August 2007 Archives, Page Two
Was the office of General Betrayus arming 'insurgents' in Iraq? Iraq Weapons Are a Focus of Criminal Investigations 28 Aug 2007 Several federal agencies are investigating a widening network of criminal cases involving the purchase and delivery of billions of dollars of weapons, supplies and other matériel to Iraqi and American forces, according to American officials. The officials said it amounted to the largest ring of fraud and kickbacks uncovered in the conflict here. The inquiry has already led to several indictments of Americans, with more expected, the officials said. One of the investigations involves a senior American officer who worked closely with Gen. David H. Petraeus [Betrayus] in setting up the logistics operation to supply the Iraqi forces when General Petraeus was in charge of training and equipping those forces in 2004 and 2005, American officials said Monday.
Iraqis 'surrender' vacated British base in Basra to Shiite militiamen 27 Aug 2007 Shiite militiamen from the Mahdi Army took over the police joint command centre in Basra yesterday as UK soldiers withdrew from the facility and handed control to Iraqi police. Police left the building when the militiamen, loyal to anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, arrived, witnesses said.
British PM: No Iraq Exit Timetable 27 Aug 2007 British troops in Iraq have an important job to do and there is no fixed timetable for their withdrawal, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday, despite speculation that Britain will soon announce a major pullout.
Brown signals no premature departure from Iraq 28 Aug 2007 Gordon Brown has sent a coded signal to the US that British troops will not cut and run from Iraq, despite the increasing attacks against them. In his first pronouncements on the war since his visit to the US, the Prime Minister has launched a robust defence of UK strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, insisting Britain continued to have "clear obligations to discharge".
Saudis set up force to guard oil plants 26 Aug 2007 Saudi Arabia has begun setting up a 35,000-strong security force to protect its oil infrastructure from potential attacks. The move underlines the kingdom’s growing concern about its oil installations after threats from al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] to attack facilities in the Gulf, as well as rising tensions between Iran and the US.
Iraqi CBS translator abducted, killed 28 Aug 2007 An Iraqi translator for CBS News [Anwar Abbas Lafta] was abducted from his home and later killed, the network said Monday. It is the third death of a CBS News employee in Iraq in less than two years.
Angry Army denies weapons unsafe, malfunctioning 28 Aug 2007 The Army has angrily denied reports that Australian troops are being sent to war with weapons that malfunction under extreme conditions in the Middle East. Documents obtained by the Seven Network have revealed Steyr rifles used by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have had persistent problems with locking, jamming, misfiring and faulty springs.
Assembly passes Iraq ballot measure 27 Aug 2007 After nearly two hours of passionate debate, the California Assembly approved legislation Monday to ask voters whether they support ending the Iraq War and immediately withdrawing troops. The advisory measure by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata previously passed the Senate, which is expected to concur in amendments Thursday and send the bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
France's Sarkozy raises prospect of Iran airstrikes 27 Aug 2007 French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday a diplomatic push by the world's powers to rein in Tehran's nuclear program was the only alternative to "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran." In his first major foreign policy speech, Sarkozy emphasized his existing foreign policy priorities, such as opposing Turkish membership of the European Union and pushing for a new Mediterranean Union that he hopes will include Ankara.
Iran resolves plutonium issues under atom pact: IAEA 27 Aug 2007 Iran has resolved U.N. questions about tests with plutonium, a key fuel for atomic bombs, and the International Atomic Energy Agency considers the matter closed, according to the text of an IAEA-Iran accord released on Monday.
Thanks to Bush: Afghan Opium Trade Hits New Height --U.N. Report Describes a Scale of Narcotics Production Not Seen in Two Centuries 28 Aug 2007 Opium production in Afghanistan has increased by 34 percent over the past year, and the country is now the source of 93 percent of the heroin, morphine and other opiates on the world market, according to a report by the United Nations' anti-drug agency.
Afghanistan's opium crop doubles in two years 28 Aug 2007 Afghanistan's opium crop has doubled in two years to a new high, with the country almost the sole supplier of the world's deadliest drug, the United Nations said yesterday. Production was estimated to have increased by 34 per cent this year with the number of [Bush-built] laboratories also increasing, the UN said in its Annual Opium Survey.
Five foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan 28 Aug 2007 Five foreign troops were killed in fighting in Afghanistan, taking the death toll for international forces past 150 for the year as the Taliban insurgency intensifies, officials said. This year's toll is fast approaching the highest since the Taliban was ousted in 2001 by a US-led invasion.
U.S. apologizes to Afghans for soccer ball snafu 27 Aug 2007 The U.S. military said Monday it regretted any offense it may have caused by giving out a soccer ball with the word Allah written on it as part of a 'public relations' exercise in Afghanistan. [A more effective public relations move might involve a scale-back of shooting anything that moves. --LRP]
Police Feel Wartime Pinch on Ammo --Target Practice Cut to Conserve Bullets 28 Aug 2007 The U.S. military's soaring demand for small-arms ammunition, fueled by two wars abroad, has left domestic police agencies less able to quickly replenish their supplies, leading some to conserve rounds by cutting back on weapons training, police officials said.
Long deployments pressure National Guard 27 Aug 2007 The Pentagon is asking National Guard troops and their families to make sacrifices like never before in Iraq and other hot spots, the Army's chief of staff [Gen. George Casey] told a conference bringing together citizen-soldiers from across the country.
Hill Democrats: Gonzales Resignation 'Not the End of the Story' 27 Aug 2007 House and Senate Democrats are vowing to press ahead with their investigations into allegations of an overly politicized Justice Department while calling on President [sic] Bush to nominate a consensus replacement for departing Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. "This resignation is not the end of the story. Congress must get to the bottom of this mess and follow the facts where they lead, into the White House," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in a statement.
Gonzo a goner, but NSA surveillance here to stay --Surveillance and torture enthusiast resigns, but legacy intact By Burke Hansen 27 Aug 2007 ...[W]hile Alberto Gonzalez, the Attorney General who slayed the habeas corpus beast, made torture official policy, and brought warrantless surveillance to a neighborhood near you called it quits today, his legacy will stay with us for years to come... Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to undo the damage done, as Gonzalez spent so much time walking all over the fundamental rights of Americans he's practically left footprints on the Bill of Rights. Thanks to his stewardship, American citizens can now be classed as enemy combatants, spied on without warrants, imprisoned indefinitely without charges or redress to the courts, and subjected to "enhanced interrogation" techniques.
The House Lawyer Departs (The New York Times) 28 Aug 2007 This administration has illegally spied on Americans, detained suspects indefinitely as "enemy combatants," run roughshod over the Geneva Conventions, violated the Hatch Act prohibitions on injecting politics into government and defied Congressional subpoenas. In each case, Mr. Gonzales gave every indication of being on the side of the lawbreakers, not the law. Mr. Gonzales signed off on the administration’s repugnant, and disastrous, torture policy when he was the White House counsel. He later helped stampede Congress into passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which endorsed illegal C.I.A. prisons where detainees may be tortured and established kangaroo courts in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to keep detained foreigners in custody essentially for life. He helped cover up and perpetuate Mr. Bush’s illegal wiretapping programs, both in the counsel’s job and as attorney general. The F.B.I. under his stewardship abused powers it was given after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the name of enhanced national security... There is talk that the president [sic] might make a recess appointment, taking advantage of Congress's vacation to name someone who would not need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns 27 Aug 2007 Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced his resignation today, ending a controversial cabinet tenure that included clashes with Congress over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and over the use of warrantless wiretaps in the war on [of] terror.
Larry Craig quits Romney campaign as news of lewd-conduct allegation spreads 27 Aug 2007 U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct this month after his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men’s room by an undercover officer who said Craig was sending signals that he wanted to have sex. Craig agreed today to resign as the U.S. Senate co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Craig served as co-chair with Robert Bennett of Utah.
US Senator pleads guilty after toilet arrest 28 Aug 2007 A Republican Senator has confirmed that he pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct after he was arrested at an airport in the United States. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested in June by a plain-clothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in the men's public toilet at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reports.
US Republican Senator denies lewd conduct in airport bathroom 27 Aug 2007 US Republican Senator Larry Craig on Monday denied "inappropriate conduct" after he was arrested by police investigating alleged lewd incidents in an airport bathroom. Craig was arrested in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis-St Paul in June by a plain clothes police officer, the Roll Call newspaper, which covers Congress, reported.
Senator Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom 27 Aug 2007 Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon. Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed.
Ex-GOP official gets special prosecutor 27 Aug 2007 A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate sexual misconduct allegations against a former southern Indiana county Republican chairman who had also headed a national group for young Republicans... Glenn Murphy Jr. announced Aug. 7 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. A police report then became public in which a 22-year-old man told investigators he awoke after a party at a relative's house in Jeffersonville to find Murphy, who also had attended the event, performing a sex act on him.
Bush Motorcade Crash Kills N.M. Officer 27 Aug 2007 A police officer in President [sic] Bush's motorcade crashed his motorcycle and died Monday, less than a year after a crash in Hawaii killed another motorcycle officer accompanying the president.
Bush bin Laden poised to strike before the 2008 'elections:' "We Are Going to Get Hit Again" --The head of the National Counterterrorism Center speaks out on Al Qaeda's plans, America’s readiness—and the nature of the war on [of] terror. 27 Aug 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] has an active plot to hit the West. The United States knows about it but doesn’t have enough tactical detail to issue a precise warning or raise the threat level, says Vice Admiral (ret.) John Scott Redd, who heads the government’s National Counterterrorism Center. In an interview at his headquarters near Washington, D.C., Redd told Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball and Jeffrey Bartholet that the country is better prepared than ever to counter such threats. But he also believes another successful terror attack on the U.S. 'homeland' is inevitable.
Five men arrested over alleged bomb plot in Sydney 28 Aug 2007 Five men were arrested today over a plot to bomb ATM and bank safes. Police officers allege the men ordered enough chemicals to make 40kg of nitroglycerin explosives from the Northern Territory, sparking a national security scare. Federal police officers were also involved in the operation. Chief Superintendent Peter Dein from the Counter Terrorism Command said police had ruled out any link [?!?] between the plot of manufacturing explosives and the forthcoming APEC summit.
"No-Evacuation Required During a Bird Flu Outbreak" --Chlorine Dioxide Gas to Be Used to Create 'Virus-Free' Areas --Experimental data and practical applications of chlorine dioxide 'against' pandemic influenza to be presented at international bird flu summit in the US. (New-Fields) 27 Aug 2007 At the 5th International Bird Flu Summit organized by New-Fields Exhibition Inc., Dr. Norio Ogata of the Japanese Taiko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is to present the company’s experimental data and practical applications of chlorine dioxide 'against' pandemic influenza. The product to be launched uses chlorine dioxide gas to create virus-free living spaces.
Now, what's interesting about New-Fields? ('We find new-fields for you.') New-Fields, uniting and marketing corpora-terrorists who are trying to start (and profit from) an avian flu pandemic, are also actually hosting the Iraqi Oil & Gas Technology Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, 5-6 September 2007. (New-Fields) It has been estimated that with its natural resources Iraq has the potential to earn between $10 billion and $15 billion over the next few years. The Iraqi oil industry faces three distinct phases of development... The immediate task is restoring historical capacity which could require an investment of $5-10 billion and take 18 to 24 months. This work could be carried out under the auspices of an occupation regime... The second phase is developing prospects already found, raising capacity significantly. Cost is estimated at $40-80 billion, with a lead-time of seven to 10 years, depending upon the scope of the program. This work would need a legitimate government to assign new contracts... The third phase would be new exploration... and that also would require a legitimate government to negotiate fresh exploration rights. Iraq also has a substantial natural gas potential that could be used for industrial and power generation purposes. [People need to question the possible links between those running/managing (mismanaging) and profiting from the Iraq war and those who are poised to run/manage (mismanage) and profit from an avian flu pandemic. --LRP]
Germany to enforce buffer zone around bird flu farm 27 Aug 2007 The European Commission and Germany on Monday agreed to implement a 15-kilometre (10-mile) buffer zone around a Bavarian farm after the discovery of the highly pathogenic strain of H5N1 bird flu, an EU spokesman said.
British DNA database riddled with errors 28 Aug 2007 Civil liberties campaigners and MPs have raised doubts about the national DNA database after the British Home Office confirmed it contained more than 500,000 false or wrongly recorded names. Suspects arrested over any imprisonable offence, including rape and murder, can have their DNA held even if they are not charged or are acquitted.
US orders emergency checks on newer Boeing 737s 27 Aug 2007 U.S. aviation authorities have ordered emergency inspections of newer model Boeing Co. 737 jetliners in response to last week's explosion and fire that destroyed a China Airlines plane in Japan, officials said on Monday.
Top Swiss banker attacks US lending standards as 'unbelievable' 21 Aug 2007 Switzerland's top banker [Jean-Pierre Roth] has warned of massive losses from the unfolding credit crisis, describing the collapse in US lending standards as "unbelievable".
Speculation grows about Chertoff as attorney general 27 Aug 2007 White House Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend has turned down a request that she consider being the next Homeland Security Secretary, stoking speculation that former prosecutor and federal judge Michael Chertoff may be the front-runner to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Townsend, a native Long Islander, said she declined the job of Homeland Security Secretary currently held by Chertoff in a recent conversation with the White House, said a source with direct knowledge of the conversation.
Clement Replacing Gonzales: More Than An 'Acting' AG? By John Harwood 27 Aug 2007 White House sources confirm that U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement will serve as acting Attorney General once Alberto Gonzales leaves the Justice Department in mid-September. And to judge from initial soundings across Washington, no one will be surprised if Clement eventually becomes President [sic] Bush's choice to fill the job for the remainder of his term.
Bush reluctantly let Attorney General quit: White House 27 Aug 2007 US President [sic] George W Bush only reluctantly accepted the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a White House official said on Monday.
US Attorney General Gonzales steps down Sept. 17 27 Aug 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [aka Tortureboy] resigned on Monday, ending a controversial tenure as chief U.S. law enforcement officer that blemished the administration of President [sic] George W. Bush. Gonzales announced at the Justice Department that his resignation would take effect on Sept. 17. He refused to take questions from reporters and gave no reason for his sudden decision to depart after months of controversy. [Maybe it should be pointed out that September 17th is Constitution Day. How fitting for Gonzales to resign then. --CLGer Martin K. Fleming, Tarboro, NC.]
Gonzales resigns as U.S. attorney general --Bush 'very reluctantly accepted' resignation of longtime ally, official says 27 Aug 2007 Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, under fire from congressional Democrats and even some Republicans, announced Monday that he has resigned from his post. "It has been one of my greatest privileges to lead [destroy] the Department of Justice," Gonzales said at a news conference, announcing his resignation effective Sept. 17.
Northwest lawmakers hail Gonzales resignation 27 Aug 2007 Pacific Northwest Democrats hailed the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, saying his honesty and competence as leader of the Justice Department were in question.
Quotes About Gonzales' Resignation (AP) 27 Aug 2007 "It has been a long and difficult struggle but at last, the attorney general has done the right thing and stepped down. ...We Democrats implore you (Bush) to work with us. Don't choose the path of confrontation and throw down the gauntlet we are willing to meet you in the middle of the road. All we ask is that you choose somebody who puts the rule of law first. we're not looking for confrontation here.'' -Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
Baath party spokesman dismisses plan to ease ban on party members 26 Aug 2007 A purported spokesman for Saddam Hussein's party Sunday dismissed draft legislation to ease the ban on party members from holding government jobs, saying his group would not deal with the Iraqi leadership until all U.S. and foreign forces leave the country.
Iraq Sunni Arabs won't rejoin cabinet despite deal 27 Aug 2007 A new political accord between Iraq's main Sunni Arab, Shi'ite and Kurdish leaders will not be enough to lure minority Sunni Arabs back into the government, the Sunni Arab vice president who signed it said on Monday.
Sarkozy calls for timetable for Iraq troop withdrawal 27 Aug 2007 French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a clear timetable to be set for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq in his first major foreign policy address. 'The Iraq tragedy cannot leave us indifferent. France was, thanks to Jacques Chirac, and remains hostile to this war,' which was triggered by the US invasion in 2003, he said at the fifteenth Conference of Ambassadors in Paris.
Edwards stresses import of troop withdrawal from Iraq 27 Aug 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said yesterday that Congress should continue to push for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq regardless of what top military advisers say in their progress report next month.
Warner May Back Dems' Bill on Withdrawal 27 Aug 2007 GOP Sen. John Warner, who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Sunday he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President [sic] Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon.
Former US-installed Iraqi prime minister returning to Iraq --Allawi: 'We are going to fight for our country [the US-backed oil law].' 26 Aug 2007 Iraq's former [US-installed] interim prime minister accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of fomenting the sectarian violence plaguing the war-ravaged nation and said Sunday he will return to Baghdad soon to "reverse the course in Iraq." However, Ayad Allawi's ties to a powerful Washington-based GOP lobbying firm is raising eyebrows as President [sic] Bush has adamantly expressed his support for al-Maliki. Speaking from Amman, Jordan, Allawi told CNN that he will push for "a less sectarian, nonsectarian course" when he goes back to Baghdad next week -- and al-Maliki's ouster may be part of the solution. [See: Powerhouse GOP firm working to undermine Iraqi PM 23 Aug 2007 A powerhouse Republican lobbying firm with close ties to the White House has begun a public campaign to undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN has confirmed. See: Barbour Griffith & Rogers' agreement with Ayad Allawi 24 Aug 2007.]
Iraq's al-Maliki tells U.S. critics to "come to their senses" 27 Aug 2007 Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki lashed out Sunday at U.S. politicians who have called on him to step down and accused U.S. forces of committing "big mistakes" in killing and detaining civilians in the hunt for 'insurgents.' It was the second outburst from the embattled leader in recent days as he has come under fire from an array of allies and adversaries who accuse him of failing to unite his Cabinet and put key [oil] laws and programs in place.
US 'Wellstones' witnesses against US war criminal, so trial cannot proceed: Witnesses In Army Trial Killed In Crash 26 Aug 2007 Several U.S. Army soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq last week were to be witnesses [for the prosecution] in the homicide trial of their former superior. Honolulu's KITV reported Sunday that some of the soldiers who died in the crash had been scheduled to testify in the trial of Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales, who is accused of orchestrating the death of an Iraqi prisoner this year. Corrales, who was in the same Hawaii-based platoon as the soldiers killed in Wednesday's crash, allegedly shot the prisoner repeatedly June 23. He is accused of then ordering his subordinate and fellow defendant, Spc. Christopher Shore, to continue shooting the man.
Report: U.S. Attack Kills 13 Iraqi Civilians 24 Aug 2007 An overnight U.S. helicopter raid in Baghdad killed at least 13 Iraqi civilians, many of them people sleeping on roofs to keep cool, a report says. At least 20 people were wounded in the Shula district in the western part of the city, Alalam Satellite TV reported Friday. Many of the wounded were women and children, it said.
British Army deploys new weapon based on mass-killing technology --Parliament not told, minister says By John Byrne 23 Aug 2007 A new 'super-weapon' being supplied to British soldiers in Afghanistan employs technology based on the "thermobaric" principle which uses heat and pressure to kill people targeted across a wide air by sucking the air out of lungs and rupturing internal organs. [see: Army gets new 'enhanced blast' weapon to fight 23 Aug 2007.]
US taxpayers shelling out million$ in bribes for those willing to fight for Exxon Mobil in Iraq: Many Take Army's 'Quick Ship' Recruit Incentive $20,000 Is Lure to Leave Within Days 27 Aug 2007 More than 90 percent of the Army's new recruits since late July have accepted a $20,000 "quick ship" bonus to leave for basic combat training by the end of September, putting thousands of Americans into uniform almost immediately. The initiative is part of an effort by Army officials to meet year-end recruiting goals after a two-month slump earlier this year.
Troops Cheer Call For Iraq Withdrawal --Governor's Call For U.S. Withdrawal From Iraq Greeted With Standing Ovation At National Guard Conference 26 Aug 2007 A call by Puerto Rico's governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen. Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila said Saturday that the U.S. administration has "no new strategy and no signs of success" and that prolonging the war would needlessly put guardsmen in harm's way.
Afghanistan poppy harvest jumps 18 per cent 27 Aug 2007 The United Nations is to release figures for drug production in Afghanistan that will show another reverse for the British-led effort to control the drug trade. The Daily Telegraph understands that annual production is expected to have risen by 18 per cent to about 7,200 tons - the sixth consecutive rise since 2001 [due to Bush's explosive growth in opium production and drug trade].
Record-breaking opium crop destabilises Afghanistan 26 Aug 2007 Afghanistan's poppy harvest is expected to top all records this year as the country spirals deeper into a vicious circle of drugs, corruption and insecurity. A United Nations report due on Monday will announce that Afghanistan is now producing nearly 95 percent of the world's opium, up from 92 percent in 2006, officials and diplomats say.
Taliban kill 5 Western soldiers in Afghanistan 27 Aug 2007 Five Western soldiers, including three Americans, were killed in a string of Taliban attacks in eastern and southern Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.
MacKay briefed on what not to say about Khadr 26 Aug 2007 The foreign affairs minister was advised to dismiss questions about whether Canada would even accept the repatriation of Omar Khadr, a Canadian held in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, much less ask Washington for it. Newly released documents reveal that reams of paperwork were created to help advise former minister Peter MacKay and his spokespeople on how to answer questions on Khadr, even though they said virtually nothing about the case for more than a year.
Closing arguments Monday in court-martial of Abu Ghraib officer 26 Aug 2007 The U.S. military's cherished chain of command is being tested by the court-martial of an Army officer accused of fostering the abuse of Abu Ghraib prison prisoners in Iraq. Monday's closing arguments before a panel of nine colonels and a brigadier general will summarize the conflicting notions of command responsibility that lawyers repeatedly hit upon during four days of testimony last week.
The TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise --A Rigorous Full-Scale Response to a Coordinated Attack (DHS) 29 May 2007 Taking place October 15-24, 2007, the TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) will feature thousands of Federal, State, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat. The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance.
Private Sector Participation for Top Officials 4 Exercise Top Officials Exercises are congressionally mandated exercises designed to strengthen the nation’s capacity to prevent [foment], prepare for, respond to, and recover from large-scale terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The Top Officials national counterterrorism exercises offer the private sector an opportunity to collaborate with the government and test plans for disaster response and recovery. Email: private.sectorT4@dhs.gov.
Respiration Date Vast NYPD Mask Recall 27 Aug 2007 The NYPD has recalled an estimated 30,000 emergency devices designed to help cops breathe after a terrorist blast, because the manufacturer warned they might be defective, The New York Post has learned.
U.S. insurance industry pressures Feds to help pay terrorism claims 26 Aug 2007 The U.S. insurance industry, responding to what it says is a growing risk of chemical and biological terrorism, is pressing Congress to dramatically increase its backing of terrorism insurance policies. Industry analysts cite the increased [US] use of chlorine-enhanced bombs and fuel-air explosives in Iraq, which the analysts view as a test laboratory for terrorism.
'He was detained because he was a health threat.' Atlanta teen arrested, jailed for having TB 25 Aug 2007 (GA) When doctors told Francisco Santos he had tuberculosis Friday, health officials said the Gwinnett County 17-year-old refused to believe it. Gwinnett officials acted decisively: They put Santos in jail Friday evening, in a rare act of a government agency confining a sick person. Santos is the only inmate in a special medical isolation cell designed for inmates with contagious conditions. Two deputies guard him and the other medical inmates. David Will, attorney for the Gwinnett County Board of Health, said Santos is being held under a court order for confinement.
Gwinnett resident jailed after refusing TB treatment 25 Aug 2007 A judge ordered a Gwinnett County resident into custody on Friday after he refused medical treatment for a case of "active, contagious tuberculosis," officials said. The resident, identified as Francisco Santos, was ordered to remain under arrest until a Sept. 5 hearing, said David Will, attorney for the Gwinnett County Board of Health.
Undercover cops tried to incite violence in Montebello: union leader --YouTube video shows union leaders trying to push back masked men 22 Aug 2007 Organizers of the protests at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que., say they have video that shows police disguised as masked demonstrators tried to incite violence on Monday. Retired police officer believes masked men were cops: Meanwhile, a retired Ottawa police officer who was formerly in charge of overseeing demonstrations for the force said he questions who the masked men really are, after viewing the video.
Safety fears over new register of all children 27 Aug 2007 Senior social workers have given warning of the dangers posed by a new government register that will store the details of every child in England from next year. They fear that the database, containing the address, medical and school details of all under-18s, could be used to harm the children whom it is intended to protect. The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ACDS) has written to officials outlining its "significant" concerns about the new system, called ContactPoint, The Times has learnt.
Senator's Office Is Burglarized 27 Aug 2007 (Hartford, CT) Burglars broke into Senator Christopher J. Dodd’s (D) office here late Saturday, taking undisclosed items and leaving evidence at the scene, the police said. Investigators declined to say what was stolen or what was left behind at the office, which is on Lewis Street.
California Republicans seek to rig 2008 presidential vote By WSWS reporter 27 Aug 2007 In a transparent effort to rig the outcome of the 2008 presidential election, the California Republican Party has launched a petition drive to place a referendum on the ballot in June 2008 that would split the state’s huge bloc of electoral votes rather than awarding them based on the traditional winner-take-all formula... The ballot proposition was drafted by a Republican-backed group taking the name "Californians for Equal Representation," set up by Thomas Hiltachk, a lawyer who was involved in the 2003 recall petition that ousted Democrat Gray Davis and installed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Sacramento statehouse.
Bad credit top terrorism as biggest economy risk: Report 27 Aug 2007 Bad credit has supplanted terrorism as the gravest immediate risk threatening the economy, a key national research group [the National Association of Business Economics] reported on Monday.
US could be heading for recession 27 Aug 2007 Former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned that the United States may be heading into recession as the biggest victim to date of the sub-prime mortgage debacle was humiliatingly sold for a token sum in Germany. "I would say the risks of recession are now greater than they've been any time since the period in the aftermath of 9/11," Mr Summers said.
Home sales hit slowest pace in 5 years 27 Aug 2007 Sales of existing homes dropped for a fifth straight month in July, falling to the slowest pace in nearly five years, while home prices fell for a record 12th consecutive month.
Greek fires may be treated as terrorism 27 Aug 2007 A Greek prosecutor today ordered an investigation into whether arson attacks, which have been blamed for the worst forest fires in decades, could be considered terrorist acts.
Fires in Greece Threaten Historic Sites, Destroy Towns 27 Aug 2007 Fires raging across the country of Greece are have left thousands homeless, and is threatening some of antiquity's most famous sites. Foreign countries such as France, Italy, and Canada have joined Greek soldiers and firemen in battling the towering fires. Cyprus rushed in more firefighters today, and promised to help with reconstruction after the fires die down.
'Operation Noble Eagle' false flag operations underway: Florida Troops Deploy to Nation's Capital 24 Aug 2007 Members of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region. The troops will be deployed for a year. The 265th is part of Operation Noble Eagle. They are ordered by the president [sic] to the nation's capital, where they will operate high-tech weapons systems 'against' any potential air threat.
