October 2007 Archives
FBI to Participate in TOPOFF 4 Dirty Bomb Drill --More than 15,000 participants to take part in largest terror drill to date 12 Oct 2007 From October 15 – 19, 2007, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will take part in a multi-agency national preparedness exercise known as Top Officials, or TOPOFF. This full-scale exercise [We hope!] will simulate the response to a radiological dispersal device attack. The venues for this cycle, TOPOFF 4, are Arizona, Guam, and Oregon. In addition, activities will take place on a federal level in Washington, D.C. In coordination with the Department of State, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia are full international partners in the exercise.
Texas firm accused of overbilling U.S. government in Afghanistan 11 Oct 2007 A Texas company that provides security in Afghanistan is accused of overbilling the U.S. government by charging for nonexistent employees and vehicles, an American security official with close ties to the company told The Associated Press. The overbilling by USPI could add up to millions of dollars, the American security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in Kabul. In a 2005 report on disarmament in Afghanistan, the International Crisis Group said a majority of the men on USPI's payroll are associated with private militias... "Many have used their authority to engage in criminal activity, including drug trafficking," the report said.
Six-Figure Bonuses Retain US Commandos --$150,000 Bonuses for 'Top' Mercenaries and War Criminals to Stay in Uniform 11 Oct 2007 The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs, reversing the flow of top mercenaries to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering big salaries. Overall, more than 1,200 of the military's most specialized personnel near or already eligible for retirement have opted for payments of up to $150,000 in return for staying in uniform several more years.
Blackwater Guards Fired at Fleeing Cars, Soldiers Say --First U.S. Troops on Scene Found No Evidence of Shooting by Iraqis; Incident Called 'Criminal' 12 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA mercenaries shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons. The soldiers' report of Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa... concluded that there was "no enemy activity involved" and described the shootings as a "criminal event." Their conclusions mirrored those reached by the Iraqi government, which has said the Blackwater mercenaries killed 17 people. The soldiers' accounts contradict Blackwater's assertion [lies] that its guards were defending themselves after being fired upon by Iraqi police and gunmen.
Blackwater faces war crimes inquiry after killings in Iraq 12 Oct 2007 The American firm Blackwater USA has been served notice that it faces investigations for war crimes after 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed in a hail of bullets by its mercenaries in Baghdad.
Blackwater USA Is Sued by Iraqis 12 Oct 2007 A wounded survivor and relatives of three people killed on Sept. 16 when employees of the private security company [Waffen-SS] Blackwater USA opened fire on Iraqis in Baghdad sued the firm in an American court on Thursday. The Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal advocacy group, said it filed the suit, which charges that Blackwater and its affiliates violated United States law in committing "extrajudicial killings and war crimes." [Haul Bush's ass into court for same.]
15 Iraqi civilians killed in US air strikes 12 Oct 2007 At least 15 Iraqi civilians, including nine children, were killed last night in American air strikes against suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] militants north of Baghdad, the US military said yesterday.
Iraq's debt risk rises despite US troop surge 12 Oct 2007 An analysis of trading in billions of dollars worth of Iraqi bonds shows investors have raised their assessment of the risk that Baghdad will default on its debts by a striking 40 per cent since the surge began in February. The analysis by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Michael Greenstone suggests financial markets believe the surge has actually lessened the probability a stable Iraqi state will emerge from the 'sectarian' violence.
Bayh asks for inquiry into guardsman's death 11 Oct 2007 The death of a Westfield soldier has led U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh to ask for an Army investigation into the Indiana National Guardsman's medical care. The Associated Press reported that an autopsy concluded Sgt. Gerald J. Cassidy had been dead for hours before being found at an Army medical facility in Fort Knox, Ky., and may have been unconscious for two days.
U.S. Files Charges Against Guantánamo Prisoner 11 Oct 2007 Military prosecutors filed attempted murder charges against a Guantánamo prisoner this week, saying he threw a hand grenade at a jeep carrying two American servicemen and an Afghan translator, documents released today show. At the hearings, held to determine if Mohammed Jawad was properly held as an enemy combatant, he said he had made a false confession to the attack after being tortured by the Afghan police.
C.I.A. Internal Inquiry Troubling, Lawmaker Says 13 Oct 2007 Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees expressed concern today about an unusual inquiry into the work of the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, saying that it could undermine his role as independent watchdog. The inquiry was ordered by General Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director. Representative Silvestre Reyes, the Texas Democrat who is chairman of the House committee, called news of the inquiry "troubling," noting that the inspector general’s independence is written into law.
Watchdog of C.I.A. Is Subject Of C.I.A. Inquiry 11 Oct 2007 The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General Michael V. Hayden, has ordered a highly unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency’s inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation [torture] programs and other matters have created resentment [?] among agency operatives. A small team working for General Hayden is looking into the conduct of the agency's watchdog office, which is led by Inspector General John L. Helgerson.
Cut Iran 'Democracy' Funding, Groups Tell U.S. --Iranian Americans, Others Say Program Has Backfired 11 Oct 2007 More than two dozen Iranian American and human rights groups have launched an appeal to Congress to reduce or eliminate new financial support of up to $75 million aimed at promoting 'democracy' inside Iran. The U.S. program, launched in 2006, backfired in its first year, undermining democracy efforts in Iran and leading to wider repression of activists as foreign agents or traitors, the groups said. [How about promoting democracy in the U.S.? We can start by eliminating the Bush dictatorship.]
Putin to EJC: Israel, Russia are 'partners' in facing Iran 11 Oct 2007 In a meeting with European Jewish Congress leaders on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the two countries most threatened by Iran are Israel and Russia, and the two are "complete partners in this matter," according to EJC sources familiar with the meeting.
Rice Says Iran 'Lying' About Nukes 11 Oct 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday accused Iran of "lying" about the aim of its nuclear program, saying there's no doubt Tehran wants the capability to produce nuclear weapons and has deceived the U.N.'s atomic watchdog about its intentions.
Putin threatens withdrawal from cold war nuclear treaty 12 Oct 2007 President Vladimir Putin warned today that Russia was considering withdrawal from a major cold war arms treaty restricting intermediate range nuclear missiles unless it is expanded to include other states.
Putin Criticizes Top U.S. Officials on Missile Defense 12 Oct 2007 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sharply upbraided the visiting American secretaries of state and defense on Friday as little specific progress was made during negotiations intended to resolve growing disagreements over missile defense and other security issues.
Rice: Missile Defense Plans to Proceed 12 Oct 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says plans to expand the U.S. missile 'defense' system in Poland and the Czech Republic will proceed, but she wants to seek Russian suggestions for cooperation to address Moscow's opposition to the program.
Turkey threatens repercussions for U.S. 12 Oct 2007 Turkey, which is a key supply route to U.S. troops in Iraq, recalled its ambassador to Washington on Thursday and warned of serious repercussions if Congress labels the killing of Armenians by Turks a century ago as genocide.
U.S. Issues $55M in Biodefense Contracts 11 Oct 2007 Four U.S. firms have received a total of $55.3 million from the Health and Human Services Department to prepare countermeasures against [with] anthrax, plague and tularemia, the agency announced last week. The funding is coming through the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a new office intended to coordinate research and development of emergency medical countermeasures.
US Says Illegal Weapons Exports Growing 12 Oct 2007 Missile technology, fighter jet parts, night vision goggles and other U.S. wartime equipment increasingly are being illegally smuggled to potential adversaries, such as China and Iran, the federal government said Thursday. Last week, two Utah men were arrested for allegedly trying to sell parts over the Internet for F-4 and F-14 fighter jets - which are only flown by Iran. [Lest we forget: Weapons Sent to Iraq Poorly Tracked 28 Sep 2007 In the rush to arm Iraqi forces against [with] a violent insurgency, U.S. military officials did not keep good records. About 190,000 weapons weren't fully accounted for, according to one audit.]
U.S. military in Europe argues for more forces 11 Oct 2007 U.S. military commanders have asked the Pentagon to keep more combat forces stationed in Europe to respond to a rising Russia and other potential threats, according to senior military officials.
Comics jailed for daring to parody governing junta 12 Oct 2007 In Burma where dissent is banned, comedians famously use humour to deliver their political messages in satire, song and dance despite the threat of jail. When the junta reacted to the recent demonstrations, one of the three Mandalay-based comedy troupe The Moustache Brothers was among those arrested.
Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize for climate campaign 12 Oct 2007 Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize today for warning the world about the dangers of global warming, and leading the campaign to persuade governments and individuals to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. The former US president will share the £750,000 prize with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations panel which has worked for two decades to establish consensus on the science of man-made warming.
Gore and UN panel are awarded Nobel Peace Prize 12 Oct 2007 The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to Al Gore, a former U.S. president, and to the United Nations committee on climate change for their work in alerting the world to the threat of global warming.
Prosecutors expected to file charges against Bernard Kerik 12 Oct 2007 Bernard Kerik's legal nightmare is about to get worse, with federal prosecutors expected to file charges against the former police commissioner that will likely include allegations of bribery, tax fraud and obstruction of justice, the Daily News has learned. The indictment, expected next month, could prove to be an embarrassing obstacle for Kerik's former mentor [and 9/11 co-CONspirator] Rudy Giuliani, who is cruising at the top of the polls heading into the GOP presidential primary gauntlet.
Study: 2,002 died in custody in 3 years 11 Oct 2007 More than 2,000 criminal suspects died in police custody over a three-year period, half of them killed by officers as they 'scuffled or attempted to flee,' [?] the government said Thursday.
8 acquitted of manslaughter in bootcamp case 12 Oct 2007 An all-white jury found seven drill instructors and a nurse not guilty Friday in the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson, whose death at a boot camp for young 'offenders' was captured on videotape. Former drill instructors Henry Dickens, Charles Enfinger, Patrick Garrett, Joseph Walsh II, Henry McFadden Jr., Raymond Hauck, Charles Helms Jr. and camp nurse Kristin Schmidt were charged with felony aggravated manslaughter of a child, and could have faced up to 30 years in prison if they had been convicted. [I call bullsh*t.]
'Jena 6' Teen Mychal Bell Back in Jail 12 Oct 2007 A teenager at the center of a civil rights controversy was back in jail Thursday after a judge decided the fight that put him in the national spotlight 'violated terms of his probation for a previous conviction,' his attorney said. [I call bullsh*t.]
New York police probe second university hate crime 11 Oct 2007 Police are investigating a second hate crime at New York's Columbia University after a caricature of a man wearing a yarmulke above a swastika was found on a bathroom door on Thursday.
New York police probe noose incident as hate crime 10 Oct 2007 A noose found on the office door of a black professor at New York's Columbia University is being investigated as a hate crime, police said on Wednesday.
Foreclosure filings nearly double 11 Oct 2007 Foreclosure filings across the U.S. nearly doubled last month compared with September 2006, as financially strapped homeowners already behind on mortgage payments defaulted on their loans or came closer to losing their homes to foreclosure, a real estate information company said Thursday.
Worst road in US in new toll hell: I-80 toll conversion speeds on --PennDOT, turnpike commission to sign 50-year lease by Monday 12 Oct 2007 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials are to formally sign a landmark lease no later than Monday to convert Interstate 80 into a toll road. The 50-year agreement is designed to create what they call a unique "public-public partnership" [*puke*] to generate a total of $116 billion.
Carter: U.S. has tortured detainees and Bush approved it 10 Oct 2007 In an interview with CNN, former President Jimmy Carter said he believes that the United States has tortured prisoners and that President [sic] Bush has authorized the abuse, which he said violates international laws. Despite that, Carter said formal charges or a trial "would be inappropriate."
Carter says U.S. tortures prisoners 10 Oct 2007 The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday. "I don't think it. I know it," Carter told CNN. "Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said. "We've said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we've said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime to which they are accused." Carter also said President [sic] Bush creates his own definition of human rights.
Jimmy Carter calls Cheney a "disaster" for U.S. 10 Oct 2007 Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday denounced Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney as a "disaster" for the country and a "militant" who has had an excessive influence in setting foreign policy.
U.S. military plans English lessons for select few Guantanamo detainees 10 Oct 2007 The U.S. military said it expects to begin offering English classes soon to select prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, where officials are introducing several new 'privileges' for the most compliant prisoners. In the small classroom adjoining one of the living bays, four metal desks with stools face a white drawing board beneath banners displaying letters of the alphabet in bright colors. Shackles on the floor will restrain one leg of each prisoner during lessons.
Supreme Disgrace (The New York Times) 11 Oct 2007 Somehow, the court could not muster the four votes needed to grant review in the case of an innocent German citizen of Lebanese descent [Khaled el-Masri] who was kidnapped, detained and tortured in a secret overseas prison as part of the Bush administration’s morally, physically and legally abusive anti-terrorism program... This unsatisfactory outcome gives rise to new worries about the current Supreme Court’s resolve to perform its crucial oversight role — particularly with other cases related to terrorism in the pipeline and last week’s disclosure of secret 2005 Justice Department memos authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods that just about everyone except the Bush White House thinks of as torture.
Democrats no longer pushing Iraq pullout bills 10 Oct 2007 Congressional Democrats have put on the back burner legislation ordering troops home from Iraq and turned their attention to war-related proposals that Republicans are finding hard to reject. The legislative agenda marks a dramatic shift for party leaders [liars] who vowed repeated votes to end combat and predicted Republicans would eventually join them.
Gates: 'No plan' to pull Marines from Iraq --Defense chief downplays report of possible troop shift to Afghanistan 11 Oct 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday played down a newspaper report that the U.S. Marine Corps was pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and switch to a leading role in Afghanistan.
Marines Press to Remove Their Forces From Iraq 11 Oct 2007 The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials. The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.
U.N. wants security guards in Iraq to face law 11 Oct 2007 The United Nations wants probes to determine whether private security contractors [mercenaries] in Iraq have committed war crimes and for governments to ensure that the rule of law is applied, U.N. officials said on Thursday.
Baghdad shooting victims sue Blackwater 11 Oct 2007 An injured survivor and relatives of three Iraqis killed in Baghdad on September 16 when employees of private security company Blackwater USA opened fire on civilians sued the firm in U.S. court on Thursday. The Center for Constitutional Rights, a legal advocacy group, said it filed the suit charging that Blackwater and its affiliates violated U.S. law in committing "extrajudicial killings and war crimes."
Dept. may phase out Blackwater [Yeah, right!] 11 Oct 2007 The
State Department may phase out or limit the use of private security
guards in Iraq, which could mean canceling Blackwater USA's contract
or awarding it to another company in line with an Iraqi government demand,
The Associated Press has learned. Blackwater has been paid as much
as $1 billion for its
Lieberman Has No Plans to Investigate Blackwater, Corrupt Iraq Contractors 10 Oct 2007 Joe Lieberman (I-Insane), who chairs the Senate committee responsible for government oversight, says he has no plans to investigate Blackwater and other Iraq war contractors accused of potentially criminal wrongdoing. Roll Call reports.
U.S. Guards Kill 2 Iraqi Women in New Shooting 10 Oct 2007 Two women died here on Tuesday when their white Oldsmobile was riddled by automatic gunfire from mercenaries for a private security company, just weeks after a shooting by another company strained relations between the United States and Iraq. In the Tuesday shooting, as many as 40 bullets struck the car, killing the driver and the woman in the front seat on the passenger side.
Security guards fired randomly: Iraq official 10 Oct 2007 Iraqi authorities on Wednesday accused guards working for a foreign security company [terrorists] of firing randomly when they killed two women in the latest incident involving mercenaries that has outraged Iraqis.
Attack on U.S. base in Iraq kills 2, wounds dozens 10 Oct 2007 An "indirect fire" attack on a big U.S. military base in the Iraqi capital Baghdad overnight killed two occupation forces members and wounded 38, the U.S. military said on Thursday.
Ex-Saddam defense minister/CIA asset set to be executed --Why a former CIA officer says he should not be killed 11 Oct 2007 For more than a year, Rick Francona, then an Air Force lieutenant colonel, was part of a secret CIA task force working to overthrow Saddam Hussein, during the Clinton administration. Francona [NBC News] is talking for the first time about his role in recruiting generals for that mission seven years before the US invasion, and laying out why he thinks the US should try to stop the hanging of former Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed, one of the generals recruited in that effort. Hashim has been convicted of war crimes by an Iraqi court and is scheduled to hang in the next few days, unless the US military can quietly get the Iraqi government to commute his sentence. "We were involved in what was known inside the Agency as 'DBACHILLES' – the overthrow of Saddam Hussein," says Francona.
U.S. forces free 1,400 prisoners in Iraq for Ramadan 10 Oct 2007 The U.S. military has released about 1,400 Iraqi prisoners so far to mark the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, after first making each take a pledge not to attack U.S. or Iraqi forces, a U.S. general said on Wednesday.
Afghans crack down on private security firms --Kabul shuts 2 companies, target 10 others, some suspected of crimes 11 Oct 2007 Afghan authorities this week shut down two private security companies and said more than 10 others -- some suspected of murder and robbery -- would soon be closed, Afghan and Western officials said Thursday.
Holy hypocrisy, Batman! US Warns Turkey to Stay Out of Iraq [Gee, wouldn't it be great if the US took its own advice?] 09 Oct 2007 The United States has urged Turkey to refrain from a cross-border military operation to chase separatist Kurdish rebels who operate from bases in northern Iraq. Meanwhile, the Kurdish regional government's spokesman Jamal Abdullah pleaded with Turkey to show restraint after Tuesday's statement.
Turkey recalls ambassador to U.S. over Armenians 11 Oct 2007 Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States for consultations on Thursday after a vote in a U.S. congressional committee branded killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide.
Pakistani army holds fire for funerals 10 Oct 2007 The army halted attacks on villages near the Afghan border Wednesday to give residents time for funerals after days of fighting that killed as many as 250 people, a local schoolteacher said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Demands Israel Return Land It Took In 1978 10 Oct 2007 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Israel return the land it took over in 1978 on Wednesday, making the demand ahead of a peace summit Washington called for in November.
Lockerbie lawyers demand secret foreign evidence 11 Oct 2007 Lawyers for a Libyan man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing demanded access on Thursday to evidence from an unnamed foreign state which they believe could undermine the case against him.
TB Patient Flees U.S. Abuse For Russia --Had Been In Solitary Confinement In Arizona Hospital Ward Since August 2006 09 Oct 2007 A tuberculosis patient, whose months-long incarceration in an Arizona hospital jail ward led to sharp criticism, has left the United States, unable to "take the abuse" any more, his attorney said. Robert Daniels, 27, who was suffering from a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis after returning from Russia last year, had been placed in solitary confinement in a Maricopa Medical Center jail ward in August 2006 under court order. He underwent lung surgery last month and doctors ruled that Daniels, who holds Russian and American citizenship, was no longer contagious. He had been living in a Phoenix-area motel under monitoring [?] by Maricopa County Public Health officials for the past few weeks. Attorney Linda Cosme said Daniels sent her an e-mail from Moscow after arriving there on a flight Sunday. "He apologized," Cosme said. "Essentially, he could not take the abuse from the county. He felt threatened (by Sheriff Joe Arpaio). He just couldn't take it any more."
Officials say vaccine caused Nigeria polio 05 Oct 2007 A polio outbreak in Nigeria was caused by the vaccine designed to stop [spread] it, international health officials say, leaving at least 69 children paralyzed. The outbreak was caused by the live polio virus that is used in vaccines given orally — the preferred method in developing countries; in the West, the polio vaccine is given as a shot and uses an inactivated virus. The CDC and the World Health Organization announced the cause of the polio outbreak last week, even though they knew about it last year. Outbreaks caused by the oral vaccine's live virus have happened before. The continuing Nigerian outbreak follows a nearly yearlong boycott of the vaccine in Africa's most populous country because of 'unfounded' fears the vaccine was a Western plot to sterilize Muslims. [Looks like the fears are 'founded' to me.]
Foot-and-mouth payouts for farmers dropped after U-turn on election 11 Oct 2007 The UK government was last night accused of playing politics with Scottish farmers' livelihoods as it was revealed plans for an £8.1 million compensation payout for foot-and-mouth disease were mysteriously scrapped after Gordon Brown decided not to call an election.
Five go on trial over "terrorism camps" 10 Oct 2007 Five men charged over the creation of suspected terrorist training camps went on trial in London on Wednesday and the court was told a sixth man, their leader, had already admitted soliciting murder.
House Democrats defy Bush, approve spy bill 10 Oct 2007 Defying President [sic] George W. Bush, Democrats voted on Wednesday to bolster civil liberties safeguards [?] in his anti-terrorism spying program and refused to shield phone companies from pending lawsuits. The new House bill would not require individual warrants to listen in on Americans communicating with suspected terrorists, unless the U.S. citizen is also a specific target of the surveillance. No warrant would be needed to monitor foreign suspects speaking to each other overseas.
Democrats: We'll let NSA wiretapping continue By Preston Gralla on 10 Oct 2007 Privacy lovers who thought the Democrats would put an end to the controversial NSA wiretapping and Internet-tapping program should feel let down today. The Democrats are lining up to let the NSA continue to wiretap and read mail without court approval. The New York Times reports that Democratic proposals "would maintain for several years the type of broad, blanket authority for NSA eavesdropping that the administration secured in August for six months."
