Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

Citizens For Legitimate Government
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush coup d'etat, and to oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

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December 2003 Archives, Page Two

Blair's WMD claim dismissed by America's Baghdad chief Claims by Tony Blair and George Bush that the threat of weapons of mass destruction justified the war in Iraq were looking increasingly threadbare last night. Poodle Blair's allegation that British and American weapons hunters had unearthed "massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories" in Iraq was dismissed by Paul Bremer, America's most senior official in Baghdad.

Bremer contradicts Blair on mass destruction weapons in Iraq The US dictator for Iraq, Paul Bremer, denied the existence of laboratories in Iraq making weapons of mass destruction for which British Prime Minister Poodle Tony Blair says US-led teams have massive evidence.

Some 20 Foreign Troops Killed, Hurt in Iraq Blasts About 20 foreign soldiers were killed or wounded when blasts hit their bases and several government buildings in the Iraqi city of Kerbala on Saturday, a spokesman for Polish-led troops in the region said.

Troops dead in Iraq blasts Up to 20 occupation soldiers are reported to have been killed or injured after a series of explosions in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala.

Coordinated resistance attacks in Iraq kill 11, including four occupation troops; at least 172 people wounded Resistance fighters unleashed a coordinated assault on military bases and the governor's office in the southern city of Karbala on Saturday, killing 11 people -- including six Iraqi police officers and four occupation soldiers -- and wounding at least 172, officials said.

Four Bulgarian soldiers dead in Iraq attacks: deputy defense minister Four Bulgarian soldiers died in the series of car bomb and mortar attacks Saturday in the holy Shiite Iraqi city of Karbala, Bulgarian Deputy Defense Minister Ilko Dimitrov told a news conference here.

Missiles fired at home of alleged resistance fighter in Iraqi town: witnesses US soldiers sealed off part of a town near here, ordered residents out and then launched a missile strike against the home of an alleged anti-occupation rebel, witnesses said Friday. [Now *there's* real democracy in Iraq... NOT!]

Hooded Men Executing Saddam Officials --by Robert Fisk in Baghdad "General Charles de Gaulle gave the French resistance 48 hours to régler les comptes - settle accounts - after the liberation of France. But after the 'liberation' of Iraq, the Baath party's enemies have declared it open season to hunt down and murder hundreds of the former regime's officials - with not the slightest attempt by the Anglo-American armies or their newly installed police force to end the bloodshed."

$1M Bounties Offered for Remaining Iraq Fugitives Iraq's U.S.-led dictatorship is putting bounties of $1 million each on the heads of 12 remaining fugitives from the dictatorship's list of the 55 'most-wanted' Iraqis, officials said Saturday.

Justice for All, America --by Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi "As for the application of the Geneva Convention, you can't have exceptions for the rich and powerful, white and bright. Whether it was Saddam or Rumsfeld, foot soldiers or high-ranking officials, all should be equally tried by the rules that were established after World War II and applied to the Nazis who burned millions of Jews, gypsies and dissidents in gas chambers... It is baffling and disheartening that the same US would be the one to break the rules, reject the International Court of Justice, and sideline the very United Nations it worked so hard to build."

Cuba Says Guantanamo Prison a Concentration Camp Cuba has charged the United States with running a concentration camp at the Guantanamo base on the eastern tip of the island, in the government's first attack on use of the facility to hold terror suspects. [This is what the Bush dictatorship has inspired: a debate on whether or not Amerikan detention centers are concentration camps.]

Mass. guardsman is killed at Guantanamo Bay A Massachusetts man serving in the Army National Guard was found dead this week at the war on terrorism prison operation at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, the Department of Defense announced yesterday.

Mega Whackjob-Plagiarism Caveat! NYT article is by Bush-Rove media whore Judith Miller: U.S. Has New Concerns About Anthrax Readiness Two years after the anthrax letter attacks, senior dictatorship officials say they have fresh concerns about the nation's vulnerability to terrorist attacks with the deadly germ. [What is the Bush dictatorship planning to do in order to steal the 2004 s-election?]

U.S. fears New Year's Eve terror try Officials are girding for a possible terrorist act on New Year's Eve, replaying fears of Al Qaeda's unsuccessful millennium plot to blow up Los Angeles Airport.

"I mean it is a dictatorship." --Gore Vidal (Transcript, Sounds of Summer: Gore Vidal) "HAMISH ROBERTSON: As part of the ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation] summer season, we present a Current Affairs Special. Gore Vidal, once described as the United States' last small-r Republican, found himself in the lead-up to the war with Iraq railing against what he calls the Bush-Cheney junta... Gore Vidal even went so far as to suggest that the [9-11] attacks may well have been a gift to the Bush administration - a gift which allowed the United States to go after Osama bin Laden and after Saddam Hussein, the two men it perceived as obstacles to the super power's imperial ambition."

Reliable voting (The Boston Globe) "...[T]he issue [expert hacking of touch-screen 'voting' machines] was given prominence recently when one of the leading manufacturers of the touch-screen systems, Walden W. O'Dell of the Ohio firm Diebold Inc., turned out also to be one of President [sic] Bush's most enthusiastic backers. 'I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [sic] next year,' O'Dell wrote last August, inviting friends to a Republican fundraiser. O'Dell is a member of Bush's 'Rangers and Pioneers,' meaning he has raised at least $100,000 for Bush's re[s]election."

Weather Service Storm Detector Faulty The National Weather Service bought and installed defective equipment designed to keep power flowing to storm-detecting radar, then quietly replaced the problem system by paying the same contractor for replacements, government documents show.

Despite Mad-Cow Warnings, Industry Resisted Safeguards Though some scientists had long warned that mad cow disease would eventually appear in the United States, cattle owners and meatpackers repeatedly resisted calls for a more substantial program to test for the disease, and the Agriculture Department went along with them. Congress came close three times to banning the sale of meat from downer cows — ones that are too sick or hurt to amble into slaughterhouses — only to see the industry's allies block each of the bills at the last moment.

Dean Blasts Bush Over Mad Cow Scare Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says the Bush regime missed an opportunity to soften the impact of the country's first mad cow scare and that the American beef industry should receive federal aid to weather the crisis [?!? The (disgusting) American beef industry is already *on* Bush's corporate welfare rolls, in a myriad of ways.]

U.S., Canada at Odds Over Mad Cow Origin The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Saturday the Washington state dairy cow infected with mad cow disease had probably been imported from Canada but Canadian authorities called the statement premature.

Canadian officials urge patience No connection between Holstein cow and infected Alberta animal found last May Canada's chief veterinarian says it's premature to say Alberta was the source of the mad cow found in Washington state, noting there are serious discrepancies over the age of the animal involved.

U.S. Mad Cow Link Questioned in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Cases Family and friends of American victims of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the fatal brain disorder sometimes linked to mad cow disease, on Friday questioned whether the wasting illness that killed their loved ones was actually due to eating contaminated U.S. beef.

Budget squeezes poor kids out Children across the country are being cut off from doctors because cash-strapped states are rolling back health insurance for the working poor, a four-month investigation by Gannett News Service has found.

Massive Support For Gays In Military Poll Shows A new poll has found that 79 percent of all Americans believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

Bechtel threatened to evade sanctions US construction giant Bechtel, a firm with an enormous contract to help rebuild Iraq, had planned to hire "non-US suppliers of technology" in 1988 in order to evade US economic sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein used poison gas against the restive Kurdish minority, according to a newly declassified government document. [*See: Rumsfeld backed Hussein even after chemical attacks]

Halliburton unscathed by overcharge flap The timely [a little *too* timely] capture of Saddam Hussein virtually eclipsed, for a while, the embarrassing scandal involving the apparent US$128 million overcharging of US taxpayers by Halliburton, Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's old firm, which received $7 billion in no-bid contracts for oil services and other work in Iraq... But investors in Halliburton and its engineering subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) paid little heed to the uproar in Washington and the field day by Democratic presidential candidates excoriating what they called the apparent war-profiteering and sweetheart deals with Halliburton.

U.S. Decisions on Iraq Spending Made in Private Despite detailed regulations and pronouncements about "transparency," the 'Coalition' Provisional Authority's process for spending Iraq's money has little of the openness, debate and paper trails that define such groups in democratic nations. Though the interim government has extensive information on its Web site, it doesn't include, for example, when contracts have been awarded. Citing security concerns, it also doesn't say what companies won them.

Roadside Bomb Kills U.S. Soldier in Iraq One U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded on Friday when a roadside bomb hit a military convoy north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

Eight US soldiers killed in Iraq Christmas violence Eight US soldiers have been killed across Iraq over the Christmas period, as a series of attacks battered the capital.

Two U.S. Soldiers Killed by Bombs in Central Iraq Two U.S. soldiers were killed by bombs in two separate incidents in Iraq on Friday, a U.S. military spokesman said.

Four U.S. Soldiers Killed in Spate of Iraq Attacks Resistance fighters in Iraq staged multiple assaults that killed four U.S. soldiers, keeping up violence that has raged on since Saddam Hussein's capture, the U.S. military said on Friday.

US bombs Baghdad for third night US-led occupation forces have bombed Baghdad for the third consecutive night as resistance fighters lobbed at least three mortar bombs at the occupying administration headquarters.

U.S. Forces Pursue New Iraq Enemy Lists Thirteen 'fugitives' remain from the original "deck of cards" of top Saddam Hussein regime members, but U.S. forces are increasingly focusing on new lists of individuals thought to be taking a more active role in the anti-U.S. insurgency, military intelligence sources say.

Iraq through the American looking glass Insurgents are civilians. Tanks that crush civilians are traffic accidents. And civilians should endure heavy doses of fear and violence --by Robert Fisk in Baghdad "An even more peculiar habit has now manifest itself among spokesmen for the occupation authorities. When a tank drove over a prominent Shiite Muslim cleric in the Baghdad suburb of Sadr City three weeks ago, they claimed this was a 'traffic accident', as if driving an M1A1 Abrams tank over a car and a robed prelate is the kind of thing that can happen on any downtown street... So let's get this right. Insurgents are civilians. Truck bombs and tanks that crush civilians are traffic accidents. And the 'liberated' civilians who live in villages surrounded by razor wire should endure 'a heavy dose of fear and violence' to keep them on the straight and narrow.

US opts for a failed Israeli strategy --by Sudha Ramachandran "The London Guardian reports that teams of US special forces are already behind the lines inside Syria attempting to kill foreign jihadis before they cross the border into Iraq. It says that a group focused on the 'neutralization' of guerrilla leaders is being set up. The report quotes a former senior US intelligence official as describing the operation as 'basically an assassination program ... This is a hunter-killer team'...[T]he Americans seem to have paid little attention to what even the top brass of the Israeli army are now admitting."

Belarus Says to Prepare Against U.S. Attack President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday Belarus must be prepared to defend itself against U.S. attack. Lukashenko has criticized Washington's military campaign against Iraq, saying it had created a precedent whereby undesirable leaders could be unseated with military force.

Leaks Probe Is Gathering Momentum The Justice Department has added a fourth prosecutor to the team investigating the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, while the FBI has said a grand jury may be called to take testimony from dictatorship officials, sources close to the case said.

U.S. Asks Judge to Lift His Ban on Pentagon's Anthrax Vaccination Program The inJustice Department has asked a federal district judge here to withdraw his preliminary injunction halting the military's mandatory anthrax vaccination program, or at least limit his ruling to the six plaintiffs whose suit prompted it.

Mega Bush Dictatorship Lie Alert #5,458,257: (From the Reverend Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times, this nugget) Anthrax terror The CIA has been quietly 'building a case' that the anthrax attacks of 2001 were in fact the result of an international terrorist plot. [Yes, it was al Qaeda mailing letters, postmarked from New Jersey, that just *happened* to reach Democrats who QUICKLY changed their minds and voted FOR the Patriot Act once 100,000 spores of anthrax reached their desks. Why, oh why, would international terrorists try to murder *Democrats* when the Patriot Act was up for a vote?]

Mega Bush 'Yeah, right!' Lie Alert #5,458,258: U.S. Officials Fault French on Terror Alert One or more terror suspects may have escaped [?!?] due to a premature disclosure in France of the security concerns behind the cancellation of Christmas flights to Los Angeles, U.S. officials said on Friday.

U.S. Seeks Paris-L.A. Plane Passengers U.S. investigators are searching for a small number of people who failed to show up at the Paris airport to board flights to Los Angeles that fell under close scrutiny in a possible 'terrorist plot', a U.S. official said Friday.

Officials insist LV not target of terrorist plot Local officials continued to report that there are no specific terrorist threats against Las Vegas as speculation grew across the nation about possible targets of terrorist strikes during a high, Code Orange alert.

Dictator Bypasses Congress to Install 12 Dictator Bush circumvented Congress on Friday and installed 12 people to government panels after their nominations 'stalled' in the Senate.

Idiot Usurper pledges his allegiance to beef U.S. Dictator George W. Bush has no plans to stop eating beef despite growing U.S. worries about mad cow disease, a White House spokesman says. [Great!! We can only hope that Bush eats lots and lots of beef!!]

Second Herd Quarantined in Mad Cow Scare The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday quarantined a second herd of cattle in Washington state in connection with the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, as cattle producers scrambled to minimize damage to the $27 billion industry.

Brazil and Argentina Expect Rising Beef Sales The emergence of a case of mad cow disease in the United States this week has created an unparalleled opportunity for Brazil and Argentina, two of the main competitors of the United States in the booming international beef export market, to capture new customers, government and industry officials here say. Cattle in both countries graze on grass; they are not fed ground-up animal parts that have been used as feed elsewhere [Yuk!], a practice believed to transmit mad cow disease.

