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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February 2008 Archives, Page Two

Canada-U.S. pact allows cross-border military activity in 'civil emergency' 23 Feb 2008 Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal. Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas. The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation in a civil emergency. [See:U.S. Northern Command, Canada Command establish new bilateral Civil Assistance Plan 14 Feb 2008.]

KBR 4th Q profit up 65% on tax benefits, gas projects and 'work' in Iraq --Former Halliburton subsidiary remains Pentagon's biggest private contractor mercenary in Iraq 26 Feb 2008 KBR Inc. reported Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 65 percent... its top executive said a growing backlog suggests 2008 will be a good year. KBR's total backlog for continuing operations grew to $13 billion in the fourth quarter, up nearly 9 percent from the prior quarter and 5 percent from a year ago.

KBR's Net Rises 65% 26 Feb 2008 KBR Inc. said fourth-quarter net income grew 65% on a tax gain from a divested unit as the company faced the prospect of not getting reimbursed for some costs incurred since the Iraq war began. "2007 was a record year for KBR in terms of profitability and I am pleased with the ongoing performance improvement in KBR's core businesses," said Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Utt.

Watchdog orders release of war documents 27 Feb 2008 Britain's information commissioner has ordered the Government to release the minutes of ministerial discussions about military action in Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

PM told to release Cabinet minutes on Iraq 26 Feb 2008 The Government was today ordered to release the minutes of Cabinet discussions where ministers discussed military action against Iraq. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, said the papers should be released under the Freedom of Information Act because of the "gravity and controversial nature" of the discussions.

Official: post-surge U.S. troop level in Iraq will be 140,000 26 Feb 2008 There will be 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq by late July when the Bush regime's "surge plan" ends, a senior Pentagon official said Monday.

Iraq demands that Turkey withdraw its troops 26 Feb 2008 The Iraqi Government demanded today that Turkey withdraw its army from Iraq's snowbound northern mountains. Five days after Turkey launched its military incursion there are reports that its commandos have penetrated 100 miles inside Iraqi territory, as far as Iraq's border with Iran.

Bus bomber kills nine in Mosul 26 Feb 2008 A suicide bomber today killed at least nine people on a packed bus outside an Iraqi Army checkpoint in northern Iraq, an area where American forces have been focusing more attention in a bid to tackle 'al-Qaeda insurgents.'

Iran blames foreign forces' mismanagement for Iraqi civilian deaths 26 Feb 2008 Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini on Monday condemned the recent crimes against innocent Iraqi people as acts of terror. He said that the "mismanagement of foreign forces" in Iraq is to be blamed for such terrorist actions.

Probe sought in Marine vehicle delays 26 Feb 2008 The Marine Corps has asked the Pentagon's inspector general to examine allegations that a nearly two-year delay in the fielding of blast-resistant vehicles led to hundreds of combat casualties in Iraq.

New hopes for release for Al-Jazeera cameraman jailed at Guantanamo Bay 25 Feb 2008 An Al-Jazeera TV cameraman imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay has been told he may soon be released after more than six years in U.S. military custody, a lawyer for the prisoner said Monday, though U.S. officials refused to confirm the report.

Military 'musical chairs' could aid Harper's Afghan plan --France expected to deploy 700 soldiers to volatile Pakistan border region 26 Feb 2008 A possible plan to send French troops to eastern Afghanistan could provide Ottawa with the extra NATO support it's demanding as a condition to extend the Canadian mission in the region. Canadian officials had been hoping that France would deploy a large number of soldiers to southern Afghanistan's Kandahar region, where 2,500 Canadian troops are already stationed.

Bomb kills policemen in eastern Afghanistan --Five policeman and a child killed by roadside bomb 26 Feb 2008 Five policemen and a three-year-old child were killed this morning in Afghanistan when the vehicle they were travelling in hit a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Khost, close to the border with Pakistan. Local police chief General Mohammad Ayub blamed the attack on Taliban militants who repeatedly target police officers.

India tests underwater missile 26 Feb 2008 India tested a nuclear-capable missile designed to be launched from a submarine, in a move aimed at expanding India's ability to respond in case of a nuclear attack, officials said Tuesday.

Preacher guilty of organising terror training camps 26 Feb 2008 A terrorist instructor [Mohammed Hamid] who called himself Osama bin London has been convicted, along with three of his followers, of organising al-Qaida style training camps across Britain. Their five-month trial at Woolwich crown court was the first to deal with a new offence introduced under the Terrorism Act 2006 of attending a place used for terrorist training.

DNA database has 500,000 incorrect entries, minister admits 26 Feb 2008 Thousands of DNA samples taken from criminals have been filed under the names of innocent people, it was revealed yesterday. There are 550,000 false, misspelt or incorrect names on the Government's vast DNA database, which contains more than 4million samples. That means one in every eight records is thought to be inaccurate.

GOP plans for Coup 2008 are well underway: Bush Predicts GOP Will Hold White House 26 Feb 2008 President [sic] Bush predicted Monday that voters will replace him with a Republican president who will "keep up the fight" in Iraq. "I'm confident we'll hold the White House in 2008," Bush told donors at the Republican Governors Association annual dinner, which raised a record $10.6 million for GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Matthews on Clinton's debate performance: "The porridge will be just right." --Misogynist TV host compares US Senator to 'Goldilocks' in fairy tale By Lori Price 26 Feb 2008 On MSNBC's 'Hardball,' during segment one of the 'Hate Hillary Hour,' host Chris Matthews and three pals ponder, "Which version" of Hillary will show up at the debate tonight?" Apparently, men are allowed to vary their tactics and to strategize. Women, on the other hand are hysterical and whimsical. They keep revealing 'different sides.' Michael Rectenwald is right. Oh, BTW, Matthews. You never know if and when one of those *three bears* will growl and bite you in the a**.

Huckabee: Fertilized Egg Is Person [LOL! Okie dokey, but Bush still isn't - no matter how you slice it.] 26 Feb 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has endorsed an amendment to Colorado’s constitution declaring that a fertilized egg is a person.

McCain In Oct. 2006: Renzi Has ' Tenacity, Honesty and Integrity Beyond Reproach' 22 Feb 2008 In late October 2006, after it was revealed that the FBI was looking into allegations that the now indicted Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) was under investigation for his involvement in a federal land transfer deal, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came to Renzi's rescue.

Obama: McCain Puts Lobbyists 'In Charge' 24 Feb 2008 Sen. Barack Obama said Saturday that the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, Sen. John McCain, has lobbyists as top aides and "many of them have been running their business on the campaign bus while they've been helping him."

McCain linked to influence peddling claim --Broadcaster says nothing happened until he hired lobbyist, made donation 25 Feb 2008 Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, has been linked by documents and testimony to another alleged case of what critics are calling influence peddling, this time involving a minority broadcaster in Pittsburgh. The allegations from groups including the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.

McCain retracts comment he could lose on Iraq 25 Feb 2008 Republican presidential front-runner John McCain on Monday retracted his earlier statement he would lose the November election if he did not convince Americans they were winning the war in Iraq.

Dodd Endorses Obama for President 26 Feb 2008 Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a leading Democrat and an early candidate for the party’s presidential nomination, announced Tuesday that he was endorsing Senator Barack Obama.

Obama's Support Grows Broader, New Poll Finds 26 Feb 2008 In the past two months, Senator Barack Obama has built a commanding coalition among Democratic voters, with especially strong support among men, and is now viewed by most Democrats as the candidate best able to beat Senator John McCain in the general election, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

Mansion 'mistake' piles the pressure on Barack Obama 26 Feb 2008 A British-Iraqi billionaire [Nadhmi Auchi] lent millions of dollars to Barack Obama's fundraiser just weeks before an imprudent land deal that has returned to haunt the presidential contender, an investigation by The Times discloses.

Delusional hope: The Obama rapture By Joel S. Hirschhorn 22 Feb 2008 Think about the prevalence of hope: sports teams heading into a championship game, research scientists envisioning a Nobel Prize, people in the criminal justice system awaiting trial, entrepreneurs starting a new business, people starting off on a long-awaited vacation, American Idol contestants, college seniors dreaming of becoming superrich... Hope produces far more losers than winners. Hope is enjoyable until failure hits. But most people do not give up on hope, just move on to the next hope.

NRC: 2 Reactors Shut Down At FPL's Turkey Point -Report 26 Feb 2008 Two nuclear reactors at Florida Power & Light's Turkey Point station in South Florida shut down Tuesday afternoon, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, The St. Petersberg Times reported on its Web site. Florida Power & Light is a unit of FPL Group Inc. (FPL).

Massive power outage hits millions in Florida 26 Feb 2008 A massive power outage struck parts of Florida on Tuesday, knocking out electricity to millions of people, snarling traffic at intersections and trapping residents in elevators.

Oil Hits a High; Some See $4 Gas by Spring 26 Feb 2008 Gasoline prices, which for months lagged the big run-up in the price of oil, are suddenly rising quickly, with some experts fearing they could hit $4 a gallon by spring. Diesel is hitting new records daily and oil closed at an all-time high on Tuesday of $100.88 a barrel.

Crude surpasses $101 --Heating oil surges to new high; natural gas at highest in two years 26 Feb 2008 Crude-oil futures rallied more than $2 on Tuesday to above $101 a barrel as cold weather in the U.S. continued. Heating oil surged to a new record high. Crude for April delivery gained $2.3, or 2.3%, to a new historic high of $101.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in early afternoon trading. The intraday high surpasses crude's last record of $100.65 hit last week. [Oops! MSNBC forgot to cover this one. But they had time to air a graphic called 'Dollars to Doughnuts,' showing that Hillary Clinton spent - gasp! - 5,000 dollars on doughnuts during the campaign! A better use of MSNBC's time might involve showing a panel that details ExxonMobil's profit 'surge' since the first GOP coup d'etat, or Halliburton's dividends since same. --LRP]

US high court to review 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill case 26 Feb 2008 The US Supreme Court will revisit Wednesday the case of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster in Alaska, examining whether the corporation should have to pay 2.5 billion dollars in punitive damages over the oil spill that occurred 19 years ago. The court will hear ExxonMobil's appeal in... a long-running legal battle that has raged since the Exxon Valdez crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of crude into Alaskan fishing waters. According a University of Alaska study, only a quarter of the marine life survived the spill.

U.S. Home Foreclosures Jump 90% as Mortgages Reset 26 Feb 2008 Bank seizures of U.S. homes almost doubled in January as property owners failed to make higher payments on adjustable-rate mortgages.

Home price drop sets record in fourth quarter: S&P 26 Feb 2008 Prices of existing U.S. single-family homes slumped 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter versus a year earlier, the largest decline in the 20-year history of a national home price index released on Tuesday.

Safely hidden from a Bush bioterror 'October surprise:' Arctic seed vault opens doors for 100 million seeds 26 Feb 2008 The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries.

Pakistan reports fourth February bird flu outbreak 26 Feb 2008 Pakistani authorities have found a fresh outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu in chickens, the fourth case in a month in the South Asian country, a government official said on Tuesday.

Concrete Falls Onto Route 8 South In Waterbury 26 Feb 2008 (CT) Route 8 south was closed in Waterbury after concrete began falling from the Route 8-Interstate 84 interchange Tuesday afternoon. The road reopened shortly before 4 p.m.


U.S. expects 140,000 troops in Iraq after surge 25 Feb 2008 The United States expects to have 140,000 troops in Iraq in July after withdrawing five combat brigades, leaving a force larger than before it began pouring in troops last year, the Pentagon said on Monday.

U.S. troops detain news editor of Iraq TV station 25 Feb 2008 The U.S. military said on Monday they had detained the news editor of a television station owned by Iraq's most powerful political party and his son, who is accused of 'involvement' in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Turkish army says rebel death toll in Northern Iraq at 153 25 Feb 2008 Turkey's military General Staff said on Monday the number of Kurdish PKK rebels killed during its ground and air offensive in northern Iraq had risen to 153.

Oil Rises to Near $100 on Turkey News 25 Feb 2008 Oil prices rose to near $100 a barrel Monday as the Turkish incursion into northern Iraq and 'warnings by Iran against further sanctions heightened concerns over potential crude supply disruptions.' [Gee, Exxon's pre-election gas sale can't get here soon enough!]

Bomb kills 3 Iraq pilgrims and wounds 15: police 25 Feb 2008 A roadside bomb killed three pilgrims walking to a major Shi'ite religious event south of Baghdad on Monday, a day after a suspected al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] suicide bomber killed 63 people also heading there.

Bomb hidden under wheelchair kills 3, injures 9 in Iraq --Police: Bomber had met at least twice with deputy security chief before blast 25 Feb 2008 A man in a wheelchair blew himself up Monday in a northern Iraqi police station, killing three National Police officers, including a commander, police said. The [Blackwater] attack also wounded nine officers on the police force, which the Iraqi Interior Ministry operates.

U.S. general says attacks down sharply in eastern Afghanistan 25 Feb 2008 Militant attacks in eastern Afghanistan are down sharply compared with a year ago, a top U.S. general [Army Brig.-Gen. Joseph Votel] said.

Afghan governor survives bomb blast, three cops killed 25 Feb 2008 A roadside bomb tore through a convoy carrying the high-profile governor of a southern Afghan province, missing the official but killing three policemen, the governor said.

Suicide Bomb Kills Pakistani General 25 Feb 2008 A top Pakistani general was killed when a suicide attacker approached his car at a traffic light and blew himself up Monday in Rawalpindi, the garrison town just outside the capital, Islamabad, military officials said.

Bird flu as biological weapon "nutty" idea, says Gates 26 Feb 2008 United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates has denied allegations by Indonesia's Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari that his country is developing biological weapons from bird flu strains found in Indonesia. "I think it's the nuttiest idea I've ever heard," Gates said Monday after addressing his speech to the Indonesian Council on World Affairs at the Four Seasons Hotel, South Jakarta. [See: Top-secret Livermore germ lab opens --Researching flu, tuberculosis and SARS 02 Feb 2008; Flu Lab Set to Open for 1918 Pandemic Virus Reconstruction 28 Oct 2007; DoD to carry out 'military missions' during pandemic, WMD attack By LRP 23 Oct 2007; Making Killer Flu 12 Jun 2007; Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]

CIA 'plane used for torture flights landed in Britain last week' 24 Feb 2008 The row over the use of British air bases for American "torture" flights flared up again last night following evidence that a plane linked to the transport of terrorist suspects landed in Britain on Wednesday. A Gulfstream IV private jet, which has been identified... as a CIA-linked plane implicated in so-called "rendition," arrived at RAF Northolt in West London just hours before the Government was forced into a humiliating U-turn on the practice.

On Whose Orders? Panorama asks why the British Army in Iraq used interrogation techniques that were banned over 30 years ago. 22 Feb 2008 In 1972 the techniques - hooding, stress positions, constant noise, sleep deprivation and being starved of food and water - were banned by the Heath government which said they would never be used again. Their reintroduction in 2003, whether official or unofficial, could have had serious consequences.

Opposition MPs demand action on Omar Khadr 25 Feb 2008 The federal opposition parties presented a united front in Ottawa in demanding the release of Omar Khadr. The 21-year-old Canadian has been held at a U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for more than five years.

Christie calls for Guantanamo closure at Oscars 25 Feb 2008 Julie Christie was in the mood for making a point at the Academy Awards on Sunday, calling for the closure of military detention camp Guantanamo Bay.

Hicks case rushed to suit Howard - US --US prosecutor says Hicks case was political --Says sudden haste was a 'bizarre request' --Says Howard wanted Hicks case sorted before election 25 Feb 2008 It was January 9 last year when Morris Davis, the chief prosecutor for the Bush regime's military tribunals, took what he regards as a disturbing telephone call regarding David Hicks. On the end of the line was the Pentagon's general counsel, William "Jim" Haynes. He asked Colonel Davis how soon he could charge Hicks.

Discarded explosives a ticking timebomb --'Ecological nightmare' awaits unless weapons destroyed, expert warns 25 Feb 2008 Canada could be on the brink of an "ecological nightmare" as chemicals and explosives from submerged military boneyards seep into the water, says a retired U.S. Navy bomb disposal expert.

DOJ Chasing Islamic Charities for Terrorism Financing 25 Feb 2008 U.S. counterterrorism officials in the U.S. and the Middle East are reportedly pursuing what they describe as a second constellation of Islamic charities that have sprouted up to raise funds that help Islamic militants in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and other conflict areas.

Park Police Face Senior Staffing Shortages 25 Feb 2008 The number of U.S. Park Police officers has dropped to a 20-year low, with widespread vacancies in senior ranks, leaving the agency strapped despite heightened concern about protecting the nation's landmarks from terrorism, according to officers and a watchdog group.

Runway protesters break into Heathrow 25 Feb 2008 Activists from Greenpeace attach a banner to a BA airplane after breaking through airport security Greenpeace has warned the government of the aviation industry’s CO2 emissions ahead of the decision on whether a 3rd Heathrow runway should be built.

Siegelman attorney calls for special prosecutor 25 Feb 2008 Attorneys for imprisoned former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman called Monday for the Justice Department to bring in a special prosecutor after a key government witness was quoted as saying that prosecutors made him write out his testimony to get his story straight.

Democrats seek FEC probe of McCain 25 Feb 2008 The national Democratic party wants campaign finance regulators to investigate whether Sen. John McCain would violate money-in-politics laws by withdrawing from the primary election's public finance system.

NYT stands by McCain story 24 Feb 2008 The New York Times stands by the story it ran in Thursday's edition about Republican presidential front-runner John McCain, the newspaper's top editor said.

Clinton challenges Obama on foreign policy, military 25 Feb 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton charted her plans for an American foreign-affairs strategy this afternoon, but used the subject largely to launch a renewed offensive in challenging rival Barack Obama on the issue of experience.

Tina Fey gives Hillary a shout out on SNL 25 Feb 2008 "Bitch is the new black!" claims SNL news anchor Tina Fey as she returns as host of "Saturday Night Live." Fey used her humorous segment to urge Democrats in Ohio and Texas to turn things around by voting for Hillary Clinton.

Judge curbs NY-NJ Port Authority's WTC claim 25 Feb 2008 New York-New Jersey Port Authority can collect insurance only for damage done to one World Trade Center building and the PATH train station, not for the entire complex that was destroyed on September 11, 2001, a U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday.

AMR says crew gave oxygen to dying passenger 25 Feb 2008 AMR Corp, parent of American Airlines, on Monday said the flight crew had administered oxygen and used a defibrillator to assist an ailing passenger [Carine Desir] who died on a flight from Haiti to New York last week.

Indonesian minister accuses West, WHO of profiting from bird flu 20 Feb 2008 Indonesian Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari in her new book accuses the World Health Organization and the U.S. government of trying to profit from the spread of bird flu, saying the latter may use the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus to develop biological weapons.


U.S. Northern Command, Canada Command establish new bilateral Civil Assistance Plan 14 Feb 2008 U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency. The plan facilitates the military-to-military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response.

Renditions row after CIA plane lands in UK 25 Feb 2008 A fresh row erupted over the use of British air bases by US authorities as it emerged a plane used by the CIA has landed at an RAF airstrip in the past week. A Gulfstream IV jet, identified as a plane linked to the US intelligence agency, landed at RAF Northolt in west London. The jet, registration N134BR, which flew from Morristown, New Jersey, to Britain, landed on Wednesday and returned on Friday. It was also seen at Luton airport in January.

