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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March 2004 Archives, Page Two

Group that called electronic vote secure got makers' aid The Election Center, which trains election workers and advises Congress and government agencies on election process issues, has taken donations from manufacturers of electronic 'voting' machines even as it has issued strong statements supporting the security of the machines.

County calls out Diebold execs Registrar warns Texas company that it failed to perform under its contract for voting equipment --The oldest West Coast customer of Diebold Election Systems is calling company executives on the carpet today, citing "disappointment and dissatisfaction" with Diebold 'voting' equipment. Alameda County, the first and, until recently, largest user of Diebold touchscreen 'voting' machines in California, warned the McKinney, Texas, firm this week that it is "not adequately performing its obligations." Voting industry observers say the warning marks perhaps the first time that a U.S. county has lodged a formal contract complaint with a manufacturer of electronic voting systems.

Terror experts 'almost quit' in frustration with Bush The Bush regime's failure to prevent the 11 September attacks came under even fiercer scrutiny yesterday, when it emerged that two veteran CIA counter-terrorism experts were so frustrated in summer 2001 that they considered resigning and making public their fears about an imminent terrorist strike against US targets.

Bush Says He Had No Advance Warning of 9/11 Dictator Bush insisted on Thursday he had no advance warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks as he challenged the assertions of a former aide who accused him of not placing a high enough priority on pursuing al Qaeda prior to the tragedy. [See* The obscure goat story of 9-11 ( "It is very important to examine the first reactions President [sic] Bush had concerning the events of September 11. You can tell much about the truth by observing the reactions of men... 'In Sarasota, Florida, Bush was reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear. The president [sic] briefly turned somber before he resumed reading. He addressed the tragedy about a half-hour later.' - Associated Press, September 12, 2001 [bold emphasis added]."

Clarke: 'White House is papering over facts' Former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke will testify Wednesday before a commission investigating the attacks of September 11, 2001. Clarke claims in a new book, "Against All Enemies," that Dictator Bush ignored the terrorist threat before September 11, 2001. [Dictator Bush ignored the terrorist threat as he *is* the terrorist threat.]

Government 'failed you,' Clarke testifies Ex-counterterror chief apologizes to victims at 9/11 hearing, says Bush didn’t consider terrorism an urgent issue --The former counterterrorism chief in the Bush and Clinton White Houses apologized Wednesday to the families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying, "Your government failed you." But he placed the bulk of the blame on Dictator Bush, accusing his regime of not making terrorism "an urgent issue." In contrast, the Clinton administration had "no higher priority," said Richard Clarke, the star witness at two days of hearings by the independent panel examining diplomatic, military and intelligence efforts to fight Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorist network.

Clarke: Rice should have done job before 9/11 Former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke said that key information about the September 11 hijackers may have come out before the attacks if national security adviser Condoleezza Rice "had done her job" -- suggesting the plot may have been uncovered in time to prevent it.

Daschle Assails White House Tactics Against Clarke The Democratic leader in the Senate accused Dictator Bush's aides today of waging a shrill, personal attack against Richard A. Clarke, a former counterterrorism official, who has asserted that the threat of Al Qaeda terrorists was not a high priority in the Bush White House before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

White House in row over September 11 evidence The White House was facing a crisis in confidence yesterday over its handling of the al-Qaida threat prior to September 11, as a public inquiry into the attacks demanded to question George Bush's national security adviser.

Inside view casts new shadow over re-[s-]election hopes --by Rupert Cornwell "...[T]he stakes are exceptionally high, as the ferocity of the White House response to his charges demonstrates. If his accusation sticks - that George W. Bush, fixated by Iraq, neglected the al-Qa'ida threat before 9/11 - the consequences for the President[sic]'s [s-]election campaign could be devastating. By charging that Mr Bush and his senior advisers mistakenly neglected al-Qa'ida in the spring and summer of 2001 to focus on Iraq, Mr Clarke has not only re-ignited the debate over whether the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington could have been prevented."

September 11: the shocking evidence of secret deals, missed chances and fatal misjudgements The full extent of America's failed attempts to neutralise the threat of Osama bin Laden before 11 September 2001 was graphically and embarrassingly spelt out yesterday in a report by a commission set up to investigate the terror attacks.

Four 9/11 Moms Watch Rumsfeld And Grumble --by Gail Sheehy "In the predawn hours of Tuesday, March 23, Kristen Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg and Patty Casazza dropped off their collective seven fatherless children with grandmothers and climbed into Ms. Breitweiser’s S.U.V. for the race down Garden State Parkway to the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill... On March 23, testimony was to be heard by the commission investigating intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others... 'The Bush people keep saying that Clinton was not doing enough [to combat the Al Qaeda threat],' said Ms. Kleinberg. 'But 'nothing' is less than 'not enough,' and nothing is what the Bush administration did.' An unnamed spokesman for the Bush campaign was quoted as saying of Sept. 11, 'We own it.' That comment particularly disturbed the Four Moms. 'They can have it,' said Ms. Van Auken. 'Can I have my husband back now?'"

An Accuser's Insider Status Puts the White House on the Defensive --by Todd S. Purdum "John Kerry himself has never dared to make such a bald charge: That President [sic] Bush failed to adequately grasp the threat of Al Qaeda in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks, then followed up with 'an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq that strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic terrorist movement worldwide.' But that is the stinging indictment of Mr. Bush's own former top counterterrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, published this week in a memoir. At the worst possible moment, it undercuts Mr. Bush on the issue that he has made the unapologetic centerpiece of his administration and a linchpin of his re-[s]election campaign: his handling of the global war on terror."

Kay implores US to admit mistakes in Iraq The former chief US weapons inspector in Iraq warned yesterday that the United States is in "grave danger" of destroying its credibility at home and abroad if it does not own up to its mistakes in Iraq.

Analysis: Iraq Charges Against Bush Begin to Mount Criticism of Dictator Bush's motives and decision-making in attacking Iraq last year may be acquiring critical mass with voters following criticism by former top counterterrorism official Richard Clarke.

Spain's Leader-Elect Wants U.N. Iraq Vote The incoming prime minister's push for a U.N. vote on the occupation in Iraq, which may allow him to keep Spanish troops in the country, got a boost during a series of meetings with foreign leaders, an official from his party said.

U.S. sent medically unfit soldiers to Iraq, Pentagon acknowledges To meet the demand for troops in Iraq, the military has been deploying some National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers who aren't fit for combat. More than a dozen members of the Guard and reserves told Knight Ridder they were shipped off to battle with little attention paid to their medical histories. Those histories included ailments such as asthma, diabetes, recent surgery and hearing loss. Once in Iraq, the soldiers faced severe conditions that aggravated their medical problems, and the medical care available to them was limited.

Widow of Soldier in Jessica Lynch Unit Blasts Bush At a ceremony on Tuesday marking the one-year anniversary of the Iraqi attack on Pvt. Jessica Lynch's Army unit, the widow of a soldier who died in the fight blasted Dictator Bush for "lying to America" to justify the Iraq war.

Attack slays Iraqi employee of Bechtel An Iraqi working for Bechtel Corp. in Baghdad died in a mortar attack last week, the San Francisco construction firm's first known loss to the violence roiling the country.

Three U.S. soldiers killed in ambushes in Iraq (Adds new attack) Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in two separate attacks on convoys in Iraq on Thursday, the U.S. military said. A U.S. Army spokesman also announced that on Wednesday resistance fighters had killed a soldier and wounded another in a gun battle just north of Baghdad.

3 Iraqis Killed, 4 U.S. Troops Wounded in Separate Attacks Three Iraqis were killed and four American troops were wounded Wednesday morning in two separate attacks apparently aimed at jolting newly arrived U.S. Marines in the Sunni Triangle cities of Fallouja and Ramadi.

One US soldier killed, two wounded in Iraqi town of Baquba One US soldier was killed and two were wounded when their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in the central Iraqi town of Baquba, a US military spokeswoman said.

350 Iraqi police die in past year An American soldier who died in a bomb explosion north of Baghdad is the latest casualty in Iraq. Some 350 US-trained Iraqi police have been killed in the past year, and rebel attacks will likely increase before the occupation hands over sovereignty on June 30, the US military said today.

Forces: U.S. & Occupation/Casualties There have been 690 coalition deaths, 590 Americans, 59 Britons, five Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, two Poles, 10 Spaniards, two Thai and three Ukrainian, in the war as of March 25, 2004.

U.S. Places 2,000 More Marines Near Afghanistan The United States has placed about 2,000 Marines with special operations training aboard Navy ships in the Gulf, poised for use in Afghanistan where the hunt for al Qaeda and Taliban fugitives is intensifying, defense officials said Thursday.

U.S. to Ship Guns to Neighbouring Dominican Republic Washington is poised to start shipping 20,000 M-16 rifles to the Dominican Republic, the nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, where well-armed Reichwing terrorists helped to force President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power Feb. 29. Experts predict the new guns could cross the poorly guarded border between the countries, but the U.S. State Department says the agreement with the government in Santo Domingo prevents any transfer of weapons from the military. [Yeah, right!]

Fox questions why British military were in Mexico Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday he wants to know why members of the British military were in his country for a cave expedition [?!?], but never notified his government.

Retail Gasoline Sets Record Once Again For the third straight day it got more painful at the pumps for motorists, as the American Automobile Association said Thursday the price of U.S. regular gasoline hit another all-time high. [*See: January 29, 2004 Exxon Mobil 4Q profit up 63% Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. said its quarterly profit jumped 63 percent, helped by a tax settlement gain and higher prices for crude oil and natural gas, while annual earnings for 2003 rose to a record high.]

FBI alerts Texas refineries to terror threat The FBI issued an advisory Wednesday in response to intelligence it received that oil refineries in Texas may be targeted for terrorist attacks. [And if Bush 'allows' the refineries in Texas (golly gee, right in his own 'back yard',) to be blown up, the U.S. citizenry would certainly understand those skyrocketing gas prices, correct? Cui Bono? Exxon-Mobil, of course.]

FBI Warns Texas Oil Industry of Possible Attack The FBI warned the Texas oil industry of possible terror attacks around elections this November, but it has no specific, corroborated details of any potential threats, FBI and industry sources said on Thursday.

FBI Issues Alert for Plants in Texas Security was tight early Thursday at petrochemical plants along the Gulf of Mexico following a caution issued by the FBI. An agency official said that the Texas Coastal Regional Advisory System, a shared information and communication system that is part of the Houston Joint Terrorism Task Force, was notified of nonspecific threats gathered from overseas sources.

FBI's Mueller Warns of Terrorist Plots 'Terrorists' could attempt to influence the outcome of this year's U.S. presidential s-election by launching attacks in America and overseas, FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday. [No, Diebold has that one all wrapped up, no matter how many acts of terror Dictator Bush and his whackjob team of psychopaths are planning to 'pull off.']

Senate Takes Up 'Unborn Victims' Bill The U.S. Senate opened an emotional debate on Thursday on legislation that would make it a federal crime to harm or kill an "unborn child," a step that critics say could weaken abortion rights.

Speaking of your privates ... --by Michael Ventura "Flip-flopping drastically on his 2001 promise, [Dictator] Bush's Justice Department now states that patients 'no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential,' adding that federal law 'does not recognize a physician-patient privilege.' Do not overlook a point that should be as alarming to conservatives as to progressives: These sweeping statements do not single out abortion cases; they cover all medical practice."

Probe may force DeLay to step down House Republican leader Tom DeLay of Texas is reportedly discussing temporarily stepping down from his post if he is indicted. A Texas grand jury is investigating him for alleged campaign finance abuses.

Kerry, Dean Vow to Push Bush From Office John Kerry and Howard Dean put aside their disagreements over tax cuts and the war in Iraq on Thursday and promised their supporters they would combine forces to help the Massachusetts senator drive Dictator Bush out of the White House.

Democracy for America --by Governor Howard Dean, M.D. "While my run for the White House ended last month, our work to take back this country has only just begun. George W. Bush's policies continue to fail to deliver on issues that matter most to Americans, and we need a change of leadership come November. That is why I plan on endorsing John Kerry to be the next President of the United States on Thursday, along with all 34 Members of Congress who endorsed me during the campaign."

Protesters Lose Bid to Camp in NY During Convention Former members of the Yippies, a counterculture group that clashed with police in riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, lost a bid on Wednesday to set up a camp for protesters during this summer's Republican National Convention in New York, officials said.

Betrayed by an oil giant 15 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster, the coast remains polluted and compensation is unpaid --Shortly after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, a senior Exxon representative visited the devastated fishing communities of southern Alaska and promised them the company would do everything in its power to restore their livelihoods and "make them whole". But 15 years to the day... the feeling among fishermen, environmentalist activists and the lawyers representing them is that Exxon has not only broken its original promise but has gone out of its way to betray them in pursuit of broader corporate interests.

Clarke Warned of Hundreds Dead Just Before 9/11 Former counterterrorism official Richard Clarke sent a letter to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice one week before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks urging Bush dictatorship aides to imagine how they would feel if hundreds of Americans were killed in a terrorist strike.

Clarke to 9/11 families: Your government failed you Clarke: Bush didn't see terrorism as 'urgent' --Richard Clarke, Dictator Bush's former counterterrorism chief, told an independent panel investigating the attacks of September 11, 2001, that the regime didn't consider terrorism an "urgent" priority until then.

Ex-Adviser: Terrorism Not Urgent for Bush The government's former top counterterrorism adviser testified Wednesday that the Clinton administration had "no higher priority" than combating terrorists while the Bush regime made it "an important issue but not an urgent issue."

Bush Briefed on Al Qaeda Threat Before Taking [Literally, *taking* office] CIA Director George Tenet faced tough questioning on Wednesday from the national commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, with one panel member saying a classified plan to eliminate Osama bin Laden and protect the nation was totally inadequate. ...The staff report issued on Tuesday said that during the summer of 2001 [The Idiot Usurper took a month-long vaction in August.] the volume of intelligence about threats at home and abroad grew alarming. "By late July, there were indications of multiple, possibly catastrophic, terrorist attacks being planned against American interests overseas," it said.

Berger: Rice was told about 'urgency' of al Qaeda Tenet cites efforts to get bin Laden --When the Bush regime was entering office, outgoing National Security Adviser Samuel Berger told his replacement, Condoleezza Rice, "she'd be spending more time on terrorism and al Qaeda than any other issue," Berger told the panel investigating the attacks Wednesday. "I did my best to emphasize the urgency I felt," he said.

Inquiry chief says US could have prevented September 11 attacks The United States could have prevented the September 11 attacks with tighter border and intelligence checks, the head of an official inquiry into the strikes said Tuesday as top Bush regime officials gave their first public testimony.

DOJ Asked FBI Translator to Change Pre 9-11 Intercepts --by Tom Flocco "FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, was offered a substantial raise and a full time job in order to not go public that she had been asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to retranslate and adjust the translations of [terrorist] subject intercepts that had been received before September 11, 2001 by the FBI and CIA. Edmonds, a ten year U.S. citizen who has passed a polygraph examination, speaks fluent Farsi and Turkish and had been working part time with the FBI for six months-- commencing in December, 2001. In a 50 reporter scrum in front of some 12 news cameras, Edmonds said 'Attorney General John Ashcroft told me 'he was invoking State Secret Privilege and National Security' when I told the FBI I wanted to go public with what I had translated from the pre 9-11 intercepts'. 'I appeared once on CBS 60 Minutes but I have been silenced by Mr. Ashcroft, the FBI follows me, and I was threatened with jail in 2002 if I went public,' Edmonds told"

Officials: U.S. missed chance to kill bin Laden (06/25/03) Though Predator drones spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times in late 2000, the Bush dictatorship did not fly the unmanned planes over Afghanistan during its first eight months and was still refining a plan to use one armed with missiles to kill the al-Qaida leader when Sept. 11 unfolded, current and former U.S. officials say.

Aide: Clinton Approved Killing Bin Laden Bill Clinton gave the CIA "every inch of authorization that it asked for" to carry out plans to kill Osama bin Laden, the former president's national security adviser testified Wednesday, bluntly disputing claims that the spy agency lacked the authority it needed.

Panel calls for Rice to appear Members of the federal panel that's been looking into 9/11 say they're not hearing from everyone they want to hear from. The ten-member panel had invited National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify. She declined, with the White House citing concerns about separation of powers. [Separate *this.*]

Democrats Say Bush Abuses Power in Slamming Critic Democrats on Tuesday accused the White House of s-election-year "abuses of power" in trying to discredit former top U.S. counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, who has accused Dictator Bush of ignoring threats from al Qaeda before the Sept. 11 attacks.

