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Falluja Security Again in Collapse

by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail On Jun. 26, a suicide bomber attacked a city council meeting of local tribal sheikhs affiliated with Awakening Groups and military officials. Three Marines, two interpreters and 20 Iraqis died in the attack. Among the Iraqis killed were the mayor of nearby Karmah town and three leading sheikh

How to Money Launder $7 Billion

by Alexander Cockburn On July 3, a Moscow courtroom sizzled with acrid testimonials to the effect that the oldest bank in the United States is internationally accountable on charges of money laundering and, if convicted, will have to pony up $22.5 billion to the Russian Customs Service, said sum representing just over a third of its capita

The Ongoing Persecution of Sami al-Arian

by Alexander Cockburn There are few prospects in the justice system so grimly awful as when the feds decide never to let go. Rebuffed in their persecutions of some target by juries, or by contrary judges, they shift ground, betray solemn agreements, and dream up new stratagems to exhaust their victims and drive them into bankruptcy, despair, and even suicide. They have all the money and all the time in the world. Take the appalling vendetta conducted by the Justice Department against Sami al-Arian, a professor from Florida who had the book thrown at him in 2003 by Attorney General John Ashcroft

Picking the Wrong Scandals

by Alexander Cockburn Stories swirl around McCain's famously terrible temper and whether this has led to physical abuse of Cindy, prompting her to seek solace from gentler hands. But nothing credible by way of hard detail has surfaced this far. Her majestic credit card debt -- as much as half a million owed to American Express -- excites only envy

How Bush is Wiping Out McCain

by Alexander Cockburn Amid these very bad weeks for Republican John McCain's hopes for victory in November, the cruelest blow of all is surely that President George Bush has plainly decided to let McCain sink

Guess What "Surprise" the Republicans Yearn For

by Alexander Cockburn Everybody knows it, but it took a notorious Republican operator to come right out and say it. Charlie Black, John McCain's campaign adviser, recently let drop to Fortune magazine that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a 'big advantage' for the Republican presidential candidate

Bush Removes Executive Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling

Saying that Americans are worried about the high price of gasoline, President George W. Bush today removed the executive ban on offshore exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf, the OCS, that has stood since his father was in the Oval Office

The Missing Cheney Memo

by Steve Young Correct me if I'm wrong (just a phrase, not a directive), but didn't God create the dinosaurs that died and ended up becoming the fossil fuels which we, may I remind you, keep America moving, supposedly leading to what some non-White House scientists say is higher carbon dioxide concentrations? Find something in the bible -- the New Testament one -- that supports this and stick in a 'Hate Co2, Hate God' paragraph somewhere near the word Democrat

Savage Beyond Belief

by Steve and Ryan Young I've written for years about the problems I've had with talk radio, and did so, for the most part with tongue tucked firmly in cheek. I've even had my own show in L.A. so In some way, I've been a part of the problem I write about. I do get ticked off, but rarely does anything said on talk radio ever cause me to lose my sense of humor. Until this past Wednesday

Bill-O's Race Baiting-palooza

by Steve Young First Bill, who made this his major radio and TV story of the day, said that 'a slight association between the candidate and the rapper,' owing to the fact that they had met ONCE. 'In 2006 the two met privately in Chicago, apparently to discuss AIDS awareness.' Within seconds Bill had kneaded that into 'the lesson for Barack Obama is be careful who your friends are.' Spin much, Bill?

The Qualified Candidate

by Steve Young As General Clark found out last week, while it's okay to tear apart John Kerry's wartime experience, it's not nice to refer to John McCain's military record unless you genuflect with doing it

Police Suspected of Planting Falluja Bombs

by Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail Falluja residents say they are shocked that one of the bombs was planted on the rooftop of the best-guarded house in the city, and the other was on the body of a policeman who was supposed to guard against bombings

Inconsistent Rules on Felons Block Millions From Voting

by Haider Rizvi According to the ACLU, currently a patchwork of state felony disenfranchisement laws -- albeit inconsistent from state to state -- prevent a whopping 5.3 million citizens with a past felony conviction from voting

Carter Admin, Europe, Supported Ayatollah Khomeini Takeover of Iran

In order to prevent the Soviet Union from taking advantage of these changes, amongst all existing opposition groups they chose the religious forces to stand against communism

