Sunday, August 19, 2007

Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns 18 Aug 2007

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government
18 Aug 2007
All links and summaries to articles below are available here:

Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns 17 Aug 2007 Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy. Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the 'election' years of 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Poll shows most Americans not trust Sept. Iraq report 18 Aug 2007 A majority of Americans do not trust the upcoming report by top U.S. commander in Iraq on the progress of the war, according to a new poll released on Friday. U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush has frequently asked Congress and the American people to withhold judgment on his so-called "troop surge" in Iraq until , the top commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, issue their progress report in September. But according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released on Friday, 53 percent of people polled said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is.

Ammunition Shortage Squeezes Police 17 Aug 2007 Troops training for and fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are firing more than 1 billion bullets a year, contributing to ammunition shortages hitting police departments nationwide and preventing some officers from training with the weapons they carry on patrol. An Associated Press review of dozens of police and sheriff's departments found that many are struggling with delays of as long as a year for both handgun and rifle ammunition. And the shortages are resulting in prices as much as double what departments were paying just a year ago.

Defense Contractor Was Paid $1 Million to Ship 2 Washers 17 Aug 2007 A South Carolina defense contractor pleaded guilty yesterday to bilking the Pentagon out of $20.5 million over nearly 10 years by adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of shipping spare parts such as metal washers and lamps. The parts were bound for key military installations, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan. In one instance, in 2006, the government paid C&D Distributors $998,798 in transportation costs for shipping two 19-cent washers.

Texan oilman pleads guilty in oil-for-food case 17 Aug 2007 Texas oilman David Chalmers and two companies he owns pleaded guilty on Friday to paying millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Iraq in connection with the United Nations oil-for-food program. Chalmers, 53, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, just weeks before he was due to go on trial with Texas oil tycoon Oscar Wyatt.

Images show pleading Iraq prisoners --U.S. forces and Iraq's own security forces have imprisoned tens of thousands of detainees without charge in the four years since the fall of President Saddam Hussein. 18 Aug 2007 Rare footage from inside a Baghdad prison camp shows hundreds of inmates packed into wire-mesh tents, protesting their innocence. "I have been jailed for two years and have never been put before a judge or court!" one prisoner is shown shouting. The video pictures were given to Reuters Television on Saturday by the office of Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who visited the Rusafa prison compound in eastern Baghdad with his Shi'ite counterpart.

Medical crisis in Iraq as doctors and nurses flee 18 Aug 2007 The humanitarian disaster in Iraq is being compounded by a mass exodus of their medical staff fleeing chronic violence and lawlessness. The research [report by Oxfam International] revealed that many hospitals, and medical teaching facilities in Baghdad have lost up to 80 per cent of their teaching staff.

Mortars, Bombs in Iraq's North Kill 11 18 Aug 2007 Mortar shells slammed into a Shiite enclave north of Baghdad, killing at least seven people on Saturday, police said, while officials in Kirkuk warned that a string of deadly bombings showed that 'insurgents' were finding new ways to thwart security measures.

Billions In U.S. Aid Wasted In Afghanistan 16 Aug 2007 American doctor Dave Warner is on a mission in eastern Afghanistan to show people back home how billions of taxpayer dollars sent here are being wasted. "When I was here in December," Warner told CBS News. "This was full so you can see they've dug another pit over here." Rotting bio-waste is dumped in the hospital's backyard because as Warner and the hospital director showed us next — the new waste incinerator donated by the U.S. government is completely useless. Even if the hospital knew how to run it, they can't afford the fuel... Warner is a public health expert from San Diego who's taken it upon himself to do what no one else in Afghanistan seems to be doing — documenting the failures in reconstruction.

Suicide raid on U.S. security firm kills 15 Afghans 18 Aug 2007 A suicide car bomb attack outside a base of a U.S. security firm [Houston-based USPI] on Saturday killed 15 people in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, witnesses and police said. [See: American security contractor allegedly shoots dead his Afghan interpreter 30 Sep 2005 Guards for a U.S. security firm obstructed an investigation into whether one of its supervisors fatally shot his Afghan interpreter, an Afghan police chief said Friday. Noor Ahmad, 37, was shot in the head Tuesday at the compound of his employer, U.S. Protection and Investigations, at Tut village in Farah province's Gulistan district, police and provincial officials said.]

Six Iranian guards killed in helicopter crash 18 Aug 2007 Six Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed when their helicopter crashed during an operation against rebels close to the Iraqi border, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

U.S. actions against Iran raise war risk, many fear 17 Aug 2007 As President [sic] Bush escalates the United States' confrontation with Iran across a broad front, U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East are growing worried that the steps will achieve little, but will undercut diplomacy and increase the chances of war.

As U.S. Steps Up Pressure on Iran, Aftereffects Worry Allies 16 Aug 2007 America's allies are increasingly concerned about the Bush regime's plans to unilaterally escalate pressure on Iran, fearing that an evolving strategy may also set in motion a process that could lead to military action if Iran does not back down, according to diplomats and officials of foreign countries.

