Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government, 21 Dec 2010

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US government builds vast domestic spying network: report 20 Dec 2010 The US government is building a vast domestic spying network to collect information on Americans as part of expanding counter-terrorism efforts, the Washington Post reported Monday. The unprecedented network involves local police, state and military authorities feeding a growing database on thousands of US citizens and residents, even though many have never been charged with breaking the law, the Post reported, citing numerous interviews and 1,000 documents.

Monitoring America --The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, which is in charge of terrorism investigations in the United States. By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin 20 Dec 2010 Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators. The system, by far the largest and most technologically sophisticated in the nation's history, collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of U.S. citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

State Counterterrorism Profiles By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin 20 Dec 2010 The Post has compiled snapshots of local counterterrorism efforts in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Choose a state to learn more about the federal, state and local organizations involved there, the work they do and when they began participating.

Attorney General Eric Holder: Threat of Homegrown Terrorism 'Keeps Me Up At Night' 21 Dec 2010 In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of the ongoing fight to protect American national security and expressed his growing concern with the threat of homegrown terror - a danger which he said "keeps me up at night." "The threat has changed from simply worrying about foreigners coming here, to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens -- raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born," Holder said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning.

Latest Terror Threat in US Aimed to Poison Food --DHS Uncovered Plot to Attack Hotels and Restaurants Over Single Weekend 20 Dec 2010 CBS News reports the latest terror attack to America [the next false flag] involves the possible use of poisons - simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants at many locations over a single weekend. A key Intelligence source has confirmed the threat as "credible." Department of Homeland Security officials, along with members of the Department of Agriculture and the FDA, have briefed a small group of corporate security officers from the hotel and restaurant industries about it.

UK terror plot involved shops and government buildings 21 Dec 2010 Twelve terror suspects arrested across England were supposedly planning co-ordinated attacks on Christmas shoppers and government buildings in central London. The Guardian website has said shops, banks and "iconic targets" in London were on a list of sites for bombing. Police and MI5 officers yesterday raided four homes in Cardiff, Stoke-on-Trent and east London and arrested men reportedly linked to a banned extremist group.

Anti-terror raids lead to 12 arrests over multiple bomb attack fears --Sources: Suspected targets included sites in Whitehall, including around Houses of Parliament 20 Dec 2010 Counter-terrorism officials launched a major operation over fears of multiple bomb attacks in Whitehall, central London, and on Christmas shoppers and revellers in the West Midlands, the Guardian has learned. In a series of co-ordinated pre-dawn raids in Stoke, Birmingham, Cardiff and east London, police arrested 12 men aged 17 to 28 and began extensive searches of a number of properties. Sources with knowledge of the operation said the arrests followed intelligence that targets including "public spaces" and shopping areas in the West Midlands were part of a suspected plot.

Anti-terror squad arrest 12 men 'plotting to cause Christmas shopping carnage' --Plot believed to involve 'multiple' locations 21 Dec 2010 Christmas shoppers and partygoers are feared to have been the target of 12 men who were arrested by anti-terror police early yesterday. The suspects, aged between 17 and 28, are accused of preparing Al Qaeda[al-CIAduh]-inspired attacks on ‘mass casualty’ targets such as shopping malls and nightclubs. They were taken into custody after more than 150 officers from four forces swooped on homes in London, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and Cardiff at 5am.

Mumbai on alert over militant attack threat: report 21 Dec 2010 Security was stepped up in India’s financial capital Mumbai on Tuesday, after intelligence warnings of a possible militant attack targeting foreigners, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was scheduled to fly to Mumbai on Wednesday on the second leg of a two-day India visit. "Extensive security measures have been put in place and an alert has been sounded in the city in the wake of inputs of a terror threat ahead of Christmas and the New Year," PTI quoted Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal as saying.

D.C. Metro randomly inspects passengers' bags 21 Dec 2010 Washington, D.C. Metro Police started 'randomly' inspecting bags at the Braddock Road and College Park Metro stations Tuesday. The searches came in the wake of recent terror plots and the same morning that an explosive device was found under a subway car seat in Rome. The searches started at 7:30 a.m. and lasted about an hour at the Braddock Metro station.

Minot Air Force Base airman killed in shooting 21 Dec 2010 Police said an airman from the Minot Air Force Base has been killed in an off-base shooting. Police Detective Matt McLeod told KCJB radio that Steven Crawford, 19, was shot with a handgun by a fellow airman at Crawford's apartment Monday night. Crawford was taken to a Minot hospital where he died. Police said the shooting appears to be accidental. [See also: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' By Lori Price.]

Journalists at Pentagon daily barred from WikiLeaks 18 Dec 2010 The Pentagon has banned journalists with the popular defense daily Stars and Stripes from consulting leaked diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks, prompting charges of censorship. "The editorial independence of Stars and Stripes and its readers' right to news free of censorship are being threatened by an overly broad and misdirected response to the Wikileaks debacle," the daily wrote. "Amazingly, the government wants to bar this newspaper's journalists -- along with most federal workers -- from reading information already plastered all over the public square."

WikiLeaks cables: Bangladeshi 'death squad' trained by UK government --Rapid Action Battalion, accused of hundreds of extra-judicial killings, received training from UK officers, cables reveal 21 Dec 2010 The British government has been training a Bangladeshi paramilitary force condemned by human rights organisations as a "government death squad", leaked US embassy cables have revealed. Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which has been held responsible for hundreds of extra-judicial killings in recent years and is said to routinely use torture, have received British training in "investigative interviewing techniques" and "rules of engagement". Details of the training were revealed in a number of cables, released by WikiLeaks, which address the counter-terrorism objectives of the US and UK governments in Bangladesh.

WikiLeaks cables: Syria believed Israel was behind sniper killing 21 Dec 2010 It was late in the evening of 1 August 2008 in the Syrian coastal city of Tartous when the sniper fired the fatal shot. The target was General Muhammad Suleiman, President Bashar al-Assad's top security aide. Israelis, the US embassy in Damascus reported, were "the most obvious suspects" in the assassination. US state department cables released by WikiLeaks trace the panicked response of the authorities... Israel was the obvious suspect in Suleiman's murder, US officials reported.

'I didn't think of Iraqis as humans,' says U.S. soldier who raped 14-year-old girl before killing her and her family 20 Dec 2010 An Iraq War veteran serving five life terms for raping and killing a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killing her parents and sister says he didn't think of Iraqi civilians as humans after being exposed to extreme warzone violence. Steven Green, a former 101st Airborne soldier, in his first interview since the 2006 killings, claimed that his crimes were fuelled in part by experiences in Iraq's violent 'Triangle of Death' where two of his sergeants were gunned down. He also cited a lack of leadership and help from the Army.

Apple Removes WikiLeaks App From App Store 21 Dec 2010 Looks like an unofficial iPhone and iPad app that let you view WikiLeaks site content and follow the WikiLeaks Twitter account on the go has been removed from the App app store earlier today. The app used to be available here. (Here’s the Google cache.)

'Wikileaks' enters the English language 21 Dec 2010 It happened to Xerox and more recently to Google, and now "wikileaks" has joined the list of proper names that are common enough to enter the English language as their own word. Texas-based Global Language Monitor on Tuesday said the website WikiLeaks, which has publicly released thousands of confidential U.S. government documents, has been referred to by so many people that it has met the criteria of reach, depth and breadth to be considered its own word.

U.S. Military Seeks to Expand Raids in Pakistan --The decision to expand American military activity in Pakistan would amount to the opening of a new front in the nine-year-old war. 21 Dec 2010 Senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas, a risky strategy reflecting the growing frustration with Pakistan’s efforts to root out militants there. The proposal, described by American officials in Washington and Afghanistan, would escalate military activities inside Pakistan, where the movement of American forces has been largely prohibited because of fears of provoking a backlash.

'No foreign troops can operate on our soil' 21 Dec 2010 Pakistan ruled out the notion of any foreign troops operating on its soil, with its top diplomat in Washington stressing that Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within the country’s borders."Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within our borders and no foreign forces are allowed or required to operate inside our sovereign territory," Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said. He was commenting on a story in The New York Times, which claimed that US commanders based in Afghanistan were pushing for special forces raids on militant targets across the border into Pakistani territory.

At least 15 killed in US drone strikes in Khyber 17 Dec 2010 Two US drone attacks killed at least 15 people Friday in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region, Pakistani intelligence and government officials said. The strikes took place in two villages in the Tirah Valley in the tribal area, the officials said. The same valley was hit late Thursday in another US attack. The two intelligence and two government officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Hundreds of Iraqi civilians who wanted to sue MoD over mistreatment by British soldiers lose appeal for public inquiry --Iraqis claim they were abused between 2003 and 2008 at British bases and detention centres 21 Dec 2010 More than 200 Iraqi civilians who wanted to sue the Ministry of Defence over alleged war crimes by British soldiers yesterday lost their latest legal battle. Two High Court judges rejected the demand for a public inquiry into claims they endured years of beatings and abuse [and torture] at the hands of UK troops and interrogators. They upheld Defence Secretary Liam Fox's argument that an inquiry was unnecessary as any ill-treatment was caused by a few bad apples' and was not systematic.

Iraq parliament approves new govt. 21 Dec 2010 The Iraqi parliament has given the vote of confidence to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's national unity cabinet, ending months of political impasse. The vote came a day after Maliki presented his proposed national unity cabinet to the parliament. Parliament in separate votes gave its approval to Maliki, three deputy prime ministers and 29 other cabinet ministers, as well as a 43-point government program aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting [US-engendered] terrorism.

Halliburton agrees to pay $35 mln in Nigeria graft case 21 Dec 2010 US oil services group Halliburton agreed to pay Nigeria 35 million dollars to settle a bribery dispute which led to charges being filed against former US vice president [sic] Dick Cheney, it said Tuesday. Nigeria had on December 7 filed an indictment against nine people and entities, including Cheney, who was head of Halliburton before becoming vice president after 2000 'elections.'

Senate Advances Arms Treaty, 67-28 22 Dec 2010 The Senate voted 67 to 28 on Tuesday to advance a new arms control treaty that would pare back American and Russian nuclear arsenals, reaching the two-thirds majority needed for approval despite a concerted Republican effort to block ratification. Eleven Republicans joined every Democrat present to support the treaty, known as New Start, which now heads to a seemingly certain final vote of approval on Wednesday. Voting against the treaty were 28 Republicans...

FCC Passes Compromise Net Neutrality Rules By Sam Gustin 21 Dec 2010 In a closely watched vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved compromise [useless] net neutrality rules Tuesday that would forbid the nation’s largest cable and DSL internet service providers from blocking or slowing online services, while leaving wireless companies with much more latitude. ...FCC chief Julius Genachowski made good on President Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to strengthen rules governing the nation’s ISPs. The measure, which passed 3-2 along party lines, did not go as far as supporters would have liked, but the FCC faced steep resistance from Republicans and the powerful telecom lobbying machine. [Actually, they're *one and the same.*]

Leaked Presentation Shows How Carriers Can Deliver Tiered Internet Services 20 Dec 2010 As all eyes turn to the Federal Communications Commission as they prepare to vote on the net neutrality proposal, a leaked presentation outlines how cellular carriers can roll out a fee-based tiered Internet. In a leaked presentation, two companies that sell their services to cellular carriers showed off a wireless product that appears to achieve the opposite of the net neutrality rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.

US Congress sends Obama food 'safety' bill 21 Dec 2010 The US Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping food 'safety' bill [drafted by Monsanto] in the wake of mass recalls affecting [agri-terrorists'] items from tainted eggs to peanut butter, pistachios, spinach and milk. The House of Representatives passed the measure by a 215-144 margin, days after the Senate okayed the bill, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Haley Barbour's racial remarks leave 2012 candidacy in question 21 Dec 2010 Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Racist) has come under fire for his comments on civil rights. As Krissah Thompson reported: In a Weekly Standard magazine profile published Monday, Barbour said he didn't remember it "being that bad" and referred benignly to white groups called Citizens Councils, which were known to enforce segregationist policies throughout the South. His office released a statement Tuesday morning backtracking from those remarks.

GOP sees good news in census numbers 21 Dec 2010 The numbers for the 2010 census are available, and the news appears good for Republican-leaning states when it comes to adding new seats in the House of Representatives. The new numbers spell out congressional reapportionment as the states divvy up the 435 seats in the House. Tuesday's findings showed a growing population in Western and Southern states -- areas where Republicans tend to do well.

Churchill, Canada: watching polar bears in Hudson Bay --See polar bears gathering on Canada's Arctic coast before it's too late, says Rupert Parker. 20 Dec 2010 Churchill, in Canada's far north, is known as the polar bear capital of the world. Every year, about now, the bears gather on the shore to wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze so they can get on to the ice and catch seals. However, climate change means the freeze happens later each year and the bears' numbers are decreasing... Around 900 bears call the area around western Hudson Bay home.

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Previous lead stories:
USFK soldier suspected of uploading fake picture of bombing --Investigators: Picture was taken on April 2, 2003, and posted on the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) website --CNN, others, cited fake picture in reports 19 Dec 2010 Seoul prosecutors said Sunday that they have informed the United States Forces Korea (USFK) of a U.S. Army soldier suspected of uploading a fake picture of North Korea's shelling on a southern island on the Internet. According to the prosecution, the Korean-American private, identified only by his initial M, allegedly posted a satellite photo of the U.S.'s 2003 attack on Baghdad, Iraq, on an Internet bulletin board, contending that it depicted North Korea's deadly artillery attack against South Korea's border island of Yeonpyeong on Nov. 23.
South Korea on 'high alert' after exercises 20 Dec 2010 South Korea conducted live firing drills from the disputed Yeonpyeong island, defying North Korea’s threat of retaliation and rejecting diplomatic calls to delay the exercises. The defence ministry in Seoul said the country was now on "high alert". The last time South Korea carried out similar drills Pyongyang reacted by shelling Yeonpyeong, killing four people.

Assange a high-tech terrorist: Biden 20 Dec 2010 The US Government has confirmed that it is preparing for the legal pursuit of Julian Assange as yet another political heavyweight branded the founder of WikiLeaks a "terrorist". Vice-President Joe Biden confirmed that the Justice Department was investigating ways to make the freedom of information activist accountable under US law for his actions. "We're looking at that right now," Mr Biden told NBC's Sunday talk show 'Meet the Press.'

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