Hey Laro:


kevin stuff.


a) I sent you a letter that kevin mailed me. did you get it.


b) kevin says that he got one letter from you in mid december. he says that perhaps the people who have enslave you wont let you write kevin.


if you can answer these two questions with out getting into trouble please do. other wise ignore them.


when i talked to you at your house i thought you told me that the machine gun charge was because you bought by mail order that anybody can buy with out a permit. and that even though the part wasnt actually in a gun they charged you with having a machine gun? that is what i usually tell people about you.


i wanted to ask you what the charges were on the bombs but i never did. in the press releases put out by the thugs at the BATF they seemed to say you had a bomb big enough to blow up a city block. i know that you said it was just a smoke bomb to amuse you kids. what exactly did you have?


i know when i was in grade school we used to go to the drug store and buy saltpeter, which i think is potassium nitrate and mix it with sugar to make smoke bombs. and i remember it didnt make that good of smoke bombs. is that what you had? or were you a few levels ahead of my in chemistry class and know how to make really good smoke bombs.


i said that your crimes were trivial and that you didnt harm anybody or steal anything and some jerk on one of the listservers i am on cited the batf web sites and made you out like bin ladin.


last i wrote your friend


  Thomas Marc Hoy


  FCI Tucson

  8901 South Wilmot Road

  Tucson, Arizona



about getting his stuff on the web


kevin and laro:


what is  your life like in prison? do you guys do the same thing every day? or maybe do you have a weekly routine like in the outside world? do you get to go outside or do they lock you up in your cells all day? do they they feed you propaganda all the time on what your supposed to think.


what do you call your masters or the thugs that imprison you? i dont really like the word masters because that implys they own your mind which im sure they dont.




im an unemployed bum again. i guess thats life. in general the computer industry suck now at least in terms of employement.


i worked for 6 days at the last place and the guy paid me and told me to come back in two weeks because he were going  on vacation.


i came back and in two weeks and then worked for 3 days. he didnt pay me but told me that he was going out of town for a week and give him a call the next monday to see when i should come back. well when even i call he wont talk to me so i suspect that he is going to cheat me out of my 3 days wages.


it was a pretty small company and those are the hardest to work for. but despite that i suspect they were pulling in something over $42,000+ a month. one of their employees told me they have 700 customers and they charge their lowest priced customers $60 and their higher priced customers pay $100+ for their services.






Passports - An Invention of the Modern Police State


England Passports (1)


Passports as we know them today did not really exist before 1915.


By the outbreak of war in 1914, British passports were printed on paper and included a photograph of the holder. The price of a passport was still 6d but there were more details included about the holder. The development of the modern passport system really dates from the First World War when a number of states started issuing passports as a means of distinguishing their citizens from those that they considered to be foreign nationals.


The first modern United Kingdom passport was issued in 1915 when the British Nationality and Status Aliens Act 1914 came into force.


American Passports (2)


According to State Department historians, except for brief periods during wartime, passports were not generally required for travel abroad and few obstacles were presented by foreign states' passport requirements until after 1914. An executive order made on Dec. 15, 1915, required every person entering or leaving the United States to have a valid passport


Canada (3)


Before 1862, Canadians, as British subjects, could travel freely to and from the United States without passports. To travel to Europe, however, a Canadian had to get a British passport at the Foreign Office in London. Those who were not British subjects by birth could still go to the United States with a certificate of naturalization, which was issued by local Canadian mayors mainly for voting in municipal elections.


During the American Civil War, however, authorities in the United States wanted more reliable certification from people living in Canada. In 1862, the Governor General, Viscount Monck, introduced a centralized system for issuing passports: for the next 50 years, a Canadian passport was really a "Letter of Request" signed by the Governor General.


When war broke out in 1939, the United States government announced that Canadians would need passports and visas to cross the border. At that time, about half a million Canadians travelled to the States each year without any documentation. Tensions rose at border crossings when American officials began searching Canadian travellers, culminating in a riot when a hearse was detained at the border. This led to the issuance of special wartime passports for Canadians travelling to the United States.


Australian (4)


The words 'Australian Passport' replaced 'British Passport' on the cover of an Australian passport in 1949. In 1950, 30,000 Australian passports were issued. Fifty years later in 1999E000, this number had risen to nearly 1,450,000. Their production accounted for 37 tonnes of paper, 95,500 metres of thread, 69,000 metres of gold foil and 1,100 litres of glue.


Latvia (5)


The passport system originated in France. In 1672 Louis XIV forbade his subjects to leave France or foreigners to enter France without passports. When translated from French “passportEor from Italian “passoE the word means “a step, a chance to go throughE


In the Russian Empire, the year 1719 during the reign of Peter the Great is regarded as a beginning of the passport system. In European countries the main task of the passport system was to ensure peace and order, whereas in Russia apart from the above functions the passport served also as a means to oversee the control of tax payments, military service and other duties regulated by the state


StarTribune (6)


The concept of passports goes back at least 600 years in western Europe. They're rooted in feudalism and based on control.


In the beginning, they were basically passes or licenses to travel, and only the upper crust could get them. The idea was that if you were a peasant or a serf, you were supposed to stay home.


That made it easier for governments to keep tabs on you, an idea that has persisted, in varying forms, since the Middle Ages.


In England, up into the 18th century, people were supposed to reside in their "native" parishes, the church districts where they'd been born. They could get temporary passes to take seasonal jobs, but they couldn't just up and move to London to look for work, lest they become beggars, vagabonds or criminals.


France and Russia had similar laws, and until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Soviet citizens needed internal passports just to travel around their own country.


1) http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/history.asp


2) http://travel.howstuffworks.com/passport1.htm


3) http://www.ppt.gc.ca/passport_office/history_e.asp


4) http://www.passports.gov.au/Web/passport_history.aspx


5) http://www.ocma.gov.lv/?_p=337&menu__id=13


6) http://www.startribune.com/stories/425/4116858.html




To: lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com

From: "John Wilde" <rsrchsoc@ionet.net>

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 17:31:59 -0700

Subject: Re: [lpaz-discuss] Re: Financial Times of London says....


greenspj wrote:


> I'd be interested in hearing your answer.  (Quit teasing us. ;)

    Why?  It's fun.  I had already planned on giving the answer before I left.


    So here it is.


    Before I do, I would note that most of you are old enough to know the answer.


    O.K. I'll stop teasing.


    As I said when the original income tax act was passed, you only Paid 1% AFTER the first $5000.00.  The percent had increased to almost 3%. But again only AFTER the first $5000.00.


    In 1943, that changed Congress reduced the personal exemption to $500.00.


    So while tripling the tax rate, the Congress decreased the Exemption by 90%.  With Rosie the Riveter working full time (she didn't stop working just because defense cut back, she went to work elsewhere) and once hubby came home from Europe and the Pacific, the family income easily exceeded $500.00 anually.


    That's why I said most of you on this list are old enough to know the answer.  That personal exemption remained $500.00 until 1974 or 1976 when it increased to $650.00.  A couple of years later it increased to $750.00.  Finally in the 80's under Reagan it went to $1000.  If you Are in your late 40's or early 50's you probably filed your first returns in the late 60's or early 70's (me 1972).  So you should remember that the personal exemption was only $500.00.


    Now there is both a standard deduction and a personal exemption (part of the 1986 reform) that has been indexed to inflation since 1992 and has supposedly increased to a total of around $7000.00 per person for 2004.  If this were truely based on "today's dollar" it would be $100,000.00 maybe more, instead of just $7000.00.  Of course had Congress not pulled the con to begin with during WWII, then today's dollar would not have been devalued nearly 90% since then.


    So it was WWII, when Congress pulled the greatest theft, that makes the Brink's Job look like the work of a bunch of petty thieves.


    Any questions???



John Wilde


To: lpaz-discuss@yahoogroups.com

From: "John Wilde" <rsrchsoc@ionet.net>  Add to Address Book

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 18:01:08 -0700

Subject: Re: [lpaz-discuss] Re: Financial Times of London says....


Withholding was only PART of the act.  It was the slide of hand.  It


the reducing the exemption from $5000.00 to $500.00 that was the real

reason the gummint has been able to reach out and touch us.


    The withholding would have stopped had the exemption remained at

$5000.00 ($10,000.00 for husband and wife).  Because even with both the

husband and wife working, the average income would not have exceeded

$10,000.00 per household until well into the 60's.  So virtually

everyone could have claimed exemption from the withholding meaning


would have been no need to file to "get a refund."


    The withholding only created the need to file to get the refund.

The reduction of the exemption to $500.00 is the cause for having to

submit to the withholding in the first place.



John Wilde





Plot suspect family balks at visits rules

Parents claim access restricted


Eric Lichtblau and James Dao

New York Times

Feb. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The parents of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the American student accused of plotting the assassination of President Bush, charged Thursday that the government was restricting their access to their son by limiting what they could tell the public about their jailhouse conversations.


But Justice Department officials said the jailhouse restrictions under consideration were standard in sensitive terrorism cases as a way of preventing jailed suspects from passing coded messages to outside accomplices.


Prosecutors have imposed tight restrictions on about a dozen terrorism defendants since the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said, including Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a prisoner whose lawyer, Lynne F. Stewart, was convicted two weeks ago of smuggling messages out of jail.


The family of Ali, who was held without charges for 20 months in Saudi Arabia before U.S. officials returned him to Virginia on Monday to face charges of providing support to terrorists, said the government asked one of their lawyers to agree to a set of tight conditions before family members could visit him in custody in Alexandria, Va.


Family members said that in order to see Ali, they were told they would have to agree not to discuss with the media anything he told them, to have an agent from the FBI present for the meeting and to speak only in English.


The family is balking at the restrictions. Family members have complained in the media in recent months about Ali's prolonged confinement and possible torture in Saudi Arabia.


"I will not sign any papers," Omar Abu Ali, the suspect's father, said Thursday after a court hearing in a lawsuit the family has brought against the U.S. government. "They're not allowing us to see him - we haven't seen him for three years, we fought this long to get him back, and we deserve to see him."


Justice Department officials said family members would be free to see Ali if they agreed to the jailhouse restrictions that are under consideration.


Lawyers for Ali have been allowed to see him since he was returned to the United States and officials said their conversations have not been monitored and he was not shackled during the meetings.




Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2005 01:19:45 -0500

From: "Daniel T. Lewis" <lewisdt2@netzero.net>

Subject: Re: Interesting Statistic


Interesting Statistic


According to icasualties.org , there have been 88 hostile fire deaths caused by firearms since the beginning of hostilities in Iraq. The remainder of coalition deaths have been due to explosives or accidents.


What does this mean?


If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in theater during the  last 22 months, that gives a firearm death rate Of

60 per 100,000. The rate in DC is 80.6 per 100,000. That  means that you are more likely to be shot and killed in our Nation's Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.


The conclusion?


We should immediately pull out of WASHINGTON, DC!






Terror Suspect's Family Protests Jail Rules



Published: February 25, 2005


WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 - The parents of Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the American student accused of plotting the assassination of President Bush, said Thursday that the government was restricting their access to their son by limiting what they could tell the public about their jailhouse conversations.


But Justice Department officials said the jailhouse restrictions under consideration were standard in terrorism cases as a way of preventing jailed suspects from passing coded messages to outside accomplices.


Prosecutors have imposed tight restrictions on about a dozen terrorism defendants since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, officials said, including Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a prisoner whose lawyer, Lynne F. Stewart, was convicted two weeks ago of smuggling messages out of jail.


The family of Mr. Abu Ali, who was held without charges for 20 months in Saudi Arabia before United States officials returned him to Virginia on Monday to face charges of providing support to terrorists, said the government asked one of their lawyers to agree to a set of tight conditions before family members could visit him in custody in Alexandria.


Family members said they were told that to see Mr. Abu Ali they would have to agree not to discuss anything he told them with the news media, to have an F.B.I. agent present for the meeting and to speak only in English.


The family characterized the restrictions as an unfair effort by the Justice Department to silence them. Relatives have complained in the news media in recent months about Mr. Abu Ali's prolonged confinement and possible torture in Saudi Arabia.


"I will not sign any papers," Omar Abu Ali, the suspect's father, said Thursday after a court hearing in a lawsuit the family has brought against the United States government. "They're not allowing us to see him - we haven't seen him for three years, we fought this long to get him back, and we deserve to see him."


Justice Department officials said relatives would be free to see Mr. Abu Ali if they agreed to the restrictions.


"The family has access to the defendant that is consistent with standard procedures in a case that involves national security concerns," said Bryan Sierra, a spokesman for the Justice Department.


A department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because no agreement has been reached, confirmed the general outline of the jailhouse restrictions the family cited, including a ban on making any comments to reporters about what Mr. Abu Ali tells them. But the official said the department had reached no final decision on what restrictions would be imposed.


"If the family says he told them, 'The sky is clear, but it may rain tomorrow,' that could be a message to terrorists," the official said. "They can go out and talk to the media about their son, his innocence, whatever they want, but they have to agree not to convey anything directly from him that could be construed as a message."


The official said the department was concerned that even if relatives were not aware they were conveying a coded message, their doing so could help put a plot into effect.


After the Sept. 11 attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft broadened restrictions for those in custody in terror cases. The "special administrative measures" gave the Justice Department the power to monitor lawyer-client conversations as long as the lawyer was notified in advance.


Lawyers for Mr. Abu Ali have been allowed to see him since he was returned to the United States on Monday, but officials said their conversations have not been monitored, and unlike some other defendants in terrorism cases, Mr. Abu Ali was not shackled or confined at the meetings.


Defense lawyers said Mr. Abu Ali showed them marks on his back that appeared to be from whippings.


Relatives said Thursday that while Mr. Abu Ali was in custody in Saudi Arabia he told them that his jailers in Riyadh had sometimes whipped him for three straight days, kept him in solitary confinement for months, blindfolded him and denied him food. The family maintains as part of its lawsuit that American officials were aware of the abuses and effectively orchestrated his detention with the cooperation of the Saudis.


But the Justice Department, in a filing on Wednesday, denied accusations of torture. Prosecutors said Mr. Abu Ali had told United States officials that he had been "well treated" in Saudi custody and that an American doctor who examined him after he was transferred to United States custody found no evidence of physical mistreatment. The Justice Department said the evidence indicated "that the defendant's claims of mistreatment are an utter fabrication intended to divert attention from his criminal involvement with an Al Qaeda cell in Saudi Arabia."


In a six-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday, prosecutors charged that Mr. Abu Ali provided material support and resources to terrorists, including technical materials and training, while he was studying in Saudi Arabia in 2002 and 2003. While he is not charged directly with trying to assassinate the president, the indictment says his support of Al Qaeda was "to be used in preparation for, and carrying out, the assassination of the president of the United States."


Prosecutors charged that Mr. Abu Ali and a Saudi associate linked to Al Qaeda who has since been killed had talked about ways of having Mr. Abu Ali shoot Mr. Bush or detonate a bomb near him. Mr. Abu Ali's father said Thursday that he considered the charges "all lies."































It is an old article but maybe you can pass it around to the other people in jail so they can learn a little bit more about copwatch. i think it was in the december 1999 issue of the Phoenix New Times. are kevin or laro members of copwatch. i dont know :) one of them may be.




Cruising for Cops  1999-12-02


Copwatch, an earnest band of volunteers, aims to stamp out police  brutality  --  and vanquish institutional racism  --  by aiming a camera.




A kid limps up and offers his palm. He wears a black Misfits tour shirt and Marine fatigues, glittery combat boots and a teal-colored mess of hair. Framed by the hazy hues of Mill Avenue on a Friday night, he seems an antagonistic juxtaposition to the street's sugary chain-store harmony. All around him on the cool breeze float garbled laughter, sweet-smelling perfumes and the incessant drone of backed-up traffic.


"You spare a coupla bucks, bro?" asks the kid, his tongue heavy with multiple piercings. "You spare a coupla bucks?"


Tolerance, however, does not extend to the tastes of the scrubbed and well-dressed strollers who pass the kid and his pagan ilk as they sit on a tree well. Most regard this faction reason enough to lose brew-pub-happy expressions and step up their gaits.



























The many cops on horse, bicycle and foot in the vicinity are poised to accept any complaint about the actions of the Mill rats.


Pat Schwind, a stoic, thin-haired man with a firm expression, moves toward the punk. Schwind's bright orange tee shirt is like a fire drill amid a sea of khaki and pastel. Stenciled on his shirt are the words "Copwatch" and "Stop Police Brutality." He clutches a stack of small fold-out cards, which he has been doling to willing and unwilling recipients along Mill for an hour.


"Are you aware of your rights, sir?" Schwind asks the punk while handing him a card. "Do you know what to do in the event you are arrested by the police?"


The kid accepts the card with reluctance, opens it, and looks it over quickly. Then, relieved, like an infantry soldier meeting a foreign ally for the first time, he nods at Schwind.


"Are these my rights?"


"That's right," the older man says emphatically, nodding as if to concede that he, too, is down with the good fight. "Learn 'em. You never know."


Schwind turns away and files in with the push of people moving north along Mill, stopping every 10 feet to give out the so-called "bust cards" and Copwatch pamphlets. He and three other members of the all-volunteer group Copwatch do this until closing time.


 Schwind is an assiduous member of a Phoenix-based group called Copwatch, volunteers whose purpose is to monitor police in hopes of keeping them accountable.



























Armed with everything from pencils and pamphlets to scanners and video cameras, the Copwatch activists regularly take to Valley streets.

Copwatch asserts that police brutality is a given, not an exception, and that it is directly related to a long history of white supremacy in this country. If you fight police brutality, they claim, then you fight racism.


Farther down Mill, a group of four older, drink-dazed bums debate the procedures the bust cards recommend for detainees. Because the card outlines 12 steps, two of the bums dismiss the advice as more Alcoholics Anonymous jargon.


An interlocutor sporting a Medusa-like 'do says, "Believe me, if the laws change to shit, I want to know about it, and that's what deese people are 'apposed to do, and they're passing it on to us, brother. Don't you relate to that?"


"How do we see they are who you say they are?" asks a friend who wears a dirty Arizona Cardinals jersey and has yellow eyes and cropped gray hair.


"All right. Understand what I said?" the first one replies. "How many times you been to jail? And how many times too many is that? Hmmmm?"


It is perhaps a measure of success that in its brief history of street patrols, Copwatch video cameras have caught no Rodney King sequels on tape. Police officers are aware of Copwatchers' presence. Then again, perhaps it's because police aren't really as brutal as Copwatch believes they are.


But there's little doubt that Copwatch has some impact on police etiquette. Recent observations on Mill Avenue in Tempe -- both with and without the Copwatchers -- showed that when Copwatch's video camera was rolling, officers' postures improved, their smiles broadened and they became more animated.


Joel Olson, who founded Phoenix Copwatch last year, sees that as progress in his crusade.


Copwatch -- an outgrowth of Ruckus, another counterculture group Olson founded -- holds that police are the foot soldiers in a class system based on race. Copwatch believes a subtext of all police work is to ensure that a city's black neighborhoods stay black and white neighborhoods stay white.

Olson, 32, is married, well-mannered and is the polar opposite of some anarchist prone to biffing cops at punk shows. He sports a close-cropped postpunk 'do; a line of silver loop earrings travel down his right ear. He doesn't look like your garden-variety radical. Olson more closely resembles a well-mothered bard who spouts bad Ferlinghetti at strip-mall coffee houses. He's a computer programmer at Arizona State University and a teacher of philosophy at Glendale Community College. He has a master's degree in political science.


