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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Probe of Anthrax Attacks Casts Shadow on Brothers

Pa. Men, Apparently Targeted in Error, Find Doors Closed

By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 7, 2006; A03

CHESTER, Pa. -- On Nov. 15, 2001, Irshad and Masood Shaikh found themselves standing under the darkest cloud imaginable: The brothers had become suspects in the worst bioterrorism attack in American history.

An FBI SWAT team battered down their front door, pointed semiautomatic rifles at Irshad's wife and carried out the first raid on a private home in the federal investigation of the anthrax attacks. Agents in moon suits carted out the Shaikhs' computers, medicines and books and swabbed the television set for anthrax spores.

But the FBI had acted on a bad tip. By every account available, agents found no evidence implicating the brothers, who are widely respected public health experts.

Since then, the Shaikhs have suffered consequences great and small. Irshad Shaikh, 44, who is Chester's health commissioner and has worked on humanitarian missions in Iraq and Afghanistan with U.S. officials, has been blocked by the FBI from obtaining a federal contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immigration officials canceled his scheduled interview for U.S. citizenship. And whenever Irshad returns to the United States from abroad, federal agents escort him off the airplane and interrogate him for hours.

Masood Shaikh, 46, serves as the Chester city epidemiologist. Like Irshad, he obtained a medical degree in Pakistan and a master's degree and a doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Two years ago, Masood was selected to work on removing land mines from Iraq. But the federal government refused to extend Masood's work visa pending a "security clearance." The clearance never came through, and Masood could not leave the country.

Masood, once poised to apply for American citizenship, now faces the expiration of his work visa and a return to Pakistan after 15 years in the United States.


"Our whole life has been turned upside down since 9/11," Irshad said by telephone from Cairo, where he is working with the World Health Organization. "For God's sake, they are welcome to search my house anytime. I will give them the key."

No one could argue with the FBI's urgency in trying to find the anthrax killers. The mail attacks in September and October 2001 claimed five lives and left 17 people gravely ill. The assailant possessed one of the deadliest bioweapons, and, with the slightest tweak in delivery, the anthrax spores might have caused tens of thousands of deaths. As the years passed and the FBI turned its searchlight on half a dozen people, careers and lives have been shattered.


But few suspects so unequivocally lack any connection to anthrax research as do the Shaikh brothers. They have never done biowarfare research. Their attorney, former prosecutor Anthony F. List, describes a Kafkaesque maze in which federal officials argue that they cannot be expected to "clear" men who, officially, are accused of nothing.


The FBI smashed through the door of his house and found Irshad's wife, a dentist, asleep in bed. They handcuffed her at gunpoint. Other agents burst into the downstairs office, which was rented by the AIDS Care Group of Chester.

"They handcuffed our carpenter," recalled physician Howell Strauss. "One agent asked about the white dust -- I explained it was from the Sheetrocking. Then they took away our Elmer's glue for testing. I told them, 'You've been surveilling this house for weeks, and this is what you do?' I'll never have the same faith in our government."

Half a year later, Irshad Shaikh took a job with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, running a mortality survey in Afghanistan. He worked closely with State Department officials. Later, the CDC asked Irshad to work in Atlanta and analyze the data, but the FBI insisted that he could not set foot in the federal offices, a ban that at least one senior CDC administrator protested, according to a federal official.

In June 2003, Irshad served as a leader with the Emergency Mine Action Survey in Iraq under the auspices of the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority. He was responsible for securing and removing ammunition stockpiles, working closely with Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus and Brig. Gen. Frank G. Helmick of the Army's 101st Airborne Division. Irshad proudly e-mailed a photo of himself in a Black Hawk helicopter. He's sitting shoulder to shoulder with Helmick.

When Irshad returned to the United States, agents escorted him off the airplane. "You know what the other passengers are thinking: 'Terrorist!' " Irshad said.

Irshad and his wife have decided it is wiser to stay overseas in Cairo with WHO until the matter blows over -- although, for the first time, he has started saying, " If this blows over . . ."


US medic jailed over Iraq murder

Two lives gone, two lives wasted, one of the many hundreds of thousand Iraqi Dead, and another locked up for 10 years, for the warped lying thugs in the White House, with their illegal war and occupation of Iraq.

A US Navy medic has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his part in the killing of an Iraqi civilian in April.......

Earlier Bacos told his US court-martial that the marines seized the man in the town of Hamdaniya, threw him into a hole and shot him in the head 10 times. The case is one of several in which US troops are accused of killing Iraqis.

Bacos said he was on patrol with the marine squad who were looking for an insurgent - Saleh Gowad - who had been captured three times but released.

Bacos said the marines were angry the insurgent had been freed and, frustrated at not finding him, instead seized neighbour Hashim Awad from his home....

Bacos said squad leader Sgt Lawrence Hutchins III then fired three shots into Mr Awad's head followed by at least seven more rounds to the head from Cpl Trent Thomas....

Prosecutors say an AK-47 assault rifle, bullets and a shovel were placed next to Mr Awad's body to make it appear as if he were trying to plant a roadside bomb......

Speaking of why he had not chosen to walk away from the incident, Bacos said: "I wanted to be part of the team. I wanted to be loyal.


US medic gets a year in prison in Iraqi's death

Adam Tanner, Reuters

A U.S. medic who helped kidnap an Iraqi grandfather later killed execution-style by an American squad was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday, but will end up serving a year under a plea deal. Military Judge Col. Steven Folsom gave the sentence after Petty Officer Melson Bacos, 21, said his patrol leader's anger at the release of a suspected "terrorist" from Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison prompted the murder of the man's neighbor. Bacos agreed to a plea deal earlier on Friday in which he agreed to testify in exchange for a lesser sentence...

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Marine Alleges Detainee Beatings

CAMP PENDLETON — A sworn statement from a Marine sergeant alleging that guards at the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, regularly beat terrorism detainees — and bragged about it — has been turned over to Pentagon investigators."

I was shocked and outraged to find that beatings are continuous and open," Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, the Marine Corps' defense coordinator for the Western United States, said Friday. Vokey is lawyer for one of the prisoners. He forwarded the two-page statement from the sergeant, a paralegal, to the inspector general's office at the Department of Defense.


"What kind of victory is it when someone is left defeated? What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy. What is a war criminal? Was not war itself a crime against God and humanity, and, therefore, were not all those who sanctioned, engineered and conducted wars, war criminals? The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Non-cooperation with evil is a sacred duty.

" Gandhi"

Italian prosecutors aim to charge 26 CIA agents over abduction

Rome - Italian prosecutors want to charge 26 CIA agents, along with two top Italian secret service agents, in connection with the alleged abduction three years ago of an Egyptian citizen, Ansa news agency reported Sunday.

Prosecutors in Milan had concluded their investigations and were aiming to charge a total of 38 people in connection with the disappearance of Muslim cleric Abu Omar from the city in 2003, Ansa said.

In July, two Italian secret agents were arrested in connection with the case, which has repeatedly generated headlines in Italy and affected relations with the United States.

Arrest warrants have been issued for a number of CIA agents, and the Milan prosecution service has sought the extradition of 20 agents from the US without success


Speaker Hastert: The "butt" of many jokes among Washington's gay community.

