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Posted: february 13, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.

Dem traitors in Senate Vote to Expand Spy Powers


nyt, 2-13-08


WASHINGTON — After more than a year of wrangling, the Senate handed the White House a major victory on Tuesday by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers and to give legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants.


One by one, the Senate rejected amendments that would have imposed greater civil liberties checks on the government’s surveillance powers. Finally, the Senate voted 68 to 29 to approve legislation that the White House had been pushing for months. Mr. Bush hailed the vote and urged the House to move quickly in following the Senate’s lead.


The outcome in the Senate amounted, in effect, to a broader proxy vote in support of Mr. Bush’s wiretapping program. The wide-ranging debate before the final vote presaged discussion that will play out this year in the presidential and Congressional elections on other issues testing the president’s wartime authority, including secret detentions, torture and Iraq war financing.


Republicans hailed the reworking of the surveillance law as essential to protecting national security, but some Democrats and many liberal advocacy groups saw the outcome as another example of the Democrats’ fears of being branded weak on terrorism.

...Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, did not vote. Mr. Obama did oppose immunity on a key earlier motion to end debate. Mrs. Clinton, campaigning in Texas, issued a statement saying she would have voted to oppose the final measure.

The measure extends, for at least six years, many of the broad new surveillance powers that Congress hastily approved last August just before its summer recess. Intelligence officials said court rulings had left dangerous gaps in their ability to intercept terrorist communications.


This is a dramatic restructuring” of surveillance law, said Michael Sussmann, a former Justice Department intelligence lawyer who represents several telecommunication companies. “And the thing that’s so dramatic about this is that you’ve removed the court review. There may be some checks after the fact, but the administration is picking the targets.”


The Senate plan also adds one provision considered critical by the White House: shielding phone companies from any legal liability for their roles in the eavesdropping program approved by Mr. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks. The program allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without warrants on the international communications of Americans suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda.


The House approved a surveillance bill in November that intentionally left out immunity for the phone companies, and leaders from the two chambers will now have to find a way to work out significant differences between their two bills.

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1b) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.

Bush warns Congress on wiretaps

US President George W Bush has told Congress he will not accept another temporary bill allowing warrantless wiretapping of foreign terror suspects.


bbc, 2-13-08


Mr Bush said he wanted Congress to approve legislation which was permanent and provide retroactive immunity to telephone companies that co-operated.


"The time for debate is over," Mr Bush told reporters in Washington. "I will not accept any temporary extension."


The current legislation, last extended in August, will expire on Saturday.


The Protect America Act, which amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, allows the US authorities to tap into phone calls and e-mails to or from the United States, as long as the target is abroad.


Previously, they had to seek approval from a special court in advance.


The act did not, however, grant immunity to the telecommunication companies who have been co-operating with the government since it was passed.


Several lawsuits have since been filed against them by campaigners for collaborating with the US authorities and violating privacy laws.


'Flow of intelligence'


On Tuesday, the Senate approved full legislation which would authorise the surveillance of foreign terror suspects for another six years and included the provision of immunity for telecommunication companies.


, President Bush said he would not accept another extension, insisting Congress should pass permanent legislation before the current law expires at midnight on Saturday.


"It's time for Congress to ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted," Mr Bush said alongside the Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell.


"It is time for Congress to pass a law that provides a long-term foundation to protect our country and they must do so immediately."


Mr Bush also stressed the importance of giving companies retroactive immunity from prosecution for co-operating with the government without court approval.


"We need the co-operation of telecommunications companies," he said. "If these companies are subjected to lawsuits costing billions of dollars, they won't participate, they won't help us."



What's Really Going on Here??

dems bow down to criminal president, yet again:

Just a Reminder of why Bush is Out of Control

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., June, 22, 2007: Written for Corruption Update 82_2

Also see, "Pelosi takes Impeachment off the table"

We have an understanding of the basic outlines of Bush's crimes against our citizens, our Constitution, and scores of known and unknown victims around the world.

But this does not bother Pelosi or most of the Democrats in Congress. Pelosi "took impeachment off the table" before the November election.

It is strange that Pelosi could rule out impeachment before a full accounting of Bush's crimes was even begun.

It is apparent that Bush has kidnapped, tortured, and held many people without cause or warrant. It is apparent that Bush has instituted massive illegal searches within the US by the NSA. It is apparent that Bush has manipulated the appointment of US Attorneys for political purposes. It is apparent that Bush lied about the causes for the Iraq war to Congress and the American people. It is apparent that signing statements are unconstitutional, and represent an open seizure of illegal power by the President.

All of these incidents need to be thoroughly investigated, and if the investigations warrant a trial, Bush must be impeached.