As an ASU undergrad in the early 1990s, Olson was involved in local punk-rock scenes. He ran his own 'zine and a record label. Olson was also constructing a résumé as a social activist. Aside from contributing to anarchist publications like Blast and Love & Rage, he co-edits a bimonthly newsletter for self-made radicals called The New Abolitionist, a magazine whose catch phrase is "Abolish the White Race -- by Any Means Necessary."


The writings of Black Panthers Bobby Seale and the late Huey Newton provide incentive, inspiration and purpose. The Black Panther Party itself got its start by cop-watching when Newton and his followers patrolled the streets of Oakland in the late 1960s. In the event Newton was pulled over by a cop -- and he often was -- Newton could use the rhetoric of the law against the officers. By asserting his legal rights, he stripped much power that racist cops held.


Olson made news this year by opposing a new ASU course called "Exploring our White/Euro American Roots" on the grounds that it was brazenly racist. The course is not available to ASU students next semester.


Olson studies black history. He cites W.E.B. Du Bois' 1903 Afro-American classic Souls of Black Folk as a major influence. Marx was on Olson's bedside table as well.


"I think in this society, being defined as white gives you a lot of advantages," he says in his calm drone. "It makes it easier to get a loan, it makes it easier to get in the school of your choice, it makes it easier to get a job, and, it usually means you are going to get nicer treatment by the cops."


As ivory as an Irish Swede can be, Olson considers race more a function of power and privilege than one of biology or culture. Too confident to be called a self-hater, he says white privilege allows him to demand reform.


"Whiteness is not a form of power that I like to associate with, and I'm willing to throw myself in situations that other people probably shouldn't because I am confident that the cops will treat me in a different way than they'll treat other people," Olson says.


"I am able to use this whiteness. . . . Historically, the key obstacle in preventing any kind of movement for a better society has been white supremacy, and so I looked to movements that fought against it. And not just to end racism. I think in those struggles lies a vision for a totally new kind of democracy. A more radical democracy."

Such police practices as "racial profiling" and traffic stops for "driving while black" are manifestations of the institutionalized racism in police departments, Copwatch believes. Profiling, employed as a gauge of potentially illegal behavior, is not uncommon across the country. While most departments deny that race is one of the characteristics they use; studies in New Jersey, Maryland and elsewhere allege otherwise. Debate over racial profiling flared in April when state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike wounded two blacks and a Hispanic who where riding in a van that had been pulled over for speeding. The incident caught Washington's attention.

Phoenix Police Chief Harold Hurtt, who is black, agrees that racial profiling is a problem because "we hire human beings."


"From a realistic standpoint," Hurtt says, "I think we all would have policies or practices against racial profiling. And we do know, as with any organization, that we are going to have employees with their own personal vices [who] do not follow those polices. I think on a national basis there is an issue that very much concerns major city police chiefs. . . .


"I think for any police chief to say that 'None of my officers have ever or never will [employ profiling],' I think that's a police chief [who] is not really aware of what's going on in America."


Hurtt, who recently was asked to join a national committee that is studying racial profiling, says his department is drafting a policy that would outlaw racial profiling in Phoenix and require officers to stop suspects "based upon suspicion of probable cause or for an investigation."


"I would say that it is our policy not to practice that [racial profiling]," says Hurtt. "Would we guarantee that it would never occur? No we would not. But we certainly have the expectation of our officers that they will not do it."


Olson believes Hurtt is sincere and is "probably a better police chief" than his recent predecessors.


"My criticism is of the role the chief and the police play," Olson says. "The person who wears the uniform is, to me, less important than the role that they as cops play in this society. And the role of the cop hasn't changed from the old days in which it was a way to keep the rich side of town clean and safe for the rich while containing all the crime and rabble on the poor side of town. . . .


"Basically since the Watts riots in '65, police forces around the country were faced with a choice -- either we control these inner-city neighborhoods with tanks and guns like they are doing in South Africa or we have to come with a new model of policing because the overt model of open power just isn't working.

"I'm not into attacking Hurtt personally. I'm into saying that the role the police play, even black policemen, is to enforce the color line. Keep the Biltmore the Biltmore and keep South Phoenix South Phoenix. Whether it's in Oakland or Philadelphia or Portland or where ever."


A Tempe police spokesman says racial profiling doesn't occur in his community.

"Our job is to enforce the laws," says Sergeant David Lind. "Your status as far as class has nothing to do with how we do our job. And I would have to ask him [Olson] how we do that, because I am not aware of that ever occurring.


"I don't know how to respond to him, his allegations are absolutely ludicrous. I can only speak for specifically us. But I don't know of any police department here in the Valley or here in the state doing anything that he is alleging."


Copwatch member Pat Schwind acknowledges that police "have a tough job. And I wouldn't want to say that it is an automatic given that minorities are picked on more than white people. But to me out on Mill, it has appeared that way."


State NAACP president Oscar Tillman, who is vaguely familiar with Copwatch, believes Olson and his followers overstate their allegations of institutional racism on police departments.


"The fact is I don't see how you can really enforce the color line," says Tillman, a frequent critic of police tactics.


Yet Tillman agrees that police departments deserve their reputations for brutality, and he welcomes Copwatch's efforts.


"Whatever group happens to be monitoring them [police], they have to live with," he says. "Through abuse, the police have brought about this type of monitoring. The driving-while-black situation the police have created on their own."


Copwatch groups in a dozen or more cities thrive via Web sites, chat rooms, newsletters and civic support. Cities such as Portland, Oakland, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Tucson all have grassroots Copwatch groups. Though similar in namesake and philosophies, there is no national umbrella or governing body. The Valley group, however, is loosely connected with the other Copwatch groups, through letters and e-mails. And most share philosophical backgrounds, holding civil-rights trailblazers as exemplars.


Ultimately, Copwatch's objective is to end police brutality in the Valley. To end fatal police shootings. They believe that police administrators and elected officials lack the political will to establish actual police accountability. And since the nation's 19,000 law enforcement agencies are essentially independent, Copwatch's battle against police abuse is primarily local.

And there have been plenty of local horror stories in recent years.


The 1994 death of Edward Mallet, a black double-amputee who died after being stopped by police and put into a choke hold, cost the city of Phoenix $5.3 million.


In 1996, 13 Phoenix Police officers fired 89 rounds at a shotgun-wielding gang member named Rudy Buchanan". Buchanan was struck 30 times, even in the soles of his feet. His family won a $500,000 settlement from Phoenix.


Later that year, it took four bullets, 20 shotgun pellets and six officers to kill 16-year-old Julio Valerio, who was armed with a knife.


There was the Latino Scottsdale officer who told a jury of a "no-nigger zone" in that city. There were allegations of racially based police crackdowns on Scottsdale clubs catering to a hip-hop music crowd.


How can one forget the story told by ASU student Alvin Yellowhair, who in March 1998, claimed he was arrested then dragged from a police escort van and clubbed, maced and sodomized with a nightstick by a Tempe cop? An investigation cleared the alleged assailant.


Olson says his group wants "to make the cops change their behavior. The goal is not only to change their behavior while we are watching, but also the next time they go out and do an arrest, they'll go by the book because we might be watching. To change their behavior even when we are not there because they have to look over their shoulder."


Copwatch doesn't want to provoke confrontations with the police.


Its members only observe. None of its members claims to have been physically abused by police, but most say they have gotten some tongue-lashings. None is angry or bored -- all have full lives apart from Copwatch.


The group pays for its tee shirts, still and video cameras, notebooks, pads and pencils, and car rentals and gasoline from members chipping in personal cash on patrol nights. A treasurer keeps an accounting and receipts. Add it together and it spells personal sanctification.

Many of these guys are your basic labor-force lackeys drawing wages busing tables or arranging boxes in warehouses. Area punk bands united last year at a Tempe bowling alley, mixing loud, angst power-chords and long days to hale hundreds for the Copwatch cause. The charity punk ball afforded Copwatch a video camera and a scanner. Manna from heaven without the benefit of media attention.

The Copwatch crew is striving to achieve identity and credibility -- and to have sufficient volunteers to allow one or more weekly street patrols (no member does more than one shift). The members want the public to recognize that observing the police is not only a right but also a necessity. They want to educate people about their constitutional rights in the event they are stopped or arrested.


"I come in contact with police a lot, and I think what they [Copwatch] are doing is good," says the Phoenix criminal defense attorney Jay Ciulla, who has offered to help Copwatch pro bono in the event of a pinch. He's also advised them on how to avoid getting arrested themselves.


There is no law that states a person can't watch the police detain people. A cop can only tell you to move along if you are posing a legitimate risk to an officer, suspect or to an investigation. Still, Ciulla tells the volunteers to identify themselves and explain they are only observing.


"With the age of the Internet, freedom of the press and everything else, if they post these things on an Internet Web site, they could be considered press, really," Ciulla says.


During every foot patrol, strangers approach to inquire about membership. Many have their own stories of unpleasant encounters with police officers.


The only prerequisite for Copwatch membership is a dislike for police brutality. According to the group's 13-page training manual, Copwatch won't discriminate against anyone but employees of law-enforcement agencies and hotheads, fascists and anyone out for revenge on a cop.


"People that seem the most interested . . . are probably the young kids that you see, and the young punks," says 27-year-old Jean Reynolds, one of two articulate female insurgents who does Copwatch duty. "The ones who are subject to a lot of harassment because of their lifestyle. And the other group would be people of color, you know, Chicanos, Latinos, African-Americans. The ones that say to us, 'Yeah, you know, because of where we come from we are always getting stopped all of the time.'"


Reynolds, active in Copwatch for more than a year, holds a master's degree in history from ASU. She met Olson and other Ruckus members during a march from Guadalupe to Chandler in protest of the Chandler INS police sweeps in which dark-skinned people, including many U.S. citizens, were detained.


"They're institutionalized with these dated ways of operation," Reynolds continues. "For me it's not a personal vendetta. It's not that I think they are horrible. It's not a way for me to say, 'Fuck authority.' It's all much deeper than that for me. It's about my concern for people's human rights and their civil rights."

Copwatch itself has been a target. Expletives and spittle commonly confront Copwatchers patrolling Mill Avenue. They've been called everything from nigger-lovers to cop-haters. Sheriff's deputies on Mill one evening offered the Copwatch contingent smug snickers and derisive snorts.


So the backbone and personal sacrifice exhibited by Copwatch members is refreshing -- particularly considering the overload of ironic gesture and apathy that has supplanted real passion in our culture. But the group's radical theories seem guaranteed to frighten off the shortsighted and invite ridicule by the public at large.


Grassroots activism, particularly community policing and police-watchdog groups, has in many cities kindled a new spirit of public-police relations.


"If they can really make the police an actual part of the community," says Olson, "then I really wouldn't have a big problem with it. But the way it is now just seems to me a more insidious way of carrying out the same old goals."


"I go and talk to community groups, and I know it is a concern, it is always a concern," says Hurtt using the delicacy of a florist in word arrangement. "There is always groups who feel they have been unequally contacted, I guess, by law enforcement. And that is something, historically, that we now invariably have to deal with. How do we overcome that concern that a certain element of our community may have been the victims of racial profiling?"


Generally, public complaints against an officer either are filtered through the department's Professional Standards Bureau or the individual officer's supervisor. The complaint process is lengthy. The immediate supervisor investigates all complaints unless that supervisor is also involved; in which case the next supervisor up handles the investigation.

The Phoenix Police Department has a citizen-review panel called the Disciplinary Review Board. That board hears complaints if the investigation warrants a suspension. The review board contains two officers chosen at random, two civilian representatives chosen from a rotating list and two commandeers. The chief oversees the board. The officer under investigation has a right to appear in front of the board and tell his side of the story.


Police internal-affairs divisions are considered crucial to resolving police brutality. Copwatch regards the idea of police policing their own as laughable and supports creation of strong civilian-review boards run by citizens and vested with investigative and punitive powers.


According to an extensive examination of internal affairs units in 14 major cities released last year by Human Rights Watch, no outside review, including its own, had found operations of internal-affairs divisions in any of the cities satisfactory.


Debate over police use of force is pandemic. A recent U.S. Department of Justice report says that one in five Americans has face-to-face contact with a police officer each year, and 1 percent of those say cops either used or threatened to use force against them (however, a majority of those say their own actions may have sparked the cops).


The City of Phoenix's African-American Advisory Board's (AAAB) Community Information Hotline is a resource designed to accept and document reports of creditable and contemptible cop behavior on behalf of citizens. AAAB program director A.J. Miller, a 22-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, says that in the first three months since the hot line's March inception, the group received 43 complaints against cops. Of those, 21 saw resolve.


The AAAB is one of a handful of advisory groups started in 1997 by former Phoenix Police Chief Dennis Garrett. Both the hot line and the advisory's goal are to establish a communication between the police department and the public.


Every major city in the county has similar nightmares. The best recruiting, training and command oversight won't guarantee faultless conduct among all officers.


"We need to watch those that have power rather than those that don't in this society," says Olson. "Those that don't have power obviously get identified as criminals and crooks and obviously some of them do bad things. But we think that you should watch those who have power. Those who are given a gun by the powers at be."


Yet few cops have heard of Copwatch. Very few. "I haven't heard of them and I know not many around here have heard of them, either," says Tony Morales, a spokesman for the Phoenix PD. "Are they pro or con the police?"


An administrative officer at Central City Precinct says he's heard only one patrol officer make reference to Copwatch. "Yeah, he said these guys had cameras and were videotaping us. They had on matching shirts," the desk officer says.


When New Times asked Phoenix PD for the number of excessive-force complaints filed against its officers during the past two years, a spokesman replied that the request was broad and might take weeks to compile.


In Phoenix, the police department diversity breakdown of sworn officers is as follows: Of 2,571 sworn officers, 2,115 are white; 304 Hispanic; 349 female; 101 are black, 40 Asian; and 10 Native American.


Tempe cops working the Mill beat seem nonplussed by the Copwatchers. Most acknowledge that their jobs are matters of public record.

"I don't think anybody [on the force] is gonna give you their opinion" of Copwatch, says Tempe Police Sergeant David Lind.


"All we ask is that they do the same thing every other citizen does, and that's just allow us to do our job," Lind continues. "If they have a question about what we do I would hope they don't step in while we are doing what we are doing. If they want to address the situation, that's fine, they just have to choose the right time to address it. There are laws allowing an officer to do his or her job safely.


"You know . . . I think some of those people in Copwatch think we are opposed to them. We're not opposed to them."


Lind quickly compiled records of only use-of-force complaints in Tempe -- 21 in 1998; and 41 in 1997, he says. In all, there were 143 complaints in 1998; and 185 in 1997.


At a Saturday night pre-patrol meeting in a central Phoenix coffee house, four members of Copwatch are gathered around a back-room table. Present are Mike Emo, Brannon Lockrem, Reynolds and Olson.


By appearances you would think they were a group of militant vegetarians honing their social consciences over cups of Joe. They're too methodically down-dressed and earnest-looking to be caught anywhere near bourgeoisie trappings like frilly cocktails or DJ mixes.


"Home contact tonight is Audrey," Olson announces.


On the table in front of him is the group's check list inventorying patrol necessities. Everything from penlights and blank videotapes to police codes and a lawyer's phone number are listed. Olson goes through and checks off each one.


"Nobody here is currently under the influence of alcohol or drugs?" he asks. The others shake their heads. "No one here has any illegal substances on their person? No one is carrying a weapon without the express knowledge and consent of the entire patrol? Everyone here is mentally and physically prepared for the patrol, and no one possess an attitude or frame of mind that could hurt the patrol?"


Olson divvies up the night's chores: Reynolds will navigate and monitor the scanner, Emo will fill out incident report sheets and take notes, and Lockrem will decipher scanner codes and videotape. Since the group uses a rental car and Olson is the sole member in possession of a credit card, he drives.


"When we first went out back in February, we were really scared about what was going to happen; we weren't sure what to expect," laughs 20-year-old Lockrem in the back seat of the rental. "Then, when we walked up, the very first thing that happened was all the people in the [pulled over] car clapped and applauded us."


Scanner calls come every few minutes. In the first 20 minutes there's an assault, a pair of domestic violence calls, a gun-wielding drunk at a party, a shooting, a kidnaping and an armed-robbery suspect. The group votes to observe the police with the robbery suspect. Usually they go for proximity, the nearer the better. They say it's not uncommon for them to beat the cops to a scene.


Outside of a brooding, mushroom-colored county housing complex near 18th and Washington streets, the car glides to a stop. The Copwatch cadre steps out and moves toward a group of Latinos being questioned by three cops. The group's flaming orange shirts against the dusky night offer little aid in a graceful or subtle approach. Palms sweat and hearts rush at athletic speeds with the understanding that anything could go wrong.


Cradling a video camera in his hands, Lockrem sidles up to the scene and starts taping. It's too dark to get badge numbers, but the squad car number is entered with detailed notes about the call, time, location and description. The group informs a cop who it is and its purpose. With a few slight nods and bored blinks, the cops acknowledge they are being observed and taped. They ask the Latinos a few more questions, take some notes and radio in. Minutes later, the cops are back in their squad car and moving up the street.

The group hands out a few bust cards and answers a couple of questions. Then they climb back into the rental and dial in the scanner.


"This how it goes most of the time," says Lockrem resolutely, like the words are weighed down. "But we're not in it for the action."


Contact Brian Smith at his online address: brian.smith@newtimes.com




maybe you ought to join this church if you can use it as an excuse to get porterhouse steaks everynight :)




State challenges status of religion, calls it 'gang'


Officials say the Church of the New Song shouldn't be constitutionally protected.




February 22, 2005

Iowa authorities have renewed a 30-year effort to dismantle a prison religion they say is nothing more than a front for a white-supremacist gang.


State authorities have filed federal court papers seeking to overturn a 1974 judge's order that gave formal status on the Church of the New Song, or CONS.


Iowa lawyers, citing evidence that has not yet been made public, contend that the prison religion is a security threat and that "regular meetings of CONS have been used to plan bad acts, including assaults."


Inmate adherents of the religion, meanwhile, insist that they have been singled out for their beliefs and put into high-security lock-down in the state prison at Fort Madison solely because of the church. A lawsuit filed in November contends that the gang CONS members allegedly formed does not exist. The inmates seek more than $1.5 million and a ruling that they've been the victims of religious persecution.


That lawsuit has been pushed to the side, however, since Iowa attorneys filed December court papers seeking to revisit the whole notion of whether CONS deserves constitutional protection as a religion.


State lawyers and corrections officials have refused to discuss the matter. But papers filed in federal court in Des Moines contend that "CONS is a white supremacist prison gang involved in threatening, coercive and illegal conduct which poses a threat to the security and well-being of inmates and staff in the prison."


Patrick Ingram, an Iowa City attorney appointed to represent the prisoners, said state authorities "can't point to anything and say, 'This is that part that's white supremacist.' "


Founded in the 1970s by Harry Theriault, a federal prisoner in Atlanta, the Church of the New Song once considered porterhouse steaks one of its communion elements. Church leaders testified in the early 1970s that a basic tenet of CONS is that an individual's desires should take precedent over any authority, so long as his or her actions bring about inner peace and do not interfere with the inner peace of others.


