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 News: AP Exclusive: Documents say detainee near insanity

Latest NewsAP Exclusive: Documents say detainee near insanity
Yahoo News
By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer

 
WASHINGTON - A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that an American detainee was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation and sensory deprivation in a U.S. military brig, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.


While the treatment of prisoners at detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan and Iraq have long been the subject of human rights complaints and court scrutiny, the documents shed new light on how two American citizens and a legal U.S. resident were treated in military jails inside the United States.

The Bush administration ordered the men to be held in military jails as "enemy combatants" for years of interrogations without criminal charges, which would not have been allowed in civilian jails.

The men were interrogated by the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, repeatedly denied access to attorneys and mail from home and contact with anyone other than guards and their interrogators. They were deprived of natural light for months and for years were forbidden even minor distractions such as a soccer ball or a dictionary.

"I will continue to do what I can to help this individual maintain his sanity, but in my opinion we're working with borrowed time," an unidentified Navy brig official wrote of prisoner Yaser Esam Hamdi in 2002. "I would like to have some form of an incentive program in place to reward him for his continued good behavior, but more so, to keep him from whacking out on me."

Yale Law School's Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic received the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by two attorneys Jonathan Freiman and Tahlia Townsend, representing another detainee, Jose Padilla. The Lowenstein group and the American Civil Liberties Union said the papers were evidence that the Bush administration violated the 5th Amendment's protections against cruel treatment. The U.S. military was ordered to treat the American prisoners the same way prisoners at Guantanamo were treated, according to the documents.

However, the Guantanamo jail was created by the Bush administration specifically to avoid allowing detainees any constitutional rights. Administration lawyers contended the Constitution did not apply outside ...

Posted by Editor on Tuesday, October 07 @ 21:49:30 EDT (5819 reads)
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 News: UK terror charges dropped against doctor

Latest NewsUK terror charges dropped against doctor
Yahoo News
By DENNIS PASSA, Associated Press Writer




BRISBANE, Australia - An Indian doctor was freed from custody after Australia's chief prosecutor said Friday that a charge linking him to failed terrorist bombings in Britain was a mistake.


Prosecutors withdrew the charge against Mohamed Haneef in the Brisbane Magistrates Court after a review of the evidence by the federal Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg found that his office should never have recommended it. 
In this undated photo provided by Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Indian doctor.
AP Photo: In this undated photo provided by Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef is seen. Australia's top prosecutor on Friday, July 27, 2007 dropped a terror charge against Haneef, who was accused of supporting June's failed bomb attacks on London and Glasgow, Scotland.


"Mistakes are embarrassing. You're embarrassed if you do something wrong," Bugg told reporters in Canberra. "I'm disappointed that it's happened and I will first thing next week try and obtain a better understanding of how it came about."

The government responded by saying Haneef, 27, would be freed from custody while Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews considers whether he will change his decision to revoke the doctor's visa.

Haneef was released from prison in the eastern city of Brisbane. His lawyer Peter Russo would not say where Haneef planned to live while the government reviewed whether to reinstate his visa.

Andrews said Haneef was free to stay where he liked as long as he reported daily to a government official.

His wife, Firdaus Arshiya, told reporters in Bangalore, India, that she hoped her husband would fly home within days.

"I'm happy he's been proved innocent," she said.

E. Ahmed, India's junior foreign minister, said India would support Haneef's request for a bridging visa so that he could leave Australia on his own accord, rather than be deported.

Haneef has been in custody since July 2, when he was arrested at Brisbane International Airport as he was about to fly to India.

Haneef had been charged with providing reckless support to a terrorist organization because he gave his mobile phone SIM card to his second cousin, Sabeel Ahmed, in July last year. He had faced up to 15 years in ...

Posted by Editor on Friday, July 27 @ 06:28:30 EDT (3290 reads)
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 News: TSA: Terrorists may be conducting dry runs

Latest NewsTSA: Terrorists may be conducting dry runs
MSNBC
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Airport security officers around the nation have been alerted by federal officials to look out for terrorists practicing to carry explosive components onto aircraft, based on four curious seizures at airports since last September.

The unclassified alert was distributed on July 20 by the Transportation Security Administration to federal air marshals, its own transportation security officers and other law enforcement agencies.

The seizures at airports in San Diego, Milwaukee, Houston and Baltimore included “wires, switches, pipes or tubes, cell phone components and dense clay-like substances,” including block cheese, the bulletin said. “The unusual nature and increase in number of these improvised items raise concern.”


Security officers were urged to keep an eye out for “ordinary items that look like improvised explosive device components.”

The 13-paragraph bulletin was posted on the Internet by NBC Nightly News, which first ...

Posted by Editor on Wednesday, July 25 @ 07:23:01 EDT (3485 reads)
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 News: Bin Laden appears in new al-Qaida video

Latest NewsBin Laden appears in new al-Qaida video
Yahoo News
Associated Press



 Timeline shows some of the purported audio and video messages by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri in 2007 and amount of time it took for the terror network to release them to the world; two sizes; 2c x 4 3/4 inches; 96.3 mm x 120.7 mm; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95.3 mm

Photo: AP Photo
Timeline shows some of the purported audio and video messages by al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri in 2007 and amount of time it took for the terror network to release them to the world; two sizes; 2c x 4 3/4 inches; 96.3 mm x 120.7 mm; 3c x 3 3/4 inches; 146 mm x 95.3 mm

CAIRO, Egypt - A new al-Qaida videotape posted Sunday on a militant Web site featured a short, undated clip of a weary-looking Osama bin Laden praising martyrdom.

The bin Laden clip, which lasted less than a minute, was part of a 40-minute video featuring purported al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan paying tribute to fellow militants who have been killed in the country. It was posted by the group's media production wing.

Bin Laden glorified those who die in the name of jihad, or holy war, saying even the Prophet Muhammad "had been wishing to be a martyr."

