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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Landmark al Qaeda trial collapses (AP/CNN) {19 freed in Yemen}

Judge: 'Islamic Sharia law permits jihad against occupiers'

Saturday, July 8, 2006; Posted: 2:54 p.m. EDT (18:54 GMT)

SAN'A, Yemen (AP) -- The trial of 19 alleged al Qaeda members had been designed to showcase how serious Yemen was in the fight against terror. But the Islamic militants, accused of plotting to assassinate Westerners and blow up a hotel frequented by Americans, were all acquitted for lack of proof, the presiding judge ruled Saturday.

Prosecutors had failed to provide "adequate evidence that the defendants were plotting attacks against foreigners or planning to assassinate Americans in Yemen," the verdict said.

Critics say the decision points to the Yemeni president's bid to win the radical Islamic vote ahead of elections in September.

Several of the defendants did confess to having been in Iraq to fight U.S. troops there and had Iraqi stamps on their passport, the court heard. "But this does not violate law," the judge said.

"Islamic Sharia law permits jihad against occupiers," he said.
more: Link Here

Doing the Wrong Thing in Afghanistan Depleted Uranium: The Definitive Moral Paradox

Michael Clarke, Vive le Canada

Our government, military, newspapers, television and radio media are efficiently dispersing the official sound bytes: "our troops in Afghanistan have the moral authority"; "Canada is doing the right thing"; "it’s a noble mission"; and, "we are just spreading freedom and democracy". But, they are not telling us that there is something else we are spreading around Afghanistan that any truly moral person would instinctively consider immoral and evil (...) An estimated 900 tons of DU was released in the initial 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. The approximately 2,000 air strikes this spring could easily have released another 250 tons of DU into the air and onto the ground, water and crops. According to the White House website a total of 24,000 bombs were used in the first year of operations in Afghanistan, which would suggest a minimum of 3,000 tons of DU was aerosolized in only the first 12 months of conflict. There is a lot of deadly radioactive DU around there. According to one nuclear expert, Leuren Moret, the United States and its willing accomplices like Canada have effectively staged a nuclear war in Afghanistan by using dirty bombs and missiles that "slip the nukes under the wire"...

continua / continued

More rape, murder and conspiracy (UPDATE)

Joseph Cannon, Cannonfire

In the comments section for my first piece on this atrocity (scroll down), dr. elsewhere and I have been debating the merits of my thesis that the soldiers who killed a poor Iraqi family after raping the 15 year-old-daughter did so as part of a psychological operation. In my view, the evidence suggests that the soldiers did what they did as part of a deliberate attempt to blame an act of barbarism on the insurgents. Whether you agree with that theory or not, you must find something odd in the coverage of the story. Take, for example, this bit from the Washington Post: U.S. soldiers at the scene initially ascribed the killings to Sunni Arab insurgents active in the area, the U.S. military and local residents said. That puzzled villagers, who knew that the family was Sunni, Janabi said. Other residents assumed the killings were sectarian, with Shiite Muslim militiamen as the likely culprit. Janabi is the name of the key witness -- a neighbor who came across the scene shortly after the crime occurred. Compare the WP paraphrase of what Janabi said with this direct quote. "After three hours the [American] occupation troops surrounded the house and told the people of the area that the family had been killed by terrorists because they were Shi'ah. Nobody in town believed that story because Abu 'Abir was known as one of the best people of the city, one of the noblest, and no Shi'i, but a Sunni monotheist. Everyone doubted their story and so after the sunset prayers the occupation troops took the four bodies away to the American base. Then the next day they handed them over to the al-Mahmudiyah government hospital and told the hospital administration that terrorists had killed the family...

continua / continued

'Joke' song about Iraq killings to be recorded

Mike Baker

A radio talk-show host is to record and release a song written by a US Marine corporal about killing members of an Iraqi family. The author, Cpl Joshua Belile, will not sing "Hadji Girl" but he may receive royalties if The Mike Church Show charges for downloads, a spokesman for the show said. The right-wing presenter will sing and release the song on air next week (...) The song prompted an outcry from the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, said that the song was insensitive and glamorised the killing of Iraqi civilians. Marine Corps officials said that Cpl Belile did not violate military law. Cpl Belile said that his song was a joke and not connected to any wrongdoing...

continua / continued

London Bombings - The Facts Speak For Themselves

Joe Quinn, Signs of the Times

...The facts are clear: there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism in terms of there being a world wide network of terrorists who want to "hurt civilised people everywhere". Any such suggestions should be seen for the clear Nazi party-style government propaganda that they are. All of this may sound like a joke, albeit a rather sick one, that the US, British and Israeli governments are perpetrating against the global population, but make no mistake, from their point of view, this is no joke - the 200,000 Iraqi civilians and the growing number of Palestinian civilians that have been butchered in the name of the 'war on Islamic terror' is a stark testimony to that fact. It's time (again) to wake up and stop blithely swallowing government lies and manipulations. Unnecessary and brutal war is being waged in your name and, until now, with your support. How long the killing continues is entirely - 100% - up to you...

continua / continued


Malcom Lagauche

...The aspect of dehumanization by U.S. imperialistic soldiers never changes. In Fallujah, Iraq, long before the city became famous for its resistance to the U.S. occupation, incidents occurred to set the stage for the now-famous defense of the city. Shortly after the U.S. invasion of March 2003, a schoolhouse was trashed by U.S. troops. When Iraqis entered the school after is debasement, they saw racist and bigoted messages written on blackboards. The statements included, "We love pork," and "Baghdad Taxi Company" (with a drawing of a camel). The door of the principal’s office was adorned with a drawing of a penis and a scrotum. When he went into the school after the raid, the headmaster cried. Grenada was no different. After the invasion, the Cuban Embassy’s door was adorned with the enlightened statement, "Eat shit, Commie faggot." The initials AA were left under the statement as a signature. This autograph stands for "All American" and it was commonly used in graffiti messages left by the 82nd Airborne Division. That is the same outfit that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Grenada by killing three Iraqis near Fallujah while shooting up a farmhouse and calling in airstrikes to destroy the building...

continua / continued

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi to Stand Trial

An Italian judge on Friday ordered ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial for alleged fraud at broadcaster Mediaset, the latest in a string of court cases.

Link Here

Global Warming and the Courts

The New York Times

The Supreme Court will rule next fall on whether the EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The outcome will determine whether the country will be able to act more aggressively on a problem with potentially grave consequences for the earth and its inhabitants.

Link Here

EU Officially Condemns Israel's Gaza Operation

The EU has accused Israel of using "disproportionate" force and making a humanitarian crisis worse during operations in the Gaza Strip.

Link Here

The reoccupation of Gaza: Israel and the Big Lie

Chris Marsden, WSWS

...As Goebbels famously insisted, the art of propaganda is to issue a "lie big" and "stick to it." There is no bigger lie than turning reality on its head. To claim that Israel is responding to Palestinian aggression requires more than a gross exaggeration of the threat posed by the crude rockets possessed by Hamas. It means ignoring everything that went on before Tuesday night. Israel has been waging an unequal and increasingly bloody campaign against the Palestinians since it first invaded Southern Gaza on June 28 on the pretext of securing the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. The rocket attack on Ashkalon came after a week in which Israel had made clear it intended to bring about the downfall of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority and inflict collective punishment on the Palestinians in order to end all resistance to Olmert’s plan to annex close to half of the West Bank....

continua / continued

UK Has Boosted Taliban, Admits Defense Chief

Defense Secretary Des Browne conceded yesterday that the deployment of 3,300 British forces into the Taliban heartland of southern Helmand has "energized" the Taliban.