In 1997, a group of Fort Madison inmates led by George Goff sued Iowa officials, arguing that they were being discriminated against because the prison refused to send trays of food from a church-sponsored "Celebration of Life" banquet to prisoners who were locked down in disciplinary units.


The inmates won their case at the district court level but lost on appeal.


A three-judge panel said new evidence, including some secret testimony from prison informants, appeared to show that the church is a "sham religion that exists only in the prison context."




State of Iowa challenges religious group in prison


DES MOINES, Iowa — The state is seeking to overturn a 1974 federal court ruling that gave formal religious status to a prison group that officials say is nothing more than a front for a white-supremacist group. 

Iowa lawyers have filed court papers seeking to revisit whether the Church of the New Song deserves constitutional protection as a religion.


State lawyers, citing evidence that has not yet been made public, contend that the prison religion is a security threat and that ‘‘regular meetings of CONS have been used to plan bad acts, including assaults.''


Patrick Ingram, an Iowa City lawyer appointed to represent the prisoners, said state authorities ‘‘can't point to anything and say, ‘This is that part that's white supremacist.' ''


The Church of the New Song was founded in the 1970s by Harry Theriault, a federal prisoner in Atlanta. It once considered porterhouse steaks one of its communion elements. 


This document was modified last on Feb 26, 2005 - 11:02:10 PST



State challenges religious prison group, calls it gang


 Associated Press


Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 10:25:44 AM


DES MOINES -- The state is seeking to overturn a 1974 federal court ruling that gave formal religious status to a prison group that officials say is nothing more than a front for a white-supremacist group.

Iowa attorneys filed court papers in December seeking to revisit the whole notion of whether the Church of the New Song deserves constitutional protection as a religion.


State lawyers, citing evidence that has not yet been made public, contend that the prison religion is a security threat and that "regular meetings of CONS have been used to plan bad acts, including assaults."


Patrick Ingram, an Iowa City attorney appointed to represent the prisoners, said state authorities "can't point to anything and say, 'This is that part that's white supremacist."'


Inmates who are members of CONS insist that they have been singled out for their beliefs and put into high-security lock-down in the state prison at Fort Madison solely because of the church.


A lawsuit filed in November contends that the gang CONS members allegedly formed does not exist. The inmates seek more than $1.5 million and a ruling that they've been the victims of religious persecution.


Papers filed in federal court in Des Moines contend that "CONS is a white supremacist prison gang involved in threatening, coercive and illegal conduct which poses a threat to the security and well-being of inmates and staff in the prison."


The Church of the New Song was founded in the 1970s by Harry Theriault, a federal prisoner in Atlanta. It once considered porterhouse steaks one of its communion elements.


Church leaders testified in the early 1970s that a basic tenet of CONS is that an individual's desires should take precedent over any authority, so long as his or her actions bring about inner peace and do not interfere with the inner peace of others.


A group of Fort Madison inmates led by George Goff sued Iowa officials in 1997, arguing that they were being discriminated against because the prison refused to send trays of food from a church-sponsored "Celebration of Life" banquet to prisoners who were locked down in disciplinary units.


The inmates won their case at the district court level but lost on appeal.


A three-judge panel said new evidence, including some secret testimony from prison informants, appeared to show that the church is a "sham religion that exists only in the prison context."




DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state is seeking to overturn a 1974 federal court ruling that gave formal religious status to a prison group that officials say is nothing more than a front for a white-supremacist group.


Iowa attorneys have filed court papers seeking to revisit the whole notion of whether the Church of the New Song deserves constitutional protection as a religion.


State lawyers, citing evidence that has not yet been made public, contend that the prison religion is a security threat and that regular meetings have been used to plan bad acts, including assaults.


Inmates who are members of the group insist that they have been singled out for their beliefs and put into high-security lock-down in the state prison at Fort Madison solely because of the church.


The Church was formed in the 1970's by an inmate in the federal prison system. At one time the Church claimed that porterhouse steaks were essential to the practice of their theology.


Tell us what you think. If any group says they are a religion, should they be entitled to be treated as such by law? Or should there be a certain test to determine the authenticity of any group claiming to be a religion. Email us at agrove@ktvo.com


(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)






Suit Revived Over Ban on Newspapers in Prison


From Associated Press


PHILADELPHIA — Inmates have been known to use newspapers or magazines as weapons, to hide contraband and to fuel fires, but that's not enough reason to ban them from prison, a federal appeals panel ruled Friday.


The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said a ban on newspapers, magazines and photographs at a disciplinary unit at the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh "cannot be supported as a matter of law."


The court reinstated an inmate's lawsuit that had been dismissed by a lower court — and issued an opinion that probably means the prisoner will prevail.


The ruling was released late Friday; it was not immediately clear whether the state would appeal.


The inmate had argued that the policy in a unit housing inmates with a history of disruptive or violent behavior violated his free-speech rights.


Department of Corrections officials countered that the ban served as an incentive for inmates in the unit to behave better, and said it was necessary to prevent the publications from being turned into weapons. Removing the ban, they said, would force authorities to monitor inmates more carefully.


But the court said inmates had access to many things similar to the banned publications and photos: writing paper, envelopes, library books, a copy of the prison handbook and religious publications are all exempt.




Prison in Pennsylvania may not ban newspapers, magazines and photographs


PHILADELPHIA A federal appeals court says a Pennsylvania prison can't ban inmates from looking at newspapers, magazines or photographs.


The state prison in Pittsburgh had kept the items from inmates in a disciplinary unit of the facility.


The state argues that prisoners had used the items to hide contraband, fuel fires and as weapons. And it says allowing them to have the items would force guards to keep closer watch on the inmates.


However, the judge says inmates have access to other items such as writing paper, library books and religious publications that could also pose a threat.


It's not clear if the state will appeal the ruling.


Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




Newspaper ban at state prisons is ruled invalid

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Over the years, prison inmates have used newspapers and magazines to hide contraband. They've rolled them up to use as spears and they've used them as fuel for fires.


But that's not enough reason to ban prisoners from having them, a federal appeals panel ruled yesterday.


The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a rule at the state prison in Pittsburgh banning inmates in a disciplinary unit from having newspapers, magazines and photographs "cannot be supported as a matter of law."


It was not immediately clear whether the state would appeal.


An inmate had argued that the policy violated his free speech rights.




phoenix messy yard cops ask you to snitch on your neighbors who have messy yards. this law is selectively enforced and racist because the cops use it against poor people and minorties




La importancia de los inspectores de vecindario


Por el Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios de Phoenix

Febrero 23, 2005


Nuestras calles y vecindarios se consideran como unos de los más atractivos del país, es por ello que mucha gente encuentra que nuestras comunidades son lugares excelentes para vivir. Es tarea de todos mantener nuestros vecindarios saludables, fuertes y seguros.


También es tarea importante la que realizan nuestros inspectores del Departamento Municipal de Servicios a los Vecindarios de Phoenix. Cada día dan seguimiento a aquellas cosas que preocupan a los vecinos y ayudan a que propietarios de viviendas acaten lo establecido en el Código Municipal cumpliendo a la vez con su misión de conservar la salud física, social y económica de los vecindarios de Phoenix.


Son ellos los que responden cuando algún residente llama o envía un correo electrónico sobre alguna posible infracción de deterioro de la que son testigos en el vecindario. publicidad 


Algunos de los casos típicos son el denunciar pasto y maleza crecida, vehículos inoperantes estacionados en las calles o en salidas de cocheras, basura en jardines del frente, edificios vacíos que presentan un peligro para el vecindario, cercas en mal estado y manchas de graffiti.


Cuando uno de nuestros residentes avisa al Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios sobre algún problema, asignamos a uno de nuestros inspectores al caso. Avisamos por correo al propietario del lugar que hemos recibido una queja y que uno de nuestros inspectores le visitará en diez días.


Muchas veces la gente no se da cuenta que está fuera de orden hasta que recibe el aviso por escrito y entonces actúan inmediatamente. Con frecuencia, el motivo por el que el inspector visita la propiedad ya no existe cuando llega.


Cuando se encuentra alguna condición de infracción, se sigue un proceso que ayuda a los propietarios a poner sus casas en orden.


El inspector entonces, presenta un aviso de infracción en donde se le da un número de días para resolver el problema, antes de una nueva inspección al lugar.


Si la propiedad continúa en estado de deterioro cuando se inspecciona por segunda vez, se le entrega al propietario una papeleta de infracción civil, misma que se le asigna a un juez del Tribunal Municipal de Phoenix.


El Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios también se vale de otras formas legales para lograr que propiedades y vecindarios cumplan con lo señalado por el Código Municipal.


Para explicar un poco estos procesos legales el departamento ofrece un curso gratis llamado 'Educación sobre el Tribunal Municipal' en el cual también se incluye una visita al tribunal para observar estos procedimientos civiles en acción.


La próxima clase es el miércoles 23 de febrero, de 9 a 11:30 a.m. en el edificio City Hall, al oeste de la calle Washington #200. Inscríbase llamando al 602-534-8444.


Las propiedades y hogares limpios y sanos mejoran aún más a nuestra comunidad, por eso, participe llamando al Departamento de Servicio a los Vecindarios al 602-262-7844 o visitando nuestro portal de Internet: www.phoenix.gov/NSD.


Si ha sido testigo de propiedades en mal estado y desea hacer algo al respecto, puede hablar con uno de nuestros representantes de atención al cliente marcando el 602-262-7844 de 7 a.m. a 7 p.m., de lunes a viernes.


Fuera de este horario, puede llamar y dejar su mensaje completo sobre lo que le preocupa. También puede enviar un correo-e a: blight@phoenix.gov. El Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios acepta quejas anónimas, con algunas excepciones.


El Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios se esmera por ser un socio eficaz, comprometido en la construcción de comunidades dinámicas.


La participación y ayuda del vecindario en la resolución de problemas comunitarios constituye la herramienta más importante de la relación entre el departamento y los residentes, para mantener lugares atractivos y saludables.


Usted puede participar uniéndose a su asociación de vecindario o estableciendo su propia organización en su comunidad.


Para recibir un paquete sobre cómo iniciar una asociación llame al Departamento de Servicios a los Vecindarios al 602-495-0113.




Press Release from Phoenix Copwatch to the Media

for National Day Against Police Brutality on March 15

in Phoenix




Phoenix, Ariz.- March 15, 2005-  Local residents will protest police shootings, beatings, and excessive force involving tasers on March 15, 2005, Ninth Annual International Day Against Police Brutality.  Starting with a rally at 4pm at Patriots Square Park in downtown Phoenix, protesters will march to the nearby police station, jails, and other locations to call for an end to police brutality.


Police brutality has been addressed on a grassroots level at International Day Against Police Brutality and National Day Against Police Brutality (October 22) in past years in Phoenix.  The work that Phoenix Copwatch does, and the efforts for justice for Mario Madrigal Jr., who was shot by Mesa Police at age 15, in a series of shootings around the same period, have also contributed to the fight against police brutality.  Since valley police widely use the controversial new technology, Tasers, this is also an issue we wish to address.


The last year, police brutality has been big in the news.  This past October, a woman died after Boston police used pepper bullets, a "less-lethal" weapon, for crowd control after a Red Sox game. In November, three people were shot in one week by Mesa Police, Channel 12 caught the Phoenix police brutalizing a suspect and aired it on TV, and Amnesty

International released a lengthy report on Tasers and excessive force. In February, LAPD killed a 13 year old kid, Florida cops killed a man with pepper spray, a 14 year old Chicago teen suffered cardiac arrest and coma after being Tasered, and another Chicago man died after being Tasered. These stories that got news coverage are only a small sampling of the police

brutality that has occurred recently.






Edición: 699. Del 23 de febrero al 1 de marzo del 2005. Phoenix, AZ.  


Denuncian cacerú} de hispanos


Librada Martú‹ez/Leo Hernández


Pese al trabajo de la Procuradurú} General del Estado para prevenir que las agencias policú}cas incurran en prácticas de perfil racial para detener a conductores, los hispanos se sienten “vigiladosEpor agentes de tránsito quienes, a veces sin motivo, los detienen y los infraccionan.


A David Maldonado lo detuvieron en una zona escolar en Buckeye por presunto exceso de velocidad, y le levantaron una infracción de 210 dólares. Asegura que los agentes detuvieron también a un anglosajón que iba a la misma velocidad, “pero a él lo dejaron irE

Leonel Regalado, quien maneja una camioneta comercial, dice que lo han detenido varias veces sin motivo alguno. “Nos ven chuntarillos y sin saber inglés, y más se encajan. Luego lo tratan a uno muy mal, son muy déspotas.E


Eduardo Hernández, instructor de clases de manejo defensivo en el Instituto Nacional de Seguridad de Tránsito, considera que al hispano “se le carga la manoEen el número de infracciones.

“Los detienen por un motivo mú‹imo, pero luego los infraccionan por no traer licencia ni seguro de auto.E


Hernández dice que los agentes de tránsito están “victimizandoEal hispano. “Lo castigan por no cumplir con una ley que no le dan la oportunidad de cumplir. Lo multan por no traer licencia cuando no lo dejan obtener una.E


Tony Morales, vocero del Departamento de Policú} de Phoenix, negEque sus agentes incurran en prácticas de perfil racial y que en las calles estén al acecho de conductores hispanos.

“La ley nos lo prohú~e, y en nuestro departamento hay cero toleranciaE dijo.




DPS cops murder another person in Phoenix




Officer first tried to use Taser with suspect


The Arizona Republic

Feb. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


ANTHEM - The officer who shot and killed a pedestrian near Anthem tried to first use his Taser before firing his sidearm during a scuffle on an Interstate 17 median.


Department of Public Safety investigators are trying to determine why the unidentified suspect walked onto the highway median Saturday night near Anthem Way, and why he is suspected of throwing rocks at Officer Travis Palmer.


Palmer, 31, fatally shot the suspect at 7 p.m.The shooting led to traffic backups in both directions on I-17.


Steve Volden, a DPS spokesman, said no witnesses or vehicles were found near the shooting scene.


Volden said the suspect, whose name was not released and who did not have ID on him Saturday night, made "aggressive" movements toward Palmer.




It is not really an army. it is a police force the american empire will use to control the citizens of afghanistan with.




Size of Afghan army reaches 20,000

U.S. pumps up force to take on militants


Amir Shah

Associated Press

Feb. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


KABUL, Afghanistan - The number of troops in Afghanistan's new army topped 20,000 Sunday, as the United States steps up training of a force that is supposed to relieve Americans on the front lines against Taliban-led militants.


The 853 soldiers and officers of the 31st Battalion graduated Sunday morning in a joyful ceremony in the capital, Kabul. The Afghan National Army, or ANA, now numbers 20,694 and has another 3,000to 4,000 soldiers in training.


"You young people must encourage others to follow you into the Afghan National Army," Gen. Abdullah, a senior Defense Ministry official who goes by one name, told the soldiers. "You are entrusted with the Afghan nation and must go like men to every corner of the country."


A new, multiethnic army is a key provision of international accords on rebuilding a strong Afghan government. The accords were signed in December 2001 after U.S. forces ousted the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.


On Sunday, the newest battalion marched for their commanders and trainers on a dusty parade ground in eastern Kabul.


When formalities ended, many soldiers performed a traditional Afghan dance while others festooned their Afghan trainers with plastic and paper flowers and posed for photos in groups drawn from across the country's deep ethnic divides.


France helps train the senior officers, Britain the non-commissioned officers and the United States the regular soldiers.


Instructors from other countries, including Romania and Mongolia, train troops on their mainly Soviet-era tanks and artillery.


Several of the new soldiers said they had no fear of joining the battle against insurgents along the rugged Pakistan border.


The Afghan force is intended to replace armed factions tarnished by their role in Afghanistan's brutal civil wars and suspected of involvement in the country's heroin trade. More than 42,000 militiamen have been disarmed under a U.N. program.


The force also is expected to take a growing role in the battle against militants in the country's south and east, often in conjunction with the 17,000-strong U.S. force focused on remote provinces along the Pakistan border.


Recruitment to the new army was initially dogged by desertions and poor pay.


But conditions have improved, and U.S. officials say six battalions will train simultaneously starting next month, up from two at the start of last year. The force is supposed to reach its full strength of 70,000 by the end of next year.


Lt. Col. Mohammed Zahir, commander of the newest battalion, said his men included ethnic Pashtuns, Hazaras and Tajiks, all ready after 11 weeks of basic training "to fight against al-Qaida, Taliban or any other enemy, foreign or internal."


"This fighting or interference is imposed from beyond our borders and we are ready to meet it head-on," Zahir said.




A couple times I have sent you the same article two or three times. When I grab these articles off the web I past them into one of my own web pages that saves them at my web site. Some times I am either deslexic, on drugs, or just an idiot and I enter the same article several times. I modified the program that enters the articles so it will tell me that I am a stupid moron  and refuse to save any articles I try to save more then once. Hre is the new program I wrote. It is written in the language of PERL. The program follows:







require TripodCGI;

use CGI;

$cgi = new CGI;


#get data they entered




# print header stuff

print "Content-type: text/html", "\n\n";

print "<html>\n";

print "<body background=\"nevada.gif\">\n";


if ($r != 0 ) {

    print "<font size=\"+5\"><SPAN style=\"background-color: rgb(255,0,0)\">YOU IDIOT MIKE YOU ALREADY ADDED THAT TEXT</SPAN></font><p>";



print "news=$news";


print NEWS $news;

print NEWS "\n\n$story_seperator\n\n";



sub did_we_already_enter_that {

my $rc=0;



# read the whole stinking old file to see if this stuff matches




 while(<OLD1>) {


  if ($_ eq $x[0] ) {


   if ($rc != 0 ) {

    goto done;








return $rc;



sub do_rest_of_lines_match {


 # compare all the lines we want to add to

 # all the lines to the current position in the file


 my $rc=0;

 my $j;


 #open the same file a 2nd time and re-read it




 #if were not at the 1st line in the file skip over the lines


 if ($i > 0 ) {

  #print "skipping $i lines<p>";


  # skip over some lines


  for ($j=0;$j<$i;$j++) {





 #we entered $#x plus 1 lines

 #compare the next $#x+1 lines to see if they match


 for ($j=0;$j<=$#x;$j++) {



   if ($_ ne $x[$j]) {

    goto done;




 # they match!!!!

 # that idiot mike entered this text twice





 return $rc;



This is the html for the web page that runs the computer program:




<h1 align=center>Add some news for Kevin and Laro</h1>

 <FORM action="kevin2.pl" METHOD="POST">

 <INPUT type="submit" value="Enter">

 Userid:<INPUT type="text" name="userid" value="" width=10>

 Password:<INPUT type="password" name="password" value="" width=20>


 <textarea name="news" rows="10" cols="70"></textarea>


 <INPUT type="reset" value="clear">


<body background="../nevada.gif">








kevin and laro:


if  sheriff joes goons are refusing to let kevin send or receive letters from laro i suspect it is a violation of kevins first amendment rights. after all kevin has not been convicted or any thing. kevin has not even been to trial. perhaps a title 42 section 1983 lawsuit is needs to be filed? i suspect kevin should start complaining about this


i dont know the answer to this but it might me legal for the thugs that are jailing laro to keep him from sending letters to kevin. probably because laro copped a plea and said he was guilty of crimes.






Suicide bomber kills 115 in Iraq


Associated Press

Feb. 28, 2005 09:20 AM


HILLA, Iraq - A suicide car bomber blasted a crowd of police and national guard recruits Monday as they gathered for physicals outside a medical clinic south of Baghdad, killing at least 115 people and wounding 132 - the single deadliest attack in the two-year insurgency.