Landowner Faces Leftist in Guatemalan Election Guatemala's presidential runoff vote on Sunday pits a conservative businessman against a self-proclaimed champion of the poor, with the winner certain to face calls to put a former dictator on trial for human rights atrocities.

U.S. Companies Moving More Jobs Overseas U.S. corporations are picking up the pace in shifting well-paid technology jobs to India, China and other low-cost centers, but they are keeping quiet for fear of a backlash, industry professionals said.

Pressure on Conn. governor increasing Key Democrat leader foresees impeachment --As political pressure mounts on [Republican] Governor John G. Rowland to resign, the Connecticut Democratic Party chairman is predicting that the Legislature would move to impeach the Republican chief executive if he does not step down and ethics concerns continue to widen.

Clark becomes grandfather on Christmas Day Wesley Clark got a surprise holiday present -- his first grandchild was born a little early, on Christmas Day.

Rumsfeld backed Hussein even after chemical attacks Fresh controversy about Donald Rumsfeld's personal dealings with Saddam Hussein was provoked yesterday by new documents that reveal he went to Iraq to show America's support for the regime despite its use of chemical weapons.

US-led forces launch offensive after Baghdad attacks US-led forces launched offensive operations in the Iraqi capital today after rebel rockets and mortars pounded Baghdad in the resistance fighters' most serious attacks since the capture of former president Saddam Hussein, the military said.

Mortar Rounds Thud Into Center of Baghdad Resistance fighters fired mortar rounds into the center of Baghdad, hitting an area near the headquarters of the U.S.-led occupation authority in Iraq. Three mortar rounds thudded into the area where the complex is situated shortly before midnight on Thursday, witnesses said, ending a day punctuated with rocket and mortar attacks on hotels used by Westerners, embassies and an apartment block.

4 G.I.'s and 6 Iraqi Civilians Are Killed in Bomb Attacks Over Wednesday and early Thursday, resistance fighters unleashed a string of intense rocket and bomb attacks across Iraq, killing at least four American soldiers and six Iraqi civilians and wounding dozens of people, military and government officials said.

Iraq Hotel Struck Twice by Rebel Rockets A roadside bomb exploded north of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing three U.S. soldiers in the deadliest attack on Americans since Saddam Hussein's capture. Christmas morning, a rebel rocket shattered windows on a Baghdad hotel filled with Western contractors and journalists.

Resistance in Mosul to Be Stepped Up, Islamic Groups Say Islamic groups in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul vowed yesterday to step up their resistance to US forces, following the capture earlier this month of Saddam Hussein.

Japan Military Team Leaves for Iraq Mission Members of Japan's air force left for the Middle East Friday to lay the groundwork for the nation's dispatch of troops to Iraq in what may become its biggest and most dangerous military mission since World War II.

U.S. Enhances Air Monitors in 30 Cities Homeland Security officials have enhanced their ability to 'monitor the air for biological warfare agents' in 30 cities, one of several ways the government is preparing for possible 'terrorist' strikes during a high, Code Orange alert. [George W. Bush poses the greatest international threat of terrorism.]

France Says No Proof of Hijack Plot Found French investigators questioned seven men pointed out by U.S. intelligence but found no evidence they planned to use a Los Angeles-bound jet to launch terror attacks against the United States, French authorities said Thursday.

Suspicious Passengers Questioned In France 13 Were to Fly to L.A., Have Been Released --U.S. government officials said yesterday they believe some of the passengers boarding one of the three Air France flights from Paris to Los Angeles that were canceled this week because of security concerns might have intended to hijack it and crash-land in Las Vegas or another city along its flight path.

France releases men from canceled U.S.-bound flights; finds no evidence of plot French investigators questioned seven men pointed out by U.S. intelligence but found no evidence they planned to use a Los Angeles-bound jet to launch terror attacks against the United States, French authorities said Thursday.

Holy missed opportunity, Batman! Official: U.S. Hoped To Trap Terrorists Before Cancellations Homeland Security Officials Frustrated News Of 'Security Concerns' Got Out The U.S. government had been hoping to snag some terrorists [?!?] on flights between Paris and Los Angeles before the flights were canceled and news of security concerns was publicized, a U.S. official has said.

'Intelligence' cites NJ chemical plants as possible targets 'Intelligence' officials say New Jersey's chemical plants have been singled out as potential terrorist targets.

Six Paris-to-L.A. flights canceled over security U.S. officials raise concerns; more flights could be scrapped --Amid intensive discussions between U.S. and French officials, six Paris-to-Los Angeles flights were canceled Wednesday because of security concerns, French and U.S. officials said Wednesday.

U.S. to Begin Fingerprinting Visiting Foreigners Foreigners entering U.S. airports and seaports — except those from Western Europe and a handful of other countries — will soon have their fingerprints scanned and their photographs snapped as part of a new program designed to 'enhance border security'.

Congress Scuttled Meat Protection Measure Legislation to keep meat from downed animals off American kitchen tables was scuttled - for the second time in as many years - as Congress labored unsuccessfully earlier this month to pass a catchall agency spending bill.

Mega barf alert: Livestock Czar [and major league Bush sow] Ann M. Veneman recalls more than 10,000 pounds of dead animals U.S. Recalls Meat Linked To Wash. Slaughterhouse [Yuk!!] --Mad Cow Fears Lead Growing List of Nations to Halt Beef Imports --Federal officials announced the recall yesterday of more than 10,000 pounds of meat that passed through a Washington state slaughterhouse on the same day as a Holstein cow infected with mad cow disease. [*Thanks to Carol S. for the 'Livestock Czar' term for Bush's sow, Veneman.]

Vietnam Bans Beef Imported From U.S. Vietnam has joined about a dozen other countries in temporarily banning beef imported from the United States over a mad cow disease scare, officials said Friday.

British lab confirms first US case of mad cow disease A British veterinary laboratory today confirmed that the United States has its first case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the US Department of Agriculture said.

Reason to become a vegetarian alert: 'We Were Lucky About One Thing' Company Owner Says Meat All Went to Same Customer --Tom Ellestad said he learned less than 24 hours ago that the infected cow had been butchered at his slaughterhouse, Vern's Moses Lake Meats. The customer has been identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Midway Meats Inc., in the western Washington town of Centralia.

Warnings that went unheeded Ever since he identified the bizarre, brain-destroying proteins that cause mad cow disease, Dr Stanley Prusiner, a neurologist at the University of California at San Francisco, has worried about the safety of meat sold in the United States. When a case of mad cow disease appeared in Canada in May, he sought a meeting with the US Livestock Czar, Ann Veneman. Dr Prusiner, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology, warned Bush sow Veneman six weeks ago that the US was vulnerable to Canada's experience...

Two years after the fall, here come the Enron trials First came Enron Corp.'s scandalous collapse. Then came the crackdowns. Here come the trials.

Appeals court blocks Bush dictatorship clean air changes Bush regime sought to ease rules for industrial facilities --A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush regime changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect the next day, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.

White House: Duration of Troop Deployment In Iraq Unknown Even with a buildup in Iraqi security forces, "It is not possible to know at this time either the duration of the military operations or the scope and duration of the deployment" of U.S. troops, the White House said in a report to Congress.

Explosion Hits Baghdad Hotel A blast Wednesday rocked the upper floors of Baghdad's Sheraton Ishtar Hotel, where many Westerners were staying, a Reuters witness said. There was no word on possible casualties.

Bomb Kills Three U.S. Soldiers in Iraq A roadside bomb exploded north of Baghdad on Wednesday, killing three American soldiers, the U.S. military said.

Four dead in suicide blast in northern Iraq as US hits resistance fighters A suicide bombing killed four people, including the bomber, in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil, as the US military hit back at resistance fighters in the capital with an early morning offensive.

Militants arrested as top judge is killed American soldiers arrested Muslim militants with ties to an Iraqi fugitive near the top of their most wanted list, but the assassination of a senior Iraqi judge highlighted continuing instability in postwar Iraq.

Body of drowned US soldier recovered from Iraq river The body of a soldier who drowned trying to save one of his comrades was recovered nearly two weeks after his death on the Tigris River, the US military said in a statement.

Iraq's "Path to Freedom" --by Dahr Jamail "Every evening while laying in bed I listen to the random thumping of explosions throughout Baghdad. And the following morning, there is nothing in the news about this. Two fighter jets buzz Baghdad last night at 11:45pm, and there is no news. Two nights ago I watch two surface-to-air missiles firing through the darkness towards an airplane I cannot see to the north of Baghdad. Again, no news. Heavy machine gun fire almost every night. Yet again, no word about it the next day. All I have seen in the mainstream blips that I catch on the Internet are how many US soldiers died today, and Mr. Bush saying that 'Iraq is on the path to freedom,' now that Saddam Hussein has been captured. The night of Saddam’s capture, a truck loaded with barrels of benziin ('petrol/gas') explodes in front of my hotel... If this is what the path to freedom looks like, we’re all doomed."

For Vietnam Vet Anthony Zinni, Another War on Shaky Territory Anthony C. Zinni's opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq began on the monsoon-ridden afternoon of Nov. 3, 1970. He was lying on a Vietnamese mountainside west of Da Nang, three rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle in his side and back... Over the past year, the retired Marine Corps general has become one of the most prominent opponents of Bush regime policy on Iraq, which he now fears is drifting toward disaster.

Advisory Board Faults White House on Iraq Nuke Claim The Dictator's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board has concluded that the White House made a questionable claim in January's State of the Union address about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain nuclear materials because of its desperation to show that Hussein had an active program to develop nuclear weapons. [In other words, Bush lied (as usual).]

US media, government scramble to obscure criminal dealings with Hussein --by Joseph Kay and Alex Lefebvre "Now the [Bush] administration confronts the danger that a trial of [Saddam] Hussein—especially one held under international auspices that affords the ex-president the opportunity to mount a genuine legal defense—will expose the direct and deep involvement of the United States government in the most serious crimes of which Hussein stands accused, particularly the use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s."

Defense Dept. Halts Anthrax Vaccinations The Pentagon will administer the anthrax vaccine, but only on a voluntary basis, while the government considers its response to a Federal District Court's ruling that military personnel cannot be forced to take the vaccine, senior Defense Department officials said on Tuesday.

U.S. intensifies 'Code Orange' security measures 'Trying to beat a ticking clock' [of Bush's plummeting poll numbers as he prepares for coup 2004] The United States has ratcheted up security on land, at sea and in the air following an "orange alert" that terrorists may again be planning to attack the homeland -- possibly using weapons of mass destruction [?!?], senior dictatorship officials said.

Bush is an international terrorist.
A U.S. soldier stands on a surface-to-air missile system in Washington.

US prepares for devastating attack Top US military and defence department leaders were evacuated from the Pentagon this week and taken to secret command bunkers around America in an unusual exercise simulating a catastrophic terrorist attack on Washington, DC.

Pentagon prepares for attack US fears new al-Qaeda attacks Washington - Top Pentagon officials were slated to conduct a "continuity of government" exercise on Tuesday to prepare for an actual attack, CNN reported.

U.S. Focuses on Attack on Cargo Planes The government is increasingly focused on the vulnerability of cargo planes as it responds to intelligence indicating al-Qaida might use aircraft to strike targets far from major cities, including power plants, dams and oil facilities.

L.A. a top concern for terror alert The United States Tuesday ratcheted up security on land, at sea and in the air following an "orange alert" that terrorists may again be planning to attack the homeland -- possibly using weapons of mass destruction [?!?], senior regime officials said.

Security at LAX Highest Since 9/11 Curbside drop-offs and pickups of passengers will be prohibited through the holidays. Prompted by the national orange-level alert, local and federal authorities moved on several anti-terrorism fronts Tuesday in Los Angeles and raised security at Los Angeles International Airport to its highest level since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

U.S., British Warn Expatriates of Threats New evidence emerged that terrorists may be planning attacks at Western targets in Turkey during the holidays, according to a police document, while Americans living abroad were warned to keep a low profile.

Europe steps up security during Christmas festivities Security across Europe has been heightened amid fears of possible attacks over Christmas and New Year, prompting France to put its fighter planes on alert and Britain to deploy thousands of police on the streets of London.

Intelligence: Bin Laden behind new terror threat U.S. ferreting out plot in significant detail, officials say --New intelligence information indicates that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his top deputy personally approved the suspected terrorist attack plan that led the government to raise the nation's terror threat assessment this week, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. In some instances, the intelligence is so detailed as to include specific flight numbers, officials said.

Orange alert in US—terrorizing the American public again --by Bill Vann "The previous round of Orange alert announcements—three in the space of just four months—took place in the context of the run-up to and launching of the unprovoked US war against Iraq. One of them was issued on the very eve of worldwide demonstrations against the war that brought more than 10 million people into the streets in cities across the globe... This latest attempt to terrorize the American public follows a series of events that have called into question key aspects of the Bush administration’s so-called war on terrorism."

US right weaves tangled but effective web --by Jim Lobe "While most of the world is still trying to come to terms with the neo-imperial ambitions of the post-September 11 Bush administration, US political analysts, particularly those on the libertarian right and the left, have been trying to map out the various forces behind the administration's hawks the better to understand and counteract them."

USDA refused to release mad cow records Although the United States Department of Agriculture insisted the U.S. beef supply is safe Tuesday after announcing the first documented case of mad cow disease in the United States, the agency for six months repeatedly refused to release its tests for mad cow to United Press International.