And then there was Katrina. Katrina not only blew down New Orleans, but it blew the cover off of Bush's appointment of buddies and lobbyists to run every executive branch agency, not just FEMA.

The result is that the executive branch agencies have given away massive chunks of America's health and wealth to corporate America, and other practitioners of political bribery, while failing to do their jobs. Since the Dems took over, the have continued to perpetuate both the bribery and the President's crimes.

These corruptions in the executive branch agencies must be thoroughly investigated. If the investigations indicate he committed high crimes and misdemeanors, Bush must be impeached,

Unfortunately, the Dems are not up to defending our country against internal threats to our liberty. This is because they represent, and are dependent on, exactly the same corporate interests which fund the Repugs.

The Dem half of our corporate political monopoly cannot challenge the illegitimacy of the Repugnant actions, for it would undermine their own legitimacy. Both parties depend on the bribes of corporate America for their existence, and neither can tolerate a clear look at how they get, keep, and use political power.

In fact, the Dem candidates are chomping at the bit to obtain and use these same powers.

Considering Bush's crimes, one needs to ask just what Bush would have to do to put Impeachment back on Pelosi's table? Nuke California?

Pelosi's failure to impeach Bush for these fundamental insults to our Constitution and Congressional law will do long term damage to our government.

If Pelosi fails to repudiate both Bush's actions, as well as his claims to unlimited Presidential powers, Pelosi and the Democrats will be validating Bush's claims to illegal and unconstitutional powers, leaving them on the table for abuse by future Presidents.

It is vital to the health of our government that Pelosi drive all the investigations on Bush's crimes forward, and begin impeachment proceedings if the investigations indicate the President acted criminally.

Without strong action, future presidents may preserve, or resurrect Bush's claims to tyrannical powers.

List of traitors: Dem traitors in bold type

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)

Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)

Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC) Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Inouye (D-HI)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kohl (D-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY) Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)

Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)

Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)


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Also See:

Bush Authorized Domestic Spying: Bush is a Criminal, and an Enemy of our Constitution, wp, December 16, 2005

Administration Seeks to Expand Surveillance Law, wp, April 14, 2007

Spying on the Home Front, Corruption Updates 88, 7th article, Frontline Webpage May 15, 2007

The illegal accommodation: Congress passes illegal Domestic Spying law authorizing warrantless NSA searches within the US, Washington Post, August 5, 2007

New Illegal Domestic Spying Law goes beyond Unlimited Searching Powers, SF Chron, August 19, 2007

Bush Threatens to Veto new Spy Bill: Why veto it, when a signing statement will bend it to the President's will? ap, October 10, 2007

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders: Corporate Criminals Assist General Searches of American's Private Communications, Washington Post, October 16, 2007


illegal searching links

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Illegal searches


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2) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Scalia Says He Sees a Role for Physical Interrogations

By REUTERS, 2-13-08


WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday that some physical interrogation techniques could be used on a suspect in the event of an imminent threat, like a hidden bomb about to blow up.


In such cases, “smacking someone in the face” could be justified, Justice Scalia told the British Broadcasting Corporation. He added, “You can’t come in smugly and with great self-satisfaction and say, ‘Oh, it’s torture, and therefore it’s no good.’ ”


His comments come amid a growing debate about the Bush administration’s use of aggressive interrogation methods on terrorism suspects, including the widely condemned waterboarding, soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.


Justice Scalia, speaking in an interview with “Law in Action,” a program on BBC Radio 4, said it would be “extraordinary” to assume that the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment applied to “so-called” torture in the face of imminent threat. He said that the Constitution “is referring to punishment for crime.”


“And, for example, incarcerating someone indefinitely would certainly be cruel and unusual punishment for a crime,” he said.


But “is it really so easy,” he said, “to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the Constitution?”


“It would be absurd to say you couldn’t do that,” the justice said. “And once you acknowledge that, we’re into a different game. How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?”


Justice Scalia also ridiculed European criticism of the death penalty in the United States.


“If you took a public opinion poll, if all of Europe had representative democracies that really worked, most of Europe would probably have the death penalty today,” he said.


“There are arguments for it and against it,” he said. “But to get self-righteous about the thing as Europeans tend to do about the American death penalty is really quite ridiculous.”

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What's Really Going on Here??

Scalia: Traitor, and a clear and present danger to our constitution

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

I would say that scalia deserves to be sbjected to what we do to others: kidnapping, secret detention, torture, an executive trial and death, but I will not fall to the same low level as the criminals running our country.

Yet it is obvious that the scalia would be impeached if we lived in a constitutional republic, as promised by our constitution.

