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 2007 Archives

Seven years after the first Bush coup d'etat: Yes, Gore DID win!

Court orders Bush regime to preserve possible evidence of torture 11 Dec 2007 A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., issued a preliminary order on Tuesday directing the Bush regime to preserve any evidence that might show that a former Baltimore resident was tortured during his three years in secret CIA detention. The order, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, gave the government until Dec. 20 to respond to a court filing last week that accused the CIA of torturing Majid Khan, 27.

CIA Destroyed Tapes Despite Court Orders 12 Dec 2007 The Bush regime was under court order not to discard evidence of prisoner torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics. Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

CIA chief faces grilling amid charges of torture 12 Dec 2007 The director of the CIA failed Tuesday to quell anger in Congress over the US spy agency's destruction of videos allegedly depicting the torture of terror suspects, as a former interrogator told media that detainees underwent waterboarding. CIA chief Michael Hayden was grilled behind closed doors by the Senate Intelligence Committee about his revelation last week that the tapes were destroyed in 2005 -- just when Congress was investigating allegations of US abuse torture of prisoners.

Lawmakers launch waterboarding investigation 11 Dec 2007 U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday began investigating why the CIA destroyed videotapes that recorded 'al Qaeda' suspects undergoing waterboarding, while a former interrogator said the controversial technique yielded important information but amounted to torture. CIA Director Michael Hayden testiLIED behind closed doors to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has launched one of several investigations to determine if the agency broke any laws when it destroyed the tapes in 2005.

Iran report sets back sanctions 13 Dec 2007 Britain and France, US President [sic] George W. Bush's chief European allies, fear last week's US intelligence report stating Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program will be "counter-productive" in securing tighter UN sanctions against the Tehran government. A draft Security Council resolution being discussed yesterday by officials from the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany would extend punitive measures - including travel bans and the seizure of assets - to the 15,000-strong Quds force, as well as dozens of named individuals.

Despite Arms Data, New Push for Sanctions on Iran 12 Dec 2007 A week after American intelligence agencies reported that Iran halted work on a covert nuclear weapons program in 2003, the Bush regime expressed confidence on Tuesday that it had rallied international support to intensify diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran’s government. After a week of conflicting statements, senior administration officials now increasingly express chagrin that last week’s National Intelligence Estimate, a document representing the consensus views of 16 intelligence agencies, incorrectly focused on the suspension of a secret weapons program and not on the accelerated effort to enrich uranium. That undercut the administration’s main rationale for confronting Iran, and left the Bush regime seeking to regain the diplomatic initiative for continued sanctions.

'US-Iran talks imminent - Israel must be in the room' 11 Dec 2007 Highlighting new indications that the US government will directly engage with Iran in the near future on all issues including its nuclear program, former Mossad head Efraim Halevy said Tuesday that Israel must ensure that it is a direct participant in such contacts. Otherwise, he warned, the future of the region will be determined in a forum from which Israel is excluded.

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases: adviser 11 Dec 2007 Iraq will never allow the United States to have permanent military bases on its soil, the government's national security adviser said, calling the issue a "red line" that cannot be crossed.

Sgt. shot unarmed Iraqi, soldier says 11 Dec 2007 An Army sergeant kicked and shot an Iraqi 'insurgent' who lay bleeding from nearly two dozen gunshot wounds, then after he was dead told fellow soldiers to say the man had been armed, a private at the scene testified Tuesday. Sgt. Leonardo Trevino is charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, assault and obstruction of justice in the suspected June incidents in Muqdadiyah, Iraq. [Gee, looks like a letter of reprimand could very well be in the sergeant's future. War crimes just don't rank too high on the Bush regime's crime and punishment scale. --LRP]

Clinton Calls for Investigation Into Gang-Rape Allegations --Woman Says She Was Gang-Raped and Then Held Incommunicado by KBR 12 Dec 2007 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is calling for a formal government investigation into allegations that a young female American contractor was gang-raped in Iraq and then held incommunicado in a large shipping container by her American employer, KBR, then a subsidiary of Halliburton.

Woman claims Halliburton-KBR rape cover-up 12 Dec 2007 A Texas woman who claims she was raped by male colleagues working for Halliburton-KBR in Iraq is suing after the US government failed to bring charges. Jamie Leigh Jones, 22, alleged she was attacked by several men inside Baghdad's Green Zone two years ago and then held in a shipping container for 24 hours. Her captors then threatened her if she sought medical treatment abroad.

DOJ Questioned About '05 Iraq Rape Case 11 Dec 2007 The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department on Tuesday to give a full account of its investigation into the alleged rape of a female contract worker in Iraq two years ago. Jamie Leigh Jones, a former Conroe resident, filed a federal lawsuit in May against Halliburton Co., its former subsidiary, KBR Inc., and others claiming she was raped by co-workers while working for a Halliburton subsidiary at Camp Hope, Baghdad, in 2005.

Bomb carnage in Iraq's south 13 Dec 2007 Twin car bombs killed at least 25 people and wounded more than 150 in the southern Shia city of Amara yesterday, dealing a blow to British and Iraqi claims of achieving stability in the south. Amara health department director-general Zamil Shia'a al-Oreibi said the bombers killed 27 people and there were 10 children among the 151 wounded.

Three Car Bombs Kill at Least 46 in Iraq 12 Dec 2007 Three powerful car bombs exploded one after the other in a southern provincial capital on Wednesday, killing at least 46 and injuring 149, the most devastating attack in the nation since August, police said.

Brown: 'It's time to talk to the Taliban' 12 Dec 2007 As the deadliest year in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion in 2001 comes to a close, Gordon Brown is ready to talk to the Taliban in a major shift in strategy that is likely to cause consternation among hardliners in the White House.

UK to pay to halt opium crop in Afghanistan 12 Dec 2007 Britain will pay Afghan farmers to stop growing the opium poppies that are used to make heroin, Gordon Brown is to say. Plans to give poppy growers a financial incentive to produce alternative crops will be a key part of the long-term Afghan strategy the Prime Minister will present to Parliament this afternoon. [That's not going to sit too well with the Bush regime. Bush's raison d'etre for the Afghanistan occupation *is* the opium production.]

US defense secretary presses NATO for more troops for Afghanistan 11 Dec 2007 US Defense Secretary Robert Gates Tuesday called on NATO allies to fill shortfalls of troops, equipment and resources in Afghanistan, warning of rising violence and the emergence of a classic 'insurgency.'

'They committed every kind of research ethics violation imaginable.' Widows' VA suit thrown out --Federal judge: No evidence terminally ill veterans suffered from fraudulent drug studies at Stratton 11 Dec 2007 A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Department of Veterans Affairs by the widows of five veterans who died after being enrolled in corrupt drug experiments at Stratton VA Medical Center. In dismissing the case at the request of federal attorneys, U.S. District Court Senior Judge Thomas J. McAvoy cited the fact there is no proof the veterans... had died prematurely or endured added pain and suffering as a result of being fraudulently enrolled in studies designed to test drugs for marketability. Alan Milstein, a Philadelphia-area lawyer hired by the widows, argued in court that the widows deserve compensation because their husbands suffered in ways that cannot be measured from forged medical records or the opinions of expert physicians. "When you use individuals, humans, as guinea pigs, you do them harm," Milstein told McAvoy.

US refuses 'Any Wounded Soldier' mail 12 Dec 2007 Hundreds of thousands of holiday cards and letters thanking wounded American troops for their sacrifice and wishing them well never reach their destination. They are returned to sender or thrown away unopened. Since the September 11 attacks and the anthrax scare, the Pentagon and the Postal Service have refused to deliver mail addressed simply to "Any Wounded Soldier" for fear terrorists or opponents of the war might send toxic substances or demoralizing messages.

Oh, joy: Army Corps to remove radioactive soil from nuclear site 12 Dec 2007 Five years after its initial assessment of a former nuclear waste dump in Armstrong County, the Army Corps of Engineers has decided to pursue a $53 million plan to excavate and remove soil from the 40-acre site along the Kiskiminetas River. ...A contractor will dig out an estimated 40,000 cubic yards of radioactive waste material and soil from the property known as the "Shallow Land Disposal Area." It is a former disposal site for the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Co., or NUMEC, in Parks, 32 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Secret U.S. Intelligence Court Intends to Keep Wiretap Rulings Under Wraps 12 Dec 2007 A secret U.S. intelligence court has issued its third public ruling in 30 years, declaring that while it agrees on the benefits of making its rulings on warrantless wiretapping public, it will keep them secret. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) cited the "vitally important need to protect national security" in rejecting a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to release documents on the Bush regime's warrantless wiretapping program.

Spy Court Withholds US Wiretapping Docs 11 Dec 2007 The nation's spy court said Tuesday that it will not release its documents regarding the Bush regime's warrantless wiretapping program. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in a rare on-the-record opinion, said the public has no right to view the documents because they deal with the clandestine workings of national security agencies.

Chertoff: Terror threat has not abated 12 Dec 2007 The terrorist threat from abroad and within the United States has not abated despite government steps in the past year to tighten rules for people and goods that enter the country, the nation's chief of homeland security said Wednesday. Michael Chertoff pointed to threats overseas as evidence that al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] is still strong.

Bush: 'I Doubt I'd Be Standing Here If I Hadn't Quit Drinking Whiskey' 12 Dec 2007 In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President [sic] Bush spoke more candidly than ever before about his past alcohol addiction. "I doubt I'd be standing here if I hadn't quit drinking whiskey, and beer and wine and all that," the president disclosed Tuesday to ABC News. The president told ABC News he quit drinking over 20 years ago -- cold turkey. "I had too much to drink one night, and the next day I didn't have any," Bush said. "The next day I decided to quit and I haven't had a drink since 1986." [Right, and since that date, cocaine has been his drug of choice.]

Bush Vetoes Children's Health Bill A Second Time 12 Dec 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush on Wednesday vetoed a bill expanding a popular children's health-care program for a second time, angering Democrats who are locked in a fight with the administration over the budget and spending. [Right, the money is much better spent on KBR's and DynCorp's rapists.]

Kucinich booted from Iowa debate 12 Dec 2007 Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) is being excluded from this week’s Iowa presidential debate because he has not rented office space in the Hawkeye State, his campaign said Wednesday. The Des Moines Register informed the campaign that Kucinich is not invited because the newspaper determined "that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa," the campaign said.

Fed to Team With Central Banks on Credit --Announcement Comes Day After Cut in Interest Rates 12 Dec 2007 The Federal Reserve, in a move coordinated with central banks in Canada and Europe, this morning announced a new set of steps to try to make banks more willing to lend their cash and help thaw the world's frozen financial system.

Republicans agree debt is U.S. security threat 12 Dec 2007 The Republican presidential contenders said in an Iowa debate on Wednesday the U.S. debt was a growing national security problem and promised to reduce spending in an effort to strengthen the economy.

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013' 12 Dec 2007 Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

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'Torture' okayed by top U.S. officials, ex-CIA man says 11 Dec 2007 A former CIA agent says the waterboarding of a top 'Al Qaeda' figure was approved at the top levels of the U.S. government. John Kiriakou did not explain during an appearance on NBC's 'Today' show how he knew who approved the waterboarding. Kiriakou said this was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department.

General: Torture testimony not banned --General won't say waterboarding violates Geneva Conventions 11 Dec 2007 A U.S. military legal advisor wouldn't rule out the possibility that statements by suspected terrorists subjected to waterboarding, or simulated drowning, could be used at hearings being conducted at Guantánamo Bay. 'If the evidence is reliable and probative and the judge concluded it is in the interest of justice to use that evidence,'' it would be admitted, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann told a Senate Judiciary terrorism subcommittee in Washington Tuesday.

White House says Hayden won't talk about interrogation techniques 11 Dec 2007 The White House says Congress won't learn about CIA interrogation techniques from agency director Michael Hayden during two days of questioning. Hayden is due to appear today and tomorrow before congressional panels about the destruction of videotapes of terror suspect interrogations torture.

C.I.A. Lawyers Cleared Destroying Torture Tapes 11 Dec 2007 Lawyers within the clandestine branch of the Central Intelligence Agency gave written approval in advance to the destruction in 2005 of hundreds of hours of videotapes documenting interrogations of two lieutenants from 'Al Qaeda,' according to a former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the episode... In a related legal action, lawyers representing 11 inmates of the American military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, filed an emergency motion on Sunday seeking a hearing on whether the government has obeyed a 2005 judge's order to preserve evidence in their case. The C.I.A.’s destruction of tapes "raises grave concerns about the government’s compliance with the preservation order entered by this court," the lawyers, David H. Remes and Marc D. Falkoff, wrote in their motion.

Lawyer seeks Britain's help in preserving Guantanamo evidence 10 Dec 2007 A lawyer [Clive Stafford Smith] for an Ethiopian prisoner in the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who claims that he was tortured when his interrogation was outsourced to Morocco, is asking the British government to help preserve alleged CIA photos that show how he was treated. Binyam Mohamed, 27, claims through his lawyer and in an affidavit filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that U.S. forces turned him over for questioning to Morocco, where interrogators sliced his chest and penis with a scalpel during 18 months there in 2002 and 2003. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay in September 2004.

Chaplain describes 'horror' of Guantanamo Bay 10 Dec 2007 A Muslim chaplain who visited Omar Deghayes in Guantanamo Bay has spoken of his horror at the conditions there. James Yee was locked up himself after complaining about inmates' treatment. Now he has joined campaigners to call for the immediate release of the remaining prisoners, including Brighton resident Omar Deghayes.

Attorney: CIA Torture to Blame for Arson 10 Dec 2007 A man who claims the CIA kidnapped and tortured him in a case of mistaken identity fell into criminality after returning to Germany because of his treatment by the U.S., his attorney said as his arson trial opened Monday. Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese descent, faces charges of arson, serious bodily injury and slander for two incidents this year. In one, officials say, he attempted to set fire to a store after an argument with sales staff escalated. Defense lawyer Manfred Gnjidic told the state court in the southern town of Memmingen that his client admitted the charges against him, but argued el-Masri was suffering the aftereffects of his ordeal at the hands of the Americans and accused the German government of not giving him the psychiatric help he needed.

Hicks lawyer hits out at 'draconian' control order 11 Dec 2007 Former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks's lawyer David McLeod says he is disappointed at the Federal Government's support for a control order. Hicks will be released from jail in Adelaide this month but Attorney-General Robert McClelland has given the Australian Federal Police permission to seek a control order. The order would impose a curfew, and require Hicks to report three times a week to police.

Hicks 'too fragile' to fight control order 11 Dec 2007 Confessed terrorism supporter David Hicks is mentally fragile and unlikely to have the strength to fight a proposed control order, his lawyer says. Lawyer David McLeod says a control order on Hicks will be sought in an Adelaide court within weeks.

Bomb Targets Iraq Politicians' Compounds 11 Dec 2007 A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives at a checkpoint protecting the compounds of Iraq's former prime minister and a Sunni lawmaker on Tuesday, killing two guards in a neighborhood bordering the fortified Green Zone.

Huge blast shakes Baghdad 11 Dec 2007 A powerful bomb has gone off in the west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad and sent thick white smoke into the sky, a report says. The blast occurred near Baghdad's once upscale Sunni Mansur neighborhood.

Fresh wave of violence hits Baghdad 11 Dec 2007 Fourteen people have been killed and dozens of others wounded as a fresh wave of violence hits the shattered Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

10th Mountain Division asks for civilian volunteers to Iraq 11 Dec 2007 Fort Drum commanders are looking for volunteers to serve in Iraq and are asking the post's 1,000 civilians workers if any are interested. The civilians would assist soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 1,000-member Headquarters brigade, which will deploy to Iraq next spring to provide overhead and support for other combat troops already there, Lt. Col. Paul Swiergosz said Tuesday.

Brown: UK troops in Afghanistan for decade 11 Dec 2007 British troops will have to remain in Afghanistan for more than a decade in order to defeat the Taliban and international drug gangs, Gordon Brown will warn tomorrow. The Prime Minister is due to set out a new long-term strategy for Afghanistan after visiting the country yesterday amid some of the most intensive fighting British forces have encountered there.

DynCorp awarded construction job in Afghanistan 10 Dec 2007 DynCorp International Inc. has won a $49 million contract to build an army garrison in Afghanistan. The facilities, called the Afghan National Army Garrison, will also have water, sewer, power and a telecommunication systems. Not including the garrison contract, DynCorp has about 2,500 employees in Afghanistan training police, attempting to eradicate protect opium poppy and carrying out other projects. DynCorp announced the Afghanistan contract a week after it said it was awarded an Army contract worth as much as $4.6 billion for translation services in Iraq.

Mega barf alert! Israelis Brief Top U.S. Official on Iran 11 Dec 2007 Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made an unusual visit to Israel and got a polite earful on Monday about Israel’s gloomy assessment of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Israel believes Iran continues to work, however limited by international pressure and economic and technical difficulties, on all phases of building a nuclear weapon.

Olmert says Iran still seeking nuclear bomb 11 Dec 2007 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Tuesday that Iran was still pursuing a nuclear weapon and called on the international community to pressure the Islamic Republic to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

Prosor: War with Iran may be unavoidable 09 Dec 2007 It must be clear that if Iran does not cooperate with the West on the nuclear issue, military confrontation will be unavoidable, incoming Israeli ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, was quoted as saying Sunday.

China signs $2bn Iran oil deal 11 Dec 2007 One of China's biggest energy companies has signed a $2bn deal to develop a huge oil field in Iran, defying US calls for a trade boycott with Tehran. [LOL!]

Israeli tanks, bulldozers move into southern Gaza 11 Dec 2007 Israeli tanks and bulldozers backed by attack aircraft moved into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday in the biggest operation in the territory since Islamic Hamas forces wrested control in June, setting off clashes with militants.

Spectre of civil war returns as al-Qaeda suicide bombings kill 67 12 Dec 2007 Two car bombs struck central Algiers yesterday, killing at least 67 people, destroying United Nations offices and targeting a bus full of law students outside the Supreme Court in a coordinated strike blamed on al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. The destruction raised the spectre of a return to the civil war that ravaged the North African country in the 1990s.

2 London residents accused of inciting terrorism in Pakistan are held in the UK 11 Dec 2007 Two men accused of inciting terrorism and murder in Pakistan and of having links with an international terrorist group that is banned in Britain were ordered held in custody here Tuesday. Faiz Baluch and Hyrbyair Marri -- both of London -- were jointly charged under Britain's Terrorism Act on Monday with inciting another person "to commit an act of terrorism wholly or partly outside the UK which would, if committed in England and Wales, constitute murder."

No cages for convention protesters 10 Dec 2007 The assistant police chief on Monday assured state lawmakers that demonstrators outside the Republican National Convention won't be confined to fenced-in areas. Matt Bostrom said the city might erect barricades but he doesn't envision enclosures where protesters would be relegated.

"It was me, the gunman and God" [Not to mention, the Department of Homeland Security.] 11 Dec 2007 Amid deafening cracks of gunfire, smoke-spewing canisters and the flight of thousands of New Life Church members, Jeanne Assam said God was with her when she shot the gunman and helped her prevent more lives from being lost. "I saw him, it seemed like the halls cleared out, and I saw him coming through the doors, and I took cover. And I waited for him to get closer... And I identified myself. And I engaged him and I took him down," the 42-year-old volunteer church security guard and former law officer said Monday at a news conference in the Colorado Springs police station.

Coroner: Murray killed himself 11 Dec 2007 Church gunman Matthew Murray committed suicide, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office ruled today. The coroner's office said in a release that it had completed autopsies on the three people who died in the shootings Sunday at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Murray was shot multiple times by church security officer Jeanne Assam before he fired a single, fatal round at himself [!?!], the autopsy showed.

Authorities working to trace Murray's weapons 11 Dec 2007 Local police and federal investigators are looking into how Matthew Murray obtained the three guns in his possession when he attacked New Life Church in Colorado Springs. "We are in the process of doing that," said Jeff Boshek, a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. "We've got some results already, but I just can't release those," Boshek said. Boshek and Colorado Springs Police spokesman Skip Arms declined to say what kind of weapons Murray carried, except that two were handguns and one was a long gun.

