Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.


Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

Contribute to CLG

October 2007 Archives, Page Two

No evidence Iran is making nukes: ElBaradei 29 Oct 2007 Chief UN atomic watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said overnight he had no evidence Iran was building nuclear weapons and accused US leaders of adding "fuel to the fire" with recent bellicose rhetoric. "I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now," the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told CNN.

Head of UN nuclear agency calls on Bush to ease Iran rhetoric 28 Oct 2007 Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, urged the Bush administration Sunday to soften its rhetoric against Tehran, even as a prominent Democratic senator said he feared that U.S. military action was drawing "precariously close." The comments by ElBaradei and Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, the senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, came in response to the regime's recent tough talk, including President [sic] George W. Bush's warning of "World War III" if Tehran obtained nuclear arms, and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's caution of "serious consequences" for Iran.

U.S. Military Ignored Evidence of Iraqi-Made EFPs By Gareth Porter 25 Oct 2007 When the U.S. military command accused the Iranian Quds Force last January of providing the armour-piercing EFPs (explosively formed penetrators) that were killing U.S. troops, it knew that Iraqi machine shops had been producing their own EFPs for years, a review of the historical record of evidence on EFPs in Iraq shows. The record also shows that the U.S. command had considerable evidence that the Mahdi army had gotten the technology and the training on how to use it from Hezbollah rather than Iran. The command, operating under close White House supervision, chose to deny these facts in making the dramatic accusation that became the main rationale for the present aggressive U.S. stance toward Iran.

Bombed Syrian reactor reportedly six years old 28 Oct 2007 The New York Times reported on Saturday that independent analysts have determined that construction of the alleged nuclear reactor on Syrian soil which was bombed last month by Israel may have begun as early as 2001.

Iran FM: US should stop supporting terrorism 28 Oct 2007 Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday expressed hope that Washington would stop supporting terrorism. Terrorist activities in northern Iraq have increased following the presence of foreign forces in that country, the Iranian said reiterating, "Such activities are carried out through foreign support."

Basra fight pointless, says British commander 28 Oct 2007 One of the most senior British commanders in Iraq has claimed that there is no point in fighting on in Basra, likening British troops in the city to "Robocop" and admitting that innocent people were hurt as a result of their actions. The officer, who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said commanders had concluded that a military solution was no longer viable. "We are tired of firing at people," he said. "We would prefer to find a political accommodation."

'Mafia-like' criminals latest threat in Iraq, Petraeus says 28 Oct 2007 The threat from al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in several former strongholds in Baghdad has been significantly reduced, but criminals [Blackwater terrorists] who have established "almost mafia-like presence" in some areas pose a new threat, the top U.S. commander in Iraq [Gen. David Petraeus] said today.

Rice says 'hole' in U.S. law shields contractors in Iraq [The hole is in her head.] 26 Oct 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded on Thursday that there was a "hole" in United States law that had allowed Blackwater USA employees and other armed contractors in Iraq to escape legal jeopardy for crimes possibly committed there. In an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rice said the administration would support new laws that would apply to contractors but expressed reservations about proposals to bring contractors under the military justice system. [See: Officials balked on '05 Blackwater inquiry 26 Oct 2007.]

McConnell earmarked $25M for UK defense contractor: Reported 27 Oct 2007 U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reportedly tucked $25 million in earmarked funds for British defense contractor BAE Systems into an appropriations bill. McConnell, the Senate minority leader, inserted the money for three BAE systems into the bill that passed the Senate Oct. 3, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. BAE has given McConnell $53,000 in campaign contributions, while UDI donated $500,000 to his foundation.

US to order diplomats to serve in Iraq 28 Oct 2007 In the largest call-up of U.S. diplomats since the Vietnam War, the State Department is planning to order some of its personnel to serve at the American Embassy in Iraq because of a lack of volunteers. Those designated "prime candidates" -- from 200 to 300 diplomats -- will be notified Monday that they have been selected for one-year postings to fill the 40 to 50 vacancies expected next year.

Turkey threatens incursion as meetings collapse 29 Oct 2007 The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has again threatened to order an incursion into northern Iraq to root out Kurdish guerillas after the failure of talks with Iraq aimed at averting a cross-border raid. "The moment an operation is needed, we will take that step," Mr Erdogan told a large flag-waving crowd in Izmit on Saturday. "We don't need to ask anyone's permission."

Car bomb rips through bus terminal 29 Oct 2007 A car bomb has exploded outside a bus terminal in the volatile northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing at least eight people and setting shops and cars ablaze. A police official said 28 people were also wounded.

Protesters call for end to Iraq war 27 Oct 2007 Anti-war demonstrators marched in a dozen U.S. cities on Saturday to call for an immediate end to the war in Iraq and a cut-off of funding by Congress.

Thousands march, "die" and rally in SF anti-war protest 27 Oct 2007 On cue from a bullhorn's blast, thousands of protesters fell to the pavement on Market Street today in a symbolic "die-in" as part of a protest staged in cities across the country against the war in Iraq. The protesters then resumed their march from San Francisco's Civic Center to Dolores Park.

Afghan Ex-Militia Leaders Hoard Arms 28 Oct 2007 Many former militia commanders and residents in northern Afghanistan have been hoarding illegal weapons in violation of the country’s disarmament laws, giving the excuse that they face a spreading Taliban insurgency from the south that government forces alone are too frail to stop, Afghan and Western officials say.

Suicide attack, clashes kill 10 in Afghanistan 28 Oct 2007 A suicide bomber dressed in a military uniform blew himself up near a military base in eastern Afghanistan yesterday killing four Afghan soldiers and a civilian, officials said. The attacker walked up to the main gate of the Bermel barracks in Paktika province before detonating his explosives, said Ghami Khan, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Pentagon reels from second major nuclear arms blunder in a month 26 Oct 2007 The Pentagon was reeling last night from the American military's second major nuclear weapons blunder in a month. Congress is demanding a full scale investigation and serious questions are being asked about the competence of the officers in charge of the world's mightiest arsenal. Last month 70 US airmen were demoted after they lost track of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles and allowed them to be flown halfway across America by a bomber crew that didn't even know they were there.

Municipalities: Right-Wing More Serious Than Muslim Radicalism 27 Oct 2007 (The Hague) "In their own perception, municipalities have to contend with more right-wing radicalism than Islamic radicalism". This is the conclusion drawn in a study carried out for the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and published in its VNG Magazine. Seventy-five municipalities took part in the study by the COT Institute for Safety, Security and Crisis Management. The municipalities combined reported 27 incidents concerning right-wing radicalism and 8 instances of Islamic radicalism.

Guantanamo military lawyer breaks ranks to condemn 'unconscionable' detention 27 Oct 2007 An American military lawyer and veteran of dozens of secret Guantanamo tribunals has made a devastating attack on the legal process for determining whether Guantanamo prisoners are "enemy combatants". The whistleblower, an army major inside the military [kangaroo] court system which the United States has established at Guantanamo Bay, has described the detention of one prisoner, a hospital administrator from Sudan, as "unconscionable".

'In short, this is not a public inquiry.' Ottawa wants Syria investigation kept secret --Probe about Canadian officials' actions, not Muslim trio, brief says 27 Oct 2007 The federal government is fighting any move to open up the secret inquiry into how three Canadian Muslim men came to be detained and interrogated under torture in Syria. "In short, this is not a public inquiry," the government says in a written submission to the inquiry led by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci.

Torture is not 'mistreatment,' Arar says --Canada's denial of his ordeal made healing process more difficult 27 Oct 2007 Maher Arar says government delays in acknowledging he was tortured during the 10 months and 10 days he was imprisoned in a Syrian jail have stood in the way of healing his psychological wounds. "For someone who has been tortured, acknowledgement of torture is really the beginning of the healing process," he said in Toronto yesterday. "I was very, very much disturbed when I used to hear the word 'mistreatment.' I was boiling." [Right, the PentaPost and the Whore York Times always cover for the Bush regime by using the word 'mistreatment' instead of torture.]

Denounce Waterboarding, Democrats Tell Nominee 27 Oct 2007 The nomination of Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general encountered resistance on Friday, with Democratic senators suggesting for the first time that they might oppose Mr. Mukasey if he did not make clear that he opposed waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques torture that have been used against terrorism suspects.

Police track 20 more terror plot suspects 28 Oct 2007 A hard core of 20 Islamic extremists with [alleged] links to foreign terror groups is operating north of the Border and poses a "significant" risk to public safety, Scotland on Sunday can reveal. Scotland on Sunday can also reveal that concern at the terror threat is now so great that up to 1,000 Scottish Asians will be placed under surveillance in coming months because they associate with known radicals. Special Branch, backed by MI5 officers, will carry out checks on the individuals looking for evidence of radicalisation such as changes in clothing and increased mosque attendance.

How the spooks keep tabs on Scots would-be bombers 28 Oct 2007 It was the computer specialists at Britain's top-secret listening station, GCHQ, who uncovered the existence of Scotland's first home-grown terror suspect. With Mohammed Atif Siddique's conviction and the subsequent MI5 claims that he was linked to a plot by a supporter of Osama bin Laden to kidnap and behead the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper [? LOL], the country's benign image has been smashed forever. Now the authorities want to carry out checks on associates of the 200 suspects - up to 1,000 in total - even if they seem to have little or nothing to do with terror.

Protesters shout down anti-Islam speaker at MSU --Audience uses chants, obscenities to interrupt British Nationalist's speech 27 Oct 2007 When British Nationalist [Nazi] Nick Griffin took the podium at a Friday night Michigan State University event, he tried to explain how Islam is a threat to Western civilization. Protesters wouldn't have it. Hurling obscenities and using chants to interrupt his address, rambunctious student organizations forced Griffin to abandon his speech and allow an informal question and answer session. [Awesome!]

FEMA Official Involved In Staged News Conference Leaving the Agency 27 Oct 2007 PRNewser reports that FEMA's director of external affairs, John "Pat" Philbin is leaving his job just three days after the agency was "outed for a staging a fake press conference" related to the California wildfires.

House Records Sought in Abramoff Case 26 Oct 2007 A federal grand jury investigating California GOP Rep. John Doolittle's ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff has subpoenaed the House official responsible for maintaining lawmakers' old e-mails and other records. The subpoena from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia went to the House's chief administrative officer, Daniel P. Beard.

Australia faces economic turbulence from U.S. meltdown: PM 28 Oct 2007 Australia, one of the best-performing advanced economies, faced looming economic turbulence from the subprime lending meltdown in the United States, Prime Minister John Howard warned on Sunday. On Friday, Australian Treasurer Peter Costello had warned of an approaching international financial "tsunami," with China at its epicenter.

650,000 would die from bird flu, says Govt. 28 Oct 2007 It is a grisly scenario: 650,000 deaths, with bodies piled up in shipping containers before being buried in mass graves all over the country. That is the nightmare envisaged by the Government in what it describes as the "very likely" event of a bird flu pandemic. The alarming prediction is contained in a confidential Home Office document drawn up to help councils and other organisations deal with a catastrophic outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus... Other proposals contained in the paper include suspending exhumation powers and coroner's juries and cancelling inquests into deaths from 'natural causes' in prisons. [Dollars to doughnuts, Blackwater USA, Halliburton and KBR will get contracts drawn up to assist the Bush dictatorship during martial law in an avian flu pandemic. Recall that Blackwater deposited more than 135 security contractors in New Orleans less than 36 hours after the levees broke exploded. --LRP]

GM: The Secret Files --Ministers are funding genetically modified crop projects with scores of millions of pounds every year and are colluding with a biotech company to ease its GM tests, the IoS can reveal. Geoffrey Lean on a murky tale that Whitehall tried to hide 28 Oct 2007 Ministers are secretly easing the way for GM crops in Britain, while professing to be impartial on the technology, startling internal documents reveal. The documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, show that the Government colluded with a biotech company in setting conditions for testing GM potatoes, and gives tens of millions of pounds a year to boost research into modified crops and foods.

Official: organic really is better 28 Oct 2007 The biggest study into organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may help to lengthen people's lives. The evidence from the £12m four-year project will end years of debate and is likely to overturn government advice that eating organic food is no more than a lifestyle choice.

French muck: Is this the new penicillin? MRSA is the scourge of the country's hospitals, but now the discovery in France of a volcanic clay with miraculous healing properties raises the prospect of a cure for it, and to other dangerous superbugs 28 Oct 2007 Scientists have discovered a new and highly effective weapon against deadly superbugs like the MRSA sweeping through Britain's dirty hospital wards – green French muck.

Navy Seabees get to work on stopping California wildfires 29 Oct 2007 A team of Navy Seabees is using heavy equipment to build firebreaks to help prevent further spread of one of the worst of the San Diego County fires, the Harris Ranch Fire. The group of about 46 Task Force Bulldozer sailors is from Amphibious Construction Battalion 1, based in Coronado, Calif.

*****

Michael Mukasey - will you help me? The dubbed D.C. Madam, Deborah J. Palfrey, seeks fairness in a sea of injustice. 26 Oct 2007 I rather suspect that as time marches on, with it will come a multitude of eye-opening disclosures, which will call into question further the practices of the DOJ, the past several years. I believe my case is part and parcel of any such coming revelations. That is of course, if the newly appointed Attorney General - be it Bush nominee, Judge Michael Mukasey or another - chooses to do right by us, the American people; to ally with us and not the current administration. For me in my politically charged case, such a decision by the future Attorney General holds particular weight; quite possibly, whether or not I will spend the remainder of my natural life behind bars or as a free person.

CIA resumes use of secret prisons 27 Oct 2007 The CIA has resumed its use of overseas secret prisons, The Washington Post reported Saturday. In the last six months, five new terrorism suspects have been transferred to the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One of the new prisoners, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, spent months in CIA custody overseas, Pentagon officials told the Post.

Dozens of 'Ghost Prisoners' Not Publicly Accounted For --From CIA Jails, Inmates Fade Into Obscurity 27 Oct 2007 The CIA has resumed its detention program. Since March, five new terrorism suspects have been transferred to Guantanamo. Although the Pentagon has not disclosed details about how or precisely when they were captured, officials have said one of the prisoners, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, had spent months in CIA custody overseas. Details of the secret detention program remain classified. U.S. officials have offered only vague descriptions of its reach and scope.

Donald Rumsfeld charged with torture during trip to France 26 Oct 2007 Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got an unpleasant surprise during his visit to France today when human rights groups filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the "Court of First Instance" (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging the chief architect of President [sic] George W. Bush's "war on terror" with ordering and authorizing torture.

Officials balked on '05 Blackwater inquiry --State Department e-mails obtained by ABC News discuss how to deflect a Times reporter's questions about a civilian shooting death. 26 Oct 2007 Even as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended her department's oversight of private security contractors, new evidence surfaced Thursday that the U.S. sought to conceal details of Blackwater shootings of Iraqi civilians more than two years ago. In one instance, internal e-mails show that State Department officials tried to deflect a 2005 Los Angeles Times inquiry into an alleged killing of an Iraqi civilian by Blackwater guards.

Kerry Demands Investigation of Blackwater Tax Filings --Rather Than Hide Behind Bush Administration, Blackwater Should Come Clean on Taxes (kerry.senate.gov) 26 Oct 2007 Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), pressed for more information about Blackwater USA’s alleged tax evasion. The private security firm has been under fire for hiding behind a Bush Administration business size ruling that classified some of their workers as independent contractors rather than employees to avoid paying at least $31 million in taxes. As a senior member of the Finance Committee, Kerry sent a letter to the Committee’s leadership requesting an investigation be conducted into Blackwater’s tax filings.

Stop bombing us, Afghanistan president tells U.S. 26 Oct 2007 The president of Afghanistan is demanding the U.S. curtail its air strikes, which he says are killing too many civilians. In a hard-hitting interview with 60 Minutes, which airs this Sunday, President Hamid Karzai, says he has conveyed his demand to U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush privately.

We must bomb Iran, says US Republican guru 27 Oct 2007 A senior foreign policy adviser to the Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has urged that Iran be bombed using cruise missiles and "bunker busters" to set back Teheran’s nuclear programme by at least five years. The tough message at a time of crisis between the United States and Iraq was delivered by Norman Podhoretz, who has also imparted his stark advice personally to a receptive President [sic] George W. Bush.

Iran threatens 'decisive strike' if US attacks 26 Oct 2007 Iran has threatened to hit back with an "even more decisive strike" if the US bombs its nuclear installations, as international tensions rise following Washington's imposition of sanctions against Teheran.

US threat over Iraq embassy staff 27 Oct 2007 The US state department has said it may have to force some diplomats to work in Iraq to fill vacancies at the embassy in Baghdad. About 250 foreign service staff are to be told they are "prime candidates" for nearly 50 jobs, state department human resources director Harry Thomas said. If too few people volunteer, some will be ordered to go and risk dismissal if they refuse, Mr Thomas said.

US Will Hand Iraqis Control of Karbala 27 Oct 2007 U.S. forces will turn over security to Iraqi authorities in the southern Shiite province of Karbala on Monday, the American commander for the area said, despite fighting between rival militia factions that has killed dozens. Karbala will become only the eighth of Iraq's 18 provinces to revert to Iraqi control, despite President [sic] Bush's prediction lie in January that the Iraqi government would have responsibility for security in all of the provinces by November.

Turkish warplanes drop bombs over northern Iraq 27 Oct 2007 Turkish warplanes and helicopters struck Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq as diplomatic efforts began Friday to defuse tensions about separatist bases in the region.

17 decomposed bodies found near Iraqi city --12 Iraqis killed 27 Oct 2007 Iraqi troops found 17 decomposed bodies of unidentified men near the restive city of Baquba in a grim reminder of sustained sectarian bloodletting [war crimes by US terrorists], as 12 other people were killed in the country Saturday.

Louisiana, Texas Practice Biological Weapon Response 26 Oct 2007 Two U.S. states conducted biological weapon response exercises this week to prepare for possible terrorist attacks. Louisiana health officials yesterday tested their ability to rapidly provide a significant number of vaccinations following detection of a biological weapon attack or natural man-made pandemic, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. All nine sites around the state bested the goal of performing 200 vaccinations per hour, said department spokesman Bob Johannessen. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the drill. [See also: N.C. Workers Conduct Anthrax Drill 30 Jul 2007.]

Officials say vaccination drill goes well 26 Oct 2007 (LA) Preparing for the day if or when a pandemic flu or a biological agent like anthrax could threaten the lives of thousands of people, the state held a drill Thursday to test how quickly and how many people it could vaccinate once a [Bush-engendered] emergency hits.

Bird Flu May Be on 'Silent' March in Europe, UN Agency Warns 25 Oct 2007 Avian influenza, the virus that has led to the deaths of millions of birds and more than 200 people since 2003, may be more prevalent than previously thought in Europe as it goes undetected in waterfowl. [Yes, bird flu is on a 'silent march,' and will reach its destination just in time for Bush to implement martial law for the 2008 'elections.' See: DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack 23 Oct 2007, Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007 CDC scientists swap genes between bird flu and human strains to 'plot the path of' [create] a possible pandemic, and Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack By Lori Price 23 Oct 2007 On Thursday, the Bush administration issued a directive which 'establishes a National Strategy for Public Health and Medical Preparedness (Strategy), which builds upon principles set forth in Biodefense for the 21st Century (April 2004) and will transform our national approach to protecting the health of the American people against [with] all disasters.' HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-21 states that within one year of the directive's date, 'the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Defense, in coordination with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, shall establish an academic Joint Program for Disaster Medicine and Public Health housed at a National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences... Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense authorities will be used to carry out respective civilian and military missions within this joint program.'

Brown to create US-style security council 27 Oct 2007 Britain is to get a US-style national security council as Gordon Brown plans an overhaul of 'counter'-terrorism work at Whitehall. Mr Brown is preparing to publish a new National Security Strategy that will supersede much of Tony Blair's policy and give the Prime Minister greater control over Britain's fight against extremism. The document will also set out to the public what insiders call the "truly frightening" extent of radical Muslim activity in Britain.

AG pick: Constitution does not prevent wiretapping of terrorists 26 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush's choice for attorney general [Michael Mukasey] told senators Friday the Constitution does not prevent the president from wiretapping suspected terrorists without a court order.

Spy chief to restrict intel estimates 26 Oct 2007 National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has reversed the recent practice of declassifying and releasing summaries of national intelligence estimates, a top intelligence official [David Shedd] said Friday.

House Passes Thought Crime Prevention Bill By Lee Rogers 25 Oct 2007 The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR 1955 titled the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This bill is one of the most blatant attacks against the Constitution yet and actually defines thought crimes as homegrown terrorism. If passed into law, it will also establish a commission and a Center of Excellence to study and defeat so called thought criminals. Unlike previous anti-terror legislation, this bill specifically targets the civilian population of the United States and uses vague language to define homegrown terrorism. Amazingly, 404 of our elected representatives from both the Democrat and Republican parties voted in favor of this bill. There is little doubt that this bill is specifically targeting the growing patriot community that is demanding the restoration of the Constitution.

FEMA blasted for 'news' conference --Agency employees, not reporters, asked questions at the event. Homeland Security calls the lapse 'offensive and inexcusable.' 27 Oct 2007 FEMA announced the news conference with 15 minutes' notice and provided an 800 number for reporters, but it was not set up to take questions. When no reporters showed up, FEMA provided stand-ins to ask questions and a video feed. Several channels broadcast parts of the event live. On Friday, FEMA admitted that the softball questions were posed by FEMA employees, not reporters. FEMA's "error in judgment" comes just more than two years after its agonizingly slow-motion response to thousands of displaced New Orleans residents who waited for help in dreadful conditions at the Superdome.

Feds Strike ID Deal Over NY Licenses 27 Oct 2007 The Bush regime and New York agreed Saturday on a compromise creating a more secure driver's license for U.S. citizens and allowing illegal immigrants to get a version.

Larry Craig says judge was at fault By Carrie Budoff Brown 26 Oct 2007 Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) filed an outline Friday of how he will argue that his guilty plea to a disorderly conduct charge should be withdrawn. ...[A]ccording to the AP, Craig is arguing that the judge erred by not allowing Craig to withdraw his plea, that the judge who sentenced Craig to a fine and probation never signed anything saying he accepted the guilty plea, and that Minnesota's disorderly conduct law is unconstitutional as it applies to his conviction in a men's restroom sex sting.

Much of U.S. Could See a Water Shortage 26 Oct 2007 Across America, the picture is critically clear - the nation's freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst. The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess. [Think Exxon Mobil's profits are too high? Wait till Bush's corpora-terrorists start privatizing the water supply. This is the first step: GOP media whores start telling us that there's a shortage (due to military and agribusiness over-usage), but that's not how the issue will be spun or remedied. Consumers paying a fortune is on tap for the tap. --LRP]

U.S. "undoubtedly in recession": Jim Rogers 24 Oct 2007 The United States has entered a recession, according to highly-regarded investor Jim Rogers, who told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday he was switching out of the dollar and into yen, the yuan and the Swiss franc.

The Price of Any Departure Will Be at Least $159 Million 27 Oct 2007 Merrill Lynch’s directors may be weighing E. Stanley O’Neal’s future, but one thing is already guaranteed: a payday of at least $159 million if he steps down.

Californians Endure 7 Days of Wildfires 27 Oct 2007 ...By Saturday, more than a half-million acres in California would be gone, 1,700 homes destroyed, with the damage surpassing $1 billion.

Human race will 'split into two different species' [Yeah, Bush and everyone else.] 26 Oct 2007 The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures [Bush], according to a top scientist.

*****

Putin: US Plan Evokes '62 Cuban Missile Crisis 26 Oct 2007 President Vladimir Putin on Friday evoked one of the most dangerous confrontations of the Cold War to highlight Russian opposition to a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Europe, comparing it to the Cuban missile crisis of 45 years ago.

