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National Security Letters: The
Need for Greater
Accountability and Oversight :
Senate Judiciary Committee

Bureau of Justice Statistics :
Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007

The Staple Singers : Why Am I
Treated So Bad?  Montreux
Jazz Festival, 1981

Brundage Mountain Jam II
July 25-26  McCall, Idaho

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spread of the red
one nation, under surveillance
in bed with the red
in bed with the red
number 158    
ML King
crowd control : searches and
Mounties Do Right After Taser Review
Cops Cordon Blue State Green Zone
Safety Searches Complicate Commute
source: UN International Crime Victims'
The Veterans Administration
has enrolled hundreds of
former soldiers to participate in
testing of a variety of
experimental drugs, some of
which may have severe
neurological and psychological
side effects, without providing
adequate precautions,
according to an
ABC News-
Washington Times

Among the pharmaceuticals
prescribed to veterans is
Chantix, an anti-smoking drug
that has been associated with
episodes of psychotic or
suicidal behavior among
patients. The VA delayed
notifying participants in its
studies of the side effects for
more than three months after
the maker of the drug, Pfizer,
and the federal Food and Drug
Administration had issued
warnings. Spokesmen for the
VA said that an emergency
warning was not warranted in
the case of Chantix.

ABC report highlights the
case of 38-year-old James
Elliott of Maryland, a former US
Army sharpshooter who was
diagnosed with Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder after
completing a 15-month tour of
duty in Iraq. He agreed to
participate in experimental
trials involving Chantix in an
effort to quit smoking,
receiving $30 a month. After
months of taking the drug,
Elliott began to suffer
psychotic episodes,
culminating in a violent
confrontation with local police,
who used a Taser stun gun to
subdue him.  Elliott told
and The Washington
that he felt he was used
as a “lab rat, guinea pig,
disposable hero” by the
it's all true
President Bush has issued an
executive order authorizing the
creation of a biometric database to
be maintained by federal law
enforcement agencies and
establishing a legal and logistical
framework for sharing of the
information among federal
departments and entities. The
document mandates “mutually
compatible methods and procedures
in the collection, storage, use,
analysis, and sharing of biometric
and associated biographic and
contextual information” of terrorist
suspects. The order, National
Security Presidential Directive 59
(NSPD 59), was published on the
White House website.

Civil liberties advocates, who have
decried Bush administration efforts to
extend surveillance powers and
maintain comprehensive databases
of citizens’ private information, were
critical of the inclusion of biographic
details in the new protocols. NSPD 59
directs the Attorney General and the
Director of National Intelligence to
establish and implement biometric
data sharing procedures for all
federal agencies. The directive also
contemplates making the information
in the database accessible to
“foreign partners,” authorizing the
Secretaries of State, Defense, and
Homeland Security to coordinate this
aspect of the data sharing program.

According to the text of NSPD 59, the
new database and protocols will
enhance the capability of the
executive branch  to "collect, store,
use, analyze, and share biometrics to
identify and screen KSTs [known and
suspected terrorists] and other
persons who may pose a threat to
national security."                
it's all true
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police
have agreed to sharply restrict their
deployment of Taser stun guns in the
wake of a pair of reports about law
enforcement use of the controversial
weapons in Canada. The RCMP
Complaints Commission issued a
report last week calling for
restrictions on the number of officers
allowed to carry Tasers, and
recommending new guidelines for the
situational deployment of stun guns.
A separate report released jointly by
the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation and the Canadian Press
found that a third of all people shot
a Taser by the RCMP received
injuries requiring medical attention.

