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number 156    
May Day  
March in
A 26-year-old salesman was
waterboarded by his supervisor and
coworkers as part of a motivational
“team-building exercise” on a lawn
outside their Provo, Utah offices.
Ordering his subordinates to restrain
junior sales associate Chad Hudgens
on the ground, Prosper Inc.
supervisor Joshua Christopherson
poured a gallon of water into his
nose and mouth, employing the
internationally condemned
interrogation technique allegedly
used by CIA agents on terrorist
suspects. After the demonstration,
Christopherson told the sales team
that he wanted them to fight for sales
as hard as “Chad fought for air right

Spokesmen for Prosper Inc., which
markets training and consulting
services to other businesses,
maintain that they were unaware of
the waterboarding, and
that in any case Hudgens had
apparently volunteered for the
“motivational exercise”. Team leader
Christopherson was suspended for
two weeks while the company
conducted its own investigation of the
allegations, but has since returned to
work. Hudgens, who left Prosper Inc.
shortly after the May 2007 incident,
has sued the company in state court,
alleging that the waterboarding was
just one episode in what amounts to
a pattern of abuses against

"We're not the mean waterboarding
company that people think we are,"
Prosper Inc. general counsel George
Brunt told the
Washington Post.
The company, which disputes some
of the allegations, has refused to
allow press interviews with
Christopherson or any of the
employees who actually witnessed
the treatment of Hudgens.   
it's all true
Sales Meeting Yielded Valuable Intel That Saved
Coverage of the Iraq war in major
US media outlets has declined
precipitously over the past year,
as newspapers and television
news broadcasts have
overwhelmingly turned their
attention to domestic stories. A
number of recent reports
document the decline in both total
news items and prominence of
coverage, as Iraq war stories are
shunted to the interior pages.

A study by the
Associated Press
that monitored 65 newspapers
identified 457 page-one Iraq
subjects in September 2007, with
that total dropping as low as 49 in
recent months. A separate poll
found that in July 2007, 54
percent of Americans were
roughly aware of the number of
US soldiers killed in Iraq, but that
by March only 28 percent knew
that the total had climbed over

The Project for Excellence in
Journalism reports that in the first
10 weeks of 2007, the war
accounted for 23 percent of
stories on network television
news; for the same period this
year the figure had dropped to
just 3 percent.               
it's all true
Lost War a Bore
Press Prefers to
verbatim                                                       number 30.4
...better known in the
neighborhood as
Senorita Arroz."  
Washington DC 05.07.08
"I am honored to be
here with the
Secretary of State,
Condoleezza Rice...
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Renters spending 30% or more
of  income on rent and utilities
selected states
The British human rights group
Reprieve said last week that the US
military may have used up to 17
different prison ships to hold and
interrogate detainees captured in its
war on terror. The group gathered
public statements by military
spokespersons, diplomats and
current and former detainees and
concluded that, “the US has
operated a number of ships as
floating prisons (possibly as
many as 17), where prisoners have
been interrogated under torturous
conditions before being rendered to
other, often undisclosed locations.”  

Reprieve identified that prisoners
have been held on the USS Bataan,
the USS Peleliu and the USS Ashland
and that
these and other Navy prison ships
have been stationed in the Indian
Ocean and off the Coast of the
British owned island Diego Garcia.

As reported in 2005 by
redstateupdate, the US stored
prisoners on ships on the high seas
and in Soviet era prisons in former
East Bloc countries in an effort to
hide detainees from the scrutiny of
international humanitarian
organizations.  Last year the CIA
revealed that the president signed a
memorandum directing the creation
of black site prisons in countries
including Uzbekistan, Israel and
Saudi Arabia.

Reprieve said that a detainee who
released from the detention camp
at Guantanamo Bay Cuba told the
organization that a fellow detainee
at the camp told him he had been
held in a prison ship stating,
“There were about 50 other
people on the ship. They were all
closed off in the bottom of the
ship. The prisoner commented to
me that it was like something you
see on television. The people
detained on the ship were beaten
even more severely than in

The US admits to holding over
26,000 detainees, mainly in
detention camps , and has
processed another 80,000
captives since 2002.
it's all true
The Chief of Police for the city
of Washington DC has
instituted military style
checkpoints to stop
automobiles traveling into the
Trinidad neighborhood of the
city.  Police will require that
people who wish to enter the
neighborhood produce
identification, ask whether the
people who they stop have a
“legitimate purpose” to be in
the area and will turn away
those who are not deemed by
authorities to have a legitimate
reason to be in the
neighborhood.  Authorities
gave examples of what they
view to be a “legitimate
purpose” to enter the
neighborhood, including
activities such as attending
church or visiting relatives.