US missile defense on Russian borders is similar to Cuban missile crisis 26 Oct 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday compared the U.S. proposal to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe to the Cuban missile crisis of the 1960s. "Analogous actions by the Soviet Union, when it deployed missiles in Cuba, prompted the Caribbean crisis," Putin said at a news conference at the end of a European Union-Russian summit in Portugal, using the Russian term for the Cuban missile crisis. "Such a threat is being set up on our borders," he said.

Bush turns the screw on Iran with sanctions against its military elite 26 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush imposed the harshest sanctions on Iran for a generation and branded its military a supporter of terrorism yesterday, fuelling claims that he is preparing possible air strikes against Tehran.

Hans Blix questions U.S. fears over Iran 24 Oct 2007 Former United Nations' chief weapons inspector Hans Blix has challenged U.S. President [sic] George Bush's assertion that Iran poses a nuclear threat and the world should take pre-emptive action.

US action against Iran divides friends and foes 27 Oct 2007 Iran has become the new fault line in the foreign policy debate in the US presidential race, overtaking the war in Iraq. [Iran has become Bush's Weapon of Mass Distraction for Iraq.]

Chavez: take Bush to madhouse 26 Oct 2007 Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has condemned US president's war rhetoric on Iran, saying he belongs in a psychiatric hospital. "The US President (George W. Bush) [sic] made an atomic bomb threat," Chavez said on Thursday, referring to Bush's war rhetoric against Iran. "In other words, he's threatening a third world war but now with atomic weapons. It's like he should be taken to the psychiatric hospital. I think he's on the edge of the psychiatric hospital," he added.

Crude Oil Rises to Record $92.22 on Increased U.S.-Iran Tension 26 Oct 2007 Oil rose above $92 a barrel for the first time in New York after the U.S. accused Iran's military of supporting terrorism and announced new sanctions on the country that holds the world's second-biggest oil reserves.

Oil prices pass $90; $100 seen as certain 26 Oct 2007 Crude oil rose above $90 a barrel to a record in New York the day after a government report showed an unexpected drop in U.S. stockpiles. "It's not a question of when we'll hit $100, but how quickly," said Nauman Barakat, senior vice president of global energy futures at Macquarie Futures USA Inc. in New York. "There are no bearish factors in the market right now."

Rights groups file French torture case vs Rumsfeld 26 Oct 2007 Human rights groups have filed a lawsuit in France alleging that former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld allowed torture at U.S.-run detention centers in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

AFL-CIO Files International Complaint Charging Bush NLRB With Assault on Workers' Rights By James Parks 25 Oct 2007 Instead of fulfilling its mission to protect workers and promote collective bargaining, in recent years the Republican majority on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has systematically reduced the freedom of workers to join unions. The abuses have been so egregious that the AFL-CIO today took the unusual step of filing a complaint with the International Labour Organization (ILO) charging the Bush administration’s NLRB with denying workers’ rights in violation of international labor standards.

Army to review Iraq contracts for fraud 26 Oct 2007 A team of specially trained investigators will hunker down in an Army office north of Detroit on Monday to begin poring over hundreds of Iraq war contracts in search for rigged awards. This team of 10 auditors, criminal investigators and acquisition experts are starting with a sampling of the roughly 6,000 contracts worth $2.8 billion issued by an Army office in Kuwait that service officials have identified as a hub of corruption.

Feds arrest former DHB chief 25 Oct 2007 The former head of the Long Island company that provided most of the body armor for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan was arrested at dawn Thursday in his Manhattan apartment by FBI and IRS agents on charges of fraudulently looting the company and investors to pay for a lavish lifestyle. Federal prosecutors charged David Brooks in a 71-page indictment with securities fraud, insider trading, obstruction of justice and tax evasion for allegedly obtaining almost all of his income by two illegal methods.

Turkey pounds rebel positions, Iraq pushes diplomacy 26 Oct 2007 Turkish helicopters and fighter jets pounded Kurdish rebel positions on Friday as diplomatic efforts got off to a rocky start in Ankara to avert a major offensive against the guerrillas based in northern Iraq.

Turkey rejects Iraq's PKK offer 26 Oct 2007 Turkey has dismissed a range of proposals from Iraq on dealing with Kurdish rebels, saying they will take too long to work.

PM urges more Nato troops for Afghanistan 26 Oct 2007 Gordon Brown yesterday amplified Nato calls for more combat troops in Afghanistan to spread a burden currently being borne by UK, US and Canadian forces, but the chief of defence staff warned that the country's problems could only be resolved by political, not military, means.

America Could Have Killed Usama bin Laden -- But Didn't By Col. David Hunt 25 Oct 2007 We know, with a 70 percent level of certainty — which is huge in the world of intelligence -- that in August of 2007, bin Laden was in a convoy headed south from Tora Bora. We had his butt, on camera, on satellite. We were listening to his conversations. We had the world’s best hunters/killers -- Seal Team 6 -- nearby. We had the world class Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) coordinating with the CIA and other agencies. We had unmanned drones overhead with missiles on their wings; we had the best Air Force on the planet, begging to drop one on the terrorist. We had him in our sights; we had done it. Nice job again guys -- now, pull the damn trigger. Unbelievably, and in my opinion, criminally, we did not kill Usama bin Laden. You cannot make this crap up; truth is always stranger and more telling than fiction.

U.S. ignores angry reaction to secret poppy spraying test 26 Oct 2007 In 2004, U.S.-contracted aircraft secretly sprayed 'harmless' plastic granules over poppy fields in Afghanistan to gauge public reaction to using herbicides to kill the opium poppies that help fund the Taliban and al Qaida CIA's drug-running operations. The mysterious granules ignited a major outcry from poor farmers, tribal chiefs and government officials up to President Hamid Karzai, who demanded to know if the spraying was part of a poppy eradication program... Now the Bush regime is pressing Karzai to spray real herbicide against what's expected to be another record opium poppy crop.

Livni behind closed doors: Iran nukes pose little threat to Israel 25 Oct 2007 Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said a few months ago in a series of closed discussions that in her opinion that Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel, Haaretz magazine reveals in an article on Livni to be published Friday.

Israel cuts power to Gaza Strip 26 Oct 2007 Israel moved to limit supplies of electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip yesterday, to squeeze the territory’s Islamist rulers into cracking down on militants firing rockets into southern Israel. The decision, effective immediately, was given the green light by Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister.

U.S. Navy Fires Sub Commander Over Nuke Safety Issue 25 Oct 2007 The commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Hampton was relieved of his duty Thursday because of a loss of confidence in his leadership, the Navy said. Cmdr. Michael B. Portland was relieved of duty after a U.S. Navy investigation found the ship failed to do daily safety checks on its nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission.

Pa. governor releases list of state polling places 26 Oct 2007 Gov. Ed Rendell says he has rescinded a state policy that had kept Pennsylvania's list of polling places hidden from the public because of 'terrorism' fears.

Pa. Won't Release List of Polling Places 26 Oct 2007 State officials have decided not to publicize their list of polling places in Pennsylvania, citing concerns that terrorists could disrupt 'elections' in the commonwealth. The Department of State was influenced by the [Bush-Aznar] terrorist bombings that struck just days before Spain's national elections in 2004, spokeswoman Leslie Amoros said.

Pennsylvania afraid of terrorists, refuses to publish list of polling places By Mike Carney 26 Oct 2007 Officials in Pennsylvania refuse to distribute a statewide list of polling places for next month's elections. The [phony] reason? Bureaucrats fear a terrorist attack designed to "disrupt" balloting in the commonwealth.

FBI Warns Again of Shoe Bomb Danger --Scanners Paying Even More Attention to Routine Objects 25 Oct 2007 The joint FBI-Homeland Security bulletin, obtained by CBS News today, bluntly warns that terrorists are still working to use "modified footwear as a concealment method for explosive devices," CBS News reports.

Anger as Japan moves to fingerprint foreigners 26 Oct 2007 Japan is to fingerprint and photograph foreigners entering the country from next month in an 'anti'-terrorism policy that is stirring anger among foreign residents and human rights activists. Anyone considered to be a terrorist -- or refusing to cooperate -- will be denied entry and deported.

Judges impose secrecy on remake of ethics rules 25 Oct 2007 As the federal judiciary embarks on a historic revision of its rules against judicial misconduct, the panel of judges that's overseeing the drafting of new regulations refuses to disclose the public comments that could help shape the overhaul. After requesting public comments about the proposed rules, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability refuses to say how many responses it received, who commented or what was said. "I have never heard of public comments being made confidentially," said Abner Mikva, a retired chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "I'm trying to think of an explanation, but this strikes me as very strange."

Panel to See Papers on Agency's Eavesdropping 26 Oct 2007 The White House on Thursday offered to share secret documents on the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program with the Senate Judiciary Committee, a step toward possible compromise on eavesdropping legislation. Neither the House Intelligence Committee nor the House Judiciary Committee has been shown the documents. White House spokesman Tony Fratto noted that a bill pending in the House contained no provision for immunity from lawsuits and suggested that unless that changed, the House committees would not see the documents.

Judge holds hearing on ban on Muslim scholar 25 Oct 2007 A U.S. judge heard arguments on Thursday on whether a prominent Swiss Muslim academic had rightfully been refused entry into the United States because he gave money to a Palestinian support group. The United States has revoked the visa of Tariq Ramadan, an academic at Oxford University in Britain and a vocal critic of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its support of Israel, several times since 2004.

U.S. peace activist refused entry for second time 25 Oct 2007 An American peace activist has been refused entry to Canada for the second time because of misdemeanour convictions related to peaceful anti-war protests. Retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright, a former diplomat, was detained today by Canadian Customs officials at the Ottawa airport en route to Parliament Hill.

US agency apologizes for news conference on fires 26 Oct 2007 The U.S. government's main disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a hastily called news [propaganda] conference on California's wildfires that no news organizations attended.

They Edit Themselves and Ask Themselves Questions By Tom Shine 26 Oct 2007 The other day the Bush administration decided to perform severe edits on the prepared congressional testimony of CDC's director Dr. Julie Gerberding and cut several pages from it. This morning Al Kamen writing in the Washington Post's "In the Loop" column says on Tuesday FEMA held a hastily called news conference on the California fires and asking Harvey Johnson, the Deputy Administrator of FEMA, the questions were not reporters but FEMA employees acting as reporters.

FEMA workers play role of reporters 26 Oct 2007 The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California. The agency -- much maligned for its sluggish [criminal] response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago -- arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director. The questions were predictably soft and gratuitous.

FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA By Al Kamen 26 Oct 2007 FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing. Reporters were given only 15 minutes' notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA's Southwest D.C. offices. They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a "listen only" line, the notice said -- no questions.

Court frees U.S. teen jailed 10 years for oral sex 26 Oct 2007 Georgia's top court ordered the release on Friday of a youth sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old in a case that sparked a national campaign on his behalf. In a split decision, the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a lower court judge that the sentence for Genarlow Wilson, who was 17 at the time, constituted "cruel and unusual punishment" banned under the U.S. Constitution.

Bush scolds Dems for second effort on children's health bill --Says Congress needs to 'stop wasting time' 26 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush accused Democratic lawmakers today of wasting time by passing legislation to expand children’s health coverage, knowing that he would veto it again. At the same time, he criticized Congress for failing to approve spending bills to keep the government running.

Bush's war against the poor and middle class continues: Heating-oil price shock sets in 26 Oct 2007 The Energy Information Administration projects that for this winter heating season, which began Oct. 1 and runs through March 31, Northeast retail heating oil prices will be about 40 cents a gallon higher than one year ago, averaging around $2.89 a gallon. Those heating with natural gas and electricity aren't getting much of a price break, either.

US SEC sees "rampant" insider trading on Wall St. 26 Oct 2007 A senior U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission official [Linda Chatman Thomsen] said on Thursday insider trading appeared to be "rampant" among Wall Street professionals and the agency has formed a working group to focus on [allowing more of] it.

Governor Schwarzenegger Backs Aerial Biochemical Spraying That Harms Children By Rami Nagel 25 Oct 2007 On September 9, 2007, several planes hired by the State of California Food and Agricultural Department (CDFA) flying at an altitude of approximately 500ft sprayed the untested biochemical, CheckMate®OLR-F, on over 30,000 citizens in Monterey and other surrounding cities in California. This occurred without the permission of the citizens. The spraying continued for three nights from approximately 8pm to 5am. About 1,500 pounds of biochemical were dumped on the cities... This aerial spraying violates several state, federal and international laws.

'Humanity's very survival' is at risk, says UN 25 Oct 2007 The speed at which mankind has used the Earth’s resources over the past 20 years has put "humanity’s very survival" at risk, a study involving 1,400 scientists has concluded.

*****

Firm blamed for Baghdad embassy flaws gains new jobs 24 Oct 2007 The Kuwaiti contractor that's building the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad --behind schedule and plagued by allegations of shoddy construction and safety flaws [and using slave labor] -- is still winning lucrative new contracts to build U.S. diplomatic installations overseas. Late last month, First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting Co. was part of a team that won a $122 million State Department contract to build a U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to contract documents. That's one of at least three State Department jobs, in addition to the Baghdad project, that First Kuwaiti won in association with a U.S. firm, Grunley Walsh LLC of Rockville, Md. [See: Criminal probe into U.S. Embassy in Iraq construction 18 Oct 2007 and Law waived to allow Kuwaiti firm to build U.S. embassy in Iraq 18 Oct 2007.]

Blackwater showing off new training ship at Nauticus 18 Sep 2007 As it tries to weather a worldwide storm of negative publicity, Blackwater USA is hoping to find a little love this week on the Norfolk waterfront. The Moyock, N.C.-based private military company is hosting an invitation-only open house today and Thursday on board the McArthur, a training vessel recently acquired by its new maritime division.

Iraq Determined to Expel Blackwater USA 25 Oct 2007 The Iraqi government remains determined to expel the Blackwater USA security company and is searching for legal remedies to overturn an American-imposed decree that exempts all mercenaries from prosecution under local laws, officials said Wednesday.

Blackwater project foes hope for backlash --Opponents are optimistic that the controversy in Washington will help derail the company's training camp project near San Diego. 04 Oct 2007 Opponents of Blackwater USA's proposal to build a training facility east of San Diego hope that the growing controversy over the private security firm's conduct in Iraq will help their drive to thwart the project. Protesters have planned a weekend rally. Meanwhile, a local congressman has submitted a bill to block Blackwater's proposal to build the 220-acre camp in unincorporated Potrero, 45 miles east of downtown San Diego near the Mexican border.

Police shoot dead 'arsonist' as FBI reveals California fires were started deliberately 25 Oct 2007 A suspected arsonist was shot dead by police as FBI agents revealed several of the fires that have forced one million people from their homes in southern California had been started deliberately. The news came as two burned bodies were found in a San Diego area home, bringing the death toll in California's five days of wildfires up to at least eight, officials said today. [Blackwater USA wants to build in the same area.]

Former Bush General Touts Privatization of National Disaster Response --Blackwater Pal Says "Country Club Fees" Would Guarantee Protection By Eartha Jane Melzer 25 Oct 2007 (MI) A retired general now working for a controversial private security company [Sovereign Deed, started by a founder of Iraq contractor, Triple Canopy] told an audience last night about the services the company plans to provide. The government does not have the tax base to provide services to everyone in the event of a major catastrophe, retired Brigadier General Richard W. Mills told an audience in Pellston last night. Mills served as Deputy Director of the Counterterrorism Center (CTC) of the Central Intelligence Agency before retirement this year.

Chief in Blackwater row quits 25 Oct 2007 The state department security chief yesterday stepped down from his post as the United States and Iraq tried to impose new standards of accountability. Richard Griffin, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security, had been at the centre of the row over the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians by mercenaries from the Blackwater private security firm who were escorting a state department convoy.

Official quits over Iraq security 24 Oct 2007 The man in charge of security for US diplomats in Iraq has resigned after heavy criticism of how foreign private security firms in Iraq are supervised. US state department official Richard Griffin did not mention the issue in his resignation letter.

Italians 'cannot try US soldier' 25 Oct 2007 An Italian court has thrown out a case against a US soldier charged over the killing of an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq in March 2005. The court ruled that Italy had no jurisdiction in the case against Mario Lozano, who was on trial in absentia. The agent, Nicola Calipari, was shot dead on his way to Baghdad airport after securing the release of a kidnapped Italian reporter.

U.S. envoy warns of growing power of Iraqi militias 25 Oct 2007 The U.S. military has succeeded in delivering a crippling blow to al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq, but this has only served to highlight "the other big problem" -- the power of Shi'ite militias, Washington's envoy to Iraq [Ryan Crocker] said on Thursday. "We have seen JAM [Jaish al-Mehdi] Militant transform into JAM Incorporated. They may not be shooting at us or Iraqi soldiers, but (they are) controlling gas stations, real estate, trade and services," Crocker said.

'The administration knows it can't fix Iraq between now and the next election so it sees its big opportunity as going after Iran.' Washington sanctions open a new front with Tehran 25 Oct 2007 The US is leading a drive for tougher UN sanctions against Iran, but today unveiled measures of its own, far more punitive than anything the UN would be prepared to accept... It is the first time the US has specifically tried to financially hurt another country's military establishment. The targets are Iran's defence ministry, its revolutionary guard corps, including its elite Quds force, and a number of banks.

US Slaps Broad New Sanctions on Iran 25 Oct 2007 The Bush regime imposed sweeping new sanctions against Iran Thursday - the harshest in nearly three decades - cutting off key Iranian military and banking institutions from the American financial system for Tehran's alleged support for terrorism and nuclear weapons ambitions.

U.S. to Impose New Sanctions Targeting Iran's Military 25 Oct 2007 The Bush regime plans to roll out an unprecedented package of unilateral sanctions against Iran today, including the long-awaited designations of its Revolutionary Guard Corps as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction [just like Saddam Hussein ] and of the elite Quds Force as a supporter of terrorism, according to senior administration officials. The package is the broadest set of punitive measures imposed on Tehran since the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy, the officials said.

White House Requests Bunker-Buster Bombs --White House Bomber Request Leaves Some Wondering if U.S. Is Preparing Action in Iran 24 Oct 2007 Tucked inside the White House's $196 billion emergency funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an item that has some people wondering whether the administration is preparing for military action against Iran. The item: $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP.

U.S. bunker-buster request prompts Iran attack fears 24 Oct 2007 Some Democratic lawmakers questioned on Wednesday whether a new Bush administration request for $88 million to fit "bunker-busting" bombs to B-2 stealth bombers was part of preparations for an attack on Iran.

US claims photos show Syrian nuclear reactor 25 Oct 2007 US 'security experts' have published what they believe to be photographs of a secret nuclear facility in Syria, which was bombed by Israeli jets last month.

Castro claims Bush could spark WWIII 23 Oct 2007 Fidel Castro wrote Tuesday that President [sic] Bush is threatening the world with nuclear war and famine -- an attack on Washington a day before the White House was to announce new plans to 'draw Cuba' away [illegally invade] from communism.

War in Afghanistan lost, says former UN envoy 26 Oct 2007 NATO has "lost in Afghanistan" and its failure to bring stability there could provoke a regional sectarian war "on a grand scale", says a former British Royal Marine Commando officer and United Nations representative. "We have lost, I think, and success is now unlikely," Lord Ashdown said.

U.S. presses NATO to send more troops to Afghanistan 24 Oct 2007 The United States led calls for NATO allies to send more troops to Afghanistan at talks on Wednesday, but was rebuffed by Germany and alliance sources said other allies were also reluctant.

SAS soldier killed in Taliban gunfight 26 Oct 2007 An Australian special forces soldier died in a battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan yesterday, the first Australian to be killed by gunfire since the start of the "war on terrorism".

Ecuador wants military base in Miami 22 Oct 2007 Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador's Pacific coast. Correa has refused to renew Washington's lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009. "We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base," Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy. [Awesome!!]

D-M officer to review N-probe 25 Oct 2007 An Air Force general stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will determine whether airmen involved in the inadvertent cross-country transport of nuclear weapons will face criminal charges. Senior Air Force leaders have appointed Lt. Gen. Norman R. Seip, commander of the 12th Air Force, to review an investigation that found airmen failed to follow regulations designed to safeguard the handling of nuclear weapons. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]

Hicks 'gagging' a rights abuse: MP 24 Oct 2007 Laws to stop David Hicks selling his story can also be applied to anyone who has only to be charged, not convicted, by an overseas court, the Australian Greens say. A bill to block Hicks selling his story passed the South Australian parliament on Tuesday night.

Does Senate FISA bill immunize FBI 'black-bag jobs'? By Declan McCullagh 22 Oct 2007 A few decades ago, the FBI regularly conducted "black-bag jobs" that involved sneaking into homes, hotel rooms and offices with the cooperation of the building's owner or even a neighbor with a spare key. Locks were picked otherwise. Because no judge had authorized the FBI's black-bag job, they were incredibly illegal... Now President [sic] Bush is backing a bill that seems to encourage the FBI to revert to some of its old habits. The FISA Amendments Act, approved by a Senate committee last week, seems to immunize people who cooperated with the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency--and other even more shadowy agencies--that conduct black-bag jobs.

US Lacks Labs to Test for 'Dirty Bomb' 25 Oct 2007 The U.S. has a shortage of laboratories to test the thousands of people who might be exposed to radiation if a "dirty bomb" detonated in a major city, according to a recent congressional investigation. [Gee, too bad Project BioShield turned out to be just another blowjob for Bush's pharma-terrorists.]

Senate confirms Southwick as 5th Circuit judge 24 Oct 2007 The Senate approved the nomination this morning of former Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit by 59 to 38 vote.

White House chided for editing testimony 24 Oct 2007 Two chairmen of key committees in the House and Senate on Wednesday criticized the White House for editing testimony from a government expert about the health impacts of global warming and demanded documents involving the testimony he provided to Congress.

'A misuse of science and abuse of the legislative process' Climate Change Testimony Was Edited by White House 25 Oct 2007 The White House made deep cuts in written testimony given to a Senate committee this week by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on health risks posed by global warming.

BP to pay $373 million in federal probe 25 Oct 2007 Oil and gas giant BP PLC agreed Thursday to pay $373 million in fines and restitution to end investigations into whether it manipulated energy markets and violated environmental laws, the Justice Department said. Additionally, four former BP employees were indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on 20 counts of mail and wire fraud charges connected to the price-fixing scheme.

Why is Exxon funding polar bear research? 27 Oct 2007 Can scientific respectability be tarred by association? The US House Committee on Science and Technology seems to think so. It is scrutinising ExxonMobil's motives for funding research by an astrophysicist into the impact of climate change on the polar bear population of western Hudson Bay in Canada. If the polar bear is listed under the Endangered Species Act, steps to protect its habitat could directly hurt ExxonMobil's economic interests, subcommittee chair Brad Miller wrote in an open letter to the oil giant [corpora-terrorists].

O.C. Fire Chief: 'Had we had more air resources, we would have been able to control this fire' --More than 19,000 acres burned in O.C., thousands evacuated 24 Oct 2007 At least a dozen Orange County homes had burned by this morning and thousands more were in danger as flames as high as 75 feet devastated rural canyon communities, fire officials said. The Santiago fire continued to push east today, fueled by brittle canyon brush as it threatened communities around Modjeska Canyon. On Tuesday, panicked residents begged firefighters for help... Local fire officials were frustrated, arguing that if the state had provided adequate aircraft and personnel Sunday, the devastation could have been prevented.

Gov't offers disaster food stamps in California 25 Oct 2007 The Bush administration will issue disaster food stamps to residents of San Diego County, California, affected by wildfires, acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said Thursday.

*****

Terror watch list swells to more than 755,000 --List has been growing by 200,000 names a year since 2004 23 Oct 2007 The government's terrorist watch list has swelled to more than 755,000 names, according to a new government report that has raised worries about the list's effectiveness. The size of the list, typically used to check people entering the country through land border crossings, airports and sea ports, has been growing by 200,000 names a year since 2004.