US set to blacklist 'terrorist' Iranian guards 16 Aug 2007 The Bush regime plans to blacklist as a "global terrorist" group Iran's revolutionary guards, the Islamic fanatics who operate as a shadowy parallel force under the direct authority of the Iranian spiritual leader. The surprise designation, a provocative move which will infuriate Tehran, will allow the US to move against the group's business and financial interests as part of the campaign to rein in Iran's nuclear programme.

Castro: Cuba not cashing US Guantanamo rent checks 17 Aug 2007 The United States pays Cuba $4,085 a month in rent for the controversial Guantanamo naval base, but Cuba has only once cashed a check in almost half a century and then only by mistake, Fidel Castro wrote in an essay published on Friday. The ailing Cuban leader said he had refused to cash the checks to protest the "illegal" U.S. occupation of the land which he said was now used for "dirty work".

The old Iran-Contra death squad gang is desperate to discredit Chavez --Democracy and hope in Latin America have been revived by Venezuela's leader. But the forces allied against him are formidable By John Pilger Friday 17 Aug 2007 Thousands of "the detained and the disappeared" were imprisoned in the stadium following the Washington-backed coup by General Pinochet against the democracy of Salvador Allende on September 11 1973. For the majority people of Latin America, the abandonados, the infamy and historical lesson of the first "9/11" have never been forgotten... In Washington, the old Iran-Contra death squad gang, back in power under Bush, fear the economic bridges Chávez is building in the region, such as the use of Venezuela's oil revenue to end IMF slavery.

US signs deal to give $30bn in military aid to Israel 16 Aug 2007 US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has signed a deal that will provide Israel with $30bn (£14.8bn) of military aid over the next 10 years. The new military aid package represents a 25% increase from present levels.

U.S.: No strings attached to new defense package for Israel 17 Aug 2007 The new $30 billion American defense package for Israel is not conditioned on diplomatic progress or concessions to the Palestinians, a top U.S. aide said Thursday as representatives from both countries signed the memorandum of understanding in Jerusalem. U.S. Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said the aid to Israel was meant to counter "an axis of cooperation between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas [No, the US] that is responsible for the violence in the region."

Padilla Case Offers New Model of Terrorism Trial [Yeah, the kangaroo model] 18 Aug 2007 The 'Justice' Department's strategy in the trial itself, using a seldom-tested conspiracy law and relatively thin evidence, cemented a new prosecutorial model in terrorism cases. The central charge against Mr. Padilla was that he conspired to murder, maim and kidnap people in a foreign country... But prosecutors needed to prove very little by way of concrete conduct to obtain a conviction under the law. "It is a pretty big leap between a mere indication of desire to attend a camp and a crystallized desire to kill, maim and kidnap," said Peter S. Margulies, a law professor at Roger Williams University who has also written on conspiracy charges in terrorism prosecutions. The conspiracy charge against Mr. Padilla, Professor Margulies continued, "is highly amorphous, and it basically allows someone to be found guilty for something that is one step away from a thought crime."

White House wants more time on subpoenas 17 Aug 2007 The White House on Friday asked a Senate panel for more time to produce subpoenaed information about the legal justification for President [sic] Bush's secretive eavesdropping program. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy had set Monday as the deadline for administration officials already subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony about the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program. The White House already has been given one extension, said an aide to Leahy, D-Vt.

Judge: Feds must answer ACLU demands 17 Aug 2007 The government must answer a watchdog group's demands to release records about the nation's classified terrorist spying program, the chief judge of a secretive national security court has ruled. The American Civil Liberties Union, which announced the order Friday, said it was the first time the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had responded to a request filed by the public. In her 2-page order, dated Aug. 16, Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly called the ACLU's demand "an unprecedented request that warrants further briefing."

Minister: Death To My Tax Status Critics --Calif. Clergyman Condemns Those Who Complained To IRS Criticizing His Political Endorsement of Huckabee 17 Aug 2007 A California minister who used church stationery and an Internet radio program to endorse former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) for president is asking his followers to pray for the deaths of those who filed a complaint against him with the IRS. The Rev. Wiley S. Drake of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., called for "imprecatory prayer" targeting Barry W. Lynn, Joe Conn and Jeremy Leaming of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Mexican trucks may get full access to U.S. highways 17 Aug 2007 Some Mexican trucks will be allowed to carry cargo anywhere in the United States as soon as a federal inspector general certifies 'safety' and inspection plans, the Bush administration announced today. The latest step toward implementing a controversial provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement drew instant condemnation from labor and driver-owner groups that fear the program will erode highway safety and eliminate U.S. jobs.

Handling of Mine Disaster Questioned --AP: Critics Question Government Handling of Utah Mine Disaster 18 Aug 2007 The government agency overseeing coal mine safety was supposed to have changed its ways after West Virginia's deadly Sago Mine disaster. Its handling of the cave-ins at Utah's Crandall Canyon Mine have some worried that the changes didn't go far enough.

