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redstateupdate.net
interpreting the constitution
redstat
one nation, under surveillance
Traffic
crowd control
spread of the red
Weather
number 143    
03.16.08
source: Viroqua
Institute
redstat
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Computer network security
personnel representing 18
federal agencies and more
than 40 private corporations
spent last week confronting a
series of simulated cyber-
attacks on government
operations and critical civil
infrastructure, as part of
“Cyber Storm II,” a secret
exercise coordinated by the
Department of Homeland
Security. The five-day program
involved officials from nine
states and four foreign
countries. The exercise was
intended to build links between
public and private sector
network security specialists,
according to  Under Secretary
for the National Protection and
Programs Directorate Robert
Jamison.

Cyber Storm II included
simulated attacks on the
information technology and
communications industries, as
well as attacks on chemical
facilities, railroads, and
pipelines. Government and
private contractors spent 18
months creating attack
scenarios that would test the
response capabilities of the
agencies and industries
involved. Private companies
participating in the exercise
included Microsoft, Dow
Chemical, Cisco Systems,
Wachovia Bank, and McAfee.
The foreign governments
included were Canada, the UK,
Australia, and New Zealand.

The operation included testing
of the government's recently
developed "Einstein" program,
a federal security program that
monitors numerous computer
systems in real time, searching
for  intrusions on all
government
networks.                
it's all true
In the second report on widespread
privacy abuses in the FBI’s use of so-
called “national security letters” to
obtain phone, Internet, and banking
records of companies and
individuals, the Justice Department
has revealed that Bureau officials
issued improper “blanket” records
demands to retroactively justify
unlawful surveillance and
investigations. The practice
continued through 2006, with the FBI
using at least 11 of the “blanket”
orders in that year alone, according
to the report by Justice Department
Inspector General Glenn Fine. The
records demands were used by the
Bureau to cover thousands of data
requests over several years to a
particular phone company or Internet
service provider.

In compiling his report, the Inspector
General interviewed FBI agent
Bassem
Youssef, who alleges that senior FBI
officials implemented the use of
blanket records demands after they
realized the Bureau had a massive
backlog of illegally obtained data. A
March 2007 report by the Inspector
General confirmed that agents had
routinely cited “emergency”
circumstances to access private
records in non-emergency situations,
in thousands of cases dating back to
2001. According to Youssef, the
sweeping records demands were
explicitly issued to retroactively cover
these unlawful investigations.

In a statement noting the
contributions of "whistleblowers like
Bassem Youssef," Republican
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa
said, "In the past, the FBI has shown
a propensity to act as if it were above
the law. That attitude clearly needs to
stop."                    
it's all true
"The free world is not going to tolerate the development of know-how in how to build a weapon."    Washington DC
09.20.07
verbatim                                                                                                                                                                                                       number 28.2
ak      wy      mt      wv     ms
8
12
4
16
A recent poll reveals that
American's awareness of
developments in Iraq has waned
as major media outlets have
reduced their coverage of the on-
going military action.  The Pew
Research Center for the People
and the press found that half of
those polled thought that the
number of American's killed in Iraq
was around 3000, which is the
approximate number of US
casualties in Iraq before American
media outlets stopped
aggressively reporting on the
occupation. The actual number of
US military casualties in Iraq is
3991.

The researchers found that Iraq
topped the list of most closely
followed news stories 47 weeks
last year. For the past few
months, however, “coverage of
the war has been virtually
absent,” said the researchers.
Reports about Iraq comprised
only one percent of news stories
between February 17 and
February 23.  The same study
found that 84 percent of the
respondents correctly identified
that TV talk show host Oprah
Winfrey had thrown her support
behind presidential candidate
Barack Obama.              
it's all true
The military attorneys representing a
Canadian youth, Omar Khadr, who is
being be tried for murder under the
Pentagon’s military tribunal system at
the detention camp in Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba, has alleged US soldiers
fabricated the evidence against his
client. The charge was made in a pre-
trial hearing by Navy Lieutenant
Commander William Kuebler who told
the tribunal, “The government
manufactured evidence to make it
look like Omar was guilty.”

Khadr was captured by the US
military in 2002 and charged with
throwing a grenade that killed Sgt.
1st Class Christopher Speer during a
US military
raid. Kuebler told the tribunal that the
original military report regarding the
incident said that the fighter who
threw the grenade was later killed in
the same battle by US forces, which
would mean that Khadr could not
have possibly murdered Sgt. Speer.  
Kuebler informed the court that he
received a later version of the report
as evidence in the tribunal
proceeding that had been altered to
say that US soldiers did not kill but
rather only “engaged” the fighter
who threw the grenade.