October 7/8, 2006 -- The rumors about another top GOP member of the House being involved in sexual encounters with young "men for hire" are confirmed to WMR by well-placed sources in Washington's gay community. The member in question is House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose "alternate" life style is the primary reason for him and his staff covering up the scandal involving ex-Florida GOP Rep. Mark Foley and his lewd messages sent to underage male congressional pages. Hastert's penchant to receive anal sex is well-known to our sources in DC's gay community. Additionally, Hastert's reported extremely small penis is the subject of many jokes among Washington's gay circles.

Speaker Hastert: The "butt" of many jokes among Washington's gay community.

WMR reported on old charges that swirled around Hastert when he was a high school wrestling coach at Yorkville High School in Yorkville, Illinois. Hastert decided to enter politics in 1980 after rumors surfaced about inappropriate contact with male high school students.

In July, Hastert was hospitalized at Bethesda Naval Hospital for cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. In the Feb. 7, 2003 issue of AIDS Treatment News, doctors reported that they saw "a large increase in aggressive, antibiotic-resistant 'staph' (Staphylococcus aureus) skin infections in gay men in some areas -- and a separate epidemic in certain prisons. Symptoms include boils or blisters; treatment can be difficult, and sometimes requires hospitalization. One HIV doctor in Los Angeles who used to see about one case a year is now seeing two a week. In the past this infection occurred mainly in hospitals." The reports of serious skin infections among gay men was also reported in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 27, 2003.

WMR has also learned that Republicans will soon mount an effort to discredit a senior House Democratic member with a sex scandal of a rather different nature. The member is aware of the plans and is circling the political wagons if the GOP launches their expected attack.


Amid the sex scandals in Washington, personal data continues to be stolen at an alarming rate.

October 7/8, 2006 -- Amid the sex scandals in Washington, personal data continues to be stolen at an alarming rate. WMR has previously reported that data theft is a covert operation by U.S. intelligence agencies to populate the databases of the covertly-funded and operated Total Information Awareness surveillance system. Data Theft Chart updated.


Fuming Over Bank Boss' Babe

THE brunette Tunisian girlfriend of former Pentagon honcho and current World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, who's also her boss, isn't winning any friends there.

Sources tell investigative journalist Wayne Madsen that last year, after Wolfowitz left his post as Donald Rumsfeld's No. 2 and took over the powerful World Bank - which provides money and advice to Third World countries - he began dating Shaha Ali Riza, then acting manager for the bank's External Relations & Outreach for the Middle East and North Africa Region.

That didn't sit well with employees who complained of a conflict of interest. Ali Riza was transferred to a joint World Bank/U.S. Agency for International Development multinational investment project, Madsen reports. But charges of cronyism continued, and Wolfowitz next sent his gal pal to work on the bank's South American interests.

The sniping might be the result of Ali Riza's prickly personality. "[She] has managed to antagonize every office in Washington, D.C., in which she has been specially assigned by her boyfriend and boss," Madsen writes on his waynemadsenreports.com blog, citing World Bank sources. "[She] honed her neo-conservative credentials as a veteran of Ronald Reagan's National Endowment for Democracy, and she has been pressuring Wolfowitz to use his position to help 'democratize' the Middle East."

Ali Riza is divorced from Bulent Ali Riza, a Turkish Cypriot she met at the London School of Economics. Born in Tunisia with Jewish roots, she grew up in Saudi Arabia and is a British citizen.

Wolfowitz is legally separated from Clare Selgin, an expert on Indonesian anthropology. They've lived apart since 2001, when, according to published reports, he had an affair with an employee at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he was dean for seven years. At the time, according to published reports, Selgin was so upset by rumors of the affair, she wrote to then President-elect Bush, saying it could pose a "national security risk."

Wolfowitz's reps did not return Page Six's call or e-mails


TIME: Castro Is Reported to Have Cancer

The Vultures and Ghoules in the White House are drooling, waiting to pounce

NYT/AP: Bushes Celebrate Christening of Carrier U.S.S. George H.W. Bush

Only in America, they name a warship after a loser who did not see fit to serve his Nation, when called into action LOSER LOSER LOSER
I thought you were supposed to be dead before they named something
after you?

Bushes Celebrate Christening of Carrier
Published: October 7, 2006

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) -- In the shadow of the enormous gray bow of the USS George H.W. Bush, the Bush family on Saturday christened the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named after the 82-year-old former president.

''I know you join me in saying to our father, President Bush, your ship has come in,'' the current president said during the two-hour ceremony for the last of the Nimitz-class carriers, the CVN 77....


The current president said that in the 21st century, ''freedom is again under attack and young Americans are volunteering to answer the call.''

Doro Koch, the elder Bush's daughter, handled the ritual smashing of a bottle of sparkling wine against the flattop's bow.

Bush father and son and several relatives joined hundreds of others at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, where the $6 billion, 1,092-foot-long carrier is being built. It is not yet finished and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in late 2008....

Link Here

Bush family celebrates carrier christening

Newsweek: A Political Limbo - How low can the Republicans go? (Bush 33%)

Did Newsweek poll the Diebold voting machines?
Oct. 7, 2006 -

And that was the good news for the GOP. More worrisome still, the Foley fiasco is jeopardizing the party’s monopoly on faith and power. For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent.

Meanwhile, the president’s approval rating has fallen to a new all-time low for the Newsweek poll: 33 percent, down from an already anemic 36 percent in August. Only 25 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, while 67 percent say they are not. Foley’s disgrace certainly plays a role in Republican unpopularity: 27 percent of registered voters say the scandal and how the Republican leadership in the House handled it makes them less likely to vote for a Republican Congressional candidate; but 65 percent say it won’t make much difference in determining how they vote. And Americans are equally divided over whether or not Speaker Hastert should resign over mishandling the situation (43 percent say he should, but 36 percent say he shouldn’t).

The scandal’s more significant impact seems to be a widening of the yawning credibility gap developing between the President, his party and the nation. While 52 percent of Americans believe Hastert was aware of Foley’s actions and tried to cover them up, it’s part of a larger loss of faith in Republican leadership, thanks mostly to the war in Iraq. For instance, for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll, a majority of Americans now believe the Bush administration knowingly misled the American people in building its case for war against Saddam Hussein: 58 percent vs. 36 percent who believe it didn’t. And pessimism over Iraq is at record highs on every score: nearly two in three Americans, 64 percent, believe the United States is losing ground there; 66 percent say the war has not made America safer from terrorism (just 29 percent believe it has); and 53 percent believe it was a mistake to go to war at all, again the first time the NEWSWEEK poll has registered a majority in that camp.

Democrats now outdistance Republicans on every single issue that could decide voters’ choices come Nov. 7. In addition to winning—for the first time in the NEWSWEEK poll—on the question of which party is more trusted to fight the war on terror (44 to 37 percent) and moral values (42 percent to 36 percent), the Democrats now inspire more trust than the GOP on handling Iraq (47 to 34); the economy (53 to 31); health care (57 to 24); federal spending and the deficit (53 to 29); gas and oil prices (56 to 23); and immigration (43 to 34).

Look at all the red (negative) numbers in the last column...


GI Special 4J6: Remote Control - October 6, 2006

Thomas F. Barton

U.S. Losses Mount In Battle Of Baghdad:

"We Have Lost 18 American Service Members In About The Last 96 Hours"

Rumsfeld Gets Another Kill

For the troops of the 172nd, who were deployed to Baghdad two months ago after seeing their year-long tour of duty in Iraq abruptly extended just days before they were due to return home, Rojas' death was a cruel blow.

