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 2005 Archives, Page Two

Mail or bring your copies of '1984' to the Oakland Tribune -- they will send them to Congress!! "We think it's time for Congress to heed the warning of George Orwell. To that end, we're asking for your help: Mail us or drop off your tattered copies of '1984.' When we get 537 of them, we'll send them to every member of the House of Representatives and Senate and to President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Feel free to inscribe the book with a note, reminding these fine people that we Americans take the threat to our liberties seriously... Bring or mail your books to the Oakland Tribune, 401 13th St., Oakland CA 94612. Doors are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m."

Denied Surveillance Wiretaps, Bush Bypassed Court 24 Dec 2005 Government records show that the administration was encountering unprecedented second-guessing by the secret federal surveillance court when Dictator Bush decided to bypass the panel and order surveillance of U.S.-based terror suspects without the court's approval. A review of Justice Department reports to Congress shows that the 26-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court modified more wiretap requests from the Bush regime than from the four previous presidential administrations combined.

Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy Efforts 28 Dec 2005 Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.

Bush's counsel on spying now under close scrutiny 27 Dec 2005 The current dispute over whether the pResident had the authority to order domestic spying without warrants, despite a law against it, has put new focus on the legal officials who have guided Bush. [Legal officials: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; White House counsel Harriet E. Miers; prior to 2005, Gonzales was White House counsel and John Ashcroft was attorney general.]

Secret surveillance up since 9/11 27 Dec 2005 Federal applications for a special U.S. court to authorize secret surveillance rose sharply after the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the panel required changes to the requests at a even greater rate, government documents show.

In the Name of Homeland Security, Telecom Firms Are Deluged With Subpoenas 10 Apr 2002 Operating under new powers to combat terrorism, law enforcement agencies are making unprecedented demands on the telecommunications industry to provide information on subscribers, company attorneys say. These companies and Internet service providers face an escalating barrage of subpoenas for subscriber lists, personal credit reports, financial information, routing patterns that reveal individual computer use, even customer photographs.

The Agency That Could Be Big Brother 25 Dec 2005 Originally created to spy on foreign adversaries, the N.S.A. [National Security Agency] was never supposed to be turned inward. Thirty years ago, Senator Frank Church, the Idaho Democrat who was then chairman of the select committee on intelligence, investigated the agency and came away stunned. "That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people," he said in 1975, "and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything..." He added that if a dictator [*Bush*] ever took over, the N.S.A. "could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back."

New Video Evidence Shows NYPD Covert Surveillance of Cyclists and Protests ( interview) 27 Dec 2005 "Newly released video tape shows what the New York Times describes as 'the robust presence of disguised officers' since the Republican National Convention in August 2004."

CIA Probes 10 Renditions of Terror Suspects 27 Dec 2005 The CIA's independent watchdog is investigating fewer than 10 cases where 'terror' suspects may have been mistakenly swept away to foreign countries by the spy agency, a figure lower than published reports but enough to raise some concerns.

White House Leaked Classified Intelligence to Make its Case for War By David Swanson 28 Dec 2005 "A new report looks into instances in which the Bush Administration leaked classified information to support its case that Iraq was a threat to the United States. While that case was, of course, ridiculous and the information falsified, the leaking of it was illegal. And the leaks appear to have been part of a coordinated effort."

The Hand-Over that Wasn't: How the Occupation of Iraq Continues By Antonia Juhasz July 2004 "The most important tools being used by the Bush administration to maintain varying degrees of economic and political control in Iraq are the 100 Orders enacted by L. Paul Bremer, III, head of the now defunct Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) before his departure. It was thought that the 'end' of the occupation would also mean the end of the Orders. Instead, in his final Order enacted on his last day in the country, Bremer simply transferred authority for the Orders over to the new Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi... Bremer also ensured the implementation of the Orders by stacking every Ministry with U.S.-appointed authorities with five-year terms..."

What's happening to the Iraqi academics and intellectuals? ( "Many academics have been killed in Iraq since the American occupation began according to the Iraqi Union of University Lecturers. The most striking fact is that the majority of those killed where not scientists (thus targeted for the alleged knowledge of Iraq’s weapon’s programme) but were involved in field of humanities (such as law, geography and history). The motives for these assassinations are unknown." [Original link]

White Phosphorous: The U.S. Used It; The U.S. Says It's Illegal By David Swanson 27 Dec 2005 "The U.S. military used white phosphorous as a weapon in Fallujah, and the U.S. military says such use is illegal. That's one heck of a fog fact (Larry Beinhart's term for a fact that is neither secret nor known). This fact has appeared in an article in the Guardian (UK) and been circulated on the internet, but has just not interested the corporate media in the United States."

Two U.S. pilots die in Baghdad helicopter crash 27 Dec 2005 Two U.S. pilots died in a helicopter crash in west Baghdad on Monday night, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

Disabled Veteran's Tribute Upsets Army Recruiters In Minnesota 27 Dec 2005 As those thinking of becoming soldiers arrive on the slushy doorstep of the Army recruiting station in Duluth, they cannot miss the message posted in bold black letters on the storefront next door. "Remember the Fallen Heroes," the sign reads, and then it ticks off numbers — the number of American troops killed in Iraq, the number wounded, the number of days gone by since this war began.

Coalition of the Bribed: Poland to Keep Troops in Iraq, Dropping Pullout Plan 27 Dec 2005 Poland's two-month-old government plans to keep soldiers in Iraq next year, countering the previous government's pledge to pull out of the U.S.-led operation by this week.

Coalition of the Bribed, Part II: Poland ends CIA jail probe 27 Dec 2005 Poland's government has closed its investigation into allegations that the country may have housed secret CIA prisons.

Pro-War Group Takes to the Airwaves 28 Dec 2005 The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had "extensive ties" to al Qaeda... The hard-hitting spots are part of a recent public-relations barrage aimed at reversing a decline in public support for pResident Bush's [mis]handling of Iraq. The advertisements are sponsored by Move America Forward, a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest -- and most controversial -- voices in the Iraq debate.

Guard Turns to Pizza, iTunes for Recruiting 26 Dec 2005 The Army National Guard thinks it has cooked up the right potion to cure its recruiting dilemma. A load of pizza, a heaping helping of NASCAR, and a dash of free MP3 downloads and video games -- plus some cash incentives -- are luring the next wave of part-time soldiers.

Four US marines charged with rape 27 Dec 2005 Four US marines and a Filipino driver have been charged with raping a 22-year-old Filipina woman, prosecutors said today, in a case that has reopened old wounds in the former US colony.

Bush's 'would-be assassin' on hunger strike 28 Dec 2005 Vladimir Arutyunian, who faces life in prison for allegedly trying to assassinate visiting US Dictator George W Bush and Saakashvili at a huge rally in May and for killing a policeman in a shootout before his arrest, appeared with his mouth sewn shut in televised footage from his trial in a Tbilisi court. Arutyunian, whose trial began earlier this month, has acknowledged that he threw a grenade in the direction of the stage where Bush and Saakashvili were standing behind a bulletproof barrier and said that he would try again to kill Bush if he had the chance. [A thirty-nine cent blasting cap had caused the grenade to malfunction. People have compared that occurrence to the ball rolling through Bill Buckner's legs during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, from the perspective of a Red Sox fan.]

Media gagged over spy torture claim 28 Dec 2005 The Government (UK) has gagged the media to stop them revealing the identity of a British spy reported to have helped torture terror suspects held in Greece.

Greece urged to investigate MI6 torture link 28 Dec 2005 The Greek government faced mounting pressure last night to investigate claims that a senior MI6 officer masterminded the arrest and torture of Pakistani immigrants in Athens by local intelligence agents after the July 7 London bombings.

Venezuela Discloses US Plotting 26 Dec 2005 The disclosure that a US official attended a meeting to conspire against Venezuela corroborates the predictions that Washington intends to augment pressures against Caracas in 2006. According to the regional Telesur TV channel, a Peruvian-born major of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, whose surname is Thomas, recently met with former Venezuelan military coupists in Bogotá, Colombia.

Democrats: DHS hasn't fulfilled promises 27 Dec 2005 The Homeland Security Department, created in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has failed to fulfill 33 of its own pledges to better protect the nation, according to a report released Tuesday by House Democrats.

Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror 26 Dec 2005 Scientists at a Georgia laboratory have developed what could be a low-tech, low-cost weapon in the war on [of] terrorism: trained wasps. [The wasps would likely be more effective than DHS.]

New Orleans Police Videotaped Shooting, Killing Man 27 Dec 2005 Police officers shot and killed a man brandishing a knife in a confrontation that was partially videotaped by a bystander, setting off another internal investigation of the embattled department. Monday's daylight shooting was the first involving police since New Orleans reopened after Hurricane Katrina. It follows the videotaped police beating of a man that led to two firings in the department.

New York Transit Union OKs Tentative Deal 28 Dec 2005 The executive board for the city's transit workers union approved a tentative new contract late Tuesday, five days after it ended a bus and subway strike.


Lori Price responds to a rightwinger who says she will 'burn in hell' 26 Dec 2005

Bush is 'totalitarian' --The Oakland Tribune Big Brother is watching (The Oakland Tribune) 23 Dec 2005 "We are fighting a war with no end to create a peace with no defined victory. We occupy a foreign land that doesn't want us, while at home our civil liberties are discounted. We are told that it's better not to know what our government is doing in our name, for security purposes. Meanwhile, our government is becoming omnipresent, spying on us whenever it deems it necessary. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. George Orwell was right after all. In 1949, Orwell penned '1984,' a dark, futuristic satire in which the totalitarian government used indoctrination, propaganda and fear to enforce order and conformity... In America today, Big Brother is watching. He's watching because President [sic] Bush told him to. Shortly after 9/11, Bush secretly authorized warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens making or receiving international calls and e-mails. When it comes to fighting terror, Bush is totalitarian — remember, you're either with us or against us. Trust me to get it right, he says. Debate on the law is not only not needed, it's evil."

Respect the law, Mr. President (The Seattle Times) 26 Dec 2005 "Revelations of Bush administration spying on U.S. citizens are shocking enough, but they are particularly alarming as a part of a broader pattern of ignoring or interpreting the law as it sees fit. President [sic] George Bush, and especially Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, argue for expansive executive powers without regard to laws passed by Congress or respect for its oversight role. The failure of the majority Republican Party to assert that responsibility is all the more disturbing."

U.S. Spying Is Much Wider, Some Suspect 25 Dec 2005 President [sic] Bush has acknowledged that several hundred targeted Americans were wiretapped without warrants under the National Security Agency's domestic spying program, and now some U.S. officials and outside experts say they suspect that the government is engaged in a far broader U.S. surveillance operation.

Bush Presses Newspaper Editors on Security 26 Dec 2005 President [sic] Bush has been summoning newspaper editors lately in an effort to prevent publication of stories he considers damaging to national security... At least one of the meetings [with Washington Post editors] involved John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, and CIA Director Porter Goss, the sources said.

US embassy close to admitting Syria rendition flight --Statement contradicts ambassador's interview --Correction could leave Britain open to challenge 27 Dec 2005 2005 The Guardian The US embassy in London was forced to issue a correction yesterday to an interview given by the ambassador, Robert Tuttle, in which he claimed America would not fly suspected terrorists to Syria, which has one of the worst torture records in the Middle East. A statement acknowledged media reports of a suspect taken from the US to Syria.

Bush's envoy sparks another diplomatic incident over war claims 27 Dec 2005 The US ambassador in London has been forced into an embarrassing retreat after his embassy clarified comments he made denying that the United States was involved in removing terrorist suspects to Syria.

Top commander admits Iraqis want US out 'as soon as possible' 25 Dec 2005 The top US military commander admitted that Iraqis wanted US and other foreign troops to leave the country "as soon as possible," and said US troop levels in Iraq were now being re-assessed on a monthly basis.

No rush to leave Iraq, says Rumsfeld 26 Dec 2005 At every stop on his three-day tour of Iraq, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sent a similar message: the U.S. military is not rushing to get out, but it is getting out, nevertheless.

No Date Is Set for Troop Withdrawal From Iraq --General Says 'Insurgency' Effects Timing; Powell Calls Current Levels Unsustainable 26 Dec 2005 As American troops marked their third Christmas in Iraq since the war began in March 2003, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer said their number could decline in 2006 but that there is no specific target for withdrawals.

4,000 soldiers flown home for treatment, but no visit from PM 26 Dec 2005 More than 4,000 British soldiers have been flown home from Iraq for medical treatment since the start of the war in 2003 - but not one has received a visit from the Prime Minister in hospital on their return.

Scores Killed in Iraq Violence 26 Dec 2005 Violence increased across Iraq, with at least two dozen people including a U.S. soldier killed Monday in shootings and bombings mostly targeting the Shiite-dominated security services.

Castro calls Rice 'mad woman' 25 Dec 2005 Cuban President Fidel Castro called US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "mad" after having condemned the head of the US diplomatic mission in Havana as a "little gangster".

Chile Court Won't Drop Pinochet Charges 26 Dec 2005 Chile's top court on Monday refused to drop charges against Gen. Augusto Pinochet in the disappearance of six dissidents during his military regime, and ruled that the former [US-installed] dictator must remain under house arrest.

Terrorism Drill Reveals Flaws in Response 26 Dec 2005 An anti-terrorism drill at Logan International Airport (Boston) revealed flaws in law-enforcement‘s ability to respond to an attack, according to a newly released report.

Higher learning, turn left --Conservatives get shut out, senator says 10 Dec 2005 Funding for colleges is threatened by a "growing political one-sidedness" on many campuses which doesn't allow for more conservative ideas, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander told higher education officials here Friday. The Tennessee Republican testified before the Commission on the Future of Higher Education. The commission is composed of leaders from academia and business along with officials from the departments of Defense, Energy, Commerce and Labor. [WHY are officials from the Departments of Energy and 'Defense' sitting on a Commission on the Future of Higher Education, and WHY is no one asking WHY?]

Network Aims to Help Harassed Campus Conservatives 26 Dec 2005 Christopher Flickinger says he's never been more serious about eliminating what he claims is pervasive anti-conservatism on college campuses today. In November, Flickinger launched the Network of College Conservatives [*puke*] to act in part as "a link for these conservative students, to let them know they are not alone."

Abramoff may be tip of 'large and rather dirty iceberg' 26 Dec 2005 The admission by two columnists that they accepted payments from indicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff may be the tip of a large and rather dirty iceberg. Copley News Service last week dropped Doug Bandow -- who also resigned as a Cato Institute scholar -- after he acknowledged taking as much as $2,000 a pop from Abramoff for up to two dozen columns favorable to the lobbyist's clients. [Scroll down to section in article called 'Bought Off?']

Do you believe President [sic] Bush's actions justify impeachment? MSNBC Poll --Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 85% No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors." 5% No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching. 8% I don't know. 2% *160148 responses [Poll snapshot: 20:12 EST 26 Dec 2005]

Lawmaker's stand-up routine pokes fun at Bush 26 Dec 2005 Rep. Brian Baird, with his wicked impersonation of pResident Bush, has claimed the title of "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" at a charity event competition, earlier this year. The Vancouver Democrat is on a roll. First, he tosses off a few one-liners, capturing the president’s voice, mannerisms, cadence and inflection... "We have created 10 million jobs. They’re in India and China, but I am proud of it." ..."Last time, Democrats said I stole the election. This time I’m going to buy it for $250 million..."

