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The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you archived website links to news information that you may not find through your local media. All links are offsite unless otherwise noted- followed links should open in another browser window. Links can become dated or otherwise fail to function, for this reason we quote the actual headline of an article. This may allow you to find an alternate copy of the article through a news index or search engine. Some sites we link to may require a registration process to view an article- this website may be useful to you in those instances. Comments, corrections and submissions are welcome- an email link is at the bottom of the page.

August 1-15, 2004

August 15, 2004

As is often the case Juan Cole provides timely information about recent events in Iraq.
A few sentences from this entry caught my eye:
"Likewise, CNN appears to have been the victim of a second-hand psy-ops campaign, insofar as it is referring to the guerrillas as "anti-Iraqi forces." The idea of characterizing them not as anti-American or anti-regime but "anti-Iraq" was, according to journalist Nir Rosen, come up with by a PR company contracting in Iraq. Nir says that they were told that no Iraqis would fall for it. So apparently it has now been retailed to major American news programs, on the theory that the American public is congenitally stupid."
PR firm... contracting in Iraq... (probably providing training for The Ministry of Truth)

Iraq Evicts Reporters From Najaf
"Four police cars surrounded a hotel in the city where journalists were staying and presented the order signed by Najaf's police chief, Brig. Ghalib al-Jazaari. Though the order did not spell out a punishment for those who did not comply, the police who delivered it said any reporters remaining would be arrested, according to journalists at the hotel. The police said any cameras and cellular phones they saw would be confiscated. In response to the threat, many journalists left the city."

Violence reignites in Najaf
"As the explosions and gunfire rang out through Najaf on Sunday, police ordered all journalists to leave the city or face arrest. The order would mean that the only news coverage of the violence in the holy city would be provided by reporters embedded with the U.S. military."

US forces surround Iraq's AMS office
"US occupation forces have encircled the mosque housing the office of the Association of Muslim Scholars, Iraq's highest Sunni authority, in Baghdad."

Russia and US neither adversaries nor allies: Russian defence minister
"Rapprochement is an evolutionary process that cannot be started suddenly and completed a week later," he said.
No perky 9 seconds soundbite there...!!

Palestinian Farming Community Wiped From The Map
"For 37 straight days the community was ground to a pulp as Israeli troops stormed other locations throughout the Gaza Strip. But Beit Hanoun was without electricity or telecommunications, so not much was known about its fate until recently."

'Speak Hebrew or shut up'
"Israel's official code of ethics says troops can only use force if threatened. But at a checkpoint near Nablus, Israeli author Etgar Keret witnessed another code of behaviour in operation..."

Bush to announce massive troop pullout from Europe, Asia
"This is a decision that's been under review by the secretary of defense for about three or four years," Senator John Warner, the Virginia Republican who heads the armed services committee, told CNN. "The vestiges, the remnants of the Cold War are still present in a lot of our military installations in Europe, and it's time to lighten up our military equipment in Europe, get the heavy stuff back here so it can be redeployed to where it might be needed,"

US plans to shift troops out of Germany: Rumsfeld
"He said the United States will have 'forward operating locations' in some of the former Soviet republics, but they will not be large, permanent structures like the big Cold War-era bases in Germany. 'Usually they are places where you have alternative landing sites for aircraft in difficulties,' he said. 'We have some of those in the former Soviet republics... And you might have forward operating locations where you rotate people in and out, or where you use them for air refueling...It gives you flexibility to do a lot of things,'"

Activists getting closer scrutiny from the FBI
"The FBI has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York."

Police want you to pay for their wire taps
"Canada's police chiefs propose a surcharge of about 25 cents on monthly telephone and Internet bills to cover the cost of tapping into the communications of terrorists and other criminals."

August 14, 2004

Najaf braces for siege as talks collapse

Shia backlash wrecks US strategy
"When troopers of the US 101st Airborne Division first entered the Iraqi city of Najaf 17 months ago, they were greeted by huge and welcoming crowds chanting "Die Saddam, die". This weekend, the same streets are littered with the debris from over a week's sustained and bloody combat. Empty shell cases and burnt-out vehicles have replaced the flowers and flags of welcome."

