Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government 04 March 2007
All links to articles as summarized below are available here:
'Delete them, or we will delete you.' Afghan journalists say U.S. soldiers deleted photos, video after bomb attack and shootings 04 Mar 2007 Afghan journalists covering the aftermath of a suicide bomb attack and shooting in eastern Afghanistan Sunday said U.S. troops deleted their photos and video and warned them not to publish or air any images of U.S. troops or a car where three Afghans were shot to death. Afghan witnesses and gunshot victims said U.S. forces fired on civilians in cars and on foot [more US war crimes] along at least a six-mile stretch of road in Nangarhar province following a suicide attack against the Marine convoy. It wasn't clear why the accredited journalists would need permission to take photos of a civilian car on a public highway. The photographer, Rahmat Gul, said the U.S. troops took his camera, deleted his photos and returned it to him. Taqiullah Taqi, a reporter for Afghanistan's largest television station, Tolo TV, said Americans were using abusive language. "According to the translator, they said, 'Delete them, or we will delete you,"' Taqi said.
U.S. Military Kills 16 Civilians in Afghanistan 04 Mar 2007 U.S. forces in Afghanistan opened fire on civilians while fleeing a militant ambush involving a suicide car bomb and gunmen, Afghan witnesses said. Up to 16 people were killed and 24 wounded in the shooting, U.S. military said.
Protests after US troops kill 16 Afghans 05 Mar 2007 Thousands of angry demonstrators took to the streets in Afghanistan yesterday after US forces were involved in a panicked shooting ['Panicked?' How do they know?] which left 16 civilians dead and 23 injured. Local people as well as a number of Afghan officials accused the American marines of opening fire indiscriminately following a suicide bomb attack on their convoy in Nangarhar province.
UK Afghan deaths reach 50 04 Mar 2007 The deaths of two British soldiers brings the number of UK fatalities in Afghanistan to 50 since 2001. Two British soldiers have been killed in a rocket attack in Afghanistan. The attack happened in the Sangin area of Helmand province in the south of the country.
Executions of government workers and alleged informers signal growing control of insurgents 05 Mar 2007 An unprecedented rash of killings has taken place in Helmand in the past two weeks as the Taliban claim to be settling scores with informers who have aided foreign troops based in the province. In all, eight people were killed in three separate districts of Helmand province within the past 15 days. Four were hanged and the rest beheaded.
'It's hubris.' How Much Embassy Is Too Much? 02 Mar 2007 The nerve center of Iraq reconstruction efforts, housed in an ornate former Saddam Hussein palace with soaring ceilings and its own espresso bar, the embassy in Baghdad is one of the largest foreign missions ever operated by the State Department. Its complexity and expense, some say, hampers reconstruction efforts and drains cash from diplomatic efforts worldwide. According to a State Department count, about 1,000 federal employees report to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, not including hundreds of private contractors. The mission's closely guarded budget - $923 million for the 2006 fiscal year - is a source of controversy at State, and across the federal government.
Arabs want U.N. timetable for U.S. withdrawal 04 Mar 2007 The Arab League said on Sunday the United Nations Security Council should set a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq.
U.S. forces enter Sadr City in first major push of Baghdad security drive 04 Mar 2007 Hundreds of U.S. soldiers entered the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday in the first major push into the area since an American-led security sweep began last month around Baghdad. Soldiers conducted house-to-house searches through the densely populated grid of squat two- and three-story buildings, but met no resistance, said Lt. Col. David Oclander.
Saudis funding insurgents in Iraq --U.S. fears proxy war with Iranian-backed Shiites could widen 04 Mar 2007 During his inaugural appearance before Congress last week, the new U.S. intelligence czar made a rare public reference to one of Washington's secret dreads. Mike McConnell, the new director of national intelligence, said there are funds coming from Saudi Arabia, an ostensible U.S. ally, to help Sunni 'insurgents' in Iraq, while Iran is supporting the Shiite militias there.