Even I question the 'truth' about 9/11 By Robert Fisk 25 Aug 2007 I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. It's not just the obvious non sequiturs: where are the aircraft parts (engines, etc) from the attack on the Pentagon? Why have the officials involved in the United 93 flight (which crashed in Pennsylvania) been muzzled? Why did flight 93's debris spread over miles when it was supposed to have crashed in one piece in a field? ...I am talking about scientific issues... What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 (or the Salmon Brothers Building) – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? ...Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. [This article so neatly summarizes my view, and the extent of my view, on the anomalies of 9/11, that I need to add nothing else at this time. -- Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D.]
What's in a name? U.S. rebrands Iraq ex-insurgents 25 Aug 2007 U.S. forces have rebranded one of the main 'insurgent' groups in Iraq and now use the term "concerned local nationals" to refer to a group that once claimed responsibility for killing scores of Americans.
Insurgents kill 22 villagers in Iraq 24 Aug 2007 About 200 gunmen stormed two villages in Diyala province Thursday, killing at least 22 members of a Sunni Arab tribe and taking 15 women and children hostage in an attack thought to be retaliation for their renunciation of Al Qaeda[al-CIAduh]-linked militants.
Iraq body count running at double pace 25 Aug 2007 This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.
US surge sees 600,000 more Iraqis abandon home 25 Aug 2007 The scale of the human disaster in the Iraq war has become clearer from statistics collected by two humanitarian groups that reveal the number of Iraqis who have fled the fighting has more than doubled since the US military build-up began in February.
Car bomb kills seven in Baghdad - police 25 Aug 2007 A car bomb killed seven people and wounded 30 in a commercial area in northern Baghdad [Kadhimiya] on Saturday, police said, despite a stepped-up security presence in the capital ahead of a Shi'ite religious festival next week.
US 'will not stop' British pull-out at Basra Palace 26 Aug 2007 British troops will withdraw to the last military stronghold in Iraq imminently, and will not be "swayed by domestic political considerations" – including relations with the US – senior government sources said yesterday.
'I don't see any progress. Just us getting killed... I don't want to be here anymore.' GIs' morale dips as Iraq war drags on --With tours extended, multiple deployments and new tactics that put them in bare posts in greater danger, they feel leaders are out of touch with reality. 25 Aug 2007 As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a 'progress' report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war. And they're becoming vocal about their frustration over longer deployments and a taxing mission that keeps many living in dangerous and uncomfortably austere conditions.
Critics Say Army Putting Spin on Iraq Suicides 25 Aug 2007 Some veterans organizations, soldiers' relatives and psychiatrists are raising questions about an Army report that says no direction connection has been found between long troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and the army's highest suicide rate since the first Gulf War. The Army report, released Aug. 16, said love and marriage problems were the main reasons for the highest rate of suicides [!?!] since 1991. Nearly a third of the 99 who committed suicide in 2006 were in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The Great Iraq Swindle --How Bush Allowed an Army of For-Profit Contractors to Invade the U.S. Treasury --How is it done? How do you screw the taxpayer for millions, get away with it and then ride off into the sunset with one middle finger extended, the other wrapped around a chilled martini? Ask Earnest O. Robbins -- he knows all about being a successful contractor in Iraq. (Issue 1034, The Rolling Stone) 23 Aug 2007 According to the most reliable estimates, we have doled out more than $500 billion for the war, as well as $44 billion for the Iraqi reconstruction effort. And what did America's contractors give us for that money? They built big steaming shit piles, set brand-new trucks on fire, drove back and forth across the desert for no reason at all and dumped bags of nails in ditches... But what happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future.
Warner presses for troop withdrawals 26 Aug 2007 GOP Sen. John Warner, who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Sunday he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President [sic] Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon. "I'm going to have to evaluate it," Warner said.
Bush Says U.S. Armed Forces Makes Gains in Iraq 25 Aug 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush said that U.S. armed forces, working with local leaders in Iraq, are making the military gains that are necessary for political success and stability.
Former Senator Cleland Disputes Bush's Vietnam Analogy on Iraq 25 Aug 2007 Former Democratic U.S. Senator Max Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran, said President [sic] George W. Bush made a faulty analogy when he cited that war to bolster his case for continuing U.S. military operations in Iraq.
Local activist organizes protest against Iraq War 23 Aug 2007 (San Antonio, TX) GLBT activist and Happy Foundation executive director Gene Elder announced this week that he is organizing a candlelight vigil against the Iraq War in front of the Alamo at 7:00 p.m. on August 28.
Residents say foreign raid kills dozens of Afghans 26 Aug 2007 Residents of a Taliban-controlled town in southern Afghanistan said on Sunday dozens of civilians including women and children had been killed in aerial bombing.
Bomb Attacks Kill 3, Wound 8 in Afghanistan 25 Aug 2007 Authorities in Afghanistan say attacks by suspected 'insurgents' [the US] have killed three people and wounded at least eight others. Police say a roadside bomb Saturday in Kandahar province killed three Afghan security guards and wounded at least two others.
Friendly fire dead named as US opens inquiry 26 Aug 2007 Three soldiers killed in Afghanistan in a "friendly fire" incident were named by the Ministry of Defence last night... The MoD and the US State Department have begun investigations into the incident.
Tensions rise after three British soldiers killed in US airstrike 25 Aug 2007 Three British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan in a "friendly fire" attack by American aircraft while involved in a clash with Taliban fighters. The fatal incident, a "blue on blue" in military terms, took place at Kajaki in Helmand province, where British troops are trying to create a safety zone around a dam which would enable an American company to start repair work. [Right, the UK soldiers would see the US corpora-terrorists destroying the dam so that they could get more money to rebuild it.]
Suicide bomb wounds three US-led troops in Kabul 25 Aug 2007 A suicide car bomb exploded near a convoy of US-led occupation vehicles in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday, wounding three foreign troops and four Afghan civilians, the coalition said.
Commander salutes Bliss' expansion, training role --$321 million in new construction at Fort Bliss (TX) this year toward goal of accommodating nearly 30,000 soldiers by 2011 23 Aug 2007 Undergoing a massive expansion while being called on to train and mobilize troops headed for war is "leading the way" for the Army, Fort Bliss commander Maj. Gen. Robert P. Lennox said Wednesday during his State of the Military address at Biggs Army Airfield.
Military cites risk of abuse by CIA --New Bush rules on detainees stir concern 25 Aug 2007 Top military lawyers have told senators that President [sic] Bush's new rules for CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists could allow abuses that violate the Geneva Conventions, according to Senate and military officials.
Scottish inquiry into 'rendition' flights by CIA --Report alleges airports in Scotland were used 107 times for refuelling by secret CIA flights, which later carried at least six suspects 24 Aug 2007 Fresh allegations that British airports were secretly used by the CIA to "render" [kidnap] Islamist terror suspects to be tortured in secret prisons or held in Guantánamo Bay are to be investigated by Scottish prosecutors.
'I have no hesitation in saying they were police agents . . . and they were caught red-handed.' Police accused of using provocateurs at summit 21 Aug 2007 Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que. Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged "agents provocateurs" have been caught on camera.
'The F.B.I. case was a hoax that grew out of the Bush administration’s misuse of fear to turn our democracy into a dictatorship.' Spying Program May Be Tested by Terror Case 26 Aug 2007 ...Before the trial,Yassin M. Aref’s lawyers asked the government for information about the N.S.A. surveillance reported in The New York Times. In March 2006, the government responded to one request with a classified filing that the defense lawyers, who had security clearances, were not allowed to see. That same day, Judge Thomas J. McAvoy denied the defense request in a classified order.
Maybe Trading Up Soon at Justice 24 Aug 2007 The buzz among top Bushies is that beleaguered Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally plans to depart and will be replaced by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Why Chertoff? Officials say he's got fans on Capitol Hill, is untouched by the Justice prosecutor scandal, and has more experience than Gonzales did, having served as a federal judge and assistant attorney general.
GOP scraps committee 25 Aug 2007 (IN) The Allen County Republican chairman disbanded the party's executive committee because of its support for an indicted candidate for mayor of Fort Wayne. Matt Kelty, charged last week with nine counts, including perjury and violation of campaign-finance laws, is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 10, when a trial date will be set.
Clinton's Democratic Rivals Denounce Terrorism Remark 25 Aug 2007 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton drew outrage from her opponents for the Democratic presidential nomination on Friday after saying that a terrorist attack in the United States would give Republicans an edge in the 2008 race. [Why? Clinton knows that Bush bin Laden is getting ready to attack us again, so that the GOP can steal another 'election.']
Gag me with a chainsaw! Obama Names Republicans He'll Work With 25 Aug 2007 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama often says he will be a candidate that will bring both parties together and Saturday he named a few of the Republicans he would reach out to if 'elected.' "There are some very capable Republicans who I have a great deal of respect for," Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The opportunities are there to create a more effective relationship between parties."
Ninth Circuit Court revives California bid for electricity refunds 25 Aug 20007 A federal appeals court has revived California's request for at least $1 billion in refunds to electricity customers, saying federal regulators who denied the repayments had ignored tapes in which Enron traders joked about gouging customers during the energy crisis of 2000-2001. The ruling was issued Friday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which repeatedly has found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission abused its authority or violated its own rules in considering the state's claims of multibillion-dollar overcharges during the energy crisis.
Fed bends rules to help two big banks --If the Federal Reserve is waiving a fundamental principle in banking regulation, the credit crunch must still be sapping the strength of America's biggest banks. Fortune's Peter Eavis documents an unusual Fed move. 24 Aug 2007 In a clear sign that the credit crunch is still affecting the nation's largest financial institutions, the Federal Reserve agreed this week to bend key banking regulations to help out Citigroup and Bank of America, according to documents posted Friday on the Fed's web site.
Dollar May Fall to Record Within Six Months, Goldman Sachs Says 24 Aug 2007 The dollar may decline to a record low against the euro in the next six months because U.S. economic growth will slow, forcing the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Deadly bird flu found in German poultry farm 25 Aug 2007 An outbreak of deadly bird flu [highly pathogenic H5N1 strain] has been identified in a southern German poultry farm, a spokeswoman for Bavaria's environment ministry said on Saturday.
Greek Fire Deaths Mount as Olympic Site Threatened 26 Aug 2007 The death toll in Greece's forest fires reached at least 51 over the past three days as flames engulfed the birthplace of the Olympic Games and international assistance poured into the country.
Bush: 'Look beyond the letter of the law.' U.S. urges military court to allow terrorism trials to proceed 24 Aug 2007 The Bush regime, looking to jump-start its stalled terrorism trials Friday, told a newly formed U.S. Court of Military Commission Review to look beyond the letter of the law and allow its case against Canadian detainee Omar Khadr, who is accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan [when he was 15 years old], to go forward. Before terror suspects can be prosecuted before military tribunals, the law requires that they be deemed "unlawful enemy combatants." But Guantanamo Bay tribunals have simply been calling its terrorism suspects "enemy combatants," which led a military judge to dismiss Khadr's case in June. The judge explained that "lawful" combatants are afforded prisoner-of-war and other rights under international law. [Look beyond *this.*]
US seeks Khadr charges reinstatement before military commission review court 24 Aug 2007 US military lawyers appearing at the first sitting of the new US Court of Military Commission Review Friday urged the court to overturn a ruling dropping charges against Canadian Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr. In June, a military commission judge held that he had no jurisdiction over Khadr because a Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal had found that he was an "enemy combatant," not an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Government lawyers said Friday that such minor details should not delay the start of Khadr's trial.
Terror Suspect List Yields Few Arrests --20,000 Detentions in '06 Rile Critics --Database contained at least 235,000 records as of last fall 25 Aug 2007 The government's terrorist screening database flagged Americans and foreigners as suspected terrorists almost 20,000 times last year. But only a small fraction of those questioned were arrested or denied entry into the United States, raising concerns among critics about privacy and the list's effectiveness... The database consolidates a dozen government watch lists, as well as a growing amount of information from various sources, including airline passenger data. The government said it was planning to expand the data-sharing to private-sector groups with a "substantial bearing on homeland security," though officials would not be more specific.
Those who blow whistle on contractor fraud in Iraq face US torture 24 Aug 2007 For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods... He had thought he was doing a good and noble thing when he started telling the FBI about the guns and the land mines and the rocket-launchers - all of them being sold [by Shield Group Security Co.] for cash, no receipts necessary, he said. He told a federal agent the buyers were Iraqi 'insurgents,' American soldiers, State Department workers, and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees... Also held was colleague Nathan Ertel, who helped Vance gather evidence documenting the sales, according to a federal lawsuit both have filed in Chicago, alleging they were illegally imprisoned and subjected to physical and mental interrogation tactics ''reserved for terrorists and so-called enemy combatants.''
Number of Iraqis Held by U.S. Is Swelling 24 Aug 2007 The number of prisoners held by the American-led military occupation in Iraq has swelled by 50 percent under the troop increase ordered by President [sic] Bush, with the inmate population growing from 16,000 in February to 24,500 today, according to American military officers in Iraq... The American military in Iraq will not provide numbers for prisoners held by the government of Iraq.
Marine may not be put on trial for role in Haditha massacre 24 Aug 2007 A hearing officer has recommended that charges be dropped against a Marine lance corporal in connection with the killings of three Iraqi children and three adults in their homes in Haditha in November 2005. Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 26, admitted that he killed the six civilians. One of Tatum's fellow Marines testified at the preliminary hearing that Tatum knew he was shooting at civilians.
Iraq says civilians killed by U.S. fire 24 Aug 2007 U.S. helicopters blasted rooftops in a Shiite neighborhood before dawn Friday as American troops battled gunmen on the ground, killing at least eight by the military's count... Iraqi police and hospital officials said the dead included a woman and a young boy. Sixteen other people were wounded, including four women and three boys in their early teens who had been sleeping on the roofs to escape the summer heat, an official at Noor Hospital in Shula said.
Bin Laden wanted US to invade Iraq, author says By Tony Jones 24 Aug 2007 As coalition [sic] troops continue to die on Iraqi soil and the US Government's military spending on the war bleeds into billions of dollars, a new book says that not only could this have been avoided, but it was all predictable, as long as you had read the Al Qaeda manual.
Report Offers Grim View of Iraqi Leaders 24 Aug 2007 A stark assessment released Thursday by the nation’s intelligence agencies depicts a paralyzed Iraqi government unable to take advantage of the security 'gains' achieved by the thousands of extra American troops dispatched to the country this year. The assessment, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, casts strong doubts on the viability of the Bush administration strategy in Iraq.
The Problem Isn't Mr. Maliki (The New York Times) 24 Aug 2007 Blaming the prime minister of Iraq, rather than the president of the United States, for the spectacular failure of American policy, is cynical politics, pure and simple. It is neither fair nor helpful in figuring out how to end America’s biggest foreign policy fiasco since Vietnam... If Mr. Bush, whose decision to inject Vietnam into the debate over Iraq was bizarre, took the time to study the real lessons of Vietnam, he would not be so eager to lead America still deeper into the 21st century quagmire he has created in Iraq.
Top general likely to urge troop cut --Advice by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs poses a potential clash with supporters of the buildup. 24 Aug 2007 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is expected to advise President [sic] Bush to reduce the U.S. force in Iraq next year by almost half, potentially creating a rift with top White House officials and other military commanders over the course of the war. Administration and military officials say Marine Gen. Peter Pace is likely to convey concerns by the Joint Chiefs that keeping well in excess of 100,000 troops in Iraq through 2008 will severely strain the military. This assessment could collide with one being prepared by the U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, calling for the U.S. to maintain higher troop levels for 2008 and beyond.
US 'poised to strike Iran' 25 Aug 2007 Bob Baer, the former Middle East CIA operative... is working on a new book on Iran, but says he was told by senior intelligence officials that he had better get it published in the next couple of months because things could be about to change. Baer, in an interview with The Weekend Australian, says his contacts in the administration suggest a strategic airstrike on Iran is a real possibility in the months ahead. "What I'm getting is a sense that their sentiment is they are going to hit the Iranians and not just because of Israel, but due to the fact that Iran is the predominant power in the Gulf and it is hostile and its power is creeping into the Gulf at every level," Baer says.
U.S. bomb kills 3 British soldiers in Afghanistan 24 Aug 2007 Three British soldiers were killed by a bomb dropped by U.S. aircraft supporting them in a battle against Taliban 'insurgents' in southern Afghanistan, the British military said on Friday. Two other soldiers were wounded in the U.S. bombing.
'US friendly fire' kills British soldiers in Afghanistan 24 Aug 2007 Three British soldiers have been killed in an apparent friendly fire incident involving US aircraft in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence said today. Two other soldiers were injured in the incident, which occurred yesterday at 6.30pm local time (3pm BST).
U.S. OK'd troop terror hunts in Pakistan 23 Aug 2007 Newly uncovered "rules of engagement" show the U.S. military gave elite units broad authority more than three years ago to pursue suspected terrorists into Pakistan, with no mention of telling the Pakistanis in advance.
Clinton: Terror Would Be GOP Boost 24 Aug 2007 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday raised the prospect of a [Bush bin Laden] terror attack before next year's 'election,' warning that it could boost the GOP's efforts to hold on to the White House. Discussing the possibility of a new nightmare assault while campaigning in New Hampshire, Clinton also insisted she is the Democratic candidate best equipped to deal with it.
FBI's release of ferry passenger photos resented 23 Aug 2007 For Arabs and Muslims across the Puget Sound area, a rise in the nation's threat level or a bombing halfway around the world often can mark a period of unease. In the years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, leaders in that community say incidents of profiling and harassment have ebbed and flowed — increasing when Muslims are linked to news of the day. Now the FBI's release of photographs of two men of unknown origin, who the agency says were observed acting suspiciously aboard as many as six different Washington ferry routes in recent weeks, is creating new worries in the community.
FBI Taps Public to ID Suspicious Ferry Riders --Passengers Reported the Pair's Unusual Behavior Aboard Puget Sound Boats 22 Aug 2007 FBI agents in Seattle have asked the public to help identify two men spotted behaving in an "unusual" manner during several trips on the nation's largest ferry system. Federal officials released a pair of photos of the men to the public Monday after they were shown to employees of the ferry system. The two men appear to be of Middle Eastern descent and are seen standing against the rail of a Washington State Ferries system vessel.
FBI seeks help identifying 2 men seen aboard ferries --'Unusual behavior' cited, but no hint of terrorism 21 Aug 2007 The FBI is asking the public for help in identifying two men who were seen behaving unusually aboard several Washington state ferries. About four weeks ago, the FBI fielded several reports from passengers and ferry workers about the men, who seemed "overly interested in the workings and layouts of the ferries," Special Agent Robbie Burroughs said Monday. The FBI also publicized photos of the men, which were taken by a ferry employee, Burroughs said. The Seattle P-I is not publishing the photos because neither man is considered a suspect nor has either been charged with a crime. [Update: The Seattle Times did run a story and the photograph in its Wednesday editions.]
Satellite Plan Draws Scrutiny 23 Aug 2007 In the first sign of opposition to a controversial satellite-surveillance plan, House Democrats told the Department of Homeland Security they intend to exercise close oversight of the program, a move that could spark another confrontation between the legislature and the executive over national security.
China to install sensors along NAFTA highway --Documents reveal NASCO plan to militarize I-35 18 Aug 2007 Radio sensing stations to track traffic and cargo up and down the I-35 NAFTA Superhighway corridor are being installed by China, operating through a port operator subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, in conjunction with Lockheed Martin and the North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. The idea is that RFID chips placed in containers where manufactured goods are shipped from China will be able to be tracked to the Mexican ports on the Pacific where the containers are unloaded onto Mexican trucks and trains for transportation on the I-35 NAFTA Superhighway to destinations within the United States.
Democracy's new dawn is on CCTV: the security state as infotainment --So keen are America's leaders to hear dissent they're videotaping the dissenters. Welcome to a world of total surveillance. By Naomi Klein 24 Aug 2007 ...[T]he trade on which the economies of Canada and Mexico depend could continue uninterrupted, as long as the governments of those countries were willing to welcome the tentacles of the US war on terror... In short, under the SPP vision of the continent, "thick" borders will soon be replaced with a nearly invisible web of continental surveillance - almost all of it run for profit. Two members of the SPP advisory group - Lockheed Martin and General Electric - have already received multibillion-dollar contracts from the US government to build this web.
NYC Taxi Drivers Threaten Sept. 5 Strike --Taxi Workers Alliance Members May Curb Cabs In GPS-Privacy Debate 24 Aug 2007 The New York Taxi Workers Alliance -- which accounts for more than 8,000 city drivers -- is threatening to curb their cabs on Sept. 5 if the Taxi and Limousine Commission does not get rid of their GPS system, which the union says invades a driver's privacy.
Telecom Firms Helped With Government's Warrantless Wiretaps 24 Aug 2007 The Bush regime acknowledged for the first time that telecommunications companies assisted the government's warrantless surveillance program and were being sued as a result, an admission some legal experts say could complicate the government's bid to halt numerous lawsuits challenging the program's legality. "[U]nder the president's program, the terrorist surveillance program, the private sector had assisted us," Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said in an interview with the El Paso Times published Wednesday.
Spy chief's disclosures stun Congress --McConnell is criticized for offering once-classified details about the wiretapping program in an interview. 24 Aug 2007 The nation's top intelligence official drew sharp criticism from Capitol Hill and government watchdog groups Thursday for disclosing previously classified details about the Bush regime's warrantless wiretapping program. In a newspaper interview last week, Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell provided new details on the scope of the espionage program... He also disclosed details about a previously secret decision by a special intelligence court that ruled that the program was in violation of U.S. law. The deliberations of the court are generally classified. The disclosures stunned members of Congress. They were not allowed to discuss those details publicly during an intense debate this month on legislation sought by McConnell that granted the government significant new powers to eavesdrop on e-mails and phone calls that pass into or through data networks in the United States.
White House Shell Game (The New York Times) 24 Aug 2007 The Bush administration’s obsession with secrecy took another absurd turn this week. The administration is claiming that the White House Office of Administration is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act... The fight over the Office of Administration’s status is part of a larger battle over access to an estimated five million e-mail messages that have mysteriously disappeared from White House computers. The missing messages are important evidence in the scandal over the firing of nine United States attorneys, apparently because they refused to use their positions to help Republicans win elections.
Republican Consultant, 2 Others Found Dead in Fla. Home 24 Aug 2007 A Republican political consultant and two other men were found dead in a home in an apparent double-murder and suicide, authorities and relatives said. Authorities have not determined a motive for the deaths of Ralph Gonzalez, 39, his roommate, David Abrami, 36, and a friend, Robert Drake, 30. Gonzalez was executive director of the Georgia Republican Party from 2001-2002. He managed U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney's 2002 campaign and was president of Strategum Group, an Orlando-based political consulting firm that represents Republican candidates. Abrami, an attorney, was active in Republican politics as well.
Rumors on Castro's Health Swirl in Miami 24 Aug 2007 The official word in Cuba is that Fidel Castro is still very much alive - but you'd never know that on the streets of Miami. Premature rumors of Castro's death intensified in recent days after his 81st birthday came and went Aug. 13 with neither pictures, letters nor recordings from him. Friday, the rumors were pushed into overdrive by a meeting of local officials to go over their plans for when Castro really dies and a road closure in the Florida Keys that was actually due to a police standoff.
Cuba Foreign Minister Says Castro Health Rumors Untrue (NBC6) 24 Aug 2007 U.S. Senior officials said that while there are reports on setbacks in Fidel Castro's health, there are no indications that his death is imminent. Nothing unusual has been reported from Havana. However, Miami is ablaze with rumors, NBC News reported.
Pharma-terrorists pushing deadly vaccines on children: Parents Receive Calls about HPV from Wake Schools 24 Aug 2007 (NC) Just days before traditional calendar schools starts, Eyewitness News has learned that thousands of Wake County parents received a phone call, urging their children to get vaccinated for [with] the sexually transmitted disease - HPV.
Tests show Kibbutz Grofit chicken coop not contaminated with bird flu 24 Aug 2007 The chicken coop in Kibbutz Grofit is not contaminated with bird flu, the Agricultural Ministry announced Friday. Tests showed that the virus which was discovered in the blood of one of the chickens was not the dangerous strain.
How to Add Oomph to 'Organic' 19 Aug 2007 The organic industry has gone wild in the last decade, but you wouldn’t know it at the Department of Agriculture. Despite year after year of double-digit growth, organics receive a pittance in financing and staff attention at the department, which is responsible for writing regulations about organics and making sure that they are upheld.
NJ Teen Unlocks IPhone From AT&T Network 24 Aug 2007 A 17-year-old hacker [George Hotz] has broken the lock that ties Apple's iPhone to AT&T's wireless network, freeing the most hyped cell phone ever for use on the networks of other carriers, including overseas ones.
After Plea, Vick Is Given Suspension by the N.F.L. 25 Aug 2007 The National Football League suspended Michael Vick indefinitely without pay yesterday after he admitted in court papers that he paid for dogfighting bets and helped kill underperforming dogs.
1,000 displaced by storms in Midwest 24 Aug 2007 A fresh round of thunderstorms battered parts of the Midwest for a fifth day Thursday as the region battled deadly floods that drove more than 1,000 people from their homes... Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was closed for a time after its control tower was evacuated when tornado warnings were issued.
Powerhouse GOP firm working to undermine Iraqi PM 23 Aug 2007 A powerhouse Republican lobbying firm with close ties to the White House has begun a public campaign to undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN has confirmed. A senior Bush administration official told CNN the White House is aware of the lobbying campaign by Barbour Griffith & Rogers because the firm is "blasting e-mails all over town" criticizing al-Maliki and promoting the firm's client, former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, as an alternative to al-Maliki. ['Iraq's' oil law not passed yet; another Bush coup is surely on the way.]
'What they did was very well planned.' Militias Seizing Control of Iraqi Electricity Grid 23 Aug 2007 Armed groups increasingly control the antiquated switching stations that channel electricity around Iraq, the electricity minister said Wednesday... This kind of manipulation can cause the entire system to collapse and bring nationwide blackouts, sometimes seriously damaging the generating plants that the United States has paid millions of dollars to repair. [Bush's paid 'insurgents' are getting the job done for KBR and Blackwater USA. They can 'rebuild' and 'secure' the electrical grid that the US destroyed in the first place. See: U.S. puts former insurgents on payroll at Iraq front line 22 Aug 2007.]
Private Security Contractor behavior in Iraq is detrimental and unacceptable By Marshall Adame 22 Aug 2007 If you were Iraqi; what would you do? Really…… What would you do? ...If you were an Iraqi, and you could see what they see, I am wondering what you would be thinking about the Occupation by American Forces. The Iraqi population makes no distinction between "Private" mercenaries and U.S. Forces. To the Average Iraqi, they are the same. The numbers I have been told are about 170,000 U.S. Military personnel in Iraq. There are also about 160,000 Private security contractors in Iraq either directly or indirectly on the U.S. Government payroll. American taxpayers are bankrolling 160,000 of the greatest recruiting tools for the Iraqi insurgencies.
