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   Links of the Week

Introduction of the Habeas
Corpus Restoration Act, 2007

US Navy : Guide for the
Operation and Administration
of Detention Facilities, 2006

Martin Luther King :  
Beyond Viet Nam, 1967
Mountain Top,  1968

John McLaughlin and the Free
Spirits : Mattinale, 1995

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interpreting the constitution
back to top of
number 86  01.14.07
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
verbatim                                     number 16.6
“We take this action not for the
purpose of expanding the war into
Cambodia but for the purpose of
ending the war in Vietnam and
winning the just peace we all
           Washington  DC   04.30.70
"Succeeding in Iraq also requires
defending its territorial integrity
and stabilizing the region in the
face of extremist challenges. This
begins with addressing Iran and
         Washington  DC    01.10.07
03          04              05              
US troop deployment levels in
Iraq 2003-2005
The Selective Service
Administration announced last
month that it was gearing up
for a comprehensive test of
America’s military draft
machinery.  The Selective
Service plans to request
monies to conduct what it
refers to as a “readiness
exercise” this summer so it can
be ready for the test in 2009.  

The agency said that the
exercise is not an indication
that the draft will be
reinstated.  A spokes-person
said that the Selective Service
Administration is “not getting
ready to spring a draft.“

The Selective Service has
designated 2000 draft boards
across the US staffed with over
11,000 part-time officials.  The
local draft boards are only
required to perform annual
training when a draft is
expected.  The last time the
agency performed a readiness
test of the draft system was in

Although President Bush has
called for an escalation of US
troop levels in occupied Iraq
and he reportedly instructed
incoming Defense Secretary
Robert Gates to explore
options for increasing the size
of the military in all its
branches, the administration
has publicly opposed
reinstating the draft.  

Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim
Nicholson told reporters in
December that “society would
benefit” if the draft were
reinstated, but later issued a
statement that emphasized
that he does not support bring
back the draft.         
it's all true
Police in Huntington Beach, CA have
announced that they will abandon an
officer training technique that
involves planting contraband or
weapons on unsuspecting citizens
who have been pulled over in their

The policy change came about after
an officer who admitted that he
planted a loaded handgun in the
trunk of a driver's car was cleared of
any wrongdoing.   Huntington Beach
police stopped Tom Cox after he fled
the scene of an auto accident.  As
Cox stood by his vehicle on the side
of the road, he saw an officer throw a
gun in his opened trunk.  Later,
another officer found the weapon
and discovered that it was loaded.  
Cox was not charged for possessing
the gun but was eventually charged
with drug possession and leaving the
scene of an accident.  
Chief Ken Small said that the police
department’s policy of planting
weapons and drugs on unsuspecting
citizens for training purposes was
most often performed in a “controlled
environment” and planned in
advance.  In the case of Cox, Small
said that planting the evidence
“could have been done in a better
way.”  Small said that the department
had reassessed “the value of the
training exercise” and decided that
the tactic was “not worth continuing.”

Police departments across the US
use a similar tactic to train police
‘sniffer’ dogs.  Officers who work with
drug sniffing dogs carry small plastic
bags of cocaine, heroin and
marijuana so that they can plant the
drugs in the cars of unsuspecting
drivers to give their dogs on the job
it's all true
Advances in military medical
technology have dramatically
increased the survival rate among US
troops wounded in Iraq, with even the
most seriously injured soldiers
receiving effective emergency care.
As a result, there are 16 soldiers
wounded for every US fatality in Iraq,
the highest such ratio in American
history, according to a recently
published report. Pentagon and
Veterans Administration data confirm
that the unprecedented number of
temporarily and permanently
disabled soldiers returning from Iraq
represents a significant and often
overlooked cost of the US

The report, “The Economic Costs of
the Iraq War,” by Linda Bilmes of
Harvard University and Joseph Stiglitz
of Columbia University, projects that
the eventual cost of medical care and
disability benefits will be as much as
$700 billion. Because of the severity
of many of the injuries, long-term or
permanent care in the US will be
necessary for tens of thousands of
veterans, according to Defense
Department figures. Among the most
common disabilities suffered by US
soldiers in Iraq are traumatic brain
injuries, loss of limbs, and blindness.

Improved body armor has enabled
troops to survive concussive
explosions that would have killed
soldiers in previous wars.
Enhancements to  
emergency triage kits and rapid
evacuation to military surgical
facilities also increase the rate of
survival. But studies have shown
that survivors of roadside
explosions are likely to have
suffered some form of traumatic
brain injury (TBI), which can be
difficult to diagnose in the short
term.  A 2005 report by
called TBI “the signature
wound of the Iraq war.”  

The report notes that the relative
youth of the wounded soldiers will
increase the cost of their care
over time. More than half of all US
troops wounded in Iraq have been
under the age of
it,s all true
At the beginning of the year, a
new law mandating the automatic
declassification of hundreds of
millions of pages of federal
documents went into effect,
promising researchers an
unprecedented look at
government information from the
1960’s and 1970’s. But logistical
difficulties, funding issues, and
exemptions sought by various
agencies will effectively limit
access to much of the material.

The documents include 30 million
pages from the CIA, 35 million
from the National Security
Agency, and 270 million pages
from the FBI, as well as papers
from the State Department, the
Justice Department, and the Drug
Enforcement Agency. The order
will affect more than 80 federal

The release of the records will be
administered by the National
Archives, which currently has a
backlog of 400 million pages. A
2006 Justice Department review
of 57 million pages declassified
only 20 percent, exempting  more
than 46 million pages.                  
it's all true
Former Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld personally authorized and
directed a set of policies and
practices that resulted in the illegal
detention and interrogation of a US
citizen in Iraq, according to a lawsuit
filed in federal court in Chicago. In
the suit, attorneys for Donald Vance
allege that Rumsfeld’s explicit
approval of procedures that violated
both the US constitution and
international law led to their client
being held without charge for three
months in a Baghdad military
detention facility.

Vance, 29, is a Navy veteran who
was working as a private contractor
for an Iraqi security firm. During his
stay in Baghdad he became aware of
possible fraud and corruption
involving his employers, eventually
bringing it to the attention of FBI
agents in the US. At the time of his
detention by US military personnel,
Vance was working with the FBI as a
whistleblower. Although this
information was confirmed by his
captors after about three weeks, they
continued to hold and question
Vance for another two months.

“The Secretary of Defense is just as
bound by the constitution as any
other public servant, “ said Vance’s
attorney Michael Kanovitz, of
prominent Chicago civil rights law firm
Loevy & Loevy. The
suit, which involves wrongful
detention, unlawful interrogation,
suspension of habeas corpus, and
denial of the right to counsel, “is
really the prototypical case from a
civil rights perspective.”

The complaint alleges that Vance
was subjected to interrogation
practices known to have been
“condoned and encouraged” by
Rumsfeld, including prolonged
exposure to extreme temperatures
and loud music, as well as sleep
deprivation and interruption
techniques. According to the
document, the former Defense
Secretary’s disregard for the law was
so blatant that he “is not entitled to
any form of official immunity” for his
actions. Rumsfeld, an Illinois
resident, is the sole defendant
named in the suit.

Attached to the complaint as an
exhibit is a copy of a “Detainee
Status Board” form apparently issued
to all military detainees. The Board is
convened to determine the status of
each person in US custody. In listing
detainees' rights before the Board,
the letter explicitly denies detainees
legal representation, saying in part,
“You do not have the right to legal
counsel, but you may have a
personal representative assist you at
the hearing if the personal
representative is reasonably
it's all true
The US Forest Service has
announced that it will discontinue
allowing the public to comment on its
long-term plans for the more than
190 million acres of forestland,
prairies and savannahs that it has
stewardship over.  The agency will
also no longer require that
environmental impact analyses be
submitted to the agency as it makes
long range management plans to
open federally protected lands to
mining and logging.

The USFS said in a statement
released last month that its decision
to discontinue requiring
environmental impact statements and
disallow public commentary analyzing
plans to open up America’s
wilderness to commercial exploitation
was based upon a US Supreme
Court ruling that found that the
agency’s so-called “long-term”
planning does not actually cause
to protected land, and is therefore
exempt from the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1976.  
The act requires that federal
agencies consider the environmental
impacts of federal policy and solicit
public commentary before the
implementation of any federally
funded program or plan.

The announcement was hailed by
timber and mining firms and lobby
groups who believe that eliminating
environmental protection analyses
and public commentary will shorten
the time it takes for government
lands to be opened to exploitation by
five to eight years.  
Environmentalists, scientists and
Forest Service employees feel that
the decision eviscerates the
protections guaranteed under NEPA.

The changes will effectively eliminate
the long-standing rule that requires
protecting and maintaining wildlife
populations in America’s
wilderness lands and do away with
limits on allowable timber sales in
America’s wild forests.

The Government Accountability
office reported last year that the
USFS also used “categorical
exclusions” to eliminate the need
for environmental impact studies
that are otherwise required by
law.  The GAO found that the
USFS exempted 2,200 vegetation
management projects from
environmental impact statements
between 2003 and 2005.  The
projects exempted affected over
2  million acres of federally
protected land.  Exclusions are
granted for "salvaging dying
trees" and "improving timber
stands."  The GAO said that "little
is known about" the use of such
it's all true
Obstacles Litter
Federal Paper Trail
Proposed Escalation Portends Probable Surge in
Mock Draft
Real Draft Panned
Forest Service Clear Cuts Public and Environmental
Trooper Training Tactics Target Townspeople
Retired Rumsfeld Secretary of His Own
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