Dems Spying Bill Adds Oversight, Allows Taps Inside U.S. By Ryan Singel 09 Oct 2007 House Democrats are set to introduce their proposal for permanent changes to the nation's spying laws that will allow the nation's spies to tap switches and communication providers inside the United States, provided that the Justice Department inspector general, Congress and the nation's secret spy court have some oversight role.
C.I.A. Recruitment - The Hidden Dirt --Corruption & Abuses of Power in the CIA's Directorate of Operations By Khalid Elhassan, Esq.
Alberto Gonzales Hires Defense Attorney 10 Oct 2007 Former Attorney General [war criminal and perjurer] Alberto Gonzales has hired a high-powered Washington lawyer [George Terwilliger] to represent him in investigations of mismanagement of the Justice Department. Investigators are look into allegations that Gonzales lied to lawmakers and illegally allowed politics to influence hiring and firing at the department.
GOP lawyer ties Rove to Siegelman case 10 Oct 2007 House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on Wednesday released an interview with GOP lawyer Dana Jill Simpson implicating former White House adviser Karl Rove in the prosecution and conviction of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D) on corruption charges. In a closed-door interview with committee staff, Simpson recalled how Rob Riley, current Gov. Bob Riley’s (R) son, told her about Rove's role in a plan to prosecute Siegelman if he did not back down from contesting the 2001 gubernatorial election results that handed the office to Riley.
Professors Sue Oral Roberts President 11 Oct 2007 A suit filed by three former professors charges financial, political and personal irregularities by the president of Oral Roberts University, including a claim that he illegally mobilized students to campaign for a Republican mayoral candidate. The ex-professors, citing a secret internal report by an official of the Oral Roberts Ministries, linked to the university in Tulsa, Okla., sued on Oct. 2. They also contended that the Roberts house on the campus had been remodeled 11 times in 14 years, that the university jet took family members on trips and that the family's university-paid cellphones sent text messages to "under-age males -- often between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m."
Noose on Door at Columbia Prompts Campus Protest 11 Oct 2007 A day after a noose was found hanging on a black professor’s office door at Columbia University’s Teachers College, protesting students chanted "no diversity, no university" and confronted university officials at two emotional meetings. The police said that their hate crimes unit had mounted a full investigation, including testing the rope for DNA.
Federal judge blocks crackdown on illegal immigrants' employers 10 Oct 2007 A federal judge in San Francisco barred the Bush administration today from threatening to prosecute businesses for knowingly employing illegal immigrants if they fail to fire workers whose Social Security numbers don't match government records. [Of course! Bush's corpora-terrorists continue to use slave labor, and drive down the wages of US workers.]
Gore favourite for Nobel peace prize 11 Oct 2007 Former US president Al Gore and Canadian Inuit Sheila Watt-Cloutier, both champions of the fight against climate change, are tipped as favourites for the Nobel Peace Prize to be announced tomorrow.
Gore cancels appearance at Boxer fundraiser By Carla Marinucci 11 Oct 2007 Sen. Barbara Boxer's office just contacted us to say former President Al Gore has been called "overseas" for a trip related to his work on global warming and has canceled his scheduled appearance Thursday in San Francisco at a fundraiser for Boxer's re-election effort. So the Boxer fundraiser -- which was to include Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne -- is off until Nov. 9.
Inconvenient verdict delivered on Gore's climate change film 11 Oct 2007 Yesterday, a High Court judge in London made some distinctly inconvenient criticisms of An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning documentary on global warming made by Al Gore. The judge found that the "broadly accurate" film can indeed be screened – as long as it is accompanied by material from the [Exxon Mobil's] climate change-denial fraternity.
'Even the guards during the Saddam era did not behave in this way.' Private security convoys strike fear in Baghdad 10 Oct 2007 Car bombs, assassinations, kidnappings, mortar attacks and suicide bombers aside, it's convoys of private security guards [terrorists] hurtling through Baghdad streets that strike fear into many Iraqis. Incensed with the involvement of a U.S. security firm in the killing of 17 civilians at a busy Baghdad junction last month, Iraqis were again furious after mercenaries from another foreign company shot dead two women in a car on Tuesday. "Even the Iraqi government cannot impose its control. People run away from them, they are afraid to cross the street in front of them. This is a horror, not a security patrol," said a man, who gave his name as Kasi. "Even the guards during the Saddam era did not behave in this way."
Outraged Iraqis condemn killings by foreign guards 10 Oct 2007 Outraged Iraqi authorities on Wednesday condemned the killing in Baghdad of two women by foreign security guards but the Australian-run firm that hired the mercenaries defended their actions. "The government and the prime minister and everybody categorically condemns the actions of this company," the head of Baghdad security, General Qassim Mussawi, said in a statement.
Aussie security firm killed before in Iraq 10 Oct 2007 Employees of an Australian security company involved in a fatal shooting of two women in Iraq yesterday have been previously investigated over the shooting death of an Iraqi-born Australian. The Australian head of the Unity Resources Group, Michael Priddin, confirmed the company had been involved in Tuesday's shooting incident. [See also: Multinational force probes Baghdad death 30 Mar 2006 The security firm which employed a guard accused of shooting dead an Australian resident in Baghdad has issued a statement expressing its deepest sympathy at what happened. Unity Resources Group says a formal investigation into the incident is being carried out by the multinational force in Iraq. From Unity Resources Group: Unity is US Federal Government Central Contractor Registered. Unity is currently one of the few foreign private security companies to be granted a private security company operating licence in Iraq.]
US says it won't buy embassy 'turkey' 09 Oct 2007 The State Department vowed Tuesday to hold contractors accountable for delays and construction problems with the massive new U.S. Embassy in Iraq, saying it would not pay for "a turkey." The Embassy also cost nearly $150 million more than its original $600 million price tag, they said. [Maybe the 'insurgents' will enjoy turkey for Thanksgiving. --LRP]
Gunmen kidnap Basra Int'l Airport's director 10 Oct 2007 Unknown [US] gunmen kidnapped Tuesday the director of Basra International Airport near his house in northern Basra, southern Iraq, a security source said. A security source from Basra told KUNA on the phone the gunmen forced Abdurrazaq Qassem at gun point to get out of his car and took him to an unknown destination.
Violence in Iraq kills 56 09 Oct 2007 Two suicide car bombs killed 22 people in northern Iraq on Tuesday in attacks targeting a police chief and a tribal leader working with U.S. forces, part of an upsurge in violence that killed 56 across the country. In Baghdad, foreign security guards [US-sanctioned mercenaries] escorting a convoy of four vehicles through the city centre killed two women when they opened fire on a car, the government said.
Turkey says ready to send troops into N.Iraq 09 Oct 2007 Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave the green light on Tuesday for a possible military incursion into northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels hiding there after a series of deadly attacks on Turkish security forces.
No evidence Iran building nuclear bomb: Putin 10 Oct 2007 Russia has no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after talks in Moscow with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy. "We do not have information that Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon. We operate on the principle that Iran does not have those plans," Putin said.
Supreme Court Won't Hear Torture Appeal 09 Oct 2007 A German citizen [Khaled el-Masri] who said he was kidnapped by the Central Intelligence Agency and tortured in a prison in Afghanistan lost his last chance to seek redress in court today when the Supreme Court declined to consider his case... When the Fourth Circuit dismissed Mr. Masri’s suit, Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the action "truly unbelievable" and "reminiscent of third-world countries."
Argentine priest gets life for 'dirty war' crimes 10 Oct 2007 A former police chaplain was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday for involvement in torture, kidnapping and murder during Argentina's "dirty war," in the first trial of a clergyman for rights abuses under military rule. Roman Catholic priest Christian Von Wernich tended to the notorious Buenos Aires provincial police force, and rights lawyers say he pressured torture victims to talk during visits to clandestine detention centers. [Sound familiar? Bush, be afraid, be very afraid.]
U.S. Judge Halts Guantanamo Transfer 09 Oct 2007 A U.S. federal judge in Washington has blocked the Pentagon from transferring a Guantanamo Bay prisoner to Tunisia, where he allegedly faces torture, according to a ruling unsealed Tuesday. Lawyers said the order by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler was an unprecedented direct intervention in the case of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, where some 330 men accused of links to 'al-Qaida' or the Taliban are held.
Congress panel rejects Bush eavesdropping demand 10 Oct 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush warned Democrats against backsliding in the war on terrorism in new eavesdropping legislation as lawmakers on Wednesday defied his call to shield phone companies from pending lawsuits. Committees in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives met to begin work on legislation to replace a temporary eavesdropping measure, the Protect America Act, which the administration pushed through [via phony terror threats] in August.
GOP Opposes Attempt to Revise Wiretap Law 10 Oct 2007 A House Democratic effort to revise the nation's new foreign intelligence surveillance law met swift resistance yesterday from the White House, Republican lawmakers and even some party members. The GOP leaders of both chambers said the bill introduced yesterday by the chairmen of the House intelligence and Judiciary committees seeks to impose restrictions that would impede intelligence and law enforcement efforts to prevent [foment] a terrorist attack.
It is time to speak truth to US power (Financial Times) 08 Oct 2007 Since the attacks of September 11 2001, the administration of President [sic] George W. Bush has sought to cast a cloak of legality over the wrongs that it has committed in the name of fighting terrorism. Mr Bush seems to think that legal sleight of hand can be used to justify almost any tactic to battle terrorists – including, it emerged last week, simulated drowning and other cruel interrogation techniques that Alberto Gonzales, his former attorney-general, appears to have authorised by secret legal memorandum... Mr Bush has abused his power, and Congress has failed to hold him to account; it is time the Supreme Court did so.
U.S. Intelligence Officials Will Probe Leak of Bin Laden Video 10 Oct 2007 U.S. intelligence officials will investigate allegations that the government improperly leaked a secretly obtained Osama bin Laden video, alerting al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] to a security gap in the terrorist group's internal communications network that it was able to shut, an intelligence spokesman said yesterday.
White House denies mishandling al-Qaida tip-off 09 Oct 2007 The Bush regime today was accused of compromising surveillance of al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] by leaking a video of Osama bin Laden 20 minutes after it received a copy from a small private intelligence firm. The leak alerted al-Qaida to the firm's surveillance of a channel it had been using to pass along messages and advance warning of attacks, Site, or the Search for International Terrorist Entities, said.
White House: Al Qaeda trying to boost efforts in US 09 Oct 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] remains the "most serious and dangerous" terrorism threat and is expected to intensify attempts to place agents inside the United States [? Bush bin Laden's already here], a White House report said on Tuesday. The report updated the first White House homeland security strategy issued in July 2002. It was released as congressional committees prepare to consider legislation this week to expand the government's domestic spying powers permanently and add new civil liberties 'safeguards.'
Thompson warns of Islamic fascism in debut debate [It's *his* fascism that has me worried.] 09 Oct 2007 Screen star [Reichwing whackjob] Fred Thompson muscled into his debut 2008 presidential debate clash with Republican rivals Tuesday, vowing to repel a tide of "Islamic fascism" aimed at bringing down the West.
Bush urges rejection of Armenia genocide resolution 10 Oct 2007 President George W. Bush on Wednesday urged U.S. lawmakers to reject a congressional resolution calling the 1915 massacres of Armenians genocide, saying it would do "great harm" to U.S. relations with Turkey. [Dictator Bush, carrying out genocide in Iraq, approves of genocide in any and all oil/'war on terrorism' allies.]
Myanmar opposition leader tortured to death: group 10 Oct 2007 A Myanmar opposition leader who was arrested during last month's mass protests against the junta died due to torture during interrogation, an activist group said on Wednesday.
Home Office: Cost of fighting terrorism triples to £3.5bn by 2010 10 Oct 2007 Fighting [fomenting] terrorism continues to be one of the fastest-growing items in the Government's budget. By the end of this financial year, the whole cost of 'anti'-terrorist initiatives, taking in everything from education programmes to undercover police work, will have risen to £2.5bn a year. By 2010-11, that figure will be up to £3.5bn – more than three times what it was at the start of the decade.
Valley to host largest-ever terrorism drill 10 Oct 2007 The Phoenix area will be a focus next week of the largest terrorism drill ever conducted, testing not only Arizona's disaster readiness, communications network and leaders but evolving plans to secure the Super Bowl next year. TOPOFF, which runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 19, will cost Arizona $600,000 and will involve 26 state agencies, 15 cities, 11 counties, three tribes and 37 private companies. Arizona, Oregon, Guam and Washington, D.C., will participate in the exercise that will involve 15,000 officials and coordinate with drills in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. [Let's hope the f*ckers don't 'go live' again.]
Panel wants tighter radiation security 09 Oct 2007 The U.S. government should replace more than 1,000 irradiation machines used in hospitals and research facilities because terrorists could use the radioactive materials inside to make a "dirty" bomb, a government advisory panel has concluded.
TSA pulls plug on Orlando's ShoeScanner 09 Oct 2007 A machine that allowed thousands of airline passengers to keep their shoes on at the Orlando airport's security checkpoints is being turned off Wednesday, ending a test that would have removed a major traveling hassle. The ShoeScanner installed at Orlando International Airport in January is being shut down after the machine failed its latest test at finding explosives hidden in shoes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.
Free speech could lead to online disconnect By David Lazarus 10 Oct 2007 Buried deep within both companies' voluminous service contracts is language that says your Net access can be terminated for any behavior that AT&T or Verizon believes might harm its "name or reputation," or even the reputation of its business partners... You have to wade deep into AT&T's 14,000-word service contract to find the one-line disclaimer in which the company reserves the right to slam the door on any Internet customer who might bruise the company's feelings.
U.S. Treasury-Insurers won't cover nuclear risks 09 Oct 2007 Private insurers are unlikely to develop a functioning market for coverage of nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological attack risk despite a U.S. House of Representatives bill requiring them to offer it, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday. [No worries. Bush, Cheney Halliburton and the DemocRATs will force US taxpayers to subsidize corpora-terrorists that build new nuclear power plants just as they rolled over and gave billion$ in tax breaks to Cheney's Energy Task Force friends.]
FDA Industry Insiders Derail Approval of New Cancer Treatments By Evelyn Pringle 09 Oct 2007 George W Bush's FDA, stacked with insiders from the industry that literally carried him to Washington, has stooped to a new low to protect the obscene profits of the multi-billion dollar cancer industry by blocking the approval of a new class of immunotherapies that can extend the lives of dying cancer patients with minimal side effects.
Noose Discovered on Office Door of Black Professor at Columbia U. 09 Oct 2007 A black female professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College discovered a hangman’s noose on her office door today, according to WNBC, a local television station in New York. A Teachers College official issued a statement saying the incident was being investigated by the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes unit.
Modelling agencies blamed for racist culture 10 Oct 2007 Fashion industry insiders have criticised modelling agencies for encouraging a culture of "blatant racism" in the business and announced an emergency summit with race campaigners and politicians to try to tackle the issue.
Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights Garners Grassroots Momentum --Vigils Across the Country October 7-13, 2007 Illuminate Straight Support for Equality 08 Oct 2007 Standing at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia, and on the steps of the Statehouse in Augusta, Maine, straight Americans kicked off Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights, a nationwide campaign to illuminate the breadth and depth of political support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
Strike! UAW Walks Out on Chrysler 10 Oct 2007 Thousands of Chrysler LLC autoworkers started to walk off the job Wednesday after the automaker and the United Auto Workers union failed to settle on a tentative contract agreement before a union-imposed deadline.
Dow, S&P hit record highs after Fed signals rate cuts 10 Oct 2007 Wall Street advanced sharply yesterday as investors interpreted minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting as indicating the central bank is ready to keep cutting interest rates to boost the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index reached record highs.
'Draft Gore' Movement Makes '08 Pitch 10 Oct 2007 Grassroots organization DraftGore.com pleaded with former President Al Gore to enter the 2008 presidential fray via an "open letter" in the New York Times.
Microsoft patches nine bugs in Windows, IE, Word 09 Oct 2007 Microsoft Corp. today released six security bulletins that patched nine vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Outlook Express and SharePoint. But for the second time in two months, it yanked an update at the last minute.
Marine Mammals Fewer Than Outdated Statistics Show 08 Oct 2007 Marine mammals are being managed based on outdated population figures that show more animals than actually exist... Since the last polar bear assessment in 2002, the species has been proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to global warming, and a study by government scientists concluded that polar bears will be extinct in Alaska by mid-century without steep greenhouse gas reductions. Yet the official stock assessment for polar bears in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska, which is used as the basis for critical management decisions, states that the population is "stable" and estimated at over 2,000 animals - far above the current best estimate of 1,500 bears and falling. Based on its outdated stock assessment, the Department of the Interior has recently issued a blanket authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to the oil industry in the Beaufort Sea to harass polar bears.
Scientist: Global greenhouse gas emissions already beyond 'worst-case' scenario 09 Oct 2007 Strong worldwide economic growth has accelerated the level of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere to a dangerous threshold scientists had not expected for another decade, according to a leading Australian climate change expert.
3,000 US troops to arrive for two-week war games 09 Oct 2007 Almost 3,000 US Marines will arrive in the Philippines for a two-week joint military exercise in various training areas next week, a Navy official said yesterday. Navy public affairs officer Ensign Rommel Rodriguez said troops from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Unit, Essex Expeditionary Strike Group, stationed in Okinawa, Japan and the Philippine Marines, Army and Air Force will participate in the joint Phiblex and Talon Vision military exercise starting on Oct. 15.
Explosive simulation planned for TOPOFF-4 08 Oct 2007 A simulated dirty bomb exercise is planned for next week's TOPOFF-4 military exercise. Guam is slated to host the largest counterterrorism exercise to date from October 15-19. Along with participants from Guam, Arizona and Oregon, various federal agencies as well as the governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom will also take part in the event. [Let's hope the f*ckers don't 'go live' again.]
Nuke transportation story has explosive implications By Robert Stormer 07 Oct 2007 Last month, six W80-1 nuclear-armed AGM-129 advanced cruise missiles were flown from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and sat on the tarmac for 10 hours undetected... Let me be very clear here: We are not talking about paintball cartridges or pellet gun ammo. We are talking nuclear weapons. There is a strict chain of custody for all such weapons. Nuclear weapons handling is spelled out in great detail in Air Force regulations, to the credit of that service. Every person who orders the movement of these weapons, handles them, breaks seals or moves any nuclear weapon must sign off for tracking purposes... It is time that we got to the bottom of it through a comprehensive investigation. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]
Oops! Administration Leak Severed a Link to Al-Qaeda's Secrets --Firm Says Administration's Handling of Video Ruined Its Spying Efforts - 'Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless.' [LOL] 09 Oct 2007 The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network. The firm has attracted controversy over the secrecy of SITE's methodology. It provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.
Bin Laden may be in city, not cave - ex-spy chief [Yeah, he's at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.] 09 Oct 2007 Osama bin Laden could hide more easily in a city than a remote tribal region, a former Pakistani intelligence chief said on Tuesday, challenging the notion that the al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader is probably holed up in a mountain cave. Lieutenant-General Asad Durrani, former head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), said news of outsiders' presence travels fast in the tribal areas and it would be hard to keep it secret for years.
Senate Bill Aims to Define Who Is a Journalist --As 'an agent of a foreign power,' BBC not 'covered' 08 Oct 2007 The Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 is the grand title attached to the bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week with bipartisan support. It is better known as the reporter's shield law. The proposal continues to draw opposition, at least in its current form, from the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). One of the biggest issues is just who is a journalist, or in the phrase the bill uses, a "covered person."
Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers 09 Oct 2007 Two months after insisting that they would roll back broad eavesdropping powers won by the Bush regime, DemocRATs in Congress appear ready to make concessions that could extend some crucial powers given to the National Security Agency. Administration officials say they are confident they will win approval of the broadened authority that they secured temporarily in August as Congress rushed toward recess.
Top court won't hear appeal in CIA torture case 09 Oct 2007 A German citizen who says he was kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA lost his appeal on Tuesday when the Supreme Court refused to review a decision dismissing the case because it would expose 'state secrets.' Attorneys for Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese descent, argued in the high court appeal that his lawsuit did not depend on the disclosure of state secrets and that it should be allowed to go forward in U.S. court.
Supreme Court to decide whether to consider alleged CIA kidnapping suit
09 Oct 2007 The U.S. Supreme Court could decide as early as Tuesday
whether to hear the appeal of a German citizen who alleges he was kidnapped
by the CIA, held illegally for five months and
No mercy for terrorists: Rudd 09 Oct 2007 Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has criticised his own foreign affairs spokesman over a speech that indicated Labor's disapproval of death sentences for the Bali bombers, calling it "insensitive" and saying Labor would never support clemency for terrorists... Describing himself as "hardline" when it came to terrorists, Mr Rudd said terrorists should be left to "rot in jail".