Sen. Warner: Iraq pullout should start in weeks 23 Aug 2007 The influential former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has called on President [sic] Bush to start the process of bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq in September. Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican, on Thursday recommended that Bush announce the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal in mid-September, after a report is released from the top U.S. officials in Iraq, and that those troops should be back in the United States by Christmas.
Bush ally breaks ranks with call for troop pullout 24 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush appears to have lost one of his most crucial Republican allies on Iraq and perhaps the party’s most influential voice on the war when Senator John Warner last night demanded the start of a troop withdrawal from Iraq by Christmas. Mr Warner, a former Secretary of the Navy and a respected military voice on Capitol Hill, took Washington by surprise when he asked Mr Bush to announce the start of the pullout on September 15.
Bush: there will be no pullout from Iraq while I'm president 23 Aug 2007 Dictator George Bush sought to buy more time for his Iraq "surge" strategy yesterday by making a risky comparison for the first time with the bloodshed and chaos that followed the US pullout from Vietnam.
Bush steps up sales push to sustain his surge in Iraq 23 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush stepped up his high-pressure sales job Wednesday to stay the course in Iraq, illustrating how the administration is both shifting the goalposts it once set for measuring success there and changing the political dynamic inside Congress on what to do about it.
Bush told he has drawn wrong lesson 24 Aug 2007 For more than four years the US President [sic], George Bush, has aggressively resisted comparisons between the fighting in Iraq and the Vietnam War, with its unsavoury connotations of quagmire, failure and defeat. Now, in urging Americans to stay the course in Iraq, Mr Bush is challenging that historic memory. His landmark speech on Wednesday marked a dramatic about-face, just weeks before Congress is to hear a critical update on the Iraq war.
War analogy strikes nerve in Vietnam 23 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush touched a nerve among Vietnamese when he invoked the Vietnam War in a speech warning that death and chaos will envelop Iraq if U.S. troops leave too quickly. People in Vietnam, where opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is strong, said Thursday that Bush drew the wrong conclusions from the long, bloody Southeast Asian conflict. "Doesn't he realize that if the U.S. had stayed in Vietnam longer, they would have killed more people?" said Vu Huy Trieu of Hanoi, a veteran of the communist forces that fought American troops in Vietnam. "Nobody regrets that the Vietnam War wasn't prolonged except Bush."
Arab media condemn Bush flip-flop on Iraq prime minister 23 Aug 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush's conflicting remarks on the effectiveness of the Iraqi government prompted comments in the Arab media which described them as yet another sign of the failure of U.S. policies in the war torn country. Bush on Wednesday said he supported Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, calling him a "good guy, good man" — after having expressed frustration with the lack of political progress in the country just the day before.
Iraq: The vanishing coalition --President Bush invokes Vietnam as splits emerge with Iraq allies 23 Aug 2007 President [sic] George Bush invoked the spectre of Vietnam for the first time yesterday as 15 more American soldiers died and increasing evidence emerged that the coalition of the willing [bribed] that invaded Iraq four years ago has begun to fracture irreparably.
Army secretary rejects longer Iraq tours 23 Aug 2007 The Army's top civilian leader said Thursday he sees "no possibility" of extending soldiers' 15-month Iraq tours, reflecting concern about mounting strains on soldiers and their families as well as an emerging expectation that the troop buildup in Iraq can be reversed next year. In an Associated Press interview, Army Secretary Pete Geren said that regardless of near-term changes in Iraq, the Army must find new ways to adjust to the pressures of engaging in a global war against [for] extremism, which he described as a "persistent conflict" that could last two decades.
US general warns of bloody Ramadan attacks in Iraq 23 Aug 2007 A senior US general [Brigadier General Richard Sherlock] warned Thursday of "sensational" attacks during the upcoming Ramadan period in Iraq directed at swaying perceptions of a key upcoming US report on progress in the war there.
Twenty-five Iraqis killed in attack near Baquba 23 Aug 2007 Twenty-five people were killed and 20 wounded in an attack by gunmen on two villages near Baquba city some 60 km northeast of the Iraqi capital, independent Voices of Iraq news agency reported citing a police source. The predominately Sunni Sheikh Tamim and Ibrahim Yahia villages near Baquba were bombarded on Thursday by [US] mortar shells, Baquba police chief Ali Dliyan told Voices of Iraq.
Two more Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan 23 Aug 2007 Two soldiers from Quebec and their Afghan interpreter were killed Wednesday, and two Radio-Canada television journalists injured, when the light- armoured vehicle in which they were travelling hit a roadside bomb.
Russia unveils pilotless 'stealth' bomber 24 Aug 2007 Russia unveiled on Thursday the mock-up of a pilotless bomber plane that its constructors say will be even better than the famous US stealth fighter at evading enemy radars and anti-aircraft fire.
Army gets new 'enhanced blast' weapon to fight Taliban 23 Aug 2007 British soldiers in Afghanistan are being supplied with a new "super weapon" to attack Taliban fighters more effectively, defence officials said yesterday. The "enhanced blast" weapon is based on thermobaric technology used in the powerful bombs dropped by the Russians on Grozny, the Chechen capital, and in US "bunker busters".
Pentagon's New Drug Weapons By David Hambling 21 Aug 2007 They’ve got Skunk, they’ve got Special K, they’ve got Angel Dust, they’ve got Aceeeeed….and they’ve also got a whole pharmacy of extra special stuff that they’re not going to tell anyone about. They’re heavily armed, and the law can’t touch them. Because they’re the Pentagon’s own nonlethal chemical weapons developers. While the CIA and military drug experiments of the 50s and 60s might be written off as just a phase they were going through, a new report from the Bradford Nonlethal Weapons Research Project shows that the interest in psychoactive substances has continued right up until the present day. It’s called 'Off the Rockerr' and 'On the Floor': The Continued Development of Biochemical Incapacitating Weapons.
Court orders soldier to pay for death 24 Aug 2007 A civilian court has sparked controversy in Israel by ordering an army officer [Lieutenant Tzvi Koretzki] to personally pay compensation to the family of a Palestinian boy he shot dead in the West Bank, the first such award against an individual soldier.
Caracas to subsidise London fuel 23 Aug 2007 Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has struck a discounted fuel deal with London mayor Ken Livingstone in exchange for expertise on tourism and public transport in Caracas. The move will give up to a million Londoners living on benefits half-price fares on the city's buses...
Khadr's terrorism case headed back to court 23 Aug 2007 U.S. military lawyers will be in court Friday arguing whether Omar Khadr's terrorism trial can move forward as criticism grows in Canada about the legal process for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The U.S. government is appealing a ruling by a military judge who threw out Khadr's murder case in April, saying he hadn't been declared an "unlawful" enemy combatant with no right to fight in Afghanistan in 2002.
Spy chief reveals classified surveillance details --McConnell confirms AT&T, Verizon, others help government with wiretaps 22 Aug 2007 National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell pulled the curtain back on previously classified details of government surveillance and of a secretive court whose recent rulings created new hurdles for the Bush regime as it tries to prevent [foment] terrorism. McConnell’s comments were made in an interview with the El Paso Times last week and posted as a transcript on the newspaper’s web site Wednesday.
ACLU Condemns Spy Chief's Politically Motivated Disclosures About Government Surveillance, Renews Call for Release of Secret Court Orders 23 Aug 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union today condemned recent comments of Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, regarding the administration's warrantless surveillance activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)... Since McConnell's comments included specific references to previously classified court rulings from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the ACLU also renewed its call for the release of those orders and legal opinions.
Transcript: Debate on the foreign intelligence surveillance act By Chris Roberts 22 Aug 2007 The following is the transcript of a question and answer session with National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell. Q: How many calls? Thousands? A: Don't want to go there. Just think, lots. Too many. Now the second part of the issue was under the president's program, the terrorist surveillance program, the private sector had assisted us. Because if you're going to get access you've got to have a partner and they were being sued. Now if you play out the suits at the value they're claimed, it would bankrupt these companies. So my position was we have to provide liability protection to these private sector entities. So that was part of the request. So we went through that and we argued it. Some wanted to limit us to terrorism. My argument was, wait a minute, why would I want to limit it to terrorism.
Copious cameras troubling to ACLU --Report urges cities to halt surveillance 20 Aug 2007 Cities in the county and across the state are using surveillance cameras to record people's activities with almost no public debate and few adopted policies outlining how the data will be used, an American Civil Liberties Union analysis concludes. More worrisome, the report's authors say, is the possibility that government monitors may integrate facial-recognition and other technologies to develop databases that track individual behaviors.
'If the Democrats caved in any more, they'd be a bridge in Minnesota.' What I did on My Summer Vacation By Bill Maher (video) 23 Aug 2007
Pentagon to Close Disputed Database 22 Aug 2007 The Pentagon said Tuesday that it would shut down a database that had been criticized for including information on antiwar protesters and others whose actions posed no threat to military facilities and personnel. A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Gary Keck of the Army, said the database was being shut down Sept. 17 because "the analytical value had declined," but not because of public criticism.
FBI Provides Arrest Records of Peace Activists to Immigration of Other Countries-- Be Ready to Be Detained By US Army Reserves Colonel and former US Diplomat, Ann Wright Post by Chip 23 Aug 2007 The immigration officer shook his head and then escorted me to a secondary screening area where another officer typed my name into a computer that accessed the US National Criminal Information Center’s (NCIC) computerized data that contains the criminal records of US citizens... The officer said, "There are six arrests on your record." She then said that Canada had no category called misdemeanors--anything on NCIC was considered by the Canadian Immigration as criminal actions, deportable offenses.
Runners Charged With Felony for Dropping Flour to Mark Trail in 'Strategic Sport' 23 Aug 2007 New Haven police have charged two people they believe are responsible for spreading a white powder around the parking lot of the IKEA store and Bank of America in the city's Long Wharf area. The suspects, Daniel Salchow of New Haven and his sister, Dorothee Salchow of Hamburg, Germany, were arrested and charged with breach of peace in the first degree, a class D felony. Earlier Thursday, the New Haven Fire Department, New Haven Police Department, State Police, FBI, New Haven Health Department and others responded to a call about a white powder in the parking lot of IKEA. The substance turned out to be flour.
IKEA Evacuated; Suspicious Substance Found At Store, Bank 23 Aug 2007 (CT) A suspicious substance was found at IKEA and the Bank of America in New Haven Thursday. IKEA was evacuated after police said a substance was distributed in different places in front of the building and around the parking lot. Hazardous Materials crews are on the scene trying to determine whether the powder is dangerous.
Judge to Decide on Cop's Sense of Smell 22 Aug 2007 (Lincoln, NE) A judge will have to decide again whether a police officer can smell alcohol on a man's breath from inside of a fast-food drive-through window. The prosecution believes Officer Kenneth Marrow can and did earlier this year. The attorney for Cody Schaaf disagrees and says the officer had no reasonable cause to stop Schaaf on suspicion of drunken driving.
Gas Station Owners Allege Price Fixing 22 Aug 2007 Nearly two dozen gas station owners in California sued Shell Oil Co., Chevron Corp. and Saudi Refining Inc., on Tuesday, claiming the companies conspired to fix prices for 23,000 franchise owners nationwide. The case filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeks class-action status for the plaintiffs.
Bush Administration Set to Expand Mountaintop Coal Mining 23 Aug 2007 The Bush regime is set to issue a regulation on Friday that would enshrine the coal mining practice of mountaintop removal. The technique involves blasting off the tops of mountains and dumping the rubble into valleys and streams. The regulation is the culmination of six and a half years of work by the administration to make it easier for mining companies to dig more coal. [Bush should climb to the top of the mountain, before the mining begins. --LRP]
The Bush Administration's New Target: Uninsured Kids --Fighting against SCHIP is Bush's first salvo in the battle for major health care reform By Art Levine 31 Jul 2007 The first battle in the war over universal health care has begun, with the Bush administration and its right-wing allies targeting bipartisan legislation to expand and reauthorize the under-funded State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). They’re doing so with a slick campaign comprised of lies, distortions and sloganeering that derides the proposed bills as paving the way for socialized medicine.
Alert: USDA Says Foods Labeled as 'Raw' Can Be Pasteurized (Organic Consumers Association) 23 Aug 2007 Under pressure from industrial agriculture lobbyists, the USDA has quietly approved a new regulation that will effectively end distribution of raw almonds, while putting many family farmers out of business. The regulation is scheduled to go into effect in just a few short days on September 1st, unless thousands of consumers take action now... One of the FDA-recommended pasteurization methods requires the use of propylene oxide, which is classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.
Court Rebukes Bush Administration on Global Warming --Groups Say Administration Suppressed Climate Change Findings 21 Aug 2007 A federal court today issued a harsh rebuke of the Bush regime for its failure to issue long-delayed reports assessing the impacts and consequences of global warming in the United States. The judge in the case set a spring deadline for administration officials to comply.
Saint Louis Zoo settles with USDA over 2 polar bear deaths, agrees to pay $7,500 fine 22 Aug 2007 The Saint Louis Zoo has agreed to pay a $7,500 (€5,600) fine to the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the deaths of two polar bears. The department said in documents filed earlier this month that the zoo's violations of federal laws resulted in the deaths of Penny, a 20-year-old female polar bear, and Churchill, an 17-year-old male, in May and June of 2005. Churchill had trash bags and rags in his digestive tract, and Penny died with two dead fetuses in her uterus. [Feel free to share your thoughts with the 'people' running the Saint Louis Zoo: Janet Powell or Christy Childs: PR@stlzoo.org (314) 781-0900, ext. 233 or 239. Toll-free: (800) 966-8877. Also, firstname.lastname@example.org. Saint Louis Zoo, One Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110]
Authorities suspect Kibbutz Grofit chickens have bird flu 23 Aug 2007 Authorities suspect that chickens at Kibbutz Grofit in the Arava have been infected with bird flu. The entire kibbutz has been placed under veterinary quarantine pending test results.
Health Officials Warn of Rabid Bats In City --Rogers Park Family Bitten By Rabid Bat In Apartment 22 Aug 2007 Rabid bats would not seem likely to turn up as a serious threat in a big city like Chicago. But the health department is warning that bats that carry rabies were actually found in the city. This month alone, seven rabid bats were found.
"People say: 'But you're paying the enemy'." U.S. puts former insurgents on payroll at Iraq front line 22 Aug 2007 Under a tree by a battlefield road in Iraq's "Triangle of Death", Lieutenant- Colonel Robert Balcavage meets his new recruits. The men are Iraqi Sunni Arabs who are about to join the U.S. military's payroll as a local militia. They want guns... Slowly but deliberately, U.S. forces are enlisting groups of armed men -- many probably former insurgents -- and paying cash, a strategy they say has dramatically reduced violence in some of Iraq's most dangerous areas in just weeks.
Book: Wanted Criminal Flew U.S. Supply Missions in Iraq 21 Aug 2007 The U.S. government paid a wanted international criminal roughly $60 million to fly supplies into Iraq in support of the war effort, a new book alleges. Intelligence officials have considered arms merchant and international trafficker Viktor Bout one of the greatest threats to U.S. interests, in the same league as al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] kingpin Osama bin Laden. Interpol has issued a warrant for his arrest; the United Nations Security Council has restricted his travel. Yet from 2003 through at least 2005, Pentagon contractors used air cargo companies known to be connected to Bout to fly an estimated 1,000 supply trips into and out of Iraq, according to "Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Plans, and the Man Who Makes War Possible."
Western oil group eyes assets in Iraq 22 Aug 2007 A large western oil company has offered $700m for oil assets in Iraqi Kurdistan owned by DNO, the small Norwegian oil company. The offer signals that international oil companies are willing to put significant amounts of money into Iraq in spite of the security problems and lack of a legal framework. DNO refused to name the company, but industry executives speculated that Royal Dutch Shell was a possible bidder.
Iraqi, Syrian oil ministers agree to reopen key pipeline 22 Aug 2007 Iraqi and Syrian oil ministers agreed on Wednesday to repair and subsequently reopen a key pipeline between their two countries that connects Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk region and a Syrian port. Currently, Iraq exports nearly all its oil [?!?] through the Persian Gulf... The pipeline to Baniyas was built in the 1950s but was bombed by U.S. forces during the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Bush invokes 'tragedy of Vietnam' against Iraq pullout 22 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush drew parallels between the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the potential costs of pulling out of Iraq in a speech Wednesday. "Three decades later, there is a legitimate debate about how we got into the Vietnam War and how we left," Bush told members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri.
Bush to cite Vietnam in defense of Iraq --The pResident plans to argue in a speech to veterans today that a U.S. withdrawal had dire results in Asia. 22 Aug 2007 Critics of the war in Iraq who compare the conflict to Vietnam have the analogy backward, President [sic] Bush plans to tell veterans in a speech today.
Iraqi PM Lashes Out at U.S. Critics 22 Aug 2007 Iraq's prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country "can find friends elsewhere." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words about his government - from President [sic] Bush and from other U.S. politicians.
Bush insists he supports "good man" Maliki 22 Aug 2007 A day after expressing frustration with the Iraqi leadership, U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush said on Wednesday he supported Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as "a good man with a difficult job."
US general questions British tactics in Iraq 22 Aug 2007 The UK's "disengagement" from southern Iraq is worsening the security situation and fuelling frustration among American commanders, a US general said today. In the latest example of US criticism of British commitment, General Jack Keane said the UK had never had enough troops in southern Iraq to "truly protect" civilians, who were increasingly threatened by "gangland warfare".
Bayji police station attack leaves 23 dead, 73 injured 22 Aug 2007 At least 23 Iraqis were killed and 73 others wounded on Wednesday when a suicide bomber targeted the Bayji city police station, the Iraqi police said. The blast damaged the police station's new headquarters, senior officer Hasan Ahmed from Salahaddin province police told Deutsche Presse Agentur dpa. [The 'suicide' [US] bomber targeted the police station's 'new headquarters.' Right, KBR and Blackwater USA will get paid to rebuild and 'secure' that which they just destroyed. --LRP]
Fourteen US soldiers killed as helicopter crashes in Iraq 22 Aug 2007 Fourteen US soldiers were killed when a helicopter crashed in northern Iraq today. The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was carrying four crew members and ten passengers when it went down during a night-time operation.
U.S. Army running out of troops 20 Aug 2007 Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.
Pentagon falling behind in delivering mine-proof vehicles to Iraq 22 Aug 2007 The Pentagon expects to deliver only 1,500 mine-proof armored vehicles to Iraq by the end of the year, less than half the number promised a month ago, a spokesman said Wednesday.
Tehran gets ready for potential US strikes 21 Aug 2007 ...[H]igh-ranking sources stated that the Iranian leadership is taking US threats to strike its nuclear sites very seriously. Furthermore, the sources highlighted that the Iranian leadership had recently increased its military formations including the Revolutionary Guards and the regular army forces. The sources also noted that Iran was currently weighing three options to respond to any potential US military strikes and that the three options included targets within the Gulf region.
Prelude to an Attack on Iran 18 Aug 2007 By Robert Baer Strengthening the Administration's case for a strike on Iran, there's a belief among neo-cons that the IRGC is the one obstacle to a democratic and friendly Iran. They believe that if we were to get rid of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], the clerics would fall, and our thirty-years war with Iran over. It's another neo-con delusion, but still it informs White House thinking. And what do we do if just the opposite happens — a strike on Iran unifies Iranians behind the regime? An Administration official told me it's not even a consideration. "IRGC IED's are a casus belli for this Administration. There will be an attack on Iran."
Bolton: I 'Absolutely' Hope The U.S. Will Attack Iran In The Next 'Six Months' By Amanda 22 Aug 2007 Yesterday, Raw Story pointed out that former CIA operative Bob Baer told Fox News that the Bush administration will likely attack Iran in the coming months. "Iran policy is on close hold, but the feeling is we will hit the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps sometime next six months or so," said Baer. Today, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton appeared on Fox News and responded. He said that while he couldn’t confirm Baer’s statements, he "absolutely" hoped they were true.
FOX Attacks: Iran Film by Robert Greenwald 09 Jun 2007 Sign the Open Letter --Tell the networks not to follow FOX [Faux] down the road to war.
A provocative action against Iran By Manal Alafrangi 22 Aug 2007 On August 19, 1953, the US government along with the UK government supported a coup d'etat that removed the democratically elected Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mossadeq from power. He was replaced by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of the Pahlavi dynasty in an attempt to preserve Western control of Iran's oil infrastructure. Fifty-four years later, it seems the US is still intent on interfering in Iranian matters. And it is doing it with zero calculation and 100 per cent thoughtlessness. This was the case most recently when the US announced that it was naming Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) "a specially designated global terrorist"...Apart from the fact that such branding is unprecedented - since a state body and an army of a sovereign nation has never been dubbed "terrorist"- the recent move by the US paints an alarming future for US-Iranian relations.
Pro-war group launches $15 million ad blitz By Mike Allen 22 Aug 2007 A new group, Freedom’s Watch, is launching Wednesday with a $15 million, five-week campaign of TV, radio and Web ads featuring military veterans that is aimed at retaining support in Congress for President [sic] Bush’s "surge" policy on Iraq. "For those who believe in peace through strength, the cavalry is coming," said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who is a founding board member of the group.
Survey finds depleted uranium in training area 21 Aug 2007 (HI) A military contractor confirmed the presence of depleted uranium at the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island, the Army said.
Israel Bans School Supplies to Gaza 21 Aug 2007 (Prensa Latina) The Israeli government forbade the entrance of paper for making text books to children from Gaza Strip, denounced Palestinian-Israeli Information-Investigation Center (CIIPI). The Israeli Defense Ministry is considering if the load is part of the humanitarian aid material that should enter Gaza Strip, blockaded since June 14 when it was taken by the Islamic Resistance Movement.
US launches 'MySpace for spies' 21 Aug 2007 Spies and teenagers normally have little in common but that is about to change as America's intelligence agencies prepare to launch "A-Space", an internal communications tool modelled on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace.
Chicken farms as terror threats? 22 Aug 2007 Are chicken coops the next battleground in the war on [of] terror? Poultry growers are protesting proposed regulations from the Department of Homeland Security that would label propane gas a "chemical of interest" and require anybody with 7,500 pounds or more of the fuel to register with the agency.
Chandler school suspends boy for sketching gun 22 Aug 2007 Chandler school officials have suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching a picture that resembled a gun, saying it posed a threat to classmates. But parents of the Payne Junior High School student said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.
Pupils face tracking bugs in school blazers 21 Aug 2007 A school uniform maker said yesterday it was "seriously considering" adding tracking devices to its clothes after a survey found many parents would be interested in knowing where their offspring were. Trutex would not say whether it was studying a spy in the waistband or a bug in the blazer but admitted teenagers were less keen than younger children on the "big brother" idea.
Bush denies superstate rumors 22 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush and the leaders of Canada and Mexico yesterday ridiculed the notion that their countries are conspiring to create a regional supergovernment similar to the European Union.
Gov't Argues for Withholding Records 22 Aug 2007 Opening a new front in the Bush administration's battle to keep its records confidential, the inJustice Department is contending that the White House Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The department's argument is in response to a lawsuit trying to force the office to reveal what it knows about the disappearance of White House e-mails.
Embattled Bush Official Resigns Justice Post 22 Aug 2007 Facing multiple investigations, a senior Justice Department appointee has resigned his post. Bradley Schlozman stepped down from his position as a counsel in the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, a branch of the Department of Justice, last week, a Justice spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Schlozman, a key figure in several political controversies, is under investigation by the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility for allegations he was involved in politicizing hiring and firing decisions at the Justice Department. He is also a subject of the congressional probe into the U.S. attorneys firing scandal.
Attorney In Rove Article Fired, Sues --Former Texas State Attorney Says She Was Dismissed For Comments Regarding Rove's Legal Voting Status 21 Aug 2007 A former attorney for the Texas Secretary of State has filed a lawsuit claiming she was fired for political reasons after she spoke to a newspaper [the Washington Post] about presidential adviser Karl Rove, according to a media report. Elizabeth Reyes, who was dismissed in September 2005, filed the lawsuit in state district court.
Foley, police at odds over computers 22 Aug 2007 Florida's top police agency said Wednesday its investigation into former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley's lurid Internet communications with teenage boys has been hindered because neither Foley nor the House will let investigators examine his congressional computers.
State contends e-voting machines weren't certified 21 Aug 2007 Election Systems & Software Inc. (ES&S) sold nearly 1,000 electronic-'voting' machines that were not certified to five California counties in 2006, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said Tuesday. "Given that each machine costs about $5,000, it appears ES&S has taken $5 million out of the pockets of several California counties," Bowen said in a statement.
E-voting predicament: Not-so-secret ballots By Declan McCullagh 20 Aug 2007 Open-records laws in Ohio mean anyone can follow the machines' paper trail to see who voted for which candidates. Ohio's method of conducting elections with electronic voting machines appears to have created a true privacy nightmare for state residents: revealing who voted for which candidates. Two Ohio activists have discovered that e-voting machines made by Election Systems and Software and used across the country produce time-stamped paper trails that permit the reconstruction of an election's results--including allowing voter names to be matched to their actual votes.
'It is actually a power grab on behalf of Republicans.' Stacking the Electoral Deck (The New York Times) 22 Aug 2007 The Electoral College should be abolished, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way. A prominent Republican lawyer in California is doing it the wrong way, promoting a sneaky initiative that, in the name of Electoral College reform, would rig elections in a way that would make it difficult for a Democrat to be elected president, no matter how the popular vote comes out. If the initiative passes, it would do serious damage to American democracy.
Judge rules Euclid racially biased --A Federal judge has ruled that Euclid's system of electing city council members is biased. 21 Aug 2007 U.S. District Judge Kathleen O'Malley presided over a two week trial in which the Justice Department accused Euclid of preventing blacks from being elected. No black has ever won a city council seat or election to the Euclid School Board, despite the city's more than 30 percent African American population.
Thompson Faces Election Complaint 21 Aug 2007 A liberal blogger has filed a federal complaint against former Sen. Fred Thompson, the actor and unannounced Republican candidate for president, accusing him of violating election laws as he ponders his entry into the race. The blogger, Lane Hudson, submitted his complaint to the Federal Election Commission on Monday saying Thompson has raised far more money than he needs to explore whether to run for president.
Report: Hastert to resign, not retire By Josh Kraushaar 22 Aug 2007 According to the Evans-Novak Political Report, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) will be resigning from Congress in November, instead of retiring at the end of his term.
Say it ain't so: Is Jenna Bush's engagement of the shotgun variety? By Shane Dingman 20 Aug 2007 It sounded like a fairy tale, Jenna Bush engaged! ...Here have an array of pictures from 2004-2007... They are all quite similar to the Wonkette montage, particularly in the shapelessness, the belly clutching and slouching... Still, nothing could cap this summer silly season like a pre-marital-sex-pregnancy-marriage scandal unfolding in the White House Rose Garden. So, in that spirit we will inaugurate Bump Watch to keep you appraised of the waistline of the first daughter.
