August 2008 Archives, Page Two
History echoes all around as Obama steps up to big speech 28 Aug 2008 On a historic day echoing the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, Democrat Barack Obama on Thursday became the first African-American to accept a major-party presidential nomination and immediately set a JFK-like goal: to end America’s dependence on Middle East oil within 10 years.
Text of Barack Obama's acceptance speech --Barack Obama's speech Thursday accepting the Democratic Party's nomination for president, as prepared for delivery 28 Aug 2008 Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Gore Rallies Convention Delegates With Call for Change 28 Aug 2008 Former President Al Gore issued a ringing call this evening for a change of direction in the nation's policies and castigated those who defend the status quo in his speech at Invesco Field on the final night of the Democratic National Convention. "Why is this election so close?" Gore asked the more than 70,000 people gathered at the football stadium the Denver Broncos call home. "I believe this election is close today because the forces of the status quo are desperately afraid of the change Obama represents."
Gore compares Obama to Lincoln 28 Aug 2008 Former President Al Gore compared Barack Obama to a past president who opponents claimed was inexperienced, but led the country through a time of change and helped heal deep divisions: Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, a Republican, had spent eight years in the Illinois statehouse and a term in Congress when he was elected president, service almost identical to Obama's. "The experience Lincoln's supporters valued most in that race was his powerful ability to inspire hope in the future at a time of impasse," Gore said. "In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning. And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition," he said.
Transcript: Al Gore's speech at Invesco Field --Former President Al Gore spoke Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention events at Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado. 28 Aug 2008 Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again. Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous.
Democratic National Convention: Biden makes surprise speaking appearance 28 Aug 2008 Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden has made an unscheduled appearance at Invesco Field, touting the "open convention" at Denver's football stadium. Biden told the delegates: "We're here for the millions of Americans who have been knocked down, to send a message together to send a message that we're going to get back up as a nation."
Chalabi aide arrested on suspicion of Baghdad bombings 28 Aug 2008 U.S. forces have arrested a deputy of Ahmad Chalabi, who was once the Bush regime's favorite Iraqi politician, and implicated him in bombings that killed Americans and Iraqis, Chalabi and Iraqi government officials said Thursday. The U.S. military alleged that the arrested official [Ali Faisal al Lami] was working with the "highest echelons" of the Iranian "special groups" criminals, referring to what the U.S. military says are Iranian-backed militias operating in Iraq. Chalabi once had an enormous following among conservatives in Congress and the Bush administration. Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and the Pentagon touted him as a potential head of state in Iraq and used intelligence from his exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, to build the case for invading Iraq. However, much of that information was found to be bogus [like the Bush regime, itself].
US spending 'more money than ever' on contractors in Iraq 28 Aug 2008 The United States is spending more money than ever on private security contractors in Iraq. This year, spending on mercenaries, who protect diplomats, civilian facilities and supply convoys, is projected to exceed $1.2 billion, according to federal contract and budget data obtained by USA TODAY. Most of that bill -- about $1 billion -- is State Department spending, which is up 13% over 2007. The remaining $200 million covers Pentagon contracts.
2 in military accused of taking bribes for contracts 28 Aug 2008 Two U.S. military personnel and several contractors allegedly exchanged nearly $100,000 to arrange contracts worth more than $1 million at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, according to bribery and conspiracy indictments unsealed Wednesday. The two military personnel and a co-conspirator allegedly accepted three payments of $30,000, one payment for each of three Department of Defense contracts, according to the indictments unsealed at U.S. District Court in Chicago.
KBR sued for forcing Nepalese workers to Iraq 28 Aug 2008 One of America's biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and murdered. According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the Nepalese workers were recruited in 2004 in their home country by KBR and its Jordanian contractors, Daoud & Partners, to work as kitchen staff in a luxury hotel in Amman. Once they reached the Jordanian capital, however, their passports were taken from them and they were sent to Iraq. While travelling in an unprotected convoy, the Nepalis were kidnapped and later executed.
DynCorp awarded $18.1M contract in Afghanistan --DynCorp awarded $18.1 million contract for latest construction project in Afghanistan 26 Aug 2008 Government contractor DynCorp International Inc. said Tuesday it has been awarded an $18.1 million contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a construction project in Afghanistan. The company will build facilities for the Afghanistan National Civil Order Police in the country's Helmand province, including offices, living and operational facilities, motor pool guard towers and a perimeter wall for 305 police personnel with the Patrol Unit Brigade Headquarters and Patrol Battalion. [See: US: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 "Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]
House Oversight Chair Henry Waxman Calls for Cancellation of Blackwater's Contract in Iraq 28 Aug 2008 In an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill, Congressman Henry Waxman, chair of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls on Sen. Barack Obama to cancel the private military firm Blackwater’s Iraq contract if Obama is elected president. Serious questions remain about what Obama will do with this massive private shadow army in Iraq. [Obama better kick them out, like Hillary tried to do.]
firm to train Canadian troops 27 Aug 2008 Canadian soldiers
could get training from a U.S. company closely linked to Blackwater
Federal jury acquits ex-Marine in Iraqis' deaths --Verdict is the first time a civilian jury has weighed in on the law of war 28 Aug 2008 A former Marine accused of killing unarmed Iraqi detainees was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter Thursday in a first-of-its-kind federal trial. The jury took six hours to find Jose Luis Nazario Jr. not guilty of charges that he killed or caused others to kill four unarmed detainees on Nov. 9, 2004, in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
Iraq and China agree to $3 billion oil service deal 27 Aug 2008 Iraq and China have agreed the terms of a $3 billion oil service contract, Iraq's oil minister said on Wednesday, announcing the first major oil contract with a foreign firm since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Leaked UK report damns Iraq war planning By Julian Assange 05 Aug 2008 A leaked UK military report into the Iraq war released to the public by Wikileaks. The sensitive 108 page report, written in late 2006, damns UK and US war planning, which "ran counter to potential Geneva Convention obligations" -- and lead directly to the post invasion collapse of Iraqi society: "leaders should not start an operation without thinking...it is not enough just to identify the desired end-state". The report reveals that Whitehall had been secretly planning the war during 2002... Although the UK wanted UN security council approval, the UK found itself roped to a US ideological agenda and timetable: "the UK had to work to a timetable and strong ideological views set in the United States. As one Senior Officer put it: 'the train was in Grand Central Station, and was leaving at a time which we did not control.'" The combined secrecy and ideology was a planning disaster that directly lead to the collapse of Iraqi society. The report argues the result was a breach of Geneva convention obligations, for which coalition governments are legally responsible. The US attitude to human rights and "collateral damage" also bothered the UK military. As did the way the United States interrogated ("debriefed") detainees.
Afghan President pardons men convicted of bayonet gang rape 24 Aug 2008 The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has pardoned three men who had been found guilty of gang raping a woman in the northern province of Samangan. The woman, Sara, and her family found out about the pardon only when they saw the rapists back in their village. The men were freed discreetly but the rape itself was public and brutal.
Russia wins backing from China 28 Aug 2008 Russia today won support from China and Central Asian states in its standoff with the West over the Georgia conflict as the European Union said it was weighing sanctions against Moscow. Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev said he hoped the "united position'' of a summit of Central Asian nations would "serve as a serious signal to those who try to turn black into white."
Russia to respond militarily to U.S. missile shield 27 Aug 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will have to respond militarily to the deployment of elements of a U.S. missile shield in Central Europe. The deal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland was reached in mid-August, and followed the signing of an agreement on July 8 by the U.S. and Czech foreign ministries to place a U.S. radar in the Czech Republic.
'We can see a rehearsal for an attack on Iran.' Russian analyst points to link between Georgian attack and Iran 27 Aug 2008 A senior Russian military analyst said on Wednesday that the U.S. and NATO by arming Tbilisi used the conflict in Georgia as a dress rehearsal for a future military operation in Iran. Col. Gen Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy of Geopolitical Studies, told a news conference at RIA Novosti, "We are close to a serious conflict - U.S. and NATO preparations on a strategic scale are ongoing. In the operation the West conducted on Georgian soil against Russia - South Ossetians were the victims or hostages of it - we can see a rehearsal for an attack on Iran. There is a great deal of "new features" that today are being fine tuned in the theater of military operations."
Putin: US orchestrated conflict in Georgia 28 Aug 2008 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Thursday of pushing Georgia toward war and said he suspects a connection to the U.S. presidential campaign -- a contention the [lying sacks of sh*t at the] White House dismissed as "patently false." In another sign of unraveling Russia-U.S. ties, Putin said that 19 U.S. poultry producers will be barred from exporting their products to Russia.
Prosecutors seek to slash Abramoff prison term 27 Aug 2008 The 'Justice' Department on Wednesday recommended a dramatic reduction in the prison sentence of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who became the key witness against lawmakers and congressional aides he spent years corrupting. Prosecutors asked federal judges in Washington and Florida to shave years of prison time off his sentence, citing his work in an FBI investigation that sent numerous powerful people to prison and contributed to the Republican Party's loss of Congress.
Warning on voting machines reveals oversight failure --The federal Election Assistance Administration, created in 2002, took over the testing responsibility in 2005, but has yet to certify a single voting machine. 24 Aug 2008 Disclosure of an election computer glitch that could drop ballot totals for entire precincts is stirring new worries that an unofficial laboratory testing system failed for years to detect an array of flaws in $1.5 billion worth of voting equipment sold nationwide since 2003. Texas-based Premier Elections Solutions last week alerted at least 1,750 jurisdictions across the country that special precautions are needed to address the problem in tabulation software affecting all 19 of its models dating back a decade. Computer scientists, some state officials and election watchdog groups allege that the NASED-sponsored testing system was a recipe for disaster, shrouded in secrecy, and allowing equipment makers to help design the tests.
Foreign journalists flock to Denver 28 Aug 2008 The nomination of Barack Obama isn’t just America’s story. More than 2,000 foreign journalists have flocked to Denver to cover the Democratic National Convention.
Dems choose Obama in thunderous acclamation 28 Aug 2008 Barack Obama stepped triumphantly into history Wednesday night, the first black American to win a major party presidential nomination, as thousands of Democrats transformed their convention hall into a joyful, shouting celebration. Former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton asked delegates to the party convention to make their verdict unanimous "in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory." And they did, with a roar. Competing chants of "Obama" and "Yes we can" surged up from the convention floor as the outcome of a carefully scripted roll call of the states was announced.
Biden formally nominated for No. 2 Democratic spot 27 Aug 2008 Veteran Sen. Joe Biden accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination on Wednesday and hailed running mate Barack Obama as a wise leader who will take the United States in a new direction and out of the Iraq war. Biden heaped praise on the first-term senator, who will accept the party's nomination as presidential candidate in a speech in Denver on Thursday, as an inspirational force for needed change.
Transcript: Joe Biden --Remarks as prepared for delivery to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night by Sen. Joe Biden. 27 Aug 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama Moves Ahead, 48% to 42% --Democratic candidate gains in Monday through Wednesday interviewing 28 Aug 2008 Democratic candidate Barack Obama has gained ground in the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking average from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and now leads Republican John McCain among registered voters by a 48% to 42% margin.
Iraq veterans endorse Obama 27 Aug 2008 Iraq war veterans brought their military credibility to the podium on Wednesday and endorsed Sen. Barack Obama as the best candidate to lead the military and help veterans. Seeking to bolster Obama's credentials on security issues, Obama was formally nominated at the Democratic convention by Michael Wilson, 33, of Melbourne, Fla., an Air Force medic who served in Iraq. Wilson, a Republican, said Obama has wisdom and courage "to talk to our enemies and consult with our allies."
3,000 march in largest demonstration of DNC 27 Aug 2008 Marching behind a police vehicle that flashed the words "Follow Us. Welcome to Denver." on an electronic sign, at least 3,000 Iraq war veterans and anti-war protesters made their way through downtown Denver on Wednesday during the largest demonstration of the Democratic National Convention to date.
Rove tried to kill Lieberman VP pick 27 Aug 2008 Republican strategist Karl Rove called Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (R-Israel) late last week and urged him to contact Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration, according to three sources familiar with the conversation. Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.
Oracle's Ellison Earns Scrutiny With 38% Pay Raise 28 Aug 2008 Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, the fourth-richest man in America, is drawing criticism from some shareholders for a $72 million pay package that's 12 times bigger than the median pay of CEOs in the technology industry.
Industry groups file lawsuit over polar bear rule [F*ckers] 28 Aug 2008 Five industry groups have sued the Interior Department over a rule to protect the polar bear that they say unfairly singles out business operations in Alaska for their contribution to global warming. Groups representing the oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing industries asked a federal judge Wednesday to ensure that laws designed to protect the bear, which was recently designated a threatened species, are not used to block projects that release heat-trapping gases in the state.
FEMA rapped for denying flood aid to Rensselaer 28 Aug 2008 (NY) City and Rensselaer County officials criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency for saying the city doesn't have enough damage from its Aug. 11 floods to qualify for assistance. "It looks like Hurricane Katrina isn't the only things FEMA has screwed up," County Legislator Michael Stammel, R-Rensselaer, said.
Orleans Braces as Gustav Set to Follow Katrina 28 Aug 2008 Almost
three years to the day after
Gustav kills nearly 70 in Caribbean, aims at U.S. 28 Aug 2008 Tropical Storm Gustav was blamed on Thursday for at least 68 deaths in the Caribbean and U.S. forecasters said it could hit New Orleans and Gulf of Mexico oil fields as a potentially powerful hurricane next week.
'I have great concern that these hearings will be virtually or exclusively classified, closed to the public and, I might add, to the detainees.' Judge fears secret hearings over Guantanamo Bay 27 Aug 2008 A federal judge [U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon] overseeing cases against dozens of Guantanamo Bay prisoners said Wednesday that he fears the public -- and the prisoners themselves -- will be locked out of the courtroom when evidence in the case is scrutinized for the first time. Hundreds of prisoners are awaiting hearings in a Washington federal court in the coming months to determine whether they were properly labeled enemy combatants and imprisoned without being charged.
U.S. Officers Executed Iraqis, Statements Say --After removing the blindfolds and handcuffs, the three soldiers shoved the four bodies into the canal. 26 Aug 2008 In March or April 2007, three noncommissioned United States Army officers, including a first sergeant, a platoon sergeant and a senior medic, killed four Iraqi prisoners with pistol shots to the head as the men stood handcuffed and blindfolded beside a Baghdad canal, two of the soldiers said in sworn statements. After the murders, the first sergeant told the other two to remove the men’s bloody blindfolds and plastic handcuffs, according to the statements made to Army investigators, which were obtained by The New York Times.
Top U.S. Marine sees shift from Iraq to Afghanistan 27 Aug 2008 The top U.S. Marine officer on Wednesday said he could reduce his 25,000-strong force in the former al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] stronghold of Iraq's Anbar province to reinforce military operations against a growing Taliban threat in Afghanistan. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway told reporters the once-restive province west of Baghdad could be turned over to Iraqi security control within days, thanks to the sharp decline in violence after [bribed] Sunni tribal leaders switched allegiance from al Qaeda to the U.S. military.
US and Russian warships line up in dispute over Georgia --Russians unhappy with US for using military craft to deliver 'relief' supplies 27 Aug 2008 US and Russian warships took up positions in the Black Sea today in a risky war of nerves on opposing sides of the Georgia conflict. With the Russians effectively controlling Georgia's main naval base of Poti, Moscow also dispatched the Moskva missile cruiser and two smaller craft on "peacekeeping" duties at the port of Sukhumi on the coast of Abkhazia, the breakaway region that the Kremlin recognised as independent yesterday. The Americans... cancelled the scheduled docking in Poti of the US Coast Guard vessel, the Dallas, and instead sent it to the southern Georgian-controlled port of Batumi, 200km (124 miles) from the Russian ships, where it delivered 'humanitarian' aid.
David Miliband tells Russia it must avoid starting a new Cold War 27 Aug 2008 David Miliband launched one of his strongest attacks on Russia when he told the Kremlin it has a "big responsibility" to avoid a new Cold War. During an official visit to Ukraine, the British Foreign Secretary accused Russia of trying to "redraw the map" of Europe by recognising Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. [The US, Israel and Georgia are dying to start a hot one, preferably before the 2008 'elections.']
North Korea to Stay on Terrorism Blacklist, U.S. Says 27 Aug 2008 North Korea will stay on a U.S. terrorism blacklist until a mechanism is in place to verify its nuclear dossier, the White House said, after the government said it stopped disabling a reactor to protest a delay in its removal.
Electronic binoculars from Northrop Grumman to detect threats through brain activity 23 Aug. 2008 Everyone who has ever watched the Star Wars films has probably at one moment wished they had Jedi abilities such as mind control or what Lucas called Jedi reflexes – knowing something will happen a second before it does. A team led by Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems Sector is looking to bring a similar threat detection capability to warfighters as part of an advanced research contract to develop a panoramic day/night optical system that will utilize human brain activity to detect, analyze, and alert foot-soldiers to possible threats.
Bush steps up fight over US congressional authority 27 Aug 2008 The Bush administration is raising the stakes in a court fight that could change the balance of power between the White House and the U.S. Congress. Justice Department lawyers said Wednesday that they will soon ask a federal appeals court not to force the president's top advisers to comply with congressional subpoenas next month. President [sic] George W. Bush argues Congress does not have the authority to demand information from his aides.
White House cannot delay aides' testimony: judge 26 Aug 2008 A U.S. judge ruled against the Bush regime in its fight with Congress over a probe into the firings of U.S. attorneys by refusing on Tuesday to delay an order that current and former White House aides comply with congressional subpoenas. Federal judge John Bates ruled that he would not put off his July order that former White House counsel Harriet Miers testify to Congress, and that Chief of Staff Josh Bolten surrender documents related to the 2006 firings. He said on Tuesday that the administration had failed to make its case that the order should be delayed while the administration appeals it.
Clinton forcefully endorses Obama 28 Aug 2008 Former President Bill Clinton forcefully endorsed Barack Obama's bid for the White House on Wednesday, telling delegates to the Democratic convention that Obama is "ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world." "With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need," Clinton said.
Clinton praises Obama in convention speech --Clinton receives prolonged standing ovation as convention speech begins 27 Aug 2008 Former President Bill Clinton declared Barack Obama "ready to be president of the United States" at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday. "Last night Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything in her power to elect Barack Obama," Clinton said of his wife, who ran against Obama for the Democratic nomination and urged her backers Tuesday night to support him. "That makes two of us -- actually that makes 18 million of us," he said, a reference to the number of Democratic primary voters who backed Hillary Clinton.
Transcript: Bill Clinton --Remarks as prepared for delivery to the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday by former President Bill Clinton. 27 Aug 2008 'Now, in spite of all the evidence, their candidate is promising more of the same: More tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy. More band-aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families and increase the number of uninsured. More going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence. They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm.'
In Historic Vote, Obama Officially Claims Democratic Nomination 27 Aug 2008 With the weight of history hanging over them, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Democratic Party formally chose Sen. Barack Obama as the nominee for the White House, elevating the first African American to that exalted post and putting a black man a step from the presidency. With a theatrical flourish, the roll call vote was rushed to allow Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to suspend the vote and "in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory," declare Obama the nominee by acclamation. "With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory," Clinton said, "with faith in our party and our country, let's declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and he will be our president."
Obama Secures Historic Nomination 27 Aug 2008 Senator Barack Obama, the Hawaiian-born son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas, officially became the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party on Wednesday, capping a meteoric rise from a little-known state senator to the first African-American to win a major-party nomination.
Clinton releases delegates 27 Aug 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton released her delegates Wednesday afternoon, allowing those who had been pledged to her to vote for whomever they choose in a roll call vote later in the day. "This was such a competitive primary season," Clinton told her delegates in a packed ballroom at the Denver Convention Center, "I want you to know this has been a joy. Boy did we have a good time trying."
Nazi link in 'plot to assassinate Obama' --In the back of the vehicle, officers found two high-powered rifles, one with telescopic sights, a spotting scope, a flak jacket, camouflage clothing, a bulletproof vest, boxes of ammunition, three fake identity cards, two wigs, two walkie-talkies and a quantity of the drug methamphetamine, a form of speed known as crystal meth. 27 Aug 2008 The three men arrested over a reported plot to kill the US Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, have ties to the white supremacist group Aryan Nations, police said last night. Shawn Robert Adolf, 33, Nathan Johnson and Tharin Gartrell are all said to have links to the group. Adolf – his real name according to police – and the others were arrested on weapons charges after an apparent move to assassinate Mr Obama during his party's convention in Denver this week. The US authorities are playing down the ability of the arrested men to carry out an assassination amid tight security. Prosecutors yesterday said they had evidence to charge the three men only with drugs and firearms offences. [Why weren't these alleged TERRORISTS charged under any of Bush's 9 million TERRORISM laws?! If you're a Muslim, you're arrested for viewing 'radical' webpages on your seized laptop. Reichwing TERRORISTS get a free pass from the Bush regime. --LRP]
Lawyers Guild: Cops illegally seize video equipment 26 Aug 2008 Three New York videographers, in town to document police conduct for the Republican National Convention, are alleging Minneapolis police illegally seized their video equipment early this morning. The attorney for the videographers, part of a prominent group [Glass Bead Collective] that documents police activities during rallies and demonstrations, said he suspects the seizure is "a pre-emptive strike" by authorities.
DNC Protests: Protester is slammed to the ground by police in Denver 27 Aug 2008 A CodePink protester is knocked to the ground and later arrested when she did not move back fast enough after the Denver police made an arrest. (Video)
No water or toilets at Freedom Cage 27 Aug 2008 The vast unused Freedom Cage for protesters at the Pepsi Center has no water or toilets in apparent violation of a federal judge’s order. U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger issued an order Aug. 6 that set conditions for the protest zone and resolved an ACLU lawsuit against the city and U.S. Secret Service over security restrictions.
ABC Reporter Arrested in Denver Taking Pictures of Senators, Big Donors --Asa Eslocker Was Investigating the Role of Lobbyists and Top Donors at the Convention 27 Aug 2008 Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel. A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that producer Asa Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. [Will we see Asa 'investigating' GOP top donors (every corpora-terrorist on God's green earth) at the Repugnant Nazi Convention?]
Hillary Rodham Clinton's Speech at the Democratic National Convention 26 Aug 2008 Interactive video and transcript of the senator in Denver on Aug. 26.
