Obama orders Gates to update plan for Iran strike 24 May 2009
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Sun May 24 13:44:30 EDT 2009
Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government
24 May 2009
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Obama orders Gates to update plan for Iran strike --American defense secretary tells NBC television president has instructed him to refresh plans for military action against Tehran prepared during Bush era. 22 May 2009 US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Friday that President Barack Obama had asked him to update the plans for the use of military force against Iran which were prepared during former President [sic] George W. Bush's term. In an interview to NBC television's Today show, the American defense secretary explained that "presidents always ask their military to have a range of contingency plans available to them. And all I would say is that, as a result of our dialogue with the president, we have refreshed our plans and all options are on the table."
US Military chief: Iran wants nuclear weapons --Admiral Mike Mullen tells ABC he's worried about what US intelligence doesn't know regarding Tehran 24 May 2009 President Barack Obama's top military adviser says Iran's objective is to obtain nuclear weapons -- and that threatens the region. Adm. Mike Mullen told ABC's 'This Week' he's worried about Iran and what US intelligence agencies don't know about the Tehran government. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the United States and its allies must work to engage Iran's leaders.
Iran within 3 years of nuke: U.S. military chief 24 May 2009 Iran could be within one to three years from developing a nuclear weapon and time is running out for diplomacy to defuse the problem, the top U.S. military officer said on Sunday. The assessment from Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, matched that of some independent analysts but appeared to go further than recent official statements from the U.S. government.
IAF holds drill simulating all-out war 21 May 2009 Israel Air Force squadrons took part in a large scale drill simulating war on all fronts over the past four days, Channel 10 reported Thursday. Fighter jets, cargo planes and missile defense systems of the corps took part in the drill where defense from a simultaneous attack against Israel from the south and the north was simulated.
Netanyahu defies Obama on Israeli settlement freeze 24 May 2009 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuffed U.S. calls to impose a freeze on all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, setting the stage for friction with President Barack Obama. "We do not intend to build any new settlements, but it wouldn't be fair to ban construction to meet the needs of natural growth or for there to be an outright construction ban," Netanyahu told his cabinet, according to officials.
Lieberman: Israel will not contract to '67 lines 24 May 2009 Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has declared that Israel will not return to its borders of before the Six-Day War in 1967. "A return to the borders of '67 today, as we are being pressured to do, would not end the conflict, would not guarantee peace or security," Lieberman told reporters ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting. "It would simply move the conflict to within the '67 borders," AFP quoted the Israel's foreign minister as saying.
Obama's AfPak war engulfs Pakistan's Swat Valley --The description of the situation in Mingora is reminiscent of Fallujah in November 2004, prior to the murderous US assault that destroyed the Iraqi city and left thousands dead. By James Cogan 23 May 2009 A humanitarian catastrophe is taking place in areas of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), as a result of the Obama administration’s expansion of the occupation of Afghanistan into the so-called "AfPak war"... Reports indicate that a three-pronged offensive is underway to trap as many militants as possible in the central Swat city of Mingora... An Al Jazeerah video shot on May 16 near Mingora showed helicopter gunships attacking highways and other targets; children playing among partially demolished homes; and the potholes caused by the controlled explosion of mines placed by militants on the roads.
British soldier shot dead on patrol in Afghanistan 23 May 2009 A British soldier has died after being shot on patrol in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence confirmed today. The soldier, part of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was shot near Sangin in Helmand Province, yesterday afternoon.
US warned of step-up in al-Qaeda activity 21 May 2009 The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has said he is worried about growing ties between Afghan and Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. Speaking to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Admiral Mullen said al-Qaeda should be forced to stay out of Afghanistan.
Maliki: US-backed law unleashes terrorists 24 May 2009 Iraq's prime minister says a US-backed prisoner release law that aims for sectarian reconciliation has helped insurgents and corruption suspects get back on the streets. "Regrettably, the amnesty law has been changed from the conditions written by the government, and has led to the pardoning of many (accused of) corruption," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said during a Saturday gathering of Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in Baghdad.