Police use of Tasers has become
the subject of an intense public
debate in Canada, particularly
since the death last year of a
Polish immigrant who was shot
multiple times with a stun gun
emitting 50,000 volts. Twenty
people have died after being
Tasered in Canada since the
introduction of the weapons in
2001. Both reports call for
mandatory medical attention for
all suspects that are Tasered by
Canadian police.           
it's all true
Police in suburban Rolling Meadows,
IL have erected barricades at a local
apartment complex, blocking 12 of 13
entry points and requiring residents
and visitors to pass through a
checkpoint which is manned by
officers for several  hours each day.
Owners of the complex say that the
barricades, which have been in place
since early June, violate their rights
and the rights of their residents, and
have sued the police department
and the village in federal court.
Police spokesmen said they were
attempting to address sharply
increased crime in the area, and
called the segregated community
a "safe zone". Deputy Police Chief
Dave Scanlan told reporters the
owners refuse to recognize there
is a crime problem. Lawyers for
the owners say there is "no
proper basis whatsoever" for the
it's all true
In a move that some, including
presidential candidate Barack
Obama, explain as a “compromise”
and many have castigated as a
stunning act of capitulation, the US
House of Representatives approved
an update of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act.  The measure
allows the president to monitor the
telephone conversations and e-mails
of any person, including Americans
and gives retroactive immunity to the
telephone companies who helped the
Bush administration implement a vast
system of surveillance in the US with
no judicial order or congressional

Over 40 civil lawsuits have been filed
against some of the nation’s largest
telecommunications companies by
privacy rights organizations and
individuals alleging that the
companies cooperated with the Bush
administration instituting a massive
surveillance program that violated
the privacy rights of Americans.  

The measure passed by the House
allows district courts to review the
government’s requests of the phone
companies to implement the spy
program to determine their
legitimacy.  The review is understood
by members of Congress to be a
simple “formality”, one GOP member
stating with confidence, “the Lawsuits
will be dismissed.”
The measure also increases the
amount of time that the
government can record phone
and e-mail communications
without seeking the approval of a
judge.  Wire-tapping can be
performed for seven days before
the government has to seek a
warrant from a court.  The
agreement allows for information
that is recorded during that time
to be used as evidence in a trial.  

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) said,
“The president should not be
above the rule of law, nor should
the telecommunications
companies who supported his
quest to spy on American
it's all true
Reports have surfaced that Iran
has pulled billions of dollars out of
European banks to protect these
assets from being frozen under
new threats of sanctions or should
Iran be attacked by Israel or
America in the near future.

An Iranian publication reported
last week that Iran withdrew $75
billion from banks in Europe to be
“wired back to Iran based on
(President) Ahmadinejad’s
order.”  The Deputy Foreign
Minister in charge of economic
affairs said that the assets had
been converted into cash and
stocks, some of which had been
deposited in banks in Asia.

Recently, when President Bush
was visiting the UK, Prime Minister
Gordon Brown vowed to freeze
Iranian assets held in British
banks.  Within days, the
reported that Iran had
begun to withdraw assets using
an agent in Dubai. The Iranian
state bank denied the reports,
saying, “there is no reason” for
Iran to move its assets, and Iran
doesn't “have a problem with
European banks.”     
it's all true
Based upon a deal being negotiated
with the government oil ministry in
Iraq, several of the world’s largest
petroleum producing companies will
gain exclusive access to Iran’s vast
oil fields for the
first time since oil production was
nationalized by the former Iraqi
regime more than 30 years ago.  

When approved, the no-bid oil field
servicing contracts will give Exxon,
Shell and BP initial access to Iraq’s
producing oil fields.  It was these
same companies who were members
of a small cartel of companies that
established the Iraq Petroleum
Company that had exclusive control
of oil production in Iraq between
1925 and 1961 and who lost oil
production contracts when Iraq’s oil
fields were placed under the control
of a the state run Iraqi National Oil
company.  36 companies were
selected to receive contracts.  
Several companies from China, India
and Russia were excluded from the

The no-bid contracts are novel in the
oil-producing world in that they are
simple pay-for-service contracts as
opposed to agreements held
between the petroleum companies
and other nations, which generally
are licenses to drill for oil.  The
contracts are intended to be a
measure to get Iraq’s oil fields
producing as the Iraqi Oil Law is
being debated by the Iraqi National
Assembly.  The oil companies would
be paid directly in oil instead of cash.

The Iraqi government is negotiating
the agreements, ostensibly, outside
of the influence of the occupying US
government, but as previously
reported by, the
Iraqi Oil Law was drafted in
cooperation with the same oil
companies now receiving no-bid
contracts, and the US required that
the Iraqi Oil Ministry include
representatives of western oil
production firms in its membership.  
Although the deals currently being
negotiated will last for only one or two
years, experts agree that being the
first companies to have access to oil
production in Iraq will certainly give
the companies an advantage in
consummating future deals with the

Iraq also awarded 6 service contracts
to state owned oil companies from
nations including Turkey and
Pakistan.  The ministry hopes to
increase oil production by half over
the next few years as new oil fields in
the country are exploited.  It is
estimated that Iraq’s oil reserves
exceed 300 billion barrels.    
it's all true
The Los Angeles Police
Department has coordinated a
program with the Los Angeles
Metrolink system to introduce a
course of random passenger
searches to “strengthen rail
security.” The Passenger
Random Baggage Search
Program was announced to
Metrolink system riders by way
of a pamphlet that was left on
the seats of train cars. The
pamphlet said that Metrolink
had been advised by the
federal Transportation Security
Administration that searching
passengers’ belongings is an
“effective security tool”.  The
police said that the searches
were not instituted in response
to any specific threat.

The search program is
by the police and the rail system’s
operators to “discourage and deter
violent criminals from carrying
weapons, explosives, or other
dangerous items onto Metrolink
Trains,” according to the pamphlet.  

Squads of sheriff’s deputies and
canine teams will conduct the random
sweeps, searching “any article of
baggage that a passenger is
carrying”, including briefcases,
shopping bags and fanny packs. The
police advised transit riders to expect
deputies to “physically inspect and
manipulate the contents” of all items
that they are carrying.  The searches
would be, as described in the
pamphlet, “swift and minimally

Metrolink police said that such
programs are already in place at
several other city commuter rail
it's all true
verbatim                                  number 30.6
"Of course if
you want to
slander America,
you can look at
it one way...
...go down there to
Guantanamo, and
take a look how those
prisoners are being
treated- they’re
working it through our
court system, we are
a land of  law...’s not what I was
doing down there…we
certainly wish Abu
Ghraib hadn't
happened, but that
should not reflect on
America.  This was the
actions of some
             London  06.16.08
The US Army general who headed
the 2004 investigation into the abuse
of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib
detention center in Iraq has publicly
accused the Bush administration of
committing war crimes and called for
those responsible to be held
accountable. Retired two-star Major
General Anthony Taguba leveled the
charges in his preface to a report on
US abuse of prisoners prepared by
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based
Physicians for Human Rights, which
documents evidence that former
detainees were tortured. Taguba is
the most senior US official to make
allegations of war crimes against the

The 121-page report,
Broken Laws,
Broken Lives,
comprehensive medical and
psychological examinations of 11
former detainees who were held
in Iraq, Afghanistan, and
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although
the 11 men were all released without
ever being charged, Physicians for
Human Rights found evidence that
each had been tortured. Dr. Allen
Keller, a medical evaluator for the
study, said in a statement, “We found
clear physical and psychological
evidence of torture and abuse, often
causing lasting suffering.”

“After years of disclosures by
government investigations, media
accounts and reports from human
rights organizations, there is no
longer any doubt as to whether the
current administration has committed
war crimes,” Taguba writes in the
preface to the report. “The only
question that remains to be
answered is whether those who
ordered the use of torture will be held
to account.” Taguba
concludes, “The commander in
chief and those under him
authorized a systematic regime of

Doctors found evidence that
detainees had been subjected to
illegal interrogation techniques
including beatings, electrical
shocks, sexual abuse, stress
positions, sleep deprivation, and
exposure to extreme
temperatures. The report notes
that seven of the 11 men
considered suicide as a result of
their treatment and the conditions
of their incarceration. According
to the report, "The evaluations
provide evidence of violation
criminal laws prohibiting torture
and of the commission of war
crimes by US personnel." The
report also criticizes the
participation of medical staff in the
abuse of detainees.    
it's all true
West Rattles Saber,
Iran Rattles Markets
Foreign Petro Firms Occupy Iraq’s Oil Fields
Companies Walk, Citizens Stalked Under New Surveillance
Tricky Feds
Checked Risky Meds
On Testy Vets
General Says Torture Policy Makes War President a War
Developing Database is Federal Facebook
Percent of married
couples with both
partners working
selected states
wv    la       id     mo     nh     ne
verbatim                                                                          number 31.1
"It's in our country's interests
to find those who would do
harm to us and get them out
of harm's way."  
        Washington DC 04.28.05
in police
efficiency  by
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