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Human Rights News

Voting Systems Lawsuit Reaches U.S. Supreme Court:  Washington DC, Jan 30 - A little-noticed voting rights lawsuit has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court  (Docket No. 05-930). It constitutes the first legal challenge to the widespread use of nontransparent voting systems. Specifically, the lawsuit challenges the use of voting  machines and absentee voting in elections for public office.  The lawsuit was originally filed by freelance journalist Lynn Landes in July of 2004 in Philadelphia federal court  (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Landes on November 2, 2005.  In her lawsuit Landes claims  that, as a voter and a journalist, she has the right to direct access to a physical ballot and to observe the voting process unimpeded. Voting by machine or absentee,  Landes claims, introduces obstacles and concealment to a process that must be accessible and transparent in a meaningful and effective manner. For complete story, click here.
India on a slum demolition spree to benefit the rich:  India with its 7% GDP growth rate of last year and a target of 8% for this year has occupied the top position in a  global survey of business confidence by Grant Thornton International pushing behind not only G8 giants but also its nearest rival China. To sustain this position, providing infrastructure to local and foreign investors is on top of the Indian Governments priority list. Land acquisition on a large scale by the government in both rural and urban  areas and passing it on to industrial houses, builders at nominal price is at its historical peak.  The space is being cleared for building roads, flyovers, multiplexes, skyscrapers to house offices of IT and financial businesses, MNCs owned shopping malls and housing colonies for these few neo-rich. The construction industry is growing  at a rate of 5% and is at 12th position in the world. On the other hand, with high levels of automation in new investments and upgrading of previous industries, large scale closure of small scale industries and cities becoming the hubs of IT and Finance sectors, the requirement for manual, skilled and semi-skilled labourers is at its minimum in  the cities. So the local governments in all the major and minor cities and even towns are on a slum demolition spree.  Four hundred thousand slum dwellers were rendered  homeless within a period of two months just before heavy rainy season of this year in the city of Bombay alone. The exact figure for other cities is not available but demolition of slums is almost a routine affair in all the cities and towns and that too without giving any alternative place, with 7 days notice and with extreme brutality during these operations.  For complete story, click here.
NORTHCOM Prepares for Possible Pandemic 01 Feb 2006 U.S. Northern Command recently hosted representatives from more than 40 international, federal and state  agencies for an exercise designed to provoke discussion and determine what governmental actions, including military support, would be necessary in the event of an influenza pandemic in the United States. "NORTHCOM will not be running the show in the event of a pandemic," said Dave Wilkins, the NORTHCOM exercise facilitator. "We will be taking guidance and requests from other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, via the secretary of defense."  For complete story, click here.
Invasion Theories: Tool of the destruction for the Colonialists, Racists…:  The concept of Aryan Invasion theory being a handiwork of the British colonialists for the sake of  proving the superiority of the European Caucasian races is not an isolated case. There exist a similar theory in other part of the world, involving other nations and other  ethnicities and I wonder why hasn’t anyone yet given an attention over that.  If we see the map of middle Africa, we see two little countries named Rwanda and Burundi, bordering Zaire (or Democratic Republic of Congo). With the name Rwanda it suddenly flashes in our mind, the picture of ethnic violence, civil war, genocide and military  juntas.  For complete story, click here.
US plans to 'fight the net' revealed:    A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from  psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.  The document says information is "critical to military success"  Bloggers beware.  As the world turns  networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer.  From influencing public opinion  through new media to designing "computer network attack" weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.  The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.  Officials in the Pentagon  wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.  For complete story, click here.
Thousands of Students Detained in Ethiopia:  NAIROBI, Kenya - Thousands of school and college students have been detained over the past three months in continued  unrest in Ethiopia, an international human rights group said.  Separately, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Tuesday that an Ethiopian reporter had become the  latest journalist in that country to be arrested.  Security forces arrested many of the students in the southern Oromiya region — which includes the Ethiopian capital city,  Addis Ababa — during demonstrations that began Nov. 9, Amnesty International's East Africa office said in a statement late Monday from London.  Amnesty said that the  arrests are believed to have occurred after the rebel Oromo Liberation Front called for demonstrations against the government. The rights group said that it had received  reports that some of the students had been shot dead, but it did not give details.  Officials in Ethiopia were not immediately available for comment.   For complete story, click here.
Capitol Police arrest antiwar activist Sheehan:  Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq who reinvigorated the antiwar movement, was arrested and removed from the House gallery Tuesday night just before President Bush’s State of the Union address, a police spokeswoman said.  Sheehan, who had been invited to attend the speech by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., was charged with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor, Capitol Police told NBC News. Sheehan was taken in handcuffs to police headquarters a few blocks away and her case was processed as Bush spoke.  Capitol Police Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said Sheehan had worn a T-shirt with an antiwar slogan to the speech and covered it up until she took her seat. Police warned her that such displays were not allowed, but she did not respond, the spokeswoman said.  The T-shirt bore the words “2,245 Dead — How Many More??” in reference to the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, protesters told NBC News.  Police handcuffed Sheehan and removed her from the gallery before Bush arrived. Sheehan was to be released on her own recognizance, Schneider said. For complete story, click here.

Who are opposing the Hindu initiative to end discrimination in California textbooks?:  Many Hindu American parents have been dismayed by the negative and  caricaturist description of our heritage that our school children in the United States are subjected to. A few Hindu organizations such as the Hindu Education Foundation  (HEF) and the Vedic Foundation (VF), as well as many individual Hindus, have been working with the California Department of Education (CDE) to end the derogatory and discriminatory portrayal of Hinduism in textbooks.  Other ancient traditions such as Jainism are also ignored in textbooks. HEF has received letters of support from Jain  groups, as well as Hindu American organizations representing immigrants from Nepal and the Carribbean. More than 100 world-class scholars of archaeology, history and  academic study of religion have written to CDE in support of HEF/VF efforts.  A group of academics led by Professor Michael Witzel of Harvard, has been opposing these 

reasonable changes. Interestingly, Witzel's group admitted that they were unaware of the nature of the proposed changes when they wrote their protest letter to CDE on  November 7, 2005'.  For complete story, click here.

Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization:  A provision in the "Patriot Act" creates a new federal police force with power to violate the Bill of Rights. You might think that this cannot be true as you have not read about it in newspapers or heard it discussed by talking heads on TV.  Go to House Report 109-333 -USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 and check it out for yourself. Sec. 605 reads:  "There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the 'United States Secret Service Uniformed Division'."  This new federal police force is "subject to the supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security."  The new police are empowered to "make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony."  For complete story, click here.
US government wants Google's search records 19 Jan 2006 The Bush dictatorship on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases. In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, inJustice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.  For complete story, click here.
Feds push dismissal of detainee cases:  WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Justice Department Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to dismiss lawsuits by Guantanamo  Bay detainees, arguing a law passed in December takes away the prisoners' right to bring their cases before the court.  The government filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals in  the District of Columbia is the third -- and presumably final -- such argument made by the Justice lawyers following similar documents filed in detainee cases at the U.S.  Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court. For complete story, click here.
5th Circuit 'Miranda' Case Muddies the Waters:  For nearly 40 years appellate courts have disagreed about whether police must tell defendants they have a right to counsel during interrogation, as well as before questioning, as part of the Miranda warning.  Four circuits require explicit advice to defendants that they are entitled to counsel during interrogation, while four other circuits do not.  In a recent Texas death penalty case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has required since 1968 that the defendant be "clearly informed" of a right to a lawyer during interrogation, decided it wants it both ways.  The circuit court rejected the Miranda challenge in the habeas corpus appeal of Allen Bridgers, saying that detectives' advice that Bridgers had the right to consult an attorney "prior to" questioning was adequate to convey that he was entitled to have an attorney before questioning, "and that this attorney could remain during questioning," according to Judge Fortunado Benavides. Bridgers v. Dretke, No. 05-70020.   For complete story, click here.
Bush to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as "disruptors":  Bush wants to create the new criminal of "disruptor" who can be jailed for the crime of "disruptive behavior." A "little-noticed provision" in the latest version of the Patriot Act will empower Secret Service to charge protesters with a new crime of "disrupting major events  including political conventions and the Olympics." Secret Service would also be empowered to charge persons with "breaching security" and to charge for "entering a restricted area" which is "where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting." In short, be sure to stay in those wired, fenced containments or free speech zones.  For complete story, click here.
Chinese Detainees' Lawyers Will Take Case to High Court:  Lawyers for a group of Chinese nationals held in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with no hope of release are taking the rare step of asking the Supreme Court to intervene immediately, saying only the high court can resolve the constitutional crisis their case presents.  Attorneys for the detained Uighurs, Muslim natives of western China who oppose their country's Communist rule, are scheduled to petition the court as early as today. They seek a break in the impasse created when U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled last month that the Bush administration's "Kafka-esque" detention of the Uighurs was illegal but he simultaneously determined that the court lacked the power to overrule the president and free them. For complete story, click here.
Translator's Conviction Raises Legal Concerns-- Trial Transcripts Show Lack of Evidence:  NEW YORK -- For three years federal agents trailed Mohammed Yousry, a chubby 50-year-old translator and U.S. citizen who worked for radical lawyer Lynne Stewart. Prosecutors wiretapped his phone, and FBI agents shadowed and interviewed him. They read his books and notepads and every file on his computer.  This was their conclusion:  "Yousry is not a practicing Muslim. He is not a fundamentalist," prosecutor Anthony Barkow acknowledged in his closing arguments to a jury in federal district court in Manhattan earlier this year.  "Mohammed Yousry is not someone who supports or believes in the use of violence."Still, the prosecutor persuaded the jury to convict Yousry of supporting terrorism. Yousry now awaits sentencing in March, when he could face 20 years in prison for translating a letter from imprisoned Muslim cleric Omar Abdel Rahman to Rahman's lawyer in Egypt. For complete story, click here.
Australia: Police use new powers to “lock down” rural housing estate:  Police in the rural New South Wales town of Dubbo activated the state Labor government’s newly legislated “lockdown” powers following a clash with about 100 Aborigines on New Year’s Eve. More than 60 officers erected roadblocks around the Gordon public housing estate and conducted random searches of individuals and vehicles. Non-residents were prevented access to the area, and police confiscated one vehicle after a knife was allegedly found.  For complete story, click here.
Erasing REALITY] Pill to Fade Trauma Memory Brain to be Wiped Clean of Sad & Traumatic Memory All Together Now, let Us SING the SONG:  Suppose you could erase bad memories from your mind. Suppose, as in a recent movie, your Brain could be Wiped Clean of Sad and Traumatic Thoughts. That is science fiction.   But real-world scientists are working on the next best thing. They have been testing a pill that, when given after a traumatic event like rape, may make the resulting memories less painful and intense.  For complete story, click here.
When the Poor Go to Court Across the nation, many indigents wind up being sentenced to jail time without ever seeing a lawyer:  Last July, a homeless man named Hubert Lindsey was stopped by police officers in Gulfport, Miss., for riding his bicycle without a light.  The police soon discovered that Lindsey was a wanted man. Gulfport records showed he owed $4,780 in old fines. So, off to jail he went.  Legal activists now suing the city in federal court say it was pretty obvious that Lindsey couldn't pay the fines. According to their complaint, he lived in a tent, was unemployed, and appeared permanently disabled by an unseeing eye and a mangled arm. But without a lawyer to plead his case, the question of whether Lindsey was a scofflaw or just plain poor never came up. Nor did the question of whether the fines were really owed, or if it was constitutional to jail him for debts he couldn't pay. Nobody, the activists say, even bothered to mention alternatives like community service. The judge ordered Lindsey to "sit out" the fine in jail. That took nearly two months.  For complete story, click here.
End the Shame of NSEERS:  Three years ago this week, thousands of Arab and Muslim men were called to report to local immigration offices across the US to be  registered, fingerprinted, photographed, and interrogated.  This was the "domestic call-in" phase of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a  program initiated by then Attorney General John Ashcroft and marketed as a "vital line of defense in the war against terrorism."  The January 2003 group of NSEERS  registrants were the second of four groups and the largest group of Arabs involved in the program.  NSEERS was so poorly conceived and badly managed that it created  chaos and fear.  Trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement was severely strained and, in the end, there was no evidence that any terrorists were  apprehended as a result of the effort.  For complete story, click here.
Inmates, staffers injured in San Quentin prison riot:  SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) - At least 23 inmates and two staff members at San Quentin State Prison were injured during a prison riot in a crowded dining hall, prison officials said Friday.  Officers armed with pepper spray and batons were able to quickly quell the riot, which started around 7 p.m. Thursday when about 260 inmates were in the dining hall, said prison spokesman Sgt. Eric Messick.  Inmates identified as being involved in the riot were removed from the general population as authorities continued to investigate what caused the fight, Messick said.  For complete story, click here.
U.S. Seeks to Avoid Detainee Ruling:  The Bush administration took the unusual step yesterday of asking the Supreme Court to call off a landmark confrontation over the legality of military trials for  terrorism suspects, arguing that a law enacted last month eliminates the court's ability to consider the issue. For complete story, click here.
Create an e-annoyance, go to jail:  Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.  It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a  prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.  In other words, it's OK to flame someone on a  mailing list or in a blog as long as you do it under your real name.  Thank Congress for small favors, I guess.  This ridiculous prohibition, which would likely imperil much of  Usenet, is buried in the so-called Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act.  For complete story, click here.
Hunger strikers are tied down and fed through nasal tubes, admits Guantánamo Bay doctor:  New details have emerged of how the growing number of prisoners on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay are being tied down and force-fed through tubes pushed down their nasal passages into their stomachs to keep them alive.  They routinely experience bleeding and nausea, according to a sworn statement by the camp's chief doctor, seen by The Observer.'  Experience teaches us' that such symptoms must be expected 'whenever nasogastric tubes are used,' says the affidavit of Captain John S Edmondson, commander of Guantánamo's hospital. The procedure - now standard practice at Guantánamo - 'requires that a foreign body be inserted into the body and, ideally, remain in it.' But staff always use a lubricant, and 'a nasogastric tube is never inserted and moved up and down. It is inserted down into the stomach slowly and directly, and it would be impossible to insert the wrong end of the tube.' Medical personnel do not insert nasogastric tubes in a manner 'intentionally designed to inflict pain.'   For complete story, click here.

SWAT team, state police were positioned near W. Va. church 04 Jan 2006 In a stunning and heartbreaking reversal, family members were told early Wednesday that  12 of 13 trapped coal miners were dead - three hours after they began celebrating news that they were alive... International Coal Group Chief Executive Officer Ben Hatfield  blamed the wrong information on a "miscommunication.'' ..."There was no apology. There was no nothing. It was immediately out the door,'' said Nick Helms, son of miner  Terry Helms. Chaos broke out in the church and a fight started. About a dozen state troopers and a SWAT team were positioned along the road near the church because  police were concerned about violence. Witnesses said one man had to be wrestled to the ground when he lunged for mining officials. [The 'violence' is the violence that is  perpetrated on workers in the U.S. (and all over the world) every day, due to the Bush regime's expansion of predatory capitalism.] For complete story, click here.