"I have witnesses that say they bombed the walls of the levee." 26 Dec 2005 "I think they blew up those levees and let the water come in," said Gina Blandin, who lost her apartment in the Mid-City neighborhood to the New Orleans floodwaters in August... "They were happy that this storm hit, to get all of us black people out of the city." ...One resident of the Lower 9th Ward, the home of much of the city's rich black culture until every house was damaged or destroyed in the flooding, testified before a congressional panel earlier this month that her neighbors heard explosions coming from a nearby flood wall just before the water rushed in. "I was on my front porch," Dyan French told the House committee probing the response to Katrina. "I have witnesses that say they bombed the walls of the levee. And the debris that's in front of my door will testify to that."

American global warming gas emissions accelerate to a record high 22 Dec 2005 Emissions of global warming gases from the United States have nearly doubled in 14 years and reached an all-time high in 2004, according to figures released by the American government.


Officials Want to Expand Review of Domestic Spying 25 Dec 2005 Congressional officials said Saturday that they wanted to investigate the disclosure that the National Security Agency had gained access to some of the country's main telephone arteries to glean data on possible 'terrorists.'

White House denies Bush actions contradict earlier remarks 25 Dec 2005 The White House denies that pResident Bush's domestic spying actions contradict a speech he made in Buffalo last year. In April 2004, Bush had told an upstate audience that - quote - "When you think 'Patriot Act' constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."

Barron's: Congress Should Consider Impeachment ( 24 Dec 2005 "Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment." [Barron's Magazine is a weekly publication from the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. Click here for full editorial (paid subscription required).]

US radiation snooping of Muslims called 'disturbing' 25 Dec 2005 The Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim rights organisation in the United States, has described the revelation that Muslim gatherings and homes around Washington have been electronically "sniffed" for radiation as "disturbing."

U.S., Citing Abuse in Iraqi Prisons, Holds Detainees 25 Dec 2005 The commander of American-run prisons in Iraq says the military will not turn over any detainees or detention centers to Iraqi jailers until American officials are satisfied that the Iraqis are meeting United States standards [?!?] for the care and custody of detainees. [Yes, the Iraqi jailers weren't using enough torture on the detainees to satisfy the Bush regime. Also, Halliburton wants more no-bid contracts to maintain and build the prisons.]

Secret CIA torture chambers in Afghanistan 25 Dec 2005 Recently, the Human Rights Watch stated that eight men held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, and five of whom were identified by name, have separately given their lawyers "consistent accounts" of being tortured at a secret prison, they called the "dark prison" or "prison of darkness," in Afghanistan at various periods from 2002 to 2004.

Iraqi Court Bars at Least 90 Candidates for Parliament 15 Dec 2005 A [US-installed, run] Iraqi court has ordered that at least 90 candidates in the recent national elections are disqualified from serving in the Iraqi Parliament because of their ties to 'Saddam Hussein's' Baath Party.

New problems for U.S. in Iraq --Ethnic, sectarian divisions in Iraq made worse by election 25 Dec 2005 The apparent failure of secular, Western-oriented political groups to win many seats in Iraq's four-year parliament puts new pressure on the Bush dictatorship in its efforts to stabilize the country.

U.S. Missteps Leave Iraqis in the Dark --A $4-billion giveaway to US contractors - under the pretext of 'restoring electricity' - has foundered. 25 Dec 2005 Although the plant was never built, the U.S. paid Bechtel $69 million for drawing up plans, setting up a construction camp and buying two generators that were later installed elsewhere, USAID officials said. Bechtel also received $160 million to cover security and other unexpected costs in connection with other reconstruction projects...

U.S. Abrams tank blasted by roadside bomb 25 Dec 2005 A U.S. Abrams tank was blasted by a roadside bomb in eastern Baghdad, eyewitnesses said. Reuters reporters saw the tank in flames. The U.S. military said it was aware of an incident with a tank but had no details on any casualties.

US soldiers kill three Iraqis north of Baghdad 25 Dec 2005 The US troops killed three Iraqis in a raid on suspect 'insurgents' in Dhuluiyah town north of Baghdad, an Iraqi-US liaison office in Tikrit said in a statement on Sunday.

Lawyer demands probe into Hussein torture claim 25 Dec 2005 Lawyers for Saddam Hussein have asked his Baghdad court for an independent investigation into claims by the ousted Iraqi leader that he has been tortured by his American captors.

The CIA's Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Spies --Traceable Abduction In Italy Puts Agency In Hot Seat 25 Dec 2005 The trick is known to just about every two-bit crook in the cellular age: If you don't want the cops to know where you are, take the battery out of your cellphone when it's not in use. Had that trick been taught at the CIA's rural Virginia training school for covert operatives, the Bush administration might have avoided much of the current crisis in Europe over the practice the CIA calls "rendition," and CIA Director Porter Goss might not have ordered a sweeping review of the agency's field operations.

CIA team traveled Italy in style 25 Dec 2005 When the CIA decides to "render" a terrorism suspect living abroad for interrogation in Egypt or another friendly Middle East nation, it spares no expense. According to hotel records obtained by the Milan police investigating Abu Omar's disappearance, two CIA operatives managed to ring up more than $9,000 in room charges alone. The CIA's bill at the gilt-and-crystal Principe di Savoia for seven operatives came to $39,995, not counting meals, parking and other hotel services.

U.S. Congress approves transfer of $600 million in aid to Israel 24 Dec 2005 The United States Congress approved Friday the transfer of $600 million in aid to Israel, according to media reports. The reports state that the money is to be used to fund joint security projects between Israel and the U.S.

Venezuela could help Delaware's poor stay warm --NCCo lawyer working on deal for discounted oil 24 Dec 2005 Citgo Petroleum Co., Venezuela's national oil company, could send as much as 750,000 gallons of discounted heating oil to low-income Delaware families this winter under a plan being developed by Venezuelan Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and Richard Korn, a Hockessin lawyer.

Bechtel contractor faulted for accidents at lab 24 Dec 2005 Sloppy work practices involving deadly radioactive plutonium stored at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory compounded a series of accidents last year that contaminated employees, U.S. Department of Energy investigators say in a report. The affected workers were employees of Livermore contractor Washington TRU Solutions, a firm owned by Washington Group International and hired to dispose of the lab's radioactive waste. Washington Group is one of the four main partners of a consortium led by UC and Bechtel...

Bulldozers to sweep New Orleans homes away --Residents fighting mass demolition project of hurricane-ravaged houses 24 Dec 2005 In St. Bernard Parish, there is a headlong rush to the wrecking ball. More than 300 houses have been tagged for a mass demolition project that will begin in the coming weeks, as soon as a monumental tangle of paperwork is unraveled.

California Demands Repairs to Software for Voting Machines 25 Dec 2005 California election officials have told one of the country's largest makers of voting machines (Election Systems and Software) to repair its software after problems with vote counts and verification surfaced in the state's special election in November.

Democrats Decry GOP's Budget Legislation 24 Dec 2005 Americans deserve better leadership than what the Bush administration offers, South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn said Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

The 'Most Corrupt' Congress Ever - Including Elements of the Black Caucus By Glen Ford and Peter Gamble 22 Dec 2005 "Harry Reid (NV), leader of U.S. Senate Democrats, recently blasted the current Congress as 'the most corrupt in history.' Based on the sheer gross volume of billions diverted to congressional friends and benefactors during this and previous sessions of the Bush Republican Congress, Reid was undoubtedly correct."

Bush job approval at all-time low (Montana) 12 Dec 2005 Montana voters gave Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) the highest job approval rating of the state’s top elected officials, a new Lee Newspapers’ poll found. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., was next with 59 percent... George W. Bush’s job approval rating dropped from 53 percent in May — his previous low—to 48 percent in November.

Bush nominee wanted abortion outlawed 24 Dec 2005 Documents released by the National Archives have revealed that pResident George Bush's nominee to the US Supreme Court, Samuel Alito, expressed the view 20 years ago that the landmark Roe v Wade ruling, legalising a woman's right to abortion, should be overturned.


Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove, Officials Report 24 Dec 2005 The National Security Agency has traced and analyzed large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of the eavesdropping program that pResident Bush approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to hunt for evidence of terrorist activity, according to current and former government officials. The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said.

NYT: NSA eavesdropping wider than W.House admitted 24 Dec 2005 The volume of information gathered from telephone and Internet communications by the National Security Agency without court-approved warrants was much larger than the White House has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Feds monitor Muslims without warrants 22 Dec 2005 In search of a 'terrorist nuclear bomb,' the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

U.S. has been secretly testing for radiation --Monitoring from public [private] places was conducted without warrants, officials say 23 Dec 2005 A classified radiation monitoring program, conducted without warrants, has targeted private U.S. property in an effort to prevent an al-Qaida attack, federal law enforcement officials confirmed Friday.

Widespread Radioactivity Monitoring Is Confirmed 24 Dec 2005 The F.B.I. and the Energy Department have conducted thousands of searches for radioactive materials at private sites around the country in the last three years, government officials confirmed on Friday.

US confirms monitoring Muslim homes 24 Dec 2005 US officials have confirmed that the FBI and Energy Department have conducted thousands of searches for radioactive materials at private sites nationwide in the past three years, The New York Times reports.

U.S. high court nominee urged eavesdropping immunity 24 Dec 2005 U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito once argued that the country's top law enforcement official should be immune from legal action for authorising domestic wiretapping if it was done in the interest of national security, newly released documents show.

Spy net may pull in all U.S. calls overseas --Many Americans' privacy is at risk, some say 23 Dec 2005 The National Security Agency, in carrying out pResident Bush's order to intercept the international phone calls and e-mails of Americans suspected of links to al-CIAduh, has probably been using computers to monitor all other Americans' international communications as well, according to specialists familiar with the workings of the NSA.

Ohio Rep: 'Gestapo-like' tactics of government officials in Ohio Patriot Act 23 Dec 2005 A bill known as the "Ohio Anti Terrorism Bill" has been passed by the house and Senate and is ready to be signed by Governor Bob Taft (R)... State Representative Ron Hood of Ashville is one of eight Republicans who went against the bill. He says that it resembles "Gestapo-like" tactics of government officials demanding to see documents.

Anti-terrorism bill draws Democrat, GOP opponents 19 Dec 2005 A bill that would tighten the state's anti-terrorism laws brought together in opposition a rare coalition of liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans. The legislation on its way to Gov. Bob Taft would for the first time in Ohio allow a police officer to arrest anyone in a public place who refuses to provide name, address and date of birth when asked, even if they have done nothing wrong.

Detainees Face Limited Access to Courts --'Confessions' Elicited Via Torture Could Be Used By Military 24 Dec 2005 The defense authorization bill approved by Congress this week awaiting Dictator Bush's signature would limit the access of detainees held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to federal courts. And it would allow the military to use confessions elicited by torture when deciding whether a detainee is an enemy combatant.

Federal judge rules Chinese Guantanamo detainees can be held indefinitely 22 Dec 2005 A federal judge ruled Thursday that two Chinese Uighur detainees held by the US at Guantanamo Bay could be detained there indefinitely even though their imprisonment was unlawful.

Poland suppresses CIA prisons report 24 Dec 2005 The Polish Government has decided not to make public the results of an inquiry into the possible existence of United States CIA prisons on Polish soil.

Govt pledges action if US lied about Shannon 23 Dec 2005 The Government today insisted they would take all necessary action if it emerged that US security agencies were carrying prisoners through Ireland.

Italy issues EU arrest warrant for CIA team 23 Dec 2005 A Milan court has issued a European arrest warrant for 22 CIA agents suspected of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric from Italy's financial capital in 2003, Prosecutor Armando Spataro said on Friday.

U.S. lawsuit could dent global war-contractor boom 22 Dec 2005 An unprecedented lawsuit [against Blackwater Security Consulting LLC] stemming from the gruesome killing of four American civilians in Iraq is slowly making its way through the U.S. legal system, closely watched by companies estimated to field up to 100,000 contractors alongside the U.S. military.

Chalabi's defeat puts U.S. friends in quandary --Should his backers go with his view that it was a fraudulent election? [LOL!] 22 Dec 2005 Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi appears to have suffered a humiliating defeat - 0.36 percent of the vote - at the recent Iraq polls, according to the uncertified preliminary results.

Military Confirms Surge in Airstrikes 24 Dec 2005 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have surged this fall, jumping to nearly five times the average monthly rate earlier in the year, according to U.S. military figures.

U.S. Airstrikes Take Toll on Civilians --Eyewitnesses Cite Scores Killed in Marine Offensive in Western Iraq 24 Dec 2005 U.S. Marine airstrikes targeting 'insurgents' sheltering in Iraqi residential neighborhoods are killing civilians as well as resistance fighters along the Euphrates River in far western Iraq, according to Iraqi townspeople and officials and the U.S. military.

Pentagon Flunks Rebuilding 101 22 Dec 2005 After a thousand days of widely acknowledged failure in the job of rebuilding Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defence has been quietly relieved of that responsibility, with the State Department taking over as Washington's lead reconstruction agency and coordinating the work of all other government departments.

Blair to stand down next year if Labour MPs fail to back his reforms, say aides 24 Dec 2005 Close allies say that Tony Blair may stand down as Prime Minister next year if Labour MPs refuse to back his reforms on education, health and welfare.

Federal agents' visit was a hoax 24 Dec 2005 The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for "The Little Red Book" by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story. The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account.

Synthetic terror alert red for NYC, DC subways 24 Dec 2005 "In light of the extension of the USA Patriot Act's expiring police-state provisions for only five weeks, this website is issuing a 'Code Red Synthetic Terror Alert' through Feb. 3. Concerned citizens should be on the lookout for suspicious activities by government operatives over the next five weeks... Of particular concern in the New York subway system. The recent transit workers strike, provoked by unreasonable transigence of management, left the entire system closed to the public for three days. That means black-ops teams had free reign to plant explosives and/or bioweapons to be released at a later time."

4 Men Arrested in Stolen Explosives Case 24 Dec 2005 (New Mexico) Authorities arrested four men and were searching for one more person in connection with the theft of 400 pounds of explosives -- enough to flatten a large building -- from a storage depot.

5 workers at Los Alamos exposed to deadly plutonium in accident 23 Dec 2005 Revelations surfaced Thursday of another lab accident at Los Alamos National Laboratory in which five lab workers were exposed to deadly plutonium used in nuclear bombs... In a related development at Los Alamos' sister lab, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy slapped a contractor with a $192,500 fine for inadvertently exposing workers there to plutonium last year.

Extra Heat Aid Is Gone --After Oil Drilling Loss, Senators [GOP Maggots] Pull Funds For Needy 23 Dec 2005 Senators angry about losing the fight over Alaska oil drilling punished Northeastern colleagues by knocking out $2 billion that would have helped low-income families pay their winter heating bills.

Soaring heat bills leave many shivering --Cost of natural gas is up 40% from last year 23 Dec 2005 Heating bills began arriving in mailboxes around Chicago, and nearly everyone--rich and poor, city and suburban--is shocked to see the balance due.

