health and another lab Merial Animal Health, owned by US firm Merck and French firm Sanofi-Aventis SA, occupy the same site in Pirbright, about 8 km from the affected farms.
Workers to be checked amid fears of sabotage 09 Aug 2007 Urgent background checks are being carried out on staff working in laboratories at Pirbright amid fears that the outbreak could have been an act of "deliberate" sabotage. Surrey police are assisting the inquiry into the outbreak, which will involve checks on workers who could have had access to experimental vaccines at either the Institute for Animal Health, or its commercial partner Merial Animal Health, at the Pirbright complex in Surrey.
Fears of third outbreak of foot-and-mouth 09 Aug 2007 A third outbreak of foot-and-mouth was feared last night, but Debby Reynolds, the chief veterinary officer, announced a partial lifting of the national ban on the movement of cattle... Ms Reynolds has ordered a cull at a farm inside the existing 3km protection zone around two affected farms in Surrey because of suspicions that more cattle have become infected with the highly contagious disease. A third farm in the village of Normandy has fields adjoining the second farm to be infected.
Former CIA Director: Terrorist Strike Within U.S. Real Threat 07 Aug 2007 Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey [neoCON] tells NewsMax in an exclusive interview that terrorists could strike the American 'homeland' — possibly with a weapon of mass destruction — this summer or early fall. He also warns that if Iran fails to comply with international efforts to stop its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. will have no other option than to bomb it. "I think the threat of a serious attack in the next few months is very real," Woolsey said. A terrorist strike with a dirty bomb or with biological weapons was "a real possibility."
Homeland Security to arm feds with 'light-saber' weapon 07 Aug 2007 The Homeland Security Department is aiming to arm federal agents with a light-saber-type weapon that emits a dazzling strobe capable of subduing criminals, terrorists and even unruly airline passengers. It's the latest government effort to develop a non-lethal weapon — in this case, a powerful beam of light that temporarily blinds anyone who looks into it.
Security firms working on devices to spot would-be terrorists in crowd --Move to analyse behaviour and physiology from afar 09 Aug 2007 Counter-terrorism experts have drawn up plans to develop an array of advanced technologies capable of spotting would-be terrorists in a crowd before they have time to strike. Scientists and engineers have been asked to devise ways of analysing people's behaviour and physiology from afar, in the hope they may reveal clues about their mental state and even their future intentions. Under Project Hostile Intent, scientists will aim to build devices that can pick up tell-tale signs of hostile intent or deception from people's heart rates, perspiration and tiny shifts in facial expressions. The project was launched by the US department of homeland security with a call to security companies and government laboratories for assistance.
Police to flex stop and search muscles 06 Aug 2007 Londoners should not be surprised if they are searched on the streets in the next few months, the Metropolitan police have warned. Officers plan on using their stop and search powers significantly more in the capital this summer and autumn in order to "disrupt, deter and prevent [foment] terrorist activity".
Travellers from US face EU crackdown 07 Aug 2007 US business travellers and tourists flying to the European Union are facing the threat of the same laborious registration requirements that Washington has demanded of Europeans in the latest US security crackdown.
Spy chief's role in espionage bill questioned --The director of national intelligence is supposed to be nonpolitical, but some lawmakers think the White House used McConnell for partisan purposes. 08 Aug 2007 As the debate over new espionage legislation intensified last week, senior Democrats in Congress gathered around a speakerphone late Thursday to work out with Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell what they thought were the final pieces of a deal. Instead, the deal unraveled, according to officials involved. Compromise language was missing, provisions that both sides had agreed to strip out were back in, and -- according to officials familiar with the exchange -- McConnell alluded to intense pressure he was getting from "the other side." McConnell ended up getting the changes he wanted -- new authority that significantly expands U.S. spy agencies' ability to intercept overseas [and domestic] e-mails and phone calls.
Analysis: New Law Gives Government Six Months to Turn Internet and Phone Systems into Permanent Spying Architecture By Ryan Singel 06 Aug 2007 A new law expanding the government's spying powers gives the Bush Administration a six-month window to install possibly permanent back doors in the nation's communication networks. The legislation was passed hurriedly by Congress over the weekend and signed into law Sunday by President [sic] Bush. The bill, known as the Protect America Act, removes the prohibition on warrantless spying on Americans abroad and gives the government wide powers to order communication service providers such as cell phone companies and ISPs to make their networks available to government eavesdroppers.
Aye, Spy! By Mark Fiore 09 Aug 2007 (animation)
Secrets of the Police (The New York Times) 08 Aug 2007 If the decision by Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV stands, the documents may figure in scores of lawsuits challenging police tactics that included the heavy-handed: rounding up suspects on the streets, fingerprinting them and putting them in holding pens until the [2004 Republican National Convention] was all but over. That such a police action happened in New York, and during the large, democratic show of a political nominating convention, was troubling... Along with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s denial of permits for protests on Central Park’s Great Lawn, the police action helped to all but eliminate dissent from New York City during the Republican delegates’ visit. If that was the goal, then mission accomplished.
Camp Kirsanow By Rick Perlstein 07 Aug 2007 I haven't seen this getting much attention. It should. On July 19, [ed.: July 19, 2002] a man named Peter Kirsanow said that if Arabs staged another terrorist attack on American soil, the doors might swing open to new American concentration camps. And who is Peter Kirsanow? ...[H]e is a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. A Bush appointee. "I think we will have a return to Korematsu," was the exact quote. Korematsu v. United States was the 1944 Supreme Court decision that signed off on internment camps for Japanese. For good measure, he said it at a hearing in Detroit, the most Arab-heavy city in the U.S.
Cohen co-sponsors bill to impeach Cheney 06 Aug 2007 Before returning to Memphis on Sunday after a marathon weekend House session, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., signed on as a co-sponsor of bills to impeach Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and to censure both Cheney and President [sic] Bush. The impeachment resolution was introduced by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in April and has 18 co-sponsors, including the four it picked up in the last week.
State GOP forms loyalty committee 31 Jul 2007 The state Republican Party is forming a loyalty committee so that it can punish officers who endorse or contribute to Democrats. The GOP's conservative-dominated state committee also is accusing a prominent moderate of trying to undermine the party's fundraising. It has adopted a resolution criticizing Steve Cloud, a Lenexa businessman and former legislator who represents Kansas on the Republican National Committee.
Romney's Sons Serve Country "By Helping Me Get Elected" 09 Aug 2007 At a campaign stop in Iowa today, Mitt Romney defended the fact that his five sons have not enlisted in the military by saying they are serving the country by "helping me get elected."
Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11 --On the stump, Rudy can't help spreading smoke and ashes about his lousy record By Wayne Barrett, research assistance by Alexandra Kahan 07 Aug 2007 Nearly six years after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani is still walking through the canyons of lower Manhattan, covered in soot, pointing north, and leading the nation out of danger's way... His claims, meanwhile, have been met with a media deference so total that he's taken to complimenting "the good job it is doing covering the campaign." Opponents, too, haven't dared to question his terror credentials, as if doing so would be an unpatriotic bow to Osama bin Laden. Here, then, is a less deferential look at the illusory cloud emanating from the former mayor's campaign...
Federal spending increased 23% under Republican Congress By Todd 06 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush is threatening to veto at least nine out of twelve appropriations bills that were passed by Congressional Democrats before the August recess. On Thursday, Bush slammed Democrats for what he called reckless spending... Maybe the President and his party forget that when they had control of the Executive and Legislative branches, spending was significantly out of control. In fact, according to the Heritage Foundation... spending after inflation increased by 23% between 2001 and 2006.
In Case of Apocalypse Later, a Plan to Ensure America's Regreening 09 Aug 2007 On a wooded Staten Island hillside last Wednesday, a few hundred feet from a busy road, the botanists from the city’s native plant center scored another find for a project called the Millennium Seed Bank.The project, run by the Royal Botanical Garden, at Kew, England, aims to collect seeds from 10 percent of the world’s flowering plant species and to stow them in a sort of climate-controlled Noah’s Ark against the possibility of depletion, whether by climate change, alien-species invasion, overdevelopment or [Bush's] apocalypse.
NWS: Tornadoes Confirmed In Brooklyn, S.I. --F2 Twister Gained Intensity As It Converged On Bay Ridge 09 Aug 2007 What was thought to be a violently windy thunderstorm that plowed through Brooklyn Wednesday morning turned out to be a weather event of historical proportions. The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday night that an EF1 tornado touched down in the Livingston-Randall Manor area of Staten Island before eventually becoming the EF2 that slammed into Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
A Brooklyn tornado is a rarity; the last one was in 1889 08 Aug 2007 Tornadoes, like the one that touched down Wednesday in Brooklyn and Staten Island, are a rarity in New York. Meteorologists believed Wednesday's storm produced the first tornado in Brooklyn since 1889.
Flooding cripples New York's ageing infrastructure 08 Aug 2007 Flooding in New York's subway lines ground the morning commute to a halt on Wednesday, angering New Yorkers who are facing rail and utility fee hikes to support an aging infrastructure. Every subway line coming into Manhattan was affected by flooding after a severe storm before dawn ripped roofs off houses, caused power outages and triggered tornado warnings.
British forces failed in Basra, says US official 08 Aug 2007 A senior US intelligence official in Baghdad has said British forces lost control of Basra by pulling out troops too quickly. The result has been a security vacuum which has allowed the city's religious, tribal and criminal factions battle it out for control of the streets. "The British have basically been defeated in the south," the intelligence official told the Washington Post.
US uneasy as Britain plans for early Iraq withdrawal --Americans would prefer UK troops to remain in position as long as they do 08 Aug 2007 The Bush administration is becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of an imminent British withdrawal from southern Iraq and would prefer UK troops to remain for another year or two.
As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates --Violence Rises in City Once Called a 'Success Story' 07 Aug 2007 As British forces pull back from Basra in southern Iraq, Shiite militias there have escalated a violent battle against each other for political supremacy and control over oil resources [which the US wsnts to steal]. "The British have basically been defeated in the south," a senior U.S. intelligence official said recently in Baghdad. They are abandoning their former headquarters at Basra Palace...
Once welcomed, British troops are now the wrong tools for the job --The days of patrolling without helmets are gone but commanders dismiss fears of chaos reigning when security is handed to Iraqis 04 Aug 2007 Sheltering behind blast walls or lying flat in the dirt with mortar shells exploding near by, British troops are under fire in Basra as they prepare to hand control of security to the Iraqi authorities.
Group's Estimate of Iraqi Deaths to Cross One Million 07 Aug 2007 For the past month, the non-profit group JustForeignPolicy.org has provided an ongoing estimate of the number of violent Iraqi deaths attributable to the 2003 invasion. Sometime within the next week, their tally is expected to cross one million Iraqi deaths.
Iraqi Christians were safer under Saddam Hussein, says Vatican official 07 Aug 2007 Although Iraq has a democratic government, Iraqi Christians [actually, *all* Iraqis] were safer and had more protection under former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, said the future head of the Vatican's interreligious dialogue council.
Iraq power system 'near collapse' 07 Aug 2007 Iraq's national power grid is on the brink of collapse, the country's electricity ministry has warned. Water supplies to Baghdad have also been cut off for days at a time [by the US] with summertime pressures on key systems said to be more intense than ever. [See: The Secret Behind the Sanctions How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply By Thomas J. Nagy (September 2001, The Progressive) Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War.]
US troop levels in Iraq reach all-time high 07 Aug 2007 US troop levels in Iraq have hit an all-time high with overlapping unit rotations pushing the total number up to nearly 162,000, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
British military loses 165th soldier in Iraq 07 Aug 2007 A British soldier was killed in Iraq last night during an operation in the southern city of Basra. The 165th British soldier to die in Iraq since the invasion was killed under fire in the al-Fursi district of the city.
26 U.S. Troops Killed In 1 Week In Iraq --Military Announces 4 More Deaths Around Baghdad 07 Aug 2007 The U.S. military tells CBSNews.com that 26 American service members have been killed in action in Iraq in the past week alone, including three soldiers who were killed by a single roadside bomb attack reported Tuesday.
U.S. Troop Deaths in Iraq on the Rise in August 07 Aug 2007 Four U.S. soldiers have been killed by roadside bombs in the Baghdad area, the military said Tuesday, raising to at least 19 the number of troop deaths in the first week of August.
U.S. Says Iran- Supplied Bomb Is Killing More Troops in Iraq 08 Aug 2007 Attacks on American-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran [made in the US] reached a new high in July, according to the American military. The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by the American-led forces, according to American military officials.
$750M sought to rush armored vehicles to troops by air 08 Aug 2007 The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $750 million to urgently airlift needed armored vehicles to troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq, according to budget documents. Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution, attributed the need to fly the vehicles to Iraq to bad planning.
Ministers ask for British residents held at Guantanamo to be released 08 Aug 2007 The families of five former British residents incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay for up to five years were celebrating after learning the men could finally be coming home within months. The end of their ordeal was in sight after the Government formally requested the release of the five men, who had been living legally in the UK before they were picked up abroad by the American authorities.
Red Cross confirms Bush administration, CIA used torture in interrogations By Patrick Martin 07 Aug 2007 A confidential report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) suggests that Bush administration officials may have committed war crimes in the operation of CIA "secret prisons" overseas, according to a lengthy analysis published on the web site of the New Yorker magazine Sunday.
Airlines, Others Sue FBI, CIA to Depose Agents In 9-11 Cases 07 Aug 2007 Airline manufacturer Boeing Co. (BA), major airlines and several airport operators sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday in a bid to question current and former agency employees in connection with negligence litigation over the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. In separate lawsuits, the airlines and others are challenging decisions by the FBI and the CIA that prevent them from conducting depositions of those employees.
Federal officials appear to be trying to create a legalistic document to shield themselves from responsibility for future disasters and to shift blame to states. States Feel Left Out of Disaster Planning 08 Aug 2007 A decision by the Bush regime to rewrite in secret the nation's emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago. State and local officials in charge of responding to disasters say that their input in shaping the National Response Plan was ignored in recent months by senior White House and Department of Homeland Security officials, despite calls by congressional investigators for a shared overhaul of disaster planning in the United States... Testifying before a House panel last week, Albert Ashwood [Oklahoma's emergency management chief and president of a national association of state emergency managers] and colleagues openly questioned why the draft was revised behind closed doors.
TSA: All carry-on electronics must be inspected 03 Aug 2007 The TSA has announced a few new security enhancements... Effective Saturday, August 4th, passengers must remove all full-size video game consoles (for example Playstation, X-box, or Nintendo) and full-size DVD players from their carry-ons and have them be submitted separately for X-ray screening.
Police accused of damaging Tribune photographer's cameras 07 Aug 2007 The Chicago Police Department is investigating allegations that an officer seized and damaged a Tribune photographer's cameras Monday night at the scene of a police-involved fatal shooting that turned into an unruly public demonstration.
Man Shot, Killed By Trooper 07 Aug 2007 The Washington State Patrol said a trooper shot and killed a Montana man Monday night who had tried using his car as a weapon [?!?]. The chase started on Highway 101 in Mason County at about 5:30 p.m. after the driver refused to yield to a trooper’s patrol car that was responding to a report of a collision, police said. Troopers said the officer started a pursuit when the driver sped away.
A hearing no one can hear --Judges, U.S. attorneys to discuss co-conspirator behind closed doors, barring defense attorneys and press 06 Aug 2007 Tomorrow morning, three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will gather in a courtroom inside an elegant 104-year-old building in Pasadena for an extraordinary hearing involving one of the co-conspirators in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham bribery scandal. The court hearing will be closed to everyone – the public, the news media, the defense attorneys – save for the judges and a few lawyers from the U.S. Attorney's Office. The extreme secrecy is highly unusual. Veteran lawyers could not remember another time when the appeals court held a completely closed hearing. Last week, the judges denied a request from The Copley Press Inc., publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, to participate in Monday's hearing. The judges also rejected a similar request from the lawyer for another defendant in the Cunningham case whom Thomas Kontogiannis is expected to testify against.
E-voting Must Stop, Warns U.K. Electoral Commission 06 Aug 2007 The U.K. Electoral Commission has called for a halt to electronic voting unless major changes are made to the way the voting systems are implemented and secured. The watchdog has issued a series of reports on pilot projects commissioned by the Ministry of Justice... A report by independent observers from the Open Rights Group, published in June, painted a grim picture of crashed computers and concerns about the systems' security and reliability.
Ridiculous UK E-Voting Trial Ends in Disaster By Charlie Sorrel 06 Aug 2007 Back in May, England ran an e-voting trial at local council elections in Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick: Shakespeare Country. The continued faith in electronic ballot counting took another hit in a farce worthy of the Bard himself... After days of this nonsense, the returning officers scrapped the whole thing and did a regular hand count. The list continues, and you can read the whole comedy in the linked report, including the £281,000 ($573,000) that the trial cost, in addition to the normal costs of human counting.
Democrats debate before union members in Chicago 07 Aug 2007 It can be rough being a front-runner, especially on a hot night on the gridiron... With their ties to the Chicago area, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York both had something of home-field advantage. Still, they repeatedly found themselves back on their heels facing oncoming tackles from competitors on a stage near one end zone.
Sabotage may be to blame for escape of virus 08 Aug 2007 The foot-and-mouth outbreak could have been caused deliberately by a leak from one of the two laboratories at a research centre at Pirbright in Surrey, investigators for the Health and Safety Executive said. The HSE found that accidental or human activity almost certainly caused the outbreak at a farm four miles from the two high-security laboratories one belonging to the public Institute for Animal Health, the other to the private American company Merial Animal Health.
Second outbreak of foot-and-mouth 08 Aug 2007 A second outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain was confirmed last night as efforts to pin down the source of the outbreaks continued.
Foot and mouth outbreak could boost prices 07 Aug 2007 The latest tussle with foot and mouth disease is unlikely to hamper the economy greatly this year as long as a repeat of the devastating 2001 outbreak is avoided, economists say -- but it could drive prices higher.
Drug Companies Embark Upon the Era of Unprecedented Human Experiments 06 Aug 2007 Byron Richards, CCN The FDA is pushing quite hard to ensure that drug companies have the right to experiment on humans in the name of "progress for all." This initiative, called the Critical Path Initiative, has recently been endorsed by the birdbrains and gutless cowards that compose the Congress (HR.2900/S.1082). Under this new plan small groups of humans will be exposed to powerful biological drugs unlike anything in the history of mankind.
Mega barf alert! Seafood From China Wasn't Screened 07 Aug 2007 At least 1 million pounds of suspect Chinese seafood landed on American store shelves and dinner plates despite a Food and Drug Administration [alleged] order that the shipments first be screened for banned drugs or chemicals, an Associated Press investigation found. According to an AP check of shipments since last fall, one of every four shipments the AP reviewed got through without being stopped and tested.