US Suspends Iraq Audit of DynCorp 23 Oct 2007 The State Department so badly managed a $1.2 billion contract for Iraqi police training that it can't tell what it got for the money spent, a new report says. Because of disarray in invoices and records on the project -- and because the government is trying to recoup money paid inappropriately to contractor DynCorp International, LLC [Yeah, right!] -- auditors have temporarily suspended their effort to review the contract's implementation, said Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr.

Oops! US missing billion-dollar Iraq contract 23 Oct 2007 The State Department is unable to account for the $1.2 billion it gave to mercenaries DynCorp International to train Iraqi police, according to a government report on Tuesday.

Congress wants answers over $1bn war zone fees 23 Oct 2007 The chaotic relationship between the US government and mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan was today highlighted by a Congressional investigation into where more than $1bn allocated for police training has gone. The report, published today, found the state department could not account for most of the $1.2bn (£600m) paid to DynCorp, the Virginia-based company that is the biggest recipient of state department funding.

State Department security chief to resign amid Blackwater scandal 24 Oct 2007 The State Department's security chief announced his resignation Wednesday in the aftermath of last month's deadly Blackwater USA shooting incident in Baghdad and growing questions about the use of mercenaries in Iraq.

Use of Contractors by State Dept. Has Soared 24 Oct 2007 Over the past four years, the amount of money the State Department pays to private security and law enforcement contractors has soared to nearly $4 billion a year from $1 billion, administration officials said Tuesday, but they said that the department had added few new officials to oversee the contracts. A vast majority of the money goes to companies [corpora-terrorists] like DynCorp International and Blackwater USA.

Cost of 'War on Terror' could rise to $2.4 trillion --Congressional Budget Office expects the funds would keep 75,000 troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next 10 years. 24 Oct 2007 The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and anti[pro]-terrorist efforts abroad could cost the country $2.4 trillion over the next ten years, according to a report Wednesday. The money, over 70 percent of which would go to support operations [mercenaries] in Iraq, includes the estimated $600 billion spent since 2001, Congressional Budget Office Director Peter Orszag said in testimony before the House Budget Committee.

Trillion-dollar war: Afghanistan and Iraq set to cost more than Vietnam and Korea 24 Oct 2007 President [sic] George Bush will have spent more than $1 trillion on military adventures by the time he leaves office at the end of next year, more than the entire amount spent on the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. There are also disturbing signs that Mr Bush is preparing an attack on Iran during his remaining months in office. He has demanded $46bn (£22.5bn) emergency funds from Congress by Christmas and included with it a single sentence requesting money to upgrade the B-2 "stealth" bomber.

Military planners doubtful of early Iraq withdrawal 24 Oct 2007 A British force of 2,500 troops may have to stay in Iraq for the foreseeable future and additional numbers could even be sent as reinforcements if the security situation deteriorates, a senior British commander [General Peter Wall] warned yesterday.

Bush offers to bomb Kurds 24 Oct 2007 The Bush regime is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq. The move would be an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels. President [sic] George Bush spoke with Turkish President Abdullah Gul by phone yesterday in an effort to ease the crisis.

US moves closer to air strikes on separatists in Iraq's north 24 Oct 2007 In a phone call on Monday with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, the United States President [sic], George Bush, had offered support for Turkish efforts to counter attacks by the outlawed PKK, who killed at least a dozen Turkish soldiers on Sunday... The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that Mr Bush had told Mr Gul that US officials were seriously looking into options beyond diplomacy. US officials have considered launching cruise missiles against PKK targets, but air strikes using manned aircraft was an easier option, an unnamed US official told the Tribune.

Turkish planes bomb rebel positions 24 Oct 2007 Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships reportedly attacked positions of Kurdish rebels just inside Turkey along the border with Iraq on Wednesday, as Turkey's military stepped up its anti-rebel operations.

Britain will boost Iran sanctions 24 Oct 2007 The British government will seek further sanctions against Iran over its atomic program, the prime minister [Gordon Brown] said yesterday, as Iran's new nuclear negotiator had his first meeting with the European Union's foreign policy chief.

Meridor: We must be ready to preempt threats 23 Oct 2007 Israeli Ambassador to the US Sallai Meridor declared Monday that Israel should always be prepared "to preempt, to deter and to defeat if we can" when speaking about the threats facing the country. Chief among those threats was Iran, said Meridor, who called for a unified international as well as domestic American front to counter Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Zionists sow dissent over fallow land rule 24 Oct 2007 A Jewish agricultural law that comes into play every seven years is prompting Israel's most fervent Zionists to turn to Palestinian farmers for food. According to biblical law, farmers must let the land of Israel "rest and lie fallow" every seventh year, which means no planting of crops, no picking of fruit and no working of vineyards. In past years, farmers have circumvented the law by symbolically "selling" their land to non-Jews for the year. This year, some Orthodox Jews want that loophole to be closed and are turning to Palestinian farmers for their kosher vegetables -- an ironic twist in a region torn by conflict over land.

Bush to Warn Cuba on Plan for Transition 24 Oct 2007 Dictator Bush is planning to issue a stern warning Wednesday that the United States will not accept a political transition in Cuba in which power changes from one Castro brother to another, rather than to the Cuban people. [Who the f*ck is Bush to tell *another country* who to choose as its leader? Bush was never chosen as *our* leader! --LRP]

CIA interrogations yielded 9,000 reports: Hayden 24 Oct 2007 The CIA's questioning of fewer than 100 terrorist suspect prisoners has yielded about 9,000 reports, showing the success [?] of the interrogation program, according to the head of the agency. The information was obtained using techniques within the boundaries of U.S. law and didn't include torture, Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden said in an interview. The U.S. and the CIA, in particular, have been accused by lawmakers, civil-rights groups and prisoners of employing harsh methods [torture], including waterboarding. Hayden reiterated that the CIA has changed its methods in the past few years, although he declined to say how the agency is operating differently.

Troops, key doctors to get first U.S. bird flu shots 23 Oct 2007 Deployed military troops, emergency workers, pregnant women and children will be among the first to get scarce vaccinations if a pandemic strain of flu breaks out, U.S. officials said. A long-awaited report to be issued on Tuesday lays out who would be first in line to get vaccinated against [with] H5N1 bird flu or any other strain of pandemic influenza. [See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack - opdated 23 Oct 2007.]

Merck's net income soars 63% 22 Oct 2007 Fueled by a doubling in its sales of vaccines, Merck & Co. today reported a 63 percent rise in net income for the third quarter. Driving sales for the third largest U.S. drugmaker were Merck's newer, heavily marketed drugs, including its top seller, the asthma drug Singulair, the diabetes medicine Januvia and the HPV vaccine Gardasil [Gardakill].

Minister defends all-foreign prisons 24 Oct 2007 The Justice Minister defended the Government's prisons policy today after it was revealed that two of England's jails are wholly occupied by foreigners, saying it was speeding up deportation in a "cost-effective and efficient " way. David Hanson said an "experiment" is taking place to see if the process can be carried out more quickly after it was revealed that two of England's prisons are wholly occupied by foreigners.

Sheriff hits New Times with new charge By Robert Anglen 24 Oct 2007 The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has cited Phoenix New Times reporter Ray Stern for disorderly conduct. His crime: Taking pictures of records that the county wanted to charge him 50 cents a page to copy.

Police planning major DUI crackdown --Checkpoint with 90 officers to be on 'major highway' during Halloween week 24 Oct 2007 Drivers who have one for the road at Halloween parties may end up with court dates and unpleasant personal consequences. Ninety law enforcement officers -- about twice the usual complement -- will stage the largest driving-under-the-influence checkpoint ever in Western Pennsylvania sometime between Friday and Nov. 3 on "a major highway in Allegheny County."

Revealed: the little-known device used to block Democrats in the House --Republicans use obscure motion 16 times in a year, compared to just 14 for the Democrats in more than a decade of opposition 24 Oct 2007 All year long, Democrats in the House of Representatives have watched with increasing impatience as their Senate counterparts find themselves bedevilled by a filibuster-wielding Republican minority... What's far less well known, though, is that the party has almost as nasty a bugaboo in the House. Republicans there have found stunning success with a procedural tool called the motion to recommit, and they have repeatedly used it to divide the Democratic caucus and block key initiatives.

Senate Confirms Judge Opposed by Democrats 24 Oct 2007 The Senate today confirmed President [sic] Bush’s choice for the federal appeals court [Judge Leslie H. Southwick] that handles cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas despite complaints from many Democrats and from civil rights organizations that he is not committed to racial equality. Nine DemocRATs and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent [GOPervert] from Connecticut, joined the Senate's 49 Republicans in voting for confirmation, despite a denunciation of the nominee by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader.

Existing home sales tumble in September 24 Oct 2007 Sales of existing homes plunged by a record amount in September as turmoil in mortgage markets added more problems to a housing industry in its worst slump in 16 years.

Scientists a step closer to steering hurricanes [Oh, I think the horse has already left the barn on that one.] 24 Oct 2007 Scientists have made a breakthrough in man's desire to control the forces of nature – unveiling plans to weaken hurricanes and steer them off [on] course, to prevent [create] tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina.

White House "Eviscerated" Climate Testimony 24 Oct 2007 Testimony that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to give yesterday to a Senate committee about the impact of climate change on health was significantly edited by the White House, according to two sources familiar with the documents. A CDC official familiar with both versions said Julie L. Gerberding's draft "was eviscerated," cut from 14 pages to four.

Seasonal firefighters laid off just before fires --Shorthanded, California recalls some crews to battle wildfires 23 Oct 2007 Joe Mackey, a seasonal firefighter for CalFire, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, got a call Oct. 12 telling him he wouldn't be needed any more this year. "They told me I'm getting laid off. Turn my gear in the next day," Mackey said. "They didn't really give me any notice." On Tuesday, with fires threatening thousands of homes, the state backtracked, declaring the obvious: The fire season is back on.

500,000 forced to flee California wildfires driven by winds 24 Oct 2007 More than 500,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in southern California as fierce winds fanned fires across the region from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border. Officials expect the total number of evacuees to reach 750,000 before the fires die down.

California burning: National Guard mobilised as state goes up in flames --State of emergency declared 24 Oct 2007 The wildfires laying waste to southern California raged unabated yesterday as a third day of high winds and scorching temperatures pushed flames further into suburban communities and mountain towns... The US military joined the fire-fighting effort, sending in helicopters loaded with fire retardant after President [sic] George Bush declared a national state of emergency. California has already mobilised its state National Guard and said seven counties between the Mexican border and Santa Barbara were disaster zones.

Wildfire losses in California top $1 billion 24 Oct 2007 The devastating wildfires in Southern California have caused at least $1 billion in damage in San Diego County alone, officials said Wednesday, as easing wind gave firefighters hope that they could begin to gain ground against the flames.

*****

Cheney, Howard 'did deal on Hicks' 23 Oct 2007 US Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney agreed to a deal with Prime Minister John Howard to release former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, a US media report says. The report, published in Harper's Magazine, cites an unnamed US military officer saying that a military staffer was present when Mr Cheney interfered directly to seal Hicks's plea bargain deal. "He [Mr Cheney] did it, apparently, as part of a deal cut with [Australian Prime Minister] Howard," the unnamed source is quoted as saying. "I kept thinking: this is the sort of thing that used to go on behind the Iron Curtain, not in America."

Joint Chiefs Chairman Looks Beyond Current Wars 22 Oct 2007 The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff plans to press Congress and the public to sustain the current high levels of military spending — even after the Iraq war — arguing for money to repair and replace worn-out weapons and to restore American ground forces he described as "breakable," though not yet broken.

Bush: Missile shield is meant to deter Iran 23 Oct 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush said on Tuesday a planned missile shield in Europe is vital to protect against an "emerging Iranian threat" as he pressed an escalating U.S.-led campaign against Tehran.

U.S. offers to keep missile shield on stand-by 23 Oct 2007 The United States has proposed delaying the activation of parts of its European missile defense shield if Russia cooperates on the project, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday.

Iran, EU see further nuclear talks by end-Nov 23 Oct 2007 Iranian negotiators and the EU hope for more talks on Iran's nuclear program in coming weeks after a "constructive" meeting on Tuesday, despite a warning by Iran's president that his country would not retreat "one iota."

Bush's Request for Wars Increases to $196 Billion 23 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush asked Congress on Monday to approve $196 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other [!] national security programs, setting the stage for a new confrontation with Democrats over the administration’s [mis]handling of Iraq.

Bush Seeks $500M Drug War Aid --Million$ for private US contractors to train Mexican troops --U.S. and Mexican negotiators reached agreement in secrecy 23 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush announced Monday in Washington that he will ask Congress to approve a $500 million package to help Mexico fight [build] drug cartels. U.S. and Mexican negotiators reached the agreement in secrecy. The much-anticipated Mexico aid plan, which is included in Bush's $46 billion supplemental budget request for war funding, would pay for helicopters, canine units, communications gear and inspection equipment, the State Department said. The aid packages are part of what the Bush regime hopes will be a multiyear, $1.4 billion initiative. [See: Private US military contractors may train Mexican drug forces 20 Oct 2007 The U.S. and Mexican governments are expected Monday to announce an 'anti'-drug package that will probably involve hiring private U.S. military contractors to train Mexican troops, senior U.S. officials said.]

State Dept. Can't Account For $1.2B Paid to DynCorp: Audit --Review identifies $29 million in overcharges by DynCorp in past year 23 Oct 2007 A government audit expected to be released Tuesday says that records documenting the work of DynCorp, the State Department’s largest contractor, are in such disarray that the department cannot say "specifically what it received" for most of the $1.2 billion it has paid the company since 2004 to train the police officers in Iraq... A review of DynCorp’s spending over the past year identified $29 million in overcharges by DynCorp, including $108,000 in business travel, according to a State Department letter in response to auditors. A separate review by the Defense Contracting Audit Agency found that DynCorp had billed for $162,869 of labor hours "for which it did not pay its workers." [See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]

Blackwater accused of tax evasion 22 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA, the security company that has come under intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill after a September 16 incident in which it allegedly opened fire on Iraqi civilians and killed 17, was accused on Monday by a senior Democratic lawmaker [Henry Waxman, CA] of evading tens of millions of dollars in federal taxes.

Blackwater tying up loose ends? Radio journalist missing in Baghdad, driver killed 22 Oct 2007 A correspondent for the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) went missing while on her way to an interview in Baghdad on Monday morning, the radio station said. "Police found the body of her driver, shot and dumped in the street," RFE/RL said in a statement. "There is no trace of the car or RFE/RL's correspondent."

US airstrike in Iraq kills 11, including civilians 23 Oct 2007 The U.S. military said it killed 11 people in a helicopter attack on a group of men seen planting a roadside bomb north of Baghdad on Tuesday, but police and residents said the dead were farmers, women and children. The U.S. military acknowledged that five women and one child were among those killed but blamed militants for using their home as a safe haven to escape attack by U.S. forces. [In other words, if you try to evade the US terrorists' daily war crimes, you're an 'insurgent.']

Iraq shuts down Kurdish rebel offices under threat of attack 24 Oct 2007 Iraq ordered the closure yesterday of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) offices in the country as pressure mounted on the Government of Nouri al-Maliki to clamp down on the hardline Kurdish separatists.

In Iraq, Conflict on a Second Kurdish Front 23 Oct 2007 Deadly raids into Turkey by Kurdish militants holed up in northern Iraq are the focus of urgent diplomacy, with Turkey threatening invasion of Iraq and the United States begging for restraint while expressing solidarity with Turkish anger.

Turkey Sends More Troops to Iraq Border 22 Oct 2007 Dozens of Turkish military vehicles streamed toward the Iraqi border with heavy artillery and ammunition Monday after Kurdish guerrillas killed a dozen soldiers and claimed to have captured eight in an intensifying crisis threatening to spill into Iraq.

Afghan official replaced over Israeli invite 23 Oct 2007 An official at Afghanistan's embassy in Germany has been replaced for inviting an Israeli diplomat to a function, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. "He was a political employee of the embassy and has been replaced because of inviting the Israeli diplomat," said Sultan Ahmad Baheen. Like the majority of Muslim countries, Afghanistan does not recognize Israel.

'That's their last chance to light another gas station in the Middle East.' --Pat Buchanan on 'Hardball,' referring to the neocon foreign policy advisers on Rudy Giuliani's team. 22 Oct 2007

Giving the Osprey More Firepower 22 Oct 2007 After investing $20 billion over 25 years and losing 30 lives in the development of the controversial V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, known as the Osprey, the U.S. military might like to think that its long-awaited combat debut would go relatively smoothly. But even as 10 Marine V-22s have just arrived in Iraq, the Air Force - which is buying V-22s for special operations missions - has decided the gun on the marine's version isn't good enough for an aircraft expressly designed to ferry troops into hot landing zones.

Fort Huachuca soldier arrested on child molestation charges 23 Oct 2007 An Army sergeant based at Fort Huachuca has been arrested on a child molestation charge after his girlfriend told officers she'd seen images of him sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl on his computer, authorities said. Robert D. Higgins, 33, of Sierra Vista was also arrested on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child and tampering with or destroying evidence, said Mertie Stompro, a Sierra Vista Police Department detective.

Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study --Output peaked in 2006 and will fall 7% a year --Decline in gas, coal and uranium also predicted 22 Oct 2007 World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown. The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected.

NASA won't disclose air safety survey 22 Oct 2007 NASA is withholding results from an unprecedented national survey of pilots that found safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than the government previously recognized. NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly. Last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.

Scottish "wannabe suicide bomber" jailed 23 Oct 2007 A Scottish student, described by prosecutors as a "wannabe suicide bomber," was jailed for eight years on Tuesday for possessing terrorism-related materials including bomb-making instructions.

U.S. Prosecution of Muslim Group Ends in Mistrial 23 Oct 2007 A federal judge declared a mistrial on Monday in what was widely seen as the government’s flagship terrorism-financing case after prosecutors failed to persuade a jury to convict five leaders of a Muslim charity on any charges, or even to reach a verdict on many of the 197 counts.

Waterbury Raid Suspects Have Their Day In Court 22 Oct 2007 (CT) Early Friday morning, 280 local police officers and federal agents rousted the prisoners, charging them with conspiracy, gun crimes and/or drug crimes. Two busloads made the short trip to the courthouse. Dozens of other suspects were hauled in. It’s the city's largest roundup of [alleged] criminals, more than 80 all told, with mop-up [?!?] work continuing.

NSA cooperation: OK for e-mail, IM companies? 22 Oct 2007 A new Senate bill would protect not only telephone companies from lawsuits claiming illegal cooperation with the National Security Agency. It would retroactively immunize e-mail providers, search engines, Internet service providers and instant-messaging services too. The broad language appears in new legislation that a Senate committee approved by a 13-to-2 vote on Thursday during a meeting closed to the press and public... Other sections of the Senate bill permit the attorney general and the national-intelligence director to sign off on wiretaps without court approval.

Fired atty: Gonzales could face charges 22 Oct 2007 Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may face criminal prosecution, fired former U.S. attorney John McKay said in Spokane, Wash. The U.S. Inspector General is expected to include recommendations regarding the prosecution of Gonzales and others in a report on its investigation that could be released as early as next month, McKay said Friday in a speech to the Federal Bar Association, The Spokane Spokesman-Review reported.

Court to weigh unsealing case vs. 'New Times' 23 Oct 2007 A Maricopa County Superior Court judge set a hearing for Wednesday to determine whether the secret content of a grand-jury investigation into the New Times newspaper should be unsealed. County Attorney Andrew Thomas closed the investigation and dropped the underlying charges against the alternative weekly newspaper on Friday after a national outcry when the paper's owners were arrested for revealing grand-jury information in their paper.

Law requires moment of silence in Illinois schools 22 Oct 2007 Illinois public school students will be required to observe a moment of silence at the beginning of every school day under a new law. Critics called the measure an attempt to promote organized school prayer.

Electoral Initiative Back... With Big Bucks? By John Myers 22 Oct 2007 ...[T]he initiative to change how California's votes for the White House are counted is back... and may have enough cash to gather the needed signatures in only three weeks. The initiative, which received nationwide attention this summer, would mean that California's 55 electoral votes would almost all be doled out by the presidential winner in each of the state's congressional districts. And given the wide swath of GOP red in inland California, that could give the Republican nominee as many electoral votes here as could be won in Ohio. Longtime GOP attorney Tom Hiltachk, the author of the initiative, pulled out of the campaign several weeks ago. But it's now been revived by a group of conservatives that includes anti-tax crusader Lew Uhler and former 2003 recall campaigner Tony Andrade.

CLG exclusive: Judge to Hear 'DC Madam' Selective Prosecution Argument --Palfrey: Monica Goodling "likely will be subpoenaed in this matter - along with many others at Justice - in the near future." By Lori Price 21 Oct 2007 Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG) has learned that US District Judge Gladys Kessler will hear a selective prosecution argument made by the so-called DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, on Monday. ...Ms. Palfrey "will be offering a composite exhibit of statements, news articles and a memo from Monica Goodling which collectively detail the politicization of the Department of Justice in a manner which lends credence to Jeane's argument of selective prosecution."

Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens 23 Oct 2007 Presidential candidate [GOPedophile] Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties. The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims' groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

Romney Slip: Another Osama-Obama Mix-Up 23 Oct 2007 In a slip of the tongue, Republican Mitt Romney accused Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of urging terrorists to congregate in Iraq. On Tuesday, the GOP presidential hopeful [sociopath] said: "Actually, just look at what Osam - Barack Obama - said just yesterday. Barack Obama, calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq. That is the battlefield. ... It's almost as if the Democratic contenders for president are living in fantasyland. Their idea for jihad is to retreat, and their idea for the economy is to also retreat. And in my view, both efforts are wrongheaded."

Palo Verde shuts down reactor to repair a valve 23 Oct 2007 One of three reactors at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was shut down Monday to repair a valve, leaving the plant with just one operating reactor for the second time this month.

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean 19 Oct 2007 The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a heap of debris floating in the Pacific that's twice the size of Texas, according to marine biologists. The enormous stew of trash - which consists of 80 percent plastics and weighs some 3.5 million tons, say oceanographers - floats where few people ever travel, in a no-man's land between San Francisco and Hawaii. [Why not transport the Garbage Patch to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where it will feel right at home?]

Study: Warming is stronger, happening sooner --Higher C02 emissions from fossil fuels, and weaker Earth, cited as reasons 22 Oct 2007 Just a days after the Nobel prize was awarded for global warming work, an alarming new study finds that warming signals are stronger, and happening sooner than expected, due to increased human emissions of carbon dioxide and an Earth less able to absorb them.

Bush declares fire emergency 23 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush today declared a state of emergency in Southern California, paving the way for federal aid to help fight the region's wildfires. The declaration follows a request made Monday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for federal assistance.

Second person dies in California wildfires 23 Oct 2007 A second person died on Tuesday in the raging wildfires sweeping across Southern California, authorities said.

Massive evacuations ordered as onslaught of fires spreads 23 Oct 2007 Wind-whipped firestorms destroyed more than 700 homes and businesses in Southern California on Monday, the second day of its onslaught, and more than half a million people in San Diego County were told to evacuate their homes.

Fire evacuations grow as 1,200 structures burn --San Diego mayor urges residents to stay off roads so crews can work 23 Oct 2007 Thousands more residents were ordered to evacuate their homes Tuesday, as walls of wind-whipped flames consumed hundreds more homes across tinder-dry Southern California and raised the number of evacuees into the hundreds of thousands.

'It was nuclear winter. It was like Armageddon. It looked like the end of the world.' Raging Calif. Fires Burn Scores of Homes 22 Oct 2007 Wildfires blown by fierce desert winds Monday reduced scores of Southern California homes to ashes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee and laid a hellish, spidery pattern of luminous orange over the drought-stricken region.

