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Blackwater contractors denied drinking before Afghan killings

Blackwater contractors denied drinking before Afghan killings 21 Sep 2010 In the days after killing two Afghan civilians in Kabul last year, Blackwater contractors mercenaries Christopher Drotleff and Justin Cannon repeatedly told officials they had not been drinking the day of the shootings. That contradicts testimony from others, including fellow Blackwater workers and Afghan interpreters, who say the two had been drinking all day and into the night.

Lieberman Wants to Start a Bipartisan, High-Income Tax Cuts Gang

Lieberman Wants to Start a Bipartisan, High-Income Tax Cuts Gang 21 Sep 2010 TPM noted yesterday that, in direct conflict with President Obama's agenda, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Sociopath-CT) is organizing Senate Democrats and Republicans to temporarily extend Bush tax cuts for high-income Americans. This afternoon, on his way into a weekly Democratic caucus policy lunch he explained that he'd like to head up another bipartisan "gang" to reach a tax cut compromise.

Obama's key economic aide Lawrence Summers to step down

Obama's key economic aide Lawrence Summers to step down 22 Sep 2010 Lawrence Summers, the chief economic adviser to President Barack Obama, announced on Tuesday that he would step down after mid-term elections, deepening the sense of doom around the US administration. Mr Summers will return to teaching at Harvard University, which he left in 2009 to become head of National Economic Council and the architect of the administration's key economic policies designed to counteract the recession help Wall Street.

IG: FBI gave inaccurate statements on surveillance

IG: FBI gave inaccurate statements on surveillance 20 Sep 2010 The FBI gave inaccurate information to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify surveilling an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh, the Justice Department's inspector general said Monday in a report on the bureau's scrutiny of domestic activist groups. Inspector General Glenn Fine said the FBI had no reason to expect that anyone of interest in a terrorism investigation would be present at the 2002 event sponsored by the Thomas Merton Center, a nonviolent anti-war and anti-discrimination group. [And, if the FBI spied on teabaggers instead of leftists, Faux News would be endorsing armed revolt.]

MI6 'used bodily fluids as invisible ink'

MI6 'used bodily fluids as invisible ink' 21 Sep 2010 British intelligence services experimented with using semen as an invisible ink to write top-secret letters, it has been disclosed. A diary entry belonging to a senior member of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) has revealed that during the First World War it was discovered that the bodily fluid could act as an effective invisible ink. In June 1915, Walter Kirke, deputy head of military intelligence at GHQ France, wrote in his diary that Mansfield Cumming, the first chief (or C) of the SIS was "making enquiries for invisible inks at the London University".

CNN 'refused to air US war crime scene'

CNN 'refused to air US war crime scene' 21 Sep 2010 A former CNN war correspondent says the news network censored footage of the scene of the brutal killing of a young Iraqi boy by US forces. War correspondent Michael Ware, who worked for CNN from 2006 until April 2010, has been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the violent act by US soldiers. Ware told Radio Australia about the incident he allegedly witnessed and filmed in 2007 when working for US news giant CNN, adding further that the network decided the footage was too graphic to go on air.

Kerr-McGee Fined in Royalty Case

Kerr-McGee Fined in Royalty Case 21 Sep 2010 Nearly seven years after a government auditor charged that an oil company had cheated the government out of millions of dollars in royalties, a federal judge has ordered the company to pay nearly $23 million in penalties -- including $5.7 million to the auditor who uncovered the problem. The company, Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas, was ordered to pay treble damages, or triple the $7.5 million that a jury said in 2007 the company was liable for, because of the false royalty claims it submitted to the federal government. 

Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban

Republicans block bill to lift military gay ban 21 Sep 2010 Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision. The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Audit: DOT spends millions on unused equipment

Audit: DOT spends millions on unused equipment 21 Sep 2010 A report released Tuesday by the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor is highly critical of the state Department of Transportation - saying it has millions of dollars worth of heavy road-building equipment that sits unused most of the time. "Department of Transportation’s policies and procedures do not provide reasonable assurance that underutilized or idle heavy equipment will be detected and corrective action taken," reads the audit.

The Secret Election

The Secret Election (The New York Times) 19 Sep 2010 For all the headlines about the Tea Party and blind voter anger, the most disturbing story of this year’s election is embodied in an odd combination of numbers and letters: 501(c)(4). That is the legal designation for the advocacy committees that are sucking in many millions of anonymous corporate dollars, making this the most secretive election cycle since the Watergate years. As Michael Luo reported in The Times last week, the battle for Congress is largely being financed by a small corps of wealthy individuals and corporations whose names may never be known to the public. And the full brunt of that spending -- most of it going to Republican candidates -- has yet to be felt in this campaign.

