hmmmm..... this might be interesting to you laro. i think this dude was killed at the federal prison you were at in phoenix. i remember your addresses being 44th avenue or something like that and they say the prison is at I-17. but the federal prison web page says their is only one FCI in phoenix so i suspect they are the same place
Activist convicted in bomb plots killed in Phoenix prison
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 6, 2005 12:00 AM
A Jewish Defense League activist, convicted in California plots to bomb a mosque and a congressman's office, has been killed at a prison in north Phoenix, authorities said Saturday.
Earl Leslie Krugel, 63, was fatally assaulted about 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Federal Correctional Institute, near Interstate 17 and Pioneer Road, said Richard Murray, an FBI special agent in Phoenix.
Murray declined to disclose assault details, but said a joint investigation has been launched by the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Krugel's wife, Lola, of Los Angeles, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying she was told by FBI officials that an inmate had struck her husband on the head from behind with a cement block.
Krugel, a former dental assistant from Reseda, a Los Angeles suburb, was the West Coast coordinator for the Jewish Defense League, a group founded in 1968.
He was arrested in 2001 and charged with conspiracy to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and a San Diego-area office of Rep. Darrell Issa, who is Lebanese-American. Krugel was sentenced to a 20-year prison term after pleading guilty in 2003 to federal charges in both plots.
a good reason why private citizens should be able to have machine guns and rocket launchers and any other weapon they want.
Cruise ship attacked by pirates off Somalia
Nov. 6, 2005 12:00 AM
NAIROBI, Kenya - Pirates armed with grenade launchers and machine guns tried to hijack a cruise liner Saturday off East Africa, but the ship outran them, officials said.
Two boats full of pirates approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off Somalia and opened fire while the heavily armed bandits tried to get onboard, said Bruce Good, spokesman for the Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.
The ship escaped by shifting to high speed and changing course.
"These are very well-organized pirates," said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program. "Somalia's coastline is the most dangerous place in the region in terms of maritime security."
The attackers never got close enough to board the Spirit, but one member of the 161-person crew was injured by shrapnel, cruise line President Deborah Natansohn said.
The vessel's 151 passengers, mostly Americans, were gathered in a lounge for their safety, Good said. None was injured.
"Our suspicion at this time is that the motive was theft," Good said, adding that the crew had been trained for "various scenarios, including people trying to get on the ship that you don't want on the ship."
The British news agency Press Association said passengers awoke to the sound of gunfire as two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner.
Edith Laird of Seattle, who was traveling with her daughter, said in an e-mail that her daughter saw the pirates out the window.
"There were at least three rocket-propelled grenades that hit the ship, one in a state room," Laird wrote. "We had no idea that this ship could move as fast as it did and (the captain) did his best to run down the pirates."
The Spirit was bound for Mombasa, Kenya, at the end of a 16-day voyage from Alexandria, Egypt. It was expected to reach the Seychelles on Monday, and then continue to Singapore, company officials said.
The 440-foot-long, 10,000-ton cruise ship, which is registered in the Bahamas, sustained minor damage, Good said. The liner, which had its maiden voyage in 1989, can accommodate 208 guests.
"They took some fire, but it's safe to sail," he said.
There has been a rise in piracy this year along Somalia's more than 1,300-mile coastline, with 15 violent incidents reported between March and August, compared with two in 2004, according to the International Maritime Bureau.
hmmm.... if you hate somebody and want them to be put in jail for the rest of their life all you have to do is e-mail them an image of child porn and they are guilty because possession of the images is illegal. a easy high tech way to throw a bag of dope in somebodys house and get them busted.
it seems like the the cops waste a huge amount of money investigating these victimless crimes and many people are jailed for the rest of their adult lives because of the draconian penalties these victimless crimes have.
ASU stops child porn investigation
Athletic department staff received e-mails last month
Brian Indrelunas published on Friday, November 4, 2005
ASU police are no longer investigating 16 child-porn cases reported last month and will not hand the cases over to federal officials, an ASU detective said Thursday.
"There's [nothing] to follow-up on," said Det. Terry Lewis after a computer-crime panel discussion held Thursday morning in the Computing Commons.
The e-mails received by athletic-department staff members at the Intercollegiate Athletics building Oct. 17-19 contained four thumbnail-sized images of child pornography, Lewis said.
Lewis, who investigates computer crimes for the ASU Department of Public Safety, said he discovered the e-mails were a type of spam that has been seen before by police across the country.
Lewis said the e-mails have all been traced back to a number of other countries, many of which do not have computer-crime laws or extradition agreements with the United States.
Thursday's panel discussion covered how law-enforcement agencies would respond to a variety of technology-related crimes, as well as how ASU's system administrators should handle potential tech crimes.
Panelists told the audience to report possible child-porn cases directly to police.
Lewis said employees who receive e-mails containing what may be child pornography should not forward them to supervisors because possession of the images is illegal.
"Even if you have child porn in [temporary] files, that is considered to be illegal," he said. "Child pornography is just like drugs -- we're not going to let you keep it."
Lewis said all the images in the recent child-porn cases had been deleted from e-mail servers.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com.
The FBI's Warrantless Searches
by x Sunday November 06, 2005 at 11:26 AM
The FBI's Warrantless Searches author: WA POST Nov 06, 2005 09:16
The FBI is annually issuing 30,000 national security letters demanding private information about ordinary Americans not suspected of a crime. The USA Patriot Act has enabled much wider use of such letters for domestic surveillance.
The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.
Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.
Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public. The Washington Post established their identities -- still under seal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit -- by comparing unsealed portions of the file with public records and information gleaned from people who had no knowledge of the FBI demand.
The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26. "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.
The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.
Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.
The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed. Late last month, President Bush signed Executive Order 13388, expanding access to those files for "state, local and tribal" governments and for "appropriate private sector entities," which are not defined.
National security letters offer a case study of the impact of the Patriot Act outside the spotlight of political debate. Drafted in haste after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the law's 132 pages wrought scores of changes in the landscape of intelligence and law enforcement. Many received far more attention than the amendments to a seemingly pedestrian power to review "transactional records." But few if any other provisions touch as many ordinary Americans without their knowledge.
Senior FBI officials acknowledged in interviews that the proliferation of national security letters results primarily from the bureau's new authority to collect intimate facts about people who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. Criticized for failure to detect the Sept. 11 plot, the bureau now casts a much wider net, using national security letters to generate leads as well as to pursue them. Casual or unwitting contact with a suspect -- a single telephone call, for example -- may attract the attention of investigators and subject a person to scrutiny about which he never learns.
A national security letter cannot be used to authorize eavesdropping or to read the contents of e-mail. But it does permit investigators to trace revealing paths through the private affairs of a modern digital citizen. The records it yields describe where a person makes and spends money, with whom he lives and lived before, how much he gambles, what he buys online, what he pawns and borrows, where he travels, how he invests, what he searches for and reads on the Web, and who telephones or e-mails him at home and at work.
As it wrote the Patriot Act four years ago, Congress bought time and leverage for oversight by placing an expiration date on 16 provisions. The changes involving national security letters were not among them. In fact, as the Dec. 31 deadline approaches and Congress prepares to renew or make permanent the expiring provisions, House and Senate conferees are poised again to amplify the FBI's power to compel the secret surrender of private records.
The House and Senate have voted to make noncompliance with a national security letter a criminal offense. The House would also impose a prison term for breach of secrecy.
Like many Patriot Act provisions, the ones involving national security letters have been debated in largely abstract terms. The Justice Department has offered Congress no concrete information, even in classified form, save for a partial count of the number of letters delivered. The statistics do not cover all forms of national security letters or all U.S. agencies making use of them.
"The beef with the NSLs is that they don't have even a pretense of judicial or impartial scrutiny," said former representative Robert L. Barr Jr. (Ga.), who finds himself allied with the American Civil Liberties Union after a career as prosecutor, CIA analyst and conservative GOP stalwart. "There's no checks and balances whatever on them. It is simply some bureaucrat's decision that they want information, and they can basically just go and get it."
'A Routine Tool'
Career investigators and Bush administration officials emphasized, in congressional testimony and interviews for this story, that national security letters are for hunting terrorists, not fishing through the private lives of the innocent. The distinction is not as clear in practice.
Under the old legal test, the FBI had to have "specific and articulable" reasons to believe the records it gathered in secret belonged to a terrorist or a spy. Now the bureau needs only to certify that the records are "sought for" or "relevant to" an investigation "to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
That standard enables investigators to look for conspirators by sifting the records of nearly anyone who crosses a suspect's path.
"If you have a list of, say, 20 telephone numbers that have come up . . . on a bad guy's telephone," said Valerie E. Caproni, the FBI's general counsel, "you want to find out who he's in contact with." Investigators will say, " 'Okay, phone company, give us subscriber information and toll records on these 20 telephone numbers,' and that can easily be 100."
Bush administration officials compare national security letters to grand jury subpoenas, which are also based on "relevance" to an inquiry. There are differences. Grand juries tend to have a narrower focus because they investigate past conduct, not the speculative threat of unknown future attacks. Recipients of grand jury subpoenas are generally free to discuss the subpoenas publicly. And there are strict limits on sharing grand jury information with government agencies.
Since the Patriot Act, the FBI has dispersed the authority to sign national security letters to more than five dozen supervisors -- the special agents in charge of field offices, the deputies in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, and a few senior headquarters officials. FBI rules established after the Patriot Act allow the letters to be issued long before a case is judged substantial enough for a "full field investigation." Agents commonly use the letters now in "preliminary investigations" and in the "threat assessments" that precede a decision whether to launch an investigation.
"Congress has given us this tool to obtain basic telephone data, basic banking data, basic credit reports," said Caproni, who is among the officials with signature authority. "The fact that a national security letter is a routine tool used, that doesn't bother me."
If agents had to wait for grounds to suspect a person of ill intent, said Joseph Billy Jr., the FBI's deputy assistant director for counterterrorism, they would already know what they want to find out with a national security letter. "It's all chicken and egg," he said. "We're trying to determine if someone warrants scrutiny or doesn't."
Billy said he understands that "merely being in a government or FBI database . . . gives everybody, you know, neck hair standing up." Innocent Americans, he said, "should take comfort at least knowing that it is done under a great deal of investigative care, oversight, within the parameters of the law."
He added: "That's not going to satisfy a majority of people, but . . . I've had people say, you know, 'Hey, I don't care, I've done nothing to be concerned about. You can have me in your files and that's that.' Some people take that approach."
'Don't Go Overboard'
In Room 7975 of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, around two corners from the director's suite, the chief of the FBI's national security law unit sat down at his keyboard about a month after the Patriot Act became law. Michael J. Woods had helped devise the FBI wish list for surveillance powers. Now he offered a caution.
"NSLs are powerful investigative tools, in that they can compel the production of substantial amounts of relevant information," he wrote in a Nov. 28, 2001, "electronic communication" to the FBI's 56 field offices. "However, they must be used judiciously." Standing guidelines, he wrote, "require that the FBI accomplish its investigations through the 'least intrusive' means. . . . The greater availability of NSLs does not mean that they should be used in every case."
Woods, who left government service in 2002, added a practical consideration. Legislators granted the new authority and could as easily take it back. When making that decision, he wrote, "Congress certainly will examine the manner in which the FBI exercised it."
Looking back last month, Woods was struck by how starkly he misjudged the climate. The FBI disregarded his warning, and no one noticed.
"This is not something that should be automatically done because it's easy," he said. "We need to be sure . . . we don't go overboard."
One thing Woods did not anticipate was then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft's revision of Justice Department guidelines. On May 30, 2002, and Oct. 31, 2003, Ashcroft rewrote the playbooks for investigations of terrorist crimes and national security threats. He gave overriding priority to preventing attacks by any means available.
Ashcroft remained bound by Executive Order 12333, which requires the use of the "least intrusive means" in domestic intelligence investigations. But his new interpretation came close to upending the mandate. Three times in the new guidelines, Ashcroft wrote that the FBI "should consider . . . less intrusive means" but "should not hesitate to use any lawful techniques . . . even if intrusive" when investigators believe them to be more timely. "This point," he added, "is to be particularly observed in investigations relating to terrorist activities."
'Why Do You Want to Know?'
As the Justice Department prepared congressional testimony this year, FBI headquarters searched for examples that would show how expanded surveillance powers made a difference. Michael Mason, who runs the Washington field office and has the rank of assistant FBI director, found no ready answer.
"I'd love to have a made-for-Hollywood story, but I don't have one," Mason said. "I am not even sure such an example exists."
What national security letters give his agents, Mason said, is speed.
"I have 675 terrorism cases," he said. "Every one of these is a potential threat. And anything I can do to get to the bottom of any one of them more quickly gets me closer to neutralizing a potential threat."
Because recipients are permanently barred from disclosing the letters, outsiders can make no assessment of their relevance to Mason's task.
Woods, the former FBI lawyer, said secrecy is essential when an investigation begins because "it would defeat the whole purpose" to tip off a suspected terrorist or spy, but national security seldom requires that the secret be kept forever. Even mobster "John Gotti finds out eventually that he was wiretapped" in a criminal probe, said Peter Swire, the federal government's chief privacy counselor until 2001. "Anyone caught up in an NSL investigation never gets notice."
To establish the "relevance" of the information they seek, agents face a test so basic it is hard to come up with a plausible way to fail. A model request for a supervisor's signature, according to internal FBI guidelines, offers this one-sentence suggestion: "This subscriber information is being requested to determine the individuals or entities that the subject has been in contact with during the past six months."
Edward L. Williams, the chief division counsel in Mason's office, said that supervisors, in practice, "aren't afraid to ask . . . 'Why do you want to know?' " He would not say how many requests, if any, are rejected.
'The Abuse Is in the Power Itself'
Those who favor the new rules maintain -- as Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, put it in a prepared statement -- that "there has not been one substantiated allegation of abuse of these lawful intelligence tools."
What the Bush administration means by abuse is unauthorized use of surveillance data -- for example, to blackmail an enemy or track an estranged spouse. Critics are focused elsewhere. What troubles them is not unofficial abuse but the official and routine intrusion into private lives.
To Jeffrey Breinholt, deputy chief of the Justice Department's counterterrorism section, the civil liberties objections "are eccentric." Data collection on the innocent, he said, does no harm unless "someone [decides] to act on the information, put you on a no-fly list or something." Only a serious error, he said, could lead the government, based on nothing more than someone's bank or phone records, "to freeze your assets or go after you criminally and you suffer consequences that are irreparable." He added: "It's a pretty small chance."
"I don't necessarily want somebody knowing what videos I rent or the fact that I like cartoons," said Mason, the Washington field office chief. But if those records "are never used against a person, if they're never used to put him in jail, or deprive him of a vote, et cetera, then what is the argument?"
Barr, the former congressman, said that "the abuse is in the power itself."
"As a conservative," he said, "I really resent an administration that calls itself conservative taking the position that the burden is on the citizen to show the government has abused power, and otherwise shut up and comply."
At the ACLU, staff attorney Jameel Jaffer spoke of "the profound chilling effect" of this kind of surveillance: "If the government monitors the Web sites that people visit and the books that they read, people will stop visiting disfavored Web sites and stop reading disfavored books. The FBI should not have unchecked authority to keep track of who visits [al-Jazeera's Web site] or who visits the Web site of the Federalist Society."
Links in a Chain
Ready access to national security letters allows investigators to employ them routinely for "contact chaining."
"Starting with your bad guy and his telephone number and looking at who he's calling, and [then] who they're calling," the number of people surveilled "goes up exponentially," acknowledged Caproni, the FBI's general counsel.
But Caproni said it would not be rational for the bureau to follow the chain too far. "Everybody's connected" if investigators keep tracing calls "far enough away from your targeted bad guy," she said. "What's the point of that?"
One point is to fill government data banks for another investigative technique. That one is called "link analysis," a practice Caproni would neither confirm nor deny.
Two years ago, Ashcroft rescinded a 1995 guideline directing that information obtained through a national security letter about a U.S. citizen or resident "shall be destroyed by the FBI and not further disseminated" if it proves "not relevant to the purposes for which it was collected." Ashcroft's new order was that "the FBI shall retain" all records it collects and "may disseminate" them freely among federal agencies.
The same order directed the FBI to develop "data mining" technology to probe for hidden links among the people in its growing cache of electronic files. According to an FBI status report, the bureau's office of intelligence began operating in January 2004 a new Investigative Data Warehouse, based on the same Oracle technology used by the CIA. The CIA is generally forbidden to keep such files on Americans.
Data mining intensifies the impact of national security letters, because anyone's personal files can be scrutinized again and again without a fresh need to establish relevance.
"The composite picture of a person which emerges from transactional information is more telling than the direct content of your speech," said Woods, the former FBI lawyer. "That's certainly not been lost on the intelligence community and the FBI."
Ashcroft's new guidelines allowed the FBI for the first time to add to government files consumer data from commercial providers such as LexisNexis and ChoicePoint Inc. Previous attorneys general had decided that such a move would violate the Privacy Act. In many field offices, agents said, they now have access to ChoicePoint in their squad rooms.
What national security letters add to government data banks is information that no commercial service can lawfully possess. Strict privacy laws, for example, govern financial and communications records. National security letters -- along with the more powerful but much less frequently used secret subpoenas from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- override them.
'What Happens in Vegas'
The bureau displayed its ambition for data mining in an emergency operation at the end of 2003.
The Department of Homeland Security declared an orange alert on Dec. 21 of that year, in part because of intelligence that hinted at a New Year's Eve attack in Las Vegas. The identities of the plotters were unknown.
The FBI sent Gurvais Grigg, chief of the bureau's little-known Proactive Data Exploitation Unit, in an audacious effort to assemble a real-time census of every visitor in the nation's most-visited city. An average of about 300,000 tourists a day stayed an average of four days each, presenting Grigg's team with close to a million potential suspects in the ensuing two weeks.
A former stockbroker with a degree in biochemistry, Grigg declined to be interviewed. Government and private sector sources who followed the operation described epic efforts to vacuum up information.
An interagency task force began pulling together the records of every hotel guest, everyone who rented a car or truck, every lease on a storage space, and every airplane passenger who landed in the city. Grigg's unit filtered that population for leads. Any link to the known terrorist universe -- a shared address or utility account, a check deposited, a telephone call -- could give investigators a start.
"It was basically a manhunt, and in circumstances where there is a manhunt, the most effective way of doing that was to scoop up a lot of third party data and compare it to other data we were getting," Breinholt said.
Investigators began with emergency requests for help from the city's sprawling hospitality industry. "A lot of it was done voluntary at first," said Billy, the deputy assistant FBI director.
According to others directly involved, investigators turned to national security letters and grand jury subpoenas when friendly persuasion did not work.
Early in the operation, according to participants, the FBI gathered casino executives and asked for guest lists. The MGM Mirage company, followed by others, balked.
"Some casinos were saying no to consent [and said], 'You have to produce a piece of paper,' " said Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM Entity Analytics, who previously built data management systems for casino surveillance. "They don't just market 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.' They want it to be true."