9-11 conspiracy signs at the March 20 rally in San Francisco

US business group slams Bush 'deception' over Iraq war A US business group that monitors federal spending took out a full-page advert in The New York Times, likening Dictator George W. Bush to a corrupt chief executive officer who has forfeited public trust.

Nine Police Trainees, Two Policemen Gunned Down in Iraq Gunmen opened fire on a van filled with police recruits south of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing nine, and assailants shot and killed two policemen — twin brothers — north of the capital.

Six Iraqis killed in ambush on U.S. military vehicle Sheraton Hotel struck in Baghdad --Six Iraqis were killed and at least seven other people wounded, including two U.S. Marines, in an ambush Wednesday in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah, American military sources said.

U.S. Military Frees 272 Detainees in Iraq The U.S. military released 272 security detainees Tuesday from Abu Ghraib prison, once Saddam Hussein's most notorious lockup. To the dismay of U.S. troops [<g>], some detainees, who mostly wore Arab robes or tracksuits, shouted a few words to the waiting reporters. Most refused to give their names or say which part of Iraq they came from or why they were detained. "I just came out of hell," screamed one. All those who spoke claimed innocence. "I never knew what I was accused of," said Yasser al-Badri.

Military Was Sold Lead-Tainted Fabric for Tents Almost three-fourths of the camouflage-patterned tents, tarpaulins and jeep covers used by the United States military throughout the world are made from fabric manufactured with toxic lead compounds that can cause a variety of illnesses including cancer, according to undisputed evidence in a lawsuit being tried mostly behind closed doors in federal court.

Pledge of Allegiance, 'Under God' Backed at U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court injustices signaled they have few concerns about the practice of asking public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase "under God.''

UN official slams French ban on Muslim headscarf A United Nations human rights official Monday criticised new French legislation banning religious headscarves in schools, saying the rule could foster discrimination against Muslims.

Nader Begins Push to Qualify for State Ballots Ralph Nader [Barf Nadir]'s wild-card presidential bid is gearing up over the next few months for its biggest challenge -- navigating a maze of local regulations and roadblocks to qualify for the ballot in all 50 states. Nadir is hoping to collect 1.5 million signatures of registered voters on petitions for ballot access nationwide -- more than enough to ensure he will make Democrats nervous again this year.

Clear Channel execs donate more to Bush Clear Channel (CCU) executives have given $42,200 to Bush, vs. $1,750 to likely Democratic nominee John Kerry in the 2004 race. What's more, the executives and Clear Channel's political action committee gave 77% of their $334,501 in federal contributions to Republicans. That's a bigger share than any other entertainment company, says the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

False pretenses / Faking the cost of the Medicare drug program (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) News that a government bureaucrat was ordered to withhold information from Congress on the cost of adding a prescription drug benefit under Medicare illustrates again the Bush administration's tactic of advancing its agenda under false pretenses... Acting on the lower estimate, Congress narrowly approved the measure, with the bill squeaking through the House by just five votes in November... It would be one thing if this whole sordid episode were an anomaly in the administration's modus operandi, but it isn't. Reversing a key campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide as an air pollutant and going to war based on phony claims about weapons of mass destruction are just a couple of the more obvious examples. President [sic] Bush hails the prescription drug benefit as one of his premier domestic policy achievements. Unfortunately, it was based on false pretenses."

Report Says Medicare to Go Broke by 2019 Medicare will have to begin dipping into its trust fund this year to keep up with expenditures and will go broke by 2019 without changes in a program that is swelling because of rising health costs, trustees reported Tuesday.

Gasoline Pump Prices Hit All-Time High U.S. retail gasoline prices rose to their highest level on record Tuesday, spelling pain at the pumps for the nation's 200 million motorists, the American Automobile Association said on Tuesday. [*See: January 29, 2004 Exxon Mobil 4Q profit up 63% Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. said its quarterly profit jumped 63 percent, helped by a tax settlement gain and higher prices for crude oil and natural gas, while annual earnings for 2003 rose to a record high. Energy prices boost Exxon Mobil's profit World's largest oil firm posts higher fourth-quarter earnings (Jan. 29, 2004) Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest oil company, on Thursday said fourth-quarter profit rose on high energy prices.]

Postage Stamp Prices Could Rise Sharply Postmaster General John Potter warned that a postal rate increase planned for 2006 could be 4 cents or more for first class letters unless 'restrictions' on how the agency operates [?!?] are eased.

Microsoft hit by record EU fine The European Union has found Microsoft guilty of abusing the "near-monopoly" of its Windows PC operating system and fined it a record 497 million euros ($613 million).

Justices Hear Arguments About H.M.O. Malpractice Lawsuits With the debate over patients' rights stalled in Congress, the issue moved to the Supreme Court on Tuesday in an argument about whether patients can invoke state law to sue managed-care companies for medical malpractice when treatment recommended by their doctor is withheld.

U.S. Justices Consider if Health Insurers Can Be Sued U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned on Tuesday whether health insurance firms can be sued for refusing to pay for doctor-recommended medical care, a case that could affect the legal rights of more than 130 million patients across the country.

Battle The Monsanto Milk Beast --by Jim Hightower "If you think CorporateWorld can't get any more conniving, you've not figured on Monsanto. This is the biotech outfit that's trying to profit by putting its artificial growth hormones into our milk supply. Since consumers overwhelmingly reject this adulteration, Monsanto lobbyists got our government to let this milk be marketed with no labeling of the adulteration, so we milk-buyers won't know what we're getting. The good news is that several dairies have responded by declaring on their milk cartons: 'No Artificial Growth Hormones Used.' The bad news is that Monsanto greedheads have unleashed packs of their attack-dog lawyers to sue several of these dairies, claiming that these 'No Artificial Hormones' labels are – get this – false and misleading, because they might cause you and me to think that natural milk is better for us than milk with Monsanto's additive."

U.S. Pushes to Boost Use of Ozone Damaging Fumigant U.S. fruit growers in Montreal this week will push for an increase in their use of a pesticide known to destroy the ozone layer, claiming that exemptions for developing nations on the chemical are unfair.

Sierra Club Ads Target Bush, Toxic Waste The Sierra Club has launched a new series of ads charging the Bush dictatorship with failing to make corporations clean up abandoned toxic waste sites.

School District Closes as Dozens of Students Fall Ill A mysterious illness has sickened dozens of youngsters at a school district in suburban Pittsburgh, forcing the cancellation of classes for about 800 students until at least next week.

Oregon County Bans All Marriages - Period In a new twist in the battle over same-sex marriage roiling the United States, a county in Oregon has banned all marriages -- gay and heterosexual -- until the state decides who can and who cannot wed.

Corporations Point Workers Toward [GOP] Ballot Boxes A growing number of large U.S. corporations are offering services to register their employees to vote and mounting get-to-the-polls drives that advocates hope will swell the ranks of pro-business voters this election year. Republicans see it as a boon to their hopes of maintaining control of the House and Senate and re-s-electing Dictator Bush. Democrats, who have long benefited from union-led get-out-the-vote campaigns, are worried that business finally has developed a vigorous counterpunch.

Rove, Small Circle Lead Bush Campaign Dictator Bush entrusts adviser Karl Rove to oversee his bare-knuckle bid for a second term. Other key players in Bush's re-s-election effort are: Mark Wallace, deputy campaign manager. A former legal adviser in the Department of Homeland Security, he worked on Bush's 2000 campaign and on Jeb Bush's three gubernatorial campaigns. [Two peas in a pod: *See photo of Theresa LePore [LePoor], supervisor of elections, with Republican attorney Mark Wallace in West Palm Beach, Fla., in this Nov. 30, 2000 file photo.]

Florida voting worries persist In Bay County in the Panhandle, a technical error gave Richard Gephardt more votes than presumptive nominee John Kerry -- even though Gephardt had dropped out six weeks earlier. A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Bob Graham calls for printers to be added in time for the November elections, while U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler of Boca Raton has filed a federal lawsuit demanding paper trails for touch-screen systems. The Bay County glitch, in which officials knew immediately that Gephardt did not really win the most votes and were able to correct the problem, offered further evidence that a paper trail could be critical.

Theresa LePore (LePoor)
Email: Tel. #: 561-656-6200 / FAX #: 561-656-6287
Florida Secretary of State - Glenda Hood

Email: Tel. #: 850-245-6500 / FAX #: 850-245-6217 or 850-245-6218
Rep. Robert Wexler (who is fighting in federal court to require paper trails)
Email Wexler via his web-site: Tel. #: 561-988-6302 / FAX #: 561-988-6423

If there is a devastating attack on the capital, a shadow government... If there is a devastating attack on the capital, a shadow government of 75 to 150 government officials stands ready to take control under plans established by Dictator Bush. The officials, drawn from every Cabinet department and some independent agencies, would work out of two fortified locations in mountainside bunkers outside Washington. The officials would rotate in and out and be barred from telling anybody where they are and why.

Journo claims proof of WMD lies Australian investigative journalist John Pilger says he has evidence the war against Iraq was based on a lie that could cost George W. Bush and Tony Blair their jobs and bring Prime Minister John Howard down with them. A television report by Pilger aired on British screens overnight said US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice confirmed in early 2001 that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had been disarmed and was no threat. But after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 that year, Pilger claimed Rice said the US "must move to take advantage of these new opportunities" to attack Iraq and claim control of its oil.

Carter savages Blair and Bush: 'Their war was based on lies' Jimmy Carter, the former US president, has strongly criticised George Bush and Tony Blair for waging an unnecessary war to oust Saddam Hussein based on "lies or misinterpretations". The 2002 Nobel peace prize winner said Mr Blair had allowed his better judgment to be swayed by Mr Bush's desire to finish a war that his father had started.

Iraq war will cost Bush his presidency [sic] America went to war in a dishonest way that alienated key allies, divided and weakened the U.N., outraged the world community --by Ted Kennedy "The case for war was based on two key claims: that Saddam was on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons, and that he had close ties to the Al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the atrocities of Sept. 11. Both claims proved to be demonstrably false... For maximum political impact, the administration insisted that Congress vote to authorize the war before adjourning that year for the November elections."

"I find it outrageous that the President [sic] is running for re-[s]election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it." Richard Clarke Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link? In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Dictator Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism advisor to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one. The charge comes from the advisor, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes.

'Bush ignored the al-Qa'ida threat before 11 September' A veteran White House anti-terrorism official has accused Dictator George Bush of ignoring the threat from al-Qa'ida before 11 September 2001 ­ and then at once seeking to hold Iraq responsible, despite being told by intelligence advisers that Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks.

Saddam blinded W to Osama Ex-aide slams Bush --Dictator Bush's former terror czar says that even before Sept. 11, the White House was so hellbent on doing battle with Iraq and Saddam Hussein that it shrugged off the threat from Al Qaeda.

Ex-Adviser Blasts Bush's Terror Response Dictator Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, "looked skeptical" when she was warned early in 2001 about the threat from al-Qaida and appeared to never have heard of the terrorist organization, according to Bush's former counterterrorism coordinator.

Reichwing media whoring confirmed: Fears Impacted U.S. Reporting on Iraq Competitive pressures and a fear of appearing unpatriotic [?!?] discouraged 'journalists' from doing more critical reporting during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, according to reporters and others at a conference on media coverage of the war.

Rockets Attack Hits Baghdad Neighborhood At least three rockets slammed into an upscale Baghdad neighborhood today, and American military officials said four people were killed and 10 wounded.

Attacks Kill Two GIs, Two Iraqi Civilians Resistance fighters killed two U.S. soldiers in a rocket attack in western Iraq, the U.S. military said Sunday, and two Iraqi civilians died and one American soldier was injured in a rocket attack on U.S.-led occupation headquarters in Baghdad.

Iraq Abuse Allegations Came From Military Reports that led to charges against six U.S. soldiers accused of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison came from within the military, not from prisoner complaints, a senior U.S. military official said Sunday.

US Afghan allies committed massacre American experts find that Northern Alliance warlords slaughtered prisoners of war --Dramatic corroboration of the massacre of Afghan prisoners by the US-backed Northern Alliance at the start of the war in 2001 was last night provided by American pathologists commissioned to investigate the claims by the UN.

Afghan Minister, 50 to 100 Others Killed Attackers killed Afghanistan's aviation minister in the western city of Herat on Sunday, and factional fighting that followed left between 50 and 100 people dead, Herat's senior military commander said.

CNN ends up with "much egg on its face" After according saturation-type coverage to the al-Zawahiri story most of the day Thursday, CNN, realising it had raised worldwide expectations of the imminent capture or death of Osama bin Laden’s deputy, suddenly dropped the story Friday.

53 journalists killed in 2003 Fifty-three journalists and media workers were killed around the world in 2003, 15 of them in Iraq, the Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN) said on Thursday.

Worldwide protests demand Iraq pullout More than a million antiwar protesters have poured into the streets of cities around the globe on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops.

Around The Globe, Protesting The W-ar In a worldwide day of protest, tens of thousands of opponents of the Iraq war marched through midtown Manhattan Saturday, united in their anger at Dictator Bush.

NY 9/11 Truth Peace Solidarity March Mega Success Summary NY 9/11 Truth Solidarity March (New York) Photolog and article --by Nico Haupt (New York City Independent Media Center)

800 Signs, 5000 Flyers Cover NY Daily News, Story Newsday etc... --additional photos/commentary by Nico Haupt (Portland Independent Media Center)

Group says visits to hospital blocked A prominent veterans group whose members have occasionally been critical of the Bush regime says it is being blocked from meeting with patients at the nation's leading Army hospital, which Dictator Bush visited yesterday to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

Wounded U.S. veterans get a raw deal at home --by Gene Collier (February 08, 2004) "There's no emotional sting like the one inflicted by that 500 number. It's larger now, the total of Americans dead from an Iraq war launched on false pretenses, but 500 is getting a lot of usage as the ultimate cost of this mess. It's a cost 500 can't begin to illuminate. How about at least 9,000 servicemen and women wounded, sickened or injured? How about 6,891 troops medically evacuated for non-combat conditions between March 19 and Oct. 30, 2003?"

al-Qaida No. 2: We Have Briefcase Nukes Osama bin Laden's terror network claims to have bought ready-made nuclear weapons on the black market in central Asia, the biographer of al-Qaida's No. 2 leader was quoted as telling an Australian television station.

Decoding the Chatter Inside the nerve center of America's 'counterterrorist' operations Most of America is sleeping, but deep within CIA headquarters in northern Virginia, officials pulling overnight duty are scarfing junk food, soft drinks and coffee as they surf mountains of intelligence reports for the latest potential threat to Americans. These are the men and women of the year-old Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). Each day, officials at TTIC (pronounced tee-tic) examine 5,000 to 6,000 pieces of intelligence, trying to assemble the best picture of what's out there.

Christians Try To Censor Georgia School's Reading List Some Christian parents in Georgia want a bevy of books removed from their local schools' reading list. Three parents with the group Crusaders for Christ told members of the Bartow County Board of Education that several books are too offensive for students to be reading. [Maybe they should include the Bible on their list: "That revolting odious... production, called BIBLE, has been for ages the idol of all sorts of blockheads, the glory of knaves, and the disgust of wise men. It is a history of lust, sodomies, wholesale slaughtering, and horrible depravity, that the vilest parts of all other histories, collected into one monstrous book, could scarcely parallel! Priests tell us that this concentration of abominations was written by a god; all the world believe priests, or they would rather have thought it the outpouring of some devil!" --Charles Southwell, The Oracle of Reason, Or, Philosophy Vindicated I (1841): 25.]

Judge: Abourezk can sue Web site A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by former U.S. Sen. James Abourezk can continue against an Internet site,, that put Abourezk on a "traitor's list" for criticizing [terrorist and traitor] Dictator Bush.

Medicare Actuary Gives Wanted Data to Congress Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, provided Congress with documents on Friday showing that federal payments to private health insurance plans under a new Medicare law could far exceed what Congress assumed when it passed the measure last fall. For months, lawmakers had been seeking the data, but Mr. Foster said in an interview that he had withheld it under instructions from Bush dictatorship officials.

US firms try to block cheap Aids drugs The US, under pressure from its giant pharmaceutical companies, is trying to undermine the use in poor countries of cheap, copycat Aids drugs, made by "pirate", generic companies but validated by the World Health Organisation, campaigners claim.

Bush 'Ignored Terrorism for Months,' Clarke Tells '60 Minutes' The White House counter-terrorism coordinator at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks said it's "outrageous'' that U.S. Dictator George W. Bush is running for re-s-election based on his record in fighting terror. Richard A. Clarke said in a television interview airing Sunday that Bush "ignored terrorism for months'' before the 2001 attacks, then looked to attack Iraq rather than Afghanistan, the nation harboring the terrorist group al-Qaeda [al CIAduh], which launched the attacks.

