Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator    

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Starving vultures prey on living animals

Thu May 3, 12:38 PM ET
MADRID (Reuters) - Huge flocks of starving vultures have started attacking live animals in northern Spain, officials in the city of Burgos said on Thursday
In one incident, about 100 vultures killed a cow and her newborn calf, a rancher from the Mena Valley said, according to the Spanish government's office in Burgos, quoted by state news agency EFE.
Ranchers have complained that vultures started attacking livestock several months ago when a feeding station set up in the Ordunte mountains was closed by the neighbouring province of Vizcaya. Vultures prefer to feed on the carcasses of dead animals, but carrion is scarce in modern Spain.

Tornado Levels Kansas Town

Associated Press May 5, 2007 05:18 PM
The dead included eight in Kiowa County, where Greensburg is located, and one in nearby Stafford County, said Sharon Watson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Adjutant General's Department.
The tornado that struck Greensburg late Friday damaged about 95 percent of the town about 110 miles west of Wichita, City Administrator Steve Hewitt said Saturday.

Just Another Crime Against The Troops, but why should you care Georgie

Deployed Troops Losing Custody Of Their Children
Associated Press May 5, 2007 05:55 PM
She had raised her daughter for six years following the divorce, handled the shuttling to soccer practice and cheerleading, made sure schoolwork was done. Hardly a day went by when the two weren't together. Then Lt. Eva Crouch was mobilized with the Kentucky National Guard, and Sara went to stay with Dad.
A year and a half later, her assignment up, Crouch pulled into her driveway with one thing in mind _ bringing home the little girl who shared her smile and blue eyes. She dialed her ex and said she'd be there the next day to pick Sara up, but his response sent her reeling.

Oliver Stone unveils Iraq withdrawal ad

By Jill Serjeant
May 04, 2007 08:46am
OSCAR-winning director Oliver Stone, whose movies voiced the frustration of the Vietnam War generation, has unveiled a political ad calling for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
But those expecting a broadside from the man who made the searing anti-war films Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July some 20 years ago may be disappointed.
The 30-second television spot, sponsored by the MoveOn.org political action group and VoteVets.org, features a simple but impassioned plea by John Bruhns, a former infantry sergeant who fought in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and its aftermath.
"We were told to liberate these people. They were shooting at us," Bruhns says to camera.
"To keep American soldiers in Iraq for an indefinite period of time, being attacked by an unidentifiable enemy, is wrong, immoral and irresponsible."
Ron Kovic, the author of Born on the Fourth of July who was shot and paralysed in Vietnam, supplies a brief voice-over, saying "Support our troops. Bring them home".
The ad will air nationwide on CNN starting today for a week. It appears just after the veto by President George W. Bush of a bill from the Democratic-controlled Congress that would have set dates for withdrawal of US troops in Iraq.
Stone, 60, who fought in Vietnam in the 1960s, was asked to direct the ad for MoveOn.org, which says it has 3.2 million members in the United States campaigning for an end to USinvolvement in the four-year-old war.
Although Stone does not appear in the ad, he said the parallels between US involvement in Iraq and Vietnam were obvious.
"I made three movies about Vietnam and I thought it was behind us," he said today.
"This is a bad summer repeat of a war that happened 40 years ago. We must listen to the soldiers who are coming back."
Stone is one of only a handful of directors to tackle the events of September11, 2001 and the fallout of the attacks.
His 2006 feature World Trade Center was seen as a surprisingly patriotic film that focused on police officers sent to rescue those trapped in New York's twin towers but who ended up buried in the rubble themselves.
Asked if he was planning a movie about the war in Iraq, Stone said; "It's not my generation's war." "I'd like to do a picture about the politics behind it though. I find that fascinating."

US politics playing with Iraqi blood

Nicola Nasser, Hindustan Times
Bracing for the 2008 presidential election, US Democrats in opposition and the ruling Republicans have embroiled the American public in a political crisis between the executive and legislative powers over deadlines for combat operations in Iraq that could develop into a constitutional showdown, but for Arabs and Iraqis in particular it is merely playing electoral politics with Iraqi blood for oil because the Democratic alternative for President George W Bush's strategy, when scrutinised, promises them no fundamental change to the bloody status quo...

AMSI Considers Sharm al-Sheikh Conference Unsuccessful

Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI)
Muhammad Bashar al-Faydi the official spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) evaluated Sharm al-Sheikh conference as a failure. He called Iraqis to not expect benefit from the conference in the special interview with Arabs Today. "We consider Sharm al-Sheikh conference is a final attempt by the international community and the occupation forces to support this government. So we do not see anything in this step, just a failure. It is not possible to expect hope from this conference to get Iraq out of crisis." Told al-Faydi...

Terrorizing a Nation into Homelessness: Who is Responsible?

