interpreting the constitution
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

fun d' mental






previous editions

     Links of the Week

Net Neutrality and the Effects
on Consumers : American
Consumer Institute report

Media Tracker :   Database of
media ownership by zip code :
Center for Public Integrity

The vision of Piers Plowman,
University of Virginia

Ritual Cache : Salado branch
of the Mogollon, Southeastern
Arizona,  A.D. 1300/1400 Art
Institute of Chicago

contact us
back to top of
crowd control
source: Viroqua
number 102    
verbatim                                                  number 20.1
"And as you know,
my position is
...I'm a commander guy.”
Washington DC  05.02.07
0       400      800     1200    1600
Alcohol related traffic fatalities
top five states
Less than half of the US forces
deployed in Iraq believe that
noncombatant civilians should be
treated with dignity and respect,
according to a detailed mental health
survey of combat troops recently
released by the Department of
Defense. The survey also found that
only 40 percent of Marines and 55
percent of Army soldiers interviewed
would report their colleagues for
killing or wounding an innocent Iraqi
civilian. In response to the findings,
the top US commander in Iraq sent
an open letter to his troops urging
their compliance with military ethical
standards and international law.

The report concluded that high levels
of combat stress, compounded by
extended tours of duty and multiple
deployments, had increased the
likelihood that soldiers would
disregard their superiors, ignore
legal and ethical
protocols, and abuse the civilian
population. Exposure to heavy
combat situations raised the
incidence of anxiety, depression, and
acute stress, with some 30 percent of
troops involved in intense firefights
showing signs of psychological
problems. Over 40 percent of troops
surveyed endorsed the illegal torture
of detainees in certain situations.

The investigation, which comprised
the survey, focus groups, and
interviews with officers, was
conducted last August and
September, with the completed report
submitted to then-senior US
commander in Iraq, General George
W. Casey, in November. According to
New York Times, the decision to
hold the report for six months before
releasing it was made by “civilian
Pentagon officials.”  Defense
Secretary Robert Gates recently
extended combat tours for Army units
Iraq from one year to 15 months.

Casey’s successor as US
commander in Iraq, General David
Petraeus, issued his letter to the
troops a week after the
publication of the report. “This
fight depends on securing the
population, which must
understand that we—not our
enemies—occupy the moral high
ground,” Petraeus wrote, adding
that if soldiers witnessed illegal
acts, “we must not let our bonds
prevent us from speaking up.”

According to the survey, seven
percent of Marines and four
percent of Army troops admitted
hitting or kicking civilians, with 12
percent of Marines and nine
percent of soldiers admitting to
unnecessary destruction of Iraqi
it's all true
The secret court authorized under
the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act approved a
record number of warrants for
domestic surveillance by
government agencies last year,
granting 2,176 requests for
surveillance and rejecting only
one. The FISA Court also
approved a further 43 warrants to
search business records relating
to individuals suspected of terrorist
activity. The figures were released
by the Justice Department as the
Senate Judiciary Committee
considers changes to FISA
proposed by the Bush

The record number of FISA
warrants is more than double the
number issued in 2000. In addition
to the single instance in which a
request for surveillance was
denied, the FISA Court required
changes to 73 applications before
ultimately approving them.

The figures released did not
include data about FBI-issued
“national security letters”, which
authorize domestic surveillance
without judicial review. It was
revealed in March that
improprieties in FBI use of these
documents were routine.    
it's all
A Congressional committee issued a
rebuke and a warning to US
Intelligence agencies for carrying out
an unspecified covert action with no
Congressional oversight or
approval.  The covert action, which
was characterized by the House
Intelligence Committee as
“significant”, would be illegal under
the National Security act of 1947 if
Congress was not notified.  The
committee wrote in a recent report on
the 2008 Intelligence authorization
bill that it was “deeply troubled” by
the failure of the intelligence
agencies to report the covert action
to Congress.

The committee wrote that it was
"dismayed at a recent incident
the Intelligence Community failed to
inform the Congress of a significant
covert action activity.  This failure to
notify Congress constitutes a
violation of the National Security Act
of 1947.”  The Congressional
Research Service has reported that
even in cases where America’s “vital
interests” are affected, the President
has a legal duty to advise at least a
select group of Congress persons
about on-going covert actions.

A covert intelligence operation is a
military or political activity that is
generally performed in secret
because it breaks the law in the
country it is carried out in or breaks
the laws of the country performing
the covert activity.
As a response to the failure of the
CIA to report, the committee voted
to require the Inspector General
of the CIA to perform scheduled
audits of covert actions and issue
reports within 60 days of the
reviews. The committee advised
intelligence collecting agencies
that the audit and reporting
requirement is intended to “act as
a further check against the risk of
insufficient notification.”  

The committee warned the
intelligence agencies that  
“scrupulous transparency”
between congressional overseers
and intelligence operatives is
demanded in all “matters related
to covert action.”                  
it's all
The new head of the Catholic
Church recently suggested
that politicians who support a
women’s right to choose and
who are Catholic may be
banished from the church.  
Pope Benedict XVI said that
abortion is “incompatible with
being in communion with the
body of Christ,” suggesting
who support abortion be
"excommunicated".  The Pope
added that his interpretation is
"nothing new."  

The Pope’s declaration
clarifies the church’s stance
that not only women who
choose to have abortions and
the doctors who perform the
procedure, but also politicians
who support legal abortion risk
excommunication from the

During the 2004 elections
Catholic priests were divided in
their interpretation of church
doctrine with respect to
Catholic politician’s support for
a woman’s right to choose.  
Some priests chose to withhold
participation in religious
sacraments from politicians
who support legal abortion,
injecting some political races
with a measure of religious

The official Vatican transcript
of the conference softened the
pontiff’s proclamation to
remove references to his
support for the
excommunication of politicians
who advocate retaining legal
abortion.  A spokesperson for
the Pope said that the Vatican
Secretariat of State reserves
the right to “clean up” the
Pope’s off-the-cuff
it's all true
A newly revealed white paper drafted
by the Department of Defense in
2003 reveals that preparations were
made prior to the invasion of Iraq to
quickly implement a military
controlled state media apparatus in
the country.  The mission of “Iraqi
Free Media, the report declared,
would be to inform Iraqis of the
“intent” of the US occupiers and
provide “hope” through programming
scheduled to include “Hollywood”
and “entertainment” news.

The white paper, called “Rapid
Reaction Media Team Concept”, and
an accompanying Powerpoint
presentation was obtained through a
freedom of information request and
was published by the National
Security Archive.

The DOD paper articulates a plan for
an “overall information campaign”
that was
intended to have a “profound
psychological and political impact on
the Iraqi people.”  The plan called for
the “rapid assessment of remaining
telecom architecture…and control of
all media outlets” by the US military
immediately after “the cessation of
hostilities.”  The DOD recommended
the appointment of a Media
Commissioner by the Coalition
Authority to prevent “hate media”
from gaining access to Iraq’s
airwaves.  The plan anticipated it
would take 12 months to
“reconstitute indigenous Iraqi media”
using “approved USG information”
that would become a “model for free
media in the Arab world.”  

Programming approved by the DOD
included a History Channel
documentary called “Saddam’s
Bomb-maker”, a program called “Re-
starting the Oil” and “Hollywood and
sports" news.  
it's all true
Congressional efforts to formally
assess the national security
implications of continued global
warming gained momentum last
week, as Director of National
Intelligence Mike McConnell agreed,
in a letter to a member of the House
Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, that a National
Intelligence Estimate focusing on
climate change issues is “entirely

House Republicans have been
vehemently opposed to proposals
that would conduct such studies
using intelligence funds and
personnel, calling them a waste of
intelligence resources. But there is
an emerging international consensus
that the effects of climate change will
be central to geopolitical conflict in
the 21st century. The United Nations
Security Council recently held its first
debates on global warming, and the
UN Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change published a study
last week warning of the broader
security implications of natural
disasters that may be caused or
exacerbated by climate change. In
April, a group of retired generals and
admirals released a report detailing
the potential strategic and
geopolitical threats to US national
security posed by climate change.

A copy of McConnell’s letter to Rep.
Anna Eshoo (D-CA) was obtained by
Washington Post. The DNI
wrote, “I believe it is entirely
appropriate for the National
Intelligence Council to prepare an
assessment on the geopolitical and
security implications of global climate
change.” He went on to propose a
comprehensive interagency effort,
involving the National Academy of
Sciences and other federal scientific
research entities.

McConnell’s support for an
intelligence estimate contrasted
sharply with the position of
Republican members of the House
Intelligence Committee, led by
ranking minority member Rep. Peter
Hoekstra of Michigan. In a derisive
op-ed published in last Thursday’s
Wall Street Journal, Hoekstra
questioned the seriousness of
climate change, writing that to study
the issue in a security context would
divert funds from important
intelligence programs. Hoekstra went
on to hypothesize that because of
Clinton administration attention to
global warming issues, “intelligence
clues in the run-up to 9/11 were

The Bush administration is also
opposed to an NIE on climate
change, primarily on the grounds that
it is being mandated by
it's all true
Operatives Overt About Hiding Covert Action From
Widespread Erosion of Battlefield Ethics an Occupational
Pope Pontificates
Patently Problematic
Political Policy
Iraqi Press Free to Report on Hollywood,
Global Warming Changes Geopolitical Climate
Court Wears Out
New Rubber Stamp
previous editions archive