"The happy (man) is the one that God has chosen him to be a martyr," added bin Laden, who was shown outdoors wearing army fatigues and looking tired.

Posted by Editor on Sunday, July 15 @ 04:00:00 EDT (2864 reads)
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 News: British, Australian police charge two over failed car bombs

Latest NewsBritish, Australian police charge two over failed car bombs
Yahoo News
By JENNIFER QUINN, Associated Press Writer

LONDON - An Indian doctor arrested the same day his brother allegedly drove a Jeep Cherokee loaded with gas bombs into Glasgow's main airport was charged Saturday with a terrorism offense. A distant cousin in Australia was also charged in the failed attacks in London and Glasgow.

Sabeel Ahmed, of Liverpool, was charged with having information that could prevent an act of terrorism, the Metropolitan Police said in a news release.

Ahmed is the third person to be charged in connection with the alleged plot in London and Glasgow. His brother, Kafeel, is believed to have set himself on fire after crashing into the airport and is in a Scottish hospital with critical burns.
This undated photo made available on Sunday, July 8, 2007, by B. R. Ambedkar Medical College, BRAMC in Bangalore, India, shows Indian doctor Sabeel Ahmed. Ahmed, 26, who was arrested in Liverpool in connection with the foiled terror attacks in London and Glasgow on June 29 and 30. The records showed Ahmed graduated from the college. (AP Photo/B.R.Ambedkar Medical College, HO)

Photo: AP Photo
This undated photo made available on Sunday, July 8, 2007, by B. R. Ambedkar Medical College, BRAMC in Bangalore, India, shows Indian doctor Sabeel Ahmed. Ahmed, 26, who was arrested in Liverpool in connection with the foiled terror attacks in London and Glasgow on June 29 and 30. The records showed Ahmed graduated from the college. (AP Photo/B.R.Ambedkar Medical College, HO)

Muhammad Haneef, 27, a distant cousin who once shared a house with the brothers in Britain, was charged Saturday in Brisbane, Australia, with supporting a terrorist group. Bilal Abdullah, a 27-year-old Iraqi doctor, was charged last week by British police with conspiring to set off explosions.

Australian police charged Haneef with providing support to the bomb plot by giving his SIM card to Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed when he left Britain for Australia in July 2006. Haneef faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

British police tracked a SIM card found on one of the men accused in the failed bomb attacks to Haneef, and alerted their Australian counterparts. Haneef was arrested July 2 while trying to leave the eastern city of Brisbane for India on a one-way ticket.

Prosecutor Clive Porritt said Haneef would have known about the Ahmed brothers' alleged links to terrorism.

"These are people who he lived with, may have worked with, and certainly associated with," Porritt told the Brisbane Magistrates Court during a daylong bail hearing.

But defense lawyer Stephen Keim said Haneef only left the SIM card with Sabeel Ahmed so his cousin could take advantage of a special deal on his mobile phone plan.

"For some reason he should have been aware that something was going to happen when the rest of the world didn't," Keim said. "It is not suggested that he is anything other than a foolish dupe who should have been more suspicious."

Eight people were detained immediately after the botched attacks; one of them, the only woman, was freed on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear whether the SIM card was used in ...

Posted by Editor on Saturday, July 14 @ 13:52:48 EDT (3249 reads)
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 News: U.S. troops battle Iraqi police, gunmen

Latest NewsU.S. troops battle Iraqi police, gunmen
Yahoo News
By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer

 BAGHDAD - U.S. forces battled Iraqi police and gunmen Friday, killing six policemen, after an American raid captured a police lieutenant accused of leading an Iranian-backed militia cell, the military said.


Photo: AP Photo
Iraqis stand at the site of an explosion in the Amin neighborhood of eastern Baghdad

Seven gunmen also died in the fight, a rare open street battle between American troops and policemen. Washington has demanded the government purge its police force of militants, and U.S. and Iraqi authorities have arrested officers in the past for militia links. But the Bush administration said in an assessment Thursday that progress on that front was "unsatisfactory."

The lieutenant was captured before dawn in eastern Baghdad, but the soldiers came under "heavy and accurate fire" from a nearby Iraqi police checkpoint, as well as intense fire from rooftops and a church, the military said in a statement.

As the Americans fired back, U.S. warplanes struck in front of the police position, without hitting it directly, "to prevent further escalation" of the battle, it said. There were no casualties among the U.S. troops, but seven gunmen and six of the policemen firing on the Americans were killed, the statement said.

The captured lieutenant was a "high-ranking" leader of a cell suspected of helping coordinate Iranian support for Shiite extremists in Iraq as well as carrying out roadside bombings against mortar attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces, the military said. The lieutenant is believed to be linked to the Quds Force, a branch of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, it said.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry, which controls the police, said he had no immediate information on the clash and refused to comment.

The U.S. military accuses Iran's Quds Force of organizing Shiite militants into so-called "special groups" and arming them with weapons and explosives — including a particularly deadly form of roadside bombs called explosively formed penetrators. Iran denies the claims.

Infiltration by Shiite militias is pervasive in the Iraqi police, fueling a deep mistrust of ...




Posted by Editor on Friday, July 13 @ 13:39:45 EDT (3287 reads)
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 News: US House votes for troop pullout

Latest NewsUS House votes for troop pullout
BBC News, UK
 The United States House of Representatives has voted in favour of pulling most combat troops out of Iraq by April next year.

The legislation calls for the Pentagon to begin withdrawing combat troops within four months.
US Troops

Photo: Getty Images
Some Republicans have broken ranks with the President on Iraq

The vote comes despite President George W Bush's threat to veto any timetable.

Correspondents say the House of Representatives, controlled by the Democrats, is hoping to pressure the Senate to approve a similar timeline.

It is the third time this year the House has voted to end US military involvement in Iraq.

Two previous efforts either failed in the Senate or were vetoed by President Bush.

The latest attempt would allow some US forces to stay in Iraq to train the Iraqi army and ...