Eman A. Khammas, Global Research
Last January, the municipality of Baghdad published a short advertisement calling tenders to bid on burying the tens of "unidentified" bodies found in the streets of the capital every morning for almost a year now. Few months before, the Iraqi ministry of Health proudly declared that it imported two big refrigerators with a capacity of 2 hundred bodies each, to keep those "unidentified" bodies. At the same time a new very big "state" graveyard was created to bury the bodies, after giving them numbers and taking their pictures , just in case one day a family would be lucky enough to identify a son, a husband, or a father…

Alan Johnston Uncovered Gaza's Ancient History

Hayam Noir, PalestineFreeVoice
The journalist Alan Johnston, sinse 3 years based in Gaza where he has lived and worked - was kidnapped on Monday March 12, and the kidnappers are unknown until now. Are the Israelis involved ? Why would the Palestinians do any harm to a passionate and honest journalist like Alan Johnston ? Alan meant a lot to the people of Gaza and of Palestine, he is respected everywhere for all he has done for the Palestinians - during his three years on the Gaza.Strip. Reporting to the world out side the prison-like Gaza Strip - covering the reality of what is going on...
continua / continued

Walter Reed Leadership Reshuffled After Probe

A senior commander at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was placed on administrative leave yesterday after an internal investigation into leadership at the facility, officials connected to the hospital said.
Justice Official Says He Was Directed to Call Fired Prosecutors
The chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty has told congressional investigators that phone calls he placed to four fired US attorneys - calls that three of the prosecutors say involved threats about testifying before Congress - were made at McNulty's direction.
A former US Justice Department official and central figure in the firing of eight US attorneys tearfully told a colleague two months ago her government career probably was over as the matter was about to erupt into a political storm, according to closed-door congressional testimony.

Discharged gay sailor is called back to active duty

Come Die for us, it doesn't matter that your Gay now,
Tell them go die themselves, in their DIRTY WAR

By Joseph Giordono, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Sunday, May 6, 2007
On his wedding night in July 2004, then-Petty Officer 3rd Class Jason Knight finally accepted a truth he had fought against for years: he was gay.
Almost immediately, he moved to get his marriage annulled. He apologized to the woman he’d married. And when it came time to explain his changing circumstances to the Navy, he left nothing out. Under the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, he was quickly discharged from the service.
But now — whether through a clerical oversight or what some claim is an unwritten change in policy to keep more gay servicemembers in the ranks at a time of war — Jason Knight is back on active duty. Since promoted to petty officer second class, Knight is finishing a scheduled one-year tour in Kuwait with Naval Customs Battalion Bravo. And, already kicked out of the Navy once, he sees no need to hide his sexual orientation.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” he said, remembering the day he received his recall orders. “It was the ultimate kick in the ass. But then I thought, there isn’t much they can do to me they haven’t done the first time.”

Former Defense official: ex-CIA director Tenet 'sloppy by nature'

Perle was one of the chief architects of the war in Iraq.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Defense Policy Board Chairman Richard Perle sharply criticized former CIA Director George Tenet Friday, calling him "sloppy by nature," and taking issue with many of the assertions in his new book.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Perle directly refuted a conversation Tenet describes in his new book, "At the Center of the Storm," during which the former CIA Director claims Perle told him the day after the September 11 attacks that, "Iraq has to pay the price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."
"[I] never said the things that he attributes to me," Perle said. "He's just got it completely wrong. I never believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, and by the time I returned to the U.S., it was pretty clear that it was bin Laden, indeed, bin Laden was claiming credit."
Perle added that Tenet is attempting to "shift responsibility" for the "failure not only to anticipate 9/11, specifically, but the failure to understand the extent of the terrorist threat."
Perle, one of the chief architects of the Iraq war, maintained that invading the country was not a mistake, though acknowledged the war's aftermath was mismanaged.
"I'm sorry that after removing Saddam we did not hand things back to the Iraqis," he said. "I'm sorry that we embarked on an occupation that became the basis for an insurgency against us. I think the right thing to have done -- and I said it at the time -- was to hand things to the Iraqis as soon as Saddam was removed."
-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Maybe McCain should not have stabbed his so called friend Kerry in the back in 2004, and he might have realised part of his dream.

You backed a loser dude, to bad
Democrats trump Republicans solidy in 2008 race: poll
Published: Saturday May 5, 2007
With President George W. Bush's popularity hitting a record low, all three top Democratic candidates can beat the leading Republicans in the presidential race to replace him next year, according to a new poll Saturday.
Four days after Bush vetoed a Democrat Party-driven measure to set a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq, the Newsweek poll said his popularity fell to an all-time low of 28 percent.
That matched the lows of highly unpopular president Jimmy Carter in 1979, the year before he was trounced in the election by Ronald Reagan when he sought a second white House term.
The poll also showed that any of Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards could solidly beat either Rudolph Giuliani or John McCain, the top Republican candidates, in the election in November 2008.
The poll of 1,000 adults, taken ahead of Thursday's debate between the eight Republican candidates for their party's 2008 nomination, showed Clinton beating Republican favorite Giuliani 49-46 percent; Obama beating Giuliani 50-43 percent; and Edwards beating the former New York City mayor 50-44 percent.

