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Archive for January 8th, 2008

Pentagon Will Not Investigate KBR Rape

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:40 PM MST

Pentagon Inspector General Refuses To Probe KBR Rape Case

Last month, after ABC News reported that former Halliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones had been gang-raped by her co-workers while working in Baghdad, multiple lawmakers — including Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) — pressed the Bush administration to reveal the state of the case and to explain how an earlier investigation “had not resulted in any prosecution.”The Bush administration has been anything but cooperative. Both the State and Justice departments refused to give Poe “answers on the status” of the investigation. The DoJ “refused to send a representative” to a Congressional hearing last month, and the State, Defense and Justice departments all missed Nelson’s deadline for answering questions.

Now, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense has written to Nelson and other lawmakers, saying that his agency will not investigate the allegations:

In letters to lawmakers, DoD Inspector General Claude Kicklighter said that because the Justice Department still considers the investigation into Jones’ case open, there is no need for him to look into the matter.

“[T]he U.S. Justice Department has issued a statement that they are investigating the allegations,” wrote Kicklighter’s office to Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who had requested he look into the matter. “No further investigation by this agency into the allegations made by [Jones] is warranted.”

Though Kicklighter is refusing to investigate Jones’ allegations, he did say he would explore ‘whether and why’ a U.S. Army doctor handed to KBR security officials the results” of Jones’ “rape kit,” which then disappeared. Nelson’s office told ABC that the senator is “not satisfied” with Kicklighter’s letter.

Nelson is right to be disappointed, especially since Jones’ assault may not be “an isolated case.”

Former Halliburton/KBR employees have described an atmosphere of “rampant sexual harassment.” Poe has also confirmed that his office has heard from multiple other women who were victims of sexual assault while working for KBR in Iraq.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Breathe

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:30 PM MST


Anna Nalick – Breathe (2AM)

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Ex CIA Director George Tenet Lawyers Up!

GEF @ 11:08 AM MST

via: TPM Muckraker

Tenet Lawyers Up

From Newsweek:

George Tenet, who was CIA director when the tapes were made, will be represented by former FBI general counsel Howard Shapiro. Roy Krieger, a Washington lawyer who has represented about 100 CIA employees, says that two agency officers have approached him about representation, though neither has retained him yet.

For the CIA spooks involved, cost is a serious issue. Krieger says legal expenses for each employee could reach “hundreds of thousands” of dollars; the CIA will not foot the bill. In anticipation of just such a scenario, however, the agency some years ago began encouraging its employees to purchase special liability-insurance policies from Wright & Co., a Virginia firm that specializes in coverage for government investigators. A Wright spokesman had no response to questions about whether claims have been filed for legal fees in connection with the tapes inquiry.

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Sean Hannity Flees From Ron Paul Supporters

by Geezer Power …9:57 am

NEWS HOUNDS

We watch Fox News so you wont have to

Reported by Ellen – January 7, 2008

A group of Ron Paul supporters gave Sean Hannity a piece of their minds about FOX News’ exclusion of Paul from its forum. Just as I’ve always suspected he would, bullyboy Sean Hannity turned chicken and fled. By the way, anybody know who the blonde was? His wife? Girlfriend? Whoever it was, he seemed more interested in fleeing than in making sure she was OK. Oh, and FOX News sucks! Video after the jump.

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See The Latest NH Polls: Obama Soars Ahead

anthony @ 16:05 GMT

The Huffington Post | January 8, 2008 09:26 AM

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby New Hampshire Primary (January 5-7)

Obama 42
Clinton 29
Edwards 17
Richardson 5
McCain 36
Romney 27
Huckabee 10
Giuliani 10
Paul 10

See full results here.

(more…)

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Aborted Attack Or A Sort Of Mock Attack?

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:00 AM MST

Today’s Must Read
By Paul Kiel – January 8, 2008, 9:50AM

It’s been nearly a year since the Bush Administration mounted a public relations campaign accusing Iran of arming insurgents in Iraq. If that was a campaign to generate enough public support to go on the offensive against Iran, it failed. But relations between the two haven’t exactly warmed since — nor, it’s safe to say, has the administration’s trigger finger gotten any less itchy.

Which makes this worrying:

We’re coming at you, the Iranian radio transmission warned. Your ships will explode in a couple of minutes.The United States and Iran reached the verge of a military confrontation early Sunday after five Iranian patrol boats sped toward the USS Port Royal and two accompanying ships as they crossed the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. The Iranian vessels, manned by the Revolutionary Guard Corps, broke into two groups and “maneuvered aggressively” on both sides of the U.S. ships, coming as close as 500 yards, recounted Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

After the radio transmission, two of the Iranian boats dropped “white box-like objects” into the water, Cosgriff said. The U.S. ships responded with evasive maneuvers, radioed warnings to the Iranians and sounded ships’ whistles, while ordering increased readiness of their own vessels. After their messages were not heeded, the U.S. ships prepared to fire in self-defense, but the Iranians abruptly turned and sped north toward their territorial waters.

As the U.S. officials tell it, this was either an aborted attack (the little white boxes were mines) or a sort of mock attack (the boxes were just little boxes) meant to test how U.S. vessels react.

Meanwhile, the Iranians say that there were no aggressive maneuvers, no boxes, no threatening radio transmissions.

Perhaps most intriguing about the episode is that Pentagon officials say that the five speedboats belong to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Last year, the administration focused on the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force as the ones responsible for arming Iraqi insurgents — and made quite an effort to argue that the Quds Force was necessarily acting with the authorization of the Iranian government. In October, the Bush administration imposed sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. So maybe this is just another chapter in that back and forth. Or maybe it’s something more.

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Oops, there goes reality again…

GEF @ 6:08 AM MST

Flight to gold as investors lose faith in money


The last time gold touched $850 an ounce, the world was visibly spiralling out of control.

Soviet tanks had just rolled into Afghanistan. The Mullahs had seized US hostages in Iran. Pax Americana was on the ropes, and so was capitalism. Inflation had reached 14 per cent in the United States.

  Flight to gold as investors lose faith in money
Gold’s latest surge caught the bullion banks offguard, while mining bosses complain that the earth’s crust is yielding less

The final spike in bullion occurred when the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market, forcing up gold in tandem through arbitrage links. It collapsed within days.

If you strip out the Hunt anomaly, it is fair to say that gold established a “safe-haven” level of $600 – or $1,500 in today’s money – that roughly lasted through the final phase of the Carter malaise, the oil shock, and the collapse of confidence in the monetary order.

 

By this benchmark, last week’s jump to $869 looks tame. Yet gold is undoubtedly flashing warning signs. The price has jumped 42 per cent since the US credit markets suffered their heart attack in August. It has tripled since Gordon Brown sold over half Britain’s reserves, deeming it a barbarous relic. That conceit has cost taxpayers £3.4bn, after adjusting for returns from dollar, euro, and yen bonds.

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