FAA Chief to Become Aerospace Lobbyist 22 Aug 2007 The nation's chief defense-industry lobbying group has selected Marion C. Blakey, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, as its new chief executive. Industry officials confirmed yesterday that Blakey will head the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), replacing John W. Douglass, 66, who is retiring.
Connect the Dots: Karl Rove's Politics Über Alles Strategy and the Utah Mine Disaster By Arianna Huffington 21 Aug 2007 Coal mining interests have donated more than $12 million to federal candidates since the Bush-era began with the 2000 election cycle, with 88% of that money -- $10.6 million -- going to Republicans... Exhibit A is Bush's "mine safety" czar, Richard Stickler, whose agency both approved the controversial mining technique used at the Crandall Canyon Mine before the collapse, and oversaw the rescue operation. Stickler is a former coal company manager with such a lousy safety record at the companies he'd run that his nomination as head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration was twice rejected by Senators from both parties, forcing Bush to sneak him in the back door with a recess appointment.
U.S. Fed pumps $3.75 bln into financial system 22 Aug 2007 The Federal Reserve (Fed) on Tuesday pumped 3.75 billion dollars into the financial system to help beat back a widening credit crisis.
Bank of America to invest $2 bln In Countrywide: WSJ 22 Aug 2007 Bank of America Corp. is making a $2 billion equity investment in Countrywide Financial Corp. the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site late Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.
China Airlines paints over name, logo on crashed plane 22 Aug 2007 China Airlines on Tuesday night painted over the company's name on the left side of the aircraft and the flower symbol that was on the tail fin at the accident site at Naha airport, TV media reported Wednesday.
Feds Fine Saint Louis Zoo Over Polar Bear Deaths --USDA Action Comes in the Wake of PETA's Complaint 21 Aug 2007 PETA has learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has ordered the Saint Louis Zoo to pay a $7,500 fine to settle charges that it violated the federal Animal Welfare Act. The charges include failure to provide adequate veterinary care to two polar bears, one of whom was gravely ill; failure to remove hazardous materials from a bear's enclosure; and causing a polar bear trauma, harm, and behavioral stress. The fine was assessed following a USDA investigation into the deaths of two polar bears, Penny and Churchill, who died within five weeks of each other at the zoo.
George Bush hints Iraqi PM must go [OMG! Bush was installed in two GOP coup d'etats and then he installed Maliki. For the sake of the planet, *Bush* is the one who needs to go.] 22 Aug 2007 President [sic] George W Bush yesterday signalled that his patience with the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki had run out, suggesting that he should be voted from office before the country's security deteriorates further [so that Exxon Mobil can ram the oil law through parliament].
Small oil firms in Iraq becoming buyout targets --Canadian firm WesternZagros up for grabs 21 Aug 2007 When Iraq approves a new [Washington-backed] oil law, the smaller firms that took the risk to start up early despite insecurity and the lack of a legal framework will become buyout targets and are already being sized up by larger competitors.
Suicide Bombings - A Favourite US Counter-Insurgency Tactic By Aeneas 20 Aug 2007 Since 9-11 reports of "suicide bombings" have increased exponentially in the news... We have been brainwashed into believing that the insurgents in Iraq are such brutal, uncivilized, fanatical crazy extremists that they will anything to fight 'freedom' - even kill their own people. Looking at this from a historical perspective, precedence for the type of bombings in Iraq that are attributed to the insurgency or "al-Qaeda" is virtually non existent... After 9-11, suddenly this bizarre phenomenon of an insurgency using suicide bombings against their own people rather than the invaders appears, as if to provide supporting evidence for the reality of the crazed "suicide bombing" hijackers that attacked America - or so the official story goes. Could the answer be as simple as that what is being touted as suicide bombings are in fact the work of US/British/Israeli counterinsurgency teams? In Iraq, are we in fact dealing with the what are better know as "false flag operations"?
US military denies troops fired on Iraq protest 21 Aug 2007 The U.S. military denied on Tuesday that one of its convoys opened fire on demonstrators who had blocked a main road near Baghdad, after residents and police said the unit had wounded up to 18 people. U.S. military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Donnelly confirmed protesters had stopped a convoy in the town of Khalis, 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad on the main road linking the capital to the northern city of Kirkuk.
Lawyers accuse MoD of retaining evidence on abused Iraqi detainees --Legal team wants data on death of Baha Mousa --High court urged to force army to reveal documents 22 Aug 2007 Lawyers representing the families of Iraqis detained by British soldiers yesterday accused the Ministry of Defence of suppressing crucial information about the circumstances surrounding their mistreatment, including advice given to senior army officers. They have asked the high court to issue a new order requiring the MoD to disclose all relevant documents about the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel receptionist who suffered 93 injuries and died while in British custody in 2003, and the abuse of 10 other Iraqi civilians.
Army chiefs deny al-Sadr's claim of victory in Iraq 21 Aug 2007 The British military yesterday denied claims by Muqtada al-Sadr that UK troops were retreating from Iraq in defeat, and accused the radical Shia cleric and his followers of trying to "create the false impression that they were driving us out". In an interview with The Independent, Sadr said: "The British have given up and know they will be leaving Iraq soon. They are retreating because of the resistance they have faced. Without that they would have stayed for much longer, there is no doubt."
Female troop deaths in Iraq on pace to top record 21 Aug 2007 A U.S. soldier killed in Baghdad last week marked the fourth death of an American female service member this month, a toll that hasn't been topped since June 2005. Eighty-two service women have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the Pentagon.
Clinton says Bush's new strategy is working 21 Aug 2007 New military tactics in Iraq are working but the best way to honor U.S. soldiers is "by beginning to bring them home," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told war veterans Monday. Clinton, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, praised the work that soldiers have done in Iraq but described the government there as "on vacation," leaving American troops in the middle of a sectarian war.
Pressure on for riskier role in Iraq 22 Aug 2007 An incoming Democratic president of the US would look to Australia to keep its troops in Iraq as long as possible, for up to a further three years, say advisers to the leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. A Democratic administration would also welcome Australian military help in training Iraqi troops in riskier deployments than their current duties, says Michele Flournoy, who was a defence strategist in Bill Clinton's administration and has advised the Democratic front-runner Senator Hillary Clinton.
Al-Jazeera cameraman in worse condition at Gitmo, lawyer says 21 Aug 2007 The health of a hunger-striking TV cameraman [Sami al-Hajj] at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay has deteriorated sharply in recent months, according to notes released Tuesday by his lawyer [Clive Stafford Smith] after they were censored by U.S. authorities.
Rising powers have the US in their sights By Dilip Hiro 22 Aug 2007 With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall - militarily invincible, economically unrivaled, diplomatically uncontestable. And the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true "American century", with the rest of the world molding itself in the image of the sole superpower. Yet with not even a decade of this century behind us, we are already witnessing the rise of a multipolar world in which new powers are challenging different aspects of US supremacy - Russia and China in the forefront, with regional powers Venezuela and Iran forming the second rank. These emergent powers are primed to erode US hegemony, not confront it, singly or jointly.
Army Reprimands In Tillman Case Mild 10 Aug 2007 Official reprimands issued to three high-ranking Army officers are only mildly critical of their mistakes after the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman and at times praise the officers. The Army also said it would not include the reprimands in the officers' military records, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Britain Denies U19 Palestinians into the UK (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) 13 Aug 2007 Many organisations spent weeks and months planning to host the Palestinian Under 19 football team in a 3 week visit to the UK in September. This visit is no longer going to take place as the British Consulate in Jerusalem has refused to grant visas to the entire team and coaches.
Pushing in Ann Arbor for boycott of Israel 18 Aug 2007 (MI) The People’s Food Co-op is no longer just a grocery store. It is now where a historic vote will take place to boycott all Israeli products. Horrified by the Israeli army’s destruction of Palestine and Lebanon, nearly 1,000 Ann Arbor residents petitioned the local grocery store to boycott Israel. The voting will take place inside the store, starting September 1.
At North American summit, Bush stands firm on passports 21 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush stood firm yesterday on an issue causing friction with Mexico and Canada, refusing to back away from plans to demand passports from everyone entering the United States across its land borders beginning in 2008.
Judge: Bush Official Faces Contempt --Bush Official Faces Contempt, Could Go to Jail Until Forest Service Complies With Court Order 21 Aug 2007 A federal judge in Montana has ordered the Bush regime's top forestry official [Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey] to explain why he should not be held in contempt of court for the U.S. Forest Service's failure to analyze the environmental impact of dropping fish-killing fire retardant on wildfires.
Cheney's Office Says It Has Wiretap Documents 21 Aug 2007 Vice President [sic] Cheney's office acknowledged for the first time yesterday that it has dozens of documents related to the administration's warrantless surveillance program, but it signaled that it will resist efforts by congressional Democrats to obtain them.
CIA criticizes former chief over terror readiness 21 Aug 2007 George Tenet, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, recognized the danger posed by Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] well before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but failed to adequately prepare the CIA to meet the threat, according to an internal agency report that was released in summary form Tuesday.
Leahy: Cheney Told GOP-Led Congress It Was 'Not Allowed To Issue Subpoenas' By Amanda 20 Aug 2007 Today in a press briefing, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) revealed that the White House had missed its 2:30 PM deadline to turn over documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding legal justifications for the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program... Leahy said that the administration’s stonewalling amounted to "contempt of the valid order of the Congress," and pointed out that these subpoenas were passed by broad bipartisan votes... But Vice President [sic] Cheney personally barred him from issuing subpoenas: "In fact, we were about to issue subpoenas then and one of the senators came to our meeting and said that the vice president had met with the Republican senators and told them they were not allowed to issue subpoenas. Not quite sure that’s my understanding of the separation of powers, but it seemed to work at that time."
Sen Leahy: FISA Bill Doesn't Settle Telecom Liability Issue 20 Aug 2007 Temporary domestic wire-tapping legislation enacted in August didn't give telephone companies retroactive legal immunity, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Monday. AT&T Inc., MCI Communications Services, Inc. and its parent company, Verizon Communications, Inc., are the subject of class-action lawsuits seeking damages for their alleged participation in the National Security administration's warrantless wire-tapping program.
Bloomberg says won't run for president 21 Aug 2007 New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he cannot win the U.S. presidency and won't run, the strongest statement to date about his intentions for the 2008 presidential race.
More Republicans quit as party faces election disaster 20 Aug 2007 A rash of resignations on Capitol Hill and among President [sic] Bush’s senior staff has increased the impression that Republicans are fleeing for the exits before electoral disaster next year.
The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America By Si Contino 20 Aug 2007 An integral part of globalization is deregulation from publicly controlled institutions. For multinational corporations, globalism has fostered a sense of dictatorial corporate collectivism; where multinationals coalesce behind the communal self-interest of a singular core philosophy; arresting regulatory oversight from sovereign nations for the unfettered acquisition of corporate wealth. As for American citizens, they’ve been nothing but regulated: The Patriot Act, the Total Information Awareness Act, the Domestic Wiretapping Program, etc., etc... Therefore, my closing admonition to you is this: When the political class in America speaks about globalization having created freedom in China; that’s code for freedom from corporate regulation.
Study finds key markers for bird flu change 21 Aug 2007 Researchers have found some of the changes that a flu virus needs to become a deadly pandemic strain, and said on Tuesday the H5N1 avian influenza virus has so far made only a few of them. [No worries --the Bush bioterror team is *working hard* to get the avian flu pandemic party started! See: Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007 CDC scientists swap genes between bird flu and human strains to 'plot the path of' [*create*] a possible pandemic and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]
Roche Joins the 5th International Bird Flu Summit as a Sponsor --Joins three other elite companies as one of the Summit's Platinum Sponsors (New-Fields) 21 Aug 2007 (Washington, DC) New-Fields Exhibitions announces the inclusion of F. Hoffman-La Roche, a leading healthcare [pharma-terrorism] company, among the platinum sponsors of the 5th International Bird Flu Summit (IBFS) to be held on September 27 and 28 this year in Nevada USA. The 2-day event will cover an integrated approach to the bird flu threat and will have discussions on pandemic prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery [corpora-terrorism, profiteering and martial law]. About New-Fields Exhibitions: New Fields Exhibitions, Inc. is a leading emerging markets and business information provider. With offices in Washington, DC and overseas, the company provides marketing services in the areas of construction, energy, oil & gas, telecommunications and health care.
Public kept in dark about problems with nuclear fuel at Tenn. plant 20 Aug 2007 A 3-year veil of secrecy in the name of national security was used to keep the public in the dark about the handling of highly enriched uranium at a nuclear fuel processing plant. That included a leak that could have caused a deadly, uncontrolled nuclear reaction. The leak turned out to be 1 of 9 violations or test failures since 2005 at privately owned Nuclear Fuel Services -- a longtime supplier of fuel to the US Navy's nuclear fleet. The public was never told about the problems when they happened.
Army lab documents found in trash bin 21 Aug 2007 Boxes of documents containing personal information from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research were supposed to be shredded but instead turned up last week in a trash bin, police said. The Silver Spring-based institute is the Pentagon's largest biomedical research laboratory and is not directly affiliated with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in nearby Washington.
Paying the Price --Finding money for bridges, highways and much else that America needs (The Washington Post) 21 Aug 2007 According to a recent report by the New America Foundation, the United States spent 3 percent of its gross domestic product on building and maintaining infrastructure between 1950 and 1970. Since 1980 ['ketchup_as_vegetable' Iran Contra terrorist Ronald Raygun], however, that share has been at 2 percent. One result is a backlog of deficient bridges, a problem that will cost $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to redress, according to a 2005 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Efforts to crack down on lead paint thwarted by China, Bush Administration 21 Aug 2007 The Bush administration and China have both undermined efforts to tighten rules designed to ensure that lead paint isn't used in toys, bibs, jewelry and other children’s products. Both have fought efforts to better police imported toys from China.
An Unjust Judge By Nan Aron 21 Aug 2007 To understand the furor over President [sic] Bush's nomination of Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, one should start with the Goode family of Mississippi. A propane heater exploded in their house, killing their granddaughter. The Goodes sued the manufacturer. After the trial, new evidence emerged demonstrating that the company had provided inaccurate information about servicing the heater. Yet, in a dissenting opinion, Southwick argued that the Goodes didn't deserve a new trial.
White House Acts to Limit Health Plan for Children 21 Aug 2007 The Bush regime, continuing its fight to stop states from expanding the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, has adopted new standards that would make it much more difficult for New York, California and others to extend coverage to children in middle-income families.
Pencils, pens, meds --As kids head to class, pharmaceutical companies ramp up their drug marketing -- and it works. By Karin Klein 20 Aug 2007 Back-to-school season is in full swing. Time to pick out a backpack, sneakers and a stimulant medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder... Direct-to-parent marketing of ADHD drugs -- most of which are stimulants -- has grown pervasive over the last few years, despite a United Nations treaty banning most of it. Use of such medications increased by more than 60% from 2001 to 2005, according to the International Narcotics Control Board.
EU urges Texas to halt executions before 400 mark 21 Aug 2007 The European Union urged the governor of Texas on Tuesday to halt all executions before the U.S. state carries out its 400th death sentence since reinstatement of the penalty in 1976.
Carolina prisons' chief defends putting inmates in pink 21 Aug 2007 A US prisons director has defended a policy of punishing inmates found performing public sex acts by dressing them in pink, despite a lawsuit claiming it subjects prisoners to ridicule. South Carolina's Prisons director John Ozmint said the two-year old punishment deters inmates and protects female officers from prisoners who purposefully try to humiliate them. His agency has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
Foreclosures Jump 93 Percent in July 21 Aug 2007 The number of foreclosure filings reported in the U.S. last month jumped 93 percent from July of 2006 and rose 9 percent from June, the latest sign that homeowners are having trouble making payments and finding buyers during the national housing downturn.
POLL: Consumer Confidence Tanks in Sharpest Drop in 20 Years --Decline Blamed on Stock Market Fall, Gasoline Prices, War in Iraq 21 Aug 2007 Consumer confidence sustained its steepest one-week drop in more than 20 years of ongoing polls this week, falling to its lowest level since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in late October 2005. The ABC News/Washington Post Consumer Comfort Index lost an extraordinary nine points to -20 on its scale of +100 to -100, down from -11 last week...
Arctic August: NYC Sets Record For Coldest Day --High of 59 Degrees Ties Chilliest August High Set In 1911 21 Aug 2007 Don't forget to bundle up if you're headed out in New York City today. After all, it is August 21. The city along with the rest of the tri-state region is feeling the chilly effect of a cold front sweeping through the region, accompanied by cool rain showers.
U.S. foreign policy experts oppose Bush's surge 20 Aug 2007 More than half of top U.S. foreign policy experts oppose President [sic] George W. Bush's troop increase as a strategy for 'stabilizing' Baghdad, saying the plan has harmed U.S. national security, according to a new survey. 53 percent of the experts polled by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress said they now oppose Bush's troop build-up.
Levin Says Iraqi Lawmakers Should Replace Maliki 20 Aug 2007 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his government should be voted out of office by the country's parliament because he is incapable of bringing about political unity, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said.
Baird sees need for longer U.S. role in Iraq 17 Aug 2007 U.S. Rep. Brian Baird (DemocRAT-WA) said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.
US lawmakers get no respite at home on Iraq debate 20 Aug 2007 Anti-war groups knew U.S. Rep. Timothy Murphy was going home to Pittsburgh for this month's congressional recess, so they baked him a cake. "Rep. Murphy Welcome Home Bring Them Home," was the Iraq troop withdrawal message written in green icing that greeted the conservative Republican at his district office on Aug. 8.
Mega barf alert! White House: Iraq progress report could be Sept 11 20 Aug 2007 U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus [Betrayus], will likely testiLIE to Congress about progress in the war on September 11 or September 12, the White House said on Monday.
U.S. media curtail Iraq war coverage: study 20 Aug 2007 U.S. media reporting of the war in Iraq fell sharply in the second quarter of 2007, largely due to a drop in coverage of the Washington-based policy debate, a study [by the Project for Excellence in Journalism] released Monday said.
Menzies backs demands for Army to leave Iraq 20 Aug 2007 Sir Menzies Campbell has backed calls by military chiefs for British forces to pull out of Iraq because they can "achieve nothing" by staying. The Liberal Democrat leader has written to Gordon Brown urging him to set a "framework for the complete withdrawal of all our forces" from Iraq. Sir Menzies says withdrawing from Iraq would make it easier for British forces in Afghanistan, where troops are at "full stretch" in dealing with the Taliban.
British troops 'will quit Iraq fight for Afghanistan' amid US criticism of role 20 Aug 2007 Ministers are planning to shift the UK's military focus to Afghanistan, even as Britain faces growing criticism from the United States over plans to withdraw from Iraq. The Ministry of Defence is said to be considering a major reinforcement of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, possibly sending up to 2,000 extra troops.
Allies refuse to send more troops to Afghanistan as death toll rises 19 Aug 2007 Britain's European allies have flatly ruled out providing extra military help for the increasingly deadly battle against 'insurgents' in Afghanistan, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. A series of fellow members of Nato and the European Union have repeatedly rejected UK pleas for reinforcements for the multinational force trying to reconstruct Afghanistan following six years of turmoil since the American-led operation to drive out the Taliban.
Contractors in Iraq Have Become U.S. Crutch 20 Aug 2007 Only estimates are available for the total employment by contractors in Iraq that perform "functions once carried by the U.S. military," according to a study by the Congressional Research Service. Testimony at an April 2007 congressional hearing gave the impressive figure of 127,000 as the number working in Iraq under Defense Department contracts. CIA and the Pentagon intelligence agencies have hired contractors in Iraq, but the tasks and the funds involved are secret.
What Unites Iraqis: Blocking Western Petroleum Companies From Seizing Control of Their Oil --Despite the ethnic bloodshed in Iraq, majorities of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are united in their disapproval of the proposed oil laws that Washington and Big Oil are pushing. By Joshua Holland 09 Aug 2007 If passed, the Bush administration's long-sought "hydrocarbons framework" law would give Big Oil access to Iraq's vast energy reserves on the most advantageous terms and with virtually no regulation. Meanwhile, a parallel law carving up the country’s oil revenues threatens to set off a fresh wave of conflict in the shell-shocked country. Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, said last month that the "law is a bomb that may kill everyone."
Roadside bomb kills second Iraqi governor 20 Aug 2007 An Iraqi provincial governor was blown up by a [US] roadside bomb on Monday. Mohammed Ali al-Hassani, [Shia] governor of Muthanna province, was on his way from his home in the city of Rumaitha to Samawa, the provincial capital, when his convoy of nine cars was hit by a powerful roadside bomb, provincial officials said. One bodyguard was also killed and two others wounded.
Baghdad car bomb kills five people – police 20 Aug 2007 At least five people were killed when a bomb in a parked car exploded in the Shi'ite Sadr City district of in northeastern Baghdad on Monday, police said. Another 20 were wounded in the blast.
MNC-I Soldier dies of non-battle related cause 20 Aug 2007 An MNC-I Soldier died of non-battle related causes August 19 in Baghdad. An investigation into the cause of death is under way.
Kurds flee homes as Iran shells villages in Iraq --Guerrillas in clashes with Revolutionary Guards 20 Aug 2007 Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.
2 Charges Dropped as Trial of Abu Ghraib Officer Opens 20 Aug 2007 Military prosecutors dropped two charges against Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan this morning, hours before his court martial for allegedly abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was set to begin at Fort Meade.
Gitmo plan has Kansans uneasy --Proposal to move prisoners raises legal and safety questions 20 Aug 2007 As high-profile Republicans increasingly join Democrats and civil rights groups in denouncing the U.S. holding of alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, a proposal to move prisoners to this historic Army post in the geographic heart of America is gaining widespread political support. Under the plan, several hundred foreign prisoners could be transported from the U.S. detention facility in Cuba, a prison that has evoked worldwide outrage amid allegations of strong-arm interrogation tactics, to the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks here, the Department of Defense's only maximum-security prison on U.S. soil. The plan has drawn criticism from many residents around Ft. Leavenworth.
Jordan won‘t hand over Saddam Hussein's daughter 20 Aug 2007 Jordan indicated Monday it is not ready to surrender Saddam Hussein‘s eldest daughter to Iraq, despite a new push from authorities in Baghdad [the Bush regime in Washington] for her to face charges of funneling money to Sunni 'insurgents.' Jordanian government spokesman Nasser Judeh said Monday that Jordan was "not dealing with that situation right now."
U.S. Funnels Aid to Coptic Christians, Documents Show 14 Aug 2007 The United States has quietly funnelled millions of dollars of its annual aid to Egypt to groups among the country's increasingly restless Christian Coptic community and to areas with large Christian populations as part of an effort to "empower" the religious minority in a little-noticed multi-year aid programme, according to a review of several recent congressional documents. Most of the money has gone through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is part of the U.S. State Department. The programme benefited more than 40 Christian Coptic non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as of July 2006 at a cost of dozens of millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers' money.
Settlers cut Palestinian water supply to fill swimming pool 19 Aug 2007 Residents of the settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank have cut a pipe carrying drinking water to a nearby Palestinian village, and are using it to fill a small swimming pool located at a picnic site, which was itself built on land owned by the village. The pipe, which carries water to the village of Dir al-Khatab, was rerouted in order to fill the pool.
U.S., Israel sign record-high military aid deal 16 Aug 2007 The United States signed an unprecedented $30 billion military aid package with Israel on Thursday, bolstering its closest Mideast ally and moving to secure Israel's military edge over its neighbors long into the future.
U.S. diplomat accused of anti-Arab comments retires 16 Aug 2007 A U.S. diplomat accused of having said "the only good Arab is a dead Arab" in a voice mail left with an Arab-American group has retired from the government, the State Department said on Thursday. The 'diplomat,' Patrick Syring, was accused of having made abusive, intimidating and racist comments in e-mails and voice mails to employees of the Arab American Institute, a Washington group that promotes Arab-American interests.
Smallpox returns in terrorism simulation 20 Aug 2007 The first simulation of how healthcare professionals would cope with a terrorist attack involving smallpox will be carried out in Wales tomorrow. And the simulation comes at a time when bio-security in the UK is under intense scrutiny following the foot-and-mouth outbreak in Surrey, which is thought to have originated at the a Pirbright laboratory compound [US pharmaceutical firm].
Seven-year-old Muslim boy stopped in US three times on suspicion of being a terrorist 20 Aug 2007 For seven-year-old Javaid Iqbal, the holiday to Florida was a dream trip... But he was left in tears after he was stopped repeatedly at airports on suspicion of being a terrorist. The security alerts were triggered because Javaid shares his name with a Pakistani man deported from the US, prompting staff at three airports to question his family about his identity. The family even missed their flight home from the U.S. after officials cancelled their tickets in the confusion.
Leahy: 'Time's up' for White House 20 Aug 2007 The White House asked for more time to produce documents regarding the legality of the Bush regime's warrantless surveillance program Monday, but the chairman of the Senate committee that demanded them said "Time is up." Sen. Patrick Leahy said the Senate Judiciary Committee has given White House officials more than a month to turn over the documents and granted previous extensions of a subpoena it issued in June.
Attorney General Hatch in the wings? Rumors fly 19 Aug 2007 Rumors persist that Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) will be nominated to take over as U.S. attorney general should the scandal-embroiled Alberto Gonzales resign. No matter the denials by Hatch and his office that he is not considering giving up his day job to move to the Department of Justice, politicos in Utah and Washington continue to spread the idea of Attorney General Hatch.
The Hospital Visit, Revisited --The FBI director verifies Mr. Gonzales's arm-twisting. (The Washington Post) 20 Aug 2007 How many more times will Alberto R. Gonzales's credibility have to be shredded before his own sense of decency compels him to step down? ...Trying to take advantage of a hospitalized man is despicable. That the behavior was exhibited by the future attorney general in an effort to circumvent the chain of command to get approval for a surveillance program the administration's top lawyers had already said was unacceptable is nothing less than disgraceful.
'Karl Rove was at the center of the germination and actual commission of every major crime of the Bush presidency.' Karl Rove: Off to Another Criminal Mission By Glen Ford 19 Aug 2007 U.S. corporate media cannot accurately cover the crimes of Karl Rove, nor his exit from the White House, because Rove's career is a pure extension of the most ancient machinations of white supremacists. The Republican Party, heirs to the Dixiecrat legacy, needs Karl Rove to continue his work in the vineyards of racist political manipulation, suppression of non-white voters, and the production of lies by the ton... Rove will be putting his powers at the service of Republicans everywhere in 2008... He'll do what has always done, this time for the Republican Party at large: rev up the racism, spin out reams of lies, and advise on the best way to exclude Blacks and browns from the polls, in 2008.
SPP North American summit of leaders shrouded in UFO-style secrecy By Paul Chen 16 Aug 2007 Secretive SPP Summit is expected to take place in the vicinity of the now U.S. owned Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. There are two central questions that are associated with the planned Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) Summit of the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico scheduled to be held this August 20 and 21. The first question is: Why the secrecy over a summit of supposedly democratic leaders? The second question you might also enquire about is: Why is the U.S. military on Canadian soil for the summit?