Inspections for Mad Cow Lag Those Done Abroad In discussing the case of mad cow disease apparently found in Washington State, Secretary of Agriculture Poodle Ann M. Veneman said yesterday that her department tested 20,526 cattle for mad cow disease last year. But that is only a small percentage of the 35 million commercially slaughtered each year.

10 Countries Block Imports of U.S. Beef Fears about a suspected U.S. case of mad cow disease spread quickly abroad Wednesday, with 10 countries blocking the import of American beef after a cow in Washington state tested positive for the illness.

Disease fears hit beef industry stocks A wave of fear swept over the cattle and beef industries this evening as reports emerged of the first-ever U.S. case of mad cow disease.

Mad Cow Case in N.Y.? Suffolk legislator retires due to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (NY) Maxine Postal, the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, announced Monday that she is retiring at the end of the year because she has been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a degenerative brain disorder akin to mad cow disease.

Dictatorship Is Exempting Alaska Forest From Protection The Bush dictatorship announced on Tuesday that the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the largest in the country, would be exempted from a Clinton-era rule, potentially opening up more than half of the 17 million-acre forest for more development and as many as 50 logging projects.

Bush OKs logging in Alaska rain forest The Bush regimeopened up undeveloped areas of the largest U.S. national forest to logging on Tuesday, scrapping a Clinton-era rule aimed at protecting the wilderness.

Misuse of Gov.'s Role Alleged California's nonpartisan legislative analyst advised lawmakers this week that Nazi Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger overstepped his authority when he ordered that cities and counties be immediately repaid billions of dollars lost when he cut the vehicle license fee.

US voting machines: Will 2004 elections be electronically rigged? --by Alex Lefebvre "Recent revelations about US voting machinery companies and their products raise serious questions about the integrity of the electoral process in the US, as well as in other countries. These companies, which have intimate ties to the US right wing, operate with no real outside supervision. According to information that has emerged, their products’ safety designs are so poor that they offer many opportunities to rig elections, especially for well-connected insiders."

Judge halts review of Limbaugh's medical records A judge's Wednesday order stops prosecutors from reviewing the medical records of talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

UK's largest wind farm approved Plans to build the largest onshore wind farm in the UK, which will also be among the biggest in Europe, have been given the go-ahead.

Occupation forces bomb Baghdad Occupation troops continue to patrol the capital, eight months after its invasion Some 15 explosions have shaken the Iraqi capital as witnesses said that US Apache helicopters pounded the al-Dura area after an American convoy came under attack.

Dozen explosions rock southern Baghdad - witnesses A dozen explosions rocked southern Baghdad on Tuesday night after U.S. forces raided a neighbourhood and encountered gunmen, witnesses said. The blasts, which were the most sustained in some time in the Iraqi capital, could be heard in central Baghdad.

Resistance fighters linked to Hussein aide arrested U.S. soldiers have arrested Muslim resistance fighters with links to the most wanted Iraqi official still on the run, but resistance fighters signalled defiance with the assassination of a senior Iraqi judge. In late evening, a dozen explosions rocked southern Baghdad as U.S. forces fought gunmen there.

US military metes out collective punishment to Iraqi city --by Peter Symonds "Despite the attempts of the Bush administration and international media to claim the capture of Saddam Hussein as a major breakthrough in suppressing armed resistance, events on the ground in Iraq speak otherwise. As the attacks on US troops and Iraqi collaborators continue unabated, the response of the US military has been to intensify its heavy-handed repression aimed at terrorising the Iraqi people into submission."

Castro says Hussein's mistakes did not justify U.S.-led war Cuban leader Fidel Castro said he repeatedly warned Saddam Hussein to leave Kuwait after the 1990 invasion but that the former Iraqi leader's "mistakes" did not justify the U.S.-led war.

Kucinich Presses U.N. Involvement in Iraq Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Tuesday the United States needs the United Nations to develop a constitution for Iraq and warned that America cannot be the only nation calling the shots to rebuild the country.

US Republicans to resume Iraq probe * Public hearings set for February * Joint chief of staff says WMD will be found US Senate Republicans signalled Sunday their readiness to resume a probe into pre-war charges that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, which was halted more than six weeks ago amid bitter partisan bickering.

Rumsfeld Made Iraq Overture in '84 Despite Chemical Raids As a special envoy for the Reagan administration in 1984, Donald H. Rumsfeld, now the defense secretary, traveled to Iraq to persuade officials there that the United States was eager to improve ties with President Saddam Hussein despite his use of chemical weapons, newly declassified documents show.

Observers Fault U.S. for Pursuing Mini-Nukes Critics say American 'double standard' will undermine efforts to curb nuclear arms. Research on a new generation of precision atomic weapons by the Bush dictatorship threatens to undermine international efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms and to tarnish recent successes, according to diplomats and nonproliferation experts.

Judge rules US troops were 'guinea pigs' for anthrax jabs The Pentagon has suspended compulsory vaccination of US troops against anthrax after a federal court judge ordered the military to stop treating its personnel like "guinea pigs".

Pentagon ordered to stop anthrax shots Vaccine used for 'unapproved purpose' --Saying U.S. soldiers should not be used as "guinea pigs for experimental drugs," a federal judge yesterday ordered the Pentagon to stop mandatory anthrax vaccinations started in 1998.

Citizen Conrad's Friends --by Paul Krugman "It goes without saying that Lord Black [Conrad Black, the troubled chairman of Hollinger International], like Rupert Murdoch, has used his media empire to promote a conservative political agenda. The Telegraph, in particular, has a habit of 'finding' documents of unproven authenticity that just happen to support neoconservative rationales for war. We're now learning that Lord Black also used his control of Hollinger to reward friends, including journalists, who share his political views."

It's greed, not ideology, that rules the White House Why the US wants Iraq's debts cancelled - and Argentina's paid in full --by Naomi Klein "The entire reconstruction project [in Iraq] defies more neo-con tenets, sending this year's US deficit to a cartoonish $500bn, with plenty handed out in no-bid contracts, creating the kind of monopoly that allowed Halliburton to overcharge by an estimated $61m for importing gasoline into Iraq."

Strange Bedfellows --by Laura Rozen "One reason the Bush Administration gave for going to war in Iraq was Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorists. So it is ironic that one of the partners in a big Iraqi firm being used by US contractors in Iraq is also a founding partner in an organization that's been identified as helping fund Al Qaeda. So far, however, neither the government nor the contractors have shown much concern."

Hard-line U.S. Foreign Policy: Symbolic Gain, Real Pain --by Dr. Ivan Eland "Lately, the Bush administration and its neo-conservative supporters have been crowing about how President [sic] Bush's hard-line foreign policy caused Muammar Qaddafi to end his unconventional (biological, chemical and nuclear) weapons programs and open them to international inspections. They have also been implying that the tough U.S. policy will continue to make bad regimes capitulate. But the gains from Qaddafi’s abandonment of such programs are mostly symbolic. In contrast, the president[sic]'s aggressive foreign policy has made the danger of a terrorist attack greater than at any time since the attacks on September 11, 2001."

Pentagon to conduct terror drill Operation aimed at protecting officials [?!?] during attack --The Pentagon Tuesday morning is scheduled to conduct a so-called "continuity-of-government" exercise, scheduled as a direct result of the heightened terror threat level, U.S. officials said. During the exercise, key Pentagon officials are to be notified that they are to move immediately to secret locations where the government has established alternative facilities, according to the officials. [The continuity of government was already interrupted with the 2000 coup.]

Terror threat to extend through January Officials say al-Qaida operatives may be fully trained airline pilots --Authorities raised the terrorist threat assessment over the weekend after new intelligence indicated that operatives of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network, possibly trained and licensed to fly passenger jets, may now be pilots for some foreign airlines, ideally positioning them to carry out suicide attacks, U.S. officials said on Monday. [Too late--an international terrorist was at the helm of an airplane which landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1st.]

Heightened Terrorism Alert May Last Beyond Holidays The Bush dictatorship is considering extending its heightened terror alert into the new year, as national security officials brace for the possibility that operatives of Al Qaeda will try to hijack airliners or engage in other major attacks within days, officials said Monday.

Air Patrols Increased to Counter New Terror Threats Pentagon officials said today that Americans in some areas of the country could expect to see more warplanes in the skies during the holiday season now that a higher antiterrorism alert level is in effect.

Soldiers patrol city streets as Americans are warned of imminent terrorist threat The red and white of Father Christmas mingled with the black steel of semi-automatic gun barrels on Fifth Avenue yesterday as New York deployed heavily armed police officers at strategic locations in the face of a newly heightened threat of terror attacks.

US to fingerprint all visitors All visitors to the United States will be photographed and have a fingerprint scan from early in the new year. The move comes as security across the US has been stepped up in response to 'intelligence' suggesting a terrorist attack could be planned over the holiday period.

Democratic presidential candidates take up the cry from 9/11 activists White House stonewalling August, 2001 briefing fuels suspicions --Bush knew? Former Vermont Gov. and current presidential candidate Howard Dean is just the latest Democratic critic of Dictator Bush to suggest that he had foreknowledge of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Families sue U.S., reject 9/11 'bribe' Ignore deadline for compensation --Payouts average $1.8 million --For some, it's blood money, a repugnant payoff they feel they have no choice but to accept... As many as 73 families see the process of U.S. government compensation as an attempt to protect those who should be held accountable for what they believe was mass murder.

Blackouts and Fear -- Terrorists planning attack on American Souls (counter-strategies for becoming the media) --by Michael Kane "Watch out for classified evidence and so-called "national security" to hide the truth. Watch out for investigative panels that are sworn to secrecy or who are political appointees, not experts. This is what has happened to the East Coast blackout investigation. It’s pitiful."

Court Upholds Sentence for Bush Threat An appeals court has upheld the three-year prison sentence of a man who suggested that Dictator Bush might be set ablaze during the dictator's March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls, S.D.

Court Orders Trial on Ban of Voting by Felons A federal appeals court on Friday ordered a trial in a lawsuit that says Florida's law barring felons from voting is unconstitutional because it discriminates against blacks.

Kucinich Launches TV Ad Campaign Kerry Unveils New Ad in Iowa and New Hampshire --Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich will broadcast the first television commercials of his campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire next month, featuring actor Danny Glover.

Nader Rejects Green Party Backing Run for Presidency Ralph Nader has decided not to run for president next year as the candidate of the Green Party but is still contemplating a presidential race as an independent, a Nader associate said yesterday.

A Recovery for Profits, but Not for Workers This economic recovery is distinctly unkind to workers. Output is clearly rising, and, normally, that would feed into both corporate profits and labor income. But while profits have shot up as a percentage of national income, reaching their highest level since the mid-1960's, labor's share is shrinking.

Bush opens 300,000 acres of Alaskan national forest to logging The Bush dictatorship opened 300,000 more acres of Alaska's Tongass National Forest on Tuesday to possible logging or other development.

Judge Refuses Yellowstone Snowmobile Stay A federal judge refused to grant a temporary reprieve Tuesday from his order that the National Park Service must revive a plan scrapped by the Bush dictatorship to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Deregulation hasn't cut Ohioans' energy bills The promised deep discounts for residential and small commercial users who signed up with alternative suppliers have not materialized for most customers. In fact, commercial customers of FirstEnergy still pay some of the highest rates in the country. A law allowed the monopoly utilities - FirstEnergy Corp., American Electric Power Co., Dayton Power & Light Co. and Cinergy Corp. - to continue collecting for old construction costs, including nuclear power plants, until Dec. 31, 2005.

Mega barf alert! USDA Finds First U.S. Case of Mad Cow Disease A Holstein on a Washington state farm has tested positive for mad cow disease, marking the first suspected appearance of the brain-wasting disease in the United States, the Bush regime announced Tuesday.

Mad cow disease suspected in Washington state The United States' first probable case of mad cow disease was detected in a cow from a farm in Mabton, near Yakima, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said today.

Mad Cow Case Follows Court Ruling on Sick Animals The United States' first major mad cow scare comes just a week after a court decision reviving a lawsuit against the government's policy on so-called "downer" animals so sick or injured they must be dragged to market. The suit, pushed by members of the New York-based animal rights group Farm Sanctuary, claims the Department of Agriculture is not doing enough to protect consumers from mad cow disease in the meat of downed animals.

Judge orders Limbaugh's medical records released A Florida judge Tuesday ordered [Reichwing] radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh's medical records released to prosecutors in connection with an investigation into his prescription drug purchases.

US braces for fresh Iraqi attacks US military officials have warned that fresh intelligence has indicated Iraqi resistance fighters may be planning a wave of violence timed for the Christmas holiday, in part to avenge the 'capture' of Saddam Hussein.

Two US soldiers killed in bomb attack, pushes US death toll over 200 Two US soldiers and an Iraqi interpreter were killed when their convoy hit a roadside bomb in Baghdad, raising to 201 the US death toll in action since major hostilities were declared over May 1.

Bomb Kills 2 G.I.'s and Translator in Baghdad Two American soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter were killed here this morning when an improvised bomb exploded by their convoy, military officials said. Two other soldiers from the First Armored Division were wounded.

Families grieve as soldiers continue to die This region [Western Pennsylvania] has sent so many sons and daughters to the military that every loud bang in some corner of the world is followed by the silence of families holding their breath and waiting.

US troops kill Iraqi woman as dozens of people arrested by occupation forces An Iraqi woman was killed on Sunday in an explosion when US soldiers blew up a door during a raid in a town near Iraq’s border with Syria, the US military said in a statement on Monday.