De-Authorize the War Now, No Residual Troops

Gov. Bill Richardson
Congress has the ability to end this war under the War Powers Act -- let's not wait or waver while more people die. And de-authorizing the war should mean removing all our troops. Every last one.


GOP Debate: A Competition to See Who Could Be the Biggest Neanderthal
The Republican Ten seemed to be competing over: Who would stay in Iraq the longest? Who would cut taxes the deepest? Who would jump the highest if Roe v. Wade was reversed?

Ten White Men Stage An Obscenely White Male Game Show and They Call it the Republican Debate.
I tried, but I couldn't find the one who is not a Bush clone. Ten straight old white men vying to be the next president -- and the Republican Party doesn't even have the sense to be embarrassed. For gawd's sake, even the questioners were white men.
The comedic value of the 1950s style affair was the only thing that kept me awake. This old time party has got to be on its death throes. I vote we laugh it out of existence. And while the ten white men sort of debated, planes circled the Reagan Library outside with banners reading: "Republicans, Mission Accomplished?" and "McCain, Mission Accomplished?"
Ten white guys in dark suits and bright ties to answer questions. Three white guys in dark suits and bright ties to ask them. Stale ideas fit the staid image at the first Republican presidential debate last night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. MSNBC should have broadcast the event in black and white.
The Gipper himself would have felt at home.
What do these monochromatic candidates offer? Without exception, war and more war. No exit from Iraq. New confrontation with Iran, with only former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani mumbling a hint of caution. For former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, brandishing his newborn wing-nut credentials, it's war not just against al Qaeda, Iraq and Iran, but against Shia and Sunni, Hezbollah and Hamas and more. Wartime for America.
All this is done while invoking Ronald Reagan's sunny optimism. But they've forgotten Reagan's basic caution.
While he committed serial follies in the Middle East, Reagan never got caught in a losing war. When the Marines he fecklessly dispatched to Lebanon were blown up, he cut and ran, invading hapless Grenada to cover his retreat. And when the USSR's Mikhail Gorbachev sued for peace, Reagan ignored the CIA, which called it a trick, spurned the neocons and went to the negotiating table.

NJ Governor Returning To Work For First Time After Critical Car Crash

AP TOM HESTER Jr May 5, 2007 03:07 PM
New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine will resume work Monday for the first time since being critically injured in a car crash last month, a spokesman said Saturday.
Corzine was released from a hospital just last Monday and has been rehabilitating at the governor's mansion in Princeton, where he's expected to work starting Monday until he has recovered enough to return to the statehouse, spokesman Anthony Coley said.

Fired Us Atty Argued With DOJ Officials Over Murder Probe

The Washington Post Dan Eggen May 5, 2007 03:38 PM
A U.S. attorney in Seattle was singled out for dismissal in part because he clashed with senior Justice Department officials over the investigation of a federal prosecutor's murder, and he was recommended for removal 18 months earlier than was previously known, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews.
D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, told congressional investigators that he believes he may have recommended former U.S. attorney John McKay's removal in March 2005 because of conflicts with senior Justice officials over the investigation of the 2001 murder of federal prosecutor Tom Wales, according to congressional aides and Sampson's attorney.

New Documents Suggest Military Gave Misleading Response On Haditha Killings To Avoid Enemy Propoganda

The New York Times PAUL von ZIELBAUER May 5, 2007 01:14 PM
Recently unclassified documents suggest that senior officers viewed the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in late 2005 as a potential public relations problem that required an immediate and misleading response to prevent insurgents from using it as propaganda against the American military effort.
"We knew the, you know, the strategic implications of being permanently present in Haditha and how badly the insurgents wanted us out of there," said Col. R. Gary Sokoloski, in a sworn statement to investigators in March 2006.

UN Climate Change Panel: Eight Years Left To Stop Worst Effects

The Guardian David Adam May 5, 2007 09:51 AM
Governments are running out of time to address climate change and to avoid the worst effects of rising temperatures, an influential UN panel warned yesterday.
Greater energy efficiency, renewable electricity sources and new technology to dump carbon dioxide underground can all help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the experts said. But there could be as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.

Newsweek Poll: Bush Hits All-Time Low

MSNBC.com Marcus Mabry May 5, 2007 12:48 PM
It's hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every '08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public's approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.'s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP's chances for victory in '08.