China threatens 'nuclear option' of dollar sales 08 Aug 2007 The Chinese government has begun a concerted campaign of economic threats against the United States, hinting that it may liquidate its vast holding of US treasuries if Washington imposes trade sanctions to force a yuan revaluation.
Sweltering central states brace for triple-digit heat 07 Aug 2007 Hot, humid air is blanketing wide areas of the nation this week, and Missouri health experts have been urging people to stay in air-conditioned buildings and take it easy. Temperatures in much of Missouri are expected to reach well into the upper 90s - and in many cases above 100 degrees - through much of this week... Highs in the 90s were expected from the western Plains to the East Coast.
Bonds hits 756th home run to set MLB record 08 Aug 2007 Barry Bonds became the most prolific home-run hitter in Major League Baseball history Tuesday night, slugging his 756th in front of more than 43,052 hometown fans to pass Henry Aaron. Bonds' record-setting homer, his 22nd of the year, came in the fourth inning to give the Giants a 5-4 lead over the Washington Nationals. Bonds hit a 3-2 pitch from Washington's Mike Bacsik deep to center field.
Roosevelt Zoo Helping to Save Black & White Ruffed Lemur 07 Aug 2007 (Minot, ND) The Roosevelt Park Zoo is welcoming a new noise-maker to its animal kingdom and at the same time hoping to help save an endangered species. The screeching can be heard from a young female Black and White Ruffed Lemur named Matty.
Afghan victory 'could take 38 years' 05 Aug 2007 British troops could remain in Afghanistan for more than the 38 years it took them to pull out of Northern Ireland. That is the bleak assessment by Army commanders on the ground in Helmand province.
Afghanistan is getting worse, says Karzai 07 Aug 2007 On the eve of his Camp David meeting with George Bush, the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, painted a bleak picture of life in his country, saying that security had worsened and that the US and its allies were no closer to catching Osama bin Laden than they were a few years ago. "The security situation in Afghanistan over the past two years has definitely deteriorated," Mr Karzai told CNN in a pre-taped interview.
5 more ministers announce boycott of Iraq Cabinet meetings --Iraqi political crisis worsens 07 Aug 2007 Iraq's political crisis worsened Monday as five more ministers announced a boycott of Cabinet meetings — leaving the embattled prime minister's unity government with no members affiliated with Sunni political factions.
Pentagon admits 190,000 weapons missing in Iraq 07 Aug 2007 Some 190,000 assault rifles and pistols supplied by the US to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 have gone missing, according to a report issued here yesterday, and may have fallen into the possession of 'insurgents.'
Suicide Bomb Kills 28 in Northern Iraq 06 Aug 2007 A suicide bomber slammed his truck into a densely populated residential area in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Monday, killing at least 28 people, including 19 children, local authorities said.
Armor-piercing roadside bomb kills 1 soldier, wounds another in Baghdad 07 Aug 2007 A powerful roadside bomb killed one U.S. soldier and wounded another in Baghdad, the military said Tuesday. The Multi-National Division — Baghdad soldiers were struck Monday when their vehicle was targeted by an armor-piercing explosively formed penetrator, or EFP, in a western section of the capital, the military said.
Four soldiers killed in Diyala province explosion 06 Aug 2007 Four U.S. soldiers died Monday from wounds suffered in a combat explosion in restive Diyala province north of Baghdad, the American military reported. Twelve others had minor injuries and returned to duty.
5 soldiers with Texas ties die in Iraq 06 Aug 2007 Five soldiers with ties to Texas were killed in Iraq over the past week, the Army said Monday.
U.S. and Iran hold "frank" talks on Iraq 06 Aug 2007 The United States and Iran held a "frank and serious" first meeting on Monday of a new committee set up by the arch foes to seek an end to Iraq's 'sectarian' violence, which Washington accuses Tehran of fuelling. Hours before the diplomats met, a truck bomber in a crowded residential area killed at least 33 people in their homes.
Israelis are up in arms at celebrity draft dodgers --Clampdown on stars who sidestep army service 05 Aug 2007 For decades, Israel's heroes were its soldiers and pioneers who fought to build and protect the state, but now its cultural icons are models and singers likely to have dodged military service. The new trend was graphically demonstrated last week when it emerged that five out of eight contestants in A Star is Born, a talent contest on the lines of Pop Idol, had not served in the army... The new trend has led to a chorus of disapproval from Israeli leaders, who see the army as the essence of Israeli society.
Veterans' Rare Cancers Raise Fears of Toxic Battlefields 06 Aug 2007 In the wake of an Iraqi official last month blaming America's use of depleted uranium munitions in its 2003 "Shock and Awe" campaign for a surge in cancer there, the Defense Department is facing an October deadline for providing a comprehensive report to Congress on the health effects of such weapons.
Tancredo: Threaten to bomb Muslim holy sites in retaliation 04 Aug 2007 Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo’s campaign stood by his assertion that bombing holy Muslim sites would serve as a good "deterrent" to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from attacking the United States, his spokeswoman said Friday. “If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,” Tancredo [R-Terrorist] said on Tuesday.
Extradition Ordered for Three Accused in Airport Bomb Plot 07 Aug 2007 A judge in Trinidad ordered yesterday that three men be extradited to the United States to face charges that they conspired with a former airport cargo worker to attack jet fuel storage tanks and fuel lines at Kennedy International Airport, officials said.
Feingold introduces bill to censure Bush, Cheney, Gonzales 06 Aug 2007 Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced a resolution Monday to censure President [sic] Bush, Vice President [sic] Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [aka Tortureboy] for alleged misconduct involving the Iraq war and violations of Americans' civil liberties. The censure resolution also was introduced in the House by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-NY.
Judge Orders Release of Reports on '04 Surveillance 07 Aug 2007 A federal judge [Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV] yesterday rejected New York City’s efforts to prevent the release of nearly 2,000 pages of raw intelligence reports and other documents detailing the Police Department’s covert surveillance of protest groups and individual activists before the Republican National Convention in 2004.
NYPD Surveillance Files Ordered Released 06 Aug 2007 The city must release hundreds of pages of documents related to police surveillance of protesters prior to the 2004 Republican National Convention, but they will be allowed to black out some information, a judge ruled Monday.
Same Agencies to Run, Oversee Surveillance Program 07 Aug 2007 The Bush regime plans to leave oversight of its expanded foreign eavesdropping program to the same government officials who supervise the surveillance activities and to the intelligence personnel who carry them out, senior government officials said yesterday. The law, which permits intercepting Americans' calls and e-mails without a warrant if the communications involve overseas transmission, gives Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales responsibility for creating the broad procedures determining whose telephone calls and e-mails are collected. It also gives McConnell and Gonzales the role of assessing compliance with those procedures.
Secret call log at heart of wiretap challenge 06 Aug 2007 In open court and legal filings it's referred to simply as "the Document." Federal officials claim its contents are so sensitive to national security that it is stored in a bombproof safe in Washington and viewed only by prosecutors with top secret security clearances and a few select federal judges. The Document, described by those who have seen it as a National Security Administration log of calls intercepted between an Islamic charity and its American lawyers, is at the heart of what legal experts say may be the strongest case against the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.
Bush's Secret Spying on Americans By Robert Parry 02 Aug 2007 The dispute over whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales committed perjury when he parsed words about George W. Bush’s warrantless surveillance program misses a larger point: the extraordinary secrecy surrounding these spying operations is not aimed at al-Qaeda, but at the American people... So what's the real explanation for all the secrecy about the overall structure of the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program? The chief reason, especially for the excessive secrecy around the data-mining operations, appears to be Bush’s political need to prevent a full debate inside the United States about the security value of these Big Brother-type procedures when weighed against invasions of Americans' privacy.
Joy for protesters as Heathrow is denied 'mother of all injunctions' 07 Aug 2007 Environmental campaigners seeking to stage a protest at Heathrow airport this summer claimed a huge and symbolic victory yesterday after a High Court judge massively scaled back the terms of an injunction sought against them. The British Airports Authority (BAA), which runs the airport, was ordered to pay the costs of three groups who had challenged what was described as the most wide-ranging limit on the right to protest Britain has ever witnessed.
House panel approves legal shield for bloggers 01 Aug 2007 A congressional panel on Wednesday voted, against the Bush regime's wishes, to shield journalists including advertising-supported bloggers from having to reveal their confidential sources in many situations.
In Search of John Doe No. 2: The Story the Feds Never Told About the Oklahoma City Bombing --Federal officials insist that the Oklahoma City bombing case was solved a decade ago. But a Salt Lake City lawyer in search of his brother's killers has dug up some remarkable clues—on cross-dressing bank robbers, the FBI, and the mysterious third man. By James Ridgeway July/August 2007
Surge in Immigration Laws Around U.S. 06 Aug 2007 State legislatures, grappling with the failure of the federal government to overhaul the immigration laws, considered 1,404 immigration measures this year and enacted 170 of them, an unprecedented surge in state-level lawmaking on the issue, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Halliburton-style bioterrorism: The US-based lab 'spreads' the virus so that vaccines are then required to 'prevent' the virus that they created. Similarly, in Iraq, Halliburton (etc.) keeps destroying that which they're paid to 'rebuild.' UK foot-and-mouth vaccines ordered 07 Aug 2007 Britain was on Monday night drawing up contingency plans to vaccinate thousands of farm animals against [with] foot-and-mouth disease in a move that if implemented could see meat exports suspended for up to six months.
New UK foot-and-mouth outbreak 07 Aug 2007 Another suspected case of foot and mouth disease has been reported near the site of Britain's most recent outbreak and a new livestock cull has been ordered, Britain's chief vet said today.
Merial to Restart Foot-And-Mouth Vaccine Production In UK 06 Aug 2007 [US-based] Merial said Monday it will temporarily recommence production of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine at its Pirbright centre. This is in specific response to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs's order for 300,000 doses of strain specific vaccine only.
Flooding link to virus probed 06 Aug 2007 Experts are probing whether the recent floods in England may be behind the foot-and-mouth outbreak as the battle to contain the disease continues. The Government's chief vet Debby Reynolds said high water levels could have helped spread the virus on the Surrey farm at the centre of the crisis.
Beneath devastated New Orleans, water system crumbles 06 Aug 2007 Deep underground, an unseen crisis is threatening New Orleans' already troubled recovery. The city Sewerage & Water Board says at least 50 million gallons of water a day are now being lost to leaks, or 2 1/2 times pre-Katrina levels. For much of this year, just two of the three pumps that draw water from the Mississippi River for purification at the city's east bank plant were operating. [AP: New Orleans pumps were faulty 13 Mar 2007 The Army Corps of Engineers installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The drainage-canal pumps were custom-designed and built under a $26.6 million contract awarded after competitive bidding to Moving Water Industries Corp. of Deerfield Beach, Fla. MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.]
Bush Everglades decision criticized 03 Aug 2007 The Bush regime's hand in removing the Everglades from a United Nations list of endangered sites was denounced Friday by a Florida senator. Bill Nelson (D) characterized it as improper meddling by Deputy Assistant Interior Secretary Todd Willens at a U.N. meeting in June in New Zealand.
California moves to lock down e-voting systems --Controls on three companies' offerings; ES&S decertified 04 Aug 2007 California's secretary of State has mandated tough new security standards for the state's e-voting systems and curtailed their use, following an independent review of the technology.
Dealing with Diebold at the Ames Straw Poll By Mark Yannone 06 Aug 2007 From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Saturday (August 11, 2007), more than 25,000 Iowa residents will arrive at Iowa State University in Ames... After scanning each ballot, the machine will deposit the ballot into a "black box" within the Diebold machine. At 6 p.m. each machine and black box are transported to a centralized "tabulation" room. The door to the room will be closed to the public. The ballots are not removed from their black boxes or counted...
Edwards criticizes NAFTA 06 Aug 2007 Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Monday criticized former President Clinton, arguing that he allowed corporate insiders to shape the 1993 North American FreeTrade Agreement that has cost U.S. jobs.
Giuliani's Daughter Backing Obama 06 Jul 2007 The daughter of Republican hopeful [GOPedophile] Rudy Giuliani has signaled she's backing Democrat Barack Obama for president.
Caught on Tape! - The Plot to Bury Progress (Campaign for America's Future) Starring Jason Alexander (video - humor) 06 Aug 2007
Six coal miners trapped in Utah mine collapse 06 Aug 2007 Six miners were trapped in the collapse of a coal mine in central Utah on Monday and experts said initial reports of an earthquake might have been the rumbling from the mine's cave-in.
'Kidnapped' Filipinos build US embassy 05 Aug 2007 An American civilian contractor has described scenes of panic and hysteria last year as Filipino construction workers were told that they were on a plane bound for Baghdad rather than Dubai. Passengers jumped out of their seats screaming in protest until a gun-toting air steward ordered them to sit down, claimed Rory Mayberry, an emergency medical technician travelling on the same flight. Mayberry said the men were "kidnapped" to build America’s luxurious new [£300m fortified] embassy in Baghdad's green zone.
Al Qaeda member: U.S. embassies prime targets --FBI says it's examining tape, but message nothing new 05 Aug 2007 U.S. Embassies and American interests "at home and abroad" are prime targets for terrorist attacks, American al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] member Adam Yahiye Gadahn [aka Adam Pearlman] said in a newly released al Qaeda-produced video. [Yes, this is a resurrected distraction to counter the revelation that the US is using kidnapped slaves to build its embassy in Iraq. --LRP]
Report: Harsh Methods Used On 9/11 Suspect --Article Details Torture That Prisoner Said He Endured [Are they going to torture the *actual perpetrators* of the 9/11 terrorist attacks?] 05 Aug 2007 Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was subjected to the CIA's harshest interrogation methods while he was held in secret prisons around the world for more than three years, part of an interrogation regimen that the International Committee of the Red Cross has called "tantamount to torture," according to a New Yorker article to be published on the magazine's Web site today... Mohammed also said he was "waterboarded" -- a simulated drowning -- in addition to being held in suffocating heat and painfully cold conditions. Mohammed's captors also told him shortly after his arrest in March 2003: "We're not going to kill you. But we're going to take you to the very brink of your death and back," the article said.
The Black Sites --A rare look inside the C.I.A.'s secret interrogation program By Jane Mayer 13 Aug 2007 For decades, governments have allowed officials from the organization [International Committee of the Red Cross] to report on the treatment of detainees, to insure that standards set by international treaties are being maintained. The Red Cross, however, was unable to get access to the C.I.A.’s prisoners for five years. Finally, last year, Red Cross officials were allowed to interview fifteen detainees, after they had been transferred to Guantánamo... What the Red Cross learned has been kept from the public.. Congressional and other Washington sources familiar with the report said that it harshly criticized the C.I.A.’s practices. One of the sources said that the Red Cross described the agency's detention and interrogation methods as tantamount to torture, and declared that American officials responsible for the abusive treatment could have committed serious crimes. The source said the report warned that these officials may have committed "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions, and may have violated the U.S. Torture Act, which Congress passed in 1994.
'Torture flight' airline sued by MI5 informer 05 Aug 2007 Bisher al-Rawi, the British-based Iraqi and former MI5 source detained by America for more than four years, is suing the US private airline that transported him to Afghanistan on an illegal CIA 'extraordinary rendition' torture flight.
The Abu Ghraib whistleblower's ordeal --The US soldier who exposed the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison found himself a marked man after his anonymity was blown in the most astonishing way by Donald Rumsfeld. 05 Aug 2007 After Donald Rumsfeld blew his cover, Joe Darby was bundled out of Iraq very quickly and lived under armed protection for the first six months. He has since left the army but did testify at the trials of some of those accused of abuse and torture.
Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing --GAO Estimates 30% of Arms Are Unaccounted For 06 Aug 2007 The Pentagon has lost track of about 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, according to a new government report, raising fears that some of those weapons have fallen into the hands of insurgents fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. The report from the Government Accountability Office indicates that U.S. military officials do not know what happened to 30 percent of the weapons the United States distributed to Iraqi forces from 2004 through early this year as part of an effort to train and equip the troops.
Defense chief: U.S. to keep troop presence in Iraq for extended time 05 Aug 2007 U.S. forces will probably be in Iraq for a "protracted period" to support [destroy] the country's year-old government, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.
In Debate, Republicans Make the Case for Staying in Iraq 06 Aug 2007 The leading Republican presidential candidates said yesterday that the military escalation in Iraq appeared to be restoring stability, and they berated their Democratic counterparts for advocating an end to American involvement there. On Iraq, only one candidate, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, advocated a withdrawal.
Suicide Bomb Kills 28 in Northern Iraq 06 Aug 2007 A suicide bomber slammed his truck into a densely populated residential area in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Monday, killing at least 28 people, including 19 children, local authorities said.
Mortar Attack Kills 13 in East Baghdad --Most Victims Were Waiting in Gas Line 06 Aug 2007 At least 13 people were killed Sunday morning when mortar shells rained down on their east Baghdad neighborhood, police said.
Iraq: US military announces 2 more soldier deaths 05 Aug 2007 Two US soldiers were killed in separate incidents in and around Baghdad, the military said Sunday.
Australian soldiers hurt in Afghanistan 06 Aug 2007 Taliban extremists in Afghanistan have injured two Australian soldiers, one of whom has been evacuated to a medical facility in Europe, the Department of Defence says.
Afghan president sees no gain in bin Laden hunt [Right, the goal was to install the UNOCAL gas pipeline - not arrest Bush's hireling. Mission accomplished!] 05 Aug 2007 In the 'hunt' for Osama bin Laden, the United States and its allies have essentially gotten nowhere lately, says Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "We are not closer, we are not further away from it," Karzai said ahead of his two-day summit with President [sic] Bush at Camp David, Md. "We are where we were a few years ago."
U.S. House Passes Defense Spending Bill Without Iraq Provisions 05 Aug 2007 The U.S. House of Representatives approved $459.6 billion in military spending for fiscal year 2008, putting off debate on items related to the Iraq war until later in the year. The House voted 395-13 to approve the measure before lawmakers left Washington for an August recess.
US military holding massive war games 05 Aug 2007 The US military expects to amass more than 22,000 troops off the coast of Guam starting on Tuesday for a weeklong exercise involving dozens of ships and hundreds of aircraft.
Army Corps Dumps Old Bombs, Charges Town 05 Aug 2007 (N.J.) The Army Corps of Engineers, which accidentally dumped sand filled with old military ordnance on Surf City's beach, now wants the town to help pay to remove it. Local officials are angered by the suggestion that they should help foot the bill for a federal goof that already has cost the town an unknown amount of tourism business.
Barak: Draft dodgers must face public scorn, carry 'mark of Cain' 30 Jul 2007 Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday Israel must return to the days when draft dodgers were publicly scorned as carrying "the mark of Cain." The defense minister's remarks followed the Israel Defense Forces' release of data two weeks ago showing that a quarter of all draft-age men who are obligated to serve are not enlisted.