The operation remained secret for about a week. Then casino sources told Rod Smith, gaming editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, that the FBI had served national security letters on them. In an interview for this article, one former casino executive confirmed the use of a national security letter. Details remain elusive. Some law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they had not been authorized to divulge particulars, said they relied primarily on grand jury subpoenas. One said in an interview that national security letters may eventually have been withdrawn. Agents encouraged voluntary disclosures, he said, by raising the prospect that the FBI would use the letters to gather something more sensitive: the gambling profiles of casino guests. Caproni declined to confirm or deny that account.
What happened in Vegas stayed in federal data banks. Under Ashcroft's revised policy, none of the information has been purged. For every visitor, Breinholt said, "the record of the Las Vegas hotel room would still exist."
Grigg's operation found no suspect, and the orange alert ended on Jan. 10, 2004."The whole thing washed out," one participant said.
'Of Interest to President Bush'
At around the time the FBI found George Christian in Connecticut, agents from the bureau's Charlotte field office paid an urgent call on the chemical engineering department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. They were looking for information about a former student named Magdy Nashar, then suspected in the July 7 London subway bombing but since cleared of suspicion.
University officials said in interviews late last month that the FBI tried to use a national security letter to demand much more information than the law allows.
David T. Drooz, the university's senior associate counsel, said special authority is required for the surrender of records protected by educational and medical privacy. The FBI's first request, a July 14 grand jury subpoena, did not appear to supply that authority, Drooz said, and the university did not honor it. Referring to notes he took that day, Drooz said Eric Davis, the FBI's top lawyer in Charlotte, "was focused very much on the urgency" and "he even indicated the case was of interest to President Bush."
The next day, July 15, FBI agents arrived with a national security letter. Drooz said it demanded all records of Nashar's admission, housing, emergency contacts, use of health services and extracurricular activities. University lawyers "looked up what law we could on the fly," he said. They discovered that the FBI was demanding files that national security letters have no power to obtain. The statute the FBI cited that day covers only telephone and Internet records.
"We're very eager to comply with the authorities in this regard, but we needed to have what we felt was a legally valid procedure," said Larry A. Neilsen, the university provost.
Soon afterward, the FBI returned with a new subpoena. It was the same as the first one, Drooz said, and the university still had doubts about its legal sufficiency. This time, however, it came from New York and summoned Drooz to appear personally. The tactic was "a bit heavy-handed," Drooz said, "the implication being you're subject to contempt of court." Drooz surrendered the records.
The FBI's Charlotte office referred questions to headquarters. A high-ranking FBI official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the field office erred in attempting to use a national security letter. Investigators, he said, "were in a big hurry for obvious reasons" and did not approach the university "in the exact right way."
'Unreasonable' or 'Oppressive'
The electronic docket in the Connecticut case, as the New York Times first reported, briefly titled the lawsuit Library Connection Inc. v. Gonzales . Because identifying details were not supposed to be left in the public file, the court soon replaced the plaintiff's name with "John Doe."
George Christian, Library Connection's executive director, is identified in his affidavit as "John Doe 2." In that sworn statement, he said people often come to libraries for information that is "highly sensitive, embarrassing or personal." He wanted to fight the FBI but feared calling a lawyer because the letter said he could not disclose its existence to "any person." He consulted Peter Chase, vice president of Library Connection and chairman of a state intellectual freedom committee. Chase -- "John Doe 1" in his affidavit -- advised Christian to call the ACLU. Reached by telephone at their homes, both men declined to be interviewed.
U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall ruled in September that the FBI gag order violates Christian's, and Library Connection's, First Amendment rights. A three-judge panel heard oral argument on Wednesday in the government's appeal.
The central facts remain opaque, even to the judges, because the FBI is not obliged to describe what it is looking for, or why. During oral argument in open court on Aug. 31, Hall said one government explanation was so vague that "if I were to say it out loud, I would get quite a laugh here." After the government elaborated in a classified brief delivered for her eyes only, she wrote in her decision that it offered "nothing specific."
The Justice Department tried to conceal the existence of the first and only other known lawsuit against a national security letter, also brought by the ACLU's Jaffer and Ann Beeson. Government lawyers opposed its entry into the public docket of a New York federal judge. They have since tried to censor nearly all the contents of the exhibits and briefs. They asked the judge, for example, to black out every line of the affidavit that describes the delivery of the national security letter to a New York Internet company, including, "I am a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ('FBI')."
U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, in a ruling that is under appeal, held that the law authorizing national security letters violates the First and Fourth Amendments.
Resistance to national security letters is rare. Most of them are served on large companies in highly regulated industries, with business interests that favor cooperation. The in-house lawyers who handle such cases, said Jim Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, "are often former prosecutors -- instinctively pro-government but also instinctively by-the-books." National security letters give them a shield against liability to their customers.
Kenneth M. Breen, a partner at the New York law firm Fulbright & Jaworski, held a seminar for corporate lawyers one recent evening to explain the "significant risks for the non-compliant" in government counterterrorism investigations. A former federal prosecutor, Breen said failure to provide the required information could create "the perception that your company didn't live up to its duty to fight terrorism" and could invite class-action lawsuits from the families of terrorism victims. In extreme cases, he said, a business could face criminal prosecution, "a 'death sentence' for certain kinds of companies."
The volume of government information demands, even so, has provoked a backlash. Several major business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, complained in an Oct. 4 letter to senators that customer records can "too easily be obtained and disseminated" around the government. National security letters, they wrote, have begun to impose an "expensive and time-consuming burden" on business.
The House and Senate bills renewing the Patriot Act do not tighten privacy protections, but they offer a concession to business interests. In both bills, a judge may modify a national security letter if it imposes an "unreasonable" or "oppressive" burden on the company that is asked for information.
'A Legitimate Question'
As national security letters have grown in number and importance, oversight has not kept up. In each house of Congress, jurisdiction is divided between the judiciary and intelligence committees. None of the four Republican chairmen agreed to be interviewed.
Roberts, the Senate intelligence chairman, said in a statement issued through his staff that "the committee is well aware of the intelligence value of the information that is lawfully collected under these national security letter authorities," which he described as "non-intrusive" and "crucial to tracking terrorist networks and detecting clandestine intelligence activities." Senators receive "valuable reporting by the FBI," he said, in "semi-annual reports [that] provide the committee with the information necessary to conduct effective oversight."
Roberts was referring to the Justice Department's classified statistics, which in fact have been delivered three times in four years. They include the following information: how many times the FBI issued national security letters; whether the letters sought financial, credit or communications records; and how many of the targets were "U.S. persons." The statistics omit one whole category of FBI national security letters and also do not count letters issued by the Defense Department and other agencies.
Committee members have occasionally asked to see a sampling of national security letters, a description of their fruits or examples of their contribution to a particular case. The Justice Department has not obliged.
In 2004, the conference report attached to the intelligence authorization bill asked the attorney general to "include in his next semiannual report" a description of "the scope of such letters" and the "process and standards for approving" them. More than a year has passed without a Justice Department reply.
"The committee chairman has the power to issue subpoenas" for information from the executive branch, said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a House Judiciary Committee member. "The minority has no power to compel, and . . . Republicans are not going to push for oversight of the Republicans. That's the story of this Congress."
In the executive branch, no FBI or Justice Department official audits the use of national security letters to assess whether they are appropriately targeted, lawfully applied or contribute important facts to an investigation.
Justice Department officials noted frequently this year that Inspector General Glenn A. Fine reports twice a year on abuses of the Patriot Act and has yet to substantiate any complaint. (One investigation is pending.) Fine advertises his role, but there is a puzzle built into the mandate. Under what scenario could a person protest a search of his personal records if he is never notified?
"We do rely upon complaints coming in," Fine said in House testimony in May. He added: "To the extent that people do not know of anything happening to them, there is an issue about whether they can complain. So, I think that's a legitimate question."
Asked more recently whether Fine's office has conducted an independent examination of national security letters, Deputy Inspector General Paul K. Martin said in an interview: "We have not initiated a broad-based review that examines the use of specific provisions of the Patriot Act."
At the FBI, senior officials said the most important check on their power is that Congress is watching.
"People have to depend on their elected representatives to do the job of oversight they were elected to do," Caproni said. "And we think they do a fine job of it."
more to support kevins statements that the aryan brotherhood runs his prison - and laro run in with you can only sit next to white people at the phoenix fci prison
Lawyer: Slain activist got threats
Nov. 7, 2005 12:00 AM
LOS ANGELES - A Jewish Defense League activist who was killed in a federal prison in Phoenix had received death threats because of his militancy and needed more protection from authorities, his former lawyer said Sunday.
Earl Krugel, 62, was killed Friday evening at the Federal Correctional Institution, where he was imprisoned for his role in a bomb plot against a Southern California mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman.
Lawyer Mark Werksman questioned why Krugel was transferred to the medium-security prison last week. He had been in protective custody at Los Angeles' federal Metropolitan Detention Center in recent years, Werksman said.
"There were death threats against him precisely because he was a militant Jewish activist," he said.
FBI Special Agent Richard Murray said a homicide probe was under way but wouldn't confirm whether officials suspected White supremacists or other inmates. Prison officials referred all calls to the FBI.
Family members said Krugel had been at the Arizona prison for three days and died after an inmate struck him in the head with a concrete block.
Lawmakers worried FBI taking Patriot Act too far
Nov. 7, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers expressed concern Sunday that the FBI was aggressively pushing the powers of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act to access private phone and financial records of ordinary people.
"We should be looking at that very closely," said Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"It appears to me that this is, if not abused, being close to abused."
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed, saying the government's expanded power highlights the risks of balancing national security against individual rights.
"It does point up how dangerous this can be," said Hagel, who appeared with Biden on ABC's This Week."
Under the Patriot Act, the FBI issues more than 30,000 national security letters allowing the investigations each year, a hundredfold increase over historic norms, the Washington Post reported Sunday, quoting unnamed government sources.
The security letters, which were first used in the 1970s, allow access to people's phone and e-mail records, as well as financial data and the Internet sites they surf.
The 2001 Patriot Act removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion.
As a result, FBI agents can review the digital records of a citizen as long as the bureau can certify that the person's records are "relevant" to a terrorist investigation.
Calling the recent growth in the number of letters a "stunner," Biden said, "Thirty thousand seems like an awful, awful stretch to me."
Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said Sunday that he could not confirm or dispute the 30,000 figure, but he said the power to use the security letters was justified.
"The Department of Justice inspector general in August 2005 found no civil rights violations with respect to the Patriot Act," he said.
Issued by the FBI without review by a judge, the letters are used to obtain electronic records from "electronic communications service providers."
Such providers include Internet service companies but also universities, public interest organizations and almost all libraries, because most provide access to the Internet.
A message left with the ACLU was not returned Sunday.
dangerous criminal sent to jail for not licensing his pussy cat
Cat owner sentenced to jail time
BISMARCK, N.D. — A North Dakota man has served an unusually steep sentence for having an unlicensed cat: two days in jail.
William T. Dennis, 38, was charged with failing to license his feline, which normally brings a fine. But a warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn't show up for a court appearance on the charge.
Dennis spent two days in jail before appearing in court again.
"He basically just received credit for time served," said Bismarck Municipal Judge Charles Isakson.
Failure to license an animal carries a fine up to $1,000 and a possible 30-day jail sentence in Bismarck.
"I never thought I'd sentence someone to two days in jail for this," Isakson said. "Since no situations like this are on record, I had no history to go on for sentencing."
MAN IN JAIL FOR NOT LICENSING CAT
Sunday, November 06, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com
The judicial system is at it again. In North Dakota a man spent two days in jail who did not license his cat on time, according to the AP newswire. The man could have been subject to a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail. Initially William T. Dennis was charged with failure to license his cat, but when he did not show up in court, a warrant was issued for his arrest, leading to his two-day incarceration. When he got out, the Judge credited him with time served and let him go.
Bismarck Municipal Judge Charles Isakson was quoted as saying, "I never thought I'd sentence someone to two days in jail for this. I had no history to go on for sentencing."
The above is a good example of how the law builds on itself. In Western countries, especially, the legal system may involve a chain of events that lead individuals from a small infraction to an incarceration or fine of serious proportions. This had led man to agree with Charles Dickens' Mr. Bumble, as follows: "'If the law supposes that, the law is an ass..."
staff reports - Free-Market News Network
Posted on Fri, Nov. 04, 2005
Man serves two days for failing to license cat
BISMARCK, N.D. - A man has served two days in jail for failing to license his cat.
William T. Dennis, 38, of Bismarck, was charged with the misdemeanor, which normally brings a fine.
Bismarck Municipal Judge Charles Isakson said a warrant was issued for Dennis' arrest after he failed to show up for a court appearance on the charge. He spent two days in jail before appearing in court again.
"He basically just received credit for time served," Isakson said of the sentence.
Failure to license an animal is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail in Bismarck.
"I never thought I'd sentence someone to two days in jail for this," Isakson said. "Since no situations like this are on record, I had no history to go on for sentencing."
Dennis could not be reached for comment.
dangerous beauty queen criminal arrested for failing to pay $1 in city income taxes
Police Arrest Woman For $1 In Unpaid Taxes
Unfiled City Tax Forms Also Cited In Case
POSTED: 4:57 pm EDT October 12, 2005
LOVELAND, Ohio -- A Tri-State woman was arrested after she didn't pay just more than $1 that she owed in income taxes, News 5's Brian Hamrick reported.
Deborah Combs owed the city of Loveland $1.16 last year, but she also hadn't filed her city income tax forms in five years.
She said officers pulled her over and acted as though she were a violent criminal.
"One sheriff approached my car with his hand on his gun," she said. "Another from the other side of the car leaned in and said, 'Are you Deborah Combs?' He said, 'We have a warrant for your arrest.' I was absolutely shocked."
Combs said she thinks the arrest and charges are over-the-top for the amount she owed.
"What they've spent in stamps is more than what I owe," she said.
She could also end up paying hundreds of dollars in fines for the unfilled tax forms, Hamrick reported.
Loveland City Manager Fred Enderle said the amount Combs owes isn't the real issue.
"Whether it's $1 they owe us or $1,000, it's not fair to the rest of the public to not pursue that person," he said. "There is some expense involved, but it goes back to the principle. We have laws. The laws have to be complied with. At what cost do you stop enforcing the law?"
BATAVIA, Ohio -- A former beauty queen accused of owing just more than $1 in taxes pleaded not guilty to the charges against her, News 5's Jonathan Hawgood reported.
Deborah Combs entered the plea Thursday morning in a Clermont County courtroom with the help of two Tri-State attorneys who agreed to take on her case pro bono.
Loveland officials claims Combs did not filed her city income tax report for several years -- during which time she said she didn't have any reportable income -- and that she owed $1.16 last year.
Prosecutor Joseph Braun said he wants a conviction, and he won't let Combs just pay out her fines, Hawgood reported.
"We have to treat each resident in the city of Loveland equally, which means whether they owe $1,000 or $1.16 plus interest and penalties, we're going to pursue that," Braun said.
Combs said that a conviction would limit her future job opportunities, and maintains that she filed the necessary documents.
"I think it's become very high-profile," Combs said. "I think the city is very embarrassed by this, and I think they want to swat me down and teach me that I don't mess around with city hall."
Taking the case to trial is a gamble for both sides, Hawgood reported. If the jury were to find Combs not guilty, the city might not see one red cent of what it claims Combs owes. But Combs financial records over the past several years are also subject to close scrutiny as the prosecutor investigates
City officials drop charges against Ohio woman who owed $1.16 in city taxes
LOVELAND, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of failing to pay a $1.16 tax bill is off the hook — city officials dropped her criminal charges.
Deborah Combs, 51, had pleaded innocent to misdemeanor charges of failure to file city tax returns and not paying late fees. She faced up to $4,000 in fines and 18 months in jail if convicted.
But Mayor Brad Greenberg said Friday it wasn't worth spending thousands of dollars in legal costs.
"The circus is leaving town," Greenberg said. "I will not allow our taxpayers to spend any further money prosecuting this case."
Greenberg also waived $200 in late fees assessed against Combs. The City Council is expected to direct the city manager to dismiss the case at a Tuesday meeting.
Combs, who has been mostly unemployed since 2000, didn't earn enough to file state and federal returns and said she believed she also didn't have to file city returns.
But Loveland, about 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati, has a mandatory filing requirement.
"This will really help me out a lot," Combs said. "I am down on my luck."
Charges Over $1.16 Tax Bill Dropped
The mayor of Loveland has asked the city to dismiss the tax case against Deborah Combs.
However, Deborah Combs says there are many others in her situation and they don't plan on letting this situation rest until all the cases are resolved.
Combs says she is very relieved after hearing the news that charges will be dropped against her.
However, her attorneys say this is just a springboard to fight for changes in the tax code and enforcement.
Changing FBI priorities burden local police
By Kristina Davis, Tribune
November 7, 2005
Valley police are seeing increased caseloads — especially bank robberies, drug trafficking and fraud — that they often don’t have the resources to fully investigate, according to a new federal report.
The reason: Since Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI — which normally takes on most of these cases — has shifted its priorities to terrorism. Nationally, the FBI is investigating only half as many crimes as it did before the attacks.
And while police and other federal agencies have been able to take up some of the slack, many crimes are going unaddressed, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report.
In the FBI’s Phoenix division, drug squads in the state were reduced from four to two after 2001, and a telemarketing fraud task force was disbanded.
At the same time, counterterrorism squads in the division have increased twofold.
"There are a lot of things we are still heavily involved in on the criminal side. However, we’ve become more involved on the intelligence side . . . to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks, and it’s obviously pulled some of our resources," said agent Deborah McCarley, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Phoenix Division.
One of the most noticeable changes to the Arizona Department of Public Safety was the FBI’s cutback on drug investigations.
"They were a fairly robust partner in the number of drug initiatives. Now they’ve pulled out," said DPS Maj. Norm Beasley, commander of the intelligence bureau. "They looked at those things that state or local or other federal entities could also investigate. We haven’t totally filled the void. We’ve adapted to that void."
Phoenix agents investigating drug matters were reduced from 56 to 15 since the attacks, causing drug crime in their jurisdiction to be significantly underaddressed by the FBI, local FBI officials said in the report.
"We still work closely with them as it relates to major drug trafficking organizations," Beasley said, "but their level of involvement is somewhat degraded."
White-collar crime investigations in Phoenix plummeted 66 percent between 2000 and 2004, the report states.
"Clearly, the FBI pulling out of those areas has created a void in all enforcement efforts because we don’t as a state agency have the assets to devote to very much whitecollar and economic crimes, which are a significant problem," Beasley said. "With national scams, scams over the Internet or telephone, in many cases the perpetrators are not Arizona based."
Police officers and FBI officials across the country agreed, saying in the report that no other law enforcement agency has been able to compensate entirely for the FBI’s reduced efforts in these areas.
Overall, though, the officers interviewed nationwide said the effects of the FBI’s reprioritization were minimal.