Posted by Editor on Friday, July 13 @ 00:20:11 EDT (2840 reads)
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 News: Report: Al-Qaida nears ability to strike U.S.

Latest NewsReport: Al-Qaida nears ability to strike U.S.
MSNBC
AP
 
WASHINGTON - Al-Qaida is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned.


Photo: IntelCenter

The draft National Intelligence Estimate is expected to paint an ever-more-worrisome portrait of al-Qaida’s ability to use its base along the Pakistan-Afghan border to launch and inspire attacks, even as Bush administration officials say the U.S. is safer nearly six years into the war on terror.

Among the key findings of the classified estimate, which is still in draft form and must be approved by all 16 U.S. spy agencies:

  • Al-Qaida is probably still pursuing chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and would use them if its operatives developed sufficient capability.
  • The terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. It could not immediately be learned what the missing fourth element is.
  • The group will bolster its efforts to position operatives inside U.S. borders. In public statements, U.S. officials have expressed concern about the ease with which people can enter the United States through Europe because of a program that allows most Europeans to enter without visas.
The document also discusses ...


Posted by Editor on Friday, July 13 @ 00:11:30 EDT (3326 reads)
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 News: Al-Qaida has rebuilt, U.S. intel warns

Latest NewsAl-Qaida has rebuilt, U.S. intel warns
Yahoo News
By KATHERINE SHRADER and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

The conclusion suggests that the network that launched the most devastating terror attack on the United States has been able to regroup along the Afghan-Pakistani border despite nearly six years of bombings, war and other tactics aimed at crippling it.


Still, numerous government officials say they know of no specific, credible threat of a new attack on U.S. soil. 


Photo: AP Photo via IntelCenter

A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the new government threat assessment called it a stark appraisal to be discussed at the White House on Thursday as part of a broader meeting on an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

The official and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the secret report remains classified.

Counterterrorism analysts produced the document, titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West." The document focuses on the terror group's safe haven in Pakistan and makes a range of observations about the threat posed to the United States and its allies, officials said.

Al-Qaida is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," the official said, paraphrasing the report's conclusions. "They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States."

The group also has created "the most robust training program since 2001, with an interest in using European operatives," the official quoted the report as saying.

At the same time, this official said, the report speaks of "significant gaps in intelligence" so U.S. authorities may be ignorant of potential or planned attacks.

John Kringen, who heads the CIA's analysis directorate, echoed the concerns about ...

Posted by Editor on Wednesday, July 11 @ 21:33:53 EDT (3053 reads)
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 News: BBC reporter Alan Johnston freed in Gaza

Latest NewsBBC reporter Alan Johnston freed in Gaza
Guardian Unlimited

By Conal Urquhart in Gaza City


BBC journalist Alan Johnston is all smiles after being freed following four months in captivity in Gaza City
BBC journalist Alan Johnston (centre) shown after his release. Photograph: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty images
 

Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist held hostage in the Gaza Strip since March, was handed over to Hamas officials by his Islamist captors early this morning, July 4th.

The 45-year-old Briton, looking pale and frail, was taken to the offices of the disputed Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza City. A witness said he was well, but had lost a lot of weight.

The BBC confirmed Mr Johnston had been freed by his kidnappers.

He is expected to leave Gaza for Israel as soon as possible. According to a Foreign Office advance plan, he will receive medical attention in Jerusalem before decisions are made about when he will return home to Britain.

Speaking to BBC News 24 after his release, Mr Johnston said: "It's the most fantastic thing to be free."

He described his 16 weeks of captivity as "appalling".

"It became almost hard to imagine normal life again," he said. "Now it really is over and it is indescribably good to be out."

Mr Johnston, the only western correspondent working full-time in Gaza, went missing on March 12. His captors later declared themselves to be the Army of Islam, an al-Qaida-inspired group with links to one of Gaza's powerful clans. Concern grew last month when the group issued a video of Mr Johnston in what appeared to be a vest packed with explosives and threatened to kill the reporter if ...

Posted by Editor on Tuesday, July 03 @ 23:22:17 EDT (3188 reads)
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 News: McCain ranks Rumsfeld among America's worst military leaders

Latest NewsMcCain ranks Rumsfeld among America's worst military leaders
Times Online, UK

John McCain last night:

 

John McCain last night: "We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement -- that is the kindest word I can give you -- of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war."


Posted by Editor on Tuesday, February 20 @ 09:13:40 EST (3041 reads)
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 News: Senate panel defies Bush on terror

Latest NewsSenate panel defies Bush on terror
Yahoo News
By ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A rebellious Senate committee defied  President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of election season.

Republican Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record) of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

Earlier in the day, Bush had journeyed to the Capitol to try nailing down support for his own version of the legislation.

"I will resist any bill that does not enable this program to go forward with legal clarity," Bush said at the White House.

The president's measure would go further than ...



Posted by Editor on Friday, September 15 @ 04:00:00 EDT (2641 reads)
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 News: Indonesia delays planned execution of Bali bombers

Latest NewsIndonesia delays planned execution of Bali bombers
Monsters and Critics.com, UK

Jakarta - Indonesia has delayed the scheduled executions of three Muslim militants convicted of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people, after their defence attorneys announced they would file a final appeal, a government spokesman said Monday.

The condemned men - Imam Samurda and brothers Amrozi Nurhasyim and Ali Gufron - were among more than 30 people convicted in the bombings, many of whom were believed to be members of Jemaah Islamiyah, a South-East Asian offshoot of al-Qaeda.

Their defence team plans to file a final appeal, known as a judicial review, with the Indonesian Supreme Court, which prompted the Attorney General's Office to delay Tuesday's scheduled executions by firing squad, said I Wayan Pasek Suarta, spokesman for the office.

