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.

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December 2004 Archives, Page Two

Bin Laden inquiry to widen --A French judge has widened a probe into the financial network surrounding the family of Osama bin Laden after questioning his half-brother and learning of a E241 million ($425.7 million) transfer to Pakistan.

Jet Is an Open Secret in Terror War --The CIA is flying captured 'terrorist' suspects from one country to another for detention and interrogation. The CIA calls this activity "rendition." Premier Executive's Gulfstream V turbojet helps make it possible. According to civilian aircraft landing permits, the jet has permission to use U.S. military airfields worldwide...

Flu 'Oddities' Section

UK 'Societal Disruption' doc: 'mass casualties, maintenance of public order, role of police and armed forces' --Emergency warning as global flu epidemic fears grow --Planning advice warns of disastrous effects --UK emergency services have been put on alert as the World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that a potentially deadly from of bird flu that affects humans could spark a global epidemic this winter. An emergency planning document spelling out the disastrous likely consequences of such an epidemic has already been distributed to government agencies. ...The UK government believes high levels of death and illness could lead to public disorder. Quarantine, travel restrictions and the issuing of face masks are all being considered as protective measures. Under the heading "Societal Disruption" the document says the government "needs to consider maintenance of essential services such as … utilities [and] communication; management of mass casualties; maintenance of public order; the role of police and armed forces".

Killer flu recreated in the lab --Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 05:02 GMT 06:02 UK [Why?] --Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain [Why?] known to have no effect on mice. Animals exposed to this composite were dying within days of symptoms similar to those found in human victims of the 1918 pandemic.

Flu victim exhumed after 85 years --Friday, 30 January, 2004, 20:08 GMT --Scientists are preparing to exhume the body of a woman who died of flu 85 years ago to find out how the virus killed millions across Europe. [Why?] Phyllis Burn died aged 20 in 1918, a victim of the 20th Century's worst flu epidemic, which killed more than 50 million people. She was buried in a lead coffin, thought to be virtually airtight, in Twickenham, south-west London. Scientists wearing protective clothing will remove lung samples from the body.

Microbiologist Death Toll Mounts As Connections To Dyncorp, Hadron, Promis Software & Disease Research Emerge --A Career In Microbiology Can Be Harmful to Your Health (Revised/Updated) --by Michael Davidson and Michael C. Ruppert, 3-3-2 (FTW) - In the four-month period from Nov. 12 through Feb. 11, seven world-class microbiologists in different parts of the world were reported dead. Six died of 'unnatural' causes, while the cause of the seventh's death is questionable. Also on Nov. 12, DynCorp, a major government contractor for data processing, military operations and intelligence work, was awarded a $322 million contract to develop, produce and store vaccines for the Department of Defense. DynCorp and Hadron, both defense contractors connected to classified research programs on communicable diseases, have also been linked to a software program known as PROMIS, which may have helped identify and target the victims. In the six weeks prior to Nov. 12, two additional foreign microbiologists were reported dead. Some believe there were as many as five more microbiologists killed during the period, bringing the total as high as 14. These two to seven additional deaths, however, are not the focus of this story. This same period also saw the deaths of three persons involved in medical research or public health."

Scientists' deaths are under the microscope --by Alanna Mitchell, Simon Cooper and Carolyn Abraham - compiled by Alanna Mitchell -- May 4, 2002 "It's a tale only the best conspiracy theorist could dream up. Eleven microbiologists mysteriously dead over the span of just five months. Some of them world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues. Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons. Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism... Suspicious deaths --The sudden and suspicious deaths of 11 of the world's leading microbiologists [list]."

The Very Mysterious Deaths of Five Microbiologists --by Ian Gurney 12-20-1 "It is a story worthy of a major conspiracy theory, the script for a Mel Gibson 'Who dunnit?' action movie, or a blueprint for a contrived and unbelievable episode of 'The X Files'. ...Over the past few weeks several world-acclaimed scientific researchers specializing in infectious diseases and biological agents such as Anthrax, as well as DNA sequencing, have been found dead or have gone missing."

*****

Rumsfeld's 9-11 Admission "...[T]he people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania..."
Surprise Trip for Donald Rumsfeld; Interview With Brigadier General James Marks; Christian in Iraq --Transcript --Aired December 24, 2004 - 12:00 ET "DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ...And I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten -- indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."

Rumsfeld Makes Surprise Visit to Troops in Iraq (npr.org) with audio link

Election 2004: G.O.P. Officials Exhume Talking Points from 2000 Presidential Election to Try to Squelch Recount Efforts in Ohio, Washington --Washington state Republicans filing a lawsuit on behalf of defeated Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi have alleged, in court filings, that to allow the King County [WA] Canvassing Board to review previously discarded ballots would "invite mischief." And an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief filed in support of Rossi by former Republican State Attorney General Ken Eikenberry alleges that the recount offers Democrats an "opportunity for mischief."

Hacking the vote in Miami County --by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D. December 25, 2004 "On Election Night, when 100% of the precincts in Miami County had reported, only 31,620 votes had been counted... It is my professional opinion that the reported results for the first four of these precincts [in Miami County, shown on chart] are fraudulent also."

Kerry votes switched to Bush and ballots pre-punched for Bush --by Dr. Werner Lange "Pre-punched ballots; touch-screen vote switching; more absentee votes than absentee voters; unfair provisional voter deletions; change of voting sites on Election Day. voter suppression; voter intimidation; double voting; malfunctioning machines; recalibrated machines; evidently rigged machines; and even 25 million negative votes registered in some races in Mahoning County!"

Another third rate burglary --by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D. "It was, and still is, my professional opinion that the election in Lucas County was rigged..."

Lawsuit Before the Ohio Supreme Court -- Summarized by Mary Anne Saucier - December 24, 2004

Update from the Ohio Frontlines --by Cynthia L. Butler, Esq. --December 24, 2004 "As previously reported both the cases to challenge the legitimacy of the Presidential election and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Moyers's re-election were filed separately in the Ohio Supreme Court. Yesterday, December 23, 2004 attorneys for Plaintiffs successfully filed Motion to disqualify Justice Moyer from sitting as the Judge on the Moss v. Bush matter based on the fact that he has an apparently conflict of interest in that the election challenge of the Presidency potentially affects his race (and the suits are effectively collateral actions)."

Iraq Rejects U.S. Talk of Adjusting Vote Result ['Adjusting Vote Result' are GOP-owned media codewords for Coup D'etat, the phrase the media dare not mention, since we have had two of them under the Bush-Rove dictatorship.] --Iraq's election body rejected a suggestion in Washington it adjust the results of next month's vote to benefit the Sunni minority if low turnout in Sunni areas means Shi'ites win an exaggerated majority in the new assembly.

U.S. Is Suggesting Guaranteed Role for Iraq's Sunnis --The Bush regime is talking to Iraqi leaders about guaranteeing Sunni Arabs a certain number of ministries or high-level jobs in the future Iraqi government if, as is widely predicted, Sunni candidates fail to do well in Iraq's 'elections.'

Pentagon Channel targets troops --The Pentagon has created its own 24-hour television channel to cut out the middle man — the national media — in covering news events at the headquarters of the world's most powerful military.

Ukraine's Yushchenko claims victory --Official results due Monday --Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko declared victory Monday in Ukraine’s fiercely contested presidential election, telling thousands of supporters they had taken their country to a new political era after a bitterly fought campaign that required an unprecedented three ballots and Supreme Court intervention against fraud.

Dollar Near All-Time Low Vs Euro --The dollar held just off a record low against the euro on Monday, but downward pressure remained strong after a euro-zone minister showed little concern over the European currency's recent strength.

Connecticut job market sparks worry for 2005 --A sluggish job market in Connecticut in 2004 is raising concerns that something is amiss in a state long synonymous with wealth. [Another blue state burned by the Bush Dictatorship...]

Taxpayers May Be Liable for Oil Cleanup --Bonds posted by companies with federal oil and gas leases cover only a small fraction of the projected costs of plugging wells and restoring land once the fuel is extracted, leaving taxpayers with the potential for huge cleanup bills, an Associated Press analysis of federal records shows.

Drug companies issue Michael Moore alert --Some pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap. The Houston Chronicle reported Saturday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore.

Asia Tsunami Kills 14,425, Rush to Find Bodies --Soldiers searched for bodies in treetops, families wept over the dead laid on beaches and rescuers scoured coral isles for missing tourists as Asia counted the cost on Monday of a tsunami that killed at least 14,425.

Untold Numbers Are Missing in 6 Countries --The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years erupted underwater off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on Sunday and sent walls of water barreling thousands of miles, killing an estimated 12,000 people in half a dozen countries across South and Southeast Asia, with thousands more missing or unreachable.

It Seemed Like a Scene From the Bible --by Michael Dobbs --WELIGAMA, Sri Lanka, Dec. 26 -- "Disaster struck with no warning out of a faultlessly clear blue sky... In less than a minute, the water level had risen at least 15 feet, but the sea remained calm, with barely a wave in sight. Within minutes, the beach and the area behind it had become an inland sea that rushed over the road and poured into the flimsy houses on the other side. The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible, a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced."

The geology behind the tsunami --The chain reaction that set off enormous, deadly tsunami waves that struck seven nations in Asia and one in Africa started kilometres beneath the ocean floor off the tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Geologic plates pressing against each other slipped violently in magnitude 9.0 quake, creating a bulge on the sea bottom as high as 10 metres and as long as 1200 kilometres.

CLG Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., appeared on MSNBC's 'Scarborough Country,' December 23, 2004. The topic was Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld --and whether the Bush regime is on the right track in Iraq. The transcript will be posted when available.

*****

Protests line up for Bush inauguration --Democratic and independent activists from across the United States are planning protests to coincide with the inauguration of George W. Bush on Jan. 20... According to the Talon News out of Albuquerque, Citizens For Legitimate Government, "a radical anti-Bush activist group that has never accepted the legitimacy of the Bush administration," is also joining the anti-inaugural protest in what it is calling "The Grand Refusal."

CLG presents ... UN-AUGURATION

Protesters seek more inauguration permits --Accuse government of blocking them out -- Antiwar activists are accusing the National Park Service of trying to block mass demonstrations along the route of Dictator Bush's inaugural parade next month, opening a new front in a simmering dispute between anti-Bush groups and the government over access to visible public space. [No. We don't *need* - nor will we *seek* - permission from the Bush dictatorship to protest. We will protest UN-permitted!!]

Further Detainee Abuse Alleged --Guantanamo Prison Cited in FBI Memos --At least 10 current and former detainees at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have lodged allegations of abuse similar to the incidents described by FBI agents in newly released documents, claims that were denied by the government but gained credibility with the reports from the agents, their attorneys say.

U.S. to Take Bigger Bite of Iraq's Economic Pie --The United States is helping the interim Iraqi government continue to make major economic changes, including cuts to social subsidies, full access for U.S. companies to the nation's oil reserves and reconsideration of oil deals that the previous regime signed with France and Russia.

U.S. ill-prepared, may lose Iraq 'War' - Official Historian --The United States invaded Iraq without a formal plan for occupying and stabilizing the country and this continues to undercut the military effort there, the Washington Post on Saturday quoted a U.S. Army historian as saying. The newspaper quoted Maj. Isaiah Wilson, an official historian of the Iraq campaign, as saying the overall performance of the U.S. Army in Iraq has been "mediocre" and it failed to recognize it is engaged in a "people's war." As a result, the United States is "perhaps in peril of losing the 'war,' even after supposedly winning it," the Post quoted Wilson as saying.

Army Historian Cites Lack of Postwar Plan in Iraq --Insider's study asserts U.S. lost dominance in summer of 2003 and has been scrambling to recover ever since. The U.S. military invaded Iraq without a formal plan for occupying and stabilizing the country and this high-level failure continues to undercut what has been a "mediocre" Army effort there, an Army historian and strategist has concluded.

At least 13 Iraqis killed on Christmas Day, as Bush thanks troops --At least 13 Iraqis were killed in a string of Christmas Day shootings and bombings, as US Dictator George W. Bush thanked American soldiers for their sacrifice and for protecting Halliburton's profits ['America'].

Nine Die in Baghdad Tanker Truck Blast --Police uncovered more bodies under the rubble Saturday after a suicide bomber blew up a gas tanker in Baghdad, bringing the death toll from the attack to at least nine.

Mosul attack 'an inside job' --The deadly suicide attack on a US military base in Mosul this week was an "inside job" carried out by insurgents who are part of the Iraqi armed forces, Asia Times Online has been told.

In the Saudi government daily Al-Watan, an article from Brussels written by Fakhriya Ahmad charges that, based on alleged secret European military reports, the U.S. military in Iraq is harvesting and selling human organs. The following day, the story was also published in the Iranian daily Jomhouri-ye Islami, as well as the Syrian daily Teshreen. The following are excerpts from the article: "Secret European military intelligence reports indicate the transformation of the American humanitarian mission in Iraq into a profitable trade in the American markets through the practice of American physicians extracting human organs from the dead and wounded, before they are put to death, for sale to medical centers in America. A secret team of American physicians follow the troops during their attacks on Iraqi armed men to ensure quick [medical] operations for extracting some organs and transferring them to private operations rooms before they are transferred to America for sale..."