Hersh: U.S. Funds Being Secretly Funneled to Al Qaeda-Linked Groups (Post by Nico) 25 Feb 2007 New Yorker columnist Sy Hersh says the "single most explosive" element of his latest article involves an effort by the Bush administration to stem the growth of Shiite influence in the Middle East (specifically the Iranian government and Hezbollah in Lebanon) by funding violent Sunni groups. Hersh says the U.S. has been "pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight" for covert operations in the Middle East where it wants to "stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence." [See The Redirection --Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism? By Seymour M. Hersh 25 Feb 2007.]
Air strikes on Iran could backfire - report 05 Mar 2007 Military strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear ambitions could backfire, increasing Tehran's determination to obtain atomic weapons and bolstering hostility towards the West, a report said on Monday. The report "Would air strikes work?", written by a leading British weapons scientist, said strikes would probably be unable to hit enough targets to cause serious damage to Iran's nuclear facilities.
North Korea ready to end nuclear work-envoy 05 Mar 2007 North Korea is fully prepared to shut down its nuclear facilities and allow inspections, a South Korean official said in New York, where envoys from Pyongyang and Washington are set to begin rare talks on improving ties.
Chavez: Negroponte a professional killer 04 Mar 2007 President Hugo Chavez on Sunday said he believes enemies including the CIA are out to kill him, and called U.S. diplomat [terrorist] John Negroponte a "professional killer."
Walter Reed gave five-year, $120M contract to IAP, run by former Halliburton official 03 Mar 2007 The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee Monday. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and subcommittee Chairman John Tierney asked Weightman to testify about an internal memo that showed privatization of services at Walter Reed could put "patient care services at risk of mission failure." [...] The letter said Walter Reed also awarded a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official.
Waxman to Force Walter Reed Ex-Chief to Talk About Problems, Contract 02 Mar 2007 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wants to ask Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman about a contract to manage the medical center awarded to a company that had documented troubles fulfilling a government contract to deliver ice to victims of Hurricane Katrina. According to a letter from Waxman to Weightman posted today on the committee's Web site, the chairman believes the Walter Reed contract may have pushed dozens of health care workers to leave jobs at the troubled medical center, which he says in turn threatened the quality of care for hundreds of military personnel receiving treatment there. In the letter, Waxman charged that the Army used an unusual process to award a five-year, $120 million contract to manage the center to a company owned by a former executive of Halliburton.
U.S. Army Veterans Scandal Widens 04 Mar 2007 U.S. President [sic] Bush has ordered a probe into all US army veteran facilities following an outcry over poor treatment at the army's top hospitals. The Bush administration's response came on the same day as Robert Gates, the US secretary of defence, fired Francis Harvey, the U.S. army secretary.
Hicks lawyer faces removal from case after threats from US prosecutor 05 Mar 2007 Major Michael Mori, the defence lawyer for David Hicks, could be removed from the case after threats from the chief US prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, to charge him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Colonel Davis has accused Major Mori of breaching Article 88 of the US military code, which relates to using contemptuous language towards the president, vice-president, and secretary of defence. Penalties for breaching the code include jail and the loss of employment and entitlements. Major Mori denied he had done anything improper but said the accusations left him with an inherent conflict of interest.
Mori discipline charge could derail Hicks trial 05 Mar 2007 David Hicks's trial could be derailed if his lawyer Major Michael Mori is charged with a US military discipline offence, prompting an angry outburst from the Prime Minister. Maj Mori could be removed from the case after threats from the chief US prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis, to charge him under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Fairfax newspapers report.
Senator Admits Calling U.S. Attorney 04 Mar 2007 Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) acknowledged today that he contacted the U.S. attorney in Albuquerque last fall to inquire about the status of an ongoing corruption probe of Democrats, saying he regretted the call but "never pressured him nor threatened him in any way." Domenici also said he had told the Justice Department that U.S. Attorney David C. Iglesias should be replaced, but said that occurred prior to the call about the criminal investigation of Democrats... Iglesias is one of eight U.S. attorneys who were part of a mass firing that has caused an uproar on Capitol Hill, and said he believed the calls were at the root of his dismissal.