Thousands flock to support al-Sadr
"Thousands were reported to be flocking to Najaf to support al-Sadr, who now expects Iraq's interim prime minister Ayad Allawi to order an attack on the holy mosque in which the rebel leader is claiming sanctuary."

US air raid on Falluja kills women, children

US War Planes Bomb Samarra by Juan Cole
"I had to smile a little at the statement that in the course of dropping 250 kg bombs on an Iraqi city, the US military took no casualties (I don't know why they say "Coalition casualties"-- there are only American forces up there at Samarra, and the US air force is the only one dropping bombs on cities)."

Many killed in US bombing of Samarra

Iraq Halts Oil Exports from Main Southern Pipeline

Harkin calls Cheney a 'coward' and criticizes 'backdoor draft'
"Sen. Tom Harkin called Vice President Dick Cheney a "coward" for avoiding service in Vietnam and called on President Bush to end the "backdoor draft." The Iowa Democrat was responding Friday to the call-up of a Des Moines police officer who has already completed his eight-year military commitment."

U.S.: 'No legal rights' for detainees

Wrong Time for an E-Vote Glitch
"When Sequoia Voting Systems demonstrated its new paper-trail electronic voting system for state Senate staffers in California last week, the company representative got a surprise when the paper trail failed to record votes that testers cast on the machine."

August 13, 2004

Took a day off today, back again tomorrow...

I'd have to say that the big news of the day is the announced shifts in US troop deployment.

Time to wake up and set these 'public servants' straight.

August 12, 2004

223 dead, 500 wounded in clashes across Iraq - US marines launch major assault on Najaf by Juan Cole
"I hadn't heard anything about US warplanes bombing Kut on US television news on Thursday. It is useless, but I would like to point out that bombarding al-Sharqiyyah district because it has Mahdi Army fighters is inhumane and probably illegal. Civilians live there, and they will inevitably be hurt by the bombing. Unfortunately, there are no mechanisms for enforcing international law. Apparently, the American public will not even be told by their mass media that the US is behaving in this way."

US warplanes strafe Najaf as world oil prices go through the roof
"Iraqi and US troops sealed approaches to the mausoleum, as hundreds of terrified residents fled through the dusty streets. 'Leave the city. Help coalition forces and do not fire at them,' one announcement instructed in Arabic. 'We are here to liberate the city.'"

US bombing of Iraqi city of Kut kills 84, wounds 176: hospital
"There has been a heavy US patrol presence since Wednesday in Al-Sharkia, a densely populated Shiite district whose simple mud houses pancaked in the overnight bombing."
and the walls came down...

Iran Summons Iraqi Envoy, Denounces Najaf Raids

Baghdad Should Not Have Let U.S. Into Najaf-Cleric
"Lebanon's top Shi'ite cleric criticized Iraq's interim government Thursday for allowing a U.S. offensive on the holy city of Najaf and said everything must be done to get foreign forces out of Iraq."

Sharon Furious Over Call to Close More Settlements
"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was said to be 'furious' with his deputy Thursday for saying Israel will have to dismantle more settlements in the West Bank after it withdraws from Gaza next year."

Powell Links Japan UN Seat to Constitution -Report
"Secretary of State Colin Powell said Japan must consider revising its pacifist constitution if it wanted to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday."

Ukraine plays down nuclear breakdown
"The Ukrainian authorities sought on Thursday to play down a series of incidents which disabled a brand new nuclear reactor, saying there was no cause for concern and accusing the media of alarmism. The reactor at Khmelnitsky power station had to be shut down on Sunday, less than two hours after it went into operation, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday. Further technical failures prevented it operating on Monday and Tuesday."

Arrests for all offences proposed (UK)
"A spokesman said making minor offences arrestable could act as a deterrent as it sent a strong message to perpetrators."