Gas Tanker Explodes in Baghdad --A gas tanker truck wired with explosives blew up in a west Baghdad neighborhood Friday, wounding 12 people and lighting up the sky with a fireball, just hours after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld left the capital, police said.

Powell warned Iraq troops too few --Remark last month came as handling of war re-examined --Secretary of State Colin Powell told Dictator Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair last month that there were too few troops in Iraq, according to people familiar with official records of the meeting.

Bayh says Rumsfeld should resign over Iraq mistakes --Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is joining several other senators in calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Neuharth Call for Pullout in Iraq Draws Massive Response --An E & P [Editor & Publisher] report on USA Today founder Al Neuharth’s Thursday column for that newspaper has quickly drawn hundreds of emails. After an early surge against Neuharth, the response became equally divided.

Iran to shoot down 'flying objects' near nuclear facilities --Iran’s air force has been ordered to shoot down any unidentified or suspicious flying objects in Iran’s airspace, an air force spokesman said on Saturday, amid state-media reports of sightings of flying objects near Iran’s nuclear installations.

Russia test fires nuclear missile --Russia has successfully test-fired a mobile version of the intercontinental Topol-M ballistic missile in the last of four test-firings before its deployment next year, Interfax news agency has reported.

Venezuela and China sign oil deal --Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has offered China wide-ranging access to the country's oil reserves.

Revealed: the UK's secret terrorism agency --Ministers are secretly establishing an "Armageddon agency" to respond to devastating terrorist attacks on Britain, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

LAPD Studies Facial Recognition Software --The Los Angeles Police Department is experimenting with facial-recognition software it says will help identify suspects, but civil liberties advocates say the technology raises privacy concerns and may not identity people accurately.

'Ghost' Employees Born in 9/11 Cleanup -- December 17, 2004 --In exchange for theater tickets and limousine-chauffeured dinner dates, employees of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey granted no-show jobs to contractors who were supposed to be clearing wreckage from the World Trade Center, according to Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. "We were providing checks for employees that did not exist," the Port Authority's inspector general, Robert Van Etten, said.

Rossi might contest election results --Republicans concede that at this point it could be his only option --Dino Rossi's current plan for keeping Washington's never-ending governor's race alive appears to be dying, and Republicans acknowledge his only option might be to formally contest the results. [I thought the GOP *hated* lawyers and 'court challenges.']

Mega regurgitation alert!! Bush Tries Again on Court Choices Stalled in Senate --Dictator Bush said Thursday that when the new Congress convenes next month he will renominate 12 candidates to the federal appeals courts who were denied confirmation in his first term. In doing so, he signaled his willingness to begin what is expected to be another bitter fight with Senate Democrats over what they assert are his efforts to shift the courts in a markedly more conservative direction.

Evolution Shares a Desk With [Insane] 'Intelligent Design' --Charles Darwin, squeeze over. The school board in this small town in central Pennsylvania has voted to make the theory of evolution share a seat with another theory: God probably designed us.

Reichwing Students Target Liberal Profs --...At the University of North Carolina, three incoming freshmen sued over a reading assignment they said offended their Christian beliefs. In Colorado and Indiana, a national conservative group publicized student allegations of left-wing bias by professors. Faculty received hate mail and were pictured in mock "wanted" posters; at least one college said teacher received a death threat...

U.S. Doctors Lack Whistleblower Protection --Thousands of federal doctors and medical researchers who receive some of the highest salaries in government don't enjoy the same protections to blow the whistle on wrongdoing as other civil servants, a judge has ruled.

Bush Team Prepares to Swing Budget Ax [Why don't they swing it on themselves?] --Dictator Bush says he will not raise taxes to keep his promise to cut the deficit. So what will take a hit? Medicare and Medicaid look likely. Arguing that the costs are only vaguely known [?!?], budget writers may also decide not to include the outlays needed to cover the additional costs of the war in Iraq or the transition to proposed private Social Security accounts. Medicare and Medicaid are prominent on Bush's likely hit list.

Bush left in the cold by climate allies --George Bush's two closest allies in his attempt to sabotage international action to combat global warning last week dramatically distanced themselves from him.

Town Sees 1st White Christmas in 86 Years --Folks in Victoria, Texas, just off the Gulf Coast, weren't dreaming Saturday when they woke up to a white Christmas. They had one - the first in 86 years.

*****

A Neocon Christmas gift: US may strike at Ba'athists in Syria, official tells 'Post' --The US is contemplating incursions into Syrian territory in an attempt to kill or capture Iraqi Ba'athists who, it believes, are directing at least part of the attacks against US targets in Iraq, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

Bush Foresees a Deeper U.S. Role in Iraq --Bush warns that troop levels will not be cut next year and acknowledges that training of local forces has had mixed results. Dictator Bush warned the American people Monday that the U.S. engagement in Iraq will intensify in the coming year, with the Jan. 30 'election' marking the "beginning of a process" toward democracy [sic] that will require higher troop levels and continue through 2005.

Iran bans travel to Iraq after blasts in holy cities --Iran banned its nationals from travelling to Iraq yesterday after deadly blasts killed 66 people in the Shi’ite pilgrimage cities of Karbala and Najaf earlier this week. "All borders of Iran with Iraq are now closed and movement in or out prohibited until further notice," said a police announcement carried by the official Irna news agency.

US troops seal Mosul, order to shoot issued --US forces sealed off entire districts of this Iraqi city yesterday, blocking bridges and raiding homes in a hunt for suspects after an attack that killed 18 Americans and four other people... Mosul's governor issued an order on television banning use of the five bridges over the River Tigris and said anyone breaking the order would be shot. Residents said Iraq’s third city was a virtual ghost town, with no one in the streets. Hours later, a fuel tanker, rigged with explosives, detonated in the trouble spot of Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 20.

Four civilians killed in north Iraq city 12/23/2004 Four Iraqi civilians were killed in two incidents in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra on Friday, the latest casualties of fighting between insurgents and US forces, police said.

1 U.S. Soldier Killed, 2 Wounded in Baghdad IED Attack --Dec. 23, 2004 --An improvised explosive device killed one soldier and wounded two others in western Baghdad today.

Shredded: Hundreds of thousands of government documents --Hundreds of thousands of government documents are destroyed in the great Freedom of Information Act scandal --Hundreds of thousands of secret Whitehall files are being shredded before the public gains the right to see them under the Freedom of Information Act on 1 January.

Democrat Gregoire Wins Wash. Governor Race --Hand Recount in Washington Governor's Race Gives Democrat Christine Gregoire 130-Vote Win --Democrat Christine Gregoire won the Washington governor's race by 130 votes, according to final recount results announced Thursday from Seattle's King County, but Republican Dino Rossi and his supporters said the back-and-forth contest was far from finished, more than seven weeks after the election.

Washington Democrat Wins Governor's Race by 130 Votes --Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire won the state's governor's race by 130 votes, according to a hand recount that overturned a 42-vote victory initially awarded to Republican Dino Rossi.

Kerry conceded too soon, Jackson asserts --Claiming Ohio's 2004 election results were more troubling than Florida's four years ago, the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday said Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry called it quits too soon. "Kerry conceded much too quickly, before the facts were in," Jackson said in a conference call with reporters to discuss an ongoing challenge to Ohio's election results.

Putin Lashes Out At U.S. and E.U. --Ukraine Stance Angers Russian Leader --Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the United States and the European Union of employing "double standards" in disputing the results of last month's Ukrainian presidential elections.

Michigan congressman seeks exit poll data -- The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has asked The Associated Press and five broadcast networks to turn over raw exit poll data collected on Election Day so that any discrepancies between the data and the certified election results can be investigated.

Conyers Expresses 'Questions and Concerns' About Triad --The ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued a stinging letter to the president of Triad Election Systems Thursday, remarking that he had "more questions and concerns than ever" after viewing a tape of Triad's visit to the Hocking County Board of Elections Dec. 20. In a sworn affidavit, Hocking elections official Sherole Eaton wrote that a Triad official may have inappropriately tampered with a tabulation machine and tried to plant unverified information into the recount, encouraging local officials to use a "cheat sheet." RAW STORY acquired the letter late Thursday evening. In the letter, Conyers makes note of these "cheat sheets" to which the company's president admitted using.

Video Supporting Ohio Vote Fraud Claim Revealed --by William Rivers Pitt

In Ohio, almost 1 in 50 votes for president don't count --by Michael Collins "Here's something that has been largely overlooked amid all of the complaints about voting irregularities in Ohio during the Nov. 2 election: Nearly 97,000 ballots, or 1.7 percent of those cast across the state, either did not record a preference for president or could not be counted because the voter selected more than one presidential candidate... Elections experts say a large number of missing votes in a high-profile race like president should raise a red flag that something may be amiss."

Rowland Pleads Guilty --Gov. John G. Rowland, who resigned July 1 amid a scandal over his acceptance of gifts and favors from state contractors and others, pleaded guilty this morning in U.S. District Court in New Haven under an agreement that will send him to prison. The plea is the result of sensitive negotiations between Rowland and federal prosecutors who were gearing up to seek an indictment of the Republican former governor early next year on charges that could have included conspiracy and racketeering, sources said.

Timeline in Conn. Governor Investigation --Timeline of events in the investigation of former Connecticut Republican Gov. John G. Rowland.

Supreme Court Opens Hearing for Pinochet --The Supreme Court opened hearings Wednesday on whether to uphold the indictment and house arrest of Gen. Augusto Pinochet on human rights charges, as the former dictator was released from hospital after five days recovering from a 'stroke.'

EU [and the rest of the world] wants alternative version of Windows --A European Union court ruled yesterday that Microsoft Corp. must immediately share some trade secrets with competitors and produce a version of its Windows operating system stripped of a program that plays music and video.

*****

US Failed to Honestly Assess Iraq Threat-Report --The United States is facing increasingly deadly attacks in Iraq because, as in the Vietnam war, it failed to honestly assess facts on the ground, according to a new think tank report. The report, prepared by Anthony Cordesman, senior fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said administration spokesmen had appeared to live "in a fantasyland" when giving accounts of events in Iraq.

US Iraq strategy condemned --Two influential think tanks have roundly condemned US strategy in Iraq. The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC) said on Wednesday that America is facing increasingly deadly attacks in Iraq because it has failed to honestly assess facts on the ground. And in a report published on the same day, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said Iraqi hostility towards the US-led "occupation" means that Washington can no longer achieve its pre-war goals.

Ten more years? Senior MPs warn British troops will be in Iraq for a decade, as Blair in Baghdad proclaims: 'We are not a nation of quitters' --...Against a backdrop of continuing carnage, including a rocket attack on a US base in Mosul that claimed at least 24 lives, The Independent has learned a cross-party group of MPs has returned from Iraq convinced British troops may have to be deployed there for at least another 10 years.

Rumsfeld warns of more unrest in Iraq after 'elections' --US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Wednesday that the deadly chaos in Iraq will likely continue after the January 30 'elections,' as the military's top general said the attack on a base in Mosul was apparently a suicide bombing.

First big US contractor flees Iraq [LOL, flees after *fleecing* the U.S. taxpayer] --A US company has become the first big contractor to pull out of Iraq because of worsening security as Americans reel from the deadliest attack on US forces in the country since the war began. Contrack said it had ended its $US325 million contract to 'rebuild' Iraq's transport system because of skyrocketing security costs.

U.S. Contractor Pulls Out of Reconstruction Effort in Iraq --For the first time, a major U.S. contractor has dropped out of the multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild Iraq, raising new worries about the country's growing violence and its effect on reconstruction.

Halliburton Told to Reinstate Insurance --A judge ordered Halliburton Co. to reinstate health insurance for retirees of its former Dresser Inc. unit, ruling the company couldn't modify the health plans to eliminate the benefits.

Iraqi City Under U.S. Lockdown --U.S. forces sealed off entire districts of the Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, blocking bridges and raiding homes in a hunt for suspects after an attack that killed 18 Americans and four other people. Mosul's governor issued an overnight order on television banning use of the five bridges over the River Tigris and said anyone breaking the order would be shot. Residents said Iraq's third city was a virtual ghost town, with no one in the streets. [Uh, is this all part of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom?' Just curious...]

U.S. troops clamp down on Mosul --U.S. troops and armoured vehicles clamped down on Mosul a day after an attack on a nearby base in which 22 people were killed -- almost all of them Americans.

Multiple casualties in Iraq bomb attack --Thursday 23 December 2004, 21:16 GMT --A car bomb has exploded in the town of Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, leaving many killed and wounded, according to the local hospital director.

Suicide Bombing Is Now Suspected in Mosul Attack --A suicide attacker wearing a bomb-laden vest most likely set off the explosion at a military mess tent that killed 22 in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, American officials said Wednesday, raising the possibility that the bomber was an Iraqi or foreign worker employed at the base.

Deadliest attack on US base in Iraq kills 22, including 19 Americans --At least 22 people were killed, including 19 US military personnel, when a huge explosion tore apart a US army dining hall.

French journalists released after 124 days in captivity --Four months of quiet negotiations by France and several Arab countries paid off yesterday with the release of two French journalists kidnapped by an Iraqi extremist group in August.

