Assange a high-tech terrorist: Biden

Assange a high-tech terrorist: Biden 20 Dec 2010 The US Government has confirmed that it is preparing for the legal pursuit of Julian Assange as yet another political heavyweight branded the founder of WikiLeaks a "terrorist". Vice-President Joe Biden confirmed that the Justice Department was investigating ways to make the freedom of information activist accountable under US law for his actions. "We're looking at that right now," Mr Biden told NBC's Sunday talk show 'Meet the Press.'

Israeli air strike kills five in Gaza Strip

Israeli air strike kills five in Gaza Strip 19 Dec 2010 An Israeli air strike has killed five people in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military has confirmed the deaths, alleging all of those killed were militants. Israeli sources said its air force targeted a squad operatives who were preparing to launch rockets towards Israel.

US House passes $725bn defense bill

US House passes $725bn defense bill 17 Dec 2010 The US House of Representatives has passed a massive $725 billion defense bill, including around $160 billion in funding for the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation, passed by 341 votes to 48 on Friday, authorizes the Defense Department to spend nearly $160 billion on overseas combat missions in fiscal year 2011 without major restrictions on the conduct of operations, the Associated Press reported.

FBI now spying on your garbage - send them yours

FBI now spying on your garbage - send them yours By Lori Price, http://www.legitgov.org/ 20 Dec 2010 Yes, in between supplying terrorist-wannabes with explosives (so they can thwart their own attacks), the FBI has been a busy little bee--surveilling your garbage! Finished with that Starbucks latte? Send them your cup - save them time! Join us on Facebook!

US-led troops death toll in '10 hits 700

US-led troops death toll in '10 hits 700 19 Dec 2010 The 2010 death toll for US-led troops in Afghanistan has hit the 700 mark after a NATO soldier was killed overnight by a roadside bomb in the war-ravaged country. The Western military alliance said in a statement that the soldier was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the country's volatile south.

Regulators close banks in Ga., Fla., Ark., Minn.

Regulators close banks in Ga., Fla., Ark., Minn. --157 banks closed in 2010 17 Dec 2010 Regulators on Friday shuttered three small banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Arkansas and Minnesota, raising to 157 the number of U.S. banks brought down this year by the struggling economy and soured loans. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the three Georgia banks: Appalachian Community Bank of McCaysville, with $68.2 million in assets; Chestatee State Bank, based in Dawsonville, with $244.4 million in assets; and Atlanta-based United Americas Bank, with $242.3 million in assets.

Russia 'seriously concerned' over Korea tensions

Russia 'seriously concerned' over Korea tensions 18 Dec 2010 Russia says it is seriously concerned that tensions between North and South Korea will escalate further. Pyongyang is threatening to retaliate if the South goes ahead with planned military exercises on an island near the two countries' disputed sea border.

Judges reject appeal of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act

Judges reject appeal of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act 17 Dec 2010 Ontario's top court upheld the constitutionality of Canada's terrorism laws Friday and increased Momin Khawaja's sentence from 10 1/2 years to the maximum, concluding the original sentence was "manifestly unfit" for a terrorist who poses a continuing threat to Canadians. The judges rejected an appeal of the conviction and sentence for the first person charged under Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act, and agreed with the Crown that 10 1/2 years "fails to reflect the enormity of his crimes and the horrific nature of the crime of terrorism himself."

Admiral: U.S. 'very ready' to counter Iran

Admiral: U.S. 'very ready' to counter Iran 19 Dec 2010 Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, posing a threat to its neighbors, and the United States is "very ready" to counter Iran should it make a move, the top U.S. military officer said Saturday. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sought to reassure Persian Gulf nations nervous that an increasingly militarized government in Iran might try to start a war. [If Mullen replaces the word 'Iran' with 'Israel,' he'd be right.]

Israel can't defeat Hezbollah - Israeli expert

Israel can't defeat Hezbollah - Israeli expert 16 Dec 2010 Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah in a direct engagement and the Lebanese guerrilla group would inflict heavy damage on the Israeli home front if war broke out, a former Israeli national security adviser said Thursday. Though outnumbered and outgunned, Hezbollah held off Israel's advanced armed forces in a 2006 war and fired more than 4,000 rockets into Israeli territory. The group has a domestic political base and has since bolstered an arsenal that Israel describes as a strategic threat.

Ban on U.S. trials for Guantanamo prisoners passes House again

Ban on U.S. trials for Guantanamo prisoners passes House again 17 Dec 2010 The stripped-down defense authorization bill that passed the House this afternoon contains language that would effectively ban civilian trials for war-onof-terror prisoners at Guantanamo and place new limits on transfers from Guantanamo to other countries. The ban, which prohibits transfers to the U.S. for any reason, would be in place through the end of the fiscal year next September. The bill passed 341-48.

