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Saturday, February 18, 2006

 

NYT: The Shame of the Prisons - Feb. 18

Editorial - The New York Times

Who needs sophomoric cartoons to inflame the Muslim world when you've got the Bush administration's prison system? One reason the White House is so helpless against the violence spawned by those Danish cartoons is that it has squandered so much of its moral standing at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. This week, the world got two chilling reminders of why both prisons must be closed.

On Thursday, the United Nations Human Rights Commission issued a scathing report on the violations of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law at Guantánamo Bay: indefinite arbitrary detentions, hearings that mock fair process and justice, coercive and violent interrogations, and other violations of laws and treaties.

The Bush administration offered its usual weak response, that President Bush has decided there is a permanent state of war that puts him above the law. And that is exactly the problem: by creating Guantánamo outside the legal system for prisoners who, according to Mr. Bush, have no rights, the United States is stuck holding these 500 men in perpetuity. The handful who may be guilty of heinous crimes can never be tried in a real court because of their illegal detentions. A vast majority did nothing or were guilty only of fighting on a battlefield, but the administration refuses to sort them out.

Some members of Congress tried to exert control over Guantánamo Bay late last year. But their efforts were hijacked by Bush loyalists, who made matters worse by stripping the prisoners there of the basic human right to challenge their detentions.

Now the only solution is to close Guantánamo Bay and account for its prisoners fairly and openly. The United States then needs a prisons policy that conforms to the law and to democratic principles.

The U.N. report followed a broadcast by an Australian television station of previously unpublicized photographs taken at Abu Ghraib in 2003. Many were similar to the pictures the world saw two years ago when the scandal of abuse, humiliation and torture first broke. Others show even worse abuses and degradation.

All are a reminder that the Bush administration has yet to account for what happened at Abu Ghraib. No political appointee has been punished for the policies that led to the atrocities. Indeed, most have been rewarded.

The prison was a symbol of the worst of the Hussein regime. Now it's a symbol of the worst of the American occupation. Congress should order it replaced. And perhaps John Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, could keep his promise to dig out the truth about Abu Ghraib.

Source: New York Times.


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Friday, February 17, 2006

 

SJMN: Google rips Bush administration's search request

By Elise Ackerman -- San Jose Mercury News, posted Feb. 17

Google called the Bush administration's request for data on Web searches as "so uninformed as to be nonsensical'' in papers filed in San Jose federal court Friday, arguing that turning over the information would expose its trade secrets and violate the privacy of its users.

The 21-page brief filed by the Mountain View search giant angrily dissected the government's claim that the search results would produce useful evidence regarding child pornography.

The Justice Department asked a federal judge to force Google to turn over the data last month, after Google refused to comply with an earlier subpoena. Government lawyers said the searches would help it defend the Child Online Protection Act, which was struck down as unconstitutional. The law is designed to keep children from sexually explicit material on the Internet.

The Justice Department has a week to submit a written response. A hearing is scheduled for March 13 in U.S. District Court in San Jose.

Google's struggle with the Justice Department has focused worldwide attention on the risk that Internet technologies will be used by governments for surveillance purposes -- and that the privacy of users could be compromised without their ever knowing it.

In justification of its demand of data from Google, the Justice Department revealed that it had requested -- and received -- similar data from Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL.

Google's resistance to the U.S. government has won the company praise from many of the people who use its service. At the same time, its stance toward the Justice Department subpoena has been contrasted with the company's recent decision to roll out a Chinese-language search service that complies with Chinese government censorship requirements.

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco Systems came under withering criticism for their actions in China at a congressional hearing earlier this week.

While the government did not ask Google for information relating to the identity of its users, Google said people sometimes search for their social security numbers or for their credit card numbers or other personal data.

"What will the government do with this information?'' Google asked.

The ACLU also filed a 10-page brief supporting Google on Friday, saying that the government's explanation regarding why it needed the searches was "too vague'' to justify a court order.

"The government is not entitled to go on a fishing expedition through millions of Google searches any time it wants, just because it claims it needs that information,'' ACLU staff attorney Aden Fine wrote in a statement. "Google has rightly denied the government's demand.''

In its brief, Google argued that simply knowing the Web addresses that exist in Google's index would not enable the government to determine which contained pornographic material since the content of a Web page can change every day. While Google's records would not help the government make its case for the law, it could help Google's competitors gain access to the company's confidential query data.

Google described the lengths it goes to protect its search algorithms from competitors, including not disclosing the number of computers it uses to run the search engine, the number of queries processed in a day, the type of browsers those queries are entered on and the nature of the search strings people type in. "The very fact that the Government is so uninformed about the value of search and URL information and so dismissive of Google's interest in protecting it speaks volumes about why the Court should protect Google from this compelled disclosure,'' the company wrote.

Source-Full story: San Jose Mercury News.


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Reuters: Rice visits Congress for State Dep't funding

Secretary of State RiceSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, testifies about 'The International Affairs Budget Request for Fiscal 2007' at the House International Relations Committee hearings on Capitol Hill, February 16, 2006.
 