Rare Pneumonia Found Among U.S. Soldiers in Iraq --A rare and sometimes deadly pneumonia has hit 18 U.S. soldiers deployed in Iraq, and Army medical investigators are at a loss to explain the cause, according to a study published on Tuesday.

New Papers Suggest Detainee Abuse Was Widespread --The Bush regime is facing a wave of new allegations that the abuse of foreign detainees in U.S. military custody was more widespread, varied and grave in the past three years than the Defense Department has long maintained.

FBI Agents Allege Abuse of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay --Detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were shackled to the floor in fetal positions for more than 24 hours at a time, left without food and water, and allowed to defecate on themselves, an FBI agent who said he witnessed such abuse reported in a memo to supervisors, according to documents released yesterday.

War Crimes (The Washington Post) "Thanks to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and other human rights groups, thousands of pages of government documents released this month have confirmed some of the painful truths about the abuse of foreign detainees by the U.S. military and the CIA -- truths the Bush administration implacably has refused to acknowledge... Perhaps intervention by the courts will eventually stem the violations of human rights that appear to be ongoing in Guantanamo, Iraq and Afghanistan. For now the appalling truth is that there has been no remedy for the documented torture and killing of foreign prisoners by this American government."

Nicaraguan leftists screened out of entry to U.S. --Officials deny visas revoked to settle old scores --As head of foreign relations for Nicaragua's principal opposition party, Samuel Santos has frequently visited the United States and met with State Department officials twice in the past three years. ...But in transit to Rome in February, Santos was detained at Miami International Airport by U.S. immigration officials. Held for 20 hours, he was questioned, his U.S. visa was canceled, and he was deported home... Under the U.S. Patriot Act, American officials do not have to disclose the evidence.

Democrats Win Recount, Court Case in Wash. State --Seven weeks after 2.8 million people voted to elect a governor for Washington state, the Democratic candidate took the lead by a 10-vote margin in an unprecedented hand recount, election officials said on Wednesday.

Wash. Recount Shows Gregoire Ahead by 10 5:05 PM PST, December 22, 2004 --More than seven weeks after the election, Democrat Christine Gregoire took the lead in Washington's governor's race Wednesday, gaining a 10-vote advantage over Republican Dino Rossi after King County officials announced results of a hand recount.

Washington Republicans Lose Ruling on Disputed Governor Ballots --Washington's Republican Party lost a lawsuit seeking to prevent the county that includes Seattle from counting hundreds of ballots left out of their initial tally, a benefit to Democrat Christine Gregoire. The state Supreme Court ruled today that a lower court was mistaken for barring 573 votes in King County from being included in the third count of votes cast in the governor's race.

Ohio electoral fight becomes 'biggest deal since Selma' as GOP stonewalls --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "As Republican officials stonewall subpoenas and subvert the recount process, Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio's vote fraud fiasco 'the biggest deal since Selma' and has called for a national rally at 'the scene of the crime' in Columbus January 3."

Part Two: Will Your Vote Count? (IN) I-Team 8's investigation reveals serious concerns about accuracy, reliability and security of modern voting technology... Election Rigged in Half an Hour --Purdue University's Eugene Spafford said one of his undergraduates put together a rigged system in about half an hour. The student rigged a system where every third vote for one candidate actually goes to the other candidate. "Were you to ask us to design a program to do this and hide the code that changed the results, we could do that given about three days' time," said Spafford.

The GOP is spreading disinformation to facilitate future election thefts! Fastest growth found in 'red' states --Robust population growth continues to sweep the nation's Southern and Western states, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Census Bureau. If the trend continues at its current pace, states in the Northeast and Midwest that have been population powerhouses since the 19th century will lose their dominance to Sun Belt states by 2010.

Abortive Bush Cabinet Nominee Quits Giuliani Firm --Bernard Kerik, New York's former top police officer who withdrew as a Bush regime cabinet nominee, resigned on Wednesday from a consulting firm with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Giuliani said.

US eases patdown policy for air travelers --The federal agency in charge of airline screening yesterday changed its policy on patdowns, in part because of complaints by women passengers about searches of their chests.

Governors Ask Bush Not to Cut Medicaid --The nation's governors on Wednesday urged Dictator Bush not to shift additional Medicaid costs to the states in his effort to reduce the federal deficit.

Many in GOP Wary of Social Security Plan --"To be crassly political, there's nothing in it ['revamping' social security] for members of Congress," said Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., predicting that supportive lawmakers would face television ads accusing them of gutting Social Security when they run for re-election. "It will be a very, very tough sell for the president [sic]."

Bush Plans a Media Blitz on Social Security --Dictator Bush will spearhead an election-style public relations campaign early next year to try to convince Americans that Social Security is in urgent need of change but will keep dollar and cent details deliberately vague, analysts and officials say.

New Rules Issued for Forests --Some environmental protections will be eased under biggest change in 30 years. The Bush administration issued comprehensive new rules yesterday for managing the national forests, jettisoning some environmental protections that date to Ronald Reagan's administration and putting in place the biggest change in forest-use policies in nearly three decades.

Corporations can now *own* roads: Ga. 316 expected to be first fast-tracked toll road (January 5, 2004) State Transportation Commissioner Harold Linnenkohl said he expects to receive a proposal this month to turn Ga. 316 into a toll road. The proposal would be the first to take advantage of a new law allowing the state Department of Transportation to enter into road and transit construction deals with private contractors without following the state's strict competitive bidding requirements.

Bush Monkey Picture Shown on Giant NY Billboard --A portrait of Dictator Bush using monkeys to form his image that was banished from a New York art show last week amid charges of censorship was projected on a giant billboard in Manhattan on Tuesday.

*****

Democrats: Gregoire wins by 8 votes --Election officials dismiss claim as premature [When the *Democrat* has won, the victory is 'premature' --Holy hypocrisy, Batman!!] --Democrat Christine Gregoire will defeat Republican Dino Rossi by eight votes in the governor's race recount when King County reports results today, state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Berendt said last night. "We are absolutely confident that she is going to be the next governor of the state of Washington," Berendt said.

Democrats claim victory in Washington governor's race --Democrats: King County recount puts Gregoire on top --The head of the state Democratic Party said late Tuesday that recount results from King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory in the closest governor's race in state history.

56 Percent in Survey Say Iraq War Was a Mistake --Over Half Think Rumsfeld Should be Replaced --Dictator Bush heads into his second term amid deep and growing public skepticism about the Iraq war, with a solid majority saying for the first time that the war was a mistake and most people believing that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld should lose his job, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

W. House Expects Probe of Iraq, Guantanamo Abuses --The White House said on Tuesday it expected a full investigation of prisoner abuses in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after new FBI memos described detainees facing beatings and having lit cigarettes placed in their ears.

FBI E-Mail Refers to Presidential Order Authorizing Inhumane Interrogation Techniques --Newly Obtained FBI Records Call Defense Department's Methods "Torture," Express Concerns Over "Cover-Up" That May Leave FBI "Holding the Bag" for Abuses (ACLU press release) NEW YORK -- "A document released for the first time today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggests that President [sic] Bush issued an Executive Order authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods against detainees in Iraq. Also released by the ACLU today are a slew of other records including a December 2003 FBI e-mail that characterizes methods used by the Defense Department as 'torture' and a June 2004 'Urgent Report" to the Director of the FBI that raises concerns that abuse of detainees is being covered up."

FBI Agents Complained of Prisoner Abuse, Records Say --Documents obtained by ACLU show continued reports of mistreatment in Iraq and Cuba. FBI agents have lodged repeated complaints of physical and mental mistreatment of prisoners held in Iraq and Cuba, saying in reports that military officials have placed lighted cigarettes in detainees' ears and humiliated Arab captives by wrapping Israeli flags around them, according to new documents released Monday.

ACLU: FBI Ruse Used in Guantanamo Abuse --A civil liberties group is charging that military interrogators at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, some posing as FBI agents, humiliated and abused detainees, including inserting lit cigarettes in their ears.

New F.B.I. Memos Describe Abuse of Iraq Inmates --F.B.I. memorandums portray abuse of prisoners by American military personnel in Iraq that included detainees' being beaten and choked and having lit cigarettes placed in their ears, according to newly released government documents... The documents, mostly memorandums written by agents to superiors in Washington over the past year, also include claims that some military interrogators had posed as F.B.I. officials while using harsh tactics on detainees, both in Iraq and at Guantánamo Bay.

FBI Agents Allege Abuse of Detainees at Guantanamo Bay --Detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were shackled to the floor in fetal positions for more than 24 hours at a time, left without food and water, and allowed to defecate on themselves, an FBI agent who said he witnessed such abuse reported in a memo to supervisors, according to documents released yesterday.

U.S. Loses Bid to Stop Turnover of CIA Records --The U.S. government lost a bid on Monday to block civil rights groups from obtaining CIA records of its internal investigation into abuse of detainees held by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More lawyers could quit over terror laws --Up to five more barristers handling 'terrorist' detention cases may resign this week in a protest over human rights.

U.S. Dictatorship trolling to extend its empire: Bush puts Iran, Syria on notice [Let us put the Bush dictatorship 'on notice' that it is time for the second American Revolution.] US Dictator George W. Bush today told Iran and Syria not to interfere in Iraq's internal politics, saying the United States had a variety of ways to retaliate if the two countries failed to heed his warning. The message was the second within a week from the US dictator to Tehran and Damascus to refrain from "meddling" in Iraq. [OMG!!! The irony will be the death of us all: Bush *threatening* other nations for *meddling* in Iraq's internal politics. Hello, Pot? This is Kettle...]

Bush threatens Syria, Iran with new pressure over Iraq --Dictator Bush threatened Syria, Iran on Monday with new diplomatic or economic measures to pressure both countries to stay away from the Iraqi politics [?!? Too bad whackjob Bush didn't!! Remember 'Shock & Awe???' Was that all part of 'staying away from Iraqi politics'???] Bush added that the United States had several ways to retaliate if the two countries failed to heed his warning. "Nothing's taken off the table," Bush told a press conference.

UN's Annan says Iraq bloodshed will affect elections --UN Secretary General Kofi Annan insisted only Iraq can decide whether to go ahead with elections next month, but he warned that the ongoing bloodshed would have an effect on the polls.

Experts Investigating Source of Mosul Explosion --Explosives experts are investigating the source of a single, large explosion on a U.S. base in southwest Mosul, Iraq, Task Force Olympia Commander Army Brig. Gen. Carter Ham said in a televised statement. [*Why* did the U.S. leave the munitions dumps *unguarded* after occupying Iraq? Maybe so that the Bush terror team can keep the endless cycle of insanity going: blow it up and *then* ask congress for more $$$$$ to 'rebuild' that which has just been destroyed (more $$$$$ for Halliburton). Incidentally, what happened to the *$87 billion* that Congress just gave to Bush for Halliburton ('Iraq and Afghanistan')?]

At Least 24 Dead in Attack at U.S. Base --At least 24 people were killed and more than 60 wounded at a U.S. military base in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today when the installation came under attack by suspected insurgents, U.S. military officials said. [NBC News Update, 15:30 EST: 19 Americans died as a result of the explosion; an additional 57 people were wounded.]

Bush: Iraq Bombers 'Are Having an Effect' --In a sobering assessment of the Iraq war, Dictator Bush acknowledged Monday that Americans' resolve has been shaken by grisly scenes of death and destruction and he pointedly criticized the performance of U.S.-trained Iraqi troops. "No question about it," he said. "The bombers are having an effect."

'They are trying to ignite a civil war' --Shia leaders blame Iraqi bombings on Sunni militants --Iraqi Shia leaders appealed to their supporters to show restraint yesterday after two deadly blasts targeted their religious centres in an apparent attempt to trigger civil war.

Two U.S. Soldiers Wounded While Patrolling in Afghanistan --Two U.S. soldiers were wounded when their patrol reported taking small-arms fire northeast of Shinkay in Zabul province Dec. 18.

Connecticut National Guard falling short of recruiting goals --Facing more frequent and dangerous deployments, the Connecticut National Guard is having trouble recruiting and retaining guardsmen, with nearly a quarter of authorized positions going unfilled.

U.S. Panel Reverses Pentagon on 'Enemy Combatant' --A U.S. military panel has for only the second time reversed a Guantanamo prisoner's "enemy combatant" designation by the Pentagon, and the man will be released, Navy Secretary Gordon England said on Monday.

A nation demands the right to exist --The Inuit peoples of the Arctic have launched a dramatic legal action against America. The charge? That US emissions of greenhouse gases have made their very survival impossible --Their ancient way of life is in unprecedented peril. Their very land is melting beneath their feet. Even the endless night of the Arctic winter, which should be one of nature's most immutable constants, may be changing. It too appears to have fallen victim of the abrupt warming of the global climate which almost every one on earth - apart from the government of the United States - believes is exacerbated by the polluting industries of the modern world. But now the 155,000 Inuit, also known as Eskimoes, scattered along the northern rim of Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Siberia, say the climate change that threatens their existence is also a violation of their human rights, and that the US, responsible for 25 per cent of the planet's greenhouse gases, is largely responsible.