Iraq Oil Pact Debases Our Nation

by Robert Scheer For the first time in more than three decades after Iraq joined a worldwide trend of formerly colonized nations gaining control of their own resources, Big Oil is getting it's black gold back. It was always about the oil

Taiwan Declares Peace on China

by Robert Scheer No longer pretending to be enemies, where they engaged in angry rhetoric while doing much business together on the side, a public love affair has broken out across the Straits of Formosa. On Friday, scheduled direct flights began between the mainland and its breakaway island for the first time in 60 years, and the invasion of tourists clicking their cameras was on

China Broke Olympic Pledge on Rights, Environment Reforms

by Antoaneta Bezlova Critics charge that a broad security clampdown initiated in the name of safeguarding the Olympic games has smothered a vast array of groups daring to challenge the government on human rights and corruption. They say that the environmental cleanup of the capital has failed to meet standards expected of an Olympic host city and Beijing's pollution still presents a palpable danger for athletes competing in the games

India Terror Attack Announces Homegrown Jihadist Group

by Sandip Roy Five minutes before the bomb blasts that rocked the Indian city of Ahmedabad July 26, a television station there received an e-mail from a group that called itself the Indian Mujahideen. The group seems hell-bent on proving their Indian bona fides

First Gitmo Trial Begins

by William Fisher Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's alleged former driver, is the first terror suspect to face trial at Guantanamo in seven years and the first test of whether that system can dispense fair and impartial justice. The charges against the Yemeni father of two will proceed before a military commission -- the first since the end of World War II -- with a jury of uniformed officers and rules that many constitutional authorities believe give great deference to the prosecution

Olmert Finally Resigns

Analysis by Peter Hirschberg His situation became even more tenuous when fresh allegations emerged a few weeks ago, with Olmert accused this time of submitting duplicate claims for travel expenses to charities that had sponsored his trips abroad. Olmert has denied all of the allegations, which relate to the period before he became prime minister, and had initially said he would only resign if indicted

Senate Report Shows How UBS, Liechtenstein Aided Tax Cheats

by Lucy Komisar It sounded like the plot of an action thriller. A U.S. Senate subcommittee held hearings Thursday on how UBS/Switzerland, the world's largest private bank, and LGT (Liechtenstein Global Trust) organized complex tax evasion schemes for U.S. clients, and used spy-type tactics to avoid being detected

China Clamps Down on all Air Pollution in Advance of Olympics

by Jun Wang From shopping to driving to eating, Beijing residents are forced to rearrange their lives to help save the environment just in time for the Olympics Games

McCain's Oil Drilling Hoax

by Joe Conason The prospect of significant new petroleum resources that could be available so soon would be excellent news -- aside from the obvious impact of burning still more oil -- if only what the senator said was true. But what he said actually made no sense whatsoever

Washington's Overrated "Old Hands"

by Joe Conason Like both of the last two presidents, Sen. Obama possesses scant credentials in national security and foreign policy. Why, then, does he appear increasingly plausible as the next president? But granting his talent and initiative, the strongest argument for the Democrat is the weak performance of the Republican regime's vaunted 'grown-ups,' including McCain and his advisers

Killing of Tourist Shows the Two Koreas Still at War

by Peter Schurmann and Aruna Lee Many are wondering why the response from South Koreans themselves has been so muted, in stark contrast to the anti-U.S. beef protests that nearly shut down the state. Linking it to media coverage, some have criticized the press here for toning down the language in their reporting, referring to the case as an accident rather than murder

Bush Gets Korea Disarmament, In Spite of Himself

by Jim Lobe Bush's decision to go along with deal -- and especially to personally announce it in the White House Rose Garden -- constituted a major victory for the administration's 'realist' faction over the hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney, who has long favored 'regime change' in Pyongyang and repeatedly blocked efforts by Secretaries of State Colin Powell and then Condoleezza Rice to engage North Korea bilaterally

G8 World Leaders Paid "Lip Service" to World Crisis, Groups say

by Ramesh Jaura While the world's major industrialized nations expressed satisfaction over their three-day summit meetings that concluded Wednesday, non-governmental organizations, after some early and limited approval, were deeply disappointed with the outcome on the whole

U.S. National Security Threatened by Climate Change, Intel Chief Tells Congress

by Jim Lobe Global warming could 'seriously affect U.S. national security interests' in a variety of ways, Thomas Fingar, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), told two Congressional committees in what was billed as the key findings of a still-classified new intelligence analysis of the security impacts of climate change

