spread of the red
number 74  10.15.06
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Average price of a gallon of
gasoline by month from
October 2005
$3.00
$2.50
$2.00
10-05      01-06          05-06        09-06
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US Department of Defense :
Dictionary of Military and
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Bureau of Labor Statistics: The
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September 2006

Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy : Anicius Manlius
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verbatim                                                                    number 14.4
"You know, one of the
hardest parts of my job...
...is to connect Iraq to
the war on
terror."            
           
Washington D.C.  09.06.06
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The Assistant Deputy Coroner in
Oxfordshire, UK found after an
eight-day inquest that US forces
intentionally killed a British
Journalist and his interpreter in an
attack in Iraq in March 2003.  The
official, Andrew Walker, said
journalist Terry Lloyd,  injured and
riding away from US troops in a
makeshift ambulance at the time
he was shot in the head,
“presented no threat to American
Forces.”  

Lloyd and Hussein Osman were
killed by shots fired by US forces
when occupants of a passing mini-
van stopped to help the wounded
journalists and wounded Iraqi
soldiers.  The court watched a
video of the incident taken by a
US tank crew where US soldiers
could be heard screaming, “It’s
some media personnel! That’s
media down there!,” before the
shooting ceased.  A video
forensics examiner testified that
15 minutes might have been
erased from the videotape.  

A previous US military inquest
found that US forces had followed
combat protocols and that the
attack was justified.                       
its all true
A majority of the prisoners
being held by the United
States at Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba were rounded up in
mass arrests and later sold to
US forces for bounties that
averaged about $5000,
according to a recent report by
Amnesty International. The
detainees, who were originally
captured in Pakistan and
Afghanistan, were taken to
facilities including Guantanamo
and Bagram Airbase, and to
secret CIA-operated prisons
around the world. According to
the human rights group, often
the only evidence against the
prisoners was the word of their
captors, who received cash
rewards for each “terror
suspect” they handed over.

In a statement accompanying
the release of the report,
Amnesty International Senior
Director of Research Claudio
Cordone said, “Bounty
hunters—including police
officers and local people—
have captured individuals of
different nationalities, often
apparently at random, and
sold them into US custody.”
Allegations that the US was
indiscriminately offering
bounties for prisoners first
surfaced in March, 2002. A
recent book by Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf
confirms that substantial
rewards were paid by US
agents.

Over the past three years,
about 300 detainees have
been released from
Guantanamo Bay without
being charged. In most cases
they are returned to their
home country, regardless of
where they were
captured.             
its all true
Since President Bush declared that
his administration’s position with
respect to Iran’s development of
nuclear energy was that “all options
are open” and the vice-president
commented earlier this year that the
US or one of its allies may attack the
nation, speculation has arisen about
the possibility that America may
attack Iran preemptively.  

Although current administration
talking-points downplay an attack on
Iran, many observers conclude that
recent military deployments and
comments from current and former
military leaders suggest that an
aggressive air and sea attack on Iran
is being prepared by the US military
and its Israeli allies with
support from NATO and with the tacit
approval European leaders.  The
attack may include the first use of
nuclear weapons by an aggressor
nation in history.  

Naval commanders gave a “prepare
to deploy” order last month to the
USS Eisenhower and its battle group
that includes a nuclear aircraft
carrier.  The deployment order was
followed by an order by the Chief of
Naval Operations to review and
update plans to blockade two Iranian
oil sea ports.   The US has already
deployed the Enterprise strike group
in the Persian Gulf.  Pentagon
officials have been cited as preparing
for an initial aerial attack that would
last
for less than one week.  During
that time over 1500 nuclear
research facilities in Iran would be
bombed using stealth aircraft and
cruise missiles.   The initial attack
may be followed by a limited land
invasion.  

The goal of the attack would be to
weaken or derail Iran’s nuclear
capabilities and planners have
admitted that many of the
targeted  facilities are located in
densely populated areas.  Other
Iranian nuclear facilities are
reportedly hidden in hardened
bunkers, leading to speculation
that tactical nuclear weapons may
be used to destroy these
targets.           
its all true
A group of more than 65 economists
has made an appeal to Congress to
raise the federal minimum wage in
the US.  The minimum wage has not
been raised since 1997 and currently
is set at $5.15 per hour.

The group, who’s members include
Nobel prize winning economists,
called for raise in the lowest wages
that workers can legally be paid of
between $1 and $2.50.  The
economist further recommended that
future minimum wage increases be
indexed to inflation to protect the
purchasing power of working
Americans.

The group released a statement that
said that their research shows that
the purchasing power of the federal
minimum wage is at its lowest point
since 1951.  The group said that a
“modest increase in the minimum
wage” would improve the living
standards of low-wage workers but
that the raise would not have the
“adverse effects critics have claimed.”