MI5 trains supermarket checkout staff --Workers told how to detect potential terrorists as shops are warned of bomb risk in underground car parks 04 Mar 2007 Supermarket checkout staff are being trained by the security services in how to detect potential terrorists. MI5 has been secretly advising food retailers, including Asda and Tesco, on how to identify extremist shoppers. Measures include increasing CCTV in underground carparks to prevent bomb attacks and being alert to mass purchases of mobile phones, which can be used as bomb detonators. The awareness training for staff also covers bulk sales of toiletries which could be used as the basic ingredient in explosives.
Justice Department takes aim at image-sharing sites 02 Mar 2007 The Bush administration has accelerated its Internet surveillance push by proposing that Web sites must keep records of who uploads photographs or videos in case police determine the content is illegal [?!?] and choose to investigate, CNET News.com has learned. That proposal surfaced Wednesday in a private meeting during which U.S. Department of Justice officials, including Assistant Attorney General Rachel Brand, tried to convince industry representatives such as AOL and Comcast that data retention would be valuable in investigating terrorism, child pornography and other crimes.
'To have a published story pulled from our Web site is unprecedented and unbelievable.' Judge Orders 2 Papers to Remove Stories from Web Sites 03 Mar 2007 A judge has ordered two Kansas City newspapers to remove articles about an area utility from their Web sites and temporarily barred the papers from publishing the story. Jackson County Circuit Judge Kelly Moorhouse issued the temporary restraining order Friday against The Kansas City Star, a daily, and The Pitch, a weekly alternative newspaper that publishes on Thursdays. The judge also ordered the papers to remove articles about the Board of Public Utilities of Kansas City, Kan., from their Web sites.
The Must-Do List (The New York Times) 04 Mar 2007 The Bush administration's assault on some of the founding principles of American democracy marches onward despite the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections... Five years of presidential overreaching and Congressional collaboration continue to exact a high toll in human lives, America's global reputation and the architecture of democracy. Brutality toward prisoners, and the denial of their human rights, have been institutionalized; unlawful spying on Americans continues; and the courts are being closed to legal challenges of these practices... Today we're offering a list which, sadly, is hardly exhaustive of things that need to be done to reverse the unwise and lawless policies of President [sic] Bush and Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney.
Bush impeachment calls gather momentum 04 Mar 2007 Ross C. "Rocky" Anderson, Mayor of Salt Lake City, has called for the impeachment of George W. Bush before the Washington State Senate Governmental Operations Committee.
First bank failure in years happens in Pittsburgh By John Hielscher 12 Feb 2007 After nearly 21/2 years without a bank failure, a small Pennsylvania bank collapsed this month. Metropolitan Savings Bank of Pittsburgh was closed by its state banking department. About $12 million in deposits were assumed by Allegheny Valley Bank of Pittsburgh. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Metropolitan had about $1.2 million in deposits in 70 accounts that could exceed the federal insurance limit.
Expert on Soviet Intelligence Shot in Adelphi 03 Mar 2007 Federal and local law enforcement authorities are investigating a shooting in Prince George's County that critically injured a prominent intelligence expert who specializes in the former Soviet Union. Paul Joyal, 53, was shot Thursday, four days after he alleged in a television broadcast that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the fatal poisoning of a former KGB agent in London.
Holt wants hearings on FBI anthrax investigation 04 Mar 2007 Rep. Rush Holt (D-Princeton) wants hearings into what he says is a lack of headway in the FBI's investigation into the deadly [Fort Detrick] anthrax attacks of 2001. "It seems to me this investigation is not making progress. I can't say for sure. They won't brief me," Holt told The Times of Trenton for Saturday newspapers. "Not briefing Congress on the status of the probe into the biggest biological attack in United States history is inexcusable," he said.
