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in bed with the red
interpreting the constitution
crowd control
number 142    
03.09.08
source: US Census Bureau
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Slim Harpo  
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Canadian government prosecutors
have amended their cases against
two suspected terrorists, discarding
evidence obtained by the CIA using
interrogation methods that are
considered torture under
international law.

Documents filed in February
removed all references to CIA
evidence from Abu Zubaydah, one of
three detainees the agency has
admitted to waterboarding while they
were held in secret prison facilities.
The Canadian Security Intelligence
Service deleted the evidence from its
most recent filings in the cases,
instead attributing the alleged
connection between the Canadian
suspects and Zubaydah to public
sources
and newspaper reports.

According to an investigation by
Newsweek magazine, the Canadian
deputy Justice Minister wrote to
lawyers for the two defendants to
confirm that evidence obtained from
interrogations of Zubaydah by the
CIA would not be used in the
government’s cases against their
clients. A government spokesman
told the magazine that he could not
comment specifically on the pending
actions, but he added, “The CSIS
director has stated publicly that
torture is morally repugnant and not
particularly reliable. CSIS does not
knowingly use information which has
been obtained through torture.”
Legal experts and human rights
groups have called repeatedly for
the closure of the US military
detention facility at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, where Zubaydah and
about 275 other suspects are now
held. Some of these groups have
pointed to the move by the
Canadian government as
confirmation that controversial US
detention and interrogation
practices cannot yield evidence
that would be admissible under
international guidelines.

A report released this week by
Human Rights First said that
"torture and other inhuman
treatment" were routine at
Guantanamo.   
it's all true
A number of commercial websites
promoting Cuban vacations for
European tourists have been
disabled by a US company after the
Treasury Department included them
on a blacklist. Some 80 websites
owned by British travel agent Steven
Marshall were shut down by his
domain name registrar, Bellevue,
Washington-based eNom, Inc., which
has subsequently refused to release
the domain names to him. The
company acted in October, but
details of the case emerged only
recently, when The
New York Times
published an article about Marshall’s
plight.

Treasury Department guidelines
require not only that US companies
refrain from transacting business with
the blacklisted entities, but also that
they freeze their assets. Marshall,
who has re-launched his travel
agency using alternative sites and
domain registrars based outside the
US, accuses both eNom and the
government of unlawfully taking his
property and interfering with his
business. The only mechanism
available to him to contest Treasury’s
decision is to appeal to the
Department itself.

The situation raises similar
jurisdictional questions as the recent
ruling by a federal judge in San
Francisco that temporarily shut down
the Wikileaks website. Marshall told
the
Times he could not see “how
websites owned by a British national
operating via a Spanish travel
agency can bee affected by US law.”

The US trade embargo against Cuba
contains an exemption for
informational materials, which legal
experts say should exempt Marshall's
websites.    
it's all true
Exports to US
top five countries
billion $    20            40            60
germany
china
japan
canada
mexico
As the expiration of the UN mandate
that sanctions the US to keep combat
forces in occupied Iraq approaches,
the Bush Administration has declared
that it does not need the approval of
Congress to enter into long-term
agreements with the current
leadership of Iraq to continue to use
military force in the country and
establish permanent military bases
there.

In testimony before a Joint House
committee on the scope of future US
commitments to Iraq, US Ambassador
to Iraq David Satterfield and
Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Affairs Mary Beth Long
said that the position of the Bush
administration is that the 2002
congressional authorization for the
use of force in Iraq gives it the
authority to enter into a status of
forces agreement with Iraq that
would give the US open-ended
authority to conduct military
operations in Iraq.


The Bush administration wants to
enter into two agreements it has
been negotiating with the Iraqi
leadership; a status of forces
agreement and strategic framework
agreement that would grant US
forces the right to stay in Iraq after
the UN mandate expires on
December 31.  The strategic
framework would govern normalized
relations between the US and Iraq.  
The status of forces agreement
would give US forces the “authority to
fight”.

Committee Democrats pointed out to
the administration officials that the
authority to fight is tantamount to an
authorization for the use of force,
which would require Congressional
ratification.  In a contentious
exchange, Rep. Gary Ackerman
(D-NY) asked, “It’s the view of the
administration that as long as
there’s trouble in Iraq, that you
have authorization of this
Congress to continue there in
perpetuity and define troubles
where you desire?”  Ambassador
Satterfield responded, “We have
the authority to defend the
national security of the United
States against the continuing
threat posed by Iraq.  Iraq
continues to present a threat to
the United States.”

The pending agreements include
language would also extend the
legal immunity that private military
contractors, such as employees of
Blackwater USA, are currently
protected by in Iraq.        
it's all true
The Transactional Records
Clearing House has released a
study that found a sharp decline
in Justice Department referrals for
prosecutions of white-collar
crimes.  TRAC documented a
decline in referrals for crimes
such as mail fraud, tax fraud,
counterfeiting and financial fraud.

The research group said that
agencies that “have long had
major responsibilities for fighting
white collar crime” like the FBI,
which referred 51 percent fewer
cases for prosecution in 2007
than in 1987, have shifted focus
to concentrate more on the
prosecution of illegal immigrants.  
In addition to the drop in FBI
referrals, referrals from the Secret
Service were down 67 percent
and referrals from the Postal
Service were down 45 percent.  

TRAC reviewed over 6.8 Justice
Department records from the past
20 years.  The records showed
that in 1987, 36 percent of all
referrals for prosecution of white-
collar crime came from the FBI; in
2007, just 16 percent of such
referrals came
from the FBI.        
it's all true
In what has been characterized
as a hostile takeover bid, one
of the nation’s largest military
contractors, United
Technologies has announced
an offer to purchase the
troubled ATM and electronic
voting machine manufacturer,
Diebold, Inc. for $2.63 billion.

UTI has been negotiating a
deal with Diebold for 2 years
and went public with its offer so
share-holders of Diebold stock
would be aware of UTI’s
interest.
James Geisler, vice president
of UTI, said when the offer was
announced that UTI thought
the offer to be “so compelling
we thought shareholders
should know about it.”

Diebold, which has been
damaged by scandals
surrounding flaws in the
electronic voting machines that
the company produces that
render the machines
vulnerable to hacking,
announced that it was going to
cut 5 percent of its workforce
last month and also said that it
was making an assessment of
its manufacturing facilities in
an effort to reduce costs.  
Diebold is also currently under
investigation by the Justice
Department for alleged
securities violations.

UTI is one of the nation’s
largest military contractors.  
The company holds more than
$5 billion in government
contracts.  The Project on
Government Oversight reports
that UTI had the sixth highest
number of instances of
misconduct among the nation’s
top military
contractors.              
it's all true
"Should those who stepped
forward to say we're going to
help defend America have to
go to the courthouse to
defend themselves, or should
the Congress and the
president say thank you for
doing your patriotic duty?...
...I believe we
ought to say thank
you,"
Washington DC 03.03.08
verbatim                                                                                         number 28.1
Canadians Understand Indefensible Methods Yield Inadmissible
Evidence
US Web Censorship a Form of Eminent
Domain
More than two and a half years after
Hurricane Katrina devastated the
Gulf Coast, forcing more than
250,000 people to flee New Orleans,
a significant proportion of the
displaced population has yet to
return to the city. Agencies that work
with the poor and disabled in New
Orleans have long accused federal
and municipal authorities of failing to
provide adequate infrastructure and
social services to reconstitute local
communities hardest hit by the storm
and flooding. Now government data
confirms that tens of thousands of
evacuees have become permanently
displaced, with little realistic chance
of ever returning to New Orleans.

In an article published in the
Louisiana Weekly, New Orleans law
professor Bill Quigley writes that
“critical shortages in affordable
housing,” exacerbated by
public/private development plans that
include the demolition of thousands
of units of intact public housing,
mean that “few now expect tens of
thousands of poor and working
people to ever be able to return
home.” Citing a number of
government reports and statistics,
Quigley estimates that half of the
working poor, elderly, and disabled
people that lived in the city before
Katrina have not returned. He
concludes
that the exodus has permanently
altered the political and
socioeconomic demographics of New
Orleans.

Federal statistics indicate that the
permanently displaced population is
overwhelmingly African-American.  
Quigley notes, “The black population
of New Orleans has plummeted by 57
percent, while the city’s white
population fell 36 percent, according
to census data. The areas that are
fully recovering are more affluent and
predominately white. New Orleans,
which was 67 percent black before
Katrina, is estimated to be no higher
than 58 percent black now.”

The demolition of the public housing
units has been a source of
controversy since it was first
proposed by private developers in
the immediate aftermath of the
hurricane. Last month United Nations
officials toured New Orleans and
called the permanent displacement of
the city’s poorest citizens a violation
of human rights.  According to an
Associated Press report, “Council
members unanimously supported the
demolition plan in December, in a
meeting marred by violence when
some protesters tried to force their
way into the packed chambers.”         
it's all true
Developers Provide Ethnic Cleansing Services
FBI Can’t Button Down
White-Collar Crime
Bush Administration Does Not Need the Frustration of Ratification
Corrupt Contractor
Connives To Capture
Corrupt Contractor
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