Friday, June 22, 2007

Cheney Power Grab: Says White House Rules Don't Apply to Him 22 Jun 2007

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government 22 Jun 2007
All links to articles as summarized below are available here:
Cheney Power Grab: Says White House Rules Don't Apply to Him By Justin Rood 21 Jun 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney has asserted his office is not a part of the executive branch of the U.S. government, and therefore not bound by a presidential order governing the protection of classified information by government agencies, according to a new letter from Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to Cheney.

Vice President Exempts His Office from the Requirements for Protecting Classified Information ( 21 Jun 2007 The Oversight Committee has learned that over the objections of the National Archives, Vice President [sic] Cheney exempted his office from the presidential order that establishes government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information. The Vice President asserts that his office is not an "entity within the executive branch." As described in a letter from Chairman Waxman to the Vice President, the National Archives protested the Vice President's position in letters written in June 2006 and August 2006. When these letters were ignored, the National Archives wrote to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in January 2007 to seek a resolution of the impasse. The Vice President's staff responded by seeking to abolish the agency within the Archives that is responsible for implementing the President's executive order.

Fact Sheet: The Vice President's Efforts to Avoid Oversight and Accountability By Rep. Henry A. Waxman Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 21 Jun 2007

'I question both the legality and wisdom of your actions.' Waxman Decries Cheney Security Exemption 21 Jun 2007 House Democrats on Thursday denounced Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney's idea of abolishing a government office charged with safeguarding national security information - and criticized him for refusing to cooperate with [abolish] the agency.

Rebuffed by Rice, Hadley, House panel tracks down witnesses for Iraq probe 19 Jun 2007 The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's probe into prewar intelligence has again postponed a hearing, scheduled for today, with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who refuses to testify publicly despite a panel subpoena.

Court Hears Appeal In Bush Murder Plot --Lawyer: American Convicted of Plotting to Assassinate 'President' Was Denied Constitutional Rights 21 Jun 2007 An American Muslim convicted of joining al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President [sic] Bush was denied his constitutional right to confront his accusers, his lawyer told a federal appeals court Thursday. The government also failed to produce evidence to support a confession given by Ahmed Omar Abu Ali after he was tortured by Saudi security officers, attorney Joshua Draytel told the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Decision on Guantanamo not imminent, U.S. says 22 Jun 2007 A White House meeting on the future of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay is no longer on the schedule for Friday, an official said after news reports that the Bush regime was nearing agreement on closing the controversial facility.

Guantanamo camp to close, White House sources claim 22 Jun 2007 The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and move terrorist suspects to military prisons on US soil, it was reported last night. Senior White House officials claimed that George Bush's top national security and legal advisers were to discuss the move at the White House today.

US 'close to shutting down Guantanamo' 22 Jun 2007 The Bush administration is nearing a decision to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and move terror suspects from there to military prisons on US soil, The Associated Press has learned.

Torture Memo Resurfaces During CIA Lawyer's Confirmation 20 Jun 2007 John Rizzo is facing tough questions on torture after the White House nominated him to serve as the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) general counsel. In a 2002 memo to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Rizzo, who has served as a CIA lawyer for 32 years, said that U.S. laws prohibiting torture "makes plain that it only prohibits extreme acts."

KBR Selected For Anti-Terrorism Work On Naval Contract 19 Jun 2007 KBR recently announced it has been selected by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command to compete for future task orders under the Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) Ashore program contract vehicle. KBR will be part of a Lockheed Martin-led team. The four companies selected will compete for tasks which, all totaled, have a contract ceiling of up to $500M over the five-year time period. [Gee, no wonder the US government let Osama bin Laden charter a jet to whisk Saudi Nationals out of the US. Without Bush's 9/11, no $500M 'anti-terrorism' contracts for Cheney's KBR. --LRP]

Bin Laden may have helped family flee US 21 Jun 2007 Osama bin Laden may have chartered a plane that carried his family members and Saudi nationals out of the US after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI says. The papers, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, were made public by Judicial Watch. One FBI document referred to a Ryan Air 727 airplane that departed Los Angeles International Airport on September 19, 2001, and was said to have carried Saudi nationals out of the US. "The plane was chartered either by the Saudi Arabian royal family or Osama bin Laden,'' according to the document, which was among 224 pages posted online.

Romney calls for 'special' armed forces to 'root out' terrorists 22 Jun 2007 Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney called for "new course" in the fight against terrorists on Thursday... Romney called for the United States to establish a "Special Partnership Force" — made up of Army special forces and intelligence personnel [i.e., death squads] — to work with foreign governments to root out terrorists from their populations. [He should start with rooting out *himself.*]

I'm seizing control, says PM 22 Jun 2007 The Prime Minister has cited a "national emergency" to justify a radical takeover of indigenous affairs that will give the Federal Government control over almost every aspect of Aboriginal life in the Northern Territory. The unprecedented seizure of federal control will involve draconian measures - including bans on alcohol sales and cuts to welfare payments - to tackle an epidemic of child sexual abuse in the territory. Customary law will be scrapped as a mitigating factor in sentencing and bail decisions. [Yeah, right. Cutting welfare payments will bring child sexual abuse to a *screeching halt.*]

At least 15 US military deaths in Iraq in 3 days 21 Jun 2007 It's been a deadly three-day period for US troops in Iraq. According to the latest military statements, at least 15 troops have been killed over the last three days, including five killed today in a single roadside bombing in Baghdad. Another soldier died today when a rocket-propelled grenade struck a vehicle in northern Baghdad.

US Army rebids Halliburton Iraq contract 20 Jun 2007 The US Army will rebid the multi billion-dollar contract under which a Halliburton Co. subsidiary has been providing services to troops around the world after years of complaints over how the deal has worked in Iraq. Critics of the contract said the move was overdue and that hundreds of millions of dollars had probably been wasted. [See: Justice Dept. opts out of whistle-blower suits --Cases allege fraud in Iraq contracts 20 Jun 2007 The Justice Department has opted out of at least 10 whistle-blower lawsuits alleging fraud and corruption in government reconstruction and security contracts in Iraq, and has spent years investigating additional fraud cases but has yet to try to recover any money. Lawmakers sought to determine why the federal government has not done more to recover tens of millions of dollars that allegedly have been misused or misspent in Iraq.]

Iraq becomes prime training ground for export of Jihadists 19 Jun 2007 Iraq has overtaken Afghanistan as an ideal training ground for Jihadists to export their battle across and beyond the Middle East, experts say.

US troops 'set trap for militants' 22 Jun 2007 The US military says it is setting a trap to "eliminate" Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] militants around Baghdad, but also says 12 [15] American soldiers have been killed in the past two days, mostly in roadside bombings. The toll of civilian casualties continued to rise after a suicide bomber killed 16 people by ramming his truck into a government building near the northern city of Kirkuk.

U.S. on offensive against al Qaeda in Iraq 21 Jun 2007 Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an attack on their vehicle southwest of Baghdad as thousands of troops swept around Iraq's capital in a coordinated operation against militants, the military said on Thursday.

Mortar bombs strike Green Zone in Baghdad 21 Jun 2007 (Thurs.) A barrage of mortar bombs hit Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Thursday and several plumes of smoke could be seen rising near buildings housing the Iraqi parliament and government offices, Reuters reporters said. At least seven mortar rounds could be heard slamming into the Green Zone, which houses many Iraqi government ministries as well as the U.S., British and other Western embassies.

Mortar Rounds Hit Baghdad's Green Zone 19 Jun 2007 (Tues.) Militants fired mortar rounds into the U.S.-guarded Green Zone at sundown Tuesday, with five of them striking near the office of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and one crashing adjacent to the American post exchange store.

New think tank details U.S. withdrawal from Iraq 20 Jun 2007 A new think tank run by former U.S. defense officials has published a detailed plan that would have the United States withdraw from Iraq in phases, beginning in 2008 and ending in 2012. These aims include preventing the establishment of al Qaeda safe havens, a regional war and genocide instead of President [sic] George W. Bush's goal of creating a 'democracy.'

Longer Troop Stints 'Worst Case Scenario' 21 Jun 2007 Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he doesn't expect to have to lengthen the deployments of U.S. troops in Iraq, saying that type of move is a "worst-case scenario." But, he told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Thursday he can't say how long American forces will have to stay at their current increased levels to make Baghdad secure.

Aussies repelled five gunboats: ADF 22 Jun 2007 The Australian Defence Force says up to five Iranian gunboats tried to capture Australian sailors in the Persian Gulf in December 2004. A defence spokesman told reporters the four-hour confrontation occurred after Australian navy personnel boarded a grounded cargo ship in the gulf.

Mega barf alert! Bush eyes Blair for role as peace negotiator 22 Jun 2007 The US is pressing the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to become a special envoy to the Middle East, in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a Palestinian state.

US envoy resumes nuclear mission 22 Jun 2007 In a sharp reversal of strategy, the Bush Administration has dispatched its top North Korea negotiator to Pyongyang for one-on-one talks about the North giving up its nuclear arsenal. Christopher Hill left for Pyongyang from Tokyo just hours after the US found a way to return to the North $US25 million ($30 million) in funds that had been frozen in a bank in Macau for several years.

House halts funds for new nuclear warheads 20 Jun 2007 The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday moved to block President [sic] George W. Bush from developing a new generation of atomic warheads, as Democratic and Republican opponents said the administration had not developed an adequate post-Cold War nuclear strategy.

Stanford passes first DARPA test 14 Jun 2007 The Stanford Racing Team shows off its robot car, Junior, to DARPA representatives on Thursday in the first test round for the third edition of the DARPA Grand Challenge, a competition for driverless cars sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This year's Grand Challenge event, known as the DARPA Urban Challenge, is scheduled for November 3.

Report Says U.S. Misled City on Dust From Ground Zero 21 Jun 2007 Federal environmental officials misled Lower Manhattan residents about the extent of contamination in their condominiums and apartments after the collapse of the World Trade Center, according to a preliminary report released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office... More than 4,000 apartments in Lower Manhattan were professionally decontaminated in a residential cleanup program, and the agency reported that only a "very small" number of air samples taken in those residences showed unsafe levels of asbestos. But the agency failed to explain that 80 percent of the air samples were taken after the apartments had already been cleaned.

Oil Companies Spared Tax Hikes 21 Jun 2007 Republicans blocked a proposal Thursday to tax the oil industry an additional $29 billion, while the Senate moved closer to an agreement on raising automobile fuel economy for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Exxon Mobil VP Exercises Options 19 Jun 2007 A vice president for oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. exercised options for 19,092 shares of common stock, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday. In a Form 4 filed with the SEC, Gerald Kohlenberger reported he exercised options for the shares Thursday for $31.70 apiece, and then sold all of them for $84.50 to $84.53 apiece.

Senate approves fuel standard of 35 mpg by 2020 21 Jun 2007 The U.S. Senate approved compromise legislation on Thursday that would force automakers to produce vehicles that get 'sharply higher gasoline mileage' by 2020, a cornerstone of 'efforts' to reduce oil imports.

House Panel OKs $153M in Pet Projects 21 Jun 2007 The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved $153 million in pet projects, rewarding both powerful and not-so-powerful lawmakers alike with 377 cherished "earmarks" for their home districts.

Missing: Large lake in southern Chile 20 Jun 2007 A lake in southern Chile has mysteriously disappeared, prompting speculation the ground has simply opened up and swallowed it whole. The lake was situated in the Magallanes region in Patagonia and was fed by water, mostly from melting glaciers.

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[Previous lead stories:] Taliban seizes control of area in south Afghanistan --Tactical Retreat: An Interior Minister official said the police had pulled out of the district 'temporarily,' after rebels took control of government offices and weapons. 20 Jun 2007 Afghan forces admitted yesterday that the Taliban had captured a district in mountainous southern Afghanistan in the latest upsurge of rebels strikes that have killed scores of people. The 'insurgents' said they captured mountainous Myanishen district in the Kandahar Province late on Monday. The ministry said yesterday that police had left the area.

Britain to stay engaged in Afghanistan for 'decades' 20 Jun 2007 Britain will need to stay involved in Afghanistan for "decades" to help restore stability, London's ambassador in Kabul said Wednesday. "It's a marathon rather than a sprint. We should be thinking in terms of decades," Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles said, in an interview with BBC radio.

A 'Secret' Weapon in the War Against Terror? By William M. Arkin 20 Jun 2007 Are U.S. forces employing a new weapon in the war against terrorism? And if so, why are they keeping it a secret? ...NBC News reported Sunday that U.S. special operations forces attacked a compound in eastern Afghanistan, an attack intended to kill the Al Qaeda commander in Afghanistan. Seven children were reportedly killed in the attack, and NBC reported that the decision was made to attack the compound despite the presence of children because of the value of the target. [In other words, another war crime] What makes these attacks different from the usual attacks in the perpetual head-hunting effort against Al Qaeda is this: Consistent reports from intelligence and military sources that special operations forces employed a new ground rocket system. The system, called High Mobility Artillery Rockets, or HIMARS is reportedly a complement to Predator drones...

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CLG Newsletter editor: Lori Price, Manager. Copyright © 2007, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved. CLG Founder and Chair is Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D.

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