American forces round up Iraqi rebel suspects Acting on intelligence gleaned from the capture of Saddam Hussein, US troops pursued dozens of suspected resistance fighters in a third day of pre-dawn raids today in strongholds of the deposed president, officials said. A third Iraqi died overnight in a raid.

Swoop nets hundreds of Iraqis U.S. troops have intensified a crackdown on anti-American resistance across volatile central Iraq as saboteurs attacked fuel tanks and a pipeline, heightening an already acute shortage crisis [caused by the illegal, immoral occupation by the Halliburton junta].

Iraqi university students riot Iraqi students at Diyala University outside Baquba, 60 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, rioted overnight when US soldiers visited the campus to play a game of basketball, witnesses said.

Sabotage 'blamed' for Iraq oil pipe fire Fire erupted in four oil pipes near the city of Tikrit north of Baghdad, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera television said yesterday. The fire was caused by explosions and was "sabotage work done by unknown assailants", Iraqi officials in Tikrit were quoted as saying by the network.

Jordanian, French Lawyers Want to Visit Saddam in Captivity, Defend Him Before Iraqi Tribunal Jordanian and French attorneys want to visit Saddam Hussein in captivity so they can offer to represent him before an Iraqi war crimes tribunal, the Jordanian lawyer said Monday. [When are Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Blair-Straw going to be tried before a U.S.-U.K. W-ar crimes tribunal???]

US Hussein claims being challenged Claims that US troops captured Saddam Hussein have been challenged by reports that he was discovered only after Kurdish forces had taken him prisoner. The deposed president was drugged and abandoned ready for the American soldiers to recover him, the British Sunday Express reported yesterday.

Bush ratings show little gain from Hussein capture The capture of Saddam Hussein had a minimal effect on Dictator George W. Bush's approval ratings, which are hovering at their lowest levels since he took office [literally, *took* office] in January, 2001, according to a poll.

War crimes trial may take five years to complete Iraqi officials and judges involved in setting up Baghdad's new war crimes court have revealed that Saddam Hussein's trial will take five years to complete, despite the clamour for speedy justice since his arrest last week.

US hot on the trail of Iraqi billions US authorities have identified more than $US1 billion ($1.3 billion) of Iraqi assets in banks in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and are following up hundreds of leads in America concerning possible illicit financial transactions with the former Iraqi government.

Bush and Blair: The Big Fall-Out Relations in 'deep freeze' since Hussein 'caught' Poodle Tony Blair and Dictator George Bush's love-in has collapsed over the rebuilding of Iraq. The two leaders have fallen out over plans for the reconstruction of the country and the heavy-handed action of American troops against the civilian population.

Libya Says Wants U.S. Oil Companies Back Libya will welcome back U.S. oil companies should Washington lift sanctions against it, Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abderrhmane Chalgam told reporters on Monday.

Businesses Press for US to Lift Libya Sanctions (New York Times, Aug. 21, 2003) "With the United Nations poised to remove economic sanctions against Libya after a settlement in the Lockerbie bombing case, Washington will face new pressure to lift its own sanctions against the government of Muammer Gaddafi. US business groups, led by oil companies that hold concessions in Libya, met this week to gear up efforts to persuade the administration of President [sic] George W. Bush to ease a trade ban that was imposed on Libya in 1986."

Bush, Hu talk after Cheney scuttles plan for N Korea US Dictator George Bush talked with Chinese President Hu Jintao by telephone at the weekend after revelations that hardliners in Mr Bush's regime had derailed diplomatic preparations for new talks with North Korea over its nuclear weapons.

Judge Halts Forced Military Anthrax Shots The Pentagon must stop forcing servicemen and women to take the anthrax vaccination against their will, unless Dictator Bush signs a special order, a judge ruled Monday.

Thanks to Dictator Bush: Terror Alert Is Raised to 'High,' Increasing Scrutiny of Travelers The Bush dictatorship raised the nation's antiterrorism alert status a notch on Sunday, indicating a newly heightened concern about the possibility of an attack in coming days. Announcing the change at a news conference in Washington, Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, said the danger of an attack in the "near term," possibly in the United States, was "perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11, 2001."

Feds hear 'chatter' of 9/11 proportions The United States was thrown back into high alert for the holidays yesterday as the feds warned that terrorists may be planning attacks that "rival or exceed" 9/11.

Security Hiked After Threat Level Raised Security is being increased at airports, borders and ports as the nation stands at "Code Orange," the second-highest alert level for terrorist threats.

National Guard called in to patrol Pa.'s nuclear plants; Police ordered to check on malls Orange Alert: State, city raise vigilance against terror threat Security at Pennsylvania's nuclear power plants, airports, bridges and shopping malls is being heightened today after Gov. Ed Rendell raised the state terror alert to orange.

US Democrats accuse Bush of allowing terror threat As Americans digest the news that Al Qaeda is almost certainly planning a major attack on the US during the holiday period, the Democrat Opposition has been quick to criticise Dictator George W Bush for allowing the terrorist network to remain a threat.

Dean insists U.S. still no safer At a high school in Litchfield, New Hampshire, Governor Howard Dean amplified on a comment he made that the nation was not safer after the capture of Saddam Hussein. Dean said America is still not safer because the Bush regime is lacking an inspection program for cargo; missed an opportunity to buy enriched uranium stockpiles of former Soviet states and allowed North Korea to become a nuclear power. Dean said the raising of the threat level to "orange'' on Sunday proved his point.

Condi and the 9/11 Commission Poised to convene its first hard-hitting hearings in January, the federal commission investigating the 9/11 attacks continues to be at odds with the White House over access to key information and witnesses. Two government sources tell TIME that National Security Adviser [and Reichwing whackjob] Condoleezza Rice is arguing over ground rules for her appearance in part because she does not want to testify under oath or, according to one source, in public.

Rockers Unite to Oust Bush Moby, Henley, Matthews ask fans to "get involved" Bruce Springsteen told a crowd of 50,000 New Yorkers on October 4th to "shout a little louder if you want the president [sic] impeached." Two weeks later, John Mellencamp posted an open letter to America on his Web site, declaring, "We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action."

Bush condemned as 'Satan' in mass protest (From April 3, 2003, but certainly worth reposting, <g>) Tens of thousands of Muslims have demonstrated in Thailand's largest protest against the war in Iraq, denouncing George Bush as "Satan."

Cheney faces prosecution: report A French official is examining whether to prosecute US Vice pResident Dick Cheney over alleged complicity in the abuse of corporate assets dating from the time he was head of the services company Halliburton, the French newspaper Le Figaro said.

GOP's Pressing Question on Medicare Vote Did Some Go Too Far To Change a No to a Yes? The Democratic National Committee and two independent groups that work on ethics issues have requested a Justice Department investigation into whether the [Republican] pressure was not just routine Capitol Hill horse-trading but a violation of federal anti-bribery law.

Democrats Forced To Work on Margins By the end of this year's congressional session, Republicans had tightened their already firm grip on the House and moved to marginalize Democrats' influence in both chambers by shutting them out of negotiations on the final version of major bills.

Across US, jobless losing benefits More than 90,000 people who have been out of work for months will lose their federal benefits today, when a program to aid the long-term unemployed expires.

Wall Street curls its lip at Costco's ungreedy CEO --by Jack Gordon "Forty percent of the country's wealth now belongs to 1 percent of its population -- the same 1 percent that received more than half of the benefits from President [sic] Bush's 2001 tax cut. The middle class is shrinking -- or sinking, rather, into a disposable peasantry, as high-wage jobs are digitized out of existence or exported to low-wage countries."

Illinois Unlikely to Get OK on Canada Drug Imports The [pharmaceutical corporations' Republican whore] U.S. health secretary is not likely to grant Illinois or any other state permission to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, a spokesman for the U.S. health secretary said on Monday.

Illinois to Seek Exemption to Buy Drugs From Canada Rod R. Blagojevich, Democratic governor of Illinois, will ask the federal authorities to permit the state to ignore federal law and buy prescription drugs from Canada, aides said Sunday.

Bring Verified Voting to Your Legislators' Town Meetings ( "The push to pass H.R. 2239 has been strong, and we've had some success... Now meet with them in person at a town meeting. On December 9, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) introduced a companion bill into the Senate – S.1980, identical to H.R. 2239 in both title and text."

A Federal Case for a Teenager: Family Sees Tie to Ex-President They intended to break into a small boatyard and steal a marine radio to monitor police frequencies. But when the two intruders, Patrick V., 14, and his accomplice, Christopher Conley, 19, spotted what they thought were video surveillance cameras, they panicked and set fire to the building, burning it down along with several boats and engines. Unknown to them, one of the boat engines belonged to former President George Bush, whose summer house is seven miles away...

A White House Christmas: Crab Cakes, Handshakes The sumptuous table in the State Dining Room always includes baby lamb chops (16,000 served this year) [Mega barf alert!] and crab cakes (23,000 served), along with several hundred gallons of spiked eggnog and a full bar in the East Room.

Hussein Was Held by Kurds Before U.S. Capture, AFP Reports Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. troops only after being held prisoner by Kurdish forces, who had had drugged and abandoned him, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a Sunday Express newspaper report.

We got him: Kurds say they caught Hussein Washington's claims that brilliant US intelligence [sic] work led to the capture of Saddam Hussein are being challenged by reports sourced in Iraq's Kurdish media claiming that its militia set the circumstances in which the US merely had to go to a farm identified by the Kurds to bag the fugitive former president.

Hussein was captured by Kurds, not US Ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was captured by Kurdish forces, then drugged and handed over to the American forces as a revenge against the rape of a tribal chief's daughter by Hussein's eldest son Uday, a media report said today.

Hussein was held by Kurdish forces, drugged and left for US troops Saddam Hussein was captured by US troops only after he had been taken prisoner by Kurdish forces, drugged and abandoned ready for American soldiers to recover him, a British Sunday newspaper said.

'Sick' Hussein drugged: visitor A startling new photograph of a sick-looking Saddam Hussein suggests he is being drugged or given strong medication by his US captors. The man who took the photo told The Weekend Australian last night Hussein appeared very sick when he was visited by Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi two days after being captured near Tikrit.

And the Saddam-Capture Conspiracy Theories Begin --by James Ridgeway "One story making the rounds in Baghdad and Great Britain's Iraqi community concerns a photograph of two American GIs standing beside a date palm tree. The photo was supposedly taken on the day of Saddam's capture. But according to the story, any Iraqi would know that this picture was a fake, because date palms are usually harvested in the summer. In any case, unharvested dates fall off the tree before December, and even if they don't, they are brown and dry, not yellow, as they are in the photo."

[Regarding the 'capture' of Saddam Hussein in December:] "We all believe this in the middle east, absolutely NO YELLOW DATES - NO WAY, not possible in December. I live in the Middle East and it is just impossible......yellow dates only May through August... The first thing everyone noticed on the first day of capture was those dates. And I have to say it is true, no date anywhere in the Middle East now, especially Iraq where it is soooo cold in the winter, it seems like a joke to us to see those dates, unless if they were plastic and fake?" --CLG Middle East source, (anonymous)

Rumsfeld Visited Baghdad in 1984 to Reassure Iraqis, Documents Show Donald H. Rumsfeld went to Baghdad in March 1984 with instructions to deliver a private message about weapons of mass destruction: that the United States' public criticism of Iraq for using chemical weapons would not derail Washington's attempts to forge a better relationship, according to newly declassified documents.

The U.S. "May need a bigger Army," Donald Rumsfeld tells TIME Opens Door to Expanding U.S. Military "We may need a bigger army," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld tells TIME. Rumsfeld has been under pressure from Congress to expand the military by at least two divisions, or 20,000 troops. (Press Release, TIME) Full article: Secretary of War

Iraqi Freedom Fighters Blow Up Oil Pipeline Iraqi freedom fighters blew up an oil pipeline and fired on gasoline storage tanks, as U.S. troops searched for rebels and weapons Sunday in strongholds of captured former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Iraq Pipelines, Storage Tanks Set on Fire Freedom fighters attacked pipelines and an oil storage depot in three parts of Iraq, setting fires that blazed for hours and lost millions of gallons of oil, officials and media reported Sunday, as the country faced a critical fuel shortage [due to the illegal, immoral Halliburton-Bechtel occupation of Iraq].

Roadside bomb in Baghdad misses American patrol U.S. troops intensified a crackdown on anti-American resistance fighters across restive central Iraq on Sunday, as score-settling killings raised fears of more violence in the south of the country.

Iraqi criss-crosses country looking for son swallowed up in U.S. detention system Ali had been wounded in the back when American soldiers shot up a car he was riding in. Witnesses reported seeing Ali and another wounded passenger taken away by troops. But nobody knew where. For weeks, Al-Jbouri visited hospitals, morgues and U.S. bases across Iraq trying to find his son...

Wounded Troops Denied Benefits? Many wounded U.S. soldiers are treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. But CBS News reports, wounded troops may return from war to find themselves in a different kind of battle — with the U.S. military.

Halliburton Withheld Papers Pentagon auditors have accused Halliburton Co. of refusing to turn over documents that show the company was aware of "significant internal control weaknesses" in an Iraq fuel contract that has allegedly overcharged taxpayers nearly $100 million.

Benton man heading to Iraq as truck driver for Halliburton (ME) Matt Tulley, 33, said he is willing to risk the dangers of Iraq for a year because as a truck driver for KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton, he can earn as much as $125,000. Tulley said he has to complete a lengthy FBI background check and get shots for anthrax and smallpox. In Houston, he will have training related to weapons of mass destruction.