*****

Private US military contractors may train Mexican drug forces 20 Oct 2007 The U.S. and Mexican governments are expected Monday to announce an 'anti'-drug package that will probably involve hiring private U.S. military contractors to train Mexican troops, senior U.S. officials said. The government's use of private contractors has been controversial, especially since a deadly incident involving mercenaries last month in Iraq. The counternarcotics plan calls for increasing U.S. anti[sic]-drug aid to Mexico, now estimated at $44 million a year, to $1.4 billion over two to three years, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Lawmaker accuses Blackwater of tax evasion --Blackwater "sought to conceal its conduct from Congress and law enforcement officials." 22 Oct 2007 The chairman of a congressional committee said on Monday that documents obtained by his panel suggest that private security contractor Blackwater USA "engaged in significant tax evasion." Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, accused Blackwater of "failing to withhold and pay millions of dollars in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and related taxes."

Halliburton third-quarter profit rises 19 percent 22 Oct 2007 Oil services company Halliburton Co on Sunday said third-quarter net profit rose 19 percent, helped by a tax benefit, new international contracts and higher activity from its customers.

Bush asks for $46 billion more for wars --$196.4 billion has been requested by Administration for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere [?] for budget year that started Oct. 1 22 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush asked Congress on Monday for another $46 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and finance other national security needs. "We must provide our troops with the help and support they need to get the job done," Bush said. [What, exactly, is "the job?"]

Holy coincidence, Batman! Just as Bush asks for billion$ more for Iraq, new bin Laden audio emerges: Bin Laden urges Iraq insurgents to unite 22 Oct 2007 Osama Bush bin Laden called on insurgent groups in Iraq to unify their ranks [so that there's a 'reason' for Blackwater, Halliburton, and KBR to continue to occupy and destroy Iraq], in an audio recording aired by Al Jazeera television on Monday.

Iraq Protests Sadr City Deaths 22 Oct 2007 The U.S. military says 49 'militants' were killed during a raid in Baghdad's Sadr City district... Iraqi officials say some civilians were killed and witnesses say the dead included women and young children. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbaugh says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki quickly called in the U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus. He says during their meeting, the prime minister filed a formal protest against what is seen in Baghdad as a use of excessive force. "You cannot kill the civilians in this way," said Ali al-Dabbaugh. "I do understand there are a lot of people violating our law and then you have criminals. But do not use the power this way."

Iraq says many civilians killed in U.S. raid 22 Oct 2007 American officials said as many as 49 people were killed... in an early-morning raid in Iraq's Sadr City on Sunday. The Iraqi government said many of the victims were civilians and protested the action. A freelance correspondent for The Times said he saw the corpses of a woman and two small children. The wounded included two boys, 8 and 11, who were interviewed in their beds at Imam Ali Hospital by The Times. Another man said his 18-month-old son was killed, as well as a neighbor's son who was the same age.

Military steps up war-zone airstrikes 21 Oct 2007 The U.S. military has increased airstrikes in Iraq fivefold this year, reflecting a steep escalation in combat operations aimed at 'al-Qaeda' and other militants [civilians]. Occupation forces launched 1,140 airstrikes in the first nine months of this year compared with 229 in all of last year, according to military statistics.

19 tons of explosives found in Iraq 20 Oct 2007 U.S. forces in Iraq 'discovered' nearly 19 tons of explosives in a weapons cache north of Baghdad this week, one of the biggest finds of its kind, the U.S. military said on Saturday. The find was made up of 41,000 lbs of ammonium nitrate and 35 mortar bombs.

U.S actively stops Turkish incursion into Iraq 23 Oct 2007 The United States has reiterated its call for Turkey not to take cross-border military action against the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the State Department said Monday.

Turkish Troops, Weapons Head Toward Iraq 22 Oct 2007 Dozens of Turkish military vehicles loaded with soldiers and heavy weapons rumbled toward the Iraq border on Monday after an ambush by guerrilla Kurds that killed 12 soldiers and left eight others missing.

Iraq crisis mounts as Kurd raid kills 17 Turkish soldiers 22 Oct 2007 Kurdish rebels killed at least 17 Turkish soldiers, wounded 16 others and took several hostage in an ambush near the Iraqi border yesterday, prompting Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, to call crisis talks to consider a military strike against rebel bases in Iraq.

Why was it left to Prince Charles to honour returning veterans of Iraq? 22 Oct 2007 Prince Charles was last night praised for personally honouring Iraq veterans at his private Scottish residence, but questions were asked as to why the task had fallen to him rather than political and military leaders.

Iran's hawks winning nuclear policy argument 22 Aug 2007 A change in Iran's top nuclear negotiator indicates President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and those who oppose any compromise in an atomic standoff with the West are winning the policy argument in the Islamic Republic.

Cheney says Iran faces 'serious consequences' over nukes drive 21 Oct 2007 Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney said Sunday the United States would not permit Iran to get nuclear weapons and warned of "serious consequences" if it refuses to stop enriching uranium. Cheney, considered the US administration's toughest hard-liner on Iran, did not mention the possibility of military action amid reports that President [sic] George W. Bush could be laying the stage for war with the Islamic republic.

Cheney calls Iran an obstacle to peace 21 Oct 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney on Sunday described Iran as an obstacle to peace in the Middle East and said the world could not stand by and allow it to develop a nuclear weapon. [Bush, having killed over a million Iraqis, isn't?]

Israel "mole" took photos of Syrian target: report 19 Oct 2007 Israel had obtained detailed pictures of a Syrian complex from an apparent mole, which supported an Israeli belief the facility was nuclear and led to an air strike on it last month, ABC News reported on Friday. ABC, citing a senior U.S. official, said the person had provided several pictures of the complex from the ground, and Israel showed the images to the CIA. The U.S. spy agency helped pinpoint "drop points" to assist in potential targeting, ABC said.

UK troops to fill Nato's boots in Afghanistan 22 Oct 2007 The Government is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan to make up for the expected withdrawal of other Nato forces, a spokesman for the organisation has said.

Letting slip the drugs of war --Is the CIA helping itself to the Afghan heroin harvest? By Nick Possum 22 Oct 2007 Since the fall of the Taliban regime, which had seriously honoured an agreement to close down the trade, heroin production in Afghanistan has surged. In 2006 there was a 50 per cent increase in the poppy harvest and it created a new record for world production, my contact in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime told me. Afghanistan now accounts for 92 per cent of the world’s illicit production. She expected it would take another leap upwards this year. So where is the stuff ending up? ...Once again, the streets of Western Europe and Russia are awash with the stuff and that fact got me thinking about the CIA.

Two sailors shot dead in Bahrain 22 Oct 2007 Two female American sailors were shot dead and a male sailor was critically wounded at the U.S. Navy base in Bahrain on Monday in events the navy said were not linked to terrorism.

U.S. defense chief to discuss radar base in Prague 22 Oct 2007 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will discuss the U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic and Czech involvement in U.S.-led international military missions on Tuesday, the Czech news agency CTK reported on Sunday.

Navy: submarine safety checks skipped 22 Oct 2007 Sailors on the submarine USS Hampton failed to do daily safety checks on the ship's nuclear reactor for a month and falsified records to cover up the omission, a Navy investigation shows.

Defence spending matches Cold War peak, think tank argues 22 Oct 2007 Canada's defence spending has hit its highest level since the Second World War with the country earmarking as much money during the Afghanistan conflict and the war on terrorism as it did at the height of the nuclear arms race with the former Soviet Union, concludes a new study. The study points out that based on NATO's own figures, Canada, with its defence budget now slightly more than $18 billion a year, is currently the sixth highest military spender in the alliance.

Howard declared clear loser in Australian election debate 22 Oct 2007 The Australian opposition leader, Kevin Rudd, was declared the clear victor after a televised election debate last night, turning up the pressure on Prime Minister John Howard ahead of polls on 24 November.

Demonstrators arrested outside Capitol 22 Oct 2007 About 60 peaceful demonstrators, including several dressed as polar bears, were arrested outside the U.S. Capitol on Monday protesting the Iraq war and global warming, authorities said.

Judge Declares Mistrial For Most Defendants In Muslim Charity Trial 22 Oct 2007 A judge declared a mistrial Monday for most former leaders of a Muslim charity accused of funding terrorism, after chaos broke out in the court when three jurors disputed the verdict that had been announced. One of the defendants, former Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development Chairman Mohammed El-Mezain was cleared of 31 of 32 counts that he faced, NBC 5 reported.

Government money short to help poor pay heating bills 19 Oct 2007 About 30 million low-income American households who will need help paying heating bills this winter from a U.S. government program will be left in the cold because of a lack of funding for the program. The poor, already digging deep to pay for expensive gasoline, also will face much higher heating fuel costs, especially if oil prices stay near record levels. [Oh, but there's $750 million available for Bush bin Laden to pretend to build an Embassy in Iraq? The only upside to the slave-labor built KBR whorehouse the fact that it's large enough for the 'insurgents' to locate. --LRP]

Tokyo stocks hit 4-wk lows as Wall St, dlr falter 21 Oct 2007 Japan's Nikkei average fell 3 percent on Monday, led down by exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp as the yen hit a six-week high against the faltering dollar amid U.S. economic fears that have hit Wall Street.

At the Poles, Melting Occurring at Alarming Rate By Doug Struck 22 Oct 2007 The sea ice reaches only half as far as it did 50 years ago. In the summer of 2006, it shrank to a record low; this summer the ice pulled back even more, by an area nearly the size of Alaska... Glaciers race into the sea from the island of Greenland, beginning an inevitable rise in the oceans... Polar bears, kings of the Arctic, now search for ice on which to hunt and bear young.

Please sign these petitions!
Protect Polar Bears from Extinction! (Defenders of Wildlife)

Tell the Bush Administration to protect polar bears and their critical habitat (NRDC)
Save Grizzlies - Stop Terrible Forest Plan Changes (Defenders of Wildlife)

Calif. fires force 250,000 to evacuate 22 Oct 2007 Wildfires fanned by fierce desert winds forced the evacuations of nearly 250,000 people Monday in San Diego County, including hundreds who were being moved by school bus and ambulance from a hospital and nursing homes.

California Asks Northwest For Firefighting Help 22 Oct 2007 Firefighting resources from the Northwest will be sent to help battle wildfires in Southern California, officials at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

Red Sox Roll, Make Date With the Rockies 22 Oct 2007 The Red Sox are back in the World Series, following their 11-2 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. They will meet the National League champion Colorado Rockies here at Fenway Park in the opener on Wednesday night.

*****

Cheney: US will not let Iran go nuclear 21 Oct 2007 The United States and other nations will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney said Sunday. If Iran continues on its current course, Cheney said the U.S. and other nations are prepared to take action.

Israeli news evokes 'Gog and Magog' scenario Two of Israel's three major television news programs broadcast special reports Wednesday evening dealing with US President [sic] George W. Bush's warning that a nuclear Iran could lead to World War III. On one side would be Israel, the US, Britain, France and Germany. They would be opposed by Russia, Iran, Syria, China and North Korea. Israel National News noted that the scenario was presented in such a way that evoked the biblically prophesied war of "Gog and Magog," a global end-times conflict spelled out in the book of Ezekiel (chapters 38-39).

SAS raiders enter Iran to kill gunrunners 21 Oct 2007 British special forces have crossed into Iran several times in recent months as part of a secret border war against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Al-Quds special forces, defence sources have disclosed. There have been at least half a dozen intense firefights between the SAS and arms smugglers, a mixture of [alleged] Iranians and Shi’ite militiamen.

Iraqi Oil Ministry secures propane deal with Iran [Awesome!] 21 Oct 2007 Iraq's Oil Ministry has secured a propane deal with Iran and is making plans to allocate workers to load and deliver the needed fuel. Tehran and Baghdad signed a deal Oct. 15 to supply Iraq with propane from Iran. Nazar al-Sultan, a member of the Baghdad Council, said the city is ready to retrieve the propane from southern provinces, where it will be shipped from Iran.

Ex-Prosecutor Alleges Pentagon Pressure for 'Sexy' Guantanamo Hearings 20 Oct 2007 Politically motivated officials at the Pentagon have pushed for convictions of high-profile prisoners ahead of the 2008 'elections,' the former lead prosecutor for terrorism 'trials' at Guantanamo Bay said last night, adding that the pressure played a part in his decision to resign earlier this month. Senior defense officials discussed in a September 2006 meeting the "strategic political value" of putting some prominent detainees on trial, said Air Force Col. Morris Davis. He said that he felt pressure to pursue cases that were deemed "sexy" over those that prosecutors believed were the most solid or were ready to go.

Fearing acquittals, 300 FBI agents work to bolster Guantanamo cases --The U.S. is concerned that evidence obtained from CIA interrogations torture will be inadmissible at Guantanamo tribunals. 21 Oct 2007 The FBI is quietly reconstructing the cases against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 14 other accused Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leaders being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, spurred in part by U.S. concerns that years of CIA interrogation torture have yielded evidence that is inadmissible or too controversial to present at their upcoming tribunals, government officials familiar with the probes said. The process is an embarrassment for the Bush regime, which for years held the men incommunicado overseas and allowed the CIA to use coercive means torture to extract information from them that would not be admissible in a U.S. court of law -- and might not be allowed in their military tribunals, some former officials and legal experts said. Even if the information from the CIA interrogations torture is allowed, they said, it would probably risk focusing the trials on the actions of the agency and not the accused. The FBI investigations, involving as many as 300 agents and analysts in a "Guantanamo task force," have been underway for as long as two years. They were requested by the Defense Department shortly after legal rulings indicated that Mohammed and the other 'Al Qaeda' suspects probably would win some form of trial in which evidence would have to be presented, according to senior federal law enforcement officials.

Report: CIA seized Egyptian terror suspect in Europe in 1995 in early alleged rendition case 21 Oct 2007 CIA renditions in Europe date back as far as the mid-1990s, with U.S. agents allegedly seizing an Egyptian terror suspect in Croatia in 1995 and sending him to Egypt, a Danish newspaper reported Sunday.

Curiouser and curiouser: Saddam's US jailor imprisoned for two years for possessing secret papers 19 Oct 2007 A former US commander at the jail that held Saddam Hussein [Lieutenant Colonel William Steele] was today jailed for two years after a court martial found him guilty of illegally possessing classified documents.

U.S. soldier in Iraq jailed for possessing child porn 21 Oct 2007 A U.S. soldier in Iraq [Sergeant Angel Escobales] has been convicted in a court martial of possessing child pornography and sentenced to 18 months in prison, the U.S. military said on Sunday.

US Marines on trial for Iraq atrocity --Battalion commander and Lance-Corporal are first to face charges over deaths of 24 men, women and children 21 Oct 2007 A US battalion commander has been sent for trial over the deaths of 24 Iraqis, including women and children, in Haditha nearly two years ago, making him the highest-ranking American serviceman to face court martial over actions in combat since the Vietnam War.

Marine Inquiry Into Afghan atrocity 21 Oct 2007 A Marine Corps court of inquiry, scheduled to convene in November in the killings of at least a dozen Afghan civilians last March by a special operations platoon, will focus only on the actions of two officers in charge, a defense lawyer said yesterday.

Army to keep forcibly re-enlisting soldiers --'Stop loss' program still needed, general says in response to Gates 18 Oct 2007 The U.S. Army will continue to rely on an unpopular program that forces some soldiers to stay on beyond their retirement or re-enlistment dates, despite repeated pressure from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reduce and eventually eliminate the practice.

US: Raid of Baghdad's Sadr City Kills 49 21 Oct 2007 The U.S. military said its forces killed an estimated 49 'militants' during a dawn raid to capture an Iranian-linked militia chief in Baghdad's Sadr City enclave, one of the highest tolls for a single operation since President [sic] Bush declared an end to active combat in 2003.

Turkey bombards northern Iraq after ambush --Fears of incursion grow as troops killed and captured --Iraqi Kurdish leaders tell rebels to disarm or get out 21 Oct 2007 The prospect of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq in pursuit of fighters of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) drew closer today after another round of clashes in the mountainous frontier region that left at least 12 Turkish soldiers and 23 PKK guerillas dead, and saw a number of Turkish troops captured by the rebel group.

Turkey pledges strong response to Kurdish attack 21 Oct 2007 Turkey vowed strong action Sunday against Kurdish separatists after 12 of its soldiers and 32 rebels were killed in clashes sparked by an ambush near the tense border with Iraq.

Seven Iraqi children to be brought to Israel for heart surgery 21 Oct 2007 Civil Administration head Ya'akov Ganot on Sunday granted permission to the Rambam Medical Center and the Shevet Achim Hospital to bring seven Iraqi children with heart diseases to be receive treatment in Israel.

Seven protesters arrested at Blackwater's headquarters 21 Oct 2007 Seven people were arrested Saturday at Blackwater Worldwide’s front entrance after protesters re-enacted the Sept. 16 shooting incident in Baghdad involving Blackwater contractors in which 17 Iraqis died. It was the first protest at the 10-year-old private military company’s headquarters, a reflection of its heightened profile since the Baghdad shootings stirred Iraqi anger and created a diplomatic crisis for Blackwater’s client, the U.S. State Department.

Suicide Is Not Painless By Frank Rich 21 Oct 2007 The $26,788 [Charles D. Riechers, who 'committed suicide' in October] received for two months in a non-job doesn’t rise even to a rounding error in the Iraq-Afghanistan money pit. So far some $6 billion worth of contracts are being investigated for waste and fraud, however slowly, by the Pentagon and the Justice Department. That doesn’t include the unaccounted-for piles of cash, some $9 billion in Iraqi funds, that vanished during L. Paul Bremer’s short but disastrous reign in the Green Zone... There will be a long hangover of shame. Its essence was summed up by Col. Ted Westhusing, an Army scholar of military ethics who was an innocent witness to corruption, not a participant, when he died at age 44 of a gunshot wound to the head while working for Gen. David Petraeus training Iraqi security forces in Baghdad in 2005... Colonel Westhusing’s death was ruled a suicide, though some believe he was murdered by contractors fearing a whistle-blower, according to T. Christian Miller, the Los Angeles Times reporter who documents the case in his book "Blood Money." [A must read]

Palestinian PM: Suspects in plot against Olmert back in custody 21 Oct 2007 The Palestinian militants suspected of plotting to attack Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's convoy earlier this year were arrested for a second time on Friday and will face a military trial, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Sunday.

Air force colonels sacked after nuclear bombs flown over US States 21 Oct 2007 The US Air Force has disciplined 70 service personnel after nuclear warheads capable of unleashing the equivalent of 10 Hiroshima bombs were 'mistakenly' flown across the US.

Tighter Border Delays Re-entry by U.S. Citizens 21 Oct 2007 United States border agents have stepped up scrutiny of Americans returning home from Mexico, slowing commerce and creating delays at border crossings... The increased enforcement is in part a dress rehearsal for new rules, scheduled to take effect in January, that will require Americans to show a passport or other proof of citizenship to enter the United States. Border officials said agents along the southern border were asking more returning United States citizens to show a photo identity document. At the same time, agents are increasing the frequency of what they call queries, where they check a traveler's information against law enforcement, immigration and antiterror databases.

Police: stop more black suspects --Top black officer urges more searches to tackle gun and knife crime --Call set to reignite racism row 21 Oct 2007 One of Britain's leading black police officers is to demand that more people from ethnic minorities must be stopped and searched if the fight against inner-city gun and knife crime is to succeed.

'New Times' prosecutor defends handling 21 Oct 2007 The special prosecutor in a criminal case that landed two top newspaper executives in jail said Saturday that nothing about his investigation was "grossly mishandled or mismanaged," and he will not stand to have his reputation tarnished. Attorney Dennis Wilenchik made the comments via e-mail to The Arizona Republic a day after he was fired as chief of a criminal investigation involving Phoenix New Times and received a public dressing-down from Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.

Energy Traders Avoid Scrutiny --As Commodities Market Grows, Oversight Is Slight 21 Oct 2007 Called by some insiders the Wild West of Wall Street, commodity trading is a world where many goods that are key to national security or public consumption, such as oil, pork bellies or uranium, are traded with almost no oversight... The ultimate cost nationwide has not been tallied, but one utility, the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, calculated that its 243,000 customers paid an extra $18 million in the 2006-07 winter season because of a giant hedge fund, Amaranth.

Higher food bills squeezing working families --Prices high; stores can see Americans are struggling 21 Oct 2007 The calculus of living paycheck to paycheck is getting harder. What used to last four days might last half that long now. Across the nation, Americans are increasingly unable to stretch their dollars to the next payday as they juggle higher rent, food and energy bills.

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.

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.

S. Calif. Wildfire Burns Church, Castle 21 Oct 2007 A wildfire driven by powerful Santa Ana winds threatened a university and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes in the Malibu Hills on Sunday, authorities said. Flames destroyed a church and several homes, one of them a landmark castle.

*****

We can attack Iran, says US commander 20 Oct 2007 America's top military officer said the country does have the resources to attack Iran, despite the strain of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Adm Michael Mullen, who took over as chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff three weeks ago, said diplomacy remained the priority in dealing with Iran's suspected plans to develop a nuclear weapon and its [alleged] support for anti-US 'insurgents' in Iraq. But at a press conference he said: "there is more than enough reserve to respond (militarily) if that, in fact, is what the national leadership wanted to do".

Iran: 'We will rub their noses in the dirt' 20 Oct 2007 Iran warned on Saturday it would fire off 11 000 rockets at enemy bases within the space of a minute if the United States launched military action against the Islamic republic. "In the first minute of an invasion by the enemy, 11 000 rockets and cannons would be fired at enemy bases," said a brigadier general in the elite Revolutionary Guards, Mahmoud Chaharbaghi.

U.S. in no position to attack Iran-Iran minister 20 Oct 2007 The United States is in no position to attack Iran because it is bogged down in the conflict in Iraq, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Saturday. Mottaki was talking at the sprawling Iranian consulate in the western Afghan city of Herat, on the border with Iran, where a regional trade conference was taking place. "Americans have never been in such a grave situation and this is because of their own deeds," he said with a smile.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator resigns 20 Oct 2007 Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has resigned, officials announced Saturday, in a move expected to boost President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's influence over policy in a standoff with the West. Government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham said Larijani would be replaced by Deputy Foreign Minister Saeed Jalili, who is seen as closer to the president.

Report says buildup in Iraq gained little --U.S. military, civilian officials warn progress will require years of work 19 Oct 2007 Despite hopes that the U.S. military "surge" in Iraq would encourage economic and political headway and sap the strength of the insurgency, very little lasting progress has been achieved, according to a new U.S. report. The study, based on the assessments of dozens of U.S. military and civilian officials working at local levels across Iraq, runs counter to the optimistic forecasts by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus [Betrayus], and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

Bush rehires DynCorp's child rapists to replace Blackwater's assassins: Blackwater likely to be phased out of diplomatic duty 20 Oct 2007 Troubled military contractor Blackwater USA is likely to be eased out of its role of guarding U.S. diplomats in Iraq in the aftermath of a shooting last month that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, U.S. officials said Friday. While no decisions have been finalized, Blackwater's role in Baghdad is likely to be taken over by one of two other contractors who provide security for the State Department in Iraq, the officials said. They are Triple Canopy and DynCorp International. [See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]

Blackwater Wanted Iraqi Military Planes 19 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA tried to take at least two Iraqi military aircraft out of Iraq two years ago and refused to give the planes back when Iraqi officials sought to reclaim them, according to a congressional committee investigating the mercenaries. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants the company to provide all documents related to the attempted shipment and to explain where the aircraft are now.

US marines to face trial over Haditha killings 20 Oct 2007 Two United States soldiers are to face courts martial in connection with the killing of 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha two years ago. Eight men were originally charged in connection with the killings, which sparked international outrage. Prosecutors allege that the marines went on a killing spree in Haditha after a roadside bomb killed one of their comrades. Unarmed men, women and children died. The case amounts to the most serious allegation of war crimes made against US troops in Iraq.