'No way. No how. No McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate.' 27 Aug 2008 Hillary Clinton: "I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches, advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights here at home and around the world to see another Republican in the White House squander our promise of a country that really fulfills the hopes of our people. And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months or endured the last eight years to suffer through more failed leadership. No way, no how, no McCain. Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president."
Clinton Urges Supporters to Give Allegiance to Obama 27 Aug 2008 Hillary Clinton asked her supporters last night to put aside any idea of voting for Republican John McCain and instead back her former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama. "Whether you voted for me, or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose," Clinton said at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Americans can't afford another Republican in the White House, she said: "No way. No how. No McCain."
Hillary smacks convention speech out of the park By Michael Goodwin 25 Aug 2008 Barack Obama just lost his biggest excuse. Now he can't blame Hillary [Clinton] for any of his problems. She hit a home run for him Tuesday night. It was a big-time performance when it mattered most, and she delivered without reservation... The stars were aligned for a marriage of political convenience, and she pronounced her vows with dignity, humor and gusto. Her speech was a genuine twofer, good for her and good for the man who bested her in the long, bitter primary.
Clinton's Thankless Job By Marie Cocco 26 Aug 2008 If there is a political job more fraught with peril than running to become the next commander in chief, surely it is being cast as cheerleader in chief... The work of the next phase of [Hillary] Clinton's career has been going on doggedly, and often with little notice, since she suspended her campaign on June 7. She's been a campaign emissary for Obama to the Sheet Metal Workers union; to Hispanics and others in New Mexico and Nevada; to older women in South Florida who still haven't quite accepted the loss of what for some of them may be their last chance to see a woman elected president.
McCain Owes America An Alzheimer's Test By Bob Fertik 26 Aug 2008 [John] McCain's medical records are not available to physicians. He did not "release" them for the campaign; he only allowed hand-picked reporters to examine them quickly without making copies. And there were no results of an Alzheimer's test, because McCain has never had one - even though he has 6 of the 10 warning signs, including his inability to remember facts like the number of homes he owns or the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Obama camp: Prosecute Simmons 26 Aug 2008 Obama general counsel Bob Bauer today sent a second, sharper letter to the Justice Department, directly attacking the Dallas billionaire funding a harsh attack ad, Harold Simmons. "We reiterate our request that the Department of Justice fulfill its commitment to take prompt action to investigate and to prosecute the American issues Project, and we further request that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute Howard (sic) Simmons for a knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits," he wrote. He called the group's activities "patently illegal."
Mega barf alert! Giuliani Visits Terrorism Exhibit Near Democratic Convention 26 Aug 2008 CBS News: Rudy Giuliani made an appearance just around the corner from the Democratic National Convention in Denver today at a nearby exhibit on terrorist attacks. "People forget...this is ongoing," Giuliani said, referring to a threat of [Bush] terrorist attacks in the United States and worldwide. "This is a museum about what is happening to us now, the present, and what will be happening to us in the future."
McCain Has Made His Pick and Is Set to Tell on Friday 27 Aug 2008 Senator John McCain has decided on his running mate, two Republican strategists in contact with Mr. McCain’s campaign said Wednesday. He is expected to reveal his choice at a rally at a basketball arena in Dayton, Ohio, at 11 a.m. Friday.
Schwarzenegger could be no-show at GOP convention 27 Aug 2008 When the Republican convention opens Monday night, its prime-time lineup could be missing one of its biggest draws: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Police were wrong to stop pensioner under Terrorism Act 27 Aug 2008 Police were wrong to use anti-terrorism powers to stop and search an elderly peace activist wearing an anti-Tony Blair top during a Labour party conference, a watchdog has ruled. John Catt, 83, was stopped by officers while on his way to join a protest for the release of former Guantánamo Bay detainee Omar Deghayes outside the Brighton conference in 2005.
eyes Gustav, activates National Guard troops 27 Aug 2008 On
the eve of Hurricane Katrina's third anniversary, a nervous New Orleans
watched Wednesday as another storm threatened to test everything the
city has rebuilt, and officials made preliminary plans to evacuate people,
pets and hospitals in an attempt to avoid a
New Orleans mulls evacuation as Gustav looms 27 Aug 2008 Three years after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana coast, New Orleans residents on Wednesday again confronted the prospect of an evacuation as Tropical Storm Gustav loomed.
Arctic sea ice drops to 2nd lowest level on record --Sea ice also serves as primary habitat for threatened polar bears. 27 Aug 2008 More ominous signs Wednesday have scientists saying that a global warming "tipping point" in the Arctic seems to be happening before their eyes: Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is at its second lowest level in about 30 years. TWith about three weeks left in the Arctic summer, this year could wind up breaking that previous [Sept. 2007] record, scientists said.
Polar bear euthanized 26 Aug 2008 Yugyan, a 22-year-old female polar bear at the Oregon Zoo, was euthanized Tuesday. Yugyan was diagnosed with kidney failure a year ago and the zoo staff had tried to manage the bear's pain. Polar bears are listed as an endangered species. The Oregon Zoo and other conservation organizations have been increasingly alarmed about the effects of global warming on polar bears.
Afghanistan demands end to Nato air strikes on villagers --UN backs Karzai concerns over loss of civilian life in allied raids 26 Aug 2008 Tensions increased today between Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, and US and Nato troops, with the government ordering a review of foreign military activities amid claims that dozens of civilians have died in raids and air strikes over the past week. The ministries of foreign affairs and defence said they would seek to regulate raids with a status of forces agreement and a negotiated end to "air strikes on civilian targets, uncoordinated house searches and illegal detention of Afghan civilians".
U.N. says has evidence US-led air strikes killed 90 Afghan civilians 26 Aug 2008 The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week. "Investigations by UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) found convincing evidence, based on the testimony of eyewitnesses, and others, that some 90 civilians were killed, including 60 children, 15 women and 15 men," U.N. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide said in a statement.
Bombers kill dozens as violence erupts in Iraq --One of the blasts targets police recruits; another explosion kills family 26 Aug 2008 Three blasts killed at least 34 Iraqis on Tuesday, most of them in a suicide car bombing that struck a group of police recruits, officials said. It was one of the highest daily casualty tolls in recent months. Two of the bombs went off in Diyala province... In the provincial town of Jalula, an assailant drove a car toward a building where new police recruits had assembled, said Col. Ahmed Mahmoud Khalifa, the local police chief. [Holy coincidence, Batman! The minute al Maliki demands a firm TIMETABLE for US withdrawal, bombs explode as if to provide fodder for the US terrorists who want an open-ended occupation. I wonder who's really behind the bombings? --LRP]
11 terrorism suspects detained in Iraq 25 Aug 2008 Eleven suspected terrorists have been taken into custody by occupation troops in Iraq, including four allegedly planning to use poison, officials said Monday. The four men suspected of planning poison attacks were captured Sunday in Beiji, south of Mosul, American Forces Press Service said.
U.S. holding 11-year-old American son of suspected Pakistani militant in Afghanistan 26 Aug 2008 U.S. officials say the 11-year-old American son of a suspected Pakistani militant is being held by authorities in Afghanistan. Assfia Siddiqui's son, Ahmed, is a U.S. citizen by birth and has been in Afghan custody since July when his mother was arrested after a shootout with Afghan police in Ghanzi, the Washington Post said Tuesday. Siddiqui, a neuroscientist who had been sought as a suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] operative since 2003, is currently lodged in a U.S. federal prison.
Ex-Guantanamo prisoners appeal to US Supreme Court 25 Aug 2008 Four Britons released from Guantanamo in 2004 after two years' detention, requested the US Supreme Court to rule on the right of prisoners "to worship and ... not to be tortured." If the high court takes the case, it will have to decide whether war-on-terror prisoners have additional constitutional rights besides the right to challenge their detention in civilian court, as was confirmed in a June Supreme Court ruling.
U.S. terrorism experts to teach troops [To do more, or?] Soldiers need more specialized instruction on what drives 'insurgents' and how population thinks, Ottawa says 26 Aug 2008 The federal government is hiring U.S. terrorism experts to deepen Canadian soldiers' understanding of how their Taliban enemies think - saying it needs to prepare troops better as they wage a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. Ottawa announced that it is bypassing the normal route for contracting and awarding the job to Arlington, Va.-based Terrorism Research Center on a sole-source basis, saying it's the only firm capable of doing the job. The one-year contract has a maximum annual payout of $848,250 (U.S.), but may be extended.
Will the US Develop a Death Ray? 21 Aug 2008 For about $1 billion, over the next three years, the nation could convert some Trident missiles -- now limited to carrying nuclear warheads in their submarine launchers -- to non-nuclear weapons. The plan favored by the National Research Council (NRC) panel would replace two of the 24 nuclear missiles on each of the Navy's 12 Trident subs with conventional-armed missiles. The plan backed by the panel calls for putting up to four non-explosive "dispersible kinetic energy projectiles" atop each missile. It's not [Really?] quite a "death ray" but it's the closest existing technology can get to that fantasy weapon.
Dimitri Medvedev raises spectre of new Cold War 26 Aug 2008 Russia's president said today he was ready for the start of a new Cold War, as he set tensions with the West soaring by recognizing the independence of two breakaway republics inside Georgia. "We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a Cold War," said Dimitri Medvedev, after ordering his foreign ministry to start work on establishing diplomatic ties with the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
North Korea to suspend nuclear disablement 26 Aug 2008 North Korea said on Tuesday it will stop disabling its nuclear facilities and consider restoring the Yongbyon reactor that can make material for atomic bombs, accusing the United States of violating a disarmament deal. "We have decided to immediately suspend disabling our nuclear facilities," the North's KCNA news agency quoted a foreign ministry official as saying.
Fourth Blackburn man arrested over threat to kill Gordon Brown 26 Aug 2008 A 25-year-old man was being questioned today over threats to kill Gordon Brown and Tony Blair after he was arrested on terrorism charges. The man is the fourth resident of Blackburn to be arrested this month in connection with posting a death threat on a recognised jihadi website. Specialist officers were continuing to carry out searches this morning in the Whalley Range area of the town, where a police van was seen parked outside an Islamic bookshop.
Barack Obama 'ought to be shot' says racist plotter -Secret Service, FBI and US Joint Terrorism Task Force are all investigating alleged plot and more arrests could follow 26 Aug 2008 A man at the centre of a suspected assassination plot against Senator Barack Obama has said that the presidential candidate "ought to be shot" because of his colour. The chilling threat by Nathan Johnson, 33, followed his arrest with two other men when an arms cache was found in a pick-up truck. The men, one of whom is said to have strong ties to the white supremacist movement, were last night under investigation and facing initial charges for illegal firearms possession.
FBI investigates 'Obama assassination plot' 26 Aug 2008 The FBI and the US Secret Service were investigating a possible assassination plot against Barack Obama today after four people linked to white supremacist groups and in possession of high-powered rifles were arrested near the Democratic convention in Denver. In an extraordinary jail cell interview with a local television reporter, one of the suspects said that his associates had planned to assassinate Mr Obama as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination in an open-air sports stadium on Thursday night. That suspect, Nathan Johnson, 32, also allegedly told police that the plan had been to shoot Mr Obama “from a high vantage point using a rifle sighted at 750 yards”.
Plot to Kill Obama: Shoot From High Vantage Point --Sources say Shawn Robert Adolph was wearing a swastika, and is thought to have ties to white supremacist organizations. 26 Aug 2008 CBS4 has learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges. CBS4's Brian Maass reported one of the suspects told authorities they were "going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a ... rifle … sighted at 750 yards." Law enforcement sources tell Maass that one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama. He responded in the affirmative." The Secret Service, FBI, ATF and the joint terrorism task force are all investigating the alleged plot.
Obama assassination plot fears as armed men arrested 26 Aug 2008 US police were investigating tonight if they had disrupted an assassination plot against Barack Obama after two men were arrested near the Democratic convention in Denver with two rifles, a high-powered telescopic scope and the powerful stimulant methamphetamine. The men were arrested in a routine incident involving a traffic policeman. The first man,Tharin Gartrell, was charged with suspicion of being a felon in possession of a weapon after police found the rifles in his car. When police accompanied Mr Gartrell to his hotel in Denver a second man jumped from a window and was injured in a four-story fall. That man was then arrested.
Meanwhile in Minneapolis…police confiscate laptops and video equipment By GRITtv 26 Aug 2008 From I-Witness Video: "Our colleagues at the Glass Bead Collective, a group of video artists and documentarians, are in the Twin Cities to prepare for the Republican National Convention. They were swarmed by three police cars, detained and had all of their electronic gear, including laptop computers, videocameras and personal items were taken from them by Minneapolis police. No one was arrested. The stop and seizure was explained by police officers as related to Homeland Security and the Republican Convention."
Police use pepper spray on 15th Street protesters 26 Aug 2008 Police armed with sticks and face masks encircled about 70 protesters and used pepper on 15th Street, about two blocks from the Civic Center. Some in the protesters sang Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues". The 'anarchists' are wearing bandannas as protection from the pepper spray as helicopters and sirens can be heard. However, some protesters were searching for water to help those who were hit with spray.
DNC: Quotes from pro-Hillary Clinton march --What they're saying at the protest/march by 18 Million Voices, which advocates for women's rights and is celebrating Hillary Clinton's achievements. 26 Aug 2008 Toni Alves, PUMA member, San Francisco "I’m marching because of the treatment Hillary received during the primaries. She was treated so unfairly by the media and the DNC,and no one stood up to say anything about it until after they’d asked her to leave. And that was ridiculous. The media totally geared and led this campaign. Obama wasn’t elected, he was selected."
Clinton Prepares for Center Stage 26 Aug 2008 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton prepared to take center stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday in one of the most anticipated moments of the week, even as Republicans intensified their efforts to crash the Democratic Party’s party.
Michelle Obama shows her husband's personal side 26 Aug 2008 Michelle Obama declared "I love this country" Monday as she sought to reassure the nation that she and her husband Barack share Americans' bedrock values and belief in a dream of a better future. In the first major address at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama described herself as a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, no different from many women.
Michelle Obama's Speech at the Democratic National Convention 25 Aug 2008 Interactive video and transcript of Mrs. Obama in Denver on Aug. 25. I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history, knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me, all of them driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day to painstakingly dress himself for work, the same conviction that drives the men and women I've met all across this country... People like Hillary Clinton, who put those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling, so that our daughters and our sons can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher.
Michelle Obama Owned Her Moment By Eugene Robinson 26 Aug 2008 I don’t get it. Look At Cindy McCain. She’s the one who brought the money to the marriage. She’s the one who seems to make the financial decisions for the couple -- to the extent that John McCain can’t even be sure how many homes he owns. She’s smart and opinionated. But nobody’s clamoring for her to give a performance at the Republican convention next week that makes her seem softer and more approachable. Is it that she more closely fits some agreed-upon notion of what a political spouse should look like? I suspect that’s the case, and I suspect there’s a generational issue in addition to a racial issue. No matter: Michelle Obama owned her moment Monday night.
Emotional opening in Denver as Kennedy passes the torch 25 Aug 2008 Democrats opened their 2008 national convention Monday with an emotional tribute to an ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, who told delegates that "the torch will be passed again" to Sen. Barack Obama and a new generation of leaders. "We are told that Barack Obama believes too much in an America of high principle and bold endeavor," the Massachusetts Democrat said. "But when John Kennedy thought of going to the moon, he didn't say it's too far to get there."
Kennedy electrifies Democratic convention with appearance 25 Aug 2008 Sen. Edward Kennedy -- recuperating from recent brain surgery -- made a dramatic appearance at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, pledging to see Barack Obama to the White House and his own return to the Senate floor. "I have come here tonight to stand with you to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States," Kennedy said to a standing crowd.
GOP to Counter Dem Convention With New Strategy: It's the Obama, Stupid By R J Shulman 26 Aug 2008 (Satire) The Post Times Sun Dispatch has obtained a copy of the memo which sets forth the new Republican strategy. As you all know, the last time the Democrats won the White House it was due in large part to the clever Clinton people coming up with the slogan, "It’s the economy, stupid." We won the White House back with "It’s the stupid, stupid," the idea Americans wanted a cuddly but dumb President, a guy just as moronic as the guy you would sit and have a beer with. McCain is just not that cuddly... So in order to get this race close enough to steal, we have to make this campaign about how bad Obama is and that McCain is not Obama. Hence the slogan -- "It’s the Obama, stupid."
Obama to DOJ: Block terrorist ad 25 Aug 2008 Sen. Barack Obama has launched an all-out effort to block a Republican billionaire’s efforts to tie him to domestic and foreign terrorists in a wave of negative television ads. Obama’s campaign has written the Department of Justice demanding a criminal investigation of the "American Issues Project," the vehicle through which Dallas investor Harold Simmons is financing the advertisements.
Judge Denies Stay; Miers Must Appear to Answer HJC's Subpoena 26 Aug 2008 A district court judge denied Harriet Miers and Joshua Bolten's request for a stay on their Congressional testimony pending the appeal of the recent decision in HJC v. Harriet Miers et al. The decision means that Miers will have to appear in response to the House Judiciary Committee's subpoena for testimony.
FAA: Computer Breakdown Delays Flights 26 Aug 2008 A Federal Aviation Administration blamed a computer breakdown for delaying hundreds of flights today in Chicago and several East Coast cities. FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto said a computer system that processes flight plans failed. Aircraft are not allowed to take off without flight plans.
USDA Gift to Monsanto --The US Department of Agriculture’s give-away insurance rates for GM crops risk bankrupting the public coffers. By Prof. Joe Cummins 26 Aug 2008 On 12 September 2007, the FCIC [Federal Crop Insurance Corporation] Board of Directors approved a Biotech Yield Endorsement (BYE) pilot programme submitted under section 523(d) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. The result is that farmers growing Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) maize receives crop insurance at a greatly reduced cost of between 20 and 70 percent. The BYE programme was crafted by the Monsanto Corporation and its first beneficiary is limited to its GM maize... The FCIC Board of Directors, at its 14 August 2008 meeting, approved additional seed technologies for premium rate reduction for producers planting certain corn hybrid varieties... The companies benefiting from the largesse of the USDA give-away insurance include besides Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and Pioneer Hi-Bred.
Canada's Oil Sands Declared "Most Destructive Project on Earth" as Eco Disaster Looms 26 Aug 2008 A report issued by the nonprofit organization Environmental Defense has declared petroleum extraction projects in Canada's oil sands to be "the most destructive project on Earth." "When even former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed, who started the Tar Sands ball rolling, is calling for change, you know this is a major disaster," said Aaron Freeman, the group's policy director. The report accuses the Canadian government of allowing the Tar Sands Project to emit levels of greenhouse gases that far outstrip any reductions made in other areas.
Hurricane Gustav hits Haiti, drives up oil prices 26 Aug 2008 Hurricane Gustav dumped torrential rains across southern Haiti on Tuesday, killing at least one man and threatening crops amid protests over high food prices. Global fuel futures soared on fears Gustav could move into the Gulf of Mexico as an "extremely dangerous" storm.
Police investigate possible plot to kill Obama 25 Aug 2008 Law enforcement authorities have arrested two men, and several law enforcement sources say the investigation is looking into whether the men intended to harm presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. According to multiple sources, Aurora police made a routine traffic stop Sunday morning at 2:38 a.m. The Secret Service says two rifles were found in the car along with methamphetamine. Another law enforcement source says he was told at least one of the rifles was a "sniper rifle." A second source told CBS4 authorities told officers they are concerned they may have come upon a possible "assassination plot."
MSRNC Pushing PUMAs to Help the GOP By Lori Price 25 Aug 2008 In a mouth-draping irony, world's biggest Hillary Clinton hater and misogynist, Chris Matthews, has set his MSNBC political roundtable in the middle of the PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) demonstration in Denver, so that the world would witness media-inflated strife during the Democrats' 'finest hour.' Whether you agree with the PUMA point of view or not, one must realize the hypocrisy of MSNBC (MSRNC, as SoCalDem observed) in exploiting the discord, which even its own pundits -- NBC News Political Director, Chuck Todd, and writer, Mike Barnacle -- decried on air during Monday's 'Hardball.'
Protesters: We're being treated like prisoners 25 Aug 2008 A small group of protesters has marched to the demonstration zone outside the Democratic National Convention, complaining they are being treated like political prisoners. Protesters derisively call the 47,000-square foot zone the "Freedom Cage." It's separated from the parking lot around the convention hall by metal fences atop concrete barriers.
Protests Grow at Denver Convention Center 25 Aug 2008 Protests are in full swing in front of the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver, and a specific group of four are the spotlight as cops have lined them up on the curb for questioning.
"Fuck Fox News! Fuck Fox News!" Posted by NewsYouNeedNow 24 Aug 2008 Faux News' Griff Jenkens reports from protest in Denver. (Video)
Protesters confront Fox News reporter 24 Aug 2008 Security at an anti-war rally outside the state Capitol this morning allegedly had to break up a confrontation between a Fox News reporter and Ward Churchill, a former University of Colorado professor. Churchill was thrust into the national spotlight after writing a controversial essay on the 9/11 terror attacks. He was hounded by the persistent reporter, who allegedly put his hands on Churchill, organizer Glenn Spagnuolo said. The reporter, Griff Jenkins, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Man Sues Obama Because He Didn't Get Text Message By R J Shulman 25 Aug 2008 Manley Scott, a 39-year-old out of work bricklayer has filed suit against Barack Obama because he didn't get a text message announcing Joe Biden as the Illinois Senator's running mate... "Textgate is a classic example of why Obama is not fit to be commander in chief," said John McCain from one of his many houses, "when we should be bombing Iran, he would be fiddling with one of those new fangled cell phones, trying to order some arugula..." Nancy Pelosi said she is very upset Mr. Scott did not get his message and she said that impeachment may be back on the table, as long as it is impeachment of a fellow Democrat. (Satire)
'It's a matter of how much and how fast.' U.S. Expects to Rebuild Georgian Army 22 Aug 2008 The United States expects to help Georgia rebuild its military, a top U.S. general said Thursday. "One would assume … we would have to help them rebuild because they are a partner in the war on [of] terror, they've been helpful. They are going to ask us, I am sure, to replace and rebuild," General John Craddock, who is in charge of the U.S. European Command, told reporters during a trip to Georgia. Craddock said he would assess Georgia's needs during his visit, due to end Friday, and report back to the Pentagon.
