Saturday, January 14, 2012

Breaking News & Commentary from Citizen's For Legitimate Government, 13 Jan 2012

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U.S. troops quietly surge into Middle East 12 Jan 2012 The Pentagon has quietly shifted combat troops and warships to the Middle East after the top American commander in the region warned that he needed additional forces to deal with Iran and other potential threats, U.S. officials said. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who heads U.S. Central Command, won White House approval for the deployments late last year after talks with the government in Baghdad broke down over keeping U.S. troops in Iraq, but the extent of the Pentagon moves is only now becoming clear. The Pentagon has stationed nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait, adding to a small contingent already there. The new units include two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit - a substantial increase in combat power after nearly a decade in which Kuwait chiefly served as a staging area for supplies and personnel heading to Iraq.
U.S. Sends Top Iranian Leader a Warning on Strait Threat 13 Jan 2012 The Obama administration is relying on a secret channel of communication to warn Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that closing the Strait of Hormuz is a "red line" that would provoke an American response, according to United States government officials. The officials declined to describe the unusual contact between the two governments, and whether there had been an Iranian reply. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this past weekend that the United States would "take action and reopen the strait," which could be accomplished only by military means, including minesweepers, warship escorts and potentially airstrikes.
Iran to probe N-assassination via IAEA 13 Jan 2012 Iran's permanent envoy to International Atomic Energy Agency says the country will follow up the recent assassination of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan through the IAEA. Ali Asghar Soltanieh said Friday that he has already written a letter to the Non-Aligned Movement countries for the condemnation of the terrorist attack in Iran and will also follow up on this issue at the IAEA. Soltanieh added that assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists will have no affect on the Iranian nation's resolve to insist on its right to using various technologies, including nuclear technology.
Iran blasts US, UK for N-assassination --'The Uk is responsible for such acts of terror.' 13 Jan 2012 Iran's Foreign Ministry has blasted the US and UK governments for their obvious roles in assassinating Iranian scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in two strongly-worded protest notes. Ahmadi Roshan was assassinated on Wednesday, after an unknown motorcyclist attached a sticky bomb to his car near Allameh Tabatabaei University in Tehran, killing him instantly. The note to the UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed to the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists that immediately followed the remarks of head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) John Sawers, who discussed the launch of intelligence operations against Iran.
Leader: CIA, Mossad behind Iran killing 12 Jan 2012 Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has condemned the US and Israeli spy agencies, CIA and Mossad, for the recent assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist. "This cowardly [act of] terror, whose perpetrators and plotters will never dare to confess to their dirty and hideous crime or accept responsibility for it, has been carried out by the planning or support of CIA and Mossad [spy] services, like all other crimes of the network of international state terrorism," said Ayatollah Khamenei late on Thursday in a message of condolence on the death of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
Met to probe Libyan rendition claims 12 Jan 2012 No British spies will be charged over alleged complicity in the torture of terror suspects but a new investigation will look into allegations of rendition in Libya, it has been announced. Several MI5 and MI6 agents were at the centre of criminal investigations into the treatment of former detainees, including UK resident Binyam Mohamed. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay claim British security and intelligence officials colluded in their torture and abuse while they were held at the controversial detention centre... But a joint statement by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keir Starmer QC and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) confirmed that no individuals had been charged in relation to Operations Hinton and Iden. However, the MPS will now investigate two cases of alleged rendition of Libyan nationals.
British spies await findings of torture probe 12 Jan 2012 British spies will discover later whether they will face charges over their alleged complicity in the torture of terror suspects. Several MI5 and MI6 agents are understood to be at the centre of criminal investigations into the treatment of former detainees, including UK resident Binyam Mohamed. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay claim British security and intelligence officials colluded in their torture and abuse while they were held at the controversial detention centre.
MI5 and MI6 expected to be cleared of torture allegations 11 Jan 2012 MI5 and MI6 are expected to be cleared of allegations that they were complicit in torture after a four year investigation. Despite years of allegations against the security and intelligence services by terrorism suspects, Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service have now concluded that there is no case to answer, sources have told the Daily Telegraph. Both the police and Kier Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, are to make a statement explaining the decision.
Lawsuit demands that Obama administration release Guantanamo torture tapes By Tom Carter 12 Jan 2012 A lawsuit filed Monday by lawyers for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in federal court in New York demands that the Obama administration turn over video tapes documenting the torture of Mohammed al-Qahtani at the US military prison in Guantanamo. The videotapes requested by the CCR constitute important evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and could serve as the basis for criminal indictments of top US military and civilian officials. The CCR made a formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the tapes last year, but the Obama administration refused to turn them over.
Guantanamo Bay remains open 10 years on 11 Jan 2012 Amnesty International calls on the US government to end indefinite detentions in Guantanamo, as the prison reaches its 10th anniversary. In a new report, Guantánamo: A Decade of Damage to Human Rights, the charity said the treatment of Guantanamo detainees underlined reasons why the detention centre continued to represent an attack on human rights. The charity said the failure to close the Cuba-based detention centre represented "a toxic legacy for human rights". Of the 171 men still held at the camp, at least 12 were in the original group first transferred to Guantanamo on 11 January, 2002.
Four US suspects nabbed in Baghdad --The US Embassy in Baghdad has declined comment on the incident, which is seen as a violation of a security pact signed between Baghdad and Washington. 12 Jan 2012 Iraqi authorities have detained four armed American nationals over what the officials described as "suspicious" activity in the capital, Baghdad, Press TV reports. Iraqi sources said the suspects, including two women, were arrested on Thursday as they were found traveling in a BMW car with a local license plate, instead of diplomatic registration. The US nationals were wearing flak jackets and were armed with pistols -- equipped with silencers -- and automatic weapons when they were arrested in a Shia neighborhood in central Baghdad.
US Marines grilled over abuse video 14 Jan 2012 US investigators have identified the four Marines seen urinating on Afghan corpses in an inflammatory video and expect to bring charges against them soon, a senior military official told FOX News Channel today. The online video showed the US troops urinating on three bloodied corpses, and one of the men, apparently aware he was being filmed, saying: "Have a great day, buddy," referring to one of the dead. All four are from a sniper unit in the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, the official said, noting that the two who were questioned by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service are on active duty.
US Marines identify Afghanistan 'urination' troops 13 Jan 2012 At least two of four US Marines shown in a video appearing to urinate on Taliban corpses have been identified, a Marine Corps official has told the BBC. The video, which was posted online, purports to show the Marines standing over the bodies of several Taliban fighters, at least one of whom is covered in blood. The BBC says the official would not confirm the Marines' whereabouts, but reports suggested the unit involved was based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina - a major military base.
Another day, another US war crime: Video allegedly showing US troops urinating on bodies of Taliban fighters 12 Jan 2012 This video shows what are alleged to be American forces in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters land laughing. The film is being investigated by the US Marine Corps. If it proves to be authentic, desecration of corpses will be regarded as a serious crime [WARNING: This video contains graphic images.]
Military court orders release of IDF soldier suspected of passing info to rightists --IDF paratrooper Amichai Zoaretz was arrested earlier this week and questioned by military police; Zoaretz expressed strong anti-Arab and anti-leftist sentiments on Facebook. 12 Jan 2012 A military court in Jaffa on Thursday ordered the release from detention of an Israel Defense Forces paratrooper suspected of passing military information to right-wing activists in the West Bank. Amichai Zoaretz serves in Paratrooper Battalion 890 and has recently filled a combat support role at the battalion headquarters following an injury. He was arrested earlier this week and questioned by military police.
Loggers 'burned Amazon tribe girl alive' 10 Jan 2012 Loggers in Brazil captured an eight-year-old girl from one of the Amazon's last uncontacted tribes and burned her alive as part of a campaign to force the indigenous population from its land, reports claimed on Tuesday night. The child was said to have wandered away from her village, where around 60 members of the Awá tribe live a primitive life in complete isolation from the modern world, and fallen into the hands of the loggers. Luis Carlos Guajajaras, a local leader from a separate tribe, told a Brazilian news website that they tied to her a tree and set her alight as a warning to other natives, who live in a protected reserve in the north-eastern state of Maranhão. [Hopefully, the indigenous people are using any and *all* tactics against these sociopaths, including, of course, ARMED resistance.]
U.S. Coast Guard will escort ship into Port of Longview, as Occupy movement plans big protest --'The Coast Guard is definitely going to be involved in making sure the port is safe.' 06 Jan 2012 (WA) The U.S. Coast Guard will escort the first ship coming to the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview this month, and the Occupy movement and local labor groups say they are planning to greet the vessel with a massive protest. The Coast Guard will deploy one or two vessels to escort the grain ship up the Columbia River, with more on call if necessary, said Lt. Lucas Elder, a spokesman for Coast Guard's Portland-based marine safety unit. Other law-enforcement agencies will also be present, he said.
Court rejects petition from WikiLeaks, Julian Assange 11 Jan 2012 The U.S. military's highest appeals court has rejected a petition by WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange to give their lawyers guaranteed access to the Army's legal proceedings against the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking thousands of military reports and diplomatic cables, Pfc. Bradley Manning. WikiLeaks and Assange argued they deserved a permanent seat at the recent investigative hearing in Manning's case because of an ongoing criminal investigation targeting Assange and his global transparency website... However, in an order Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces denied the petition without comment.
Bradley Manning moves step closer to full court martial --Investigating officer in pre-trial hearing recommends that 22 charges against WikiLeaks suspect be referred to military trial 12 Jan 2012 Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of having been the source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of state secrets, is one step closer towards the possibility of spending the rest of his life in military confinement after the officer who presided over his pre-trial hearing recommended he be sent to a full court martial. Colonel Paul Almanza, the investigating officer at last month's hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, has written to his superiors recommending that all 22 charges against Manning be referred to a general court martial – the most serious military trial.
Abandoned by British justice: Student faces 10 years in U.S. jail for setting up 'illegal' website (in a chilling echo of Gary McKinnon) --'Quiet and vulnerable' man could spend ten years in high-security American jail after he lost fight against extradition yesterday 14 Jan 2012 A British student faces up to a decade in a U.S. prison for actions which are not even a crime in the UK. Campaigners say Richard O'Dwyer, 23, is being abandoned by his country in the same way as computer hacker Gary McKinnon. Mr O'Dwyer is accused of listing places where films and TV programmes could be illegally downloaded, on a website he ran from his university bedroom in Sheffield... The case has chilling similarities with the attempt by the U.S. to extradite Asperger's sufferer Mr McKinnon, who hacked into Pentagon computers from his north London bedroom.
FBI agent admits deleting emails amid terror probe --FBI agent was member of so-called "dirty" team that did an initial intelligence-gathering interview of Ahmed without reading him his Miranda rights 12 Jan 2012 An FBI agent testified Thursday that she deleted potentially sensitive emails covering several months when she was helping spearhead an investigation of a terror suspect. Defense attorneys have sought to examine FBI emails to see if they reveal agents skirted interrogation rules in the case of Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, an Eritrean man charged in Manhattan federal court with supporting terrorism. Ahmed's lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel to bar statements made by Ahmed while he was detained in Nigeria in 2009 before being turned over to U.S. authorities.
Fears over outbreak after 12 infected with new swine flu strain in U.S. 12 Jan 2012 Twelve Americans have been reported infected with a mutating and now possibly human-to-human transmitted form of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus called H3N2v. An investigation undertaken by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that human infections of these viruses followed contact with swine as well as through 'limited human-to-human transmission.' 'While there is no evidence that sustained human-to-human transmission is occurring, all influenza viruses have the capacity to change and it's possible that this virus may become widespread,' the CDC explained through their website.
Fukushima eyes checking radiation in breast milk for 10,000 mothers 12 Jan 2012 Fukushima Prefecture plans to test for radioactive contamination in breast milk samples from about 10,000 mothers residing in the prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, prefectural officials said Thursday. While details, including how and when to implement the survey, have not been finalized, the plan will offer the tests to mothers who wish to participate. Many mothers have expressed concerns about breast-feeding their babies amid fears that their milk may be contaminated by radioactive materials released into the air and sea by the Fukushima plant.
Iodine pills should be distributed to households near nuclear plants: experts 12 Jan 2012 The intake of potassium iodine tablets immediately after a nuclear accident is effective in preventing the thyroid from being exposed to radiation, and they should be distributed to households near nuclear power plants in advance, a recent nuclear safety commission proposal suggests. The plan was put together by a subcommittee of the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) and was released on Jan. 12.
9 eurozone nations downgraded by S&P 13 Jan 2012 Standard & Poor's said Friday that it has downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro area governments, including AAA-rated France and Austria. S&P lowered its rating for Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus by two notches. The move means Italian bonds are now rated BBB+, dangerously close to the junk bond level that could make it even harder for the government to raise money. France's top-tier credit rating was lowered by one notch to AA+, said S&P.
Judge: John Edwards Has Life-Threatening Condition 13 Jan 2012 A federal judge says she has two letters from a cardiologist saying ex-presidential candidate John Edwards has a life-threatening condition that will require surgery in February. The letters were revealed during a hearing Friday to consider whether the 58-year-old ex-North Carolina Senator would go on trial later this month for alleged campaign finance violations. Attorneys for Edwards were seeking a 60-day delay to allow time for Edwards to recover. The judge delayed the trial to March 26.
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