Our democratic structure has been captured by an elite more dangerous than the aristocratic blood elite that we rebelled against. Our democracy has been captured by a corporate elite, and they have twisted our once great democracy into a corporate fascist state running a "globalized" empire.

Thus we are confronted with tools of evil like bush, scalia, and mukasey occupying the highest law offices in our nation.

Fixing this mess requires a fundamental cleaning of our democratic structure, starting with our elections. Our elections, our parties, our "free" press and our government itself have been made the playthings of the rich.

We must make the local voter the primary funder of all candidates and sitting politicians. We must prohibit all outside contributions to candidates and sitting politicians. This would be illegal under current law, as it would effectively eliminate political parties and stifle free speech and assembly rights of citizens not directly involved in the election.

Our plan preserves the economic free speech and assembly rights required by the supreme court, but subordinates the outside contributions funneled into elections by the parties. This is achieved by limiting party contributions to no more than 30% of the total collected by the candidate or officeholder from the actual voters in the election.

This restriction on party financing of candidates will preserve the political parties and the free speech and assembly rights of non-voters, but the party and non-voter's influence will be made secondary to the fundamental right of the voter to select and elect their own candidates.

The special interests and other outsiders will no longer be able to use free speech and assembly rights to push aside the franchise right of the voter.

This will produce candidates and officeholders who represent the voters, rather than representing the interests of the biggest political bribers, as is the case now.

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Also See:

Scalia abandons duty to constitution: his position on lethal injection and cruel punishment. wp, 1-8-08

mukasey rules torture legal, reuters, 1-30-08

washington post, 1-30-08

Mukasey's rulings predictable before confirmation, committee, 8-28-07

torture by the USA: links

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3) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

U.S. Acts to Avert (torture)Tactic Expected in Qaeda Trial

nyt, 2-13-08

WASHINGTON — Bush administration officials said Tuesday that they were confident that charges against six suspected members of Al Qaeda would survive expected defense contentions that the cases are based on unreliable statements obtained using harsh interrogation methods.

The officials confirmed that the Justice Department and the Pentagon, aware of probable legal challenges involving possible mistreatment of prisoners, began an extensive effort in late 2006 to rebuild the cases against the six men using what officials called “clean teams” of agents and military investigators.

Dozens of F.B.I. agents have spent hundreds of hours at the Guantánamo detention center interviewing potential witnesses and suspects. In effect, they recreated intelligence files, thus avoiding information that might be tainted because it was obtained during interrogations using harsh techniques. The legal tactic was described on Tuesday by The Washington Post.

The C.I.A. confirmed last week that one of the six defendants, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, considered the chief plotter of the 2001 attacks, was subjected to the technique known as waterboarding, considered by many legal authorities to be torture, while in C.I.A. custody.

The clean-team investigators, who had not been briefed on earlier interrogations by the C.I.A. using harsher tactics, adopted non-confrontational interview techniques. One government official said some of those charged this week spoke openly about their roles in the Sept. 11 plot.

But Samuel Issacharoff, a New York University law professor, questioned whether the repeat interrogations could eliminate the taint of previous harsh treatment.

“No amount of redoing the interrogation would clean that up,” Mr. Issacharoff said. “There’s no such thing as a do-over when you have an abuse of fundamental rights.”

Jameel Jaffer, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer and co-author of a book on treatment of prisoners, said that the law setting up military commissions banned outright any evidence obtained by torture. The judge decides whether to admit information produced using coercive techniques short of torture, a provision that defense lawyers are likely to use aggressively, Mr. Jaffer said.

“Every time they try to introduce a piece of evidence, the defense lawyers are going to say, ‘This piece of evidence is unreliable’ ” because of coercion, Mr. Jaffer said.


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What's Really Going on Here??

Bush-CIA Torture threatens Legitimacy of US "Terror" Cases

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., October, 2007

Bush's torture, kidnapping, illegal spying, kangaroo courts, and twisting the rules of law are not protecting America, but presents the greatest threat, domestic or foreign, that our country has ever faced.


ENTER, Be Tortured and CONVICTED


(The below was originally written for CU 38_2 on March 7, 2007.)

Bush is confused. The American Constitution was not made to give rights to foreigners. The American Constitution was designed to set the terms of our government's legitimacy by limiting the power of each branch.

By dividing power between the branches, and restraining and checking the use of power by each branch, our forefathers believed they could prevent despots like Bush from rising.

These divisions protect not just American rights, but even more importantly define and protect American Values as well.

Bush is an affront to both.

The President has illegally consolidated powers the Constitution wisely divided.

One of the Constitution's most important checks on arbitrary power is the division of wartime authority between the President and Congress.