'It's a legal process, and we respect the process,' he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Defence attorneys said they would demand that the convictions be thrown out because the anti-terrorism law used to prosecute the three men was applied retroactively. The Jakarta government had pushed through the legislation in the weeks after the bombing, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, at two nightspots in Bali's Kuta Beach area.

'We'll file an appeal on the basis that the Attorney General's Office has violated the constitution because, since the beginning, they were being tried on a retroactive law,' defence attorney Mahendra Datta told dpa.

In 2004, Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled that ...



Posted by Editor on Monday, August 28 @ 04:00:00 EDT (3572 reads)
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 News: Crisis in Lebanon - 21 Aug 2006

Latest NewsCrisis in Lebanon - 21 Aug 2006
ReliefWeb, Switzerland

As both the Hezbollah and Israeli forces in Lebanon continue to observe the August 14 cease-fire, there is a sense of guarded relief among the Lebanese people. Estimates are that close to one-third of the almost 1 million who were displaced by the fighting have left where they were being sheltered and have returned home, not knowing what they might find. A number of villages in southern Lebanon have been flattened and thousands of people now have no homes to return to.

Throughout the conflict, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has worked with its partner, Caritas Lebanon, to provide food, hygiene materials, medical and psychological assistance to more than 85,000 beneficiaries from across Lebanon who were forced by the bombing to flee their homes.

CRS has pledged $10 million to relief efforts in Gaza, Lebanon and northern Israel. With the cease-fire and the fact that most people are leaving the shelters and returning home, CRS' efforts are now shifting from providing food and other emergency relief items to repairing and helping rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed during the conflict.

In the southern port town of Saida (Sidon), CRS has been ...



Posted by Editor on Monday, August 21 @ 08:54:40 EDT (2788 reads)
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 News: Cameron stands by terror comments

Latest NewsCameron stands by terror comments
ic Solihull.co.uk, UK

Conservative leader David Cameron has defended his decision to ignore the political consensus after the alleged airliner bomb plot and attack the Government's counter-terrorism strategy.

It followed his claims on Tuesday that the Government was not doing enough to protect national security or fight Islamic extremism.

On Wednesday, Mr Cameron told BBC Breakfast News he stood by his opinion that plans to freeze the Home Office budget for the next three years were "wrong". He said: "I believe it is wrong for Gordon Brown to freeze the Home Office budget because we are facing a threat from terrorists."

He continued: "They say there will be some extra money available because of inflation, but no extra money available. Freezing this budget is a bad idea."

Mr Cameron said the Government had a comprehensive spending review of departments under way, and any decision on the Home Office budget should be part of that.


Posted by Editor on Saturday, August 19 @ 04:00:00 EDT (1790 reads)
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 News: CSIS boss calls racial profiling 'fundamentally stupid'

Latest NewsCSIS boss calls racial profiling 'fundamentally stupid'
Vancouver Sun (subscription),  Canada
Janice Tibbetts, CanWest News Service

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said Tuesday that the spy agency avoids racial profiling because it is "fundamentally stupid'' and does not knowingly use information gleaned under torture offshore because the practice is "morally repugnant.''

James Judd told a gathering of Canadian judges on Tuesday that he is "acutely aware'' of complaints that the agency, along with several other organizations, targets the Muslim community in fighting the war on terror. "We don't profile because it's fundamentally stupid and we don't have enough resources,'' said Judd. "From a national security perspective, we can't afford to have whole communities feel alienated.''

Rather, the agency has embarked on community outreach efforts to combat "this legend that this is how we do business,'' Judd told a panel discussion on human rights and national security.

Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International, told the ...


Posted by Editor on Friday, August 18 @ 04:00:00 EDT (19726 reads)
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 News: Let Humanity's Mutiny Begin

Latest News Posted by Editor on Thursday, August 17 @ 04:00:00 EDT (2668 reads)
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 News: Terror Charge Dropped in Cell Phone Case

Latest NewsTerror Charge Dropped in Cell Phone Case
The Columbian, WA 
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS

 
MARIETTA, Ohio (AP) -- The families of two men originally charged with supporting terrorism after buying large numbers of cell phones say they've lost a sense of belonging to the country they've long called home.

Ali Houssaiky and Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, both of Dearborn, Mich., headed home from jail Tuesday after prosecutors in southeast Ohio dropped the terror charges, saying they couldn't prove a terrorism link.

"I just wish that when I go onto Google and I Google my brother's name I won't see terrorist when his name pops up," said Houssaiky's sister, Diana Houssaiky.

The men still face misdemeanor counts of ...





Posted by Editor on Wednesday, August 16 @ 07:55:41 EDT (6401 reads)
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 News: Hispanics Angered by Democratic Web Ad

Latest NewsHispanics Angered by Democratic Web Ad
Forbes
By SUZANNE GAMBOA

A Democratic political ad is under fire from Hispanics who say it unfairly compares Latino immigrants to terrorists.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sponsored a 35-second ad on its Web site that shows footage of two people scaling a border fence mixed with images of Osama Bin Laden and North Korea President Kim Jong Il.

Pedro Celis, chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, said in a statement Tuesday that the DSCC should remove the ad because it vilifies illegal Hispanic immigrants and is "appalling."

Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, a Democrat, sent a letter to DSCC Chairman Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asking that the ad be pulled. She said it could alienate Latino voters.

"To liken Latino immigrants to bazooka-toting terrorists not only undermines the positive relationship our party has with this community, but also lowers us to a despicable level as breeders of unfounded fear and hatred," Alvarado wrote.

The ad opens with the words "Security Under Bush and GOP?" It features scenes of a ...

Posted by Editor on Wednesday, August 16 @ 07:44:41 EDT (3960 reads)
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 Al Qaeda have Nukes

Latest News
Reports of Bin Laden having obtained nuclear suitcases, first surfaced in 1998, in various international papers and magazines.  In 1996 members of the Chechen Mafia purportedly sold twenty of these nuclear suitcases in Grozny to representatives of Osama bin Laden and the mujahadeen.  For the weapons, bin Laden paid $30 million in cash and two tons of heroin that had been refined in his laboratories in Afghanistan.  The street value of the heroin was in excess of $700 million. 


To read the full article go to  http://www.crusade-media.com/news1.html


Posted by Editor on Wednesday, August 16 @ 07:27:36 EDT (2475 reads)
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 News: Airline Stocks Hit By Terror Alert

Latest NewsAirline Stocks Hit By Terror Alert
KCCI.com, IA

 Shares of airlines and many other travel-related companies are on the decline. This after British authorities reported they thwarted a terrorist plot to blow up aircraft in flight between the United States and Britain. As heightened security measures caused long delays and canceled flights at airports around Europe and the United States, experts said the alert could deliver a blow to affected businesses.

Two U.S. counterterrorism officials said the plot had targeted United Airlines, American Airlines and Continental Airlines. In premarket trading, shares of selected U.S. airlines were down 3 to 7 percent. Similar declines have been seen for European carriers in overseas trading. Europe's major stock markets were down more than 1 percent ahead of the open on Wall Street.


TRAVEL TIPS
  • No liquids or gels of any kind will be permitted in carry-on baggage.
  • EXCEPTIONS: Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling
  • EXCEPTIONS: Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket
  • EXCEPTIONS: Insulin and other essential nonprescription medicines
  • Pack lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening.
  • Check with your air carrier well before your flight departs for arrival info.
  • Cooperate with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates.
  • TSA security officers will be checking carry-on baggage at the gate.
  • Be attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity.





  • Posted by Editor on Friday, August 11 @ 04:30:00 EDT (6805 reads)
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     News: Bombing Near Iraq Shrine Leaves 35 Dead

    Latest NewsBombing Near Iraq Shrine Leaves 35 Dead
    Guardian Unlimited, UK
    By QAIS AL-BASHIR, Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A suicide bomber detonated a belt of explosives Thursday near a highly revered Shiite shrine in southern Iraq, killing at least 35 people and injuring 122, an official said.

    The bomber blew himself up while being patted down by police near the Imam Ali mosque in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, said Dr. Munthir al-Ithari, the head of the city's health directorate.

    Shiite religious leaders in Najaf accused Sunni loyalists of former dictator Saddam Hussein of carrying out the attack.

    ``We hold Takfiris (Sunni extremists) and Saddamists directly responsible for this horrible crime ... at the same time we hold those who embrace terrorism in Iraq and the countries supporting it as responsible,'' the statement said.

    The Iraqi army said the death toll was 35, with 122 injured.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Mailiki, a Shiite, denounced the bombing as a ``barbaric massacre conducted by Takfiris (Sunni extremists) and Saddamists who are seeking to inflame sectarian'' passions. A statement by the collective Shiite leadership also issued a similar condemnation.

    A Sunni insurgent group, Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba, or Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions, claimed responsibility for ...



    Posted by Editor on Friday, August 11 @ 04:00:00 EDT (2930 reads)
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     News: Current Threat Level

    Latest News
    http://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-advisory-system http://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-advisory-system

    Posted by Editor on Thursday, August 10 @ 10:38:10 EDT (2578 reads)
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     News: Homeland Security Advisory System

    Latest NewsHomeland Security Advisory System
    Current Threat Level

    August 10, 2006 – The United States Government is raising the nation’s threat level for the aviation sector to:

    • Code Red or Severe for flights originating in the United Kingdom bound for the United States
    • Code Orange or High for all commercial aviation operating in or destined for the United States.
    • The rest of the country remains at Code Yellow.

    Currently, there is no indication of plotting within the United States. We believe the arrests of extremists engaged in a substantial plot to destroy multiple passenger aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States have significantly disrupted the threat, but we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted.

    Consistent with these higher threat levels, the Transportation Security Administration is implementing changes to airport screening procedures to include:

    • No liquids or gels of any kind will be permitted in carry-on baggage. Items must be in checked baggage.
      Exception: baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine, insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines.

    Travelers should also anticipate additional security measures within the airport and at screening checkpoints.

    More detailed information available at TSA.gov.

    Recommended Activities

    All Americans, including those traveling in the transportation systems, should ...

    Posted by Editor on Thursday, August 10 @ 10:18:27 EDT (6874 reads)
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     News: TERRORISTS' SILENT NEW WEAPON IDENTIFIED

    Latest NewsTERRORISTS' SILENT NEW WEAPON IDENTIFIED
    Ether Zone, IL
    By: Paul Vincent Zecchino

    TERRORISTS' SILENT NEW WEAPON IDENTIFIED
    IT'S OUR CONTROLLED COMPLICIT PRESS

    Crucial 90's events, if at all reported, were exiled to pinksheet netherpages. Reports once and briefly stated signified doom imminent. Meanwhile, mainscream mediacs and tv cronies drowned the giddy in a sea of piffle.

    Remember Patrick Martin Purdy? He made Southeastern Connecticut famous long before faux-indian gambling houses did. He slept at a North Stonington motel on his road to Purdition. Its cul-de-sac was an 'assault weapon' schoolyard shoot 'em up. Soldiers knew not the term. It was contrived by Josh Sugarman. He flakked for Handgun Control. He set up his own Gun-Ban racket. He needed a gimmick. Sug' minted 'assault weapon' to make the uninformed believe full auto weapons were as easily purchased as Mrs. Smith's Lentils - which also are 'assault weapons'. Think I'm kidding? Why were reprobate prep school squires banned from Providence, Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Theater? Mrs. Smith's Lentils and Sani-Straws delivered critique d'theatre more stinging than Rex Reed on Prussic Acid, that's why.

    Purdy's sandbox donnybrook caused FOP figurines to demand 'assault weapon' bans. The President, an alleged 'NRA Life Member', demanded something be done. Massachusetts State Police were ordered to study the Assault Weapon Plague. Evidence exonerated the guns. It indicted fetishistic gun-haters.

    A decade passed. The ban proved worthless. President Bush croaked it. President Bush, thank you for supporting common sense and Americans who are callously dismissed by sniffy elite pouffes. Purdy's name is well known thanks to media coluratura histrionics about Stockton Schoolyard Shootings and Columbine.

    Enter Mel Gibson. Shame on Mel. If not before, surely forever after Dustup D'Passion he should have known he was a man marked. This means one must be careful. One does not indict 'Jews for starting all the wars'. This is crucial, Mel, as L.A. County Sheriffs aren't miffed about 'Jews' or 'wars' but rather '87 in a 45'. Having spent an enjoyable day playing inebriates, cops, and thugs with L.A. County Sheriffs on 'America's Dumbest Criminals', I say this Mel, with a gravitas born of empirical wisdom. Sheriffs are our friends. Our world is stuffed like rotting Brautwurst with dangerous half-wits. They use courts to strip the innocent of wealth and freedom in hope of killing them. Sometimes they don't use courts. They are the Court. Decent cops know these lice. They detest them as do you and I and all who love goodness and hate lies. Tell it in a movie, Mel. I've already prepared the treatment...

    First day on the job, first thing you learn in radio advertising: 'play one off the other'. You sell abstract radio ads to merchants by playing radio against print ads in language directing one to the other. You know this intrinsicallly. Nosepicks Ninety-Six FM implores listeners to check out Qweesy Qruises discount coupon in their local paper. Result? Record passengers aboard Qweesy Qruises. Norovirus surely to follow...

    Print and radio are mutually reinforcing. They deliver the message and make it stick. So isn't it surprising, for all the tediously predictable whining about guns and Victims, that the shooting of defenseless Jewish women and murder of one remains largely unreported? To his great credit, Michael Savage publicizes this indisputable terrorism against clear targets on American soil.

    Are you aware of the shooting of defenseless Jewish women in Seattle by a man with an Arabic sounding name? No? Don't feel badly. Undersigned scurrilous scribbler wouldn't know either, had the story not leapt from the tv while crossing channels in search of a weather report. Right, Saturday night when none are watching, a network ran the story. Once. Curious. Or is it something else?

    Aren't we told Gibson's words are but a trigger-pull shy of mayhem? Ask sham Victim Advocates such as The City of Marco Island, Florida's "Perjury Pat". She weaves whole cloth lies against legitimate family while crooks plunder wealthy elderly and get away Scott-free. Victimology industry makes trouble for the innocent - totalitarianism's hallmark - by hanging them them with their own words.

    So why doesn't the press play Gibson's words off the Seattle Shootings? The events are nearly coincident. Couldn't they convince many that words spoken by a man in pain invariably foreshadow atrocity? Isn't Gibson vs. Seattle taylor-made for reinforcing this post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy?

    Why is the press silent? Why no playing of one off the other? Naveed Afzal Haq, age 30, entered the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on July 29th. He stated he was a Muslim angry with Israel. He allegedly shot six defenseless Jewish women, one fatally. Simple story. Why the stentorian silence?

    Aside from one network report and Savage's efforts, the one other site running this is www.killcastro.com war blog, July Archives. Six Jewish women shot - one fatally - by a self-declared Muslim angry with Israel, Mel Gibson hands victim/detractors evidence they've long craved, and - Silence?

    Do some hope silence will encourage repetition? Or did Mr. Haq overdo it? Does overkill suggest not so much emotional fanatic as cool agent provocateur?

    "Published originally at EtherZone.com "


    Posted by Editor on Thursday, August 10 @ 04:00:00 EDT (4025 reads)
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     News: Global cybercrime treaty gets US Senate nod

    Latest NewsGlobal cybercrime treaty gets US Senate nod
    ZDNet Asia, Asia
    By Declan McCullagh and Anne Broache, CNET News.com

    The first and only international treaty designed exclusively to combat computer crime won approval late last week from the U.S. Senate.


    The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime "will enhance our ability to cooperate with foreign governments in fighting terrorism, computer hacking, money laundering and child pornography, among other crimes," senator Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement.

    The treaty is intended to harmonize computer crime laws, especially those in smaller or less developed nations that may not have updated their legal framework to reflect the complexities of the internet. It requires participating countries to target a broad swath of activities, including unauthorized intrusions into networks, fraud, the release of worms and viruses, child pornography and copyright infringement.

    U.S. attorney general Alberto Gonzales said in a statement last week: "This treaty provides important tools in the battles against terrorism, attacks on computer networks and the sexual exploitation of children over the Internet, by strengthening U.S. cooperation with foreign countries in obtaining electronic evidence."

    Because U.S. law already includes much of what the treaty requires, the Senate's consent is in part symbolic.

    But one portion, which provoked the most controversy, deals with international cooperation. It says internet providers must cooperate with electronic searches and seizures without reimbursement; the FBI must conduct electronic surveillance "in real time" on behalf of another government; that US businesses can be slapped with "expedited preservation" orders preventing them from routinely deleting logs or other data.

    What's controversial about those requirements is that they don't require "dual criminality"--in other words, Russian security services investigating democracy activists could ask for the FBI's help in uncovering the contents of their Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail accounts, or even conducting live wiretaps.

    Danny O'Brien, activism coordinator with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, said: "Our primary concern is that there's no dual criminality within the mutual assistance provisions. The United States is now obliged to investigate and monitor French Internet crimes, say, and France is obliged to obey America's requests to spy on its citizens, for instance--even if those citizens are under no suspicion for crimes on the statute books of their own country."

    The Council of Europe consists of 45 member states, including all of the European Union, and five non-voting members, of which the US is one. Negotiations on the treaty began in 1997, and so far, 15 European nations, including Albania, Denmark, France, Norway and Ukraine, have fully ratified the final document.

    The Bush administration began pressuring Congress to do the same in 2003. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the treaty last summer.

