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redstateupdate.net
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one nation, under surveillance
News
spread of the red
number 164    
08.03.08
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Clarence
Brown Tribute
Page
President Bush has signed an
executive order extensively
revamping administrative guidelines
and operating procedures for the
nation’s 16 intelligence agencies,
formally bringing them under the
authority of the newly created Office
of the Director of National
Intelligence. The revisions were said
by administration officials to comprise
the most significant intelligence
overhaul in more than 20 years. The
announcement of the executive order
drew sharp protests from civil rights
advocates, Congressional
Democrats, and even a number of
Republican representatives, several
of whom staged a dramatic walkout
during a legislative briefing on the
new regulations by
current DNI Mike McConnell.

Democratic members of the House
Intelligence Committee, led by
chairman Silvestre Reyes of Texas,
complained that the administration
had failed to consult Congress on the
changes, only making the 40-page
document available after it had been
signed into law by the President. But
Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the
senior Republican on the committee,
was even more emphatic in his
denunciation of the unilateral actions
of the White House, leading five of
his GOP colleagues in walking out of
the closed-door McConnell briefing.

In a statement, Hoekstra said, “Given
the impact that this order will have
on America’s intelligence
community, and this committee’s
responsibility to oversee
intelligence activities, this cannot
be seen as anything other than
an attempt to undercut
congressional oversight.” In an
interview with the
Los Angeles
Times
, Hoekstra said, “This is
part of a systemic problem of the
administration, and I said I’m not
going to take it anymore.”

White House spokeswoman Dana
Perino said, "The executive order
maintains and strengthens
existing protections for Americans'
civil liberties and privacy rights."  
it's all true
A California construction company
chosen by the US government for
civil and military infrastructure
projects worth hundreds of
millions of dollars wasted millions
on “incomplete, terminated and
abandoned projects,” according
to a report by Special Inspector
General for Iraq Stuart Bowen.
The report found that Pasadena-
based Parsons Corp. received
more than $142 million, or 43
percent of its total revenues
under its Pentagon contract, for
projects that were left unfinished
or abandoned in various stages of
completion. According to the
Inspector General, Parsons
completed only 18 of 53
construction projects under its
contract, which was worth up to
$900 million.

In one notable case detailed in
the report, Parsons was paid $31
for its work on a prison before
being fired from the job in 2006
for delays and shoddy work.
Although the Pentagon
subsequently paid another
contractor a further $9 million to
continue work at the site, it was
finally abandoned
and remains vacant.         
it's all true
The Environmental Protection
Agency has ordered pollution
enforcement officials employed by
the agency not to talk with reporters,
congressional investigators from the
Government Accountability Office or
the agency’s own internal inspector
general.

A memorandum sent in June to 11
managers in the EPA’s Office of
Enforcement and Compliance
Assurance advised that all of their
employees should be warned against
speaking to investigators, stating that
if they are “contacted directly by the
IG’s office or the GAO requesting
information of any kind…please do
not respond to questions or make
any statements.”  The memo
instructs EPA staff to forward all
inquiries to designated senior EPA
officials for a response and to
warn the head of the Enforcement
and Compliance Assurance division,
Robbi Farrell.

The memorandum was written as
congressional investigators attempt
to find out how the agency managed
government information on global
warming.  The EPA is alleged by its
own scientists to have misreported
and massaged scientific data on
global warming and, as previously
reported by
redstateupdate.net,
many employees also complain that
they have been directly influenced by
political pressures to alter their work
product over the past seven years.  
Last month, EPA Administrator
Stephen Johnson refused to
cooperate with the Senate
Environment and Judiciary
committees by declining to testify
voluntarily.

The memorandum was leaked by
members of Public Employees for
Environmental Responsibility.  
The executive director of the
group, Jeff Ruch, reported that a
similar memo was written by the
Midwestern regional administrator
of the EPA who required
employees to direct all inquiries to
the agency’s press office for
response.  Requiring employees
to defer to public relations
appointees, according to Ruch,  
“shows the EPA’s leadership’s
profound fear of the expertise of
its own professional staff.”

The Inspector General for the
agency reminded EPA employees
that
they are legally obliged to
cooperate with Inspector General
investigators
and provide unrestricted access
to all agency work product and
internal communications.    
it's all
true
The former Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic, who
was captured 13 years after
ordering the genocidal
massacre of more than 8000
Bosnian Muslims, has advised
the United Nation’s war crimes
tribunal that the and US
negotiator and former
Assistant Secretary of State
Richard Holbrooke cut a deal
that allowed him to escape
prosecution if he would agree
to resign in 1995.