Harper dismisses 'sad' summit protest as police fire tear gas --Protesters and riot police face off at North American Leaders' Summit 20 Aug 2007 As riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray to hold back demonstrators outside the Montebello summit Monday, Stephen Harper shook hands with George W. Bush and dismissed the protest as a "sad" spectacle.
Clashes break out at summit protest 20 Aug 2007 Police used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters who were hurling rocks and branches during confrontations outside the leaders summit in Quebec on Monday. Police arrested at least one protester in the small resort town of Montebello, near Ottawa, where Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is meeting with U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush and Mexican President [sic] Felipe Calderon to discuss issues including border security and free trade.
Heathrow protesters clash with riot police --Four arrested and five injured after skirmishes outside offices of airport operator BAA 19 Aug 2007 Climate change campaigners clashed with riot police as they descended on the BAA offices at Heathrow this afternoon to protest against plans for a third runway at one of Europe's busiest airports. By 5pm, four people had been arrested and at least five were injured. Skirmishes broke out shortly after noon as protesters from the Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow began their 24 hours of direct action.
Protesters glue themselves to ministry doors 18 Aug 2007 As climate change campaigners readied themselves for a weekend of direct action around Heathrow, nine activists took their protest against airport expansion to the heart of central London yesterday by glueing themselves to the doors of the Department for Transport.
Diebold Can't Sell Elections Unit 16 Aug 2007 Diebold Inc. said Thursday it has failed to sell its highly criticized voting technology business, which is used in elections across the country. Instead, the company said, it will allow the unit to operate more independently, giving it a separate board of directors that includes independent members and perhaps a new management structure.
Mexican Trucks Roll Into America Sept 1 --Two Reports from OOIDA - Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association By Jim Kirwan 19 Aug 2007 FMCSA - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proceeding with cross-border plan... Mexico Plans to Send Trucks Across Border --Officials from the Mexican government will meet next week with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters in Tijuana to "see the progress of the program" and to "guarantee the start."
Death toll in Minnesota bridge collapse reaches 12 20 Aug 2007 The body of a man missing since an interstate bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River was recovered early Sunday, bringing the confirmed death toll to 12, US authorities said.
After Foreclosure, a Big Tax Bill From the I.R.S. 20 Aug 2007 Two years ago, William Stout lost his home in Allentown, Pa., to foreclosure when he could no longer make the payments on his $106,000 mortgage. Wells Fargo offered the two-bedroom house for sale on the courthouse steps. No bidders came forward. So Wells Fargo bought it for $1, county records show. But on July 9, the Stouts received a bill from the Internal Revenue Service for $34,603 in back taxes.
Olbermann on NBC --July viewership average: 721,000 20 Aug 2007 "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" the highly rated cable news program, will be shown on network television on Sunday before a preseason NBC football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. "'Countdown' is rocketing right now over at MSNBC — its ratings are going through the roof," said Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News.
Vick to Enter Guilty Plea --Atlanta Falcons QB Could Face Additional Charges 20 Aug 2007 A Virginia newspaper is reporting that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick will plead guilty next Monday after being indicted on dogfighting charges along with three co-defendants. "Mike's accepting full responsibility," Lawrence Woodward, one of Vick's defense attorneys, told the Virginian-Pilot.
Hurricane, Now Category 5, Approaches Coast of Mexico 20 Aug 2007 Hurricane Dean strengthened to a Category 5 storm and lashed Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with rain tonight as it approached shore. Deans' winds reached a "potentially catastrophic" 260 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour) at its center, putting the storm into the strongest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. Miami time advisory.
British forces useless in Basra, say officials 19 Aug 2007 In Britain, Gordon Brown's government has tried to depict a quiet process of handover to Iraqi troops in Basra, which will see the remaining forces in the city withdraw to the airport in November... One US official said that recent US military intelligence reports sent to the White House had concluded that Britain had "lost" Basra, and that Pentagon war games were predicting a virtual civil war in the South once British troops left. He said: "When the White House makes the case for continuing the surge on the Hill they will say: 'Look what happened in Basra when the Brits went back to their barracks. We can't pull out now. Give us more time to get it right'."
British military sparks US fears of losing Basra 20 Aug 2007 Military advisers in the United States have warned that British troops face an "ugly and embarrassing" withdrawal from the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Stephen Biddle, who sits on the Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of a group that advised the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, told The Sunday Times in London that 'coalition' forces were no longer in control of the city.
Military commanders tell Brown to withdraw from Iraq without delay 19 Aug 2007 Senior military commanders have told the Government that Britain can achieve "nothing more" in south-east Iraq, and that the 5,500 British troops still deployed there should move towards withdrawal without further delay.
Army chief says soldiers "certainly stretched" 19 Aug 2007 Britain's army has been stretched by missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and is not in a position to deploy any more soldiers, army chief Richard Dannatt said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
Extending Iraq buildup would be tough 19 Aug 2007 Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush regime decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.
The War as We Saw It By Buddhika Jayamaha, Wesley D. Smith, Jeremy Roebuck, Omar Mora, Edward Sandmeier, Yance T. Gray and Jeremy A. Murphy 19 Aug 2007 The claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework. Yes, we are militarily superior, but our successes are offset by failures elsewhere... This situation is made more complex by the questionable loyalties and Janus-faced role of the Iraqi police and Iraqi Army, which have been trained and armed at United States taxpayers' expense... Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence.
Sadr pledges to work with UN if it replaces US, Britain in Iraq 19 Aug 2007 Radical Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has pledged to commit his forces and followers to help the United Nations were it to replace American and British troops in Iraq, in an interview published on Monday.
Children Among 12 Killed By Iraq Mortars --U.S. Military Advisor Predicts U.K. Withdrawal From Iraq Will Be "Ugly And Embarrassing" 19 Aug 2007 A mortar barrage slammed into an east Baghdad neighborhood Sunday, killing 12 and wounding 31, police said... Women and children were among the dead and wounded in the Baghdad mortar attack, and some houses in the neighborhood were damaged, according to police.
Ahmadinejad may visit Iraq: report 19 Aug 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accepted an invitation to visit neighboring Iraq, Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday, a move that would be unlikely to be welcomed by the United States.
Iran Trains Militiamen Inside Iraq, U.S. Says 20 Aug 2007 A senior U.S. general said Sunday that about 50 members of an elite Iranian military unit are training Shiite militias south of Baghdad, the first time the U.S. military has alleged that Iranians are aiding 'insurgents' from inside Iraq. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who commands U.S. operations south of Baghdad, said the men were sent by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps -- a military branch that the U.S. government has decided to label a "specially designated global terrorist" -- to train Shiite 'insurgents' in firing mortars and rockets.
U.S.: Americans tracking Iranian forces in Iraq 19 Aug 2007 American forces are tracking about 50 members of an elite Iranian force who have [allegedly] crossed the border into southern Iraq to train Shiite militia fighters, a top U.S. general said Sunday.
US steps closer to war with Iran By Kaveh L Afrasiabi 18 Aug 2007 The Bush administration has leaped toward war with Iran by, in essence, declaring war with the main branch of Iran's military, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which it plans to brand as a terrorist organization. A logical evolution of US President [sic] George W Bush's ill-defined, boundless "war on terror", the White House's move is dangerous to the core, opening the way for open confrontation with Iran... Under international law, the United States' move could be challenged as illegal, and untenable, by isolating a branch of the Iranian government for selective targeting. This is contrary to the 1981 Algiers Accord's pledge of non-interference in Iran's internal affairs by the US government.
Shock toll of British injured in Afghan war --Half of frontline troops 'patched-up' -- Senior officers fear exodus 19 Aug 2007 The human cost of the war in Afghanistan to British soldiers can be revealed today as figures show that almost half of frontline troops have required significant medical treatment during this summer's fighting. ...In Helmand province, more than 700 battlefield soldiers have needed treatment since April - nearly half of the 1,500 on the front line. The figures, obtained from senior military sources, have never been released by the government, which has faced criticism that it has covered up the true extent of injuries sustained during the conflict.
Army cuts time spent on training Aims to bolster front lines quickly 19 Aug 2007 The US Army, struggling to cope with stepped-up operations and extended deployments of its soldiers to Iraq, has shortened the duration of several of its bedrock training courses so that troops can return to fighting units on the front lines more quickly, according to senior training officials.
Uncle Sam Wants…You? As military recruiters continue targeting students, they're increasingly trying to win the hearts and minds of educators. Apr 2007 One of the U.S. Marine Corps’ newest "recruits" is running through the mud on Parris Island, South Carolina—the training depot where nearly 17,000 enlistees submit to a grueling 13-week boot camp each year... The next morning, Bethany Deckard will tuck her cheek into the cold contours of an M16 and fire multiple rounds to practice "engaging" the enemy. For the Marines, just having Deckard at the depot is a victory... Deckard is a high school teacher, and that makes her one of the military’s most highly sought allies right now. The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force are working overtime to win the attention of teachers and education support professionals in order to reach their ultimate quarry: students.
Military Interrogators are Posing as Lawyers at Gitmo By Sherwood Ross 17 Aug 2007 Military interrogators posing as "lawyers" are attempting to trick Guantanamo prisoners into providing them with information, The Catholic Worker (TCW) reports. This incredible and illegal practice contributes "to the prisoners' suspicions that the (real) lawyers are not to be trusted and could be aiding the government," TCW says in its July issue. This subterfuge is only one of the many treacherous tactics the government is employing to sabotage the efforts of lawyers to represent their clients.
APA votes down terror-interrogation measure --Members at S.F. convention reject banning presence at suspects' questioning 19 Aug 2007 After a raucous debate about what role - if any -- psychologists should play in U.S. government interrogations of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, the American Psychological Association voted overwhelmingly today to reject a measure that would have banned its members from those interrogations.
US psychologists weigh ban on Guantanamo interrogations 18 Aug 2007 The largest U.S. group of psychologists is to decide Sunday what role, if any, its members can play in interrogating terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other U.S. military detention centers. The American Psychological Association, which is holding its annual meeting in San Francisco, is scheduled to vote Sunday on two competing measures concerning its 148,000 members' participation in military interrogations.
'You've turned the court into a spectator.' Concern Over Wider Spying Under New Law 19 Aug 2007 Broad new surveillance powers approved by Congress this month could allow the Bush regime to conduct spy operations that go well beyond wiretapping to include — without court approval — certain types of physical searches on American soil and the collection of Americans’ business records, Democratic Congressional officials and other experts said. Several legal experts said that by redefining the meaning of "electronic surveillance," the new law... indirectly gives the government the power to use intelligence collection methods far beyond wiretapping that previously required court approval if conducted inside the United States.
Terror law puts Britons at risk of surveillance by US agents --New act led to fears of huge increase in number of British citizens being extradited to US 19 Aug 2007 A new law swept through Congress by the US government before the summer recess is to give American security agencies unprecedented powers to spy on British citizens without a warrant. It has now emerged that the bill gives the security services powers to intercept all telephone calls, internet traffic and emails made by British citizens across US-based networks.
Secret Court Asks For White House View on Inquiry --ACLU Seeking Rulings Issued On Warrantless Wiretapping 18 Aug 2007 A secret U.S. intelligence court has ordered the Bush administration to register its views about a records request by the American Civil Liberties Union, which wants the court to release a series of pivotal orders issued earlier this year about the National Security Agency's wiretapping program.
Judges Skeptical of State-Secrets Claim 16 Aug 2007 Lawyers for the Bush regime encountered a federal appeals court Wednesday that appeared deeply skeptical of a blanket claim that the government's surveillance efforts cannot be challenged in court because the litigation might reveal state secrets. "The bottom line here is the government declares something is a state secret, that's the end of it. No cases. . . . The king can do no wrong," said Judge Harry Pregerson, one of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who grilled administration lawyers at length over whether a pair of lawsuits against the government should go forward.
Defense Agency Proposes Outsourcing More Spying --Contracts Worth $1 Billion Would Set Record 19 Aug 2007 The Defense Intelligence Agency is preparing to pay private contractors up to $1 billion to conduct core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection over the next five years, an amount that would set a record in the outsourcing of such functions by the Pentagon's top spying agency.
Portland to Host Terrorism Drill "NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2" Aug. 20 to 24 --Citizens Warn of Established Pattern for Such Drills to go "live" (Oregon Truth Alliance) This is an urgent advisory notice from concerned citizens of Oregon and Washington about an upcoming U.S. Joint Forces Command emergency management exercise known as NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 that will simulate terrorism or disaster scenarios in the Lower Columbia River Basin between Aug. 20th and Aug 24th, 2007. NOBLE RESOLVE 07-2 was designed and will be directed by U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and the Department of Homeland Security.
APEC visitors to bypass quarantine 20 Aug 2007 Delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit will be exempt from any quarantine screening and sped through Sydney Airport if they say they have nothing to declare, a quarantine officer says. Staff have been asked to watch for delegates in the baggage claim area and direct them to the express exits to get them out of the airport as quickly as possible, the officer said.
Feds' Porn Ultimatum 19 Aug 2007 The Department of inJustice wants to come up with an official list of every porn star in America - and slap stiff penalties on producers who don't cooperate. The new rules, proposed under the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act, would require blue-movie makers to keep photos, stage names, professional names, maiden names, aliases, nicknames and ages on file for the inspection of the department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
Secret White House Manual: How to Stop Anti-Bush T-Shirts 17 Aug 2007 The Bush administration has agreed to pay $80,000 to a husband and wife who were ejected from a p_Residential rally because of their anti-Bush T-shirts. The settlement, in which the government admitted no wrongdoing, came after the disclosure of an allegedly "sensitive" Presidential Advance Manual, which laid out the White House's meticulous efforts to protect the president and his public image from dissent. "As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event," the manual instructs. Inside the event space, the manual advises, White House advance personnel should preposition "rally squads" that can swarm any protester... The rally squads can be formed using "college/young republican organizations [and other assorted Nazis], local athletic teams, and fraternities/sororities," the manual notes.
How Rove Harnessed Government for GOP Gains --Bush Adviser's Effort to Promote the President and His Allies Was Unprecedented in Its Reach 19 Aug 2007 Thirteen months before President [sic] Bush was re[s]elected, chief strategist Karl Rove summoned political appointees from around the government to the Old Executive Office Building. The subject of the Oct. 1, 2003, meeting was "asset deployment," and the message was clear: The staging of official announcements, high-visibility trips and declarations of federal grants had to be carefully coordinated with the White House political affairs office to ensure the maximum promotion of Bush's re[s]election agenda and the Republicans in Congress who supported him, according to documents and some of those involved in the effort.
Bush gives extra $ to 'help' a red state: Bush OKs hurricane emergency for Texas 18 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush, who was criticized for a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina [which hit a blue state], took a pre-emptive strike [puke] Saturday against Hurricane Dean, blowing through the Caribbean and threatening the Texas coast. Mr. Bush, who received two hurricane briefings at his ranch, signed a pre-landfall disaster declaration, allowing the federal government to move in 'people, equipment and supplies' [i.e., to implement police state measures and give KBR and Blackwater USA an extra blow job] immediately if Hurricane Dean hits the state.
Clock is Ticking on Las Vegas' Water Supply 17 Aug 2007 The news coming from the Southern Nevada Water Authority Thursday about the valley's future water supply is worrisome. Unless we act quickly, there will be no water for hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas Valley residents in just three years.
Medicare Says It Won't Cover Hospital Errors 19 Aug 2007 In a significant policy change, Bush administration officials say that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries and infections that occur in hospitals, a move they say could save lives and millions of dollars.
Phone call put brakes on bridge repair --Plans to reinforce the bridge were well underway when the project came to a screeching halt in January amid concerns about safety and cost. 18 Aug 2007 The men and women whose job was to ensure the safety of Bridge 9340 were meeting once again [Dec. 6]... It appeared that the most studied bridge in Minnesota, the focus of worrisome inspection reports for a decade, was finally going to have its most glaring weaknesses fixed. But five weeks later, all those preparations stopped. In a single conference call on Jan. 17, the same consultants who said reinforcement plates were needed to strengthen the bridge cautioned MnDOT that drilling for the retrofit could weaken it. Internal MnDOT documents reviewed by the Star Tribune reveal that last year bridge officials talked openly about the possibility of the bridge collapsing -- and worried that it might have to be condemned.
Families of missing Utah miners accuse feds, company of giving up 19 Aug 2007 Six coal miners caught in a cave-in may never be found and could forever be lost to the still-quivering mountain, officials conceded Sunday, abandoning the optimism they've maintained publicly for nearly two weeks. Relatives responded by accusing federal officials and the mine's owners of quitting on the rescue effort and leaving the men for dead.
Whistleblower Warns the Bush Administration Is Cutting Back Mining Safety Regulations 05 Jan 2006 (Democracy Now!) We speak with Jack Spadaro, the former head of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, a branch of the Department of Labor. Spadaro discusses how he was forced out of his job as he attempted to investigate a 2000 mining accident.
Bush mine safety official walks out of Senate hearing into Sago disaster By Samuel Davidson and Jerry Isaacs 27 Jan 2006 David Dye, the acting director of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), walked out halfway through a two-hour Senate hearing Monday on the Sago Mine disaster, refusing to answer questions about his agency’s failure to enforce safety regulations that might have saved 14 West Virginia miners who were killed in two separate accidents this month.
Paul Wins Alabama GOP Informal Straw Poll 18 Aug 2007 On Saturday, the Alabama Republican Assembly tried to get a sense of which conservative candidate Alabamians are supporting most by holding an informal straw poll at the Bryant Conference Center. Out of 266 ballots cast, it was Texas Congressman Ron Paul by an overwhelming majority, with former Massachusetts Gov. [sociopath] Mitt Romney in a distant second.
Tougher rules urged to protect Arctic 19 Aug 2007 The Arctic could face "irreparable damage" unless tougher rules are made to curb the scramble by world powers for the region’s resources, a leading international environmental group has warned. WWF – formerly the World Wildlife Fund – called for an Arctic treaty or other multilateral agreement to prevent conflict and help the region survive the severe impact of climate change.
Thousands flee 145mph winds as hurricane hits Jamaica 20 Aug 2007 Jamaicans are today assessing the damage after a night of terror as Hurricane Dean swept over them. Hundreds of people headed for government shelters but most defied pleas to abandon their homes as the 17-mile wide "eye-wall" - the location of the most damaging winds and intense rainfall - arrived just south of the island.
Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns 17 Aug 2007 Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy. Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the 'election' years of 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Poll shows most Americans not trust Sept. Iraq report 18 Aug 2007 A majority of Americans do not trust the upcoming report by top U.S. commander in Iraq on the progress of the war, according to a new poll released on Friday. U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush has frequently asked Congress and the American people to withhold judgment on his so-called "troop surge" in Iraq until , the top commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, issue their progress report in September. But according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released on Friday, 53 percent of people polled said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is.
Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police 17 Aug 2007 Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol. An Associated Press review of dozens of police and sheriff's departments found that many are struggling with delays of as long as a year for both handgun and rifle ammunition. And the shortages are resulting in prices as much as double what departments were paying just a year ago.
Defense Contractor Was Paid $1 Million to Ship 2 Washers 17 Aug 2007 A South Carolina defense contractor pleaded guilty yesterday to bilking the Pentagon out of $20.5 million over nearly 10 years by adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of shipping spare parts such as metal washers and lamps. The parts were bound for key military installations, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan. In one instance, in 2006, the government paid C&D Distributors $998,798 in transportation costs for shipping two 19-cent washers.
Texan oilman pleads guilty in oil-for-food case 17 Aug 2007 Texas oilman David Chalmers and two companies he owns pleaded guilty on Friday to paying millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Iraq in connection with the United Nations oil-for-food program. Chalmers, 53, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, just weeks before he was due to go on trial with Texas oil tycoon Oscar Wyatt.
Images show pleading Iraq prisoners --U.S. forces and Iraq's own security forces have imprisoned tens of thousands of detainees without charge in the four years since the fall of President Saddam Hussein. 18 Aug 2007 Rare footage from inside a Baghdad prison camp shows hundreds of inmates packed into wire-mesh tents, protesting their innocence. "I have been jailed for two years and have never been put before a judge or court!" one prisoner is shown shouting. The video pictures were given to Reuters Television on Saturday by the office of Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who visited the Rusafa prison compound in eastern Baghdad with his Shi'ite counterpart.
Medical crisis in Iraq as doctors and nurses flee 18 Aug 2007 The humanitarian disaster in Iraq is being compounded by a mass exodus of their medical staff fleeing chronic violence and lawlessness. The research [report by Oxfam International] revealed that many hospitals, and medical teaching facilities in Baghdad have lost up to 80 per cent of their teaching staff.
Mortars, Bombs in Iraq's North Kill 11 18 Aug 2007 Mortar shells slammed into a Shiite enclave north of Baghdad, killing at least seven people on Saturday, police said, while officials in Kirkuk warned that a string of deadly bombings showed that 'insurgents' were finding new ways to thwart security measures.
Billions In U.S. Aid Wasted In Afghanistan 16 Aug 2007 American doctor Dave Warner is on a mission in eastern Afghanistan to show people back home how billions of taxpayer dollars sent here are being wasted. "When I was here in December," Warner told CBS News. "This was full so you can see they've dug another pit over here." Rotting bio-waste is dumped in the hospital's backyard because as Warner and the hospital director showed us next — the new waste incinerator donated by the U.S. government is completely useless. Even if the hospital knew how to run it, they can't afford the fuel... Warner is a public health expert from San Diego who's taken it upon himself to do what no one else in Afghanistan seems to be doing — documenting the failures in reconstruction.
Suicide raid on U.S. security firm kills 15 Afghans 18 Aug 2007 A suicide car bomb attack outside a base of a U.S. security firm [Houston-based USPI] on Saturday killed 15 people in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, witnesses and police said. [See: American security contractor allegedly shoots dead his Afghan interpreter 30 Sep 2005 Guards for a U.S. security firm obstructed an investigation into whether one of its supervisors fatally shot his Afghan interpreter, an Afghan police chief said Friday. Noor Ahmad, 37, was shot in the head Tuesday at the compound of his employer, U.S. Protection and Investigations, at Tut village in Farah province's Gulistan district, police and provincial officials said.]
Six Iranian guards killed in helicopter crash 18 Aug 2007 Six Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed when their helicopter crashed during an operation against rebels close to the Iraqi border, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.
U.S. actions against Iran raise war risk, many fear 17 Aug 2007 As President [sic] Bush escalates the United States' confrontation with Iran across a broad front, U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East are growing worried that the steps will achieve little, but will undercut diplomacy and increase the chances of war.
As U.S. Steps Up Pressure on Iran, Aftereffects Worry Allies 16 Aug 2007 America's allies are increasingly concerned about the Bush regime's plans to unilaterally escalate pressure on Iran, fearing that an evolving strategy may also set in motion a process that could lead to military action if Iran does not back down, according to diplomats and officials of foreign countries.
US set to blacklist 'terrorist' Iranian guards 16 Aug 2007 The Bush regime plans to blacklist as a "global terrorist" group Iran’s revolutionary guards, the Islamic fanatics who operate as a shadowy parallel force under the direct authority of the Iranian spiritual leader. The surprise designation, a provocative move which will infuriate Tehran, will allow the US to move against the group’s business and financial interests as part of the campaign to rein in Iran’s nuclear programme.
Castro: Cuba not cashing US Guantanamo rent checks 17 Aug 2007 The United States pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for the controversial Guantanamo naval base, but Cuba has only once cashed a check in almost half a century and then only by mistake, Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published on Friday. The ailing Cuban leader said he had refused to cash the checks to protest the "illegal" U.S. occupation of the land which he said was now used for "dirty work".
The old Iran-Contra death squad gang is desperate to discredit Chavez --Democracy and hope in Latin America have been revived by Venezuela's leader. But the forces allied against him are formidable By John Pilger Friday 17 Aug 2007 Thousands of "the detained and the disappeared" were imprisoned in the stadium following the Washington-backed coup by General Pinochet against the democracy of Salvador Allende on September 11 1973. For the majority people of Latin America, the abandonados, the infamy and historical lesson of the first "9/11" have never been forgotten... In Washington, the old Iran-Contra death squad gang, back in power under Bush, fear the economic bridges Chávez is building in the region, such as the use of Venezuela's oil revenue to end IMF slavery.
US signs deal to give $30bn in military aid to Israel 16 Aug 2007 US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has signed a deal that will provide Israel with $30bn (£14.8bn) of military aid over the next 10 years. The new military aid package represents a 25% increase from present levels.
U.S.: No strings attached to new defense package for Israel 17 Aug 2007 The new $30 billion American defense package for Israel is not conditioned on diplomatic progress or concessions to the Palestinians, a top U.S. aide said Thursday as representatives from both countries signed the memorandum of understanding in Jerusalem. U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said the aid to Israel was meant to counter "an axis of cooperation between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas [No, the US] that is responsible for the violence in the region."
Padilla Case Offers New Model of Terrorism Trial [Yeah, the kangaroo model] 18 Aug 2007 The 'Justice' Department’s strategy in the trial itself, using a seldom-tested conspiracy law and relatively thin evidence, cemented a new prosecutorial model in terrorism cases. The central charge against Mr. Padilla was that he conspired to murder, maim and kidnap people in a foreign country... But prosecutors needed to prove very little by way of concrete conduct to obtain a conviction under the law. "It is a pretty big leap between a mere indication of desire to attend a camp and a crystallized desire to kill, maim and kidnap," said Peter S. Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University who has also written on conspiracy charges in terrorism prosecutions. The conspiracy charge against Mr. Padilla, Professor Margulies continued, "is highly amorphous, and it basically allows someone to be found guilty for something that is one step away from a thought crime."
White House wants more time on subpoenas 17 Aug 2007 The White House on Friday asked a Senate panel for more time to produce subpoenaed information about the legal justification for President [sic] Bush's secretive eavesdropping program. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy had set Monday as the deadline for administration officials already subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony about the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program. The White House already has been given one extension, said an aide to Leahy, D-Vt.
Judge: Feds must answer ACLU demands 17 Aug 2007 The government must answer a watchdog group's demands to release records about the nation's classified terrorist spying program, the chief judge of a secretive national security court has ruled. The American Civil Liberties Union, which announced the order Friday, said it was the first time the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had responded to a request filed by the public. In her 2-page order, dated Aug. 16, Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly called the ACLU's demand "an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing."
Minister: Death To My Tax Status Critics --Calif. Clergyman Condemns Those Who Complained To IRS Criticizing His Political Endorsement of Huckabee 17 Aug 2007 A California minister who used church stationery and an Internet radio program to endorse former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) for president is asking his followers to pray for the deaths of those who filed a complaint against him with the IRS. The Rev. Wiley S. Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., called for "imprecatory prayer" targeting Barry W. Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Mexican trucks may get full access to U.S. highways 17 Aug 2007 Some Mexican trucks will be allowed to carry cargo anywhere in the United States as soon as a federal inspector general certifies 'safety' and inspection plans, the Bush administration announced today. The latest step toward implementing a controversial provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement drew instant condemnation from labor and driver-owner groups that fear the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.