"Who ever said we had to have open trials?" Claim of Pressure for Closed Guantánamo Trials 20 Oct 2007 The former chief military prosecutor for the planned war-crimes 'trials' of Guantánamo prisoners said yesterday that he had been pressured by military officials to rely increasingly on classified evidence, which would require that long trial sessions be held behind closed doors rather than in open proceedings. "Who ever said we had to have open trials?" the former chief prosecutor said a military official, Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, told him in September. The former prosecutor, Col. Morris D. Davis, described the dispute in an interview yesterday. [BTW, why aren't the Haditha Marines held in Guantánamo, awaiting their war crimes trials?]

Expanded Guantánamo war court taking shape --Pentagon plans for the resumption of its military tribunals at the Guantánamo Bay naval base have no provisions for how a convict would be put to death. 20 Oct 2007 The foundation has been poured for a second war court chamber, with the capacity to try four alleged terrorists at a time [Good. Let's get Bush, Cheney, Betrayus and Gates in there right now.] Even as the Pentagon moves to resume its war-on-terrorism trials, called military commissions, the detention center's commander said he has received no instructions and made no plans to carry out the ultimate penalty they may impose -- death.

'CIA island jail' to be probed 19 Oct 2007 A UK parliamentary committee is to investigate allegations that US authorities held 'terrorist' suspects in secret prisons on an Indian Ocean island leased by the US from Britain, officials said. Reprieve, a British legal charity, says the CIA detained suspected al-Qaeda members at an airbase on the island of Diego Garcia.

Apology call for 'rendered' victim 19 Oct 2007 US legislators have called for the pResident to apologise to a Syrian-born Canadian who was imprisoned and tortured after being deported by US officials to Damascus. Maher Arar was arrested on a stopover in New York in 2002 on his way home from a holiday and deported to Syria where he says he was tortured during the year he spent in jail. On Thursday Democratic and Republican legislators apologised to Arar and said George Bush, the US president [sic], should follow Canada's lead, admit the mistake and say sorry to the Canadian.

Director De Palma disturbed over Iraq film edit 19 Oct 2007 Veteran Hollywood director Brian De Palma has lashed out at what he calls the censorship of his new film about Iraq and the chilling effect of corporate America on the war. De Palma's film, "Redacted," is based on the true story of a group of U.S. soldiers who raped and killed a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered members of her family. De Palma says he is upset that the documentary-style drama -- its name derived from his view that news coverage of the war has been incomplete -- has been censored. The film's distributor, Magnolia Pictures, ordered the faces of dead Iraqis shown in a montage of photographs at the end of the film be blacked out. "I find it remarkable. 'Redacted' got redacted. I mean, how ironic," De Palma said in an interview.

Guard names brigades tapped for deployments 19 Oct 2007 The Defense Department announced Friday that eight Army National Guard brigades have been alerted for deployment, seven to Iraq and one to Afghanistan. More than 21,000 soldiers are affected by this call-up. They are scheduled to begin deploying in the summer in rotations that will continue into early 2009.

Alerted Guard units have served before 19 Oct 2007 Five of the seven Army National Guard brigades alerted Friday for likely deployments to Iraq in 2008 and 2009 did combat tours there earlier in the war, Army officials said.

Veteran stress cases up sharply 18 Oct 2007 The number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder from the Department of Veterans Affairs jumped by nearly 20,000 — almost 70% — in the 12 months ending June 30, VA records show.

Pakistani Police Question Three In Connection With Bombing 20 Oct 2007 Police in Pakistan questioned three people Saturday over the deadly bombing of Benazir Bhutto's homecoming caravan. The men were linked to a vehicle that police believe was used by one of the attackers who threw a grenade at the convoy, said a senior investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation. That blast was followed by the suicide bomber's detonation.

Air Force Officers Fired Over Mistaken Flying of Nuclear Warheads 19 Oct 2007 The Air Force on Friday relieved at least three senior officers of duty for their roles in the 'erroneous' flight of several nuclear-armed missiles across the United States on a B-52 bomber in late-August. The incident involved a B-52 flying from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana with six nuclear weapons mounted under the craft's wing -- one of the worst known breaches of nuclear weapons handling procedures in decades.

70 punished in accidental B-52 flight 19 Oct 2007 The Air Force said Friday it would punish 70 airmen involved in the 'accidental,' cross-country flight of a nuclear-armed B-52 bomber following an investigation that found widespread disregard for the rules on handling such munitions.

Speaker Pelosi rebukes fellow Bay area liberal over war comments 19 Oct 2007 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuked a fellow San Francisco Bay-area liberal Friday for what she said were "inappropriate" [*accurate*] comments about Iraq during a congressional debate. During a debate on children's health care Thursday, Rep. Pete Stark accused Republicans of sending troops to Iraq to "get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." Pelosi issued a statement late Friday rapping Stark, who is in his 18th term representing the liberal East Bay.

IEDs Seen as Increasing Threat Domestically --DHS, FBI agree homemade explosive devices used in Iraq pose a threat in U.S. 20 Oct 2007 The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI agree that the homemade explosive devices that have wreaked havoc in Iraq pose a rising threat to the United States. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who told the Senate last month that such bombs are terrorists' "weapon of choice," said yesterday at a local meeting that President [sic] Bush will soon issue a blueprint for countering [fomenting] the threat of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

TOPOFF terror drill results headed to D.C. 19 Oct 2007 The three-day TOPOFF terror exercise wrapped up in Portland Friday, providing critical information to help Federal and local officials in case of an attack. But the public shouldn't expect to see the report due out in a few months due to 'security' concerns. [Homeland Suckyourity doesn't want the public to realize that million$ in taxpayer dollars got flushed down the Bush-Halliburton toilet, once again.]

Senate Bill Gets Telcos Legal Immunity and Lets NSA Wiretap In U.S. Without Court Approval By Ryan Singel 19 Oct 2007 A bill passed by the Senate Intelligence committee Thursday night would allow the nation's intelligence agencies to spy on American soil without court approval, frees the nation's telecoms from lawsuit alleging they violated the nation's privacy laws by helping with secret spying on Americans, and makes it easier to get court orders targeting Americans for spy wiretaps, according to a copy of the bill provided to THREAT LEVEL.

The Senate Intelligence Committee had gained access to the documents only after its leaders had indicated that they would grant immunity to the phone and Internet companies. Wiretapping Compromise Was Months in the Making --DemocRATs surrender again 20 Oct 2007 Under the bill, the Bush regime would get retroactive legal immunity for the telecommunications companies that have granted the N.S.A. access to private communications and phone call data; Democrats would get increased oversight of the agency’s eavesdropping by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Congress and inspectors general.

'New Times' case dropped, special prosecutor fired 19 Oct 2007 Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced Friday afternoon that he was dismissing the case against New Times and that no charges would be pursued against the editors and writers involved in the case. Thomas also said he was dismissing special prosecutor ['increasingly unhinged cat's paw'] Dennis Wilenchik, who had pursued the case on the county's behalf. On Thursday, New Times published a story disclosing that a grand jury subpoena had sought extensive information about stories the paper published on Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The subpoena also sought information about readers of the New Times Web site, including their computerized addresses and which Web browsers they used. Two New Times officials were arrested Thursday night on charges of releasing grand jury information after the paper published its story.

New Times Founders Mike Lacey and Jim Larkn Released From Sheriff's Custody, Vow to Fight On. By Stephen Lemons 19 Oct 2007 Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey was released from PHX's 4th Avenue Jail around 4 a.m. this morning after being arrested Thursday evening by plainclothes agents of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Charged with the misdemeanor of revealing grand jury information in this week's cover story Grand Jury Targets New Times and Its Readers, Lacey was released on a $500 bond. His co-author on that story, VVM Chairman and CEO Jim Larkin was arrested on an identical misdemeanor charge Thursday evening and released hours prior to Lacey... I've read of reporters being arrested and/or incarcerated, but not newspaper owners. Maybe this is pretty normal stuff for Myanmar or Iran, however Arizona's still in the U.S. last time I checked.

Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution --Joe Arpaio, Andy Thomas and Dennis Wilenchik hit New Times with grand jury subpoenas By Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin 18 Oct 2007 This newspaper and its editorial staff -- both current and former -- are the targets of unprecedented grand jury subpoenas dated August 24. The authorities are also using the grand jury subpoenas in an attempt to research the identity, purchasing habits, and browsing proclivities of our online readership... In a breathtaking abuse of the United States Constitution, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, and their increasingly unhinged cat's paw [LOL!], special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik, used the grand jury to subpoena "all documents related to articles and other content published by Phoenix New Times newspaper in print and on the Phoenix New Times website, regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio from January 1, 2004 to the present."

Trial delayed for war protesters --Prosecution tacks on new charges 11 Oct 2007 (DuPage County, IL) The misdemeanor trial of two anti-war protesters that was scheduled to begin Monday has been delayed because prosecutors have amended the charges against them.

Maher Boots Protester From Audience 20 Oct 2007 Bill Maher on Friday night helped security remove a 9/11 truth protester from the studio during his weekly HBO show ''Real Time with Bill Maher,'' and it was all captured on live television. Maher was talking science during one of his weekly panel discussions when a protester in his audience stood up, held up a smuggled-in sign reading ''9/11 is a cover up fraud'' and shouted comments to the same effect.

On Anniversary of '87 Market Crash, Stocks Plunge With the Dow Falling 370 Points --Stocks Fall on Fear That Housing Issues Have Spread to the Rest of the Economy 19 Oct 2007 The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 300 points Friday the anniversary of the Black Monday crash 20 year ago as investors were frightened by lackluster corporate earnings, credit concerns and rising oil prices.

New England's fading foliage blamed on warming 20 Oct 2007 (East Montpelier, VT) Forested hillsides usually riotous with reds, oranges and yellows have shown their colors only grudgingly in recent years, with many trees going straight from the dull green of late summer to the rust-brown of late fall with barely a stop at a brighter hue. "It's nothing like it used to be," said University of Vermont plant biologist Tom Vogelmann, a Vermont native. He says autumn has become too warm to elicit New England's richest colors.

Governor sues Army Corps over water --Even win won't solve state's crisis 19 Oct 2007 While the occasional drop of rain dotted Atlanta on Friday, the biggest development in Georgia's water crisis played out in a Florida courthouse. As expected, lawyers for Gov. Sonny Perdue asked a federal judge to force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the release of Lake Lanier waters to Florida until March 1.

*****

Putin wants US date to quit Iraq 18 Oct 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the US should set a date for a withdrawal from Iraq. Mr Putin told viewers that the US presence in Iraq was motivated in part by a desire to "establish control of the country's oil reserves". But he said the US was now engaged in a "pointless" battle against a popular uprising.

Putin Suggests U.S. Wants Iraq's Oil 18 Oct 2007 President Vladimir Putin, in his latest jab at Washington, suggested Thursday that the U.S. military campaign in Iraq was a "pointless" battle against the Iraqi people, aimed in part at seizing the country's oil reserves.

Iraqi electricity deals with Iran, China irk US 19 Oct 2007 The Iraqi Government has awarded contracts worth $US1.1 million ($1.2 billion) to Iranian and Chinese companies to build two power plants, prompting serious concern among US military officials who fear that Iranian investment could be a mask for military activities. The deals come after the American-led 'reconstruction' effort, which relied heavily on large US contractors, has spent nearly $US5 billion of American taxpayer's money on Iraq's electricity grid. But this has made little impact because electricity is available for only a few hours each day in many places.

Weapons left by US troops 'used as bait to kill Iraqis' 25 Sep 2007 US soldiers are luring Iraqis to their deaths by scattering military equipment on the ground as "bait", and then shooting those who pick them up, it has been alleged at a court martial. The highly controversial tactic, which has hitherto been kept secret, is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of a number of Iraqis who were subsequently classified as enemy combatants and used in statistics to show the "success" of the "surge" in US forces.

Dem: Bush sends troops to death for 'amusement' [Iraqis, too!] 18 Oct 2007 Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) caused an uproar today when he conjured up the Iraq War during a floor speech before the Democratic Congress's failed attempt to override President [sic] Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program or SCHIP... He told Republicans: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement." [The only error in Stark's statement is that he referred to Bush as 'the president.']

Former UN Official: US blocked certification that Iraq had no WMDs in 1990s By Alex Lantier 18 Oct 2007 In an interview with journalist Andrew Cockburn, former UN official Rolf Ekeus revealed that in 1997, the US acted to prevent UN officials from certifying that Iraq had complied with UN resolutions demanding that it destroy its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and infrastructure.

Mercenaries shoot three Iraqi civilians, including journalist 19 Oct 2007 Guards from a British security firm fired on a taxi in Iraq on Thursday wounding three civilians, police said, in a shooting that will put new pressure on the government to rein in mercenaries. A woman journalist was among the casualties when the mercenaries opened fire after the taxi approached their convoy near the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said. According to witnesses, the wounded journalist tried to get out of the taxi at one point but one of the guards stopped her by pointing his gun in her direction.

Blackwater likely to be out of Iraq 18 Oct 2007 A State Department review of private security guards for diplomats in Iraq is unlikely to recommend firing Blackwater USA over the deaths of 17 Iraqis last month, but the company probably is on the way out of that job, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Kurd rebels say may hit Turk pipelines if attacked 19 Oct 2007 Kurdish guerrillas could strike oil pipelines if Turkish troops attack them, a pro-rebel news agency quoted one of their leaders on Friday as saying. Turkey's parliament authorized Turkish troops on Wednesday to conduct cross-border operations into northern Iraq to crush rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) hiding in the mountains there.

NATO says shipment of Afghanistan roadside bombs was 'from Iran' 19 Oct 2007 A convoy carrying hi-tech roadside bombs intercepted in Afghanistan originated in Iran, the commander of NATO-led troops said yesterday, adding it was hard to believe Tehran's military did not know about the weapons.

Putin touts new nuclear weapons against US 19 Oct 2007 President Vladimir Putin has announced plans to build a new generation of nuclear weapons after accusing the United States of harbouring an "erotic" desire to invade Russia and steal its natural resources. Delivering one of his most belligerent anti-Western tirades, Mr Putin also suggested that America and its allies had concocted a fake assassination plot to prevent him from visiting Iran this week.

Putin favours Iran with military warning to US 18 Oct 2007 President Vladimir Putin handed the Iranian government a welcome publicity boost yesterday when he delivered a stern warning against US military action during a historic summit in Teheran. Becoming the first Kremlin leader to visit Iran since Josef Stalin in 1943, Mr Putin also secured an important undertaking from Caspian states to deny US forces access to air bases in the event of a military strike against Teheran's nuclear installations. [Awesome!]

Military Resistance Forced Shift on Iran Strike By Gareth Porter 18 Oct 2007 The George W. Bush administration's shift from the military option of a massive strategic attack against Iran to a surgical strike against selected targets associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker earlier this month, appears to have been prompted not by new alarm at Iran's role in Iraq but by the explicit opposition of the nation's top military leaders to an unprovoked attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

MoD to pay more for worst war injuries --Row wins higher payouts but cap set at £285,000 --Less serious wounds still subject to old rules 12 Oct 2007 The government yesterday bowed to growing public pressure by agreeing to increase financial compensation for troops suffering from the most serious multiple injuries received on a battlefield.

Rising death toll in Pakistan blast 19 Oct 2007 At least 126 people were killed in an attack targeting a vehicle carrying former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto through Karachi on her return from eight years in exile today, according to reports. More than 240 people are believed to have been wounded.

Bhutto bombing kicks off war on US plan By Syed Saleem Shahzad 20 Oct 2007 The first shot has already been fired in the battle that Islamists have vowed to wage against the Washington-inspired and brokered attempt at regime change in Pakistan. It came in the form of twin bomb blasts aimed at Benazir Bhutto, the lynchpin in US machinations, within hours of her arrival in Karachi after years in exile... The deal between Bhutto and Musharraf was so abrupt and unexpected that even Bhutto's PPP leaders were unable to defend it, especially as just a few weeks earlier they had been agitating against Musharraf over his suspension of the chief of the judiciary. Government ministers too were take by surprise, and when Asia Times Online asked Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kusuri about the deal, he admitted that it had been made under American pressure.

Claims of secret CIA jail for terror suspects on British island to be investigated --Prisoners may have been held in ships off coast 19 Oct 2007 Allegations that the CIA held 'al-Qaida' suspects for interrogation at a secret prison on sovereign British territory are to be investigated by MPs, the Guardian has learned. The all-party foreign affairs committee is to examine long-standing suspicions that the agency has operated one of its so-called "black site" prisons on Diego Garcia, the British overseas territory in the Indian Ocean that is home to a large US military base. According to the organisation's submission to the committee, the UK government is "potentially systematically complicit in the most serious crimes against humanity of disappearance, torture and prolonged incommunicado detention".

Mukasey Backs Executive Power --Attorney general-designate endorses pResident's positions. 19 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush's choice for attorney general, Michael B. Mukasey, embraced some of the Bush regime's most controversial legal positions yesterday, suggesting that Bush can ignore surveillance statutes in wartime and avoiding a declaration that simulated drowning constitutes torture under U.S. laws. Waterboarding has been prosecuted as torture in U.S. military courts since the Spanish-American War.

Mukasey Refuses to Call Waterboarding Torture (NPR) 18 Oct 2007 In the second day of his confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey on Thursday refused to say that waterboarding is torture. He declined to say that he rejects waterboarding, saying only that if it is torture, it can't be used.

Mukasey Mum on Torture Techniques 18 Oct 2007 Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey refused to say Thursday whether he considers waterboarding a form of torture, frustrating Democrats and potentially slowing his confirmation to head the Justice Department. In an increasingly testy second day of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mukasey also said he is reluctant to support legislation protecting reporters from being forced by courts to reveal their sources.

Mystery underwear stymies Guantanamo investigators 18 Oct 2007 The U.S. military has ended an inquiry into who smuggled unauthorized underwear and a bathing suit to two prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without learning the source of the contraband skivvies, an attorney said on Wednesday.

Senate Panel Approves Immunity for Spying Telcos By Ryan Singel 19 Oct 2007 The Senate Intelligence Committee approved Thursday by a vote of 13-2 another set of changes to the nation's surveillance laws, including a way for telecoms to escape lawsuits charging them with violating the nation's privacy laws by helping with secret spy programs. Democratic Senators Russell Feingold (WI) and Ron Wyden (OR) were the two lone votes against the bill, which they successfully modified to include a provision forcing the NSA to get warrants when targeting Americans oversees.

Senator Dodd Announces He Will Stop Telecom Immunity Bill By Ryan Singel 18 Oct 2007 Connecticut Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd has vowed to put a hold on a Senate bill that reportedly would grant retroactive legal protection to any phone or internet company that helped with the president's secret, warrantless wiretapping program, Dodd announced via email and on his presidential campaign website Thursday.

White House may be told to save e-mails 19 Oct 2007 A U.S. magistrate on Friday rejected arguments by the Bush administration and urged a federal judge to order the White House to preserve copies of all its e-mails. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola said it is necessary to hold out the threat of a contempt of court citation to ensure that White House personnel safeguard backup tapes of electronic messages that may have been deleted.

Blair: Terror threat like fascism 19 Oct 2007 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said the world must not be "forced into retreat" against 'Islamic' terrorists as it faced a situation similar to the Nazi threat before World War II. In his first major speech since leaving office in June, Blair told a charity dinner in New York: "Analogies with the past are never properly accurate and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading but in pure chronology I sometimes wonder if we're not in the 1920s or 1930s again." [OMFG! We're in the 1920s or 1930s again -- with rising fascism... of *BUSH*!!]

Air Force firing five officers over big nuclear 'mistake' --Air Force plans to fire officers involved in 'mistaken' B-52 flight with nuclear weapons 18 Oct 2007 The Air Force is planning to fire at least five officers for an incident in which nuclear-armed missiles were 'mistakenly' loaded on a B-52 bomber and flown across the U.S. - the worst known violation of nuclear security rules in decades. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]

Officers in on B-52 flight may be fired 18 Oct 2007 The Air Force is planning to fire at least five officers for an incident in which nuclear-armed missiles were 'mistakenly' loaded on a B-52 bomber and flown across the U.S. -- the worst known violation of nuclear security rules in decades.

Terror exercise believed to be cause of US bomb scare 18 Oct 2007 (OR) The largest U.S. terror exercise inadvertently sparked a real terror scare, briefly shutting down commuter trains and several blocks in a busy part of Portland after bomb-sniffing dogs alerted their trainers to a possible threat. But it appeared to be a reaction to traces of explosives in cars belonging to federal and military personnel that were parked Thursday at a hotel garage, according to Sgt. Brian Schmautz, Portland Police Bureau spokesman. Thousands of federal, state and local officials have been conducting a terror drill here, called TOPOFF 4, since Monday.

That was 800 pounds of explosives in the Topoff 4 blast. But the real blast was in Central Washington a week earlier. By Michael Rollins 19 Oct 2007 The ATF had a dog-and-pony show Friday morning. Sometimes, government propaganda can be interesting. This was the case if you're fascinated by explosives and insist that Chevy's rule and Fords should be blown up... What you saw on the news was video of a Tri-Met bus posing as a MAX train. As it turned out, it was a bus kinda stapled back together and what you didn't see were the remnants of a brown Ford pickup. Said pickup and bus were actually blown up a week earlier out in the sticks at a training facility outside Yakima. Blown up with 800 pounds of explosives stuck in the Ford.

Thousands get vaccinated during disaster drill --Law enforcement personnel, SWAT team, ambulances present for pandemic drill 19 Oct 2007 (McAlester, OK) Thousands of people got their flu shots Thursday while a mock disaster drill went on quietly in the background. Taking part in the drill were uniformed law enforcement personnel, ambulances and even the SWAT team. "We’re doing this as real as possible, just in case we ever have to really do it, in the event of a pandemic or an emergency,” Det. Capt. Shawn Smith said.

Bomb-sniffing dogs focus on vehicle owned by Topoff 4 participant --Bomb threat disrupts Topoff, closes MAX 18 Oct 2007 The Topoff dirty-bomb drill turned into a real-life bomb scare this afternoon after a trio of bomb-sniffing dogs alerted authorities to possible explosives on the first floor of the parking garage of the Doubletree Hotel Portland at 1000 NE Multnomah Street. Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, was scheduled to be at the hotel for part of the Topoff counterterrorism exercise later in the day. Topoff activities at the hotel were quickly canceled earlier in the afternoon. Schmautz said officers had been sweeping the area in advance of visits by Chertoff and high-ranking military personnel using a pair of "explosives sensitive" police dogs. "One dog got an alert at this car. The second dog was called in and also gave an alert." A third dog later came to the parking garage, and had the same reaction as the first two. Authorities initially focused on one vehicle, which turned out to be owned by a participant in the Topoff exercise.

Bomb-sniffing dogs detect the real thing while preparing for TOPOFF exercise --Drill prep turns into the real deal in northeast Portland 18 Oct 2007 Bomb-sniffing dogs being used for a TOPOFF exercise in northeast Portland detected the real thing, prompting police to cordon off a hotel, close nearby streets and shut down the MAX. According to Brian Schmautz with the Portland Police Bureau, as officials were doing a sweep of the Doubletree Hotel located near the Lloyd Center, bomb-sniffing dogs got a hit on a vehicle in the vicinity. There is currently a heavy police presence in the area while police investigate. The TOPOFF exercise scheduled to take place at the hotel has been canceled. [Will the f*ckers 'go live' - as they did on 9/11?--LRP]

Homeland Security chief defends large terrorism drills 18 Oct 2007 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff today defended large terrorism drills like the one that has been occurring here this week, but said some details of what is learned from such exercises have to remain secret for the country's 'security.'