The Constitution requires that Congress declare war, sets the objectives of the war, and establishes the rules for the war.

The President then gets to lead the country within the rules established by Congress.

Congressional restraints are inherent in the grant of war powers, and do not end at our borders.

Congress has failed miserably. Congress has not declared war, set the objectives, means, nor rules for this “war.” Except for their hideous and unconstitutional revocation of habius corpus.

This President has pushed Congress aside, and made rules for captures that authorize kidnapping, indefinite detentions, and torture. These are criminal acts prohibited by long standing law.

Now the President has created a secret military “justice” system that will convict the victims of these crimes, in secret, with none of the judicial safeguards an honest process would require. Virtually all of the President's Actions, in Iraq, and the “war on terror” are crimes against our Constitution and laws.

These crimes began in Congress, when they abused their war powers by not declaring war. Congress granted the President vague “war powers,” but Congress has no power to grant the President Unconstitutional powers. The President has no right to interpret any law as absolving him of his Constitutional restraints and duty to obey the law.

Yet the The President has twisted these “war powers” into a declaration of endless war unbounded by borders, or the rule of law. The President's acts are a declaration of war against the Constitution. Congress has confirmed each of these illegal powers, when they were unable to avoid crossing Bush.

Congress joined the President in his crimes when they passed a bill which removed the President's prisoners from judicial review, and stripped them of Habeas Corpus

The Constitution is clear:

The Privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

Our government, and our President, are restrained by the Constitution anywhere they use the power of their office, be it inside or outside the country. Both Congress and the President have broken the law, and violated the specific words of our Constitution.

If Bush is confused or not, he is a criminal. He is purposely using the pretext of “foreigners,” “terrorism,” and fears of foreign threats, to manufacture Presidential Powers the Constitution specifically prohibits.

As far as our Constitutional limits assigns “rights” to foreigners, these “rights” reflect our political values, not theirs. This is what made us different from the rest of the world. Rather than being unique in our rights, what distinguishes us today is that we are the most powerful opponent of democratic and human rights in the world.

Without Constitutional limits we would have a President capable of searching, arresting, detaining, torturing, and killing people, at will, anywhere in the world. A tyrant.

How about this: The Constitution is the Club, Bush, Congress, the “free” press, and the Corporations are the baby seals, and hunting season is opening soon.

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Also See:

FBI working to bolster Al Qaeda cases: Bush-CIA Torture threatens Legitimacy of bush kangaroo courts, lat, 10-21-07



Corruption Updates 80, 1st article on the page, "Nominee for C.I.A. Counsel Offers Few Details in His Senate Confirmation Hearing"

Corruption Updates 83, 1st article on the page, "Cheney the Torture mastermind"

Corruption Updates 91, 4th article on the page, "In Intelligence World, A Mute Watchdog: Bush Above the Law"

Corruption Updates 94, 2nd article on the page, "Bush signs new CIA interrogation: Rules He Can Torture Anyone"

Corruption Updates 99, 5th article on the page, "Bush could bypass new torture ban"

Corruption Updates 101, 7th article on the page, ABA Clear: Bush Policy allows Torture

Torture links

illegal trials

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4) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

House Vote on Contempt Is Expected Soon


nyt, 2-13-08

WASHINGTON — Democratic House leaders plan to force a vote as early as Thursday on holding Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff, and Harriet E. Miers, former White House counsel, in contempt of Congress.


Senior Congressional officials said the House leadership had essentially decided to go ahead with the vote, which is expected to spark a fight with Republicans over what they see as a politically inspired inquiry.


The contempt citation, approved in July by the Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, stems from the refusal of the two to testify before the panel in the investigation into whether several United States attorneys were dismissed for political reasons.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, would not confirm the pending vote on Tuesday night. “One of these days,” Ms. Pelosi said.


The administration has already said it would order the Justice Department not to pursue a contempt charge against either Mr. Bolten or Ms. Miers.


But Democratic officials have decided that they have no choice but to pursue the citation to protect Congressional oversight authority in view of the administration’s refusal to allow the administration aides to appear.


The White House has cited executive privilege in directing the two not to testify before Congress.