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GI Special 4J5: SecDef PCS USDB Ft. Leavenworth - October 5, 2006

Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad since Monday, the American military reported, registering the highest three-day death toll for U.S. forces in the capital since the start of the war.

The latest losses -- four soldiers who were killed at 9 a.m. Wednesday by small-arms fire -- are part of a recent spike in violent attacks against U.S. forces that have claimed the lives of at least 24 soldiers and Marines in Iraq since Saturday, the military said.
Independent databases showed the three-day toll for American troops to be the highest in Baghdad so far.

"When you go into bad neighborhoods, you'll have more attacks," said Lt. Col. James A. Gavrilis, a Special Forces officer and expert on the Iraqi insurgency. "If we have more people in one area, there will be an opportunity." He said enemy fighters "are reacting to an opportunity to attack."

. Seventy-four soldiers and Marines were killed in Iraq in September, representing the highest monthly toll since April, when 76 died, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

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Bloody fight over Kirkuk's future

Mohammed A Salih

The security situation in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk has further deteriorated over the past few weeks after the Iraqi government formed a committee assigned to "normalize the situation". The creation of that committee under a constitutional provision has led to a rise in ethnic tensions among Kirkuk's Kurdish, Arab and Turkoman populations. Violence has risen with the tensions. September was one of the bloodiest months for Kirkuk, with an unprecedented number of attacks. For many, the message behind the attacks is to stop implementation of Article 140 of Iraq's constitution, and to inflame sectarian strife in the city...

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Today in Iraq

...Baghdad police collected 35 corpses over a period of 24 hours, they have said, mostly in the Sunni western half of the city. The bodies -- which were found bwteen 6.00 am (0300 GMT) Thursday and 6.00 am Friday -- bore the tell tale markings of Baghdad's grim sectarian war with signs of torture and bullet wounds to the head. In a predominantly Shiite part of eastern Baghdad, police found the bodies of five men in their 30s, apparently victims of sectarian death squads. All five had been shot, had their hands and feet bound and showed signs of torture, police Maj. Maher Mousa said. Two US soldiers died from combat wounds they received on October 4 while operating in Anbar province...

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"The Palestine Government has Arab and the Islamic Legitimacy "


"We were elected for the resistance platform we presented to the Palestinian people, we did not come with tanks, or with the coalition of Israel and the USA." "The government has Arab and the Islamic legitimacy, but since the first moments of our governing, many attempts to frustrate us started, the The siege was imposed on us, and the crossings were closed frequently. There are goods held in the Israeli ports, we have witnessed a massive escalation in the Israeli military actions and arrests, in addition to the assassinations." "We have passed through many stages, including demonstrations against the government. The next stage is the adoption of the prisoners document - The Palestinian arena was almost reaching the edge of collapse, and with the strike and the state of lawlessness and disorder, a coup was almost established against the government."...

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DEFENSE CRUMBLING: Another Staffer Cites Earlier Role By Hastert’s Office…

Washington Post Jonathan Weisman October 7, 2006 at 11:24 AM

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's chief of staff confronted then-Rep. Mark Foley about his inappropriate social contact with male pages well before the speaker said aides in his office took any action, a current congressional staff member with personal knowledge of Foley and his behavior with pages said yesterday.

The staff member said Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, met with the Florida Republican at the Capitol to discuss complaints about Foley's behavior toward pages. The alleged meeting occurred long before Hastert says aides in his office dispatched Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.) and the clerk of the House in November 2005 to confront Foley about troubling e-mails he had sent to a Louisiana boy.


Jeb Bush Hides From Protesters In a Closet During Santorum Event...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette October 7, 2006 at 12:25 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Rick Santorum

About 75 protesters remained on the street, said Mr. Grove.

He said the crowd was asked repeatedly to disperse.

Mr. Grove said a Port Authority canine unit was called in to help with crowd control. Two officers used their tasers to stun two protesters who "were asked to leave, but did not go," Mr. Grove said.

The tasers he said were empty of the cartridges that supply a more powerful charge.

"It was a very tense situation. They were very close to the governor and shouting on top of him."

As a precaution, the governor was ushered into a T-station supply closet and stayed there until the crowd left.

Read the entire article here.

Birthdays are a Time for Celebration, a Time for Joy, a Time For...

READ MORE: Iraq, Fox News

Birthdays are a time for celebration, a time for joy, a time for... well, with Fox News, it is a time for them to further affirm the fact they have no connection whatsoever to anything even resembling a news network. For the company I profiled in my documentary Outfoxed, the happy festivities started off with a big bang - them insulting and attempting to demean the former President of the United States.

They came up with one of their infamous false questions, "viewers want to know why you didn't do more to stop Osama." Want to bet who came up with that biased question? But they didn't count on the tough, take no prisoners response from a president who can actually think on his feet.

When that didn't work, Fox News went to the next phase of their birthday bash: smear and tear. And so, in deep desperation they label disgraced Mark Foley, a Democrat! Not once but twice and even worse, it was on a pre-taped show and they never gave an apology!
But when the birthday cake is destroyed, and left uneaten, they didn't count on John Stewart to pulverize them with the false question. At Brave New Films we took a few minutes away from our new film on another kind of corporate immorality- Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers - to make Fox News this video gift their special day...


Foley Scandal Puts Gay Republicans Under "Siege And Suspicion"...

The New York Times Mark Leibovich October 7, 2006 at 02:22 PM

Every month or so, 10 top staff members from Capitol Hill meet over dinner to commiserate about their uneasy experience as gay Republicans. In a wry reference to the "K Street Project," the party's campaign to build influence along the city's lobbying corridor, they privately call themselves the "P Street Project," a reference to a street cutting through a local gay enclave.

For many of those men and other gay Republicans in political Washington, reconciling their private lives and public roles has required a discreet, heads-down existence. But in the last week, the Mark Foley scandal has upset that careful balance.


Rumsfeld Leaves Army To Ask For Bigger Budget, More Equipment On Its Own...

The New York Times October 7, 2006 at 02:48 PM
READ MORE: Afghanistan, Iraq

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is allowing the Army to approach White House budget officials by itself to argue for substantial increases in resources, a significant divergence from initial plans by Mr. Rumsfeld and his inner circle to cut the Army to pay for new technology and a new way of war.

With its troops and equipment worn down by years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army appears certain to receive a huge spike in its share of the Pentagon's budget request when it goes to Congress early next year. Significantly, increases to the size of the Army made by Congress since 2001, amounting to 30,000 troops, have become a permanent fixture of the force, military and Congressional officials say. Beyond that, the Army is discussing internally whether it should expand by tens of thousands more, as some in Congress have long advocated.


Ex-Enron executive gets 2 years' probation

Oct. 7, 2006, 1:34AM
Ex-Enron executive gets 2 years' probation
Rieker receives lenient sentence for cooperation

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Enron Corp.'s former No. 2 investor relations executive who helped link former company Chairman Ken Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling to fraud in their trial earlier this year will serve probation for two years for insider trading, a judge ruled Thursday.

Paula Rieker, 52, wept before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon, prompting a court staff member to hand her a box of tissues as she asked for probation. Insider trading carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but Rieker was eligible to serve probation to six months behind bars under federal sentencing guidelines.