Iraqi girl stoned to death in Baghdad

It's called Georgies Liberation if you didn't know.
Internet video shows 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd Du’a Khalil Aswad being stoned by a group of men until she dies, all because she fell in love with a boy of a different religion
Baghdad, May 4: A 17-year-old girl has been stoned to death in Iraq because she loved a teenage boy of the wrong religion.
As a horrifying video of the stoning went out on the Internet, the British arm of Amnesty International condemned the death of Du’a Khalil Aswad as “an abhorrent murder” and demanded that her killers be brought to justice. Reports from Iraq said a local security force witnessed the incident, but did nothing to try to stop it. Now her boyfriend is in hiding in fear for his life.
Aswad, a member of a minority Kurdish religious group called Yezidi, was condemned to death as an “honour killing” by other men in her family and hardline religious leaders because of her relationship with the Sunni Muslim boy.
They said she had shamed herself and her family when she failed to return home one night. Some reports suggested she had converted to Islam to be closer to her boyfriend.
Aswad had taken shelter in the house of a Yezidi tribal leader in Bashika, a predominantly Kurdish town near the northern capital, Mosul.
A large crowd watched as eight or nine men stormed the house and dragged Aswad into the street. There they hurled stones at her for half an hour until she was dead. The stoning happened last month, but only came to light on Wednesday with the release of the Internet video. It is feared her death has triggered a retaliatory attack. Last week 23 Yezidi workmen were forced off a bus travelling from Mosulto Bashika by a group of Sunni gunmen and summarily shot dead.
An Amnesty International spokesman in London said they receive frequent reports of honour crimes from Iraq. Most victims are women and girls who are considered by male relatives to have shamed their families by immoral behaviour.
Daily Mail

Apple's Steve Jobs out-paces rest, takes in $646 million in 2006.

The South Dakota Dept. of Motor Vehicles have decided to rescind Heather Morijah's personalized license plates "MPEACHW" because of one reported complaint. The Rapid City residentis the conservation organizer for the West River Office of the Sierra Club. (Photo by Steve McEnroe, Journal photographer)

DMV to recall 'MPEACHW' plates from South Dakota woman.

Guantanamo Detainees Refuse To Confer With Lawyers

The New York Times WILLIAM GLABERSON May 5, 2007 08:25 AM
Many of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, are no longer cooperating with their lawyers, adding a largely invisible struggle between the lawyers and their own clients to the legal battle over the Bush administration's detention policies.
Some detainees refuse to see their lawyers, while others decline mail from their lawyers or refuse to provide them information on their cases, according to court documents, writings of some of the detainees and recent interviews.

Transportation Security Administration Loses 100,000 People's Social Security Numbers, Banking Information

AP MATT APUZZO May 5, 2007 08:09 AM
The Transportation Security Administration has lost a computer hard drive containingSocial Security numbers, bank data and payroll information for about 100,000 employees.
Authorities realized Thursday the hard drive was missing from a controlled area atTSA headquarters. TSA Administrator Kip Hawley sent a letter to employees Friday apologizing for the lost data and promising to pay for one year of credit monitoring services.

Iraq Bans Medical Diplomas To Keep Doctors From Fleeing

The Washington Post Karin Brulliard May 5, 2007 07:53 AM
Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.
Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors' passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.
By Karin BrulliardWashington Post Staff WriterSaturday, May 5, 2007; A01
BAGHDAD -- Iraq is hemorrhaging doctors as violence racks the nation. To stem the flow, the Iraqi government has recently taken a cue from Saddam Hussein: Medical schools are once again forbidden to issue diplomas and transcripts to new graduates.
Hussein built a fine medical system in part by withholding doctors' passports and diplomas. Although physicians can work in Iraq with a letter from a medical school verifying their graduation, they say they need certificates and transcripts to work abroad.
It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Electricity in Baghdad was more reliable; sectarian hostility was rare; Iraq was safe -- except for the many victims of Hussein's tyranny. But rarely has the government embraced a policy that so harshly evokes the era of dictatorship. To some students and doctors, the diploma decision, like Iraq's crumbling medical system, provides clear proof of the government's helplessness and the nation's decline.

Bush Makes Veto Threat On Abortion-Rights Legislation

AP JIM ABRAMS May 5, 2007 08:45 AM
President Bush is warning Democratic leaders that any attempt to weaken federal policies that restrict abortion will be met with a veto.
White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday that the warning, issued in letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), was intended to stop abortion amendments from being added to spending bills and other legislation that Congress will be considering in the coming weeks.

