200, 000 contractors outnumber full-time workers at Homeland Security 24 Feb 2010
clg_news at legitgov.org
Wed Feb 24 22:42:20 EST 2010
Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens For Legitimate Government
24 Feb 2010
All links are here:
Contractors outnumber full-time workers at DHS; lawmakers 'astounded' --200,000 contractors outnumber civilian work force of Homeland Security 24 Feb 2010 The Department of Homeland Security has more contractors working for it than full-time employees, a situation two members of Congress said Tuesday was "unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable." Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking Republican Susan Collins said they were "astounded" to learn there are more than 200,000 contractor employees at the department. The civilian work force of Homeland Security numbers 188,000, according to an estimate provided to the senators by Homeland Security.
CIA briefed 68 lawmakers on torture program 23 Feb 2010 CIA officials briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on enhanced interrogation torture methods like simulated drowning that were being considered or used against captured 'al Qaeda' members, according to declassified documents released on Tuesday. The once-secret CIA papers, obtained in a lawsuit by the conservative legal foundation Judicial Watch, shed new light on which lawmakers knew the details of the controversial interrogation program and when.
MI5 and MI6 not to be investigated over torture claims --MI5 and MI6 will not be investigated over allegations they were complicit in the torture of terror suspects abroad, the Attorney General has decided. 23 Feb 2010 Baroness Scotland considered the cases following a report by the pressure group Human Rights Watch, published last November. In a statement released yesterday the Attorney General’s department said the time taken to respond reflected "careful consideration of the report."
Iraqi parliamentarian won't campaign, fears U.S. assassination attempt 24 Feb 2010 Abu Mahdi al-Mohandas is one of more than 6,000 candidates who are running in the Iraqi parliamentary elections next month, but he's probably the only contender who won't set foot on the campaign trail for fear of a U.S. assassination attempt. "I was told, officially, by the speaker of parliament and a high-ranking Iraqi official that it's preferable I don't show up before the election because they couldn't assure I would be protected," al-Mohandas told McClatchy Newspapers in a rare, two-hour telephone interview Wednesday from Tehran, Iran. "Since 2005, the Americans have conveyed a message through an Iraqi mediator that they'll kidnap or assassinate me."
Iran to reveal evidence of Jundallah ties with US 23 Feb 2010 Iran says it has irrefutable evidence confirming that terrorist ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi had been aided and abetted by the US government before his arrest. The leader of the Jundallah terrorist group was on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Kyrgyzstan when he was tracked down by Iranian security forces on Tuesday. An informed source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Press TV that Rigi and one of his deputies were captured after Iranian security forces forced their plane to land at an airport in the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas. Iranian security forces said he was at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his capture and had a forged Afghan passport issued by the US in his possession when he was detained.
Dubai Hamas assassination: 12 suspects carried British passports --Dubai police have named a further six Britons whose cloned passports were used in the killing of a top Hamas agent last month, as they raised the number of those involved in the assassination to 26. 25 Feb 2010 An emailed police statement said an additional 15 people using western passports were thought to have played a role in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a[n alleged] leading arms buyer for Hamas. As well as the six using British passports, three had French passports, three Irish and three Australian. Five of the 15 were women.
Blackwater workers took police assault rifles, hearing told --Employees of American defence contractor Blackwater took more than 500 assault rifles intended for Afghan police force 24 Feb 2010 Employees of American defence contractor Blackwater took more than 500 assault rifles that were intended for the Afghan police force and routinely carried weapons without permission, it emerged in a hearing of the Senate armed services committee today. It also emerged that to shed its sullied reputation and win contracting business in Afghanistan, Blackwater created what one senator called a shell company.