    Long-time technology industry advocates of the treaty hailed the Senate's action, which occurred on its final day in session before a month-long summer recess. The Business Software Alliance, a lobbying group whose members include Apple, Cisco Systems, IBM, Intel and Microsoft, said the treaty "will serve as an important tool in the global fight against cyber criminals and encourage greater cooperation among nations".

    The software industry, which has been lobbying for years for action on the treaty, has found it contains much to ...



    Posted by Editor on Wednesday, August 09 @ 04:00:00 EDT (3269 reads)
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     News: Bush Is Dealing From Position of Weakness

    Latest NewsBush Is Dealing From Position of Weakness
    Los Angeles Times, CA
    By Tyler Marshall and Alissa J. Rubin, Times Staff Writers


    Nazzi Ali Mutkak, who locals say ran a coffee stand, was killed in a direct hit on one of the main streets of Tyre, Lebanon. Civil defense arrived to take him to the hospital, but he died on the way. Two small coffee cups fell by his side. Israelis killed at least three people in Tyre on Sunday, in several direct attacks.
    (Carolyn Cole / LAT)


    WASHINGTON -- As the Bush administration seeks to negotiate a diplomatic end to the fighting in the Middle East, it finds it has a strikingly weak hand.

    The war in Iraq, the halting U.S. efforts to respond to the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, and now the fighting in Lebanon and Israel have led to unprecedented levels of anti-Americanism in the Arab world. Alliances with longtime Arab friends are strained, and the U.S. lacks relations with two key regional players: Iran and Syria.

    "The Lebanon crisis is the end of the myth that we can tell the world what to do and they'll line up to do it," said Nancy Soderberg, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. "They are going to have to do real diplomacy."

    Adding to the challenge is, remarkably, inexperience. Despite 5 1/2 years in office, Bush's foreign policy team has been involved in surprisingly few high-stakes negotiations in the region.

    The draft U.N. resolution painstakingly crafted by the United States and the French over the weekend was a first effort at negotiating an end to the fighting in Lebanon. But it took a long week for agreement to be reached, despite U.S. officials' constant assertion that it was just a matter of details. In that week, many Lebanese civilians died, leading many in the region to believe that the U.S. cared little about their lives.

    The landscape looks grim for serious diplomacy.

    Since U.S. forces captured Baghdad without a serious fight in the spring of 2003, fear of American military might has melted away as the soldiers and Marines were unable to control the insurgency or stem Iraq's escalating sectarian violence. The result has reduced America's aura of complete power and, with it, the ability to bend others to its will.

    Successful diplomacy requires being able to broker between enemies by having the trust of both parties and enough force, moral and military, to enforce a deal. America's recent foreign forays have relied largely on force, and those victories have been short-lived and been unable to bring about the democracy they promised.

    "In the Middle East, historically people always go with the strong horse, but we don't look like the strong horse anymore," said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and now director of the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. "To Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, we look like we're short of breath."

    Added Rand Corp. counterterrorism specialist Bruce Hoffman: "If they felt threatened then, they are emboldened now."

    The Bush administration also faces an unprecedented level of anti-American feeling in the Arab world, emotions driven in part by its image as an unquestioning supporter of Israel and also by allegations of torture and abuse against Muslim detainees in places such as Guantanamo Bay and Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

    One survey conducted eight months ago by the polling group Zogby International in Egypt -- an American ally -- found that just more than 3 percent of those questioned had a "very favorable" opinion of the United States, while 71 percent had a "very unfavorable" view.

    The result is a serious erosion of political goodwill and moral authority, both important components of diplomatic influence historically available to the United States.

    Against this unsettling backdrop, a U.S. diplomatic offensive involving substantive negotiations to alter the map of the broader Middle East would be a first for Bush. While few American presidents have initiated greater change to the political landscape of the Middle East than has Bush, little of it has come through consensus-building or negotiated agreement.

    Political transformation in Afghanistan and Iraq followed military invasions, the end of Syria's occupation of Lebanon came mainly through intense international pressure triggered by the assassination of the former prime minister, and gradual expansions of political pluralism in countries such as Egypt came from high-profile rhetoric and a firm political nudge.

    "This administration doesn't do diplomacy well," said Judith Kipper, a Middle East specialist at the Council on Foreign Relations. "They are like the Arabs: They say something and think it's been done."

    In addressing the long-simmering Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the White House has not turned to a special U.S. special envoy or bouts of intense shuttle diplomacy like that employed by previous administrations to achieve breakthroughs. Instead, Bush chose to swing behind former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's unilateral approach to carve a separate, independent Palestinian state out of the West Bank and Gaza, on Israeli terms.

    The White House sees the struggle in the region fundamentally as one between the forces of good and evil -- terrorism and freedom. That, coupled with Bush's own sense of mission to defend Israel and spread democracy to the region, leaves little room for the kind of compromise required for effective diplomacy, experts say.

    "The U.S. has to begin to start thinking of gray resolutions that would end the current conflict and keep that border quiet for years," said Paul Salem, director designate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon.

    Those who have been involved in the administration's decision-making process say there is little airing of contrary views.

    Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's chief of staff and has charged that Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dominate national security issues, said neither displayed an inclination for the tiresome work of diplomatic consensus-building.

    "Powell tried on a number of occasions to rub him (the president) the other way, but if you have the president leaning one way and the vice president leaning the same way, there's not a lot you can do," Wilkerson said.

    A sense that Bush's strong backing of Israel has cost the United States its image as an honest broker between Arabs and Israelis has led some of the ...

    Posted by Editor on Tuesday, August 08 @ 04:00:00 EDT (4026 reads)
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     News: A few hopeful signs

    Latest NewsA few hopeful signs
    Middle East North Africa Financial Network, Jordan
    By James J. Zogby

    Small but still significant signs of change are occurring in the US discussion of the war on Lebanon.
    Polls are showing that the US public is confused. While it is a given that the public supports Israel, a solid majority now say that they believe "Israel has gone too far" in its assault on Lebanon. A majority also expresses deep concern that the continuing conflict could lead to a wider war.

    Not surprisingly, almost two-thirds disapprove of the way the US administration is handling the situation, reflecting the public's dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush's handling of Iraq and foreign affairs, in general. As a result, a plurality of Americans are shy about the US playing a more active role in resolving the conflict in Lebanon.

    There are even changes in Congress, which only two weeks ago passed near unanimous resolutions giving full support to Israel, with no concern for the damage being done to Lebanon and its people. Now some influential members are speaking out. Some have made dramatic and far-reaching statements about Lebanon and US policy in the Middle East, while others have made less dramatic, but still important calls for an immediate cease fire, expressing concern for the growing numbers of Lebanese civilians killed, and the damage to the country's infrastructure.

    Most notable in this regard was the striking speech delivered last week by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), one of the most thoughtful analysts of America's Middle East policy. Some of his comments deserve to be cited at length.

    Hagel opened his remarks with the following appeal:

    "Mr. President, The Middle East is a region in crisis. After three weeks of escalating and continuing violence, the potential for wider regional conflict becomes more real each day. The hatred in the Middle East is being driven deeper and deeper into the fabric of the region... which will make any lasting and sustained peace effort very difficult to achieve. How do we realistically believe that a continuation of the systematic destruction of an American friend, the country and people of Lebanon, is going to enhance America's image and give us the trust and credibility to lead a lasting and sustained peace effort in the Middle East? The sickening slaughter on both sides must end now. President Bush must call for an immediate ceasefire. This madness must stop."

    Hagel then added:

    "Our relationship with Israel is a special and historic one. But, it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice... Extended military action is tearing Lebanon apart, killing innocent civilians, destroying its economy and infrastructure, creating a humanitarian disaster, further weakening Lebanon's fragile democratic government, strengthening popular Muslim and Arab support for Hizbollah, and deepening hatred of Israel across the Middle East... The war against Hizbollah and Hamas will not be won on the battlefield."

    Reflecting this changing mood, several senators, including Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), issued strong statements calling for an immediate ceasefire. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John E. Sununu (R-NH) sponsored a resolution urging the administration to grant "temporary protected status" to Lebanese citizens in the US and the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a new resolution on Lebanon, correcting its previous one-sided effort.

    This new resolution was sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and cosponsored by Senators Sununu, Chafee, Stabenow, Carl Levin (D-MI), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and Russ Feingold (D-WI).

    Responding to a letter signed by over one hundred Arab American constituents, Dodd explained why he was undertaking the effort:

    "While every nation has a right and duty to defend its citizens against acts of terrorism, maximum efforts must also be made to protect against civilian casualties... The sad result of the current crisis is that approximately 700,000 people have been displaced from their homes, and more than 400 innocent Lebanese have paid the ultimate price for Hizbollah's aggression... This reality is what prompted me more than a week ago to call for a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hizbollah."

    While repeating some of the provisions of the first Senate bill, it is significant that the Dodd effort adds language that calls for ...

    Posted by Editor on Monday, August 07 @ 23:12:24 EDT (2732 reads)
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     News: Iraq PM criticizes US-led attack

    Latest NewsIraq PM criticizes US-led attack
    Charlotte Observer, NC
    By
    QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
    Associated Press

    Iraq's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the United States launches a major operation to secure the capital.

    More than 30 people were killed or found dead Monday, including 10 paramilitary commandos slain when a suicide driver detonated a truck at the regional headquarters of the Shiite-led Interior Ministry police in a mostly Sunni city north of Baghdad.

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's criticism followed a pre-dawn air and ground attack on an area of Sadr City, stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

    Police said three people, including a woman and a child, were killed in the raid, which the U.S. command said was aimed at "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities."

    One U.S. soldier was wounded, the U.S. said.

    The military said early Tuesday that an American soldier died Sunday of wounds suffered in action in Anbar province west of Baghdad. No further details were released, including when the fighting occurred.

    Al-Maliki, a Shiite, said he was "very angered and pained" by the operation, warning that it could undermine his efforts toward national reconciliation.

    "Reconciliation cannot go hand in hand with operations that violate the rights of citizens this way," al-Maliki said in a statement on government television. "This operation used weapons that are unreasonable to detain someone - like using planes."

    He apologized to the Iraqi people for the operation and said "this won't happen again."

    Friction between the U.S. military and the Iraqi government emerged as the ...



    Posted by Editor on Monday, August 07 @ 22:55:09 EDT (3029 reads)
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     Senate Democrats offer new Iraq plan

    Latest News

    WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Two Senate Democrats said Monday they will offer legislation to begin the deliberate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by the end of 2006.

    Senators Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., say their amendment to the FY-2007 defense authorization bill differs from other proposals because it provides a start date for withdrawal rather than an end date by which it would be complete.

    "Three-and-a-half years into the conflict, we should tell the Iraqis that the American security blanket is not permanent. Beginning a phased redeployment this year will add incentives for the Iraqis to make the hard compromises necessary to bring their country together and secure it. They need to do that job themselves and our amendment is one way to prod them to make that commitment and stick to it," Levin said in a press release issued Monday.

    Levin has been arguing for at least a year that the open-ended commitment to Iraq gives politicians there a disincentive to compromise. As long as U.S. troops are in the country to manage the violence, they can jockey for position, influence and political power with minimal risk.

    "This amendment sends the Iraqi government a clear message: you need to get to work and achieve a meaningful political solution," Reed said Monday.

    The Levin-Reed amendment calls on the Iraqi government to share power and economic resources among all Iraqi groups and to disarm the militias. It also calls for an international political conference on Iraq, the payment of pledged donations, and a commitmant to continued non-military support for reconstruction and governance.


    Posted by admin on Tuesday, June 20 @ 04:00:00 EDT (2630 reads)
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