Torn limbs and other body parts littered the street outside the clinic in Hillah, a predominantly Shiite area about 60 miles south of Baghdad.


Monday's blast outside the clinic was so powerful it nearly vaporized the suicide bomber's car, leaving only its engine partially intact. The injured were piled into pickup trucks and ambulances and taken to nearby hospitals.


The deadliest previous single attack occurred Aug. 29, 2003, when a car bomb exploded outside a mosque in Najaf, killing more than 85 people, including Shiite leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Although officials never gave a final death toll, there were suspicions it may have been higher.


On March 2, 2004, at least 181 people were killed and 573 were wounded in multiple bombings at Shiite Muslim shrines in Baghdad and Karbala, although those were from a combination of suicide bombers, mortars and planted explosives.


Outside the concrete and brick building in Hillah, people gingerly walked around small lakes of blood pooling on the street. Scorch marks infused with blood covered the clinic's walls and dozens of people helped pile body parts, including arms, feet and limbs, into blankets. Piles of shoes and tattered clothes were thrown into a corner.


Angry crowds gathered outside the hospital chanting "Allah akbar!" - Arabic for "God is great!" - and demanded to know the fate of their relatives.


"I was lined up near the medical center, waiting for my turn for the medical exam in order to apply for work in the police," Abdullah Salih, 22, said. "Suddenly I heard a very big explosion. I was thrown several meters away and I had burns in my legs and hands, then I was taken to the hospital."


Babil province police headquarters said "several people" were arrested in connection with the blast, the biggest confirmed death toll in a single attack since the fall of Saddam Hussein. Insurgents have repeatedly targeted recruits for Iraq's security forces, and the attack comes at a time when Iraqi politicians are trying to form a new government following landmark Jan. 30 elections.


Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Monday that Iraq still needed international forces on the ground while the effort was under way to rebuild Iraqi security forces.


"But we will continue to need and to seek assistance for some time to come," he wrote.


Maj. Gen. Osman Ali, an Iraqi National Guard commander in Hillah, put the toll at 115 dead and 132 wounded. A health official in Babil province said the death toll could rise.


Dia Mohammed, the director of Hillah General Hospital, said most of the victims were recruits waiting to take physicals as part of the application process to join the Iraqi police and national guard.


"I was lucky because I was the last person in line when the explosion took place. Suddenly there was panic, and many frightened people stepped on me. I lost consciousness and the next thing I was aware of was being in the hospital," said recruit Muhsin Hadi, 29. One of his legs was broken in the blast.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the attack and pledged to help the Iraqi government track down those responsible.


"All civilized people should feel nothing but revulsion for the terrorists who can kill innocent Iraqis who only want to help build a new democracy and a better society," he said.


A second car bomb exploded Monday at a police checkpoint in Musayyib, about 20 miles north of Hillah, killing at least one policeman and wounding several others, police said on condition of anonymity.


In Baghdad, the U.S. military said it was investigating the death of a U.S. soldier who was shot while manning a traffic checkpoint in the capital a day earlier. Nearly 1,500 U.S. troops have died since the war began in March 2003.


Iraqi troops blocked main avenues leading to and from Firdous Square, the roundabout in central Baghdad where Iraqis toppled a statue of Saddam on April 9, 2003. Occasional shots and bursts of automatic weapons fire could be heard during the sweep of the Battaween area, know locally as the Sudanese district.


Several people believed to be Sudanese were seen being arrested by police. Some of Baghdad's past suicide bombers have in the past been identified as Sudanese.


In al-Mashahda, 25 miles north of Baghdad, police found three unidentified corpses with their hands tied together with plastic cuffs, police commissioner Abbas Abdul Ridha said.


The Hillah suicide bombing came one day after Iraqi officials announced that Syria had captured and handed over Saddam Hussein's half brother, a most-wanted leader in the Sunni-based insurgency, in the latest in a series of arrests of important insurgent figures that the Iraqi government hopes will deal a crushing blow to violent opposition forces.


The arrest of Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan also ended months of Syrian denials it was harboring fugitives from the ousted Saddam regime. Iraq authorities said Damascus acted in a gesture of goodwill.


Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, who shared a mother with Saddam, was arrested along with 29 other fugitive members of the former dictator's Baath Party in Hasakah in northeastern Syria, 30 miles from the Iraqi border, officials said Sunday on condition of anonymity. The U.S. military in Iraq had no comment.


In an interview published Monday in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Syrian President Bashar Assad denied U.S. accusations his regime lets militants slip across the Iraqi border. He said Washington blames Damascus in order to cover for its strategic mistakes in Iraq.


"Washington accuses us of failing to cooperate, of nurturing the guerrilla," he said. "But in reality they are asking us to remedy to their mistakes: the dissolution of the state, of military forces."


Syria is under intense pressure from the United States, the United Nations, France and Israel to drop its support for radical groups in the Middle East, to stop harboring Iraqi fugitives and to remove its troops from Lebanon.


A week ago, authorities grabbed a key associate and the driver of Jordanian-born terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and believed to be the inspiration of the ongoing bombings, beheadings and attacks on Iraqi and American forces. Iraqi officials said they expect to take al-Zarqawi soon.




Judge rebukes president

Says Bush must charge terror suspect or release him


Mark Sherman

Associated Press

Mar. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Monday to either charge terrorism suspect Jose Padilla with a crime or release him after more than 2 1/2 years in custody.


U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, S.C., said the government cannot hold Padilla indefinitely as an "enemy combatant," a designation President Bush gave him in 2002.


"The court finds that the president has no power, neither express nor implied, neither constitutional nor statutory, to hold petitioner as an enemy combatant," Floyd wrote in a 23-page opinion that was a stern rebuke to the government. He gave the administration 45 days to take action.


"We think that this is a wonderful decision," said Padilla's attorney, Andy Patel, as Padilla waited on another line. "It is one of those moments that all Americans should be proud of."


The Justice Department did not immediately comment on the ruling.


The administration has said Padilla, a former Chicago gang member, sought to blow up hotels and apartment buildings in the United States in addition to planning an attack with a "dirty bomb" radiological device.


Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 2002 after returning from Pakistan. The federal government has said he received training from members of al-Qaida.


Padilla is one of two U.S. citizens designated as enemy combatants. The second, Louisiana native Yaser Hamdi, was released in October after the Justice Department said he no longer posed a threat to the United States and no longer had any intelligence value.






DUIs could end cops’ careers

By Kim Smith, Tribune

February 28, 2005

Whenever Rod Covey hears about a police officer being arrested for drunken driving, he remembers the officer caught stealing a $3 tube of toothpaste.


She was convicted of shoplifting, fired from her job and lost her police officer certification.


Officers convicted of DUI rarely need worry about losing their certification, however.


Unless they resign or are fired, the state board that grants and revokes police certification never even learns their names.


Covey, a member of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board and an assistant director with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, wants that to change.


Police agencies should be required to tell the board whenever one of their officers is convicted of DUI — even if the officer isn’t fired, Covey said. Once notified of such cases, the board could decide to investigate and eventually suspend or revoke an officer’s certification.


Covey pointed to a case before the board last week that if he has his way would have led to decertification.


Covey was one of four board members who voted to investigate a former Tempe officer who crashed into two cars while driving with a 0.21 blood-alcohol level, well over the 0.08 legal limit.


But five other members voted not to take action against the officer, who was fired by Tempe police officials and whose certification expires in June.


"If someone is convicted of DUI and the (standards board) does absolutely nothing, to me that sends mixed messages to the public. It sends mixed messages to the officers as far as what is important," Covey said. "You can’t tell me being 0.21 does not lessen public confidence in that officer."


Board members will discuss Covey’s suggestion March 16.


The topic is a sensitive one and will require much discussion in the law enforcement community, said Tom Hammarstrom, the board’s executive director.


Nobody disagrees it’s bad for a police officer to be arrested for DUI, but "the question is about the board’s relationship with the agencies within the law enforcement community," Hammarstrom said.


"There’s a reluctance, and I think an appropriate reluctance, for the board to reach over the top of the chief of police or the sheriff who’s made a decision about discipline and that decision was not to terminate, but to take some other disciplinary action."


Many times, agencies base their disciplinary action on the size of their communities, Hammarstrom said.


"There isn’t equity in discipline throughout the state and we understand that," he said. "If an officer in a very small community . . . is arrested for DUI it has more of a significant impact on the community trust in law enforcement than, if say, a Phoenix law enforcement officer were to be apprehended."


Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert and Chandler police officers can receive anything from a reprimand to termination, but it depends upon the circumstances of the case, representatives of those departments said.


In Mesa, officers are fired if found guilty of a DUI while on duty. If the DUI is committed off-duty and their license is suspended for more than 30 days, they are also fired. If it’s suspended for fewer than 30 days, they are suspended without pay, or can take supervisor-approved vacation, until their license is reinstated.


Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies with clean disciplinary records face a one-day suspension for a first-time DUI and a 30-day suspension or dismissal for an extreme DUI, said Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who opposes the proposal.


At last week’s board meeting, board member and Navajo County Sheriff Gary Butler agreed the board needs to consider taking action in DUI cases. Deputies who are convicted of DUI in his department and who do not resign are fired. "It’s a question of credibility," he said.


Between Jan. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2004, 21 officers convicted of DUI have appeared before the board, said Bob Forry, the board’s compliance manager. In every instance, the officers had been fired by their respective agencies.


In 11 cases, the officers were involved in crashes while under the influence. In eight cases, the board took no action. They revoked five officers’ certification and suspended two others. They placed notes in six other officers’ files.


Years ago, Covey said he remembers writing DUI tickets that were later reduced to speeding tickets because drinking and driving was socially acceptable.


"Well, it’s not socially acceptable anymore. It kills people," Covey said. "It’s a crime we need to put on the forefront, and as police agencies we have a responsibility to treat it as seriously as we’re asking the courts to treat it."


Contact Kim Smith by email, or phone (480) 898-6334






High court strikes down death penalty for juveniles; 4 in Ariz.


Associated Press

Mar. 1, 2005 11:05 AM


WASHINGTON - A closely divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it's unconstitutional to execute juvenile killers, ending a practice in Arizona and 18 other states that has been roundly condemned by many of America's closest allies.


The 5-4 decision throws out the death sentences of 72 murderers who were under 18 when they committed their crimes and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes.


The executions, the court said, violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.


"The age of 18 is the point where society draws the line for many purposes between childhood and adulthood. It is, we conclude, the age at which the line for death eligibility ought to rest," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.


The ruling continues the court's practice of narrowing the scope of the death penalty, which justices reinstated in 1976. Executions for those 15 and younger when they committed their crimes were outlawed in 1988. Three years ago justices banned death sentences for the mentally retarded.


Tuesday's ruling prevents states from making 16- and 17-year-olds eligible for execution.


Juvenile offenders have been put to death in recent years in only a few other countries, including Iran, Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia. Kennedy cited international opposition to the practice.


"It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty, resting in large part on the understanding that the instability and emotional imbalance of young people may often be a factor in the crime," he wrote.


Kennedy noted most states don't allow the execution of juvenile killers and those that do use the penalty infrequently. The trend, he said, is to abolish the practice because "our society views juveniles ... as categorically less culpable than the average criminal."


In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia disputed that there is a trend and chastised his colleagues for taking power from the states.


"The court says in so many words that what our people's laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: 'In the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty,' " he wrote.


"The court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our nation's moral standards," Scalia wrote.


Death penalty opponents quickly cheered the ruling.


"Today, the court repudiated the misguided idea that the United States can pledge to leave no child behind while simultaneously exiling children to the death chamber," said William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.


"Now the U.S. can proudly remove its name from the embarrassing list of human rights violators that includes China, Iran, and Pakistan that still execute juvenile offenders," he said.


Dianne Clements, president of the Houston-based Justice for All victims' advocacy group, criticized the decision and said she hopes that when there is a Supreme Court vacancy a strong death penalty supporter is nominated.


"The Supreme Court has opened the door for more innocent people to suffer by 16 and 17 year olds," she said. "I can't wait for the Supreme Court to have judges more concerned with American values, American statutes and American law than what the Europeans think."


The Supreme Court has permitted states to impose capital punishment since 1976. Twenty-two of the people put to death since then were juveniles when they committed their crimes. Texas executed the most, 13, and also has the most on death row now - 29.


More than 3,400 inmates await execution in the 38 states that allow death sentences.


Justices were called on to draw an age line for executions after Missouri's highest court overturned the death sentence given to Christopher Simmons, who was 17 when he kidnapped a neighbor, hog-tied her and threw her off a bridge in 1993. Prosecutors say he planned the burglary and killing of Shirley Crook and bragged that he could get away with it because of his age.


The four most liberal Supreme Court justices - John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer - had gone on record in 2002 opposing the death penalty for juveniles, calling it "shameful." Those four, joined by Kennedy, formed Tuesday's decision.


Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia in seeking to uphold the executions.


Justice Sandra Day O'Connor filed a separate dissent, arguing that a blanket rule against juvenile executions was misguided. Case-by-case determinations of a young offenders' maturity is the better approach, she wrote.


"The court's analysis is premised on differences in the aggregate between juveniles and adults, which frequently do not hold true when comparing individuals," she said. "Chronological age is not an unfailing measure of psychological development, and common experience suggests that many 17-year-olds are more mature than the average young 'adult.' "


The 19 states allow executions for people under age 18 are Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Texas and Virginia.


The federal government does not execute juveniles.


The case is Roper v. Simmons, 03-633.




On the Net:


The decision in Roper v. Simmons in available at:








 on Saddam tribunal slain


Associated Press

Mar. 2, 2005 06:15 AM


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen killed a judge and lawyer working for the tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and members of his former regime, a day after the secret court referred five of the ousted dictator's aides to trial for alleged crimes against humanity, officials and a relative of the slain men said Wednesday.


News of the deaths came as two car bombs exploded in the capital, killing 10 Iraqi soldiers and wounding dozens of others. The first blast targeted an Iraqi army base in central Baghdad, killing six troops and wounding at least 25. A second car bomb an hour later at an army checkpoint in south Baghdad killed four soldiers, police said.


The two slain men were judge Barwez Mohammed Mahmoud al-Merwani and his son, lawyer Aryan Barwez al-Merwani, according to the judge's son, Kikawz Barwez Mohammed al-Merwani. He said gunmen in a speeding car raked the pair with gunfire as they were trying to get into a vehicle outside their home. advertisement


The shootings in northern Baghdad's Azamyiah district on Tuesday marked the first time any legal staff working for the Iraqi Special Tribunal have been killed, a court official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.


A day before the killings, the tribunal had issued referrals for five former regime members - including one of Saddam's half brothers - for crimes against humanity. Referrals are similar to indictments, and are the final step before trials can start.


It wasn't immediately clear, however, if the killings were related to the court actions.


While a tribunal official indicated the shootings may have been due to a personal dispute, the judge's surviving son disagreed. He said the two were assassinated either because they worked for the court, or because they were minority Kurds.


"We believe that the murder is politically motivated, because the two killed were working in the special tribunal and the son was a senior member in the PUK office in Baghdad. The late judge had no personal problems with anybody at all," the son said. "This is a terrorist act carried out by Baathists and terrorists."


The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is one of two key northern Kurdish parties. U.S. authorities dissolved Saddam's former ruling Baath party after ousting him from power.


Despite the heavy presence of U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad, many parts of the city remain lawless and it can be difficult to distinguish between insurgent killings and common crimes. Iraqis perceived as collaborating with U.S. and the government are targeted relentlessly.


Judges and other legal staff working at the court have not even been identified in public because of concerns for their safety, and tribunal officials have kept a low-profile for the same reason, even refusing to say where the court is located.


The Iraqi Special Tribunal was set up in late 2003 after Saddam was toppled. But after five potential candidates were killed, some judges declined calls to work at the court. At least half of the tribunal's budget has gone to security.


The court official said the slain judge was one of more than 60 investigative, appellate and trial judges working at the court. An official familiar with the court said al-Merwani was an investigative judge.


The killing came just one day after five former members of Saddam Hussein's regime - including one of his half brothers - were referred to trial for crimes against humanity.


The announcement Monday by the tribunal marked the first time that the special court issued referrals. No date was given for that trial.


The five referred to trial Monday included Barzan Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, one of Saddam's half brothers, and former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan. The three others were senior Baath Party members.


U.S. military officials transferred 12 of the top defendants to Iraqi custody in June with the handover of sovereignty. They're being held at an undisclosed location near Baghdad International Airport, west of the capital.


The first car bomb exploded outside an Iraqi army base in central Baghdad that occupies the former Muthanna airport, which has been targeted by insurgents several times over the last year.


An Interior Ministry security official, Ayad Hadi al-Maliki, said six people were killed and 25 people were wounded in the blast 15 of them civilians.


The explosion could be heard across the city, and a plume of black smoke billowed into the air afterward. Flames leapt from two destroyed civilian vehicles. Debris from the blast was strewn around the area, and witnesses said the severed head of a female soldier lay on the ground.


U.S. and Iraqi troops blocked roads and sealed off the area after the attack, preventing people from entering. Helicopters hovered overhead.


Police officer Salam Hashim Mahmoud said the bomber drove up to the base gate, where army recruits normally line up to apply for jobs. Residents said Iraqi security forces opened fire after the incident.


About an hour later, another car bomb exploded in southern Baghdad's Doura neighborhood, killing four Iraqi soldiers at an army checkpoint and wounding three others, police said on condition of anonymity.




Saddam tribunal judge, lawyer are assassinated


Wire services

Mar. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - A judge and a lawyer with the special tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and former members of his government were shot and killed Tuesday morning by gunmen outside their home here, Iraqi officials said.


It was the first time a member of the tribunal is known to have been assassinated, although a number of criminal and civil judges have been killed here in recent months.


The judge, Par wiz Mohammed Mahout al-Marana, 59, was killed a day after the Iraqi Special Tribunal announced the first charges in the approaching trials of former senior officials in Saddam's government. His son, Aryan Mahout al-Merani, 26, who also worked at the tribunal as a lawyer, was killed with him, according to officials at Iraq's Interior Ministry. advertisement


Three men drove up and fired automatic weapons at the two men around 9 a.m. as they stood outside their family home in Adhamiya, a largely Sunni Arab neighborhood that has been a center of insurgent activity. Witnesses saw the attackers speeding away in a green Opel sedan without license plates, the officials said.


The 400 or so tribunal members, including about 100 judges and lawyers, have been provided with security guards, and their names have largely been kept secret to forestall assassination attempts.


Elsewhere on Tuesday, seven Iraqi police officers were killed in four incidents in and around Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.


In Hillah, thousands of mostly black-clad Iraqis protested outside a medical clinic where a suicide car bomber killed 125 people a day earlier, braving the threat of another attack as they waved clenched fists, condemned foreign fighters and chanted, "No to terrorism!"


Police prevented people from parking cars in front of the clinic or the hospital, where authorities blocked hospital gates with barbed wire to stave off hundreds of victims' relatives desperate for information on loved ones.


The demonstration in this town 60 miles south of the capital came as the Shiite candidate for prime minister traveled north for talks with the Kurds about a coalition government and as the number of American dead in the Iraqi war neared 1,500.