Default Set to Bush on Voting Machines in Certain States --Another Stolen Election --Default Settings In Mahoning County --by Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D. December 20, 2004 "A disturbing story has been widely circulated that a vote for Bush was the default choice in the software of electronic voting machines in a number of states. By definition, 'default' settings are built-in by the manufacturer to make sure their programs work properly, and can be changed by the user. Some examples of default settings on a home computer are screen savers, type face, and screen resolution... With touch screen machines, it is possible to set up a default choice for Bush that would not be seen by the voters. Their votes would be automatically cast for Bush unless they successfully overrode the default choice of the computer. Likewise, if they deliberately chose not to vote for president, their votes would be counted for Bush."

The Potted Plant (as in, Bush is as dumb as...) will be well-protected: Tight inauguration security set --Every person along the parade route for the first such ceremony since 9/11 will be subject to search. Dictator Bush will be sworn in next month for a second term amid the tightest security in inaugural history, with police planning to search every one of the tens of thousands of people expected to line the parade route. Behind the scenes, thousands of specialized law-enforcement and military personnel will stand ready to respond to any emergency.

"While You Buy, They Die" --Local Activists Show the True Face of War to Holiday Shoppers in St. Petersburg --by Carol Schiffler

Mega moron alert!! Bush won't "negotiate with himself" --In Washington, there are plenty of ways to say "no comment," but Dictator [*moron*] George W. Bush has offered his own formulation, after he refused to "negotiate with myself in public." Bush used the phrase to deflect a question on the future of Social Security at a televised news conference.

Two Opponents of Abortion Are Tapped for Senate Judiciary Panel --Democrats Question Effect on Supreme Court Nominations--Senate Republican leaders yesterday appointed two of Congress's most outspoken antiabortion members to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is bracing for potentially bruising hearings on nominations to the Supreme Court.

New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Oppose Arctic Refuge Drilling --A new national poll released today finds that a solid majority of Americans from all walks of life oppose allowing oil companies to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Gasoline Price Highest Ever at Christmas --While U.S. retail gasoline prices have declined for seven weeks in a row, they are still at the highest level ever recorded by the government heading into the busy Christmas travel week, the Energy Department said on Monday.

Rant by Chil --CLG member and friend comments on today's issues [warning: language]

Mobile Phone Radiation Harms DNA, New Study Finds --Radio waves from mobile phones harm body cells and damage DNA in laboratory conditions, according to a new study majority-funded by the European Union, researchers said on Monday.

I-80 reopens after massive pileup in Pa. --More than 70 vehicles were involved in a pileup on snowy Interstate 80 in western Pennsylvania on Sunday, backing up traffic for at least 20 miles.

Giant sinkhole devours Florida boulevard --A sinkhole opened beneath a road in central Florida on Saturday, swallowing four lanes of pavement and forcing the evacuation of 20 homes. [A giant sinkhole has also swallowed tens of thousands of votes in Florida. Everything disappears down there.]

Frigid "tail" of stuck duck in Lincoln Park pond (IL) A quick deep freeze sometimes catches ducks napping and that's apparently what happened in the pond near farm in the zoo in Lincoln Park. This creature with frost bitten feathers apparently fell asleep on the job and ended up as one stuck duck. It looked like it might be an icy end to this story. But then -- here comes the Chicago Police Department's Marine Unit...

*****

2001 Memo Reveals Push for Broader Presidential Powers --A Justice Department lawyer may have been laying the groundwork for the Iraq invasion long before it was discussed publicly by the White House --Just two weeks after the September 11 attacks, a secret memo to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales' office concluded that Dictator Bush had the power to deploy military force "preemptively" against any terrorist groups or countries that supported them—regardless of whether they had any connection to the attacks on the World Trade Towers or the Pentagon.

U.S. takes border war on the road --Boats being sunk near Ecuador --U.S. 'counterterrorism' officials have set up a high-seas gantlet deploying Coast Guard cutters off Latin America and arresting foreign nationals trying to leave their own countries... The crackdown fits into a new worldwide strategy that U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials describe as "pushing our borders out."

Iraq's oil network hit after al-CIA-duh call --Iraq's oil infrastructure suffered five attacks in 24 hours after a voice identified as al-CIA-duh leader Osama bin Laden ordered followers to sabotage the West's key supplies. [Wow, now no-bid Halliburton can charge the U.S. *millions* to 'rebuild' the 'oil infrastructure.' Gee, what a scam!!]

Saddam Hussein Tells Iraqis to Unite Against U.S. --From his prison cell, Saddam Hussein urged his compatriots to remain united against the U.S. occupation and warned that upcoming 'elections' could divide the country, his lawyers said Sunday after the legal team's first meeting with the ousted Iraqi leader since his capture.

'Election' staff gunned down in Baghdad --Three staff working at an Iraqi 'election' office were gunned down in a known trouble spot in central Baghdad yesterday, a spokesman for the body organising next month's landmark 'polls' said.

Violence continues in Iraq amid Hussein's anti-US call --Violence continued in Iraq on Sunday with about 60 killed amid former leader Saddam Hussein's anti-US call. About 47 people were killed and 90 others wounded in a car bomb blast near the Imam Ali shrine in the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday, a hospital official said.

Six weeks from 'elections,' 65 are killed on day of terror in Iraq --Suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Shia holy cities of Najaf and Karbala yesterday, killing at least 62 people and wounding 129. The attacks are likely to increase hostility between the Shia and Sunni communities with exactly six weeks to go until the country is due to go to the 'polls.'

Two US soldiers killed in Kuwait hit-and-run crash --Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two injured on Sunday in a hit-and-run incident in southern Kuwait, the U.S. army and Kuwaiti security sources said.

Guardsman killed Iraqi after sex --A North Carolina National Guard member thought to be the first U.S. soldier convicted of murdering an Iraqi said he "snapped" and shot the 17-year-old boy after they had consensual sex, according to court-martial records released this week.

West has bloodied hands --by Eric Margolis "The Halabja atrocity remains murky. The CIA's former Iraq desk chief claims Kurds who died at Halabja were killed by cyanide gas, not nerve gas, as is generally believed. At the time, Iraq and Iran were locked in the ferocious last battles of their eight-year war. Halabja was caught between the two armies that were exchanging salvos of regular and chemical munitions. Only Iran had cyanide gas. If the CIA official is correct, the Kurds were accidentally killed by Iran, not Iraq. But it's also possible ['Chemical Ali' -- aka Ali Hassan al-Majid] ordered an attack. ... Who supplied 'Chemical Ali' with his mustard and nerve gas? Why, the West, of course. In late 1990, I discovered four British technicians in Baghdad who told me they had been 'seconded' to Iraq by Britain's ministry of defence and MI6 intelligence to make chemical and biological weapons, including anthrax, Q-fever and plague, at a secret laboratory at Salman Pak."

IAEA Chief Says Any Phone Taps Violate His Privacy --The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said on Sunday any U.S. monitoring of his telephone calls would be a violation of his privacy but that he had nothing to hide.

Lawmakers Chide Rumsfeld for Auto-Signed Sympathy Letters --Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld did not personally sign his name on letters of condolence to families of troops killed in Iraq but instead had it done by a machine, an action lawmakers said on Sunday showed insensitivity and was inappropriate for leadership during war.

4 nations that won't sign deal with U.S. risk aid loss --Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Paraguay could forgo millions in U.S. aid if they refuse to sign an agreement granting U.S. citizens immunity from International Criminal Court.

Time Canada (December 27 2004) Canadian Newsmaker of the Year -- Seeking the Truth --How one man's quest for justice is quietly reshaping a nation’s values and law --Who is Maher Arar? In 2002, U.S. officials detained the Canadian software engineer at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. They alleged that he was linked to al-Qaeda and secretly deported him to Syria, where he says he was tortured. When Arar was freed more than a year later and the public got a glimpse of him, he seemed to be a likable, hard-working family man... Arar has launched two gutsy lawsuits in 2004 targeting some of the most powerful people on the continent, including U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and R.C.M.P. Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli. [Quick Action!! Vote on Time Canada's WebPage: 'Do you agree with our choice of the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year?' (Maher Arar)]

Adolph Hitler, Man of the Year [Time] Jan. 2, 1939 [Link, courtesy: Jay Prestenback, a.k.a., 'ContraRNC.']
George W. Bush, Person of the Year [Time] Dec. 19, 2004 --(When did Bush achieve human status?)

14 Give $250,000 to Bush Inauguration --Oil, GOP Figures Support Costly Event --More than a dozen wealthy Bush supporters -- oil executives, corporate leaders, Texas Republicans -- have donated $250,000 each to help pay for Dictator Bush's second inauguration, which is shaping up as one of the most expensive. [CLG presents . . . UN-AUGURATION  - Jan. 20, 2005]

Legal advice on ID cards kept secret --The government has banned the release of advice given by Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, to cabinet ministers on whether the controversial bill to introduce ID cards for 55 million British citizens will invade people's privacy or human rights.

Lawyer resigns over terror laws --A senior lawyer with special security clearance says he will no longer represent terror suspects in protest over "odious" anti-terror laws. Ian MacDonald QC said he was stepping down after seven years "for reasons of conscience" because the laws were a "blot on the legal landscape."

From Britain, a Message to Washington (The New York Times) "...[T]he highest legal authority in Britain, the Law Lords, has ruled that international law does not permit the indefinite detention of foreign terrorism suspects. And it sternly declared that laws abridging liberties posed a greater threat to a democracy than terrorism itself... That sentiment is just as applicable to aspects of the Patriot Act, and to the Pentagon's disgracefully run detention camp at Guantánamo."

Revealing 9-11 Stock Trades Could Expose The Terrorist Masterminds --by Christopher Bollyn "Among the most conspicuous spikes in trading activity were the huge increases in 'put options' placed on the two airlines involved in the hijackings of Sept. 11, United Airlines (UAL) and American Airlines. There was a 9,000 percent jump in United Air Lines (UAL) put options between Sept. 6 and Sept. 10, with a huge spike 285 times higher than average on the Thursday before the attack. American Airlines saw a 6,000 percent jump in put options above normal the day before the attacks. However, there was no similar trading activity on any other airlines, according to market reports. The brokerage houses that had offices in the WTC, Morgan Stanley and Merrill-Lynch, saw 27-fold and 12-fold increases in the purchases of put options on their respective shares between Sept. 7 and Sept. 10. 'The afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market,' the CBS program 60 Minutes reported on Sept. 19."

Diebold to Settle with California --A California court has approved a $2.6 million settlement between Diebold and the State of California and Alameda County. The state and county had sued Diebold for fraudulent claims about the security of its electronic voting machines.

Ohio vote count battles escalate amidst new evidence of potential criminal activity --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman --"The epic legal battle over Ohio's presidential vote count is back in the state Supreme Court, with an election challenge claiming George W. Bush was wrongly declared the winner on Nov. 2 and seeking a court-ordered reversal of that victory... New affidavits point to possible criminal activity by top Ohio election officials, raising yet more questions about the 2004 vote."

Cliff Arnebeck is pursuing the lawsuits in Ohio and has requested donations - $200,000 needed to pursue. As cited from democraticunderground.com: "This includes filing fees already spent, deposition costs and attorneys' fees and expenses. If you are interested in ensuring that the opportunities presented by this lawsuit are fully explored, please make a donation to 'Ohio Election Litigation Fund' and mail it to Cliff Arnebeck, Esq.,1351 King Avenue, 1st Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43212, along with your email address. Any money donated to the fund will be held in trust and be used only for the purposes of this law suit. We will provide each and every donor with regular email updates regarding the progress of the lawsuit. There is no contribution too small and we thank you for your participation in this effort."

The school of creationism --Children in a Pennsylvania town will be taught that God made the world, igniting a debate which splits the US. --Was the landscape around the small town of Dover in Pennsylvania created in just six days? ... It was, at least according to the creationist beliefs of much of the town's population of 1,800, who have little time for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. And their [insane] fundamental beliefs are set to gain further currency. As of next month, in a hugely controversial move, the town's high school will become the first in the US for several generations to teach a form of creationism as part of its curriculum.

Newspaper's Analysis Finds Evidence of Widespread Cheating by Texas Schools --Dozens of Texas schools appear to have cheated on the state's redesigned academic achievement test, casting doubt on whether the accountability system can reliably measure how schools are performing, a newspaper found. An analysis uncovered strong evidence of organized, educator-led cheating on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills at schools in Houston and Dallas, along with suspicious scores in hundreds of other schools, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Administration Looks to Curb Growth of Medicaid Spending --Federal officials are sending auditors to state capitals across the country to investigate techniques used by states to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in Medicaid costs to the federal government. The moves come as the Bush dictatorship is considering a wide range of other new initiatives to curb the growth of Medicaid spending, crack down on improper payments and help states save money by restricting eligibility and benefits. [Where is the investigation into the corporate welfare for Halliburton???]

Social Security Dodge (The Washington Post) "...[W]whatever credit the president [sic] deserves for calling on Congress and the country to deal with Social Security, he loses with his breezily dishonest suggestion that private accounts provide a painless, magic-wand solution to the program's woes."

Bush is Selling a Trojan Horse, Says Author of 'The Looting of Social Security' --"President [sic] Bush is trying to sell his privatization proposal as a plan to save Social Security, when it is actually a clever scam designed to destroy the program that conservatives have hated since its enactment in 1935," says economist Allen W. Smith, Ph.D., author of the book, "The Looting of Social Security: How the Government is Draining America's Retirement Account."

Pfizer Suspends Celebrex Ads - U.S. FDA --Pfizer Inc. has agreed to suspend its advertisements for arthritis drug Celebrex while U.S. regulators review new data that link the drug to an elevated risk of heart attacks, a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman said on Sunday.

U.S. Waters Down Global Commitment to Curb Greenhouse Gases --Two weeks of negotiations at a United Nations conference here on climate change ended early Saturday with a weak pledge to start limited, informal talks on ways to slow down global warming, after the United States blocked efforts to begin more substantive discussions.

Social Security Rejects Marriage Papers --The Social Security Administration is rejecting marriage documents issued for heterosexual couples in four communities that performed weddings for gay couples earlier this year.

The Virgin Birth and Childhood Mysteries of Jesus --by James Still "Biblical scholars have long ago dismissed the literal interpretation of the miraculous virgin-birth of Jesus. Also, many liberal Christian denominations have either quietly purged the curious piece of teaching from their body of philosophy, or conveniently ignore the issue altogether. Despite this, the allure of such an intriguing concept is still very powerful and Jesus' virgin birth continues to enjoy the unquestioning belief of millions of people."

Crash involving 80 vehicles closes I-80 in western Pennsylvania --A tractor-trailer travelling 90 kilometres an hour in whiteout conditions jackknifed across Interstate 80 on Sunday, causing a pileup that wrecked up to 80 vehicles.

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Blue states burned by Bush Dictatorship: 27 million in US to see tax bill rise --Mass. residents will be hit hard by formula --Nearly 27 million more Americans are slated to pay higher federal income taxes over the next six years as they become subject to a tax provision usually aimed only at the wealthiest Americans, with Massachusetts residents paying at a greater rate than all but four other states Treasury officials and economists said yesterday. ...Some Republicans have suggested leaving the minimum tax in place because those hardest hit tend to be in states that did not support Bush, including Massachusetts, California, and New York. "It is a tax of people living in 'blue' states," said Grover Norquist, the conservative activist who heads Americans for Tax Reform.

Pentagon Seeks to Expand Role in Intelligence --The Pentagon is drawing up a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations that have traditionally been the province of the Central Intelligence Agency, including missions aimed at 'terrorist' groups and those involved in weapons proliferation, Defense Department officials say. [If the CIA/military is trolling for *actual* terrorists, check 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and start making arrests.]

A New Stasi: Bush Signs Sweeping Intelligence Reform --Dictator Bush today signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence gathering in 50 years, hoping to 'improve' the spy network that failed to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.

Drivers licenses changes --Within 18 months, secretaries of state and DMV officials from across the country will work out a plan to bring 50 different licenses under the same federal security requirements. ..."Requiring standards for drivers licenses nationally sets the standard for a de facto national ID card," said Barrie Gewanter, New York Civil Liberties Union.

Poll: Nearly half of Americans for limiting Muslim-Americans' rights --Nearly half of all Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide poll.

U.S. Designates Al-Manar TV as 'Terrorist' --The United States on Friday designated al-Manar television a terrorist organization, prompting an end to its U.S. satellite transmissions. [Oh, and Faux News is not?]

Officials Describe Secret C.I.A. Center at Guantánamo Bay --The Central Intelligence Agency secretly operated a holding and interrogation center within the larger American military-run prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, current and former government officials said on Friday. The C.I.A. operation, which was used for the questioning of terror suspects, was closed within the last year, the officials said.

Briton freed from Guantanamo prison tells European rights body of U.S. abuse --A Briton released from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, told Europe's top human rights body Friday he was beaten, shackled, kept in a cramped cage and fed rotten food as part of "systematic abuse" in custody.

Cuba Erects Sign Linking U.S. and Fascism --Cuba responded Friday to U.S. diplomats' refusal to take down Christmas decorations by putting up a huge billboard in front of the U.S. Interest Section emblazoned with a swastika and showing photographs of Iraqi prisoners being abused by American soldiers. Click here to see photo of AWESOME, ACCURATE billboard!!!!

Cuba Erects Iraq Abuse Billboards Near U.S. Mission --Cuba put up several huge billboards near the U.S. mission on Friday with pictures of abused Iraqi prisoners and American soldiers pointing a rifle at children, in response to a U.S. Christmas display in support of imprisoned Cuban dissident.

New armed boat will patrol port --Racheting up its firepower, the sheriff's office is getting a 30-foot boat with mounted machine guns for homeland-security patrols at the Port of Palm Beach and offshore. Mounted machine guns are a first for the sheriff's office, although sub-machine guns are assigned to some deputies in specialized units.

Law lords condemn Blunkett's terror measures 'The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these' - Lord Hoffmann - in yesterday's judgment --Controversial anti-[pro]terror laws championed by David Blunkett in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks were dealt a devastating blow yesterday in a historic judgment by the House of Lords. Just hours after he resigned as Home Secretary, Mr Blunkett had to suffer the fresh humiliation of seeing one of his flagship policies being dismantled by the law lords. [Awesome!!]

Protesters May Not Have Swearing-In Spot --The park service has given the Presidential Inaugural Committee clearance to erect bleachers along parts of Pennsylvania Avenue where an anti-war group had requested permits to stage a large-scale protest during Dictator Bush's parade. [Who needs 'permission' from this whackjob government, to demonstrate against Bush, i.e., ***permits?*** 'Permits' are NOT REQUIRED to protest the Bush Dictatorship. People need to show up, UN-permitted!! *See: CLG presents . . . UN-AUGURATION  - Washington, D.C. Jan. 20th, 2005 - JOIN HORDES IN D.C. FOR AN EXTRA SPECIAL UN-AUGURATION PARADE!!]

US threatens UN agency funds over report - writer --The lead writer of a U.N. report on freedom and governance in the Arab world said on Saturday the United States was threatening to cut off funds to a U.N. agency if the United Nations releases it.

Colombia Troops [Mercenaries] Being Hired for Iraq Jobs --Recruiters working for U.S. contractors are hiring former Colombian soldiers [terrorists] - and even luring some active-duty ones - for security jobs in Iraq, says a former army officer who met with the recruiters. Although Colombia is a member of Dictator Bush's "coalition of the willing" [LOL!] in Iraq, it hasn't sent troops because its army is battling a 40-year-old Marxist insurgency [battle for freedom from U.S. corpora-terrorists] with U.S. aid [U.S. taxpayers funding Reichwing death squads] at home. But some former soldiers have recently begun going as contractors - and earning up to $8,000 monthly [from U.S. tax dollars, which fund no-bid contractor, Halliburton, etc.].

Iraq Insurgents Kill 3 Foreigners in Mosul --Insurgents killed at least three foreigners on Friday in Mosul, a northern city that became a stronghold after Fallujah fell to U.S. and Iraqi forces. Militants also set ablaze a pipeline near the capital — a rare attack on oil infrastructure in a populated area.

U.S. Marine killed in Iraq --A U.S. Marine was killed Thursday during fighting in Anbar province west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said yesterday. Following Marine policy, no details were released. The death brought to at least 1,305 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the [illegal] U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Another Iraq Casualty: Nearly 900 U.S. Kids Lost a Parent in War, Scripps Finds --The escalating toll of American dead in Iraq is causing another tragedy that cuts deeper. After studying casualty reports and obituaries and accounts in hometown newspapers, and also conducting family interviews, Scripps Howard News Service has identified nearly 900 U.S. children who have lost a parent in the war.

W. House Gives Rumsfeld New Vote of Confidence --The White House gave a new vote of confidence on Friday to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld amid growing criticism of him from members of Dictator Bush's own Republican Party.

Dems Want Answers From Rumsfeld on Armor --The incoming deputy leader of Senate Democrats demanded answers Saturday from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as to why U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan lack protective equipment for themselves and their vehicles.

Democrats Blame Rumsfeld for Mistakes in Iraq --Democrats on Saturday said U.S. soldiers in Iraq lacked adequate body armor and plated vehicles because of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's flawed leadership.

US Senator Trent Lott says Rumsfeld not right for Dept of Defence --US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should be replaced sometime in the next year, Senator Trent Lott says. "I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld," Lott told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

Different targets, same tactics --Bush's slash and smear campaign is trying to bring all disparate elements under US control --by Sidney Blumenthal "Though it is early days since Bush's re-election, the way in which he will handle the difficulties of imperial management which so vex him is already apparent... The techniques of the permanent campaign, especially negative attacks, recently applied in the re-election contest, are being transferred seamlessly and shamelessly to international relations. In part, the slash-and-smear campaign against [Kofi] Annan and [Mohamed] ElBaradei is the Bush administration's effort to subjugate international civil servants and organisations to its central command."

Soldier arrested for staging gunshot wound to avoid Iraq --Philadelphia police said they had charged a US soldier with arranging for his cousin to shoot him in the leg to prevent him from returning to active duty in Iraq.

Iraqi woman killed at US checkpoint --US soldiers have killed an Iraqi woman at a checkpoint in Kirkuk after the driver allegedly failed to stop while in Baiji US contractors have come under attack. In the Kirkuk incident, which happened late on Friday, two of the woman's relatives were wounded night when US soldiers opened fire on their car.

Iraqis Face Winter Shivering by Candlelight --As if the daily struggle to dodge bullets and bombings is not enough, many Iraqis now face a freezing winter shivering by candlelight as persistent attacks keep the power out for more than 12 hours a day. [It appears that Saddam Hussein was the better deal.]

Egypt's Mubarak warns U.S. against attacking Iran --The United States would be making a catastrophic mistake if it attacked Iran to destroy the country's nuclear programme, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Missile Defense System Won't Be Launched This Year The technology, which just failed a major test, requires more exercises [*Duh.*], military officials say. After the Pentagon's national missile defense system failed a key test this week, the Bush regime has dropped its plans to activate the system by the end of the year.

Ohio Voters Refile Election Challenge --Voters who claim problems with Ohio voting machines Nov. 2 indicated fraud refiled a request with the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday to overturn the presidential results. The 37 voters cite reports of machine errors, double-counting of some ballots and a shortage of voting machines in predominantly minority precincts as reasons to throw out the election results.

Judge Blocks Count of New Wash. Ballots --A judge Friday granted a state Republican Party request to block the counting of hundreds of recently discovered King County ballots in the governor's race, which the GOP's candidate is winning by just a few dozen votes. Even if the election workers wrongly rejected the ballots -- 150 of which were discovered Friday -- it is too late for King County to reconsider them now, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend said.

More Uncounted Ballots Found in Wash. State --With Washington state in the middle of a recount of its amazingly close governor's race, election officials in Seattle's King County entered a warehouse Friday and found a plastic tray containing 150 misplaced ballots. The discovery brings the number of belatedly discovered ballots to 723 in the heavily Democratic county potentially enough to swing the election to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

Oh-but-another Bush corpora-terrorist rat abandons ship: Head of Railroad Administration, Facing Two Inquiries, Is Quitting --Facing two federal investigations of her agency's oversight of rail safety, Betty Monro, the acting head of the Federal Railroad Administration announced yesterday that she was stepping down. ...The narrower investigation focuses on certain regulatory questions, as well as Ms. Monro's ties to Mary E. McAuliffe, chief lobbyist for the biggest railroad, Union Pacific.

Oops! Looks like another Bush Regime 'Friday afternoon environmental bad news' news dump: EPA Says 224 Counties Fail Air Standards --The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday identified 225 counties in 20 states that don't meet new clean air standards designed to protect against one of the tiniest but most harmful pollutants — microscopic soot.

Many Counties Failing Fine-Particle Air Rules --About a third of all Americans live in counties that do not meet seven-year-old standards for microscopic particles of pollution that cause thousands of premature deaths a year, the Environmental Protection Agency said Friday. The 20 states affected, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, now have three years to develop plans to bring their problem counties into compliance by 2010, or face the loss of federal highway money.

EPA orders Pa. to reduce soot --10 counties in region need plans by 2010 --The federal Environmental Protection Agency yesterday ordered 10 counties in Western Pennsylvania and 22 across the state to develop plans to reduce health-harming airborne soot by 2010.

*Another* Bush Regime 'Friday afternoon environmental bad news' news dump: Earth-Hostile Chemical Gets White House OK --The Bush dictatorship announced new rules Thursday to allow U.S. farmers who grow tomatoes, strawberries and other crops to continue using methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting pesticide that had been scheduled to be phased out worldwide next year.

The spy who was left out in the cold By Gary Webb (Nov. 7, 2003) "As far as can be told, former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Lok Lau may be a genuine American hero, the first agent in FBI history to penetrate the top levels of the Chinese government. But the US Department of Justice is doing everything in its power - and some things that aren't - to prevent even the tiniest detail of Lau's highly classified work from becoming public... the 46-year-old Singapore native was involved in some very heavy, very clandestine and very dangerous work inside the People's Republic of China, on behalf of US intelligence, for years."

In 1969, the Pentagon gave the order to create a disease to strip the immune system (AIDS). After AIDS spreads, the U.S government and pharmaceutical terrorists got together to make a profit on the 'cure.' S. Africa Attacks U.S. Over AIDS Drug --President Thabo Mbeki's ruling party published a stinging attack Friday on top U.S. health officials, accusing them of treating Africans like "guinea pigs" and lying to promote a key AIDS drug. Documents obtained by AP show Dr. Edmund C. Tramont, chief of the National Institutes of Health's AIDS division, rewrote an NIH report to omit negative conclusions about the way a U.S.-funded drug trial was conducted in Uganda, and later ordered the research to continue over the objections of his staff. Tramont's staff worried about record-keeping problems, violations of federal patient safeguards and other issues at the Uganda research site. "Dr. Tramont was happy that the peoples of Africa should be used as guinea pigs, given a drug he knew very well should not be prescribed," the article said. "In other words, they entered into a conspiracy with a pharmaceutical company to tell lies to promote the sales of nevirapine in Africa, with absolutely no consideration of the health impact of those lies on the lives of millions of Africans." [*See: the most important political article in recent times: Was There an AIDS Contract? --by Michael Morrissey (24 Jun 1994) "The final question would be: Was it produced in a laboratory? [Prof. Jakob] Segal believes he has shown that it was, but he goes further than that. He also believes he knows who produced it and why. Segal quotes from a document presented by a Pentagon official named Donald MacArthur on June 9, 1969, to a Congressional committee, in which $10 million is requested to develop, over the next 5 to 10 years, a new, contagious micro- organism which would destroy the human immune system. Whether such research is categorized as 'offensive' or 'defensive' is immaterial: in order to defend oneself against a possible new virus, so the reasoning goes, one must first develop the virus."]

FDA Warns of Celebrex Heart Risk The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned physicians to consider alternatives to the popular arthritis drug Celebrex because of new evidence that, like the similar drug Vioxx, removed from the market in September, it doubles the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

Great news!!! Norville stops wasting valuable air time on MSNBC!!! Norville Signs Off MSNBC --Deborah Norville, who does double duty hosting an MSNBC show and syndicated magazine Inside Edition [Hollywood gossip - her field], is ending her cable news show in mid-January. [Thank God!! Keith Olbermann needs to expand to a two-hour format.]

*****

GOP to Sue Over 573 Found Wash. Ballots --Republicans prepared a lawsuit Thursday to try to prevent King County from including 573 newly discovered ballots in a hand recount that could erase their gubernatorial candidate's razor-thin margin of victory.

N.C. Officials Resign Over Voting Problems --Two local elections officials resigned after investigations revealed mishandling of vote tallies in Gaston County, including more than 13,000 ballots that weren't discovered until after 'Election' Day. The county failed to include more than 13,000 ballots — nearly one in five of those cast — in its unofficial election results.

Request to inspect machines denied --Libertarian observer questions recount policy (OH) The presidential election recount began Wednesday at the Licking County Board of Elections, but it didn't begin the way one candidate's representative had hoped. Mary Lewin, the recount observer for Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik, wanted to inspect the voting machines as part of the recount, but her request was denied.

Wolfowitz raises fears of anthrax attack [He IS an anthrax attack] --Several months after a federal court ruled against the Department of Defense's mandatory anthrax vaccination program, the DOD has requested an emergency ruling so it can continue to give the controversial vaccine to soldiers. The authorization request was made in a letter from Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

At Guantanamo, a Prison Within a Prison --CIA Has Run a Secret Facility for Some Al Qaeda Detainees, Officials Say -- Within the heavily guarded perimeters of the Defense Department's much-discussed Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the CIA has maintained a detention facility for valuable 'al Qaeda' captives that has never been mentioned in public, according to military officials and several current and former intelligence officers.

British Court Says Detentions Violate Rights --Britain's highest court ruled Thursday that the government could not continue to indefinitely detain foreigners suspected of terrorism without charging or trying them, saying the practice violated European human rights conventions.

U.K. Court Condemns Handling of Suspects --Britain's highest court on Thursday harshly condemned one of the most hotly disputed elements of the country's anti-terrorist strategy — a law allowing some foreign suspects to be locked up indefinitely with no charge.

UK Keeps Terror Suspects in Jail, Despite Judgement --Britain's top court delivered a severe jolt to Prime Minister Tony Blair's post-Sept. 11 security policies on Thursday by ruling against the detention of nine foreign terrorism suspects without trial. The British government, Washington's chief ally in its "war on [of] terror," said it would send the controversial law under which the Muslim men are held back to parliament. But it refused to release the nine -- one of whom is accused of inspiring the Sept. 11 U.S. attacks -- for 'security' reasons.

Bush Prepares for Possible GPS Shutdown --Dictator Bush has ordered plans for temporarily disabling the U.S. network of global positioning satellites during a national crisis to prevent terrorists from using the navigational technology, the White House said Wednesday.

War funding request may hit $100 billion --The Bush regime plans to ask for between $80 billion and $100 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, rather than the $70 billion to $75 billion the White House privately told members of Congress before the 'election,' according to Pentagon and White House officials.

Bush Reaffirms U.S. Missile Defense Plans --Dictator Bush remains intent on deploying a multibillion-dollar 'shield' as an "important deterrent" against ballistic missile attack, the White House said on Thursday, a day after the system's first flight test in two years ended in failure.

U.S. Missile Defense Test Fails --Latest Setback in Pacific Fuels Doubts About System's Future --The Bush regime's effort to build a system for defending the country against ballistic missile attack suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday when an interceptor missile failed to launch during the first flight test of the system in two years.

Colombian Militants Recruited for Iraq Mercenary Gig --A Colombian daily reported on Saturday that an American company is recruiting former police and military officials in the South American country for jobs protecting pipelines and industry personnel in Iraq. The story, published in El Tiempo, details how a retired Colombian military colonel approached about 25 'men' [terrorists] with offers of lucrative Iraq contracts.

Two Halliburton executives may get millions --Dec. 9, 2004 --Chronicle When two top executives at Halliburton leave the company, they could take with them compensation packages worth more than $4 million each.

U.S. Takes to Air to Move Cargo in Iraq --With the persistent peril of roadside attacks on trucks, more freight is traveling by plane. U.S. commanders in Iraq have begun transporting more supplies to the country by aircraft in an effort to evade the roadside bomb attacks that have been killing or wounding about 100 American troops each month, the Air Force's top officer said Tuesday.

Guard Reports Serious Drop in Enlistment --In the latest signs of strains on the military from the war in Iraq, the Army National Guard announced on Thursday that it had fallen 30 percent below its recruiting goals in the last two months and would offer new incentives, including enlistment bonuses of up to $15,000.

Guard to triple re-enlistment bonuses --Added incentives, new equipment sought to bolster forces --The U.S. Army National Guard, battered by its major role in the Iraq war, announced Thursday it would increase enlistment bonuses to attract new recruits and seek $20 billion to replace arms and equipment.

GOP senators bash Rumsfeld --Defense Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld is drawing increasingly heavy fire from fellow Republicans over the lack of armored Humvees and transport trucks for the troops in Iraq, but the White House on Thursday defended the Pentagon boss.

Gee... I wonder who planted the bugging device? U.N. Says Bugging Device Found at Its Geneva HQ --The United Nations said on Thursday a secret listening device had been found in a posh meeting room of its European headquarters in Geneva. The room was used by ministers from major powers last year during private talks on Iraq following the U.S. invasion and occupation. Jacques Baud, a Berne-based security expert and author of an encyclopedia on intelligence services, said: "It is the first time since the Cold War that there has been material proof of a system being planted in the United Nations."

Alleged Bin Laden Tape Targets Saudi Rulers --An audio tape purportedly by Osama bin Laden praises gunmen who attacked a U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia on Dec. 6 and warns Saudi rulers they could be toppled like the Shah of Iran.

Lawyers for Kerry, Edwards send letter to Blackwell demanding investigation into Hocking County vote machine tampering --Senator Kerry's and Senator Edwards' state counsel for Ohio has issued a letter to Ohio Republican Secretary of State and Bush-Cheney '04 chair Kenneth Blackwell demanding an official investigation into voting machine tampering in Hocking County, RAW STORY has learned. The letter, which was sent Wednesday, also asks that Blackwell require hand counts in any county where machines have been compromised, or have an independent expert inspect the machines.

Ohio Justice Throws Out Election Challenge --The Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice on Thursday threw out a challenge to the state's presidential election results. The 40 voters who brought the case will likely be able to refile the challenge.

Cobb, Badnarik, Kerry-Edwards 2004 add election tampering to OH suit --The lawyers for Green presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik, along with Kerry-Edwards 2004 have added election tampering to a civil suit filed against the state of Ohio over problems with the state's recount, RAW STORY has learned. The suit alleges that a manufacturer of voting machines, Triad Election Systems, which serves 43 counties in the state, is tampering with the recount.

American democracy hangs by a thread in Ohio --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "As the whole world watches, American democracy may be hanging by a thread in Ohio. Monday, December 13, saw a triple play that will live in electoral infamy. But every new day brings still more stunning revelations -- this time from Toledo -- of vote theft and fraud and a towering wall of resistance and sabotage against a fair recount of the votes that allegedly gave George W. Bush four more years in the White House."

"Fraud By Computer" In Florida --Election Official Thwarts Recount Using Phony Vote Totals --by Daniel Hopsicker "A 'mistake' made in the office of a seriously-compromised Supervisor of Election in Pinellas County whose husband is a top executive of the country’s largest election services company has almost unnoticed spiked the best hope for a election recount in Florida that might have thrown a spotlight on the dark corners of the Florida election process concealing widespread systemic and system-wide vote fraud."

King County board votes to move forward with 573 ballots --The three-member King County Canvassing Board decided today to allow signature verification on 573 newly discovered absentee ballots and then consider whether they should be counted in Washington's extremely close governor's race. The board postponed a decision on what to do with 22 other newly discovered ballots.

Rescuer in Sept. 11 Attacks Denied Workers' Comp --A court Thursday denied workers' compensation benefits for a World Trade Center official who rushed from home on Sept. 11, 2001, to help rescue victims of the terrorist attack, saying he was ineligible because he hadn't been ordered to the scene.

GOP Gains Boost Chances of Alaska Drilling --Supporters of Exploration in Wildlife Refuge Appear to Have Majority in New Senate --Republican gains in the Senate from last month's 'elections' have pumped new life into the regime-backed move to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, prompting environmentalists to mount what one of them called "the fight of our lives" to defeat the proposal.

Alaska's North Slope Proposes Pipeline --Alaska's three largest North Slope oil producers are proposing to build a pipeline to bring North America's largest natural gas reserves to the lower 48 states. ExxonMobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and BP own Alaska's natural gas.

Groups Line Up to Oppose Bush Social Security 'Plan' --As Dictator Bush begins a big campaign to restructure Social Security, Democrats and a host of interest groups are mobilizing to fight his private account 'plan' and protect the traditional retirement system.

Bush Sees Tough Resistance to His Financial Agenda --Dictator Bush acknowledged on Thursday that the financial agenda for his second term, including Social Security reform and spending curbs, will face stubborn resistance in Congress.

FDA scientists express lack of confidence in own agency --About two-thirds of Food and Drug Administration scientists are less than fully confident in the agency's monitoring of the safety of prescription drugs now being sold, according to an FDA internal survey.

Some FDA Staff Had Drug Safety Concerns-Survey --Nearly 20 percent of U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists surveyed in late 2002 said they were pressured to approve or recommend approval of a medicine despite their reservations about the drug's risks or effectiveness, according to documents made public on Thursday.

Bribes alleged in sales policy for AIDS drug --A New York sales representative for a Swiss biotechnology company was charged Tuesday by federal prosecutors with bribing doctors to write prescriptions for an expensive AIDS drug.

LOL! Phony shortage backfires on pharmaceutical corpora-terrorists: U.S. Worries Flu Shots May Go to Waste --Two months after the government recommended that scarce flu shots be reserved for people most at risk, health officials are now worried that tens of thousands of doses could go to waste, and they are considering easing the restrictions.

*****

States and Cities Must Hunt 'Terror' Plots, Mass. Governor Says --To 'protect' America against terrorists, state and local agencies, as well as private businesses, need to gather intelligence themselves and not just rely on intelligence gathered by the federal government, Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts [R - Whackjob], the leader of a national working group on safeguarding the nation, told homeland security officials on Tuesday. "The eyes and ears which gather intelligence need to be as developed in our country as they were in foreign countries during the cold war," Mr. Romney told the group. "Meter readers, E.M.S. drivers, law enforcement, private sector personnel need to be on the lookout for information which may be as useful."

Detainee Abuse by Marines Is Detailed --Variety of Units In Iraq Involved --Marines operating in Iraq over the past two years committed a variety of abuses against Iraqi prisoners, including burning a detainee's hands by igniting alcohol-based cleanser in August 2003, according to internal Defense Department documents released yesterday.