Link Here

A Peach of a Scandal in Georgia

FOCUS Garrison Keillor:

"The chutzpah of Mr. Reed in wheedling money from Mr. Abramoff to snooker Christians into an uproar against gambling is cold-hearted greed. And his work in behalf of the sweatshops and sex factories of the Marianas, arguing that the Chinese women imported there were being given the chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, takes us to yet an entirely new level," writes Garrison Keillor.

Link Here

A Few Good Nazis

Georgies willing killing machines.

This is very bad news: A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization. These crazed fascists obviously have to be identified and weeded out of the ranks as quickly as possible -- otherwise they might start doing horrible things, such as, oh I don't know, firing tank cannons at journalists, raping and killing 15-year old girls and then burning their bodies, going house to house methodically shooting everyone they find, savaging prisoners with dogs, and forcing fathers to watch the anal rape of their sons. And we certainly can't have that...

continua / continued

GI Special 4G8: The War On Freedom - July 8, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

In Iraq you’ll come to your senses real quick when you smell the air permeated with the foul odor of death. The innocent Iraqi people are more than willing to share their daily suffering of losing a family member or friend. Having their homes reduced to rubble, living in constant fear day and night.And who do they blame ?They blame the people of America for allowing George Bush to destroy their country.

continua / continued

California Man Revealed as al Qaeda Leader

For the first time, a former Orange County, Calif. teenage rock music fan has revealed his role as a top al Qaeda leader.

Adam Gadahn, who disappeared from California seven years ago, appeared unmasked on an al Qaeda tape made public on the internet today.

As previously reported by ABC News, the FBI had concluded that the masked man was Gadahn based on voice analysis of previous al Qaeda tapes. On today's tape, Gadahn is bearded, wearing a turban.

He denounces U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their alleged murder and rapes of Iraqi citizens.
"Who are the real terrorists?" Gadahn asks.

When referring to the alleged atrocities committed by U.S. Marines in Iraq, Gadahn also says, "It's hard to imagine that any compassionate person could see pictures...and not want to go on a shooting spree at the Marines' housing facilities at Camp Pendleton."

Camp Pendleton is located just south of where Gadahn grew up in California.

There was no immediate response from Gadahn's family, which still lives in California. They had previously denied he was the masked figure on al Qaeda tapes.

Link Here

Obrador Alleges Chicanery in Mexican Vote

Good for you, I hope you do what Kerry failed to do, take it to the Courts, and I hope the people of Mexico take it to the streets, which the American Populus failed to do. Demand the votes be counted democratically, not stolen by the Capitalists. Hopefully, and I wouldn't hold my breath, that Mexicos Courts will be more honest than the Supreme Court of the USA, and count the votes of the people.

Hey Georgie dont be to quick with your calls of congratulations yet, Your not the voice of the Mexican People, the courts have not declared Felipe Calderon the winner yet. Go for it Obrador

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged his supporters to take to the streets Saturday, claiming the governing party stole its victory in a close election that he said was more fraudulent than those held during 71 years of one-party rule.

The protests could mark a turning point in what has so far been a peaceful campaign to succeed Vicente Fox.

In a meeting with foreign correspondents, Lopez Obrador said there were more irregularities in Sunday's balloting than in elections under the Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI, which ruled Mexico until it was ousted by Fox in 2000.

Election officials say Felipe Calderon of Fox's conservative National Action Party beat Lopez Obrador by less than 244,000 votes out of a total of 41 million ballots.

The National Action Party learned from the fraudulent practices of the PRI and it exceeded them," Lopez Obrador said.

Lopez Obrador, of the Democratic Revolution Party, asked protesters to be peaceful during a demonstration Saturday afternoon, but he warned the government would be responsible for any angry flare-ups because officials rejected his demand for a manual recount of Sunday's vote.
His conservative rival, Felipe Calderon, meanwhile, acted as if his victory was secure and took a congratulatory call from President Bush on Friday.

Mexico's top election court has yet to name a president-elect because it must first weigh complaints of illegal campaign practices and certify the vote count.

Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, has millions of extremely devoted followers and views street protests as an effective means of pressuring the government and the courts. He claims hundreds of thousands of votes for him remain uncounted, miscounted or voided, and that a manual recount would confirm that.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City urged Americans "to avoid downtown Mexico City and surrounding areas" during the protest, noting foreigners are prohibited by law from political activity here and that "even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence."

Link Here

Es muy importante contrastar las declaracciones de Amlo 12 días antes de la elección, poco antes de finalizar el prep, y un día después del cómputo distrital,

consulta el video en:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbYsNBxER8EAhora cumples!!

--Posted by p.andaluz

Amlo sin palabra: miente ante Loret, Doriga, Micha y Brozo

Lopez Obrador May Seek New Vote in

MexicoTop aides to leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Friday for a recount of nearly half the votes cast in Sunday's presidential election and edged close to demanding that the entire vote be nullified. The statements by the Lopez Obrador camp revealed a two-part strategy to deny a victory to conservative Felipe Calderon.

Link Here

Oil companies reluctant to invest in Iraq

By JIM KRANE, Associated Press Writer
Thu Jul 6, 1:49 PM ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - In Iraq's peaceful north, a trio of foreign oil companies have begun classic wildcat exploration, hoping a gusher of black gold will bring them untold wealth.

But the companies are little-known outside the industry — something that's unlikely to change until security improves. And the deals they have cut with the Kurdish regional administration bypassing the central government leaves them in a murky legal situation.

More than three years after the U.S.-led invasion, no big oil company has stepped forward to spend the huge sums necessary to tap Iraq's giant oil reserves and get crude flowing and revenues pouring into Iraq's government to help pay for food, jobs and even medical care.

"It will take a lot more to bring in the big guys," said Sharif Ghalib, a senior analyst with Energy Intelligence Research in New York.

None is likely to start prospecting until company chiefs feel reasonably assured that their workers won't be sent home in coffins and that their investments have legal protection that won't be taken away by a new government. >>>cont

Link Here

New Secret Service Logs Show More Abramoff White House Visits...

Associated Press Pete Yost July 7, 2006 at 09:49 PM
READ MORE: Jack Abramoff, Halliburton, Dick Cheney

The Secret Service on Friday revealed four more visits to the White House in 2001 by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including one to see a domestic policy aide to Vice PresidentDick Cheney.

The newly released records of Abramoff's access to the White House bring the total number of his known visits to seven.


DeLay Threatens To Run Again...

You do that creatin
Associated Press July 7, 2006 at 10:21 PM

Former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay suggested Friday that he may not be ready for retirement just yet, a day after a federal judge ruled that his name must remain on the November ballot even though he resigned from Congress.

DeLay, who came home to Sugar Land for a previously scheduled event, also criticized U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks' ruling that the former House majority leader's name had to remain on the ballot.


Security Hole In Sprint Automated Phone System Leaks Customer Data

BoingBoing Xeni Jardin July 8, 2006 at 09:19 AM

BoingBoing reader Steve Parkinson has discovered a customer data security hole in the automated phone care system for Sprint Wireless.

Here's how it works. You dial a certain toll-free Sprint customer service line (doesn't matter what number you're dialing from), then punch in the cellphone number of a Sprint Wireless subscriber (not necessarily yours). The Sprint voice-bot reads back to you the full name and street address of the accountholder associated with that number. Could be you, could be someone else.

Read the whole post here.

3 US Soldiers Killed In Iraq Battle...

Associated Press BUSHRA JUHI July 8, 2006 at 09:31 AM

Three American soldiers were killed Saturday in fighting in the western province of Anbar, the U.S. military said. They were the first U.S. fatalities reported inIraq in four days and only the eighth so far this month.

A U.S. statement said the three were assigned to the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and died due to "enemy action" in the predominantly Sunni Arab province. No further details were released.


Bush Says He's "Solving" Global Warming "Debate"...

Shit the Wanker is hallucinating, must definitely be on the booze and the rest of the stuff.