"In some areas, we’ve had to raise the threshold," said Special Agent in Charge Jana Monroe, who has headed the FBI’s Phoenix division since December. "We wouldn’t necessarily investigate a case we would have previously because it doesn’t meet the investigative threshold."
Before Sept. 11, the FBI would send an agent to every bank robbery. Now that happens only if it is violent or part of a crime spree that spreads across state lines.
"Certainly from what I’ve noticed, our requests to get federal assistance get scrutinized and prioritized differently than they were before," said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.
"It changes the way we do business a little bit. But it doesn’t hinder us. If (the investigation) is large enough to need federal resources, we’re usually able to get them."
When FBI field offices were directed in 2001 to ensure that no terrorism-related matter went unaddressed, that meant local and state police needed to get on board as well.
"Where we lost (FBI) involvement in one area, we gained significantly in the area of counterterrorism," Beasley said.
"The FBI has reached out to local agencies more to work more cooperatively since 9/11," Clark added. "More agencies are involved in the FBI’s joint terrorism task force."
Regular meetings of officers, police chiefs with topsecret clearance and FBI agents keep the flow of intelligence steady.
"Today, there’s strength in numbers and with partnering. They have information of value to us and vice versa," said the Phoenix FBI leader.
Arizona’s counterterrorism effort is doubled by the Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center, which includes 36 agencies.
A true picture of the successes of counterterrorism and counterintelligence work is hard to come by when comparing it with criminal investigations, Monroe said.
"It’s apples and oranges, truly," she said. "We might have one large terrorism case important to the whole country and 59 bank robberies. (Counterterrorism cases are) about the protection of a nation and prevention. How do you measure that in tangible numbers?"
Beasley said it all boils down to shifting priorities for all law enforcement.
"Every agency has to take a hard look at those things they do now," he said, "and establish certain priorities of what presents the greatest threat to the citizens they serve."
Contact Kristina Davis by email, or phone (480)-898-6446
Nov 7, 12:16 PM EST
Puerto Rico Is Link in Drug Pipeline
By JONATHAN EWING
Associated Press Writer
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- The cargo ship had just arrived from South America when U.S. federal agents boarded with sniffer dogs, zeroed in on a 20-foot-long steel oxygen tank and hauled it away. An X-ray showed it contained nearly two tons of cocaine.
Using vessels ranging from small wooden launches to 140-foot cargo ships like the one agents raided at the Port of San Juan, traffickers are sending a wave of drugs into Puerto Rico. It has become a stepping stone to the lucrative mainland U.S. market, a place the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration now classifies as a "major Caribbean point of entry" for drugs.
Traffickers love Puerto Rico because after their drugs arrive on the island, they can be hidden amid regular cargo and shipped onward, bypassing routine searches because Puerto Rico is part of the United States.
"Once the drugs are in Puerto Rico, they're as good as in Kansas," said Lt. j.g. Eric Willis of the U.S. Coast Guard, which patrols much of the Caribbean in cooperation with other nations.
But not all the drugs leave the island. Traffickers often pay locals in drugs - cocaine, marijuana and heroin - for their cooperation in getting their shipments to the United States.
Puerto Rico, renowned for its palm-fringed beaches, rain forest and salsa music, is paying the price for being a way station in the drug-trafficking pipeline.
With the island of 4 million awash in drugs, murders have surpassed 600 this year, already nearing the 793 homicides reported for 2004, as small-time drug dealers battle for turf.
The island also has one of the highest HIV rates - about 27 per 100,000 people - in the United States, because of addicts sharing needles.
Addicts wander the cobblestone streets in tourist districts such as Old San Juan, injecting themselves with heroin near the terminal where gleaming cruise ships come to port and near La Fortaleza, the governor's residence in Spanish colonial times.
"If you like your heroin cheap, then this is the place for you," said David Reyes Ortiz, 34, an addict from New York, as he stuck a needle into his arm below a Virgin Mary tattoo.
Reyes, who was using free syringes offered by a needle-exchange group seeking to curb the spread of HIV, said he buys a fix of heroin for as little as $10. It is much more powerful than what he could find at that price on the U.S. mainland.
According to a paper by the United Nations office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, Colombian gangs started distributing their heroin in Puerto Rico in the early 1990s to test its popularity, giving it away free with each sale of cocaine. "Very soon people who had until then only been using cocaine became regular heroin users - and regular heroin buyers," it said.
"It's cheaper here because it's closer to its South American source and it's here in large amounts," Jerome Harris, chief of the DEA's Caribbean division, told The Associated Press.
The Caribbean has long been a paradise for smugglers who take advantage of the many islands, crowded waters and weak law enforcement in countries such as Haiti.
Corruption has leached into the Puerto Rican police force, too, underscored by the arrests by federal agents of several police officers for protecting the movement of drugs.
Puerto Rico has some of the busiest ports in the United States, with about 1,000 containers entering through San Juan each day, according to the Coast Guard.
"It's impossible to monitor everything that enters the island," said Willis.
The DEA has estimated that as much as 20 percent of the cocaine that reaches the United States moves through the Caribbean, although that figure has varied over time. An estimated 75 percent is smuggled into the United States through Central America and Mexico.
The smuggling methods and routes traversing Puerto Rico are well established.
Speedboats and every other type of vessel carry Colombian cocaine to Puerto Rico from islands to the east such as St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands; and from the west from Hispaniola - shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, according to the DEA.
Authorities are left to play cat and mouse. In some cases, an intelligence tip crops up, as happened when the Antigua-flagged TMM Turango appeared in San Juan with conflicting paperwork that showed it en route to either Haiti or Mexico, federal agents said.
A task force that included DEA and FBI agents had focused on the ship for some time, and had even searched it once before - but found nothing.
On Oct. 5, however, the agents found 3,904 pounds of cocaine in the steel oxygen tank - one of the largest drug busts in Puerto Rico's history.
Agents believe the cocaine was loaded onto the boat by dock workers in Venezuela, behind the backs of the Filipino and German crew and the Greek captain.
In such cases, dock workers are on a drug organizations' payroll, or a drug cartel used false documents or paid a bribe to load the drugs onto a ship without proper inspection.
So far, no arrests have been made, but the agents felt they had made progress.
"Any time you seize thousands of pounds of any contraband, it's big," said Juan Mojica, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who participated in the raid. "I don't know if it will cripple the drug organization, but it was definitely a big blow to them."
ov 6, 11:16 PM EST
Attorney: Activist killed in prison had received death threats
By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ
Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Jewish Defense League activist who was killed in a federal prison had received death threats because of his militancy and needed more protection from authorities, his former attorney said Sunday.
Earl Krugel, 62, was killed Friday evening at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, where he was imprisoned for his role in a bomb plot against a Southern California mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman.
Attorney Mark Werksman questioned why Krugel was transferred to the medium-security prison last week. He had been in protective custody at Los Angeles' federal Metropolitan Detention Center in recent years, Werksman said.
"There were death threats against him precisely because he was a militant Jewish activist," he said. "So he always had to be watched and be guarded in federal custody in L.A."
Werksman couldn't recall details of the threats, but he said Krugel might have been targeted by white supremacists or Muslim extremists in the past.
FBI Special Agent Richard Murray said a homicide probe was under way but wouldn't confirm whether officials suspected white supremacists or other inmates. Prison officials referred all calls to the FBI.
Family members said Krugel had been at the Arizona prison for three days and died after an inmate struck him in the head with a concrete block.
Krugel, a former dental assistant from Los Angeles, was arrested in 2001 and charged with conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and a field office of Republican Rep. Darrell E. Issa.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2003, and was sentenced in September to 20 years in prison.
JDL leader Irv Rubin, who was also convicted in the case, slashed his neck and fell from a railing at the Los Angeles federal detention center exactly three years to the day before Krugel's death. Rubin died nine days later; his death was ruled a suicide.
The Jewish Defense League was founded in 1968 by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane advocated the forcible removal of Arabs from Israel. He was assassinated in 1990 in New York.
Tribunals go to high court
Legality of terror trials at issue
Nov. 8, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to rule on the legality of the Bush administration's planned military commissions for terror suspects, setting up what could be one of the most significant rulings on presidential war powers since the end of World War II.
President Bush has claimed broad power to conduct the war against al-Qaida and said questions about the detention of terror suspects, their interrogation, trial and punishment are matters for him to decide as commander in chief.
But the court's announcement that it would hear the case of Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, shows that the justices feel the judicial branch has a role to play as well.
The court has focused on whether Bush has the power to set up the commissions and whether detainees facing military trials can go to court in the United States to secure the protections guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions.
The justices have chosen to intervene at a sensitive time for the Bush administration.
The Senate is mounting its first sustained challenge to the administration's claim that it alone can determine what interrogation methods are proper for terror detainees.
The United States has come under fire after disclosures that the CIA has been interrogating suspects at secret "black sites" in Eastern Europe.
Foreign policy views 'lap over'
All that will be in the background as the court considers a case that will turn on its view of whether the other branches of government can and should permit the executive branch to make all the rules in the battle against al-Qaida.
"The discomfort some justices may have with U.S. foreign policy is bound to lap over (into their views of the legal issues)," said Michael Glennon, a professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
"There is no question the justices live in this world and they read the newspapers."
Sept. 11 led to terror tribunals
Both issues, military commissions and the Geneva Conventions, are intertwined and go back to the earliest days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
On Nov. 13, 2001, Bush issued a "military order" declaring panels of military officers would try suspects for violations of the laws of war.
The administration argued military trials are necessary because the regular processes of civilian justice cannot deal with a shadowy foe such as al-Qaida.
It says the president has the power to establish commissions under his constitutional authority as commander in chief, the Sept. 18, 2001, congressional resolution that authorized the use of force against al-Qaida and other statutes.
Under regulations developed by the Pentagon in response to early criticisms of the commissions, defendants before military commissions would enjoy a presumption of innocence, access to an attorney and other protections.
Suspects denied protection
Also early on in the war, the White House decided, over the strong objections of the State Department, that suspected al-Qaida terrorists captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere should not be entitled to the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
They are not prisoners of war but "unlawful combatants" for whom the conventions offer no legal benefits, the administration says.
As a result, they can be tried before military commissions, rather than courts-martial, which offer more procedural protections.
Hamdan has rights, lawyers say
Hamdan's attorneys argue that Congress authorized the president only to detain enemy combatants, not to try them.
Any commissions would have to be established with Congress' express approval, or else they could be changed and manipulated by the president alone, they argue.
In their brief to the court, Hamdan's lawyers argue that the Geneva Conventions entitle their client to an impartial hearing to determine whether he qualifies as a POW, and to a court-martial, unless he is found to be an unlawful combatant.
Roberts ruled against Hamdan
Hamdan's tribunal began in August 2004 but was halted by U.S. District Judge James Robertson in Washington.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, including now-Chief Justice John Roberts, overturned Robertson in July.
The government says Hamdan, one of about 500 terror suspects imprisoned at Guantanamo, was a confidant and bodyguard of bin Laden's from 1996 to 2001 and helped transfer weapons from Taliban stockpiles to al-Qaida.
Hamdan says he was a mere chauffeur.
He says that he has cooperated with American interrogators but that they have mistreated him and held him in solitary confinement since December 2003.
5 others face charges
Also Monday, Defense Department officials announced that charges have been approved for five more "enemy combatants" held at Guantanamo and that they could face military commissions soon.
The department said charges will go forward against Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi and Jabran Said bin al-Qahtani of Saudi Arabia; Sufyian Barhoumi of Algeria; Binyam Ahmed Mohammed of Ethiopia; and Omar Ahmed Khadr of Canada.
Four are charged with conspiracy to attack civilians, attack objects, murder, destroy property and terrorism.
Khadr is charged with conspiracy to murder and attempted murder and with "aiding the enemy," according to a military statement.
government is great at micromanaging our lives
Bill would ban parents from smoking in cars with kids
November 7, 2005 - 4:13PM
LANSING (AP) - Smoky car rides to school may soon be illegal. Using a lit tobacco product in a vehicle with a person under 18 would be a civil infraction under a bill to be formally introduced tomorrow by Representative John Moolenaar of Midland.
The bill would allow police officers to pull over drivers who are smoking with children in the car. A fine for the infraction would be set by the courts.
Several studies indicate that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in adult nonsmokers and impairs the respiratory health of children.
George W Bush: 'We Do Not Torture'
Bill Clinton: "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman"
Bush Declares: 'We Do Not Torture'
By DEB RIECHMANN
Associated Press Writer
November 7, 2005, 11:39 PM EST
PANAMA CITY, Panama -- President Bush on Monday defended U.S. interrogation practices and called the treatment of terrorism suspects lawful. "We do not torture," Bush declared in response to reports of secret CIA prisons overseas.
Bush supported an effort spearheaded by Vice President Dick Cheney to block or modify a proposed Senate-passed ban on torture.
"We're working with Congress to make sure that as we go forward, we make it possible, more possible, to do our job," Bush said. "There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. And so, you bet we will aggressively pursue them. But we will do so under the law."
Cheney is seeking to persuade Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the proposed torture ban if one is passed by both chambers.
Bush spoke at a news conference with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos on the same day the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the administration's military tribunals for foreign terror suspects.
In a case entailing a major test of the government's wartime powers, justices will decide whether Osama bin Laden's former driver can be tried for war crimes before military officers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, U.S. military forces have held hundreds of suspects at known installations outside the United States, including at the Guantanamo Bay naval base.
On Monday, the Pentagon announced that five additional terror suspects at Guantanamo will face military trials on various charges including attacking civilians and murder. That brought to nine out of about 500 detainees at the facility who have been charged with criminal offenses.
Bush was asked about reports that the CIA was separately maintaining secret prisons in eastern Europe and Asia to interrogate al-Qaida suspects -- and demands by the International Red Cross for access to them.
Without confirming or denying the existence of such prisons, Bush said, "Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people."
He pointedly noted that Congress shares that responsibility with the administration.
"We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice. We are gathering information about where the terrorists may be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do ... to that end in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture," Bush said.
The European Union is investigating reports of the CIA prisons. The story was first reported by The Washington Post.
In Washington, Senate Democrats pressed for the creation of an independent commission to investigate detainee abuse. They hope to attach the proposal to a defense bill the Senate is considering this week.
"We need a 9/11-type commission to restore credibility to this nation," said Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.
Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., called the commission unnecessary. "Responsibility and accountability have been assessed," Warner said, echoing Pentagon arguments that it had already done a dozen major investigations into prisoner-abuse allegations.
But Levin said there are areas that have not been reviewed, such as the CIA's interrogation of prisoners, the exporting of prisoners to countries that engage in torture, and the role contractors play in interrogations.
Separately, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said Bush's comments in Panama, combined with Cheney's efforts to exempt the CIA from the torture ban, "only demonstrate that the White House learned nothing from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo."
"This administration has consistently sought legal justifications for harsh techniques," Kennedy said.
The United States drew worldwide condemnation after photographs circulated showing guards at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad mistreating and humiliating prisoners.
Wiretap law could force network upgrade at ASU
FCC wants ability to monitor univerisites
by Grayson Steinberg
published on Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Chris Atwood / THE STATE PRESS
Civil engineering freshman Warren Gerber logs on to a computer in the Computing Commons Monday. According to University officials, ASU needs to increase computer security.
The recent expansion of a federal law designed to help law enforcement monitor communications technologies could force ASU to conduct a costly upgrade of its Internet network.
The Federal Communications Commission wants the ability to wiretap online communications on university networks from a distance instead of having law enforcement agencies install equipment personally, said William Lewis, chief information officer for ASU.
"We believe we can comply with little additional expense," he said. "If we have to do a total redesign of our network, it would be very expensive."
Lewis could not specify how much upgrades would cost because the FCC hasn't released hardware compliance specifics.
But Wendy Wigen, a policy analyst for non-profit educational organization EDUCAUSE, said the decentralized nature of campus networks could require a total of $7 billion in redesigns for all colleges and universities in the country.
The American Council on Education and EDUCAUSE, national organizations representing institutions of higher education across the country, hope an appeal they filed in the District of Columbia appellate court would exempt universities from the network upgrade requirement. The suit, filed Oct. 24, challenges the expansion of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
As a member of EDUCAUSE, ASU is represented in the lawsuit, Lewis said.
But Paul Ward, vice president for University Administration and General Counsel, said ASU could not directly challenge the order.
"The Board of Regents has not authorized ASU to initiate litigation on this matter," Ward said.
The Justice Department petitioned the FCC jointly with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration in March 2004 to clarify the law's effect on the Internet, said Paul Bresson, a Justice Department spokesman in a written statement.
"Court-authorized electronic surveillance is a critical law enforcement tool to protect public safety and national security," Bresson said.
But with an estimated 10 wiretaps served against U.S. college campuses annually, it's not cost-effective to overhaul whole networks, Wigen said
Lewis said he hopes the spring 2007 deadline for compliance would be extended so the University wouldn't have to change its equipment until it's time to upgrade the network again. ASU is in the middle of a $22 million, bond-funded overhaul, Lewis said.
EDUCAUSE is in negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice to forge a compromise, Wigen said. Potential solutions include an extension of the installation deadline and making staffers familiar with legal and technical procedures available 24 hours a day on campuses.
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Editorial: Who's watching?
Wiretapping requirements a waste of money
published on Tuesday, November 8, 2005
The stakeout scene -- it's a staple of any cops show.
Law enforcement officials with a hot tip go to the scene of the crime to catch bad guys doing questionable things in the act.
But thanks to the Internet and a federal law that can compel universities to spend their own cash on technology upgrades, the feds may soon be able to skip out on that "to-the-scene" part.
It's no secret that the Internet is not the safest place in the world -- hackers can break even the most clever password to read someone's e-mail if they feel like it. But the government wants universities across the country to fork over an estimated $7 billion all together to make it easier for them to keep track of online communication -- in other words, they want ASU to pay for an upgrade that would make it easier for them to read your e-mail, if they find it necessary.
The reason for this law is, of course, national security. The government argues that if law-enforcement officials need to wiretap a university's communications, it would be much easier to force colleges to upgrade their systems so monitoring could be done offsite instead of sending officials to the college campus to install equipment themselves.
This might be a good argument if the federal government was reading the devious plots mixed into undergraduates' spam mail every day. But according to figures from Wendy Wigen, a policy analyst for non-profit educational organization EDUCAUSE, the government only installs 10 such wiretaps at university campuses across the country each year.
And these upgrades have the potential to cost individual campuses millions of dollars. ASU hasn't estimated a figure for the upgrades yet, but at least one other university has managed to. Illinois' News Gazette reported the University of Illinois would have to spend $13 million to comply with the law.
A figure like that might be manageable if the university in question needed a network upgrade anyway. But ASU is already in the middle of a $22 million upgrade, and there's no guarantee the modifications already in progress will comply with the federal law.
Since ASU seems to be in a perpetual budget crisis, the last thing the school needs is to spend money it doesn't have on technology that would let the government intrude on users' privacy. If the government installs 10 wiretaps a year, it makes a lot more sense -- and puts a lot less strain on colleges -- to pay for the plane tickets and equipment that would let federal officials monitor questionable communications onsite when the need arises.
