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July 2007

July 31, 2007

Bomb-laden 'Reaper' drones bound for Iraq
"The airplane is the size of a jet fighter, powered by a turboprop engine, able to fly at 300 mph and reach 50,000 feet. It is outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting, and with a ton and a half of guided bombs and missiles.

The Reaper is loaded, but there is no one on board. Its pilot, as it bombs targets in Iraq, will sit at a video console 7,000 miles away in Nevada."
It wasn't so long ago the current US administration and the popular media were parroting that Saddam had UAVs and might attack the US with them.

Islamic hardliners retake Pakistan's Red Mosque

Revealed: MI5's role in torture flight hell
"An Iraqi who was a key source of intelligence for MI5 has given the first ever full insider's account of being seized by the CIA and bundled on to an illegal 'torture flight' under the programme known as extraordinary rendition."
Note - just because you're a snitch doesn't mean they won't sell you down the river in a heartbeat.

CNN: TSA knew 'dry run' terror alerts were bogus
"The Transportation Security Agency's national security bulletin issued was based on bogus examples that were combined to give the impression of ominous terrorist plotting, CNN reports.

'That bulletin for law enforcement eyes only told of suspicious items recently found in passenger's bags at airport checkpoints, warned that they may signify dry runs for terrorist attacks,' CNN's Brian Todd reported Friday afternoon. 'Well it turns out none of that is true.'"

July 26, 2007

U.S. is building database on Iraqis
"The U.S. military is taking fingerprints and eye scans from thousands of Iraqi men and building an unprecedented database that helps track suspected militants.
'It helps enormously,' Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said in an interview. 'It enables us to identify individuals connected with various activities.'"

Sydney urged to pack for attack
"Residents of Australia's biggest city, Sydney, have been urged to pack a survival kit to prepare for a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.

The local authority wants people to put together an emergency 'Go-Bag', including maps, food and a radio.

Officials have denied the campaign is a government attempt to create fear and enhance national security credentials ahead of elections due later this year."

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

Cunningham report portrays entangled panel
"An internal investigation that the House Intelligence Committee has refused to make public portrays the panel as embarrassingly entangled in the Randy 'Duke' Cunningham bribery scandal.

The report, a declassified version of which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times, describes the committee as a dysfunctional entity that served as a crossroads for almost every major figure in the ongoing criminal probe by the Justice Department."

Imprisoned 'Duke' tells of scope of corruption
"In two days of prison interviews with federal agents this year, former Rep. Randy 'Duke' Cunningham described a level of corruption on his part more extensive than previously known and dealt a potentially devastating blow to the defense being waged by one of the contractors alleged to have bribed him.
Cunningham's admissions are very much at odds with the image that he tried to create after his downfall. In a letter made public and in private statements to friends, he portrayed himself as someone unable to withstand the blandishments of corrupt contractors and someone who merely accepted 'gifts' but never sold his office."
It's really kinda' sad... (sad that the thieving son-of-a-bitch will probably get out in 6 years or less)

Report of terrorist 'dry run' at Lindbergh a false alarm
"The San Diego director of the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday that a recent report of a possible terrorist 'dry run' at Lindbergh Field stemmed from what turned out to be a false alarm.
But local TSA Security Director Michael J. Aguilar - and the chief of the police agency that patrols the airport - said Wednesday that while screeners initially thought the packs held a clay-like substance, it was quickly determined they contained the usual blue gel.

Aguilar said he didn't know why the TSA memo, issued in Washington, reported the substance as clay."

Feds use key logger to thwart PGP, Hushmail
"An agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration persuaded a federal judge to authorize him to sneak into an Escondido, Calif., office believed to be a front for manufacturing the drug MDMA, or Ecstasy. The DEA received permission to copy the hard drives' contents and inject a keystroke logger into the computers.

That was necessary, according to DEA Agent Greg Coffey, because the suspects were using PGP and the encrypted Web e-mail service Coffey asserted that the DEA needed 'real-time and meaningful access' to 'monitor the keystrokes' for PGP and Hushmail passphrases.
The 9th Circuit agreed, ruling on Friday that 'e-mail and Internet users have no expectation of privacy in the To/From addresses of their messages or the IP addresses of the websites they visit because they should know that these messages are sent and these IP addresses are accessed through the equipment of their Internet service provider and other third parties.' This follows the lead of a Massachusetts judge who said much the same thing in November 2005."

Equipment worth $22M missing from CDC
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will investigate the disappearance of $22 million worth of equipment, computers and other items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
And warning lights are flashing down at Quality Control!

Congress: P2P networks harm national security
"Politicians charged on Tuesday that peer-to-peer networks can pose a 'national security threat' because they enable federal employees to share sensitive or classified documents accidentally from their computers.
The politicians present Tuesday generally said they believe that there are benefits to peer-to-peer technology but that it will imperil national security, intrude on personal privacy and violate copyright law, if not properly restricted. Both Waxman and Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) dubbed P2P networks ongoing national security threats."

Man shot at Colorado Capitol is identified
"Aaron Snyder had been escorted out of Gov. Bill Ritter's office Monday when he pulled back his coat to reveal the handgun and moved toward a state trooper, Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said. Snyder did not draw the weapon but ignored two warnings that the trooper would fire if he did not stop.

Trooper Jay Hemphill, a 12-year member of the state patrol, shot Snyder twice in the chest and once in the head, officials said."

New police policy on gun purchases worth a try
"After this spring's carnage at Virginia Tech University, carried out by a student who was able to buy guns in spite of a history of mental illness, many states began looking at their regulations governing handgun purchases.

With little fanfare, the newly appointed Maryland State Police superintendent, Col. Terrence Sheridan, last month sent a letter to state gun dealers requiring that anyone who applies to purchase a handgun after July 31 sign a release allowing police access to the applicant's mental health records."

Inmate sues county over jail birth

Vermont town considers banning nudity
"On July 6, a 68-year-old man showed up naked downtown, walking the streets during Gallery Walk, a monthly social event in which people roam downtown, stopping in art galleries and shops. Gallery owner Suzanne Corsano was locking up for the night when she encountered him on a sidewalk.

'Naked people don't impress me,' said Corsano, 60. 'But to be walking down the street like that. I just looked straight at him, and he looked down. He was trying to get me to look down there, but I wouldn't.'"
Don't Look, Ethel!!

US Senators call for universal Internet filtering
More efforts to conflate 'child pornography' with 'sexually explicit material'.

Drug czar gives warning
"The nation's top anti-drug official said people need to overcome their 'reefer blindness' and see that illicit marijuana gardens are a terrorist threat to the public's health and safety, as well as to the environment.

John P. Walters, President Bush's drug czar, said the people who plant and tend the gardens are terrorists who wouldn't hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties. Walters made the comments at a Thursday press conference that provided an update on the 'Operation Alesia' marijuana-eradication effort."

July 8, 2007

U.S. eager and it shows in Iraq
"The U.S. command in Baghdad this week ballyhooed the killing of a key al Qaeda leader but later admitted that the military had declared him dead a year ago.

A military spokesman acknowledged the mistake after it was called to his attention by The Examiner. He said public affairs officers will be more careful in announcing significant kills."

Chertoff Scolds Senate on Immigration
"Chertoff said Senate opponents deprived his department of the ability to ensure stricter enforcement by requiring companies to enter in a system to check their employees' work status."

Governor OKs toughest migrant-hire law in U.S.
"Beginning Jan. 1, all Arizona employers will be required to check the legal status of their employees through a federal database known as the Basic Pilot Program. The accuracy of that database and its ability to handle 130,000 to 150,000 Arizona businesses that will now use it has been questioned. Napolitano sent a letter Monday to congressional leaders asking for improvements and federal investment to ensure Basic Pilot is up to the task."

Proposed OSHA Regulation Threatens Firearm and Ammunition Industry
Smokin' deals to be had on machetes though! (see next article link)

Price of machetes drops after elections
"The price of machetes has halved in parts of Nigeria since the end of general elections in April because demand from thugs sponsored by politicians has subsided, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria reported."

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