People.com July 8, 2006 at 10:19 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Al Gore, Global Warming

Could you and Al Gore ever be friends, like your dad and Bill Clinton?I don't know. I know that Bill Clinton and I have got a very good relationship. In 2 1/2 years I'll be a member of the ex-Presidents club. But I'm very busy these days. I've got a lot to do, and so I'm really not worrying much about my post-presidency. I have vowed that I will sprint to the finish line and use every moment I've got to achieve some big things.

Do you think Gore is right on global warming?I think we have a problem on global warming. I think there is a debate about whether it's caused by mankind or whether it's caused naturally, but it's a worthy debate. It's a debate, actually, that I'm in the process of solving by advancing new technologies, burning coal cleanly in electric plants, or promoting hydrogen-powered automobiles, or advancing ethanol as an alternative to gasoline.

Read the whole interview here.

Navy Personnel Data Found On Internet, Again...

Associated Press LOLITA C. BALDOR July 8, 2006 at 10:28 AM
READ MORE: Investigations

For the second time in two weeks, Social Security numbers and other personal information of Navy personnel have been discovered on an Internet site, triggering an investigation.

The Navy said Friday that information on more than 100,000 naval and Marine Corps aviators and aircrew was on the Naval Safety Center Web site and on nearly 1,100 computer discs mailed out to naval commands.


Bush Reversing Decades-Long Policy To Enter Civilian Nuclear Pact With Russia

Well Well Well you can't get what you want from Putin, Georgie, he wont go along with you on Iran, well that is a ways of buying him off, I suppose, But dont forget Russia need their oil, And he sure as hell, is going to be looking out after his own interests.

Nuclear proliferation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Washington Post Peter Baker July 8, 2006 at 10:47 AM
READ MORE: George W. Bush

President Bush has decided to permit extensive U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia for the first time, administration officials said yesterday, reversing decades of bipartisan policy in a move that would be worth billions of dollars to Moscow but could provoke an uproar in Congress.

Bush resisted such a move for years, insisting that Russia first stop building a nuclear power station for Iran near the Persian Gulf. But U.S. officials have shifted their view of Russia's collaboration with Iran and concluded that President Vladimir Putin has become a more constructive partner in trying to pressure Tehran to give up any aspirations for nuclear weapons.


US General's Report Finds Initial Investigation Of Haditha Civilian Deaths Was Negligent

New York Times ERIC SCHMITT and DAVID S. CLOUD July 8, 2006 at 11:25 AM
READ MORE: Investigations, Iraq

The second-ranking American commander in Iraq has concluded that some senior Marine officers were negligent in failing to investigate more aggressively the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians by marines in Haditha last November, two Defense Department officials said Friday.

The officer, Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, concluded that in the deaths, including those of 10 women and children and an elderly man in a wheelchair, senior officers failed to follow up on inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the initial reporting of the incident that should have raised questions.



Welcome to Georgies Occupation,


Jul 7, 2006

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A frightening incident on a New York to Florida flight, where passengers tackled another flier they say rammed the cockpit door.
And it turns out the suspect is a U-S Army solider who served in Iraq.

This happened last night on a Delta flight to Tampa, where an airport spokeswoman says the soldier is in custody. Authorities are using a state law that lets them hold someone without charges if they pose a threat.

She says the soldier's brother told investigators he has mental problems related to his military service. But the spokeswoman adds there's no evidence he meant to harm anyone on the flight.

Still, one passenger describes the soldier as behaving oddly by tapping people on the shoulder and pointing to his tattoos. About five minutes before landing, he says the soldier got up and ran down the aisle like he was "in a track meet."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-07-06 1239EDT

Link Here

Sunnis wage online war over killings

I would recomend clicking on the link and reading the entire article for this one. And I must admit that I'm a bit woried that no mention is made of where this discussion actually is on the internet.

A heated internet debate has developed among militant Sunnis over the tactic of murdering large numbers of Shia civilians. The outcome of the website exchanges could be crucial in deciding whether Iraq can pull back from the brink of civil war.

The discussions were prompted by a bomb attack last Saturday that killed at least 66 people in the Baghdad slum district of Sadr City. A statement claiming responsibility gave a sense of the bitterness felt by many Sunnis, now an angry minority in a country they used to dominate.

It said the bombing was carried out in response to the actions of Shia militias - the Mahdi Army, which dominates Sadr, and the Badr Brigade - which are accused of abducting and killing hundreds of Sunnis.

The statement, issued in the name of the hitherto-unknown Supporters of the Sunni People, said: "A day or two later their bodies are found in the streets after suffering various forms of torture, from the breaking of limbs, perforation by electric drills, burning with acid, gouging out their eyes and fingernails. Even after torturing them they do not give them a swift death by shooting them but leave them to die a slow death."

Link Here

CIA attacked by agent who led Bin Laden hunt

The man who led America's hunt for Osama bin Laden says the CIA was wrong to disband the only unit devoted entirely to the Islamist leader's pursuit - just at a time when al-Qaida is reasserting its influence over the global jihad.

Shutting down the Bin Laden unit squandered 10 years of expertise in the war on terror, said Michael Scheuer, who founded the unit in 1995 and arguably knows more about Bin Laden than any other western intelligence official. He believes the unit was dismantled because of bureaucratic jealousies within the CIA, and that the closure delivers a further setback to a pursuit that has been squeezed for resources for the past two years.

"What it robs you of is a critical mass of officers who have been working on this together for a decade," he told the Guardian. "We had a breed of specialists rare in an intelligence community that prides itself on generalists. It provided a base from which to build a cadre of people specialising in attacking Sunni extremist operations, who sacrificed promotions and other emollients in their employment in the clandestine service, where specialists were looked on as nerds."

A 22-year CIA veteran, Mr Scheuer became aware of Bin Laden in the 1980s when the Saudi-born militant was on the fringes of the US-backed mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In 1995, when western intelligence agencies knew little about Bin Laden, Mr Scheuer was charged with setting up a unit that would track what support he was giving to Islamist groups, and determine whether he himself was a threat. Mr Scheuer left the agency in 2004 after writing a scathing book about its counter-terrorism efforts called Imperial Hubris. He is now a consultant on terrorism.

Link Here

Defying US, Chavez shows off new Russian jets

Wed Jul 5, 2006 04:04 PM ET
By Patrick Markey

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez marked Venezuela's independence day on Wednesday, showing off Russian fighter jets his government is planning to buy and new helicopters and rifles it purchased after Washington blocked U.S. arms sales to Caracas. Two Sukhoi SU-30MK fighters sent from Russia roared overhead as troops, tanks and vehicles filed past Chavez and his counterparts from Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay who were visiting for a summit of the Mercosur trade bloc.

Relations between Washington and Caracas are tense after the United States banned arms sales, citing Chavez's close ties to Iran and Cuba. U.S. officials say the populist Chavez is destabilizing the region, a charge he rejects as propaganda.

Chavez, a former army officer, is seeking to buy 24 of the high-performance Sukhoi fighters to replace his government's F-16 jets in a deal analysts estimate would cost nearly $1 billion. He has already bought Kalashnikov rifles and attack helicopters from Russia.

"The U.S. government has sabotaged us, failing to meet contracts and agreements, delaying or not sending parts for U.S.-made aircraft," Chavez said. "See now how our air force is recovering operations, especially with these Sukhoi, the most powerful combat jets in the world."

Link Here

Terror crew urged to hit FBI's bldgs.(by FBI)


An FBI informant urged seven terror suspects to target FBI offices throughout the country - including one in New York - and even helped the men scout the buildings, law enforcement sources told the Daily News yesterday.

Link Here

Lay's death could set Skilling free

Now I just dont believe that this Guy is dead, not for a minute, his death could set Skilling free, Georgie gives Libby a Christmas Pardon

Lawyers likely to argue that entire case has effectively been voided

Kenneth Lay's sudden death could prove to be an unexpected legal bequest to Jeffrey Skilling, his co-defendant in the landmark Enron Corp. fraud case.