Wexler urges hearings on Cheney trial 10 Dec 2007 U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach [a Democratic-leaning Palm Beach-Broward district], recently took an e-mail poll of about 3,000 constituents and found 61 percent in favor of impeaching Cheney and removing him from office. Wexler insists he hasn't prejudged the matter but wants hearings to probe whether Cheney manipulated intelligence to bamboozle the U.S. into war with Iraq, which Wexler voted to authorize in 2002.

Bush Stirs Young Voters' Enthusiasm for Democrats, Ballot Box 11 Dec 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush has made a strong impression on younger Americans; it's not the one Republicans wanted. Faster than you can say "Facebook," the under-30 set is moving toward the Democratic Party.

Morgan Stanley issues full US recession alert 11 Dec 2007 Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads. In a report "Recession Coming" released today, the bank's US team said the credit crunch had started to inflict serious damage on US companies.

Dow Tumbles After Federal Rate Cut 11 Dec 2007 The Federal Reserve lowered an important short-term rate by a quarter of a percentage point Tuesday, the latest in a series of rate cuts that the central bank hopes will stimulate an economy some fear is on the brink of a recession. Stocks plunged following the Fed's announcement. The Dow dropped more than 290 points while the S&P and Nasdaq each fell more than 1.5 percent.

Fed Lowers Benchmark Rate by a Quarter Point to 4.25 Percent 11 Dec 2007 The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to 4.25 percent to prevent the housing slump and credit squeeze from undoing the six-year expansion.

Mortgage Meltdown: Interest rate 'freeze' - the real story is fraud --Bankers pay lip service to families while scurrying to avert suits, prison By Sean Olender 09 Dec 2007 The ticking time bomb in the U.S. banking system is not resetting subprime mortgage rates. The real problem is the contractual ability of investors in mortgage bonds to require banks to buy back the loans at face value if there was fraud in the origination process. And, to be sure, fraud is everywhere... I can hear the hum of shredders working overtime, and maybe that is the new "hot" industry to invest in. There are lots of people who would like to muzzle subpoena-happy New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to buy time and make this all go away. Cuomo is just inches from getting what he needs to start putting a lot of people in prison... Despite Thursday's ballyhooed new deal with mortgage lenders, does anyone really think that it can ultimately stop fraud lawsuits by mortgage bond investors, many of them spread out across the globe? The catastrophic consequences of bond investors forcing originators to buy back loans at face value are beyond the current media discussion.

Cash Starved Forest Service Spends $600,000 to Buy Tasers --Devices Remain in Boxes Because Rangers Lack Training 04 Dec 2007 The U.S. Forest Service has bought $600,000 worth of "Electronic Control Devices" without any training program, rules for use or even a written explanation as to why the devices are needed, according to agency records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The devices, known as Tasers, are sitting in storage and cannot be issued because the agency has yet to develop a training course.

US resists setting target on cutting carbon pollution 11 Dec 2007 The environment secretary, Hilary Benn, will today begin attempts to persuade the US regime to agree firm targets on carbon pollution as part of a new deal on global warming. Benn arrived at UN climate talks in Bali last night, as the US said it was unwilling to approve a draft agreement which called on developed countries to reduce emissions by between 25% and 40% by 2020.

'Arctic is screaming,' say scientists seeing new data 11 Dec 2007 An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.

Greenland ice melts at record rate, scientists find 10 Dec 2007 Rising temperatures caused ice to melt in Greenland at a record rate this year, climate scientists reported Monday. "The amount of ice lost by Greenland over the last year is the equivalent of two times all the ice in the Alps or a layer of water more than one-half-mile deep covering Washington, D.C.," said Konrad Steffen, an Arctic expert at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Bleak future for Antarctic penguins, report warns 11 Dec 2007 Global warming is threatening the survival of four penguin species in the Antarctic, conservationists warned today. A new report from WWF, published at the UN conference on climate change in Bali, has found that global warming is occurring five times faster in the Antarctic peninsula than the rest of the world, and threatening the survival of the emperor, gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins that breed on the continent. [See: Antarctic penguins under threat 11 Dec 2007 (pictures).]

Freezing Rain and Ice Lash U.S. Midwest, Killing 23 11 Dec 2007 An ice storm blanketed the U.S. Midwest today, causing record power outages and delaying flights from Oklahoma to Michigan. More than 20 people have died. The storm has left as much as half an inch of ice in parts of eastern Kansas and northern Missouri, the U.S. National Weather Service said. According to the Associated Press, half a million customers lost power in Oklahoma as a result of downed lines, the biggest outage in the state's history.

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Mission Accomplished: Big Oil to sign Iraq deals soon 06 Dec 2007 Big Oil's big dreams are close to coming true as Iraq's Oil Ministry prepares deals for the country's largest oil fields. MarketWatch reports executives from BP and Shell were to meet with Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani following Wednesday's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Abu Dhabi. Shahristani in a recent interview with United Press International, said he's moving forward with oil deals despite the lack of a new national oil law, a draft of which has been stalled in negotiations for more than a year. The world's largest oil companies are keen on entering Iraq, as their own booked reserves decline and a growing bulk of global reserves are under nationalized systems. Oil company officials met with U.S. officials, including Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, prior to the war and since, to discuss contracts for Iraq's oil. Former top officials of the companies were tasked by the U.S.-led occupation with advising the Oil Ministry.

Baghdad oil refinery ablaze after rocket attack 10 Dec 2007 Firefighters were on Monday battling a blaze at a south Baghdad oil refinery sparked by a rocket attack, a statement from the Iraqi government said. "Four rockets hit the benzine pipeline" in southern Baghdad's Dora refinery, the government said, adding, "the damage from this terrorist attack is still unclear."

Bomb kills Iraqi police chief 10 Dec 2007 About the same time that he was being praised by U.S. commanders for his role in improving security in Babil province, south of Baghdad, a popular police chief was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb that struck his convoy. Maj. Gen. Qais Hamza Mamouri died along with two bodyguards in Hillah, about 60 miles south of Baghdad, Iraqi law enforcement officials said. It was the latest in a series of [US] assassinations of high-ranking officials in the country's oil-rich south.

Eight Iraqi prisoners killed by mortar fire 10 Dec 2007 A mortar shelling hit Monday a prison in Baghdad and killed eight inmates, a senior government official said. Five prisoners were killed on the scene and three of the 32 injured died later in the hospital, Busho Ibrehim, deputy minister of the Justice Ministry, told the press.

At Least 9 Killed in Baghdad Attacks 11 Dec 2007 A spate of bomb, rocket and mortar attacks rocked areas of Baghdad today, killing at least nine people and exploding part of a major oil refinery, sending up a thick column of smoke that dominated the city’s skyline for much of the day.

Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR --KBR detained victim in guarded shipping container for at least 24 hours: lawsuit 10 Dec 2007 A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident. Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job. In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

CIA has recruited Iranians to defect 09 Dec 2007 The CIA launched a secret program in 2005 designed to degrade Iran's nuclear weapons program by persuading key officials to defect, an effort that has prompted a "handful" of significant departures, current and former U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation say. The previously undisclosed program, which CIA officials dubbed "the Brain Drain," is part of a major intelligence push against Iran ordered by the White House two years ago.

CIA launched defection program for Iran: report 10 Dec 2007 The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running a secret program aimed at encouraging Iranians involved in the country's nuclear program to defect to the West, The Los Angeles Times has reported on its website. Citing unnamed current and former "intelligence officials familiar with the operation," the newspaper said the program called "The Brain Drain" was ordered by the White House in 2005 in hopes of undermining Iran's nuclear weapons program. The effort achieved only limited success because fewer than six well-placed Iranians have defected and none has been able to provide good information on Tehran's nuclear program [because it doesn't exist], the report said.

Reyes requests 2nd inquiry into destroyed tapes 10 Dec 2007 U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, announced this weekend another inquiry into the 2005 destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of two alleged terrorists. He also said the joint investigation between the CIA and Justice Department was good news. "While I welcome this preliminary inquiry, this administration cannot be trusted to police itself," he said in a news release. "For that reason, the House Intelligence Committee will begin its own inquiry."

Lawmakers want answers about destroyed CIA tapes 10 Dec 2007 Top lawmakers are demanding to know why the CIA destroyed videotapes of interrogation techniques being used on terror suspects and who knew about it. "Were there things on those tapes that they did not want to have seen, that did not conform to what the attorney general would allow them to do?" Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation." CIA Director Michael Hayden will testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Rockefeller chairs.

White House goes mum on CIA video case 10 Dec 2007 The White House said Monday it would not answer questions about the CIA's destroying interrogation tapes of terrorism suspects, citing ongoing investigations into what some have called a cover-up. Spokesman Dana Perino said that US President [sic] George W. Bush's official lawyer had requested a no-comment policy while the US Justice Department and Central Intelligence Agency looked into the simmering controversy.

U.S Congress knew about torture techniques 09 Dec 2007 The U.S Congress has revealed that four of its bipartisan members met in secret in 2002 to observe and discuss the CIA’s program of harsh interrogation techniques torture. The group, which included the future Democratic House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, was given a graphic demonstration of interrogation techniques, which the CIA used as a means of loosening up prisoners.

CIA Spy Calls Waterboarding Necessary But Torture --Former Agent Says the Enhanced Technique Torture Was Used on Abu Zubaydah 10 Dec 2007 A leader of the CIA team that captured and interrogated the first major 'al Qaeda' figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary. In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds. [Here is what Abu Zubaydah actually said.

Libby to drop appeal in CIA leak case 10 Dec 2007 Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is dropping his appeal in the CIA leak case, his attorney said Monday. Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, was convicted of perjury and obstruction for lying about his conversations with reporters about outed CIA operative Valerie Plame.

DHS Begins Collecting 10 Fingerprints From International Visitors At Dulles Airport (dhs.gov) 10 Dec 2007 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now collecting additional fingerprints from international visitors arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport. The change is part of the department's upgrade from two- to 10-fingerprint collection in order to enhance security and fingerprint matching accuracy.

French Author Accused of Outing 9/11 Secrets 08 Dec 2007 A French anti-terrorist judge has filed preliminary charges against an investigative journalist and author accused of publishing defense secrets, judicial officials said Friday. Authorities are investigating articles by Guillaume Dasquie, including one that reported French intelligence had suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] of planning a plane hijacking nine months before the Sept. 11 attacks. On Thursday, investigating judge Philippe Coirre, who handles anti-terrorist [?] cases, filed preliminary charges, the officials said. The charges are for "possessing secret defense documents'' and "divulging secret defense documents or intelligence,'' the officials said. One of two publications under investigation is an April article by Dasquie published in Le Monde called "Sept. 11: The French Had Long Known,'' which included excerpts of confidential documents from the DGSE intelligence agency. One note, dated Jan. 5, 2001, said al-Qaida was plotting a hijacking and listed potential airline targets, including the two carriers, United and American, that were targeted in the Sept. 11 attacks later that year.

Chertoff "by coincidence" had security advisor at mall during shooting spree --Memorandum of Agreement Signing and Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano on Enhanced Driver's Licenses 06 Dec 2007 Question: Mr. Secretary, a question on a different subject relating to the Omaha shooting [Westroads Mall] yesterday. I was wondering if you and the department have any concerns about safety at shopping malls... Secretary Chertoff: This past fall, we held regional training seminars in 12 cities across the country to talk about things like IED and vehicle-borne IED prevention, and soft target awareness... We also have our protective security advisors who go and visit various facilities. We actually had one, by coincidence, at the mall in question at the time of the incident, discussing reaction to IEDs and what you can do to prevent or reduce your vulnerability to IEDs. We had, again, given over $45,000 to this particular mall as part of a Buffer Zone Protection Plan, which resulted in allowing them to build entrance bollards, portable barriers, and communication systems.

DHS Advisor was Present at Omaha Mall During Shooting 07 Dec 2007 An advisor from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was present at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. during the attack by deranged 19-year-old gunman Robert Hawkins on Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff revealed at a press conference yesterday. The mall had received $45,000 under a grant from the Buffer Zone Protection Plan to protect against vehicle-borne IEDs by deploying bollards at mall entrances, portable barriers and communications systems. Chertoff did not give the advisor’s name.

Homeland Security Visited Omaha Mall Before Massacre By Kurt Nimmo 08 Dec 2007 "We learned today that shortly before the shooting a Homeland Security employee visited the Westroads Mall to talk with officials about the mall’s security," reports Charles Gibson for ABC News. "Airports and sports arenas have tightened security considerably since 9/11, but malls have been reluctant to do so." [See: Gun Nut Kills Eight After Bush Speech --Shoppers flee mall in terror 06 Dec 2007 A crazed gunman shot eight people dead before killing himself in a crowded shopping mall last night - an hour after President [sic] Bush gave a speech nearby. Though police suspected the gunman was acting alone, a second man wearing camouflage was arrested. Last week a grenade was found hidden behind a plant stand at the same mall.]

Was shooter in the military? 10 Dec 2007 The deadly shooting sprees at a megachurch and a missionary training school were believed to have been carried out by the same person -- a 24-year-old suburban Denver man, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation, identified the gunman as Matthew Murray, the son of a neurologist... David Harris said he saw the gunman, and it looked like he knew how to handle a weapon. "I was in the military for about three years, and the way he was holding the rifle looked just like the way we were taught to when I was in the military," he told NBC’s "Today" show on Monday.

Colo. Shooter Had Assault Rifle, Smoke Grenades, 500 Rounds of Ammunition 10 Dec 2007 A heavily armed man who killed two teenagers at a church in Colorado Springs Sunday apparently intended to gun down many more victims before he was fatally shot by a church security guard, authorities said today. The gunman, identified as Matthew Murray of Arapahoe County, Colo., is believed to be the same man who earlier shot to death two staffers at a separate missionary training center in Arvada, just outside Denver, television news channels and news agencies reported. Murray arrived at the church armed with an assault rifle, smoke grenades and about 500 rounds of ammunition, CNN reported.

Nine shot in 2 church-related Colorado attacks 09 Dec 2007 Three people were shot to death and six were wounded in Colorado on Sunday in two church-related shootings in the U.S. Christian heartland. A gunman -- described by an eyewitness as dressed in black, wearing combat boots and holding an assault rifle and at least one handgun -- wounded four people when he opened fire in the parking lot of the vast New Life evangelical church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, after Sunday services, police said.

Justices Widen Sentencing Powers of Federal Judges 10 Dec 2007 The Supreme Court today enhanced the power of federal district judges to use their discretion in arriving at sentences in criminal cases as it upheld a relatively light sentence imposed on a crack cocaine distributor.

Nobel Winner Gore: "Make Peace With The Planet" 10 Dec 2007 Climate campaigner Al Gore collected the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday and said it was time to stop waging war on the earth and make peace with the planet. The former U.S. vice president shared the 2007 peace prize with the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whose head, Rajendra Pachauri, urged leaders at a U.N. climate conference in Indonesia to heed the wisdom of science.

'These are the last few years of decision.' Gore Gets Nobel, Warns of Ominous Threat 10 Dec 2007 Al Gore received his Nobel Peace Prize on Monday and urged the United States and China to make the boldest moves on climate change or "stand accountable before history for their failure to act." In accepting the prize he shared with the U.N. climate panel, the former vice president said humanity risks sliding down a path of "mutually assured destruction." "It is time to make peace with the planet," Gore said in his acceptance speech that quoted Churchill, Gandhi and the Bible. "We must quickly mobilize our civilization with the urgency and resolve that has previously been seen only when nations mobilized for war."

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech --Speech By Al Gore on the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize 10 Dec 2007 (Oslo, Norway) These are the last few years of decision, but they can be the first years of a bright and hopeful future if we do what we must. No one should believe a solution will be found without effort, without cost, without change. Let us acknowledge that if we wish to redeem squandered time and speak again with moral authority, then these are the hard truths: The way ahead is difficult.

More than half of Amazon will be lost by 2030, report warns 10 Dec 2007 Climate change could speed up the large-scale destruction of the Amazon rainforest and bring the "point of no return" much closer than previously thought, conservationists warned today. Almost 60% of the region's forests could be wiped out or severely damaged by 2030, as a result of climate change and deforestation, according to a report published today by WWF.

Democrats' report: White House misleads on climate 10 Dec 2007 With U.S. policy at the center of debate at a Bali climate change meeting, Democrats in Congress said on Monday that the White House manipulated science for years to cast doubt on reality of global warming. "The Bush administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming," the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said.

US balks at Bali carbon targets 10 Dec 2007 The UN climate talks seeking a new pact on global warming hit a potential problem today when the US said it was unwilling to approve a draft agreement setting firm targets for cuts to carbon pollution. The US said a proposal for developed nations to reduce emissions by 25-40% by 2020, which is backed by Britain and the EU, was "totally unrealistic" and "unhelpful".

Wind energy to power UK by 2020, government says 10 Dec 2007 Thousands of new offshore wind turbines could power every home in Britain by 2020, the government announced today, as it set out new wind-energy plans. John Hutton, the business secretary, proposed the creation of up to 33 gigawatts of offshore wind energy at a European energy industry conference in Berlin.

Sign Polar Bear SOS Card to White House. 100,000 Names Needed. 23 Days Left. (NRDC) 05 Dec 2007 Help give polar bears the gift of a future on our planet by signing this Holiday SOS Card to President [sic] Bush in support of their protection under the Endangered Species Act. Please add your name to the card right now -- because the polar bear can't wait. Within the next 30 days, the Bush Administration will either throw polar bears a lifeline -- or condemn them to extinction. Without urgently needed protection, all of Alaska's polar bears could be extinct in less than 50 years -- along with two-thirds of the world's entire polar bear population. But there is still hope if the Bush Administration takes action now. [Also, sign NRDC's petition.]

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CIA photos 'show UK Guantanamo detainee was tortured' 10 Dec 2007 Lawyers for a British resident who the US government refuses to release from Guantanamo Bay [Binyam Mohammed] have identified the existence of photographs taken by CIA agents that they say show their client suffered horrific injuries under torture.

Family calls on US to free last UK resident in Guantanamo Bay --As four others are released, man who 'confessed' under torture may face a military tribunal 09 Dec 2007 Lawyers for Binyam Mohammed al-Habashi, the last UK resident to be imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, last night called on the Foreign Office to exert pressure on the US to free him.

CIA is accused of torture cover-up 09 Dec 2007 The CIA has been accused of covering up the torture of two top 'Al-Qaeda' terror suspects after it emerged that White House and justice department officials and senior congressmen warned it against destroying hundreds of hours of videotape of the interrogations in 2003.

CIA Director to Testify About Destroyed Tapes 09 Dec 2007 CIA Director Michael Hayden will testify before Congress on Tuesday amid Democratic fury over the spy agency's destruction of videotapes that showed terrorism suspects being interrogated using harsh techniques. Democratic Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on Sunday Hayden would appear before his committee to talk about interrogation and techniques.

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002 --In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say 09 Dec 2007 In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program... For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques torture interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk. Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding... But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said. "The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Biden Calls For Special Counsel to Investigate CIA Torture Tapes 09 Dec 2007 Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden this morning called for a special counsel to investigate the destruction of videos that showed CIA interrogation of terror suspects. "It appears as though there may be an obstruction of justice charge here, tampering with evidence and destroying evidence," said Biden, D-Del., on an ABC program.

Text of Letter on Videotape Inquiry By The Associated Press 08 Dec 2007 Text of letter regarding joint DOJ and CIA inquiry into destruction of videotaped CIA interrogations.

Lawyers charge the CIA tortured their client in secret prisons 08 Dec 2007 Lawyers for a terrorism suspect from suburban Baltimore who's imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba claim they have evidence that their client "was subjected to a program of state-sanctioned torture" while he was in CIA custody. The lawyers for Majid Khan are asking a federal court to order the Bush regime to preserve evidence of how their client was treated during his three-plus years in CIA custody, saying they have ample evidence that he was tortured... Defense lawyers Gitanjali Gutierrez and Wells Dixon met with Khan for two weeks in mid-October at Guantanamo, where he's held in Camp 7, a previously unknown part of the prison that's reserved for former "ghost detainees", according to declassified notes of their meetings. CIA censors redacted, or blacked out, whom the lawyers allege ran what they call "The CIA Torture Program." Censors also blacked out two full pages in which the lawyers argue why, "There is no doubt that Khan was subjected to a program of state-sanctioned torture."