The group endorsed a ballot initiative
in Missouri that, if passed, would
raise that state’s minimum wage by
$1.35 and tie future raises to the
consumer price index.  Other states
are currently considering similar
proposals this year,
including Montana and Ohio.

Opponents of raising the minimum
wage believe that the costs of rising
wages would hurt business, stifle job
creation and force low wage jobs out
of state or offshore.  Critics of the
proposal also say that the majority of
minimum wage earners are teens
that work part-time jobs.

The group said that almost all
minimum wage jobs are service jobs
that cannot be transferred overseas
or across state borders.  The
economists said, “evidence suggests
that modest increases in the
minimum wage” have had very little
effect on overall employment.  The
group reported that research shows
that the majority of those who would
benefit from a minimum wage
increase are adults, mainly females,
who are part of working families.

The share of national income that
went to wages in the first half of 2006
was at the lowest level since records
have been kept in 1929.  Wages
have grown at a 2 percent average
while corporate profits have risen
13.7 percent since 2001.

22 states, including the District of
Columbia, have minimum wages
higher than the federal minimum.   
its
all true
More than 100 federal employees
obtained fake college degrees by
paying an online “diploma mill,”
according to documents made public
by defense lawyers in a case in
federal court in Spokane,
Washington. The papers reveal that
at least 135 workers bought the
degrees to bolster their resumes and
enhance their prospects of promotion
within federal agencies. According to
an
Associated Press report,
recipients of the fraudulent degrees
included employees of the State
Department, the Justice Department,
and the National Security Agency, as
well as at least one White House
staffer.

The revelations came at a status
hearing in US District Court in a case
against the operators of the diploma
mill. A former employee of the mill
has pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to commit wire and mail
fraud, agreeing to testify against the
owners of the business. The diploma
mill is alleged to have laundered
almost $2 million in receipts from
2002 to 2005.The US Attorney
prosecuting the case would not
confirm the identities of any federal
employees who purchased degrees
from the operation.

These disclosures follow two
separate investigations of federal
employees using fraudulent degrees
by the Government Accountability
Office. The first, in 2002, found that
more than 1,200 resumes on a
government website listed degrees
awarded by known diploma mills. In
2004, the GAO identified 463 federal
employees with degrees from just
three large-scale operations,
including at least 28 high-ranking
officials.           
its all true
The US Navy lawyer who won a
landmark Supreme Court case
against the Bush administration’s
procedure for trying terrorist
suspects in ad hoc military tribunals
has been passed over for promotion,
and will be forced to retire. Lt. Cmdr.
Charles Swift, 44, was informed of
the decision within weeks of his
successful challenge of the detention
and prosecution of his client in
Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld. Under the
military’s advancement system,
senior officers not offered promotions
are expected to leave the services.

Swift was assigned by the Pentagon
to defend Yemeni Salim Ahmed
Hamdan,  detained in Afghanistan in
2001. Hamdan admitted to working
as a driver for al-Qaida leader
Osama bin Laden, but has denied
taking part in any terrorist activities.
Swift has said that he was
pressured by his superiors to
arrange a guilty plea, but the
defense lawyer instead decided to
challenge the constitutionality of the
tribunals themselves in the US civilian
court system. That challenge
eventually led to the Supreme Court
ruling striking down the
administration’s process for
prosecuting hundreds of suspects
who have been in US custody for up
to five years.

Swift told the
Miami Herald that he
would have pursued the same legal
strategy in the Hamdan case even if
he had known in advance that it
might spell the end of his 20-year
military career, adding, “It was a
pleasure to serve.” He told the
newspaper that he would continue to
lead the defense of Hamdan in
civilian life after his retirement. New
detainee legislation to be signed by
President Bush this week is very
similar to the set of rules rejected
by the Supreme Court, and Swift
has said that he will probably
mount a similar procedural
challenge on behalf of his client.

Only 10 Guantanamo Bay
detainees have been charged
with any crimes, but at least four
of the defense lawyers assigned
to those cases have been passed
over for promotion, in what many
observers construe to be a form
of unofficial retaliation for the
aggressive defense of their
assigned clients.  On Sunday, the
Los Angeles Times reported
that two members of the defense
team in a different Guantanamo
action had been ordered by their
military superiors to refrain from
talking about their case to the
media.                     
its all true
Naval Battle Group Deployed to Seek Diplomatic Solution
Government's Verdict on Hamdan Lawyer Not
Appealing
Gitmo Detainees
Discover Meaning of
American Bounty
Phony Degrees Lead to Unqualified Success
Economists Urge Congress to do the Minimum
Army Prevents
Reporter
From Meeting Deadline