Friday, October 14, 2005

Argus Censors Story on Scientology Infiltration of St. Louis Schools 

Argus Blog, Oct. 14:

Peter Downs, publisher of St. Louis Schools Watch and regular contributor to The St. Louis Argus, submitted an article to the Argus this week about controversy surrounding Applied Scholastics, a school vendor with ties to Scientology.

Downs writes in his latest SLS Watch email, "While at the printer, the publisher pulled the article and replaced it with a press release from Applied Scholastics. A senior vice president of Applied Scholastics, Mary Adams, invited the publisher, Eddie Hasan, to visit their headquarters with his daughter [State Rep. Yaphett El-Amin, who is running for state senate] to meet Isaac Hayes [who is also a Scientologist]."

It's times like this that The Argus Blogger is glad that STLArgus.com is independent.

[read more]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Plame Case Widens 

The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 12:

by John D. McKinnon, Joe Hagan and Anne Marie Squeo

The New York Times reporter who went to jail to avoid testifying in the CIA leak case was quizzed by the special prosecutor again yesterday and has agreed to return to the grand jury today.

Judith Miller's additional testimony comes as the endgame is intensifying in the legal chess match that threatens to damage the Bush administration.

There are signs that prosecutors now are looking into contacts between administration officials and journalists that took place much earlier than previously thought. Earlier conversations are potentially significant, because that suggests the special prosecutor leading the investigation is exploring whether there was an effort within the administration at an early stage to develop and disseminate confidential information to the press that could undercut former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Central Intelligence Agency official Valerie Plame.

Mr. Wilson had become a thorn in the Bush administration's side, as he sought to undermine the administration's claims that Iraq had sought to buy materials for building nuclear weapons from other countries, such as uranium "yellowcake" from Niger. Ultimately, his wife's name and identity were disclosed in a newspaper column, prompting the investigation into whether someone in the administration broke the law by revealing the identity of an undercover agent. ...

[read more]

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Death to Swimmers! 

Federal Register, Oct. 3:

The Coast Guard announces the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) of the Integrated Anti-Swimmer System (IAS). The Coast Guard is proposing to deploy and operate the IAS for temporary periods at various U.S. ports throughout the U.S. Maritime Domain, when necessary. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to increase the Coast Guard's ability to detect, track, classify, and interdict, if necessary, potential underwater threats and as a result, protect personnel, ships, and property from sabotage and/or other subversive acts. Potential threats targeted by the IAS include
combat divers and unmanned vehicles. The IAS will be co-located with, and used by, the Coast Guard's newly established Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs). The IAS is proposed to be used at a range necessary to maintain situational awareness and allow the MSSTs sufficient time to react and counter a detected threat. Extensive research and analysis of alternatives has led to the conclusion that an active sonar system is the only currently available technology that affords this capability.

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Italians Charge 3 More in CIA-Instigated Abduction 

BBC, Sept. 30:

An Italian court has issued three more arrest warrants for suspected CIA agents accused of helping to kidnap a Muslim cleric in 2003.

The authorities have already ordered the arrest of 19 people suspected of being involved in the abduction of Egyptian Osama Mustafa Hassan.

The suspects are accused of abducting Mr Hassan, also known as Abu Omar, and flying him to Egypt for interrogation.

Correspondents say the case has soured relations between Washington and Rome.

Italy says the alleged operation hindered Italian terrorism investigations.

No arrests have been made. None of the suspects is currently believed to be in Italy. ...

[read more]

Nixon Files on Hoffa Pardon To Be Released 

Federal Register, Sept. 30:

This notice announces the opening of additional files from the Nixon Presidential historical materials. Notice is hereby given that, in accordance with sections 104 of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act. ...

The integral file segments of textual materials to be opened on November 16, 2005, consists of 40.8 cubic feet. The White House Central Files Unit is a permanent organization within the White House complex that maintains a central filing and
retrieval system for the records of the President and his staff.

1. One file group from the Staff Member and Office Files, listed below, will be made available to the public. This consists of materials that were transferred to the Central Files but were not incorporated into the Subject Files.

File Group: Joseph Fred Buzhardt Jr.: Pardon File for James R. Hoffa. Volume: 2.6 cubic feet. ...

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Missing Blues Brother Stumbles Into White House 

... on a mission from God

The Guardian (London), Oct. 7:

George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a senior Palestinian politician in an interview to be broadcast by the BBC later this month.

Mr Bush revealed the extent of his religious fervour when he met a Palestinian delegation during the Israeli-Palestinian summit at the Egpytian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, four months after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

One of the delegates, Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I am driven with a mission from God'. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

Mr Bush went on: "And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East'. And, by God, I'm gonna do it."

Mr Bush, who became a born-again Christian at 40, is one of the most overtly religious leaders to occupy the White House, a fact which brings him much support in middle America. ...

[read more]

In Iraq, It's Open Season on Sunnis 

Associated Press, Oct. 7:

The 22 bodies, lined up in coffins in a mosque courtyard Friday, are as shriveled as ancient mummies after lying a month in the desert where they were dumped, bound and bullet-ridden. They were Sunni Arabs, rounded up from their Baghdad homes one night by men in police uniforms.

Relatives and neighbors in mourning are convinced they were killed by government-linked Shiite death squads they say are behind corpses that turn up nearly every day in and around the capital - two more on Friday. Now some Sunnis are vowing to take action to protect themselves.

At least 539 bodies have been found since Iraq's interim government was formed April 28 - 204 in Baghdad - according to an Associated Press count. The identities of many are unknown, but 116 are known to be Sunnis, 43 Shiites and one Kurd. Some are likely victims of crime - including kidnappings - rampant in some cities and as dangerous to Iraqis as political violence.

The count may be low since one or two bodies are found almost daily and are never reported. ...

[read more]

Legalizing What They've Always Done 

Washington Post, Oct. 8:

As part of the expanding counterterrorism role being taken on by the Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agency covert operatives need to be able to approach potential sources in the United States without identifying themselves as government agents, George Peirce, the DIA's general counsel, said yesterday.

"This is not about spying on Americans," Peirce said in an interview in which he defended legislative language approved last week by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The provision would grant limited authority for DIA agents to clandestinely collect information about US citizens or emigres in this country to help determine whether they could be recruited as sources of intelligence information.

"We are not asking for the moon," Peirce said. "We only want to assess their suitability as a source, person to person" and at the same time "protect the ID and safety of our officers." The CIA and the FBI already have such authority, he added, and the DIA needs it "to develop critical leads" because "there is more than enough work for all of us to do." ...

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