Hicks needs special POW treatment, says father 08 Oct 2007 The father of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks says his son needs the specialised psychiatric care that is used to treat people who have been prisoners of war. Meanwhile, Mr Hicks says his son has been having second thoughts about his plea deal with US authorities after he admitted guilt to providing material support for terrorism to secure his release from the US prison.
US warns against Turkish action in Iraq 09 Oct 2007 The United States cautioned Turkey on Tuesday against making an incursion into northern Iraq after Kurdish rebels launched attacks from there and urged both countries to work together to resolve the conflict.
Battered Brown weighs full Iraq withdrawal 10 Oct 2007 Prime Minister Gordon Brown's decision to halve British troop numbers in Iraq and perhaps stage a full withdrawal by next year could increase tensions with the United States, but is designed to shore up his authority and popularity at home. Mr Brown, whose standing was battered after he called off an early election at the weekend, told the House of Commons on Monday that troop numbers would be cut from 5000 to 2500 by about April.
Dubai-based security firm involved in Iraq shooting 09 Oct 2007 Foreign security company Unity Resources Group said one of its security teams was involved in a shooting in central Baghdad on Tuesday. The Iraqi government said two women were shot dead by foreign security guards in the incident. [See also: Multinational force probes Baghdad death 30 Mar 2006 The security firm which employed a guard accused of shooting dead an Australian resident in Baghdad has issued a statement expressing its deepest sympathy at what happened. Unity Resources Group says a formal investigation into the incident is being carried out by the multinational force in Iraq. From Unity Resources Group: Unity is US Federal Government Central Contractor Registered. Unity is currently one of the few foreign private security companies to be granted a private security company operating licence in Iraq.]
Security Guards Open Fire in Iraq; Two Women Dead 09 Oct 2007 Two women were killed in central Baghdad on Tuesday, Iraqi police said, apparently when a private security company opened fire on their car after it approached a convoy they were guarding. The identity of the company involved in the shooting was not immediately available [?], and few details were provided about the events leading up to the incident.
Iraq wants Blackwater to pay $136 mln compensation 09 Oct 2007 The Iraqi government wants U.S. security firm Blackwater to pay $8 million in compensation to each of the families of 17 people killed in a shooting, a senior government source said on Tuesday.
Iraqi authorities seek Blackwater ouster 08 Oct 2007 Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months and pay $8 million in compensation to each of the families of 17 people killed when the firm's guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.
Car bomb explodes near Polish Embassy in Iraq 08 Oct 2007 A car bomb parked near the Polish Embassy killed at least one Iraqi and injured three today, police said. The attack happened five days after the Polish ambassador was injured in a triple bombing that targeted his diplomatic convoy. But a diplomat told the Reuters news wire that he did not believe today's attack was aimed at the mission.
Car bombs kill 24 in Iraq 08 Oct 2007 A suicide [US] bomber drove his truck into a police station north of Baghdad on Monday, crumbling the squat concrete building and damaging a nearby school in the deadliest in a series of blasts that killed at least 24 people across Iraq.
IDF orders the expropriation of Arab land near East Jerusalem 09 Oct 2007 The Israel Defense Forces recently issued an order expropriating over 1,100 dunams of land from four Arab villages located between East Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim. The land is slated to be used for a new Palestinian road that would connect East Jerusalem with Jericho.
Afghanistan Executes 15 Prisoners 09 Oct 2007 Afghanistan executed 15 prisoners by gunfire, the chief of prisons said Monday. It was the first time the country had carried out the death penalty in more than three years.
PM firm on troops 09 Oct 2007 Prime Minister John Howard says he stands by his decision to send troops to Afghanistan, despite the death of an Australian soldier yesterday. Trooper David Pearce, 41, a member of the Brisbane-based 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, was killed when his armoured vehicle was blown up in a roadside bomb attack.
Bomb hits Australian soldiers in Afghanistan 09 Oct 2007 An Australian soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan yesterday. The soldier, from the security detachment guarding the Reconstruction Task Force, died when the bomb exploded as his armoured vehicle passed it.
Amid Deaths, Censorship, Oil Companies Continue Myanmar Operations 03 Oct 2007 Despite a bloody government crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Myanmar, Chevron and other oil giants continue to operate in the country, paying billions in taxes and fees that support Myanmar's repressive regime.
Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs. 09 Oct 2007 No agency admits to having deployed insect-size spy drones. But a number of U.S. government and private entities acknowledge they are trying. Some federally funded teams are even growing live insects with computer chips in them, with the goal of mounting spyware on their bodies and controlling their flight muscles remotely. Researchers funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are inserting computer chips into moth pupae -- the intermediate stage between a caterpillar and a flying adult -- and hatching them into healthy "cyborg moths." [Get Raid.]
US considered poisons for assassinations [Now they use anthrax and plane crashes.] 08 Oct 2007 In one of the longest-held secrets of the Cold War, the U.S. Army explored the potential for using radioactive poisons to assassinate "important individuals" such as military or civilian leaders, according to newly declassified documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Background Checks at NASA Lab Blocked 07 Oct 2007 A federal appeals court on Friday blocked a Bush administration directive requiring background checks and access to personal information of employees of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which some contend amounts to an invasion of privacy.
Predatory capitalism at its worst: Home Depot Left Deadly Sealer On Shelves After Recall 08 Oct 2007 Dr. Walter E. Friedel was the latest victim of a product whose dangers had become known months earlier to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the companies that made and sold it. Before Dr. Friedel bought Stand ’n Seal, at least 80 people had been sickened using it, two of them fatally. But even then, with the threat well-documented, the manufacturer, retailer and the commission had failed to remove the hazard from the shelves... It was not until March 2007, 18 months after the original recall, that Home Depot and Roanoke acknowledged the apparent source of the continuing problem.
Obama, Edwards, Richardson withdraw from Michigan primary 09 Oct 2007 Two of three leading Democratic presidential nominees have removed their names from the Jan. 15 Michigan presidential primary. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards both filed paperwork to have their names withdrawn minutes ago with the Michigan Secretary of State’s office.
Obama, Edwards hit lobbyists on private equity tax 09 Oct 2007 Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama and John Edwards blasted the power of business lobbyists in Washington on Tuesday as support in Congress waned for a tax increase this year on the profits of wealthy private equity and hedge fund managers.
Obama Proposes Capping Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Making Polluters Pay 09 Oct 2007 Senator Barack Obama presented a plan on Monday to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and fight global warming by creating an auction system requiring power companies and other industries to pay for their pollution. By the year 2020, he said, emissions would be reduced to levels from 1990.
Power firm handed record environmental fine --American Electric Power to pay $4.6 billion to reduce Northeast pollution 08 Oct 2007 One of the nation’s largest power generators has agreed to end a years-long federal lawsuit by paying $4.6 billion to reduce pollution that has eaten away at Northeast mountain ranges and national landmarks, The Associated Press has learned.
New York City has warmest day for October on record 08 Oct 2007 A record high temperatures of 90 degrees was set at Kennedy today. This breaks the old record of 75 set in 1990. This also breaks the record high temperature for the month of October.
US appears guilty of torture: Pelosi 08 Oct 2007 The United States appears to be illegally torturing terror suspects contrary to denials by President [sic] George Bush, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday. Interviewed on Faux News Sunday, Pelosi said reported interrogation tactics such as simulated drowning, head slapping and exposure to extreme temperatures all amounted to banned torture.
Bush faces court ruling over CIA prisons 07 Oct 2007 The regime of President [sic] George W. Bush could face a further challenge to its anti-terrorism policies from the Supreme Court, which is expected to say on Tuesday whether it will take up a case involving US secret prisons overseas. The court met on Friday to discuss whether to hear El-Masri v US, a case of mistaken identity involving a German citizen who claims he was held for months and tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan, even after US intelligence officials realised they had the wrong man.
'War on terror' has been a 'disaster': British think tank 07 Oct 2007 The US-led "war on terror" has been a "disaster" and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh], an independent global security think tank said Monday. The Oxford Research Group (ORG) said in a report that Western strategy since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States had failed to extinguish the threat from Islamist extremism and even fuelled it.
U.S. considered radiological weapon to assassinate "important individuals" 08 Oct 2007 In one of the longest-held secrets of the Cold War, the U.S. Army explored the potential for using radioactive poisons to assassinate "important individuals" such as military or civilian leaders, according to newly declassified documents obtained by the Associated Press. Approved at the highest levels of the Army in 1948, the effort was a well-hidden part of the military's pursuit of a "new concept of warfare" using radioactive materials from atomic bombmaking to contaminate swaths of enemy land or to target military bases, factories or troop formations. [Today the terrorists (Cheney, etc.) just use weaponized anthrax (Democrats leaning toward a 'no' vote on the Patriot Act) and plane crashes (Wellstone, Carnahan).]
US steps up accusations against Iran 08 Oct 2007 General David Petraeus claims Iran's Ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, belongs to the secretive Quds force. Iran has not commented on the allegation, but it has taken issue with the US military's assertions that it has captured a number Quds force members in Iraq.
Britain 'on board' for US strikes on Iran 07 Oct 2007 British defence officials have held talks with their Pentagon counterparts about how they could help out if America chose to bomb Iran. Washington sources say that America has shelved plans for an all-out assault, drawn up to destroy the Iranian nuclear facilities and take out the Islamist regime. The Sunday Telegraph has learned that President [sic] Bush's White House national security council is discussing instead a plan to launch pinpoint attacks on bases operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds force, blamed for training Iraqi militants.
Iraq says Blackwater shootings killed 17 07 Oct 2007 An official Iraqi investigation into a deadly shooting involving Blackwater USA mercenaries raised the number of Iraqis killed to 17 and found the gunfire was unwarranted, the government said Sunday. It also said the shootings amounted to a deliberate crime and recommended those involved face trial.
Plan to Sell Iraqis M-16s Triggers New Controversy --U.S. Provides the Guns, But Training Is Lacking; Upgrade From the AK-47 08 Oct 2007 According to the Pentagon, Iraqis have thus far purchased about 21,000 M-16 rifles, worth roughly $27 million, from Colt Defense LLC. Current plans allow for the Iraqis to eventually buy 123,544 of the American-made firearms... The Iraqi army is riven with conflicting loyalties, leading many in the U.S. military to worry that the very weapons the U.S. is supplying could be turned against them some day. [See: Weapons Sent to Iraq Poorly Tracked (Should read: 190,000 US Weapons MIA In Iraq) 28 Sep 2007 In the rush to arm Iraqi forces against [with] a violent insurgency, U.S. military officials did not keep good records. About 190,000 weapons weren't fully accounted for, according to one audit.]
Iraqis Pull Back From Key U.S. 'Goal' --Reconciliation Seen
Unattainable Amid Struggle for Power 08 Oct 2007 For much of this
year, the U.S. military strategy in Iraq has
Britain to Cut Deployment in Iraq to 2,500 in 2008 08 Oct 2007 Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged to cut the number of British troops in Iraq to 2,500 in the first half of next year, paving the way for an eventual withdrawal. The U.K. has already reduced its force to about 5,000 soldiers from 46,000 four years ago and plans to bring more home in coming months, Brown said today in Parliament.
Four die as chopper escorting Musharraf crashes 08 Oct 2007 A helicopter escorting President Pervez Musharraf to an earthquake anniversary ceremony in Pakistani Kashmir crashed today, killing four troops and wounding his spokesman, officials said.
U.S. to Spray Food Crops In Afghanistan 08 Oct 2007 After the biggest opium harvest in Afghanistan’s history [thanks to Bush], American officials have renewed efforts to persuade the government here to begin spraying herbicide on opium poppies. But officials said the skeptics -- who include American military and intelligence officials and European diplomats in Afghanistan -- fear that any spraying of American-made chemicals over Afghan farms would be a boon to Taliban propagandists. Some of those officials say that the political cost could be especially high if the chemicals destroy food crops that farmers often plant alongside their poppies.
Rudd beats PM on trust and vision 08 Oct 2007 Kevin Rudd is regarded as a greater visionary and more trustworthy than John Howard, but the Prime Minister far outranks his rival as an economic manager. The latest monthly Herald/Nielsen poll shows Labor has entrenched its thumping lead over the Coalition and will enter the election campaign as the firmest favourite since Mr Howard led the Liberal opposition to a landslide victory in 1996.
Second US Army officer asserts bias in Guantanamo detainee tribunals 06 Oct 2007 A second US Army officer who sat on Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) at Guantanamo Bay has made an affidavit criticizing the panels for being inconsistent and biased towards the government. Attorneys for Adel Hassan Hamad, a Sudanese detainee captured in Pakistan in 2002, filed the affidavit in Washington on Friday claiming that the panels determining whether prisoners were properly classified as "enemy combatants" relied upon insufficient evidence and were occasionally overridden by commanders.
Secret Service Agent Shoots Car 08 Oct 2007 The U.S. Secret Service is investigating why one of its agents shot his car last month during a United Nations visit by the Iranian premier. Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren confirmed that his agency's internal affairs unit has been asked to find out the details surrounding an agent's "accidental discharge" into the floorboard of his vehicle on Sept. 25 in Manhattan.
Boy in court on terror charges for having book 05 Oct 2007 A British teenager who is accused of possessing material for terrorist purposes has appeared in court. The 17-year-old, who was arrested in the Dewsbury area of West Yorkshire on Monday, was given bail after a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court. It is alleged he had a copy of the "Anarchists' Cookbook", containing instructions on how to make home-made explosives. The teenager faces two charges under the Terrorism Act 2000. [OMG, doesn't everyone own a copy of that book?]
Student Editor Keeps His Job, but Is Warned About Ethics 08 Oct 2007 A headline in Friday’s Rocky Mountain Collegian hit especially close to home for the writers and editors of the college newspaper at Colorado State University. "Collegian Editor Will Keep His Job," it said, reporting that an independent review board that oversees The Collegian had decided to admonish, but not fire, the editor [J. David McSwane] who had approved a vulgar, four-word editorial about Dictator Bush in a space that would usually run to hundreds of words.
ESA Eyes European Space Surveillance Network 08 Oct 2007 The European Space Agency (ESA) may create a quasi-commercial body to operate ground- and space-based sensors to forecast space weather and help a more restricted audience track orbiting satellites and debris, according to ESA and European industry officials. Some European officials also have said it is important to have sources for such information independent of U.S. control.
City passes camera law --Aberdeen agencies may now require surveillance devices in developments 07 Oct 2007 (MD) Aberdeen has passed a measure that empowers the city government and police to require surveillance cameras in new developments. The Police Department, the Department of Planning and Community Development, and the Department of Public Works will decide whether a new residential, commercial or industrial development must install cameras at "strategic locations" before a development permit is issued.
Long Beach introduces video surveillance at parade 07 Oct 2007 (NY) The many revelers at yesterday's Irish Heritage Festival... were being watched and videotaped. Along with the 60 police officers on patrol, there were cameras - some obvious, some perched on buildings - taking it all in, and a team of officers surveying the captured video. Long Beach police called the cameras, in use for the first time at a major event, a "force multiplier."
Missouri Man Faces 30-Year Prison Term for Stealing 52-Cent Doughnut 08 Oct 2007 (Park Hills, MO) Scott A. Masters, 41, has been charged with felony second-degree robbery after employees at a Country Mart in this town 70 miles south of St. Louis said he slipped a 52-cent doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying last December, then pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store. The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Given Masters' criminal past, prosecutors could boost that sentence to 30 years to life.
Policeman goes on shooting rampage (Crandon, WI) 08 Oct 2007 An off-duty deputy sheriff has shot and killed six people in a small logging town in the United States. The man, identified as Tyler Peterson, was later shot dead by a police sniper.
Scandal Brewing at Oral Roberts 06 Oct 2007 Oral Roberts University President, Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal. Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay. She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males."
No matter what the question is, Rudy says 9/11 By Helen Kennedy 07 Oct 2007 For Rudy Giuliani, 9/11 is the answer. To almost anything, it seems. After all, it's why America fell in love with him [They did? I just wanted to hurl at his hideous visage] on that darkest of days, when the mayor was the only person on TV reassuring the nation. It's why he's the Republican front-runner for President. "For me, every day is an anniversary of Sept. 11," he said in Florida last month.
Scientists Show Deadly Bird Flu Strain Is Evolving Toward Human to Human Form 08 Oct 2007 US scientists have shown that the deadly strain of bird flu H5N1 that has so far killed 201 of the 329 people it has infected worldwide since 2003 is gradually evolving to a pandemic form that will spread easily from human to human. [See:Flu 'Oddities' - Scientists recreate 1918 flu virus 17 Jan 2007 and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]
Nuclear Power Primed for Comeback --Subsidies Spur U.S. Utilities 08 Oct 2007 Over the next two years, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expects applications to build as many as 32 new nuclear reactors... For each nuclear plant seeking federal approval before the end of 2008, the act provides tax credits of up to $125 million for eight years, loan guarantees for up to 80 percent of a plant's cost, shared application costs and insurance that would cover the costs of regulatory delay [!]. Nuclear plants also receive other subsidies, including local tax breaks and limits on liability for catastrophic accidents. Many utility executives, however, say they need more.
Polar bear endangered status "likely" 03 Oct 2007 An accelerating melt of Arctic sea ice is likely to make the polar bear officially "endangered" in the very near future, the head of a global wildlife conservation network said on Wednesday. "They're running out of ice to be on," said Julia Marton-Lefevre, the director general of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) which publishes an annual "Red List" of threatened species. [Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat.]
Receding Ice Displaces Alaska Walrus 06 Oct 2007 Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice.
Dubai police chief warns against Western attack on Iran 06 Oct 2007 Dubai's influential police chief [General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim] has said Western powers should be warned that their relations with Gulf Arab states would suffer if they launch a military strike on Iran over its nuclear programme.
Iraq: Iran attack 'a big fat no' 06 Oct 2007 Iraq's National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie calls military action on Iran a big mistake, saying it should not even be considered. "Attacking Iran? I say a big fat no. It's a fatal mistake," al-Rubaie said. "It should never be an option at all."
Iran rejects UK claim of Iraq meddling 07 Oct 2007 Iranian diplomats have lambasted the British Foreign Secretary Office for accusing Tehran of meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. In a letter to the British government, the Iranian Embassy lodged an official protest against the 'baseless accusations' leveled at the Islamic Republic.
Petraeus says Iran stoking Iraq violence 07 Oct 2007 The U.S. military commander in Iraq has stepped up accusations that Iran was stoking violence in Iraq and said Tehran's ambassador to Baghdad was a member of the Revolutionary Guards Qods force. [The violence is stoked by the Blackwater USA terrorists.]
Bush denies plans to attack Iran 05 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush denied in an interview with Arab television that the U.S. is gearing up to attack Iran and said he remains committed to working diplomatically to resolve the standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program.
New U.S. military leaders question Iraq 'mission' 04 Oct 2007 Four and a half years after the nation's top military leaders saluted and fell in behind President [sic] Bush's pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, their replacements are beginning to question the 'mission' and sound alarms about the toll the war is taking on the Army and the Marine Corps.
Even sprinkler systems fail at U.S. embassy in Baghdad 06 Oct 2007 The latest problem with the trouble-plagued new U.S. embassy complex in Iraq is that the sprinkler systems meant to contain a fire do not work, according to officials in Congress and the State Department. The previously undisclosed problem in the $592 million project was discovered several weeks ago when the fire-safety systems were tested and pipe joints burst [LOL!], State Department representatives recently informed Congress.
Iraq Embassy Cost Rises $144 Million Amid Project Delays 07 Oct 2007 The massive [slave-labor built] U.S. embassy under construction in Baghdad could cost $144 million more than projected [originally, $592 million] and will open months behind schedule because of poor planning, shoddy workmanship, internal disputes and last-minute changes sought by State Department officials, according to U.S. officials and a department document provided to Congress. [With every cloud, there is a silver lining. Such a large structure -can't the 'insurgents' find it?]
Blackwater 'deliberately killed' civilians: Iraq 07 Oct 2007 The Iraqi government accused Blackwater USA guards on Sunday of "deliberately killing" 17 Iraqi civilians who were gunned down in Baghdad's main square last month.
State Dept. ignored Blackwater warnings --Diplomats had raised concerns about guards' endangering of Iraqi civilians, but the complaints got little attention. 07 Oct 2007 The State Department, which is facing growing criticism of its policy on private security contractors, overlooked repeated warnings from U.S. diplomats in the field that mercenaries were endangering Iraqi civilians and undermining U.S. efforts to win support from the population, according to current and former U.S. officials. Ever since the mercenaries were granted immunity from Iraqi courts in June 2004 by the U.S.-led occupation authority, diplomats have cautioned that the decision to do so was "a bomb that could go off at any time," said one former U.S. official.
Widow of Iraqi guard still awaits compensation --U.S. sum offered to her in the killing of her husband by a Blackwater USA employee dwindled from $250,000 to $15,000, according to State Department documents. 07 Oct 2007 The widow of an Iraqi vice presidential guard shot to death on Christmas Eve by a Blackwater USA employee said today she has not yet received any compensation. Umm Sajjad said the office of Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi, for whom her husband was working when he died, was handling the case and told her that they had rejected the proposed sum as too low. State Department documents say that Blackwater and the U.S. State Department had agreed that $15,000 was a fair amount.