Marines Found Guilty of Abusing Iraqis, Files Show --Marines in Iraq were convicted by military trials of committing a variety of abuses of captured Iraqis, including using an electric transformer to shock a detainee repeatedly to make him "dance," according to documents released Tuesday.

Document Reveals More U.S. Detainee Abuse in Iraq --U.S. Marines fired a pistol in a mock execution involving four young Iraqi 'looters' and shocked another Iraqi detainee with an electric transformer until he "danced," a document made public on Tuesday showed.

Bomb Near Iraqi Shi'ite Shrine Kills 8, Wounds 32 --A bomb exploded near the offices of a senior Shi'ite cleric in the Iraqi holy city of Kerbala on Wednesday, killing eight people and wounding 32, police and doctors said.

US Army acknowledges eight deaths in military custody in Afghanistan --The US Army acknowleged that eight prisoners have died in US military custody in Afghanistan since US-led forces toppled the Taliban regime, two more than previously disclosed.

Pentagon Emergency: Additional $80 Billon For Halliburton ['Iraq, Afghanistan'] --Pentagon officials said they will ask the Bush regime for an additional $80 billion in emergency funding to help pay costs of the military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, slightly higher than the $70 billion to $75 billion many on Capitol Hill had expected. The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports Tuesday: "Senior Pentagon officials met to review and finalize the new budget request before sending it to the White House this week. The final White House request, which will be submitted to Congress early next year, would probably come in between $75 billion and $80 billion, pushing the total military costs, since the Iraq war began, to well over $230 billion.

Pockets of Resistance Remain in Fallujah, Myers Says [Nah... 'ya think?] --Pockets of resistance remain in Fallujah, but the vast majority of insurgents have been cleared out [?!? Really? Who is setting off the multiple car bombs on a daily basis, Santa's elves???], said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a visit here today.

Oops!! Looks like Faux News forgot to report this one: IAEA Leader's Phone Tapped By Bush Regime --U.S. Pores Over Transcripts to Try to Oust Nuclear Chief --The Bush dictatorship has dozens of intercepts of Mohamed ElBaradei's phone calls with Iranian diplomats and is scrutinizing them in search of ammunition to oust him as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to three U.S. government officials.

Important Test for Missile-Defense System Ends in Failure --An important test of the United States' emerging missile-defense system ended in an $85 million failure early today as an interceptor rocket failed to launch as scheduled from the Marshall Islands, the Pentagon said.

Interceptor Missile Fails to Launch in Test --An interceptor missile failed to launch early Wednesday in what was to have been the first full flight test of the U.S. national missile defense system in nearly two years.

N.Korea: Japan Sanctions Would Be War Declaration --North Korea warned Japan on Wednesday that it would treat economic sanctions as a "declaration of war" and threatened to try to exclude Tokyo from six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear arms programs.

Newark Airport Screeners Spot -- Then Lose -- Fake Bomb --Baggage screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport spotted -- and then lost -- a fake bomb planted in luggage by a supervisor during a training exercise.

Newark Airport Staff Loses Fake Explosives in Test --'Security' screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport lost a bag containing fake explosives used to test the airport's bomb-detection system, federal officials said on Wednesday.

Aznar 'wiped files on Madrid bombings' All computer records in PM's office destroyed, says Zapatero --Spain's former prime minister José María Aznar wiped all computer records at his office referring to the March 11 Madrid train bombings and the rest of his period of government, his successor José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said yesterday. Mr Zapatero told a parliamentary commission on the bombings that he had no idea whether records were made of crisis meetings held at the prime minister's office after the attacks that killed 191 people, as computer hard-drives and security copies were wiped clean.

Sept. 11 Conspiracy Theorist Offers $100,000 Prize --Jimmy Walter has spent more than $3 million promoting a conspiracy theory the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States were "an inside job" and he is offering more cash to anyone who proves him wrong.

Firefighter Said Black Boxes Were Found at Ground Zero By Bryan Sacks and Nicholas Levis Oct. 27, 2004 "Amid the enormous detail of loss, sorrow and recovery conveyed in 'Behind-the-Scenes: Ground Zero,' a New York City firefighter reveals that at least three of the four black boxes from Flights 11 and 175 were found by 'Federal Agents' at the former World Trade Center site, during the clean-up efforts from September 2001 to March 2002. At the time of the disaster, Nicholas DeMasi was a firefighter at Engine Company 261 in Queens... The only statement on the status of the Ground Zero black boxes in the 9/11 Commission Report is buried in footnote 76 to Chapter 1, but it is definitive: 'The CVRs and FDRs from American 11 and United 175 were not found...'"

Obituary: Gary Webb, prize-winning investigative reporter --Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said. Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday. [Hey, I hit the cerebrum. Let me try again.]

Philippines' Poe, Ex-Presidential Candidate, Dies --Fernando Poe Jr., the Philippine actor who challenged [Bush ally] President Gloria Arroyo in elections earlier this year, died after suffering a stroke on Dec. 11. Poe beat Arroyo in many early polls before losing [?!?] to her 37 percent to 40 percent in the May election. Poe said the president cheated, and he never conceded the election to her.

Quick action! John Conyers needs a million emails to keep the Voting Issue at the top of the issues. Please email: John.Conyers@mail.house.gov.

Write-In Votes Would Tip San Diego Race --A review Tuesday of ballots cast in the San Diego mayor's race showed that a Democratic city councilwoman would beat the Republican incumbent mayor if disputed write-in votes were added to the official tally, a newspaper reported.

More uncounted ballots turn up in Washington state governor's race --The candidates are still fighting for every vote in the close race for governor in Washington state. King County has found another 22 uncounted ballots in the bottom of some polling machines.

Ballots Wrongly Denied in Wash. Gov. Race --The election director in Seattle's King County said Monday that hundreds of absentee ballots were mistakenly rejected in the heavily Democratic stronghold - enough to swing the close governor's race to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

Gee, here's a *BIG* bleeping surprise: Democrats Lose Lawsuit in Washington Governor Race --Washington State's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a lawsuit brought by Democrats to review all disqualified ballots in last month's gubernatorial election for a hand recount that is already under way.

Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio --Tanya Thivener's is a tale of two voting precincts in Franklin County. In her city neighborhood, which is vastly Democratic and majority black, the 38-year-old mortgage broker found a line snaking out of the precinct door. She stood in line for four hours -- one hour in the rain -- and watched dozens of potential voters mutter in disgust and walk away without casting a ballot. Afterward, Thivener hopped in her car and drove to her mother's house, in the vastly Republican and majority white suburb of Harrisburg. How long, she asked, did it take her to vote? Fifteen minutes, her mother replied...

Lawmaker Seeks Inquiry Into Ohio Vote (New York Times) --The ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, plans to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a county prosecutor in Ohio today to explore "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in at least one and perhaps several Ohio counties. ...Hocking County deputy director of elections, Sherole Eaton, says in her affidavit that a representative of Triad Governmental Systems, the Ohio firm that created and maintains the vote-counting software in dozens of Ohio counties, made several adjustments to the Hocking County tabulator last Friday, in advance of the state's recount, which is taking place this week.

Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed By William Rivers Pitt "Triad is owned by a man named Tod Rapp, who has also donated money to both the Republican Party and the election campaign of George W. Bush. Triad manufactures punch-card voting systems, and also wrote the computer program that tallied the punch-card votes cast in 41 Ohio counties last November... Earlier this week, the allegations against Triad were first raised by Green Party candidate David Cobb, who testified at a hearing held in Columbus, Ohio by Rep. John Conyers of the House Judiciary Committee. In his testimony, Cobb stated: ...I must bring to the committee's attention the most recent and perhaps most troubling incident that was related to my campaign on Sunday, December 12, about a shocking event that occurred last Friday, December 10. A representative from Triad Systems came into a county board of elections office un-announced. He said he was just stopping by to see if they had any questions about the up-coming recount. He then headed into the back room where the Triad supplied Tabulator (a card reader and older PC with custom software) is kept. He told them there was a problem and the system had a bad battery and had 'lost all of its data'. He then took the computer apart and started swapping parts in and out of it and another 'spare' tower type PC also in the room. He may have had spare parts in his coat as one of the BOE people moved it and remarked as to how very heavy it was. He finally re-assembled everything and said it was working but to not turn it off."

Clint Curtis 'Stuns' Judiciary Committee Hearings in Ohio With 'Jaw Dropping' Sworn Testimony (bradblogtoo.blogspot.com) The Brad Blog has just received an exclusive first-hand account of Clint Curtis' sworn testimony to the Judiciary Committee. Democrats held hearings on December 13, 2004, in Columbus, Ohio on 'Election 2004 Voting Irregularities.' The software programmer named Tom Feeney (R- FLA, member of the Judiciary Committee) as having asked him to create 'vote-rigging' software when he was a Florida Congressman prior to 2000 elections.

Pennsylvania Schools Sued Over Creationism Plan --Civil rights groups sued a Pennsylvania school district on Tuesday to block teaching of "intelligent design," an alternative [Reichwing lie] to evolution that contends nature was created by an all-powerful being.

Cheney Pushes for Permanent Tax Cuts --Vice pResident Cheney said Wednesday it is critical to make Dictator Bush's tax cuts permanent during his second term while achieving broader reforms in the tax code and eliminating ['bolstering'] Social Security.

Shrinking Coverage Fewer Employers Pay for Retirees' Health Benefits --Employer-paid health care for retired workers has been growing sharply more expensive, and the number of companies willing to provide it continues to shrink.

Companies Rapidly Cutting Health Benefits --Many companies are dropping their promise of health benefits for future retirees, who now might have to stay on the job longer and rely on government health care in their old age.

Bush Wants New Congress to Curb Lawsuits --Dictator Bush said on Wednesday he expects the new Congress to limit corpora-terrorists' profits ['economy-damaging'] lawsuits by passing curbs on class action, asbestos injury and medical malpractice cases.

Fed Boosts Interest Rate One-Quarter Point --The Federal Reserve, encouraged by the economy's performance [?!?], boosted a key short-term interest rate by one-quarter percentage point Tuesday, the fifth increase this year.

GOP May Target Use of Filibuster --Senate Democrats Want To Retain the Right to Block Judicial Nominees --As speculation mounts that Chief inJustice William H. Rehnquist will step down from the Supreme Court soon because of thyroid cancer, Senate Republican leaders are preparing for a showdown to keep Democrats from blocking Dictator Bush's judicial nominations, including a replacement for Rehnquist.

Apartment Said to Have Been Scene of a Kerik Affair --An apartment in Battery Park City that former Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik secured for his personal use after Sept. 11 was originally donated for the use of weary police and rescue workers who were helping at ground zero, according to a real estate executive who has been briefed about the apartment.

Mega barf alert! Zell Miller joining Faux News Channel --U.S. Sen. Zell Miller will be joining Faux News Channel as a contributor next month, Faux announced Tuesday. [Keith Olbermann's observation: "Funny. I thought he already was a commentator for FOX News Channel."]

British Minister Resigns Amid Scandal --Britain's top law enforcement officer, a key member of Tony Blair's Cabinet, resigned Wednesday after acknowledging that his department fast-tracked a visa for his former lover's nanny.

Ukraine Seeks to Control Yushchenko Probe --Ukraine's outgoing government sought Monday to control the inquiry into the poisoning of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, with officials close to the government taking charge of both investigations into who tried to harm or kill the leader of the "Orange Revolution."

Pinochet freed from house arrest --A warrant placing former [US-installed] Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet under house arrest on charges of murder and kidnapping was suspended today following an appeal by his lawyers.

Al Gore's Mother Dies --Pauline Gore Was Mother of President, Wife of Senator --Pauline Gore, whose son Al became president and whose husband served a lengthy and distinguished career in Congress, died Wednesday. She was 92.

Gore Warns of Global 'Crisis' --President Al Gore ’69 [Harvard] called the threat of global warming an impending "crisis" and derided the Bush regime’s polices on climate change as part of a star-studded panel that packed 1,200 into Sanders Theatre last night.

2004 the Fourth-Hottest Year on Record --The year 2004, punctuated by four powerful hurricanes in the Caribbean and deadly typhoons lashing Asia, was the fourth-hottest on record, extending a trend that has seen the 10 warmest years ever beginning in the 1990s, a U.N. weather agency said Wednesday.

2004 Signals More Global Warming, Extreme Weather: UN --Global warming is set to continue, and bring with it an increase in extreme weather such as hurricanes and droughts, scientists from the United Nation' World Meteorological Organization warned on Wednesday.

Bird extinctions 'speeding up' --Ten per cent of all bird species are set to disappear by the end of this century, US researchers said today. A careful study of extinction rates so far, conservation measures underway and climate and environmental change shows that at least 1,200 species of birds will be gone by 2100. And that is a conservative estimate, the team at Stanford University in California said.

*****

Court OKs Arrest on 'Reasonable' Grounds --The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police have authority to arrest suspects on charges that later fall apart, so long as officers had a second, valid reason for the detention. The 8-0 ruling sets aside a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

Senate Dems Plan Investigatory Hearings --New Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Monday his party will launch investigative hearings next year in response to what he said was the reluctance of Republicans to look into problems in the Bush regime.

US made big mistake: Iraqi President --Iraqi interim President Ghazi Yawar said the US-led coalition authorities had made a big mistake by dismantling the country's armed forces and main government ministries after toppling Saddam Hussein from power. "Dissolving the ministry of defence and ministry of the interior was a big mistake at that time," he told BBC radio. [Oops!! Yawar better be careful... he could end up being the next kidnapping victim of the Bush terror team (a.k.a. 'insurgents') just like Nick Berg and Margaret Hassan. You know, the orange "Guantanamo Bay" jumpsuits; western-style sneakers; white plastic chairs, likely purchased at Home Depot; website domain names of 'terrorists' that trace back to Houston, Texas; and the bloated western pizza-and-beer guts on the 'kidnappers.']

McCain: 'No Confidence' in Rumsfeld --U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday that he has "no confidence'' in Secretary of Defense [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld, citing Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq and the failure to send more troops.

Rumsfeld to scrap German visit if probe launched --US Defence Secretary [W-ar criminal] Donald Rumsfeld is considering calling off a planned visit to Germany early next year after a US human rights organisation asked German authorities to prosecute the Pentagon chief, a news report said.

Controversial U.S. Groups Operate Behind Scenes on Iraq Vote --Washington-funded organizations are hard at work providing assistance to political campaigns in the lead up to next month’s nationwide elections, but critics suggest their participation is anything but benevolent. Even as the White House decries the ominous prospect of Iranian influence on the upcoming Iraqi national elections, US-funded organizations with long records of manipulating foreign democracies [domestic ones, too!!] in the direction of Washington's interests are quietly but deeply involved in essentially every aspect of the upcoming Iraqi elections.

US bid to oust ElBaradei backfires over phone taps --Allegations that the United States had access to wiretaps on the telephone of the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog have damaged Washington's campaign to block his re-election, diplomats and analysts say.

Pentagon Weighs Use of Deception in a Broad Arena --The Pentagon is engaged in bitter, high-level debate over how far it can and should go in managing or manipulating information to influence opinion abroad, senior Defense Department civilians and military officers say. [*Weighs* the use of deception??? OMG, the horse has left the barn on *that* one!]

Who's behind the oil-for-food scandal? By Jude Wanniski "Once it became clear some months ago that Saddam Hussein had been telling the truth about not having weapons of mass destruction or connections to al-Qaida, it should have been an embarrassment to the neo-conservatives who talked President [sic] George Bush into war with Iraq."

Halliburton hires Colombian mercenaries for work in Iraq: report --A US company has recruited 25 retired Colombian police and army officers [terrorists] to provide security for oil infrastructure in Iraq, according to the newspaper El Tiempo. The officers met in northern Bogota on December 2 with a Colombian colonel, who, on behalf of "Halliburton Latin America," offered them monthly salaries of 7,000 dollars to provide security for oil workers and infrastructure in several Iraqi cities, according to one of the men, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Galloway wins Saddam libel battle --02 December 2004-- George Galloway won £150,000 libel damages from The Daily Telegraph today over allegations that he was in the secret pay of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Suicide Car Bombing Kills 13 in Baghdad --A suicide car bomber linked to al-Qaida killed 13 people in Baghdad on Monday, the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture, and clashes resumed in Fallujah, a one-time insurgent stronghold that American forces believed they had conquered.

Latest Round of Violence Kills 7 Marines and 9 Iraqis --A suicide bomber steered a car full of explosives into the western gate of the protected compound that houses the interim government and embassies here during the height of the morning rush hour today, killing at least 9 Iraqis and wounding 19.

U.S. Marines killed in Iraq's Anbar province: Deadly attacks come as military steps up strikes in Fallujah --Seven U.S. Marines were killed in two separate incidents in Iraq's restive Anbar province, the military said Monday.

Fallujans face winter as refugees, await rebuilding --More than 200,000 people who fled the U.S. assault on Falluja on Nov. 8 have yet to return and many are in need of aid as night-time temperatures in Iraq sink toward freezing. Around 13,500 people are sheltering at the Habbaniya resort, some in lakeside chalets, but others in tents with little to keep out the cold. Many left warm clothes behind at home, thinking they would be back before winter set in. [...All in all, it looks like the Saddam Hussein government was the better deal.]

German report: Attack bigger than 9/11 planned 13 December 2004 BERLIN - Iraq-based al-Qaeda member Abu Mussab al- Zarkawi is planning a terror strike of greater magnitude than the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, according to a German newspaper report published on Monday.

Group Finds 2 More Afghan Prisoner Deaths --Human Rights Watch said Monday it had uncovered two more cases of prisoners dying in American custody in Afghanistan, and it accused the Bush regime of "dragging its feet" on investigations that could have prevented the abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Polls: Europe Negative on Bush Re-Selection --Dictator Bush's re-selection was viewed negatively by a majority of people in several European countries - including those in Britain, America's strongest ally in the war in Iraq, Associated Press polling found.

Air Force Set for Test Flight of New Rocket --The Air Force is scheduled to launch a new Delta 4 rocket here Saturday afternoon in a test that will help determine whether it can become a "heavy lift" vehicle to carry billion-dollar military satellites and, possibly, NASA's future manned spaceships.

New Seismic Data Refutes Official Explanation --Two unexplained "spikes" in the seismic record from Sept. 11 indicate huge bursts of energy shook the ground beneath the World Trade Center’s twin towers immediately prior to the collapse. By Christopher Bollyn "American Free Press has learned of pools of 'molten steel' found at the base of the collapsed twin towers weeks after the collapse. Although the energy source for these incredibly hot areas has yet to be explained, New York seismometers recorded huge bursts of energy, which caused unexplained seismic 'spikes' at the beginning of each collapse. These spikes suggest that massive underground explosions may have literally knocked the towers off their foundations, causing them to collapse."

Obituary: Gary Webb, prize-winning investigative reporter --Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds [Hey, I hit the cerebrum. Let me try again.], officials said.

Oops! It's just *one* gunshot wound. Which is it: wound or wounds? Note the mysterious 'moving-company workers' [typical CIA assassination-'clean-up' crew] Gary Webb, reporter who exposed CIA, dies --Gary Webb, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who wrote a controversial series of stories linking the CIA to crack cocaine trafficking in Los Angeles, has died at age 49. Webb was found Friday morning at his home in Sacramento County, dead of an apparent suicide. Moving-company workers [!?!] called authorities after discovering a note posted on his front door that read, "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."

Assassination of US Investigative Journalist Gary Webb? --by Xymphora "What a weekend for conspiracy theory! I don't know where to begin. Why not with Gary Webb? Yesterday I wrote about Potential Witness Syndrome, one symptom of which is 'suicide by multiple gun shot wounds to the head'. This is apparently exactly what Gary Webb died of (watch as the stories are refined to change 'wounds' to 'a gunshot wound'). Webb was one of the premier investigative journalists in the United States, and author of the classic book 'Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion', a book that everyone should read, both for its content and as an model of how to do investigative reporting."

Kerik's nanny least of ex-nominee's problems --Bernard Kerik's nanny problem might have proved the least of his troubles if he had pressed ahead with his bid to become homeland security secretary. The past few days have seen news reports about a rash of possible personal and professional improprieties on the part of the former New York City police commissioner, including big stock-option windfalls, connections with people suspected of doing business with the mob, and, on Monday, allegations he had simultaneous extramarital affairs with two women.

Beyond the Disclosure About Kerik's Nanny, More Questions Were Lurking --While serving as New York City correction commissioner in the late 1990's, Bernard B. Kerik spoke to the city's Trade Waste Commission on behalf of a close friend who was helping a company suspected of mob connections try to get a license from the city, according to a former commission executive.

Kerik's troubling ties --Links to company in mobster probe --When he headed the city's jails, Bernard Kerik became deeply entangled with a New Jersey construction company long under fire for its alleged mob ties, a Daily News investigation found. Kerik's troubling connection to the company, Interstate Industrial, began in the fall of 1998, when the company held major city contracts, including one to cover the massive Fresh Kills landfill. Kerik recommended his close friend, Lawrence Ray, for a job helping Interstate cope with mob-leery regulators here and in Atlantic City.

More GOP family values: Kerik cheated on wife with Judith Regan and correction officer --Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the Daily News has learned.

I hate to say I told you so . . . but I told you so --by Ellis Henican "Everyone in Washington was saying [Bernard] Kerik was the guy for Homeland Security. Hero of 9/11. Slasher of crime in New York City. A man who could really get things done. You have to figure all of them were blinded by the strong endorsement from Giuliani, Kerik's current business partner and longtime after-hours pal. And now look at the mess they're cleaning up."

Bush Nominates EPA's Leavitt for HHS Position --Dictator Bush nominated Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Leavitt on Monday to become his secretary of health and human services, to replace Tommy Thompson, who resigned.

Judge Indicts Chile's [US-installed] Ex-Dictator Pinochet --Gen. Augusto Pinochet was indicted Monday for the kidnapping of nine dissidents and the killing of one of them during his 1973-90 regime, and the former dictator was placed under house arrest.

Dems say GOP made deceptive voter calls --Ariz. among states reporting complaints --The Phoenix resident, a registered Democrat, was suspicious when a caller told him just three days before the Nov. 2 election that he was supposed to cast his ballot across town..No such relocation was true, and a prominent national voting rights group is investigating whether the source of the bogus call and at least three known similar calls to residents in Phoenix and Tucson was the Arizona Republican Party. What happened in Arizona, the voting rights group believes, could be just the tip of the iceberg of an aggressive Republican strategy nationwide to intentionally confuse some eligible voters about where and how to vote in the general election.

Kerry Lawyer Seeks Ohio Ballot Inspection --Democrat John Kerry is asking county elections officials to allow his witnesses to inspect the 92,000 ballots cast in Ohio in which no vote for president was recorded, a Kerry lawyer said Sunday night.

House Democrat accuses Ohio of stonewalling recount --Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich) accused Ohio election officials of efforts to "stonewall" and "obstruct" the recount in the state in a press release Sunday.

62,000 Fraudulent Absentee Ballots in Ohio? --by Bob Fertik --More Votes than Voters in Ohio: Absentee Vote Inflated, Certified Vote in Doubt --by Dr. Werner Lange "A careful review of the absentee vote in one Ohio county revealed that many more absentee votes were cast than there were absentee voters identified... Over 100 precinct poll books in Trumbull County were checked for absentee voters and that number of actual absentee voters was compared to the certified number of absentee votes. There was an inflated difference in nearly every precinct of the five communities examined."

Ohio Recount Affidavit - December 10, 2004 "I, RICHARD HAYES PHILLIPS, do swear and affirm the following: 1. I hold a Ph.D. in geomorphology from the University of Oregon. I am a professional hydrologist and am well versed in standard techniques of statistical analysis, with special expertise in spotting anomalous data. A copy of my curriculum vita is attached to this Affidavit as Exhibit A. 2. I have analyzed unofficial precinct level results from the November 2, 2004 general election in nine Ohio counties, including Cuyahoga, Franklin, Warren, Butler, Clermont, Miami, Montgomery, Hamilton, and Lucas..."

Startling new revelations highlight rare Congressional hearings on Ohio vote --by Bob Fitrakis, Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman "Startling new revelations about Ohio's presidential vote have been uncovered as Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee join Rev. Jesse Jackson in Columbus, the state capital, on Monday, Dec. 13, to hold a rare field hearing into election malfeasance and manipulation in the 2004 vote. The Congressional delegation will include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, and others. Taken together, the revelations show Republicans – in state and county government, and in the Ohio Republican Party – were determined to undermine and suppress Democratic turnout by a wide variety of methods."

20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA. If you still don't think the election was a fraud, read this.

For Some, the Race Remains Far From Over --Most have moved on since Nov. 2. But thousands continue to contest the presidential election results, with efforts focused on Ohio.

Canvassers Must Register in Pa. Suburb --A federal judge has refused to overturn an ordinance in a Pittsburgh suburb that requires anyone going door-to-door to register with authorities and carry a permit, including people working for get-out-the-vote campaigns.

Phoenix Foreclosure Notices Approach 300 Per Week --Northern California based Foreclosures.com, an investment advisory firm specializing in foreclosure properties reported today that foreclosure activity in Maricopa County has increased in October and November 2004.

U.S. Admitted AIDS Research Violated Rules --U.S. health officials told Uganda's government that a U.S.-funded study there on using an AIDS drug to protect babies violated federal safety rules even though they didn't tell [Yeah, right!!] Dictator Bush before he authorized shipping the drug to Africa.

AP: U.S. Officials Knew of AIDS Drug Risks --Weeks before Dictator Bush announced a plan to protect African babies from AIDS, top U.S. health officials were warned that research on the key drug was flawed and may have underreported severe reactions including deaths, government documents show.

Without evidence: Jury Urges Peterson Be Put to Death for Murder of Pregnant Wife --A California jury recommended today that Scott Peterson be put to death by injection for murdering his pregnant wife two years ago.

CLG Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., appeared on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" December 9, 2004. RECTENWALD: Because it‘s very well known that Jesus had to have been an Arabic looking person, Pat. And I find it very ironic, at the time we are bombing Iraq, we cannot put on an actual Arabic Jesus in the film. Read transcript here.

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