Romania Base Suspected CIA Prisoner Site 23 Feb 2008 Three times in 2004, and twice more in 2005, a jet landed and the black bus drove out to meet it. Large, mysterious parcels were exchanged that, according to a Romanian official who says he witnessed it, looked like bundled-up terror suspects. The official, a high-ranking veteran with inside knowledge of operations at the base, said the planes then left for North Africa with their cargo and two CIA handlers aboard. His descriptions, told on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press, add to suspicions surrounding Romania's involvement in "extraordinary rendition" - the beyond-the-law transfer of U.S. terror suspects from country to country by the CIA.

White House says phone wiretaps back on "for now" 23 Feb 2008 The Bush regime said on Saturday U.S. telecommunications companies have agreed to cooperate "for the time being" with spy agencies' wiretaps, despite an ongoing battle between the White House and Congress over new terrorism surveillance legislation. The Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement saying wiretaps will resume under the current law "at least for now."

Europe warned of Taliban return 25 Feb 2008 The United States Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, has warned that a return of the Taliban in Afghanistan would result in renewed terrorist attacks on European soil.

Portside on terror alert 24 Feb 2008 Australian Federal Police are investigating an Indian man who arrived in Brisbane two days ago with alleged terrorist links. The man arrived on a ship at the Port of Brisbane early Friday. Sources told The Sunday Mail that Customs officers alerted the AFP after speaking to crew members of the ship.

Roadside cameras that detect BLOOD will catch lone drivers who abuse car-sharing lanes 24 Feb 2008 (UK) Motorists will be targeted by a new generation of road cameras which work out how many people are in a car by measuring the amount of bodily fluid it contains.

Tough police DNA powers are rejected --Worries over cost and public anger kill off project for database filled with speeders and litter louts 24 Feb 2008 Controversial plans that would see the police given sweeping new powers to take DNA samples from people arrested for the most minor offences, such as dropping litter, have been rejected by the Home Office.

Turks send more tanks into Iraq against PKK --Anger in Kurdistan at US green light for incursion 25 Feb 2008 Turkey sent military reinforcements into northern Iraq yesterday as clashes with militants from the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) continued for a fourth day. Washington has sanctioned limited cross-border operations by Ankara against the PKK, which has been described by President [sic] George Bush as a "common enemy". It has provided the Turkish military with intelligence on the militants' positions and opened up Iraq's airspace to facilitate bombing raids.

Turkish incursion in Northern Iraq results in heavy casualties 24 Feb 2008 Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels engaged in fresh clashes Saturday in northern Iraq, as Turkey's military continued its offensive to crack down on suspected rebel hideouts in the region.

Turkish Helicopter Down in Iraq 24 Feb 2008 A Turkish helicopter crashed in Iraq and eight soldiers were killed during a cross-border ground operation against Kurdish rebels, who planted booby traps on the bodies of their slain comrades, Turkey's military said Sunday. The guerrillas said they shot down a Turkish military helicopter near the Turkish-Iraqi border.

Suicide bomber kills 40 in Iraq 25 Feb 2008 A suicide bomber detonated a vest packed with metal ball bearings in a refreshment tent full of Iraqi pilgrims heading to a Shi'ite festival on Sunday, killing 40 people and wounding 60, police said.

Head of Iraqi journalists' union shot, seriously wounded 23 Feb 2008 The head of the Iraqi Journalists' Union was shot and seriously wounded on Saturday, police and union officials said. Union chief Shihab al-Timimi was shot by unidentified [Blackwater] gunmen as he was being driven to an art gallery in Waziriya, near central Baghdad.

John Howard 'had planned to leave Iraq' 24 Feb 2008 The Howard government would have starting pulling its combat troops out of Iraq this year if it had been re-elected, opposition foreign affairs spokesman Andrew Robb says.

France, UAE, Qatar, begin war games 23 Feb 2008 France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates begin joint military exercises involving land, sea and air forces in the Persian Gulf region. The military war games began on Saturday and are to continue for several days, the official WAM news agency reported.

US warns of more terror in Afghanistan 24 Feb 2008 US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday tipped more terrorist attacks and bombings and fewer all-out battles as Afghanistan moves into its annual summer campaign season.

Australia could buy US fighter jets 24 Feb 2008 United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates says he will investigate whether Australia will ever be able to buy the Lockheed F-22 Raptor jet fighters. Currently an Act of US Congress bars any foreign sales of what is believed to be the most advanced combat plane in the world.

Raul Castro Confirmed As Cuba's President 24 Feb 2008 Nearly 50 years of government by Fidel Castro ended in Cuba on Sunday as parliament chose his brother Raul to replace him. The vote came five days after the ailing 81-year-old Fidel said he was retiring, capping a career in which he frustrated efforts by 10 U.S. presidents to oust him.

U.S. "agent orange" ruling disappoints Vietnamese 23 Feb 2008 Vietnamese victims of wartime "agent orange" were disappointed by a U.S. court's dismissal of a lawsuit against chemical companies but believe they have gathered more support for their cause, an official said on Saturday. Friday's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York concluded the plaintiffs could not pursue claims against Dow Chemical Co, Monsanto Co and nearly 30 other companies [terrorists].

Jakarta ends stand-off on bird flu vaccines --Indonesia's health minister accused the US of trying to use bird flu samples to create a biological weapon. 24 Feb 2008 Samples of bird flu virus are at the centre of an extraordinary political battle in Indonesia, as arguments rage over the profits from potentially life-saving vaccines. After receiving an assurance that Jakarta would have access to affordable vaccines, Indonesia finally sent 12 samples to a World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory last Friday after hanging on to them since August. The situation worsened last week after it emerged that Siti Fadilah Supari, Indonesia's health minister, had accused the United States in a new book she has written of trying to use the material to create a biological weapon.

DNC to File FEC Complaint Over Over McCain Funding Controversy 24 Feb 2008 The Democratic National Committee will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission challenging Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) attempt to withdraw from the presidential matching-fund system. McCain wants to exit from the matching-fund system in order to get out from under the primary spending limit of $54 million, even though in January he used the promise of federal matching funds to get a $1 million bank loan when his campaign ran into financial difficulties prior to the Super Tuesday primary contests.

The Candidates on Nader 24 Feb 2008 Speaking to reporters on board her campaign plane, Hillary Clinton expressed surprise at the news that Ralph Nader planned to run. "Well, you know his being on the Green Party prevented Al Gore from being the greenest president we've ever had," Mrs. Clinton said. "And I think that’s really unfortunate." After Mr. Nader criticized Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" today, Mr. Obama responded: "He thought that there was no difference between Al Gore and George Bush, and eight years later, I think people realize that Ralph did not know what he was talking about..."

Ralph Nader joins US presidential race 24 Feb 2008 'Independent' candidate Ralph Nader has announced that he is entering the US presidential race, a move which many Democrats fear could deprive their party of vital votes. [Remember when Barf Nadir claimed that there was 'no difference' between Bush and Gore? Hmm, 1.1 million dead Iraqis or the polar bear might disagree, but it's too late to ask them - they're all dead. I wonder how much the GOP is paying Nadir to run this time?]

Nader defends GOP cash --Candidate says he's keeping money 10 Jul 2004 Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe and former presidential candidate Howard Dean called for Ralph Nader to return donations from key Republican boosters -- but the independent presidential candidate GOP troll insisted Friday he would not give in to what he called a Democratic "smear'' effort. Nader, in what has become a public disagreement with his vice presidential candidate, Peter Camejo, strongly denied the recent windfall of donations from deep-pocketed Republicans was part of a GOP effort to wound Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. "These men are traditional Republican donors who want to see Bush kept in office," McAuliffe said in an interview Friday with The Chronicle. The Chronicle analysis also showed that $23,000 of about $275,000 Nader had raised in $1,000 checks or more had come from Republicans who also contributed to the Bush-Cheney re-[s]election effort or other Republican Party committees.

GOP Group to Air Pro-Nader TV Ads 27 Oct 2000 Hoping to boost Ralph Nader in states where he is threatening to hurt Al Gore, a Republican group is launching TV ads featuring Nader attacking the vice president. The ads by the Republican Leadership Council will begin airing Monday in Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington, all states that are part of Gore's base and where Nader is polling well. The group plans to spend more than $100,000 at first and hopes to raise more over the weekend. While the ads boost Nader, they are a clear attempt to help Bush.

Mexican leftists vow to blockade airports, highways if oil opened to private investment [We need to get started *here.*] 24 Feb 2008 Thousands of followers of a former leftist presidential candidate [Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador] vowed on Sunday to close highways, airports and government buildings across Mexico if the legislature opens the country's state oil industry to private investment.

U.S. gasoline prices rise to $3.10 a gallon: survey 24 Feb 2008 The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose in the last two weeks, tracking a rise in crude oil prices, according to a nationwide survey. [Yeah, too bad the pre-election gas sale isn't here yet.]

Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean 24 Feb 2008 UK scientists working in Antarctica have found some of the clearest evidence yet of instabilities in the ice of part of West Antarctica. If the trend continues, they say, it could lead to a significant rise in global sea level. Julian Scott's sensational finding this season is that it now seems to have accelerated by 7% in a single season, sending more and more ice into the ocean.

Zoo in court row over polar bear's name 23 Feb 2008 A zoo hoping to cash in on its new polar bear cub has asked a court to intervene after a sweet firm got in first to trademark the animal’s name. The argument started when a Bavarian sweet manufacturer registered the name Flocke - meaning snowflake - on January 13, five days before the city of Nuremburg announced that it had chosen the same name for a new polar bear cub born at its zoo.


Oil giants are poised to move into Basra --It is thought that Shell, Exxon Mobil and dozens of others are watching closely. 24 Feb 2008 Western oil giants are poised to enter southern Iraq to tap the country's vast reserves, despite the ongoing threat of violence, according to Gordon Brown's business emissary to the country. Michael Wareing, who heads the new Basra Development Commission, acknowledged that there would be concerns among Iraqis about multinationals exploiting natural resources.

The three trillion dollar war --The cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have grown to staggering proportions By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes 23 Feb 2008 The cost of direct US military operations - not even including long-term costs such as taking care of wounded veterans - already exceeds the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War. And, even in the best case scenario, these costs are projected to be almost ten times the cost of the first Gulf War, almost a third more than the cost of the Vietnam War, and twice that of the First World War.

Iraq warns Turks to respect its borders as fighting intensifies 24 Feb 2008 Fighting between Turkish troops and Kurdish PKK guerrillas in northern Iraq intensified yesterday, the third day of Turkey's largest incursion into the region since Saddam Hussein's removal in 2003.

The new invasion of Iraq --Up to 10,000 Turkish troops launch an incursion 23 Feb 2008 A new crisis has exploded in Iraq after Turkish troops, supported by attack planes and Cobra helicopters, yesterday launched a major ground offensive into Iraqi Kurdistan.

Blasts strike Baghdad's Green Zone --The attack on the U.S-protected enclave is the fourth such incident in a week and casts doubt on a Shiite militia's recently renewed cease-fire. 23 Feb 2008 A barrage of rockets or mortar rounds hit the fortified Green Zone today, casting doubt on a Shiite militia cease-fire less than 24 hours after it was renewed. The early-morning blasts resonated across the U.S.-protected enclave in Baghdad, which is home to Iraqi government offices, the U.S. Embassy and military bases.

12 killed in Iraq bombings 23 Feb 2008 [Blackwater's] Bombs, including one hidden under a horse-drawn cart, struck targets in Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 12 people. Meanwhile, the US military said Iraqi soldiers discovered 15 bodies near the town of Kazim Al Isrhail, 30km north-east of Baquba.

Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan remains missing 23 Feb 2008 Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Azizuddin has gone missing for 13 days but the government believes the missing diplomat is safe and alive, foreign office spokesman said Saturday.

Roadside bombing kills 7 Afghans in E Afghanistan 23 Feb 2008 Seven Afghan employees of a local road construction company were killed when their vehicle hit mines Saturday morning in eastern Afghan province of Kunar, a police officer said.

U.S. Seeks Support For Sanctioning Iran 23 Feb 2008 The Bush regime stepped up its campaign for tougher sanctions against Iran yesterday after a U.N. report concluded that Tehran had not fully come clean about past activities that U.S. experts say were part of a secret nuclear weapons program.

Australia, U.S. affirm alliance 23 Feb 2008 Australia and the United States reaffirmed their strong alliance on Saturday, saying their security and defense partnership would not change with the election of Canberra's new government and plans for a partial withdrawal from Iraq.

$1.2B B-2 stealth bomber crashes in Guam 23 Feb 2008 A B-2 stealth bomber plunged to the ground shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on Saturday, the first time one crashed, but both pilots ejected safely, Air Force officials said.

Government wants personal details of every traveller --Phone numbers and credit card data to be collected under expanded EU plan 23 Feb 2008 Airline passengers will be monitored at every stage of their journey under the proposals. The data would be stored for 13 years and used to "profile" suspects. Under a controversial agreement reached last summer with the US department of homeland security, the EU already supplies the same information [19 pieces] to Washington for all passengers flying between Europe and the US. But Britain wants the system extended to sea and rail travel, to be applied to domestic flights and those between EU countries.

Terror control orders to continue 21 Feb 2008 Control orders for terrorist suspects will continue despite warnings the system could create "Guantanamo-style martyrs".

Mandatory DNA database rejected 23 Feb 2008 Calls to put the DNA of every UK resident on a national database are impractical, the government has said. The DNA database, which covers England and Wales, currently contains around 4.5m profiles - routinely taken from criminal suspects after most arrests.

Bush Says Companies Need the Protection of the Wiretapping Law 23 Feb 2008 President [sic] George W. Bush called on Congress to quickly pass wiretapping legislation when it returns from a recess on Feb. 25, saying that telecommunications companies need the law to help the government monitor foreign terrorists domestic oppostion. Bush, in his radio address, said lawmakers who oppose the legislation are favoring trial lawyers over national security. "Terrorists [Blackwater] are planning the next attack on America,'' Bush said. "To protect America from such attacks, we must protect our telecommunications companies from abusive lawsuits.''

Spy Law's Lapse Doesn't Hurt National Security, Conyers Says 23 Feb 2008 The lapse of a law that allows American spy agencies to intercept the U.S. phone calls and e- mails of suspected 'foreign terrorists' doesn't hinder intelligence gathering or endanger national security, Representative John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said.

Second Justice Dept. Waterboarding Probe Revealed 22 Feb 2008 An internal watchdog office at the Justice Department is investigating whether Bush administration attorneys violated professional standards by issuing legal opinions that authorized the CIA to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques torture, officials disclosed today. The probe is the second publicly disclosed Justice investigation related to the CIA's use of waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning that is considered torture by most human rights groups and legal scholars.

Waterboarding Focus of Justice Dept. Inquiry 23 Feb 2008 The Justice Department revealed Friday that its internal ethics office was investigating the department’s legal approval for waterboarding of 'Qaeda' suspects by the Central Intelligence Agency and was likely to make public an unclassified version of its report.

EU Urges Poland, Romania to Shed Light on CIA Jails Affair 23 Feb 2008 Britain's admission that the US used its territory to transfer terror suspects has rekindled debate in Europe over secret renditions. The EU is urging Romania and Poland to respond to charges that they hosted CIA jails.

Texans protest against planned NAFTA superhighway 21 Feb 2008 As Senators Clinton and Obama prepared to debate in their state, Texans were marching in protest over the NAFTA superhighway known as the Trans-Texas Corridor, or I-69, the primary purpose of which is to speed the delivery of goods coming in from Mexico to proposed inland ports. With no public approval required to begin construction, repeated calls against the TTC at public meetings, with seldom a word of support, may easily go unheeded. [LOL, can you hear us now?]

Clinton: Obama Mailings Are Deceptive 23 Feb 2008 Democrat Hillary Clinton said Saturday that a pair of mailings sent to voters by rival Barack Obama's campaign criticizing her health care plan and trade views are false, misleading and a betrayal of his pledge to practice a new style of politics. "Shame on you, Barack Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public -- that's what I expect from you," Clinton said angrily, waving the mailings in the air. "Meet me in Ohio, and let's have a debate about your tactics," she added.

"Shame on you," Clinton tells Obama 23 Feb 2008 Hillary Clinton slammed rival Barack Obama on Saturday for campaign leaflets on her health-care plan that she called "blatantly false" and accused him of using Republican tactics in their contest for the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination. "Shame on you, Barack Obama," Clinton said, speaking to reporters after a rally in Ohio, a state that is key to her struggling campaign.

"Was Vicki there? Probably." McCain Disputed On 1999 Meeting --Broadcaster Recalls Urging FCC Contact 23 Feb 2008 Broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson's behalf. Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson's quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station. Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain's office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. "Was Vicki there? Probably," Paxson said in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday.

Top McCain Adviser Says He Does Much Of His Lobbying From Aboard Straight Talk Express! By Greg Sargent 22 Feb 2008 Today's Washington Post piece all about the fact that John McCain is surrounded by lobbyists on his campaign has gotten lots of attention today... But the piece has a lovely and very revealing little nugget buried in it that has passed unnoticed. It turns out that one of McCain's top advisers, lobbyist Charlie Black, does lots of his lobbying from the Straight Talk Express. From aboard the bus itself... Black said he does a lot of his work by telephone from McCain's Straight Talk Express bus.

A Hole in McCain's Defense? An apparent contradiction in his response to lobbyist story. 22 Feb 2008 A sworn deposition that Sen. John McCain gave in a lawsuit more than five years ago appears to contradict one part of a sweeping denial that his campaign issued this week to rebut a New York Times story about his ties to a Washington lobbyist... But McCain's flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself.

Arizona's Rep. Renzi Is Indicted In Land Deal --Co-chair of John McCain's Arizona campaign faces 35-count indictment 23 Feb 2008 Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) used his position in Congress to influence a federal land-exchange deal, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs, according to an indictment released yesterday. The 35-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Tucson also accuses Renzi of separately embezzling corporate funds to bankroll his first House campaign.

Prosecutors Say Craig Plea Should Stand 23 Feb 2008 Prosecutors argued Friday that Sen. Larry Craig's appeal misinterprets the disorderly conduct law and his guilty plea in a bathroom sex sting should stand. The Idaho Republican asked the Minnesota Court of Appeals last month to let him withdraw his guilty plea.

Panel says pull your gun if you feel endangered 22 Feb 2008 (AZ) A House panel voted Thursday to let people pull out their guns without fear of winding up in jail if they believe they are in danger. HB 2629 would provide immunity from prosecution for anyone engaged in "defensive display" of a firearm.

Beyond Net neutrality By David Weinberger 23 Feb 2008 When the Federal Communications Commission meets on Monday at Harvard University to investigate Comcast's alleged blocking of particular types of Internet traffic, supporters of an open Internet will be out in force arguing for Net neutrality. Good. Net neutrality is vital. However, we must not let ourselves be distracted from the bigger issue: the struggle to preserve the open Net itself.

French judges open manslaughter probe over vaccinations -source 01 Feb 2008 French authorities have opened a formal investigation into two managers from drugs groups GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur over a vaccination campaign in the 1990s, a judicial source said late on Thursday. Judge Marie-Odile Bertella-Geffroy also opened an investigation for manslaughter against Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a joint venture between Sanofi Aventis and Merck, the same source said.