REUTERS/Larry Downing
 
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
 
If those links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

 

AP: Judge orders release of warrantless wiretap information - Feb. 17

By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer -- Friday, 20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration on Thursday to release documents about its warrantless surveillance program or spell out what it is withholding, a setback to efforts to keep the program under wraps.

At the same time, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said he had worked out an agreement with the White House to consider legislation and provide more information to Congress on the eavesdropping program. The panel's top Democrat, who has requested a full-scale investigation, immediately objected to what he called an abdication of the committee's responsibilities.

Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., talks to press after a closed session of the committee on Capitol Hill Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, on the U.S. law regarding the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program. Democrats have been demanding an investigation, but committee chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., announced after the meeting that he had reached an agreement with the White house to change the law. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Jay Rockefeller, left, D-W.V., talks to press after a closed session of the committee on Capitol Hill Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, on the U.S. law regarding the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program. Democrats have been demanding an investigation, but committee chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., announced after the meeting that he had reached an agreement with the White house to change the law. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy ruled that a private group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, will suffer irreparable harm if the documents it has been seeking since December are not processed promptly under the Freedom of Information Act. He gave the Justice Department 20 days to respond to the group's request.

"President Bush has invited meaningful debate about the wireless surveillance program," Kennedy said. "That can only occur if DOJ processes its FOIA requests in a timely fashion and releases the information sought."

Justice Department spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said the department has been "extremely forthcoming" with information and "will continue to meet its obligations under FOIA."

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers also have been seeking more information about Bush's program that allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop -- without court warrants -- on Americans whose international calls and e-mails it believed might be linked to al-Qaida.

After the two-hour closed-door session, Senate Intelligence Chairman Roberts said the committee adjourned without voting on whether to open an investigation. Instead, he and the White House confirmed that they had an agreement to give lawmakers more information on the nature of the program. The White House also has committed to make changes to the current law, according to Roberts and White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 16, 2006

 

CD: America's Moral Decline and the Rise of False Christianity - Feb. 16

by Karen Horst Cobb -- published by Common Dreams Newsletter

"This is the year God wants to make you a millionaire." The visiting evangelist stomped back and forth on the stage of the rented school building. His "hallelujahs" and "praise God" crescendos were followed by jumping up and down. Sweat ran down his face as he proclaimed that the church members would not need to be afraid if the economy collapses and their neighbors houses are foreclosed upon because they are blessed and will have all of their needs met. The service ended with the explanation that the first step to becoming a millionaire is to pledge $200 of "seed faith money" to the church .

Just prior to the introduction of the evangelist the young single minister with spiky hair introduced the beginning of fellowship "life groups," explaining that the "free market" will decide which ones succeed. Recently, Ted Taggard of mega church New Life Fellowship in Colorado Springs explained that Spirituality is a "commodity" -- to be bought and sold. The writings of Milton Friedman are recommended for all new converts. This young minister must also be a free market convert. His small group is a satellite of World Harvest Church. The sermon themes of the mega churches are all very similar and reflect the cause of America's moral decline. Christianity is getting a makeover using the classic trappings of Money, domination and military aggression.

It looks like the 50 million dollar Bible theme park which was to be built in Israel by evangelicals will not happen now that Pat Robertson insulted Arial Sharon. Imagine a 50 million dollar Bible theme park protected by nuclear weapons in the holy land and off limits to Arabs. The harvest of the mega church is ready; welcome the gleaners, the seed faith money has matured.

According to a 2003 article in Forbes Magazine big churches are big business. Researchers found that in 2003 there were 740 mega churches each averaging 6,876 participants. The average net income of each was $4.8 million at the time of the study. The Forbes article states, "[the] entrepreneurial approach has contributed to the explosive growth of mega churches".

Is it the entrepreneurial spirit or the Holy Spirit which is enticing the converts to this new religion? Some used to say that the love of money is the root of all evil and the rich man (like the camel) will forever be outside the kingdom. I guess that is just "too first century" for the modern believer. The millennium church makeover is all about Christian capitalism, he who the free market has set free shall be free indeed! Remember, this is the year God wants me to be a millionaire.

Some might think that putting your last hundred bucks in the offering satchel as "seed faith money" is a lot like gambling or buying a lottery ticket. Perhaps James Dobson and Ralph Reed can explain that to the Indians (and the rest of us.) A Washington Post article explains that Ralph Reed (former head of the Christian coalition) "received $4 million to whip up public sentiment against expansion of gambling in Louisiana and Texas." He did this by mobilizing evangelicals to take a stand against the immorality of gambling.

The buildings and technologies of the mega-fellowships are edifices to capitalism, free market economics, and the entrepreneurial spirit. The lexicon is slightly different but the concepts are exactly the same as those of CEO motivational speakers or a slick late night infomercial promoting real estate schemes. You can do it! You can win! You can be a success! You are smart! There are no limits to what you can achieve. Just send me some money and get started today. A quick internet search reveals sources concerning the personal life styles of the pastors of many of these churches. Their seed faith has been harvested into private jets, extravagant cars, multimillion dollar homes and much, much more. The storehouses are overflowing and with this wealth comes power.

