Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceAugust 20 2009 Travus T. Hipp Morning News

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There are reports of fighting as the Afghanistan elections progress (Huffington Post updating election results and info) with the polls now closing. There are 40 candidates running for president and there will undoubtedly be a runoff.

Meanwhile... From the Economist UK, with Britain on the verge of pulling it's troops out of the country:
This week we focus on Afghanistan, with a gloomy report from a correspondent who has returned to the country after an absence of three years. He found that what used to be an insurgency is turning into an insurrection, and was struck by the pessimism of most people he talked to, including those in the American military.

Obama has called it a "necessary" war, yet the possibility that the West will fail there is growing.
“We’re caught in the middle and we’re sick of it,” said Ghafoor, a resident of Ahmadkhel village in Paktia—where he claimed 60 civilians had been killed in on-off fighting between Americans and militants. “We need security. But the Americans are just making trouble for us. They cannot bring peace, not if they stay for 50 years.”

At which, your British correspondent, who had been attracting attention in a dicey area, offered his hand and made to leave. Mr Ghafoor responded with two distastefully outstretched fingers, and said: “I won’t shake hands with a Kafir.” [In Full]

In California the state legislature is currently trying to figure out what to do with 27,000 state prisoners and a 1.2 billion dollar budget cut. It WOULD be a good start to let anyone convicted for non-violent marijuana crimes (and there are precious few violent pot criminals) out...

60s wisdom... If there are 4 members of your group, two of them will be FBI agents - The PMR, The Port Militarization Resistance of Seattle has caught a civilian contractor for the US Army's Fort Lewis' base security within their organization. He was responsible for their email list.
The discovery this month that anarchist "John Jacob," an activist in anti-militarist organizing in the Pacific Northwest, is really civilian Army intelligence analyst John Towery II, shows that those concerned about civil liberties must remain vigilant in the Obama era. The gathering of domestic intelligence by Army agents highlights real dangers for civil liberties. [In Full]
The Department of Homeland Security says it did not get the Army spy's reports... So say they! According to Congressional Quarterly, "Fort Lewis is a member of the Washington Joint Analytical Center, which is a partnership of local and state police, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security" (A 'Fusion Center')
A U.S. Army document which surfaced in May, "Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Police Intelligence Operations (PIO)," suggested that force protection units could get around prohibitions on domestic military intelligence operations. [In Full]

Congressman Henry Waxman's Health and Human Services committee has notified the insurance industry that they want a list of anyone making more than $1 million a year and also asked for detailed information about company events, retreats and other business practices...

UBS bank has made a deal with the Swiss government to turn over a list of 4000 Americans who may be frauding on their taxes. A UBS client in the US has been charged, but it's a global issue as well: "A bank survey in 2007 showed that one in every two Asian billionaires had a relationship with UBS." (from the initial link)

The only person convicted in the Lockerbie airliner bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, has been released after eight years in a British prison with terminal cancer and will return home to Libya.

Over the years, there have been doubts about the veracity of al-Megrahi's conviction... The New York Times:
In his article, Mr. K√∂chler lists some of the objections to Mr. Megrahi’s conviction that have led to suspicions that he may have been wrongly convicted:

The Opinions of the Court issued by the two panels of Scottish judges were inconsistent and based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence; on testimony of at least two key witnesses who had received huge amounts of money; on the opinions of forensic experts of, to say the least, dubious reputation and with problematic links to intelligence services; and on at least one piece of evidence that had been inserted at a later stage into the list of documents and apparently been tampered with. Furthermore, vital evidence such as that of a break-in at a luggage storage area at Heathrow airport in the night before the departure of the doomed flight had been withheld from the court during the first trial (a fact that still has not been properly explained). [In Full]


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