Russia threatens sale of offensive weapons to Israel's enemies 20 Aug 2008 Russian security officials threatened retaliation against Israel for its weapons exports to Georgia including eight different aerial drones. Russian Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said Israel supplied at least eight different models of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Georgia. Nogovitsyn said Israel has also sold a range of weapons and sought to export main battle tanks to Georgia.
Iraq insists on troop time frame 26 Aug 2008 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki dug in his heels yesterday on the future of US military in Iraq, insisting that all foreign soldiers leave the country by a specific date in 2011 and rejecting legal immunity for American troops [Awesome!]. Al-Maliki’s aides insisted that a compromise could be found on the two main stumbling blocks to an accord, which would govern the US military presence in Iraq after the UN mandate expires at the end of the year.
Maliki demands 'specifc deadline' for U.S. troop pullout 25 Aug 2008 Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said Monday there would be no security agreement between the United States and Iraq without an unconditional timetable for withdrawal -- a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which insists that the timing for troop departure would be based on conditions on the ground. "No pact or an agreement should be set without being based on full sovereignty, national common interests, and no foreign soldier should remain on Iraqi land, and there should be a specific deadline and it should not be open," Maliki told a meeting of tribal Sheikhs in Baghdad.
Obama calls for stepping up pressure on Iran 26 Aug 2008 U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama called on Monday for enhancing diplomatic pressures on Iran before Israel feels "cornered." He was responding to a reporter's question whether Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear sites some time in the year during a campaign stop in Iowa.
Afghan Govt demands new rules of engagement 26 Aug 2008 Afghanistan is demanding a renegotiation of the rules for international troops in the country after 90 people were killed in US-led attacks on Friday. The Afghan Cabinet wants to review the "limits of authority and responsibilities" of international troops after 90 people, including 50 children, were killed in the air strikes in Herat. A Government statement says air strikes on civilian targets, unilateral searches of homes, and illegal detentions of Afghan civilians must be stopped.
US investigating civilian deaths in Afghanistan 25 Aug 2008 The United States says it shares Afghan President Hamid Karzai's concerns about civilian casualties caused during fighting in that country and that an 'investigation' is under way. Karzai has fired two Afghan army officers following a joint Afghan-U.S.-led operation that he says killed at least 89 civilians.
U.S. CENTCOM Conducts Fla. Training for 'Continuity of Operations' 22 Aug 2008 The United States Central Command has deployed approximately 200 personnel from Tampa to Central Command Forward Headquarters in the Middle East to conduct training on the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). The training includes the emergency deployment of the USCENTCOM headquarters in Tampa to an alternate location forward in the CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR). The alternate command post will provide the Commander of US Central Command the ability to maintain situational awareness and command and control of contingency operations throughout the USCENTCOM AOR as well as Headquarters, USCENTCOM during a natural [Bush engendered] disaster.
Pakistan warns of world insurgency 25 Aug 2008 In Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who has been nominated by his party to be the country's next president, has said the Taliban now have an upper hand in Pakistan. Mr Zardari, speaking to the BBC, said the Taliban should be immediately put on the country's list of banned organisations.
Downturn could 'drag on for some time', warns Bank deputy governor --Charles Bean tells US meeting of central bankers financial climate is as bad as the 1970s 25 Aug 2008 The current global economic downturn could "drag on for some considerable time", the Bank of England's new deputy governor warned today. Charles Bean said the financial climate appeared to be as bad as the 1970s and admitted senior analysts had "their fingers crossed".
FBI saw threat of mortgage crisis --A top official warned of widening loan fraud in 2004, but the agency focused its resources elsewhere. 25 Aug 2008 Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible. "It has the potential to be an epidemic," Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. Today, the damage from the [GOP-created] global mortgage meltdown has more than matched that of the [GOP-created] savings-and-loan bailouts of the 1980s and early 1990s. By some estimates, it has made that costly debacle look like chump change. But it's also clear that the FBI failed to avert a problem it had accurately forecast.
Alleged 'Cop Rage' Witness Plans to Sue City 23 Aug 2008 A man says two off-duty New York City police officers attacked him when he tried to help a driver they were battering over a traffic dispute. Cyle Perry-Osby filed a notice of claim Friday -- the first step toward suing the city. The officers are accused of attacking a motorist whose open car door was blocking traffic in the Bronx Aug. 15. They have pleaded not guilty to gang assault and have been stripped of their guns and badges. Perry-Osby says he witnessed the attack, went to help the victim and was assaulted by the officers. His lawyer says Perry-Osby was sprayed with mace, hit in the head and hospitalized.
Biden Camp Pressed Hard For a Slot on the Ticket 25 Aug 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate reached a pivotal point in a secret meeting on the night of Aug. 6. Sen. Biden was whisked into a Minneapolis hotel room through a back entrance before Sen. Obama left for his Hawaii vacation. They talked one-on-one for 90 minutes. The rendezvous capped weeks of pitching by Biden advisers.
Accentuate the Negative By Paul Krugman 24 Aug 2008 The central fact of this year’s election is that voters are fed up with Republican rule. The only way Mr. McCain can win the presidential race is if it becomes a contest of personalities rather than parties -- and if his campaign can instill in voters the perception that Mr. Obama is a suspicious character while Mr. McCain is a fine, upstanding gentleman. The Obama campaign, on the other hand, doesn’t need to convince voters either that he’s the awesomest candidate ever or that Mr. McCain is a villain. All it has to do is tarnish Mr. McCain’s image enough so that voters see this as a race between a Democrat and a Republican.
Nuclear waste containers likely to fail, warns 'devastating' report --Environment Agency reveals thousands of holders do not meet basic specifications for storage and disposal 24 Aug 2008 Thousands of containers of lethal nuclear waste are likely to fail before being safely sealed away underground, a devastating official report concludes. The unpublicised report is by the Environment Agency, which has to approve any proposals for getting rid of the waste that remains deadly for tens of thousands of years. The document effectively destroys Britain's already shaky disposal plans just as ministers are preparing an expansion of nuclear power.
Homeland Security waives protection laws for border fence --Environmentalists have uphill battle 24 Aug 2008 Environmentalists are still smarting over the Homeland Security secretary's use of his authority to waive 37 environmental laws to expedite construction of the [Texas] border fence. Efforts failed to challenge the constitutionality of the waivers in the U.S. Supreme Court. Allen D. McReynolds, who was a member of President Clinton's team of environmental advisers, called the waiver and the subsequent rule change "tragic." "This means any time there is a new federal construction project, well, NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act) will be waived and there'll be no environmental review," he said.
Polar bears' long swims blamed on global warming --Satellite images show little ice in region 23 Aug 2008 Nine polar bears found swimming 20 to 100 kilometres off the northwest coast of Alaska last week represent another sign that the rapid retreat of ice in the Arctic is forcing bears to make dangerous, long-distance swims to get to land or ice, scientists and environmentalists say.
Agrobacterium & Morgellons Disease, A GM Connection? By Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins 20 Aug 2008 Preliminary findings suggest a link between Morgellons Disease and Agrobacterium, a soil bacterium extensively manipulated and used in making GM crops; has genetic engineering created a new epidemic? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States announced the launch of an investigation on 'Morgellons Disease' in January 2008... CDC’s investigation is to be carried out in conjunction with Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Division of Research and the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. [LOL! I'm sure we'll get *lots* of answers with pharma-terrorists/US Armed Forces 'investigating.']
Gardasil Meets Measles: A Coincidence? By Barbara Loe Fisher 25 Aug 2008 The bad news about GARDASIL [Gardakill] vaccine keeps getting worse and it was only a matter of time before government health officials promoted an "epidemic" to deflect attention from GARDASIL risks and create an excuse to point accusing fingers at parents who decline to give their children one or more of the 16 federally promoted vaccines. They did the same thing in 1985, when publicity about DPT vaccine reactions prompted officials at the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics to allege there were whooping cough epidemics in eight states due to parents rejecting DPT.
Denver: Preparing for Democratic Convention or Martial Law? --In the local newspapers, Denver officials have outlined several worst-case scenarios. 24 Aug 2008 To the uninformed visitor, it has become difficult to tell whether Denver is preparing for a Democratic National Convention or the institution of martial law. Helicopters filled with armed commandos swooped over downtown in a training exercise earlier this summer. A warehouse was converted into a temporary jail with chain-link fences and signs threatening the use of electric stun devices. Downtown office buildings have hired extra security and rehearsed evacuation plans. The Secret Service established 18 working groups in Denver, with assignments to coordinate air security, crisis management and more.
'Draconian and over-arching' Security net drops on Denver for Democrat jamboree 24 Aug 2008 A tight security net enveloped Denver as the city braced Sunday for the arrival of tens of thousands of supporters and protestors for the Democratic Party's political extravaganza. Some 45,000 people are expected in the city, nestled on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 police and security personnel to be deployed for the four-day convention which opens Monday. But the security plans for the party convention coordinated by the secret service along with some 55 other agencies including the FBI and the US military have been denounced by civil rights groups as draconian and over-arching.
Man arrested with weapons at Pelosi hotel 24 Aug 2008 A man who tried to carry two hunting rifles and two pistols into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's downtown hotel remained in police custody Sunday. Pelosi and other guests briefly left the hotel during the Saturday incident but were never in danger, Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said. The man, Joseph Calanchini of Pinedale, Wyo., faces a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Police officers at the Grand Hyatt hotel noticed him carrying a rifle-type case at the entrance and detained him.
Vets against war rally in Denver 24 Aug 2008 About 100 participants with the Iraq Veterans Against the War group arrived at Union Station around 1:45 p.m. today, targeting the Democratic National Convention and chanting anti-war messages and carrying signs saying "Stop the War."
Colo. city official cancels Al-Jazeera barbecue 23 Aug 2008 The city manager of Golden, Colo., has decided to withdraw his invitation to let the Al-Jazeera news network broadcast from a barbecue in his backyard on the final night of the Democratic National Convention. City manager Mike Bestor made his decision after a City Council meeting Thursday at which 'residents' complained the event with the English-language service of the Middle East news network would be disrespectful to veterans and active U.S. soldiers.
US warship docks in Georgia port 24 Aug 2008 A US warship has arrived in the Georgian port of Batumi carrying the first delivery of 'aid' supplies by sea. The USS McFaul is the first of three ships to arrive in Georgia.
U.S. warns of Russia's establishing permanent facilities in Georgia 24 Aug 2008 The United States warned on Saturday that Russia would violate the ceasefire agreement by setting up permanent facilities and checkpoints in and around Georgia. "Putting up permanent facilities and checkpoints are inconsistent with the agreement," U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Crawford, Texas where President [sic] George W. Bush is spending two weeks at his ranch.
The U.S. hands over military secrets to Moscow --Russia's military is surprised by Georgian army's negligence 21 Aug 2008 An elite group of Georgian special forces drove into the "Russian-occupied" Poti on 5 U.S. military Hummers this week. The vehicles were carrying explosives, firearms and top-secret satellite technology. Their movement was detected by satellite and reports had been received from local Georgians angered by Saakashvili's recent military actions. According to Russian officials, they didn't expect that a key unit of Georgian intelligence trained by top NATO specialists would drive directly into their hands. The Georgian officers were overtaken without causalities.
US: Russia must return any US equipment [LOL!] 19 Aug 2008 The White House on Tuesday demanded that Moscow return any US equipment its forces seized in Georgia, amid reports Russian troops grabbed some US military vehicles. "If the Russians have it, it needs to be returned immediately," spokesman Gordon Johndroe said as US President [sic] George W. Bush followed the Georgia crisis from his ranch near this tiny Texas town. Russian forces in Georgia seized five Humvees that either belong or had belonged to the US military from the port of Poti, witnesses said.
Fox News: 12 Year Old Girl Tells the Truth about Georgia 13 Aug 2008 (Video) "I just want to say that I was I was running from Georgian troops bombing our city, not Russian troops. I want to say 'thank you' to the Russian troops that were helping us out."
Maliki demands changes to draft deal on US presence 25 Aug 2008 Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is demanding changes to a draft deal on the status of US forces beyond this year, a key Shiite ally in the governing coalition said... "There are points in the agreement that are still pending and they can't be approved without changes in order to preserve the complete sovereignty of Iraq," the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC) quoted Maliki as telling fellow Shiite politicians at a meeting on Saturday.
Iraqis march against US agreement 22 Aug 2008 Thousands of Iraqis have marched in protest against an imminent US-Iraqi security agreement, saying it would turn the country into a colony of the US. Demonstrations on Friday by supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia leader, both in Baghdad and the southern city of Kufa, come as US and Iraqi negotiators continue to hammer out final details on an agreement.
After 5 years of war, Iraqis desperate for water 24 Aug 2008
Millions of Iraqis lack access to sufficient clean water and proper
sewage five years after the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
Water and sewage are perennial challenges in this arid country, where
the overhaul of decrepit public works has been hindered by years of
war and neglect. Since 2003, the United States has spent about $2.4
Dozens killed in suicide bomb attack in Baghdad 24 Aug 2008 Scores of people have been killed and 32 injured, by a suicide bomber in western Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district. Police colonel Dawood Suleiman from the nearby city of Fallujah said the bomber detonated an explosive vest at a dinner feast, killing 25 people. The attack took place at the home of a local sheikh who was holding the dinner to celebrate the release of his son from US detention, police said.
Commanders fired over Afghan deaths 24 Aug 2008 Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's president, has sacked an army general and a major after more than 100 civilians were reported to have been killed in an attack by US-led occupation forces. The move came after a delegation appointed by Karzai travelled to the Shindand airstrip and Azizabad village in Herat in western Afghanistan to investigate reports that the civilians had died. Eyewitnesses and local people say more than 100 civilians, many of them women and children, were killed in the attack.
Report: British to boost troops in Afghanistan 24 Aug 2008 Britain will send an additional 4,500 troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, a newspaper reported Sunday. The British military dismissed the report as speculation. The News of The World cited an unidentified military source as saying those troops would be sent to Afghanistan once soldiers began returning from Iraq -- where a major reduction of Britain's presence has been promised for early 2009.
MoD struggling to maintain aircraft and supplies to troops --Lack of staff could confine Britain's nuclear submarines to dock within 18 months, warns defence expert 24 Aug 2008 The Ministry of Defence faces such a critical shortage of civilian staff, engineers and technical expertise that it is struggling to maintain its aircraft, and the supply of equipment to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is under threat, leaked memos reveal.
U.S. forces free AP cameraman in Iraq 23 Aug 2008 U.S. forces freed a cameraman for the Associated Press in Baghdad on Saturday after holding him for three months without charge, the news agency said. Ahmed Nouri Raziak was handed over to representatives of the Associated Press at a U.S. military compound in Baghdad. He had been detained by U.S. and Iraqi forces at his home in the northern city of Tikrit on June 4, the agency said in a report from Baghdad.
Law lords right to stand against cowardly abuse --Joanna Blythman on torture 24 Aug 2008 Binyam Mohamed cannot speak for himself - he is the only British resident being held at Guantanamo Bay... but claims that his Moroccan captors tortured him, stripping him naked and cutting him with a scalpel on his chest and penis. After 18 months of this he was transferred to what is known as the "Dark Prison", near Kabul, Afghanistan, a secret prison run by the CIA. Mohamed's description makes the blood run cold... But what is MI5's role in all this? The Home Office insists our security and intelligence agencies don't "participate in, encourage or condone the use of torture". For his part, Mohamed says that his interrogators asked him questions about his life in London which could only have been provided by the British intelligence services... The law lords should not have to remind the UK and US governments that "the torturer has become like the pirate and the slave trader before him an enemy of all mankind".
Rage Against The Machine wear Guantanamo Bay-style outfits at Reading Festival --Band slam Tony Blair and George Bush as they headline first day of bash 22 Aug 2008 Rage Against The Machine headlined the Main Stage at Reading Festival tonight in dramatic fashion, arriving on stage dressed in Guantanamo Bay prisoner-style clothes. The band came onstage dressed as prisoners of war, complete with bags over their heads and matching boiler suits, launching straight into 'Bombtrack'.
'Peace boats' reach Gaza 23 Aug 2008 Two "peace boats" came ashore Saturday in Gaza in a gesture of solidarity with Palestinians living under an Israeli blockade. The boats carried 44 people from several countries, including Israel, the United States and Tunisia, as well as one Israeli.
Pentagon's Intelligence Arm Steps Up Lie Detecting Efforts on Employees 24 Aug 2008 The Pentagon's intelligence arm is adding more polygraph studios and relying on outside contractors for the first time to conduct lie detection tests in an attempt to screen its 5,700 prospective and current employees every year. The stepped-up effort by the Defense Intelligence Agency is part of a growing emphasis on counterintelligence.
Homeland Security Comes to Vermont --Changes in Border Town Unsettle Some Residents 24 Aug 2008 For the Department of Homeland Security, the changes are part of a gradual fortification of America's northern border that began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and has accelerated in recent years. The hardening of the northern frontier is unsettling to many in the small towns along the border. Named the Secure Border Initiative, the project calls for more than tripling the number of agents along the northern border, adding boats and helicopters, and deploying sophisticated new technology including hundreds of millions of dollars in new communications equipment, radiation detectors and three different types of camera-mounted sensors in the uninhabited wooded areas.
New Obama running mate Biden criticizes McCain 24 Aug 2008 (Springfield, IL) At a campaign rally here yesterday, Barack Obama's just-named running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, wasted no time filling his new role on the Democratic ticket - he tore into Republican John McCain, put himself at America's kitchen table and became a passionate cheerleader in chief for Barack Obama. Obama, speaking before a crowd of about 35,000 gathered at the spot where he announced his run for the White House in February 2007, called Biden of Delaware the leader he had been looking for, "a man with a distinguished record and a fundamental decency."
Last Call for Change We Can Believe In By Frank Rich 24 Aug 2008 ...McCain’s trigger-happy temperament and reactionary policies offer worse than no change. He is an unstable bridge back not just to Bush policies but to an increasingly distant 20th-century America that is still fighting Red China in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the cold war. ...[A]s George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs documented in its study of six weeks of TV news reports this summer, Obama’s coverage was 28 percent positive, 72 percent negative. (For McCain, the split was 43/57.) Even McCain’s most blatant confusions, memory lapses and outright lies still barely cause a ripple, whether he’s railing against a piece of pork he in fact voted for, as he did at the Saddleback Church pseudodebate last weekend, or falsifying crucial details of his marital history in his memoirs, as The Los Angeles Times uncovered in court records last month.
Joe Biden's pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record By Declan McCullagh 23 Aug 2008 By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP.
Obama Announcement by Text Sends Message About Medium --Growing Popularity Resides in Intimacy Email, Phones Lack 23 Aug 2008 At about 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, Kevin Bertram was awakened by a call from Barack Obama's Chicago headquarters. The campaign was about to send a text message officially announcing Sen. Obama's running mate. Phone companies had checked their systems to make sure they were ready for the load. At about 3 a.m., Obama headquarters dispatched the message, which named Sen. Joseph Biden.
Lawsuit Filed Against Obama Claims He's Not Eligible for the Presidency 23 Aug 2008 Philip J. Berg, Esq., of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking a Declaratory Judgement and Injunction that Barack Obama does not meet the qualifications to become President of the United States. In the lawsuit Berg alleges that Obama is not eligible for the presidency because he is not a naturalized citizen, and/or lost his citizenship when he was adopted in Indonesia, and/or has duel citizenship with Kenya and Indonesia.
View of economy somber from Fed mountain retreat 24 Aug 2008 (WY) A towering grizzly bear guards the doorway to the Federal Reserve's annual policy retreat in this Teton Mountain resort, serving a reminder to central bankers of the battle to sooth the credit crunch. "This turmoil is not going to go away quickly and will require serious efforts to overcome it," a top official of the International Monetary Fund, John Lipsky, told Reuters. "A year ago there was a real sense of uncertainty and confusion. People were perplexed by the turmoil that had come on quite suddenly. I would say the mood this year is one of greater clarity...let's call it a bit more somber," said Lipsky, the IMF's first deputy managing director.
DOD: Engineers to review post-Katrina pumps 23 Aug 2008 The Department of Defense will hire an independent engineering company to review allegations that pumps installed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina weren't adequately tested and might fail during a hurricane. Acting Inspector General Gordon Heddell said he has ordered his staff to begin work immediately on a contract to look at tests done before the Army Corps of Engineers installed the pumps, and at the pumps themselves.
Strict precautionary measures against bird flu at check-points 24 Aug 2008 Strict precautionary measures have been taken by the National Committee for Emergency Response to the Bird Flu to prevent any outbreak of the avian influenza in the country. The watchdog panel has intensified surveillance at the border check-points, airports and sea beaches to ensure that birds entering the country are not infected with the deadly H5N1 virus.
Churchill, Canada: Polar bear capital 24 Aug 2008 Every autumn, hundreds of polar bears descend on the small Canadian town of Churchill. Diana Preston watches them as they prepare for their annual migration north.
Polar Bears Make Long, Risky Swims 22 Aug 2008 Nine polar bears were observed in one day swimming in open ocean off Alaska's northwest coast, an increase from previous surveys that may indicate warming conditions are forcing bears to make riskier, long-distance swims to stable sea ice or land. The bears were spotted in the Chukchi Sea on a flight by a federal marine contractor, Science Applications International Corp.
Joe Biden is Obama's running mate --His abundant foreign policy experience is considered a boost to the Democratic ticket. 23 Aug 3008 Barack Obama has tapped Joseph R. Biden Jr. as his running mate, bringing to the Democratic ticket a veteran senator with deep expertise in international relations. The campaign announced his selection about midnight Pacific time Friday on its website and through e-mails and text messages to supporters.
Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate 23 Aug 2008 Senator Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware to be his running mate, turning to a leading authority on foreign policy and a longtime Washington hand to fill out the Democratic ticket, Mr. Obama announced in text and e-mail messages early Saturday. Mr. Obama’s selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret.
Obama's veep message to supporters 23 Aug 2008 Barack Obama's campaign had said it would announce Obama's choice for a running mate in a text message to supporters... Text message: Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first Obama-Biden rally live at 3pm ET on http://www.BarackObama.com. Spread the word! Obama announced the pick on his Web site with a photo of the two men and an appeal for donations. A text message went out shortly afterward that said, "Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee."
