17
Dez
2005

Columnist Resigns His Post, Admitting Lobbyist Paid Him

A senior scholar at the Cato Institute, the respected libertarian research organization, has resigned after revelations that he took payments from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing columns favorable to his clients.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121705B.shtml

No President Is Above the Law

A President above the Law

Civil libertarians say the latest revelations of Bush's vow to continue secretly spying on Americans adds to their frustration with the Bush administration. "If we are a nation of laws, then the president must be bound by the rule of law," said Lisa Graves, senior counsel at the ACLU in Washington. "This is clearly in violation of FISA and a violation of the Constitution. The president, no matter who he is, does not have the power to decide which laws he will follow."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121705A.shtml

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President Not Above The Law
//www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin273.htm

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No President Is Above the Law
//www.commondreams.org/views05/1219-35.htm

'60s Flashback: Is the Government Spying on Us Again?

Arianna Huffington
Huffington Post
December 15, 2005

Reading the new reports

//www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/

about the Pentagon conducting surveillance of peaceful anti-war groups and protests, I feel like I'm having a bad '60s flashback.

But I'm not seeing psychedelic lights and thinking I can fly. I'm remembering how the Defense Department aggressively infiltrated anti-war and civil rights groups during that era, spying and collecting files on over 100,000 Americans -- and how J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI used every dirty trick in the "black bag operation" handbook

//foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/bboperations.htm

to sabotage the anti-war and civil rights movements.

Now it looks like those ugly days of government paranoia and officially sanctioned lawbreaking might be making a comeback. A secret DoD database obtained by NBC News

//www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/

indicates that Pentagon intelligence and local law enforcement agencies are using the guise of the war on terror to keep an eye on the constitutionally protected activities of anti-war activists. And, despite strict restrictions on the military maintaining records on domestic civilian political activity, evidence suggests the Pentagon is doing just that. According to NBC, the DoD database includes "at least 20 references to U.S. citizens," while other documents indicate that "vehicle descriptions" are also being noted and analyzed.

And it's not just the Pentagon. Documents recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show

//www.gazette.com/display.php?id=1312739&secid=1

that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has also been recording the names and license plate numbers of peaceful anti-war protesters. [...] Read the rest at //tinyurl.com/8ypah


© Virginia Metze

President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

Psy-screening and Mandatory Drugs for Everyone? The Genesis of President Bush’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health

by Sue Weibert

December 15, 2005
oped news

Screening for mental illness is the most controversial topic concerning mental health today. Various government entities, private foundations, organizations, think tanks and universities, all flanked by cunning public relations firms, are hard at work trying to make mental health screening as common as a dental checkup. Despite public outrage over screening, these entities are working feverishly to establish this system. With so much clamor of disagreement for such a program, why, then, do these entities push forward with such ferocity? This article reveals exactly how this all got started, who’s really behind “the big push,” and how President Bush was tricked into establishing what might be the most detrimental program in the history of mankind.

In 2002, President George W. Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (NFC) and charged it with the mission of reviewing mental health care in the United States. The following year the NFC released its findings and recommendations. The report called for the establishment of an ambitious, Orwellian plan to screen every American for mental illness, from pre-natal to the elderly. The NFC recommended that screening is to be followed by “treatment” and “support,” but these help-oriented euphemisms are a major cover-up for barbaric psychiatric methodologies that include, but are not limited to, powerful, mind-altering drugs to Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) – ultimately proven to create zombies, mass murderers and even death in those subjected to these kinds of “treatments.” Sound comforting? So, then, why would anyone want to forward the progress of such a system? The answer is the same for all of the horrific things committed against the people since the beginning of time – money, power and control. [...] Read the rest at: //tinyurl.com/93hgg


© Virginia Metze

SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION FILED AGAINST DIEBOLD, INC

Eight Current and Former Executives Named as Co-Defendants, Including former CEO O'Dell and New CEO Swidarski
Class Action Suit Alleges Fraud, Insider Trading, Manipulation of Stock Prices, Concealment of Known Flaws in Voting Machines and Company Structural Problems
Blogged by Brad on 12/13/2005 @ 12:15pm PT...

The BRAD BLOG can now report that a Securities Fraud Class Action suit has been filed against Diebold, Inc. (stock symbol: DBD) naming eight top executive officers in the company as co-defendants. The suit has been filed by plaintiff Janice Konkol, alleging securities fraud against the North Canton, Ohio-based manufacturer of Voting Systems and ATM machines on behalf of investors who owned shares of Diebold stock and lost money due to an alleged fraudulent scheme by the company and its executives to deceive shareholders during the "class period" of October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005.
The suit was filed today in U.S. Federal District Court in Ohio and alleges the company "artificially inflated" stock prices through misleading public information designed to conceal the true nature of Diebold's financial and legal situation. The defendants are also alleged to have attempted to disguise well-known and ongoing problems with Diebold's Voting Machine equipment and software. Additionally, the suit alleges insider trading by defendants resulting in proceeds of $2.7 million. Remedies are sought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. [...] Read more at Brad's Blog, //tinyurl.com/cbnkb


© Virginia Metze

US no-fly list vexes travelers from babies on up

By Caroline Drees,
Security Correspondent
Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:05 AM ET
Reuters


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sarah Zapolsky was checking in for a flight to Italy when she discovered her 9-month-old son's name was on the United States' "no-fly" list of suspected terrorists.

"We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled," Zapolsky said, recalling the incident at Dulles International Airport outside Washington in July. "The desk agent started laughing. ... She couldn't print us out a boarding pass because he's on the no-fly list."

Zapolsky, who did not want her son's name made public, said she was initially amused by the mix-up. "But when I found out you can't actually get off the list, I started to get a bit annoyed."

Zapolsky isn't alone.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 28,000 people have applied to the TSA redress office to get on the "cleared list," which takes note of individuals whose names are similar to those on the terrorism watch list, but does not guarantee an end to no-fly list hassles. [...] Read it all at: //tinyurl.com/74ka4


© Virginia Metze

Anti-science science

Don't dilute UC's science requirement

Sacramento Bee
Published 2:15 am PST Thursday, December 15, 2005
Story appeared in Editorials section, Page B8

It is one thing for private Christian high schools to offer courses that, as one textbook says, "put the Word of God first and science second." That is their right, and it is part of the mosaic of educational opportunities that students and their parents have in the United States.

It is quite another thing, however, for those schools to demand that the University of California and California State University systems accept those courses toward admission.

That is exactly what Calvary Chapel Christian School in Riverside County is doing. It and the Association of Christian Schools International are suing to force the state university system to accept credits from religious classes as science. [...] Read the rest at: //tinyurl.com/7gumz


© Virginia Metze

Spying on Americans: Pardon us while we gloat

The Rant
By DOUG THOMPSON
Dec 16, 2005, 07:32
Capitol Hill Blue

When President George W. Bush gathered his shell-shocked cabinet together in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, he turned to then attorney general John Ashcroft and said “John, you do whatever is necessary to make sure something like this never happens again.”

Those instructions to Ashcroft are documented in Steven Brill’s book, After: How America Confronted the September 12 Era,

//www.pbs.org/now/politics/brill.html

about the days following 9/11 and the Showtime docudrama on the event. It is also well-known that Ashcroft, a zealot who doesn’t allow the Constitution to get in the way of his crusades, took Bush’s command to heart, creating the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act, the controversial law that allows the federal government to spy on Americans without cause, without court order and without restraint.

But Bush went even further, turning the giant communications monitoring apparatus of the National Security Agency into a personal machine to snoop into the lives of Americans and setting Adm. John Poindexter loose to create the Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) program.

Congress thought it shut down TIA but Bush ran an end around on the Hill by transferring TIA into the Pentagon’s “black bag” operations, a fact we first reported in June of last year. We also reported the program used technology developed by the National Security Agency to snoop on phone calls and emails and that some NSA employees were pissed about being involved in spying on Americans. [...] Read more of his "I told you so" at //tinyurl.com/afmcz


© Virginia Metze

How long did the Times hold its news?

Salon WAR ROOM by Tim Grieve
Dec. 16, 2005

As we noted

//www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2005/12/16/spying/index.html

earlier today, the New York Times is out with a story

//www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html?hp&ex=1134795600&en=c7596fe0d4798785&ei=5094&partner=homepage

in which it says the Bush administration has been monitoring -- without warrants -- telephone calls and e-mail messages originated in the United States. What we didn't mention, and should have, is this snippet from the piece: "The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting."

Our question: When did the White House make its request, and what does "a year" mean? The Times is awfully light on details here, leaving itself open for speculation from the left as to whether the Times sat on the story through last year's presidential election. At the same time, the right is free to speculate about the Times' decision to run the story now, just as the Senate was about to take up and -- as it turns out -- vote down

//news.yahoo.com/s/ap/patriot_act;_ylt=AqiRhmXtYUmNAT6NsNIFUOes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--

the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. [...] Read the rest at //tinyurl.com/7mc7t


© Virginia Metze

The War and the Elections

Nation magazine editorial | posted December 15, 2005 (January 2, 2006 issue)

[...] it does mean the Iraq debate has evolved from a contest over how to manage the US occupation into the question of whether the occupation should continue. That question will be a central--perhaps the central--issue of the 2006 Congressional elections.

In our November 28 cover editorial, "Democrats and the War," we took the stand that "The Nation will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign." We urged voters to join us. In recent weeks, as more Democrats have spoken out against the war and for a timely exit, we have come to believe even more firmly that antiwar candidates, with the requisite credentials, can prevail next fall. The first step in that process is, of course, to encourage support for such candidates, as we are doing this week and as we will continue to do throughout 2006.

Among leading Democratic Representatives and strategists, there is a palpable unease about laying out a withdrawal timeline. The DC insiders fear that doing so might provoke a voter backlash, despite the evidence of the polls. It is encouraging that recent weeks have seen significant if incomplete movement in the House Democratic caucus toward embrace of an exit strategy, especially since minority leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Murtha's plan.

But the same cannot be said for the Senate caucus, which continues to send dramatically mixed messages. A handful of members, like Russ Feingold, clearly support a timeline, but others, like Joe Lieberman, still back Bush's "stay the course" talk. And top Democrats, like minority leader Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton--who has attracted an antiwar primary challenge from former National Writers Union president Jonathan Tasini--continue to try to have it both ways, expressing ever-increasing impatience with Bush's approach but rejecting a firm exit strategy. [...] Read the rest of the article at //www.thenation.com/doc/20060102/editors1 or //tinyurl.com/7hboz

David Sirota has a full analysis of the Nation article above. Read it at Sirotablog on WorkingforChange. This link will get you there: //tinyurl.com/eyhwd


© Virginia Metze

Shocked Lawmakers Demand Spy Program Probe

By KATHERINE SHRADER
Associated Press Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, December 16, 2005

Dismayed lawmakers demanded on Friday that Congress look into whether the highly secretive National Security Agency was granted new powers to eavesdrop without warrants on people inside the United States.

