Ailing GIs deployed to war zones

COLORADO SPRINGS — Fort Carson sent soldiers who were not medically fit to war zones last month to meet “deployable strength” goals, according to e-mails obtained by The Denver Post.

One e-mail, written Jan. 3 by the surgeon for Fort Carson’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, says: “We have been having issues reaching deployable strength, and thus have been taking along some borderline soldiers who we would otherwise have left behind for continued treatment.”

Capt. Scot Tebo’s e-mail was, in part, a reference to Master Sgt. Denny Nelson, a 19-year Army veteran, who was sent overseas last month despite doctors’ orders that he not run, jump or carry more than 20 pounds for three months because of a severe foot injury.

Nelson took the medical report to the Soldier Readiness Process, or SRP, site on Fort Carson, where health-care professionals recommended Nelson stay home.

The soldier, who has a Bronze Star and is a member of the Mountain Post’s Audie Murphy Chapter, was sent to Kuwait on Dec. 29.

Nelson says he was one of at least 52 soldiers deployed who should not have been, and a veterans group says the military is endangering soldiers to meet its goals.

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Ex-CIA Official May Refuse To Testify About Videotapes

Not just any former CIA official but the head of clandestine operations such as rendition, waterboarding, torture, kidnapping and murder, all in the name of “the war on terror”.

A former CIA official at the center of the controversy over destroyed interrogation videotapes has been blocked by Justice Department officials from gaining access to government records about the incident, according to sources familiar with the case.

Federal Judge Won’t Review Destruction Of CIA Videotapes
Thursday, Jan. 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET: National Security and Intelligence
The former official, Jose Rodriguez Jr., has also told the House intelligence committee through a letter from his attorney that he will refuse to testify next week about the tapes unless he is granted immunity from prosecution for his statements, the sources said.

The panel has issued a subpoena for Rodriguez, the former chief of clandestine operations who issued the order to destroy the videotapes in 2005. He and other former CIA officials are also being blocked from gaining access to documents about the incident, sources said.

Private soldiers no longer above the law

A Hughes 500 helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provide cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad
A helicopter operated by the US private security company Blackwater provides cover for a US ground convoy in Baghdad. Photograph: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images
 

The House of Representatives today passed a bill to end the immunity of private security companies such as Blackwater in war zones.Blackwater, at the centre of a controversy over the killing of at least 11 civilians in Baghdad last month, is, like the other 170 private security companies operating in the country, subject to neither US nor Iraqi law.

The House bill closes this loophole. It secured the support of both Democrats and Republicans and was passed with an overwhelming majority, 389 to 30.

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Pentagon Issues Blackwater New $92 Million Contract

Presidential Airways, Inc is not just a nice aviation service, they have been implicated in the CIA rendition flights.
It is extremely worrying the a trigger happy mercenary group closely connected to Cheney gets this job in a highly volatile region were appart from Afghanistan no official American business is conducted.  

Earlier this month, Blackwater USA was involved in the fatal shooting of 11 Iraqi civilians. While the Iraqi government swiftly condemned the contractor, the Bush administration has continued to back Blackwater’s story that it was “defensive fire.”

Last Thursday, Gen. Peter Pace told reporters, “Blackwater has been a contractor in the past with the department and could certainly be in the future.” The next day, that future was already here. The Pentagon had issued a new list of contracts, including one worth $92 million to Presidential Airways, the “aviation unit of parent company Blackwater.” From the release:

Presidential Airways, Inc., an aviation Worldwide Services company (d/b/a Blackwater Aviation), Moyock, N.C., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) type contract for $92,000,000.00. The contractor is to provide all fixed-wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance and supervision necessary to perform passenger, cargo and combi Short Take-Off and Landing air transportation services between locations in the Area of Responsibility of Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. This contract was competitively procured and two timely offers were received. The performance period is from 1 Oct. 2007 to 30 September 2011.

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International narcotics agenda behind Myanmar instability

by Larry Chin

Global Research, September 28, 2007
For the past month, the military government of Myanmar has been the focus of increasingly strident demonstrations, resulting in violent military crackdowns in recent days.

