Saturday, May 28, 2005

Aljazeera Buzz: "UN Secretary General Bill Clinton" 

Aljazeera, May 26:

... The U.S. official admitted that the possibility of Bill Clinton as the UN’s secretary-general, is still a long shot but is one being taken more seriously than in the past. ...

[read more]

MTV Bans 9-Inch Nails' Anti-War Performance 


Reuters, May 28:

The rock band Nine Inch Nails said on Friday it canceled plans to appear on next week's MTV Movie Awards after the network questioned the band's plans to perform in front of an image of President Bush.

The band was slated to perform "The Hand That Feeds," the first single from its latest album.

A Los Angeles Times review called the song "a warning against blind acceptance of authority, including that of a president leading his nation to war."

"We were set to perform 'The Hand That Feeds' with an unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me," Nine Inch Nails' leader Trent Reznor said in a statement posted on the band's Web site.

[read more]

Wash U's $4 Billion Endowment Ranks 13th in U.S. 

St. Louis' Washington University, which has an endowment estimated at $4 billion by the Associated Press, nevertheless, charges its employees to park and can't seem to find enough money to pay contracted Hispanic lawncare workers a decent wage. Since students went on a hunger strike earlier this year in support of the low-wage workers, the university administration has made some public concessions, but is now quietly telling some facets of its academic community that the agreed-upon wage increases will mean cutbacks in other budget areas.

Associated Press, May 22:

by Justin Pope

... Forty-seven U.S. colleges and universities now have endowments of $1 billion or more, compared to 17 a decade ago, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Harvard alone has $22 billion, nearly $10 billion more than No. 2 Yale.

For American colleges, $1 billion has become a benchmark, a point beyond which schools can stop worrying about the day-to-day and dream big. ...

[read more]

W. Va. Homeland Security Chief Gets Free Ride 

Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette, May 22:

by Eric Eyre and Scott Finn

West Virginia’s former homeland security chief made frequent use of his state-issued gasoline credit card.

Neal Sharp sometimes filled up twice a day, even when he didn’t leave town. He charged the state for gasoline on weekends and holidays when he wasn’t working. He gassed up a vehicle one day when he was off sick, records show.

He even tapped the state credit card on New Year’s Day 2004 and used his state-issued West Virginia Turnpike “EZ Pass” to drive to Beckley. His time card shows he wasn’t working that day. He also used his state credit card to fill up the day before and after the holiday trip.

Sharp purchased gasoline with his state credit card at least 30 times on days he wasn’t working, according to a Sunday Gazette-Mail analysis of his time cards and credit card purchases.

He charged $6,764 on the state card from July 2003, when he started using the card, to last March shortly before he resigned. That’s about $350 a month for gas, oil changes and other routine maintenance. ...

[read more]

Ohio Pirate Station Actually Operated by Clear Channel 

Stay Free, May 25:

It's official: even Clear Channel is sick of Clear Channel. The company has set up a fake pirate radio station [taken down, 5/26/05] in Akron, Ohio, which it's using to hurl insults at other Clear Channel stations. For about a week, Radio Free Ohio has feigned overthrowing Ohio's media monopoly by bleeding its broadcasts into WNIR and other Clear Channel stations. ...

The station was outed by someone at WOXY, who looked up the Radio Free domain name and saw that it was owned by Clear Channel in San Antonio.

I supposed this isn't all that surprising coming from the company that pioneered the art of making generic, nationally produced newscasts sound as if they're local. Still, it's hard to believe that upper management would have their heads so far up their asses as to think this is a good idea. Chances are they plan on using this "guerilla" marketing to convert one of their stations to a new "alternative" or liberal talk format, but all it's really going to do is piss people off. ...

[read more]

GPS Panties 

Ever worry about your wife cheating?

Want to know where your daughter is late at night?

Need to know when your girlfriend's temperature is rising?

This amazing device will answer all of your questions! These panties can give you her location, and even her temperature and heart rate, and she will never even know it's there! Unlike the cumbersome and uncomfortable chastity belts of the past, these panties are 100% cotton, and use cutting-edge technology to help you protect what matters most. ...