Handling of Mine Disaster Questioned --AP: Critics Question Government Handling of Utah Mine Disaster 18 Aug 2007 The government agency overseeing coal mine safety was supposed to have changed its ways after West Virginia's deadly Sago Mine disaster. Its handling of the cave-ins at Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine have some worried that the changes didn't go far enough.
Utah Mine Rescuers Halt Search After 3 Deaths 18 Aug 2007 A sense of doleful finality settled on Friday over the quivering mountain here that swallowed six coal miners 11 days ago. Underground search efforts intended to find them were indefinitely suspended after crumbling walls in the Crandall Canyon Mine killed two rescue workers and a federal mine inspector on Thursday evening. ...The reality sank in among the residents here that the six men, trapped 1,800 feet beneath the surface, might never be found.
Organize the mines! (The Militant) 03 Sep 2007 The collapse of the Crandall Canyon coal mine in central Utah, which has trapped six workers 1,500 feet underground since August 6, highlights one fact above all. The only effective way miners can fight for control over job conditions is to organize a union and use workers’ collective power to enforce safety. Coal mine disasters are not due to "acts of God" as Murray Energy Corp. claims. Dangerous job conditions are the result of decisions by bosses to squeeze maximum profits out of our labor, including by seeing how much they can get away with cutting corners on safety and health. That’s how capitalism works... In March, two sections of the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed. Instead of closing the mine, "operators moved to another section and continued chipping away," the Associated Press reported. That’s what can happen when workers lack a union to enforce basic safety conditions.
N.C. waitress applauds minimum wage hike 18 Aug 2007 A North Carolina waitress on Saturday lauded the Democratic-initiated increase in the minimum wage, saying in the party's weekly radio address that the extra money will have a ripple effect on millions of lives. Fawn Townsend, a nightshift server in Raleigh, N.C., criticized Republicans for blocking efforts to raise the minimum wage over the last 10 years.
Unregulated Release of GM Poplars and Hybrids --USDA rubberstamps the largest ever collection of transgenic poplars with uncharacterized and dangerous constructs By Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 17 Aug 2007 This report has been submitted to the USDA on behalf of ISIS [Institute of Science in Society]. Please circulate widely and click onto the link to the USDA docket to register your objection to-day!
Court further delays Alaska offshore drilling --Shell blocked from area off Prudhoe Bay due to lawsuit by natives, activists 16 Aug 2007 A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell PLC must further postpone plans for exploratory oil drilling off the northern coast of Alaska.
Arctic sea ice shrinks to record low 17 Aug 2007 There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported. "Today is a historic day," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the center. "This is the least sea ice we've ever seen in the satellite record and we have another month left to go in the melt season this year."
Hurricane Dean approaches Category 5 18 Aug 2007 Hurricane Dean is expected to grow into a ferocious Category 5 storm as it passes Jamaica and nears Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the oil and gas rigs of the Gulf of Mexico after it smashed into several Caribbean islands, the US National Hurricane Centre said on Saturday.
State Operations Center Opens Saturday As Texas Braces For Dean 17 Aug 2007 The State Operations Center activates fully Saturday morning as state officials set a plan in motion to ensure the state is prepared should Hurricane Dean take aim at the Texas coast next week. Gov. Perry declared the storm an "imminent threat" on Friday and initiated full-scale preparations.
'Every ampersand, every comma is Top Secret?' NSA Judge: 'I feel like I'm in Alice and Wonderland' By Kevin Poulsen 16 Aug 2007 AT&T attorney Michael Kellogg has taken the podium, and, not surprisingly, insists the case has to be dismissed. He says AT&T customers have no actual proof or direct knowledge that their communications were forwarded to the government without warrants. "The government has said that whatever AT&T is doing with the government is a state secret," Kellogg says. He adds, "As a consequence, no evidence can come in whether the individuals' communications were ever accepted or whether we played any role in it..." Judge Hawkins wonders if the document is really that secret? "Every ampersand, every comma is Top Secret?," Hawkins asks. "This document is totally non-redactable and non-segregable and cannot even be meaningfully described," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Bondy answers.
Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared 15 Aug 2007 Could martial law ever become a reality in America? Some fear any nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil might trigger just that. KSLA News 12 has discovered that the clergy would help the government with potentially their biggest problem: Us. If martial law were enacted here at home... easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical. And that's exactly what the 'Clergy Response Team' helped accomplish in the wake of Katrina. Dr. Durell Tuberville serves as chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Caddo Sheriff's Office. For the clergy team, one of the biggest tools that they will have in helping calm the public down or to obey the law is the bible itself, specifically Romans 13. Dr. Tuberville elaborated, "because the government's established by the Lord, you know. And, that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in the scripture." ['Easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical.']
Armed Robots Pushed to Police By Noah Shachtman 16 Aug 2007 Armed robots -- similar to the ones now on patrol in Iraq -- are being marketed to domestic police forces, according to the machines' manufacturer and law enforcement officers. None of the gun-toting 'bots appear to have been deployed domestically, yet. Both cops and company officials say it's only a matter of time, however. "Other than some R&D with the shotgun mount, we haven't used it operationally," Massachusetts State Police Trooper Mike Rogowski tells DANGER ROOM. "But they're on the way. They're coming,"
Troops in Iraq to Reach Record Level 16 Aug 2007 The number of U.S. troops in Iraq could jump to 171,000 this fall - a record high for the war - as military leaders expect stepped-up 'insurgent' attacks timed to a progress report from American commanders in Baghdad.
U.S. to have over 170,000 troops in Iraq 16 Aug 2007 The number of U.S. troops in Iraq will reach a new high of more than 170,000 later this year as departing and incoming units overlap for a period, a senior U.S. officer said Thursday.
General: Quick Strikes Planned in Iraq 17 Aug 2007 The No. 2 American commander in Iraq said Friday that occupation forces are planning "quick strike raids" aimed at smashing 'al-Qaida' and other 'insurgents' in far-flung parts of the country before the U.S. brings some of its buildup troops home.
Son of anti-war presidential candidate prepares for deployment to Iraq 16 Aug 2007 The son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is preparing for deployment to Iraq. The candidate is a Senate critic of U.S. policy in Iraq. Capt. Beau Biden, a Judge Advocate General in the Delaware National Guard and the state's attorney general, is part of the 261st Signal Brigade that has been told to prepare for duty in Iraq in 2008.
U.S. attacks kill 13 in Iraq battle 17 Aug 2007 U.S. aircraft and army snipers killed 13 gunmen north of Baghdad on Friday in fierce fighting that erupted as troops closed in to capture an al Qaeda cell leader, the U.S. military said.
Department of Defence muzzles civilian MDs --Publication of article describing soldier's death in Afghanistan prompts DND to warn physicians not to release 'sensitive' information 16 Aug 2007 Stung by the publication of a magazine article by one of its doctors that includes the graphic description of the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, the Department of National Defence has changed its contracts with civilian physicians, warning them not to release sensitive information and to respect patient confidentiality.
White House Denies It Considered Giving Iraq Testimony Privately in September 17 Aug 2007 The White House denied reports Thursday that it considered shielding key officials from the public when they deliver a pivotal report on the Iraq war to Congress in September, but critics pointed to the reports as further evidence of a Bush administration evasive over war policy.
Pentagon Paid $998,798 to Ship Two 19-Cent Washers 16 Aug 2007 A small South Carolina parts supplier [C&D Distributors in Lexington] collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas, U.S. officials said. The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq, and $293,451 to ship an 89-cent split washer to Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Pentagon records show.
Short of Purple Hearts, Navy tells vet to buy own 16 Aug 2007 Korean War veteran Nyles Reed, 75, opened an envelope last week to learn a Purple Heart had been approved for injuries he sustained as a Marine on June 22, 1952. But there was no medal. Just a certificate and a form stating that the medal was "out of stock." The form letter from the Navy Personnel Command told Reed he could wait 90 days and resubmit an application, or buy his own medal.
Ex-Marine Charged in Fallujah Deaths 17 Aug 2007 A former Marine sergeant has been charged with voluntary manslaughter in the killings of two captured Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah in 2004. Jose Nazario, 27, faces 10 years in prison if convicted of voluntary manslaughter, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Behnke.
5 civilians killed in clash in eastern Afghanistan 17 Aug 2007 Five civilians have been killed during a firefight between NATO soldiers and Taliban 'insurgents' and three others were wounded in eastern Afghanistan.
Russia resumes strategic air space patrolling 18 Aug 2007 For the first time since the collapse of Soviet Union 16 years ago, Russia has resumed regular patrolling of air space by its strategic bombers in the remote parts of the world, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Army Reports Brass, Not Bloggers, Breach Security By Noah Shachtman 17 Aug 2007 For years, the military has been warning that soldiers' blogs could pose a security threat by leaking sensitive wartime information. But a series of online audits, conducted by the Army, suggests that official Defense Department websites post material far more potentially harmful than anything found on a individual's blog.
Leahy asks for DoJ probe of Gonzales 16 Aug 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine Thursday to review whether testimony Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has provided "was in any instances intentionally false, misleading, or inappropriate."
Notes Describe Frail, Upset AG Ashcroft 17 Aug 2007 The White House demanded in 2004 that the Justice Department approve a secret national security program without allowing the ailing attorney general, "feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed," to discuss the matter with top advisers, according to the FBI director's personal notes. The partially censored notes from FBI chief Robert S. Mueller, dated March 12, 2004, describe a distraught and feeble Attorney General John Ashcroft in his hospital room just moments after being visited by then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Andy Card, the president's chief of staff at the time.
FBI Director's Notes Contradict Gonzales's Version of Ashcroft Visit 17 Aug 2007 Then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft was "feeble," "barely articulate" and "stressed" moments after a hospital room confrontation in March 2004 with Alberto R. Gonzales, who wanted Ashcroft to approve a warrantless wiretapping program over Justice Department objections, according to notes from FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III that were released yesterday. One of Mueller's entries in five pages of a daily log pertaining to the dispute also indicated that Ashcroft's deputy was so concerned about undue pressure by Gonzales and other White House aides for the attorney general to back the wiretapping program that the deputy asked Mueller to bar anyone other than relatives from later entering Ashcroft's hospital room.
Bush Signs Spy Bill In the Spirit of Hitler's Third Reich By Edward Spannaus 17 Aug 2007 In explicit violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Administration can now monitor Americans' calls and e-mails, without a warrant, so long as there is some claimed connection to a person "reasonably believed to be located outside the United States..." That program, it is well-established, was run by Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. It was Cheney and his lawyer David Addington who pushed hardest for the spy program in the weeks after 9/11, using their "Schmittlerian" legal theories (modelled on Hitler's 'Crown Jurist" Carl Schmitt) to argue that the President could ignore existing laws and make his own... Even more dangerous, Congress acceded to a new Hitler-like power grab by the Bush-Cheney White House, allowing it to ride roughshod over Congress and the courts in a manner reminiscent of Carl Schmitt's doctrine of imposing emergency rule in a time of crisis.
Phone customers, charity challenge U.S. wiretapping 16 Aug 2007 Justice Department attorneys attempted to persuade three federal appellate court judges Wednesday to dismiss two major lawsuits challenging the Bush regime's warrantless domestic-eavesdropping program. Interest was so high in the unusual joint hearing that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals provided two rooms for overflow spectators.
Federal ID plan raises privacy concerns 17 Aug 2007 Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act. The act, signed in 2005 as part of an emergency military spending and tsunami relief bill, aims to weave driver's licenses and state ID cards into a sort of national identification system by May 2008. The Real ID Act requires all 245 million license and state ID holders to visit their local departments of motor vehicles and apply for a Real ID by 2013. [Of course, the DemocRATs rolled right over on this one! See also: ACLU's 'Real Nightmare.']
Smile … Or Else --'Behavior Detection Officers' are now watching passengers' facial expressions for signs of danger. It's a new level of absurdity for America. By Patti Davis 16 Aug 2007 It was bound to happen. Now even a frown or grimace can get you into trouble with The Man. "Specially trained security personnel" will be watching passengers for "micro-expressions" that will reveal treacherous agendas and insidious intentions at airports around the country. These agents, who may literally hold your fate in their hands have been given a lofty, Orwellian name: "Behavior Detection Officers." Did anyone ever doubt that George Orwell’s prophecies in "1984" would arrive?
How lawyer navigates sea of secrecy in bizarre case --Among the obstacles: responding to a filing he can't see and writing a brief with none of his notes at hand. 15 Aug 2007 Oakland lawyer Jon Eisenberg calls the case of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. George W. Bush the strangest he has ever handled. How strange? Eisenberg was required to write one of his briefs in a windowless government office, without notes or lawbooks, under the watchful eye of two federal security guards. When he got hungry, one of the guards brought him a banana. And when he finished, a security official shredded all his drafts — and even the banana peel, Eisenberg said. The brief-writing session was just one facet of the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Al-Haramain case, Eisenberg said. Al-Haramain is one of dozens of plaintiffs across the nation that have filed suit, claiming they were illegally spied on by the government as part of the war on [of] terror.
US citizen guilty of aiding al-Qaida cells 16 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla, a former Chicago 'gang member' [?] who converted to Islam, was today found guilty of helping terrorists orchestrate attacks on American targets in a range of countries over the past decade. He and two co-defendants, Adham Hassoun, a Lebanese-born Palestinian, and Kifah Jayyousi, a naturalised US citizen from Jordan, were charged with providing material support for Islamist terrorist groups and conspiring to "murder, kidnap and maim" people in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and other countries from 1993 to 2001. [OMFG -- and Bush hasn't been convicted yet of same?!? --LRP]
Padilla Is Guilty on All Charges in Terror Trial 17 Aug 2007 In a significant victory for the Bush regime, a federal jury found Jose Padilla guilty of terrorism conspiracy charges on Thursday after little more than a day of deliberation.
Al-Qaeda cell guilty of terrorism but not of 'dirty bomb' 17 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla, the US citizen once accused by the Bush Administration of planning to detonate a "dirty bomb" in an American city, was convicted on terrorism charges last night. However, all the radioactive bomb charges had been dropped last year.
How U.S. Interrogators Destroyed the Mind of Jose Padilla By Amy Goodman 17 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla has been found guilty in court and faces possible life in prison, but forensic psychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty explains after interviewing him that Padilla already paid the ultimate price through torture -- he's lost his mind. [Democracy Now! interviews Dr. Angela Hegarty.]
A travesty of justice: Jose Padilla found guilty By Joe Kay 17 Aug 2007 A Miami, Florida jury found US prisoner Jose Padilla guilty Thursday on three terrorism-related counts... The verdict is a travesty of justice and a testament to the growth of police state measures and the advanced state of decay of democratic rights in the United States... The Kafkaesque treatment that Padilla has suffered is a warning to all Americans. Such are the conditions that can be meted out to anyone—whether a US citizen or not. According to the legal theory developed by the administration, constitutional rights must be sacrificed in the name of "security" in the "war on terror."
CIA in web claims 17 Aug 2007 The CIA has been accused of editing entries on the interactive encyclopedia Wikipedia. Wikipedia Scanner, an online tool, allegedly shows that workers on the agency's computers edited the page of Iran's president, the BBC reported.
CIA, FBI computers 'editing Wikipedia' 17 Aug 2007 People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program. The changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict of interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said.
Climate change demonstrations spread to two more airports 17 Aug 2007 The environmental campaign against air travel moved towards a more confrontational phase and spread outside the climate-change camp at Heathrow yesterday as small groups of protesters launched simultaneous demonstrations against two airports in the South-east.
Feds Pay $80,000 Over Anti-Bush T-Shirts 17 Aug 2007 A couple arrested at a rally after refusing to cover T-shirts that bore anti-President [sic] Bush slogans settled their lawsuit against the federal government for $80,000, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday.
No buyer for voting machine unit 16 Aug 2007 US cash dispenser and security company Diebold has admitted that it has failed to find a buyer for its troubled electronic voting machine business. Diebold and other manufacturers of such voting machines have been hit by criticism that they are unreliable and vulnerable to tampering.
Snow to leave White House before Bush 17 Aug 2007 White House press secretary Tony Snow said Friday he'll leave sometime before the end of the Bush presidency because of financial pressures. The 52-year-old Snow earns $168,000 as an assistant to the president [sic], but made considerably more as a conservative pundit and syndicated talk-show host on Fox News Radio.
Bush administration takes side of defendants in key Supreme Court case linked to Enron 15 Aug 2007 The Bush regime on Wednesday took the side of defendant companies in a Supreme Court case that could determine the fate of other investor lawsuits including one stemming from the Enron scandal.
Mine rescue effort in Utah halted indefinitely --Officials will reassess their bracing methods after a 'seismic bump' leaves 3 searchers dead. 17 Aug 2007 A federal official said today that the rescue effort at Crandall Canyon Mine near Huntington, Utah, was suspended indefinitely after a "seismic bump" exploded with "tremendous force" last night, overwhelming interior ground support and burying a rescue team, killing at least three.
Three rescuers killed as Utah mine caves in 17 Aug 2007 Three of the rescuers attempting to find six workers trapped in a Utah mine since last week have been killed following a cave-in, officials said on Thursday. Additionally, six rescuers were injured, said Tammy Kikuchi, a spokeswoman with Utah's Department of Natural Resources.
Searching for the Miners (The New York Times) 16 Aug 2007 It is beyond belief that in this Information Age, when new technologies can eavesdrop on any conversation and track people around the globe, rescue teams have no way to communicate with the six miners trapped underground in the Crandall Canyon Mine in Utah. Instead they are drilling holes in the ground to where they guess the miners might be... For too long, the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress allowed mine operators to put off making needed investments to ensure their workers’ safety. And last year when a string of coal-mining disasters — that killed 48 miners — forced Congress to enact new safety legislation, it still gave companies far too much time to install communications systems that might have helped find the Utah miners.
Bush poised to play the bioterror card; corpora-terrorists poised to make a *killing*: Government secures £155m bird flu vaccines 17 Aug 2007 Britain has moved to secure supplies of vaccines to counter a possible human influenza pandemic sparked by bird flu, by signing deals worth £155m in total with GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter International of the US. Under the four-year deals, GSK and Baxter International will together supply 120 million doses of their pandemic flu vaccines as soon as the strain is identified [?] and made available by the World Health Organisation.
£155m flu vaccine deal signed 16 Aug 2007 The Government has agreed a £155.4 million contract for a flu vaccine in the event of a pandemic. The Department of Health, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Baxter Healthcare signed the four-year deal, which would see the firms supply a vaccine as soon as a pandemic strain was notified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
US food aid is 'wrecking' Africa, claims charity 17 Aug 2007 Now Care, one of the world's biggest charities, has announced that it will boycott the controversial policy of selling tons of heavily subsidised US produced food in African countries. Care wants the US government to send money to buy food locally, rather than unwanted US produced food. The US arm of the charity says America is causing rather than reducing hunger with a decree that US food aid must be sold rather than directly distributed to those facing starvation. Critics of the policy say it also undermines African farmers' ability to produce food, making the most vulnerable countries of the world even more dependent on aid to avert famine.
Hurricane Dean Strengthens to Category 3 17 Aug 2007 Hurricane Dean strengthened into a Category 3 storm and tore through the eastern Caribbean on Friday, ripping the roofs from a hospital and homes, and flooding buildings with rain and seawater.
'DC Madam' Phone Records --By Lori Price Updated! 16 Aug 2007
Internet is "the new Afghanistan": NY police commissioner 15 Aug 2007 The Internet is the new battleground against Islamist extremism because it provides ideology that could radicalize Westerners who might then initiate home-grown attacks, New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Wednesday. "The Internet is the new Afghanistan," Kelly said, as he released a New York Police Department (NYPD) report on the home-grown threat of attacks by Islamist extremists. "It is the de facto training ground. It's an area of concern."
Terror Threat Grows Quietly, Report Warns 16 Aug 2007 The most serious terrorist threat facing the United States cannot be seen by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials, according to a report issued yesterday by the New York City Police Department. The 90-page report, compiled by two police counterterrorism analysts, argues that the danger posed by homegrown radical Islamists is growing, fueled by Internet communications and the growing global popularity of jihadist ideology.
New York City Police Report Explores Homegrown Terrorism 16 Aug 2007 Understanding how seemingly ordinary people become radicalized and hatch homegrown terror plots is essential for law enforcement officials in the United States and abroad to stay one step ahead, a study released yesterday by the New York Police Department concluded. The report’s findings were immediately hailed by proponents of law enforcement and some politicians, while harshly criticized by civil libertarians and advocates for Arab-Americans.
Domestic Use of Spy Satellites to Widen --Law Enforcement Getting New Access to Secret Imagery 16 Aug 2007 The Bush regime has approved a plan to expand domestic access to some of the most powerful tools of 21st-century spycraft, giving law enforcement officials and others the ability to view data obtained from satellite and aircraft sensors that can see through cloud cover and even penetrate buildings and underground bunkers. A program approved by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security will allow broader domestic use of secret overhead imagery beginning as early as this fall, with the expectation that state and local law enforcement officials will eventually be able to tap into technology once largely restricted to foreign surveillance.
American Spy Satellites to Snoop On U.S. --Department of Homeland Security OKs Expanded Domestic Use Of Spies In the Sky 15 Aug 2007 The Wall Street Journal reports that the Department of Homeland Security has approved a measure to allow federal civilian agencies and law enforcement to turn American spy satellites on their own citizens for the first time. Until now, the highly sensitive satellites were aimed mostly at other countries, usually ones we didn't really trust... Letting domestic security folks use them to spy is, the Journal says, "uncharted territory."
$iccing the Cops --NYPD Giving 'Aggressive' OT Officers More Money 13 Aug 2007 The NYPD's new patrol chief has ordered that special overtime money earmarked for cops in violence-prone precincts be given to "aggressive" officers rather than "do-nothings," The Post has learned. Chief Robert Giannelli issued that edict last week during a meeting with his borough chiefs, who then relayed it to their precinct commanders, sources said. His order affects a pool of funds known as Impact Overtime.
New airport agents check for danger in fliers' facial expressions 14 Aug 2007 Next time you go to the airport, there may be more eyes on you than you notice. Specially trained security personnel are watching body language and facial cues of passengers for signs of bad intentions... They're called Behavior Detection Officers, and they're part of several recent security upgrades, Transportation Security Administrator Kip Hawley told an aviation industry group in Washington last month. Amy Kudwa, a TSA public affairs specialist, said the agency hopes to have 500 behavior detection officers in place by the end of 2008.
$1 Billion to Be Spent on Behavioral Targeting in '08; $3.8 B by '11: eMarketer 11 Jun 2007 Driving the big online data deals (Google/Doubleclick; Microsoft/aQuantive) is the power of behavioral targeting (BT) to profile, track, and target consumers online. More major advertisers are embracing BT, adding such data collection strategies to their arsenal of demographic, psychographic, technical, contextual, and search targeting weapons. [See: Behavioral Advertising on Target... to Explode Online 11 Jun 2007 Brand advertising is moving onto the Internet.]
Congressional Aides: W. House Seeks to Limit Petraeus, Crocker Hill Appearances 16 Aug 2007 Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing, suggesting instead that the Bush administration's progress report on the Iraq war should be delivered to Congress by the secretaries of state and defense.
Petraeus report actually to be written by White House 15 Aug 2007 According to the officials, Gen. David H. Petraeus is expected to propose the 'partial pullback' [?] in his September status report to Congress... Administration officials who support the current troop levels hope Petraeus' recommendations will persuade Congress to reject pressure for a major U.S. withdrawal. The expected recommendation would authorize U.S. commanders to withdraw troops from places that have become less violent and turn over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces. Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with 'inputs' from officials throughout the government.
'Surge' Has Led to More Detainees --As Number in Iraq Soars, Debate on System's Fairness Continues 15 Aug 2007 U.S. military operations associated with the troop increase in Baghdad have boosted the number of prisoners held in American facilities in Iraq to about 23,000, up 5,000 from four months ago, according to Army Col. Mark Martins, the top military lawyer in Iraq. The overall number of 'security detainees' now held in Iraqi prisons to 60,000, said Judge Abdul Satar Bayrkdar, spokesman for the Iraqi Higher Judicial Council.
Iraqi officials: Truck bombings killed at least 500 --Tuesday truck bombs targeted villages of Qahtaniya, al-Jazeera and Tal Uzair, in northern Iraq near border with Syria 16 Aug 2007 The death toll in this week's suicide bombings in northern Iraq has risen to at least 500, local officials in Nineveh province said Wednesday. Iraqi Army and Mosul police sources earlier put the number at 260, but said it was likely to rise; 320 were reported wounded.
Unmanned "Surge": 3000 More Robots for War By Noah Shachtman 13 Aug 2007 U.S. military robots ran 30,000 missions in 2006 -- hunting for, and getting rid of, improvised explosives. Now, the military has launched a crash project to radically increase its unmanned ground forces... The first batch of 'bots is due September 24, Defense News' Kris Osborn reports. 1000 machines are supposed to be enlisted by the end of the year, with two thousand more in five years.
Shiite militia infiltrates Iraqi forces --Radical cleric Muqtada Sadr's sectarian Mahdi Army has deep links with security forces. 16 Aug 2007 Abu Mohammed is a policeman by day, patrolling the Shiite Muslim district of Sadr City. Come sundown, however, Abu Mohammed commands a platoon of Jaish al Mahdi, or the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia associated with radical cleric Muqtada Sadr that is widely accused of sectarian killings. By his account and those of U.S. military and Iraqi sources, Mahdi militia members have infiltrated much of the country's security apparatus, including the army, where they reportedly intimidate and bribe troops and commanders to look the other way as militants execute their brutal sectarian "cleansing" agenda.
'House Bombs' a Growing Risk for U.S. Troops --Soldiers Being Lured Into Buildings Rigged to Explode; Commander Cites Insurgents' 'Continually Evolving Tactics' 16 Aug 2007 Inside the house [in Arab Jabour], one soldier stepped on a pressure plate, detonating an estimated 30 pounds of explosives hidden under a stairwell. In an instant, four troops were killed; four others were injured. Pfc. William L. Edwards died later in the hospital. Military commanders say the number of similar incidents -- those in which soldiers are lured into a house rigged to explode -- has risen dramatically across Iraq in recent months.
Danes investigate Iraq phone threats 16 Aug 2007 Denmark's military intelligence agency is investigating whether Iraqi insurgents have used mobile phone records to track down and threaten relatives of Danish soldiers deployed in Iraq, officials said Thursday.
Army suicides highest in 26 years 15 Aug 2007 Army soldiers committed suicide last year at the highest rate in 26 years, and more than a quarter did so while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new military report. The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Thursday, found there were 99 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers during 2006, up from 88 the previous year and the highest since the 102 suicides in 1991.
Rumsfeld resignation letter omits 'Iraq' 15 Aug 2007 The word "Iraq" doesn't appear in former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation letter. Neither does the word "war." In fact, the deadly and much-criticized conflict that eventually drummed him out of office, comes up only in vague references, such as "a critical time in our history" and "challenging time for our country," in the four-paragraph, 148-word letter he wrote to President [sic] Bush a day before the Nov. 7, 2006 election.