Hiroshima Day message 'still rings true' 05 Aug 2007 Australia's growing international belligerence means the anti-war message of Hiroshima Day continues to ring true, event organisers say. Hiroshima Day was marked on Sunday with a noon rally at Sydney's Hyde Park, where speakers called for world peace and the abolition of all nuclear weapons.
Secret Service Arrests Man on White House Lawn 05 Aug 2007 The Secret Service arrested a "not fully clothed" man who climbed over the White House fence today. Justin Manuel Arrieta, 22, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., hopped the fence on the north side of the White House at about 10:30 a.m. and was quickly apprehended by the Secret Service Uniformed Division, said spokeswoman Kim Bruce.
2 Men Held After Suspicious Item Found 06 Aug 2007 (Goose Creek, S.C.) Two men were detained after police found a suspicious item in their car during a routine traffic stop near Charleston and detonated it, authorities said Sunday. The men, who had been stopped for speeding, were being held pending a charge of unlawful possession of an explosive device, said Berkeley County sheriff's Lt. Vince Lombard.
White House High-Security Locks Broken: Bumped and Picked at DefCon 05 Aug 2007 A group of researchers has cracked the security features in what are supposed to be the world's most secure locks -- locks that are used at the White House, the Pentagon, embassies and other critical locations.
New law expands power to wiretap --Diminishes oversight of NSA spy program 06 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush signed a new law yesterday that expands the government's power to wiretap phone calls and e-mails on American soil without court oversight, capping a sudden victory for the White House despite loud criticism from advocates of civil liberties and privacy rights. Just before midnight on Saturday, Congress passed the Protect America Act of 2007, which was largely drafted by the White House and received no committee hearing.
Bush Signs Law Widening Reach for Wiretapping 06 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants... The law also gave the administration greater power to force telecommunications companies to cooperate with such spying operations. The companies can now be compelled to cooperate by orders from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.
Looking For a Leaker --FBI agents, armed with classified search warrant, raid home of former Justice Department lawyer 13 Aug 2007 The controversy over President [sic] Bush's warrantless surveillance program took another surprise turn last week when a team of FBI agents, armed with a classified search warrant, raided the suburban Washington home of a former Justice Department lawyer. The lawyer, Thomas M. Tamm, previously worked in Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR)—the supersecret unit that oversees surveillance of terrorist and espionage targets. The agents seized Tamm's desktop computer, two of his children's laptops and a cache of personal files.
Senators Planning Ways to Oust Gonzales 02 Aug 2007 Senators of both parties have shifted from simple disapproval of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to tactical planning for how to get rid of him if he does not correct what they say are inconsistencies in his sworn congressional testimony.
Diebold Flaws Pose Election Risks in Fla. 06 Aug 2007 Optical scan voting machines from Diebold Election Systems slated to be used in the presidential primary election in Florida next year are seriously flawed and could compromise the balloting, according to a recent report. A study by Florida State University researchers, released last week by Secretary of State Kurt Browning, concluded that the Accuvote OS optical scan machine from Allen, Texas-based Diebold is vulnerable to vote manipulation by people who illicitly insert preprogrammed memory cards into a voting terminal.
39 counties' vote systems in question [rescued from probable GOP election theft] 05 Aug 2007 County election officials scrambled on Saturday to develop contingency plans for the February presidential primary election after California's secretary of state imposed broad restrictions on electronic voting machines that she said are susceptible to hacking. Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified the voting machines used in 39 counties, including Los Angeles County's InkaVote system.
A Red Play for The Golden State --Mischief-makers in California (Republicans) are at work on changes that would subvert the system and dramatically increase the odds that a Republican will be elected president in 2008. By Jonathan Alter 13 Aug 2007 Instead of laboring in vain to turn California Red, a clever lawyer for the state Republican Party thought of a gimmicky shortcut. Thomas Hiltachk, who specializes in ballot referenda that try to fool people in the titles and fine print, is sponsoring a ballot initiative for the June 3, 2008, California primary... Had this idea been in effect in 2004, Bush would have won 22 electoral votes from California, about the same number awarded the winners of states like Illinois or Pennsylvania... Hiltachk, who is lying low for now, is a former campaign lawyer for Gov. (R) Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Foot and mouth came from American research centre three miles from farm outbreak 05 Aug 2007 An American pharmaceutical company appeared to be responsible for the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain. Merial, which makes foot-and-mouth vaccines and has a laboratory three miles from the Surrey farm hit by the disease, dramatically agreed to stop production immediately. The breakthrough came after Defra experts established that the strain of foot and mouth disease found in cattle at the infected farm at Wanborough is similar to the virus isolated in the 1967 outbreak in Britain.
Research facility is focus of inquiries 06 Aug 2007 Suspicion over the cause of the foot-and-mouth outbreak focused on a private laboratory run by Merial Animal Health at Pirbright, three miles away from the farm where the disease was found. Only about 150 yards separates the Pirbright laboratory run by the world-renowned Institute for Animal Health from the privately-owned vaccination production plant run by the US-based company, Merial. Merial was formed by two pharmaceutical giants, Merck and Sanofi-Aventis, 10 years ago to enter the lucrative market for the production of vaccines and a range of other animal drugs. Its laboratory was working on the same strain of the virus - O1 BFS67 - as the strain discovered in the cattle that were culled yesterday. The virus was being used to create vaccinations last month, increasing suspicions that an escape caused the outbreak.
Human error may have led to outbreak --Strain of highly contagious virus found in infected cattle was used in vaccine batch manufactured by US-based company on July 16 06 Aug 2007 Government officials believe human error at the private pharmaceutical firm Merial Animal Health is the most likely source for the return of foot and mouth disease, it emerged last night. As health and safety inspectors began examining the firm's laboratories at Pirbright in Surrey, Whitehall sources suggested the potential biosecurity lapse would amount to a breach of procedures rather than negligence, which could give rise to criminal charges.
Frankenforests: GE Trees Threaten Ecosystem Collapse --Across the U.S. and the world, the timber industry is driving research behind genetically engineered forests. But environmentalists worry that it will open an ecological Pandora's Box. By Dara Colwell 02 Aug 2007 As the biotech industry continues to lay the groundwork for genetically engineered crops -- poorly tested, widely debated and yet plugged as a technological wonder -- a potentially greater threat to biodiversity has begun to emerge. Pushed forward by biotech and the multibillion-dollar timber industry, genetically engineered trees are the latest invention.
Montana Gov. Declares Fire Emergency 06 Aug 2007 A state of emergency was declared in Montana on Sunday because of several large wildfires, including one that has crept to within a mile of several homes and destroyed at least one.
The House, following the Senate, votes to expand the government's abilities to eavesdrop without warrants: Congress gives Bush administration more eavesdropping power 04 Aug 2007 The House late Saturday night approved the Republican version of a measure amending [voiding] the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by a vote of 227-183, with most Republicans and conservative Democrats supporting the bill. President [sic] Bush demanded Congress expand his surveillance authority before leaving for vacation. The White-House backed legislation closes what the Bush regime has called critical gaps in U.S. intelligence capability. Lawmakers have been scrambling to pass a bill acceptable to the White House [!] before they leave for a monthlong summer recess. President [sic] Bush had threatened to veto any bill that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said did not meet his needs. [That is the actual quote - 'did not meet *his* needs.']
House OKs wider wiretap powers --DemocRATs concede to Bush regime on warrantless surveillance 04 Aug 2007 The House handed President [sic] Bush a victory Saturday, voting to expand the government's abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States. The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate's approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature. ['The House handed President Bush a victory Saturday.']
Congress Enacts Bush's Anti-Terrorism Spy Measure 04 Aug 2007 The U.S. House completed congressional passage of 'anti'-terrorist legislation that gives President [sic] George W. Bush more power to conduct electronic surveillance for the next six months. The House voted 227-183 to let spy agencies intercept -- without a court warrant -- e-mails and telephone calls of foreign-based terrorists that are routed through U.S. telephone switching facilities.
Top Ten Myths About the Illegal NSA Spying on Americans (ACLU) 06 Feb 2006 MYTH: This is merely a "terrorist surveillance program." REALITY: When there is evidence a person may be a terrorist, both the criminal code and intelligence laws already authorize eavesdropping. This illegal program, however, allows electronic monitoring without any showing to a court that the person being spied upon in this country is a suspected terrorist. [Download a printable version of the full ACLU report.]
Gonzales Now Says Top Aides Got Political Briefings 04 Aug 2007 Justice Department officials attended at least a dozen political briefings at the White House since 2001, including some meetings led by Karl Rove, President [sic] Bush's chief political adviser, and others that were focused on election trends prior to the 2006 midterm contest, according to documents released yesterday. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that he did not believe that senior Justice Department officials had attended such briefings. But he clarified his testimony yesterday in a letter to Congress...
House Forms Special Panel Over Alleged Stolen Vote [Where's the *special panel* formed over two STOLEN ELECTIONS?] GOP Assails Decision on Food Aid for Immigrants 04 Aug 2007 The House last night unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night. [The GOP is hungry to investigate people getting food, but not the theft on two elections, an illegal war and ten thousand other crimes against humanity perpetrated by the illegitimate regime. --LRP]
Iraqi Power Grid Nearing Collapse --Iraq's National Power Grid Is Nearing Collapse, Causing Blackouts and Water Shortages 04 Iraq's power grid is on the brink of collapse because of insurgent [US] sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages [!] and provinces that are unplugging local power stations from the national grid [?], officials said Saturday. [Gee, what happened to the tens of *billions* of dollars US taxpayers gave to Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater USA - to rebuild that which they destroyed in Iraq (and New Orleans)? These predators are likely already salivating over the likelihood of billions of dollars in new no-bid Bush contracts to 'rebuild' the US infrastructure.]
Baghdad Misery Index: 117 Degrees, No Water 03 Aug 2007 Much of the Iraqi capital was without running water Thursday and had been for at least 24 hours, compounding the urban misery in a war zone and the blistering heat at the height of the summer. It was 117 degrees in the capital Thursday. Residents and city officials said large sections west of Baghdad had been virtually dry for six days.
The Secret Behind the Sanctions How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply By Thomas J. Nagy (September 2001, The Progressive) Over the last two years, I've discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway. The primary document, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities," is dated January 22, 1991. It spells out how sanctions will prevent Iraq from supplying clean water to its citizens.
Escort offers 'services' to private military contractors in Iraq 04 Aug 2007 The divide between uniformed soldiers and private military contractors is about to get wider. In a posting this week on an adult Web site, "Tori of Atlanta" offers her services to private contractors deploying to Iraq. On the Erotic Review site, Tori says she will be in the Middle East for three months, including a stint in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. But uniformed troops need not apply. Tori closes her posting with this stipulation: "My apologies but at this time I am UNABLE to plan any meetings w/ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY. (*The members of PMC community has an exclusive arrangement during this visit*) Kisses, Tori." PMC is the acronym for private military companies, which have deployed thousands of armed civilian contractors alongside U.S. troops in Iraq.
Iraq bleeds US Treasury, enriches contractors By Eli Clifton 04 Aug 2007 In a report to US lawmakers this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the war in Iraq could cost US taxpayers more than a trillion dollars when the long-term costs [are totaled]... While Congressional Budget Office reports showed a gloomy outlook for US costs in Iraq, last week several of Washington's biggest defense contractors released profit reports disclosing huge growth in divisions benefiting from military contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
US funding, training insurgents so that chaos and violence ensues and Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater USA are forced to 'stay' in Iraq: Aided by U.S., militants widen reach --A Sunni group, partners in the fight against Al Qaeda in Iraq, is becoming more ambitious. Some fear it can't be trusted. 04 Aug 2007 The leader of the Revolutionaries of Amiriya sits in his headquarters... explaining the militant group's latest mission: policing and rebuilding Sunni Muslim neighborhoods. Military commanders acknowledge that there's a risk that the Sunni fighters they're attempting to co-opt could betray them or fuel the country's civil war... But U.S. strategists are betting that giving the Sunni Arab groups a stake in a stable Iraq, and paying them a monthly salary, will quell [foment] violence and help U.S. forces repel Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq, one of several high-profile Sunni Arab groups in the insurgency against U.S. and Iraqi forces.
Nine killed in Baghdad mortar attack 05 Aug 2007 [US] Mortar bombs struck a petrol station in eastern Baghdad at dawn on Sunday, killing at least nine people and wounding 11, Iraqi police said. The police said nine mortar bombs landed in the area, destroying 13 cars as people lined up for fuel. Several mortar bombs landed at another petrol station in a nearby district, wounding six people.
Four US soldiers killed in Iraq 04 Aug 2007 Four US soldiers have been killed in Baghdad, the US military says, underlining US President [sic] George W Bush's grim prediction of "a very difficult August" for US troops in Iraq.
US soldier gets 110 years for gang rape of 14-yr-old Iraqi girl, murders 04 Aug 2007 A U.S. soldier convicted by a military court in the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family was sentenced to 110 years in prison on Saturday, the Army said. Pvt. Jesse Spielman, 22, received a dishonorable discharge after being found guilty of four counts of murder, rape, conspiracy to commit rape and housebreaking with the intent to commit rape by a military court at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
Soldier sentenced in Iraq rape-killing eligible for parole after 10 years [unless Bush pardons him sooner] 04 Aug 2007 A soldier convicted of rape and murder in an attack on an Iraqi teenager and her family was sentenced Saturday to 110 years in prison. The sentence was part of a plea agreement attorneys for Pfc. Jesse Spielman had made with prosecutors that set the number of years he could serve in prison, regardless of the jury's recommendation. The jury had recommended life with parole, a sentence under which he would have to wait longer for the possibility of parole. He will be eligible for parole after 10 years.
Thanks to Bush: Another Record Poppy Crop in Afghanistan 04 Aug 2007 Afghanistan will produce another record poppy harvest this year that cements its status as the world's near-sole supplier of the heroin source. As President [sic] Bush prepares for weekend talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, divisions within the U.S. administration and among NATO allies have delayed release of a $475 million 'counter'narcotics program for Afghanistan, where intelligence officials see growing links between drugs and the Taliban [US occupiers], the officials said.
Suicide Attack Kills 2 in Afghanistan 04 Aug 2007 A suicide car bomber blew himself up next to a convoy of foreign troops Saturday just west of Kandahar city, killing two civilians who were nearby, police said.
General Suspected Cause of Tillman Death 04 Aug 2007 A high-ranking general told Pentagon investigators that, when he approved a Silver Star citation for Pat Tillman, he suspected that the former NFL player had been killed by "friendly fire," according to testimony obtained by the Associated Press. Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that suspicion led him to send a memo to top generals imploring "our nation's leaders," specifically "POTUS" -- the acronym for the president -- to avoid using the award citation's language of "devastating enemy fire" in their speeches.
House approves Pentagon funds, holds fire on Iraq 05 Aug 2007 The House of Representatives early on Sunday approved more money for the Pentagon but not the unpopular Iraq war, which is expected to be the subject of a major legislative clash this fall. The defense appropriations bill passed by the House 395-13 provides $459.6 billion for the Pentagon for the fiscal year starting October 1, and maps out spending priorities. It does not include an extra $147 billion in Iraq war funds that the Bush regime wants Congress to approve this autumn... Over $600 billion in war checks have already been written for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Defense Spending Glance 04 Aug 2007 Highlights of a $459.6 billion Pentagon spending bill under consideration by the House on Saturday: $8.5 billion for ballistic missile defense. $3.2 billion for the Army's next generation Future Combat system...
MPs demand debate on 'Son of Star Wars' base in Yorkshire Dales 03 Aug 2007 Angry MPs challenged Gordon Brown to live up to his promise of more Parliamentary accountability by allowing a Commons vote over the use of the US listening post at Menwith Hill, in the Yorkshire Dales, as a base for the 'anti'-nuclear weapon programme dubbed "Son of Star Wars".
Gingrich says war on terror 'phony' 03 Aug 2007 Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday the Bush administration is waging a "phony war" on terrorism, warning that the country is losing ground against the kind of Islamic radicals who attacked the country on Sept. 11, 2001.
More than one person a minute added to DNA database 02 Aug 2007 People are being added to the DNA database at a rate of more than one every minute, according to the Liberal Democrats. The statistic comes amid reports that the Home Office has been urged to allow police to take DNA samples for offences such as dropping litter. In an answer to a Parliamentary Question by Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Clegg MP, the Government admitted that 722,464 profiles were added to the DNA database in 2006-07, the equivalent of one every 45 seconds.
I'd risk flying with terrorists to escape this airport hell By Marina Hyde 04 Aug 2007 ...I thought very seriously of approaching the BAA information desk, and proposing that all airports went two tier. One half of the airport would be a place where flights took off, and on time. The only catch would be that in this half, security measures would be analogous to those in place in British airports before September 11. Call it The Queue for People Willing to Take Their Chances.
State curtails e-voting --L.A. system decertified; restrictions on two others 04 Aug 3007 California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, bowing to fears of computer fraud, Friday decertified Los Angeles County's electronic voting system and sharply curtailed the use of two other machines that California counties had hoped [?] to use to conduct the February 2008 presidential primary.
Disease strain used in vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical company --UK orders a 3km protection zone, a 10km surveillance zone and an 8km air exclusion zone 05 Aug 2007 The strain of foot-and-mouth disease found at a Surrey farm has been identified, Defra has said. The strain in infected cattle is identical to that used at the Institute for Animal Health, at Pirbright, about three miles from the farm. The strain is not one normally found in animals but is used in vaccine production and in diagnostic laboratories. The strain was used in a vaccine batch manufactured last month by a private pharmaceutical company Merial Animal Health.
Vaccine lab link to disease outbreak 04 Aug 2007 A government laboratory based two miles from where foot and mouth disease was discovered in a herd of cows is being investigated as the possible source of the outbreak. Fears were yesterday raised that there is a possibility the disease may somehow have been transferred from vaccines at the Institute for Animal Health in Surrey.
IAEA Team to Check Quake-Hit Nuke Plant 05 Aug 2007 A team of U.N. nuclear watchdog agency inspectors was in Japan Sunday to assess the condition of a nuclear power plant severely damaged in an earthquake last month.
8 reported missing in bridge collapse 05 Aug 2007 Divers spent a third fruitless day searching for victims of a deadly bridge collapse, finding no bodies inside a crushed car pulled earlier Saturday from the murky Mississippi River waters. Authorities said they had been unable to check at least one other car lying beneath another vehicle on the river bottom.
Bonds Ties Aaron's Record With 755th Career Home Run 04 Aug 2007 Barry Bonds tied Hank Aaron atop Major League Baseball's home-run list, hitting the 755th of his career in the second inning of the San Francisco Giants' game against the San Diego Padres. Bonds led off the top of the second and drove a 2-1 pitch from Clay Hensley over the left-field fence in the nationally televised game at San Diego's Petco Park.