Most outrageous statements of 2005 23 Dec 2005 Here are the most outrageous statements Media Matters for America has documented this year.

Failure of the Year 2005 - George W. Bush By Jason Zasky "It pains us to announce it but George W. Bush is Failure magazine's 'Failure of the Year' for 2005. It's ironic that the President 'wins' our annual award, because the founders of this publication really appreciate what Bush has done for us this year. No one has done more to raise's profile than our President."


Ohio Patriot Act Would Allow Arrests For No Reason In Public Place --Citizens Would Also Have to Show ID 19 Dec 2005 The Ohio Patriot Act has made it to Republican Governor Bob Taft's desk, and with the stroke of a pen, it would most likely become the toughest terrorism bill in the country. The lengthy piece of legislation would let police arrest people in public places who will not give their names, address and birth dates, even if they are not doing anything wrong. WEWS reported it would also pave the way for everyone entering critical transportation sites such as, train stations, airports and bus stations to show ID.

'Ohio Patriot Act' May Soon Become Law 23 Dec 2005 A contentious bill awaiting Ohio Governor Bob Taft’s signature would give state law-enforcement officials sweeping powers to question, detain and arrest people. It would allow authorities to demand identification in a broad range of circumstances, and it asks local law enforcement agencies to begin enforcing federal immigration law. The bill also exempts businesses from telling the public about safety and security threats.

ACLU asks Calif. if it is providing data to FBI Group concerned after Iraq meeting at Stanford watched 23 Dec 2005 The American Civil Liberties Union asked the state Wednesday to reveal whether law enforcement agents were gathering information on California activists, in light of revelations that the federal government monitored a conference on Iraq at Stanford University and an anti-war protest at UC Santa Cruz.

Power We Didn't Grant By Tom Daschle 23 Dec 2005 "In the face of mounting questions about news stories saying that President [sic] Bush approved a program to wiretap American citizens without getting warrants, the White House argues that Congress granted it authority for such surveillance in the 2001 legislation authorizing the use of force against al Qaeda... As Senate majority leader at the time... I can state categorically that the subject of warrantless wiretaps of American citizens never came up. I did not and never would have supported giving authority to the president for such wiretaps... Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote [on the use of military force], the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text. This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused." [And, as a consequence of his refusal, *someone* (from the Bush bioterror team?) sent Daschle weapons-grade anthrax spores in October 2001. See: Riddle of the spores By George Monbiot 21 May 2002. "The letter received by Senator Tom Daschle contained one trillion anthrax spores per gram: a concentration which only a very few US government scientists, using a secret and strictly controlled technique, know how to achieve. It must, moreover, have been developed in a professional laboratory, containing rare and sophisticated 'weaponisation' equipment. There is only a tiny number of facilities - all of them in the US - in which it could have been produced."]

Daschle: Congress Denied Bush War Powers in U.S. 23 Dec 2005 The Bush administration requested, and Congress rejected, war-making authority "in the United States" in negotiations over the joint resolution passed days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to an opinion article by former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) in today's Washington Post. Daschle's disclosure challenges a central legal argument offered by the White House in defense of the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. It suggests that Congress refused explicitly to grant authority that the Bush regime now asserts is implicit in the resolution.

Sen. Salazar: Bush 'arguably' broke the law 23 Dec 2005 Colorado's junior U.S. senator says President Bush "arguably" violated the law by authorizing wiretaps on American soil without approval of a court, but he said it's much too soon to call for impeachment. [No, it's not. But, calling for a treason trial would be more appropriate.]

Alito defended government wiretap rights --Reagan-era memo said attorney general should be immune from lawsuits 23 Dec 2005 Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito defended the right of government officials to order domestic wiretaps when he worked for the Reagan Justice Department, documents released Friday show.

Congress extends anti-terror act to February 3 23 Dec 2005 The U.S. Congress on Thursday agreed to extend until February 3 key provisions of the anti-terrorism USA Patriot Act to allow more time for lawmakers to consider civil liberties protections for the law that was set to expire at the end of the month.

Postponing Fight, Congress Extends Terror Act 5 Weeks 23 Dec 2005 In a frantic finish before adjourning for the year, Congress extended on Thursday the broad antiterrorism bill known as the USA Patriot Act by five weeks after the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee balked at a longer extension.

EU-wide warrant over 22 CIA kidnappers 23 Dec 2005 An Italian court has issued Europe-wide arrest warrants for 22 suspected CIA agents accused of helping to kidnap a Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003. Italy says the alleged kidnapping operation hindered Italian terrorism investigations.

Judge Issues Warrants for CIA Operatives 23 Dec 2005 An Italian judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives wanted for the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, a prosecutor said Friday.

Call for blanket ban on CIA planes 23 Dec 2005 (Ireland) Anti-war activists today demanded the Government bring in a blanket ban on CIA and American war planes at Irish airports to prevent the torture of foreign prisoners.

House passes $453.3 billion 'defense' bill 22 Dec 2005 The House of Representatives passed a $453.3 billion 'defense' spending bill on Thursday, which included $50 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [Halliburton and Blackwater USA].

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq --Thirteen Iraqis including eight soldiers killed in attacks around war-torn country. 23 Dec 2005 Two US soldiers were killed Friday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad, the US military said.

10 Iraqi soldiers killed in checkpoint attack 23 Dec 2005 Ten Iraqi soldiers have been killed and 17 wounded when gunmen stormed a checkpoint in a restive area north of Baghdad, police said.

Iraqi troops killed as Rumsfeld signals pullback 23 Dec 2005 Resistance fighters stormed an Iraqi army post on Friday, killing 10 soldiers and wounding 20, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told U.S. combat troops their numbers would fall as Iraqi forces were trained to take over.

U.S. to Cut Iraq Force by Two Brigades, Rumsfeld Says 23 Dec 2005 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today said the U.S. contingent in Iraq will be reduced by two brigades early next year. The military later said the units he specified have a total of 7,000 soldiers.

Rumsfeld vague on Iraq troop cuts 22 Dec 2005 U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offered little information about possible cuts in U.S. troop levels in Iraq when he arrived unannounced in Baghdad to meet commanders on Thursday.

Democrats maintain call for Iraq withdrawal timetable 23 Dec 2005 Two Democratic lawmakers on Friday welcomed the US administration's announcement that about 7,000 US troops will be pulled from Iraq but maintained demands for a timetable for full troop withdrawal.

Cuba offers to donate money to hurricane victims as baseball reapplies for permit 23 Dec 2005 Hours after U.S. baseball officials reapplied for a permit that would allow Cuba to join next year's inaugural World Baseball Classic, the Cuban government said it would donate any money received at the tournament to hurricane victims.

Alito Argued to Overturn Roe in 1985 Memo 23 Dec 2005 Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito wrote in a June 1985 memo that the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion should be overturned, a finding certain to enliven January's confirmation hearings.

Darwinism hailed as breakthrough of year in snub to creationists 23 Dec 2005 American scientists have cocked a snook at new-age creationists who peddle the idea of intelligent design by voting Darwinian evolution as breakthrough of the year.

Boynton Beach student sues over Pledge of Allegiance 22 Dec 2005 (FL) A high school junior has sued the Palm Beach County School Board, claiming he was ridiculed and punished for refusing to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Diebold Withdraws As NC Voting Equipment Vendor, Only One Left 22 Dec 2005 The effort to upgrade voting equipment in North Carolina by next spring took a hit when an approved vendor pulled out of the running. Diebold Election Systems says it can't follow a new law that required it to share its software coding with the state.

Voting machine maker Diebold in trouble 21 Dec 2005 The California secretary of state is ordering all of the electronic voting machines made by Diebold Electronic Systems to undergo outside testing.

Diebold Hack Hints at Wider Flaws 21 Dec 2005 Election officials spooked by tampering in a test last week of Diebold optical-scan voting machines should be equally wary of optical-scan equipment produced by other manufacturers, according to a computer scientist who conducted the test.

Wal-Mart's big payout over lost lunch breaks 23 Dec 2005 An American county jury awarded more than $US207 million ($283.17 million) to thousands of employees at Wal-Mart Stores Inc who claimed they were illegally denied lunch breaks.

Illinois attorney general tells gas stations to donate to Red Cross or risk price gouging lawsuit 23 Dec 2005 The Illinois attorney general is notifying several gas stations that they can donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross or risk being sued for price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The office of state Attorney General Lisa Madigan detailed the options in letters that began arriving at the 18 stations this week.

Alaska braces for possible volcanic eruption 23 Dec 2005 A restless volcano near Alaska's most populated region is being watched by scientist and officials, who warned on Thursday of the risk of clouds of ash and a tsunami from a possible eruption.


US hopes of secular Iraqi state fade away 21 Dec 2005 Conservative religious parties have surged to a runaway lead in the counting of votes to appoint a government to run Iraq for the next four years. [All-in-all, Saddam Hussein may turn out to have been the better deal. At least terrorists from Halliburton and Blackwater USA weren't running rampant, blowing up oil pipelines and electrical grids and kidnapping and beheading peace activists. More torture and human rights abuses are taking place under the illegal US-UK occupation than ever took place under Saddam Hussein. Baghdad's museums would not have been looted of precious artifacts by clueless US cultural Troglodytes. And, Iraqi farmers would not be forced to pay to plant Monsanto's deadly genetically modified crops. Not to mention, thousands of years of environmental damage in Iraq, due to Rumsfeld's illegal use of Depleted Uranium. --LRP]

Iraq Vote Moves Baghdad Closer to Tehran --Secular politicians smashed by theocrats 21 Dec 2005 By Robert Scheer "Soon after [George W.] Bush spoke of the Iraqi election as 'a landmark day in the history of liberty,' early returns representing 90 percent of the ballots cast in the Iraq election established that the clear winners were Shiite and Sunni religious parties not the least bit interested in Western-style democracy or individual freedom -- including such extremists as Muqtada al-Sadr, whose fanatical followers have fought pitched battles with U.S. troops."

Senators reach agreement to extend Patriot Act 21 Dec 2005 Senators on Wednesday agreed to extend the expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act for six months to allow the bill’s critics to continue to seek additional civil liberty safeguards in the anti[pro]-terrorism law.

Bush Applauds Senate Vote to Extend Patriot Act --House May Vote As Early As Thursday 22 Dec 2005 The White House is hailing the Senate's vote to extend the Patriot Act for six months -- a day after vowing pResident George W. Bush wouldn't accept a short-term extension.

New York Police Covertly Join In at Protest Rallies 22 Dec 2005 Undercover New York City police officers have conducted covert surveillance in the last 16 months of people protesting the Iraq war, bicycle riders taking part in mass rallies and even mourners at a street vigil for a cyclist killed in an accident, a series of videotapes show. In glimpses and in glaring detail, the videotape images reveal the robust presence of disguised officers or others working with them at seven public gatherings since August 2004.

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest --Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel 21 Dec 2005 A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of pResident Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

Hagel seeks hearings on domestic spying 22 Dec 2005 Allegations of potential abuse by the Bush administration involving domestic spying is a "very serious issue," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., Wednesday. Hagel said he was one of four members of the Senate Intelligence Committee calling this week for a joint inquiry by the Senate judiciary and intelligence committees on alleged domestic spying abuses by the Bush administration.

Judges on Surveillance Court to Be Briefed on Spy Program 22 Dec 2005 The presiding judge of a secret court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases is arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges to address their concerns about the legality of Dictator Bush's domestic spying program, according to several intelligence and government sources.

Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls 21 Dec 2005 A surveillance program approved by pResident Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.

Spied on by government, S. Florida activist group demands congressional inquiry --Pentagon scrutiny may lead to lawsuit 21 Dec 2005 A Palm Beach County group known to have been spied on under a secret Pentagon program has launched a campaign to seek a congressional investigation of what members allege are blatant infringements of civil liberties.

Sshhh! -- Bush Might Be Listening By Margaret Carlson 22 Dec 2005 "When George W. Bush decided to expand domestic wiretapping, why didn't he seek the approval required by federal law from the court that oversees such activities? ...And I thought when the Founding Fathers drafted the Constitution they were trying to escape the absolute powers of another King George... Bush flouted the law because he knew even the most lenient court would never approve the broad domestic surveillance he intended to conduct.."

Spying, the Constitution — and the 'I-word' --2006 will offer up Nixon-era nastiness and a chorus of calls to impeach Bush. By Howard Fineman "As best I can tell — and this really isn’t my beat — the only people who knew about the NSA’s new (and now so controversial) warrant-less eavesdropping program early on were Bush, Cheney, NSA chief Michael Hayden, his top deputies, top leaders of the CIA, and lawyers at the Justice Department and the White House counsel’s office hurriedly called in to sprinkle holy water on it. Which presents the disturbing image of the White House as a series of nesting dolls, with Cheney-Bush at the tiny secret center, sifting information that most of the rest of the people around them didn’t even know existed. And that image, in turn, will dominate and define the year 2006 — and, I predict, make it the angriest, most divisive season of political theater since the days of Richard Nixon."

Americans back Bush on wiretapping, Cheney insists 22 Dec 2005 George Bush's decision to bypass court review and authorise domestic wiretapping by executive order is part of an effort to rebuild presidential powers weakened in the 1970s as a result of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War, the US Vice-pResident, Dick Cheney said.

Apparently *not,* Cheney: Do you believe President [sic] Bush's actions justify impeachment? MSNBC Poll --Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial. 87% No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors." 4% No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching. 7% I don't know. 1% *78511 responses [Poll snapshot: 12:30 PM EST 22 Dec 2005]

Court Refuses U.S. Bid to Shift Terror Suspect 22 Dec 2005 A federal appeals court delivered a sharp rebuke to the Bush dictatorship Wednesday, refusing to allow the transfer of Jose Padilla from military custody to civilian law enforcement authorities to face terrorism charges. In denying the Bush regime's request, the three-judge panel unanimously issued a strongly worded opinion that said the Justice Department's effort to transfer Mr. Padilla gave the appearance that the government was trying to manipulate the court system to prevent the Supreme Court from reviewing the case.

French lawsuit over CIA flights 21 Dec 2005 Two European human rights groups say they have lodged a lawsuit over alleged CIA prisoner flights landing in France.

Hussein's Lawyers Say Ramsey Clark at Risk 22 Dec 2005 Saddam Hussein's lawyers called Thursday for the world to press the Iraqi government to provide them with protection, saying their colleague -- former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark -- was directly at risk [by the Bush regime]. In an urgent e-mail to The Associated Press, the lawyers said Clark's life was in danger and "threats were directed against him by name."

Hussein says tortured and beaten by Americans 21 Dec 2005 Saddam Hussein said on Wednesday he had been beaten and tortured while in U.S. custody and still had the marks on his body.

Hussein Accuses U.S. Guards of Torture 22 Dec 2005 Saddam Hussein sought to turn the tables on his accusers on Wednesday with a courtroom outburst in which he accused American military guards of beating and torturing him and his co-defendants.

Hussein brands US liars as Rumsfeld arrives 22 Dec 2005 A defiant Saddam Hussein branded American leaders liars at his trial on Thursday as one of the architects of his downfall, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, flew in to Baghdad for a surprise pre-Christmas visit.