What must be noted is the Bush administration’s open support for the dissidents, in conjunction with growing international (Western) support behind a coup attempt, and the likely parapolitical goals behind this agenda.

The demise of the Golden Triangle: bad for business

According to a report by Thomas Fuller of the International Herald Tribune, the Golden Triangle has, in recent years, lost its prominence as a narco-region. In fact, the legendary Triangle now accounts for as little as 5% of world opium supply, according to some estimates.

Notorious Golden Triangle loses sway in opium trade

Thomas Fuller, International Herald Tribune, September 11, 2007

Not surprisingly, the Golden Crescent and Afghanistan now under control of the US and its drug-intelligence proxies, is by far and away the world’s number one opium supplier, as well as the top overall drug producing region, dwarfing Colombia and the Golden Triangle.

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Alleged Iranian ‘Front’ Represented by Mukasey Law Firm

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

Allegediranian_mn For more than 25 years, U.S. intelligence and law enforcement authorities say they have suspected the New York-based Alavi Foundation is a “front” for Iranian espionage and anti-American activities.

For more than 25 years, court records show the foundation has been publicly defended and represented by the New York law firm where attorney-general nominee Michael Mukasey is a partner: Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP.

The foundation says the firm continues to represent it.

Mukasey personally handled at least one matter in court for the foundation.

That case, a real estate dispute, began in 1981 when reports first surfaced that the foundation, originally set up by the Shah, had been taken over by the new Ayatollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mukasey took it to trial in 1984.

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Video of tasered student

A truly disgusting piece of police brutality.

But than you have to remember that Kerry did concede rather quick and he is a member of scull and bones and he is married to a descendant of one of the families who together with Prescott Bush were caught in preparing a coup in America in 1936. Yes, you got it the Heinz family. 

Update: Rice apologises for US security firm shootings

Yep, looks like Blackwater is going nowhere. 

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Tuesday September 18, 2007
The Guardian

Members of Blackwater scan Baghdad from their helicopter
Members of Blackwater scan Baghdad from their helicopter. Photograph: Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty
 

The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, apologised to the Iraqi government yesterday in an attempt to prevent the expulsion of all employees of the security firm Blackwater USA.The ministry of interior yesterday took the decision to expel Blackwater after eight Iraqi civilians were killed and 13 wounded in Baghdad when shots were fired from a US state department convoy on Sunday.

Diplomats, engineers and other westerners in Iraq rely heavily on protection by Blackwater. The Iraqi decision created confusion on the ground, with uncertainty over whether protection was still available and whether Blackwater staff should leave the country immediately.

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Update: Will Iraq Kick Out Blackwater?

Blackwater US private security contractors secure a site in Baghdad where a roadside bomb exploded near the Iranian embassy, 2005.

Ahmad al-Rubaye / AFP / Getty

TIME has obtained an incident report prepared by the U.S. government describing a fire fight Sunday in Baghdad in which at least eight Iraqis were reported killed and 13 wounded. The deadly incident occurred when a convoy of U.S. personnel protected by Blackwater security contractors came under small arms fire. Blackwater returned fire, resulting in the Iraqi deaths. The loss of life has provoked anger in Baghdad, where the Interior Ministry has suspended Blackwater’s license to operate around the country. Several Iraqi government officials have indicated their opposition to Blackwater’s continued presence in their country.

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manufacturing consent: Iranian Arms Destined for Taliban Seized in Afghanistan, Officials Say

‘Large’ Shipment Said to Include Armor-Piercing Bombs

By Robin Wright

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 16, 2007; Page A19

An Iranian arms shipment destined for the Taliban was intercepted Sept. 6 by the international force in Afghanistan in what appears to be an escalating flow of weaponry between the two former enemies, according to officials from countries in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

The shipment included armor-piercing bombs known as explosively formed projectiles, the sources said, which have been especially deadly when used as roadside bombs against foreign troops in Iraq. The NATO-led force interdicted two smaller shipments of similar weapons from Iran into southern Helmand province April 11 and May 3.

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Duty, Honor, Country 2007

warcrim

An Open Letter to the New Generation of Military Officers Serving and Protecting Our Nation

By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots

9/14/07

“The Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were ‘only carrying out their orders’… The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the ‘highest law of the land,’ equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention… Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.”

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Mystery deepens over Israeli strike on Syria

By Donald Macintyrein Jerusalem

Published: 15 September 2007

 

Israel is still maintaining official silence a week after Syria complained that Israeli aircraft invaded its airspace in a mysterious incident which raised tensions and triggered a welter of US media speculation about possible targets for the operation.

Explanations – for what anonymous US officials have said was a strike inside Syria – range from suggesting it was aimed at the shipment of weapons to Hizbollah from Iran, to saying Syria may be building a nuclear facility with North Korean help.

Syria, which has asked for a formal complaint to be “circulated” to the UN Security Council, said last week that Israeli aircraft unloaded ammunition after being spotted and fired on by its air defences but inflicted no damage.

Reuters, The New York Times and CNN have all quoted officials – mainly in the US – as saying that Israel carried out a strike in Syria. Reuters quoted an unnamed US official on Wednesday as saying: “The strike I can confirm. The target I can’t.” The agency quoted another US official as saying that reports on the targets were “confused”.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported this week a US official as saying that recent satellite imagery, mainly provided by Israel, suggested that Syria may building some form of nuclear facility with the help of material unloaded by North Korea.

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U.S.: Syria on nuclear watch list

Uh oh!

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 49 minutes ago
ROME – A senior U.S. nuclear official said Friday that North Koreans were in Syria and that Damascus may have had contacts with “secret suppliers” to obtain nuclear equipment.

Andrew Semmel, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for nuclear nonproliferation policy, did not identify the suppliers, but said North Koreans were in the country and that he could not exclude that the network run by the disgraced Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan may have been involved.

He said it was not known if the contacts had produced any results. “Whether anything transpired remains to be seen,” he said.

Syria has never commented publicly on its nuclear program. It has a small research nuclear reactor, as do several other countries in the region, including Egypt. While Israel and the U.S. have expressed concerns in the past, Damascus has not been known to make a serious push to develop a nuclear energy or weapons program.

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Cholera Epidemic Infects 7,000 People in Iraq

Yep, the surge is working, add genocide through sickness to the list of war crimes.

BAGHDAD, Sept. 11 — A cholera epidemic in northern Iraq has infected approximately 7,000 people and could reach Baghdad within weeks as the disease spreads through the country’s decrepit and unsanitary water system, Iraqi health officials said Tuesday.

The World Health Organization reported that the epidemic is concentrated in the northern regions of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniya and that 10 people are known to have died. But Dr. Said Hakki, president of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, a relief organization that has responded to the epidemic, said that new cases had turned up in the neighboring provinces, Erbil and Nineveh, indicating that the disease had spread.

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Most significant, Dr. Hakki said, were two cases in a village on the border between Kirkuk and Diyala Provinces, one involving a young girl. Baghdad is next to Diyala.

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Exxon seeks deal on Venezuela oil

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Mr Chavez’s government took control of the oil project in May

Exxon Mobil is seeking arbitration over a stand-off with Venezuela about the takeover of its oil assets.The US oil firm made its case to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a group with close ties to the World Bank.

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Refuse to fight

The world is very weary of all this and wants to laugh again

By William Blum

09/11/07 “ICH” — — Okay, Bush ain’t gonna get out of Iraq no matter what anyone says or does short of a)impeachment, b)a lobotomy, or c)one of his daughters setting herself afire in the Oval Office as a war protest. A few days ago, upon arriving in Australia, “in a chipper mood”, he was asked by the Deputy Prime Minister about his stopover in Iraq. “We’re kicking ass,” replied the idiot king.[1] Another epigram for his tombstone.

And the Democrats ain’t gonna end the war. Ninety-nine percent of the American people protesting on the same day ain’t gonna do it either, in this democracy. (No, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think the Vietnam protesters ended the war. There were nine years of protest — 1964 to 1973 — before the US military left Vietnam. It’s a stretch to ascribe a cause and effect to that. The United States, after all, had to leave sometime.)

Only those fighting the war can end it. By laying down their arms and refusing to kill anymore, including themselves. Some American soldiers in Iraq have already refused to go on very dangerous combat missions. Iraq Veterans Against the War, last month at their annual meeting, in St. Louis, voted to launch a campaign encouraging American troops to refuse to fight. “Iraq Veterans Against the War decided to make support of war resisters a major part of what we do,” said Garrett Rappenhagen, a former U.S. Army sniper who served in Iraq from February 2004 to February 2005.

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Terrorists set to go nuclear, author warns

Oh, Oh, another announcement from a Bush insider!!

Published: Monday, September 10, 2007

Ron Kessler, the New York Times bestselling writer with extraordinary access to the CIA, FBI and White House, says his top worry is a nuclear strike on the U.S. by al-Qaeda.

“It would be the real thing,” he says, “a nuclear device brought into the country in a small package. It may not be a dirty bomb, but a real device that could kill hundreds of thousands of people.

“I’ve just interviewed (FBI chief Robert) Mueller,” he told the Citizen recently, “and he talked about (a nuclear strike) as his biggest concern. It’s something he wakes up thinking about at night.”

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As Alive as Elvis

Sunday, September 9. 2007

On Saturday morning I found a copy of the full Bin Laden (2007-09-07) video. It is 677 Megs and took over two hours to download. By Saturday evening I had finished analyzing the video, and I completed the audio analysis this morning. (There is also a 3-minute version that is the first 3 minutes from the full video.)

My findings? I strongly believe that Bin Laden is dead.

Let’s see how I did on my Friday prediction…

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Dawdler in chief: The suspicious behavior of George W. Bush during the 9/11 attacks

By Matthew Everett
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Sep 11, 2007, 00:42

“Sandy Kress, Bush’s unpaid education advisor, was puzzled. Bush was always on time. But on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, he seemed to want to linger, talking about politics and mutual friends in Texas.” [1] So wrote Ronald Kessler in his account of the Bush presidency, A Matter of Character. The time in question was around 8:30 a.m., a quarter of an hour after American Airlines Flight 11 had broken communication with air traffic controllers. The 9/11 attacks were now underway. While many odd things took place that morning, Kress’s observation highlights another curious detail: On September 11, 2001, President Bush was running late.

This would be of little significance were it not for the fact that this behavior was completely out of character for the president. Bush is not known for dawdling. For example, earlier in 2001, CNN’s congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl talked of “Bush’s reputation for being punctual.” [2] According to David Frum, a former speechwriter for the president: “Bush is famous for his punctuality.” [3] Sandy Kress has called him “a very punctual person.” [4] According to the Washington Post: “Bush’s staff, his friends, his family, his wife” all describe him as “an intensely disciplined and focused individual,” who “puts a premium on punctuality.” [5] The London Times stated it more bluntly: “There has probably never been a president, there may not have been a human being, who observes punctuality with the sort of fanaticism that President George W. Bush brings to every aspect of his life.” [6] That was not, however, the case the morning of September 11.

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September 11: What You “Ought Not to Know”

by Greg Palast

Watch the BBC Report / Read the Transcript
September 10, 2007- On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, “were told to back off the Saudis.”

We knew that. In the newsroom, we had a document already in hand, marked, “SECRET” across the top and “199-I” – meaning this was a national security matter.

The secret memo released agents to hunt down two members of the bin Laden family operating a “suspected terrorist organization” in the USA. It was dated September 13, 2001 — two days too late for too many. What the memo indicates, corroborated by other sources, was that the agents had long wanted to question these characters … but could not until after the attack. By that time, these bin Laden birds had flown their American nest.

Back to the high-level agent. I pressed him to tell me exactly which investigations were spiked. None of this interview dance was easy, requiring switching to untraceable phones. Ultimately, the insider said, “Khan Labs.” At the time, our intelligence agencies were on the trail of Pakistan’s Dr. Strangelove, A.Q. Khan, who built Pakistan’s bomb and was selling its secrets to the Libyans. But once Bush and Condoleeza Rice’s team took over, the source told us, agents were forced to let a hot trail go cold. Specifically, there were limits on tracing the Saudi money behind this “Islamic bomb.”

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