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Archive for March 3rd, 2009

Corey Smith, Marquis Cooper Missing In Florida: UPDATED VIDEO

AP/ Huffington Post |   March 1, 2009 03:03 PM

***UPDATE 3/3 430PM*** ABC’s Phoenix affiliate reports that the Coast Guard is going to end at sunset the search for the two NFL players and a third man lost at sea:

Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard say they will call off their search at sunset for two NFL players and a third man lost at sea after their boat capsized over the weekend…
…That’s 60 hours after the search first began. Some amateur search efforts are expected to continue, Coast Guard officials said.

***UPDATE 3/3 10:46AM*** From AP:

Two NFL players and a third man missing since their boat capsized off the Florida coast face dwindling odds of survival after more than two days in the water, though their size and good health could help them fend off hypothermia, authorities said.
Coast Guard officials wouldn’t speculate on the men’s chances of being rescued alive as the search continued Tuesday morning. There was some hope, even though hypothermia can set in after 18 hours in 64-degree water. Water temperatures were in the mid- to upper-60s.

“With all of these men being past, present football players, they do have a much larger physique than a lot of people,” Petty Officer Robert Simpson said. “So their odds are going to be definitely in their favor.”

The lone survivor so far, Nick Schuyler, was conscious but appeared weak as he was loaded onto a stretcher Monday. His father, Stuart Schuyler, said the former University of South Florida player was bruised and dehydrated but “looks OK.” He said his son was in serious but stable condition.

Crews had narrowed their search Monday for Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper, 26, who owned the 21-foot boat; free-agent defensive lineman Corey Smith, 29; and former South Florida player William Bleakley, 25. Cooper is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, and Smith is 6-foot-2, 250 pounds. Bleakley had played tight end.

Nick Schuyler told rescuers that the boat the four good friends were aboard was anchored when it flipped Saturday evening in rough seas, said Coast Guard Capt. Timothy M. Close. Schuyler, who was wearing a life vest, had been hanging onto the hull that a Coast Guard cutter discovered 35 miles off Clearwater.

MORE HERE

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More OLC Memos To Come?

Some followup by the New York Times on the Bush-era OLC memos released yesterday by the Justice Department…

Department officials have told the paper that they may soon release more secret opinions about counter-terror tactics. Those that contain classified information will need to be cleared with other government agencies before they can be released.

Separately, some Democrats are jumping on the controversial memos to bolster their argument for a commission to look into the Bush administration’s counter-terror policies.

Senate Judiciary chair Pat Leahy, who has called for such a commission, put out a statement Monday that praised the Justice Department for releasing “some of these long-secret opinions.” But it also argued that a “fuller review of these policies” by the new Obama team was needed.

And Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said: “These memos appear to have given the Bush administration a legal blank check to trample on Americans’ civil rights. We need to get to the bottom of what happened at O.L.C. and ensure it never happens again.”

Also, the Times picks up on that footnote in the Steven Bradbury memo that we highlighted earlier. Reports the paper:

In a footnote to Mr. Bradbury’s Jan. 15, 2009, memorandum sharply criticizing Mr. Yoo’s work, Mr. Bradbury signaled that he did not want his repudiation of the legal reasoning employed by Mr. Yoo to be used against Mr. Yoo as part of the ethics probe.Mr. Bradbury wrote that his retractions were not “intended to suggest in any way that the attorneys involved in the preparation of the opinions in question” violated any “applicable standards of professional responsibility.”

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by Geezer Power

Israel demolishes two houses in East Jerusalem

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal and united capital” but has not won international recognition of its claim.

If you don’t believe it check out the the ‘City of David’ digs, featuring excavation of the ancient Silwan aqueduct tunneling around and under the Old City. Israeli archaeologist Yoni Mizrachi says the Israel Antiquities Authority relies on ElAd for funding and has given control over the archaeological sites in Silwan to ElAd; According to Mizrachi, ‘Ir David’ is “one of the few sites operated by private organisations and it is the only one run by a right-wing organisation.” In an Op-Ed for The Guardian, Palestinian rights activist Yigal Bronner (faculty of the University of Chicago), says of the Israel Antiquities Authority: “the same government agency that in 1997 warned against handing over the site to the settlers is now Elad’s happy subcontractor.”

The Palestinian Authority says it wants East Jerusalem as the capital of the state it hopes to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

So we now see the US offering monetary assistance to Palestine. This after sitting on their hands while Gaza’s infrastructure was deliberately destroyed and civilian deaths topped 1000. This looks like a deja vu to me where Bu$hco offered $3 million to Lebanon, while Kuwait offered a$800 million and Saudi Arabia’s offer topped 1 billion.

US offers $900,000,000 in aid to Palestine

march 2, 2009

(CNN) — The United States has offered more than $900 million to help the Palestinian people, particularly those in Gaza, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Monday.

While at the same time we see Israel proceeding with business as ususal.

Israel plans for 73,000 housing units in West Bank

Mon 2 Mar 2009

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli authorities have made plans for 73,000 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, although only a fraction of the proposals has been approved, an anti-settlement group said Monday.

The information, in a new report by Peace Now, indicated that Israel’s next government, which right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to form following last month’s election, could have a wide choice of projects for settlement expansion.

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Sudhan @14:35 CET

By Jason Leopold | Consortiumnews.com, March 2, 2009

The CIA destroyed 92 videotapes – far more than previously known – to prevent disclosure of evidence revealing how the agency’s interrogators subjected “war on terror” detainees to waterboarding and other brutal methods, according to court documents filed by the Justice Department.

“The CIA can now identify the number of videotapes that were destroyed,” said a letter written by Acting U.S. Attorney Lev Dassin and filed in federal court in New York. “Ninety-two videotapes were destroyed.”

Previously, the CIA had disclosed that it had destroyed two videotapes and one audiotape of harsh interrogations of detainees. The tape destruction has been the subject of a year-long criminal investigation by John Durham, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia who was appointed special prosecutor last year by Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

In Monday’s filing, Dassin noted that a stay of a contempt motion filed by the ACLU seeking release of the tapes was allowed to expire on Feb. 28 without a request for a continuation – signaling that Durham’s investigation is now complete.

In January, Durham had indicated in a court filing that he expected to wrap up his probe by the end of February. The CIA has asked the court to give the agency until Friday to produce a list of all destroyed records, any memos relating to reconstruction of those records, and identification of witnesses who may have watched the videotapes before they were destroyed.

Dassin’s letter said some information sought by the ACLU may be classified or “protected from disclosure, such as the names of the CIA employees who viewed the videotapes.”

Dassin said the CIA “intends to produce all of the information requested to the court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs.”

Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU, said the latest disclosure “provides further evidence for holding the CIA in contempt of court.”

“The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court’s order.” Singh said. “Our contempt motion has been pending in court for over a year now – it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law.”

Continued >>

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