Happy Xmas, your war is over! 10 Dec 2007 Gordon Brown yesterday delivered a stirring festive message to Our Boys in Iraq: "Happy Christmas – war is over." The PM was cheered as he praised UK troops and revealed combat operations in Basra will end "within two weeks". Iraqi forces will take over as the 4,500-strong British force switches from front-line duties to a training role. By early next year, our contingent in Southern Iraq will be cut to 2,500 – and may be withdrawn completely in March.

Army leaders push to shorten Iraq tours 09 Dec 2007 Pressure is building to reverse one of the most onerous decisions Defense Secretary Robert Gates made to enable President [sic] Bush's troop buildup to go forward this year: extending the tours of active-duty soldiers from 12 months to 15 months.

Afghanistan troop extension likely 10 Dec 2007 The Rudd Government insists that no decision has been made to extend Australia's troops in Afghanistan for another two years, but it is very likely to make that commitment at a meeting of defence ministers in Scotland this week.

No big rise in UK troops in Afghanistan expected 09 Dec 2007 Britain is not planning a substantial increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, its armed forces minister said on Sunday.

Iran accuses U.S of espionage 08 Dec 2007 Iran has accused the United States of espionage in collating a report which was released this week which concluded Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, and hasn't done for several years. Iran says the U.S. has admitted the NIE report was produced as a result of espionage activities, including satellite surveillance.

Israel says Iran could have nuclear bomb by 2010 09 Dec 2007 Israel believes Iran will have the resources to create a nuclear weapon by 2010 despite a U.S. intelligence report that it was not building an atomic bomb, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday. Olmert told his cabinet that Iran was continuing to enrich uranium and develop ballistic missiles and that Israel would press the U.N's International Atomic Energy Agency to "expose Iran's nuclear weapons activity". [Expose *this.*]

Israel no nuclear threat to neighbors, says Gates 08 Dec 2007 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates defended Israel's nuclear program on Saturday, saying the Jewish state did not seek to destroy its neighbors or support terrorism, unlike Iran. Asked at the Manama Dialogue conference whether he thought Israel's nuclear program posed a threat to the region, Gates replied: "No, I do not."

Fixation with terrorism 'exposes Britain to other security risks' 10 Dec 2007 The national security effort focuses too heavily on terrorism at the expense of fighting organised crime, securing energy supplies and tackling other international threats, a report states today.

U.S. Citizens Question Terror Watch Lists "No-Fly" And "No-Drive" Lists Hold Up Americans Crossing the Nation's Borders 08 Dec 2007 300,000 people - or close to 800,000 names, including aliases - are on the nation's consolidated Terrorism Watch List administered by the Department of Homeland Security since December 2003. The names, from 22 component agencies, have quadrupled in the past four years, and DHS won't confirm who is or isn't on the list.

Iceland teen grilled for hours for calling Bush's 'private' line --"If the number were not top secret, why would the police have told me that I will be put on a no-fly list to America?" 09 Dec 2007 Vífill Atlason, a 16-year-old high school student from Iceland, decided to call the White House... When Atlason finally got through to President [sic] Bush's secretary, Vífill alleges he was told to expect a call back from Bush. Instead, the police showed up at his home in Akranes, a fishing town about 48 kilometers from Reykjavik, and took him to the local police station, where they questioned the 16-year-old for several hours. "The police chief said they were under orders from U.S. officials to "find the leak" -- that I had to tell them where I had found the number," he said. "Otherwise, I would be banned from ever entering the United States."

Pharma-fascism on the march: A Proposal to Require Flu Vaccines for Preschool 09 Dec 2007 The New Jersey Public Health Council is expected to vote tomorrow on a rule that would require flu vaccines for any child entering day care or preschool. If it is approved, New Jersey would become the first state in the country to impose that mandate. The flu vaccine is one of four that the council will consider.

NJ parents try to block first-in-nation vaccine mandates 07 Dec 2007 Parents concerned about possible vaccine dangers and government intrusion are trying to block New Jersey from becoming the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers. The Public Health Council on Monday is set to consider whether New Jersey should require flu shots as well as three additional vaccines. "This will be the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to make the flu shot mandatory" for school attendance, said Jon Gilmore, a board member of Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning, or ACHAMP. He blames his 7-year-old son's autism on vaccines.

Huckabee stands by AIDS statement 09 Dec 2007 GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee said Sunday he won't run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated. [See: Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients 08 Dec 2007 Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk."]

Huckabee surges to big GOP lead; Dems in dogfight 09 Dec 2007 Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has surged to a 12-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Republicans in Iowa, and he leads in South Carolina, too, according to a new series of state-by-state polls for McClatchy and MSNBC. On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York has 27 percent in the McClatchy-MSNBC poll; Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has 25 percent; and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina has 21 percent.

Oprah rallies Iowa for Barack Obama 09 Dec 2007 Oprah Winfrey hit the hustings Saturday for the first time to tell Iowa and the world that Barack Obama "is the one." The most powerful and influential woman in media made her grand debut here on the presidential campaign trail for her "favorite guy," commanding a stage before 18,500 Iowans packed into downtown Des Moines' Hy-Vee Hall on a frigid afternoon.

This Canadian wilderness is set to be invaded by BP in an oil exploration project dubbed ... 'The biggest environmental crime in history' 10 Dec 2007 BP, the British oil giant that pledged to move "Beyond Petroleum" by finding cleaner ways to produce fossil fuels, is being accused of abandoning its "green sheen" by investing nearly £1.5bn to extract oil from the Canadian wilderness using methods which environmentalists say are part of the "biggest global warming crime" in history.

Demonstrators tell Ottawa: We want 'Kyoto now' --Thousands across globe send their message to Bali climate summit 09 Dec 2007 Environment Minister John Baird, along with officials from 180 countries around the world, is in Bali, Indonesia, attending the 13th annual International Conference on Climate Change. With only six days left in the two-week forum, impassioned crowds took to the streets yesterday in 37 Canadian cities and 70 countries across the globe... At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, an ice sculptor carved a polar bear out of 15 tonnes of ice. And, hundreds marched outside the conference centre in Bali.

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Lawyers Reveal Existence of 'Camp 7' Secret Guantánamo Detention Unit --Prisoner says subjected to "state-sanctioned torture" in secret C.I.A. prisons 09 Dec 2007 The first of the so-called high value Guantánamo prisoners to have seen a lawyer claims he was subjected to "state-sanctioned torture" while in secret C.I.A. prisons, and he has asked for a court order barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment. The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two 'Qaeda' operatives that current and former officials said included the use of harsh techniques torture. Lawyers for the prisoner, Majid Khan, claim he "was subjected to an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture" to numerous detainees. The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan, 27, and other high-value detainees are now being held in a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo prison he called Camp 7.

Inquiry Begins Into Torture Tapes' Destruction 09 Dec 2007 The Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency’s internal watchdog on Saturday launched a joint preliminary inquiry into the spy agency’s destruction of hundreds of hours of videotapes showing interrogations of [alleged] top operatives of Al Qaeda. The announcement comes amid new questions about which officials inside the C.I.A. were involved in the decision to destroy the videotapes, which depicted severe interrogation methods torture used on two Qaeda suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

'We haven't seen anything like this since the 18½ -minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon.' Democrats Call for Inquiry in Destruction of Tapes by C.I.A. 07 Dec 2007 Angry Democratic lawmakers called for investigations today into the Central Intelligence Agency’s destruction in 2005 of at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation torture of two [alleged] Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody. Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts accused the C.I.A. of "a cover-up," while Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois said it was possible that people at the agency had engaged in obstruction of justice. Both called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.

C.I.A. Was Urged to Keep Interrogation Videotapes 08 Dec 2007 White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of 'Al Qaeda,' government officials said Friday. The chief of the agency’s clandestine service nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the C.I.A.’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, the officials said. [Yeah, right!]

Bush Does Not Recall Learning of Destroyed CIA Tapes --Senate's Second-Ranking Democrat Calls for Justice Dept. Probe 07 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush does not recall being informed before yesterday morning about the existence or subsequent destruction of video recordings showing harsh CIA interrogations torture of terrorism suspects, the White House said today. The recordings, which CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed yesterday had been made in 2002 but destroyed three years later, set off a furor on Capitol Hill today, with the Senate's second-ranking Democrat demanding a Justice Department investigation. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate majority whip, called for the probe in a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. He urged Mukasey to investigate "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law." [Well, waterboard him until he *does* recall.]

Military Lost Track of Equipment In Iraq Worth Millions, Audit Says 08 Dec 2007 Pentagon auditors said they could not account for millions of dollars worth of rocket-propelled grenades, armored vehicles, ammunition and other supplies and equipment, because of inadequate paperwork and a lack of oversight personnel. A report released Thursday by the Defense Department's inspector general looked at $5.2 billion in the Iraq Security Forces Fund, which is part of the $44.5 billion U.S. 'reconstruction' effort in Iraq.

State Dept. retains manager of troubled embassy project 06 Dec 2007 A State Department project manager banished from Iraq by the U.S. ambassador and under scrutiny by the Justice Department continues to oversee the construction of the much-delayed new American embassy in Baghdad from nearby Kuwait, State Department officials disclosed Thursday. James L. Golden, a contract employee, is still managing the $740 million project, said Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, the department's top management official.

House Democrats Close to Deal on War Funds --DemocRATs Would Drop Iraq Timeline 08 Dec 2007 House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President [sic] Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday. If the bargain were to become law, it would be the third time since DemocRATs took control of Congress that they would have failed to force Bush to change course in Iraq and continued to fund a war that they have repeatedly vowed to end.

Now and Forever By Bob Herbert 08 Dec 2007 A report prepared for the Democratic majority on the Joint Economic Committee of the House and Senate warns that without a significant change of course in Iraq, the long-term cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could head into the vicinity of $3.5 trillion. The vast majority of those expenses would be for Iraq... President [sic] Bush’s formal funding requests for Iraq have already exceeded $600 billion... Youngsters who were just starting high school when the U.S. invaded Iraq are in college now. Their children, yet unborn, will be called on to fork over tax money to continue paying for the war. Seriously. How long do we want this madness to last?

Blackwater probe narrows focus to guards 08 Dec 2007 Federal prosecutors investigating the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians have narrowed their focus on as few as three Blackwater Worldwide bodyguards and have given others immunity for cooperating in the case, The Associated Press has learned. Blackwater is paying one law firm to represent as many as 10 guards, raising concerns that their stories could be coordinated.

State Dept. Inspector General Resigns --Krongard was accused of impeding Blackwater investigation 07 Dec 2007 The State Department's embattled inspector general, Howard J. Krongard, announced today that he is resigning effective Jan. 15, ending a tumultuous tenure in which he was accused of impeding investigations of the Blackwater security firm and construction problems at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Suicide bomber strikes Iraqi oil hub 08 Dec 2007 A suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden truck filled with sand struck a police station north of Baghdad on Saturday, the latest in a week of bombings that have killed nearly 80 people. The truck was allowed through the main gate of the complex in Beiji, the site of Iraq's largest refinery, after the driver told the guards he was delivering the sand to a construction site inside.

Bomber Kills 11 at Police Station in Northern Iraq 09 Dec 2007 A suicide truck bomber killed 11 people in an attack on a police station in the northern Iraqi town of Baiji, Iraqi security forces said on Saturday. Seven of the people killed in the 9 a.m. attack Saturday were policemen. The explosion wounded 44 other people, damaged 15 houses and set fire to 13 vehicles, said Capt. Sherzad Abdullah Zinga, of the Iraqi Army’s Fourth Division.

Iran: U.S. used spies to get nuke info 08 Dec 2007 Iran has sent a formal protest note to Washington for "spying" on Iran's nuclear activities, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday. The note was handed over to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which looks after U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington, the state IRNA news agency said.

Iran drops dollar from oil deals: report 08 Dec 2007 Major crude producer Iran has completely stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday, labelling the greenback an "unreliable" currency. "At the moment, selling oil in dollars has been completely halted, in line with the policy of selling crude in non-dollar currencies," Nozari was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. [A(nother) illegal Bush invasion is surely on the way.]

Gates says Iran still a threat [Never as big of a threat as Bush, though.] 08 Dec 2007 Iran poses a threat to the United States and the Middle East despite a U.S. intelligence assessment that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday.

Gates says Iran seeks to cause chaos 08 Dec 2007 Pentagon chief Robert Gates lashed out at Iran on Saturday for seeking to cause chaos "everywhere you turn" regardless of the blood spilled and said its neighbors must demand that Tehran renounce any intention of pursuing nuclear weapons.

Review of Iran Intelligence to Be Sought --As Conservatives Reject New NIE, Republican Senators to Urge Congressional Panel 07 Dec 2007 Senate Republicans are planning to call for a congressional commission to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran as well as the specific intelligence that went into it, according to congressional sources. The move is the first official challenge, but it comes amid growing backlash from conservatives and neoconservatives unhappy about the assessment that Iran halted a clandestine nuclear weapons program four years ago.

And then there was one: four British residents freed from Guantánamo --Foreign Office took up cases after policy change --Amnesty questions why one man must stay in jail 08 Dec 2007 Four British residents held without charge at the American detention camp for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba are to be released, reducing the UK involvement with the camp to just one inmate.

British soldier dies in Afghanistan 08 Dec 2007 A British soldier taking part in a major operation to drive the Taliban out of its only major urban Afghan stronghold has been killed, said the Ministry of Defence. The soldier died in the early hours in southern Afghanistan as troops continued their push to take the town of Musa Qala in Helmand Province.

42-day detention plan attacked as constitutionally illiterate 08 Dec 2007 Proposals to extend the limit for pre-charge detention to 42 days are "constitutionally illiterate" as well as dangerous, critics warned yesterday, because proper parliamentary scrutiny would confuse the roles of MPs and judges. The home secretary would have to notify parliament within two days of granting the 42-day limit, with MPs approving the decision within 30 days.

Hill-bullies May Bring US Four More Years of GOP Rule --The Rec Report Revised! --By Michael Rectenwald 08 Dec 2007 Hill-bullies are not exclusive to Faux and Raunch. Chris Matthews, the otherwise floundering middleweight chameleon, has a special, heavyweight hankering for Hillary hate. His animus appears to be especially personal, as if she's somehow slighted him, or refused him a date... If we continue to join in all those rein-in-Hillary games of the right, we might just end up with Rudolph or Huckabee.

'We need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.' Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients 08 Dec 2007 Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk." As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies. "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague," Huckabee wrote.

White House threatens budget veto 08 Dec 2007 The White House on Saturday threatened to veto a massive spending bill being assembled by congressional Democrats, saying it's unacceptable to add billions of dollars to domestic programs. [Right, if the money is not for Bush's torture and slaughter of people all over the world, it's a no-go. --LRP]

Bush's Bad Mortgage Medicine By Liz Moyer 07 Dec 2007 The Bush Administration's plan to rescue the housing market and keep the economy from slipping into recession took flak yesterday for freezing interest rate hikes for a mere fraction of subprime, adjustable-rate borrowers. But there's a bigger risk: It could deepen and lengthen the credit crisis. According to analysis by Barclays Capital, the "freezer-teaser" plan applies to just 240,000 subprime loans.

Edwards condemns NAFTA 08 Dec 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said Saturday he wants to replace the empty promise that NAFTA would create millions of jobs with his own promise to be a tough negotiator on trade deals.

Thousands join climate march 08 Dec 2007 Thousands of climate change protesters took their campaign to cut carbon emissions to the streets as they issued a stark warning of impending catastrophe to global leaders. The activists demonstrated across the UK to highlight a UN convention on climate change being held in Bali, Indonesia.

Leave animals alone, Inuit hunters tell scientists --Half the polar bear population of Davis Strait has been bothered over the last three years, Inuit hunters say 06 Dec 2007 ...Glenn Williams, a former wildlife officer and consultant to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., says over the last three years, polar bears in the Davis Strait were tranquilized 2,371 times. About half the entire population of 2,100 bears was at one time chased down by helicopter and shot with a dart containing a small explosive charge that drives the drug into the bear.

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Israel considering strike on Iran despite US intelligence report 07 Dec 2007 Senior Israeli officials warned today they were still considering the option of a military strike against Iran, despite a fresh US intelligence report that concluded Tehran was no longer developing nuclear weapons. Although Israel argues that it wants to see strong diplomatic pressure put on Iran, it is reluctant to rule out the threat of a unilateral military attack. Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defence minister, told Army Radio today: "No option needs to be off the table."

IDF to show US nuclear data on Iran 07 Dec 2007 Disappointed after failing to make their case on Iran and influence the outcome of the United States's National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released this week, Military Intelligence will present its hard core [!?!] evidence on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program on Sunday to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during a rare visit he will be making to Israel.

Pentagon plans unchanged by Iran report: general 07 Dec 2007 A U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has had no effect on Pentagon planning, a senior U.S. military officer said on Friday. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Sattler, director for strategic plans and policy on the U.S. military's Joint Staff, said officials were still digesting the National Intelligence Estimate released on Monday.

Israeli officials reject U.S. findings on Iran 04 Dec 2007 Israeli officials, who've been warning that Iran would soon pose a nuclear threat to the world, reacted angrily Tuesday to a new U.S. intelligence finding that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development program in 2003 and to date hasn't resumed trying to produce nuclear weapons. Defense Minister Ehud Barak directly challenged the new assessment in an interview with Israel's Army Radio, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the new finding wouldn't deter Israel or the United States from pressing its campaign to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

Neocon Job By Keith Olbermann 06 Dec 2007 We have either a president [sic] who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole -- or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked -- at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so -- whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible. A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

Justices to Weigh Court Access for Americans Imprisoned in Iraq by U.S. Military 07 Dec 2007 The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether federal judges can hear arguments from American citizens who are being held in Iraq by the U.S. military for alleged crimes there. The justices today said they will review the cases of Shawqi Ahmad Omar, who was captured during a raid that targeted a former al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader, and Mohammad Munaf, who is facing execution for taking part in a kidnapping plot. Both men are seeking to avoid being turned over to Iraqi authorities.

Democrats' fury grows over destroyed CIA torture tapes 07 Dec 2007 Congressional Democrats reacted furiously on Friday to the CIA's disclosure that it had made and destroyed videotapes of terrorism interrogations, as leading lawmakers called for a Justice Department inquiry. The White House said President [sic] George W. Bush did not recollect being told about the CIA tapes or their destruction before Thursday, when he was briefed by the CIA director. Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey to request an investigation into whether the CIA violated obstruction-of-justice laws by destroying the tapes. The tapes recorded interrogations using techniques that many critics have described as torture. "The CIA apparently withheld information about the existence of these videotapes from official proceedings, including the 9/11 Commission and a federal court," Durbin said in the letter. "It is the Justice Department's role to determine whether the law was violated."

CIA destroyed video of 'waterboarding' al-Qaida detainees 07 Dec 2007 The CIA destroyed video evidence of the coercive interrogation torture of 'al-Qaida' operatives held under its secret rendition programme in order to shield agents from prosecution, it was revealed yesterday. The decision to destroy two videotapes documenting the use of waterboarding against Abu Zubaydah and another high-value al-Qaida prisoner was made in November 2005 - as American media were just beginning to focus on the existence of the secret CIA prison network.

CIA lied about interrogation tapes 06 Dec 2007 The CIA has admitted destroying video evidence of an interrogation of 'al-Qaeda' operatives, held under its secret rendition kidnapping program. According to the CIA's director, Michael Hayden, the videos were erased for security reasons and to keep safe the CIA operatives who might have been exposed to retaliation from al-Qaeda.