Mr. Skilling's legal team will almost certainly invoke Mr. Lay's demise to try to reverse his own fraud and conspiracy conviction or demand a retrial, legal experts said yesterday.

That's because Mr. Lay's death Wednesday of an apparent heart attack effectively voids the entire case against the Enron founder, including the guilty verdict. Mr. Skilling, the former Enron chief executive officer who is appealing his own conviction, could now argue that much of the evidence against him stems from a case that no longer exists, argued lawyer Jacob Frenkel, a former federal prosecutor and white collar crime specialist.

"This is the first time this has happened in such a high profile case," Mr. Frenkel said. "Everybody is scrambling to see what the law says on this."

Filmmaker Sues Rumsfeld Over Iraq Detention

A Los Angeles filmmaker today sued Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials, alleging they violated his civil rights, international law and the Geneva Convention by imprisoning him for 55 days in Iraq last year.


Kar, a U.S. citizen and Navy veteran, went to Iraq 14 months ago to make a documentary film about Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who issued the world's first human rights charter.


While in confinement, the suit states, Kar was at various times hooded, restrained "in painful flexi-cuffs," and "repeatedly threatened, taunted and insulted" by U.S. soldiers.
At one point, according to the suit, a soldier at Abu Ghraib slammed Kar's head into a concrete wall.


What happened to him in Iraq was "a life altering experience," Kar said. He emphasized, "I am not a left wing liberal. I agree with many of George Bush's policies."

But he added, "I don't think the Constitution has to be gutted to achieve our objectives" in the war on terrorism. "I felt it was my duty as an American to take a stand for the constitutional rights guaranteed to all Americans."

Link Here

NYT: Tensions Grow Over Mexico Vote as Opposition Plans Rally Saturday

Tensions Grow Over Mexico Vote as Opposition Plans Rally Saturday
Published: July 8, 2006

MEXICO CITY, July 7 — Mexico hung in limbo on Friday, as tensions rose between those seeking a recount in the presidential race and those seeking to accept Felipe Calderón as the winner and move on.

After a tally showed that the two top candidates were separated by 243,000 votes, the election has exposed deep divides in society, along class and regional lines. The voting has put the strength of the young democracy to its toughest test.

A day after election officials said Mr. Calderón, an advocate of free trade, had won the narrowest of victories, the country seemed more on edge than on a high.

Supporters of Mr. Calderón's leftist rival, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, girded for fights in court and on the streets, beginning with a rally scheduled for Saturday. Mr. Calderón's supporters and allies called on Mr. López Obrador to concede defeat for the good of the country.

The uncertainty caused consternation among citizens of all political persuasions....

Link Here

Georgia father who sought revenge in Iraq is back home

Associated Press

ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. - National Guard member Joe Johnson volunteered to go to Iraq to avenge his son's death. But what he saw there caused a change of heart.

Johnson was horrified by the extreme poverty. The friendliness of the people and the grateful smiles of Iraqi children weakened his desire for revenge and made him want to help instead.

At a ceremony Friday, two months after Johnson's return from his eight-month tour, the state of Georgia dedicated an rural north Georgia interchange to the memory of his son. Justin Johnson, 22, was killed by a roadside bomb in April 2004, just 12 days after arriving in Iraq.

"I believe the Lord changed my heart because I do have a heart for the children," Johnson said after the ceremony.

His wife, Jan, said she told her husband before he left that killing Iraqis was never going to bring Justin back. However, she recognized that going to Iraq was something he had to do to start healing.

When he called his wife from Iraq, Joe told her about passing out candy and school supplies to the children.

"The old Joe is coming back," she said to herself. "It was a good thing. The kids won him over."

Joe acknowledged the transformation. He credited God with knowing what he needed.

"The kids changed me," he said. "I still had hate in my heart for Muslim people, for the insurgents, but the Lord changed me."

Joe, 48, has always had a soft spot for children, Jan said. The two have done missionary work in Central and South America, including volunteering in an orphanage in Ecuador and other work in Peru, Honduras and the Bahamas.

In fact, they were in Ecuador shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks when Justin called and told Joe to come home quickly to go with him to the Army recruiter's office. Soon after his son enlisted, Joe discovered that, at 44, he was still young enough to join up.

He had served six years in the Army and Navy when he was younger but had never seen combat. In 2003, he joined the National Guard and wanted to go to Iraq while his son was there. He figured joining Justin overseas would be easier on his wife than the two having separate tours.

He was training in Fort Lewis, Wash., when the news of Justin's death came on Easter morning. He decided to stay home with his distraught wife for a while.

His desire to go to Iraq grew stronger than before. A year later, Cpl. Joe Johnson left for war.

When he arrived in Taji, Iraq, his National Guard unit was charged with civilian affairs.

"In a lot of the areas we went into, we weren't rebuilding the country, we were starting from scratch," he said.

He was overwhelmed by the welcome he and the other soldiers received from children and adults alike. He said the majority of the people he came into contact with were happy to see the American soldiers.

Jan said she believes God planned for Joe to start out with a civilian mission in order to soften him up and keep him grounded before sending him into combat.

Joe said that, though he initially wanted to be in Iraq at the same time as Justin, God knew it wouldn't be good for him to be there when Justin was killed. He said there's no telling what he might have done, that he might have just gone out and started shooting people at random.

On Friday, the weather was perfect - bright and sunny but not too hot and muggy - for the ceremony dedicating the intersection of state Highways 53 and 140, near where Justin grew up and 20 miles from the Johnson's current family home in Lyerly.

The dedication of the "SPC Justin W. Johnson Memorial Interchange" began with the arrival of about 130 Patriot Guard motorcycle riders. It also featured a flyover by a Black Hawk helicopter, a performance by the Rome Fire Department Pipe and Drum Corps, and speeches by various elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey.

Jan and Joe sat on the temporary stage with their other children, 27-year-old twins, Josh and Joleen. Josh is a member of the Army's Special Forces, and his mother worries that he may soon be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

"This is rough," Jan said, choking back tears as she addressed the crowd of roughly 200 people gathered by the side of the busy road. "I just want to say that yes, we're honored to have this interchange named after Justin ... but I want it dedicated to all our fallen soldiers of the past, present and future."

Link Here

Body of Enron's Lay to be cremated

Anyone surprised at this?

Family will hold private service in Colorado on Sunday.
July 7 2006: 9:53 AM EDT

HOUSTON (Reuters) -- The body of Enron Corp. founder Ken Lay will be cremated and his ashes buried in Aspen, Colo., where he died this week of an apparent heart attack, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Houston Chronicle, quoting a source close to Lay's family, said the cremation and Aspen burial had been Lay's wish because the mountain town, where he once owned several properties, was his favorite place in the world.

Lay will be buried in Aspen, his favorite place in the world.

The Lay family will hold a private service in Aspen on Sunday for the one-time corporate titan who became a convicted felon, followed by another service in Houston on Wednesday, the newspaper said.

Lay, 64, died Wednesday while on vacation in Aspen. Following an autopsy by the local coroner, his death was attributed to a massive heart attack caused by coronary artery disease.

Results of toxicology tests are not expected for about three weeks, officials said.

Lay was convicted of fraud and conspiracy charges in May for his role in the demise of Enron, a power trading giant that collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001 in a huge financial scandal that cost investors and employees billions of dollars.

He was free on $5 million bond while awaiting sentencing on Oct. 23, along with former Enron chief executive and fellow defendant Jeff Skilling.

They were expected to be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.

Combined, the two men were convicted of 29 criminal charges in a four-month trial that capped the federal government's five-year effort to prosecute Enron executives.

Skilling, who also is free on bond, is still set for the October sentencing date.