Joe Biden! By Sam Graham-Felsen (barackobama.com) 2:45 am 23 Aug 2008 Breaking news: the text message is out and it's official... Barack Obama has selected Joe Biden to be his running mate!
The Cat's Out of the Bag By Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy 23 Aug 2008 Okey dokey - so the big Veep selection is out, as you have surely heard by now: Joe Biden. Wow. All of this hoopla for HIM?? Frankly speaking, I am not a huge fan of his. Post 9/11, he found every opportunity to get his photo taken with President [sic] Bush in the Rose Garden... He voted to authorize the Resolution on Iraq. So put that in your pipes and smoke it. But here's the thing: the popular vote winner, the one who "would be on anyone's short list," according to Obama - just not HIS, apparently, as she was not vetted... Huh. I guess he wasn't all that "sincere" after all.
Hillary gets stiffed 23 Aug 2008 Obama has often said, most recently on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on July 27, that Clinton "would be on anybody’s short list." But apparently not his. "She was never vetted," a Democratic official reported. "She was not asked for a single piece of paper. She and Senator Obama have never had a single conversation about it. How would he know if she’d take it?" The official also said Clinton (D-NY) never met with Obama’s vetting team of Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy.
Big Money Still Has Prominent Seat at Parties’ Conventions 23 Aug 2008 When Senator Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech before 70,000 people at Invesco Field on Thursday in Denver, most supporters will be sitting under the open night sky. But a group of lobbyists and corporate executives will watch the event from plush skyboxes, with catered food and a flowing bar, and a price tag of up to $1 million.
McCain To Pick Ronald Reagan As VP By R J Shulman 22 Aug 2008 Bucking all of the predictions regarding his choice of a running mate, Senator John McCain will choose Ronald Reagan to run as his Vice President, the Post Times Sun Dispatch learned today. "This is a brilliant move," said Charles Schneider, a strategist for the Republican Party, "as it will bring all the conservatives and Reagan Democrats to the polls to vote for McCain."
Senator back from Georgia wants tough action against Russia 22 Aug 2008 Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that his visit to Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, at Sen. John McInsane's behest, persuaded him that the United States and its allies must take tough steps to prevent further Russian military aggression against its smaller neighbors. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, called on NATO to "stop war-gaming on tables in Brussels" and to begin military exercises in Europe to show its commitment to protecting member nations. Graham was joined on the trip by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (R-Israel).
Scheunemann, Iraq and Georgia By Robert Dreyfuss 21 Aug 2008 If there's any comic relief in the war between Russia and Georgia, it's this statement from Randy Scheunemann, John McCain's top foreign policy adviser: "In the twenty-first century, nations don't invade other nations." Coming from America's No. 1 advocate for invading Iraq -- Scheunemann headed the neocon-inspired Committee for the Liberation of Iraq in 2002 -- that's rich... It's no laughing matter that McCain's top adviser is multiply connected to Georgia, whose ill-advised assault on Russian positions in South Ossetia fully qualifies it as the first, overtly American-allied "rogue nation."
Did McCain Help Bait Russia into Georgia? By Joe Lauria 17 Aug 2008 Who benefits most from painting this a revival of Soviet-era aggression? John McCain. The Georgian crisis has created a campaign issue McCain can run on. McCain's best chance to win, unless Obama self-destructs, is to portray himself as the Cold War-era war hero ready to do battle again against our old Cold War adversary. McCain is yesterday's man, so revive yesterday's "threat..." A compliant media will keep the phony Russian threat an issue throughout the campaign. It could even raise Condi Rice's vice presidential fortunes, as her only expertise was the former Soviet Union. The original Cold War was based on manufactured threats. The new trumped up threats about Russia will make Condi's experience "relevant" again. They can both run on Russia.
prisoner at Guantanamo Bay says he was waterboarded 23 Aug 2008
An Algerian prisoner [Djamel Ameziane] at Guantanamo Bay has accused
his guards of using a form of waterboarding on him, his lawyer said
Friday, marking the first allegation that the
puts up bin Laden 'wanted' posters in Afghanistan
23 Aug 2008 The United States is erecting billboards in Afghanistan
offering hefty rewards for Osama bin Laden, Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad
Omar and US Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] member Adam
"We're seeing history repeat itself." Rockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul 23 Aug 2008 Seven years after a US-led invasion toppled the Taleban, that is the question now troubling President Karzai and Nato forces in Afghanistan. Despite the presence of 70,000 foreign troops, the Taleban have advanced on Kabul this year and hold territory just outside Maydan Shar, the capital of Wardak province, 20 miles southwest of the capital.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai condemns civilian deaths 23 Aug 2008 The U.S.-led coalition says it will 'investigate' allegations of civilian deaths during a battle in western Afghanistan. Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior says 76 civilians were killed in strikes in the Shindand district of Herat province.
Israel declares Gaza protest boats will not reach their destination 23 Aug 2008 Israel last night warned an attempt by peace activists to sail two wooden boats to the Gaza Strip was a "provocation" [!] and said it would prevent them reaching their destination. A group of 46 activists set sail yesterday morning from Cyprus and were hoping to reach Gaza later today to challenge the economic blockade Israel has imposed on the strip and to deliver a cargo of 200 hearing aids for a deaf school and 5,000 balloons.
Soldier gets 15 months in prison for desertion 22 Aug 2008 A soldier who fled to Canada rather than fight in Iraq has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty in Fort Carson, Colo., to a reduced charge of desertion. Pvt. Robin Long told a military judge at his sentencing Friday that he left the country over moral objections to what he called an illegal war.
Three men arrested over threat to assassinate Brown 23 Aug 2008 Three men arrested on suspicion of terror offences are linked to an investigation into threats to kill the Prime Minister, police sources revealed last night. No plot was in place but there were calls for the death of Gordon Brown on an extremist Islamist website in January. The three suspects are all from Blackburn, Lancashire, and were held under the Terrorism Act 2006.
Unmanned Drone On L.I. Sparks Terror Investigation 23 Aug 2008 An unmanned drone being built by an engineer on Long Island sparked a large counter-terrorism investigation across the New York area, officials tell WNBC.com. Police said they had stumbled upon overnight testing of the drone at a little-used airstrip in Calverton, Long Island. Officials said the drone was being designed to carry more than 600 pounds of explosives.
Satellites track Mexico kidnap victims with RFID chips 21 Aug 2008 Affluent Mexicans, terrified of soaring kidnapping rates, are spending thousands of dollars to implant tiny transmitters under their skin so satellites can help find them tied up in a safe house or stuffed in the trunk of a car. More people, including a growing number of middle-class Mexicans, are seeking out the tiny chip designed by Xega, a Mexican security firm whose sales jumped 13 percent this year.
Security Makes U.S. Conventions Virtual Fortresses --Congress earmarked $100 million for 'security' at two meetings 22 Aug 2008 Two U.S. cities will become virtual fortresses during the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions, protected by airplanes, helicopters, barriers, fences and thousands of police officers, National Guard troops and Secret Service agents.
Oil Speculators Cost Consumers $31 Billion this Summer By Rep. Ed Markey 23 Aug 2008 On August 21, 2008, the Washington Post reported that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has now learned that an astonishing 80 percent or more of oil contracts on the New York futures market are held by speculators. "Financial firms speculating for their clients or for themselves account for about 81 percent of the oil contracts on the NYMEX, a far bigger share than had previously been reported by the agency." At one point in July, a single foreign energy firm held 11 percent of all regulated NYMEX oil futures contracts for the purpose of speculation... Throughout the spring and summer, President [sic] Bush and Republicans in Congress thwarted attempt after attempt by Democrats to pop this speculative bubble and provide relief to consumers. Each time, Republicans sided with Big Oil over the American people. ...[A]ccording to my calculations, have resulted in additional costs for American consumers of $31 billion at the pump this summer.
Audits of Medicare drug plans lacking 22 Aug 2008 Nearly three years into the Medicare drug benefit, federal officials have yet to ensure that private drug plans enacted programs to deter fraud and abuse, government investigators say. That lack of oversight "risks significant misuse of funds in this $39 billion program," the Government Accountability Office said in a report to be publicly released Monday.
Recession fear as economic growth hits zero --Gloomiest outlook since Black Wednesday 23 Aug 2008 The City was braced last night for Britain's first recession since the early 1990s after the government revealed that belt-tightening by households and business brought growth to a standstill in the second quarter of this year. Adding to the pressure on Gordon Brown to deliver a stimulus package to relaunch his administration, the Office for National Statistics said the economy had performed less strongly than it had earlier estimated. It revised down growth from 0.2% in the three months to June to zero.
Citizens Bank and Trust Acquires Insured Deposits of Columbian Bank and Trust (FDIC) 22 Aug 2008 The Columbian Bank and Trust Company, Topeka, Kansas, was closed today by the Kansas Bank Commissioner J. Thomas Thull, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Citizens Bank and Trust, Chillicothe, Missouri, to assume the insured deposits of The Columbian Bank and Trust Company.
More corporate welfare for Bush's cronies: Auto industry seeking $50B in loans from Congress 23 Aug 2008 Automakers plan to urge Congress to support funding up to $50 billion in low-interest loans over three years to help them modernize their assembly plants and develop next-generation fuel-efficient vehicles. Industry officials said the loans, twice the amount authorized in last year's energy bill, will be a top priority when Congress returns next month. [Why can't Bush's corpora-terrorists modernize their plants without taxpayer bailouts?]
Bush Hustling the Bureaucracy to Advance Rightwing Agenda By Matthew Rothschild 18 Aug 2008 Bush has vowed to sprint through the final five months of his Administration, and you better believe him... Unable to accomplish his goals legislatively, Bush is trying to get them done by fiat. If you look at proposed regulatory changes at the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, and the Justice Department you get a sense of how vast this hustle is.
Report Links Tobacco Marketing and Movies With Youth Smoking --Even brief exposure to tobacco ads can hook kids for life, study finds 22 Aug 2008 A new National Cancer Institute report has reached the government's strongest conclusion to date that tobacco marketing and depictions of smoking in movies promote youth smoking. The 684-page report, The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use, presents definitive conclusions that tobacco advertising and promotion are causally related to increased tobacco use, and exposure to depictions of smoking in movies is causally related to youth smoking initiation.
'The impact of global warming is brutal and tragic for polar bears.' Polar Bears at Risk of Drowning in the Chukchi Sea --Surveys Show Numerous Bears Swimming Far From Land as Sea Ice Nears Record Low 21 Aug 2008 Recent government surveys document that polar bears are at risk of drowning in large numbers off the northern coast of Alaska as sea ice once again approaches record low levels. On August 16th, surveys documented nine polar bears swimming in open water off the northwestern coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea, in an area recently opened for offshore oil exploration. One bear was more than 50 miles from land.
10 Polar Bears Are Seen Swimming in Open Water 22 Aug 2008 Ten polar bears, an unusually large number, were seen swimming in open water off the northern coast of Alaska recently, some heading for shore and some heading toward the retreating ice in the Chukchi Sea, two federal officials confirmed Friday.
Fay hits Florida fourth time, heads for New Orleans 23 Aug 2008 Tropical Storm Fay extended her stay in Florida on Saturday making landfall for a record fourth time as she trudged across the state's northern panhandle and took aim at points west including New Orleans.
'Ohio will continue to use the Premier machines in the Nov. 4 election.' Diebold acknowledges voting machine error that may cause votes to be dropped [Three words: Sledgehammer. Swing hard.] A major voting machine maker [Diebold] has cautioned its customers in 34 states to look out for a programming error that may cause votes to be dropped. At least 1,000 total votes were dropped in nine Ohio counties over the course of a handful 'elections' back to 2006, including the March presidential primary... Premier Election Solutions Inc. previously had said complications with antivirus software caused the problem, but on Tuesday the company said in a product advisory that the problem is with the machines themselves. [The problem is with those *programming* the machines.] Allen, Texas-based Premier, a unit of North Canton-based Diebold Inc., supplies touch-screen 'voting' systems as well as scanners for paper ballots.
U.S. Secret Service on Way to Biden's House 22 Aug 2008 The United States Secret Service has dispatched a protective detail to assume the immediate protection of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., a source tells ABC News, indicating in all likelihood that Biden has been officially notified that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has selected him to be his running mate. Sources also tell ABC News that Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and Virginia Gov Tim Kaine have been told they have not been selected for the vice presidential slot.
'Scores' of Afghans dead in US raid 22 Aug 2008 Afghanistan's interior ministry says US-led forces killed 76 civilians in an operation on Wednesday in the west of the country. The ministry issued a statement on Friday, saying: "Seventy-six people, all civilians and most of them women and children, were martyred during the operation by coalition forces in Shindand district of Herat province. Nineteen women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age," were killed in the operation, the statement said. The ministry confirmed it would be one of the highest civilian deaths tolls in the battle against the Taliban since they were ousted from power [?] during the 2001 US-led invasion.
55 pc of French want their troops out of Afghanistan 23 Aug 2008 A majority of French people want their troops pulled out of Afghanistan, a poll suggested on Friday, days after an ambush there killed 10 French soldiers. A survey in Le Parisien daily showed 55 percent of respondents think France should leave the NATO mission fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, compared to 36 percent who say they should remain following Monday's bloody attack.
Iraq, U.S. eye troops withdrawal by end of 2011 22 Aug 2008 Iraq and the U.S. negotiators have reached a draft agreement on a proposed withdrawal timetable [Oh. I thought McBush decried the nefarious 'timetable?'] and other issues on the U.S. military presence in Iraq beyond 2008, CNN reported Friday. Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Hamoud, who is also Iraq's chief negotiator, told the channel that the U.S. troops would completely pull out by the end of 2011.
Activists sail to bust Israeli sea blockade on Gaza 22 Aug 2008 International activists departed from Cyprus by boat on Friday in an attempt to run an Israeli sea blockade on 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza. The 44 activists sailed from the port of Larnaca in two wooden boats at 9:50 a.m. (7:50 a.m. British time). Hailing from 14 countries, they said they expected to reach the shores of Gaza, patrolled by the Israeli navy, on Saturday.
France and U.S. Say Russia Not Complying With Cease-fire 22 Aug 2008 Russian tanks and troops swept along main highways out of Georgia on Friday, abandoning the main military camp and checkpoints outside Gori. On Friday night Russia declared its withdrawal complete and said it was in full compliance with a cease-fire agreement, but the United States and France immediately voiced strong objections, saying Russia had not gone far enough.
U.S. Navy Ships Head to Georgia 21 Aug 2008 Two U.S. Navy ships, including a guided missile destroyer USS McFaul, and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter are getting underway to transport 'humanitarian' assistance supplies to Georgia, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) said on August 21. It said USS McFaul (DDG 74) departed from Souda Bay, Crete, on Wednesday and the cutter Dallas (WHEC 716) will depart later this week.
Government loses Guantanamo ruling 21 Aug 2008 The UK Government must disclose information relating to a Briton held at Guantanamo Bay. He says it supports his case that evidence against him was obtained through torture. Two judges in the High Court in London said today that they concluded that the Foreign Secretary was under a duty to "disclose in confidence" to Binyam Mohamed's legal advisers in Guantanamo Bay certain information relating specifically to him and "which is not only necessary but essential for his defence". Mohamed is facing US military 'trial' and possibly the death penalty if found guilty.
CIA Statement: Hardly "The Way of the World" (CIA) 22 Aug 2008 In his book, "The Way of the World," author Ron Suskind makes some serious charges about the CIA and Iraq. As Agency officers current and former have made clear, those charges are false. More than that, they are not in keeping with the way CIA works. In fact, they are profoundly offensive to the men and women who serve here, as they should be to all Americans.
"This is as far as I go, John. You're on your own from here." McCain follows bin Laden to the Gates of Hell By Mark Yannone 22 Aug 2008
Carnaby had no drugs, alcohol in his system --Man who claimed to be CIA agent shot after fleeing police 21 Aug 2008 A man who held himself out as a CIA agent and led [?] Houston police on a lengthy chase before being shot when he exited his vehicle had no traces of alcohol or drugs in his system, according to autopsy results released Thursday. Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, was killed by a single gunshot to the back that pierced his spine and caused massive internal damage.
NIST explains the near-free-fall collapse of WTC Building 7 What does a lying government look like? By Mark Yannone 21 Aug 2008 In case you missed it, here are three views of WTC7 collapsing on 9/11. When the public saw the video evidence and heard the recorded testimony of eyewitnesses, they claimed that WTC7 was brought down with explosives in a controlled demolition and demanded an immediate investigation... The laughter at the government's explanations never stopped, so they did a three-year study.
Universities try to control students off campus 22 Aug 2008 A growing number of universities are starting to take a more proactive approach to monitoring off-campus behavior... The University of Washington now enforces its campus behavior code off campus as well. A student doesn't need to be charged with a violent crime to activate the campus code at this Seattle university. Being cited for breaking the city's noise regulations is enough to score an invite to the student conduct office. The legal ramifications of these policies are not entirely known, said Sheldon Steinbach, an attorney in Washington, D.C., who formerly worked for many years with the American Council on Education, representing school presidents from 1,800 colleges and universities.
DNC Police Bulletin: People With City Maps Could Be Planning Violence --Leaked instructions to Denver police outline indicators of potential violent protesters By Steve Watson 21 Aug 2008 The ACLU has obtained a leaked copy of a Denver Police Department bulletin which advises officers that violent protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention may be identified from their use of hand held radios, bikes, maps and "camping information." The bulletin provides a "watch list" of items that police are to associate with violent protesters, describing some items as "caches of supplies that could be used by violent demonstrators." Other items on the list include baseball catch protectors, football helmets, plastic shields, gas masks and protest sign handles.
Swift Boaters and the Housing Crisis By Mary Kane 21 Aug 2008 ...The Big Picture says that 51 former IndyMac employees sent a letter to the California Attorney General's office, requesting an investigation into Democratic Senator Charles Schumer's role in possibly causing the bank's failure. Schumer sent a letter in June to federal regulators questioning the financial stability of IndyMac, a troubled subprime lender hit hard by the mortgage crisis. Shortly after the letter was made public, the bank experienced a run by account holders. The FDIC took over IndyMac on July 11, and it became the third-biggest bank failure in American history... Who is behind this "groundswell" of (former) IndyMac workers? It turns out that the employee letter was distributed to the media by CRC Public Relations -- yes, the group whose clients include the National Republican Congressional Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee. And, CRC was the PR firm behind the company that published a book questioning 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service on a swift boat.
Powder at McCain offices not hazardous 22 Aug 2008 With the Democratic National Convention just days away, a white-powder scare resolved quickly this afternoon, when the return address led federal agents to an inmate in the Arapahoe County Detention Facility. Within hours of the 3 p.m. scare the Centennial campaign office of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, authorities announced that the powder was phony and that the writer appeared to be Marc Harold Ramsey.
Two McCain offices evacuated after letter threat --Several Colo. staffers hospitalized 21 Aug 2008 Two offices of John McCain's U.S. presidential campaign, in Colorado and New Hampshire, were evacuated on Thursday, and several staffers were hospitalized, after a threatening letter arrived in the mail containing an unidentified white powder. But within hours, the letter was traced by authorities to a Colorado jail inmate... and initial tests of the envelope and its contents turned up negative for hazardous materials, the U.S. Secret Service said. The New Hampshire scare over a second envelope there was later deemed to be an unrelated incident brought about by anxiety over the threatening letter received in Colorado. [The "threats" deflected attention from McBush's latest set of "We need a draft" and "I don't know how many houses I own" gaffes.]
Top 10 Dumbest John McCain Quotes --Idiotic Pronouncements, Gaffes, and Brain Lapses by John McCain By Daniel Kurtzman 21 Aug 2008 10. "I was looking at the Sturgis schedule, and noticed that you had a beauty pageant, so I encouraged Cindy to compete. I told her [that] with a little luck, she could be the only woman to serve as both the First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip." --on the annual Miss Buffalo Chip Pageant, which features topless (and occasionally bottomless) contestants, Sturgis, South Dakota, Aug. 4, 2008.
And None Dare Call It Treason By Pat Buchanan 22 Aug 2008 Who is Randy Scheunemann? He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States... He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man. From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 -- pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili. What were Mikheil's marching orders to Tbilisi's man in Washington? Get Georgia a NATO war guarantee. Get America committed to fight Russia, if necessary, on behalf of Georgia. Scheunemann came close to succeeding.
A grim forecast for heating costs --Report warns that average 2009 oil bill for Mass. household could top $3,000 21 Aug 2008 Massachusetts residents who heat their homes with natural gas or oil could end up paying nearly $1 billion more this year than they did in 2007, about a 30 percent increase, according to a University of Massachusetts report set to be released today. [Start taking over Exxon Mobil's corporate offices - what are we *waiting for?*]
Protections Set for Antiabortion Health Workers --Opponents Denounce Proposed Regulation Allowing Federal Officials to Pull Funding 22 Aug 2008 The Bush regime yesterday announced plans to implement a controversial regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their personal beliefs. The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds.
Polar bears found swimming miles from Alaskan coast 22 Aug 2008 An aerial survey by government scientists in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this week found at least nine polar bears swimming in open water -- with one at least 60 miles from shore -- raising concern among wildlife experts about their survival. Geoff York, the polar bear coordinator for WWF's Arctic Programme, said that when polar bears swim so far from land, they could have difficulty making it safely to shore and are at risk of drowning, particularly if a storm arises.
New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers --New guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps 'without any basis for suspicion.' 20 Aug 2008 A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations. Congressional staff members got a glimpse of some of the details in closed briefings this month, and four Democratic senators told Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey in a letter on Wednesday that they were troubled by what they heard.
Pentagon can't find $2.3 trillion, wasting trillions on 'national defense' --'America's Outrageous War Economy!' By Paul B. Farrell 18 Aug 2008 We've lost our moral compass: The contrast between today's leaders and the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 shocks our conscience. Today war greed trumps morals. During the Revolutionary War our leaders risked their lives and fortunes; many lost both. Today it's the opposite: Too often our leaders' main goal is not public service but a ticket to building a personal fortune in the new "America's Outrageous War Economy," often by simply becoming a high-priced lobbyist.
U.S. demands Russia leave Georgia "now" [Since 2003, everyone (except Blackwater, KBR and Exxon Mobil) has demanded that the US leave Iraq and Afghanistan "now."] 21 Aug 2008 Washington demanded on Friday that Russia pull its troops out of Georgia "now", but Moscow said it would be another 10 days before the bulk of its force left Georgian soil.
