- Thousands protest Ga. military school:
Opponents of the School of the Americas think that with the new make-up of Congress, they might have the votes to shut down the controversial training center for foreign military officers. Last weekend, thousands of protesters returned to Fort Benning, Georgia, for the 17th consecutive year to call for the closure of the school, whose training manuals advocate torture, extortion and execution.
- European Report Details Flights By CIA Aircraft:
European report details the secret CIA flights to detention facilities in Poland and Romania. Airport directors were offered large sums of cash to land planes from faraway places like Afghanistan.
- Christian Coalition leader leaves in frustration:
CC disses his ideas to fight poverty and go green.
- Despite a Year of Ire and Angst, Little Has Changed on Wiretaps:
For all the sound and fury in the last year, the National Security Agency's wiretapping program continues uninterrupted, with no definitive action by either Congress or the courts on what, if anything, to do about it, and little chance of a breakthrough in the lame-duck Congress.
- Rights and Liberties: Justice Department Quashes Wiretapping Inquiries:
"The Department of Justice's response to inquiries sent by Maine, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey about possible illegal wiretapping has been to sue."
- Whistle-blowers tell of cost of conscience:
He knew there were problems. He didn't think he was one of them. At the time, Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who had raised concerns about how the pre-9/11 arrest of al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was handled, was being hailed as a national hero. FBI Special Agent Mike German says he had also just received a mass email from FBI Director Robert Mueller, urging other whistleblowers to come forward. "I was assuming he'd protect me," German says. Instead, German says his accusations were ignored, his reputation ruined and his career obliterated.
- Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general�:
Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.
- Firms Crimping Oil Supplies:
An Associated Press analysis suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. The analysis, based on data from the US Energy Information Administration, indicates that the industry slacked off supplying oil and gasoline during the prolonged price boom between early 1999 and last summer, when prices began to fall.
- Cheney and Neo-Cons Plotting More Wars:
They are now preparing to survive the fall of the House of Bush, and are already making plans for the next confrontations: against Iran and Russia, to name the top two targets du jour.
- Secret Pentagon Documents Classify Central Coast Group as a "Threat":
New details tonight about a secret Pentagon database used to monitor anti-war protests and activists. Recently-disclosed documents reveal that some of the surveillance targets include an organization with ties to the Central Coast.
- Military Documents Hold Tips on Antiwar Activities
Ben Wizner, a lawyer for the ACLU in New York, said the new documents suggested that the military’s efforts to glean intelligence on protesters went beyond what was previously known. If intelligence officials "are going to be doing investigations or monitoring in a place where people gather to worship or to study, they should have a pretty clear indication that a crime has occurred," Mr. Wizner added.
- US dollar 'will keep falling':
The US dollar has reached a 'tipping point' as foreign exchange markets wake up to the threat that the Federal Reserve will have to slash interest rates in the new year to stave off recession, analysts say. After a sharp sell-off on Friday took the greenback to 18-month lows against the euro, and pushed the pound to $1.93, economists warned that there was worse to come for the US currency.
- The U.S. Dollar is the Week's Biggest Turkey:
While Americans were busy digesting their Thanksgiving feasts, the rest of the world was barfing up dollars. As a result of our massive trade deficits, foreigners certainly have their bellies full of them.
- State police eyed as hubs of terrorism data network:
A new plan from the U.S. intelligence czar will use intelligence centers run by state police as the hubs for a national network of officials from different agencies and levels of government sharing information about terrorism.
- Dean Baker | Free Trade Arithmetic for Progressives:
Dean Baker writes: "When manufacturing workers in the United States have to compete with workers in Mexico and China who earn a dollar an hour, it puts downward pressure on their wages. Because manufacturing traditionally has been a source of relatively high-paying jobs for less-educated workers, the loss of manufacturing jobs and the downward pressure on wages in the sector has the effect of lowering wages for the entire 70 percent of the workforce that lacks a college degree."
- A Step Shy of Book-Burning:
"The White House has begun closing the Enviromental Protection Agency's research libraries to the public and to its own staff, cementing Bush's reputation as usher of a new dark age."
- Democrats' Victory Is Felt On K Street:
The Democrats' takeover of Congress this month has turned official Washington upside down. Labor and environmental representatives, once also-rans in congressional influence, are meeting frequently with Capitol Hill's incoming Democratic leaders. Corporations that once boasted about their Republican ties are busily hiring Democratic lobbyists. And industries worried about reprisals from the new Democrats-in-charge, especially the pharmaceutical industry, are sending out woe-is-me memos and hoping their GOP connections will protect them in the crunch.
- Bush's Dr. Abstinence forgot to get board certified:
While he [Dr. Eric Keroack] is an M.D., it turns out he's "not currently certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist." According to an HHS spokesperson, he was certified but "inadvertently missed the recertification deadline."
- Iran Offers Nuclear Access To IAEA
Iran On Thursday agreed to give the United Nations nuclear agency, the IAEA, access to equipment and records from two of its nuclear sites. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Chief of the IAEA, said that Iran has agreed to allow the IAEA inspectors take environmental samples from equipment at a former military site at Lavizan. He added that Iran has also offered the UN access to records from a uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.
- Olmert and the Baker Boys:
James Baker, the consiglieri of the Bush crime family, brings Syria and Iran to the table and they hammer out an understanding on Iraq and, horror stacked upon horror, “some kind of long-term Israeli-Arab diplomatic agreement,” as the Jerusalem Post puts it.
- Waxman Has Bush Administration in Sights:
Congressman Henry Waxman has spent the last six years waging a guerrilla campaign against the White House and its corporate allies, launching searing investigations into everything from military contracts to Medicare prices from his perch on the Government Reform Committee. In January, Waxman becomes committee chairman - and thus the lead Congressional hound of an administration many Democrats feel has blundered badly as it expanded the power of the executive branch.
- Press Freedom: US Drops To 53rd Place:
The US dropped 9 places in the 2006 Index of Press Freedom by Reporters Without Borders issued last month.
52 countries ranked higher and 115 ranked lower.
Finland, Iceland, Ireland and the Netherlands tied for first, with no recorded censorship, threats, intimidation or physical reprisals -- criterion that the Paris-based group uses to rank countries.
The US was outranked by most of the European counties, but also by such unlikely nations as Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Namibia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Botswana.
- Chertoff's 'Chilling Vision':
"Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who runs the giant agency that keeps track of threats to the United States, has shared what he calls his "chilling vision" of the future -- a time when U.S. government actions might be constrained by international law.
Chertoff outlined his nightmare scenario in a Nov. 17 speech to the Federalist Society, an organization of right-wing lawyers who spearheaded the legal arguments for granting President George W. Bush authority unbound by any law, including the constitutional rights of Americans."
- Drug Industry Is on Defensive as Power Shifts:
"Alarmed at the prospect of Democratic control of Congress, top executives from two dozen drug companies met here last week to assess what appears to them to be a harsh new political climate, and to draft a battle plan.
Hoping to prevent Congress from letting the government negotiate lower drug prices for millions of older Americans on Medicare, the pharmaceutical companies have been recruiting Democratic lobbyists, lining up allies in the Bush administration and Congress, and renewing ties with organizations of patients who depend on brand-name drugs."
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