The Imperial Vice Presidency [sic] Dick Cheney says the "e"-word. --by Timothy Noah "Cheney violated the Bush administration's policy of never saying the e-word in a Christmas card he and his wife sent out to various supporters and important Washingtonians... Along with their best wishes for this holiday season, the Cheneys included the following quotation from Benjamin Franklin: And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? ...Although Chatterbox fears that Cheney's motive—in blazing past whatever warnings his aides likely extended about using the e-word—was fanaticism, he can't help but applaud Cheney's honesty. It's time for America's empire to come out of the closet."

U.S. Raises Terror Alert, Threat Could Rival 9/11 The U.S. government raised its terror alert to the second highest level on Sunday and warned Americans there was a high risk militants might launch attacks around the holidays in the United States that could be bigger than Sept. 11, 2001.

Terror Threat Level Raised to Orange The federal government said today that fresh intelligence suggests al Qaeda is planning multiple catastrophic terrorist attacks in the United States, and raised the national threat alert status to "high risk" or code orange, a step that dictatorship officials previously had stated that they were reluctant to do except in the most unusual circumstances.

Nation's Threat Level Rising to Orange The government on Sunday raised the national threat level to orange, the second-highest, saying attacks were possible during the holiday season and that threat indicators are "perhaps greater now than at any point" since Sept. 11, 2001.

A Flawed Terrorist Yardstick The Justice Dept. tally of more than 280 suspects detained for prosecution after Sept. 11 is inflated with dismissed and unrelated cases.

Crime Database Misused for Civil Issues, Suit Says The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are unlawfully using a national crime database to get local police departments to enforce civil immigration laws, lawyers who have assembled a federal class-action lawsuit against the practice said yesterday.

Police call for remote button to stop cars Motorists face new 'Big Brother' technology --After speed cameras, road humps and mobile phone bans, there could be more bad news for Britain's motorists. Police are urging Ministers to give them the power to stop vehicles by remote control.

Miami police cut off seniors The Florida chapter of the Alliance of Retired Americans had 25 busloads of seniors headed for the anti-FTAA rally, but only 12 got in. Some seniors were forced to disembark at other points too far away for them to walk to the rally. "They went kind of ballistic on us and did not allow all our buses to get in," said Tony Fransetta, president of the Florida ARA (FLARA) and a UAW Local 1250 retiree.

For Connecticut Governor, Questions Veer Into Unknown Amid the storm surrounding [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland's admission that he had made false statements about free work done on his cottage by people seeking to do business with the state, it was time for Mr. Rowland's senior staff members to sit down and ask the governor the question on everyone's mind. Is there anything else out there that we need to worry about?

Resign, Governor (The Hartford Courant) "Last week, Mr. [Republican, John] Rowland wrapped himself in Old Glory, made biblical references about human frailty and cheered his wife as she, too, humiliated herself by reciting her homemade version of the classic 'A Visit From St. Nicholas.' She joined the governor in blaming the news media - The Courant in particular - for the trouble Mr. Rowland finds himself in... Enough of this gubernatorial nonsense. The way to end this sad spectacle is for the governor to resign."

Conn. Paper Calls for Governor to Resign Connecticut's largest newspaper called on [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland to resign in an editorial prepared for Sunday's edition, saying a corruption investigation and his "repeated deceptions" over accepting gifts from friends and contractors are hurting state government.

No telling if voter rolls are ready for 2004 (FL) In 2000, some people were 'mistakenly' labeled felons and denied voting rights. Despite three years of reform efforts, inconsistencies and obstacles remain. David Murry had regularly voted for 20 years, so the mechanic didn't think twice when he showed up at his Seminole precinct in November 2000 to vote for president. But poll workers wouldn't let him cast a ballot... [The illegal vote-purge in Florida was an element of the Bush dictatorship's coup d'etat.]

Analysts say future budget outlook gloomy Keeping the federal budget at or near balance over the next 50 years could require painful tax increases, spending cuts or both, the Congressional Budget Office says.

Dollar's drop becomes more ominous After months of looking at nothing but the bright side of a weaker dollar, investors are starting to look at the dark side of its struggle against the euro.

Clark Says Dean Sought Him as Running Mate Retired Gen. Wesley Clark said Howard Dean offered him the vice presidential slot on his ticket before Clark decided to make his own run for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to an interview released on Sunday.

Undeterred, Kucinich keeps on Among those who gather to hear him, Kucinich inspires enormous enthusiasm. In Kucinich -- a vehement opponent of the war in Iraq, a critic of the mainstream media, and a fervent advocate of free education, single-payer health care, workers' rights, environmental protections, and legalized marijuana -- they have him.

GOP sources: Rudy 'to run against Hillary' Republican insiders tell Los Angeles Times columnist it's 'basically a done deal' --A columnist for the Los Angeles Times indicates former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani will likely challenge Hillary Clinton in 2006 for her seat in the U.S. Senate.

Power Restored to Most of 120,000 in San Francisco Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said on Sunday it had restored power to all but about 20,000 of the 120,000 customers who lost power over the weekend following a substation fire.

Principal Orders Editorial Removed (NC) A high school principal ordered the student newspaper to remove an editorial questioning why a relative of a nominee for homecoming queen was allowed to help count votes.

Cheney to be prosecuted? A French prosecutor is examining whether to prosecute US Vice pResident Dick Cheney over alleged complicity in the abuse of corporate assets dating from the time he was head of the services company Halliburton, the French newspaper Le Figaro said on Saturday.

Democrats Press Rumsfeld for Halliburton Records Democratic lawmakers pressed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Friday for records that could shed light on a draft audit that found Halliburton may have overcharged the U.S. government by $61 million for fuel it shipped into Iraq.

US pours more troops into Iraq The United States pledged more troops for Iraq, as another US soldier died in an ambush and Russia agreed to consider reducing Iraq's crippling debt.

Oops! U.S. troops mistakenly kill 3 Iraqi police Hussein party official attacked --U.S. troops mistakenly shot and killed three Iraqi police officers and wounded two others, thinking they were bandits, an Iraqi police officer said Saturday. In other violence, a former official of Saddam Hussein's Baath party is in critical condition after gunmen riding by on a bicycle fired on her and killed her son in the southern Shiite holy city of Najaf.

Two Former Baath Party Officials Attacked in Iraq Gunmen opened fire on two former members of Iraq's toppled Baath Party on Saturday, killing one of them and wounding the other in the holy Shi'ite City of Najaf, hospital sources said.

Former Baathists Targeted Police Shrug Off Killings of 50 Hussein Loyalists by Unknown Gunmen --Basil Abbas Taee never saw the slip of paper entitled Final Warning...

Soldiers arrest secondary school students Teachers at a secondary school in the Al-Amariya neighbourhood on the west side of the city expressed their anger this morning, a day after American troops came to the school and arrested 16 students. Soldiers from the 1st Armoured Division surrounded Al-Shahid Adnan Kherala School on Wednesday morning before coming into the school with pictures and names of students they said had been throwing rocks at soldiers during a demonstration in support of Saddam Hussein outside the school on Tuesday.

Medical evacuations from Iraq near 11,000 The total number of wounded soldiers and medical evacuations from the war in Iraq is nearing 11,000, according to new Pentagon data provided in response to a request from United Press International.

Fight to the Death Paul McGeough reports from Baghdad on the Iraqis who hated Hussein, but who hate the Americans more. "...[I]t [the capture of Hussein] also focused public attention on the clandestine Task Force 121, a mix of operatives from the US Defence Intelligence Agency, the CIA and Special Forces who were involved in the arrest. Informed reports in the US say Task Force 121 is part of an escalation of a covert war in Iraq. The strategy has rekindled unfavourable memories of Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, when Special Forces teams worked with Vietnamese agents to detain or kill those suspected of working or sympathising with the Vietcong."

Betrayed by dates? "...As far as we can determine, the latest date harvest possible in Iraq is in October. We know that most Iraqi dates are harvested in August. The dates shown in the fourth picture here are supposedly from December 16, 2003." --submitted by Mark Yannone

"Yellow dates in December? US soldiers lift the cover of the spider hole where Saddam Hussein was hiding, when the troops captured him on December 13. The photograph shows a date palm laden with yellow fruit in the background. One of our readers, Mr. Sabeel Ahmed insists that, normally, yellow dates are seen only during the months of July-August and not in December." --submitted by Jim Mooney

"While it appears in other areas of the middle east, there are several varieties of date that might be described as 'yellow' when they are ripe, one (see Date Palm of Nizwa) maturing into December, there appears to be none in Iraq, and that the yellow dates of Iraq, would appear to be ripened Sept-Oct. In Dec. they would not be." --submitted by Flash

Inside Hussein’s Hideout The detritus of the former Iraqi leader’s life on the run—and the intelligence [sic] that caught him (MSNBC, Dec. 15, 2003) "Dried figs and sausages hung in neat rows from a clothesline attached to the roof of the one-room structure inside. Orange trees and palms, some bursting with yellow dates, dotted the yard, which is roughly 400 yards from the banks of the Tigris River."

Daughter's tears (Scroll to second article) Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter yesterday told how she wept at pictures of her downcast-looking dad, beamed worldwide following his capture. She said they were designed to "break the Arab spirit". Raghad added that Saddam’s unkempt appearance in the TV footage was "a painful sight". Raghad Hussein also claims her father appeared to have been sedated.

Saddam capture felt made for TV --by Vinay Menon "American television loves a good ending even when there isn't one. After months of bloody chaos and nebulous machinations, the capture of Saddam Hussein finally provided the networks with some upbeat and concrete news... This week, Saddam's capture is heralded as a great victory in the war on terror. Huh? I suppose objectives shift when the truth emerges. Still no weapons of mass destruction. No exit strategy. Still no sign of transitional governance. And then there's the nagging issue of guerrilla insurgency. But none of that mattered."

White House Web Scrubbing Offending Comments on Iraq Disappear From Site --It's not quite Soviet-style airbrushing, but the Bush administration has been using cyberspace to make some of its own cosmetic touch-ups to history.

Letters the Troops Have Sent Me... by Michael Moore "I've received hundreds of letters from our troops in Iraq -- and they are telling me something very different from what we are seeing on the evening news. What they are saying to me, often eloquently and in heart-wrenching words, is that they were lied to -- and this war has nothing to do with the security of the United States of America."

Anti-Bush Iraq Documentary Makes the Party Circuit Filmmaker Robert Greenwald is urging rampant, unauthorized copying of his documentary criticizing the Bush regime's reasons for invading Iraq. The 56-minute film, "Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War," concludes that Dictator Bush and his team distorted intelligence data and misled the American public ahead of the March invasion that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Government Blasts Venezuela Recall Drive The Venezuelan government presented election authorities Saturday with alleged evidence of widespread [CIA-Bush Dictatorship?] fraud in petitions seeking a referendum to recall President Hugo Chavez.

Air Force drops three counts against Guantanamo translator; lawyer says defense case helped --The Air Force has dropped three counts in an espionage case against a Syrian-born airman who worked as a translator at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp for terrorism suspects.

Judge: I saw police commit felonies (FL) A judge who said he witnessed some of the anti-free trade protests complains in open court about how police handled the demonstrations. A judge presiding over the cases of free trade protesters said in court that he saw ''no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers'' during the November demonstrations, adding to a chorus of complaints about police conduct.

Congressional Republicans want meeting with Rowland Connecticut's three Republican congressmen let it be known Friday that they want to meet with [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland to discuss whether he should remain in office. And while U.S. Reps. Christopher Shays, Nancy Johnson, and Robert R. Simmons did not say Friday they want the governor, also a Republican, to step down, one source close to the delegation said that time is fast approaching.

Jabs From The GOP State Republicans Critical, But Stop Short Of Call For Resignation --Angered by the latest revelations about [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland's business dealings with a state contractor, the state's three congressional Republicans stepped up their criticism of the governor Friday - two of them in terms that sounded close to a call for his resignation.

Rowland approved big deals [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland and his top aides, including one at the center of a federal investigation of bribery and the steering of state contracts, for years personally approved all big contracts awarded by state agencies, according to current and former government officials and the records they kept.

Rep. Janklow Files Motion for Acquittal U.S. [Republican] Rep. Bill Janklow has filed a motion asking for acquittal of a second-degree manslaughter charge or a new trial, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported on Saturday.

Schwarzenegger to terminate health care benefits (CA) Young moms and concerned doctors on Thursday attacked Nazi 'Governor' Arnold Schwarzenegger's mooted health cuts, saying they could devastate local services for low income, immigrant groups.

Democrats Chide Republicans on Jobless Benefits Democrats on Saturday chided the Republican-controlled Congress for recessing for the holidays without extending an emergency benefits program for jobless workers, which is set to expire this weekend.

Mayors survey finds hunger, homelessness problem grew in 2003 Hunger and homelessness increased in many of America's largest cities this year, with growing demand for emergency food supplies for families with children, the elderly and even people with jobs, a survey by U.S. mayors finds.

Top Ex-Merrill Lynch Energy Trader Guilty The former head energy trader for Merrill Lynch & Co., pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he stole $43 million from Merrill and schemed with superiors to falsify the records of the firm's energy trading division.

N.J. Governor Endorses Dean New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic nomination for president on Friday, saying the former Vermont governor shares his support for middle-class families.

Boston's 'Big Dig' Project Hits Milestone Five years late and billions of dollars over cost, a tunnel routing Interstate 93 under downtown Boston finally opened Friday, replacing the hulking elevated highway that has marred the landscape for more than four decades.

Top US arms inspector in Iraq wants to quit CIA mulls plans on news Kay may quit Iraq before Iraq Survey Group submits its final report in late 2004. The CIA discussed "what comes next" after press reports that US team leader David Kay plans to leave the group searching for 'weapons of mass destruction' in Iraq, a US official said Thursday.