WikiLeaks cables: Julian Assange says his life is 'under threat'

WikiLeaks cables: Julian Assange says his life is 'under threat' --WikiLeaks founder says Swedish rape case is 'a travesty' --Bank of America blocks WikiLeaks payments 18 Dec 2010 Julian Assange said today his life and the lives of his colleagues at the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks are under threat. Speaking to reporters outside Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk house at which he is staying following his release on bail from prison, Assange said: "There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to my staff. There are significant risks facing us."

Senate votes to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell'

Senate votes to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' 18 Dec 2010 In a landmark vote that for some echoed the nation's greatest civil rights struggles, the Senate on Saturday moved resolutely to abolish the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which for 17 years has forced gay and lesbian members of the armed forces to keep their sexual orientation hidden. The 65-31 vote, which came after a charged and sometimes vitriolic debate, was surprisingly bipartisan. Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting to repeal the Clinton-era policy.

Bank of America blocks WikiLeaks transactions

Bank of America blocks WikiLeaks transactions [Hello, Anonymous? Do your thing.] 18 Dec 2010 The Bank of America says it is joining other financial institutions in refusing to process payments for WikiLeaks. "Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks," the Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered bank said in a statement Friday night, the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph reported.

UK airports on alert after dummy bomb runs warning

UK airports on alert after dummy bomb runs warning --Security 'periodically being tested' by scouts who have targeted the regions, counter-terrorism officials have said 17 Dec 2010 Counter-terrorism officials have warned that airport security is being tested by terror scouts, amid fears that regional airports have been targeted for dummy bomb runs. The Guardian has seen x-ray scans of two suspect packages at a regional airport, picked up in the last three months, that show items officials fear have a similar profile to improvised explosive devices.

Fears of dummy bomb runs by 'terror scouts' at regional airports

Fears of dummy bomb runs by 'terror scouts' at regional airports 18 Dec 2010 Security officials have tested security at regional airports amid fears terror scouts have been staging dummy runs, it emerged today. Two suspect packages have reportedly been spotted in the last three months which appeared to be like improvised bombs. One hidden in a box inside a bag of hand luggage had a BlackBerry attached to a baby's bottle with a charging cable thought to be simulating a detonator. The second - spotted at the same airport some weeks later - also contained a mobile phone and detonator, according to The Guardian.

Dream Act Bill for Illegal Immigrant Students Fails on Senate Vote

Dream Act Bill for Illegal Immigrant Students Fails on Senate Vote 19 Dec 2010 The Senate on Saturday blocked a bill that would create a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrant students who came to the United States as children, completed two years of college or military service and met other requirements including passing a criminal background check. The vote, 55-41 in favor of the bill, effectively kills the measure for this year, and its fate beyond that is uncertain. Most immediately, the measure would have helped grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students and recent graduates whose lives are severely restricted because they are illegal residents...

Repeal of 'Don't Ask' Don't Tell' Advances

Repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don't Tell' Advances 19 Dec 2010 After a 17-year struggle, the Senate on Saturday cleared the way for repealing the Pentagon’s ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. By a bipartisan vote of 63 to 33, the Senate acted to cut off debate on a measure that would allow President Obama to declare an end to the Clinton-era policy, known as "don’t ask, don’t tell," which allows gay members of the armed forces to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret. The vote was a historic moment that some equated with the decision to end racial segregation in the military.

Blackwater seeks dismissal of Iraq shooting suit

Blackwater seeks dismissal of Iraq shooting suit 16 Dec 2010 The security firm formerly known as Blackwater told a federal judge Thursday that the U.S. government - and not the company - should be held accountable for a 2007 shooting by its contractors that killed 17 Iraqis. The Moyock, N.C.-based company and several of its  mercenaries are seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of three people killed in the shooting - Ali Kinani, Abrahem Abed Al Mafraje and Mahde Sahab Naser Shamake.

Former Blackwater Bought by Investment Group

Mega barf alert! Former Blackwater Bought by Investment Group --Security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, bought by investment group from founder 17 Dec 2010 An investment group with ties to the founder of the company formerly known as Blackwater announced Friday that it has bought the security firm, which was heavily criticized for its mercenaries' actions in Iraq. USTC Holdings said in a statement that the acquisition of the company now called Xe Services includes its training facility in North Carolina.