Rice orders cameras, Feds to ride shotgun with Blackwater 06 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA's heavily armed mercenaries will soon have company when they escort U.S. embassy convoys through the streets of Baghdad: video cameras and federal agents. [Why not just kick the terrorists out of Iraq?]
3 U.S. troops killed in Iraq bombings 06 Oct 2007 Roadside bombs killed three American soldiers Friday. Two of the soldiers died when a bomb detonated near their vehicle in Baghdad, and the third was killed in a bombing in Salahuddin province, north of the capital.
Cheney Halliburton's 'mission' in Iraq/Iran/Everywhere else: ME unrest may push oil to $100 07 Oct 2007 Kuwaiti energy analysts predict that crude prices could soar to $100 per barrel if the [Bush engendered] unrest in the oil-rich Middle East continues.
6 years later, US expands Afghan base --Bagram's new barracks will help accommodate record number of U.S. troops 06 Oct 2007 Six years after the first U.S. bombs began falling on Afghanistan's Taliban government and its al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] guests, America is planning for a long stay. Originally envisioned as a temporary home for invading U.S. forces, the sprawling American base at Bagram, is growing in size by nearly a third.
British troops face decades in Afghanistan 07 Oct 2007 British troops face a 30-year "marathon mission" against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the commander of UK troops in Helmand has warned. Brigadier John Lorimer revealed the challenge facing personnel as he disclosed that the Taliban are beginning to change their tactics and have started to recruit fighters from foreign countries in increasing -numbers.
Paras to lead spring offensive in Afghanistan --Eurofighter to perform first hostile mission 06 Oct 2007 The whole of one of the army's most elite regiments, supported by the RAF's latest fighter bombers, is to be sent to Afghanistan in a military operation unprecedented since the second world war. For the first time since 1945, all three regular battalions of the Parachute Regiment - about 2,000 troops - will be deployed for combat. The Eurofighter/Typhoon, equipped with new missiles for a ground attack role, will be deployed for the first time in a hostile mission.
Japan may cut support of Afghan 'mission' 07 Oct 2007 Japan would scale back its support of the U.S. in Afghanistan by ending naval assistance to vessels involved in ground missions there under a ruling party proposal that officials predicted Sunday would gain parliament's approval.
Car bomb explodes near Kabul airport 07 Oct 2007 A suicide car bomb struck US forces on the road to the Kabul airport yesterday, killing and wounding several people including foreign nationals, witnesses and officials said. A senior Afghan security official said on condition of anonymity that three foreigners were killed and two wounded along with four Afghan civilians killed and six wounded. An Afghan witness said he had seen at least one US soldier dead along with three Afghans.
Prince William's former commander killed in Afghanistan 06 Oct 2007 Britain's Prince William was deeply saddened by the death of his former Sandhurst platoon commander, who was killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.
Second Army officer faults Guantanamo panels 06 Oct 2007 A second Army officer who sat on the "enemy combatant" tribunals at Guantanamo has come forward to criticize the panels, saying in court papers released Friday the proceedings favored the government and commanders reversed some decisions.
Jet linked to CIA crashes in Yucatan with drug shipment aboard 05 Oct 2007 A private jet which crashed in the vicinity of Cancun on September 24 with a cargo of six tons of cocaine and heroin aboard had been utilized by the CIA in recent months for transferring prisoners to and from the U.S. interrogation camp on Guantánamo. The aircraft, a Grumman Gulf Stream II model, with U.S. registration number N987SA, officially belongs to a company in the south of Florida, which bought it just eight days before the presumed accident, the circumstances of which are murky.
Nobel laureate calls on the world to join forces to free the Cuban Five 05 Oct 2007 South African Nadine Gordimer, the 1991 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, denounced the unjust jailing of the Cuban Five, the anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States, describing the U.S. justice system as a farce, and calling on the world to join forces to win freedom for René González, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González y Gerardo Hernández.
FCC Denies Request to Investigate NSA Wiretapping Program 05 Oct 2007 The Federal Communications Commission has refused a House lawmaker's request to investigate whether a federal warrantless wiretapping program violated telecommunications laws, saying such an investigation would "pose an unnecessary risk of damage to national security."
Columbus Day protest in Denver leads to arrests 06 Oct 2007 About 75 protesters, including American Indian activist Russell Means, were arrested on Saturday after blocking Denver's downtown parade honoring the Italian-born discoverer Christopher Columbus, an event they denounced as "a celebration of genocide."
White House warns Costa Rica ahead of trade vote 06 Oct 2007 The United States will not renegotiate a free trade agreement with Costa Rica if voters in that country turn down the pact in a referendum on Sunday, the White House said. Dictator George W. Bush's chief trade negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, also warned Costa Rican voters [!] this week to think twice about rejecting the pact, and the White House continued that line. [Gee, is there *any* country safe from meddling terrorist George W. Whackjob?]
Bush blowjob DemocRATs will endorse: US
to launch $1bn 'Plan Mexico' 07 Oct 2007 The US intends to supply
Mexico with a $1bn aid package to help combat an increasingly costly
and violent war
Medicare Audits Show Problems in Private Plans 07 Oct 2007 Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system’s huge new drug benefit program and offer other private insurance options encouraged by the Bush regime, a review of scores of federal audits has found. [It's time to put an end to the Bush dictatorship.]
EPA approves new pesticide despite scientists' concerns --Chemists say methyl iodide, a neurotoxin that can mutate DNA, has 'serious potential for accidents.' 06 Oct 2007 Despite the protests of more than 50 scientists, including five Nobel laureates in chemistry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday approved use of a new, highly toxic fumigant, mainly for strawberry fields. The new pesticide, methyl iodide, is designed for growers, mainly in California and Florida, who need to replace methyl bromide, which has been banned under an international treaty because it damages the Earth's ozone layer. [It's time to put an end to the Bush dictatorship.]
Rodent head in your green beans? No problem, canner says - it's 'commercially sterile' 05 Oct 2007 A rodent head found by a Lehi woman in a can of green beans would be safe to eat, the company's spokesman said Thursday. But Marianne Watson, the woman who found the head in the can bought from a Wal-Mart store, rejected a $100 settlement that Allen Canning offered her if she signed a liability release. "There's no way that product could have hurt her," Allen Canning spokesman James Phillips said in a telephone interview. "This rodent was rendered commercially sterile. We cook each can individually at a temperature up to 265 degrees."
Fashion warms to reality of climate change --Woollen pea coats could join polar bears as the latest casualties of global warming. 07 Oct 2007 Leading international fashion designers and industry experts say unpredictable and typically warmer weather worldwide is wreaking havoc on the industry. So worried are some fashion houses about the impact climate change is having on the way we dress and shop, they are calling in the climate experts. US fashion retailer giants, including Liz Claiborne Inc, Target and Kohl's, have started using climate experts to plan their collections and schedule end-of-season sales. And from January, Target will sell swimwear year-round.
Nobel Peace Prize to Gore may be in the wind 07 Oct 2007 Former US president Al Gore is a frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be announced in Norway on Friday. Key Nobel watcher Stein Toennesson, director of the International Peace Research Institute, predicts the climate change campaigner will win the coveted prize.
FBI offered me $4m: Lockerbie bomb witness 06 Oct 2007 A witness in the Lockerbie case has claimed he was offered $4 million (£2 million) by American investigators to lie to the trial judges. Edwin Bollier, head of the Swiss company MEBO that was said to have manufactured the timer used to detonate the Pan Am bomb, claims he was offered the money by the FBI at its Washington HQ in exchange for making a statement that supported the main line of inquiry - that Libya was responsible for the bombing.
Lockerbie evidence withheld from defence 02 Oct 2007 Fresh doubt has been cast over the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber after it emerged a document containing vital evidence about the bomb timer has never been shown to the defence. The Scotsman has learned that the failure to disclose the classified document, which concerns the supply of timers identical to the one said to have been used to blow up Pan Am Flight 103, led a review body that examined the case against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to conclude a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.
Iraqis Say U.S. Targeted Civilians in Air Attack (AP) 05 Oct 2007 U.S. airstrikes killed at least 25 people Friday after troops met a fierce barrage... The military described the dead as fighters, but village leaders said the victims included children and men protecting their homes. In a separate incident, the U.S. military said it was investigating the deaths of three civilians shot by American sentries near an Iraqi-manned checkpoint. Iraqi officials said the victims were U.S.-allied guards and were 'mistakenly' targeted.
U.S. Confiscates AP Footage At Scene of Bloody Baghdad Bombing 03 Oct 2007 A daring ambush of bombs and gunfire left Poland's ambassador pinned down in a burning vehicle Wednesday before being pulled to safety and airlifted in a rescue mission by the embattled security firm [mercenaries] Blackwater USA. At least three people were killed, including a Polish bodyguard.
Rare march in Baghdad against new U.S. wall 06 Oct 2007 More than a thousand Iraqis marched in west Baghdad on Saturday in a rare public demonstration to protest against a wall they say the U.S. military is planning to erect around their neighbourhood. Carrying an Iraqi national flag and banners condemning the wall the marchers in the predominantly Shi'ite district of al-Washash chanted "No, no to the wall. No, no to America."
Iran has 43 cholera cases mainly near Iraq-report 06 Oct 2007 Iran said on Saturday it had 43 cholera cases, four times more than previously announced, and added they were mostly near Iraq where there has been an outbreak of the disease, an Iranian news agency reported.
Iran says oilfields 'too attractive' for France to quit 06 Oct 2007 Iran on Saturday rejected the possibility of a French investors' pullout of its oil and gas sector amid calls by Paris for tougher sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme, the ISNA news agency reported. "Iran's resources and market are too attractive for the French to give up," deputy oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said.
French diplomat summoned to Foreign Ministry 06 Oct 2007 On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry summoned French charge d’affaires Jean Graebling to protest over remarks by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner claiming Tehran could be seeking nuclear bomb. The Foreign Ministry Director for West European Affairs noted that France’s stance ran counter to Tehran’s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on a timetable to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear activities.
Congress passes bill to govern private armies 06 Oct 2007 Despite strong opposition from the Bush regime, the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a Bill that would make Blackwater and other private security contractors [mercenaries] in Iraq and other countries subject to US law.
Fired Blackwater mercenary found more work 05 Oct 2007 A senior House Democrat says the State Department may have withheld critical information from the Pentagon about a fired Blackwater USA terrorist. It's a misstep that may have allowed the man to find work in the Middle East two months after he allegedly killed an Iraqi security worker.
I survived Blackwater --A former U.S. official received the security company's services -- and witnessed its disregard for Iraqi lives. By Janessa Gans 06 Oct 2007 When the Iraqi government last month demanded the expulsion of Blackwater USA, the private security firm, I had one reaction: It's about time... The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt. Until that point I had never mentioned anything to my drivers about their tactics, but this time I could not contain myself. "Where do you all expect them to go?" I shrieked. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?"
GI to her family: Ask many questions if I die; 'I made some enemies,' Durkin said 03 Oct 2007 Ciara Durkin was home on leave last month and expressed a concern to her family in Quincy: If something happens to me in Afghanistan, don’t let it go without an investigation. Durkin, 30, a specialist with a Massachusetts National Guard finance battalion, was found dead last week near a church at the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. She had been shot once in the head, the Army says.
Answers sought in death of soldier --Carmel woman says military didn't treat her son's injuries from explosion properly 06 Oct 2007 The mother of a Carmel soldier who died last month after being caught in an explosion in Iraq is upset about the treatment he received from the Army. Kay McMullen believes that Sgt. Gerald J. Cassidy's injuries never were treated properly.
Federal judge tells military to halt Watada court-martial 06 Oct 2007 The fate of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the first Army officer to face prison for refusing to deploy to Iraq, might be decided by a civilian judge rather than a military jury. In a rare, last-minute move, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle on Friday put Watada's Tuesday court-martial on hold. In the weeks ahead, Settle will decide whether this second trial should proceed, or be quashed as a violation of the officer's constitutional rights that protect against double jeopardy, or being tried twice for the same crime.
Guantánamo Prosecutor Quits in Pentagon Clash 06 Oct 2007 In the latest disruption of the Bush regime’s plan to try prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for 'war crimes,' the chief military prosecutor on the project stepped down yesterday after a dispute with a Pentagon official. The prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis of the Air Force, was to leave his position immediately, a Defense Department spokeswoman said. Colonel Davis filed a complaint against General Hartmann with Pentagon officials this fall saying that the general had exceeded his authority and created a conflict of interest by asserting control over the prosecutor's office.
Bush denies CIA torture of suspects --Justice Department memos sanction disputed techniques such as simulated drowning. 06 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush on Friday defended the CIA's harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects, saying its methods do not constitute torture and are necessary to protect America from attack. But Bush's declaration that the United States "does not torture people" did little to dampen the fallout from fresh evidence that his regime has used secret legal memos to sanction tactics that stretch, if not circumvent, the law.
Bush defends CIA detentions, says no torture 05 Oct 2007 Dictator George W. Bush on Friday defended the CIA's secret detention of terrorism suspects overseas and said interrogations were conducted by trained professionals who did not use torture. Bush made the comments amid disclosures that the Justice Department in 2005 had secretly endorsed harsh interrogation techniques [torture] such as simulated drowning, and that the CIA was again holding prisoners at "black sites" overseas.
East London Muslims Caged Guantanamo-Style 05 Oct 2007 Two British Muslims are locked-up in a cage, chained and hooded for 6 days and nights without basic amenities and comfort in a busy traffic junction corner on the Whitechapel Road (East London) ... Hidden Detainees, the organisers behind the event, hope to recreate the barbaric conditions of the Guantanamo Bay (Camp X-Ray) camp in Cuba, where over 775 suspects from around the world were illegally held as part of America’s 'War on Terror'.
Court blocks Musharraf's path to re-election as Pakistani president --Vote to proceed but judges delay result declaration --Ruling may result in general's disqualification 06 Oct 2007 Pakistan's supreme court kept General Pervez Musharraf on tenterhooks yesterday by allowing him to contest today's presidential election but denying him a widely expected victory.
Boycotts and Legal Fight Cloud Victory for Musharraf 06 Oct 2007 Gen. Pervez Musharraf easily 'won' the presidential election on Saturday, but an opposition boycott and pending hearings in the Supreme Court, which still has to decide on his eligibility to run for election in uniform, left him with an incomplete victory.
US searches for new 'anti'-drug air base 05 Oct 2007 The United States is moving cautiously to find a new air base for 'anti'-drug surveillance in South America in the face of vocal opposition to the idea in Peru and Colombia.
Bird flu virus mutates into a strain more infectious to humans 06 Oct 2007 The bird flu virus H5N1 has mutated into a form that makes it more infectious to humans, increasing the risk of a human pandemic, researchers have found. Scientists are agreed that, even if the H5N1 strain does not cause a human pandemic, it is likely that a future [US Army-created] strain will do so. [See: Scientists recreate 1918 flu virus 17 Jan 2007 and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]
FCC won't probe disclosure of phone records 05 Oct 2007 The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission declined to investigate reports that phone companies turned over customer records to the National Security Agency, citing 'national security' concerns, according to documents released on Friday.
Microsoft-loving (former) security czar calls for closed internet By Cade Metz 02 Oct 2007 Richard Clarke, the man who served President [sic] Bush as a special adviser for cyber security, has a five-point plan for saving the internet. Speaking at a Santa Clara University conference dedicated to "trust online," Clarke... laid out several means of righting the ship, including biometric IDs, government regulation, and an industry wide standard for secure software. He even embraces the idea of a closed internet - which seems to have sparked a death threat from net pioneer Vint Cerf.
SWAT-like inspections of juvenile facilities ordered 05 Oct 2007 Burned by substandard conditions at a privately run West Texas youth prison, Texas Youth Commission officials on Thursday ordered a special inspection of 17 other contract-care programs — the second such SWAT-like sweep of agency sites to curb potential abuse in seven months. The move came as Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, D-Houston, announced a Senate investigation of all state corrections contracts held by Geo Group Inc., which until Monday ran the controversial West Texas lockup in Coke County, between Abilene and San Angelo.
Alleged Haggard Escort: 'Sen. Craig Visited Me' --'I've been with many politicians and all I can tell you is for a fact, that Larry Craig is a hypocrite.' 05 Oct 2007 The male escort responsible for the downfall of Christian evangelist leader Ted Haggard is now alleging that embattled Senator Larry Craig also came to see him. While promoting his new book during a radio interview with KNWQ-AM in Palm Springs Wednesday night, Mike Jones hesitated from making the allegation on the air. Jones is not alleging that he has had sex with Senator Craig but that he is alleging the senator came to see him.
Federal Prosecutor Accused In Sex Sting Commits Suicide 05 Oct 2007 John D.R. Atchison, the federal prosecutor who was arrested in an Internet sex sting after he allegedly traveled to Michigan from Florida to have sex with a 5-year-old girl, hanged himself in a Michigan federal prison Friday morning. Atchison, 53, of Pensacola, Fla., was put on suicide watch after he used a bed sheet in an attempted suicide in September.
Romney Is His Own Biggest Campaign Donor [That's because no one else can stand him, let alone contribute to his 'campaign.'] 05 Oct 2007 Mitt Romney is his presidential campaign's most generous supporter, lending $17.5 million from his personal fortune so far. His Republican rivals are bracing themselves for him to do it again. And again.
EPA OKs 1-year use of pesticide 06 Oct 2007 The Environmental Protection Agency gave the go-ahead for one-year use of a new agricultural pesticide Friday, saying its own scientific review overrides concerns expressed by more than 50 chemists and other scientists. [Spray it on Bush for hours on end - since it's 'safe,' <g>]
Interior official backs Western drilling 05 Oct 2007 The Bush regime foresees no letup in the aggressive pace for Western oil and gas drilling, despite some voter backlash from people tired of seeing more and more rigs in their Rocky Mountain states.
Agriterrorists avoid lawsuits by shutting down - imprison them! Topps Meat Shutting Down After Recall 05 Oct 2007 Topps Meat Co. LLC, the meat company responsible for the second-largest beef recall in U.S. history, said Friday it will close its plant in Elizabeth, N.J., and go out of business, effective immediately. Investigators think 30 people may have been sickened in Indiana and seven other states.
Sam's Club recalls Cargill-made hamburgers in U.S. 06 Oct 2007 Sam's Club is pulling frozen hamburgers made by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. from its stores shelves across the United States as Minnesota health officials investigate four cases of E. coli associated with the burgers.
Congress Seeks Secret Memos On Interrogation 05 Oct 2007 Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department yesterday for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh CIA interrogation techniques [torture], demanding that the Bush regime turn over the documents. But officials refused and said the tactics did not violate anti-torture laws.
Opening of US Embassy in Iraq Delayed 04 Oct 2007 The opening of a mammoth, $600 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which had been planned for last month, has now been delayed well into next year, U.S. officials said Thursday. The Vatican-sized compound, which will be the world's largest diplomatic mission [KBR blow job], has been beset by construction and logistical problems.
Iraqi judge: Corruption undermines Iraq's government, threatens future 04 Oct 2007 Iraq's top corruption fighter, who's seeking U.S. asylum because of death threats against him, told a congressional panel Thursday that rising corruption cost Iraq $18 billion over the past three years, with enormous sums of oil revenues ending up in the hands of Sunni and Shiite militias.
Are U.S. troops being force-fed Christianity? A watchdog group alleges that improper evangelizing is occurring within the ranks. 04 Oct 2007 On Sept. 17, US Army Spec. Jeremy Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall's constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier. The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael "Mikey" Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. Weinstein charges that several incidents in recent years - and more than 5,000 complaints his group has received from active-duty and retired military personnel - point to a growing willingness inside the military to support a particular brand of Christianity and to permit improper evangelizing in the ranks.
Onward 'Christian' soldiers: Sniper team tells of pressure from above to produce high body count --Members of a U.S. Army unit in Iraq accused in murder trials say they felt pushed to notch more 'kills.' 05 Oct 2007 Interviews and court transcripts portray a 13-man sniper unit that felt under pressure to produce a high body count, a Vietnam-era measure that the Pentagon officially has disavowed in this war. They describe a sniper unit whose margins of right and wrong were blurred...
Weapons Sent to Iraq Poorly Tracked [Should read: 190,000 US Weapons MIA In Iraq] 28 Sep 2007 In the rush to arm Iraqi forces against [with] a violent insurgency, U.S. military officials did not keep good records. About 190,000 weapons weren't fully accounted for, according to one audit. [Why add the word 'fully' before 'accounted for?' The weapons were either accounted for or they were not. And, if they were accounted for, there would be no article! They lying sacks of sh*t at the Pentagon and their media whores try to placate/mitigate/justify the illegal actions of this illegitimate regime every second of every day, beginning with Coup 2000. A lot of us are tired of it. We're onto the little language twists and headline misidentifiers that are executed by every media outlet from the PentaPost to the Whore York Times. Now, while were at it: Gates: US must speed up weapons for Iraq 04 Oct 2007 The United States must deliver weapons to Iraq more quickly, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday after an announcement that the Iraqis have ordered $100 million in military equipment from China. He noted that the United States has already delivered about $600 million worth of equipment to the Iraqis, and has another $2 billion to $3 billion on order. The Iraqis can't 'account for' 190,000 US weapons - and Goofy Gates wants the US taxpayers to pay Bush bin Laden's corpora-terrorists to ship more weapons to Iraq more quickly? This is the Mega Barf Alert of 2007. --Lori Price, CLG.]