The case arose out of accusations that administration officials sought to remove some federal prosecutors so they could be replaced with ones more in line with administration ideology, an approach that Democrats said destroyed the independence of the Justice Department.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

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Also See:

NY Times, July 21, 2007; A White House Warning on Contempt Charges: Justice Department Defies Law-Constitution to Hide President's Crimes
BBC, July 24, 2007; Gonzales testifies in firings row: Spector Recognizes that Oversight is Broken and the President is Out of Control
AP, August 2, 2007; Judiciary Pushes Bush Probe: President Defies Congress, Constitution, to Cover Illegal Tampering with Federal Prosecutions-Prosecutors
Washington Post, Thursday, August 23, 2007; White House Declares itself a National Secret
NY Times, August 29, 2007; Democrats Say They Will Press Gonzales Inquiries: Dems Claims to Defend Constitution Suspect

us attorney links

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5) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Usually on Attack, U.S. Attorney in Newark Finds Himself on the Defensive


nyt, February 13, 2008


In the six years that he has been the United States attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie Jr. has investigated freeholders and governors, party hacks and United States senators, winning indictments against Republicans and Democrats alike and obtaining convictions or guilty pleas against more than 125 public officials without losing a case.


But today Mr. Christie finds himself challenged over the way he has conducted business. He recently drew the attention of the Justice Department’s inspector general and Congress after awarding tens of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts to his friends and political allies.


In the coming months, he may face more scrutiny if the Government Accountability Office, as requested, investigates one of those contracts, worth at least $28 million, awarded to his previous boss, John Ashcroft, the former United States attorney general, to monitor a medical-prosthetics company after it acknowledged defrauding consumers.


Mr. Ashcroft has been asked to testify later this month before a House subcommittee that is looking into the proliferation of the kind of contracts he received to monitor settlements of corporate-fraud cases.


The attention comes at an inopportune time for Mr. Christie, who most political leaders in New Jersey believe plans to run for governor next year. So far, Mr. Christie, 45, has not said what he plans to do when he leaves office. He will almost certainly be replaced by President Bush’s successor. But there is a growing chorus of critics who say that he has resorted to the same kind of cronyism and bullying tactics for which he has excoriated others.


Democrats complain that his office tried to tarnish candidates facing election and intimidate state lawmakers before they cast crucial votes.


Mr. Christie declined several requests to be interviewed for this article, but he has insisted that Mr. Ashcroft’s contract was based on merit rather than political loyalty or the hope that Mr. Ashcroft might one day repay the favor as a political fund-raiser.

And many state lawmakers resented the criticism Mr. Christie directed at them last spring when one of his former assistants, Stuart J. Rabner, was seeking confirmation as chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court at the same time that Mr. Christie’s office was investigating the Legislature. He castigated legislators for allowing one senator to question the nomination.


He was equally critical of Gov. Jon S. Corzine for not springing to Mr. Rabner’s defense, even though it was the governor who nominated him — and whom he had served as chief counsel and attorney general.


Fearing Retribution


Then there are the defense lawyers — including some of the most prominent ones in the state — who say that although Mr. Christie is quick to speak out on issues, political or otherwise, he bristles when criticism is directed at him. Many of them declined to be interviewed for this article out of concern that Mr. Christie’s office might take a harder line against their clients.


Whether Mr. Christie’s tactics will haunt him if he seeks elective office is uncertain.


Democrats were also wary of Mr. Christie’s extensive background as a Republican campaigner and fund-raiser; he served one term as a Morris County freeholder, and worked on the campaigns of President George H. W. Bush. Then in 2000 he was a top-tier fund-raiser for George W. Bush, who appointed him United States attorney.


Hospital Fraud


His office negotiated one such arrangement with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which was rife with Medicaid fraud, patronage and financial abuses. Under the monitor he appointed, the school reformed many of its bookkeeping procedures and ended its practice of awarding no-bid contracts.


Yet one of the biggest no-bid contracts to come out of the investigation was for the monitor itself: Mr. Christie appointed the law firm of John Inglesino, a Republican who served with him as a Morris County freeholder, and Herbert Stern, a former United States attorney, whom he has described as a mentor. Their firm ultimately billed the state for more than $10 million.


One deferred-prosecution agreement, in a 2005 case involving the drug manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb, required the company to endow a chair in business ethics at Seton Hall University, Mr. Christie’s alma mater.


Mr. Christie has sought to defuse the issue by saying that in future cases he would use the procedures practiced by other United States attorneys: giving the company a list of three candidates and allowing defense lawyers to choose.


The Justice Department said that it had reviewed the way deferred-prosecution agreements were administered, and was not investigating Mr. Christie’s contract with Mr. Ashcroft. Congressional Democrats are taking a harder line.


Representative Frank Pallone, a Democrat who has been critical of Mr. Christie, proposed legislation that would strip prosecutors of the power to appoint monitors, saying in an open letter to Mr. Christie that the current system “invites the very sort of favoritism, political interference, and back-room dealing that your office has been so successful in combating.”


Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has called for the Government Accountability Office to investigate the contract, and has suggested that he may hold public hearings.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 39, 5th article, “GOP official urged Rove to fire prosecutor”

Corruption Updates 46, 8th article, "Prosecutor Posts Go To Bush Insiders:Bush packing US Attorney posts with biased insiders"

Corruption Updates 62, 9th article on the page, "US Attorney Minnesota case fits the pattern in flap over firing of U.S. attorneys"

Corruption Updates 64, 10th article on the page,"Ex-Governor Says Affidavit Shows Politics in Bribe Case"


us attorney links


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6) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Russia expresses surprise over reports of bombers' interception. ria novosti, 2-12-08.  “In a speech last Friday, President Putin blamed the West for unleashing a new international arms race.”


Pentagon Is Assessing Flyover, 2-14-08

(Combined Reports, U.S. Navy / AP)  A U.S. Navy photo showing an F/A-18 Hornet from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz escorting a Tu-95 on Saturday.

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is trying to assess whether a low-level flight by a Russian bomber over U.S. warships in the Pacific Ocean last weekend was a sign that Moscow is returning to a worrisome "Cold War mind-set," a top defense official told Congress.



putin’s state of the union, pravda, 2-12-08

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Russia proposes space arms treaty

Russia and China have proposed a new international treaty to ban the use of weapons in outer space.


bbc, Tuesday, 12 February 2008


At a disarmament conference in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said world security would suffer if an arms race in space was not stopped.


The draft treaty would prohibit the deployment of weapons in space and the use or threat of force against satellites or other craft, he said.


The United States has long opposed being bound by such an agreement.


Correspondents say tensions have increased in recent years over US plans for a new generation of missile shields.

In particular, Moscow is opposed to the country's plans to build part of its new system in Poland and the Czech Republic.


'New spiral'


Mr Lavrov told the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament that a new arms race was possible if weapons were deployed by one state, meaning the US.


"Weapons deployment in space by one state will inevitably result in a chain reaction," he said.


"This, in turn, is fraught with a new spiral in the arms race both in space and on Earth."


The Russian foreign minister also warned the US against complacency over its technological lead, making a comparison with the nuclear arms race after World War II.


"Let us not forget that the nuclear arms race was started with a view to preserving a monopoly of this type of weapon," Lavrov said.


"But this monopoly was to last only four years."


BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Moscow and Beijing want a new treaty partly in an attempt to hold the moral high ground in the arms control debate, and also to curb the militarisation of the heavens in which the US is seen as having a significant lead.


Most to lose


The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in space.


But now the Russians and the Chinese want to go further. A Chinese weapons test in January 2007 placed the militarisation of space firmly back on the agenda.


But our correspondent says satellites today are essential for all major military operations, so on the face of things it is the Americans who have the most to lose from an unconstrained race in anti-satellite weaponry.

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Russia can offer low-cost response to U.S. missile system, (offers new treaty framework)


12/02/2008 16:42 GENEVA, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia possesses the relatively inexpensive technical capability to offer an appropriate response to U.S. missile defense deployment in Europe, the foreign minister told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.


Russia has been unnerved by NATO's ongoing expansion and Washington's plans to deploy missile defense bases in Central Europe, which it says are needed to deter possible strikes from Iran and other "rogue states."


"When we are told that the [U.S.] third missile deployment area is not aimed against Russia, we have to be guided not by [stated] intentions, but facts, real potential... I can assure you that our response will not cost as much. We have the technical capability for an appropriate response that will not be a crippling burden on Russia's economy, but obviously it is better to avoid this," Sergei Lavrov said.


He said Iran has no long-range missiles and is unlikely to acquire them in the foreseeable future, adding that even if Tehran wanted to, Iran would be unable to create such missiles in less than a decade.


He described Western efforts to repulse a non-existent threat as excessive.


The minister said Moscow had made an unofficial proposal to work out a new multilateral agreement, based on the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) and including obligations to eliminate all intermediate and shorter range missiles.


He said Russia advocated the creation of open and transparent collective security systems to achieve "a new equilibrium" in the world after the end of the Cold War.


He also said global strategic stability cannot remain the exclusive domain of Russian-U.S. relations, although the two countries would continue to play a lead role there.


Lavrov said Russia and the United States have yet to reach agreement on a new treaty to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1).


"We still have some time, but time is running out," he said.


The U.S. administration is planning to construct a base for 10 two-stage missile interceptors in Poland, modify its X-band radar on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific and relocate it to the Czech Republic, and to deploy a new forward-based radar to an unspecified location.


The 2008-2013 budget for the project is estimated at about $4.8 billion.