GOP Senator Calls Cops on 9/11 Responders

GOP Senator Calls Cops on 9/11 Responders 16 Dec 2010 Republican senators were so worried about meeting with 9/11 responders who came to Washington today that at least one called the cops on them, the Daily News has learned. Even before the nine responders had a chance to start visiting senators’ offices - where they intended to stay until meeting with legislators - they were greeted by Capitol Police, who had been called by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.).

Mexican drone crashes in backyard of El Paso home

Mexican drone crashes in backyard of El Paso home 17 Dec 2010 A Mexican drone crashed in El Paso's Lower Valley, sparking a federal investigation and raising questions about why the aircraft was in U.S. airspace. Though the U.S. is known to use drones to patrol the border, this is thought to be the first time a Mexican drone has been reported operating at the border. The drone crashed Tuesday on Craddock Avenue, near the intersection with Yarbrough Drive.

Gates: Public opinion can't sway Afghan commitment

Gates: Public opinion can't sway Afghan commitment [Right, Blackwater and DynCorp are getting their bl*wjobs, regardless.] 16 Dec 2010 Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. can't let public opinion sway its commitment to Afghanistan. Gates says it's the responsibility of leaders to focus on the public interest and the long-term implications of U.S. involvement in the region.

Officials: CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield

Officials: CIA gave waterboarders $5M legal shield 17 Dec 2010 When the CIA decided to waterboard suspected terror detainees in overseas prisons, the agency turned to a pair of contractors. The men designed the CIA's interrogation program and also personally took part in the waterboarding sessions. But to do the job, the CIA had to promise to cover at least $5 million in legal fees for them in case there was trouble down the road, former U.S. officials said. Turns out the mercenaries needed that secret agreement as taxpayers pay to defend the men in a federal investigation over an interrogation tactic the United States now says is torture.

CIA top spy flees Pakistan over lawsuit

CIA top spy flees Pakistan over lawsuit --Lawsuit also named CIA Director Leon Panetta and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates 17 Dec 2010 The US central intelligence agency (CIA) has been forced to call back its top spy in Pakistan after he was accused of killing civilians in unauthorized drone attacks. This comes days after a Pakistani lawsuit designated the CIA station chief by name, accusing him of killing civilians in missile strikes. Kareem Kahn, a resident of the North Waziristan tribal district, filed an official complaint with Islamabad police against CIA station chief Jonathan Bank at the US Embassy in Islamabad on Monday.

Two British 'militants' killed in Pakistan

Two British 'militants' killed in Pakistan 17 Dec 2010 The UK government says it is probing the death of two British nationals killed in an unauthorized US drone strike in Pakistan's troubled northwestern region. Media reports say the British citizens were killed in a non-UN-sanctioned US aerial bombing near the town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan region on December 10. The British Foreign Office says it was probing the death of two alleged British al-Qaeda members killed over the weekend in militancy-riddled region.

Unauthorized US strikes kill 26 Pakistanis

Unauthorized US strikes kill 26 Pakistanis 17 Dec 2010 Four non-UN-sanctioned US drone strikes have claimed the lives of at least 26 people in northwestern Pakistan amid public protest. The unauthorized airstrikes took place in the Khyber Agency tribal region on Friday. It's the second consecutive day the US drones target the same region. On Thursday, a US air raid claimed the lives of seven people when a missile hit a vehicle in Speen Drang area of Tirah valley in Pakistan's Kheber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

US-led soldier killed in Afghanistan

US-led soldier killed in Afghanistan 18 Dec 2010 A US-led soldier has been killed in the latest spate of attacks in eastern Afghanistan, pushing the number US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year to nearly 700. According to NATO officials, the nationality of the soldier, who has been killed amid the rise in violence against foreign troops in eastern Afghanistan, is not known, AFP reported on Saturday.

Two US-led troops killed in Afghan war

Two US-led troops killed in Afghan war 17 Dec 2010 Two separate attacks have killed at least two US-led foreign soldiers in Afghanistan. NATO said in a statement on Friday that one of its soldiers died following a militant attack in the country's volatile east. The US-led military alliance added that another NATO soldier had lost his life in a bomb attack in the troubled southern region.

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange says he expects US to charge him with spying

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange says he expects US to charge him with spying 17 Dec 2010 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he is expecting to be charged by the US with spying, a day after being released on bail from a British jail over sexual assault accusations in Sweden. The Wikileaks founder was let out of prison on Thursday after a judge ruled he should be released ahead of Swedish extradition proceedings in the new year. Speaking at the East Anglian mansion at which he has been ordered to stay, the Australian indicated that the US is preparing to indict him on espionage charges. "We have heard from one of my US lawyers, yet to be confirmed, but a serious matter, that there may be a US indictment for espionage for me, coming from a secret US grand jury investigation," he said.

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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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