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Archive for June 4th, 2009

Oops! Feds ‘Accidentally’ Release 266-page Document Mapping Out U.S. Nuclear Sites

Posted by Liliana Segura, AlterNet at 8:00 AM on June 3, 2009.

“These screw-ups happen,” said one former director of central intelligence.

From the Better than Fiction department: the New York Times reports that the U.S. government has “accidentally” released a list of nuclear sites around the country — but don’t worry, everything’s fine.

“The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked ‘highly confidential,’ that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons,” the Times reported last night.

The document, which was disclosed earlier this week “in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy,” is described as containing “an exhaustive listing of the sites that make up the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, which stretches coast to coast and includes nuclear reactors and highly confidential sites at weapon laboratories.”

It was only last night, following inquiries from the Times, that the top secret document was taken down from the website of the Government Printing Office.

But don’t worry, consensus among “nuclear experts” is apparently that “any dangers from the disclosure were minimal.”

“These screw-ups happen,” said one former director of central intelligence.

But others aren’t convinced. Steven Aftergood, of the Federation of American Scientists, “expressed bafflement at its disclosure, calling it ‘a one-stop shop for information on U.S. nuclear programs.’”

The New York Times has more.

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Angelo Mozilo Fraud Charges: SEC Charges Former Countrywide CEO

MARCY GORDON and GREG RISLING | June 4, 2009 05:43 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators on Thursday charged Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp., and two other company executives with civil fraud.

The Securities and Exchange Commission‘s civil lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Los Angeles, also accuses Mozilo of illegal insider trading.

Countrywide was a major player in the subprime mortgage market, the collapse of which in 2007 touched off the financial crisis that has gripped the U.S. and global economies.

Mozilo, 70, is the most high-profile individual to face formal charges from the federal government in the aftermath of the crisis. He has denied any wrongdoing and Mozilo’s attorney on Thursday called the SEC’s allegations “baseless.”

MORE HERE

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Ney challenges Gonzales: ‘Let’s see what you think of waterboarding — after you’ve tried it!’

Think Progress- By Amanda Terkel at 4:42 pm

Disgraced former congressman Bob Ney — now a radio talk show host — today issued a challenge to former Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales: “Let’s see what you think of waterboarding — after you’ve tried it!”:

If Alberto Gonzales wants to clear his name by saying he didn’t cooperate in torture, then let him try it himself,” said Ney, whose 1 PM show on WVLY and WVLY.net is heard in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and throughout the western panhandle of West Virginia.

“When it comes to the worst abuses by the Bush administration, Alberto Gonzales is scurrying under every rock you turn up,” said Ney, who served in Congress from 1995 to 2006, when he resigned to face criminal charges in connection with the Jack Abramoff scandal.

“Whether it was rushing to the sickbed of his predecessor, John Ashcroft, to try to pressure him to sign off on illegal warrantless wiretaps, or getting the Justice Department to approve clear violations of the Geneva Conventions, there was Alberto Gonzales. He didn’t follow the law; he did whatever he was told. He’s part of the ‘Great Lie’ that was the last administration.”

In a conversation with ThinkProgress at the America’s Future Now conference this week, Ney joked that Gonzales should have served time in the Morgantown, WV federal prison — just like he did.

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Depeche Mode-Personal Jesus

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Sheldon Richman | The Future of Freedom Foundation, June 2, 2009

Contrary to the U.S. government’s position, acts of terrorism are crimes that have little in common with acts of war. The terrorists whom Americans worry about are not trying to overthrow the U.S. government or conquer and occupy the United States. Instead, they are trying to obtain vengeance for U.S. government intervention in the Middle East. Historically, terrorism has been the tactic of the weak against the strong.

A military response is both disproportionate and unnecessary — and it inflicts suffering on innocents. Occupying and bombing a country because a group of terrorists might have plotted there is itself terrorism. Moreover, when the government assumes a war footing, it flings the doors open to violations of domestic liberty. “No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare,” James Madison said.

Continued >>

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Robert Scheer | Truthdig | June 3, 2009

The three wise monkeys?

The three wise monkeys?

How could Paul Krugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and author of generally excellent columns in The New York Times, get it so wrong? His column last Sunday—“Reagan Did It”—which stated that “the prime villains behind the mess we’re in were Reagan and his circle of advisers,” is perverse in shifting blame from the obvious villains closer at hand.

It is disingenuous to ignore the fact that the derivatives scams at the heart of the economic meltdown didn’t exist in President Reagan’s time. The huge expansion in collateralized mortgage and other debt, the bubble that burst, was the direct result of enabling deregulatory legislation pushed through during the Clinton years.

Ronald Reagan’s signing off on legislation easing mortgage requirements back in 1982 pales in comparison to the damage wrought 15 years later by a cabal of powerful Democrats and Republicans who enabled the wave of newfangled financial gimmicks that resulted in the economic collapse.

Reagan didn’t do it, but Clinton-era Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, now a top economic adviser in the Obama White House, did. They, along with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and Republican congressional leaders James Leach and Phil Gramm, blocked any effective regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives that turned into the toxic assets now being paid for with tax dollars.

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Gallery-Guantanamo-Bay----007

AFP | Thursday, June 4, 2009

Former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld could soon be in trouble for the role he played in human rights abuses committed in the Guantanamo prison, a United Nations expert said Wednesday.

“In a year or two, his responsibilities will be established. Wherever he goes, he will face difficulties,” Leandro Despouy, who is Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, told journalists in Geneva.

A US bipartisan Senate report released late last year found Rumsfeld and other top administration officials responsible for abuse of Guantanamo detainees in US custody.

It said Rumsfeld authorised harsh interrogation techniques on December 2, 2002 at the Guantanamo prison, although he ruled them out a month later.

Despouy said the “strong resistance” put forward by the former US administration to current US president Barack Obama’s decision to close the detention centre has nothing to do with the officially cited reason of “national security” considerations.

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