Karadzic attempted to read a
statement into the court record
at the International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia, and later
submitted a letter to the court,
alleging that Holbrooke
hatched the deal to gain
Karadzic’s cooperation as part
of US negotiations to end the
three year long war in Bosnia.  
Karadzic claims, “Mr.
Holbrooke undertook on behalf
of the USA that I would not be
tried before this tribunal and
that I should understand that
for a while there would be
sharp rhetoric against me.”  
Karadzic also said that the US
Secretary of State at the time,
Madeleine Albright suggested
that he go into hiding and, “go
to Russia, Greece or Serbia
and open a private clinic.”

Holbrooke responded stating,
“It would have been immoral,
illegal, unethical and against
everything I stood for” to hatch
such a plan with a war
criminal.  Holbrooke wrote in
his memoirs that his state
department superiors told him
to "use that old creative
ambiguity” while negotiating
with Karadzic.           
it's all true
Documents obtains through a
Freedom of Information lawsuit reveal
that during 2005 and 2006 the
Maryland State Police conducted
hundreds of hours of surveillance of
peace groups and organizations
opposed to the state’s death
penalty.  The documents also reveal
that state troopers reported the
name of a local antiwar activist to the
FBI so that his profile could be
included on a national database of
terrorists and drug dealers.

The documents were released by the
American Civil Liberties Union, which
was forced to appeal to the courts to
allow the documents to be released
to the public.  The state police
records show that undercover police
agents performed more than 280
hours of covert surveillance of the
groups over a 14-month period.  
Undercover agents working for the
Maryland State Police’s Homeland
Security and Intelligence Division
adopted aliases and joined antiwar
and anti-death penalty groups and
monitored e-mail correspondences
and  organizational meetings, many
of which were held in local churches.  
Surveillance reports were sent to at
least seven federal, state and local
enforcement agencies including the
National Security Agency.  Though
no laws were broken, agents
continually recommended that spying
should continue.

A staff attorney for the ACLU said, “In
our America, you should be able to
attend a meeting about an issue you
care about without having to worry
that government spies are entering
your name into a database used to
track terrorists.”                 
it's all true
“You believe in the Almighty,
and I believe in the Almighty...
verbatim                                                                                        32.1
...That's why we'll be
great partners."
 
Washington   DC   12.10.02
6
9
12
Births of low birth
weight as a % of total
births
selected  states
wa      vt      mi     nc      al      
ms
War Criminal
Reports a Crime
Troopers Target Suspected Protesters
EPA Acts Decisively to Reduce Noise Pollution-- By Silencing
Staff
Congressional Oversight an Afterthought for Intelligence
Agencies
Neglected Bridges Will Take Their Toll
Iraq Contractor
Left Jobs Incomplet
A year after the Interstate 35W
bridge in Minneapolis collapsed at
rush hour, sending cars, trucks,
buses and debris hurtling 60 feet
down an embankment into the
Mississippi River, little has been done
to comprehensively address the
nation’s deteriorating civil
infrastructure despite public support
and various state and federal
legislative initiatives. The Minneapolis
tragedy, which killed 13 and injured
145, briefly focused public attention
on the issue, but opposition from the
Bush administration and private
corporate interests has effectively
halted action at the federal level,
while fallout from the economic
downturn has overwhelmed state and
local efforts. Experts have warned
that more than one in four US
bridges is classified as either
“structurally deficient” or “functionally
obsolete”.    

A study released last week by the
American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials
concluded that more than 152,000
public road bridges in the country
remain at risk, out of a total of about
600,000. The findings are in line with
the most recent survey by the
Federal Highway Administration,
conducted in 2006. At that time the
American Society for Civil Engineers
estimated that repair costs would
exceed $200 billion over 20 years.
An independent investigation by the
Associated Press found that in the
year since the I35W collapse just 12
percent of the nation’s most heavily
used bridges with known structural
deficiencies received any repairs at
all.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward
Rendell told the
Los Angeles
Times
, “The push to repair bridges
and our country’s infrastructure has
become a victim of the bad economy.
If we don’t put money into our roads
and bridges and infrastructure, our
economy will get even worse. We
won’t be able to transport anything
across this country.” Rendell has
joined with other prominent state and
municipal officials, including  
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of
California and New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, in a bipartisan
coalition to promote a national
infrastructure-rebuilding program and
lobby for a massive increase in
federal funding.

US bridges were built to last about 50
years, and the average bridge in the
country is 43 years old in 2008,
according to the AASHTO report
released last week. Pennsylvania
alone has more than 6000 deficient
bridges, with an average age of 51.    
it's all true
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