Senate slams US Army on Blackwater 24 Feb 2010 The US Army's careless supervision of private security firm Blackwater allowed its employees to use weapons without authorization in Afghanistan, a Senate inquiry says. Following a month-long probe, the Senate's Armed Service Committee revealed Tuesday that the US Army had put a blind eye to the activities of Blackwater now known as Xe Services in Afghanistan. "Blackwater operated in Afghanistan without sufficient oversight or supervision and with almost no consideration of the rules it was legally obligated to follow," Senator Carl Levin, the committee's chairman said.
Nato admits that deaths of 8 boys were a mistake 25 Feb 2010 A night-time raid in eastern Afghanistan in which eight schoolboys from one family were killed was carried out on the basis of faulty intelligence and should never have been authorised, a Times investigation has found. Ten children and teenagers died when troops stormed a remote mountain compound near the border with Pakistan in December.
Army must recruit more than 100,000 soldiers to continue Afghan fighting --Military chiefs say more troops needed for conflict 24 Feb 2010 Army chiefs insist that thousands more soldiers need to be recruited if Britain is to continue fighting in operations such as Afghanistan. The force, a senior army source said yesterday, should be increased by 7 per cent to around 108,000 troops. It has been acknowledged for some time that the British Army's commitment in Helmand province, as well as previous operations in Iraq, has left it overstretched.
US toll in Afghanistan war reaches 1,000 --The US death toll in Afghanistan has reached 1,000 with the number of soldiers killed doubling since last year. 23 Feb 2010 The icasualties.org website, which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, said 54 US soldiers had died in the war so far this year, as the coalition tries to regain momentum in its eight-year campaign. It was the worst toll for two consecutive months since the US-led invasion of 2001 and compared with a toll of 30 in the same period last year.
US military: Soldier dies in Iraq in accident 23 Feb 2010 The U.S. military says an American soldier has died in an accident in western Baghdad. According to a statement released by the U.S. military, the soldier died in a vehicle related accident on Tuesday.
Despite Taliban activity in Helmand, NATO won't alter Kandahar plans 24 Feb 2010 Although the publicity-heavy military strategy NATO adopted ahead of its ongoing offensive in Helmand province allowed the Taliban time to plant "hundreds" of makeshift bombs that are slowing troop progress, a similar operation planned in Canadian-led Kandahar province will largely use the same tactic, its commander says. The Canadian commander of the coalition's Task Force Kandahar, Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard, said troops in Helmand have come across about 400 or 500 of the improvised explosive devices in 10 days since the start of the big attack, dubbed Operation Moshtarak.
Latin America creates bloc sans US [Awesome!] 23 Feb 2010 Latin America and Caribbean leaders united Tuesday to create a regional bloc excluding Canada and the United States... Bolivian President Evo Morales, one of Hugo Chavez's strongest allies, suggested that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was a U.S. agent sent to sabotage the bloc. "What's my conclusion?" Morales said. "Since we are debating a new organization without the United States, the agents of the United States have come to bog this down to make this event fail."
Greek Police, Protesters Clash in Nationwide Strike 24 Feb 2010 Greek police fired tear-gas and clashed with demonstrators in central Athens after a march organized by unions to oppose Prime Minister George Papandreou’s drive to cut the European Union’s biggest budget deficit. Hooded youths threw rocks, marble and other objects at riot police after the march today to the country’s Parliament building. At least one person was detained.
Explosive News 22 Feb 2010 A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center. "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards," says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry. [See also: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]
High school friends of confessed subway bomb plotter will face more terror charges --Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday more people were directly involved in Zazi's plan to bomb the subway system last year. 24 Feb 2010 Two high school pals of confessed subway bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi will face more charges now that he's talking to the feds, the Daily News has learned. Flushing High School friends Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay are already charged in connection with Zazi's trip to an Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] training camp in Pakistan in 2008. It's unclear what additional charges they may face when they appear in Brooklyn Federal Court tomorrow.
Senate set to extend Patriot Act without new restrictions By Josh Rogin 23 Feb 2010 The Senate is preparing to bring up and pass a short-term extension of some key provisions of the Patriot Act, setting aside changes to the law that were carefully negotiated by a Senate committee last fall. The Judiciary Committee approved a bill last October that would extend key provisions of the controversial law but add new restrictions to the use of so-called national security letters, a procedure used by the FBI to demand records from U.S. businesses. But according to leading senators, those new restrictions might have to wait for another year.
Australia to use face-scanning and fingerprints to combat terrorism --Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from 10 high-risk countries in an attempt to combat terrorism, which has become a "permanent" threat to the country. 23 Feb 2010 Unveiling the government's long-awaited white paper on counter-extremism, Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, said Australia was also concerned about the rising threat from home-grown militancy, just one week after five Sydney men received long jail terms for planning a violent jihad attack. Under the plans, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship would begin collecting the fingerprints and facial images this year, and cross-check them with immigration and law enforcement databases in Australia and overseas.
Full-body scanner arriving at O'Hare --Civil liberties groups call machines an unacceptable intrusion 23 Feb 2010 The first full-body scanner is finally set to arrive at O'Hare International Airport next week... When the scanner begins operating in early March, randomly selected local passengers will be confronted with the option of going through the revealing imaging devices or being subjected to a pat-down. The scanner will be installed at United Airlines' Terminal 1 within the next two weeks, Jim Fotenos, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Tuesday.
Federal judge orders school district to stop spying on students 24 Feb 2010 A Pennsylvania school district has been ordered to disable equipment allowing officials [possible pedophiles] to watch students using cameras on their laptops. The order, issued Wednesday by a federal judge, will prevent school administrators from turning on cameras installed on students' school-issued laptops remotely [and watch them getting undressed]. The move arrives at the request of a Lower Merion family, which claimed school officials were wrong to activate the camera, snap a photo of their son and confront him about its contents.
Heads up! Panel recommends annual flu vaccinations for all 24 Feb 2010 A government panel is now recommending that virtually all Americans get a flu shot each year, starting this fall. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had gradually been expanding its recommendation for flu shots - 85 percent of Americans were already included. On Wednesday, the panel voted to recommend a seasonal flu vaccination for everyone except babies younger than 6 months and those with egg allergies or other unusual conditions. The panel's recommendation now goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [NO ONE wants the pharmaterrorists' squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced deadly flu vaccines, or their lab-generated pandemics that precede them.]
Leaked ACTA Draft Treaty Reveals Plans for Net Clampdown --Proposal makes ISPs (Internet service providers) liable under civil law for content their subscribers upload or download using their networks 19 Feb 2010 The U.S., Europe and other countries are secretly drawing up rules designed to crack down on copyright abuse on the Internet, in part by making ISPs liable for illegal content, according to a copy of part of the confidential draft agreement that was seen by the IDG News Service. It is the latest in a series of leaks from the anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) talks that have been going on for the past two years.
Gag me with a chainsaw: Obusha gave a press conference to announce that he's a big fan of the 'free' market and NOT a socialist. Well, that's five minutes of my life I'll never get back. Birthers: Please find (or fabricate) a Kenyan birth certificate so that we can get a real progressive to run in 2012. -LRP
Doctors' group: Obama plan leaves millions uninsured, boosts private insurers (PNHP) 24 Feb 2010 President Obama's health care proposal, preserving as it does a central role for the for-profit, private health insurance industry, is incapable of achieving the kind of universal, comprehensive and affordable reform the country needs, a spokesman for a national doctors' group said Wednesday. "Regrettably, the president's proposal is built on some of the worst aspects of the Senate bill," said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 17,000 doctors who support a single-payer, Medicare-for-All approach to reform.
With social crisis mounting: Record demand for heating assistance in US By Tom Eley 24 Feb 2010 With the number of US households requesting home heating assistance reaching a record for the third consecutive year, state officials have warned that they may begin to refuse further applications unless Congress allocates more money for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Over 8.8 million households will have received heating assistance by winter’s end, up from 7.7 million last year and 5.7 million in 2008, according to a new report from the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA).