US to keep closer watch on private security firms in Iraq 05 Oct 2007 The US is to keep a closer watch on private security firms [mercenaries] in Iraq after Blackwater guards shot dead at least 11 civilians last month. A state department spokesman said a review ordered by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, recommended that American security agents accompany private security guards who escort US diplomatic convoys.
Charge Blackwater guards, says inquiry 05 Oct 2007 The official Iraqi investigation into the Blackwater shooting last month recommends that the security guards [mercenaries] face trial in Iraqi courts and that the company compensate the victims, an Iraqi government minister has told The Associated Press.
Blackwater Faulted In Military Reports From Shooting Scene 05 Oct 2007 U.S. military reports from the scene of the Sept. 16 shooting incident involving the security firm [Waffen-SS] Blackwater USA indicate that its guards opened fire without provocation and used excessive force against Iraqi civilians, according to a senior U.S. military official. The reports came to light as an Interior Ministry official and five eyewitnesses described a second deadly shooting minutes after the incident in Nisoor Square. The same Blackwater security guards, after driving about 150 yards away from the square, fired into a crush of cars, killing one person and injuring two, the Iraqi official said.
Blackwater won't guard FBI in Iraq shooting probe 04 Oct 2007 The U.S. government, not Blackwater USA [both are terrorists], will handle security for FBI agents in Iraq while they investigate whether the private security firm acted properly in an incident that killed 11 Iraqis, the FBI said on Thursday.
Blackwater to guard FBI team probing it 03 Oct 2007 When a team of FBI agents lands in Baghdad this week to probe Blackwater security contractors for murder, it will be protected by bodyguards from the very same firm, the Daily News has learned. Half a dozen FBI criminal investigators based in Washington are scheduled to travel to Iraq to gather evidence and interview witnesses about a Sept. 16 shooting spree that left at least 11 Iraqi civilians dead.
FBI takes lead in Blackwater investigation 04 Oct 2007 The FBI has taken control from the State Department of an investigation into the September 16 shooting incident involving security contractor [terrorists] Blackwater in which 11 Iraqis were killed, the department said on Thursday.
British guards 'assault and racially abuse' deportees 05 Oct 2007 Hundreds of failed asylum-seekers deported from the United Kingdom have been beaten and racially abused by British escort teams who are paid to take them back to their home countries, The scale of the alleged abuse has been uncovered in a joint investigation by The Independent and a group co-ordinating the representation and medical care of failed asylum-seekers.
Iran and Syria in new oil deal 04 Oct 2007 Iranian state television has reported a new gas deal between Iran and Syria. The two countries have signed an agreement for Tehran to export a billion dollars worth of gas every year to Syria.
US 'must break Iran and Syria regimes' 05 Oct 2007 America should seize every opportunity to force regime change in Syria and Iran, a former senior adviser to the White House has urged. "We need to do everything possible to destabilise the Syrian regime and exploit every single moment they strategically overstep," said David Wurmser, who recently resigned after four years as Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser. [The US needs regime change - with Hague trials and hangings for any Bush regime officials convicted of war crimes.]
The fallout from an attack on Iran would be devastating --The drumbeat of war in Washington is growing - and so must public pressure against British involvement in such folly By Seumas Milne 05 Oct 2007 What is becoming clearer is that the likely pretext for aggression against Iran has shifted from the possibility that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons to its role in supporting and allegedly arming the resistance in neighbouring Iraq and Afghanistan. The administration is increasingly convinced that it will be far easier to convince the American public of the case for war on Iran if it's seen as being about the protection of US troops rather than nuclear scaremongering from the people who brought you Saddam Hussein's WMD.
Report: Israel 'blinded' Syrian radar 05 Oct 2007 After the Israeli missile strike on Syria was confirmed by both sides, the question remains – how did Israel's non-stealth jets infiltrate Syrian airspace undetected? US aerospace experts tell Aviation Week magazine that Israel used new US-developed technology that lets users invade and manipulate enemy communication networks.
Elizabeth Edwards 'disappointed' Kerry quickly conceded in '04 05 Oct 2007 Elizabeth Edwards, married to former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), said she was "very disappointed" Sen. John Kerry conceded the last presidential race [coup d'etat] so quickly. "I was very disappointed, not just because we did not count the votes, but because we promised people that if they stood in line and fought for the right to vote, that we would fight with them," Mrs. Edwards said on Air America Radio. "And I was very disappointed that the decision was made by the campaign, over John's objection, not to fight," she added.
Republicans aim to win presidency by changing voting rules --California 'reforms' would guarantee GOP victory 05 Oct 2007 A Republican push to change America's historic voting system is faltering after a fightback by Democrats fearful that it could cost them the 2008 presidential election. Republican activists in California, the most populous state, have set in motion a proposal to end the winner-takes-all electoral college system. The change, if it went through, would effectively hand the next election to the Republicans.
Did White House Lie About Solution Provider's Role in Loss of 5 Million E-mails? 03 Oct 2007 When Congress asked about 5 million executive branch e-mails that went missing, a White House lawyer pointed the finger at an outside IT contractor. The only problem? No such IT contractor exists, according to sources close to the investigation of a possible violation of the Federal Records and Presidential Records acts.
US to test response to massive dirty bomb attack 03 Oct 2007 The United States will test this month its preparedness for a large scale terrorist attack with a dirty bomb, a Homeland Security Department official said Wednesday. "TOPOFF 4" (Top Official 4), as the exercise is called, will be held between October 15-20, Deputy Administrator for National Preparedness Dennis Schrader told the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.
Key Viral Change Could Help Bird Flu Spread 04 Oct 2007 U.S. scientists say they've spotted [created] a crucial step the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus must take in order to spread easily in humans. So far, the virus has not developed the ability to spread easily among humans. Now, researchers led by University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka have 'pinpointed' a single change in a viral protein that helps H5N1 infect the cells of the upper respiratory system in mammals. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004, and DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 11 May 2007.]
FBI checks bomb report in Tacoma, finds pumpkin 04 Oct 2007 The FBI checked out a report of an atomic bomb in Tacoma and found it had turned into a pumpkin. The Port of Tacoma called the FBI after the deputy director received a phone message Sept. 21 from a port commission candidate, Bill Casper. He said he knew how to make an atomic bomb that could elude security devices.
Matthews says Bush administration has "finally been caught in their criminality" By Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin 04 Oct 2007 Chris Matthews had barely finished praising his colleagues at the 10th anniversary party for his "Hardball" show Thursday night in Washington, D.C. when his remarks turned political and pointed, even suggesting that the Bush administration had "finally been caught in their criminality." The Clinton camp, he said, never put pressure on his bosses to silence him. "Not so this crowd," he added, explaining that Bush White House officials -- especially those from Vice President [sic] Cheney's office -- called MSNBC brass to complain about the content of his show and attempted to influence its editorial content. "They will not silence me!" Matthews declared. "They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued... Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: "God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We'd all be under a parking lot." [Built by KBR.]
Larry Craig will 'stick out his term' in the Senate [Stick this!] 04 Oct 2007 Idaho Sen. Larry Craig defiantly vowed to serve out his term in office on Thursday despite losing a court attempt to rescind his guilty plea in a men’s room sex sting.
GOP toilet arrest senator denied: Sen. Craig can't withdraw sex charge plea: judge 04 Oct 2007 A Minnesota judge on Thursday refused to let U.S. Sen. Larry Craig take back the guilty plea he made after a sex sting arrest, raising the possibility the Idaho Republican will resign his Senate seat as planned. [Craig's fellow Idahoan Senator, Mike CRAPo, stands by his man caught in the toilet scandal. That's too much of a pun for the world to bear. © Michael Rectenwald, CLG]
FBI examining HUD secretary's ties 04 Oct 2007 The FBI is examining the ties between Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson and a friend who was paid $392,000 by Jackson's department as a construction manager in New Orleans, three federal law enforcement officials said Thursday.
Bush bin Laden, agriterrorists killing US citizens: USDA defends 18-day wait on beef recall 04 Oct 2007 The Agriculture [Agribusiness] Department will speed up warnings about contaminated meat in the future, officials said Thursday, as they sought to quell criticism of an 18-day delay in seeking the recall of millions of pounds of tainted ground beef.
When 1 in 150 is really 1 in 67 By Raymond W. Gallup & F. Edward Yazbak, MD, FAAP 05 Oct 2007 ...Dr. Gerberding did not volunteer and it appears that no one thought of asking her why the CDC kept the results of the 2000 and 2002 studies secret for so long or if a third CDC study had been done in 2004 that was still "Top Secret" for undisclosed reasons. In any case, if according to the CDC, the ASD prevalence rate was 1 in 150 on average among children born in 1994 and if the number of 6 year-old children with ASD known to the U.S. Department of Education indeed increased by 124% nationwide over the last six school years, then it is likely that among children born in 2000 who are now registered in U.S. schools, the prevalence rate of autistic spectral disorders is around 1 in 67, on average.
Conservatives Are Such Jokers By Paul Krugman 05 Oct 2007 Mark Crispin Miller, the author of "The Bush Dyslexicon," once made a striking observation: all of the famous Bush malapropisms -- "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family," and so on -- have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate. By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Mr. Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared "zero tolerance of people breaking the law," even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water they weren’t getting from his administration.
Ex-Lacrosse Players File Sweeping Federal Lawsuit Against Durham 05 Oct 2007 Three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape filed a federal civil lawsuit Friday, seeking an unspecified amount in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as numerous reforms to the way the Durham Police Department handles criminal investigations.
Iran 'arming Taliban with roadside bombs' 04 Oct 2007 Iran is supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan with the same bomb-making equipment it provides to 'insurgents' in Iraq, according to British military intelligence officers. US Army General Dan McNeill, the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, said that the discovery of more than 50 roadside bombs and timers in lorries crossing the border from Iran last month proves that Iran's Quds Revolutionary Guards are actively supporting the Taliban.
France: Iran to run nearly 3,000 uranium centrifuges soon 03 Oct 2007 Iran is set to run almost 3,000 centrifuges by the end of the month, nearing the threshold for industrial-scale uranium enrichment in its contested nuclear program, French diplomatic officials said Wednesday.
Bush Warns of Nuclear-Armed Iran [I'm worried about a nuclear-armed Bush!] 03 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush warned Wednesday of a nuclear-armed Iran but did not rule out that the United States would negotiate with its leader if he gives up his suspected nuclear weapons ambitions.
Gates: US must speed up weapons for Iraq 04 Oct 2007 The United States must deliver weapons to Iraq more quickly [!], Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday after an announcement that the Iraqis have ordered $100 million in military equipment from China.
The Bush administration's ties to Blackwater --Blamed in the deaths of Iraqi civilians, the private security firm has long ties to the White House and prominent Republicans, including Ken Starr. By Ben Van Heuvelen 02 Oct 2007 By 2005, Blackwater was earning $353 million annually from federal contracts. Blackwater's benefits from government largess haven't ended with Iraq. The company was recently one of five awarded a Department of Defense counter-narcoterrorism contract that could reportedly be worth as much as $15 billion. Blackwater also became involved in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and profited handsomely.
U.S. lawmakers seek to make contractors accountable 04 Oct 2007 Jolted by a shooting incident involving security firm Blackwater that killed 11 Iraqis, U.S. lawmakers passed a bill on Thursday to make all government contractors accountable under U.S. law for their actions.
White House: Contractor bill would have 'intolerable' effects 03 Oct 2007 The Bush regime said Wednesday it opposes a bill that would bring private military contractors overseas under U.S. law, warning it would have "unintended and intolerable consequences" for national security.
Iraqis say Basra quieter after British troop pullout 01 Oct 2007 Residents of Iraq's southern city of Basra have begun strolling riverfront streets again after four years of fear, their city much quieter since British troops withdrew from the grand Saddam Hussein-era Basra Palace. "The situation these days is better. We were living in hell ... the area is calm since their withdrawal," said housewife Khairiya Salman, who lives near the palace.
Iraq: Bomb Wounds Polish Ambassador --Polish Ambassador Wounded, 1 Civilian Killed In Roadside Bomb Attack On Convoy 03 Oct 2007 The Polish ambassador to Iraq was slightly wounded and two civilians, including a body guard, were killed in a roadside bomb attack Wednesday in downtown Baghdad, according to Polish government officials.
The betrayal of Iraq's media professionals By Dirk Adriaensens 29 Sep 2007 A new landmark in the Iraq catastrophe, and a new landmark in history altogether: at least 300 media professionals have died in Iraq... The two things these murders have in common is that these persons were Iraqi media professionals and that their assassination, which occurred in 2007, went unreported by CPJ (Committee to Protect Journalists), and RSF (Reporters Without Borders). These casualties are listed on the BRussells Tribunal website and their cases were taken from different press reports.
Media Reveal Disturbing New Twists in Death of Soldier in Afghanistan 03 Oct 2007 Newspapers in Massachusetts have been doggedly digging into the case of a Quincy woman who died in Afghanistan under mysterious circumstances last week. The military first reported that Ciara Durkin, 30, who served in the National Guard, had died "in action," then revealed that she was killed in a "noncombat" incident that was being investigated... A new twist emerged today in a Boston Globe article: Her family says she had told them to push for an investigation if anything ever happened to her. She was in a finance unit and may have found some improprieties, according to a story in the Patriot-Ledger, which also disclosed that her family had notified the military about her concerns about her safety three weeks ago.
National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment of Iraq War 03 Oct 2007 When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President [sic] Bush's surge. 1st Lt. Jon Anderson said he never expected to come home to this: A government refusing to pay education benefits he says he should have earned under the GI bill.
Revealed: CIA offered $2m to Lockerbie witness and brother 03 Oct 2007 The CIA offered $2m (£1m) to the Crown's key witness in the Lockerbie trial and his brother, sources close to the case have told The Herald. Recently discovered papers show Scottish police officers investigating the 1988 bombing were aware the US intelligence service had discussed financial terms and witness protection schemes with Tony Gauci and his brother, Paul. The defence team of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan serving 27 years for the bombing, was never told of the CIA offer, in what critics say is another example of non-disclosure that undermines the credibility of Mr Gauci and, in turn, the Crown's case against Megrahi.
Author: Cheney wants more power 03 Oct 2007 "Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy," by Charlie Savage: America's Founding Fathers imposed limits on executive control so no president would ever have the power of a monarch. For centuries, when presidents from Lincoln to Clinton tried to exceed the limits of their powers, the constitutional checks generally held firm. But something seemed to change when the current Bush administration came to [seized] power. Rules that used to ensure oversight of the executive branch no longer seemed to apply.
CIA 'secret sites' detention program still active 05 Oct 2007 A secret CIA overseas detention programme revealed by President [sic] George W Bush last year is still active and has held at least one al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] militant since then, a US official said.
U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations --Never in history
had the United States authorized such tactics. --Deputy Attorney
General Comey told colleagues at Justice that they would all be "ashamed"
when the world eventually learned of their secret. --With virtually
no experience in interrogations, the C.I.A. had constructed its program
in a few harried months by consulting Egyptian and Saudi intelligence
officials and copying Soviet interrogation methods long used in training
American servicemen to withstand capture. --The agency officers
questioning [torturing] prisoners constantly sought advice from lawyers
thousands of miles away. 04 Oct 2007 When the Justice Department
publicly declared torture "abhorrent" in a legal opinion
in December 2004, the Bush regime appeared to have abandoned its assertion
of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.
But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in
February 2005, the Justice Department issued
another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different
document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement
of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central
Intelligence Agency. The new opinion, the officials said, for the
first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects
with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics,
including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures...
Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing "cruel, inhuman
and degrading" treatment, the Justice
Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not
know existed, current and former officials said.
Freed BBC reporter writes to Guantanamo detainee 04 Oct 2007 A BBC reporter kidnapped and held for months in the Gaza Strip has written to an Al Jazeera television cameraman imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to express his support, a journalism watchdog said on Thursday.
Senate Approves Intelligence Bill 03 Oct 2007 The Senate has scrapped its bid to obtain the archive of daily intelligence briefings given to the president [sic] on Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. The provision sought to give the Senate and House intelligence committees access to all presidential daily briefs between 1997 and 2003 that referred to Iraq _ an attempt to determine whether the White House mischaracterized intelligence prior to the war. The final version of the bill also dropped a requirement that the director of national intelligence conduct an assessment of the effects of global climate change on national security.
DHS e-mail snafu reveals info on thousands of security pros --'Is this being a joke?' asks researcher with Iran's Ministry of Defense 04 Oct 2007 A Reply All to a daily news roundup that had been e-mailed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to some 7,500 people, including thousands of security professionals, flooded government and business mail servers with over 2 million messages Wednesday. The gaffe also revealed all subscribers' e-mail addresses, and in some cases other personal information, to other recipients of the DHS bulletin. Some of that information, including telephone numbers and titles of military personnel and government workers, may have been classified.
Burma junta warns of more arrests 04 Oct 2007 Burma's military regime kept up the pressure on its people today after last week's bloody crackdown on protesters as the European Union agreed in principle to punish the junta with sanctions.
Chevron's Pipeline Is the Burmese Regime's Lifeline --The barbarous military regime depends on revenue from the nation's gas reserves and partners such as Chevron, a detail ignored by the Bush administration. By Amy Goodman 03 Oct 2007 Fueling the military junta that has ruled for decades are Burma's natural gas reserves, controlled by the Burmese regime in partnership with the U.S. multinational oil giant Chevron, the French oil company Total and a Thai oil firm... The original pipeline partner, Unocal, was sued by EarthRights International for the use of slave labor. As soon as the suit was settled out of court, Chevron bought Unocal.
Kazakh Oil Venture to Fight Environmental Fine 04 Oct 2007 A Chevron-led oil venture in Kazakhstan will challenge a $609 million fine imposed on it for environmental law violations at the huge Tengiz oilfield, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Judge says Craig's request to withdraw guilty plea was 'illogical'; Craig maintains his innocence 04 Oct 2007 A judge in Minnesota has turned down U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s effort to withdraw his Aug. 1 guilty plea, saying that his claim that he didn’t know what he was doing when he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct was "illogical." However, Craig maintained his innocence Thursday and said he will continue to explore his legal options.
Ex-cop in Montgomery County admits guilt in $280M fraud case 04 Oct 2007 A former Montgomery County police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to bribery and tax evasion charges as part of "the largest corruption case ever" pursued in Maryland in terms of the value of federal government contracts involved, U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announced Wednesday. More than $280 million in federal contracts were awarded under corrupt circumstances, prosecutors said, leading to charges against three persons.
Microsoft Launches Health Records Site --Microsoft Launches HealthVault Site for Managing Medical Records, Faces Concerns Over Privacy 04 Oct 2007 Microsoft Corp. launched a Web site Thursday for managing personal health and medical information, but privacy advocates worry that neither the technology nor U.S. law will protect patients' most confidential details.
Medicare Part B Premiums Get 3.1% Boost for 2008 03 Oct 2007 Most Medicare patients will pay $2.90 more per month in Part B premiums next year -- to $96.40. Medicare officials also announced that deductibles for hospital admissions and doctors' visits also will increase.
In Latest Poll, Good News for Both Clintons --Senator Has 8-Point Lead Over Giuliani 04 Oct 2007 Former president Bill Clinton has emerged as a clear asset in his wife's campaign for the White House, with Americans offering high ratings to his eight years in office and a solid majority saying they would be comfortable with him as first spouse, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey also showed Hillary Clinton with an early advantage in a matchup of the party front-runners.
Record 22C temperatures in Arctic heatwave 03 Oct 2007 Parts of the Arctic have experienced an unprecedented heatwave this summer, with one research station in the Canadian High Arctic recording temperatures above 20C, about 15C higher than the long-term average. The high temperatures were accompanied by a dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice in September to the lowest levels ever recorded, a further indication of how sensitive this region of the world is to global warming.
Protect Polar Bears from Extinction (Defenders of Wildlife) New research by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) predicts dramatic declines in polar bear populations as global warming melts the Arctic sea ice these bears depend on for survival. It has never been so urgent to reduce global warming emissions and protect polar bears from extinction. In light of these findings, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened a brief, two week comment period on its January 2007 proposal to list polar bears as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act... Sign our petition to submit your official public comment urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect polar bears from extinction. The comment period has just been extended to October 22nd - please sign and spread the word!
Send comments on polar bear status to: Polar_Bear_Finding@fws.gov. Information on other methods for submitting comments can be found on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: regulations.gov. You may mail or hand-deliver written comments and information to: Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503.
SoCal Sinkhole Swallows Highway, Home --Police Clear Million-Dollar Homes and Kill Power After La Jolla, Calif., Collapse 03 Oct 2007 A four-lane road buckled Wednesday and sank slowly in a hilly upscale neighborhood, threatening several homes.
Abu Ghraib prisoners accuse US companies of torture 02 Oct 2007 Two US Army subcontractors [Titan and CACI International] accused of torturing prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail go to court Wednesday in a case that highlights the murky legal status of private US companies in Iraq. One former Iraqi prisoner now living in Sweden says that under the companies' watch, he was sodomized, nearly strangled with a belt, tied by his genitals to other detainees, and given repeated electric shocks.
Blackwater contractor wrote government report on incident 02 Oct 2007 The State Department's initial report of last month's incident in which Blackwater mercenaries were accused of killing Iraqi civilians was written by a Blackwater contractor [Darren Hanner] working in the embassy security detail, according to government and industry sources.
Mystery surrounds death of soldier 02 Oct 2007 The Massachusetts National Guard soldier from Quincy who died in Afghanistan Friday was found with a single bullet in her head lying near her church on a secure military base, her family said yesterday after a briefing from Army officials. The Department of Defense said in a statement yesterday that Ciara Durkin's injuries came from a "non-combat related incident" that is under investigation. [Blackwater USA working overtime?]
Blackwater Furor May Alter Way U.S. Contractors in Iraq 03 Oct 2007 The congressional probe of Blackwater USA, the private contractor being investigated for a Sept. 16 shooting incident in which 11 Iraqis were killed, is fueling a push for significant changes in the way U.S. contractors operate in Iraq. The changes being considered by Iraqi politicians include stripping U.S. contractors and their employees in Iraq of their current immunity to Iraqi law. In the U.S., legislation may soon make all American battlefield contractors subject to U.S. criminal law.
Heritage Oil awarded production sharing contract in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (CNW Group) 02 Oct 2007 Heritage Oil Corporation today is pleased to announce that it has executed a Production Sharing Contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over Miran Block in the south-west of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and that Heritage will be operating as a 50/50 partner with the KRG to create a 20,000 barrel per day oil refinery in the vicinity of the licence area... Heritage will join the existing and increasing presence of international oil exploration, development and production companies operating in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Senate approves $150B in war funding 01 Oct 2007 Thwarted in efforts to bring troops home from Iraq, Senate DemocRATs on Monday helped pass a defense policy bill authorizing another $150 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater USA]. The 92-3 vote comes as the House planned to approve separate legislation Tuesday that requires President [sic] Bush to give Congress a plan for eventual troop withdrawals.
Poland's envoy to Iraq wounded in Baghdad blasts 03 Oct 2007 Poland's ambassador to Iraq was wounded on Wednesday when his diplomatic convoy was hit by a series of bombs in central Baghdad, which Polish officials described as an assassination attempt. Iraqi police said one civilian was killed in the attack and five people were wounded, including three embassy officials.
Aussies lose confidence in US and Bush 03 Oct 2007 Australians have suffered a dramatic loss of confidence in the ability of the US to manage international affairs amid growing dissatisfaction with President [sic] George W. Bush and his conduct of the Iraq war. That level of confidence has almost halved in just six years - from 66 per cent in 2001 to 37per cent today, coinciding with the Iraq war.
Almost Two-Thirds of Australians Oppose Involvement in Iraq War 03 Oct 2007 Almost two-thirds of Australians oppose the nation's involvement in Iraq and nearly three- quarters said it made the country a terror target, a new survey showed. Some 64 percent opposed Australian soldiers serving in Iraq and 73 percent said it made the nation a terror target, according to a survey by the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney.
Afghanistan violence at pinnacle since invasion --More than 5,000 insurgency-related deaths reported in past year alone 02 Oct 2007 Violence in Afghanistan has spiked to its highest level since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, with an Associated Press count of 'insurgency'-related deaths this year surpassing the 5,000 mark and a U.N. report finding that attacks have risen by 20 percent.
Iran must provide nuke programme details by November: ElBaradei 03 Oct 2007 Iran must provide key details on its nuclear programme by late November or its unwillingness to work with the international community will backfire, the UN's nuclear chief said in an interview published on Wednesday.
Missile defense system is up and running, military says 03 Oct 2007 After a 'successful' test last week, the tracking radars and interceptor rockets of a new American missile defense system can be turned on at any time to respond to [incur] an emerging crisis in Asia, senior military officers said Tuesday.
U.S. prepares for largest terrorism drill ever --Three fictional (We hope!) 'dirty bombs' are set to explode in big US terror drill. Will Bush bin Laden 'go live' and blame Iran? Will Britney Spears get her children back? (Which issue will the media cover?) --Fourth Top Officials exercise — dubbed TOPOFF — takes place during the week starting Oct. 15. 03 Oct 2007 The nation is preparing for its biggest terrorism exercise ever later this month when three fictional "dirty bombs" go off and cripple transportation arteries in two major U.S. cities and Guam, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. Yet even as this drill begins, details from the previous national exercise held in 2005 have yet to be publicly released — information that's supposed to help officials prepare for the next real [Bush] attack.
Questions Raised Over Terror Exercise 03 Oct 2007 The nation is preparing for its biggest terrorism exercise ever next week when three fictional [We hope!] "dirty bombs'' go off and cripple transportation arteries in two major U.S. cities and Guam, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. Yet even as this drill begins, details from the previous national exercise held in 2005 have yet to be publicly released - information that's supposed to help officials prepare for the next real attack.
LOL! The 'Poison Saltshaker' Terror Plot: Miami men plotted to overthrow U.S.: prosecutor 02 Oct 2007 Seven men plotted to bring down the U.S. government by poisoning saltshakers and bombing landmark buildings, a prosecutor told Miami jurors as their terrorism conspiracy trial opened on Tuesday. Defense lawyers said the charges were "nonsense" scripted by the government and orchestrated by paid FBI informants they called Conman No. 1 and Conman No. 2.
ACLU asks court to review domestic spying case 03 Oct 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to review a legal challenge to the warrantless domestic spying program that President [sic] George W. Bush created after the September 11 attacks.
Ex-White House Lawyer: Parts of Bush Spying Program 'Illegal' 02 Oct 2007 A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the President [sic] Bush's controversial eavesdropping program were illegal. There were certain aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program "that I could not find the legal support for," Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
House panel launches investigation into government wiretapping 02 Oct 2007 Lawmakers on the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday launched an investigation into the extent to which large telephone companies cooperated with federal government efforts to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.
DMV Gets Educated on Real ID by Homeland Security Industrial Complex By Ryan Singel 25 Sep 2007 The database and identity wing of the Homeland Security Industrial Complex sponsored a conference this week on Real ID, the controversial, unfunded government mandate that forces states to join in a national identification program or face having their residents unable to enter federal buildings or board airplanes.
Private investigator: Signs of struggle in airport death 03 Oct 2007 A private investigator who observed an autopsy of a woman who died after being detained at the Phoenix airport says bruises were scattered across her body, indicating there was a struggle. Carol Anne Gotbaum's family accuses Phoenix police of manhandling the New York woman when they arrested her Friday at Sky Harbor.
GAO Wants to Test Controversial Florida Voting Machines By Kim Zetter 02 Oct 2007 The Government Accountability Office, which has been looking into what happened to about 18,000 votes in a controversial Florida election, released a preliminary report today saying it can't exclude the possibility that voting machines were responsible for the undervotes in that race.
Subpoenas withdrawn against 12 members in Cunningham case 02 Oct 2007 A lawyer for Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor accused of bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), withdrew subpoenas of a dozen House members after a judge [U.S. Judge Larry Burns] said he was prepared to quash them.
Ron Paul scores $5 mln in White House race 03 Oct 2007 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, an anti-war libertarian who has clashed with his rivals over Iraq, raised more than $5 million for his White House bid in the last three months.
Report: Millions wasted on gov't travel 03 Oct 2007 Federal employees wasted at least $146 million over a one-year period on business- and first-class airline tickets, in some cases simply because they felt entitled to the perk, congressional investigators say.
Airline Delays Up Significantly In August --On-Time Performance Record Second-Worst 03 Oct 2007 The airline industry's dismal on-time performance in 2007 continued in August with nearly 30 percent of flights delayed. The most recent government data, which also showed a surge in fliers' complaints, was released less than a week after President Bush promised to help fix the problem.
Bush vetoes bill to expand popular children's health insurance program 03 Oct 2007 Dictator Bush, in a confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance. The Senate approved the bill with enough votes to override the veto, but the margin in the House fell short of the required number.
FDA head balks at tobacco regulation 03 Oct 2007 The head of the Food and Drug Administration balked today over House legislation that would give his agency broad regulatory controls over tobacco manufacturing. Andrew C. von Eschenbach, President [sic] Bush's FDA commissioner, sharply criticized portions of the bill in a written statement given to a House panel...
Democrats Assail Bush on Mortgage Crisis 03 Oct 2007 Congress' top Democrats demanded quick action on the subprime mortgage crisis, saying President [sic] Bush has been slow to address a situation that could cost millions of people their homes. "This is a national crisis. Too bad it's taken so long to realize that we have a crisis," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said at a joint news conference with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.
Pending home sales fell 6.5 pct in August 02 Oct 2007 Pending sales of previously owned homes fell a surprising 6.5 percent in August as buyers struggled to get loans, indicating the dire housing market could worsen, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.
Chemical Blaze Kills 5 Workers in Colorado 03 Oct 2007 Five workers at a hydroelectric plant outside Georgetown, Colo., were killed on Tuesday when a chemical fire trapped them in a water tunnel where they were working, officials said.
Thanks to Cheney Halliburton's 'Energy Task Force:' Triple-digit oil prices to become norm: analyst 02 Oct 2007 Oil prices of at least $100 a barrel are expected to become the norm as early as next year, as conventional supplies continue to decline and consumption in the developing world rises, CIBC chief economist Jeff Rubin said Tuesday.
U.S. leaks 6B gallons of water a day 02 Oct 2007 U.S. water systems lose about 6 billion gallons of water a day to leaks, The Christian Science Monitor reports. The U.S. clean water infrastructure is getting older. The last great age of filling reservoirs and laying pipe was immediately after World War II, following two previous eras at the beginning of the 20th century and the 1920s.
Arctic Melt Unnerves the Experts 02 Oct 2007 The Arctic ice cap shrank so much this summer that waves briefly lapped along two long-imagined Arctic shipping routes, the Northwest Passage over Canada and the Northern Sea Route over Russia. Over all, the floating ice dwindled to an extent unparalleled in a century or more, by several estimates.
Polar bear numbers troubling 01 Oct 2007 Bucking the trend of recent years, the GN's Department of Environment has reduced the harvest quota of one of the territory's polar bear populations. The quota for Western Hudson's Bay polar bears has been reduced to 38 from 56 in a bid to save a population in decline.
Comment Period Extended on Polar Bear Extinction Threat 02 Oct 2007 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it will give the public additional time to review and comment on nine new research papers analyzing polar bear population status and threats by extending its currently open public comment period until October 22.
U.S. labs mishandling deadly germs --Confidential reports submitted to federal regulators describe 'accidents' involving anthrax, bird flu virus, monkeypox and plague-causing bacteria at 44 labs in 24 states. 02 Oct 2007 American laboratories handling the world's deadliest germs and toxins have experienced more than 100 accidents and missing shipments since 2003, and the number is increasing steadily as more labs across the country are approved to do the work. The documented cases reflect poorly on procedures and oversight at high-security labs, some of which work with organisms and poisons so dangerous that illnesses they cause have no cure. [See: Flu 'Oddities' from CLG, Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007, Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004, and DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack 11 May 2007.]
Democrats propose U.S. income tax surcharge to pay for Iraq war 02 Oct 2007 Three senior House DemocRATs, seeking to highlight the costs of the Iraq war, proposed a U.S. income tax surcharge Tuesday to finance the approximately $150 billion (€105.8 billion) spent annually on operations in Iraq.
Most in Poll Want War Funding Cut --Bush's Approval Rating Ties All-Time Low 02 Oct 2007 Most Americans oppose fully funding President [sic] Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto... The new Washington Post-ABC News poll also shows Bush's approval rating at 33 percent, equal to his career low in Post-ABC polls.
Democrats who condemned MoveOn took its cash 01 Oct 2007 Forty-four congressional DemocRATs who voted to condemn MoveOn.org for its ad branding Army Gen. David Petraeus "General Betray Us" have accepted more than $3.9 million in contributions from the influential anti-war group and its members.
Blackwater Chief Faces House Panel 02 Oct 2007 Erik Prince, the founder and chief executive of Blackwater USA, testiLIED before a Congressional committee that is looking into claims that the company’s mercenaries in Iraq have repeatedly been involved in reckless shootings of civilians. Mr. Prince disputed findings released on Monday by the majority staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which portrayed Blackwater security guards as often out of control and indifferent to civilian casualties.
FBI to investigate Blackwater killing of Iraqis 01 Oct 2007 The FBI will investigate Blackwater USA over the Sept. 16 shootings in Baghdad that killed at least 11 Iraqi civilians. "The results of the investigation will be reviewed for possible criminal liability and referred to the appropriate legal authority," said Special Agent Richard Kolko, the AP says. A report prepared by the majority staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says Blackwater has been involved in 195 shooting incidents since 2005, or roughly 1.4 per week.
Report Details Shooting by Drunken Blackwater Worker 02 Oct 2007 A Blackwater USA employee under investigation in the killing last December of an Iraqi bodyguard in an off-duty confrontation was so drunk after fleeing the shooting that another group of guards took away the loaded pistol he was fumbling with, a report to a House committee said Monday.
Blackwater portrayed as out of control 01 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA is an out-of-control outfit indifferent to Iraqi civilian casualties, according to a critical report released Monday by a key congressional committee. Among the most serious charges against the prominent security firm is that Blackwater mercenaries sought to cover up a June 2005 shooting of an Iraqi man and the company paid, with State Department approval, the families of others inadvertently killed by its guards.
Blackwater usually fired first in Iraq - lawmaker 01 Oct 2007 U.S. mercenaries, Blackwater USA, has been involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq since 2005 and, in eight of 10 cases, their forces fired first, a leading U.S. lawmaker said on Monday.
Blackwater training some Canadian troops 29 Sep 2007 The Canadian Forces are using a controversial private security firm [terrorists] to train some of its troops sent to Afghanistan. Select Canadian soldiers have been sent to Blackwater U.S.A. in North Carolina for specialized training in bodyguard and shooting skills.
US Senate plan to split Iraq 'will open a new bloody phase' 02 Oct 2007 Iraqi reaction to the US Senate's unbinding resolution to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines into three federal governments ranges between fear of a new bloody phase in their country and optimism of a near end to conflict.
Britain planning to pull 1000 troops out of Iraq 03 Oct 2007 The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has announced a doubling of the British troop withdrawal from Iraq to bring 1000 soldiers home by the end of the year. "British troops can be reduced to 4500," Mr Brown said on a visit to Baghdad.
At least 12 police killed in Kabul suicide attack 02 Oct 2007 The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a bus that killed at least 12 policemen in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
IDF confirms Syria attack 02 Oct 2007 After weeks of ambiguity, the IDF confirmed Tuesday that the Israeli Air Force had attacked targets in Syria in September. The IDF, however, would not reveal details of where the raid took place, or its aims.
Assad: We reserve the right to respond to Israeli raid 01 Oct 2007 The Israeli air strike in northern Syria early in September showed Israel's "visceral antipathy towards peace," Syrian President Bashar Assad told the BBC in an interview Monday. He said Syria reserved the right to respond to the attack, although he did not specify what that response would be.
Poll: Most Israelis support using nukes 01 Oct 2007 Approximately 72 percent of Israelis support the use of nuclear weapons in certain circumstances, according to a Canadian survey released recently.
Palestinians live in utter misery, Iraq envoy says 02 Oct 2007 The Palestinian ambassador in Baghdad [Dalil Kassous] said that Palestinians living in Iraq are living a life of misery, unemployed and are subjected to abduction and assassination.
Iranian University Invites the Pet Goat (Bush) to Speak 02 Oct 2007 After the appearance of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University last week, an Iranian university yesterday invited Dictator Bush to travel to Iran and speak on campus about a range of issues, including the Holocaust, terrorism, human rights [?!?] and U.S. foreign policy [gag me with a chainsaw], the Fars News Agency reported yesterday. [LOL! About what - his pet goat? No one wants to hear the most dangerous 'Is our children learning?' terrorist on earth speak - at a university or anywhere else. We just want his treason trial to begin, with all possible penalties for treason on the plate. --LRP]
Iran gifts books on US occupation to Columbia 01 Oct 2007 An Iranian state institution has gifted 100 volumes of books on the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan to the library of Columbia University in the US, the Iranian Fars news agency has said.
Four journalists missing, others hurt 02 Oct 2007 At least four journalists have been arrested and about 10 others injured or harassed during the Burmese military regime's crackdown on mass protests, a media advocacy group said.
Army Seeks to Expand School Offerings 02 Oct 2007 The Army plans to offer accredited college credit hours for its training programs with enough offerings that a soldier could retire with a bachelor's degree. The program is called the College of the American Soldier and is viewed as a recruitment tool as the Army seeks to expand its force.
Saudi jails to be improved with help of private sector 01 Oct 2007 In a move to improve the situation of its prisons and introduce new reforms for prisoner welfare [?!?], Saudi Arabia has decided to work with the private sector. [KBR will be all over this one like a duck on a June bug.]
Suit says Chicago police officers sodomized man 01 Oct 2007 Two Chicago cops went on trial Monday in a lawsuit accusing them of sodomizing a man [Coprez Coffie] with a screwdriver -- a claim the officers vehemently deny... Investigators searched the officers' car, looking in the glove box and finding several screwdrivers the officers could not explain, according to Coffie's lawyers.
Former Presidents Can't Withhold Records 02 Oct 2007 Presidents don't have indefinite veto power over which records are made public after they've left office, a federal judge ruled Monday. In a narrowly crafted ruling, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly invalidated part of President [sic] Bush's 2001 executive order, which allowed former presidents and vice presidents to review executive records before they are released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Court Rules Delay in Release of Presidential Papers is Illegal --Fails to Address Authority of Former Vice Presidents to Hold Up Disclosure of Papers 01 Oct 2007 A District Court in the District of Columbia has ruled that an Executive Order issued by President [sic] George W. Bush in 2001, which severely slowed or prevented the release of historic presidential papers is, in part, invalid. [Oh, just like the Bush administration itself.]
Legality of US Eavesdropping Questioned 02 Oct 2007 A former top lawyer for the Bush administration on Tuesday said that parts of the President [sic] Bush's controversial eavesdropping program were illegal. There were certain aspects of the Terrorist Surveillance Program "that I could not find the legal support for," Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Former DOJ Lawyer Couldn't Find Way to Legalize Bush Spying Program By Ryan Singel 02 Oct 2007 NSA Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wasted no time in pushing former administration lawyer Jack Goldsmith about the legality of the warrantless wiretapping program. Goldsmith, who in 2004 revised the opinion giving legal cover to the program, sparked a conflagration between the Justice Department and the White House, which peaked with the Intensive Care Showdown at then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's bedside. "Is it fair to say in your opinion the warrantless wiretapping program or at least significant parts of it were illegal or without legal basis?" Leahy asked. "It was a legal mess," Goldsmith said. "It was the biggest legal mess I encountered there."
Big Brother Comes to Lower Manhattan --NYPD Tests Cameras to Read License Plates, People In Area Surrounding Ground Zero 01 Oct 2007 The New York City Police Department has been operating a camera that scans the license plates of cars passing just blocks from ground zero, a newspaper reported Monday. The camera is an example of the kind of technology the NYPD hopes to use to create a high-tech security ring around Lower Manhattan, the New York Daily News reported.
NYC Mayor: Surveillance a City Necessity 01 Oct 2007 Residents of big cities like New York and London must accept that they are under constant watch by video cameras, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday.
AT&T threatens to disconnect subscribers who criticize the company By Ken Fisher 30 Sep 2007 AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that leave plenty of room for interpretation. From our reading of it, in concert with several others, what we see is a ToS that attempts to give AT&T the right to disconnect its own customers who criticize the company on blogs or in other online settings.
Privately run toll roads are planned for congested cities across the country. Infrared Scans May Regulate HOT Lanes 01 Oct 2007 Private companies that will build and operate the Beltway lanes have proposed using technology that would scan drivers and passengers with bursts of infrared light that detect human skin. Solo drivers will be able to buy their way around congestion, while carpoolers will ride free.
States sue Bush administration over children's health insurance 01 Oct 2007 Several states said Monday they would challenge the Bush administration in federal court over its new rules that block the expansion of a health insurance program for children from low-income families. Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Washington are joining in the litigation, either as plaintiffs or by filing supporting briefs.
Corzine Announces NJ Will Sue Bush Administration Over SCHIP 01 Oct 2007 Governor Jon S. Corzine today filed a lawsuit on behalf of the people of the state of New Jersey challenging the letter issued by the Bush Administration limiting eligibility for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The lawsuit accuses the Bush Administration of circumventing the public rule-making process by fundamentally and arbitrarily changing the program via letter, which would have the effect of denying health insurance coverage for over 10,000 New Jersey children.
Heads up! Bush bin Laden and the agriterrorists are poised end federal meat inspections: At Stake: Safe Steak By Carol Tucker-Foreman and Michael J. Wilson 01 Oct 2007 The farm bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives is dangerous to your health. It includes a provision that may, literally, make you sick to your stomach. The provision certainly increases your risk of contracting food-borne illness from contaminated meat or poultry because it ends the requirement that meat or poultry cannot be sold across state lines unless a federal inspector, sworn to protect public health, has determined the product is safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled... The stark truth is that this farm bill provision will effectively end the federal meat and poultry inspection system... The provision is so inimical to the public interest that Congress is trying to sneak it through.
Dow Jones Passes 14,000 for Record High 01 Oct 2007 Wall Street began the fourth quarter with a huge rally Monday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to a record close.
US garners support for strike on Iran 02 Oct 2007 Australia, Britain and Israel have reportedly "expressed interest" in a US campaign to launch surgical bombing raids on Iran targeting Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities. A report in The New Yorker by the journalist Seymour Hersh said the Bush Administration had stopped trying to justify a campaign against Iran on the basis of curtailing Iran's nuclear ambitions. It is instead redefining the war in Iraq as a strategic battle between the US and Iran.
US 'planning surgical Iran strikes' 01 Oct 2007 Australia, Britain and Israel have "expressed interest" in a US campaign to launch "surgical" bombing raids on Iran targetting the Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities, according to one of America's leading investigative reporters, Seymour Hersh.
Shifting Targets --The Administration's plan for Iran By Seymour M. Hersh 08 Oct 2007 The revised bombing plan for a possible attack, with its tightened focus on counterterrorism, is gathering support among generals and admirals in the Pentagon. The strategy calls for the use of sea-launched cruise missiles and more precisely targeted ground attacks and bombing strikes, including plans to destroy the most important Revolutionary Guard training camps, supply depots, and command and control facilities. "Cheney's option is now for a fast in and out—for surgical strikes," the former senior American intelligence official told me... A Pentagon consultant on counterterrorism told me that, if the bombing campaign took place, it would be accompanied by a series of what he called "short, sharp incursions" by American Special Forces units into suspected Iranian training sites. He said, "Cheney is devoted to this, no question."
Hizbullah spiritual leader: Senate declared war on Iran 30 Sep 2007 "The declaration of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist group is a declaration of war," Sheik Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, Hizbullah's spiritual leader, said Sunday in response to a Senate resolution on Wednesday calling on the State Department to include the dominant branch in Iran's army on its list of terrorist organization.
Bolton: Attack Iran, 'remove' its leader 30 Sep 2007 Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton told Tory delegates in Britain Sunday that efforts by the UK and the EU to negotiate with Iran had failed and that he saw no alternative to a pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities in the country.
Bolton says time is running out for diplomacy on Iran --'We are very close to the point where we have to make that choice on military force,' Bolton says 30 Sep 2007 Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton drew cheers from British Conservatives on Sunday, saying that diplomacy had failed to halt Iran's nuclear program and urging Washington to consider military action.
Syrian 'research station' says shocked to hear of attack on its facility --Site of supposed Israeli attack in Syria claims it learned of strike from the news; Syrian vice president: Reports of Israeli attack on WMD facilities are false 30 Sep 2007 The Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD) in Syria called the reports of an Israeli attack on its facility in Dir a-Zour completely "made-up" and claimed that it only learned of the purported attack after seeing satellite images of its property and reading about the attack in the news.
Iranian official backs labelling U.S. army, CIA as terrorists [We all do!] 30 Sep 2007 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Sunday that he supported the recent Majlis (parliament) statement to brand the U.S. army and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as terrorist groups. "Terrorist is a proper label for the military and security forces of the United States," Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters at his weekly press conference.
Blackwater mercenaries' record of murder in Iraq By Kate Randall 1 Oct 2007 In the aftermath of the bloody shooting incident in Baghdad on September 16 involving hired guards of Blackwater USA, more information is coming to light about the operations of this and similar mercenary outfits in Iraq. The Iraqi Interior Ministry contends that as many as 20 Iraqis were killed and several dozens wounded in the massacre, and that the security contractors’ actions were unprovoked.
Blackwater guards fired unprovoked: Iraq police evidence 30 Sep 2007 Iraqi investigators have evidence that US private guards fired unprovoked on Iraqis in a deadly Baghdad shoot-out, a magazine said Sunday, citing a police report countering claims that they shot in self-defense.
Death From All Sides --An extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the controversial Blackwater shooting suggests that the private contractors opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky. 30 Sep 2007 An extensive evidence file put together by the Iraqi National Police and obtained by NEWSWEEK—including documents, maps, sworn witness statements and police video footage—appears to contradict the mercenaries’ version of events. A confidential incident report, which has been provided by Iraqi National Police investigators to American military and civilian officials, concludes that the Blackwater vehicles "opened fire crazily and randomly, without any reason."
Blackwater Aviation gets new $92,000,000.00 contract 28 Sep 2007 Presidential Airways, Inc., an aviation Worldwide Services company (d/b/a Blackwater Aviation), Moyock, N.C., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) type contract for $92,000,000.00... The performance period is from 1 Oct. 2007 to 30 September 2011.
Military Arranged No-Work Deal --Placeholder hiring may have violated regulations governing how the Air Force may use contractors. 01 Oct 2007 Charles D. Riechers's job highlights the Pentagon's ties with Commonwealth Research and its corporate parent, which has in recent years received hundreds of millions of dollars worth of grants and contracts from the military, and more than $100 million in earmarks from lawmakers. Commonwealth Research and its parent company, Concurrent Technologies, are registered with the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt charities, even though their primary work is for the Pentagon and other government agencies.
Gates Tells Lawmakers Iraq War Is Hurting Afghanistan Mission 01 Oct 2007 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a group of U.S. House Democratic lawmakers that the multinational 'mission' in Afghanistan is suffering from a lack of resources, citing the war in Iraq and the reluctance of U.S. allies to contribute more troops, participants at the meeting said. [Just what is the "mission" in Afghanistan? Maximizing poppy cultivation?]
Army 'is running out of sergeants' 01 Oct 2007 Gordon Brown's special security adviser has warned that British forces in Afghanistan are so understrength that they cannot replace sergeants and officers killed or injured in action against the Taliban.
US Offers $200,000 to Catch Taliban 01 Oct 2007 The U.S. military has launched a new "Most Wanted" campaign offering rewards of up to $200,000 for information leading to the capture of 12 Taliban and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leaders. Posters and billboards are being put up around eastern Afghanistan with the names and pictures of the 12, with reward amounts ranging from $20,000 to $200,000.
Taliban reject overture from Afghanistan's government 30 Sep 2007 The Taliban will "never" negotiate with the Afghan authorities until U.S. and NATO forces leave the country, a spokesman for the group said Sunday, again rebuffing an overture for peace talks from President Hamid Karzai. Karzai had said Saturday that he would be willing to meet personally with the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, and give militants a position in the government in exchange for peace. [Hmm... sounds like *surrender* too me. Looks like Bush lost this war, too. The only 'winners' in Bush's insane wars are Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater USA.]
Burma: Thousands dead in massacre of the monks dumped in the jungle 01 Oct 2007 Thousands of protesters are dead and the bodies of hundreds of executed monks have been dumped in the jungle, a former intelligence officer for Burma's ruling junta has revealed.
U.S. top court won't hear Guantanamo prisoner's case 01 Oct 207 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal by a Guantanamo prisoner whose legal challenges had forced changes to President [sic] George W. Bush's 'anti'-terrorism program last year. The justices refused to take up the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who faces a possible military tribunal as an accused driver and guard for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Pentagon releases eight Guantánamo detainees --The Pentagon reported that it has reduced its captive population at Guantánamo to 'approximately 330' after a weekend transfer. 01 Oct 2007 The Defense Department on Sunday announced it had released eight more Guantánamo Bay captives -- six Afghans, a Libyan and a Yemeni.
Yale Law, Newly Defeated, Allows Military Recruiters 01 Oct 2007 For five years, Yale Law School has fought to restrict military recruiters from its job fairs because of the Pentagon’s policy that bars openly gay or bisexual people from the military. But with the federal government threatening to withhold $350 million in grants if the university does not assist the recruiters, that fight will all but end on Monday.
Encampment Youth Occupy the Streets 29 Sep 2007 The Encampment to Stop the War has moved to the streets! Youth activists, veterans, and antiwar organizers have taken the street near Constitution Ave., Pennsylvania Ave., and 4th St. NW in the middle of Washington, D.C. Several hundred people have completely shut down the street, including people from as far away as Oregon and Florida.
U.S. Is Top Arms Seller to Developing World 01 Oct 2007 The United States maintained its role as the leading supplier of weapons to the developing world in 2006, followed by Russia and Britain, according to a Congressional study to be released Monday. Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia were the top buyers.
Bulk of US anti-terror grants go to Jewish organizations 29 Sep 2007 More than $24 million went out Friday to mostly Jewish nonprofit organizations in major cities across the country, because the federal government considers them to be at high risk of terror attacks. The Homeland Security Department decided which nonprofits would receive the 308 grants based on threat and risk information.
Meanwhile: FBI faces deep cuts in programs to fight crime --Agents still being transferred to counterterrorism 27 Sep 2007 The Bush administration's 2008 budget cuts deeply into the FBI's crucial criminal program, further crippling the bureau's ability to tackle white-collar fraud, police abuse, civil rights violations and many other crimes, a Seattle P-I analysis has found.
TSA to scrutinize remote-controlled toys 01 Oct 2007 Airport screeners will be taking a closer look at remote control toys in carry-on luggage due to concerns they could be used to detonate bombs, U.S. officials said Monday. The new practice is not a result of a specific threat, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
Chicago police again mired in scandal 30 Sep 2007 Videotapes of angry officers savagely beating civilians and charges that a murder plot was hatched within an elite special operations unit have Chicago's troubled police department reeling again. Adding to the department's woes is word from federal prosecutors that they are investigating claims that homicide detectives tortured suspects into confessing to murders that landed them on death row in the 1980s.
Mukasey case cost taxpayers over $28M 29 Sep 2007 Protecting former federal judge Michael Mukasey cost taxpayers an estimated $28 million over more than seven years — or $10,000 a day — even as Justice Department agencies argued about how much of a threat he faced.
U.S. $10 trillion in the red --Congress raised the limit once again as U.S. debt nears $10 trillion. That's about $30,000 for every American. 01 Oct 2007 As the national debt heads toward the $10-trillion mark, generous Americans are sending checks to the federal government. Donations to the Bureau of the Public Debt have topped $2.5 million so far this year.
Giuliani Inspires Threat of a Third-Party Run 01 Oct 2007 Alarmed at the possibility that the Republican Party might pick Rudolph W. Giuliani as its presidential nominee despite his support for abortion rights, a coalition of influential Christian conservatives is threatening to back a third-party candidate.
I hate all Iranians, US aide tells MPs 29 Sep 2007 British MPs visiting the Pentagon to discuss America's stance on Iran and Iraq were shocked to be told by one of President [sic] Bush's foreign policy advisers: "I hate all Iranians." And she also accused Britain of "dismantling" the Anglo-US-led coalition in Iraq by pulling troops out of Basra too soon. The all-party group of MPs say Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs to Defence Secretary Robert Gates, made the comments this month.
McCain: No Muslim president, U.S. better with Christian one 29 Sep 2007 GOP presidential candidate [sociopath] John McCain says America is better off with a Christian President and he doesn't want a Muslim in the Oval Office. "I admire the Islam. There's a lot of good principles in it," he said. "But I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith."
US trains Gulf air forces for war with Iran 30 Sep 2007 The American air force is working with military leaders from the Gulf to train and prepare Arab air forces for a possible war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal. An air warfare conference in Washington last week was told how American air chiefs have helped to co-ordinate intelligence-sharing with Gulf Arab nations and organise combined exercises designed to make it easier to fight together.
Neocons seek to justify action against Teheran 30 Sep 2007 American diplomats have been ordered to compile a dossier detailing Iran's violations of international law that some fear could be used to justify military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme. Members of the US secretariat in the United Nations were asked earlier this month to begin "searching for things that Iran has done wrong", The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
Neocon 'godfather' Norman Podhoretz tells Bush: bomb Iran 30 Sep 2007 One of the founding fathers of neoconservatism has privately urged President [sic] George W Bush to bomb Iran rather than allow it to acquire nuclear weapons. Norman Podhoretz, an intellectual guru of the neoconservative movement who has joined Rudolph Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign as a senior foreign policy adviser, held an unpublicised meeting with Bush late last spring at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
Document - Bush forced countries into war 26 Sep 2007 A confidential document has surfaced that makes it clear U.S President [sic] Bush put pressure on many nations to back the Iraq war. According to Spanish newspaper, El Pais, the confidential transcript was prepared by Spain's ambassador to the United States. The transcript detailed a conversation between Spain’s former prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar and President Bush, when they met at the Bush ranch in Texas.
Blackwater Eyes Domestic Contracts in U.S. (NPR) 28 Sep 2007 The first Blackwater employees arrived in New Orleans just 36 hours after the levies broke. [Were blown?] At one point, more than 600 Blackwater employees were in the city. Eventually, Blackwater landed a $73 million contact to protect FEMA staff helping with the Katrina 'recovery' operation. [Uh, we call that *motive.*] The company has met with leaders in several states to offer their security services in the event of a natural disaster. In California, they have suggested earthquake relief. In New York, they offered help in case of a terrorist attack. The Iraq war won't last forever, so if the company wants to stick around, it needs an alternate business plan. Work here at home is one solution. [And we'll provide another.]
Bill Moyers' Journal Looks At Fraud in Iraq By Bill W. 29 Sep 2007 On this week’s Journal, Bill Moyers takes a look at waste and contractor fraud going on in Iraq. Just last week, the House Armed Services Committee found that $6 billion worth of military contracts are under criminal review, and another $88 billion (to put that into perspective, that's two and a half times the cost of the expansion of the SCHIP bill that Bush is threatening to veto) in contracts are currently being audited for suspicion of fraud.
The shadow army By Janine R. Wedel 30 Sep 2007 If there is a quagmire in Iraq, it was created more than a decade ago when the United States instituted a flawed system governing the use of contractors to perform governmental functions. Now, despite Iraqi fury at Blackwater USA, some of whose employees are accused of fatally shooting Iraqis, Washington is so reliant on the firm that it dare not order it from the field.
Iraq wants 'last extension' of force mandate 30 Sep 2007 Iraq wants the U.N. Security Council to extend the mandate of the 160,000-strong U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq only through the end of 2008, then replace it with a long-term bilateral security agreement, Foreign Ministry officials said yesterday. Aides to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the mandate extension for the U.S.-led occupation, due to be discussed at the end of this year, would be "the last extension for these forces."
U.S. Embassy rips Iraq partition plan 30 Sep 2007 The U.S. Embassy on Sunday criticized a Senate resolution that could lead to a division of the country into sectarian or ethnic territories, agreeing with a swath of Iraqi leaders in saying the proposal "would produce extraordinary suffering and bloodshed."
Eleven tortured bodies, all with gunshot wounds, found dumped in Mosul --Security developments in Iraq 30 Sep 2007 Eleven handcuffed and blindfolded bodies, all with gunshot wounds and showing signs of torture, were found dumped in one place Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. Five bodies were found in different areas of Baghdad in the past 24 hours, police said. U.S. forces killed 20 'insurgents' on Saturday after an attack using a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire on a U.S. aircraft in an area about 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Gunmen killed two policemen in eastern Mosul, police said.
Petraeus admits to rise in Iraq violence 29 Sep 20207 Gen. David H. Petraeus [Betrayus], the top U.S. commander in Iraq, acknowledged today that violence had increased since Sunni Arab militants declared an offensive during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. "Certainly Al Qaeda has had its Ramadan surge," Petraeus said in his first comments to reporters since he returned from Washington to give lawmakers a status report on the war in Iraq. But [the sniveling Bush sycophant] said the level of attacks was "substantially lower" than during the same period last year.
US Sniper Gets 5-Month Sentence in Iraq 29 Sep 2007 A military panel on Saturday sentenced an Army sniper to five months in prison, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of pay for planting evidence in connection with the deaths of two Iraqi civilians.
Murtha Must Testify in Defamation Case 28 Sep 20070 A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition in the case. A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for alleging ''cold-blooded murder and war crimes'' by unnamed soldiers [terrorists] in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
The attack was aimed at "terrorizing the population." United Nations Expresses Outrage Over Kabul Suicide Bus Bombing 30 Sep 2007 The United Nations expressed "outrage" over a deadly [US] suicide bombing yesterday in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The attack by a suicide bomber wearing an army uniform on an Afghan military bus yesterday killed 30 people and wounded about 30 others, Agency France-Presse reported today.
Bomber Attacks Bus of Afghan Soldiers; 30 Dead 30 Sep 2007 A suicide bomber wearing an Afghan military uniform detonated his concealed explosive vest near a bus full of Afghan soldiers on their way to work here in the capital early Saturday, killing at least 30 people, including two civilians, officials said. The bombing was among the deadliest in Afghanistan this year.
'A Coup Has Occurred' By Daniel Ellsberg 26 Sep 2007 (Text of a speech delivered 20 Sept. 2007) I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state. If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth... And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran, you will then see an increased attack on Iran – an escalation – which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country, including detention camps.
US bioterror lab in big pickle: Foot and mouth stops Pirbright lab producing any bluetongue vaccine --Research centre leading the fight against the latest threat to British farmers is powerless to act 30 Sep 2007 Britain's battle against the bluetongue virus is being hampered because the vaccine used to counter it was being developed at the private Surrey [US] laboratory now closed because it is suspected of being a source of the foot and mouth outbreak, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
Legionnaire's Disease found at Pirbright lab 09 Aug 2007 The Government laboratory [Pirbright in Surrey] linked to the foot-and-mouth outbreak was at the centre of a second biosecurity storm today as it emerged that the deadly Legionnella bacterium has been found at the site.
Man who claimed to have obtained topless shots of Jessica Lynch found dead in home 29 Sep 2007 A man who agreed to plead guilty in a plot to extort more than $1 million from Tom Cruise for the actor's stolen wedding photos was found dead in his home, authorities said. He also claimed to have obtained topless shots of rescued U.S. Army POW Jessica Lynch. Investigators said it appeared David Hans Schmidt, 47, who was under house arrest and faced up to two years in federal prison, had committed suicide.
Woman Dies After Airport Arrest 29 Sep 2007 A woman late to her plane became irate, was put in handcuffs and was later found dead in a holding cell, police said. Authorities were investigating Saturday if the woman choked herself [?!?] while trying to get free from the handcuffs.
The Roberts Court Returns (The New York Times) 30 Sep 2007 It is striking how conservative the court is now... The Roberts bloc has not adhered to any principled theory of judging... The court’s hyperpartisan approach to the law is unhealthy. The reason the Bush v. Gore ruling was so damaging to the court’s reputation was that the justices appeared to be acting as partisans, tossing aside long-held views to reach the political result they wanted. Today, the justices seem just as political, wrapping their views on controversial social issues in neutral-sounding legal doctrines.
Bush's EPA Is Pursuing Fewer Polluters --Probes and Prosecutions Have Declined Sharply 30 Sep 2007 The Environmental Protection Agency's pursuit of criminal cases against polluters has dropped off sharply during the Bush administration, with the number of prosecutions, new investigations and total convictions all down by more than a third, according to Justice Department and EPA data. The number of civil lawsuits filed against defendants who refuse to settle environmental cases was down nearly 70 percent between fiscal years 2002 and 2006, compared with a four-year period in the late 1990s, according to those same statistics.
Report Assails F.D.A. Oversight of Clinical Trials 28 Sep 2007 The Food and Drug Administration does very little to ensure the safety of the millions of people who participate in clinical trials, a federal investigator [Daniel R. Levinson] has found.
Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Town Is Shaken After Prosecutor's Arrest in a Child-Sex Sting 29 Sep 2007 To neighbors here, J. D. Roy Atchison was a deft federal prosecutor, an involved father and a devoted volunteer, coaching girls’ softball and basketball teams year in and year out... Mr. Atchison, 53, was arrested getting off a plane in Detroit on Sept. 16 and charged with the unthinkable. The authorities there said he was carrying a doll and petroleum jelly, and that he had arranged with an undercover agent to have sex with a 5-year-old girl. His is considered one of the most conservative United States attorney's offices in the country, known for refusing plea agreements and seeking the stiffest sentences.
Giuliani friend funded GOP Calif. electoral bid 29 Sep 2007 A confidant of Republican presidential contender Rudolph W. Giuliani, and one of the candidate's biggest donors, was the source of a mystery $175,000 donation to a stalled initiative proposal seen as an attempt to help the GOP win a portion of California's 55 electoral votes. New York hedge fund billionaire Paul E. Singer issued a statement Friday acknowledging that he gave the six-figure gift, ending speculation over its secrecy and fanning criticism of the Giuliani campaign.
Giuliani fundraiser gave big bucks to state ballot measure 29 Sep 2007 A major New York fundraiser [Paul Singer] for GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has been revealed as the money man behind a proposed ballot measure that would have changed California's winner-take-all Electoral College vote system - and likely benefited Republicans.
L.A. County calling for lights-out hour --Coordinating with San Francisco's plan, officials are urging Angelenos to agree to a voluntary blackout one day next month to help conserve energy. 29 Sep 2007 Following San Francisco's lead, Los Angeles County and city officials are urging people, businesses and government to switch off nonessential lights for one hour next month to save energy.
MPs condemn U.S. terrorist activities 29 Sep 2007 In a statement issued here on Saturday, 215 Iranian lawmakers condemned the terrorist activities of the U.S. army and its intelligence service CIA and called upon the United Nations to put an end to these crimes. In light of the following reasons, the aggressor United States' Army and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) support terrorism and are terrorists.
Iran labels CIA 'terrorist organization' 29 Sep 2007 Iran's parliament on Saturday approved a nonbinding resolution labeling the CIA and the U.S. Army "terrorist organizations," in apparent response to a Senate resolution seeking to give a similar designation to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Attack on Iran Said to Be Imminent 28 Sep 2007 In a sign that U.N. Security Council-based diplomacy is losing steam, a number of sources are reporting that a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities may be imminent. France and America also are pushing for tighter economic sanctions against Tehran, without U.N. approval. Yesterday's edition of Le Canard Enchaîné, a French weekly known for its investigative journalism, reported details of an alleged Israeli-American plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
U.S. agrees to delay on new Iranian sanctions 28 Sep 2007 Opposition led by Russia forced the Bush regime Friday to slow its drive for tighter United Nations sanctions against Iran and give the Islamic republic until late November to disclose its entire nuclear program to U.N. inspectors.
New Group Boasts Big War Chest and Rising Voice 30 Sep 2007 Freedom’s Watch, a deep-pocketed conservative group led by two former senior White House officials, made an audacious debut in late August when it began a $15 million advertising campaign designed to maintain Congressional support for President [sic] Bush’s troop increase in Iraq. Founded this summer by a dozen wealthy Reichwingers, the nonprofit group is set apart from most advocacy groups by the immense wealth of its core group of benefactors... Its next target: Iran policy.
Baghdad fumes over 'federalism' plan passed by US Senate 29 Sep 2007 The Iraqi government on Friday firmly rejected a plan approved by the US Senate to divide Iraq on ethnic and religious lines, saying Iraqis will themselves decide their future. "The government and its Premier [Nuri al-Maliki] reject this vote," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh. "It is the Iraqis who decide these sorts of issues, no one else," Dabbagh said on state-run Al-Iraqiyya television. [Silly Dabbagh - such decisions are made by Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater USA and Exxon Mobil!]
State Dept. Starts Third Review of Private Security in Iraq 29 Sep 2007 The State Department has begun three separate reviews related to its use of private contractors for diplomatic security in Iraq after the shooting this month involving Blackwater USA guards [terrorists] that has infuriated Iraqis and damaged the American image in the country.
Blackwater cancels planned expansion 28 Sep 2007 In more fallout from the Sept. 16 shooting in Baghdad that left 11 Iraqis dead, Blackwater USA apparently has stopped its expansion projects. On Wednesday, the North Carolina private military contractor canceled a $5.5 million deal to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg, where it was going to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives [terrorists].
Congressman: State Dept. official threatened investigators 28 Sep 2007 Aides to State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard threatened two investigators with retaliation this week if they cooperate with a congressional probe into Krongard's office, the chairman of a House of Representatives panel [Henry Waxman, D-Calif.] and other U.S. officials said Friday.
Iraqi civilians deaths part of war on terror: US military 29 Sep 2007 The US military Saturday put down to its "war on terror" the deaths of civilians in a series of airstrikes in Baghdad and southern belts this week that also killed the [547,239th] senior Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader in Iraq. [Too bad those who are carrying out the 'war of terror' aren't the victims of it, instead of Iraqi civilians.]
U.S. confirms Baghdad air strike 29 Sep 2007 The U.S. military confirmed on Saturday it carried out an air strike in the Doura district of southern Baghdad on Friday, saying it had targeted men [Blackwater terrorists] firing mortars into a neighboring area.
U.S. Raid on Baghdad Apartment Building Kills 10 Civilians 28 Sep 2007 Iraqi police and witnesses say at least 10 civilians were killed during a U.S. raid on an apartment building in southern Baghdad. A man who lives in the area says he was awakened by the sound of helicopters, heavy gunfire and bombing.
Suicide Bomb Attack Kills Dozens in Kabul 29 Sep 2007 A suicide bomber dressed as a soldier boarded an Afghan National Army bus in Kabul early Saturday and detonated his explosives, killing at least 27 people and injuring 29, Afghan security officials said.
Legal Aid Offer for Detainees Is Retracted 29 Sep 2007 The American Bar Association said this week that it was backing out of an agreement to find lawyers for Guantánamo prisoners because it did not want to "lend support and credibility" to what it called inadequate legal protections for the 340 men held there.
Huckabee rips Bush's foreign policy 28 Sep 2007 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee ripped the Bush administration's war 'against' terrorism Friday, delivering a bold and potentially risky speech that could establish the former Arkansas governor as the maverick among top Republican candidates and test his party's loyalty to President [sic] Bush.
U.S. carries out 'successful' missile defense test 28 Sep 2007 A U.S. interceptor missile on Friday shot down a dummy warhead replicating an incoming North Korean missile in the seventh 'successful' test of Boeing Co's long-range missile shield, the Pentagon said.
U.S. missile shield is provocation: Austrian minister 23 Aug 2007 Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos has called U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in eastern Europe a "provocation" reviving Cold War debates.
Navy agrees to camouflage 'swastika' base --Navy added $600,000 (£300,000) to its 2008 budget for camouflage for Coronado base 27 Sep 2007 Painting a swastika on a public building is a hate crime. But what happens when the building itself is the swastika? The buildings, surmise some bloggers, were put up by German POWs as a Hitler tribute. Others say that nearby buildings look like planes pointing at the swastika.
Burma: Hundreds may be dead, as junta tries to keep brutality unseen 29 Sep 2007 Burma's military leaders locked down monasteries, arrested dissidents and set up barricades across Rangoon yesterday in an attempt to suffocate the waves of street demonstrations calling for an end to their rule.
ABC Journalist Ordered to Disclose Sources on 2001 Anthrax Attacks 28 Sep 2007 A federal judge in New York has ordered a journalist at ABC News, Brian Ross, to disclose the identities of the government sources he relied upon when reporting about the [Cheney] anthrax attacks of 2001. [Why, so they can get 'Wellstoned?']
NRC accused of ignoring sleeping guards 28 Sep 2007 A watchdog group accused the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday of ignoring for nearly six months allegations that security guards at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant routinely slept while on duty.
School Guards Break Child's Arm And Arrest Her For Dropping Cake --Pandemic of police and security violence continues unabated By Steve Watson 28 Sep 2007 School security guards in Palmdale, CA have been caught on camera assaulting a 16-year-old girl and breaking her arm after she spilled some cake during lunch and left some crumbs on the floor after cleaning it up. The incident occurred last week at Knight High School in Palmdale and was caught on a cell phone camera by another pupil who was then also assaulted by the security guards.
America's Police Brutality Now Pandemic By Paul Craig Roberts 28 Sep 2007 Bush's "war on terror" quickly became Bush's war on Iraqi civilians. So far over one million Iraqi civilians have lost their lives because of Bush's invasion, and four million have been displaced. ...Americans are in far greater danger from their own police forces than they are from foreign terrorists.
Texas Planning New Execution Despite Supreme Court Ruling 29 Sep 2007 A day after the United States Supreme Court halted an execution in Texas at the last minute, Texas officials made clear on Friday that they would nonetheless proceed with more executions in coming months, including one next week.
US prison population at all time high By Naomi Spencer 29 Sep 2007 The "war on terror" is endlessly peddled by the American political establishment as a crusade for freedom and liberty around the world. Yet, as the latest prison figures again demonstrate, far from representing freedom, justice and democracy, the United States is notorious for its propensity to jail its own population... According to separate figures put out by the Justice Department, by June 30, 2006, the prison population stood at well over 2.2 million.
Countrywide CEO sold big as stock dropped --Quick changes in Mozilo's trading plan raise red flags, experts say. 29 Sep 2007 As the mortgage industry swooned in late 2006 and 2007, Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo cashed in stock options valued at $138 million -- vastly expanding his wealth even as his shareholders watched their stock shrink in value. Company executives say Mozilo did nothing wrong...
Study: Premiums for Medicare drug plans jumping 8.7% 28 Sep 2007 Many seniors and the disabled enrolled in the Medicare drug program are likely to pay more next year, with the average premium for all stand-alone drug plans rising 8.7% to $40 a month, according to data released late Thursday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Democrats Build Plan to Override Health Bill Veto 29 Sep 2007 Democrats and their allies mapped out a strategy on Friday that they hoped would enable them to override President [sic] Bush’s expected veto of a bipartisan bill providing health insurance for 10 million children, most of them in low-income families.
12-Year-Old Asks Bush to Sign Children's Health Bill (democrats.org) 29 Sep 2007 Graeme Frost, 12, delivers this week's Democratic Radio Address. Because of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Graeme was able to get the medical care he needed after a serious car accident... He asks President [sic] Bush to sign into law the renewal of CHIP that both houses of Congress passed this week with broad bipartisan support.
Mega barf alert! 21.7 million pounds of meat recalled 29 Sep 2007 Topps Meat Co. on Saturday expanded a recall issued four days ago to 21.7 million pounds of ground beef products, one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history. A statement from the U.S. Department of Agribusiness said 25 illnesses are under investigation in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. [The USDA, under Bush, is absof*ckinglutely useless. It is a tool of the corpora-terrorists.]
Europeans angry after Bush climate speech 'charade' --pResident claims he can lead world on emissions 29 Sep 2007 George Bush was castigated by European diplomats and found himself isolated yesterday after a special conference on climate change ended without any progress. European ministers, diplomats and officials attending the Washington conference were scathing, particularly in private, over Mr Bush's failure once again to commit to binding action on climate change.
The Race Against Warming By Bill McKibben 29 Sep 2007 Consider the news from the real world, the one where change is measured with satellites and thermometers, not focus groups: Arctic ice is melting on an unbelievable scale -- an area the size of Britain disappeared each week in late summer as the record for minimum ice cover, set in 2005, was shattered by more than 400,000 square miles, meaning about a 27 percent loss. Forget the Petraeus report -- what historians will note about September 2007 is that the Northwest Passage was free of ice for the first time since humans started keeping track.
State Dept. Tallies 56 Shootings Involving Blackwater on Diplomatic Guard Duty 28 Sep 2007 The State Department said Thursday that Blackwater USA security personnel [terrorists] had been involved in 56 shootings while guarding American diplomats in Iraq so far this year. It was the first time the Bush regime had made such data public.
Blackwater guard in Iraq said "stop shooting": media 28 Sep 2007 A Blackwater security guard screamed at colleagues to "stop shooting" in an incident that left 11 Iraqi civilians dead, enraged the government and sparked reviews of security firms in Iraq, U.S. media said on Friday. The Washington Post and The New York Times quoted unnamed U.S. officials saying they had been told at least one employee of the private American security firm pointed a gun at a fellow guard to try and curb the shooting in Baghdad on September 16.
Blackwater Faced Bedlam, Embassy Finds --'First Blush' Report Raises New Questions on Shooting 28 Sep 2007 Separately, a U.S. official familiar with the investigation said that participants in the shooting have reported that at least one of the Blackwater guards drew a weapon on his colleagues and screamed for them to "stop shooting." This account suggested that there was some effort to curb the shooting, with at least one Blackwater guard believing it had spiraled out of control.
Report: Blackwater skimped on security before Fallujah ambush 27 Sep 2007 Democrats in Congress released a scathing report Thursday on the 2004 massacre of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, charging that the company rushed unprepared into a sloppy mission, skimped on security to save money and stonewalled when Congress tried to investigate.
Blackwater guards killed 16 as U.S. touted progress 27 Sep 2007 During the ensuing week, as U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Army Gen. David Petraeus told Congress that the surge of more U.S. troops to Iraq was beginning to work and President Bush gave a televised address in which he said "ordinary life was beginning to return" to Baghdad, Blackwater security guards shot at least 43 people on crowded Baghdad streets. At least 16 of those people died.
Hired Gun Fetish By Paul Krugman 28 Sep 2007 ...[T]he administration has abandoned the principle of a professional, nonpolitical civil service, stuffing agencies from FEMA to the Justice Department with unqualified cronies. Tax farming — giving individuals the right to collect taxes, in return for a share of the take — went out with the French Revolution; now the tax farmers are back. ...[T]he Bush administration has tried to privatize every aspect of the U.S. government it can, using taxpayers’ money to give lucrative contracts to its friends — people like Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, who has strong Republican connections. You might think that national security would take precedence over the fetish for privatization — but remember, President [sic] Bush tried to keep airport security in private hands, even after 9/11.
State Dept. Officials Threaten Krongard's Staffers: Waxman 28 Sep 2007 Two senior staffers for State Department Inspector General Howard J. Krongard have told employees they could be fired if they cooperate in a congressional probe of Krongard and his office, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) charged today. Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, alleged in a letter to Krongard that Krongard's congressional liaison and an unnamed attorney issued the threats... Earlier this month, Waxman said he was launching an inquiry into whether Krongard had repeatedly thwarted investigations of contracting fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan, including construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and censored reports that might prove politically embarrassing to the Bush administration.
Soldier acquitted of murder in Iraqis' deaths --Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, a sniper, is convicted of planting wires on one body. 28 Sep 2007 A military panel today acquitted U.S. Army Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval of murder charges in the deaths of two Iraqis but convicted him of planting detonation wire on one of the bodies to make it appear the man was an 'insurgent.' Sandoval, 22, of Laredo, Texas, was the first of three soldiers from the same sniper team to be court-martialed in three separate shootings that took place last spring. Recent California military deaths Their cases have called attention to a "baiting program," in which snipers were allegedly ordered to plant fake weapons and bomb-making materials, then kill anyone who picked them up.
Australia takes over protecting Iraq's offshore oilfields 28 Sep 2007 Protection of Iraq's two key offshore oilfields was handed to the Royal Australian Navy today as it again assumed command from the US Navy.
U.S. officials criticize Hunt Oil's Iraq deal 27 Sep 2007 A controversial deal by the Hunt Oil Co. with an Iraqi regional government faces "significant legal uncertainty" and undermines American efforts to strengthen Iraq's national unity, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Thursday.
547,239th Senior Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Killed by U.S. Forces 28 Sep 2007 U.S.-led forces have killed 'one of the most important leaders' of Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq, a Tunisian believed connected to the kidnapping and killings last summer of American soldiers, a top commander said Friday.
GOP Offers New Iraq Plan --GOP Senators Call for End to Iraq War, but Only After Bush Leaves Office 28 Sep 2007 A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: Call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but wait until President [sic] Bush is almost out of office.
Oops! Bin Laden may have just escaped U.S. forces --August mission in Tora Bora almost snared 'high value target' 26 Sep 2007 For three days and nights — between Aug. 14 and 16 — U.S. and Afghanistan forces pounded the mountain caves in Tora Bora, the same caves where 'Osama Bin Laden' had hidden out and then fled in late 2001... Ultimately, however, U.S. forces failed to find Bin Laden or his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, even though their attacks left dozens of al Qaeda and Taliban [civilians] dead. ...With intelligence limited on who was there, no one is willing to say that the lack of key units permitted Bin Laden or Zawahiri to escape.
U.S. to Allow Key Detainees to Request Lawyers --14 Terrorism Suspects Given Legal Forms at Guantanamo 28 Sep 20007 Fourteen "high-value" terrorism suspects who were transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from secret CIA prisons last year have been formally offered the right to request lawyers, a move that could allow them to join other prisoners in challenging their status as enemy combatants in a U.S. appellate court.
Guantanamo transport plane crashes with four tons of cocaine on board --Who owned drug plane that crashed in Mexico? 27 Sep 2007 U.S. authorities are assisting the Mexican government in the investigation of an American business jet that crashed in Cancun this week with four tons of cocaine on board, officials said Thursday. Some news reports have linked the plane to the transport of terrorist suspects to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but those reports cite logs that indicate only that the plane flew twice between Washington, D.C., and Guantanamo and once between Oxford, Conn., and Guantanamo.
Security Council to Wait Two Months on Iran Sanctions 28 Sep 2007 The U.S. and its allies will delay their push for another round of sanctions against Iran for two months while waiting for a report on the status of the Iranian nuclear program, according to an agreement reached today among the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
US interceptors in Europe fast enough to hit Russian ICBMs: researcher 27 Sep 2007 Interceptor missiles deployed in Poland as part of a US missile defense shield would be fast enough to target Russian intercontinental missiles, contrary to US assurances, a US researcher said Thursday.
Physicists Question US on Missile Plan --Leading Physicists Challenge United States Claims on European Missile Defense Plans 27 Sep 2007 A number of top U.S-based physicists have concluded the United States used inaccurate claims [lied] to reassure NATO allies about U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern Europe.
Navy to mask Coronado's swastika-shaped barracks 26 Sep 2007 The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
Alabama city reopening fallout shelters 27 Sep 2007 In an age of al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], sleeper cells and the threat of nuclear terrorism, Huntsville is dusting off its Cold War manual to create the nation's most ambitious fallout-shelter plan, featuring an abandoned mine big enough for 20,000 people to take cover underground.
Myanmar forces stamp down on protests, Internet cut 28 Sep 2007 Security forces moved to crush protests in Myanmar's two biggest cities Friday, unleashing warning shots and baton charges, and cutting Internet access in the third day of a deadly crackdown.
A Step Away From the Imperial Presidency (The New York Times) 28 Sep 2007 The defense budget bill heading for Senate passage contains a bipartisan measure to repeal wording that made it easier for a president to override local control of the National Guard and declare martial law... It repeals a major weakening of two protective doctrines of liberty. One of them, called posse comitatus, was enacted after the Civil War to bar military forces, including a federalized National Guard, from engaging in domestic law enforcement. The other, the Insurrection Act of 1807... Under last year's revision, the exception was unnecessarily broadened to allow the president to use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any "other condition." ...If this defense bill is enacted, that will make at least two instances where Congress has lived up to its duty to rescind excessive power grants to the Bush White House.
Drive to change winner-take-all primary failing 27 Sep 2007 Days after a controversial organization began collecting voter signatures for a ballot measure to change California's winner-take-all primary, a founder of the GOP-backed group says its major players are resigning - and the group will fold - due to lack of funding and support.
Kucinich, unhappy with coverage, shuts out Plain Dealer By Stephen Koff 28 Sep 2007 Dennis Kucinich has cut off nearly all communication to Plain Dealer political reporters. Kucinich has not returned calls for several weeks to the newspaper's Washington bureau, which covers his actions in Congress and his presidential campaign.
Craig, awaiting ruling, reneges on end-of-month Senate departure 27 Sep 2007 Idaho Republican Larry Craig has decided he wants to be a U.S. senator a little longer. Craig's lawyers asked a Minnesota judge Wednesday to let the three-term senator withdraw his guilty plea in a sex sting at a Minneapolis airport restroom. Afterward, Craig issued a statement saying he will stay in office "for now."
Doolittle, Six Aides Hit With Grand Jury Subpoenas 27 Sep 2007 A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to six aides to embattled GOP Rep. John Doolittle (Calif.), who is under investigation by the Justice Dept. over his ties to imprisoned former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The subpoenas were issued to Ron Rogers, Doolittle's chief of staff; Dan Blankenburg, deputy chief of staff; Alisha Perkins, scheduler; Evan Goitein, legislative director; Martha Franco, senior executive assistant; and Gordon Hinkle, field rep.
Senate Passes Children's Health Plan 28 Sep 2007 The Senate gave final approval on Thursday to a health insurance bill for 10 million children, clearing the measure for President [sic] Bush, who said he would veto it.
Oberstar Vows to Address Foreign Maintenance of U.S. Aircraft in FAA Bill 28 Sep 2007 Unions for U.S. aircraft mechanics have been fighting the trend of outsourcing airplane maintenance overseas -- without much success -- since 1988, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began allowing domestic airlines to send their planes abroad for scheduled maintenance, such as heavy engine overhauls... House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James L. Oberstar said the House FAA bill, which could be marked up as early as next week, will address foreign aircraft-repair stations.
Cities try to shut FEMA trailer parks 28 Sep 2007 Communities along the Gulf Coast are moving to banish the government-issued trailers that house tens of thousands of people whose homes were destroyed by the devastating hurricanes in 2005.
N.C. man charged with 'coughing' assault 27 Sep 2007 Morrisville police have charged a man with assault on a government official after an officer said the man coughed into his face during a traffic stop.
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