[read more]

Bush Bund to Media: "Liar, Liar, Shirts On Fire" 

Washington Post, May 27:
by E.J. Dionne Jr.

... Conservative academics have long attacked "postmodernist" philosophies for questioning whether "truth" exists at all and claiming that what we take as "truths" are merely "narratives" woven around some ideological predisposition. Today's conservative activists have become the new postmodernists. They shift attention away from the truth or falsity of specific facts and allegations -- and move the discussion to the motives of the journalists and media organizations putting them forward. Just a modest number of failures can be used to discredit an entire enterprise. ...

[read more]

Saudi King Reported Dead 

[I don't recall hearing this on the NPR news broadcast at noon.]

UPI, May 28:

Reliable sources in the Saudi capital Riyadh said Friday King Fahd is dead, reports the Saudi Institute.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia has been dead since late Wednesday, according to several well-placed sources in the capital Riyadh who spoke to the Saudi Institute, a pro-democracy think tank in Washington, on condition of anonymity. ...

[read more]

Transatlantic Snooping 

The Independent, May 27:

The United States wants Britain's proposed identity cards to have the same microchip and technology as the ones used on American documents.

The aim of getting the same microchip is to ensure compatability in screening terrorist suspects. But it will also mean that information contained in the British cards can be accessed across the Atlantic. ...

[read more]

More Horse Power Than Horse Sense 

CNN, May 27:

When faced with a written test, similar to ones given to beginning drivers applying for licenses, one in ten drivers couldn't get a passing score, according to a study commissioned by GMAC Insurance. ...

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. ...

[read more]

"Hi, Sailor, Imagine Me Command-and-Chief" 

USA Today, May 27:

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.

[read more]

Wall Street Journal Defends Torture 

World Socialist, May 25:
by Bill Van Auken

In an editorial titled “As bad as the Nazis,” the Wall Street Journal Monday launched a smear campaign against the International Committee of the Red Cross, while attempting to cover up the crimes carried out by the US military in the illegal war in Iraq.

The newspaper’s editorial board, whose right-wing writings closely reflect prevailing opinion within the Bush administration, feigned outrage at an alleged incident in which an exasperated Red Cross official compared the US personnel at Camp Bucca, a detention camp in Iraq, to Nazi concentration camp guards.

The real source of the Journal’s ire, however, was the ICRC’s May 19 statement revealing that it had repeatedly complained to US authorities over the abuses against the Koran at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp that were referred to in a brief report published by Newsweek magazine earlier this month. ...

[read more]

Cold Case: Ed Rothstein Stirring Things Up in Iowa 

KWWL-TV, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City,

A cold case is heating up. Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch vanished without a trace in 1982. But, now, after KWWL's story last month on Johnny's disappearance, there is new information on the case.

A private investigator working Johnny's disappearance believe his kidnapping was part of a government conspiracy. The investigator shared new evidence with KWWL and it could be the break needed to solve this case. That evidence includes a recorded phone call that has never been heard publicly, until now.

During the early morning of Septmeber 5, 1982, Johnny Gosch was kidnapped from a West Des Moines neighborhood while delivering newspapers. It was silent, quick and professional. "This man has told us that at the end of their investigation that there were 834 kids involved that were kidnapped," says James Rothstein.  He's talking about a former CIA agent who must remain anonymous.

Rothstein is a former New York City police detective, now a private investigator working the case for Johnny's mother, Noreen. And within the last couple weeks, Rothstein has uncovered new evidence linking Johnny's kidnapping to child prostitution. "It basically came down to one thing and one thing only. You know, it was money. These kids were being grabbed to satisfy the malignant, twisted, you know, evil depravity of very powerful individuals who have the money," he says. ...

[read more]

State-Run Coin Laundry 

Business Week, May 27:

The director of Ohio's workers compensation bureau is resigning amid a growing scandal over millions of dollars missing from a rare coin investment fund, Gov. Bob Taft said Friday.