Senate Approves $15 Billion Jobs Bill 24 Feb 2010 The Senate on Wednesday easily approved a $15 billion plan to spur job creation, a vote that lawmakers hoped would show that they were taking steps to improve the nation’s employment outlook. The coalition that passed the relatively modest measure by 70 to 28 included 55 Democrats, 2 independents and 13 Republicans. Democratic leaders said they hoped to follow up with other measures that would encourage small businesses to expand and would provide assistance to those who remain out of work.
Vermont Senate wants leaking nuclear reactor shut in 2012 24 Feb 2010 The Vermont Senate said on Wednesday it has voted to shut Entergy Corp's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant when its license expires in 2012, after a leak releasing radioactive tritium into the groundwater was discovered last month. While the Obama administration advocates a nuclear revival, opponents of Vermont Yankee have used the leak to show Entergy is not operating the reactor safely and that it license should not be renewed.
The region is said to compare with the well-documented 'great Pacific garbage patch'. Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean 24 Feb 2010 Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch". Karen Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been "largely ignored" in the Atlantic.
Deaths from Runaway Toyotas Put at 39 by Investigators --"If the Camry and the Prius were airplanes, they would be grounded," says House Committee Chairman 24 Feb 2010 As the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, took his place at a Congressional hearing, the committee chairman said the death toll from runaway Toyotas had reached 39. "To give that horrifying number some perspective, there were 27 deaths attributed to the famous Pinto exploding gas tank of the 1970s," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D.-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "In short, if the Camry and the Prius were airplanes, they would be grounded," said Towns in his opening statement.
CLG needs your support.
Or, please mail a check or money order to CLG:
Citizens for Legitimate Government (CLG)
P.O. Box 1142
Bristol, CT 06011-1142
Contributions to CLG are not tax deductible
Previous lead stories: U.S. plans for possible delay in Iraq withdrawal 23 Feb 2010 The U.S. military has prepared contingency plans to delay the planned withdrawal of all combat forces in Iraq, citing the prospects for political instability and increased violence as Iraqis hold national 'elections' next month. Under a deadline set by President Obama, all combat forces are slated to withdraw from Iraq by the end of August, and there remains heavy political pressure in Washington and Baghdad to stick to that schedule. But Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday that he had briefed officials in Washington in the past week about possible contingency plans.
Israel turns to US for backup plan against Iran 23 Feb 2010 After failing to win support in Russia for tough sanctions against Iran, Israel turns to its closest ally, the United States, for a backup plan to curb Tehran's enrichment program. On Tuesday, the Israeli military radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be travelling to Washington to share his concerns over Iran's refusal to stop its nuclear activities. Barak will meet several US officials during his five-day tour, including US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East 'peace' envoy George Mitchell.
'Senator Roberts listened carefully and gave his assent.' Destroying C.I.A. Torture Tapes Wasn't Opposed, Memos Say 22 Feb 2010 At a closed briefing in 2003, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee raised no objection to a C.I.A. plan to destroy videotapes of brutal interrogations, according to secret documents released Monday. The senator, Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, also rejected a proposal to have his committee conduct its own assessment of the agency’s harsh interrogation torture methods, which included wall-slamming and waterboarding, the documents say. But Mr. Roberts, through a spokesman, denied having approved the destruction of the videotapes, which is under criminal investigation, and defended his record in overseeing the interrogation program.
Those who wish to be added to the list can go here: http://www.legitgov.org/#subscribe_clg and add your name. Those who wish to unsubscribe can go here: http://lists.people-link.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/legitgov. If your email provider has marked this newsletter as spam, please mark it as 'not spam' and do not delete from a spam or 'junk' folder, as such actions trigger false spam complaints against the CLG. If you have any inquiries/issues with your subscription, please write: signup at legitgov dot org.
CLG Managing Editor: Lori Price. Copyright © 2010, Citizens For Legitimate Government ® All rights reserved.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Legitgov