Raw thermite in the WTC ruble (thanks projectfalcon for pointing out my typo)

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McKinney Grills Rumsfeld

Blackwater critics to Pentagon: Don’t say we didn’t warn you

Defense and legal experts issued two years worth of warnings to the Pentagon about its heavy reliance on Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms in Iraq — and watched as the Defense Department continued to expand its use of the contractors, according to a new report.In a series of memos, letters and in-person meetings with high-level officials in the US and Iraq, critics had warned of a “lack of control” over the private guards, writes the the Washington Post‘s Steve Fainaru. But despite a growing number of incidents in which Blackwater employees allegedly shot and killed Iraqi civilians, the US government was slow to act.

“We set this thing up for failure from the beginning,” a retired Marine colonel who advised Iraqi military forces in 2004 told the Post. “We’re just sorting it out now…I still think, from a pure counterinsurgency standpoint, armed contractors are an inherently bad idea, because you cannot control the quality, you cannot control the action on the ground, but you’re held responsible for everything they do.”

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‘Long shot’ Kucinich scores 77% in independent poll

Independent vote a key factor in NH, 28 other statesDemocratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich, who has been the runaway winner in polls of the Party’s progressive, grassroots base in recent weeks, scored a landslide win yesterday by capturing almost 77% of the vote in a nationwide poll sponsored by a coalition of Independent voting groups across the country.
Of the more than 80,000 votes cast for Democratic candidates at http://www.independentprimary.com by self-described independent voters, the Ohio Congressman received 61,477 – more than three times the combined total of all the other candidates. Former Senator John Edwards came in second with only 7,614 votes, or 9.5 percent. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were third and fourth respectively.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich, who has been the runaway winner in polls of the Party’s progressive, grassroots base in recent weeks, scored a landslide win yesterday by capturing almost 77% of the vote in a nationwide poll sponsored by a coalition of Independent voting groups across the country.

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CIA chief to drag White House into torture cover-up storm

THE CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of two top Al-Qaeda suspects has indicated he may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee.

Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, is determined not to become the fall guy in the controversy over the CIA’s use of torture, according to intelligence sources.

It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”

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