Oops! Most fake bombs missed by screeners --75% not detected at LAX; 60% at O'Hare 18 Oct 2007 Security screeners at two of the nation's busiest airports failed to find fake bombs hidden on undercover agents posing as passengers in more than 60% of tests last year, according to a classified report obtained by USA TODAY.

Stolen Tanker Truck Recovered in D.C. 19 Oct 2007 A tanker truck stolen by an armed robber early today in Baltimore was recovered nearly nine hours later in the District, authorities said. Officer Troy Harris, a Baltimore police spokesman, said at about 1:50 pm. today that the tanker had been stopped at South Capitol Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Washington near Bolling Air Force Base.

Tanker truck hijaked in Baltimore 19 Oct 2007 A tanker truck carrying 7,100 gallons of diesel fuel was taken at gunpoint from a city fuel depot early Friday, authorities said.

Comcast blocks some Internet traffic --Tests confirm data discrimination by number 2 U.S. service provider 19 Oct 2007 Comcast Corp. actively interferes with attempts by some of its high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online, a move that runs counter to the tradition of treating all types of Net traffic equally. The interference, which The Associated Press confirmed through nationwide tests, is the most drastic example yet of data discrimination by a U.S. Internet service provider.

Clinton bucks the trend and rakes in cash from the US weapons industry 19 Oct 2007 The US arms industry is backing Hillary Clinton for President and has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party. Mrs Clinton has also emerged as Wall Street's favourite. Investment bankers have opened their wallets in unprecedented numbers for the New York senator over the past three months and, in the process, dumped their earlier favourite, Barack Obama.

Social Security Going Up by 2.3 Percent --Recipients get smallest increase in four years 18 Oct 2007 Social Security benefits for nearly 50 million people will rise 2.3 percent starting in January, the smallest increase in four years. The typical retiree will face the challenge of using the extra $24 to cover higher costs for everything from gasoline and food to medical care.

Prescription for waste By Marie Cocco 18 Oct 2007 Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which [Henry] Waxman chairs, tallied administrative and marketing costs -- as well as profits -- of private Medicare drug plans and found them to be six times higher than the administrative costs of the broader Medicare program, which covers hospital and outpatient care. If insurance-industry middlemen were cut out and if the administration of the drug benefit were turned over to Medicare, Waxman's committee calculates the savings would amount to $3.9 billion this year... Private insurers also have failed to obtain the deep discounts on drugs that are achieved by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid and even Pennsylvania's state program for helping the elderly with prescriptions.

Bush Aide Rejects Climate Goal --Science Adviser's Stance at Odds With Panel on Warming [Reality] 19 Oct 2007 The president's [sic] top 'science' adviser [John H. Marburger III] said yesterday there is no solid scientific evidence that the widely cited goal of limiting future global temperature rises to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is necessary to avert dangerous climate change, an assertion that runs counter to that of many scientists as well as the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [Gee, for what oil company is Marburger whoring? Typically, we learn (later on) that the Bush pseudo-science troll serves on a Cheney Halliburton Secret Energy Task Force corpora-terrorist's board. --LRP]

Power Plant Rejected Over Carbon Dioxide For First Time 19 Oct 2007 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment yesterday became the first government agency in the United States to cite carbon dioxide emissions as the reason for rejecting an air permit for a proposed coal-fired electricity generating plant, saying that the greenhouse gas threatens public health and the environment.

*****

Bush Quips He Might Stay in Power (Threat Level Plays Along) By Kevin Poulsen 17 Oct 2007 At a press briefing this morning that touched on issues like the White House's extrajudicial wiretapping program and torture policies, the president [sic] was asked a question about Vladimir Putin's plan to hold on to power when his term as Russian president runs out. Reporter: Mr. President, following up on Vladimir Putin for a moment, he said recently that next year, when he has to step down according to the constitution, as the president, he may become prime minister; in effect keeping power and dashing any hopes for a genuine democratic transition there ... Bush: I've been planning that myself. ...THREAT LEVEL doesn't believe that he's going to declare a state of emergency and cancel the 2008 election. But in July, we filed some FOIA requests anyway. We asked five Justice Department offices for documents produced or revised after August 2001 "addressing the feasibility, advisability or lawfulness of deferring, rescheduling or canceling a U.S. national election."

Senate Deal on Immunity for Phone Companies --DemocRATs roll over, again 18 Oct 2007 Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday with the Bush regime that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program approved by President Bush [sic] after [before] the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Congressional official said Wednesday. The White House has been pushing hard for weeks to get immunity for the telecommunications companies.

Senate and Bush Agree On Terms of Spying Bill --Telecom Companies to Receive Immunity 18 Oct 2007 Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with [surrendered to] the Bush regime yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources.

House surveillance bill pulled 17 Oct 2007 Republicans successfully maneuvered to derail a Democratic government eavesdropping bill Wednesday, delaying a House vote until next week at the earliest. The bill, which seeks to expand court 'oversight' of government surveillance in the United States, fell victim to a gambit by the chamber's Republican minority.

House Democrats back away from wiretap reform plan By Declan McCullagh 18 Oct 2007 In the face of a presidential veto threat, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives pushed off a scheduled vote Wednesday on legislation designed to limit warrantless wiretapping. The Democratic acquiescence was a victory for President [sic] Bush, who said last week that the proposal was unacceptable to him. [DemocRATs are absof*ckinglutely useless.]

Court may move against White House 17 Oct 2007 A U.S. magistrate indicated Wednesday that a federal court may order the Bush regime to preserve copies of all White House e-mails, a move that a government lawyer argued strongly against. The Federal Records Act and the President Records Act require that all White House e-mail be preserved.

Plan Would Ease F.C.C. Restriction on Media Owners 18 Oct 2007 The head of the Federal Communications Commission [Kevin J. Martin] has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.

Bush veto of child health bill sustained 18 Oct 2007 House Democrats were unable Thursday to override President [sic] Bush's veto of their pre-election year effort to expand a popular government health insurance program to cover 10 million children. The bill had bipartisan support but the 273-156 roll call was 13 votes short of the two-thirds that majority supporters needed to enact the bill into law over Bush's objections. The bill had passed the Senate with a veto-proof margin.

Bar Iran from nuclear arms to avoid World War III: Bush 18 Oct 2007 US President [sic] George Bush has warned that Iran must be barred from nuclear weapons to avoid the prospect of World War III, and dismissed suggestions of a US-Russia rift on the crisis. Mr Bush intervened hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin made a new proposal to end the nuclear crisis as he met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for landmark talks in Tehran.

IAEA delegation to visit Tehran 18 Oct 2007 An International Atomic Energy Agency delegation will visit Tehran for talks on outstanding issues regarding the P1 and P2 centrifuges. The IAEA team's visit to Tehran, which will take place Friday, October 19 is part of a modality plan agreed upon by Iran and the IAEA.

Turkey votes to open new front in Iraq war 18 Oct 2007 Turkey's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a cross-border attack into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish guerrillas – which would open another front in the war in Iraq. The parliament in Ankara voted 507 to 19 in favour of ordering the army to launch an offensive across Turkey's south-eastern border in search of 3,500 PKK Turkish-Kurd rebels hiding in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.

US 'to build 14 permanent bases in Iraq' 17 Oct 2007 A Finnish lawmaker has revealed that the US is planning to stay in Iraq by building as many as fourteen permanent bases in the country. Jaakko Laakso told a group of Arab journalists-- who visited the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki recently-- that "the bases are not the bases the US government plans to build on the Iraq borders with Syria, but they are permanent bases located in the heartland of the country."

Army to Keep Extending Troops' Service 18 Oct 2007 The U.S. Army will continue to rely on an unpopular program that forces some soldiers to stay on beyond their retirement or re-enlistment dates, despite repeated pressure from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to reduce and eventually eliminate the practice.

Half of N.J. Nat'l Guard to Head to Iraq Next Year 18 Oct 2007 The Pentagon has ordered roughly half of New Jersey's Army National Guard to deploy to Iraq in the second half of next year, NewsChannel 4 learned on Wednesday. A full combat brigade of New Jersey guardsmen, more than 3,000 soldiers, received their orders over the weekend.

Pentagon to alert 8 Guard units for duty 17 Oct 2007 The Pentagon is preparing to alert eight National Guard units that they should be ready to go to Iraq or Afghanistan beginning late next summer, The Associated Press learned Wednesday. According to defense officials, seven of the units would deploy to Iraq and one to Afghanistan.

Mission accomplished: U.S. report warns of ethnic cleansing in Baghdad 18 Oct 2007 U.S. officials in Baghdad fear that [US-engendered] violence between Sunnis and Shi'ites in some areaswill erupt into "ethnic cleansing" with the departure [occupation] of U.S. forces, a government watchdog said on Thursday.

Mission accomplished: Hundreds forced to scavenge for food in garbage bins in Iraq (IRIN) 18 Oct 2007 Barira Mihran, a 36-year-old mother of three, scavenges every day in other people's dustbins in Baghdad for leftovers on which to feed her children. Widowed and displaced by sectarian [US] violence, the unemployed mother said she had no other way of providing for her children.

Mission accomplished: Crude oil closes at record high of $89.47 a barrel 18 Oct 2007 Crude-oil futures closed at another record high of $89.47 a barrel Thursday, boosted by a weaker dollar and concerns over the possibility of disruptions to Iraqi oil production. Crude for November delivery finished up $2.07 at $89.47 a barrel, after reaching a new all-time trading high of $89.78.

Blackwater won't allow arrests 17 Oct 2007 "We will not let our people be taken by the Iraqis," said Erik Prince, CEO of Blackwater A defiant Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince said yesterday he will not allow Iraqi authorities to arrest his mercenaries and try them in Iraq's 'faulty' justice system. [Oh, but Iraq's justice system isn't 'faulty' when it tries, convicts and executes enemies of the Bush regime?]

Afghan suicide bombing leaves nine dead 18 Oct 2007 A suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated explosives in a crowded market near Afghan police, killing nine people and wounding at least 29, officials said. The blast on Saturday killed two police officers and seven civilians in the city of Spin Boldak in the southern province of Kandahar near the border with Pakistan, a statement from Nato's International Security Assistance force said.

Nine US-led coalition soldiers wounded in Taliban ambush in Afghanistan 18 Oct 2007 Nine U.S.-led occupation troops were wounded Thursday after the Taliban used heavy machine guns and rocket propelled grenades to ambush a patrol in southern Afghanistan. A 'coalition' statement says the attack took place near Kandahar city on Wednesday.

Twin blasts strike near Pakistan's Bhutto 18 Oct 2007 Two explosions went off Thursday night near a truck carrying former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on her celebratory return to Pakistan after eight years in exile. Police said she was unhurt, but officials and witnesses said up to 45 people were killed and more than 100 wounded.

3 soldiers lose duties in probe of wounded Hoosier's death --Leadership roles taken away as Army investigates how guardsman died at base 18 Oct 2007 The Army has relieved three soldiers of leadership roles in a unit for wounded veterans at Fort Knox after an Indiana National Guardsman died last month in their care, military officials said Wednesday.

Anti-war protesters moved from Parliament Square 18 Oct 2007 Scuffles erupted outside Parliament as anti-war protesters were forced to move on yesterday afternoon. Officials from the Greater London Assembly were pushed and shoved as they moved tents and other paraphernalia from the semi-permanent "peace camp", watched by police. The GLA said it was enforcing a bylaw which prevents protests on the grass in Parliament Square. An official added: "They are only allowed to be on the pavement." [Really?]

US Lawmakers Apologize in Torture Case 18 Oct 2007 Lawmakers apologized Thursday to a Canadian engineer for his detention by U.S. officials, who took him to Syria where the man says he was tortured and held for nearly a year without charges. Maher Arar appeared before a joint hearing of House subcommittees by video, because he is still on a U.S. government watch list.

Menezes picture 'manipulated' to look like bomber 18 Oct 2007 A composite photograph used on behalf of the Metropolitan Police to attempt to show the similarity between Jean Charles De Menezes and a failed suicide bomber was dishonestly manipulated to make the two men appear more alike, a court at the Old Bailey was told yesterday. Prosecutors at the trial of the police force, which is accused of endangering the public during the botched operation that led to the death of the 27-year-old Brazilian, told jurors that they believed an image shown in court had been stretched or resized to create a misleading match between the two men.

Protesters threaten demo over terrorism arrests 19 Oct 2007 Supporters of those arrested in the armed police raids are threatening to protest outside the High Court at Auckland. John Minto of Global Peace and Justice Auckland said the arrests were a way for the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Bill to be pushed through quickly.

Police under fire for anti-terrorism raids 16 Oct 2007 Police have come under fire for the unprecedented way the Terrorism Suppression Act was used for the first time in raids across New Zealand on Monday. But more raids have been carried out and police say more arrests are likely.

Britain to recruit spies from video game 18 Oct 2007 One of Britain's intelligence agencies will embed advertisements into popular video games this month in a bid to attract new recruits, The Times reported on Thursday. The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's intelligence listening post, will embed the adverts as billboards in video games including "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent."

Cyberthreats Rising Against Electric Grid --GAO: Homeland Security Isn’t Doing Enough to Protect Critical Power Facilities 17 Oct 2007 The electricity grid, power plants and refineries face increasing threats from computer hackers who could cause major disruptions and economic chaos, congressional investigators say. The Government Accountability Office said control systems at such critical facilities "are more vulnerable (today) to cyberattacks than in the past."

Feds Recommend Closing Saudi School in Va. 18 Oct 2007 A private Islamic school supported by the Saudi government should be shut down until the U.S. government can ensure the school is not fostering radical Islam, a federal panel recommends.

Brownback to Withdraw From GOP Race 18 Oct 2007 Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, the Kansas conservative who struggled to raise money and gain recognition in the 2008 presidential campaign, will drop out on Friday, people close to him said Thursday.

Hastert Likely to Announce Resignation 17 Oct 2007 Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to announce Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress effective later this year, eventually setting up a special election to succeed him, knowledgeable GOP sources said late Wednesday.

In Arctic report card, U.S. cites 'rapid changes' --Temperature and sea ice indicators marked in red — as in alert 17 Oct 2007 The Arctic is seeing significant changes from warming temperatures and shrinking sea ice, the Bush administration said Wednesday in an annual report card on the region. Sea ice fell well below the previous record, caribou are declining in many areas and permafrost is melting, according to the State of the Arctic report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

*****

Bush warns Putin over 'World War Three' 17 Oct 2007 President [sic] George W Bush today warned that world leaders risk helping bring about "World War Three" unless they do more to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Bar Iran from nuclear arms to avoid World War III: Bush 17 Oct 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush Wednesday warned Iran must be barred from nuclear weapons to avoid the prospect of "World War III," and dismissed suggestions of a US-Russia rift on the crisis.

Bush Says Iran Nuclear Project Raises War Risk 17 Oct 2007 President [sic] Bush warned today that Iran would be raising the risk of a "World War III" if it came to possess nuclear weapons. "If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it’d be a dangerous threat to world peace," Mr. Bush said. "So I told people that if you’re interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

Syria Denies Report on Nuclear Strike 17 Oct 2007 Syria denied Wednesday that one of its representatives to the United Nations told a panel that an Israeli airstrike hit a Syrian nuclear facility and added that "such facilities do not exist in Syria." The state[as opposed to corporate]-run Syrian Arab News Agency, SANA, quoting an unnamed Foreign Ministry source, said that Syria had made it clear in the past that there are no such facilities in Syria.

Turkey approves military operations in northern Iraq 17 Oct 2007 Turkish MPs today gave the green light to military operations in northern Iraq, amid fears that an incursion could create turmoil in one of the few 'stable' [?!?] areas of Iraq. Today's 507-19 vote provides the legal basis for Nato's second biggest army to cross the mountainous border, should it wish to do so.

Turkey plays down talk of imminent Iraq incursion 16 Oct 2007 Turkey today played down the possibility of an early attack on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq as Baghdad sent its vice-president to Ankara for urgent talks.

Inquiry urged on Hunt Oil contract in Iraq --Democrats say Bush ties may have led to Iraq oil contract 15 Oct 2007 Democratic lawmakers moved Monday toward investigating Hunt Oil's oil exploration contract in Iraq, saying the company's ties to President [sic] Bush raised questions about whether it had insider information that helped it reach the deal. U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, asked Hunt to turn over all Iraq-related communication with the U.S. government by Nov. 2. The lawmakers also demanded that Ray Hunt, Hunt Oil's chief executive, submit copies of information he may have received about Iraq as a member of Mr. Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

Food Companies Face U.S. Probe Over Iraq Deals 17 Oct 2007 Prominent American food companies are under scrutiny in a federal probe of possible fraud and corruption in the military's food-supply operations for the Iraq war. Investigators from the Justice Department and the Defense Department are looking into deals that Perdue Farms Inc., Sara Lee Corp., ConAgra Foods Inc. and other U.S. companies made to supply the military, according to people involved in the inquiry. The companies made the deals with the help of former U.S. military procurement officials they hired as consultants or executives.

Blackwater tying up loose ends? Separate attacks kill 5 Iraqi journalists --Four reporters' deaths follow the slaying of a Washington Post correspondent in Baghdad. 16 Oct 2007 Five Iraqi journalists were killed in three separate attacks this weekend, marking the deadliest day for reporters covering the country in a year. In Iraq's worst day for journalist deaths, five journalists and six supporting staff members were killed one year ago when [US] gunmen attacked the Al Shaabiya television station in Baghdad.

Iraq Seeking Faster Blackwater Pullout 17 Oct 2007 Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pressed U.S. Embassy officials in recent meetings to pull the Blackwater USA security firm out of Iraq even before the six-month deadline he initially set, a top aide to the Iraqi leader said Wednesday. The aide said the Americans responded that they cannot give al-Maliki an answer until the FBI finishes its inquiry into the incident in which Iraqi officials say Blackwater mercenaries killed 17 Iraqis.

Digger shot in Iraq 17 Oct 2007 An Australian soldier is in a serious condition after being shot and wounded in Iraq's southern Dhi Qar province while on an overnight patrol. He was evacuated by a US military helicopter after first aid was administered on the scene.

U.S., Israel to study layered missile defenses 17 Oct 2007 The United States and Israel agreed to work on a layered missile defense system to intercept ballistic missiles from Iran and Syria and smaller arms like those lobbed from Gaza and Lebanon, officials said on Tuesday.

Oil approaches US$90 per barrel 18 Oct 2007 Oil prices hit a new intraday high of close to US$90 per barrel during Wednesday trading in New York after the Turkish Parliament gave permission for its military to attack Kurdish rebels in Iraq. Prices jumped to US$89.00 per barrel, past Tuesday's record trading high of US$88.20, before falling back.

Up 700 percent under Bush By Mark Yannone 16 Oct 2007 Oil thundered more than $2 to a new peak above $88 a barrel on Tuesday, extending a nine-dollar rally since last week on tight supplies, strong demand and growing tensions in northern Iraq.

Canada should stay in Afghanistan until 2011: throne speech 17 Oct 2007 Canada should stay directly involved in Afghanistan until at least 2011, the minority Conservative government declared Tuesday in its latest throne speech. The new proposed deadline is two years beyond the current mandate approved by Parliament and repeats Prime Minister Stephen Harper's promise to put the future of the mission to a vote in the House of Commons.

Terror Suspect in Guantanamo Meets His Lawyer 17 Oct 2007 A terrorism suspect whom the government considers among the 15 'most dangerous' prisoners at Guantanamo Bay met with his civilian attorney for the first time Tuesday. Majid Khan met with Gitanjali Gutierrez, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, according to the group's spokeswoman Jen Nessell.

Khadr to go on trial at Guantanamo Nov. 8 16 Oct 2007 Omar Khadr, a Canadian held in Guantanamo Bay, is to go to trial on Nov. 8, a date that should end years of legal wrangling over whether a military tribunal there can hear the case. Yesterday, a U.S. military judge, Colonel Peter Brownback, quashed the defence's attempts to delay proceedings further, finding that the case of Mr. Khadr, 21, will be the first 'full legal' airing against a prisoner in the controversial U.S. prison experiment.

Internal CIA probe worries Congress aides --Committee staffers voice concern that the independence of the agency's inspector general could be compromised. 17 Oct 2007 Congressional officials voiced new concern Tuesday over CIA Director Michael V. Hayden's decision to make the agency's inspector general the target of an internal probe. Seeking to defuse the issue, Robert L. Deitz, a senior CIA attorney in charge of the probe, briefed both the House and Senate intelligence committees Tuesday.

Plame Book Criticizes Bush, Journalists 17 Oct 2007 Four years after her CIA cover was blown in a newspaper column, Valerie Plame is settling scores with the Bush regime, Republican lawmakers and the journalists involved in the White House leak scandal. Plame writes about the leak, the fallout and the perjury trial of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in her memoir, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House."

Mukasey Defends Warrantless Surveillance to Gather Intelligence 17 Oct 2007 Attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey told lawmakers the U.S. Constitution authorizes the president to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists to gather intelligence without getting a court warrant. Mukasey was questioned at Senate confirmation hearings about the legality of the terrorist surveillance President [sic] George W. Bush ordered after [before] the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Head of U.S. counterterrorism agency resigns 17 Oct 2007 Vice Adm. John Redd, the head of the U.S. agency responsible for analyzing intelligence on terrorism and developing counterterrorism strategies, announced his resignation on Wednesday.

No evidence of terrorism says expert 17 Oct 2007 An terrorism expert says he believes the alleged activities of the groups targeted in the raids fall well short of terrorism. International terrorism expert Paul Buchanan says there is no evidence to suggest that the police are dealing with domestic terrorism in the case of the raids carried out throughout New Zealand on Monday.

National coordination stressed in Day 2 of TOPOFF-4 exercises 17 Oct 2007 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's TOPOFF-4 exercise continued on Wednesday, with officials assessing damage and making decisions about what to do next after Tuesday's simulated dirty bomb explosion. Players were back in action as the activities continued during Day 2.

Biggest counterterrorism exercise in U.S. history starts in Ore. 16 Oct 2007 The largest counterterrorism exercise in U.S. history has begun with a bright flash and a loud bang meant to simulate a dirty bomb attack. It was done shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday in Portland. A simulated bomb was set off at a staging area near the Portland International Raceway.

Exercise begins with 'explosion' on Portland bridge 16 Oct 2007 Police scanners began crackling with reports of an explosion on the Steel Bridge this morning as part of a massive terror drill that will run in Portland over the next three days. The first broadcasts went out at 9:08 a.m., with dispatchers talking about a truck exploding next to a MAX train on the bridge, which spans the Willamette in downtown Portland. Those broadcasts were followed by reports of the train going into the river; floating bodies; and related disasters.

NIST Admits Total Collapse of Twin Towers --Unexplainable Implicitly acknowledges controlled demolition only means by which towers could have fallen at free fall speed By Paul Joseph Watson 16 Oct 2007 The National Institute for Standards and Technology has been forced to admit that the total free-fall collapse of the twin towers cannot be explained after an exhaustive scientific study, implicitly acknowledging that controlled demolition is the only means by which the buildings could have come down.

De Menezes composite picture 'was manipulated' 17 Oct 2007 A composite picture comparing Jean Charles de Menezes with Hussain Osman, one of the men who [allegedly] tried to bomb London's transport network on July 21 2005, was dishonestly manipulated, a court was told today. The image, produced to illustrate how similar the two men were in appearance, was shown to jurors at the Old Bailey by lawyers for the Metropolitan police. Police have claimed they mistook the innocent 27-year-old for Osman because the pair looked so similar. The composite picture, showing half of each man's face, was reconstructed to help support police claims that officers would have had great difficulties in differentiating between the two men.

Wildlife at border may lose sanctuary --A fence along the lush Rio Grande could exact an environmental toll. 17 Oct 2007 The federal government's plan to fence off more than 300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is fostering strange political bedfellows here in South Texas. An unusual assortment of interest groups -- not just the usual tree-huggers, but also civic and business leaders worried about eco-tourism dollars -- have begun voicing alarm over the environmental costs of a boundary that many South Texans consider a hopeless boondoggle.