Lay and his wife Linda owned four properties in Aspen, but sold them for a total of $24 million as their financial problems mounted after the fall of Enron.

They were staying in a rented vacation home at the time of Lay's death.

Link here

"Southern Partisan" T-shirt worn by right-wing terrorist bomber Timothy McVeigh. George W. Bush has appointed many neo-confederates to top jobs in his

July 7/8, 2006 -- SPECIAL REPORT. Those who claim the Bush administration is a Nazi regime are not far from the truth. This story is a special investigation of Bush family slush funds, smuggling, and secret money conduits from and to various right-wing causes, including some that are extremely violent. The New York Times is running a story today about the U.S. military recruiting Aryan Nation, neo-Nazi, and other white supremacists into its ranks. The Times' report states that Neo-Nazi graffiti has sprung up in Baghdad, in quoting from a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The involvement of white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups with the Pentagon began in earnest during the administrations of Reagan and Bush I. According to informed sources who have tracked the neo-Nazis since the Reagan era, the surge in extreme right-wing elements in the Federal government was spurred on by the network of Nicaraguan Contra support activities created to facilitate going around the prohibitions enacted by the Congress. A key member of that strategy was Cheney's Chief of Staff David Addington, who was with the CIA, the Iran-Contra Committee in Congress, and then signed on as senior Vice President for the American Trucking Associations (ATA). WMR reported yesterday on the involvement of a foundation set up by McLean Trucking Co., a member of the ATA, with covert Contra support.

The ATA is a hotbed of GOP activity as well past connections with support for covert CIA activities. Its chief lobbyist is Jim ("Whit") Whittinghill, a former aide to Sen. Bob Dole. Whittinghill's wife, Nancy Dorn, served as an assistant to Texas Representative Tom Loeffler and later served as Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Dorn also served as 1989-93), Nancy Dorn worked for Defense Secretary Dick Cheney as Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Inter-American Affairs. While working for Cheney, Dorn became a close associate of Addington. Dorn was also Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. In 2001, Dorn returned to government after acting as a lobbyist for Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and China. She became special assistant for legislative affairs to Vice President Cheney. In 2002, Dorn became the Deputy Director for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she served until 2003 before becoming Vice President for Government Relations of General Electric, the parent company of NBC and NBC News. (This puts into context the partisan pro-Bush editorial slants of the network's news division, particularly Nora O'Donnell, Campbell Brown, Brian Williams, Tim Russert, and Chris Matthews).

In the late 1980s and early 90s, Dorn was associated with the network of right-wing neo-confederates who were gaining tremendous influence in the Republican Party. While the Army's chief of civil works, Dorn had control over Arlington National Cemetery and issued guidance on how the Confederate Memorial Committee of the District of Columbia could hold its annual ceremony at the cemetery's Confederate War Memorial and pay for it with funds provided by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). According to John Edward Hurley, a one-time associate of White House correspondent Sarah McClendon and the head of the non-partisan Confederate Memorial Association (CMA), South Carolina GOP operative and Confederate Memorial Committee chairman Richard T. Hines, now a major lobbyist (RTH Consulting) in Washington, DC (whose clients include Gambia, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, and Nigeria), arranged with the UDC to have funds transferred for the Confederate monument and ceremony from sources in the South associated with far right-wing elements. Hines, who was close to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, saw to it money was transferred from Metrolina Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina (connected to North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms), to First American Bank in Virginia (then owned by the CIA-connected Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI)), to the Mid-Atlantic Credit Union in Gaithersburg, Maryland. One of the officials involved in this money movement was the chief accountant for Edison Electric Institute, which was working closely with Enron and, along with Enron, was one of the largest contributors to the Bush and GOP campaign coffers.

The impetus for the Confederate revival at Arlington Cemetery was promoted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Jefferson Davis Camp Number 305. Its members included a number of individuals associated with white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which was the source of the New York Times article on Aryan Nation and neo-Nazi penetration of the U.S. military, the SCV has come under the control of racists and Ku Klux Klansmen. Denne Sweeney, on the urging of SCV Camp 305 member Kirk Lyons, an attorney for the Klan, took over as SCV commander in 2004. According to the CMA's Hurley, Lyons, who ran the Houston-based Southern Legal Resource Center (SLRC) (a right-wing rival of the SPLC), was significantly funded by Hines. Lyons later moved the SLRC to Black Mountain in western North Carolina. According to Hurley and the SPLC, the SCV and SLRC are part of a vast network of far right organizations, including the Council of Conservative Citizens (a successor to the Klan-linked White Citizens Councils), the secessionist Southern Partisan magazine (for which Hines arranged an interview with then Missouri Senator John Ashcroft), the secessionist League of the South, the Aryan Nations, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, and the National Socialist White Americans' Party).

With the recent news about neo-Nazi and Klan penetration of the U.S. military, it is noteworthy that Hines' wife, Patricia Mayes Hines, was the U.S. Army's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs during the George H. W. Bush administration. Mrs. Hines served under Cheney along with Dorn, who was permitting neo-Confederate penetration of Arlington Cemetery, and David Addington, who was continuing to help cover up the elder Bush's role in Iran-Contra as Cheney's General Counsel, and Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby, who was Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Strategy and Resources and Deputy Undersecretary for Policy, and was also involved in senior Bush's covert operations abroad. Hines, who was an associate of the late Lee Atwater, Karl Rove's dirty tricks doppelganger, practiced his dirty tricks trade for George W. Bush in his home state against John McCain in the vicious 2000 GOP primary.

It is noteworthy that on the day he was arrested, Murrah Federal building bomber Timothy McVeigh was wearing a Southern Partisan magazine T-shirt bearing the Latin phrase, Sic Semper Tyrannis, along with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. The phrase was shouted by John Wilkes Booth after he shot to death President Lincoln at Ford's Theater. Another violent connection to the neo-confederates is the FBI's VANPAC (Vance Political Assassination Conspiracy) case that involved white supremacist mail bombings directed against Federal judges. According to the Department of Justice, "four mail bombs [were] sent in December 1989 to different locations in the southeastern United States. One killed federal judge Robert Vance [11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals] in Alabama, a second killed a civil rights attorney [Robert Robinson] in Georgia, and two others [one at the U.S. Courthouse in Atlanta and the other at the NAACP headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida] were discovered before they exploded. A massive investigation ensued involving the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies. The FBI referred to the case as VANPAC because it involved the assassination of Judge Vance [at his home] with a bomb sent in a mail package. In June 1991, a federal jury convicted Walter LeRoy Moody, Jr. [a former Klansman] on charges related to the bombings." Louis Freeh, Jr. was appointed the Special Prosecutor in the VANPAC case. After moving the case from Birmingham, Alabama to St. Paul, Minnesota, and after introducing tainted evidence, Freeh won a successful conviction of Moody, who was sentenced to seven life sentences. An Alabama court sentenced Moody to death. In appreciation for his work, Freeh was nominated as U.S. District Court judge for the southern district of New York. In 1993, President Clinton named Freeh to be FBI Director, where he served during the McVeigh case and the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations of Clinton. Vance was a progressive Democrat in Alabama, having served as Democratic Party chairman for the state for 11 years. At the time of his death, several Alabama political figures cited "drugs" and "Colombian cartels" as the reason for the mail bombings directed at Federal judges. Vance, a Jimmy Carter appointee, had incurred the wrath of the neo-confederates who viewed him as too liberal and called him the "Daniel Ortega of Alabama." Because of the mail bombings directed against the Federal judiciary (Moody threatened to kill 17 judges), there were a number of judicial resignations around the United States, which allowed George H. W. Bush to replace them with his own people.

"Southern Partisan" T-shirt worn by right-wing terrorist bomber Timothy McVeigh. George W. Bush has appointed many neo-confederates to top jobs in his administration.