Senate Votes to Expand Warrantless Surveillance --White House Applauds 04 Aug 2007 The Senate bowed to White House pressure last night and passed a Republican plan for overhauling the federal government's terrorist surveillance laws, approving changes that would temporarily give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign 'suspects' without a court order. The 60 to 28 vote, which was quickly denounced by civil rights and privacy advocates, came after Democrats in the House failed to win support for more modest changes that would have required closer court supervision of government surveillance. ['The Senate bowed to the White House.']
Senate votes to expand eavesdropping power --Bill matches what Bush requested; Democratic version fails in House 04 Aug 2007 The Senate, in a high-stakes showdown over national security, voted late Friday to temporarily give President [sic] Bush expanded authority to eavesdrop on suspected foreign terrorists without court warrants. The House, meanwhile, rejected a Democratic version of the bill. House Democrats lost an effort to push a proposal that called for stricter court oversight of the way the government would ensure its spying would not target Americans.
Court secretly struck down Bush spying: report 03 Aug 2007 A U.S. intelligence court earlier this year secretly struck down a key element of President [sic] George W. Bush's warrantless spying program, The Washington Post reported in its Friday edition. The decision is one reason Congress is trying to give legal authorization to the spying program in fevered negotiations with the Bush administration this week, the Post reported.
Court Declared Key Element of Bush's Spy Program Illegal --Move to Amend FISA Sparked by Judge's Decision 03 Aug 2007 A federal intelligence court judge earlier this year secretly declared a key element of the Bush administration's wiretapping efforts illegal, according to a lawmaker and government sources, providing a previously unstated rationale for fevered efforts by congressional lawmakers this week to expand the president's spying powers... The judge, whose name could not be learned, concluded early this year that the government had overstepped its authority in attempting to broadly surveil communications between two locations overseas that are passed through routing stations in the United States, according to two other government sources familiar with the decision.
Good news from Baghdad at last: the oil law has stalled By Jonathan Steele 03 Aug 2007 Glad tidings from Baghdad at last. The Iraqi parliament has gone into summer recess without passing the oil law that Washington was pressing it to adopt... Washington has promoted the law as a "reconciliation" issue, claiming its early passage would show that Iraq's ethnic and sectarian communities could share revenues on a fair basis. But this is a trick. Only one of the law's 43 articles mentions revenue-sharing, and then just to say that a separate "federal revenue law" will decide its distribution... The law that Washington and the US oil lobby really want would set the arrangements for foreign companies to operate in Iraq's oil sector.
Soldier guilty of rape, murder of Iraqi girl 04 Aug 2007 A military jury on Friday found a soldier guilty of rape and murder in the slayings of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family. Jurors deliberated much of Friday evening before convicting Army Pfc. Jesse Spielman, 22, of conspiracy to commit rape, rape, housebreaking with intent to commit rape and four counts of felony murder.
US Marine jailed for 15 years for killing civilian 04 Aug 2007 A military jury has sentenced a US Marine sergeant to 15 years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi civilian during a fruitless search for an 'insurgent.' Sergeant Lawrence G Hutchins III, who was also dishonorably discharged, reduced in rank to private and verbally reprimanded today, became the first and only member of an eight-member squad to be convicted of murder in the April 2006 killing in the town of Hamdania.
Marine guilty of Iraqi grandfather's murder 03 Aug 2007 A US Marine squad leader who told his men "We just got away with murder" after they kidnapped and killed an Iraqi grandfather in Iraq last year has been found guilty of murder. A military jury in a Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base courtroom, north of San Diego, found Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins III committed unpremeditated murder and larceny, made false official statements and participated in conspiracy to murder and commit other crimes in the killing.
At U.S. base, Iraqis must use separate latrine 03 Aug 2007 The sign taped to the men's latrine is just five lines: "US MILITARY CONTRACTORS CIVILIANS ONLY!!!!!" It needed only one: "NO IRAQIS." Here at this searing, dusty U.S. military base about four miles west of Baqouba, Iraqis — including interpreters who walk the same foot patrols and sleep in the same tents as U.S. troops — must use segregated bathrooms... It's been nearly 60 years since President Harry Truman ended racial segregation in the U.S. military. But at Forward Operating Base Warhorse it's alive and well, perhaps the only U.S. military facility with such rules, Iraqi interpreters here say.
First Armed Robots on Patrol in Iraq By Noah Shachtman 02 Aug 2007 Robots have been roaming the streets of Iraq, since shortly after the war began. Now, for the first time -- the first time in any warzone -- the machines are carrying guns. After years of development, three "special weapons observation remote reconnaissance direct action system" (SWORDS) robots have deployed to Iraq, armed with M249 machine guns. The 'bots "haven't fired their weapons yet," Michael Zecca, the SWORDS program manager, tells DANGER ROOM. "But that'll be happening soon."
Iraqi, U.S. soldiers begin "clearing" Samarra 03 Aug 2007 Iraqi troops supported by an American battalion have begun "clearing operations" in Samarra, isolating the city by sealing a berm that rings the east side of the city. The operation comes some three weeks after gunmen killed the city’s mayor and nearly two months after [US] attackers destroyed the two minarets of a sacred Shiite shrine in the city.
Suicide Bomber Kills 13 at Iraqi Police Post 03 Aug 2007 A suicide car bomber drove into a police station north of Baghdad [in Hibhib] on Thursday and detonated his explosives, killing 13 people, police said.
Four U.S. soldiers killed in Baghdad 03 Aug 2007 Four U.S. soldiers were killed in Baghdad on Thursday, three of them when their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb, the U.S. military said on Friday.
The "Mission Accomplished" Fiasco: Saddam was dead, but killing him was illegal, Scholars maintain By James Fetzer 02 Aug 2007 An evaluation of the available evidence suggests that the "Mission Accomplished" celebration aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, on May 1, 2003, was intended to announce the assassination of Saddam Hussein... Al-Jazerra on the same day [13 April 2003] headlined an article, "Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been killed during the night of 7-8th as the result of a bombing raid on the Al-Mansour District of Baghdad."
Bomb made to cut civilian injuries rarely used 03 Aug 2007 Nato commanders in Afghanistan have had access to a bomb specifically designed to limit collateral damage for the past six months but only 15 have been used despite repeated instances of civilian casualties. The bomb was first used in Afghanistan on Jan 27. But The Daily Telegraph has learned that since then it has been used during only 11 missions.
Afghan civilians killed in US-led air strike 04 Aug 2007 Afghan authorities are checking reports of heavy civilian casualties after air strikes by Western forces in the southern province of Helmand. At least 20 wounded civilians were brought to a main hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, Helmand's police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. A group of wounded civilians were also brought to a hospital in neighbouring Kandahar. Journalists were barred from filming or talking to them inside the wards.
Tracking and reporting of friendly fire incidents under review 04 Aug 2007 The Marine Corps’ Inspector General will review all service combat casualty reports after senior leaders found numerous errors in units’ tracking and reporting of friendly fire cases. The investigation, ordered by the commandant, will include a look at whether wounded Marines and their families are receiving proper notification of friendly fire incidents, and how officials could lose track of [destroy] the strategically important data.
Teen halted from chalking names of war dead 03 Aug 2007 Fort Myers police have stopped a teenager from chalking the names of Iraq war casualties on downtown sidewalks. Willie Filkowski, 15, and two companions were told to stop their writing after a city worker called authorities claiming there was an anti-war protest going on in downtown.
Bush signs homeland security bill 03 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush signed legislation Friday that intensifies the 'anti'-terrorism effort at home, shifting money to high-risk states and cities and expanding scrutiny of air and sea cargo.
Hospital cesium is 'terror chemical' says expert 03 Aug 2007 A radioactive chemical widely used in medical and industrial equipment should be banned because of its potential use in a terrorist attack, scientists say. Prof Peter D Zimmerman and colleagues at King's College London said hundreds could be poisoned or burnt if enough cesium-137 fell into the wrong hands. They argued that the substance... was one of the most likely candidates for use in an "I-cubed" attack - involving victims' chemical ingestion, inhalation or immersion.
NYC Considers Permits for Pictures --Filmmakers and Photographers Troubled by Proposed Rules for Using Cameras in New York City 01 Aug 2007 Filmmakers, photographers and civil liberties advocates are protesting proposed rules that would require permits and $1 million insurance policies for people trying to film or take pictures in one of the world's most photographed cities. New regulations drafted by the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting would require a permit for any type of filming or photography that involved "an interaction among two or more people at a single site for 30 or more minutes."
Bridge collapse notes: What will Halliburton do after the 'war' is over? Can you say BRIDGE? By Ann Fillmore, Ph.D. 03 Aug 2007 Was the BRIDGE COLLAPSE merely a scare tactic to get us ready to 'invest' billions in US infrastructure (which really does need billions of dollars of work and has needed it for years)? And who will get the contracts to do this work? No need to guess --- after all, the writing is on the wall that we are all 'warred' out and what will Halliburton do once the war' is 'over'? These guys are really shifty bastards, aren't they?
77,000 US bridges in need of urgent repair --Billions required to fix ageing structures 04 Aug 2007 About 77,000 bridges across the US share the same "structurally deficient" rating as the one that collapsed over the Mississippi in Minnesota, it emerged yesterday. Transport specialists said billions of dollars would be needed to replace the bridges, many of which were built 40 to 50 years ago and were coming to the end of their life.
20 Heavily Trafficked Bridges in Urgent Need of Repair: Is Yours on the List? 02 Aug 2007 Twenty heavily trafficked bridges "may need to be replaced" because they are structurally deficient, according to national bridge inspection data. These bridges scored a lower structural integrity rating than the I-35W bridge in Minnesota before its collapse. [Better get Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater USA on the case - they did so well 'rebuilding' Iraq and New Orleans. --LRP]
House approves emergency $250 million to rebuild bridge 03 Aug 2007 Congress is expected to put the finishing touches today on a $250 million emergency relief package to rebuild the crumpled Interstate 35W Bridge. Two days after the catastrophic bridge collapse in Minneapolis, the U.S. House and Senate unanimously approved separate relief measures Friday, requiring a new House vote to resolve minor differences.
Court: FBI violated Constitution in raid 03 Aug 2007 The FBI violated the Constitution when agents raided U.S. Rep. William Jefferson's office last year and viewed legislative documents in a corruption investigation, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
FBI Must Return Some Jefferson Papers Seized in Raid 03 Aug 2007 A federal appeals court ruled the FBI exceeded its authority in raiding U.S. Representative William Jefferson's office and barred some of the seized evidence from being used in the bribery case against the Louisiana Democrat.
State Rep. Allen explains sex case: Fear made me play along 03 Aug 2007 State Rep. Bob Allen told police he was just playing along when a undercover officer suggested in a public restroom that the legislator give him oral sex and $20 because he was intimidated, according to a taped statement and other documents released Thursday. Allen has already denied any wrongdoing, but the recordings and documents offered new details about what he and police say happened on July 11 inside the men's room at Veterans Memorial Park. Allen, R-Merritt Island, was arrested on charges of soliciting prostitution. "This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park," Allen, who is white, told police in a taped statement after his arrest.
Senator, Aide May Have Run Afoul of Law 03 Aug 2007 A Senate aide who handled Sen. Ted Stevens' personal bills did not report any payments from his personal funds, raising questions about whether the two violated gift restrictions or federal law. Barbara Flanders, a financial clerk at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, is cooperating in a corruption investigation of the lawmaker.
Diebold Voting Machines Vulnerable to Virus Attack 02 Aug 2007 Diebold Election Systems Inc. voting machines are not secure enough to guarantee a trustworthy election, and an attacker with access to a single machine could disrupt or change the outcome of an election using viruses, according to a review of Diebold's source code.
Court upholds modern-day poll tax By Erika Wood 02 Aug 2007 The idea that a citizen's eligibility to vote should never hinge on his ability to pay has long been accepted as a basic tenet of our democracy. Nevertheless, last week the Washington Supreme Court rejected this bedrock principle. The decision in Washington v. Madison upheld Washington's law that requires people convicted of a felony to not only complete their prison term and any subsequent parole or probation, but also to satisfy all fees, fines and restitution that accompanied their sentence, including all accrued interest and penalties. The result of the court's ruling is clear: Wealthy citizens can vote despite a felony conviction while poor citizens cannot.
Big Insurers Win Ruling On Katrina Levee Break Appeals --Court Says No to Claims Payout 03 Aug 2007 Hurricane Katrina victims whose homes and businesses were destroyed after floodwaters breached levees in the 2005 storm cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damage, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.
U.S. Orders More Glaxo Bird Flu Vaccine 03 Aug 2007 British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline said the Department of Health and Human Services placed another order to buy bulk avian flu vaccine to fill the national stockpile in the event of a [US-engendered] pandemic. Glaxo also announced the start of the first pre-pandemic vaccine trials of the company's bird flu vaccine in North America.
House OKs prescription drug imports --Bush threatens veto 03 Aug 2007 The House passed legislation Thursday effectively permitting the importation of lower-cost prescription drugs from places such as Canada, Australia and Europe. The bill, passed by a 237-18 vote, faces a promised veto from President [sic] Bush over its price tag, and the administration also opposes the drug importation provision.
Secret drug company payments to doctors remain legal in 48 states (NewsTarget) 30 Jul 2007 Only five states and the District of Columbia require that pharmaceutical companies report gifts they make to doctors, and even in these jurisdictions the laws are so poorly enforced that the details of these transactions remain a de facto secret, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Wall Street's Lucrative Tax Break Is Under Fire 03 Aug 2007 The most controversial tax break on Wall Street, known simply as the Carry, is not authorized by any law and was never approved by Congress. Instead, it grew quietly over several decades, hinted at but never directly addressed in obscure court cases and arcane regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Unchallenged by lawmakers, it swelled into a benefit that, by one back-of-the-envelope estimate, spares a small band of the country's richest and most powerful financiers $6 billion a year in personal income taxes.
Stocks Fall Sharply Amid Credit Fears --Stocks Fall Following Concerns About Credit, Weaker-Than-Expected Economic Readings 03 Aug 2007 Wall Street plunged anew Friday, hurtling the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 280 points after comments from a major investment bank exacerbated the market's fears of a widening credit crunch.
'I must respectfully decline to respond at this time.' White House Aide Won't Answer Questions of a Senate Panel 03 Aug 2007 J. Scott Jennings, a 29-year-old White House aide, refused repeatedly on Thursday to answer questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying he was under orders from President [sic] Bush not to respond... Mr. Jennings’s boss, Karl Rove, had been subpoenaed to answer questions at Thursday’s session, but did not appear. Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, suggested that Mr. Rove had left it to Mr. Jennings to take the committee's heat.
Water taps run dry in Baghdad during peak summer heat 02 Aug 2007 Much of the Iraqi capital was without running water Thursday and had been for at least 24 hours, compounding the urban misery in a war zone and the blistering heat at the height of the Baghdad summer. Residents and city officials said large sections in the west of the capital had been virtually dry for six days because the already strained electricity grid cannot provide sufficient power to run water purification and pumping stations. In the meantime, Iraqis suffer in brutal heat. It was 47 C in the capital Thursday, down from 49 C the day before. [Gee, what happened to the tens of billion$ of dollars US taxpayers gave to Halliburton to 'rebuild' Iraq? Let's see: 120 degrees with no water or electricity. How many Iraqis are longing for the days of Saddam Hussein? I'm guessing, nearly all of them.]
Suicide car bomb kills 13 at Iraq police station 02 Aug 2007 A suicide bomber drove a car bomb into an Iraqi police station on Thursday, killing 13 people. The attack followed a day of major bombings in Baghdad, in which 70 people were killed.
Attacks Across Iraq Claim 142 Lives 02 Aug 2007 Baghdad shook with bombings and political upheaval Wednesday as the largest Sunni Arab bloc quit the government and a suicide attacker blew up his fuel tanker in one of several attacks that claimed 142 lives nationwide. Altogether at least 142 Iraqis were killed or found dead, including 70 in three separate bombings Wednesday in Baghdad.
Marine found guilty of murder in Iraq killing 02 Aug 2007 Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III was found guilty of unpremeditated murder Thursday and faces a sentence of life in prison without parole for orchestrating and supervising the kidnapping and execution of an Iraqi man in April 2006. Hutchins, 23, is the first Marine to be convicted of a wartime murder since the Vietnam War.
House passes bill on deployment limits 02 Aug 2007 A White House veto threat did not deter the House of Representatives from passing a bill that would require the services to guarantee troops as much time at home as they spend deployed. The awkwardly named Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Act passed the House Thursday by a 229-194 vote.
Iraqi men join CIA secret prison suit 02 Aug 2007 Two men who say they were flown by the US Central Intelligence Agency to secret overseas prisons where they were interrogated and tortured have joined an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. The ACLU filed the original complaint in May, accusing Jeppesen Dataplan, a unit of Boeing, of providing flight and logistical support to at least 15 aircraft on 70 so-called "extraordinary-rendition" flights.
Boeing unit subject of refiled CIA-flight suit 02 Aug 2007 A Boeing Co. unit falsified flight plans to disguise the Central Intelligence Agency's transporting of terrorism suspects to secret prisons overseas, the American Civil Liberties Union claims in an updated lawsuit. Jeppesen Dataplan, a provider of navigation charts, refueling plans and route planning based in Englewood, Colo., helped in more than 70 flights to move suspects to countries where they were not protected by U.S. law, the group said. The prisoners were tortured and interrogated, the ACLU said Wednesday in the suit.
Lawyers: Military violated rules in determining enemy combatant status of Guantanamo detainees 01 Aug 2007 Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, citing statements by two U.S. military officers, told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the United States violated its own rules when it branded hundreds of prisoners as enemy combatants. Shane Kadidal, a New York lawyer, said petitions will be filed for some Guantanamo prisoners, alleging the military violated rules of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals — military panels that determine whether someone was an enemy combatant who should be held.
Gates says US underestimated depth of Iraq divisions 02 Aug 2007 Washington underestimated the difficulty of getting Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites to agree on key national reconciliation measures, [i.e., giving Exxon Mobil Iraq's oil] US Defence Secretary Robert Gates admitted on Thursday.
Gates ends Mideast tour with call for pressure on Iran 02 Aug 2007 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates ended a Middle East tour on Thursday with an appeal to key Arab states to join the United States in stepping up pressure on Iran to end its nuclear programme... "And partly as a result of the debates in Washington over the last several months, to reassure them [US allies] that the United States is going to be a major power and major presence in this region for a long time to come," Gates said.
US targets threat to Lebanon's stability 02 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush announced Thursday the United States will freeze the property and interests of people deemed to be undermining Lebanon's democratic government. The treasury secretary, in consultation with the secretary of state, will designate the people affected by the order. They will not be able to do business with U.S. residents, and their identity will be announced to the international financial community.
US: Force Is Option for Hostage Crisis 02 Aug 2007 The United States is not ruling out the use of military force to free 21 South Korean hostages held by the Taliban in Afghanistan, a senior State Department official [Richard Boucher] said Thursday.
