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crowd control
one nation, under surveillance
spread of the red
number 171    
May Day  
March in
Two Senate committees have
initiated separate investigations into
new allegations of widespread
abuses and privacy rights violations
in domestic surveillance operations
conducted by the National Security

Former military intelligence officers
who worked on the NSA programs
have charged that US eavesdroppers
routinely listened in on private
conversations with no security
implications, even circulating
recordings with salacious content
among themselves for amusement.
The accounts raise the possibility
that Pentagon and NSA officials may
lied in Congressional testimony about
the programs, and acted improperly
to cover up the abuses.

The former military linguists were
attached to the NSA transcription
center known as “Black Hall” at Fort
Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. They
ABC News that “hundreds of
everyday Americans” had their
phone calls intercepted, and that
“phone sex and pillow talk” were
shared among the staff. They also
allege that when supervisors were
made aware of apparent legal and
procedural violations they ignored
the warnings and explicitly ordered
the questionable practices to be

Phone records of journalists, relief
agencies, and US military personnel
stationed in Iraq were regularly
recorded, according to the

In a joint statement, ranking
Senate Judiciary Committee
members Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
and Arlen Specter (R-PA) said,
“Such interceptions, and orders to
continue transcribing them when
minimization should have resulted,
appear to violate” NSA rules and
Executive Orders governing
surveillance of US citizens.
Senator Jay Rockefeller
(D-WV), who chairs the
Intelligence Committee, confirmed
that his staff was also
investigating the new allegations,
which he called “extremely
it's all true
The collapse of the US financial
sector has caused another round
of upheavals in the market for
naming rights for professional
sports venues, as some
prominent stadium sponsors
vanish due to bankruptcies or
acquisitions, and others back out
of new deals. The recent failure of
Washington Mutual and takeover
of Wachovia will impact several
venues nationwide, most
prominently Philadelphia’s
Wachovia Center, home to the
Flyers and the 76ers, which will
get its fourth name in 12 years.
Spokesmen for insurance giant
AIG have said that its sponsorship
deal with Manchester United will
not be affected by financial
troubles that necessitated an $85
billion bailout from the US

With capital tight even among the
big corporate players that
compete for  naming rights,
franchise owners are discovering
that this is a bad time to be
opening a new stadium. The
Dallas Cowboys control one of the
most valuable brands in sports,
yet in the current climate,
negotiations for rights to name
their new facility have reportedly
it's all true
Name Game
Not the Same
Government Surveillance Reportedly Targeted Phone
Recently released US military
internal communications reveal
that soldiers who guarded
three individuals held as
enemy combatants in jails in
the United States were aware
that the detainees were in
jeopardy of going insane
because of the conditions of
their imprisonment and had
communicated this information
to senior military commanders.

In one communication, a
soldier who guarded detainee
Yaser Hamdi said, “I will
continue to do what I can to
help this individual maintain his
sanity, but in my opinion, we’re
working with borrowed time.”

An attorney for another
detainee, Ali al-Marri, who has
been held in isolation for 1800
days but has never been
charged with a crime, told
that his client’s “mental state is
deteriorating,” he is alone
“with no idea when
confinement will end.”

The detainees were held in the
same type of austere
conditions as the detainees
held by the US military in
Guantanamo Bay Cuba.  The
documents suggest the
possibility that hundreds of
detainees held in US custody,
many who have never been
charged with a crime, may be
held in conditions that induce

The documents were released
after attorneys who represent
one of the detainees, Jose
Padilla, filed a Freedom of
Information lawsuit to obtain
information relating to the
conditions of their client’s
it's all true
The US Army has contracted to
purchase five mobile crowd control
devices known as the “Silent
Guardian” Active Denial system that
blast pain rays at human targets.  
The Army intends to use the devices
in Iraq to disperse crowds and to
repel adversaries.  

As reported previously by

net, Active Denial
weapons use directed millimeter
waves to heat the water in human
skin causing an intolerable burning
sensation. The microwave beams
heat the skin of the target to 130
degrees in 2 seconds.  The weapons
are considered by the Army to be
“non-lethal”.   The Pentagon says
that the ray “can be used
operationally while maintaining a
significant safety margin.”

A recent medical study found,
that the directed energy weapon is
capable of producing second and
third degree burns.  The report says
that second and third degree burns
over twenty percent of a victim’s
body are considered to be
“potentially life threatening.”

The Department of Defense is testing
other directed energy weapons for
deployment including a Pulsed
Energy Projectile weapon called the
“Maximum Pain” laser and a Long
Range Acoustic Device called the
“Acoustic Blaster”.  

The National Institute of Justice is
exploring the development of a hand-
held rifle-sized version of the Active
Denial ray.  The Institute foresees
domestic law enforcement officials
using the weapon on small rioting
crowds and individuals.         
it's all true
An assessment of the environmental
damages left in the wake of
Hurricane Ike performed by the
federal government found that oil
extraction industries were hit hard by
the storm, causing releases of
hazardous chemicals and oil
products into the ravaged area.  
According to a report released by the
Minerals Management Service, more
than 500,000 gallons of crude oil
were released into the Gulf of Mexico
and island beaches, bayous and
marshes that stretch from Texas to

The agency said that there were
3,000 pollution reports between
September 11th and 18th, and 448
incidents of the release of oil,
gasoline, and other petrochemical
pollutants.  The area hit by the
hurricane contains a high
concentration of oil related industrial
production facilities.  Offshore in the
Gulf of Mexico there are 3800 oil
drilling platforms.  86 of these were
damaged, with 54 of them completely
destroyed.  The Coast Guard said it
received a report of a hazardous gas
release or toxic chemical or oil spill
every five to 10 minutes in the
aftermath of the storm.

The report said that researchers
found the most common contaminant
left in the wake of the hurricane was
crude oil.  Researchers found that air
contaminants from chemical plants
and refineries were the second most
common dangerous release.  While
the environmental devastation of the
recent storm was less than the
damages left after Hurricane Katrina,
MMS reported that more than 1500
sites will require environmental

The most severe spill took place at
oil refining facility operated by the
St. Mary Land and Exploration
Company, on a spit of uninhabited
land in the gulf.  The company
had abandoned the oil refining
plant before the hurricane hit.  
When employees of the company
returned to the site a day after Ike
made landfall, it was discovered
that storage tanks holding
266,000 gallons of crude oil had
been breeched.  Company
officials said that the oil had
simply vanished into the gulf.

In spite of these examples of the
kind of pollution that can be
caused by natural calamities such
Hurricane Ike, the candidates
running for president from both
parties agree that oil reserves in
US waters should be exploited
whatever the environ-
mental costs may be.       
it's all true
Death caused by firearm discharge
selected countries
0            200            400           
"Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times in our
                                                                                     Washington  DC   06.02.08
verbatim                                                    number 33.3
With millions of Americans becoming
unemployed or losing their health
insurance coverage in a
recessionary economy, community
organizers and health care
advocates have decried the
increasing tendency of large not-for-
profit hospital systems to withdraw
from low-income metropolitan areas,
even as they expand in more affluent
suburbs nearby. Across the country,
state and municipal authorities have
initiated numerous legal actions
seeking to hold health care
corporations to their obligations to
provide substantial services to
underserved local communities in
return for the generous tax
exemptions they receive. At the
federal level, a recent report by the
Government Accountability Office
found that nonprofit hospitals and the
companies that operate them have
too much discretion in defining the
“community benefits” that they are
required to offer to maintain their tax-
exempt status.

The market approach of the large
nonprofit hospital chains was detailed
in a report last week by the
Street Journal
focusing on the
largest such system, Ascension
Health, which operates 67 hospitals
in 20 states. Last year Ascension
closed its Riverview Hospital in
Detroit, the third inner-city
facility shuttered by the company in
ten years, and the last remaining
hospital on the city’s east side.
According to the
Journal, in 1960
Detroit had 42 hospitals within its city
limits; today there are only four. At
the same time, Ascension spent $224
million to build a state-of-the-art
facility in Novi, an affluent community
30 miles northwest of Detroit. The
new Providence Park Hospital
features private rooms with flat-
screen televisions.

Nonprofit hospital operators typically
expend less than 4 percent of patient
revenues on charitable services in
order to receive local, state, and
federal tax-exempt status. Ascension
spends about 2.5 percent on charity
care, the highest percentage among
the nation’s five largest not-for-profit
hospital systems, according to the
Journal report. Commenting on the
GAO report on variations in
community benefit criteria, Sen.
Charles Grassley (R-IA) said it
“makes clear that tax-exempt
hospitals are free to define
community benefit as they see fit.”
The report notes, "Since 1969, the
IRS has not specified that these
hospitals have to provide charity care
to meet these requirements, so long
as they engage in activities that
benefit the community."       
it's all true
Nonprofit Hospitals Surgically Remove
Hurricane Ike Leaves Tragic Trail of Terrible Toxins in Tattered
Captors' Insanity
Pain Ray is Army's Hottest New Hardware
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