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back to top of
number 95   03.18.07
interpreting the constitution
in bed with the red
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
one nation, under surveillance : unwarranted
source: Viroqua
verbatim                                                                          number 18.5
Why tell the enemy what
we're doing if the program
is necessary to protect us
from the enemy? And it is.
And it's legal. And we'll
continue to brief Congress.
And we review it a lot."
Washington  DC  01.29.06
Plastics and rubber
products manufacturing
per capita
top five states
source: US Department of
verbatim                                        number 18.4
"I'm optimistic
about this
country...'ve got to
know something
about your
...I am some kind of
optimistic about
where we're headed"
Washington  DC 03.15.07
$         20         40        60        80
The National Archives and
Records Administration has
removed millions of documents
from public view over the past
five years under programs
intended to purge from public
availability documents that may
“support terrorist activity.”

It was revealed last year that
the Air force, CIA and other
unknown intelligence interests
conspired with the NARA to
remove “open-shelf” archival
records secretly so as not to
draw criticism from academics
that use the records in their
research.  The agreement
sought to remove documents
from the public domain that
“may have been improperly
marked as declassified” the
release of which may “harm
the national security interests
of the United States.”

Although the NARA promised
greater openness after the
secret re-classification
program was revealed, a
recent report by the
Associated Press found that  
under the “records of concern
program” 1.1 million pages
have been removed from
public view and an additional
625 million pages could be
affected in the future.  

The report found that many of
the documents were pulled
from the public domain without
being reviewed including 80
cubic feet of naval facility
blueprints and plans.  Archive
spokesperson Steve Tilley told
AP that the agency
“couldn't take the time and
didn't always have the
expertise” to evaluate the
material it re-classified.  
it's all
A study of over 100,000 veterans
returning from the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq who receive
government funded health care
found that a large amount,
approximately 25 percent, have been
diagnosed with mental health
disorders.   The report also found
that 56 percent of the veterans
diagnosed with mental health
disorders suffer from two or more
distinct mental health diseases.  
When psychological disorders such
as domestic violence were factored
in, the rate of veterans struggling
with mental illness was 31 percent.

The study, published in the American
Medical Association’s Archives of
Internal Medicine, reviewed the cases
of 103,788 veterans of Operation
Enduring Freedom and Iraqi
Freedom who served between 2001
and 2005.  Half of the veterans with
mental health problems
have been diagnosed with post-
traumatic stress disorder.  Post-
traumatic stress disorder can
manifest itself in persistent
nightmares and cause feelings of
intense remorse or hopelessness.  

Some returning veterans report
experiencing anxiety and sleep
disorders and others suffer from
substance abuse problems. The
study found that “the youngest group
of veterans (age, 18-24 years) was
at greatest risk for receiving mental
health or post-traumatic stress
disorder diagnoses.”  

The findings suggest that a larger
number of veterans who are
returning from Afghanistan and Iraq
are being diagnosed with mental
health problems than projected by
the Veteran’s Administration.  A
previous review of returning veterans
found that while a
third accessed mental health
services, only 12 percent were
diagnosed as having a mental

The VA believes that, in the long
run, a greater percentage of
veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq
may exhibit disorders such as
PTSD than veterans of previous
conflicts.  Veteran’s
Administration officials cite the
fact that many troops are being
deployed for multiple tours of duty
in Afghanistan and Iraq as one of
the reasons for the expected rise
in veterans who are diagnosed
with mental health disorders.  
Although this is the case, the
Government Accountability Office
found that the VA had failed to
spend $100 million allocated over
the past two years specifically for
veteran’s mental health
it's all true
A leading constitutional scholar has
said that there is increasing evidence
that President Bush knew of, or even
personally authorized, the torture of
suspects in US custody.