Top Iraq WMD hunter 'will resign' The White House has declined to comment on reports that the man leading the US's hunt for 'weapons of mass destruction' in Iraq is to quit.

The Weasel Watch Tracks Bush Staff Exodus (Satire) --by Mary Titus [a must view]

Rumsfeld Approves Brigade Deployment, Extension Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has approved the 120-day deployment to Iraq of units of 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, senior military officials announced Dec. 18. He also approved a 60-day extension for the division's 3rd Brigade.

Iraq blast hits main Shia group An explosion has taken place outside a building belonging to Iraq's main Shia Muslim political group in Baghdad.

Homeless shelter collapses in Baghdad A woman was killed and eight other people were hurt in the collapse of a homeless shelter run by Iraq's largest Shiite Muslim political group Friday, an official said, blaming a bomb attack.

Shooting Samarra's Schoolboys in the Back Phantam Insurgents in Fantasyville --by Robert Fisk "Schoolboy Issam Naim Hamid is the latest of America's famous 'insurgents'. In Samarra--for which read Fantasyville--he was shot in the back as he tried to protect himself with his parents in his home in the Al-Jeheriya district of the ancient Abbasid city. It was three in the morning, according to his mother, Manal, when soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division came to the house, firing bullets through the gate."

Bremer escaped assassination bid in Iraq Top US civil dictator survived 'random' attack against him in Iraq on December 6 near Baghdad airport. The top US civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said Friday he had survived an attack against him, but an aide said he did not seem to have been specifically targetted.

U.S. Opposes Provisions for Iraq Tribunal The new Iraqi war crimes tribunal includes provisions taken from the International Criminal Court, which the United States vehemently opposes -- an irony that the international court's supporters have been quick to note.

Lawyer wants world leaders to testify at Hussein's trial French lawyer Jacques Verges says he is willing to defend Saddam Hussein in court and, if he can, bring world leaders to the witness stand, in what could be a huge embarrassment for the United States, France and other countries.

Amnesty: Hussein photo humiliating Leading human rights organization Amnesty International has branded as humiliating the publication of a new photo of Saddam Hussein. Amnesty International said the former Iraqi leader should be classified as a prisoner of war and that his treatment should be covered by the Geneva Convention.

Saddam's daughter decries treatment Saddam Hussein's oldest daughter said television images of a disheveled Saddam broadcast across the world after his capture were meant to "break the spirit of Arabs."

Annan wants to discuss U.N. role in Iraq Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday called for a Jan. 15 meeting of the key players in Iraq to pin down what role they want the United Nations to play as the country moves from U.S. occupation to a democratically elected government.

Telephone calls from soldiers flood the GI Rights Hotline "They want out of Iraq" ( "They want to know about the rights that the Pentagon brass doesn’t tell them about. That’s the reason that the GI Rights Hotline has seen a huge increase in the volume of calls that it has received--first during the buildup for war against Iraq, and now during the U.S. occupation."

W.Va. taxpayers covered Lynch homecoming celebrations Request reveals nearly $50,000 spent on support --State records show taxpayer money paid for golf umbrellas, balloons and makeup for July's Jessica Lynch homecoming celebration in Wirt County.

Clark: Bush lacks will to find bin Laden Democrat says he would have had the al Qaeda chief by now --Democratic presidential contender Wesley Clark said Wednesday that Dictator Bush has shown a lack of will in pursuing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda issues taped warning to U.S. An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden's deputy in Al Qaeda, aired on Arab television today, warned that the terror group would target Americans "in their homeland" and would drive U.S. forces from bases in the region.

U.S. Intelligence Learn of Possible Threats to New York and Other Cities Authorities are evaluating a surge of information related to possible terrorist threats to a number of cities in the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Qaeda Leader Says Chasing Americans in 'Homeland' Arabic television al Jazeera on Friday aired an audio tape purportedly from al Qaeda's second in command Ayman al-Zawahri, saying his group was chasing Americans everywhere, including the United States.

Does something about the 1st WTC impact look fishy to you, too? "There are two, actually: 1)no one saw this video on TV on the morning of 9/11, and 2)there is something fishy about the 1st WTC plane crash."

Audio of Attorney-Detainee Interviews Called Illegal Employees at a federal detention center clearly violated prison rules and federal law by recording the private conversations of attorneys and their clients, who had been arrested as part of an immigration dragnet in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to legal experts and a government investigation.

Bush Asks Court to Back Pledge Recital The Bush dictatorship defended two words in the Pledge of Allegiance -- "under God" -- in asking the Supreme Court Friday to declare the daily recitation constitutional. "Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic exercise, not a religious testimonial," the regime said.

How Bush Can Still Win --by Ben Tripp "The deadly part of this is that we're occupying two foreign nations (Iraq and Afghanistan, for those of you who may have forgotten) for reasons having little or nothing to do with the terrorist threat that emerged as Bush's raison d'etre... Not only are we fighting these two wars, and apparently losing both of them through sheer hubris, but we've exploded, so to speak, the terrorist menace from its original 'small but determined enclaves' into 'anybody with a grudge that doesn't eat ham'. Which takes some doing. At this point if we want to wipe out terrorism by force of arms we'll have to demand everybody on Earth eat a crispy chicharrone, and anybody who refuses, we shoot him dead."

GOP redistricting map given temporary OK The U.S. Department of inJustice on Friday approved a GOP-backed congressional redistricting map, disappointing Democrats who staged two boycotts of the Texas Legislature over redistricting and have sued over the new plan.

Court Orders Trial on Ban of Voting by Felons A federal appeals court on Friday ordered a trial in a lawsuit that says Florida's law barring felons from voting is unconstitutional because it discriminates against blacks.

Con Job at Diebold Subsidiary At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic 'voting' machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for 'voting' machine software.

Ashcroft Not Queried On Campaign Funds Critics See Weakness in Election Panel --During more than two years of investigating two campaign committees that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft maintained when he was in the Senate, the Federal Election Commission never directly questioned Ashcroft or obtained a sworn statement from him even though the issue of his personal ownership of a mailing list and the income it produced were central to the inquiry.

Corruption claim governor says he was called by God The [Republican] governor of the strait-laced New England state of Connecticut has rejected calls for his resignation over corruption allegations, saying he is in direct contact with God. In a performance worthy of a fallen "televangelist" John Rowland, who has admitted accepting favours and gifts from powerful businessmen, defended his position by saying the Almighty had called to him "loud and clear" in his "adversity". [The CLG, in an exclusive interview with God Almighty, can confirm that God says Rowland is an asshole and a thief who belongs behind bars, and that his wife is a terrible poet, a deluded child and a moron. God added that Rowland is also mentally ill as evidenced by his burying gold in his own backyard.]

Governor Opens Door For More Cottage Questions [Republican] (CT) Governor John Rowland fielded questions -- many of which he said he could not answer -- Friday afternoon about improvements to his cottage on Bantam Lake. Rowland said Friday he has no plans to resign amid the controversy.[Reichwing nutball John Rowland needs to be impeached.]

Rowland Partner Got Contracts Paving Contractor Received $900,000 In State Work After Land Deal With Governor --[Republican] (CT) Gov. John G. Rowland was involved in the late 1990s in a lucrative investment partnership that included a contractor who got more than $900,000 in state contracts after going into business with the governor.

Alaska Senator Defends Public Record [Republican] Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska dismissed calls Friday from activist groups that he resign as chairman of the Appropriations Committee and disputed a newspaper report that said he used his powerful position to enrich himself and others.

State attorney argues to unseal Limbaugh's medical records The Palm Beach state attorney's office argued Friday that Rush Limbaugh's medical records should be unsealed because they are "relevant and necessary" to the criminal investigation involving the conservative commentator, according to a response filed in court Friday.

Record Industry May Not Subpoena Providers A federal appeals court on Friday rejected efforts by the recording industry to compel the nation's Internet providers to turn over names of subscribers suspected of illegally swapping music online.

Abbott raises AIDS drug price more than 400 percent Abbott Laboratories Inc. is hiking the U.S. price of an important AIDS drug more than fourfold.

Halliburton asked for details on Iran New York official wants information --New York City's comptroller is prodding Houston-based Halliburton Co. to release more details about its business dealings in Iran.

Iraq war was unjustified, Putin says Russian President Vladimir Putin says the US-led war in Iraq was unjustified because it was not authorised by the United Nations Security Council.

Rumsfeld approves deployment of additional troops to Iraq: officials Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has approved the deployment of an extra brigade of the elite 82nd Airborne Division to Iraq in January and extended that of another brigade to maintain combat power as other forces are being swapped out, senior US defense officials said.

More violence in Iraq U.S. soldier killed in Baghdad attack Major Shiite politician shot dead in separate ambush --Resistance fighters ambushed a U.S. military patrol with small arms fire, killing one soldier, the military said Thursday. In a separate attack, suspected Saddam Hussein loyalists killed a representative of a major Shiite political party.

Gunmen Kill Iraqi Political Figure Suspected followers of Saddam Hussein shot to death a representative of a major Shiite political party, a party official said Thursday.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Ambush in Iraq A U.S. military patrol was ambushed by small arms fire, killing one soldier, the military said Thursday, as forces hunted down members of the Iraqi resistance that continues to claim American lives.

Tanks roll into Tikrit Tanks have rolled out on to the streets of Tikrit, as a message that the U.S. army will not tolerate shows of support for Saddam Hussein in the captured president's home town. "Any demonstration against the government or coalition forces will be fired upon," U.S.-backed regional dictator Hussein al-Jaburi's voice said, according to an army interpreter. "This is a fair warning."

Bremer's Convoy Came Under Fire -NBC Iraq's U.S. dictator Paul Bremer escaped unharmed when his convoy hit an explosive device and came under fire in Baghdad on December 6th, NBC News reported on Thursday. In an incident not previously disclosed, NBC said that Bremer was returning from the Baghdad airport when his convoy ran into an explosive device and his personal armored vehicle took small arms fire.

Iraqi Legal Profession Trains for Prosecutions Iraqi legal community members have completed training that will help them investigate and prosecute alleged crimes committed by Saddam Hussein's regime, the senior spokesman for the U.S. dictatorship in Iraq ['Coalition Provisional Authority'] said at a Baghdad press conference today.

Pope Peace Message Takes Swipe at U.S. Over Iraq Pope John Paul took a swipe at the United States and its allies Tuesday for invading Iraq without U.N. approval, suggesting they had succumbed to the temptation to use the law of force instead of the force of law.

'Bodyguard betrayed Saddam' Saddam Hussein was betrayed by a relative who was his personal bodyguard and who led US troops to the ousted Iraqi leader's hideout after drugging him, a Jordanian newspaper reported Thursday, quoting a source close to the US-led occupation in Iraq.

Democrat Dean Stands by Comments on Hussein Howard Dean, the leading Democrat in contention to retake the White House in 2004, on Thursday stood by his claim that Saddam Hussein's capture did not make America safer, saying it was too early to declare victory in the war on terror.

The Rat Trap Part 1: How Saddam may still nail Bush --by Pepe Escobar "Saddam on his way to the courtroom does not mean democracy has arrived in Iraq. Let's make it absolutely clear. The last thing that the White House, the euphemistic Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the ICG (dubbed 'the imported government' by Iraqis) want is real democracy in Iraq. Shi'ite and Sunni alike are in the streets shouting 'free elections now!' - leading to the formation of a constituent assembly. The occupiers and their local collaborators know very well that an elected constituent assembly would naturally demand what the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want: the immediate end to the occupation, total Iraqi control of Iraqi oil and first choice for Iraqi companies in the rebuilding process." [a must read]

Bush calls for Hussein's execution: a portrait of sadism and ignorance --by Bill Vann "Within US ruling circles, the fact that [George W.] Bush is grossly unqualified for the position that he holds is well known. For the gang of corporate criminals that dominate his cabinet and serve as his principal political base, his lack of any knowledge or intelligence make him a malleable instrument for the pursuit of their profit interests."

Bush Fatigue With Saddam's capture, so collapses the will to resist --by Alan Bisbort "Of course, during the same time period, 32 soldiers lost their lives in Iraq for what was said to be a search for weapons that posed an imminent threat to us and has ended with a pathetic, broken man found cowering in a hole. Some threat. Language means nothing to an abuser; it's just words, words are cheap and always risk revealing truths. Bush's few attempts to use language have shown him to be everything from a liar (18 words about 'yellow cake') in the State of the Union Address to a pro wrestler ('Bring 'em on')."

U.S. Courts Rebuke Anti-Terrorism Policies Two influential U.S. courts dealt a double blow to the Bush dictatorship's anti-terror policies on Thursday by ruling the government was violating the civil rights of so-called "enemy combatants" held in a South Carolina navy prison and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

US court delivers blow to Guantanamo policy In a stinging rebuke of the Bush Government, a United States appeals court has ruled the US cannot imprison "enemy combatants" captured in Afghanistan indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay and deny them access to lawyers.

Court Rebukes Bush as Second Detainee Gets Lawyer A Yemeni man being held at a U.S. military prison in Cuba for al Qaeda and Taliban suspects has been provided with a military lawyer, the second of hundreds of detainees at the base to receive defense counsel, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Court: Terror Suspects Must Get Lawyers A federal appeals court ruled Thursday for the first time that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba should have access to lawyers and the American court system.

Appeals Court Says Bush Can't Hold U.S. Citizen A federal appeals court, in a harsh blow to the Bush regime's 'anti-terrorism' policies, ruled on Thursday that the dictator does not have the power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant.

