News for 2010-02-23

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Blackwater, Missing Guns, Afghanistan and... South Park?
WASHINGTON - Employees of the CIA-connected private security corporation Blackwater diverted hundreds of weapons, including more than 500 AK-47 assault rifles, from a U.S. weapons bunker in Afghanistan intended to equip Afghan policemen, according to an investigation by the Senate Armed Services...
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Rachel Corrie's Family Brings Civil Suit over Human Shield's Death in Gaza
The family of the American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago, is to bring a civil suit over her death against the Israeli defence ministry.
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Plan B? US Plans for Possible Delay in Iraq Withdrawal
The U.S. military has prepared contingency plans to delay the planned withdrawal of all combat forces in Iraq, citing the prospects for political instability and increased violence as Iraqis hold national elections next month.
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Marja Offensive Aimed to Shape US Opinion on War
WASHINGTON - Senior military officials decided to launch the current U.S.-British military campaign to seize Marja in large part to influence domestic U.S. opinion on the war in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported Monday. The Post report, by Greg Jaffe and Craig Whitlock, both of whom cover...
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2010 Midterm Elections To Be Most Expensive Ever: Analysis
The upcoming midterm elections will cost at least $3.7 billion, making them the most expensive midterm elections of all time, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. "With so much on the line, the outpouring of big money into federal campaigns looks likely to...
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Phyllis Bennis on Ending the US War in Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, the number of civilian casualties continues to rise. On Tuesday, at least eight people died after a bomb exploded in the southern provincial capital of Lashkar Gah amid a major US-led offensive in the area. Local authorities said all those killed in the attack were civilians...
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Kucinich Challenges Gates on Civilians Killed in Afghanistan
The buck doesn't appear to be stopping anywhere in Afghanistan. "Two days after Afghanistan's deadliest attack on civilians in six months, many questions remain unanswered," The Canadian Press reports . "Perhaps the two most pressing are: Who called in the air strike? And on what grounds?"
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Attack Iran? Or Allow It? No and No
More huffing and puffing about war with Iran, this time from Anne Applebaum of the hawkish Washington Post , but first some words of caution from Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. At a news conference with Secretary of Defense Gates yesterday, Mullen once again reiterated his...
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US Advice to Europe: Spend More on War-Making
WASHINGTON - Europe has demilitarized too much since the end of the Cold War and its underfunded defense budgets are undermining shared security goals, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday. Gates, addressing a NATO seminar in Washington, said too few helicopters and cargo aircraft...
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Military Training of Afghan National Police Mired in Contract Dispute
As the war in Afghanistan intensifies, a contract dispute in Washington is interfering with the Obama administration's plan to rebuild the Afghan national police into a military force with skills to fight the Taliban. The dispute has left the U.S. government continuing to pay millions of dollars a...
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Activists Criticize Obama's Nuclear Power Loan Guarantees
ATLANTA -- President Barack Obama's announcement last week that he has promised funding in the Fiscal Year 2011 budget for new nuclear power reactors in the US, with some 54.5 billion dollars in federal loan guarantees, has ignited a firestorm of local and national resistance.
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Top Bush Adviser Defends Allowing President to Massacre, Nuke Civilians
The senior Justice Department legal adviser to president Bush who made the legal case for the Bush Administration's use of torture tactics on terror suspects defended comments that the president could unilaterally "massacre" civilians in wartime in a newly released interview. "You did argue that...
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Air Strike on Civilians Reverberates Beyond Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - Amid growing European discontent over the war in Afghanistan, the head of U.S. and NATO forces apologised Monday for an air strike that killed at least 27 civilians in the central part of the country Sunday.
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Whaling Commission Proposes Return to Commercial Whaling
CAMBRIDGE, UK - A working group of the International Whaling Commission today released a draft proposal that would allow the return of commercial whaling. An IWC moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986. The compromise is aimed at unblocking the long-stalled negotiation process...
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New Report Undermines Cheney Torture Claims
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