The threat against judges resumed under Bush's son, George W. Bush. In 2005, after being threatened with death by white supremacist and World Church of the Creator (now "Creativity Movement") head Matthew Hale, U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, discovered the bodies of her 64-year old husband and 89-year old mother at her home. They had been brutally murdered. In a bizarre development, a Chicago man named Bart Ross shot himself in a Milwaukee suburb after being pulled over by police for a traffic violation. Police said they found a suicide note in which Ross claimed responsibility for the murders of Judge Lefkow's husband and mother. However, Ross had no known connections to any white supremacist organizations. Hale had been convicted for threatening Judge Lefkow's life and obstruction of justice. Threatening judges was not confined to people like Hale. Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay threatened judges when he stated, "the time will come for the men responsible for the death of Terri Schiavo to answer for their behavior." Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote to DeLay, stating he was "stunned to read the threatening comments . . . directed at federal judges and our nation's courts of law in general." >>>cont


Bush says report CIA bin Laden unit closed is 'incorrect'

RAW STORYPublished: Friday July 7, 2006

Partial transcript from briefing by President George W. Bush in Chicago, IL, July 7, 2006:
QUESTION: You said some time ago that you wanted Osama bin Laden dead or alive. You later regretted the formulation, but maybe no the thought.

BUSH: I regretted the formulation because my wife got on me for talking that way.
QUESTION: We suspected as much, sir. But the question I have -- the question I have is, it appears that the CIA has disbanded the unit that was hunting him down. Is it no longer important to track him down?

BUSH: I -- you know, it's just an incorrect story. I mean, we got a -- we're -- we got a lot of assets looking for Osama bin Laden. So whatever you want to read in that story, it's just not true, period.

QUESTION: So you're still looking?

BUSH: Absolutely. No ands, ifs or buts. And in my judgment, it's just a matter of time, unless we stop looking. And we're not going to stop looking so long as I'm the president, not only for Osama bin Laden, but anybody else who plots and plans attacks against the United States of America. We're going to stay on the offense so long as I'm your president. And my judgment is, if we let up the pressure on him, the world's more dangerous.

In the short run, we will bring these people to justice. We'll use good intelligence, we'll share information with our allies, we will work with friends, we'll bring people to justice. In the long run, the way you defeat this enemy is the spread of liberty. And that's what you're seeing unfold

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All of Austria is talking about Bush's "souvenirs" sent back to Washington from Vienna.

July 4, 2006 -- Even Bush's crap is classified top secret. According to our Austrian sources, Austrian newspapers are currently abuzz with special security details of George W. Bush's recent trip to Vienna. Although the heavy-handed Gestapo-like security measures meted out to Viennese home owners, business proprietors, and pedestrians by US Secret Service agents and local police before and during Bush's visit received widespread Austrian media attention, it was White House "toilet security" ("TOILSEC"), which has Austrians talking the most. The White House flew in a special portable toilet to Vienna for Bush's personal use during his visit. The Bush White House is so concerned about Bush's security, the veil of secrecy extends over the president's bodily excretions. The special port-a-john captured Bush's feces and urine and flew the waste material back to the United States in the event some enterprising foreign intelligence agency conducted a sewage pipe operation designed to trap and examine Bush's waste material. One can only wonder why the White House is taking such extraordinary security measures for the presidential poop.

In the past, similar operations were conducted against foreign leaders to determine their medical condition. However, these intelligence operations were directed against dictators in countries where even the medical conditions of the top political leaders were considered "state secrets." The Israeli Mossad conducted one such operation against Syrian President Hafez Assad when he visited Amman, Jordan in Feb. 1999 for the funeral of King Hussein. The Mossad and its Jordanian counterpart installed a special toilet in Assad's hotel room that led not to a pipe but to a specimen canister. Assad suffered from diabetes and cancer and the operation was designed to discover the actual medical condition of the ailing leader. During Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Washington in 1987, the CIA reportedly placed a special trap under a sewage tank to collect the Soviet leader's bodily waste for analysis. More recently, the CIA was reported to have collected waste samples from Ugandan President-dictator Yoweri Museveni's toilet when he visited Washington.

Even Bush's toilet paper was flown in from the U.S. Air Base at Ramstein, Germany. In addition, Bush's food was flown in from the United States and tested with special chemicals before he ate it. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was shot by a firing squad in 1989, was the last major European leader to constantly use a food tester. The last frequent state visitor to Vienna, who always relied on a food tester, was Adolf Hitler.


FBI foils subway blast terrorist plot

They have cried wolf so many times before, now you do not believe anything that they say.
"Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful." -- Friedrich Nietzsche - (1844-1900) - Source: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

by Giles Hewitt in New York
July 08, 2006

THE FBI said overnight that it had foiled a terror plot by a group of Al-Qaeda followers to carry out suicide attacks on train tunnels in New York, with three suspects already in custody overseas.

"This is a plot that would have involved martyrdom, explosives and certain of the tubes that connect New Jersey with Lower Manhattan," said Mark Mershon, head of the FBI's New York office.

Mr Mershon said a year-long investigation had identified eight "principal players" in the conspiracy to bomb tunnels under the Hudson River used by PATH rapid transit trains that carry more than 215,000 commuters a day.

"We believe we intercepted this group early in the plotting and that in fact the plan has largely been disrupted," Mr Mershon said.

The alleged mastermind, Assem Hammoud, a 31-year-old Lebanese national, was arrested and charged in Beirut.

Mr Mershon said two other suspects related to the plot had been arrested overseas but not yet charged. He did not specify where the arrests were made, but added that six foreign governments were helping with the "ongoing" investigation.

None of the plot principals were believed to be in the United States.

According to Mr Mershon, Hammoud had acknowledged being the plan's mastermind and a member of Al-Qaeda who had pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

"That's part of our comfort level in indicating that we think this is largely disrupted," he said.

The Lebanese security services would only say that the suspect had admitted under interrogation to belonging to an extremist organisation and preparing "a significant act of terrorism" targeting the New York transport network.

He was arrested on April 24 after a "long period" of surveillance that focused on his Internet use, they said.

Initial reports had identified the Holland Tunnel, the main road link under the Hudson River, as the principal target, but the FBI said the group had focused on the PATH tunnels that originate from the World Trade Centre site.

Mr Mershon said the plot had matured to the point where the group was preparing to carry out surveillance of the targets, establish a "regiment of attack" and acquire the necessary materials.

"At that point I think it's entirely appropriate to take it down," he added.

New York City has been on a heightened state of terror alert ever since the September 11, 2001 attack, and transport security was further ramped up in the wake of the 2005 bombings on the London transport system that marked their first anniversary Friday.

Mr Mershon said the investigation had begun one year ago from an "intelligence standpoint" and evolved into a multi-national operation.

He criticised the leaking of information about the plot to the New York Daily News, which broke the story, saying it may have jeopardized the investigation and strained relations with foreign law enforcement agencies.

"We had a number of uncomfortable questions and some upsetting calls with the foreign intelligence services that have been working with us on a daily basis," he said.

The foiling of the plot was seized on by some local politicians to reinforce criticism of federal plans to cut New York's counter-terrorism grant by 40 percent this year.

The measure, announced by the Department of Homeland Security at the end of May, prompted an outcry fuelled by simultaneous announcements that cities like Omaha, Nebraska, and Louisville, Kentucky, would see their funding increased by the same margin.

"When you catch a terrorist and look at the map in his or her pocket it is always a map of New York. Not a map of some other place," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"And this is just another example, in a long line of them, as to why we have to continue to keep our vigilance up and why with Homeland Security funding we can do that," Mr Bloomberg said.

Link Here

Sources say NYC tunnel plot just 'hate chatter'

Democracy, Mexican Style

By Stephen Lendman

What do these presidential elections all have in common: Mexico, 1988, US, 2000, US, 2004, Colombia and Peru, 2006 and the just concluded Mexican election on July 2? In each case, the outcome was "arranged" and known in advance before voters went to the polls.