ASU streamlining tech security policies
Students asked to help form new rules
by Brian Indrelunas published on Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Officials say ASU needs more streamlined computer-security policies, and students can help update or rewrite those policies online.
Speaking at a panel discussion Thursday, Detective Terry Lewis of the ASU Department of Public Safety said he came across many different procedures for dealing with possible computer crimes when he seized approximately 20 hard drives during a Secret Service investigation in June 2002.
"There's no one coordination or policy for all the different IT departments," Lewis said. "I got yelled at because I stepped on some toes, but I needed to get those hard drives right away."
Investigators said they found illegal software installed on the seized machines that logged all information typed into the computers.
The man arrested in connection with the case may have accessed personal information belonging to 29 ASU students and employees, The State Press reported in 2003.
Some of the computers were seized from the Computing Commons, which is run by Information Technology, but computers were also taken from other campus departments with their own IT staffs.
Forensics expert Bill Kalaf said ASU should come up with specific processes to be followed, and employees should document any actions they take.
Joe Askins, the director of security planning for central IT, is one of a number of people looking at how to improve ASU's technological security.
One possibility, Askins said, is to write a set of specific procedures to accompany the security policies included in ASU's Computer, Internet and Electronic Communications policy.
But that policy went into effect in September 2000 and has undergone little revision since.
"Obviously, security threats and vulnerabilities, requirements and everything else and tools have changed in the past five years," Askins said.
Instead, a new set of security policies may be on the way, he added.
Computer security is one of eight focus areas in ASU's long-range technology plan, which is being developed in an open, online environment.
University Technology Officer Adrian Sannier is drafting the plan on a site that uses the same technology as Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that allows any user to edit its pages.
Anyone who creates an account on the site can analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding ASU's computer security or the other sections.
"We want to make this as open a project as possible so it gets the best results," Askins said.
Askins and other designated moderators are working with the submitted information to draw up an assessment of ASU's computer security.
From there, a plan will be developed.
"We're all working toward Adrian's goal of having a somewhat completed [plan] by the end of the calendar year," Askins said.
The online collaboration site, known as a wiki, can be accessed through Sannier's Web site, http://adrian.sannier.net.
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Tempe trying to weaken private property rights
By Jennifer Barnett
Nov. 9, 2005 12:00 AM
Two years ago this fall, the Arizona Court of Appeals declared private property rights sacred in Arizona when it issued the landmark Bailey decision, ruling against Mesa's attempt to abuse its eminent domain power.
The Bailey court made it clear that cities may not use eminent domain to transfer property from one private owner to another.
Tempe decided to celebrate that anniversary by asking the state Supreme Court to turn back the clock and overrule the Bailey decision, thereby putting every piece of private property across our state in jeopardy.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fields relied on Bailey this September in rejecting Tempe's attempted use of eminent domain to take property from current private owners and hand it over to a private developer, Miravista Holdings, which wants to build a large shopping mall known as Tempe Marketplace.
Tempe claimed that the developer's agreement to clean up certain environmental conditions before building the mall made the project one of "public use."
Judge Fields saw through the city's ruse, recognizing it as a pretext for the opportunity to make a private-to-private land transfer, something the Arizona Constitution does not allow, as the court in Bailey recognized.
Most Valley residents will remember Mesa's attempt to take Randy Bailey's brake shop and hand over the land to Ace Hardware Store owner Ken Lenhart.
Mesa claimed it had a "public use" in mind for the private-to-private transfer: that the new hardware store would increase tax revenue and provide a "gateway" to the downtown.
Attorneys for Tempe and Miravista Holdings have previously claimed that the Tempe situation differs from Mesa's failed attempt to take Bailey's property and argued that Tempe's asserted justifications constitute a "public benefit" that should be deemed a "public use."
Now that Judge Fields followed the Bailey precedent - and the Arizona Constitution - which both require showing that the primary result of the project will be a "public use," Tempe no longer claims Bailey is unrelated.
Rather, Tempe is apparently conceding that this case falls under Bailey and is instead arguing that Bailey was wrongly decided.
Tempe's Petition for Special Action essentially asserts that the Bailey decision sets too difficult a standard for determining "public use" so that cities wanting to make private-to-private property transfers have too difficult a burden in justifying their use of eminent domain.
Tempe is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to turn back the clock and make it easier for cities to abuse eminent domain power, trampling on private property rights.
When the U.S. Supreme Court recently issued the deplorable Kelo vs. New London ruling upholding the use of eminent domain purely for economic development under the federal constitution, it set off a nationwide firestorm of protest and overwhelming disagreement with such abuse of property rights.
Tempe's shameful attempt to bring a Kelo standard to Arizona citizens is an embarrassment to this state.
The Arizona Supreme Court should reject Tempe's invitation to weaken private property rights, and instead uphold the Bailey decision making it clear that this state's highest court will uphold our state constitution's mandate that "private property shall not be taken for private use."
The Institute for Justice will stand firm in defense of the Bailey decision.
Jennifer Barnett is a staff attorney at the Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter, a non-profit public interest law firm that litigates against government abuse of power in state and federal courts. The Institute for Justice represented Randy Bailey in his victory over the City of Mesa. Visit www.castlecoalition.com for more information about the institute's work opposing eminent domain abuse around the nation.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States is in a "different kind of war" and has an obligation to defend itself - ie f*ck the constitution and bill of rights when it prevents george w hitler from doing something
CIA to probe prison leak
It wants to know how 'Post' obtained secret
Nov. 9, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - The CIA took the first step toward a criminal investigation of a leak of possibly classified information on secret prisons to the Washington Post, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The agency's general counsel sent a report to the Justice Department about the Post story, which reported the existence of secret U.S. detention centers for terror suspects in Eastern Europe.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue deals with classified information, said the referral was made shortly after the story was published Nov. 2. The Justice Department will decide whether to initiate a criminal investigation.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert called for a congressional investigation into the disclosure of the existence of the secret prisons.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said Republicans "should be focused on the illegality of these prisons, not the revelation of the illegality."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sidestepped questions on secret prisons, saying the United States is in a "different kind of war" and has an obligation to defend itself.
The newspaper's story of a week ago said the CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al-Qaida captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, part of a covert prison system set up by the agency four years ago. At various times, the system has included sites in eight countries.
government rulers get special perks. and alaska Governor Frank Murkowski thinks he is one of those special people
Article Last Updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 - 11:13:00 AM AKST
State to take delivery today of new jet
According to the Associated Press, the state will take possession today of a two-and-a-half million dollar jet. The 1984 Westwind-Two is expected to be put to immediate use by Governor Frank Murkowski for state trips and to transport prisoners to Arizona where the state leases jail space.
The Department of Public Safety announced plans this summer to buy the jet from a Las Vegas aircraft broker. The plane will be paid for through a line of credit the state has with Key Bank, so the purchase does not require legislative approval. Earlier this year, a state House of Representatives committee removed a budget line item to lease a jet.
Murkowski last year was denied a request to buy a jet with federal Homeland Security money. Critics have called the jet's purchase an unneeded luxury item for the governor. The governor's office has said a jet is safer because it flies higher and faster.
Public Safety Commissioner Bill Tandeske says they plan to sell one of the department's two King Air propeller planes, either through an aircraft broker or through an Internet auction site.
State's new jet could touch down today
TURBULENCE: Critics have contended the $2.7 million plane isn't needed.
By SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News
Published: November 8, 2005
Last Modified: November 8, 2005 at 03:14 PM
JUNEAU -- Alaskans might want to look up if they hear the sound of a jet airplane in the next few days: It could be the governor traveling in the state's new executive ride.
The state on Monday took possession of the $2.7 million Westwind II in Lincoln, Neb. The jet could arrive in Alaska as soon as today, state officials said.
The acquisition caps more than a year of political controversy, with Gov. Frank Murkowski insisting on the jet despite widespread opposition from other politicians and the public.
Murkowski and the Alaska Department of Public Safety will both use the nine-passenger aircraft.
Murkowski spokeswoman Becky Hultberg said she could not say when the governor will start flying on the Westwind. She referred such questions to Public Safety Commissioner Bill Tandeske.
"The governor could make use of the aircraft immediately if there is a need. ... It would not be unreasonable to assume he may be on the jet within the next couple weeks," Tandeske said in an e-mail.
Tandeske has said his department can use the jet to hightail it to emergencies or, more routinely, to transport prisoners to a private prison in Arizona that houses Alaska's excess inmates.
Tandeske said in an interview Monday that the jet will make its first prison run to Arizona soon. But he said that for security reasons he couldn't give specifics on that.
Critics have argued loud and often that a corporate jet is too luxurious for convicts or the governor. The 1984 Israeli-made Westwind II has a cream leather divan, burgundy carpeting, a cabin stereo system and a flush toilet -- unlike the state-owned turboprops the governor currently uses.
Murkowski has argued it makes sense for a state as big as Alaska to have a jet for public safety as well as to save time as he frequently travels on state business. The maximum speed of a Westwind II is listed at more than 500 mph.
Jet opponents, questioning the jet's utility, say it couldn't handle short gravel runways in the Bush. The Public Safety Department said it would fly people to regional hubs where they could get other transportation to smaller locales, just as troopers do now with the turboprops.
Murkowski first tried to get the jet last year with $2 million in federal Homeland Security funds. The federal government said no.
The Republican governor then included state money to lease a jet in his budget proposal to the Legislature. Republican-controlled subcommittees in the state House and Senate took the money out of the budget, saying their constituents opposed the jet.
Murkowski said he would get the jet anyway using his powers to move around state funds. Legislative Democrats tried to get no-jet language into the budget in a final attempt to stop him. But the majority Republicans refused to go that far.
The state signed a contract this summer to buy the jet from O. Bruton Smith, a North Carolina auto-racing tycoon. It has been owned by the Land's End catalogue company, among others. The jet has been in Nebraska for renovations and inspections over the past few weeks.
The state added police/emergency radio capability and a cold-weather package for the Alaska climate that includes an engine heater, said Dan Spencer, administrative services director for the Public Safety Department. It also added a seat belt for the toilet seat, as required by law for takeoffs, Spencer said.
Spencer said the state also made some minor repairs, like replacing rivets.
"Rivets are $800 a pop. ... Nothing on a jet is less than $800, as far as I can tell," said Spencer, who is in charge of paying the bills.
Spencer said the state has put about $95,000 into the repairs and upgrades.
That's on top of the $2.6 million purchase cost and the $97,600 for training four Alaska State Troopers pilots to fly it. The state is paying the jet bills using a line of credit with Key Bank. The state plans to sell one of its King Air turboprops to raise a half-million dollars or so to put toward the cost.
Daily News reporter Sean Cockerham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
we can always rely on the government to protect us - cant we? take this fireman.
Arson charges filed against firefighter
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 10, 2005 12:00 AM
A year and a half after being arrested on suspicion of burning down a luxury home in Peoria, a former Phoenix firefighter was back in jail Wednesday, charged with two counts of arson.
Darryl Lanning, 45, was also charged with burglary, making a fraudulent insurance claim, theft, trafficking in stolen property and operating a chop shop. He was held in lieu of $270,000 bond.
The case surfaced in May 2004, when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced the arrest of Lanning and two other Phoenix firefighters, Christopher Bishop and Joseph Avey.
According to the Sheriff's Office, under questioning in 2004, Lanning confessed to setting the December 2003 house fire and implicated Bishop and Avey. He also confessed to setting fire to Avey's pickup truck.
During the investigation, detectives also seized several stolen vehicles from Lanning's garage.
But then-County Attorney Rick Romley refused to prosecute the case and sent it back to the Sheriff's Office for more investigation. All three men were released.
A Maricopa County grand jury returned an indictment against Lanning on Tuesday. Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas held a news conference Wednesday to announce Lanning's re-arrest and indictment. Neither would comment on whether charges would be filed against Avey and Bishop.
"As time goes on there's good possibility you may see other arrests," Arpaio said.
Lanning resigned from the fire department before his first arrest. Avey resigned in 2004, and Bishop remains a firefighter.
Phoenix news briefs
Nov. 10, 2005 12:00 AM
Renovated Sky Harbor chapel unveiled today
PHOENIX - Do you ever feel like praying before you get on an airplane?
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has a chapel for just that. It has just been remodeled and will make its debut this afternoon in Terminal 4.
The center will be staffed by professional and volunteer chaplains from a variety of faiths. It was redone as part of widespread terminal renovations that includes phasing in more than 40 new shops.
The chapel has regular hours for individual reflection, as well as scheduled religious services. The interfaith facility is also used by Traveler's Aid, a group that offers emergency assistance to distressed passengers.
For more information, call Chaplain Al Young at (602) 244-1346.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Police in northeastern Iran are launching a new morality drive by confiscating alluring mannequins from boutiques and clothes stalls in the bazaar, authorities in the city of Bojnourd said Monday.
A spokesman for the city's judiciary, who asked not be named, explained the drive would tackle problems of "public chastity." He said 65 mannequins have been impounded so far.
He explained the crack-down on tailors' dummies was part of a larger offensive against anti-social behavior such as vandalism and biker gangs.
Bojnourd owes its traditional religious climate to the nearby shrine city of Mashhad, a focal point of pilgrimage for the world's Shi'ite Muslims.
Curb On Alluring Mannequins In Iran
November 1, 2005 8:01 a.m. EST
Niladri Sekhar Nath - All Headline News Foreign Correspondent
Tehran, Iran (AHN) - Police in northeastern Iran intensify a new morality campaign by seizing appealing mannequins from boutiques and clothes stalls in the bazaar in the city of Bojnourd.
A spokesman for the city's judiciary says the drive will solve problems of "public chastity." He says 65 mannequins have been confiscated so far.
Authorities believe the seizing of tailors' dummies will curb anti-social behavior such as vandalism and biker gangs. Bojnourd, close to the city shrine city of Mashhad, and a holy site for the world's Shi'ite Muslims, is known for being conservative.
what a waste to money and lives. dont these pigs have any thing better to do then play on the internet posing as hot 13 year old girls who want to have sex with older men? arent there any real criminals for these cops to chase?
Student arrested in child sex case
Man caught by Tucson news station investigation
by Brian Indrelunas published on Thursday, November 10, 2005
An ASU student was arrested and accused of setting up a date with and sending obscene material to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl, police said.
Jed Daniel Poulsen, a 22-year-old computer systems engineering major, was arrested Tuesday in Arizona City, Ariz., about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix in Pinal County. Police also searched his home address there.
He was charged with two counts of luring a minor for the purposes of sexual exploitation and three counts of furnishing obscene materials to minors.
The man was a subject of an investigative report done by Tucson TV station KVOA Channel 4 and an Internet watch group.
Poulson set up a date online with adults posing as the young girl, said Sgt. Mark Robinson of the Tucson Police Department.
"He thought he was going to meet a 13-year-old female [at a house rented by the TV station], and instead, he met a reporter and a lot of cameras," Robinson said.
Poulsen also allegedly sent obscene material over the Internet to those posing as the minor.
Tucson police subpoenaed videotape from the investigation but declined a request from the station to participate in the report.
"We would not be a part of their investigative report ... but we treated any kind of material they got as a tip as if it were coming from the community," Robinson said.
He said Tucson detectives assigned to Internet cases conduct similar investigations, but the department does not condone such investigations by non-police entities.
"We're not interested in getting people on camera," Robinson said. "We're interested in monitoring the Internet."
Robinson said the fact that Poulsen was actually communicating with adult investigators from the TV station and watch group does not invalidate the charges.
"He thought he was sending [obscene material] to a minor, he thought he was setting up a date with a minor, and that was against the law whether you are or aren't," he said.
Officials seized computers and electronic media from his home, according to a press release from the Pima County Sheriff's Department.
Robinson said a forensic check of the computer could reveal evidence of other victims and lead to other charges.
"That [check] could take months," he said.
Poulsen was booked into a Pima County jail and will ultimately be transferred to a jail near Tucson.
ASU officials could not comment Wednesday.
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bible bashing phoenix rulers tear down jungle strip clup in downtown phoenix
Bye, bye strip joint. Bye, bye dive bar.
Phoenix officials perform a cultural whitewash in future ASU district
by Art Martori
November 10, 2005
“I’m the Grim Reaper,” said 4-year-old Rowena Vaughn, laughing, as she danced on a stage at The Jungle Cabaret in downtown Phoenix.
The adorable, dark-haired pixie held aloft a sickle fashioned from a piece of electrical conduit, with a blade made from the leaf of a silk plant – prizes scavenged from the demolished interior of the club. The Jungle, located at 426 N. Central Avenue, was once a venue where an exotic dancer would pull down $500 on a good night.
It closed on September 26, to become a weird landscape of cracked marble, dried-up waterfalls and sparse rays of sunlight that filtered through the dusty air. Rowena’s parents – Jamie and Bryan Vaughn, 22 and 24 – were hired to remove anything that was not sold at an auction held last week.
Although Rowena was the Grim Reaper in that dark world of bygone glory, her real-world counterpart is the City of Phoenix planning department.
The city’s planning department is slicing away places like The Jungle from the Evans-Churchill Area of downtown – which covers 160 acres: from Hance Park to Fillmore, and from Central Avenue to Seventh Street – in order to make it more suitable for ASU’s soon-to-arrive campus and families that will ride the light rail. Phoenix has imposed zoning restrictions that keep new businesses in the sex industry from opening downtown, such as cabarets and adult bookstores.
Businesses like The Jungle, which existed before the decree, are being eradicated through a spate of eminent domain lawsuits filed by the city.
“It’s just part of history,” said The Jungle’s owner, who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s just going. I don’t know what else to say. Life goes on.”
Before the planning department restricted sex industry businesses from opening in the downtown area in late June, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon told The Arizona Republic that he did not see businesses like The Jungle in his vision of the new downtown.
“The image of downtown is science, research and education-based, and a mixed use of businesses and residential that will support that,” he said in a June 27 article. “That doesn’t include adult businesses that prey on university students or make mothers and fathers have to explain what nude dancing is to their child.
“That’s not what the city wants,” Gordon added. “That’s not what I want.”
It is with this in mind that, with broad strokes of its bureaucratic sickle, the city is trimming away undesirable businesses from the Evans-Churchill Area. When this district has been trimmed of the predatory adult businesses that Gordon decried, it will become a pristine landscape of educational, retail and public spaces.
Another park will be constructed on the land where The Jungle now sits, alongside Kings Cocktail Lounge. The dive, located at 434 N. Central Avenue, is a place where patrons can start a tab with a paycheck and purchase packaged liquor to go. It was also acquired by the city through a successful eminent domain lawsuit.
Acting Deputy City Manager David Cavazos oversees the downtown and ASU project. He said that the plan to build a park that will take the place of Kings Cocktail Lounge and The Jungle came after due consideration.
“The City of Phoenix Bond Committee on parks recommended that we put a civic space downtown, near the transit station,” he said.