Court: U.S. citizen isn't 'enemy combatant' Dictator Bush does not have power to detain an American citizen seized on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday in a decision that could force a man held in a dirty bomb plot to be tried in civilian courts.

Tapes Show Abuse of 9/11 Detainees Justice Department Examines Videos Prison Officials Said Were Destroyed --Hundreds of videotapes that federal prison officials had claimed were destroyed show that foreign nationals held at a New York detention facility after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were victims of physical and verbal abuse by guards, the Justice Department's inspector general said yesterday.

Report: Officers Abused Sept. 11 Detainees Federal prison officers in Brooklyn physically and verbally abused immigrants detained after the Sept. 11 attacks, slamming them against the wall and painfully twisting their arms and hands, the U.S. Justice Department's inspector general said on Thursday.

Dubious Link Between Atta and Hussein A document tying the Iraqi leader with the 9/11 terrorist is probably fake. A widely publicized Iraqi document that purports to show that September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta visited Baghdad in the summer of 2001 is probably a fabrication that is contradicted by U.S. law-enforcement records showing Atta was staying at cheap motels and apartments in the United States when the trip presumably would have taken place, according to U.S. law enforcement officials and FBI documents.

9/11 Chair: Attack Was Preventable For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented.

Albright suggests Bush knows whereabouts of bin Laden Tells Faux News' Kondracke she suspects political dirty tricks --Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Faux News Channel analyst Morton Kondracke yesterday she suspects Dictator Bush knows the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and is simply waiting for the most politically expedient moment to announce his capture.

U.S.: 'Credible threat' of major attack in Italy Italian authorities have clamped unprecedented security coverage over the Vatican and other Christian landmarks after receiving a "credible threat" of a Christmastime terrorist attack, senior U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Voting machine maker dinged Secretary of State Kevin Shelley said Tuesday that Diebold Elections Systems could lose the right to sell electronic 'voting' machines in California after state auditors found the company distributed software that had not been approved by election officials.

Critics: Convicted felons worked for electronic voting companies A manufacturer of electronic 'voting' machines has employed at least five convicted felons as managers, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for 'voting' machine software. Voter advocate Bev Harris alleged Tuesday that managers of a subsidiary of Diebold Inc., one of the country's largest 'voting' equipment vendors, included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions, and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records.

Nader Looks to Another White House Bid in 2004 Ralph Nader, accused by some Democrats of helping s-elect Dictator Bush by seeking the presidency as a Green Party candidate three years ago, said on Thursday he wants to make another White House bid in 2004 and will announce a decision next month.

Democrat Targets Conn. Governor's Gifts A leading Democratic legislator has asked the State Ethics Commission for an opinion on whether [Republican] Gov. John G. Rowland broke ethics rules when he accepted gifts for his summer cottage.

Connecticut Governor Under Fire The pressure is mounting on the [Republican] Governor of Connecticut, John Rowland, to step down. He is under fire after admitting that friends and a politically connected contractor paid for work on his summer cottage. Three newspapers in the state today called for his resignation, and Rowland is topic A in the state capital.

Gov. Bush Snubs Newspaper in Annual Interview Gov. Jeb Bush's office did not invite The Palm Beach Post to the governor's traditional end-of-the-year interviews with reporters, citing what they said was unprofessional behavior.

High court: Utilities can be sued for dark streets The families of people hit by cars on dark streets can sue utility companies for failing to keep street lights working, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Hunger and Homelessness Increase in U.S. [Thanks to the Bush economy,] Hunger and homelessness increased in many of America's largest cities this year, with growing demand for emergency food supplies for families with children, the elderly and even people with jobs, a survey by U.S. mayors finds.

Study: Global Warming Changing Ocean Salinity Startling signs that global warming is changing patterns of rain, snow and ocean currents that drive the climate system were reported Wednesday by scientists monitoring the ocean's saltiness.

The Reagans score Golden Globe nods Out producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron's The Reagans, which CBS dropped after Reagan admirers complained that it dwelled on the negative, got made-for-TV movie nominations for James Brolin and Judy Davis, who played former president Reagan and first lady Nancy.

Blix: Hussein didn't have WMD Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Tuesday it's becoming "increasingly clear" that Saddam Hussein's regime did not have any weapons of mass destruction.

Blair signals retreat on Iraq weapons Tony Blair yesterday signalled a retreat from his previous confident assertions that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq - the principal rationale used by the British government for the conflict.

Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush dictatorship last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. Nelson, D-Tallahassee, said about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

U.S. troops kill three in fresh crackdown U.S. forces have killed three attackers and detained 11 suspected resistance fighters in a new major crackdown as violence and instability grips the country in the wake of Saddam Hussein's 'capture'.

13 Die, 22 Wounded, as Truck Bomb Explodes in Baghdad A truck laden with explosives that was apparently on its way to strike a police station blew up in the middle of a busy intersection in Baghdad today when it collided with a bus, killing 13 people and wounding 22, the Iraqi police said... The violence attributed to anti-American resistance fighters has not abated since former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, was detained.

I'll defend Hussein, says French lawyer Jacques Verges - a 79 year-old iconoclast with half a century of experience defending unpopular causes - confirmed on Wednesday that he was willing to act for captured Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein when he comes to trial.

Bush Talk of Death Penalty for Saddam Stirs Unease Dictator Bush's view that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein deserved the "ultimate penalty" stirred unease Wednesday in Europe, where the death penalty is outlawed, and concern in the Middle East that the ex-president's fate had already been sealed.

Bush says Saddam merits death penalty U.S. unelected Dictator George W. Bush has said elected President Saddam Hussein deserves the death penalty -- the "ultimate penalty" -- for his 'iron-fisted rule' in Iraq. [Given that logic, Bush should have himself executed.]

Madeleine Albright: Bush Planning Bin Laden October Surprise [Caveat: the source of this story is Reichwing] On Monday, Washington state Congressman Jim McDermott suggested that Dictator Bush could have captured Saddam Hussein long ago, but moved only when the news would have had maximum political effect. On Tuesday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told reporters that the Bush regime may already have captured Osama bin Laden and will release the news just before next year's presidential s-election.

McDermott questions timing of arrest On Seattle radio yesterday, Rep. Jim McDermott questioned the timing of Saddam Hussein's 'capture', saying, "I'm sure they could have found him a long time ago if they wanted to." Later yesterday, the Seattle Democrat said he did not know whether the Pentagon had manufactured the arrest of the Iraqi leader. "I think the fact is that the administration has been desperate to find something (positive), and this came up." [Exactly!!]

LaHood: Hussein's capture imminent (Dec. 2, 2003) U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood held his thumb and forefinger slightly apart and said, "We're this close" to catching Saddam Hussein. Once that's accomplished, Iraqi resistance will fall apart, said the five-term Republican congressman from Peoria who serves on the House Intelligence Committee. A member of The Pantagraph editorial board -- not really expecting an answer -- asked LaHood for more details, saying, "Do you know something we don't?" "Yes I do," replied LaHood.

Indications Hussein Was Not in Hiding But a Captive ( A number of questions are raised by the incredibly bedraggled, tired and crushed condition of this once savage, dapper and pampered ruler who was discovered in a hole in the ground on Saturday, December 13... Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner. After his last audiotaped message was delivered and aired over al Arabiya TV on Sunday November 16, on the occasion of Ramadan, Saddam was seized, possibly with the connivance of his own men, and held in that hole in Adwar for three weeks or more, which would have accounted for his appearance and condition.

Saddam Military Capture A Fraud? Israelis Suggest Saddam was Already a Prisoner of $25 Million Reward Seekers --If It Doesn't Work with Jessica Lynch, Try it With Saddam. ( "Now that the Bush regime has Saddam, the question is, what do they do with him. He now becomes a tool for the Karl Rove propaganda machine. But this tool has some high risks. As a number of progressive pundits have already stated, Saddam was an employee of the US, engaged in nefarious business, with dealings with Donald Rumsfeld, Bush senior and others. It will be too risky to the Bush cabal to allow Saddam to ever speak publicly and may be so risky that they decide he needs to die, by accident or illness."

Hoping for amnesia --by Scott Burchill "It is hard to believe that either Washington or London would relish the prospect of an open trial. They would not want Saddam to adumbrate their support for him - credit-by-credit, pathogen-by-pathogen, weapon-by-weapon - during the 12 years before he became an official enemy by invading Kuwait in August 1990."

Rumsfeld and his 'old friend' Saddam --by Jim Lobe "It was presumably realpolitik that also persuaded [Pentagon chief Donald] Rumsfeld not to bring up Iraq's use of chemical weapons with Saddam in their first meeting of December 20, 1983, even though the administration knew about it... For the next five years, Washington would quietly ensure that Saddam received all the military equipment he needed to stave off defeat, even precursor chemicals that could be used against Iranian soldiers and Kurdish civilians."

Saddam, So Not Worth It Dubya, now that you've got your dime-store thug, can you stop the warmongering and death? --by Mark Morford " Well gosh golly it took only upward of 500 dead U.S. soldiers (and counting) and more than 2,500 U.S. wounded (and counting) and more than 10,000 dead innocent Iraqi citizens (and counting) and countless tens of thousands of hapless dead Iraqi soldiers (and counting). And it'll only cost U.S. taxpayers at least a staggering $350 billion along with the complete gutting of our foreign policy and our national treasury and the appalling blood sacrifice of our national pride and our international status and global sense of self-respect. Oh, and the truth is, it turns out Saddam actually did have some old stashes of weaponry, a bit of rusty, small-scale WMDs, after all -- because we sold them to him, 20 years ago. But they were never any sort of direct danger to America -- or anyone else, for that matter -- and regardless all evidence points to the fact that the stash was completely destroyed more than a decade ago."

Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported on Friday. Halliburton-Kellogg Brown and Root's promises to improve "have not been followed through," according to a Pentagon report that warned "serious repercussions may result" if the contractor did not clean up.

Halliburton units file for bankruptcy The company's Kellogg Brown & Root and DII Industries units file for Chapter 11 protection. Halliburton Co. said Tuesday its Kellogg Brown & Root and DII Industries units filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Pittsburgh court to 'resolve' [escape responsibility for] asbestos claims against the company. Houston-based Halliburton, its energy services group, and Kellogg Brown & Root's government services unit, which is providing support services to the U.S. military in Iraq, are not included in the bankruptcy filings, the company said. [It appears that the Reichwing pundits will soon have to start dwelling on the need for 'tort reform' again, to protect Bush-Cheney's Halliburton whore.]

Desertions deplete Afghan Army At the current pace, it will take until 2010 for the force to reach full strength - prolonging US Army stay. About half of the 9,000 Afghan Army recruits trained so far have quit, taking their boots and uniforms with them, according to Maj. Gen. Sher Karimi.

U.S. Urges Citizens to Leave Saudi Arabia Nonessential American diplomats and the families of all U.S. officials in Saudi Arabia should leave, the State Department said Wednesday, stepping up its warnings about risks in the country. [U.S. Citizens Urge Bush to Leave the U.S.]

Pentagon Refuses to Give Panel Documents on Tanker Contract The Pentagon has refused to release documents to the Senate Commerce Committee investigating a Defense Department contract to lease, then buy, Boeing Co. refueling tankers.

U.S. Considers Expanding FBI Database Names of Noncrimimal Deportees and Student Visa Violators Would Be Added --Homeland security officials want to add tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and foreign students to an FBI database designed primarily to help police apprehend wanted criminals.

Oops! Florida SWAT team accidentally gasses elementary school students Strong winds led to the accidental tear-gassing of some elementary school students in Pinellas Park on Wednesday. According to the police department, the Pinellas Park SWAT team was conducting a drill [?!?] on a five-acre city-owned plot about a quarter-mile northwest of Cross Bayou Elementary School.

ANOTHER microbiologist dies: Composite released in fatal hit-and-run Police have released a composite drawing of a motorist who sped away after his van jumped the curb and killed a chemist walking on a sidewalk in the Texas Medical Center. Robert Leslie Burghoff, 45, of The Woodlands was killed in the 1600 block of South Braeswood on Nov. 20. He was studying the virus plaguing cruise ships, police said.

Woodlands man killed in Houston hit-and-run (Nov. 22, 2003) A Houston Police Department spokesman said Robert Leslie Burghoff, 45, of The Woodlands, was struck by a white van as he crossed South McGregor at Hermann Pressler at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Bush Mercury Proposal Angers Ohio Company Environmentalists and an Ohio company that makes pollution control equipment for power plants are disappointed in a Bush regime proposal to give energy companies up to 15 years to install new technology aimed at reducing mercury emissions.

Judge Lets Reagan Assailant Hinckley Make Visits John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, for the first time can leave his psychiatric hospital for local visits supervised only by his parents, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. [He wouldn't by any chance want to "visit" G.W. Bush?]

Poll: Dean leads in Pennsylvania, holds Bush under 50% Presidential hopeful Howard Dean is pulling ahead of the Democratic pack among Pennsylvania voters and is the only candidate to keep Dictator Bush's support under 50%, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Material Girl covers Clark with praise Madonna has stepped onto the political stage and endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark. "We're delighted with the endorsement of a superstar for our four-star," said Matt Bennett, a Clark campaign spokesman.

Hillary Clinton draws large crowds in S. Florida for book signing, fund raising She's the junior senator from New York and she's not running for president, but Hillary Clinton drew enthusiastic crowds in South Florida on Tuesday, demonstrating once again she is perhaps the most popular Democratic politician in the nation.