Scientists to exhume diplomat's corpse for bird flu clues 05 Mar 2007 Scientists plan to exhume within the next five months the body of a British diplomat who died in 1919 of the Spanish flu, in a move they hope will provide vital clues on how to fight [foment] any future pandemic. Experts see strong parallels between the H5N1 bird flu virus of today and the H1N1 virus of 1918/1919 which sparked the Spanish flu that killed more than 50 million people. [See: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004.]
Sick people used like laboratory rats in GM trials 04 Mar 2007 Genetically modified potatoes developed by Monsanto, the multinational biotech company [corpora-terrorists], have been fed to sick patients in an experiment. Rats that ate similar potatoes in the research suffered reductions in the weight of their hearts and prostate glands.
Mega barf alert! Cloned beef: It's what's for dinner 04 Mar 2007 After years of research, meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are moving toward supermarkets, restaurants and backyard barbecues. The Food and Drug Administration recently declared the fare safe to eat, although it took scientists 678 pages to make their case. They said the meat was so much like regular beef that special labeling would be unnecessary [!?!]. Thousands of consumers have written the agency in opposition. Still, cloned products could become part of the food supply by year's end.
'I could tell the whole order of things had just gone haywire.' Scientists ask: Where are all the bees? A Dade City beekeeper sounds a nationwide alarm as colonies mysteriously disappear. 03 Mar 2007 Veteran beekeeper, David Hackenberg, who spread the word to scientists and other beekeepers, is credited with sounding the alarm about what may be the most devastating honeybee die-off in U.S. history. The crisis, marked by bees mysteriously vanishing from their hives, has been identified in 24 states in every part of the country, said Jerry Hayes, Florida's chief apiary inspector.
Welcome to Scotland 2080: land of dengue fever and Vin d'Ecosse 04 Mar 2007 There isn't a cloud in the sky, the thermometer's soaring and the vineyards are thriving. Unfortunately, the skiing industry is long extinct, golf courses are shut through water shortages and mosquitoes are spreading dengue fever. Welcome to Scotland 2080, as seen by the Scottish Executive. Apocalyptic portraits of life north of the Border should we fail to tackle climate change are not uncommon, but the government's official predictions make particularly grim reading.
Melting ice shelves reveal secret life 26 Feb 2007 Remarkable images of newly discovered marine creatures have been released by scientists who found a unique ecosystem after the collapse of ice shelves, which had covered the Antarctic ocean bed for thousands of years.
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[Previous lead stories:] Iraq PM flags cabinet shakeup 04 Mar 2007 Iraq's [US-installed] prime minister [Nouri al-Maliki] said today he would reshuffle his cabinet within two weeks and pursue criminal charges against political figures linked to extremists as a sign of his government's resolve to restore 'stability' during the US-led security crackdown in Baghdad.
Sunni Insurgents Ascendant in Iraq's Caldron of Violence --14 Police Officers Found Shot to Death After Call for Retribution in Rape Case 03 Mar 2007 More than two weeks into a new Baghdad security plan, Sunni 'insurgents' are asserting responsibility for an increasing number of violent attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces and civilian targets, while Shiite militias are lowering their profile. In recent months, al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq and other Sunni groups have begun to use more sophisticated tactics, downing U.S. helicopters and staging large attacks that have claimed the lives of hundreds of Iraqi civilians.
Al-Qaeda group posts execution video 04 Mar 2007 The al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq has posted a video on the internet showing the execution of 18 Iraqi security troops, shot in the back of their heads while kneeling in a field. The three-minute video, on a website known to be used by the Islamists, said the 18 kidnapped government security forces were slain in retaliation for the alleged rape of a Sunni woman by members of the Shi'ite-dominated police. The video's authenticity could not be immediately verified.
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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.