number 132    
subscribe to redstateupdate
search redstateupdate
interpreting the constitution

crowd control

spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

fun d' mental

in bed with the red

red state rebate







previous editions

 Links of the Week

Documents relating to the
withdrawal of the Lakotah
People from US treaty

The 2008 Statistical Abstract,
US Census Bureau

Posters from the WPA :
searchable database, Library
of Congress

Landscape With a Stormy Sky,
Constable, John or Lionel B,
1821 Ackland Art Museum

contact us  
back to top of
one nation, under surveillance
in bed with the red
source: Viroqua Institute
interpreting the constitution
source: Viroqua Institute
The Senate Democratic leadership
has postponed a vote on a measure
amending the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act until January, after
failing to contain a rebellion among
its own ranks over the issue of
retroactive immunity for
telecommunications companies that
may have assisted the Bush
administration in illegal surveillance
of American citizens from 2001 until

Majority Leader Harry Reid of
Nevada had hoped to pass the FISA
bill before the Christmas break, but
was stymied when legislators
introduced twelve amendments, with
telecom immunity emerging as the
most contentious single
issue. Democratic Senator Chris
Dodd of Connecticut, a presidential
candidate, briefly filibustered against
the measure on Monday and vowed
to challenge it again next month. The
White House has signaled that
President Bush will veto any
legislation that lacks a provision
granting the companies retroactive
immunity from legal liability for
actions taken in cooperation with the
National Security Agency, Central
Intelligence Agency, or other federal
law enforcement entities.

The FISA bill brought to the floor by
Reid was approved by the Senate
Intelligence Committee; an alternative
measure approved by the Judiciary
Committee does not contain the
blanket immunity provision sought
by the Bush administration. Last
month, the House passed a FISA
legislation package that did not
include telecom immunity. There
are about 40 civil lawsuits pending
against various
telecommunications companies
alleged to have participated in
unlawful wiretapping and
data-mining operations targeting
private American citizens.  

The administration supports
retroactive immunity for telephone
companies and internet service
providers for their cooperation
with any government surveillance
it's all true
Supine Senate Leadership Backs Down As Some Dems Find
A report released by the Office
of the Inspector General for
the Department of Defense
revealed that a Florida
contractor was paid $32 million
in US tax dollars to build a
military base in Iraq that was
never constructed.  The
Ramadi project was one of
many failed projects cited in
the IG  report that reviewed the
military's oversight of more
than $5.2 billion appropriated
by Congress for Iraq

The project was abandoned by
the contractor Ellis Environ-
mental Group after it had been
paid $31.9 million by the Air
Force Center for Engineering
and the Environment, the
agency that oversees
construction projects for the
US military in occupied Iraq.  
Ellis was to be paid $34.2
million dollars to construct
barracks and other
administrative buildings to
house a brigade and three
battalions of Iraqi military
personnel in Anbar province
near the city of Ramadi.  The
project was cancelled after the
Iraqi defense Ministry was
unable to acquire construction
rights to build the barracks on
the land that had been chosen
for the military base.

Although the company said
that it had performed design
and engineering work, the
Inspector’s report said that
Ellis was unable to provide
documents that showed how
the millions were spent.  A
spokesperson for Ellis refused
to comment on the un-built
military base stating that rules
for private contractors in Iraq
prohibited any official
it's all true
Firm Says
Charges and Iraqi
are Baseless
After a rancorous meeting, a group
of more that 180 countries that took
part in the recent United Nation’s
summit on global climate change in
Bali approved what has been
referred to widely as a significantly
watered down agreement that
supplants the strong requirements
supported by the majority of the
conferees that would mandate “deep
cuts in global emissions” with the
vague concept of a “long-term goal
for emissions reductions.”   The
accord, the “Bali Road Map”, is a two
year agreement that seeks to replace
the requirements of the Kyoto
Protocol, which mandates targeted
reductions of  the creation of
greenhouse gasses by countries that
have agreed to it’s principals.  174
nations have ratified the Kyoto
agreement.  The United States,
although a signatory to the protocol,
has not ratified the treaty.  
The agreement was met after an all
night session by conference
participants where a proposal
submitted by the Environment
Minister of Indonesia was discussed
that called for dropping mandatory
targets for limiting the production of
greenhouse gasses by developing
countries by the year 2020 and
replacing the mandates of the Kyoto
Protocol with a simple reaffirmation
that greenhouse gasses should be
reduced by half over the next fifty

A group of developed nations led by
the United States, that included
Russia and Japan, set a demand that
they should not be required to
reduce their production of destructive
greenhouse gasses.  The group
threatened that any agreement that
forces the reduction emissions would
result in these countries limiting their
participation in international efforts
to combat the problem of global
warming.  The severely limited
language of the Bali Road Map
was itself challenged by
representatives of the US who
agreed to sign the statement of
intent only after being shouted
down with a chorus  of boos and
catcalls when it attempted to reject
the proposed compromise

The obstructionism of the US was
reported in the international press,
but was not covered widely in US
media.  Nobel laureate Al Gore
said that the US was “principally
responsible” for blocking a more
aggressive agreement and the
Arch-bishop of Canterbury called
upon Christians to fight the “evil
effects of climate change” to "do
justice to future generations.”     
all true
Bush administration
document shredding costs
02       03       04       05        06
The Election Assistance Commission
recently released the results of a
nationwide survey conducted of
election officials about the 2006
presidential elections that showed
over 3 million ballots that were cast
that year were never counted.  