Saudis buy major supplier to U.S. military 31 Jul 2007 Saudi Arabia has acquired a Massachusetts firm that is a leading supplier to the U.S. military. The state-owned Saudi Basic Industries Corp. has purchased GE Plastics from General Electric for $11.6 billion. Based in Pittsfield, Mass., GE Plastics, with 11,000 employees, develops and manufactures plastic polymers, composites and polycarbonates used in U.S. military platforms, including fighter-jets, submarines and engines.
TSA checks IndyGo bus passengers 02 Aug 2007 Screeners from the Transportation Security Administration checked passengers at two Downtown city bus stops this morning. Security stations were set up at bus stops at Capitol Avenue and Market Street, and Ohio and Meridian streets. Some passengers were patted down or submitted to having bags checked.
Police want DNA from speeding drivers and litterbugs on database 02 Aug 2007 Police are seeking powers to take DNA samples from suspects on the streets and for non-imprisonable offences such as speeding and dropping litter. The demand for a huge expansion of powers to take DNA comes as a government watchdog announced the first public inquiry into the national DNA database... But a number of police forces in England and Wales are backing proposals that would add millions more samples to it.
Glasgow Terror Suspect Dies 02 Aug 2007 A terror suspect being treated for severe burns following a car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport has died in hospital. Kafeel Ahmed, 27, was being cared for at a specialist unit at Glasgow Royal Infirmary after the incident on June 30.
Salvadorans Face Terror Charges for Opposing Water Privatization (Democracy Now!) 01 Aug 2007 A protest against water privatization in El Salvador last month resulted in 13 demonstrators charged with committing acts of terrorism. If found guilty, they could face up to 60 years of prison time under laws modeled on the USA Patriot Act.
O, Canada! More Americans Heading North --The Number of Americans Moving to Canada in 2006 Hit a 30-Year High 31 Jul 2007 Our neighbor to the north is proving to be quite the draw for thousands of disgruntled Americans. The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000.
State: Fla. voting machines can be hacked 31 Jul 2007 Reversing an unofficial policy of denial, the Florida Secretary of State's office has conducted an elections study that confirmed Tuesday what a maverick voting chief discovered nearly two years ago: Insider computer hackers can change votes without a trace on Diebold optical-scan machines.
Gonzales calls it confusion; Specter calls it 'misleading' 01 Aug 2007 The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said he's not satisfied with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' attempt to clarify his testimony about no-warrant surveillance. "He did not tell the whole truth," Sen. Arlen Specter, (R- Pa.) said Wednesday. Earlier the same day, Gonzales sent a letter to Senate leaders saying he "may have created confusion" in his testimony about a program that allows domestic surveillance without a warrant.
Support for Attorney General Gonzales slips further --Even among GOP lawmakers on the Hill, concerns mount about the attorney general's truthfulness. 02 Aug 2007 After months of bickering over fired US attorneys, congressional subpoenas, and secret eavesdropping, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales now has few supporters left on Capitol Hill, even among his fellow Republicans. Mr. Gonzales's bitterest foes have gone so far as to call for a special counsel to investigate whether he has perjured himself in congressional testimony. Others have begun pushing for his impeachment...
Madam' phone records:
Correction to previous CLG news alert
02 Aug 2007 From Minnesota Ward 11 City Council member, Scott Benson:
These are two completely different bridges. The one that will be replaced
spans the Minnehaha Creek and is several miles away from the bridge
that collapsed over the Mississippi. The Minnehaha Creek bridge is presently
being replaced by MnDOT. MnDOT is in the middle of the massive Crosstown/35W
project and they have started work on removing the current bridge. --Scott
Benson, via email to CLG.
Minnesota Bridge Fall Kills 4; Divers Seek Victims 02 Aug 2007 Workers were repairing corroded joints on Minnesota's busiest bridge when it collapsed into the Mississippi River yesterday, killing at least four people and leaving more than 20 missing, state officials said. "A bridge in America shouldn't just fall down," U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said today at a news conference. "We have to get to the bottom of this."
Bridge Classed As 'Deficient' In 1990 02 Aug 2007 It has emerged that the bridge which collapsed in Minneapolis, killing at least four people, had been classed as "structurally deficient" in 1990. It is among 1,160 bridges which are not up to standard in the state and there had been plans to replace it, officials have revealed. Meanwhile, cutting corners in the design of the structure which collapsed into the Mississippi may have contributed to the disaster, UK experts have claimed. [See: CBO: Iraq war could cost over $1 trillion 01 Aug 2007. Instead of enriching the coffers of Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater USA, and Exxon Mobil, the money spent on Bush's wars could have been used toward rebuilding the US infrastructure. Of course, Republicans are now calling for 'privatization,' code language for forcing consumers to pay twice: first, through taxes to the Bush regime for its 'war on terror' and second, to the corpora-terrorists who will price-gouge us via sky high tolls for the roads and bridges they will allegedly 'upgrade.' --LRP]
More than 70,000 US bridges rated deficient 02 Aug 2007 More than 70,000 bridges across the country are rated structurally deficient like the span that collapsed in Minneapolis, and engineers estimate repairing them all would take at least a generation and cost more than $188 billion. That works out to at least $9.4 billion a year over 20 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Engineers are baffled! An inspection OK'd the I-35W Bridge until 2020... 'From what I heard, engineers were working on the surface of that bridge - nothing to do with the infrastructure.' Homeland Security, rescue teams were at the scene within *minutes.* 'It [the I-35W] looks like the bridges in Iraq that I've seen hit by JDAMs.' --Brian Williams, MSNBC's 'Countdown,' 02 Aug 2007 Incidentally, the Interstate 35W bridge is a major thoroughfare in and out of Minneapolis and St. Paul -- cities now prone to a Bush bin Laden attack. These tragedies typically arrive on the heels of a big day of Bush regime embarrassments. Wednesday's Bush woes: 50 people killed in a fuel tanker explosion in western Baghdad (142 lives lost nationwide) followed by the largest Sunni Arab bloc quitting the government; six more US soldiers killed in Iraq; the CBO analysis that the Iraq war could cost over $1 trillion; hearings on the Tillman execution and cover-up; Rumsfeld rearing his ugly, lying head; Gonzales forced to explain the rearing of his, ugly lying head; a bill calling for a Gonzales impeachment inquiry; Bush seeking authorization to conduct warrantless spying authority from Congress; doctors condemning the forced-feedings at Guantanamo Bay in the Journal of the American Medical Association; controversy over Bush's $63B arms deal. And, all media coverage of these 'embarrassments' - each an impeachable offense unto itself - is now 'water under the bridge.' --Lori Price 02 Aug 2007
Katrina Victims Lose in Appeals Court 02 Aug 2007 Hurricane Katrina victims whose homes and businesses were destroyed when floodwaters breached levees in the 2005 storm cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damages, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.
White House Accused of Meddling With EPA 02 Aug 2007 The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday released an analysis of its new proposal to reduce smog levels that shows higher economic costs - but potentially more lives saved - the more stringent the regulation is. The document angered environmentalists because in addition to analyzing three relatively stringent smog levels, EPA decided to study a fourth less-stringent smog level after intervention by the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to public documents in an EPA docket.
Suspect in bee die-off: Insecticide Widely used bug spray may be behind deaths of millions of bees 24 May 2007 An insecticide is suspected of causing a "colony collapse" disorder that has killed millions of honeybees worldwide and up to half of the 2.5 million colonies in the United States. The chief suspect, say many scientists, is imidacloprid, the most commonly used insecticide on the planet.
EU: July Fires Among Worst on Record 03 Aug 2007 The forest fires that ravaged southern Europe last month, fed by dry conditions that turned woods into tinder, were some of the worst on record, the European Commission said Thursday.
Heat wave takes toll on Southern Europe 24 Jul 2007 Southern Europe sizzled under a heat wave Tuesday, with high temperatures lingering for a seventh day in Romania, blazes forcing the evacuation of tourists in Croatia and Italy, and wildfires in Macedonia and Greece exploding shells from long-ago wars.
Russia plants flag on sea floor at North Pole 02 Aug 2007 A Russian expedition traveled Thursday in a pair of submersibles more than four kilometers under the ice cap and deposited a Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole, making a symbolic claim to vast fields of oil and natural gas believed to be beneath the sea north of the Arctic Circle.
French Bread Off-Limits to German Polar Bear 02 Aug 2007 No more French baked goods for Knut the polar bear. The world-famous cub is being put on a diet at the zoo in Berlin, Germany... The cub might find it difficult to give up his snacks. "Knut likes to nibble in between meals," said Thomas Doerflein, his keeper.
CBO: Iraq war could cost over $1 trillion --Budget office sees effect on taxpayers for decade 01 Aug 2007 The war in Iraq could ultimately cost well over a trillion dollars -- at least double what has already been spent -- including the long-term costs of replacing damaged equipment, caring for wounded troops, and aiding the Iraqi government, according to a new government [Congressional Budget Office] analysis. Those costs... are far more than US officials advertised when Congress gave President [sic] Bush the authority to launch the invasion in March 2003. At the time, the White House and then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld predicted a quick, decisive victory and counted on Iraqi oil revenues to pay for the war. And when Lawrence Lindsey, one of Bush's top budget advisers, estimated in 2003 that the entire undertaking could cost as much as $200 billion, he was fired.
Oops! US 'loses' 190,000 weapons in Iraq 01 Aug 2007 The US Government cannot account for 190,000 weapons issued to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, says the Government Accountability Office. According to its July 31 report, the military "cannot fully account for about 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 pistols, 135,000 items of body armour and 115,000 helmets reported as issued to Iraqi forces".
Sunnis quit Iraqi cabinet as bombs rock Baghdad 02 Aug 2007 The main Sunni Arab political bloc quit the Iraqi cabinet, plunging the government into crisis on a day when suicide bombers killed more than 70 people with massive strikes in the capital. The Sunni Accordance Front said its five cabinet members and Deputy Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie would resign from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.
Sunni Bloc Quits Iraqi Cabinet 02 Aug 2007 Baghdad shook with bombings and political upheaval Wednesday as the largest Sunni Arab bloc quit the government and a suicide attacker blew up his fuel tanker in one of several attacks that claimed 142 lives nationwide. The U.S. military announced the deaths of six more American soldiers, including three killed in Baghdad on Tuesday by a powerful armor-piercing bomb. Two U.S. soldiers were killed in a mortar or rocket attack on the same day, and a sixth soldier was killed by small arms fire. A British soldier also was killed Tuesday in a roadside bombing.
Fuel tanker blast kills at least 50 at Baghdad gas station 01 Aug 2007 A fuel tanker packed with explosives detonated Wednesday at a gas station in western Baghdad, killing at least 50 people and wounding 60 others, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said. Ten cars were damaged in the early afternoon blast that sent a dark cloud of smoke over the Mansour district of the Iraqi capital.
Aussies fired on in Iraq 02 Aug 2007 An Australian soldier has been wounded when his patrol came under fire in southern Iraq on Tuesday night, defence says. Defence spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic said today the soldier had suffered only slight wounds but had been provided immediate first aid and evacuated to a 'coalition' medical centre.
A very private war --There are 48,000 'security contractors' in Iraq, working for private companies growing rich on the back of US policy. But can it be a good thing to have so many mercenaries operating without any democratic control? Jeremy Scahill reports 01 Aug 2007 There are now 630 companies working in Iraq on contract for the US government, with personnel from more than 100 countries offering services ranging from cooking and driving to the protection of high-ranking army officers. Their 180,000 employees now outnumber America's 160,000 official troops. The precise number of mercenaries is unclear, but last year, a US government report identified 48,000 employees of private military/security firms.
Aussie troops shoot children 02 Aug 2007 The Australian Defence Force has revealed that two Afghan children under the age of 10 were injured when Australian soldiers opened fire on a car in which they were travelling.
Doctors say Guantanamo force-feeding violates medical ethics 01 Aug 2007 Military doctors participating in the force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay are violating medical ethics, according to commentary published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Halt force-feeding, doctors say --Guantanamo use called unethical 01 Aug 2007 Military doctors violate medical ethics when they approve the force-feeding of hunger strikers at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, according to a commentary in a prestigious medical journal. The doctors should attempt to prevent force-feeding by refusing to participate, the commentary's three authors write in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.
Rumsfeld, Myers Deny Covering Up Tillman's Death 01 Aug 2007 Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and retired General Richard Myers said they never tried to cover up the news after learning former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman may have been killed by friendly fire. "I know of no evidence that there has been a cover-up," Rumsfeld told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at a hearing in Washington today.
Rumsfeld Denies Cover Up on Tillman 01 Aug 2007 Ex-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top former Pentagon brass denied any cover-up and rejected personal responsibility Wednesday for the military's bungled response to Army Ranger Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan.
Without a Country: Iraq War Vet Gets Deportation Papers 01 Aug 2007 An Iraq war veteran [Orlando Castaneda] who grew up in the United States says the country he fought for now wants to send him back to Mexico. He went to war a soldier but somehow returned as an illegal immigrant. But the soldier says he is not going down without a fight.
Oops! GAO: Pentagon Mistakenly Sold F-14 Parts 01 Aug 2007 The Pentagon accidentally sold to the public more than a thousand aircraft parts that could be used on the F-14 fighter jet - a plane flown only by Iran - after saying it had halted such sales, government investigators say.
Cheney talks up Iraq 'progress' ahead of report 01 Aug 2007 A looming report on Iraq will show "significant progress" in the war, the US vice-president [sic] predicted last night, even though President [sic] George Bush has refused to speculate on its conclusions.
Interview of the Vice President by Larry King, CNN 31 Jul 2007 Q Alberto Gonzales -- do you stand by him? THE VICE PRESIDENT [sic]: I do. Al is a good man, a good friend, in a difficult assignment.
Dick Cheney is Out of Touch (Or a Sociopath) By Mike Kuykendall The interview with Preside.. er- I meant Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney on Larry King Live yesterday yielded a lot of ammo for those of us who think he is the worst thing to happen to America since the Teapot Dome scandal under Harding... You tell me- does 1,928 American deaths deserve the label "robust"? If we're spinning up labels I think Cheney deserves "warmonger." Maybe even "mass-murderer."
Obama 'would send US troops into Pakistan' 01 Aug 2007 Barack Obama has sought to lay down his claim to being America's commander-in-chief and calm fears about his inexperience by vowing to send extra troops into Pakistan to hunt al-Qa'eda [al-CIAduh].
Obama Calls for U.S. to Shift Focus on Terrorism 01 Aug 2007 Senator Barack Obama said today that the United States should shift its focus from the war in Iraq to a fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that if the Pakistani government fails to eradicate terror operations inside its borders, the United States should withhold aid and should strike Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] targets there itself.
New Al Qaeda Web Ad Threatens 'Big Surprise' 01 Aug 2007 A new al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] propaganda ad, headlined "Wait for the Big Surprise" and featuring a digitally altered photograph of President [sic] George Bush and Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf standing in front of a burning White House, was posted on the Internet today.
Classified Spending Still High, Report Says 01 Aug 2007 The U.S. government continues to spend money in secret at record levels, according to a new analysis. Total spending on classified programs -- secret weapons, spying operations, eavesdropping satellites and the like -- is expected to be around $31.9 billion next year, roughly on par with spending from the past two years, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a Washington, D.C.-based defense think tank.
DemocRATs surrender to Bush: Democrats Signal Deal on Terrorism Law 01 Aug 2007 DemocRATic congressional leaders said Wednesday they want to expand the government's surveillance authority over suspected terrorists and get it done before going on recess at week's end.
Al-Qaeda link 'simply untrue' 02 Aug 2007 Mohamed Haneef's lawyer has rejected claims in an Indian police file that the Gold Coast doctor has links to 'al-Qaeda.' The so-called dossier, featured on SBS television last night, is an Indian police record of Dr Haneef that contains personal details about his background and family.
British students jailed for possessing "extremist" literature By Chris Talbot 31 Jul 2007 Four 20-year-old Bradford University students and a 19-year-old school student were jailed after a trial at the Old Bailey for being found with material said to be "glorifying Islamic terrorism" on their computers. Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Awaab Iqbaal were jailed for three years each, Akbar Butt was jailed for 27 months and the school student, Mohammed Irfan Raja was given two years’ youth detention... The case is the first successful prosecution under the Terrorism Act 2000 for possessing material useful for terrorism.
Colo. lawyer on terror list wins $106,500 31 Jul 2007 An activist attorney from Colorado [Francisco "Kiko" Martinez] received $106,500 to settle two federal lawsuits that claimed he was illegally detained at traffic stops in New Mexico, Colorado and Illinois because his name appeared on an FBI terrorist-watch list.
Bush to Prevent Aides' Testimony 01 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush is expected to claim executive privilege to prevent two more White House aides [Karl Rove and J. Scott Jennings] from testifying before Congress about the firings of federal prosecutors.
Bill calls for Gonzales impeachment inquiry --Did he mislead Congress over U.S. attorney firings and surveillance programs? 01 Aug 2007 Democratic House members, including several former prosecutors, introduced a measure Tuesday directing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether to impeach Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), a co-sponsor of the measure, said the investigation was warranted given the questions about whether Gonzales misled Congress in testimony about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and about a secret government eavesdropping program.
Feds Eye Money Steered to Senator's Aide Instead of Wildlife Center 01 Aug 2007 Justice Department officials investigating Sen. Ted Stevens are examining whether federal funds he steered to an Alaska wildlife research center may have enriched a former aide, say officials familiar with the probe. The Commerce Department and the Interior Department's inspector general are assisting in looking at how millions of dollars that Stevens, R-Alaska, obtained for the nonprofit Alaska SeaLife Center were spent, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity...
Senators to abandon '08 e-voting paper trail mandate 25 Jul 2007 Democratic senators on Wednesday made another push for banning electronic voting machines that lack paper trails, but they've backed away from doing so in time for next year's presidential 'election.'
Former Karl Rove Staffer Moves to NASA as Mike Griffin's White House Liaison By kcowing 31 Jul 2007 The vacant White House Liaison position at NASA HQ has been filled with - surprise - a Bush Administration political appointee - Jane Cherry. Cherry is listed on NASA's internal phonebook as being detailed to "Office ID: AA000 - Office of the Administrator". She recently worked in the White House for Karl Rove as an associate director in the Office of Political Affairs. Update: Jane Cherry is now listed on the NASA HQ organization page...
NASA Contractors Censoring Saturn V Info By cybrpnk2 30 Jul 2007 "Get ready to surrender your data sheets, study reports and blueprints of the Saturn V to stay in compliance with ITAR. Armed guards are reportedly taking down and shredding old Saturn V posters from KSC office walls that show rough internal layouts of the vehicle, and a Web site that is a source for various digitized blueprints has been put on notice it may well be next. No word yet if the assignment of a Karl Rove protege high up in NASA has any connection."
