Mittwoch, 3. Oktober 2007

Private Security Guards in Iraq Cite Frequent Shootings

Steve Fainaru reports for The Washington Post, "Most of the more than 100 private security companies in Iraq open fire far more frequently than has been publicly acknowledged and rarely report such incidents to US or Iraqi authorities, according to US officials and current and former private security company employees."

European urges U.S. to curb fall of dollar

The chief political spokesman for the euro has added his voice to demands for the United States to make a greater effort to curb the dollar's strong fall - presaging tense times at the Group of 7 meeting this month in Washington.

Weak dollar prompts record foreign buyouts of U.S. companies

"We could be looking at the world's largest tag sale if we continue to see declines in the dollar," said Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist at DataCore Partners.

From Information Clearing House

Bush vetoes child health insurance plan

President Bush, in a sharp confrontation with Congress, on Wednesday vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have dramatically expanded children's health insurance.

From Information Clearing House

US gearing up for war with Iran, despite denials

Last Friday attempts by the United States, Britain and France to push for new sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council were blocked by Russia and China as the other permanent five council members.

From Information Clearing House

Charles Goyette Interviews Chalmers Johnson


MP3 Chalmers Johnson, discusses the economic costs of empire, his belief that Bush has decided against war with Iran, the failure of the American people and the structure of the Republic to prevent executive branch tyranny.

From Information Clearing House

Almost Two-Thirds of Australians Oppose Involvement in Iraq War

Some 64 percent opposed Australian soldiers serving in Iraq and 73 percent said it made the nation a terror target, according to a survey by the United States Study Centre at the University of Sydney.

America in Iraq: The 10-Year Plan

The exact parameters of the deals for each country are classified. But generally the agreements function like 10-year protection contracts saying that the United States will guarantee the security of a signatory country. In return, the United States is allowed to base troops, dock ships and store military hardware in those countries in furtherance of its efforts to project force in the Middle East.,8599,1667224,00.html

From Information Clearing House

At the Heart of Who We Are As a People

By John Frohnmayer

Impeachment of President Bush is necessary to maintain our government's separation of powers, our checks and balances, our Constitution's integrity.

Iran Terror Label Bites Deep

By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

In the aftermath of the US House of Representatives' recent resolution branding the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as terrorist, the White House is reportedly poised to formally place it on the terrorist list of the US State Department, with ramifications to follow, such as a freeze on the IRGC's assets wherever the US can get its hands on them.

Abu Ghraib Prisoners Accuse US Companies of Torture

By Agence France Press

Two US Army subcontractors accused of torturing prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail go to court Wednesday in a case that highlights the murky legal status of private US companies in Iraq.

Loaded Language and Loaded Guns

The Meaning of Opposites

By Charles Sullivan

One can no longer understand US governmental policy on the basis of conventional language or traditional wisdom. Language itself and its long-established meanings were long ago twisted and distorted in order to deceive the people. Now war is peace and terror and occupation is liberation. In order to make sense of what is happening, it is important to understand everything within the context of a specific economic philosophy, and the distorted capitalist system that spawned it.

Beschleunigter Eisschwund

Grafik macht dramatische Beschleunigung anschaulich

Australien: mehr Hitze, Dürren und Stürme

Australische Wissenschaftler legen Bericht über die Folgen der Klimaerwärmung in Australien vor, was für den Regierungschef, Klimaskeptiker und Bush-Freund Howard ein Schlag ins Gesicht ist.

The New York Times: The Verizon Warning

A New York Times editorial asserts: "Our democracy is built on basic freedoms not being left to individuals, or individual companies. And there is special cause for worry in our business. American newspapers can resist government intimidation because the Constitution is on our side, but also because we control the presses. That is the real meaning behind 'freedom of the press,' and authoritarian societies know it. In the 1980s in the Soviet Union, you had to have a license from the Communist Party to own a Xerox machine; the Soviets understood that it was a printing press. If newspapers were delivered over mobile phones, a company could simply cut them off because it did not like a particular article. This is not the stuff of a futurist essay. Freedom of speech must be guaranteed, right now, in a digital world just as it has been protected in a world of paper and ink."

White House Secrecy on Wiretaps Described

Dan Eggen, of the Washington Post, reports: "no more than four Justice Department officials had access to details of the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program when the department deemed portions of it illegal, following a pattern of poor consultation that helped create a 'legal mess,' a former Justice official told Congress yesterday. Jack L. Goldsmith, former head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the White House so tightly restricted access to the National Security Agency's program that even the attorney general and the NSA's general counsel were partly in the dark."

Governor Eliot Spitzer: "Why I'm Suing the Bush Administration"

In an Op-Ed for the Huffington Post, New York Governor Eliot Spizter explains why he is suing Bush: "after months of negotiation and countless attempts at compromise, the Bush administration is still refusing to let New York and other states across the country expand their State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP). The president is refusing to back down from destructive new rules his Administration has imposed - the sole purpose of which are to curb bi-partisan state efforts to insure more of our nation's children. The reason? As the president himself put it: 'I mean, people have access to health care in America. They can just go to the emergency room.'"

By Large Margin, House Passes Iraq Pullout Bill

Jonathan Weisman, of the Washington Post, reports "the House, with overwhelming, bipartisan support, voted yesterday to give the Bush administration two months to present to Congress its planning for the withdrawal of combat forces in Iraq. The 377 to 46 vote was the first salvo of a new legislative strategy adopted by House Democratic leaders, away from partisan confrontation and toward a more incremental approach to war policy that can bring Republicans to their side. The withdrawal-planning bill had met fierce opposition this summer from ardent Iraq war foes, who scuttled an earlier vote by saying it would do nothing but give Republicans political cover for their support of President Bush's policies."

Tension at House Hearing on Blackwater

Truthout's Matt Renner reports: "Blackwater employees were accused of committing criminal acts of violence, including an incident in December 2006, when an inebriated Blackwater employee shot and killed an Iraqi security guard to Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi, after a Christmas party. At a hearing Tuesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform committee probed the role of private security contractors in war zones and highlighted misconduct on behalf of Blackwater USA."

Ofcom appeals to High Court over mobile mast ruling

Elektrosmog-IG wehrt sich gegen Handy-TV-Antennen

Schweizer Elektrosmog-Gegner wollen Handy-TV verhindern

Wegen Elektrosmog: Schweizer Initiative will Handy-TV kippen

Schweiz: Elektrosmog-Gegner wehren sich gegen Handy-TV

Vereinigung gegen Elektrosmog will Einführung verhindern

Handy-TV in Deutschland droht Scheitern

Misunderestimating the price of Iraq

by Charles Pena


Once upon a time, White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey estimated that the cost of going to war in Iraq might be as much as $200 billion. For daring to voice such an opinion, he was rebuked by Mitch Daniels — then director of the White House budget office — who called Lindsey’s estimate ‘very, very high’ and ‘the upper end of hypothetical.’ Lindsey resigned three months later. In contrast, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — citing Office of Management and Budget estimates — thought the Iraq war would cost ’something under $50 billion.’ And let’s not forget that former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz believed that Iraqi oil revenues of $50-$100 billion, not U.S. taxpayer dollars, would pay for the occupation and reconstruction...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Militarizing US police

Landlord vows to fight mast bid


03 October 2007 10:08

A community pub landlord has vowed to fight a revised planning application for a mobile phone mast near the business.

As the Evening News reported in May, T-Mobile notified Broadland District Council it planned to build a 12m mast near the Blue Boar pub in Wroxham Road.

Councillors rejected plans for the mast in summer, but the phone company has put in another application for a 12m mast and associated cabinets outside the pub.


Handling of Iraqi Refugees Branded an Embarrassment

William Fisher reports for Truthout, "as the government's fiscal year came to an end last week, the Bush administration had resettled only slightly more than 10 percent of the 7,000 Iraqi refugees it pledged to help - and an even tinier fraction of the estimated two million men, women and children who have fled to Jordan, Syria and other neighboring countries or the additional two million who have been internally displaced by ethnic and religious violence within their own country."

Court Reverses Bush on Archive Secrecy

JoAnne Allen, of Reuters, writes: "a federal judge on Monday tossed out part of a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep some of their presidential papers secret indefinitely. US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S. Archivist's reliance on the executive order to delay release of the papers of former presidents is 'arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law.'"

Blackwater Portrayed as Out of Control

The Associated Press reports: "Blackwater USA is an out-of-control outfit indifferent to Iraqi civilian casualties, according to a critical report released Monday by a key congressional committee. Among the most serious charges against the prominent security firm is that Blackwater contractors sought to cover up a June 2005 shooting of an Iraqi man and the company paid, with State Department approval, the families of others inadvertently killed by its guards."

Der Weg in den Irankrieg

The National Election Data Archive Files a Federal Complaint against Utah's Chief Election Official

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: by the National Election Data Archive Park City, Utah October 2, 2007

The National Election Data Archive Files a Federal Complaint against Utah's Chief Election Official, Saying Utah Election Law Conflicts with Federal Law.

On September 20, US Count Votes, DBA The National Election Data Archive filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, challenging the legality of the Utah's election statute which is being used to deny public access to election records, including voter registration records which the National Voter Registration Act requires to be public. The defendants, Summit County, Summit County Clerk and Utah Lt. Governor Gary Herbert were served on Monday 09-24-2007 and have 20 days to respond.

The plaintiff, Kathy Dopp, Executive Director of US Count Votes, A Utah nonprofit corporation, says that "Utah's current election system is so secretive that it is akin to allowing a small close-knit group of people to take ballots to a back room and secretly count them."

Utah statute 20A-4(106, 201, 202) requires sealing election returns and records "in a strong envelope or pouch" during poll closing; delivering "the unopened envelopes or pouches to the election officer or counting center". "Upon receipt of the election returns from an election judge, the election officer shall" make sure that all records are there, "inspect the ballots and election returns to ensure that they are sealed"; "deposit and lock the ballots and election returns in a safe and secure place"; and "preserve ballots for 22 months after the election"; and "after that time, destroy them without opening or examining them".

Dopp says that "The Utah election law is poorly written, impractical and not harmonious with sound election practices. If Utah election officials followed the Utah statute themselves, they would have to:

* Lock up and destroy all the touch-screen memory cards and the general election management server hard drive 22 months after each election

* Lock up all election records (originals and copies) at the polling place and never look at them again, even to tally the unofficial vote counts

* Not examine the poll books to update voter registration databases, and not examine the ballot reconciliation forms or DRE reports to evaluate, for instance, if the number of ballots cast equals the number of voters recorded.

* Not check the accuracy of touch-screen machine counts by comparing the counts of voter verifiable paper ballot records with the unofficial touch-screen election results.

* Not check computer log files to see if access to voting systems appear normal

Utah election officials must violate the law or they could not tally votes, reconcile ballots or check the accuracy and currency of voter registration rolls or vote counts."

US Count Votes' seeks public access to copies of voter registration and election records necessary to check the integrity, accuracy, and currency of the electoral process and voter registration rolls. According to Dopp "Utah's backroom secrecy, combined with its use of "black box" voting machines using invisible e-ballots counted with trade secret software" cast suspicion on the integrity and accuracy of Utah's election process. Keeping election records and procedures, and even detailed vote counts and registration records, secret from the public hides any miscount or errors."

If the suit successfully overturns Utah election statute, Dopp hopes that the Utah legislature will see the benefit of rewriting Utah election statute to allow for full public oversight over the integrity of Utah's electoral process.

A federal right to vote is provided by the US Constitution for US Senators and House Members and federal case law establishes that right as including the right to have votes accurately counted. Dopp says that "A secret process for counting votes invites undetected miscount or vote fraud. Public oversight is a must to illuminate and ensure the integrity and accuracy of the process."

Dopp and the Utah Desert Green Party point out that "Utah's election auditing procedures never compare the voter-verifiable paper ballot records against the unofficial vote counts tallied by the Diebold General Election Management Server (GEMS). Instead Utah merely compares a few randomly-selected voter-verifiable paper ballot records against a printout of votes from the same touch-screen memory cards." Dopp's request for a report of touch-screen vote counts from the GEMS server, necessary to conduct a valid audit of individual touch-screen counts, was denied.

Why this federal suit is important? Utah's system of denying public access to voter registration records, election records, machine vote counts, and election procedures could spread to other states if it is not challenged. Winning this suit will help the public in Utah and other States to exercise their right to access certain election records required for public oversight of election integrity. America is not founded on "trust", it is founded on checks and balances which always involve distrustful oversight. Our votes determine all the government's power and secrecy means no accountability, defeating the primary purpose of elections to hold government accountable.

About US Count Votes: US Count Votes, DBA The National Election Data Archive is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes fair and accurate elections by promoting public access to election records and data; and developing technology and methods to detect voter disenfranchisement and vote miscount. Such methods include independent manual election audits.

News of the federal suit has been reported in local Summit Count Utah press: "Dopp Sues Summit County in Federal Court – Parkite claims state and federal laws conflict" and

"Voting Activist Sues State for Access to Election Records" The audio is posted at News Hour/kathy dopp and brian barnard 9-27.mp3

US Count Votes is requesting donations. It needs funding to pay its expenses and to hire a second staffer to enable it to create clear instructions for auditing election results and do other work to promote fair and accurate elections.

Contacts: Kathy Dopp, Executive Director US Count Votes, DBA National Election Data Archive 435-658-4657
Brian M. Barnard, Esq. (801) 328-9531

A copy of the complaint is posted:

-- Kathy Dopp The material expressed herein is the informed product of the author Kathy Dopp's fact-finding and investigative efforts. Dopp is a Mathematician, Expert in election audit mathematics and procedures; in exit poll discrepancy analysis; and can be reached at P.O. Box 680192 Park City, UT 84068 phone 435-658-4657

Amendment Suggestions for the Ballot Integrity Act

Voters Have Reason to Worry - Response to Those Who Encourage Voters to Trust

The Diebold Bombshell - Discovered in Utah

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1816

Huge Crowds in Costa Rica Protest US Pact

Reuters reports, "More than 100,000 Costa Ricans, some dressed as skeletons, protested a U.S. trade pact on Sunday they say will flood their country with cheap farm goods and cause job losses."

Bad Week for Bush on Climate, but What Now?

Ted Glick writes for Truthout, "for both the antiwar movement and the climate movement, there's a big tactical question we are facing due to the failure of the Democratic-led Congress to so far do anything of real substance - anything! - to either get US troops out of Iraq or to start the urgently needed shift from an economy dependent on fossil fuels to one all about conservation, efficiency and renewable energy."

More Bounties in Afghanistan and Pakistan Will Result in Detention of Innocent Civilians

Ann Wright writes for Truthout: "The Bush administration has cooked up another bounty program that will undoubtedly result in hundreds of innocent persons in Afghanistan and Pakistan being detained and imprisoned, perhaps for years, if history is repeated."

Bush's Global "Dirty War"

Robert Parry writes for Consortium News, "George W. Bush has transformed elite units of the US military ­ including Special Forces and highly trained sniper teams ­ into 'death squads' with a license to kill unarmed targets on the suspicion that they are a threat to American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to evidence from recent court cases."

Citi and Bank of America are World's Top Financiers of Coal and Climate Change

Rainforest Action Network (RAN) Targets Citi and Bank of America as World's Top Financiers of Coal and Climate Change.

ACLU Urges Senate to Move Ahead With Contempt Charges, Rejects Claims of Executive Privilege

Pre-Empting the Next War

Amazon Jungle Could Be Lost in 40 Years

The Guardian UK's Ian Sample reports: "The Amazonian wilderness is at risk of unprecedented damage from an ambitious plan to improve transport, communications and power generation in the region, conservationists warned yesterday."

"Zero" Amazon Deforestation Possible by 2015

The Environmental News Network reports that "Halting deforestation in the Amazon rain forest is the objective of nine Brazilian non-governmental organizations (NGO's) that have drafted an ambitious plan to stop clear-cutting in the region within seven years. The groups, which include national affiliates of Greenpeace, WWF and The Nature Conservancy, presented the proposal at an event in Brasilia on Friday attended by Environment Minister Marina Silva, state governors and other authorities."

High Stakes Battle Between Mining and Environment

Steven Lang of Inter Press Service says: "Environmentalists and tour operators appear to be losing the battle against mining companies in Mpumalanga, a province in the east of South Africa. This confrontation - which also pits two ministries against each other - will determine the future of hundreds of lakes and rivers, and has implications for the economic sustainability of the province."

Democrats Want Federal Probe of California Ballot Effort

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci writes: "Democratic Party activists said Monday that they have filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging connections between backers of Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and a GOP-supported ballot measure that could have changed California's winner-take-all electoral college system to benefit Republican candidates."

Blackwater Contractor Wrote Government Report on Shooting

CNN says, "The State Department's initial report of last month's incident in which Blackwater guards were accused of killing Iraqi civilians was written by a Blackwater contractor working in the embassy security detail, according to government and industry sources."

Ex-White House Lawyer: Eavesdropping Program Was Illegal

Pamela Hess of The Associated Press reports: "A former top lawyer for the Bush administration said on Tuesday said that parts of President Bush's controversial eavesdropping program were illegal."

War Profiteer's Company Profiles

Informant: Cal

Blackwater - New Orleans



Informant: John Stroebel

Link Between Long-Term Cell Phone Use and Brain Tumors

Ron Paul vs. the Neocons

Informant: Useful I.

DS and PSP Can No Longer Be Played on Japanese Airlines

Mobilfunk und Kinder


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