August 7th, 2008

glasses

'AL QAIDA’S MAIN MAN” IN PAKISTAN IS REALLY CIA

Is Pakistan's "Public Enemy Number One" A CIA Asset? Of Course He Is! Otherwise He'd Have Been Dead A Long Time Ago

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pakistan's most feared terrorist communicates with encryption so strong the Pakistani intelligence services cannot crack it. He gets information on Pakistani troop movements from an unidentified foreign government. He's said to be responsible for the vast majority of terrorist attacks in Pakistan (including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto), but the Americans -- who don't mind bombing "Islamic militants" in Pakistan every now and then -- have refused to attack him despite having solid information as to his whereabouts. And on, and on, and on...

All this and more is highlighted in a excellent piece from "State of Pakistan", which I have reproduced in full below, with just a bit of editing and a few comments.

Baithullah Mehsud could be a CIA ‘intelligence asset’ in this double game
A report published by the News on August 5, 2008 includes the following (apparently based on information given by the ISI officials):
”The top US military commander and the CIA official were also asked why the CIA-run predator[s] and the US military did not swing into action when they were provided the exact location of Baitullah Mehsud [photo], Pakistan’s enemy number one and the mastermind of almost every suicide operation against the Pakistan Army and the ISI since June 2006. One such precise piece of information was made available to the CIA on May 24 when Baitullah Mehsud drove to a remote South Waziristan mountain post in his Toyota Land Cruiser to address the press and returned back to his safe abode. The United States military has the capacity to direct a missile to a precise location at very short notice as it has done close to 20 times in the last few years to hit al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan. Pakistani official[s] have long been intrigued by the presence of highly encrypted communications gear with Baitullah Mehsud. This communication gear enables him to collect real-time information on Pakistani troop movement from an unidentified foreign source without being intercepted by Pakistani intelligence.”

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Yet another sexually deviant Republican - indicted for raping his mistresses' 14 yr-old daughter

State rep charged with assaulting teen

By Tony Messenger

POST-DISPATCH JEFFERSON CITY BUREAU
08/06/2008

Copyright 2008, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

JEFFERSON CITY -- Missouri state Rep. Scott Muschany, R-Frontenac, was indicted today in connection with a reported sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl on May 17, the day after this year’s Legislative session ended.

The alleged victim is the daughter of a state employee. The girl’s mother and Muschany -– who is married and has two children -- were romantically involved, the woman said.

A Cole County grand jury returned an indictment today charging Muschany with the Class C felony of "deviate sexual assault." The indictment identifies the victim only by initials. It says that on May 17, Muschany "had deviate sexual intercourse" with the girl, "knowing that he did so without" her consent.

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Now, Pelosi, After this Smoking Gun, Will You Call for Impeachment?

Now, Pelosi, After this Smoking Gun, Will You Call for Impeachment?

By Matthew Rothschild, August 5, 2008

Somebody please send Nancy Pelosi a copy of Ron Suskind’s latest book, “The Way of the World.”

Remember, Pelosi said last week that if anyone could demonstrate that Bush had broken any laws, then impeachment might be a different story.

Never mind that she apparently hasn’t bothered to read Dennis Kucinich’s 35-count bill of impeachment, or the violations of the laws, treaties, and the Constitution that Kucinich’s bill refers to..

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Information Clearing House Publisher Threatened

Mike Whitney – Fly by News August 6, 2008

My friend Tom Feeley is in Big trouble. He runs the web site informationclearinghouse.info which updates "news you won't find in the corporate media" every day. The site is strongly anti-war.

Tom has gotten his share of death threats over the years, but what happened this week is a lot more serious.

Two days ago, Tom's wife found three well dressed men in their kitchen. The man who did all the talking, told Tom's wife (I won't give her name) that Tom must "Stop what he is doing on the Internet, NOW!" As crazy as it sounds, he pulled back his lapel and showed her a gun of some kind which she could not identify. Like I said, Tom has been threatened before, but nothing like this. 4 years ago, he was in a parking lot at Long's Drug store in Southern California and when he tried to open his door to get out, a man in a car next to him opened his door at precisely the same time which prevented Tom from getting out. Then, a 40-ish year old man got out of the passenger side of the vehicle and approached Tom saying, "You need to stop what you are doing on the web".

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China To Clear Country Of Protesters Day Before Olympics

Foreign Activists Manage to Pierce China's Broad Security Apparatus

By Edward Cody

Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, August 7, 2008; 8:18 AM

BEIJING, Aug. 6 -- China's intense efforts to block any protest that would mar the Olympic Games were challenged Wednesday by foreign activists equally bent on diverting attention to issues as varied as Tibetan independence, the crisis in Darfur and religious freedom.

Two American and two British protesters slipped through a smothering Olympic security net, climbed a pair of lampposts and unfurled banners demanding freedom for Tibet near the new stadium where the Beijing Games are to open Friday night. In Tiananmen Square, three American Christian activists spoke out against China's rights record and protested its population control policies. The four pro-Tibet protesters have been deported, while a second demonstration by Christian activists on Thursday was disrupted when plainclothes police removed the protesters from Tiananmen Square.

In Bangkok Thursday morning, President Bush spoke directly to the issue of human rights in China, hours before heading to the Chinese capital for the opening ceremony. "America stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates and religious activists," he said..

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US like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia has enacted its first-ever "exit tax"

"Exit Tax" Becomes Law

America now has officially joined the ranks of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia by enacting its first-ever "exit tax." President George W. Bush signed the legislation--passed unanimously last month by both the House and Senate--into law yesterday, June 17.

You must pay the exit tax within 90 days of "expatriation"--giving up your U.S. citizenship or (in some cases) long term residence in the United States. Only a few hundred people do this each year, but Congress didn't like the fact that severing all ties to the United States allows wealthy people to legally avoid all U.S. tax. For my take on the exit tax, click here and here.

The news isn't all bad, though, particularly if you're not wealthy enough to trigger the tax. In that case, you can bypass some of the complexities and hassles of the law the exit tax replaced. If you are wealthy enough to trigger the tax, though, the new law will definitely make life more difficult if you ever decide you want to take the only legal path to permanently end all U.S. tax obligations.

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'US sources hint that by rejecting Iran sanctions, Moscow opens door to Israeli attack'

US sources hint that by rejecting Iran sanctions, Moscow opens door to Israeli attack

DEBKAfile Special Report

August 7, 2008, 3:19 AM (GMT+02:00)

Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin: Nyet to Iran sanctions

Sources in Washington commented Wednesday night, Aug. 6, that, while it is unlikely that Israel would attack Iran without US approval, this might change if tough sanctions were taken off the table. They reported Israel was building up its strike capabilities for an attack, had purchased 90 F-16I planes that can carry enough fuel to reach Iran and would receive another 11 by the end of next year. The Jewish state had also bought two new Dolphin submarines from Germany capable of firing nuclear-armed warheads, in addition to the three already in service with its navy.

According to foreign media, Israel is active inside Iranian territory.

DEBKAfile reports that this information was leaked by Washington sources, apparently to warn Moscow that by closing the door to sanctions, it was opening the door to an Israeli attack.


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Musharraf faces impeachment

Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:09 UK

Musharraf faces impeachment bid

President Musharraf in Islamabad in April 2008
President Musharraf has said he would rather resign than be impeached

Pakistan's ruling coalition parties say they will begin impeachment proceedings against President Pervez Musharraf.

Party leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif made the announcement after three days of talks. They would need a two-thirds majority to impeach.

Mr Musharraf took power in a bloodless coup in 1999.

He gave up control of the army last year and his allies were defeated in February's elections but he retains the power to dissolve parliament.

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Obama Up Against the Middle East 'Berlin Wall'

22:24 08/06/2008

 
The steel wall of Gaza: 'If ever there was a need for an airlift to breech a wall it is now.'

By Robert Weitzel, Madison, WI
 
"People of the world -- look at Berlin, where a wall came down . . . and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one" -- Barak Obama.
 
On July 24, Barak Obama stood where a 96-mile-long wall of barbed wire and concrete once separated the ideologies and lives of East and West Berlin. He told a crowd of 200,000 that “history reminds us that walls can be torn down” and that the “greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us one from another.”
 
He reminded the crowd that sixty years ago this summer, the Soviet Union “cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin. That [was] when . . . the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.”

American pilots nicknamed the rescue “Operation Vittles.” History knows it as the Berlin Airlift.


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"Dress rehearsal" nuclear attack drill in San Francisco August 16th

7/7 had a training exercise the same day, 9/11 had a training exercise the same day.