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The Washington Post's War-mongering Scribe

By Mike Whitney

All the pompous victory speeches and blather about "dead-enders and terrorists" was just more empty rhetoric. The real strategy is to conceal America's ignominious defeat while keeping a couple of well-placed bases in the Iraqi oil fields.

Link Here

GOP Sen helped R&B producer get Dubai jail pardon

RAW STORYPublished: Friday July 7, 2006

A Republican senator helped secure a pardon for a renowned music producer jailed in Dubai for drug possession, according to an article set for Saturday's New York Times, RAW STORY has found. >>>cont

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"A daily intelligence brief on Iraq, prepared by a private contractor for the U.S. military

Iraqi 'dreams and desires are shrinking'

Daily intelligence brief paints grim picture; 'Baghdad looks so exhausted.'

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tomgram: Chernus on Karl Rove's Bedtime Stories for Americans

Tom Engelhardt & Ira Chernus

Here's how a Washington Post piece soon after the Supreme Court's smack-down of the Bush administration's Guantanamo policies began: "Republicans yesterday looked to wrest a political victory from a legal defeat in the Supreme Court, serving notice to Democrats that they must back President Bush on how to try suspects at Guantanamo Bay or risk being branded as weak on terrorism… As the White House and lawmakers weighed next steps, House GOP leaders signaled they are ready to use this week's turn of events as a political weapon." So what's new? The single greatest skill of the Bush administration -- and especially of its presiding political strategist Karl Rove -- has been turning potential disasters (of which there have been so many) into successful attacks on the Democrats, while, against all odds, briefly elevating the President's approval ratings...

continua / continued

US Raids in Sadr City

Jonathan Cutler

There may be trouble brewing again between the US and Moqtada al-Sadr. The BBC and the Washington Post are reporting on clashes between US troops and Sadr’s Mahdi Army (...) At least one July 7 Associated Press report suggests that the US may be trying to distinguish between Sadr and breakaway Shiite militia forces. Iraqi forces backed by U.S. aircraft battled militants in a Shiite stronghold of eastern Baghdad early Friday, killing or wounding more than 30 fighters and capturing an extremist leader who was the target of the raid, Iraqi and U.S. officials said… The U.S. statement said the militant leader was involved "in the transfer of weapons from Syria into Iraq" in an effort to break away "from his current insurgent organization."… (...) The US claim that Abu Diraa was trying to break away from his "current insurgent organization" may prove crucial. Is this intended as a signal from the US that the raids are actually aimed at Sadrist splinter groups rather than loyal followers of Moqtada al-Sadr? After all, hasn’t Sadr been pretty quiet recently? The Washington Post report quotes a Sadrist who acknowledges as much: Qais Shawkat, 56, who said he is a neighborhood Mahdi Army commander in Sadr City, said… the Mahdi Army was under orders not to fight U.S. forces."We have orders from Sayyid Moqtada al-Sadr not to fight the Americans now," he said. "So, we didn’t. We were surprised. We did not expect the Americans to come and attack us."

continua / continued

US Occupation Adding to “Acute” Health Crisis

Karen Button

...Al-Aiouby was in Fallujah during the April 2004 US siege. "I saw 15-20 [US] snipers on just one roof," she said. "I was with a medical team in an ambulance and the ambulance was shot at. They also killed an old woman who was holding a white flag." By now an infamous photograph, Al-Jazeera News shot on-the-scene footage at Fallujah General Hospital when US troops arrested several doctors and patients at that time, claiming the facility was an "insurgent stronghold." They are shown handcuffed and lying on the floor, US soldiers with assault rifles standing guard over them (...) In March 2005, US troops stormed a women and children’s hospital in Ramadi, ordering medical staff and patients alike to leave, while detaining other staff members. On Wednesday of this week, hundreds of US troops raided the Saddam Hospital in Ramadi, claiming it was being used by "insurgents" to treat their injured and to fire upon them. Al-Aiouby said US-led troops also raided Haditha’s hospital, not for the first time, last November. "They beat the director, Walid Al-Hadithi, and arrested him, accusing him of supporting the 'insurgents’"...

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In the mystic haze of midsummer, a most unlikely Oberon stepped forth last week to fling a spray of fairy light across the murk, rousing the ill-encha

Chris Floyd
In the mystic haze of midsummer, a most unlikely Oberon stepped forth last week to fling a spray of fairy light across the murk, rousing the ill-enchanted sleepers on the ground with the hope that dawn had finally come again. But as the magic glow fades, the spell-struck victims will likely find they are still caught in a curse of perpetual night. We speak of course of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down the ludicrous and lawless "military tribunals" concocted by President George W. Bush to serve as meat grinders for the captives in his Terror War (...) The ruling has been hailed as a "victory for democracy," the "light at the end of the tunnel," a "turning point" in the long struggle to reclaim the Republic from the usurping junta of the Bush Regime. But we have seen these lights before, and watched them fade. All the previous "turning points" – scandals, atrocities, judicial rebuffs, investigations, criminal convictions – have only led to more depredations; every seeming defeat of unlawful power becomes instead a springboard for its further advancement. There is no reason to think it will be any different this time...

continua / continued

Are Israeli lives worth more than Palestinian?

Press Release, Arab Media Watch, 7 July 2006

Arab Media Watch expresses its concern at the amount of coverage given to Israel's killing yesterday of almost two dozen Palestinians, including civilians, compared with the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier on 25 June, as well as the continued portrayal of the current crisis as being triggered by the kidnapping. Comparing the initial report of each incident in the British national dailies, the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Sun devoted more words to the kidnapped soldier than the Palestinian deaths, with the Times devoting around the same amount of coverage. The Daily Express and Daily Star report nothing today on yesterday's deaths (...) Furthermore, the media is continuing to portray the current crisis as being triggered by the kidnapping, which is not the case...

continua / continued

Living in the Twilight Zone

Living in the Twilight Zone - ear-witness account of David Hicks public meeting in Adelaide
by k-e April 13, 2006Incarcerated for over 4 years in America's notorious Guantanamo military prison in Cuba, much of that time in solitary confinement, and without charges being laid, David Hicks is one of the first detainees to face trial by military commission. The military commission process itself is currently being challenged in the US Court system, as its legality and capacity to offer defendants the right to a fair trial is seriously under question. His legal team explains why...

12 April 2006. It was a mild autumn night in Adelaide just before Easter, a Wednesday, an evening of some good televison if you enjoy the weirdness of Little Britain. The packed public meeting 'LEGAL LIMBO – 4 MORE YEARS FOR DAVID?' held in the North Adelaide Community Centre was organised by the small but indefatiguable Fair Go For David, a self-organised group working for justice for Adelaide-born David Hicks. Incarcerated for over 4 years in America's notorious Guantanamo military prison in Cuba, much of that time in solitary confinement, and without charges being laid, Hicks is one of the first detainees to face trial by military commission . The military commission process itself is currently being challenged in the US Court system, as its legality and capacity to offer defendants the right to a fair trial is seriously under question.

Speaking to the audience of a few hundred people of all ages and stripes were David McLeod, Australian solicitor for David Hicks; Josh Dratel, US Civilian Solicitor for David Hicks; Major Michael Mori, Military Solicitor for David Hicks; and Terry Hicks, David's father. Bronwyn, Co-ordinator of Fair Go For David, MC-ed the evening. Following is an account of their main points, as transcribed by someone who really should learn shorthand.

Josh Dratel is a 'big wig' according to David McLeod. He is a leading criminal defense attorney, former past President of the Criminal Lawyers' Association, and co-author with Karen Greenberg of 'The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib'.Dratel provided some context of the American legal system and two current cases before the courts in the UK and the US which might effect David Hicks.