Prison bill riles Mexico


Chris Hawley

Republic Mexico City Bureau

Mar. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


MEXICO CITY - Mexico has rejected a proposal by some Arizona lawmakers to move undocumented inmates to a privately run prison south of the border, calling it an "insult" to Mexico's sovereignty.


A bill moving through the Arizona House of Representatives would allow the state to contract a prison in Mexico to hold undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes in the United States.


The House Government Affairs Committee approved the bill last week, and a delegation of Arizona lawmakers planned to bring up the idea during a visit to Sonora today. advertisement


But the government of President Vicente Fox has said it would be unthinkable for Mexicans to keep fellow citizens imprisoned for crimes that weren't committed in Mexico.


"To build any structure of that type would require authorization of the Mexican government, authorization that we are not going to give," Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said during a news conference Monday.


"I don't know where that (idea) came from - it had to have been dreamed up by, well, I'm not going to use the word, but some people in the United States," Derbez said, according to a transcript released late Monday.


Arizonans pay $80 million to $100 million a year to house the 4,000 undocumented immigrants in state prisons, said Rep. Russ Jones, R-Yuma, the bill's chief proponent. He said the measure is simply aimed at saving money.


"This (bill) is simply realizing that we have an issue, and trying to resolve the issue in the most reasonable and humanitarian way," Jones said.


But the Mexican government doesn't see it that way, Derbez said.


"I believe that not only is it wrong, it's something that shouldn't even have been brought up," Derbez said. "It's an insult to even have made a suggestion of this nature when it is clear and evident that the government of Mexico, this administration at least, is in no way going to permit this type of activity."


Jones said he and other members of the Arizona House and Senate still intended to pitch the idea to Sonora state officials during a visit today to Hermosillo. "I think we could provide jobs down there. I think it will be a good thing," said state Sen. Robert Blendu, R-Litchfield Park, another member of the delegation. "We should be able to compromise on this."


Reporter Chip Scutari contributed to this article.






Groups sue Rumsfeld over prisoner abuse


Los Angeles Times

Mar. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - Seeking to link the U.S. military command to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American Civil Liberties Union and a human rights organization sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and three Army commanders Tuesday on behalf of former detainees, charging that the military authorized illegal interrogation techniques.


The federal lawsuit charges that Rumsfeld ordered the "abandonment of our nation's inviolable and deep-rooted prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners.


The legal action stems from some of the well-documented instances of prisoner mistreatment in the Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. However, it also includes less-known examples of abuse at other sites in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The lawsuit was filed in on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghanis by the ACLU and the group Human Rights First.


The Pentagon denied that it had "approved of, sanctioned, or condoned as a matter of policy detainee abuse."






Student paper ruffles ASU


By Jason Emerson, Tribune


Arizona State University is threatening legal action against a fledgling off-campus newspaper if it doesn’t stop using "ASU" in its name.


ASU Underground has drawn the ire of ASU officials less than two months after its first issue.


Ben Powers, publisher and editor, received a letter this week from a law firm saying ASU owns exclusive rights to the ASU brand under federal law. The brand can be used as part of a newspaper title or logo only with the permission of the university.


"The law requires the University to police its mark and to stop others from making any uses of the ASU mark, like yours, that would be likely to cause confusion," the letter says. "Hence, under trademark law, the University has no choice but to do whatever it takes to stop your unauthorized use of the ASU mark both in your domain name and the newspaper name."


Powers, a journalism and history major at ASU, said the university is forcing him to choose between legal action or principle.


He said the third edition of the independent student-run paper, which was published today, has a new title — ASYOU Underground — as a concession to the university.


"They could file a lawsuit and sue us for their attorney fees," he said. "We don’t want to anger anyone. We just want

to prove a point that it’s ridiculous."


But, Powers said he plans to change it back in the future, even though he recognizes he’s risking legal action.


Mark Goodman, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va., said the watchdog group is ready to help and support the publication.


Goodman said it’s frustrating that ASU didn’t try to resolve the issue without lawyers.


"My guess is if another university had a problem with trademark issues, they’d have the decency to call the editor and talk about it first," Goodman said.


ASU officials said Tuesday the university frequently sends similar letters to businesses that try to use its name as part of theirs. "We would not authorize the use of ‘ASU’ in any way in the logo for the publication," ASU’s legal department said.


The university said it doesn’t object to the use of ASU in a subhead, such as a line that says the paper covers the ASU community, but doesn’t want it in the main title.


Contact Jason Emerson by email, or phone (480) 898-6568






Bill would allow guns in schools, anywhere

Concealed-weapons measure gets preliminary House OK

By Howard Fischer



PHOENIX - The House of Representatives voted Tuesday to let people carry weapons - including guns, grenades, rockets, mines and sawed-off shotguns - into schools, polling places and nuclear plants if they claim they're only trying to protect themselves.


The vote on the legislation came after Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix, pointed out it would bar prosecution of those who want to bring a weapon into the House or Senate. Despite that, lawmakers gave it preliminary approval on a 30-16 margin.


But what's in House Bill 2666 surprised even Rep. Doug Quelland, R-Phoenix, who introduced the legislation and shepherded it through the House. He said he had no idea the legislation, crafted by constituents he wouldn't identify, was so broad that it would provide a catchall exemption in the state's weapons laws.


Quelland said he wants to ensure that those who carry a concealed weapon without getting the required state permit do not wind up being charged with a crime.


He said that, if it were up to him, anyone would be able to carry a weapon in a pocket or purse or in a holster beneath a jacket without getting state permission. Quelland said only people who prey on others should be prosecuted under gun laws.


But he conceded that's not what his bill does.


Current statutes list a series of acts that are a crime. These range from carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and having a deadly weapon on school grounds, to possessing certain "prohibited weapons," which includes bombs, grenades and automatic rifles.


The restrictions do not apply to peace officers, members of the military, correctional officers and anyone specifically authorized under state and federal law to have these weapons.


HB 2666 would add a new exemption: any U.S. citizen "who carries a deadly weapon for personal protection or the protection of others." The exception also extends to those who are protecting "the state" as well as any home - whether or not the person lives there.


Some of the weapons that would be allowed under this legislation might still be banned under federal law. But Miranda warned his colleagues to consider what they are proposing.


"Even if the speaker (of the House) sent me a letter saying that I was not to carry a weapon into this House, I could do so," he said. Miranda said he could not be prosecuted "so long as I said I was there to protect myself from anyone."


He said it is a loophole waiting to be exploited by anyone caught with a gun - or other weapon - where he or she was not supposed to have one.


But Quelland, on the House floor, defended his measure.


Two parents in Tucson said they were opposed to the bill, especially if it allowed people to carry concealed weapons onto school campuses.


"I don't see any benefits to allowing anyone to carry a concealed weapon," said Kendal Morgan, whose son attends University High School.


"You have a lot of characters running around out there that shouldn't be carrying weapons," he said.


Carol Mack, whose daughter attends Cienega High School, said that while she is an advocate for gun ownership, she doesn't think concealed weapons belong on high school or university campuses. "If you're afraid to go to a college campus without a weapon, I think we need more security," she said.


Todd Rathner, a member of the NRA's national board of directors, said that while the NRA had not focused on the bill, he agreed with it in spirit.


The bill would not increase public danger, and would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon for the purposes of protection.


"Carrying a concealed weapon should not be a crime," said Rathner, a Tucson resident.


Legislation against guns should focus on people who commit crimes, he said.


It was only later, when asked about the bill by Capitol Media Services, that Quelland admitted he had no idea the "defense" exemption in his legislation was so broad.


What happens now, he said, is he will ask the House to give the measure final approval, as it is too late to amend it. But Quelland promised to scale the measure back when it is debated in the Senate.


There was no recorded vote Tuesday nor any way of getting a full list of who supported the legislation. That will not occur until a final required roll call that has not yet been scheduled.


No Southern Arizona lawmakers signed on as sponsors of the measure.


This bill was one of two gun-related measures that gained House support on Tuesday.


A second allows anyone who gets a permit to carry a concealed weapon to keep that permission for life. Gone would be the requirement to renew the license every four years, undergo a new background check and attend a firearms refresher course.


HB 2325 also would cut the required hours of initial training to get a permit in half, to eight hours.


The votes come as another measure making its way through the legislative process would repeal laws that preclude someone from having a firearm where alcohol is served. SB 1363, awaiting Senate debate, would permit guns if the bar or restaurant owner does not post a written notice, and if the patron promises not to imbibe.


&#9679; Star reporter Aaron Mackey contributed to this story.




Why do I keep saying Good Bye Vietnam, Hello Iraq




U.S. troop deaths in Iraq top 1,500


Associated Press

Mar. 3, 2005 08:20 AM


BAGHDAD, Iraq - The number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq has topped 1,500, an Associated Press count showed Thursday after the military announced the deaths of three Americans, while car bombs targeting Iraqi security forces killed at least four people in separate attacks.


Two suicide car bombs exploded outside the Interior Ministry in eastern Baghdad Thursday, killing at least two policemen and wounding five others, police Maj. Jabar Hassan said. Officials at nearby al-Kindi hospital said 15 people were injured in the blasts, part of the relentless wave of violence since the Jan. 30 elections.


Another car bomb targeting a police convoy exploded in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of the capital, killing one Iraqi policeman and a civilian, the U.S. military said. Six police and 10 other civilians were also wounded.


Amid the violence, interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi extended the state of emergency, first announced nearly four months ago, for another 30 days until the end of March. The order remains in effect throughout the country, except in northern Kurdish-run areas.


The emergency decree includes a nighttime curfew and gives the government extra powers to make arrests without warrants and launch police and military operations when it deems necessary.


The latest reported American deaths brought the toll to 1,502 since the United States launched the war in Iraq in March 2003, according to the AP count.


The military said two U.S. troops died Wednesday in Baghdad of injuries suffered when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle. Another soldier was killed the same day in Babil province, part of an area known as the "Triangle of Death" because of the frequency of insurgent attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces.


At least 1,140 Americans have died as a result of hostile action, according to the Defense Department. The figures include four military civilians.


Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,364 U.S. military members have died, according to the AP count. That includes at least 1,030 deaths resulting from hostile action, the military said.


The tally is based on Pentagon records and AP reporting from Iraq.


The U.S. exit strategy is dependent on handing over responsibility for security to Iraq's fledgling army and police forces. Forming Iraq's first democratically elected coalition government is turning out to be a laborious process.


The car bombers in Baghdad were trailing a police convoy that was trying to enter the Interior Ministry, Hassan said. Iraqi security forces opened fire on the vehicles and disabled them before they could arrive at a main checkpoint, said Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman, an Interior Ministry spokesman.


Iraqi forces also killed one Iraqi man during clashes with gunmen in the northern city of Mosul, army Capt. Sabah Yassin said. Two soldiers were injured.


Also in the north, insurgents blew up a gas pipeline that links Kirkuk to Dibis, about 20 miles away, said Col. Nozad Mohammad, a state oil security official in Kirkuk. Mohammad said the blast would cut gas production, but he could not say by how much.


Talks aimed at forging a new coalition government faltered Wednesday over Kurdish demands for more land and concerns that the dominant Shiite alliance seeks to establish an Islamic state, delaying the planned first meeting of parliament.


Shiite and Kurdish leaders, Iraq's new political powers, failed to reach agreement after two days of negotiations in the northern city of Irbil, with the clergy-backed candidate for prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, leaving with only half the deal he needed.


The Shiite-led United Iraqi Alliance, which has 140 seats in the 275-member National Assembly, hopes to win backing from the 75 seats held by Kurdish political parties so it can muster the required two-thirds majority to insure control of top posts in the new government.


Al-Jaafari indicated after the talks that the alliance was ready to accept a Kurdish demand that one of its leaders, Jalal Talabani, become president. However, he would not commit to other demands, including the expansion of Kurdish autonomous areas south to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.


Kurdish leaders have demanded constitutional guarantees for their northern regions, including self-rule and reversal of the "Arabization" of Kirkuk and other northern areas. Saddam relocated Iraqi Arabs to the region in a bid to secure the oil fields there.


Politicians had hoped to convene the new parliament by Sunday. But Ali Faisal, of the Shiite Political Council, said the date was now postponed and that a new date had not been set.


"The blocs failed to reach an understanding over the formation of the government," said Faisal, whose council is part of the United Iraqi Alliance.


The Kurds, he added, were "the basis of the problem" in the negotiations.


"The Kurds are wary about al-Jaafari's nomination to head the government. They are concerned that a strict Islamic government might be formed," Faisal said. "Negotiations and dialogue are ongoing."


In another twist, alliance deputy and former Pentagon favorite Ahmad Chalabi was to meet Thursday with Allawi, whose party won 40 seats in the assembly. It was unclear why the meeting between the two rivals was taking place.


Both are secular Shiites opposed to making Iraq an Islamic state. Concerns over a possible theocracy are especially pertinent because the main task of the new assembly will be to write a constitution.


Elsewhere, Saddam Hussein's lead lawyer said Tuesday's shooting deaths of a judge and his lawyer son, both appointed to the Iraqi Special Tribunal to try the former Iraqi leader and his top henchmen, show the country remains too dangerous for such trials. The shootings marked the first time any legal staff working for the court have been killed.


"I can't imagine how the court would begin," Ziad al-Khasawneh told the AP in Tokyo. "The streets are burning, the judges are killed. ... The advocates and the judge, they need a quiet area to read, to study, to discuss. It is impossible to make these things this year, or after this year."






School violated Muslim's rights

British court rules against prohibition on traditional dress


Don Melvin

Cox News Service

Mar. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


LONDON - Britain's Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that a school violated the religious rights of a teenager when it prevented her from wearing traditional, full-length Muslim dress, in a case that could have implications for all of Europe.


The case pitted the rights of Britain's growing Muslim population against the rights of schools to set their own dress codes. An estimated 1.5 million of Britain's 60 million residents are Muslim.


The court based its ruling on the European Convention on Human Rights. Many of the continent's countries are struggling to find a balance between tolerance of minority cultures and the preservation of core Western and secular values.


A new law took effect last September in France, for example, prohibiting students from wearing in public schools clothing or symbols that "conspicuously manifest the religious affiliation of the pupils," a law that was widely seen as aimed at Muslim headscarves.


Some German states also have barred Muslim teachers and pupils from wearing headscarves.


Europe now has 15 million Muslims, and the Muslim population is growing faster than its non-Muslim population.


Shabina Begum, 16, was sent home from Denbigh High School in Luton, north of London, in September 2002, for wearing a jilbab, which covers the entire body except for the face and hands.


The school has 1,000 students, 79 percent of whom are Muslim. Students are allowed to wear the shalwar kameez, a traditional suit of loose-fitting shirt and pants. But school officials had argued that allowing students to wear a jilbab might lead to divisions, with some students thinking they are more devout than others.


Begum, who now attends a different school, argued that her dismissal was illegal based on article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Britain was one of the architects of that document, which came into force in 1953.


Britain has no law prohibiting the jilbab in school. The Court of Appeal said that school officials had failed to justify their decision.




It is nice to see war monger rice pissed off




Canada's missile stance disappoints Rice, U.S.


Anne Gearan

Associated Press

Mar. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


LONDON - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday told Canadian diplomats of her disappointment over Ottawa's decision to opt out of a U.S.-led anti-ballistic missile shield program.


U.S. officials have made no secret of their unhappiness with the Canadian stance. Last week, Rice deferred plans to visit America's northern neighbor early in her tenure at the State Department, although her spokesman said the change was not a sign of Rice's displeasure.


Canadian diplomats requested a short meeting Tuesday with Rice on the sidelines of an international conference on Palestinian reform. She met for 10 to 15 minutes with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, said a Bush administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.


The official said Rice made clear her disappointment with Canada's stance.


Canada announced its decision on the missile defense system last week, setting off a prickly exchange between the U.S. ambassador to Canada and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. U.S.-Canadian relations were already clouded by strong Canadian opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.


At the White House, presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said the missile defense issue was likely to come up at a three-way meeting this month among President Bush, Martin and Mexican President Vicente Fox.


In Washington, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said Rice will meet with her Canadian counterpart and discuss a "mutually convenient date" for her trip.


A visit to Canada had been among Rice's early priorities as secretary of State. She plans to visit the United States' southern neighbor, Mexico, next week.


Martin said last Friday that the United States must get permission before firing on incoming missiles over Canada.






Judge faults job in brutal murders of spouse, mom


Mike Robinson

Associated Press

Mar. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


CHICAGO - U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow told a newspaper on Wednesday that she fears the murders of her husband and mother may have been related to her job, saying she is furious over what she called a "coldblooded" attack.


"If someone was angry at me, they should go after me. It's not fair to go after my family," Lefkow said in an interview posted on the Web site of the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday. "It was just coldblooded. Who would do this? I'm just furious."


Lefkow's remarks came as two of her colleagues called for greater security for federal judges and their families following the murders of her husband, Michael, and her 89-year-old mother, Donna Humphrey.


Investigators are hoping that an abundance of physical evidence left behind from the murders on Monday will point to specific suspects.


"This horrible tragedy has got to serve as the basis for a substantial increase in security for judges and their families," said U.S. District Judge Wayne R. Andersen. "The Internet is plastered with information about every one of us."


The shooting came a month before White supremacist Matthew Hale was to be sentenced by another judge for soliciting an undercover FBI informant to murder Lefkow, who had ordered Hale to change the name of his extremist group as part of a trademark lawsuit.


Both victims had been shot multiple times, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, and a source told the Associated Press that police found two .22-caliber casings at the scene. Investigators believe the victims were forced to lie on the basement floor before being shot, the Chicago Tribune said, citing unnamed sources.


A federal source who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity said a shard of broken glass in the Lefkow home contained a fingerprint. The source said police also were analyzing a bloody footprint left at the home.


Lefkow said she never thought her job would endanger her family.


"I think we all sort of go into this thinking it's a possibility, but you don't think it's going to happen to you because it's so unthinkable," she told the Chicago Tribune.






Prankster planning crime wave

Briton targeting only weird laws


Shelley Emling

Cox News Service

Mar. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


LONDON - Richard Smith is a British criminal mastermind who freely admits to planning a major crime spree across 26 U.S. states this summer.


But Americans need not be overly worried. It's only the weird laws he plans to break.


Smith, 23, said he will try to avoid police detection as he hunts whales in landlocked Utah and utters the words "oh boy" in Jonesboro, Ga. He will also skirt the law by playing golf on the streets of Albany, N.Y., and appearing in public in Miami wearing a strapless gown.


"My favorite law is the one banning the hunting of whales in Utah, because you couldn't catch a whale there no matter how hard you tried," said Smith, a journalism student at Cornwall College.


Smith will set off in late July from Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay along with his partner in crime, fellow student Luke Bateman, 20.


Their 18,000-mile journey likely will take eight weeks to complete and will wind up in Hartford, Conn., where it is illegal to cross the road while walking on one's hands.


"I had actually hoped someone would try to talk me out of this idea, but so far everyone thinks it's a stupid - but great - thing for me to spend my summer doing," Smith said.


Inspiration for the criminal crusade came while Smith was playing a board game called Balderdash with a 12-year-old neighbor. It included details of a law that forbids widows in Florida from going parachuting on Sundays.


"I knew I couldn't break that one, but I became really interested in why all of these odd laws are on the books," he said.


Smith began researching America's strangest laws and came up with his favorite 40.