Local
Dress rehearsal for disaster

Mike Aldax, The Examiner

2008-08-05 10:00:00.0
Current rank: # 58 of 6,982
SAN FRANCISCO -

Unless you want to experience the pandemonium of a devastating terrorist attack, you might want to steer clear of downtown San Francisco on Aug. 16.

In coordinating a simulated nuclear explosion in The City that Saturday morning, the Fire Department is warning residents that parts of downtown will swarm with helicopters, police patrols and FBI agents in ways that will make action-movie directors envious.

And while authorities say the exercise is necessary to prepare San Francisco for a possible terrorist incident, they say they hope residents won’t react by fleeing to the bridges in droves.

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Jobless Claims Hit Highest Point in Six Years

Topics:Interest Rates | Inflation | Ben Bernanke | Employment | Consumers | Federal Reserve | Federal Budget (U.S.) | Economy (Global) | Economy (U.S.)

By AP | 07 Aug 2008 | 10:11 AM ET

The number of newly laid off people signing up for jobless benefits last week climbed to its highest point in more than six years as companies cut back given the faltering economy.

CNBC.com

The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000 for the week ending Aug. 2. The increase left claims at their highest level since late March 2002.

A program to locate people eligible for jobless benefits played a role in the increase, a Labor Department analyst said. However, the analyst couldn't say how much of a role.

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Fmr CIA chief: 'The anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning'

Related
Cui Bono?
Washington Post Scrubs Friday Article That Cast Doubt on Reported 'Anthrax Killer' Case

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Selected Anthrax Quotes

This is what George Tenet said in his book, At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA:
“The most startling revelation from this intelligence success story was that the anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning. As best as we could determine, al-Zawahiri’s project had been wrapped up in the summer of 2001, when the al-Qaida deputy, along with Hambali, were briefed over a week by Sufaat on the progress he had made to isolate anthrax. The entire operation had been managed at the top of al-Qai’da with strict compartmentalization. Having completed this phase of his work, Sufaat fled Afghanistan in December 2001 and was captured by authorities trying to sneak back into Malaysia. Rauf Ahmad was detained by Pakistani authorities in December 2001. Our hope was that these and our many other actions had neutralized the anthrax threat, at least temporarily.”
This is what former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said:
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Palestinian activists are hounded

Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent

  • Last Updated: August 06. 2008 11:17PM UAE / August 6. 2008 7:17PM GMT

Niveen Abu Rahmoun, at her home in Reine, has been interrogated because of her role in the National Democratic Assembly. Jonathan Cook / The National

NAZARETH // Niveen Abu Rahmoun appears an unlikely target for the interest of Israel’s secret police, the Shin Bet. The quietly spoken 26-year-old from the village of Reine, near Nazareth, is a civics teacher in a local high school.

However, she has been barely out of the thoughts of Shin Bet agents since her interrogation at a Nazareth police station in March. Officials have phoned her three more times demanding that she come for further investigation. She has refused. “It’s clear that they have no evidence against me. They are simply trying to intimidate me because of my political views.”

Ms Abu Rahmoun is a senior activist in the National Democratic Assembly, one of the main parties representing Israel’s 1.2 million Palestinian citizens. The party is fully registered and currently has three representatives sitting in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

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S.O.S. from CINDY SHEEHAN

Pelosi challenger Cindy Sheehan had 43.5 percent of her signatures challenged. If you're in CA's 8th district, she needs your signature by Friday!

Dear Everyone, - - S.O.S. from CINDY SHEEHAN!

After camping with my family in a redwood grove for two days, I have just tonight returned and found an incredibly disturbing email from Cindy Sheehan <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/>. Cindy and her team submitted two thousand more signatures than needed in order for her name to be listed on the ballot in her November run against Nancy Pelosi. But now the San Francisco Department of Elections has "challenged" an almost unbelievable percentage of those signatures -- 43.5 percent! -- and is demanding that Sheehan collect another 2,116 valid signatures before 5 pm Friday in order to qualify for the ballot. It's a very fishy development, especially coming so late in the game, and it yet again raises all sorts of questions about the integrity of our elections, but that's a discussion for another time (see below*)... Nonetheless, Cindy believes that she can still get the needed valid signatures in time, but she really, really needs our help. What can we do?

1 -- Go to Cindy's website <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/> and follow the instructions for making sure that you and your friends and neighbors have signed her petition <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/>. OR If you are a registered San Francisco voter, please make a special trip to Cindy's office <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/article.php?list=type&type=11> at 1260 Mission St (between 8th and 9th Streets) as soon as possible and sign her petition -- if you have not already done so. (Cindy's office is just four and a half blocks from the site of Wednesday's WorldCantWait "freeze <http://www.sfbaycantwait.org/ >" action described below.) Also, please take a petition <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/> and collect the signatures of your friends and neighbors who are registered to vote in San Francisco and return it promptly to Cindy's office <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/article.php?list=type&type=11>.
2 - Wednesday, Aug 6, Hiroshima Day, has been designated as a "money-bomb" day for Cindy <https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1590/t/2705/shop/custom.jsp?donatepagekey=1901>. The campaign particularly needs money now to hire professional signature gatherers, and, once this hurdle is passed, to help get Cindy's message <http://www.cindyforcongress.org/article.php?list=type&type=13> out. To donate <https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1590/t/2705/shop/custom.jsp?donatepagekey=1901> -- and please do -- please go here <https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1590/t/2705/shop/custom.jsp?donatepagekey=1901>.
  • (I've been a fan of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom ever since he began his political career by wading into the jungle of the San Francisco taxicab industry, but tonight this sentence from a 2003 San Francisco Chronicle profile of Newsom <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/02/23/mn245262.dtl> haunts me and makes my head start to wobble back and forth: "His aunt was married to the brother-in-law of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, the House minority leader" (and now, of course, the Speaker of the House and Cindy's opponent in November). - - - FREEZE ACTION -- 5 pm, Market and Powell, SF, Today!
I also returned home to an email from World Cant Wait, saying that they've received emails from a number of people for whom the 5pm start time of today's "Freeze" action <http://www.sfbaycantwait.org/> is just a bit too early (they're coming from work). So World Can't Wait is planning a second, slightly later, Freeze that should accommodate late comers. The upshot: Come as close to 5 pm as you can, and you should still get in on the "frozen" action. Details here. <http://www.sfbaycantwait.org/>
And regarding the "after" action that I mentioned in my last email -- I simply need about a dozen or more people (all are invited) to help me figure out camera angles and logistics and to try to envision any possible glitches for an action I intend to take place during the next week-to-month or so. If you're coming to the Freeze, please look for me -- I'll be passing out a flyer with details. I could use about ten-maybe-fifteen minutes of your time immediately following the Freeze. Any questions, please call me or email -- I'll do my best to get back to you. - - All the very best,
Brad Newsham newsham@mac.com 415-305-8294
glasses

The FBI's selective release of documents in the anthrax case

Glenn Greenwald
Wednesday Aug. 6, 2008 16:11 EDT
(updated below - Update II - Update III)

After obtaining a federal judge's approval to unseal the documents in the anthrax investigation, the FBI has released selected documents relating to its case against Bruce Ivins. Those documents can be viewed here.

I'm in the process of reviewing these documents and will post preliminary thoughts here as I do so, updating this post as I make my way through them, and then will undoubtedly have more to write after I am able to speak with some experts with regard to the FBI's scientific claims.
One critical caveat to keep at the forefront of one's mind is that when one side is in exclusive possession of all documents and can pick and choose which ones to release in full or in part in order to make their case, while leaving out the parts that undercut the picture they want to paint - which is exactly what the FBI is doing here -- then it is very easy to make things look however you want.

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The tragic last moments of Margaret Hassan

"It was Margaret who took leukaemia medicines donated by readers of The Independent to the child cancer victims of Iraq back in 1998 after we discovered that hundreds of infants were dying in those areas where Western forces used depleted uranium munitions in the 1991 Gulf War."

Independent.co.uk

When a renowned British aid worker was kidnapped in Iraq, the world was horrified. Herbody was never recovered, but her execution was captured on video and sent to Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite channel. Robert Fisk watched it and reveals why it has never been broadcast

Thursday, 7 August 2008

She stands in the empty room, a deplorable, terrible, pitiful sight. Is it Margaret Hassan? Her family believe so, even though she is blindfolded. I'm not sure if videos like this should ever be seen – or perhaps the word is endured – but they are part of the dark history of Iraq, and staff of the Arab Al Jazeera satellite channel have grown used to watching some truly atrocious acts on their screens.

The "execution" – the cold-blooded, appalling murder of Margaret Hassan, the Care worker who was a friend as well as a contact of mine – is among the least terrible of the scenes that lie in the satellite channel's archives.

