one nation, under surveillance
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Links of the Week

Iraq Corruption Resolution
introduced by Chairmen
Waxman and Tierney

Improving work supports:
Closing the financial gap for
low-wage workers and their
families, Economic Policy
Initiative Briefing Paper

Vermont Foliage Report,
Vermont Department of

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Smith College Museum of Art

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one nation, under surveillance
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back to top of
...and that ought to
be a lesson for the
American people."
Washington  DC  07.12.07
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
"It is not the government’s
job to bail out speculators or
those who made the decision
to buy a home they could
never afford"  
      Washington DC
verbatim                                                                                          number 24.3
Pupil/Teacher ratio, selected states
0                10               20
source: National Center for Educational
A study by the Justice Department’
s Bureau of Justice Statistics
found that over 2000 criminal
suspects died in US police
custody over a three-year period
between 2002 and 2005.  More
than half of those deaths
happened as suspects scuffled
with officers or attempted to flee.  
The study found that police killed
55 percent of the 2002 suspects
who died while in custody, 13
percent of the deaths were
caused by alcohol or drugs and 7
percent of the deaths were
caused by accidents or injuries.  
96 percent of the suspects who
died in police custody were men,
and 77 percent were between the
ages of 18 and 44.

State and federal laws allow police
authorities to use deadly force in
situations where officers believe
that their life is in danger or if a
suspect who is thought to be
dangerous attempts to escape or
flee.  The study was performed by
the Justice Department at the
request of Congress following
several incidents in the late 1990s
where suspects were killed or
brutalized while in the custody of
it's all true
Recent disclosures have revealed
that the Bush administration initiated
a program of collecting the phone
records of millions of Americans with
no warrant as early as February
2001, just weeks after being sworn in
as president and seven months
before the terror attacks of
September 2001, and has continued
to aggressively amass records of the
telephone and internet habits of tens
of thousands of Americans over the
past years.

Previously sealed court documents
have recently been made public that
assert that the National Security
Administration met with the CEO of
Qwest, one of the nation’s four
largest telecommunications
companies, and requested that the
company voluntarily turn over to the
government customer calling data on
February 27, 2001.  Qwest refused
to comply with the request because
the NSA provided no court order for
the customer calling records.  

Qwest’s refusal to comply with the
NSA request is alleged by Joseph
Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest, to
have resulted in the government’s
retaliation against the company.  
Nacchio testified in federal court that
the government retaliated against
Qwest by refusing to
extend secret multi-million dollar
contracts to the company.  Nacchio,
who was convicted of insider trading
in 2007, says that he cannot plead
his case because the government
has shielded any reference to the
government’s compiling American’s
phone and Internet records, claiming
that discussion of the program would
be a threat to national security.  As
was previously reported by, AT&T, Verizon
and Bell South all agreed to provide
the NSA with customer calling

Verizon recently told Congress that it
has turned over customer calling and
Internet records to the government
94,000 times over the past 20
months.  Verizon admits to giving
federal authorities customer records
720 times when the government did
not have a court order for the
information.  Verizon said in a letter
to Congress that it was not it’s role to
second-guess requests made by
government agents.  The letter also
revealed that the NSA sought not
only the telephone and Internet
records of individual suspects, but
also the call and email records of
everyone who was contacted by the
suspect, information referred to by
the company as “two-generation
community of interest” data.       
it's all
US Telecom Firms Say Bush Spied Early and
Suspects Die Daily in
US Copper Custody
The former top US military
commander in Iraq has described the
Bush administration's preparation for
the invasion and occupation of the
country "catastrophically flawed,"
insisting that the operation has
devolved into a "nightmare with no
end in sight."  

Retired Lieutenant General Ricardo
Sanchez, who led US forces in Iraq in
2003 and 2004, delivered the
broadside in his first public remarks
about his tenure, at a conference last
week in Washington. Sanchez was
particularly critical of senior officials
at the State Department and the
National Security Council, bitterly
condemning their role in planning
and implementing the occupation and
in dealing with the growing
insurgency among disaffected Iraqi
civilians. The former commander
concluded, "There has been a glaring
unfortunate display of incompetent
strategic leadership within our
national leaders."

Sanchez made his comments during
a speech to the Military Reporters
and Editors' annual conference,
becoming the latest in a succession
of high-profile military and
intelligence figures to publicly break
with the administration over the
occupation, which is now in its fifth
year. Former CIA Director George
Tenet and former Coalition
Provisional Authority chief Paul
Bremer have each published books
critical of aspects of White House
planning and policy with regard to
Iraq, and former Secretary of State
General Colin Powell has distanced
himself from the administration's
actions since the fall of Baghdad in
April 2003. Sanchez alleged that
Pentagon leaders had purposely
reduced the role of  
Congressional leaders from
both parties have voiced their
support for the work of CIA
Inspector General John L.
Helgerson in the wake of
reports that his office is under
investigation by a special team
assembled by CIA chief
General Michael Hayden. The
Office of the Inspector General
has produced several highly
critical reviews of botched and
illegal CIA operations since the
appointment of Helgerson, a
30-year agency veteran, in
2002. Launching an inquiry
into the conduct of the OIG is
an unprecedented and
provocative move, according
to observers within the
intelligence community.