"If I was going to break as many laws as possible I could break about 300, because there are just so many silly laws," he said. "But things like spitting on the sidewalk are too easy, and I can actually see why that kind of law is on the books. Spit is disgusting."


Not all of the laws are going to be easy to run afoul of. For example, Smith said that it is illegal to drive around the town square in Oxford, Miss., more than 100 times on a single occasion. "There are no (traffic circles), so this could take a while," he said.


It also might be tough to fall asleep in a cheese factory in South Dakota.




in this article i would say who gives a rats ass - another person gets busted for having $40 worth of crack. but in this case the cops were willing to waste the resourses of having a helicoptor follow the guy around on foot to make the bust. even if you think the drug war is legal, which i dont it seems like a huge waste of police resources having a helicoptor which costs several hunders of dollars an hour to operate to follow around a guy to bust him for buying one rock of crack. but then that echo one of my matras in that the drug war is a jobs program for high paid cops.




Mesa math teacher seized in drug case


JJ Hensley

The Arizona Republic

Mar. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


A Mesa schoolteacher who admitted smoking crack cocaine before school, left campus Tuesday and bought more drugs before officers arrested him during a traffic stop, Mesa police said Wednesday.


Police found $40 worth of crack in Shepherd Junior High math teacher David Mark Butler's pocket after stopping his car shortly after 10 a.m., according to a police report.


Court records indicate Butler, 40, told officers who stopped him in the 900 block of West Southern Avenue that he smoked crack at 7 a.m. Tuesday.


He also said he was going to "leave school, pick up a crack rock, drop it off at his house and smoke it later," the records stated.


Butler was booked on suspicion of possessing crack cocaine and driving under the influence. He was later released.


Students joked about Butler doing drugs, said Shepherd student Ciara D'Agostino, 14, "but no one really thought he did it."


On Wednesday, the mood was somber.


"A lot of people were crying," D'Agostino said. "People were close to him, and it's really hard for them to see him put in jail."


Police began investigating Butler two weeks ago, after administrators told the school's police resource officer that Butler was acting erratically, according to police. Parents and students took their concerns to administrators, the statement said, after they also noticed Butler's mood swings, disorganization and departures from his classes while they were in session.


During the investigation, police said the resource officer noticed Butler would leave campus at 10 a.m., which falls during his planning period, and return to school moments before the start of his next class.


Officers in a helicopter followed him Tuesday, said Sgt. Chuck Trapani, a spokesman.


The notion of a teacher smoking crack and coming to school was tough to accept for D'Agostino's father, Gary, but he said it's a sign of the substance-abuse problems throughout society.


"Nobody's immune to it, by any means, but it's probably more impacting on our society when it's people in a position of responsibility," he said.


The district has suspended Butler with pay, officials said.


Reporter Senta Scarborough contributed to this article.


































Monument at Capitol stirs debate

Church-state quandary at high court


Dennis Wagner

The Arizona Republic

Mar. 3, 2005 12:00 AM


As the U.S. Supreme Court heard impassioned arguments Wednesday on the government's right to display religious monuments, Arizona schoolchildren at Wesley Bolin Plaza ambled past a 6-foot-tall cement tablet of the Ten Commandments.


The justices and students pondered nearly identical questions:


Does the First Amendment ban the state from touting a Judeo-Christian moral code?


If government provides a forum for God's message to Moses, does that mean Muslim extremists should be able to post jihadic scripts nearby?


Cruz Sagasta, 59, a Phoenix general contractor and Vietnam veteran, munched on a hamburger and contemplated.


"I'm all for it," Sagasta concluded, nodding toward the chiseled memorial outside Arizona's Capitol. "Those who































do complain, they should get a life. It's like complaining about the word 'God' in the Pledge of Allegiance."


Sagasta seemed less certain when asked whether Wesley Bolin Plaza should also feature Koranic verses or Hindu scripture.


"No," he said. "But, well, I guess there's a double standard there."


The Supreme Court, trying to unblur a fuzzy line in the separation between church and state, has yet to issue a ruling.


One case involves the posting of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky courthouse. The other features a monument in Texas that resembles the Phoenix tablet in content, size and location. A decision in the two cases may come in June.


Promoted DeMille film


Donated in 1964 by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Arizona memorial was commissioned by Hollywood filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille to promote his movie The Ten Commandments, rather than a theological point.


Eleanor Eisenberg, executive director at the ACLU office in Phoenix, said the Texas commandments are identical to Arizona's.


"That's why we haven't sued," she added. "We were watching this case as it came up through the courts."


Eisenberg argued that it is unconstitutional for government to tout one religion to the exclusion of others. She was less definitive in criticizing a publicly owned venue that allows equal access to all faiths.


However, she said, "It's not just a question of choosing one religion over another; it's also a question of choosing any religion over no religion."


In Washington, D.C., justices appear to be seeking a middle ground that allows church symbols and messages on government grounds if they do not amount to state endorsement.


On Wednesday afternoon, the dilemma intrigued kids from Kyrene Akimel A-al, a public middle school in Phoenix. The kids, including 13-year-old Trisha Jones, blurted tenets of the First Amendment in response to a reporter's challenge: "Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech."


Asked whether that means the Supreme Court should leave the Ten Commandments tablets in place, Trisha said, "I think if they do that, they should let other people put up their religious messages, too."


Delbert Case, a 72-year-old visitor from Kansas, took a more dogmatic stand.


"I'm a born-again believer," he explained, "and I believe there is no separation of church and state."


Carol Lambert, 46, a Tempe homemaker, appeared to be praying or reading the commandments as she sat on a bench in the shade.


'A political issue'


"It's interesting that it's a political issue and the element of truth doesn't seem to matter," Lambert said. "There is one true God."


Asked to explain, she said she meant the Christian deity: "The God of truth, of righteousness, of mercy."


"These Ten Commandments are the foundation of our laws, and that's what made this a great nation," Lambert said. "If we teach our kids that we don't need them, that we can throw them away, then we're lying to our kids."






Tyson attacks U.S. judicial system


Associated Press

March 3, 2005


ROME - Mike Tyson criticized the U.S. justice system and said "lies" sent him to prison for three years for rape, during an appearance on Italian television.


The former heavyweight champion, who was convicted in 1992 of raping an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant in Indianapolis, was a guest at a popular Italian music festival.


"I don't respect the judicial system, I think there's a long way to go, even though the United States is a great country," Tyson said Wednesday. "My conviction was based on a lie."


He said many of America's inmates were convicted unjustly.


"The United States, essentially, is an industry that just wants to put people in jail. They just keep building prisons," he said.


Several groups, including an Italian hot line for women to report domestic violence, had asked that Tyson's appearance be canceled. But Fabrizio Del Noce, director of the channel showing the weeklong San Remo Song Festival, declined. He said Tyson had paid his debts with justice.


The rest of Tyson's television appearance was more lighthearted. He started off singing to the tune of a popular Italian song along with the show's host, and ended with a rap version of "New York, New York."


During his interview, Tyson said he has been training for a match scheduled for June in Washington, but did not elaborate.




usually i just put stuff in here about police beating up people, government goons flushing the constitution down the toilet or priests raping 12 year olds but i though this was interesting and included it.




Millionaire completes historic nonstop flight


Associated Press

Mar. 3, 2005 01:10 PM


SALINA, Kan. - Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett on Thursday became the first person to fly around the world solo without stopping or refueling, safely touching down in his custom-built plane 67 hours after taking off.


A fuel system problem had raised doubt Wednesday whether Fossett could complete the 23,000-mile journey. But he and his flight crew agreed to keep the GlobalFlyer in the air rather than abandon the attempt.


Fossett, 60, already holds the record for flying solo around the globe in a balloon. He failed five times before successfully completing that flight, but needed just one try to make the trip in a plane. This latest adventure gives Fossett yet another aviation record, adding to the many he holds as a balloonist, pilot and sailor.


Fossett's GlobalFlyer, designed by the same engineer who came up with the Voyager aircraft that first completed the around-the-world trip in 1986 with two pilots aboard, touched down in Salina at 1:48 p.m. Thursday.


Fossett chose Salina because he needed a long runway for the takeoff and landing. The runway in Salina - once used to train WWII bomber crews - is about 12,000 feet long.


There was some doubt if Fossett would make it back to Salina. Fuel sensors in the custom-built plane's 13 tanks differed from readings of how quickly its single jet engine was burning fuel, forcing Fossett's crew to assume that 2,600 of the original 18,100 pounds of fuel "disappeared."


It was not clear whether there was an actual leak or just a problem with the sensors, Fossett's team said.


Facing a decision near Hawaii about whether to land or press ahead over the vast Pacific Ocean for the U.S. mainland, Fossett told his team, "Let's go for it." Hours later, pushed by strong tail winds that left him with enough in the tanks to finish the global trek, he safely crossed over Los Angeles and turned northeast for Salina and the finish line.


Fossett, 60, set his ballooning record in 2002, taking off and landing in Australia. The millionaire from Chicago has also swam the English Channel, run the Iditarod dog sled race and driven in the 24 Hours of Le Mans car race.


Aviation pioneer Wiley Post made the first solo around-the-world trip in 1933, taking more than seven days and stopping numerous times. The first nonstop global flight without refueling was made in 1986 by Jeana Yeager and Dick Rutan, brother of GlobalFlyer designer Burt Rutan.


The project was financed by Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson, a longtime friend and fellow adventurer.








Feb. 27, 2005

Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal


VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: An odd case of 'shaken baby syndrome'


Receiving word that her mother's husband had been diagnosed with throat cancer and might have only three months to live, Francine Yurko moved from Ohio to Florida with her 4-year-old daughter in July 1997. She was six months pregnant and not gaining weight. Francine's fiance, Alan, soon joined them.


Francine was so ill with group B strep, a chronic E. coli infection, and gestational diabetes that she had lost two pounds, as well as 90 percent of her amniotic fluid. Labor was induced on Sept. 16.


Baby Alan was born five weeks premature. He had underdeveloped lungs and respiratory distress. He was sent home after seven days in intensive care, but he did not thrive. At two months of age -- but only three weeks after his actual due date -- the baby was given a routine dose of vaccinations.


"He was given six vaccines in one day," Francine told me in a phone conversation last week. "He already had a compromised immune system. ... You have to keep in mind that our child was seen virtually every week from the time he was born to the time he collapsed, either by his pediatrician or by some other medical professional, so we're not talking that this was a healthy, thriving child. It just amazes me how they failed to recognize the connection."


The baby's health spiraled downward. On Nov. 24, he stopped breathing. His young father, home alone with the baby, borrowed a neighbor's car and raced to the hospital with his son in one arm, trying to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as he drove. The child reached the emergency room alive, but died soon thereafter.


Police detectives arrived and questioned Alan at length. He was arrested and charged with killing his child through the newly recognized crime of "shaken baby syndrome." When Francine refused to cooperate and try to get Alan to make a secretly taped confession for police, Francine was also arrested. Her daughter was seized and placed in foster care, where she was molested.


Alan was in an isolation cell for a year and a half, awaiting trial. Other prisoners threw urine and feces on him through the bars, calling him a "baby killer." The family had no money for a private attorney, but the sole expert defense witness did testify the baby had died of natural causes. Regardless, Alan Yurko was sentenced to life in prison. He and Francine were married in prison.


Alan Yurko sat cross-legged on his prison bed, reading 12 to 14 hours per day, for seven years. He became a self-taught expert on "shaken baby syndrome," vaccines, forensic pathology, pediatric head injury, and iatrogenic (doctor-caused) injuries. His wife set up a Web site called "The Yurko Project."


Laboriously, longhand, Alan Yurko wrote 828 letters, logging them all. He got one reply -- from Dr. Jane Orient, of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, in Tucson, Ariz.


One. It was enough.


Gradually, more and more doctors started taking an interest in the case. And the evidence they compiled against the state of Florida -- and on Alan Yurko's behalf -- was devastating.


The baby's death, the growing consensus held, was caused by a "hot lot" of vaccine that he should never have received, given his fragile health, and by overdoses of heparin and bicarbonate at the emergency room.


Then there was the autopsy. The official state autopsy that sent Alan Yurko to prison with its diagnosis of "shaken baby syndrome" was of a 2-month-old black male child, and contained a description of an examination of the inner heart muscle. But the Yurkos and their baby were white. Baby Alan was 10 weeks old, and his heart had been donated before the medical examiner saw the body.


They mixed up the babies.


Francine Yurko filed a complaint with state medical regulators. In an unprecedented move, the state of Florida in February 2004 ordered Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner Shashi Gore to perform no more autopsies pending his June retirement. "It was the strictest discipline ever taken against a chief medical examiner in Florida," the Orlando Sentinel reported. "Commissioners said they were prepared to remove Gore from office if he weren't already planning to retire."


Ah, government work.


Alan Yurko's case was reopened. The judge looked over the new evidence, and vacated the conviction. After seven years, Alan Yurko was a free man ... right?


Ha, good one. You're not thinking like a government prosecutor.


Next time: Why is Alan Yurko still in jail?




George W. Hitler may be coming to town




Bush visit to Arizona 'very good possibility'

President would tout his proposal for Social Security


Billy House

Republic Washington Bureau

Mar. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - There's a "very good possibility" that President Bush will travel to Arizona within the month to stump for his plan to overhaul Social Security, an administration source said Thursday.


No specific date has been set, and it is yet to be decided whether the president will go to Phoenix, Tucson or elsewhere in the state.


Since his State of the Union message on Feb. 2, Bush has been traveling throughout the country as part of his campaign to win support for his proposal to allow Americans to divert some of their Social Security contributions to personal savings accounts invested in stocks and bonds.


Bush holds what the White House calls "conversations" with local residents who share his views on Social Security.


"I plan to keep traveling across the county to talk about Social Security," Bush said in his radio address to the nation last weekend.


Much of this effort is geared toward convincing younger workers that it would be good for them if some money is allowed to be taken out of the trust fund that finances the retirement and disability program and placed into private accounts. Bush argues that the long-term solvency of the retirement system, as it now operates, is in jeopardy.


"Every year we wait to address this problem will make any eventual solution more painful and drastic, and we will saddle our children and grandchildren with an even greater burden," Bush said in his radio address.


But along with younger workers, Bush also has been reaching out to senior citizens, seeking to assure them that any changes to Social Security would not take away their benefits. That is why Arizona, with its high number of retirees, is being considered for an upcoming visit, the administration said.


Bush also is trying to convince wavering lawmakers to support his plan.


Arizona members of Congress are divided mostly along party lines on the proposal.


Seven of the state's eight congressional Republicans, including its two senators, support some Social Security payroll taxes being placed into private investment accounts. Two, Reps. Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake, are even sponsoring their own legislation to let workers shift wages into a personal or private investment account.


Less definite is Republican Rep. Rick Renzi, who says he remains "extremely wary" of making the private accounts mandatory.


He also says Congress must ensure the retirement system remains "safe, secure and solvent without cutting benefits."


Arizona's two Democrats in Congress, Reps. Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva, say they oppose taking money out of the Social Security Trust fund, doubting that is the best way to secure retirement income.


At 10 a.m. Saturday at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, Pastor and Grijalva plan to join Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who will be in town as part of their own "Fix it, Don't Nix it" national tour to outline their concerns about Bush's plan and offer their own ideas for strengthening Social Security.


Kolbe has sent Reid a letter challenging him to a one-on-one public debate on their different approaches. Reid had not responded as of Thursday.


Reach the reporter at billy.house@arizonarepublic.com or at 1-(202)-906-8136.






Grim milestones mark passages


Tom Raum

Associated Press

Mar. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The conflict in Iraq can be told in numbers and milestones, from the more than 1,500 troops who now have died to the number of weapons of mass destruction found: Zero.


Two American soldiers died in Baghdad of injuries from a roadside bomb and another was killed in Babil province south of Baghdad, the military said on Thursday. That brought to 1,502 the number of U.S. troops who have died since President Bush launched the invasion in March 2003, according to an AP count.


There are other milestones, other important numbers, some reached, some soon to be, as the conflict in Iraq nears its third year.


• Roughly 60,000 National Guard and Reserve troops are deployed in Iraq. As of Wednesday, 300 had died there since the war began.


• May 1 will be the second anniversary of Bush's "mission accomplished" aircraft carrier speech in which he announced an end to major combat operations.


• The price tag is over $300 billion and climbing, including $81.9 billion more just requested from Congress. The money also covers operations in Afghanistan and the broader war on terror, but the bulk is for Iraq.


When Lawrence Lindsey, then chairman of Bush's National Economic Council, predicted in September 2002 that the cost of war with Iraq could range from $100 billion to $200 billion, the White House openly contradicted him and said the figure was far too high. He was eased out in a shake-up of Bush's economic team.


"Americans need to take note of these sorts of milestones because it's a way to show respect for the sacrifices of troops and reassess strategy," said Michael O'Hanlon, a foreign-policy analyst with the Brookings Institution.


"But I'm much more interested in trends," he added, citing indications pointing to the relative strength of the insurgency and whether violence is declining or increasing.


On that, the signs are mixed.


The top U.S. general in the region said that about 3,500 insurgents took part in election day violence in Iraq on Jan. 30, citing estimates from field commanders. Army Gen. John Abizaid suggested the failure to prevent millions of Iraqis from voting showed the insurgency was losing potency.


"They threw their whole force at us, we think, and yet they were unable to disrupt the elections because people wanted to vote," Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week.


But his comments came just a day after one of the biggest attacks by insurgents since the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in April 2003. A suicide car bombing in the town of Hillah killed at least 125 people, including dozens of recruits for Iraq's security forces.


From Jan. 1 until Iraq's election day, 234 people were killed and 429 people were injured in at least 55 incidents, according to an AP count. Casualties rose in February, with 38 incidents resulting in at least 311 deaths and 433 injuries.


Among Americans, the number of deaths in February fell to 58 from 107 in January, which was one of the worst months of the war. February's total was about in line with the total for most months.


Meanwhile, the United States is losing some partners in its "coalition of the willing."


Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced this week that Ukraine would withdraw its 1,650-strong military contingent by October. Poland is withdrawing about a third of its 2,400 troops. Last year, Spain's new Socialist government withdrew its 1,300 troops.


At the same time, Bush drew commitments during his visit to Europe last week from all 26 NATO countries for contributions to NATO's training of Iraqi security forces - either inside or outside Iraq or in cash.






Bin Laden hunt produces little

Bush assures that search still on


Ron Hutcheson

Knight Ridder Newspapers

Mar. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - More than three years after President Bush declared his intention to capture Osama bin Laden "dead or alive," the terrorist chieftain remains free to taunt his pursuers and plan more attacks.


Bush offered assurances Thursday that the search is still on, but there are few signs of progress in the hunt for America's most wanted fugitive. A $25 million bounty, an international ad campaign seeking tips and the deployment of thousands of troops have failed to flush out the man behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


In the latest reminder of bin Laden's status as a terrorist on the loose, the federal Homeland Security Department warned state security officials last weekend that intelligence reports indicate that bin Laden has urged Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the top al-Qaida operative in Iraq, to plan attacks in the United States.


"We're on a constant hunt for bin Laden," the president said at a swearing-in ceremony for Michael Chertoff, the new head of the Homeland Security Department. "We're keeping the pressure on him, keeping him in hiding." As for al-Qaida, Bush said: "Stopping them is the greatest challenge of our day."


Critics charge that the manhunt has lost steam because of a lack of coordination within the U.S. government and insufficient cooperation from Pakistan. Bin Laden is thought to have slipped back and forth across the isolated border between Afghanistan and Pakistan since a U.S.-led coalition in 2001 toppled the Taliban regime, which had given him sanctuary in Afghanistan.


A number of al-Qaida leaders, possibly including bin Laden and his top associate, Ayman al Zawahri, slipped through two American dragnets in eastern Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002.


Two U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matters are classified, said that since then the administration had twice temporarily diverted unmanned spy planes and other intelligence assets from the Afghan-Pakistani border to Iraq, once to support the U.S.-led invasion and more recently to help find terrorist leaders there and protect Iraq's Jan. 30 elections.


"There really hasn't been any significant progress," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent who also served as a State Department counterterrorism specialist. "This has to be a fully integrated, coordinated effort."


Johnson, who said he'd spoken recently with someone who's directly involved in the search, also criticized Pakistani officials. Although Pakistan has sent 70,000 troops to the border region to assist in the search, some terrorism experts suspect that Pakistani intelligence officials are aiding the fugitive.


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said last week that he had no idea where bin Laden was.


"The big problem remains that the Pakistanis aren't cooperating," Johnson said.


A State Department ad campaign in Pakistan soliciting tips didn't produce any solid leads. Radio, television and newspaper ads in the Urdu and Pashto languages dangled the promise of $25 million rewards for information leading to the arrest of bin Laden or al Zawahiri.


Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, R-Ill., a staunch supporter of the rewards program, said the ads had helped produce about a dozen tips a day.


"A thousand bad tips could come in, but if one good one comes in, we're a success," Kirk said at a recent congressional hearing.


Bush and his aides say the focus on bin Laden obscures other progress in the war on terrorism. By the administration's count, more than 75 percent of the al-Qaida leadership at the time of the Sept. 11 attack has been killed or captured.




If they have not already figured it out sooner or later the terrorists will figure out that all you need to do to sneak into the USA is build a tunnel like the drug dealers do. now wait dont the terrorists also fund their operations with drug dealing and smuggling?




Illicit tunnel found along Arizona-Mexico border


Associated Press

Mar. 3, 2005 07:15 AM


TUCSON - U.S. Border Patrol engineers went to repair a wall along the Arizona-Mexico border and wound up finding an illicit tunnel.


The tunnel is high enough to stand in on the Sonoran side, but was under construction on the U.S. side, said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada.


The hand-dug tunnel discovered Tuesday stretched 50 feet into Arizona but did not have an exit, Estrada said.


Authorities found water jugs, a pickax, about 200 feet of rope and a power drill inside the tunnel.


Smugglers dig and use tunnels to move drugs into Arizona, according to authorities who said the tunnels are dug across the border and often come out in houses or other buildings in Nogales, Ariz.


The last significant tunnel found in Nogales, Mexico, was in September 2003, when authorities uncovered a quarter-mile-long tunnel that ran from a house in Sonora to one in Arizona. That tunnel had been used for nearly six months before Mexican and U.S. officials closed it.


Other tunnels uncovered in the recent past include one that started in a Sonora graveyard and another that ended in a Nogales, Ariz., church, Estrada said.






im sure that if the gods that operate valhala learn about pot the there will certainly be smoking of the weed in valhala along with the drinking and feasting. and if the weed thing takes off in valhala they will probably allow you to get in if you die with a bong or a weapon in your hand. and if pot ever gets into valhala it should cut down on the fighting a lot. i dont know if you have been around stoners but they dont fight much. you ever see stoners fight in a cheech and chong move? hell no they all nod off.


i like the word oxymoron. it is one of my favorite words. of course i like weird stuff.


OXYMORON: "A rhetorical figure in which an epigrammatic effect is created by the conjunction of incongruous or contradictory terms"


a colorless blue car is an oxymoron. also a heavy weightless lead bar is an oxymoron.


it seems like the idiots that run the government are full of oxymorons.


i suspect that when you were over in the nut house in mesa they almost treated you like a human being. they let you wear clothes and sleep in a bed and didnt put you in a cage as a sucide risk. and i will give them some credit they are trained shrinks probably know a little about you.


now the first oxymoron comes when they moved you to sheriff joes hell holes. sheriffs joes goons are not trained as shrinks but they said you were sucide risk and locked you in a cage with out any clothes or belongs to prevent you from killing your self. i  wonder why the difference. probably cuz sheriff joes goons wanted to punish you while the folks in mesa wanted to treat you.


and the secrect service. they said your were so frigging crazy that you were a danger to your self  and others that they  were afraid  you might hurt  the president who is 2,000 miles away living in  the emperors palace in washington dc. wow accourding to the ss your really are a f*cking crazy person.


of course if you were so frigging crazy it would be expected that you attack the police thugs that came to take you away. and of course we have to remember the police thugs didnt arret you because you were a criminal and had committed a crime. no the police thugs arrested you because the secret service said you were crazy. of course the second oxymoron is that now the government thugs are trying to say your NOT crazy and that you should be able to go on trail as a NORMAL UN-CRAZY person for attacking the police thugs who arrested you. jeez the government bastards want it both ways.


and it is also an oxymoron in that your being charged with resisting arrest and threatening some pigs when their was not an arrest warrent out for you. i think you said that went they found out at your hearing there was no warrent for your arrest they quickly issued it after the fact.


another oxymoron is that your being held in the crazy section of the jail and being given dope to control  your behavior because the shrinks say your crazy, and at the same time you have a 2nd set of shrinks saying your not crazy because they want to put you on trial and jail you. after the 2nd set of shrinks say your not crazy and can go on trial will they move you out of the crazy section? i doubt it. your there not because your crazy but because the secret service doesnt like you.


i guess the last oxymoron is that you dont even know and have never met the secret service thugs who told the cops that you were crazy. isnt that amazing that a secret service agent you have never met,  and  that you dont even know can go ask the goverment to lock you up for being crazy. and its even crazier that the government agrees with them and does it.


maybe this is an oxymoron maybe not. but it is interesting that the phone solicitor who turned you in to the secret secret service for being crazy spoke to you for maybe 60 seconds to a few minutes at most. and he didnt even get to ask you any questions to specifilcy determine if you were crazy. would that be enought time for the shrinks at the maricopa medical medical center to determine if you crazy. i doubt it. and if so why did the secret service used it as valid evidence to lock you up as being crazy? why did the folks at the maricopa medical crazy court use it as valid evidence to lock you up for being crazy? i suspect the only reason you were locked up is because the secrect service said you were a dangerous criminal, even though they didnt have a bit of evidence to back it up. and of course the crazy thing was just a sham excuse to lock you up.


maybe this is an oxymoron also. did the secret service really think you were crazy? i doubt it. as i said in the last paragraph i suspect they wanted you locked up because they though you were a dangerous criminal but didnt have any evidence to prove it so they used the crazy card as a sham. i suspect that the secret service also wanted to use it as a way to force you to answer their question with out being able to take the fifth as an excuse and refuse to answer the questions. and that is why the court locked you up and ordered you to have your treatment by the shrinks. of course the shrinks where also questioning you for the secret service to see if they could dig up any probable cause or evidence for the secret service to use to arrest you and charge you with threatening the presisdent. of          course that sham ended when the secret service supoenaed your medical records and found that they had not dug up any evidence they could use to arrest you.


of course this leads me to beleive that your currently being charged not because you threatened or tried to escape from some phoenix pigs, but because the secret service doesnt like you and thinks your a threat to the president despite the fact that they have not dug up one shred of evidence to prove that. it would be nice if all the stuff i just mentioned was heard in your trial.


i mentioned in one of my prior letters that a teacher at the ASU law college wrote a book about how he was a prosecuror for the maricopa county attorney  during a year long break he took from ASU. in his book he mentioned that the policy of former county attorney and nazi rick romley was to treat any one accused of a crime with a gun super harshly. i suspect that is why they are not offering you a plea bargin. i would recommend that you read the book if some how you can get it checked out of the phoenix library. its is not a good book. but it does give a good insight on how the thugs in the maricopa county attorneys office think.


the good news is nazi rick romley is gone, but the bad news is the nazi who repleased him seems worse the romley. the new times said that he and sheriff joe should get along just great. the new nazis name is andrew p thomas. the new nazi also thinks it is ok to mix government and religion. in an article in a local law newspaper he said he thinks prisons are an ideal place for the inmates to learn about god.




copwatchers bust some crooked cops.


at a police stop on 68th street and mcdowell road a scottsdale cop told some copwatchers that it was illegal to video tape the police with out their permission. then the piggy said that he would a nice piggy and would not arrest them for video taping him. of course the copwatch caught the whole thing on not one but two cameras. scottsdale government buerocrats and piggys after months of dragging their feet say the piggy might have done something wrong.


at a police stop on rural road and university in tempe  road an ASU piggy ordered some copwatchers to turn off their cameras while they were video taping him at a traffic stop. the copwatchers refused and of course got the piggys word on tape.


in both cases the copwatchers will probably end up filing a law suit in federal for civil rights violation per federal code USC 42 Section 1983.






Undersea 'Lost City' found

Scientists report on tiny creatures in hot, caustic fluid


Sandi Doughton

Seattle Times

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


SEATTLE - When scientists on a research cruise in the Atlantic Ocean first stumbled across an underwater landscape of giant white towers and feathery spires, they only had time for a quick look around.


"We got just the teeniest glimpse," said University of Washington oceanographer Deborah Kelley, who led that voyage in 2000. Excited by the discovery of what looked like a new type of hydrothermal vent field, she organized a monthlong return trip three years later to the "Lost City," named for the mythical world of Atlantis.


In this week's issue of the journal Science, Kelley and her colleagues report the results from that expedition, including the surprising find that the geysers are populated by more than 65 types of tiny creatures, including transparent worms, water fleas and mats of bacteria that waft in the currents like kelp. The animals and microbes thrive in scalding hot fluids nearly as caustic as Drano. Many seem to subsist on natural gas and hydrogen.


"It really changes our ideas about where life can live on this planet," Kelley said. "And it really drives home that there's still a huge amount yet to be discovered in the oceans."


The scientists believe the undersea vents could mimic conditions on the primordial Earth when life formed and may provide some of the best insights into that process.


The hope is to find living fossils that "tell us something about what the earliest organisms were like," said UW microbiologist John Baross, who is trying to grow some of the microbes collected on the voyage in his Seattle laboratory.


Though no one has ever seen anything like the Lost City before, there are almost certainly many sites like it, Kelley said.


"There are probably much larger areas of the sea floor that host hydrothermal vent systems and all of these new types of organisms, and to date we know almost nothing about them," she said.


Scientists have been studying hot springs on the sea floor since the late 1970s, when they first discovered an astounding array of giant tube worms, clams and swarms of shrimp living in and around volcanic vents called "black smokers." Some of the best-known "smokers" lie in the Pacific off the Washington coast.


But the Lost City is a very different type of environment, Kelley and her team found.


All of the hydrothermal fields discovered previously are along rifts on the ocean floor where molten rock flows to the surface. That lava heats the fluids in black smokers to a searing 700 degrees and creates a brew rich in metals, acids and carbon dioxide, which nourishes the microorganisms that form the basis of a unique food chain.


In contrast, the Lost City is perched on a plateau on the Atlantis massif, an underwater mountain in the mid-Atlantic miles from the nearest volcanic rift.


The heat that drives the system comes from a reaction between sea water and ancient oceanic bedrock. Temperatures are a milder 100 to 200 degrees. When the hot water bubbles up and hits the icy sea, dissolved carbonate minerals precipitate out, forming white and gray towers that rise like giant limestone stalagmites.


Unlike at black smokers, the chemistry at Lost City is dominated by methane, or natural gas, and hydrogen. The dominant type of microorganisms belong to a group called Archaea, some of which metabolize methane, Baross said.






Italy questioning U.S. 'friendly fire'

Checkpoint forces kill agent, wound just-freed journalist


Patrick Quinn

Associated Press

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


BAGHDAD - American forces fired on a car carrying a freed Italian hostage as it approached a checkpoint in Baghdad on Friday, killing an Italian intelligence officer and wounding at least two others, including the just-released journalist.


Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of the United States who has kept troops in Iraq despite public opposition at home, demanded an explanation from the U.S. ambassador, Mel Sembler.


"Given that the fire came from an American source, I called in the American ambassador," Berlusconi told reporters before the U.S. statement acknowledging that coalition forces shot at the vehicle. "I believe we must have an explanation for such a serious incident for which someone must take the responsibility." advertisement


The U.S. military said, "At approximately 8:55 p.m. tonight, coalition forces assigned to the multinational force Iraq fired on a vehicle that was approaching a coalition checkpoint in Baghdad at a high rate of speed."


A U.S. patrol "attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car," the military said in a statement. "When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block which stopped the vehicle, killing one and wounding two others."


However, Berlusconi said three, not two, were wounded: freed hostage Giuliana Sgrena and two intelligence officers. The U.S. military said that Army medics treated a wounded man but that "he refused medical evacuation for further assistance."


The intelligence agent was killed when he threw himself over Sgrena to protect her, Italy's Apcom news agency quoted Gabriele Polo, the editor of Sgrena's newspaper Il Manifesto, as saying.


Berlusconi identified the dead intelligence officer as Nicola Calipari and said he had been at the forefront of negotiations with the kidnappers. The premier said Calipari had been involved in the release of Italian hostages in the past.


U.S. troops took Sgrena to an American military hospital, where shrapnel was removed from her left shoulder.


Sgrena, 56, who worked for the leftist Il Manifesto, was abducted Feb. 4 by gunmen who blocked her car outside Baghdad University. Last month, she was shown in a video pleading for her life and demanding that all foreign troops, including Italian forces, leave Iraq.


Berlusconi said he had been celebrating Sgrena's release with the editor of Il Manifesto and Sgrena's boyfriend, Pier Scolari, when he took a phone call from an agent who informed them of the shooting.


"It's a shame that the joy we all felt was turned into tragedy," Berlusconi said.


The shooting came as a blow to Berlusconi, who has kept 3,000 troops in Iraq despite strong opposition in Italy. The shooting was likely to set off new protests in Italy, where thousands have turned out on the streets to protest the Iraq war. Sgrena's newspaper was a loud opponent of the war.


In a 2003 friendly-fire incident involving Italians, American soldiers in northern Iraq shot at a car carrying the Italian official heading up U.S. efforts to recover Iraq's looted antiquities. Pietro Cordone, the top Italian diplomat in Iraq, was unhurt, but his Iraqi translator was killed.


The circumstances of Sgrena's release were unclear.






Iraq scandal widens with reports of other abuse

Troops made DVD of mistreatment, documents show


Richard A. Serrano

Los Angeles Times

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - In a twist on the offensive photography that inflamed the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, a separate group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq shot a video of themselves beating prisoners and using the body of a dead Iraqi to "wave hello," according to documents released Friday.


The digital video disc, which soldiers derisively titled Ramadi Madness, a reference to a turbulent city in Iraq's Sunni Triangle, prompted an internal Army investigation of the Florida National Guard troops from West Palm Beach who were involved.


The video was brought to the attention of Army supervisors by a civilian public affairs employee in Florida who expressed disgust after viewing the scenes of soldiers reveling among beaten and dead Iraqi combatants. advertisement


The internal investigation determined that the footage "contained inappropriate rather than criminal behavior," according to military records.


Investigators later determined that the DVD was destroyed by an officer who learned of the internal investigation.


According to the American Civil Liberties Union, no criminal charges were ever filed.


The investigation was among thousands of new pages of military documents the ACLU obtained in a lawsuit seeking information on detention practices. The Army turned over the information to the ACLU, also releasing the documents Friday to reporters at the Pentagon. The ACLU issued descriptions of the documents.


The ACLU said the descriptions of the video and other new Army documents raise fresh concerns about whether the military is seriously concerned with prisoner abuse, nearly a year after the first revelations that prison guards and interrogators mistreated detainees at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib compound near Baghdad.


Outside review resisted


"Pieces of the puzzle are still missing," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said, noting that none of the Pentagon's top civilian officials have been implicated or punished. "An outside special counsel is the only way to ensure that all civilians who violated, or conspired to violate, the laws are held responsible for their crimes."


The Pentagon has resisted an outside review but said Friday that it will deal with deficiencies in its prison facilities.


"The Army remains committed to addressing identified problems in detainee operations," Army officials said in a prepared statement.


Kicking injured prisoner


According to the files, the DVD was a recording of Florida National Guard activities in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. The soldiers were identified as being from B Company, 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment.


The scenes included shots of soldiers kicking a prisoner wearing plastic handcuffs who was on the ground and moaning after apparently being shot in the abdomen. He had been shot after wielding a gun against American soldiers during a raid, the Army documents said.


According to the ACLU, the prisoner later died.


In another videotaped scene, a soldier appeared to be hitting a bound prisoner in the head with a rifle butt as interrogators were attempting to question him.


The prisoner was apparently detained for throwing rocks at a U.S. military convoy, according to the descriptions.


'Staged event'


One soldier told interrogators that the rifle-butting was actually only a staged event and that the prisoner was never struck.


A third scene showed a soldier trying to wave the hand of a dead Iraqi at the camera after the Iraqi had been shot to death in a truck at a U.S. checkpoint. The soldier told investigators he was only repositioning the body because there was concern over a possible missile inside the truck.


Another scene reportedly showed soldiers yelling profanities at Iraqi civilians as the soldiers were on what was described as a joy ride in a van normally used for carrying prisoners.






6 on AJ police force leave after inquiries

Harassment, misconduct queries lead to departures


Jim Walsh

The Arizona Republic

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


APACHE JUNCTION - Six veteran Apache Junction police officers and supervisors targeted by a series of investigations have left the department in the past nine months through retirements and termination agreements.


The housecleaning at the 53-officer department ends two years of turmoil including two critical reports by outside investigators who said they found a culture of sexual harassment and workplace abuse.


In all, 45 different allegations were investigated. advertisement


The city is expected to release reports later this month detailing the misconduct that led to the departure of two commanders, three sergeants and one patrol officer, and later one detective. The most recent departures came after two of the men signed termination agreements in January.


Former Chief Robert Warner resigned in December 2003 after the first critical report.


"Everybody's gone or has entered into an agreement to leave," said Interim Chief Terry McDonald.


As the thin blue line cracked, spinoff investigations uncovered misconduct by a seventh officer, another detective, who showed preferential treatment in quashing a child molestation investigation involving a suspect who was the detective's friend, McDonald said.


Because the investigation was mishandled, the victims were allowed to live in the same home for two more years after they reported the alleged abuse, McDonald said.


Police reopened the case and criminal charges may be filed shortly, he said. In addition, police examined 23 of the same detective's cases and reopened 16 of them after finding evidence of misconduct, he said. He declined to identify the detective.


McDonald said evidence of the detective's misconduct emerged when an officer who had been ignored by past supervisors stepped forward and detailed her suspicions.


"The large-picture objective is for the employees to know the department is characterized by professionalism and integrity," said City Manager George Hoffman, "and for the public to have confidence in the Police Department."


But Steve Primack, an attorney who represents two of the officers, defended the six officers and said they were unfairly targeted.


"They were all great officers, in my opinion," Primack said. "They were a service to the community of Apache Junction."


A retired Phoenix police lieutenant, McDonald was hired a year ago as a consultant by former interim Chief Steve Campbell, a Phoenix police commander loaned to the city, to investigate suspected misconduct.


"The good people in the organization took note that Steve Campbell and Terry McDonald were serious," McDonald said.


The departed officers and supervisors:


• Cmdrs. Dan Scott and Brian Duncan retired voluntarily after a consultant, the Sereno Group Inc., reported evidence of sexual harassment, pornography and other workplace misconduct. They were suspended in June.


• Sgt. Robert Nye and Officer Richard Boulden signed "retirement agreements" with the city in January. Nye, an officer for 19 years, retires effective Jan. 4, 2006, according to the agreement. He kept his accrued vacation and sick leave, but will be placed on unpaid leave April 18 until his departure.


Boulden, a 20-year veteran, retires effective May 1, when his accrued vacation and sick leave runs out.


"I think it was a resolution that benefited both parties," said Patricia Gitre, Nye's attorney.


But McDonald said, "If you ask if they got a sweet deal, I say no."


• Sgt. Ron Martin also negotiated a termination agreement and Sgt. Rick Salmon retired.


Primack said Nye and Boulden agreed not to sue the city, but that Salmon is considering a lawsuit.


Along with Warner, the longtime officers became casualties of more than two years of fallout from investigations spawned by the fatal shooting of Ali Altug, 16, by former Sgt. Robert "Woody" Haywood in April 2001.




you wonder why these people got pardoned. did the government frame them orginally? Did they give money to Bush? Or do they have powerful friends?




Bush pardons bootlegger convicted in '59, 7 others

Orders now total 39 clemencies so far in 2 terms


Mark Sherman

Associated Press

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - President Bush pardoned eight people, including a man convicted of bootlegging 46 years ago, the Justice Department announced Friday.


The first round of clemency orders in Bush's second term brings his total since taking office to 39 pardons and sentence commutations.


Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, issued 77 pardons during his single term from 1989 to 1993, according to statistics from the University of Pittsburgh law school. advertisement


President Clinton granted clemency to 456 people during his eight years in office, including 176 on his last day at the White House. One of those was the contentious pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, former husband of Democratic Party donor Denise Rich.


Most presidents since the beginning of the 20th century have granted thousands of pardons and sentence commutations, led by Franklin D. Roosevelt's 3,687 over four terms. Only two presidents never used their constitutional authority to grant clemency: 19th-century chief executives James Garfield and William H. Harrison. Both died before serving one year in office.


Those given pardons were:


• Alan Dale Austin of Mabank, Texas, misapplication of mortgage funds, sentenced October 1987 to two years in prison and $22,000 in restitution.


• Charles Russell Cooper of Corpus Christi, bootlegging, sentenced May 1959 in South Carolina to three years' probation.


• Joseph Daniel Gavin, East Elmhurst, N.Y., court-martialed by the Army in 1984 for failure to obey an order and other charges and given a bad-conduct discharge.


• Raul Marin, El Paso, failure to appear, sentenced January 1982 to six months in prison and five years' probation.


•  Ernest Rudnet, Tamarac, Fla., conspiracy to file false tax returns, sentenced March 1992 to one year of probation.


• Gary L. Saltzburg, Clovis, N.M., theft of government property, sentenced January 1995 to 18 months' probation and community service.


• David Lloyd St. Croix, Kenmare, N.D., disposing of stolen explosives, sentenced June 1989 to two years' probation and a $500 fine.


• Joseph William Warner, McLaughlin, S.D., arson on an Indian reservation, sentenced November 1995 to eight months in prison, a $5,000 fine and restitution of $5,560.




talk about mayhem!!!!! these two chimps literally ripped this guys balls off


    The chimps chewed most of Davis' face off and tore off his testicles and foot .....




Chimp attack investigated

Key is finding out how 2 primates got out of cage


Kim Curtis

Associated Press

Mar. 5, 2005 12:00 AM


HAVILAH, Calif. - Investigators said Friday that they are trying to figure out how two chimpanzees that viciously attacked a visitor at an animal sanctuary escaped from their cage.


The chimps chewed off St. James Davis' nose and severely mauled his body on Thursday before the son-in-law of the sanctuary's owner shot the animals to death, authorities said.


Davis, 62, and his wife had gone there to visit another chimpanzee that had lived with them for decades before they were forced to give the animal up. LaDonna Davis, 64, was bit on the hand.


"A big part of the investigation will be figuring out whether the (sanctuary) owners were in compliance with regulations," sheriff's Cmdr. Hal Chealander said. "There's a reason why those chimpanzees got out. It will be crucial to our investigation how they got out."


The Davises were at Animal Haven Ranch, in a canyon 30 miles east of Bakersfield, to celebrate the birthday of Moe, a 39-year-old chimpanzee who was taken from their suburban Los Angeles home in 1999 after biting off part of a woman's finger.


The couple had brought Moe a cake and were standing outside his cage when Buddy and Ollie, two of the four chimpanzees in the adjoining cage, attacked St. James Davis, said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game. Moe was not involved in the attack.


The chimps chewed most of Davis' face off and tore off his testicles and foot, Chealander said.


Davis was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. The hospital would not release any information on his condition.


Animal Haven Ranch has held state permits to shelter animals since 1985 and serves as a sanctuary for animals that have been confiscated or lost, Martarano said.


The sanctuary's owners, Virginia and Ralph Brauer, would not speak to reporters, but a family friend provided a statement that read, "All of us here at Animal Haven Ranch are praying for the recovery of St. James Davis and LaDonna Davis."


Primate experts said that chimpanzees, which typically weigh between 120 and 150 pounds and are much stronger than humans, are known to kill chimps from neighboring groups, hunt other primates and even attack humans in the wild.


"This episode highlights some of the dangers of privately owning primates," said Steve Schapiro, who studies chimpanzee behavior at the University of Texas. "When you maintain large, strong animals in captivity, you think you know what they're going to do, but in the end they're unpredictable."


The Davises had waged an unsuccessful legal fight to bring Moe back to their West Covina home and visited him regularly at the sanctuary, where he had been living since October.


In 2000, after city prosecutors dropped charges against the Davises in Moe's 1999 attack, St. James Davis said Moe was not a threat and attacked only when provoked. "Animals bite, people bite, Mike Tyson bites. So what?" he said.




Atheist Alliance Internations will be having its annual convention

in Los Angeles this year go to

www.atheistalliance.org for more information and to sign up for the


Convention dates are March 25-27 2005. Some of the convention

highlights are


Penn & Teller will accept the Richard Dawkins award for outstanding

work in the cause of atheism during

Sunday's brunch.


Richard Dawkins, author of eight books,


Charles Simonyi Professor For The Understanding Of Science at Oxford

University, and

THE world's most renowned atheist.


Julia Sweeney, writer-actress, on the reaction to her hit show

Letting Go of God.


Dr. Robert Price, member of the Jesus Seminar, author of The

Incredible Shrinking Son of Man.


Andrew Bradley, Author of "What Would Betty Do? A Spiritual Guide to

Qualifying for the '10 Sins or Less'

Express Line at Judgment Day", Creator of bettybowers.com -

America's Best Christian, and senior writer for

Landover Baptist Church.


Dr. Bruce Flamm was quoted in Time Magazine, as the man whose

persistent inquiry proved the

Korean-Columbia fertility study to be fatally flawed.


Ben Akerly, Author of "The X-Rated Bible".


Joel Pelletier, artist/activist will be displaying and discussing

his modern update of James Ensor's Christ's

Entry into Brussels, an over 8x14 foot American Fundamentalists

(Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008),

which warns of the modern dangers to the Constitution and freedom of

speech posed by modern American



And much more!






Purgatorio de inmigrantes criminales


Por Valeria Fernández

La Voz

Marzo 2, 2005


La puerta de entrada al Centro de Detención de Inmigrantes de Eloy es un camino sin retorno para los inmigrantes criminales que enfrentan la deportación bajo pena de una sentencia todavía más fuerte si intentan reingresar al país.


La penitenciaria de inmigrantes más grande de todo el suroeste, a mitad de camino entre la ciudad de Eloy y Florence, a dos horas de Phoenix, batió su récord en toda la historia con 766 extranjeros deportados el pasado enero, según informó la Oficina de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés).


Actualmente, Eloy lidera a la nación en deportaciones. El centro de detenciones de pasillos grises, y uniformes verdes construido en 1994, está adjunto a una prisión federal con 500 camas donde los inmigrantes que vienen de otros estados culminan hasta 5 años de sus sentencias antes de ser deportados. publicidad


Después de cumplir con sus castigos en la prisión, los inmigrantes son trasferidos al centro de detenciones que opera a modo de un vestíbulo o sala de espera para otra sentencia: la expulsión del país donde cometieron un crimen.


Las autoridades migratorias atribuyen el éxito en las deportaciones al inicio del Operativo del Control Fronterizo de Arizona (ABC, por sus siglas en inglés) que no sólo se concentra en la frontera sino también en los esfuerzos por combatir redes de tráfico humano, dijo Philip Crawford, director de deportaciones de la División de Detención y Repatriaciones de ICE.


Según José Garza, portavoz de la Patrulla Fronteriza del sector de Tucson, gracias a un nuevo sistema que toma las huellas digitales de los inmigrantes detenidos es posible ver fácilmente si tienen un historial criminal. Desde octubre de 2004 hasta fines de febrero, la patrulla de Tucson había arrestado a más de 11 mil inmigrantes con un historial criminal, mientras que a nivel nacional la cifra batió su récord con la captura de 30 mil.


“La presión en nuestras fronteras sigue siendo fuerte, y esperamos que sea cada vez más grande el número de extranjeros ilegales que tiene que ser encarcelados”, puntualizó Crawford.


ICE también atribuye el aumento de las deportaciones al aprovechamiento del sistema de repatriación “expedita” iniciado en 1986 que permite que los criminales consientan a su deportación mientras cumplen su sentencia sin tener que presentarse ante un juez, haciendo el proceso más rápido.


“Los inmigrantes están de acuerdo con ser deportados bajo la repatriación expedita”, explicó Kimberley Shepperd, jefe de consejería para ICE.


Shepperd agregó que gracias a operativos como “Predator” para detener a ofensores sexuales de menores una gran cantidad de criminales peligrosos ya no están en las calles.


Cerca de un 80 por ciento de los detenidos en Eloy son de origen mexicano, por lo cual su deportación se realiza en un autobús que los lleva hasta pueblos fronterizos como Nogales, México, brindándole un aviso de cortesía a las autoridades del vecino país.


El resto de los deportados, en su mayoría provenientes de Centroamérica, pueden pasar semanas esperando para abordar un vuelo que los lleve a sus respectivos países.


Deportación sin remedio


Entre los encarcelados en Eloy figuran ofensores sexuales, traficantes de seres humanos, violadores sexuales y hasta homicidas que cumplieron su sentencia en cárceles federales o estatales y ahora esperan para ser deportados. No todos los detenidos son indocumentados. Para unos pocos el único crimen fue volver a tratar de ingresar al país, conducir bajo la influencia del alcohol varias veces, o vender pequeñas cantidades de drogas.


“Muchos de los que están en Eloy son inmigrantes con tarjetas de residencia”, explicó Victoria López, abogada del Proyecto Florence que se dedica a defender casos de inmigrantes en los centros de detenciones.


López describió que con frecuencia algunos de los detenidos por haber vuelto a entrar al país después de ser deportados se sorprenden porque no sabían que podían pasar hasta dos años en la cárcel por volver a ingresar como indocumentados.


Otro de los casos comunes son los que pone en riesgo su estadía en el país por ayudar a algún amigo o traer a un pariente por la frontera.


“Eso pasa con mucha frecuencia y la gente piensa que es inocente”, describió López.


Aunque se trate de un “favorcito” las consecuencias pueden ser terribles para un inmigrante que tiene a toda su familia en los Estados Unidos, explicó la abogada, ya que de la noche a la mañana podría perder su privilegio a estar en el país.


En esas circunstancias volver a los Estados Unidos podría llevar años o toda una vida si el gobierno no les otorga un perdón.


El costo de encarcelarlos


Los inmigrantes detenidos en Eloy, a diferencia de otros centros como Florence, tienen algo en común: todos son criminales. Aunque hasta 100 de los detenidos pueden estar ahí por haber cometido una ofensa menor.


Según indicaron las autoridades, el costo de encarcelarlos asciende a los 62 dólares diarios por persona. Mientras pasan tiempo en la prisión federal antes de iniciar su deportación tienen acceso a clases de GED para obtener el diploma de secundaria y pueden trabajar.


Las autoridades de las correccionales en el estado protestan al tener que encarcelar a más de tres mil extranjeros sin recibir un reembolso del gobierno federal.






Cónsules discuten impacto de la 200


Por Valeria Fernández

La Voz

Marzo 2, 2005


La proposición 200 y el surgimiento de iniciativas similares en otros estados que amenazan el bienestar de connacionales mexicanos salió a relucir como uno de los temas más controversiales durante la reunión anual de cónsules de México en los Estados Unidos, que se celebró en Kansas City, Missouri.


“Nos preocupa porque son legislaciones que hacen más difícil la vida cotidiana de los mexicanos que viven acá, nos imponen nuevas cargas de trabajo, para atenderlos y mantenerlos informados”, dijo el cónsul general de México, Carlos Flores Vizcarra, quien realizó una presentación sobre este tema durante el encuentro consular.


Asimismo, el cónsul de Salt Lake City, Utah, Salvador Jiménez, habló sobre un sin fin de “leyes espejo en otros estados” que se asemejan a la Proposición 200. publicidad


En otro orden de temas, durante la reunión se discutió la implementación del voto en el exterior en el marco de su reciente aprobación por la Cámara de Diputados Federal.


Según el cónsul de Phoenix la pregunta fundamental fue: “¿Y el dinero de dónde va a salir?”. Así como también, en las manos de quién quedaría la responsabilidad de guardar los paquetes electorales con los resultados de las elecciones.


“Todo está por verse, la decisión de los diputados fue que se hagan (las elecciones), pero la última palabra todavía no se ha dicho”, puntualizó.


Entre otros puntos a destacar, durante la reunión se discutió la mejora del sistema de base de datos de la matrícula consular, los problemas prevalecientes en la frontera y nuevas estrategias para mejorar la coordinación entre los consulados.


Contacte al reportero: valeriafernandez@ashlandmedia.com






Controversia sobre licencias


Washington, (AP)

Marzo 1, 2005


Una propuesta para impedir a potenciales terroristas obtener una licencia de conducir en Estados Unidos podría transformar esas licencias en un documento nacional de identidad o ayudar al gobierno a seguirle la pista a la adquisición de armas de fuego, temen sus oponentes.


Sectores conservadores, defensores de las libertades civiles, propietarios de armas de fuego y otros comparten las preocupaciones por un proyecto de ley aprobado por la Cámara de Representantes que reformula las normas para entregar licencias de conducir y es considerado por sus proponentes una herramienta para combatir al terrorismo.


Esos sectores temen que las licencias, como los números del seguro social, puedan ser usadas para otros propósitos.


Según señalan, el proyecto de ley, aprobado el mes pasado por la cámara baja por 261 votos a favor y 161 en contra, y respaldado por la Casa Blanca, podría inclusive permitir seguirle la pista a las personas a través de un chip de computadora insertado en la licencia.


Ese tipo de licencias “podría convertirse en un documento de identidad nacional”, dijo Steve Lilienthal, director de la organización Centro de Fundación del Congreso Libre por la Tecnología y la Defensa de la Intimidad.


La Cámara de Representantes aprobó la legislación el 10 de febrero. Sus partidarios han promocionado el proyecto, que debe aún pasar por el Senado, como otra forma de combatir el terrorismo.







Shooting by U.S. angers Italy

Journalist at home; nation demands answers


Angela Doland

Associated Press

Mar. 6, 2005 12:00 AM


ROME - Italy demanded answers Saturday as former hostage Giuliana Sgrena was taken off a flight from Iraq wrapped in a plaid blanket and hooked to an intravenous drip for a shoulder wound inflicted when American troops fired on a car taking her to the Baghdad airport.


The Italian agent who negotiated her freedom was hit and died in her arms.


The shooting at a U.S. checkpoint in Baghdad stoked anti-war sentiment in Italy, where the public was widely opposed to the government's decision to send 3,000 troops to help U.S.-led efforts to secure the country from a violent insurgency. President Bush promised a full investigation. advertisement


About 100 demonstrators outside the U.S. Embassy in Rome blocked traffic, and one banner read: "USA, war criminals." A few dozen communist demonstrators at the U.S. Consulate in Milan handed out leaflets reading, "Shame on you, Bush."


Sgrena, a 56-year-old journalist for the communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was flown from Baghdad on an Italian government plane. She then was taken by ambulance to a military hospital in Rome, a day after undergoing surgery at a U.S. military hospital in Iraq to remove shrapnel from her shoulder. Doctors examined her and said late Saturday that another operation was not needed.


From her hospital bed, Sgrena recounted the ordeal that unfolded shortly after she was released by insurgents in Iraq after a month in captivity. She gave no details about the circumstances surrounding her release.


"We thought the danger was over after my rescue," she told RAI News 24 television by telephone. "And instead suddenly there was this shooting, we were hit by a spray of fire. I was talking to Nicola . . . when he leaned over me, probably to defend me, and then he slumped over. That was a truly terrible thing."


Pier Scolari, the journalist's boyfriend, said she told him: "The most difficult moment was when I saw the person who had saved me die in my arms," the ANSA news agency reported.


Nicola Calipari, 50, was the brother of a priest who serves on a Vatican advisory body, Vatican radio reported Saturday, and Pope John Paul II sent a message of condolence to the slain agent's family. The Italian government awarded Calipari a medal of valor.


Italy said two other agents were wounded. One was seriously injured and remained hospitalized in Iraq, while the other returned on Sgrena's flight, Italian state television said. Calipari's body was being flown back to Italy late Saturday.


The U.S. military said the car in which Sgrena was riding after her release was speeding as it approached a coalition checkpoint in western Baghdad on its way to the airport. American authorities said soldiers shot into the engine block only after trying to warn the driver to stop by "hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and firing warning shots."


Sgrena, who was interviewed by prosecutors at the Rome hospital, denied the car was speeding, news reports said.


The shooting dealt a new blow to center-right Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a strong Bush ally. Tens of thousands of Italians regularly demonstrated against the U.S.-led war in Iraq, and the Italian left, including Sgrena's newspaper, vigorously opposed the conflict.


"Another victim of an absurd war," Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, leader of the Green Party, was quoted by the Apcom news agency.


Italy's foreign minister said he hoped Calipari's death would not spark an anti-American backlash.


"That would be the most underhanded way of marking the memory of this hero," Gianfranco Fini was quoted in the newspaper.


"It was not a blitz that went wrong," he said. "It was a macabre mockery of fate."


One opposition leader objected to Fini's reference to fate.


"Destiny does not pull the trigger of a machine gun," said Piero Fassino, leader of the Democratic Party of the Left.


Italians on the left and the right demanded answers.


"We have the right to know what happened . . . to have details and explanations," said Romano Prodi, a former center-left premier and former European Commission president.


Berlusconi summoned the U.S. ambassador to Rome, Mel Sembler. Bush called Berlusconi and expressed his regret, Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday.


The press watchdog group Reporters Without Borders called for a U.N. investigation into the shooting.


Sgrena was abducted Feb. 4 by gunmen who blocked her car outside Baghdad University. Last month, she was shown in a video sobbing, pleading for her life and demanding that all foreign troops, including Italian forces, leave Iraq.