Russia to keep soldiers in Georgia 21 Aug 2008 Russia plans to establish a long-term presence in Georgia and one of its breakaway republics by adding 18 checkpoints, including at least eight within undisputed Georgian territory outside the pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia, a ranking Russian military official told reporters Wednesday. The checkpoints will be staffed by hundreds of Russian troops, the official said, and those within Georgia proper will have supplies ferried to them from breakaway South Ossetia.
Russia sends aircraft carrier to Syria 20 Aug 2008 The Russian aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" is ready to head from Murmansk towards the Mediterranean and the Syrian port of Tartus. The mission comes after Syrian President Bashar Assad said he is open for a Russian base in the area. The "Admiral Kuznetsov", part of the Northern Fleet and Russia’s only aircraft carrier, will head a Navy mission to the area.
China and Iraq Finalize Oil Contract, as Western Oil Majors Waver 22 Aug 2008 China and Iraq will sign a deal next week to develop the Ahdab oil field, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad.. The new agreement, valued at $1.2 billion, is a variation of a deal struck with the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. in 1997, when Iraq was governed by Saddam Hussein.
Key U.S. Iraq strategy in danger of collapse --US paying $300 a month to former insurgents, many of them part of al-Qaeda 20 Aug 2008 A key pillar of the U.S. 'strategy' to pacify Iraq is in danger of collapsing because the Iraqi government is failing to absorb tens of thousands of former Sunni Muslim 'insurgents' who'd joined U.S.-allied militia groups into the country's security forces. Under the program, the United States pays each militia [known as the Sons of Iraq or Awakening councils] member a stipend of about $300 a month and promised that they'd get jobs with the Iraqi government. But the Iraqi government has brought only a relative handful of the more than 100,000 militia members into the security forces. Now officials are making it clear that they don't intend to include most of the rest. "We cannot stand them, and we detained many of them recently," said one senior Iraqi commander in Baghdad, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the issue. "Many of them were part of al Qaida despite the fact that many of them are helping us to fight al Qaida."
U.S. military frees Reuters cameraman in Iraq 21 Aug 2008 The U.S. military freed a Reuters television cameraman on Thursday after holding him for three weeks in Iraq without charges. Ali al-Mashhadani, who also works freelance for the BBC and Washington-based National Public Radio, was detained in Baghdad on July 30 while he was in the Green Zone government compound for routine checks for a U.S. military press card.
MI5 colluded in torture of British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, says High Court 21 Aug 2008 MI5 colluded in the interrogation of a British resident held at Guantanamo Bay, the High Court has ruled. The High Court said the role of the Security Service during the questioning of Binyam Mohamed in Pakistan went far beyond that of a by-stander. Lord Justice Thomas said the court had concluded that the conduct of the Security Service "facilitated interviews by or on behalf of the United States when BM was being detained by the United States incommunicado and without access to a lawyer in Pakistan in the period April 2002 until at least 17 May 2002 when he was seen by an officer of the Security Service". Under the law of Pakistan, he said, "that detention was unlawful".
Canadians Killed as NATO Battle in Afghanistan Flares 21 Aug 2008 Three Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan and another was injured by a roadside bomb as insurgents in the country intensify their attacks on North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops. Three Polish NATO soldiers were also killed yesterday and another was seriously injured in a bomb blast, the Polish army said.
McCain On Reinstituting a Military Draft: 'I Don't Disagree' By Ali 20 Aug 2008 Today at a townhall meeting, an audience member praised Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his vow to "follow bin Laden to the gates of hell." After a long question about veterans' care, the questioner said she believed we needed to reinstate the draft, to which McCain seemed to readily agree: QUESTIONER: If we don’t reenact the draft, I don’t think we’ll have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell. [Applause] MCCAIN: Ma’am, let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said.
Terrorism: Pakistan coalition teeters as bombs go off 22 Aug 2008 At least 60 people were killed yesterday by a twin suicide bombing at a military ordnance factory close to Islamabad, part of an upsurge of violence that comes as the Pakistani government teeters on the brink of collapse.
UK accused of Musharraf exit deal 20 Aug 2008 One of Pakistan's most prominent pro-democracy leaders, Aitzaz Ahsan, has accused a senior British diplomat of undermining his country's rule of law. Sir Mark Lyall Grant was in Pakistan recently and reportedly urged the government to give President Musharraf immunity if he resigned. Mr Ahsan said that any deal to give the president "safe passage" was wrong. Mr Musharraf stepped down on Monday after nine years in power to avoid a move by the government to impeach him.
Don't shoot down the flying saucer, it's one of ours, to support urban warfare [In that case, it's *first* to shoot down!] 15 Aug 2008 Flying saucers could potentially be used to support troops engaged in urban warfare. The military is to assess whether the alien-like aircraft, Moon buggies and miniature flying robots are capable of detecting roadside bombs and insurgents without putting troops in the line of fire.
Fire took down building next to twin towers --Government
scientists rebut 'conspiracy' theories, say fire brought down trade
center building 21 Aug 2008 Federal investigators said Thursday
they have solved a mystery of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: the collapse
of World Trade Center building 7, a source of long-running
Ex-soldier sues over terror watch list claim 21 Aug 2008 A former Army pilot and convert to Islam who said his name is on the U.S. government’s secret terrorist watch list has fought back, filing a federal lawsuit against the Homeland Security Department and various other federal agencies. Erich Scherfen said unless his name is removed from the list, he faces losing not only his job as a commercial airline pilot but the ability to make a living in his chosen profession.
Home Office loses confidential data on all UK prisoners 22 Aug 2008 The Home Office has lost confidential information on every prisoner in the country and more than 40,000 serious criminals sparking yet another Government data crisis. It has led to fears that the taxpayer may now face a multi-million pound compensation bill from criminals whose safety may be compromised.
Tubbs Jones, five-term congresswoman, dies 21 Aug 2008 Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, 58, a five-term Ohio Democrat, died yesterday evening after suffering a burst aneurysm in an "inaccessible part of her brain," the Cleveland Clinic said. Tubbs Jones was elected to Congress in 1998 after serving as a prosecutor and Cleveland municipal court judge. Her district covers parts of Cleveland and its suburbs.
McCain Colo. office evacuated after letter threat 21 Aug 2008 A suburban Denver campaign office of U.S. presidential candidate John McCain was evacuated on Thursday, and several people went to a hospital, after receiving an envelope containing a threatening letter and an unidentified white powder, a campaign spokesman said. The letter arrived in the mail in the afternoon, and the campaign immediately notified local and federal law enforcement authorities, said Jeff Sadosky, a spokesman for the campaign in suburban Washington, D.C.
McCain Office Is Sent White Powder, Threat --Denver Campaign Office Receives Letter Containing a Threat and "An Amount of White Powder" 21 Aug 2008 John McCain's campaign office in Denver, Colorado, has received a letter containing a threat and "an amount of white powder in it," a McCain campaign spokesman told CBS News. The city of Denver is at a heightened security level, as the Secret Service and other officials prepare for the Democratic National Convention, which is set to begin on Monday. [Lest we get distracted from this nugget: McCain unsure how many houses he owns 21 Aug 2008 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own. "I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M.
GOP rolls out hefty list of Denver party 'crashers' 21 Aug 2008 Republicans are planning quite the party crash at next week’s Democratic convention in Denver. Traditionally a time for one party to own the spotlight and the opposition to linger in the shadows, Republicans are determined to steal as much thunder as possible from the Democrats during their week-long coronation of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), the party’s likely presidential nominee. To accomplish this, Republicans -- in coordination with the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) -- are set to bring to Denver a list of heavy-hitting surrogates who will do on-site media interviews all week long.
No lawyers permitted inside 'Gitmo on the Platte' --Inside Denver's temporary DNC jail 20 Aug 2008 Denver's Arrestee Processing Site, or APS, is built to replicate what you'd normally see at the city jail... Denver County Undersheriff Bill Lovingier invited the cameras inside on Wednesday to counter activists' claims that the city was trying to hide a secret jail. No lawyers are permitted inside the APS. The city says the arrestees can meet with their attorneys when they go to court. However, the ACLU says that's illegal. The civil rights group also wants assurances that once people post bond, they won't be held for several more hours.
No razor wire at Denver convention holding cells 20 Aug 2008 Police have dropped plans to top the holding cells in place for use during next week's Democratic convention with razor wire after some groups started comparing the site to the detention facility for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. "We rethought those plans and came up with a way to put a lid on the cells instead of the razor wire," Denver Undersheriff William Lovingier said Wednesday as he led reporters on a tour of the cells in a city warehouse that will be the "Temporary Arrestee Processing Site."
FEMA phones hacked; calls made to Mideast, Asia 20 Aug 2008 A hacker broke into a Homeland Security Department telephone system over the weekend and racked up about $12,000 in calls to the Middle East and Asia. The hacker made more than 400 calls on a Federal Emergency Management Agency voicemail system in Emmitsburg, Md., on Saturday and Sunday, according to FEMA spokesman Tom Olshanski. FEMA is part of Homeland Security, which in 2003 put out a warning about this very vulnerability.
Kaine on McCain's House Gaffe: "He Couldn't Count High Enough" 21 Aug 2008 ABC News: Obama V.P. prospect and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine mocked Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Thursday for not knowing exactly how many houses he owns. "I understand that Sen. McCain was asked yesterday this question, 'how many houses do you own?,' and he couldn't answer that question. He couldn’t count high enough apparently to even know how many houses he owns," said Kaine.
McCain unsure how many houses he owns 21 Aug 2008 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in an interview Wednesday that he was uncertain how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own. "I think -- I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you." The correct answer is at least four, located in Arizona, California and Virginia, according to his staff. Newsweek estimated this summer that the couple owns at least seven properties.
Vitter Loses With FEC On $160K In 'D.C. Madam' Legal Bills 20 Aug 2008 Lawyers for the Federal Election Commission do not believe that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) should be allowed to use campaign funds to cover all the legal costs he incurred while trying to avoid testifying in the Deborah Jeane Palfrey prostitution case. In a draft advisory opinion (AO) released by the FEC on Wednesday, the agency concluded that Vitter will have to personally pay more than $160,000 in lawyers' fees stemming from Vitter's effort to quash subpoenas from Palfrey, dubbed by the media as the "D.C. Madam." Another $31,000-plus in legal bills run up during a Senate Ethics Committee probe of Vitter can be covered by the campaign, the FEC staff rules. An additional $15,301 in fees can be partially covered by Vitter's re-election campaign.
Families Urge Jindal to Renew Anti-Discrimination Order --"There
is nothing 'pro-family' about rolling back protections for some families,"
says PFLAG 21 Aug 2008 Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians
and Gays (PFLAG) is urging Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) to rescind
his pledge to allow a state anti-discrimination order to expire on Friday.
The order, originally signed into law by former Governor Kathleen Blanco
(D), bars state agencies and contractors from harassment and discrimination
on the basis race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin,
political affiliation or disabilities. Jindal has said he will refuse
to renew the order, in part,
California doctors can't refuse treatment to gays on religious grounds, court rules 19 Aug 2008 Doctors may not discriminate against gays and lesbians in medical treatment, even if the procedures being sought conflict with physicians' religious beliefs, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday. In its second major decision advancing gay rights this year, the state high court ruled that religious physicians must obey a state law that bars businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
Bird flu detected in Rhode Island 21 Aug 2008 A strain of bird flu has been detected in four swans found in the Seekonk River. The cases were discovered as part of routine surveillance by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. DEM says the strain of avian flu detected in Rhode Island is not the same strain that has infected people in Asia and Europe since 2003.
A Few Speculators Dominate Vast Market for Oil Trading 21 Aug 2008 Regulators had long classified a private Swiss energy conglomerate called Vitol as a trader that primarily helped industrial firms that needed oil to run their businesses. But when the Commodity Futures Trading Commission examined Vitol's books last month, it found that the firm was in fact more of a speculator, holding oil contracts as a profit-making investment rather than a means of lining up the actual delivery of fuel. Even more surprising to the commodities markets was the massive size of Vitol's portfolio -- at one point in July, the firm held 11 percent of all the oil contracts on the regulated New York Mercantile Exchange. The discovery revealed how an individual financial player had gained enormous sway over the oil market without the knowledge of regulators. Other CFTC data showed that a significant amount of trading activity was concentrated in the hands of just a few speculators.
Oil closes above $121 - up nearly $6 21 Aug 2008 Oil surged more than $6 on Thursday to touch $122 a barrel, on a falling dollar and rising concerns about global supply. U.S. crude for October delivery ended $5.62 higher at $121.18 a barrel, having reached as high as $122.04.
barf alert! FDA
approves radiation for use on spinach, iceberg lettuce 21 Aug
2008 Federal food-safety regulators now will allow producers to irradiate
spinach and iceberg lettuce to
food prices to post biggest rise since '90: USDA 20 Aug 2008
U.S. consumers should brace for the biggest increase in food prices
in nearly 20 years in 2008 and even more pain next year due to surging
meat and produce prices, the
It could be the wettest August for 100 years 21 Aug 2008 Britain could be heading for it wettest August for a century as forecasters predicted more heavy rain today, but held out the hope of a drier bank holiday.
Mr Rumsfeld wrote at the bottom "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?". US accused of war crimes over torture methods --In his new book, lawyer Philippe Sands argues that the responsible officials, and the lawyers who advised them, should be charged with war crimes. 20 Aug 2008 The use of torture by the US Government in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11, 2001 has come under increasing criticism. In 1863 at the height of the US civil war, president Abraham Lincoln set the principles for interrogation of prisoners with a famous instruction "military necessity does not admit of cruelty". It took the September 11 attacks to change those principles and Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney said the US would now have to work through the dark side.
U.S. Is Tracking Citizens At Border Checkpoints --Data From Checkpoints to Be Kept for 15 Years 20 Aug 2008 The federal government has been using its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations. Officials say the Border Crossing Information system, disclosed last month by the Department of Homeland Security in a Federal Register notice, is part of a broader effort to guard against terrorist threats.
Moscow promises response to U.S. missile deal 20 Aug 2008 The United States and Poland signed a deal on Wednesday to station parts of a U.S. missile defense shield on Polish soil, drawing a sharp response from Moscow. Despite U.S. assurances to the contrary, Russia sees the ballistic missile shield as a threat to its own security and some Russian politicians and generals have said Poland must be prepared for a preventive attack on the site in the future.
Rice Signs Missile Deal With Poland 20 Aug 2008 Despite fierce opposition from Moscow, the United States and Poland signed a long-stalled agreement on Wednesday to place an American missile defense base on Polish territory. The Kremlin has leveled sustained criticism against the American plan, characterizing it as a hostile act near the Russian border.
Missile shield puts Warsaw in crosshairs 15 Aug 2008 Russia's deputy chief of general staff says Poland's missile deal with the US would allow Moscow to use nuclear weapons against Warsaw. "Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike… 100 percent," Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn was quoted by AP as saying.
The US missile defence system is the magic pudding that will never run out --Poland is just the latest fall guy for an American foreign policy dictated by military industrial lobbyists in Washington By George Monbiot 19 Aug 2008 US politics, because of the failure by both Republicans and Democrats to deal with the problems of campaign finance, is rotten from head to toe. But under Bush, the corruption has acquired Nigerian qualities. Federal government is a vast corporate welfare programme, rewarding the industries that give millions of dollars in political donations with contracts worth billions. Missile defence is the biggest pork barrel of all, the magic pudding that won't run out, however much you eat. The funds channelled to defence, aerospace and other manufacturing and service companies will never run dry because the system will never work. To keep the pudding flowing, the administration must exaggerate the threats from nations that have no means of nuking it - and ignore the likely responses of those that do.
Fear of new Mid East 'Cold War' as Syria strengthens military alliance with Russia 20 Aug 2008 Syria sought to revive its security alliance with Russia today, when President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Moscow to clinch a series of military agreements, raising fears that the new Cold War that has erupted in the Caucasus will spill over into the Middle East. "Our position is that we are ready to co-operate with Russia in any project that can strengthen its security," the Syrian leader told Russian newspapers at the start of his two-day trip.
Norway: Russia to freeze NATO military ties --NATO had suspended formal contacts with Russia Tuesday 20 Aug 2008 Norway's Defense Ministry said Russia has informed it that it plans to cut all military ties with NATO... NATO foreign ministers Tuesday suspended formal contacts with Russia as punishment for sending troops into Georgia.
NATO planes killed French troops 20 Aug 2008 Ten French troops who were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday have been hit by NATO planes that had come to help them escape an ambush. The soldiers were killed on Tuesday during fierce fighting in Sarobi district, about 50 km (30 miles) east of the capital Kabul. French daily Le Monde quoted soldiers who survived the attack as saying that alliance planes missed the target and opened friendly fire.
Pentagon Plans to Send Up to 15,000 Additional Troops to Afghanistan 19 Aug 2008 The Pentagon will be sending 12,000 to 15,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, possibly as soon as the end of this year, with planning underway for a further force buildup in 2009. A request by Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, for three U.S. brigades with support staff has been approved.
Iran rocket launch 'troubles' US [Too bad.] 20 Aug 2008 Iran said it had sent a rocket carrying a dummy satellite into space on Sunday, triggering fresh concern in Washington that the technology could be diverted to ballistic missiles. The launch is likely to further exacerbate tensions with the West over its nuclear drive, which Iran's arch-foe Washington [hypocrites] and its allies claim is a cover for atomic weapons ambitions.
Russia and Georgia in tense exchange of prisoners 19 Aug 2008 Russia and Georgia have exchanged 20 prisoners of war in a gesture of goodwill despite continued tension over Russia's promised withdrawal. The 15-minute handover took place on a highway 30 miles west of the capital Tbilisi in the village of Igoeti, where Russian troops are firmly entrenched.
U.S. Trainers Say Georgian Troops Weren't Ready 20 Aug 2008 U.S. military trainers -- the only American boots on the ground -- say the Georgian soldiers they knew who were sent to battle the Russians had fighting spirit but were not ready for war. The Georgians were "beginning to walk, but by no means were they running," said U.S. Army Captain Jeff Barta, who helped train a Georgian brigade for peacekeeping service in Iraq. "If that was a U.S. brigade, it would not have gone into combat."
Bush Defends US 'War on Terror' 20 Aug 2008 U.S. President [sic] George Bush has defended the U.S. war on [of] terror and his administration's efforts to keep pressure on terrorists. Mr. Bush Wednesday addressed the same veterans group that U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain addressed in the southeastern state of Florida earlier this week.
Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people 20 Aug 2008 Some Democratic senators say proposed rules to help the FBI catch terrorists could allow the government to spy on innocent Americans "without any basis for suspicion." Known as the "attorney general guidelines," the rules have not been approved or even publicly released yet, but lawmakers are raising concerns after being briefed on what they say.
MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain --Sophisticated analysis says there is no single pathway to violent extremism 20 Aug 2008 MI5 has concluded that there is no easy way to identify those who become involved in terrorism in Britain, according to a classified internal research document on radicalisation seen by the Guardian. The "restricted" MI5 report takes apart many of the common stereotypes about those involved in British terrorism. They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices. Nor, the analysis says, are they "mad and bad".
Revealed: The CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms 18 Aug 2008 CCTV monitors classrooms at one in 14 schools, according to a survey. The poll of teachers also found that almost a quarter feared there might be more cameras hidden around the campus that they did not know about. Most said their schools were fitted with surveillance cameras. Almost 80 per cent said there were cameras at the entrance and more than 7 per cent said there were some in classrooms.
House missing as many as 225 days of e-mail 20 Aug 2008 The
Ohio Rep. Tubbs Jones dies after aneurysm 20 Aug 2008 Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, died Wednesday after suffering an aneurysm, medical officials said. Tubbs Jones, who was in her fifth term representing parts of Cleveland and its suburbs, was 58.
Get ready for Coup 2008! We see it happening. The offshore drilling, the "attack" on Georgia, the "success" of the "surge," the disappearance of Iraq war footage from the media, the escalation in Afghanistan -- all spun in McCain's favor, making another stolen election "credible." --MDR and LRP
Poll shows McCain in 5-point lead over Obama [That's what happens when you continue to surrender to Reichwing/NWO management.] 20 Aug 2008 In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McInsane has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy [OMFG], according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.
Mega barf alert! Lieberman to Speak at GOP Convention 20 Aug 2008 Sen. Joe LieberBush (R-Israel), completing a dramatic political transformation over the last eight years, is now scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention next month, according to GOP sources.
Obama and veep choice to campaign on Saturday 19 Aug 2008 Barack Obama's newly minted running mate will join the Democratic hopeful onstage Saturday at a rally in this capital city where Obama launched his White House bid, a campaign official said. A senior Obama adviser told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday that Obama and his veep choice will appear in front of the former state Capitol where Abraham Lincoln once served.
Sen. Stevens loses bid to move trial to Alaska 20 Aug 2008 Sen. Ted Stevens cannot move his corruption trial from Washington to his home state of Alaska, a federal judge ruled Wednesday in a decision that could hamstring the powerful Republican's re-election bid. Stevens had hoped to stand trial by day and campaign on nights and weekends. <g>
Merrill, Wachovia in Danger of Failing: Strategist 18 Aug 2008 Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and other financial companies are at risk of failure as the cost of raising capital soars at a time when the banks need to pay settlements over auction rate securities, David Kotok, chairman & chief investment officer from Cumberland Advisors, told CNBC Monday.
Credit squeeze hits college students, families --With tuition bills rising, lenders cutting back, education financing is tight 20 Aug 2008 Paying for a college education -- with a price tag now north of $50,000 a year at some top-priced private schools -- has never been easy. But this year, on top of the... hit to college savings accounts from the turmoil in the financial markets, parents and students have another obstacle to overcome. The ongoing credit crunch has prompted dozens of private lenders to stop making student loans.
Trace arsenic in water may be linked with diabetes 19 Aug 2008 A new analysis of government data is the first to link low-level arsenic exposure, possibly from drinking water, with Type 2 diabetes, researchers say. The study's limitations make more research necessary. And public water systems were on their way to meeting tougher U.S. arsenic standards as the data were collected.