Utah Mine Rescuers Halt Search After 3 Deaths 18 Aug 2007 A sense of doleful finality settled on Friday over the quivering mountain here that swallowed six coal miners 11 days ago. Underground search efforts intended to find them were indefinitely suspended after crumbling walls in the Crandall Canyon Mine killed two rescue workers and a federal mine inspector on Thursday evening. ...The reality sank in among the residents here that the six men, trapped 1,800 feet beneath the surface, might never be found.

Organize the mines! (The Militant) 03 Sep 2007 The collapse of the Crandall Canyon coal mine in central Utah, which has trapped six workers 1,500 feet underground since August 6, highlights one fact above all. The only effective way miners can fight for control over job conditions is to organize a union and use workers' collective power to enforce safety. Coal mine disasters are not due to "acts of God" as Murray Energy Corp. claims. Dangerous job conditions are the result of decisions by bosses to squeeze maximum profits out of our labor, including by seeing how much they can get away with cutting corners on safety and health. That's how capitalism works... In March, two sections of the Crandall Canyon mine collapsed. Instead of closing the mine, "operators moved to another section and continued chipping away," the Associated Press reported. That's what can happen when workers lack a union to enforce basic safety conditions.

N.C. waitress applauds minimum wage hike 18 Aug 2007 A North Carolina waitress on Saturday lauded the Democratic-initiated increase in the minimum wage, saying in the party's weekly radio address that the extra money will have a ripple effect on millions of lives. Fawn Townsend, a nightshift server in Raleigh, N.C., criticized Republicans for blocking efforts to raise the minimum wage over the last 10 years.

Unregulated Release of GM Poplars and Hybrids --USDA rubberstamps the largest ever collection of transgenic poplars with uncharacterized and dangerous constructs By Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 17 Aug 2007 This report has been submitted to the USDA on behalf of ISIS [Institute of Science in Society]. Please circulate widely and click onto the link to the USDA docket to register your objection to-day!

Court further delays Alaska offshore drilling --Shell blocked from area off Prudhoe Bay due to lawsuit by natives, activists 16 Aug 2007 A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell PLC must further postpone plans for exploratory oil drilling off the northern coast of Alaska.

Arctic sea ice shrinks to record low 17 Aug 2007 There was less sea ice in the Arctic on Friday than ever before on record, and the melting is continuing, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported. "Today is a historic day," said Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist at the center. "This is the least sea ice we've ever seen in the satellite record and we have another month left to go in the melt season this year."

Hurricane Dean approaches Category 5 18 Aug 2007 Hurricane Dean is expected to grow into a ferocious Category 5 storm as it passes Jamaica and nears Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the oil and gas rigs of the Gulf of Mexico after it smashed into several Caribbean islands, the US National Hurricane Centre said on Saturday.

State Operations Center Opens Saturday As Texas Braces For Dean 17 Aug 2007 The State Operations Center activates fully Saturday morning as state officials set a plan in motion to ensure the state is prepared should Hurricane Dean take aim at the Texas coast next week. Gov. Perry declared the storm an "imminent threat" on Friday and initiated full-scale preparations.

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[Previous lead stories:] Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared 15 Aug 2007 Could martial law ever become a reality in America? Some fear any nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. soil might trigger just that. KSLA News 12 has discovered that the clergy would help the government with potentially their biggest problem: Us. If martial law were enacted here at home... easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical. And that's exactly what the 'Clergy Response Team' helped accomplish in the wake of Katrina. Dr. Durell Tuberville serves as chaplain for the Shreveport Fire Department and the Caddo Sheriff's Office. For the clergy team, one of the biggest tools that they will have in helping calm the public down or to obey the law is the bible itself, specifically Romans 13. Dr. Tuberville elaborated, "because the government's established by the Lord, you know. And, that's what we believe in the Christian faith. That's what's stated in the scripture." ['Easing public fears and quelling dissent would be critical.']

Armed Robots Pushed to Police By Noah Shachtman 16 Aug 2007 Armed robots -- similar to the ones now on patrol in Iraq -- are being marketed to domestic police forces, according to the machines' manufacturer and law enforcement officers. None of the gun-toting 'bots appear to have been deployed domestically, yet. Both cops and company officials say it's only a matter of time, however. "Other than some R&D with the shotgun mount, we haven't used it operationally," Massachusetts State Police Trooper Mike Rogowski tells DANGER ROOM. "But they're on the way. They're coming,"

Troops in Iraq to Reach Record Level 16 Aug 2007 The number of U.S. troops in Iraq could jump to 171,000 this fall - a record high for the war - as military leaders expect stepped-up 'insurgent' attacks timed to a progress report from American commanders in Baghdad.

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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.

---------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------- Subject: Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns 18 Aug 2007 From: "CLG News"
Date: Sat, August 18, 2007 4:55 pm
To: "CLG News"
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Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government 18 Aug 2007
http://www.legitgov.org/
All links and summaries to articles below are available here:
http://www.legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news
Commerce, Treasury funds helped boost GOP campaigns 17 Aug 2007 Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy. Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the 'election' years of 2002, 2004 and 2006.

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