The vehicle searches and
questioning of citizens who
have committed no crime was
conceived of by DC Police
Chief Cathy Lanier and agreed
to by the mayor of Washington
DC, Adrian M. Fenty.  Fenty
told reporters that the police-
checkpoint scheme, referred to
by authorities as the
Neighborhood Safety Zone
Initiative, was intended to
respond to rising gun violence
in the neighborhood.  Fenty
said, “In certain areas, we
need to go beyond the normal
methods of policing. We're
going to go into an area and
completely shut it down to
prevent shootings and the sale
of drugs."

Over the course of the first
weekend that the checkpoints
were set up, police turned
away 26 automobiles because
drivers “refused to give
enough information to continue
through Trinidad” said Lanier.  
it's all true
The Senate intelligence committee
released the results of a study
regarding the claims made by
President Bush and members of his
administration that found that White
House officials routinely exaggerated
the threat posed by Saddam Hussein
and lied to the American people to
frighten them into supporting its plan
to invade Iraq.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) the
committee’s chairman said, “In
making a case for war, the
administration repeatedly presented
intelligence as fact when it was
unsubstantiated, contradicted or
even nonexistent.  As a result, the
American people were led to believe
that the threat from Iraq was much
greater than actually existed.”

Some of the fabrications that were
repeatedly used by the president and
other members of his administration
as they attempted to scare
Americans to support the invasion of
Iraq included the assertion that the
Hussein regime had close contacts
with Al-Qaida, that Saddam Hussein
was connected to the terror attacks
in 2001, that the Iraq was supplying
terrorist with biological and chemical
weapons and that Iraq was
developing unmanned drone aircraft
to spread chemical weapons over US

In early 2003, just prior to the
invasion of Iraq, then Secretary of
State Colin Powell addressed the
United Nations, to make the case for
war. He asserted there was “ample
evidence” that “Iraq could use these
small UAVs, which have a wingspan
of only a few meters, to deliver
biological agents to its neighbors or,
if transported, to other countries,
including the United States."
The report was the final part of a
series of reports produced by the
committee on the intelligence
failures that led to the invasion of
Iraq.  A previous report, released
in 2004 when Republicans
controlled the committee, focused
exclusively on mistakes made by
the CIA. The Republican
leadership refused to  continue
the investigations after Bush's
reelection in 2004.

The report released last week
provides the most thorough
analysis of the statements made
by Bush and his advisors as they
attempted to get the support of
the American people to attack Iraq
and whether available intelligence
supported those claims.  The
170-page report was approved by
eight Democratic Senators and
two Republicans.            
it's all true
In recent weeks, telecommunications
giants Comcast and Time Warner
Cable have announced pilot
programs aimed at metering Internet
usage, offering tiered services
featuring escalating pricing
structures and bandwidth caps for
individual consumers. Industry
observers say that the service
providers have been seeking to end
unlimited Internet access and charge
particularly heavy users premium
fees since the advent of file sharing
and video applications that consume
large amounts of their network
capacity. Critics of the telecoms warn
that the companies are purposely
undermining the principle of “net
neutrality” for a new generation of
customers who will have no
alternative to metered bandwidth
usage and different levels of service
based on price.     

Time Warner will test its tiered
service plans in Beaumont, TX,
offering basic service at 768 kilobits
per second with a monthly cap of 5
gigabytes for $29.95 a month. The
company will also offer a premium
service at 15 megabits per second,
capped at 40 gigabytes, for $54.90 a
month. A company spokesman said
of metered Internet usage, “We think
it’s the fairest way to finance the
needed investment in the
Comcast has already endured a
wave of bad publicity this year, after
revelations that it surreptitiously
monitored individual usage and
secretly slowed service to specific
consumers. The company admitted
to delaying data transfers for
customers using BitTorrent software.
Comcast’s new approach, to be
tested in Chambersburg, PA,
Warrenton, VA, and Colorado
Springs, CO, will target large capacity
users, rather than certain software
applications. These users can expect
to experience delays and slow
service during periods of heavy
traffic, according to the company.

Consumer advocates and civil
liberties groups assailed the move
away from “net neutrality” in which all
Internet users have equal access, as
more about new revenue streams for
the telecoms than issues of available
bandwidth. “The metered Internet
has been tried and tested and
rejected by the consumers
overwhelmingly since the days of
AOL,” communications expert
George Ou said in testimony before
the Federal Communications
Commission in April.
The FCC is investigating allegations
that Comcast's  secret blocking or
delaying of individual users' accounts
was illegal.
The practice was revealed in a report
by the
Associated Press.    it's all true
Telecoms Introduce New Narrowband Service
Secret US Prison Ships Sail in Unconstitutional
Senate Committee Finds War Preparations Heavy on
DC Roadblocks
Civil Rights
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