TVA OKs Second Watts Bar Nuclear Reactor 01 Aug 2007 The Tennessee Valley Authority's board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to begin a five-year plan to finish a second nuclear reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on the Tennessee River. The plan to finish it is expected to cost about $2.5 billion, likely funded by the public utility's revenues and adding debt. [See: U.S. nuclear plants may be eligible for billions in loan guarantees 31 Jul 2007 A one-sentence provision buried in an energy bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate could make builders of new nuclear plants in America eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees. Lobbyists recently told lawmakers and officials in the Bush regime that the nuclear industry needs as much as $50 billion in loan guarantees over the next two years to finance a major expansion.]
Health bigs cough up TB assurance: Say ME cases high, but not alarming 02 Aug 2007 (MA) The number of employees with latent tuberculosis at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is twice the state average, according to health officials who insisted yesterday that the agency’s infection rate is not a cause for alarm. Four of the 40 OCME employees - or 10 percent - who voluntarily underwent skin testing on July 18 for the contagious disease have an inactive form of TB, said Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke, whose executive office oversees the OCME and its approximately 60 staff members.
Teens at Work --Thousands of adolescents work as unpaid baggers in Wal-Mart's Mexican stores. 31 Jul 2007 Wal-Mart is Mexico’s largest private-sector employer in the nation today, with nearly 150,000 local residents on its payroll. An additional 19,000 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 16 work after school in hundreds of Wal-Mart stores, mostly as grocery baggers, throughout Mexico—and none of them receives a red cent in wages or fringe benefits. The use of unsalaried youths is legal in Mexico because the kids are said to be "volunteering" their services to Wal-Mart and are therefore not subject to the requirements and regulations that would otherwise apply under the country's labor laws.
Quick action! Stop the Countdown to Wolves' Slaughter (earthjustice.org) Poisoning, trapping, and shooting. That's the fate awaiting gray wolves after the Bush administration's proposal to "delist" them from the Endangered Species List takes effect... Tell the Fish and Wildlife Service that you are outraged by their proposal. Delisting spells catastrophe for the very survival of wolves, who are a critical link in the delicate ecosystem of the Northern Rockies. But hurry, we only have until August 6 to tell the Bush administration what we think.
White House Seeks Warrantless Authority From Congress 01 Aug 2007 The Bush regime is pressing Congress this week for the authority to intercept, without a court order, any international phone call or e-mail between a surveillance target outside the United States and any person in the United States. The proposal, submitted by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to congressional leaders on Friday, would amend [void] the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the first time since 2006 so that a court order would no longer be needed before wiretapping anyone "reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States."
Democrats Scrambling to Expand Eavesdropping 01 Aug 2007 Under pressure from President [sic] Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers. Democratic leaders have expressed a new willingness to work with the White House to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on some purely foreign telephone calls and e-mail. Such a step now requires court approval. [Start reading.]
NSA Spying Part of Broader Effort --Intelligence Chief Says Bush Authorized Secret Activities Under One Order 01 Aug 2007 The Bush administration's chief intelligence official said yesterday that President [sic] Bush authorized a series of secret surveillance activities under a single executive order in late 2001. The disclosure makes clear that a controversial National Security Agency program was part of a much broader operation than the president previously described. The disclosure by Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, appears to be the first time that the regime has publicly acknowledged that Bush's order included undisclosed activities beyond the warrantless [illegal] surveillance of e-mails and phone calls that Bush confirmed in December 2005.
Bill calls for Gonzales impeachment inquiry 01 Aug 2007 Democratic House members, including several former prosecutors, introduced a measure Tuesday directing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether to impeach Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), a co-sponsor of the measure, said the investigation was warranted given the questions about whether Gonzales misled Congress in testimony about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and about a secret government eavesdropping program.
Cheney on Trip to Ashcroft's Hospital Bedside: "I Don't Recall" [Try a Bush-approved CIA tactic, such as waterboarding.] By Paul Kiel 31 Jul 2007 From Dick Cheney's interview with Larry King: Q In that regard, The New York Times... reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President's [sic] intelligence-gathering program. Was it you? THE VICE PRESIDENT [sic]: I don't recall... And I don't recall that I gave instructions to that effect. Q That would be something you would recall. CHENEY: I would think so. But... By the time this occurred, it had already been approved about 12 times by the Department of Justice. There was nothing new about it. Q So you didn't send them to get permission. CHENEY: I don't recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital.
Cheney says Libby should not have been convicted 31 Jul 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney thinks his former chief of staff shouldn't have been convicted in the CIA leak case and that President [sic] Bush did right by commuting the jail sentence instead of issuing a pardon. "I thought the president handled it right," Cheney said in an interview Monday with Mark Knoller of CBS Radio. "I supported his decision."
Kurdish leader warns of Iraqi civil war 31 Jul 2007 The leader of Iraq's Kurdish region warned Tuesday of a "real civil war" if the central government does not implement a constitutional clause on the future of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city claimed by the Kurds [US].
Britain will take troops out of Iraq regardless of US, says PM 31 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown has paved the way for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq by telling George Bush he would not delay their exit in order to show unity with the United States... Deliberately avoiding the phrase "war on terror," Mr Brown said: "Terrorism is not a cause but a crime - a crime against humanity." In contrast, the President spoke of "this war against extremists and radicals".
British do not foresee Iraq withdrawal: Petraeus 30 Jul 2007 General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, said Monday he did not believe Britain was preparing to pull its troops out of Iraq.
US to rotate 20,000 troops into Iraq in December 31 Jul 2007 Nearly 20,000 U.S. troops based in the United States will begin departing for Iraq in December as part of the regular rotation of combat forces there, the Defense Department announced Tuesday... Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not say what units would be replaced.
3 U.S. Soldiers Dead in Baghdad 01 Aug 2007 Three U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded by a sophisticated armor-piercing bomb in eastern Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday. An explosively-formed penetrator, or EFP, detonated near the soldiers' patrol during combat operations on Tuesday, the military said in a statement.
After the $63 billion dollar Bush blowjob: Arab Allies Caution Against Quick U.S. Exit From Iraq 31 Jul 2007 Major Arab allies of the U.S. cautioned today against a rapid troop withdrawal from Iraq that could shake the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Egypt.
US signs huge arms deals with Arab allies 31 Jul 2007 The United States last night confirmed it had agreed arms deals with Arab allies worth billions of dollars in an attempt to counter "negative influences" such as Iran, Syria, and 'al-Qa'eda' in the Middle East. Ahead of a trip by Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, and Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, to the Middle East, the Bush administration said it had agreed a 10-year, $13 billion (£6.4 billion) deal with Egypt and a $20 billion deal for Saudi Arabia. The announcement came a day after a $30 billion military aid pact over 10 years was announced with Israel.
Merkel party warns US arms for Gulf could set off 'powder keg' 31 Jul 2007 German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats are worried that reported US plans to send a major arms package to Gulf states could inflame a volatile region, a party leader was quoted as saying Monday. The chairman of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, told the daily Frankfurter Rundschau that the Middle East was already a "powder keg" and that an influx of weapons could set off. "If you add more explosives to a powder keg, you increase the risk and do not make the region more secure," he said.
U.S. presidential candidate slams arms sales to Saudis 01 Aug 2007 Presidential hopeful John Edwards said the Bush administration's plan to sell $20 billion worth of weapons to friendly Arab states amounted to a foreign policy of convenience and he will take a tougher stance with Saudi Arabia if elected president.
'You can see the whole arms package as a buyoff of Arab nations for what we've done in Iraq.' The $63 billion sham By Derrick Jackson 01 Aug 2007 Talk about wriggling in quicksand. Having destroyed Iraq to save us from horrors that did not exist, [Condoleezza] Rice now wants to save us from Iran's future nukes by selling American weapons of mass destruction. Over the next decade, the Bush administration wants to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a nearly 43 percent increase over what that nation received over the last 10 years, according to The New York Times. We want to give $20 billion to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. We want to give Egypt $13 billion. Do you feel safe?
Appeal court quashes media gag over White House meeting --Whitehall officer said to have described contents as "abhorrent" and "illegal", and that he believed the memo exposed Mr Bush as a "madman". 31 Jul 2007 An attempt to prevent the press from repeating British concerns about US military tactics in Iraq, including the killing of civilians in Falluja and President [sic] Bush's alleged suggestion that the offices of the Arabic satellite TV station al-Jazeera should be bombed, was quashed by the appeal court yesterday. The issue arose during the trial of David Keogh, a Whitehall communications officer, and Leo O'Connor, a former researcher to a Labour MP, jailed under the Official Secrets Act in May for disclosing the contents of minutes of a White House meeting between George Bush and Tony Blair on April 16 2004.
Rumsfeld to testify [testilie] at Tillman fratricide hearing --Former JCS chief Myers, CentCom leader Abizaid also among those appearing 31 Jul 2007 Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday morning about what Defense Department leaders knew about the friendly fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the committee confirmed late Tuesday. The hearing, "The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew," will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Retired General Censured in Tillman Case --Retired 3-Star Gen. Kensinger Censured in Cover-Up After Death of Tillman 31 Jul 2007 The Army censured a retired three-star general Tuesday for a "perfect storm of mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership" after the 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Army Secretary Pete Geren asked a military review panel to decide whether Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who led Army special operation forces after the Sept. 11 attacks, should also have his rank reduced.
Imran Khan: President Musharraf must resign 31 Jul 2007 Imran Khan, the former Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, called on President Pervez Musharraf to resign yesterday. "It is all over for him. He is sunk," Mr Khan told The Daily Telegraph. "He has lost touch with Pakistan. It is a crisis of his own making and the accumulative effect of his miscalculations."
Lieberman escalates attack on Iraq critics 31 Jul 2007 Ever since Connecticut Democrats refused to back him for a fourth term in Congress, Joe LieberBush has been burnishing his independent credentials in the narrowly divided Senate while becoming increasingly critical of the Democratic Party on the war in Iraq. LieberBush insists he is not actively considering joining the Republican Party. But he is keeping that possibility wide open as his disenchantment grows with Democratic leaders.
Child Maltreatment Rises in Homes of Soldiers Sent to War 31 Jul 2007 A U.S. Army-sponsored study finds that children of enlisted soldiers are more likely to be abused or neglected when a parent is deployed to a combat zone. The findings point to the need for more support services at home, the study authors said. The study [by the Children and Families Program at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.] is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on violence and human rights.
Rorschach and Awe --America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical "black site" operation. by Katherine Eban 17 Jul 2007 ...[T]he C.I.A. team began building a coffin in which they planned to bury the detainee alive. A furor erupted over the legality of this move, which does not appear to have been carried out. (Every human-rights treaty and American law governing the treatment of prisoners prohibits death threats and simulated killings.) But the C.I.A. had a ready rejoinder: the methods had already been approved by White House lawyers.
Installs Terror Loudspeakers
01 Aug 2007 Australia's largest city has installed dozens of loudspeakers
to tell residents what to do in a terrorist attack, an official said
Indefinite sentences 'unlawful', court rules 01 Aug 2007 The policy of locking up some prisoners until it is considered safe to free them is in crisis after it was condemned as "arbitrary, unreasonable and unlawful" by the High Court.
'Someone there must be out of their skull.' Livingstone fights 'stupid' Heathrow protesters ban 01 Aug 2007 Heathrow's owner, BAA, came under sustained attack from the Mayor of London [Ken Livingstone] and business leaders over poor facilities at the airport and plans to halt environmental protesters.
Chief justice leaves hospital after scare --Roberts earlier told Bush that he's 'fine' after seizure 31 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John Roberts was released from a hospital in Maine Tuesday, a day after suffering a seizure. Roberts, 52, plans to continue his vacation at a summer home in Maine, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.
Roberts Tells Bush He's OK After Seizure 31 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John Roberts told President [sic] Bush Tuesday he was doing well after sustaining a seizure at his Maine vacation home, the White House said. Bush called Roberts Tuesday morning. "The chief justice assured him that he was doing fine," White House press secretary Tony Snow said. "The president was reassured."
Voting Officials Face New Rules to Bar Conflicts 01 Aug 2007 The state officials who run the nation’s elections — most with little oversight — are facing new efforts to limit what have been widely criticized as political and financial conflicts of interest... In the last presidential 'election,' the secretaries of state in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, were chairmen of their states’ re-[s]election campaigns for President [sic] Bush.
'If this change is made, it will virtually guarantee that a Republican wins the White House in 2008.' California electoral-vote plan could sway 2008 presidential race 30 Jul 2007 A prominent Republican lawyer wants to put a proposal on the California ballot next year that could shake up the 2008 presidential contest, a change Democrats say would rig the election. California awards its cache of 55 electoral votes to the statewide winner in presidential elections — the largest single prize in the nation. But under the proposal, the statewide winner would get only two electoral votes... The change — if it qualifies and is approved by 'voters' — would mean that a Republican would be positioned the following November to snatch 20 or more electoral votes in GOP-leaning districts.
Votescam By Hendrik Hertzberg 06 Aug 2007 At first glance, next year’s Presidential election looks like a blowout. But it might not be... Two weeks ago, one of the most important Republican lawyers in Sacramento quietly filed a ballot initiative that would end the practice of granting all fifty-five of California’s electoral votes to the statewide winner. Instead, it would award two of them to the statewide winner and the rest, one by one, to the winner in each congressional district... The bottom line is that the initiative, if passed, would spot the Republican ticket something in the neighborhood of twenty electoral votes—votes that it wouldn’t get under the rules prevailing in every other sizable state in the Union.
FBI Probes Stevens's Earmark --$1.6 Million Appropriation Went to Alaska Marine Life Center 01 Aug 2007 The FBI is investigating whether Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) used a $1.6 million congressional appropriation to help an Alaska marine center purchase property from a business partner of the senator's son, said sources familiar with the probe. That investigation comes amid a widening federal grand-jury probe into Stevens's connections to an energy services company [Veco Corp.].
'DC Madam' Phone Records --By Lori Price Updated! 'DC Madam' phone records - Cingular 2005 (49 pages, .pdf) has been added. 30 Jul 2007
Oil Settles Above $78, Setting Record 31 Jul 2007 Oil futures settled at a record high above $78 Tuesday on 'expectations that crude inventories fell last week' and 'reports of new violence in Nigeria, a large oil producer and key supplier to the U.S.' [For the *actual* reasons behind the record high oil prices, see: Exxon Mobil makes $10B on record gas prices 26 Jul 2007 and Shell 2Q Net Profit Rises 18 Percent to $8.67 Billion 26 Jul 2007.]
U.S. nuclear plants may be eligible for billions in loan guarantees 31 Jul 2007 A one-sentence provision buried in an energy bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate could make builders of new nuclear plants in America eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees. Lobbyists recently told lawmakers and officials in the Bush regime that the nuclear industry needs as much as $50 billion in loan guarantees over the next two years to finance a major expansion. The provision, inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, has the potential to dramatically expand the U.S. nuclear industry, which plans to build 19 new power plants at an estimated cost of about $4 billion to $5 billion apiece.
News Corp. Is Poised to Win Dow Jones --Murdoch Prevails As Bancrofts Agree to $5 Billion Buyout Paying Fees Cinches Deal 01 Aug 2007 A century of Bancroft-family ownership at Dow Jones & Co. is over. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sealed a $5 billion agreement to purchase the publisher of The Wall Street Journal after three months of drama in the controlling family and public debate about journalistic values.
Sharemarket plunges on US fears 01 Aug 2007 Australian shares slid 3.3 per cent today, the biggest one-day percentage fall in almost six years, as fresh worries about the US subprime mortgage sector hit sentiment and as Macquarie Bank slumped after warning of losses in two of its investment funds.
'Extras like croissants will need to be dropped.' Berlin zoo puts star polar bear Knut on a diet 31 Jul 2007 No more croissants for Knut the polar bear cub. The Berlin zoo is putting its famous bear on a diet, zoo veterinarian Andreas Ochs said Tuesday. Knut, who looked like a fuzzy toy when he made his zoo debut in late March, is now 8 months old and weighs about 60 kilograms (132 pounds).
Chief Justice Roberts to spend night at hospital 30 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a seasonal resident of Hupper Island, located off Port Clyde, will be staying overnight at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport following a seizure. St. George Ambulance responded to a call at about 2 p.m. Monday of a man who had fallen 5 to 10 feet and landed on a dock, hitting the back of his head. The patient was ashen and was foaming at the mouth.
Chief Justice Roberts Suffers Seizure --Chief Justice John Roberts Is Hospitalized After Suffering Seizure, Fall at Maine Summer Home 30 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home in Maine on Monday, causing a fall that resulted in minor scrapes, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. He will remain in a hospital in Maine overnight.
Security hearings called "Kafkaesque" 30 Jul 2007 Terrorism suspects held under virtual house arrest in Britain suffer "Kafkaesque" treatment in special courts that review secret evidence against them, a committee of legislators said on Monday. The committee's report said "no right-minded person" would think the suspects had a fair hearing when they often had no idea of the case against them. It likened the system to the Star Chamber, a secretive and oppressive English court abolished in 1641. The law allows suspects who cannot be prosecuted in the courts to be held under a loose form of house arrest known as a "control order".
No proof Britain needs tougher terrorism laws, Parliament report says 30 Jul 2007 The British government has failed to prove the need to toughen anti-terrorism laws to let the police detain suspects longer before they must charge or release them, a group of lawmakers said in a report Monday. The committee's report said the government had yet to demonstrate that the police need more time to question terror suspects, who must now be charged or released within 28 days.
Blackwater USA and University of Illinois Police Training Institute Announce Partnership (Blackwater USA) 20 Jul 2007 Blackwater USA is pleased to announce its newly formed partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Police Training Institute (PTI). Together we will pursue international and domestic training opportunities to better equip law enforcement agencies and officers to serve their communities [implement Bush's police state].
Martial Law Threat is Real by Dave Lindorff 27 Jul 2007 [L]ast October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states even over the objections of the governors of those states. Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way–courtesy of a $385-million grant by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc–of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people... and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States. [See: KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support for Emergency Support Services 24 Jan 2006.]
Big US presence in Iraq until mid-2009 -commander 30 Jul 2007 U.S. generals expect to need a large contingent of troops in Iraq until the middle of 2009, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said on Monday. Such a timeline would hand President [sic] George W. Bush's successor the task of bringing U.S. forces home from Iraq, more than six years after Bush dispatched them to topple Saddam Hussein.
Bush and Brown stress unity 30 Jul 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown presented a united front on Iraq and promoting Middle East peace on Monday, trying to quell suggestions of a cooling in trans-Atlantic ties.
Laws unpassed, Iraqi parliament calls summer break 30 Jul 2007 Iraq's parliament adjourned for its summer recess on Monday, taking a break until September despite having failed to enact a series of [oil] laws demanded by Washington. Parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani said in a statement issued after Monday's session that he had dismissed lawmakers until Sept. 4.
'Untouchable' corruption in Iraq ministries --Report partially faults PM’s office, says Health Ministry in 'grip' of militants 30 Jul 2007 Medicines and supplies have been siphoned off and sold elsewhere because of corruption in the Iraqi government's Ministry of Health, according to a draft U.S. government report obtained by NBC News. The report, written by U.S. advisers to Iraq's anti-corruption agency, analyzes corruption in 12 ministries and finds devastating and grim problems: "Corruption protected by senior members of the Iraqi government," the report said, "remains untouchable."
Thanks to Bush: Half of Iraq 'in absolute poverty' 30 Jul 2007 Up to eight million Iraqis require immediate emergency aid, with nearly half of the population living in "absolute poverty", according to a report by Oxfam and a coalition of Iraqi groups.
Iraq War Leaves Millions in Need of Aid, Oxfam Says 30 Jul 2007 The war in Iraq has prompted a humanitarian crisis for millions of Iraqis who've fled their homes or lack access to food and water, groups including the U.K.'s Oxfam charity said in a report.
Bombings, Attacks Kill 58 in Iraq 30 Jul 2007 A minibus exploded Monday in a Baghdad market, killing at least six people... In all, 58 people nationwide were killed by bombings and attacks.
Three U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq's Anbar: military 30 Jul 2007 Three U.S. soldiers were killed during combat operations on Thursday in western Anbar province, an al Qaeda stronghold in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Monday.
Soldier enters pleas in rape-murder case 30 Jul 2007 A Fort Campbell soldier accused of acting as a lookout while his colleagues attacked and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family pleaded guilty to some lesser offenses Monday as his court-martial began on rape and murder charges. Pfc. Jesse Spielman pleaded to conspiracy to obstruct justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse and drinking.
New Evidence Clearly Indicates Pat Tillman Was Executed By Paul Joseph Watson 27 Jul 2007 Army medical examiners concluded Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards away, no evidence of "friendly fire" damage at scene, Army attorneys congratulated each other on cover-up, Wesley Clark concludes "orders came from the very top" to murder pro-football star because he was about to become an anti-war political icon
Nato plans smaller bombs for Afghanistan [?!?] 29 Jul 200 Nato plans to use smaller bombs in Afghanistan as part of a change in tactics aimed at stemming a rise in civilian casualties that threatens to undermine support in the fight against the Taliban.
Royal Marine dies in Afghanistan 30 Jul 2007 A member of the Royal Marines has been killed during operations in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the Ministry of Defence has said.
Army Offering $20,000 Bonus For 'Quick' Recruits --Bonus Goes to Those Willing to Ship Out Within Month 27 Jul 2007 As the U.S. Army continues to keep thousands of troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army recruiters have a new perk to offer new recruits. The Army is now offering a $20,000 "QS" – or "Quick Shipper" -- bonus to new and prior service recruits joining, selecting any job and shipping out for training within 30 days. The $20,000 bonus is in addition to previous offers already in place.
U.N. inspectors revisit Iran's Arak heavy-water site 30 Jul 2007 U.N. inspectors visited Iran's Arak heavy-water reactor site on Monday, the first such trip since April in a show of Iranian nuclear transparency meant to ward off harsher U.N. sanctions.
Iran attacks US plans for Saudi arms deal 31 Jul 2007 Iran has accused the United States of seeking to create fear and cause divisions in the Middle East after reports that it was preparing a major package of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. A US defence official said in Washington on Saturday the package could be worth some $20 billion over the next 10 years.
$43bn US arms package for allies 30 Jul 2007 The US has announced military aid worth more than $43bn to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in an effort to boost its Middle East allies against Iran. Egypt will receive $13bn in aid over 10 years while $30bn will go to Israel over the same period, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said on Monday.
Channel 4 News interview: Bisher al-Rawi 30 Jul 2007 Jon Snow talks exclusively to the MI5 recruit who was abandoned in Guantanamo Bay for four years by the same agents he helped after 9/11. In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News... former Guantanamo Bay detainee Bisher al-Rawi tells Jon Snow how the same MI5 officers who recruited him in the UK visited him in Cuba, interrogated him but failed to secure his release - breaking their earlier promise to protect him. Mr al-Rawi says: "It was the same guys. The MI5 guys who I knew from the UK passed by Guantanamo and wanted to say hello."
War on [of] Terror: Guantanamo (Channel 4 News) Guantanamo was set up by the US to hold terror suspects. The US has faced criticism that the Cuban camp breaks international law, because detainees have no right to contest imprisonment. Many fear torture takes place behind the camp's closed doors.
'I want my visa back' 31 Jul 2007 Mohamed Haneef, the Indian doctor detained in Brisbane for almost four weeks before terror charges against him were dropped, said overnight that he wanted to go back to work in Australia. The jailing of Mohamed Haneef, 27, had aroused waves of sympathy in his native India, where he was greeted with a hero's welcome upon his return a day earlier.
He may still be a terrorist, says PM [Howard is the terrorist.] 30 Jul 2007 John Howard refused to concede last night that Mohamed Haneef was innocent of involvement in terrorism as he defended the treatment of the Indian doctor by saying it was better to be safe than sorry. In a sign the Government is determined to turn the issue into one of being tough on terrorism, the Prime Minister would not give Dr Haneef a clean bill of health despite terrorism charges against him being dropped last week.
Bush wants easier wiretap rules 28 Jul 2007 US President [sic] George W Bush on Saturday called for Congress to revise a US security law in order to ease restrictions on the government's secret communications surveillance of terror suspects. Amid furor over Attorney General Alberto Gonzales's handling of the government's secret warrantless wiretap programme, Bush urged legislators to pass the update [expansion] of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) proposed in April.
State Department redeploys staff to ease passport crisis 30 Jul 2007 Across the nation, Americans have risked missing long-planned vacations, having wedding plans fouled or being unable to travel overseas to attend to the sudden death of a relative. In the State Department, officers whose job was to monitor major world crises are now poring through passport applications... The State Department had predicted a surge of 16 million applications from last year’s 12 million, but the number is likely to be nearly 18 million, with no end in sight.
In Violation of Federal Law, Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election Records Are Destroyed or Missing --In 56 of Ohio's 88 counties, ballots and election records from 2004 have been "accidentally" destroyed, despite a federal order to preserve them -- it was crucial evidence which would have revealed whether the election was stolen. By Steven Rosenfeld 30 Jul 2007 Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner. The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day...
Most vote machines lose test to hackers 28 Jul 2007 State-sanctioned teams of computer hackers were able to break through the security of virtually every model of California's voting machines and change results or take control of some of the systems' electronic functions, according to a University of California study released Friday.
Impeach Gonzales? 30 Jul 2007 NBC: A group of House Democrats will introduce a resolution calling on the Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) will sponsor the measure.
Congress hands truth ultimatum to Gonzales 31 Jul 2007 The US Congress's pursuit of one of President [sic] George Bush's closest confidants is expected to intensify this week amid calls for an investigation into whether he committed perjury.
Former U.S. official: Gonzales 'splitting hairs' in testimony 30 Jul 2007 A dispute within the Bush administration in 2004 over a secret surveillance program centered on data mining, not eavesdropping, a former government official told CNN Sunday.
September Eleventh Advocates: An Open Letter to All Senate Judiciary Committee Members 27 Jul 2007 During [Alberto] Gonzales’ testimony, it became abundantly clear that Americans were witnessing the unraveling of the fabric of America. We do not feel that this is an overstatement... It is evident that what we are watching is the U.S. Congress in the process of making itself irrelevant. When the Executive Branch alone is allowed to act without any oversight, or any accountability, then what we will become is a dictatorship. And once all Americans realize that Congress is unable to perform any oversight, whether it is due to lack of will or complicity, you will no longer be needed. Once it becomes apparent that the Executive Branch is not only making the laws but also deciding which laws to follow, the Congress will be just a quaint, unnecessary and useless artifact.
Impeachment Monday: The Impeachmobile (Hot Potato Mash) 30 Jul 2007 I'm not much of a car guy, but I must admit taking a bit of a liking to this BMW 6 Series ride.
FBI raids U.S. senator's home --Justice Department is looking senator's ties with wealthy oil contractor 30 Jul 2007 Federal agents searched the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens on Monday, focusing on records related to his relationship with an oil field services contractor jailed in a public corruption investigation, a law enforcement official said.
FBI Probes Office of Sen. Stevens's Son --FBI Searches Offices of 6 Alaska Lawmakers, Including Son of U.S. Sen. Stevens 30 Jul 2007 The offices of at least six Alaska legislators, including the son of Sen. Ted Stevens (R), were raided by federal agents searching for possible ties between the lawmakers and a large oil field services company, officials and aides said. Tam Cook, the Legislature's top attorney, said the company named in the search warrant was VECO Corp., an Anchorage-based oil field services and construction company whose executives are major contributors to political campaigns.
FBI, IRS Search Home of Sen. Ted Stevens 31 Jul 2007 Federal agents searched the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (R) on Monday, focusing on records related to his relationship with an oil field services contractor jailed in a public corruption investigation, a law enforcement official said.
California Traffic Ticket Information is Processed in Mexico 28 Jul 2007 Traffic tickets issued in Orange County, California are processed by workers in Nogales, Mexico according to a court announcement released Thursday. The Orange County Superior Court signed a $1.5 million contract in March 2006 to hand over half-a-million traffic tickets every year to Cal Coast Data Entry (CCDE) for processing. Each of these tickets, containing sensitive personal data on individual motorists including name, address, driver's license number and signature, is transferred via microwave uplink to a work center in Nogales.
Congress eyes pay raise for itself 30 Jul 2007 After raising the minimum wage by 70 cents an hour this week, many members of Congress are ready to give themselves a pay increase of roughly $4,400 per year. That would take their annual salaries to nearly $170,000.
Foreclosures rise 58 percent in first half of '07 --Trend shows latest sign of growing problems in the mortgage industry 30 Jul 2007 The number of U.S. homes facing foreclosure surged 58 percent in the first six months of the year, the latest sign of mounting problems in the mortgage industry, a data firm said Monday.
GM Food Nightmare Unfolding in the Regulatory Sham 09 Mar 2007 Regulator agencies like the European Food Safety Authority and the UK Food Standards Agency have been ignoring the precautionary principle, manipulating and corrupting science, sidestepping the law, and helping to promote GMOs in the face of massive public opposition and damning evidence piling up against the safety of GM food and feed... "GM food/feed looks like joining asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), BSE, tobacco and many others as yet another example of the government relying on bad scientific advice and ignoring the precautionary principle, with devastating consequences," said Prof. Peter Saunders.
Old growth species mandate lifted from Northwest Forest Plan 27 Jul 2007 Acting on an agreement with the timber industry, the Bush regime has decided to quit looking for little-known snails, lichens and other sensitive species before selling timber in Northwest national forests, setting up another round of litigation over a plan created to protect spotted owls and salmon.
'Dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico among top 3 ever mapped 29 Jul 2007 The oxygen-poor "dead zone" off the Louisiana and Texas coasts isn't quite as big as predicted this year, but it is still the third-largest ever mapped, a scientist said Saturday.
Basra 'will be handed over to Iraqis by end of year' 27 Jul 2007 Basra should be handed over to Iraqi control by the end of the year, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the head of Britain's armed forces, has predicted. The Chief of Defence Staff said he expected a decision to be taken in the next couple of months. The number of British troops in Iraq has been cut from 7,000 to 5,500 this year and is due by a further 500 when the Army leaves a base in central Basra shortly.
Brown's US agenda balances praise for alliance with hopes of an early pull-out from Iraq --Review of conflict could provide excuse for exit 30 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown emphasised the areas of agreement between Britain and the US yesterday in advance of his first visit to the country as prime minister, but there is no question that there are points of divergence - notably Iraq.
US braced for bloody pull-out 29 Jul 2007 At the Army College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Major Daniel Morgan is studying the lessons for Iraq of the Soviets’ chaotic exit from Afghanistan in the late 1980s. The roads were choked with tanks and heavy weaponry, making the demoralised soldiers easy prey for guerillas. "The Soviet Army actually had to fight out of certain areas," said Morgan, who has served twice in Iraq.
More in GOP Want Iraq Military Limits 29 Jul 2007 Republicans increasingly are backing a new approach in the Iraq war that could become the party's mantra come September. It would mean narrowly limited 'missions' for U.S. troops in Iraq but let President [sic] Bush decide when troops should leave. So far, the idea has not attracted the attention of Democratic leaders.
Iraqi football captain calls on US to leave country 30 Jul 2007 Younis Mahmoud scored the winning goal in Iraq's 1-0 Asian Cup final win over Saudi Arabia today, yet he feared for his life if he went home to celebrate the stunning victory, and said he would not be returning to the war-torn country... "I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon."
Al-Sadr builds secret power base 22 Jul 2007 After months of lying low, the anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has re-emerged with a shrewd two-tiered strategy that reaches out to Iraqis on the street and distances him from the increasingly unpopular government. Al-Sadr and his political allies have largely disengaged from government, thus contributing to a political paralysis. [The Bush regime *loves* 'political paralysis' - in the US and in Iraq. Such a state of affairs enables the corpora-terrorists to implement police state measures and seize even more power. --LRP]
The Cost of 'Enduring' in Iraq 30 Jul 2007 Congress approved $1.7 billion for military construction in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, according to CRS, but offered no breakdown of how the money was spent. The House report says the Pentagon "intends to continue the buildup of infrastructure in Persian Gulf nations, while establishing 'enduring' locations for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Djibouti" -- whatever "enduring" means. But no Iraq construction is detailed. And a CRS report this month lists a total of $2 billion approved for Iraq and Afghanistan military construction in the fiscal 2004, 2005 and 2006 budgets -- but again no details.
Cutting Costs, Bending Rules, And a Trail of Broken Lives --Ambush in Iraq Last November Left Four Americans Missing and a String of Questions About the Firm They Worked For 29 Jul 2007 ...The attackers seized four Americans and an Austrian employed by Crescent Security Group, a small private security firm. Then they fled. None of the hostages has been found, eight months after one of the largest and most brazen kidnappings of Americans since the March 2003 invasion... An investigation by The Washington Post found that Crescent violated U.S. military regulations while being paid millions of dollars to support the U.S.-led 'mission' in Iraq. The company routinely sacrificed safety to cut costs.
Iraq: One in seven joins human tide spilling into neighbouring countries By Patrick Cockburn 30 Jul 2007 Two thousand Iraqis are fleeing their homes every day. It is the greatest mass exodus of people ever in the Middle East and dwarfs anything seen in Europe since the Second World War. Four million people, one in seven Iraqis, have run away, because if they do not they will be killed. Two million have left Iraq, mainly for Syria and Jordan, and the same number have fled within the country.
Report: US soldiers shot Iraqi many times 29 Jul 2007 A soldier charged with premeditated murder in the death of an Iraqi shot the man several times with a rifle before ordering a subordinate to do the same, according to an Army document filed in the case. Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales of San Antonio and Spc. Christopher P. Shore of Winder, Ga., are charged with one count of murder in the death, which the U.S. military has said happened June 23 near Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk.
Army papers claim S.A. sergeant shot detainee 27 Jul 2007 The "charge sheet," as it is called in the military, stated that Sgt. 1st Class Trey A. Corrales committed premeditated murder "by means of shooting (the victim) with a rifle multiple times and by directing his subordinate," Spc. Christopher P. Shore, "to then shoot the detainee." Shore followed the order, shooting the man "multiple times" according to the charge sheet.
U.S. Embassy warns American citizens about travel in Afghanistan 29 Jul 2007 The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan is warning American citizens to be very cautious traveling in the capital city of Kabul after getting information about a possible threat against Kabul University. U.S. officials were investigating the reported threat involving a possible improvised explosive device, and embassy employees are deferring any visits to Kabul University.
Gangs Spreading In the Military --CBS News Talks to Family of U.S. Soldier Killed In Gang Initiation 28 Jul 2007 Evidence of gang culture and gang activity in the military is increasing so much an FBI report calls it "a threat to law enforcement and national security." The signs are chilling: Marines in gang attire on Parris Island; paratroopers flashing gang hand signs at a nightclub near Ft. Bragg; infantrymen showing-off gang tattoos at Ft. Hood... Gang activity clues are appearing in Iraq and Afghanistan, too.
Tillman probe a 'sham,' says his mom 29 Jul 2007 Pat Tillman's family yesterday ripped the Army's latest investigation of the pro football star's friendly-fire death in Afghanistan as a "sham" meant to protect higherups. "It's one more example of the Army investigating itself," said Mary Tillman, mother of the Arizona Cardinals defensive back who joined the Army and became a Ranger after 9/11. "It was all done to glorify this war. It's a sham. Pat deserves the truth."
Olmert welcomes 'significant improvement' in U.S. military aid 29 Jul 2007 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday welcomed an "important and significant improvement" in the amount of American military aid to Israel...Security officials in Jerusalem called the increase in military aid "an unusual achievement." They added that the increase was the primary objective during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's most recent visit to the U.S. last month. "In Olmert's meeting with President [sic] Bush in Washington, the president agreed to increase military aid by 25 percent to $3 billion per annum for the next 10 years," one diplomatic source reported.
MPs reject Brown call for 56-day detention 30 Jul 2007 Legislation proposed by the Government to allow terrorist suspects to be held for up to 56 days without charge will be condemned today by a parliamentary committee.
'No case yet' for increasing 28-day terrorism custody limit 30 Jul 2007 The Government has not yet made the case for doubling to 56 days the time terrorism suspects can be held without charge, according to a report today from a joint committee of MPs and Peers on human rights.
Protesters condemn terrorism laws 30 Jul 2007 More than 400 people attended a rally in Bankstown criticising anti-terrorism laws as an abuse used for political means and leaving the Muslim community isolated. At the rally yesterday, organised by Hizb Ut-Tahrir Australia, speakers called for justice for Dr Mohamed Haneef, who flew home to India yesterday after 23 days' detention in Queensland.
Howard won't say sorry 30 Jul 2007 Prime Minister John Howard has ruled out apologising to Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef, jailed for almost four weeks as part of a bungled terrorism investigation.
Cleared Indian Doctor Leaves Australia Denying Terrorism Links 30 Jul 2007 An Indian doctor, cleared of charges in connection with a car bomb plot in the U.K., has denied any terrorist links and claims he was "victimized" by Australian authorities. Mohammed Haneef, 27, was reunited with his family in Bangalore last night after spending 25 days in custody in Australia.
Students sentenced in terror case 26 Jul 2007 A schoolboy and four students who wanted to fight British soldiers and die as terrorist martyrs were jailed today after a judge said they had become "intoxicated" by extremist propaganda. The Bradford University students were arrested after London Muslim schoolboy Mohammed Irfan Raja ran away from home in February last year. [OMG, the entire Bush regime is 'intoxicated' by Cheney's extremist propaganda - why aren't *they* in jail?]