Ex-Aide Says Bush Doing 'Terrible Job' Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism coordinator, accuses the Bush regime of failing to recognize the al-Qaida [al CIAduh] threat before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and then manipulating America into war with Iraq with dangerous consequences.

Rumsfeld 'wanted to bomb Iraq' after 9/11 Donald Rumsfeld, the US Secretary of Defence, urged Dictator Bush to consider bombing Iraq almost immediately after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, says a former senior aide.

Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link? In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Dictator Bush ordered his then top 'anti-terrorism' adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one. The charge comes from the advisor, Richard Clarke, in an interview airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on 60 Minutes. Clarke also tells CBS News that White House officials were tepid in their response when he urged them months before Sept. 11 to meet to discuss what he saw as a severe threat from al Qaeda [al CIAduh].

The Armageddon Plan During the Reagan era Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were key players in a clandestine program designed to set aside the legal lines of succession and immediately install a new "President" in the event that a nuclear attack killed the country's leaders. The program helps explain the behavior of the Bush Dictatorship on and after 9/11. --by James Mann "One option was to have the new 'President' order an American submarine up from the depths to the surface of the ocean—since the power to surface a submarine would be a clear sign that he was now in full control of U.S. military forces. This standard—control of the military—is one of the tests the U.S. government uses in deciding whether to deal with a foreign leader after a coup d'état. 'One of the awkward questions we faced,' one participant in the planning of the program explains, 'was whether to reconstitute Congress after a nuclear attack. It was decided that no, it would be easier to operate without them.'"

Mortars Hit U.S. Occupation HQ in Iraq Two mortar rounds landed in the headquarters of the U.S.-led occupatin on Sunday, a U.S. official said, while a third round landed on a street outside the compound.

Two U.S. soldiers killed in Fallujah attack Separate attack targets occupation headquarters in Baghdad --A rocket attack near the flashpoint Iraqi town of Falluja, west of Baghdad, killed two U.S. soldiers and wounded seven, the U.S. military said on Sunday.

Huge Worldwide Protests Demand Iraq Troop Pullout More than a million antiwar protesters poured into the streets of cities around the globe on Saturday's anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops.

Thousands Worldwide Demand Troops Pull Out of Iraq Thousands of antiwar protesters poured into streets around the globe on Saturday's anniversary of the Iraq war to demand the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops. From Sydney to Tokyo, Madrid, London, New York and San Francisco, protesters condemned U.S. policy in Iraq.

Thousands Protest on Iraq W-ar Anniversary Anger over the war in Iraq remained sharp on the first anniversary of the conflict's start Saturday as protesters took to the streets across much of the globe. Some said the war had only encouraged international terrorism.

Anti-W-ar Protesters Climb London's Big Ben Two anti-W-ar protesters evaded tight security to climb London's landmark Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament on Saturday, as 25,000 people marched through the city on the first anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

London protesters climb Big Ben
Two anti-war protesters evaded tight security to climb London's landmark Big Ben clock tower at the Houses of Parliament as thousands marched on the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2004. The pair unfurled a banner which read 'Time for Truth' before rappelling down from the clockface 328 feet above the capital six hours later. They were arrested on suspicion of causing 'criminal damage.' [?!?] (David Bebber/Reuters)

100,000 at NYC rally as protests gather nationwide Anti-W-ar protesters turned out nationwide Saturday to mark the first anniversary of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, with tens of thousands marching through Manhattan to call for the removal of American troops from the Middle East country. "Money for jobs, not war," read one sign; another called on the Bush dictatorship to "Stop the 9/11 coverup."

March 20 Global Day of Action --Photolog by International A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

Iraq war chest 'will be empty by July' A war chest of £3.8bn for military operations in Iraq is set to run out within three months, official figures released last week indicate. Defence economists estimate that keeping British troops in the country is costing taxpayers up to £125m a month.

Iraq pullout all but inevitable for Zapatero Spain's withdrawal from Iraq is all but inevitable, Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has said in an interview, after Spanish protesters sent him a stark message to bring troops home.

U.S. Army charges six soldiers for cruelty in Iraq The U.S. military on Saturday charged six soldiers with offences including cruelty, mistreatment and assault following a criminal investigation into allegations of prisoner abuse at the Abu Gharib prison.

Soldiers likely to face abuse charges over photos Criminal charges are being prepared against six U.S. Army soldiers for alleged abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Gharib prison in Baghdad, U.S. military officials told CNN.

Al-Qaeda chief evades trap Fierce military assaults by up to 70,000 Pakistan troops and US special forces yesterday forced thousands of terrified civilians to flee their homes as fresh attacks along the Afghanistan border aimed at capturing one of al-Qaeda’s most senior figures intensified... Although US operatives believe Osama bin Laden’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may be trapped, Pakistani officials last night said it was unlikely he was still among those surrounded.

Oops! U.S. Chopper Attacks Pakistan by Mistake, Wounds 3 U.S. helicopter gunship mistakenly strayed into Pakistani territory from Afghanistan while chasing militants and wounded three civilians in an attack, a Pakistani security official said on Saturday.

U.S. Forces Bomb Compound in Afghanistan U.S. warplanes and ground forces killed five suspected Taliban fighters at a compound in central Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Sunday. [U.S. policy: shoot first --ask questions later]

New bill calls for G.I. Jane draft With legislation requesting the reinstatement of the draft to include women, equal rights may enter a new war zone come next year. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have introduced new legislation to bring back the military draft in order to include women. The new draft states that any man or woman between the ages of 18 and 26 can be drafted into military service. According to a press release, the bill will allow the U.S. government to add half-a-million troops or more within a short period of six months or less, from the date it is signed and approved.

Blair bans Labour Party delegation from flying to John Kerry's coronation Tony Blair has ordered Labour ministers and officials not to become embroiled in the US presidential race in an apparent attempt to avoid offending George W Bush. The Poodle's veto on visits to the US means that only one minister, Douglas Alexander, will attend the formal crowning of John Kerry, the Democrats' candidate, in Boston in late July.

Blair to Call Early General Election In October PM gears up for shock poll --Tony Blair has warned Labour chiefs to be ready to fight a snap election this October. MPs have been ordered to update campaign leaflets as soon as this summer's council and European elections are over.

Official: UK would fail to cope with major terror attack Britain could not cope with a terrorist bombing on the scale of this month's atrocity in Madrid, the country's top emergency planners have admitted. It would be even less able to deal with the aftermath of the chemical, biological or nuclear attack predicted by ministers and the security services. [Statements such as these by British officials serve no one and in effect are a call to 'bring it on.' A large-scale terror attack in the U.K. would usher in a police state and bring about completion of the New World Order.]

They seemed normal but plotted to kill thousands Paul Harris reports from Noonday, Texas, on how the FBI stumbled upon right-wing cyanide bombers ...Critics say the case shows that the authorities, obsessed with Islamic terrorists, have ignored the deadly assortment of domestic extremists. America's right-wing groups, though diminished in numbers since 1995, have become bent on acquiring weapons capable of mass slaughter.

The Smell of a Real Scandal The run-up to the Iraq war was more hype than lie. Medicare is a clearer example of dishonesty and corruption at high levels --by Jonathan Alter "... But the most shocking deception took place in the run-up to the signing of the Medicare prescription-drug benefit on Christmas Eve... As for Bush himself, there are only two possibilities, both bad. The first is that he never learned the true cost of one of the major policy initiatives of his presidency [sic]. If so, he was incompetent. The second, more plausible, alternative is that he simply chose the lower, more convenient number and didn't have any problem with the honest figures produced by the bureaucracy's getting 'deep-sixed,' as they used to say during Watergate.'"

Bush-Cheney political director appears before grand jury The political director for the Bush-Cheney re-s-election campaign testified yesterday before a grand jury. The grand jury is investigating charges that corporate money was used illegally in 2002 state legislative races. The grand jury is looking into whether state law was violated when an RNC group gave $190,000 to seven candidates for the Texas House in 2002.

Schwarzenegger Looks at Workers' Comp Reichwing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned state legislators that unless they reach a deal to repair California's costly worker-compensation system, he will bypass lawmakers and ask voters to fix the problem with another ballot initiative. The Assembly's senior Democrat, Speaker Fabian Nunez, accused Republicans of trying to block an agreement on workers' compensation so they can campaign on the issue in the fall.

25 New Gay Marriages Conducted in N.Y. Six ministers of the Unitarian Universalist Church performed marriage ceremonies for 25 same-sex couples Saturday, defying prosecutors who view the practice as illegal.

Carbon Dioxide Reported at Record Levels Carbon dioxide, the gas largely blamed for global warming, has reached record-high levels in the atmosphere after growing at an accelerated pace in the past year, say scientists monitoring the sky from this 2-mile-high station atop a Hawaiian volcano.

U.S. eyed bombing of Iraq on 9/11 - former aide A former White House anti-terrorism advisor says the Bush dictatorship considered bombing Iraq in retaliation after September 11, 2001 even though it was clear al Qaeda [and friends] had carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Clinton Aides Plan to Tell Panel of Warning Bush Team on Qaeda Senior Clinton administration officials called to testify next week before the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks say they are prepared to detail how they repeatedly warned their Bush dictatorship counterparts in late 2000 that Al Qaeda posed the worst security threat facing the nation — and how the new regime was slow to act.

Iraqi Reporters Rebuff Powell, Leave News Conference Iraqi journalists walked out of a Baghdad news conference given by Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday in protest at lack of security and the killing of two Iraqi journalists by U.S. troops. "We walked out because we need them to ensure that we are safe under the occupation and yet they have done nothing," Ahmed al-Samraee, an Iraqi producer with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite channel, said after the walkout. "I saw these people killed. They were shot dead on purpose," he said.

Honduras says it will follow Spain's lead, withdraw troops from Iraq in June Honduras, following the lead of Spain, will withdraw its 370 troops from a Spanish-led humanitarian and peacekeeping brigade in Iraq by the end of June, Defense Secretary Federico Breve said Tuesday.

Iraq on the Record: The Bush Administrations Public Statements on Iraq --Presented by Rep. Henry A. Waxman

Anti-war protests planned across Australia Peace rallies will be held around the world today to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war. Community and church leaders will address rallies in every capital city of Australia, a staunch backer of the US-led Iraq invasion.

US protesters say masses to demand end to Iraq occupation this weekend Anti-war protesters are planning mass demonstrations in 200 cities across the United States this weekend that will demand an end to the US occupation of Iraq, one year after US troops invaded Iraq toppling Saddam Hussein.

Iraq War Protesters Arrested in San Francisco Police arrested 18 protesters in San Francisco marking the first anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on Friday, a spokeswoman said.

Chicago Police Will Patrol Rejected Protest Site City Prepares For Saturday Anti-War Protest --Chicago Police gave warning to a group of anti-war protesters Friday who plan to congregate downtown this weekend, despite being denied a permit, to commemorate a demonstration last year that resulted in more than 500 arrests.

Agreement for $460m write-off next month The United States would sign a formal agreement with Pakistan in April to write off its $460 million debt under the previously-agreed US financial assistance package.

US pledges long-term strategic partnership: Pakistan designated major non-Nato ally United States on Thursday pledged a long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan. This commitment was articulated by the visiting US secretary of State Colin Powell at a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri after nearly 60-minute delegation-level talks at the Foreign Office here.

British SAS rushed to Afghanistan Britain has sent about 100 special forces to Afghanistan as the 'hunt' for Al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri heats up, an airport official says. The official, who asked not to be named, says the British soldiers arrived at Kabul International Airport on March 10 and left the same night for an unknown destination.

Depleted Uranium Shells Decried Citizens find Bush guilty of Afghan war crimes A citizens' tribunal Saturday in Tokyo found U.S. Dictator George W. Bush guilty of W-ar crimes for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms during the U.S.-led 'antiterrorism' operations in Afghanistan in 2001.

Reservist commits suicide over city job (OH) An Army reservist who unsuccessfully fought city officials for an expected promotion after he returned from service in Afghanistan has committed suicide, police said.

Top U.S. officer tells Aristide to keep quiet Calling on ousted Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide to "keep his mouth closed," the head of the U.S. Southern Command said international intervention in Haiti was necessary to avoid a Rwandan-like situation. "It would be a lot more helpful if Mr. Aristide was a statesman ... and he could do that by keeping his mouth closed," Gen. James T. Hill said Thursday during a speech at a security conference in Miami.

US Drops Charges Against Guantanamo Muslim The U.S. military on Friday dropped all criminal charges against Muslim Army chaplain Capt. James Yee, who ministered to Guantanamo Bay prisoners, marking the final collapse of the espionage case against him.

New York Hospital Is Ordered to Release Abortion Records A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered New York-Presbyterian Hospital to turn over to the Justice Department records on abortions performed there.

Police Searching D.C. Schools After Bomb Threat Police officers were dispatched Friday to all 147 District of Columbia public schools in response to an Internet bomb threat that said devices had been planted at five schools. The message -- which was received shortly before 6 a.m EST -- did not specify which schools may be involved, Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

The Department of Homeland Security for Dummies --by Carol Schiffler "Although we are not privy to the department's inner workings, our unnamed source close to an unnamed public official tells us to expect big things from the Department [of Homeland Security] in the upcoming year. Look for a book-on-tape series coming soon to a retailer near you."

Va. Democrats Sue Over Eavesdropping Democratic lawmakers filed a federal lawsuit Friday against several former prominent Republicans for eavesdropping on Democratic conference calls in a scandal.

Bush Reaches $170M Fund Raising Goal Dictator Bush's fund-raising juggernaut has reached its goal of raising $150 million to $170 million, a record campaign fortune Bush is starting to tap for ads costing millions of dollars.

Bush Campaign Has $110 Million on Hand Dictator Bush's re-s-election campaign reported on Friday collecting $13.7 million in February and said it had cash on hand of $110 million.

Bush Campaign Paying Firm That Specializes In Paramilitaries --by DHinMI (Daily Kos blog) "There are plenty of things a campaign must pay for, but the Bush campaign may be the first presidential campaign to employ a company that specializes in paramilitary protection. ...[A] quick look at Bush's FEC filing shows something curious--they paid almost $200,000 to Vance International for 'personnel services/equipment.' Vance International may not be familiar to a lot of people, but they should be, because they are the Pinkertons of our era... 'Professional and responsive asset protection services has made our Asset Protection Team (APT) the undisputed leader in the field of labor unrest and major event security since 1985. APT provides security personnel who are trained to protect people and property during potentially disruptive situations, such as strikes, union organizing drives, and plant closings. In addition, APT supplies seasoned professionals during special events and emergency situations, including traveling exhibits, conferences, demonstrations, fund-raising events, and man-made and natural disasters." [*See: Vance International and Decision Strategies Open Office in Iraq CONTACT: Charles Blackmore or Nicholas Copeland
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oakton, VA (December 4, 2003) – SPX Security and Investigations (S&I), a unit of SPX Corporation, today announced that it has opened an office in Baghdad, Iraq, as "DS Vance Iraq." This enables Decision Strategies (DS) and Vance International, the two premier security and investigative companies that comprise the S&I unit, to provide critical services such as business intelligence, close protection, and security training to companies and individuals doing business in Iraq.]

Bush campaign gear made in Burma His campaign store sells a [heinous] pullover from nation whose products he has banned from being sold in the U.S. The official merchandise Web site for Dictator George W. Bush's re-s-election campaign has sold clothing made in Burma, whose goods were banned by Bush from the U.S. last year to punish its military dictatorship.

Bush Medicare Reform Bill Becomes a Nightmare for GOP Less than four months after he signed it into law on Dec. 8, Bush's Medicare-reform dream has turned into a nightmare and a potential drag on his bid for re-s-election. The Bush dictatorship deliberately didn't tell Congress that the measure could cost more than $100 billion more than advertised. House Republican leaders abused House rules to push the measure to a narrow victory. There are also allegations of threats and bribes that are under investigation. The Bush regime spent millions of taxpayer dollars on public service TV ads touting the Medicare reform law that look suspiciously like Bush campaign commercials. Those, too, are now under investigation. Polls show that a majority of Americans don't like the Medicare reforms.

Death of a patriot: No more --by Bob Fitrakis "The subject line on yesterday’s email read: 'Another mysterious accident solves a Bush problem. Athan Gibbs dead, Diebold lives.' The attached news story briefly described the untimely Friday, March 12th death of perhaps America’s most influential advocate of a verified voting paper trail in the era of touch screen computer voting... Gibbs' last words to me were 'How do you explain what happened to Senator Max Cleland in Georgia. How do you explain that?'"

