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number 84  12.31.06
redstat
archive
D'Gary
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1000
Elementary and secondary finance
Current expenditures per capita by
state lowest 5
$
950
900
FL     NV     TN     UT    MS
verbatim                                                                                      number 16.4
“NATO is
transforming from a
static alliance
focused on the
defense of Europe...
...into an expeditionary
alliance ready to deploy
outside of Europe in the
defense of
freedom"
                           
Riga  Latvia  11.28.06
The Pentagon has requested
a $99.7 billion supplementary
appropriation for continuing
operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan and the ongoing
global “war on terror,”
according to documents
obtained by the
Associated
Press
. If approved by
Congress, the measure would
raise total emergency
spending on the wars to almost
$170 billion for fiscal year
2007, an increase of 45
percent over last year’s record
level. The request includes
$26.7 billion for repair and
replacement of military
equipment lost or damaged in
the wars.

The scope of the proposal is
broader than previous military
supplemental spending bills. In
an October memo, Deputy
Defense Secretary Gordon R.
England encouraged military
planners to expand their
budget requests to include
expenditures not directly
related to the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, such as
equipment procurement and
upgrades. Passage of the
measure will require the
cooperation of Democratic
Congressional leaders, who
have said that they will subject
Bush administration military
spending bills to increased
oversight.

Supplemental appropriations,
which are usually quickly
approved because of their
emergency status, are not
counted as part of the Defense
budget, and are not subject to
the same legislative review.
Since October of 2001,
Congress has authorized $507
billion in supplemental
spending for operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan.               
it's all
true
Government prosecutors
investigating the use of steroids
and other performance enhancing
drugs in major league baseball
won a significant victory last week
when a federal appeals court
ruled that they may retain
documents seized in a series of
raids since 2004. The decision, by
the 9th Circuit Court in San
Francisco, will allow the
prosecutors to use the documents
as evidence in the ongoing probe
of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-
Operative (BALCO). The
evidence includes positive test
results and personal information
on more than 100 players tested
during the 2003 season.  

In a partial dissent from the panel,
Judge Sidney R. Thomas warned
that the ruling could jeopardize
the confidentiality of private
medical records, writing, “The
scope of the majority’s new
holding in the digital age could not
be greater; it removes confidential
electronic records from the
protections of the Fourth
Amendment.”  Under an
agreement with the players union,
the records were to have been
destroyed after the 2003
season.             
it's all true
Canadian scientists have confirmed
the collapse of an enormous ancient
ice shelf in the Arctic Ocean, citing
global warming as the primary reason
for the “dramatic and disturbing
event.” The 40-square-mile Ayles Ice
Shelf, which is estimated to be
between 3000 and 4500 years old,
separated from the north coast of
Ellesmere Island, leaving huge ice
boulders and a 25-square-mile ice
island adrift in open waters about 30
miles off the coast. The speed and
violence of the incident surprised
researchers who used seismic data
and satellite photography to
reconstruct the separation.

The collapse occurred in August of
2005, but the remoteness of the
region and the unprecedented
nature of the event meant that it was
not immediately discovered. Although
ice shelves have
abruptly broken off of Antarctica in
recent years as air and water
temperatures have increased, this
the first major collapse in the Arctic in
more than a quarter century.
Researchers who studied the break
have concluded that it was caused by
sharply warmer temperatures in the
summer of 2005 that reduced the
sea ice floes that normally protected
the Ayles shelf from the direct impact
of the wind and waves.

Seismic equipment located more than
150 miles away registered the
separation as a small earthquake on
the afternoon of August 13, 2005.
Professor Warwick Vincent of Laval
University in Quebec traveled to the
scene to view the floating ice island.
“This is a dramatic and disturbing
event,” he told
Reuters. “It shows
that we are losing remarkable
features of the Canadian North that
have been in place for many
thousands of years.”  With regard
to the implications of the collapse,
Vincent said, “We are crossing
climate thresholds, and these may
signal the onset of accelerated
change ahead.”

The Ayles Ice Shelf was one of six
remaining major ice shelves in the
Canadian Arctic. According to
scientists, approximately 90
percent of known Arctic ice
shelves have disappeared over
the last 100 years.

Canadian officials have expressed
concern that the ice island formed
by the collapse may eventually
drift out into the Beaufort Sea,
disrupting international shipping
lanes or threatening oil and gas
exploration and drilling
operations.       
it's all true
The New York Times published an
opinion piece in its December 22
edition that was censored by the
White House for reasons that authors
of the piece describe as wholly
political.  Although the article was
reviewed by the CIA and found to
contain no classified information, the
White House intervened, redacting
large portions of 5 paragraphs from
the 16-paragraph article.

