interpreting the constitution

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one nation, under surveillance

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interpreting the constitution
spread of the red
one nation, under surveillance
number 135    
source: OECD Revenue
Corporate income tax
selected countries
"There is no
doubt in my mind
when history
was written, ...
verbatim                               number 26.4
...victory was achieved by
the United States of
America for the good of the
Kuwait  01.12.08
...the final page
will say...
A study of financial records
provided by the
pharmaceutical industry has
shown that drug companies
spend nearly twice as much
marketing and advertising
products than they spend on
researching and developing
new drug treatments for
diseases.  Researchers form
Toronto’s York University
found that in 2004 American
drug manufacturers spent
more than $57 billion on
advertising and promotion their
products while they spent just
over $31 billion on the
developing new drugs. The
researchers also reported that
US drug companies spent 24.4
percent of their sales profits on
marketing and only 13.4
percent on the development of
new medicines.

The researchers reviewed
public data complied by two of
the largest pharmaceutical
market research companies,
IMS Health and the CAM
Group, which provide
marketing and consulting
services to the pharmaceutical
industry.  IMS collects data
from drug manufacturers and
CAM surveys the nation’s
doctors to capture information
about the provision of free
drugs to patients and meetings
between doctor’s and drug

The study challenges the
notion promoted by drug
makers that the
pharmaceutical industry is
driven to create new life-saving
drug treatments by showing
that the industry instead
derives profits mainly from
marketing its products.  The
study found that the drug
industry spends $61,000 per
US physician to promote drug
it's all true
ML King
Candidates from both parties have
requested a hand recount of votes
cast in the recent New Hampshire
primary election due to concerns
raised when analysis of polling data
revealed difficult to explain anomalies
in results returned from precincts that
use electronic voting machines made
by the company Diebold Election
Systems (recently re-named Premier
Election Solutions).  The last time a
recount was requested in a New
Hampshire presidential primary
election was in 1980.

Polling records released by the state
of New Hampshire showed that the
winner of the Democratic primary,
Hillary Clinton, had received 52.95
percent of votes made on Diebold
optical scan machines and Barack
Obama received 47.05 percent.  In
precincts where ballots were counted
by hand, the vote
tallies were exactly reversed with
Obama receiving 52.95 percent of
the votes and Clinton receiving 47.05
percent.  After the ballot analysis was
reported, the two largest newspapers
in the state received a flood of e-
mails from concerned New Hampshire
voters questioning the integrity of the
voting system in the state.  81
percent of votes cast in the state
were made on voting equipment
manufactured by Diebold.  

One of the candidates who
requested the hand recount,
Democrat Dennis Kucinich, wrote in a
letter to the Secretary of State in New
Hampshire, that because “serious
and credible reports, allegations and
rumors have surfaced in the past few
days…It is imperative that these
questions be addressed in the
interest of public
it's all true
A Canadian federal judge has struck
down a refugee treaty with the United
States stating that the Canadian
government cannot guarantee that
refugees will be accorded basic
rights by US authorities.  The ruling
came on the same day court
documents were disclosed that
revealed that the Canadian Foreign
Service identifies that the US and
Israel are among the countries in the
world that are known to practice

The Safe Third Country Agreement,
implemented in 2004, barred
refugees from crossing the land
border between the US and Canada
because both countries considered
the other to be a “safe country”.   
Several Canadian refugee rights
organizations, including the
Canadian Council of Churches and
Amnesty International, challenged the
agreement in court citing the
experience of Maher Arar, the
innocent Canadian citizen who was
held by the US and tortured prior to
his being released after two years
having never been charged with a
crime.  Justice Michael Phelan ruled
in the case that the US does not
follow international conventions
barring torture nor does it provide
basic rights to refugees.  In the year
after the
treaty was implemented, the number
of claims for refugee status at
Canadian land borders has declined
by 40 percent.

On the day that the treaty was voided
by the Canadian courts, Amnesty
International released documents
that it had subpoenaed in the case
that revealed that the Canadian
Foreign Service had placed the US
and Israel on it’s list of countries
known to practice torture.  Also on
the list are countries such as
Egypt, China and Afghanistan.  
The document included a list of
interrogation techniques that the
US employs that are considered
to be torture by the Canadian
Foreign Service, including forced
nudity, hooding and blindfolding,
isolation and sleep deprivation.

Both the US and the Canadian
governments have appealed
Judge Phelan’s ruling to strike
down the Safe Third Country
Agreement and the US
Ambassador to Canada said that
the inclusion of the US on the list
of torturing countries was
“offensive”.  The US has
demanded that the Canadian
Foreign Service delete any
references to torture being used
by American authorities or military
personnel from their official
it's all true
A federal appeals court has
dismissed a lawsuit brought by four
British citizens who allege that they
were systematically tortured and
subjected to religious abuse during
more than two years of detention at
the US military prison at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. In dismissing the case,
the appellate court ruled that the
former detainees could not be
recognized as “persons” under the
federal Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, because they were
alien captives held outside the United
States. The decision effectively
exonerated the eleven senior
Pentagon officials named in the suit,
including former Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman Gen. Richard Myers and
former Defense Secretary Donald
The three-judge panel of the US
Circuit Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia accepted the
defense argument that then-Attorney
General John Ashcroft had certified
that the military officials were acting
within the scope of their positions
when they authorized interrogation
tactics widely held to be torture.

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson,
who was appointed by the president’
s father, wrote in her opinion that “It
was foreseeable that conduct that
would ordinarily be viewed as
‘seriously criminal’ would be
implemented by military officials
responsible for detaining and
interrogating suspected enemy
combatants.” Judge Janice
Rogers Brown, an appointee of
the current president, wrote in a
dissenting opinion that the
appellate court’s decision “leaves
us with the unfortunate and quite
dubious distinction of being the
only court to declare that those
held at Guantanamo are not

The four Britons were seized by
local tribal leaders in various parts
of Afghanistan during 2001 and
2002. After being sold to US
forces for bounty payments, they
were held for more than two years
at Guantanamo Bay before being
released without charge in
it's all true
Canadian Court Rules America's Stance on Torture
Drug Companies
Researching New
Marketing Therapies
Researchers studying African
giraffe populations have
discovered that, contrary to the
previously accepted scientific
consensus that there was a single
species of the world’s tallest land
animal, there appear in fact to be
at least six separate species of
giraffe on the continent. Some of
the newly documented species
are extremely endangered, with
populations of less than 1000
individual giraffes. The
researchers warn in their report
that the false assumption of a
single species of giraffe has
tended to obscure the severity of
the risk of extinction for some of
these sub-species.

The researchers blame
unrestricted poaching and violent
regional wars in Kenya, Ethiopia,
and Somalia for drastic reductions
in populations of reticulated
giraffes, from some 27,000
individuals in the mid-1990’s to a
total of about 3000 today.
According to the report, “Several
of these previously unrecognized
genetic units are highly
endangered, such as the West
African giraffe, numbering about
only 100 individuals and restricted
to a single area in
it's all true
Statements made by Director of
National Intelligence Michael
McConnell during a series of
interviews for a recently published
magazine profile appear to confirm
reports that the government is
preparing to implement a surveillance
program that would monitor all US
Internet traffic, including private
emails, file transfers, and search
histories, in an effort to deter acts of
“cyberterrorism.”  Sketchy details of
a sweeping federal cyberspace
security initiative first emerged in
September, when an investigation by
Baltimore Sun reported on a
“multi-billion-dollar” effort being
secretly undertaken by the National
Security Agency. Now McConnell, in
an expansive interview in the
, has provided new details of
the administration’s ambitious plans,
acknowledging that the program will
prompt a debate over civil liberties
and privacy rights.

McConnell stresses importance of
quickly developing a security policy
to address what he describes as the
vulnerability of government agencies,
civil infrastructure, and private
corporations and financial institutions
to computer-based attacks.
Lawrence Wright, who conducted the
interviews, said of McConnell in a
podcast on the
New Yorker website,
“He’s come up  
with a cyber security policy that the
president has not announced yet, but
it would in many ways revolutionize
the relationship between government
and industry and also with American
citizens. Every bit of information
throughout the Internet could be
monitored by the government.”

Although Congress has been only
minimally advised on the plan,
McConnell’s preoccupation with the
concept of integrating surveillance
with private telecommunications
systems has been well known for
months. In October, the
reported, “Known internally as
the ‘Cyber Initiative,’ the program is
designed to use the spying
capabilities of the National Security
Agency and other agencies to
protect government and private
communications networks from
infiltration by terrorists and hackers.”  
Wall Street Journal recently
reported that Congressional leaders
were summarily briefed on the
initiative for the first time just hours
before the White House sought
funding for the expansion of the
program in November.

Journal adds that
Congressional aides are "anticipating
a fight over civil liberties" when the
program is finally unveiled by the
White House.
it's all true
Judge Says Torture Victims Should Have Foreseen That They Were Not
NSA Plans Invasion of Privacy, Occupation of
Candidates Experience Electile
Gentle Giants
Decline Silently
%                  10                  20
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