CIA sources told the New York
Times that the aggressive and
meticulous work of the OIG
under Helgerson has
generated resentment among
some operatives, and that
Hayden's actions are aimed at
improving agency morale after
the brief, disastrous tenure of
Porter Goss. But one former
CIA Inspector General
questioned the propriety of the
highly unusual probe.
Frederick P. Hitz, who headed
the OIG from 1990 to 1998,
told the Times, "I think it's a
terrible idea. Under the statute,
the inspector general has the
right to investigate the director.
How can you do that and have
the director turn around and
investigate the IG?"  Leaders
of both the House and Senate
Intelligence committees
expressed concern about
Hayden's inquiry, pointing out
that it circumvents established
procedures for the oversight of
federal inspectors
it's all true
Specter of Director
Dogs CIA Inspector
Former Commander Targets White House, Declares War on
military strategists, leading to the
current "intractable" situation.

Sanchez was relieved of his
command in the wake of the
scandal involving the abuse of
detainees at the Abu Ghraib
prison in 2004. Asked by
reporters if he felt he had been
unfairly blamed for the abuse,
Sanchez offered no comment. He
also declined to name the senior
officials personally responsible for
military and diplomatic failures in
Iraq, but intimated that he will be
more forthcoming in the future.
Sanchez' remarks fueled
speculation in Washington that he
will publish his own account of the
occupation and his command. He
said that under current policies,
"The best we can do with this
flawed approach is stave off
it's all true
Attorneys representing two men
formerly held by Immigration and
Customs Enforcement filed a motion
in US District in Los Angeles last
week asking a federal judge to order
the agency to halt its practice of
forcibly administering sedatives and
psychotropic drugs to detainees. The
men were injected with drugs against
their will without medical supervision,
by ICE security personnel. The
motion comes just weeks after
testimony before a Senate panel
revealed that the agency had forcibly
drugged detainees in at least 56
separate instances between October
2006 and April 2007.

The two immigrants who brought the
lawsuit, from Indonesia and Senegal,
had each requested political asylum
in the United States. Both men
remain in the US pending their
appeals. Attorney
Ahilan Arulanantham  of the
American Civil Liberties Union, who is
representing the plaintiffs, told CNN
News, "It would be torture to give a
powerful anti-psychotic drug to
somebody who isn't even mentally ill.
But here, it's happening on US soil to
an immigrant the government is
trying to deport."

In hearings before the Senate in
September, ICE chief Julie Meyers
confirmed that since 2003, the
agency had provided so-called
"medical escorts" for 1073
deportees. Meyers testified that
medical sedation is used only on
combative or suicidal detainees, and
promised to end the practice of
administering sedatives without
medical supervision. Meyers said that
no detainee should be "involuntarily
medicated without court order."         
it's all true
Immigration Officials Face Malpractice Suit
Organizers of a recent protest
against the US occupation of Iraq
that took place on the mall in
Washington DC have reported that
they observed insect-like devices
hovering over the crowd.  Attendees
at the rally also reported seeing what
they described as flying mechanical
devices that appeared to be
monitoring the event.

Washington Post reported that
an event employee who was working
backstage at the rally, Vanessa
Alarcon, saw a swarm of the
machines hovering above an area
reserved for speakers who were
scheduled to address the assembled
antiwar activists.  “I heard someone
say. ‘Oh my god, look at
those,’ I look up and I’m like ‘What
the hell is that?’ They looked kind of
like dragon flies or little helicopters.  
But I mean, those are not insects,”
Alarcon said as she described what
she saw at the rally to the

Other attendees independently
reported to the press that they
observed the devices that were
described to be slightly larger than a
dragonfly.  Some who saw the
devices said that they each had a
row of spheres the size of small
berries attached along the tails of the
mysterious machines.  Attendees
also reported that a group of insect-
like mechanical devices appeared to
fly in a formation or move in unison.
The protest was held on
September 15 and was attended
by over 100,000 people.  A mass
march from the White House to
the capital preceded speeches by
antiwar activists and the event
concluded with a "die-in" of 5,000
war protesters.  The protest was
organized by the ANSWER
Coalition, a group that includes
veterans of the war in Iraq.

Activists who attended protests
surrounding the 2004 Republican
National Convention in New York
also claimed to have seen a large
dragonfly type device hovering
ten feet above the ground “in the
middle of 7th Avenue”.           
all true
DC Antiwar Protesters Bugged By Dragonfly Spy in the