He wanted every vote to matter; Athan Gibbs, Sr. dies in crash --After more than 1 million votes went uncounted in the last presidential election, Athan Gibbs Sr. devoted his life to making sure voters in future elections would know their votes mattered. The enterprising 57-year-old saw his invention of the TruVote vote-casting system as nothing less than the key to social justice and democracy in America.

Diebold, electronic voting and the vast right-wing conspiracy --by Bob Fitrakis "[Author Bev] Harris writes that the documents expose how the mainstream media reversed their call projecting Al Gore as winner of Florida after someone 'subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore, and in still some undefined way, added 4000 erroneous votes to George W. Bush.' Hours later, the votes were returned. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now Diebold, reads: 'I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded.' Another hacked internal memo, written by Talbot Iredale, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold Election Systems, documents 'unauthorized' replacement votes in Volusia County. Harris also uncovered a revealing 87-page CBS news report and noted, 'According to CBS documents, the erroneous 20,000 votes in Volusia was directly responsible to calling the election for Bush.'"

America's liberals to 'bash Bush' with talk-radio network After a decade of battering from the right on the airwaves, America's liberals will finally have their first ever talk radio network later this month, featuring an array of celebrated and less celebrated Bush-bashers, spearheaded by the comedian Al Franken.

Things get worse with Coke Bottled tap water withdrawn after cancer scare --The entire UK supply of Dasani was pulled off the shelves because it has been contaminated with bromate, a cancer-causing chemical.

Addressing the Unthinkable, U.S. Revives Study of Fallout To cope with the possibility that [Bush] terrorists might someday detonate a nuclear bomb on American soil, the federal government is reviving a scientific art that was lost after the cold war: fallout analysis. [The 'scientific art' was lost until Dictator Bush supplied the reasons for it to return. Bush is the most dangerous terrorist on the face of the earth. He, and the principal players within his dictatorship, need to be arrested and tried for treason.]

Bush vows to do 'whatever it takes' to win in Iraq Taking a clear swipe at Senator John Kerry, Dictator Bush yesterday described Iraq as "the central front in the war on 'terror'", and vowed that America would stay on the offensive, "whatever it takes", to prevail.

11 More Killed In Continuing Iraq Violence At least 11 persons, including three American soldiers, were killed as Iraq was rocked by more violence, with another car bomb exploding in Basra, killing civilians and some US troops.

Violence flares on Iraq war anniversary At least eight civilians were killed in separate attacks in Iraq yesterday as Britain and America prepared to mark the first anniversary of the invasion.

Wave of attacks ahead of Iraq war anniversary Car bomb strikes Basra; new blasts late at night in Baghdad --A suicide bomber blew up a car Thursday near a hotel in the southern city of Basra as a British military patrol passed by, killing three bystanders, the latest in a series of attacks just before the anniversary of the start of the U.S.-led war. NBC News’ Baghdad bureau reported that several new explosions were heard Thursday night near the so-called Green Zone, where the U.S.-led occupation headquarters is based.

5 Iraqis Killed in Basra Bombing A car bomb exploded as a British military patrol passed by in the southern city of Basra Thursday, killing five Iraqi civilians, police said. One man was arrested.

Arab station: U.S. troops shot journalists An Arab satellite station said American soldiers shot and killed one of its cameramen and critically wounded a correspondent in Baghdad.

Poland considers pulling Iraq troops early President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a key U.S. ally, said Thursday that Poland was "misled" about whether Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction and was considering withdrawing troops from Iraq several months early.

'We were taken for a ride' over Iraqi WMD: Polish President Transcript --AM "TONY EASTLEY: On the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, US President [sic], George W. Bush, justified the war saying his administration would take pre-emptive action again against any gathering threat to the United States... But as the President [sic] addressed thousands of US troops who'd just returned from Iraq, the Polish President said that his country had been 'taken for a ride' about the alleged existence of weapons of mass destruction."

Poland feels 'deceived' over Iraq WMD Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski says Warsaw has been "taken for a ride" about Iraq’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. Thursday’s comments marked the first time that Poland officially publicly criticised Washington’s main justification for invading Iraq and for winning support from European allies, including Britain and Spain.

US downplays Polish criticism over Iraq WMD The United States downplayed on Thursday the significance of the remarks made by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski that the world has been deceived by the United States on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction(WMD), insisting that the US-Polish alliance remains strong. Speaking to a group of visiting French journalists in Warsaw on Thursday, President Kwasniewski said: "They deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride."

Taken for a Ride --by Paul Krugman "'Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.' So George Bush declared on Sept. 20, 2001. But what was he saying? Surely he didn't mean that everyone was obliged to support all of his policies, that if you opposed him on anything you were aiding terrorists. Now we know that he meant just that. ...By voting for a new government, in other words, the Spaniards were enforcing the accountability that is the essence of democracy. But in the world according to Mr. Bush's supporters, anyone who demands accountability is on the side of the evildoers."

Off the Mark on Cost of War, Reception by Iraqis --Analysis by Dana Milbank and Robin Wright "A year ago tonight, President [sic] Bush took the nation to war in Iraq with a grand vision for change in the Middle East and beyond... Things have not worked out that way, for the most part."

Pakistan May Have No. 2 Al Qaeda Leader Surrounded Pakistani officials believe they have the No. 2 man in al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, cornered. [I am waiting for them to 'surround' the world's most dangerous terrorist, Dictator Bush. Also, is this not rampant stupidity on behalf of the Pentagon, or WHAT? If they *have* a terrorist surrounded, why on earth *announce* the 'surrounding' if the terrorist hasn't actually been captured? Stupid is as stupid does... The Bush dictatorship is not interested in stopping terrorism. They are only interested in *publicizing* that they are 'stopping' terrorism.]

Al-Qaeda threatens 'US lackeys' A statement attributed to al-Qaeda has threatened "America's lackeys" with attacks similar to those in Madrid last week, singling out Japan, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Pakistan, an Arab daily reported in its Thursday edition.

Airlines will have to hand over passenger information The federal government will order airlines to hand over passenger information so it can begin testing a passenger screening/data collection system, officials said Wednesday. The system will run basic passenger data through a vast network of computers to verify passengers' identification and assess the likelihood of them being 'terrorists.' Based on the test, a small percentage of passengers will be detained by law-enforcement personnel.

White House Role Is Alleged HHS Actuary Feels Bush Aide Put Hold on Medicare Data --Richard S. Foster, the government's chief analyst of Medicare costs who was threatened with firing last year if he disclosed too much information to Congress, said last night that he believes the White House participated in the decision to withhold analyses that Medicare legislation Dictator Bush sought would be far more expensive than lawmakers knew.

Senate Democrats Claim Medicare Chief Broke Law Senate Democrats, reacting to disclosures that Thomas A. Scully, the former Medicare administrator, prevented his chief actuary from sharing information with Congress, said Thursday that they believed a federal law had been violated and called on the General Accounting Office to investigate. "I believe these actions by Bush administration officials to block Mr. Foster from providing Congress the true costs of the prescription drug bill clearly break federal law," said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey and the lead author of the letter.

Scalia Angrily Defends His Duck Hunt With Cheney inJustice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court today bluntly rejected demands that he step aside in a case involving Vice pResident Dick Cheney, mocking criticism that a duck hunting trip the two were on in January suggested he would be biased toward his longtime friend. [Nah... 'ya think? Scalia only installed his other psychotic friend, George W. Bush, as p-Resident of the United States in a coup d'etat, so no, there won't be any 'conflict of interest' problems here w. Mr. Halliburton, correct?]

Scalia Won't Step Aside From Cheney Case In typically combative style, Supreme Court inJustice Antonin Scalia dismissed a request Thursday that he stay out of a case involving his friend, Vice pResident Dick Cheney, saying a duck hunting trip they took was acceptable socializing that wouldn't cloud his judgment.

Re: Kerry Reveals sources
Kerry to name sources of leaders wanting a new president: Perhaps John Kerry should come clean, and admit his sources for knowing that world leaders are in support of a regime change in America were members of Cheney's Energy Task Force.

Ed Boswell, Long Beach, CA, March 18, 2004

North Carolina Asks E.P.A. to Force Others to Clean Air In a move that opens a new front in the clean air wars, North Carolina has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on pollution that it says is seeping across its borders from power plants in 13 other states.

Bolivia suing Enron for $130 mln over gas pipeline Bolivia said on Thursday it is suing bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. to recoup $130 million paid for a 1994 gas pipeline project to Brazil.

Murdoch brings in Bush adviser The US national security adviser [and Reichwing nutball] Condoleezza Rice is to address the News Corporation thinktank involving Rupert Murdoch's most senior newspaper executives from the UK, US and Australia.

U.S. Says Buyer of Governor's Condo Talked of Pressure A well-known antiques dealer who had agreed to buy a condominium from [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland told prosecutors that the businessman who was brokering the sale had said "the seller was squeezing him for more money," a federal prosecutor who is investigating Mr. Rowland said on Thursday. Also on Thursday, Stanley Twardy, the lawyer for an electrical contractor who pleaded guilty last year to tax fraud, said that his client, Kurt Claywell, was prepared to testify before the panel considering impeachment charges against Mr. Rowland that he had given thousands of dollars worth of Cuban cigars and champagne to the governor and his aides "to expedite payments due him on state contracts."

County retreats from call to ban gays The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution Thursday reversed its call to ban homosexuals.

San Francisco Perseveres on Gay Marriage City officials here asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday to allow the resumption of gay marriages.

Defiant ministers marry pairs in Manhattan To show solidarity with two ministers facing criminal charges for performing wedding ceremonies for gay couples, a New York minister and a rabbi performed marriage ceremonies for three same-sex couples Thursday on the steps of New York City Hall.

Why Britain's disappearing butterflies may be early victims of the sixth mass extinction A milestone study of British birds, butterflies and wild flowers has revealed the strongest evidence yet that we are on the verge of a mass extinction of global wildlife - the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth. Scientists have accumulated the most detailed data to date indicating that human activity is systematically stripping the planet of its rich biodiversity.

Zapatero Says U.S. Should Dump Bush Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Wednesday described the U.S. occupation of Iraq as "a fiasco" and suggested American voters should follow the example set by Spain and change their leadership by supporting Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts for president in November. "The occupation is a fiasco," he said. "There have almost been more killed after the war, from a year ago, than during the war. In the end, the occupying forces have not handed over control of the situation to the U.N."

Zapatero turns down Bush request Spain's prime minister-elect has rejected an appeal by US Dictator George Bush to keep Spanish troops in Iraq. Spanish elections winner Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero reiterated that he would keep a pledge to pull his country's troops out of Iraq. "I will listen to Mr Bush but my position is very clear and very firm," Zapatero told radio Onda Cero. "The occupation (of Iraq) is a fiasco."

Shut Out? Spanish authorities have ignored FBI efforts <g> to assist the investigation into last week’s train bombing, creating new tensions between Washington and Madrid in the case. Almost immediately after last Thursday’s attacks, in which at least 200 people were killed, the Justice Department offered to assist the Spanish by dispatching a team of FBI and other U.S. law-enforcement agents to the scene. But the Spanish government appears to have rejected the U.S. offer and has instead invited other European law-enforcement and intelligence agencies to help in the case—an apparent snub of the Bush dictatorship.

Paper: Aznar asked media to blame ETA Police believe six Moroccans were behind last week’s Madrid train bombings, a Spanish paper said Tuesday, as allegations emerged that outgoing Spanish Premier Jose Maria Aznar had tried to orchestrate a cover-up.

U.S. soldier killed in Iraq mortar attack Seven others wounded in strike north of Baghdad --A U.S. soldier was killed and seven were wounded in a mortar attack at a logistics base north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, the U.S. Army said on Thursday.

Car Bomb at Baghdad Hotel Leaves at Least 27 Dead A huge car bomb destroyed the five-story Mount Lebanon Hotel in central Baghdad on Wednesday evening, tearing the facade off the building and sending residents tumbling into the street. At least 27 people were killed and 41 wounded.

White House Vows to Stay the Course in Iraq The White House on Wednesday vowed to stay in Iraq and "finish the job for [Halliburton] the Iraqi people," despite a deadly bombing in Baghdad that marred efforts by Dictator Bush to tout progress during a year of U.S. occupation.

Kerry Criticizes Bush for Failed Policies Democrat John Kerry on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of the war in Iraq by criticizing Dictator Bush for failed policies "with no end in sight."

New Ads Assail Bush on Economy, Iraq War A new television ad by a liberal interest group admits Dictator Bush has created jobs — "in places like China" — while another anti-Bush spot accuses the dictator of lying to Americans about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

From's 'Censure Bush' campaign: "A year ago today, the Bush Administration was making its final push toward war in Iraq. We know now that much of what we were told about the threat that Iraq posed was untrue. And rather than own up to their distortion of the facts, Bush administration officials are denying they ever said such things. But this Sunday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got caught blatantly contradicting his past statements, and we have the video clip."

Anti-War Activists Call for Bush Censure Over Iraq Military families and anti-war activists urged Congress on Wednesday to censure Dictator Bush for what they called his deception and manipulation of intelligence before the Iraq war.

Testing the morality of W-ar Soldier from Miami who refused to return to Iraq turns self in to authorities A soldier from Miami who refused to return to duty in Iraq turned himself in to military authorities Monday, saying he would seek conscientious objector status. A crowd of peace activists cheered Mejia and shouted encouragement: "We love you!'' "Be strong!'' "Go with God!'' Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, 28, was in Iraq from March until October last year, when he returned home on leave. He did not return to duty.

DARPA creating a race of robo-grunts (February 21, 2004) The Defense Sciences Office of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking for a few good proposals to exploit soldiers in ways Rommel and Tojo could only have dreamed of. Imagine divisions of grunts able to go without food and sleep for days on end while performing at peak level. That's the perverse dream of the Defense Sciences Office's new Metabolic Dominance Program.

Venezuela Won't Recognize Haiti's New "illegitimate" Government Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced yesterday that his government will not recognize Haiti's new government, which according to him is illegitimate because it is the product of a coup d'etat. [We don't recognize the Bush dictatorship, either --same reason.]

Poll: Many in Muslim countries, Europe question U.S. motives A year after the invasion of Iraq, the United States faces suspicion abroad about its military efforts to combat terrorism and a growing desire among European nations to match U.S. influence and power in the world.

Opinion of U.S. Abroad Is Falling, Survey Finds Majorities Doubt War in Iraq Is Quelling Terrorism --A year after the invasion of Iraq, anti-American views have hardened in Europe and in Muslim countries, where lopsided majorities oppose Dictator Bush and are suspicious of U.S. motives, according to a new nine-country opinion poll. The nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey, said the image of the United States in the world has never polled lower.

Al-Qaeda group calls truce in Spain: report A group claiming to have links with al-Qaeda said today it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said.

Uncle Sam wants to call you Anti-terrorism: A small Homeland Security team has the enormous job of establishing connections with the nation's 25 million businesses. Al Martinez-Fonts, head of the private-sector office at the Department of Homeland Security, has a job to call 25 million businesses in the country. From nuclear power plants to rural banks, Martinez-Fonts is to make sure they are taking every precaution they can to prevent an attack, and, in some cases, to warn them when intelligence suggests their industries might be at risk.

Weak on Terror --by Paul Krugman "Polls suggest that a reputation for being tough on terror is just about the only remaining political strength George Bush has. Yet this reputation is based on image, not reality. The truth is that Mr. Bush, while eager to invoke 9/11 on behalf of an unrelated war, has shown consistent reluctance to focus on the terrorists who actually attacked America, or their backers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan... It's now clear that by shifting his focus to Iraq, Mr. Bush did Al Qaeda a huge favor. The terrorists and their Taliban allies were given time to regroup; the resurgent Taliban once again control almost a third of Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda has regained the ability to carry out large-scale atrocities."

The Continuing Economic Impact of 9/11 Upon Individual Artists of All Disciplines In NYC: 2004 ARTIST WRITE-IN SUMMARY REPORT (February 28, 2004) "The attacks of 9/11 significantly impacted the arts and entertainment sector, causing far-reaching effects on the livelihoods of individual artists, both those self-employed and those employed by others... Income loss for artists of all disciplines is slowing, but not due to any rebound in artistic work. Even though the majority of the artists are still able to make money in the arts and intend to continue in their artistic fields, far less of them can live solely on their artistic work and even fewer on fine art alone. This change is traceable to the impact of the 9/11 attacks upon the creative economy of the City." [*Submitted to CLG by choreographer/dancer Sarah Skaggs of New York. See: Sarah Skaggs Dance.]

Pickle to take memo report to Justice Senate Sergeant at Arms Bill Pickle said Tuesday that he would give his report on how Republican aides obtained internal Democratic Judiciary Committee memos to the Justice Department for a possible criminal prosecution. In his report, Pickle said GOP aides might be prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. His report stated that Manuel Miranda, a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill 'Cat Torturer' Frist (R-Disturbed-Tenn.), could also be prosecuted for making false statements to investigators.