Prince Charles seen as 'guardian of countryside' 19 Aug 2008 The Prince of Wales is seen by many as the saviour of Britain's countryside, a survey has found. He was rated the best individual guardian of rural areas by readers of Country Life magazine. It comes just days after the prince warned in a Daily Telegraph interview that genetically modified crops risk causing the world's biggest environmental disaster, and that small farmers could be driven to the wall by "gigantic corporations" taking over food production.
Court: Bush Administration Rule on Air Pollution Is Illegal 20 Aug 2008 A federal appeals court yesterday struck down a Bush administration rule that prevented states and local governments from imposing stricter monitoring of pollution generated by power plants, factories and oil refineries than required by the federal government. In a 2 to 1 decision, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the Environmental Protection Agency rule violated a provision of the Clean Air Act, which requires adequate monitoring of emissions to ensure compliance with pollution limits.
Carla Bruni tries to save 15 remaining local brown bears 20 Aug 2008 Carla Bruni, France’s First Lady, has drawn the wrath of Pyrenean farmers by taking up the cause of local brown bears. Ms Bruni, the epitome of the Parisian left-wing upper class, agreed in 2006 to be "godmother" to Hvala, one of five bears brought in from Slovenia to replenish a population that had dwindled to about 15. Mr Chirac ordered the repopulation after a hunter shot dead Cannelle, the last pure-blood native Pyrenean bear, in 2004. He called the shooting an environmental disaster. The hunter was acquitted on appeal last April of charges of illegally killing the animal. [Too bad the hunter didn't shoot himself, instead.]
Evidence Gap: Drug
Makers' Push Leads to Cancer Vaccines' Rise 20 Aug 2008 It is
not hard to hear about
Lion and Tiger and Fay, Oh My 20 Aug 2008 (The Acreage, FL) Two escapee's are back behind bars after a major manhunt, or in this case 'cat-hunt.' A tiger and a lion got loose from McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary and for a short time, schools were on lockdown and residents were urged to stay inside.
UN draft text urges Russia withdrawal from Georgia 19 Aug 2008 A Western draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Georgia demands compliance with the cease-fire and an immediate Russian withdrawal to lines held before the conflict, according to a text obtained by Reuters on Tuesday. The draft, due to be considered by the council later on Tuesday, also calls for the return of Georgian forces to their usual bases and refers to "the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders." [Where's the U.N. draft text for the US to get the f*ck out of Iraq and Afghanistan?]
Russia seizes US vehicles 19 Aug 2008 Russian soldiers today held blindfolded Georgian servicemen at gunpoint and commandeered US Humvees in a dramatic sequence of events in Poti, a key Black Sea port. White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe stated that if Russia has seized any US military equipment in Georgia, it must return it immediately.
NATO Ministers Warn Russia, No 'Business as Usual' 19 Aug 2008 After emergency talks here, NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday urged Russia to pull its troops immediately out of Georgia, saying there could be no "business as usual" between the alliance and the Kremlin until it withdraws. After the meeting, NATO announced a new commission between the alliance and Georgia, intended to strengthen the country’s ties with the organization.
Rice warns Moscow about its bomber runs off Alaska 18 Aug 2008 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday ruled out accelerating Georgia's admission to NATO in response to the Russian invasion. But she warned Moscow that it is playing "a very dangerous game" by resuming Cold War-era strategic bomber patrols close to the Alaskan coast. [What about the 'very dangerous game' of the US to fund Georgia scientists to research, clone deadly viruses for 'outbreak response'?]
Rice warns Russia not to redraw European map 19 Aug 2008 Condoleezza Rice today warned Russia not to try to redraw the map of Europe in the wake of its invasion of Georgia. After a Nato foreign ministers' meeting, the US Secretary of State said that the alliance "intends to support the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Georgia."
Biden calls for $1 billion in emergency aid to Georgia 18 Aug 2008 Fresh off a trip to the Republic of Georgia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden said he will ask for $1 billion in emergency 'aid' for the war torn country. Biden, who is rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obama’s list of running mates, met with Georgia's president and prime minister on the trip, further burnishing his foreign policy credentials [*puke*] ahead of Obama’s decision.
War à la carte --The US is inventing wars aplenty these days. Will it be Iran or Ossetia this month, asks Eric Walberg 20 Aug 2008 Last week, Georgia launched a major military offensive against the rebel province South Ossetia, just hours after President Mikhail Saakashvili had announced a unilateral ceasefire... The timing -- and subterfuge -- suggest the unscrupulous Saakashvili was counting on surprise. "Most decision-makers have gone for the holidays," he said in an interview with CNN. "Brilliant moment to attack a small country." Apparently he was referring to Russia invading Georgia, despite the fact that it was Georgia which had just launched a full-scale invasion of the "small country" South Ossetia, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in Beijing for the Olympics.
Taliban Forces Kill 10 French Soldiers and Raid U.S. Base 19 Aug 2008 Taliban 'insurgents' mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting, one a complex attack with multiple suicide bombers on an American military base on Monday night, and another by some 100 insurgents on French forces in a district east of the capital, killing 10 French soldiers and wounding 21 others, military officials said Tuesday.
Militants try to storm US base in Afghanistan 19 Aug 2008 An Afghan governor says militants wearing vests packed with explosives tried to storm a main U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan. Arsallah Jamal, the governor of Khost province, says the militants failed to gain entry into Camp Salerno in Khost city, next to Pakistan's border.
SAS spearheads new surge against Taliban 19 Aug 2008 Britain's special forces are to play a key role in a newly-planned "surge" against Taliban forces in Afghanistan, The Independent has learnt. SAS and SBS troops are to be used to dramatically expand the Army's "decapitation" strategy working alongside US Marines against the Taliban leadership.
U.S. to Build Missiles On Polish Soil 19 Aug 2008 The U.S. and Polish governments have decided to fast-track a missile defense program. The tensions between Georgia and Russia sped the talks that brought about the move. Alex Chadwick talks to Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radek Sikorski about the plans.
Israel, U.S. reportedly close radar deal 19 Aug 2008 Israel and the United States reportedly have closed a deal to incorporate Israel into the U.S. missile defense system. The deal, reported this week in Defense News and Ha'aretz, for the first time would station U.S. military personnel permanently in Israel manning X-Band radars.
Military technology: MoD announces winner of robot challenge 19 Aug 2008 British forces could soon be launching teams of autonomous spy robots to scope out enemy-held villages and towns. The technology was developed for the Ministry of Defence's Grand Challenge, a contest to find the best robotic air and ground vehicles for identifying threats such as snipers and roadside bombs. If future work goes well, the technology could be at the disposal of the army within 18 months. The Grand Challenge winner, announced today, was Team Stellar.
Soldiers: Mold infests Okla. barracks for wounded 18 Aug 2008 Mold infests the barracks that were set up here a year ago for wounded soldiers after poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center triggered a systemwide overhaul, soldiers say. Twenty soldiers, who spoke to USA TODAY early last week, said their complaints about mold and other problems went unheeded for months. They also said they had been ordered not speak about the conditions at Fort Sill.
Costs soar for National Guard training overhaul 19 Aug 2008 Revamping the Army National Guard training program so soldiers can spend more time at home will cost at least $128 million this year, and officials say they need nearly double that amount next year to properly train and equip their forces, The Associated Press has learned.
NY judge wants CIA to reveal torture documents 18 Aug 2008 A judge ordered the CIA to prepare a list of witnesses and documents relating to the destruction of videotapes of prisoner interrogations. Judge Alvin Hellerstein says he is growing impatient with delays to resolving requests by the American Civil Liberties Union for the information. The judge says he will order production of a list of witnesses and documents unless the Central Intelligence Agency can convince him it will interfere with a criminal probe. He gave the agency 10 days to do so.
A push to ban psychologists' role in torture 17 Aug 2008 (Boston) Holding signs that read, "Do no harm" and "Abolish torture," about 100 people attended a rally outside the American Psychological Association's annual convention yesterday, urging the organizations to ban its members from being involved in military interrogations and torture as part of the war on [of] terrorism.
Terrorism charges: Court can use Georgia Tech student's statement --Judge's ruling in case against Syed Haris Ahmed is a victory for federal prosecutors 19 Aug 2008 Atlanta terrorism defendant Syed Haris Ahmed’s acknowledgments to agents that he considered planning a terrorist attack and dying a martyr waging jihad can be used against him at trial, a federal judge has ruled. Handing federal prosecutors a major victory, U.S. Magistrate Gerrilyn Brill turned aside arguments that the former Georgia Tech student was coerced by agents into making the statements.
Schools roll out terrorism rule book 19 Aug 2008 Schools have become the new battleground in the police's fight to combat terrorism among Britain's youth. Measures designed to stamp out Islamic extremism [?] at the earliest opportunity have been agreed by senior officers and are now being rolled out across the country. They include guidance for parents on how to stop children searching for extremist websites, and an anti-extremism agenda in "all state-maintained educational establishments" by 2009.
Terrorism cyber-recruiter jailed 19 Aug 2008 A man described by prosecutors as a terrorism "Mr Fix-it" who recruited young people to al Qaeda's ideology over the Internet, was jailed for 12 years on Tuesday while one of his accomplices received a 10 year term. Aabid Hussain Khan, 23, and Sultan Muhammad, 23, were found guilty on Monday of possessing a huge array of articles and information [Gitmo me now], ranging from extremist propaganda to practical guides on how to make poisons and suicide vests.
Support grows for independent reviewer of terrorism laws 19 Aug 2008 A key Federal Labor MP has thrown his support behind a bill to introduce a watchdog to scrutinise Australia's anti-terrorism laws. Labor Caucus Chairman Daryl Melham says he backs a private members bill from Liberal MP Petro Georgiou for an independent reviewer of the laws.
Senators seek delay in FBI's expanded spy powers 18 Aug 2008 Two senior senators [Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.] urged Attorney General Michael Mukasey Monday to delay a change to FBI rules that critics say would weaken checks on the bureau's investigative powers. Mukasey wants to loosen restrictions on the FBI's national security and criminal investigations, saying the changes are necessary to improve the bureau's ability to detect would-be-terrorists.
Court: Passengers can challenge no-fly list 19 Aug 2008 Critics of the government's secret no-fly list scored a potentially important victory Monday when a federal appeals court ruled that would-be passengers can ask a judge and jury to decide whether their inclusion on the list violates their rights. The ruling is apparently the first to allow a challenge to the no-fly list to proceed in a federal trial court, said the plaintiff's lawyer, Marwa Elzankaly.
Reactor shut down after fire at Calif. nuke plant 18 Aug 2008 Authorities are investigating a fire at a California nuclear plant that forced a reactor to be shut down. The blaze was in a non-nuclear part of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.
Anti-Regulation Aide to Cheney Is Up for Energy Post 19 Aug 2008 A senior aide to Vice President [sic] Cheney is the leading contender to become a top official at the Energy Department, according to several current and former administration officials, a promotion that would put one of the administration's most ardent opponents of environmental regulation in charge of forming department policies on climate change.
Warming climate threatens Alaska's vast forests 19 Aug 2008 Here in a 13,700-year-old peat bog, ecologist Ed Berg reaches into the moss and pulls out more evidence of the drastic changes afoot due to the Earth's warming climate. Rooting through a handful of mossy duff, Berg, an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, shows remains of shrubs and other plants taking hold over the last 30 years in a patch of ground that has long been too soggy for woody plants to grow. In other words, the ground is drying out, and the peat bog is turning into forest.
starts counting off 30-day comment period on Endangered Species act
18 Aug 2008 The clock has started ticking down for anyone who wants
to comment on the Department of Interior's proposed
EPA Buzz Kill: Is the Agency Hiding Colony Collapse Disorder Information? NRDC Forced to Sue to Get Public Records on Bee Mystery 18 Aug 2008 The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today to uncover critical information that the US government is withholding about the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees. NRDC legal experts and a leading bee researcher are convinced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country. The phenomenon has come to be called "colony collapse disorder," or CCD, and it is already proving to have disastrous consequences for American agriculture and the $15 billion worth of crops pollinated by bees every year.
Metropolitan Wastewater Ends Up In Urban Agriculture 18 Aug 2008 As developing countries confront the first [created] global food crisis since the 1970s as well as unprecedented water scarcity, a new 53-city survey conducted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) indicates that most of those studied (80 percent) are using untreated or partially treated wastewater for agriculture.
Obama Ready to Announce Running Mate 18 Aug 2008 Senator Barack Obama has all but settled on his choice for a running mate and set an elaborate rollout plan for his decision, beginning with an early morning alert to supporters, perhaps as soon as Wednesday morning, aides said.
McCain weighs a Lieberman surprise 19 Aug 2008 John McInsane is seriously considering choosing a pro-abortion-rights running mate despite vocal resistance from conservatives, with former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph I. LieberBush (R-Israel) very much in the mix, close McCain advisers say. One obstacle for Lieberman may be legal. A GOP official said that since he is not a Republican, Lieberman may have a challenge being certified on some state ballots. [LIEberman is detested in Connecticut. He has no future in the state (despite the Hartford Courant pushing for him 24/7), so he crawled up McCain's a**.]
McCain nets $1.75 million at Reed-linked event 18 Aug 2008 John McCain raised more than $1.75 million for Republicans Monday at a fundraiser clouded by confusion over the role of a political operative connected to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The downtown event was promoted by Ralph Reed, a former head of the Christian Coalition. McCain's campaign said the event was organized by the Republican National Committee -- not Reed, who was linked to the Abramoff scandal that McCain investigated in the Senate.
Roseanne Barr: Angelina Jolie 'Evil,' Brad Pitt 'Vacuous' 18 Aug 2008 "Your evil spawn Angelina Jolie and her vacuous hubby Brad Pitt make about $40 million a year in violent, psychopathic movies and give away three of it to starving children, trying to look as if they give a crap about humanity as they spit out more dunces that will consume more than their fair share and wreck the earth even more," Roseanne writes in a post titled "Jon Voight." She also attacks the actress for recently saying she is undecided about the presidential election. "Miss Jolie says she likes [John] McCain too and hasn't decided who to endorse....huh? Aren't you supposed to be somewhat enlightened, or do you not know that the African daughter you hold in every picture had parents who suffered and died because of the Republican party's worldwide economic assault on Africa over the last few decades since Reagan?" [Well-said!]
Obama Suggests $2 Billion In New Funding for NASA 19 Aug 2008 Sen. Barack Obama has detailed a comprehensive space plan that includes $2 billion in new funding to reinvigorate NASA and a promise to make space exploration and science a significantly higher priority if he is elected president... Obama criticized administration policies that will lead to a five-year period after 2010 when "the United States will have to depend on foreign rockets and spacecraft to send Americans to orbit" -- even to the largely U.S.-funded $100 billion international space station.
Credit crunch may take out large US bank warns former IMF chief 19 Aug 2008 The deepening toll from the global financial crisis could trigger the failure of a large US bank within months, a respected former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund claimed today, fuelling another battering for banking shares. Professor Kenneth Rogoff, a leading academic economist, said there was yet worse news to come from the worldwide credit crunch and financial turmoil, particularly in the United States, and that a high-profile casualty among American banks was highly likely.
Tropical Storm Fay Hits Florida, May Enter Atlantic 19 Aug 2008 Tropical Storm Fay swept across South Florida with 60 mph winds as forecasters said it may move back over open water in the Atlantic later this week before striking the state a third time.
FBI had, then destroyed anthrax strain used in attacks 18 Aug 2008 FBI scientists early on had -- but destroyed -- the unique strain of anthrax used in the [Cheney] deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins, now the government's top suspect. FBI Assistant Director Vahid Majidi said the initial anthrax sample that Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators did not meet court-ordered conditions for its preparation and collection. Majidi said the sample kept at the FBI lab was destroyed because the bureau believed it might have been allowed as evidence at trial.
Journalist says U.S. target was Al-Jazeera 17 Aug 2008 After more than six years as a prisoner of the United States, former TV cameraman Sami al-Hajj is back at work with Al-Jazeera, the largest broadcaster in the Arab world... and, by most indications, a target of deep hostility from the Bush regime. Al-Jazeera has also been hit twice by U.S. artillery fire. One shelling destroyed its Kabul bureau in November 2001. The second struck a Baghdad office in April 2003, killing correspondent Tareq Ayoub.
Suicide car bomb kills 5 in western Iraq 18 Aug 2008 A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at a police checkpoint in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Monday, killing five policemen and wounding seven, police said.
Fifteen dead in suicide bombing in Baghdad 17 Aug 2008 Iraqi officials say a suicide bombing in a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad has killed 15 people and wounded about 30 others.
Suicide bombing near U.S. base kills 10 Afghan civilians 18 Aug 2008 A suicide car bombing has killed 10 people and wounded at least 13 others in eastern Afghanistan, as the country observes its 'Independence' Day. U.S. and Afghan officials say the bomber detonated his explosives outside a U.S. military base in the eastern province of Khost Monday.
British troops kill four Afghan civilians in Helmand province 17 Aug 2008 An investigation is under way after a rocket attack by British troops killed four civilians and injured three more in southern Afghanistan.
British soldier dies in Afghanistan 18 Aug 2008 A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. The soldier was part of a joint British-Afghan unit which was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Gereshk region of Helmand province.
Pervez Musharraf resigns as president of Pakistan 18 Aug 2008 Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, today announced his resignation after robustly defending his record. Expectations that the former army chief and firm US ally would go had been mounting since the coalition government said this month it planned to impeach him.
U.S.'s Gates scoffs at Russian warnings to Poland 17 Aug 2008 Pentagon chief Robert Gates dismissed as "empty rhetoric" on Sunday Russian warnings that Moscow would target Poland for a possible military strike because Warsaw agreed to host part of a U.S. missile shield. "Russia is not going to launch nuclear missiles at anybody," Defense Secretary Gates said on ABC News' "This Week." "The Poles know that. We know it."
Russia Seizes Arsenal of US Weapons In Georgia 15 Aug 2008 Russian forces have seized a "large arsenal" of U.S.-made weapons in the western Georgian city of Senaki including hundreds of assault rifles, a military spokesman said Friday. "In Senaki, we seized a large arsenal of weapons including 664 U.S.-made M-16 rifles" and a number of M-40 sniper rifles, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow. "There were 1,728 weapons total."
USDA website 'help wanted' notice: US to fund Georgia scientists to research, clone deadly viruses for 'outbreak response' --Posed 01 Jun 2008, updated 15 Aug 2008 African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) has been identified by USDA and DHS as an emerging agricultural pathogen due to the 2007, outbreaks in Eurasia and is now a high priority for biological countermeasure research. Objectives: Identify and recruit a qualified scientist from the Republic of Georgia to come to ARS, PIADC for the purpose of acquiring knowledge of ASF, and development of molecular biology skill sets... necessary for the successful ASF knowledge transfer in the future to other Republic of Georgia scientists. This scientist will be supported through USDA-DOE interagency agreement administered through ORISE. The identified Republic of Georgia scientist will be trained by ARS, PIADC in foreign animal disease molecular biology skills through on-going ARS Classical Swine Fever research. This training includes: vaccine discovery, inclusive of cell culture, virus titration, virus cloning, viral analysis, sequencing, tissue collection and necropsy. DHS, PIADC will coordinate ASFV related activities between ARS, PIADC and the Republic of Georgia, including access to viral samples and genomic sequencing support. The identified Republic of Georgia scientist, with assistance from ARS, PIADC and DHS, PIADC collaborators, will prepare and submit an ASF basic research and vaccine discovery proposal targeting the Eurasian outbreak response.
flu survivors' antibodies helpful for anti-bird flu fight 18
Aug 2008 Antibodies from survivors of the most devastating 1918 influenza
pandemic still protect against the virus, providing a new approach to
UK's Youngest Terrorist Convicted 18 Aug 2008 A teenager has been found guilty of possessing a guide to making napalm [OMG! Why don't they convict the US of *using* it?] - making him Britain's youngest terrorist. Hammaad Munshi was 16 when police found a guide to death and explosives at his home. The guide contained instructions for making napalm, other high explosives, detonators, grenades and "how to kill". Co-defendants Aabid Khan and Sultan Muhammad were also found guilty of possessing terror-related documents.
English jury convicts 3 of terror offences; defendants include 1 teenager 18 Aug 2008 A British teenager and two other men have been convicted of possessing documents useful to terrorists. They are to be sentenced Tuesday. The prosecution says the two older men had computer files promoting violence [!?!], documents with practical information on making and using weapons and explosives, and one that urged assassinations.
Britain's terror laws have left me and my family shattered --I am innocent yet was detained without charge in solitary confinement for days on end. By Hicham Yezza 18 Aug 2008 On May 14 I was arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act - on suspicion of the "instigation, preparation and commission of acts of terrorism": an absurdly nebulous formulation that told me nothing about the sin I had apparently committed. Once in custody, almost 48 hours passed before it was confirmed that the entire operation... was triggered by the presence on my University of Nottingham office computer of an equally absurd document called the "al-Qaida Training Manual", a declassified open-source document... Rizwaan Sabir, a politics student friend of mine (who was also arrested), had downloaded the file from the US justice department website [Insert eyeroll here.] while conducting research on terrorism for his upcoming PhD. An extended version of the same document (which figures on the politics department's official reading list) was also available on Amazon.
Mamdouh Habib fined $400 for outburst 19 Aug 2008 Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib has been fined $400 for offensive language and behaviour during an incident at a McDonald's restaurant in which police said he called them "smelly" and a "piece of shit".
573,639: The disturbing number of Britons with no criminal record but now registered on Labour's DNA database 16 Aug 2008 Nearly 600,000 people never convicted of any crime now have their details stored on Labour’s DNA database, shock figures reveal. More than 400,000 of those were added in the past two years, further fuelling the belief that the Government is building a genetic record of the entire population by stealth.
Security officials to scan DC area license plates --Plan will be funded by federal homeland security grants 17 Aug 2008 Homeland security officials in the Washington area plan to dramatically expand the use of automated license plate readers to 'prevent' possible terrorist attacks. Officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia have agreed to install 200 license plate readers on police vehicles, at airports and along roads.
A Toxic Proposal --The Labor Department politicizes the regulation of workplace health. (The Washington Post) 18 Aug 2008 For 7 1/2 YEARS, the Labor Department has neglected the workers it's supposed to protect. Now it is rushing to make its pro-industry stand official policy. The Post's Carol D. Leonnig reported that the Labor Department has fast-tracked a proposal that would make it more difficult to regulate workplace safety... The plan is an attempt by Labor's policymakers to wrest control of the risk assessment process from scientists at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Doing so would add another layer to a byzantine regulatory process that would be difficult for future administrations to untangle. It would also undermine OSHA, an agency that already has too many procedural hurdles to clear.
