Thursday, November 29, 2007

DHS Asks Firefighters To Spy

The Department of Homeland Security is taking advantage of firefighters ability to enter homes without a warrant, and is training them to report unusual material such as weapon caches or military instruction manuals. They are also to note people "expressing hate or discontent with the United States".
The Homeland Security Department is testing a program with the New York City fire department to share intelligence information so firefighters are better prepared when they respond to emergency calls. Homeland Security also trains the New York City fire service in how to identify material or behavior that may indicate terrorist activities. If it's successful, the government intends to expand the program to other major metropolitan areas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Army Fixing Crotch Problem

Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been bursting at the seams, and not in a good way. And now the Army is going to retrofit 1 million uniforms.
Soldiers in Iraq began reporting "crotch durability problems" with their combat uniforms in July 2005, according to the Army. Jumping into Humvees, hopping from helicopters and scrambling after insurgents have popped inseams on the baggy pants.

via tpm

Friday, November 23, 2007

Brain Injured Vets Not Counted as Wounded

From USA Today:
At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY.

Transgender Politician Sued for Gender Fraud

From the AP:
Four years after she won a City Council seat, making her what is believed to be Georgia's first transgender politician, Michelle Bruce is battling a lawsuit launched by an unsuccessful opponent who claims she misled voters by running as a female.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

NYT Sits on Story for Three Years

Once again the New York Times has delayed an important story at the request of the White House. This time it sat on a story about US and Pakistan efforts to protect nuclear weapons for three years because the White House didn't want it published.
Gordon Johndroe, White House National Security Council spokesman, told the Politico that "it was determined in 2004 that publication of the information would be harmful."

But subsequently, Johndroe said, details of the secret program have "slowly, over time, become more public." For that reason, he added, "there was no point in still maintaining our objection to publication."

Dodd Calls for Investigation

Following recent stories about former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's admission that he "unknowingly passed along false information" for the Bush administration, Presidential candidate Senator Chuck Dodd is calling for an investigation.
"Today's revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered," Dodd wrote in a statement posted at his campaign's website on Tuesday. "If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust."

Claim: Ford Knew Of CIA/Kennedy Coverup

A publisher of the new book "A Presidential Legacy and the Warren Commission," claims Gerald Ford knew of a CIA coverup regarding the Kennedy assassination.
"There was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy," says Tim Miller, CEO of, in the release. "There is no doubt that President Gerald Ford knew more about the JFK death. There is no doubt President Clinton knows more. Has he or any other US President since November 22, 1963 ever swore under oath that they know no more?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saudis Increase Punishment for Rape Victim

A 19 year old victim of a gang rape has had her punishment (for "illegal mingling") increased from 92 lashes to 200 lashes and six months in jail because she spoke out about the lenient sentence originally given the perpetrators. Her lawyer, who had his license to practice law taken away, vows to fight on.
"Basic Islamic law states that an appeal shall not harm the person appealing," said Al-Lahem, adding that lodging an appeal is the right of anyone accused of a crime and something crucial for a just trial. "Once this rule is ignored, then people who appeal verdicts are only left terrorized. From now on people will be apprehensive to appeal fearing they might be punished or have their sentences doubled. That's exactly what's happened to the rape victim, who only wanted justice," he said.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another Taser Death

For at least the third time in since last week, a man has died after being shot with a Taser. The incident occurred when police in Frederick, Maryland responded to reports of a fight. The man was pronounced dead when taken to the local hospital.

Last Sunday, Robert Dziekanski was dead 43 seconds after being confronted by Vancouver International Airport security guards. He had became extremely distraught after waiting 10 hours because of an immigration processing delay.

Later that day, Quilem Registre was tasered by Montreal police after being pulled over for erratic driving. Police say he became aggressive during questioning and resisted arrest. He died later that night, becoming the 19th person killed in Canada this year by a Taser.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guantanamo Manual Posted Online

An operating manual for Guantanamo prison camp has been posted online by

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

State Dept IG Admits Blackwater Ties

Howard Krongard, the State Department's inspector general has recused himself from the ongoing investigation into Blackwater (an investigation he is accused of blocking) after it was revealed that his brother, the former #3 at teh CIA, sits on the advisory board for the company.

Krongard had originally said reports of his brother's position were "ugly rumors". Now that Blackwater has confirmed Krongard's brother "Buzzy" sits on the advisory board, the IG is recusing himself, saying he just learned of the potential conflict of interest. "I am not my brother's keeper" Krongard said.

Poll: Impeach!

From a recent poll by American Research Group:
A total of 64% of American voters say that President George W. Bush has abused his powers as president. Of the 64%, 14% (9% of all voters) say the abuses are not serious enough to warrant impeachment, 33% (21% of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses, but he should not be impeached, and 53% (34% of all voters) say the abuses rise to the level of impeachable offenses and Mr. Bush should be impeached and removed from office.

via tp and kos

CIA Recorded Interrogations

From McClatchy:
The CIA has three video and audio recordings of interrogations of senior al Qaida captives but misled federal judges about the evidence during the case against terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, federal prosecutors revealed in a Nov. 9 court filing that was made public Tuesday.

FBI: Blackwater Killings Unjustified

From the NYT:
Federal agents investigating the Sept. 16 episode in which Blackwater security personnel shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians have found that at least 14 of the shootings were unjustified and violated deadly-force rules in effect for security contractors in Iraq, according to civilian and military officials briefed on the case.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

White House Ordered to Keep Email

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy has ordered the White House to preserve copies of all its emails, granting a request from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has brought a lawsuit against the administration regarding missing email.
CREW brought this lawsuit against the Executive Office of the President and the National Archives and Records Administration challenging their failure to restore and preserve millions of emails deleted from White House servers and to institute an effective electronic record-keeping system. When the White House refused to give adequate assurances that it would preserve back-up copies of the deleted emails -- the only source of these important historical records -- CREW sought a temporary restraining order.

via tpm

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lack of Nukes a "Let Down"

A host at Fox and Friends is disappointed that 24 isnt' real.

No Free Speech For Vets

Long Beach and Boston have banned anti-war veterans from today's parades.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hillary's Cat Fight

Wow, it's come to this?!?

Anti-Torture Lawyer Testimony Prevented

Marine lawyer Lt. Col. Stuart Crouch refused to prosecute suspected terrorist Mohamedou Slahi because he felt the methods used to question him amounted to torture, and thus compromised the prosecution.

The House Judiciary Committee wanted to ask him about this incident, but the Pentagon will not allow him to testify.
Crouch told the Journal that he had previously told superiors about the scheduled appearance and received no objection. But on Wednesday he received an email informing him that the Pentagon's general counsel had determined that "as a sitting judge and former prosecutor, it is improper for you to testify about matters still pending in the military court system, and you are not to appear before the Committee to testify tomorrow."

80% of Reagan Library Missing

An audit says the Library can't account for over 80,000 of its 100,000 items.
The audit was connected to an investigation into allegations that a former employee stole from the Reagans' collection of gifts from foreign leaders and other dignitaries, but sloppy record keeping has hindered the probe, Inspector General Paul Brachfeld said.

Fake IDs Used at O'Hare

Federal authorities made dozens of arrests at O'Hare International Airport claiming managers at Staffing Solutions Inc. gave 110 security passes to undocumented workers at the airport who were using fake IDs.
One undocumented worker looking for work at the airport, who was actually a government informer, was told to look through a box with about 20 airport security badges and "pick one with a picture that most closely resembled his own likeness" the complaint said.

One In Four Homeless Are Vets

The report is from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. An estimated 1500 vets are from our current wars are included in the count. And the problems facing homeless vets are hardly limited to finding permanent shelter.
Overall, 45 percent of participants in the VA's homeless programs have a diagnosable mental illness and more than three out of four have a substance abuse problem, while 35 percent have both

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bush Loves the Perv

Yes, the dire consequences of ignoring democracy.