In his 2008 FY Budget proposal, Bush asked Congress to approve the allocation of $310 million for the deployment of U.S. missile defenses in Europe, but lawmakers cut the amount by 27% to $225 million.


U.N. Weighs a Ban on Weapons in Space, but U.S. Still Objects

nyt, 2-13-08




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What's Really Going on Here??


Originally written on March 5, 2007

With our victory in the Cold War came an arrogance that has undermined our “victory.” Rather than be cool, we have moved political, military and economic assets right up to Russia's borders. Remember our response when Russia moved missiles to Cuba?

These unwise moves were practical if antagonizing Russian interests was not a concern, combined with our expectation Russia was to remain in a permanently weakened state. This was a stupid assumption. The rebuilding of Russia has taken on a character of hostility to America in response to our aggressions.

Russia has been moving to counter, if not eliminate, our intrusions into the Ukraine, Georgia, the “stans,” and Belarus.

Russia has determined our militarism requires they rebuild their military forces, and counter our aggressive actions. Russia has interpreted our actions as an invitation to join an arms race. A race for global political influence is sure to follow.

Rebuilding their military forces, and developing a new strategic plan, signals that Russia has sufficiently consolidated its internal affairs to respond vigorously to our aggressions. Russia has consolidated sufficient internal stability to take advantage of the chaos we have plunged the world, and especially Arabic Islam, into.

This is our fault. Our middle eastern foreign policy is based on supporting Arabic dictators hated by their own people. Rather than seeing the writing on the wall, and moving to encourage these regimes to reflect the will of their people, we went in the opposite direction.

Hosni of Egypt is an excellent example. Egypt is where Bush should have started his “spread of democracy across the middle east.” Instead, we are encouraging Hosni to move from an unofficial to a formal police state.

When the Egyptian people overthrow their western supported dictator, Hosni, they will be labeled enemies of “freedom,” and we do our best to kidnap, torture, imprison and kill them. If they live quietly under our dictators, they are friends of “freedom,”

These hypocritical contradictions have created a huge maneuvering area for Russian and Chinese foreign policy, as well as offering a big, fat, juicy American enemy to draw the various Arabic independence groups together.

Putting our military in the middle east has been poison to our dictators. Bush's invasion has reduced the weight of our influence to the size of our guns and wallets. We better not run out of bucks and bullets, or we are in real trouble. We have nothing else to rely on in the Middle East.

All Russia needs to do is offer honest support to the Arabs and Persians who seek freedom from our dictators. If Russia befriends those countries who want to control their own affairs, we are in big trouble.

Arabic lands under Arab control is unacceptable to us. Our position will create increasing political and military chaos until the Arabs actually seize control of their governments, and force their colonial ruling elites to flee back to their source of power, the United States. Once here, they can join the refugees from the toppled dictatorships of Somoza, Batista, the Shah, Chiang Kai Schreck, to name just a few.

Soon, American Globalism will fall before a new, multi-lateral, shared balance of world power. Democracy will be victorious, not America. The right of locals to select their own governments will be established, and it will mark the end of American Globalism.

This will signal the end of our control of the world's oil markets, and those that gain control will hate us. Soon, we will live in a world where Russia, China, and India find it advantageous to block our military, political and economic adventures. Soon, the world will stop funding our gluttony, and demand we pay them back.


From the john birch society, 10-18-07;

 In August, (2007) Middle East expert Barnett Rubin claimed that Vice President Dick Cheney asked various neoconservative organs to call for the United States to attack Iran. Compliance quickly came from the American Enterprise Institute, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, and others. Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton promptly told Britain’s Conservative Party leaders that the United States should deliver a preemptive strike against Iran and remove Ahmadinejad. Neocon stalwart Norman Podhoretz seconded the idea, even suggesting the use of our nuclear weapons to get the job done. Podhoretz is a senior adviser to Republican Party candidate Rudy Giuliani and is likely the stimulus for the former mayor of New York City calling for such an attack. Top GOP candidates McCain and Romney agree that using the nuclear option against Iran should be considered.

London’s Sunday Times for September 2 reported that the Pentagon has "drawn up plans for massive air strikes against 1,200 targets in Iran." The object is to completely destroy any military capability in the country. But Iran hasn’t threatened the United States.

Mr. Bush claims to have agreement regarding his threats against Iran from Russian president Vladimir Putin. But Putin is on record stating that there’s no evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapons capability. And Iran’s leaders claim that they are interested only in generating electricity with nuclear power.

Last month, recently retired General John Abizaid, the former top U.S. military official in the Middle East, urged a completely different policy. He said that "there are ways to live with a nuclear Iran." President Bush and his closest advisers obviously disagree. But they are willing to live with a nuclear Pakistan, widely believed to be the nation harboring Osama bin Laden and the top leaders of al-Qaeda. Their willingness to start another war with an Islamic dominated nation, even while bogged down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, is extremely frightening.