Assurances, McCain Wasn't in a 'Cone of Silence' 17 Aug 2008
Senator John McInsane was not in a "cone of silence" on Saturday
night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at
the Saddleback Church in California. Members of the McCain campaign
staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in
his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed
by the Rev. Rick Warren. Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong
appearance in the forum, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr.
Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation
among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was
Did McCain Steal His "Cross in the Dirt" Story at the Saddleback Forum From Solzhenitsyn? By Mark Nickolas 18 Aug 2008 The blogosphere is abuzz right now over the discovery that a POW story told by John McCain (R) at Saturday night’s presidential forum is eerily similar to one told by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his famous book The Gulag Archipelago which chronicled his time in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s and 1960s... What is going on here? Did McCain lie to Pastor Rick Warren in a church this weekend about his POW experience in an attempt to kiss-up to Evangelicals who are already very concerned about his bona fides on faith and religion?
Obama rips McCain for $5 million "rich" definition 18 Aug 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama ripped Republican rival John McCain on Monday for joking during a televised discussion on values that $5 million fit the definition for being monetarily rich. "I guess if you're making $3 million a year, you're middle class," Obama told a campaign event in New Mexico. "That's reflected in ... his policies," Obama said, adding McCain would give a $500,000 tax credit to people making more than $2.5 million.
McCain's Mansions: The Houses That Greed Built (Brave New Films) 18 Aug 2008 The REAL McCain is a multimillionaire who owns ten luxurious homes. The REAL McCain backs President [sic] Bush's tax cuts for big corporations. The REAL McCain empathizes only with the interests of our nation's wealthy minority, not its money-strapped majority.
Just Asking By Taegan Goddard 18 Aug 2008 During his weekend interview with Rev. Rick Warren, Sen. John McCain said that if he were president he would have never nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter or John Paul Stevens to the Supreme Court. McCain wasn't a senator when Stevens was nominated, but why did he nevertheless vote to confirm Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter? It seems he was for them before he was against them.
The Candidate We Still Don't Know By Frank Rich 17 Aug 2008 With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct... Though the McCain campaign announced a new no-lobbyists policy three months after The Washington Post’s February report that lobbyists were "essentially running" the whole operation, the fact remains that McCain’s top officials and fund-raisers have past financial ties to nearly every domestic and foreign flashpoint, from Fannie Mae to Blackwater to Ahmad Chalabi to the government of Georgia. No sooner does McCain flip-flop on oil drilling than a bevy of Hess Oil family members and executives, not to mention a lowly Hess office manager and his wife, each give a maximum $28,500 to the Republican Party. While reporters at The Post and The New York Times have been vetting McCain, many others give him a free pass.
Obama raises $7.8 million in San Francisco 18 Aug 2008 Barack Obama raked $7.8 million Sunday at three separate fundraisers in San Francisco, telling a VIP dinner crowd -- many of whom paid $28,500 to attend -- that he would win the presidency in November but to expect a tough battle with Republicans in the meantime.
U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules --Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. 16 Aug 2008 The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years... Under the Justice Department proposal for state and local police, law enforcement agencies would be allowed to target groups as well as individuals, and to launch a criminal intelligence investigation based on the suspicion that a target is engaged in terrorism or providing material support to terrorists. They also could share results with a constellation of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and others in many cases.
Newspaper: Blackwater guards get target letters 17 Aug 2008 Half a dozen Blackwater Worldwide security guards have gotten target letters from the Justice Department in a probe of shootings in Baghdad that killed 17 Iraqis, The Washington Post reported. The Post described the six guards as former U.S. military personnel, but did not identify them by name.
Dept. Moves Toward Charges Against Contractors in Iraq Shooting
17 Aug 2008 Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater
Record number of US contractors in Iraq --Roughly $12 billion of the $100 billion total paid for mercenaries – the gun-toting guards of Blackwater and other paramilitary personnel providers. 18 Aug 2008 The scale of the use of CONtractors in Iraq is unprecedented in US history, according to a new congressional report that may be the most thorough official account yet of the practice. As of early 2008, at least 190,000 private personnel were working on US-funded projects in the Iraq theater, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) survey found. That means that for each uniformed member of the US military in the region, there was also a contract employee – a ratio of 1 to 1.
A $100 billion bill 15 Aug 2008 Washington is headed toward another dismal milestone in Iraq. With more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and a conflict that's outlasted World War II, now add a $100 billion bill for private contractors by year's end. The sum pays for a shadow military that provides security, builds bases and runs the chow line in mess halls. The 180,000 private employees, based in or around Iraq, match the number of American troops. The figure is a high-water mark in the annals of privatized fighting.
Suicide bomber attacks Baghdad checkpoint 17 Aug 2008 A suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a checkpoint manned by US-backed neighbourhood guards in Baghdad today, killing 15 people and wounding at least 29, police said. Among those killed in the attack in the mainly Sunni Arab Adhamiya district of northern Baghdad was a leader of the neighbourhood guards in the area, Faruq Abu Omar, police said.
Israel source denies U.S. curbing arms sales to deter Iran strike 14 Aug 2008 An Israeli official on Wednesday denied an Haaretz report that the U.S. had rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. The official told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the Israeli-U.S. arms sales negotiations were being held without consideration of Iran and thus had no bearing on the U.S.' decision to withhold arms sales.
Iran launches satellite carrier 17 Aug 2008 Iran says it has successfully launched a rocket capable of carrying its first domestically built satellite. Officials said only the rocket had been fired, correcting state media reports that the communications satellite itself had been sent into orbit.
7,000 extra police deployed in, around Afghan capital --Roadside bomb kills 10 Afghan police officers in Kandahar province 17 Aug 2008 Security was tightened in and around Kabul on Sunday with 7,000 additional police officers deployed ahead of Monday's 89th observance of Afghanistan's independence [?] from Great Britain. Police were seen at newly established security checkpoints looking at every passing vehicle Sunday. An Interior Ministry official said it was the biggest police operation in Kabul in several months.
US military deaths in Afghanistan region at 500 15 Aug 2008 As of Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, at least 500 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department.
US, allies contemplating action against Russia 17 Aug 2008 The White House is struggling to figure out the best way to penalize Russia. It doesn't want to deeply damage existing cooperation on many fronts or discourage Moscow from further integrating itself into global economic and political institutions. At the same time, U.S. officials say Russia can't be allowed to get away with invading its neighbor. [What about Iraq and Afghanistan?]
Russia seizes US arms cache in Georgia 16 Aug 2008 A Russian military spokesman says Russian forces have seized a large cache of US-made weapons in the western city of Senaki in Georgia. "In Senaki, we seized a large arsenal of weapons including 664 US-made M-16 rifles" and a number of M-40 sniper rifles, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told a news conference in Moscow. "There were 1,728 weapons total," he added. Earlier on Wednesday, US President [sic] George W. Bush sent a C-17 airlifter to deliver 'humanitarian supplies' to Georgia.
Moscow warns it could strike Poland over US missile shield --Russian general threatens nuclear attack 16 Aug 2008 The risk of a new era of east-west confrontation was heightened yesterday when Moscow reserved the right to launch a nuclear attack on Poland because it agreed to host US rockets as part of the Pentagon's missile shield. As [hypocritical] Washington accused Russia of "bullying and intimidation" in Georgia and demanded an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from the small Black Sea neighbour, Russia's deputy chief of staff turned on Warsaw and said it was vulnerable to a Russian rocket attack because of Thursday's pact with the US on the missile defence project.
Alcohol abuse rises among combat veterans: study 12 Aug 2008 A significant number of U.S. veterans back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan begin abusing alcohol after returning, perhaps to cope with traumatic memories of combat, military researchers said on Tuesday.
'Millennium bomber' sentence tossed out by U.S. court 16 Aug 2008 A federal appeals court Friday threw out the 22-year sentence imposed on Algerian Ahmed Ressam for plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium. The three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to U.S. District Court in Seattle to recalculate a sentence for his conviction on nine felony counts. It was the second time the appellate court has scrapped Ressam's sentence.
Preparing for an urban WMD attack By Daniel Terdiman 16 Aug 2008 On Saturday, the San Francisco Fire Department, along with a group of other public and private agencies, ran a large-scale training exercise revolving around an urban weapons of mass destruction terrorist attack. Here, an emergency worker in a full hazmat suit examines the faux chemical that was supposedly found in the attack, which was said to be sodium cyanide, a poison that quickly affects peoples respiratory systems.
City defends 'secret jail' built for DNC 16 Aug 2008 Activist groups say the converted warehouse poses a threat to civil liberties. Denver maintains the facility is needed in case of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention. The makeshift holding center, dubbed "Gitmo on the Platte" by activists, is located on city-owned property near Steele Street and 38th Avenue. Newly-installed security cameras guard the exterior, chain-link fences and barbed wire form cells inside.
16 youths off Hartford, Conn., streets in sweep 15 Aug 2008 Police took 16 young people off the streets on the first night of a curfew crackdown, officials said. The curfew in the Connecticut capital bans anyone under 18 from loitering on the streets after 9 p.m., unless they are with a parent or guardian. Police have said the curfew ordinance will be enforced for 30 days.
Civil libertarians angered by Hartford curfew --Entire demographic 'under house arrest for the inappropriate actions of a few' 14 Aug 2008 Hartford's latest measure aimed at stemming 'gang violence' is being criticized by civil libertarians. The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut was mulling whether to file a legal challenge against the city's monthlong 9 p.m. juvenile curfew scheduled to begin Thursday. ACLU staff attorney David McGuire said juvenile curfews violate the fundamental rights of innocent people.
Activists arrested after Hawaiian palace takeover --Protesters calling for Hawaii's sovereignty took over historic palace 16 Aug 2008 A group of Native Hawaiians claiming to be [are] the state's legitimate rulers occupied the grounds of a historic palace for two hours before being arrested by state officers in the second recent takeover of its kind.
Bush protesters get $50,000 settlement from state of Iowa 15 Aug 2008 Two retired school teachers who said they were handcuffed and strip-searched during a 2004 campaign stop by President [sic] Bush in Cedar Rapids were awarded a $50,000 state judgment, records indicate. The State Appeal Board recently approved the out-of-court settlement for Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson, who brought a claim against the state Department of Public Safety after two state troopers arrested them at a rally at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids on Sept. 3, 2004.
Erickson's Cuba trip: More cigars, less charity --The congressional hopeful's 2004 visit wasn't humanitarian, "it was a pleasure trip," a friend says 17 Aug 2008 Congressional candidate Mike Erickson (R) took a six-day visit to Cuba in 2004 that he called a "humanitarian trip" to aid disabled Cubans oppressed by Fidel Castro, but the trip was instead a vacation that included bars, Havana cigars and the Tropicana nightclub. Erickson said he visited a medical center, met with doctors and attended a presentation on the plight of the disabled. But travel documents obtained by The Oregonian, others who accompanied Erickson and representatives of U.S. and Cuban charities tell a different story. For example, the medical center Erickson said he visited does not exist.
Mich., Fla. could get full voting rights 16 Aug 2008 Last year, Michigan and Florida Democrats were being told they would lose all their votes at the Democratic National Convention if they moved up their presidential primaries. Now, the same committee that stripped Florida and Michigan of their delegates for violating party rules by holding early primaries is poised to suggest those delegates regain their full voting powers when the Denver convention starts in eight days.
Rep.: Half of House Dems may vote Hillary at DNC 15 Aug 2008 Rep. Loretta Sanchez says she’s happy for the chance to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Democratic National Convention -- and she predicts that as many as half of the Democrats in the House could join her. On Friday, the Obama campaign confirmed that the floor vote in Denver will be conducted as a state-by-state roll call.
Obama-cans Unite 11 Aug 2008 Led by a former Bush fund-raiser and a former U.S. Senator who bolted the G.O.P. several years ago, a group of current and former Republicans disenchanted with Senator John McCain and supportive of Senator Barack Obama are banding together to start a "Republicans for Obama" effort.
Corsi's claim that Obama posted "false, fake birth certificate" flatly rejected by Hawaii Health Department By M.G. & E.H.H. 15 Aug 2008 On Fox News, Obama Nation author Jerome Corsi claimed that the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama "has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website." In fact, the Hawaii Department of Health has confirmed that the birth certificate posted online by the Obama campaign is "a valid Hawaii state birth certificate" and has called speculation about Obama's citizenship "pretty ridiculous."
Work begins on $57 million border fence in San Diego --Environmental groups say dirt shift threatens Tijuana River estuary, home to more than 370 migratory and native birds 16 Aug 2008 Scrapers and bulldozers began Friday filling a deep canyon to make way for a border fence in the southwestern corner of the United States after 12 years of planning, environmental reviews and legal challenges. At a cost of about $16 million a mile, the fence will be far more expensive than fences the U.S. government is building elsewhere along the nation's 1,952-mile border with Mexico.
L.A., Long Beach OK grants for Mexican carriers 15 Aug 2008 The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach boast of bringing in 40 percent of the nation’s imported goods, and plans to cut emissions at each port have been highlighted in mainstream news programs and the cable TV show "America’s Port." A Land Line investigation into the ports’ multibillion-dollar clean truck program, however, shows that the $2.2 billion program could pay for the replacement of trucks owned by Mexican trucking companies while it excludes U.S. trucks that run any miles outside of California.
Fla. Governor Declares State of Emergency 17 Aug 2008 Residents and tourists in the Florida Keys braced for Tropical Storm Fay, which forecasters said could strengthen to a hurricane by Sunday night and begin battering the island chain as soon as Monday. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) declared a state of emergency Saturday because Fay "threatens the state of Florida with a major disaster," he wrote in an executive order.
Fay Heads Toward Florida Keys, Kills 4 in Caribbean 17 Aug 2008 Tropical Storm Fay began to make its way toward Florida, after rain and winds lashed Haiti and the Dominican Republic yesterday, leaving at least four dead.
'Gitmo On the Platte' Set As Holding Cell For DNC 13 Aug 2008 CBS4 News has learned if mass arrests happen at the Democratic Convention, those taken into custody will be jailed in a warehouse owned by the City of Denver. Investigator Rick Sallinger discovered the location and managed to get inside for a look. The newly created lockup is on the northeast side of Denver. Protesters have already given this place a name: "Gitmo on the Platte." Inside are dozens are metal cages. They are made out of chain link fence material and topped by rolls of barbed wire. Each of the fenced areas is about 5 yards by 5 yards and there is a lock on the door. A sign on the wall reads "Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility."
Protesters: Holding pens unfit for voting machines --Dozen or so pens are made of chain link fencing with coiled concertina wire along the top 15 Aug 2008 Convention protesters said this afternoon that the "secret jail" the city has set up for people arrested during the upcoming Democratic National Convention used to house the city's voting machines until the building was declared unfit for the machines. At a press conference in front of the holding pens the city has built inside a dilapidated warehouse at 38th Avenue and Steele Street, protester Glenn Spagnuolo said the city stored its voting machines there until officials said the building was too hot for the machines and was without a fire sprinkler system. "The city pulled its voting machines from here because the building gets too hot. Yet now they'll put people in there who use those machines to vote," he told a small gathering of reporters. "There are no toilets there. There's no water, no fire suppression. The city should be ashamed. It needs to stop criminalizing protests."
US demands Russian troop pull-out 15 Aug 2008 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has demanded that Russian forces withdraw from Georgia immediately. It comes after Georgia's president signed an EU-brokered ceasefire deal, after nearly five hours of talks. President [sic] George W Bush has accused Russia of "bullying and intimidation", saying it was an unacceptable "way to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century".
Russian military concerned by U.S. cargo flights to Georgia 14 Aug 2008 Russia's General Staff said Thursday it was concerned by the nature of cargoes the United States was airlifting to Georgia, questioning if they were really humanitarian aid. The U.S. sent two C-17 military planes to Georgia late Wednesday and early Thursday as part of a Pentagon 'humanitarian' mission. In a statement Wednesday, President [sic] George W. Bush said Washington would "use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces" to distribute supplies, and demanded Russia withdraw troops from Georgia.
Chavez accuses Bush of ordering attack on South Ossetia 15 Aug 2008 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez believes that Georgian forces launched their attack on South Ossetia on the orders of the U.S. president [sic], the Union radio station reported Friday. "The leadership of the U.S., which gives orders to Georgian authorities, is to blame for the Caucasus' burning," began Chavez, as quoted by the Venezuelan radio station. "The president of the U.S., the imperialist George Bush, I am absolutely certain was the one who gave the order to Georgian forces to burn towns and villages and to kill innocent people," he said.
US military will stay in Georgia 18 Jan 2004 US officials have said that their military presence in Georgia will now become permanent. The American military has been training and equipping the Georgian army since the spring of 2002. In 2002 the Bush administration set up an 18-month, $65m programme aimed at training and equipping Georgia's army. The programme was part of America's war on [of] terror.
Neocon troll confuses Blackwater with Iran: Iran training Iraqi hit squads: US military 15 Aug 2008 Iraqi assassination squads are being trained in Iran by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah for attacks on specific Iraqis, a US military official said Friday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity [of course], said the Shiite "special groups" were being trained in Qom, Tehran, Mashad and Ahvaz in assassination and bombing techniques.
Bomb hits Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad; 4 dead 15 Aug 2008 Iraqi police and hospital officials say a bomb has struck Shiite pilgrims north of Baghdad, killing at least four people and wounding 40. The officials say a minibus parked near a bus terminal in Balad exploded Friday evening as the area was crowded with people preparing to travel south to the holy city of Karbala.
'I think he thinks this circus has gone on long enough.' Guantanamo trial may proceed without defendant 15 Aug 2008 An accused al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] videographer abandoned his hearing in the U.S. war crimes court at Guantanamo on Friday, setting up what could be a fast 'trial' with no defendant and no defense. Yemeni defendant Ali Hamza al Bahlul had intended to act as his own attorney but the judge ruled that he lost that right when he left the courtroom under escort. Bahlul said he would boycott further proceedings and return to hear his sentence after the trial ended, presumably with his conviction. "I do not have any trust in this legal farce," he said through an Arabic-English interpreter. "Continue this illegal play in any way you wish." Bahlul's military-appointed lawyer, Air Force Maj. David Frakt, asked for a speedy trial and said he would honor Bahlul's request to put on no defense at all. "I think he thinks this circus has gone on long enough," Frakt said after the hearing at the U.S. naval base in southeastern Cuba.
Alleged al Qaida PR man: Convict me next 15 Aug 2008 An accused al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] filmmaker with a flair for the dramatic set the stage for the first no-contest war crimes trial Friday by declaring a boycott until he is sentenced. ''It is a legal farce,'' Ali Hamza al Bahlul, 39, of Yemen, told his military judge, Air Force Col. Ronald Gregory. "You are the judge and I am the accused," he said. "At the same time you are my enemy. We really don't accept this kind of logic."
'Sexy' Khadr charges meant to boost support for military --Judge blasts prosecutors' 'glacial-like speed' at Khadr's pretrial 13 Aug 2008 Canadian Omar Khadr was among the first group of Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged with war crimes only because his case was "sexy" and senior U.S. administration officials believed charging Khadr would help whip up support for the controversial military commissions set up by the U.S. Congress to try terrorism suspects, a court here was told Wednesday. Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor for all military commission trials, testified that there was a sense of urgency within the Bush administration and in senior ranks of the U.S. military justice system to get some star trials started before the end of Bush's term this year, on fears that the next [sic] president could end the tribunals.
Canadian detainee loses bid for independent exam 15 Aug 2008 A military judge on Friday denied a request for an independent psychological evaluation of a young Canadian prisoner facing a war crimes 'trial' at Guantanamo Bay. The Army judge, Col. Patrick Parrish, said the services of two experts requested by Omar Khadr's defense lawyers will only be accepted if prosecutors cannot find government specialists with similar qualifications. Khadr is scheduled to face trial in October... At a pretrial hearing this week, defense lawyers requested funding for two doctors with expertise in juvenile issues to examine Khadr, who was captured at age 15.
Pentagon official removed from 2nd Guantanamo trial 14 Aug 2008 A military judge [Army Col. Steve Hanley] on Thursday barred a Pentagon official from taking part in a second war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay, providing more ammunition for detainee lawyers who allege that political interference taints the proceedings. The ruling will fuel defense challenges in other trials at this U.S. Navy base, where a former chief prosecutor and defense lawyers have accused Air Force Brig Gen. Thomas Hartmann, the legal adviser to the tribunals, of demanding that certain cases be pursued over others based on political considerations.
Guantanamo general slams bullying, 'spray and pray' approach --Gen Zanetti accuses Gen Hartmann of having 'abusive and unprofessional' behaviour 15 Aug 2008 A US general on Wednesday accused another general of bullying and having a "spray and pray" approach to detainees at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a US daily reported. "Spray and pray. Charge everybody. Let’s go. Speed, speed, speed," was the method of Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann, deputy prison camp commander Brigadier General Gregory Zanetti told the hearing, the Miami Herald said. In a rare criticism of a fellow officer, Zanetti said Hartmann’s demeanor "as an attorney from a thousand miles away," was "abusive, bullying and unprofessional ... pretty much across the board".
Guantanamo jurors disappointed convict could be held 13 Aug 2008 The military jurors who gave Osama bin Laden's driver a light sentence want him freed from Guantanamo once he completes it in December and were frustrated to learn the military can hold him indefinitely, one of the panelists said Wednesday. In an interview with The Associated Press, the juror said the panel of six American military officers did not learn until the trial ended on Thursday that the Pentagon retains the right to hold Salim Hamdan as an "enemy combatant," even after he completes his sentence. "After all the effort that we put in to get somebody a fair trial ... and then to say no matter what we did it didn't matter -- I don't see that as a positive step," the juror said in the telephone interview.
U.S. court to rehear case of Canadian sent to Syria 14 Aug 2008 A U.S. court will take the unusual step of rehearing a lawsuit it earlier rejected from a Canadian [Maher Arar] who claims the U.S. government sent him illegally to Syria where he was tortured for a year, lawyers said on Thursday. In June, a three-judge U.S. appeals court panel, affirming a lower court decision, ruled 2-1 that Arar failed to establish that the federal court had jurisdiction to hear his complaint. But on Thursday, that same court ordered that the case be reheard by the entire Second Circuit Court of Appeals -- about 12 judges -- on December 9.