C.I.A. Admits It Destroyed Tapes of Harsh Interrogations --Torture tapes destroyed to spare agency officials risk of 'legal jeopardy' 06 Dec 3007 The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials. The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects -- including Abu Zubaydah, the first prisoner in C.I.A. custody -- to severe interrogation techniques torture. [Note: It's interesting to note the evolution of the Whore York Times' headline on this item. The first headline: 'C.I.A. Admits It Destroyed Tapes of Harsh Interrogations.' Bush's henchmen must have yelped and dialed furiously into the WYT editors' offices (that's why they withheld the Bush illegal surveillance story until *after* the 2004 'elections'), and so the Times eliminated the word Admits-- 'C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes of Interrogations.' That was still too much for the Bush regime to tolerate, so the "new version" of the headline reads, 'C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations.' So many cowards, so little time. --Lori Price]

Violence surges in Iraq as 25 are killed in 2 attacks in Diyala 07 Dec 2007 Twenty-five people were killed Friday in the tumultuous Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, in two separate attacks. Fifteen people were killed and 20 wounded when a suicide attacker detonated a bomb in the town of Muqdadiya near the headquarters of a local committee of former insurgents working with U.S. forces [?!?]. It was not clear whether the bomber was a man or a woman because two heads were found alongside shredded bodies near the bombing site, according to a police official from the town. [I am thinking that 'insurgents' and 'U.S. forces' are - and have always been - one and the same.]

Military Families Question Iraq War as Support for Bush Slips 07 Dec 2007 Kent Fletcher, an Iraq war veteran, says he enthusiastically voted for President [sic] George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Now, he is a registered Democrat who questions the need for the war, the way it has been managed and the treatment of returning veterans.

Israeli minister cancels London trip on arrest fears 06 Dec 2007 Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter has cancelled a trip to Britain over concerns he could be arrested on war crimes allegations, his spokesman said on Thursday. As head of Israel's Shin Beth internal intelligence agency, Dichter was involved in the 2002 Israeli attack in Gaza in which an Israeli warplane dropped a one-tonne bomb on the house of the head of Hamas's military wing, Salah Shehade, killing him, his bodyguard and 15 civilians, many of them children.

Warships head to Mediterranean in Russian show of strength 05 Dec 2007 Russia has dispatched an 11-ship aircraft carrier group to the Mediterranean Sea as a first step towards re-establishing a naval presence in the region.

Detainee's soldier status at issue in Guantánamo hearing --Defense says he was not a terrorist 07 Dec 2007 A driver for Osama bin Laden wore no uniform and was in a car with two surface-to-air missiles when he was captured in Afghanistan, a U.S. Army officer said Thursday in a military hearing to determine whether the prisoner can be prosecuted in a military court. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni held at Guantánamo for nearly six years, was stopped in southern Afghanistan in 2001 and turned over to U.S. forces. They interrogated [tortured] him and kept him mostly hooded and restrained for about five days, Army Maj. Hank Smith said at the pretrial hearing.

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Ahmed Ressam Case 07 Dec 2007 The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider reinstating part of the conviction of would-be millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam, a case the government says will greatly affect terrorism prosecutions. Ressam, an Algerian national, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2005 after being convicted on nine counts for plotting to bomb Los Angeles International Airport around Jan. 1, 2000. The case is United States v. Ressam, 07-455.

The threat of terror attacks is growing, says Smith 01 Dec 2007 The threat of terrorist attacks in public places, including from radioactive dirty bombs, is growing, the Home Secretary warned yesterday. Jacqui Smith asked people to remain vigilant over the Christmas period but urged them nevertheless to get on with their daily lives.

Plan to raise time limit for holding terror suspects to 42 days 'chaotic' 07 Dec 2007 Ministers will face a parliamentary battle after controversial proposals were unveiled yesterday to extend the limit for holding terror suspects without charge. Civil-rights campaigners and MPs hit out over the "messy and chaotic" plan to raise the limit from 28 to 42 days.

Ore. ACLU files motion against Verizon in alleged NSA spying 06 Dec 2007 The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a motion that could resurrect claims against Verizon Communications Inc. that the company cooperated with the Bush regime to spy on telephone customers in Oregon.

Shootings renew debate on mall security 07 Dec 2007 U.S. security officials have been concerned -- particularly since the 9/11 attacks -- that malls could become "soft targets" for terrorists... Each year, the FBI and Homeland Security Department send out holiday-season "awareness" bulletins about shopping mall security. Malls across the nation have heeded calls to boost security by hiring more guards and installing surveillance cameras, but they remain easily accessible areas of commerce -- in contrast to those in Israel, where metal detectors and car searches are used to prevent bombings and other violence. Security analysts warn that trying to make malls safer, Israeli-style, could threaten malls' future by making them less successful.

Mall Shooter Was State Ward For 4 Years --State Spent $265K On Hawkins' 'Care' 06 Dec 2007 Nebraska spent $265,000 and four years trying to provide help to brainwash the 19-year-old who became the Westroads Mall shooter on Wednesday afternoon. Eight people were killed, in addition to the shooter, Robert A. Hawkins. Gov. Dave Heineman said Hawkins became a ward of the state on Sept. 17, 2002. Landry said Hawkins stayed at a facility in Missouri called Piney Ridge, plus Omaha's Cooper Village, Lutheran Family Services and Addiction and Behavioral Health Services Inc.

Heads up! Pharma-terrorists are injecting people with Mercury and Formaldehyde at the airport: Major U.S. airports offering flu shots --'We're finding that's where people are.' 05 Dec 2007 After taking off their shoes, emptying their pockets and passing through the security checkpoint, travelers at some major U.S. airports can now roll up a sleeve and get a flu shot. This year, airports in such cities as Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Newark, N.J., and San Francisco are setting up "airside" health stations close to the gates, past the security checkpoints.

Electoral vote measure fails to make June ballot 07 Dec 2007 A proposed [controversial] initiative that drew national attention for its potential to affect next year's presidential election will not appear on the June ballot, organizers said Thursday. Republican backers of the measure, which could have tilted the presidential contest toward the GOP nominee by changing how California awards electoral votes, conceded that they were unable to raise sufficient funds. [Gee, whenever the Democrats propose a measure or bill, the GOP media whores - such as the LA Times - add the word 'controversial' as a descriptor. When the proposal *is* controversial - such as this blatant attempt to steal the 2008 , the word escaped them. Coup 2008 marches on.]

Hillary and Obama: The Dynamic Duo? By Dr. Michael Rectenwald (repost) 07 Dec 2007 The following does not represent an endorsement of any candidate, but rather a reflection on possibilities. I know what I am about to say could be misinterpreted. So I hope to set this up carefully. First, my premise: I want to see a serious sea change in American politics. I want this sea change to involve a change in US policies, both domestically and internationally. The US, I believe, should be and can still represent a beacon of hope as a democratic republic. That is, it can still tend towards democracy at home and act on the principles of democracy abroad-not by bombing people into "democracy," but by respecting the self-determination, will, and rights of all people.

Clinton, Huckabee win education endorsement 06 Dec 2007 The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association has endorsed Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, in their parties' primaries, sources said yesterday.

Senate Republicans Block House-Approved Energy Bill Over Oil Company Taxes 07 Dec 2007 The U.S. Senate blocked legislation that Republicans said would raise energy prices by increasing taxes on oil and gas companies and requiring utilities to get a portion of their power from renewable sources. The vote on a bid by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today to begin considering the measure was 53-42, seven short of the 60 needed to overcome objections.

House OKs far-reaching energy bill --The measure passes by a 235-181 vote, but the White House calls it a 'partisan bill' that has 'no chance of being signed into law.' 06 Dec 2007 The House today approved the biggest increase in vehicle fuel-economy standards since the days when gasoline cost less than a dollar a gallon, but the Democratic majority headed for a showdown in the Senate and with President [sic] Bush over other provisions in a sweeping energy bill. The measure calls for a 40% increase in fuel efficiency for new cars and light trucks by 2020, for a fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon -- the first time that Congress would have raised the standards since they were established in 1975.

Grassley Seeks Probe on Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes 06 Dec 2007 Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter on Tuesday asked HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson to examine the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, the possibility of payments to physicians who prescribe the medications and the drugs' cost to Medicare and Medicaid, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to a Journal article published on Tuesday, which Grassley cited in the letter, antipsychotics have become the most expensive class of medications for Medicaid. Nursing homes often administer the medications to [alleged] dementia patients to quiet their symptoms. In 2005, Medicaid spent $5.4 billion on atypical antipsychotics, not including rebates that the federal government might receive. Grassley also asked CMS for information about how the agency responds to nursing homes that misuse antipsychotics, a practice he called "disturbing and alarming."

'Cooling Down' Begins At Svalbard Global Seed Vault 16 Nov 2007 Refrigeration units began pumping chilly air deep into an Arctic mountain cavern today, launching the innovative and critical "cooling down" phase of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in advance of its official opening early next year as a fail-safe repository of the world's vital food crops. Svalbard is now three days into the three-month "Polar Night" period when there is 24 hours of complete darkness.

"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic --Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don't By F. William Engdahl 04 Dec 2007 What leads the Gates and Rockefeller foundations to at one and the same time to back proliferation of patented and soon-to-be Terminator patented seeds across Africa, a process which, as it has in every other place on earth, destroys the plant seed varieties as monoculture industrialized agribusiness is introduced? At the same time they invest tens of millions of dollars to preserve every seed variety known in a bomb-proof doomsday vault near the remote Arctic Circle 'so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future' to restate their official release? It is no accident that the Rockefeller and Gates foundations are teaming up to push a GMO-style Green Revolution in Africa at the same time they are quietly financing the 'doomsday seed vault' on Svalbard. The GMO agribusiness giants are up to their ears in the Svalbard project.

Food Prices Climbing, With No End in Sight 05 Dec 2007 Globalisation, climate change, and the mass production of biofuels are pushing up food prices worldwide, which could jeopardise the livelihoods of the world's poorest, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

Al Gore in Norway to accept Nobel Peace Prize 07 Dec 2007 Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore arrived in Oslo on Friday to accept the Nobel Peace Prize he shared for the campaign against global warming, and shunned the traditional airport motorcade in favor of climate saving public transportation.

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US and Britain push for tighter sanctions on Iran 06 Dec 2007 The US and Britain are pushing ahead with plans to tighten international sanctions on Tehran, despite concerns about greater Russian and Chinese resistance after the latest US intelligence assessment concluded that Iran had halted a nuclear weapons programme four years ago under diplomatic pressure.

Rice wins support for Iran sanctions 06 Dec 2007 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won support Thursday on Iran from two key European allies, France and Germany, whose leaders urged continued pressure on Tehran because of its nuclear program, saying the country remains a danger. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged a two-pronged approach of pressure and negotiations with Iran.

Bush told in August that Iran nuke program 'may be suspended' --Intelligence chief told pResident Iran might have stopped work on nuclear weapons 06 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush was told in August that Iran's nuclear weapons program "may be suspended," the White House said Wednesday, which seemingly contradicts the account of the meeting given by Bush Tuesday.

Two-thirds of Israelis oppose attack on Iran: poll 06 Dec 2007 Two-thirds of Israelis oppose their country launching on its own a military attack against nuclear installations in arch-foe Iran, said a poll published on Thursday. When asked "should Israel alone attack the Iranian nuclear installations," 67.2 percent said no, while 20.9 percent said yes and 11.9 percent had no opinion, said the survey aired on public radio.

Top U.S. military brass in Iraq resist quick drawdown 06 Dec 2007 The U.S. military's internal debate over how fast to reduce its force in Iraq has intensified in recent weeks as commanders in Baghdad resist suggestions from Pentagon officials for a quicker drawdown. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the day-to-day military commander in Iraq, said he was worried that significant improvements in security conditions would sway policymakers to move too quickly to pull out troops next year.

U.S. commander says al Qaeda still a dangerous foe 06 Dec 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] remains a dangerous foe in Iraq despite a decline in violence, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said on Thursday, a day after the deadliest bombing in Baghdad since September.

Pushed Out of Baghdad, Insurgents Move North 06 Dec 2007 (Mosul, Iraq) Sunni 'insurgents' pushed out of Baghdad and Anbar Provinces have migrated to this northern Iraqi city and have been trying to turn it into a major hub for their operations, according to American commanders.

Congress to clash with Bush over torture technique 06 Dec 2007 Congress is set to clash with George Bush on the contentious practice of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques as it prepares legislation on intelligence funding. Senate and House officials have included the ban on waterboarding - condemned by human rights groups as a form of torture - in their respective bills authorising 2008 spending for intelligence programmes. The move would set up another veto fight with Bush, who last summer issued an executive order allowing the CIA to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" that go beyond what is allowed in the 2006 army field manual.

Limits Proposed on CIA Interrogators 05 Dec 2007 House and Senate negotiators working on an intelligence bill have agreed to limit CIA interrogators to techniques approved by the military, which would effectively bar them from using such harsh methods torture as waterboarding, congressional aides said Wednesday.

Heads up! Treasury freezes assets of 7 people 06 Dec 2007 The Bush regime on Thursday took steps to clamp down financially on seven people, most of them in Syria, suspected of having ties to the Iraqi 'insurgency' or the former government of Saddam Hussein.

Gun Nut Kills Eight After Bush [Nut's] Speech --Shoppers flee mall in terror 06 Dec 2007 A crazed gunman shot eight people dead before killing himself in a crowded shopping mall last night - an hour after President [sic] Bush gave a speech nearby. Five others were wounded in the rampage, two critically. Though police suspected the gunman was acting alone, a second man wearing camouflage was arrested. Last week a grenade was found hidden behind a plant stand at the same mall.

Photo Shows Man In Handcuffs --Witness Reports 35-40 Shots 05 Dec 2007 A viewer photo shows a man in handcuffs after shots were fired inside the Von Maur store at Westroads Mall on Wednesday afternoon.

Mall arrestee

A description of the shooter, broadcast over scanners, was that he was in an Army-green vest and was holding a rifle [AK-47]. The viewer's photo showed a young man in [Army] fatigues surrounded by police and apparently in handcuffs. Police have not yet confirmed an arrest. It was reported by KETV crews that the man in fatigues was found under a bus bench. KETV NewsWatch 7's Carol Kloss said she could see a man in cuffs and a black, hooded sweatshirt surrounded by police.

Two men arrested in military fatigues in shopping mall shooting spree --'Guys dressed in camouflage, with guns, leaving a school bus, acting suspiciously before the shooting. Earlier in December, a live grenade was removed from this shopping mall... It [the shooting] was completely random -witness.' (MSNBC live, 4:15PM EST 05 Dec 2007)

9 dead, including suspect, in Omaha mall shooting 05 Dec 2007 A rifle-toting gunman went on a holiday murder spree in a crowded Nebraska mall Wednesday, killing eight shoppers. The killer, identified as Robert Hawkins, 19, left behind a note promising to "go out in style," Omaha television station KETV reported. Hawkins, his hair in a military buzz cut, was reportedly wearing a camouflage vest and carrying a black backpack when he walked into the mall. It was the deadliest U.S. attack since a gunman left 32 people dead on the Virginia Tech campus in April, and the second mass shooting at a mall this year. Five people were killed and four wounded at a Salt Lake City mall in February, when police killed the gunman responsible. 'Witnesses described the suspect as a man wearing Army fatigues or camouflage.' [This reference has been purged from the New York Daily News article, but Google retained the 'Army fatigues' reference. The Army reference disappeared from the mainstream media quicker than a snowdrift in July. Are these 'Manchurian-style' killing sprees setting the stage for a (false) demand for Blackwater mercenaries to increase operations on US soil? Is the goal of these (seemingly) lone-nut attacks to acclimate the public to additional security, surveillance and police state tactics? --Lori Price]

Omaha Mall Shooting --FBI Role in Support of Omaha Police (fbi.gov) 06 Dec 2007 ...[O]n Wednesday, Robert Hawkins opened fire at an Omaha mall... The Omaha Police Department is leading the investigation, with several agencies providing support, including the Nebraska State Patrol, ATF, and the FBI. Our office in Omaha responded to the scene with special agent bomb technicians, SWAT team agents, and evidence experts. We helped interview more than 100 mall employees and patrons, and our field intelligence analysts also provided analytic support.

Prior to Shooting, Mall Security Officers Noticed Gunman 06 Dec 2007 A troubled young man who opened fire in an Omaha shopping mall Wednesday had attracted the attention of mall security officers when he first entered the complex, but he carried out his shooting spree 'before they could react,' police said Thursday. The gunman, Robert A. Hawkins, 19, entered the Westroads Mall with an assault rifle concealed under a hooded sweatshirt, took an elevator to the third floor and began shooting shoppers and employees at random, Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren told a news conference. He said Hawkins fired more than 30 rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle.

Man guilty in grenade plot on shopping mall 28 Nov 2007 A man charged with plotting to set off hand grenades inside a shopping mall in what the FBI said he intended to be a "violent jihad" pleaded guilty in the case on Wednesday. The U.S. Attorney's office said Derrick Shareef, 23, of Rockford, Illinois, a U.S.-born convert to Islam, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Investigators said he had been under surveillance from the very beginning of his plotting and the public was never in danger.

Parcel Bomb Kills 1 in Paris Law Office 06 Dec 2007 A package bearing homemade bombs blew up Thursday in a lawyer's office on a tony boulevard in central Paris, killing the woman who opened it. The motive for the unusual attack remained unclear.

Seven Senior Republican Appointees Challenge Official Account of 9/11 - "Not Possible", "a Whitewash", "False" By Alan Miller 04 Dec 2007 Seven former senior Republican administration appointees have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and several have called for a new investigation. "I find the facts against the official story of the [WTC] buildings' collapse more compelling than the case that has been made in behalf of the official story. I would like to see the issue debated by independent scientists and engineers," wrote Paul Craig Roberts, PhD, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan.

Smith seeks 42-day detention limit 06 Dec 2007 The government came under fire today as it announced plans to extend the length of time that terrorism suspects can be held without charge to 42 days and was warned it faces a battle to get the legislation through parliament.

'Lyrical terrorist' sentenced over extremist poetry 06 Dec 2007 A 23-year-old former Heathrow shop assistant who called herself the "lyrical terrorist" and scrawled her extremist thoughts on till receipts has been handed a nine-month suspended jail sentence. Samina Malik became the first woman convicted under new terrorism legislation after writing poems entitled How To Behead and The Living Martyrs. Malik, described as an "unlikely but committed" Islamic extremist, was last month convicted by an jury at the Old Bailey of a charge under the 2000 Terrorism Act.

Jury reads prose penned by 'lyrical terrorist' --Samina Malik was handed a nine-month suspended jail term at the Old Bailey for offences under anti-terrorism legislation. 06 Dec 2007 Here is a selection of the poetry which prompted her to call herself the 'lyrical terrorist.' Examples of Samina Malik's poetry were ready to the jury during her trial at the Old Bailey.

Passport applicant finds massive privacy breach 04 Dec 2007 A security flaw in Passport Canada's website has allowed easy access to the personal information - including social insurance numbers, dates of birth and driver's licence numbers - of people applying for new passports.

Too many close calls on runways, report says --The rate of such incidents at the nation's airports, including LAX, fails to improve in a four-year span, according to a federal study that suggests the risk of a catastrophic runway collision remains. 06 Dec 2007 The rate of close calls between planes on the ground approached record highs in 2007 at Los Angeles International Airport and at other airports across the nation, a government report released Wednesday found. The findings come despite much-touted efforts by the Federal Aviation Administration and airports to ensure that pilots and air traffic controllers follow federal rules that permit only one plane at a time on or near a runway.

Home foreclosures jump to new record --More homeowners also falling behind on monthly payments 06 Dec 2007 Home foreclosures shot up to an all-time high in the third quarter, fresh evidence of the problems afflicting distressed homeowners amid the housing meltdown.

Climate scientists call for urgent emission cuts 06 Dec 2007 Greenhouse gas emissions must be urgently cut, with reductions of at least 50% by 2050, climate scientists warned today. More than 200 leading international climate scientists attending the UN climate change conference in Bali called for emissions to peak and decline within the next 10 to 15 years.

Global Warming Puts Amazon at Risk 06 Dec 2007 The impact of climate change plus deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60 percent of the Amazon forest by 2030 - making it impossible to keep global temperatures from reaching catastrophic levels, an environmental group said Thursday.

