interpreting the constitution

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spread of the red

one nation, under surveillance

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interpreting the constitution
crowd control
spread of the red
spread of the red
number 150    
source: World Health
Brown Tribute
Newly disclosed documents confirm
that the Bush administration
continues to assert that US
intelligence agents may legally use
interrogation methods prohibited
under US and international law in
certain circumstances, which are
apparently to be considered on a
case-by-case basis.

A series of letters from Justice
Department officials to members of
the Senate Intelligence Committee
argue that CIA interrogations of
terrorist suspects could include harsh
tactics in certain hypothetical
situations, based on the seniority of
the suspect or the urgency of the
threat. The letters were obtained by
New York Times from
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of

Addressing the Geneva Conventions’
ban on “outrages upon personal
dignity”, a Justice Department letter
from March states, “The fact that an
act is undertaken to prevent a
threatened terrorist attack, rather
than for the purpose of humiliation or
abuse, would be relevant to a
reasonable observer in measuring
the outrageousness of the act.” In a
letter written in September, a Justice
Department official argues that for
conduct to be banned under the
Geneva Conventions, that conduct
“must be so deplorable that the
reasonable observer would recognize
as something that should be
universally condemned.” Last July
the White House announced that
the President had issued an
executive order requiring CIA
interrogators to comply fully with
the Geneva Conventions.

The letters offer a glimpse of the  
legal basis for the administration's
secretive terrorist interrogation
programs. Earlier this year,
Congress passed legislation
mandating that all agencies
conducting interrogations comply
with rules in the Army Field
Manual, but the president vetoed
the bill, saying that harsh methods
had proven effective.            
it's all
Attorneys representing advocacy
groups in a lawsuit against the
Veterans Administration argued
that pervasive delays and a
failure to provide adequate health
care services have caused
suicides among veterans to rise at
an alarming rate, a situation that
VA officials have attempted to
cover up. The lawyers introduced
evidence including internal VA
emails that discuss ways to evade
questions from CBS News about
suicides and attempted suicides
among US veterans. The case,
which opened last week in US
District Court in San Francisco,
seeks to compel the federal
agency to dramatically increase
the availability and scope of
health care for eligible veterans.

The evidence included a
December email from Dr. Ira R.
Katz, deputy director of mental
health for the VA, that alerted
colleagues that 12,000 veterans
under VA care were attempting
suicide a year. The email, which
was headed "Shh!", went on to
ask, “Is this something we should
(carefully) address ourselves in
some sort of release before
someone stumbles on it?”              
it's all true
One month into the second quarter,
earnings statements and economic
activity continue to confirm that
fallout from the implosion of
international securities markets is
being felt all the way down the food
chain, in revolving credit, auto loans,
commercial real estate, and retail
sales. Market analysts will be focused
on this week’s GDP number, the Fed’
s action on interest rates and the
wording of its statement, and
earnings reports from companies
heavily dependent on consumer
discretionary spending. But
disastrous first quarter results in the
banking sector mean that the crisis is
far from over, and no amount of
consumer spending or Fed
intervention can prevent the banks
and financials in general from acting
as a drag on the US economy for
many quarters into the future.

First quarter earnings for large
commercial banks and major Wall
Street investment houses were
abysmal, with most institutions
reporting huge writedowns and
continued exposure in
a baffling array of securities markets
trading structured investment
vehicles (SIVs), collateralized debt
obligations (CDOs), mortgage
backed securities (MBSs), and asset
backed commercial paper (ABCP).
As overvalued housing
markets “correct” and overheated
credit markets “unwind,” it has
become apparent to investors that
these securities, nominally valued at
many trillions of dollars, are
essentially worthless. Now, with the
tacit backing of the Fed, these
institutions are scrambling for fresh
capital to replenish their depleted
cash reserves, each quarter
revealing another fraction of their

The three largest US banks all
suffered significant declines from the
first quarter of 2007. CitiGroup
posted first quarter earnings down 11
percent, Bank of America earnings
were down 77 percent, and
JPMorgan Chase reported earnings
49 percent lower than the previous
year. Wachovia surprised the market
with a loss of $393 million, and saw
its share price lose more than 10
percent in one morning. The nation’s
largest thrift, Washington Mutual,
posted a $1.1 billion first quarter loss
and announced it was closing all 186
of its mortgage offices
and eliminating 3000 jobs.

The fact that these numbers didn't
lead to a major market downturn
reveals the extent to which traders
suspect that the banks, and the
investment banks, are technically
it's all true
Justice Says Bush Torture Regime Not Illegal, Just
No Easy Solution for Insolvency of
VA Provides
Instead of Coverage going to take
a while.  "
Washington DC 03.28.08
verbatim                                     number 29.3
"Of course, routing
out these folks
who've burrowed in
...who take
advantage of the
ability to be
criminals, or the
ability to intimidate
citizens, ...
0     15    30    45     60      75
united states
Deaths by falling from a
selected countries
In an effort to meet the requirements
of the a law that was instituted after
the terror attacks in 2001, the US
Government has ordered all
commercial airlines and cruise ship
lines to institute a program for the
collection and retention of the
fingerprints of all persons, both US
Citizens and foreign travelers, who
exit the United States.  The initiative
is part of the over arching US-VISIT
program that was instituted by the
Department of Homeland Security
and also a recommendation of the
Congressional 9/11 Commission.

After years of becoming used to the
federal government amassing all
types of personal information about
their personal lives, from records of
phone calls and Internet activity to
banking, financial and medical
Americans have not expressed alarm
the prospect of private corporations
collecting and digitally storing their
fingerprints.  Canadians and
Europeans have, however,
questioned the utility of collecting the
data and warned of the dangers
inherent in storing the personal
information.  American air carriers
have likewise expressed their strong
resistance to the program, not on
account of their concern for the
privacy of their customers, but rather
because collecting the information is
expected to cost the companies $3.5
billion dollars over the next ten
years.  In a statement that received
no media attention in the US,
Department of Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff made the
following assessment about the new  
fingerprinting requirement, “a
fingerprint is hardly personal data…
they’re like footprints, they’re not
particularly private.”     
it's all true
Hundreds of government
scientists have reported that
they have personally been
subject to political interference
in their work.  A survey of
scientists working at the
Environmental Protection
Agency conducted by the
Union of Concerned Scientists
found that over half of the
respondents said that they had
been directly influenced by
political pressures to alter their
work product or their course of
scientific inquiry.

More than five thousand EPA
scientists were asked to
participate in the survey, and
1586 scientists completed the
on line questionnaire.  889 of
the scientists who returned the
questionnaire said that they
had experienced political
interference in the past five

The Union reported that 49
percent of the respondents
knew of “many or some” cases
where EPA political appointees
“inappropriately involved
themselves” in scientific
decisions and 42 percent
reported they were aware of
cases where “commercial
interests have inappropriately
induced the reversal or
withdrawal of EPA scientific

Forty percent of the scientists
who responded to the survey
who are long-term agency
employees said that the
political pressure has
intensified over the past five
years.  The survey
respondents included agency
chemists, engineers,
environmental scientists and
it's all true
Spokespersons for the Bush
administration and the US military
have recently intensified their
rhetoric against the government of
Iran alleging that Iran is supplying
weaponry to insurgents in
neighboring Iraq and expressing
concern that Iran is determined to
acquire nuclear weapons.  The US
has recently positioned a second
battle carrier group in the Persian
Gulf and has stationed warships in
the Mediterranean Sea off the coast
of Lebanon giving rise to renewed
concerns that the Bush
administration has designs on
attacking Iran.

Last Monday, Defense Secretary
Robert Gates said in a speech at the
military academy in West Point, NY,
said that the regime in Iran is “hell
bent” on obtaining nuclear weapons
and warned that "the military option
must be kept
on the table, given the destabilizing
policies of the regime and the risks
inherent in a future Iranian nuclear
threat."  Late last week, the chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm.
Michael Mullen, said Iran has
“expressed long-term goals to be the
regional power" and the US is
prepared for and planning “potential
military courses of action" to counter
what he said was Iran’s "increasingly
lethal and malign influence."

Also last week, a private cargo vessel
chartered by the US military fired
warning shots at what the department
of defense has characterized as two
Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf.  
Iranian officials said that there has
been no confirmation that the boats
that were fired upon were not Iranian

Gates said that the US has
that Iran is supplying weaponry
and training to Iraqi fighters.  
Gates stated categorically, “What
the Iranians are doing is killing
American servicemen and -women
inside Iraq."  

On Tuesday, CBS reported that
the Pentagon has ordered military
commanders to “develop new
options for attacking Iran.”  
Experts say that an aerial attack
of Iran would likely target both
weapons facilities and Iranian
defense operations facilities and
could include the first use of
battlefield nuclear weapons since
the Second World War.  The
Union of Concerned Scientists
estimates that a “limited” nuclear
attack on military bases in Iran
would result in 3 million Iraqi
deaths from radiation poisoning
within a two-week period.         
all true
DHS: Your Fingerprints Are Public Information
Attack on Iranian Republican Guard Designed To Rally US Republican
EPA Scientists
Rising Political Heat
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