    Neither workers comp Administrator James Conrad nor any member of his staff told the governor about the state's investment in coins, Taft said. When questions were raised in April, agency officials told Taft the investment was profitable and safe.

    State officials had said Thursday they plan to sue coin dealer Tom Noe and seek criminal charges after his attorney told them that about $10 million of the state's $55 million investment in rare coins is missing.

    A consultant had originally alerted the bureau a few months ago that coins worth an estimated $400,000 had vanished.

[read more]

Friday, May 27, 2005

To Torture, or Not To Torture, Why Is That the Question? 

Slate, May 26:
by Emily Bazelon, Phillip Carter, and Dahlia Lithwick

Every few months a new story of torture by American troops or agents emerges in the media. Usually it is misunderstood, spun for propaganda, or ignored altogether. Yet understanding U.S. interrogation practices is vitally important, now more than ever, because these events (and their coverage) have a decided impact on our national security. Whether through an account of a savage prisoner-killing in Afghanistan or a Quran being desecrated in Guantanamo Bay, the world sees and judges us based on these stories.

Many Americans feel uneasy about the idea of torturing prisoners; others accept that desperate times may call for desperate security measures. Either view leaves open hard questions. For those who are ready to countenance torture to prevent the detonation of a "ticking time bomb," who should be authorized to decide when that situation has arisen and how far interrogators should go? The number of official inquiries into whether the interrogation practices in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo rise to the level of torture—as many as 10 to date—demonstrates the difficulty of determining who in the chain of command bears responsibility for tactics that exceed the military's traditional limits.

The very word "torture" encompasses too many possibilities. Is scaring a prisoner with a dog really torture in the first place or just a modified fraternity prank? Is hooding a terrorist all that bad? Without a larger context, it's impossible to know how to frame these issues. Which explains why the American public finds itself either "for" or "against" torturing alleged terrorists, without having developed nuanced ideas of what such positions mean. We are debating in black and white instead of recognizing shades of gray. And much of the official thinking has taken place behind closed doors, preventing public understanding of where the relevant government actors have drawn the lines and why.

This series provides the facts and law to illuminate and add depth to the torture debate—not to persuade you to support or oppose it, but to help you formulate your own views on where the acceptable boundaries may lie. We've tried to separate facts from analysis, using principally the primary documents made available through government reports, leaks, or Freedom of Information Act requests. The aim is to inform the national conversation about the way America acts in the war against terror. ...

[read more]

Yes, We Have No Bananas 

Reuters, May 27:

Customs agents inspecting a shipment of plantains thought some of the green bananas seemed unusually hard and cut them open, finding more than 750 pounds of cocaine stuffed inside what turned out to be phony fruit. ...

[read more]

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hard Sell 

The Phallic Logo Awards

The game designers across the nation are playing is; can they design a logo and get it approved without the client realising it's a big spurting penis?

We asked our readers to send in the best cock logos from around the world for our team of experts to evaluate. Now we present to you the very cream of the cocks.

[read more]

Latest U.S. War Dead 

Cryptome, May 25:

May 25, 2005.

Soldier Sgt. Charles T. Wilkerson, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., died May 22 in Baghdad, Iraq, when an unknown ordnance detonated near his tent.

Marine Sgt. Christopher S. Perez, 30, of Hutchinson, Kan., died May 23 from wounds received as a result of an indirect fire attack while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ramadi, Iraq.

Soldier Sgt. John B. Ogburn III, 45, of Fruitland, Ore., died May 22, in Kirkuk, Iraq, when his HMMWV overturned after the driver avoided striking a civilian vehicle.

Soldier Sgt. Carl J. Morgain, 40, of Butler, Pa., died May 22, in Balad, Iraq, of injuries sustained in Kadasia, Iraq, when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV.

Soldier Sgt. 1st Class Peter J. Hahn, 31, of Metairie, La., died May 24, in Baghdad, Iraq, when his observation point was engaged by enemy forces using small arms fire.

May 24, 2005.

[read more]

From the Folks Who Brought You Abu Ghraib 

by John Stanton, courtesy of Cryptome:

According to the Federal Procurement Data System (fpds.gov) database, the US DOD's US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has awarded just over 29,000 contracts since at least October of 2003. A review of 2,000 of those contracts shows that awards go to the usual suspects like SAIC, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Some go to unusual suspects like Colombia Tri-Star pictures and Time Warner for movie and video distribution services.

Within that batch of 2,000 contracts are approximately 50 mentions of a "classified domestic contractor" and a "classified foreign contractor" operating at 18th & F Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tallying up the numbers, it turns out that these two contractors have received approximately $100 million for contingency operations in amounts ranging from $17K to $25M (USD). The bulk of the money has been let to the classified domestic contractor (the foreign contractor is based in the United Kingdom). At least 296 actions (awards, transfer of funds) have taken place on the contract and there have been at least 17 modifications. The contract is consistently extended and will run to at least September of 2006. ...

(CACI logged onto Media Mayhem last week, by the way. I'm sorry I disappointed them. No hard feelings guys.)

[read more]

CACI's Fake Addresses: Knock, Knock, Knocking on Spookdom's Door 

Go down this rabbit hole and see where it get ya:

The address of "18th and F Street" is the ghost address for the GSA and is used when the government needs a double blind address they can list for a U.S. Government ghost contractor. The legal flacks at CACI are correct is claiming that CACI does not have an office at that location as they don't. It is a government office building used by GSA that is 2 blocks away from the White House complex, and only a few blocks away from the State Department. The "proper physical address" for this location for actually: "1800 F Street NW", and not the "18th and F Street" address which is commonly used as a placeholder for black contracts and purchases. ...

[read more]

Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor ... 

Air Force Pork Belly Report, May 26:

AAR Mobility Systems, Cadillac, Mich., is being awarded a $23,670,049 firm fixed-price contract.  This action is a basic requirement contract for, best estimated quantity of 10,000 new 463L Pallets and 6,000 repair efforts on 463L Pallets, the United States Air Force acquired by the Support Equipment and Vehicle Management Directorate at Robins AFB, Ga.  This effort supports Cargo Aircraft’s; C-130, C-5 and C-141.  This work will be complete by June 2006.  Solicitation began February 2005 and negotiations were completed May 2005.  The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., is the contracting activity (FA8519-05-D-0007). ...

[read more]

No Shit, Sherlock 

Reuters, May 25:

Four years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, human rights are in retreat worldwide and the United States bears most responsibility, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

[read more]

Thank God for Helen Thomas 

She's got more balls and brains than Bill McClellan and Post-Dispatch resident militarist Harry Levins put together.

Q The other day -- in fact, this week, you said that we, the United
States, is in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to
correct that incredible distortion of American history --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we are -- that's where we currently --

Q -- in view of your credibility is already mired? How can you say

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I think everyone in this room knows that you're
taking that comment out of context. There are two
democratically-elected governments in Iraq and --

Q We're we invited into Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: There are two democratically-elected governments now
Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are
sovereign governments, and we are there today --

Q You mean if they had asked us out, that we would have left?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at
their invitation. They are sovereign governments --

Q I'm talking about today, too.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and we are doing all we can to train and equip
security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they
move forward on a free and democratic future.

Q Did we invade those countries?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Steve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Flushing of Koran Routine at Guitmo, FBI Says 

Newsweek recanted its own reporting on this allegation last week under pressure from the White House.

Los Angles Times, May 24:
by Richard B. Schmitt

FBI interviews at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in 2002 and 2003 reflected allegations by detainees that guards desecrated the Koran on numerous occasions, and that perceived abuses of the Muslim holy book triggered unrest and even a possible suicide attempt, newly released government documents revealed today.

The allegations include an incident in which guards "flushed a Koran in the toilet" and used the Koran as a weapon to gain the cooperation of detainees, the documents show.

In another incident, a detainee refused to cooperate with investigators because of an alleged incident involving an interrogator "humiliating the Koran" during the interrogation of another inmate.

The documents — the latest to be released as part of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to shed light on the U.S. treatment of prisoners in Cuba — parallel allegations of Koran abuse by detainees in civil lawsuits against U.S. authorities and in interviews with The Times and other news organizations. ...

[read more]

The Head of a Moon Eye Fish for Bait 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 24:

By Tim O'Neil

Tim Pruitt of Alton holds the record-breaking catfish he caught early Sunday morning on the Mississippi River.
(Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

An Alton fisherman, with vital help from his wife and a friend, landed a 124-pound catfish in their johnboat during a late-night outing on the Mississippi River below Alton.

Tim Pruitt caught the fish early Sunday after a 45-minute fight, said Fred Cronin, Illinois district fisheries biologist. The catch easily beats the Illinois and Missouri records for blue catfish and probably is enough for a world record, Cronin said Tuesday. ...

[read more]

Porn Star to Dine with Bush 

Gary and Mary: Child star Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey
two of the fringe candidates who vyed for the California governship. Carey not
Gary will dine with President George W. Bush next month, proving
once again that short people get no respect.

AVN, May 18:

Mary Carey to Dine with President Bush

LOS ANGELES - Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, D.C. on June 14Kulkis was invited to attend the event by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is organizing the event. Over a two-day course of NRCC events preceding the dinner, Carey and Kulkis will be attending a meeting with presidential advisor Karl Rove, giving their recommendations on important national issues.

“I’m hoping to run as Lieutenant Governor of California next year,” Carey said. “Since Arnold {Schwarzenegger} is a Republican, I thought this dinner would be a great networking opportunity for me.” ...

[read more]

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

No Photos of U.S. War Dead Have Appeared in the Post-Dispatch 

Los Angles Times, May 22:

by James Rainey

... A review of six prominent U.S. newspapers and the nation's two most popular news magazines during a recent six-month period found almost no pictures from the war zone of Americans killed in action. During that time, 559 Americans and Western allies died. The same publications ran 44 photos from Iraq to represent the thousands of Westerners wounded during that same time. ...

Many photographers and editors believe they are delivering Americans a muted portrait of the violence that has killed
1,797 U.S. service members and their Western allies and wounded 12,516 Americans. ...

Despite the considerable bloodshed during that half-year, readers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Washington Post did not see a single picture of a dead serviceman. The Seattle Times ran a photo three days before Christmas of the covered body of a soldier killed in the mess hall bombing. Neither Time nor Newsweek, the weekly newsmagazines, showed any U.S. battlefield dead during that time. ...

[read more]

Monday, May 23, 2005

Post-Dispatch Censors Iraq War Photos 

Democracy Now, May 23:

Major Newspaper Show No Photos of Dead U.S. Troops in Iraq

A new review of major US newspapers and magazines has found that the publications are running almost no photographs from Iraq showing U.S. troops killed in action. The Los Angeles Times recently reviewed news reports from September 1st of last year to the end of February of this year. During that period 559 Americans and Western allies died. But readers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Washington Post never saw a single picture of a dead serviceman in their morning papers. Neither did readers of Time nor Newsweek. Steve Stroud, deputy director of photography at the Los Angeles Times said "I feel we still aren't seeing the kind of pictures we need to see to tell the American people about this war and the costs of the war." Veteran war photographer Chris Hondros added "I think if we are going to start a war, we ought to be willing to show the consequences of that war."

[read more]

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Bagram Atrocities Condemned by UN 

CRI (China) Radio, May 22:

The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan has strongly condemned the reported abuse which is said to have resulted in the deaths of two Afghan prisoners in 2002. UNAMA spokesman Richard Provencher described the report in the New York Times as "deeply disturbing".

"Such abuses are utterly unacceptable and are an affront to everything the international community stands for in Afghanistan. It all calls for firm guarantees that such abuses cannot be committed again now or at any time in the future."

The New York Times on Friday cited a 2,000-page confidential file on the Army's criminal investigation into the deaths of two Afghans. They died at the Bagram base north of the capital, Kabul, in December 2002.

Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, who is in the United States for meetings with US president George W Bush, has demanded greater control over American military operations in Afghanistan and vigorous punishment of soldiers who mistreat prisoners. ...

[read more]

Hyperlinking with Capt. Crunch in Cyberspace, Baby 

A quick Google indicates that the original in-the-flesh Captain Crunch was the pseudonym of the most famous predecessor of today's computer hackers. Crunch got his handle by discovering that he could use a toy whistle (found in Capt. Crunch cereal boxes)to break into long-distance phone systems. Crunch and his fellow pirates were known as "phone phreaks."

Earlier this week, I blogged about another Capt. Crunch, whose name appears in an April 28, 2005 Maricopa County, Ariz. forfeiture petition filed by the federal government against Wickenburg, Ariz. retiree Anthony J. Doyle, a former Chicago police officer indicted last month on criminal conspiracy charges along with more than a dirty dozen members of the Chicago Outfit.

The fact that "Capt. Crunch" shows up as a defendent in the feds' forfeiture petition on Doyle's Wickenburg property suggests that Doyle himself was cooperating with the FBI's investigation of the Chicago mob under the codename of the cereal box cartoon character. Given that the original phone phreaker was also named Capt. Crunch because of his ability to "blow the whistle," Doyle's presumed codename possibly makes a little more sense, very little, but a little. Stay tuned.

[read more]

Space, the Last Frontier for Madison Ave. 

CNN, May 20:

The Federal Aviation Administration proposed Thursday to amend its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law that prohibits "obtrusive" advertising in zero gravity.

"Objects placed in orbit, if large enough, could be seen by people around the world for long periods of time," the FAA said in a regulatory filing.

Currently, the FAA lacks the authority to enforce the existing law.

For instance, outsized billboards deployed by a space company into low Earth orbit could appear as large as the moon and be seen without a telescope, the FAA said. Big and bright advertisements might hinder astronomers.

[read more]

Lobbyist Ashcroft Soars Like A C-Note 

Influence (via Law.com), May 16:
by Anna Palmer

John Ashcroft's decision to open his own lobbying shop in Washington, D.C. marks the first time a former attorney general has opened a K Street lobbying firm.

A more typical post-Justice Department move would have been to jump to a law firm or corporation, following in the footsteps of former AGs like Richard Thornburgh, Nicholas Katzenbach and William Barr.

But political insiders say that Ashcroft, a 25-year veteran of politics and former governor and senator from Missouri, may be able to use his controversial tenure as attorney general to his advantage, particularly on homeland security issues.

Ashcroft will be joined at his new firm, dubbed the Ashcroft Group, by longtime Chief of Staff David Ayres and former aide Juleanna Glover Weiss, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock. "It's very clear that [Ashcroft and Ayres] are authorities, if not experts, on everything from homeland security to law enforcement to corporate governance issues," Weiss said. "I wouldn't be surprised to see Ashcroft on [Capitol] Hill."

David Israelite, Ashcroft's former deputy chief of staff at the Justice Department and now president of the National Music Publishers Association, says Ashcroft is well positioned to make the move into lobbying. "This was really something that was a natural progression for what he's doing," he said. "There's such a demand for his advice."

Ashcroft and Ayres declined to comment.

Weiss' move to the Ashcroft Group comes at the same time as another Clark & Weinstock lobbyist, former Rep. Vic Fazio, D-Calif., is exiting the firm. Fazio is heading to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. ...

[read more]

Karzia's Reaction: Shock and Raw BS 

Associated Press, May 21:

Afghanistan's president on Saturday demanded "very, very strong" action by the United States against any military personnel found to be abusing prisoners, after a newspaper report alleged maltreatment of detainees at the main US base here.

President Hamid Karzai said he will bring up the issue when he meets American leaders during a four-day visit to the United States starting Saturday.

The abuse allegations were in a New York Times report Friday that cited a 2,000-page confidential file on the Army's criminal investigation into the deaths of two Afghans at the Bagram base north of the capital, Kabul, in December 2002.

"It has shocked me totally. We condemn it. We want the US government to take very, very strong action to take away people like that working with their forces in Afghanistan," he told reporters before leaving Kabul. "Definitely ... I will see about that when I am in the United States." ...

[read more]

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