Student guilty of terrorism charge for altered 9/11 poster 26 Jul 2007 A Fifth student was found guilty yesterday of a terrorism offence. Awaab Iqbal, 20, of Bradford, had swapped his face and those of friends for the faces of the 9/11 terrorists on a poster. He was found guilty under Section 57 of the Terrorism Act of having articles for terrorism.
Mistake by Metro Contractor Prompts FBI Investigation --Dozens of Dead Birds, Poison Found at Six Metrorail Stations 29 Jul 2007 A mistake by a Metro contractor led to the shutdown of three Metrorail stations today and prompted an investigation by the FBI and local hazardous-materials crews after the contractor spread commercial pest poison at the wrong time of day, a transit agency spokeswoman said. At least 60 birds that apparently ingested the poison, mostly sparrows and starlings, were found dead at six Metrorail stations.
Flag-defiling charge ends in fight, arrests --Sheriff's Office denies allegation deputy assaulted couple 26 Jul 2007 (Asheville, NC) A couple who said they were protesting the state of the country by flying the U.S. flag upside down with signs pinned to it found themselves in jail following a scuffle with a deputy Wednesday morning. Mark and Deborah Kuhn were arrested on two counts of assault on a government employee, resisting arrest [?!?] and a rarely used charge, desecrating an American flag, all misdemeanors.
Data Mining Figured In Dispute Over NSA --Report Links Program to Gonzales Uproar 29 Jul 2007 A fierce dispute within the Bush administration in early 2004 over a National Security Agency warrantless surveillance program was related to concerns about the NSA's searches of huge computer databases, the New York Times reported today. The agency's data mining was also linked to a dramatic chain of events in March 2004, including threats of resignation from senior Justice Department officials and an unusual nighttime visit by White House aides to the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, the Times reported, citing current and former officials briefed on the program.
Mr. Gonzales's Never-Ending Story (The New York Times) 29 Jul 2007 As far as we can tell, there are three possible explanations for Mr. [Alberto] Gonzales’s talk about a dispute over other — unspecified — intelligence activities. One, he lied to Congress. Two, he used a bureaucratic dodge to mislead lawmakers and the public: the spying program was modified after Mr. Ashcroft refused to endorse it, which made it "different" from the one Mr. Bush has acknowledged. The third is that there was more wiretapping than has been disclosed, perhaps even purely domestic wiretapping, and Mr. Gonzales is helping Mr. Bush cover it up. Democratic lawmakers are asking for a special prosecutor to look into Mr. Gonzales’s words and deeds... If that does not happen, Congress should impeach Mr. Gonzales.
Answering to No One By Walter F. Mondale 29 Jul 2007 Somehow, not only has Cheney been given vast authority by President [sic] Bush -- including, apparently, the entire intelligence portfolio -- but he also pursues his own agenda. The real question is why the president allows this to happen. Three decades ago we lived through another painful example of a White House exceeding its authority, lying to the American people, breaking the law and shrouding everything it did in secrecy. Watergate wrenched the country, and our constitutional system, like nothing before. We spent years trying to identify and absorb the lessons of this great excess. But here we are again.
Invasion, what invasion? Sorry tale of CIA bungles 30 Jul 2007 ...The mistake is an example of bungling by the CIA chronicled in Legacy of Ashes, a new history of the agency by the Pulitzer prize-winning author Tim Weiner, who has covered intelligence matters for The New York Times for 20 years... Weiner paints a portrait of a rogue agency that devoted more time to covert action to oust governments than to gathering information about the US's enemies, and which failed to predict every big world event from the outbreak of the Korean War to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the September 11 attacks.
Former congresswoman files libel suit 28 Jul 2007 Former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., has filed a libel suit against The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. McKinney, who lost a primary election in her Georgia district in 2006, claims the newspaper misrepresented facts about her highly publicized run-in with Capitol security... The former congresswoman claims someone telephoned bomb threats to her office from the Journal-Constitution.
Official: Consumer safety agency at risks 27 Jul 2007 The Consumer Product Safety Commission could soon shrink to the point where it can't effectively protect the public, veteran Commissioner Thomas Moore says. Many employees at the agency responsible for overseeing the safety of many thousands of consumer products are looking for other jobs because "they have no confidence the agency will continue to exist — or will exist in any meaningful form," Moore said in a statement Thursday.
FCC to Rule on Wireless Auction 30 Jul 2007 The Federal Communications Commission will set the rules tomorrow governing the auction of $15 billion of public airwaves, a decision with stakes so high that the major U.S. cellular carriers and Google have spent millions of dollars on a lobbying campaign in an attempt to influence the outcome. The decision could dramatically alter the nation's cellphone industry.
Outbreak: Myanmar reports new bird flu cases 29 Jul 2007 Myanmar has detected a fresh outbreak of bird flu on two poultry farms south of the capital Yangon, state media said on Sunday. Authorities confirmed on Tuesday that dead chickens at the farms in Mon state, about 300 kilometres south of Yangon, had been infected with the H5N1 virus, the official Mirror newspaper said.
Hurricane count doubles 30 Jul 2007 A dramatic increase in the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms can be fully explained only by global warming, scientists said yesterday. In the past 100 years, the average number of tropical cyclones forming in the Atlantic each year has doubled. Of these, roughly 55 per cent have been powerful enough to be categorised as hurricanes.
Worst hit areas braced for yet more rain 28 Jul 2007 Flood-damaged regions of central and southern England were on alert again today, as more heavy rain was forecast to move in from the Atlantic this afternoon. Up to nine hours of persistent rain will bring a risk of further flooding in saturated areas of the Severn and upper Thames Valley, the Environment Agency said.
Cheney's heart device replaced [They found the device, but not the heart.] 28 Jul 2007 Vice [sic] President Dick Cheney resumed his normal schedule shortly after doctors implanted a new internal heart defibrillator on Saturday, a spokeswoman said. [Will Oscar the cat visit Cheney? Here, kitty, kitty...]
Iraqi leader tells Bush: Get Gen Petraeus out 28 Jul 2007 Relations between the top United States general in Iraq [Gen David Betrayus] and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President [sic] George W Bush.
US fears that Brown wants Iraq pull-out 29 Jul 2007 A senior Downing Street aide has sounded out Washington on the possibility of an early British military withdrawal from Iraq. Simon McDonald, the prime minister’s chief foreign policy adviser, left the impression that he was "doing the groundwork" for Gordon Brown, according to one of those he consulted.
British Pullback in Iraq Presages Hurdles for U.S. 29 Jul 2007 As American troop levels are peaking in Baghdad, British force levels are heading in the opposite direction as the troops prepare to withdraw completely from the city center of Basra, 300 miles to the south. The British intend to pull back to an airport headquarters miles out of town, a symbolic move widely taken by Iraqis as the beginning of the end of the British military presence in southern Iraq.
Pentagon backs down in row with Clinton over troop withdrawal 28 Jul 2007 The Pentagon has made its most explicit acknowledgement to date that it is working on plans for an eventual drawdown of American troops in Iraq as a matter of priority.
Car bomb kills four in eastern Baghdad 28 Jul 2007 A parked car bomb exploded in a busy shopping street in predominantly Shiite eastern Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least four people and wounding 10, police said, the latest in a series of explosions targeting commercial centers. The bomb was the latest in a series of explosions targeting commercial centers.
Iraq Security Measures Tighten 29 Jul 2007 Security forces will conduct an emergency operation [?] during Sunday's soccer game between Iraq and Saudi Arabia to prevent a repeat of the deadly violence that has accompanied earlier matches, according to a high-ranking police source. The Iraqi military and police forces, with support from the U.S. military, will construct roadblocks and dramatically increase their presence across Baghdad on Sunday afternoon, when Iraq plays in the Asian Cup final, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Iraqi VP says Baghdad security plan no longer legal 26 Jul 2007 Iraqi Vice President Tareq Al-Hashemi criticized Thursday the security plan imposed in Baghdad and said it was no longer legal after the suspension of emergency laws.
Amputations bring health crisis to Iraq 29 Jul 2007 Iraq is facing a hidden healthcare and social crisis over the soaring number of amputations, largely of lower limbs, necessitated by the daily explosions and violence gripping the country.
Saddam Hussein: The better deal By Lori Price 27 Jul 2007 Operation Iraqi Freedom: Shock and Awe followed by a full-blown Bush-style dictatorship; Negroponte's death squads running rampant throughout Iraq; tortured, executed bodies peppering Baghdad's landscape and the Tigris River; curfews, checkpoints, roundups and endless detention without trial; US contractors' slavery. Not to mention, skyrocketing cancer and birth defect rates due to the US bombarding Iraq with depleted uranium, amputations, forced use of Monsanto's deadly GM seeds, doubling malnutrition rates in children, lack of electricity and *gas shortages.* Gee, Saddam Hussein was obviously *such a better deal!* I hope my assets aren't seized for writing this essay! <g> [This summary will be expanded!]
Taliban in first heat-seeking missile attack 28 Jul 2007 Taliban militants have used a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile to attack a Western aircraft over Afghanistan for the first time. The attack with a weapon believed to have been smuggled across the border with Iran represents a worrying increase in the capability of the militants which Western commanders had long feared [Wanted. LieberBush will be all over this one like a duck on a June bug.]
Three British soldiers dead in a week: the bloody Battle of Kajaki Dam --British troops are paying a heavy price in the war against the Taliban amid accusations that they do not have the numbers or the support of Nato allies to do the job. Raymond Whitaker reports on a war without end. 29 Jul 2007 The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has just seen for himself the scale of Britain's mission in Afghanistan, where three British soldiers have died in combat with the Taliban in the past week. Yesterday he told The Independent on Sunday: "I don't pretend that it is an easy task."
50 die in NATO air strike in Afghanistan - report 27 Jul 2007 There are reports that up to 50 civilians have been killed in a NATO air strike in southern Afghanistan. The raid took place in the Girishk district of Helmand province last night and it is understood that most of those killed were civilians.
House Members Say They Will Try to Block Arms Sales to Saudis 29 Jul 2007 The Bush regime's plan to sell $20 billion in advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia and five other Persian Gulf countries is running into congressional opposition and criticism from human rights and arms control groups.
US arming oil-rich nations - report 28 Jul 2007 The US plans a series of arms deals worth at least $US20 billion ($23 billion) with Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states, it was reported today. The plan also includes new 10-year military aid packages to Israel and Egypt, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed US officials. The deals are aimed at shoring up US allies in the Middle East and countering "a more aggressive Iran", as one administration official put it.
U.S. to Sell Arms to Six Pro-Western Gulf States --$20B Deal Includes Weapons For Saudi Arabia 28 Jul 2007 The Bush regime will announce next week a series of arms deals worth at least $20 billion to Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Persian Gulf states as well as new 10-year military aid packages to Israel and Egypt, a move to shore up allies in the Middle East and counter Iran's rising influence, U.S. officials said yesterday. The arms deals, which include the sales of a variety of sophisticated weaponry, would be the largest negotiated by this administration. The military assistance agreements would provide $30 billion in new U.S. aid to Israel and $13 billion to Egypt over 10 years, the officials said.
U.S. pledges to increase its military aid to Israel --Israel promised $30.4B in military aid 29 Jul 2007 The U.S. is prepared to increase military aid to Israel in order to ease the defense establishment's concerns over a proposed American weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told Haaretz over the weekend, thereby confirming reports in the U.S. media. Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years.
Cases of Awol soldiers exceed 9000 since 2004 28 Jul 2007 (UK) Army chiefs have been hit by more than 9000 cases of soldiers going absent without leave since 2004 and 1100 are still on the run at a time when the military is being stretched by its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fake Fly Will Be Spy In the Sky 27 Jul 2007 A spy in the sky not much bigger than a fly has been developed by a top American university. Scientists at Harvard have invented a robotic fly to send on reconnaissance missions in areas too dangerous for humans, such as those contaminated by chemical or biological weapons.
Britain will continue to stand side by side with US, says Brown --Eve of talks with Bush at Camp David 29 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown last night sought to reassure the US that he has no desire to distance himself from President [sic] George Bush, insisting that ties between the UK and America were due to get "stronger" while none of the world's major problems could be solved without US intervention.
CIA misled Britain over rendition plan 26 Jul 2007 The CIA misled British intelligence chiefs over the arrest and treatment of terrorist suspects who were the subjects of rendition [kidnapping] to Guantanamo Bay, an Intelligence and Security Committee report to the Prime Minister warned. It said the deception threatens to undermine confidence in the exchange of intelligence between the CIA and MI6.
Revealed: MI5's role in torture flight hell --British source tells of betrayal to CIA --'I was stripped and hauled to US base' 29 Jul 2007 An Iraqi who was a key source of intelligence for MI5 has given the first ever full insider's account of being seized by the CIA and bundled on to an illegal 'torture flight' under the programme known as extraordinary rendition. In a remarkable interview for The Observer, British resident Bisher al-Rawi has told how he was betrayed by the security service despite having helped keep track of Abu Qatada, the Muslim cleric accused of being Osama bin Laden's 'ambassador in Europe'.
How MI5 had me kidnapped and thrown into CIA's Dark Prison 28 Jul 2007 At last, Bisher Al-Rawi says, he felt the plane descending. He had landed in Kabul. Released from the stretcher and thrown forcefully into a truck, he was driven to the most notorious of the CIA's "black sites" – the Afghan Dark Prison... After about a fortnight, he and Jamil el-Banna were taken to Bagram, where interrogations began again. On the way, "they really beat me up. Of course I was hooded, so I couldn't see anything. But you know how in cartoons when people get hit on the head they see stars? I thought, ah, now I know what those cartoons mean. I saw stars".
Terror-linked doctor's departure suspicious: Australian minister 29 Jul 2007 Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said Sunday it was "suspicious" that the Indian doctor held over failed UK bombings had left the country so quickly after charges against him were dropped.
Australia will not reinstate freed Indian doctor's visa 28 Jul 2007 The Australian government said on Sunday it would not reinstate the work visa of an Indian doctor [Mohamed Haneef] who has been freed from jail after authorities dropped terrorism charges against him.
US 'dirty bomber' is a trial for CIA 29 Jul 2007 It was a terrorist trial that seemed to have everything... But the long-awaited court appearance of Jose Padilla, a US citizen once known as America’s "dirty bomber", has turned out to be missing a crucial ingredient - evidence that he actually did anything wrong. More than two months after federal prosecutors first stood up in a Miami courtroom and depicted Padilla as a would-be jihadist (holy warrior) who with two codefendants was conspiring to "murder, kidnap and maim", the case has become a potential embarrassment to US security officials.
CNN: TSA knew 'dry run' terror alerts were bogus 27 Jul 2007 The Transportation Security Agency's national security bulletin issued was based on bogus examples that were combined to give the impression of ominous terrorist plotting, CNN reports. "That bulletin for law enforcement eyes only told of suspicious items recently found in passenger's bags at airport checkpoints, warned that they may signify dry runs for terrorist attacks," CNN's Brian Todd reported Friday afternoon. "Well it turns out none of that is true."
Bush Urges Congress to Expand Terrorism Surveillance Program 28 Jul 2007 President [display] George W. Bush urged Congress to pass legislation to expand potential surveillance targets, a step he said is important to help fight [foment] terrorism. Bush said Congress should update the law to include people in the U.S. suspected of possessing significant information on terrorists or enemy government plots. The law now allows the government to get court approval for eavesdropping only if it shows a clear link to an enemy government or terrorist group.
U.S. intelligence seeks more surveillance 28 Jul 2007 U.S. officials want to eliminate what they say are burdensome court orders that delay the interception of messages between terrorist targets overseas. U.S. homeland Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is asking Congress to change current law "immediately" to expedite surveillance, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Agency Seeks Greater Surveillance Power Overseas 28 Jul 2007 Citing a "period of heightened threat" to the U.S. 'homeland,' Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell asked Congress to "act immediately" to make changes in current law to permit the interception of messages between terrorist targets overseas, which he said now requires burdensome court orders.
Mining of Data Prompted Fight Over Spying 29 Jul 2007 A 2004 dispute over the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program that led top Justice Department officials to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases, according to current and former officials briefed on the program. It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate. But such databases contain records of the phone calls and e-mail messages of millions of Americans, and their examination by the government would raise privacy issues.
Congress on collision course with Bush over wiretapping inquiry 27 Jul 2007 Congress was heading for a double constitutional showdown with the White House last night, as Democrats called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General, lied to them over the firing of US attorneys and over President [sic] Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance programme.
One in 15 top police under investigation 29 Jul 2007 Almost one in 15 senior police officers in England and Wales is being investigated over criminal or disciplinary offences, The Observer can reveal.
Arab princesses kicked off British Airways plane to jeers and whistles after refusing to sit next to male strangers 28 Jul 2007 Three Arab princesses were thrown off a packed British Airways flight after refusing to sit next to male passengers they didn't know.
9-11 families may hold own ceremony 28 Jul 2007 Relatives of Sept. 11 victims are threatening to hold their own anniversary ceremony to commemorate the attacks unless officials reverse their decision to move the event away from ground zero.
Mounting Evidence of 9/11 Video Fakery: New proof of media duplicity, Scholars claim By James Fetzer 28 Jul 2007 New studies of media coverage of the attacks on the Twin Towers have raised serious questions about the integrity of television broadcasts over CNN, CBS and FOX NEWS, according to Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan society of students, experts, and scholars.
assistance of any kind is not on our priorities list.'
Releases Report Detailing International Assistance Offers in Wake of
Hurricane Katrina 27
Jul 2007 Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
(CREW) released the most comprehensive matrix
available to date detailing all offers of assistance from around the
world in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster... Another email
responding to an offer from Argentina to DOS officials reads "All,
The (sic) word here is that doctors of any kind are in the 'forget about
it' category. Human assistance of any kind is not on our priorities
list....It’s all about goods, not people, at this point." Another
email describes how the transport of Israeli relief supplies loaded
on a C-130 aircraft was delayed for over 48 hours on the tarmac while
Israeli officials waited for clearance from the U.S. government.
Bush Aide Blocked Report --Global Health Draft In 2006 Rejected for Not Being Political 29 Jul 2007 A surgeon general's report in 2006 that called on Americans to help tackle global health problems has been kept from the public by a Bush political appointee without any background or expertise in medicine or public health, chiefly because the report did not promote the administration's policy accomplishments, according to current and former public health officials.
Huckabee accused of destroying hard drives 27 Jul 2007 A lawsuit was filed Thursday against former Gov. Mike Huckabee that accuses the Republican presidential hopeful of breaking state law when his administration destroyed government-owned hard drives as he left office in January.
Fewer See Balance in High Court Decisions --Growing Numbers In Poll Say Bench Is 'Too Conservative' 29 Jul 2007 ...A growing number of Americans say the court has become "too conservative" in the two years since President [sic] Bush began nominating justices, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Nearly a third of the public -- 31 percent -- thinks the court is too far to the right, a noticeable jump since the question was last asked in July 2005.
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