Attacks on NATO patrol in Afghanistan kills 2 15 Aug 2008 U.S.-led forces have killed more than 36 'insurgents' in a series of clashes and airstrikes in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said Friday. A militant attack on NATO patrol killed two alliance's troops. Groups of militants began launching attacks Wednesday on a coalition reconnaissance patrol in the south, using rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and small arms fire, the coalition said.
Future wars 'to be fought with mind drugs' 14 Aug 2008 Future wars could see opponents attacking each other's minds, according to a report for the US military. Landmines releasing brain-altering chemicals, scanners reading soldiers' minds and devices boosting eyesight and hearing could all one figure in arsenals, suggests the study. "Pharmacological landmines," which release drugs to incapacitate soldiers upon their contact with them, could also be developed, according to the report's authors. The report, commissioned by the Defense Intelligence Agency... also explains that the concept of torture could be transformed in the future.
Audio: Pilot said unscheduled Obama landing was 'emergency' 15 Aug 2008 Control tower tapes reveal that the pilot of presidential hopeful Barack Obama's plane told air traffic controllers there was an emergency when he made an unscheduled landing last month in St. Louis, Missouri. On July 7 the Midwest Airlines MD-81 made an unscheduled landing during the flight from Chicago, Illinois, to Charlotte, North Carolina. The owner of the plane initially said the landing was not caused by an emergency. However the tapes, released to ABC News through a Freedom of Information Act request, contradict that report.
Killer had Gwatney note 15 Aug 2008 A search warrant returned to Searcy district court today with a receipt for property taken during the search of the Searcy home of Timothy Johnson, the suspected killer of Democratic Party chair Bill Gwatney, provides the first indication that Johnson might have targeted the former senator and car dealer. According to that document, among the items seized was a note bearing Gwatney's name and two sets of car keys from Gwatney dealerships. Also 14 weapons.
Lawsuit Filed Against Gonzales, DOJ Officials --Lawsuit: DOJ Officials Should be Held Accountable for Politicizing Hiring Practices 15 Aug 2008 Six attorneys rejected from civil service positions at the Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and three other top officials for allegedly violating their rights by taking politics into consideration in the hiring process. The suit is an attempt to hold top officials accountable for the hiring scandal that ultimately led to Gonzales' resignation last year, said Daniel Metcalfe, the attorney for the plaintiffs who is also executive director of its Collaboration on Government Secrecy at American University's Washington College of Law.
Judge bars publication of 'D.C. Madam' police photos --Judge rules 'D.C. Madam' suicide photos public 15 Aug 2008 A judge ordered Friday that crime scene photographs taken by police during their investigation of the suicide of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, also known as the D.C. Madam, are part of the public record. But Sixth Circuit Judge Linda Allan prohibited the duplication or publication of the photos taken by Tarpon Springs police, citing a need to balance the public’s right to know with the privacy rights of Palfrey’s mother, Blanche Palfrey. [See: Attorney: 'DC Madam' left instructions if 'ever found dead of apparent suicide' By Lori Price 10 Aug 2008.]
A bit too expensive for us 14 Aug 2008 (Eagle Times) Any newspaper that assigns a reporter to cover Senator John McCain in his bid for the Presidency this fall better have some deep pockets. It ain't going to be cheap. Last winter, on what we thought was an open invitation from the McCain camp, a reporter joined him on the McCain Straight Talk Express in Lebanon for an interview while the bus made its way to its next campaign stop 25 miles away in Newport... Well, about a month later, a bill arrived in the mail from McCain's financial headquarters in Virginia. It seems the charge of riding the McCain's Straight Talk Express some 25 miles was well over $100.
Jenna Bush Wedding Pastor Rips McCain 15 Aug 2008 ABC News: The pastor who officiated Jenna Bush's wedding ripped into Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Friday for jokingly volunteering his wife last week for a beauty pageant that often features contestants topless. "...[A]s recently as last week I think it was, the Senator made a comment in South Dakota regarding his wife entering some Buffalo Chips contest which is this topless deal and if she were to enter she would probably win it and... that's not not, N-O-T, not the type of expression that a presidential candidate, or anyone for that matter who is a follower of the Christian faith, ought to make," said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. "I don't know if that is a perfect case in point, but it surely does help to juxtapose the DNA of Senator Obama, if you would, versus the DNA of Senator McCain."
Obama Faces the Smear Machine By Eugene Robinson 15 Aug 2008 Here come the goons, right on schedule. The "author," and I use the term loosely, whose vicious lies damaged John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign has crawled back out from under his rock to spew vicious lies about Barack Obama. Right-wing radio talk-show hosts are dutifully transmitting this concocted venom. This presidential campaign has officially gotten ugly.
Feds reveal more evidence in Sen. Stevens case 15 Aug 2008 Federal prosecutors offered a glimpse of previously unseen evidence against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens in new court filings Thursday, including allegations that Stevens used insider help to turn a secret $5,000 investment in a Florida condo development into more than $100,000 in quick profits. The government also dismissed assertions by Stevens that his conduct was shielded by the constitution as a member of Congress, citing nine examples of Stevens' "errands" and requests involving Veco that had nothing to do with protected lawmaking.
Groups file elections complaint against Wal-Mart 15 Aug 2008 The AFL-CIO and three other labor-rights groups have asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unlawfully pressured employees to vote against Democrats in November because their party would help workers to unionize. The groups say in a complaint processed on Friday with the FEC that "there is reason to believe" Wal-Mart broke federal election rules by advocating against Democratic candidate Barack Obama in meetings with employees.
Ala. county faces biggest US municipal bankruptcy 15 Aug 2008 Alabama's largest county appears headed for the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a $3.2 billion mess created by the nation's credit crunch and a colossal, corruption-riddled sewer project. Politicians in Jefferson County -- which includes the state's biggest city, Birmingham -- are struggling to find a way out of the jam, but they have mostly abandoned talk of raising taxes and fees after running into fierce opposition at raucous public meetings.
Ocean dead zones become a worldwide problem 14 Aug 2008 Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, ''dead zones'' with too little oxygen for life are expanding in the world's oceans. ''We have to realize that hypoxia is not a local problem,'' said Robert J. Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. ''It is a global problem and it has severe consequences for ecosystems.''
'51 souls on board' FAA Tapes Reveal Drama of Obama Jet Incident --Audio Contradicts FAA Account of "No Emergency" 14 Aug 2008 The incident involving Sen. Barack Obama's campaign plane last month was much more serious than the airline or the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to FAA control tower tapes obtained by ABC News. At the time, an FAA spokesperson said the pilot did not declare an emergency and the airline owner, Midwest Airlines, said safety "was never an issue." The tapes show otherwise. Just 41 seconds after discovering he no longer had full control of the plane's up and down movements, the pilot told an FAA air traffic controller "at this time we would like to declare an emergency and also have CFR [crash equipment] standing by in St. Louis." ...Asked by the St. Louis tower controller which runway he wanted to land on, the pilot responded, "Well, which one is the longest?" The pilot then reported, "We have Senator Obama on board the aircraft and his campaign." Unbeknownst to the pilot, an emergency evacuation slide had inflated inside the tail of the jet, affecting control cables there. As tension mounted and the pilot rapidly descended from 32,000 feet, he was asked how many were on the jet. "51 souls on board," he responded.
Obama pilots asked for emergency equipment in event of crash landing 14 Aug 2008 The unexpected landing of Sen. Barack Obama's plane was indeed an emergency despite earlier efforts to downplay the incident, ABC News' Investigative team reported Thursday. Audio tapes of the plane landing on July 7 in St. Louis revealed that the pilots declared the situation an emergency. The pilots also asked that the emergency equipment at the airport be deployed in the event of a crash landing. According to the ABC News unit, the Federal Aviation Administration now says its original statements were incorrect.
Navy relieves commander of air recon squadron 13 Aug 2008 The commander of a Navy air reconnaissance squadron that provides the president and the defense secretary the airborne ability to command the nation's nuclear weapons has been relieved of duty, the Navy said Tuesday. Cmdr. Shawn Bentley was relieved of duty Monday by the Navy for loss of confidence in his ability to command, only three months after taking the job. Capt. Brian Costello, commander of the Navy's Strategic Communications Wing One, removed Bentley from command, said Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the Naval Air Forces. The primary duty of the squadron, nicknamed the "Ironman," is to provide communication with ballistic missile submarines, Brown said. It is also one of three squadrons that provides airborne communications for the president and defense secretary to command and control the nation's nuclear submarines, bombers and missile silos, according to the Wing's official Web site. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]
US boasts of laser weapon's 'plausible deniability' 12 Aug 2008 An airborne laser weapon dubbed the "long-range blowtorch" has the added benefit that the US could convincingly deny any involvement with the destruction it causes, say senior officials of the US Air Force (USAF). The Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) is to be mounted on a Hercules military transport plane. Cynthia Kaiser, chief engineer of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, used the phrase "plausible deniability" to describe the weapon's benefits in a briefing on laser weapons to the New Mexico Optics Industry Association in June. John Corley, director of USAF's Capabilities Integration Directorate, used the same phrase to describe the weapon's benefits at an Air Armament Symposium in Florida in October 2007. As the term suggests, "plausible deniability" is used to describe situations where those responsible for an event could plausibly claim to have had no involvement in it.
jail guards in Iraq abuse case 13 Aug 2008 Six US sailors working
as prison camp guards in Iraq face courts martial for
FBI to get freer rein to look for terrorism suspects 13 Aug 2008 Attorney General Michael Mukasey confirmed plans Wednesday to loosen post-Watergate restrictions on the FBI's national security and criminal investigations, saying the changes were necessary to improve the bureau's ability to detect terrorists. Mukasey said he expected criticism of the new rules because "they expressly authorize the FBI to engage in intelligence collection inside the United States." However, he said the criticism would be misplaced because the bureau has long had authority to do so.
US warns against Israeli plan to strike against Iran's nuclear facilities --Bush was presented with list of desired military hardware 13 Aug 2008 The US has refused an Israeli request for military hardware to assist with a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, while warning against any such plan, according to a report today. Israel presented its list of desired military hardware and other backup for the strike during President [sic] George Bush's visit to Jerusalem in May, the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, said.
U.S. puts brakes on Israeli plan for attack on Iran nuclear facilities 13 Aug 2008 The American administration has rejected an Israeli request for military equipment and support that would improve Israel's ability to attack Iran's nuclear facilities... The Americans viewed the request, which was transmitted (and rejected) at the highest level, as a sign that Israel is in the advanced stages of preparations to attack Iran.
Russia: Georgia can 'forget' regaining provinces 14 Aug 2008 The foreign minister of Russia said Thursday that Georgia could "forget about" getting back its two breakaway provinces, and the former Soviet republic remained on edge as Russia sent tank columns to search out and destroy Georgian military equipment.
Israel predicted Georgia and Russia headed for war in 2007 14 Aug 2008 Israel decided to scale back its arms deals with Tblisi in late 2007 because it believed Georgia was heading toward an armed conflict with Russia. The defense and foreign ministries started ordering military exports to Georgia be cut last year, thwarting a major deal for Israeli-made Merkava tanks.
Georgia president denies Israel halted military aid 14 Aug 2008 Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili denied on Wednesday night that Israel has suspended its military aid to the country. "I haven't heard anything about that, and I haven't had time to think about that issue for some days," he told Haaretz. Saakashvili said he is aware of problems with supplying the pilotless drones that his army ordered from Israeli companies, but not of the stopping of any other shipments of military aid.
U.S.: Russia should face consequences for crisis --Gates rips 'aggressive posture' in [US-backed] Georgia, says pullback apparently starting 14 Aug 2008 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that Moscow should face unspecified consequences for Russia's "aggressive posture" in the crisis-addled former Soviet republic of Georgia, but that the Pentagon does not want a new Cold War with Russia. "We have been pretty restrained in this," Gates told reporters, but added that the conflict could damage U.S.-Russia relations for years to come.
U.S., Poland Reach Agreement on Missile Defense 14 Aug 2008 The U.S. and Poland signed a preliminary accord today that will allow for 10 U.S. interceptor missiles to be based in the eastern European country, completing a 'defense' system that Russia opposes. The U.S. has agreed to [bribe Poland] Polish requests including modernization of its armed forces in exchange for the location of the missiles, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in an interview with private broadcaster TVN24 this evening.
Put a fork in it, Bush. Taleban at Kabul's doorstep 13 Aug 2008 It is just an hour's drive south-west of Kabul on Afghanistan's main highway before you start to see dramatic evidence of how the 'insurgency' is closing in on the capital. The UN produces internal "accessibility" maps which colour code areas by level of risk. A comparison between 2005 and June 2008 shows the dramatic deterioration of security in such a short space of time. Almost half the country is now "extremely risky" for UN staff - a classification that did not even appear on the map legend three years earlier.
Briton among three female aid workers killed in Afghanistan --Agency halts its programme after three deaths 14 Aug 2008 A Briton was among three women aid workers killed yesterday in an ambush by Taleban gunmen in one of the worst attacks on foreign civilians in Afghanistan in recent years. The body of Jacqueline Kirk and the two other women, as well as their Afghan driver, were found riddled with bullets in the province of Logar, about 50km (30 miles) south of the capital, Kabul.
US terror expert points to new al Qaeda leaders [LOL! I guess they can't keep re-killing 'al-Qaeda' number twos] 14 Aug 2008 A noted US-based terrorism analyst has claimed that Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is exploiting the recent [US-engendered] political turmoil in Pakistan to strengthen its foothold along the country's border with Afghanistan. He has said that al Qaeda had strengthened its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas by deepening its alliances with Pakistani militants and pushing many elements of Pakistani government authority from the area. [See: Musharraf "misappropriated" US aid worth $700 M: Zardari 10 Aug 2008. See: Al-Qaeda No. 2 May be Injured, Possibly Re-killed --Ayman al-Zawahiri 'died' in February 2006, but may be critically wounded or possibly re-killed. By Lori Price 02 Aug 2008. See: Al-Qaeda expert re-killed by CIA --Abu Khabab al-Masri 'died' in January 2006 and again on Monday. By Lori Price 30 Jul 2008.]
U.S. court rules Saudi Arabia immune in 9/11 case 14 Aug 2008 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, four princes and other Saudi entities are immune from a lawsuit filed by victims of the September 11 attacks and their families alleging they gave material support to al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday. The ruling by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a 2006 ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Casey dismissing a claim against Saudi Arabia, a Saudi charity, four princes and a Saudi banker of providing material support to al Qaeda before the September 11 attacks.
#1 on reddit.com (14 Aug.) Exclusive: Attorney: 'DC Madam' left instructions if 'ever found dead of apparent suicide' By Lori Price 10 Aug 2008 10 Aug 2008 Citizens For Legitimate Government has learned that Deborah Jeane Palfrey's lawyer, Montgomery Blair Sibley, has intervened to stop a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Tarpon Springs, Florida, Police Department from releasing information requested by Sibley pertaining to the investigation of Jeane's death. Sibley told CLG, "Jeane was very clear with me that if she was ever found dead of an apparent suicide, I was to make sure that all the evidence was publicly disseminated so that it could be independently evaluated."
Hair Samples in Anthrax Case Don't Match --Strands From Mailbox in Princeton Are Not From Ivins, Investigators Say 14 Aug 2008 Federal investigators probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks recovered samples of human hair from a mailbox in Princeton, N.J., but the strands did not match the lead suspect in the case, according to sources briefed on the probe. FBI agents and U.S. Postal Service inspectors analyzed the data in an effort to place Fort Detrick, Md., scientist Bruce E. Ivins at the mailbox from which bacteria-laden letters were sent to [Democratic] Senate offices and media organizations, the sources said.
FBI, Terrorism Task Force investigating Denver hotel death 13 Aug 2008 The FBI is investigating the death of an Ottawa man in a downtown Denver hotel room from apparent cyanide poisoning. Saleman Adbirahman Dirie, 29, had been dead several days when he was found in a fourth-floor room of the Burnsley Hotel on Monday morning. A container of white powder was found near his body. A hazardous materials team removed the bottle of white powder from Room 408. Authorities are still trying to determine if it's cyanide. The FBI and other governmental agencies, including the Joint Terrorism Task Force, are assisting in the investigation. Hazardous materials assistance has included the Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado National Guard.
No Firm Answers in Suspected Cyanide Poisoning Death --With DNC Less Than Two Weeks Away, FBI Joins Denver Police in Investigation 13 Aug 2008 With less than two weeks before the Democratic National Convention comes to Denver, the city is on edge after a Canadian man was found dead of possible cyanide poisoning in his hotel room there. Police discovered Saleman Abdirahman Dirie's body Monday morning in the Burnsley Hotel, about four blocks from the Colorado state capitol. Not far from Dirie's body, investigators found a jar containing a white powdery substance consistent with cyanide. The medical examiner's office performed an autopsy Tuesday. The FBI joined the Denver police to investigate the case. The city has been conducting anti-terror drills to prepare for the more than 40,000 people expected to flood Denver for the DNC, where Barack Obama is scheduled to accept the party's nomination for president. [Right, it's the 'prepare for' (Remember the 9/11 'anti'-terror drills?) that gets us every time! Hopefully, the f*ckers won't *go live.* --LRP]
Pound of cyanide found in room where man died 13 Aug 2008 About a pound of highly toxic sodium cyanide was found in a hotel room where a man's body was discovered, authorities said Wednesday. The Denver medical examiner was still awaiting test results to determine what killed Saleman Abdirahman Dirie, of Ottawa. Dirie's body was found Monday in The Burnsley All Suite Hotel. Fire officials said they found a bottle of the white powder in Dirie's room. Police said Wednesday it was cyanide. Cyanide can be mixed with certain acids to produce extremely lethal cyanide gas, according to the Department of Justice. Investigators have not said how long Dirie had been in Denver or whether anyone [such as Cheney's anthrax henchmen?] had accompanied him. [The Burnsley All Suite Hotel is listed in the '2008 DNC Accomodations Guide' under 'Denver Hotels, Rentals, Working Space and Temporary Headquarters for 2008 DNC visitors.' It's 1.74 miles from Denver's INVESCO Field at Mile High, where Barack Obama is scheduled to accept the Democratic nomination for president.]
'Authorities haven't said why he was in Denver.' Cyanide poisoning probed in Denver 13 Aug 2008 Denver police say they have found no evidence of terrorism in cyanide poisoning of a visitor [Saleman Abdiraham Dirie] less than two weeks before the Democratic National Convention. ABC's "Good Morning America" reported Wednesday that while investigators haven't found indications that foul play or terrorism were involved in Dirie's death, the FBI has joined the case. Cyanide is a fast-acting poison that can be used as an ingredient in a chemical weapon.
Military donations favor Obama over McCain 6-to-1 --Troops donate more campaign money to Obama than McCain, despite McCain's military record 14 Aug 2008 U.S. soldiers have donated more presidential campaign money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain, a reversal of previous campaigns in which military donations tended to favor GOP White House hopefuls, a nonpartisan group reported Thursday. Troops serving abroad have given nearly six times as much money to Obama's presidential campaign as they have to McCain's, the Center for Responsive Politics said.
Clinton adviser: She never pushed for convention compromise 14 Aug 2008 A source close to Hillary Clinton insists the former presidential contender never pushed Barack Obama’s campaign to allow her supporters to place her name into nomination at the Democratic convention, and approached his team only when her camp grew "worried" over news that rising resentment among her most loyal supporters might lead to chaos in Denver.
Clinton to get roll call at convention 14 Aug 2008 Democrats officially will choose Barack Obama to run against Republican John McCain this fall. But in an emblematic move meant to heal divisive primary wounds, Hillary Rodham Clinton's name also will be placed in nomination alongside his during the traditional state-by-state delegation roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Jackson Browne Files Suit Against McCain, RNC for Copyright Infringement and False Endorsement 14 Aug 2008 Renowned songwriter and liberal political activist Jackson Browne has filed a lawsuit today against Senator John McCain and the Republican National Committee in the United States District Court in Los Angeles, California. The lawsuit stems from a recent television commercial for Senator McCain's presidential bid that incorporates the song 'Running On Empty,' a song written by and famously associated with Mr. Browne, it was announced today by Browne's attorney, Lawrence Y. Iser. In addition to a claim for copyright infringement, the suit alleges that by using a song famously associated with Mr. Browne, Senator McCain and the Republican Party violated the United States Lanham Act by falsely suggesting that Mr. Browne is associated with and endorses Senator McCain's candidacy.
Pelosi warns Lieberman for undercutting Obama 14 Aug 2008 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Sen. Joe LieberBush [R-Israel] on Wednesday for making what she called "totally irresponsible" remarks about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and warned that the Senate might retaliate by revoking Lieberman's committee chairmanship. Campaigning for Republican John McCain in York, Pa., on Tuesday, Lieberman appeared to question Obama's patriotism when he called the election a choice "between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put his country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate that has not."
US supreme court kicks Exxon Valdez case back to California court -- Including interest would bring payout to nearly $1bn --San Francisco court to determine total punitive damages 13 Aug 2008 Once again, plaintiffs who have been waiting for a payout in the Exxon Valdez lawsuit will have to continue their wait. The US supreme court yesterday declined to decide whether Exxon Mobil Corp should pay interest on punitive damages, which would nearly double the $507m award punishing the company for its role in an oil spill that leaked 11m gallons of crude oil into the fishing waters of Prince William Sound.
US mission to Arctic will lay claim to gas reserves 13 Aug 2008 Canada and the US are teaming up to for a research mission to the Arctic continental shelf as part of their [illegal] bid to lay claim to the vast oil and natural gas reserves believed to lie beneath the Arctic Ocean floor. A US Coast Guard cutter will set out on Thursday on a three-week trip to map a relatively unexplored area known as the Chukchi borderland, about 600 miles north of Alaska.
Thousands rally to mark 'death' of Australian river 10 Aug 2008 Thousands of people rallied in southern Australia Sunday to protest the dwindling water levels in one of the country's greatest rivers, claiming the loss was causing an environmental disaster. The 5,000-strong crowd gathered near the mouth of the 2,530 kilometre (1,569 mile) Murray to hold two minute's silence to mark the 'death' of the river, which forms part of Australia's most important agricultural region.
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