Blair Refuses to Set 'Arbitrary Timetable' for Iraq Withdrawal 22 Dec 2005 U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to set an "arbitrary timetable'' for withdrawing British troops from Iraq, saying during an unannounced visit to the country that Iraqi forces must first get up to strength.

IED in Baghdad Claims Soldier's Life 22 Dec 2005 A Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device today while on patrol in Baghdad, military officials reported.

Murtha rips administration 'dishonesty' 22 Dec 2005 U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha Wednesday accused pResident Bush of being dishonest with the American people by equating the war in Iraq with the nation's response to 9/11 as part of the war on [of] terror.

Cuba launches verbal attack on top US diplomat 22 Dec 2005 Cuba launched a blistering verbal attack on the top U.S. diplomat in Havana on Tuesday, accusing him and 'dissidents' of organizing to overthrow the government.

Cuba attacks leading 'dissidents' as US agents 21 Dec 2005 Cuba branded the country's best-known 'dissidents' on Wednesday as U.S. agents, using taped phone conversations, secret video footage and guilt by association during a televised broadcast to portray them as traitors. [Just show their pay-stubs from the CIA.]

Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey 22 Dec 2005 Britain is to become (in 2006) the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

Newspaper Hands Kate Moss Video to Police 22 Dec 2005 The newspaper which printed images allegedly showing model Kate Moss snorting cocaine has turned over the videotape to police, a senior staffer at the newspaper said Thursday. A senior staffer at the newspaper who declined to be identified said that the Daily Mirror had turned the secretly captured video over to police under a judge's orders.

Evolution can't be replaced, court rules 21 Dec 2005 A US court has ruled it is unconstitutional to teach schoolchildren the intelligent design theory of life as an alternative to evolution, dealing a blow to religious conservatives.

Advocates of 'Intelligent Design' Vow to Continue Despite Ruling 22 Dec 2005 A federal judge's ruling in Pennsylvania that "intelligent design" is religious fundamentalism dressed in the raiment of science has wounded a politically influential movement [of morons]... But proponents of intelligent design have pushed their theory to the center of legislative debates in more than a dozen states, and they intend to keep it there.

Affirmative Action Ban Ordered in Mich. 20 Dec 2005 A Michigan appeals court ordered the secretary of state Tuesday to place on the November ballot a proposal that would ban some affirmative action programs. The court went over the heads of the Board of State Canvassers, which failed last week to comply with an earlier court order to put the measure on the ballot.

Senate Blocks Alaska Refuge Drilling 21 Dec 2005 The Senate blocked oil drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge Wednesday, rejecting a must-pass defense spending bill where supporters positioned the quarter-century-old environmental issue to garner broader support.

Cheney Breaks Senate Tie on Spending Cuts 21 Dec 2005 The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice pResident Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote. ...Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada stated that the GOP was advancing ''an ideologically driven, extreme, radical budget. It caters to lobbyists and an elite group of ultraconservative ideologues here in Washington, all at the expense of middle class Americans."

Republicans target teacher benefits in 2006 22 Dec 2005 Term-limited Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema says he will push teacher pension and health care reform next year as he finishes his 20-year legislative career.

Republicans fear lobbyist's plea bargain 22 Dec 2005 The ruling Republican establishment in Washington is bracing for a major scandal after indications that an indicted top lobbyist linked to the party is about to tell all to investigators under a plea deal with prosecutors.

Appeals Court Won't Speed Up DeLay Appeal 22 Dec 2005 A Texas appeals court Thursday thwarted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's bid for a speedy trial.

Jail Threat Ups Ante for NYC Union Heads 21 Dec 2005 A judge Wednesday ordered leaders of New York's striking transit union brought before him and threatened to jail them for criminal contempt as millions of commuters trudged through Day 2 of the bus and subway walkout.

New York transit strike to end-mediators 22 Dec 2005 Leaders of striking bus and subway workers in New York agreed on Thursday to a return to work after talks at which the union and transit authorities undertook to go back to the bargaining table, mediators said.

Secretary of State asks for more testing of Diebold machines 20 Dec 2005 Secretary of State Bruce McPherson on Tuesday told electronic voting machine manufacturer Diebold Election Systems that it must submit two of its machines for more rigorous federal testing before they can be certified in California.

California 'Hack' test stalled as Diebold certification derails 20 Dec 2005 ( "Today, California [Secretary of State Bruce McPherson] threw Diebold Election Systems’ pending certification into a tailspin, using Machiavellian logic designed to cast doubt on the federal testing lab process, the upcoming HAVA deadline and Diebold voting systems simultaneously (while standing neatly aside to watch the house of cards collapse)."

Seven States Sign CO2 Plan in Break with Bush 20 Dec 2005 Seven northeastern U.S. states have signed the country's first plan to create a market for heat-trapping carbon dioxide by curbing emissions at power plants, New York Gov. George Pataki said on Tuesday.

Analog TV broadcasts to end by 2009 21 Dec 2005 Legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday would require broadcasters to end their traditional analog transmissions by Feb. 17, 2009, and send their signals digitally. Cable industry representatives say there is the potential for a service disruption for some of the 40 million cable customers without digital.

Bird flu kills two who took Tamiflu 22 Dec 2005 In a development health experts are calling alarming, two bird flu patients in Vietnam died after developing resistance to Tamiflu, the key drug that governments are stockpiling in case of a large-scale outbreak.

Oseltamivir Resistance during Treatment of Influenza A (H5N1) Infection (The New England Journal of Medicine) 22 Dec 2005 "Influenza A (H5N1) virus with an amino acid substitution in neuraminidase conferring high-level resistance to oseltamivir was isolated from two of eight Vietnamese patients during oseltamivir [Tamiflu] treatment. Both patients died of influenza A (H5N1) virus infection, despite early initiation of treatment in one patient... These observations suggest that resistance can emerge during the currently recommended regimen of oseltamivir therapy and may be associated with clinical deterioration and that the strategy for the treatment of influenza A (H5N1) virus infection should include additional antiviral agents." [Translation: Rumsfeld's Tamiflu stock portfolio is going to *plummet,* LOL!]


Lawmaker Wants Bush and Cheney Censured 20 Dec 2005 Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., called Tuesday for Congress to censure pResident Bush and Vice pResident Cheney, saying they misled lawmakers on the decision to go to war in Iraq.

Congressman Calls For Bush Impeachment 19 Dec 2005 U.S. Representative John Lewis said in a radio interview on Monday that pResident Bush should be impeached if he broke the law in authorizing spying on Americans. The Democratic congressman from Georgia told WAOK-AM that he would sign a bill of impeachment if one was drawn up and that the House of Representatives should consider such a move. [That's great, but Bush - who is not an 'elected' official - needs to be tried for treason.]

Arabs plan mock trial for Bush, Blair, Sharon --The Arab Lawyers Union is setting up a moot court in Cairo to try PM Sharon, U.S. pResident Bush and British leader Blair for 'war crimes' against Arabs and Muslims 20 Dec 2005 Ali Waked The Arab Lawyers Union, a Cairo-based organization which includes twenty-four national bar associations of Arab countries, has decided to hold a mock court hearing against "war criminals who harmed Arabs and Muslims," the Arab media reported Tuesday.

Senators Seek Spying Probe 20 Dec 2005 Democratic and Republican calls mounted on Tuesday for U.S. congressional hearings into pResident George W. Bush's assertion that he can order warrantless spying on Americans with suspected terrorist ties.

New York Times Had Secret Surveillance Story Prior to 2004 'Election' 20 Dec 2005 The New York Times first debated publishing a story about secret eavesdropping on Americans as early as last fall, before the 2004 presidential 'election.' Top editors at the paper eventually decided to hold the story.

Fox's Wendell Goler: Secret Wiretapping Program Used 18,000-Plus Times By Nico 20 Dec 2005 "Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said President [sic] Bush’s warrantless spying activities were part of a 'very concentrated, very limited program.' But during today’s press briefing, Fox News White House correspondent Wendell Goler stated his 'understanding' that the program was used '18,000-plus times.'"

Bush gets key backing on spy policy --Intelligence chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says program 'consistent with U.S. law' 20 Dec 2005 The Bush regime found a key ally on Capitol Hill Monday as it broadened its aggressive defense of a recently revealed domestic spying program that used warrantless surveillance.

Bush's Snoopgate --The president [sic] was so desperate to kill The New York Times' eavesdropping story, he summoned the paper's editor and publisher to the Oval Office. But it wasn’t just out of concern about national security. By Jonathan Alter 19 Dec 2005 "I learned this week that on December 6, [George W.] Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story."

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show 20 Dec 2005 Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.

Synthetic terror alert as PATRIOT 'expires' ( 18 Dec 2005 "Watch out! The temporary lapse of 16 provisions in the 400-page USA PATRIOT Act could be a good excuse for the shadow-government terrormongers to blow something up; thus 'proving' the necessity of ever-more police state measures."

HRW Exposes CIA's "Dark Prison" in Afghanistan 21 Dec 2005 Amid efforts by a bipartisan coalition in Congress to ban torture and inhumane treatment of detainees in the "war on terror", a major U.S. human rights groups charged Monday that Washington ran a secret prison in Afghanistan where suspected terrorists were held in total darkness for days and even weeks at a time from 2002 until at least last year.

Norris: CIA 'using Baldonnel airport' 20 Dec 2005 (Ireland) The CIA is using Baldonnel airport as a stop-over for planes carrying terror suspects, it was claimed today. Independent Senator David Norris also told an Oireachtas Committee that the Defence Department was sending fuel bills from the Air Corps headquarters in west Dublin to CIA shadow companies in central Africa. Mr Norris also branded US pResident George Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as liars on the issue.

Police investigate CIA's use of British airports 20 Dec 2005 Police have launched an investigation into persistent claims that the CIA used British airports to fly terrorist suspects for torture in secret camps abroad.

Inquiry begins into alleged torture flights 20 Dec 2005 A chief constable has begun inquiries into allegations that CIA "torture flights" have landed in Britain, the human rights group, Liberty, said yesterday.

The Swiss charged with investigating the CIA 20 Dec 2005 The man charged with investigating alleged CIA prisons in Europe has made a career out of hunting criminals, and has never shied away from controversy.

US increases air attacks in Iraq 20 Dec 2005 The latest figures released by US Central Command show a dramatic rise in the number of air raids carried out in Iraq. Although receiving little coverage in the US media, the US air force, navy and marines have flown thousands of missions backing up US ground troops in Iraq this autumn.

Sunnis Reject Early Iraq Election Results, Calling for Inquiry 21 Dec 2005 Sunni Arab leaders angrily rejected early election results on Tuesday, saying the vote had been fixed in favor of Iranian-backed religious Shiites and calling for an investigation into possible fraud. Secular politicians also denounced the results and demanded an inquiry.

Sunni, Secular Groups Demand New Vote --Claims That Iraqi Ballot Was Rigged Threaten to Derail Government, Boost 'Insurgency' 21 Dec 2005 Sunni and secular political groups angrily claimed Tuesday that last week's Iraqi national election was rigged, demanded a new vote and threatened to leave a shambles the delicate plan to bring the country's wary factions together in a new government.

Cheney's Entourage Tangles With Afghan Security Forces 19 Dec 2005 During Vice pResident Cheney's seven-hour visit to Afghanistan ...a gun-toting Afghan soldier dressed in fatigues pushed some of the vice pResident's staff and press corps against a wall until the compound gate closed behind the truck, leaving part of Cheney's entourage stranded outside. Afghan security forces insisted on searching all their bags, over the objections of Secret Service agents who said they already had been examined... At one point a U.S. official demanded that the Afghans lower their weapons. The vice president's military aides refused to have their bags searched - they were carrying classified nuclear war plans that are supposed to be with Cheney [the president?] at all times.

Rumsfeld Doubts Bin Laden in Full Command 21 Dec 2005 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he doubts that Osama bin Laden is in position to assert full command over the al-CIAduh terror network. [Of course! We *know* it's Bush and the Neo-con terror team!!]

Bolivia's Morales brands Bush a "terrorist" 20 Dec 2005 Evo Morales, the winner of Bolivia's presidential election, branded U.S. President George W. Bush a "terrorist", in an interview with Arabic satellite television on Tuesday. "The only terrorist in this world that I know of is Bush. His military intervention, such as the one in Iraq, that is state terrorism," he told Al Jazeera television.

Venezuela gives Exxon ultimatum 20 Dec 2005 Venezuela has given the world's biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, until the end of this year to enter a joint venture with the state. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in Exxon losing its oil field concessions in the country.

Alaska Files Suit Against BP, Exxon Mobil 19 Dec 2005 An antitrust lawsuit filed Monday against Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP PLC claims the two oil giants are restricting the nation's supply of natural gas and keeping prices at record highs.

Lawmakers: Let Cuba play ball 20 Dec 2005 At least 100 members of Congress have weighed in on the controversial U.S. decision to deny Cuba a license to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Most of them want Cuba to play ball.

Federal judge: School district can't mention 'intelligent design' 20 Dec 2005 A federal judge has ruled "intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, concluding that several school board members lied about their motives for introducing the concept to students.

Court orders anti-affirmative action proposal on ballot 20 Dec 2005 The Michigan Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the secretary of state to place a proposal that would ban some affirmative action programs on the November 2006 ballot.

NYC Transit Workers Face $1M-A-Day Fine 20 Dec 2005 A judge in New York is fining the city's transit workers' union $1 million a day for going on strike.

Strike halts New York transport 20 Dec 2005 Millions of New Yorkers are without subway and bus services after city transport workers voted to strike. The 34,000 members of the Transport Workers Union decided to walk out as talks over their contracts collapsed.

DeLay to announce re-election bid today 20 Dec 2005 Amid a criminal investigation into the use of campaign funds and poll numbers that show he is losing support within his own district, U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay will file for re-election today.

Public Data Show Chemicals in Tap Water 20 Dec 2005 Drinking water may have a lot more in it than just H20 and fluoride, according to an environmental group's analysis of records in 42 states.


Surrounding Cheney, Iraqi Soldiers Forced to Hold Fake Guns 18 Dec 2005 Vice pResident Dick Cheney's daylong tour of Iraq was so shrouded in secrecy that even Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and President Jalal Talabani were kept in the dark... U.S. forces guarded Cheney with weapons at the ready while Iraqi soldiers, who had no weapons, held their arms out as if they were carrying imaginary guns. [Why can't soldiers in the Iraqi Army carry *real* guns near Dick Cheney? Apparently, most of the soldiers must want to shoot him, so they can't be trusted to carry weapons.]

Pentagon's Intelligence Authority Widens 19 Dec 2005 The Pentagon's newest counterterrorism agency, charged with protecting military facilities and personnel wherever they are, is carrying out intelligence collection, analysis and operations within the United States and abroad, according to a Pentagon fact sheet on the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, provided to The Washington Post.

Lawmakers Call for Domestic Spying Probe 19 Dec 2005 Democrats and Republicans called separately Sunday for congressional investigations into pResident Bush's decision after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval. "The president [sic] has, I think, made up a law that we never passed," said Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.

