Wednesday, August 01, 2007

White House Seeks Warrantless Authority From Congress 01 Aug 2007]

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

White House Seeks Warrantless Authority From Congress 01 Aug 2007 The Bush regime is pressing Congress this week for the authority to intercept, without a court order, any international phone call or e-mail between a surveillance target outside the United States and any person in the United States. The proposal, submitted by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to congressional leaders on Friday, would amend [void] the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the first time since 2006 so that a court order would no longer be needed before wiretapping anyone "reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States."

Democrats Scrambling to Expand Eavesdropping 01 Aug 2007 Under pressure from President [sic] Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government's electronic wiretapping powers. Democratic leaders have expressed a new willingness to work with the White House to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on some purely foreign telephone calls and e-mail. Such a step now requires court approval. [Start reading.]

NSA Spying Part of Broader Effort --Intelligence Chief Says Bush Authorized Secret Activities Under One Order 01 Aug 2007 The Bush administration's chief intelligence official said yesterday that President [sic] Bush authorized a series of secret surveillance activities under a single executive order in late 2001. The disclosure makes clear that a controversial National Security Agency program was part of a much broader operation than the president previously described. The disclosure by Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, appears to be the first time that the regime has publicly acknowledged that Bush's order included undisclosed activities beyond the warrantless [illegal] surveillance of e-mails and phone calls that Bush confirmed in December 2005.

Bill calls for Gonzales impeachment inquiry 01 Aug 2007 Democratic House members, including several former prosecutors, introduced a measure Tuesday directing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether to impeach Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), a co-sponsor of the measure, said the investigation was warranted given the questions about whether Gonzales misled Congress in testimony about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and about a secret government eavesdropping program.

Cheney on Trip to Ashcroft's Hospital Bedside: "I Don't Recall" [Try a Bush-approved CIA tactic, such as waterboarding.] By Paul Kiel 31 Jul 2007 From Dick Cheney's interview with Larry King: Q In that regard, The New York Times... reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President's [sic] intelligence-gathering program. Was it you? THE VICE PRESIDENT [sic]: I don't recall... And I don't recall that I gave instructions to that effect. Q That would be something you would recall. CHENEY: I would think so. But... By the time this occurred, it had already been approved about 12 times by the Department of Justice. There was nothing new about it. Q So you didn't send them to get permission. CHENEY: I don't recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital.

Cheney says Libby should not have been convicted 31 Jul 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney thinks his former chief of staff shouldn't have been convicted in the CIA leak case and that President [sic] Bush did right by commuting the jail sentence instead of issuing a pardon. "I thought the president handled it right," Cheney said in an interview Monday with Mark Knoller of CBS Radio. "I supported his decision."

Kurdish leader warns of Iraqi civil war 31 Jul 2007 The leader of Iraq's Kurdish region warned Tuesday of a "real civil war" if the central government does not implement a constitutional clause on the future of Kirkuk, the oil-rich city claimed by the Kurds [US].

Britain will take troops out of Iraq regardless of US, says PM 31 Jul 2007 Gordon Brown has paved the way for the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq by telling George Bush he would not delay their exit in order to show unity with the United States... Deliberately avoiding the phrase "war on terror," Mr Brown said: "Terrorism is not a cause but a crime - a crime against humanity." In contrast, the President spoke of "this war against extremists and radicals".

British do not foresee Iraq withdrawal: Petraeus 30 Jul 2007 General David Petraeus, commander of US forces in Iraq, said Monday he did not believe Britain was preparing to pull its troops out of Iraq.

US to rotate 20,000 troops into Iraq in December 31 Jul 2007 Nearly 20,000 U.S. troops based in the United States will begin departing for Iraq in December as part of the regular rotation of combat forces there, the Defense Department announced Tuesday... Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would not say what units would be replaced.

3 U.S. Soldiers Dead in Baghdad 01 Aug 2007 Three U.S. soldiers were killed and six wounded by a sophisticated armor-piercing bomb in eastern Baghdad, the U.S. military said Wednesday. An explosively-formed penetrator, or EFP, detonated near the soldiers' patrol during combat operations on Tuesday, the military said in a statement.

After the $63 billion dollar Bush blowjob: Arab Allies Caution Against Quick U.S. Exit From Iraq 31 Jul 2007 Major Arab allies of the U.S. cautioned today against a rapid troop withdrawal from Iraq that could shake the region, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Egypt.

US signs huge arms deals with Arab allies 31 Jul 2007 The United States last night confirmed it had agreed arms deals with Arab allies worth billions of dollars in an attempt to counter "negative influences" such as Iran, Syria, and 'al-Qa'eda' in the Middle East. Ahead of a trip by Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, and Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, to the Middle East, the Bush administration said it had agreed a 10-year, $13 billion (£6.4 billion) deal with Egypt and a $20 billion deal for Saudi Arabia. The announcement came a day after a $30 billion military aid pact over 10 years was announced with Israel.