"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.

President Bush refused to discuss whether he had authorized such domestic spying, saying to comment would tie his hands in fighting terrorists.

Nor would other officials confirm or deny whether the nation's largest spy agency was permitted to gather communications from Americans under a presidential directive signed in 2002.

Instead, they asserted in careful terms that the president would do everything in his power to protect the American people while safeguarding civil liberties. [...] Oh, how they lie... Read the whole article at San Franciso Chronicle, sfgate.com. //tinyurl.com/9eye7


© Virginia Metze

The Pentagon may be watching you

Salon's War Room
by Tim Grieve

We don't have any doubt that the United States sometimes faces threats, and indeed, there's at least one

//www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/

the Bush administration might have taken a little more seriously. But we wonder if a small peace gathering at a Quaker meetinghouse in Florida or an antiwar march at NYU or a rally in Hollywood or a campus protest at Southern Connecticut State University ought to be the sort of "threats" the Defense Department takes seriously.

They are, apparently.

A 400-page database obtained by NBC News

//msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/

confirms scattered reports that the U.S. military is monitoring the activities of peaceful antiwar groups. On page after page, the report identifies meetings and rallies and protests, large and small, as "threats" or "suspicious incidents" to be watched. The Pentagon has also been monitoring Web sites for information on peaceful protests that just might morph into terrorist attacks. [...] Read the rest at //tinyurl.com/7kqf9


© Virginia Metze

BUSH FOOLS AMERICANS BY APPEARING TO ACCEPT MCCAIN'S BAN ON TORTURE

by EVAN AUGUSTINE PETERSON, III
December 16, 2005
opednews.com

In Washington politics, things are seldom what they appear to be - especially when devious Machiavellians are running the White House. [...]

On Wednesday of this week, a non-binding House vote overwhelmingly favored the McCain Amendment, which would ban torture by the military, the CIA, and mercenaries under contract with the U.S. government. [2] Then on Thursday, Mr. Bush reportedly RESCINDED his opposition to the McCain Anti-Torture Amendment (which he had threatened to veto). [3] [...]

However, human-rights groups should not prematurely celebrate a "victory." Mr. Bush has learned nothing, and he hasn't changed his position on torture. He misled us into war under false pretenses, and now he's trying to mislead Congress and the public into believing that his administration has forsworn its advocacy and use of torture.

Consider this: Bush ONLY rescinded his opposition to McCain's Anti-Torture Amendment because he'd already circumvented its most important provision! [...]

So how did Mr. Bush fool everyone? [4] By getting his Pentagon minions to issue their first official change to the Army Field Manual in thirteen years. More importantly, the Pentagon radically altered the Army Field Manual by inserting a 10-page CLASSIFIED addendum that contains new, highly-permissive interrogation standards. The DOD's new interrogation standards intentionally BLUR the Army's formerly clear-cut standards.

Furthermore, these new standards not only permit, but also teach, abusive interrogation techniques that will violate international law because they are obviously tantamount to torture. [5] [...]
As you can see by all the [...] above, much has been left out in this preview of the article. Read the whole thing at opednews.com: //tinyurl.com/9gsh7


© Virginia Metze

Bush authorized spying multiple times

Senior intelligence officer says President personally gave NSA permission

Associated Press
Updated: 9:20 p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2005

NEW YORK - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

“There is no doubt that this is inappropriate,” declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year. [...] Read it at: //www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10488458/


© Virginia Metze

Our basic norms of decent and ethical conduct seem to have collapsed

//www.ufppc.org/content/view/3795/


Informant: jensenmk

From ufpj-news

Spying Scandal Draws Heat

[ More impeachable offenses... ]

John Calvert


Spying Scandal Draws Heat

Lawmakers call on Bush to explain his post-9/11 order allowing a secret agency to monitor U.S. citizens without first getting a warrant.

By Maura Reynolds and Greg Miller Times Staff Writers

December 17, 2005

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress demanded Friday that President Bush and his administration explain his decision to permit the country's most secretive intelligence agency to spy on American citizens in the United States after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks without first obtaining warrants.

Democrats and some Republicans denounced the administration's action, describing it as an example of Bush's use of the threat of terrorism to assume new legal and intelligence powers and to limit civil liberties.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said he would call congressional hearings as soon as possible. Warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens is "wrong, and it can't be condoned at all," he said.

According to former officials familiar with the policy, Bush signed an executive order in 2002 granting new surveillance powers to the National Security Agency — the branch of the U.S. intelligence services responsible for international eavesdropping, and whose existence was long denied by the government.

"I want to know precisely what they did: how NSA utilized their technical equipment, whose conversations they overheard, how many conversations they overheard, what they did with the material, what purported justification there was … and we will go from there," Specter said.

After the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the administration sought to ease the restrictions on wiretaps and e-mail surveillance to investigate U.S. citizens suspected of having ties to terrorists. Ordinarily, the government must gain permission from special courts to turn its surveillance on U.S. citizens, either domestically or overseas.

The surveillance operation was first reported by the New York Times.

"If this article is accurate, it calls into question the integrity and credibility of our nation's commitment to the rule of law," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the intelligence and judiciary committees.

The president and his aides moved quickly Friday to try to contain the controversy.

Vice President Dick Cheney went to Capitol Hill to confer with the leaders of both chambers as well as the chairman and top Democrat on each of the intelligence panels. Those present refused to discuss the session.

In a TV interview, Bush said he could not talk about the matter. "We do not discuss ongoing intelligence operations to protect the country, and the reason why is that there's an enemy that lurks, that would like to know exactly what we're trying to do to stop them," he said on PBS' "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."

Bush said he understood that Americans were eager to learn the details of the post-Sept. 11 surveillance operations. But he's "just not going to do it," he said. U.S. intelligence officials also refused to confirm the account.

The existence of the highly classified NSA program was confirmed by two former senior U.S. intelligence officials with firsthand knowledge of the effort. The former officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

The program was launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, and was designed to enable the NSA to monitor communications between Americans in the U.S. and people overseas suspected of having ties to terrorist networks. One aim was to take swift advantage of fresh leads collected overseas by the CIA, especially in cases in which an agency raid led to the seizure of a laptop or cellphone containing logs of phone numbers.

One of the former intelligence officials said it was designed to enable them "to follow up on anything and exhaust all possible leads" at a time when "the threat level couldn't be any higher." Much of the NSA's activity was driven by CIA operations.

"We would say, any call from this number — whether it goes to Brooklyn or Tashkent — listen in on it," the former official said. "The freedom was needed to follow the traffic, the phone traffic, wherever it went." The former official, who defended the program, added: "You have to remember that up until the Patriot Act, [NSA eavesdropping experts] had to hang up even if they had Osama bin Laden talking to an American."

The second former official said the program contributed to the apprehension of Iyman Faris, an Ohio truck driver who pleaded guilty in 2003 to collaborating with Al Qaeda in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.

The NSA effort was suspended at one point because of objections from a judge, but was subsequently resumed and was still active as recently as several months ago, one of the former officials said.

One of the main concerns after Sept. 11, the former officials said, was that obtaining warrants took so long that there was little time to react to fresh intelligence. But, they said, there was concern from the very beginning in some quarters that the program might be overstepping 1970s-era laws protecting the civil liberties of Americans.

"You can imagine a program like this was kept in the tightest of compartments," the second former official said. But even within those compartments, he said, there was "uneasiness among some folks, wondering whether this does have appropriate authorization."

Former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was chairman of the Intelligence Committee at the time the eavesdropping program was launched, said in an interview Friday that he was never told about the program during his time on the committee.

"I didn't learn about it until well after I was off the Intelligence Committee," said Graham, whose tenure as chairman began several months before the Sept. 11 attacks and ended in January 2003.

Graham's statement raises questions about whether the Bush administration provided timely notice to congressional oversight committees, as is required by law. He recalled attending a meeting in early 2002 in Cheney's office about the NSA, but it focused on other operations, such as monitoring overseas e-mail traffic that flowed through Internet service providers based in the U.S.

Federal law requires the president to keep Congress "fully and currently informed" of all significant intelligence activities. Legal experts and congressional officials said a program monitoring the electronic communications of Americans would be considered the type of program that would require immediate congressional notification.

But some pointed to a loophole in the law that allows a president to withhold information under extreme circumstances.

In comments to reporters, Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales insisted that the administration had followed the law, including briefing lawmakers as proxies for the public. "I certainly respect and understand the need for the American people to understand what their government is doing," he said. "And, obviously, we respect that and we try to make information available to the American people, but we also have a corresponding duty to ensure that national security is protected."

Feinstein said that informing a handful of members of Congress who are restricted from reporting or responding to the information in any way did not make the policy legal or constitute congressional oversight.

"What is concerning me, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, is if eight people, rather than 535 people, can know there is going to be an illegal act and they were told this under an intelligence umbrella — and therefore, their lips are sealed — does that make the act any less culpable? I don't think so," Feinstein said.

Times staff writers Warren Vieth, Josh Meyer and Bob Drogin contributed to this report.

//www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-spy17dec17,0,1542115.story?coll=la-home-nation


Bush defends warrant-less wiretaps Legality of program questioned; Senate probe on way

By William Spain,
MarketWatch
Last Update: 12:43 PM ET Dec. 17, 2005

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) - President Bush defended his use of warrant-less wiretaps Saturday, saying the eavesdropping is necessary to protect the nation from terrorists, vowing to continue even as the legality of the program is called into question.

"I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations," he said in his weekly radio address, broadcast live form Washington. "This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies." See Whitehouse Webcast of speech.

News of the program broke in the New York Times on Friday, setting off a legal and political furor. The newspaper revealed that the National Security Agency has been monitoring international communications of hundreds of people in the U.S. and that NSA officials have questioned the legality of the program.

Bush attacked both the story and those who provide information for it.

"Our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk," he said. "Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country."

But, by ordering the wiretaps directly, Bush may have violated laws requiring the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to sign off on intelligence surveillance on American soil.

People within the borders of the U.S. are typically protected from this kind of government activity by the Fourth Amendment, which reads in part: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation ..."

The nation's largest civil liberties group flatly labeled the program illegal.

"Eavesdropping on conversations of U.S citizens and others in the United States without a court order and without complying with the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is both illegal and unconstitutional," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office, in a written release. "The administration is claiming extraordinary presidential powers at the expense of civil liberties and is putting the president above the law," she said.

Fredrickson called on Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the program and said that "Congress must investigate this report thoroughly."

One top Senator and member of Bush's own party vowed to do just that.

The wiretaps are "wrong, clearly and categorically wrong,'' said Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, quoted in various wire reports.

Specter, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, promised that a Senate probe of Bush's actions will begin "as soon as we can get to it in the new year -- a very, very high priority item.''

The revelations came on the same day when most Senate Democrats, joined by a handful of Republicans, beat back an attempt to renew the controversial USA Patriot Act, a measure passed in wake o the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks that vastly expanded the powers of law enforcement. Some provisions of the act are set to expire at midnight on New Year's Eve.

In his speech, Bush also took a shot at them: "A minority of senators filibustered to block the renewal of the Patriot Act when it came up for a vote yesterday," he said. "That decision is irresponsible, and it endangers the lives of our citizens....In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment."

Senators from both sides of the aisle had proposed various changes to the law, including new expiration dates -- moves opposed by the White House and most Republicans in Congress.

One exception is Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire.

"No substantive material has been provided to argue how our specific changes would weaken or undermine law enforcement's ability to do its job in pursuing terrorists," he said on his official website. "A standard should be to put in place to protect civil liberties no matter who holds the power in the executive, the legislative or the judicial branches."

Sununu also quoted Benjamin Franklin's famous words: "Those who would give up essential liberty in the pursuit of a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security."

William Spain is a MarketWatch staff writer in Chicago.

//www.marketwatch.com/news/story.asp?guid=%7BD0D65D17-3B07-4533-8CDB-61C9CB79FECE%7D&siteid=google



//omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

Chernobyl, WHO and Utteridge's mice: Is there a connection?

Part I

A new UN study that is defined as "the most authoritive study to date of the effects of the explosions that ripped apart Chernobyl reactor number 4 on 26 april 1986. It was compiled by the Chernobyl Forum, which involves more than 100 scientists, eight UN agencies and the governments of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine". According to the study, the number who will die from long-term cancers caused by radiation will be 3490. The deaths will be among almost 600,000 most contaminated by the accident 50 workers died from acute radiation poisoning or linked causes. 9 of 4000 children who have contracted thyroid cancer since the disaster have also died. The precise number of death is "unlikely ever to be known". The study suggests that alongside radiation, mental illness has been the biggest public health problem caused by the accident. According to Michael Repacholi, radiation manager for the WHO, a "high proportion" of the people most contaminated have suffered from stress. Sometimes this has led to reckless behaviour, such as eating highly contaminated food, overindulgence in alcohol and tobacco and "unprotected promiscuous sexual activity". Repacholi nevertheless insists that the study's overall health message was "reassuring". Only 3% of those contaminated by Chernobyl would die from cancer as a result of the accident, on top of the 25% who would be expected to die from cancer anyway. "Most people will be surprised that there are so few deaths" he says. New Scientist 10.9.05


Part II

"An express agreement between the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) states: "Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter". In effects, the WHO, which is responsible for the world health, does no research on radiation unless the project is approved by the IAEA, which promotes nuclear power and is dominated by the nuclear industry. And once the WHO has compiled the report the results of its findings have also to be cleared by the IAEA." The ecologist October 2002 Dr. Janette Sherman's 2000 book Life's Delicate Balance: causes and prevention of breast cancer, which includes chapters titled "The breast cancer epidemic on Long Island and "Radiation- Bikini Island to Long Island.

Part III

Kuchel- Utterige's mice study - the "replication" of Repacholi's mice study [a study which was presented to the public as a replication that "cancelled" Repacholi's lymphoma results, although it was done differently from Repacholi's and indeed didn't find adverse effect]. T. Utteridge was the head of this study and she is a member in the ARPS - a lobbist industrial organization with very good connection to the nuclear industry. On their website they write "THE MYTHS OF CHERNOBYL One of the most widespread myths of recent times is that the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in 1986 caused many thousands of extra cancer deaths in neighbouring regions, and that public health has been severely affected by exposure to radiation." (Utteridge is a member also of the electronic engineering school). It is surely not a coincidence that Utteridge was chosen to "replicate" Repacholi's study.

//www.arps.org.au/Chernobyl.htm
//www.arps.org.au/Dirty_Bombs.htm
//www.arps.org.au/SA.HTM


Informant: Iris Atzmon

--------

PLAYING DOWN THE EFFECTS OF CHERNOBYL
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1253880/

WHO, EMF, Electromagnetic Radiation and Mobile Phones
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1194586/

Fraud trial will hit heart of American Right

Abramoff, is at the centre of political storm that is capable of sweeping the Republican majority from Congress next year. The implications for the Right's ambitious plans to remake America in its own image are profound.

//tinyurl.com/793zo


From Information Clearing House

An Incredible Day in America, Indeed, But, Will We Seize the Day, Or Let It Pass?

//inoodle.com/2005/12/incredible-day-in-america-indeedbut.html


From Information Clearing House

New York Times admits it held domestic spying story for a full year

The Times also reveals that senior members of Congress from both parties knew about Bush's decision to spy on Americans who were making international calls or emails, without warrants.

//rawstory.com/news/2005/New_York_Times_admits_it_held_1215.html


From Information Clearing House

Bush has approved secretive eavesdropping in U.S. dozens of times

The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

//www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/terror/20051216-1735-bush-nsa.html


From Information Clearing House

Bush Acknowledges Approving Eavesdropping

President Bush said Saturday he has no intention of stopping his personal authorizations of a post-Sept. 11 secret eavesdropping program in the U.S., lashing out at those involved in revealing it while defending it as crucial to preventing future attacks.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11329.htm

Landmark Torture Ban Undercut

Congress Would Allow Evidence Obtained by Torture : Even as the U.S. Congress has passed a prohibition against the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, it is set to adopt legislation that would strip the judiciary’s ability to enforce the ban, Human Rights Watch warned today.

//www.commondreams.org/news2005/1216-06.htm


From Information Clearing House

Torture Ban May Include a Backdoor

Tom Wilner, a lawyer who represents a group of Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Bay, told the Washington Post that the Graham amendment would make McCain's prohibition against torture essentially unenforceable, by giving U.S. troops an incentive to engage in coercive interrogations of detainees, without fear of being held liable.

//www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=31459


From Information Clearing House

Lawmakers Back Use of Evidence Coerced From Detainees

House and Senate negotiators agreed Friday to a measure that would enable the government to keep prisoners at Guantánamo Bay indefinitely on the basis of evidence obtained by coercive interrogations.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11324.htm

Christian Bailey: $100m contract by the Pentagon to plant false stories in Iraqi papers

So, just who is Christian Bailey?

A 30-year-old Oxford graduate with no public relations experience has been handed a $100m contract by the Pentagon - to plant false stories in Iraqi papers.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11328.htm

--------

Every media outlet has those who know and play the game, but there still are those, who kept their professional ethics somewhere or young journalists, who slipped through the selection process for volunteers or freelancers, and who would be willing to expose: WE NEED YOU ! We need to expose the spin-doctors, PR-criminals and lies-for-money promotors. Every government has them and every mainstream medium. Tell us who they are !

ECOTERRA Intl.

---------

So, just who is Christian Bailey?

A 30-year-old Oxford graduate with no public relations experience has been handed a $100m contract by the Pentagon - to plant false stories in Iraqi papers.

By Andrew Buncombe

12/17/05 "The Independent" -- -- The office building situated at 1420 K Street NW has nothing obvious to commend it other than its prime location. Just a couple of streets from the north-west gates of the White House, it sits in the heart of lobbying land - the K Street corridor that represents one of the most crucial centres of power, influence and money in the United States.

This grey building, neighboured to one side by an off-licence and to the other by a travel agent, is home to the Lincoln Group, a previously little-known "business intelligence" company headed by a heretofore little known young Briton, Christian Bailey, an Oxford graduate and consummate net worker. He is at the centre of a mounting storm of controversy surrounding the Bush administration's covert propaganda war in Iraq.

It was recently revealed that Bailey's company was the recipient of a $100m (£56m) contract from Donald Rumsfeld's Department of Defence for buying space in Iraqi newspapers to place deliberately one-sided stories written by US "psy-ops" troops, at a time when the chaos of Iraq makes genuine journalism all but impossible and when journalists risk their lives on a daily basis to report the truth.

As part of the project - in which the US military hid its involvement - Lincoln Group staff paid Iraqi journalists to write similarly misleading stories about US forces and the Iraqi government that ignored anything negative about the occupation. One headline read: "Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism."

The revelations have created a furore. President Bush is said to be "very troubled" by the news, while on Capitol Hill members of both the Senate and House armed services committees demanded inquiries. The Pentagon said it would launch an immediate investigation.

Much is unclear about the Lincoln Group, its youthful executive vice-president and his string of previous companies that have left only the faintest paper trail. Indeed, Christian Bailey may not be his real name: a number of student associates said at some point during his four years that he changed his name from Yusefovich - an unlikely surname for someone called Christian.

The Independent has been unable to confirm this. Yet the details known about Bailey and the contract his company won provide a remarkable insight into the way influence and power operate in Washington. Just two years after arriving here, Bailey, 30, who has a penchant for socialising, has apparently developed contacts both within the Republican establishment and the world of private intelligence.

Senator John Warner, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said of the false news operation: "I remain gravely concerned about the situation." Since the controversy broke Bailey has kept a low-profile and has offered just the fewest public words about his organisation and what it does. (He failed to respond to requests for an interview.) It also appears a number of internet references linking him to the Republicans can no longer be found.

Yet it is clear the Lincoln Group and its contract with the Joint Psychological Operations Support Element, part of the Pentagon's Special Operations Command, is inextricably linked with Bailey. He apparently named the company and its various offshoots after Lincoln College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1997 with an MA in economics and management.

Many observers have been surprised Bailey, from Surrey, has been awarded such a sizable contract, give that he appears to have no experience in public relations. Indeed, since he moved to the US in the late 1990s, he has spent much of his time in private finance, working in hedge funds in San Francisco and New York.

It appears he has been especially interested in new technology markets. A brief biography presented by the organisers of a conference held earlier this year in Dubai at which Bailey was listed as a speaker, said he had worked in Palo Alto, California, "where he advised portfolio companies and identified, evaluated and developed emerging technology investments".

The Briton has always enjoyed a reputation for business. Several Oxford associates said it was rumoured that the popular student kept two computers in his room to monitor the stock markets. Bailey has said he founded and sold two companies while an undergraduate. "He was quite enterprising, I believe," said Graham De'ath, of Winchester, who was in the same year.

Kate Smurthwaite, who is now a stand-up comic but shared a flat with Bailey in his third year, told The Independent that the young entrepreneur hired a personal assistant to work for him in his student digs as he ran an operation selling self-help advice on cassettes.

He also had a reputation as a hard-working networker. While in New York he became treasurer of the Oxonian Society, a club for graduates of Oxford and other universities, which invites high-profile figures to speak. He was involved in at least one charity fundraising effort with other hedge-funders. Perhaps of more significance, Bailey became the co-chairman of the New York chapter of Lead21, a networking group for young Republicans. At least a dozen of its members have gone on to work for either the Bush administration, Congress or the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

During a Lead21 trip to the Republican National Convention in New York last autumn, Bailey said of his colleagues to one reporter: "These are going to be the big supporters, the big donors, to the Republican Party in five years."

According to other members, Bailey was very popular. Auren Hoffman, chair of Lead21 and chairman of the Stonebrick Group, a San Francisco-based consulting firm, said Bailey was a good friend. "Christian is a terrific guy personally. Everyone I know that has ever met him instantly likes him. He is very likeable and charming. Very intelligent. Very interesting."

When he moved to Washington, his reputation as a networker continued. He often hosted parties at home and mixed with a set of young, up-and-coming journalists and congressional staffers. He enjoyed a reputation as a good cook, a welcoming host and for making cappuccinos with a machine in his kitchen. He also enjoyed flying: Federal Aviation Administration records show that he is qualified to fly aeroplanes and helicopters.

How and when did Bailey make the switch from hedge funds to private intelligence and PR? One clue is provided by the Alternative Investment News newsletter of 1 March 2003, just weeks before the invasion of Iraq. It reported Bailey's hedge fund, Lincoln Asset Management Group, had launched a buyout fund to start buying companies in the defence and security industries. Bailey said he had obtained commitments of $100m from six institutional investors, whom he declined to name.

Apparently with an eye to the preparations for war being made in the deserts of northern Kuwait, he added: "[The] timing is extremely good to look at defence companies." Shortly afterwards, a subsidiary called Lincoln Alliance Corp was established, offering what it called "tailored intelligence services [for] government clients faced with critical intelligence challenges".

By last autumn Bailey had formed another Lincoln subsidiary, called Iraqex, which seems to have formed a partnership with another American PR firm called Rendon, famous in Washington for having promoted Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress.

At some point Bailey also went into business with Paige Craig, 31, a former US Marine who served in Iraq and elsewhere. [Bailey and Craig are flatmates in a fashionable part of Washington, close to U Street. The flat is just yards away from Café Saint- Ex, popular with young professionals.]

In September, Iraqex won a $6m Pentagon contract to design and execute "an aggressive advertising and PR campaign that will accurately inform the Iraqi people of the Coalition's goals and gain their support". It appears one project was an attempt to persuade the Iraqi and US public that Iraqi troops played a vital role in last year's effort to clear Fallujah.

A strategy document obtained by ABC News revealed the Lincoln Group was seeking to promote the "strength, integrity and reliability of Iraqi forces during the fight for Falujah". In reality, most assessments suggest the small number of Iraqi troops present were minimally involved.

But the real breakthrough came this summer when Bailey's company, having again changed its name to the Lincoln Group, secured a $100m contract for information and psychological operations. Part of the contract was for placing "faux" news stories in some of the 200 Iraqi-owned newspapers that now exist.

Pentagon officials have said that, while not factually incorrect, these stories only presented one side of the story and would not include anything negative about the occupation. It was reported this week that the $10Om was part of a larger $300m "stealth PR effort" in a number of countries around the world.

One PR consultant with experience of the private-intelligence sector, said: "Doctrinally, this is all part of what the military calls information superiority. It is part of the plan for what they call, rather upsettingly, full-spectrum dominance. The truth is that it is just propaganda. And there has always been propaganda in a war. And this is a war, so ... thus runs the thinking."

According to reports from former Lincoln employees, their main task was to take news dispatches, called storyboards, which had been written by specially trained psy-ops troops, have them translated into Arabic and then distribute them to the newspapers. They would also deal directly with members of the Iraqi media through something called the Baghdad Press Club, a group of journalists who were paid to write and publish positive stories. Typically, Lincoln paid newspapers between $40 and $2,000 to run the articles as either news or adverts.

To help it carry out its work, Bailey and Craig - the latter is apparently responsible for most of the Iraq-based end of the business - have reached out to some of the foremost specialists in security and intelligence. Among "advisers" listed on their website is Andrew Garfield, a former British military-intelligence officer and specialist in psychological warfare who has advised the Ministry of Defence. In an e-mail to The Guardian Garfield confirmed his collaboration with Lincoln but gave no details.

Another adviser is Colin Rees Mason, who two years ago received an OBE for his service as a lieutenant-colonel in the Territorial Army, and who for almost 20 years has been a consultant to the Centre for Operational Research and Defence Analysis, a subsidiary of BAE Systems.

The Lincoln Group also has Republican links. Among lobbyists registered to represent it are Charles Black, an adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr and Marlin "Buzz" Hefti, who served as a director at the Pentagon.

Lincoln Group also lists as a partner the Virginia-based private intelligence group WCV3 Security. Last year that company's executive vice-president took unpaid leave to produce Stolen Honour: Wounds That Never Heal, a film that, at a critical time in the presidential election campaign, condemned the Democrat John Kerry and questioned his version of events in Vietnam.

Despite the concern on Capitol Hill about the placing of false stories in foreign media outlets - a practice that dates back to the Cold War - it is unknown what will be the outcome of the Pentagon's investigation. It is also unclear how the controversy has affected the ability of the Lincoln Group or Bailey to fulfil its contract. In a statement the company said: "Lincoln Group has consistently worked with the Iraqi media to promote truthful reporting across Iraq. We counter the lies, intimidation, and pure evil of terror with factual stories that highlight the heroism and sacrifice of the Iraqi people and their struggle for freedom and security."

Additional reports: Simon Usborne

© 2005 Independent News and Media Limited


From ECOTERRA Intl.

US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war

Secret document details American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1783.htm

Iraq’s election a victory for Iran, says Rafsanjani

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s influential former president, on Friday called Iraq’s parliamentary elections a “victory” for Iran and said the vote had shattered any US expansionist ambitions in the Middle East.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11322.htm

Bits About American Torture

In many ways, the U.S. is now just as inhumane and brutal as any Third World regime. Oh well?

By Mark Morford

Oh my God, yes, yes we do torture, America that is, and we do it a lot, and we do it in ways that would make you sick to hear about, and we're doing it right now, all over the world, the CIA and the U.S. military, perhaps more often and more brutally than at any time in recent history and we use the exact same kind of techniques and excuses.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11325.htm

The interrogation camp that turned prisoners into living skeletons

By Ian Cobain

Last week, Foreign Office files which have remained closed for almost 60 years were opened after a request by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act. These papers, and others declassified earlier, lay bare the appalling suffering of many of the 372 men and 44 women who passed through the centre during the 22 months it operated before its closure in July 1947.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11326.htm

House Republicans Move to Kill State Food Safety Labels on Foods

Once upon a time, I felt that "Republican" represented an honorable philosphical position. My oh my, how times have changed.

Teresa

* * * *

*House Republicans Move to Kill State Food Safety Labels on Foods*

*PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 14, 2005 9:47 AM

//www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/labels121505.cfm

*CONTACT: Center for Science in the Public Interest
//www.cspinet.org
202.332.9110 *

*House Republicans Mounting Attack on State Food Laws Industry Lobbyists Want to Topple California's Prop. 65, but State Officials Fear Bioterror Implications * *

WASHINGTON - December 14 - Congressional Republicans are mounting an assault on state food-safety and labeling laws, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is poised to take up legislation that would summarily pre-empt almost 100 state laws having to do with carcinogen labeling, seafood safety, and food allergens and additives. The measure is opposed by many in the California delegation since it would interfere with that state's Proposition 65, which requires warning notices on products that contain ingredients known to cause cancer or birth defects. And state officials, led by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), fear that the measure would hamper their abilities to respond to a bioterror attack via the food supply.

"The food industry may find various state laws and regulations inconvenient, but that's not a good reason to torch these laws in one fell swoop," said Benjamin Cohen, CSPI senior staff attorney. "Front-line public health officials should be getting more cooperation and encouragement from Congress to protect public health, not less. This bill is just payback to a politically powerful and financially generous industry."

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would adversely affect food safety and labeling requirements in almost 30 states and cost the FDA more than $100 million over five years to implement a system of waivers called for in the legislation. A Mississippi state law that requires catfish products be labeled as farm-raised or wild would go by the wayside. Laws governing smoked fish products would be scrapped in New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And California's program to place in-store notices about mercury in certain fish would similarly be nullified if the National Uniformity for Food Act becomes law, according to CSPI.

"Local and state regulatory agencies perform approximately 80 percent of the food safety work currently done in the United States," wrote Marion Aller, president of the Association of Food and Drug Officials AFDO, in a December 5, 2005 letter to the committee. "When you consider that local and state food safety programs are our first line of defense against acts of terrorism involving the food supply, AFDO respectfully suggests that now is not the time to dismantle our national food protection program that maintains one of the safest food supplies in the world."

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer opposes the measure because of its impact on Proposition 65 also. "Proposition 65 has an excellent record of providing additional protection of public health within California directly and by spurring greater action by FDA," Lockyer wrote in 2003. "Federal preemption of this law and similar state requirements is bad federalism, bad science, and bad public policy."

Is there a pattern of covering up toxins?

*EPA Would Ease Pollution Reporting Rules.

//www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400185.html

If the Bush administration has its way, some factories won't have to report all the pollution spewed from their smokestacks, making it harder for government scientists to calculate the health risks of the air Americans breathe.

Associated Press //www.ap.org

14 December 2005

Die Tür steht weit offen

Wieder einmal konnte demonstriert werden, dass sich Wahlcomputer von Diebold relativ leicht manipulieren lassen.

//www.telepolis.de/tp/r4/artikel/21/21596/1.html

The Case against Karl Rove

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald met with the second grand jury investigating the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson for several hours Friday. Unless Rove's attorney intervenes at the 11th hour yet again, Fitzgerald is expected to ask the grand jury to indict Rove-at the very least-for making false statements to the FBI and Justice Department investigators in October 2003, lawyers close to the case say.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121705X.shtml

Bush Vows to Continue Spying on Americans

Reacting to Bush's vow to continue spying on Americans, Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., said the president's remarks were "breathtaking in how extreme they were." Feingold said it was "absurd" that Bush said he relied on his inherent power as president to authorize the wiretaps. "If that's true, he doesn't need the Patriot Act because he can just make it up as he goes along. I tell you, he's President George Bush, not King George Bush."

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121705Y.shtml

Bauleitplanung ist keineswegs wirkungslos

Kommune hat bei der Aufstellung von Mobilfunkantennen keine Handhabe?

Leserbrief zu
//www.buergerwelle.de/body_newsletter_161205.html

Wir nehmen Bezug auf die Mitteilung Ihres Rundschreibens vom 15.12.2005 "Stadt kämpft nur mit stumpfem Schwert".

Die dort vertretene Ansicht wonach die Kommune bei der Aufstellung von Mobilfunkantennen keine Handhabe habe, ist unzutreffend. Zunächst ist auf die Beteiligungspflicht der Betreiber mit den Kommunen hinzuweisen, die sowohl auf Bundesebene als auch auf Landesebene festgelegt ist.

Im Übrigen hat die Kommune sehr wohl die Möglichkeit, unter Bezugnahme auf § 1 Abs. 9 BNVO aus städtebaulichen Gründen die Ansiedlung von Mobilfunkantennen im Stadtbereich auszuschließen. Es ist lediglich nicht möglich, die Antennen aus dem gesamten Stadtbereich zu verbannen.

Dr. Kniep
Rechtsanwalt

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Leserbrief zu 15.12.2005

"Stadt kämpft nur mit stumpfem Schwert"

Kommune hat bei der Aufstellung von Mobilfunkantennen keine Handhabe / Ein Konzept soll her

//www.buergerwelle.de/body_newsletter_161205.html

Bauleitplanung ist keineswegs wirkungslos, wie dies vom Baurechtsamtsleiter Dietmar Stiefel dargestellt wird. Diese Steuerung auf der Grundlage der grundgesetzlich verankerten Planungshoheit ist auch möglich. Weil die bauplanerische Zulässigkeit von Antennenanlagen in Wohngebieten nur durch Ausnahmevorschriften begründet ist, ist es möglich, in Bebauungsplänen zumindest weitgehend mobilfunkantennenfreie Wohngebiete zu schaffen und damit eine Minimierung zu erreichen – zumal schon die Privilegierung im Außenbereich diese Wertung vorgibt!

Der Bauleitplanung hat in Verbindung mit dem Vorsorgeprinzip nicht nur die Aufgabe der Abwehr von bereits eingetretenen schädlichen Umwelteinwirkungen, sondern insbesondere die Aufgabe des vorsorgenden Immissionsschutzes. Gerade nachdem der Bundesgerichtshof im vergangenen Jahr bestätigte, dass die einschlägige Immissionsschutzverordnung keine Vorsorge regelt! Der Bayerische Verwaltungsgerichtshof hatte etwa schon am 18.3.03 zu einer entsprechenden Planung in Dittelbrunn folgendes ausgeführt:

"Eine Gemeinde kann in einem Bebauungsplan bestimmen, dass "von außen erkennbar technische Anlagen" und damit auch Funkantennen und dazugehörige Masten in einem Wohngebiet unzulässig sind. Da § 14 Abs. 1 Satz 3 BauNVO die Gemeinde ermächtigt, die Zulässigkeit von Nebenanlagen einzuschränken oder auszuschließen, ist eine derartige Festsetzung im Interesse eines einheitlichen optischen Erscheinungsbildes als Bestimmung zur Art der baulichen Nutzung nach § 9 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 BauGB möglich."

Das BayVG-München (M 11 K 03.2059 - Grafrath) hatte am 22.04.2004 sogar eine nachträglich verhängte Veränderungssperre als wirksam erachtet und das Mobilfunkvorhaben als nicht genehmigungsfähig und die Planung im Landschaftsschutzgebiet als vorrangig bezeichnet.

Von allen rechtlichen Möglichkeiten zur maßvollen Beschränkung von Mobilfunkanlagen und auch zur gleichmäßigeren Abdeckung für alle Betreiberfirmen ist daher für Kommunen, die an gesundheitlicher Vorsorge wirklich interessiert sind, eine Verabschiedung entsprechender Bebauungspläne bzw. die Änderung von Bebauungs- und Flächennutzungsplänen das derzeit juristisch erfolgversprechendste Steuerungs- und Risikomiminierungsmittel. Deshalb haben auch einige Kommunen, wie etwa Gräfelfing bei München dieses Instrument genutzt.

Dietmar Freund
Rechtsanwalt

--------

Von: RA Freund RA-Freund@kanzlei-hfb.de
Datum: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:42:27 +0100
An: leserbriefe@MAZonline.de , mobilfunk_newsletter@yahoogroups

Leserbrief zu 19.12.05

Verhandlungen gescheitert

Potsdam-Mittelmark BORKHEIDE

//www.buergerwelle.de/body_newsletter_191205.html

Der "letzte Rest von Handlungsmöglichkeit" ist keineswegs auf gemeindeeigene Grundstücke beschränkt, wie dies von Amtsdirektor Christian Großmann geäußert wird. Auf der Grundlage der grundgesetzlich verankerten Planungshoheit sollte er eine Steuerung durch Bauleitplanung in Angriff nehmen. Weil die bauplanerische Zulässigkeit von Antennenanlagen in Wohngebieten nur durch Ausnahmevorschriften begründet ist, ist es möglich, in Bebauungs- und Flächennutzungsplänen zumindest weitgehend mobilfunkantennenfreie Wohngebiete zu schaffen und damit eine betreiberunabhängige Minimierung zu erreichen - zumal dies schon die grundsätzliche Privilegierung im Außenbereich vorgibt!

Die Bauleitplanung hat in Verbindung mit dem Vorsorgeprinzip nicht nur die Aufgabe der Abwehr von bereits eingetretenen schädlichen Umwelteinwirkungen, sondern insbesondere die Aufgabe des vorsorgenden Immissionsschutzes. Gerade nachdem der Bundesgerichtshof im vergangenen Jahr bestätigte, dass die einschlägige Immissionsschutzverordnung keine Vorsorge enthält! Von allen rechtlichen Möglichkeiten zur maßvollen Beschränkung von Mobilfunkanlagen und auch zur gleichmäßigeren Abdeckung für alle Betreiberfirmen ist daher für Kommunen, die an gesundheitlicher Vorsorge (und Rechtssicherheit) wirklich interessiert sind, eine Verabschiedung entsprechender Bebauungspläne bzw. die Änderung von Bebauungs- und Flächennutzungsplänen das derzeit juristisch erfolgversprechendste Steuerungs- und Risikomiminierungsmittel. Deshalb haben auch einige Kommunen, wie etwa die Gemeinde Gräfelfing bei München dieses Instrument genutzt.

Dietmar Freund
Rechtsanwalt

--------

//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Bauleitplanung

Global warming may be shrinking Alaska’s lakes

//www.ktuu.com/cms/templates/master.asp?articleid=2634&zoneid=1


Informant: binstock

Bush Refuses to Discuss NSA-Spying

President Bush said yesterday that he would not discuss ongoing intelligence operations in the United States, after a report in The New York Times said he secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States. Several Republicans and Democrats have criticized Bush's action.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121705Z.shtml

Children that aren't vaccinated never get autism

CHICAGO, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- It's a far piece from the horse-and-buggies of Lancaster County, Pa., to the cars and freeways of Cook County, Ill.

But thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don't have autism.

"We have a fairly large practice. We have about 30,000 or 35,000 children that we've taken care of over the years, and I don't think we have a single case of autism in children delivered by us who never received vaccines," said Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, Homefirst's medical director who founded the practice in 1973. Homefirst doctors have delivered more than 15,000 babies at home, and thousands of them have never been vaccinated.

The few autistic children Homefirst sees were vaccinated before their families became patients, Eisenstein said. "I can think of two or three autistic children who we've delivered their mother's next baby, and we aren't really totally taking care of that child -- they have special care needs. But they bring the younger children to us. I don't have a single case that I can think of that wasn't vaccinated."

The autism rate in Illinois public schools is 38 per 10,000, according to state Education Department data; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the national rate of autism spectrum disorders at 1 in 166 -- 60 per 10,000.

"We do have enough of a sample," Eisenstein said. "The numbers are too large to not see it. We would absolutely know. We're all family doctors. If I have a child with autism come in, there's no communication. It's frightening. You can't touch them. It's not something that anyone would miss."

No one knows what causes autism, but federal health authorities say it isn't childhood immunizations. Some parents and a small minority of doctors and scientists, however, assert vaccines are responsible.

This column has been looking for autism in never-vaccinated U.S. children in an effort to shed light on the issue. We went to Chicago to meet with Eisenstein at the suggestion of a reader, and we also visited Homefirst's office in northwest suburban Rolling Meadows. Homefirst has four other offices in the Chicago area and a total of six doctors.

Eisenstein stresses his observations are not scientific. "The trouble is this is just anecdotal in a sense, because what if every autistic child goes somewhere else and (their family) never calls us or they moved out of state?"

In practice, that's unlikely to account for the pronounced absence of autism, says Eisenstein, who also has a bachelor's degree in statistics, a master's degree in public health and a law degree.

Homefirst follows state immunization mandates, but Illinois allows religious exemptions if parents object based either on tenets of their faith or specific personal religious views. Homefirst does not exclude or discourage such families. Eisenstein, in fact, is author of the book "Don't Vaccinate Before You Educate!" and is critical of the CDC's vaccination policy in the 1990s, when several new immunizations were added to the schedule, including Hepatitis B as early as the day of birth. Several of the vaccines -- HepB included -- contained a mercury-based preservative that has since been phased out of most childhood vaccines in the United States.

Medical practices with Homefirst's approach to immunizations are rare. "Because of that, we tend to attract families that have questions about that issue," said Dr. Paul Schattauer, who has been with Homefirst for 20 years and treats "at least" 100 children a week.

Schattauer seconded Eisenstein's observations. "All I know is in my practice I don't see autism. There is no striking 1-in-166," he said.

Earlier this year we reported the same phenomenon in the mostly unvaccinated Amish. CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding told us the Amish "have genetic connectivity that would make them different from populations that are in other sectors of the United States." Gerberding said, however, studies "could and should be done" in more representative unvaccinated groups -- if they could be found and their autism rate documented.

Chicago is America's prototypical "City of Big Shoulders," to quote Carl Sandburg, and Homefirst's mostly middle-class families seem fairly representative. A substantial number are conservative Christians who home-school their children. They are mostly white, but the Homefirst practice also includes black and Hispanic families and non-home-schooling Jews, Catholics and Muslims.

They tend to be better educated, follow healthier diets and breast-feed their children much longer than the norm -- half of Homefirst's mothers are still breast-feeding at two years. Also, because Homefirst relies less on prescription drugs including antibiotics as a first line of treatment, these children have less exposure to other medicines, not just vaccines.

Schattauer, interviewed at the Rolling Meadows office, said his caseload is too limited to draw conclusions about a possible link between vaccines and autism. "With these numbers you'd have a hard time proving or disproving anything," he said. "You can only get a feeling about it.

"In no way would I be an advocate to stand up and say we need to look at vaccines, because I don't have the science to say that," Schattauer said. "But I don't think the science is there to say that it's not."

Schattauer said Homefirst's patients also have significantly less childhood asthma and juvenile diabetes compared to national rates. An office manager who has been with Homefirst for 17 years said she is aware of only one case of severe asthma in an unvaccinated child.

"Sometimes you feel frustrated because you feel like you've got a pretty big secret," Schattauer said. He argues for more research on all those disorders, independent of political or business pressures.

The asthma rate among Homefirst patients is so low it was noticed by the Blue Cross group with which Homefirst is affiliated, according to Eisenstein.

"In the alternative-medicine network which Homefirst is part of, there are virtually no cases of childhood asthma, in contrast to the overall Blue Cross rate of childhood asthma which is approximately 10 percent," he said. "At first I thought it was because they (Homefirst's children) were breast-fed, but even among the breast-fed we've had asthma. We have virtually no asthma if you're breast-fed and not vaccinated."

Because the diagnosis of asthma is based on emergency-room visits and hospital admissions, Eisenstein said, Homefirst's low rate is hard to dispute. "It's quantifiable -- the definition is not reliant on the doctor's perception of asthma."

Several studies have found a risk of asthma from vaccination; others have not. Studies that include never-vaccinated children generally find little or no asthma in that group.

Earlier this year Florida pediatrician Dr. Jeff Bradstreet said there is virtually no autism in home-schooling families who decline to vaccinate for religious reasons -- lending credence to Eisenstein's observations.

"It's largely non-existent," said Bradstreet, who treats children with autism from around the country. "It's an extremely rare event."

Bradstreet has a son whose autism he attributes to a vaccine reaction at 15 months. His daughter has been home-schooled, he describes himself as a "Christian family physician," and he knows many of the leaders in the home-school movement.

"There was this whole subculture of folks who went into home-schooling so they would never have to vaccinate their kids," he said. "There's this whole cadre who were never vaccinated for religious reasons."

In that subset, he said, "unless they were massively exposed to mercury through lots of amalgams (mercury dental fillings in the mother) and/or big-time fish eating, I've not had a single case."

Federal health authorities and mainstream medical groups emphatically dismiss any link between autism and vaccines, including the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. Last year a panel of the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academies, said there is no evidence of such a link, and funding should henceforth go to "promising" research.

Thimerosal, which is 49.6 percent ethyl mercury by weight, was phased out of most U.S. childhood immunizations beginning in 1999, but the CDC recommends flu shots for pregnant women and last year began recommending them for children 6 to 23 months old. Most of those shots contain thimerosal.

Thimerosal-preserved vaccines are currently being injected into millions of children in developing countries around the world. "My mandate ... is to make sure at the end of the day that 100,000,000 are immunized ... this year, next year and for many years to come ... and that will have to be with thimerosal-containing vaccines," said John Clements of the World Health Organization at a June 2000 meeting called by the CDC.

That meeting was held to review data that thimerosal might be linked with autism and other neurological problems. But in 2004 the Institute of Medicine panel said evidence against a link is so strong that health authorities, "whether in the United States or other countries, should not include autism as a potential risk" when formulating immunization policies.

But where is the simple, straightforward study of autism in never-vaccinated U.S. children? Based on our admittedly anecdotal and limited reporting among the Amish, the home-schooled and now Chicago's Homefirst, that may prove to be a significant omission.

//www.upi.com/ConsumerHealthDaily/view.php?StoryID=20051204-060313-6829r


Informant: Milo

Mobile mast put up on the wrong spot

//tinyurl.com/b2apd

Omega-News Collection 17. December 2005

GLOBAL WARNING
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1266745/

Land-use impact discovered in global warming
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1261596/

Illegal timber imports fuel forest disappearance
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1255409/

Big Creek Lumber Nightmare
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1261573/

WTO Threatening Last Ancient Forests
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1266989/

People, not state, protect forests
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1286356/

Marine census shows diversity, declines
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1282542/

Extinction alert for 800 species
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1278257/

The last wild buffalo are a national treasure, not Montana's toy
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1277891/

U.S. PROPOSES DOUSING WILDERNESS AREAS WITH HERBICIDES
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1289428/

GM Contamination Accelerating: No Co-Existence Possible
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1289469/

Vote USA 2004
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Vote+USA+2004/

Iraq War
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Irak-Krieg/

Is Iran next?
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Is+Iran+next/

Tsunami
//omega.twoday.net/topics/Tsunami/

RFID
//omega.twoday.net/topics/RFID/

EMF-Omega-News 17. December 2005
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1291000/

EMF-Omega-News 17. December 2005

Research papers sent by Olle Johansson
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1256144/

WHO and EHS "factsheet"
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1272391/

Can mobiles cause depression?
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1267963/

Teddy bear mobile ‘puts 4-year-olds at risk from radiation’ (update)
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1204405/

Health call could lead to mast row
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1255428/

MP to fight on over phone mast
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1255431/

Leeds Yorkshire Amateur Football Club Appeal, decision & update on Leicester
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1255440/

Planners favour phone mast bid
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1265368/

Villagers join forces to block mobile mast
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1265393/

Live Tracking of Mobile Phones Prompts Court Fights on Privacy
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1256122/

Mast protests abroad
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1256965/

VILLAGERS OPPOSE MAST PLAN
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1275351/

It's driving us crazy
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1275377/

Council concerns over school mast
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1275422/

Villagers' victory in phone mast row
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1278646/

Residents to meet phone mast bosses
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1282692/

PHONE mast fight boost
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1282718/

Mobile phone company loses appeal against 12m mast
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1283583/

Mobile phone mast is felled
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1285374/

People power triumphs over mast plan for Kenilworth
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1285473/

Anger over plan for second mobile mast
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1290957/

Next up News 12 Dec 2005
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1265886/

Next-up news: Edición especial MÉXICO y ARGENTINA
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1267316/

Next up News 14 Dec
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1272713/

Next up News 15 Dec 2005
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1276699/

Next up News 16 Dec 2005
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1290914/

News from Mast Sanity
//tinyurl.com/aotw3

Omega-News Collection 17. December 2005
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1291003/

Anger over plan for second mobile mast

//tinyurl.com/cbrnk

Victory in the Senate: Tell Your Senators to Stand Firm NOW

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=r2njKa46-BezO7RxW6q5JA..

The White House push to short-circuit Patriot Act reform was soundly defeated in a Senate vote today, with five Republicans joining the call for real debate.

This vote paves the way for a bipartisan filibuster to restore checks and balances and protect the freedoms of innocent Americans.

The ACLU has been fighting this battle since the ink dried on the Patriot Act fours year ago, but we could have never have gotten this far without the tremendous support of a committed and bipartisan community of patriots.

We are well on our way to securing real reforms in the reauthorization bill, but the battle is far from over!

The White House and Senate leaders are working hard to pressure senators into changing their votes. Please call your senators NOW! Go to: //action.aclu.org/call
//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=BLtmHcoHcoyeoAj4Vx5VGA..

This vote comes on the heels of today's revelation that President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the conversations of U.S. citizens and others in the country in violation of federal law and the Constitution.

Please call your Senators and tell them to oppose any Patriot Act reauthorization bill that does not include reforms to protect the freedoms of innocent Americans.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=M5xBFxc0cSF_SojTFAUTPw..


Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union Help the Defense of Civil Liberties!

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

Two Florida Counties Scrap Diebold Voting Machines

(excerpt)

Two Florida Counties, one using Diebold optical scan machines, and another using Diebold DREs have scrapped Diebold and decided to switch to ES&S optical scan voting machines and the AutoMARK ballot marking device. ES&S voting machines are independently auditable; its optical scan machines are easier for election officials to use; and they use a more secure operating system.

Volusia County, FL Dumps Diebold Too! Opts for Transparent, Accountable Elections (Instead of Diebold Elections) After a Protracted Battle...

This just in...After various protracted legal battles (funded by the National Federation for the Blind, which had received a $1 million "donation" from Diebold previously) and along with the news out of Leon County, Florida,

//www.bradblog.com/archives/00002156.htm

Volusia County has now come to their senses and also decided to dump Diebold voting machines!...

URL: //www.bradblog.com/archives/00002169.htm

Yesterday the main stream press covered the Leon County, Florida story. The following three AP, Miami Herald and USA Today articles might be excellent to print and give to your local officials with a one page cover letter you write with bullets taken from the articles:

FL: Leon County - New tests fuel doubts about vote machines
//www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/13410061.htm

FL: Leon County - Elections supervisor: Some Diebold voting machines can be hacked
//www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/13413981.htm

FL: Leon County - County says electronic voting machines can be hacked
//www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-12-15-opticalvoting_x.htm


I hope the above information will help you in our fight to ensure democratic elections.


Best,

Kathy Dopp
//electionarchive.org

Next up News 16 Dec 2005

//www.omega-news.info/next_up_news_16_dec_2005.htm

Nearly 5,000 Letters from Concerned Viewers to CNN Urging Novak's Permanent Suspension

//www.commondreams.org/news2005/1216-09.htm

Counting Iraqi Casualties; Why didn't the press ask?

//www.commondreams.org/news2005/1216-01.htm

'Iraq, Ourselves': America's Own Chronicle of its Hellish Descent

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1216-24.htm

The Wonder and Horror of 2005

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1216-31.htm

Feingold Beats Bush In Patriot Act Fight

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1216-32.htm



Russ Feingold: Remarks on Ending Debate on Reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act

//www.commondreams.org/views05/1216-29.htm

All hands on deck for the Arctic Refuge

From: "John Adams, NRDC Action Fund" biogemsdefenders@savebiogems.org

It's the most outrageous scheme yet to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. We have just learned that pro-drilling Senators are sneaking their Arctic drilling measure into the Defense Appropriations bill.

The vote on the Senate floor could come as early as tomorrow!

Call your two Senators right now at the phone numbers below and tell them to get Arctic drilling out of the Defense bill, with a filibuster if necessary. Call them even if it's Friday night or Saturday:

Senator Edward Kennedy: (202) 224-4543
Senator John Kerry: (202) 224-2742

Here's the good news: thanks to a nationwide outcry from millions of Americans, including you, House and Senate leaders have given up on including Arctic drilling in the Budget Reconciliation bill.

But some Senators are so shameless in their quest to boost oil company profits that they're willing to exploit the Defense Appropriations bill, which is meant to fund our troops in Iraq and other military needs.

Your Senators will be under enormous political pressure to vote Yes on the Defense Appropriations bill no matter what's in it. We're counting on a last- ditch effort by a determined group of senators to filibuster this bill until Arctic drilling is removed. In that case, the oil industry and their allies would have to get over 60 votes to keep drilling in -- something they have never been able to do.

Call your Senators right away and tell them you're outraged that Arctic drilling would be snuck into a bill that is meant to protect our troops. Urge them to get Arctic drilling out of the Defense bill, with a filibuster if necessary. And tell them you will publicly support their No vote if they come under attack for it in your state.

The next 24 hours are critical. Call your Senators right now!


Sincerely,

John H. Adams NRDC Action Fund


Informant: Martin Greenhut

Schwere Niederlage für Bush-Regierung: Patriot Act gestoppt

//tinyurl.com/d859q

(AP) Bush und seine neokonservative Regierung muss eine schwere Niederlage bei der Abstimmung über den Patriot Act, der eine Anzahl von Buergerrechten erheblich einschränkt, hinnehmen: der Senat lehnte seine Festschreibung und Verlängerung ab.

Ein zentrales Projekt der Neokonservativen ist damit gescheitert: die dauerhafte Aushebelung vieler Buergerrechte unter dem Vorwand des Antiterror-Kriegs. Der Versuch, eine Staatsmacht mit annähernd totalitären Vollmachten dauerhaft zu etablieren, ist damit massiv ausgebremst worden. Selbst unter Bush's Parteifreunden gab es Gegenstimmen, die den Erfolg verhinderten bei insgesamt 47 zu 52 Stimmen.

Beigetragen zu diesem ablehnenden Votum hatte offensichtlich auch ein Eigentor von Bush selbst: kurz vor der Sitzung des Senats wurde bekannt, dass Bush den Geheimdienst NSA ermächtigt hatte, widerrechtlich ohne rechtliche Genehmigung eigene Buerger abzuhören.

Inzwischen ist kaum noch vorstellbar, wie der Präsident und seine Neokonservativen aus dem Sumpf, in dem ihnen nur noch wenige Möglichkeiten der Bewegung verbleiben - die Mehrzahl ihrer Projekte sind nun in den letzten Monaten trotz einer satten Mehrheit der Regierungspartei im Kongress gescheitert - befreien wollen.


G.Wendebourg / metainfo hamburg

Link zum Beitrag / Hintergrundinfo oder Pressehinweis:
//www.hh-online.com?lid=23212 und
//links.net-hh.de?lid=23212

Infopool / metainfo hamburg www.hh-online.com

I Am The Law: The administration is putting the president above the law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Friday refused to discuss a report that he secretly authorized a U.S. agency to eavesdrop on people in America but said everything he does to protect the public against terrorism is within the law.

The New York Times said Bush signed a secret presidential order after the September 11, 2001, attacks to allow the National Security Agency to track the international telephone calls and emails of hundreds of people without the court approval normally required for domestic spying.

The report added to critics' concerns that the White House violated civil rights while pursuing the war on terrorism it declared after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Bush and other administration officials declined to comment specifically on the report, but said he stayed within the law while acting to protect people from further attacks.

"We do not discuss ongoing intelligence operations to protect the country, and the reason why is that there's an enemy that lurks, that would like to know exactly what we're trying to do to stop them," Bush said.

"I will make this point. That whatever I do to protect the American people, and I have an obligation to do so, that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people," he said.

He was speaking in an interview with PBS's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" to be broadcast later on Friday.

The Times said the 2002 directive to the NSA marked a major shift in U.S. intelligence-gathering and led some officials to question whether the strategy violated constitutional limits on legal searches.

The NSA, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, is authorized to monitor communications on foreign soil.

An NSA spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

CONCERN FROM CIVIL LIBERTIES ADVOCATES

Americans have been wary of domestic monitoring by intelligence agencies since it was learnt in the 1970s that the Pentagon spied on civil rights and anti-Vietnam War groups. That led to legislation imposing strict limits on intelligence gathering inside the United States.

The Bush administration has faced criticism over a range of rights issues in its declared war on terrorism, including its treatment of detainees.

On Friday, a group of senators calling for increased protection of civil liberties blocked renewal by Congress of the USA Patriot Act, an anti-terrorism law passed soon after the September 11 attacks. It expanded the federal government's authority to share information, conduct secret searches and obtain private records.

Civil liberties advocates condemned what they viewed as illegal and unconstitutional NSA activities.

"The administration is claiming extraordinary presidential powers at the expense of civil liberties and is putting the president above the law," Caroline Fredrickson, Washington legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

John Negroponte, U.S. director of national intelligence, has said in interviews that the country is safer now partly due to more integration of international and domestic espionage.

A Democratic congressional official involved in intelligence oversight said, "The lesson we learnt from 9/11 -- more than how the intelligence was organized, more than information-sharing -- was that we had been doing an abysmal job of learning what terrorists might be doing inside our own country."

He added, "But as part of the process of overseeing intelligence, I hope whatever we're doing, we're doing in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations."

The New York Times cited some officials as saying questions about the NSA's new powers led the administration to suspend the operation last year and impose more restrictions.

It said the administration informed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees about the program. But other lawmakers said on Friday there was a need for greater disclosure to Congress.

"We need to look into that," remarked Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who said he had heard only media reports about the NSA program. "We should be informed as to exactly what's going on, and then find out whether an investigation is called for. All we have is initial reports."

(Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria and Doina Chiacu)


Informant: Richard

Avoid Tamiflu, infants and pregnant women

//www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/121605_world_stories.shtml#4

Avoid Tamiflu, infants and pregnant women

December 15, 2005 Channel NewsAsia
//www.todayonline.com/articles/90283.asp


Informant: Friends

Canada-US war of words escalates

//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4530744.stm


Informant: Friends

Today London declared peace on the world

"Today London declared peace on the world." - George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, speaking on Dec 10th at the International Peace Conference in London.

Hear George Galloway's keynote speech on building an international movement. Andrew Murray and Jane Shallice moderated a conference panel that featured Galloway, with Ishmael Patel, Friends of Al Aqsa; Herbert Docena, Focus on Global South; Judith LeBlanc, United for Peace and Justice; Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation; Dr. Azzam Tamini, Muslim Association of Britain; and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP of Islington North.

Photos and audio of this panel are available at
//www.traprockpeace.org/international_movement/

The mp3 audio files are available for radio airplay, with notice and attribution only requested, and download for private use. We have produced an audio program of all of the above speakers (including Galloway), plus a program of his talk alone. We have also produced a low-band version of the panel audio for people with dialup connections.

Traprock had just released the photo-album and audio of the Military Families Campaign panel, featuring Cindy Sheehan, Rose Gentle, Reg Keys and Kelly Dougherty.

See //www.traprockpeace.org for full coverage of the conference.

Coming are panels on the current situation, with an opening address by Tony Benn, and bringing Bush and Blair to account, with David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org and others. We'll also be posting video of Cindy Sheehan and John Rees, and video of Elizabeth Wrigley-Field of the Campus Antiwar Network when she addressed a meeting of 200 students at the conference. We will also post some wonderful posed photos, including Cindy Sheehan.

George Galloway, in his 20 minute talk, brought the audience to its feet man times. His talk was full of passion, and he termed George Bush and Tony Blair as criminals for their destruction of Fallujah.

Concerning a 6 year old Iraqi girl who was wounded there and is living in the UK, he said:

"One year ago the United States Air Force backed by a perimeter ring of steel created by the Blackwatch of the British Army - her house was destroyed, and she lost her mother, her father, her brothers, her sisters, her grandmother, her grandfather. All of them murdered by George Bush and Tony Blair. And I told that little girl we in this movement will never rest until we have brought to account the criminals responsible for the massacre of your family."

The London conference called on the anti-war movement in all countries to:

* Organise international demonstrations on March 18-19 2006, the third anniversary of the war and invasion, calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops and an end to the occupation.

* Campaign for a full international public inquiry into the assault on Fallujah last year.

* Give full support to the campaigns of military families in the US, Britain and the other occupying countries.

* Develop an international coordination from this conference to plan further events.

* Campaign against the privatisation of Iraqi oil.

* Oppose any attack on Iran or Syria.

Additionally:

"This international Peace Conference of 1,400 anti-war activists from Britain, the USA and many other countries demands the release of all illegally detained prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

We urge the release of the four Chritian peace campaigners, Norman Kember, Tom Fox, James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, and we ask those holding them to return them to their families unharmed."

See the full conference statement at //www.stopthewar.co.uk


Charles Jenks Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager Traprock Peace Center
103A Keets Road Deerfield, MA 01342
413-773-7427 fax 413-773-7507
//www.traprockpeace.org


UNITED FOR PEACE & JUSTICE | 212-868-5545


From ufpj-news

Lord Black faces more charges

Former media mogul Conrad Black has pleaded not guilty to four new charges in the United States. The U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago has laid four new counts – involving racketeering, obstruction of justice, money laundering and wire fraud – in addition to eight counts of fraud filed earlier.

//www.ottawabusinessjournal.com/336768291877424.php


From Information Clearing House

Bandow, Syndicated Columnist, Admits Taking Money from Abramoff

Copley columnist Doug Bandow resigned as senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute on Thursday after admitting that he had accepted payments from indicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff for writing articles favorable to his clients.

//www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001699832


From Information Clearing House

U.S. aid in Latin America is becoming increasingly militarised

More US Aid Flows Through Pentagon:

U.S. aid in Latin America is becoming increasingly militarised, according to a new report, which warns that both the U.S. Congress and the State Department are losing control over Washington's assistance to the region as more of it is channeled through the Pentagon.

//www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=31445


From Information Clearing House

Bolivian Democracy and the US: a History Lesson

In the early 20th Century, Theodore Roosevelt invented "Dollar Diplomacy," Gunboat's twin sister. "Diplomacy" became a euphemism for encouraging corporate investment in Lat America and then defining those loans or investments in bananas and minerals to define U.S. interests in the region.

//www.counterpunch.org/landau12162005.html



In the footsteps of Che Guevara: Democracy in South America

Thirty-eight years after the revolutionary perished in the Bolivian foothills, Evo Morales is poised to become the first indigenous president of the impoverished country which has been run by politicians of European descent since independence in 1825.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11319.htm



Defiant Bolivia clashes with US over coca crops

The US now seems determined to put an end to this situation, despite stern opposition from Evo Morales - a leader of the Chapare coca growers and favourite to win next Sunday's presidential elections.

//news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=2415212005


From Information Clearing House

Domestic spying OK'd by president - Bush Silent On Spy Allegations

President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said Thursday night.

//www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/news/nation/13421397.htm



Bush Silent On Spy Allegations:

President Bush refused to say whether the National Security Agency eavesdropped without warrants on people inside the United States but leaders of Congress condemned the practice on Friday and promised to look into what the administration has done.

//kyw.com/topstories/topstories_story_350200457.html


From Information Clearing House

The verdict is already in: America looses

The trial of Saddam Hussein is the lynchpin of America's bid for global hegemony and the verdict is already in: America looses

//weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/773/re5.htm



Charley Reese: We'll Miss Saddam:

We committed what international law forbids – a war of aggression. And it is true that American invaders are, in effect, trying Saddam. The law and the courts were set up during the occupational government, and the judges were trained by Americans.

//www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese245.html


From Information Clearing House

Falluja - One Year On

Doctors For Iraq Call For An Independent Investigation Into Human Rights Abuses.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11318.htm

Saul Landau Interviews Robert Fisk

Robert Fisk was interviewed at California State Polytechnic University. Robert Fisk, a journalist for The Independent, is a specialist in reporting on the Middle East. Host, Saul Landau, asked Mr. Fisk about the current situation in Iraq. Fisk makes some important points during this interview: Windows Media

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11321.htm

Torture and Empire

An Interview with Lila Rajiva:

There were actually reports on torture right from the start, right after 9-11. But it didn't become a mainstream "story" until three years later, after the CBS report in late April 2004.

//www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/2399/1/136/


From Information Clearing House

The War In Numbers: From WMD To The Victims

67 per cent Iraqis who feel less secure because of occupation: $343 Average monthly salary for an Iraqi soldier. Average monthly salary for an American soldier in Iraq: $4,160.75.

//mediachannel.org/blog/node/2333


From Information Clearing House

The Confession of George W. Bush

//www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=337&Itemid=1


From Information Clearing House

Almost killed, a new view of the war

"After seeing friends die and almost dying myself, I think American soldiers are, I wouldn't say dying for nothing, but it's needless and I think we need to bring everybody home."

//www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/13406031.htm


From Information Clearing House

Bulgaria begins pullout from Iraq

Bulgaria started withdrawing its troops from Iraq on Friday, the Defense Ministry announced. "Bulgaria's infantry battalion in Iraq concluded its operative tasks today and begins its relocation to Bulgaria as decided by Parliament".

//newsfromrussia.com/world/2005/12/16/70013.html


From Information Clearing House

An Incredible Day in America

The media has been totally misled on the alleged Bush-McCain agreement on torture.

By Martin Garbus

Today, for two separate reasons, has been an incredible day in America. First, the United States has legitimized torture and secondly, the President has admitted to an impeachable offense.

//www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11320.htm



//omega.twoday.net/search?q=impeach
//omega.twoday.net/search?q=Downing+Street+Memo

The Seasonal Shopping List from Hell: on the warmmonger’s shopping list

//lewrockwell.com/engelhardt/engelhardt144.html

Paving the Streets With Gold: $210 Billion Down the Hole

//www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/schembrie3.html

I, the Jury: Robert Klassen on bad novels and air marshals

//www.lewrockwell.com/klassen/klassen81.html

Crimes, Follies, and Misfortunes: The Criterion for Failure

//www.lewrockwell.com/case/case12.html

What’s Up With the Police?

//www.lewrockwell.com/latulippe/latulippe61.html

Airport Murder

//www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/shoptalk_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001699287


Informant: Lew Rockwell

The President Takes Personal Responsibility

//www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski136.html

Who’s Lying About Iraq?

//lewrockwell.com/murphy/murphy98.html

Seehofer ist ein Anti-Verbraucherminister

ERSTELLT 17.12.05, 07:00h

Die grüne Bundestagsabgeordnete Bärbel Höhn war Umwelt- und Verbraucherschutzministerin in NRW. Sie nimmt an den WTO-Verhandlungen in Hongkong teil. Mit ihr sprach Stefan Sauer.

KÖLNER STADT-ANZEIGER: Frau Höhn, wie beurteilen Sie die Aussagen von Minister Horst Seehofer zum Ökolandbau und der Gentechnik in der Landwirtschaft?

BÄRBEL HÖHN: Herr Seehofer hat nur wenige Wochen gebraucht, um sich den Lobby-Interessen von Gentech-Konzernen und dem Bauernverband zu beugen. Im Fleischskandal hat er noch durchaus positive Signale an die Verbraucher gesandt, allerdings nur mit Worten. Nun lässt er die Katze aus dem Sack: Seehofer macht Politik gegen die Interessen der Menschen, er ist ein Anti-Verbraucherminister.

Er hat auch angekündigt, die Bevorzugung des Ökolandbaus gegen über der konventionellen Landwirtschaft zu beenden. Worin besteht dieses Bevorzugung denn?

HÖHN: Die ist sehr gering. Außer einer etwas größeren Öffentlichkeitsarbeit werden lediglich besonders Grundwasser und Boden schonende Wirtschaftsweisen gefördert. Das sind aber geringe Beträge und auch konventionelle Betriebe können daran teilhaben, wenn sie sich entsprechend verhalten. Der Ökoanbau ist einer der ganz wenigen Bereiche in der Landwirtschaft, der große Wachstumsraten aufzuweisen hat. Die Fläche hat jedes Jahr um rund zehn Prozent zugenommen. Mit seinen Aussagen schmälert Seehofer die Zukunftsperspektiven der Ökobauern und gefährdet damit auch Arbeitsplätze.

Der Minister will dafür vermehrt gentechnisch verändertes Saatgut zulassen. Vielleicht bringt das Jobs?

HÖHN: Mit Sicherheit nicht. Die Gentechnik-Unternehmen sind international agierende Konzerne wie Monsanto mit Sitz in den USA. Im Gegenteil werden Gen-Tech-Pflanzen erst einmal richtig teuer. Landwirtschaft ist ja kein geschlossenes System, so dass es durch Pollenflug und Insekten zu Verunreinigungen konventioneller und ökologischer Anbauflächen kommen wird. Bei gentechnisch verändertem Raps müssen wir noch in zehn Kilometern Entfernung mit Verunreinigungen rechnen. Wer weiterhin gentechnikfreie Pflanzen verkaufen will, muss durch Untersuchungen nachweisen, dass seine Ernte nicht vom Nachbarn verunreinigt wurde. Schließlich wollen die deutschen Verbraucher kein Genfood essen. Der Nachweis kostet Geld, Zeit und Jobs. Es ist sogar schon überlegt worden, „Pollenzäune“ zu errichten, um Insekten abzuhalten. Daran sieht man, wie absurd die ganze Sache ist.

Wenn die Verbraucher kein Genfood wollen, dann fehlt doch die Nachfrage und alles ist in Ordnung.

HÖHN: Nichts ist in Ordnung, weil das ein schleichender Prozess ist. Zunächst wird es wie beschrieben zu Verunreinigungen kommen. In der Folge wird der Grenzwert, der für gentechnikfreie Lebensmittel gilt, langsam erreicht werden. Und dann setzt man die Grenzwerte eben hoch. Die Grünen werden allerdings alles tun, um das zu verhindern. (KStA)

ALLE RECHTE VORBEHALTEN © 2004 KÖLNER STADT-ANZEIGER

//www.ksta.de/html/artikel/1132657958566.shtml

Deception of Global Democratization

//www.newswithviews.com/Rae/debra.htm

Verbraucherzentrale: Kein rechtlicher Schutz bei Mobilfunkgeschädigten

Die Verbraucherzentrale Südtirol fordert einen besseren Zugang zum Recht für Mobilfunkgeschädigte. Für die Verbraucherzentrale Südtirol (VZS) bietet die nationale Rechtslage keinen Schutz.

„Immer mehr wissenschaftliche Arbeiten decken sich in ihrem Ergebnis mit den Klagen der Bevölkerung: Die von GSM-Sendern ausgehende elektromagnetische Strahlung macht krank. Die Betreiber genießen ungeachtet davon fast uneingeschränkte Marktfreiheit. Der Gesetzgeber steht untätig abseits und überlässt die gefährdete und bereits betroffene Bevölkerung ihrem Schicksal“, unterstreicht die VZS.

Anlässlich des internationalen Tages der Menschenrechte macht die Verbraucherzentrale darauf aufmerksam, dass auch durch Elektrosmog Menschenrechte verletzt werden. Die VZS schließt sich der Meinung internationaler Rechtswissenschaftler an, die in der derzeitigen rechtlichen Situation eine grobe Verletzung der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention sehen.

„Wir prüfen wir derzeit die Möglichkeit einer Sammelklage vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof“, so VZS -Geschäftsführer Walther Andreaus. Die Verbraucherschützer wollen sich für diesen Schritt Unterstützung aus Österreich und anderen EU-Ländern holen. Laut Messungen der Verbraucherzentrale beträgt der Anteil der gepulsten elektromagnetischen Strahlung am gesamten Strahlungsspektrum in den Bozner Wohnungen mehr als 90 Prozent.

Freitag, 16. Dezember 2005

//www.dolomiten.it/nachrichten/artikel.asp?KatID=da&ArtID=71013

Omega Mobilfunkopfer führen derzeit mehrere Klagen vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte. Die Initiative der Verbraucherzentrale Südtirol kann man nur unterstützen und sie ermutigen eine Sammelklage beim Europäischen Gerichtshof anzustreben.

Der in Deutschland sehr bekannte Rechtsanwalt Prof. Dr. Klaus Kniep vertritt die Mobilfunkopfer beim Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte. Siehe unter:

//www.kanzlei-heilbronn.de/klaus-kniep.html
//www.kanzlei-heilbronn.de/publikationen-mobilfunk.html


--------

Mobilfunk und Menschenrechte
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1238278/

Mobilfunk, Mensch und Recht
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1189695/

Opfer könnten vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte klagen //omega.twoday.net/stories/1240497/

Gesundheit: Mobilfunk als "heiße Kartoffel"
//omega.twoday.net/stories/1306872/

Bush Ordered Spying on Thousands of Americans

Months after the September 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121605Z.shtml

Ban Torture. Period.

The New York Times: What is at stake here, and so harmful to America's reputation, is the routine mistreatment of prisoners swept up in the so-called war on terror. The nation and its fighting men and women need moral clarity, not more legalistic wiggle room.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121605V.shtml

The Election of Divisions

Serge Truffaut argues that an election held along ethnic and religious divides will ultimately lead to the division of Iraq.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121605H.shtml

Bush Gesture to McCain: Less than Meets the Eye

In deciding not to follow through on his threat to veto Sen. John McCain's amendment against torture, Bush actually surrendered very little. Torture is still in the eyes of the beholders in the defense and intelligence communities.

//www.truthout.org/docs_2005/121605A.shtml
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