*****

'Many in the US Military Think Bush and Cheney Are Out of Control' 15 Oct 2007 In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, the Amsterdam-based military historian Gabriel Kolko talks about the prospect of war with Iran and argues that many in the US military now view the White House as being 'out of control.'

Gates says all options on table for Iran 16 Oct 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday all options for dealing with Iran must remain open and called for international pressure and tougher sanctions to curb Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

In Iran, Putin Warns Against Military Action 17 Oct 2007 President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia told a summit meeting of five Caspian Sea nations in Iran today that any use of military force in the region was unacceptable and in a declaration the countries agreed that none of them would allow their territories to be used as a base for launching military strikes against any of the others. “We should not even think of making use of force in this region,” Mr. Putin said.

Putin in Iran says against military action in Caspian 16 Oct 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear to Washington on Tuesday that Moscow would not accept military action against Iran and he persuaded other Caspian Sea states to rule any such strikes from the region. In comments aimed at the United States during talks in Iran, Putin said: "We should not even think of using force in this region."

Turkey Moves Closer to an Incursion Into Iraq 16 Oct 2007 Tensions mounted along the Iraqi-Turkish border on Monday as the Turkish government sought parliamentary approval for military raids into northern Iraq. The vote in Parliament would permit Turkish armed forces to cross the border in pursuit of Kurdish rebels who launch attacks into Turkey from the Kurdish region of Iraq.

US works on alternative to Turkey supply route to Iraq 16 Oct 2007 The US military is looking for a second route to supply troops in Iraq in case Turkey shuts its borders in reprisal for possible adoption of a resolution on genocide in Armenia, a Pentagon official said Tuesday.

US Patriot missile hits Qatar farmlands 16 Oct 2007 A U.S. Patriot missile was 'accidentally' fired from a military base in Qatar, its debris hitting a nearby farm, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The missile self-destructed as it is supposed to and no one was injured, said Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Iraq bombs kill 10 in Baghdad, northern city 16 Oct 2007 Bombs targeting an Iraqi army patrol in the capital Baghdad and a police station in the north of the country on Tuesday killed at least 10 people and wounded 100, police said. Three soldiers and three civilians died when a car bomb parked in Sa'adoun Street in central Baghdad exploded by an Iraqi army patrol. Five soldiers and 20 civilians were wounded.

Iraqi adviser: Blackwater shooting unprovoked, guards must go 16 Oct 2007 The Iraqi investigation into last month's Blackwater USA shooting is complete, and it proves that the mercenaries committed unprovoked and random killings in the incident, an adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Tuesday. Adviser Sami al-Askari told CNN al-Maliki has asked the U.S. State Department to "pull Blackwater out of Iraq."

Minister seeks Blackwater trials 16 Oct 2007 Private security guards from the US firm [terrorists] Blackwater should stand trial in Iraq, according to Iraq's Minister for Human Rights, Mrs Wijdan Salim. She said the Iraqi government's inquiry into a shooting incident which left some 17 Iraqi civilians dead would be made public within the next two weeks.

Iraq to crack down on foreign security guards --Foreign firms will be made liable under Baghdad law --Minister's pledge follows shootings of civilians 16 Oct 2007 The Iraqi government intends to make foreign private security firms [mercenaries] answerable under Iraqi law, even if it drives them out of the country, the human rights minister said yesterday.

Saddam's US jailer goes on trial 15 Oct 2007 A US serviceman who was in charge of the detention of ex-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has gone on trial by court martial accused of aiding the enemy. Lt-Col William Steele is standing trial in Baghdad on a total of seven counts and could face a life sentence. The most serious charge is that he aided the enemy by providing a mobile phone [?!?] to prisoners.

US officer sent intimate emails to Iraqi interpreter 16 Oct 2007 A U.S. military officer accused of having an intimate relationship with an Iraqi interpreter wrote her an email saying "there are a few things I need to do with you/to you", his court martial heard on Tuesday. Lieutenant-Colonel William Steele is a former military police commander at Camp Cropper, a U.S. detention facility near Baghdad airport where he oversaw the detention of Saddam Hussein in the days before the Iraqi leader's execution on Dec. 30. [Raping children in Abu Ghraib - that's OK, but 'inappropriate' emails are a no-go? Maybe the real reason for Steele's troubles is that he was ready to go public with a Saddam 'oddity?' For example, dates are seen populating the trees near Saddam's 'spider hole' - where he was allegedly captured - in December 2003. But, dates do not bloom in December in the Middle East. That's like publishing a picture of leaves changing color in October and stating it's July. Bush's media whores forgot to ask about that one. --Lori Price]

Top US air force official 'commits suicide' 16 Oct 2007 The second-highest ranking member of the US air force's procurement office, who oversaw billions of dollars in priority weapons purchases, has [allegedly] committed suicide, military officials said yesterday. Charles Riechers, 47, came under scrutiny by the Senate armed services committee earlier this month for taking a lucrative job at a defence contractor while awaiting confirmation in his new job as the principle deputy assistant secretary for acquisition.

Law center: Little evidence of jihadists in the U.S. 15 Oct 2007 Six years of investigations and prosecutions have turned up little evidence of Islamic jihadists at work in the United States, according to a study released Monday. The study, conducted by New York University's Center on Law and Security, tracked 510 cases billed as terrorism-related when arrests were made.

Spectre of terrorism in the House 17 Oct 2007 A mood of some apprehension and not a little foreboding hung heavily over Parliament yesterday as MPs struggled to comprehend the potential enormity of Monday's arrests of political activists allegedly involved in covert military-style training camps.

Raids bring leftist backlash 17 Oct 2007 Police raids aimed at activists have sparked a backlash from Left-leaning groups that fear a chilling effect on the protest movement. Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she had heard of teenagers being detained for long periods without bail in police cells and prisons, apparently for the purpose of interrogation.

Anti-terrorism law's impact on human rights questioned 16 Oct 2007 The rights of New Zealanders affected by yesterday's raids conducted by police under the Terrorism Suppression Act dominated discussions of the swoop in parliamentary question time today. A nation-wide police crack-down on Maori sovereignty, environmental and political activists resulted in 17 arrests, and a haul of weapons yesterday.

TOPOFF 4 Exercise Begins in Portland --TOPOFF 4 will involve more than 15,000 participants from federal, state, territorial, and local governments, as well as private-sector organizations [!] and non-governmental organizations. 15 Oct 2007 From October 15th-19th, Oregon will test the ability of state and local governments to prevent, respond to and recover from an attack that uses a radiological dispersal device (RDD), commonly called a "dirty bomb." Portland will host the 'exercise,' which is one of the largest civilian exercises ever conducted.

Oregon National Guard Supports TOPOFF Exercise 15 Oct 2007 The Oregon National Guard is supporting first responders during the biggest terrorism 'exercise' ever staged nationally. Operation TOPOFF 4 began today and continues through October 19th in Portland, Oregon. There will be about 200 Oregon National Guardsmen that will make up the Joint Task Force (JTF) for this exercise.

3,000 evacuated after chemical leak in Detroit suburb 16 Oct 2007 At least one person is in the hospital after a hydrochloric acid leak at a metal finishing plant in Melvindale. The acid leaked from a tank on the roof of Reilly Plating Company southwest of Detroit.

Drought huge threat to state's economy, says chamber group 16 Oct 2007 The region's premier business group Monday called for a dramatic change in water policy for Lake Lanier and promised to support legal action to make it happen. The combination of drought and large-scale releases of water by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [!] highlights the long-term danger that growth could outstrip the area's natural resources, said Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Rare tropical fungus spreads to Wash. state --Infection begins in lungs and can turn into deadly meningitis 15 Oct 2007 A rare tropical fungus that has infected more than 100 people since it appeared in British Columbia six years ago has crossed the border into Whatcom County, health officials say.

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders 16 Oct 2007 Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in 'emergency cases' without court orders hundreds of times since 2005. Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called... From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said.

Phone Utilities Won't Give Details on Eavesdropping 16 Oct 2007 The three biggest phone carriers have refused to tell members of Congress what role, if any, they had in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program. The utilities said it would be illegal to divulge classified information. [Yeah, that's the like the kid who kills his parents and asks for mercy from the court because he's an orphan. --LRP]

Telcos Respond to Spying Questions; AT&T Says Blame the Government By Ryan Singel 15 Oct 2007 Verizon, Qwest and AT&T each responded in their own special ways to a request from a key Congressional committee about how they respond to government requests for information in letters made public on Monday. ...AT&T's general counsel Wayne Watts wrote a 13-page plea for immunity from lawsuits, laying the blame for any unlawful transfer of customer communication records on the government and calling the lawsuits "exceptionally unfair." The answer included a detailed listing of 19 different federal statutes allow or compel a telecom to share information with the federal government.

Minnesota Agencies Hired Sex Offender as Informant 16 Oct 2007 Officials said Friday they were surprised [?] and somewhat embarrassed to learn they planted an unregistered sex offender in Warroad last year when they hired Craig Allen Hartline, called him "Doc" and set him up to buy drugs and guns in the back of a secondhand store... Police and prosecutors were happy with Doc's work, but admit being distressed to learn in preparation for trials that he had been convicted of a sex offense in Massachusetts in 1993, was registered in that state as a sex offender and hadn't registered in Minnesota as required, when the BCA invited him to work here.

Agitated passenger dies from police taser --Authorities baffled by death at Vancouver airport; man yet to be identified 16 Oct 2007 Canadian police are still trying to work out why an agitated passenger died at Vancouver airport after he was hit by two blasts from a Taser stun gun, a spokesman said on Monday.

Revealed: the man behind court attack on Gore film --Fuel and mining magnate backed UK challenge to An Inconvenient Truth 14 Oct 2007 The school governor [Stewart Dimmock] who challenged the screening of Al Gore's climate change documentary in secondary schools was funded by a Scottish quarrying magnate who established a controversial lobbying group to attack environmentalists' claims about global warming. The Observer has established that Dimmock's case was supported by a powerful network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies.

Bush Administration Threatens to Veto Any Tax Increases On Oil Industry 16 Oct 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush's advisers will recommend that he veto any energy legislation that raises taxes on the oil industry, the administration said in a letter. Measures in both the House and Senate would levy billions of dollars of new taxes on the oil and gas industry to help fund development of renewable energy resources. The House energy bill approved in August would revoke $16 billion in oil industry tax breaks over 10 years and redirect that money to alternative-energy tax credits as well as funding for conservation and hybrid cars.

Oil surges over $88 a barrel 16 Oct 2007 Oil thundered more than $2 to a new peak above $88 a barrel on Tuesday, extending a nine-dollar rally since last week on tight supplies, strong demand [corpora-terrorists' greed] and growing tensions in northern Iraq. The record surge raised alarm bells for producer group OPEC, which voiced concern over the high price and blamed rampant speculation by big money investors rather than any shortage of supply.

Geography of Campaign Contributions --Interactive map from The New York Times

Agriterrorists in N.C. not required to divulge names of restaurants serving their deadly dead animals: Company recalls meat from restaurants in N.C. 16 Oct 2007 A meat company in Forest Park is recalling 1,900 pounds of ground beef sent to restaurants in Georgia, North Carolina, and two other states, saying it may be contaminated with E. coli. Arko Veal Company officials say the company distributed only a small amount in Georgia, sending it to two restaurants in DeKalb County, one in Cherokee County and one in Carroll County. He declined to name the restaurants.

U.S. scientists warn of threat to deep-water reefs 16 Oct 2007 U.S. scientists are warning of an environmental threat to deep-water coral reefs after finding they may be just as vulnerable to pollution as their shallow-water counterparts. For the past three decades, scientists at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have observed an alarming decrease in live coral cover on shallow reefs in the Caribbean.

*****

Terror exercise is set to blast Portland Tuesday 15 Oct 2007 As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, a lethal cloak of radiation will cover much of downtown Portland. It's all make-believe, of course. [We hope.] But this week the city will be ground zero for the largest counterterrorism exercise in U.S. history. In all, more than 15,000 people from 275 organizations will be involved. Every emergency agency in the Portland area, along with 14 hospitals and David Douglas High School, will play parts in an event dubbed "Topoff 4."

Lack of agreement with feds on TOPOFF 4 worries senator --Lawmaker trying to get feds to sign agreement to determine who shoulders costs for 'counter'terrorism exercise 15 Oct 2007 Senator Frank Blas, Jr. says there seems to be a definite lack of dialogue between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Guam Homeland Security. With just a day before TOPOFF-4 kicks off, the memorandum of agreement between the federal and local governments still has yet to be signed. TOPOFF-4 is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, with or without the memo of agreement between the Government of Guam and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

W. House received secret briefings on foot-and-mouth scare --Information kept secret to protect agribusiness profits 15 Oct 2007 When there were fears of a foot-and-mouth outbreak in the Midwest this summer, the White House received secret briefings that highlighted the potential for old farm diseases to be new national security threats. "We wanted to keep it quiet to the extent we could so it wouldn't cause any panic or economic impact but make sure the people who would be most concerned like the president or the secretary knew what we were doing," said Roger Rufe, director of operations coordination at the Homeland Security Department. Rufe and others DHS officials briefed White House anti-terrorism officials while they waited for test results back from a government lab on Plum Island, N.Y.

No. 2 Air Force purchasing official found dead 15 Oct 2007 The U.S. Air Force's No. 2 acquisition official, facing scrutiny for a temporary job arranged by the service while he awaited Senate confirmation, was found dead at his home in an apparent suicide, according to an internal Air Force memo obtained by Reuters on Monday. "Mr. Riechers was found deceased in his home, cause of death appears to be suicide, time of death is unknown," said the memo, which was issued late Sunday.

New suspicion over Kelly death - MP 15 Oct 2007 New evidence surrounding the death of MoD scientist Dr David Kelly has added to suspicions that he was murdered, an MP has claimed. Liberal Democrat Norman Baker revealed no fingerprints were found on the penknife Dr Kelly apparently used to kill himself. The information was revealed after a Freedom of Information request to Thames Valley Police who conducted the immediate inquiry into his death. Dr Kelly, 59, was found dead near his Oxfordshire home in 2003, days after he was named as the source of a hugely controversial BBC story on the Iraq war.

White House Is Leaning on Interim Appointments 15 Oct 2007 With only 15 months left in office, Dictator Bush has left whole agencies of the executive branch to be run largely by acting or interim appointees -- jobs that would normally be filled by people whose nominations would have been reviewed and confirmed by the Senate. In many cases, there is no obvious sign of movement at the White House to find permanent nominees, suggesting that many important jobs will not be filled by Senate-confirmed officials for the remainder of the Bush regime. That would effectively circumvent the Senate's right to review and approve the appointments.

Detentions to be top topic for Mukasey 15 Oct 2007 As the chief federal trial judge in Manhattan, Michael Mukasey approved secret warrants allowing government roundups of Muslims in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks. At confirmation hearings set to begin Wednesday, Democrats who control the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to press the retired federal judge about the Bush regime's terrorist detention policy.

Khadr trial to resume despite appeal, military judge rules 15 Oct 2007 A U.S. military judge on Monday ordered Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr back into a Guantanamo Bay courtroom next month to face murder charges, even though his lawyers have filed an appeal challenging the case. Col. Peter Brownback ruled Khadr must be arraigned Nov. 8 despite a request his trial be postponed until a federal court decides whether the war crimes tribunals can even proceed.

Tent city sets up for terror tribunals 14 Oct 2007 A complex of canvas Quonset huts arrayed like dominoes has risen on an abandoned airfield here, where just a year ago the Pentagon envisioned a $125-million permanent judicial center in which terrorism suspects would be brought to 'trial'. Authorities plan to prosecute only a few dozen of the approximately 330 men detained here, and the first trial is scheduled to begin next month.

Tough laws worsening terrorism threat: study 15 Oct 2007 (AU) A report on counter-terrorism warns that the Federal Government's approach to dealing with the terrorism threat may actually be exacerbating the problem.

NZ police hold 17 in terror raids 15 Oct 2007 New Zealand police have arrested 17 people and seized a number of weapons during a series of anti-terror raids. More than 300 police were involved in the operation, reportedly aimed at Maori sovereignty and environmental activists - not foreign groups.

Anti-terror laws invoked in activist raids 15 Oct 2007 Armed police have for the first time reached for anti-terrorism laws to carry out a series of raids on activist groups who they say have been involved in military-style training camps. Search warrants were executed in the Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, and Palmerston North this morning and firearms seized.

An Internet Jihad Aims at U.S. Viewers [Oh, Fox News?] 15 Oct 2007 Terrorism experts at West Point say there are as many as 100 English language sites offering militant Islamic views... among the more active. While their reach is difficult to assess, it is clear from a review of extremist material and interviews that militants are seeking to appeal to young American and European Muslims by playing on their anger over the war in Iraq and the image of Islam under attack.

Secret Pentagon letters demanding financial records faulted 14 Oct 2007 An internal review by the Pentagon of hundreds of secret letters it sent out seeking financial records of individuals found the program lacked coordination and oversight, according to newly released documents. The American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained heavily edited copies of Pentagon documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, said an analysis of 455 so-called national security letters issued after Sept. 11, 2001 shows that the Pentagon collaborated with the FBI to circumvent laws, and may have overstepped its legal authority to obtain financial and credit records.

Northrop Grumman Wins $220M Contract with NSA 15 Oct 2007 Northrop Grumman Corporation recently received from the National Security Agency (NSA) a $220 million contract to develop an advanced information management and data storage system that will support efforts to modernize the nation's electronic intelligence and broader signals intelligence capabilities.

There's No Hiding From the Truth - You're On Camera! Mayor's Focus On Turning Big Apple Into Surveillance City 15 Oct 2007 Mayor Bloomberg has said New Yorkers must face the fact that they're being watched by security cameras all the time. He isn't kidding. It's not just the Police Department and MTA watching them. Countless private security cameras eye the city at all times. A Post reporter walking in Times Square was captured by at least 54 outdoor surveillance cameras in just eight blocks. From 42nd Street to 49th Street, there are cameras on top of buildings, embedded into walls, on top of street poles and tucked under awnings - and that's just the cameras visible to the naked eye.

US appeals for Turkish restraint over Iraq raid 15 Oct 2007 The White House Monday urged "restraint" from Turkey after the country moved a step closer to a possible incursion against Kurdish rebels sheltering in northern Iraq. "We all have an interest in a stable Iraq [so the US can steal its oil] and a desire to see the PKK (rebels) brought to justice," spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Turkish Parliament to Vote Wednesday on Iraq 16 Oct 2007 The Turkish government drafted a motion today seeking parliamentary authority for the military to cross into Iraq to fight Kurdish separatist rebels who have been taking refuge in the mountainous border region.

Turkish govt asks parliament to let troops enter Iraq 15 Oct 2007 Turkey's cabinet asked parliament on Monday for permission to launch attacks on Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq. Government spokesman Cemil Cicek said Turkey still hoped military action against the Kurds, who use the mountainous region as base for attacks inside Turkey, would not be needed.

Oil Rises Above $86 to a Record on Turkey-Iraq Border Tension 15 Oct 2007 Crude oil rose above $86 a barrel for the first time in New York on concern Turkish forces may pursue Kurdish militants in Iraq, curbing shipments as refiners 'prepare' for the peak-demand heating season [corpora-terrorists' greed].

Iraqi Journalist Is Shot and Killed in Baghdad 15 Oct 2007 A journalist for The Washington Post was shot and killed while reporting from a neighborhood in southern Baghdad on Sunday, the newspaper said. The killing, an isolated act that appeared to have been deliberate, was one of at least nine in the capital Sunday. [This one has Blackwater USA written all over it.]

Baghdad bomb blast kills four 15 Oct 2007 A car bomb killed four people in Baghdad's northern Kadhimiya district on Sunday, police said.

US Denies Quran Desecration Allegation --Villagers alleged that soldiers ripped, knifed and burned a Quran 15 Oct 2007 The U.S. military said Monday it had looked into allegations that soldiers had desecrated the Quran during a raid on an Afghan home and found no evidence that soldiers had defaced the Muslim holy book. The allegations sparked an outcry among villagers in the eastern province of Kunar, who met with the governor, provincial leaders and U.S. military commanders on Sunday over the issue.

Afghanistan would welcome more troops 15 Oct 2007 Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai says his country would welcome an increased troop commitment from Australia, a plan Labor says it would consider if elected. Labor has said it would be "attentive to any requests" for more troops, but would make the judgment based on Australia's defence resources at the time.

Seven die in Afghanistan blast 14 Oct 2007 A suicide bomber killed seven people and injured another 29 Saturday as Canadians from the 12th armoured regiment organized their largest medical evacuation operation yet in Kandahar province. The regiment frantically tried to save the lives of 36 Afghan policemen and civilians who were wounded in an attack.

Afghanistan struggles with heroin addiction scourge 14 Oct 2007 Afghanistan, the world's biggest heroin producer [thanks to Bush], is struggling to cope with a drug problem as thousands of Afghans -- trying to cope with the traumas of war, displacement and poverty -- are becoming addicted to narcotics.

More deadly dead cow recalled: Illinois firm recalls beef patties on E.coli scare 15 Oct 2007 J&B Meats Corp. is recalling 173,554 pounds (78.7 tonnes) of frozen ground beef products sold under "Topps" and "Sam's Choice" labels due to possible E. coli contamination, the U.S. government said this weekend.

Sen. Craig to file appeal on Monday 15 Oct 2007 Sen. Larry Craig says he will file an appeal Monday over a judge's refusal to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea stemming from his arrest in an airport bathroom sex sting. In an interview Sunday with KTVB-TV, Craig repeated he will not resign his post in the Senate and said he will continue to work his legal options.

Craig Says Romney 'Threw Me Under His Campaign Bus' 15 Oct 2007 Senator Larry Craig said Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney "threw me under his campaign bus" after it was revealed that the Idaho lawmaker pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a sex sting in a men's restroom. "He not only threw me under his campaign bus, he backed up and ran over me again," Craig told NBC in an interview to be broadcast tomorrow.

Car 'may have bumped Diana vehicle' 15 Oct 2007 Diana, Princess of Wales' Mercedes may have "bumped" another large, dark car as it entered the tunnel where it crashed, witnesses said. Jean-Claude Catheline and his wife Annick told the inquest into the deaths of the Princess and Dodi Fayed that they saw two dark cars travelling quickly side-by-side into the Pont de l'Alma Tunnel in Paris in the early hours of August 31 1997.

Revealed: the man behind court attack on Gore film --Fuel and mining magnate backed UK challenge to An Inconvenient Truth 14 Oct 2007 The school governor who challenged the screening of Al Gore's climate change documentary in secondary schools was funded by a Scottish quarrying magnate who established a controversial lobbying group to attack environmentalists' claims about global warming. Stewart Dimmock's high-profile fight to ban the film being shown in schools was depicted as a David and Goliath battle, with the Kent school governor taking on the state by arguing that the government was 'brainwashing' pupils. The Observer has established that Dimmock's case was supported by a powerful network of business interests with close links to the fuel and mining lobbies... In 2004 the Scientific Alliance co-authored a report with the George C Marshall Institute, a US body funded by Exxon Mobil, that attacked climate change claims.

US -- Russia Polar Bear Treaty Ratified 14 Oct 2007 The US and Russia have ratified a bilateral agreement for the long-term conservation of shared polar bear populations in Alaska, the US and Chukotka, Russia. The treaty unifies US and Russian management programmes that affect this shared population of bears.

*****

Afghanistan 'is going down fast' 13 Oct 2007 The bloodshed in Afghanistan has reached levels not seen since the 2001 invasion as anger at bungling by an ineffective Government in Kabul and its foreign backers stokes support for the Taliban and other extremist groups. Almost six years after the hardline Islamist Taliban were ousted, their 'insurgency' is gaining strength, fuelled by resentment at NATO bombing of civilians, billions of dollars of wasted aid, a lack of jobs and [Bush's] record crops of opium, the raw material for heroin.

U.S. Builds Air Base in Iraq for the Long Haul (NPR) 12 Oct 2007 The U.S. military base in Balad, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, is rapidly becoming one of the largest American military installations on foreign soil. About 30,000 troops are stationed there, along with thousands of other contractors [mercenaries] and Defense Department 'civilian' employees.

Turkish forces fire 250 artillery shells into northern Iraq 14 Oct 2007 Kurdistan borders forces said on Sunday Turkish troops fired over 250 artillery shells into areas inside Iraqi northern territories, inflicting material losses. "The Turkish artillery fired, last night, over 250 artillery shells into villages within districts of al-Imadiyah and Zakho, Iraq's Kurdistan region, setting large farms ablaze," a source from Kurdistan borders forces told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

US warns of disaster if Turks attack Iraq [Oops! Looks like the horse is out of the barn on this one!] 15 Oct 2007 American officials have begun an intense lobbying effort to defuse Turkish threats to launch a military attack on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Turkey is also threatening to limit access to critical air and land routes that have become a lifeline for US troops in Iraq.

U.S., Iraqis Discuss Blackwater's Status --U.S., Iraqi Officials Discuss Baghdad's Demand That Blackwater Be Expelled Because of Shooting 14 Oct 2007 U.S. and Iraqi officials are negotiating Baghdad's demand that security company Blackwater USA be expelled from the country within six months, and American diplomats appear to be working on how to fill the security gap if the company is phased out.

Washington Post Correspondent Dies in Iraq 14 Oct 2007 A veteran Washington Post special correspondent was shot to death Sunday in southwest Baghdad while on assignment. Salih Saif Aldin, 32, was reporting on the violence that has plagued Baghdad's Sadiyah neighborhood Sunday afternoon when he was shot in the forehead. According to residents of the neighborhood and the Iraqi military officers at the scene, he was taking photographs on a street where several houses had been burned when he was killed. His wounds appeared to indicate he was shot at close range [by a Blackwater USA terrorist?].

Bomb targets Iraqi worshippers; 9 killed 14 Oct 2007 A [US] bomb in a parked car struck worshippers heading to a Shiite mosque Sunday in Baghdad, killing at least nine people as Iraqis celebrated a Muslim holiday, while the death toll rose to 18 in a coordinated suicide truck bombing and ambush north of the capital.

Inquiry after US air strikes kill 15 women and children 13 Oct 2007 A spokesman for Iraq's Shiite-dominated government yesterday called the killings of 15 women and children in a US ground and air assault "a sorrowful matter" but said civilian deaths are unavoidable in the fight against al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq.

Congress must approve U.S. attack vs Iran: Pelosi 14 Oct 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush must seek congressional approval before taking any military action in Iran, unless Tehran attacks the United States first, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday. "We don't believe that any authorities that the president has would give him the ability to go in without an act of Congress," Pelosi told ABC.

Putin in Germany for talks amid Iran attack reports 14 Oct 2007 Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Germany on Sunday for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel but made no comment on a reported plot to assassinate him when he visits Tehran this week.

Iran says Putin assassin plot reports "baseless" 14 Oct 2007 Iran's Foreign Ministry on Sunday dismissed as "totally baseless" reports of a plot to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin during a planned visit to Tehran this week.

Putin told of 'assassination bid' 14 Oct 2007 The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has been warned of a plot to assassinate him during a visit to Iran this week, Kremlin officials have said. The Interfax news agency cited sources in the Russian special services saying a gang of 'suicide' bombers would attempt to kill Mr Putin in Tehran. [Well-funded CIA 'pro-democracy' trolls crawling around Tehran would try to assassinate Putin and blame Iran, so that Russia would vote for tougher sanctions and support a Cheney-LieberBush bombing of Iran. --Lori Price]

Israel denies report that abducted IDF soldiers were turned over to Iran 14 Oct 2007 Officials in the Prime Minister's Office denied a report published Sunday according to which Israel Defense Forces soldiers abducted last year by Hezbollah were transferred to Iran shortly after their capture.

Captive Israeli soldiers 'held in Iran' 14 Oct 2007 Two Israeli soldiers captured by Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah in 2006 have been handed to Iran and could be freed in a German-brokered swap, an Arabic newspaper reported on Sunday.

Possible police role in 2002 Bali terror attack --'The orders to do this or that came from within our armed forces not from the fundamentalist people.' 12 Oct 2007 Indonesian police or military officers may have played a role in the 2002 Bali bombing, the country's former president, Abdurrahman Wahid says. In an interview with SBS's Dateline program, on the third anniversary of the bombing that killed 202 people, Mr Wahid says he has grave concerns about links between Indonesian authorities and terrorist groups. While he believed terrorists were involved in planting one of the Kuta night club bombs, the second, which destroyed Bali's Sari Club, had been organised by authorities. Asked who he thought planted the second bomb, Mr Wahid said: "Maybe the police ... or the armed forces." he says.

Indonesia a laughing stock: Bali victim 12 Oct 2007 Bali bomb victim Glenn Forster believes Indonesia has become a laughing stock after a senior counter-terror policeman hosted two men behind the 2002 attacks at a Muslim fast-breaking event at his home. The Gold Coast man, who was injured in the blast that destroyed the Sari Club, said the legal system in Indonesia was completely foreign to Australians. Indonesia's 'anti'-terror unit head Brigadier-General Surya Dharma, hosted 20 convicted terrorists, including Bali bombers Ali Imron and Mubarok who received life sentences for their roles in the first Bali blast which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Australian PM Howard sets election for Nov. 24 13 Oct 2007 Australia's veteran Prime Minister John Howard on Sunday called a national election for Nov. 24, stressing experience over his Labor opponent and shrugging off polls that show he faces near-certain defeat.

Large-scale WMD drill launched off Japan 13 Oct 2007 A 41-country exercise aimed at stopping the trade in weapons of mass destruction was launched off Japan on Saturday, officials said. Ships and planes from Australia, Britain, France, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States were deployed on day one of the three-day drill in the Sea of Sagami off Tokyo Bay, Japanese officials said.

Terrorism drill tomorrow: Simulated 'dirty bomb' explosion will test government 15 Oct 2007 One of the nation's largest counterterrorism exercises begins in Guam today as the stage is set for a simulated [We hope!] "dirty bomb," which is expected to be "detonated" tomorrow. Guam is one of three staging grounds for the Top Officials 4, or TOPOFF 4, exercise, a full-scale drill to test the preparedness of the local and national emergency response in the event of a radiological terrorist attack.

Investigators Comb Ca. Pileup --Wreckage Investigators Seek Cause of Fiery Pileup That Killed 3 on Los Angeles-Area Freeway 14 Oct 2007 Investigators picked through scorched tire rims, truck axles and other wreckage Sunday hoping to pinpoint what triggered a fiery interstate tunnel pileup that killed three, while police and commuters braced for a traffic nightmare at the start of the work week... The tunnel is a truck bypass that runs beneath eight lanes of I-5, the main West Coast interstate, linking Mexico and Canada. [TOPOFF 4 head start?]

EU slams Brown on terrorism --President rebukes British 'double standards' on treaty opt-outs that 'put Europe at risk' 14 Oct 2007 The president of the European Union, Jose Manuel Barroso, has launched an unprecedented attack on Gordon Brown, saying that the Prime Minister is putting the international fight against terrorism at risk.

Groups on left, right ask candidates to reject Bush's wider powers 14 Oct 2007 Dictator Bush's drive to expand executive power over surveillance, detention, interrogation and the meaning of new laws has drawn largely ineffectual protests from Congress. But a group of liberals and a handful of prominent conservatives are pressing would-be successors to renounce those powers before they take office.

Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11 14 Oct 2007 The phone company Qwest Communications refused a proposal from the National Security Agency that the company’s lawyers considered illegal in February 2001, nearly seven months before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, the former head of the company contends in newly unsealed court filings. The executive, Joseph P. Nacchio, also asserts in the filings that the agency retaliated by depriving Qwest of lucrative outsourcing contracts.

Former exec says U.S. yanked contract from Qwest for balking at NSA job 13 Oct 2007 A former Qwest executive has alleged that the government withdrew a $200 million contract after Qwest refused to participate in an NSA program the company’s top lawyer said was illegal. Former chief executive Joseph Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said that the National Security Agency approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver last week.

US demands air passengers ask its permission to fly 12 Oct 2007 Under new rules proposed by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) all airline passengers would need advance permission before flying into, through, or over the United States regardless of citizenship or the airline's national origin... The new rules mean this information must be submitted 72 hours before departure. The new rules mean this information must be submitted 72 hours before departure. Only those given clearance will get a boarding pass... ACLU's Barry Steinhardt quoted press reports of 500,000 to 750,000 people on the watch list (of which the no-fly list is a subset). "If there are that many terrorists in the US, we'd all be dead."

Hollywood in all-out assault on America's 'war on terror' 14 Oct 2007 With the Iraq war dragging on, the bad faith of the US government seems to be almost a given in the movie business. A slew of new features, looking either at Iraq or the "war on terror", or both, is about to hit the screens, and almost all dwell on the dark side of the American experience.

Chicago Court Orders Discovery of DOJ Political Prosecutions By Scott Horton 13 Oct 2007 In civil litigation connected to one of a substantial number of federal prosecutions of campaign funding of contributors to Democratic candidate John Edwards, a federal court has directed the Department of Justice to submit to discovery to ascertain whether improper political motivations stood behind its management of the case. The litigation, entitled Beam v. Gonzales, questions the actions of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Elections Commission chair Robert Lenhard in going after a group of Edwards fundraisers.

Younger voters giving GOP the cold shoulder --Frustration with war, strong views on social issues initiate new trend 14 Oct 2007 ...Just 35 percent of young people identify more with the Republican Party, according to a 2006 survey of 18- to 25-year-olds by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Another 48 percent affiliate themselves more with the Democrats, while the rest say they're independent.

USDA inspectors bash food-safety system --They say workers quit but jobs aren't filled, putting the food supply at risk 13 Oct 2007 As alarm bells sounded for the second-largest hamburger recall in history, the nation's top food safety officials were in Miami setting the "course for the next 100 years of food safety." Several USDA inspectors said in interviews that their workloads are doubling or tripling as they take on the duties of inspectors who have left the department, not to be replaced. The force has been reduced dramatically in recent years as vacancies are left unfilled.

Banks May Pool Billions to Stop Securities Sell-off 14 Oct 2007 Several of the world’s biggest banks are in talks to put up about $75 billion in a backup fund that could be used to buy risky mortgage securities and other assets, a move designed to ease pressure on a crucial part of the credit markets that threatens the broader economy.

Noose Left Dangling By NYC Post Office 12 Oct 2007 There was a disturbing discovery near Ground Zero in Manhattan Thursday. A noose was found hanging from a lamppost at the Church Street Post Office. This is just the latest message of hate striking the city.

Al Gore Awarded Nobel Peace Prize 13 Oct 2007 Former President Albert Gore Jr. and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to spread awareness of man-made climate change and efforts to combat it. (Slideshow)

Lowly Species Gets Some Help Against Entombment in Florida --Thousands of Florida's gopher tortoises, recently reclassified as threatened, have been buried alive as development paved over their burrows, a practice now banned in the state after outrage over the deaths. 14 Oct 2007 Over the past 16 years, thousands of gopher tortoises have essentially been buried alive by Florida developers who were given permits under a little-noticed state program to build on top of the creatures' subterranean homes. Now Florida is moving toward a ban on the practice, though whether the state is moving urgently enough to help the species is a matter of debate.

*****

Leadership dooms Iraq strategy: ex-commander 13 Oct 2007 A "catastrophic failure" in the Bush administration's leadership of the Iraq war has mired the United States in a nightmarish conflict with no clear way out, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq said on Friday. The blistering assessment by retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez was one of the harshest yet by a top military leader involved in the war.

Former U.S. commander in Iraq calls war 'a nightmare with no end in sight' 13 Oct 2007 The former top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq slammed the handling of the war and gave a bleak assessment of the current situation in Iraq. "There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told a convention of military journalists on Friday. "The administration, Congress and the entire inter-agency, especially the State Department, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable."

Former Top General in Iraq Faults Bush Administration 12 Oct 2007 In a sweeping indictment of the four-year effort in Iraq, the former top American commander called the Bush administration’s handling of the war incompetent and warned that the United States was "living a nightmare with no end in sight." "There was been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders," he said, adding later in his remarks that civilian officials have been "derelict in their duties" and guilty of a "lust for power."

Lawmaker says Rice interfered with Iraq inquiry 12 Oct 2007 A leading Democratic lawmaker [Henry Waxman, CA] on Tuesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of interfering in congressional inquiries into corruption in Iraq's government and the activities of U.S. security firm Blackwater.

Lawmakers say State Department blocks Iraq corruption info 12 Oct 2007 Four U.S. congressional committee chairmen on Friday accused the State Department of suppressing information about corruption inside Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.

Blackwater withdrawal ends inquiry 12 Oct 2007 Blackwater USA has ended an inquiry into the private security contractor's performance by withdrawing from an industry group that initiated the review after the company's mercenaries were accused of killing 17 Iraqis in Baghdad last month.

New Evidence That Blackwater Guards Took No Fire 13 Oct 2007 Fresh accounts of the Blackwater shooting last month, given by three rooftop witnesses and by American soldiers who arrived shortly after the gunfire ended, cast new doubt Friday on statements by Blackwater guards that they were responding to armed insurgents when Iraqi investigators say 17 Iraqis were killed at a Baghdad intersection... American soldiers who arrived minutes later found shell casings from guns used normally by American mercenaries, as well as by the American military.

'We're f---ing security; we don't have to answer to anybody.' Blackwater Is Soaked --An arrogant attitude only adds fuel to the criticism. 15 Oct 2007 The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone. The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.

'Blackwater twice came closer to killing me than did any of the insurgents or Al Qaeda.' Blackwater and me: A love story it ain't By Robert Bateman 12 Oct 2007 Every time one of those Blackwater convoys drives an Iraqi civilian off the road because the most important thing in the world is the protection of their "principal," they make a new enemy for the United States. Every time they ram another car to clear the way (and, yes, I've seen them do that), so that they could maintain their own speed and thereby minimize their exposure to "improvised explosive devices," they make another enemy. Every time they kill innocent civilians, or wound them, they make whole families of new enemies.

U.N. calls for inquiry into deadly U.S. strike in Iraq 12 Oct 2007 The United Nations mission in Iraq urged U.S. forces on Friday to pursue a "vigorous" probe into an air strike that killed 15 women and children and said its findings must be made public so that lessons can be learned. In a human rights report published on Thursday, the same day as the attack, the mission highlighted the number of Iraqi civilians killed in recent U.S. air strikes.

Iraq bomb hits children in playground 12 Oct 2007 A [US] bomb hidden in a cart of toys killed two children and wounded 17 others in a playground in northern Iraq on Friday, the first day of a national holiday to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The attack came the day after U.S. forces killed nine children and six women in an air strike northwest of Baghdad targeting suspected al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leaders.

9 children killed in U.S. raid in Iraq 11 Oct 2007 A U.S. attack killed 19 'insurgents' and 15 civilians, including nine children, northwest of the capital Thursday — one of the heaviest civilian death tolls in an American operation in recent months. The military said it was targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq.

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq 13 Oct 2007 A mortar attack in the vicinity of Baghdad earlier this week killed two US soldiers and wounded four others, the American military said Saturday. Those wounded in the incident on Wednesday were transported to a nearby medical centre for emergency treatment, a statement said.

U.S. holds 10,000 more detainees in Iraq than last year, commander says 10 Oct 2007 ...More than 25,000 Iraqis are still in American custody. The security crackdown in Baghdad has raised the rolls in U.S.-run detention centers to 10,000 more prisoners compared to this time last year, worsening already serious backlogs in the court system... Several men being released Wednesday interrupted the judge's speech to complain that they had been held for months, even years, without cause.

Trial date set for US soldier in Iraq who 'aided enemy' 13 Oct 2007 A US officer [Lieutenant Colonel William Steele] accused of "aiding the enemy" by smuggling a cellphone to a detainee in his Iraqi prison [!] will stand trial at a military base in Baghdad next week, the American military said Saturday.

Hunt, State talked on Iraq oil 12 Oct 2007 A representative from Dallas-based Hunt Oil Corp. did talk with the U.S. State Department prior to signing a controversial oil deal with Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, according to an internal department communication obtained by United Press International. Hunt Oil, whose chief executive officer is connected to the Bush administration by campaign donations and a seat on an intelligence advisory board, had previously denied the meeting.

Analysts Find Israel Struck a Nuclear Project Inside Syria 14 Oct 2007 Israel’s air attack on Syria last month was directed against a site that Israeli and American intelligence analysts judged was a partly constructed nuclear reactor, according to American and foreign officials with access to the intelligence reports. The description of the target addresses one of the central mysteries surrounding the Sept. 6 attack, and suggests that Israel carried out the raid to demonstrate its determination to snuff out even a nascent nuclear project in a neighboring state.

USAREUR commander wants 40,000 US soldiers in Europe to deal with 'resurgent Russia' 12 Oct 2007 A "resurgent Russia" is one more reason the Army should keep 40,000 soldiers in Europe, rather than cut to 24,000 as planned, the commander of United States Army Europe, Gen. David McKiernan, said Thursday. "There are potentially dangerous places and conditions in the European area of responsibility," said McKiernan, who is also commander of the U.S. 7th Army. "We don’t know what’s going to happen, in terms of a resurgent Russia." [USAREUR - United States Army Europe]

Heads up! TOPOFF 4 Begins On Monday 13 Oct 2007 After months of planning and preparations, the nationwide wide exercise TOPOFF 4 officially gets underway on Monday. Guam is hosting the nationally mandated exercise to test the island’s, as well as the nation’s emergency responders, in the event there is another [Bush-engendered] terrorist attack.

Lawsuit: ICE forcibly injecting detainees with psychotropic drugs --ICE says 1,073 prisoners have had 'medical escorts' since 2003 12 Oct 2007 Former prisoners of Immigration and Customs Enforcement accuse the agency in a lawsuit of forcibly injecting them with psychotropic drugs while trying to shuttle them out of the country during their deportation. One of the drugs in question is the potent anti-psychotic drug Haldol, which is often used to treat schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. ACLU attorney Ahilan Arulanantham said, "It would be torture to give a powerful anti-psychotic drug to somebody who isn't even mentally ill. ... But here, it's happening on U.S. soil to an immigrant the government is trying to deport."

Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm --Qwest Feared NSA Plan Was Illegal, Filing Says 13 Oct 2007 A former Qwest Communications International executive, appealing a conviction for insider trading, has alleged that the government withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Qwest refused to participate in an unidentified National Security Agency program that the company thought might be illegal. Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week. Details about the alleged NSA program have been redacted from the documents, but Nacchio's lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records. In the court filings disclosed this week, Nacchio suggests that Qwest's refusal to take part in that program led the government to cancel a separate, lucrative contract with the NSA in retribution. He is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper. Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush regime was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the [US] terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts.

NSA Domestic Surveillance Began 7 Months Before 9/11, Convicted Qwest CEO Claims By Ryan Singel 11 Oct 2007 Did the NSA's massive call records database program pre-date the terrorist attacks of 9/11? That startling allegation is in court documents released this week which show that former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio -- the head of the only company known to have turned down the NSA's requests for Americans' phone records -- tried, unsuccessfully, to argue just that in his defense against insider trading charges. [He was charged with insider trading because he refused the NSA's demand for Americans' phone records. Nacchio is a hero.]

Lawsuits possible from Va. Tech shooting 13 Oct 2007 As the sixth-month anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre approaches, a lawyer representing 20 people killed or injured in the April shootings has began notifying the town and the state about possible lawsuits. [See: Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities'.]

Nobel is sweet revenge for Gore, blow to Bush 12 Oct 2007 Call it Al Gore's revenge. The Nobel Peace Prize he won on Friday was a blow to U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush and his widely criticized environmental policy and will long be savored by the man who lost the bitter 2000 presidential election by a whisker [won the 2000 presidential contest, but was denied the victory in the first GOP coup d'etat]. [Right, we could have had an Emmy, Academy Award and Nobel Peace Prize winner as president -not to mention, the person who was actually *elected.* Instead, we are stuck with a pea-brained dictator, war criminal, terrorist, torturer, Blackwater USA butthead, Halliburton whore and sociopath. --Lori Price]

Apple Computer Home Page Pays Homage to Al Gore 12 Oct 2007

Touch-screen voting problematic and costly 13 Oct 2007 A growing number of counties across the United States are doing away with costly touch-screen voting machines due to a variety of problems. Amidst reports of the electronic machines being unreliable and susceptible to computer hackers, county officials across the nation have begun trying to rid themselves of the expensive machines in time for the upcoming 'election,' The New York Times said Friday.

Giuliani Tries to Distance Himself From Bernard Kerik as Former Top Cop Faces New Legal Woes 12 Oct 2007 Rudy Giuliani is trying to keep his distance from Bernard Kerik, the former New York City mayor's police commissioner who could be facing new federal charges... "Bernie was a mistake," the Republican presidential candidate told FOX News earlier this week when he admitted that he should not have recommended Kerik — whose closet later was found to have several skeletons in it — to be President [sic] Bush's homeland security secretary in 2004.

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Brown County Republican Party chair faces sex charges 13 Oct 2007 (WI) The chairman of the Republican Party in Brown County faces criminal charges for allegedly fondling a 16-year-old Ethan House runaway and providing the boy with beer and marijuana late last year. Donald Fleischman, 37, of Allouez, was charged last month with two counts of child enticement, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child and a single charge of exposing himself to a child.

Democrats bow to Wall Street, saving tax break for billionaires By Bill Van Auken 10 Oct 2007 The Democratic Party leadership in the US Senate has effectively killed proposals put forward earlier this year to close a tax loophole that allows billionaire managers of hedge and private equity funds to enjoy tax rates on their income that are far lower than those imposed on average American workers.

Oil ends at front-month record high; broke $84 earlier 12 Oct 2007 Crude-oil futures finished at a new record high Friday, after earlier touching a new intraday trading record high. November crude added 61 cents to settle at $83.69 a barrel, surpassing the old front-month closing high of $83.32 set on Sept. 20. Earlier Friday, oil also surpassed the old intraday high also set on that day, rising as high as $84.05. [Cheney's secret Energy Task Force maggots couldn't be happier!]

Chevron redubs ship named for Bush aide --Condoleezza Rice drew too much attention 05 May 2001 Leaving a wave of controversy in its wake, one of the most visible reminders of the Bush regime's ties to big oil - the 129,000-ton Chevron tanker Condoleezza Rice - has quietly been renamed, Chevron officials acknowledged yesterday. The Chronicle reported a month ago that the White House had faced questions over the appropriateness of the tanker's name -- particularly as California struggled with the effects of an energy crisis.

Tunnel inferno snarls California traffic 13 Oct 2007 Traffic came to standstill north of Los Angeles Saturday morning after a fiery pileup in a trucks-only tunnel injured at least 10 people and left at least one person missing. The shutdown of Interstate 5, the major north-south freeway through north Los Angeles County, also dammed up freeways that feed into it, reportedly leaving some motorists stranded for seven hours or more.

*****

CLG News Archives


CONTRIBUTE
TO CLG VIA

or

You can make credit card donations/T-shirt charges via PayPal, you don't need a PayPal account to make credit card payments through them.

donate[at]legitgov.org - inquiries or, pls. mail a check or money order to CLG

 

HOME |COUP 2004 | PRESS RELEASES | PRESS RECEIVED |IMPORTANT CALLS TO ACTION | LINKS | JOIN CLG™ | WELCOME TO CLG | CONTRIBUTE | CONTACT US

Copyright © 2007, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved.