spread of the red
number 109    
Attorney General Weak on Legal Theory, Strong on
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Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
and his senior staff at the Justice
Department have improperly ordered
federal prosecutors to seek capital
punishment in cases where it may not
be justified, according to the
testimony of a former US Attorney
before a Senate panel. Paul K.
Charlton told the panel that Gonzales
has pushed to expand the federal
death penalty for political reasons,
routinely ignoring evidence and the
opinions of local lawyers involved in
the cases. Charlton, the former
prosecutor for Arizona, is one of nine
former US Attorneys involved in the
current firings controversy.  

In testimony before the Senate
Committee Subcommittee on the
Constitution last week, Charlton
sharply criticized Justice Department
procedures for reviewing capital
cases for their failure to adequately
consider the quality of available
evidence, specifically citing a case in
which Gonzales had ordered his
office to pursue the death penalty
despite a total lack of forensic
evidence. In that case,
US v. Rios
, local prosecutors believed that
the victim’s body was buried in a
landfill, but their application for
federal funds to exhume the body
was denied. Lacking a body, a
murder weapon, or any DNA
evidence, Charlton’s office
recommended against seeking the
death penalty. Without
seeking further input from Charlton’s
team, Gonzales overruled their
decision, ordering the office to
Rios Rico as a capital

Charlton told the Senators that he
repeatedly asked Justice
Department officials and senior
staff within the Office of the
Attorney General to reconsider
the decision, but was consistently
rebuffed. His request for a brief
meeting with Gonzales to discuss
the case was denied, but he was
assured by an assistant to Deputy
Attorney General Paul McNulty
that McNulty “had spent a
significant amount of time on this
issue with the Attorney General,
perhaps as much as 5 to 10
it's all true
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate

interpreting the constitution
Supreme Court Curtails Rights as it Shifts to the Right
Increasing Sums
Confined to Slums
As the 2006/2007 session of the US
Supreme Court closes, the Roberts
Court has demonstrated itself to be a
protector of the rights of corporations
over individuals.  The new court also
revealed itself to be an activist body
in its rejection of established legal
precedents.  Although the court
accepted a comparatively small
docket of cases to review in 2006, its
decisions, often in 5-4 rulings, reflect
a majority determined to restrict the
rights of individuals, limit the ability of
government to stop bad practices
and protect the interests of big

The court’s 5-4 ruling in a case
regarding two school district’s
policies to integrate their classrooms
contradicted the landmark Brown v
Board of Education ruling of 1954.  
Although Justice Kennedy did not
agree with a complete
ban on consideration of race in such
programs, the decision effectively
invalidates voluntary school
integration programs.  Justice Breyer
recognized in his dissent the gravity
of the conservative member’s
decision writing, “It is not often in law
that so few have changed so much
so quickly.”

The court also carved out an
exception to the constitutional
guaranty of free speech when it
decided that a high school student’s
banner could be censored by the
school’s administration.  The court
found, again in a 5-4 decision, that
the slogan “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” could
be considered to support illegal drug
use and therefore, the school
administrators were allowed to
abridge the student’s free speech

The court also ruled in 5-4 decisions
limit the rights of employees sue
employers for discrimination, that
states could restrict a woman’s
abortion rights, and that rules to
curtail unfair political
advertisements were
unconstitutional.  The court also
restricted the rights of
shareholders to sue corporations,
overturned a 96 year old law
outlawing price fixing by
producers and determined the
Environmental Protection Agency
did not have to follow federal laws
if the agency ceded its authority
to the states.

DePaul College of Law professor
Sheldon Nahmod told the
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that,
“ The conservative majority has
come into its own without
apology,” adding, “individual
rights have, for the most part,
taken a back seat.”     
it's all true
More than half the world’s
population will live in cities by
the end of next year, marking a
trend toward global
urbanization that will continue
to intensify over the next
century, according to a report
released last week by the
United Nations Population
Fund. The portion of the total
global population living in cities
is expected to reach 60
percent by 2030. According to
the report, urban populations
in developing countries in Asia,
Africa, and Latin America will
more than double during that

The strains of rapid population
growth are most likely to be felt
in the sprawling slums of Africa
and Asia. The report warns of
environmental consequences
as “the accumulated urban
growth of these two regions
during the whole span of
history will be duplicated in a
single generation.”  The
authors note that the required
expansion of civil infrastructure
in these countries will greatly
exceed previous periods of
rapid development in wealthier

Asian cities are expected to
swell by more than one billion
inhabitants by 2030, according
to the report, with African cities
adding 440 million residents,
and Latin American urban
areas growing by more that
200 million. During the same
period, the authors project that
the total global rural population
will decrease by about 30
million. UN spokesperson
Thoraya Obaid said, "The shift
from rural to urban changes a
balance that has lasted for
it's all true
crowd control
US Border Fence Illegal, Alienating
Cancer death incidence per 100
000 population, selected
Officials of the US Customs and
Border Protection Service have
confirmed that part of a security
barrier designed to defend the
southern US border was accidentally
built on Mexican soil. The
embarrassing gaffe was discovered
by a routine aerial survey conducted
in March. The survey revealed that a
1.5 mile-long section of the 15-mile
border fence near Columbus, New
Mexico protrudes from one to six feet
into Mexican territory.

The government of Mexico has asked
that the fence be dismantled
immediately. The cost of removing
and relocating the section of the
security barrier is estimated to be
between $2.5 million and $3.5 million.
The entire 15-mile security barrier
was constructed in 2000 at a cost of
$7.5 million, apparently following a
fence line built by
local ranchers in the 19th Century.

Customs and Border Protection
spokesman Michael Friel told the
Associated Press that the fence
traced “what was known to be the
international boundary at the time,”
adding that the survey used to locate
the barrier was “less precise than it is

Despite the error, US Senator Jeff
Bingaman (R-NM) has called for a
new fence to be erected before the
removal of the existing barrier, citing
security issues. Residents of New
Mexico have in the past raised
concerns about the Mexican border
village of Las Chepas, calling it a
center of narcotics smuggling and
illegal immigration activities. The US
Department of Homeland Security
has announced plans to standardize
future security barrier projects.       
all true
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source: OCED Health






previous editions

Links of the Week

CRS Report : The Use of
Federal Troops for Disaster
Assistance : Legal Issues

BLM report : Final Vegetation
Treatments Using Herbicides
Programmatic Environmental
Impact Statement

The Residents : Official News

Robert McChesney
:Untitled,1946 Amon Carter

Medgar, the Movement and
More; interview with Charles
Evers, by David Koppel

contact us  
in bed with the red
Separate Investigations Discover Oversight Largely
Government investigator reviews of
military construction and contracting
programs, where the US military gave
multi-million dollar contracts to
private firms instead of itself
performing the projects, have
revealed major mismanagement and
abuse, in one instance resulting in an
international criminal investigation.

The Governmental Accountability
Office and the Special Investigator
for Iraqi Reconstruction both
reported to Congress recently that
private contractors who were
retained by the US military have
frittered away multiple millions of
American taxpayer dollars performing
construction projects and executing
general services contracts
supporting US troops in occupied
Iraq with little or no oversight.  The
investigators reviewed the
construction of a military airbase in
Germany by private contractors and
the services provided to military
personnel in Iraq by the firm Kellogg,
Brown and Root.

The Government Accountability
Office reviewed the construction of
the Pentagon’s largest overseas
project, the Kaiserlautern Military
Community Center, also known as “K-
Town”, a multi-million dollar facility
that is intended to house soldiers, a
movie complex, a retail shopping
mall, “name
brand” restaurants and a gambling

The GAO found that “construction
flaws, vandalism of property,
repeated work stoppages and slow-
downs by contractors, and ongoing
criminal investigations,” have
resulted in
“cost, schedule, and performance
problems” leading to significant
The complex was scheduled to open
in early 2006 and the original budget
for the complex was $150.  The GOA
reports that, due to the waste,
mismanagement and fraud, neither
“the German government
construction agency in charge of the
project, nor the Air Force have a
reliable estimated completion date or
final cost for the project.”

The Special Investigator for Iraqi
Reconstruction reviewed the
performance of the private firm
Kellogg, Brown and Root in its
fulfillment of a multi-million dollar no-
bid contract to perform services for
military personnel in Iraq.  The
contract given to KBR included
providing food preparation, laundry,
transportation, power generation and
communications services for military
personnel, among other tasks.  
When KBR got the no-bid contract, it
was a subsidiary of Halliburton, LLC,
the company that
Vice-President Cheney headed
prior to being elected.  

The Special Investigator’s review
found that KBR had mismanaged
projects and failed to adhere to
common accounting practices
costing taxpayers tens of millions
of dollars and leading to a
situation where investigators
“were unable to determine an
accurate measurement” of
services provided.  While the
investigators rebuked military
personnel for lax or ineffective
oversight, investigators were told
by military personnel that they
“did not believe the Army’s
guidance applied to” private
contractors, creating a situation
where KBR “was performing self-

Both investigations concluded that
the private contractors operated
in a netherworld where little or no
oversight combined with
mismanagement and graft to slow
down construction, reduce
services and increase costs to the
American taxpayer.  The Special
investigator for Iraqi
Reconstruction told Congress that
in Iraq, lack of effective oversight
and the military’s reliance on KBR
to “self-manage and self-report
on its performance” led to a 45
percent cost over-run to be paid
by taxpayers.           
it's all true
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