Harmon noted that Rieker "abused a position of trust" with Enron and its shareholders by trading on inside information and helping Enron paint a falsely rosy picture of itself to Wall Street.

Prosecutors told Harmon they supported a lenient punishment.

"Mrs. Rieker has expressed remorse and regret for what she has done, which is in stark contrast to other individuals," said Sean Berkowitz, director of the Justice Department's Enron Task Force.


GOP Rep. Tom Reynolds: "he'll do anything for money." Including covering up criminal activity by his colleagues.

October 6/7/8, 2006 -- WMR's Capitol Hill sources report that chairman of the National Republican Congressional Campaign Tom Reynolds was involved in the cover up of the Mark Foley Pagegate scandal since at least October 4, 2005. That was the day Reynolds hired Foley's chief of staff Kirk Fordham as his own chief of staff. Our Hill sources report that Fordham was hired by Reynolds to provide Fordham "safe harbor" from the scandal that was enveloping Foley's office. Although congressional chiefs of staff make salaries as high as $120,000 a year, Reynolds paid Fordham a mere $78,000 as part of the deal for Reynolds to provide Foley's chief aide a job on the Hill. -- a deal that appears to have been arranged by Foley to hush-up the scandal. After resigning as Reynolds' chief of staff, Fordham stated that he informed House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office about Foley's conduct over three years ago. Fordham stayed on as Foley's chief of staff until early 2004 and eventually Foley arranged for the deal to transfer Fordham to Reynolds' office. Foley sweetened the deal by pouring $330,000 into Reynolds' NRCC campaign coffers over a three-year period. One longtime Hill source stated that "Reynolds is so sleazy . . . he'll do anything for money."

GOP Rep. Tom Reynolds: "he'll do anything for money." Including covering up criminal activity by his colleagues.

The GOP and neo-con spin machines are trying to tamp down the scandal for one major reason. If the scandal continues to grow, what has been described by Hill sources as a secretive GOP "homoerotic network" in Washington, DC will be exposed. This network reportedly has maintained a strong lock on the House Clerk's Office, the House Speaker's Office, the offices of key GOP congressmen, the Republican National Committee, the West Wing of the White House, conservative think tanks, and elements of the neo-con news media.

There is a cancer growing on the Republican Party (paraphrasing John Dean's comments about the Watergate scandal and the presidency of Richard Nixon).

In the Sep. 30/Oct. 1 edition of WMR, it was reported: ". . . WMR has learned of possible connections between GOP lawmakers and former school teacher John Mark Karr, who was arrested in Thailand and deported to the United States after he claimed, falsely, that he killed six-year old Jon Benet Ramsey at her Boulder, Colorado home in 1996. After Boulder prosecutors declined to prosecute Karr for JonBenet's death, he was transferred to Sonoma County, California to face misdemeanor child pornography charges. However, U.S. intelligence source report to WMR that the high degree of interest shown by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. intelligence officials in Karr -- including having one CIA officer in Bangkok intercede, along with DHS Bangkok attache Ann Hurst, with Thai law enforcement authorities after Karr's arrest -- was due to Karr's knowledge of the involvement of top U.S. government officials in a major pedophilia ring."

Yesterday, a Sonoma County judge dismissed five-year old child pornography charges against Karr, a former Petaluma schoolteacher. The Sonoma County Sheriff's office managed to "lose" Karr's computer, which allegedly contained five sexually-explicit photos of children.


Editorial note: The editor, who once helped the FBI and the Naval Investigative Service investigate a major pedophilia ring in the U.S. Navy that linked to similar networks in the White House, judiciary, and Republican Party, is well aware of the nature of the scandal that is now being exposed in the Pagegate matter. There are a number of Democratic women running for office around the country. At this point in time, it is those Democratic women who stand the best chance of cleaning the House and the Senate of the pederastic network that has seized control of the machinery of legislative government.


White House Press Secretary continues to downplay the Pagegate scandal as involving "naughty e-mails" from an older man to a "younger man." Snow, as Bush's spokesman, speaks for the President of the United States on the Pagegate matter. Hey Tony, would you be so sanguine if you found out that Foley was sending sexually-explicit emails to your 10-year old son? What would you think Tony if Foley began regularly visiting your son's Fairfax County school to talk about protecting kids from Internet predators?

Bush's and Snow's indifference to predatory sexual habits of senior GOP congressmen should come as no surprise after revelations that a male prostitute who specialized in military-themed trysts was given daily access to the White House, where he remained over night on a number of occasions. And then there are those pesky rumors about Bush's own Chief of Staff.

[WMR will provide weekend updates if any news breaks on the Pagegate scandal.]


Pagegate spreading outside the House of Representatives to Senate, RNC, and Florida

October 5, 2006 -- Pagegate. Heard from the Washington "grapevine." The GOP spin machine will try and keep the focus in Pagegate on Mark Foley and off of his congressional enablers. The effort at "containment" will fail. There are more revelations to follow. The scandal waves are lapping at the doors of the US Senate, Republican National Committee, and Florida administration of Jeb Bush and Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Charlie Crist. Certain Florida-based conservative media commentators may also be caught up in the scandal.

Pagegate spreading outside the House of Representatives to Senate, RNC, and Florida

BREAKING. A well-placed source has told WMR that the Pagegate scandal will soon involve underage male and female teens who have not served as congressional pages, but who have reported abuse by well-known GOP players in the nation's capital. The source says the Psychiatric Institute of Washington's "Center Unit" has dealt with a number of child abuse cases involving senior Republican office holders in the Washington, DC area. Now that GOP abuse of minors is finally receiving media attention as a result of Pagegate, it is a matter of time before the abused males and females report the details of their own abuse cases.


Thom's OpEd Articles from

by Thom Hartmann

Senators John McCain, John Warner, and Lindsey Graham were presented with an opportunity to uphold the fundamental human right known as habeas corpus, or flinch and write a law that would retroactively make sure that George W. Bush could not be prosecuted for violations of habeas corpus in our overseas concentration camps and prisons. It was a contest between protecting the President and protecting the Constitution.

The Republican senators flinched, and in last week's so-called "compromise" chose Bush over the Constitution. In doing so, they turned their backs on a rule of law that stretches back over nearly eight centuries to an epic moment in 1215 on a meadow by the River Thames in the United Kingdom.

The modern institution of civil and human rights, and particularly the writ of habeas corpus, began in June of 1215 when King John was forced by a group of feudal lords to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede.

Two of the most critical parts of the Magna Carta were articles 38 and 39, which established the foundation for what is now known as "habeas corpus" laws (literally, "produce the body" from the Latin - meaning, broadly, "let this person go free or else give him a trial - you may not hold him forever with charging him with a crime"). The concept of habeas corpus in the Magna Carta led directly to the Fourth through Eighth Amendments of our Constitution, and hundreds of other federal and state due process provisions.

Articles 38 and 39 of the Magna Carta said:

"38 In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.
"39 No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land."

This was radical stuff, and over the next four hundred years average people increasingly wanted for themselves these same protections from the abuse of governmental power that the feudal lords had gotten at Runnymede. But from 1215 to 1628, outside of the privileges enjoyed by the feudal lords, the average person could be arrested and imprisoned at the whim of the king with no recourse to the courts.

Then, in 1627, King Charles I overstepped, and the people snapped. Charles I threw into jail five knights in a tax disagreement, and the knights sued the King, asserting their habeas corpus right to be free or on bail unless convicted of a crime.