Rove: Kerry Has Taste of Bush Campaign White House political chief Karl 'Goebbels' Rove said Wednesday that Dictator Bush had just begun to demonstrate the kind of targeted, multi-front campaign he plans against Democratic rival John Kerry.

Poll shows Nader could hurt Kerry in Pennsylvania Barf Nadir's presence in the presidential race could hurt Sen. John Kerry's chances of beating Dictator Bush in Pennsylvania, according to a poll released Wednesday.

289 blank ballots found in Palm Beach County's electronic 'voting' machines At least 289 Palm Beach County residents cast blank votes in the March 9 Democratic presidential primary election -- even though it was the only race on their ballots. Broward County voters last week cast blank ballots [undervoting] twice as often as Palm Beach County residents. It's a problem some elections officials say could worsen in November, when legions of voters lacking experience with the touch-screen 'voting' technology go to use it for the first time. "It happens no matter what system you have," said county Elections Supervisor Theresa LeWhore [LePore].

Did Adnan Khashoggi Throw the Election to Dubya? (Dec. 4, 2000) On Dec. 1, the "Washington Wire" column in the Wall Street Journal published this gratifyingly noir item about the postelection drama in Florida: "Madame Butterfly" Theresa LePore wasn't always an embattled Palm Beach ballots chief. In the 1980s, she moonlighted as a flight attendant on private planes owned by Saudi weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a middleman in Reagan administration arms sales to Iran.

[Quick Action!! Contact Karl Rove's sock puppet, Theresa LeWhore, and express your opinions on the 2000 coup and your insistence in preventing another coup in November!!
West Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections - Theresa LePore
Email: Tel. #: 561-656-6200 / FAX #: 561-656-6287
Florida Secretary of State - Glenda Hood

Email: Tel. #: 850-245-6500 / FAX #: 850-245-6217 or 850-245-6218
Rep. Robert Wexler (who is fighting in federal court to require paper trails)
Email Wexler via his web-site: Tel. #: 561-988-6302 / FAX #: 561-988-6423

Citizens For Legitimate Government Launches B.Y.O.B., Bring Your Own (paper) Ballot, Campaign for "Election" 2004 (press release from CLG Founder and Honorary Chair, Michael D. Rectenwald, announced the CLG's inauguration of the B.Y.O.B., Bring Your Own (paper) Ballot, campaign. The group calls for voters in the 2004 presidential contest to print, fill-out, and notarize their own copy of the CLG paper ballot receipt, as a safeguard against known flaws and vulnerabilities of touch-screen voting and the recent history of discarding votes and overthrowing election results. *Sign up to receive B.Y.O.B. project updates:

House GOP would exempt tax cuts from deficit-cutting plan House Republicans are standing by Dictator Bush with a plan for containing deficits that would curb expanded benefits for Medicare and other programs, but leave future tax cuts unfettered.

Democrats threaten lawsuit over Medicare cost estimate House Democrats threatened Wednesday to sue the Bush dictatorship for access to Medicare cost estimates. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said in a letter to the regime's top health official that Democrats are prepared to go to federal court to obtain estimates that Medicare's chief actuary prepared during last year's congressional debate over the Medicare prescription drug bill.

Mysterious Fax Adds to Intrigue Over the Medicare Bill's Cost Some Republicans are openly questioning the White House, and the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, said he saw a "growing scandal over the Medicare drug bill." Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat and a leading critic of the Medicare bill, put the issue in stark, Watergate-era terms, saying, "What did the president [sic] know; when did he know it?"

Oil Ends at Highest Price in 13 Years U.S. oil prices roared to its highest closing price in over 13 years on Wednesday as a drop in already low gasoline inventories sharpened the threat of a supply crunch that could hurt economic growth.

Bank of America, Fleet OK Merger Bank of America Corp. and FleetBoston Financial Corp. shareholders on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved the banks' $47 billion merger, which will create the third-largest U.S. bank with nearly $1 trillion of assets.

Second Oregon County to Allow Gay Marriages A second Oregon county will begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples next week, officials said on Wednesday, intensifying a legal battle over gay marriages that has also become a national issue.

Tenn. County Wants to Charge Homosexuals The county that was the site of the Scopes "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution is asking lawmakers to amend state law so the county can charge homosexuals with crimes against nature. The Rhea County commissioners approved the request 8-0 Tuesday. Commissioner J.C. Fugate, who introduced the measure, also asked the county attorney to find a way to enact an ordinance banning homosexuals from living in the county. "We need to keep them out of here," Fascist Fugate said.

LGBT Federal Workers Lose Job Protections Gays and lesbians in the entire federal workforce have had their job protections officially removed by the office of Special Counsel. The new Special Counsel, Scott Bloch, says his interpretation of a 1978 law intended to protect employees and job applicants from adverse personnel actions is that gay and lesbian workers are not covered.

Germany warns "Passion" may fan anti-Semitism German Jewish leaders and church officials are warning that Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" may foment anti-Semitism in the country where the Holocaust was planned when the film opens today.

Spain's new PM slams Blair and Bush 'lies' Spain's new socialist Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the unexpected victor in general elections, launched a scathing attack on British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair and United States Dictator George W. Bush yesterday, saying: "You can't organise a war with lies." The quietly spoken leader told Spanish radio his triumph was a first consequence of the Iraq war and its unpopularity with voters.

Spain's PM ups pressure on Blair: 'You can't organise a war with lies' Spain's incoming Socialist Prime Minister, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the unexpected victor in Sunday's general election, launched a withering attack on Tony Blair and George Bush yesterday over their decision to go to war in Iraq. Announcing that the 1,300 Spanish troops currently stationed in Iraq would be pulled out by the summer, the quietly spoken leader declared: "You can't organise a war with lies. Mr Blair and Mr Bush must do some reflection and self-criticism," he added in remarkably frank comments for the next prime minister of Europe's youngest democracy and fifth largest economy.

Zapatero's win puts PM in dock over question of trust The Government must somehow forge a working relationship with the new Spanish Prime Minister, who marked his victory by accusing Poodle Tony Blair and Dictator George Bush of organising a war "with lies". Although Mr Blair did not intervene directly in Spain's election, it was an open secret that he wanted ­ and expected ­ José Maria Aznar's conservative People's Party to remain in power.

Spanish government signals pull out of Iraq • Spanish prime minister-elect vows to withdraw soldiers from Iraq 'disaster' • Blair and Bush hold urgent talks with new PM to maintain alliance • Election result viewed as condemnation of Aznar government’s handling of Iraq and Madrid bombing

Zapatero May Bring Softer Sell to Spain Next premier, a listener who cuts a humble figure, will replace the confrontational Aznar. For Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the path to power can be traced to the last testament of his grandfather, a Spanish army captain executed by Gen. Francisco Franco's fascist forces nearly 70 years ago during Spain's civil war.

Spain Campaigned to Pin Blame on ETA Despite Evidence to Contrary, Basque Group Was Focus in Blasts --In the first frantic hours after coordinated bomb blasts ripped through several packed commuter trains Thursday morning, the government of outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar undertook an intense campaign to convince the Spanish public and world opinion-makers that the Basque separatist group ETA had carried out the attacks, which killed 201 people and wounded more than 1,500.

Spain accused of easing up on terror watch Signs emerge of serious intelligence and security failures before bombings --Spain cut the number of police units responsible for watching radical Islamists in the months before last week's Madrid bombings, reducing numbers by up to a half in some cities and sending them back to ordinary police work, it was claimed yesterday. [Was Aznar hoping for such an attack, as he thought it would boost his popularity? If so, it backfired on him and his Reichwing party, <g>]

Madrid aftermath: Britain Attack 'would unite voters' Politicians fear terrorism but expect it to move votes to strong leadership --Downing Street struggled yesterday to put a confident face on the unexpected election victory of the Spanish socialists over Tony Blair's pro-war ally, José María Aznar, all too aware that anti-war critics were instantly saying "we told you so". Though No 10 is refusing to assume al-Qaida was responsible for Thursday's Madrid bombings until authorities in Spain confirm it, ministers are privately calculating the prospects for a "security election" in Britain in which a similar attack may be attempted.

'Attack on London is inevitable' · Tube, buses and pubs all potential targets, warns Stevens · Public vigilance urged as huge security effort begins London's police chief warned yesterday of the ever-widening terrorist threat to the capital, stressing that bombers could strike not just on the rail or tube network but virtually anywhere - pubs, nightclubs, buses or roads.

Suspicious packages found at embassies Four "suspicious packages" were sent to diplomatic addresses in London yesterday, Scotland Yard said last night.

FBI man says US alliance boosts risk A Senior FBI counter-terrorism expert said yesterday that the risk of a strike against Australia had clearly increased because of the Howard Government's commitment to the US-led 'coalition' in Iraq.

Democrats Tally 237 Misleading Iraq Statements Dictator Bush and four top advisors made a combined 237 misleading public statements on the threat posed by Iraq, Democrats charged in a congressional report released on Tuesday. The report compiled by Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee examined assertions made by Bush, Vice pResident Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice.

Many Say U.S. Aims for World Domination A majority of people living in Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey say they believe the U.S. is conducting its campaign against terror to control Mideast oil and to dominate the world, according to an international poll released Tuesday.

Iraqi officials: two Germans, two Iraqis, killed in shooting southeast of Baghdad Two German civilians working on a water supply project and two Iraqis a driver and a policeman, were killed in a drive-by shooting Tuesday south of Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

Translator Killed, Family Members Injured in Mosul Attack A translator for occupation forces in northern Iraq was killed and two family members were injured today in an attack in Mosul, Iraq.

G.I. Seeks Conscientious Objector Status A soldier who refused to return to Iraq because he was disturbed by a gunfight that killed innocent civilians reported to the Florida National Guard on Tuesday in preparation for seeking conscientious objector status. National Guard officials said he was considered a deserter.

'Animals treated better' than Guantánamo prisoners The latest batch of prisoners to be released from the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay arrived in Kabul in Afghanistan yesterday, with several complaining they had been unfairly detained and treated worse than animals.

US frees 26 more from Guantanamo The United States has released 23 Afghan and three Pakistani citizens from its Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba. Their release leaves around 610 still in custody.

Calls to control US 'terror camp' Human rights organisations have renewed calls for conditions at Guantanamo Bay to be brought under international scrutiny, after new claims of beatings, inhumane treatment and interrogations at gunpoint.

9-11 Panel Still Discussing Bush Subpoena --by Tom Flocco "In a phone call last week to the [9-11] panel’s office in Washington, DC, media spokesman Alvin S. Felzenberg said 'the Commission is still talking about a presidential [sic] subpoena,' adding 'the members have not decided yet, one way or the other,' when asked about the status of Kean’s discussions with fellow members regarding a subpoena for Bush’s testimony in front of the American people. Panel members have already warned of a possible confrontation with the White House in past reports." Worldwide 9-11 Phone, Fax & Email Campaign

U.S. to Police Arizona Border with Drone Aircraft U.S. officials on Tuesday unveiled plans for the first ever use of unmanned aerial "drones" to detect illegal immigrants, smugglers and 'terrorists' along Arizona's border with Mexico.

Thompson Launches Inquiry Into Medicare Drug Bill Cost Noting that "there seems to be a cloud hanging over this department," Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on Tuesday ordered a formal investigation of allegations that the Bush administration withheld information about the cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill from members of Congress.

Justice Dept. Opens Inquiry Into Shell Oil The Justice Department has opened an inquiry into whether executives at the Royal Dutch/Shell Group violated any laws by failing to disclose in a timely fashion a significant shortfall in proven reserves of oil and natural gas, a person involved in the inquiry said Tuesday.

Bank of America Plans Job Cuts of Up to 13,000 Bank of America Corp. is planning to cut as many as 13,000 jobs as it completes its acquisition of FleetBoston Financial Corp., people familiar with the expense cuts told The Wall Street Journal.

Japan sticks to demand that U.S. test all cattle Japan stuck by its demand on Wednesday that the United States test all cattle for mad cow disease, even as Washington piled pressure on the biggest foreign buyer of American beef to resume imports.

St. Patrick, Rid Us of These Snakes! --by Bill Gallagher "We need St. Patrick to drive from our land and high offices the vipers of war, greed and intolerance. Topping the list of serpents more than ready for a slithering exit from the public scene are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Corporations, the religious right and neocon world dominators form the three pillars of the modern Republican Party and represent George W. Bush's base and hope of winning another term... Hail, Glorious St. Patrick, we pray that you will intercede on behalf of Irish people everywhere, especially Irish-Americans, and urge God to send his servants Bush and Cheney into much-merited reptilian retirement."

Kerry Accuses Bush of Misleading Nation Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Tuesday accused Dictator Bush of consistently misleading the nation on economic and health care issues as well as on the war in Iraq.

It's official - Kerry Democratic nominee Senator John Kerry has claimed the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and declared the opening of main political hostilities against Republican Dictator George W Bush.

Kerry's Illinois Win Seals Democratic Presidential Nomination U.S. Senator John Kerry's victory in the Illinois Democratic primary yesterday assured him of the party's nomination to face Dictator George W. Bush in a presidential election that polls show is statistically tied.

Dems Try to Raise Kerry $10M in 10 Days Former President Clinton, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Democratic congressional leaders are trying to raise $10 million for presidential nominee-to-be John Kerry in 10 days.

Harvard Group Plans to Watch Over Polls A group founded by Harvard law students announced plans Tuesday to send observers to 49 states this November to help ensure voters in the fall election are not improperly turned away from the polls.

U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny --Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush dictatorship paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines. The videos are intended for use in local television news programs. The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified.

Medicare analyst confirms muzzling He said his boss told him he'd be fired if he gave lawmakers higher cost estimates for the prescription-drug bill. The nation's top Medicare cost analyst confirmed yesterday that his former boss had ordered him to withhold from lawmakers unfavorable cost estimates about the Medicare prescription-drug bill. He said the estimates exceeded what Congress seemed willing to accept by more than $100 billion.

U.S. Marine Shot, Wounded in Haiti A U.S. Marine was shot and wounded in the Haitian capital, the first American casualty since the illegal ouster of the Caribbean nation's president two weeks ago, Staff Sgt. Timothy Edwards told The Associated Press on Monday.

U.S. Soldier Stabbed in Baghdad's 'Green Zone' An assailant stabbed and badly wounded an American army officer inside the Baghdad compound of Iraq's U.S.-led dictatorship, a U.S. spokesman said Monday.

G.I. Toll Is Rising as Resistance Fighters Try Wilier Bombs and Tactics Resistance bombmakers, whose roadside explosives claimed the lives of six more American soldiers this weekend, have adopted new and grimly devious tactics, military officers said Sunday.

Bombs Kill Six U.S. Soldiers in Iraq Roadside bombs killed four American soldiers in Baghdad, raising to six the number of U.S. troops who have died in attacks in Iraq this weekend, an occupation spokesperson said Sunday. Hundreds of Iraqis, meanwhile, mourned a Shiite politician's relative who died in a bomb blast in his shop Saturday.

Army sent mentally ill troops to Iraq The Army appears to have "inappropriately" deployed soldiers to Iraq who already were diagnosed with mental problems, according to documents obtained by United Press International.

Americans Killed in Iraq Were Missionaries Three Americans killed in a shooting attack Monday in northern Iraq were Baptist missionaries on a humanitarian mission — a water purification project for the troubled country, church officials and friends said.

Darpa Takes Battle to the Streets Darpa, the Pentagon's way-out research arm, is known for projects that border on science fiction. But Tuesday, at the start of its three-day, 2,200-person conference, agency officials were sounding downright practical. In addition to their usual pie-in-the-sky fare -- satellites that build themselves, jets that change shape on command -- they introduced a new thrust: helping soldiers in urban combat zones such as Tikrit and Baghdad.

Editorial Mocks New U.S. Arabic Channel Unsigned editorial, Al-Quds al-Arabi (Palestinian expatriate), London, England, Feb. 17, 2004 "Yesterday, the Americans entered the arena of 'guided news,' unleashing a satellite channel that speaks to Arabs in their own language, just like the totalitarian Arab and Soviet regimes did during the Cold War... From the start, when it got U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush to be its first guest, the station brought to mind official Arab channels broadcast by regimes mired in dictatorship, just like those at the end of the 1960s and beginning of the ’70s." [Yes, that's exactly what the Bush coup d'etat has brought us: a regime mired in dictatorship!]