Bush defends illegal spying on Americans: the specter of presidential dictatorship By Barry Grey 19 Dec 2005 "By deciding, after the secret NSA program was revealed in Friday’s New York Times, to not only acknowledge it, but declare that it would continue so long as he remained president, [George W.] Bush has escalated his administration’s attack on congressional oversight and the entire Constitutional setup in the US. His defiance of laws passed by Congress amounts to a bid to establish a form of presidential dictatorship."

Rice Defends Domestic Eavesdropping 18 Dec 2005 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday defended Dictator Bush's decision to secretly authorize the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without seeking warrants.

High-court nominee asked about Bush spy program 19 Dec 2005 Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter asked Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito on Monday about Dictator George W. Bush's domestic spying order and whether war gives the president a blank check when it comes to civil liberties.

Bush, Democrats in showdown over anti-terror bill 19 Dec 2005 U.S. Dictator George W. Bush said on Monday it was inexcusable for senators to block the anti[pro]-terrorism USA Patriot Act, and Democrats fired back by accusing him of playing political "chicken."

U.S. Ran Afghan Torture Prison, Group Says 19 Dec 2005 The United States operated a secret prison in Afghanistan as recently as last year, torturing detainees with sleep deprivation, chaining them to the walls and forcing them to listen to loud music in total darkness for days, a human rights group alleged Monday.

CIA flights may have stopped over in Poland: President 19 Dec 2005 Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said Sunday that flights operated by the CIA may have stopped over in his country but denied prisoners were secretly held here.

Controversial CIA plane landed in Nfld. 18 Dec 2005 A plane owned by an alleged front for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency recently flew from Newfoundland to a Scottish airport that's under scrutiny as an apparent destination for numerous covert flights.

Five US soldiers plead guilty to Iraq abuse 19 Dec 2005 Five U.S. Army Rangers court-martialed over charges of detainee abuse in Iraq have pleaded guilty and been given punishments varying from 30 days to six months in confinement, the military said on Monday.

Bombs in Iraq; Bush says 'don't despair' 19 Dec 2005 Bombs ripped through three Iraqi cities on Monday and two senior officials faced assassination attempts, hours after George W. Bush told Americans not to despair over the U.S. mission in Iraq. [We despair over two stolen elections, and having to endure Dictator Bush as pResident.]

Bush: 'Our Work Is Not Done' [Right. There are some Iraqis still breathing, as they have not yet been blown up by US death squads and there are some prisoners yet to be tortured in the CIA's secret prison network.] 18 Dec 2005 Dictator George W. Bush asserted Sunday night the United States is winning the war in Iraq and issued a plea to Americans divided by doubt: "Do not give in to despair and do not give up on this fight for freedom."

George W Bush warns of more crisis in Iraq 19 Dec 2005 US Dictator George W Bush has warned that despite the political progress in Iraq more violence lies ahead in the country but urged the divided American people not to give into "defeatism."

Bush Leaves Out the Bad News in Iraqi Poll 19 Dec 2005 Dictator Bush is making selective use of an opinion poll when he tells people that Iraqis are increasingly upbeat. The same poll that indicated a majority of Iraqis believe their lives are going well also found a majority expressing opposition to the presence of U.S. forces, and less than half saying Iraq is better off now than before the war.

Lawyer of the Year, Patrick Fitzgerald --Relentless man on a mission (The National Law Journal) 19 Dec 2005 No one else in 2005 roiled politics inside the Beltway and the media that feed on it like the prosecutor from Chicago, Patrick Fitzgerald. As special counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, Fitzgerald has taken on some of the most influential people in the world by trying to uncover who in Washington divulged to the press the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Socialist Victorious in Bolivia 19 Dec 2005 Bolivia's Socialist presidential candidate Evo Morales, who has promised to become Washington's "nightmare," said his victory was assured in Sunday's elections after two independent exit polls showed him with an unexpectedly strong lead. The projected wide margin means Morales, a coca farmer, will likely be declared president in January over his conservative opponent.

Castro's 'miracle' cures the poor of blindness 18 Dec 2005 A remarkable humanitarian programme is under way in Havana which aims to restore the sight of six million people through free eye surgery. Launched in July by Cuban President, Fidel Castro, and Venezuela's Socialist leader, President Hugo Chavez, Operation Miracle has brought daily planeloads of the poor from across Latin America and the Caribbean to Havana for surgery. Cuba provides the medical skills, Venezuela the petro-dollars.

U.S. studying wall along Canadian border 17 Dec 2005 Canada has no interest in a new U.S. initiative to study building a security wall along the border, officials said Saturday.

Mexican official calls U.S. plan to border wall 'stupid' 19 Dec 2005 Mexico's foreign secretary Monday leveled his country's sharpest criticism yet at U.S. proposal for a fence along parts of its southern border, condemning it as "stupid" and "underhanded."

Homeland Security asleep at the switch, again: Hundreds of pounds of explosives missing in Albuquerque 19 Dec 2005 Authorities asked the public for help Monday after "several hundred pounds" of high explosives turned up missing from a private storage site, along with about 2,500 blasting caps and an undisclosed length of explosive detonation cord.

Federal Investigators Probe High-Tech Explosives Theft 19 Dec 2005 About 400 pounds of explosive material was stolen from a research facility in New Mexico, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed today. The theft was discovered Sunday night by local authorities.

From the people who brought you FEMA: US uses live bird flu viruses in vaccine experiment 18 Dec 2005 In an isolation ward of a Baltimore hospital, up to 30 'volunteers' will participate this April in a bold experiment: A vaccine made with a live version of the most notorious bird flu will be sprayed into their noses. [The Bush bioterror team is in a hurry to get the pandemic party started, in order to implement a full-blown police state. Dictator Bush needs to justify his warrantless eavesdropping and to insure re-authorization of the Patriot Act.]

U.S. [Bioterror] Team Will Test Live-Virus 18 Dec 2005 Bird Flu Vaccine Researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health will soon recruit 30 human volunteers to test the effectiveness of a vaccine containing a live but weakened form of the H5N1 bird flu virus.

U.S. House approves $3.8 billion for avian flu [for pharma-terrorists] 19 Dec 2005 The U.S. House of Representatives early on Monday approved $3.78 billion to begin preparations for a possible [Bush-engendered] avian flu epidemic. The bill would also shield manufacturers of vaccines and drugs from lawsuits during an epidemic. The legislation, wrapped into an unrelated defense bill, still faces an uncertain fate in the Senate later this week.

House OKs Liability Protections for Drug Makers 19 Dec 2005 Drug manufacturers are a step closer toward winning the liability protections they say they need before investing in medicines to combat a bird flu pandemic. Opponents described the protections, approved early Monday by the House, as a "massive Christmas bonus to the drug companies." Consumers seeking damages on claims they were harmed by a vaccine would have to prove willful misconduct on the part of the drug manufacturers.

Bird-Flu Bill Slammed as Loophole for Drugmakers 19 Dec 2005 Bird flu preparedness legislation headed for a final vote in the Senate this week would create loopholes allowing vaccine makers to avoid legal liability even if a patient is harmed by negligence, critics said today.

Ruffled feathers --UF professor says bird flu is not a threat in the U.S. 18 Dec 2005 Researchers and health agencies continue to sound the alarm about avian flu, and Dr. Gary Butcher, an expert on poultry medicine and disease at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine thinks he knows why. "The agenda here is pretty obvious," he said. "People want grant money. This is a bonanza."

House Votes to Open Alaskan Refuge to Oil Drilling 19 Dec 2005 Working through the night, the House early today voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling as part of a military measure and narrowly approved a $40 billion budget-cutting plan as lawmakers concluded a marathon weekend session... Democrats assailed majority Republicans for using the Pentagon bill to win approval of the drilling plan after objections by moderate Republicans led to it being eliminated from the budget measure. "A can't-pass measure has been added to a must-pass measure in order for the Republicans to give an early huge Christmas gift to the oil companies of the United States," said Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts.

US House backs oil drilling in Alaskan refuge 19 Dec 2005 The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil drilling. The House approved the measure when it voted 308-106 in favor of a defense spending bill that contained the ANWR drilling language.

Democrats to fight Arctic oil in defense bill 19 Dec 2005 Senate Democrats on Monday threatened a filibuster to stop Republicans from adding language to a must-pass defense spending bill that would allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Most talked-about news in US: Katrina, oil prices 19 Dec 2005 Hurricane Katrina and the spike in gas and oil prices were the most talked-about news stories in the United States in 2005, edging out the war in Iraq and the Asian tsunami, a survey showed on Monday.

Presidential Pipeline: Bush's backers gain contracts, policy changes 19 Dec 2005 Long before George W. Bush began campaigning for the White House, his family built a fund-raising network of wealthy supporters to bankroll his political ambitions and propel him to the presidency. The network -- including oilmen, lobbyists, developers, and agricultural executives -- became accustomed to the Bush family's style of government, with George W. Bush as governor of Texas and brother Jeb Bush as governor of Florida.

Sen. Reid calls US Congress 'most corrupt in history' 18 Dec 2005 U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid called the Republican-led Congress "the most corrupt in history" on Sunday, and distanced himself from lobbyist Jack Abramoff, at the center of an escalating probe.

New tests fuel doubts about vote machines --A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee. 15 Dec 2005 A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines -- and possibly other new voting systems in Florida -- according to the state capital's election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests.

2 bus lines shut down after NYC transit talks fail 19 Dec 2005 Two private bus lines serving as many as 50,000 commuters shut down early Monday as weekend negotiations failed to stop a strike that could spread citywide this week.

Oranges are not the safest fruit - they all exceed pesticide limits 18 Dec 2005 Orange peel gives zest to Christmas - spicing up festive fare from mince pies to mulled wine, brandy butter to the pudding itself... But, checks by the Government Pesticides Residues Committee have found that every single orange examined was contaminated by pesticides.

Penguins on the march to fight off winter flab 17 Dec 2005 It's wintertime and the king penguins at Asahiyama Zoo in northern Japan are putting on weight. The solution: officials at Asahiyama Zoo on Thursday started taking the penguins on 500-yard walks on the snowy grounds twice a day, zoo spokesman Tetsuo Yamazaki said.


Warrantless Eavesdropping Began Soon After Sept. 11 Attacks 18 Dec 2005 The National Security Agency first began to conduct warrantless [illegal] eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mail messages between the United States and Afghanistan months before pResident Bush officially authorized a broader version of the agency's special domestic collection program, according to current and former government officials.

Bush Defends Secret Spying in the U.S. 18 Dec 2005 Facing angry criticism and challenges to his authority in Congress, Dictator Bush on Saturday unapologetically defended his administration's right to conduct secret post-Sept. 11 spying in the United States as "critical to saving American lives."

In Address, Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying 18 Dec 2005 Dictator Bush acknowledged on Saturday that he had ordered the National Security Agency to conduct an electronic eavesdropping program in the United States without first obtaining warrants, and said he would continue the highly classified program because it was "a vital tool in our war against the terrorists." [Transcription of pResident Bush’s weekly radio address (17 Dec 2005) as recorded by The New York Times.]

Bush says he authorized eavesdropping in U.S. 17 Dec 2005 Dictator Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program.

Bush says he signed NSA wiretap order --Adds he OK'd program more than 30 times, will continue to do so 18 Dec 2005 In acknowledging the message was true, Dictator Bush took aim at the messenger Saturday, saying that a newspaper jeopardized national security by revealing that he authorized wiretaps on U.S. citizens after September 11.

Sen. Accuses Times of Endangering U.S. 17 Dec 2005 A Republican [Reichwing] senator on Saturday accused The New York Times of endangering American security to sell a book by waiting until the day of the terror-fighting Patriot Act reauthorization to report that the government has eavesdropped on people without court-approved warrants.

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior 17 Dec 2005 A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book." Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.

'This is Big Brother run amok.' Senate Blocks the Renewal of Patriot Act 17 Dec 2005 The Senate on Friday blocked legislation to renew the Patriot Act, delivering a dramatic rebuff to Dictator Bush that reflected rising concern over his treatment of civil liberties and privacy rights in the war on terrorism... "They are saying, 'Trust us, we are following the law.' Give me a break," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.). "Across the country and across the political spectrum, no one is buying it anymore. There is no accountability. There is no oversight…. This is Big Brother run amok."

Lawmakers tangle again on torture legislation 17 Dec 2005 Legislation banning torture of detainees in U.S. custody was sidetracked on Saturday when House of Representatives Republicans insisted on adding an unrelated amendment on campaign financing.

Torture ban does not affect U.S. military, says Rumsfeld 18 Dec 2005 President [sic] Bush's decision to support a congressional measure that bans "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment" of terror suspects in U.S. custody or under U.S. control won't change military operations.

Rights Groups Fear Torture Ban Provision 16 Dec 2005 Human rights groups that praised a proposed ban on mistreating terrorism suspects warned on Friday that another provision lawmakers inserted in a final defense bill could lead to abuse at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Torture is us. Denial does no one any good. By Mark Morford 16 Dec 2005 "The cruel abuse of terror suspects is sanctioned and approved from on high, and we employed it in Abu Ghraib (the worst evidence of which we will probably never see), and we use it in Eastern Europe and Guantanamo and in secret prisons, and it has caused the deaths of countless detainees. And Rumsfeld's insane level of Defense Department secrecy means we may never even know exactly how brutal we have become... The United States has the most WMDs of anyone in the world. We imprison and kill more of our own citizens than any other Western nation. We still employ horrific, napalm-like chemical weapons."

Report: MI5 colluded with CIA on rendition 17 Dec 2005 Lawyers in London have accused the government of colluding with the CIA to send a British man to a series of prisons where he was abused.

Magazine: CIA received German file on German captive 17 Dec 2005 A German intelligence officer gave a CIA counterpart a file about a German citizen the United States was holding as a terrorist suspect in Afghanistan in early 2004, a German magazine said on Saturday. The report, if true, could undermine the government's assertion that Germany played no role in and knew nothing about the abduction of Khaled el-Masri, who is suing the former CIA chief and others for wrongful imprisonment and torture.

MLP MEP calls on government to clarify 'CIA flights' 18 Dec 2005 With Labour Party Member of European Parliament Joseph Muscat last week calling on the government to clarify its position on reports of aircraft linked to the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of extraordinary rendition having stopped in Malta, The Malta Independent on Sunday can report landings in Malta of yet another three planes implicated in the practice.

Criminal probe targets alleged CIA flights of terror suspects 18 Dec 2005 Switzerland has opened a criminal investigation into whether suspected CIA flights violated Swiss laws by carrying terrorism suspects through the country's airspace.

Protest over 'prisoner flights' 18 Dec 2005 Protests are to be staged at four Scottish airports over allegations that they have been used for CIA "prisoner transfer" flights.

Powell raps Europe on CIA flights 17 Dec 2005 Ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell has indicated that Europeans are being disingenuous when they deny knowledge of the rendition of terror suspects.

CIA'S Goss Reportedly Warned Ankara of Iranian Threat 13 Dec 2005 During his recent visit to Ankara, CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly brought three dossiers on Iran to Ankara. Goss is said to have asked for Turkey’s support for Washington’s policy against Iran’s nuclear activities... Goss also asked Ankara to be ready for a possible US air operation against Iran and Syria.

White House 'never told' of WMD doubts 18 Dec 2005 The US administration was never told of doubts about the secret intelligence used to justify war with Iraq, former secretary of state Colin Powell told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday night.

Cheney makes surprise Iraq trip 18 Dec 2005 US Vice-pResident Dick Cheney has made an unannounced visit to Iraq - his first since the 2003 US-led invasion. [Why isn't the Iraqi resistance movement 'protesting' his visit?]

Cheney 'must explain rights abuses, detentions in Afghan visit' 18 Dec 2005 A leading rights group has called for President Hamid Karzai to press visiting US Vice pResident Dick Cheney about secret detention centres in Afghanistan and rights abuses by US troops.

Powell: U.S. will stay in Iraq for years 18 Dec 2005 Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said in an interview to be broadcast Sunday that the United States will have a military presence in Iraqi for years, although a gradual withdrawal likely will start in 2006.

Marine dies from non-hostile gunshot wound 17 Dec 2005 A Marine assigned to the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), died from a non-hostile gunshot wound here, Dec. 16.

Sheehan leads war protest in Spain 17 Dec 2005 Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan led a small protest Saturday outside the U.S. Embassy to denounce the war in Iraq. About 100 protesters carried banners criticizing pResident Bush.

U.S. firm paid $20M for Iraq propaganda 18 Dec 2005 The Washington company hired by the Pentagon to secretly write anonymous pro-U.S. news stories in Iraq was paid $20 million for a two-month contract. The Pentagon has ordered an investigation into the work last year by the Lincoln Group, led by Navy Rear Adm. Scott Van Buskirk.

Latin America Looks Leftward Again 18 Dec 2005 In the burgeoning cities of China, India and Southeast Asia, that might sound like a hopelessly outdated dream because global capitalism seems to be delivering on its promise to transform those poor societies into richer ones. But here, the appeal of rural socialism is a powerful reminder that much of South America has become disenchanted with the poor track record of similar promises made to Latin America. So the region has begun turning leftward again. [Great!]

Sun Myung, Boris and Neil Bush 15 Dec 2005 What do the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the self-described messiah, and Russian billionaire-in-exile Boris Berezovsky have in common? These exotic magnates have both been keeping company with Houston's First Brother, Neil Bush.

Frist AIDS Charity Paid Consultants 17 Dec 2005 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.

Polar bears drown as ice shelf melts 18 Dec 2005 Scientists have for the first time found evidence that polar bears are drowning because climate change is melting the Arctic ice shelf.

Receding ice pushes polar bears into sea 15 Dec 2005 It may be the latest evidence of global warming: Polar bears are drowning. Scientists for the first time have documented multiple deaths of polar bears off Alaska, where they likely drowned after swimming long distances in the ocean amid the melting of the Arctic ice shelf.


Bush Personally Approved Eavesdropping Program: Official 17 Dec 2005 President [sic] Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

Bush Won't Say If Government Spied On Americans 16 Dec 2005 Dictator George W. Bush refused to say whether the National Security Agency eavesdropped without warrants on people inside the United States, but leaders of Congress condemned the practice on Friday and promised to look into what the Bush regime has done.

Report: Bush Permitted NSA to Spy in U.S. 16 Dec 2005 The National Security Agency has eavesdropped, without warrants, on as many 500 people inside the United States at any given time since 2002, The New York Times reported Friday. That year, following the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush authorized the NSA to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails of hundreds perhaps thousands of people inside the United States, the Times reported.

Bush signed 'secret spy order' 16 Dec 2005 President George W Bush authorised the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States - without getting search warrants - following the September 11 attacks, the New York Times reports.

At the Times, a Scoop Deferred 17 Dec 2005 The New York Times' revelation yesterday that Dictator Bush authorized the National Security Agency to conduct domestic eavesdropping raised eyebrows in political and media circles, for both its stunning disclosures and the circumstances of its publication.

After Holding Off a Year, 'NY Times' Scores Big Scoop By E&P Staff 15 Dec 2005 "What will get the headlines Friday is The New York Times' report that months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President [sic] Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity 'without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials…' But the critical sub-text is: The White House asked the Times to not publish the article -- and the newspaper waited a year to do so. Today’s article, written by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, omits certain information flagged by the administration."

Domestic Spying Condemned --On Hill, anger and calls for hearings greet news of stateside surveillance 17 Dec 2005 Congressional leaders of both parties called for hearings and issued condemnations yesterday in the wake of reports that Dictator Bush signed a secret order in 2002 allowing the National Security Agency to spy on hundreds of U.S. citizens and other residents without court-approved warrants.

Senators defeat Bush in row over civil liberties 17 Dec 2005 America's main anti-terrorist legislation, passed in the days of fear after September 11, was yesterday defeated by senators who said it threatened traditional liberties. Key elements of the USA Patriot Act will now have to be renegotiated.

Patriot Act blocked in US Senate 16 Dec 2005 A group of U.S. senators, demanding increased protection of civil liberties, defied Dictator George W. Bush on Friday by blocking renewal of the USA Patriot Act, a centerpiece of his war on [of] terrorism.

Senate Turns Down Patriot Act Extension 16 Dec 2005 The Senate on Friday refused to reauthorize major portions of the USA Patriot Act after critics complained they infringed too much on Americans' privacy and liberty, dealing a huge defeat to the Bush dictatorship and Republican leaders.

Lawmakers Back Use of Evidence Coerced From Detainees 17 Dec 2005 House and Senate negotiators agreed Friday to a measure that would enable the government to keep prisoners at Guantánamo Bay indefinitely on the basis of evidence obtained by coercive interrogations.

US Congress nears vote on detainee measures 16 Dec 2005 Congressional negotiators worked out the final details on Friday of a bill that bans torture of detainees in U.S. custody, but also allows evidence obtained by coercion to be used against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

We captured Zarqawi but then let him go, say Iraqis 17 Dec 2005 Iraqi security forces captured Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qa'eda in Iraq, last year but freed him because they did not realise who he was, the Iraqi government said yesterday. Maj Gen Hussein Kamal, the deputy interior minister, said that Zarqawi, the country's most wanted man, was detained in Fallujah, the former insurgent stronghold recaptured by US troops last November, and questioned for three to four hours. [He was 'let go' so that he could continue to carry out attacks, so that Halliburton and Blackwater USA could continue to collect billions to 'rebuild' that which was destroyed.]

Deal on Torture Clears Way for Defense Bills 16 Dec 2005 Congress is expected to act quickly on two stalled defense bills including a $453 billion must-pass wartime spending measure now that Dictator Bush has agreed to a proposal to ban cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of terrorism detainees in U.S. custody.

Bush, on TV, Says Iraq Vote Won't End Violence 17 Dec 2005 Dictator Bush acknowledged Friday that the elections in Iraq were "not going to stop violence" there, and that "we're behind" on the training of capable Iraqi police forces.

Life in Bush's Afghanistan: Taliban execute teacher in front of his pupils for educating girls 17 Dec 2005 Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan have executed a school teacher in front of his pupils for refusing to comply with warnings to stop educating girls.

Canada-US war of words escalates 15 Dec 2005 Canada's Prime Minister, Paul Martin, has warned the US that he will "not be dictated to", saying Canadians expected him to stand up for their country. Mr Martin was responding to comments made by US Ambassador David Wilkins.

Leftist set to be Bolivia's first Indian president 16 Dec 2005 Evo Morales is an unorthodox candidate. He's a former IIama herder and coca farmer, and an indigenous Indian with an eighth-grade education. His platform rests on ending Bolivia's 20 years of free-market economic policies, and decriminalizing the growing of coca, the leaf from which cocaine is made. And polls indicate he is poised to become the next President of Bolivia. [Apparently, there's no Diebold in Bolivia. Congratulations, Evo Morales!]

Maine tribes meet with Venezuela for low-cost heating oil 16 Dec 2005 American Indian leaders from four tribes in Maine met with representatives of the Venezuelan Embassy and became the first tribes in the nation to begin working out details for the delivery of low-cost heating oil to tribal members.

Protesters break through to gates of WTO meeting [Great job!!!] 17 Dec 2005 Anti-globalization protesters fought pitched battles with Hong Kong police on Saturday outside a convention center where trade ministers from around the world were making a last-ditch effort to rescue a global pact. Witnesses said hundreds of protesters from South Korean farmers' groups, who say free trade is ruining them, broke through police lines to reach the building, although they were prevented from getting inside.

Lawyers Hired for Marshals Who Shot Plane Passenger 15 Dec 2005 The U.S. Department of Justice has hired two Zuckerman Spaeder lawyers in Miami to represent the federal air marshals who last week shot and killed a mentally ill Orlando man who allegedly said he had a bomb aboard a plane at Miami International Airport.

Air marshals arrest man who claimed to have bomb on plane 16 Dec 2005 Broward Sheriff's deputies arrested a Jet Blue Airways passenger on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York after he told a flight attendant that he had a bomb, according to a police report released Friday.

Southwest flight aborted near LA after bomb 'joke' 16 Dec 2005 The crew of a Southwest Airlines jet with 137 passengers on board aborted take-off from an airport outside Los Angeles on Friday after a young man joked about having a bomb in his luggage.

FBI Questions High School Student Over 'PLO' Doodle --Rights groups say the district didn't notify the boy's parents before he was interviewed. 16 Dec 2005 Civil rights groups criticized the FBI and a suburban school district Thursday for allowing federal agents this fall to question a 16-year-old high school student who had doodled "PLO" on his binder two years ago.

US House votes to wall up Mexico border 16 Dec 2005 The House of Representatives voted to build a wall along the US border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

NYC transit union calls selective strike 16 Dec 2005 New York City's transit union called a selective strike against private bus lines Friday, after a night of bargaining failed to produce a deal involving 33,000 subway and bus workers.

Voting machines won't be retested, state officials say --Florida elections officials aren't ready to re-examine electronic voting machines -- even after a supervisor reported hackers could rig votes on some machines. 16 Dec 2005 Top computer scientists and voting experts said Thursday that Florida must re-examine the way it tests voting machines and needs to verify claims by a Tallahassee elections official who said hackers could alter some computerized election results.

Volusia to decide future of its system 16 Dec 2005 (FL) Volusia County Council members are almost sure to get an earful today about the reported hack into the Leon County voting system. For years, Leon and Volusia counties have used the same Diebold Election Systems equipment.

Columnist Resigns His Post, Admitting Lobbyist Paid Him 17 Dec 2005 A senior scholar at the Cato Institute, the respected libertarian research organization, has resigned after revelations that he took payments from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing columns favorable to his clients.

Lawmakers seek to curb lobbying as scandal spreads 16 Dec 2005 Sen. John McCain and several other lawmakers said on Friday that they would push to tighten lobbying rules as an influence-peddling scandal centered around former lobbyist Jack Abramoff continued to spread.

Lott Sues Insurance Co. in Katrina Damage 15 Dec 2005 U.S. Sen. Trent Lott is suing his insurance company over his beachfront Pascagoula home, which was leveled by Hurricane Katrina.

Avoid [Rumsfeld's] Tamiflu, infants and pregnant women 15 Dec 2005 The number of flu cases typically peaks in December, and flu drugs such as Tamiflu have been flying off the shelves. But experts in infectious diseases here say inappropriate use of such drugs could impair one's immune system. [See: Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu 31 Oct 2005 Defense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.]


Paper: Bush Secretly Authorized NSA to Spy on Americans Without Court-Approved Warrants 15 Dec 2005 Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Dictator Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to 'Al Qaeda,' the officials said... The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.

Report: Bush Permitted NSA to Spy in U.S. 15 Dec 2005 President [sic] Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States — without getting search warrants — following the Sept. 11 attacks, the New York Times reports.

EU to launch probe into CIA secret prisons allegations 16 Dec 2005 The European Parliament on Thursday backed its party leaders' decision to launch an investigation into the secret prisons allegedly set up by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Europe.

Envoy: 120 Abuse Cases at Iraqi Centers 14 Dec 2005 At least 120 abused prisoners have been found in two detention facilities run by the [US-installed] Shiite-led Interior Ministry, the U.S. ambassador said Tuesday.

Senator Stalls Intelligence Spending Bill 16 Dec 2005 The Senate's efforts to wrap up an intelligence spending bill hit a snag this week when a Republican lawmaker blocked legislation that would force the Bush administration to divulge more about secret CIA prisons and the prewar Iraq intelligence.

House GOP Bill Rejects Iraq Withdrawal 16 Dec 2005 House Republican leaders drafted legislation on Thursday that rejects calls for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq as "fundamentally inconsistent with achieving victory'' and said they would force a vote on Friday.

Large Blast Heard in Iraq As Polls Open 14 Dec 2005 A large explosion was head in downtown Baghdad within minutes of the polls opening and sirens could be heard inside the heavily fortified Green Zone where the Iraqi government and the U.S. and British embassies are located. Police said the explosion was reportedly caused by a mortar landing near the Green Zone.

Fire bombs thrown at Iraq voting station in Sweden 15 Dec 2005 Fire bombs were thrown at a polling station for the Iraqi parliamentary 'election' in northern Stockholm overnight but did not ignite, a police spokesman said on Thursday.

Reservist Arrested on Iraqi Bribe Charges 15 Dec 2005 An Army Reserve lieutenant colonel was arrested Thursday on charges she was part of a conspiracy to steer Iraqi reconstruction contracts to a businessman in exchange for money and gifts, including a Cadillac SUV.

Halliburton Contractor Arrested for Alleged Bribery Attempt 15 Dec 2005 A contractor who works for Halliburton in Iraq was arrested Thursday in Tampa for allegedly attempting to bribe Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents at Tampa Seaport in Florida, an ICE official tells ABC News. The man, who works as a driver of jet fuel trucks in Iraq, was not identified.

Columnist Says Bush Knows Who Leaked Name 15 Dec 2005 Syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak, who has repeatedly declined to discuss his role in disclosing the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, said in a speech this week that he is certain President Bush knows who his mystery administration source is.

White House drops long-standing opposition to torture legislation --Senate and House force Bush's hand --United stand against anti-terror tactics 16 Dec 2005 The White House bowed to international and congressional pressure yesterday and abandoned its opposition to Senate legislation prohibiting the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading interrogation methods of detainees in US custody around the world.

House Endorses Torture Ban --Bill would ban inhuman treatment, limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities. 15 Dec 2005 The House gave strong support yesterday to a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, agreeing with senators that Congress needs to set uniform guidelines for the treatment of prisoners in the war on [of] terrorism.

Enemies of the state? Police fail even to question men held as a terror threat --Suspected of plotting terror, a group of men have been held for four years but never charged. Now, in their first testimonies, they reveal the authorities have not even questioned them since their arrests 15 Dec 2005 Four men deprived of their liberty for four years on suspicion of being international terrorists disclose today that they have not once been questioned by police or security services since being arrested.

Terrorism allegations 'absurd', court hears 15 Dec 2005 A Melbourne man has denied allegations he was planning to be a suicide bomber for a terrorist group. Hany Taha, 31, and 20-year-old Abdullah Merhi were refused bail by the Melbourne Magistrates Court last month after they were charged with belonging to a terrorist organisation.

US to prosecute Hicks as Brit bid stalls 16 Dec 2005 The Pentagon has confirmed it will go ahead with plans to prosecute accused Australian terrorist David Hicks by military commission for "violations of the law of war".

PM wants Hicks tried as soon as possible 15 Dec 2005 Prime Minister John Howard wants terror suspect David Hicks to appear before a US military commission as soon as possible, despite new prospects that he could be released as a British citizen.

Judge orders UK citizenship for detainee 14 Dec 2005 A high court judge yesterday told the home secretary he did not have the power to deprive a Guantánamo Bay detainee of his right to British citizenship. The government was ordered to make arrangements for David Hicks to take the required oath, and a Foreign Office official could be sent to Cuba to carry out the ceremony.

Panel subpoenas Rumsfeld for Katrina documents 14 Dec 2005 House committee investigating the government's response to Hurricane Katrina issued a subpoena Wednesday to force Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to turn over documents but stopped short of sending a similar legal demand to the White House.

Federal judges consider evolution stickers 15 Dec 2005 A federal appeals panel Thursday questioned the accuracy of a judge's ruling that a disclaimer in school textbooks describing evolution as "a theory, not a fact" represents an endorsement of religion.

New tests fuel doubts about vote machines --A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee. 15 Dec 2005 A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines -- and possibly other new voting systems in Florida -- according to the state capital's election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests.

Mega barf alert! Former Bush Campaign Lawyer to Head FEC 15 Dec 2005 Michael Toner, a former attorney for pResident Bush's 'election' and the Republican National Committee, was chosen Thursday by fellow members of the Federal Election Commission to head the FEC in 2006.

GOP Official Convicted in Phone-Jamming Scheme 15 Dec 2005 A former top Republican Party official was convicted on telephone harassment charges Thursday for his part in a plot to jam the Democrats' phones on Election Day 2002.

Bush cited as breaking 'no comment' policy --White House defends pResident after he says DeLay is innocent 15 Dec 2005 The White House on Thursday defended Dictator Bush’s decision to insert himself into Tom DeLay’s legal case, saying Bush was employing "presidential prerogative" when he declared the former House majority leader was innocent of criminal charges in Texas.

Ex-Abramoff associate pleads guilty to fraud 15 Dec 2005 A former business partner of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud and conspiracy in the ill-fated 2000 purchase of a fleet of gambling boats. Adam Kidan’s plea bargain is likely to require that he cooperate in the case against Abramoff involving the SunCruz Casinos deal and perhaps even testify against his old partner.

Illinois top court reverses $10 bln Altria verdict 15 Dec 2005 The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a $10.1 billion verdict against Philip Morris USA, ordering a lower court to dismiss the case in which the company was accused of defrauding customers into thinking "light" cigarettes were safer than regular ones.

2005 Continues the Warming Trend --Year's Temperatures Are Among the Highest on Record, Scientists Announce 16 Dec 2005 This year has been one of the hottest on record, scientists in the United States and Britain reported yesterday, a finding that puts eight of the past 10 years at the top of the charts in terms of high temperatures.


House votes to renew Patriot Act 14 Dec 2005 The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday to renew the USA Patriot Act, setting up a showdown with the Senate over the centerpiece of Dictator George W. Bush's war on [of] terrorism.

Is the Pentagon spying on Americans? Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks 'suspicious' domestic groups By Lisa Myers 14 Dec 2005 "A year ago, at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Fla., a small group of activists met to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. What they didn't know was that their meeting had come to the attention of the U.S. military. A secret 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News lists the Lake Worth meeting as a 'threat' and one of more than 1,500 'suspicious incidents' across the country over a recent 10-month period."

Bush to Ease Public Access to Information 14 Dec 2005 The White House is issuing a new policy easing public access to government information in response to complaints by news organizations that too much is withheld under the landmark disclosure law.

U.S. Workers' Names Withheld By Bush Regime --Greater Secrecy Surrounds Civilian Employees, Suit Says 14 Dec 2005 Breaking a tradition of openness that began in 1816, the Bush dictatorship has without explanation withheld the names and work locations of about 900,000 of its civilian workers, according to a lawsuit filed last week.

TSA to Test Surveillance Teams, Patrol Land and Sea Transport 14 Dec 2005 Teams of undercover air marshals and uniformed law enforcement officers will fan out to bus and train stations, ferries, and mass transit facilities across the country this week in a new test program to conduct surveillance and "counter [foment] potential criminal terrorist activity in all modes of transportation," according to internal federal documents.

US air marshals to deploy on ground transit 14 Dec 2005 U.S. air marshals, who usually provide security on airplanes, will join local law enforcement this week to test how effectively they can boost security on ground transport, officials said on Wednesday.

Rendition victim was handed over to the US by MI6 14 Dec 2005 MI6 officers interrogated a former UK student in Pakistan, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said yesterday. The man, a terrorist suspect, says MI6 handed him to the CIA for "extraordinary rendition" and torture.

Europe spies in CIA link 15 Dec 2005 CIA prisoners in Europe were apparently abducted and moved between countries illegally, possibly with help from national secret services who did not tell their governments.

Europe may investigate CIA terror flights 14 Dec 2005 The European Parliament will today discuss setting up an inquiry into the alleged [?!?] existence of secret CIA prisons in Europe.

'Signs suggest US illegally held detainees in Europe' 13 Dec 2005 A European investigator said today he has mounting indications that the US illegally held detainees in Europe – then hurriedly shipped out the last ones to north Africa when word leaked out.

Row over CIA 'torture' flights engulfs Blair 14 Dec 2005 Tony Blair and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, were under pressure last night to refute convincingly claims that Britain has been complicit in alleged use of CIA planes to take suspected 'terrorists' for torture in secret camps abroad.

Clarke rejects calls for July 7 inquiry 14 Dec 2005 The home secretary today defended the government's decision not to hold a full public inquiry into the July 7 bombings.

Families angry as inquiry into July 7 bombing is rejected 14 Dec 2005 Families of the July 7 bombing victims attacked the Government for not holding a public inquiry into the bombings in London.

Bush defends Iraq war, says he will attack another nation if necessary 14 Dec 2005 One day before Iraq's historic parliamentary elections, US Dictator George W. Bush defiantly defended his case for war and said he would preemptively attack another country if he deemed it necessary.

Bush puts Rice in charge of post-conflict strategy 14 Dec 2005 The White House said on Wednesday it had put the State Department in charge of U.S. efforts to [de]stabilize and [destroy] rebuild nations roiled by [US-backed] war or civil upheaval, a move seen aimed at avoiding the inter-agency bickering that plagued the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq.

Bush admits Iraq intelligence was wrong 14 Dec 2005 The US dictator, George Bush, today admitted much of the intelligence used as the basis for invading Iraq had been "wrong" - but defended his decision to go to war because it removed Saddam Hussein.

War Costs Poised to Reach $500B 13 Dec 2005 The Pentagon is in the early stages of drafting a wartime request for up to $100 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan, lawmakers say, a figure that would push spending related to the wars toward a staggering half-trillion dollars.

Pockets of Violence Precede Iraq 'Election' 14 Dec 2005 Iraq's 'election' contest in decades came to a halt today without major bloodshed, but sectarian tensions flared in several cities on the eve of voting for a new parliament. Officials enforcing a nationwide security clampdown reported three fatal attacks...

McCain, White House Remain at Impasse on Prisoner Mistreatment 14 Dec 2005 Sen. John McCain and Dictator Bush's national security adviser met Wednesday but failed to reach a compromise on the senator's proposed ban on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of foreign terrorism suspects.

Bush can settle CIA leak riddle, Novak says 14 Dec 2005 Newspaper columnist Robert Novak is still not naming his source in the Valerie Plame affair, but he says he is pretty sure the name is no mystery to pResident Bush. "I'm confident the president [sic] knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

Canada shrugs off U.S. warning to back off 13 Dec 2005 The United States made an unprecedented foray into Canada's election campaign on Tuesday, warning politicians not to bash Washington [?!? F*ck off, Bush!] in their bid to win the January 23 election. But an unapologetic Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin responded immediately by saying "c'est la vie" -- that's life -- if the United States did not like his remarks, and he would not accept anyone telling him he cannot defend his country.

Don't dictate to me, Canada's Martin tells US 14 Dec 2005 Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin escalated a war of words with the United States on Wednesday, telling Washington not to dictate to him what topics he can raise in the run-up to Canada's January 23 election.

Katrina victims: 'Living in barns' --Parish president blasts FEMA over temporary homes 13 Dec 2005 "We got a serious situation in St. Bernard Parish," its president, Henry "Junior" Rodriguez, told CNN on Tuesday. "We got people living in tents and automobiles. We got people living in barns. We got people living in their houses -- in tents," he said on "American Morning." "This is the beginning of winter. This is unacceptable."

Greenwich Official Acknowledged Beach Bias In E-Mails 14 Dec 2005 (CT) A town official who found the wives of two former New York Mets were not discriminated against when they were denied beach access had earlier sent e-mails acknowledging that minority beachgoers would draw more attention from park employees, the Greenwich Time reported.

Wal-Mart Fires Manager Who Called Police On Black Customer --Company Ended Up Spending $13,600 On Target Gift Cards Instead 14 Dec 2005 Wal-Mart has fired a Florida store manager who called police about a black businessman mistakenly suspected of trying to pass a bad check.

NYC Officials Try to Block Transit Strike 14 Dec 2005 New York could be hit on Friday with its first subway and bus strike in more than 25 years... The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is locked in round-the-clock negotiations with the Transport Workers Union on a new contract for more than 37,000 members.

Prosecutor in DeLay case subpoenas records from defense contractors --California companies tied to Cunningham bribery case 13 Dec 2005 A Texas prosecutor has issued subpoenas for bank records and other information of a defense contractor involved in the bribery case of a California congressman as part of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

DNA Tests Clear 2 Va. Inmates 14 Dec 2005 Newly tested DNA evidence from rapes committed perhaps more than 20 years ago have exonerated two Virginians who had served several years behind bars, according to a statement by Gov. Mark R. Warner that is scheduled to be released later today.

Trade Deficit Hits High As Oil Imports Soar 14 Dec 2005 A surge in oil imports and a flood of Chinese televisions, toys and computers helped to drive the U.S. trade deficit to an all-time high in October.

Fed Raises Rate to 4.25%, Drops Reference to 'Accommodation' 13 Dec 2005 Federal Reserve policy makers raised the main U.S. interest rate to 4.25 percent, the 13th rate boost in a row, and signaled they may soon end their run of increases.

Treasuries Rise After Fed Rate Increase and Policy Statement 13 Dec 2005 U.S. Treasuries rose after the Federal Reserve raised its interest-rate target for the 13th straight time and indicated that it may be about done raising borrowing costs.

E.P.A. Deals $16.5 Million Penalty to DuPont 14 Dec 2005 The Environmental 'Protection' Agency said today that it had agreed to a $16.5 million settlement with the chemical giant DuPont regarding accusations that the company had concealed information about the dangers of a [toxic] chemical used to make Teflon.


Europe CIA probe: Prisoners abducted, transferred illegally 13 Dec 2005 A Swiss investigator probing claims of secret CIA prisons in Europe said his committee has evidence that supports allegations that prisoners were transferred between countries and temporarily held "without any judicial involvement."

CIA abduction claims 'credible' 13 Dec 2005 Allegations that the CIA abducted and illegally transported terror suspects across European borders are credible, an investigator has said.

European watchdog slams US over CIA secret prisons 13 Dec 2005 A European human rights watchdog criticized the United States on Tuesday for failing to come clean over allegations that the CIA ran a network of secret prisons in Europe.

Refusal to question US over 'torture flights' may be illegal --Straw finally admits CIA planes landed in Britain --Calls grow for inquiry into use of UK in 'renditions' 13 Dec 2005 The government may be breaking the law by refusing to question the US about "torture flights", senior MPs said yesterday, as it admitted for the first time that CIA aircraft had landed at British airports.

US planes carrying prisoners were allowed to land in Britain, says Straw 13 Dec 2005 The British Government has been accused of adopting a "hear no evil, see no evil" approach over CIA flights carrying terrorist suspects for possible torture, after Jack Straw said a Whitehall search revealed no evidence of US requests for such flights into UK airspace.

'No CIA flights in Britain' 13 Dec 2005 A search of Whitehall records has failed to turn up any evidence of the US using British airspace to transport terrorism suspects under its controversial policy of "extraordinary rendition", the Government said yesterday. Seeking to quell the furore over accusations of US "torture flights" operating across Europe, Jack Straw said officials had found no trace of US requests for permission to pass through Britain since the September 11 attacks.

New 'torture jail' found in Iraq 12 Dec 2005 Iraqi and US officials have found a packed interior ministry prison in Baghdad, where 625 inmates were being held in "very overcrowded" conditions. Thirteen of the prisoners needed hospital treatment amid torture claims.

Tortured prisoners had their nails pulled, officials say 13 Dec 2005 An Iraqi Government search of a detention centre in Baghdad operated by [US-installed] Interior Ministry commandos found more than 600 prisoners packed into a cramped space, according to US and Iraqi officials. An Iraqi official said at least 12 of the 13 prisoners had been subjected to "severe torture", including courses of electric shock and episodes that left them with broken bones. "Two of them showed me their nails, and they were gone," the official said, asking to remain anonymous.

U.S. Activists Fast Outside Guantanamo 12 Dec 2005 American activists camping out at a Cuban military checkpoint outside the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay started their first day of a water-only fast Monday to protest the treatment of suspected terrorists detained at the base.

Iraq Sunni politician shot dead 13 Dec 2005 A leading Sunni Arab politician has been shot dead in Iraq, two days before the country's general 'election.'

Four US soldiers killed in Iraq bomb attack 13 Dec 2005 Four U.S. soldiers were killed when their patrol struck a makeshift bomb northwest of Baghdad on Tuesday, the military said in a statement.

Al-Qaeda leader (a known MI5 agent) appeals for hostage release ( 12 Dec 2005 "Abu Qatada appeals for release of hostages - One of Britain's most notorious Islamic extremists (who is in fact a known British intelligence agent...) has appealed for the release of Norman Kember, the British peace activist held hostage in Baghdad, calling on 'brothers' to show mercy."

Suicide Car Bomber Attacks U.S. Patrol in Baghdad 13 Dec 2005 A suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. military patrol Wednesday morning in one of Baghdad's eastern neighborhoods, killing at least 25 people, including several children and an American soldier, news services and the military reported.

From flowers to armoured vehicles: British forces in Basra 13 Dec 2005 A thousand days ago, British forces were greeted in Basra with the proverbial flowers. Now the only time most inhabitants of Iraq's second largest-city see any sign of British troops on the streets is when they pass through every three days or so in a heavy armoured column.

Syrians fearful of becoming next Iraq 12 Dec 2005 Ask everyday Syrians where their country is headed and you immediately sense the bleakness of the moment. The most hopeful answer is "nowhere." The alternatives, they say, are worse. Catastrophically worse. "[Syrians] want reform, but if reform means Iraq, count them out," said Marwan Kabalan, a political scientist with the Centre for Strategic Studies at Damascus University.