King Charles I, in response, invoked his right to simply imprison anybody he wanted (other than the rich feudal lords), anytime he wanted, as he said, "per speciale Mandatum Domini Regis."

This is essentially the same argument that George W. Bush makes today for why he has the right to detain people without charges for as much as their entire lives solely on his own say-so: because he's in charge. And it's an argument now supported on the record by these Republicans who have chosen to betray America's founding principles in exchange for peace with the White House.

Legal scholars had expected that George W. Bush's decree to the "renegade" Republicans would meet true resistance.

After all, King Charles' decree wasn't well received. The result of his overt assault on the rights of citizens led to a sort of revolt in the British Parliament, producing the 1628 "Petition of Right" law, an early version of our Fourth through Eighth Amendments, which restated Articles 38 and 39 of the Magna Carta and added that "writs of habeas corpus, [are] there to undergo and receive [only] as the court should order." It was later strengthened with the "Habeas Corpus Act of 1640" and a second "Habeas Corpus Act of 1679."

Thus, the right to suspend habeas corpus no longer was held by the King. It was exercised solely by the people's (elected and hereditary) representatives in the Parliament.

The third George to govern the United Kingdom confronted this in 1815 when he came into possession of Napoleon Bonaparte. But the British laws were so explicit that everybody was entitled to habeas corpus - even people who were not British citizens - that when Napoleon surrendered on the deck of the British flagship Bellerophon after the battle of Waterloo in 1815, the British Parliament had to pass a law ("An Act For The More Effectually Detaining In Custody Napoleon Bonaparte") to suspend habeas corpus so King George III could legally continue to hold him prisoner (and then legally exile him to a British fortification on a distant island).

Now, the third George to govern the United States, 191 years later, isn't even bothering with the civilized step that King George III of England took, of asking Congress for a temporary suspension of habeas corpus for a particular situation. Instead, he's demanding that his Republican colleagues give him the sole power to do away with habeas corpus altogether - and Bill Frist is insisting that they will push it through even over a filibuster.

It's a virtual repeat of Charles I's doctrine that a nation's ruler may do whatever he wants because he's the one in charge - "per speciale Mandatum Domini Regis."

Article I of the Constitution outlines the powers and limits of the Legislative Branch of government (Article 2 lays out the Executive Branch, and Article 3 defines the Judicial Branch). In Section 9, Clause 2 of Article I, the Constitution says of the Legislative branch's authority: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

Abraham Lincoln was well aware of this during the Civil War, and was the first president to successfully ask Congress (on March 3, 1863) to suspend habeas corpus so he could imprison those he considered a threat until the war was over. Congress invoked this power again during Reconstruction when President Grant requested The Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871 to put down a rebellion in South Carolina.

But there is no "Rebellion or Invasion" going on in America right now.

Nonetheless, our President has locked people up, "per speciale Mandatum Domini Regis." Some of their names are familiar to us - US citizens Jose Padilla and Yaser Hamdi, for example - but there are over ten thousand whose names we are not even allowed to know. It's a state secret, after all. Per speciale Mandatum Domini Regis.

The Founders must be turning in their graves. Clearly they never imagined such a thing in their wildest dreams. As Alexander Hamilton - arguably the most conservative of the Founders - wrote in Federalist 84:

"The establishment of the writ of habeas corpus ... are perhaps greater securities to liberty and republicanism than any it [the Constitution] contains. ...[T]he practice of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny. ...
"'To bereave a man of life,' says he, 'or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore A MORE DANGEROUS ENGINE of arbitrary government.''' [Capitals all Hamilton's from the original.]

The question these tragic Republican senators, ultimately, propose to decide is whether our nation will continue to stand for the values upon which it was founded. And they have chosen timidity and convenience - to trash habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions and the US War Crimes Act - instead of fulfilling their oaths of office to "defend the Constitution of the United States of America."

President Thomas Jefferson rebuked those who wanted America ruled by an iron-handed presidency that could throw people in jail without constitutional due process.

"I know, indeed," Jefferson said in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1801, "that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong; that this government is not strong enough. ...
"I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth. I believe it is the only one where every man, at the call of the laws, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern."

The sum of this, Jefferson said, was found in "freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation."

When I was working in Russia some years ago, a friend in Kaliningrad told me a perhaps apocryphal story about Nikita Khrushchev, who, following Stalin's death, gave a speech to the Politburo denouncing Stalin's policies of imprisoning people without trial. A few minutes into Khrushchev's diatribe, somebody shouted out, "Why didn't you challenge him then, the way you are now?"

The room fell silent, as Khrushchev swept the audience with his eyes. "Who said that?" he asked in a reasoned voice. Silence.

"Who said that?" Khrushchev demanded angrily, leaning forward. Silence.

Pounding his fist on the podium to accent each word, he thundered, "Who - said - that?" Still no answer.

Finally, after a long and strained silence, the elected politicians in the room fearful to even cough, a corner of Khrushchev's mouth lifted into a smile.

"Now you know," he said with a chuckle, "why I did not speak up against Stalin when I sat where you now sit."

Apparently Senators Graham, Warner, and McCain have about as much spine as did the members of Khrushchev's Politburo. One wonders what sort of Stalin-like threats Bush made to get them to so completely compromise their principles and betray the trust of their country.

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show carried on the Air America Radio network and Sirius. www.thomhartmann.com His 17 published books include "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People: A Call To Take Back America," "What Would Jefferson Do?" and "Ultimate Sacrifice." His most recent book is "Screwed: The Undeclared War on the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It."


Existence of "Al-Qaeda" Is Crap; Quite Literally

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com

The origins of the name "Al-Qaeda," and its real arabic connotations prove that every time the Bush administration, Fox News, or any individual who cites the threat of "Al-Qaeda," as a mandate for war and domestic authoritarianism, they are propagating the myth that such a group ever existed. An organization by the name of "Al-Qaeda" does not exist and has never existed outside a falsely coined collective term for offshoot loose knit terror cells, the majority of which are guided by the Pakistani ISI, Mossad, the Saudis, MI6 and the CIA, that were created in response to America's actions after 9/11 - as the recent NIE report shows. According to the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, the infamous footage of Bin Laden marching around with armed soldiers was a ruse on the part of Osama himself, graciously propagated by the lapdog press, in which actors were hired off the streets, given uniforms and guns and told to look aggressive...

continua / continued

Return of the War Criminal

Molly Ivins

The Old War Criminal is back. I try not to hold grudges, but I must admit I have never lost one ounce of rancor toward Henry Kissinger, that cynical, slithery, self-absorbed pathological liar. He has all the loyalty and principle of Charles Talleyrand, whom Napoleon described as "a piece of dung in a silk stocking." Come to think of it, Talleyrand looks pretty good compared to Kissinger, who always aspired to be Metternich (a 19th century Austrian diplomat). Just count the number of Americans and Vietnamese who died between 1969 and 1973, and see if you can find any indication he ever gave a damn. As for Kissinger’s getting the Nobel Peace Prize, it is a thing so wrong it has come to define wrongness—as in, "As weird as the time Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize."...

continua / continued

Lies by Omission

William Bowles , I'n'I

The London Independent’s editorial headed "Beware loose talk about a clash of civilisations" boggles the mind and my pen trembles and threatens to skitter right off the page of my 'little red note book’ as I transcribe the words from this misleading and dangerous distortion of the facts. "This terrorism isn’t our fault … We didn’t cause it … It’s not the consequence of foreign policy … It’s an attack on our way of life … It’s global … It has an ideology." — Tony Blair, speaking at the Labour Party Conference. The first thing one notices that is entirely missing from this artful piece of dissembling is any reference to Bush and Blair’s endless references to a "clash of civilisations" or indeed to the role of newspapers such as the Independent in spreading fear and loathing of an "intolerant strain of Islam" with its repetition of largely government-sourced stories about 'terrorist cells’ and 'home-grown terrorists’ or links to 'al-Qu’eda’s global network’. References entirely divorced from context or history, especially the pernicious 'war on terror’ fantasy that has created this abominable situation in the first place...

continua / continued

Coup In Iraq?

