Homeland Security

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  KBR to Built Emergency Immigration JailsJanuary 30, 2006 18:36 A Houston-based construction firm with ties to the White House has been awarded an open-ended contract to build immigration-detention centers that could total $385 million - a move that some critics called questionable.
The contract calls for KBR, a subsidiary of the oil engineering and construction giant Halliburton, to build temporary detention facilities in the event of an "immigration emergency," according to U.S. officials.

"If, for example, there were some sort of upheaval in another country that would cause mass migration, that's the type of situation that this contract would address," said Jamie Zuieback of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. "Essentially, this is a contingency contract."

  A Look At U.S. Military Deaths In IraqJanuary 28, 2006 21:04 As of Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, at least 2,238 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes six military civilians. At least 1,754 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.
  Bush: Refining Spy Law Might Tip Off The EnemiesJanuary 27, 2006 16:24 Bush expressed reluctance to change the law to give him explicit authority to eavesdrop on conversations between people in the United States and people overseas with suspected terrorist ties. "My concern has always been that, in an attempt to try to pass a law on something that's already legal, we'll show the enemy what we're doing," Bush said.

This seems like one of the lamest excuses for commiting a crime that I've ever heard.

  Whistleblowers" Stomach-Churning Story Reveals Halliburton CesspoolJanuary 26, 2006 20:47 Dick Cheney keeps using the support our troops line every time he needs a distraction. So he should be asked what he thinks about the new revelations that his favorite company exposed U.S. troops operating in Iraq to water that was roughly 2x the normal contamination of untreated water from the Euphrates River.

How did that happen?

According to two former Halliburton employees turned whistleblowers who testified Tuesday, it s because KBR was apparently taking the waste water from the water treatment process, which should have been dumped back in the [Euphrates] river (from which it was originally extracted less than a mile downstream from a raw sewage outlet) and using it as the non-potable water supply.

This means that thanks to Halliburton/KBR thousands of troops and contract employees stationed at the Ar Ramadi base in Iraq have been using a contaminated bilge for bathing, showering, shaving, laundry and cleaning.

  Fitzgerald Eyes Plame-Niger ConspiracyJanuary 25, 2006 00:00 Over the past few months, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been questioning witnesses in the CIA leak case about the origins of the disputed Niger documents referenced in President Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address, according to several current and former State Department officials who have testified in the case.

The State Department officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some of the information they discussed is still classified, indicated that the White House had substantial motive for revealing undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to reporters.

They said the questions Fitzgerald asked them about the Niger documents suggested to them that the special prosecutor was putting together a timeline. They said they believe Fitzgerald wants to show the grand jury how some people in the Bush administration may have conspired to retaliate against former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, an outspoken critic of the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence.

  US To Extend Military Executions Rules To Guantanamo BayJanuary 25, 2006 00:00 The US military is clearing the way for executions of condemned terror suspects to take place at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The army has just changed the rules governing the location of military executions.

The new regulations are primarily aimed at service personnel sentenced to death at a military court martial.

Previously executions could only take place at a military jail in Kansas but now death sentences can be carried out anywhere, including the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba.

  US Judge Rules Govt To Release Guantanamo Bay Detainees' Names.January 25, 2006 00:00 A US federal judge has ordered the Government to release the identities of hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

In doing so, Judge Jed Rakoff rejected arguments that this might put their families in danger.

The ruling was made in favour of a lawsuit brought by the Associated Press that sought access to uncensored transcripts related to more than 550 military hearings held to determine whether detainees were properly classified as enemy combatants.

  Study: Army Stretched To Breaking PointJanuary 24, 2006 00:00 Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.

Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.