Like Ted Taggard's New Life Fellowship in Colorado Springs, World Harvest Church is a very politically active mega church. Rod Parsley is the pastor , "co-laborer", as he puts it. He is also founder and president of the politically active "Center for Moral Clarity." In a few weeks he is scheduled to speak on the topic "the War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006" at the Vision America Conference. Other speakers scheduled for the event are Alan Keyes, Senator Sam Brownbeck, John Cornyn, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, Janet Parshall, Rick Scarbrough, and Tom Delay. (yes that's right - the multiply-indicted Tom Delay.)

I have not listened to Pastor Parsley's CD set "Injustice in American Courts" nor have I purchased the shiny "King Arthur style sword" for $41.10 to display in my home. I have not considered taking courses at World Harvest Bible College where I can lean to "shape the culture" nor have I spent the thousands necessary to learn how to "walk in Dominion power to advance the kingdom of God though the earth" [italics added].

In his Ohio Community, religious leaders exposed the use of Pastor Parsley's religious tax-free status to support Gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell. Yes, the same Ken Blackwell who was the co-chair of the committee to re-elect Bush/Cheney in 2004 while at the same time responsible for overseeing Ohio's election, which ended up with many irregularities.

Parsley and Blackwell launched a voter registration campaign but only to register Republican voters. Money leads to power and power leads to war.

It seems today there is a need for a tougher, meaner Jesus, a government issue Jesus (GI-Joe) who comes complete with state of the art Kevlar tunic, two edged sword, and secret code book (the book of Revelation). Evangelical Christians are organizing and conspiring to manipulate governments to use weapons if necessary to kill some of God's children so that prime real estate goes to people whom they believe God likes best.

This immoral clarity was reported recently in the Jerusalem Post. Rev. John Hagee is the organizer and leader of the Armageddon war cry and has now created the powerful political lobby, Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Christians Untied [sic] for Israel (CUFI) includes Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Jack Hayford, George Morrison, Rod Parsley and Steven Strang and many other media evangelicals. According to Hagee, "The goal is to be strategically placed to successfully lobby Washington on behalf of Israel. Every state in the Union, every congressional district will be accounted for." Reportedly, this lobbying group represents 30 million evangelical Christians. As we know, congress alone has the power to declare war. Will it be Christians who pressure elected officials into war? Will it be people who declare themselves to be Christ-like, who use his name to sound the collective war cry which unleashes the deadliest weapons on earth? George W. Bush said recently that "all options are on the table" when it comes to Iran.

The Evangelical Christian right is working to insure a manmade apocalypse develops in the Middle east. This powerful political faction runs parallel to the economic foreign policies of the slightly more secular neo-conservative "republican" party which has visions of empire and military rule as outlined in the Project for a New American Century's "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century" [pdf format]. It was written a year before 9/11, and, prophetically, the plan to put bases throughout the Middle East is right on schedule. John Hagee's latest book is Jerusalem Countdown which can be viewed on his website. Evidently, it presents Iran as a horrible nuclear threat to Israel and the United States. Just for a quick check with reality, here is the score on nuclear weapons: Iran-0, Israel-200, US-10,600 (as of 2002). Please explain to me who are these "people of faith" and what do they put their faith in? Experts agree that Iran is at the very least ten years away from obtaining even one nuclear warhead.Ten years is a lot of time to wage peace.

Full Common Dreams article. Write the author at: Cairnhcobb@msn.com.

D.H.: The theological root of this "manmade apocalypse" error is a teaching called "Dispensationalism," which I have debunked in an article named "Dispensationalism Refuted - Flaws of Pro-Israel Rapturism," which can be found at: http://haigler.info/page11.html. Thankfully, not all of the Evangelical Christian right have bought into it, but its influence is pervasive and pernicious.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Spier: Cheney Diversion and the Buildup to Invading Iran

by Bill Spier

While Dick Cheney’s disastrous hunting trip occupies the news, the Washington Post says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the U.S. is investing $75 million to destabilize another sovereign state: Iran. Never mind that this pittance will be absorbed into the bank accounts of Chalabi types who are friends of the truly insane middle east terrorism advisor to Rove, Michael Ledeen; this announcement is another part of the public set-up for a second military front.

There may now be a race on between the militarists inside the administration and Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald. The finish is either a U.S. attack on Iran, or the indictment of administration figures on conspiracy, obstruction, or even the Espionage Act violations regarding the outing of Valerie Plame. For as Larisa Alexandrovna reported this week on the “Raw Story" blog:

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran. (Alexandrovna)

After reading Alexandrovna and Jason Raimondo, "Masters of Deception," one could come to the conclusion that Plame (and her secret operation) were the Hans Blix of Iran nuclear investigation. If that clandestine CIA unit found that Iran was years away from developing nuclear weapons (as is reported by many European and U.S. weapons experts), the unit would have to be discredited so it would not stand in the way of the neo-cons' goals. I wrote on Demlog months ago that the real prize for the neo-cons was Iran. Jason Raimondo follows up beautifully on this yesterday:

All indications are that an active campaign to set up Iran for attack was going full gear even as George W. Bush was declaring "mission accomplished" in Iraq. As we look at the different pieces of the puzzle, a definite picture begins to emerge: what we are seeing are the outlines of a coordinated covert action, engineered by neoconservative ideologues in and around the Pentagon and Dick Cheney's office, and carried out in cooperation with the Israelis. Their objective: gin up a war with Iran, even as we marched into Iraq. A one-two punch that will speed the forces of "democratization" and visit upon the region what Ledeen lauds as "creative destruction."

The brutal realities of the Iraq failure will not deter this clandestine right from pushing for an attack on Iran. Genuinely insane neo-cons like Ledeen want to push the west to a showdown with Iran, and the results would be castatrophic for the entire world. If you ever wondered why the U.S. is building huge and fortified military bases in the western part of Iraq, the mention of Iran might power up up your light bulb. The announcement by Rice only shows how influential the far right neo-cons are. This is very scary and the truth must come out.

I believe that Patrick Fitzgerald may be the only one standing in the doorway that separates sanity from hell. Plame and her CIA Iran unit were the target of the leak, not Wilson; and by now, Fitzgerald must have pieced this together. So many crimes have been committed he must be dizzy positing this before the second grand jury.

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AP: UN says shut Gitmo down

By SAM CAGE, Associated Press Writer -- Thursday, 1 hour, 2 minutes ago

GENEVA - The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday.

In this image reviewed by the U.S. Military, an unidentified detainee is escorted by two military guards at Camp Delta, in this June 25, 2005 file photo,  at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006.   (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari, File)In this image reviewed by the U.S. Military, right, an unidentified detainee is escorted by two military guards at Camp Delta, in this June 25, 2005 file photo,  at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. The United States should shut down the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and either release all detainees being held there or bring them to trial, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006.   (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari, File)

The report, summarizing an investigation by five U.N. experts, called on the U.S. government "to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention center and to refrain from any practice amounting to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

The report's findings were based on interviews with former detainees, public documents, media reports, lawyers and a questionnaire filled out by the U.S. government.

The United States is holding about 500 men at the U.S. naval base on the southeastern tip of Cuba. The detainees are accused of having links to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime or the al-Qaida terror group, though only 10 have been charged since the detention camp opened in January 2001.

In a response included at the end of the report, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. offices in Geneva said investigators had taken little account of evidence against the abuse allegations provided by the United States and rejected an invitation to visit Guantanamo.

"It is particularly unfortunate that the special rapporteurs rejected the invitation and that their unedited report does not reflect the direct, personal knowledge that this visit would have provided," ambassador Kevin Moley wrote.

The five U.N. experts had sought invitations from the United States to visit Guantanamo since 2002. Three were invited last year, but refused to go in November after being told they could not interview detainees.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been allowed to visit Guantanamo's detainees, but the organization keeps its findings confidential, reporting them solely to U.S. authorities. Some reports have been leaked by what the organization calls third parties.

Although the investigators did not visit Guantanamo, they said photographic evidence and the testimonies of former prisoners showed detainees were shackled, chained, hooded and forced to wear earphones and goggles. They said prisoners were beaten if they resisted.

"Such treatment amounts to torture," the report said.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP: Cheney refuses details on declassification authority

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer -- Thursday, 4 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney says he has the power to declassify government secrets, raising the possibility that he authorized his former chief of staff to pass along sensitive prewar data on Iraq to reporters.

Cheney coupled his statement in a TV interview Wednesday with an endorsement of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, his ex-aide. Libby is under indictment on charges of perjury, obstruction and lying to the FBI about disclosing the identity of undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Cheney, left, interviewed by Brit Hume"Scooter is entitled to the presumption of innocence," Cheney, left, told Fox News Channel's Brit Hume, 2nd left. "He is a great guy. I worked with him for a long time. I have tremendous regard for him. I may well be called as a witness at some point in the case, and it is therefore inappropriate for me to comment on any facet of the case."

In a recent court filing, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald revealed Libby's assertions to a grand jury that superiors had authorized him to spread sensitive information from a National Intelligence Estimate. The administration used the NIE assessment on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction as part of its justification for going to war.

At the time of Libby's contacts with reporters in June and July 2003, the administration, including Cheney, who was among the war's most ardent proponents, faced growing criticism.

No weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, and Bush supporters were anxious to show that the White House had relied on prewar intelligence projecting a strong threat from such weapons.

Fitzgerald did not specify which superiors Libby may have been referring to when he testified that higher-ups had authorized him to spread sensitive information.

But in the interview, Cheney said an executive order gives him, and President Bush, power to declassify information.

"I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions," Cheney said. Asked for details, he said, "I don't want to get into that. There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president."

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP: Iraqi police death squads prosecuted - Feb. 16

By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer -- Thursday, 12 minutes ago

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into claims that a police death squad has been operating in the country, a top official said Thursday. Meanwhile, attacks around the country killed 10 people, including six Iraqis who died in a car bomb in Bagdad.

An Iraqi worker steers a car damaged in an explosion and towed away in Baghdad, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Thursday, killing seven Iraqis and wounding at least 14, police said. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)An Iraqi worker steers a car damaged in an explosion, right, and towed away in Baghdad, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006. Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad on Thursday, killing seven Iraqis and wounding at least 14, police said. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari also condemned the latest images of detainees abused in the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in 2003, but noted that those responsible had already been punished.

The investigation into the death squads was announced as police found the bodies of 10 more men who had been shot execution-style and dumped in three different areas of Baghdad's predominantly Shiite suburb of Shula.

Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, Iraq's deputy interior minister in charge of domestic intelligence, said the investigation followed U.S. military claims that soldiers had detained 22 Iraqi men wearing police uniforms who were about to kill a Sunni Arab man last month.

"We have been informed about this and the interior minister has formed an investigation committee to learn more about the Sunni person and those 22 men, particularly whether they work for the Interior Ministry or claim to belong to the ministry," Kamal told The Associated Press.

A U.S. general said American forces had found evidence of a death squad operating in Iraq's Interior Ministry, the Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site Wednesday evening. Maj. Gen. Joseph Peterson, who commands the civilian police training teams in Iraq, said the men were employed by the Interior Ministry as highway patrol officers.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

 

AP: New Iraqi prisoner abuse photos surface

By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer -- Wednesday evening, 6 minutes ago

This image is from video made available Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 by the Special Broadcasting System in Australia is said by the broadcaster to shows a prisoner being abused.  The Australian television network said the images of prisoners were made at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in late 2003, and were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request. SBS refused to give details on the source of the photographs, and the authenticity of the images could not be verified independently. (AP Photo/SBS/Dateline)BAGHDAD, Iraq - New images, such as the one at left, showing Iraqis abused by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib prison three years ago threatened Wednesday to enflame public anger already running high over footage of British soldiers beating youths in southern Iraq.

This image is from video made available Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 by the Special Broadcasting System in Australia is said by the broadcaster to shows a prisoner being abused. The Australian television network said the images of prisoners were made at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad in late 2003, and were among photographs the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to obtain from the U.S. government under a Freedom of Information request. SBS refused to give details on the source of the photographs, and the authenticity of the images could not be verified independently. (AP Photo/SBS/Dateline)

Images of naked prisoners, some bloodied and lying on the floor, were taken about the same time as earlier photos that triggered a worldwide scandal and led to military trials and prison sentences for several lower-ranking American soldiers.

Many of the pictures broadcast Wednesday by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, including some that appear to show corpses, were more graphic than those previously published. One of the video clips depicted a group of naked men with bags over their heads standing together and masturbating. The network said they were forced to participate.

Some key Iraqi officials urged their countrymen to react calmly since the pictures were old and the offenders had been punished.

In the Middle East, where there have been widespread anti-Western protests recently over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya TV aired some of the Australian station's footage but refrained from using the most shocking and sexually explicit images. CNN also broadcast excerpts.

Iraq's acting human rights minister, Nermine Othman, said she was "horrified" by the pictures and would study whether any action could be taken against those responsible, even though some offenders have been imprisoned.

"There will be two kinds of reactions from Iraqis," she told The Associated Press. "One will be anger and others will feel sorry that they (SBS) didn't give them to the Iraqi government to investigate. Why use them? Why show them? We have had enough suffering and we don't want any more."Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Defense Department believed the release of additional images of prisoner abuse was harmful and "could only further inflame and possibly incite unnecessary violence in the world."

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog:
http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Borowitz: Cheney shooting based on faulty intelligence

Believed Shooting Victim Was Zawahiri, Veep Says

By Andy Borowitz, editor of the Borowitz Report

Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter while on a quail hunting trip over the weekend because he believed the man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on Saturday was not al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on "faulty intelligence."

"I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had infiltrated my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying me with pellets," Mr. Cheney told reporters. "Only after I shot Harry in the face and he shouted 'Cheney, you bastard,' did I realize that this intelligence was faulty."

Moments after Mr. Cheney's assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera to announce that he was uninjured in the vice president's attack because, in his words, "I was in Pakistan."

An aide to the vice president said he believed that the American people would believe Mr. Cheney's version of events, but added, "If he was going to shoot any of his cronies right now it's a shame it wasn't Jack Abramoff."

At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his vice president's shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent "a strong message to terrorists everywhere."

"The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent American citizen at point-blank range, imagine what he'll do to you," Mr. Bush said.

Elsewhere, aviator Steve Fossett completed his three-day journey around the globe, setting a world record for wasting both time and money.

Email this story to a friend. Source: Borowitz Report.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas -- lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info

 

AP-AAS: Cheney breaks silence on shooting

Associated Press Writers

Vice President Dick Cheney (seen center, right, walking back from his TV interview) on Wednesday accepted full blame for shooting a fellow hunter and defended his decision to not publicly disclose the accident until the following day. He called it "one of the worst days of my life."

"I'm the guy who pulled the trigger that fired the round that hit Harry," Cheney told Fox News Channel in his first public comments since the shooting Saturday in south Texas.

Cheney described seeing 78-year-old Harry Whittington fall to the ground after he pulled the trigger while aiming at a covey of quail.

"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney said. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."

Cheney has been under intense political pressure to speak out about the shooting incident, which has become a public relations embarrassment and potential political liability for the White House. Until Wednesday, Cheney had refused to comment on why he withheld information about the shooting, which prolonged the controversy and made him the butt of jokes.

Cheney was soft-spoken and somber during the interview with Fox's Brit Hume.

"You can talk about all of the other conditions that exist at the time but that's the bottom line and -- it was not Harry's fault," he said. "You can't blame anybody else. I'm the guy who pulled the trigger and shot my friend."

Cheney said he had had a beer at lunch that day, but nobody was drinking when they went back out to hunt several hours later.

Full AP-Austin American-Statesman story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

Avid Shooter Simulates The Accident, Its Injuries

By John Powell Metz/Caller.com

February 14, 2006

People with no hunting experience might have a tough time visualizing the damage Harry Whittington sustained when he was sprayed with birdshot Saturday afternoon.
To see what the injuries might have looked like, Caller-Times photographer George Gongora, an avid shooter, simulated the accident Monday morning at Corpus Christi Pistol & Rifle Club. He fired at a paper target 30 yards away with his 28-gauge shotgun loaded with birdshot shells.
"We can pretty much see that at least over 200 BBs have touched this area right here," Gongora said, motioning to the face and torso area of the target.



VIDEO: Caller-Times photographer and avid shooter George Gongora simulates Saturday's accident with a 0.28-gauge shotgun.




JP Comments;
Don't forget to click on the photo of the perforated target for a closer look. The video explains it all. When the next wingnut tries to minimize this, ask them to be a volunteer guinea pig to be shot by a 28 GA shotgun at 30 yards. I doubt there will be any takers.

 

AP: Cartoon protests kill 3 in Pakistan

By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer -- Wednesday, 52 minutes ago

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Gunfire and rioting erupted Wednesday as tens of thousands of people took to the streets in several Pakistani cities during the country's third consecutive day of violent protests over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons. Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy.

Pakistani angry protestors gather in a street after setting vehicles on fire during a protest against the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic prophet Muhammad in European newspapers, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 in Lahore, Pakistan. Throwing stones and even wielding hand guns, rioters ran amok in two Pakistani cities on Tuesday, burning down a KFC and hurling stones through the windows of the Holiday Inn and Pizza Hut, as protests over Prophet Muhammad cartoons spiraled out of control. (AP Photo/K. M. Chaudhry)Pakistani angry protestors, left, gather in a street after setting vehicles on fire during a protest against the publication of cartoons depicting Islamic prophet Muhammad in European newspapers, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 in Lahore, Pakistan. Throwing stones and even wielding hand guns, rioters ran amok in two Pakistani cities on Tuesday, hurling stones through the windows of the Holiday Inn and Pizza Hut, as protests over Prophet Muhammad cartoons spiraled out of control. (AP Photo/K. M. Chaudhry)

More than 70,000 people flooded the streets of the northwestern city of Peshawar, said Saeed Wazir, a senior police officer. The massive crowd went on a rampage, torching businesses and fighting police, who struck back with tear gas and batons. A bus terminal operated by Korean conglomerate Daewoo was torched, police said.

Protesters burned a KFC restaurant, three movie theaters and the offices of the main mobile phone company in the country. A Norwegian mobile phone company's offices were also ransacked. Gunfire was heard near the burning KFC, as police tried to clear people from a main street, witnesses said.

An 8-year-old boy died after being struck in the face by a bullet fired by a protester, police officer Shahid Khan said. A 25-year-old man was killed by an electric cable that was snapped by gunfire, said the man's cousin, Jehangir Khan.

At least 45 people were being treated for injuries in Peshawar's two state-run hospitals, Khan and witnesses said.

Paramilitary forces were deployed, and the government announced that schools and colleges would be closed in northwestern Pakistan for one week to protect students from violence. Authorities also announced a ban on rallies in eastern Pakistan for an indefinite period. Most shops, public transport and other businesses were also closed.

Demonstrations around Asia and the Middle East over the cartoons -- which first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September and have been reprinted by other Western newspapers -- have subsided in recent days, including in Afghanistan, where 11 people died in riots last week.

Many Muslims regard any depiction of the prophet as blasphemous. They reject the newspapers' explanations that the cartoons have news value and represent free speech.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
 
If those links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

 

WSJ: Cheney's target compared to Saddam by comic

by Wall Street Journal writer BROOKS BARNES
Comedian Jon Stewart, host of the 78th Academy Awards telecast, holds an Oscar statuette Comedian Jon Stewart (right): "I'm joined now by our own vice-presidential firearms mishap analyst, Rob Corddry. Rob, obviously a very unfortunate situation. How is the vice president handling it?

Rob Corddry: "Jon, tonight the vice president is standing by his decision to shoot Harry Wittington. According to the best intelligence available, there were quail hidden in the brush. Everyone believed at the time there were quail in the brush.

"And while the quail turned out to be a 78-year-old man, even knowing that today, Mr. Cheney insists he still would have shot Mr. Whittington in the face. He believes the world is a better place for his spreading buckshot throughout the entire region of Mr. Whittington's face."

Jon Stewart: "But why, Rob? If he had known Mr. Whittington was not a bird, why would he still have shot him?"

Rob Corddry: "Jon, in a post-9-11 world, the American people expect their leaders to be decisive. To not have shot his friend in the face would have sent a message to the quail that America is weak."

Jon Stewart: "That's horrible."

Rob Corddry: "Look, the mere fact that we're even talking about how the vice president drives up with his rich friends in cars to shoot farm-raised wingless quail-tards is letting the quail know 'how' we're hunting them. I'm sure right now those birds are laughing at us in that little 'covey' of theirs.

Jon Stewart: "I'm not sure birds can laugh, Rob."

Rob Corddry: "Well, whatever it is they do … coo .. they're cooing at us right now, Jon, because here we are talking openly about our plans to hunt them. Jig is up. Quails one, America zero.

Jon Stewart: "Okay, well, on a purely human level, is the vice president at least sorry?"

Rob Corddry: "Jon, what difference does it make? The bullets are already in this man's face. Let's move forward across party lines as a people … to get him some sort of mask."

Full Wall Street Journal article (many more jokes included).

D.H.: My thanks to John Gullett for bringing this hilarious story to my attention.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

NYT: Secret Service clarifies chronology of Cheney's shooting accident

CheneyEric Zahren, a Secret Service spokesman, said the shooting by Dick Cheney, right, occurred at 5:50 p.m. Central time, Saturday, slightly later than the White House had said at first. After helping Mr. Whittington into an ambulance, the agents in Mr. Cheney's security detail returned to their command post on the hunting ranch by 6:30 p.m. The Secret Service supervisor in McAllen, Tex., had called the sheriff in Kenedy County to tell him about the shooting by 7 p.m., Mr. Zahren said.

The Secret Service supervisor arranged with the sheriff for Mr. Cheney to be interviewed at the ranch at 10 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Zahren said. But the vice president's office changed the time to 8 a.m.

While there were reports, some from the sheriff himself, that a deputy had been dispatched to the ranch on Saturday night and been turned away, Mr. Zahren said that some local police officers had heard about the shooting on a scanner when an ambulance was sent to pick up Mr. Whittington. They showed up at the ranch unsolicited. Private guards, not Secret Service agents, Mr. Zahren said, turned the police away because they did not know anything had occurred.

Full N.Y. Times story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP: Whittington to remain hospitalized a week - Feb. 15

A.P. profile on WhittingtonBy LYNN BREZOSKY, Associated Press Writer -- Wednesday, 49 minutes ago

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The lawyer (profiled at left) shot by Vice President Dick Cheney during a hunting accident is expected to stay in the hospital for about a week after suffering a mild heart attack when a shotgun pellet in his chest traveled to his heart.

Harry Whittington, 78, who was moved back to the intensive care unit Tuesday after the heart attack, will be watched to make sure more metal pellets do not reach other vital organs, hospital officials said. The 78-year-old was reported in stable condition.

Doctors at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial said Whittington suffered a "silent heart attack" — obstructed blood flow, but without the classic heart-attack symptoms of pain and pressure.

Doctors said they decided to leave the pellet alone rather than operate to remove it. They said they are highly optimistic Whittington will recover and live a healthy life with the pellet in him.

Hospital officials said they were not concerned about the six to 200 other pieces of birdshot that might still be lodged in his body.

Cheney was using 7 1/2 shot from a 28-gauge shotgun. Shotgun pellets typically are made of steel or lead; the pellets in 7 1/2 shot are just under one-tenth of an inch in diameter.

Full AP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

DU: MSNBC mentions beer but scrubs that quickly

by John Pettit

Democratic Underground: The initial report on MSNBC contained a line from hostess Armstrong that beer may have been consumed by some guests at a picnic lunch prior to the evening hunting accident. Within the hour this tidbit was removed from the story.

Fortunately, Google cached it and an alert blogger on Democratic Underground got a screenshot, as reported on the ThoughtCrimes blog. Click on the title to see the full report, or copy & paste:
http://www.thoughtcrimes.org/s9/index.php?/archives/519-Beer-comment-scrubbed-from-NBC-story.html

Perhaps this might explain Cheney delaying his interview with law enforcement for 24 hours?

D.H.: Other reports I've read say Cheney's staff after the shooting at dusk arranged an interview the next morning with a local deputy.

 

AP: Rep. congressman says intel IDd 9-11 ringleader & Yemen problem beforehand

By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Writer -- Tuesday, 17 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said Tuesday.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on  Capitol Hill Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006, in Washington. Weldon said that pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times. Weldon said the unit, code-named 'Able Danger,'  also identified 'a problem' in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)During a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., said the unit -- code-named "Able Danger" -- also identified "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole. It knew the problem was tied into the port of Aden and involved a U.S. platform, but the ship commander was not made aware of it, Weldon said.

Full AP-Yahoo story.


Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info



If those links don't work, try our political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com.

 

AP: NBC reporter calls White House spokesman a jerk

McClellan gestures towards NBC's David GregoryWashington (AP) - White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, left, gestures as he answers a question from NBC White House Correspondent David Gregory, in the briefing room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006, about how the White House handled the hunting accident involving Vice President Dick Cheney over the weekend. Cheney accidentally shot and wounded Harry Whittington during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

NBC's Gregory accused McClellan of being a jerk after McClellan accused Gregory of posturing for camera attention over a question Gregory asked McClellan about the vice president's shooting incident, which McClellan avoided answering.

"David, hold on, the cameras aren't on right now," McClellan replied. "You can do this later."

"Don't accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras," Gregory said, voice rising. "Don't be a jerk to me personally when I'm asking you a serious question."

Source: Drudge Report.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

NYT: Paul Hackett talks too straight for Ohio Dems

Suzi & Paul HackettPaul Hackett, at right, with his wife Suzi behind him, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.

Mr. Hackett staged a surprisingly strong Congressional run last year in an overwhelmingly Republican district and gained national prominence for his scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. It was his performance in the Congressional race that led party leaders to recruit him for the Senate race.

But for the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."

Mr. Hackett was the first Iraq war veteran to seek national office, and the decision to steer him away from the Senate race has surprised those who see him as a symbol for Democrats who oppose the war but want to appear strong on national security.

"Alienating Hackett is not just a bad idea for the party, but it also sends a chill through the rest of the 56 or so veterans that we've worked to run for Congress," said Mike Lyon, executive director for the Band of Brothers, a group dedicated to electing Democratic veterans to national office. "Now is a time for Democrats to be courting, not blocking, veterans who want to run."

But Democratic leaders say Representative Brown, a seven-term incumbent from Avon, has a far better chance of toppling Senator DeWine.

"It boils down to who we think can pull the most votes in November against DeWine," said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. "And in Ohio, Brown's name is golden. It's just that simple."

Mr. Fern added that Mr. Brown's fund-raising abilities made him the better Senate candidate. By the end of last year, Mr. Brown had already amassed $2.37 million, 10 times what Mr. Hackett had raised.

Senator Reid did not reply to repeated requests for comment.

Asked about Mr. Hackett's contention that he had been pressed to leave the Senate race, a spokesman for Mr. Schumer, Phil Singer, said, "We've told both Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett that avoiding a primary will make it easier to win the Ohio Senate seat, " but he added, "Obviously, the decision to run is Mr. Hackett's and Mr. Hackett's alone."

Mr. Brown declined to comment on Mr. Hackett's candidacy, saying that he was strictly focused on building his own campaign.

Democrats wanted to avoid a drawn-out primary, especially one that could get bruising with a tough-talking outsider like Mr. Hackett.

The Ohio Senate race is regarded as critical to Democratic aspirations to take back Congress in the fall. Aside from focusing on Senator DeWine, the Democrats also hope to win as many as eight House seats in Ohio and the governorship from the Republicans.

Ohio Democrats are hoping to exploit the larger problems plaguing the Republicans. State Republicans have struggled to distance themselves from Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican who cannot run again because of term limits and who was found guilty last summer of four misdemeanor ethics violations. Representative Bob Ney's still-unfolding role in the scandal over the lobbyist Jack Abramoff also looms over the state's Republicans.

Mr. Hackett said he was unwilling to run for the Congressional seat because he had given his word to three Democratic candidates that he would not enter that race.

"The party keeps saying for me not to worry about those promises because in politics they are broken all the time," said Mr. Hackett, who plans to return to his practice as a lawyer in the Cincinnati area. "I don't work that way. My word is my bond."

Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said that part of what made Democratic leaders nervous about Mr. Hackett was what had also made him so popular with voters.

"Hackett is seen by many as a straight talker, and he became an icon to the liberal bloggers because he says exactly what they have wished they would hear from a politician," Ms. Duffy said. "On the other hand, the Senate is still an exclusive club, and the party expects a certain level of decorum that Hackett has not always shown."

Mr. Hackett was widely criticized last year for using indecent language to describe President Bush. Last month, state Republicans attacked Mr. Hackett for saying their party had been hijacked by religious extremists who he said "aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden."

Though Republicans called for an apology, Mr. Hackett repeated the mantra of his early campaign: "I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it."

Source:  New York Times.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AP-AAS: Lawyer shot by vice president has heart attack

The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.

Whittington, in year-old file photoPeter Banko, the hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, said Harry Whittington, in year-old file photo, left, had the heart attack early Tuesday while being evaluated.

He said there was an irregularity in the heartbeat caused by a pellet, and doctors performed a cardiac catheterization. Whittington expressed a desire to leave the hospital, but Banko said he would probably stay for another week.

Whittington, a prominent Republican attorney from Austin, was accidentally sprayed with shotgun pellets when Cheney was aiming for a quail Saturday.

Whittington had initially been placed in intensive care. He had been moved to a "step-down unit" Monday after doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report said Whittington was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.

The wildlife department issued a report Monday that found the main factor contributing to the accident was a "hunter's judgment factor." No other secondary factors were found to have played a role.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

 

AFP: Schumer questions outsourcing of port security

Sen. SchumerNEW YORK (AFP) - US senator Chuck Schumer, right, expressed concern about a takeover deal giving a Dubai company control of operations at six US ports, including New York.

Senator Schumer, a New York Democrat, told Fox News Channel he had strong reservations about the deal in which the British port and ferries group Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company approved a takeover bid by DP World of Dubai.

"Should we be outsourcing our own security?" Schumer said.

"We have to have hands-on control of things. And to have United Arab Emirates -- I mean, they are a country that's allied with the US, but at the same time a whole bunch of the (September 11) hijackers came from the United Arab Emirates."

Full AFP-Yahoo News story.

Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage:
www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com

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