Tribute ... the Crocodile Hunter's legacy

Tribute ... the Crocodile Hunter's legacy is set to live on among the gorillas of Africa as Rwandan authorities plan to name a baby gorilla after the conservationist in a naming ceremony next month / AP More

Friday, May 04, 2007

America's Coming Dictatorship :

Justin Raimondo :
The theory and practice of oligarchical "conservatism"

Weapons of Mass Deception:

I watched with a growing sense of horror and disbelief as my badly frightened countrymen convinced themselves that they had a real leader in the White House, one they could count on and trust to make them safe again.

The man who might save Iraq:

He is a former Sunni Arab mujahid from Ramadi who until recently was fighting the US occupation. He has only a secondary education and is married with two wives. Now he is praised even by urban, secular, highly educated Shi'ites as a "conscious man", or "the kind of man we need now in Iraq".

One Day You're Gonna Wake Up, America.

By David Michael Green
One day you're gonna wake up in a hostile world where your country no longer has any friends. There will be governments of other countries - former long-standing allies - that cannot afford to have anything to do with you, lest their publics angrily remove them from office for collaborating with a country as hated as yours. Nor will those governments trust yours anyway.

Military Official, Columnist Client Of "DC Madam" Turns The Tables: "She Sold Sex"

ABC May 4, 2007 08:29 PM
One of the prominent Washington men named as an escort service customer of the so-called "D.C. Madam" is apparently ready to testify he had sex with a woman or women from the madam's now-infamous Pamela Martin and Associates.
A lawyer for Harlan Ullman, a renowned military analyst and Washington Times columnist, says his client won't back down if he is called to testify by Jeane Palfrey, who prosecutors say ran an illegal prostitution ring for 13 years.

Pentagon Conducts Troop Ethics Study

10 Percent Say They've Abused Civilians; 40 Percent Say They Support Some Torture
Associated Press May 4, 2007 09:31 PM
In a survey of U.S. troops in combat in Iraq, less than half of Marines and a little more than half of Army soldiers said they would report a member of their unit for killing or wounding an innocent civilian.
More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.

Waxman Warns Rice About Interfering With Niger Probe

Henry Waxman, chairman of the House oversight committee, wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today to complain that State Department officials had tried to block a nuclear weapons analyst at the department from speaking with Waxman's staff. This comes after Waxman's committee issued a subpoena last week for Rice's testimony on how she dealt with claims before the war that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger.

Benchmarks: Yet Another Bush Mirage Shimmering in the Iraqi Desert?

An Excerpt From Arianna Huffington's Blog:
...The truth is, we keep putting forth key benchmarks for the Iraqis -- on Iraqi troops, on oil revenue sharing, on reversing De-Baathification, on amending Iraq's new constitution -- and they keep failing to meet them. Time after time after time.
Democrats mustn't fall prey to the benchmark mirage. They need to stay strong and keep the heat on Bush. Perhaps they can put Michael Ware's reports on tape and have them piped into their Congressional offices...Click here to read more.

GI Special 5E4: "Our Morale Is Shot To Pieces" [ May 4, 2007 ]

Thomas F. Barton

May 4, 1970:
Dishonorable Anniversary:

Unarmed Students Murdered By Ohio National Guard ScumThe previous day, President Nixon had announced a widening of the Vietnam War with bombing in neighboring Cambodia. There were major campus protests around the country with students occupying university buildings to organize and discuss the war and other issues.

Ohio Nation Gaurd Troops opened fire on anti-war protestors at Kent University, killing four students, and wounded nine others

continua / continued

The Anti-Empire Report Some things you need to know before the world ends

William Blum
"If the United States leaves Iraq things will really get bad": This appears to be the last remaining, barely-breathing argument of that vanishing species who still support the god-awful war. The argument implies a deeply-felt concern about the welfare and safety of the Iraqi people. What else could it mean? That the US military can't leave because it's needed to protect the oil bonanza awaiting American oil companies as soon as the Iraqi parliament approves the new written-in-Washington oil law? No, the Bush administration loves the people of Iraq. How much more destruction, killing and torturing do you need to be convinced of that? We can't leave because of the violence. We can't leave until we have assured that peace returns to our dear comrades in Iraq.
continua / continued

NRA Says Terror Suspects Should Be Able To Buy Guns

AP SAM HANANEL May 4, 2007 12:35 PM
The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit suspected terrorists from buying firearms.
Backed by the Justice Department, the measure would give the attorney general the discretion to block gun sales, licenses or permits to terror suspects.