One consequence of fours years of war against Iraq has been a sharp increase in Islamic extremism. The same result has occurred because of the United States’ continued action in Afghanistan. Imagine what a preemptive strike against Iran will produce.

note: for those of you who are unfamiliar with the ultraconservative, radically right wing birch society, see this wikipedia listing.

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 36, 1st article on the page, "Russia prepares to revise military doctrine in response to USA's missile defense plans"

Corruption Updates 39, 8th article on the page, "Who's to Blame for Russia?"

Corruption Updates 49, 4th article on the page, "Russian Minister Says No ‘Rogue State’ Missile Threat to Europe"

Corruption Updates 53, 10th article on the page, "Russia to Suspend Compliance With Key European Pact"

Corruption Updates 59, 4th article on the page, "Leading Russian Official Dismisses U.S. Treaty and Missile Shield"

Corruption Updates 64, 8th article on the page, "Russia, Putin: US imperialists start new round of arms race"

Corruption Updates 66, 2nd article on the page, "Putin warns Europe in missile row"

Corruption Updates 66, 3rd article on the page, "Gorbachev criticizes US 'empire'"

Corruption Updates 92, 1st article on the page, "Russia sends warning to the West: American Military Empire Draws Russian Response"

Stark Differences on Arms Threaten U.S.-Russia Talks: Bush, Fool of the Ages, Continues to Abuse Treaties, the Rule of Law, and Russia, NYT, October 10, 2007

Putin pulls out of treaty limiting arms in Europe, wp, 12-1-07

Russia begins arms treaty freeze, BBC, 12-12-07

Polish doubts put US defense system in jeopardy, guardian, January 10, 2008

Russia claims right to use pre-emptive nuclear weapons, russia today, 1-19-08



See more russian links tracking the escalating tension between the us and russia triggered by us aggression


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7) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Venezuela breaks ties with Exxon

By James Ingham

BBC News, Caracas, 2-13-08



Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA has announced it is suspending sales of crude to Exxon Mobil, in response to legal action brought by the US firm.


President Hugo Chavez has said he will no longer do business with Exxon which he says is not welcome in Venezuela.


Exxon wants compensation following the nationalisation of a project in Venezuela's largest oil reserve.


The firm receives only about 2% of its supply from Venezuela, but PDVSA's decision could cause it problems.


Frozen assets


This is a fight between two giants - Exxon Mobil, the world's largest private oil firm, versus Venezuela's state energy company.


A recent court ruling freezing some Venezuelan assets in the country's Orinoco Belt, pending arbitration has outraged President Hugo Chavez.


He has accused Exxon of plundering the nation's resources, claiming their action is part of a wider economic war backed by the US government.


Mr Chavez has retaliated by cutting oil supplies to the company as well as all commercial relations.


The amount is not huge. But the move does put an end to any hopes the company had of negotiating with Venezuela and returning to future projects.


Meanwhile, Mr Chavez is still threatening to cut supplies to the United States if Venezuelan interests are adversely affected by legal action.


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

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Also See:

Political Clashes Shake Venezuela’s Strained Oil Industry, nyt, 7-23-07

Chavez's petro-diplomacy tour, lat, 8-8-07

Chavez: us cut off, and Oil to 200 a barrel if us attacks iran, Pravda, 11-15-07


our dirty history in south america: links


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8) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

‘Musharraf did nothing for my protection’: Benazir’s book, dawn, 2-12-08


zadari demands party loyalty for bhutto blood, the nation, 2-14-08


pakistan poll: bhutto death, fair elections, & musharraf out, chaudry in, the nation, 2-14-08


Sharif: musharraf bows to woman (rice), the nation, 2-14-08


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

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9) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.


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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., February, 2008


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Today's Headlines


1] Criminal senate grants king george and private telecom illegal search powers

1b] Bush demands criminal powers from criminal congress

2] Scumbag Scalia supports torture

3] FBI trying to cover cia crimes against humanity, rule of law

4] Congress pussies to cite meyers and Bolton for contempt? I doubt it.

5] Another crooked US Attorney on HOT SEAT

6] Russia claims surprise, "our bombers buzzed japan and a carrier? Naw."

6b] pentagon assesses russian buzz

6c] Putin's state of the union

6d] Russia proposes space arms treaty

6e] Russia has low-cost answer to fancy us missiles

6f] UN weighs ban on space weapons: us resists

7] Venezuela breaks ties with exxon

8] Paki News: