hey kevin:


here is a letter jason posted to the arizona libertarian listserver.

what do you think about it. i read it and it and it kind  of sorta seems

like jason hates me from the letter. what do you think?


thats too bad. i kind of like jason. but i guess if thats true he will be the nicest person i know that hates me.


also i have to disagree with his statement where he says i hate people

with a religious mindset.


     It seems to me that Mr. Ross hates cops, and

     government employees in general, as well as

     anyone of a religious mindset,


i have never said on the libertarian listserver or on an atheist

listserver that i hate people who beleive in supernatural beings.

shit i dont even hate democrats, republicians or even communists

like you who have radically different beleifs on how government

should be run.


also i think this refers to the paul putz, linda chapman thing

and the david dorn thing:


      Mike thinks  are "out to get him", which for all I

      know now may include me. :-)


david dorn is the asshole who has been telling people i am a government

snitch or something like that according to what ernie hancock told me.

and you know about the paul putz thing. when i got elected as president

of ASH paul putz and linda chapman didnt like it and ran off with the

assets of the group destroyed it.




To: lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com

From: "auvenj" <lpaz-info@cox.net>  Add to Address Book

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 22:48:13 -0000

Subject: [lpaz-discuss] Re: Please remove Kevin from this list


Unfortunately, I don't have sufficient time to fully address this

right now.  But as long as people listen to what I have to say about

things, you will not be banned from the list for your ideas and

(unlike Dave) I do encourage people to discuss with you as much as

they care to.  My only reminder to everyone on the list is, the

purpose of the discussion is the education of the audience; they

should have no expectations of actually convincing you.


Regarding the archives of this list, they were originally open to

members-only, and membership was open to anyone in the world who

cared to join.  To the best of my recollection this was to the

default setting when the list was created.  You were simply the

first person to ever suggest the action of making the archives open

to non-list members.  The implication that we were somehow "hiding"

before you came along is quite a stretch, Kevin.


Regarding your hypothetical query regarding whether or not you would

allow any Libertarian to live in the absence of police protection:

First of all, at best such a statement was a tasteless (if

successful) attempt to get a rise out of Libertarians.  Had you made

such a statement regarding a racial or ethnic group, or homosexuals,

or the disabled, or Republicans or Democrats, I can only imagine how

members of those groups would have reacted.  Out of over 100

Libertarians on the list I'm surprised Craig was the only one who

took it seriously enough to call for your removal.  But, as I see

such a statement hurting rather than helping you in your chosen

quest to destroy the Libertarian Party, it fails to similarly affect

me.  Second of all, I don't actually believe you would start killing

Libertarians just because there weren't any cops around to prevent

it.  You don't strike me as the mass-murdering type, mostly because

mass murderers are a fortunately very rare abberation in the human

species.  I could be wrong, of course, and I do relish watching you

attempt to defend the assertion that in absence of a few blue-suited

fellows in the local donut shop you would turn into a murderous

maniac. :-) I certainly see no reason to try to prevent this being

posted on the list.


And last but not least, regarding the substance of your claim it

seems to me that it rests on the following chain of assertions:

(1) That elected Libertarians would immediately cease all taxation

(2) That without taxation, there would be no police and courts

(3) That without police and courts, there would be no civil order

(4) Therefore, electing Libertarians would lead to a civil war


I find especially the first two links in this chain to be highly

problematic, rendering your conclusion entirely unjustified.


First, while Libertarians do call for an end to all taxation, even

the most wild-eyed of Libertarian optimists do not envision an

immediate Libertarian take-over of the government at all levels such

that we would be able to immediately cease all taxation.  Even if

every single Libertarian candidate across the country who ran in

2004 had been elected by a landslide, and every single one of those

candidates really believed in the immediate elimination of all

taxation, it would not be possible for Libertarians to eliminate all

taxation.  Under any reasonable electoral scenario, Libertarians

would first halt the GROWTH of taxation, then taxation would be

phased out gradually over a number of years and replaced with

alternatives.  If the alternatives didn't work people would simply

stop electing Libertarians and the reforms would cease.


Second, there has been quite a bit of work about how the few

legitimate functions of "government" (even if it's called a defense

agency or something else), which include police and courts, could be

funded without coercive taxation.  You may disagree that such

alternatives would prove workable.  Individuals are capable of

judging for themselves whether the proposals are workable,

unworkable, or a fraudulant attempt to "sell" a system which

wouldn't work in order to destroy government (as seems to be your

assertion).  I find the proposals compelling, reason that many are

significantly if not completely workable, and are certainly not in

any way fraudulant.  As I've discussed on this list in the past, I'm

not into blind faith in "isms".  If I had more time I would expound

on my own ideas on the matter.  For now I will simply reference the

following paper, not because I agree with it entirely but because it

represents a fairly well thought out proposal:



Tibor R. Machan, Chapman University and The Hoover Institution



I will have substantially more free time during the month of

February; if you wish to discuss the merits of various proposals for

funding government functions without taxation I should be able to do

so at that time.


Third, your assertion that without police and courts there would be

no civil order, while IMHO the strongest of the three, is not

without its own criticisms as have been outlined by others on this

list (the police power to prevent bad things being largely

ineffectual, the majority of crimes being solved by the public,

etc.)  For my own part, I'll not focus on this one and let others do

so if they choose.


Now that I no longer hold any office in the Libertarian Party

whatsoever, I will add the following:  Libertarians are motivated by

many different factors.  It has been obvious to me for some time

that some of them, Mike Ross included, are motivated primarily by

what they're against.  It seems to me that Mr. Ross hates cops, and

government employees in general, as well as anyone of a religious

mindset, and a few other miscellaneous individuals Mike thinks

are "out to get him", which for all I know now may include me. :-)

This is not libertarian or anti-libertarian; it's just Mike's

personal psychology.  I find that it leads him to criticize anything

and everything such people do at the expense of distracting from the

real underlying problems.  The purchase of police cruisers by a

community college that started this thread is a prime example: At

most, if the purchase is foolhardy it is merely a symptom of an

underlying problem.  For all I know, you are correct and purchasing

the cruisers will actually save money over the long run for the same

level of crime prevention.  Whether or not police cars or golf carts

or bikes or walking are better tools for preventing crime on a

college campus is NOT a Libertarian issue.  We may as well argue

over whether cop cars should be painted blue or black and white.

The closest thing to a Libertarian issue here is whether centralized

bureaucratic control and coercive funding mechanisms produce better

or worse results in terms of preventing crime on college campuses

than decentralized market control and voluntary funding mechanisms.

To address that issue requires, for example, a statisitically valid

analysis of crime incidence on public colleges versus private

colleges, which is easier said than done.  Bottom line, while I am

quite certain that Mike Ross is a philosophical libertarian, most of

the opinions he posts on this list have very little to do with



--Jason Auvenshine


--- In lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com, lightonliberty@a... wrote:

> In a message dated 1/16/2005 12:32:21 AM Eastern Standard Time,

> craigstritar@y... writes:


> Like I told the listowner, Libertarianism cannot stand to any

counter, it

> crumbles quickly in the light of logic. The only way

Libertarianism can exist is

> with total censorship of any opposing view. Like I told the lsit


> Libertarians would demand that he not allow anything posted that

crumbled their

> faulty theriors. Libertarians prefer to be heard animals blindly

following their

> leaders rather than accept that there is anything wrong with their


> Libertarinism for ti;s followers has become the opposite of free

thinking, it is

> a relegion where any disbeleif is heresy and the blasphemer must

be cast out.
































































If our kevin or laro you know that the




which is in the bottom right hand corner of each page is the web site where i have put copies of all these letters at. i put a copy of each letter in word format so it can be printed out, and a copy of each letter in HTML format so you can view it on the web. anybody who has access the internet can view or print copies of my letters. but this message is for the people in jail besides kevin or laro who happen to be reading this.


if you grew up in america you probably went to the government run schools and were brained washed or taught by the government workers in the public schools that the government is prefect, that the government never does anything wrong, and in the rare cases that only happen once in a billion times when the government does something wrong it is quickly fixed by the court system which is perfect. well thats bull shit and it doesnt work that way.


elected government rulers, and government buerocrats break the law all the time and are very rarely punished or fired.  the cops or the police are even worse. they routinely commit crimes, rob and beat up people, kill and murder, and flush our constitional rights down the toilet and they are almost never punished for their crimes.


mostly i collect news articles of about the bad things the government does to its citizens. the crimes the police commit against the people they are supposed to protect, and the stupid things done by government morons.  religion is almost as bad as government and i also collect news articles about the stupid things people do in the name of god.


you will notice i seldom if ever have articles about government buerocrats or cops being punished for their crimes. thats because it almost never happens. but thats not the case for priests and ministers. they often get caught and punished for their crimes. i guess that is because they are not part of the government.


i guess the moral of this story is that people in government are liars and corrupt even though they lie to you and say your perfect. if you will follow all the articles i have posted here you will soon began to see that i am correct about people in the government being liars and corrupt.


this is currently the 5th letter i have sent to kevin and laro. it and all the prior letters are on the web site. and i plan to put all future letters on the web site.




6 months for murdering an iraqi citizen? now thats justice. and he gets to stay in the military so he can kill more iraqis when his jail term is over!




Sergeant gets 6 months in Iraqi-drowning case


Angela K. Brown

Associated Press

Jan. 9, 2005 12:00 AM


FORT HOOD, Texas - An Army platoon sergeant who ordered his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River was sentenced Saturday to six months in military prison, but will not be discharged.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins also was reduced by one rank to staff sergeant, which cuts his pay and responsibilities.


Perkins, 33, was convicted Friday of two counts of aggravated assault, assault consummated by battery and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter and making a false statement.


He did not testify during his trial, but told the jury of Army officers and enlisted members earlier Saturday that his actions were wrong, although he did not apologize to the Iraqis. He said he still loved the military and did not want to lose his job.


"If I had to go back, I would definitely do something different on those days," Perkins said, wiping away tears.


The six-man jury of Army officers and enlisted members considered a sentencing range of no punishment to a dishonorable discharge, rank reduction and 11 1/2 years in prison. Prosecutors had recommended five years in prison and a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.




us bombs wrong house killing 14 people and destroying the home. us officials say that is lie and only 5 people were killed by the 500 pound bomb. either way one more reason for iraqis to love the american libertors :)




Rebels kidnap 4 Iraqi officials

U.S. bombs wrong house


Nancy A. Youssef

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Jan. 9, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - Insurgents kidnapped four Iraqi government officials Saturday in one of the nation's most dangerous areas as U.S. forces mistakenly bombed a home near Mosul.


The kidnapping of the officials - an assistant governor, a college dean and a provincial councilman - underscored the increasing violence directed toward those who participate in the election process.


Thirty miles south of Mosul, U.S forces mistakenly dropped a 500-pound bomb on a house and destroyed it, killing five people, U.S. officials said. The house owner said 14 people died and five were wounded.


"The house was not the intended target for the air strike. The intended target was another location nearby," the U.S. military said in a statement.


Iraqi media reported a spate of other violence Saturday:


• In Baqouba, insurgents beheaded a translator working with the U.S. army, police said.


• An Iraqi policeman was killed by masked gunmen as he was leaving his house in Baghdad.


• A booby-trapped car blew up Saturday at a gas station in Mahaweel 35 miles south of Baghdad. One man was killed and several others were injured, police said.


• In west Baghdad, gunmen shot dead Abboud Khalaf al-Lahibi, deputy secretary-general of the National Front for Iraqi Tribes, which represents several tribes.




this man of god likes to have sex with 10 year old children!




Edición: 692. Del 5 al 11 de enero del 2005. Phoenix, AZ.


Arrestan a pastor acusado de abuso de menores


Se trata del líder de la iglesia First Assembly of God, de Douglas.


Leo Hernández


La Policía de Douglas arrestó a un pastor protestante acusado de abuso de niños en los estados de Florida, Carolina del Norte y Michigan.

El detenido responde al nombre de Robert Armand Enerson, de 54 años, quien se encuentra recluído en la Cárcel del Condado Cochise en espera de ser extraditado a Florida, donde se le acusa de abuso de un niño de 6 años.


Desde hace dos años este hombre se desempeñaba como ministro en la iglesia First Assembly of God, en dicha ciudad fronteriza.


El teniente Carlos Guido Jr., vocero de la Policía de Douglas, informó que tras conocer las acusaciones y realizar el arresto, también han iniciado su propia investigación para determinar si surgen ahí posibles nuevas víctimas.


De acuerdo a un reporte elaborado por investigadores del Condado Polk, en Florida, este individuo abusó en 1996 de un niño, cuando se desempeñaba como pastor de la iglesia New Life Assembly of God.


La presunta víctima, ahora de 15 años, denunció que los abusos ocurrieron en un periodo de una semana. Dijo que en una ocasión estaba en su recámara jugando cuando Enerson entró y lo tocó los genitales.


Aseguró que nunca dijo nada porque se sentía intimidado por el pastor, quien en ese tiempo pesaba 350 libras


Por su parte, el acusado confesó que un día encontró al niño escondido debajo de una mesa, lo sacó de ahí y lo obligó a que le tocara a él los genitales.


Mientras tanto un muchacho de Carolina del Norte denunció que Robert Armand Enerson tuvo relaciones sexuales con él desde que tenía 10 años hasta los 17; dijo que regularmente hacían el sexo oral y el pastor lo masturbaba. En tanto un joven de Michigan reportó que el acusado le tocó varias veces el pene.


Las autoridades policíacas de Douglas le piden al público que se comuniquen al (520) 364-9422, en caso de que conozcan a otras posibles víctimas de este ministro religioso protestante.




this piggy is going to jail for driving drunk and harming a fellow piggy!

of course he he had not and an accident with a fellow piggy he would be out scott free and on the streets.




Edición: 692. Del 5 al 11 de enero del 2005. Phoenix, AZ.


Podrían dar 12 años de cárcel a ex policía


Leo Hernández


De cinco a 12 años de cárcel podría ser la condena que recibirá un ex policía de Scottsdale que atropelló en el freeway a un motociclista que también resultó ser un agente de la ley.


Kevin Scott Baxter, de 31 años, se declaró culpable de manejar en estado de ebriedad y huir del lugar del accidente.


Los hechos ocurrieron el 1 de mayo del año pasado en la autopista 60, a la altura de la avenida Alma School, poco después de las 2:00 de la madrugada.


Baxter, quien viajaba a exceso de velocidad en compañía de un amigo de Chicago que había venido a visitarlo, arrolló a Doug Mattenson, un oficial del Sheriff del Condado Maricopa.

En lugar de detenerse para auxiliar a la víctima, el irresponsable policía siguió su camino rumbo a su casa en Gilbert.


Su amigo Brian Sturtecky dijo que esa noche él y el acusado estuvieron tomando en un bar de Scottsdale llamado Mickey’s Hangover.


Cuando cerraron el establecimiento salieron y se subieron al auto, pero él se quedó dormido mientras Kevin Scott Baxter manejaba.


Sturtecky indicó que un fuerte golpe lo despertó y solo alcanzó a ver “algo” que pasó volando por encima del auto.


Supuestamente le preguntó a su amigo a qué le había pegado, pero le contestó que no se dio cuenta.


Sin embargo, tres horas después el entonces oficial de la Policía de Scottsdale fue detenido, y al hacerle unos análisis de sangre le detectaron 0.173 grados de alcohol, es decir, más del doble que el límite establecido por la ley.

Será el próximo 3 de febrero cuando el juez James Keppel, de la Corte Superior del Condado Maricopa, le dicte la sentencia.


Cabe señalar que a causa de las severas heridas que sufrió, el oficial Doug Matteson perdió una de sus piernas; ya regresó a trabajar, pero ahora está asignado únicamente a recibir reportes ciudadanos a través del teléfono.






Judge Orders Removal of Evolution Stickers



Published: January 13, 2005


Filed at 2:16 p.m. ET


ATLANTA (AP) -- A federal judge Thursday ordered a suburban Atlanta school system to remove stickers from its high school biology textbooks that call evolution ``a theory, not a fact,'' saying the disclaimers are an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.


``By denigrating evolution, the school board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories,'' U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said.


The stickers were put inside the books' front covers by public school officials in Cobb County in 2002. They read: ``This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.''


``This is a great day for Cobb County students,'' said Michael Manely, an attorney for the parents who sued over the stickers. ``They're going to be permitted to learn science unadulterated by religious dogma.''


Doug Goodwin, a spokesman for Cobb County schools, had no immediate comment.


The stickers were added after more than 2,000 parents complained that the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life, such as the biblical story of creation.


Six parents and the American Civil Liberties Union then sued, contending the disclaimers violated the separation of church and state and unfairly singled out evolution from thousands of other scientific theories as suspect.


At a trial in federal court in November, the school system defended the stickers as a show of tolerance, not religious activism.


``Science and religion are related and they're not mutually exclusive,'' school district attorney Linwood Gunn said. ``This sticker was an effort to get past that conflict and to teach good science.''


But the judge disagreed: ``While evolution is subject to criticism, particularly with respect to the mechanism by which it occurred, the sticker misleads students regarding the significance and value of evolution in the scientific community.''


The case is one of several battles waged around the country in recent years over what role evolution should play in the teaching of science.


Last year, Georgia's education chief proposed a science curriculum that dropped the word ``evolution'' in favor of ``changes over time.'' The idea was dropped amid protests from teachers.


A school district in Dover, Pa., has been locked in a dispute over a requirement that science students be told about ``intelligent design'' -- the concept that the universe is so complex it must have been created by some higher power.






Defense Rests in Trial of Soldier Accused of Prison Abuse



Published: January 13, 2005


FORT HOOD, Tex., Jan. 13 - The defense rested today in the court-martial of Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr., the Army reservist accused of being the ringleader of the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib.


After a morning of testimony from other soldiers who allegedly took part in mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Specialist Graner said in response to a question from the judge that he had voluntarily given up his right to testify.


The judge, Col. James Pohl, dismissed the jury for the day and told them to return early Friday for closing arguments.


"I feel fantastic," Specialist Graner said today as he left the courtroom. "I'm still smiling."


Guy Womack, his civilian attorney, said he thought he had adequately established his defense, that Specialist Graner had been acting under orders.


"We came in with a checklist of things we wanted to present to the jury," he said, "Once we accomplished that, there was no reason to continue."


Specialist Graner faces 17 1/2 years in prison if convicted in the scandal, set off last year with the release of photographs of naked, hooded prisoners in sexually humiliating positions. The defense rested exactly a year to the day after another solider anonymously slipped federal investigators a disc with the photographs, out of fear, he told them the next day, that Mr. Graner would abuse more detainees.


The jury consists of 10 men, all combat veterans. Under military law, a conviction requires seven members to agree, and eight or more members must agree in order to sentence him to any term greater than 10 years.


Earlier today, several soldiers and a detainee testified that interrogators at Abu Ghraib gave the military police orders to "soften up" or give harsh treatment to detainees in the weeks leading up to the night that a group of soldiers photographed the prisoners in humiliating positions. The orders included instructions to leave detainees naked, to twist their arms in extreme positions behind their necks and to apply pain to sensitive parts of the body, the soldiers testified. They said the treatment became more aggressive as the weeks wore on, so much so that on one occasion the military police refused to carry it out.


The testimony about orders formed the backbone of the defense that Specialist Graner's lawyers began presenting Wednesday.


Specialist Graner's lawyers have consistently argued that he believed he was acting under legal orders - a viable defense under military law, even if the orders were in fact illegal - when he put the prisoners in the positions seen in the photographs.


But on Wednesday, all but one of the nine witnesses called by the defense ended up, under cross-examination, undercutting part of Specialist Graner's case, telling how he beat detainees and threw pepper in their eyes, and was repeatedly reprimanded for refusing to follow what one military superior called "simple basic instructions."


Master Sgt. Brian Lipinski, who had been one of Specialist Graner's superiors in the 372nd Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit based in Maryland, testified that in November 2003, two weeks after the photographs were taken, a report given to Specialist Graner noted that a military intelligence officer "says you are doing a good job."


But under questioning from the prosecution, Master Sergeant Lipinski explained that the report was written because of an incident in which he and another officer had discovered blood on the wall in the area of the prison where Specialist Graner worked, and a detainee bleeding from four head and neck wounds.


Specialist Graner first said the detainee had tripped, but then admitted that he had slammed the detainee's head against the wall. So while the report started with praise, it quickly moved on to tell Specialist Graner that he needed to handle his stress and learn to follow orders.


"He kept pushing the envelope," Master Sergeant Lipinski said. "The uniform, the hair, the standards, just simple instructions, simple basic instructions." He also acknowledged under questioning from the prosecution that Specialist Graner had refused repeated orders to stay away from Pfc. Lynndie R. England, his girlfriend at the time and the woman seen holding a leash around the neck of a naked Iraqi detainee in one Abu Ghraib picture.




Defense Rests in Trial of Soldier Accused of Prison Abuse



Published: January 13, 2005


ORT HOOD, Tex., Jan. 13 - The defense rested today in the court-martial of Specialist Charles A. Graner Jr., the Army reservist accused of being the ringleader of the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib.


After a morning of testimony from other soldiers who allegedly took part in mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Specialist Graner said in response to a question from the judge that he had voluntarily given up his right to testify.


The judge, Col. James Pohl, dismissed the jury for the day and told them to return early Friday for closing arguments.


"I feel fantastic," Specialist Graner said today as he left the courtroom. "I'm still smiling."


Guy Womack, his civilian attorney, said he thought he had adequately established his defense, that Specialist Graner had been acting under orders.


"We came in with a checklist of things we wanted to present to the jury," he said, "Once we accomplished that, there was no reason to continue."


Specialist Graner faces 17 1/2 years in prison if convicted in the scandal, set off last year with the release of photographs of naked, hooded prisoners in sexually humiliating positions. The defense rested exactly a year to the day after another solider anonymously slipped federal investigators a disc with the photographs, out of fear, he told them the next day, that Mr. Graner would abuse more detainees.


The jury consists of 10 men, all combat veterans. Under military law, a conviction requires seven members to agree, and eight or more members must agree in order to sentence him to any term greater than 10 years.


Earlier today, several soldiers and a detainee testified that interrogators at Abu Ghraib gave the military police orders to "soften up" or give harsh treatment to detainees in the weeks leading up to the night that a group of soldiers photographed the prisoners in humiliating positions. The orders included instructions to leave detainees naked, to twist their arms in extreme positions behind their necks and to apply pain to sensitive parts of the body, the soldiers testified. They said the treatment became more aggressive as the weeks wore on, so much so that on one occasion the military police refused to carry it out.


The testimony about orders formed the backbone of the defense that Specialist Graner's lawyers began presenting Wednesday.


Specialist Graner's lawyers have consistently argued that he believed he was acting under legal orders - a viable defense under military law, even if the orders were in fact illegal - when he put the prisoners in the positions seen in the photographs.


But on Wednesday, all but one of the nine witnesses called by the defense ended up, under cross-examination, undercutting part of Specialist Graner's case, telling how he beat detainees and threw pepper in their eyes, and was repeatedly reprimanded for refusing to follow what one military superior called "simple basic instructions."


Master Sgt. Brian Lipinski, who had been one of Specialist Graner's superiors in the 372nd Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit based in Maryland, testified that in November 2003, two weeks after the photographs were taken, a report given to Specialist Graner noted that a military intelligence officer "says you are doing a good job."


But under questioning from the prosecution, Master Sergeant Lipinski explained that the report was written because of an incident in which he and another officer had discovered blood on the wall in the area of the prison where Specialist Graner worked, and a detainee bleeding from four head and neck wounds.


Specialist Graner first said the detainee had tripped, but then admitted that he had slammed the detainee's head against the wall. So while the report started with praise, it quickly moved on to tell Specialist Graner that he needed to handle his stress and learn to follow orders.


"He kept pushing the envelope," Master Sergeant Lipinski said. "The uniform, the hair, the standards, just simple instructions, simple basic instructions." He also acknowledged under questioning from the prosecution that Specialist Graner had refused repeated orders to stay away from Pfc. Lynndie R. England, his girlfriend at the time and the woman seen holding a leash around the neck of a naked Iraqi detainee in one Abu Ghraib p


The prosecution has argued that there is no evidence that any interrogators gave the soldiers orders, direct or implicit, to carry out the things seen in the photographs - naked detainees forced to masturbate, simulate oral sex, and stack into a human pyramid - and that any soldier would know not to beat detainees in the way that has repeatedly been described here and in other official accounts.


Two other soldiers who testified for the defense on Wednesday said they had repeatedly been told, in oral instructions and in signs posted around the prison, not to take photographs of the detainees.


Roger Brokaw, a retired military interrogator who was at Abu Ghraib, said that he had asked the military police to stop putting hoods and handcuffs on detainees as they escorted them to interrogations. "The M.P.'s wouldn't do it," he said. "They said, 'No, we have to show them who's boss.'"


He added, "From my conversations with the M.P.'s, they assumed that all the Iraqis were terrorists and needed discipline."


Mr. Brokaw told prosecutors in response to their cross-examination that no interrogator would have condoned pyramids, forced masturbation or nudity, and that he thought harsh treatments did not work.


"Whenever you use harsh treatments you are more likely to get false information just to stop the treatment," he said. And in the weeks around the time the photographs were taken, he said, higher-ups several times restricted what interrogation techniques could be used, ruling out the harsher methods.


But Pvt. Ivan L. Frederick, who admitted his role in the photographs and is now serving eight years as part of guilty plea, gave a different account. He said a civilian interrogator cursed as he handed off an Iraqi detainee and said he did not care what the military police did to him, adding, "Just don't kill him."


The detainee, nicknamed "Gilligan" by the soldiers, was draped in black cloth and forced to stand on a meals-ready-to-eat box with wires attached to him, in a photograph that has become a symbol of the abuse scandal.


Private Frederick named three interrogators who he said had given orders to be rough with detainees. Military intelligence consistently praised the military police, he testified. "They would tell us we were doing a good job, to keep up the good work," he said.


But he said he and Specialist Graner had refused an order in November 2003, about the time of the photos, to rough up an Iraqi believed to have given a gun to an inmate.


The prosecution used this to show that Specialist Graner knew he could refuse an illegal order. A defense of following orders assumes that a reasonable person in the same situation would believe the order to be legal.






Posted on Fri, Jan. 14, 2005


Five more guards indicted for alleged abuse at girls' prison


Associated Press


DELAWARE, Ohio - Five more guards at Ohio's only juvenile prison for girls have been indicted, bringing the total to 10 guards accused in the last two months of harming inmates.


The charges were filed in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Thursday. They accuse the guards of assault, sexual molestation and dereliction of duty.


Also, another charge of sexual battery was filed Thursday against former guard Cardinal Paige, 47, who was one of five guards indicted in December on similar charges.


None of the guards are currently working at Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility, located about 15 miles north of Columbus.


"This is a lot of wrongdoing for one institution," Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost said. "There is a culture among some juvenile corrections officers that they have absolute authority and are unaccountable."


The Ohio Department of Youth Services, which operates Scioto and the state's other seven juvenile prisons, has faced several problems in the past year, including some lawsuits filed by child-advocacy groups and the firing of former director Geno Natalucci-Persichetti.


A special grand jury investigating abuse allegations has been meeting since October and continues to meet.


"Among some people there was a code of silence - that's how this happened," Yost said. "The administration in Columbus is right to be concerned and right to be making changes."


Tom Stickrath, interim director of the Department of Youth Services, said his office has been working with investigators and the new indictments were expected.


"It's a difficult day for the agency," Stickrath said. "It does help re-enforce the need for the change."


One guard indicted Thursday said she's innocent.


"I don't know who is guilty of what; this is a witch hunt," said Cinda Thacker, 57, of Columbus, who was charged with helping another guard cover up an alleged assault.


The other additional guards indicted Thursday were Andrew Baker Jr., 48, of Obetz; Robert Reynolds, 32, of Powell; Timothy Underdown, 44, of Columbus and Dawne Franklin, 37, of Columbus.




Six More Indicted In Juvenile Prison Probe

All Were Juvenile Corrections Officers At Facility


UPDATED: 1:43 PM EST January 13, 2005


DELAWARE, Ohio -- Six additional indictments were handed down Thursday by a grand jury into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility.


Delaware County Prosecutor Dave Yost said that all those indicted Thursday were juvenile corrections officers at the facility at the time of the offenses alleged in the indictment.


The grand jury has been meeting since October, and has now examined 55 witnesses and indicted ten corrections officers and one youth for criminal misconduct, Yost said.


The indictments include:


Andrew L. Baker Jr., 48, of Obetz, for alleged sexual assaults on two female inmates at the institution during May 2004 and on June 25, 2004. Charges include one count of sexual battery, a third degree felony, and three counts of sexual imposition, third degree misdemeanors.


Robert B. Reynolds, 32, of Powell, for an alleged February 2004 assault on a male inmate. Charges include one count of endangering children, a third degree felony, one count of assault, a first degree misdemeanor, one count of falsification, also a first degree misdemeanor, and dereliction of duty, a second degree misdemeanor.


Cinda Thacker, 57, of Columbus, for her part in allegedly helping cover up an assault by Stanley Gates on a female inmate in late December 2003. Thacker is charged with tampering with evidence, a third degree felony, obstructing justice, a fifth degree felony, falsification and dereliction of duty.


Timothy Underdown, 44, of Columbus, for alleged sexual misconduct with a female inmate on Feb. 3, 2004. He is charged with one count of endangering children, a second degree felony, one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance, a fifth degree felony, and public indecency, a fourth degree misdemeanor.


Dawne L. Franklin, 37, of Columbus, for an alleged November 2004 assault on a female inmate. She is charged with two counts of endangering children, both third degree felonies, and assault.


In addition, the grand jury issued a new indictment against Cardinal Paige, who had previously been indicted, Yost said. The new indictment adds an additional charge of sexual battery against a female inmate.




Delaware County


Five other officers at the Scioto Correctional Facility were indicted in December.  Thursday’s


indictments brought the total to 10 correctional workers at the girls lockup facing criminal charges.


All the alleged criminal acts happened within the past year.


Among the accused, Andrew Baker is charged with sexual assaults on two female inmates, ages 17 and 14.


Timothy Underdown is accused of sexual misconduct with a female inmate, among other things.


And Cinda Thacker is in trouble for allegedly covering up for fellow officer Stanley Gates, who was indicted last month.


"One of the things we've heard over and over again: snitches get stitches.  And there is a sense that you need to keep your mouth shut,” Delaware County prosecutor Dave Yost said.


But Yost says that climate is as unacceptable as what he believes others did to underage girls who literally had no way out.


Dawne Franklin is charged with assaulting a female inmate.


Robert Reynolds faces charges for assaulting a male inmate in the juvenile system.  Reynolds was fired last May.


"In some of these cases, what we’re dealing with is juvenile corrections officers who reacted to verbal abuse.  It's not appropriate in these cases.  It's criminal," Yost said.


A new charge was filed Thursday against Cardinal Paige, who was indicted in December for sexually abusing two female inmates.  Now, the Delaware County grand jury has added a charge of sexually battery to the crimes Paige is accused of.


"These defendants not only violated the children, they violated the community's larger trust," described Yost.


10TV attempted to reach each of the accused on Thursday.  The station was unable to obtain any comments on the charges that officers face.


The Department of Youth Services interim director said Thursday's indictments continue to reinforce the need for changes in hiring, training and other personnel areas.


A new warden is scheduled to take over January 18 at Scioto Correctional






Autoridades mexicanas distribuyen folleto para evitar cruce EEUU



Enero 6, 2005


El Paso (Texas).- En un intento más por frenar la ola de muertes en la frontera, las autoridades mexicanas han iniciado la distribución masiva de un folleto informativo sobre los peligros de cruzar la frontera sin documentos y los derechos de los inmigrantes.


Sin embargo, el documento llamado "Guía del Migrante Mexicano" no ha recibido gran acogida entre las autoridades de EEUU, que han preferido no opinar sobre el mismo, ya que no participaron en su elaboración y han insistido en que el cruce indocumentado es ilegal.


"No queremos alentar a los inmigrantes a cruzar la frontera sin documentos", dijo hoy a EFE el portavoz de la Patrulla Fronteriza en El Paso y Nuevo México, Douglas Mosier. publicidad


La guía, elaborada por la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores de México tiene tres partes. En la primera señala que el cruce indocumentado es peligroso y fuera de la ley en Estados Unidos, pero después ofrece recomendaciones para disminuir los riesgos de muerte a quienes, a pesar de todo, intentaran el cruce.


Finalmente informa de los derechos del indocumentado al ser detenido en EEUU.


Según fuentes oficiales, cerca de un millón de guías se distribuirán en ciudades como Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Oaxaca y Jalisco, principales exportadores de migrantes a EEUU.


El documento circulará en el interior de las páginas de uno de los principales libros de historietas, "El libro vaquero", adquirido por un gran número de trabajadores de escasos recursos en México.


La guía ha ocasionado gran polémica, y aunque el gobierno mexicano asegura que no intenta alentar la inmigración indocumentada sino salvar la vida de los compatriotas decididos a emigrar, grupos anti-inmigrantes aseguran que el libro ofrece recomendaciones para un mejor y más seguro ingreso indocumentado al país.


A juicio de Diana Hall, directora de la organización Estabilización de la Población en California, el gobierno de México debe focalizarse en prevenir el cruce indocumentado en lugar de decirles cómo hacerlo sin problemas.


"También nosotros queremos que la gente esté a salvo, pero con la diferencia de salarios entre los dos países la inmigración seguirá llegando y esta guía no hace más que alentarla", sostuvo Hall.


El portavoz de la Embajada de México en Washington, Alfonso Nieto, insistió en que la idea es reducir el número de muertes y por tanto se hace hincapié en los peligros y en el carácter ilegal del cruce indocumentado.


A pesar de esta advertencia, la guía reconoce la desesperación de muchos mexicanos y a ellos recomienda tener precauciones al cruzar el río, el desierto y mantenerse alejados lo más posible de los "coyotes" (traficantes de indocumentados).


Específicamente habla de la peligrosidad de cruzar el río con ropa pesada que dificulta nadar o flotar y recomienda no cruzar a pie avenidas transitadas y no esconderse en lugares peligrosos.


Aconseja no enfrentar, insultar o resistirse a los agentes federales y a entregarse pacíficamente en caso de que proceda la detención.


Por último informa sobre los derechos de las personas al ser detenidas.


Las autoridades mexicanas consideran que la guía puede llegar a disminuir los enfrentamientos entre inmigrantes y agentes migratorios, situación que beneficia al propio personal de las agencias federales.


Sin embargo, las autoridades estadounidenses aseguran que la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza cuenta ya con una campaña para disminuir las muertes en la frontera en la que piden abstenerse de intentar el cruce indocumentado.


Las agencias fronterizas consideran que dicha campaña ha disminuido el número de muertes en la frontera y de acuerdo con sus estadísticas en 2003 se registraron 340 indocumentados muertos en toda la frontera EEUU-México, mientras que en 2004 el número disminuyó a 323.


En el sector de El Paso (que incluye Nuevo México) las muertes aumentaron, ya que en 2002 se contabilizaron nueve muertes, en 2003 el número ascendió a 10 y el pasado año fiscal fueron 18.






Web-posted Saturday, January 15, 2005

Coleman guilty, gets probation


Packed crowd in courtroom hears sentence




Amarillo Globe-News


Guilty on One Charge: Tom Coleman was found guilty of one charge of perjury Friday at the Lubbock County Courthouse. He received a seven-year probated sentence, meaning he will not serve any jail time unless he violates the terms of his probation.

Joe Don Buckner / Lubbock Avalanche-Journal



"Bush can not be held personally responsible for the death of servicemen/women in a war time situation. Those valiant men/women who serve our country in Iraq are doing so because of the 9/11 tragedy and the situations that resulted because of that. Many of our servicemen/women are embarrassed by the protests of the extremist who create and publish that kind of thing. I can say this because my son spent his time in Iraq with the USMC, may have to go again..." - From Wolfman [Join this discussion]


LUBBOCK - Tom Coleman will not suffer the same fate as the dozens of people sent to jail on his word in the controversial 1999 Tulia drug stings thanks to a Lubbock County jury, which sentenced Coleman to a seven-year probated sentence Friday night.

Coleman whispered "Thank God" and teared up when the jury's recommendation for a probated sentence was read by Visiting Judge David Gleason. A courtroom packed with former Tulia defendants and their supporters looked on in apparent shock.


Gleason will decide at a hearing Tuesday how long Coleman will spend on probation, but the former agent will not have to spend any time in jail, unless he violates the terms of his release.


Coleman had no comment as he was taken into custody by Lubbock County deputies to be booked and released later Friday night. His attorney, John Read, said his client will now fade into the woodwork, avoiding the spotlight that has illuminated the Tulia controversy for five years.


"He has learned something in all of this," Read said. "His life has changed. You'll never hear from Tom Coleman again."


While the sentence came as good news to the defense team, the dozen or so Tulia defendants present saw things in a starkly different light.


"I'm disappointed. I think he should have gone through what we went through," said Freddie Brookins Jr., who testified in the punishment phase about the nearly four years he spent in prison on Coleman's word. "But it was the jury's decision. They still did a good job finding him guilty."


That felony conviction means Coleman will never be in law enforcement again, but he will avoid doing prison time if he complies with his probation conditions.


The beginning of the end of Coleman's law enforcement career began in Tulia in 1999, when 46 people, 39 of them black, were arrested based on the itinerant lawman's 18-month undercover investigation.


The arrests touched off a firestorm of controversy that resulted in pardons for nearly all of the defendants after some had spent almost four years in prison.


That same fate seemed like a possibility for Coleman early in the day Friday, as prosecutors wrapped up their case with a closing argument that strongly argued for convictions on the two perjury charges Coleman was facing in connection with testimony in the 2003 Tulia hearings.


"The narrow reason we are all here is Tom Coleman is a liar and a perjurer," Special Prosecutor Rod Hobson said. "He is 100 percent, certainly, positively, unequivocally, without any doubt whatsoever guilty."


The defense came back strongly, however, with an argument that the state was persecuting Coleman for making mistakes under oath, not for telling lies.


"You don't have to like Tom Coleman," defense attorney Kirk Lechtenberger said. "I'm not asking you to do that. What I'm asking that you do is take a look at how vindictive and how vengeful the state has been."


After 2 hours of deliberation, the jury split down the middle, with a verdict that was read before a packed courtroom. At least one judge and five attorneys who were not involved in the case came to the courtroom to hear the decision.


The jury found that Coleman did not lie under oath about stealing gas from Cochran County, his employer prior to coming to Tulia, but he did lie about when he knew of charges stemming from that alleged theft.


After emotional testimony from Brookins and Coleman's mother, Erma Coleman, in the punishment phase, the jury decided it wanted to stay late Friday to reach a verdict, rather than coming back next week.


Hobson passionately argued for a prison sentence in his closing, saying that the justice system relies on honest testimony to prevent travesties like the Tulia controversy.


"Freddie Brookins went to prison because of his worthless word," Hobson said of Coleman. "He should be held accountable for that. He should be incarcerated for that."


Read responded by claiming that Brookins was guilty, regardless of the outcome of the case, and saying that sending Coleman to prison like Brookins would not be justice.


"Who do you think is the human piata in this case?" Read said. "Everybody has beat up on Tom Coleman."


Just less than an hour later, the jury returned to deliver its sentence on Coleman.


When Gleason read the seven-year sentence, the former Tulia defendants in the courtroom looked up hopefully, but the decision to probate the sentence caused them to look down dejectedly.


The reaction was much different on the bench with Coleman's family. His mother covered her mouth and sighed with relief when the probated sentence was announced.


The man who hired Coleman, Swisher County Sheriff Larry Stewart, also apparently can breathe a sigh of relief as he likely will not be facing the same sort of trial as his former agent.


Stewart gave testimony that prosecutors said may have amounted to perjury Wednesday, and he was appointed an attorney by Gleason. Stewart returned to the stand Thursday and gave much more guarded answers.


Hobson said after the trial that any decision on perjury charges would be up to the district attorney in Lubbock, but he thought Stewart's attorney may have kept his client from facing charges.


"You heard his testimony on Thursday," Hobson said. "I think he probably avoided perjuring himself, but he had to eat a lot of his testimony."


At a news conference after the sentencing, Read said he was never happy to lose a case but was relieved his client would not be going to prison.


"It's a compromise," Read said of the jury's decision. "I think they decided they're going to find him guilty of this, and the jury gets together and thinks 'Well it's not a murder case. It is aggravated perjury, and so the sentence should reflect the (crime).' You can't argue with the jury."


Hobson said he was disappointed that Coleman got no prison time but was pleased that more of the truth about what happened in Tulia became public through the trial.


"It's important, I think, to get the information out," Hobson said. "There was no plea bargain offered in the case because the public has a right to know what happened in Tulia.


"I think people have a lot more idea of what happened in Tulia than they did when we started this case."




Coleman Gets Seven Years Probation


 The infamous Tulia narcotics officer Tom Coleman escapes jail time. He will, however, serve seven years probation.

Friday afternoon, a Lubbock County jury found Coleman guilty on one count of aggravated perjury and not guilty on another.


Coleman could have received up to a 10-year jail sentence.


Around 6:30 p.m., the jury came back with a sentence that left Tom Coleman in tears and several Tulia drug defendants saying that once again, justice has not been served.


The former undercover officer received seven years probation after a jury convicted him on one charge of lying at a 2003 evidentiary hearing for several Tulia drug defendants.


Before deliberating on Tom Coleman`s final sentence, the jury heard emotional testimony from from Freddie Brookins, Jr. The 27-year-old testified, saying he spent three years in jail for selling drugs on Tom Coleman`s word alone.


The defense urged the jury to consider that Coleman was an undercover agent, doing his best to put drug dealers and users behind bars.


Special Prosecutor Rod Hobson and several Tulia drug defendants called that characterization unfair and misleading to the jury.


After a week of testimony, Coleman`s final sentence drew mixed reactions from attorney and defendants in the 1999 Tulia drug bust.


Because of the conviction, Coleman can not be a peace officer again. If he breaks any terms of his probation, he faces jail time.




Posted on Fri, Jan. 14, 2005


Former Tulia drug agent guilty of one perjury count




Associated Press


LUBBOCK, Texas - The lone undercover agent in a sting that sent dozens of black people to prison on bogus drug charges in Tulia was convicted Friday of one of two perjury counts.


Tom Coleman was acquitted of testifying falsely in a 2003 hearing that as a sheriff's deputy he never stole gas from county pumps, but he was found guilty of saying that he didn't learn about the theft charge against him until August 1998.


Jurors were to begin hearing evidence in the penalty phase of the trial later Friday. Aggravated perjury is a third-degree felony and carries a maximum 10-year sentence and $10,000 fine.


Coleman had no noticeable reaction as the verdict was read, but some Tulia defendants in the courtroom bowed their heads as the verdict was read.


Coleman arrested 46 people, most of them black, in the small, mostly white farming community of Tulia. He worked alone and used no audio or video surveillance, and no drugs were ever found, but 38 defendants were convicted or reached plea deals.


Gov. Rick Perry pardoned 35 of the defendants in 2003, after an investigation into the drug cases was launched amid charges they were racially motivated. It was during the investigation that Coleman made his false statement in court.


Last year, 45 of those arrested split a $6 million settlement of a civil rights lawsuit against Coleman and the 26 counties and three cities involved with the drug task force for which he worked.


One former Tulia defendant, Kizzie White, criticized the verdict.


"I feel like the prosecutor, he had the proof of evidence that he was guilty on both counts, but yet they acquitted him on the theft," said White, 27, who spent four years in prison before her 2003 release. "Really, I don't understand it."


The perjury charges stemmed from Coleman's testimony in hearings for former Tulia defendants, during which he was questioned about an arrest for allegedly using a government-issued gasoline card to fill his personal vehicle while he was working as a Cochran County deputy.


The theft charge was dropped after Coleman paid restitution, according to testimony.


In closing arguments Friday, a defense attorney said the case was merely a smear campaign against Coleman while a prosecutor branded the defendant a "100 percent" liar.


"It's a smear campaign to bring everything the government thinks Tom Coleman did in a negative way, because they want you to hate Tom Coleman so much that all you can do is find him guilty," attorney Kirk Lectenberger said.


Lectenberger indicated Coleman perhaps became flustered when giving his testimony.


"He probably made a mistake; we all do," Lectenberger said.


Prosecutor Rod Hobson reminded jurors about the evidence, including a waiver of arraignment showing Coleman knew he faced theft charges before August 1998.


Hobson also reminded jurors of gas records that he says prove Coleman stole gas. He also said Coleman embodies the adage about a tangled web woven through deception.


"If I haven't persuaded you that there's lie upon lie, then I haven't done a very good job," he said. "He lies when the truth would serve him better."


Coleman built cases and made arrests for 18 months in the late 1990s as part of a drug task force. Those convicted of selling small amounts of cocaine and received sentences of up to 90 years, and many served up to four years before they were pardoned.






Making hard time harder: Congo inmates often starve


Marc Lacey

New York Times

Jan. 15, 2005 12:00 AM


GOMA, Congo - Once the metal front door swings shut, the light becomes dimmer and the air stale. The prisoners are packed in, sickly almost to a man.


One of them, Mayele Nyanguba, clearly in misery, sat propped against a concrete wall. A soldier accused of armed robbery, he still had gashes on his arms and legs, injuries inflicted by whoever had captured him. He seemed barely able to hold up his head.


Approached by a visitor, he said something in a hoarse voice, barely above a whisper. Drawing nearer, and then nearer still, one could just make out the words. advertisement


"I'm hungry," he said, holding his hand to his belly.


If there is a worse place on Earth than a Congolese prison, stay well away. The prisons in this country are dank, violent places. A prisoner can spend years in a cell with only the vaguest notion of what he did to get thrown inside. The punishment for many, regardless of the crime, can be slowly wasting, by starving to death.


More than 50 inmates died last year of not having enough to eat, the United Nations said in a recent report about the crisis of malnutrition among Congo's prison population.


In one of the worst prisons, Mbuji-Mayi Central Prison in the eastern province of Kasai Occidental, 34 of 320 prisoners died of symptoms related to malnutrition. In November alone, Mbuji-Mayi had 11 deaths.


Forty other inmates were found suffering from severe malnutrition. An additional 76 prisoners were deemed moderately malnourished.


The conditions elsewhere were similarly dire. The United Nations found that malnutrition-related deaths were common in Matadi Prison in Lower Congo province and Kananga Prison in Western Kasai province.


In Kananga Prison, 35 of 163 inmates were found to be severely malnourished. At Mbandaka Prison in Equateur province, "the ribs of most of the inmates were clearly visible," the report said.


In Goma's lockup, one of the inmates, Ramazani Kulembwa, 44, who has been accused, but not convicted, of assault, said a fellow inmate died earlier in December of a lack of food, slowly sapped of his energy and then his life. Prison authorities confirmed the death, estimating that he had gone 14 days with barely anything to eat.


"At one point, we spent almost three weeks without food," Kulembwa said. "It was hard even to stand up."


When food does arrive from the government, there is rarely more than enough for one meal a day, perhaps three times a week. "We are always hungry," said Kulembwa, a former English teacher. "Most of us are also sick."


Goma's prison has 252 inmates and is known informally as Munzenze, for a particularly tough tree found in the area. The structure was built for 150.


One of those crowded into the central courtyard on a recent morning was Celestin Kanane, 36, a convicted rapist with a nervous laugh. "I eat but not enough," he said, smiling and clutching a Bible as he spoke. "Never enough."


One reason Kanane's stomach grumbles is that he has no family members nearby. Relatives of prisoners are permitted to bring food to their loved ones, which they occasionally do.


But the prisoners are from all over the region, and a war has been raging in the volatile border region of Goma since 1998, making visits difficult.


Prison officials complain that they have not received salaries in months, a common situation among civil servants in Congo, making it difficult for the jailers to get enough to eat as well.






Terror Suspect Alleges Torture

Detainee Says U.S. Sent Him to Egypt Before Guantanamo


By Dana Priest and Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, January 6, 2005; Page A01


U.S. authorities in late 2001 forcibly transferred an Australian citizen to Egypt, where, he alleges, he was tortured for six months before being flown to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to court papers made public yesterday in a petition seeking to halt U.S. plans to return him to Egypt.


Egyptian-born Mamdouh Habib, who was detained in Pakistan in October 2001 as a suspected al Qaeda trainer, alleges that while under Egyptian detention he was hung by his arms from hooks, repeatedly shocked, nearly drowned and brutally beaten, and he contends that U.S. and international law prohibits sending him back.


Habib's case is only the second to describe a secret practice called "rendition," under which the CIA has sent suspected terrorists to be interrogated in countries where torture has been well documented. It is unclear which U.S. agency transferred Habib to Egypt.


Habib's is the first case to challenge the legality of the practice and could have implications for U.S. plans to send large numbers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other countries with poor human rights records.


The CIA has acknowledged that it conducts renditions, but the agency and Bush administration officials who have publicly addressed the matter say they never intend for the captives to be tortured and, in fact, seek pledges from foreign governments that they will treat the captives humanely.


A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on Habib's allegations, which were filed in November but made public only yesterday after a judge ruled that his petition contained no classified information. The department has not addressed the allegation that he was sent to Egypt.


An Egyptian official reached last night said he could not comment on Habib's allegations but added: "Accusations that we are torturing people tend to be mythology."


The authority under which renditions and other forcible transfers may be legally performed is reportedly summarized in a March 13, 2002, memo titled "The President's Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captive Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations." Knowledgeable U.S. officials said White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales participated in its production.


The administration has refused a congressional request to make it public. But it is referred to in an August 2002 Justice Department opinion -- which Gonzales asked for and helped draft -- defining torture in a narrow way and concluding that the president could legally permit torture in fighting terrorism.


When the August memo became public, Bush repudiated it, and last week the Justice Department replaced it with a broader interpretation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which prohibits the practice under all circumstances. The August memo is expected to figure prominently in today's confirmation hearing for Gonzales, Bush's nominee to run the Justice Department as attorney general.


In a statement he planned to read at his hearing, made public yesterday, Gonzales said he would combat terrorism "in a manner consistent with our nation's values and applicable law, including our treaty obligations."


Also yesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union released new documents showing that 26 FBI agents reported witnessing mistreatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees, indicating a far broader pattern of alleged abuse there than reported previously.


The records, obtained in an ongoing ACLU lawsuit, also show that the FBI's senior lawyer determined that 17 of the incidents were "DOD-approved interrogation techniques" and did not require further investigation. The FBI did not participate in any of the interviews directly, according to the documents.


The new ACLU documents detail abuses seen by FBI personnel serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, including incidents in which military interrogators grabbed prisoners' genitals, bent back their fingers and, in one case, placed duct tape over a prisoner's mouth for reciting the Koran.


In late 2002, an FBI agent recounted that one detainee at Guantanamo Bay had been subjected to "intense isolation" for more than three months and that his cell was constantly flooded with light. The agent reported that "the detainee was evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma," including hearing voices, crouching in a corner for hours and talking to imaginary people.


According to the e-mails, military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay tried to hide some of their activities from FBI agents, including having a female interrogator rub lotion on a prisoner during Ramadan -- a highly offensive tactic to an observant Muslim man.


Habib was taken to the Guantanamo Bay prison in May 2002.


Three Britons released from the prison -- Rhuhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul -- have said Habib was in "catastrophic shape" when he arrived. Most of his fingernails were missing, and while sleeping he regularly bled from his nose, mouth and ears but U.S. officials denied him treatment, they said.


Habib's attorney, Joseph Margulies, said Habib had moved to Australia in the 1980s but eventually decided to move his family to Pakistan. He was there in late 2001 looking for a house and school for his children, Margulies said. U.S. officials accuse Habib of training and raising money for al Qaeda, and say he had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Australian media have reported that authorities in that country cleared him of having terrorist connections in 2001 and have quoted his Australian attorney as saying he was tortured in Egypt.


On Oct. 5, 2001, Pakistani authorities seized Habib, and over three weeks, he asserts in a memorandum filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, three Americans interrogated him.


The petition says he was taken to an airfield where, during a struggle, he was beaten by several people who spoke American-accented English. The men cut off his clothes, one placed a foot on his neck "and posed while another took pictures," the document says.


He was then flown to Egypt, it alleges, and spent six months in custody in a barren, 6-foot-by-8-foot cell, where he slept on the concrete floor with one blanket. During interrogations, Habib was "sometimes suspended from hooks on the wall" and repeatedly kicked, punched, beaten with a stick, rammed with an electric cattle prod and doused with cold water when he fell asleep, the petition says.


He was suspended from hooks, with his is feet resting on the side of a large cylindrical drum attached to wires and a battery, the document says. "When Mr. Habib did not give the answers his interrogators wanted, they threw a switch and a jolt of electricity" went through the drum, it says. "The action of Mr. Habib 'dancing' on the drum forced it to rotate, and his feet constantly slipped, leaving him suspended by only the hooks on the wall . . . This ingenious cruelty lasted until Mr. Habib finally fainted."


At other times, the petition alleges, he was placed in ankle-deep water that his interrogators told him "was wired to an electric current, and that unless Mr. Habib confessed, they would throw the switch and electrocute him."


Habib says he gave false confessions to stop the abuse.


The State Department's annual human rights report has consistently criticized Egypt for practices that include torturing prisoners.


After six months in Egypt, the petition says, Habib was flown to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.


U.S. intelligence officials have said renditions -- and the threat of renditions -- are a potent device to induce suspected terrorists to divulge information. Habib's petition says the threat that detainees at Bagram would be sent to Egypt prompted many of them to offer confessions.


His petition argues that his "removal to Egypt would be unquestionably unlawful" in part because he "faces almost certain torture."


The U.N. Convention Against Torture says no party to the treaty "shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture."


"The fact that the United States would contemplate sending him to Egypt again is astonishing to me," said Margulies, the attorney.


Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.




hey laro:


i thought you were in a FEDERAL PRISON on wilmot road and I-10 in tucson. am i correct?


is there also a 2nd ARIZONA STATE PRISON in the same area? on one of the phoenix TV news stations they said this ARIZONA STATE PRISON in tucson was on wilmot and I-10. on MLK day there was a fight in the mess hall in this prison. the media said that all the people in the prison are MEXICANS from SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. of course that makes it really confusing:) if it is an ARIZONA STATE PRISON why is it full of MEXCIANS from CALIFORNIA?? or maybe as i suspect the blur between the federal police state and the arizona police state has changed and they are housing federal prisoners in a state prison or it is a federal prison run by the state of arizona??


    Arizona State Prison Complex

    (520) 574-0024

    10000 S Wilmot Rd

    Tucson, AZ 85706




3 prison guards hurt in Tucson

Four-hour standoff occurs nearly 1 year after Buckeye siege

By Becky Pallack



Prisoners in Tucson staged a standoff with corrections officers that lasted about four hours Monday, the eve of the first anniversary of a hostage standoff at another state prison.


Officers finally used tear gas to clear the dining hall, where 43 inmates refused to follow orders after a fight broke out during breakfast at the Cimarron Unit of the Arizona State Prison Complex in Tucson, said Cam Hunter, an Arizona Department of Corrections spokeswoman.


During the fight, corrections officers Brian Jones and Dominic Silvain were punched, and another - Sgt. Karen Fizer, the wife of Warden Greg Fizer - was seriously injured with a makeshift weapon that punctured her skin.


While all of the officers were expected to recover, the weapons had not yet been found, Hunter said. The Cimarron Unit, southeast of Tucson in the 10000 block of South Wilmot Road, houses 720 higher-security inmates.


Investigators on Monday had not determined what the prisoners were fighting about or why they refused to follow orders.


Using gas was the best option for ending the standoff after talking did not lead to a surrender, said John Hallahan of the Correctional Officers Training Academy. A fourth officer was treated for a bad reaction to the tear gas.


The Tucson prison is at a "critical minimum" staffing level, said Joe Masella, president of the Arizona Correctional Peace Officers Association, a labor union. A low number of officers means less deterrence for inmates to misbehave, he said.


Authorities locked down the prison, including prisoners not involved in the fight, to free up more staff members to respond to the standoff, Hunter said. They also brought in tactical units from around the state.


The average staffing shortage at a state prison in Arizona is 11 percent, Hunter said. Twelve percent of jobs at the Tucson complex are unfilled, according to a weekly Department of Corrections report that includes job vacancies caused by military and other leaves of absence.


Even though the staff was outnumbered, it did a good job of controlling and containing the situation, Masella and Hunter said. Inmate assaults on staffers are not uncommon in Arizona's state prisons, Hunter said. More than 200 such assaults take place in state prisons every year.


An investigation is under way to identify the instigators and participants, Hunter said. Those prisoners could face criminal charges and disciplinary actions.


An administrative review also will be part of the investigation. Practices will be examined and authorities will determine whether any new measures need to be put in place, Hunter said.


It was one year ago when the country's longest hostage standoff in decades happened at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye. That incident started in the prison's kitchen, and inmates Ricky Wassenaar and Steven Coy used makeshift weapons to take two guards hostage in an armed tower, keeping authorities at bay for 15 days before negotiators talked them into surrendering.


The Arizona Department of Corrections has since made changes at prisons statewide to prevent a similar situation. Equipment has been upgraded, security practices have been reinforced, and employees are better-trained, officials said.


But an inmate advocate said most of the attention has been focused on the prison in Buckeye.


"They haven't done such a good job at worrying about the other institutions," said Donna Leone Hamm, director of Middle Ground Prison Reform, a statewide group based in Tempe. She said the state should have anticipated more standoffs.


Tensions are high among prisoners, she said, and reforms in the system over the past year have not helped. The state should increase visitation times, recreation times and educational opportunities that make prisoners "feel like they're going to have something to take with them when they return to the community."


Masella and Hamm agreed that more officers are needed to solve the prison problem.


&#9679; Contact reporter Becky Pallack at 629-9412 or bpallack@azstarnet.com.




Tucson Prison Stand Off Lasts Four Hours


By J.D. Wallace, KOLD News 13 Reporter


posted 1/17/05


A fight that would begin a four-hour prison standoff at the Arizona State Prison Complex Tucson sent three Department of Corrections Employees to local hospitals.


“We don’t know the specific details, we don’t know if they were harmed because they were trying to stop the altercation, whether they just got in the way, whether there was an intent on the part of the inmates.  That’s not usually the case.  We still have to investigate this case and determine exactly what the facts are,” said Charles Flanagan, a former warden of the complex.


Of the three injured employees, Sgt. Karen Fizer is the wife of the complex warden, Greg Fizer.  She was airlifted toUniversity Medical Center, and he later followed to be with her.  The Department of Corrections said that all three employees, Fizer, Officer Brian Jones, and Officer Dominic Silvain, suffered face and head cuts, but that none of the injuries appeared to be life threatening.


The standoff began about 9:30 Monday morning.  By early afternoon, the Department of Corrections was ready to make a move.


“Every situation is different.  We have to look at every situation differently.  We’re not going to take any risks when there are people who are potential victims who could become part of the situation.  We want to know exactly what we’re facing before we go in,” Flanagan said.


The Department of Corrections’ tactical unit used a chemical agent that has effects similar to that of tear gas to subdue about 43 inmates in the dining area.  By about 1:30 Monday afternoon, the standoff was over.


“They contained, we got our resources together, we evaluated the situation, and we did what we needed to do to restore order.  I think they did a great job,” said John Hallahan, with the Department of Corrections.


A fourth correction officer, along with an inmate, were treated on the scene for a reaction to the chemical agent used to end the standoff.


All 43 inmates of the Cimarron Unit, the medium/high security unit where the standoff occurred, will be transported to a high security unit in Florence.




3 officers hurt in prison fight


David L. Teibel

Tucson Citizen

Jan. 18, 2005 12:00 AM


A standoff at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Tucson ended shortly after 1:30 p.m. Monday after a SWAT team shot a chemical agent into the mess hall that about 30 prisoners had occupied, a Department of Corrections spokesman said.


All 30 prisoners came out without further incident and none was injured, said Charles Flanagan, support division administrator and former prison warden.


Three corrections officers were injured in an initial 9:30 a.m. scuffle. Two of the officers may have been struck with fists, the third may have been stabbed, Flanagan said. All had non-life-threatening injuries.


Two were taken to the hospital and the other was treated on the scene, said Cam Hunter, a department spokeswoman.


Flanagan did not know if the three corrections officers were harmed because they were targeted or if they just got in the way of the fight.


He said the incident appears to have started with a spontaneous fight among inmates.


Officers responded and the prison was put into lockdown. The 30 prisoners in the mess hall refused to comply with lockdown orders, Hunter said.


At least 20 officers with the tactical support unit, the prison SWAT team, responded, surrounding the mess hall at the Cimarron Unit.


Cimarron Unit houses 768 prisoners, two per cell in pods on two levels, Flanagan said. It is a level 4 security unit, meaning high- to medium-risk prisoners are held there. Five is the highest level.


All prisoners in the Cimarron Unit are Hispanics from Southern California and Mexican nationals. They were segregated a number of years ago from the general population because of gang problems, Flanagan said.


The Department of Corrections will investigate the incident to determine whether policy changes need to be made.


"No situation is always preventable," he said. "Ordinarily we are all very concerned when there is an incident like this."


But as the former warden at the prison, Flanagan said he has "absolute confidence" in the SWAT team.


"I used them for three years."


Two male prisoners who were identified as the instigators of the fight are in custody, segregated from other prisoners, Hunter said.


Visitation for the entire prison was canceled for the day. It could remain canceled through the week.




Prison locked down; 3 hurt


The injured are staffers at Arizona State Prison Complex-Tucson. Inmates may face charges.



Tucson Citizen




Lt. Vince Neil (left) and corrections officer Todd Campbell of the Arizona Department of Corrections check identification of people entering the South Side prison complex during the standoff.

It's not clear whether changes made to the prison system after a standoff last year had any impact on the quick resolution of yesterday's disturbance at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Tucson.

"Until we've done an administrative review and investigated, it's hard to be specific about that," said Cam Hunter, a corrections spokeswoman.


The prison remained on lockdown today after corrections officers Brian Jones and Dominic Silvain and Sgt. Karen Fizer were injured yesterday in a 9:30 a.m. scuffle during prisoners' breakfast.


All were treated at hospitals. Jones and Silvain were sent home last night and Fizer was kept overnight at University Medical Center for observation, Hunter said.


Jones and Silvain are believed to have been struck with fists.


Fizer, who is married to Warden Greg Fizer, suffered a puncture wound from an unknown object.


"I'm sure it was a shank, some sort of a weapon that was crafted by inmates," Hunter said this morning.


Prison authorities will determine today whether to start bringing the prison off lockdown, she said.


The Cimarron Unit, however, likely will stay on lockdown for several days.


A year ago today, two prisoners at the state prison complex in Buckeye took two corrections officers hostage, beginning a standoff that lasted 15 days. The prisoners eventually surrendered. They released a male corrections officer after six days and held a female officer for two weeks.


Charles Flanagan, support division administrator and a former prison warden, did not know if the three Tucson officers were targeted or got in the way of fighting inmates.


The officers walked out shortly after the scuffle, along with prisoners who followed orders to evacuate to the recreation field, Hunter said. The 43 prisoners who stayed in the mess hall made no attempt to hold the officers, she said.


Asked about the changes since the Buckeye standoff Hunter said there is heightened awareness of core security practices among the staff. The staff of the state's 10 complexes, holding 32,000 prisoners, went through extensive assessment and testing after the Buckeye standoff to make sure they understand policies and procedures, she said.


The prison system still faces crowding and staffing problems, with prisons running with about 11 percent fewer staffers than is ideal, she said. Recruiting and retaining officers is a continuing challenge.


Flanagan said yesterday's incident appears to have started with a spontaneous fight among inmates at the complex, 10000 S. Wilmot Road.


The 43 inmates involved in the standoff yesterday face disciplinary action and possible criminal charges, he said.

They could lose privileges, forfeit early release credits and be reclassified to a higher security risk.


All are being interviewed as suspects to determine their role in the incident, Flanagan said. They were moved last night to another corrections complex, Hunter said.


When officers responded to the fight, the prison was put into lockdown, still in effect last night. The 43 prisoners in the mess hall refused to comply, Hunter said.


At least 20 officers with the tactical support unit - the prison SWAT team - surrounded the mess hall at the Cimarron Unit, one of several units at the prison.


The standoff ended shortly after 1:30 p.m. after SWAT members threw tear gas canisters into the mess hall.


All prisoners came out without further incident and none was injured, Flanagan said.


The unit houses 768 prisoners, two per cell in pods on two levels, Flanagan said. It is a level 4 security unit, housing high- to medium-risk prisoners are held there. Five is the highest level.


All prisoners in the unit are Hispanics from southern California or Mexican citizens.


They were segregated a number of years ago from the general population because of gang problems, Flanagan said.


The department will investigate the incident to determine whether policy changes are needed.


"No situation is always preventable," Flanagan said.


As a former warden at the prison, Flanagan said, he has "absolute confidence" in the SWAT team. "I used them for three years," he said.






Photos show Saturn moon probe landed in mud


Associated Press

Jan. 18, 2005 09:50 AM


FRANKFURT, Germany - A European spacecraft landed in mud when it hit the surface of Titan, a scientist said Tuesday, revealing animated pictures of the final feet of its descent to the moon of Saturn.


The latest pictures underline beliefs that the Huygens probe landed near a large body of liquid on Friday when it ended a seven-year mission by the European Space Agency to the previously untouched moon.


Another series of photos showed how Titan's hazy atmosphere gave way to a more solid, but clearly varied surface as the spacecraft tumbled and spun toward its final resting place.


"There wasn't even a glitch at impact. That landing was a lot friendlier than we had anticipated," said Charles See, a scientist who has been studying the images.


Images taken on descent, from about 12 miles right down to the surface, suggest the presence of liquid, possibly flowing through channels or washing over larger areas, said Marty Tomasko of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson.


Titan is the first moon other than the Earth's to be explored. Scientists believe its atmosphere may be similar to that of the primordial Earth and studying it could provide clues to how life began.


Huygens was spun off from the Cassini mother ship on Dec. 24 before it began its 2½-hour parachute descent on Friday, taking pictures and sampling the atmosphere before landing on Titan, where temperatures are estimated at 292 degrees below zero.






Activist loses round on practicing law


Paul Davenport

Associated Press

Jan. 15, 2005 12:00 AM


A state panel has concluded that convicted murderer and inmate-rights activist James Hamm is not fit to be a lawyer and should not be permitted to practice law in Arizona, the Associated Press has learned.


Court documents unsealed Friday state that Hamm, an Arizona State University law graduate, is appealing an Oct. 5 recommendation by the state Supreme Court's character and fitness review panel.


Hamm has appealed the recommendation to the Supreme Court, which is now awaiting the committee's response to Hamm's appeal.


Hamm graduated from law school after being released from prison. He got an undergraduate degree while serving 17 years in prison for shooting one of two men killed in a 1974 robbery in Tucson.


Hamm passed the Bar exam in 1999, a state board took him off parole in 2001 and he filed his application with the Supreme Court in January 2004.


Hamm works as a paralegal, expert witness and sentencing mitigation analyst for lawyers, and he and his wife run a prisoner-advocacy group, Middle Ground Prison Reform.


The character and fitness committee said Hamm's strong record of rehabilitation and professional successes do not overcome the two killings and their consequences.


The committee also said he failed to pay court-ordered child support and wasn't completely candid with the panel.


During testimony before the committee, Hamm "mischaracterized" the murders "as simply a drug deal gone bad at an instant. On the contrary, the evidence and facts suggest that the robbing and murder of the two victims was carefully preplanned and well thought out by Hamm and his accomplices," the panel said.


Hamm's appeal said he accepted responsibility for the 1974 killing but that denying him permission to practice law would be a denial of his 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law.


"Only necessity is sufficient cause for denial of the opportunity to practice law, because pursuing a line of work, a type of employment, is indeed a right, not a privilege, and may be entered only for legitimate and substantial reasons," he wrote.


Hamm also said that he was truthful during two days of testimony before the panel and that his payment of child support once he learned of it demonstrated good character.


All proceedings and documents in Hamm's case were sealed at his request early in the process, but Chief Justice Charles Jones unsealed the case file Friday without explanation. Jones also granted the committee a time extension on filing its response to Hamm's appeal to mid-February.


Those weighing in for or against Hamm's application included the State Bar of Arizona's board of governors.


In a May 17, 2004, letter to the committee, then-President Pamela Treadwell-Rubin said the Bar would seek to disbar any lawyer who committed the crimes committed by Hamm.


"The ability to practice law is a privilege" that Hamm relinquished when he committed murder, Treadwell-Rubin wrote to the commission.


Several lawyers wrote in support of Hamm.


Ulises A. Ferragut Jr. of Phoenix wrote on Jan. 30 that his firm had used Hamm as a paralegal for two years.


"His genuine desire and determination to seek atonement and overcome adversity is a shining tribute to the rehabilitative drive of the human spirit and a beacon of hope and inspiration for many," Ferragut wrote.


Hamm's admission to the law college prompted some alumni to complain, and the college later backed off its intention to make him a part-time faculty member.






The American empire bringing peace, happiness, freedom, democracy and prosperity to Iraq.




Car bombings rock Baghdad


Associated Press

Jan. 19, 2005 08:00 AM


BAGHDAD, Iraq - A wave of car bombings shook the Iraqi capital Wednesday, killing at least 12 people as rebels stepped up their offensive to block the Jan. 30 national election. Other attacks were reported north and south of the capital, but the U.N. election chief said only a sustained onslaught could stop the ballot.


U.S. military officials put the death toll from the day's violence at 26, but the number was based on initial field reports and witnesses and Iraqi officials put the toll lower. Iraqi authorities said 12 people were killed in the bombings and another person killed in a drive-by shooting on a Kurdish political party office.


Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq said it carried out the first of the day's blasts, at the Australian Embassy in the capital. A truck packed with explosives went off outside the concrete barriers in front of the embassy about 7 a.m., killing two people and wounding several, including two Australian soldiers. advertisement


"A lion of monotheism and faith ... carried out a martyrdom operation nearby the Australian Embassy," the group al-Qaida in Iraq said in a Web statement. The group is led by Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has allied himself with Osama bin Laden's terror network.


A half hour after the embassy blast, another car bomb killed six at a police station located next to a hospital in eastern Baghdad, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.


A third car bombing struck at the main gate to an Iraqi military garrison located at a disused airport in central Baghdad. An officer at the Iraqi Defense Ministry said three Iraqi army troops were killed in that attack.


The U.S. military also said a car bomb detonated southwest of Baghdad International Airport, killing two Iraqi security guards.


Hours later, another car bomb went off in northern Baghdad around noon near a bank and a Shiite Muslim mosque. Iraqi police said one person was killed and one killed at that bombing.


Elsewhere in the capital, insurgents in a car fired on a Baghdad office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing one of its members and wounding another, PUK officials said.


Outside the capital, Maj. Gen. Wirya Maarouf, the dean of a police academy in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, escaped an assassination attempt when gunmen opened fire on his convoy in the city of Irbil. One bystander was killed and another injured, said police Col. Tharwat AbdulKarim.


In the northern city of Dahuk, a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy of provincial Gov. Nejrivan Ahmed but he was not injured, AbdulKarim said.


An Iraqi police officer was killed Wednesday in another car bombing in the largely Shiite city of Hillah south of Baghdad, the Polish military said.


Fresh clashes erupted Wednesday between U.S. troops and insurgents in the northern city of Mosul. A car bomb exploded beside a U.S. convoy in the eastern part of the city, and two Iraqis were killed when American troops opened fire after the blast, witnesses said. There were no reported casualties among the Americans.


Also, in the city of Kirkuk, two human rights leaders were killed, officials said. Their bodies were found shot in the head and chest after being kidnapped Tuesday, police said.


U.S. and Iraqi officials had predicted a steady increase in violence in the run-up to the election, in which Iraqi voters will choose a National Assembly and provincial legislatures. Sunni Muslim insurgents have vowed to disrupt the ballot.


Carlos Valenzuela, the chief U.N. election adviser in Iraq, said the intimidation of electoral workers by guerrillas seeking to derail this month's balloting is "high and very serious."


But Valenzuela told reporters Tuesday that only a sustained onslaught by insurgents or the mass resignation of electoral workers will prevent this month's national elections from going ahead.


U.S. troops have stepped up raids across the country, arresting scores of suspected insurgents in hopes of aborting plans to disrupt the ballot.


On Wednesday, the U.S. military acknowledged that its soldiers opened fire on a car as it approached their checkpoint, killing two civilians in the vehicle's front seat. Six children riding in the backseat were unhurt.


It wasn't clear from a military statement whether the two victims were the children's parents. "Military officials extend their condolences for this unfortunate incident," the statement said.


In China, authorities warned people to avoid traveling to Iraq as diplomats tried to win the release of eight Chinese laborers abducted by Iraqi insurgents.


"Please don't rashly go to Iraq, in order to avoid unforeseeable incidents," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


The eight abducted Chinese, including two teenagers, were shown in a video released Tuesday by insurgents. The Foreign Ministry said it had asked for help from Iraqi religious leaders who helped to win the release of other Chinese abducted last year.


The latest abductees are from the southeastern coastal province of Fujian, which sends thousands of laborers each year to the Middle East and elsewhere.


Xinhua identified the eight men - all from Fujian's Pingtan County - as Zhou Sunqin, 18, Zhou Sunlin, 19, Wei Wu, 20, Lin Xiong, 35, Chen Qin'ai, 37, Lin Zhong, 38, Lin Bin, 39 and and Lin Qiang, 40




welding manhole covers shut - something thats only fit for an emperor





Capital Weaves a Steel Cocoon for a Big Party



Published: January 19, 2005


WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 - As the capital prepared to celebrate President Bush's inauguration, the city appeared on Tuesday more like a place under siege. Hour by hour the city of grand buildings and marble statues seemed to disappear behind curtains of steel security fences and concrete barriers.


Piece by piece, the huge security plan that officials promised would be the tightest ever in post-9/11 America emerged, temporarily inconveniencing local citizens and visitors.


The authorities estimate that a half-million people or more will come into the city for the swearing-in at noon Thursday at the Capitol, and later, for the parade along Pennsylvania Avenue. On Thursday night, thousands of people are expected to attend formal inaugural balls, private parties and elegant dinners that will culminate the celebration.


Throughout the day on Tuesday, disruptions were the norm. Utility crews with acetylene torches snarled traffic as they welded shut manhole covers along the route of the inaugural parade. Drivers found no-parking signs, temporary street closings and public warnings that 100 blocks of city streets near inaugural events would be restricted.


Pedestrians had it no better. Officials tightened the broad perimeter surrounding the Capitol, the parade route and the presidential reviewing stand near the White House as construction teams added more security fencing that put more of the city's best-known public spaces off limits. People outside at lunchtime ducked as fighter jets screamed across the sky at low altitude, practicing for the inaugural ceremonial flyby.


Elsewhere, security teams swept dozens of hotels and office buildings overlooking the parade route. Uniformed officers in cruisers from more than a dozen law enforcement agencies seemed to be everywhere at once.


Some tourists ignored the forbidding preparations around them and trudged through icy winds to the city's museums and galleries. David Chater, a visitor from London, seemed undisturbed.


"The most noticeable thing is the physical presence," Mr. Chater said. "The barricades and the number of police officers. But it is not unexpected."


Standing outside a security fence surrounding Lafayette Park near the White House, Bonnie McKinney, an advocate for veterans' benefits, was clearly annoyed.


"We obviously have had a security issue in our country, but this is a bit ridiculous," Ms. McKinney said. "As a veteran and the daughter of a veteran who died in service, I don't appreciate being disenfranchised from what I always considered my rights and freedoms."


She was hardly alone among residents asked to alter their routines to accommodate security plans and a long schedule of inaugural events, which began Tuesday afternoon with a program to honor American military forces.


Government workers, who already had been given Thursday off, were being encouraged to work from home on Wednesday, the day before the inauguration. Local law enforcement officials warned motorists that most downtown streets would be off limits. Local officials said that some bus routes would change and that some subway stations would be closed.


"Given the hassle factor and the uncertainties, I'm going to work from home on Thursday," said Mit Spears, a lawyer and a Republican whose office is on the fringe of the restricted area. "Driving in is just not worth it."


The heavy security got an unexpected test shortly before 4 p.m. when a man driving a red utility van stopped at rush hour in a busy intersection near the White House. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman, told reporters that the man threatened to ignite himself with fuel inside his vehicle. The authorities cordoned off the intersection and evacuated several adjacent buildings.


With traffic stalled for many blocks, dozens of law enforcement officers and a police tactical team converged on the scene. The lone driver, who the authorities said was involved in a child custody dispute and possibly harbored other grievances, remained inside the van. The standoff continued until 7:55 P.M. , when the man was taken into custody by the District of Columbia police, according to the Secret Service.


In the skies above the city, the federal aviation authorities prepared to impose a no-fly zone that will be in force for private aircraft from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Commercial flights will operate as usual, but the authorities are widening the no-fly zone for smaller planes, banning many flights within 23 miles of the region's three airports: Reagan National, Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International.


Thousands of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel from around the country, from as far away as Seattle, California and Texas, poured into Washington Tuesday, reporting to command posts responsible for coordinated security, the authorities said. City officials in Washington have estimated that the city's share of the bill for providing security at the inauguration will be nearly $18 million. Tom Ridge, the homeland security secretary, has said that the federal government will spend millions of dollars but that he does not know the total amount.


The decision to impose extremely tight security for the inauguration, even though government officials acknowledged there had not been any specific threat, has stirred little public complaint, even from Democrats in Congress. As final plans proceeded, meteorologists had potentially threatening news for Mr. Bush and the spectators expected to attend inaugural events on Thursday. Forecasters said that at noon, when he is sworn in, the temperature would be 34 degrees - 27 degrees on the wind chill index - and that snow might be falling.


For the afternoon parade, which starts at 2:30, temperatures are expected to rise to 37 degrees.


Thomas J. Basile, spokesman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which oversees the swearing-in, said committee members and the White House would determine by Wednesday night whether plans would proceed as scheduled.


In some ways, cold, snowy weather could aid security and law enforcement personnel, reducing the number of spectators, including thousands who have promised to protest the inaugural parade by holding up disparaging signs and banners as Mr. Bush's motorcade passes.


One coalition of protest groups, which sued the government last week to increase free public access to the 1.7-mile parade route, failed in its effort to eliminate bleacher seats that the Presidential Inaugural Committee is selling for as much as $125. The coalition argued that the current ticket distribution system was designed to fill parade space with Bush supporters.


But Judge Paul L. Friedman of Federal District Court denied the coalition's request for a preliminary injunction, saying the groups had little likelihood of success on the merits of their case.


Kerik to Attend Inauguration


By The Associated Press


Bernard Kerik, briefly a nominee for secretary of homeland security, will attend the inauguration.


Mr. Kerik, who in December withdrew his nomination after the disclosure of immigration problems with a former nanny, has been invited to the ceremony on Thursday and a private party being given by his onetime boss, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York City.




how do you spell puppet government in arab?????




Lack of election information frustrates Iraqi voters


Edmund Sanders

Los Angeles Times

Jan. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - Less than two weeks before the Jan. 30 vote, Iraqis' frustration is rising as they prepare for the most important election of their lives amid a climate of fear, insecurity and scant information.


There have been no public debates or voter booklets to help citizens wade through the 111 slates offering candidates for the new national assembly, which will write the country's constitution. Iraqis still don't know where they will vote, what the ballots will look like or, because of assassination fears, the names of more than 7,400 candidates.


"How can we vote for people when we don't even know their names yet?" asked Heider Khalid, 21, a mathematics student at Baghdad University. "This is such a critical vote. We don't know nearly enough."


On Baghdad's busiest shopping street, laborer Abdallah Jasim scanned the hundreds of campaign posters vying for his attention. Slapped on fences, light poles and anything else that will stand still long enough, colorful banners spout slogans of unity and one-word platforms such as "Security," "Peace" or, in a sign of Iraq's ongoing infrastructure problems, "Electricity."


It's a jumble of unfamiliar coalition names, symbols and three-digit numbers urging voters to remember a particular slate on election day. Iraqis will select a single slate of ranked candidates, who will be allotted assembly seats based on how many votes the slate gets.


For Jasim, who hasn't decided which slate to support, the blizzard of posters and platitudes is of little help.


"We don't know who these people are," he said. "The posters offer nothing. We don't know what numbers represent which parties. There's a long list of promises, but who knows if they will keep them or not?"


In the absence of facts or aggressive campaigning, electoral experts predict that Iraqis will have little choice but to revert to religious affiliation or ethnicity when making a decision. Shiite Muslims will vote for Shiites, Kurds for Kurds. Members of Islam's Sunni branch, if they vote at all, will seek out a Sunni slate.


U.S. and Iraqi officials had long hoped to shift Iraq away from such sectarianism, fearing that long-simmering animosities would ignite a civil war. But so far, most slates have been unable or unwilling to communicate their positions beyond the religious or ethnic makeup of their candidates.


"Whenever there's a lack of information about the people and the parties, voters turn to the next-best thing, which is: 'This is somebody like me,' " said an election official with a non-governmental organization in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "As much as Iraqis talk about unity, they still feel very strongly about who they are."




maybe they should just make having a cold illegal. that would solve the problem. or at least require a government issued photo id before your allowed to catch a cold.




One state's effort to curb meth labs may spur others


Kelly Kurt

Associated Press

Jan. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


TULSA - After years of locking up methamphetamine makers only to see illegal drug labs multiply on urban stovetops and country roads, Oklahoma got tough.


It locked up the methmakers' cold medicine.


The state banned over-the-counter sales of Sudafed and other decongestants used to produce meth and ordered that the medicines be placed behind pharmacy counters. Ten months later, meth lab seizures in Oklahoma are down more than 80 percent.


State officials believe many clandestine cooks have closed their kitchens because of the crackdown on pseudoephedrine.


"To see the sort of diminution we've seen, there is absolutely no other reason," said Lonnie Wright, who heads Oklahoma's drug agency.


Now, other states are looking to lock up their pseudoephedrine, too.


Oklahoma and several other states have limited the amount of pseudoephedrine customers can buy at one time, but Oklahoma went further by requiring that the drug be dispensed by a pharmacist.


Customers do not need a prescription for pseudoephedrine, but they have to produce ID and sign for the drug.


Oklahoma averaged 105 meth lab busts a month before the law took effect last April. By November, the number had dropped to 19.


Those numbers persuaded Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon to push for a similar measure there.


"This is a relatively small discomfort for the public," said Nixon, whose state limited how much pseudoephedrine a customer could buy, only to see the number of labs surge.


In Oklahoma, pseudoephedrine can no longer be sold in groceries and convenience stores. Signs on empty drugstore shelves direct people looking for relief from stuffy heads to the pharmacist. The law applies only to pills containing pseudoephedrine. Gel and liquid forms, which normally are not used to make meth, are still available over the counter.


Some people grumble when told they will have to show ID, said Jim Brown, owner of Freeland-Brown Pharmacy in Tulsa.


"But when you tell them why," he said, "they really don't object."


Lawmakers in Arkansas, Kansas and Texas also are looking to restrict over-the-counter pseudoephedrine.


"When you see Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas get on board with the controls, I think you'll see Oklahoma's numbers drop again," said Tom Cunningham, drug task force coordinator for the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council.


Politicians in Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Connecticut, Georgia and Tennessee have also pushed for laws requiring pharmacists to dispense pseudoephedrine or will be considering such legislation this year.


Oregon's pharmacy board in October approved restrictions patterned on the Oklahoma law.


Illinois also began requiring stores this month to lock pseudoephedrine tablets in cabinets or behind counters.


Pfizer Inc., maker of Sudafed, does not oppose restrictions on the medication, spokesman Jay Kosminsky said.


"Every state has got to get the balance right between access to legitimate consumers and preventing access to criminals," he said.


But the company believes it is possible to secure the drug in groceries and other stores, not just pharmacies, he said. Meanwhile, Pfizer plans this month to introduce a new form of Sudafed made without pseudoephedrine.