US anti-war group ordered to take down Iraq demo posters 15 Aug 2007 A US anti-war group [ANSWER Coalition] has been warned it will be fined 10,000 dollars if it does not remove posters in Washington announcing a march in the capital next month against US involvement in Iraq, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Iran has not started a war in over 1,000 years: German expert 15 Aug 2007 (IRNA) Iran has not started a war in over 1,000 years, a leading German Mideast scholar and journalist said Tuesday. "The last offensive Iranian war dates back to over 1,000 years," wrote Michael Lueders in an analytical piece for Tuesday's edition of the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper. He also pointed out that contrary to US and Israeli claims there has been no "substantiated proof" that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.
US documents show Pakistan gave Taliban military aid 16 Aug 2007 The Pakistani government gave substantial military support to the Taliban in the years leading up to the September 11 attacks, sending arms and soldiers to fight alongside the militant Afghan movement, according to newly released US official documents. Islamabad has acknowledged diplomatic and economic links with the Taliban but has denied direct military support. The US intelligence and state department documents, released under the country's freedom of information act, show that Washington believed otherwise.
Muslim Groups Oppose a List of 'Co-Conspirators' 16 Aug 2007 Two prominent Muslim American organizations took steps yesterday to reverse what they called a Justice Department effort to smear the entire Muslim community by naming some of its largest organizations as unindicted co-conspirators in a Texas terrorism trial. The National Association of Muslim Lawyers, which is not named, sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales objecting to the list, which it said breached the department’s own guidelines against releasing the names of unindicted co-conspirators and did not serve any clear law enforcement purpose. The letter, also signed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, said the "overreaching list" of more than 300 organizations and individuals would further cripple charitable donations to Muslim organizations and could ratchet up the discrimination faced by American Muslims since the Sept. 11 attacks.
ACLU: Patriot Act, free speech clash 15 Aug 2007 Congress does not have the power to demand silence from people forced to turn over electronic communications such as Internet records used to investigate terrorism, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer argued Wednesday. During oral arguments in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer told Judge Victor Marrero he must strike down a part of the USA Patriot Act that lets the FBI request records without the kind of court order required of other government searches.
Appeals court may let NSA lawsuits proceed 15 Aug 2007 A federal appeals court on Wednesday appeared unwilling to end a pair of lawsuits that claim the Bush administration engaged in widespread illegal surveillance of Americans. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals repeatedly pressed Gregory Garre, the Bush administration's deputy solicitor general, to justify his requests to toss out the suits on grounds they could endanger national security by possibly revealing "state secrets."
Jose Padilla Convicted by U.S. Jury in Terror Case 16 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla was convicted of terrorism-conspiracy charges in a victory for the Bush regime, which held him in a military prison as an enemy combatant for more than three years.
See Who's Editing Wikipedia - Diebold, the CIA, a Campaign By John Borland 14 Aug 2007 On November 17th, 2005, an anonymous Wikipedia user deleted 15 paragraphs from an article on e-voting [sic] mmachine-vendor Diebold, excising an entire section critical of the company's machines... In this case, the changes came from an IP address reserved for the corporate offices of Diebold itself... A new data-mining service launched Monday traces millions of Wikipedia entries to their corporate sources.
Fired U.S. Attorneys: Were There Others? 15 Aug 2007 Could the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal be bigger than Americans know? For months, the Bush administration has declined to directly answer a key question posed by Congress: were more top federal prosecutors targeted for dismissal beyond the nine that have been publicly identified? In a new letter to senators who have been pushing for the answer, a Justice Department official said only that it was contained in information shared earlier by Justice staff in interviews with Senate aides.
FBI probes contracts to company with ties to Stevens 16 Aug 2007 The FBI is investigating the National Science Foundation's award of $170 million in contracts to the oil field services company that oversaw renovations on U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' home, McClatchy Newspapers has learned.
Former Ney aide gets no prison time 16 Aug 2007 A former Capitol Hill aide received probation and a fine but no jail time Thursday after a federal judge credited him with helping the Justice Department convict a congressman in the Jack Abramoff scandal. William Heaton let FBI agents record his telephone calls and taped a 2 1/2-hour meeting with Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.
Stocks under attack --Major gauges tumble on credit and mortgage market fears; Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 all down 10 percent off highs - reaching market correction levels. 16 Aug 2007 2:06 PM EDT Stocks trimmed losses but remained under water, continuing the recent bloodletting, after Countrywide Financial's latest woes sparked a panic about the health of the credit and mortgage markets.
Wal-Mart to pay $3.9 mln in back pay in California 14 Aug 2007 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay more than $3.9 million to about 50,000 current and former employees in California who were underpaid overtime and other wages, the state's labor commissioner said on Tuesday. The world's largest retailer also agreed to pay $198,900 in civil penalties to the state, Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet said in a statement.
Canadian team discovers gene that turns cancers off 13 Aug 2007 A unique gene that can stop cancerous cells from multiplying into tumours has been discovered by a team of scientists at the B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver. The team, led by Dr. Poul Sorensen, says the gene has the power to suppress the growth of human tumours in multiple cancers, including breast, lung and liver. [Hopefully, Sorensen will not be 'Wellstoned' by the US pharma-terrorists, who make a *killing* on 'treating' cancer.]
Bush Administration Says Warrantless Eavesdropping Cannot Be Questioned By David Kravets 14 Aug 2007 The Bush administration said Monday the constitutionality of its warrantless electronic eavesdropping program cannot be challenged. The government is taking that position in seeking the dismissal of federal court lawsuits against the government and AT&T over its alleged involvement in the once-secret surveillance program adopted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The strategy was first recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in a McCarthy-era lawsuit.
U.S. to Expand Domestic Use of Spy Satellites 15 Aug 2007 The U.S.'s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation's vast network of spy satellites in the U.S. The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.'s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials.
Heads up! Army chiefs from 19 nations in secret Sydney meet 14 Aug 2007 Army chiefs from 19 nations, including the United States, Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia held a secret meeting in Sydney in the lead-up to an Asia-Pacific summit, Australia's top soldier said on Tuesday.
US to Designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as Terrorists 15 Aug 2007 The United States has decided to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country's 125,000-strong elite military branch, as a "specially designated global terrorist," according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group's business operations and finances. The Revolutionary Guard would be the first national military branch included on the list, U.S. officials said -- a highly unusual move because it is part of a government, rather than a typical non-state terrorist organization.
Rumsfeld resigned before election, letter shows --GOPers say pre-election announcement might have saved some party seats 15 Aug 2007 Donald Rumsfeld, architect of the unpopular Iraq war [and war criminal], resigned as defense secretary before last year's November election but his decision was not announced until after the voting, according to his resignation letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
U.S. general says 15-month Army rotations in Iraq, Afghanistan, to continue into next summer 14 Aug 2007 U.S. soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan will be facing the extended 15-month deployments until at least next June, a top Army commander said Tuesday. Commanders are assessing the situation on the ground now, but Gen. Richard Cody, the Army Vice Chief of Staff, said it will take until at least June to shrink average deployments back to 12 months while maintaining the 158,000 troops now deployed in the region. "It's going to take a while to get off the 15 months," he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Gunmen in military uniforms abduct Iraq's deputy oil minister 14 Aug 2007 Dozens of uniformed gunmen in 17 official vehicles stormed an Oil Ministry compound in Baghdad and abducted a deputy oil minister [Abdel-Jabar al-Wagaa] and three other officials, a ministry spokesman and police said.
At least 250 Iraqis killed in war's deadliest attack 15 Aug 2007 Rescuers uncovered dozens of bodies in the wreckage of clay houses in northwest Iraq on Wednesday, sending the death toll from suicide truck bombings of a small Kurdish sect to at least 250 — the war's deadliest attack on a single area.
Rescuers dig for victims after bloody Iraq blasts --Official raises death toll from attacks to at least 250 15 Aug 2007 Tuesday’s four suicide truck bombers struck nearly simultaneously... Some 300 people were wounded in the attacks on the Yazidis, an ancient religious community, said Dakhil Qassim, the mayor of the nearby town of Sinjar. Qassim said the four trucks approached the town of Qahataniya, 75 miles west of Mosul, from dirt roads and all exploded within minutes of each other. He said the casualty toll was expected to rise. "We are still digging with our hands and shovels because we can’t use cranes because many of the houses were built of clay," Qassim said. "We are expecting to reach the final death toll tomorrow or day after tomorrow as we are getting only pieces of bodies."
US army detaining about 750 Iraqi children 15 Aug 2007 Military officials said that the American occupation army arrested 750 children, aged between 11 to 17 years, in its prisons in Iraq. The American army had detained, as of February, approximately 16 thousand people. Since that time, the number of detains in American prisons increased to 50% to nearly 24 thousand prisoners.
Indianapolis Marine charged in Iraqi's murder 15 Aug 2007 A Marine reservist from Indiana has been charged with murdering an Iraqi army soldier in Fallujah, an attorney said Tuesday. Lance Cpl. Delano Holmes, 21, of Indianapolis, is accused of stabbing Munther Jasem Muhammed Hassin to death as the two men stood watch at a security post on Dec. 31, 2006, Holmes' lawyer said.
Crackdown on corrupt Iraq contracts yields record caseload 15 Aug 2007 A federal crackdown on corruption involving U.S. contracts in Iraq produced a record number of criminal and administrative cases last month — including the largest bribery case. The flurry of activity resulted from investigations overseen by a Justice Department task force set up last fall to target corruption in the $44.5 billion Iraq reconstruction program.
Three German police killed in Afghan blast 15 Aug 2007 Three senior German police officers charged with protecting the country's ambassador were killed and one was wounded in a roadside bomb near the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, German and Afghan officials said.
AP Fact Check: Obama on Afghanistan 14 Aug 2007 Democrat Barack Obama said it, the Republican Party pointed out in a screaming headline Tuesday that highlighted the presidential candidate's comments on Afghanistan and the killing of civilians. A check of the facts shows that Western forces have been killing civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents have been killing civilians. The U.S. and NATO say they don't have civilian casualty figures, but The Associated Press has been keeping count based on figures from Afghan and international officials... As of Aug. 1, the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286.
Obama's comments on Afghanistan draw sharp rebuke from Romney campaign 14 Aug 2007 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama came under fire Tuesday for saying that U.S. troops in Afghanistan are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians." The junior senator from Illinois made the comment Monday at a campaign stop in Nashua, New Hampshire. The comment drew a rebuke Tuesday from the campaign of Republican presidential candidate [sociopath] Mitt Romney.
US not considering draft: Pentagon 13 Aug 2007 The Pentagon sharply rejected Monday a key general's assertion that a return to the military draft has always been "an option on the table" and should be considered.
DOD Stops Plan to Send Christian Video Game to Troops in Iraq 15 Aug 2007 Plans by a Christian group to send an evangelical video game to U.S. troops in Iraq were abruptly halted yesterday by the Department of Defense after ABC News inquired about the program.
UK blocks Israel arms deals 14 Aug 2007 The British government has blocked almost one third of British military exports to Israel this year, citing possible threats to regional stability and fears the equipment might facilitate human rights violations.
Children's zoo in foot-and-mouth scare as new exclusion zones set up 15 Aug 2007 A theme park zoo was last night at the centre of one of two new food-and-mouth disease control zones amid concern that measures in England to contain the outbreak have failed. Tests are being carried out on a sick sheep at Chessington World of Adventures, near Epsom, Surrey. It is outside the 10km surveillance zone imposed in the area earlier this month.
NYPD Warns of Homegrown Terror Threat 15 Aug 2007 Average citizens who quietly band together and adopt 'radical ways' pose a mounting threat to American security that could exceed that of established terrorist groups like al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], a new police analysis has concluded.
U.S. Studying Two Dozen 'Clusters' of Possible Homegrown Terrorists 15 Aug 2007 U.S. law enforcement officials say they have identified more than two dozen "clusters" of young Muslim men in the northeast United States who are on a path that could lead to homegrown terror, ABC News has learned... The NYPD report cites at least 10 well-known recent cases where local authorities, the FBI and European police and intelligence agencies have thwarted plots developed either wholly or in a very large part by homegrown "actors," with little or no support from al Qaeda [al-CIAduh].
'Smear campaign' angers protesters around Heathrow 15 Aug 2007 Campaigners against climate change at Heathrow airport insisted yesterday that they were the victims of a media smear campaign over reports that they planned to bring the airport to a standstill by using hoax bomb threats. A spokesman for the camp, where protesters are planning to spend the next week on the site of a proposed third runway, accused the airport operator BAA of being behind media reports branding them extremists bent on paralysing the airport.
Irate Airline Passengers Threaten to Sue --Passengers Said Plane Was Without Food And Water 14 Aug 2007 Dozens of outraged airplane passengers are threatening to sue Continental Airlines, claiming they were left stranded on a plane and grounded for hours in hellish conditions. Because of bad weather, Continental's July 19 Flight 1669 from Caracas, Venezuela, to Newark, N.J., was diverted to Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where it landed at 1:50 p.m... At 6:30 p.m., homeland security officers finally allowed passengers to exit the plane, but their troubles didn't end. The officers led them into a room, where they were held for two additional hours. "We were removed from the plane and were forced to walk single file against the wall, flanked by armed officers one of whom had an attack dog," passenger Caroline Murray said.
Danger Signs at Crandall Canyon Mine Raised Five Months Ago By Mike Hall 14 Aug 2007 Danger signs surfaced five months ago about the Utah coal mine where six miners have been trapped for more than a week, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports. Mine safety experts also are questioning approval by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration of retreat mining at the Crandall Canyon Mine. And last week, CNN.com reported that miners there were concerned about safety but feared reprisals if they spoke out. On Sunday, the Tribune reported on a memo it had obtained that: …shows that mine owners were trying to work around "poor roof conditions" before halting mining of the northern tunnels in early March after a "large bump occurred…resulting in heavy damage" in those tunnels... The memo was prepared by a mining engineering firm hired by Utah American, a mining subsidiary of Murray Energy, to study its retreat mining plans. Murray Energy, headed by CEO Robert Murray, owns the Crandall Canyon Mine.
New Questions Arise About Mine Stability 14 Aug 2007 As frustration mounts over the slow pace of the digging to free six trapped miners, more questions arose Tuesday about whether risky mining methods may have left parts of the coal mine dangerously unstable. Some mining companies consider the "retreat mining" methods used at Utah's Crandall Canyon so dangerous, they will leave behind coal rather than risk the safety of their workers.
Bush's lethal legacy: more executions --The US already kills more of its prisoners than almost any other country. Now the White House plans to cut the right of appeal of death row inmates... 15 Aug 2007 The Bush administration is preparing to speed up the executions of criminals who are on death row across the United States, in effect, cutting out several layers of appeals in the federal courts so that prisoners can be "fast-tracked" to their deaths. The US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales - Mr Bush's top legal adviser during the spree of executions in Texas in the 1990s - is putting finishing touches to regulations, inspired by recent anti-terrorism legislation, that would allow states to turn to the Justice Department, instead of the federal courts, as a key arbiter in deciding whether prisoners live or die.
Hastert Will Not Seek New Congressional Term 15 Aug 2007 Representative J. Dennis Hastert, the Illinois Republican who became House speaker at a moment of crisis for his party, has decided not to seek re-election in 2008, opening a second Republican-held House seat in his home state.
Prices for key foods are rising sharply 14 Aug 2007 The Labor Department’s most recent inflation data showed that U.S. food prices rose by 4.1 percent for the 12 months ending in June, but a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the price of milk, eggs and other essentials in the American diet are actually rising by double digits.
World of warming --U.S. loans hurt effort to limit climate change (The Sacramento Bee) 15 Aug 2007 While in office, President [sic] Bush has consistently refused to support a treaty to fight global warming. His stated reason: The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, ratified by 169 countries, doesn't do enough to prompt India, China and other developing nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. ...[T]he United States, through its international loan programs, was working to help countries develop with the least possible environmental impacts. Instead, it is heading in an opposite direction. As the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday, the U.S. Export- Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. are pumping billions of dollars into oil refineries and other fossil fuel projects, adding to the ever-growing carbon footprint of the developing world. U.S. financing is now helping to build an oil refinery in Jamnagar, India, that will emit nearly 9 million metric tons of CO2 annually. It is also financing 47 other fossil fuel projects in China, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and other countries.
Oil rises on Tropical Storm Erin, U.S. stockdraw 15 Aug 2007 Oil rose on Wednesday after a big drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and on concerns a Gulf of Mexico tropical storm could disrupt oil and natural gas output in the world's largest energy consumer. [Gee, too bad we don't have that oil refinery in Jamnagar, India, that US taxpayers are subsidizing.]
Tropical Storm Erin Forms, Bears Down on South Texas 15 Aug 2007 Tropical Storm Erin formed over the Gulf of Mexico today and is forecast to hit the south Texas coast tomorrow, while another system is gaining strength in the Atlantic Ocean and heading toward the Caribbean.
Iraq needs new government, says former PM Allawi 13 Aug 2007 Iraqi former prime minister Iyad Allawi on Monday blasted the current government for being ill-equipped to halt the slide toward all-out chaos, and urged a nonsectarian replacement of the regime. Allawi, who once plotted a CIA-backed coup against former president Saddam Hussein, is widely viewed as a darling of US powerbrokers and has relentlessly portrayed himself as a secular strongman [dictator] capable of reuniting the country.
Giuliani says U.S. will need long presence in Iraq 14 Aug 2007 U.S. troops will likely be fighting in Iraq when the next president takes office in 2009 and some U.S. forces will need to stay there to deter regional threats, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said on Tuesday.
U.S. launches major new offensive in Iraq 14 Aug 2007 U.S. forces launched a big offensive in Iraq with an airborne assault targeting al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] guerrillas on Tuesday, part of a major new countrywide push.
At least 175 killed in north Iraq bombings: army 14 Aug 2007 At least 175 people were killed when three suicide bombers driving fuel tankers attacked residential compounds home to the ancient minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq on Tuesday, an Iraqi army captain said. Captain Mohammad al-Jaad said at least another 200 people were wounded in the bombings in the Kahtaniya, al-Jazeera and Tal Uzair areas near the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, close to the Syrian border.
5 dead, a dozen missing in Iraq bridge bombing 14 Aug 2007 A suicide bomber detonated a truckload of explosives on a key bridge north of the Iraqi capital today, plunging the concrete span and at least three vans packed with passengers into the murky waters of a wide canal linking the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Police said at least five people were killed and a dozen were missing.
Five U.S. personnel killed in Iraq helicopter crash 14 Aug 2007 Five U.S. service personnel were killed when a military transport helicopter crashed during a routine flight west of Baghdad on Tuesday. The crash takes the death toll for the U.S. military to 10 in the past two days.
Four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq 14 Aug 2007 Four U.S. soldiers were killed on Monday in Iraq, the military said on Tuesday.
Soldier: Sergeant beat Iraq detainee with bat --Soldier also said he assaulted another prisoner when goaded by sergeant 13 Aug 2007 A soldier testified Monday that he saw a sergeant beat an Iraqi detainee with a baseball bat, then himself assaulted another detainee when goaded by the sergeant. Spc. Angel M. Bonilla was the first witness at Sgt. 1st Class Timothy L. Drake’s court-martial for the alleged beating and an attempted cover-up.
ABA targets CIA methods, secrets law --The lawyers' group wants Congress to override a Bush order allowing 'enhanced' interrogation methods. 14 Aug 2007 The American Bar Assn. voted Monday to urge Congress to override a Bush administration order authorizing the CIA to use interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, and sensory and sleep deprivation. The nation's largest lawyers' organization also called on Congress to give federal judges more oversight of government efforts to use the "state secrets" doctrine to throw out legal challenges to 'anti'-terrorism programs.
Life of house arrest awaits Guantanamo detainees on return to UK 14 Aug 2007 Five British residents held in Guantanamo Bay could be placed under control orders when they are returned to the UK following a request for their release from Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister.
Omar Khadr: young Canadian faces unprecedented trial (amnesty.ca) 14 June 2007 Please write polite letters to U.S. and Canadian authorities expressing concern about the military commissions and the treatment of Omar Khadr.
Police on alert at Heathrow camp 14 Aug 2007 Hundreds of climate demonstrators set up a tent camp next to Heathrow airport on Monday and threatened "direct action" at the world's busiest air hub to protest against global warming. Police with batons were on alert at the field where the camp is based, within one kilometre of the airport complex.
Protest to mark early Bush arrival 14 Aug 2007 Protest group The Stop Bush Coalition will hold a "stunt" protest to coincide with the early arrival of US President [sic] George Bush into Sydney for the Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit. President Bush will arrive on the evening of Tuesday 4 September and leave before the end of the APEC summit.
General Strike In USA on Sept. 11, 2007 --GENERAL STRIKE IN USA on Sept. 11, 2007 – 9/11 "No School * No Work * No Shopping. Hit the Streets" By Michael Collins 13 Aug 2007 A general strike is proposed for the United States on September 11, 2007, the sixth anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks on New York City and Arlington, Virginia. The general strike movement has no clearly named leadership.
Al Qaeda Videos May Be Doctored 13 Aug 2007 A computer expert has conducted extensive image analysis on many of the al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] propaganda videos and concluded that in many cases, the tapes were likely doctored to give a false impression of the speaker's location. Neal Krawetz, founder of Hacker Factor, a computer security and consulting firm, created a computer program which he uses to analyze screen frames from various al Qaeda videos, including those of al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al Zawahri and American al Qaeda commander Adam Gadahn [aka CIA agent, Adam Pearlman]. His software suggests that in many cases the sophisticated backgrounds were likely added after the video of the speaker was recorded... News commentators at the time remarked on how Zawahri, who many assumed to be hiding in a cave, was able to record a video message from a high-tech newsroom. Krawetz, however, says that background was very likely added after Zawahri filmed his message. "That's the fakest one so far," said Krawetz. Krawetz found six different layers on one JPEG from that video, implying the various background components were very likely added after Zawahri recorded his message...
U.S. cooperator pleads guilty to terrorism charges in Manhattan 13 Aug 2007 An American credited with playing a key part in a probe of an Oregon terror training camp pleaded guilty to terrorism charges Monday, admitting his role in the plot after his violation of a previous plea agreement let the government bring more serious charges against him.
Gonzales could get say in states' executions --Proposed rules would let the attorney general sign off on 'fast tracking' death penalty appeals. 14 Aug 2007 The Justice Department is putting the final touches on regulations that could give Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales important new sway over death penalty cases in California and other states, including the power to shorten the time that death row inmates have to appeal convictions to federal courts. The rules implement a little-noticed provision in last year's reauthorization of the Patriot Act that gives the attorney general the power to decide whether individual states are providing adequate counsel for defendants in death penalty cases. The authority has been held by federal judges.
Lawsuits May Illuminate Methods of Spy Program 14 Aug 2007 In 2003, Room 641A of a large telecommunications building in downtown San Francisco was filled with powerful data-mining equipment for a "special job" by the National Security Agency, according to a former AT&T technician. It was fed by fiber-optic cables that siphoned copies of e-mails and other online traffic from one of the largest Internet hubs in the United States, the former employee says in court filings. What occurred in the room is now at the center of a pivotal legal battle in a federal appeals court over the Bush regime's controversial spying program, including the monitoring that came to be publicly known as the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Tomorrow, a three-judge panel will hear arguments on whether the case, which may provide the clearest indication yet of how the spying program has worked, can go forward.
I Know What You Did Last Summer By Jonathan Alter 11 Aug 2007 I hate to sound melodramatic about it, but while everyone was at the beach or "The Simpsons Movie" on the first weekend in August, the U.S. government shredded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, the one requiring court-approved "probable cause" before Americans can be searched or spied upon... It's the plain truth of where we've come as a country, at the behest of a president [sic] who has betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution and with the acquiescence of Democratic congressional leaders who know better.
Learn from the fall of Rome, US warned 14 Aug 2007 The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned. David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called "chilling long-term simulations".
5 Reporters Ordered to Testify About Government Sources 14 Aug 2007 Five reporters must testify about their law enforcement sources in a former Army scientist’s lawsuit against the Justice Department, a federal judge in Washington ruled yesterday. The suit, filed by Steven J. Hatfill, a bioterrorism expert, contends that the government violated the federal Privacy Act by providing journalists with information about him in the F.B.I.’s investigation of the deadly [Cheney] anthrax mailings in 2001.
Venezuela to create oil services company, 'our own Halliburton' 14 Aug 2007 Venezuela is creating its own oil-field services company to reduce dependence on foreign contractors. The nation's top energy official, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, said today that the state-run oil company is starting its own version of Houston-based oil-field services company Halliburton to provide services within the oil-producing country.
Katrina Aid Goes Toward Football Condos 13 Aug 2007 With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium. About 10 condominium projects are going up in and around Tuscaloosa, and builders are asking up to $1 million for units with granite countertops, king-size bathtubs and 'Bama decor, including crimson couches and Bear Bryant wall art.
'Bush's brain' steps down [Yes, but we need all the other parts to step down, too.] 14 Aug 2007 He's been known as President [sic] George Bush's brain. But it seems the President will need to get through the last 18 months of his presidency without him. Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political adviser, announced overnight he is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective August 31 and returning to Texas, marking a turning point for the Bush p_Residency.
Cécilia Sarkozy 'too sick' for Bush picnic ... but not for shopping 14 Aug 2007 The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, on holiday in the US, attended an informal family picnic at George Bush's retreat in Maine on Saturday, sharing burgers in the name of Franco-US relations. But his wife, Cécilia, was unexpectedly absent, blaming a severe throat ailment that prevented her making the one-hour trip from the Sarkozys' rented villa in New Hampshire. But the fact that Mrs Sarkozy was spotted shopping with friends on both Friday and Sunday raised eyebrows in France.
Romney worth as much as $250 million 14 Aug 2007 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's vast wealth is spread over a dizzying array of foreign and domestic investments that at times have been sold to avoid conflicts with his public stances, the trustee of his blind trust said Monday. Romney and his wife, Ann, hold assets worth between $190 million and $250 million, his advisers said.
Romney portfolio has link to Sudan --The GOP candidate's trustee has recently sold other potentially controversial holdings. 14 Aug 2007 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney divested from companies doing business in Iran, but he still holds stock in an oil company that does business in Sudan -- where the government is accused of sponsoring genocide -- his financial disclosure report filed Monday shows. Romney, the wealthiest presidential contender, is worth $190 million to $250 million, with investments spread among stocks, treasuries and high-end funds.
Wolfowitz 'tried to censor World Bank on climate change' 14 Aug 2007 The Bush regime has consistently thwarted efforts by the World Bank to include global warming in its calculations when considering whether to approve major investments in industry and infrastructure, according to documents made public through a watchdog yesterday. On one occasion, the White House's pointman at the bank, the now disgraced Paul Wolfowitz, personally intervened to remove the words "climate change" from the title of a bank progress report and ordered changes to the text of the report to shift the focus away from global warming.