US military: Suicide car bomber kills 1, wounds 38 24 May 2009 A suicide attacker targeting an American convoy detonated a car bomb Sunday near a checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul, killing one Iraqi and wounding 38 others, a U.S. official said. Sunday's attack comes as military operations are being conducted there before a June 30 deadline for U.S. forces to pull out of Iraq's cities.
Two Americans killed in Baghdad's Green Zone --Victim's hands were tied behind back, throat slashed, officials say 23 May 2009 Two Americans were killed in Baghdad's heavily fortified [apparently, not so much] Green Zone, one in a rocket attack and the other under mysterious circumstances, officials in Iraq said. An American man was found bound, blindfolded and fatally stabbed in a car Friday in the district, formally known as the International Zone, Iraqi security forces said Saturday. Also, an American civilian was killed when a rocket landed in the zone on Friday night, the U.S. military said on Saturday.
News website latest target in government's legal offensive against independent media (Reporters sans frontières) 20 May 2009 Reporters Without Borders condemns the Iraqi government’s continuing legal offensive against independent news media, which for the first time is also targeting Internet media. As a result of a lawsuit brought by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Baghdad court ordered the Iraqi news website Kitabat to pay 1 billion dinars (630,000 euros) in damages on 18 May.
'Future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.' Wishful Thinking and Indecisive Wars By Ralph Peters Spring 2009 More recently, though, the media have determined the outcomes of conflicts... Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies... The point of all this is simple: Win. In warfare, nothing else matters. If you cannot win clean, win dirty. But win.
KBR Does It Again (The New York Times) 24 May 2009 Far from suffering for its shoddy military contracting in Iraq, Congressional investigators have found that KBR Inc. was awarded $83 million in performance bonuses... How such settings became part of harm’s way for the military was the question put to an electrical engineer hired by the Army who reported finding that 90 percent of KBR’s wiring work in Iraq was not done safely. Some 70,000 buildings where troops lived and worked were not up to code, according to the engineer, who told a Congressional hearing of "some of the most hazardous, worst-quality work I have ever inspected."
Biden links U.S. aid to Lebanon vote outcome [!] 22 May 2009 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Friday Washington would assess its aid to Lebanon depending on who won next month's election, but denied taking sides in a vote pitching a Western-backed coalition against Hezbollah. Lebanese vote on June 7 in a poll that pits an alliance including Hezbollah against an anti-Syrian coalition now holding a majority in parliament.
Legal fight for release of terror documents --The US had stressed that that disclosure could result in "serious damage to UK and US national security". 23 May 2009 The High Court was urged today to order full disclosure of correspondence from America setting out the Obama administration's current stance on whether US intelligence outlining its agents' treatment of former terror detainee Binyam Mohamed should be made public... The FCO announced that the Obama administration remained opposed to disclosure of the information by a British court.
Judge threatens sanctions over gov't wiretapping 22 May 2009 A federal judge on Friday threatened to severely sanction the Bush Obama Administration for withholding a top secret document he ordered given to lawyers suing the government over its warrantless wiretapping program. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker in San Francisco ordered Justice Department lawyers to court on June 3 to tell him why he shouldn't award unspecified damages to the now-defunct Oregon arm of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. The group alleges that government officials eavesdropped on their telephone calls without court authorization. The National Security Agency has also refused the judge's previous orders to provide security clearances to two of the charity's lawyers so they can view the top secret document.
Yet Another Bogus 'Terror' Plot By Robert Dreyfuss 22 May 2009 By the now, it's maddeningly familiar. A scary terrorist plot is announced. Then it's revealed that the suspects are a hapless bunch of ne'er-do-wells or run-of-the-mill thugs without the slightest connection to any terrorists at all, never mind to Al Qaeda. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle: the entire plot is revealed to have been cooked up by a scummy government agent-provocateur... The four losers were ensnared by a creepy FBI agent who hung around the mosque in upstate New York until he found what he was looking for.
Revolution in the air By Dan Jones 22 May 2009 The anger in the air is palpable. The ordinary people hold the political class in contempt. The government is failing, as war and economic catastrophe are dealt with in increasingly unconvincing fashion by second-rate public servants. There is, for the first time in a generation, a sense of revolution brewing. This is not today's Britain. It is England in 1381, the year that witnessed one of the greatest popular risings in our history: the Peasants' Revolt... This government, like the government in 1381, has been caught out by a global crisis of unprecedented severity. In the fourteenth century it was the Black Death, which killed 40% of Europe's population. The government's reaction - to impose labour laws that stifled economic recovery but preserved the social hierarchy, was vastly unpopular, for it prevented ordinary people from improving their lives. ["Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it." Or, just sit through a USAMRIID re-do. --LRP]
U.S. Navy to conduct human clinical trials of H1N1 flu vaccine --Vical Inc. entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC), a biomedical research organization within the U.S. Navy 21 May 2009 Vical Incorporated announced today that in the two weeks since launching its program to develop a vaccine against H1N1 influenza (swine flu), the company has completed development of a prototype H1 vaccine, produced an initial supply of research-grade material, and initiated immunogenicity testing in animals. Assuming a successful outcome of this testing and a commitment for program-specific external funding, the company is ready to advance directly to large-scale cGMP manufacturing of vaccine for human clinical trials to be conducted by the U.S. Navy.
18 US soldiers confirmed with swine flu in Kuwait 24 May 2009 Eighteen US soldiers have tested positive for swine flu at an American military base in Kuwait and all have now left the Gulf emirate, a Kuwaiti health official said. The health ministry announced on Saturday that swine flu cases had been detected among US soldiers who were transiting through Kuwait. Undersecretary of Health Ibrahim al-Abdulhadi told the official KUNA news agency the soldiers were immediately isolated at the US base in Arifjan, 70 kilometres (about 40 miles) south of the capital.
U.S. soldiers are Kuwait's first cases of H1N1 flu 23 May 2009 U.S. soldiers have been confirmed as the first cases in Kuwait with the new H1N1 flu, the state news agency KUNA said on Saturday quoting a government official. The virus was detected in an unspecified number of soldiers on their way through Kuwait. Kuwait is a logistics base for the U.S. army in support of its troops in Iraq.
A/H1N1 flu hits Spanish military base, 500 quarantined 23 May 2009 More than 500 servicemen from the Hoyo de Manzanres Base near Madrid have been quarantined when 11 of them were found to be infected with the A/H1N1 flu virus, Spanish First Deputy Prime Minister Maria Fernandez de la Vega said on Friday. Sixty-one other servicemen are under observation, according to a report by the Spanish health ministry.
'Leaks have exposed Parliament's rotten core.' Ex-SAS officer is expenses whistleblower --Mr Wick passed over more than one million pages of unedited receipts to the Telegraph. 23 May 2009 A former SAS officer who passed secret details of MPs’ expenses claims to The Daily Telegraph broke cover last night to insist he had “no regrets” about the leak that has rocked Westminster. John Wick said the release of the information over the last fortnight had exposed the parliamentary expenses system to "its rotten core". Mr Wick, the head of a corporate intelligence company specialising in the release of hostages in war zones, was named as an intermediary between an anonymous parliamentary source and the Telegraph.
325 MPs to be swept away at next election --Whips expect more than 200 MPs to quit because they are unable to cope with continued public anger. 24 May 2009 At least half of the House of Commons' 646 MPs will be swept away at the general election, as voters take revenge on the political classes for the expenses scandal. The departure of 325 members of parliament as a result of forced resignations, retirement and defeat at the polls would represent the biggest clear-out of parliament since 1945.
GP surgeries audit raises vaccine fears 24 May 2009 A safety audit of every GP surgery in Scotland has revealed that hundreds of family doctors have wrongly stored vaccines used to protect children and adults against life-threatening diseases, raising fears about the effectiveness of some jabs. The study states that 148 surgeries failed to keep to the vaccine makers' storage guidelines and says that "inappropriate vaccine storage is very serious and has the potential to present a public heath problem".
Three U.S. firms to make swine flu vaccine [While Baxter makes the pandemic] 23 May 2009 The government has asked Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline to make the vaccine and is negotiating with MedImmune and CSL, an Australian company, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The order is part of a $1 billion investment in production and testing of vaccine 'against' the new strain of the H1N1 flu virus.
WHO warns of double influenza threat as south hemisphere enters winter 22 May 2009 The spread of the influenza A/H1N1 virus may pick up in the Asia Pacific region with the onset of southern winter and the threat joined by the spread of seasonal influenza might take a heavy toll on countries' health system, a regional World Health Organization (WHO) expert warned Friday.
Insider Trading Probe at SEC 16 May 2009 Federal prosecutors are investigating whether two Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement lawyers violated insider-trading laws, a potential scandal at an agency normally the pursuer in such cases. A report by the SEC's inspector general described multiple suspicious cases where the lawyers traded the stocks of companies around the time the companies were under investigation. The report concluded the lawyers had violated the agency's internal rules, and the case was taken up by the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Naimi Says Oil to Reach $75 a Barrel 23 May 2009 Saudi Arabian oil minister Ali al- Naimi said the price of oil will climb to $75 a barrel when demand picks up. "We’ll get there eventually," al-Naimi told reporters in Rome today where he will attend meetings with energy ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations.
Two Illinois Banks Seized, Bringing U.S. Tally This Year to 36 22 May 2009 Two Illinois banks with combined assets of almost $1 billion were closed by regulators, pushing the toll of failed U.S. lenders to 36 this year amid the longest recession since the 1930s. Strategic Capital Bank in Champaign and Citizens National Bank in Macomb were closed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver of both, the FDIC said. Strategic Capital’s deposits were assumed by Midland States Bank of Effingham, Illinois, and deposits at Citizens National were purchased by Morton Community Bank.
The world economic crisis, the failure of capitalism and the case for socialism --Resolution of the SEP/WSWS/ISSE regional conferences 21 May 2009 1. The capitalist system has entered the most serious crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In response to this crisis, workers must advance a socialist solution. Moreover, the crisis is international, affecting working people in every country of the world. There is no national solution to the breakdown of globally integrated capitalism. The World Socialist Web Site, the Socialist Equality Party, and the International Students for Social Equality put forward the following program as the basis for a new social and political movement of the working class.
Governor plans to completely eliminate welfare for families 21 May 2009 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Nazi) is proposing to completely eliminate the state’s welfare program for families, medical insurance for low-income children and Cal Grants cash assistance to college and university students. The proposals to sharply scale back the assistance that California provides to its neediest residents came in testimony by the administration this afternoon at a joint legislative budget committee hearing.
Harvard study backs bottle concern --Says plastic used leaches bisphenol A 22 May 2009 A Harvard study released yesterday supports what many public health specialists have long assumed: Hard plastic drinking bottles containing bisphenol A are leaching notable amounts of the controversial chemical into people's bodies. Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in 2008, but the Food and Drug Administration has said that products containing BPA are safe and that exposure levels are below those that would affect health. But the FDA's own scientific advisory board criticized agency officials for relying on industry-funded studies to declare the chemical safe.
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Previous lead stories: Obama's Preventive Detention Plans Face Scrutiny 22 May 2009 The Obama administration's efforts to craft what it calls a "preventive detention" plan for suspected terrorists will face constitutional challenges similar to those raised against the Bush regime's policies. A White House task force reviewing detention policy is set to make recommendations in late July. The administration has floated with Congress a possible plan that would seek legislation allowing the government to hold suspected terrorists without trial indefinitely on U.S. soil... Civil liberties and human rights groups who criticized the Bush administration's detention policies are definitive in their opposition to Mr. Obama's plans. "It's really crossing a constitutional Rubicon," said Jonathan Hafetz, American Civil Liberties Union attorney who represented Ali al Marri.
Mancow Waterboarded, Admits It's Torture --"It is way worse than I thought it would be" 22 May 2009 And so it went Friday morning when WLS radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show... Turns out the stunt wasn't so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop. He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds. "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke," Mancow said. "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."
U.S. Asks Firms to Make H1N1 Flu Vaccine 23 May 2009 The federal government has asked three drug companies to make enough swine Fort Detrick flu vaccine to immunize at least 20 million people in key positions in health care, national security and emergency services, officials said yesterday. The order, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is part of a $1 billion investment in immediate production and testing of vaccine 'against' the newly emerged strain of the H1N1 flu virus. HHS has contracts with five companies to make pandemic vaccine. The department has activated the ones with Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. It is still negotiating with the two others, MedImmune and CSL, an Australian company. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]
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