U.S. Ordered to Give Rights Groups Torture Papers
"U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein expressed impatience with the government and said prosecutors must start handing over certain papers identified by the American Civil Liberties Union by Aug. 23 unless they can show the documents cannot be found or they are subject to certain exemptions."

Web Site Raises Questions About Public Access to Sensitive Government Info
"Law enforcement officials were particularly upset that Young posted the satellite photos and addresses for the homes of top Bush administration officials. 'We think public officials should be totally transparent. There should be no secrecy,' said Young. 'We are opposed to government secrecy in all of its forms.' Officials call that argument outrageous and argue some secrecy is necessary."
Note that ABC doesn't actually mention the website or link over to www.cryptome.org.

Gene Blocker Turns Monkeys Into Workaholics
"Blocking cells from receiving dopamine made the monkeys work harder at a task -- and they were better at it, too, the U.S. government researchers found."
Big Whoop! Maybe for their next research project they can sell their wares in a private and voluntary marketplace!

9/11 commissioners worry federal reforms might not stick
"This is a long process because people have been trained in different ways, and they've acquired their culture over a number of years," Kean said. "It's bringing in new people and trying to change the people who are there now. But it's going to take a while. It's got to be a consistent effort, because there are a lot of people there who would love to go back to the way it was, and we've got to make sure that doesn't happen."
Politicians endeavor to persevere!

U.S. Warns of Terrorist Threat to Drug Supply, but Warning Not Based on Specific Information
"A day after the acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of potential terrorist threats to the medicine supply, his top adviser for counterterrorism today said she knows of no specific information about such a danger."

DHS developing plan to improve communication among first responders
"The Office of Interoperability and Compatibility was established to manage the coordination of communications and equipment of first responders..."

600-Pound Woman Dies After Being Surgically Removed From Couch
"Using planks, they loaded the woman on to the trailer, still attached to the couch. Removing her would be too painful, since her body is grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, her skin has literally become one with the sofa and it must be surgically removed."

478-pound woman may have died from neglect in Golden Gate home
"Authorities said they didn't know who was caring for her, how she was fed or whether she received checks and who cashed them."
I'm sure there's a form for that...
It's an ugly dynamic that starts when a reporter stands in front of a bureaucrat or politician and asks "what are you going to do about this horrible thing?".

Genetic Material May Help Make Nano-Devices
"'Biology builds beautiful nanoscale structures, and we'd like to borrow some of them for nanotechnology,' Peixuan Guo, a professor of molecular virology at Purdue, said in a statement."

August 11, 2004

U.S. Marines Launch Najaf Offensive
"Thousands of civilians were fleeing the area around Imam Ali Shrine in the heart of the city, witnesses said. A message in Arabic read out from Humvees said: "To the residents of Najaf: Coalition forces are purging the city of Mehdi Army." U.S. tanks were blocking all roads leading to the shrine, one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest sites, as U.S. aircraft and artillery pounded a nearby cemetery, a stronghold for the militiamen loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr."

Najaf official resigns as fighting continues

At Least 72 People Die in Fighting in Iraq's Kut

Iraqi police arrest Iranian journalists

Iraq 'ended nuclear aims in 1991'
"The head of Iraq's nuclear programme under Saddam Hussein has said Iraq destroyed its nuclear weapons programme in 1991 and never restarted it."

Israeli helicopters, tanks raid Rafah

Pentagon Questions All Iraq Interrogators Under Oath

Pentagon plan for global anti-terror army
"The Pentagon has urged Congress to authorise a $700 million package designed to build a global anti-terrorist network of friendly militias. Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a key architect of the Iraq war, told the House Armed Services Committee the money would be used "for training and equipping local security forces - not just armies - to counter terrorism and insurgencies"."

Pentagon May Hold Back Halliburton Payments
"News of the latest audit first emerged in a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that said Halliburton had inadequately accounted for more than $1.8 billion of work in Iraq, representing 43 percent of the money that its subsidiary has billed so far for feeding and housing troops."