Based upon the responses received
by the commission, election
administrators in the hotly contested
state of Florida say that 122,759
votes were never counted and
California election administrators
reported that over 400,000 votes
(approximately 5 percent of the state’
s total votes) were not counted in the
2006 election.  The state of Illinois
reported the most uncounted ballots.  
889,012 ballots were never counted
in Illinois in 2006.

The report found that election officials
reported that only 79.5 percent of the
provisional ballots cast by voters in
the presidential election of 2006 were
counted.  Nationwide, voters cast
over 794,000 provisional ballots.  
Provisional ballots are used in
situations where, for example, a voter
arrives to vote in the wrong precinct.  
The commission also found that
election administrators reported that
347,000 absentee ballots were
disqualified and never counted in the
2006 election.

The Commission’s reporting was
limited to only those election officials
who chose to participate in the
survey because responding to the
commission’s poll is not mandated by
federal law.  The commission was
created after the 2000 presidential
election that ended with a Supreme
Court decision to halt ballot counting
in Florida.          
it's all true
Major League Baseball and
players union representatives met
this week to begin to address the
issues raised by the Mitchell
Report on the widespread use of
performance enhancing drugs in
the sport. The report, which was
released last week after a
20-month investigation, described
the past two decades as the
"steroid era" in baseball, blaming
ownership, management, and the
union for ignoring the problem of
performance enhancing
substances.  The report was
published just weeks after the
indictment of career home runs
leader Barry Bonds on perjury
and obstruction of justice charges
in the federal BALCO

High profile stars named in the
report include Bonds, Roger
Clemens and Andy Pettite. The
report revealed for the first time
the widespread use of the
substances among pitchers.
Former player Jose Canseco,
whose controversial
autobiography foreshadowed
many of the current allegations,
was barred from attending the
Mitchell press conference. The
media has routinely ridiculed, but
never successfully refuted,
Canseco's claims.           
it's all true
Fallout from the growing scandal
touched off by revelations that the
CIA had destroyed videotapes
showing the interrogation and
alleged torture of terrorist suspects
mounted further this week as angry
leaders of the House Intelligence
Committee from both parties
proceeded with their own probe into
the matter, despite advice from
Attorney General Michael Mukasey to
defer to a preliminary investigation
being conducted by the Justice
Department. The ACLU asked a
federal judge to hold the CIA in
contempt of court for violating a
judge's order in a Freedom of
Information Act action, which sought
to preserve documents and material
related to the detention and
interrogation of so-called "enemy
combatants."  On Wednesday, the
New York Times reported that four
top administration lawyers, including
White House counsels Alberto
Gonzales and Harriet Miers,
participated in numerous discussions
about the disposition of the
videotapes between 2003 and 2005.

Justice Department lawyers have
been summoned to a hearing on
Friday by US District Judge Henry H.
Kennedy, Jr. to determine if the
destruction of the tapes violated his
order in a case involving Yemeni
citizens challenging their detention by
the US military at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The
govern-ment has argued that the
order did not apply to the destroyed
videos, because the taped
interrogations were of suspects being
held at secret CIA prisons, rather
than at Guantanamo Bay.  Legal
observers point out that such a
distinction can not be applied in the
ACLU Freedom of Information Act
case, because the court order is
more broadly stated.

Conversations about whether to
destroy the tapes, and the legal
ramifications of doing so, continued
intermittently over the course of three
years, according to the Times.  In
addition to Gonzales and Miers,
National Security Council senior
attorney John B. Bellinger III and
Counsel to the Vice President David
S. Addington were involved in the
consultations. The group also
discussed the issue with senior CIA
lawyers.  The tapes were eventually
destroyed in November 2005 on the
instructions of CIA clandestine
services chief Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr.  

Despite the fact that both Gonzales
and Miers are among Bush's closest
advisers the President continues to
maintain that the first he heard of the
tapes was in a briefing by CIA
Director General Michael Hayden two
weeks ago.        
it's all true
Taint of Torture Tapes Can't Be
Clemens Seeks Clemency,
Bonds out on Bond
"Well, first of all, you
got to understand
some of my view on
verbatim                                     number 25.6
...see, freedom is
God given.
Romania  11.23.02's not
American's gift to
the world...
Election Survey Finds that Every Vote Doesn't Count
US Calls for Cuts in Mandates not Emissions at Climate