Merkel party warns US arms for Gulf could set off 'powder keg' 31 Jul 2007 German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats are worried that reported US plans to send a major arms package to Gulf states could inflame a volatile region, a party leader was quoted as saying Monday. The chairman of the German parliament's foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, told the daily Frankfurter Rundschau that the Middle East was already a "powder keg" and that an influx of weapons could set off. "If you add more explosives to a powder keg, you increase the risk and do not make the region more secure," he said.

U.S. presidential candidate slams arms sales to Saudis 01 Aug 2007 Presidential hopeful John Edwards said the Bush administration's plan to sell $20 billion worth of weapons to friendly Arab states amounted to a foreign policy of convenience and he will take a tougher stance with Saudi Arabia if elected president.

'You can see the whole arms package as a buyoff of Arab nations for what we've done in Iraq.' The $63 billion sham By Derrick Jackson 01 Aug 2007 Talk about wriggling in quicksand. Having destroyed Iraq to save us from horrors that did not exist, [Condoleezza] Rice now wants to save us from Iran's future nukes by selling American weapons of mass destruction. Over the next decade, the Bush administration wants to give Israel $30 billion in military aid, a nearly 43 percent increase over what that nation received over the last 10 years, according to The New York Times. We want to give $20 billion to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. We want to give Egypt $13 billion. Do you feel safe?

Appeal court quashes media gag over White House meeting --Whitehall officer said to have described contents as "abhorrent" and "illegal", and that he believed the memo exposed Mr Bush as a "madman". 31 Jul 2007 An attempt to prevent the press from repeating British concerns about US military tactics in Iraq, including the killing of civilians in Falluja and President [sic] Bush's alleged suggestion that the offices of the Arabic satellite TV station al-Jazeera should be bombed, was quashed by the appeal court yesterday. The issue arose during the trial of David Keogh, a Whitehall communications officer, and Leo O'Connor, a former researcher to a Labour MP, jailed under the Official Secrets Act in May for disclosing the contents of minutes of a White House meeting between George Bush and Tony Blair on April 16 2004.

Rumsfeld to testify [testilie] at Tillman fratricide hearing --Former JCS chief Myers, CentCom leader Abizaid also among those appearing 31 Jul 2007 Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday morning about what Defense Department leaders knew about the friendly fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the committee confirmed late Tuesday. The hearing, "The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew," will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Retired General Censured in Tillman Case --Retired 3-Star Gen. Kensinger Censured in Cover-Up After Death of Tillman 31 Jul 2007 The Army censured a retired three-star general Tuesday for a "perfect storm of mistakes, misjudgments and a failure of leadership" after the 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Army Secretary Pete Geren asked a military review panel to decide whether Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who led Army special operation forces after the Sept. 11 attacks, should also have his rank reduced.

Imran Khan: President Musharraf must resign 31 Jul 2007 Imran Khan, the former Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, called on President Pervez Musharraf to resign yesterday. "It is all over for him. He is sunk," Mr Khan told The Daily Telegraph. "He has lost touch with Pakistan. It is a crisis of his own making and the accumulative effect of his miscalculations."

Lieberman escalates attack on Iraq critics 31 Jul 2007 Ever since Connecticut Democrats refused to back him for a fourth term in Congress, Joe LieberBush has been burnishing his independent credentials in the narrowly divided Senate while becoming increasingly critical of the Democratic Party on the war in Iraq. LieberBush insists he is not actively considering joining the Republican Party. But he is keeping that possibility wide open as his disenchantment grows with Democratic leaders.

Child Maltreatment Rises in Homes of Soldiers Sent to War 31 Jul 2007 A U.S. Army-sponsored study finds that children of enlisted soldiers are more likely to be abused or neglected when a parent is deployed to a combat zone. The findings point to the need for more support services at home, the study authors said. The study [by the Children and Families Program at RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.] is published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on violence and human rights.

Rorschach and Awe --America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical "black site" operation. by Katherine Eban 17 Jul 2007 ...[T]he C.I.A. team began building a coffin in which they planned to bury the detainee alive. A furor erupted over the legality of this move, which does not appear to have been carried out. (Every human-rights treaty and American law governing the treatment of prisoners prohibits death threats and simulated killings.) But the C.I.A. had a ready rejoinder: the methods had already been approved by White House lawyers.

Sydney Installs Terror Loudspeakers 01 Aug 2007 Australia's largest city has installed dozens of loudspeakers to tell residents what to do in a terrorist attack, an official said Wednesday.

Indefinite sentences 'unlawful', court rules 01 Aug 2007 The policy of locking up some prisoners until it is considered safe to free them is in crisis after it was condemned as "arbitrary, unreasonable and unlawful" by the High Court.

'Someone there must be out of their skull.' Livingstone fights 'stupid' Heathrow protesters ban 01 Aug 2007 Heathrow's owner, BAA, came under sustained attack from the Mayor of London [Ken Livingstone] and business leaders over poor facilities at the airport and plans to halt environmental protesters.

Chief justice leaves hospital after scare --Roberts earlier told Bush that he's 'fine' after seizure 31 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John Roberts was released from a hospital in Maine Tuesday, a day after suffering a seizure. Roberts, 52, plans to continue his vacation at a summer home in Maine, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg.

Roberts Tells Bush He's OK After Seizure 31 Jul 2007 Chief Justice John Roberts told President [sic] Bush Tuesday he was doing well after sustaining a seizure at his Maine vacation home, the White House said. Bush called Roberts Tuesday morning. "The chief justice assured him that he was doing fine," White House press secretary Tony Snow said. "The president was reassured."

Voting Officials Face New Rules to Bar Conflicts 01 Aug 2007 The state officials who run the nation's elections — most with little oversight — are facing new efforts to limit what have been widely criticized as political and financial conflicts of interest... In the last presidential 'election,' the secretaries of state in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, were chairmen of their states' re-[s]election campaigns for President [sic] Bush.

'If this change is made, it will virtually guarantee that a Republican wins the White House in 2008.' California electoral-vote plan could sway 2008 presidential race 30 Jul 2007 A prominent Republican lawyer wants to put a proposal on the California ballot next year that could shake up the 2008 presidential contest, a change Democrats say would rig the election. California awards its cache of 55 electoral votes to the statewide winner in presidential elections — the largest single prize in the nation. But under the proposal, the statewide winner would get only two electoral votes... The change — if it qualifies and is approved by 'voters' — would mean that a Republican would be positioned the following November to snatch 20 or more electoral votes in GOP-leaning districts.

Votescam By Hendrik Hertzberg August 6, 2007 At first glance, next year's Presidential election looks like a blowout. But it might not be... Two weeks ago, one of the most important Republican lawyers in Sacramento quietly filed a ballot initiative that would end the practice of granting all fifty-five of California's electoral votes to the statewide winner. Instead, it would award two of them to the statewide winner and the rest, one by one, to the winner in each congressional district... The bottom line is that the initiative, if passed, would spot the Republican ticket something in the neighborhood of twenty electoral votes—votes that it wouldn't get under the rules prevailing in every other sizable state in the Union.

FBI Probes Stevens's Earmark --$1.6 Million Appropriation Went to Alaska Marine Life Center 01 Aug 2007 The FBI is investigating whether Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) used a $1.6 million congressional appropriation to help an Alaska marine center purchase property from a business partner of the senator's son, said sources familiar with the probe. That investigation comes amid a widening federal grand-jury probe into Stevens's connections to an energy services company [Veco Corp.].

'DC Madam' Phone Records --By Lori Price Updated! 'DC Madam' phone records - Cingular 2005 (49 pages, .pdf) has been added. 30 Jul 2007

Oil Settles Above $78, Setting Record 31 Jul 2007 Oil futures settled at a record high above $78 Tuesday on 'expectations that crude inventories fell last week' and 'reports of new violence in Nigeria, a large oil producer and key supplier to the U.S.' [For the *actual* reasons behind the record high oil prices, see: Exxon Mobil makes $10B on record gas prices 26 Jul 2007 and Shell 2Q Net Profit Rises 18 Percent to $8.67 Billion 26 Jul 2007.]

U.S. nuclear plants may be eligible for billions in loan guarantees 31 Jul 2007 A one-sentence provision buried in an energy bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate could make builders of new nuclear plants in America eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees. Lobbyists recently told lawmakers and officials in the Bush regime that the nuclear industry needs as much as $50 billion in loan guarantees over the next two years to finance a major expansion. The provision, inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, has the potential to dramatically expand the U.S. nuclear industry, which plans to build 19 new power plants at an estimated cost of about $4 billion to $5 billion apiece.

News Corp. Is Poised to Win Dow Jones --Murdoch Prevails As Bancrofts Agree to $5 Billion Buyout Paying Fees Cinches Deal 01 Aug 2007 A century of Bancroft-family ownership at Dow Jones & Co. is over. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sealed a $5 billion agreement to purchase the publisher of The Wall Street Journal after three months of drama in the controlling family and public debate about journalistic values.

Sharemarket plunges on US fears 01 Aug 2007 Australian shares slid 3.3 per cent today, the biggest one-day percentage fall in almost six years, as fresh worries about the US subprime mortgage sector hit sentiment and as Macquarie Bank slumped after warning of losses in two of its investment funds.

'Extras like croissants will need to be dropped.' Berlin zoo puts star polar bear Knut on a diet 31 Jul 2007 No more croissants for Knut the polar bear cub. The Berlin zoo is putting its famous bear on a diet, zoo veterinarian Andreas Ochs said Tuesday. Knut, who looked like a fuzzy toy when he made his zoo debut in late March, is now 8 months old and weighs about 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

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[Previous lead stories:] Security hearings called "Kafkaesque" 30 Jul 2007 Terrorism suspects held under virtual house arrest in Britain suffer "Kafkaesque" treatment in special courts that review secret evidence against them, a committee of legislators said on Monday. The committee's report said "no right-minded person" would think the suspects had a fair hearing when they often had no idea of the case against them. It likened the system to the Star Chamber, a secretive and oppressive English court abolished in 1641. The law allows suspects who cannot be prosecuted in the courts to be held under a loose form of house arrest known as a "control order".

No proof Britain needs tougher terrorism laws, Parliament report says 30 Jul 2007 The British government has failed to prove the need to toughen anti-terrorism laws to let the police detain suspects longer before they must charge or release them, a group of lawmakers said in a report Monday. The committee's report said the government had yet to demonstrate that the police need more time to question terror suspects, who must now be charged or released within 28 days.

Blackwater USA and University of Illinois Police Training Institute Announce Partnership (Blackwater USA) 20 Jul 2007 Blackwater USA is pleased to announce its newly formed partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Police Training Institute (PTI). Together we will pursue international and domestic training opportunities to better equip law enforcement agencies and officers to serve their communities [implement Bush's police state].

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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.
Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government 01 Aug 2007
http://www.legitgov.org/
All links and summaries to articles below are available here:
http://www.legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news
White House Seeks Warrantless Authority From Congress 01 Aug 2007 The Bush regime is pressing Congress this week for the authority to intercept, without a court order, any international phone call or e-mail between a surveillance target outside the United States and any person in the United States. The proposal, submitted by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to congressional leaders on Friday, would amend [void] the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for the first time since 2006 so that a court order would no longer be needed before wiretapping anyone "reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States."

Democrats Scrambling to Expand Eavesdropping 01 Aug 2007 Under pressure from President [sic] Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government's electronic wiretapping powers. Democratic leaders have expressed a new willingness to work with the White House to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on some purely foreign telephone calls and e-mail. Such a step now requires court approval. [Start reading.]

NSA Spying Part of Broader Effort --Intelligence Chief Says Bush Authorized Secret Activities Under One Order 01 Aug 2007 The Bush administration's chief intelligence official said yesterday that President [sic] Bush authorized a series of secret surveillance activities under a single executive order in late 2001. The disclosure makes clear that a controversial National Security Agency program was part of a much broader operation than the president previously described. The disclosure by Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, appears to be the first time that the regime has publicly acknowledged that Bush's order included undisclosed activities beyond the warrantless [illegal] surveillance of e-mails and phone calls that Bush confirmed in December 2005.

Bill calls for Gonzales impeachment inquiry 01 Aug 2007 Democratic House members, including several former prosecutors, introduced a measure Tuesday directing the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether to impeach Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales. Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), a co-sponsor of the measure, said the investigation was warranted given the questions about whether Gonzales misled Congress in testimony about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and about a secret government eavesdropping program.

Cheney on Trip to Ashcroft's Hospital Bedside: "I Don't Recall" [Try a Bush-approved CIA tactic, such as waterboarding.] By Paul Kiel 31 Jul 2007 From Dick Cheney's interview with Larry King: Q In that regard, The New York Times... reports it was you who dispatched Gonzales and Andy Card to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital in 2004 to push Ashcroft to certify the President's [sic] intelligence-gathering program. Was it you? THE VICE PRESIDENT [sic]: I don't recall... And I don't recall that I gave instructions to that effect. Q That would be something you would recall. CHENEY: I would think so. But... By the time this occurred, it had already been approved about 12 times by the Department of Justice. There was nothing new about it. Q So you didn't send them to get permission. CHENEY: I don't recall that I was the one who sent them to the hospital.

Cheney says Libby should not have been convicted 31 Jul 2007 Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney thinks his former chief of staff shouldn't have been convicted in the CIA leak case and that President [sic] Bush did right by commuting the jail sentence instead of issuing a pardon. "I thought the president handled it right," Cheney said in an interview Monday with Mark Knoller of CBS Radio. "I supported his decision."

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