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25 Dead in Iraq Bombings As Gates Visits 05 Dec 2007 A car bomb exploded in a largely Shiite neighborhood Wednesday, killing at least 16 people, just as Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the capital and said a secure and stable Iraq was within reach. It was the deadliest of four bombs in Iraq on Wednesday that killed a total of 25 people. Earlier, a blast went off in the northern city of Mosul, where Gates had landed on his sixth trip to Iraq.

Iraq government to cut items from its free food handouts 04 Dec 2007 From the beginning of 2008 the quantity of national food rations delivered freely to all Iraqi families will be further reduced - from 10 to five items, due to lack of government financial support, Trade Minister Abid Falah al-Soodani said on 3 December. The food rations’ system, known as the Public Distribution System (PDS), was set up in 1995... However, it has been crumbling since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 due to insecurity, poor management and corruption.

Pentagon deal reins in Iraq contractors 05 Dec 2007 The military would have more control over Blackwater Worldwide and other mercenaries working in Iraq under a new agreement between the Pentagon and State Department, officials said Wednesday. The agreement was signed at the Pentagon by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, whose department uses Blackwater to guard its diplomats.

Israel questions US report of nuclear weapons freeze 05 Dec 2007 Israel moved quickly yesterday to question the US intelligence report that concluded Iran's nuclear weapons programme was frozen, and called for intensified international pressure on the country.

Bush Insists Iran Remains a Threat Despite Arms Data 05 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush warned on Tuesday that Iran remained a threat despite an intelligence assessment that it had halted a covert program to develop nuclear weapons four years ago... Once again facing criticism over the handling -- and meaning -- of intelligence reports, Mr. Bush said the new assessment underscored the need to intensify international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Biden: Bush either not truthful or incompetent on Iran 04 Dec 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.) Tuesday asserted that President [sic] Bush is not leveling with the country when he says that he did not know in mid-October that U.S. intelligence services believed at that time that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. "Are you telling me a president who is briefed every single morning, who is fixated on Iran, is not told back in August that the tentative conclusion of 16 intelligence agencies in the United States government said they had abandoned their effort for a nuclear weapon in ’03?" Biden said in a conference call with reporters. "That's not believable," Biden added. "I refuse to believe that. If that’s true, he has the most incompetent staff in … modern American history and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history."

Leaked aid map of Afghanistan reveals expansion of no-go zones 05 Dec 2007 Almost half of Afghanistan is now too dangerous for aid workers to operate in, a leaked UN map seen by The Times shows. In the past two years most foreign and Afghan staff have withdrawn from the southern half of the country, abandoning or scaling back development projects in rural areas and confining themselves to the cities or the less risky north.

Suicide attack in Kabul during US defence chief visit claims 13: officials 05 Dec 2007 A suicide attacker slammed a bomb-filled car into an Afghan army bus in the capital Kabul Wednesday, killing at least 13 people, the defence ministry said, in the second such blast in two days. The extremist Taliban group claimed responsibility for the morning rush-hour suicide attack, which struck in the south of the city as US Defence Secretary Robert Gates wrapped up a surprise visit. "It was a big explosion and sent fire into the sky," witness Akbari Sarwar, told AFP. "When I moved in I saw scores of bodies, legs, arms, heads, flesh everywhere," said Sarwar, a journalist who was on the road when the blast hit.

Afghanistan asks US for more money, arms --Army chief wants small arms, mortars --Taliban control no more than 5 districts: NATO 05 Dec 2007 Afghanistan’s army chief on Tuesday asked the United States for more security trainers [drug-runners] and equipment to 'fight' an insurgency led by Taliban, saying the aid given so far was generous but inadequate. US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon was looking for ways to expedite delivery of needed weapons and supplies to Afghanistan. [Why is Bush occupying Afghanistan? See: 2002: Afghanistan reclaims position as world's biggest opium producer 26 Feb 2003. See: U.S. : Afghan poppy production doubles 28 Nov 2003. See: Afghanistan opium production at highest levels 01 Mar 2004. See: 2005 Afghan opium harvest begins 03 May 2005. See: Afghanistan Opium Crop Sets Record 02 Dec 2006. See: Afghanistan opium production soars: UN 26 Jun 2007. Afghanistan's child opium addicts 17 May 2007. . . Mission accomplished!]

U.S. Military to Provide Afghan Army With M-16 Rifles 04 Dec 2007 The U.S. military will provide the Afghan army with U.S.-made M-16 rifles as part of an effort to make up for a shortage of small arms power among Afghan security forces, FOX News learned Tuesday.

U.S. rejects shifting Marines to Afghanistan: general 05 Dec 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided against a proposal to give U.S. Marines a leading role in Afghanistan as they draw down from Iraq, Marine Corps Commandant James Conway said on Wednesday.

Evidence of Innocence Rejected at Guantanamo 05 Dec 2007 Just months after U.S. Army troops whisked a German man from Pakistan to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002, his American captors concluded that he was not a terrorist. "USA considers Murat Kurnaz's innocence to be proven," a German intelligence officer wrote that year in a memo to his colleagues. "He is to be released in approximately six to eight weeks." But the 19-year-old student was not freed. Instead, over the next four years, two U.S. military tribunals that were responsible for determining whether Guantanamo Bay prisoners were enemy fighters declared him a dangerous al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] ally who should remain in prison.

Supreme Court Hearing Guantanamo Cases 05 Dec 2007 The Bush regime is back at the Supreme Court to defend its indefinite detentions of foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Some men have been held there nearly six years. At issue is whether the right to contest detention in U.S. civilian courts, enshrined in the Constitution, extends to the 305 men being held at Guantanamo as "enemy combatants." It is the third time since 2004 that the Supreme Court has examined the administration's detention program.

Guantanamo prisoners get day in high court 05 Dec 2007 Lawyers for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay will argue in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the prisoners' detention is unconstitutional, focusing renewed attention on the United States' tarnished human rights record. The nine justices on the highest U.S. Court are to hear argument in the appeal of 36 Guantanamo prisoners who say a 2006 law wrongly denies them a meaningful way to challenge their detention at the U.S. Naval Base on Cuba.

Guantanamo Bay inmate slashes throat with fingernail 05 Dec 2007 AN inmate in the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay has survived a suicide attempt in which he slashed his own throat with a sharpened fingernail. Commander Andrew Haynes, the deputy commander of the guard force at the prison, said he doubted last month's incident was a real suicide attempt, calling it an act of "self harm".

Ex-Italian President: Intel Agencies Know 9/11 An Inside Job --Man who set up Operation Gladio tells Italy's largest newspaper attacks were run by CIA, Mossad By Paul Joseph Watson 04 Dec 2007 Former Italian President and the man who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio, Francesco Cossiga, has gone public on 9/11, telling Italy's most respected newspaper that the attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad and that this was common knowledge amongst global intelligence agencies.

Homeland Security for Sale - DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement 05 Dec 2007 Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a new report entitled Homeland Security for Sale – DHS: Five Years of Mismanagement... The report and video document the past five years of the agency’s most serious problems and troubling practices. In its report, CREW details billions of dollars in waste and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, for example: $24 billion has been spent, and at least $178 million wasted, on the failed Coast Guard Deepwater program; over $600 million has been allocated for unworkable radiation border scanners; $1.3 billion has been lost on the US-VISIT program, which was never fully implemented and projected $2 billion loss on the SBInet "virtual fence" border program.

Two men held on terrorism charges 05 Dec 2007 Two men have been arrested over alleged terrorism offences, Scotland Yard said. Officers detained the men on suspicion of the "commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism" under the Terrorism Act. Police say the arrests came after raids at two separate homes in north-west and west London early on Tuesday morning.

9 Confirmed Dead In Omaha Mall Massacre --Witness: 35-40 Shots Fired At Omaha Mall 05 Dec 2007 Police say nine people including a suspected gunman [allegedly Robert Hawkins] are dead and five injured following a mall shooting in Omaha, Neb. Police Sgt. Teresa Negron said the suspected gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The mall has been evacuated, locked down and will likely remain closed until Thursday... President [sic] George W. Bush was in Omaha on Wednesday for a fundraiser, but left about an hour before the shooting.

Gunman opens fire at Omaha mall, kills 8, self --Police: Shooter, 19, left suicide note that said he was 'going out in style' 05 Dec 2007 A gunman opened fire at a busy Omaha mall, killing at least eight people, wounding at least five others and then killing himself, police officials said. Witnesses said the shooter pointed a rifle over a third-floor balcony and opened fire in Van Maur department store at Westroads Mall... WOWT-TV reported that authorities removed what officials described as a live grenade from the mall’s parking lot Friday night. The shooting apparently happened as President [sic] Bush was leaving Omaha, where he attended a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Mike Johanns.

FCC target of House panel's investigation --Chairman Kevin J. Martin is accused of 'possible abuse of power.' A hearing is set for Wednesday. 04 Dec 2007 Two key House lawmakers announced Monday that they were investigating the Federal Communications Commission, accusing its chairman of "possible abuse of power" and a failure to operate fairly and openly in handling proposed cable TV and media ownership regulations.

Another Friend of Giuliani's Embroiled in Sheriff’s Criminal Case -- Giuliani's Partner Linked to Bribery Case 04 Dec 2007 When Hank Asher reached into the bag and pulled out the two $15,000 gold Cartier watches, the holiday crowd at Carmine's restaurant on 44th Street in Manhattan noticed, patrons recalled. Later, so did the U.S. attorney in Orange County, Calif., and soon yet another of Rudy Giuliani's business partners was embroiled in a bribery case. Asher, identified by the initials H.A. in Overt Act 59 of a federal grand jury indictment against Orange County sheriff Michael Carona, had handed the diamond-encrusted Cartier baubles to the wives of the sheriff and his deputy, and with that, assured himself a place in a federal indictment that was looming.

California sues R.J. Reynolds over Rolling Stone feature 04 Dec 2007 California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown today sued cigarette maker R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., accusing it of violating a 1998 legal settlement that banned the use of the iconic Joe Camel character and other cartoons in tobacco advertisements. California is one of eight states, including New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, filing complaints in local courts.

Romney Faces New Questions on Illegal Workers at Landscaping Firm 05 Dec 2007 Mitt Romney, who has relentlessly wielded the issue of illegal immigration against his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in the past few months, is facing an embarrassing new revelation that the landscaping company at his home in Massachusetts was found for a second time to be employing illegal immigrants.

Is Britain's economy heading for the perfect storm? 05 Dec 2007 The storm clouds are gathering over the jobs market; the climate on the high street is growing distinctly chilly; a typhoon of bad debt is buffeting the banks. Could a "perfect storm" be about to hit the British economy?

Wall St firms subpoenaed by NY prosecutors: source 05 Dec 2007 New York state prosecutors have sent subpoenas to Wall Street firms seeking information related to the packaging and selling of debt tied to high-risk mortgages, a person familiar with the matter said.

Court Asked to Block Alaska Oil Drilling 05 Dec 2007 Environmental and Native Alaskan groups asked a federal appeals court Tuesday to block Royal Dutch Shell PLC's plans for exploratory oil drilling near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Mineral Management Service decided this year to allow the energy giant to drill up to 12 exploratory oil wells in the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska.

Scandal, economics deter Alaska gas line bids 04 Dec 2007 Alaska's unfolding political-corruption scandal deterred one energy company from submitting a natural gas pipeline proposal to the state, while uncertain economics precluded the proposal of another.

Knut the polar bear celebrates his first birthday 05 Dec 2007 With a fish cake topped with a candle-shaped rolling pin, Knut the famous polar bear celebrated his first birthday at Berlin Zoo today. Germany’s favourite polar bear reached the milestone after a colourful year in which he became a national celebrity after being raised by zookeepers when his mother, Tosca, rejected him by leaving him on a rock to die.

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Study: U.S., Israel should begin planning strike on Iran nuclear sites 03 Dec 20207 Israel and the United States should begin an intense dialogue on ways to deal with Iran's nuclear plans and should examine ways to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a new study published by an influential Washington think tank [the Washington Institute for Near East Policy]. The report, by a former deputy head of the National Security Council, Chuck Freilich, says Israel and the U.S. should discuss nuclear-crisis scenarios between Israel and Iran. [See: 'Iran halted nuclear weapons programme in 2003' 03 Dec 2007.]

Israel Unconvinced Iran Has Dropped Nuclear Program 04 Dec 2007 Israel today took a darker view of Iran’s nuclear ambitions than the assessment released by United States intelligence agencies on Monday, saying it was convinced that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. It said Iran had probably resumed the nuclear weapons program the American report said was stopped in autumn 2003.

PM: Report shows need for tight sanctions on Iran 04 Dec 2007 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday that a new U.S. intelligence report finding that Tehran halted its development of a nuclear bomb demonstrates the need for tighter international sanctions in order to ensure the Islamic republic can never acquire nuclear weapons. "We discussed this report with leaders of the [U.S.] administration," Olmert told reporters. "It is vital to pursue efforts to prevent Iran from developing a capability like this and we will continue doing so along with our friends the United States."

Bush Says Iran Still a Danger Despite Report on Weapons 04 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush said today that a new intelligence finding that Iran halted its nuclear weapons work in 2003 had not altered his sense that Iran remained a danger. The world needed to view the report as "a warning signal," not grounds for reassurance, he said, and the United States would not renounce the option of a military response.

Iran report frustrates US hawks 03 Dec 2007 The unclassified version of a new National Intelligence Estimate, or NIE, released on Monday, said that Iran was "less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005" ...The new NIE will make it harder for proponents of military action against Iran to argue their case. One source, who has close links to US intelligence, said that members of Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's staff continued to call for military strikes against Iran "on a daily basis".

Cheney's office advocated for Iran attacks 'on a daily basis.' 04 Dec 2007 The BBC reports: [T]he new NIE will make it harder for proponents of military action against Iran to argue their case. One source, who has close links to US intelligence, said that members of Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney’s staff continued to call for military strikes against Iran "on a daily basis". Atrios adds: "It must be understood that since our intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran has a nuclear weapons program, it also means that they don’t know where such a program would be physically located if it did exist. This means that any desires of Dick Cheney and his people to bomb Iran simply involve… bombing the shit out of Iran."

Iran Welcomes New US Intelligence Report 04 Dec 2007 Iran's foreign minister on Tuesday welcomed the U.S. decision to "correct" its claim that Tehran has an active nuclear weapons program, state-run radio reported. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was referring to a U.S. intelligence assessment released Monday that reversed earlier claims that Iran had restarted its weapons program in 2005 after suspending it in 2003.

IAEA: US Iran Report Matches UN Agency 04 Dec 2007 A new U.S. intelligence review that concludes Iran stopped developing a nuclear weapons program in 2003 is consistent with the U.N. atomic watchdog agency's own findings and "should help to defuse the current crisis," the organization's chief said Tuesday. [It should, but not with Bush bin Laden and Ehud Olmert running the show.]

U.S. Says Iran Halted Its Nuclear Arms Effort in 2003 04 Dec 2007 A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

Suicide blast "welcomes" Gates to Kabul [A big welcome - or a small one?] 04 Dec 2007 A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car into a NATO convoy near Kabul airport on Tuesday, during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to assess rising violence in Afghanistan. No casualties were reported among NATO troops in the morning rush hour blast on a road just outside the city's international airport, an alliance spokesman said. NATO said the attack, which occurred as Gates was meeting NATO commanders less than 5 miles away, wounded 22 Afghan civilians. A Taliban spokesman said the militant Islamic group carried out the attack to "welcome" Gates, who arrived in Kabul the previous evening.

Iraqi insurgents regrouping, says Sunni resistance leader --Bush's Coalition of the Bribed - Iraq's insurgency - will 'wait out' the surge and then return, well-funded and better equipped. 03 Dec 2007 Iraq's main Sunni-led resistance groups have scaled back their attacks on US forces in Baghdad and parts of Anbar province in a deliberate strategy aimed at regrouping, retraining, and waiting out George Bush's "surge", a key 'insurgent' leader has told the Guardian. US officials recently reported a 55% drop in attacks across Iraq. One explanation is the decision by dozens of Sunni tribal leaders to accept money and weapons from the Americans in return for confronting 'al-Qaida' militants who attack civilians.

Iraq group holding Britons demands UK withdrawal 04 Dec 2007 Kidnappers holding five Britons seized in Iraq in May threatened to kill one hostage in 10 days as a "first warning" unless Britain withdraws from Iraq, in a video aired by Al Arabiya television on Tuesday.

Five U.S. Guard brigades ordered to go to Iraq, Afghanistan in 2009 04 Dec 2007 Five U.S. Army National Guard brigades have been ordered to go to Iraq and Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, the Pentagon announced Monday. Among the troops, 8,000 will go to Iraq and the rest 7,000 will leave for Afghanistan, it said.

15-month tours of Iraq likely for awhile 04 Dec 2007 The No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday that 15-month combat tours are too long for U.S. soldiers but probably cannot be shortened until next fall as troop levels decline.

UK troop cut in Iraq could hit mission 03 Nov 2007 Plans to halve British troop numbers [approximately 5,000] in Iraq next year could jeopardise the entire British presence there, a parliamentary report said on Monday.

Turkish Soldiers Kill 6 Kurdish Rebels 04 Dec 2007 Turkish soldiers killed six Kurdish rebels near the border with Iraq on Tuesday in a clash that also killed a Turkish officer, the military said.

U.S. agency doubts Iraq units' "independent" ratings 04 Dec 2007 U.S. assertions about the growing independence of Iraqi security units are often based on conflicting claims or assessment methods that do not allow for "independent" ratings, a U.S. watchdog agency said on Monday. A report by the Government Accountability Office said the Defense Department and top military officials including U.S. Commander in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus [Betrayus] have sought to show progress by repeatedly citing numbers of Iraqi Security Force (ISF) units deemed "independent" or "fully independent." But it is unclear how the Pentagon and its officials have reached those conclusions, according to the GAO.

US Defence Secretary Gates calls for more help for Afghanistan 04 Dec 2007 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he was pushing the world's countries for more commitment to Afghanistan's fight against foment growing extremist violence. The senior US official was in Afghanistan on a surprise visit to assess the country's international-led fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh], whom US officials say appears to have stepped up their activities here.

Suicide bomber kills 4, wounds 6 in Afghanistan 03 Dec 2007 A suicide bomber killed four Afghans including two policemen and wounded six others in Afghanistan's western province of Nimroz on Monday, a provincial police official said.

I would have stopped Habib torture: ASIO officer 04 Dec 2007 An ASIO officer who interviewed former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib in Pakistan directly after his arrest in 2001 says he would have put a stop to any acts of torture if he had been aware of them.

Al Qaeda-linked Web sites number 5,600: researcher 04 Dec 2007 There are now about 5,600 Web sites spreading al Qaeda's [al-CIAduh's] ideology worldwide, and 900 more are appearing each year, a Saudi researcher told a national security conference on Tuesday. "Research shows there are more than 5,600 sites on the Internet promoting the ideology of al Qaeda," Khaled al-Faram told the Information Technology and National Security conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh. [Well, I hope al-Faram didn't omit the number one website promoting the ideology of al Qaeda: whitehouse.gov.]

Canadian Judge Blasts U.S. Terror Policies 03 Dec 2007 Because of the U.S. government's policies on torture and refugees, Canada can no longer turn away refugees coming from the United States, a Canadian judge has ruled. Justice Michael Phelan said the United States does not protect refugees fleeing political persecution and torture, which international conventions require.

Canada turning away more Americans for past legal infractions 04 Dec 2007 If you're considering a holiday visit to Niagara Falls or to a Windsor casino, be advised: Canada doesn't want your company if you've ever gotten busted shoplifting, holding a joint or driving drunk. And don't think Canada doesn't know. Agreements struck in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks have opened the border to a much freer flow of criminal-background information between Canadian and U.S. law enforcement. Now, police at the international border can access the same records available to cops at the Lakewood-Rocky River border - including that years-old DUI.

London's Anti-Terrorism Chief Retires, Citing 'Hurtful' Press 04 Dec 2007 Andy Hayman, the top anti-terrorism officer in the London Metropolitan Police, announced his retirement, citing "hurtful" leaks in the U.K. press. Hayman will be succeeded by Peter Clarke, Britain's anti-terrorism chief, who canceled a plan to retire next month, the Metropolitan Police said in an e-mailed statement today.