Obama Choice For Marine Commandant Opposes DADT Repeal

Obama Choice For Marine Commandant Opposes DADT Repeal 21 Sep 2010 Speaking a few hours before the Senate is due to vote on the defense authorization bill, battleground of the debate over repeal of 'Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,' the man nominated for Marine Commandant said he worries that repeal could affect "cohesion." Gen. James Amos, the first Marine aviator nominated as leader of the Corps, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would not recommend repeal of the law barring homosexuals from openly serving in the military. [See: Barack Obama: Change We Can Deceive In --A critique from the Left By Lori Price 19 Aug 2009.]

Christine O'Donnell Is a 'Criminal,' Claims Watchdog Group

Christine O'Donnell Is a 'Criminal,' Claims Watchdog Group --CREW Files Complaints With Feds Saying Delaware Tea Party Republican Spent Campaign Cash On Herself 20 Sep 2010 A watchdog group has filed official federal complaints against Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell, upset winner of Tuesday's GOP Senate primary in Delaware, and has labeled her a "criminal" for allegedly using campaign contributions for rent and other personal expenses. "Christine O'Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted," said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director.

US drone strike kills 7 in Pakistan

US drone strike kills 7 in Pakistan 20 Sep 2010 At least seven people have been killed in another US drone attack in Pakistan's troubled North Waziristan region, security officials say. The drone targeted suspected militants some 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, a Press TV correspondent reported. Security officials say the unmanned plane fired three missiles in the area, killing seven and injuring another two.

Nine NATO troops are killed in copter crash in Afghanistan

Nine NATO troops are killed in copter crash in Afghanistan 21 Sep 2010 Nine NATO soldiers were killed Tuesday morning in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, military officials said. Two NATO soldiers, an Afghan soldier and an American civilian were wounded in the crash, the military said in a statement.

'FBI falsified post-9/11 events'

'FBI falsified post-9/11 events' [Yeah, pre-9/11 events, too.] 21 Sep 2010 The US Justice Department has accused the FBI of providing misleading statements on terrorism in the wake of the September 11 incident. The FBI gave false information to Congress and the public to justify surveillance of an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh in 2002, US media quoted a report by the Justice Department on Monday.

Real-Time Security Cameras Link NYC Subway Hubs

Real-Time Security Cameras Link NYC Subway Hubs 20 Sep 2010 As many as 500 cameras have been placed in nearly every corner of three of the busiest transit hubs in New York City -- in the stairwells and on the platform. Mayor Michael Bloomberg didn't waste time talking about the subways, "which we know terrorists regard as what they would call high value targets." Bloomberg, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Jay Walder announced the city’s newest security initiative on Monday.

Health insurers seek rate hikes, citing new 'reform' law

Because Obusha stopped the public option: Health insurers seek rate hikes, citing new 'reform' law 20 Sep 2010 Health-insurance companies are raising rates in Colorado, ending sales of child-only policies and blaming their actions in part on the federal health reform law, moves that regulators call "bizarre" and consumer advocates are vowing to watch. At least six major companies -- including Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana -- have said they will stop writing new policies for individual children not covered by their parents' or other plans, insurance officials said... Some of the same insurers, meanwhile, have filed proposed rate increases with Colorado for individual policies, hiking premiums by up to 27 percent, regulators said.

US handed dangerous district in Afghanistan

US handed dangerous district in Afghanistan 20 Sep 2010 Responsibility for security in a highly violent district in Afghanistan has been given to American troops. The British Army, which had been in control of Sangin in southern Afghanistan, has handed the area over, after having sustained their most serious losses there. The transfer to the US Marine Corps was announced in July by British Defence Minister Liam Fox. [Right, they're no fools.]

FDA to consider approval of genetically modified salmon

Mega barf alert! FDA to consider approval of genetically modified salmon 20 Sep 2010 Federal food regulators pondered Monday whether to say, for the first time, that it's OK to market a genetically engineered animal as safe for people to eat. The Food and Drug Administration is holding two days of hearings on a request to market genetically modified salmon. Critics call the modified salmon "frankenfish" that could cause allergies in humans and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population.

Letter containing white powder sent to Turkish Embassy

Letter containing white powder sent to Turkish Embassy --Firefighter teams specializing in handling dangerous substances dispatched to Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv to check suspicious letter. Last week, similar envelopes sent to three other embassies in city 20 Sep 2010 An envelope containing white powder was sent to the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv on Monday, prompting the arrival of rescue forces including firefighter teams specializing in dangerous substances to the site. A preliminary inquiry suggested that embassy staff opened mail bags at noon and found a "heavy" letter. An unidentified white powder was found inside the envelope.

IDF still using banned weapon against civilian protesters

IDF still using banned weapon against civilian protesters 19 Sep 2010 The Israel Defense Forces continues using the Ruger 10/22 rifle to disperse protests even though it has been prohibited by the military advocate general, a hearing at a military court revealed last week. A brigade's former operations officer told the court he wasn't even aware of the prohibition.

Report: Gaza-bound Syrian aid ship sets sail

Report: Gaza-bound Syrian aid ship sets sail 19 Sep 2010 An aid boat destined for Gaza set sail Saturday from the Syrian port of Tartous, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported. State Minister for the Syrian Red Crescent Basahr Al-Shaar said the ship will bring 650 tons of humanitarian aid, including 40 tons of medical supplies, and will travel to Gaza via the Egyptian port of Al-Arish.

British terrorism suspect arrested in Amsterdam

British terrorism suspect arrested in Amsterdam 19 Sep 2010 A British man of Somali origin was being interrogated at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport last night after he was arrested on suspicion of terrorist activity. The man had completed the first leg of a flight from Liverpool's John Lennon Airport to East Africa and was aboard the plane ready to take off for the second leg. Dutch military police acted on a tip-off from British counter-terrorism officials, sources said, but it was unclear why the man had been allowed to leave the UK.

DA who sent sex texts says he will stay in his job

Another hypocritical, GOPredator stalking nutcase is allowed to keep a high-paying job instead of doing time: DA who sent sex texts says he will stay in his job 19 Sep 2010 A Wisconsin district attorney has said he will take time off for counselling but will not stand down from his highly regarded job. The Associated Press has reported that Calumet County District Attorney, Ken Kratz, has informed officials he will not resign over sexual text messages he sent to a domestic abuse victim... Kratz was president of the association in 1996 and its designee on the Wisconsin Crime Victims' Rights Board [!], from which he has resigned. A Republican, he is not up for re-election in his $105,000 annual job until November 2012. 

More evidence of PG&E cost-cutting prior to San Bruno explosion

More evidence of PG&E cost-cutting prior to San Bruno explosion By Kevin Kearney 17 Sep 2010 PG&E, the California utility that operates the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno last week, killing at least seven people, failed to perform a scheduled replacement on a near-by pipe, according to a consumer advocacy group. The utility also did not install automatic shut-off valves, which might have significantly reduced the damage and death toll from the explosion... The $5 million PG&E garnered by charging cash-strapped customers for critical repair work to the San Bruno gas line that was never done is a drop in the bucket compared to the tens of millions the company spent to back Proposition 16--an effort to prevent cities and counties from managing their own gas and electricity networks--earlier this year.

Fraud concerns weigh on early Afghan vote count

Fraud concerns weigh on early Afghan vote count 19 Sep 2010 Election officials pored over votes from Afghanistan's parliamentary poll on Sunday, but sifting through fraud complaints and waiting for results from the remotest areas will delay even preliminary results for weeks. Some areas have started sending checked ballot boxes back to Kabul, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) told Reuters the morning after the poll, which Afghan officials hailed as a success [LOL] despite attacks, low turnout and extensive cheating. [Well, people refer to George W. Bush as 'President,' when he never won an election.]

Elizabeth Warren to Oversee New Consumer Protection Agency

Elizabeth Warren to Oversee New Consumer Protection Agency --Director will be named later 17 Sep 2010 It was her idea, after all. President Barack Obama just named Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, who came up with the idea of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as head of the new federal agency. As consumer-watchdog-in-chief, she is tasked with regulating banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions.

'Bottom kill' performed, officials prepare to declare gulf well plugged

'Bottom kill' performed, officials prepare to declare gulf well plugged 18 Sep 2010 Engineers were conducting tests Saturday on the cement injected into the bottom of BP's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, and an official declaration that the well has been permanently plugged was expected sometime Sunday, officials said. Though it had already been sealed from the top, engineers Friday used a relief well to pump cement into the bottom of the well, an operation known as the "bottom kill."

Afghan insurgents launch rocket-propelled grenade into main U.S. base

Afghan insurgents launch rocket-propelled grenade into main U.S. base 19 Sep 2010 Voter turnout for Saturday's Parliamentary 'elections' was extremely low in Marja, a Helmand Province battleground, as bullets flew over the polling station near the district center, firefights erupted in the fields lining the network of canals and insurgents launched a rocket-propelled grenade into the main United States Marine base here. By noon there were reports that fewer than 100 people had voted in southern Marja. The population of all of Marja is about 80,000.

Court rules Binyam Mohamed cannot sue CIA over alleged torture in Guantanamo

Court rules Binyam Mohamed cannot sue CIA over alleged torture in Guantanamo because legal case would expose secrets 10 Sep 2010 Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Binyam Mohamed has been barred by United States judges from suing over his alleged torture. They ruled that his claims against the CIA cannot be aired in an American court because it could compromise national security. Critics blasted the decision as shutting out torture victims from justice, while providing 'complete immunity to their torturers'.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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