Bush to bolster Iraq troop surge as antiwar lobby gives ground 13 Aug 2007 President [sic] Bush plans to continue his Iraq troop surge well into next year after a string of positive reports [?] left Democrats increasingly powerless to end the war. Mr Bush, bolstered by growing public support for the surge [?] and recent admissions from war critics that military gains have been made, has begun a campaign to talk up the strategy before General David Petraeus’s critical progress report next month.
US 'surge' in Iraq 'likely to fail': British lawmakers 12 Aug 2007 The US "surge" of troops in Iraq is likely to fail, a British parliamentary committee said Monday as it delivered a critical report on London's foreign policy in the Middle East.
Iraq PM calls crisis conference for government --U.S. announces new offensive against extremists 13 Aug 2007 Iraq’s prime minister called a crisis conference in a bid to open a dialogue Tuesday among Iraq’s divided factions, shore up his shaky government and move the stalled political process. The U.S. military, meanwhile, pressed its crackdown on violence, announcing a new offensive against extremists on both sides of the sectarian divide — an operation called Phantom Strike to build on the successes during recent offensives in Baghdad and surrounding areas.
U.S. forces launch new offensive in Iraq 13 Aug 2007 U.S. and Iraqi forces launched an offensive against al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and "Iranian-supported" [?] Shi'ite militants across Iraq on Monday in anticipation of an expected surge in violence. U.S. commanders fear militants will step up attacks on U.S. soldiers or launch a "spectacular" attack on civilians to try to influence the debate over the war in Washington, where a keenly awaited 'progress' report on the new U.S. military strategy in Iraq is due to be presented to Congress in September. [The US launches 'spectacular' attacks on civilians *every day.*]
10 electricity workers killed, injured in U.S. shelling southern Samarra 13 Aug 2007 Eight electricity workers were killed and two others wounded when a U.S. aircraft fired at their vehicle in southern Samarra's neighborhood of al-Jalisiya, a local police source said on Saturday. The workers were installing electricity wires and cables in al-Jalisiya power station when a U.S. aircraft fired a rocket at their vehicle, the source told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI). [The US continues to destroy Iraq's infrastructure, so that Halliburton and KBR (and other Bush-friendly contractors) can get paid to 'rebuild' that which they destroyed.]
Iraq Contractors Accused in Shootings 11 Aug 2007 There are now nearly as many private contractors in Iraq as there are U.S. soldiers - and a large percentage of them are private security guards equipped with automatic weapons, body armor, helicopters and bullet-proof trucks. They operate with little or no supervision, accountable only to the firms employing them. This private army has been accused of indiscriminately firing at American and Iraqi troops, and of shooting to death an unknown number of Iraqi citizens.
US Army debuts armed ground robot in Iraq 13 Aug 2007 The US Army recently debuted the first armed unmanned ground system (UGS) in Iraq, marking a new milestone for unmanned systems. The Special Weapons Observation Remote reconnaissance Direct action System (SWORDS) is a version of the Foster Miller 3B robot that is outfitted with the Telepresent Rapid Aiming Platform (TRAP) remotely operated weapon station made by Precision Remotes.
U.S. market seen for Iraqi-made clothes 13 Aug 2007 Iraqi and American officials think Iraq's ailing economy could get a kick-start from American consumers interested in giving Iraqi-made clothes as Christmas presents. Deputy industry minister Sami Al-Araji said an American team led by Paul A. Brinkley, the deputy under secretary of defense for business transformation in Iraq, was in discussions with major American retailers like Sears and Wal-Mart to have the clothing on sale in a limited number of major cities by the holiday season. [Gee, I wonder the same slave labor the US uses for its embassy will be forced to make the clothes?]
US attorney general in Baghdad [Why? To instruct Bush's puppet dictatorship how to carry out as many war crimes as possible?] 12 Aug 2007 US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has visited Baghdad for talks with US and Iraqi officials on his third visit to Iraq. He was met by US General David Petraeus, the multinational force commander in Iraq, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a statement.
British soldier killed in southern Afghanistan 12 Aug 2007 A British soldier has been killed in an attack on his patrol base in southern Afghanistan. The soldier, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian regiment, was injured when the base in Helmand province came under attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, the Ministry of Defence said.
Homeless vets: a hidden crisis 12 Aug 2007 As an infantry medic, Ryan Svolto patched up soldiers wounded in combat in Iraq. Now, he is trying to fix his own wounded life after a recent stint at a Daytona Beach, Fla., homeless shelter. Svolto, 24, is one of a growing number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who joined the ranks of the homeless after returning home. Experts say a system already buckling under one of the nation's largest homeless populations might collapse under the weight of a new wave of veterans, many saddled with mental-health issues and crippling brain injuries.
Guantanamo Five could be 'a terrorist threat to Britain' 12 Aug 2007 Five Guantanamo Bay inmates that ministers want to bring to Britain are "extremely dangerous" with close ties to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], the Pentagon has warned. US officials disclosed details days after Gordon Brown's surprise decision to call for their release.
US terror interrogation went too far, experts say 13 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla had no history of mental illness when President [sic] Bush ordered him detained in 2002 as a suspected Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative. But he does now. The Muslim convert was subjected to prison conditions and interrogation techniques that took him past the breaking point, mental health experts say. Two psychiatrists and a psychologist who conducted detailed personal examinations of Mr. Padilla on behalf of his defense lawyers say his extended detention and interrogation at the US Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., left him with severe mental disabilities. All three say he may never recover.
Prosecutors in Padilla terror trial say he was 'star recruit' for terrorism support cell 13 Aug 2007 Jose Padilla was a "star recruit" for a terrorism support cell that provided Muslim extremist soldiers to fight around the globe with al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] to create fundamentalist Islamic regimes, prosecutors said Monday in closing arguments. The arguments mark the end of a three-month federal trial in which prosecutors have tried to prove that Padilla, 36, and two others provided support to terrorists.
US Adds Islamic Group to Blacklist 13 Aug 2007 The Bush regime on Monday placed on its terrorism blacklist an Islamist group in Lebanon blamed for major fighting at a Palestinian refugee camp there. The State Department announced that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has designated the al-Qaida[Qaeda]-inspired Fatah al-Islam... as a "specially designated global terrorist" group under an executive order aimed at cutting off finances to extremist organizations.
US doles out millions for street cameras --Local efforts raise privacy alarms 12 Aug 2007 The Department of Homeland Security is funneling millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a "surveillance society" in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost, privacy rights advocates warn. DHS will not say how much of its taxpayer-funded grants have gone to cameras.
16-year-olds to be support officers 13 Aug 2007 (UK) Two 16-year-olds have been recruited as community support officers, it has been confirmed. The teenagers are undergoing training after passing their assessments, said a Thames Valley Police spokesman. Depending on their role, the teenagers will have the authority to detain suspects until a police officer arrives, issue penalty notices, deal with minor offences and guard crime scenes.
LAX computer failure keeps thousands of fliers detained 13 Aug 2007 Weary international passengers were stuck at Los Angeles International Airport for hours, unable to set foot in the United States after a computer failure prevented customs from screening arrivals. Over 20,000 international passengers, Americans and foreigners, sat in four airport terminals and in 60 planes starting about 2 p.m. Saturday, when the computer system broke down, said Los Angeles World Airports spokesman Paul Haney.
KNBC Report: LAX Computer Glitch Recurs Early Monday 13 Aug 2007 The Customs and Border Protection computer glitch that stranded more than 20,000 inbound international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend recurred overnight, affecting about 1,700 inbound international passengers between 11:50 p.m. Sunday and 1:15 a.m. Monday, KNBC reported. The computer system helps officials identify people who have been placed on a no-fly list and who are denied entry into the United States as security risks.
Court Says Travelers Can't Avoid Airport Searches By David Kravets 10 Aug 2007 U.S. airline passengers near the security checkpoint can be searched any time and no longer can refuse consent by leaving the airport, the nation's largest federal appeals court ruled Friday... Citing threats of terrorism, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled passengers give up all rights to be free of warrantless searches once a "passenger places hand luggage on a conveyor belt for inspection" or "passes though a magnetometer."
RF-ID Giants Merge 09 Aug 2007 Applied Digital Solutions, a leading provider of identification and security technology, and Digital Angel Corporation, which develops RF-ID for people and animals, today announced that they have entered into a merger agreement. Under the agreement, Applied Digital and Digital Angel will create the world’s leading provider of identification, location and wellness [?] monitoring systems for people and animals.
Protesters set up camps by Heathrow 13 Aug 2007 Thousands of people are to join the Camp of Climate Change near Heathrow Airport to challenge the role of Aviation industry in global warming. The camp was set up between the villages of Sipson and Harlington today, close to London's Heathrow.
Heathrow protesters sneak under radar to set up camp early 13 Jul 2007 Climate-change campaigners yesterday set up a camp near Heathrow Airport two days earlier than planned. More than 1,500 activists are expected at the Camp for Climate Action, a week-long demonstration to highlight the link between aviation and global warming.
Fight Averted Over Bush Picks --Deal Avoids Recess Battle 13 Aug 2007 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has quietly shelved plans to hold the Senate in pro forma session this month after the White House agreed to refrain from making any executive appointments during the Senators’ August break. [Roll Call, paid subscription req'd.]
Cowardly Democrats give in to president on NSA wiretapping By Bill Press 13 Aug 2007 As they proved by their vote on the National Security Agency wiretap legislation, when push comes to shove, Democrats would rather fold than fight... There is no excuse - none - for Democrats to surrender to Mr. Bush on illegal wiretapping. Doing so was a huge, cowardly, shameful cop-out. Adding insult to injury, Democrats now insist that because, under the new legislation, Mr. Bush's expanded spy powers expire in six months, they'll fix everything six months from now... Once again, Mr. Bush will plead "terror" and Democrats will cave. Our Fourth Amendment rights could be gone forever.
Rove to Leave White House Aug. 31 13 Aug 2007 Karl Rove, President [sic] Bush's close friend and chief political strategist, announced Monday he will leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 years of the administration.
Karl Rove to leave White House at month's end --Bush's close friend, chief political strategist is latest senior official to resign 13 Aug 2007 Karl Rove, President [sic] Bush's close friend and chief political strategist, plans to leave the White House at the end of August, joining a lengthening line of senior officials heading for the exits in the final 1 1/2 years of the administration.
Thompson Drops Out of GOP Presidential Race --Former Wis. Governor Finished 6th In Iowa Straw Poll 12 Aug 2007 Amid a dismal showing in the Iowa straw poll, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson has dropped out of his race for the White House. His campaign has released a statement saying the Republican is leaving the campaign trail.
Murdoch taking aim at N.Y. Times 13 Aug 2007 Media billionaire Rupert Murdoch has made no secret of his desire to take aim at the New York Times once his News Corp. acquires Dow Jones & Co. and its flagship Wall Street Journal in a $5-billion deal expected to close this fall. Murdoch said during an earnings conference call last week that he wanted the financial newspaper to have "more coverage of national, international and nonbusiness news . . . all to better compete with the New York Times and other national newspapers." In private, Murdoch has been more blunt. "Rupert thinks the Times is vulnerable," a longtime senior executive said. "He's going to go after them."
Met Office says world is warming up faster than at any time in 100 years 10 Aug 2007 The world is warming up faster than at any time in the past 100 years, according to a global climate forecast that reveals Britain will be 0.3C hotter by 2014. Scientists at the Met Office's Hadley Centre have unveiled the first ten-year climate prediction model.
Record-breaking heat in Arizona 12 Aug 2007 An excessive heat warning is in effect Monday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Maricopa and northwestern Pinal counties... A record high temperature of 114 degrees was set at Phoenix Sky Harbor on Sunday. That broke the old record of 113 degrees set in 1933. More record heat is in the works for Monday, with a forecast high in Phoenix of 113 degrees.
Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years 12 Aug 2007 Even as they call for an end to the war and pledge to bring the troops home, the Democratic presidential candidates are setting out positions that could leave the United States engaged in Iraq for years.
Dick Cheney '94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire 12 Aug 2007 (video) Transcript: Q: Do you think the U.S., or U.N. forces, should have moved into Baghdad? Dick Cheney: No. Q: Why not? A: Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? ...It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing was casualties... And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.
'We're talking tip-of-the-iceberg stuff here.' U.S. Pays Millions In Cost Overruns For Security in Iraq 12 Aug 2007 The U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on 'reconstruction' projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed. The two companies, Aegis Defence Services and Erinys Iraq, signed their original Defense Department contracts in May 2004. By July of this year, the contracts supported a private force that had grown to about 2,000 employees serving the Corps of Engineers.
Al Basrah Oil Terminal Renovation Project Nears Completion 11 Aug 2007 The Gulf Region Division’s oil sector neared the finish line at the end of July with the final certification of work on the Al Basrah Oil Terminal. The terminal, known as ABOT, is Iraq’s primary avenue for crude oil export. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [US taxpayers] invested $67.5 million to rehabilitate the export facility 50 km offshore in the Arabian Gulf. The terminal was identified in July 2003 as a key facility for immediate repairs by the Ministry of Oil and the Corp's Task Force-Restore Iraqi Oil. [Gee, too bad there wasn't $67.5 million for a Corp's 'Task Force-Restore New Orleans.']
Iran, Iraq sign oil pipeline deal 11 Aug 2007 Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to build pipelines for the transfer of Iraqi crude oil and oil products, the state-run Iran news network Saturday quoted the oil ministry as announcing. The 32-inch (81-centimetre) pipeline will bring crude from the southern Iraqi port of Basra to the southwestern Iranian port of Abadan.
Italy probe unearths huge Iraq arms deal 12 Aug 2007 In Rome's Fiumicino Airport, police dug quietly through a traveler's checked baggage and found a catalog of weapons. Their discovery led investigators down a monthslong trail of telephone and e-mail intercepts, as Iraqi and Italian partners haggled over shipping more than 100,000 Russian-made automatic weapons into the bloodbath of Iraq. As the secretive, $40 million deal neared completion, Italian authorities moved in, making arrests and breaking it up. The Associated Press has learned that Iraqi government officials were involved in the deal, apparently without the knowledge of the U.S. Baghdad command [!?!] — a departure from the usual pattern of U.S.-overseen arms purchases. Iraqi middlemen in the Italian deal, in intercepted e-mails, claimed the arrangement had official American approval.
Sweden halts Iraq air traffic 11 Aug 2007 All Swedish air traffic to Iraq has been canceled until further notice, the Swedish Civil Aviation Authority has announced. The decision was taken on Friday afternoon, after it was revealed that a Swedish passenger aircraft had been shot at in north-eastern Iraq as it took off on Wednesday night, according to Swedish news agency TT.
Army warns on Basra deaths 12 Aug 2007 Gordon Brown has been warned by senior army officers that delaying withdrawal from Iraq will lead to an increase in the number of British troops being killed. Senior officers believe an imminent concentration of troops in one base at Basra international airport is bound to lead to the Iraqi militias intensifying their attacks.
US prepares to plug hole left by British troops 12 Aug 2007 America is preparing to pour thousands of extra troops into southern Iraq amid fears that Gordon Brown is committed to withdrawing British troops from the region early next year. The White House and the Pentagon are understood to have drawn up detailed plans to secure the vital "umbilical cord" link road between Baghdad and Kuwait when the British depart.
UN staff forced back into Iraq to provide 'fig-leaf cover' for US 11 Aug 2007 The United Nations is to return kicking and screaming to Iraq under an internationally-approved plan for it to have an expanded political role in support of the Iraqi government. The 15-member UN security council yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution authorising the UN to return to Iraq almost four years to the day that it pulled out most of its staff after a deadly car bomb that killed its envoy. The resolution, co-sponsored by the US and Britain, will provide a fig-leaf, if needed, to cover a withdrawal of 'coalition' forces from Iraq in the coming months, and pick up the pieces afterwards. But the US and Britain deny any such intention.
5 U.S. Soldiers Killed South of Baghdad 12 Aug 2007 A sniper shot and killed a U.S. soldier, then lured his comrades to a booby-trapped house where four more troops were killed in a complex attack believed to have been the work of al-Qaida in Iraq, a U.S. general said Sunday.
Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq --Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis. By Peter Beaumont 12 Aug 2007 When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain's assistant who has come to bless a patrol. 'Why don't you tell the truth? Why don't you journalists write that this army is exhausted?'
Pat Tillman's Mom Calls Censured General 'The Scapegoat' By Michael David Smith 11 Aug 2007 Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who was censured for lying about the death in Afghanistan of former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman, says he's being made the fall guy for the Army. And Mary Tillman, Pat's mom, agrees.
Coalition base in Afghanistan attacked twice in one day 11 Aug 2007 Taliban militants attacked an occupation military base in southern Afghanistan for the second time Saturday and the third time this week, the U.S.-led occupation said. It warned the ambushes could "possibly be a rehearsal for a much bigger attack, possibly an attempt to completely overrun the post."
US worried about nukes post-Musharraf 11 Aug 2007 A report circulated by CNN on Friday claims that United States military intelligence officials are urgently assessing how secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons would be if President General Pervez Musharraf were to leave office. The US has full knowledge about the location of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, according to the assessment. But the key questions, officials told CNN, are what would happen and who would control the weapons in the hours after any change in government in case General Musharraf were killed or overthrown. The United States is not certain as to who might start controlling nuclear launch codes and weapons if that shift in power were to take place.
Joint war games on despite Left protests: Govt 12 Aug 2007 Even if it leaves the Left red in the face, the government has no intention of rolling back the forthcoming gigantic five-nation naval war games in the Bay of Bengal, with the US as a major participant.
Palestinians arrest al-Qaeda 'poseurs' 08 Dec 2002 Palestinian security forces have arrested a group of Palestinians for collaborating with Israel and posing as operatives of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terrorist network, a senior official said yesterday. The arrests come two days after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon charged al-Qaeda militants were operating in Gaza and in Lebanon. "The Palestinian Authority arrested a group of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel, posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories," said the official, on condition of anonymity. The official did not say how many suspects had been arrested, nor where or when they were nabbed.
Police to use terror laws on Heathrow climate protesters --Government has encouraged use of stop and search and detention without charge 11 Aug 2007 Armed police will use anti-terrorism powers to "deal robustly" with climate change protesters at Heathrow next week... Up to 1,800 extra officers will be drafted in to prevent an estimated 1,500 people disrupting the airport over the period of the camp for climate change, which is due to begin on Tuesday. The police report makes it clear that the government has encouraged police forces to make greater use of terrorism powers "especially the use of stop and search powers under s44 Terrorism Act 2000".
New York City Police Scale Back Checkpoints 12 Aug 2007 The New York City police scaled back its deployment of additional security checkpoints and radiological sensors in Lower Manhattan yesterday, after determining that a report of a possible radioactive attack against the city was unsubstantiated. The messages, according to Debka.com [a Jerusalem-based site], detailed planned attacks against New York, Los Angeles and Miami using trucks carrying radioactive bombs.
Israeli web site sparks terror alert 11 Aug 2007 New York authorities returned the alertness level to normal after having taken extra counterterrorism precautions over the weekend in response to what they said was an unsubstantiated radiological threat to the city reported by the Israeli Web site, DEBKAfile.
Terror threat Web site called unreliable 12 Aug 2007 The reported threat of a dirty bomb attack in New York City that led to heightened security this weekend came from a Jerusalem-based Web site [DEBKAfile] that claims more than a million daily readers, but is criticized by intelligence experts as unreliable.
Canadian Bar Association calls for Khadr's release 12 Aug 2007 The Canadian Bar Association is calling for a Canadian detainee held at a U.S. military prison to be immediately released and turned over to Canada. The Bar Association is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to call on the U.S. government to turn 20-year-old Omar Khadr over to Canadian law enforcement officials to be dealt with under Canadian law. In a letter to Harper, CBA President J. Parker MacCarthy warns that continuing to hold Khadr in Guantanamo Bay is an affront to the rule of law.
US high court refuses to halt Guantanamo inmate's repatriation 11 Aug 2007 The US Supreme Court Friday refused to stop the repatriation by the US government of an Algerian inmate [Ahmed Belbacha] at the Guantanamo Bay prison who fears he will be tortured if he returns to his country.
CD-ROM tracks hatred and terrorism websites 11 Aug 2007 A new study lists a white supremacist website and an online jihad group as two of Canada's most problematic sources of hate and terror on the Internet. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies' Digital Terrorism and Hate 2007 CD-ROM report is an international effort involving researchers in Los Angeles, Toronto, Jerusalem, Paris, New York and Buenos Aires. It compiles more than 600 of the world's most troubling websites. [LOL! They have a feature: 'Report a Terrorist or Hate Site Now.' Send email@example.com your suggestions! I submitted whitehouse.gov and dhs.gov.]
Race attacks soar after terror strike 12 Aug 2007 Racist incidents across Scotland have soared following the terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport. New figures reveal a surge in cases of violent attacks, abuse and harassment in the four weeks after the car bombing, with the worst cases including attempts to blow up an Asian shop and a mosque. The biggest increase has been recorded in the Strathclyde region, where there were more than 250 incidents, of which more than 10% were directly linked to the airport
Protesters show up in force near Cheney home 12 Aug 2007 Some 200 people gathered in a Wilson field Saturday afternoon for a "Peace Rally" to protest the Iraq war and send a message to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, who owns a home just up the road.
Romney Jokes About Cheating in Poll By Garance Franke-Ruta 11 Aug 2007 Last night, at the pre-Straw Poll "Ronstock" concert at the Bali Satay House in Ames, a Ron Paul volunteer played back a recording of competing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joking about cheating in a State Fair popularity contest, stuffing the ballot box in Ames, and dodging questions across the state... Romney also joked about stuffing the ballot box at today's Straw Poll. "At 7 o'clock they will count the ballots. We will stuff the ballot box, I hope," he said on the recording. And he joked about cheating in the Corn Poll, the bi-partisan State Fair popularity contest in which attendees are asked to "cast your kernel" by placing a kernel of corn in a jar for their favored candidate to show their support. "I was a little dismayed because I saw Barack Obama, he had a lot of corn in that Mason jar," quipped Romney. "But I was number one - so thanks for cheating!"
Romney Leadership Team Member Overseeing Straw Poll By Birdlady 09 Aug 2007 The Iowa GOP is facing possible suit over their use of the same Diebold machines that were just de-certified. They are claiming of course, that there is nothing to worry about since the voting procedure will be conducted with the assistance and oversight of the Story County Auditor's Office. If we look here, we see the Story County Auditor is Mary Mosiman. Mary Mosiman also happens to be on Mitt Romney's "Romney for President [Story County] Leadership Team"... It's also worth noting that according to this article, Romney's Commonwealth PAC gave State Auditor David A. Vaudt $1,000 in 2004.
Voting Machine Malfunction Causes Delay 11 Aug 2007 The results of the Iowa Republican Straw poll have been delayed for more than an hour tonight as officials recount about 1,500 ballots from one 'voting' machine. Mary Tiffany, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Iowa, said officials were forced to count ballots by hand after one of the 'voting' machines malfunctioned while tabulating. Optical scan ballots – not punch cards – are being used in this non-binding straw poll.
Judge Refuses to Stop Iowa Straw Poll 11 Aug 2007 A federal judge on Friday refused to issue an injunction to stop the Iowa Straw Poll after a lawsuit was filed over the constitutionality of the 'voting' process used at the event. "In the absence of some legal violation, the Republican Party can run their (event) however they want," Judge James Gritzner said in his decision, which quickly followed the hearing because the straw poll was scheduled to start Saturday morning. The lawsuit was filed late Thursday, and the judge said there wasn't adequate notice given to the defendants, who were served early Friday morning. The defendants included State Auditor David Vaudt, Story County Commissioner of Elections [Romney troll] Mary Mosiman and Republican Party Chairman Ray Hoffmann.
Romney Solicits Straw Poll Votes from Democratic Campaign Staffers 11 Aug 2007 The campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney actively solicited Straw Poll votes from staff members of at least two Democratic presidential campaigns in the days leading up to the Straw Poll here in Ames. Multiple sources confirm that, days before the Straw Poll, paid staff members from the Mitt Romney for President campaign entered more than one Democratic campaign field office in Ames to invite the paid staff in those offices to vote for Gov. Romney at the event.
Romney Wins Iowa GOP Straw Poll 11 Aug 2007 As expected, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 'won' an easy victory in a high-profile Iowa Republican Party Straw Poll. Romney had spent millions of dollars and months of effort on an event that was skipped by two of his major rivals.
RNC Voter "Audit" Letter Raises Questions By Paul Kiel 10 Aug 2007 What 83 year-old William Sidwell of Queen City, Missouri found in his mailbox last week scared him. It was a letter from the Republican National Committee, but it seemed to bear grave news: "Our records show that you registered as a member of our Party in Schuyler County, MO," the letter said. "But a recent audit of your Party affiliation turned up some irregularities." Audit? Irregularities? Was he in trouble? Were they threatening him? ...You can see the letter, and the accompanying "Voter Registration Verification and Audit Form," right here... The letter, it turns out, is just a misleading pitch for a contribution to the RNC -- one of the "irregularities" cited in the letter is that "I cannot find a record of you taking a single action in support of the Republican Party -- not locally, not nationally!"
Robert Murray, Murray Energy chairman, is GOP backer 07 Aug 2007 The chairman of the Ohio-based company that owns the Utah coal mine where six workers are trapped is a strong Republican backer... and an outspoken critic of concerns about global warming. Robert E. Murray and Murray Energy Corp.'s political action committee have been active contributors to GOP candidates. The Murray Energy Corp. Political Action Committee has given more than $155,000 to Republican candidates, including $30,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, since 2005, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Mine company CEO sues W.Va. Democrats 11 Aug 2007 A mine company executive sued the state Democratic Party over a TV ad that he claims defamed him by quoting him as saying the deaths of 14 miners last year were statistically insignificant. A methane explosion at International Coal Group's Sago Mine killed 12 men in northern West Virginia on Jan. 2, 2006. Seventeen days later, a conveyer belt fire at Massey's Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine in southern West Virginia killed two miners. The newspaper quoted Blankenship, a registered Republican who spent $3.6 million targeting Democratic candidates in 2006 elections, as saying he believed that the type of explosion that occurred in the two accidents is rare and statistically insignificant.
Draft air permit to get public comment soon 11 Aug 2007 Carbon monoxide emissions from the BP oil refinery in Lake County will rise significantly under a final draft air pollution permit that's due to receive public review soon, a report today said. BP officials told The Times of Hammond that carbon monoxide, a major contributor to ground-level ozone, will be the only pollutant to increase under the new permit... The draft permit is being reviewed by BP officials and should soon be opened to public comment, managers of the oil giant said in an interview with The Times.
Winnipeg polar bear oldest in world 11 Aug 2007 A Winnipeg zoo is home to the world's oldest living polar bear, Guinness World Records says. Debby, who lives at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo, is 40 years old — double the life expectancy of most polar bears that live in the wild. At a celebration of her Guinness record later this month, zookeepers plan to feed Debby some of her favourite treats — smoked goldeye fish, veggie dogs and a fish frozen inside a block of ice. [Quick action! Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat.]
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