Robert Dreyfuss

Is the Bush administration considering a coup d’etat in Iraq before the end of the year, in a desperate effort to salvage its war? It’s not outside the realm of possibility. Like JFK in 1963, who—faced with a notoriously corrupt Saigon regime and a growing Viet Cong insurgency in Vietnam—gave the green light to topple and assassinate President Ngo Dinh Diem in Vietnam, President Bush might give a wink and a nod to the CIA, the U.S. military, and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to get rid of Iraq’s current regime. The Diem coup didn’t go well. Considering how unlikely it is that Bush has even heard of Diem, I doubt he’s learned that lesson. More and more, it’s beginning to look like the end for Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki...

continua / continued

With the body count mounting Pentagon plans to dismember Iraq

Ben Becker, Socialism and Liberation

...The occupation forces are now allowing internecine and sectarian conflict—which they have promoted all along—to tear the country apart. The plan to partition Iraq could be seen in the October 2005 Iraqi constitution. In the name of "federalism," it spelled out a system that guaranteed regional governmental autonomy should the central Baghdad government prove too weak or fall out of Washington’s control. This system could at least guarantee Wall Street access to the oil-rich areas of the north and the south (...) Iraq, once a secular state with extensive social programs and an education system that made it the envy of the Middle East, has been torn apart. The only force capable of halting the U.S. plans to exterminate the Iraqi nation is an increasingly effective Iraqi resistance united on the basis of anti-imperialism...

continua / continued

Iraq's 'liberated' Palestinians : Arrested, Abused, Abandoned, Slaughtered.

Felicity Arbuthnot

Last week many of Baghdad's Palestinians received hand written notes, delivered by armed men, warning them to leave within seventy two hours or face death, decimation. The same scenario happened earlier this year. Iraq's Palestinians are another forgotten tragedy in the predictable carnage the US/UK's criminal, illegal invasion has wrought. There are those who fled Palestine after the British led formation of Israel in 1948, ousted from ancestral homes, fleeing just with keys, deeds and that they could carry or load, vowing to return. Other, their children and grandchildren, born in exile, the dream to return nurtured with their mothers' milk, as Palestinians across the globe. Of Baghdad's thirty four thousand Palestinians, just twenty thousand remain since the city's fall in 2003. Given the invasion fuelled sectarianism, with disparate factions and private militias entering the country with US/UK tanks and with Israeli soldiers wearing US uniforms and Israeli intelligence allegedly advising, setting policies and Israeli methods being used to demolish homes, empty villages, build walls and generally terrorise, speculation as to the source of the plight of the Palestinians is an uncertain science...

continua / continued

Friday, October 06, 2006

Maybe the Question is, Who Didn't Know About Foley?

Reports the LA Times:

"Almost the first day I got there I was warned," said Mark Beck-Heyman, a San Diego native who served as a page in the House of Representatives in the summer of 1995. "It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages," said Beck-Heyman, adding that Foley, who is now 52, on several occasions asked him out for ice cream.

Another former congressional staff member said he too had been the object of Foley's advances.

"It was so well known around the House. Pages passed it along from class to class," said the former aide, adding that when he was 18 a few years ago and working as an intern, Foley approached him at a bar near the Capitol and asked for his e-mail address
Is it starting to feel like "if everyone thought it was no big deal, how much more of this is going on"?

Posted by Monika Bauerlein on 10/03/06

Foley Wasn't Only Public Servant Using Web for "Excessive Indulgences"

Turns out Mark Foley wasn't the only public servant using his taxpayer-funded Internet access for a bit of extracurricular activity. "Excessive Indulgences," a new report [PDF] from the Interior Department (with a cover that screams "stock photography of illicit activity"—Bare midrift! Slot machines! Grocery shopping! Chess!), reveals that in a single week, DOI employees accesed thousands of sex sites, sometimes up to an hour at a stretch. A couple even got busted for surfing child porn at work. DOI staff is also really into online auctions and gambling: The report calculates that they spend 104,000 hours a year bidding and betting. C'mon, House Republicans! You gonna let a bunch of pencil pushing bureaucrats show you up like that?

Posted by Dave Gilson on 10/06/06


The Legislative and Judicial Branches are Overrated Anyway

The Bush administration’s crusade to expand executive power beyond all reckoning has continued unabated. And, on Wednesday, when President Bush signed the homeland security bill passed by Congress last week, he reserved the right, in one of his infamous signing statements, to disregard at least 36 provisions in the legislation. Among them is a new law establishing the minimum job qualifications for future FEMA directors, which would prevent the president from appointing someone based on politics not experience (i.e. Michael Brown). It's not as if the requirements are that stiff. The candidate, according to the law, must have "a demonstrated ability in and knowledge of emergency management" and "not less than five years of executive leadership." Seems reasonable, but apparently the president found these prerequisites too restrictive. According to the Boston Globe, the president also took aim at "a provision that empowers the FEMA director to tell Congress about the nation's emergency management needs without White House permission."

Last week, Bush challenged 16 provisions in the 2007 military budget bill. The Globe reports:
The bill bars the Pentagon from using any intelligence that was collected illegally, including information about Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable government surveillance.

In Bush's signing statement, he suggested that he alone could decide whether the Pentagon could use such information. His signing statement instructed the military to view the law in light of "the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief, including for the conduct of intelligence operations, and to supervise the unitary executive branch."

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service, which notes that legal claims made in some of the president’s signing statements are “generally unsupported by established legal principles,” states that “the broad and persistent nature of the claims of executive authority forwarded by President Bush appear designed to inure Congress, as well as others, to the belief that the President in fact possesses expansive and exclusive powers upon which the other branches may not intrude.” Not that we really needed a CRS report to tell us that.

Posted by Daniel Schulman on 10/06/06


Meet the Democrat Running Against Hastert

Q: Who’s Running Against Hastert in Illinois? A: 32-Year Old Vet with Intelligence Credentials You Say?
Our own Josh Harkinson has just put up a story about John Laech, the 32-year-old vet who's running against the embattled Denny Hastert. The NYT has its doubts that he can make a real run this late in the game, but on the other hand, he seems like the perfect candiate for the moment. As Josh writes:

Looking for adventure and a challenge, Laesch joined the Navy in 1995 and rose to a post in Bahrain as an intelligence analyst. His job included monitoring video footage from Iran. At the time, a popular parade route in Iran had been painted with American and Israeli flags so that soldiers could trample them when they marched past. But after Iran’s moderate president Mohammad Khatami came to power, Laesch noticed the flags were removed. He saw the move as an opportunity for rapprochement which was later dashed when President Bush dubbed the country part of the Axis of Evil. “Our actions create an equal and opposite reaction on their side,” he says. “And this is why terrorism is growing.”