The piece was written by Hillary
Mann, a former Foreign Service
officer, and Flynt Leverett, a former
official in the Bush administration who
has worked for the CIA, the State
Department and the National Security
Council.

The opinion piece called for opening
rapprochement between Iran and the
US as a means to help end the
American occupation of Iraq.  While
the recent Iraq Study Group report
suggested initiating a dialogue with
Iran, The Bush administration has
been steadfast in its refusal to
negotiate with the country and its
elected leaders.  

Leverett has been a vocal critic of
the Bush administration’s refusal to
negotiate with Iran.  Since he
resigned from his position in the
Bush administration, Leverett had
submitted over 20 articles to the CIA
for approval and not a single
word in these previous articles had
been censored by the agency.

Representative Louise Slaughter (D-
NY) sent a letter to the White House
requesting why large portions of the
article were censored.  Slaughter
points out in her correspondence
that, if the article contained sensitive
national security information, “then
the CIA’s failure to deem the
information…
classified may have put our security
at risk.”  The action, states
Slaughter, suggests that the Bush
administration is unwilling to “allow
criticism by the national security and
intelligence communities” to be seen
by the public or reported by America’
s free press.

The
Times was sharply criticized by
free speech and free press
advocates when it was discovered
that the editors and publisher of the
newspaper chose to withhold
information that reporters had
uncovered revealing that the Bush
Administration had commenced wide-
spread warrantless surveillance of
Americans until after the presidential
elections in 2004.  

The
Times did, however, point
readers to other widely available
publications where the censored
materials could be
found.                                 
it's all true
Details of the murder of 24 unarmed
civilians by US Marines that took
place in November 2005 in Haditha,
Iraq were disclosed recently by an
attorney who represents one of the
soldiers.  An investigation by military
police reports that the civilians,
including children, were killed over
the course of three hours by the
troops who were ordered to “shoot
first and ask questions later” by their
commander.

The killings took place in a apparent
orgy of retaliatory violence after a
vehicle carrying Marines assigned to
the Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st
Marine regiment was hit by a
roadside bomb killing one and
injuring two others. The
Marines are reported to have killed
the civilian victims using grenades,
automatic weapons and at point-
blank range with service revolvers in
a manner described by military
investigators that evinced “a wanton
disregard for human life.”

Military investigators also determined
that soldiers participated in a cover
up of the incident, originally reporting
that the deaths were caused by the
roadside bomb and a “firefight” with
combatants that occurred after the
bombing.  Four Marines were
charged with covering up the
incident, ordering the destruction of
evidence and lying to investigators.

The killing spree is one of the most
chilling and significant allegations
of criminality or misconduct
against civilians since the US
began its occupation of Iraq.  Iraqi
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has
characterized the slayings as a
“terrible crime”.

While the massacre in Haditha is
the most shocking civilian murder
incident investigated by the
military, other US soldiers have
been charged with murder since
the US occupation began.  Four
soldiers were accused of raping a
14-year-old Iraqi girl and
murdering her and the rest of her
family to cover up the crime in
October of 2006.          
it's all true
Murderous Marines Used Fictional Firefight as Smokescreen
Emergency Spending
Requests Never
Ending
Scientists Call Arctic Ice Shelf Collapse a Global Warning
White House Deems Times Story Unfit to Print
Records Broken,
Seized
In MLB Steroid
Scandals
Media reports indicate that President
Bush will announce that, after an
extended period of consideration
during which US casualties have
mounted in occupied Iraq, he will
order a “surge” of thousands of new
troops to the occupied country and
extend the deployments of thousands
of soldiers currently stationed there.

Bush has support for this plan from
some politicians in his own party,
notably John McCain (R-AZ), who
has expressed interest in running for
the presidency in 2008.  The
president has also received support
for the idea of deploying additional
troops from some senior Democrats
in Washington.  

Incoming Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid (D-NV) has expressed his
approval of the additional
deployment stating
recently that sending more soldiers
makes sense to him if  “it's part of a
program to get us out of there."  Reid’
s support of the presidential plan was
echoed by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) who
sees more American troops in Iraq as
part of what she said is the “larger
plan” to end the occupation.

Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Richard
Lugar (R-IN), the outgoing chairmen of
the Senate Judiciary and Foreign
Relations Committees have both
expressed their deep reservations
regarding additional troop
deployments.  W. Patrick Lang, a retired
U.S. Army Colonel, and retired CIA
analyst Ray McGovern have criticized
the proposed surge as a “stay the
course” approach. Former Secretary of
State Colin Powell has said in public
appearances that the “surge cannot be
sustained."                           
it's all true
Republicans Retreat From Surge
Strategy
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