State AG sues two drug companies 22 Feb 2008 (MT) Attorney General Mike McGrath has sued two national pharmaceutical companies and accused them of manufacturing certain prescription drugs that were "in defective condition and unreasonably dangerous." McGrath filed the complaint in state district court in Helena Wednesday against Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP over their prescription drugs Risperdal and Seroquel, respectively.

Indonesia resumes bird flu samples to WHO: official 22 Feb 2008 Indonesia sent 12 bird flu samples to a World Health Organisation laboratory this week for the first time since August 2007, and will try to continue doing so, a health ministry official said Friday. Indonesia, which is the nation hardest hit by bird flu, had halted sharing samples in December 2006, saying it feared multinational drug companies could use them to develop vaccines that were not affordable for poor countries [AND that the US might use the bird flu virus to develop biological weapons. See: US involved in bird flu conspiracy: Indonesia 20 Feb 2008.]

Gray wolf to be taken off endangered list 21 Feb 2008 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list, a ruling environmentalists vowed to appeal. Michael Robinson, a wolf expert with the Center for Biological Diversity, a national conservation group, said it will sue to block the decision. Suzanne Stone, a spokeswoman for Defenders of Wildlife in Boise, sounded dejected over the fate of the wolves.


UK troops accused of executions and torture in Iraq 22 Feb 2008 Lawyers for five Iraqis have accused British soldiers of mass executions and torture and called for a police investigation into an "atrocious episode" in British army history. Phil Shiner and Martyn Day produced statements on Friday from five men who say they were detained by British forces after a battle in southern Iraq in May 2004. The men, who were blindfolded and bound, said their captors repeatedly beat and abused them, including forcing them to strip naked. While detained, they said they heard the systematic torture and execution of up to 20 other prisoners.

British troops executed 20 captives in southern Iraq, say lawyers 22 Feb 2008 British troops may have executed up to 20 captives in southern Iraq in 2004, human rights lawyers claimed today. A dossier of evidence from men taken captive after a gun battle near the Iraqi town of Majat-al-Kabir in May 2004 also suggested soldiers tortured and mutilated captives.

Inside the world of war profiteers --From prostitutes to Super bowl tickets, a federal probe reveals how contractors in Iraq cheated the U.S. 21 Feb 2008 (IL) A common thread runs through these cases and other KBR scandals in Iraq, from allegations the firm failed to protect employees sexually assaulted by co-workers to findings that it charged $45 per can of soda: The Pentagon has outsourced crucial troop support jobs while slashing the number of government contract watchdogs. The dollar value of Army contracts quadrupled from $23.3 billion in 1992 to $100.6 billion in 2006, according to a recent report by a Pentagon panel.

Oil rises near $99 on Iraq [Of course, that headline could not stand. It now reads, 'Oil rises near $99 on colder U.S. weather,' LOL.] 22 Feb 2008 Oil rose to near $99 a barrel on Friday as an incursion into Iraq by Turkish troops and cold weather in the U.S. Northeast outweighed concerns about mounting problems in the U.S. economy. [See: Exxon-Mobil Makes $75,000 a Minute By Young Turks 26 Jan 2008 In the midst of record profits for oil companies we are giving them a $14 billion subsidy.]

Turkish forces enter northern Iraq 22 Feb 2008 The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, today told Turkey not to "violate" the country after Turkish troops entered northern Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels. Several hundred troops – some reports claimed thousands - crossed the border after fighter jets and heavy artillery bombed Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) forces.

Turkey army launches land offensive into Iraq 22 Feb 2008 Turkish ground troops crossed into northern Iraq in their hunt for Kurdish PKK rebels, the military said on Friday, describing the start of a campaign one report said could last 15 days.

EU assembly must reopen "rendition" inquiry 22 Feb 2008 The European Parliament must reopen its inquiry into secret CIA transfers of terrorism suspects in Europe after Britain's admission that the United States used its territory in the so-called renditions, an EU lawmaker said.

Official apology after CIA 'torture' jets used UK base 22 Feb 2008 A British territory in the Indian Ocean was used for American "torture" flights, despite categorical denials of Britain's involvement from both Tony Blair and Jack Straw, the Government admitted yesterday.

Guantanamo Bay ex-prosecutor to testify for Hamdan defense 21 Feb 2008 Former Guantanamo Bay chief military prosecutor Col. Morris Davis told AP Thursday that he has agreed to appear as a defense witness in the military commission trial of Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan. In October 2007, Davis resigned from his position at Guantanamo Bay, saying that politics were interfering with the prosecutions process. In a Wednesday interview with The Nation, Morris alleged that Pentagon general counsel William Haynes told him that none of the detainees could be acquitted, implying that the tribunal process may be rigged [just like the US 'election' process]. Hamdan's lawyers plan to argue at a preliminary hearing in April that this alleged political interference violates the rules governing war crimes trials established by the 2006 Military Commissions Act.

Terror suspect gains a witness --Military official to testify for defense 22 Feb 2008 In a stunning turnaround, the former chief military prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay said Thursday he would be a defense witness for the driver of Osama bin Laden. "I'm more than happy to testify," Air Force Col. Morris Davis said by phone from Washington, calling it "an opportunity to tell the truth." Davis resigned in October, alleging political interference in the U.S. military tribunals. Davis alleges, among other things, that Pentagon general counsel William Haynes said in 2005 that any acquittals of terrorism suspects at Guantánamo would make the United States look bad. "He said 'We can't have acquittals, we've got to have convictions,' " Davis recalled.

Ex-prosecutor: Guantanamo trials may be rigged 20 Feb 2008 The former chief U.S. prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions suggests in a published report that upcoming detainee trials may be rigged. The Pentagon announced Feb. 11 it was charging six Guantanamo detainees -- including alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- with war crimes, and was seeking the death penalty in all the cases. In an interview in Wednesday, the former prosecutor, retired Col. Morris Davis, said Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes told him there could not be any acquittals.

Africa Command to Stay in Stuttgart 21 Feb 2008 With the establishment of a military command responsible for Africa, the US was hoping to promote peace and stability on the continent. The problem is, the Africans want no part of the American military.

U.S. orders diplomats to leave Serbia 22 Feb 2008 The State Department on Friday ordered non-essential diplomats and the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade to leave Serbia, following an attack on the compound.

Navy Research Paper: 'Disrupt Economies' with Man-Made 'Floods,' 'Droughts' [Or, as in the case of New Orleans, follow Bush's Baghdad model: Destroy the city (blow the levees, flood poor areas); give billions to Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater to 'rebuild' and 'secure' that which they destroyed; and with the help of useless DemocRATic leadership, turn the city from blue to red. Mission accomplished. --LRP] 11 Feb 2008 A recently-unearthed U.S. Navy research project calls for creating mad-made floods and droughts to "disrupt [the] economy" of an enemy state. "Weather modification was used successfully in Viet Nam to (among other things) hinder and impede the movement of personnel and material from North Viet Nam to South Viet Nam," notes a Naval Air Warfare Weapons Division - China Lake research proposal, released last month through the Freedom of Information Act.

A Call for Party Unity --The Rec Report By Michael Rectenwald 22 Feb 2008 Hillary Clinton is behind in the race for the Democratic nomination. She had the least to gain by making a peace offering. But she did just that. In her answer to the final debate question, she gave a clear indication that she intends to put party unity and the good of the nation above winning. She did this by leaving out real attacks and offering the olive branch to Barack Obama. I believe she decided to give it her all, and to let go of the results. Some cynics may regard this as just another Clinton ploy. But I think they would be wrong to do so.

Officer in Clinton motorcade killed in accident 22 Feb 2008 A Dallas police officer riding in Hillary Clinton's motorcade was killed in a road accident on Friday while escorting the Democratic presidential contender to a rally ahead of the March 4 Texas primary.

Clinton Says Debate Remark Not Meant as Farewell 22 Feb 2008 With the mood of her campaign darkened by the death of a motorcycle officer escorting her motorcade Friday, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton vowed to carry on her campaign despite reflective remarks in a debate Thursday night that some people took as a valedictory to her long effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton manages only a draw in debate 22 Feb 2008 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton needed to do more than hold her own in Thursday's debate with rival Sen. Barack Obama. She needed a U-turn heading into the Ohio and Texas primaries, just 12 days away. Anything short of a 5- to 7-point win in both states, and even her most ardent backers say her hopes for the presidency will vanish.

That Obama Glow --The Nuclear Industry's Golden Child By Joshua Frank 22 Feb 2008 Obama's campaign wallet, while rich with millions from small online donations, is also bulging from $227,000 in contributions given by employees of Exelon [the nation's largest nuclear power plant operator]. Two of Obama's largest campaign fundraisers include Frank M. Clark and John W. Rogers Jr., both top Exelon officials. Even Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod, has done consulting work for the company... In 2005 Obama also voted in favor of Bush's Energy Plan which included many favors for Bush's oil cartel connections. To top it off Obama even opposed a House bill that would have radically altered the disastrous 1872 Mining Law that continues to allow companies to mine our public lands while they skate the costs of cleaning up their environmental wreckage.

McCain: I Could Send U.S. Troops 'Anywhere' For 'A Long Period of Time' By Matt 20 Feb 2008 On ABC’s 'Good Morning America' today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was asked if he has "regrets" about "saying that the U.S. could be in Iraq for a hundred years." McCain said he didn’t because -- in his mind -- the U.S. could have a military presence "anywhere" for a long period of time.

FEC Warns McCain on Campaign Spending 22 Feb 2008 The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McLunatic yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall.

The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists 22 Feb 2008 For years, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has railed against lobbyists and the influence of "special interests" in Washington... But when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried.

Why John McCain Owes The New York Times a Thank You Card By Marc Cooper 21 Feb 2008 The Republican Right is already howling over the bombshell dropped by The New York Times on John McCain, the GOP's all-but-official nominee. It's an outrage, they say. A deliberate torpedo. A liberal media smear. Sorry, but these guys have got it backwards. The Times, in fact, couldn't have found a moment more favorable for Johnny Mack to let this fearsome cat out of the bag. If McCain could have personally chosen when to have this story break, it would have been right about now.

McCain, 71, faces age questions in White House bid 22 Fed 2008 At 71, leading Republican presidential contender John McLunatic must convince voters that despite his age he is up to the rigors of what is often called the world's toughest job.

Rick Renzi, Republican Congressman, Indicted by U.S. 22 Feb 2008 Representative Rick Renzi, a Republican from Arizona who isn't seeking re-election, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in an alleged scheme to profit from a land deal.

Rep. Renzi indicted on fraud, finance charges 22 Feb 2008 Republican Rep. Richard Renzi of Arizona was indicted on 35 criminal counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and official extortion stemming from land deals in his state, Justice Department officials said on Friday.

Ex-Ohio GOP lawmaker Ney in halfway house 21 Feb 2008 Former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney (R), who pleaded guilty in a congressional bribery scandal tied to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has been moved from prison to a halfway house in Cincinnati, according to the federal prisons Web site.

SMU Will Host Bush Presidential Library ['The Pet Goat' needs a whole building?] 22 Feb 2008 Southern Methodist University will be home to George W. Bush's presidential [sic] library, officials formally announced Friday, ending more than a year of negotiations marked by resistance from some faculty and ministers who questioned the deal.

U.S. Investigates Whether Lott Had Role in Mississippi Judge Case --Federal Inquiry Examines Former Senator's Links to a Scruggs Suit Ruling 28 Feb 2008 Federal agents are investigating whether former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott knowingly played a role in an alleged conspiracy in 2006 to influence a Mississippi judge presiding over a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against famed plaintiff attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, according to people familiar with the situation.

Nuclear waste costs U.S. gov't millions 17 Feb 2008 U.S. taxpayers reportedly have already paid hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of nuclear waste from more than 100 reactors that has yet to be disposed. The federal government has already paid the utilities $342 million, a figure expected to balloon to $11 billion in the coming years, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Did you ever wonder why it takes the USDA so long to issue recalls about contaminated beef? By Mike Adams 22 Feb 2008 Although the mainstream media will never report this fact, it's because the USDA is headed by top ex-beef industry leaders who now use the USDA as a protection racket to pump up the beef industry and reduce the cost of recalls. How do they reduce the cost of recalls? It's simple: they wait until most of the beef has already been eaten by consumers before issuing the recall. That way, there's nothing left to return, and a beef recall of 143 million pounds actually results in only around 5 million pounds of actual beef being reclaimed and destroyed. This is the USDA-sponsored beef industry scam that's now being perpetrated on the American people.

Drug lobby spent $22 million in '07 --25% boost in funding helped the industry stave off for now array of unfriendly measures 22 Feb 2008 The pharmaceutical industry's main trade group spent more than $22 million lobbying the federal government in 2007, a 25 percent boost from the year before that paid off on some key issues. Proposals aimed at lowering drug prices and restricting industry advertising fell by the wayside in Congress.

'Justices' Shield Medical Devices From Lawsuits 21 Feb 2008 Makers of medical devices like implantable defibrillators or breast implants are immune from liability for personal injuries as long as the Food and Drug Administration approved the device before it was marketed and it meets the agency’s specifications, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday. The 8-to-1 decision was a victory for the Bush regime, which for years has sought broad authority to pre-empt tougher state regulation.

Worldwide shortage of rice shoots prices soaring 21 Feb 2008 As the price of rice climbs across South Asia, farmers and millers in Thailand are sitting on stocks and waiting for it to rise even further, said a top rice exporter in Bangkok. The exporter, who requested anonymity, told The Straits Times: 'In my 25 years of trading, I have never seen such a bad position.'

One in 10 home loans is under water: 22 Feb 2008 One-tenth of U.S. homeowners hold mortgages that are larger than the worth of their homes, Moody's said on Friday. Nearly 8.8 million homeowners, or 10.3 percent, are in over their heads, its chief economist, Mark Zandi, estimates.

Duke Lacrosse Players Sue School, City 21 Feb 2008 More than three dozen current and former Duke lacrosse players filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming they suffered emotional distress during the furor over the now-discredited rape case against three of their teammates.

Smith, Carols in Nike Olympic year celebration of Black History Month 22 Feb 2008 Tommie Smith and John Carlos were at the Black National Theatre in Harlem on Wednesday... Nike chose six key Olympic moments to celebrate; Smith’s and Carlos’s moment on the victory stand at the 1968 Mexico City Games was one of the six. Forty years ago, Smith won a gold medal and Carlos a bronze in the 200-meter race. They mounted the victory stand, raised clenched fists, and stood with heads bowed, wearing black socks and no shoes during the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem. For many of us, their silent demonstration -- one part human rights, one part black power -- is an enduring symbol of resistance and righteous indignation.


Britain regrets that U.S. "torture flights" landed on British territory 22 Feb 2008 British Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted on Thursday that two U.S. "torture flights" did land on British territory in 2002, contrary to previous reports. Miliband told the House of Commons that he was "very sorry indeed" to have to say previous denials made in "good faith" were now having to be corrected.

Miliband admits US rendition flights stopped on UK soil 21 Feb 2008 Britain acknowledged today for the first time that US planes on "extraordinary rendition" flights stopped on British soil twice. The admission came from the foreign secretary, David Miliband, who apologised to MPs for incorrect information given by his predecessor, Jack Straw, and the former prime minister Tony Blair.

British airport used for US rendition flights 21 Feb 2008 A British overseas base was used for American "torture" flights the Government has been forced to admit, despite categorical denials of British involvement from both Tony Blair and Jack Straw. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, was forced to apologise to MPs and Gordon Brown said he shared the "disappointment with what has happened."

David Miliband's statement --Full text of the foreign secretary's statement to the House of Commons on US rendition flights 21 Feb 2008

Ex-Guantanamo captive 'who was tortured' 21 Feb 2008 Iraqi born businessman Bisher al-Rawi claims he was beaten and interrogated for four years after being arrested and flown to Afghanistan, then Guantanamo Bay.

US military says detainee died at coalition medical facility in Iraq 20 Feb 2008 A prisoner died Wednesday after being transported to a 'coalition' medical facility, the U.S. military said. The prisoner was taken to the facility on Tuesday for medical assistance and died the next day, according to a statement. The cause of death was under investigation.

U.S. Payments to Pakistan Face New Scrutiny --Little Accounting of Monthly $80 Million Bribe, Part of US 'Coalition Support Fund' 21 Feb 2008 Once a month, Pakistan's Defense Ministry delivers 15 to 20 pages of spreadsheets to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. They list costs for feeding, clothing, billeting and maintaining 80,000 to 100,000 Pakistani troops along the Afghan border. No receipts are attached. In response, the Defense Department has disbursed about $80 million monthly, or roughly $1 billion a year for the past six years.

How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret --Concern over nuclear arsenal removed from Iraq dossier 21 Feb 2008 The full extent of government anxiety about the state of British-Israel relations can be exposed for the first time today in a secret document seen by the Guardian. The document reveals how the Foreign Office successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel's nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN's authority on weapons of mass destruction. The dossier was made public this week, but the Foreign Office succeeded before a tribunal in having the handwritten mention of Israel kept secret.

Baghdad International Airport rocketed-source 20 Feb 2008 A source from the Iraqi interior ministry said five Katyusha rockets on Wednesday afternoon fell onto Baghdad International Airport west of the Iraqi capital, while an MNF-I spokesman said he had "no information" on the attack.

Iraqi minister injured in roadside bombing 20 Feb 2008 An Iraqi government minister and two of his bodyguards have been wounded in a roadside bomb explosion in Baghdad. Samir al-Attar, deputy Minister of Science and Technology, was driving through the eastern neighborhood of Zayouna when an explosion occurred near his two-vehicle convoy, the Kuwait News Agency KUNA reported Wednesday.

Suicide bombing kills 7, injures 17 in Muqdadiya 20 Feb 2008 At least seven civilians were killed and 17 more were wounded on Wednesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in central Muqdadiya, a security source said.

UK soldiers hurt in Basra blasts 21 Feb 2008 British soldiers in Iraq were injured when their convoy was attacked during a routine patrol in Basra, the Ministry of Defence has said.

U.S. now unsure if Iraq bombers mentally handicapped 21 Feb 2008 The U.S. military conceded on Thursday it did not know if two women who carried out bombings in Baghdad that killed almost 100 people were mentally handicapped, casting doubt on earlier assertions. [Right, they were just run-of-the-mill Blackwater bombings.]

Australian to withdraw combat troops from S Iraq 20 Feb 2008 Australia is planning to withdraw its 550 combat troops based in southern Iraq, the country's military chief said Wednesday.

Pause in Iraq? Try Permanent Bases in the Region By William M. Arkin 21 Feb 2008 The Air Force and Navy, meanwhile, have set up additional permanent bases in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman... Tens of billions have been plowed into the American infrastructure... When a war with Iran loomed and World War III seemed to be gaining traction in the Bush administration, this entire base structure was seen as the "build-up" for the next war.

Harper unveils new Afghan motion with 2011 end date 21 Feb 2008 Prime Minister Stephen Harper has unveiled a new motion with a hard end date of 2011 for Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, a move aimed at bridging the gap between the Conservatives and Liberals.

U.S. senators forced to make emergency landing in Afghanistan 21 Feb 2008 A helicopter carrying three U.S. senators was forced to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan Thursday, military and congressional sources tell CNN. The military helicopter carrying Democratic Sens. Joseph Biden (DE) and John Kerry (MA), and Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel (NE) had to land in the mountains because of a snowstorm, said Elizabeth Alexander, a spokeswoman for Biden.

1 British soldier killed, 1 wounded in Afghanistan 21 Feb 2008 An explosion has killed one British soldier and wounded another while they were on patrol in southern Afghanistan. Britain's Ministry of Defence said the blast occurred on Wednesday as the patrol was trying to disrupt Taliban activity in Helmand province.

U.S. shot raises tensions and worries over satellites 21 Feb 2008 The shot that slammed into a crippled U.S. spy satellite Wednesday has raised fears of a new arms race in the heavens and increased tensions on Earth.

Military Says Missile Hit Spy Satellite --Result of Strike Still Being Determined 20 Feb 2008 A missile launched from a Navy ship struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on Wednesday, the Pentagon said. It was not clear whether the operation succeeded in its main goal of destroying a tank aboard the satellite that carried a toxic fuel.

Serbian Rioters Storm, Set Fire to U.S. Embassy 21 Feb 2008 Serbian rioters set the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade afire, leaving a charred body inside as thousands of people rallied in a government-backed protest of Kosovo's secession from the Balkan state.

U.S. says charred body found in Belgrade embassy 21 Feb 2008 A charred body was found in the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade after protesters smashed their way into the building in anger at Kosovo's independence and set the building on fire, U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Bush: no compromise on phone immunity in spy bill 21 Feb 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush said on Thursday he would not compromise with the Democratic-led Congress on his demand that phone companies that took part in his warrantless domestic spying program be shielded from lawsuits.

Miami police plans urban test of Honeywell's micro-UAV 20 Feb 2008 Police in Miami, Florida want to find out whether a small unmanned air vehicle able to hover and stare can help law enforcement in urban areas. To that end, Miami-Dade Police Department plans a four- to six-month evaluation of Honeywell's ducted-fan Micro Air Vehicle (MAV).

Secret Service Gave Order to Stop Screening Obama Crowd In Dallas --Police concerned about order to stop screening for weapons 21 Feb 2008 Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena. The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security. Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on.

GOP Operative: Rove Sought to Smear Dem --Says Top Bush Adviser Asked Her to Take Compromising Pictures of Alabama Gov. Siegelman 21 Feb 2008 A Republican operative in Alabama says Karl Rove asked her to try to prove the state’s Democratic governor was unfaithful to his wife in an effort to thwart the highly successful politician’s re-election. Rove’s attempt to smear Don Siegelman was part of a Republican campaign to ruin him that finally succeeded in imprisoning him, says the operative, Jill Simpson.

Judge acquits ex-GOP official in phone-jamming 21 Feb 2008 A federal judge on Thursday acquitted former Republican Party official James Tobin in the 2002 Election Day phone-jamming case in New Hampshire, but said the case will return to an appeals court for further review.

John McCain forced to deny romantic link with lobbyist 21 Feb 2008 John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was last night romantically linked to a 40-year-old female political lobbyist [Vicki Iseman] and accused of granting her clients political favours.

McCain's Ties to Lobbyist Worried Aides --Before 2000 Campaign, Advisers Tried to Bar Her 21 Feb 2008 Aides to Sen. John McCain confronted a telecommunications lobbyist in late 1999 and asked her to distance herself from the senator during the presidential campaign he was about to launch, according to one of McCain's longest-serving political strategists.

McCain linked romantically to telecom lobbyist: NYT 21 Feb 2008 Early in Senator John McCain’s first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers. A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself -- instructing staff members to block the woman's access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity. When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement. Mr. McCain, 71, and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, 40, both say they never had a romantic relationship.

Obama wins Democrats Abroad Global Primary 21 Feb 2008 Democrats Abroad declared that Sen. Barack Obama won the Global Primary elections that were hosted by the organization. Obama, D-Ill., won 65 percent of the vote, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., won 32 percent and the other candidates each pulled less than 1 percent of the vote during the Feb. 5-12 voting period, a release said.

As Crucial Tests Loom, Clinton Hits Harder --She Says Obama Isn't Ready to Be President 21 Feb 2008 Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton launched a tough new offensive against Sen. Barack Obama on Wednesday, asserting flatly that her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination is not prepared to serve as commander in chief.

Obama campaign rep on 'Hardball' --An Obama campaign representative, grilled by Chris Matthews on MSNBC's 'Hardball,' is unable to list Obama's 'legislative accomplishments.' Video posted by rfuse33 19 Feb 2008

EU backs first pre-pandemic flu shot from Glaxo 21 Feb 2008 The European Medicines Agency has recommended approval of the first pre-pandemic influenza vaccine, Prepandrix, from GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the London-based watchdog said on Thursday. [See: DoD to 'augment civilian law' during pandemic or bioterror attack --Is Bush is getting ready to play the Bioterror Card?]

A third of recalled beef went to schools --About 20 million pounds of recalled meat was eaten, officials said 21 Feb 2008 More than a third of the 143 million pounds of California beef recalled last week went to school lunch programs, with at least 20 million pounds consumed, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture business said Thursday. [Too bad Bush and Cheney didn't eat every last pound of it!]

Ohio job losses worst since WWII, report says 20 Feb 2008 The more than 209,000 non-farm jobs Ohio lost from 2000 to 2007 comprised the largest proportionate decline in employment since the end of the Great Depression, a national manufacturing trade group said Wednesday. Employment dropped by 3.7 percent, the biggest seven-year drop since the period starting in 1939, near the end of the Depression and including the years the U.S. military absorbed millions of American workers to fight World War II.

Canada's Polar Bears Beset on All Sides 21 Feb 2008 Melting sea ice caused by climate change and government inaction is putting polar bears at extreme risk in Canada as a species over the next 50 years, according to local environmental groups. In northern Canada and Alaska, drilling for potential oil and gas is also drawing criticism from civil society organisations.

Polar Bears Go Hungry as Icy Habitat Melts Away 17 Feb 2008 The iconic animal of the frozen north, the polar bear, is starving to death because climate change is melting the Arctic Ocean sea ice... In the past five years, summer sea ice coverage has declined by 20 percent due to warming temperatures. Although excellent swimmers, the bears are not very good at catching seals in the water, so changes in the ice are making it difficult for these giant bears to survive -- several have recently been found drowned and to have died of starvation.


Clip of FEMA's New Orleans Superdome lockdown, part of Bush's N.O. genocide:

US involved in bird flu conspiracy: Indonesia 20 Feb 2008 (Transcript from AM, Australia's ABC.) Peter Cave: Indonesia's Health Minister has suggested that the United States may be involved in a conspiracy to use the bird flu virus to develop biological weapons. The extraordinary allegation is included in a new book, endorsed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which describes Indonesia’s fight to assert its ownership of its virulent strains of avian influenza. Concerns over that issue prompted Indonesia last year to stop sharing virus samples with the World Health Organization as Jakarta correspondent Geoff Thompson reports. Dr Supari expresses alarm at WHO laboratories sharing bird flu virus data with the United States national laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where nuclear weapons are developed. [See: CLG's Flu 'Oddities'.]

Indonesia accuses US of bird flu plot 20 Feb 2008 The Indonesian Health Minister has said the United States and the World Health Organisation are part of a global conspiracy to profit from the spread of bird flu and the US may use samples to produce biological weapons... In the book, Dr Supari writes that WHO laboratories forwarded influenza viruses to Western companies so they could profit by selling vaccines back to developing countries. Some Indonesian samples had been sent to a US Defence Department laboratory, Dr Supari says, adding that "some of our seed viruses had been in a laboratory known as a facility developing biological weapons in a superpower country".

Reporter Held in Contempt in Anthrax Case 20 Feb 2008 A federal judge found a former reporter for USA Today [Toni Locy] in contempt of court on Tuesday for refusing to name her confidential sources who had discussed a former Army scientist’s possible role in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

'Saboteurs' may have cut undersea internet cables, says UN agency 19 Feb 2008 The specialist team investigating the damage to several undersea internet cables that caused web and telecoms outages across the Middle East and Asia said it could have been an act of [US] sabotage. "We do not want to pre-empt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago," the UN agency's head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.

N.J. College Under Lockdown 20 Feb 2008 St. Peter's College locked down its campus Wednesday after the discovery of a note threatening violence at the northern New Jersey school. Police immediately ordered the campus closed while they began searching each room of each building at the school.

Gunman covered his tracks, cops say --SIM card was removed from his cell phone; hard drive removed from his computer 20 Feb 2008 Police think the graduate student who shot and killed five students last week at Northern Illinois University took steps to thwart investigators trying to figure out why he did it. In addition to removing the hard drive from his laptop computer, Steven Kazmierczak also removed the SIM card -- a key computer chip -- from his cell phone, a police source said. [See: NIU Shooting 'Oddities'.]

Supreme Court to review 'exclusionary rule' on evidence 20 Feb 2008 The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to reconsider the reach of the "exclusionary rule," a doctrine that requires judges to throw out evidence if it was obtained improperly by the police. Several of the court's conservatives, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia, have signaled they would like to rein in this rule.

Australia Confirms Security Order on Ex-Guantanamo Inmate Hicks 19 Feb 2008 An Australian judge confirmed a security order restricting the movements of former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks, while cutting the number of times he must report to police each week and relaxing a curfew.

Iraq war vet faces trial on charge of raping 3-month-old girl 20 Feb 2008 (MI) An ex-Army paratrooper who served two tours of duty in Iraq has been ordered tried on charges of raping and critically injuring a 3-month-old girl. Kirk Coleman is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree child abuse, charges that carry up to life in prison.

Report: Iraq to buy 40 jets from Boeing 19 Feb 2008 Iraq will place an order for 40 Boeing aircraft and for a smaller number from Canada's Bombardier, an Iraqi official said on Tuesday. "We are engaged with the government of Iraq and airline officials to assist them with their fleet renewal plans," said Jim Condelles, a Boeing Co. spokesman in Seattle.

Iraq war bill to top $2 billion 21 Feb 2008 The bill for Australia's involvement in the war in Iraq is set to top $2 billion by 2010, Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston says. Australia is getting ready to withdraw combat troops in southern Iraq by the middle of the year but the cost of the war is still climbing.

Australia troops 'can leave Iraq' 20 Feb 2008 The time has come for Australian combat troops to leave Iraq, the head of the country's armed forces has said.

Iraq: Senior government official wounded in attack on his convoy 20 Feb 2008 A senior official with Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology was injured Wednesday morning when two roadside bombs apparently targeting him detonated as he was driving through eastern Baghdad, police and ministry officials said.

Iraq: 15 Police Killed in Rocket Blast 19 Feb 2008 As many as 15 Iraqi policemen responding to an attack against U.S. bases were killed Tuesday when rockets, set to be launched from the back of a truck, exploded before the officers could defuse them, officials said.

Musharraf says he will not resign 20 Feb 2008 Through a spokesman, President Pervez Musharraf has said he will not resign. The News in Pakistan has quoted the spokesman, major General Qureshi, as saying: 'This is not the election for the President. President Musharraf is already elected for five years.' [Yeah, we couldn't get rid of Dictator Bush either, in 2004 - the second GOP coup d'etat.]

Space War: Satellite 'Kill' Would Prove U.S. Capability 20 Feb 2008 The looming U.S. Navy attempt to shoot down a dying satellite could demonstrate an anti-satellite capability for its missile 'defense' system. A successful kill would mark the first time the United States uses a tactical missile to destroy a spacecraft -- assuming that the ship-based missile defense system can handle the high closing speed of more than 22,000 mph.

Satellite Shoot-Down May Be Delayed By Poor Weather 20 Feb 0208 The planned shoot-down of a broken spy satellite may have to be delayed due to poor weather, a senior U.S. defense official said. A nine-day window opened today for a Navy ship in the Pacific Ocean to launch a Raytheon Co. missile at the 5,000-pound satellite, aiming to destroy it before it crashes to earth carrying 1,000 pounds of deadly fuel.

US declares 1400-mile Pacific sat-shoot exclusion zone 19 Feb 2008 The US military has issued a warning notice barring flights above a large area of the northern Pacific for two and a half hours early on Thursday morning. The stricken spy satellite marked for destruction by US warships will pass over the taped-off area just at this time, indicating that the first shot will take place then.

'I feel that this is even more serious than Watergate' --State Rep. Betty Hall is leading Bush-Cheney impeachment efforts 15 Feb 2008 (NH) For at least one Brookline resident, the last day in office for President [sic] George Bush -- Jan. 20, 2009 -- is not nearly soon enough. So Betty Hall, a long-time state representative, is heading an initiative to have Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney impeached.

NBC reprimands employee for using picture of bin Laden behind Obama story 19 Feb 2008 NBC News said Tuesday it has reprimanded the employee responsible for mistakenly flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden on MSNBC as Chris Matthews talked about Barack Obama. "This mistake was inexcusable," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.

Clinton Says Obama Relies on 'Words' 20 Feb 2008 Ignoring her loss in Wisconsin to rival Barack Obama, Democrat Hillary Clinton pressed her case Tuesday that the Illinois senator offers little more than talk. "It's about picking a president who relies not just on words, but on work, hard work, to get America back to work," Clinton said at a labor rally here. "Someone who's not just in the speeches business."

Obama wins Hawaii caucuses 20 Feb 2008 Maybe they should've called it "Hawaii 10-0," as Sen. Barack Obama now has ten straight wins after besting Sen. Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's Hawaii caucuses.

Obama wins 9th straight in Wisconsin 19 Feb 2008 Wisconsin gave Sen. Barack Obama his ninth straight win over Sen. Hillary Clinton last night, and his native Hawaii was expected to make it 10 in a row before the sun set in the Pacific.

McCain cinches victory in Wisconsin 20 Feb 2008 Republican presidential hopeful John McCain notched a victory tonight in Wisconsin, turning back a spirited effort in the state by Mike Huckabee.

McCain wins Washington state primary 20 Feb 2008 Arizona Senator John McCain won Washington state's Republican primary Tuesday, US media reported.

Bamboozling the American electorate again --Bush-Cheney strategy involves GOP crossover voting to take out Hillary, marketing newcomer Obama, an "independent" ticket, and maybe even martial law By Rosemary Regello 18 Feb 2008 According to an article in Time Magazine, Republican party activists have been organized by the G.O.P. to throw their weight behind Barack Obama, the democratic rival of frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Early in Obama's campaign, top Republican fundraisers flushed his coffers with cash, something the deep pockets hadn't done for any candidate in their own party. With receipts topping $100 million in 2007, the first-term Illinois senator broke the record for contributions.

Defense Contractor Sentenced to 12 Years for Bribery --GOP Campaign Contributor Wilkes Linked to Former Representative Cunningham 20 Feb 2008 Brent R. Wilkes, a California defense contractor and prominent GOP campaign contributor, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison yesterday for lavishing a Republican congressman with money, prostitutes and other bribes in exchange for nearly $90 million in work from the Pentagon. Wilkes, 53, was convicted in November of 13 felony crimes including bribery, conspiracy and fraud for giving the gifts to former representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).

Crude oil trades at record $101/bbl after Fed minutes 20 Feb 2008 Crude oil futures traded at a new record high of $101.27 a barrel on Wednesday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting confirmed the central bank's concerns about both growth and inflation down the line. [See: Exxon-Mobil Makes $75,000 a Minute By Young Turks 26 Jan 2008 In the midst of record profits for oil companies we are giving them a $14 billion subsidy.]

Fed Forecasts Higher Unemployment, Higher Inflation --The Federal Reserve Expects Slower Economic Growth 20 Feb 2008 The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its projection for economic growth this year, citing damage from the double blows of a housing slump and credit crunch. It said it also expects higher unemployment and inflation.

FEMA misspent money from [formaldehyde -laden] trailer sales 19 Feb 2008 The Federal Emergency Management Agency misspent millions of dollars it received from selling used travel trailers, government investigators have found.

US court attacks web freedom --US court attacks web freedom; enjoins out of existence By Stephen Soldz 18 Feb 2008 As of Friday, February 15, those going to have gotten 'Server not found' messages. Today I received a message explaining that a California court has granted an injunction written and requested by Cayman Island’s Bank Julius Baer lawyers... Wikileaks was only given a couple of hours notice "by email" and was not even represented at the hearing where a U.S. judge took such a drastic step attempting to totally shut down an important information outlet.

Click here for the Belgian link to, the whistle-blower website banned in the US

Wal-Mart apologizes to Muslim woman 19 Feb 2008 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. apologized to a Muslim woman who said she was mocked because of her face veil. "Please don't stick me up," a cashier told the shopper on Feb. 2, according to The Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Consequences of GM crop contamination 'are set to worsen' 18 Feb 2008 The consequences of contamination between GM crops and non-GM varieties will be much more serious with the next generation of GM crops, an influential group of US scientists has warned. The consequences of mixing will be much more serious with new crops that are altered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals, the scientists argue. The crops could harm human health and be toxic to wild animals.


Iraq says mentally disabled, beggars will be rounded up and removed from streets 19 Feb 2008 Iraq's government is trying to get beggars and mentally disabled people off the streets of Baghdad. The fear is that these people could be used by 'insurgents' as suicide bombers. [In reality, Blackwater is likely using them for that tactic. Well, I think that's about the final straw for me. Hopefully, the (real) resistance movement in Iraq will overtake their oppressors. --LRP]

Iraq police to round up street beggars 20 Feb 2008 The Iraqi Interior Ministry has ordered police to round up beggars, homeless and mentally disabled people from Baghdad's streets so 'insurgents' can't use them as suicide bombers.

Half of Baghdad without water 15 Feb 2008 Power failures and maintenance have disrupted running water supplies to almost half of the capital, Baghdad, home to nearly 6 million people. A Baghdad Municipality source said the project supplying drinking water to Rasafa, the eastern half of Baghdad, was temporarily idle.

Iraqi Medical System Wrecked by War 18 Feb 2008 Already a troubled system [due to US sanctions], Iraqi medical care has fallen to the brink of collapse since the U.S.-led invasion five years ago.

U.S. troops erect walls in Mosul as inhabitants flee 17 Feb 2008 U.S. and Iraqi troops are carrying out military operations in heavily populated areas of the northern city of Mosul to flush out 'insurgents.' And in their bid they are separating and isolating residential quarters with security barriers and walls making movement rather difficult.

Iraqi police killed defusing rockets 20 Feb 2008 Iraqi officials said 15 policemen were killed and more than 45 wounded in eastern Baghdad as they tried to defuse rockets that had been prepared for launch from the back of a truck. The incident came after rockets were fired at nearby US and Iraqi army bases from the capital's Shi'ite Ubaidi district.

Rocket fire kills five people at U.S base in Iraq 19 Feb 2008 At least five people have been killed and 16 wounded, including two U.S soldiers, in a barrage of rockets on a U.S military base in Baghdad. 'Insurgents' fired a series of rockets at the Victory [sic] Base Complex in southwestern Baghdad Monday afternoon.

Iraqi woman killed in Baghdad bomb explosion 19 Feb 2008 An Iraqi woman was killed and two people were wounded in a bomb explosion in northern Baghdad on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry source said.

Toll from Iraq attacks rises to eight 17 Feb 2008 Death toll from attacks in Iraq on Sunday, including a suicide bombing attack in Baghdad, rose to eight, sources with Interior Ministry and police said.

Forging a negotiated path to Iraq's future By Edward M. Kennedy 19 Feb 2008 The Bush administration is moving forward on negotiations to sign a permanent, long-term agreement with the government of Iraq on the role of the US military in future operations, and an agreement is expected to be concluded by mid-July... . It's wrong for President [sic] Bush to try to bind the next president and lock the nation indefinitely into the endless quagmire that the Iraq war has become.