Feds probe Sept. 11 insurance fund 03 Dec 2007 Federal officials said Monday they will investigate why a $1 billion Sept. 11 insurance fund created by Congress to cover claims of sick ground zero workers is fighting the cases in court rather than distributing money. The World Trade Center Captive Insurance Company has come under increasing scrutiny from Congress and the federal government, as roughly 8,000 individual claims await judgment in the federal court system.

Secrecy Invoked on Abramoff Lawsuits 02 Dec 2007 The Bush regime is laying out a new secrecy defense in an effort to end a court battle about the White House visits of now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The administration agreed last year to produce all responsive records about the visits "without redactions or claims of exemption," according to a court order. But in a court filing Friday night, administration lawyers said that the Secret Service has identified a category of highly sensitive documents that might contain information sought in a lawsuit about Abramoff's trips to the White House.

Giuliani's Firm Lobbied for Bill Considered Threat 04 Dec 2007 Although Rudolph W. Giuliani is campaigning as President Bush’s staunch ally in the war on terror, his law office has lobbied Congress on behalf of legislation that the Bush administration calls a threat to antiterrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa.

Michael Collins: Mike Huckabee - Minister of Death By Michael Collins 04 Dec 2007 Mike Huckabee is the "surging" candidate to watch in the Republican presidential primaries, at least for the moment. The former Arkansas governor is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and a believer in the "inerrancy" doctrine of Biblical scripture. Inerrancy means, quite simply, that the believer accepts every bit of the Bible as literal truth (Adam & Eve, an earth just 6,000 years old, etc.) ...He now supports World War III against Muslim "fascists" and he's taking his message of death on the road.

Gag me with a chainsaw! Edwards promises to name Republicans to his Cabinet 04 Dec 2007 John Edwards vowed Monday to include Republicans in his Cabinet if he's elected president. "Here's why: because I'm looking for the strongest, most capable, most independent-minded people I can find. I want people around me who will say, 'You're wrong about this, and you could do grave damage if you do it. Mr. President, you need to change your mind,' " he said. "Because I'm not perfect, I'm capable of making mistakes."

Feds to reconsider power line push 04 Dec 2007 Energy officials announced Tuesday they will re-examine a decision to declare a large swath of the mid-Atlantic and two Southwest states a priority area for new power lines -- a nod to those fighting proposed lines in their communities.

Mackenzie Gas Project Should Not Proceed, Nature Canada Tells Joint Review Panel 27 Nov 2007 (Inuvik) Nature Canada is set to argue strongly against the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project in its closing remarks to the Joint Review Panel this week in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Nature Canada will advise against moving ahead with the "basin-opening" pipeline project, arguing that the proponents have not made a fair and accurate accounting of the project’s effects on bird populations and bird habitat, including the region’s sole federally protected area, the Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Mega barf alert! Bush says economic fundamentals are good 04 Dec 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush said on Tuesday the country's economic fundamentals were strong despite "headwinds" from a weaker housing market, and he voiced confidence in a plan to ease the subprime mortgage crisis.

Over 40 million in U.S. can't afford health care: report 03 Dec 2007 More than 40 million people in the United States say they cannot afford adequate heath care and go without drugs, eyeglasses or dental treatment, according to a federal report released on Monday.

Remote virus-hit island seeks aid 04 Dec 2007 Britons living in what is described as the remotest community in the world are seeking help after the outbreak of an acute virus. Many of the 271 British citizens living on the volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha, in the south Atlantic, have developed severe breathing problems. They need to ensure that their current medical supplies do not run out.

German polar bear Knut to celebrate 1st birthday 04 Nov 2007 Germany's celebrity polar bear Knut will turn one year old on Wednesday with a party at the Berlin Zoo that rescued the abandoned cub and helped turn him into a global brand before cashing in on his fame. Knut has grown from a 800 g (1.8 lbs) ball of fur, rejected by his mother Tosca before being controversially raised by zookeepers, to a gangly bear weighing over 100 kg (220 lbs).

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'Iran halted nuclear weapons programme in 2003' 03 Dec 2007 Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, intelligence agencies said today, in an unexpected finding that boosts hopes of a diplomatic solution to the problem. A new national intelligence estimate on Iran concluded, in contrast to two years ago, that Tehran had halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, prompting a conciliatory message from the White House.

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work 03 Dec 2007 A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.

U.S. report contradicts Bush on Iran nuclear program 03 Dec 2007 A new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and it remains on hold, contradicting the Bush regime's earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb. The new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released on Monday could hamper U.S. efforts to convince other world powers to agree on a third package of U.N. sanctions against Iran for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment activities.

Baker Botts Cuts an Iraqi Oil Deal -- and Draws a Backlash --Both the U.S. and Iraqi governments are annoyed by a Baker oil deal in Kurdistan By Daphne Eviatar 26 Nov 2007 Ever since oil first gushed in Texas, Houston-based Baker Botts has represented wildcatters... In September, Baker lawyered a deal between Hunt and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). In mid-November, the Iraqi Oil Minister announced that all oil companies that have cut deals with the KRG will be blacklisted... The Baker Botts team was led by Sean Korney, a Dubai-based partner with a record of representing energy companies buying up oil and gas rights around the globe. [See: The Man at Their Side --The Corleones had Robert Duvall as their consigliere. The Bushes have James A. Baker III. By Robert Bryce 28 Sep 2004. Shortly after Bush prevailed at the US Supreme Court in 2000, Baker told an interviewer, "I think all this talk about legitimacy is way overblown." ...Baker's history in the diplomatic arena has apparently helped Baker Botts land a surfeit of lucrative international deals involving everything from Russian platinum and Caspian oil to representing Halliburton and the Saudi royal family.]

Deals quietly setting stage for 'enduring' stay in Iraq (The Dowagiac Daily News) 03 Dec 2007 President [sic] George W. Bush last Monday, Nov. 26, signed a deal laying the foundation for what the Associated Press termed a "potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq." Guardsmen at the Dowagiac Armory are mobilizing for deployment in January. Details are to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home - how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long... "What U.S. troops are doing, how many troops are required to do that, are bases required, which partners will join them - all these things are on the negotiating table," said Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Bush's adviser on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

5 Guard units to go to Iraq, Afghanistan 03 Dec 2007 The Pentagon announced Monday that five Army National Guard units have been alerted that they are going to serve in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The units include some 8,000 troops going to the Iraq war and 7,000 to Afghanistan, all as replacement units to deploy in the summer of 2009.

Dowagiac Guard returning to Iraq 03 Dec 2007 (MI) There's a flurry of activity at the Dowagiac National Guard Armory with troops preparing to be deployed to Iraq in January for a year.

What is the point of our last troops in Iraq, ask MPs 03 Dec 2007 The presence of only 2,500 British troops in Iraq from next spring could make it impossible for them to carry out any useful function other than to protect themselves from attack, a committee of MPs said yesterday.

Gul reaffirms army's right to act in Iraq 03 Dec 2007 Turkish President Abdullah Gul overnight reaffirmed Turkey's readiness and right to intervene in northern Iraq one day after the Turkish army said it carried out an operation there against Kurdish rebels.

Guards of Sunni MP handled explosives: Iraq 03 Dec 2007 Iraq said on Sunday that seven detained guards of Sunni leader Adnan al-Dulaimi have tested "positive" for handling explosives after troops found two car bombs at the politician's Baghdad office. "We have found positive traces of explosives on seven of his guards," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told AFP, speaking in English.

US: Al-Qaida active in Afghanistan [*Duh*] 03 Dec 2007 The U.S. military is seeing early signs that al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] may be stepping up its activities in Afghanistan, a senior defense official revealed for the first time Monday as Secretary Robert Gates made his third trip to this country.

Canadian Forces hire controversial security firm --In Iraq, the firm 'protected' power-supply lines and helped secure the 2005 national 'elections.' 02 Dec 2007 The Canadian Forces have hired a private-security firm in Afghanistan that once employed a former member of a South African military unit that assassinated opponents of the apartheid regime. The British firm Hart Security provides protection to Canada's Strategic Advisory Team, a team of about 20 military officers and foreign-affairs officials who advise the Afghan government in Kabul.

'They [were] using us like rats and dogs and animals.' Habib claimed 'experimented upon' in Guantanamo Bay 03 Dec 2007 Mamdouh Habib says he was beaten until his final days in the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and has accused Australian officials of having "no humanity" for failing to intervene. Mr Habib today said he was beaten from the day of his arrest in Pakistan in 2001 until his final moments in 2005 at Guantanamo Bay, where he claimed he was experimented upon. "People have no humanity, they have been using us for experiments," he told the court. "They [were] using us like rats and dogs and animals. "Every single injection, I take it by force." [The Doctors' Trial (officially United States of America v. Karl Brandt, et al.) - Charge #2: 'War crimes: performing medical experiments, without the subjects' consent, on prisoners of war and civilians of occupied countries, and participation in the mass murder of concentration camp inmates.' Seven Nazi doctors were executed for their participation in medical war crimes. Will their modern counterparts - Bush and Cheney - hang for same? --LRP]

For Justices, Another Day on Detainees 03 Dec 2007 Observers at the Supreme Court on Wednesday should probably be excused in advance for concluding that they have wandered into a time warp. The question before the court [again] will be whether federal judges have jurisdiction to hear cases brought by prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. A lawyer for a group of prisoners will argue that they do; the Bush regime’s solicitor general will argue that they do not.

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens 02 Dec 2007 America has told Britain that it can "kidnap" British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States. A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it. Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the "extraordinary rendition" of terrorist suspects. The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington. Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate. [Well, Washington still believes that the "election" of George W. Bush --in 2000 and 2004 --is "legitimate." --LRP. In return, ask our Brit friends to come get Bush and Cheney. --CLG reader, Kent W.]

'Clarifying' the Geneva Conventions: A Ploy to Limit US Culpability By Benjamin Davis, University of Toledo College of Law 30 Nov 2007 I want to emphasize the consistent and relentless effort of those speaking for the United States Government to keep trying to convince all of us domestically and internationally that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to this armed conflict. It started soon after 9/11 and was enshrined very early on in the February 7, 2002 Presidential Military Order. [Legal Adviser John] Bellinger is one more of a long line of persons working overtime to argue for holes and seek our acquiescence in this view. The reason for these arguments is not one of principle but it is rather one of decisions made to be able to treat persons outside of law. The law is used to protect the persons who conspired to act outside of law who do not want to face any consequences for the decisions taken. As long as these persons are able to keep us guessing and arguing about the applicability of Geneva Conventions they can keep us from looking at their intended acts that are grave breaches and war crimes. We should not be duped by this ploy.

Gay rumours eclipse Condi's glory moment 02 Dec 2007 It should have been Condoleezza Rice’s finest hour as US secretary of state: at last President [sic] George W Bush was hosting a Middle East peace conference that she had been struggling to organise for months. Yet when Rice’s photograph appeared on the front page of America’s bestselling weekly newspaper last week, it had nothing to do with her efforts. She had been dragged into a National Enquirer article headlined "Who’s Gay and Who’s Not". The article revived long-standing Washington gossip about Rice’s sexuality and sparked off the usual flurry of internet chatter about her high-profile role in a Republican administration widely regarded as hostile to gays.

Venezuela Hands Narrow Defeat to Chávez Plan 03 Dec 2007 Voters in Venezuela defeated a contentious referendum that would have given President Hugo Chávez sweeping new powers, the Election Commission announced early Monday. Through the night supporters and critics of the president pointed to exit polls in their favor, suggesting a disputed outcome. [See: CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces --'OPERATION PLIERS' 28 Nov 2007.]

Venezuelan Opposition Protesters Shoot Chavez Supporter 28 Nov 2007 Neighbors, friends and family members of young worker and supporter of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, José Anibal Oliveros Yépez, who was murdered by a [CIA-funded?] radical opposition group in the regional city of Valencia on Monday, have express profound rage and indignation at what occurred explaining that his body was spat on and kicked by his killers, "as if he were and animal."

Fear of Chavez Is Fear of Democracy --Bush: If it's our oil, why do Venezuelans get to vote on it? GOP panicked that counting votes in Venezuela will spread to Florida By Greg Palast 03 Dec 2007 The Family Bush can fix Florida. They can fix Ohio. But it’s just driving them crazy that they can’t fix the vote in Venezuela. The Bush Administration and its press puppies - the same ones who couldn’t get enough of the purple thumbs of voters of Iraq - are absolutely livid that this weekend the electorate of Venezuela had the opportunity to vote... Big Oil has better ideas for Venezuela, best expressed in several Wall Street Journal articles attacking Chavez for spending his nation’s oil wealth on "social programs" rather than on more drilling platforms to better fill the SUVs of Texas.

FDA faces damning report on science expertise 03 Dec 2007 Lives are at risk because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is woefully behind in the latest scientific advances and is underfunded for its vast responsibilities, an expert panel will tell the FDA on Monday. In a 56-page report titled "FDA Science and Mission at Risk," which has been posted online, officials will hear that inadequate staffing and poor retention, out-of-date technology and a general lack of resources mar the agency's ability to do its job.

National Debt Grows $1 Million a Minute 03 Dec 2007 Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It's expanding by about $1.4 billion a day -- or nearly $1 million a minute. What's that mean to you? It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States. [All for Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, ExxonMobil, Monsanto, Roche and dozens of other corpora-terrorists.]

Losing Ground In Iowa, Clinton Assails Obama 03 Dec 2007 With a new poll showing her losing ground in the Iowa caucus race, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) mounted a new, more aggressive attack against Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Sunday, raising direct questions about his character, challenging his integrity and forecasting a sharp debate over those subjects in the days ahead.

Obama, Huckabee lead 2008 race in Iowa: poll 02 Dec 2007 Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee surged into narrow leads in Iowa in a poll released on Sunday, barely a month before the state holds the first contest in a shifting 2008 presidential race.

Memo to Obama: win Iowa or lose the race By Karl Rove 02 Dec 2007 TO: Senator Barack Obama FROM: Karl Rove SUBJECT: How to Beat Hillary Not that you have asked for advice, but here it is anyway: Iowa is your chance to best her. If you do not do it there, odds are you never will anywhere. You are way behind her in most national polls. The only way to change- that is to beat her in Iowa so people around America take another look at you. You did a smart thing organising effectively in the early primary states. But you can take advantage of that only if you win Iowa and keep her from building an overwhelming sense of invincibility and inevitability.

Mandates and Mudslinging By Paul Krugman 30 Nov 2007 Mr. Obama, then, is wrong on [health care] policy. Worse yet, the words he uses to defend his position make him sound like Rudy Giuliani inveighing against "socialized medicine": he doesn’t want the government to "force" people to have insurance, to "penalize" people who don’t participate. I recently castigated Mr. Obama for adopting right-wing talking points about a Social Security "crisis." Now he’s echoing right-wing talking points on health care. What seems to have happened is that Mr. Obama’s caution, his reluctance to stake out a clearly partisan position, led him to propose a relatively weak, incomplete health care plan.

Giuliani Tryst Fund 'Sickens' Ex-Official 02 Dec 2007 A former Giuliani administration official says he's "sick" over reports that his little-known agency was used to hide taxpayer money that funded police escorts during the ex-mayor's romantic rendezvous in the Hamptons. "The cover-up of this and the explanations for it have been so disingenuous," said Brendan Sexton, who chaired the Procurement Policy Board in 2000. The panel was charged $29,757 for travel bills racked up by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani's security detail as he hung out with then-girlfriend Judith Nathan on Long Island.

Paper: 8 men claim encounters with Craig 02 Dec 2007 Senator Larry Craig is facing more claims of gay encounters. The Idaho Statesman quotes eight men as saying they either had sex with the Idaho Republican, or were propositioned by him.

'Jena 6' teen in plea talks with prosecutors, attorney says 03 Dec 2007 Lawyers for the last of the teens jailed in a racially charged assault case in Louisiana were in talks to reach a plea agreement and avoid an upcoming trial in juvenile court, one of his attorneys said Sunday. Defense attorneys were trying to hammer out a plea agreement with the LaSalle Parish district attorney's office that would drop conspiracy charges against 17-year-old Mychal Bell and let him plead guilty to a juvenile battery count, attorney Carol Powell Lexing told CNN.

TJX Agrees to Pay $40.9M to Visa Card Issuers in Breach Case 30 Nov 2007 In a move that could save it tens off millions of dollars in lawsuit damages, TJX Companies Inc. Friday announced that it will pay up to $40.9 million to Visa card issuers who may have been affected by a massive data breach disclosed by the retailer in January.

Australia ratifies Kyoto Protocol 03 Dec 2007 Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in his first act after being sworn in this morning.

Protect Fresh Leafy Greens and Family Farms --Federal Regulations Would Harm Sustainable Farmers and Biodiversity (The Cornucopia Institute) 26 Nov 2007 We need your help in another battle to stop the slippery slope toward a sterilized and industrialized food system that threatens biodiversity and the very existence of family-scale farms that grow food in a safe, healthy, and environmentally sustainable way... We must make our voices heard, telling the USDA that we do not support federal rules that would put a great financial and logistical burden on family-scale farmers, discourage environmentally healthy ways of farming, and harm wildlife. Taking action is easy, but with a December 3 deadline for submitting comments to the USDA, we need your help today.

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Jordan's Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA --Foreign Terror Suspects Tell of Torture 01 Dec 2007 (Amman, Jordan) Over the past seven years, an imposing building on the outskirts of this city has served as a secret holding cell for the CIA. The building is the headquarters of the General Intelligence Department, Jordan's powerful spy and security agency. Since 2000, at the CIA's behest, at least 12 non-Jordanian terrorism suspects have been detained and interrogated tortured here, according to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials. "I was kidnapped, not knowing anything of my fate, with continuous torture and interrogation for the whole of two years," Al-Haj Abdu Ali Sharqawi, a Guantanamo prisoner from Yemen, recounted in a written account of his experiences in Jordanian custody. "When I told them the truth, I was tortured and beaten." Sharqawi was captured in Karachi, Pakistan, in February 2002 in a joint Pakistani-U.S. operation.

CIA used Jordan to interrogate suspects 01 Dec 2007 The US Central Intelligence Agency has used its ties with its Jordanian counterparts to detain and interrogate at least 12 terrorism suspects in Jordan, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Citing unnamed documents, former prisoners and human rights advocates, the newspaper said the detention center located on the outskirts on Amman was mostly used as a covert transit point for CIA prisoners captured elsewhere.

Trial Witnesses Kept Secret at Guantanamo 02 Dec 2007 A U.S. military judge has ordered attorneys for a Guantanamo prisoner [Omar Khadr] not to reveal the identities of trial witnesses to anybody, including their Canadian-born client, according to recently released documents. The law authorizing the first American war-crimes tribunals since the World War II era allows the [unconstitutional] use of classified evidence, and some parts of 'trials' are expected to take place in closed 'courtrooms.'

Khadr's lawyer ordered not to reveal witnesses to his client 01 Dec 2007 Omar Khadr's chief defence lawyer says an order not to tell anyone, including his client, who will be testifying against him is an unprecedented level of secrecy that undermines the Canadian terror suspect's 'trial' in Guantanamo Bay. The order on protecting witness identities, issued privately in October by trial judge Col. Peter Brownback, was contained in documents released by the Defence Department after U.S. news organizations complained about lack of access to proceedings in the Khadr case. "It inhibits the ability of the defence to prepare for trial, undermines the attorney-client relationship and severely limits the public's ability to follow and assess the fairness of the proceedings," said Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler. "No American could be tried in a system so lacking in transparency, but under the Military Commissions Act, a Canadian can."

Lawyers: Cameraman Held at Gitmo Ill 01 Dec 2007 A TV cameraman imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay [Sami al-Hajj] has developed kidney problems and was told by a doctor that he may have cancer, according to notes written by his lawyers and recently cleared for release by the U.S. military.

Bush's plan is to kill as many Iraqis as possible, to facilitate US privatization of Iraq's resources: Cholera crisis hits Baghdad --Iraqi capital fears an epidemic if stricken sewerage system collapses as the rainy season arrives 02 Dec 2007 Baghdad is facing a 'catastrophe' with cases of cholera rising sharply in the past three weeks to more than 100, strengthening fears that poor sanitation and the imminent rainy season could create an epidemic. As Iraq's rainy season nears, its ageing water pipes and sewerage systems, many damaged or destroyed by more than four years of [Bush's] war, pose a new threat to a population weary of crisis.

Leader of Iraq bloc detained --Sunni bloc walks out over purported house arrest 02 Dec 2007 The largest Sunni bloc walked out of Iraq's parliament Saturday to protest the purported house arrest of its leader, deepening the political crisis that has paralyzed Iraq's government and prevented progress toward the Bush regime's goal of national reconciliation US theft of Iraq's resources.

Iraq MP 'barred from parliament' 01 Dec 2007 A senior Iraqi Sunni Arab MP, Adnan al-Dulaimi, says Iraqi soldiers have stopped him from going to parliament. Soldiers have been deployed around his Baghdad house since Friday, after more than 40 of Mr Dulaimi's staff were arrested in a joint Iraqi-US operation.

Turkish army attacks Kurdish rebels in Iraq 02 Dec 2007 The Turkish army said it has entered northern Iraq to tackle a group of up to 60 Kurdish rebels. About 100,000 troops have gathered near the mountainous border, backed up by tanks, artillery and warplanes, ahead of a possible strike into mainly Kurdish northern Iraq against rebels of the outlawed PKK hiding there.

U.S. military: roadside bomb kills 1 US soldier, wounds 3 01 Dec 2007 A roadside bomb struck a U.S. combat patrol in Baghdad on Saturday, killing one American soldier and wounding three, the military said.

Iraqi journalist recants claim that 11 family members were killed 30 Nov 2007 An Iraqi journalist who'd claimed Monday that gunmen had killed 11 family members in Baghdad recanted Friday, saying there'd been no massacre and that the only person who'd been killed was a brother-in-law who died between Kut in the south and Baghdad. Dhia al Kawazz, who publishes a Web site from Amman, Jordan, said his initial claim -- which was widely reported, including by McClatchy -- was based on false information.

World powers move towards new Iran sanctions 01 Dec 2007 World powers held a "positive" meeting on Saturday aimed at agreeing more U.N. sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program and a deal on punitive measures could be reached within weeks, a French diplomat said.

Four Taliban killed at Afghan wedding: police 01 Dec 2007 Four Taliban rebels were killed when their ammunition exploded during a wedding party they attended as special guests in a southern Afghan village, police said Saturday. Eight other Islamic rebels were injured in the blast in southern Zabul province late on Friday, provincial police chief Mohammad Yaqoub told AFP. It was not yet known what triggered the blast, he added. [Blowing up wedding guests? That one has Blackwater Worldwide written all over it.]

Government ordered to end 'perverse' terror listing of Iran opposition 01 Dec 2007 The government has been ordered to remove the main Iranian opposition organisation from a list of banned terrorist groups by a panel that called the decision to list the group "perverse". The Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) ruled yesterday that the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, acted illegally in refusing to take the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) off the proscribed terrorist blacklist drawn up under the 2000 Terrorist Act.

Dutch MP makes anti-Qur'an film 29 Nov 2007 A rightwing Dutch MP [Geert Wilders] said yesterday that he was making a film to highlight what he calls "fascist" passages in the Qur'an, in his latest high-profile criticism of Islam.

EU pushes anti-terror plans for air travel and Web 06 Nov 2007 Europe should strengthen the fight against terrorism by cracking down on militant Web sites and compiling U.S.-style profiles of air passengers, the European Union executive said on Tuesday. The European Commission wants the EU's 27 member states to collect 19 pieces of personal data on travelers flying to or from the bloc, including their phone numbers, e-mail addresses, payment details and travel agent... In another proposal, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini urged EU states to treat as criminal offences all public incitement to terrorism and posting of recruiting and training information, especially on the Internet.

Signing statement is Bush's first since 2006 --Had used tactic often before power shift in Congress 01 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush this month issued his first signing statement since the Democratic takeover of Congress, reserving the right to bypass 11 provisions in a military appropriations bill under his executive powers. In the statement, which the White House filed in the Federal Register on Nov. 13 but which initially attracted little attention, Bush challenged several requirements to provide information to Congress. For example, Bush challenged a new law that limits his ability to transfer funds lawmakers approved for one purpose to start a different program, as well as a law requiring him to keep in place an existing command structure for the Navy's Pacific fleet.

Leahy again demands U.S. attorney info 29 Nov 2007 A key Senate committee chairman, in a written ruling, told the White House Thursday to comply with subpoenas for information on the firing of U.S. attorneys. The communication appeared to be the final threat by Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., before initiating contempt proceedings, The Hill reported.

Secrecy invoked on Abramoff lawsuits 01 Dec 2007 The Bush regime is laying out a new secrecy defense in an effort to end a court battle about the White House visits of now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The administration agreed last year to produce all responsive records about the visits "without redactions or claims of exemption," according to a court order. But in a court filing Friday night, administration lawyers said that the Secret Service has identified a category of highly sensitive documents that might contain information sought in a lawsuit about Abramoff's trips to the White House.

Idaho paper names men who claim encounter with Craig 01 Dec 2007 Four gay men, willing to put their names in print, have come forward since news of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's guilty plea. Two said they had sex with Craig, one said he made a sexual advance and the fourth said he paid him unusual attention. They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craig's denials, including his now famous statement, "I am not gay, I never have been gay."

The Effort to Change California Election Law, Through an Initiative, to Help the GOP: Why Democrats Should Not Only Fight It, But Also Push For a National Popular Vote Plan By John W. Dean 30 Nov 2007 Soon we will learn whether a few desperate but very well-funded Republicans have succeeded in collecting the necessary 434,000 valid signatures to go directly to California voters on a ballot initiative to change the election laws. If the initiative were to succeed, it could significantly help elect a GOP presidential candidate in 2008.

Virginia GOP drops voter loyalty oath 01 Dec 2007 Responding to criticism, Virginia Republican Party officials on Friday retracted their demand that voters in the February presidential primary sign a loyalty oath to support the eventual nominee.

Ron Paul wins Virginia GOP straw poll 01 Dec 2007 Ron Paul won an informal straw poll of Virginia Republicans Saturday at the state party's annual weekend retreat. The Texas congressman got 182 of the 479 ballots cast, or 38 percent.

Foot soldiers for the Ron Paul revolution --The freewheeling tactics of his supporters have made the GOP candidate an Internet sensation and an unlikely phenomenon. 01 Dec 2007 Founded nine months ago by one of the first followers of the Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate, the Ron Paul Pasadena "meetup" spawned more than 1,200 similar groups that claim nearly 77,000 members nationwide. For months, the one-time obstetrician-gynecologist and Air Force flight surgeon had been a growing phenomenon on the Internet; his YouTube videos and website (www.ronpaul2008.com) had become more popular than any other presidential candidate's, Republican or Democratic.

Analysis: Clinton calm in hostage crisis 01 Dec 2007 When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis. The image, broadcast just as the network news began, conveyed the message a thousand town hall meetings and campaign commercials strive for -- namely, that the Democratic presidential contender can face disorder in a most orderly manner.

Business Lobby Presses Agenda Before '08 Vote 02 Dec 2007 Business lobbyists, nervously anticipating Democratic gains in next year’s elections, are racing to secure final approval for a wide range of health, safety, labor and economic rules, in the belief that they can get better deals from the Bush regime than from its successor. Hoping to lock in policies backed by a pro-business administration, poultry farmers are seeking an exemption for the smelly fumes produced by tons of chicken manure... Electric power companies are pushing the government to relax pollution-control requirements.

Panel says FDA losses jeopardize public 30 Nov 2007 A loss of scientific expertise at the Food and Drug Administration is threatening American lives, advisers to the embattled consumer protection agency conclude in a report released Friday. Food safety in particular is in crisis, concludes the nearly yearlong review by scientists from leading universities and industries the FDA regulates.

U.S. Urges Freezing Some Rates on Loans 01 Dec 2007 The Treasury Department is leaning on mortgage lenders to temporarily freeze the interest rates on subprime loans for homeowners threatened with foreclosure, but the scope of any relief will depend on crucial details.

U.S. sues ship and pilot for San Francisco spill 30 Nov 2007 The U.S. government sued a pilot on Friday whose ship spilled 58,000 gallons of fuel into San Francisco Bay earlier this month -- the bay's worst environmental incident in more than 15 years.

Bird flu found on Polish farm birds 02 Dec 2007 Turkeys at two poultry farms in central Poland have tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu, authorities said. It is the country's first reported case of the deadly virus in domestic livestock.

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Bush handed blueprint to seize Pakistan's nuclear arsenal --Architect of Iraq surge draws up takeover options --US fears army's Islamists might grab weapons 01 Dec 2007 The man who devised the Bush regime's Iraq troop surge has urged the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos. In a series of scenarios drawn up for Pakistan, Frederick Kagan, a former West Point military historian, has called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan. These include: sending elite British or US troops to secure nuclear weapons capable of being transported out of the country and take them to a secret storage depot in New Mexico or a "remote redoubt" inside Pakistan; sending US troops to Pakistan's north-western border to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida [al-CIAduh]; and a[nother] US military occupation of the capital Islamabad, and the provinces of Punjab, Sindh and Baluchistan if asked for assistance by a fractured Pakistan military, so that the US could shore up President Pervez Musharraf and General Ashfaq Kayani, who became army chief this week.

Biden: Impeachment if Bush bombs Iran 29 Nov 2007 Presidential hopeful Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stated unequivocally that he will move to impeach President [sic] Bush if he bombs Iran without first gaining congressional approval. Biden spoke in front of a crowd of approximately 100 at a candidate forum held Thursday at Seacoast Media Group. When an audience member expressed fear of a war with Iran, Biden said he... had no qualms about issuing a direct warning to the Oval Office. "The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach," said Biden. Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much and intends to send it to the president.

Nuclear project will continue, says Iran 01 Dec 2007 The Iranian chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, came to London yesterday for the first time since his appointment at the end of October for talks billed as Iran's last chance to avert a new round of UN sanctions. The Iranian official's message was uncompromising: Iran will continue to reject the central US and European demand for his country to suspend uranium enrichment, the process which could eventually lead to a nuclear bomb.

Rove's Version of 2002 War Vote Is Disputed 01 Dec 2007 Former White House aide Karl Rove said yesterday it was Congress, not President [sic] Bush, who wanted to rush a vote on the looming war in Iraq in the fall of 2002, a version of events disputed by leading congressional Democrats and even some former Rove colleagues.

Rice 'Planted' Question With 'Friendly Journalist' to 'Help Erase' Pre-Iraq War Legacy 30 Nov 2007 In 2003, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice helped push America into war with Iraq... In an interview with C-SPAN’s Washington Journal today, Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler, author of Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy, revealed that after President [sic] Bush promoted her to Secretary of State, Rice mounted a "public relations" campaign to distance herself from the pre-war fiasco. As part of this PR campaign, she directed an aide to "plant a question” asking if she would run for President, in order to help "negate American memories of her very direct role" in invading Iraq: ... And I describe how one of her aides even planted a question with a friendly journalist to ask whether she would be interested in running for president -- to give her the aura of someone who might have presidential aspirations, make her seem more powerful than she was.

Arrest warrant for journalist who claimed family massacre 29 Nov 2007 The Iraqi Ministry of Interior on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for a journalist who claimed that his 11-member family had been slain by unknown gunmen in Baghdad a few days ago. "The issue has been referred to court," an official ministerial spokesman, Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI), in reference to Diaa al-Kawwaz, an Iraqi journalist who claimed that his family had been liquidated and pointed the finger at the security apparatus.

Gunmen kill 5 Iraqi soldiers near Khalis 30 Nov 2007 Unidentified gunmen on Friday hijacked five taxis on the road between Baghdad and Kirkuk and killed five Iraqi army soldiers onboard, a police source said.

Three unidentified bodies found in Baghdad 30 Nov 2007 Three unidentified bodies were found in different areas of the Iraqi capital Baghdad over the past 24 hours, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Mortar attack wounds three civilians in Baghdad 30 Nov 2007 Three civilians were injured on Friday when a number of houses were mortared in southern Baghdad, a police source said.

Chavez threatens to cut U.S. oil supply over [CIA role in] vote 30 Nov 2007 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened on Friday to halt the OPEC nation's oil sales to the United States, seeking to fire up his leftist supporters for a weekend referendum on expanding his powers. He portrays the vote as a plebiscite on his rule governance. "Whoever votes 'Yes' is voting for Chavez, and whoever votes 'No' is voting for George W. Bush, president [sic] of the United States," he said. Chavez has for long accused Washington of backing a failed coup against his rule in 2002. [See: CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces --'OPERATION PLIERS' 28 Nov 2007.]

U.S. Plans New Multibillion-Dollar Spy-Satellite Program 30 Nov 2007 The U.S. is pursuing a multibillion-dollar program to develop the next generation of spy satellites, the first major effort of its kind since the Pentagon canceled the ambitious and costly Future Imagery Architecture system two years ago, The Associated Press has learned. The new system, known as Basic, would be launched by 2011 and is expected to cost $2 billion to $4 billion, according to U.S. officials familiar with the program.

Bush bin Laden poised to privatize the whole kit and caboodle after his next terror attack: Emergency responders face deep aid cuts 01 Dec 2007 The Bush regime intends to slash counterterrorism funding for police, firefighters and rescue departments across the country by more than half next year, according to budget documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Witness Names to Be Withheld From Guantánamo Detainee 01 Dec 2007 Defense lawyers preparing for the war crimes 'trial' of a 21-year-old Guantánamo prisoner [Omar Ahmed Khadr] have been ordered by a military judge not to tell their client -- or anyone else -- the identity of witnesses against him, newly released documents show. Defense lawyers say military prosecutors have sought similar orders to keep the names of witnesses secret in other military tribunal cases. Some legal experts and defense lawyers said the judge’s order, issued on Oct. 15 without public disclosure, underscored the gap between military tribunal procedures and traditional American rules the Constitution that the accused has a right to a public trial and to confront the witnesses against him.

Government knew of Habib's torture 01 Dec 2007 Senior members of the Howard Government, including the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, were given a detailed briefing on Mamdouh Habib's horrific allegations of torture in Egypt as early as mid-2002. But they never told the Australian public of the allegations, did little to investigate them and, three years later, were still protesting they did not know Mr Habib had even been in Egypt.

Correction commissioner to advise Army 27 Nov 2007 Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner J. David Donahue will take a leave from his job next month to assist the Army in a review of its prisoner operations. The department says Donahue will be traveling overseas throughout December and will resume his duties overseeing the state's prison system when he returns in early January. Gov. Mitch Daniels [R-Sociopath] received the Army's request last week and approved Donahue's leave.

U.S. Special Counsel Says He Won't Provide Files --Official Calls Personal Records Not Relevant to OPM Probe 30 Nov 2007 A U.S. official overseeing a probe of potential White House misconduct declared through a spokesman yesterday that he will not give federal investigators copies of personal files that he deleted from his office computer. The decision by Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch escalates the confrontation between the Bush appointee and the White House, each of which is investigating the other. Bloch's office is tasked with upholding laws against whistle-blower retaliation and partisan politicking in federal agencies. Earlier this year, Bloch directed lawyers in his office to look into charges that former Bush adviser Karl Rove inappropriately deployed government employees in Republican political campaigns.

Top Spy Must Release Telecom Immunity Meeting Docs ASAP 28 Nov 2007 The Director of National Intelligence must quickly release documents relating to 2007 meetings with telecoms concerning proposed amnesty bills for companies that helped government's secret domestic spying program, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The Northern California District Court judge ruled that the government must produce the documents by December 10 so that the public can be informed about the extent of telecom lobbying before Congress votes on immunity.

WH says 1,000,000 docs handed over 30 Nov 2007 The Bush regime recently passed an unusual landmark: 1 million documents to Congress since Democrats gained control of both chambers in January, the White House says. The White House has resisted demands for many more.

Presidential hopefuls step up security in light of standoff 01 Dec 2007 Presidential campaigns yesterday re-evaluated their security measures in the wake of a hostage crisis that ended peacefully for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Rochester, N.H., campaign staffers, after a man claiming to have a bomb burst into a field office there.

Alleged hostage taker filed molestation suit 30 Nov 2007 Leeland Eli Eisenberg, the man arrested tonight after taking hostages at Hillary Clinton's campaign office in Rochester, N.H., appears to have served time in prison for aggravated rape and filed a lawsuit in 2002 alleging that he had been molested 20 years earlier by a Catholic priest in Massachusetts.

Suspect Is Arrested in Clinton Office Standoff 30 Nov 2007 A tense standoff at a presidential campaign office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Rochester, N.H., ended shortly after 6 p.m. this evening when a man later identified as Leeland Eisenberg was taken into police custody after holding at least four people hostage. There were no apparent injuries.

Hostages standoff ends at Clinton N.H. office --Man arrested after he releases all hostages, walks out of building 30 Nov 2007 A distraught man wearing what appeared to be a bomb walked into a Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign office Friday and demanded to speak to the candidate about access to mental health care. The hostage drama dragged on for nearly six hours until he peacefully surrendered.

Hagel: Bush administration is 'incompetent' and he would consider joining a Dem ticket 29 Nov 2007 "This is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I've ever seen personally or ever read about," the always blunt and frequently quotable Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said yesterday during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. ... "And you know, I think of this administration, what they could have done after 9/11, what was within their grasp. Every poll in the world showed 90% of the world for us. Iran had some of the first spontaneous demonstrations on the streets of Tehran supporting America. They squandered a tremendous amount of opportunity."

NYPD Chief Casts Doubt on Giuliani Expense Story 30 Nov 2007 New questions were raised today about Rudy Giuliani's explanation for submitting police security expenses to obscure city agencies while he was mayor of New York and carried on a secret affair with his mistress, who also was given use of a police driver and city car. Giuliani said Thursday the unusual billing practice was not intended to hide anything but instead to speed payment of American Express credit card bills. But current New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today he knew of no problems with the delay of payments before Giuliani was mayor, when Kelly served under Mayor David Dinkins, or since.

Lawmakers Set Deal on Raising Fuel Efficiency 01 Dec 2007 Congressional negotiators reached a deal late Friday on energy legislation that would force American automakers to improve the fuel efficiency of their cars and light trucks by 40 percent by 2020.

12 States Sue EPA for Data on Toxins 28 Nov 2007 Twelve states sued the Bush regime on Wednesday to force greater disclosure of data on toxic chemicals that companies store, use and release into the environment.

RealtyTrac: Foreclosures up 165 percent in Florida 29 Nov 2007 More than 30,000 properties in Florida were in some form of foreclosure in October, figures compiled by RealtyTrac showed. The October numbers were 165 percent higher than October 2006, but down 9.5 percent from September.

Norway to host international meeting on polar bears 30 Nov 2007 An international meeting will beheld in Tromsoe of Norway in 2009 to discuss the climate threat to polar bears in the Arctic region, according to reports reaching here on Friday.

Storm brings mud to fire areas 01 Dec 2007 Southern California got a break from its dry streak Friday with an unexpectedly powerful rainstorm that clogged the freeway commute, unleashed some small mudslides and forced officials in Orange County to evacuate canyon communities hit by October's brush fires.

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Bush seeks to pressure Democrats over war funds --Bush seeks approval of $196 billion for his wars during fiscal year that began Oct. 1 29 Nov 2007 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush on Thursday stepped up pressure on lawmakers to pass his Iraq war funding request, while a senior Democrat said a deal might be possible.

Bush urges Congress to approve war funding before Christmas $50 billion war spending bill passed the House but stalled last week in the Senate 29 Nov 2007 President [sic] Bush on Thursday called on Congress to approve billions of dollars in additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan before lawmakers leave for their Christmas break.

US to control growth of Iraq neighbourhood patrols 29 Nov 2007 The U.S. military will carefully manage the growth of neighbourhood police units credited with helping to curb foment violence in Iraq, aiming ultimately to move many into public work roles, a spokesman said on Thursday. Rear Admiral Gregory Smith said about 50,000 Iraqis had been trained and were manning "concerned local citizens" checkpoints in their own communities and being paid by the U.S. military.

Iraq government wants to pay neighborhood police units: U.S. 26 Nov 2007 Iraq's government wants to start paying the wages of U.S.-backed neighborhood security units, a U.S. general said on Monday. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said he was not immediately aware of any Iraqi plan to pay the wages which have so far been paid by U.S. forces.

6,000 Sunnis [Hired to] Join Pact With US in Iraq 29 Nov 2007 Nearly 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday... The ceremony to pledge the 6,000 new fighters was presided over by a dozen sheiks, who signed the contract on behalf of tribesmen at a small U.S. outpost in north-central Iraq. For about $275 a month -- nearly the salary for the typical Iraqi policeman -- the tribesmen will man about 200 security checkpoints beginning Dec. 7, supplementing hundreds of Iraqi forces already in the area.

U.S. sponsorship of Sunni groups worries Iraq's government 29 Nov 2007 The American campaign to turn Sunni Muslims 'against' Islamic extremists is growing so quickly that Iraq's Shiite Muslim leaders fear that it's out of control and threatens to create a potent armed force that will turn against the government one day.

Iraq MPs block Maliki nominees for cabinet posts 29 Nov 2007 Iraqi legislators thwarted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's attempts to get approval for nominees to fill two vacant cabinet posts on Thursday. Legislators from several parties boycotted the session, ensuring parliament did not have a quorum to vote on nominations for the justice and communications portfolios.

US not seeking permanent Iraq bases: White House 29 Nov 2007 The White House denied Thursday that the United States seeks permanent military bases in Iraq, days after the US "war czar" said that would be part of talks next year on long-term security ties.

Insurgents kill U.S. soldier in Baghdad 29 Nov 2007 A U.S. soldier was killed by 'insurgents'' small arms fire in Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Thursday. The soldier, assigned to Multi-National Division - Baghdad, was killed in western Baghdad on Wednesday, a military statement said.

Australia wants Iraq troops home by mid 2008 29 Nov 2007 About 550 Australian combat troops in Iraq should be withdrawn by about the middle of next year, Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said on Friday, setting a broad timetable for the soldiers to return home.

US security firm runs into new trouble - and this time it's closer to home --Rural community opposes expansion by company at centre of Iraq allegations 30 Nov 2007 Now Blackwater is looking to expand domestically. So it has come to the border hamlet of Potrero, population 850. Eight miles from Mexico and 40 miles inland from San Diego, Potrero has found itself at the centre of a controversy.

Blackwater Grand Jury Resumes 29 Nov 2007 A federal grand jury investigating Blackwater Worldwide began its second day of work Thursday as an unidentified witness returned to the stand. The Justice Department is investigating the government contractor for its mercenaries' involvement in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Blackwater guards accused of drug use, ignoring orders 28 Nov 2007 At least one in four Blackwater bodyguards in Iraq use steroids and other drugs, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of several Iraqis killed or wounded in a Baghdad shooting in September. The lawsuit filed Monday in Washington also accuses the Blackwater guards of ignoring orders and abandoning their posts shortly before taking part in the shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, media reports said Wednesday.

NATO denies killing civilians in E Afghanistan 29 Nov 2007 The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) on Thursday categorically denied killing civilians in Afghanistan's eastern Nuristan province.

NATO air-strike kills 12 Afghan civilians: governor 28 Nov 2007 NATO air strikes killed 12 civilian road workers in eastern Afghanistan, a provincial governor said on Wednesday, an incident bound to fuel Afghan resentment against the presence of international forces.

2 Danish soldiers killed in Afghanistan 30 Nov 2007 Two Danish soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan, news reaching here Thursday said. The soldiers belong to a Danish reconnaissance unit stationed in the Upper Gereshk Valley of Helmand Province.

Musharraf: Emergency in Pakistan to be lifted on Dec. 16 30 Nov 2007 Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced on Thursday that he intended to lift the state of emergency martial law on Dec. 16.

Habib 'told not to talk about torture' 30 Nov 2007 Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib says he did not reveal details of his torture in early interviews with media and others because he was told not to by his doctors and lawyers.

Rabbi: Cleanse country of Arabs --Prominent right-wing rabbis gather for 'emergency meeting' ahead of Annapolis conference, state no peace can be achieved if Arabs stay on Israel's land 27 Nov 2007 "We must cleanse the country of Arabs and resettle them in the countries where they came from," head of the Yesha Rabbis Council, Rabbi Dov Lior, declared Monday, adding that, "If this means we have to pay them, we will. Without doing so, we will never enjoy peace in our land."

Bin Laden urges Europe to quit Afghanistan-TV 29 Nov 2007 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader Osama bin Laden urged European countries to end their military participation with U.S. forces in the Afghan conflict, Al Jazeera television said on Thursday. Jazeera aired portions of an audio tape in which a speaker who sounded like [?] bin Laden said his Taliban allies had no knowledge of plans for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a main reason for the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

TSA plan to gather more data protested 29 Nov 2007 A government proposal to start collecting full names, birth dates and genders of people reserving airline flights is drawing protests from major airlines and travel agencies that say it would be invasive, confusing and "useless." The plan centers on transferring the task of checking passenger backgrounds from airlines to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

'Unfamiliar smell' prompts Southwest flight to return 29 Nov 2007 A Southwest Airlines flight that took off Thursday morning from Sky Harbor International Airport returned to the terminal shortly after flight attendants noticed an "unfamiliar smell" in the cabin.

'Terrorist plot' on Aussie US base 30 Nov 2007 An al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader who visited Australia on a lecture tour in the late 1990s was involved in a plot to attack a US military base on Australian soil, according to secret documents made public for the first time this week. An Algerian terrorist known as Abu Sheema and his associates allegedly revealed their plans to the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib when he was in Afghanistan just weeks before the September 11 attacks.

Judge jailed entire court for phone interruption --Doors locked after ringing mobile enrages magistrate --46 sent to cells in moment of 'inexplicable madness' 29 Nov 2007 Judge Robert Restaino was hearing a session of domestic violence offenders in a court in Niagara Falls City in upstate New York when proceedings were interrupted by 10 or 11 rings of a phone. "Everyone is going to jail, every single person is going to jail in this courtroom unless I get that instrument now," he bellowed at the court... Fourteen of the defendants who could not post bail were shackled in irons and sent to the county jail. The judge cooled off and later that afternoon released all 46. The "two hours of viral lunacy", as one member of the commission described it, has probably cost Restaino his job. The commission ruled that he should be removed from his $114,000 (£55,000) job for "an egregious and unprecedented abuse of judicial power".

CIA Venezuela Destabilization Memo Surfaces --'OPERATION PLIERS' 28 Nov 2007 On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday, December 2, 2007. The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the Director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled 'Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer' and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym 'HUMINT' (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government.

Coup 2008 gets an early start: Virginia GOP Demands Loyalty Pledge at Primary --Reichwing Target Crossovers, Independents 29 Nov 2007 The loyalty pledge to the Republican Party that Virginia voters will be required to sign if they vote in the state's GOP presidential primary on Feb. 12 is another attempt by the party to police steal the open primary system. On Feb. 12, a GOP primary voter will have to sign a piece of paper that says, "I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for President." The state does not require voters to register by political party, which means a voter can decide on the day of the primary whether to participate in the Republican or Democratic primary. [The Virginia GOP loyalty oaths typify the Reichwing hypocrisy of UNbalancing the scales of fairness and justice. This mentality allowed Bush bin Laden to steal the 2000 and 2004 'elections,' via two GOP coup d'etats. Remember when the GOPedophiles whined that Al Gore was not letting 'our brave men and women in the military' have their ballots counted - and of course, LieberBush couldn't agree fast enough, an early sign of his dementia - even though such ballots were ILLEGALLY postmarked *after* 'Election Day?' See: New York Times documents military role in theft of 2000 election By Barry Grey 19 Jul 2001.]

The plot to rig the 2008 US election By Johann Hari 29 Nov 2007 In the long, hot autumn of 2000, the world was shocked by the contempt for democracy shown by the Republican Party. They knew their man had lost the popular vote to Al Gore by half a million votes. They knew the majority of voters in Florida itself had pulled a lever for Gore. But they fought – amid the confetti of hanging chads – to stop the state's votes being counted, and to ensure that the Supreme Court imposed George W Bush. Today, that contempt for democracy is on display again. In California right now, there is a naked, out-in-the-open ploy to rig the 2008 presidential election – and it may succeed.

Giuliani's Mistress Used N.Y. Police as Taxi Service 29 Nov 2007 Well before it was publicly known he was seeing her, then-married New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan, former senior city officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com. "She used the PD as her personal taxi service," said one former city official who worked for Giuliani.

Bird flu spreads to 60 countries, pandemic risk still high: UN 29 Nov 2007 Bird flu in poultry and wild birds spread to 60 countries but is entrenched only in six because of improved and faster responses, experts said. Despite those strides, the risk of a worldwide human-to-human pandemic remains as great today as it was when the hard-to-treat H5N1 flu strain first gained intense attention in mid-2005, said a new report by Dr. David Nabarro, the UN official co-ordinating the global fight against avian influenza, and World Bank officials. "We think it will happen sometime but we don't know when or where," Nabarro said Thursday. [Oh, that's an easy one: The US, just before the 2008 'elections.']

Defra unable to identify bird flu source 30 Nov 2007 An initial report into the recent outbreak of deadly bird flu in Suffolk has been unable to identify the source of the disease, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said today. [Right, check your local US Army lab for the source. See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain 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.]

Michael Moore cut this scene from Sicko because no one would believe it 22 Nov 2007 (Video) In addition to France, Canada, and the UK, Michael Moore also went to Norway. What he found, was unbelievable. [A must see!]

Fire shuts key Canada-U.S. pipeline, oil surges $4 29 Nov 2007 An explosion crippled the main pipeline supplying Canadian crude to U.S. Midwest refineries on Wednesday, forcing operator Enbridge to halt nearly a fifth of U.S. imports and sending crude prices as much as $4 higher. Alberta-based operator Enbridge Inc said in statement Thursday that the cause of the explosion [Blackwater?] had not yet been determined.

Bank of England promises £10bn of extra Christmas liquidity 30 Nov 2007 The Bank of England acted again to soften the worst effects of the credit crunch yesterday, announcing that it would be lending £10bn to the commercial banks at the base rate of 5.75 per cent for a five-week period, rather than for the usual seven days.

Are polar bears endangered? 29 Nov 2007 Scientists studying polar bears say global warming is melting the Arctic Sea ice they depend on to live. Today, conservationists visited the bears at the Toledo Zoo and made a plea to designate wild polar bears as endangered. A member of the Natural Resources Defense Council spoke today about asking the government to add polar bears to the federal endangered species list. A decision on whether to add polar bears to the endangered species list should come by January 9. E-mail the Department of the Interior through the Polar Bear SOS website.

*****

Holocaust Denial, American Style By Mark Weisbrot 21 Nov 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's flirtation with those who deny the reality of the Nazi genocide has rightly been met with disgust. But another holocaust denial is taking place with little notice: the holocaust in Iraq. The average American believes that 10,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the US invasion in March 2003. The most commonly cited figure in the media is 70,000. But the actual number of people who have been killed is most likely more than one million.

More Iraqi civilians shot dead by U.S. troops 27 Nov 2007 Iraqi officials say American troops in Baghdad have killed as many as seven Iraqi civilians, including a child, in two separate shootings.

U.S. general wants big cuts in Iraqi prisoners 28 Nov 2007 The commander of U.S. prison camps in Iraq said he wants to cut the number of Iraqis in his custody by around two thirds by the end of 2008 as part of a wider counter-insurgency plan to bring down violence.

Survey Shows Dangers for Iraq Reporters 28 Nov 2007 American journalists covering Iraq say they face unprecedented dangers with many reporting that they've worked closely with Iraqi colleagues who have been killed or kidnapped, according to a survey released Wednesday. The survey by the Washington-based media watchdog Project for Excellence in Journalism offered a grim picture of reporters trying to work under they describe as the constant threat of violence and intimidation in Iraq.

US air strikes kill civilian roadworkers in Afghanistan 28 Nov 2007 US forces 'mistakenly' killed at least a dozen road construction workers in air strikes in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said today. As many as 14 engineers and labourers were killed in the incident on Monday in Nuristan province, which officials blamed on faulty intelligence.

Two civilians killed in Kabul bombing Staff and agencies 27 Nov 2007 At least two civilians were killed in the Afghan capital, Kabul, when a suicide bomber launched an attack on occupation forces today. The bomber damaged two armoured vehicles and destroyed the wall of a nearby house, witnesses and officials said.

Afghanistan 'falling into Taliban hands' 21 Nov 2007 A Taliban fighter The Taliban has a permanent presence in 54% of Afghanistan and the country is in serious danger of falling into the group's hands, according to a report by an independent thinktank with long experience in the area.

Pervez Musharraf steps down from military command 28 Nov 2007 Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has officially stepped down as head of the armed forces, ending eight years of military rule. He has handed over his uniform to his designated successor, General Ashfaq Kiyani.

Ten Reasons Why "Save Darfur" is a PR Scam to Justify the Next US Oil and Resource Wars in Africa By Bruce Dixon 27 Nov 2007 The star-studded hue and cry to "Save Darfur" and "stop the genocide" has gained enormous traction in U.S. media along with bipartisan support in Congress and the White House. But the Congo, with ten to twenty times as many African dead over the same period is not called a "genocide" and passes almost unnoticed. Sudan sits atop lakes of oil. It has large supplies of uranium, and other minerals, significant water resources, and a strategic location near still more African oil and resources. The unasked question is whether the nation's Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite are using claims of genocide, and appeals for "humanitarian intervention" to grease the way for the next oil and resource wars on the African continent.

Israeli airstrike hits Gaza as peace talks continue in U.S. 28 Nov 2007 An Israeli airstrike Wednesday hit a Hamas post in southern Gaza, killing two Hamas security men in Khan Yunis, according to Hamas sources. The Israeli army said the airstrike -- the third in Gaza this week -- was in response to the firing of mortars into Israel.

Olmert, Bush hold private meeting on Iran 28 Nov 2007 Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held his second private White House meeting of the week with President [sic] George Bush on Wednesday to try to translate the summit's momentum into a more effective effort to thwart Teheran's nuclear drive.

Japan missile drill to counter China, N Korea 27 Nov 2007 Japan is to deploy Patriot missile batteries on the streets of Tokyo in a security drill designed to prove that it is capable of defending itself from any threat posed by North Korea or China.

Habib charges contradictory, records show 29 Nov 2007 In their first interview with Mamdouh Habib at Guantanamo Bay, Australian Federal Police officers accused the Sydney man of two contradictory activities - training in arms and explosives with al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and "engaging in hostile activity" against the Taliban.

Doctor Sentenced in Terror Case (Manhattan) 29 Nov 2007 A doctor who was convicted of conspiring to treat injured Qaeda fighters was sentenced yesterday in Federal District Court to 25 years in prison by a judge who said a sentence that would deter others was needed because terrorists cannot carry out their deadly aims without help. Before the sentencing, Dr. Rafiq Sabir insisted that he was "completely innocent" and said a co-defendant, Tarik Shah, had duped him into taking an oath to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] with an F.B.I. agent who was posing as a Qaeda recruiter.

Saudi arrests 208 suspected militants 29 Nov 2007 Saudi forces have arrested 208 suspected militants who formed six cells, one of which plotted to attack a logistical oil facility, interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki said.

3 arrested trying to sell unspecified radioactive material in E. Europe 28 Nov 2007 (Bratislava, Slovakia) Three people have been arrested for trying to sell more than two pounds of an unspecified radioactive material, which officials then seized, police said Wednesday.

Indian MPs Slam Government Over U.S. Nuclear Deal 28 Nov 2007 Indian lawmakers opposed to a landmark nuclear energy deal with the United States slammed the government in parliament on Wednesday, saying it was misleading the country and compromising national interest.

Bush administration forced to turn over spying documents by Friday 28 Nov 2007 A federal judge has ordered the Bush regime to divulge documents related to immunizing telecommunications companies from lawsuits, saying they illegally opened their networks to the National Security Agency. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco gave the Office of the Director of National Intelligence until November 30 (Friday) to turn over documents relating to conversations it had with Congress and telecommunications carriers about how to rewrite wiretapping laws.

Protesters boo Ashcroft at his CU speech 28 Nov 2007 Several protesters were forcibly removed from the audience at a speech given by former Attorney General John Ashcroft at the University of Colorado at Boulder Tuesday night... About 20 student protesters from CU and Naropa University, wearing shirts with "shame" written on the backs and wearing American flags over their faces, welcomed Ashcroft to the stage by standing up and turning their backs to him.

Montclair State Unveils Mandatory 'School Phone' --Students Must Carry And Pay For GPS-Based Cell Device 27 Nov 2007 (NJ) College students at Montclair State University are all talking about a new requirement that will require students to have a cell phone. Freshman Angela Vuocolo said 'School Phone' -- as in a Sprint-operated cell phone -- is now mandatory for all students. It's the first program of its kind in the country. The cost: $420 a year for a base plan which is bundled into the tuition bill. It includes just 50 peak voice minutes a month, but unlimited text messaging to any carrier, unlimited campus-based data usage, and student activated emergency GPS tracking. "What it does is allow students to have an extra pair or group of people watching over them when they're going from one location to another," Montclair Police Department Chief Paul Cell said.

Flu Drugs May Cause Dangerous Behavior 27 Nov 2007 The safety of influenza drugs is under scrutiny as advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday analyzed abnormal psychiatric behavior seen in some patients, especially children. Medical experts are reviewing cases of patients taking Roche Holding AG's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Relenza experiencing hallucinations, delirium and other abnormal behavior. In the case of Tamiflu, several cases resulted in erratic behavior, including jumping from buildings, resulting in death. [see: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu 31 Oct 2005 Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.]

Head of Rove Inquiry in Hot Seat Himself --Bloch Used Private Company, Geeks on Call, to Delete Files On His Office Computer 28 Nov 2007 The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove's White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call. Scott Bloch runs the Office of Special Counsel, an agency charged with protecting government whistleblowers and enforcing a ban on federal employees engaging in partisan political activity.

Huckabee's Surge Stirs the Pot in Iowa 29 Nov 2007 The Republican presidential race is becoming even more unstable, as a surging Mike Huckabee has caught up in Iowa with Mitt Romney, long seen as the front-runner in the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

City Said to Have Paid Bills as Giuliani Affair Began 29 Nov 2007 Late in his tenure as mayor of New York, Rudolph W. Giuliani billed tens of thousands of dollars in travel expenses to little-known city agencies as he was beginning an extramarital affair, a political Web site reported yesterday.

Giuliani billed obscure agencies for trips 28 Nov 2007 As New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons, according to previously undisclosed government records. The documents, obtained by Politico under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, show that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants.

Bush economic adviser Hubbard resigns 28 Nov 2007 Top White House economic adviser Allan Hubbard resigned on Wednesday and will be replaced by his deputy, Keith Hennessey, the latest in a string of departures as President [sic] George W. Bush's [illegitimate] term winds down.

Florida School Fund Rocked by $8 Billion Pullout 28 Nov 2007 Florida local governments and school districts pulled $8 billion out of a state-run investment pool, or 30 percent of its assets, after learning that the money-market fund contained more than $700 million of defaulted debt.

Existing home sales fall to record low in Oct 28 Nov 2007 Existing home sales fell 1.2 percent in October to a record low 4.97 million-unit pace, according to a report on Wednesday that showed the downturn in the U.S. housing market was deepening.

Fire shuts main Canada-U.S. crude oil pipeline 29 Nov 2007 A fire and explosion in Minnesota on Wednesday forced Enbridge to shut most of the main pipeline that supplies Canadian crude to Midwest refineries, halting nearly a fifth of U.S. imports and sending prices up more than $1.

Study: Canada failing polar bears 27 Nov 2007 The federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada are all failing to protect polar bears from the threat of extinction, a new study charges. The report, produced by the David Suzuki Foundation, concluded Monday that only two of seven Canadian provinces and territories (Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario) recognize that the species may be at risk.

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