Honorably discharged in 1999, Laesch studied history and political science at Illinois State University and was drawn to politics. In 2004 he talked with men who worked at a Maytag factory that was shuttering in the town of Galesburg and moving to Mexico. “That bothered me,” he says. That year Laesch managed the congressional race of Democrat David Gill, a doctor running for the 15th district of Illinois on a health care platform. He felt under qualified for the job, but even so, Gill turned in a strong showing. The next year, when Laesch’s brother, Pete, was sent to Iraq a week after his wife gave birth to a child, the munitions sergeant urged his brother to run against Hastert. “It hadn’t even realistically crossed my mind,” Leasch says, “But when Pete got his orders to Iraq, I said, ‘I’m gonna do it.’”

Like many “fighting democrats,” Laesch believes the U.S. needs to set a imetable to withdraw from Iraq—arguing that a widespread belief among Iraqis that U.S. forces are on an imperialist mission is fueling the insurgency. He also wants to see a wider peacekeeping role for the United Nations and the Arab league, but doubts the Bush administration possesses the diplomatic resources to pull it off.

Anti-war, anti-pedophilia sentiment isn’t the only thing going for Laesch in Illinois District 14. Locally, he says, Republicans have been less outraged by the sex scandal than revelations that Hastert used a federal road project to pad his bank account. A former high school wrestling coach who entered politics a man of modest means, Hastert personally earmarked the highway bill last year with $207 million for the Prairie Parkway, a road that serves about as little purpose as its name implies, many locals say, but which will run within a few miles of land Hastert bought in 2002 near Plano, Illinois. Hastert and his business partners then sold the land to a developer, netting a cool $1.8 million.

And I'm not even reprising Laesch's time in Africa...
Posted by Clara Jeffery

Both Republicans on Ethics Panel Have Money Ties to Hastert

Both Republicans on the House ethics subcommittee investigating the Mark Foley scandal have financial ties to Speaker Dennis Hastert, whose handling of the former congressman's lurid Internet messages to House pages is under scrutiny


Longtime Republican Was Source of Emails

The source in the Foley case who gave suspect emails to the democrats and media outlets has been a confirmed registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote and is no longer employed in the House. Three more former pages formerly working under Foley have come out to accuse Foley of sexual advances online.


GAO Says Bush Administration, Not Lawsuits, to Blame for Oregon Logging Losses

A government study blamed the Bush administration, not lawsuits by environmentalists, for adding to the cost of a logging project in which the government spent $11 million to salvage less than $9 million in timber from a wildfire.


Murdoch 'proud' of FOX in White House

FAIR AND BALANCED YOU DECIDE Viewers 'more biased' than channels; Nothing 'unfair and unbalanced' on FOX.


Are you awake yet America 27 of your sons and daughters killed in Iraq in the last 5 days.

Dont forget the 3000 Iraqi being killed monthy

GOP Senator's Call For Iraq Change Causes “Growing Sense Of Unease” Among Republicans...

The New York Times SHERYL GAY STOLBERG October 6, 2006 at 10:01 PM
READ MORE: George W. Bush, Iraq

The White House, caught off guard by a leading Republican senator who said the situation in Iraq was "drifting sideways," responded cautiously on Friday, with a spokeswoman for President Bush stopping short of saying outright that Mr. Bush disagreed with the assessment.

"I don't believe that the president thinks that way," Dana Perino, the deputy White House press secretary, said when asked whether the president agreed with the senator, John Warner of Virginia. "I think that he believes that while it is tough going in Iraq, that slow progress is being made."

Bush Policy Irks Judges in West

Using language that suggests they are fed up with the Bush administration, federal judges across the West have issued a flurry of rulings in recent weeks, chastising the government for repeated and sometimes willful failure to enforce laws protecting fish, forests, wildlife and clean air.


Retired Forest Planner Blasts Secret Forest Service Project

The Forest Service has begun bulldozing campgrounds under a secret policy to close recreation facilities. Retired Forest Service planner Dick Artley said: "Something very tragic is happening to our public land. This policy was cooked up in secret by the Forest Service in 2002 with absolutely no public involvement or congressional review."


Pelosi Talks of First 100 Hours

Crap have another commission to investigate 9/11, and have the friking lot of them sworn to tell the truth or commit perjury, not that they would care less about that

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is thinking 100 hours is time enough to begin to "drain the swamp" after more than a decade of Republican rule. Her goal for Day One: Put new rules in place to "break the link between lobbyists and legislation." Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Family friend: Amish girl asked to be shot to save others

Can you just imagine this a thirteen year old girl, with more moral aurthority than the whole republican party put together, She brings shame on the Congress of America.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (Reuters) -- One of the girls who died in Pennsylvania's Amish schoolhouse massacre asked the killer to shoot her first in an apparent bid to save the younger girls, a woman who spoke to the victim's family said Friday.

Rita Rhoads, a nurse-midwife who delivered 13-year-old Marian Fisher as well as another victim, said Fisher appealed to Charles Carl Roberts IV to shoot her first because she thought it might allow younger girls to survive.

Rhoads said she did not know whether Fisher in fact was shot first. Roberts shot 10 girls ages 6 to 13, killing five of them and then himself in Monday's rampage. (Watch "shocked and sad" Amish express forgiveness -- 2:46)

Fisher's 11-year-old sister, Barbie, appealed to Roberts to shoot her next, Rhoads said. Barbie survived and was in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia recovering from shoulder, hand and leg injuries.

An unspeakable loss


Cheney: GOP control of Congress needed for president's agenda

You friking bet they need control of the Congress, to hide all their criminal actions, that could lead them to the hague on war crimes not to mention the crimes against America.

Cheney: GOP control of Congress needed for president's agenda
Associated Press

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday stuck to the familiar themes of maintaining tax cuts and staying the course in the war on terror as reasons to keep President Bush's Republican allies in control of Congress.

The midterm elections on Nov. 7 will have "enormous consequences for this nation one way or the other," Cheney told a crowd of about 200 people at a $1,000-a-plate luncheon to raise money for Republican congressional hopeful Vern Buchanan.

"We have a president living in the White House who deserves a Congress that works with him, not against him," Cheney said. He urged the southwest Florida party faithful to get out the vote and keep the 13th District in Republican hands. Katherine Harris now holds the seat, but is running for U.S. Senate.


"Dick Cheney's baseless remarks are nothing but a clear sign that he knows Republicans are in trouble, especially his buddy Vern Buchanan," said Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Democrats support lowering the high cost of gasoline, protecting the future of social security and a rational strategy for the war in Iraq."


Bushies 'used' Colin, (says Powell's wife)

He let himself be friking used for the power, if we the people didn't believe the deceit and criminalty of the thugs in the White House, He was in a position to know a darn lot more about their lies than we the people, and he demeaned his name by playing their game to go into an illegal war and occupation.
Colin Powell fought the Viet Cong, but he was no match for the Bush administration hard-liners who "used" his prestige to sell the Iraq war to the American people, his wife says.

In "Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell," Powell's wife, Alma, says the former secretary of state was "callously used to promote a war she wished had never happened," author Karen DeYoung writes.

"They needed him to do it because they knew people would believe him," she told DeYoung, an editor at the Washington Post.

Colin Powell, who was interviewed by DeYoung six times at length, expressed reservations about invading Iraq but never considered quitting in protest once President Bush decided to go to war.

London Times: Reporter 'shot by American troops on way to hospital'

Reporter 'shot by American troops on way to hospital
By Times Online and PA

The ITN war correspondent, Terry Lloyd, was shot in the head by American soldiers after being wounded in a gunfight in southern Iraq, an inquest heard today.

A statement from an Iraqi witness, who claimed to have been present when Lloyd died on the road to Basra in March 2003, described how the journalist was injured but alive after his car was attacked by US soldiers on one of the first days of the war.

But he was then shot again on his way to hospital.

The account was part of the evidence given today by Nicholas Walshe, an ITN journalist appointed by the broadcaster to investigate the death of Lloyd, a 50-year-old correspondent, on March 22, 2003.

Mr Walshe told Oxfordshire's Assistant Deputy Coroner, Andrew Walker, that his source had seemed "very credible"....


Original Post: Hastert Lives Bachelorlike Existence with 2 “Aides”

Hastert Lives Bachelorlike Existence with 2 “Aides”
(I rearranged the order of todays postings for more interesting reading, scroll down to see new stories)

I think I see a pattern starting to emerge here.

Hastert Vows to Overcome Scandal

NY Times
Mr. Hastert, a former schoolteacher and wrestling coach, is more at home in Illinois than in Washington, traveling back to the state almost every weekend with Scott Palmer, his chief of staff, and Mike Stokke, his deputy chief of staff. When Congress is in session, the two aides and Mr. Hastert share a townhouse near the Capitol, living a bachelorlike existence. The speaker once boasted that neither he nor his roommates had cooked a meal since 1986, preferring to dine out.
It is Mr. Palmer and Mr. Stokke who are now at the center of a House inquiry into when the speaker’s office became aware of Mr. Foley’s conduct. Mr. Stokke offered his resignation this week, an aide said, but Mr. Hastert declined to accept it.

H.L.s Take:
So is this why he’s known about Foley for all these years, and done nothing? Was he afraid that there could be some negative “blow” back if he spoke up. Was he afraid Foley would out him? 3 rich men who could easily afford their own places all living together, and where is Hastert’s wife while he is living with 2 dudes. I see in another story she stays at a hotel.
Palmer and Stokke: “Nail me you sweaty wrestler…. I mean pin me.”

This entry was posted on Friday, October 6th, 2006 at 9:34 am


Anti-US Attack Videos Increasingly Available On Video-Sharing Sites...

The New York Times Edward Wyatt October 6, 2006 at 02:57 PM
READ MORE: Google, Iraq

Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.

Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.



Reuters Steve Holland October 6, 2006 at 04:28 PM
READ MORE: Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove

An aide to top White House political adviser Karl Rove resigned in the fallout over a congressional report showing many White House contacts with ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Last week's report by the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee said Rove aide Susan Ralston had passed inside White House information to superlobbyist Abramoff while she was also accepting his tickets to nine sports and entertainment events.



It doesn't take them long does it, only in America.


Palestinian child deaths in conflict with Israel already nearly double that of 2005 – UN

UN News Centre Home

Ninety-one Palestinian children have already been killed this year in the West Bank and Gaza, almost double the number for the whole of 2005, with youngsters suffering increasing levels of stress from violence and fear in the Israeli-Palestinians conflict, according to the latest United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) update. "They are confronted with regular military operations, shelling, house demolitions, checkpoints on their way to schools," UNICEF Child Protection Officer Anne Grandjean said. "As a result we find high prevalence of signs of stress such as anxiety, eating and sleeping disorders, and difficulties concentrating in school...

continua / continued

Rice, in Baghdad, Insists That Iraqis Are ‘Making Progress’


Wearing a helmet and a flak jacket and flanked by machine-gun-toting bodyguards to defend against insurgents, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came here Thursday, insisting that there were new signs of progress in Iraq and that the Bush administration had never sugarcoated its news about the American occupation. "It is a quite critical time for the Iraqi government," Ms. Rice said of the reasons for her brief unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital. "What the American people see on their television screens is the struggle," she said. "It is harder to show the political process that is going on at local levels, at provincial levels and indeed at the national level." Iraqis, she said, are "making progress." (...) Yet signs of progress were not much in evidence in the first hours of her visit. It began inauspiciously when the military transport plane that brought her to Baghdad was forced to circle the city for about 40 minutes because of what a State Department spokesman later said was either mortar fire or rockets at the airport...

continua / continued

Sailor: I watched Marines kill Iraqi civilian

Associated Press

A Navy corpsman testified Friday that Marines in his patrol seized an Iraqi civilian from his home, threw him into a hole and put at least 10 bullets in his head after growing frustrated in their search for an insurgent. "I was shocked and I felt sick to my stomach," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos. Bacos, a medic who had been on patrol with the squad, was charged along with seven Marines in the slaying of Hashim Ibrahim Awad last spring in the town of Hamdaniya. But Bacos struck a deal with prosecutors under which he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and conspiracy and agreed to testify Friday at his court-martial about what he saw...

continua / continued

New Libby case filings released

Prosecutor: Libby Wants to Load Up Trial


WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff intends to load up his criminal trial with information about nine national security matters, the names of foreign leaders and details about various terrorist groups, say court filings in the Valerie Plame leak case.

The papers filed this week hint at what has been taking place behind closed doors as Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald tries to limit the amount of classified data that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is permitted to use at his trial in January.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton is asking whether classified evidence would overlap Libby's likely trial testimony. Libby's lawyers have already said he will take the witness stand to deny lying to the FBI in its investigation of the Plame leak.

Even if prosecutors agreed ahead of time about the importance of "the nine national security matters" he wants to disclose, Libby would be entitled to introduce additional evidence, his lawyers wrote.

In court documents, prosecutors argued that it would be "unnecessarily wasteful of time" to allow Libby to present "names of foreign leaders or government officials of other countries, or the names and histories of various terrorist groups."

The danger for prosecutors is that the sheer volume and extreme sensitivity of classified information Libby wants to introduce could scuttle the trial.

Once the judge identifies classified information Libby is entitled to present in order to get a fair trial, U.S. intelligence agencies must rule on whether the secrets can be declassified. The case would collapse if the intelligence agencies refuse to declassify the information.

Libby is charged with five felony counts of perjury, obstruction and making false statements to the FBI.

He is accused of lying about how he learned of Plame's CIA employment and what he told reporters about her when her husband, former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson, was accusing the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to help sell the public on waging war against Iraq.

Libby plans to use what his lawyers call "a memory defense" and he must be allowed to demonstrate how busy he was, his attorneys say.

Any incorrect information the former White House aide gave investigators about his conversations with reporters was due to "the crush of Mr. Libby's duties," his lawyers said. Libby's main assertion in his statements to investigators was that he learned about the CIA identity of Wilson's wife from reporters.

Prosecutors say there is no dispute that Libby was busy, but that he should not be allowed at the trial to describe so much classified information - "as if each particular item overwhelmed his ability to remember and to not fabricate other conversations."

Fitzgerald wrote that Libby's proposals for introducing classified information are "so extraordinary both in breadth ... and in depth" that the evidence takes on "a misleading aura, is confusing" if presented to a jury.

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