Cavazos denied that putting this civic space so near to another park – one half-mile from the exisiting Margaret T. Hance Deck Park – was a mere pretense to invoke eminent domain.
“No,” he said firmly. “We believe that for this campus to be successful, we need all the amenities of a great campus.”
Cavazos described a situation where students could conveniently meet within their tight schedules in a collegiate atmosphere.
“Hance Park is a great park, but even half a mile is a long way to walk when it’s between classes,” he said. “A space where people can meet to discuss what they’re learning needs to be readily accessible.
“We feel that this [the park] is critical.”
Despite the bar’s looming January 2 closure, it was packed early on a Saturday afternoon with an assortment of characters that represent the mixing of old and new blood in the area. At the middle of a bar, a clean-cut young man explained the nuances of his housing situation to an enthralled audience. The older, grizzled patron sat a few stools down the bar and nodded slowly as he listened. On the floor beside him was a plastic shopping bag filled with garbage whose value only its owner could assess.
The light that poured in from an open door was momentarily blocked as another patron slowly inched into the bar riding a personal mobility unit. The scooter was filthy and heavily laden with various stained canvas bags holding the man’s possessions.
During a telephone interview, owner Tony Lopez confirmed that the establishment had been purchased by the city through an eminent domain lawsuit. Lopez said that Kings Cocktail Lounge had operated on Central Avenue for 23 years. He said that he did not understand why he was being forced to move by the city.
“I’m a little upset,” he said. “I know it’s for the overall good, but I don’t think we’re being dealt with fairly.”
Lopez said that it seemed that the city was building a park where Kings Cocktail Lounge and the Jungle now stand as an excuse to use eminent domain to acquire the properties.
However, not every business that deviates from the mainstream is being ousted. An unnamed employee at Amsterdam, an upscale club that caters to the gay community, said that there has been no move as of yet to drive them out from the area. Amsterdam is located at 718 N. Central Avenue, one half-mile north of The Jungle and Kings Cocktail Lounge.
Buildings in the area that are listed as historic properties, such as the post office on Fillmore Street, will not be demolished. The planning department has published a listing of properties that are designated nationally or by the city as having historic status. With one exception, the entire southwestern quadrant of the Evans-Churchill Area – where The Jungle and Kings Cocktail Lounge are located – is not designated as having historic status.
While The Jungle is not recognized for its history, the Vaughns are nostalgic for the seedy side of downtown that The Jungle represented.
Jamie Vaughn bartended at the cabaret before it closed.
“It was really a nice bar, if they kept it up,” she said. “It was laid-back. It wasn’t a strip club environment. But that’s that.”
When The Jungle opened in 1993, it was one of only a few cabarets in the Valley whose theme departed from the traditional brass rails and mirrored walls of the stereotypical strip joint. The Jungle’s waterfalls and thatched canopies suggested an island paradise. The now-demolished downstairs level of the club featured a tanning bed where a dancer could maintain her tropical hue between appearances onstage.
Now, all that is left of The Jungle’s former glory are piles of drywall and scattered copies of sex industry magazine Playtime that litter its interior. Although many sex industry businesses have been driven away by the city, Vaughn doubted that the downtown area would ever become a wholesome haven for families and students.
“I don’t know how it’s going to be family friendly,” she said. “I mean, it’s downtown. I remember we’d leave work, and every night at least two people would come up and ask for money.
“They’d be all wasted and eating a pancake, or something.”
As Vaughn picked her way through the rubble back to her husband and daughter, she spotted a glint of stainless steel beneath a layer of grime. Vigorous dusting revealed a bar sink and attached liquor well, from which she used to do a brisk trade. Vaughn said that she remembered nights when she would earn over $300 in gratuity from patrons, plus a tip from each dancer.
“Oh, wow,” she said as she appraised it, “I wonder if they’ll let me take that home.”
Secret military spending gets little oversight
By Matt Kelley and Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — It took more than a decade for Mitchell Wade to turn his company, MZM Inc., from a small-time Pentagon consulting firm into a booming business that had nearly $200 million in government contracts.
Earlier this year, it took just a few months for it to fall apart. In June, the Pentagon revoked MZM's biggest contract, which had brought in more than $160 million in work for the company.
Wade also stepped down as the company's leader and sold its assets to a private equity firm after reports surfaced earlier in June of Wade's allegedly inflated purchase of a home owned by Rep. Randy Cunningham, R-Calif.
The rise and fall of MZM opened a window into the world of classified Pentagon spending and how Congress monitors it. Each year, billions of dollars are spent on classified projects that have little, if any, public oversight.
A USA TODAY analysis of MZM-related campaign contributions shows how the company's growth and its political activities became intertwined at key moments. In more than 30 instances, donations from MZM's political action committee or company employees went to two members of the House Appropriations Committee — Cunningham and Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. — in the days surrounding key votes or contract awards that helped MZM grow.
For example, MZM's political action committee gave Cunningham $5,000 in 2003 the day before his appointment to a congressional panel negotiating the final version of the defense budget. Ten days later, the day after the House passed the final Pentagon spending bill, Wade gave Cunningham $2,000.
Both lawmakers sit on the subcommittee overseeing the Pentagon's spending and have acknowledged putting language in bills that created or expanded contracts that went to MZM.
Larry Noble, an independent ethics expert with the Center for Responsive Politics, says the timing of the contributions creates the appearance that the company's political giving helped it get taxpayer-funded business from the Pentagon.
It is not illegal for defense industry political action committees or defense industry workers to make campaign donations, unless they are given with the intent of influencing Pentagon contract awards.
Political donations from military contractors are quite common, but timing those donations around contract decisions is not, said Noble, a former chief counsel for the Federal Election Commission.
In a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego on Aug. 25, federal prosecutors accused Cunningham of seeking and receiving a bribe in exchange for helping MZM get government contracts.
The alleged bribe involved Wade's purchase of Cunningham's home near San Diego. A company Wade controlled paid $1.675 million for the house, then sold it eight months later at a $700,000 loss.Prosecutors saythat Wade deliberately paid more than the house was worth and that Cunningham used the excess to trade up to a more expensive house in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
A criminal investigation started in June by the FBI and Defense Department of MZM, Wade and Cunningham continues. No one has been indicted. Cunningham referred all questions to his lawyer, K. Lee Blalack, who says Cunningham did nothing illegal or unusual to help MZM. Goode says the MZM donations weren't payback for his support. Wade and his lawyer declined comment.
Classified Pentagon spending has increased by nearly 48% to about $27 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Some of that money went to companies such as MZM, which provides computer systems and analysts for intelligence programs.
But the clandestine nature of this work and the budget that pays for it can obscure wrongdoing from public oversight, says Marvin Ott, who specializes in congressional intelligence issues at the National War College.
"For somebody who wanted to exploit a weakness in the system, it would be pretty easy," Ott says. "If rotten apples are showing up in this process, it's a serious problem because the potential for large-scale abuse is there."
In one case, the Pentagon didn't ask for a $23 million classified program awarded to MZM. Goode, who was on the committee writing the classified budget, said he added it.
Donations and contracts
For more than two years, from May 2002 to June 2004, MZM, Wade and others connected to the company made a series of donations coinciding with contract awards or budget votes in Congress. Since 2002, MZM and about 70 of its employees have been Goode's biggest single source of campaign money, giving nearly $90,000 of the $995,000 he raised. The company and its workers gave Cunningham more than $45,000 in donations since 2001 of the nearly $1.9 million he raised.
Since his first race in 1990, Cunningham has gotten more in defense industry contributions than all but two other members of Congress, according to figures from the independent watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics. Those two are Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the former chairman of the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
A USA TODAY analysis of MZM's donations found that the contributions — often small — frequently followed important milestones for the company. Cunningham got thousands of dollars in campaign money from MZM, including:
• $1,000 from MZM's PAC in May 2002, two days after the General Services Administration put the company on its list of approved information technology service providers, a key step for MZM to get contracts from federal agencies.
• $5,000 from the PAC on Sept. 15, 2003, the day before Cunningham was appointed to a joint House-Senate committee that wrote a final version of the 2004 Pentagon spending bill that included provisions helping the company.
• $2,000 from Wade on Sept. 24, 2003, the day the House passed that Pentagon spending bill.
• $2,500 from the MZM PAC to Cunningham's PAC on June 22, 2004, the day the House passed the annual defense spending bill.
Contributions to Goode reveal a similar pattern.
• In September 2002, MZM received an open-ended computer services contract from the Pentagon worth more than $163 million and announced its information technology work at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Goode's district. The company PAC gave Goode's campaign $1,000 that month; Wade gave $250. The Pentagon revoked that contract in June, saying new rules required that it be opened to competition.
• In March, April and November 2003, MZM's PAC and company officials gave Goode's campaign a total of $19,000 in the days surrounding the award of three Pentagon contracts to MZM.
MZM gave Goode and Cunningham tens of thousands of dollars in campaign money at other times, too. But the timing of some donations around contract award dates gives the impression of the company rewarding the congressmen, Noble says.
It's unusual for members of Congress to accept donations in the days surrounding contract awards because doing so can easily "blow up in their face," Noble says. "There's a fine line between a contributor supporting someone who helps them and giving a contribution in direct response to getting a contract."
Records from the Pentagon and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) show Goode was behind the creation of a military data collection project the Pentagon never requested. The Pentagon awarded the project to MZM, which put it in Goode's south-central Virginia district.
In 2003, Goode said he added a classified provision to a defense spending bill to create the Foreign Supplier Assessment Center, which he understood would be located in his district.
Workers at the center search publicly available databases to perform background checks on potential foreign suppliers of military goods to screen out those that might harm U.S. interests.
Goode said he backed creating the center because he's worried about the loss of jobs in his district to overseas firms. The center was one of about 50 budget requests he has made in the past several years, most of which involved work in his district, he says.
"The Pentagon never has asked me for any of these requests," Goode said in written answers to questions from USA TODAY.
Goode first encountered Wade and his company in 2002, when MZM landed a contract to provide computer systems and contract workers to the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, a university town in Goode's district.
By the time Goode arranged an initial $3.6 million for the center in 2003, MZM's PAC and its employees had given the congressman nearly $33,000 in campaign contributions, making them at that point by far his biggest financial supporter for the 2004 election.
Goode later urged local and state officials to help MZM open the center in Martinsville, a down-on-its-luck former textile center in his district. Records released under Virginia's open-records law show Goode contacted state economic development officials about the plans on Oct. 1, 2003, the first day of the fiscal year in which the FSAC was to be opened.
Goode says the negotiations were between MZM and Martinsville officials. But the records tell a different story.
The state records say Goode acted as a go-between during negotiations between Wade and MZM on one side and Martinsville and Virginia officials on the other.
The congressman was so involved that officials of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership referred to it in e-mails as "Project Goode."
Jobs were 'like gold'
Wade promised Martinsville up to 150 jobs that paid an average $52,000, jobs that Virginia economic development official Johnny Perez called "like gold," according to records released by the state development partnership under the state's freedom of information law.
But MZM drove a hard bargain.
The company refused any direct government assistance, which would have required it to repay the money if the company didn't meet job-creation targets. MZM insisted on paying only $400,000 for a building that cost the city more than $1 million, records show.
And MZM demanded that it be exempt from property taxes for five years.
Throughout the process, Perez wrote in e-mails to his colleagues, Goode backed Wade and MZM, including when their requests fell "outside normal procedures."
The deal leaves Martinsville, not MZM, responsible for repaying the more than $500,000 it received from state and private sources if "the company doesn't perform," Perez wrote in an Oct. 31, 2003, e-mail to VEDP Research Director Robert McClintock. "The company didn't make any fans here at the state by acting this way."
Martinsville economic development director Tom Harned told USA TODAY that Martinsville was happy with the arrangement and had no indication MZM's current troubles would affect the center. "We value those jobs," Harned says.
Goode, Wade and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner were on hand to announce the deal on Nov. 3, 2003.
MZM's PAC gave Goode $1,000 on Oct. 18, during the negotiations, and another $1,000 a month later, records show. The local newspaper, the Martinsville Bulletin, quoted Goode at an April 2004 discussion of the project at a local country club as saying, "Every company that comes into the office for appropriations, the first thing I ask is how many jobs are you going to bring to the 5th District that are not already there."
The Pentagon's classified budget for buying goods and services has increased by nearly 48% since 9/11 — from $18.2 billion in fiscal 2002 to $26.9 billion this year — according to figures compiled by the non-partisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
The budget has long been a repository for spending that members of Congress want to shield.
"We had a classified annex to our bill, and we would hide all sorts of things in there," says Jim Currie, who worked as a Democratic staff member at the Senate Intelligence Committee until 1991 and now teaches at the National Defense University. "In theory, any member of Congress could find out about it, but in reality no one ever came in and checked. ... It's a beautiful way to hide something."
Harold Relyea, who studies government secrecy at the Congressional Research Service, says even if lawmakers had the time to study classified programs, most are not inclined to question the pet projects of their colleagues.
And within the defense industry, "there is a coziness that sometimes builds up. You are familiar with the company and their people, it's easy to go back to them" for more work. "It's a new phase of what we used to call the military-industrial complex."
Neither Congress nor the executive branch regularly produces reports on oversight of classified spending. None has been made during the buildup after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Without such investigations, it's impossible to know whether, or to what extent, the classified "black budget" is being abused.
"The amount of effort in looking at classified programs is very small," Ott says. "We don't have the manpower or time to look into this, so we take it on faith that all of the companies working the black world are basically honest."
2 November 2005
Enclosed is our prison commissary list. We are allowed to order from it once (twice ?) per week. In general more items are available and at far more reasonable prices than from the Maricopa County Jail commissary list. In September the commissary was transferred to a private company called (Lees ?). Prior to that the state was responsible for it.
Thank you for the information about your latest lawsuit. I hope you win. Thank you for the news updates. I particularly enjoyed Jason’s account of life in New Zealand. Why are you angry with Jason?
At first it was almost impossible for me to do that job as a shower sanitizer, but now it has become easier to convince the guards to let me out, the disinfectant is available, and I have a scouring pad.
I am expecting a visit from my mother on Sunday, and I have been able to telephone her about twice a week.
Things have been relatively calm her of late, with no fights or disturbances. There have been no further lotteries or shakedowns.
the police state is rapidly expanding and the police thugs are very well paid
Posted 11/10/2005 11:09 PM Updated 11/10/2005 11:54 PM
Police recruits in heavy demand
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
Police departments, desperate to beef up their ranks, are using unprecedented recruiting tactics that include luring officer candidates from other cities and offering dramatically increased pay, housing allowances and other perks.
The aggressive recruiting efforts have become particularly common in cities such as Phoenix and Lexington, Ky., where local governments are emerging from budget slumps and hiring more officers to keep up with the public safety needs of rapidly growing areas. (Related story: Cops seek more cops)
To expand its pool of candidates for 500 jobs over the next two years, Phoenix's 2,969-officer department is recruiting on the Los Angeles Police Department's turf in Southern California. The $300,000 campaign includes TV and newspaper ads that tout Phoenix's lower cost of living.
Los Angeles' 9,000-member department, which is seeking 720 officers, has responded by hiring its own recruiting strategist. "Southern California is a big market," Los Angeles police Cmdr. Kenneth Garner says. "It's open season out here."
Honolulu's police department, which has struggled to find applicants on the Hawaiian Islands, is following a strategy similar to Phoenix's. The 1,800-officer department, trying to fill 200 openings, recently sent recruiters to San Diego and Portland, Ore., and got commitments from dozens of prospects.
Lexington raised starting salaries from $26,000 to $34,000 to help boost its 540-member force by 200 officers over four years. The city offers officers up to $7,400 for down payments on houses.
Other police agencies are dangling perks such as bonuses for recruits who speak foreign languages, says Elaine Deck, who tracks recruiting for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Such perks have become more prevalent as departments have faced stiff competition for recruits in an economy that has created many higher-paying alternatives to police work.
"There are so many (departments) looking for officers," Deck says. The market is so competitive, she says, that departments for the first time are "recruiting whole families. ... Everything is on the table: bilingual bonuses, housing allowances, you name it."
Some police departments have sent recruiters to other cities to sign up experienced officers from other agencies. Paul Schultz, police chief in Lafayette, Colo., says his 40-officer unit has been raided by larger agencies. "We've had officers go out on assignments where they have been recruited on the job."
John McCain a war monger
McCain warns against withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq
Ariz. senator calls for more soldiers, war commitment
Republic Washington Bureau
Nov. 11, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain, on the eve of Veterans Day, issued an emphatic warning Thursday against withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, urging the Bush administration to commit even more troops there.
"I would submit that the stakes are higher than in the Vietnam War," said the Arizona Republican, who is considering a presidential bid in 2008.
McCain, who has been one of Congress' most prominent hawks on Iraq, made his comments during a speech covered by national and international media at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.
"Instead of drawing down," McCain said, "we should be ramping up, with more civil-military soldiers, translators, and counterinsurgency operations teams."
But McCain also warned there are two fronts that need to be won in all wars: the battlefield and the home front.
And in this war, McCain suggested, a renewed effort is needed to win the home front.
If support of the American people for the fight in Iraq is not retained, McCain warned, "we will have lost this war as soundly as if our forces were defeated in battlefield."
McCain called on the Bush administration to avoid "rosy aspirations for near-term improvements" where they don't exist and to explain precisely what is at stake in this war, not to alarm Americans but so that they see the nature of this struggle for what it is.
"Success or failure in Iraq is the transcendent issue for our foreign policy and our national security, for now and years to come."
McCain's remarks came amid rising calls from many Democrats and others for plans to start withdrawing troops from Iraq. Those voices include Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the Democratic Party's presidential nominee last year. He also is McCain's friend.
In addition, public opinion polls, such as a Washington Post-ABC News poll published last Friday, indicate that nearly two-thirds of the American public disapproves of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq here and three-fourths of those surveyed say there has been an unacceptable level of casualties.
McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, is battling with the Bush administration over its policies regarding the treatment of military detainees in U.S. custody. But even so, the senator on Thursday praised Bush's and his advisers' resolve on the war.
And in what could be considered heresy for an aspiring presidential candidate, McCain said the United States should remain committed to Iraq, even while saying that achieving victory there "will take more time, more commitment and more support, and more brave Americans will lose their lives."
There are now more than 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
More than 2,050 U.S. military personnel already have been killed there.
But McCain argued that "Senator Kerry's call for the withdrawal of 20,000 troops by year's end represents, I believe, a major step on the road to disaster."
"Because we cannot pull out and hope for the best, because we cannot withdraw and manage things from afar, because morality and our security compel it, we have to see this mission through to completion," McCain said.
McCain said he did not know how many more troops the United States should send to Iraq and for how long. But he estimated that at least 10,000 more are needed.
He also said that along with greater troop strength, changes in the Pentagon's tactics and strategy to confront the insurgency need to be put into place.
For instance, instead of shifting forces around the country to secure all Iraq, McCain said, the military should emphasize clearing out areas, with heavy force if necessary to establish zones within the country as free of insurgents as possible. He said more spending is needed on reconstruction. He also criticized the Pentagon for rotating senior military officers out of Iraq instead of leaving those generals with most knowledge and experience in the region.
