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 2006 Archives, Page Two

Happy Holidays from Citizens for Legitimate Government! --A message of 'thanks' to our readers from Lori Price, CLG Newsletter editor 24 Dec 2006


Poll: Bush 'bigger villain' than Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein 28 Dec 2006 When people were asked in an AP-AOL News poll to name the villains and heroes of the year, Bush topped both lists, in a sign of these polarized times. Bush won the villain sweepstakes by a landslide, with one in four respondents putting him at the top of that bad-guy list. When people were asked to name the candidate for villain that first came to mind, Bush far outdistanced even Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader in hiding; and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who is scheduled for execution. [LOL!]

Hussein Likely to Be Hanged Before New Year, U.S. Military Officials Say 28 Dec 2006 The Iraqi government is "anxious to get Saddam's execution done" and that it is likely to be carried out before the New Year — perhaps even within the next 24 hours, a U.S. military official told FOX News. [Bush, Cheney Halliburton and Rumsfeld need to be turned over to the Hague and tried for *their* war crimes.]

Hussein is 'a prisoner of war,' says chief lawyer 28 Dec 2006 Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer implored world leaders Thursday to prevent the United States from handing over the ousted leader to Iraqi authorities for execution, saying he deserves protection as a "prisoner of war." The court said the former president should be hanged within 30 days. "According to the international conventions it is forbidden to hand a prisoner of war to his adversary," Hussein's lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, said in Amman, Jordan.

AP: Ex-Guantanamo detainee held again 27 Dec 2006 In his chronicle of life as an inmate at Guantanamo Bay, Afghan writer Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost describes his three years of humiliating detention for alleged ties to al-Qaida. Now, he has lost his liberty again — this time believed jailed by the Pakistani intelligence service for the book's fierce criticism of the agency's role in the U.S.-led war on [of] terrorist groups.

'Payment was always made in cash. The invoices were made out to American companies but they were probably fake.' Hunt for CIA 'black site' in Poland 28 Dec 2006 I stood at the end of the frozen runway, peering through the mist, trying to make out the terminal building in the distance. It was exactly at this spot, and under the cover of darkness, that the CIA planes did their business.

Bush Considers Up to 20,000 More Troops for Iraq 29 Dec 2006 The Bush regime is considering an increase in troop levels in Iraq of 17,000 to 20,000, which would be accomplished in part by delaying the departure of two Marine regiments now deployed in Anbar Province, Pentagon officials said Thursday.

OMFG: Why We Need More Troops in Iraq By Joseph Lieberman 29 Dec 2006 In Iraq today we have a responsibility to do what is strategically and morally right for our nation over the long term -- not what appears easier in the short term... Rather than engaging in hand-wringing, carping or calls for withdrawal, we must summon the vision, will and courage to take the difficult and decisive steps needed for success and, yes, victory in Iraq. 'The writer is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut.' [My comment on the PentaPost's message board: 'The writer is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut.' No, LIEberBush is *not* an Independent or a Democrat. He is a Bush sycophant, Reichwing maggot, and traitor. --Lori Price, Citizens for Legitimate Government.]

Five US troops killed in Iraq as December toll tops 100 28 Dec 2006 Five US troops have been killed in Iraq, the military announced Thursday, bringing December's death toll to 101 and keeping the month on course to be among the bloodiest for American forces this year.

Thousands of Iraqis flee homes --Since February 22 shrine bombing, about 432,000 Iraqis have fled their homes 28 Dec 2006 The deterioration of security in the last month has forced more than 108,000 Iraqis to flee their homes and register as refugees.

Shooting the messenger is a war crime By Amy Goodman 28 Dec 2006 The Committee to Protect Journalists recently released its 2006 report on threats to journalists. Iraq is by far the deadliest place for the fourth year in a row, with 32 journalists killed this year... More than 120 reporters and other media workers have been killed in Iraq since the invasion.

Bush Taking More Time to Craft Iraq 'Plan' 29 Dec 2006 President [sic] Bush worked nearly three hours at his Texas ranch on Thursday to design a new U.S. policy in Iraq, then emerged to say that he and his advisers need more time to craft the 'plan' he'll announce in the new year.

Iraq War Critic Arrested Near Bush Ranch 29 Dec 2006 Peace activist Cindy Sheehan and four other protesters were arrested Thursday for blocking a road near President [sic] Bush's ranch, authorities said, snagging Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's motorcade in a traffic jam.

Lebanon sees more than 1,000 war deaths 28 Dec 2006 More than 1,000 Lebanese civilians and combatants died during the summer war between Israel's army and Hezbollah fighters, according to tallies by government agencies, humanitarian groups and The Associated Press.

British soldier killed in Helmand explosion 28 Dec 2006 A British soldier has been killed and three wounded in Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence said their vehicle was involved in an explosion in the southern province of Helmand. One soldier is described as seriously injured and two have minor injuries.

Third time's the harm --After two tours of duty in Afghanistan, Steven Henderson says his latest callup 'not to exceed 545 days' in Iraq is asking too much. By Dave Newbart 28 Dec 2006 Steven Henderson served his country during two tours of duty as an Army sergeant in Afghanistan -- repeatedly coming under enemy fire and seeing fellow soldiers maimed and U.S. helicopters gunned down... A letter he received two weeks before Christmas orders him to report to Fort Benning, Ga., by Jan. 14. Under the order, he is required to fight in Iraq for a period "not to exceed 545 days." [...] "It would take a miracle for me to put on a uniform again and to carry a weapon in Iraq,'' he said. "I have no intentions of going to Iraq.''

Not enough troops for training exercises 29 Dec 2006 (UK) The Army has been forced to cancel more than 60 training exercises in the past year amid growing concern that the armed forces are being stretched to breaking point by deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Airport Security Officers Briefed on Hajj Traditions --Officers learn about cultural sensitivities of Muslim travelers 26 Dec 2006 The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has provided special training to sensitize the 45,000 security officers working in the nation’s airports to the cultural traditions of American Muslims traveling to Saudi Arabia to participate in the hajj.

Linking to copyrighted material could get you sued --It is all the same to Aussie judges 19 Dec 2006 A landmark ruling down under means that if people link to a page with copyrighted material they could be sued for piracy. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an Aussie Federal Court upheld a ruling against Stephen Cooper, who ran a site called for providing a search engine to enable the illegal downloading of music MP3s.

Populist Edwards Announces Presidential Bid in New Orleans 28 Dec 2006 Former North Carolina senator John Edwards this morning declared his candidacy for president in 2008, sounding a populist call for citizen action to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, combat poverty and global warming and help restore America's moral leadership in the world.

John Edwards Announces Bid for 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination (Transcript) 28 Dec 2006 EDWARDS: Good morning. I'm here in New Orleans to -- in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans to announce that I'm a candidate for the presidency of the United States in the election in 2008.

Sen. Johnson improves after brain surgery: aides 28 Dec 2006 South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson, whose brain surgery fueled speculation about upcoming Democratic control of the U.S. Senate, has improved and is being taken off sedatives, aides said on Thursday.

Court restores inmates' voting rights 28 Dec 2006 (CA) A state appeals court is restoring the voting rights of about 100,000 local jail inmates across the state who are serving a year or less for felony convictions.

The GOP's $3 Billion Propaganda Organ By Robert Parry (A Special Report) 27 Dec 2006 The American Right achieved its political dominance in Washington over the past quarter century with the help of more than $3 billion spent by Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon on a daily propaganda organ, the Washington Times, according to a 21-year veteran of the newspaper.

Ex-Interior Secretary Norton to join Shell as counsel 27 Dec 2006 Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) Wednesday said it hired Gale Norton to serve as a counsel for the oil giant. The move comes amid rising scrutiny on Capitol Hill of Norton's former agency's dealings with the oil industry.

FEC imposes record $6.2M in fines 28 Dec 2006 The Federal Election Commission more than doubled its civil penalties in 2006, imposing $6.2 million in fines for campaign-law violations.

S.E.C. Changes Reporting Rule on Bosses' Pay 27 Dec 2006 The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a move announced late on the last business day before Christmas, reversed a decision it had made in July and adopted a rule that would allow many companies to report significantly lower total compensation for top executives.

Seven New Orleans officers indicted in post-Katrina killings 28 Dec 2006 Seven police officers were indicted Thursday on murder or attempted murder charges in a pair of shootings on a bridge that left two people dead during the 'chaotic aftermath' [Blackwater USA/KBR police state] of Hurricane Katrina. The district attorney portrayed the officers as trigger happy. "We cannot allow our police officers to shoot and kill our citizens without justification like rabid dogs," District Attorney Eddie Jordan said.

N.C. Bar Files Charges Against Duke D.A. 29 Dec 2006 The North Carolina bar filed ethics charges Thursday against the prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case, accusing him of saying misleading and inflammatory things to the media about the athletes under suspicion.

Mega barf alert of 2006: US agency says food from cloned animals safe to eat 28 Dec 2006 Milk and meat from some cloned animals is safe to eat and can be sold on the U.S. market, the Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday in a landmark draft ruling that brings the controversial technology one step closer to Americans' grocery carts.

Food from cloned animals safe to eat, says FDA 28 Dec 2006 The U.S. government [corpora-terrorst enablers] says food from cloned animals is safe to eat and doesn't require any special labeling.

Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from Canadian Arctic 28 Dec 2006 A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

Giant Ice Shelf Snaps Off Ellesmere Island 28 Dec 2006 A University of Ottawa professor says it's the largest ice-shelf breakup of its kind in the Canadian Arctic in 30 years.

Airlines Cancel Flights as Colorado Awaits Blizzard 28 Dec 2006 UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. and other carriers canceled flights through Denver International Airport today before a storm that may bring as much as 2 feet (61 centimeters) of snow.


New Guantanamo Court to Have Restaurants 27 Dec 2006 The U.S. government is going ahead with plans for a new legal $125 million court complex at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that will include guest rooms and restaurants.

Guantanamo needs courthouse, Pentagon says 27 Dec 2006 Although the Pentagon estimates that no more than 80 of the 400 or so terrorism detainees here will ever be tried, it is moving forward with plans for a $125-million legal complex. Air Force Col. Morris Davis, chief prosecutor of the suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban supporters, says he expects to file charges against 10 to 20 prisoners soon after new trial rules are presented to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates next month.

Another one for the Bush body count? Lawyer who asked Scott McClellan whether the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name might be considered an act of treason plunges to his death in apparent 'suicide' 27 Dec 2006 In what police describe as a "probable" suicide leap, a prominent Monterey Bay Area attorney fell at least nine floors to his death at the Embassy Suites Hotel Monterey Bay in Seaside the morning before Christmas... He caused a stir after he joined the White House Press Corps in 2005, making waves as the first reporter to ask then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan whether the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's name might be considered an act of treason... Friends and associates expressed disbelief at the news of Sanford's death and that it was ruled a suicide, saying Sanford seemed happy and had made many plans for this week and in coming months. [In other words, a Bush-style 'suicide.']

Is Bush bin Laden preparing another 9/11-style attack? FBI, FEMA move some jobs outside 'blast zone' --Shenandoah Valley offers safer location than Washington 27 Dec 2006 The FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are moving jobs to the Shenandoah Valley - a picturesque locale that happens to be just outside Washington's "blast zone." In the event of a nuclear explosion in the capital, Winchester's location about 70 miles from Washington would put it outside the fallout zone, often estimated at 50 miles.

Courts Side With NSA On Wiretaps 26 Dec 2006 Defense lawyers who had hoped that the public disclosure a year ago of the National Security Agency's wiretapping program would yield information favorable to their clients are being rebuffed by the federal judiciary, which in a series of unusually consistent rulings has rejected efforts by terrorism suspects to access the records.

Oops! FBI Says Files In Leak Cases Are 'Missing' 27 Dec 2006 The FBI is missing nearly a quarter of its files relating to investigations of recent leaks of classified information, according to a court filing the bureau made last week.

Oops! Handguns From Homeland Security Vault Are Missing 27 Dec 2006 The Department of Homeland Security said yesterday that it is investigating how four handguns recently went missing from its headquarters in Northwest Washington. Jarrod Agen, a department spokesman, said the guns belonged to Paragon Systems of Chantilly, which provides security for the department's facility on Nebraska Avenue NW.

Pentagon chief signs order sending 82nd Airborne brigade to Kuwait 26 Dec 2006 U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed orders that will send the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade to Kuwait shortly after the new year, senior defense officials said Tuesday.

U.S. ready to send 3,500 troops for Iraq: sources 26 Dec 2006 The Pentagon is expected to send 3,500 troops into Kuwait to stand ready for use in Iraq, senior defense officials said on Tuesday as the Bush administration weighs adjusting force levels in the war.

Roadside bombs kill 3 U.S. soldiers in Iraq 28 Dec 2006 Three U.S. soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks on Wednesday in and around Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

Iraq occupation a mess says ex-deputy PM 27 Dec 2006 (AU) Former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer says the US Bush administration has made a mess of its occupation of Iraq.

Ford disagreed with Bush over Iraq invasion -WPost 28 Dec 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush and his top advisers made a "big mistake" in their justification for invading Iraq, Gerald Ford told 'journalist' Bob Woodward in an interview embargoed until after the former president's death.

Ford Disagreed With Bush About Invading Iraq By Bob Woodward 28 Dec 2006 Former president Gerald R. Ford said in an embargoed interview in July 2004 [!?!] that the Iraq war was not justified. "I don't think I would have gone to war," he said a little more than a year after President [sic] Bush had launched the invasion advocated and carried out by prominent veterans of Ford's own administration... In the tape-recorded interview, Ford was critical not only of Bush but also of Vice President [sic] Cheney -- Ford's White House chief of staff -- and then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who served as Ford's chief of staff and then his Pentagon chief. [My comment to Woodward on the PentaPost's message board: To Bush sycophant Woodward: *Why* was the July 2004 Ford interview embargoed? To help the Bush regime in the November 2004 election? You're such a pathetic, cowardly worm. --Lori Price, an actual journalist, Citizens for Legitimate Government.]

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil --US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke 20 April 2003 Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad.

Israel breaks promise to U.S. with settlement --West Bank housing for settlers ousted from Gaza approved despite pledge 26 Dec 2006 Israel has approved a new settlement in the West Bank to house former Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip, officials said Tuesday, breaking a promise to the U.S. to halt home construction in the Palestinian territories.

Execution likely to come soon for Saddam Hussein [When will it come for Donald Rumsfeld? He's killed thousands more Iraqis than his ally, Saddam Hussein.] 27 Dec 2006 Saddam Hussein, sentenced to hang within 30 days, will likely be executed soon at a private gathering of select witnesses, officials close to Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said today.

German government considers deploying air force in Afghanistan 28 Dec 2006 The German coalition government is currently preparing a major expansion of its military commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. Air Force Explores Options for 'Prompt Global Strike' 20 Dec 2006 Gen. Kevin Chilton, the head of Air Force Space Command here in Colorado Springs, has asked his staff to review which technologies available today might be useful for a "midterm" conventional weapon system capable of striking targets halfway around the globe within an hour of an order to launch.

Jet carrying Tony Blair slides off runway at MIA 26 Dec 2006 It was a bumpy landing this evening for a British Airways flight arriving at Miami International Airport with 343 passengers and crew members aboard -- including British Prime Minister Tony Blair. No one was injured when the Boeing 747-400 jet arriving from London missed its turn on the runway about 6:15 p.m., airport spokesman Marc Henderson said.

John Edwards joins presidential race 27 Dec 2006 Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race on Wednesday, to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.

Gerald R. Ford, Ex-U.S. President, Dies 27 Dec 2006 Former President Gerald R. Ford, who was thrust into the presidency in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal but who lost his own bid for election after pardoning President Richard M. Nixon, has died, according to a statement issued late last night by his wife, Betty Ford.

Ohio Gov. Taft reprimanded over ethics 27 Dec 2006 The state Supreme Court voted Wednesday to publicly reprimand Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (R) over his ethics violations, a black mark that will stay on his permanent record as an attorney.

Court won't force Massachusetts gay marriage vote 27 Dec 2006 In a setback to gay marriage opponents, Massachusetts' highest court said on Wednesday it would not require lawmakers to vote on a proposal that could ban gay marriage in the only U.S. state where it is legal.

Katrina insurance suit moved to state court 27 Dec 2006 A federal judge has sent back to Mississippi state court a lawsuit demanding that insurers pay flood damages to thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, increasing the chances of a ruling against the companies.

Dollar Slides; U.A.E. Says Selling U.S. Currency, Buying Euros 27 Dec 2006 The dollar dropped the most in a week against the euro as the United Arab Emirates said it will convert some of its reserves of U.S. assets into the European currency.

Democrats eye oil money for conservation 26 Dec 2006 House Democrats in the first weeks of the new Congress plan to establish a dedicated fund to promote renewable energy and conservation, using money from oil companies. That's only one legislative hit the oil industry is expected to take next year as a Congress run by Democrats is likely to show little sympathy to the cash-rich, high-profile business.

U.S. stocks swept higher; Dow sets new record --Investors said "end of the year" buying syndrome was in force 27 Dec 2006 U.S. stocks rallied Wednesday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new closing high above the 12,500 mark, as unexpectedly robust housing sales data cheered investors making last-minute additions to their 2006 portfolios.

Mega barf alert! FDA set to OK sale of milk, meat from cloned animals 26 Dec 2006 Later this week, the Food and Drug Administration [corpora-terrorist enablers] is expected to release a formal recommendation that milk and meat from cloned animals should be allowed on grocery store shelves. The long-awaited decision comes as polling data to be released this week show that the public continues to have little appetite for such 'food,' with many people saying the FDA should keep it off the market.

Human Bird Flu Deaths in 2006 28 Dec 2006 Bird flu killed three members of a family in Egypt, pushing the number of fatalities worldwide this year to 79, more than reported in the previous three years combined.

Bird Flu Spreads In Egypt As Tenth Person Dies 27 Dec 2006 Authorities have confirmed that a tenth person has died of H5N1 bird flu infection in Egypt.

Bird flu kills second Egyptian in two days 27 Dec 2006 A deadly strain of bird flu has killed an Egyptian girl, the second such death in two days and one that brought the number of deaths in the country this year to nine.

Bush embraces the endangered polar bear - and accepts the dangers of global warming 28 Dec 2006 In a landmark decision, the Bush administration has concluded that global warming is endangering the existence of the polar bear -- an admission that could force the US government to act to curb the emission of greenhouse gases.

Save the polar bears!

Bush backtracks on global warming with plan to protect polar bears --Melting arctic ice prompts climate change concession --Campaigners hope to force cuts in carbon emissions 28 Dec 2006 The Bush administration yesterday made one of its most significant concessions to date on the dangers of global warming, proposing protection for the polar bear, whose habitat is threatened by the melting Arctic sea ice.

U.S. Wants Polar Bears Listed as Threatened --Designation May Force Action on Global Warming 27 Dec 2006 The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.

Snow falls over Negev desert, Jerusalem 27 Dec 2006 Extreme weather conditions continued to sweep across Israel on Wednesday, causing havoc throughout the country. Following snowstorms in the Golan Heights, the Galilee and Hebron the previous night, on Wednesday morning snow fell in the Negev desert and later reached the central hills and Jerusalem.


Mercenaries R Us: Military considers recruiting foreigners --Expedited citizenship would be an incentive 26 Dec 2006 The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

Pressed in Iraq, U.S. Army turns out interrogators 26 Dec 2006 The U.S. Army has stepped up its training of interrogators to get a clearer picture of Iraq... The number of soldiers going through a 93-day course to become Human Intelligence Collectors, the army term for interrogators, has quadrupled over the past three years -- from 265 in 2003 to 1,070 in 2006 -- and is projected to rise to just over 1,500 by 2009.

Iraq 'court' says Hussein should hang within 30 days 26 Dec 2006 An Iraqi appeals 'court' [the 'Iraqi High Tribunal' - LOL!] on Tuesday upheld Saddam Hussein's death sentence for crimes against humanity and said he should hang within 30 days. Human rights activists condemned his 'trial' as seriously flawed and called on the government not to carry out the sentence. [Since Donald Rumsfeld has committed thousands of more war crimes than his former ally and friend, Saddam Hussein, when will Rumsfeld be hanged? --LRP]

"An illegitimate and unconstitutional court." Iraqi appeals 'court' upholds Hussein death sentence 26 Dec 2006 The Iraqi High Tribunal's appellate chamber on Tuesday upheld Saddam Hussein's death sentence in the Dujail massacre case, Judge Aref Shaheen announced. Hussein's chief defense attorney, Khalil al-Dulaimi, said he had heard about the decision, but said it came from "an illegitimate and unconstitutional court."

Baghdad Residents Hit By Robo-Calls By Paul Kiel 15 Dec 2006 Who says we're not spreading democracy in Iraq? Not long after Republicans harassed tens of thousands of Americans with automated phone messages in November's election, news comes that the robo-call, that staple of American democracy, is being deployed in Iraq. And it's literally terrorizing city residents. Nir Rosen of the new blog Iraqslogger reports, calling it a "mysterious psychological operations campaign," that Baghdad residents have reported "receiving phone calls that the caller ID shows to be originating from outside Iraq."

UK Intelligence Using Text Messages in Psy Ops Warfare 11 Dec 2006 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are being bombarded by a devastating new British weapon — the text message. The text attacks - waves of messages - are carried out by the 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group, based at the Intelligence Corps’ HQ in Chicksands, Beds.

U.S. officials send minister out of Iraq - sources 26 Dec 2006 A fugitive former Iraqi minister, with dual U.S. citizenship, flew to Jordan in an American plane after escaping from a Baghdad jail earlier this month, Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakheet said on Tuesday.

Iran summons US representative over detention of diplomats 25 Dec 2006 Iran on Monday summoned the Swiss ambassador, whose country represents the United States interests in the Islamic republic, over the detention of Iranian diplomats by the US military in Iraq, ISNA news agency reported. The Foreign Ministry conveyed its protest to US officials via the Swiss ambassador and termed the move as being against all diplomatic norms.

Iran furious at Iraq arrests 25 Dec 2006 Iran has condemned the arrest by US forces of a number of Iranian officials in Baghdad, warning that the move could lead to "unpleasant consequences".

Insurgents offer U.S. 30-day truce to get out of Iraq 22 Dec 2006 The leader of an umbrella organization for Iraqi 'insurgent' groups is offering the United States a one-month truce to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq and turn over its military bases "to the mujahedeen of the Islamic state."

Car bomb attack kills 25 in Iraq 26 Dec 2006 A high-ranking Iraqi interior ministry official was shot dead and a trade official was kidnapped, while explosions killed at least 25 people and wounded 107 others Tuesday morning, according to interior ministry and police sources.

20 Iraqis killed, 35 injured in car bomb explosion near Sunni mosque in Baghdad 26 Dec 2006 Twenty Iraqis died and more than 35 others injured when a booby-trapped car exploded on Tuesday near the Abu Hanifa mosque in the Sunni-dominated Al Azamia district north of the Iraqi capital.

Ten killed in Baghdad car blast 25 Dec 2006 Ten civilians have been killed in a car bombing in a shopping area in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. At least 11 others are said to have been injured in the blast, which happened at 1530 (1230 GMT).

U.S. Deaths in Iraq Exceed 9-11 Count 26 Dec 2006 The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday. [See: CNN explains how "new" roadside bombs pierce U.S. armored vehicles and tanks (Webpage by Ron Corvus) 26 Dec 2006.]

Roadside bomb kills 3 U.S. soldiers in Iraq 26 Dec 2006 A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers when it hit their patrol northwest of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military said. One more soldier was wounded in the blast which hit a patrol that was on a mission to clear a route of threats such as roadside bombs.

7 Americans killed in Iraq; 90 in Dec. 26 Dec 2006 The U.S. military announced the deaths of seven American soldiers, raising the death toll significantly in one of the bloodiest months for the military this year.

British demolish Iraqi police station after shootout 25 Dec 2006 British troops have shot dead seven Iraqi gunmen and demolished the headquarters of a police unit during a mission to protect [?!?] scores of prisoners they feared would be murdered by rogue officers.

British military finds 'appalling' Iraqi prison cell 26 Dec 2006 A military action against a police station in the southern city of Basra found prisoners being held in conditions that a British military spokesman, Major Charlie Burbridge, described as "appalling."

Haditha: The Mai Lai of Iraq By Sarah Meyer 26 Dec 2006 In spite of all the evidence in The Haditha Doctor and the Media Dissemblers " about media who accept money from foundations to perpetrate their cover-ups, the "right wing" media is still trying to twist the Haditha facts.

Flurry of Calls About Draft, and a Day of Denials 23 Dec 2006 By midday Friday, Dick Flahavan’s office [for the Selective Service System] had fielded dozens of inquiries, not just from reporters but from some anxious parents as well, all with some variation of the same urgent question: Are you reinstituting the draft? A Hearst wire service article noted that the Selective Service was making plans for a "mock" draft exercise that would use computerized models to determine how, if necessary, the government would get some 100,000 young adults to report to their local draft boards.

Biden Vows to Fight Any Iraq Troop Boost 26 Dec 2006 Sen. Joseph Biden, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he will fight President [sic] Bush if the administration decides to send more U.S. troops to Iraq.

Biden urges Bush to 'level' with public on Iraq 26 Dec 2006 Sen. Joe Biden ( D-Del.) — who says he is more qualified than other candidates contemplating a 2008 White House run — in a telephone news conference Tuesday morning said President [sic] Bush must "level with the American public" that any surge of U.S. military forces in Iraq will likely last for at least 18 months.

When Resolve Turns Reckless By John F. Kerry 24 Dec 2006 There's something much worse than being accused of "flip-flopping": refusing to flip when it's obvious that your course of action is a flop... We have already tried a trimmed-down version of the [John] McCain plan of indefinitely increasing troop levels. We sent 15,000 more troops to Baghdad last summer, and today the escalating civil war is even worse. You could put 100,000 more troops in tomorrow and you're only going to add to the number of casualties until Iraqis sit down together at a bargaining table and compromise.

Iran may need nuclear power: study 26 Dec 2006 Iran's claim to need nuclear power may be genuine, given that it could run out of oil to export as soon as eight years from now, according to an analysis published on Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences.

Iran Oil Revenue Quickly Drying Up, Analysis Says 26 Dec 2006 Iran is suffering a staggering decline in revenue from its oil exports, and if the trend continues income could virtually disappear by 2015, according to an analysis published yesterday in a journal of the National Academy of Sciences. Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University, said in the report and in an interview that there could be merit to Iran's assertion that it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

Israeli army ordered to dismantle checkpoints 25 Dec 2006 Israel’s Defence Minister Amir Peretz said today he has asked the army to dismantle some of the checkpoints that have severely disrupted Palestinian travel in the West Bank, part of a package of goodwill gestures Israel hopes will boost the moderate Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Banality and barefaced lies --Here in America, I stare at the land in which I live and see a landscape I do not recognise By Robert Fisk 23 Dec 2006 I call it the Alice in Wonderland effect. Each time I tour the United States, I stare through the looking glass at the faraway region in which I live and work for The Independent - the Middle East - and see a landscape which I do no recognise, a distant tragedy turned, here in America, into a farce of hypocrisy and banality and barefaced lies. Am I the Cheshire Cat? Or the Mad Hatter?

NI rights body wants to investigate MI5, MI6 24 Dec 2006 The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has said it wants to be allowed to investigate allegations of human rights abuses involving MI5 and MI6 in Northern Ireland. The Justice and Security Bill, which is currently before Westminster, exempts the intelligence services from being investigated by the commission.

Justice Dept. Database Stirs Privacy Fears --Size and Scope of the Interagency Investigative Tool Worry Civil Libertarians 26 Dec 2006 The Justice Department is building a massive database that allows state and local police officers around the country to search millions of case files from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal law enforcement agencies, according to Justice officials. The system, known as "OneDOJ," already holds approximately 1 million case records and is projected to triple in size over the next three years, Justice officials said.

Muslims forced to lift veil at airports 24 Dec 2006 Veiled women will be forced to reveal their identities at UK airports under a government plan to tighten security, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

Crime about to rise and swamp prisons, warns Blair team 24 Dec 2006 Crime is likely to rise for the first time in 12 years and the prison population to leap to 100,000, says a leaked Downing Street report. The document predicts that the jail population could rise by 25 per cent, topping 100,000 within the next five years, and outstripping the planned rate of growth in prison places. It says the Government should consider drastic crime-curbing remedies used abroad, such as rationing the amount of alcohol people can buy, a ban on alcohol advertising, ID chip implants, the use of bounty hunters and "chemical castration" for sex offenders.

Nation Border Fence Firm Snared for Hiring Illegal Workers By Scott Horsley ("All Things Considered") 14 Dec 2006 A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants. Two executives from the company may also serve jail time. The Golden State Fence Company's work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

Sen. Biden says intends to run for president 26 Dec 2006 Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, one of the Democratic party's leading voices on foreign policy and a sharp critic of President [sic] George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war, on Tuesday said he intends to run for president in 2008.

Obama strong in new poll --Illinois senator would beat both McCain and Giuliani 24 Dec 2006 If the presidential contest were held today, both Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York City mayor [9/11 co-conspirator] Rudy Giuliani would prevail over New York Senator Hillary Clinton. Illinois Senator Barack Obama, in contrast, would eke out a slight win over both Republican candidates.

Bush is bracing for new scrutiny --White House hiring lawyers in expectation of Democratic probes 26 Dec 2006 President [sic] Bush is bracing for what could be an onslaught of investigations by the new Democratic-led Congress by hiring lawyers to fill key White House posts and preparing to play defense on countless document requests and possible subpoenas.

Abuse could push Katrina costs to $2 billion --GAO says its initial estimate of $1 billion in waste was 'likely understated' 25 Dec 2006 The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition. Federal investigators are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse. [See: Halliburton gets another $33 million for Hurricane Katrina clean-up 12 Oct. 2005 The U.S. Navy awarded $33 million to Halliburton for clean up work at naval air stations damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Defense announced last night. The money will be added to the $12 million awarded to Halliburton on August 29, the day Katrina made landfall.]

Great Lakes area's nuclear waste vexes U.S., Canada leaders 26 Dec 2006 Both the United States and Canada are searching for a permanent home for their nuclear waste. But a proposal unfolding in Ontario to build a permanent underground storage facility within a mile of Lake Huron is being fought by Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee).

500 feared dead in Nigeria blast 27 Dec 2006 Up to 500 people were feared to have been burnt alive on Tuesday when fuel from a vandalised gasoline pipeline exploded in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos, emergency workers said as they tried to document more charred corpses lying at the scene.

Oil pipeline ruptures off Texas coast 26 Dec 2006 Workers Tuesday were trying to contain an oil spill that dumped 21,000 gallons into the Gulf of Mexico after a pipeline ruptured.


U.S. Is Detaining Iranians Caught in Raids in Iraq 25 Dec 2006 The American military is holding at least four Iranians in Iraq, including men the Bush regime called senior military officials, who were seized in a pair of raids late last week aimed at people suspected of conducting attacks on Iraqi security forces, according to senior Iraqi and American officials in Baghdad and Washington.

Audits Fault Pentagon and Interior Department 25 Dec 2006 The Defense Department paid two procurement operations at the Department of the Interior to arrange for Pentagon purchases totaling $1.7 billion that resulted in excessive fees and tens of millions of dollars in waste, documents show. Defense turned to Interior, which manages federal lands and resources, in an effort to speed up its contracting. But the arrangement between Interior and Defense "routinely violated rules designed to protect U.S. Government interests," according to draft audit documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Mega barf alert! Bush ponders £10bn New Deal to create jobs in Iraq 24 Dec 2006 The White House is expected to announce a reconstruction package for Iraq as part of a plan for a "surge" of up to 30,000 troops into Baghdad when President [sic] George W Bush unveils America’s new strategy next month. Bush is being urged to give up to $10 billion (£5.1 billion) to Iraq as part of a "New Deal" that would create work for unemployed Iraqis. [Halliburton, once again, will get billion$$$ to rebuild that which they were paid to destroy.]

Bush may boost Iraq troops by 20,000 --Bush is likely to bow to a request for five more brigades as attacks rise to 1,000 a week 24 Dec 2006 President [sic] Bush began a series of urgent consultations with his key defence and foreign policy advisers at Camp David yesterday, amid expectations that he was preparing to agree to a request from US commanders to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq to secure Baghdad.

Commander Is Called Open to Troop Surge 24 Dec 2006 The American military command in Iraq is now willing to back a temporary increase in American troops in Baghdad as part of a broader Iraqi and United States effort to stem [foment] the slide toward chaos, senior American officials said Saturday.

Iraqi police deaths 'hit 12,000' 24 Dec 2006 Some 12,000 police officers in Iraq have died in the line of duty since the US-led invasion in 2003, Interior Minister Jawad Bolani said.

British forces storm Iraq police station 25 Dec 2006 British forces stormed the headquarters of a rogue Iraqi police unit today, fearing that the officers were about to start killing up to 178 prisoners, a military spokesman said.

Suicide bomber kills 7 police in Iraq 24 Dec 2006 A suicide bomber killed at least seven policemen and wounded 30 others at a police station northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

6 U.S. Troops Die in Bloody Iraq Weekend 24 Dec 2006 Clashes, a suicide bomber and weekend explosions have killed more than a dozen Iraqi officers and six American soldiers.

Sen. Dodd Argues for Iraq Withdrawal 24 Dec 2006 Sen. Chris Dodd, a Democrat (CT) who is considering a run for the White House, argued in a column in an Iowa newspaper [The Des Moines Register] Sunday for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Anglican Leader Blasts War in Iraq 23 Dec 2006 The U.S.-led coalition's "shortsightedness and ignorance" in Iraq have endangered the lives of Christians across the Middle East, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a scathing commentary Saturday.

Hundreds join Minneapolis protest to "send an anti-war message for the holidays – U.S. out of Iraq!" Text by IPAC - Photos by Bert Kayakbiker 23 Dec 2006 Over 300 people participated in an anti-war protest in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis between 1 and 2 pm on Saturday, December 23.

Iran condemns U.N. resolution as illegal 23 Dec 2006 Iran Saturday condemned the U.N. Security Council for imposing sanctions on its nuclear program, calling them illegal and beyond the council's jurisdiction.

U.N. votes for trade sanctions on Iran's nuclear work 23 Dec 2006 The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, a move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work.

Ex-Abu Ghraib detainee recounts atrocities committed by US forces 23 Dec 2006 An Iraqi [Abdul Jabbar Al Azzawi] who spent seven months in Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad says he has horrifying experiences to tell of how the US soldiers have committed atrocities on innocent Iraqi civilians who were taken into custody and put behind the bars for no fault of theirs.

Channel tunnel is terror target 24 Dec 2006 The Channel tunnel has been targeted by a group of Islamic militant terrorists aiming to cause maximum carnage during the holiday season, according to French and American secret services.

'Sky high' terror threat to Tunnel 24 Dec 2006 The Channel Tunnel is under threat of attack from Islamic militant terrorists over the Christmas holiday. The plotters are thought to be Western European - possibly Britons of Pakistani descent - and the "chatter" between militants has been observed as "not so high since 2001", it was claimed.

Airport delays start of controversial scanner 24 Dec 2006 A controversial anti[sic]-terrorism tool [backscatter technology] that was supposed to be up and running at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport before the holidays will not be operational until early next year.

No 10 'in panic' as Yard extends 'cash for honours' inquiry 24 Dec 2006 The UK's elections watchdog is to decide whether Labour has broken the law over cash for honours, and will advise police on whether a case should go to court.

Italian who met Litvinenko arrested 24 Dec 2006 The Italian academic [Mario Scaramella] who met poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko on the day he was taken ill was today arrested as he returned home from Britain.

Court says FEMA can end Katrina housing --Agency was criticized when it halted assistance for thousands of victims 22 Dec 2006 A federal appeals court told the Bush administration Friday that it does not need to immediately restart a housing program for thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims.

New House speaker may not seat certified winner in disputed race 23 Dec 2006 Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering not sitting the certified Republican 'winner' of a contested congressional election when Congress reconvenes next month, her spokesman said.

Election Challenge For Florida District Is Taken to the House 24 Dec 2006 A battle over who won the congressional election in Florida's 13th District is in the courts and could be debated in Congress itself. Christine Jennings, the Democrat, informed Congress last week that she was contesting the election, claiming that electronic voting machines malfunctioned and that state officials wrongly certified the election in favor of Republican Vern Buchanan.

''Thousands of people had no voice in this election.'' Jennings to Congress: Vote machines 'malfunctioned' --Christine Jennings filed a request for Congress to investigate Sarasota County's recent election. 21 Dec 2006 The dispute over the congressional seat once held by Rep. Katherine Harris landed in the nation's Capitol on Wednesday, with Democrat Christine Jennings asking Congress to investigate ''pervasive malfunctioning'' of Sarasota's voting machines, and possibly order a second election. Jennings was in Washington to personally deliver the papers calling for an investigation into why 18,000 votes went missing.

Mega barf alert! Cloned meat OK to eat, FDA scientists say 23 Dec 2006 Meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat and should be allowed into the U.S. food supply without special labeling, a report says.

Frankenwine? Wines made with GMO yeast hit the market this year 20 Dec 2006 The United States' first wines made using a genetically modified wine yeast will be released this year, but critics say the GM yeast has not been properly safety tested and could contaminate non-GM wine crops.

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island --For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas. 24 Dec 2006 Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.


U.S. commanders in Iraq recommend a 'surge' 22 Dec 2006 Top U.S. military commanders in Iraq have decided to recommend a "surge" of fresh American combat forces, eliminating one of the last remaining hurdles to proposals being considered by President [sic] Bush for a troop increase, a defense official familiar with the plan said Friday.

US tests call-up system but denies return to conscription 23 Dec 2006 The Bush regime is planning a test run of America's emergency military call-up, stoking speculation about a return to a draft at a time when the White House is considering sending more troops to Iraq.

Troop Levels Unknown 22 Dec 2006 Despite all the talk about just what kind of troop levels the U.S. should maintain, it's not clear anyone knows the size of the Iraqi force, Rep. Christopher Shays said today in his report to the White House and Pentagon on findings from his trip to Iraq [...] That would leave about 67,000 Iraqi soldiers on duty in combat situations--or about half the size of the often-quoted number of 137,500 trained and equipped Iraqis.

"I know that he shot at innocent civilians." Did an American fire on Iraqis for sport? U.S. security contractors allege their supervisor was 'out of control' 22 Dec 2006 The two were working together on July 8, 2006, when they claim they witnessed what they believe was a crime. They say another American fired, unprovoked, into two Iraqi civilian vehicles. They say it started during a mission to Baghdad International Airport, when their supervisor, who was leaving Iraq the next day and was in the vehicle with them, made a troubling remark. "He'd made a comment that he was going to kill somebody today," says Shane Schmidt. "Kill someone." Triple Canopy says it filed a report with Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), the prime contractor for whom it was working.

Troops arrest Iraqi police over alleged death squads 23 Dec 2006 About 1,000 British troops backed by tanks have carried out a dawn raid in the Iraqi city of Basra to arrest police officers accused of leading death squads. The Basra serious crime unit was established to tackle major crimes in Basra city, but British forces here say some commanders were using the unit as a cover for death squads and criminal activities that they controlled and ran.

US marine faces 13 Iraq murder charges 22 Dec 2006 A Marine Corps sergeant was charged with 13 counts of murder yesterday in an episode involving the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians that has come to be known as the Iraq war's My Lai - the notorious massacre of civilians in the Vietnam war.

5 U.S. Troops Die in Iraq as Month's Toll Hits 70 23 Dec 2006 Five more American service members have been killed in Iraq, the U.S. military reported Friday, in what is shaping up to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces this year.

Qaeda-backed group offers U.S. safe Iraq exit: Web 22 Dec 2006 The leader of an al Qaeda-backed group offered to refrain from attacking U.S. forces if they withdrew from Iraq within a month and left their heavy weapons behind, according to an audio tape posted on the Internet on Friday. The recording was posted on the Internet hours after Defense Secretary Robert Gates ended a visit to Iraq aimed at finding a new strategy to curb violence and allow U.S. troops to withdraw.

Oops! ASIO enlisted to join search for stolen army rockets 23 Dec 2006 ASIO has been called in to help the Defence Force urgently review its security amid fears criminals have obtained shoulder-fired 66-millimetre rocket launchers from the army. The Herald revealed last week that NSW and federal police suspected inside involvement by rogue soldiers in the theft of the weapons.

Lawmakers press Bush to put war costs in budget 22 Dec 2006 Top lawmakers are pressing President [sic] George W. Bush to stop using a "shadow budget" to fund the Iraq war and instead list the expected costs in the 2008 spending plan he is set to unveil early next year. Total war spending may reach $170 billion for the 2007 fiscal year that ends September 30, a record.

Christmas arrives early for the child rapists at DynCorp: U.S. to pay $4.6 billion for translators in Iraq 22 Dec 2006 The U.S. Army has launched an effort to recruit thousands of translators to facilitate training of Iraqi security forces. The army has awarded a contract for management of translation and interpretation services in Iraq to Global Linguistic Solutions. GLS, a joint venture of DynCorp International and McNeil Technologies, has received a five-year contract, with a maximum value of $4.645 billion. [See: DynCorp Disgrace By Kelly Patricia O'Meara 14 Jan 2002 Middle-aged men having sex with 12- to 15-year-olds was too much for Ben Johnston, a hulking 6-foot-5-inch Texan, and more than a year ago he blew the whistle on his employer, DynCorp, a U.S. contracting company doing business in Bosnia.]

Iraq 'deadliest place for journalists' 21 Dec 2006 Iraq was the deadliest country in the world for journalists in 2006, with 32 killed in the Middle Eastern state, according to a study. It is the fourth consecutive year that Iraq has been the deadliest place for journalists to work.

Journalists subpoenaed in military prosecution of soldier 21 Dec 2006 Two journalists have been subpoenaed by a military court to testify about a soldier [First Lt. Ehren Watada] who publicly denounced the war in Iraq and refused to deploy with his unit.

Media want documents on Fitzgerald's subpoenas in CIA leak case 22 Dec 2006 Two news organizations are asking a federal judge to unseal documents in the case of a CIA agent whose name was leaked, arguing that Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald never needed the testimony of reporters who were threatened with jail time because he knew the source of the leak all along.

U.S. to maintain long presence in Gulf region: Gates 22 Dec 2006 An increased U.S. naval presence in the Gulf is not a response to any action by Iran but a message to all countries that the United States will keep its regional footprint "for a long time," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Friday.

Suicide Bomber Injures 8 in Afghanistan 22 Dec 2006 A suicide bomber exploded himself outside a lawmaker's home Friday, missing the parliamentarian but injuring eight others, police said.

Father of 14-year-old girl killed by IDF released on bail to mourn 23 Dec 2006 Nasser Abd al-Qadr, whose 14-year-old daughter was shot dead by the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, was released from lock-up at Abu-Kabir on bail on Friday. Earlier Friday, Abd al-Qadr's lawyers came to an agreement with the state prosecution regarding his release from custody to mourn his daughter's death with his family.

Iran replaces dollar with euro in foreign deals 22 Dec 2006 The Iranian government prepared ground for replacement of dollar with euro and other foreign exchanges, Secretariat of the government's information dissemination council said on Friday.

Met chief warns of Christmas terror threat 23 Dec 2006 Islamist terrorists pose the greatest threat to Britain's security since the Second World War, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner has warned.

U.K. Faces 'Unparalleled' Terror Threat, Police Say 22 Dec 2006 The U.K. faces an "unparalleled" threat from international terrorists, Ian Blair, the Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police, said. "I do agree with both the Home Secretary and with Dame Eliza Mannigham-Buller, the head of MI5, that the threat of terror against the U.K. is of an unparalleled nature," Blair told British Broadcasting Corp. radio in an interview today.

Bashir slams Australia, US for 'engineering' his jailing 23 Dec 2006 Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir lashed out at the Australian Government again yesterday. He accused it of intervening in Indonesia's judicial system by opposing his efforts to reduce his 2½-year jail sentence. "I was jailed because it was engineered by the US and its friends, including the incumbent Australian Government," Bashir said.

Bashir cleared of Bali bombings 22 Dec 2006 Indonesia's Supreme Court yesterday overturned a guilty verdict against Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for conspiracy in the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, a court spokesman said. [Right, See: Israeli made C4 explosive used in Bali bombing 16 Oct 2006.]

Records detail missing TSA badges, uniforms 22 Dec 2006 More than 3,700 identification badges and uniform items have been reported lost or stolen from Transportation Security Administration employees since 2003, according to documents obtained by a San Antonio television station.

L-3 Communications Gets $35M NSA Deal 21 Dec 2006 Defense contractor L-3 Communications Holdings Co. said Thursday it got a five-year contract worth up to $35 million from the National Security Agency to supply online network encryptor cards to the federal government.

New CPB board member Warren Bell on hugging Pelosi: "[T]hat sort of thing leaves a stain" 21 Dec 2006 On December 20, President [sic] Bush installed via a recess appointment TV producer and National Review Online contributor Warren Bell on the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)... Indeed, while Bell appears to have no experience in public broadcasting, nor interest in the service, he is an avowed conservative and Bush contributor with a record of inflammatory remarks regarding Democrats, women, minorities, and underprivileged people.

Lawmaker stands firm on Quran criticism 22 Dec 2006 A congressman said Thursday that he will not retract a letter warning that unless immigration is tightened, "many more Muslims will be elected" and use the Quran to take the oath of office. Republican Rep. Virgil Goode (VA) triggered angry responses from a civil rights group and some colleagues with a letter this month to constituents concerned about a decision by Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to Congress, to use the Quran when he is sworn in.

Democrats Hiring Up for Investigations 21 Dec 2006 Evidence continues to mount that the new Democratic majority plans to investigate the war, energy policy, and other Bush policies, as key committees have begun hiring lawyer-investigators whose job will be to probe the administration.

Court strikes down 2004 EPA smog rules 22 Dec 2006 Smog-reduction regulations proposed by the Bush administration in 2004 are too weak, a U.S. court ruled on Friday, sending the rules back to the Environmental Protection Agency for reworking. EPA's proposal to set an eight-hour standard for ozone emissions violates the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia court said in a 40-page ruling.

Court Cuts Valdez Judgment Against Exxon 22 Dec 2006 A federal appeals court on Friday cut in half a $5 billion jury award for punitive damages against Exxon Mobil Corp. in the 1989 Valdez oil spill that smeared black goo across roughly 1,500 miles of Alaskan coastline.

Air America Station to Stay in Madison 22 Dec 2006 After a backlash from this liberal city, Clear Channel Radio is keeping its Air America affiliate on the air instead of switching the progressive talk format to sports on Jan. 1. Citing the overwhelming negative reaction to the planned change, the nation's largest radio station operator said it would keep The Mic 92.1 FM on the air as a progressive talk station.

Mega barf alert! SKorea says traces of toxic chemical found in US beef 22 Dec 206 South Korean officials, who have blocked three US beef shipments since officially lifting a ban on imports, said they found traces of dioxin in one of the shipments.

Mega bulimia alert! It's also what's for dinner 22 Dec 2006 A long-awaited study by federal scientists concludes that meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring is safe to eat and should be allowed to enter the food supply without any special labeling.

World Death Toll of a Flu Pandemic Would Be 62 Million --Study Examined 1918-19 Outbreak 22 Dec 2006 An influenza pandemic of the type that ravaged the globe in 1918 and 1919 would kill about 62 million people today, with 96 percent of the deaths occurring in developing countries. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice.]

Extreme autumn temperatures cause unseasonable flowering in the Netherlands 21 Dec 2006 Observers in the Netherlands reported that more than 240 wild plant species were flowering in December, along with more than 200 cultivated species. According to biologist Arnold van Vliet of Wageningen University, this unseasonable flowering is being caused by extremely high autumn temperatures.

Denver airport limps back into service 23 Dec 2006 Denver International Airport resumed limited operations this afternoon after a blizzard shut down one of the nation's busiest airline hubs for two days, leaving thousands of holiday travelers across the country stranded or scrambling to find alternative ways to complete their trip.


Selective Service to Test Military Draft Machinery 21 Dec 2006 The Selective Service System is planning a comprehensive test of the military draft machinery, which hasn't been run since 1998. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.

Syria in Bush's Cross Hairs --A classified document suggests the Administration is considering a plan to fund political opposition to the Damascus government. Some critics say it would be an unwarranted covert action. By Adam Zagorin 19 Dec 2006 The Bush Administration has been quietly nurturing individuals and parties opposed to the Syrian government in an effort to undermine the regime of President Bashar Assad. Parts of the scheme are outlined in a classified, two-page document that says that the U.S. already is "supporting regular meetings of internal and diaspora Syrian activists" in Europe... The proposal also calls for surreptitiously giving money to at least one Syrian politician who, according to the document, intends to run in the election. The effort would also include "voter education campaigns" and public opinion polling, with the first poll "tentatively scheduled in early 2007."

U.S. and Britain to Add Ships to Persian Gulf in Signal to Iran 21 Dec 2006 The United States and Britain will begin moving additional warships and strike aircraft into the Persian Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran that will come as the United Nations continues to debate possible sanctions against the country, Pentagon and military officials said Wednesday.

CIA exercise reveals consequences of defeat 21 Dec 2006 The CIA this month conducted a simulation of how the Iraq war affects the global jihadist movement, and one conclusion was that a U.S. loss would embolden al Qaeda [al-CIAduh, i.e., themselves] to expand its ranks of terrorists as well as pick new strategic targets, according to sources familiar with the two-day exercise. [There's no need to do a simulation: the US has been defeated in Iraq.]

In Iraq, journalist deaths spike to record in 2006 --Majority are murdered; worldwide death toll rises 20 Dec 2006 Violence in Iraq claimed the lives of 32 journalists in 2006, the deadliest year for the press in a single country that the Committee to Protect Journalists has ever recorded. In most cases, such as the killing of Atwar Bahjat, one of the best-known television reporters in the Arab world, 'insurgents' [US death squads] specifically targeted journalists to be murdered, CPJ found in a new analysis.

US Marines charged over Iraq massacre 22 Dec 2006 A US military court has charged four Marines with murder and four others on related charges in the November 2005 deaths of 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha in Iraq. The killings of the men, women and children is one of the most serious allegations of misconduct against civilians by US troops in Iraq.

Squad Leader Charged in Killings of 24 Iraqi Civilians 21 Dec 2006 A Marine Corps squad leader was charged today with 13 counts of murder for his role in the killings of civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha last year, and seven other marines face counts ranging from unpremeditated murder to failure to report the killings, the Marine Corps announced today.

15 Iraqis Die in Blast at Police Academy 22 Dec 2006 On Thursday, a suicide bomber detonated explosives in his vest at Baghdad Police College in eastern Baghdad, killing 15 people and wounding 15, the U.S. military said. In the northern city of Kirkuk, the commander of the Adala Police Station, Col. Adnan Mohammad, escaped an assassination attempt when a roadside bomb exploded in his convoy.

3 more U.S. soldiers die in Iraq; December now among deadliest months of year 21 Dec 2006 Three more American servicemen have died in Iraq, the U.S. military said Thursday, putting December on track to be among the deadliest months of the year.

U.S. Deaths in Iraq Could Top 9/11 Toll On Christmas 21 Dec 2006 Three more U.S. servicemen have died in Iraq, the U.S. military said Thursday, putting December on track to be among the deadliest months of the year. The new total since the U.S. invasion in 2003 -- at least 2,959 -- is now just 14 shy of the commonly accepted total of deaths in the U.S. from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. At the current rate this month, the 9/11 figure could be eclipsed just before or on Christmas Day.

Report Says TSA Violated Federal Law --Passengers Weren't Told That Brokers Provided Data to Screening Program in '04 22 Dec 2006 Secure Flight, the U.S. government's stalled program to screen domestic air passengers against terrorism watch lists, violated federal law during a crucial test phase, according to a report to be issued today by the Homeland Security Department's privacy office.

Bar investigating lawyer with possible link to CIA 21 Dec 2006 The Oregon State Bar plans to investigate a Portland attorney over his work for a shadowy company linked to allegations of CIA-sponsored torture. Scott Caplan represents Bayard Foreign Marketing, an Oregon company that took ownership of a Gulfstream V jet in 2004. Human rights activists say the CIA used the jet to ferry terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture.

Rice Seeks U.S. Probe of Why Canada's Arar Still on Watch List 21 Dec 2006 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has asked homeland security chief Michael Chertoff and the Justice Department to review the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who Canada says was wrongly accused of links to terrorism and remains on a U.S. terrorist watch list.

Report: Portuguese foreign minister withheld information on secret CIA flights 21 Dec 2006 A news magazine reported Thursday that Portugal's foreign minister withheld information from European Parliament officials investigating alleged CIA flights in Europe while he was defense minister. Luis Amado also allegedly gave parliament contradictory information about the flights, Visao reported. On Thursday, Amado denied he had lied to or misled EU officials.

Al-Manar: Plane came to Beirut from Tel Aviv on day of Gemayel assassination 22 Dec 2006 Hizbullah's television channel reported on Thursday that a Portuguese plane coming from Tel Aviv, Israel, landed at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport and remained on the ground for seven hours on November 21, the day that Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated... Al-Manar also quoted "well-informed sources" as saying that the Civil Aviation Safety Committee had "hired four US experts who work on the airport's second floor and earn $120,000 per month in a secret mission under the slogan of airport reforms."

Court won't free detainee in time to mourn daughter killed by IDF 21 Dec 2006 The Supreme Court will rule Monday on the appeal the father of a 14-year-old Palestinian girl shot dead by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near Tul Karm, Justice Asher Grunes said Thursday. Nasser Abd al-Qadr, who is under arrest for entering Israel illegally and is being held in the Abu Kabir lock-up, was not allowed to attend his daughter's funeral on Wednesday.

Harper says Canada won't talk to Hamas, Hezbollah, calling groups 'genocidal' [Oh, but the whackjob talks to *Bush?* LOL!] 21 Dec 2006 Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada won't talk with Hamas and Hezbollah, describing the two Islamic groups as "genocidal."

Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon --The mission: Attack anywhere in the world in less than an hour. But is the Pentagon's bold program a critical new weapon for hitting elusive targets, or a good way to set off a nuclear war? By Noah Shachtman Jan 2007 Traveling as fast as 13,000 mph, the warheads are filled with scored tungsten rods with twice the strength of steel. Just above the target, the warheads detonate, showering the area with thousands of rods-each one up to 12 times as destructive as a .50-caliber bullet. Anything within 3000 sq. ft. of this whirling, metallic storm is obliterated.

United Technologies Pricing Data Sought by Air Force 21 Dec 2006 United Technologies Corp.'s Hamilton Sundstrand unit may not be awarded the remainder of an $860 million spare-parts contract with the U.S. Air Force unless it turns over pricing information to prove it hasn't been overcharging.

Hudson River Tunnels Seen as Fragile 22 Dec 2006 An analysis done for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says that the PATH train tunnels under the Hudson River are more vulnerable to a bomb attack than previously thought, and that a relatively small amount of high explosives could cause significant flooding of the rail system within hours.

Bush Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons for Offensive Use By Sherwood Ross 21 Dec 2006 In violation of the U.S. Code and international law, the Bush administration is spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb. So says Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by Congress.

A.P. Headquarters Target of White Powder Scare 19 Dec 2006 About 150 employees were briefly evacuated from the headquarters newsroom of The Associated Press on Tuesday after a staffer opened an envelope containing an unknown white powder.

U.S. Cancels Order for 75 Million Doses of Anthrax Vaccine 20 Dec 2006 In a major setback to the Bush regime’s biodefense efforts, the government announced Tuesday that it had canceled an order for 75 million doses of a new anthrax vaccine, the single biggest purchase planned for the nation’s anti[sic]terror drug stockpile. [Right, since Dick Cheney is the only terrorist who has used anthrax, vaccines are not necessary.]

Speaking of anthrax spores: Lieberman Quits Co-Chairing Snowe's Centrist Group, Teams With Alexander 20 Dec 2006 Sen. Joe LieberBush ('R'-Conn.) has relinquished his position as co-chairman of the Senate Centrist Coalition, halting talks with co-chairwoman Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) over the future of the organization in favor of creating his own bipartisan group with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.).

Study Suggests Incentives on Oil Barely Help U.S. 22 Dec 2006 The United States offers some of the most lucrative incentives in the world to companies that drill for oil in publicly owned coastal waters, but a newly released study suggests that the government is getting very little for its money. The study, which the Interior Department refused to release for more than a year, estimates that current inducements could allow drilling companies in the Gulf of Mexico to escape tens of billions of dollars in royalties that they would otherwise pay the government for oil and gas produced in areas that belong to American taxpayers.

SMU emerges as likely site for Bush's 'Pet Goat' 21 Dec 2006 Southern Methodist University is now the lone candidate in exclusive talks for the George W. Bush pResidential Library.

N.J. gov. signs gay civil unions law 21 Dec 2006 New Jersey's governor signed legislation Thursday giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage allowed under state law _ but not the title.

Airport, roads, mail halted in snow-bound Colorado 21 Dec 2006 Up to 30 inches of snow blanketed much of Colorado on Thursday, closing Denver airport, halting mail deliveries and stranding thousands in their homes or on highways.

Denver airport closed into Friday because of snow 21 Dec 2006 Stranded travelers lined up at ticket counters at snowbound Denver International Airport this morning, hoping to get out of town amid a powerful snowstorm that paralyzed Colorado's biggest cities with up to 2 feet of snow.

'Christmas has been cancelled' 21 Dec 2006 Britain's shortest day turned into the longest rush hour for the tens of thousands of travellers hoping to be part of the great holiday get-away on Thursday.


Bush 'brainwashed' Blair on Iraq pullout - Iraq VP 19 Dec 2006 British Prime Minister [Poodle] Tony Blair was in favor of announcing a timetable to pull troops out of Iraq, but was "brainwashed" out of it by President [sic] George W. Bush, Iraq's vice president said on Tuesday. Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi told New York's Council on Foreign Relations that when he spoke with Blair about three months ago, the British leader was supportive of his appeal for the United States and Britain to say when they would withdraw. "I had just convinced him," Hashemi said. "He promised he was going to discuss the subject with President Bush, but at the end of the day, it's quite unfortunate, that your president (made) some sort of brainwashing of Mr. Blair."

President Confronts Dissent on Troop Levels --Bush Indicates Military Won't Dictate Numbers; Top General to Retire 21 Dec 2006 The debate over sending more U.S. troops to Iraq intensified yesterday as President [sic] Bush signaled that he will listen but not necessarily defer to balky military officers, while Gen. John P. Abizaid, his top Middle East commander and a leading skeptic of a so-called surge, announced his retirement.

'Out of touch' Bush wants to boost size of Army 20 Dec 2006 George Bush says he wants to increase the size of the US military - currently the second largest in the world - to allow America to take on a "long struggle against radicals and extremists". Speaking at an end-of-year press conference, Mr Bush said he was "inclined to believe" a permanent increase in the size of US forces was necessary.

Gen. Abizaid to Retire in Early 2007 20 Dec 2006 Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top U.S. Middle East commander and a chief architect of U.S. strategy in Iraq since the war began, will leave his post early next year, according to a statement by his command released this morning.

Suicide bomber kills 10 in Baghdad - police sources 21 Dec 2006 A suicide bomber killed at least 10 Iraqis and wounded 10 at a police recruitment centre in Baghdad on Thursday, police sources said.

Suicide bombers kill at least 12 people in attacks across Baghdad 20 Dec 2006 Two suicide car bombers killed at least 12 people in separate attacks across the Iraqi capital Wednesday, police said.

Victory for widow as MoD held to account over death of soldier 19 Dec 2006 A widow's four-year fight for the truth after her soldier husband was killed in Iraq ended yesterday with the Ministry of Defence being criticised by a coroner. Tank commander Steve Roberts was shot and killed by his own side as he struggled with an attacking Iraqi. He died because of an "unforgivable and inexcusable" delay in providing body armour to troops, a coroner ruled.

Navy vet says he was detained, tortured by U.S. forces --Suit filed against Rumsfeld 18 Dec 2006 A Navy veteran from Chicago says he was detained and tortured by U.S. forces in Baghdad without being charged. Donald Vance was a private security employee in Baghdad at the time of his arrest. He has filed a federal lawsuit against former U.S. Defense Secretary [War Criminal] Donald Rumsfeld.

Wilson Challenges Subpoena in CIA Case 20 Dec 2006 Former ambassador Joseph Wilson asked a federal judge Wednesday not to force him to testify in the CIA leak case and accused former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of trying to harass him on the witness stand.

US Coast Guardsman jailed over Ku Klux Klan fliers 19 Dec 2006 (MA) A U.S. Coast Guardsman was sentenced on Tuesday to a year in military prison for posting recruitment fliers for the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group, illegally storing explosives and other charges. At a court martial on Monday, Petty Officer Chad Blair admitted to storing seven unregistered weapons, explosive powder, grenade parts and fuses in military housing at Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod.

Detained father of girl shot dead by IDF blocked from her funeral 21 Dec 2006 The father of a 14-year-old girl shot dead by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near Tul Karm on Tuesday was not allowed to attend his daughter's funeral on Wednesday. Nasser Abd al-Qadr is under arrest for entering Israel illegally and is being held in the Abu Kabir lock-up.

Oaxaca Protesters Describe Jail Beatings, Abuse by Police (Democracy Now!) 20 Dec 2006 In Mexico, the government has released 42 protesters two weeks after they were rounded up during a demonstration in Oaxaca. Many of those released say they were beaten in jail and describe abuse at the hands of police.

Prosecutors Drop A.C.L.U. Subpoena in Document Fight 19 Dec 2006 Federal prosecutors in New York yesterday withdrew a subpoena to the American Civil Liberties Union that had sought to retrieve all copies of a classified document. The subpoena was unusual in that it sought not only to gather evidence but also to confiscate all tangible traces of the information in the document, apparently with the goal of preventing its distribution.

Dems Consider Limits to NSA Wiretap Program 17 Dec 2006 Federal agents continue to eavesdrop on Americans' electronic communications abroad without warrants a year after President [sic] Bush confirmed the practice, and experts say a new Congress' efforts to limit the program could trigger a constitutional showdown. High-ranking Democrats set to take control of both chambers are mulling ways to curb the program Bush secretly authorized a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Physical details of all residents to be held on ID database 20 Dec 2006 Everybody living in the United Kingdom, including foreigners, will be required to have their biometric details recorded under the government's identity card scheme, it emerged yesterday. John Reid, the Home Secretary, announced that all UK residents, whether or not they were British citizens, would be forced to have their irises scanned and their fingerprints taken for the national database.

UK report says robots will have rights [Too bad the Gitmo detainees don't have any.] 19 Dec 2006 Visions of the status of robots around 2056 have emerged from one of 270 forward-looking papers sponsored by Sir David King, the UK government’s chief scientist. The paper covering robots’ rights was written by a UK partnership of Outsights, the management consultancy, and Ipsos Mori, the opinion research organisation.

Anthrax Vaccine Contract Voided, Thwarting Administration 20 Dec 2006 Federal health officials yesterday scuttled the largest piece of the Bush regime's two-year program to counter [foment] bioterrorism, canceling an $877.5 million contract with VaxGen to develop an anthrax vaccine after the company missed a deadline to begin human testing. The decision, delivered in a one-page letter, ends a troubled effort by the small California firm that has come to symbolize the failures of the government's ambitious $5.6 billion Project BioShield. The termination occurred on the same day President [sic] Bush signed legislation attempting to salvage the program by reorganizing its 'management' and pumping more money into firms doing the work.

Holy convenience, Batman! Firm Accused of Deleting Missing E-Mail Morgan Stanley Said Files Were Lost After Sept. 11 20 Dec 2006 Securities regulators charged Morgan Stanley DW Inc. with failing to hand over millions of e-mail messages to investigators and plaintiffs by falsely saying that the documents had been lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, according to a complaint filed yesterday.

Money to Treat 9/11 Workers Will Run Out, Officials Say 19 Dec 2006 The roughly $40 million that was set aside by the federal government to treat rescue workers, volunteers and firefighters who became ill after helping with the 9/11 cleanup and recovery will run out in months, physicians and federal officials said yesterday.

No money to treat 9/11 workers, $3 billion a week to fight Iraq? By Jerry Mazza 20 Dec 2006 Is this a new 9/11 conspiracy The New York Times is reporting? That "roughly $40 million that was set aside by the federal government to treat rescue workers, volunteers and firefighters who became ill after helping with the 9/11 cleanup and recovery will run out in months, physicians and federal officials said yesterday." And the fund goes broke while the war meter ticks in Iraq at nearly $3 billion a week?

Program Widens School Funding Gap, Report Says --Rich States Are Found to Get More Than Poor Ones in $13 Billion Effort to Aid Low-Income Students 21 Dec 2006 A $13 billion federal program to help students from low-income families has actually widened an education funding gap between rich and poor states, according to a study released yesterday.

Va. Lawmaker's Remarks on Muslims Criticized --Republican Had Decried the Use of the Koran for Congressman's Oath of Office 21 Dec 2006 Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-Va.) is coming under sharp criticism for lashing out against the decision by Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who will become the first Muslim member of Congress next month, to use the Koran during a swearing-in ceremony.

Lamont camp cleared in hacking of Lieberman Web site 20 Dec 2006 The U.S. attorney's office and state attorney general have cleared former U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont and his supporters of any role in the crash of U.S. Sen. Joseph LieberBush's campaign Web site hours before last summer's Democratic primary. [Right, it was the Rove KKKamp.]

Florida candidate disputes election results --More than 18,000 voters [allegedly] did not cast a vote in the congressional race - rate of "under votes" nearly six times higher than in the other four counties in the district and among Sarasota voters who cast paper ballots 20 Dec 2006 A Democratic House candidate in Florida who alleges that malfunctioning electronic 'voting' equipment played a role in her narrow defeat in November formally contested the results Wednesday. Christine Jennings is asking for a congressional investigation and a new election in the state's 13th District.

A clear-cut outrage --Congress must reinstate forest plan rules (The Sacramento Bee) 19 Dec 2006 The U.S. Forest Service has announced a final rule, which takes effect Jan. 31, eliminating environmental analysis from 15-year master plans for each of the nation's 155 forests... The forest planning rule was last revised in 2000, after three years of public and scientific meetings across the nation. The Bush administration suspended those regulations and has written its own.

Climate Change vs Mother Nature: Scientists reveal that bears have stopped hibernating 21 Dec 2006 Bears have stopped hibernating in the mountains of northern Spain, scientists revealed yesterday, in what may be one of the strongest signals yet of how much climate change is affecting the natural world.


U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time --Bush Discloses Order Given to Pentagon to Plan for Expansion of Army, Marine Corps 20 Dec 2006 President [sic] Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists. Other U.S. officials have said the administration is preparing plans to bolster the nation's permanent active-duty military with as many as 70,000 additional troops. The administration is drafting a supplemental request for more than $100 billion in additional funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on top of the $70 billion already approved for this fiscal year, according to U.S. officials.

Bush weighs sending more troops to Iraq against military advice 19 Dec 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush is seriously considering a short-term boost to U.S. troops in Iraq and wants to expand the military in the years ahead to fight the war on [of] terror. Yet Pentagon chiefs think sending up to 30,000 more soldiers to Iraq for several months might only provide fresh targets for terrorists and 'insurgents.'

Generals Wary of Sending Troops to Iraq 19 Dec 2006 The White House says it is considering sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, an option that worries top generals because of its questionable payoff and potential backlash. The military's caution is based on two chief fears - that even temporarily shipping thousands of more troops would be largely ineffective in the absence of bold new political and economic steps, and that it would leave the already stretched Army and Marines Corps even thinner once the surge ended.

White House: no rift with military on Iraq troops [LOL!] 19 Dec 2006 U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush is weighing a short-term U.S. troop increase in Iraq, a spokesman said on Tuesday as he denied reports of a rift between the White House and resistant Pentagon chiefs.

Shiite killings outstrip terrorism toll 20 Dec 2006 Violence in Iraq has soared to its highest level on record in the past three months, the Pentagon says, and the enemy has achieved a "strategic success" by unleashing a spiral of 'sectarian' killings by [US] death squads that threatens Iraq's political institutions.

Iraq says executes 13 men convicted of murder 19 Dec 2006 Iraq said it executed 13 men in Baghdad on Tuesday who had been convicted of murder, rape and torture. Some of the more than 1,200 people convicted of insurgent activity by the U.S.-sponsored Central Criminal Court of Iraq have been sentenced to death. Precise figures on convictions and executions were not immediately available.

US soldiers' suicide rate in Iraq doubles in 2005 19 Dec 2006 Suicides among U.S. soldiers in Iraq doubled last year over the previous year to return to a level seen in 2003, U.S. Army medical experts said on Tuesday.

Cheney to Be Defense Witness in CIA Case 19 Dec 2006 Vice President [sic] Cheney will be called to testify in the perjury and obstruction of justice trial of his former chief of staff, which is scheduled to begin next month, a lawyer for the defense announced today.

U.S. Plans Military Buildup to Warn Iran 19 Dec 2006 The Pentagon is planning to bolster its presence in the Persian Gulf as a warning to Iran's government, CBS News reports. CBS News reports that the U.S. military build-up, which would include adding a second aircraft carrier to the one already in the Gulf, is being proposed as a response to what U.S. officials view as an increasingly provocative Iranian leadership.

Blair to urge Middle East states to rein in Iran 20 Dec 2006 British Prime Minister Tony Blair will call on Wednesday for Middle East states to rein in what he calls the threat from Iran and to help advance peacemaking between Israelis and Palestinians.

Bush accused of gagging critic of Iran policy 18 Dec 2006 The White House yesterday faced fresh accusations of tailoring intelligence to suit its political viewpoint from a former CIA analyst [Flynt Leverett] barred from publishing a critical newspaper commentary on American policy towards Iran.

Iran Article Is Blocked Amid Dispute on Cause 19 Dec 2006 Two former government Mideast experts accused the White House on Monday of abusing secrecy rules to block the publication of an article they had written for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times that criticized Bush administration policy toward Iran.

Iran seeks calculate oil revenue in euros, not dollars 18 Dec 2006 Iran plans to calculate oil and other foreign trade revenue in euros not U.S. dollars beginning the next fiscal year, a top government official said.

Report: Attacks In Iraq At 2-Year High 18 Dec 2006 Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and Iraqi civilians jumped sharply in recent months to the highest level since Iraq 'regained its sovereignty' [since the US-installed dictatorship seized control] in June 2004, the Pentagon told Congress on Monday in the latest indication of that country's spiraling violence.

Iraq Insurgents Starve Capital of Electricity 19 Dec 2006 Over the past six months, Baghdad has been all but isolated electrically, Iraqi officials say, as 'insurgents' [US terrorists] have effectively won their battle to bring down critical high-voltage lines and cut off the capital from the major power plants to the north, south and west. [Oh, you can be *sure* that electricity is flowing to the Green Zone and Bush's Bechtel-built palace.]

Gunmen seize at least $875,000 in Baghdad heist 19 Dec 2006 [US] Gunmen including some wearing police uniforms stole at least 1.25 billion Iraqi dinars ($875,000) in cash in the second major heist in central Baghdad in 10 days, a police source said on Tuesday.

Iraq fuels terrorism, say Tories 19 Dec 2006 Failures in Iraq had placed Britons at greater risk of terrorist attacks at home, David Cameron said yesterday. The Conservative leader, who continues to back the Iraq war, said there was a "wider effect" of British foreign policy to be taken into consideration. He said a Conservative policy group's analysis, that the threat to Britain was bigger now than before the war, was "a statement of fact".

Inquiry Falters on Civilians Accused of Detainee Abuse 19 Dec 2006 A Justice Department team responsible for investigating accusations that civilian government employees had abused detainees has decided against prosecution in most of the nearly 20 cases referred in the last two years by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, said lawyers who have been officially briefed on the effort.

Australian minister says NATO must send troops to southern Afghanistan 19 Dec 2006 A cooperative agreement between British, Canadian and Australian forces in Afghanistan could persuade some NATO countries to provide more support in that country's troubled south, Australia's defense minister said Wednesday.

Enthusiasm For Bush Waning Among Greenwich Republicans 18 Dec 2006 (CT) This wealthy Connecticut suburb is the birthplace of the Bush political dynasty, but even Republicans here are questioning the president's handling of the Iraq war and other important issues. The Bush family has ties to Greenwich dating back to the 1920s.

U.S. Says No Progress at Nuclear Talks 18 Dec 2006 The chief U.S. negotiator said Tuesday there had been no progress yet at renewed six-nation talks aimed at persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms program in exchange for economic aid and security guarantees.

Gunbattle at Gaza hospital kills 1, truce in tatters 19 Dec 2006 Hamas policemen and forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fought gunbattles at Gaza's main hospital on Tuesday, killing one person and wounding 11 in a further sign that a day-old truce was in tatters.

U.S. seeks to rein in its military spy teams --Special Forces units work in allied countries and clash with the CIA. 18 Dec 2006 U.S. Special Forces teams sent overseas on secret spying missions have clashed with the CIA and carried out operations in countries that are staunch U.S. allies, prompting a new effort by the agency and the Pentagon to tighten the rules for military units engaged in espionage, according to senior U.S. intelligence and military officials. The spy missions are part of a highly classified program that officials say has better positioned the United States to track terrorist networks and capture or kill enemy operatives in regions such as the Horn of Africa, where weak governments are unable to respond to 'emerging threats' ['Emerging threats' - i.e., those resisting US terrorists stealing their oil].

Pentagon holds contest for the perfect 'spyware' 18 Dec 2006 Last year DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] launched a project that aims to create that real-time translation software. It’s called GALE, for Global Autonomous Language Exploitation. And on top of GALE’s technical challenges, DARPA added some twists...

U.S. official says no terror "scores" for travelers 19 Dec 2006 A senior Bush administration official on Tuesday played down claims by rights activists that the federal government assigns terror risk scores to millions of people who enter or leave the United States.

New Al Qaeda Message Expected As Terror Anxieties Already High in Europe 18 Dec 2006 Hoda Osman Reports: With European law enforcement officials warning of an imminent holiday terror attack, Web sites associated with al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] announced today that the group's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is about to issue a new statement entitled "the truths about the clash between Islam and atheism."

Foreigners living in Britain face compulsory biometric ID cards --Photo and fingerprint scheme for 700,000 --Visitors to be screened before flying to UK 20 Dec 2006 Compulsory powers to fingerprint and photograph 700,000 foreigners a year who live in Britain as part of the national identity card scheme were announced yesterday by the home secretary, John Reid, as the scope of what critics see as a future Big Brother state became clearer. At the same time, 150 screening centres around the world are to be set up in 18 months so that biometric data - electronic fingerprints and photos - can be taken and stored from passengers coming to Britain from 169 countries outside Europe.

ID card plan sparks fears over data security 19 Dec 2006 The computer database behind the government's controversial ID card scheme will be an amalgamation of existing IT networks, rather then one built from scratch, John Reid announced today. But he insisted that this did not amount to a U-turn. Originally, the record system, known as the national identity register, was to have been entirely newly-built, in order to avoid contamination from errors in existing database files on individuals.

EPA Action Allows Companies to Withhold Information on Toxic Chemicals (U.S. PIRG) 18 Dec 2006 For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized two rollbacks to the nation’s premier toxic pollution disclosure program, the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The changes announced today enable facilities to withhold currently reported information about toxic chemicals and restricts public access to information about toxic pollution.

Federal investigation of Rep. Tim Murphy started, report says 16 Dec 2006 Authorities are investigating whether Rep. Tim Murphy's legislative staff members performed campaign work while on government time, which would violate federal law, according to a broadcast report. Federal authorities have started interviewing Mr. Murphy's former staff members, according to KDKA-TV, which cited anonymous sources. Mr. Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, Penn., won a third term Nov. 7.

Witness: New Orleans cops shot man in back as he ran away 18 Dec 2006 New Orleans police lined up "like at a firing range" and fatally shot an unarmed man in the back as he fled from them in the days after Hurricane Katrina swept ashore, a witness to the shooting told CNN.

MSNBC's Olbermann Seeks Big Raise 18 Dec 2006 Keith Olbermann, the host of Countdown With Keith Olbermann is said to be seeking "north of $4 million" a year, according to an industry source, to re-up on his pact that comes due in April. That would represent roughly a four-fold increase over his current deal, believed to be in the $1 million-per-year range. Olbermann is looking for such a big pay raise because Countdown has been on fire, playing a big part in the current audience uptick at the network. In the key 25-54 demo, its ratings are up 25% year-to-date and an astounding 75% so far in the fourth quarter.

Spain set for warmest year on record 19 Dec 2006 This year is on track to be the warmest on record in Spain, a country which was already hot before global warming set in, the government said on Tuesday.


FDA to discuss Navy request to test use of cow blood on trauma victims without their consent 14 Dec 2006 The Navy's latest proposal to test a blood substitute made by a Massachusetts company on 1,100 trauma victims appears more likely to earn a go-ahead from regulators who had blocked the experiment over safety concerns. The Navy wants to test the product, derived from cow blood, on civilian trauma victims in emergency situations. It proposes doing so without obtaining their consent in advance, as is customary in clinical trials.

Nuclear Weapon Nearly Detonated in the United States 16 Dec 2006 The Project on Government Oversight, a non-profit organisation, has claimed that a W56 warhead with a 1,200 kiloton yield was nearly detonated last year while being dismantled at a factory less than 20 miles from Amarillo. The organisation claims to have been told by unnamed experts with knowledge of the incident that a safety device failed when technicians applied an unsafe amount of pressure during three unsuccessful attempts to dismantle the warhead.

Group: 'Near miss' at Pantex could have set off nuke --Amarillo facility's operator fined $110,000 for incidents. 15 Dec 2006 An accident that occurred last year as a decades-old nuclear warhead was being dismantled at the government's Pantex facility near Amarillo could have caused the device to detonate, a nonprofit organization charged Thursday.

Air Force looks to outsource casket duty 15 Dec 2006 The Air Force is looking for a private contractor to fly caskets out of Dover Air Force Base, Del. Earlier this year, Congress mandated that as of Jan. 1, the Air Force will be responsible for transporting caskets and human remains from Dover to funeral locations. The military was using commercial airlines to transport caskets as part of their cargo.

Tucson military recruiters ran cocaine --Some kept visiting schools for 3 years after FBI caught them on tape 17 Dec 2006 Two military recruiting stations sit side-by-side at a Midtown strip mall in Tucson --one run by the Army, the other by the Marines. Between them, a total of seven recruiters were on the take, secretly accepting bribes to transport cocaine, even as most spent their days visiting local high schools.

"Even Saddam Hussein had more legal counsel than I ever had." Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment --Held as 'a Threat' 18 Dec 2006 Donald Vance, a Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor, was detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military’s maximum-security detention site in Baghdad. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading. "Even Saddam Hussein had more legal counsel than I ever had," said Mr. Vance, who said he planned to sue the former defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld, on grounds that his constitutional rights had been violated. "While we were detained, we wrote a letter to the camp commandant stating that the same democratic ideals we are trying to instill in the fledgling democratic country of Iraq, from simple due process to the Magna Carta, we are absolutely, positively refusing to follow ourselves."

U.S. Military Rehearses Terror Hearings 17 Dec 2006 The U.S. military is rehearsing for hearings on whether 14 top terror suspects can be held indefinitely without charge as enemy combatants, but defense lawyers say the outcome is preordained. Defense attorneys have condemned the hearings as shams because classified evidence is withheld from the detainees and they are not afforded defense lawyers.

Powell: We Are Losing In Iraq --Former Secretary of State Says More Troops Are Not the Answer 17 Dec 2006 The United States is losing the war in Iraq but sending more troops to Baghdad is not the best way to change course, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Face The Nation.

Saddam's troops are welcome back: PM 18 Dec 2006 The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has called on former members of Saddam Hussein's army to join the new security forces in an effort to restore peace to the country.

UK troops to stay in Iraq until job done: Blair 17 Dec 2006 British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Sunday British troops would stay in Iraq "until the job is done" and pledged to support the country's weak government as it battles 'sectarian' [US] violence and a raging Sunni Arab 'insurgency.'

Dem. leader backs temporary rise in troops in Iraq 17 Dec 2006 Senate DemocRATic Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday he would support a short-term increase in U.S. troops in Iraq being weighed by President [sic] George W. Bush if it is part of a broader withdrawal plan.

U.S. to triple number of military trainers in Iraq 17 Dec 2006 The U.S. military plans to speed up the training of Iraq's army by tripling its number of embedded trainers [?!?] to about 9,000, while keeping a close eye on units' sectarian loyalties, a U.S. general said on Sunday.

Iraq gunmen abduct 25 aid workers 18 Dec 2006 [US] Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms burst into Red Crescent offices in Baghdad yesterday and kidnapped more than two dozen people in the latest sign of the country's growing lawlessness.

Troops in Iraq to get fire-resistant uniforms 14 Dec 2006 Flame-resistant uniforms will be standard issue for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by early 2007, Pentagon officials say. More than 160,000 suits made of the flame-retardant fabric NOMEX will be sent to combat zones, said Thomas Edwards, assistant deputy chief of staff for Army logistics.

One Marine dies in Al Anbar 18 Dec 2006 One Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died Dec. 16 from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.

U.S. senator criticizes Afghanistan for producing illicit drugs 18 Dec 2006 The Head of the visiting senate delegation of the United States to Kabul, Senator John McCain, has compared the role of Afghanistan with Columbia in producing narcotics, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

France to withdraw 200 special forces from Afghanistan 17 Dec 2006 France will withdraw its 200-strong special forces from Afghanistan, all of its ground troops engaged in the U.S anti-terror operation code-named Enduring Freedom, authorities said.

Connecticut soldier killed in Afghanistan 17 Dec 2006 A Connecticut-based soldier has been killed in Afghanistan by a roadside explosive, his wife said Sunday.

North Korea talks resume 18 Dec 2006 Six-country talks on scrapping North Korea's nuclear arms resumed on Monday after a one-year standoff, but hopes for progress were not high after Pyongyang made clear that its priority was ending a U.S. cash squeeze.

Al Qaeda training would-be jihadists from the West 25 Dec 2006 For the past year, a secret has been slowly spreading among Taliban commanders in Afghanistan: a 12-man team of Westerners was being trained by Al Qaeda [Al CIAduh] in Pakistan for a special mission. Most of the Afghan fighters could rely only on hearsay, but some told of seeing the "English brothers" in person... A few weeks ago Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, director-general of the British security service MI5, publicly disclosed that British authorities are monitoring 200 networks and 1,600 individuals "actively engaged in plotting or facilitating terrorist acts here and overseas." [MI5 can monitor 200 networks and 1,600 individuals --or, they can monitor their organizer, Bush.]

Ex-judge questions terrorism legislation 18 Dec 2006 (AU) Significant parts of the Government's terrorism laws could be unconstitutional, recently retired High Court judge Michael McHugh has said.

Bye-bye, Posse Comitatus: US Army might break Goodyear strike 15 Dec 2006 The US Army is considering measures to force striking workers back to their jobs at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Kansas in the face of a looming shortage of tyres for Humvee trucks and other military equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interior Dept. foregoes collecting $900 million in oil company royalties 14 Dec 2006 The Interior Department today announced that six oil companies will begin paying the government its due for off-shore oil drilling under federal leases that lacked price thresholds with which to calculate the royalties. But the deal with BP, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil Co., Shell, and Walter Oil and Gas Corp. is not retroactive. The companies began paying royalties on the leases as of Oct. 1, 2006, meaning that an estimated $900 million already lost will not be recovered.

Mexico, USA Opposition to Secret Toxic Landfill 18 Dec 2006 With citizen pressure mounting, U.S. environmental officials have told Mexican counterparts to guarantee public safety or reject the proposed La Choya hazardous waste landfill near the Arizona-Sonora state boundary. Mexico's federal Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (Semarnat) initially authorized the toxic waste confinement on Oct. 13, 2005, without a public hearing.

U.S. Is Proposing to Cut Medicaid's Drug Payments 18 Dec 2006 The Bush regime on Monday will propose sweeping reductions in payments to pharmacies as a way to save money for Medicaid, the health program for more than 50 million low-income people.

Edwards joins Democratic race for presidency 18 Dec 2006 John Edwards, the Democrats' 'defeated' [sic] vice-presidential candidate in 2004, is launching a second run for the White House, bolstered by strong ties to the labour movement and his position as the party's only serious candidate from the South.

Thousands still without power, heat as forecast turns colder 17 Dec 2006 (WA) Thousands of Puget Sound-area residents are preparing to spend what for many will be their fifth night without power tonight, unable to heat their homes or cook as temperatures drop near the freezing level. At least eight deaths have now been attributed to the storm.

Climate change melts Kilimanjaro's snows 16 Dec 2006 Rivers of ice at the Equator — foretold in the 2nd century, found in the 19th — are now melting away in this new century, returning to the realm of lore and fading photographs. Almost every one of more than 300 large glaciers studied worldwide is in retreat, international glaciologists reported in October in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. This is "essentially a response to post-1970 global warming," they said.


Hussein-Era Soldiers Invited to Return 17 Dec 2006 Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on members of former President Saddam Hussein's disbanded army to join Iraq's new security forces in an effort to restore peace to the war-racked country.

Options Weighed for Surge in G.I.'s to 'Stabilize' Iraq 16 Dec 2006 Military planners and White House budget analysts have been asked to provide President [sic] Bush with options for increasing American forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more. The request indicates that the option of a major "surge" in troop strength is gaining ground as part of a White House strategy review, senior administration officials said Friday.

More troops to Afghanistan if required: US 17 Dec 2006 Washington will send more troops to Afghanistan "if it's necessary," US Senator John McCain said on Saturday. He urged increased training for Afghan security forces and the movement of European troops to the country's insurgency-plagued south.

US general says Iraq could 'break' army 16 Dec 2006 The US Army's highest-ranking uniformed officer has warned that without more men and money, his active-duty force "will break" under the strains of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pentagon Request of $99.7 Billion More for War Would Set Record 15 Dec 2006 Spending on Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on [of] terror would reach a record $170 billion in fiscal 2007 under the latest U.S. Defense Department emergency spending request. The military's request for $99.7 billion more in funding comes on top of the $70 billion that Congress approved in September and is 45 percent higher than the $117 billion in supplemental funding approved last year.

Pentagon eyes $468.9 bln budget for fiscal 2008 15 Dec 2006 The White House has approved a $468.9 billion budget for the Pentagon in fiscal year 2008, a six-percent increase over last year's request, according to a Defense Department document obtained by Reuters.

Another bl*w job for Halliburton: U.S. to Armor-Plate Iraqi Police Vehicles --Program to Cover 1,300 SUVs, Trucks 16 Dec 2006 Reacting to criticism that the United States has not provided the right equipment to Iraqi security forces, the Multi-National Command in Baghdad has been seeking a contractor to put armor on 1,300 American-made SUVs and pickup trucks used by the Iraqi National Police [to protect the US death squads].

Incoming Chairmen Ready to Investigate --Democratic-Led Panels to Probe Administration's Actions in War and Counterterrorism 16 Dec 2006 Incoming Democratic committee chairmen say they will hold a series of hearings and investigations early next year to build the case for their call for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and for possible action against defense contractors found to have wasted billions in federal funds.

Mega barf alert! Rumsfeld Retires Amid Pomp, Ceremony 15 Dec 2006 Architect of the war in Iraq, Defense Secretary [War Criminal] Donald H. Rumsfeld was praised lavishly for his service to the nation Friday as he called on Americans to spend more heavily on 'defense.'

3 more GIs killed in Iraq this week 15 Dec 2006 Three more U.S. troops died in fighting this week, the military said Friday, raising to 54 the number of Americans killed in Iraq in December — nearly half of them in Anbar.

U.S. military publishes manual to fight insurgents 15 Dec 2006 The U.S. military published a new counterinsurgency manual on Friday that draws on lessons from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stresses that troops must be able to do more than just fight.

Army chief accused of lying about Britain's readiness for Iraq war 16 Dec 2006 An inquest into the death of a British tank commander killed in Iraq has heard a tape he recorded three days before his death, in which he accuses the Army of telling "a blatant lie" by saying that British troops were ready for war, and tells his wife, "I just want to come home."

UK probing Afghanistan shootings 16 Dec 2006 The military is investigating the shooting of civilians by British troops as they sped away from a suicide bomb attack in southern Afghanistan that injured three soldiers and killed three Afghans.

Canadian general says reinforcements in Afghanistan would shorten conflict 15 Dec 2006 Canadian troops will make do with the resources at hand in Afghanistan even though reinforcements to the war-torn southern region would shorten the conflict, said the man in charge of all overseas Canadian Forces operations [Lt.-Gen. Mike Gauthier].

Canadian soldier injured by Afghanistan landmine 16 Dec 206 A Canadian soldier is in serious but stable condition after stepping on a landmine in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan.

Foreign officers meet with National Guard --Los Alamitos base site of training exercises for joint operations [for the New World Order]. 15 Dec 2006 About 20 military officers from foreign nations met with California National Guard representatives this week on the Joint Forces Training Base to plan for multinational military training exercises.

Talk of Satellite Defense Raises Fears of Space War --U.S. Says Attacks on Crucial Systems Are Possible, Warns It Would Respond Forcefully 17 Dec 2006 In a speech last week, a senior Bush administration official warned that other nations, and possibly terrorist groups, are "acquiring capabilities to counter, attack and defeat U.S. space systems." Although the 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty, signed by the United States, allows only peaceful uses of space, some believe that the United States is moving toward some level of weaponization, especially related to a missile defense system.

Testimony Helps Detail CIA's Post-9/11 Reach --Europeans Told of CIA's Plans for Abductions 16 Dec 2006 A few days after [Bush's] Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the CIA station chief in Rome paid a visit to the head of Italy's military intelligence agency, Adm. Gianfranco Battelli, to float a proposal: Would the Italian secret services help the CIA kidnap terrorism suspects and fly them out of the country? This initial secret contact and others that followed, disclosed in newly released documents, show the speed and breadth with which the CIA applied in post-9/11 Europe a tactic it had long reserved for the Third World -- "extraordinary rendition," the extrajudicial abduction of Islamic radicals overseas for interrogation in friendly countries.

Tortured Canadian Still on U.S. 'Watch List' --Man Cleared By Ottawa Inquiry 16 Dec 2006 Maher Arar, the Canadian Muslim who was whisked by U.S. agents from a New York airport to imprisonment and torture in Syria, remains on the U.S. "watch list" despite an exhaustive Canadian inquiry that found he is an innocent man, the U.S. ambassador to Canada said Friday. Ambassador David Wilkins said in an interview with CBC Radio that Arar "is on the watch list and has been since he was deported" in 2002 to Syria, where he was held for 10 months, much of it in a coffin-like dungeon.

Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely 15 Dec 2006 The hard core [?!?] of detainees held at America's Guantanamo Bay detention camp will continue to be held indefinitely even if there is insufficient evidence to bring them to trial, a senior Bush regime official has warned. Of the 435 detainees currently being held at Guantanamo, only 10 have so far been charged with terrorism-related offences. But of the remainder an estimated 200 detainees face being held indefinitely at Guantanamo because they are deemed a threat to international security, even though there is insufficient evidence to bring them before a military tribunal.

Guantanamo detainees to be held indefinitely even without charges: US official 15 Dec 2006 US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger told the Daily Telegraph on Friday that Guantanamo Bay detainees considered an ongoing threat to security will remain in custody indefinitely, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a military commission. In an interview with the Telegraph, Bellinger said that "the remaining people - other than the ones who have been approved for release - really do pose a threat." Bellinger also indicated that there are no plans to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo for trial, saying that "at this point trials [sic] will be held on Guantanamo."

Military Taking a Tougher Line With Detainees 16 Dec 2006 Security procedures at Guantánamo have been tightened. Group activities have been scaled back. With the retrofitting of Camp 6 and the near-emptying of another showcase camp for compliant prisoners, military officials said about three-fourths of the detainees would eventually be held in maximum-security cells.

Hicks to wait two years for his trial 16 Dec 2006 David Hicks could be held at Guantanamo Bay for another two years before facing trial, his US lawyer said yesterday. Hicks's military-appointed lawyer, Major Michael Mori, said the US Supreme Court could take until 2009 to decide whether the system to be used for his trial was legal.

Hicks will not get fair trial, says Rudd 15 Dec 2006 Terror suspect David Hicks could not get a fair trial before a US military commission, Labor leader Kevin Rudd said today. Mr Rudd called for Hicks to be released from his incarceration at Guantanamo Bay, despite lawyers for the Adelaide-born man suffering a legal setback today.

Hicks challenge set for February 16 Dec 2006 Australian terror suspect David Hicks has suffered another setback in his attempt to be freed from the Guantanamo Bay jail where he has spent the past five years. Hicks' legal team is seeking orders in the Federal Court in Sydney for the Federal Government to demand that US authorities release the Adelaide man. His lawyers hoped to be granted a hearing in early January, saying the case was urgent. But Justice Brian Tamberlin yesterday set a date of February 26 after agreeing with the Government's lawyers that he first had to decide whether he had the power to hear Hicks' case.

My irony meter just melted By nightshift66 15 Dec 2006 The federal government is prosecuting the son of the former Liberian dictator, under American law, for... torture. No, really. Under 18 USC § 2340A the US can prosecute "Anyone involved in torture who is present in the United States, regardless of nationality of the victim or offender or where the crime occurred." So, the administration responsible for Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, secret CIA hellholes, and invisible detention centers in the US, and that apparently drove at least one detainee insane, is going after the son of a former head of state for crimes he committed in Liberia against Liberians. Don't get me wrong; if he's guilty of what's described at the link, he deserves it. I'm just saying, THIS administration is pushing this case?

Blair sinking amid sleaze allegations 16 Dec 2006 The era of Tony Blair, it seems, is ending not with the bang of fireworks celebrating unprecedented political and economic success, but with the whimperings of a prime minister mired in sleaze allegations.

Rapid slum growth breeds crime, terrorism says UN 15 Dec 2006 The rapid growth of slums in the world's towns and cities is increasing urban poverty and creating a breeding ground for terrorism, fanaticism, pollution and disease, the United Nations said on Friday.

Shot fired; man faces terrorism charge 16 Dec 2006 An Iowa City man faces a terrorism charge after police say he fired a shotgun after a fight with a neighbor. Zachary J. Peak, 22, faces one count of terrorism, a Class D felony, in connection with the incident, which happened around 3:20 a.m. today.

Edwards Plans 2008 Campaign Announcement 16 Dec 2006 Sen. Evan Bayh on Saturday ended his White House bid while 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards finalized plans to get in, fast-paced jockeying in a Democratic race under the shadow of two unannounced candidates.

Sen. Johnson Resting, Remains Critical 16 Dec 2006 Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., was in critical condition Saturday and resting from brain surgery. In South Dakota, the governor said people were standing behind the stricken lawmaker and he urged patience during Johnson's recovery.

Lethal Injection Is On Hold in 2 States --Florida Governor Suspends Executions; Judge Orders California to Alter Methods 16 Dec 2006 Executions by lethal injection were suspended in Florida and ordered revamped in California on Friday, as the chemical method once billed as a more humane way of killing the condemned came under mounting scrutiny over the pain it may cause.

Record high winter temperature set in Moscow 15 Dec 2006 A winter maximum temperature record for Moscow was set Friday, the capital's weather bureau said Friday. Friday's maximum of 8.6°C (47.48°F) is the highest winter temperature on record for the Russian capital, the spokesman said.

Global Warming Poses Threat to Ski Resorts in the Alps 16 Dec 2006 How balmy has it been in the Alps these last few months? At the bottom of the Hahnenkamm, the famously treacherous downhill course in this Austrian ski resort, the slope peters out into a grassy field. And it’s just 10 days before Christmas.


Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war 15 Dec 2006 The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. A devastating attack on Mr Blair's justification for military action by Carne Ross, Britain's key negotiator at the UN, has been kept under wraps until now because he was threatened with being charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Report: U.K. case for war 'torn apart' 15 Dec 2006 A committee of Britain's Parliament has published formerly secret testimony that the newspaper The Independent says has "torn apart" the case for war in Iraq. The testimony, given by a former British negotiator at the United Nations, provides evidence that Prime Minister Tony Blair lied about former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, the newspaper said Friday.

Bush weighing deeper commitment in Iraq, officials say 14 Dec 2006 President [sic] Bush is weighing whether to make a deeper American commitment in Iraq despite growing public unhappiness with the war, according to senior U.S. officials and former officials familiar with Bush's high-level review.

Military Considers Sending as Many as 35,000 More U.S. Troops to Iraq, McCain Says 15 Dec 2006 Senator John McCain said Thursday that American military commanders were discussing the possibility of adding as many as 10 more combat brigades — a maximum of about 35,000 troops — to "bring the situation under control." [There's about as much chance of that as a cat with a long tail in room filled with rocking chairs.]

General Says Army Will Need to Grow --Iraq and Afghanistan Are Straining the Force, Chief of Staff Warns 15 Dec 2006 Warning that the active-duty Army "will break" under the strain of today's war-zone rotations, the nation's top Army general yesterday called for expanding the force by 7,000 or more soldiers a year and lifting Pentagon restrictions on involuntary call-ups of Army National Guard and Army Reserve troops.

Democrats Expected to Increase U.S. Military Spending (OneWorld) 13 Dec 2006 Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress are likely to drive U.S. military budgets even higher in 2007, experts say. This year's Pentagon budget is $436 billion. That amount does not include more than $140 billion that's being spent this year alone on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Insurgents attack Iraqi president's convoy 14 Dec 2006 Unknown gunmen opened fire at the convoy of Iraqi President Adel Abdul Mehdi in western Baghdad on Thursday, said an interior ministry official.

Gunmen kidnap dozens in Baghdad 14 Dec 2006 Gunmen dressed in military uniforms [That's because they *were* military gunmen!] have kidnapped dozens of people from a commercial area in central Baghdad, according to Iraqi police. Between 20 and 30 people - including Shia and Sunni shopkeepers and pedestrians - were abducted in the Sanak area of the capital, reports say. Eyewitnesses said the men were in 10 vehicles - some of them painted like government cars [That's because they *were* government cars!]

Bush's reaction alarms Iraq panelist 15 Dec 2006 Iraq Study Group member Leon E. Panetta believed that his panel's unanimous bipartisan recommendations about a new way forward in Iraq would give President [sic] Bush the political cover needed for a dramatic policy shift. So Panetta has watched with alarm as Bush this week signaled that he may reject suggestions about diplomacy and withdrawing most US troops from Iraq by 2008.

U.S. Rejects Enlisting Iran, Syria 15 Dec 2006 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday rejected a bipartisan panel's recommendation that the United States seek the help of Syria and Iran in Iraq, saying the "compensation" required by any deal might be too high. Rice also said there would be no retreat from the administration's push to promote 'democracy' [install new Bush-friendly dictatorships] in the Middle East, a goal that was de-emphasized by the Iraq Study Group in its report last week but that Rice insisted was a "matter of strategic interest."

Israeli High Court Backs Military On Its Policy of 'Targeted Killings' 14 Dec 2006 Israel's high court upheld Thursday the military's right to assassinate members of groups the state defines as terrorist organizations, but cautioned that such operations should always be weighed first against the potential harm to civilian bystanders and the human rights of the target.

Four killed, 29 wounded in suicide attack in southern Afghanistan 14 Dec 2006 A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden vest he was wearing Thursday, killing four people and wounding 29 in southern Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said.

Troops Sue to Avoid Anthrax Vaccines 13 Dec 2006 Members of the military sued on Wednesday to prevent the Pentagon from requiring anthrax vaccinations, the latest legal challenge over the vaccine's possible health risks.

Army link to stolen weaponry 15 Dec 2006 Rogue elements in the Australian military are feared to be behind the blackmarket sale of a cache of rocket launchers and guns to terrorist and criminal groups. NSW counter-terrorism police are overseeing an investigation by the Middle Eastern Crime Squad, which is trying to locate eight of nine anti-tank weapons it suspects may have been stolen from the army for use within Australia.

Germany's Steinmeier to Testify on CIA Abduction Case 14 Dec 2006 German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will testify at an inquiry into what Germany's past and present governments knew about the alleged abduction by U.S. authorities of Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin.

Official: Germany did not help CIA 14 Dec 2006 Germany's foreign minister said Thursday that he did not know of the CIA's alleged kidnapping of a German man [Khaled al-Masri] until after the man was released.

Boston Air Traffic Controller Says 9/11 An Inside Job --Knew people in FAA on day of hijackings who said intercept procedures should have been enacted as normal By Paul Joseph Watson 14 Dec 2006 A former Boston Center air traffic controller has gone public on his assertion that 9/11 was an inside job and that Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon tracked three of the four flights from the point of their hijacking to hitting their targets. In an astounding telephone interview, Robin Hordon claims air traffic controllers have been ignored or silenced to protect the true perpetrators of 9/11. [See: Interview w/ former Boston Center Air Traffic Controller regarding 9/11 (Google video).]

U.S. Subpoena Is Seen as Bid to Stop Leaks 14 Dec 2006 Federal prosecutors are trying to force the American Civil Liberties Union to turn over copies of a classified document it received from a source, using what legal experts called a new extension of the Bush administration’s efforts to 'protect national-security secrets' [lie]. The novelty in the government's approach is in its broad use of a grand jury subpoena, which is typically a way to gather evidence, rather than to confiscate all traces of it.

Proposed curbs on Freedom of Information 15 Dec 2006 (UK) Attempts to unearth government secrets using the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act will be severely curtailed under plans outlined yesterday.

Blair questioned by police on day of 'burying bad news' 15 Dec 2006 Downing Street faced accusations of trying to "bury bad news" by using the release of the report on the death Diana, Princess of Wales, to overshadow a two-hour grilling of the Prime Minister by police as part of the "cash-for-honours" investigation.

Wellstoned? Senator in critical condition after emergency procedure --Illness prompts questions about majority control 15 Dec 2006 Democratic Senator Tim Johnson lay in critical condition but was described as recovering yesterday after emergency overnight surgery to repair bleeding inside his brain. His illness raised questions over whether the Democrats would hold their newly won control of the Senate.

US Democrats may lose control of Senate 15 Dec 2006 A Democratic senator [Tim Johnson] is in critical condition recovering from emergency brain surgery, creating political drama over whether his illness could cost Democrats control of the new US Senate next month.

Senator's illness could spark US political upheaval 14 Dec 2006 The sudden illness of South Dakota Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson has huge potential ramifications in the narrowly divided Senate and for the rest of President [sic] George W. Bush's term... If Johnson dies or resigns, South Dakota law says Republican Gov. Michael Rounds would name someone to finish the final two years of his six-year term. [LieberBush will vote with the GOP, so the GOP would retain control.]

10,000 US researchers sign statement protesting political interference in scientific process 14 Dec 2006 Some 10,000 US researchers have signed a statement protesting about political interference in the scientific process. The statement, which includes the backing of 52 Nobel Laureates, demands a restoration of scientific integrity in government policy. According to the American Union of Concerned Scientists, data is being misrepresented for political reasons.

Criminal Inquiries Look at U.S. Oil-Gas Unit 15 Dec 2006 The Justice Department has begun two criminal investigations into the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, which is already the focus of several inquiries into its collection of royalties for oil and gas produced on federal property. The investigations are an unexpected development in what has already become a broad examination of the Interior Department’s oversight of companies that pump more than $60 billion worth of oil and gas each year from publicly owned land and coastal waters.

Groups push probe of mining mercury emissions, Nev. fisheries 14 Dec 2006 The nation's largest gold producing state has been asked to investigate whether mercury emissions from the mines are contaminating area fisheries.

Judge slams FEMA handling of Katrina housing payments as 'legal disaster' 14 Dec 2006 US District Judge Richard J. Leon said Wednesday that systems set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to manage housing payments for victims of Hurricane Katrina had created a "legal disaster" and ordered several FEMA officials to appear in court Monday to testify about the housing program.

Judge demands answers on Katrina housing program 13 Dec 2006 A federal judge called the Bush administration's handling of a Hurricane Katrina housing program "a legal disaster" today and ordered officials to explain a computer system that can neither precisely count evacuees nor provide reasons why they were denied aid.

More Americans hungry, homeless in 2006: mayors 14 Dec 2006 More Americans went homeless and hungry in 2006 than the year before and children made up almost a quarter of those in emergency shelters, said a report released on Thursday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

U.S. stocks end sharply higher, with Dow at new high 14 Dec 2006 U.S. stocks closed sharply higher Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrials Average setting a record high close, after positive forecasts from some household names helped investors shrug off an upcoming cut in oil output. [Yes, the 2006 'elections' are over.]

New Jersey approves gay civil unions 14 Dec 2006 New Jersey lawmakers approved same-sex civil unions on Thursday, giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights as married partners without allowing such relationships to be called "marriage."

Global Warming Trend Continues in 2006, Climate Agencies Say 15 Dec 2006 A decades-long global warming trend that most climate experts say is linked to rising levels of heat-trapping smokestack and tailpipe gases continued apace this year, according to summaries issued yesterday by several national and international climate agencies.


Bush to seek $100 bln more war funds: House report 13 Dec 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush will soon seek about $100 billion in additional emergency funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report on Wednesday by Democratic staffers for two key panels in the U.S. House of Representatives. [OMFG! What were the 2006 "elections" for?!? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.]

'It was part of a deliberate violation of the laws of the U.S. by the top levels of the administration.' '04 Pentagon Report Cited Detention Concerns 14 Dec 2006 A previously undisclosed Pentagon report concluded that the three terrorism suspects held at a brig in South Carolina were subjected to months of isolation, and it warned that their "unique" solitary confinement could be viewed as violating U.S. detention standards. According to a summary of the 2004 report obtained by The Washington Post, interrogators attempted to deprive one detainee, Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, of sleep and religious comfort... as part of an interrogation plan approved by the high-level Joint Forces Command.

Bush's anti-terrorism law upheld 13 Dec 2006 A US court has upheld President [sic] George W Bush's new anti[pro]-terror law, agreeing that Guantanamo inmates cannot challenge their imprisonment in courts.

Federal judge invokes Military Commissions Act to reject Guantanamo habeas petition 13 Dec 2006 A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a habeas corpus petition brought by Guantanamo detainee Salim Hamdan, finding it was clearly barred under the controversial habeas-stripping language of the new Military Commissions Act (MCA) even though it was pending at the time the Act was passed.

Death penalty dropped against soldier charged with rape, murder 13 Dec 2006 The Army dropped the death penalty Wednesday as a possible sentence for a soldier [Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman] charged with rape and murder in the deaths of 14-year-old girl and three others in Iraq.

Defense Employees Set For Another Suit to Halt Mandatory Anthrax Shots 13 Dec 2006 Six unnamed Defense Department employees are renewing their legal battle to stop Pentagon officials from administering mandatory anthrax vaccinations, claiming that the Food and Drug Administration's approval of the shot was flawed and puts people at risk. The employees, who are either in the military or are civilian defense workers, argue that they should not be forced to take the vaccine because there is no scientific proof that it is effective for humans and it has potentially lethal side effects, said Mark S. Zaid, a Washington lawyer who plans to file the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. [Hopefully, Rumsfeld was vaccinated.]

General foresees 50 to 100 years fight against terrorism 13 Dec 2006 The American people need to prepare for a long-duration war against radical Muslims who are set to fight for 50 to 100 years to create an Islamist state in the region, a top Pentagon strategist in the war on [of ] terror says.

UK 'plot' terror charge dropped 13 Dec 2006 A Pakistani judge has ruled there is not enough evidence to try a key suspect in an alleged airline bomb plot on terrorism charges. He has moved the case of Rashid Rauf, a Briton, from an anti-terrorism court to a regular court, where he faces lesser charges such as forgery.

ACLU Challenges Government Attempt to Seize "Secret" Document --Unprecedented Grand Jury Subpoena Seeks to Confiscate Document; ACLU Files Motion to Quash in New York Court 13 Dec 2006 The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it has asked a federal judge to quash a grand jury subpoena demanding that it turn over to the FBI "any and all copies" of a December 2005 government document in its possession. The ACLU called the subpoena, served on November 20 by the U.S. Attorney's office in New York, a transparent attempt to intimidate government critics and suppress informed criticism and reporting.

FBI Officials Said Anti-terror Training Not Given Due Weight in Agent Promotions, Group Reports 13 Dec 2006 Lawyers for a once-decorated terror-fighting FBI agent are making public hundreds of pages of testimony from the bureau's top brass declaring that terrorism expertise has been given little weight in promoting agents since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Newly Released FBI Documents Disclose Grave Deficiencies in the War on Terrorism 13 Dec 2006 The National Whistleblower Center, a nationally recognized FBI Watchdog group, has released to the public extensive sworn and documentary evidence concerning the FBI’s actual response to the attacks of September 11, 2001... The NWC is making this unprecedented release in order to give the American public the inside and uncensored view of the domestic response to the September 11 attacks.

Security cameras raise rights worry in NY: report 13 Dec 2006 The security cameras are watching, a New York rights group warned on Wednesday. Security cameras have increased fivefold in parts of New York City and have become so pervasive that they threaten the rights of privacy, speech and association, the New York Civil Liberties Union, or NYCLU, said in a report. Moreover, there was no evidence the cameras deterred crime, the group said.

Bird flu bill passed unanimously 14 Dec 2006 (New Zealand) A bill that gives the Government sweeping powers to suspend almost all laws to control a bird flu outbreak has passed with unanimous support - but the rules on triggering it have been tightened. The Law Reform (Epidemic Preparedness) Bill grants sweeping powers - including the ability to ban public gatherings, requisition buildings, vehicles and medicines and allowing police to detain people for medical tests. The bill also allows the quarantine of people suspected of having bird flu or other pandemic diseases.

Joint Chiefs Advise Change In War 'Strategy' --Leaders Seek No Major Troop Increase, Urge Shift in Focus to Support of Iraqi Army 14 Dec 2006 The nation's top uniformed leaders are recommending that the United States change its main military mission in Iraq from combating 'insurgents' to supporting Iraqi troops and hunting terrorists [hunting themselves], said sources familiar with the White House's ongoing Iraq policy review.

General: Redeploy troops in Iraq soon 13 Dec 2006 A proposal developed by top U.S. commanders in Iraq would significantly redeploy troops from a combat role to training and advising Iraqi forces, according to four administration officials.

We'll arm Sunni insurgents in Iraq, say Saudis 14 Dec 2006 Saudi Arabia would respond to an American withdrawal from Iraq by funding and arming Sunni insurgents to prevent them being massacred by Shia militias, the kingdom has told the White House.

Bomb Blasts in Iraq Kill at Least 23 13 Dec 2006 Bomb blasts killed at least 23 people in Iraq on Wednesday, including seven Iraqi soldiers.

Less than 25 pct back Bush's Iraq strategy-US poll Less than one in four Americans approves of President [sic] George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq war, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday that mirrored other recent surveys. The poll found only 23 percent backed Bush's Iraq strategy, an 11-point drop since the previous NBC/Journal poll in late October.

War protester Cindy Sheehan convicted of trespassing 11 Dec 2006 Peace activist Cindy Sheehan and three other women were convicted Monday of trespassing for trying to delivery an anti-Iraq war petition to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

2,000 killed in Afghanistan since Sept. 13 Dec 2006 Almost 2,100 militants have been killed in Afghanistan since Sept. 1 in operations involving occupation special forces soldiers, a U.S. Army spokesman said. That means more than half of the country's insurgency-related deaths this year have come in the last three months.

Israelis accused of vandalising airport 14 Dec 2006 The Israeli army has been accused of mindlessly destroying the terminal building at Gaza International Airport. A once pristine modern structure, which had come to symbolise Palestinian statehood, has been wrecked.

Pinochet death renews calls for U.S. to release secret Chile files on covert CIA role 13 Dec 2006 A report released by the CIA in 2000 said the agency had been "aware of coup-plotting by the military, had ongoing intelligence-collection relationships with some plotters and -- because CIA did not discourage the takeover and had sought to instigate a coup in 1970 -- probably appeared to condone it." A secret cable from the CIA deputy director of plans, Thomas Karamessines, conveyed Kissinger's orders to CIA Santiago station chief Henry Hecksher in 1970: "It is firm and continuing policy that [Salvador] Allende be overthrown by a coup," and that the "American hand" be hidden. Nixon's CIA Director Richard Helms' own handwritten notes said the president, intent on saving Chile from communism, ordered covert operations to "make the economy scream" under Allende. Declassified transcripts portray Kissinger downplaying concern over Chile's human rights record, even as the dictatorship was torturing and killing thousands of opponents. The death toll would eventually reach at least 3,197.

'Conspiracy theorists' press case on Diana's death 13 Dec 2006 Diana, Princess of Wales, was a vocal opponent of landmines and had a growing political influence on the issue. Like many celebrity-activists before her, 'conspiracy theorists' [truth seekers] claim she was tracked by U.S. intelligence officials. "The public profile she took on land mines certainly didn't endear her to some countries and that might have been a problem for her," Nick Fielding, an author on intelligence issues and former Sunday Times journalist, told CTV Newsnet.

S.D. Democrat hospitalized, did not suffer stroke 13 Dec 2006Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., was hospitalized Wednesday, but tests indicated that he did not suffer a stroke, his office said. If Johnson is not able to serve when the 110th Congress convenes early next month, the Senate -- which the Democrats narrowly captured in November's elections, 51 to 49 -- could revert to Republican control.

South Dakota Sen. Johnson suffers possible stroke 13 Dec 2006 Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota suffered a possible stroke today and was taken to a Washington hospital, his office said. If he should be unable to continue to serve, it could halt the scheduled Democratic takeover of the Senate. South Dakota's governor, who would appoint any temporary replacement, is a Republican. [LIEberBush will vote with the GOP, so it looks like Cheney Anthrax gets his Christmas wish.]

Oregon senator prepares universal health coverage plan 13 Dec 2006 Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) is readying a proposal to provide health care coverage to all Americans through a pool of private insurance plans.

Late Mortgage Payments and Foreclosures Rise 14 Dec 2006 The number of people paying their mortgages late — or not paying them at all — increased up in recent months, a trend that is expected to continue well into next year.

Ex-aides allege abuse of power 12 Dec 2006 U.S. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar, CA) exercised political muscle for personal gain, ex-aides say. A real estate developer and one of the wealthiest members of Congress, Miller has come under scrutiny in his district and in Washington for a series of recent votes and other maneuvers that public watchdogs said were ethically and legally questionable.

Breach at UCLA exposes data on 800,000 12 Dec 2006 The University of California, Los Angeles, today began sending out letters to more than 800,000 individuals whose personal information may have been compromised in a database breach that remained undetected for more than a year.

"We've never seen anything like this -- ever." Thousands of ducks mysteriously dying in Idaho 13 Dec 2006 Officials scrambled on Wednesday to determine what has caused the deaths of thousands of mallard ducks in south-central Idaho near the Utah border. Wildlife experts have sent samples to government labs to test for the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain, among other pathogens. Officials with the federal Bureau of Homeland Security [?!?] have been also called in to help with the probe.

This year will be Britain's warmest since records began, say scientists --Surge in temperature astounds weather experts --Man - not nature - is to blame, researchers say 14 Dec 2006 Britain is on course for the warmest year since records began, according to figures from the Met Office and the University of East Anglia yesterday. Temperatures in central England have been recorded since 1659, the world's longest climate record, and they indicate the trend towards warming weather across Britain as a whole.


Army, Marine Corps to Ask for More Troops 13 Dec 2006 The Army and Marine Corps are planning to ask incoming Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Congress to approve permanent increases in personnel, as senior officials in both services assert that the nation's global military strategy has outstripped their resources. In addition, the Army will press hard for "full access" to the 346,000-strong Army National Guard and the 196,000-strong Army Reserves by asking Gates to take the politically sensitive step of easing the Pentagon restrictions on the frequency and duration of involuntary call-ups for reservists, according to two senior Army officials.

Pentagon's plan: More U.S. troops in Iraq 12 Dec 2006 As President [sic] Bush weighs new policy options for Iraq, strong support has coalesced in the Pentagon behind a military plan to "double down" in the country with a substantial buildup in American troops, an increase in industrial aid and a major combat offensive against Muqtada Sadr, the Shiite leader.

Bush said likely to unveil Iraq plan in early '07 12 Dec 2006 President [sic] George W. Bush is likely to delay the unveiling of a new strategy for Iraq until early 2007, instead of late this year as originally planned, a White House official said on Tuesday. A senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the 'plan' was now "more likely" to come in the new year.

We'll stick by the US, Downer vows 13 Dec 2006 US President [sic] George W Bush received a strong show of support from Australia on Tuesday, with Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer declaring "we stick by our mates through thick and thin". Downer reaffirmed Australia's troop commitment in Iraq and also rejected calls for an early US withdrawal.

Truck Bomb in Iraq Kills 70 in Iraq 12 Dec 2006 A truck loaded with bags of wheat drove up to a crowd early Tuesday, lured them close with a promise of work and exploded as they gathered around. Seventy were killed and 236 were wounded, officials said. The attack, in a square in central Baghdad, together with corpses found by Iraqi authorities, pushed the day’s death toll across Iraq to at least 131, the highest total since a bombing killed more than 200 here last month.

AP cameraman killed by 'Iraq insurgents' 12 Dec 2006 A television cameraman working for The Associated Press was shot to death by 'insurgents' [US death squads] while covering clashes Tuesday in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

Saudis tell U.S. they may back Iraq's Sunnis-NY Times 13 Dec 2006 Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in a war against Iraqi Shiites if the United States withdraws from Iraq, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing American and Arab diplomats.

Rumsfeld visits Iraq with Fox News host 12 Dec 2006 Outgoing Defense Secretary [War Criminal] Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise whirlwind trip to Iraq over the weekend, taking with him only a Reichwing talk show host [Sean Hannity, a radio talk show host and a Faux News talk show host notably friendly to the Bush regime].

Americans Say U.S. Is Losing War 13 Dec 2006 Most Americans think the United States is losing the war in Iraq and support a bipartisan commission's key proposals to change course, according to a poll released yesterday.

USA more pessimistic on Iraq war 12 Dec 2006 Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the war and want most U.S. troops withdrawn within a year, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday says.

Afghanistan Must Prosecute War Crimes, Human Rights Watch Says 13 Dec 2006 Afghan President Hamid Karzai must set up a court to prosecute war crimes and human rights abuses carried out during almost 30 years of conflict in the south Asian nation, Human Rights Watch said. [Try Bush first.]

Helmand governor escapes blast as he battles for job 13 Dec 2006 The Governor of Helmand, a key British ally, narrowly escaped death yesterday when a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing eight people and injuring seven others after infiltrating into his headquarters. Mohammed Daud been told that he would be removed as governor of Helmand, the centre of British presence in Afghanistan, in what has been seen as a successful coup carried out by an influential cabal of [Bush's] warlords and alleged drug traffickers.

Germany sends 100 more armored vehicles to troops in Afghanistan 13 Dec 2006 The German Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that it will send 100 more Dingo armored vehicles to its troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

US to double emergency equipment stored in Israel --Emergency stockpiles in Israel meant for storing US army equipment in Middle East opened in Israel's favor during last Lebanon war 12 Dec 2006 The American Congress gave Israel financial and security encouragement when the Senate and the House of Representatives gave their approval to double the emergency equipment the United States stores in Israeli stockpiles. In addition, the US will allow Israel to use the remainder of the US's monetary guarantees given to them that have not been used yet, and add up to USD 4.5 billion, by 2011. The emergency stockpiles are meant to store American military equipment in the Middle East in case of an emergency. However, in case of an emergency, Israel is allowed to use the stockpiles.

Calls for Olmert to resign after nuclear gaffe 12 Dec 2006 Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was today trying to fend off accusations of ineptitude and calls for his resignation after he accidentally acknowledged for the first time that Israel had nuclear weapons.

Saudi Ambassador Abruptly Resigns, Leaves Washington 12 Dec 2006 Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, flew out of Washington yesterday after informing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and his staff that he would be leaving the post after only 15 months on the job, according to U.S. officials and foreign envoys.

Hicks among first prosecuted, US promises 13 Dec 2006 The US Government had promised Australian terrorist suspect David Hicks would be one of the first Guantanamo Bay inmates to appear before a military tribunal [kangaroo court] when they began next year, Defence Minister Brendan Nelson said today.

Arar appeals suit against top U.S. officials 12 Dec 2006 American lawyers for Canadian Maher Arar are appealing his lawsuit against U.S. officials who sent him to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured. The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York filed a challenge Tuesday with a U.S. Appeals Court after a lower court threw out the case in February on national security and foreign policy grounds.

Arar report prompts new probes of three others jailed, tortured abroad 12 Dec 2006 The federal government is launching a new inquiry into three more Arab-Canadians who, like Maher Arar, says they were detained and tortured abroad - possibly on the basis of information supplied by Canada.

Minister of intelligence? Reid moves to reform UK's security services 13 Dec 2006 A cabinet minister could be given charge of the fight against terror in a major overhaul of the intelligence services to be announced within weeks. John Reid, the Home Secretary, said he has submitted sweeping proposals to Downing Street for boosting the performance of MI5, MI6, police counter-terrorist teams and the GCHQ communications centre.

Court rules lawyers can continue acting in terrorism case 13 Dec 2006 The New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled two lawyers representing a Sydney terrorism suspect can continue to act in the case, despite looking at sensitive security documents.

Senator: Illegal images must be reported 11 Dec 2006 Millions of commercial Web sites and personal blogs would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000, if a new proposal in the U.S. Senate came into law. The legislation, drafted by Sen. John McCain and obtained by CNET, would also require Web sites that offer user profiles to delete pages posted by sex offenders... Next year, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the FBI are expected to resume their push for mandatory data retention, which will force Internet service providers to keep records on what their customers are doing online. [It's the GOPedophiles who are busy raping 8-year-olds every day. No, this legislation is aimed the detractors of the Bush regime.]

Second Colorado evangelical resigns over gay sex 12 Dec 2006 A second Colorado evangelical leader [Paul Barnes] in little over a month has resigned from the pulpit over a scandal involving gay sex, church officials said on Tuesday. Barnes' resignation follows last month's admission by high-profile preacher Ted Haggard that he was guilty of unspecified "sexual immorality" after a male prostitute went public with their liaisons.

66% Think U.S. Spies on Its Citizens --52% in Poll Back Hearings on Handling of Domestic Surveillance 13 Dec 2006 Two-thirds of Americans believe that the FBI and other federal agencies are intruding on privacy rights as part of terrorism investigations, but they remain divided over whether such tactics are justified, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday.

Airport Security Nixes Heisman Trophy 12 Dec 2006 Troy Smith's Heisman Trophy was shipped home because airport security would not allow the Ohio State quarterback to take it on the plane Tuesday.

Join the Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth --On December 16th, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, we come together as American Patriots, and Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to demand the Truth of the events of 9/11. We reject the Kean Commission's failure to address the numerous, critically important outstanding questions of 9/11. For these and many more reasons, we cast this book of DECEIT into the Boston Harbor. Join us in carrying out our patriotic duty to REJECT THE TYRANNY OF LIES AND OMISSIONS. We deem this work to be TREASON INK!: The 9/11 "Omission" Report is not worthy of respect, not worthy of the founding ideals of our nation and therefore it should be drowned in the mighty sea of Truth!

Dems plan to clean up spending bills 12 Dec 2006 Democrats taking power in January have settled on a plan to clean up $463 billion worth of GOP budget leftovers, which critics call "pork."

Court orders ex-Enron CEO Skilling to prison 12 Dec 2006 A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday ordered ex-Enron chief executive office to report to prison immediately, according to the Houston Chronicle. On Monday, the court said Skilling could remain free while it considers granting him bail, according to court documents.

2006 warmest year in Netherlands in 300 years 12 Dec 2006 This year is on track to be the warmest in the Netherlands since temperatures were first measured in 1706, the Dutch meteorological institute KNMI said on Tuesday, linking the record with global warming.

Arctic's summer sea ice 'could disappear completely by 2040' 12 Dec 2006 The Arctic could lose virtually all its summer sea ice by the year 2040 - 40 years earlier than previously thought - according to a study by leading climate scientists.

Dire warning for North Pole ice sheet 12 Dec 2006 The ice sheet covering the North Pole and Arctic Ocean could recede and disappear completely in the summer months by 2040, researchers said today.


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