U.S. agents to get power to deport illegal aliens
"The new rule will apply to illegal immigrants caught within 100 miles, or 160 kilometers, of the Mexican and Canadian borders who have spent 14 days or less within the United States."

'60 Minutes' Veteran Accused of Disorderly Conduct
The New York Post on Wednesday quoted Fromberg as saying Wallace had been "overly assertive" and disrespectful. "He was asked to step away three times. He did not comply..."

August 10, 2004

U.S. presses fight with Iraqi militia

Amidst Rumors of U.S. War Crimes in Najaf, Mehdi Uprising Widens
"The CSM also reported that doctors at Al-Hakim told relatives of wounded residents that US and Iraqi forces had taken over the city's best-equipped hospital, turning it into a temporary military base and making if off limits to civilians. The use of civilian hospitals for combat operations and the prevention of civilian access to emergency facilities are both strictly forbidden by the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Hands Off Najaf
"The U.S. military is urging civilians to leave Najaf. We take this as a signal that our country is preparing to turn Najaf into a free-fire zone, in which all who move, civilian or not, are targeted for attack. A free fire zone and an attack on the Shrine would significantly escalate the violence throughout Iraq, increasing the danger for all Iraqis."
Just a minor point in the matter, but wasn't it about 2 weeks ago that the Marines replaced Army forces in the Najaf area?

Iran demands that Europeans back its nuclear quest
"Iran is boldly demanding that Britain, France and Germany actively support its quest for advanced nuclear technology for both civilian and military purposes, rather than opposing it, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Wednesday."

Spies Like Goss - How much of a hack is Bush's CIA nominee?
"as the co-sponsor of the bill extending the Patriot Act II, Goss may be less keenly concerned about reconciling the expansion of covert ops with the preservation of civil liberties--or about legal issues generally. In an interview with PBS's Frontline, Goss said he thought no laws would need revising to give a president the authority to order assassinations."

Pentagon favors resuming training Pakistani officers in US academies
"'I think one of our problems in Pakistan today is that for too long we deprived ourselves of one of the most important instruments of influence in a country where the military is one of the most important institutions, and that is the contact between our military and their military,' Wolfowitz stated."

The Eyes Have It - Prying in a Terrorized World
"The overall point of 'The Surveillance-Industrial Complex': Through increasing collaboration with the private sector, the federal government has vastly expanded its ability to pry into the lives of ordinary Americans. And an important subsidiary point: Probably more because of carelessness than malice, there is no knowing precisely where all this collected intelligence will end up, or how it might get used far down the line."

Passive Tags Track Cars
"IPico has developed and tested RFID passive tags and readers that can be used to monitor vehicles at a read distance of 17 feet traveling at speeds of 160 mph."

August 9, 2004

1 British Soldier Dead, 5 Wounded in Basra Clashes - Najaf in Flames; Oil Production Stopped
"Al-Zurufi and PM Iyad Allawi appear to have given the US Marines permission to fight in the shrine of Imam Ali if it became necessary in order to flush out the Mahdi Army militiamen holed up there. The outrage among Iraqi Shiites and Shiites throughout the world should the Marines pursue such a plan would likely cost the US the war, even if it won the battle."

Fresh Fighting Erupts in Iraq's Holy City of Najaf

US marines, militia battle ferociously to control Najaf cemetery

Iraq Suicide Bomber Kills Seven, Wounds 17

Iraq stops pumping oil in south
"Iraq's Southern Oil Company has stopped pumping oil after militia threatened to attack local oil infrastructure, a company spokesman said."

Iraq Oil Exports Reduced by Sabotage, Not Halted

Chalabis call warrants a political conspiracy

Pakistan protests to U.S. over fake plot
"Pakistan has protested to the United States over an FBI sting operation involving a fake plot to kill Pakistan's UN ambassador, describing it Monday as a mind-boggling and dangerous mission."

Passport control on Tube
"Immigration officers are stopping anyone they consider to look or sound foreign and asking them to produce their papers to prove their right to British residence."

Director of NSA shifts to new path
"in the current war, you're looking for infinitely more granular information. You want to know where this human being is. And it's not good enough to say he's in Afghanistan. In terms of our current ops [operations] tempo, it's not even good enough to know what city. You have to know what building he's in."

Big Business Becoming Big Brother
"The government is increasingly using corporations to do its surveillance work, allowing it to get around restrictions that protect the privacy and civil liberties of Americans, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union,"

For votes, Bush turns to churches
"To promote involvement on social issues, Wilson said, the church has formed a 12-member "moral action team." The team holds open monthly meetings with about 150 parishioners. It informs church members about socially conservative electoral issues. It registers them to vote at stands outside the sanctuary on designated "voter registration" Sundays. Last week, the moral action team drove church members to the polls, something it plans to do for this fall's general election."

August 8, 2004

Fighting Rages on in Iraq

The battle for Najaf
"A first-hand account by the only Western reporter in Najaf as major fighting broke out this week."

Iraq issues warrants for Chalabi and his nephew
"Iraq has issued arrest warrants for Ahmad Chalabi, a former member of the Governing Council, on counterfeiting charges and for his nephew Salem Chalabi, the head of Iraq's special tribunal, on murder charges, Iraq's chief investigating judge said Sunday."

Missile strike knocks out power in Rafah camp
"The army said the missile fire was meant to dissuade terrorists from carrying out attacks in the area, Israel Radio reported."

Retired diplomats and defence chiefs accuse Australia of Iraq deception
"A group of more than 40 former Australian diplomats and defence chiefs accused Prime Minister John Howard in a public statement issued Sunday of deceiving the country over the reasons for the Iraq war."

U.S. officials point to gains in terror arrests
"Three years ago, Pakistan was not a fighter in the war on terrorism," Rice said. "And here you have them able to take down terrorists and to provide information which then could be shared in the government, could then be shared with state and local officials who were on some of the conference calls and you could have an effective response to these terror threats."
Yeah, Condi, these are the days of miracle and wonder.

No cash, just carry
"They have to be extra-aware of what they're taking to eat, making sure to evaluate the food's freshness before they eat it. But that's easy enough to do, Birdlo pointed out, because man was given the senses of sight, touch, taste and smell for survival. Neither one has ever been sick from eating anything they've found in a Dumpster."

August 7, 2004

Raid fails to seize al-Sadr
"Iraqi security forces staged an unsuccessful raid yesterday to seize rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite Muslim leader whose militia has been fighting coalition troops since Thursday."

Blast kills Iraqi in Baghdad as at least 43 people die in clashes

Iraqi vice president slams US assault
"I think that killing Iraqi citizens is not a civilised way of building the new Iraq, which is based on protecting people and promoting dialogue, not bullets."

Iraq Shuts Al Jazeera Baghdad Office for a Month
"Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, confirming the decision at a news conference, said a commission had been monitoring Al Jazeera for the past four weeks to see whether it was inciting violence and hatred, and that the decision had been taken 'to protect the people of Iraq.'"

Hawaii soldier sentenced to three years in Iraqi civilian killing

Army to distribute radiation antidote
"The IDF Home Command will start to distribute an antidote to radiation in areas close to the Nuclear Research Center in Dimona on Sunday."

Israeli suspects face immigration hearing
"As many as 15 Israelis in Calgary are being linked to a door-to-door art scam that has for years puzzled authorities on both sides of U.S.-Canada border and raised the spectre of international espionage."

Unmasking of Qaeda Mole a U.S. Security Blunder-Experts

Blunkett issues rebuke to Bush on terror alerts
"In the United States there is often high-profile commentary followed, as in the current case by detailed scrutiny, with the potential risk of ridicule," writes Mr Blunkett in The Observer. "Is it really the job of a senior cabinet minister in charge of counter-terrorism? To feed the media? To increase concern? Of course not. This is arrant nonsense."