Military Families vs. the War Organized Opposition Is Small, but Some See It as Historic ...In suburban Cleveland, the Rev. Tandy Sloan tuned in to the "Meet the Press" interview with Dictator Bush and felt "disgust." His 19-year-old son, Army Pvt. Brandon Sloan, was killed when his convoy was ambushed last March. "A human being can make mistakes," the Rev. Sloan says of the dictator. "But if you intentionally mislead people, that's another thing."

Relatives of US soldiers killed in Iraq protest outside US base Hundreds of protesters, many of them relatives of US soldiers killed in Iraq or currently on duty in the region, marched outside the Dover Air Force Base in the northeastern state of Delaware on Sunday to protest the US war in Iraq.

Security alarm as protesters spray navy ship Australia has expressed its alarm [<g>] after peace activists in New Zealand daubed anti-John Howard graffiti on the hull of a navy ship in what is being viewed in Canberra as a serious breach of security. HMAS Success, a fuel replenishment vessel, was on a goodwill visit to Wellington. It was moored at the Overseas Passenger Terminal when the activists struck, writing "John Howard US bootlicker" in green fluorescent paint along its hull.

Support for the war in Iraq declines in Texas, poll finds Support for the war in Iraq has eroded significantly in Dictator Bush's home state since the conflict started almost a year ago, with nearly 60 percent of Texans registering disapproval with the way things are going, according to a statewide survey released today.

Bush lied to justify Iraq war, Canada right to stay out: poll Canadians overwhelmingly believe Dictator George W. Bush lied to justify the Iraq war and their own government was wise to stay out of the conflict, a new poll suggests. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of adult Canadians said they agreed with the statement that Mr. Bush "knowingly lied to the world to justify his war with Iraq" a year ago, The Globe and Mail-CTV News poll says.

Spain plans to pull out of Iraq Having vanquished an ally of Dictator Bush, Spain's newly elected prime minister announced Monday he will pull troops from an Iraq coalition that he described as a "disaster" for Iraq and its people. "The war has been a disaster, the occupation continues to be a great disaster," Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said. "It hasn't generated anything but more violence and hate."

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero --Spain's newly elected leader (Scroll to biography segment under article) Zapatero is a 43-year-old lawyer who has never been in government... The execution of Zapatero's grandfather, a captain in the Republican Army, by dictator General Francisco Franco's Nationalist forces, strongly shaped Zapatero's leftist ideals...

Aznar's defeat comes at worst possible moment for Bush Last year almost everything went right for George W. Bush - but no longer. The failure to find any Iraqi WMD, the grim state of the jobs market here, and the unexpectedly aggressive performance of Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, have combined to push the dictator's approval rating down to barely 50 per cent. On top of this now comes the stunning defeat for Jose Maria Aznar in Spain.

Spain ousts ruling party Spain's Socialists triumphed at the polls last night in a resounding victory over the conservatives after the pro-American government of Jose Maria Aznar had tried to deny an al Qaeda connection to Thursday's railway bombings.

Socialists Claim Victory in Spain Election Opposition Socialists claimed victory in Spain's general election on Sunday as voters punished the government over Madrid bombings that may have been retaliation by al Qaeda for the Iraq W-ar. [Congratulations to the Spanish Socialist Working Party!]

Spain's Socialists Claim Victory Voters ousted Spain's ruling party in elections Sunday, with many saying they were shaken by bombings in Madrid and furious with the government for backing the Iraq W-ar and making their country a target for al-Qaida.

Government under fire over bombings (Madrid) More than a thousand people held a protest in Madrid today to blame this week's bombs in the capital on the government's unpopular decision to support the US war on Iraq. Shouting "The bombs on Iraq have exploded in Madrid" and "Resign", the crowd gathered in front of the ruling Popular Party's headquarters but were held back by police in riot gear.

Intelligence chiefs had no hint of al-Qaeda bomb plot The absence of any prior intelligence about a planned Islamic attack in Madrid is now one of the biggest causes of concern among security chiefs in both Europe and the United States.

Anti-US resentment on rise in southeast Afghanistan While the United States-led occupation forces in Afghanistan are trying to win people's support in the ongoing war on the Taliban and al-Qaeda network, local people's complaints against the troops' behavior are growing.

Guantanamo Britons were 'chained to the floor and beaten' Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, was last night forced to address allegations that the American military subjected British prisoners to psychological torture and beatings during their two years of detention at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Guantanamo Human Rights Commission "About the Commission: The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission was launched at a press conference at the House of Commons, London on January 20th 2004."

Privacy Safeguards Deep-Sixed Two computer projects designed to preserve the privacy of Americans were quietly killed while Congress was restricting Pentagon data-gathering research in a widely publicized effort to protect citizens from futuristic anti-terrorism tools. As a result, the government is quietly pressing ahead with research into high-powered computer data-mining technology without the two most advanced privacy protections developed to police those terror-fighting tools.

Who is William Krar? --by Jim Kessler "Since his appointment as attorney general, John Ashcroft's Washington office has issued 2,295 news releases. Not one of them has mentioned the name William Joseph Krar. Krar's attorney is saying it's all a misunderstanding, and Krar himself is not talking, but his arrest by federal law enforcement in the small town of Noonday, Texas, last April may have stopped the most devastating terror attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11. Krar, who is affiliated with several anti-government, white supremacist militia organizations, was apprehended after mailing a package containing false U.N. credentials, Defense Intelligence Agency IDs, phony birth certificates and a forged federal concealed weapons permit to a co-conspirator in New Jersey."

Little can be done to protect rails, experts say Commuters on the nation's trains and subways may hear announcements today asking them to report unattended packages or suspicious behavior. In some cities, they might see more police officers than usual, or bomb-sniffing dogs.

Rumsfeld Has Sept. 11 Souvenir Debris The removal of souvenir debris from the scenes of the Sept. 11 attacks reached the highest levels of government, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and FBI Director Robert Mueller's chief of 'anti-terrorism,' a Justice Department investigation has found.

Rumsfeld: Bush Orders No Campaigning for Him Defense Secretary [and Reichwing whackjob] Donald Rumsfeld said on Sunday Dictator Bush has ordered him and Secretary of State Colin Powell to stay out of the U.S. presidential campaign. [Bush *himself* should stay out of the presidential campaign, as he is *not* the president, for starters, and he should be tried for treason.]

The Politics of Self-Pity --by Maureen Dowd "When the House passed the 'cheeseburger bill' to bar people from suing fast food joints for making them obese, Republican backers of the legislation scolded Americans, saying the fault lies not in their fries, but in themselves... So it comes as something of a disappointment that the leader of the Republican Party, the man who epitomizes the conservative ideal, is playing the victim. President [sic] Bush has made the theme of his re-[s]election campaign a whiny 'not my fault.' ...Mr. Bush is not believable in the victim's role. He and Dick Cheney have audaciously imposed their will on Washington and the world."

Job Losses Become Major Issue in US Presidential S-election Concern over job losses in the United States has emerged as a major issue in the 2004 presidential campaign. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, has made the jobs issue a central focus of his campaign.

Mercury Emissions Rules Bent to Benefit Industry, Officials Say Buffeted by complaints, EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt calls for additional analysis. Political appointees in the Environmental Protection Agency bypassed agency professional staff and a federal advisory panel last year to craft a rule on mercury emissions preferred by the industry and the White House, several longtime EPA officials say.

Pharmaceutical Industry Hires Giuliani The pharmaceutical industry trade group hired former New York City Mayor [and Reichwing lapdog] Rudy Giuliani's consulting group earlier this month to 'study the safety' of imported prescription drugs.

Prescriptions And Profit It may come as no surprise that the pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable business in the country. Americans pay far more for their prescription drugs than citizens of any place on Earth. More than a million Americans now buy their medications in Canada. For more than a year, the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Mark McClellan, has been waging a campaign against Canadian importation.

Pharmaceutical Sales a Thriving Industry Regardless of how the economy is doing, medical and pharmaceutical companies are staying strong because people always need healthcare. Pharmaceutical sales is a thriving industry that offers excellent job opportunities.

U.S. Gasoline Prices Hit a Record High Prices for all grades of gasoline rose 1.34 cents in the last two weeks to a record high nationwide average of $1.77 a gallon, according to a study released Sunday.

Many fuming over soaring gas costs The price of a gallon of gas could jump to as high as $2.25 this summer and federal officials are scrambling to put the lid on skyrocketing costs [Yeah, right! The officials are 'scrambling!' See: Exxon Mobil sets record profit in '03 (January 30, 2004) Houston-based Exxon Mobil Corp. posted a $6.65 billion profit for the three-month period and record total-year earnings at $21.51 billion. Exxon Mobil Corp. saw fourth-quarter earnings jump 63 percent as it benefited from higher prices for crude oil and natural gas. The world's largest publicly traded oil company said its record annual earnings of $21.51 billion were nearly double its profit for all of 2002.]

Judge Orders Release of Abortion Records A federal judge ordered the University of Michigan Health System on Friday to turn over edited abortion records for possible inclusion in a case about a law that bans a particular abortion procedure.

Interior Department Goes Offline A federal judge on Monday once again ordered the Interior Department to pull the plug on most of its Internet connections, finding that the department still hasn't fixed computer security problems that could jeopardize millions of dollars in royalties for American Indians.

Testing for Mad Cow Disease To Expand USDA's Handling of Issue Being Challenged --The Agriculture Department, under fire for the way it has handled the discovery of mad cow disease in a Washington state cow, said yesterday that it will greatly expand the number of cattle it will test for the deadly infection. The expansion comes as the USDA's handling of the mad cow surveillance program, as well as the agency's account of the events surrounding the December discovery of an infected animal, is under serious challenge.

US revealed to be secretly funding opponents of Chavez Washington has been channelling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the political opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - including those who briefly overthrew the democratically elected leader in a coup two years ago.

Halliburton Faces More Scrutiny Pentagon auditors found a Halliburton Co. subsidiary gave faulty cost estimates on a $2.7 billion contract to serve American troops in Iraq and Kuwait, and company officials acknowledged making mistakes, Defense Department documents show.

U.S. Unloading WMD in Iraq Over the past few days, in the wake of the bombings in Karbala and the ideological disputes that delayed the signing of Iraq’s interim constitution, there have been reports that U.S. forces have unloaded a large cargo of parts for constructing long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the southern ports of Iraq.

2 GIs Die in Blast in Hussein's Hometown A roadside bomb killed two American soldiers and wounded three others in Saddam Hussein's hometown Saturday, and U.S. forces responded by making several arrests and dispatching troops into the streets in a show of force.

Tikrit blast kills 2, wounds 4 U.S. soldiers Separate bomb explosion injures several people in Baghdad --A roadside bomb killed two American soldiers and wounded four others Saturday, the first casualties suffered by an Army regiment taking over security in Saddam Hussein’s hometown as part of a giant troop rotation in Iraq.

Blast in Tikrit Injures 6 U.S. Soldiers An explosion injured six U.S. soldiers, some seriously, while on patrol north of Baghdad early Saturday, the Army said.

Iraqi Police Suspected of Killing U.S. Civilians Four Iraqi police were being held on suspicion of killing two American civilians and an Iraqi translator, all of whom worked for the U.S.-led dictatorship, in an attack this week, a military spokesman said Friday.

'No Epidemic' Number of Soldier Suicides In Iraq Soldiers serving in Iraq are not committing suicide in record numbers, a senior DoD military medical officer asserted at the 2004 Tricare conference here Jan. 28. [Got that straight? The soldiers are NOT committing suicide in record numbers. That is why the DoD felt compelled to issue a press release on the topic. I did NOT win the Connecticut state lottery today and I will NOT be playing for the New England Patriots next year. I just want to get the 'nots' out, as well.]

Army to Restructure, Will Grow by 30,000 The Army will grow to 510,000 soldiers over the next four years as a temporary measure, a senior Army official said today... "One of the advantages of being an Army at war is that war focuses us," said the senior [nutball] Army official.

Agency initiates steps for selective draft The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is adamant that he will not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is remote. Nonetheless, the agency has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.

Tape claims Al Qaeda behind bombings in Madrid, pledges more attacks In a videotaped message, a man purporting to represent Al Qaeda said the terrorist network was behind bombings that killed 200 people and wounded 1,500 on Thursday in Madrid, the Spanish interior minister said early Sunday.

We bombed Madrid, says al-Qaeda tape The Madrid bombings which killed 200 people were dramatically claimed by the Islamic militant group al Qaeda early on Sunday morning... An angry crowd of 5,000 defied police orders against demonstrating on the day before an election gathered outside the headquarters of Prime Minister José Maria Aznar's People's Party last night shouting: 'Our dead, your war!' and 'Before we vote, we want the truth!' 'We are just people who want the truth. Our pain has been caused by Aznar's support for Bush,' said protester Kika Castejón.

Role in Haiti Events Backfiring on Washington Last week's U.S.-backed ''regime change'' in Haiti could yet backfire against the regime of Dictator George W Bush, according to independent analysts and Democrats who are describing the U.S. role as another major foreign-policy blunder--or worse. [We need a 'regime change' in the United States.]

Tipton man: MI5 held gun to my head Three British men released from Guantanamo Bay last week have accused MI5 officers of trying to force them into making false confessions - including using a handgun held to their heads during an interrogation. The men, the so-called Tipton Three, also revealed that they narrowly survived a massacre at the hands of Northern Alliance forces after they were captured in the northern Afghanistan city of Kunduz.

Another Briton alleges torture at Guantanamo 'Inhuman Conditions': A second British man who spent two years at the US Navy's base in Cuba has made troubling allegations about his treatment there. One of the British men released from Guantanamo Bay said through his lawyer Friday that US authorities beat him, interrogated him at gunpoint and subjected him to "inhuman conditions" during his detention.

My Hell In Camp X-Ray A British captive freed from Guantanamo Bay today tells the world of its full horror... Jamal al-Harith, 37, a father-of-three, from Manchester, told how he was assaulted with fists, feet and batons after refusing a mystery injection.

Rumsfeld Kept 9-11 Souvenir The Justice Department investigation that criticized FBI agents for taking souvenirs from the World Trade Center site also found that Defense Secretary [and whackjob] Donald H. Rumsfeld and a high-ranking FBI official kept items from the Sept. 11 attack scenes.

U.S. to Buy Anthrax Vaccine Stockpile Would Permit Mass Inoculations --The government is preparing to buy enough experimental anthrax vaccine for 25 million people, a stockpile that would permit mass inoculations in numerous U.S. cities if terrorists launched a broad assault with the deadly germ. [Does a correlation exist between Dictator Bush's plummeting poll numbers and his renewed interest in bioterror? See: Will Bush play the bioterror card? --by Lori R. Price]

FBI pushes for broadband wiretap powers All broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, would have to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police, according to a new proposal from the FBI. The long-awaited proposal, submitted to the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, has been crafted so broadly that it would outlaw the introduction of new broadband services that did not support ready wiretapping access. Companies currently offering broadband would be given 15 months to comply.

FBI adds to wiretap wish list A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police.

Easier Internet Wiretaps Sought inJustice Dept., FBI Want Consumers To Pay the Cost --The inJustice Department wants to significantly expand the government's ability to monitor online traffic, proposing that providers of high-speed Internet service should be forced to grant easier access for FBI wiretaps and other electronic surveillance, according to documents and government officials. A petition filed this week with the Federal Communications Commission also suggests that consumers should be required to foot the bill.

With no Democrats present, Orrin Hatch Halts GOP Memo Probe A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee effort to devise a bipartisan request for federal prosecutors to probe a scandal in which Republican staffers improperly accessed sensitive Democratic computer memos collapsed in bitter disarray on Thursday night. With no Democrats present, committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, announced on Thursday evening he was not going to take any further action on the memo probe and would leave it up to the Senate sergeant-at-arms to decide what to do next.

Bush regime ordered Medicare plan cost estimates withheld The government's top expert on Medicare costs was warned that he would be fired if he told key lawmakers about a series of Bush dictatorship cost estimates that could have torpedoed congressional passage of the White House-backed Medicare prescription-drug plan.

Daschle calls for revote on Medicare drug bill The Senate minority leader says a new vote is needed on the Medicare drug benefit bill after learning the Bush dictatorship's top cost analyst may have been ordered to provide skewed information to Congress. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said Friday that allegations of unfavorable cost estimates about the Medicare prescription drug bill being withheld from lawmakers justifies reopening the vote on the drug benefit.

US: Weirton Steel cancels health care for 10,000 retirees Weirton Steel, based in Weirton, West Virginia, has announced plans to cancel health benefits for its nearly 10,000 retired steelworkers by the end of this month. [This article is also available as a .pdf leaflet to download and distribute.]

Bush Comes North to Campaign in a Suburban Heartland In his final stop in Long Island on Thursday night, Dictator Bush collected more than $1 million for his campaign, charging $2,000 a head at a fund-raiser. Anti-Bush signs along Bush's route said: "No blood for oil," "Where Are the Jobs?" "Like father, like son, one term and you're done" and "Stop the 9/11 Cover-up."

Kennedy criticizes Bush "credibility gap" Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said Saturday the Bush dictatorship has a "widening credibility gap" between what it tells the American people and the facts. In the weekly Democratic radio address, Kennedy said the regime's assurances on the economy, education, health care and the war in Iraq don't match the truth.

Democrat Kerry Challenges Bush to Monthly Debates Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, visiting the site of one of the most famous political debates in U.S. history, planned to challenge Dictator Bush on Saturday to a "real discussion about America's future" in a monthly series of debates.

Kerry Has Delegates for Nomination John Kerry locked up the Democratic presidential nomination Saturday, eclipsing the magic number of delegates needed to become Dictator Bush's chief rival in the general election, according to an Associated Press tally.

Legislators Urge E-Voting Halt California legislators said on Thursday they want to stop the use of all paperless electronic voting machines in the state, fearing the same type of fiasco that plagued Florida in the 2000 coup. State Sens. Don Perata (D-Oakland) and Ross Johnson (R-Irvine), the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate election committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley urging him to decertify all paperless touch-screen voting machines before the general election.

Employee Suspended for Anti-Bush Message (Cleveland) A maintenance worker was suspended for displaying a sign with the word "traitor" on his state snowplow while helping provide security for Traitor Bush's motorcade, officials said.

The People are Revolting: A Guided Tour of the Second American Revolution --by Carol Schiffler "As you prepare for your March 20th demonstrations and events, please do not forget to keep your local officials in the loop about what you are doing and why. And also continue to communicate with them, at every available opportunity, the needs of the communities in which you live."

$1M in drugs not in Fla. evidence room State police will inspect a sheriff's office evidence compound after $1 million in drugs was reported missing.

Hall teen charged for picture of violence at school (GA) A Hall County teenager has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly drawing a picture depicting violence at Johnson High School, authorities said.

Things that make you go "Hmm..." Maybe the attack in Spain was not by al Qaeda, but by al CIAduh (CIA term coined by activist Nico Haupt.) Cui bono? Spain Mourns 'Our September 11,' Qaeda Link Probed Spain's Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said on Friday all leads would be pursued to catch the Madrid train attackers as investigators tried to pin down whether Basque separatists or Muslim militants were to blame... Responsibility for Thursday's attacks on packed Madrid commuter trains -- which also wounded 1,430 people -- could be crucial to the outcome of Sunday's general election in Spain which is going ahead despite a halt to campaigning. --article submitted by CLG reader Xavier Casto, Madison, WI

Traumatized Spain prepares for elections Suspicion shifts toward Basque group, which denies responsibility --Traumatized by terrorism, Spaniards girded for general elections as a nation in grief, with the ruling party favored to win and insisting Saturday that Basque separatists remain the prime suspect in the rail bombings that killed 200 people. The government has not determined who was behind the country's worst terror attack, leaving grieving voters thirsty for answers as they prepared for general elections Sunday.

12 Million March in Spain Against Terrorism More than two million people defied the cold and the heavy rain in the Spanish capital Friday, and millions of others came out in the streets all around the country to protest the terrorist attacks on commuter trains in Madrid that left 199 dead and 1,463 injured Thursday.

Millions Protest Over Spain Bombs, ETA Denies Blame Millions of grieving Spaniards poured into the streets crying "cowards" and "killers" on Friday as Basque separatist group ETA denied responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed nearly 200 people.

From a CLG reader:
Now that 'Al Qaeda' has struck in Spain--ensuring the victory of the right-wing this Sunday--speculation moves to Australia. Are they next?


Scott, Baltimore, MD, March 12, 2004

From a CLG reader:
Let's not ignore the link being reported between Spain and the 'mercenaries' captured in Zimbabwe. This act of terrorism is an awfully large and horrible distraction away from a critical story (the mercenaries).

Andrew, Normal, IL, March 12, 2004

US troops to control Iraq for at least another year US forces will remain in charge of security in Iraq for at least another year and stay until local security forces are 'robust' enough take over, the commander of grounds forces in Iraq said. At a press conference in Baghdad, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez said US troops would still be at the helm in Iraq during next year's general elections.

Two U.S. soldiers killed when vehicle hits homemade bomb A bomb blast killed two American soldiers in Iraq, the military said Friday. The violence came amid growing concerns that Iraqi police — not just impostors in Iraqi uniforms — may have been behind the killings of two occupation staffers and their translator.

US firms win more Iraq contracts The US Defense Department has awarded seven Iraq reconstruction contracts worth a total of about $130m (£72.3m) to consortia of US firms. The contracts cover management projects in six sectors ranging from oil to electricity and are part of a package worth $5bn.

CIA 'wildly inconsistent' about policing Iraq claims White House exaggerations on Iraq's alleged WMD often went unchallenged. USA Today reports that Central Intelligence Agency chief George Tenet acknowledged Tuesday before the US Senate Armed Services Committee that the CIA was "wildly inconsistent" about policing White House statements on Iraq before the invasion last year. Under questioning from Senate Democrats, Mr. Tenet said that he was "too busy" to check every public utterance by Bush dictatorship officials, but said he had no major problems with the case the White House made before going to war in Iraq.

Tenet: CIA lax in policing Iraq war claims CIA Director George Tenet acknowledged Tuesday that his agency was "wildly inconsistent" about policing White House statements on Iraq before the invasion last year. The result, Democrats say, is that Bush regime exaggerations about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction went unchallenged.

Former P-I reporter accused of Iraq ties Federal agents in Baltimore arrested a former congressional aide and onetime Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter yesterday on charges she worked as an agent for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and tried to use personal contacts in an attempt to influence U.S. foreign policy.

Accused spy is cousin of Bush staffer The woman charged with working for the Iraqi spy agency is a distant cousin of Dictator Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card, and has held a variety of jobs in journalism and on Capitol Hill.

US to impose 'firm' bans on Syria The Bush regime will act soon to impose firm sanctions against Syria, which it accuses of sponsoring 'terrorism,' a State Department official said on Wednesday.

US expands duties of Marines in Haiti US Marines in Haiti, in an expansion of their 'mission,' plan to hunt down caches of illegal firearms [???] as part of efforts to disarm resistance fighters and prevent violence [but the invaders can be violent, is that the way it works?], a senior US commander said on Wednesday. Army Gen. James Hill, who oversees the Haiti operation as head of Miami-based US Southern Command, told a Pentagon briefing that Marines now will confiscate weapons from any Haitian they encounter in the capital Port-au-Prince "unless he has a valid permit by Haitian law and is in the process of conducting some valid security job anybody." [? Grammar alert for General Hill, but... the Reichwing doesn't want Haitians to enjoy the Second Amendment, too? Haitians need to arm themselves to resist (but another) illegal, immoral U.S. invasion.]

Rally denounces White House role in Haiti coup Protesters rallied in front of the White House, March 6, chanting “U.S. out of Haiti, Aristide in” and holding placards proclaiming, "End the U.S. coup in Haiti!" Haitian American Marx Aristide, a leader of the Haiti Support Project, was cheered as he blasted Bush for overthrowing Haiti’s democratically elected president. ["End the U.S. coup in the U.S.," too!!]

Massacre in Madrid Spain was in a state of profound shock, mourning and anger last night after the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the Lockerbie bombing killed at least 192 people and injured around 1,400 in the capital, Madrid. Last night, there was confusion over who was responsible.

Doubt over al Qaeda claim A group saying it speaks for al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the Madrid train bombings in an e-mail to an Arabic-language newspaper in London. However, intelligence officials have said the group does not speak for al Qaeda and has been unreliable in the past.

France to Raise Security Alert from Friday France will raise its terror alert on Friday and tighten security on public transport to guard against any possible attack following bombings in Madrid, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin's office said.

US army blows up donated bodies Seven corpses donated to America's Tulane University ended up being sold to the army and blown up in land-mine tests, university officials said.

Cadavers Used In Fort Sam Land Mine Tests 7 Bodies Donated To School Were Sold To Army --Army medical officials in San Antonio confirmed Thursday that Fort Sam Houston used seven human bodies donated to a medical school to conduct land mine tests on the post.

Freed Guantanamo Detainees Consider Action Five men who were quickly freed in Britain after more than two years in U.S. military detention at Guantanamo Bay retreated from the spotlight Thursday while their representatives condemned their treatment by the United States.

Freed Guantanamo prisoner denounces camp A Briton flown home from U.S captivity in Guantanamo Bay says conditions were so inhuman that animals in the prison camp were given better treatment than the detainees, the Daily Mirror newspaper reports.

Hillary: Beware of Voting Machines Made of Steal Sen. Hillary Clinton said yesterday voters in New York and elsewhere may not be able to trust future election results, charging that Diebold that makes high-tech voting machines may skew results to help Republicans win. Clinton said that unless electronic voting machines also produce a paper trail, GOP-leaning corporations might program the equipment to help Republicans steal elections.

Senators Take Aim at Touch-Screen 'Voting' Citing problems during last week's primaries, two leading senators Thursday asked the secretary of state to bar use of touch-screen 'voting' systems in the November general election.

I won't apologize to GOP, Kerry says Sen. John Kerry blended optimism and defiance Thursday as he sought to take charge of the Democratic agenda and fend off Republican attacks. Surrounded by Senate Democrats in the Capitol, Kerry refused to take back comments from a day earlier, when he called Republicans "the most crooked … lying group I've ever seen." [Why should Senator Kerry apologize for calling the crooked, lying Republicans crooked, lying Republicans?]

Kerry, at Capitol, Slams Republican 'Attack Squad' Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry returned to Congress on Thursday for a series of party unity meetings and slammed a "Republican attack squad" that he said specializes in destroying foes.

Bush Ads Go Negative; Kerry Refutes Claim Dictator Bush unleashed the first negative ads of the general election campaign Thursday, accusing Democratic rival John Kerry of seeking to raise taxes by $900 billion and wanting to "delay defending America." Kerry's campaign called the $900 billion figure "completely made up," and accused Bush of running away from his own record.

Bush Visits 9/11 Memorial On Long Island Dictator Bush shoveled dirt Thursday at the groundbreaking for a new memorial for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Bush used images from the World Trade Center's smoldering wreckage in his first re-election TV commercials last week, and refused to retreat when critics called them crass exploitation of those killed in the attacks.

Money in his coffers, but no dirt on his shoes --by Jimmy Breslin "For days now, the job at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County has been to follow the order from the White House through the Secret Service and down to the park workers: 'The president[sic]'s feet are not to touch the dirt.' So all yesterday, large crews drawn from all county parks worked to ensure that, as always in his life, George Bush's feet do not touch the ground when he appears in the big park today."

Demonstrators push messages at dictator Approximately 400 demonstrators lined St. Clair Avenue Wednesday morning were hoping to send their messages to Dictator Bush as he came to the Cleveland Convention Center. Anti-war demonstrators, gay rights activists, labor union members, environmentalists, students and retirees were among the group protesting Bush's appearance in Cleveland.

Where's the media coverage? White House Guests Include GOP Donors Dictator Bush played host to dozens of overnight guests at the White House and Camp David last year, from world leaders to some of his most loyal supporters, including friends who double as campaign fund-raisers.

A Watchdog Sees Flaws in Bush's Ads on Medicare The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said on Wednesday that advertisements and brochures prepared by the Bush administration to publicize a new Medicare law, although not illegal, misrepresented the prescription drug benefits that would be offered to millions of elderly and disabled people.

House Votes, 391-22, to Raise Broadcasters' Fines for Indecency Saying much of the public is fed up with indecent television and radio programming, members of the House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to increase penalties on broadcasters and performers who violate federal standards.

Stern Threatens To Quit If Bush Signs Indecency Bill Although Infinity is saying they will stand by their man, Howard Stern is threatening to quit anyway if Dictator Bush signs new indecency legislation into law. On this morning's show, Congressman Gary Ackerman called in to discuss the bill and assure Stern that he would not sign it.

House GOP Presents $2.31 Trillion Budget House Republicans introduced a $2.41 trillion budget Thursday that would halve deficits in four years, surpass the Senate's tax-cut plans and cull savings from benefits that could include Medicaid and farm aid.

Analysts expect more layoffs following merger of banks Bank of America Corp.'s $48 billion purchase of FleetBoston Financial Corp. may lead to the elimination of as many as 11,000 jobs, a 6 percent reduction, according to analysts at RBC Capital Markets and Lehman Brothers Holdings.

US shields fast-food firms from obesity cases America's fast-food industry savoured a victory over consumer activists yesterday after Congress approved a "cheeseburger bill" to shield restaurant franchises and food firms from blame for making customers "dangerously fat".

Woman Charged With Murder of Unborn Baby A pregnant woman who allegedly ignored medical warnings to have a Caesarean section to save her twins was charged Thursday with murder after one of the babies was stillborn.

Court Orders San Francisco Officials to Halt Gay Marriages The California Supreme Court on Thursday ordered city officials here to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, bringing at least a temporary end to a monthlong experiment that had thrust San Francisco to the forefront of a national debate on gay marriage.

Election panel OKs Illegal software The Indiana Election Commission voted late Wednesday to let four counties use illegal voting software after hearing desperate appeals by county clerks who feared primary election disasters if they didn't get help. The unanimous decision by the four commission members, though, belied the anger they felt at Election Systems & Software, the voting equipment vendor whose mistakes had created the potential mess for the state and Johnson, Vanderburgh, Wayne and Henry counties.

Election Problems Stir Bad 2000 Memories Florida elections workers counted ballots by hand -- again -- on Wednesday after improperly coded ballots appeared to give former presidential candidate Rep. Dick Gephardt a decisive win in one Panhandle county. On the other end of the country, a report Wednesday found that a computer battery problem affected about 40 percent of polling stations in San Diego County, Calif., delaying and frustrating voters who lined up to cast electronic ballots in last week's primary.

Halliburton Under Fire Again Over Iraq Costs Pentagon auditors have found major problems with how Halliburton, the main U.S. contractor in Iraq, drew up cost estimates for billions of dollars of work there, said a Democratic lawmaker on Wednesday.

Pentagon Pays Iraq Group, Supplier of Incorrect Spy Data The Pentagon is paying $340,000 a month to the Iraqi political organization led by Ahmad Chalabi, a member of the interim Iraqi government who has close ties to the Bush dictatorship, for "intelligence collection" about Iraq, according to Defense Department officials. The classified program, run by the Defense Intelligence Agency since summer 2002, continues a longstanding partnership between the Pentagon and the organization, the Iraqi National Congress, even as the group jockeys for power in a future government. Internal government reviews have found that much of the information generated by the program before the American invasion last year was useless, misleading or even fabricated. [Just like the Bush dictatorship, in toto: useless, misleading, and (absolutely) fabricated.]

U.S. Still Pays Iraqi Exile Group for Intelligence The United States pays the Iraqi National Congress exile group headed by Ahmed Chalabi about $340,000 a month for intelligence about insurgents and other matters, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. In that prewar role, his group directed numerous Iraqi defectors to the U.S. government to provide intelligence from inside Iraq that critics now say was largely spun to alarm the United States into taking action against Baghdad.

The new Pentagon papers A high-ranking military officer reveals how Defense Department extremists suppressed information and twisted the truth to drive the country to war. --by Karen Kwiatkowski "From May 2002 until February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq..."

Disguised Gunmen Kill Two U.S. Civilians in Iraq Gunmen posing as Iraqi police shot dead two U.S. civilians and their translator on a road south of Baghdad, officials said Wednesday, in the latest attack targeting foreigners.

Iraqis tortured and killed by British troops --by Harvey Thompson (Part 2 - Part 1) "In another case of allegations of brutality last September, reported in Rupert Murdoch’s fervently pro-war tabloid Sun, British troops from the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment (QLR) allegedly captured 'pro-Saddam bandits' near the British-occupied city of Basra. Nine captives were taken to an army base in the city and among them was a man known only as Mr Al-Maliki..."

Multinational Force to 'Help Haitian Police' Disarm Populace Multinational troops in Haiti will assist national police in maintaining the peace and to disarm citizens bearing arms 'illegally,' the U.S. officer in charge of the nine-day-old operation said here today. [If a country is illegally and immorally invaded by an imperialistic power, its citizens have a right to bear any and all arms, whether or not they are 'legal' to possess. Citizens everywhere must be equipped to resist U.S. hegemony.]

Marines kill 2 Haitians they say fired on them U.S. Marines shot and killed two Haitians in an overnight gun battle in Port-au-Prince, a Marine Corps spokesman said Wednesday. It was the third fatal shooting involving Marines since President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was removed in a coup d'etat 10 days ago.

U.S. Forces Cause ['to Intervene in'] Haiti Violence American forces will intervene to promote U.S. hegemony ['to stop Haitian-against-Haitian violence'], the general in charge of U.S. operations there said Wednesday, marking an escalation of the American mission in the Caribbean nation.

Haiti: US Marines expand operations as Washington assembles puppet regime --by Keith Jones "Having used a 'rebel' force led by thugs of previous Haitian dictators to force the country’s elected president from power, the Bush administration is now trying to patch together a constitutional and democratic façade for a new, US-sponsored government—what the New York Times politely calls a 'pro-US' regime." [One illegitimate puppet regime installing another illegitimate puppet regime]

Zimbabwe Says Western Agencies Aided Mercenaries Zimbabwe said Wednesday U.S., British and Spanish spy agencies helped dozens of suspected mercenaries detained this week in Harare in a plot against Equatorial Guinea's government. "They were aided by the British secret service, that is MI6, .... American Central Intelligence Agency and the Spanish secret service," Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi told a news conference, reading from a prepared statement. He said the heads of the police and army in the tiny but oil-rich central African nation of Equatorial Guinea had gone along with the plot against the government of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. "The Western intelligence services persuaded Equatorial Guinea's service chiefs not to put up any resistance, but to cooperate with the coup plotters," Mohadi said.

Alleged mercenaries were to abduct EGuinea president, leader says The leader of a group of suspected mercenaries arrested in Equatorial Guinea said on national television Wednesday their mission was to abduct President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and force him into exile.

South Africa Confirms Link Between Plane And Coup Plot South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma confirmed on Wednesday that the plane held by Zimbabwean authorities and an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea were linked.

Robotic Legs Could Produce Super Troops Move over Bionic Man and make room for BLEEX — the Berkeley Lower Extremities Exoskeleton, with strap-on robotic legs designed to turn an ordinary human into a super strider. BLEEX is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon research and development arm, and was among the projects being showcased at a DARPA tech symposium this week in Anaheim.

EPA Sued Over Sept. 11 Contamination New Yorkers exposed to dangerous debris from the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday for failing to properly clean building interiors. The plaintiffs said that as a result of the EPA failure, they had been exposed to hazardous substances for more than two years and faced potentially serious long-term health effects.

Promises, Promises --by Paul Krugman "Wishful Thinking on Jobs --The Bush administration has consistently overpredicted future job growth" (Chart) "Despite a string of dismal employment reports, the administration insists that its economic program, which has relied entirely on tax cuts focused on the affluent, will produce big job gains any day now. Should we believe these promises?"

US trade deficit widens to US$43.1 bln in Jan The US trade deficit hit a record of 43.1 billion dollars in January, defying market forecasts of a slight improvement, reported the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

Stock-dumping Unsuspecting buyers hurt (The Charleston Gazette) "Most Americans don’t know that President [sic] Bush was involved in a similar situation [to Martha Stewart's sale of ImClone stock in 2001] in 1990... On June 11, 1990, Bush and other members of the audit committee met with the Harken president and auditors from Arthur Andersen & Co. Eleven days later, on June 22, Bush sold all 212,140 of his Harken shares for $4 each — reaping $835,307. Although federal law required Bush to notify the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of this insider sale immediately, he failed to do so for eight months... If anyone can explain how the current president[sic]'s 1990 stock sale differs materially from Martha Stewart's 2001 sale, we’d like to hear it."

The GOP and the Nazis: There are similarities and, no, I will not apologize --by Wayne Madsen "On the subject of Enron, it was [former chairman, Kenneth] Lay and his buddies in Houston who financially raped California in 2001 by conspiring to raise the state's electric utility rates to a usurious degree. Who paid the price when California was plunged into financial ruin? Democratic Governor Gray Davis, who was recalled in a right-wing financed election after having served less than a year of his second term. And who replaced Davis? Self-described Hitler, Nazi, and Kurt Waldheim admirer Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new Republican Governor of California whose congressional soul mate, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, wants to amend the US Constitution to allow an Austrian émigré like Schwarzenegger to run for president. Where before have we seen national laws changed to allow a right-wing Austrian to run for political office in an adopted homeland?" [A must read]

Reports from Madison Avenue! Has the RNC's 2004 kickoff ad campaign backfired? You decide. --by Mary Titus Updated!

Bush, Kerry Trade Barbs Over Jobs In his remarks to the AFL-CIO leaders at their convention in Florida, Sen. John F. Kerry argued that Bush's tax cuts have chiefly favored the wealthy while driving up other costs for the middle class... Kerry told a supporter in Chicago that his Republican critics were "the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen."

Kerry Comment Riles Bush Campaign Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry called Wednesday for deeper tax cuts for the middle class than proposed by Dictator Bush and described his Republican critics as "the most crooked ... lying group I've ever seen." The chairman of Bush's re-s-election campaign called on Kerry to apologize "for this negative attack." [Well, the Bush dictatorship needs to apologize for the 9-11 terrorist attacks; Shock & Awe; the illegal occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti; the Medicare 'reform' Bill; and ten million other acts of terror.]

Many Major Kerry Donors Actually Give More to Bush Senator John Kerry is beginning his drive to compete financially against Dictator Bush with a disadvantage: almost half of his campaign's largest sources of money have given more money to Mr. Bush, according to a new study.

Kerry Just Short of Magic Delegate Number Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts is within a few dozen delegates of mathematically clinching the Democratic presidential nomination after easily winning four Southern primaries Tuesday.

Mega Barf Alert!! Sen. McCain Open to Being Kerry's VP Republican Sen. John McCain allowed a glimmer of hope Wednesday for Democrats fantasizing about a bipartisan dream team to defeat Dictator Bush. [Yes, and if GOD forbid... Kerry cannot fulfill his term, or chooses not to run again in 2008 ...the country would get a choice in 2008 of TWO Republicans!!]

Approval of Irradiated Sweet Potatoes Has Critics Steamed A recent decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to allow irradiation to kill pests in a special breed of sweet potato raised in Hawaii has left growers on the mainland trying to protect their crop and opponents of irradiation fuming.

C.I.A. Chief Says He's Corrected Cheney Privately George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he had privately intervened on several occasions to correct what he regarded as public misstatements on intelligence by Vice pResident Dick Cheney and others, and that he would do so again.

CIA director disputes Cheney assertions on Iraq CIA Director George Tenet on Tuesday rejected recent assertions by Vice pResident Dick Cheney that Iraq cooperated with the al-Qaida terrorist network and that the Bush regime had proof of an illicit Iraqi biological warfare program.

Spy Unit Skirted CIA on Iraq Pentagon group's role in shaping White House views about Hussein-Al Qaeda ties was greater than known, Senate panel hears. A special intelligence unit at the Pentagon privately briefed senior officials at the White House on alleged ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda without the knowledge of CIA Director George J. Tenet, according to new information presented at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

What Happened to $1 Trillion? Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track [?!?] of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.

Plugging Leaks More details emerge on the Plame investigation, as Karl Rove's testimony is revealed for the first time. --by Murray S. Wass "President [sic] Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, told the FBI in an interview last October that he circulated and discussed damaging information regarding CIA operative Valerie Plame with others in the White House, outside political consultants, and journalists, according to a government official and an attorney familiar with the ongoing special counsel's investigation of the matter. But Rove also adamantly insisted to the FBI that he was not the administration official who leaked the information that Plame was a covert CIA operative to conservative [Reichwing] columnist Robert Novak last July."

War chief reveals legal crisis Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, who led Britain's forces to war in Iraq last year, has dramatically broken his silence about the legal crisis which engulfed the Government on the eve of battle. In an extraordinary interview which will reignite the controversy over the run-up to the conflict, the former Chief of Defence Staff has revealed how Britain went to the brink of a constitutional crisis after he demanded 'unequivocal... legal top cover' before agreeing to allow British troops to fight.

Iraqis tortured and killed by British troops --by Harvey Thompson (Part 1) "Reports are filtering out about the brutal treatment of Iraqis by the occupying British armed forces. The growing number of cases of alleged beatings, torture and murder of Iraqis reveal that the British Army is conducting just as dirty and brutal a war in the south of Iraq as its US counterparts are waging in the north."

Report details abuse, torture of prisoners by US forces in Afghanistan --by Joseph Kay "A report released over the weekend by Human Rights Watch, entitled 'Enduring Freedom: Abuses by US Forces in Afghanistan,' details illegal and abusive treatment meted out by US troops against prisoners captured as part of the American government’s ongoing operations in Afghanistan. The report examines cases of indiscriminate and excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions, and mistreatment in detention, including torture."

Britons Detained After Guantanamo Release Police arrested five Britons as they returned to England late Tuesday from more than two years in U.S. military detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Guantanamo suspect walks free, but four others are detained for questioning Four British Muslims released from Guantanamo Bay were detained last night and one was released after the military aircraft on which they were travelling touched down on British soil.

Britain: Detainees returning from Guantanamo face arrest and surveillance --by Richard Tyler "Five British detainees are expected to return to Britain from Guantanamo Bay in the next 24 hours. They have been held captive for two years under conditions that amount to torture and denied all basic democratic rights... Even if no charges are brought against them, the men face constant surveillance by Special Branch and the secret services." [a.k.a., The Trial!]

Australian government gets "carte blanche" to outlaw organisations --by Mike Head "Last week, a parliamentary committee report documented how the Howard government manipulated and exaggerated information supplied by Australian, US and British intelligence agencies to join the illegal invasion of Iraq on false claims that Saddam Hussein was ready to use stockpiles of 'weapons of mass destruction.' Just days later, parliament passed laws allowing the government wide scope to apply similar methods to outlaw organisations at home and jail their members for up to 25 years. Acting on the advice of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the attorney-general will be able to proscribe any party or group as a 'terrorist organisation.'"

Is Military Creeping Into Domestic Law Enforcement? In a little-noticed side effect of the war on 'terrorism,' the military is edging toward a sensitive area that has been off-limits to it historically: domestic intelligence gathering and law enforcement... Another little-known Pentagon group, the Counterintelligence Field Activity, was set up two years ago. With 400 service members and civilians stationed around the globe, the CIFA was originally charged with protecting the military and critical infrastructure from spying by terrorists and foreign intelligence services. But in August, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defense secretary, issued a directive ordering the unit to maintain a "domestic law-enforcement database that includes information related to potential terrorist threats directed against the Department of Defense."

Police Secretly Watching Hip-Hop Celebrities In Florida Critics See Surveillance As Unnecessary, Racist --Police say they are secretly monitoring hip-hop stars P. Diddy, DMX and others in South Florida to 'protect' them, but celebrities and critics see the surveillance as unnecessary and racist.

To our self-proclaimed "War President" --by Robert Eugene Gladd "Robert Vincent Gladd, my beloved and patriotic (life-long Republican) father, once wore a real flight suit, and, now approaching the age of 90, he suffers to this very day from the physical and psychic after-effects of the leg he left behind in Europe during World War II while serving as an Army Air Corps aviator... I find your bellicose, arrogant, and narcissistic statements such as 'bring ’em on' and 'I’ve gone to war; I’ve raised twins; given a choice I’d rather go to war' [Houston Chronicle, 1/27/02] to constitute the absolute pinnacle of insult to the sacrifices made by millions of actual courageous warriors who gave so much in defense of the nation you seem so eager to sell out to the highest bidder, and whose Constitution you and your administration seem so bent on soiling in pursuit of the oligopoly so amenable to the ends of your self-interested, well-heeled crony contributors."

9/11 panel won't be limited to hour with Bush Dictator Bush will privately "answer all the questions" [Yeah, right!] raised by a federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, the White House said Tuesday, dropping a one-hour limit on the dictator’s testimony.

The dead, the bad and the ugly: President[sic]'s ad blitz bombs 9/11 --by Pierre Tristam "It was never a question of whether, but of how President [sic] Bush would use the graveyards of Sept. 11 to season his re-election campaign. The question was just answered: By eroticizing the dead of that fateful day and using the flag as their g-string... The ads are a teaser of what's to come. They announce that the Republican National Convention in Manhattan, a few blocks from Ground Zero and a few days removed from the attacks' third anniversary, will be an orgy of Sept. 11 videos."

Bush Campaign Seeks Probe of Election Ads Dictator Bush's re-s-election campaign says it will ask the Federal Election Commission to investigate a Democratic-leaning group that will air $4.5 million worth of TV ads against Bush, beginning Wednesday. [Bush's 'probe' evokes tremendous irony given that his own 9-11 body parts ads provide some of the tackiest moments in the history of television.]

RNC tells TV stations not to run anti-Bush ads GOP committee says's spots are illegally financed --The Republican National Committee is warning television stations across the country not to run ads from the Voter Fund that criticize Dictator Bush, charging that the left-leaning political group is paying for them with money raised in violation of the new campaign-finance law.

Supreme Court's Gag Rule on Us 'The Powerful Have Only Gotten More Powerful' --by Nat Hentoff "Independent organizations—not tied to political parties—wanting to place broadcast ads criticizing George W. Bush will have these obstacles, as detailed by the AFL-CIO: 'Beginning 30 days before the first primary or caucus . . . December 14, 2003 . . . Section 203 [of McCain-Feingold] will criminalize broadcast references to the President [sic] in a series of geographic blackouts that will continuously ripple through the Nation, blocking every broadcast outlet, wherever located, whose signal can reach 50,000 persons in an upcoming primary or caucus state until June 8, 2004. This blackout will become national in scope on July 31, 30 days before the August 30-September 2 Republican National Convention . . . and it will then continue without interruption throughout the remaining 60 days until the November 2 [s]election. Thus, from July 31, 2004 until the election, it will be a crime for a union, corporation, or incorporated non-profit organization to pay to broadcast any 'reference' to the President [sic] by 'name,' 'photograph,' 'drawing' or other 'unambiguous' means anywhere in the United States.'"

Support for Bush Falls On Economy and Iraq Post-ABC poll finds that 57 percent want next president to steer country away from the course set by Dictator Bush. Dictator Bush has seen public support fall to the lowest level of his regime for his performance on the economy and the situation in Iraq, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll has found.

Waste of money for a waste of time: Kelly: GOP Security Could Cost $65M The police department's security costs at this summer's Republican National Convention could climb to $65 million, far higher than the city's previous estimate, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Tuesday. [It's 'far higher' as George W. Bush is the most hated dictator on the surface of the planet. ...The criminal always returns to the scene of his crime.]

Kerry Cruises To Four More Primary Victories With No Real Rivals For Nomination, Kerry Focusing On Bush --With only phantom rivals and pushovers standing in his way, Democrat John Kerry easily won the four Southern primaries Tuesday in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The latest victories put Kerry within striking distance of the presidential nomination.

Kerry visits South Florida Sen. John Kerry rouses supporters with talk of avoiding another coup d'etat and protecting Social Security. Evoking the 2000 coup d'etat, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said Monday that he is building a legal team to prevent any voting irregularities this year in the state that illegally put George W. Bush in the White House.

7,000 Orange County Voters Were Given Bad Ballots (CA) Poll workers struggling with a new electronic voting system in last week's election gave thousands of Orange County voters the wrong ballots, according to a Times analysis of election records. In 21 precincts where the problem was most acute, there were more ballots cast than registered voters.

E-Voting: No Chads, But ... (CBS News) experts nationwide have found serious security problems with the new touch-screen voting systems. "If there's another close election, we might not be able to do any kind of meaningful recount," says Rice University computer scientist Dan Wallach. "We might not be able to really figure out who won the election." Wallach, who is affiliated with a group called, obtained the secret programs that run the most widely used technology, made by Diebold Elections Systems. "We found a number of interesting flaws with the Diebold system, any one of which could allow somebody to corrupt an election," says Wallach.

Lawsuit challenges paperless 'voting' system After being rejected in state court last month, U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler turned to federal court Monday and filed another lawsuit challenging the paperless electronic 'voting' systems used by Palm Beach County and 14 other Florida counties.

Crucial quick action! Call or fax your Senators every day until they co-sponsor Senator Bob Graham's bill (S.1980), requiring a voter-verified paper trail on all election equipment. There are only 6 Congressional voting days in April. Guidelines, a toll free phone number, a sample letter, and information resources are here.

S.D. governor backs bill to ban abortions South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds [Republican] said today that he will sign a bill banning most abortions in the state providing that legislators clarify language to ensure that current restrictions remain in force while the new law is under consideration in the courts.

GM crops are given qualified go-ahead The long argument over whether or not genetically-modified crops should be commercially grown in Britain ended yesterday when the Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett, announced a formal but heavily-qualified go-ahead for the growing of GM maize.


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