White House spokesman Blair Jones said "the president appreciates Senator McCain's support for the mission in Iraq."
As for McCain's call for increasing troop levels, Jones said, "the president always wants to make sure the military has all the resources they need to do their job." But he said the president leaves it up to military leaders to make those judgments, as well as judgments on tactics.
Kerry, responding to McCain's comments, said, "I disagree with my friend Senator McCain's mischaracterization of my plan to succeed in Iraq and bring our troops home within a reasonable timeframe. The way forward in Iraq is not to pull out precipitously or merely promise to stay 'as long as it takes.'
"To undermine the insurgency, we need to pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks, beginning with the completion of successful December elections."
the senators screamed torture, torture, more torture - not really but they voted that way.
Nov. 11, 2005, 10:04AM
Bill strips detainee rights to court
Measure would nullify Supreme Court ruling that allows challenges
By ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to strip captured "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of the principal legal tool given to them last year by the Supreme Court when it allowed them to challenge their detentions in U.S. courts.
The vote, 49-42, on an amendment to a military budget bill by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., comes amid intense debate over the government's treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody worldwide and just days after the Senate approved a measure by Sen. John McCain banning their abusive treatment.
If approved in its current form by both the Senate and the House, the law would nullify a June 2004 Supreme Court opinion that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have a right to challenge their detentions in court. Nearly 200 of roughly 500 detainees at the prison have already filed habeas motions. As written, the amendment would void any suits pending at the time the law was passed.
The vote also came the same week that the Supreme Court announced it would consider the constitutionality of war-crimes trials before President Bush's military commissions for certain detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a case that legal experts said might never be decided by the court if the Graham amendment becomes law.
Countermeasure in works
Five Democrats joined 44 Republicans in backing the amendment, but the vote Thursday may only be a temporary triumph for Graham.
Senate Democrats led by Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico said they would seek another vote, as early as Monday, to gut the part of Graham's measure that bans prisoners at Guantanamo Bay from challenging their incarceration by petitioning in civilian court for a writ of habeas corpus.
So it is possible that some lawmakers could ultimately have it both ways, supporting other provisions in Graham's amendment that try to make the military-tribunal process at Guantanamo more accountable to the Senate but opposing the more exceptional element of the legislation that limits the prerogatives of the judiciary.
Graham said the measure is necessary to eliminate a blizzard of legal claims from prisoners that is tying up Department of Justice resources and slowing the ability of federal interrogators to glean information from detainees that have been plucked off the battlefields of Afghanistan and elsewhere.
"It is not fair to our troops fighting in the war on terror to be sued in every court in the land by our enemies based on every possible complaint," Graham said after the vote. "We have done nothing today but return to the basics of the law of armed conflict where we are dealing with enemy combatants, not common criminals."
Opponents of the measure sharply criticized the Senate vote as a grave step backward in the government's treatment of detainees in the global war on terror. "This is not a time to back away from the principles that this country was founded on," Bingaman said.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and one of four Republicans to vote against the measure, said the Senate was unduly rushing into a major legal shift without enough debate. "I believe the habeas corpus provision needs to be maintained," Specter said.
Narrow challenges OK
Under Graham's measure, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay would be able to challenge only the narrow question of whether the government followed the procedures established by the secretary of defense at the time the military determined the prisoners' status as an enemy combatant, which is subject to an annual review.
Detainees would not be able to challenge the underlying rationale for their detention.
Posted on Thu, Nov. 10, 2005
SoCal man wins school board seat - while in prison
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Randy Logan Hale won a school board seat - while sitting in prison.
"Nothing surprises me in this business," said Barbara Dunmore, Riverside County's registrar of voters.
Hale captured 831 votes in Tuesday's balloting, which placed him third in the race for three open seats on the Romoland School District board. His win surprised some people because he had not campaigned or attended election forums and school board meetings.
Now they know why.
Officials at the California Institution for Men in Chino said Wednesday that a Randy Logan Hale, 40, was returned to prison on Sept. 21 for violating his parole from 1998 spousal-abuse and drug-possession convictions. Hale's wife and a district trustee confirmed that the candidate and the prisoner are the same person.
Hale is due to be released Feb. 15, said Lt. Tim Shirlock, a prison spokesman.
Dunmore said candidates must be registered voters, and registered voters must sign a registration card declaring that they are, among other things, not convicted felons on parole. Hale registered to vote and filed election papers on Aug. 10, she said.
Roland Skumawitz, superintendent of the Romoland School District, said he asked legal counsel what action he should take.
Hale's wife, Penny, 47, said her husband ran for office because he wanted to serve the community about 70 miles north of San Diego.
"This is wild, he'll be glad," she said about his victory.
Fourth-place finisher Christina Wilking-Gervais was not so thrilled.
"I don't mind being beat by someone if they were there," said Wilking-Gervais, who won 233 fewer votes than Hale.
Shaun Bowler, a political science professor at University of California, Riverside, said one possible reason for Hale's win was that his name was at the top of the ballot.
"Usually the people on the top of the ballot get the votes," Bowler said.
Jailed man wins school board election
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The winner of a school board election didn't campaign, attend forums or even go to any school board meetings before the vote - because he was in jail.
Randy Logan Hale won 831 votes in Tuesday's election, securing one of three open seats on the Romoland School District Board in a community about 70 miles north of San Diego.
"This is wild, he'll be glad," said his wife, Penny.
Hale, 40, was returned to prison in September for violating his parole on 1998 convictions for spousal abuse and drug possession, the California Institution for Men in Chino said, and is due to be released Feb. 15. He declared his candidacy in August.
His wife and a district trustee confirmed he was imprisoned.
The election of an inmate to the school board is a conundrum for the district, and Superintendent Roland Skumawitz said he's consulting lawyers to figure out how to handle the situation.
Shaun Bowler, a political science professor at the University of California, Riverside, said Hale may have gotten votes because he was at the top of the ballot.
White House hot over critics
Nov. 11, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - The White House went on the offensive in the debate over the Iraq war Thursday, insisting that U.S. intelligence had compiled a "very strong case" that Saddam Hussein harbored banned weapons and accusing congressional critics of hypocrisy because many of them voted for force three years ago.
Bristling from fresh assaults on its justification for war, the White House dispatched national security adviser Stephen Hadley to the briefing room to issue a rebuttal to "the notion that somehow the administration manipulated prewar intelligence about Iraq." The administration's judgment on the threat posed by Iraq, he said, "represented the collective view of the intelligence community" and was "shared by Republicans and Democrats alike."
"Some of the critics today," Hadley added, "believed themselves in 2002 that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction; they stated that belief, and they voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq because they believed Saddam Hussein posed a dangerous threat to the American people. For those critics to ignore their own past statements exposes the hollowness of their current attacks."
The unusually combative statement by the normally mild-mannered Hadley underscored how the issue has inflamed political dialogue in Washington in the days since a senior White House official was indicted in the CIA leak case.
Democratic leaders have seized on the indictment to refocus attention on the broader question of how President Bush led the nation to war.
Successive investigations have documented the failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to correctly judge Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs before the war, including a commission appointed by Bush that concluded that the intelligence was "dead wrong." The government relied on lying sources, fragmentary information and unwarranted analysis, the commission found.
George W. Bush - a liar??????????
Nov 11, 9:06 AM EST
Poll: Most Americans Doubt Bush's Honesty
By WILL LESTER
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Most Americans say they aren't impressed by the ethics and honesty of the Bush administration, already under scrutiny for its justifications for an unpopular war in Iraq and its role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity.
Almost six in 10 - 57 percent - said they do not think the Bush administration has high ethical standards and the same portion says President Bush is not honest, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Just over four in 10 say the administration has high ethical standards and that Bush is honest. Whites, Southerners and white evangelicals were most likely to believe Bush is honest.
Bush, who promised in the 2000 campaign to uphold "honor and integrity" in the White House, last week ordered White House workers, from presidential advisers to low-ranking aides, to attend ethics classes.
The president gets credit from a majority for being strong and decisive, but he's also seen by an overwhelming number of people as "stubborn," a perception reinforced by his refusal to yield on issues like the Iraq war, tax cuts and support for staffers under intense pressure.
More than eight in 10, 82 percent, described Bush as "stubborn," with almost that many Republicans agreeing to that description. That stubborn streak has served Bush well at times, but now he is being encouraged to shake up his staff and change the direction of White House policies.
Concern about the administration's ethics has been fueled by the controversy over flawed intelligence leading up to the Iraq war and the recent indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for his role in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name.
That loss of trust complicates Bush's efforts to rebuild his standing with the public. His job approval rating remains at his all-time low in the AP-Ipsos poll of 37 percent.
"Honesty is a huge issue because even people who disagreed with his policies respected his integrity," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist from the University of Texas.
The mandatory White House lectures on ethics for its employees came after the Libby indictment, and some people say they aren't impressed.
"It's like shutting the barn door after the horse escaped," said John Morrison, a Democrat who lives near Scranton, Pa.
"This week's elections were just a preview of what's going to happen," he said, referring to Tuesday's New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, both won by Democrats. "People are just fed up."
Some Republicans are nervous about the GOP's political position.
"A lot of elected Republicans are running for the hills in the Northeast," said Connecticut GOP strategist Chris DePino after what he called "a waterfall of missteps" by Republicans. Bush and the GOP must return to their message that the United States has been safe from terrorism during his administration, DePino said.
Only 42 percent in the new poll said they approve of Bush's handling of foreign policy and terrorism, his lowest rating yet in an area that has long been his strongest issue.
The war in Iraq is at the core of the public's unrest, polling found.
An AP-Ipsos poll last week asked people to state in their own words why they approved or disapproved of the way Bush was doing his job. Almost six in 10 disapproved, and they most frequently mentioned the war in Iraq - far ahead of the second issue, the economy.
"To use an unfortunate metaphor, Iraq is a roadside bomb in American politics," said Rich Bond, a former national Republican chairman.
Many of those who approve of Bush's job performance cited his Christian beliefs and strong values, the second biggest reason for support after backing his policies.
"I know he is a man of integrity and strong faith," said Fran Blaney, a Republican and an evangelical who lives near Hartford, Conn. "I've read that he prays every morning asking for God's guidance. He certainly is trying to do what he thinks he is supposed to do."
The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Nov. 7-9 by Ipsos, an international polling firm, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
kevin and laro i know both of you are smart enough not to rob a bank while talking on your cell phone, but please tell you fellow inmates that this is a bad, bad, bad idea. your phone can be traced and your number found looking at the log files in the cell phone computers :)
Nov 11, 11:34 AM EST
Woman Robs Banks While on Her Cell Phone
WASHINGTON (AP) -- These days it seems that some people just can't go anywhere or do anything without a cell phone in their ear.
In northern Virginia the police say they're looking for a woman who's been holding up banks while chatting on her phone.
"This is the first time that I can recall where we've had a crime committed while the person was using a cell phone," Loudoun County sheriff's spokesman Kraig Troxell told The Washington Post in a story published Friday. "The question would be whether anyone is on the other end of the line or not."
Investigators believe the woman has hit four Wachovia bank branches in recent weeks in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
In three of those bank jobs, she was talking on a cell phone, while showing the teller a box with a holdup note attached to it. In the most recent holdup, on Nov. 4, in Ashburn, the robber showed the teller a gun.
The woman is described as well-spoken, with a slight Hispanic accent.
Investigators say they're not sure if she's actually talking to someone on the phone or just pretending. They also won't speculate on why she's chosen only Wachovia branches
i damn good reason for people to carry a gun to protect themselfs.
Nov 11, 6:57 AM EST
Crime Victims Often Marooned in Alaska
By JEANNETTE J. LEE
Associated Press Writer
KOTZEBUE, Alaska (AP) -- Susan Jones knew she had to leave her remote southeast Alaska village when she came home to find her husband clutching his loaded rifle.
In his other hand, she said, was the crumpled restraining order she had filed against him a day earlier after he sent several bullets whining past her head.
"He just had it bunched in his hand and it clearly didn't mean anything at all," Jones said.
Many crime victims in rural Alaska face the same predicaments Jones was confronted with as a victim of domestic abuse: weak law enforcement, lack of anonymity in sparsely populated communities and no easy way to escape the state's isolated bush communities.
Jones divorced the man she said violently abused her for 10 years and moved 1,250 miles northwest to Kotzebue. For the past 13 years, she has run the family shelter in this small western Alaska city just above the Arctic Circle.
Jones assists women and children - and occasionally men - who are victims of sexual crimes or domestic violence in the Inupiat Eskimo hub community and its 11 satellite villages.
About 80 percent of Alaska's 655,000 residents live in or near the state's three largest cities - Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. The rest live in villages or tiny cities scattered over an area more than twice the size of Texas.
Dangerous weather and the lack of a road network in rural Alaska can leave crime victims marooned for days. Most villages can be reached only by air or sometimes boat or snowmobile.
"There's nothing comparable to that in the Lower 48" states, said Susan Lewis of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in Enola, Pa. "It's one thing to say rural, but the word more often used for Alaska communities is remote."
Victims cannot hop into cars to seek help or escape their tormenters. Many fly hundreds of miles from home to safe houses and treatment centers in the cities.
A woman who identified herself only as Theresa left her village to live in Anchorage after she was sexually assaulted more than two years ago. She would not reveal her last name because many in her 750-person village near Bethel are not aware of the assault.
"I knew I'd have more opportunities to get help here than if I went to the village," she said.
Alaska has struggled for decades with rural public safety. About three dozen of Alaska's more than 200 bush villages have no law enforcement at all because of a lack of state or local funding.
Those who stay in their villages after reporting a crime must wait for state troopers to catch a plane or helicopter from the nearest large community, a trip that can take hours or even days in blizzards or fog.
"We could get a bad weather case and it could be days, in a worst-case scenario, before we could get out there," said Lt. Rodney Dial, a deputy commander with the troopers.
The lengthy response times often result in victims recanting their calls for help. Delays can also allow telltale wounds to heal or perpetrators to destroy crucial evidence.
Even communities with small police departments or state-funded Village Public Safety Officers have difficulties helping victims.
According to the Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission, village public safety officers are limited to protecting crime scenes until a trooper arrives. They are usually the only law enforcement presence in their village and are often local hires who are related to, or friends with, alleged perpetrators, and as a result are at times more reluctant to investigate crimes. They are also barred from carrying weapons.
Because of the lack of patrols in the Alaskan bush, even the prospect of a victim obtaining a restraining order can be a deadly choice.
Recalling her experience with her ex-husband, Jones said: "That piece of paper's not bulletproof."
On the Net:
Alaska Rural Justice and Law Enforcement Commission:
University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center:
From this it looks like the people who are hired as prison gaurds are not the brighest members of society - maybe they hire them from the dumbest part of the apple barrel
Nov 11, 11:17 AM EST
6 Fired After Rape at Fla. Detention Center
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON
Associated Press Writer
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Six juvenile detention center employees were fired and five others disciplined after police said a mentally retarded boy was raped by a sex offender who was allegedly assigned to bathe and change his diaper.
Tallahassee police have charged Lee Donton, 17, with two counts of sexually assaulting the disabled boy, who has a 32 IQ and was 15 at the time.
Guards at the Leon County juvenile detention facility denied they told youths detained there to care for the boy, but more than a dozen stated that Donton bathed the disabled boy and seven said other detainees were also told to care for the boy, authorities said.
"It is unlikely this many youths would have similar stories if it wasn't occurring," said a report by Department of Juvenile Justice's inspector general's office.
The report was released Wednesday, the day after department Secretary Anthony Schembri announced the firings and other punishments over handling of the boy's care. Among the fired was superintendent Linda Edwards-Ellis. A shift commander, supervisor and three guards were also fired. Two officers were demoted, one was suspended for 30 days and two others were reprimanded.
Edwards-Ellis should have developed a plan to make sure the boy was properly cared for and then set up a monitoring system to make sure the plan was carried out, the report said.
The investigation also found that a guard heard a youth say Donton had sexually assaulted the boy, but never reported it because he didn't think it was true. Department policy requires to report any allegation of abuse.
The report also noted that a cabinet where surveillance tapes are stored was broken into and some tapes were missing, including one for the day one of the assaults is believed to have happened.
Donton told investigators he helped the boy, but denied ever touching him. He said he gave him a rag and soap and used motions to show the boy how to wash himself. Guards also witnessed when Donton helped change the boy's diaper, he said.
The victim was sent to the detention center after pushing over his grandmother. After the incident, the family tried to have him placed in a group home instead of in Juvenile Justice care. Schembri said the boy shouldn't have been in the detention center.
Edwards-Ellis could not be reached for comment; there is no listing under her name in the Tallahassee phone directory.
this is part of the problem - not the solution. the solution is to decriminalize being homeless. currently phoenix, tempe, mesa and other valley cities have passed laws that declared war on homeless people.
Homeless get their own court
Will clear charges as incentive to rehabilitate
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 12, 2005 12:00 AM
A new court being unveiled this month won't have a judge's bench or a jury box. In fact, it won't even take place in a courtroom.
Instead, the court will be in a homeless shelter, part of a nationwide trend aimed at bringing transients a critical step closer to leaving homelessness.
When homeless people are cited for offenses such as public urination, violating open-container laws or having a loose dog, the cases often snowball: They can't afford the fines. They fear that not paying will put them in jail, so they don't come to court. And when they don't come to court, punishments escalate.
"Many times, the warrants are the one thing that stands between a homeless person and the three things they need to be a law-abiding citizen: getting a job, getting a place to live and getting a driver's license," said Patience Huntwork, chairwoman of a group of local legal and social service professionals who created the court.
The Regional Homeless Court is designed to clear petty charges using plea agreements, for a price. Four social service agencies will refer people with outstanding warrants to the homeless court in exchange for demonstrating that they are sober, seeking counseling or doing community service.
It's not supposed to serve as a reward for being homeless. Rather, it's an incentive for people who prove that they are turning their life around, said Huntwork, chief staff attorney for the Arizona Supreme Court.
Only those with victimless, misdemeanor warrants are eligible. And the charges must originate from Phoenix and Tempe because those courts agreed to participate.
Tempe Judge Louraine Arkfeld will hear cases inside the Day Resource Center at the $24 million Human Services campus for the homeless, which opened this week at 11th Avenue and Jackson Street.
"There are a whole host of reasons why someone can end up homeless: some bad decisions they made or bad decisions other people made," she said.
"My concern isn't how they got there. It's what can we do to help them get out of the situation."
More than 30 people - including prosecutors, public defenders, court administrators, judges, service providers, shelter officials, police officers and law professors - helped put together the homeless court program. They work with Phoenix, Tempe, Maricopa County and the state.
But not everyone is sold. Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas had an attorney from his office participating but pulled out several months into the planning process. He said he sees the homeless court program and other specialty courts as unconstitutional because they serve people based on their race, nationality or socioeconomic status.
"It (specialty courts) sets a very dangerous precedent," he said.