The case against Khadr rests upon
his confession to the crime, an
admission that was given to US
agents who
interrogated Khadr at an
detention facility set up by the US
military at the Bagram air base in
Afghanistan. Attorneys for the
detainees held at the detention
camp at Guantanamo Bay have
alleged that US interrogators used
brutal and unlawful interrogation
methods to elicit confessions from
detainees. The interrogators who
elicited the confession from Khadr
were from a military unit involved
in the beating deaths of two
Afghani detainees in 2002.

Khadr was 15 years old when he
was captured by US soldiers.    
it's
all true
The announcement last week of the
resignation of the top US military
commander in the Middle East after
some of his public statements
became “a distraction at a critical
time” has fueled speculation that the
Bush administration intends to attack
Iran during its final months in office.
Admiral William J. Fallon retired after
less than a year in charge of the US
Central Command, known as
CENTCOM, which encompasses the
most volatile regions in the world,
including the Middle East, the Horn of
Africa, and Central Asia. Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, in
confirming the resignation, denied
that Fallon’s often candid opposition
to military action against Iran was the
reason for his departure.

The publication of an interview with
Fallon in the April issue of
Esquire
magazine, which portrayed the
Admiral as an isolated proponent of
diplomatic overtures toward Iran
among a military and civilian
leadership all but committed to war,
was apparently the last straw for the
White House, according to political
observers. In the article, headlined
The Man Between War and Peace,
Fallon argues that in a region with
“five or six pots boiling over, our
nation can’t afford to be mesmerized
by one problem.” In September,
Fallon told
Al Jazeera, “This
constant drumbeat of conflict is one
that strikes me as not helpful, not
useful for the people, and I wish we
could get moving to things that are
more constructive for the region.”

Fallon’s outspoken candor and
willingness to depart from Bush
administration bellicosity towards Iran
created a major rift with hawks within
the White House and Pentagon,
notably the office of Vice
President Dick Cheney. There
were also rumors of hostility
between Fallon and his
subordinate, Army General David
Petraeus, who heads military
operations in Iraq, and is
considered a favorite of the
president. Fallon has denied
press reports that he berated
Petraeus for his willingness to
please the administration, calling
him an “ass-kissing little
chickenshit.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
issued a statement calling the
resignation "yet another example
that independence and the frank,
open airing of experts' views are
not welcomed in this
administration." A Pentagon
spokesman denied it was
"indicative of a hostile
environment toward free
thinking."      
it's all true
Abrupt Departure of Admirable Admiral Leaves Many Resigned to Attack on
Iran
DHS Takes Up
Cyber Space
FBI Engaged in Blanket Denial of Privacy
Rights
Increasing International Friction Over Juvenile Gitmo Fiction
Deficient Media
American, Idle
The Bush administration again acted
to overrule government scientists last
week when it intervened to set air
pollution standards at a lower level
than the Environmental Protection
Agency advised would be needed to
protect the health of Americans.  

The administration interceded to
ensure that government limits on
ozone were weaker than EPA
scientists had recommended.  The
Clean Air Act requires that pollution
standards be reviewed every five
years.   Researchers from the EPA
had unanimously called for tightening
the standards for releasing ozone
into the environment.  The scientists
said that the new more aggressive
standards would protect wildlife,
farmland, and the nation’s parks, as
well as the health of US citizens.  

The White House overruled the
scientific assessment of researchers
from the EPA after extensive lobbying
by interest groups that represent
business concerns, including
representatives of utilities companies
and manufacturers.  The EPA
acknowledged that tightening
standards for air pollutants would
have the effect of increasing costs
for businesses, but the agency also
said that its research indicated that
between
1400 and 2300 heart attacks would
be prevented in the US over time if
the more stringent rules were
adopted.  The administration’s
intervention ensured that the ozone
standards would be set at 75 parts
per billion instead of the tighter
standard proposed by EPA scientists
of 60 parts per billion.

A spokesperson for the
environmental advocacy group The
Natural Resources Defense Fund
said that the administration’s
decision to change the proposed
standards at the behest of industry
was an “unprecedented and unlawful
act of political interference.”  Tim
Donaghy of the Union of Concerned
Scientists told
Reuters that the Bush
administration’s demands to satisfy
business interests has led to an
“epidemic of interference in the work
of scientists,” that stretches from the
EPA “across pretty much every
science based agency in the federal
government.”  The chairman of the
House Oversight and Government
Reform Committee, Henry Waxman
(D-CA), sent a letter to the head of
the EPA asking the agency to
“explain its rational” for ignoring its
own scientist’s unanimous
recommendations and acquiescing to
the Bush administra-tion’s demands
regarding the new ozone emission
rules.               
it's all true
Smokescreen at Industrial Protection Agency
Percent of people 65 years and
over below poverty level -
selected
states
%
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