US warships positioning for satellite shoot down 20 Feb 2008 A US warship is moving into position to try to shoot down a defunct US spy satellite as early as Wednesday before it tumbles into the Earth's atmosphere, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. Armed with two specially modified interceptor missiles, the USS Lake Erie has been tasked to intercept the satellite over the Pacific and shoot it down into the ocean, the officials said, adding that the Aegis cruiser is already in waters off Hawaii.

Russian TV suggests US involved in drug-trafficking from Afghanistan 10 Feb 2008 Russian state[as opposed to corporate]-controlled Channel One TV has broadcast a report containing allegations that US forces are involved in drug-trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe. It also highlighted the problem of drug abuse in the British army.

The new Auschwitz --In addition to a bumper opium harvest, the US is reaping the whirlwind in Afghanistan By Eric Walberg 14 Feb 2008 According to Gideon Polya, based on UNESCO data, the US invasion of Afghanistan has led to as many as 6.6 million unnecessary deaths. According to Washburn University law professor Liaquat Ali Khan, the "crime of genocide applies to the intentional killings that NATO troops commit on a weekly basis in the poor villages and mute mountains of Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban." The occupation forces, which ironically include former Axis powers Germany and Japan, have created the New Auschwitz.

Unilateral Strike Called a Model For U.S. Operations in Pakistan 19 Feb 2008 In the predawn hours of Jan. 29, a CIA Predator aircraft flew in a slow arc above the Pakistani town of Mir Ali. The drone's operator clicked a computer mouse and sent the first of two Hellfire missiles hurtling toward a cluster of mud-brick buildings a few miles from the town center... Having requested the Pakistani government's official permission for such strikes [war crimes] on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval.

Pakistani Voters Defeat Party of Musharraf 19 Feb 2008 Pakistanis dealt a crushing defeat to President Pervez Musharraf in parliamentary elections on Monday, in what government and opposition politicians said was a firm rejection of his policies since 2001 and those of his close ally, the United States.

Ex-ISI chief foresees Iran-like revolution in Pakistan 18 Feb 2008 Former chief of Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has said "an Iran-like revolution" is possible in the country if President Pervez Musharraf does not step down immediately.

U.S. main cause of global terrorism: official 19 Feb 2008 The secretary of the Human Rights Committee of Iran’s Judiciary [Mohammad-Javad Larijani] has characterized the U.S. as the main cause of terrorism in the world.

Iran opens its 1st oil products bourse 17 Feb 2008 Iran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country's oil ministry said.

Ex-Israeli Generals Denounce Checkpoints 19 Feb 2008 A group of retired Israeli generals has launched a campaign urging the army to remove West Bank roadblocks, warning on Wednesday that the travel restrictions sow Palestinian hatred of Israel and stymie the peace process. The 12 top former commanders say the hundreds of checkpoints dotting the West Bank are excessive and other military means can be used to prevent suicide bombings in Israel.

The US and Israel have expressed satisfaction at the car bomb explosion in Damascus which killed Imad Mughniyeh on Tuesday. Could these two governments perhaps now clarify their position on the phenomenon of planting bombs in major capital cities so that we can be a little more clear on what constitutes a terrorist outrage? Lawrence Glover, letter to Guardian 18 Feb 2008

Bush Greets Castro Resignation [He needs to do the same.] 19 Feb 2008 Dictator Bush said Tuesday that the resignation of Fidel Castro "ought to be a period of democratic transition" for Cuba, and said the country must hold free and fair elections to pick a successor after half a century of Communist rule. [The US needs a transition to democracy, starting with the treason trials of Bush and Cheney.]

Fidel Castro stepping down as Cuba's leader 19 Feb 2008 Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday that he will not return to lead the country as president, retiring as head of state. Castro, 81, said in a statement to the country that he would not seek a new presidential term when the National Assembly meets on February 24.

Hugo Chávez's Anti-Imperialist Army By Nikolas Kozloff 19 Feb 2008 It is testament to how much Latin America has changed politically over the past several years that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez not only criticizes U.S. military policy in the region but now actively seeks to form a new defense force designed to counteract the colossus of the north.

RNC donor event outlines Obama attack plan 17 Feb 2008 Focusing on Barack Obama’s "inexperience" and "undisciplined messaging" are two ways to ensure that the senator from Illinois doesn’t get to be president, according to honchos at the Republican National Committee. [See: The Set-Up: Is Obama a Lamb for Future Slaughter? By Dr. Michael Rectenwald 04 Feb 2008.]

Clinton Steps Up Attacks on Obama --Plagiarism, Financing Accusations Come on Eve of Wisconsin Primary 19 Feb 2008 Aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) accused Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) yesterday of plagiarizing portions of a recent speech and continued to question his vows to reform the campaign finance system as Clinton sought to drive home the idea that her Democratic rival's presidential bid is built on style more than substance.

Clinton laid groundwork in this area decades ago By Greg Jefferson 18 Feb 2008 (TX) In 1972, Hillary Clinton left Texas in far better shape than did Sen. George McGovern...She registered voters here and in the Rio Grande Valley, putting her on the doorsteps of numerous Latinos and in touch with local politicos and union organizers, for McGovern's campaign... "She stood with us then. We stand with her now," Van de Putte said to the largely Hispanic crowd of 5,000 supporters.

St. Paul Police Orders Tasers For Every Officer --Police force will have 370 Tasers just in time for RNC 16 Feb 2008 St. Paul police are about to issue Tasers to all 370 officers on the force. Police say they are a safe way to stop a potential threat, but some people say Tasers are dangerous and sometimes deadly.

Amtrak to step up security measures --Random searches of passengers' carry-on bags planned 18 Feb 2008 Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers' carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains.

Hartford Office Quarantined After Suspicious Package Opened --Bomb squad had been called; building evacuated 19 Feb 2008 (CT) The 15th floor of a Hartford building was quarantined after a suspicious package was opened inside Tuesday afternoon. Officials said someone inside a law office at 750 Main St. opened a package that released what is being described to NBC 30 as an eye irritant. Witnesses told NBC 30 that one or two stretchers were taken into building.

Out-of-pen thinking can fix jail mess By Ed Kemmick 18 Feb 2008 City lights City officials in Hardin must find themselves in the unusual position of hoping for a statewide crime wave. Unless malefactors step up to the plate and start getting themselves sent to prison in large numbers, Hardin is going to be stuck with 464 empty beds at its spanking-new, $27 million jail... Basically, it comes down to this: The folks in Hardin thought they had a gentleman's agreement with state officials - particularly those in the Department of Corrections - to send state prisoners to the private prison.

Whistleblowing website vows to defy court gag 19 Feb 2008 An international website that claims to blow the whistle on corporate and governmental fraud [Wikileaks] vowed yesterday to defy attempts by a US court to close it down.

Whistle-blower site taken offline 18 Feb 2008 A website that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously post government and corporate documents has been taken offline in the US., as it is known, was cut off from the internet following a California court ruling, the site says.

Supreme court won't review Bush domestic spying case 19 Feb 2008 The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a legal challenge to the warrantless domestic spying program President [sic] George W. Bush created after the September 11 attacks. The American Civil Liberties Union had asked the justices to hear the case after a lower court ruled the ACLU, other groups and individuals that sued the government had no legal right to do so because they could not prove [?] they had been affected by the program.

Supreme Court Refuses to Review Warrantless Wiretapping Case --Ruling Allows Executive Branch to Police Itself, Says ACLU (ACLU) 19 Feb 2008 The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to review a legal challenge to the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prominent journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations who say that the unchecked surveillance program is disrupting their ability to communicate effectively with sources and clients.

Holes in the Wall --Homeland Security won't say why the border wall is bypassing the wealthy and politically connected. By Melissa del Bosque 18 Feb 2008 As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security marches down the Texas border serving condemnation lawsuits to frightened landowners, Brownsville resident Eloisa Tamez, 72, has one simple question. She would like to know why her land is being targeted for destruction by a border wall, while a nearby golf course and resort remain untouched. Just 69 miles north, Daniel Garza, 76, faces a similar situation with a neighbor who has political connections that reach the White House. In the small town of Granjeno, population 313, Garza points to a field across the street where a segment of the proposed 18-foot high border wall would abruptly end after passing through his brick home and a small, yellow house he gave his son. "All that land over there is owned by the Hunts," he says, waving a hand toward the horizon. "The wall doesn’t go there..." In time, local landowners realized that the fence's location had everything to do with politics and private profit, and nothing to do with stopping illegal immigration.

Banks "quietly" borrow $50 billion from Fed: report 18 Feb 2008 Banks in the United States have been quietly borrowing "massive amounts" from the U.S. Federal Reserve in recent weeks, using a new measure the Fed introduced two months ago to help ease the credit crunch, according to a report on the web site of The Financial Times.

Mission accomplished: Crude closes above $100 for first time ever --Gasoline at historic high after 'refinery blast' 19 Feb 2008 Crude-oil futures surged nearly 5% Tuesday to close above the $100 a barrel mark for the first time ever, as 'concerns that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may cut production boosted prices.' [See: Exxon-Mobil Makes $75,000 a Minute By Young Turks 26 Jan 2008 In the midst of record profits for oil companies we are giving them a $14 billion subsidy.]

Exxon Is Demanding Ten Times its Investment, Says Venezuelan Oil Minister 16 Feb 2008 The maximum compensation ExxonMobil should receive for its nationalized 41.6% stake in the Cerro Negro Orinoco River belt project is $1.2 billion, the Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Petroleum and President of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, Rafael Ramírez, announced yesterday. This is a tenth of Exxon's claim to $12 billion of PDVSA's assets, which were temporarily frozen after the transnational oil company won a series of court orders in Britain, the Netherlands, and the Dutch Antilles earlier this month. [Too bad 'insurgents' don't start attacking the *real* terrorists: oil, pharmaceutical and agricultural corporations. --LRP]

Wheat market gone wild --Driven by fears of shortage agriterrorists' greed, the price per bushel has shattered records. 16 Feb 2008 Decades from now, farmers will still talk about this week - the moment when wheat in Minneapolis soared to nearly $20 a bushel. Like a 100-year flood, spring wheat prices have risen relentlessly all winter, obliterating every record in sight.

Health costs loom large for retirees 19 Feb 2008 Many baby boomers are not going to be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, not only because they're not saving enough but also because they face skyrocketing health care costs.


'Dodgy dossier' was 'wrong', its author says 17 Feb 2008 The government official who wrote the first draft of the "dodgy dossier" that helped propel Britain into war in Iraq today admits, "We were wrong." John Williams, a former Foreign Office aide, said last night that publication of his document would expose how members of Tony Blair's team were locked in a mindset that made military action inevitable.

Britain releases secret file from before Iraq war 18 Feb 2008 The British government released a once-secret draft document on Monday that was drawn up to justify going to war in Iraq, succumbing to three years of pressure from freedom of information campaigners. The document, amended in the margins, makes no mention of Saddam Hussein being capable of launching weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes, a false claim later used in another government dossier to make the case for going to war.

'Big Oil's big dreams are close to coming true.' The door to Iraq's oil opens By M K Bhadrakumar 16 Feb 2008 In sum, as Ben Lando, United Press International's energy editor put it, "Big Oil's big dreams are close to coming true ... No doubt, it is pay-off time for the four majors who didn't make an issue of the US military occupation of Iraq or the ensuing mess-ups during Paul Bremer's rule or the ensuing acute security situation, but kept going with their nose on the ground and worked with the Iraqi ministry during the past four years in conducting reservoir surveys, assisting in the drawing up of work plans and in training personnel.

Deal between key Iraq Shiite figures collapses 17 Feb 2008 Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's movement Sunday announced it was cancelling a pact it signed four months ago with its main Shiite rival aimed at reducing tension between the two groups. Dozens of Sadrists had been rounded up in operations led by the Iraqi security forces supported by US troops following confrontations between the rival militiamen during the second half of 2007... At stake is control of local government in Iraq's mainly Shiite southern provinces which are rich in oil, and in particular in the large town of Basra, the main port for exporting hydrocarbons.

Senators call for probe on MRAP report's claims 18 Feb 2008 Two senators Sunday urged the Pentagon to investigate a Marine Corps report that says procurement officers spurned requests from commanders in Iraq for blast-resistant vehicles because they didn't want to derail other projects. Sens. Joseph Biden, D-Del., and Kit Bond, R-Mo., called for an official probe. The report says that hundreds of Marines died from roadside bombs because the Corps was slow to fill commanders' requests for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, or MRAPs.

Iraqi troops got MRAPs; Americans waited --Pentagon balked at pleas from officers in field for safer vehicles 16 Feb 2008 Years before the war began, Pentagon officials knew of the effectiveness of another type of vehicle that better shielded troops from bombs like those that have killed Kincaid and 1,500 other soldiers and Marines. But military officials repeatedly balked at appeals from commanders on the battlefield and from the Pentagon's own staff to provide the lifesaving Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP, for patrols and combat missions, USA TODAY found... Even as the Pentagon balked at buying MRAPs for U.S. troops, USA TODAY found that the military pushed to buy them for a different fighting force: the Iraqi army.

2 US soldiers killed by small-arms fire northeast of Baghdad 17 Feb 2008 Two U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday by small-arms fire northeast of Baghdad, the military said. Another soldier was wounded in the attack in the Diyala province, according to a brief statement that provided no more details.

Israel detains dozens of Gazans 18 Feb 2008 The Israeli military says it has taken about 80 Palestinians to Israel for questioning following a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

Olmert says Israel has 'free hand' on blockade --Prime minister defends actions against Gaza 18 Feb 2008 The UN's top humanitarian, Sir John Holmes, said yesterday that the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory was a "political crisis" that needed a "political solution". He spoke as the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said the people of Gaza could not live normal lives while Israelis across the border were constantly targeted by rockets.

NATO troops to stay in Afghanistan for another seven years 18 Feb 2008 Norwegian Defense Minister Anne-Grete Stroem-Erichsen said on Monday that NATO troops would stay in Afghanistan for another seven years, according to reports reaching here from Oslo.

Suicide bomb kills 38 civilians in Afghanistan; wounds 4 Canadian soldiers 18 Feb 2008 A suicide bomber blew up his car next to a Canadian convoy patrolling near the Afghan-Pakistan border Monday afternoon, killing 38 Afghans, wounding dozens more and injuring four Canadian soldiers.

Attack kills 82 in the worst atrocity since 'fall' of Taliban 18 Feb 2008 More than 80 people watching a dog fight on the outskirts of Kandahar were killed yesterday when a suicide attacker detonated his bomb, causing the worst atrocity in Afghanistan since the 'ousting' of the Taliban in 2001.

British soldier killed in southern Afghanistan 18 Feb 2008 The British Ministry of Defense confirmed on Monday that a British soldier has been killed in southern Afghanistan.

George Bush Visits Africa to promote the US Africa Command By Horace Cambell 14 Feb 2008 One year after the announcement that he United States government was going to accelerate the militarization of Africa, President [sic] George Bush is embarking on a journey to Africa to coerce African societies to align themselves with the neo-conservative agenda of the present US administration. ...[T]here are scholars who have argued and presented evidence that the government of the United States has been "fabricating terrorism" in Africa. This fabrication of terrorism carries with it racial stereotypes to support US military action in Africa... It is in the Sudan where the neo-conservatives are stoking the fires of war in order to get access to the oil resources of the Sudan.

Justice Official Defends Rough CIA Interrogations 17 Feb 2008 The Bush administration allowed CIA interrogators to use tactics that were "quite distressing, uncomfortable, even frightening," as long as they did not cause enough severe and lasting pain to constitute illegal torture [Oh, there's 'legal' torture?], a senior Justice Department official said last week. In testimony before a House subcommittee, Steven G. Bradbury, the acting chief of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, spelled out how the Bush regime regulated the CIA's use of rough tactics and offered new details of how simulated drowning was used to compel disclosures by prisoners suspected of being 'al-Qaeda' members. The method was not, he said, like the "water torture" used during the Spanish Inquisition and by autocratic governments into the 20th century... [Why not waterboard Bradbury and see if the tactic used during the Spanish Inquisition is indeed similar?]

Police abandon fingerprint checks of Hicks 19 Feb 2008 A police requirement that David Hicks' fingerprints be checked when he reports to police has been all but abandoned because it takes too long and the equipment sometimes fails to work.

Changes proposed to controls over Hicks 18 Feb 2008 'Convicted' terrorism supporter David Hicks wants his reporting conditions under a control order eased... At a hearing in the Federal Magistrates Court in Adelaide, counsel for the 32-year-old argued that having him report to police three times a week was unreasonable.

No sorry for cleared terror suspect 18 Feb 2008 The federal government won't say sorry to a Sydney man cleared of taking part in terrorist training. Neither will the government offer compensation to Sydney medical student Izhar Ul-Haque.

NIU Shooting 'Oddities' By Lori Price The NIU shooter, Steve Kazmierczak, joined the US Army in September 2001. He was discharged from the Army in February 2002 for an ''unspecified'' reason. 16 Feb 2008 The Northern Illinois University shooting 'oddities' grow. Updated! 18 Feb 2008 [See also: Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities'.]

Pakistani candidate killed at polling station 18 Feb 2008 Polling in Pakistan got off to a violent start on Monday with a candidate shot dead in Lahore at a polling station in the Swat Valley near the Afghan border. The dead man was identified as Ashif Ashraf, a candidate of the Pakistan Muslim League led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Is Washington Undermining Democracy in Bolivia? By Mark Weisbrot 16 Feb 2008 This week's news that the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia has repeatedly asked Peace Corps volunteers and then a Fulbright Scholar to spy on people there is much more serious that it has so far been treated. In fact, together with other activities funded there by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and National Endowment for Democracy, there are grounds for a Congressional inquiry.

Obama and the Faith-Based Believers By Michael Rectenwald 18 Feb 2008 One senses incredulity from the Obama supporter who regards hesitance as tantamount to treason on the battlefields of liberalism. Just how can we non-believers redeem ourselves in the church of Obama, or if not in that hallowed, high-church haunt, in the public sphere at large? ...Obama's rise and the uprising that follows feels like unearned advantage to stodgy believers in meritocracy. We see in the dismissal of experience, the triumph of style over substance, the victory of glitz over hard work, something of the ageism that accompanies the US cult of youth. This is the same ethos that provides Generation Y with its sense of entitlement.

Clinton issues new blueprint on economy 18 Feb 2008 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a new "Economic Blueprint" on Monday that touts ways to help working Americans as she seeks to gain an edge on rival Barack Obama, who has moved into the lead in the Democratic contest.

Clinton aide accuses Obama of plagiarism 18 Feb 2008 Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign's communications director, today accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of committing "plagiarism" in a speech in Milwaukee on Saturday night.

In Ohio, Obama makes no apologies for "hope" 18 Feb 2008 Barack Obama, facing a formidable battle in Ohio against a candidate who is emphasizing her resume and policy proposals, responded with a blunt question to a university audience here: you got a problem with hope? "The notion seems to be, if you get people excited about politics, there's something suspicious about that," Obama told a screaming, mostly young crowd of about 6,000 at Youngstown State.

Barack Obama visits John Edwards 17 Feb 2008 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama slipped away for a private meeting with former rival John Edwards on Sunday to seek his endorsement as the Illinois senator and Hillary Clinton battle for Wisconsin.