IDF chief Halutz: Iran able to resume enriching uranium in March 13 Dec 2005 Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Tuesday that Iran will be able to resume enriching uranium within the coming three months. Halutz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in Jerusalem that Tehran still faced numerous technical obstacles and has not yet achieved the ability to build nuclear weapons.

Democrats seek classified briefing with Rice 12 Dec 2005 U.S. Senate Democrats said on Monday that Republicans were denying lawmakers a chance to get new information on Iraq and the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners by having Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice give an unclassified briefing.

Protesters turn out for Bush 12 Dec 2005 It was like a war protest of old on Broad Street outside the Park Hyatt yesterday (Philadelphia) at noon when Dictator Bush was giving a speech to the World Affairs Council about the Iraq war.

U.S. Envoy: Bin Laden May Not Be Controlling Al Qaeda [Hello, McFly?!? That's what *we've* been saying for *years!* He should be called Bush bin Laden.] 12 Dec 20005 Usama bin Laden may no longer have operational control of his terrorist network, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan said Monday.

U.S. paid for media firm Afghans didn't want --Millions spent despite complaints deals were 'rip-off' to taxpayers 13 Dec 2005 The Rendon Group was hired to help Afghan President Hamid Karzai with media relations in early 2004. Though Rendon's $1.4million bill seemed high for Afghanistan, the U.S. government was paying. Within seven months, however, Karzai was ready to get rid of Rendon... However, the Rendon Group, based in Washington, managed to secure even more U.S.-funded work with Karzai's government, this time a $3.9 million contract funded by the Pentagon, to create a media team for Afghan anti-drug [?!?] programs. [One of the main reasons the US invaded Afghanistan was to get the opium production back up to speed, which the Taliban had eliminated! See: Afghanistan leads again in heroin production 11 Aug 2003 Afghanistan has re-emerged since the U.S.-led war as the world's leading source country for opium and heroin — rapidly returning to levels of the 1990s, when it produced about 70 percent of the world's illicit opium supply, a U.N. report says. See: U.S. : Afghan poppy production doubles 28 Nov 2005 Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan doubled between 2002 and 2003 to a level 36 times higher than in the last year of rule by the Taliban, according to White House figures released Friday.]

Deal to renew USA Patriot Act extends police-state measures By Joe Kay 13 Dec 2005 "Republican negotiators in the House of Representatives and the Senate reached an agreement last week for the renewal of the USA Patriot Act, including the permanent extension of most of the provisions that had been set to expire by the end of this year. Once it is passed into law, the bill will extend sweeping attacks on democratic rights and consolidate a vast expansion of the powers of the state to spy on law-abiding individuals."

Senators Criticize Decision to Allow Scissors on Planes 13 Dec 2005 The Transportation Security Administration's plan to allow scissors and screwdrivers through airport checkpoints so it can focus on bigger threats like bombs drew criticism from the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee at a hearing on Monday.

US defends decision to let scissors back on planes 12 Dec 2005 A top U.S. security official acknowledged on Monday that small scissors and screwdrivers can be used as weapons aboard aircraft but defended the government's decision to again permit them on airline flights.

Judge Orders an Extension of FEMA Aid 13 Dec 2005 Calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency "numbingly insensitive" and "unduly callous," a federal judge ruled yesterday that the agency must pay the hotel bills of hurricane evacuees until Feb. 7, handing a reprieve to thousands who faced a Thursday deadline to check out or begin picking up the tab themselves.

California not ready for tsunami --Confusing warning system among problems cited 13 Dec 2005 A massive tsunami would threaten the safety of a million or more Californians, ravage thousands of acres of Golden State ports and damage much of the national economy, according to a new report. [The commission's 15-page report is online at]

White House pushes Congress on Alaska drilling 12 Dec 2005 Bush regime officials on Monday urged Congress to include opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling in a broad budget-cutting bill that could see a vote this week.

Fight looms if Republicans change Senate rules 12 Dec 2005 Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd warned on Monday that he would bring the U.S. Senate to a virtual standstill if Republicans carry out a threat to change its rules by outlawing filibusters on judicial nominations.

How Abramoff Spread the Wealth 12 Dec 2005 (chart)

Diebold chairman/CEO quits under pressure from board 12 Dec 2005 The chairman and CEO of North Canton's Diebold Corporation, whose 'voting' machine systems came under fire from critics during last year's election [coup d'etat], quit Monday. The company says the resignation of Walden O'Dell was initiated by the board of directors.

With new legislation, Ohio Republicans plan holiday burial for American Democracy By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman 06 Dec 2005 "A law that will make democracy all but moot in Ohio is about to pass the state legislature and to be signed by its Republican governor. Despite massive corruption scandals besieging the Ohio GOP, any hope that the Democratic party could win this most crucial swing state in future presidential elections, or carry its pivotal US Senate seat in 2006, are about to end."

Tears, anger, silence at protesters' candlelight vigil --Speakers read from Williams' anti-gang children's books 13 Dec 2005 The candles flickered Monday night outside the gates of San Quentin State Prison as the minutes ticked down to midnight and the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams.

US executes death row activist, after high-profile campaign 13 Dec 2005 US authorities have executed convicted killer Stanley "Tookie" Williams after one of the biggest anti-death penalty campaigns in the country for decades.

Court, Governor won't halt execution of Nobel Prize nominee 13 Dec 2005 [GOP-installed] Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger refused to block the execution of Stanley Tookie Williams, rejecting the notion that the founder of the murderous Crips gang had atoned for his crimes and found redemption on death row.

Governor Rejects Clemency for Inmate on Death Row 13 Dec 2005 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected arguments that the death row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams was either innocent of capital murder or worthy of mercy because of his claims of redemption on Monday, and denied a clemency petition to commute his sentence to life in prison.

Judge OKs subpoenas of Limbaugh doctors --Ruling protects confidential Limbaugh's medical records 12 Dec 2005 Prosecutors can subpoena Rush Limbaugh's doctors as part an investigation into whether the conservative radio commentator illegally bought painkillers, a judge ruled Monday.

Mega barf alert! Dunkin' Donuts Reportedly Sold 13 Dec 2005 Dunkin' Donuts' future will be charted by three private equity firms that reportedly have won the auction for the Pernod Ricard unit. Two Boston-area giants, Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee, will join the Carlyle Group in buying the doughnut and coffee chain, several reports said.


Republican Congressman Says Totalitarian Regime a Danger --Bob Barr says military dictatorship close By Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones 11 Dec 2005 "Former Republican Congressman and CIA official Bob Barr says that there is a danger recent developments describe a trend of America slipping into a totalitarian society and that the Bush administration are doing everything in their power to see that this happens. During a radio interview with host Alex Jones, Barr outlined where the country is heading. 'Basically, as long as you smile when you demand to see somebody's ID at gunpoint sitting on a bus I guess it's OK for the government, that's sort of the way they operate. It can be a totalitarian type regime.'"

More secret Iraqi prison sites revealed 11 Dec 2005 Iraqi officials have named four additional prisons run by the Interior Ministry at which prisoners were secretly held and allegedly subjected to torture.

Abuse Cited in 2nd Jail Run by [US-installed] Iraqi Ministry --Official Says 12 Prisoners Subjected to 'Severe Torture' 12 Dec 2005 An 'Iraqi' government search of a detention center in Baghdad operated by Interior Ministry special commandos found 13 prisoners who had suffered abuse serious enough to require medical treatment, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday night.

Iraqi general tells of prison torture horror 11 Dec 2005 An Iraqi general formerly in charge of special forces said he witnessed horrific scenes of torture in Iraqi prisons and accused a Shiite militia [probably a US militia] of being responsible. "It was horrific. Thousands of detainees, often teenagers, beaten, burned, receiving electric shocks, then the majority killed," Muntazar al-Samarrai, who fled Iraq for Jordan five months ago, told AFP.

Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive 11 Dec 2005 The media center in Fayetteville, N.C., would be the envy of any global communications company. The center is not part of a news organization, but a military operation, and those writers and producers are soldiers. The 1,200-strong psychological operations unit based at Fort Bragg turns out what its officers call "truthful messages" to support the United States government's objectives, though its commander acknowledges that those stories are one-sided and their American sponsorship is hidden.

Straw: No record of CIA transfers 12 Dec 2005 There are no records of the US asking the UK for permission to use its airports to move CIA terror suspects, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said. He was "as certain as can be" of that after detailed searches of records.

Lies, More Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them By ringverse 12 Dec 2005 "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin, or rather Jack Straw will... The government line is that the 400+CIA flights that have are being reported have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RENDITION PROCESS. It's all been a terrible misunderstanding..."

The US has used torture for decades. All that's new is the openness about it --By ignoring past abuses, opponents of torture are in danger of pushing it back into the shadows instead of abolishing it. By Naomi Klein 12 Dec 2005 "According to declassified training manuals, SOA students - military and police officers from across the hemisphere - were instructed in many of the same 'coercive interrogation' techniques that have since gone to Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib: early morning capture to maximise shock, immediate hooding and blindfolding, forced nudity, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, sleep and food 'manipulation', humiliation, extreme temperatures, isolation, stress positions - and worse."

Three Soldiers Killed During Separate Incidents in Iraq 12 Dec 2005 One Task Force Baghdad soldier was killed south of Baghdad today. Another died in western Baghdad on Dec. 11. Both soldiers were killed when their patrols struck improvised explosive devices, military officials reported.

Senators Unsure of U.S. Troop Withdrawal 11 Dec 2005 Turnout will be the key to success for Iraq ‘s first parliamentary 'election' this week, but significant U.S. troop withdrawals may not be possible until after consensus is reached on a constitution months later, senators said Sunday.

Two N.J. Congressmen regret their votes in favor of Iraq war 11 Dec 2005 Two of New Jersey's Democratic Congressmen who cast votes favoring the United States invasion of Iraq three years ago said this week they regretted their decisions.

Syria warns against sanctions 11 Dec 2005 Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has warned that an attempt to impose sanctions on his nation would destabilise the region and the entire world.

Time: Rove's Lawyer Told of Conversation 11 Dec 2005 Months before Karl Rove corrected his statements in the Valerie Plame investigation, his lawyer was told that the president's top political adviser might have disclosed Plame's CIA status to a Time magazine reporter.

The Roving Investigator --In his continuing inquiry into the Valerie Plame leak, Patrick Fitzgerald questions another TIME reporter. 11 Dec 2005

Bush plans overhaul of US foreign aid system 11 Dec 2005 George W. Bush’s regime is drawing up plans to carry out the biggest overhaul of the US foreign aid apparatus in more than 40 years in an attempt to assert more political control over international assistance, according to officials and aid experts.

Saudi Billionaire Boasts of Manipulating Fox News Coverage ( Press Release) 07 Dec 2005 Accuracy in Media (AIM) is urging a full inquiry into a report that a Saudi billionaire caused the Fox News Channel (FNC) to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he called the network to complain. The Saudi billionaire, Al-waleed bin Talal, is a friend of News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch and controls an influential number of voting shares in the company.

At F.B.I., Frustration Over Limits on an Antiterror Law 11 Dec 2005 Some agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been frustrated by what they see as the Justice Department's reluctance to let them demand records and to use other far-ranging investigative measures in terrorism cases, newly disclosed e-mail messages and internal documents show.

Professor in Terror Case May Face Deportation 08 Dec 2005 Stunned by the acquittal of a former Florida professor on terrorism charges, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they might seek to have him deported to the Middle East.

Professor says he was forced out over comment 11 Dec 2005 A college professor who drew sharp criticism for comments deriding Christian fundamentalists over "intelligent design" said he was forced out as chairman of the university's religious studies department.

Professor blasts KU, sheriff's investigation 10 Dec 2005 Kansas University professor Paul Mirecki said he’s hired an attorney and is ready to go to the mat with KU and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. "If I have to sue, I will," he said. Mirecki said he’s angry because KU didn’t back him after religious conservatives [nutballs] attacked him for his plan to teach a course dealing with intelligent design.

Neo-Nazis blamed for Sydney riots 12 Dec 2005 A man tries to hit police with a beer bottle at Cronulla Beach, Sydney. Photograph: Rob Griffith/AP The Australian prime minister today condemned yesterday's race riots in Sydney as "totally unacceptable" and called for ethnic and religious tolerance.

DA must prove DeLay purposely avoided fund ban 12 Dec 2005 To get a conviction against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay and two associates, Travis County prosecutors will have to prove the men knowingly raised or converted corporate cash with the intent of getting around the state's ban on using such money in campaigns for elective office.

Supreme Court to Review Texas Redistricting 12 Dec 2005 The Supreme Court said Monday it would consider the constitutionality of a Texas congressional map engineered by [Reichwing] Rep. Tom DeLay that helped Republicans gain seats in Congress.

Gov. Bush picks major Republican donor to oversee state elections 08 Dec 2005 Gov. Jeb Bush turned to an old family friend and contributor Wednesday to succeed former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood as Florida secretary of state.

Gov't Report: $50 - Plus Oil Here to Stay 12 Dec 2005 Oil prices are projected to remain well above $50 a barrel for years to come, resulting in a greater shift to more fuel efficient cars and alternative energy sources, according to an analysis released Monday by the Energy Department.

Rumor of levee dynamite persists 12 Dec 2005 There is general agreement: The destruction of the Lower 9th Ward started with a series of earthshaking explosions... Andrew Baker, who lost his Tennessee Street home, is not only certain that the explosions were caused by dynamite set by someone deliberately blowing up the levees, he has a theory as to why: The east side of the Industrial Canal was breached to save the French Quarter, Uptown and the Lower Garden District.

Arkansas housing thousands of empty FEMA trailers 11 Dec 2005 New stats from FEMA show that thousands of empty mobile homes the agency ordered to house refugees in the wake of Hurricane Katrina now sit empty at sites near Texarkana and Hope.

Judge Orders Extension of FEMA Hotel Plan 12 Dec 2005 A program that put Hurricane Katrina evacuees in hotels at government expense while they sought other housing must be extended until Feb. 7, a month beyond the deadline set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Drowned city cuts its poor adrift 11 Dec 2005 The waters have receded but the mainly black, low-income citizens of New Orleans are now the victims of rising rents, forced evictions and plans that favour the better off, reports Peter Beaumont.

Workers clear track for strike 11 Dec 2005 Roaring "strike, strike" thousands of transit workers authorized their leaders yesterday to call the first illegal, city-crippling walkout in 25 years. More than 6,000 workers who move the city - many raising their fists in the air and waving red-and-yellow union bandannas - made the decision after their president delivered a blistering attack on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Obama says Republicans practice "Social Darwinism" 11 Dec 2005 Republicans controlling the federal government practice Social Darwinism, a discredited philosophy that in economics and politics calls for survival of the fittest, according to a Democratic U.S. senator.

State considers special license plates for sex offenders 11 Dec 2005 Two state lawmakers want violent and repeat sex offenders to have to use specially colored license plates similar to those required for some people convicted of driving drunk.

Calif. High Court Refuses Williams' Stay 11 Dec 2005 The state Supreme Court late Sunday refused to grant a stay of execution for gang member and convicted killer Stanley Tookie Williams, meaning Williams will be executed early Tuesday unless the governor grants clemency or a last-ditch federal appeal succeeds.


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