Jonathan Turley of George
Washington University, speaking to
Associated Press, said of the
detainees, “It seems pretty clear that
they’ve been tortured, and that the
president knew they were being
tortured, and may have even ordered
their torture through techniques like
water boarding.”  His comments
came as the government held secret
hearings to determine the status of
14 terrorism suspects currently being
held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
It was confirmed last November that
CIA operatives and US military
personnel acted under the authority
of classified directives signed by
Bush and then Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld when they
questioned suspects detained in the
administration’s “war on terror.”  The
existence of a set of secret executive
orders was first suggested by
documents obtained by the American
Civil Liberties Union in 2004. As
previously  reported by  the
redstateupdate, the administration
has successfully invoked the state
secrets privilege to prevent details of
the interrogations from becoming
public in trials involving innocent
detainees who were tortured.
“The administration has been
almost pathological in trying to
find ways to keep these people
from ever seeing a real judge or a
real lawyer, and the reasons are
obvious,” Turley told the
AP. “It
seems likely now that the
president may have not only
known about the torture program,
but may have ordered it.”   

Recent reports that suspected
terrorist leader Khalid Sheikh
Mohammed had confessed to an
extraordinary array of crimes were
greeted with skepticism abroad,
due to the perception that US
detainees are subjected to
conditions illegal under
international law.      
it's all true
Two former Ohio election workers
have been sentenced to 18
months in jail for their participation
in a fraudulent recount of ballots
in the 2004 presidential election.
The judge, in imposing the
maximum sentence, told the fired
employees of the Cuyahoga
County Board of Elections that he
felt they were accepting
responsibility for rigging the
recount in an effort to protect their
former bosses.

The workers were convicted of
secretly pre-selecting ballots for a
recount sample to ensure that
there would not be enough
discrepancies in the county to
necessitate a full manual recount.
“I can’t help but feel there’s more
to this story,” said Judge Peter
Corrigan. “It seems unlikely your
supervisors wouldn’t know.”  Both
defendants denied that they were
withholding evidence of a larger

Prosecutors in the case asked for
the maximum sentences because
they said the former election
workers had been uncooperative.
Prosecutor Kevin Baxter said,
"The defendants have never
come clean."     
it's all true
Justice Department officials
have continued their efforts to
increase data retention
requirements for internet
service providers, proposing in
private discussions with
industry leaders last week that
information related to image
and video uploads be indexed
and made available to law
enforcement agencies for at
least two years. The meeting,
chaired by Assistant Attorney
General for Legal Policy
Rachel Brand, included
representatives from Comcast
and AOL, according to a report
CNet News. The
companies were asked to
calculate the cost of
compliance with the proposed

Brand argued that access to
the companies’ databases was
essential for agencies involved
terrorism and child pornography
investigations. According to the
report, universities and libraries
would be exempted from the proposal
under current consideration,
apparently because the Bush
administration anticipates resistance
on the issue from those communities.

Under Attorney General Alberto
Gonzalez the Justice Department has
assiduously supported laws
mandating the collection by private
companies of digital information on
the identities and transactions of
their customers.
Gonzalez himself has testified
numerous times before
Congressional committees on the
need for federal regulation of data

Legislation pending in the House  
would allow the DoJ to determine
retention and access
it's all true
The Pentagon is preparing for an
upcoming agency-wide audit in 2007
after years of criticism from
whistleblowers and investigators from
the Government Accountability Office
about the lack of accounting
procedures at the Department of
Defense in general and particularly
regarding the lack of oversight of the
money being spent in the occupation
of Iraq.  The Pentagon is spending
over $1 billion a week in Iraq with
scant oversight using antiquated or
flawed systems of accounting.

The GAO reported to congress in
2004 that the Department of Defense
was unable to account for billions in
IT related expenditures due to sloppy
accounting procedures.  
Investigators said that funding
requests for “73 major (DOD)
initiatives,” could not be verified due
to accounting discrepancies.  The   
costs for the initiatives amounted to 6
percent of the Pentagon budget for
2004, or $1.6 billion.

Former Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld told Congress, as he was
seeking approval for the 2003
defense budget, that “According to
some estimates we cannot track $2.3
trillion in transactions.”  An
accountant for the Defense Finance
and Accounting Service, Jim Minnery,
quit his job and became a whistle
blower in 2002 and reported to
congress that “we know it's gone. But
we don't know what they spent it on.”  
The chief investigator at the GAO
characterized the lack of fiscal
oversight at the Pentagon as
“atrocious financial management"
and suggested that congress require
that the Pentagon establishes
measures to ensure fiscal
it's all true
An FBI counter terror alert was
passed to police departments around
the country that warned local officials
to be aware that members of
extremist groups have begun to
apply for positions as school bus
drivers and have even bought school
buses and created transportation
companies in hopes of garnering
contracts with school districts.

A spokesperson for the FBI  said that
while “there are no threats, no plots
and no history to lead us to believe
there is any reason for concern,”
recent “suspicious activity” led the
agency to
communicate the alert to local law
enforcement so that they can
“watch out for kid’s safety.”  The
spokesperson went on to say
“parents and children have
nothing to fear.”

The agency said that it knows of
no information to show that
foreign nationals with ties to
extremist groups “are involved in
a terrorist plot against the
homeland,” and the alert was only
intended to keep local police on
the look-out for “suspicious
it's all true
2001         2002          2003         2004          2005         2006          
Department of
Homeland Security
Total Federal  
The Bush administration has
established a policy opposing the
disclosure of the amount of money
that is appropriated to fund the
Department of Homeland Security.  

Responding to a provision in a
pending bill that would mandate the
disclosure of the total budget for the
department, the Executive Office of
the President formally advised the
Senate it “strongly opposes” the
disclosure of the budget. The Bush
administration said that making
public the amount DHS receives
each year would disclose "to the
Nation's enemies and adversaries
in a time of war...significant
intelligence" that could "cause
damage to the national security
interests of the United States."  
The statement also informed the
Senate  that the disclosure “would
provide no meaningful information
to the general American public.”   
it's all true
Extremist Bus Drivers Pose Vague Threat
Discussion of DHS Budget Supports Terrorism
Soldiers' Mental Health Becomes Collateral
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
advised President Bush on an
internal Justice Department probe
even after learning that his own
actions would be a focus of the
investigation. An official examination
of the implementation and
management of the National Security
Agency’s warrantless domestic
surveillance program led to the
apparent conflict of interest, which
was revealed last week by the
National Journal. According to the
report, Justice Department sources
confirm that the inquiry by the
department’s Office of Professional
Responsibility would have explored
both Gonzales’ role in authorizing the
program as White House counsel
and his supervision of the program
as Attorney General. It remains
unclear whether the president knew
that Gonzales’ conduct would be
reviewed by the OPR when he
personally intervened to quash the
investigation in April 2006.

Members of Congress asked the
Justice Department to conduct an
investigation into the NSA
wiretapping program, which
sidestepped Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act court oversight, after
the program was publicly disclosed in
December 2005.The
Journal, citing
administration sources and official
documents, reports that Gonzales
learned in early 2006 that the scope
the OPR investigation would include
close scrutiny of his own actions, first
as White House counsel and later as
Attorney General. Continuing to
advise the President about a probe
of which he was a target raises
questions of propriety, according to
legal experts, who say that Gonzales
should have recused himself from
such discussions.

It is unknown whether Gonzales
informed the president of his
personal involvement in the OPR
probe. Prominent legal ethicists
contacted by the
Journal agreed
that while it would be improper for the
Attorney General to withhold such
information, even more serious
issues arise if Bush was aware of
Gonzales’ status when he took the
unprecedented step of denying
security clearances to OPR lawyers,
which ultimately killed the
investigation. In that case, said
Charles Wolfram, professor emeritus
of legal ethics at Cornell University,
“both are abusing the discretion of
their offices.”

In closing its investigation, the OPR
was prohibited from informing
Congress of Bush’s involvement. The
president’s personal intervention to
block the probe was eventually
disclosed by Gonzales last July, in
testimony before the Senate
Judiciary Committee.              
it's all
President Personally Ratified Bill of Wrongs
Pentagon Accounting Practices Indefensible
Previously Public
Pages Purged
Data Retention Rules Get Graphic
Little Interest in Conflict of Interest
Recount Riggers
Elect Jail Time
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