Obama Bought Home Without Rezko Discount, Seller Says 18 Feb 2008 The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator's $1.65 million bid "was the best offer" and they didn't cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land, according to e-mails between Obama's presidential campaign and the seller. [The "best offer" possibility came only after Obama's wife used her position to get the property redrawn into two lots, such that one could be bought by Rezko's wife and the house could be bought separately by the Obamas.--MDR]

Another GOPedophile bites the dust! Ex-Fla. official facing fed porn charges 11 Feb 2008 The former spokesman for Florida's child welfare agency paid two 16-year-old boys for sexually explicit photos of themselves and then brokered the images to overseas pornographers, according to a complaint filed Monday by federal prosecutors.

Blast rocks Texas oil refinery, at least 4 hurt 18 Feb 2008 A giant explosion rocked an oil refinery 290 miles west of Dallas on Monday morning, injuring at least four workers, company and public officials said. Production at the Alon USA Energy Inc refinery in Big Spring, Texas, was shut by the 8:30 a.m. CST (1430 GMT) blast, a company spokesman said.

Mad cow fear raised in largest US meat recall ever 18 Feb 2008 The US Department of Agriculture has mandated one of the largest meat recalls in US history - a record 65 million kg of beef - after it determined a California slaughter house had pushed cows with poor health into the food chain. US Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer said on Sunday that the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company had slaughtered cattle "unfit for human consumption." The meat was sold to schools, emergency food recipients and Indian reservations. ['Unfit for human consumption?' In that case, hopefully Bush and Cheney have been gobbling it by the platefuls! Oh, wait, they aren't humans.]

Slaughterhouse video prompts unprecedented beef recall 18 Feb 2008 This undercover video of sick and crippled cows being brought to slaughter in an abattoir in southern California has prompted the largest recall of beef in US history, (writes Will Pavia). The US Department of Agriculture yesterday ordered that 143 million lb of beef from the slaughterhouse be recalled. Officials estimate that some 37 million lbs of the recalled meat had been heading to schools across America though they fear that most of it will have already been eaten.

Grand Rapids schools sitting on 10 tons of recalled beef 18 Feb 2008 Portage Public Schools is reporting that hamburger from the largest beef recall ever in the United States had earlier been served to its students, and some other Michigan districts say they also got meat now involved in the recall.

Study Finds Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Insurance 18 Feb 2008 A nationwide study has found that the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid are more likely than those with private insurance to receive a diagnosis of cancer in late stages, often diminishing their chances of survival.

Officer faces jail for tipping paraplegic man out of chair 18 Feb 2008 A Florida prison officer who dumped a paraplegic man out of his wheelchair in order to search him could be jailed after being charged with abuse of a disabled person.

Climate change could be the next subprime meltdown 14 Feb 2008 Another subprime-mortgage-meltdown-sized risk could be looming for investors: global warming. That alarm was sounded Thursday at an investor summit at the United Nations headquarters, at which 480 investors, pension fund leaders and corporate executives from around the globe were warned that the vast majority of companies are ill-prepared for the Earth's changing climate.


US admits it fired on anti-Qaeda fighters 17 Feb 2008 The US military has acknowledged that it fired on a group of its anti-Qaeda allies in Iraq in an attack the leader of the group said killed three people and sparked angry protests. Military spokesman Major Brad Leighton said members of the Awakening group fighting Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in the village of Jurf al-Sakher about 120 kilometres south of Baghdad mistakenly shot at US forces, who returned fire.

Anti al-Qaeda Iraqis quit US Army 17 Feb 2008 An anti al-Qaeda group in central Iraq has resigned en-masse from its US military employers, accusing them of killing 19 of the group. The walk-out occurred in Juruf Sakher village near the city of Hilla, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Baghdad.

Iraqi security forces stage walkout near Baghdad 16 Feb 2008 U.S.-allied security forces ['Sons of Iraq,' LOL!] said today they were abandoning their posts in a volatile area south of Baghdad to protest airstrikes by American forces that they say have killed at least 12 civilians this month.

Bomber Strikes in Baghdad, Killing 3 17 Feb 2008 A female suicide bomber struck Sunday in a predominantly Shiite area of central Baghdad, killing at least three people in the attack.

Former Iraq deputy minister faces terrorism trial 17 Feb 2008 A former deputy health minister accused of involvement in Iraq's sectarian violence will go on trial this week, the first senior official charged with terrorism since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Ex-US Envoy Accuses Colleagues in Iraq of Incompetence 17 Feb 2008 Just below the Beltway's public radar screen, many a civil service eyebrow was raised last week over a US official's resignation and his [Manuel Miranda's] scathing critique of the US diplomatic corps' inability to engage and assist Iraq's fledgling government.

Secret draft of Iraq war dossier to be revealed 17 Feb 2008 The secret first draft of the notorious Iraq dossier that helped to take Britain to war is expected to be released tomorrow, in a victory for freedom of information campaigners... The draft is understood not to contain the infamous claim that Saddam Hussein could launch a strike with 'weapons of mass destruction' within 45 minutes, a claim that was central to the final 'dodgy dossier'.

Iran launches oil products bourse with petrochemical deal 17 Feb 2008 Iran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country's oil ministry said. Iran has already registered for another oil bourse, in which it has said it hopes to trade oil in Euros instead of dollars, to reduce any American influence over the Islamic Republic's economy.

US Secretly Met Iran Banking Officials 16 Feb 2008 A U.S. official met secretly with Iranian banking officials and senior government aides who oppose punishing the Islamic nation for not doing enough to stop money laundering and terrorism funding, The Associated Press has learned. The talks last month in Paris took place despite the Bush regime's near-absolute ban on formal U.S.-Iran contact.

Gee, looks the 'secret' banking meeting didn't go too well for Bush: Iran-backed groups using secret arms stores - US 17 Feb 2008 The U.S. military said on Sunday it had 'evidence' Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq were increasingly using 'secret weapons stores' to attack U.S. and Iraqi forces.

At least 80 killed in Afghan suicide blast 17 Feb 2008 A suicide bomber blew himself up in a large crowd gathered at a dog fighting festival just outside this city in southern Afghanistan, killing some 80 people and wounding nearly 100 more in the country's worst single bombing since 2001.

CIA's ambitious post-9/11 spy plan crumbles 17 Feb 2008 The CIA set up a network of front companies in Europe and elsewhere after the Sept. 11 attacks as part of a constellation of "black stations" for a new generation of spies, according to current and former agency officials. But after spending hundreds of millions of dollars setting up as many as 12 of the companies, the agency shut down all but two after concluding they were ill-conceived and poorly positioned for gathering intelligence on the CIA's principal targets hirelings: terrorist groups and unconventional weapons proliferation networks.

China concerned by U.S. satellite missile plan 17 Feb 2008 China is concerned by U.S. plans to shoot down an ailing spy satellite and is considering what "preventative measures" to take, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

Russia: US Satellite Shot a Weapons Test 16 Feb 2008 Russia said Saturday that U.S. military plans to shoot down a damaged spy satellite may be a veiled test of America's missile defense system.

British, US team propose mission to fire 'missle' penetrators into moon 15 Feb 2008 British and U.S. scientists said Friday they were exploring plans for a joint lunar mission that would use an orbiter to fire missile-like penetrators into the moon's surface.

Olmert vows to hit Hamas 18 Feb 2008 Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has vowed that the regime's military forces would hit anyone who attacks Israel, especially Hamas.

Olmert Says Electricity, Fuel Cuts to Gaza Will Continue 17 Feb 2008 Israel says it plans to continue crippling sanctions on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, despite international opposition. The announcement was made as three Palestinian gunmen and a civilian were killed in Israeli raids in Gaza.

Terrorists recruiting on net via Facebook [Yes, the CIA has been trolling for hirelings on Facebook for quite a while.] 17 Feb 2008 Radical British Jihadist groups are using Facebook and other social networking sites to recruit members and distribute extremist literature. A private Facebook group called Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama'ah, the name of a successor organisation to the banned extremist group Al Muhajiroun, has been operating since early 2007.

'I lost my career, my life and my dignity' --Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that Lotfi Raissi could claim compensation for his arrest and imprisonment after being wrongly accused of training 9/11 pilots. Here, in his first interview since the landmark decision, he tells of his prison hell, nervous collapse and the terrible toll his ordeal has had on his personal and professional life. 17 Feb 2008 Lotfi Raissi recalls the day he was arrested by British police: 21 September 2001. He was dragged out of his house naked at three o'clock in the morning. There was banging, shouting, swarms of police. But his nightmare was only just beginning.

Venezuela's Chavez says could sue Exxon Mobil 17 Feb 2008 Venezuela could sue Exxon Mobil for not paying taxes on some of the oil it produced, President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday, amid an escalating legal battle with Exxon over compensation for nationalized assets. [Awesome!]

'TGSCOM Inc. also operates the Web site used by Seung-Hui [Cho] to purchase a firearm used in the Virginia Tech shootings last April.' Company: Gunman, Virginia Tech shooter used same Web dealer [Why not? They had the same handlers.] 16 Feb 2008 A firearms dealer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday confirmed a bizarre link between the graduate student accused of killing five people at Northern Illinois University and the gunman in last year's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech.

No, He Can't Because Yes, They Will By Larry Johnson 16 Feb 2008 Obama’s mantra, "Yes, We Can" is inspiring and heartwarming, but in the end is an empty phrase that will founder once the Republican political attack machine spins up... If you think for a minute that the Republican party–who used Willie Horton on Michael Dukakis to devastating effect, who portrayed triple amputee and veteran Max Cleland as a bosom buddy of Osama Bin Laden, and convinced many voters that decorated combat veteran John Kerry was a fraud–will give Obama a pass come the fall then you are in serious denial.

How Far Will Paperless Trail Carry Obama? By Charles Krauthammer 15 Feb 2008 [Sen. Barack] Obama has an astonishingly empty paper trail. He's going around issuing promissory notes on the future that he can't possibly redeem... Democrats are worried that the Obama spell will break between the time of his nomination and the time of the election, and deny them the White House. My guess is that he can maintain the spell just past Inauguration Day.

NAFTA: Us, Hillary and the "Boon" By Dan Janison 16 Feb 2008 The Democratic campaign has moved in earnest to Ohio, where times are tough and NAFTA has become a dirty word...

Clyburn: Superdelegates should keep quiet on candidate support 15 Feb 2008 House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Friday some of his fellow Democratic Party superdelegates have been too quick to endorse presidential candidates and said he disagrees with those who base their support on election and caucus results.

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: GOP's McKee Resigns After Home Is Searched In Child Porn Sting 16 Feb 2008 Robert A. McKee, a long-serving Republican delegate from Western Maryland, announced his resignation yesterday after authorities, who say they are conducting a child pornography investigation, seized two computers, videotapes and printed materials from his Hagerstown home. First elected to the House of Delegates in 1994, McKee was chairman of the Western Maryland delegation and sponsored legislation to protect minors from sexual predators [such as himself] .

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Harris County DA resigns amid scandal --Racist and obscene e-mails were found on his office computer 16 Feb 2008 (TX) Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal (R) resigned Friday under the weight of a scandal involving the release of dozens of pornographic, racist and political e-mails on his office computer.

It's time for 'insurgents' to take on Bush's bio/agriterrorists:

Mega barf alert! Bush bin Laden allowed millions of pounds of diseased dead cow to enter the US food supply (including shool lunches) for two years: USDA recalls 143 million pounds of beef --U.S. officials call it largest beef recall ever 17 Feb 2008 The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agribusiness on Sunday recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse that is being investigated for mistreating cattle. Officials said it was the largest beef recall in the United States, surpassing a 1999 ban of 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats. The federal agency said the recall will affect dead cow products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., which supplies meat to the federal school lunch program and to some major fast-food chains.

Would You Like Sick Cow With Those Fries? (The New York Times) 16 Feb 2008 New York City school officials interrupted the good eating this week out of concern that an unwelcome ingredient had found its way into the hamburgers it was serving the kids: sick or "downed" cows. A Humane Society video revealed the way workers beat or otherwise abused sick cows at the California company so they would appear well enough to be slaughtered.

GM crop trial locations may be hidden from public 16 Feb 2008 Genetically modified crops may be grown in hidden locations in Britain amid fears that anti-GM campaigners are winning the battle over the controversial technology, the Guardian has learned. Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed they are looking at a range of options to clamp down on vandalism to GM crop trials, after intense lobbying by big crop biotech companies. The firms have warned that trials of GM crops are becoming too expensive to conduct in Britain because of the additional costs of protecting fields from activists.

FDA ties pneumonia deaths to infant vaccine --Agency panel considering approval of oral medicine for diarrhea virus 15 Feb 2008 GlaxoSmithKline Plc's rotavirus vaccine is associated with increased pneumonia-related deaths and other adverse reactions, U.S. regulatory staff said in documents posted on Friday. FDA staff said its analysis of 11 studies revealed that in the largest trial, there was a statistically significant increase in deaths related to pneumonia compared with placebo, documents posted on the FDA's Web site said. In a conclusion section, the FDA documents noted the pneumonia-related deaths and convulsions, but did not appear to make a recommendation to the advisory panel.

Health officials keeping eye on drug-resistant flu strain --Drug-resistant virus could limit treatment options, doctors say 17 Feb 2008 Ten Chicago-area patients have tested positive for an unusual type of [Fort Detrick] drug-resistant influenza, prompting concern and increased surveillance by local and federal health officials. The strain of flu can be treated successfully with some drugs, but it does not respond to Tamiflu, the most common anti-viral medication for flu.

Polar bears set to join US at-risk list 17 Feb 2008 The American government is to add the polar bear to its list of endangered species. ...The US Geological Survey predicts that it will fall by two-thirds by 2050 if the Arctic ice where the animals live continues to shrink. The US Interior Department said an announcement would come "sooner rather than later".


'TGSCOM Inc. also operates the Web site used by Seung-Hui [Cho] to purchase a firearm used in the Virginia Tech shootings last April.' Company: Gunman, Virginia Tech shooter used same Web dealer [Why not? They had the same handlers.] 16 Feb 2008 A firearms dealer in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday confirmed a bizarre link between the graduate student accused of killing five people at Northern Illinois University and the gunman in last year's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech. A Web site used to buy gun accessories by Steven Kazmierczak is owned by the same company that operates a site patronized by Seung-Hui Cho, the company said. [!] Kazmierczak ordered two 9 mm Glock magazines and a holster for a Glock handgun from the Web site February 4, said a statement released by TGSCOM Inc. He received them February 12, two days before the NIU shootings, it said. "TGSCOM Inc. also operates the Web site used by Seung-Hui [Cho] to purchase a firearm used in the Virginia Tech shootings last April," the statement said.

Spectre of 'another 7/7' led Blair to block bribes inquiry, high court told --BAE: secret papers reveal threats from Saudi prince 15 Feb 2008 Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday. Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

More U.S. troops seen in Iraq by summer 15 Feb 2008 The United States will probably have more troops in Iraq this summer than it did before pouring in forces last year -- even after a planned drawdown, a U.S. general said on Friday. A Pentagon source said the number could be as high as 140,000 U.S. troops.

U.S. has paid $38M to Iraqis it killed 13 Feb 2008 In its efforts to win support from Iraqis, the U.S. military has made $38 million worth of payments to the families of civilians they have killed since 2004. The cash handouts, known as condolence payments [for Bush's war crimes], are made at the discretion of mid-ranking U.S. officers in local areas and come from a special military fund called the Commanders' Emergency Response Program.

Bush: Leave every Iraqi child behind. Iraq's children 2007: a year in their life 14 Feb 2008 At least 2 million Iraqi children lacked adequate nutrition (according to the WFP assessment of food insecurity in 2006) and faced a range of other threats including interrupted education, lack of immunization services and diarrhoea diseases... Early estimates from the Ministry of Education show that net primary enrolment rates may have fallen from 86% in 2004 to 46% in 2006. [See: State of Iraq's Children 2007. Where is Saddam Hussein, when you need him? Life was so much better under CIA-asset Saddam, rather than the Blackwater-KBR-Halliburton-Monsanto-Bush dictatorship. --LRP]

CIA rendition case against Boeing unit blocked 15 Feb 2008 A case filed on behalf of five terrorism suspects, including two based in Britain, who claimed they were flown overseas on Boeing planes to secret US prisons for torture and interrogation has been dismissed by a judge because he says it involves state secrets. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the complaint in May, claiming a unit of Boeing Co provided flight and logistical support to the US government on 70 "extraordinary-rendition" flights since 2001.

Thousands of Guantanamo interrogations taped: report 15 Feb 2008 More than 24,000 interrogations of suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo prison camp were videotaped, a new US report says. The Seton Hall University School of Law report cites a May 2005 internal report from US Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley in which he wrote: "All interrogations are videotaped." A month later, Lieutenant General Randall Schmidt issued another report saying that 24,000 interrogations took place at the US naval base between 2002-2005, they said.

John McCain Sells His Soul to the Right: Backs Off on Torture Ban By Arianna Huffington 14 Feb 2008 Has there ever been a more repugnant example of political pandering than John McCain's decision to vote against a bill banning waterboarding, putting hoods on prisoners, forcing them to perform sex acts, subjecting them to mock executions, or depriving them of food, water, and medical treatment?

Bush calls lawmakers 'irresponsible' 16 Feb 2008 President [sic] Bush said Saturday that lawmakers' failure to renew an eavesdropping law will make it more difficult to track terrorists and "we may lose a vital lead that could prevent an attack on America." Democrats faulted the pResident... "Their true concern here is not national security," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. "Rather they want to protect the financial interests of telecommunications companies and avoid judicial scrutiny of their warrantless wiretapping program."

House to recess; no vote on intel bill 15 Feb 2008 U.S. House of Representatives Democrats were letting an intelligence-gathering law expire, saying U.S. intelligence professionals can still gather information. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, however, remains in force until at least August.

Countdown Special Comment on FISA: President Bush Is a Liar and a Fascist (Blog entry) 14 Feb 2008 Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on today’s Countdown was a scathing rebuke of President [sic] Bush... 'You are a liar, Mr. Bush, and after showing some skill at it, you have ceased to even be a very good liar. And your minions like John Boehner -- your Republican congressional crash dummies who just happen to decide to walk out of Congress when a podium-full of microphones await them -- they should just keep walking, out of Congress and if possible, out of the country... If you believe in the seamless mutuality of government and big business -- come out and say it! There is a dictionary definition, one word that describes that toxic blend. You're a fascist — get them to print you a t-shirt with 'fascist' on it! What else is this but fascism?'

Study says refusal to send bomb-resistant MRAPs to Iraq led to Marine deaths 16 Feb 2008 Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study [obtained by The Associated Press] concludes.

MoD betrayed troops in Afghanistan, says coroner --Helmand force was denied adequate equipment --Soldier killed unlawfully, Oxford hearing decides 16 Feb 2008 An Oxford coroner criticised the Ministry of Defence yesterday, accusing it of betraying soldiers' trust by sending troops to Afghanistan without basic equipment.

Anti-war protesters at Number 10 15 Feb 2008 Anti-war protesters are to deliver a letter to Downing Street protesting about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The letter has been written by the Stop the War Coalition five years after the campaign group says it brought two million protesters to London.

Blast near Mexico City police HQ 16 Feb 2008 An explosion has rocked the centre of Mexico City, killing at least one man and injuring two other people. The device was set off near the city's police headquarters, Mexico City police chief Joel Ortega said.

Pakistan Bombing Kills as Many as 45 Before Elections 16 Feb 2008 A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed as many as 45 people and left dozens injured near the election office of the late Benazir Bhutto's People's Party in Parachinar, Pakistan, ahead of 'elections' in two days.

Attempt to shoot down spy satellite to cost up to $60 million 15 Feb 2008 The attempt by the U.S. Navy to use an anti-missile missile to shoot down a potentially hazardous satellite will cost between $40 million and $60 million, Pentagon officials told CNN on Friday.

U.S. vows to pay for damage caused by satellite 15 Feb 2008 The United States pledged on Friday to compensate countries if debris lands on their territory from a dying U.S. spy satellite that the Pentagon plans to shoot down. The satellite is carrying more than 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of hydrazine fuel, and could release much of it as a toxic gas, according to Deputy U.S. National Security Adviser James Jeffrey. [99.99 per cent of earth's population is praying it lands on Bush's head.]

Top US accountability officer quits over job constraints 16 Feb 2008 The head of the audit and investigative arm of the US Congress announced his resignation Friday, citing "real limitations" on what he could do. David Walker, a respected voice on fiscal matters, said he was making an early departure from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to head a new public interest foundation.

Bush, poised to play bioterror card, enhances agriterrorists' coffers: Bush Boosts Food Defense Budget 14 Feb 2008 The Bush regime has requested an additional $91 million in fiscal year 2009 for the U.S. Agriculture Department's Food and Agriculture Defense Initiative, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported yesterday. The initiative’s proposed $277 million budget would increase funds for food defense research conducted by the Agricultural Research Service from $9 million to $23 million while boosting agriculture defense research funds from $25 million to $39 million.

Feds nip state efforts to slash mercury 16 Feb 2008 While arguing in court that states are free to enact tougher mercury controls from power plants, the Bush regime pressured dozens of states to accept a scheme that would let some plants evade cleaning up their pollution, government documents show.

CDC discussed Katrina trailer risk a year ago --Panel examines whether FEMA, CDC worked together to downplay risks 15 Feb 2008 More than a year ago, officials inside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discussed the potential long-term cancer risk posed by trailers housing thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors, records show.

Multicultural UK "soft target" for terrorism 15 Feb 2008 Multicultural Britain is a "soft target" for terrorist attacks because its aims, values and political identity are divided, a leading defence think-tank said on Friday. How much to integrate ethnic communities in Britain has been a hot political issue since four British Islamist suicide MI5 bombers killed 52 people on London's transport system in 2005.

Suspicious package closes Progreso bridge 14 Feb 2008 The Progreso International Bridge linking Mexico and Texas is shut down while authorities investigate a suspicious package found at the border crossing. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Felix Garza said a caller to the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office reported a bomb on the bridge about 7 p.m. Thursday.

Polls give Clinton campaign cause for hope in primaries 16 Feb 2008 Sen. Hillary Clinton has fresh reason for hope in recent polls. A poll of Wisconsin voters released yesterday found Sen. Barack Obama with only a slight edge in a state he was expected to win. Recent polls in Ohio and Pennsylvania show Clinton with a more than 15-percentage point advantage. She’s pinning her campaign hopes on winning Texas and Ohio on March 4 and Pennsylvania on April 22.

Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote 16 Feb 2008 Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.

Holding Barack Obama Accountable By Bruce Dixon 14 Feb 2008 The 2008 Obama presidential run may be the most slickly orchestrated marketing machine in memory... Marketing is about creating emotional, even irrational bonds between your product and your target audience. From its Bloody Sunday 2007 proclamation that Obama was the second coming of Joshua to its nationally televised kickoff at Abe Lincoln's tomb to the tens of millions of dollars in breathless free media coverage lavished on it by the establishment media, the campaign's deft manipulation of hopeful themes and emotionally potent symbols has led many to impute their own cherished views to Obama, whether he endorses them or not.

Oil prices approach 100 dollars per barrel 15 Feb 2008 World oil prices advanced on Friday towards 100 dollars per barrel, briefly topping 96 dollars, as geopolitical jitters stemming from Nigeria and Venezuela Exxon Mobil stoked global supply concerns, traders said.

Migratory birds not main source of bird flu: WWF 16 Feb 2008 Wild migratory birds may suffer from Avian Influenza ('bird flu'), but they are not the main source of the disease’s outbreak in Pakistan, according to a study statement issued by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Lahore chapter on Friday.

Colorado town fears avalanche of water 15 Feb 2008 More than 1 billion gallons of contaminated water -- enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- is trapped in a tunnel in the mountains above the historic town of Leadville and threatening to blow. Lake County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency for fear that this winter's above-average snowpack will melt and cause a catastrophic tidal wave.

Bill would require California's science curriculum to cover climate change 15 Feb 2008 A Silicon Valley lawmaker is gaining momentum with a bill that would require "climate change" to be among the science topics that all California public school students are taught.

What do the New England Patriots and the CIA have in common? Specter: Patriots filmed Steelers 4 times 15 Feb 2008 U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter said yesterday that he has a list of witnesses and will pursue the "Spygate" case against the New England Patriots that he said involved four games against the Steelers, including two AFC championship games. Specter met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for more than an hour Wednesday to discuss why evidence turned over by the Patriots that documented their illegal videotaping of opposing coaches' signals was destroyed.


London bombs justify 'torture', says Bush 15 Feb 2008 President [sic] George Bush cited the London July 7 bombings in an interview broadcast last night to justify his support for waterboarding, an interrogation technique widely regarded as torture. In an interview with the BBC he said information obtained from alleged terrorists helped save lives, and the families of the July 7 victims would understand that. Bush said waterboarding was not torture and is threatening to veto a congressional bill that would ban it.

White House to veto Senate ban on waterboarding 14 Feb 2008 US Dictator George W. Bush plans to veto legislation passed by the Senate to bar the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods torture including waterboarding, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

Justice Dept.: Illegality of waterboarding not absolute 14 Feb 2008 A senior Justice Department official told Congress on Thursday that laws and other limits enacted since three terrorism suspects were waterboarded have eliminated the technique from what is now allowed. "The program as it is authorized today does not include waterboarding," Steven Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the House subcommittee on the Constitution. "There has been no determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding under any circumstances would be lawful under current law," he added. However, under questioning later, Bradbury added that the department also hasn't determined whether it would be unlawful.

US official admits waterboarding presently illegal 14 Feb 2008 A senior official in the Bush justice department said for the first time today that the controversial interrogation tactic is currently illegal. The waterboarding remarks by Stephen Bradbury, head of the justice department office of legal counsel, caused a stir in America because they go further than more uncertain opinions on the legality of the tactic voiced by the CIA director and attorney general.

Bush Wants Limits on Access to Evidence 14 Feb 2008 The Bush regime asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to limit judges' authority to scrutinize evidence against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. The case is linked to another dispute already at the high court in which prisoners are asking the justices to rule that they can use the U.S. civilian courts to challenge their indefinite imprisonment.

White House appeals to top court on detainee data 14 Feb 2008 The Bush regime appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday in an effort to limit the information it must provide when Guantanamo Bay prisoners challenge their continued captivity.

Thousands of Guantanamo interrogations were taped: report 14 Feb 2008 More than 24,000 interrogations of suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo prison camp were videotaped, though the US military has not confirmed the videos exist, a report said Thursday.

Court dismisses lawsuit on secret kidnapping 14 Feb 2008 A federal judge, saying the case involved a state secret, dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a unit of Boeing Co that charged the firm helped fly terrorism suspects abroad to secret prisons. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint in May accusing Jeppesen Dataplan Inc of providing flight and logistical support to the U.S. government with at least 15 aircraft on 70 "extraordinary-rendition" flights.

House Leaves Surveillance Law to Expire 15 Feb 2008 The House broke for a week’s recess Thursday without renewing terrorist surveillance authority demanded by President [sic] Bush, leading him to warn of risky intelligence gaps while Democrats accused him of reckless fear mongering.

Bush, GOP Rebuke House Democrats on Surveillance Bill 14 Feb 2008 House Democrats have decided to leave Washington today for a one-week recess without any further action on a terrorist surveillance bill set to expire Friday night, drawing protest tactics from Republicans and a sharp rebuke from President [sic] Bush. At a hastily convened press briefing on the South Lawn, Bush said he would delay his planned trip to Africa this weekend if he is needed in the capital to work on or sign a surveillance bill protect his telecom paymasters.

How the spooks took over the news --In his controversial new book, Nick Davies argues that shadowy intelligence agencies are pumping out black propaganda to manipulate public opinion – and that the media simply swallow it wholesale 11 Feb 2008 There is very good reason to believe that that letter [The "Zarqawi letter" which made it on to the front page of The New York Times in February 2004] was a fake – and a significant one because there is equally good reason to believe that it was one product among many from a new machinery of propaganda which has been created by the United States and its allies since the terrorist attacks of September 2001.

Plan to curb contract fraud doesn't apply overseas 14 Feb 2008 A Bush regime plan to crack down on contract fraud has a multibillion-dollar loophole: The proposal to force companies to report abuse of taxpayer money will not apply to work overseas, including projects to secure and rebuild destroy Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blair used 'irresistible pressure' to halt investigation into BAE-Saudi arms deal 15 Feb 2008 Tony Blair wrongly influenced due legal process when he used "irresistible pressure" to end the Serious Fraud Office's investigation into alleged bribery and corruption involving arms deals between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia, it was alleged in the High Court yesterday.

Gang-Rape Victim Says She And Others Silenced by Halliburton --Jones Says They Are Forced to Argue Their Sexual Assault Cases in Secretive Arbitration 12 Feb 2008 A Houston, Texas woman, who says she was gang-raped by her co-workers at a Halliburton/KBR camp in Baghdad, says 38 women have come forward through her foundation to report their own tragic stories to her, but that many cannot speak publicly due to arbitration agreements in their employment contracts. Jamie Leigh Jones says she and other women are being forced to argue their cases of sexual harassment, assault and rape before secretive arbitration panels rather than in open court before a judge and jury.

Mistaken Iraq Firefight Kills 6 Fighters Allied With U.S. 15 Feb 2008 Six members of an Awakening Council, groups composed mostly of [bought] Sunni Muslims who have turned against the 'insurgency,' were killed early Thursday after they 'mistakenly' fired on American soldiers in the north, the Iraqi police said.

Bus blast leaves 30 casualties in eastern Baghdad 14 Feb 2008 At least five persons were killed and 25 more were wounded on Thursday in a booby-trapped bus explosion in Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, a police source said.

Gag me with a chainsaw! Bush's corpora-terrorists are trying to force 'Star Wars' insanity through Congress: U.S. Officials Say Broken Satellite Will Be Shot Down 14 Feb 2008 The Pentagon plans to shoot down a disabled 5,000-pound spy satellite before it enters the atmosphere in early March, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday. The operation, which was first reported on Thursday by The Associated Press, involves the Department of Homeland Security [!], the State Department and other agencies in addition to the Defense Department.

Israel issues global terror warning amid Hezbollah threat 15 Feb 2008 Israeli Counter Terrorism Bureau issued a worldwide travel advisory on Thursday, warning Israelis against possible abduction attempts abroad in the wake of the[ir] assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Moughniyah. The warning came after Lebanon's Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed to retaliate against Israeli targets for its alleged involvement in the assassination.

Hezbollah ready for 'open war' with Israel 15 Feb 2008 Hezbollah's chief says the group is ready for "open war" with Israel if they want it after a top commander in Syria was killed. Hassan Nasrallah vowed to retaliate against Israeli targets abroad after accusing Israel of taking the fight beyond Lebanese borders with its assassination of militant commander Imad Mughnieh.

Pakistani official taped saying vote will be rigged 14 Feb 2008 A prominent U.S.-based human rights group [Human Rights Watch] Friday released what it said was a recording of Pakistan's attorney general acknowledging that next week's national elections would be "massively" rigged. [Why don't they comment on the 'massively' rigged *US* 'elections?!']

Philippines officials say Islamic militants planned to assassinate president, bomb embassies 14 Feb 2008 Security officials on Thursday reported uncovering plots to kill President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and bomb foreign embassies, just as opposition leaders were calling for more protests urging the unpopular [unelected] Philippines leader to resign.

Suicides, Overdoses Investigated by Army 14 Feb 2008 There have been at least three accidental drug overdoses and four suicides among soldiers in special units the Army set up last summer to help war-wounded troops, officials said late Thursday.

Berkeley Eases Anti-Marines Stance 13 Feb 2008 Writer City council members who were criticized for telling Marine recruiters they don't belong here have moderated their position, saying they oppose the Iraq war but support the troops.

Canada tightens rules on terrorism financing 14 Feb 2008 Canada is tweaking its rules on money laundering and terrorism financing to impose stricter requirements on real estate developers and casinos, the Department of Finance said on Thursday.

Hazelwood officer fined $18,000 for arresting firefighter on emergency call 14 Feb 2008 (MO) A police officer in Hazelwood will have to pay thousands of dollars for getting into it with a firefighter while he was trying to help an accident victim. News 4 obtained police video that shows the Hazelwood police officer arresting a fire captain while he's trying to move an injured driver.

Bush shuts down website tracking economic indicators 14 Feb 2008 'Due to budgetary constraints Bush's lie pile, the Economic Indicators service will be discontinued effective March 1, 2008.'

Bond insurer woes could become market "tsunami": Spitzer 14 Feb 2008 The bond insurer problem must be fixed, or else it could become a "financial tsunami" that wreaks havoc on the broader economy, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is due to tell the Congress Thursday. A copy of Spitzer's prepared testimony was obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

Sacramento region foreclosures nearly equal home sales in January 14 Feb 2008 In the most ominous indicator yet of the Sacramento region's struggling housing market, January saw nearly as many people lose their homes as buy them.

Oilfield storage facility burns in Fort St. John 13 Feb 2008 (Canada) Toxic smoke from a burning oilfield chemical storage facility in Fort St. John caused nearby businesses and roads to be closed Tuesday. The cause of the fire has not been released.

Venezuela Halts Oil Sales to Exxon Mobil [Awesome!] 12 Feb 2008 Venezuela's state oil company said Tuesday that it has stopped selling crude to Exxon Mobil Corp. in response to the U.S. oil company's drive to use the courts to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.

Obama asks EPA to review BP permits 14 Feb 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama and two of his Illinois colleagues are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to mount a "comprehensive" review of proposed air and construction permits for BP's Whiting refinery.

22,000 died amid delayed Bayer drug recall: doctor 14 Feb 2008 The lives of 22,000 patients could have been saved if U.S. regulators had been quicker to remove a Bayer AG drug used to stem bleeding during open heart surgery, according to a medical researcher interviewed by CBS Television's 60 Minutes program.

Blue Cross halts letters amid furor --Its request to doctors for data that could lead to policy rescissions was widely criticized. 13 Feb 2008 Facing a torrent of criticism Tuesday, Blue Cross of California abruptly halted its practice of asking physicians in a letter to look for medical conditions that could be used to cancel patients' insurance coverage.

Clinton leading Obama in Ohio, Pennsylvania: poll 14 Feb 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has double-digit leads over Barack Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both crucial states in upcoming primaries, according to Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday.

The two faces of Barack Obama By Bill Van Auken 14 Feb 2008 There is an element in these speeches that would seem to give pause to the Democratic Party establishment and the big business interests it represents. Obama’s rhetorical excursions could be seen as leading into dangerous territory...But this populist primary rhetoric is only one face of Obama. There is another, and it is turned firmly towards the very corporate interests he publicly criticizes, which have poured tens of millions of dollars into his campaign.

Romney Reported to Endorse McCain --Former Rival Will Cede Delegates to McLunatic 14 Feb 2007 Mitt Romney, John McCain's former chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, will endorse the Arizona senator, officials familiar with the decision said Thursday.


Bill Curbing Terror Interrogators Is Sent to Bush, Who Has Vowed to Veto It 14 Feb 2008 The Senate voted Wednesday to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods tortures that have been used by the Central Intelligence Agency against high-level terrorism suspects. The vote, following House passage of the measure in December, set up a confrontation with President [sic] Bush, who has threatened to veto it. Democratic supporters of the measure hailed its passage and immediately challenged Mr. Bush to veto it, saying that to do so would effectively endorse torture. Democratic presidential candidates Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, did not vote. Republican opponents of the bill were joined by Senators Joseph I. LieberBush, the Connecticut Israel independent, and Ben Nelson (D-NE).

Senate votes to ban waterboarding 13 Feb 2008 Congress on Wednesday moved to prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, despite President [sic] Bush's threat to veto any measure that limits the agency's interrogation techniques.

Diplomats advised to compare 9/11 cases to Nazi war crime trials --Memo sent to U.S. embassies around the world sets out 'questions and answers' 12 Feb 2008 Anticipating international criticism over plans to seek the death penalty for accused September 11, 2001, terrorists, the State Department is advising U.S. diplomats to point out that Nazis were executed after their war crime trials. [Are Bush and Cheney next?]

David Miliband risks US row over 9/11 trials 13 Feb 2008 David Miliband has risked a diplomatic row with Washington by admitting Britain has "concerns" about the US plan to try terrorist suspects before military tribunals. The Foreign Secretary questioned whether Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others accused of planning the September 11 attacks would get a fair trial.

Rules for Lawyers of Guantanamo Detainees Are Called Onerous 13 Feb 2008 The cadre of civilian lawyers representing terrorism suspects held by the military at Guantanamo Bay are not allowed to meet their clients in private, without video surveillance. All their mail and notes must be turned over to the military. Classified information cannot be shared with their clients... Months before the trials of some of the prisoners are set to begin, some of the attorneys say the Defense Department's regulations for their work are so onerous that they will be unable to provide a fair and adequate defense of their clients.

Army quietly changed rules in '06 to allow military executions at 'other locations' --Muslim section of cemetery at Guantanamo has been dedicated by Islamic cultural adviser 12 Feb 2008 If six suspected terrorists are sentenced to death at Guantanamo Bay for the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Army regulations that were quietly amended two years ago open the possibility of execution by lethal injection at the military base in Cuba, experts said Tuesday. Until recently, experts on military law said, it was understood that military regulations required executions to be carried out by lethal injection at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. But in January 2006, the Army changed its procedures for military executions, allowing "other locations" [such as KBR detention centers] to be used. The new regulations say that only the president can approve an execution and that the secretary of the Army will authorize the location. [The Army quietly changed its regulations to allow military executions at 'other locations' in January 2006. Guess who got a multi-year, no-bid $385 million contract to construct detention centers on US soil, the same month and year? See: KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project For Emergency Support Services - KBR Press Release, 24 January 2006. --LRP

'I spent two years in a metal cage at Guantanamo Bay' --Hooded and kneeling on the cold cell floor, his wrists and ankles strapped behind his back, a young father-of-three from Birmingham was kicked and beaten from every side. 13 Feb 2008 Moazzam Begg was arrested in Pakistan by the CIA in 2002 and became a prisoner of the US military for three years. He was held first at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan - where he says he was beaten and tortured - and then for the final two years in a small metal cage at the notorious prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

Cuba demands US gives back Guantanamo Bay 14 Feb 2008 Cuba has demanded the US return Guantanamo Bay to the island nation and denounced the "war on terror" prison, where six prisoners could face the death penalty. Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque claimed today that suspects held in the US naval base in the southeastern tip of Cuba have been subjected to torture and face unfair legal treatment.

USA: Potential Guantanamo executions after torture and unfair trial 12 Feb 2008 The Pentagon's announcement that it has charged six 'high-value' detainees at Guantánamo Bay raises yet more questions about the USA's conduct in the 'war on terror', said Amnesty International... Five of the six men charged were held for more than three years in secret CIA custody at unknown locations before being transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. They were victims of enforced disappearance - a crime under international law - and the CIA has confirmed that at least one of them, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was subjected to 'waterboarding', simulated drowning.

Torture, terror and a trial system that is tainted By Rupert Cornwell 13 Feb 2008 This is now a trial about process – a process that stands tainted, probably beyond repair. In comparison, the judicial handling of the leaders of the Nazi regime was a model of clarity, fairness and openness. To start with biggest problem of all: torture. By the admission of the CIA, Mohammed was subjected to waterboarding – a technique considered torture by virtually everyone on the planet with the exceptions of Messrs Bush and Cheney. How on earth can evidence obtained in that fashion be admissible in a court of law, even a military court?

Bush opposes temporary extension of spy program 13 Feb 2008 Dictator George W. Bush on Wednesday vowed to veto another temporary extension of a domestic spying law and pressed Congress for a long-term fix to shield phone companies that cooperated with his [illegal] warrantless eavesdropping program. "The time for debate is over," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office. "I will not accept any temporary extension."

Appeal judges clear Muslims of terror charges --Judge's directions to jury were deficient, says court --Islamist material 'is legal unless linked to violence' 14 Feb 2008 Five young Muslim men yesterday had their terrorism convictions quashed after judges concluded that reading Islamist material was not illegal unless there was "direct" proof it was to be used to inspire violent extremism. The men had been jailed in July 2006 with the trial judge saying they had been "intoxicated" by extremism after Islamist ideological CDs and computer downloads were found in their possession.

U.K. judge voids 'thought crime' case 13 Feb 2008 A British court Wednesday overturned the convictions of five Muslims who downloaded militant literature on their computers.

EU Plans Biometric Border Checks 13 Feb 2008 On Wednesday, the European Commission unveiled a border management plan calling for fingerprinting all foreign visitors to the European Union. The proposal has alarmed civil rights campaigners who say the fingerprinting initiative is an invasion of personal privacy, and part of growing trend to identify and track people...

Another day, another enemy: Bush expands US sanctions on Syria officials 13 Feb 2008 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush ordered expanded financial sanctions on Wednesday against senior Syrian officials and their associates in his latest bid to step up pressure on Damascus. The measures are intended to freeze U.S. assets of those believed responsible for actions that "undermine efforts to stabilize Iraq" or have benefited from public corruption in Syria, the White House said. [LOL! Bush has been 'undermining efforts to stabilize Iraq' since the 9/11 terror attacks were but a twinkle in his eye! --LRP]

Thousands of New Prisoners Overwhelm Iraqi System --24,000 additional prisoners are held in separate US military prisons, like Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib 14 Feb 2008 The increase in American troops in Iraq over the past year has been accompanied by waves of new Iraqi detainees, American officials said Wednesday. Thousands of suspects have been detained since last summer by the augmented American and Iraqi security forces. More than half of the 26,000 prisoners are still awaiting 'trial,' and some have languished for years, American officials said.

Iraq to bring legal action against US soldiers 13 Feb 2008 The Iraqi government set up a committee to decide how to bring legal action in the United States against American soldiers for causing 'unjustified' deaths of Iraqis, cabinet spokesman said Wednesday. The cabinet set up a committee Tuesday to decide on ways to bring civil and criminal legal action against soldiers from the multinational forces in US courts for the 'excessive use of force' and 'unjustified killing' of Iraqis, cabinet spokesman, Ali al-Dabagh told the Voices of Iraq VOI news agency.

U.S.-Backed Sunni "Awakening" Militias Clash with U.S.-Backed Government 12 Feb 2008 U.S. backed Sunni militants have challenged the U.S.-backed Iraqi government in Baghdad, and demanded political power after two women were killed by government forces. Tensions rose earlier this month when men dressed in Iraqi security personnel uniforms kidnapped two women. Their naked bodies were found later.

US asks for help from Iran to exit Iraq: Envoy 12 Feb 2008 Iran's ambassador to Iraq [Hassan Kazemi Qomi], who attended two rounds of trilateral talks between Washington, Tehran and Baghdad about security in Iraq, said the US has asked for Iran's help to exit Iraq.

CDC Confirms Health Risks to Occupants of Trailers 14 Feb 2008 Federal health officials have confirmed that high levels of formaldehyde gas pose health risks to hurricane victims housed in 38,000 government trailers on the Gulf Coast, and will recommend that occupants be moved before temperatures rise this spring and summer, Bush administration officials disclosed yesterday.

Formaldehyde risks in trailers confirmed 13 Feb 2008 Even though levels of formaldehyde vary widely among FEMA trailers and some trailer inhabitants are less affected by the colorless gas than others, all residents are encouraged to move into "safer housing as soon as possible," preferably before the summer, said Julie Gerberding, the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinton makes a last stand in Ohio and Texas 13 Feb 2008 For Hillary Clinton, once viewed as the almost certain Democratic presidential nominee, it has come to this: Win in Ohio and Texas in three weeks, and again the next month in Pennsylvania, or go home.

Bill Clinton, Unplugged: Calls Shuster's Comments 'Careless, Crass, Cruel' 13 Feb 2008 On WMAL-AM yesterday in an interview with Chris Plante, former President Bill Clinton implied the media has been unfair to his wife, stated that she was standing up to sexism when she took on NBC, and -- when asked about MSNBC's David Shuster's comments about his daughter, Chelsea -- said there was a double standard. "If he had made a racial slur against Senator Obama, he would have been fired," Clinton said. [See: It's Hard out Here for a Pimp (like Shuster): Cable "News" and the Pimping of Myth --The Rec Report By Michael Rectenwald 10 Feb 2008.]

NBC station accused of bias after anchor says Chelsea was 'pimped' 13 Feb 2008 Hillary Clinton has accused a cable news channel of a pattern of bias after an on-air reporter said her campaign "pimped out" her daughter, Chelsea. Clinton's charges against MSNBC follow an escalating dispute with the network over its commentary -- which peaked last week with the comments from anchorman David Shuster.

Ethics Panel Admonishes Craig for Conduct in Sex Sting 14 Feb 2008 Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho) was rebuked yesterday by the Senate ethics committee over his conviction for disorderly conduct in an airport men's restroom, with the panel concluding that he committed the offense and citing him for actions "which [have] reflected discreditably on the Senate." Craig was "publicly admonished" in a letter that closed the case without any formal punishment or a public inquiry into the allegations.

Depression risk might force U.S. to buy assets 12 Feb 2008 Fear that a hobbled banking sector Bush may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts.

Second deadline to protect polar bears missed 13 Feb 2008 The United States has missed its own postponed deadline to decide if polar bears need protection from climate change, and critics link the delay to an oil lease sale in a vast swath of the bear's icy habitat. "When it comes to the survival of the polar bear, the Bush administration is putting the 'dead' back into 'deadline,"' said Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who heads a House of Representatives panel on climate change. The U.S. Geological Survey, in a study conducted to aid the government's decision, reported last year that all polar bears in Alaska -- about 16,000 currently -- could disappear if warming trends continue.

Mr. Bush's Cynical Gambit (The Hartford Courant) 14 Feb 2008 Call it the Bush administration's farewell swipe at the polar bear on behalf of oil and gas companies. As part of a legal settlement with environmental groups, the Interior Department agreed more than a year ago to consider listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But when the time arrived for the agency to announce its decision in January, Interior officials said they needed more time -- another month. On Feb. 6, however, the Interior Department announced the sale of $2.6 billion in leases for drilling rights to Alaska's Chukchi Sea, home to walruses, endangered bowhead whales and half of the United States' population of polar bears. By going forward with the lease auction, the Bush administration has agreed to gamble on the fate of the bear. For the bear, the odds aren't good.

Lake Mead Could Dry Up by 2021 12 Feb 2008 Lake Mead, a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern United States, could go dry by 2021, a new study finds.


Scalia: It is "extraordinary" to assume that the U.S. Constitution's ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" also applies to "so-called" torture. Top court's Scalia defends physical interrogation 12 Feb 2008 Reichwing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said on Tuesday some physical interrogation techniques [torture] can be used on a suspect in the event of an imminent threat, such as a hidden bomb about to blow up. In such cases, "smacking someone in the face" could be justified, the outspoken Scalia told the BBC. "You can't come in smugly and with great self satisfaction and say 'Oh it's torture, and therefore it's no good.'"

Scalia says 'so-called torture' may not be unconstitutional 12 Feb 2008 US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Tuesday defended the use of harsh physical interrogation techniques, saying in an interview with Law in Action on BBC Radio 4 that they may be justified to deter an immediate threat. Scalia argued that "so-called torture" may not necessarily be prohibited by the US constitution, as he said the Eighth Amendment bar against "cruel and unusual punishment" was only intended to apply to criminal punishments...

Executions may be carried out at Guantanamo 13 Feb 2008 If six suspected terrorists are sentenced to death at Guantanamo Bay for the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. Army regulations that were quietly amended two years ago open the possibility of execution by lethal injection at the military base in Cuba, experts said Tuesday. In January 2006, the Army changed its procedures for military executions, allowing "other locations" to be used. The new regulations say that only the president can approve an execution and that the secretary of the Army will authorize the location. "Military executions will be by lethal injection," the regulations say.

'There's absolutely no question about the UK Government's commitments in respect of torture, which is illegal, and our definition of what torture is.' Miliband 'concerned' by Guantanamo trial 13 Feb 2008 David Miliband has admitted that Britain has "some concerns" about the move by the United States military to bring charges against six men suspected of orchestrating the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. The Foreign Secretary echoed the concerns of human rights groups who are worried that the six, who could face the death penalty, will not get a fair trial from the military tribunal and claim they were tortured at Guantanamo Bay.

Senate Authorizes Broad Expansion of Surveillance Act 13 Feb 2008 The Senate yesterday approved a sweeping measure that would expand the government's clandestine surveillance powers, delivering a key victory to the White House by approving immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that cooperated with intelligence agencies in domestic spying after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Senate Passes Bill to Expand U.S. Spying Powers 12 Feb 2008 After more than a year of heated political wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers after giving legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President [sic] Bush’s [illegal] warrantless eavesdropping program. Republicans were able to garner the support of 19 DemocRATs and Senator Joseph I. LieberBush of Connecticut Israel. Democratic leaders charged that the tactics the Republicans used smacked of fear-mongering.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 110th Congress - 2nd Session 12 Feb 2008 Question: On Passage of the Bill (S.2248 as Amended ) An original bill to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, to modernize and streamline the provisions of that Act, and for other purposes. List of 19 traitorous DemocRATs who voted to preserve 'retroactive immunity' for Bush's spying telecoms: Baucus (MT), Bayh (IN), Carper (DE), Casey (PA), Conrad (ND), Inouye (HI), Johnson (SD), Kohl (WI), Landrieu (LA), Lincoln (AR), McCaskill (MO), Mikulski (MD), Ben Nelson (NE), Bill Nelson (FL), Pryor (AR), Rockefeller (WV), Salazar (CO), Webb (VA), Whitehouse (D-RI). And, last but not least, Joe LieberBush (Israel). Not Voting: Clinton (NY) and Obama (IL), missing/useless.

House Vote on Contempt Is Expected Soon 13 Feb 2008 Democratic House leaders plan to force [?] a vote as early as Thursday on holding Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, former White House counsel, in contempt of Congress.

Iraq mistakes must not halt global push for 'democracy,' says Miliband 12 Feb 2008 David Miliband will attempt to recast British foreign policy in the post-Iraq era tonight, arguing that mistakes there and in Afghanistan should not derail the moral imperative to intervene abroad in the pursuit of spreading 'democracy.'

Iraq parliament row over key laws deepens 12 Feb 2008 Scores of Iraqi lawmakers stormed out of parliament on Tuesday, blocking a vote on the 2008 budget and other bills including an amnesty law that could free thousands of prisoners.

Pause means US Iraq force likely larger for longer 12 Feb 2008 When the next U.S. president is chosen, America may have about as many troops in Iraq as it did two years earlier, when voters tired of the war handed President [sic] George W. Bush's Republicans an election defeat.

Gates Backs Pause in U.S. Troop Pullout From Iraq After July 12 Feb 2008 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he is in favor of a pause in troop reductions from Iraq after about 20,000 American soldiers are sent home by July.

US soldier converts to Islam [Don't tell Blackwater.] 11 Feb 2008 A US soldier in Afghanistan converts to Islam commenting that "Islam is pretty much the only religion that makes sense to me." Sergeant Wallace Nelson, 31, told AFP that his interaction with his interpreters and other Afghans had persuaded him to convert to Islam.

Blackwater is a busy little bee! Journalist abducted on Sunday found dead 12 Feb 2008 The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the murder of an Iraqi reporter whose body was discovered today in Baghdad after he disappeared on Sunday. Police today discovered the body of Hisham Mijawet Hamdan, a board member of the Young Journalists Association, and took him to Al-Tib al-Adli morgue in Baghdad, Haidar Hasoun, founder and head of the association, told CPJ. He said that the journalist, who exhibited signs of torture, was shot in the head and chest.

Limbo for U.S. Women Reporting Iraq Contractor Assaults 13 Feb 2008 Mary Beth Kineston is among a number of American women who have reported that they were sexually assaulted by co-workers while working as contractors in Iraq but now find themselves in legal limbo, unable to seek justice or even significant compensation.

Day of protests precedes Berkeley council meeting on Marines issue 12 Feb 2008 The left and the right squared off in an all-day protest Tuesday over the City Council's recent decision to call the U.S. Marines recruiting center uninvited and unwelcome intruders in what is being called the largest and most raucous protest in recent Berkeley history.

Pakistan nuclear staff go missing 12 Feb 2008 Two employees of Pakistan's atomic energy agency have been abducted in the country's restive north-western region abutting the Afghan border, police say. The technicians went missing on the same day as Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, was reportedly abducted in the same region.

U.N. Weighs a Ban on Weapons in Space, but U.S. Still Objects 13 Feb 2008 The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, on Tuesday presented a Russian-Chinese draft treaty banning weapons in space to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, an idea that was quickly rejected by the United States.

Australia's stolen generation: 'To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, we say sorry' --Today marks a historic apology by the Australian government to its Aboriginal community for years of estrangement, lies and abuse. But while the official admission of guilt is welcomed, the question of compensation still remains. 13 Feb 2008 It has been a long time coming, but at last Australia has said the word its Aboriginal population wanted to hear. It was uttered three times, early this morning, when the new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, addressed the Australian Parliament. That word was "sorry".

Lighting up Sorry week --Hear the words of today's apology whilst watching the video of GetUp's candle ceremony in Canberra. GetUp's Executive Director Brett Solomon reflects upon Monday's candle ceremony. 12 Feb 2008 Laid out before the most powerful institution in the country, the Australian Parliament, 4000 candles flickered spelling out the words 'Sorry, the first step'. It was a very moving moment. Personal for many, politically resonant for myself. [Click here to read the Prime Minister's full apology.]

Protesters renew Pemex oilfields blockade --Protesters in southern Mexico blockaded oilfields and facilities in Tabasco state, crimping onshore production there. 07 Feb 2008 State-run oil company Pemex said: "The constant blockades of oil facilities, besides affecting production & impede productive activities with consequent economic damage to Pemex, public finances and economic activity" in Tabasco. [<g>] Mexican media said the picketers were allied with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the former Mexico City mayor who lost out in won the 2006 presidential elections.

Venezuela Halts Oil Sales to Exxon Mobil 12 Feb 2008 Venezuela's state oil company said Tuesday that it has stopped selling crude to Exxon Mobil Corp. in response to the U.S. oil company's drive to use the courts to seize billions of dollars in Venezuelan assets.

U.S. aims to give wake-up alerts on storms [phony 'terror' alerts during 'election' season] 12 Feb 2008 In the not-too-distant future, the U.S. government would like to be able to wake up residents in the middle of the night when a hurricane or tornado threatens, perhaps by sounding the alarm on a cellphone.

Family of infant who died at Honolulu Airport filing suit 11 Feb 2008 The family of an infant from American Samoa who died Friday morning at Honolulu Airport after his mother and a nurse were detained by immigration officials in a locked room plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Boulder Weighs 'Bush Impeach' 12 Feb 2008 Boulder's elected leaders are expected to decide next week whether to draft and vote on a resolution calling for the impeachment of President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Similar measures have passed in cities across the country, including Detroit and Telluride.

Even the rich are revolting as Republicans abandon GOP 13 Feb 2008 In the wealthiest suburbs of Virginia, a quiet revolution was under way yesterday as life-long republicans switched sides to vote for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. So deep is the disillusionment with George Bush, so uninspiring the choice offered by the Republicans, that many life-long conservatives are abandoning the Grand Old Party to support a liberal black candidate.

Clinton, Obama already targeting March 4 12 Feb 2008 Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is counting on the almost-Super Tuesday primaries March 4 for another comeback, as she and rival Sen. Barack Obama both begin ads in Texas and Ohio, the day's biggest prizes.

Obama widens base, cuts into Clinton core 12 Feb 2008 Barack Obama might keep calling himself the underdog. But from now on, that dog won't hunt. His smashing victories in three Mid-Atlantic primaries Tuesday will likely be seen as a turning point in the 2008 presidential contest.

In Va., Huckabee Again Shows Strength on Right 13 Feb 2008 Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) swept Republican primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District last night, defeating former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and adding to his vast delegate lead in the race to become his party's presidential nominee.

McCain Signs Up a Bush Fund-Raising Organizer 13 Feb 2008 Senator John McSociopath began tapping into President [sic] Bush’s prized political donor base on Tuesday as his campaign announced that Mercer Reynolds, who helped Mr. Bush raise a record $273 million for the 2004 re-[s]election campaign, would be the national finance co-chairman for Mr. McCain.

Another GOPedophile bites the dust: Ex-Fla. official facing fed porn charges 11 Feb 2008 The former spokesman for Florida's child welfare agency paid two 16-year-old boys for sexually explicit photos of themselves and then brokered the images to overseas pornographers, according to a complaint filed Monday by federal prosecutors.

EPA must rewrite utility mercury rule: U.S. court 08 Feb 2008 In a victory for environmentalists and a setback for big U.S. coal-burning utilities, a federal court ruled on Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency must fundamentally rework its mercury rules for utilities.

Third of recent buyers owe more than home's value: report 12 Feb 2008 More than 30 percent of U.S. homeowners who bought in the last two years owe more on their mortgage than their house is currently worth, a housing market research company said on Tuesday.

Writers Guild Votes to End Strike 12 Feb 2008 Striking Hollywood writers are going back to work. The Writers Guild of America says its members voted Tuesday to end their devastating, three-month strike that brought the entertainment industry to a standstill.

Baby polar bear is making progress 12 Feb 2008 A polar bear cub who became famous at a German zoo after she was separated from her mother has turned two months old. Flocke, or Snowflake in English, is being looked after by keepers at Nuremberg zoo after they became concerned her mother might harm her after watching the cub being repeatedly dropped.


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