  U.S. Military Releases Freelance CameramanJanuary 23, 2006 00:00 The last of three Reuters journalists detained by the U.S. military in Iraq was freed after nearly eight months without being charged, the military confirmed Sunday.
Samir Mohammed Noor, a 30-year-old freelance television cameraman for Reuters, was held at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq since being arrested at home in the northern city of Tal Afar in June, a company spokeswoman said.
  'The American Public Have Not Heard Who Is The Real Culprit Behind 9/11'January 23, 2006 00:00 Last Tuesday nationally syndicated radio host Alex Jones was joined on air by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds for an in depth interview
Edmonds was hired shortly after Sept. 11 to translate intelligence gathered over the previous year related to the 9/11 attacks. She says the FBI had information that an attack using airplanes was being planned before Sept. 11 and calls Condoleezza Rice's claim the White House had no specific information on a domestic threat or one involving planes "an outrageous lie."
  Intelligence Deputy Defends Surveillance ProgramJanuary 23, 2006 00:00 Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, saying he believed it might have prevented the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, if it had been in place before then.
But General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency, acknowledged that the program relied on a lower standard of evidence than required by the special court that handles requests for intelligence-related wiretaps.
  Bush On The Offensive Over 'Terrorist Survelliance Program'January 23, 2006 00:00 President Bush on Monday rejected critics assertions that he broke the law by authorizing domestic eavesdropping without a warrant, saying he was doing what Congress authorized him to do to protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
With congressional hearings set to begin on this issue Feb. 6, Bush kicked his administration s new intensive public relations effort to win support for the program run by the National Security Agency. As part of that, he gave it a new label the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

  Google's Reputation At Stake In Fight With GovernmentJanuary 23, 2006 00:00 Google is fighting a US government subpoena that is essentially a fishing expedition to see how search engines are being used to find pornography. Google is opposed to the governments acquisition of trade secrets for the purpose of aimless investigation.
  White House Changing Spying Terms to Evade Legal ProblemsJanuary 23, 2006 00:00 As it begins in earnest to publicly justify and defend its domestic surveillance program, the White House is couching the controversial initiative in military terms. So "electronic surveillance" now is referred to by Justice Department officials as "signals intelligence activities" and the program itself now is labeled as a "core military" function that acts as an "early-warning system" designed to prevent future terror attacks. Suspected terrorists, meanwhile, are "enemy forces" the warrantless surveillance of whom result from "tactical military decisions" necessary as "a fundamental tool of war."
  Legislators Question Domestic SurveillanceJanuary 23, 2006 00:00 Several legislators said yesterday that they will press President Bush to justify his decision to allow domestic eavesdropping. They rebuffed Republican suggestions that their criticism of broad executive authority puts the nation at risk.
  Cheney: Domestic Spying Essential To War On TerrorJanuary 19, 2006 00:00 Vice President Dick Cheney offered a robust defense of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program Thursday, calling it an essential tool in monitoring the activities of al-Qaida and associated terrorist organizations. But he stressed the program was limited in scope and had been conducted in a way that safeguarded civil liberties.

In a luncheon speech at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative public policy think tank, Cheney warned that the United States still faced significant threats from terrorists intent on establishing a radical Islamic empire throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East. He insisted the U.S.-led war in Iraq was essential to combating that threat and said American military presence in that country would be determined by military commanders, "not by artificial timelines set by politicians in Washington, D.C."