US Soldiers Find Explosives-Rigged School in Iraq

Thu May 3, 6:28 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US soldiers stumbled on a plot to turn a girls school in
Iraq' into an "absolute death trap" by rigging it with explosives while it was under construction, a US military spokesman said Thursday.
"It was truly just an incredibly ugly, dirty kind of vicious killing that would have gone on here by Al-Qaeda," Major General William Caldwell said in an interview with CNN.
Caldwell said US soldiers discovered the explosives this week when they spotted detonating wire across the street from the school and followed it to its source inside the building.
The general said it was "obviously a sophisticated premeditated attempt to inflict just massive casualties on our most innocent victims -- young children, girls in this case."
"We found artillery shells that were being literally built into the ceiling. We found artillery shells again all hooked up with wires being built into the floors.
"We found propane tanks, two very large propane tanks built into the floors under the stair wells.
"Somebody had clearly taken and planned to take this school, a place of learning for these young children and turn it into an absolute death trap," he said.
Pentagon' officials said they had no information about the plot.
CNN identified the school as the Huda Girls School, which was under construction in the town of Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. Caldwell said the school was in a predominantly Shiite area.
Caldwell said the Iraqi contractors who were building the school were being investigated.

US officials to grill Hicks again

Hey Georgie it was reported that he spilled his guts, at the drop of a hat, why more interrogation of a bumbling wannabe, want to get a few more clubs in there before he is released
Hicks a bumbling wannabe, says US The Australian
They have described Hicks as a bumbling wannabe who would have been a “total ... the top US official in the Office of Military Commissions from 2004 to last ...
"Steps were taken this morning to introduce David to the interrogators here at Guantanamo," Mr McLeod told reporters on April 1 at Guantanamo.
"There will be a process which will unfold before he leaves where he'll be asked to cooperate in relation to a number of issues."LinkHere

The Afghan Village That Uses Opium as Its Currency

By Chris Sands in Badakhshan, Afghanistan
Published: 04 May 2007
Paper money has all but disappeared from the village of Shahran-e-Khash. Instead the common currency is the one resource Afghanistan has no shortage of - opium.
At the market in this remote north-eastern corner of Afghanistan, five litres of engine oil - worth around £5 - can be bought for 100g of opium. Two bottles of Coca-Cola will set you back 18g. Even the children use opium to buy goods.
"All the children put a little bit of opium on a leaf as payment. They ask the shopkeeper, 'Please give me a pen, give me two notebooks, give me two biscuits and three pieces of chewing gum'," explained Shahran Pur, a tribal elder.
Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium and the drugs trade has become a major headache for President Hamid Karzai and his Nato allies. While poppy farming often helps fund the Taliban-led insurgency, officials are acutely aware of how important it also is to the general population. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Shahran-e-Khash, a remote village two hours from Faizabad, the capital of the relatively peaceful province of Badakhshan.
Its entire economy is built around opium, with everyone from children to the local hardware store owner dealing in the drug. People here are so poor they frequently don't have the money to buy basic household goods. Instead, they use the poppies they grow in the surrounding fields to purchase what they need.
If the poppy is not in season the shopkeeper will keep a record in a ledger of the items people have taken and the debts are paid off after the harvest. When he finally has the drug, he sells it to a third party who comes from outside the area. The money he makes from this transaction is then used to replenish his stock.

Drought drives Aussies to nude carwash

Looks like its all happening in my city, we have "Bubbles'n Babes" now, and believe me, who give a darn about car washes, my plants are definitely feeling the loss of water.Are you listening Howie my plants want water.
Published: Friday May 4, 2007
Australia's worst drought in memory has had many weird side-effects -- but a nude carwash has to be one of the oddest.
The "big dry" has driven snakes into towns in search of water and sent thirst-crazed wild camels rampaging through outback camps.
In Brisbane, capital of the "Sunshine State" of Queensland on the east coast, it led to water restrictions, including a ban on residents washing their own cars.
The result was a boom in professional carwash services, a phenomenon which caught the eye of strip club entrepreneur Warren Armstrong.
He set up "Bubbles 'n Babes", where customers can have their cars washed by a topless woman for 55 dollars (45 US), or a nude woman for 100 dollars.
Armstrong told the City News newspaper this week the operation was above board.
"I'm just trying to make an honest dollar -- simple as that," he said.
Police said no complaints had been received and, as the washing took place out of public view, no criminal offence was being committed.

Ex-Aide Could Shed Light On GOP Rep Doolittle's Connections To Abramoff

AP ERICA WERNER May 4, 2007 01:08 PM
As California GOP Rep. John Doolittle awaits prosecutors' next move in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, his future is tied to that of a former aide who also worked with Abramoff.
Kevin Ring, Doolittle's one-time legislative director, quit his lobbying job last month, the same dayFBI agents raided Doolittle's Virginia home. They had a search warrant for a fundraising business run there by Doolittle's wife, Julie, that had done work for Abramoff's firm.

Imus To Sue CBS For $120 Million

Radio host Don Imus is going to sue CBS for $120 million, according to a draft copy of the complaint obtained by ABC News' Law & Justice Unit.
The suit is expected to be filed next week, A draft copy of Imus's lawsuit says that the network expected him to be controversial and irreverent under the terms of his contract and that the remarks, which got him fired, do not violate Federal Communications Commission regulations. And he claims Imus's show was on a five second delay that allowed the network to censor him if they wanted.
Governor Hakim Taniwal along with his driver was killed outside his office in Gardez, the provincial capital, General Abdul Hanan Raufi said.

Ex-Afghan prime minister killed :
Gunmen in Afghanistan have killed a senator who served briefly as the country's prime minister 15 years ago

Hookergate "Black Book Day."

May 4-6, 2007 -- Hookergate "Black Book Day." ABC News 20/20's investigative reporter Brian Ross is due to reveal the names of only two more "DC Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey call girl clients tonight. ABC News has reportedly scaled down the number of clients who we be outed, possibly as a result of pressure from some of the clients' attorneys.
Meanwhile, a legal secretary for the powerful Washington law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld has been revealed as an employee for Palfrey's Pamela Martin & Associates. The legal secretary informed her employer that she would be called as a witness in the Palfrey trial. Navy Times is also reporting that a Naval Academy instructor worked as an escort for Palfrey's service.
Wayne Madsen Report

It is the neo-con way:

May 4-6, 2007 -- World Bank sources emphasize that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's attempt to extort a $400,000 bonus from the bank before he resigns comes with a nice fringe benefit. As an international civil servant, Wolfowitz's bonus, as well as his salary, are exempt from US income taxes. Ditto the $193,590 salary for Wolfowitz's girl friend Shaha Riza. It is the neo-con way: the neo-cons start the wars and tax the poor and middle class to pay for their wars while they enjoy the best tax-avoidance schemes neo-con politicians can contrive. The French revolutionaries beheaded their king and queen for much less perfidy.
Wayne Madsen Report

Boy, 13, was $600k net conman

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy who lives with his gran has been exposed as one of Britain's biggest internet conmen.The boy earned more than £250,000 ($607,000) by posing as the boss of several multinational companies selling vacuum cleaners, stationery and office supplies.
Many goods weren't sent, but he used the cash to revel in a luxury lifestyle way beyond his years: he wore designer suits, drank vintage champagne and travelled by chauffeur-driven limousine.
He even employed a personal bodyguard, flew abroad on business trips and claimed he was going to buy a private jet.
A source close to the investigation said yesterday: "Despite coming from a relatively humble background, he became an outrageous snob. He claimed public transport was for commoners."
"He is a total bully and an extremely arrogant young man."
This week, Balham Youth Court in South London heard the boy, now 16, began a three-year fraud spree after his mother died of cancer.

A World Turned Upside Down

By Michael Bell
The former chairman of the fund for Iraq's reconstruction no longer believes the country can be saved.

"I'm the commander guy"

Nancy Pelosi is trying to push back against George W. Bush's assertion that Congress is substituting its own judgment for that of the commanders on the ground in Iraq by arguing that Congress is, in fact, substituting its judgment for the president's.
Seems like the president agrees. As Think Progress reports, Bush said in a speech Wednesday: "The question is, who ought to make that decision [about troops]? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear -- I'm the commander guy."
-- Tim Grieve

It's all so ... convenient.

Will Justice probe block Gonzales aide's testimony?
Maybe we're growing way too cynical -- watching Alberto Gonzales testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee can do that to you -- but does it strike anyone else that the fact that the Justice Department's decision to investigate Monica Goodling could interfere with the House Judiciary Committee's plan to force her to testify may be something other than a coincidence?
As the Washington Post reports this morning, Justice is looking into allegations that Goodling "illegally took party affiliation into account in hiring career federal prosecutors." As we noted last month, a group of Justice Department employees have charged, in a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers, that Gonzales' aides have been "politicizing" the "non-political ranks of Justice employees" by refusing to hire young lawyers whose résumés show involvement with "liberal" judges or causes. The Post says that the Justice Department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility are now investigating Goodling's role based on a referral from Alexandria, Va., U.S. attorney Chuck Rosenberg, who was working as Gonzales' temporary chief of staff after Kyle Sampson resigned earlier this year.
Now, if there's evidence that Goodling was checking the GOP bona fides of candidates for jobs that are supposed to be nonpolitical, she ought to be under investigation for it. But isn't it interesting that, just as Goodling's attorney is saying that she's willing to testify about last year's prosecutor purge in exchange for an offer of immunity from Conyers' committee, the Justice Department reveals the existence of an investigation that could set up an Oliver North problem and prevent her testimony? With Goodling under criminal investigation, Gonzales' people at Justice now have a basis for telling the Judiciary Committee, and the federal judge who would have to approve any immunity deal, that granting immunity to Goodling to testify before Congress would jeopardize any hope of prosecuting Goodling criminally -- just like Congress' grant of immunity to North ended up undoing his criminal conviction in the Iran-Contra affair. It's all so ... convenient.
-- Tim Grieve

J.D. Crouch, deputy nat'l security adviser, will 'join private sector.'

Iranian Foreign Minister Walks Out Of Dinner With Rice

Associated Press ANNE GEARAN, QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA May 4, 2007 09:00 AM
Iran's foreign minister walked out of a dinner of diplomats where he was seated directly across from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, ostensibly because a female violinist entertaining the gathering was dressed too revealingly.
"I don't know which woman he was afraid of, the woman in the red dress or the secretary of state," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday, regarding the actions of Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki.

Rove Coached DOJ Officials on Congressional Testimony

Newsweek Michael Isikoff May 4, 2007 08:43 AM
Deputy chief of staff Karl Rove participated in a hastily called meeting at the White House two months ago. The subject: The firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year. The purpose: to coach a top Justice Department official heading to Capitol Hill to testify on the prosecutorial purge on what he should say.
Now some investigators are saying that Rove's attendance at the meeting shows that the president's chief political advisor may have been involved in an attempt to mislead Congress--one more reason they are demanding to see his emails and force him to testify under oath.
9/11: Building 7 Was Demolished? : 4 Minute Video:
In April 2007, Italian TV broadcasted a definite proof that Building 7 was demolished .
9/11: Major Italian TV network:

Conclusive evidence that WTC Building 7 was demolished with explosives

Another Guantanamo outrage:

May 3, 2007
UNWILLING TO close Guantanamo, bring its prisoners to US soil, and let them fight their detention in US courts, the Bush administration now wants to shutter the one window the outside world has on the Kafkaesque conditions in the camp. It is proposing to clamp down on the prisoners' only nonmilitary contacts, their lawyers. The US Appeals Court in Washington should reject this shameful proposal out of hand.
Under the Justice Department plan, lawyers could meet just three times with their Guantanamo clients after an initial meeting in which the prisoner decides whether or not to use the lawyer's services. Prisoners who have been through several interrogations at the hands of the military are often so distrustful of Americans, including lawyers, that it takes extended visits just to establish a normal attorney-client relationship.
The new rules would also allow US intelligence officers to read lawyers' letters to their clients, and they would permit US officials to deny a lawyer access to secret evidence used by the military to determine that a client is an enemy combatant -- all flagrant departures from American justice. As it stands now, the lawyers -- all of whom have security clearances -- can see the material but are forbidden to share it with their clients.
The administration's laughable justification for these restrictions is that client-attorney contacts have led to unrest at Guantanamo. A more obvious cause of the unrest is the fact that many of the prisoners have been held there for more than five years -- with no criminal charge placed against them. Many had so little involvement with either the Taliban in Afghanistan or Al Qaeda that the camp's commanders would happily release them if they could find countries to accept them. But former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld made that hard by describing Guantanamo inmates as "the worst of the worst." Unrest might also be caused by the fact the military is now holding about half the prison's 385 prisoners in isolation, which often leads to mental and physical deterioration.

Convert or die: Baghdad Christians flee :

Well Done Georgie, you sure as hell LIBERATED, the Iraqi people

According to the local Christian Peace Association (CPA), the fatwa, issued by extremists and distributed in every Christian neighbourhood, said that Christians can only stay in their homes if they convert to Islam.

Iraqi Christians under threat in Baghdad

Ahmad Jumaa, Azzaman

Iraqi Christians are fleeing their areas particularly in the restive quarters of Baghdad despite the ongoing U.S. and Iraqi military operations to bring stability to the city. A Christian member of parliament, Abdulahad Mansour, said to stay the Christians are forced to pay a tax of 250,000 dinars for each member of the family, an exorbitant sum which only few can afford in Iraq. "I urge the government to put an end to these threats and practices and find a solution to the suffering of Christians in Iraq," said Mansour. Another MP, Romeo Hakari, said large numbers of Christians have fled to the Kurdish north or left the country for Syria or Jordan. "Iraqi Christians have been subjected, following the collapse of the former regime, and especially in Baghdad, to a real crisis for the first time in their history. Many of them have been killed, many of them have been kidnapped; their churches have been destroyed; and thousands made homeless," Hakari said...

continua / continued

Dick Cheney's Banker Sees World Bubble

By William PesekBloomberg
Jeremy Grantham believes everything - art, infrastructure, land, forestry, junk bonds, mundane blue chips - is going through an exponential phase and will eventually burst dramatically.

Olmert Undone By The Militia He Said He Could Destroy

By Robert Fisk:
So it has come to this. All those bodies, all those photographs of dead children - more than 1,400 cadavers (we are not including the 230 or so Hizbollah fighters and the Israeli soldiers who died) - are to be commemorated with the possible resignation of an Israeli prime minister who knew, and who cared, many Israelis suspect, little about war.

free hit counter