Bill Would Allow Arrests For No Reason In Public Place - by Newsnet5.com (read this story)  or click here.
Fake-lawyer ruse challenged:  The Washington State Bar Association is asking the state Supreme Court to ban police officers from posing as lawyers -- as officers did to  obtain DNA evidence in one recent case -- saying the practice is unnecessary and damages the credibility of attorney-client relationships. For complete story, click here.
Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest --Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel 21 Dec 2005 A federal judge has resigned from the court that  oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of pResident Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources. For complete story, click here.
Spying Program Snared U.S. Calls 21 Dec 2005 A surveillance program approved by pResident Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are  purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials  say. For complete story, click here.
The FBI's Secret Scrutiny In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans:  The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.  Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.  For complete story, click here.
Microwave Weaponry Used on Montana Carpenter and 9/11 Researcher for 'Getting Too Close to Who Knows What':  Dan Nelson says he's not sure exactly what piece 9/11 evidence he uncovered triggered the government assaults, but says once he tried to go public, 'all hell broke loose.'   For complete story, click here.

Ridin’’ The Bus With Deborah:  When Deborah Davis hit the news, I got hit as well – right in the pit of my stomach where terror hides, and panic lurks.. “Oh God, I mumbled, “It’s happening again”  And just exactly what had Deborah done to get this emotionally detached old lady into such a replay of emotions left over from 1938 Nazi Germany? It was the gut-wrenching realization that the Nazi Police State in which I was raised has come back to roost – in the United States.  Deborah, who commutes by bus in Denver, Colorado, had been asked to present her I.D. to a man in uniform. If she didn’t, she was told, it would mean walking several miles to her job. So, she complied, but, it rankled. Deborah knew that, unless she was being a danger to self or others, behaving irrationally, or drunk and disorderly, no one had the right to ask for her identification. As long as she was sitting quietly in her seat, she could not be arbitrarily asked for ID. (She’d learned that in her 8th grade Civics class, where she had 

also been taught about police states, and how casually they usurped the rights of their citizenry.)  For complete story, click here.

Racial Poverty Gaps in U.S. Amount to Human Rights Violation, Says U.N. Expert:  UNITED NATIONS, Nov 29 (OneWorld) - Despite enormous wealth and various federal and social welfare schemes at work, the United States is failing to help millions of its people trying to get out of poverty, according to an independent United Nations rights expert.  For complete story, click here.

The Drugging of the American Mind:  In other words, fairly regular, mainstream Americans now take the most powerful mood-altering drugs in all of psychiatry. Last year,  23 million prescriptions were written for these drugs. Sales this year are expected to hit $10 billion, three times what they were in 2000. Atypicals are the fourth largest class of patented medications in America.  Patients aren't taking them for a few days or weeks, either. Doctors expect their bipolar patients to take these drugs for years, much the same as they've taken traditional mood stabilizers, like lithium, which tamp down mood swings. In fact, there's a growing rumble in the psych world that researchers would like to use atypicals to replace mood stabilizers altogether.  Yet there is no comprehensive scientific evidence to support this paradigm shift. Zero. The psychiatric industry says this isn't a problem because real-world treatment has always outpaced research. But if you happen to be a patient, it's a very big problem—atypicals have the worst side effects of any drugs used to treat bipolar disorder. As a patient, I've experienced this shift firsthand, sometimes as a willing test subject. So, I have a question: Without scientific evidence, why are doctors prescribing these meds so freely and expecting patients to take them for so long? For complete story, click here.
U.S. Holding at Least Twenty-Six "Ghost Detainees":  (New York, December 1, 2005) – The United States is holding at least twenty-six persons as "ghost detainees" at undisclosed locations outside of the United States, Human Rights Watch said today, as it released a list naming some of the detainees. The detainees are being held indefinitely and incommunicado, without legal rights or access to counsel…   For complete story, click here.
Indefinite Detentions and the End of Habeas Corpus:  Perfidy loves company. George W. Bush instructed his British puppet, Prime Minister Tony Blair, to get moving on the detention issue so that he, Bush, would have company when he attacked the Constitution's guarantee of habeas corpus.  Habeas corpus prevents authorities from detaining a person indefinitely without charges; the guarantee of habeas corpus ensures that no one can imprison you without a trial.  The Bush administration wants the power to detain indefinitely anyone it declares to be an enemy combatant or a terrorist without presenting the detainee in court with charges. In England the power to arrest people and to hold them indefinitely without charges was taken away from kings centuries ago.  Bush apparently thinks he is the reincarnation of an absolute monarch.   For complete story, click here.
Misplaced outrage--Talk about missing the point.:  The CIA has been hiding al-Qaeda suspects and interrogating them at secret prisons in Eastern Europe and  elsewhere — essentially making them disappear, as South American and Soviet dictators once did.  So what are Republican leaders in Congress hot to investigate?   Whether the CIA is running shadowy operations that might violate international treaties signed by the United States? What damage this could do to U.S. interests abroad?  Who authorized such a dangerous policy? No, they want to know who leaked this information. For complete story, click here.
UN Human Rights Body to Scrutinise U.S. Abuses by Thalif Deen:  (Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2005 by Inter Press Service) UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Human Rights Committee,  scheduled to meet in Geneva next month, has written to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) calling for any available evidence of human rights abuses by the United States -- particularly in the aftermath of its global war on terrorism.  The 18-member committee, comprising of independent human rights experts, will take up "issues of specific concerns relating to the effect of measures taken (by the administration of President George W. Bush) in the fight against terrorism following the events of 11 September 2001," the day the United States was subject to terrorist attacks.  The primary focus will be "on the implications of the USA Patriot Act on nationals and non-nationals, as well as problems relating to the legal status and treatment of persons detained in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Iraq and other places of detention outside the USA."  The U.S. Congress adopted the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 in order to provide "appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism."  But virtually all human rights organisations, both domestic and international, have criticised the Act as seriously threatening civil liberties and freedoms in the United States. For complete story, click here.
Guantanamo Desperation Seen in Suicide Attempts One Incident Was During Lawyer's Visit:  Jumah Dossari had to visit the restroom, so the detainee made a quick joke with his American lawyer before military police guards escorted him to a nearby cell with a toilet. The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had taken quite a toll on  Dossari over the past four years, but his attorney, who was there to discuss Dossari's federal court case, noted his good spirits and thought nothing of his bathroom break.   Minutes later, when Dossari did not return, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan knocked on the cell door, calling out his client's name. When he did not hear a response, Colangelo- Bryan stepped inside and saw a three-foot pool of blood on the floor. Numb, the lawyer looked up to see Dossari hanging unconscious from a noose tied to the ceiling, his  eyes rolled back, his tongue and lips bulging, blood pouring from a gash in his right arm. For complete story, click here.
Cheney Fights for Detainee Policy As Pressure Mounts to Limit Handling Of Terror Suspects, He Holds Hard Line:  Over the past year, Vice President Cheney has waged an  intense and largely unpublicized campaign to stop Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department from imposing more restrictive rules on the handling of terrorist  suspects, according to defense, state, intelligence and congressional officials.  Last winter, when Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, began pushing to have the full committee briefed on the CIA's interrogation practices, Cheney called him to the White House to urge that he drop  the matter, said three U.S. officials.  For complete story, click here.




Miscellaneous News Archive

Blackwater founder says he aided secret programs --CIA asset Erik Prince carried out secret missions as recently as two months ago 03 Dec 2009 The founder of Blackwater Worldwide acknowledged in an interview published Wednesday that he had helped the CIA with secret programs targeting top al-Qaeda leaders, a role he says was intended to give the agency "unattributable capability" in sensitive missions. Erik Prince, owner of the military contractor now known as Xe Services, told Vanity Fair magazine that he performed numerous "very risky missions" for the spy agency, some of which were improperly exposed in leaks to the news media. The magazine... said the former Navy SEAL had served a dual role for the CIA as both a contractor and an "asset," or spy, who carried out secret missions as recently as two months ago, when the Obama administration terminated his contract.  For complete story, click here.

Man killed in church after stone altar falls on him--September 10th, 2009--

Link, 45, died instantly as he was crushed under the ancient 860lb monument in the Weinhaus Church in Vienna, Austria.

Roman Hahslinger, a police spokesman, said: "He was a very religious man and had been scared when he was trapped in the lift and had prayed for release.

"A short while later he was pulled out of the elevator and he went straight to the church to thank God.

"He seems to have embraced a stone pillar on which the stone altar was perched and it fell on him, killing him instantly.  For complete story, click here.

Israel Makes Waves by Simulating an Earthquake --Experiment financed by DoD 25 Aug 2009 The Seismologic Division of the Ministry of National Infrastructure's Geophysical Institute will attempt to simulate an earthquake in the southern Negev on Thursday. The experiment, financed by the U.S. Defense Department, is a joint project with the University of Hawaii and is part of a scientific project intended to improve seismological and acoustic readings in Israel and its environs, up to a 1,000 km/621 mile radius.  For complete story, click here.
Records of Virginia Tech Gunman Discovered --Criminal investigation is underway to determine how the employee was able to take the records and why the documents were not uncovered during state investigations following the shooting 22 Jul 2009 Virginia Tech gunman Seung Hui Cho had been treated at the college's counseling center before the shooting rampage in which he killed 32 students, contradicting earlier accounts of his psychiatric history, according to newly discovered mental health records located in the home of the center's former director. According to a memo written by a university lawyer and obtained by The Washington Post, the former director, Robert Miller, had moved the records into his home more than a year before the April 16, 2007, massacre, during which Cho also took his own life. Word the records had been found first came from Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine during a Wednesday morning news conference. [See: Virginia Tech Shooting 'Oddities' --Seung-Hui Cho in U.S. Marines uniform, pulled from Wikipedia By Lori Price Iraq link to campus killer Cho 19 Apr 2007 The sister of the gunman responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history works as a contractor for a State Department office that oversees billions of dollars in American aid for Iraq.]  For complete story, click here.
Audit Finds U.S. Overpaid Blackwater By $55 Million 17 Jun 2009 A government audit found that the State Department overpaid the contract-security firm once known as Blackwater Worldwide by tens of millions of dollars because the company failed to properly staff its teams in Iraq. The report said the State Department should have withheld at least $55 million in payments to the company because of the shortfalls.  For complete story, click here.
Bats recognize individual voices: Study 08 Jun 2009 Scientists have found that bats are able to distinguish between different individuals by their echolocation calls or biological sonar. According to the study published in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, bats recognize the voice of other bats through the ultrasonic 'echolocation' calls that they make as they navigate.  For complete story, click here.
DARPA, Army fund 'telepathy' research --Goals include "user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals." By Steve Hammons 17 May 2009 A research program to develop mind-to-mind communication among U.S. military personnel will receive $4 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), according to published reports. The "Silent Talk" project seeks to create technologies that can read the "pre-speech" brain waves of individuals, interpret them and communicate them to other individuals. The new DARPA funding is in addition to a previous $4 million the Army provided to the University of California for what they call "computer-mediated telepathy."   For complete story, click here.
Governor Huntsman to resign and accept Obama appointment--May 16th, 2009--SALT LAKE CITY (ABC  4 News) - Governor Jon M. Huntsman Jr. will resign and accept an appointment as ambassador to China, ABC 4 has confirmed.  For complete story, click here.  (Webmaster Note:  The only way this appointment makes sense is that Gov. Huntsman being an advocate of brainwashing and POW-style torture for America's youth can relate very well to the Chinese authorities and their disregard for basic human rights.) 
Stanford 'was informant for US anti-drug agents' --Authorities accused of turning a blind eye to financier's banking business 11 May 2009 Sir Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire who ploughed millions of pounds into English cricket, may have been working as an informant for American anti-drug agents in return for official protection which gave him free rein to run his [illegal] banking empire, it emerged yesterday.  For complete story, click here.
The Army's Remote-Controlled Beetle--January 29, 2009--A giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back can be wirelessly controlled, according to research presented this week. Scientists at the University of California developed a tiny rig that receives control signals from a nearby computer. Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command the insect to take off, turn left or right, or hover in midflight. The research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), could one day be used for surveillance purposes or for search-and-rescue missions.   For complete story, click here.
Drought 'Oddities' By Lori Price 01 Mar 2009 Suddenly, almost inexplicably and overnight - there's a newly discovered big water shortage in the US! Keep your eyes on the GOP prize. Under cover of the Bush Depression and (global warming-induced) drought, corpora-terrorist trolls may present a 'solution:' Privatize part of the US water supply. First, the inevitable state of emergency is declared.  For complete story, click here.
Fed indictments tell how H-1B visas were used to undercut wages 13 Feb 2009 Federal agents on Thursday said they arrested 11 people in six states in a crackdown on H-1B visa fraud and unsealed documents that detail how the visa process was used to undercut the salaries of U.S. workers. Federal authorities allege that in some cases, H-1B workers were paid the prevailing wages of low-cost regions and not necessarily the higher salaries paid in the locations where they worked. By doing this, the companies were "displacing qualified American workers and violating prevailing wage laws," said federal authorities in a statement announcing the indictments.  For complete story, click here.
Vice president, former AG, state senator indicted 18 Nov 2008 A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County's federal detention centers. The indictment criticizes Cheney's investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees by working through the prison companies. Another indictment charges state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. with profiting from his public office by accepting honoraria from prison management companies.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.chron.com  Date: November 18, 2008)
Grand jury indicts Cheney, former AG 18 Nov 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been named in a South Texas grand jury indictment on charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners being detained in Willacy County federal detention centers, The Associated Press said. Willacy County is located in South Texas and includes the cities of Lyford, Raymondville and San Perlita.  For complete story, click here.
Fed refuses to identify recipients of $2 trillion in U.S. taxpayer loans --Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose 10 Nov 2008 The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in September they would comply with congressional demands for transparency in a $700 billion bailout of the banking system. Two months later, as the Fed lends far more than that in separate rescue programs that didn't require approval by Congress, Americans have no idea where their money is going or what securities the banks are pledging in return.  For complete story, click here.
Sarah Palin blamed by US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama 08 Nov 2008 Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign. The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of "palling around with terrorists." The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling "terrorist" and "kill him" until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric. But it has emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further. The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.  For complete story, click here.
Campaign Volunteer Faces Charges In Attack Hoax--October 24th, 2008--PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― A campaign worker who claimed she was the victim of a politically-motivated attack in which she was beaten, kicked and cut, now admits that she made the whole story up.

According to Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard, Ashley Todd, 20, told investigators today that she "was not robbed and there was no 6'4" black male attacker."

Todd initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield Wednesday night and that the suspect began beating her after seeing a John McCain bumper sticker on her car.

Todd claimed that the mugger even cut a backwards letter "B" in her cheek.

But today investigators say Todd confessed that the attack never happened.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Police investigating the report said Todd's story began to unravel early on and they administered a polygraph test.

Investigators asked Todd to return to the police station today for more questioning and to help them release a composite sketch of the suspect.

When she did, police say she admitted that she made the whole thing up and that it snowballed out of control.

Todd told investigators today that she "just wanted to tell the truth" – adding that she was neither robbed, nor attacked.

"She indicated that she has prior mental problems and that she does not remember how the backward letter B got on her face," Richard told reporters today.

Todd told police that while she did not remember how the backward "B" got on her face, she may have done it herself since she was the only one in the car.

According to police, Todd said she thought of Barack Obama when she saw the "B" in her rearview mirror.

Meanwhile, police and residents of Bloomfield say they had suspicions from the beginning about the validity of Todd's tale.

"Something seemed a little strange about the story to begin with," said Lisa Diulus.

"I think it's a shame," said Theresa Cherico. "She made Bloomfield out to be like an unsafe neighborhood."

"I don't know, McCain is down in the polls, maybe this is a boost to get him up a little bit," said Mark Billings. "I don't know, maybe she had some personal problems or something."  For complete story,
click here.

Bush signs $600 billion stopgap bill 01 Oct 2008 US President [sic] George W. Bush signs a government expenditures bill topping 600 billion dollars after his economic relief plan fails. After Bush's banking bailout scheme failed, the president endorsed a budget bill of 600 billion dollars to fund his administration's activities for the next six months, AFP reported.  For complete story, click here.

Air Force says officers fell asleep with nuke code --July 12 incident was at Minot AFB, location of other incidents 24 Jul 2008 Three Air Force officers fell asleep [All three?] while in control of an electronic component that contained old launch codes for nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, a violation of procedure, Air Force officials said Thursday. It is the fourth incident in the past year involving problems with secure handling of components of America's nuclear weapons. The incident occurred July 12, during the changing out of components used to facilitate secure communications between an underground missile-control facility and missile silos near Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, according to Col. Dewey Ford, a spokesman for the Air Force Space Command in Colorado. [See: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' 17 Sep 2007.]   For complete story, click here.
Pentagon audit faults KBR's prices --Report alleges cases of post-hurricane overcharging 16 Jun 2008 KBR overcharged the U.S. Navy for providing meals to workers and service personnel in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to a Pentagon audit... It recommended the Navy demand a refund from KBR of at least $1.4 million. The overcharges were one element of mismanagement by Houston-based KBR, of three Navy contracts valued at $229 million for cleanup and restoration of Navy facilities damaged after Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2005, the audit said. Altogether, the audit requested that the Navy seek refunds of at least $8.5 million for "inappropriate" payments to KBR.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source:  www.chron.com Date: June 16, 2008)
Ex-Army official says fired over KBR audit 17 Jun 2008 A former high-ranking civilian U.S. Army official says he was fired in 2004 when he questioned the Iraq war expenditures of military contractor KBR. The official, Charles Smith, said he was ousted from his position as the top civilian overseer of KBR's lucrative contract to supply services to U.S. troops when he refused to sign off on more than $1 billion in questionable spending, The New York Times reported Tuesday.  For complete story, click here.
House panel subpoenas FBI interviews of Bush, Cheney 16 Jun 2008 A House committee issued a subpoena Monday for FBI reports from interviews with President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney in the CIA leak investigation. The subpoena to Attorney General Michael Mukasey from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is the latest move by Congress to shed light on Cheney's precise role in the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA identity.  For complete story, click here.
USA Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11 22 May 2008 Twenty-five former U.S. military officers have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. They include former commander of U.S. Army Intelligence, Major General Albert Stubblebine, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Ronald D. Ray, two former staff members of the Director of the National Security Agency; Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD, and Major John M. Newman, PhD, and many others. "A lot of these pieces of information, taken together, prove that the official story, the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 is a bunch of hogwash. It's impossible," said Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret). With doctoral degrees in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, Col. Bowman served as Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.  For complete story, click here.
U.N. Official Calls for Study of Neocons' Role in 9/11 10 Apr 2008 A new U.N. Human Rights Council official assigned to monitor Israel [Richard Falk, Milbank professor of international law emeritus at Princeton University] is calling for an official commission to study the role neoconservatives may have played in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The narrative that the attacks from 2001 were a "false flag" operation is a recurring theme in the literature challenging the consensus conspiracy theory that 19 al-Qaeda hijackers flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. False flag refers to espionage or covert actions taken by one government made to seem like the work of another. The false flag thesis has it that the Bush administration is somehow responsible for the September 11 attacks as a pretext for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. [And so much more! See: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]  For complete story, click here.
'To be sure, Cheney must be furious that Tehran torpedoed the entire US strategy for Big Oil.' Iran torpedoes US plans for Iraqi oil By M K Bhadrakumar 03 Apr 2008 What has happened is essentially that Iran has frustrated the joint US-British objective of gaining control of Basra, without which the strategy of establishing control over the fabulous oil fields of southern Iraq will not work. Control of Basra is a pre-requisite before American oil majors make their multi-billion investments to kick start large-scale oil production in Iraq. Iraq's Southern Oil Company is headquartered in Basra. Highly strategic installations are concentrated in the region, such as pipeline networks, pumping stations, refineries and loading terminals. The American oil majors will insist on fastening these installations.  For complete story, click here.
Breaking: Under criminal investigation, HUD secretary resigns --Top Bush official faces charges of cronyism and favoritism 31 Mar 2008 The Bush administration's top housing official is resigning at a time when the housing industry is embroiled in crisis. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced Monday he is quitting. His resignation will take effect on April 18. Jackson is under criminal investigation and has been fending off allegations of cronyism and favoritism involving HUD contractors for the past two years.  For complete story, click here.
Lawyer: Pentagon using Guantanamo trials to influence '08 election 28 Mar 2008 The Navy lawyer for Osama bin Laden's driver argues in a Guantánamo military commissions motion that senior Pentagon officials are orchestrating war crimes prosecutions for the 2008 campaign. The brief filed Thursday by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer directly challenged the integrity of President [sic] Bush's war court. Notably, it describes a Sept. 29, 2006, meeting at the Pentagon in which Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, a veteran White House appointee, asked lawyers to consider Sept. 11, 2001, prosecutions in light of the campaign. "We need to think about charging some of the high-value detainees because there could be strategic political value to charging some of these detainees before the election," England is quoted as saying.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.miamiherald.com Date: March 28, 2008)
US gave $300m arms contract to 22-year-old with criminal record --Old stock sent to Afghan forces battling Taliban --40-year-old ammunition had to be destroyed 28 Mar 2008 The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday. AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. The report on AEY was the latest instance of private firms securing lucrative defence contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan under the Bush regime's policy of privatising growing aspects of the military. "Operations like this pop up like mushrooms after the rain," said Milton Bearden, a former CIA official who in the 1980s was in charge of arming Afghan rebel groups fighting the former Soviet Union.  For complete story, click here.
US cargo ship opens fire in Suez canal, 1 dead 25 Mar 2008 An Egyptian was shot dead and two others wounded in an incident involving a US-flagged cargo ship crossing the Suez Canal towards the Mediterranean Sea, reported security officials late Monday. For complete story, click here.
Lawmakers want probe of KBR role in accidental electrocutions in Iraq --Details sought about electrocutions of military and contract workers in Iraq and about KBR's role in making electrical repairs. 19 Mar 2008 At least a dozen soldiers and Marines have been electrocuted in Iraq over the five years of the war, and investigators now are trying to learn what role improper grounding of electrical wires played in those deaths. And Houston-based KBR -- which builds bases and maintains housing for U.S. troops in Iraq -- is at the center of the probe, with questions being raised about its responsibility to repair known wiring problems. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter today to Defense Secretary Robert Gates seeking details about electrocutions of military and contract workers in Iraq and about KBR's role in making electrical repairs.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.chron.com  Date: March 19th, 2008)
Breaking: 'When a member of the Bar is convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, disbarment is mandatory.' Former Cheney Aide Libby Disbarred --Bush Commuted Libby's Prison Sentence Last Year 20 Mar 2008 A Washington, D.C., radio station reports that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., the former chief of staff to Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney, has been disbarred. A three-judge panel on the D.C. Court of Appeals stripped Libby of his ability to practice law after he was found guilty last year of obstructing the investigation in the CIA leak investigation, WTOP radio reported.  For complete story, click here.
Bush officials: Congress irrelevant on Iraq 05 Mar 2008 The Bush dictatorship says the 2002 congressional authorization to go to war in Iraq gives it the authority to conduct combat operations in Iraq and negotiate far-reaching agreements with the current Iraqi government without consulting Congress. The assertion, jointly made Tuesday by U.S. Ambassador David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Mary Beth Long, drew an incredulous reaction from Democrats on a Joint House committee during a hearing on future U.S. commitments to Iraq. For complete story, click here.
Khadr lawyers allege Cheney linked to video release 03 Mar 2008 Omar Khadr's defense lawyers will try to find out whether U.S. Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney's office secretly leaked a video of the imprisoned Canadian to an American media outlet -- an allegation that, if proven, would be a clear violation of court orders and further proof that the process by which Mr. Khadr is being tried is a political, not legal one, his military lawyer says.  (Unable to locate story at time of archiving.  Source: www.theglobeandmail.com  Date: March 3, 2008)
Lawyers for Canadian Gitmo Detainee Accuse Cheney of Leaking Video to '60 Minutes' 04 Mar 2008 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's office may have leaked an incriminating video of a Canadian terror suspect facing a war-crimes 'trial,' according to a claim filed by the suspect's lawyers in Guantanamo Bay military court. Lawyers for Omar Khadr say the video, which apparently shows their client making a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, may have been leaked to the television program "60 Minutes" to counter publicity that has focused on legal setbacks in the case and descriptions of Khadr as a child soldier. "60 Minutes" aired the tape in November. For complete story, click here.
White House blocks inquiry into construction of $736m embassy in Iraq 29 Feb 2008 The Bush administration is blocking an inquiry into the delay-plagued construction of the $736m US embassy in Baghdad, a senior Democrat in Congress said today. Henry Waxman, who is chairman of the oversight committee in the House of Representatives, asked US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice today to explain why her department certified the embassy as "substantially completed" in December despite inspections that reveal continued deficiencies in the facility's water, fire alarm and kitchen systems... In addition, two US state department employees who worked on the embassy project are now under criminal investigation.  For complete story, click here.
Obama staffer gave warning of NAFTA rhetoric 27 Feb 2008 Barack Obama has ratcheted up his attacks on NAFTA, but a senior member of his campaign team told a Canadian official not to take his criticisms seriously, CTV News has learned. Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama's campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada's ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources. The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value. For complete story, click here.
GOP Halts Effort to Retrieve White House E-Mails 27 Feb 2008 After promising last year to search its computers for tens of thousands of e-mails sent by White House officials, the Republican National Committee has informed a House committee that it no longer plans to retrieve the communications by restoring computer backup tapes, the panel's chairman said yesterday. The move increases the likelihood that an untold number of RNC e-mails dealing with official White House business during the first term of the Bush administration -- including many sent or received by former presidential adviser Karl Rove -- will never be recovered, said House Democrats and public records advocates.  For complete story, click here.
Bamboozling the American electorate again --Bush-Cheney strategy involves GOP crossover voting to take out Hillary, marketing newcomer Obama, an "independent" ticket, and maybe even martial law By Rosemary Regello 18 Feb 2008 According to an article in Time Magazine, Republican party activists have been organized by the G.O.P. to throw their weight behind Barack Obama, the democratic rival of frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Early in Obama's campaign, top Republican fundraisers flushed his coffers with cash, something the deep pockets hadn't done for any candidate in their own party. With receipts topping $100 million in 2007, the first-term Illinois senator broke the record for contributions.  For complete story, click here.
In 2006, Barack Obama backed 'mentor' Joe LieberBush: Obama rallies state Democrats, throws support behind Lieberman 31 Mar 2006 U.S. Sen. Barack Obama rallied Connecticut Democrats at their annual dinner Thursday night, throwing his support behind mentor and Senate colleague Joe LieberBush. Lieberman, Connecticut's junior senator, is under fire from some liberal Democrats for his support of the Iraq War. Ned Lamont, a Democratic activist and anti-war candidate from Greenwich, is challenging Lieberman for the party's nomination this year. [Lamont eventually won the Democratic nomination, but lost the 2006 'election' due to Rove, The Hartford Courant and other Reichwing maggots backing LieberBush. MDR observes: Perhaps this is why the rightwing media is pushing Obama down our throats.]  For complete story, click here.
Happiness: Enough Already--The push for ever-greater well-being is facing a backlash, fueled by research on the value of sadness.--The plural of anecdote is not data, as scientists will tell you, but consider these snapshots of the emerging happiness debate anyway: Lately, Jerome Wakefield's students have been coming up to him after they break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and not because they want him to recommend a therapist. Wakefield, a professor at New York University, coauthored the 2007 book "The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder," which argues that feeling down after your heart is broken-even so down that you meet the criteria for clinical depression-is normal and even salutary. But students tell him that their parents are pressuring them to seek counseling and other medical intervention-"some Zoloft, dear?"-for their sadness, and the kids want no part of it. "Can you talk to them for me?" they ask Wakefield. Rather than "listening to Prozac," they want to listen to their hearts, not have them chemically silenced.  University of Illinois psychologist Ed Diener, who has studied happiness for a quarter century, was in Scotland recently, explaining to members of Parliament and business leaders the value of augmenting traditional measures of a country's wealth with a national index of happiness. Such an index would measure policies known to increase people's sense of well-being, such as democratic freedoms, access to health care and the rule of law. The Scots were all in favor of such things, but not because they make people happier.  "They said too much happiness might not be such a good thing," says Diener.  "They like being dour, and didn't appreciate being told they should be happier."  Eric Wilson tried to get with the program. Urged on by friends, he bought books on how to become happier. He made every effort to smooth out his habitual scowl and wear a sunny smile, since a happy expression can lead to genuinely happy feelings. Wilson, a professor of English at Wake Forest University, took up jogging, reputed to boost the brain's supply of joyful neurochemicals, watched uplifting Frank Capra and Doris Day flicks and began sprinkling his conversations with "great!" and "wonderful!", the better to exercise his capacity for enthusiasm. When none of these made him happy, Wilson not only jumped off the happiness bandwagon-he also embraced his melancholy side and decided to blast a happiness movement that "leads to half-lives, to bland existences," as he argues in "Against Happiness," a book now reaching stores. Americans' fixation on happiness, he writes, fosters "a craven disregard for the value of sadness" and "its integral place in the great rhythm of the cosmos." For complete story, click here.
Top-secret Livermore germ lab opens --Scientists developing 'countermeasures' for bubonic plague, anthrax, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Q fever, tularemia, brucellosis or undulant fever; researching flu, tuberculosis and SARS 02 Feb 2008 A high-security laboratory where deadly microbes are being grown by scientists seeking defenses against terrorist attacks began operating in Livermore last week without public announcement, and opponents said Friday that they will go to federal court in an effort to close the facility down. The facility is known as a Biosafety-level 3 laboratory where... more than 40 potentially lethal disease-causing bacteria, viruses and fungi are stored inside.  For complete story, click here.
Oil Crisis As 308,000 Barrels Go Missing, According to Audit 10 Jan 2008 How do you not notice when 308,000 barrels of oil go missing? That's the question government auditors were asking after they looked into the Department of Energy's management of oil received for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a critical program to assure energy stability in the U.S. in case of an oil crisis.  For complete story, click here.
9/11 Panel Study Finds That C.I.A. Withheld Tapes 22 Dec 2007 A review of classified documents by former members of the Sept. 11 commission shows that the panel made repeated and detailed requests to the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of 'Al Qaeda,' and were told by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had "produced or made available for review" everything that had been requested. In interviews this week, the two chairmen of the commission, Lee H. Hamilton and Thomas H. Kean, said their reading of the report had convinced them that the agency had made a conscious decision to impede the Sept. 11 commission's inquiry.  For complete story, click here
"The man who murdered Osama bin Laden" Frost over the World - Benazir Bhutto - 02 Nov 07 --Sir David interviews former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto. 03 Nov 2007 6:13 into this YouTube video, Benazir Bhutto declares, "Yes, well one of them is a very key figure in security. He's a former military officer. He's someone who's had dealings... and he also had dealings with Omar Sheikh [Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh], the man who murdered Osama bin Laden." [Did Bhutto mean to say Daniel Pearl? If that was the case, she did not correct herself.] 

Dennis Kucinich's brother found dead 19 Dec 2007 Perry Kucinich, 52, was found dead in his home in the 4100 block of East 71st Street. His brother Larry found him about 9 a.m. There were no signs of violence, officials said. The Cuyahoga County Coroner is performing an autopsy this hour. Their brother, Dennis Kucinich, is a U.S. Representative from Ohio's 10th District. He is running for president.  For complete story, click here.

Breaking: A federal grand jury has voted to indict ex-N.Y. City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on charges stemming from tax evasion and corruption allegations, sources tell ABC News. [See (flashback) Bush nominates Kerik for Homeland Security 03 Dec 2004 President [sic] Bush on Friday nominated former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to take over as secretary of homeland security. Kerik is a senior vice president of Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm founded by Rudy Giuliani, who as mayor of New York appointed him police commissioner in 2000. "His broad practical hands-on experience makes Bernie superbly qualified to lead the Department of Homeland Security," Bush said.]  For complete story, click here.

To Implement Policy, Bush to Turn to Administrative Orders 31 Oct 2007 The White House plans to try implementing as much new policy as it can by administrative order dictatorship while stepping up its confrontational rhetoric with Congress after concluding that President [sic] Bush cannot do much business with the Democratic leadership, administration officials said. White House aides say the only way Bush seems to be able to influence overturn the process is by vetoing legislation or by issuing 'administrative orders,' as he has in recent weeks... They say they expect Bush to issue more of such orders in the next several months.  For complete story, click here.
Split court says candidates can lie--October 5th, 2007--OLYMPIA — Government has no business trying to stop political candidates from deliberately lying about each other in campaign ads, a divided state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.  In the 5-4 decision upholding a lower-court ruling, the high court said a state law aimed at punishing political candidates for false advertising is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.  "There can be no doubt that false personal attacks are too common in political campaigns, with wide-ranging detrimental consequences," Justice Jim Johnson wrote for the majority. "However, government censorship ... is not a constitutionally permitted remedy."  But in a sharply worded dissent, Justice Barbara Madsen called the majority's ruling "an invitation to lie with impunity. ... It is little wonder that so many view political campaigns with distrust and cynicism."  For complete story, click here.
Bush quietly advising Hillary Clinton, top Democrats--September 24th, 2007--President Bush is quietly providing back-channel advice to Hillary Rodham Clinton, urging her to modulate her rhetoric so she can effectively prosecute the war in Iraq if elected president.  In an interview for the new book "The Evangelical President," White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said Bush has "been urging candidates: 'Don't get yourself too locked in where you stand right now. If you end up sitting where I sit, things could change dramatically. ' "  Bolten said Bush wants enough continuity in his Iraq policy that "even a Democratic president would be in a position to sustain a legitimate presence there."  "Especially if it's a Democrat," the chief of staff told The Examiner in his West Wing office. "He wants to create the conditions where a Democrat not only will have the leeway, but the obligation to see it out."  To that end, the president has been sending advice, mostly through aides, aimed at preventing an abrupt withdrawal from Iraq in the event of a Democratic victory in November 2008.  "It's different being a candidate and being the president," Bush said in an Oval Office interview. "No matter who the president is, no matter what party, when they sit here in the Oval Office and seriously consider the effect of a vacuum being created in the Middle East, particularly one trying to be created by al Qaeda, they will then begin to understand the need to continue to support the young democracy." To that end, Bush is institutionalizing controversial anti-terror programs so they can be used by the next president.  "Look, I'd like to make as many hard decisions as I can make, and do a lot of the heavy lifting prior to whoever my successor is," Bush said. "And then that person is going to have to come and look at the same data I've been looking at, and come to their own conclusion."  As an example, Bush cited his detainee program, which allows him to keep enemy combatants imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay while they await adjudication. Bush is unmoved by endless criticism of the program because he says his successor will need it.  For complete story, click here.
White House preparing to stage new September 11 says Reagan official July 20th, 2007--WASHINGTON, July 20 (RIA Novosti) - A former Reagan official has issued a public warning that the Bush administration is preparing to orchestrate a staged terrorist attack in the United States, transform the country into a dictatorship and launch a war with Iran within a year.  Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.  Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."  "The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said,  adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.  Old-line Republicans like Roberts have become increasingly disenchanted with the neoconservative politics of the Bush administration, which they see as a betrayal of fundamental conservative values.  According to a July 9-11 survey by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company, President Bush and the Republicans can claim a mere 31 percent approval rating for their handling of the Iraq war and 38 percent for their foreign policy in general, including terrorism.  "The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," he said. "You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda is not going to do it, it is going to be orchestrated. "  Roberts suggested that in the absence of a massive popular outcry, only the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military could put constraints on Bush's current drive for a fully-fledged dictatorship.  For complete story, click here.
'Operation Noble Eagle' false flag operations underway: Florida Troops Deploy to Nation's Capital 24 Aug 2007 Members of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region. The troops will be deployed for a year. The 265th is part of Operation Noble Eagle. They are ordered by the president [sic] to the nation's capital, where they will operate high-tech weapons systems 'against' any potential air threat.  For complete story, click here.
Neo-Cons: Make Bush Dictator Of The World--August 17th, 2007:  If you thought Stu Bykovsky's call for a new 9/11 was the lowest the Neo-Cons could sink, think again. A right-wing foundation with links to Dick Cheney has called for Bush to be made lifetime president, ruler of the world, and for Iraq to be ethnically cleansed of Arabs by means of a nuclear holocaust.  The Family Security Matters organization masquerades as an independent "think tank" yet was highly influential in President Bush's re-election in 2004 and has links to top Neo-Con ideologues.  The outfit poses as an advocacy group for a new breed of goose-stepping brownshirts - so-called "security moms," who are noted for their blind obedience to neo-conservatism as a result of believing every ounce of fearmongering that emanates from the Bush administration on the inevitability of mass casualty terror attacks.  "In late 2004, Media Matters for America discovered that the phone number listed on FSM's website actually belonged to the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a rabidly hardline foreign policy outfit run by former Reagan administration figure Frank Gaffney," reports Right Web.  The Center for Security Policy is an umbrella organization that includes the National Security Advisory Council, whose members hold senior positions within the Bush administration itself. Former and current members include Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams and the organization has also given awards to Donald Rumsfeld.  The FSM foundation itself also has ties to the Anti-Defamation League, the International Women's Forum, numerous nationwide television and print media outlets, and includes on its board of advisors Neo-Con radio host Laura Ingraham and former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, James Woolsey.  Representatives of FSM also routinely appear as guests on Fox News and their website is a cesspool of anti-American fervor - acting as a cheerleader for the invasion of Iran, the warrantless wiretapping program (opponents of which are labeled "traitors") and lauds the Patriot Act as "An irreplaceable tool utilized by our Secret Service to keep us safe."  In an August 3rd article, contributing editor and philosopher Philip Atkinson penned a feverish diatribe that calls for the end of democracy, for Bush to be made ruler of the world as Julius Caesar was made emperor of Rome, for Bush to be made lifetime President in the U.S., and for Iraq to be ethnically cleansed by means of nuclear genocide and re-populated with Americans.  The comments are so fundamentally sick and twisted that the reader must absorb the following passages in full to recognize the true depravity of what the Neo-Con fringe truly embrace.  After calling democracy 'the enemy of truth and justice', Atkinson openly calls for genocide and mass slaughter.  The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth.  The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead.  Bush should be taking foreign policy tips from imperial dictator Julius Caesar, according to frustrated Neo-Cons.  He then cites Julius Caesar, the reviled dictator of the Roman Empire, as an example of how Bush should engage in rampant ethnic cleansing.  When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended.  Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome.  If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.  Atkinson then concludes by stating such actions would allow Bush to declare martial law, become permanent President of the U.S. and eventually ruler of the entire world.  He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.  President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming "ex-president" Bush or he can become "President-for- Life" Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.  The sheer abhorrence of the diatribe could lead many to think that this was some kind of attempt at black humor, a faux article written by a liberal intended as a parody to ridicule right-wingers, but it's not, it's real - this is what many of the Neo-Cons actually embrace.  To the kind of people who think like this, carrying out a 9/11 style attack is like a walk in the park.  Though FSM chose to delete the article from their website after it started to get bad press, the cache is still available and Atkinson's previous articles betray the fact that he is a real columnist and he really believes this crap!  This is the philosophy guiding the people that are in control of the world's pre-eminent superpower - in comparison, they make Hitler look like the tooth fairy.  They are supported by a transfixed hardcore following of kool-aid drinkers, the kind that openly advocate putting anyone who criticizes Bush in gas chambers while praying for Fox News.  And don't for a second think that they won't try and make all this happen - the Neo-Cons are not playing games, yesterday we reported on the open admission of a plan on behalf of the feds to use clergy to "quell dissent" during a martial law takeoever scenario.  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are part of the same crowd and not part of the solution, this is a doctrine that has swallowed the entirety of the political system.  The extreme fringe of the Neo-Con belief system is increasingly attracting more adherents as Bush, Cheney and their warmongering administration becomes increasingly unpopular in the U.S. and faces more opposition in attempting to complete their agenda.  The true horror of what that ultimate agenda entails is the price we as humanity will pay unless we stop these madmen and their goal - a 4th Reich of the elite, the slaughter of millions, and a global totalitarian dictatorship.  For complete story, click here.
Cheney's Office Attempts To Memory-Hole Embarrassing Video--August 17th, 2007--A recently discovered video dating from 1994 featuring Dick Cheney warning against an invasion of Iraq has been shrugged off by the Vice President's office who say they cannot comment because at the time Cheney was not Vice President.  The video appeared earlier this week on YouTube and shows Dick Cheney explaining that trying to take over Iraq would be a "bad idea" and would lead to a "quagmire."  "How many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our view was not very many, and I think we got it right," Cheney said.   The video was posted by alternative media site Grand Theft Country, the on-screen source is the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who conducted the interview with Cheney on April 15, 1994.  CBS 5 contacted the Vice President's press office Wednesday, where a spokesperson reacted to the video by saying: "He was not Vice President at the time, it was after he was Secretary of Defense. I don't have any comment."  For complete story, click here.
Dick Cheney Is Right--This weekend, we came across a pretty remarkable snippet of video online. You've really got to see it to believe it.  Just click here to check it out: http://www.moveon.org/r?r=2879&id=10983-5425778-wy.VQD&t=2  And if you're as amazed, saddened, and angered as we are—pass it on to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker and help make sure people all over the country see it.    Video report.  Click above link.

Romney Jokes About Cheating in Poll By Garance Franke-Ruta 11 Aug 2007 at Last night, at the pre-Straw Poll "Ronstock" concert at the Bali Satay House in Ames, a Ron Paul volunteer played back a recording of competing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joking about cheating in a State Fair popularity contest, stuffing the ballot box in Ames, and dodging questions across the state... Romney also joked about stuffing the ballot box at today's Straw Poll. "At 7 o'clock they will count the ballots. We will stuff the ballot box, I hope," he said on the recording. And he joked about cheating in the Corn Poll, the bi-partisan State Fair popularity contest in which attendees are asked to "cast your kernel" by placing a kernel of corn in a jar for their favored candidate to show their support. "I was a little dismayed because I saw Barack Obama, he had a lot of corn in that Mason jar," quipped Romney. "But I was number one - so thanks for cheating!"  For complete story, click here.

Romney Leadership Team Member Overseeing Straw Poll By Birdlady 09 Aug 2007 The Iowa GOP is facing possible suit over their use of the same Diebold machines that were just de-certified. They are claiming of course, that there is nothing to worry about since the voting procedure will be conducted with the assistance and oversight of the Story County Auditor's Office. If we look here, we see the Story County Auditor is Mary Mosiman. Mary Mosiman also happens to be on Mitt Romney's "Romney for President [Story County] Leadership Team"... It's also worth noting that according to this article, Romney's Commonwealth PAC gave State Auditor David A. Vaudt $1,000 in 2004.  For complete story, click here.

"WATCH THIS BEFORE IT'S TAKEN OFF THE WEB!!"--August 3rd, 2007--"One impressive woman. Here is a powerful and amazing statement on Al Jazeera television.  "The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles I would suggest watching it ASAP because I don't know how long the "link will be active. This film clip should be shown around the world repeatedly!"  CLICK HERE: http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=nul   Video download.
Why is the new Congress gridlocked?--August 3rd, 2007--Conservatives are working hard to spin this as the fault of a “do nothing Congress.” But that’s like someone mugging the postman and then complaining that the mail isn’t delivered. The fact is it’s the conservative minority’s own filibusters and vetoes that are systematically killing progress.  But now, our cameras have exposed the force orchestrating this obstruction.  See the right-wing mastermind -- caught on tape! -- and pass it on.    On YouTube, Check out the link.

House Panel Finds Bush Aides In Contempt --Committee Met Wednesday Morning 25 Jul 2007 The House Judiciary Committee voted contempt of Congress citations Wednesday against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and President [sic] George W. Bush's former legal counselor, Harriet Miers.  For complete story, click here.

BBC: Bush's Grandfather Planned Fascist Coup In America--July 24th, 2007--A BBC Radio 4 investigation sheds new light on a major subject that has received little historical attention, the conspiracy on behalf of a group of influential powerbrokers, led by Prescott Bush, to overthrow FDR and implement a fascist dictatorship in the U.S. based around the ideology of Mussolini and Hitler.  In 1933, Marine Corps Maj.-Gen. Smedley Butler was approached by a wealthy and secretive group of industrialists and bankers, including Prescott Bush the current President's grandfather, who asked him to command a 500,000 strong rogue army of veterans that would help stage a coup to topple then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  According to the BBC, the plotters intended to impose a fascist takeover and "Adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression."  The conspirators were operating under the umbrella of a front group called the American Liberty League, which included many families that are still household names today, including Heinz, Colgate, Birds Eye and General Motors.  For complete story, click here.

White House Gets Defensive Over Accusation Bin Laden Is Dead--July 19th, 2007--White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend was asked at a press conference earlier this week what evidence she had that Osama Bin Laden was still alive, considering the fact that he has been gravely ill and on a kidney dialysis machine while traversing the harsh terrain of the Pakistani border region. Townsend's response was to refuse to discuss the matter and immediately leave.  (Definitely visit the link)  For complete story, click here.

Rep. compares Bush to Hitler, 9/11 attacks to Reichstag fire 15 Jul 2007 America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President [sic] George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks. Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted." To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box - dismiss you". [See: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]  For complete story, click here.

Ron Paul warns of staged terror attack 13 Jul 2007 Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, said the country is in "great danger" of the U.S. government staging a terrorist attack or a Gulf of Tonkin style provocation, as the war in Iraq continues to deteriorate. The Texas congressman offered no specifics nor mentioned President [sic] Bush by name, but he clearly insinuated that the administration would not be above staging an incident to revive flagging support.  For complete story, click here.

New study from Pilots for 9/11 Truth: No Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon 21 Jun 2007 (PRWEB) Pilots for 9/11 Truth obtained black box data from the government under the Freedom of Information Act for AA Flight 77, which The 9/11 Report claims hit the Pentagon. Analysis of the data contradicts the official account in direction, approach, and altitude. The plane was too high to hit lamp posts and would have flown over the Pentagon, not impacted with its ground floor. This result confirms and strengthens the previous findings of Scholars for 9/11 Truth that no Boeing 757 hit the building.  For complete story, click here.

Mobile phones may soon be used on planes 22 June 2007 One of the last telephone-free environments on the planet, the airplane, is about to be connected, allowing travellers to make mobile phone calls at high altitude. Requests to switch off cellphones and fasten seatbelts are a familiar part of the take-off routine for airline passengers, but a European company has found a way to make dialling safe and link up people from above the clouds. [Apparently, the passengers aboard 'hijacked' United Airlines Flight 93 utilized a time machine, in order to make their calls. See: Alleged Oddities of Phone Calls from Doomed Flights and More Holes in the Official Story: The 9/11 Cell Phone Calls By Michel Chossudovsky 10 Aug 2004.]  For complete story, click here.







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