FBI Probes Hoax Video of Iraq Beheading
"We will pursue any and all legal avenues for prosecution," said FBI special agent LaRae Quy of the bureau's San Francisco office. "At this point the matter is still under investigation."
Prosecution for what...?!

August 6, 2004

US planes pound holy city as two-day death toll tops 300

Iraqi city under fire as marines fight rebels

US Attack "Uncivilized": Jafari - Fresh Violence in Sadr City - 15 US Soldiers Wounded, 3 Dead in recent Fighting

U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan
"The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram."

Uprooted trees, razed houses... Israel leaves its calling card in Gaza
"More than 42,000 olive, citrus and date trees had been uprooted, according to the local council. Altogether, 4,405 acres of orchards, vineyards and vegetable fields were flattened. Officials accused the army of demolishing 21 houses and damaging a further 314. Five factories and 19 wells were also destroyed."

In Sudan, militias' shadowy identity clouds situation
"The United Nations Security Council has given Sudan until Aug. 30 to rein in the militias, called Janjaweed, Arab tribesmen whom the government armed and then unleashed in Darfur to quell a rebellion among darker-skinned Africans that began in early 2003."

Did Pentagon Reveal Name of Edmondsí 'Semi-Legit' Group?
"a previously unreleased document from September 2002 may contain a key to unraveling the mystery at the heart of the case: who or what are the 'semi-legitimate organizations' that Edmonds has cryptically referred to as being the major players behind the major organized crime rings whom Edmonds charges with endangering American national security?"

Did the Bush Administration Burn a Key al-Qaeda Double Agent?
"Simon Cameron-Moore and Peter Graff of Reuters reveal the explosive information that the Bush administration blew the cover Monday of double agent Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan."

Prisoner Abuse Scandal Rocks Legal, Medical Worlds

Ex-employees accuse Halliburton of systematic fraud

US military bracing for recruitment headaches

Won't Get Fooled Again?
"In hindsight, journalists might have heard a little warning voice inside on Sunday when Ridge -- who took the unusual step of issuing the alert directly to newspaper editors and network anchors via a conference call -- used the occasion to plug his boss's record. Americans should ''understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror,'' said the Homeland Security chief, almost three months to the day before November's presidential election."

Requests for government information hit all-time high
"Access to information is becoming a kind of battleground in which questions of security, policy and government accountability are being hashed out," Aftergood said. "There are some victories, and some information does get disclosed, but there are also lots of defeats."

Employment gain in U.S. is slowing
"U.S. employers added just 32,000 jobs in July, a small fraction of forecasts and the smallest gain this year. The government also announced that job growth in May and June was less than initially estimated."

Research hints at a wider human spread of mad cow

August 5, 2004

17 Dead, Dozens Wounded as Iraqi South Erupts - 2 US Troops Killed, 5 Wounded in Najaf
"Despite the apparent conviction of the US television networks that Iraq is fading as a story, Thursday's developments underlined how fragile the situation is there and how easily US troops can get sucked again into major combat operations."

Clashes Threaten to Reignite Shi'ite Rising in Iraq

Bush Approves $25 Billion Emergency Funds for Iraq
"With this legislation, America's military will know that their country stands behind them as they fight for our freedom and as they spread the peace," Bush told an audience including Pentagon officials and veterans.

Bin Ladin's Former 'Bodyguard' Interviewed on Al-Qa'ida Strategies

Oil Soars to New Highs on YUKOS
"World oil prices soared to new record highs on Thursday after the Russian government barred oil major YUKOS from accessing its bank accounts, threatening its ability to continue exports."

Former Guantanamo Detainees Release 115-Page Report
(Report in .pdf format)

CACI Gets $15 Million Iraq Contract Extension
"CACI International Inc., under scrutiny over whether it contributed to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, was awarded a $15 million extension of its work in Iraq,"

Of Hawks and Hacks
"In recent weeks, the CPD (Committee on the Present Danger) has mounted a third campaign. Reconstituted, the organization ran full-page advertisements last month in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal vowing to 'raise a unified voice for a policy of national resolve in the War on Terrorism.'"

August 4, 2004

Fierce fight erupts in north Iraq city
"Fighting erupted between Iraqi police officers and insurgents in the northern city of Mosul on Wednesday, leaving at least 12 people dead and dozens more wounded, and prompting city authorities to impose a curfew."

Iraq Clashes Kill 14; Al-Anbar Governor Resigns

Radical cleric's militia nabs 19 Iraqi police

Iraq's Child Prisoners
"Proof of the widespread arrest and detention of children in Iraq by US and UK forces is contained in an internal Unicef report written in June. The report has - surprisingly - not been made public."

Water Offers Deadly Relief in a Blistering Iraqi Slum
"Typhoid and hepatitis E are running rampant through Sadr City this summer, as residents rely heavily on a sewage-tainted water supply to endure temperatures of 115 degrees and up."

Mideast scholar admits smuggling relics
"Joseph Braude, author of "The New Iraq: Rebuilding the Country for Its People, the Middle East and the World," entered guilty pleas to three counts in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday,"

Al Jazeera: Leave it to viewers
"Within days, the interim government said it had formed a media regulatory commission with the authority to restrict news coverage. Ibrahim Janabi, appointed head of the commission by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, told The Financial Times that Iraqi officials were drafting a list of prohibitions on news coverage."

Pakistan for Bush - July Surprise?
A retrospective on the vagaries of coincidence
(from The New Republic 7/29/04)

Israel Wants New U.S. Policy on Settlements, Haaretz Reports

Gaza violence escalates after Israeli tank incursion

Stressed Israeli soldiers to be treated with cannabis: report

In the heart of the city, in the middle of the day
"A week ago, documentarist filmmaker David Ben-Sheetrit came to visit me, though if I had known the full extent of his condition I would have gone to visit him. We have been in close touch since he was attacked by security guards from the Defense Ministry, or perhaps the army, who broke his bones."

Enriching uranium is Iran's legitimate right, foreign minister says

Russia and Georgia on war footing over breakaway Abkhazia
"Russia and Georgia were on a war footing Wednesday after Moscow hinted it could resort to military action in response to a Tbilisi threat to open fire on vessels that "illegally" entered the waters of its breakaway region of Abkhazia."

Official says Mexico election computer system may have been attacked

Contract figures show Halliburton's startling growth
"Halliburton received Pentagon contracts worth $491 million in 2002; that figure shot up to $3.1 billion in 2003."

Prisoners' Dilemma - How the administration is obstructing the Supreme Court's terror decisions.

U.S. Capitol Police Focused on Terror
"Gainer said he is urging congressional officials to create a "virtual fence" that would allow his officers to search any person who steps onto the Capitol grounds, a significant expansion of current policies on searching visitors."

Net Phone Calls Must Be Able to Be Tapped - FCC
"The Justice Department, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have argued that they must be able to monitor suspicious calls no matter how they are made."

Raytheon Tests SilentEyes Micro UAV At Edwards AFB
"SilentEyes is designed to operate in close proximity to a potential target to collect clear images so an operator can make incontestable combat identification and target confirmation."

Court Rejects Agency Effort to Withhold CAPPS II Info Sought by EPIC
"A federal judge has rebuffed the Transportation Security Administration's claim that it does not have to release factual information, which is generally not shielded from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, within agency documents that are not finalized."

Vegas man dies after police use Taser in subduing him

'Black boxes' urged for cars

Bush rally was sad day for democracy
"When gatekeepers announced final seating for those with tickets, protesters with tickets tried to get in, but their tickets were grabbed and torn up, and police threatened them with arrest if they argued back. One woman screamed, "You're tearing up my ticket," and hit back at the man when he started shoving her with his chest, trying to shut her up. The police arrested the woman. Two other people were "taken down": a young girl who could not back up fast enough because there were so many people behind her and a man who is charged with trespassing because he was standing on property his own tax dollars partially funded. All this, while the Bush supporters passed by, granted access to the president of us all because they would shout his praises at the appropriate moments."

Iraqis on tour banned from Memphis hall
The Iraqis were scheduled to meet with a city council member, but Joe Brown, the council chair, said he feared the group was dangerous. "We don't know exactly what's going on. Who knows about the delegation, and has the FBI been informed?" Brown said. "We must secure and protect all the employees in that building."

Iraqi Delegation Robbed At Gunpoint in Memphis

Libertarian seeks sheriff's job
"Gilbert resident Hinton McLeod wants voters to take him seriously as the Libertarian candidate for Maricopa County sheriff."
The candidate's webpage

August 3, 2004

Insurgents in Iraq Kill 7 Iraqis, 4 U.S. Troops

Allies Spurn U.S.-Style Color-Coded Terror Alerts
"Most of Washington's major allies have avoided color-coded alerts like those Washington introduced in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, saying the public can do little with warnings unless it is told specifically how to respond."

U.S. Spy Agencies Say 9/11 Proposals Lack Details
Philip Mudd, deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, said, "We are in a war of a generation... I fear that there will be a sense around the world that after (Osama) bin Laden and (Ayman al) Zawahri are gone, that we can lose the edge, that we can lose our commitment," he said, referring to the top al Qaeda leaders. "In fact, I think the dedication to maintain the commitment to this fight must be higher after they are gone."

DoJ Cancels Public Document Destruction

August 2, 2004

US forces arrest leading Iraqi editor

U.S. Tells Israel to Drop Plan to Expand West Bank Settlement

Colombia's Uribe Linked to Drug Lord by U.S. in 1991, NYT Says
"The report, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archives, a non-partisan research group based in Washington, says Uribe, then a senator, was collaborating with the Medellin cartel and was a close friend of the cartel's leader, Pablo Escobar, the Times said."

Evangelicals Urge Bush To Do More for Sudan
"We view this as an opportunity to reach out to Muslims in the name of Jesus," the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said yesterday. "Christian people are appalled by this kind of genocide, and we don't want it taking place in our generation."

Statement from ALA President-Elect Michael Gorman on the destruction of Department of Justice documents
"Last week, the American Library Association learned that the Department of Justice asked the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy five publications the Department has deemed not "appropriate for external use." The Department of Justice has called for these five public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, to be removed from depository libraries and destroyed, making their content available only to those with access to a law office or law library."

Pre-9/11 Acts Led To Alerts
"There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new," said one senior law enforcement official who was briefed on the alert. "Why did we go to this level? . . . I still don't know that."

The Mathematics of High-Tech Highways

August 1, 2004

At Least 28 Dead, Over 100 Wounded in Iraq Attacks

Series of bombings targets Christians in Iraqi churches

At least 15 killed in Iraq attacks, hostage crisis rumbles on

The situation in Iraq right now is not as bad as the news media are portraying it to be. It's worse.

Police Plan Traffic Stops Near IMF and World Bank
"Law enforcement agencies said yesterday that they will inspect vehicles for explosives around the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings, as well as downtown Washington and on Capitol Hill,"

U.S. debt limits economic policy choices
"Until the late 1980s, the rest of the world owed the United States more than America owed the world. At the beginning of 2004, though, the balance between the United States' foreign assets and its liabilities was in deficit by an amount equivalent to almost 30 percent of the gross domestic product."

Pentagon looks to directed-energy weapons
"Later on, as certain agencies or law enforcement gets involved in this, and they see the need for lethality, I'm sure that can be developed later," Schlesinger said. "It could induce cardiac arrest, for example. But that is not our patent, and not our intent."

Buried secrets of biowarfare by Scott Shane
"From 1949 to 1969, at the jittery height of the Cold War, the division tested the nation's vulnerability to covert germ warfare -- and devised weapons for secret biological attacks if the United States chose to mount them."


 
 
 
 

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