Rowland Apologizes, but Vows to Stay On as Governor In his first public address since admitting he made false and misleading remarks about work on his private cottage, GOP Gov. John G. Rowland today apologized for his actions but vowed to stay on the job. Mr. Rowland's determination to stay in office came in the face of continuing criticism of his actions. A University of Connecticut poll released this week showed that 55 percent of Connecticut residents thought the governor should resign. Four newspapers called for him to step aside and some lawmakers have even talked about the possibility of impeachment. [Stop *talking*, and start *impeaching* corrupt GOP nutball John G. Rowland NOW.]

Go-along media ignoring Kucinich --by John Nichols "Dennis Kucinich cannot get a break from big media... The absurdity, and the irresponsibility, of most media's approach to Kucinich's candidacy has been particularly evident in recent weeks... In November, he seized on concerns about the reliability of electronic voting machines produced by Diebold Inc., one of the nation's largest voting [sic] equipment manufacturers... So were there headlines about Kucinich's fight with Diebold? No. Television news reports? No. Lengthy discussions on public radio or commercial talk radio? No."

Quick action! Information for H.R.2239/S.1980 Volunteers ( "We have forty-nine new H.R.2239 co-sponsors since we started this campaign, bringing the total to 94 of the 435 voting members. Four of the co-sponsors are Republicans, 90 are Democrats. On December 9, Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) introduced S.1980 into the Senate. It is identical to H.R.2239 in both title and text. Now we need co-sponsors for it, too. This page provides instructions and resources to help you join in this effort."

Dollar Slumps Again as Euro Hits New All-Time High The dollar was lower again in New York Wednesday, with the euro surging to a new all-time high shortly following the publication of a newswire report that intervention from the European Central Bank to halt the euro's appreciation is unlikely for a while.

Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush dictatorship last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities. Nelson, D-Tallahassee, said about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

Insurgents or protesters? 18 are killed in clashes with US troops While Washington and London were still congratulating themselves on the capture of Saddam Hussein, US troops have shot dead at least 18 Iraqis in the streets of three major cities in the country. Dramatic videotape from the city of Ramadi 75 miles west of Baghdad showed unarmed supporters of Saddam Hussein being gunned down in semi-darkness as they fled from Americans troops... A disturbing new phenomenon in this environment of growing military violence has been the appearance of hooded and masked gunmen - working for the Americans - on road checkpoints north of Baghdad. Five of them now check cars on the Tigris river bridge outside Samarra, apparently fearing their identities will be discovered if their faces are not concealed. They wear militia uniforms and, although they say they are part of the new American-backed "Iraqi Civil Defence Corps", [Bush's new Waffen-SS] they have neither badges of rank nor unit markings. The same hooded men are now appearing on the streets of Baghdad. [Oringinal link here, from]

Iraqis question US bodycount US troops and Iraqi police in Samarra have offered widely differing versions of an overnight incident on the edge of the town, about 125 kilometres west of Baghdad. The US military says a patrol battled through what it termed a complex ambush in the town, killing 11 attackers. They said their forces emerged unscathed and caused no damage in the town. But Iraqi police and medical officials have reported just one dead Iraqi and one wounded after the incident, saying there were no attackers.

Deadly violence rages in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's capture US forces shot dead 11 attackers who ambushed them in Samarra, northwest of Baghdad, in an upsurge of violence in restive Iraqi towns and as debate raged over the fate of captured former president Saddam Hussein.

US troops shoot dead at least four pro-Hussein protesters in Iraq US forces shot dead at least four Iraqis in two towns west of the capital, where protesters angered by the capture of Saddam Hussein stormed regional government offices.

Hussein Loyalists Riot, Ambush U.S. Patrol Saddam Hussein loyalists rioted in Baghdad, ambushed a U.S. patrol in Samarra, stormed the office of a U.S.-backed mayor in Fallujah and battled American troops in Ramadi as cities in Iraq's 'Sunni Triangle' region seethed over the ex-president's capture.

48 Hrs. of Violence in Iraq The Sunni Muslim heartland of Iraq erupted in violence over the past two days, in a strong signal that the anti-American insurgency would not taper off with Saddam Hussein's 'capture'.

US accused of double standards after granting Hussein prisoner-of-war status The US dictatorship was accused of gross hypocrisy yesterday after granting Saddam Hussein the legal rights that for more than two years it has denied the 660 detainees held in Guantanamo Bay.

Bush: Saddam Deserves 'Ultimate Penalty' Saddam Hussein deserves the "ultimate penalty" for his crimes, Dictator Bush said Tuesday, putting the United States sharply at odds with Europe and the United Nations which adamantly oppose the death penalty. [When is Dictator Bush going to be captured and tried for treason?]

CIA Takes Control of Hussein Interrogation The CIA has taken control of the interrogation of Saddam Hussein, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday. And he defended releasing film of the grubby former Iraqi president after his capture.

Vatican criticises US treatment of Saddam A senior Vatican Cardinal has criticised United States military forces for treating Saddam Hussein like a beast.

Wash. Congressman Questions Hussein Timing The Washington congressman who criticized Dictator Bush while visiting Baghdad last year has questioned the timing of the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Hussein "a long time ago if they wanted."

The official US response to the capture of Saddam Hussein: a degrading spectacle --by David Walsh "The official American response to the capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein must provoke feelings of deep disgust. It requires a political and media establishment from whom all traces of democratic or humane instinct have been eradicated to react with a display of such ignorance, vindictiveness and sadism. There is irony in the fact that only a regime as depraved as the current one in Washington could create by its actions a degree of sympathy for Hussein, a right-wing nationalist thug and former ally of the US."

The capture of Saddam Hussein --by Joseph P. Diaferia "Both the timing and the circumstances of [Saddam] Hussein's capture are highly suspect. In recent days, the Bush administration has faced intense international condemnation over its policy of excluding 'uncooperative' nations from sharing in the spoils of the war with Iraq... Could it be that the former Iraqi dictator has actually been in U.S. custody (or under house arrest) for some time, and that the administration waited until it needed this public relations boost to announce Hussein's capture to the world?"

Human Rights Watch: One thousand Iraqis are the victims of American neglect A report published by the human rights monitoring group, Human Rights Watch, in Washington stressed that more than 1000 Iraqi civilians were killed or injured during the American- British invasion of Iraq, because of the neglect of the invading forces, and its use of cluster bombs indiscriminately in the populated areas.

Dean Doesn't Bend in His Opposition to War in Iraq Howard Dean on Monday stood by his criticism of the war with Iraq, hailing the capture of Saddam Hussein but saying that his seizure had failed to make America safer and that the invasion of the former president's country was launched "in the wrong way at the wrong time."

New weapon can fire round corners A new weapons system that allows soldiers to fire guns round corners has been unveiled in Israel. The Florida-based US-Israeli firm that developed the weapon says it will only be sold to official government agencies.

While Saddam Hussein's 'capture' is discussed *endlessly* by the Reichwing media whores: Dictator OKs Intelligence Bill Dictator Bush signed legislation over the weekend making it easier for FBI agents to demand financial records from casinos, car dealerships and other businesses. The changes were included in a bill authorizing 2004 intelligence programs. Most details of the measure are secret, including the total costs of the programs, which are estimated to be about $40 billion.

Ashcroft Admonished for Meddling in Terror Case A federal judge strongly criticized U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday for violating a "gag" order imposed during the first terror-related trial following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Federal judge admonishes Ashcroft for statements about terror trial A federal judge publicly admonished Attorney General John Ashcroft for statements that could have compromised defendants' rights to a fair trial in a high-profile terrorism case, but said the violations were not enough to warrant contempt charges.

FEC Fines Ashcroft's Senate Bid For Breach The Federal Election Commission has determined that Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's unsuccessful 2000 Senate reelection campaign violated election laws by accepting $110,000 in illegal contributions from a committee Ashcroft had established to explore running for president.

Ashcroft's Senate Campaign Must Pay Fine Attorney General John Ashcroft's 2000 Senate campaign and his political action committee have agreed to pay a $37,000 civil fine for campaign finance violations. [Where is the indictment for the assassination of Mel Carnahan in *but another* mysterious plane crash loaded with Democrats??? ]

U.S. Asks World Court for No Interference The United States asked the United Nations' highest legal body not to interfere in its [whackjob and perverted] criminal justice system, demanding Tuesday that it throw out a case filed by Mexico over the death penalty.

Supreme Court to Hear Cheney Secrecy Case The Supreme Court on Monday voted to hear the Bush regime's appeal of a judge's order that would require Cheney to turn over documents describing who participated in formulating Dictator Bush's national energy policy in 2001.

Judge strikes down Bush plan for snowmobiling in Yellowstone The National Park Service must revive a Clinton administration plan to ban snowmobiles from Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks that was scrapped by the Bush regime, a federal judge ordered Tuesday.

Anti-War Protest Set for Republican Convention A coalition of anti-war groups plan to greet delegates to next summer's Republican National Convention with a massive protest against U.S. foreign policy, hoping to keep the Iraqi war alive as an issue in the 2004 election, organizers said on Tuesday. The march could be one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history, organizers said.

L.A. to Sue Calif. Over Lost Car Tax Revenues The Los Angeles City Council and county Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to sue the state of California to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues lost when newly installed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [Yes! Schwarzenegger was definitely installed - in a GOP coup d'etat] rescinded an unpopular increase in car taxes.

U.S. Appeals Court Sets Aside Federal Marijuana Law A federal appeals court allowed two very sick California women on Tuesday to use marijuana, setting aside longstanding federal drug laws that bar such cultivation even for medical purposes.

Walkin' in the Neo-con Homeland (Holiday parody) --by Carol Schiffler

The Seven Months Since May Day (to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas") --by Carol Schiffler

Police "Excessive" at 2001 Quebec FTAA Protest - Report A civilian watchdog appointed by the federal government to probe complaints against the national police force has denounced the way police handled security at the 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec City.

U.N. Says 2003 3rd Hottest Year on Record The year 2003, marked by a sweltering summer and drought across large swaths of the planet, was the third hottest in nearly 150 years, the United Nations weather agency said Tuesday.

Pollution Linked To Heart Disease Air pollution in U.S. cities causes twice as many deaths from heart disease as it does from lung cancer and other respiratory ailments, a surprising new study suggests.

U.S. Expects Iraq Insurgency to Continue The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said on Sunday he believed the insurgency against the American occupation would continue despite the capture of former leader Saddam Hussein.

U.S. General Sees More Attacks Despite Capture The capture of former President Saddam Hussein will not end attacks against U.S.-led forces in Iraq, the top U.S. general in Iraq said Sunday.

Killed in Iraq The Department of Defense has identified 450 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war.

At Least 17 Killed in Blast at Iraq Police Station A car bomb exploded Sunday morning at a police station in this town west of Baghdad, killing at least 17 people and wounding 33 others, a U.S. military officer said.

U.S. Officer Fined, Will Resign for Beating Iraqi A U.S. army officer who led a battalion in northern Iraq has been found guilty of aggravated assault on a prisoner and has tendered his resignation, the press office of his division said on Saturday.

U.S. Troops Nab Hussein Saddam Hussein has been taken from the country to an unknown location, military sources have stated. [Why can't Saddam Hussein be interviewed? There are questions to ask him regarding his close relationship with Donald Rumsfeld in the 1980's.]

Saddam Hussein captured alive Ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has been captured alive by coalition forces after a manhunt of more than eight months, US civil administrator Paul Bremer said in Baghdad on Sunday. [None of this changes the fact that Bush is a war criminal who needs to be tried, convicted, and sentenced for war crimes.]

New Tribunal Might Be Option for Hussein U.S. officials said they still haven't decided what to do with Saddam Hussein now that he's been captured, but one option is putting him before a special tribunal established just days ago. A member of Iraq's Governing Council said Hussein would face public trial. [Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove need to be tried in a military tribunal, as well.]

GOP congressman calls for hearings into allegations Halliburton overcharged for fuel A Republican congressman Saturday joined Democratic calls for hearings on allegations that Halliburton Co. charged up to $61 million too much for delivering gasoline to Iraqi citizens under a no-bid contract.

Pentagon Audit Finds Halliburton Overcharged Dictator Bush, trying to calm a political storm, said Friday that Vice pResident Dick Cheney's former company should repay the government if it overcharged for gasoline delivered in Iraq under a controversial prewar contract.

Pentagon warned Halliburton-KBR on "dirty" food service: report The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported Friday.

Bush Signs Bill Expanding FBI Authority Dictator Bush signed legislation making it easier for FBI agents investigating terrorism to demand financial records from casinos, car dealerships and other businesses.

FBI Applies New Rules to Surveillance Many Searches Not Subject To Regular Courts' Oversight --The FBI has implemented new ground rules that fundamentally alter the way investigators handle counterterrorism cases, allowing criminal and intelligence agents to work side by side and giving both broad access to the tools of intelligence gathering for the first time in decades.

Baker Takes the Loaf President[sic]'s Business Parnter Slices Up Iraq --by Greg Palast "Well, ho ho ho! It's an early Christmas for James Baker III. All year the elves at his law firm, Baker Botts of Texas, have been working day and night to prevent the families of the victims of the September 11 attack from seeking information from Saudi Arabia on the Kingdom's funding of Al Qaeda fronts... Just last week Baker said, 'I fixed the election in Florida for George Bush.' That was the substance of his remarks to an audience of Russian big wigs as reported to me by my somewhat astonished colleagues at BBC television. It was Baker, as consiglieri to the Bush family, who came up with the strategy of maneuvering the 2000 Florida vote count into a Supreme Court packed with politicos."


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