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Obama seeks to curb ruling on gays in military

Obama seeks to curb ruling on gays in military 23 Sep 2010 The Obama administration sought Thursday to strictly limit the reach of a recent court decision striking down the U.S. military rule that bans openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. The administration's stance, revealed in papers filed in federal court in California, came two days after the U.S. Senate blocked legislation that would have repealed the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Stuxnet virus: worm 'could be aimed at high-profile Iranian targets'

Stuxnet virus: worm 'could be aimed at high-profile Iranian targets' --Stuxnet can be used to reprogram software to force a computer to carry out different commands. 23 Sep 2010 Security experts have identified malicious software, thought to be aimed at power stations and water plants in Iran. The complexity of the Stuxnet worm has lead some experts to speculate that it could be an act of cyber terrorism, a virus written and sanctioned by one country with the aim of impacting the infrastructure of another. Some security experts believe the worm was likely targeted at high value infrastructure in Iran, such as nuclear power stations.

86-year US jail term for Dr Siddiqui

86-year US jail term for Dr Siddiqui 23 Sep 2010 A US federal court has sentenced Pakistani female scientist Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years in prison for allegedly shooting at her American interrogators in Afghanistan. Judge Richard Berman read out the sentence at the federal court in New York on Thursday. Siddiqui's lawyers have immediately pledged that they would appeal the harsh sentence.

The GOP's 'Pledge to America': a closer look at the details

Mega barf alert! The GOP's 'Pledge to America': a closer look at the details 23 Sep 2010 Republicans unveiled their governing agenda, which they call "Pledge to America," in Sterling, Va., on Thursday morning. Here is a closer look at the GOP's plans on key issues and how they would work in practice.

How the CIA runs a secret army of 3,000 assassins

How the CIA runs a secret army of 3,000 assassins 23 Sep 2010 The US Central Intelligence Agency is running and paying for a secret 3,000-strong army of Afghan paramilitaries whose main aim is assassinating Taliban and al-Qa'ida operatives not just in Afghanistan but across the border in neighbouring Pakistan's tribal areas, according to Bob Woodward's explosive book. Although the CIA has long been known to run clandestine militias in Afghanistan, including one from a base it rents from the Afghan president Hamid Karzai's half-brother in the southern province of Kandahar, the sheer number of militiamen directly under its control have never been publicly revealed.

Paramilitary force is key for CIA in US secret war in Pakistan

Paramilitary force is key for CIA in US secret war in Pakistan 23 Sep 2010 On an Afghan ridge 7,800 feet above sea level, about four miles from Pakistan, stands a mud-brick fortress nicknamed the Alamo. It is officially dubbed Firebase Lilley, and it is a nerve center in the covert war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The CIA has relied on Lilley, part of a constellation of agency bases across Afghanistan, as a hub to train and deploy a well-armed 3,000-member Afghan paramilitary force collectively known as Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams. In addition to being used for surveillance, raids and combat operations in Afghanistan, the teams are crucial to the United States' secret war in Pakistan, according to current and former U.S. officials.

CIA runs secret 'Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams' to crush Taleban

CIA runs secret 'Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams' to crush Taleban 23 Sep 2010 The Central Intelligence Agency runs an Afghan paramilitary force that hunts 'Al-Qaeda' and Taleban militants in covert operations in Pakistan, a US official said Wednesday. Confirming an account in a new book by famed reporter Bob Woodward, the US official said that the Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams were highly effective but did not offer details. The 3,000-strong paramilitary army of Afghan soldiers was created and bankrolled by the CIA, designed as an “elite” unit to pursue "highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan" in the fight against Al-Qaeda and Taleban sanctuaries, according to The Washington Post, which revealed details of the new book.

Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in 'Public Places'

GPS tracking we can believe in: Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in 'Public Places' 21 Sep 2010 The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects' vehicles to track their every move. The Justice Department is demanding a federal appeals court rehear a case in which it reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month, without a court warrant... The administration, in urging the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a three-judge panel’s August ruling from the same court, said Monday that Americans should expect no privacy while in public.

France on red alert for terror attack

France on red alert for terror attack 22 Sep 2010 France has been warned to prepare for imminent terrorist attack. This came as Paris sent special forces to West Africa to hunt 'al-Qa'ida' fighters who are holding seven hostages in the wastelands of the Sahel. President Nicolas Sarkozy was returning early from a visit to the UN yesterday to take charge of what he and the terrorists call a war between France and al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian-led offshoot of the international jihad movement.

Jury to deliberate fate of former Blackwater workers

Jury to deliberate fate of former Blackwater workers 23 Sep 2010 Jurors in the federal murder trial of former Blackwater mercenaries Christopher Drotleff and Justin Cannon will begin deliberations this afternoon. The jury heard four hours of sometimes fiery closing arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys. U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar was instructing the jury as of 3 p.m.

U.S. diplomats walk out as Ahmadinejad tells UN some believe that America was behind 9/11 attacks

Truth hurts: Angry U.S. diplomats walk out as Ahmadinejad tells UN some believe that America was behind 9/11 attacks 24 Sep 2010 The U.S. delegation has walked out of the U.N. speech of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after he said some [many] in the world have speculated that Americans were actually behind the September 11 terror attacks. The Iranian president said some believe the attacks were staged in an attempt to assure Israel's survival [and to turn the National Treasury over to security sociopaths, warmongers and corporaterrorists]. Mr Ahmadinejad made the claim as he attacked the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

NATO oil tankers set ablaze in Pakistan

NATO oil tankers set ablaze in Pakistan 23 Sep 2010 Four oil tankers carrying fuel supplies to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan have been torched in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province. Three NATO oil tankers and four containers were burnt on Thursday at Pakistani border town of Torkham, Afghan Islamic Press reported. Another oil tanker was reduced to a twisted mass of metal by a powerful blast in Nadir Khan Killay. [What a shame!]

Killing by Israeli guard sparks riots

Killing by Israeli guard sparks riots 22 Sep 2010 A Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli private security guard, provoking a day of rioting in Jerusalem that left at least a dozen injured and raised fears of a new cycle of violence. The death also cast light on the role played by private security guards, who are hired to protect Jewish settlements in Palestinian neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel government told its soldiers committed summary executions

Israel government told its soldiers committed summary executions 22 Sep 2010 UN experts have determined that the Israeli raid on a so-called peace flotilla was overly violent and totally illegal. The Human Rights Council has said Israel's military response to the Gaza aid sail was "disproportionate and brutal," violating international law. The special UN panel said there was now clear evidence to support prosecutions against Israel for wilful killing and torture.

Denver partygoer's lawsuit says he was 'tortured' by cop

Denver partygoer's lawsuit says he was 'tortured' by cop --Denver has paid nearly $6.2 million since 2004 to settle lawsuits involving police officers -- almost all of them involved allegations of excessive force. 23 Sep 2010 A federal lawsuit filed this week alleges a female Denver police officer responding to a loud music complaint "tortured" a 23-year-old man and trashed a group of partygoers' cellphones after they recorded her actions. The suit, reported by KCNC News4, targets Officer Abbegayle Dorn, two male officers the plaintiff did not know and the Denver Police Department. It's the latest in a series of brutality claims against the department.  In the suit filed Tuesday, Rohit Mukherjee also said an unidentified officer at the Denver County Jail referred to him as a "(expletive) Arab."

Egg-farm executives reveal little

Egg-farm executives reveal little --Testimony is limited in Congressional hearing about salmonella cases 23 Sep 2010 The heads of two Iowa egg farms linked to as many as 1,600 salmonella illnesses in the summer gave Congress few answers in testimony about the conditions at their farms Wednesday, as one executive would not testify and the other did not answer many of the lawmakers' questions. The owner of Wright County Egg, Austin "Jack" DeCoster, said he was "horrified" to learn that his products might have been the cause of the illnesses. Hillandale Farms chief executive Orland Bethel cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and did not answer questions.

Significant Developments in Terror Threats Since 9/11, Officials Say

Significant Developments in Terror Threats Since 9/11, Officials Say 22 Sep 2010 The threat from within -- of Americans willing to commit terrorist acts -- is growing. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III told a congressional hearing today that a spike in recent terrorism cases is direct evidence of the evolving threat. "Groups affiliated with al Qaeda are now actively targeting the United States and looking to use Americans or Westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures," Mueller said. "It appears domestic extremism and radicalization appears to have become more pronounced based on the number of disruptions and incidents."

Afghan president calls for release of journalists

Afghan president calls for release of journalists 23 Sep 2010 President Hamid Karzai called Thursday for the quick release of three Afghan journalists -- arrests that analysts said were reminiscent of a strategy the U.S. military used in Iraq to detain local journalists as a way to disrupt insurgents' propaganda networks coverage of US war crimes. All three journalists were picked up over the past week -- two by a joint NATO and Afghan force and one by Afghan intelligence officials.

Bill would let US government block 'infringing' websites worldwide

Bill would let US government block 'infringing' websites worldwide 21 Sep 2010 US lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow the federal government to quickly block websites anywhere in the world if they are dedicated to sharing copyrighted music or other protected content. The "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" would empower the US Department of Justice to shut down, or block access to, websites found to be "dedicated to infringing activities." Sites that use domain names registered by a US-based company, or a top-level-domain administered by a US-based company, would find their internet addresses frozen.

David Miliband gave green light for interrogations in 'torture nations'

David Miliband gave green light for interrogations in 'torture nations' 23 Sep 2010 David Miliband faced fresh questions over torture yesterday after it emerged that he gave the green light for interrogations of terrorist suspects in countries where there was a risk of abuse. Security sources say MI6 consulted the former Foreign Secretary in 'particularly difficult' cases. Mr Miliband approved some interrogations involving countries with poor human rights records and refused permission in others.

Republicans to release 'Pledge to [Destroy] America' agenda

Republicans to release 'Pledge to [Destroy] America' agenda 22 Sep 2010 Sixteen years after an elaborate ceremony to sign the "Contract with on America" in the Capitol's shadow helped propel House Republicans to majority status, GOP leaders are hoping to repeat the performance. This year, however, they're heading to a suburban Virginia hardware store to ink the deal. [Yeah, a more appropriate venue would have been an outhouse. --LRP]

US plans continued control of Bagram to hold kidnapped prisoners, 'security threats'

US plans continued control of Bagram to hold kidnapped prisoners, 'security threats' --Prisoners would be held in one of Bagram's blocks which would remain under control of US military 22 Sep 2010 The US military has drawn up plans to continue holding Afghan prisoners it deems a threat in a "unilateral" prison complex on Bagram airbase even after it hands control of the main detention facility to the Afghan government next year. US military authorities are expecting to retain control part of the existing Bagram prison to hold "security threats," as well as prisoners who were arrested outside the country and flown into Afghanistan on rendition flights, according to the admiral in charge of overseeing US detention operations in the country. "This proposal for a US 'prison within a prison' at Bagram reveals that the operative principle at the heart of Obama's overseas detention policy is to maintain a clear continuity with the worst practises of the Bush-era," said Clara Gutteridge, deputy director of the secret prisons and renditions team at the legal charity Reprieve.

Feds Look to Local Forces for Terrorism Response

Feds Look to Local Forces for Terrorism Response 22 Sep 2010 The Department of Homeland Security is helping local forces prepare to respond to terrorist threats, which have changed substantially since the Sept. 11 attacks to include more homegrown terrorists and smaller, faster-developing plots, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday. "Homeland security in fact begins with hometown security," Napolitano said in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

Pennsylvania Senate committee approves subpoena power for terror probe

Pennsylvania Senate committee approves subpoena power for terror probe 22 Sep 2010 A Senate committee today voted to give Chairman Lisa Baker the power to subpoena witnesses in an investigation into the Rendell administration's no-bid state contract for a security bulletin that monitored dozens of peaceful protest groups. The Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a hearing Monday into the state Department of Homeland Security's $103,000 contract with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, a York-based nonprofit.

Flotilla attack, 'willful killing': Report

Flotilla attack 'willful killing': Report 22 Sep 2010 A UN probe bashes Israel for committing "willful killing" and torture when its troops attacked a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. The inquiry ordered by the UN Human Rights Council said Israel used "unnecessary violence" during the attack. The Israeli attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, that killed nine Turkish activists, "constituted grave violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law," AFP quoted the report.

Russian scientist calls for action to prevent polar bear extinction

Russian scientist calls for action to prevent polar bear extinction 22 Sep 2010 Action must be taken to prevent the extinction of the polar bear, under threat from human activity and global warming, deputy director of State Natural Reserve Wrangel Island said at an international Arctic forum in Moscow on Wednesday. "If policies and attitudes to the polar bear...do not change, there is a real possibility that we will loose this species," Nikita Ovsyannikov said.

Bell officials arrested as prosecutors are set to file criminal charges

Bell officials arrested as prosecutors are set to file criminal charges 21 Sep 2010 (CA) At least eight city of Bell officials were arrested Tuesday morning, a source said, as L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley prepared to announce criminal charges in the municipal salary scandal. Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, whose high salary sparked the outrage that led to the investigations of the city, was among those arrested in the sweep.

US detains journalists in Afghanistan

US detains journalists in Afghanistan 22 Sep 2010 US-led foreign troops have arrested two journalists working for Al-Jazeera in Afghanistan, claiming they were suspected Taliban propaganda facilitators. Mohamed Nader was picked up from his home in southern Kandahar Province on Wednesday. Rahmatullah Nekzad was arrested two days earlier in Ghazni Province. The two men worked for Al-Jazeera Arabic service.

Chopper crash makes 2010 Afghanistan's deadliest year

Chopper crash makes 2010 Afghanistan's deadliest year 22 Sep 2010 Nine US troops have been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan [the Daychopan district of Zabul province], making 2010 the deadliest year for international forces since the war began in 2001. In Kabul, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the cause of the crash was under investigation. It said another NATO soldier, an Afghan soldier and a US civilian were also injured.

Interpol worried about spike in extremist websites

Interpol worried about spike in extremist websites 21 Sep 2010 The chief of Interpol says the "skyrocketing" number of extremist websites is making it easier for terrorists to recruit middle class youth around the world. Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble says terrorist recruiters are exploiting the Web to target vulnerable young people who are "not on the radar of law enforcement." He says fighting this kind of terrorist recruitment is especially difficult because viewing websites is not necessarily criminal. [!?!]

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*****

'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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