  Richard Clarke: Bush Administration Bungling the War on TerrorJanuary 19, 2006 00:00 Add Richard Clarke, former counter-terrorism director in the White House, to a growing list of people accusing the Bush administration of breaking the law with its surveillance without court orders of people inside the United States communicating with suspected terrorists on the outside.
  Civil Liberties And The 'War on Terror'January 17, 2006 00:00 The latest revelation is that the President has authorized the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless wiretaps on American citizens. Yet in the months following 9/11, the Justice Department itself documented extensive violations of the rights of immigrant Americans summarily arrested and detained without formal charge or trial.
  Zogby Poll: Americans Support Impeaching Bush For WiretappingJanuary 17, 2006 00:00 By a margin of 52% to 43%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
  ACLU Sues Over NSA Eavesdropping ProgramJanuary 17, 2006 00:00 The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday said it had filed suit against the National Security Agency, alleging that its warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and that President Bush, in authorizing it, exceeded his constitutional authority.
  NSA Whistleblower Alleges Illegal SpyingJanuary 12, 2006 00:00 Russell Tice, a longtime insider at the National Security Agency, is now a whistleblower the agency would like to keep quiet. For 20 years, Tice worked in the shadows as he helped the United States spy on other people's conversations around the world. But now, Tice tells ABC News that some of those secret "black world" operations run by the NSA were operated in ways that he believes violated the law.
  Another Reason to be TreasonousJanuary 11, 2006 00:00 President Bush's best counterattack in the illegal wiretap debate is his accusation that because he is doing his job to protect the country, anyone who opposes him is treasonous. He doesn't realize that he has done more damage to the presidency and our institutions than anyone who wants to preserve a little privacy.
  Ashcroft Profits From War On TerrorJanuary 11, 2006 00:00 Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft has set up a lobbying firm to help companies succeed at selling to the Department of Homeland Security. He's already been hired by an Israeli company and Oracle Corp. Senator... Atty. General... Slime Bag... quite a resume.
  Indiana Memorializes War On Terror CasualtiesJanuary 10, 2006 00:00 Indiana has already erected a memorial to the 77 Hoosiers who have died fighting the 'War on Terror.'
  War on Terror: Long Pole in Bush's TentJanuary 09, 2006 00:00 The focus on the 'War on Terror' is Bush's strongest resume characteristic with fear-prone American voters, but he may have chosen a war that is nearly impossible to fight.
  Study: Better Armor Could Have Saved MarinesJanuary 09, 2006 00:00 Most torso wounds that killed Marines in Iraq might have been prevented or minimized by improved body armor, a Pentagon study found.
  Pelosi: Iraq Not Major Front In Terror WarJanuary 06, 2006 00:00 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) denounced President Bush s most recent statements on the War on Terrorism by saying the White House lacks 'a real plan for success.'
  Cheney Still Linking 9/11 and IraqJanuary 05, 2006 00:00 In this speech to a Military audience, vice president Dick Cheney continues to link the events of September 11, 2001 and the US' illegal occupation of Iraq. Also, he states that we are spreading freedom in the Middle East... after this month that apparently is the freedom to die by suicide bombing.
  Bush Renews Patriot Act CampaignJanuary 04, 2006 00:00 President Bush is back on the warpath, beating the drums to renew the USA Patriot Act. He has pledged a one month campaign, at taxpayer expense, to sell the Act to Congress.
  Supreme Court Allows Transfer Of Padilla To Civilian CourtJanuary 04, 2006 00:00 The Supreme Court agreed today to allow for the transfer of Jose Padilla from a military brig to civilian custody to stand trial on terrorism charges, giving the Bush administration a victory in one round of the prolonged political and legal wrangling over Mr. Padilla's status under the law.
  Bush's Long War With The TruthJanuary 03, 2006 00:00 George Bush says whatever he wants to get his way. This behavior has never seemed more apparent than now during the NSA wiretap controversy wherein Bush has insisted that it is completely constitutional, but also that he 'always' gets court approval.
  Military Support for Bush Falls from 2004January 03, 2006 00:00 Support for President Bush and for the war in Iraq has slipped significantly in the last year among members of the military s professional core, according to the 2005 Military Times Poll.
  Top Democrat Seeks Wider Nsa HearingsJanuary 02, 2006 00:00 Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for expanded investigations into allegations that the president illegally authorized the NSA to conduct non-judicially approved wiretaps on US citizens.
  President's Statement On Signing Of H.R. 2863, Torture BanJanuary 01, 2006 00:00 Read paragraph 6... The president is basically saying that he will sign the law but that he will interpret the torture ban as he sees fit. Happy New Year.