Kidnapped by men in police uniforms, it is now November, 2004, and Margaret has already made her last appeal. Viewers saw her begging Tony Blair to help her, to withdraw British troops from southern Iraq. "I beg of you to help me," she says in a voice of great distress. But there was then another tape which Al Jazeera refused to show, in which Margaret was coerced into claiming that she gave information to American officers at Baghdad airport. A man's voice prompts her to keep to a text. "I admit that we worked with the occupation forces ..." she says. It is untrue, of course. Margaret was against the whole Anglo-American invasion. She would never have spied on Iraqis.

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Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US personal data

· Closer links needed to beat terrorism and crime
· Blueprint wants new force to patrol world flashpoints

A German and an Italian officer with the joint EU force Frontex check a lorry for illegal immigrants on the Polish border.

A German and an Italian officer with the joint EU force Frontex check a lorry for illegal immigrants on the Polish border. The agency, which is seen as one model of future integration, patrols the EU’s frontiers. Photograph: Sven Kaestner/AP

Europe should consider sharing vast amounts of intelligence and information on its citizens with the US to establish a "Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation" to combat terrorism, according to a high-level confidential report on future security.

The 27 members of the EU should also pool intelligence on terrorism, develop joint video-surveillance and unmanned drone aircraft, start networks of anti-terrorism centres, and boost the role and powers of an intelligence-coordinating body in Brussels, said senior officials.

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Judge orders Detroit mayor to jail after bond violation

Detroit mayor ordered jailed after bond violation

By COREY WILLIAMS and ED WHITE, Associated Press Writers 14 minutes ago

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will spend the night in jail after a judge ruled he violated the terms of his bond in his perjury case by making a business trip to Canada and not informing the court.

The ruling Thursday by Judge Ronald Giles came after the mayor apologized to the court, saying it won't happen again.

The judge says he would have given the same treatment to any criminal defendant.

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Ohio National Guard to Conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security Exercise

Courtesy Story
Posted on 08.04.2008 at 10:09AM

Ohio National Guard to conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security exercise del.icio.us: Ohio National Guard to conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security exercise technorati: Ohio National Guard to conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security exercise furl: Ohio National Guard to conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security exercise

By the Ohio National Guard Public Affairs Office

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio National Guard’s Joint Task Force 73 will conduct a Fully Operational Capability exercise, Aug. 11-15, at Owens Community College’s Center for Emergency Preparedness in Perrysburg Township to test its ability to support local and state civilian authorities during a Homeland Defense/Homeland Security event.

This FOC exercise is based on a scenario of a natural disaster striking the Toledo area. It will test the task force’s ability to command and control its units and their ability to alert, assemble, deploy and operate in support of civil authorities, such as incident commanders and the Ohio State Emergency Management Agency.

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Israel's front-line thugs

Related
West Bank attack on UK diplomat


Consistent stands against the depravity of the West Bank's lawless settlers are the only way to put an end to their crimes

News that leftwing activists are facing increased pressure to stay out of the West Bank is a worrying development in local politics, especially at a time when settler attacks on Palestinians are on the increase. Rather than clamp down on the settlers perpetrating the violence, the authorities are pursuing a path of locking the doors to the outside world and pretending that nothing at all is amiss.

Not all settlers are inherently violent; to portray their entire subgroup as such is as disingenuous as claiming that all Palestinians are fanatics just because there are radical elements in their midst. However, just because all settlers shouldn't be tarred with the same brush doesn't excuse the inaction and indifference on the part of the Israeli authorities when faced with the crimes of the extremists among the settler population.

Of late, there has been a steady stream of brutal assaults carried out by settlers against their Palestinian neighbours in the West Bank, right under the noses of the lackadaisical army. The phenomenon is, sadly, nothing new; what has brought the story back into the spotlight are the efforts of human rights groups, such as B'Tselem to film the violence and document the shocking reality on the ground – which is why, it seems, the authorities are so keen to clamp down on their activity in the region.

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Utility shut-offs are increasing, reaching 50% or more hard-hit areas

From the Los Angeles Times

Unpaid bills are causing more utility shut-offs

Rising prices and a sagging economy are boosting the number of customers who can't pay their energy fees. Agencies offering financial aid report long waiting lists.

By Richard Simon

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 7, 2008

WASHINGTON — Utility shut-offs for customers behind on their energy bills are increasing around the country, reaching 50% or more in some hard-hit areas, as the effects of rising prices and a sagging economy are beginning to drag down more vulnerable consumers.

Agencies that provide financial assistance for energy costs report long waiting lists and significant jumps in first-time applicants. With the prospect of much more serious trouble this winter, when bills traditionally are higher, Congress is exploring a significant increase in federal energy assistance as part of a second economic stimulus plan scheduled for consideration next month.

Consumers are being hit by an economic double whammy of high gasoline prices and rising utility bills, which are up considerably in most places because of the much higher cost of fuel used to generate electricity or heat residences.

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3 Southern California hospitals accused of using homeless for fraud

From the Los Angeles Times

Facilities in Los Angeles and Tustin allegedly churned thousands of indigents through their sites and billed Medicare and Medi-Cal for costly and unjustified medical procedures.

By Cara Mia DiMassa, Richard Winton and Rich Connell

Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

August 7, 2008

On a Sunday afternoon two years ago, five homeless people being dropped off on Los Angeles' skid row by an ambulance caught the attention of police officers.

The officers videotaped what they thought was a case of hospitals dumping patients in a section of the city where few would notice or care.

But as investigators began to unravel the incident, they say they found something far different: a massive scheme to defraud taxpayer-funded healthcare programs of millions of dollars by recruiting homeless patients for unnecessary medical services.

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AG appoints torture apologist as his chief of staff

Related
Benczkowski Letter Gives C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale


Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
AG
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey Announces Brian A. Benczkowski to Serve as Chief of Staff for the Department of Justice

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced today that he will appoint Brian A. Benczkowski to serve as his Chief of Staff, effective August 15, 2008. Benczkowski, 38, currently serves as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip.
Benczkowski will succeed Brett Gerry, who will be leaving the Department after more than four years in the Executive Branch, and who has served as the Attorney General’s chief of staff since his confirmation. Gerry’s previous service included tenures as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy and as the National Security Division’s first Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Law and Policy. He will be leaving for a position in the private sector.
"When I asked Brett if he would serve as my chief of staff last fall, I was aware that he might not be able to remain in that position until the end of my tenure," said Attorney General Mukasey. "I am very grateful for Brett’s exemplary service to the Department and to the nation, and for his wise counsel during his time as my chief of staff. He is an outstanding lawyer and a fine manager, and I wish him and his family the best as he starts this new chapter in his career."

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Israel threatens to boycott Al-Jazeera

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 17:00 07/08/2008

VIDEO / Al-Jazeera admits to 'unethical' behavior over Kuntar party

By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent

The Al Jazeera television station admitted Wednesday that its coverage of Israel's release of convicted Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar violated the station's own code of ethics. The admission came in response to a threat by Israel's Government Press Office to boycott the satellite channel unless it apologized.

In an official letter, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, Al Jazeera's director general, Khanfar Wadah, wrote that "elements of the program" broadcast in Kuntar's honor on the night of Saturday, July 19, "violated [the station's] Code of Ethics," and he "regards these violations as very serious."

He also said he had ordered the channel's programming director to take steps to ensure that such an incident does not recur.

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Rights groups slam 'disgraceful' minor charge over shooting of bound Palestinian

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m

Last update - 15:14 07/08/2008

IDF colonel and soldier charged in shooting of bound Palestinian

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

Israeli human rights organizations on Wednesday blasted the Israel Defense Force's decision to remove an officer from his current post and reassign him, over an incident in which a soldier under his command fired a rubber bullet at a bound Palestinian prisoner.

B'Tselem and Yesh Din both released statements Wednesday condemning the deal reached between the attorneys of Lt. Colonel Omri Burberg, the officer, and the military advocate general, Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit.

The deal saw Burberg indicted in a military court on Thursday morning on a minor charge of "inappropriate behavior for a commander" The soldierת Staff Sergeant L., who carried out the shooting was also indicted on Thursday.

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Rice on possible IDF Iran strike: U.S. has no veto over Israeli military ops

Condi-lie-za

Related

Cabinet: Israel to End Hezbollah Arms Smuggling

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 18:33 07/08/2008

By Haaertz Service

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Thursday refrained from saying the U.S. would prevent Israel from mounting a much-touted attack against Iran over the Islamic Republic's nuclear aspirations.

"We don't say yes or no to Israeli military operations. Israel is a sovereign country," Rice said in an interview with Yahoo! News.

The secretary of state emphasized the importance of using diplomacy to defuse the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, which Israel and the U.S. charge is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

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Three Bush v Gore Supreme Court Justices Tied To "The Family"

Related
87.5% of "Family" & DLC Affiliated Senate Democrats Voted For FISA


by Troutfishing

Thu Aug 07, 2008

William Rehnquist. Sandra Day O'Connor. Clarence Thomas...

They were not alone - indeed, a welter of connections tied principals of both 2000 election campaigns to Doug Coe’s secretive, elite fundamentalist organization, founded in the 1930’s as a union busting initiative, that stresses benevolent rule by a divine appointed caste of wealthy and powerful Christian "elect", bound together through personal covenants into deeply loyal prayer groups and prayer "cells" and worshiping a denatured and business friendly Jesus:

The Family.

Three of the United States Supreme Court Justices who issued the controversial and logically incoherent ruling in Bush v. Gore and who formed the rump majority of the five justice block that voted to shut down the 2000 election Florida recount were associated with The Family in far less than casual ways. But that salient fact is actually only part of the story of The Family's influence in the 2000 election, and the core significance of the tale is this: the subversion of American Democracy and the slow motion demolition of the New Deal.

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Family's Donations to McCain Raise Questions

The New York Times

August 7, 2008

Family’s Donations to McCain Raise Questions

By MICHAEL LUO

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Jordanian business partner of a prominent Florida businessman, who has raised more than $500,000 for Senator John McCain, appears to be at the center of a cluster of questionable donations to his presidential campaign.

Campaign finance records show Mr. McCain collected a little more than $50,000 in March from members of a single extended family, the Abdullahs, in California and several of their friends.

Amid a sea of contributions to the McCain campaign, the Abdullahs stand out. The checks come not from the usual exclusive coastal addresses, but from relatively hardscrabble inland towns like Downey and Colton. The donations are also startling because of their size: several donors initially wrote checks of $9,200, exceeding the $2,300 limit for an individual gift.

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Guilty as Ordered

The New York Times




August 7, 2008
Editorial

Now that was a real nail-biter. The court designed by the White House and its Congressional enablers to guarantee convictions of high-profile detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — using evidence obtained by torture and secret evidence as desired — has held its first trial. It produced ... a guilty verdict.

The military commission of six senior officers (whose names have not been made public) found Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who worked as one of Osama bin Laden’s drivers until 2001, guilty of one count of providing material support for terrorism.

The rules of justice on Guantánamo are so stacked against defendants that the only surprise was that Mr. Hamdan was actually acquitted on the more serious count of conspiring (it was unclear with whom) to kill Americans during the invasion of Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001.

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Israeli settlers prevent a Christian service in Beit Sahour, assault worshippers

  Thursday August 07, 2008 09:56 by George Rishmawi - IMEMC News 
Over two hundred Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian and International worshippers who were holding a prayer service at Ush Ghrab park in Beit Sahour Wednesday evening.

Settlers trying to force worshippers out (Photo: Rami Rishmawi-IMEMC)
Settlers trying to force worshippers out (Photo: Rami Rishmawi-IMEMC)

As the mass started the settlers, who organized an activity in the same site, started to provoke the worshippers and asked them to leave, eyewitnesses reported.

Settlers also threatened some of the local and international journalists who were present.  The Israeli soldiers who were there asked the internationals and the Palestinians to leave the park and did not attempt to stop the settlers when they started to force everyone to leave, the witnesses said.

The city council of Beit Sahour is planning to build a children hospital in the site in cooperation with intentional organization CURE.  However, the Israeli army imposed a military order on the designated area and the settlers started to frequently plan activities on the site and claimed that the land belongs to them and that they want to built a settlement on this land.

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Tasers in schools? "We have to think of the future"

Uniontown Area explores use of Tasers in schools

By Mark Hofmann

TRIBUNE-REVIEW NEWS SERVICE
Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Uniontown Area School Board, as well as concerned citizens and parents, had an opportunity Wednesday to learn about Tasers that will be proposed in the school district and share their opinions on the subject.

Even before Don Homer, the director of security for the school district, could show the proposed Tasers to be used and explain how they operate, those attending a special meeting voiced opposition.

One resident, Mary Hackney, a teacher at Laurel Highlands School District for 35 years, said she had to break up many fights in her years but no incident required a Taser.

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Memo shows Bush administration knew of anthrax vaccine problems

Anthrax mailer feared his life's work was doomed, prosecutors say

By James Gordon Meek
Daily News Washington Bureau

Thursday, August 7th 2008, 12:10 AM

WASHINGTON - Accused anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins was scared his life's work - a vaccine to protect U.S. troops from the deadly bug - was doomed, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Saving the controversial military vaccine program may have motivated the Fort Detrick germ expert to mail anthrax powder to media outlets and to a senator directly involved in the effort to end his beloved research, prosecutors and sources said.

"A possible motive is his concern about the end of the vaccination program," U.S. Attorney for D.C. Jeffrey Taylor said yesterday.

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Democratic Candidate Jew-Baits Democratic Congressman

August 06, 2008
Categories: Tennessee

Tinker attacks Cohen over religion

The campaign of Democratic attorney Nikki Tinker is increasingly using issues of race and religion to attack freshman Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), a white Jewish congressman representing a majority-black Memphis district.

Just days after airing a racially charged ad connecting Cohen with the Ku Klux Klan, the Tinker campaign is up with a new ad not-too-subtly questioning his religious convictions.

“Who is the real Steve Cohen, anyway?” a narrator says as a child is heard praying in the background . “While he’s in our churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet, he’s the only senator who thought our kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school. Congressman, sometimes apologies just aren’t enough.”

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Police now say MD mayor was innocent victim of raid, but 'there will be no apologies'

Mayor May Have Been Victim Of Drug Shipping Scheme

Police Say 32 Pounds Of Marijuana Delivered To Home May Not Have Been Meant For Mayor

POSTED: 5:22 pm EDT August 6, 2008
UPDATED: 6:25 pm EDT August 6, 2008

Mayor May Have Been Victim Of Drug Shipping Scheme

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. -- Investigators said the mayor of Berwyn Heights may not be responsible for 32 pounds of marijuana that was delivered to his home last week.

The drugs were seized in a raid on Mayor Cheye Calvo's home July 29 involving narcotics officers and a Sheriff's Office SWAT Team.

Investigators said Calvo may have been the victim of a scheme to ship marijuana to Prince George's County.

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Paul Sponsors ‘Data Protection Act’: Border agents require “reasonable suspicion” to search laptops

Paul Sponsors ‘Data Protection Act’

by John Pape

1 day 3 hrs ago

Area congressman Ron Paul has sponsored legislation designed to require border agents to have “reasonable suspicion” to search the digital equipment of a traveler entering the United States.

Paul said his legislation would force Department of Homeland Security agents to have at least reasonable suspicion that a person has engaged, or is about to engage, in criminal activity before they can search a traveler’s digital equipment. Currently, he pointed out, federal officers can search or seize a traveler’s laptop computer, Blackberry or other electronic device without cause.

That, Paul said, is unconstitutional.

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N.Y. AG Settles for $7B With Citigroup

NY attorney general settles for $7B with Citigroup

2 hours ago

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says he's reached a settlement worth more than $7 billion with Citigroup that requires the company to buy back auction-rate securities from about 40,000 customers nationwide.

Cuomo had threatened to charge the company with fraudulent sales of auction-rate securities and with the destruction of key documents.

The settlement announced Thursday requires Citigroup to buy back securities from retail customers, charities and small to mid-sized businesses by Nov. 5.

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Palestinian escapes an assassination attempt in Ireland, Palestinians accuse Israel

Thursday August 07, 2008 11:43 by Rula Shahwan - IMEMC News 
A deported Palestinian escaped an assassination attempt on Thursday morning in a drive-by shooting in Ireland sources in Dublin reported.

JIhad Jaara
JIhad Jaara

According to sources, Jihad Ja'ara from Bethlehem, escaped an assassination attempt and the Irish police arrested two suspects. The names of the two are not released, however media sources claim one of them is a Palestinian from Gaza who has European citizenship and the other is a Moroccan with French citizenship.

A Palestinian source in Ireland reported that while Ja'ara was making his way on Wednesday to the PLO embassy building, shots were fired at him from a passing car, but he escaped unharmed.

Immediately afterwards, another vehicle crashed into Ja'ara's car, forcing it off the road and into a nearby valley. Jaara was lightly injured, and police officers who were in the area chased the other car and detained the two suspects.

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Freddie Mac's negative net worth raises questions

Thu Aug 7, 2008 6:19am EDT

By Dan Wilchins - Analysis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - By Freddie Mac's own admission, it has a negative net worth -- the latest reported net market value of the mortgage giant's assets is negative $5.6 billion.

To some investors, that means its shares should be trading closer to zero. Bears argue that the company's bonds are a reasonable investment given the U.S. government's increasingly explicit support, but its shares are a more questionable investment.

Freddie Mac's shares moved closer to zero on Wednesday, dropping nearly 20 percent to $6.49 after it posted a much-wider-than-expected quarterly loss of $821 million.

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The Anthrax Case Might Be Cracked, But It Is Far From Closed

"...it's clear the Justice Department wants to walk away from this case -- and with someone linked closely to Scooter "Germ Boy" Libby calling the shots, that seems increasingly likely."

 August 7, 2008 8:20 am

I hope everyone watching the anthrax/Bruce Ivins case has been reading Marcy's stellar work, particularly her delving of the Justice Department's selective document dump yesterday (see especially her wrapup on the documents and the timeline she constructed, as well as this morning's note). The bottom line: "they haven't solved this crime, but they want us to all go away and pretend they have."

Some of the evidence presented is fairly damning, to be sure. There's a big red flag in the middle this affidavit: Ivins gave the FBI false anthrax samples during their investigation of the mailings in April 2002. What's particularly noteworthy is that he appeared to be hiding the fact that his lab samples (which he originally did not hand over) matched the samples in the mailings.

Besides being extraordinarily suspicious behavior (Ivins' explanations were far from convincing) this sort of non-cooperation is also obstruction of justice. And that, no doubt, was a club the FBI began holding over his head to get his cooperation in the years that followed.

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Stop watching, Big Brother

Related
Abe Foxman and the ADL want control of the 'Net


w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 02:42 07/08/2008

By Gideon Levy

The Public Security Ministry wants to know where you are right now, the head of the Shin Bet security service wants to know what you did yesterday and the head of the Mossad wants to know whom you met overseas. Soon their outrageous wishes will be granted.

After approving the establishment of a police-run telephone call database, the cabinet this week also passed the biometric information law, which would establish a database of the population's fingerprints and, even worse, photographs. The path is a short one to harsher tools in the war on crime and terror, such as a DNA database of all citizens. Following this, why not try implanting electronic chips in everyone's rear ends? Like pets or prisoners on furlough.

In this way, the authorities will always know where we are. No more fake alibis, escaped prisoners, missing persons, terror or even forbidden relations. Big Brother will always know everything

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The Killer Anthrax Did Not Originate at Fort Detrick

Related
FBI's Allegation that Ivins was "Sole Custodian" is False

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It is clear that scores of people had access to the specific "RMR-1029" batch of anthrax stored at Fort Detrick (where Dr. Ivins worked) and used in the anthrax attacks.

What is less well known is that the anthrax was probably not manufactured by Ivins or Fort Detrick. Instead, it probably came from the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah:

"Called RMR-1029, it was also referred to by Ivins as "Dugway Ames spores - 1997," apparently from its original point of manufacture, at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, an Army biodefense center administered by a company called Battelle."

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Israeli prof. joins 40 activists sailing to Gaza

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 02:30 07/08/2008

Move to break siege may meet with IDF resistance

By Ofri Ilani

Like many Israelis in the summer months, Prof. Jeff Halper departed for Cyprus last week from Ben-Gurion International Airport. However, Halper, a veteran left-wing activist from Jerusalem, will not be returning by plane. This weekend, he and 40 other human rights activists will sail for the Gaza Strip, with the goal of breaking the siege Israel has imposed there.

Halper, a lecturer in anthropology and the chairman of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, is the only Jewish Israeli who will sail aboard the ship, Free Gaza.

After arriving in Cyprus, he met with activists from 17 countries around the world. They are now preparing for their departure at the University of Nicosia dorms. "Right now, we're holding discussions and training," Halper said on Tuesday. "We are presenting different scenarios of what might happen, and preparing ourselves for every situation. It is possible the navy will stop us and not allow us to enter. We have no idea how they'll do it, but we're organizing. If they catch us, we will resist passively."

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US puppet Somali leader's allies on looting spree

Rlated
Dozens killed in south Somali face-off


Somali leader's allies on looting spree

Thu, 07 Aug 2008 17:17:10 GMT
Somali President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
The Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed's henchmen have gone on a looting spree in southern parts of the country's capital, Mogadishu.

The district of Hamar Weyne, south of Mogadishu turned to a scene of plunder, indecent abuse and torture after the attackers, who had been chased out of other districts in the capital, got the better of the area's unarmed civilians, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The gunmen, who belonged to the president's clan Majerteen, were joined by other aggressors allied to the former Mogadishu mayor Mohamed Omar Habeeb Dheere.

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Church-paid trips by aides raise questions on religion-politics mix


By Rebecca Brown and Kevin Bogardus
Posted: 07/31/08 06:33 PM [ET]

A review of White House travel records shows churches and other religious entities paid for close to a quarter of the privately funded trips taken by White House aides since late 2006.

Critics, who see this as evidence the administration is mixing faith and public policy, say religious groups may feel pressure to sponsor aides’ travel in order to secure government funding for their own work.

I think there would be very few circumstances where a religious organization or church paying government officials wouldn’t lead to a conflict of interest,” said Terri Schroeder, a senior lobbyist at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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McCain calls for trolls

Win Points for McCain!

Rewards Program for Online Commenters

By Paul Farhi

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 7, 2008; C01

Spread John McCain's official talking points around the Web -- and you could win valuable prizes!

That, in essence, is the McCain campaign's pitch to supporters to join its new online effort, one that combines the features of "AstroTurf" campaigning with the sort of customer-loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotel chains, restaurants and the occasional daily newspaper.

On McCain's Web site, visitors are invited to "Spread the Word" about the presumptive Republican nominee by sending campaign-supplied comments to blogs and Web sites under the visitor's screen name. The site offers sample comments ("John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan . . .") and a list of dozens of suggested destinations, conveniently broken down into "conservative," "liberal," "moderate" and "other" categories. Just cut and paste.

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JEWISH REP. FORCIBLY REMOVED JOURNALIST FROM NEWS CONFERENCE FOR HIS ARMENIAN GENOCIDE QUESTION

Zionist Monopoly Over Genocide

CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN FORCIBLY REMOVED JOURNALIST FROM NEWS CONFERENCE FOR HIS QUESTION ABOUT ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) forcibly removed Armenian American journalist Peter Musurlian from a press conference, apparently frustrated by repeated calls to explain his Congressional opposition to legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) told PanARMENIAN.Net. "Apparently we need to send Congressman Cohen a copy of the first amendment as well as the state penal code," stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Physically throwing out a reporter committed to getting the facts on his opposition to genocide legislation, is nothing more than a high school bully tactic and is conduct ill-befitting a Member of Congress." Musurlian, who works for a public access TV station in Burbank, California, in addition to running his own production company, Globalist Films, had traveled to Memphis to document the days leading up to the contentious August 7th Democratic primary between first-term incumbent Steve Cohen and challenger, former civil rights lawyer, Nikki Tinker, for LA based Horizon Armenian Television. Following a series of unanswered interview requests filed earlier this week, Musurlian attended several Cohen public events on Tuesday evening, documenting his campaign activities and looking for an opportunity to speak with the Congressman. Musurlian's efforts to participate in a Wednesday press conference, hastily called by Cohen at his own residence, were cut short when a volatile and clearly agitated Cohen forcibly shoved Musurlian out the door, slamming it in frustration. Throughout the process, Cohen made disparaging references to Musurlian's Armenian heritage, and proudly stated his opposition to human rights legislation commemorating the Armenian Genocide. That resolution, H.Res.106, has over 200 Congressional cosponsors and was adopted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last October. Following Committee adoption of H.Res.106, Cohen was a leader amongst a handful of Democratic legislators opposing full House passage of the resolution, going so far as holding a Capitol Hill press conference against the human rights measure. "Genocide must be universally condemned - whenever and wherever it occurs. Rep. Cohen's opposition to Armenian Genocide recognition today, begs the question: Which genocide will he oppose commemorating tomorrow?" noted Hamparian.

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U.S., Iraq reportedly close to deal on troop withdrawal plan

Iraqis: Deal close on plan for US troops to leave

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer 18 minutes ago

Two Iraqi officials say the U.S. and Iraq are close to a deal under which all American combat troops would leave by October 2010 with remaining U.S. forces gone about three years later.

A U.S. official in Washington acknowledges progress has been made on the timelines for a U.S. departure but offered no firm date. Another U.S. official strongly suggested the 2010 date may be too ambitious.

A timetable is part of a security agreement being negotiated by U.S. and Iraqi officials. Both sides stress the deal is not final and could fall apart over the issue of legal immunity for American troops.

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Monsanto Giving Up


Monsanto to Pursue Divestiture of POSILAC

Last update: 10:17 a.m. EDT Aug. 6, 2008

ST. LOUIS, Aug 06, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- ST. LOUIS, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- Monsanto Company (MON:

MON 107.86, -1.54, -1.4%) announced today that it is pursuing a divestiture of its dairy product, POSILAC(R) bovine somatotropin, in the upcoming months. Additional details have not been disclosed at this time.

"While POSILAC is a strong product for the business, we believe repositioning the business with a strategic owner will allow Monsanto to focus on the growth of its core seeds and traits business while ensuring that loyal dairy farmers continue to receive the value of POSILAC in their operations," said Carl Casale, Monsanto's Executive Vice-President of Strategy and Operations.

POSILAC is an FDA-approved animal pharmaceutical used by U.S. dairy farmers to increase productivity. Since it was first sold in the United States in 1994, POSILAC has become the country's leading dairy animal supplement. Supplementing dairy cows with POSILAC safely enhances milk production and serves as an important tool to help dairy producers improve the efficiency of their operations and produce more milk more sustainably. POSILAC helps farmers with herds of all sizes produce more milk per cow. This increase in production provides dairy farmers with additional economic security by increasing the return on their overall investment. Cows supplemented with POSILAC produce an average of 10 lb. more milk per day.

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The real anthrax crimes of Ft. Detrick

August 07, 2008

As the webmaster of NoAnthraxVaccine.net, I have followed both the anthrax vaccine issue as well news of the anthrax mail attack over the last several years. For having captured my interest in the latter, I thank the work of that sleuth, Dr. Len Horowitz (www.tetrahedron.org).

Pursuant to the latest news about the unsealed court documents in the case of Bruce Ivins, the case seems to be very circumstantial. Making a dead guy the scapegoat itself raises questions.

From what I can tell, the "case" against Bruce Ivins is based upon a profile, and the profile raises even more questions. The profile looks to me like a deliberate construction of confusion. Is Bruce Ivins the one deliberately constructing this confusion, posthumously?

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McCain's F****t. N****r. B***h. Politics

Related
Racism or Good Ole’ Boy Fun?

Perlstein's Greatest Hits: FNB Politics

Rick Perlstein's picture

CAF STAFF

By Rick Perlstein

August 3rd, 2008 - 11:56pm ET


You'll have to journey below the fold to read this, as I had to use some rough language to make my point. I've tracked down a full text of my March, 2007 TNR.com essay "Unconscious of a Conservative" below, in which, seventeen months ago, I predicted how the Republican presidential campaign would go down. Turns out the only thing I didn't predict was the Paris Hilton reference.

******************

Faggot. Nigger. Bitch. Please excuse the blunt language. From here forward, to avoid the ugly words, I’ll refer to it as “FNB politics.” With little to show the electorate in 2008—after six years of uninterrupted control—besides sub-standard care from a privatized workforce at Walter Reed Hospital, thrice-married “family values” presidential candidates, and a boom in home foreclosures, the conservative base’s 2008 strategy has begun to emerge: Weaken the major Democratic opponents by making their image unpalatable to the public.

Ann Coulter might have been the one to use the precise word aloud. But the effort to discredit John Edwards as not really a man began soon after he came to national prominence as John Kerry’s running mate. And the endeavor fits into a running conservative pattern—one Ann Coulter’s most important patron, Roger Ailes of Fox News, knows perfectly well. In The Selling of the President, Joe McGinniss relates an episode where Richard Nixon’s set dressers had the candidate in front of a turquoise curtain. Ailes, Nixon’s detail-obsessed TV guru, had a conniption. “Nixon wouldn’t look right unless he was carrying a pocketbook,” he grumbled, ordering the curtains replaced by wood panels with “clean, solid, masculine lines.”

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ICE Chief Calls for Congress to Discipline Lawmaker for ‘Gestapo’ Remark

Related

Racist ICE chief

CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – IMMIGRATION
Aug. 6, 2008 – 11:28 p.m.

By John Bicknell, CQ Staff

The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will ask Congress to consider taking disciplinary action against one of its members for a statement he made equating ICE agents with the Gestapo, a senior agency official said Wednesday.

Luis V. Gutierrez , vice chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee that handles immigration, has called for a moratorium on ICE enforcement actions until Congress passes a comprehensive overhaul, something it has failed to do in each of the past two years.

In a column written for Politico, Gutierrez, D-Ill., commenting on recent ICE arrests of illegal immigrants in Iowa, said: “You know who is in charge now? The Gestapo agents at Homeland Security. They are in charge.”

A senior ICE official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Julie L. Myers, the assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was “absolutely appalled and deeply angered” by the statement. The official said Myers would send a letter to senior members of Congress asking that disciplinary action be taken against Gutierrez’ for his remarks.

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Two more U.S. aircraft carriers head to Gulf

JPost: 2 more US aircraft carriers headed to Gulf

When the price of a barrel of oil drops below $100, look for the fireworks to start.

Having oil double from $100 to $200 a barrel is more acceptable to these war mongers than seeing it double from $150 a barrel.

Time to stock up on ammo, dry food and have a good supply of cash on hand.

Aug 7, 2008 14:57 | Updated Aug 7, 2008 20:16

'2 US aircraft carriers headed for Gulf'

By ADAM GONN, THE MEDIA LINE NEWS AGENCY

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Afghanistan as the next Iraq

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What is going on in Afghanistan has been slowly generating attention. As the debate over the surge and immediate withdrawal has declined, people have noticed that Afghanistan is not going so well for us right now. Afghanistan has always been the foil to the Iraq war. Where Iraq was illegitimate and unnecessary, Afghanistan was just and required for American safety. Iraq has been a dismal failure on almost every front but Afghanistan was being judged a success. Now as the gains that were maid in Afghanistan have apparently slipped into the either questions are arising over whether or not America and the West should stay in Afghanistan. Perhaps surprisingly the answer is becoming a tentative no.

Violence in Afghanistan has been increasing over the last several years as the Taliban has regained strength and American interest and resources have been diverted to Iraq. As of Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008, at least 496 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to the Defense Department. Last year there was a total of 401 deaths. The NGO’s operating in the area report a 50% increase in terrorist attacks this year extending into areas that where once considered safe. ACBAR, a group that represents 64 international aid groups with projects inside the warring country, including Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Save the Children, as well as 36 Afghan charities issued a report that states,

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Entire Draft Copy of Democratic Party Platform

The Entire Democratic Draft Platform

by Jonathan Tasini

Thursday 07 of August, 2008

Here, for your reading pleasure, is the draft, as of today, of the entire Democratic Party's Platform.

Besides the trade language, here are my initial thoughts about some of the other economic-related language.

The good:

There is very strong language about the right to organize and other similar worker protection issues. And it is quite good that the language is inserted under the heading "Good Jobs With Good Pay:
That is why we support the right to organize. We know that when unions are allowed to do their job of making sure that workers get their fair share, they pull people out of poverty and create a stronger middle class. We will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions and fight to pass the Employee Free Choice Act. We will restore pro-worker voices to the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board and we support overturning the NLRB’s and NMB’s many harmful decisions that undermine the collective bargaining rights of millions of workers. We will ensure that federal employees, including public safety officers who put their lives on the line every day have the right to bargain collectively, and we will fix the broken bargaining process at the Federal Aviation Administration. We will fight to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers, so that workers can stand up for themselves without worrying about losing their livelihoods. We will continue to vigorously oppose “Right-to-Work” Laws and “paycheck protection” efforts whenever they are proposed.

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US puts Iraqi prisoners in boxes

August 7th, 2008

Posted: 11:31 AM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. military is segregating violent Iraqi prisoners in wooden crates that in some cases are not much bigger than the prisoners.

The military released three grainy black-and-white photos of what it calls the “segregation boxes” used in Iraq. They show the rudimentary structures of wood and mesh. Some of the boxes are as small as 3 feet by 3 feet by 6 feet tall, according to military officials. They did not release a picture of a box that size.

The military said the boxes are humane and are checked every 15 minutes. It said detainees, who stand in the boxes, are isolated for no more than 12 hours at a time.

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Guantanamo jury gives bin Laden driver 5 1/2 years

For changing lug nuts?

18 minutes ago

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A military jury sentenced Osama bin Laden's former driver to 5 1/2 years in prison for aiding terrorism Thursday, making him eligible for release in just six months, despite prosecutors' pleas to give him no less than 30 years.

Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni who had faced a maximum sentence of life behind bars, gets credit for five years already served at Guantanamo Bay. He thanked the jurors for the sentence and repeated an apology for having served bin Laden.

"I would like to apologize one more time to all the members and I would like to thank you for what you have done for me," Hamdan told the panel of six U.S. military officers, hand-picked by the Pentagon for the first U.S. war crimes trial in a half century.

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Army recruiting investigation called for by Congressman

11 News Defenders: Army recruiting scandal intensifies

Congressional investigation called for by U.S. Rep. Gene Green
11:44 AM CDT on Thursday, August 7, 2008
By Mark Greenblatt / 11 News Defenders

HOUSTON -- Irving Gonzalez wanted out of a non-binding agreement to join the U.S. Army. When the 18-year-old told that to his recruiter, Gonzalez said they told him he would be sent to jail.

In fact, Gonzalez recorded one of the conversations he had with Army recruiter Sgt. Glenn Marquette.

Gonzalez: What if I just don't show up?

Marquette: Then guess what? You are AWOL. Absent Without Leave. You want to go to school? You will not get no loans, (because) all college loans are federal and government loans. So, you'll be black barred from that. As soon as you get pulled over for a speeding ticket, they're going to see you're a deserter, they're going to apprehend you, take you to jail. So, guess what? All that lovey-dovey, I wanna go to college and all that. Guess what? You just threw it out the window (because) you just screwed up your life.

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Judge: 'Security' trumps free speech

Judge: Denver can restrict protests at convention

Thu Aug 7, 2008 1:10am EDT

DENVER (Reuters) - Protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Denver can be restricted to fenced-in areas, federal judge ruled on Wednesday, saying that security needs outweighed curbs on their rights.

A dozen groups who intend to protest at the August convention sued the U.S. Secret Service and the city of Denver over plans to confine their activities to a parade route and fenced-in zone, saying that their Constitutional rights to free speech were being violated.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee and others argued that the rules would keep them too far away from delegates to get their message across during the convention, which is scheduled for Aug 25-28 at the city's downtown Pepsi Center.

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Drug bust nets 56 goverment employees

OxyContin bust nets 56 Miami-Dade government employees

* Story Highlights
* Total of 62 arrested, including police officer, felony court clerk, corrections officers
* Officials: Recruiters enlisted mostly Miami-Dade government workers in drug ring
* Authorities: Health insurance information used to get OxyContin prescriptions
* More than 12,000 tablets were obtained, with a street value of $400,000

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Fifty-six government employees -- including a police officer, a felony court clerk, two corrections officers and 27 school bus drivers and attendants -- were arrested in a scam that used health insurance information to fraudulently obtain prescriptions for the painkiller OxyContin, authorities said Wednesday.

Sixty-two people were arrested in total and all face charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft, according to the Miami-Dade state attorney's office.

Authorities estimate 130 medically unnecessary prescriptions for OxyContin -- more than 12,000 tablets -- were presented to pharmacies. The drugs have an estimated street value of $400,000, prosecutors said.

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McCain campaign is reviewing bundler's donations

Today on the presidential campaign trail

By The Associated Press – 11 minutes ago

IN THE HEADLINES

***

WASHINGTON (AP) — John McCain's campaign began on Thursday to review donations brought in by a prominent Florida businessman following disclosures that his business partner, a foreign national, also may have engaged in fundraising.
The campaign is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to make sure that they are appropriate, a spokesman said.
The campaign sent a letter spelling out legal requirements to all donors who sent their contributions through Harry Sargeant III, the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

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Study: Agent Orange, cancer link

Study Links Agent Orange to Prostate Cancer in Vietnam Vets

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter
Wednesday, August 6, 2008; 12:00 AM

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Vietnam veterans exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange have a significantly greater risk of prostate cancer, especially the most aggressive form of the disease, a new study contends.

The findings are the first to connect the now-banned herbicide with this form of cancer, the researchers said.

"Veterans that were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have a twofold higher risk of prostate cancer," said study lead author Dr. Karim Chamie, a resident physician in urology at the University of California, Davis, Department of Urology and the VA Northern California Health Care System. "The cancer they get tends to be more aggressive, a higher grade, and is more likely to spread or have spread at the time that they present to their urologist."

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The White House's implausible deniability

Why should anyone believe the Bush administration's weak denials that it forged a link between Saddam and al-Qaida?

The White House has categorically denied that it ordered the CIA to forge evidence that Saddam Hussein was conspiring with al-Qaida, a charge made by journalist Ron Suskind in his new book The Way of the World. The credibility of the Bush press office is such that one is tempted to take it as confirmation.

There is an old joke about the guy who claimed he could tell when Henry Kissinger was lying, and when tested had a 100% success rate. When asked his secret, he says: "His lips were moving."

In the great tradition of White House weaselling, in part revealed by Scott McClellan's book, one notes that there is no denial that the so-called evidence was a forgery, and a very tightly specific repudiation of the White House's role that actually leaves ten thousand several other ways for forgeries to make their entrances. Indeed, in the light of Suskind's descriptions of Dick Cheney's hard work on providing deniability, the vice-president's office is one such.

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McCain Ad Suggesting Obama Is the Anti-Christ?

Wednesday August 6, 2008

posted by Steve Waldman 

An interesting memo from Eleison Group, a Democratic campaign consultant operation about the McCain ad. They dissect the ad in an effort to prove that McCain camp is intentionally trying to cast Obama as the anti-christ or at a minimum, someone with a sacriligeous Messianic complex. Here are excerpts from the memo:


The McCain campaign has responded to initial criticisms about their "THE ONE" ad by saying it was meant merely as a joke poking fun at Obama's strong support and Messiah-like imagery. But this was not some YouTube video put together in someone's basement. It was a professionally and carefully produced ad that had a much more sinister subtext that millions of Americans will pick up on. The makers of the ad chose all of Obama's quotes very carefully and the ad is rife with image after image equating Senator Obama to the anti-Christ, and especially to Nicolae Carpathia, the anti-Christ in the popular Left Behind series.

This is the use of religion at its very worst in politics because it is an attempt to subtly and perhaps even subconsciously play on some of the deepest fears of millions of evangelical Americans. From the title of the ad (that immediately reminds anyone familiar with the Left Behind series of the name of the false church set up by the anti-Christ) to the quotes (with no respect to context) and images that the McCain camp chose to use, which basically allude to every symbol of the anti-Christ possible short of flashing 666 on the screen, this ad is an attempt to stir up already circulating falsehoods about Obama and add more fuel to the fire.

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Liberia: CIA Agents Executed 1980 Coup

The NEWS (Monrovia)

6 August 2008

Alloycious David

Monrovia

A former official of the administration of slain President William R. Tolbert has linked agents of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to the execution of the 1980 coup d'état.

It is widely believed that the 1980 Coup was carried out by 17 non-commissioned officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) of the People's Redemption Council (PRC).

Following the coup, 13 senior government officials of the Tolbert regime were executed by firing squad.

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Stiglitz: Turn left for growth

Related
Stocks close sharply lower on worries about financial sector

In contrast to the right, the left has a coherent agenda. It's one that offers not only higher growth, but also social justice

Both the left and the right say they stand for economic growth. So should voters trying to decide between the two simply look at it as a matter of choosing alternative management teams?

If only matters were so easy! Part of the problem concerns the role of luck. America's economy was blessed in the 1990s with low energy prices, a high pace of innovation, and a China increasingly offering high-quality goods at decreasing prices, all of which combined to produce low inflation and rapid growth.

President Clinton and then-chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, deserve little credit for this – though, to be sure, bad policies could have messed things up. By contrast, the problems faced today – high energy and food prices and a crumbling financial system – have, to a large extent, been brought about by bad policies.

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Did Dick Cheney give Bush plausible deniability?

Countdown to Crawford: Tracking the final days of the Bush administration

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in the Ford White House

Dick Cheney was an assistant at the White House when Watergate was unfolding. By the time the scandal forced Richard Nixon to resign the presidency in 1974, the young Wyoming Republican had returned to the private sector. The new president, Gerald Ford, called him back. Cheney became deputy to Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld, seen here on right when the two were named on Nov. 7, 1975. And when Rummy left (to run the Pentagon, but that's another story), Ford promoted Cheney. At 34, Richard Bruce Cheney became the youngest person ever to serve as White House chief of staff.

In his new book "The Way of the World," author Ron Suskind argues that Cheney concluded from his perch at the White House during those years that Nixon fell not because of his abuse of government -- he asked agencies such as the IRS and the FBI to shadow his enemies. Or because of the break-in of the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee by criminals with ties to CREEP (The Committee To Re-Elect the President). Or even because of the cover-up.

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CAN’T WIN IN AFGHANISTAN? BLAME PAKISTAN

August 04, 2008

Eric S. Margolis 4 August 2008

NEW YORK – Soon after the US invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban government in 2001, I predicted that Taliban resistance would resume in four years.

My fellow pundits, who were cock-a-hoop over the US military victory over a bunch of lightly-armed medieval tribesmen, became drunk on old-fashioned imperial triumphalism, and denounced me as `crazy,’ or worse. But most of them had never been to Afghanistan and knew nothing about the Pashtun tribal people. I had covered the struggle against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980’s and was well aware of the leisurely pace of warfare favored by Pashtun warriors.

`Do not stay in Afghanistan,’ I warned in a 2001 article in the `Los Angeles Times.’ The longer foreign forces remained in Afghanistan, the more the tribes would fight against their continued presence. Taliban resumed fighting in 2005.

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Assassinations, White House Child Prostitution, Cover-ups, and Terrorism

Related
Seized library computers may hold clues about anthrax suspect

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Democrats might have been in a position to oppose Bush along a broad front. But 911 and targeted Anthrax attacks changed everything. Just as the FBI put a lid on Bush Sr's alleged involvement in a White House child prostitution ring circa 1990, the government itself most certainly denied the truth of 911 to the American people circa 2001. Suspicious deaths like these are far outside the normal distribution curves; suspicious deaths of establishment critics are statistically high. It is the picture of a world in which Democrats and liberals would be smart never to board a plane.

The Anthrax attacks had the desired result: it shut up the Democratic opposition, most notably, Nancy Pelosi who had once called Bush a 'dangerous man'. Impeachment was off the table. One wonders what improbable series of GOP coincidences are required before Americans will --at last --conclude that something very, very rotten, evil and corrupt has been loosed in America. A short essay cannot possibly document every suspicious detail, every suspension of physics, logic, or common sense. Nevertheless, a broad outline paints a vivid picture. And every picture tells a story. The story can be summed up thus: the cancerous growth of something rotten in America, a growth that paces that of the rise of the GOP. 911 divided the world up according the GOP ideology --patriots vs terrorists. 911 was so convenient as to be unbelievable! I still don't believe the official story and less now than when the event was fresh. The official version is even more unbelievable now as more is known about how Bush personally ordered evidence destroyed and inquiries quashed with veiled threats of GOP-sponsored terror. Were key Democrats afraid of being involved in a mysterious but highly coincidental plane crash, a plane crash that defies the normal distribution curve, the very laws of statistics and probability? It's the only hypothesis that explains what it otherwise inexplicable!

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Obama Assassination Threat Leads To Imprisonment

Man held in Fla. on charge of threatening Obama

By CURT ANDERSON – 14 minutes ago

MIAMI (AP) — A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held at Miami's downtown detention center without bail Thursday by a federal magistrate.

A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

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Jury makes Bin Laden's driver eligible for release in 5 months

Gitmo jury gives bin Laden driver 5 1/2 years

By MIKE MELIA, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago

A U.S. military jury gave Osama bin Laden's driver a surprisingly light sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for at least a 30-year sentence to deter would-be terrorists.

Salim Hamdan's sentence of 5 1/2 years, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay, fell far short of the life sentence he could have gotten for aiding terrorism by driving and guarding bin Laden. It now goes for mandatory review to a Pentagon official who can shorten the sentence but not extend it.

It remains unclear what will happen to Hamdan once his sentence is served, since the U.S. military has said it won't release anyone who still represents a threat. The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, said Hamdan, who is from Yemen, would likely be eligible for the same administrative review process as other Guantanamo prisoners.

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NEWSWIRE: AUGUST 7, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

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7th
08:14 am: 'AL QAIDA’S MAIN MAN” IN PAKISTAN IS REALLY CIA
08:21 am: Yet another sexually deviant Republican - indicted for raping his mistresses' 14 yr-old daughter
08:25 am: Now, Pelosi, After this Smoking Gun, Will You Call for Impeachment?
08:27 am: Information Clearing House Publisher Threatened
08:39 am: China To Clear Country Of Protesters Day Before Olympics
08:41 am: US like Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia has enacted its first-ever "exit tax"
08:44 am: 'US sources hint that by rejecting Iran sanctions, Moscow opens door to Israeli attack'
08:48 am: Musharraf faces impeachment
08:50 am: Obama Up Against the Middle East 'Berlin Wall'
08:54 am: "Dress rehearsal" nuclear attack drill in San Francisco August 16th - 1 comment
09:06 am: Jobless Claims Hit Highest Point in Six Years
09:07 am: Fmr CIA chief: 'The anthrax program had been developed in parallel to 9/11 planning'
09:15 am: Palestinian activists are hounded
09:18 am: S.O.S. from CINDY SHEEHAN
09:21 am: The FBI's selective release of documents in the anthrax case
09:28 am: The tragic last moments of Margaret Hassan
09:37 am: Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US personal data
09:42 am: 'Whatever you do, don't stop shooting'
09:55 am: Judge orders Detroit mayor to jail after bond violation
09:56 am: Ohio National Guard to Conduct Homeland Defense/Homeland Security Exercise
10:01 am: Israel's front-line thugs
10:06 am: Utility shut-offs are increasing, reaching 50% or more hard-hit areas
10:08 am: 3 Southern California hospitals accused of using homeless for fraud
10:10 am: AG appoints torture apologist as his chief of staff
10:16 am: John Bolton: Regime Change In Iran ‘Would Lead To Greater Stability In The Region’
10:22 am: Israel threatens to boycott Al-Jazeera
10:26 am: Rights groups slam 'disgraceful' minor charge over shooting of bound Palestinian
10:27 am: Rice on possible IDF Iran strike: U.S. has no veto over Israeli military ops
10:30 am: Three Bush v Gore Supreme Court Justices Tied To "The Family"
10:38 am: Family's Donations to McCain Raise Questions
10:40 am: Guilty as Ordered
10:48 am: Israeli settlers prevent a Christian service in Beit Sahour, assault worshippers
11:00 am: Tasers in schools? "We have to think of the future"
11:02 am: Memo shows Bush administration knew of anthrax vaccine problems
11:17 am: Democratic Candidate Jew-Baits Democratic Congressman
11:21 am: Police now say MD mayor was innocent victim of raid, but 'there will be no apologies'
11:24 am: Paul Sponsors ‘Data Protection Act’: Border agents require “reasonable suspicion” to search laptops
11:30 am: N.Y. AG Settles for $7B With Citigroup
11:33 am: Palestinian escapes an assassination attempt in Ireland, Palestinians accuse Israel
11:41 am: Freddie Mac's negative net worth raises questions
11:45 am: The Anthrax Case Might Be Cracked, But It Is Far From Closed
11:48 am: Stop watching, Big Brother
11:50 am: The Killer Anthrax Did Not Originate at Fort Detrick
11:58 am: Israeli prof. joins 40 activists sailing to Gaza
12:00 pm: US puppet Somali leader's allies on looting spree
12:06 pm: Church-paid trips by aides raise questions on religion-politics mix
12:18 pm: McCain calls for trolls
12:32 pm: JEWISH REP. FORCIBLY REMOVED JOURNALIST FROM NEWS CONFERENCE FOR HIS ARMENIAN GENOCIDE QUESTION
12:56 pm: U.S., Iraq reportedly close to deal on troop withdrawal plan
12:57 pm: Rice for Obama VP?
01:01 pm: Monsanto Giving Up
01:03 pm: The real anthrax crimes of Ft. Detrick
01:12 pm: McCain's F****t. N****r. B***h. Politics
01:24 pm: ICE Chief Calls for Congress to Discipline Lawmaker for ‘Gestapo’ Remark
01:25 pm: Two more U.S. aircraft carriers head to Gulf
01:33 pm: Afghanistan as the next Iraq
01:42 pm: Entire Draft Copy of Democratic Party Platform
01:51 pm: US to China: 'Our Domestic Spying is Unbeatable!'
02:04 pm: US puts Iraqi prisoners in boxes
02:07 pm: Guantanamo jury gives bin Laden driver 5 1/2 years
02:23 pm: Army recruiting investigation called for by Congressman
02:33 pm: Judge: 'Security' trumps free speech
02:35 pm: Drug bust nets 56 goverment employees
02:38 pm: McCain campaign is reviewing bundler's donations
02:51 pm: Study: Agent Orange, cancer link
02:57 pm: The White House's implausible deniability
03:00 pm: McCain Ad Suggesting Obama Is the Anti-Christ?
03:03 pm: Liberia: CIA Agents Executed 1980 Coup
03:06 pm: Stiglitz: Turn left for growth
03:26 pm: Did Dick Cheney give Bush plausible deniability?
03:28 pm: CAN’T WIN IN AFGHANISTAN? BLAME PAKISTAN
03:36 pm: Assassinations, White House Child Prostitution, Cover-ups, and Terrorism
03:41 pm: Obama Assassination Threat Leads To Imprisonment
03:59 pm: Jury makes Bin Laden's driver eligible for release in 5 months