A couple of hours before the public meeting had come the welcome announcement that the British Court of Appeal had dismissed their Government's appeal against the granting of British citizenship to David Hicks. Dratel reminded us that the British Government has previously seen fit to assert the rights of nine of their subjects in Guantanamo and brought them home. These nine people are now living in freedom. Hicks, whom it was serendipitously discovered last year has a right to British citizenship through his maternal line, is hoping that Britain will step up to the plate in a way which the Australian government has failed to do, and uphold his citizen rights. The legal decision yesterday found that pre-citizenship conduct cannot be used to revoke such rights. Tony Blair's Labour Government can now play its last right of appeal card - to the House of Lords. But the Lords have a discretionary right not to hear this appeal should they so choose. And they can uphold the Court of Appeal's decision, if they hear the case.

One stipulation of the citizenship application process is that the applicant must swear an oath in front of British Consular officials. But without explanation, the officials' attempts to visit Hicks in Gunatanamo has been stymied by the United States. The same UK judge who initially ruled that Hicks could become a citizen has indicated that he is prepared to waive the sworn oath should circumstances prevent its being taken. Patel explained that the Government's claim that Hick's situation is fundamentally different to that of the nine men who were released because he had been charged, and they hadn't, is a pure distraction. The nine Britons were not permitted by the British Government to be charged under that system.

Last week the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the Hamden vs Rumsfeld case. Hamden is a Syrian national who, like Hicks, has been charged and is due to face the military commission. His case challenging the validity and constitutionality of the commission system has wended its way through the US courts and its principle issues are likely to apply to David Hicks.

According to Dratel and other legal experts, the commission system is against the rule of law, as it has been set up solely to convict people and deny them their rights. One of these rights is that a defendant can be excluded from his/her own hearing if the evidence relating to their charge is 'classified'. This is counter to the Detainees Treatment Act and the Geneva Convention. It is a moot point whether or not the US President has the authority to create such military commissions especially because they deviate from military law in significant ways. Patel stated that he did not think that the US Government could continue to prosecute David Hicks in a way that is congruent with international law especially after holding him incommunicado for 2 years, and subjecting him to torture. The outcome of Hamden vs Rumsfeld could unequivacably demonstrate to the Australian Government that the military commission is not fair, and that the only recourse is to bring him home. >>>cont

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Accused Phone Jammer To Argue Bush Admin. Approved Illegal Tactic...

Raw Story John Byrne July 7, 2006 at 02:40 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush

The fourth man indicted in a New Hampshire phone-jamming scheme -- in which Republican operatives jammed the phone lines of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in a 2002 Senate race -- will argue at trial that the Bush Administration and the national Republican Party gave their approval to the plan, according to a motion filed by his attorney Thursday.

Shaun Hansen, the former owner of the company that placed hang-up calls to jam Democratic phone lines, was indicted in March for conspiring to commit and aiding and abetting the commission of interstate telephone harassment relating to a scheme to thwart get out the vote efforts on Election Day, 2002.


Colin Powell: Close Guantanamo Now...

July 7, 2006 at 09:14 PM

That was one headline out of this morning's session with Colin Powell, Justice Stephen Breyer, Senator Bob Bennett, and Mike McConnell.


Senators Kyl and Graham's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Scam: The Deceptive Amicus Brief They Filed in the Guantanamo Detainee Case

Supreme Court blocks war crimes trials for Guantanamo detaineesBy GINA HOLLAND Associated Press Writer (AP) - WASHINGTON-The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President George W. Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees.

By JOHN W. DEAN ----
Wednesday, Jul. 05, 2006

Last week, the Supreme Court issued its historic decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. There, it dealt a substantial blow to the Bush/Cheney Administration's plans for the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo and, potentially, elsewhere as well - ruling out, for instance, the option of using military commissions without due process to try detainees.

The decision itself has been widely discussed. Less widely discussed, however, has been its backstory.

The Bush/Cheney Administration has been doing everything possible to keep its treatment of purported terrorist detainees out of the federal courts, particularly the Supreme Court. To assist the Administration, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jon Kyl of Arizona engaged in a blatant scam that was revealed during the briefing of Hamdan.

Senators Graham and Kyl not only misled their Senate colleagues, but also shamed their high offices by trying to deliberately mislead the U.S. Supreme Court. Their effort failed. I have not seen so blatant a ploy, or abuse of power, since Nixon's reign.

To understand their ruse, a bit of background information about both the Hamdan case and the Detainee Treatment Act is necessary.

The Chronology Of The Hamdan Case

Salim Ahmed Hamdan is undoubtedly a bad fellow. Indeed, he is claimed to have once served as Osama bin Laden's driver and bodyguard. Hamdan was captured by tribal forces and turned over to the U.S. Military in November 2001, during the hostilities in Afghanistan against the Taliban. In June 2002, Hamdan was sent to Guantanamo.

In July 2003, the President designated Hamdan for trial by military commission, and in December 2003, Hamdan was given military counsel. In February 2004, Hamdan's attorneys filed an action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) asking that formal charges be made against Hamdan, and that he be given a speedy trial. The U.S. military, however, held that the UCMJ did not apply.

Next Hamdan's attorney filed a petition for habeas corpus in federal court, to test the legality of his detention. That petition made its way from the state of Washington, where it was filed, to Washington, DC.

On November 8, 2004, Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (a Clinton appointee, who had been active in civil rights) ruled that both the UCMJ and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions were applicable, so he stayed the proceedings of the military commission that had taken jurisdiction of Hamdan. The government appealed immediately to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. There, on July 15, 2005, a three-judge panel (which included the future Chief Justice John Roberts) ruled in the government's favor. But Hamdan's attorney filed a petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. And the Court took the case on November 7, 2004.

Subsequently, Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), and on December 30, 2005, President Bush signed it. Then, on February 13, 2006, the government filed an extraordinary motion before the Supreme Court, calling for the Court to dismiss Hamdan's case on the ground that the DTA had stripped the High Court of jurisdiction of any and all habeas corpus actions emanating from the detainees at Guantanamo.

In support of the government's motion, Senators Kyl and Graham filed an amicus brief. There, they brazenly attempted to hoodwink the Court regarding the actions of Congress in adopting the DTA. (It is not clear if their attorney, Jeffrey Lamken, a distinguished and highly able appellate practitioner, was privy to their scheme. But I would be at a loss to explain how he might have missed it.)

The Passage of the Detainee Treatment Act >>>cont

The Hidden--and Obvious--Lessons in the Supreme Court's Divided Ruling Invalidating Military Commissions FindLaw columnist and Columbia law professor Michael Dorf breaks down the key rulings in the Supreme Court's recent blockbuster decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, and also comments on less obvious ways the decision may turn out to be important. In addition, Dorf explains why the decision may not, to some extent, be as momentous a victory for civil liberties and human rights as it seems. Among other points, Dorf notes that indefinite detention without trial is still a possibility, and that some places of detention abroad (though not Guantanamo) may be outside federal court habeas corpus jurisdiction, meaning protections may be able to be evaded by sending detainees there. Friday, Jun. 30, 2006

Hegemonic Tyrant Courts Doom

By Paul Craig Roberts

Gentle reader, consider what it means when our government believes other countries have no right to their own interests unless they coincide with US interests. It means that we are the tyrant country. We cannot be the tyrant country without being perceived as the tyrant country. Consequently, the rest of the world unites against us.


Most Israelis want Hamas leaders assassinated-poll

Unfriking believable assinate theGovt. that was democratically elected by the people of Palistine' and Israel and America talk about democracry, it is not democracy unless it is their democracy

By Reuters

The vast majority of Israelis believe the Jewish state should assassinate leaders of the governing Palestinian movement Hamas in response to the crisis in Gaza, a newspaper poll published on Friday showed.

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