Taliban Expected to Take Pakistan City

by Ashfaq Yusufzai Hayatabad is an up-market suburb of Peshawar, a city of three million. 'About 200 families have abandoned their homes temporarily in Hayatabad,' says Mazhar Durrani, president of the Hayatabad Property Dealers Association. He confirms that people are moving out since the launch of the operation and the fear of Talibanization

Global Fish Catches Vastly Underestimated

by Stephen Leahy The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome collects and compiles global fishery data. However, countries provide the information on a voluntary basis and it is not verified. And very often the data is supplied by the countries' foreign affairs or export development departments and not the fisheries agency and represents fish exports, not actual fish catch, Pauly said. However, this grossly imperfect data is the only global fishery data and is what scientists, policy makers, conservationists and others rely on to make decisions such as catch quotas and licensing -- often with serious consequences

Arabs See No Mideast Changes, No Matter Who Wins White House

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani When it comes to the Middle East conflict, the Arabs no longer see any difference between Republicans and Democrats. Both parties vie with one another in expressing total support for Israel

Iran "Threat" the Key Theme at Christian Zionist Summit

by Ali Gharib While Clawson did mention the idea of proliferation at the CUFI summit, it took a back seat to his main argument of an ideological and irrationally-driven direct threat to Israel

They Must Be Joking

by Joe Conason Those who are offended, outraged and worried over the Blitt drawing are certain that while they get the joke, some other category of Americans won't. While they accuse the magazine's smarty-pants staff of 'elitism,' that term seems more apt in describing those who assume that most Americans are too stupid to understand the cartoon's meaning and context

Fake Outrage Over Clark Comments

by Joe Conason Supporters of Mr. McCain insist that his military service should be exempt from discussion, except when they feel like bringing it up to prove some point about national security, terrorism or the presidency that it really doesn't prove at all

Stop Threatening Iran, Former National Security Advisers Tell Bush

by Jim Lobe Two of Washington's most prominent foreign policy greybeards praised Saturday's direct participation in multinational talks with Iran by a senior U.S. diplomat but called on the Bush administration to drop his demands that Tehran freeze its uranium enrichment program as a precondition for broader negotiations

How About 'Tough Love' for Bankers?

by Robert Scheer The bookends of the Bush years begin with the Enron debacle and end with the federal bailout of bankers drunk on their greed. And no two people in this country are more responsible for enabling this sordid behavior than the power couple of Phil and Wendy Gramm

Europe's Most Wanted Man Was Hiding in Plain Sight

by Alison Raphael Serbians are still in shock after revelations that Radovan Karadzic was living in Belgrade as a psychiatrist and bio-energy healer, holding seminars and lectures, and writing for the magazine Healthy Life under a pseudonym

Cell Phones Changing Birds' Tune

by Vesna Peric Zimonjic Given the risk that birds might forget their original songs as a result of human influence, the tunes have been archived in European and North American universities, allowing the possibility of recovering them -- a step backwards, perhaps, in the constant process of adaptation that is evolution

Lobbyists Cash in as Bush Era Winds Down

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship Guess who gave the most money to candidates in this 2007-08 federal election cycle? That's right, the financial services and real estate industries. They stuffed nearly $250 million dollars into the candidate coffers. The about-to-be-bailed-out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac together are responsible for about half the country's $12 trillion mortgage debt

What the Obama New Yorker Cover Got Right

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The great danger is that the lies and maliciousness the Obama slander sites busily fan could have resonance with some voters, especially the much fought over independents. They make up about one quarter of the American electorate, and the overwhelming majority of them are white, and centrist-to-conservative in their views

Maliki's Timetable Demand Signals Final Bush Defeat in Iraq

by Gareth Porter The unexpected Iraqi resistance to the U.S. demands reflected the underlying influence of Iran on the al-Maliki government as well as Sadr's recognition that he could achieve his goal of liberating Iraq from U.S. occupation through political-diplomatic means rather than through military pressures

Book Traces Rise of Muqtada, Shia Revival in Iraq

by Mohammed A. Salih Muqtada's sudden emergence in the very first days after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, as a powerful leader of poor segments of the historically-underdog Shia population in Iraq, sparked equal feelings of shock and awe among U.S. and British officials and their Iraqi allies. It epitomized their first major miscalculation of the likely political landscape in post-war Iraq

After 30 Years, Black Panthers Released From Solitary

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The ludicrously long solitary confinement of the three former Black Panthers, known as the Angola 3, sparked international rage, prompted a congressional visit, and resulted in civil suits and endless court appeals. The three prisoners were convicted in the 1972 slaying of an Angola prison guard. There was no physical evidence linking them to the murder. They were convicted on the testimony of a serial sex offender serving a life sentence

IAEA Now Says Old Papers Show Iran Wants to Build Nukes

Analysis by Gareth Porter Had the document triggered a secret Iranian nuclear weapons project, it obviously would not have been left in files related to the centrifuge and enrichment plans for the IAEA to find. Far from Iran seeking to hide the document as incriminating, its atomic energy officials had apparently simply filed it away and forgotten it

West Bank Palestinian Village Takes On Israeli Military

by Mel Frykberg Ambulances were again prevented July 7 from entering the central West Bank village of Niilin, near Ramalla, to evacuate the ill and the wounded. Supplies of medicines were running low, as confrontations continued with youths defying a four-day-old curfew imposed by the Israeli military

McCain Gets Grudging Evangelical Endorsements

by Bill Berkowitz More than 70 evangelical leaders met in Denver, Colorado and, amid concerns expressed about the state of their movement and the religious authenticity of McCain, they came to the conclusion that endorsing the Arizona senator was the only viable option

Jesse Jackson's Snark About Obama Creates Stir

by Michael H. Cottman Jackson told Associated Press that he doesn't remember his exact words, but described his remarks as 'regretfully crude'

Neither McCain or Obama Take Stand on Disasterous Latin Drug Programs

by Roberto Lovato Candidates McCain and Obama's failure to denounce the exponential increase in atrocities committed by the governments of Colombia's Uribe and of Mexico's Felipe Calderon may signal that neither will be the 'change' candidate when it comes to U.S. policy in Latin America

Iran and U.S. Have 1st Direct Diplomatic Talks in 28 Years

by William O. Beeman For Iranians, just to sit down face to face with an American official without having to acquiesce to pre-conditions was a diplomatic watershed. The event brings Iran closer to the conditions they eventually want for these talks -- namely having the United Sates and Iran meet on equal terms

Journalist Charges Pentagon Censorship Over Photographing Dead U.S. Soldiers

by Dahr Jamail Miller said the Public Affairs Officer claimed he was not allowed, by the embed contract, to show dead or wounded U.S. citizens or soldiers in the field. 'I never signed any contract for that,' Miller said

Pakistan's Schoolgirls Lured To Suicide Bombing

by Ashfaq Yusufzai Ashraf Ali who is an authority on the Taliban at the University of Peshawar confirms the trend. 'The Pakistani Taliban, impressed by Iraq, where women suicide bombers have become an albatross around the necks of the U.S. forces, are preparing a lot of women suicide bombers to inflict more damages on the pro-U.S. forces operating in Pakistan

U.S. Charges Insiders With Manipulating Oil Prices

by Abid Aslam The complaint accuses all the defendants of trying to manipulate energy futures contracts 19 times over the course of 11 days in March 2007. On at least five occasions, it adds, they succeeded in 'causing artificial prices': They allegedly forced prices lower three times and pushed them up twice

Banking Expertise We Don't Need

by Robert Scheer This is a time to condemn the bankers, not to embrace them. They are the scoundrels who got us into the biggest economic mess since the Great Depression, lining their own pockets while destroying the life savings of those who trusted them. Yet both of our leading presidential candidates are scrambling to enlist not only the big-dollar contributions but, more frighteningly, the 'expertise' of the very folks who advocated the financial industry deregulations at the heart of this meltdown

Obama Embraces the Terror War

by Robert Scheer Just like former maverick John McCain, who has refashioned himself as a mindless rubber stamp for the most inane policies of the miserably failed Bush administration, Obama is embracing, rather than challenging, the fundamental irrationality of Bush's 'war on terror,' which substitutes hysteria for rational analysis in appraising the dangers the country faces

Abramoff's Network of Corruption Still Has Influence

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship Abramoff may be cooling his heels in minimum security but his pals Delay, Norquist and Reed appear on television and radio shows whose hosts treat them as political savants with nary a nod to their past nefarious association with Abramoff. Few in the audience seem to notice or care

With Deaths of 9 U.S. Soldiers, War Focus Shifts to Afghanistan

by Jim Lobe If nothing else, the deaths Sunday of nine U.S. soldiers at a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan close to the Pakistan border are likely to bring home to the U.S. electorate what top national security officials have been saying for much of the past year -- that the central front in Washington's "global war on terrorism" has moved eastwards from Iraq

You, Too, Can Have White House Talking Points

by Steve Young For those of you not as politically savvy as your typical FoxNews viewer, here's the technical way talking points work: The Bush White House tells Fox News what to say and Fox News says it

U.S. Fails to Understand the Real Crisis in Pakistan

by Fouad Pervez At this dark moment in Pakistan, the United States could make a huge difference by pursuing a different policy in the country. Washington could also take a step back from Musharraf, and support instead the rule of law and the process of democracy in Pakistan. For such efforts to be credible, the United States must also pull back on military operations and vastly increase its non-military aid to Pakistan

Cheney and Neo-Cons Look to Destabilize Iran by Supporting Terror Groups

by William O. Beeman Continually frustrated in their attempts to launch any legitimate attack against Iran, Vice President Cheney and a group of die-hard neo-conservatives hovering in and around his office, particularly his former Middle East adviser David Wurmser, have long been rumored to be engineering active support for dissident opposition groups who share their goal to overthrow the current Iranian regime

Israel Targets Hamas Orphanages

by Peter Hirschberg Shopping malls. Schools. Medical centers. Charities, orphanages. Soup kitchens. These are the latest targets in the campaign the Israeli military is waging against Hamas in the West Bank. Israeli military officials have identified Hamas's civilian infrastructure in the West Bank as a major source of the Islamic group's popularity, and have begun raiding and shutting down these institution

Black Republicans Try to Bait Obama

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson The irony is that blacks, even black Republicans, would choose to make race an issue with Obama. One would expect that such an attack would likely come from a far-out ultra conservative, or race-baiting fringe political group. But it didn't. So that raises these questions. Who paid for the ads? Is the association fronting for some shadowy well-funded Republican hit group? And what does the group hope to gain from a hit below the belt attack that could blow up in their face?

Bush Could Lower Gas Prices Tomorrow - But Won't

by Jim Lobe If Bush wants to boost Republican chances of holding on to the White House and keeping Democratic gains in Congress to a minimum in the November elections, he might consider taking an attack on Iran before the end of his administration off the table. But there's a little doubt that forswearing military action against Tehran should ease the upwards pressure on world oil prices and thus offer at least some reprieve to the U.S. consumer at a time when record gasoline prices appear to be driving widespread popular dismay with the state of the U.S. economy

White House Raises Pressure on Iraq to Allow Long-Term Presence

by Gareth Porter Instead of moving toward accommodating the demand of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a timetable for U.S. military withdrawal, the Bush administration and the U.S. military leadership are continuing to pressure their erstwhile client regime to bow to the U.S. demand for a long-term military presence in the country

G8 World Leaders: We've Got Until 2050 to Cut Greenhouse Gas

by Michael Winship Kim Carstensen, director of WWF's Global Climate Initiative reminded the G8 leaders that scientific evidence clearly outlines an urgent need to cut global emissions more than 50 percent by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Carstensen said global emissions have to peak and decline in 10 to 15 years and rich nations must reduce emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020

U.S. Credit Crisis Now a Year Old, No End in Sight

by Abid Aslam Banks and finance firms around the world likely have acknowledged most of their exposure to subprime mortgages and securities based on these risky loans, but U.S. delinquencies and foreclosures continue to pile up and banks are restricting credit in anticipation of further losses, the IMF says in its latest global financial stability update

Olympics Doom Beijing Water Supply

by Antoaneta Bezlova Few in the Chinese capital are aware of the price their city would pay for staging the world's first 'green Olympics' in August. The fabulous capital of Chinese emperors and the epitome of modern China's ambitions is being driven to extinction by its chronic lack of water. And the Olympic games are expediting the city's slow demise, according to experts

Putin Unrolls Long-Term Programs to Ensure Russian Support

by Kester Kenn Klomegah The 12-year development plan popularly referred to as Plan Putina seeks to bring improvements in education, housing, agriculture and healthcare that analysts say could help Putin maintain his popularity until he decides to seek presidency again

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