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number 88  01.28.07
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verbatim                                                                                                                                            number 17.2
"Victory will not look like the ones our fathers
and grandfathers achieved."
                                       Washington  DC   01.10.07
As members of the
governmental bodies that are
charged with monitoring the
world’s tuna fisheries meet in
Kobe, Japan, an environmental
group has released a briefing
that expresses the dire
warning that tuna stocks are
imperiled and vanishing at a
startling pace.

The World Wild Life Fund
reports that all of the 23
commercially exploited tuna
stocks around the world have
been fished so heavily that
nine are classified as fully
fished, three are classified as
critically endangered and three
are considered vulnerable to
extinction.  The remaining
eight stocks are considered to
be overexploited or seriously
depleted. Tuna is a major food
source around the world and
the collapse of the fisheries
portends catastrophe for
populations that rely upon tuna
as a staple food item.

The environmental advocacy
group states that tuna fisheries
are threatened by lax
oversight, poor conservation
management and illegal and
unregulated exploitation.  The
consequences of these factors
say the authors of the study, is
that tuna fisheries have been
devastated and are on the
brink of collapse.  The report
noted that the spawning
biomass of southern bluefin
tuna is currently between 5
and 12 percent of its original
size.  The group states that
management of the fisheries is
“driven by short-term industry
interests", and that
governments  refuse to “follow
scientific advice” about how to
protect the fisheries.  
it's all true
An 81 year-old man who lives in
Easton, PA,was questioned and
photographed and his home was
searched by members of the Secret
Service after he sent a letter to the
editor of his hometown newspaper
criticizing the botched execution of
the deposed leader of Iraq, Saddam
Hussein.  Retiree Dan Tilli, who has
corresponded with the editor of the
Express-Times about 200 times
over the past decade, wrote that
George Bush was, in his opinion, a
“maniac” and, with respect to the
execution, that perhaps “they hung
the wrong man.”

Based upon a “tip” from the New
York office, two agents from
Allentown traveled to Easton to
investigate the letter writer.  The  
agents, as part of their inquiry, called
the offices of the agents, as part of
their inquiry, called the offices of the
Express-Times in an
attempt to get the home address of
the 81 year old.  Although the
newspaper refused to give the
investigators the information, the
agents found Tilli’s apartment
building and phoned him to advise
him that they “were coming up” to
interview him and search his home.

The agents spent nearly an hour
grilling the elderly correspondent,
asking him “Do you have any
siblings?”, “Have you ever been to
Washington DC?” and “Have you
ever considered committing
suicide?”   The agents also asked
Tilli about his statement in the letter
about hanging the “wrong man”.  Tilli
responded that he could well have
meant Osama Bin Laden.  The
Secret Service said that "it has a
great respect for an individual’s
freedom of speech,” but also a
“duty” to investigate  the potential
death threat.          
it's all true
$b                  20                  40
FL
IL
TX
NY
CA
Cost of Iraq War by
state
top five states
source : Internal Revenue
Service
Legislative efforts to increase the
minimum wage stalled last week in
the US Senate, as Republican
opponents of the bill passed by the
House of Representatives introduced
a flurry of amendments and insisted
on linking the increase to new tax
breaks for businesses. Among the
proposed amendments was an
attempt to repeal the federal
minimum wage, which received the
support of 28 Senators. Another
proposal would have mandated
increases in minimum wages even in
states that already exceeded the
federal standard.  

Sponsors of the bill that would raise
the minimum wage from $5.15 to
$7.25 per
hour over 26 months criticized
initiatives designed to forestall a vote
on the issue and condemned the
attempt to attach tax cuts to the
legislation. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-
MA), a leading proponent of the
increase, asked his colleagues, “Why
can’t we do just one thing for
minimum-wage workers, no strings
attached, no giveaways to the
powerful?”  Eventually, the proposal
to implement the increase without
corresponding tax breaks for
businesses failed by six votes, with
only five Republican Senators
supporting the measure.

During the debate, Sen. Wayne
Allard (R-CO) introduced an
amendment nullifying federal wage
standards, leaving  it to
each state to determine its own
minimum wage. “Let’s allow the
states to have a say and decide
what is right for them. They are
the closest to the people,” said
Allard. Several states have a
minimum set below the federal
standard, or no minimum wage
law at all. Currently, the federal
wage supersedes state law in
these cases.

Among those supporting Allard’s
measure were presidential
hopefuls Sam Brownback, John
McCain, and Chuck Hagel.
Republican Senate leaders Mitch
McConnell and Trent Lott also
voted in favor of the
amendment.                   
it's all true
Former Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld remains officially
affiliated with the Pentagon as he
and his staff review thousands of
documents at his “transition
office” in Arlington, Virginia,
according to a report by the
Washington Times. Pentagon
insiders told the newspaper that
they are surprised by some
aspects of the transition
operation, which is more extensive
than that of other former defense
secretaries. Rumsfeld is
designated a “nonpaid
consultant” to the Department of
Defense, retaining his security
clearance and authority to access
classified data.

The transition office, which is
located in a private business
complex near the Pentagon, has a
staff including seven Pentagon
employees, according to the
Times. Top aide Stephen
Cambone is reportedly assisting
in the operation, which involves
sorting through documents from
Rumsfeld’s DoD administration.

It is thought that Rumsfeld intends
to publish a book about his six
years as secretary, which
included two foreign invasions
and the initiation of the “war on
terror.”             
it's all true
The United States has refused to
remove a Canadian citizen from its
terrorism watch list, even after his
exoneration by a judicial inquiry led
to a multimillion-dollar settlement and
an apology on live television from the
Canadian Prime Minister. US officials
continue to maintain that Maher Arar,
37, a Canadian software technician
falsely accused in 2002 of terrorism
links, his wife, and their children
should be barred from entering the
country or flying over US airspace
because they may represent a threat
to national security. After reaching a
settlement with Arar last week, Prime
Minister Stephen Harper vowed to
continue to press the US to lift the
restrictions.

Arar was detained in New York as he
returned to Canada from a vacation
with his family in 2002. US authorities
held him for 11 days and then
deported him to Syria, a decision that
was based in part on erroneous
evidence provided by the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police. He was
held and tortured for almost a year
before being released without
charge. A two-year investigation by a
panel led by Associate Chief Justice
of Ontario Dennis O’Connor
completely cleared Arar, strongly
criticizing the actions of the RCMP.
The findings of the inquiry prompted
the resignation of the RCMP
Commissioner, and resulted in a
settlement of $8.9 million for Arar,
plus an additional $1.1 million for his
legal costs.

The US ambassador to Canada,
David Wilkins, confirmed that US
Homeland Security officials would
keep Arar and his family on the watch
list. In a statement, the State
Department said, “We remain
convinced that Mr. Arar’s presence
on the watch list is appropriate.”  In
an apparent reference to Canadian
diplomatic pressure on the issue, the
statement continued, “Ultimately, the
United States will decide for itself who
is or isn’t on the watch list.”  
Homeland Security chief Michael
Chertoff and Attorney General
Alberto Gonzalez have also defended
Arar’s continued inclusion on the list,
each claiming that US agencies have
developed information independently
of the Canadian intelligence services.

Speaking at a news conference, Arar
said, “The government of Canada
and the prime minister have
acknowledged my innocence. This
means the world to me.” Attorneys
for Arar  filed suit on his behalf in
federal court in New York, but their
case was dismissed on narrow
jurisdictional grounds. That decision
is currently pending appeal.        
it's
all true
The chief law enforcement official in
the United States, Attorney General
Alberto Gonzalez, articulated a
distinctive and potentially revealing
interpretation of the Constitution in
recent testimony before the Senate
Judiciary Committee.  In response to
a question from Sen. Arlen Specter
(R-PA), Gonzales, who is also the
attorney for the executive branch,
argued that Americans are not
accorded the right of habeas corpus
under the Constitution.

Gonzales advised the committee that
in his interpretation, “There is no
expressed grant of habeas in the
Constitution.”  The Attorney General
continued, “The Constitution doesn’t
say every individual in the United
States or citizen is hereby granted or
assured the right of habeas, it doesn’
t say that.”
There is a “prohibition against taking
it  
away,” Gonzales admitted, but
Americans, in his interpretation, do
not have the right to challenge their
imprisonment by US authorities as a
matter of course.

Habeas corpus is one of the
foundations of common law that pre-
dates the American Constitution.  A
writ of habeas corpus is a judicial
order to bring a prisoner before a
court to determine whether or not
that person is being unjustly
imprisoned. The right of habeas
corpus is one of a citizen’s
fundamental protections against
arbitrary or discriminatory state
authority.

The Attorney General and the
executive have demonstrated that
they feel constrained by the right
habeas corpus over the course of
their prosecution of the ‘war on
teror’, but Gonzales’
statement was the first indication
that the administration believes
that Americans have no
inalienable right to challenge their
arrest or imprisonment in a court
of law.

The administration curtailed
habeas for non-citizens and any
American citizen who is deemed to
have breached an “allegiance or
duty to the United States” when it
singed the Military Tribunal Act of
2006 into law this past October.  
Throughout his  testimony
Gonzales’ referred to the
constitutional authority of the
president, saying that the
president has broad powers to act
upon his interpretation of US law.   
Specter told Gonzales, after his
comments about habeas, “You
may be treading on your
interdiction of violating common
sense.”             
it's all true
Tuna Stocks
See Net Loss
Secret Service Agents Learn to Suspect Their
Elders
Rumsfeld
Takes
Paper Route
US Refuses to Admit Innocent Traveler, Liability
Senators Work Overtime to Terminate Minimum Wage Increase
Unprecedented Interpretation Contravenes Constitutional Convention
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