Creating homeless courts, though, has been catching on nationwide.
The first homeless court started in San Diego in 1989. Since then, it has developed into an award-winning program that has helped thousands, many of them homeless veterans, according to Steve Binder. He organized the program and is chairman of the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness.
Others are imitating San Diego's success after the program was featured in a one-day national conference about a year ago: Tucson started a program last year; Ann Arbor, Mich., started one last month; Reno will start one in February. In all, there are about 20 homeless courts across the country.
To Binder, it's a way to address a "vicious cycle."
"If there is no bathroom to go in, it ends up in the streets. If there is nowhere to sleep, they end up in the streets. If there is nowhere to get mental health services, they end up self-medicating. If there is no food, you dine and dash," he said. "Not to say this is appropriate, but it's the reality of what the homeless are facing."
About 30 people have had their cases adjudicated in Tucson who may not have otherwise, said Judge Michael Pollard, who runs that court.
It has helped one woman who nearly had to have her arms amputated because of infections from intravenous drug use, he said. She sought help in the form of counseling, drug recovery, relapse prevention, computer training and community service through a local shelter.
Once she got her warrants resolved through the court program, she was reunited with her teenage daughter. She is planning to look for a job without fear that her criminal record will pop up during an employers background check, Pollard said.
Success stories like hers, Pollard said, "darn well brings tears to my eyes."
sounds like george w hitler is also a cry baby :)
Bush lashes at war critics
Beleaguered leader tries to turn opinion
Nov. 12, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - President Bush seems to be turning the clock back to Election Day 2004, parrying with ex-rival John Kerry and harshly questioning his critics' commitment to U.S. troops.
You can't blame him for being nostalgic for better political times, when most Americans felt he was a strong, honest leader and gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iraq.
That's not the sentiment these days. With his approval ratings plunging, even some Republican leaders are showing signs of abandoning Bush's listing ship.
"Mistakes were made," Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said Friday of the war effort.
When the president visited Pennsylvania to defend his Iraq policies on Friday, Santorum kept his distance, literally and rhetorically. He was 120 miles away, telling reporters that the war in Iraq has been "less than optimal" and that "maybe some blame could be laid" at the White House.
That's what worries Bush. He and his team launched a coordinated campaign to respond forcefully to accusations that prewar intelligence was manipulated. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman were enlisted to defend Bush or to criticize Democrats.
Speaking in Tobyhanna, Pa., Bush accused Democratic critics of hypocrisy because many voted for the war based on the intelligence that they are now questioning. Then he dusted off a strategy from 2004, unleashing a carefully worded attack that stops just shy of questioning his critics' patriotism.
"These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will," he said.
"As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them."
To equate criticism of the president, whether baseless or not, with abandoning U.S. troops is brass-knuckle stuff.
So is accusing the president of defaming U.S. veterans.
"I wish President Bush knew better than to dishonor America's veterans by playing the politics of fear and smear on a Veterans Day tribute," said Kerry, the Massachusetts senator and former Vietnam War veteran who lost to Bush in 2004.
In his strongest defense yet of his Iraq war policies, Bush quoted Kerry as saying he voted to give the president approval to wage war because weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein would be a grave threat.
During the presidential campaign, Bush loved to quote Kerry stumbling over conflicting statements on Iraq, such as when the Democrat tried to explain his position on a Bush-backed war-spending bill.
"I actually did vote for his $87 billion, before I voted against it," Kerry said at the time.
Still, it's highly unusual for a re-elected president to go after his fallen rival. It shows how grim things are for Bush. Two crucial pillars of his presidency, perceptions of his honesty and faith in his ability to fight terrorism, have crumbled.
An AP-Ipsos poll shows that almost six in 10 Americans say Bush is not honest, and a similar amount disapprove of his handling of the war on terrorism.
Although the CIA leak investigation, the mishandling of the response to Hurricane Katrina and high energy costs have all taken their toll, the polling lists the Iraq war at the core of Americans' displeasure with the president.
GOP leaders privately say Bush's slump is hurting candidate recruitment for crucial midterm elections next year. Some believe he had at least a minimal negative impact on gubernatorial elections this week in Virginia and New Jersey, both won by Democrats.
Republicans such as Santorum who are in tough re-election battles are starting to treat Bush like a toxic substance.
In a speech to veterans at the Union League in Philadelphia, Santorum criticized how the war has been presented to Americans, by the White House as well as the media.
He said Bush made a mistake by calling it a "war on terror," which Santorum equated with calling World War II a "war on blitzkrieg."
The White House's allies have been eager to see Bush go on the offensive.
"You're not going to get these poll numbers fixed until Americans think the war is going right or that we're doing it for the right reason," GOP consultant Joe Gaylord said.
"If he doesn't get these numbers turned around, nothing else will get better."
Gaylord should know. He was then-Rep. Newt Gingrich's consultant in 1994 when angry voters ended the Democrats' 40-year grip on power in the House. Gingrich, R-Ga., became House speaker.
"These are the worst (poll) numbers I've seen for any party since I was looking at the Democratic numbers in 1994," Gaylord said.
Poll: Iraq drives dip in Bush's approval
Nov. 12, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - Two crucial pillars of President Bush's public support, perceptions of his honesty and faith in his ability to fight terrorism, have slipped to their lowest point in the AP-Ipsos poll.
Although the CIA leak investigation, the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina and high energy costs have all taken their toll, the polling found the Iraq war at the core of Americans' displeasure with the president.
All of those concerns are cutting into traditional Bush strengths.
Almost six in 10 now say Bush is not honest, and a similar number say his administration does not have high ethical standards.
During his re-election bid in 2004, Bush skillfully wove the public's trust of him and faith in his handling of the terror threat into a winning campaign over Democrat John Kerry.
Now, 56 percent disapprove of the way Bush is handling foreign policy and the war on terrorism, the poll said. Overall, 37 percent approve of the job Bush is doing as president.
An AP-Ipsos poll last week asked people to state in their own words why they approve or disapprove of the way Bush was doing his job. Almost six in 10 disapproved, and they most frequently mentioned the war in Iraq, far ahead of the second issue, the economy.
"To use an unfortunate metaphor, Iraq is a roadside bomb in American politics," said Rich Bond, a former national Republican chairman.
Iraq has cast a cloud over Bush's public standing in general. The public's view of the likeability of the affable president has dropped from 63 percent in August to 52 percent now.
The president has vowed to stay the course in Iraq, bringing democracy to a country infested with terrorists and rocked by explosions almost daily.
The president gets credit from a majority of Americans for being strong and decisive, but he's also seen by an overwhelming number of people as "stubborn," a perception reinforced by his refusal to yield on issues like the Iraq war, tax cuts and support for staffers under intense pressure.
Eighty-two percent of those polled describe Bush as "stubborn," with seven of every 10 Republicans agreeing with that description.
Concern about the administration's ethics has been fueled by the controversy over flawed intelligence leading up to the Iraq war and the recent indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a scandal that touched other top officials in the administration.
That loss of trust complicates Bush's efforts to rebuild his standing with the public.
"Honesty is a huge issue because even people who disagreed with his policies respected his integrity," said Bruce Buchanan, a political scientist from the University of Texas.
Bush, who promised in the 2000 campaign to uphold "honor and integrity" in the White House, last week ordered White House workers, from presidential advisers to low-ranking aides, to attend ethics classes.
Some observers say they aren't impressed.
"It's like shutting the barn door after the horse escaped," said John Morrison, a Democrat who lives near Scranton, Pa.
GOP pollster David Winston said Republicans are hoping the strength of the economy and upcoming elections in Iraq can improve the public's mood about the administration.
The poll of 1,000 adults was conducted Nov. 7-9 by Ipsos, an international polling firm, and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
danger should this pedifile prison guard come to your prison watch out - in the case of both of you guys the gaurds are often much bigger criminals then the inmates.
YUMA, Ariz. A captain at the state prison in Yuma has been indicted on ten felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
William Edward Kangas is accused of possessing child pornography.
The Somerton man was arraigned yesterday and entered an innocent plea through his lawyer.
An investigation led to the arrest of Kangas on October 30th after he brought his computer in to have it repaired.
The person working on the computer reportedly found child porn images and called police.
Authorities searched Kangas' home and seized the computer and other evidence.
Kangas is on administrative leave from his prison job.
He's being held in the Yuma County Jail on 50-thousand dollars bond.
Information from: The Sun, http://www.yumasun.com
Prison captain charged with possessing child porn
Nov. 11, 2005 03:00 PM
A captain at the state prison in Yuma has been indicted on 10 felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for allegedly possessing child pornography.
William Edward Kangas of Somerton was arraigned Thursday on the indictment and entered a not guilty plea through his lawyer.
He was arrested on Oct. 30 after an investigation which began when he brought his computer to another person in Yuma to have it repaired. That person reportedly found the child pornography images on his computer and called police.
They searched his home and seized the computer and other evidence.
Kangas, 51, is on administrative leave from his job at the state prison in Yuma. He's being held in the Yuma County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Arpaio program in ACLU sights
By Nick Martin, Tribune
November 12, 2005
The ACLU is looking for somebody with ink on his thumbs and a traffic ticket in hand who’s mad about the whole thing.
Arizona’s branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has started gathering legal ammo to challenge Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s new driver-fingerprinting program in court.
The program requires drivers who are pulled over for crimes such as reckless driving or excessive speeding to ink their thumbprint on a ticket or face jail. It was put in place by the sheriff in mid-October.
Since then, the ACLU’s interim local director has been quietly talking to anti-Arpaio groups, trying to find someone who’s been asked to provide a print and wants to sue.
"We have drafted a memo on the points of law that show clear constitutional and statutory violations under Joe’s new fingerprint policy," wrote director Dawn Wyland in an e-mail to an anti-Arpaio group. "We are now looking for a plaintiff so we may bring a case and stop the abuse."
Wyland said Thursday she couldn’t talk about the e-mail, details of the memo or any potential plaintiffs.
"But some people have come forward," she said.
The rest of the e-mail, which Wyland confirmed she sent late last month, also provides more detail on what kind of plaintiff the ACLU is looking for.
"The only thing is it CANNOT be for a DUI," Wyland wrote, "just a criminal traffic citation such as excessive speed or reckless driving . . . things of that nature."
The sheriff, meanwhile, said he’s unconcerned by the threat of a lawsuit from the ACLU — which has become a regular event under the sheriff’s watch.
The ACLU, he said, "sues me every time I go to the toilet."
But that’s not to say Arpaio’s office wins in court every time, either.
In August, his office lost a court battle against the ACLU when the county’s Superior Court ruled it’s illegal for Arpaio to require pregnant inmates to get a court order before receiving abortions.
Arpaio then vowed to appeal.
Despite that, the sheriff said he will continue using his ongoing battle with the civilrights group as a talking point during re-election campaigns.
"Every time they go after me," Arpaio said Thursday, "my polls go up."
Wyland said a team of ACLU lawyers will meet next week to discuss the next steps toward a lawsuit.
Contact Nick Martin by email, or phone (480) 898-6380
You can trust cops to be honest? Sure?
Nov 12, 3:16 AM EST
Police officers union fined for violating campaign finance laws
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The union representing Tucson police officers has been fined $9,500 for violating campaign finance laws in its attempt to defeat Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik last year.
An investigation by the Yuma County Attorney's Office found that the political action committee of the Tucson Police Officers' Association failed to provide timely notice of campaign-related expenses, register as a political organization in Pima County and file campaign finance reports.
The union was ordered to pay the Pima County Division of Elections $900 in late fees for the campaign finance reports and $8,618 in civil penalties.
Dupnik, a Democrat, easily won a seventh term with 55 percent of the vote.
The inquiry into the union's campaign contributions was conducted by the Yuma County Attorney's Office to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Italian chemist uses science to explain paranormal events
Researcher looks for substance behind miracles
Nov. 13, 2005 12:00 AM
PAVIA, Italy - Such is the supply of miracles in Italy that if a month goes by without one, it's, well, a miracle.
Weeping Madonnas, sacred blood that goes from solid to liquid and back again, lottery numbers divined by gazing at a photo of a deceased pope, sudden cures after contact with a holy relic: Miracles are old phenomena in Italy, the land where St. Francis tamed a wolf and wild doves.
But this is also the land of science par excellence, the home ground of Galileo, da Vinci, Fermi and Marconi. So there are also voices that say, "Hold on a minute."
Luigi Garlaschelli is a chemist, who from his perch at Pavia University, skeptically eyes Italy's parade of miracles. He belongs to a group called the Italian Committee to Investigate Claims of the Paranormal, made up of Italian scientists who use science to try to explain the inexplicable.
"Miracles are just paranormal events in religious clothing," he says. "I'm a chemist. I look for the substance behind things." He's not trying to undermine people's religious beliefs, he says, explaining: "We're just trying to study phenomena. If there's a non-miraculous answer, we say so."
These days, he contends, it is more important to champion scientific methods in the face of assaults from religious authorities and fundamentalist believers. The attack on Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in the United States by promoters of a rival explanation known as intelligent design is a symptom of the danger, he said. "Science should not be lethargic."
In his work he does not often tangle with the Vatican. Officials take a benign, arms-length stance toward the many events traditionally celebrated as miracles in its churches, neither questioning nor embracing them. "Some of these things are medieval in origin. I stay away from them," said the Rev. Peter Gumpel, an official at the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, which investigates reports of miracles by candidates for sainthood.
"Our belief, however, is that there is a personal God who intervenes in history," he said.
Garlaschelli is a bearded man in a white lab coat who smokes a pipe. He studies not only religious phenomena, but also plain trickery. He has written a book about sorcerers and levitation and one about an ancient Italian sword stuck in a stone that may be the precursor of the King Arthur legend.
It's a far cry from his usual research, which produces academic papers with titles such as "Recent Progress in the Field of N-acylalanines as Systemic Fungicides."
In the 1990s, Garlaschelli took on one of the most revered relics in Christendom, the Shroud of Turin. It bears an image of Jesus that believers say was miraculously acquired when the cloth covered his body after the crucifixion. Carbon dating found that the fabric dates from around the 14th century, but defenders say the tests were inaccurate because the cloth could have picked up pollutants in its travels.
Garlaschelli experiments with a cloth of his own that he thinks provide plenty of reasons for skepticism. For one thing, if the shroud were wrapped around a face, the features should have been distorted. On the shroud, the face is in perfect proportion.
Garlaschelli takes on newly minted miracles, as well. For the past decade, he has been grappling with reports of a plaster Madonna that wept blood in Civitavecchia, a town north of Rome.
Garlaschelli has produced several weeping plaster figures. They are based on the principle that red liquid can be filtered through glazed plaster, flowing out only in the spot where the glaze is scraped away. Another method is to add a red dye beneath an eye. Leave the statue out in the dew and the dye begins to run.
Garlaschelli thinks that the blood on the Civitavecchia Madonna was simply dabbed on. The person who reported discovering the blood declined to provide some of his own for DNA sampling, he noted.
dont these cops have any real criminals to hunt down?????
Nov 12, 2005 10:18 pm US/Mountain
Mother Crushes Infant While Breast Feeding In WI
WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wisconsin Officials in northwest Wisconsin say a woman suffocated her 4 month-old daughter when she passed out while breast-feeding her.
Prosecutors in Winnebago County on Friday charged 27 year-old Lorinda Hawkins with one count of child neglect causing a death. They say the infant died on February 23 and did not say why they waited until November to file charges.
According to the criminal complaint, Hawkins told police she went to a bowling alley with her daughter and had six double-shot alcoholic beverages. After her husband picked them up and drove them home, the complaint says she admitted to falling sleep on top of the infant while she was breast-feeding. She told police she woke up about 15 minutes later and her daughter was pale and wasn't breathing.
Police say her blood alcohol level the next morning was point zero seven. They estimate that it was between 0.15 and point 0.27 at the time of the infant's death.
She is being held in the Winnebago County jail and a preliminary hearing is set for November 17. She could face up to 29 years in jail if convicted.
Breastfeeding mom kills baby
12/11/2005 21:07 - (SA)
Wisconsin - A four-month-old girl died when her inebriated mother fell asleep on top of her while breastfeeding, prosecutors said.
Lorinda Hawkins told police she fell asleep about 15 minutes after she started breastfeeding the baby on February 23 because of her intoxication, a criminal complaint said.
When she woke up about an hour later, the baby was pale and wasn't breathing, the complaint said.
Hawkins was charged on Friday with one count of child neglect causing a death. If convicted as a repeat felony offender, she could be sentenced to 29 years in prison and fined $100 000.
Defence lawyer Steven Smits asked for Hawkins' release on signature bond so she could enter substance abuse treatment, but she remained jailed on Friday on $7,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November 17.
The 27-year-old - who was on probation for child neglect - had consumed six double-shot alcoholic beverages at a bowling alley, the criminal complaint said.
Hawkins was on probation for neglect of the same child, and was prohibited from drinking alcohol and from having unsupervised contact with all four of her children at once, court documents show.
Flushing the 1st amendment down the toilet at Chelan High School
Friday, November 11, 2005 · Last updated 3:31 p.m. PT
Chelan School District backs off rosary bead ban
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHELAN, Wash. -- The Lake Chelan School District has rescinded a ban on rosary beads a week after school officials banned them as a symbol of potential gang involvement.
About 75 students, parents and community members attended a school district meeting Wednesday night to discuss the ban, which the district had imposed more than a week earlier. At the time, the district said a Wenatchee police officer had warned school officials that rosary beads worn around the neck could be a symbol of gang activity, particularly among Latino students.
Luis Fernandez, a junior at Chelan High School, was among the students asked to tuck his rosary beads under his shirt and refused.
"I thought that was a dumb reason. They were labeling me as a gangster because I wear a rosary," he said.
The district dropped the ban Monday, as well as bans on other symbols that had been placed on a new list of gang-affiliated clothing, including the owl, the numbers 13, 14 and 18 and several sports jerseys of famous players.
"We need to do a better job of communicating when we make changes," said Tim Berndt, principal at Chelan High School. "I didn't go through all the proper steps of notification."
Hugo Sanchez, a senior, said he researched the rosary as a gang symbol on the Internet and found the same issue had already been decided in Texas, where a school lost a lawsuit for suppressing religious freedom after banning the rosary.
"It's really a big issue for me," said Ali Juarez, a junior. "It's part of my religion. I feel it was never an issue before. It never disturbed class."
Friday, November 11, 2005 · Last updated 7:41 p.m. PT
Wash. school rescinds ban on rosary beads
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHELAN, Wash. -- A high school has rescinded a rule that prohibited students from wearing rosary beads a week after administrators prohibited them as symbols of potential gang involvement.
Officials at Chelan High School said they acted too hastily when they imposed the ban after a training session with a police officer, who warned rosary beads worn around the neck can be a sign of gang activity, particularly among Latinos.
But several students challenged the new dress code, sparking debate among school officials, parents and members of the clergy.
"We need to do a better job of communicating when we make changes," Principal Tim Berndt said. "I didn't go through all the proper steps of notification."
The district dropped the rosary rule Monday, as well as bans on other symbols, including an owl, the numbers 13, 14 and 18, and several sports jerseys of famous players.
En Nogales, Arizona descubren más “narcotúneles”
La semana pasada, agentes de la Patrulla Fronteriza descubrieron en Nogales varios túneles utilizados para el tráfico de drogas.
Asimismo, decomisaron 265 libras de mariguana con un valor superior a los 212 mil dólares, pero no realizaron ningún arresto.
Según informó la dependencia, realizaron el descubrimiento después de recibir un reporte de un informante anónimo, quien les indicó el lugar donde desembocaba uno de los túneles del lado norteamericano. Los agentes encargados de investigar el reporte, encontraron un boquete de unas 12 pulgadas de diámetro a sólo unos metros al oeste de la garita Dennis DeConcini.
De inmediato iniciaron un operativo en ambos lados de la frontera, pero no fueron encontrados narcóticos ni aprehendido ningún sospechoso.
Horas más tarde, a través de las cámaras de vigilancia que la Patrulla Fronteriza tiene cerca de la línea divisoria, oficiales observaron que unos bultos salían de una alcantarilla.
Al llegar al lugar, los agentes comisionados descubrieron que se trataba de bultos con mariguana que pesaron 90 libras, pero no hallaron a ningún delincuente.
Al día siguiente, en el interior de dicha alcantarilla convertida en túnel, los oficiales norteamericanos hallaron más bultos de mariguana que pesaron 175 libras.
La droga fue puesta a disposición de la DE y los “narcotúneles” fueron clausurados en ambos lados de la frontera.
En lo que va de este año fiscal, reveló la Patrulla Fronteriza, solamente en el sector Tucson han incautado más de 32 mil libras de mariguana con un valor de 26 millones de dólares en el mercado negro.
our favorite socialist Kyrsten Sinema attacks governor Napolitano policy of not doing business with companines that hire illegals.
Prevén crisis por decisión de Napolitano
La decisión de Janet Napolitano de suspender contratos a las empresas que realizan trabajos para el gobierno estatal y que tengan empleados indocumentados es un error que tendrá consecuencias severas para la economía, consideró la legisladora demócrata, Kyrsten Sinema.
“Los ‘gringos’ no quieren realizar esos trabajos tan pesados. No hay nadie que pueda hacerlos si no son los inmigrantes que vienen a trabajar en labores que nadie quiere hacer aquí”, dijo Sinema, quien acusó a la gobernadora de jugar el juego que los republicanos quieren.
“Les hace el juego a las señoras republicanas, luego le dá unas palmaditas a quienes están a favor de los inmigrantes, luego les vuelve la espalda a los hispanos, y ese juego que está haciendo es incluso muy peligroso para ella”, dijo la congresista demócrata, quien se ha destacado en la defensa de la comunidad inmigrante.
En su opinión el anuncio hecho recientemente por la gobernadora está fuera de toda lógica, ya que la mayoría de las compañías de construcción y de servicios requieren la mano de obra inmigrante porque los ciudadanos norteamericanos se niegan a realizar los trabajos pesados. Agregó que la situación será sumamente complicada para Arizona si continúan extendiéndose esas ideas, que sólo le meten más ruido al asunto de la inmigración y que acabará afectando a las compañías de todo tipo que operan en el estado. “No hay que hacernos tontos. Los trabajos pesados nadie aquí quiere hacerlos. Por eso es que las compañías se ven obligadas a contratar mano de obra que viene de México o de otros países latinoamericanos, porque esa gente está acostumbrada al trabajo duro y vienen a hacer lo que nadie nacido aquí se atreve hacer.” Kyrsten Sinema fue más allá al señalar que lo único que está haciendo la gobernadora es intentar garantizar su reelección.
“Ella necesita el apoyo de nosotros, pero también de la comunidad de latinos, demócratas, progresistas, pero al mismo tiempo a los republicanos. Especialmente de las señoras republicanas. Entonces está en un conflicto y creo que es fácil mirar el conflicto que ella tiene. Recordó que hace poco tiempo Napolitano vetó las iniciativas antiinmigrantes, pero luego se le volteó a los inmigrantes.
Reiteró que obligar a las empresas que tienen contratos con el gobierno del estado a despedir a sus trabajadores que no tienen papeles desatará una crisis muy fuerte y el temor de otros empresarios de que luego Napolitano se vaya contra ellos, de que se les apliquen sanciones o que simplemente se desate una cacería contra los inmigrantes.
Adelantó que si la gobernadora sigue en ese papel se ganará el repudio de los empresarios, de la gente que tienen el dinero y que siempre ha necesitado de la mano de obra imigrante.
Esto puede poner en peligro la reelección de Janet Napolitano en las elecciones del próximo año.
OK here is the translation
Prevén crisis by decision of Napolitano Edmundo Apodaca the decision of Janet Napolitano to suspend contracts to the companies that make works for the state government and which they have undocumented employees is an error who will have severe consequences for the economy, considered the legislator democratic, Kyrsten Sinema. "' gringos' does not want to make those so heavy works. There is nobody can do them if they are not the immigrants who come to work in workings that nobody wants to do aqui ' ", said Sinema, that accused the governor to play the game that the republicans want. "it matches to Them to the republican ladies, soon him dá light taps to those who are in favor of the immigrants, soon it returns to them the back to the Hispanics, and that game that is doing is even very dangerous for her", said the democratic congresswoman, who is outstanding in the defense of the community immigrant. In its opinion the announcement done recently by the governor is outside all logic, since most of the companies of construction and services they require the manual labor immigrant because the North American citizens refuse to make the heavy works. It added that the situation will be extremely complicated for Arizona if they continue extending those ideas, that to only they put more noise him to the subject of the immigration and that will end up affecting the companies of all type which they operate in the state. "it is not necessary to make us idiot. The heavy works nobody wants here to do them. For that reason it is that the companies are forced to contract manual labor that comes from Mexico or other Latin American countries, because that people are customary to the hard work and come to do what nobody been born here dares to do." Kyrsten Sinema went further on when indicating that the only thing that is making the governor is to try to guarantee its re-election. "She needs the support us, but also the community of Latin, democratic, progressive, but at the same time to the republicans. Specially of the republican ladies. Then she is in a conflict and I believe that it is easy to watch the conflict that it has. It remembered that recently Napolitano time vetoed the initiatives antiimmigrants, but soon turned around the immigrants to him. It reiterated that to force the companies that have contracts with the government of the state to dismiss their workers who do not have papers will very hard untie to a crisis and the fear of other industralists of which soon Napolitano goes away against them, of which are applied sanctions to them or that simply untie a hunting against the immigrants. She advanced that if the governor follows in that paper she gains repudio of the industralists, of people who have the money and that always has needed the imigrante manual labor. This can put in danger the re-election of Janet Napolitano in the elections of the next year.
mixing religion and government - Bush said he intends to discuss his own faith with Chinese President Hu Jintao while pressing for more religious freedom in China.
Bush trip to Asia will focus on China
Religion, trade issues of concern
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Nov. 14, 2005 12:00 AM
WASHINGTON - President Bush heads to Asia today to reassert American leadership in a region increasingly dominated by China.
China's growing economic clout and global influence hang over every stop on the president's weeklong trip to Japan, South Korea, China and Mongolia. With 1.3 billion people and the world's fastest growing economy, China has become a source of admiration and tension, as well as a vital trading partner, for its neighbors.
China also plays a big role in the U.S. economy. Bush said he would press Chinese leaders to buy more U.S. goods, lift currency controls that discourage imports to China and crack down on counterfeit movies and other violations of intellectual property rights.
He'll have plenty of other issues to talk about during his travels. Although the president will visit some of the enduring symbols of Asia's ancient past, he'll be dealing with a host of current and future problems: the nuclear threat from North Korea, the possibility of an avian flu pandemic and tensions between China and its neighbors.
In Pusan, South Korea, he'll join leaders from 20 other nations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. He'll use a stop in Kyoto, Japan's temple-filled ancient capital, to promote his goal of spreading democracy around the world.
His four-hour stop in Mongolia, between Russia and China in Central Asia, will be the first visit from a sitting U.S. president.
In contrast to the usual happy talk that precedes presidential visits, Bush made little effort to downplay differences with China.
"It's a mixed relationship," he told a reporter for Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong-based network, last week. "There is a lot of good that we're doing together. And there's a lot of areas where we might not have full agreement."
Speaking directly to Chinese viewers, Bush added, "We want to have good relations with you."
But tensions flared even before Bush's departure from the White House.
On Tuesday, the State Department issued a report documenting China's violations of religious freedom. On Wednesday, Bush drew objections from Chinese officials by hosting the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, at the White House.
In another development that could add to the strain, Chinese authorities took three Catholic clerics into custody last week, according to a Roman Catholic group that monitors events in China. The detainees included 70-year-old Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo. The Chinese government has established government-controlled religious organizations. However, it prohibits the official Chinese Catholic church from having affiliation with the Vatican.
Also last week, a Chinese court sentenced Cai Zhuohua, a pastor in China's non-government-sanctioned Protestant church, to three years in prison for illegally printing and distributing Bibles and other religious books.
Bush said he intends to discuss his own faith with Chinese President Hu Jintao while pressing for more religious freedom in China. Next Sunday, Bush will join worshipers at a government-sanctioned Protestant church in Beijing.
The president also pledged to deliver a blunt message on economic issues. Just days before Bush's trip, the Commerce Department reported that the trade deficit with China soared to a record $20.1 billion in September, accounting for nearly a third of the total U.S. trade imbalance.
Some members of Congress are threatening to seek a 27.5 percent tax on all Chinese imports if China doesn't allow its currency, the yuan, to trade more freely against the dollar. A market-based exchange rate would boost the yuan's value and make U.S. imports cheaper in China.
cracking down on prostitution or just a lame excuse for the government to seize a few hotels?
Motels may be seized in Mesa crime sweep
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 14, 2005 12:00 AM
Prosecutors are targeting two east Mesa motels where police answered 460 calls over the past year in a test case that could become a model for cracking down on prostitution throughout the Valley.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced the crackdown at the Colonade Motel, 5440 E. Main St., and the Miles Motel and Apartments, 5911 E. Main St. The owner could face possible arrest or seizure of both properties for failure to cooperate with anti-crime efforts.
Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Jana Sorensen said this is first time her office has targeted motels with a state law that allows authorities to prosecute property owners for creating a public nuisance or a threat to public safety.
"We're hoping we can use this as a tool throughout the Valley to address prostitution," Sorensen said. "When owners learn they have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to deter crime, they usually do the right thing."
The County Attorney's Office has sent the owner a letter saying the motels are under scrutiny. Sorensen said authorities gave the owner suggestions, including running background checks on prospective tenants.
Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a Mesa police spokesman, said most of the complaints at both motels involve arrests on warrants, drugs and stolen cars. There was one prostitution call on the dispatch records from November 2004 to this November.
But Sorensen said a police sting in 2004 resulted in several prostitution arrests. Deputy County Attorney Steve Mauger said both motels are owned by the Djordjevich family, operating as a limited-liability corporation.
Trapani said the motels are chronic sources of crime, which has dropped temporarily in the past after officers rounded up suspects on warrants. But problems have repeatedly resurfaced, he said.
"It seems like the criminal element, they tend to gravitate to these places," Trapani said.
"I'm glad to see them doing something to clean it up," said Mesa resident Natalie Drake.
clay thompson doesnt know it but he is giving out advice that could be used by terrorists to make a timer for a bomb to take out an airplane. he didnt mention it but the pressure of the air also changes in the same way. and hell these days anybody can go to radio shack and buy a pressure or tempature chip for a buck and wire it up with a op amp to trigger at the right time.
Some hot air, hot water and kokopelli
Nov. 14, 2005 12:00 AM
Today we have kind of mishmash of questions because I have a lot of short ones hanging around that need to be cleaned up and because this is being written at the end of last week, and I'm too tired to think up a column on one subject.
So let us begin.
If hot air rises, why is it always hotter at the bottom of the Grand Canyon than on the Rim?
It's for the same reason that it is cooler in Greer than in Phoenix.
Air cools as it rises. It cools by about 5.5 degrees per 1,000 feet. This is called the dry adiabatic lapse rate.
The elevation at Phantom Ranch way down at the bottom of the Canyon is 2,560 feet, a bit more than the elevation of Phoenix. The elevation at the North Rim is 8,241 feet, and at the South Rim it's about 7,000 feet. Hence the temperature difference.
Does one use more water washing dishes by hand or by using the dishwasher? I guess I am weird, but I like to wash dishes while looking out my kitchen window, watching the birds and little critters in our front yard.
Well, I guess it all depends. Most dishwashers use about 15 gallons of water for a load.
If you are washing a big pile of dishes by hand and leave the water running to rinse them off, you might easily use more than 15 gallons. If you fill one side of the sink with wash water and one side with rinse water and don't leave the water running, you'd probably use less than the dishwasher.
The real waste involved with a dishwasher comes when you use it to do only a partial load. It's still going to use the 15 gallons. Wait to run it when it's full.
Is that kokopelli figure you see everywhere a true Native American symbol or something Western artists made up to sell wind chimes?
It's the real thing, a sacred symbol for many Native American cultures in the Southwest. The figure turns up in petroglyphs carved up to 3,000 years ago.
He is a hunchbacked flute player, sometimes shown carrying a pack. One idea is that the figure may be based on traders who came up from Mexico to do business in the Southwest and played the flute to announce their approach to a village.
There are many legends associated with kokopelli, but for the most part he is associated with fertility for people, crops and animals.
Before prudish Spanish missionaries persuaded artisans to make the change, the kokopelli was portrayed as especially, um . . . manly.
Reach Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 444-8612.
how do you spell $revenue$ - in mesa it's $parking tickets$
Mesa police to crack down on city parking violations
2 new enforcers to watch spaces in downtown
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 14, 2005 12:00 AM
MESA - People who violate parking restrictions downtown will soon face a higher chance of getting caught and steeper fines.
Mesa police will increase the number of downtown traffic enforcement officers from one to three by the holidays to crack down on parking restriction violators in hopes of freeing up more spaces for customers.
"We want to educate the public so everyone will have a place to go and park," Mesa police Sgt. Greg Beck said.
The new full-time civilian positions will monitor downtown parking to handle an anticipated increase in visitors with the Mesa Arts Center, other businesses opening and more holiday shopping traffic. The efforts are aimed at making parking convenient for customers to increase business in downtown Mesa.
Parking enforcement officers typically issue warnings for first-time offenses but will cite repeat offenders by checking a database of violators. The enforcement officers will monitor the downtown parking area that includes lots from Country Club to Mesa drives and from Broadway Road to University Drive.
The square-mile area offers 3,500 spaces for customer or visitor parking, which is free from 20 minutes to three hours, depending on the area.
"There are time restrictions since we don't charge for parking in order to keep those spaces turning over so more customers can visit the businesses downtown," said Gabriel Mendez, parking coordinator for the Downtown Mesa Association.
A version of this story also appeared in some Community sections of The Arizona Republic.
advice from the cops on how to make your car hard to spot - "Red and black are the two least visible colors and any two-tone using red and black and any other color. Red and white. Black and white," Solomon said. "It actually enhances camouflage rather than visibility." - "The problem with black is it blends in with the background very well, day and night," Solomon said. And, he said, when police use two tones, like black and white, they break up the silhouette of the vehicle, making it harder to see.
Police cruisers switching back to black
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 14, 2005 12:00 AM
Black is back.
After years of blues and browns on police cars, the traditional black-and-white is once again gaining popularity, and law enforcement agencies from coast to coast and across the Valley are making the switch.
Police say the black-and-white cars are more visible and the old-fashioned color scheme remains unmistakably synonymous with "cops."
"I think they're great," said Gilbert police Sgt. John Lyle. "They grab people's attention. For me, personally, it does have some historic value. That's what I grew up knowing as a police car.
"There's no doubt when people see a black-and-white car, they know what it is."
In the Valley, police departments in Gilbert, Buckeye, Peoria and Tolleson already have converted their fleets to black and white.
Last year, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio picked black as the new color for his cruisers and sport utility vehicles, saying he wanted a "sharper" image.
Tucson police took delivery of 50 black-and-white patrol cars a year ago, returning to the color scheme it had in the 1930s and '40s.
And Mesa police have started to equip 45 black-and-white cruisers that should hit the street in a couple of months. With black hoods and trunks, the cars cost about $400 more than today's all-white patrol cars, but Mesa is offsetting that by going with smaller hubcaps, said Sgt. Chuck Trapani. It will be about six years before all of Mesa's 287 patrol cars can be replaced. The new cars will be easier for police helicopters to identify from the air and were overwhelmingly popular in surveys of officers and Block Watch captains, Trapani said.
"When you're in Arizona, a majority of cars on the roadway are white," he said. "All of a sudden you see a black and white, and 'Oh, that's a police car.' It's easier to flag us down."
But while public recognition and traditional values may make black a popular choice for police cars, truthfully, it doesn't make them safe or more visible, said Dr. Stephen Solomon, an optometrist in Owego, N.Y., who is a national expert on emergency vehicles, color and visibility.
"The problem with black is it blends in with the background very well, day and night," Solomon said. And, he said, when police use two tones, like black and white, they break up the silhouette of the vehicle, making it harder to see.
So what is the most visible color? A bright, light green, called lime yellow.
"Red and black are the two least visible colors and any two-tone using red and black and any other color. Red and white. Black and white," Solomon said. "It actually enhances camouflage rather than visibility."
Solomon said his ideal police car would be a single, light color, like white or lime yellow, with lots of reflective material.
Police cars in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and some European countries incorporate bright yellow, orange, red and blue in fluorescent checkered strips running along the sides of white vehicles to be more conspicuous.
In the Valley, police cars of all colors incorporate reflective striping, lettering and identifying decals.
But Mike Tellef, spokesman for the Peoria Police Department, said the retro color scheme has its own, special visibility.
Mission accomplished, according to Danny Miller, of Buckeye, who said the classic black-and-whites "stand out more for sure."
"That's what they should look like," Miller said.
Still, not every agency is making the switch. Phoenix police and the state Department of Public Safety plan to stick with their white-and-blue cars.
DPS Officer Frank Valenzuela said his agency put a lot of work and effort into making their cars easy to see with strips of blue reflective tape.
Last year, the DPS cruiser placed third in a national law enforcement vehicle design contest. Judges praised the effective use of reflective decals and conspicuous markings.
"We're really happy with our color scheme," Valenzuela said. "We don't believe people have any problems identifying our cars."
your web page is doing rather well. it is november 14 and i logged in to add the comissary list of federal prison in safford arizona that laro is being held at and i saw this
Page View Summary
Your site had 177 page views yesterday and 1414 page views so far this month.
i guess your web site is getting a few hits. for both of you it is at:
Marc Hoys site is not doing as well. I logged in just a minute ago and it said
Page View Summary
Your site had 1 page views yesterday and 12 page views so far this month.
His site is: