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Cover-up News Summary
September 14, 2005

Dear friends,

Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news stories which did not warrant a separate message, but which you may have missed. Links are provided to the original sources. If any link fails to function, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes,
Fred Burks for
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton

Shocking ruling
September 13, 2005, USA Today

Jose Padilla, who was born in New York and grew up in Chicago, landed at O'Hare airport more than three years ago and hasn't been seen since. He disappeared into a succession of jails and military prisons without being charged with a crime, without trial and without even a hearing on the allegations against him. In a ruling that puts the liberties of every citizen at risk, a federal appeals court said Friday there's nothing wrong with that. Worse, the ruling – expected to be appealed – isn't limited to O'Hare airport or to Padilla. The court said Congress has given the president authority to order the jailing of anyone anywhere for as long as he wishes, as long as he claims it's connected to the war on terrorism. That sounds more like the power accorded a dictator than the president of the United States. Repeal of the Constitution's Fourth, Fifth and Sixth amendments wasn't part of the package when Congress passed that anti-terrorism resolution after the 9/11 attacks.

Court Rules U.S. Can Indefinitely Detain Citizens
September 9, 2005, Washington Post

A federal appeals court ruled today that the president can indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil in the absence of criminal charges, holding that such authority is vital to protect the nation from terrorist attacks. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit came in the case of Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member who was arrested in Chicago in 2002 and designated an "enemy combatant" by President Bush. The decision by a three-judge panel was written by Judge J. Michael Luttig, who is one of a number of people under consideration by President Bush for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pentagon Revises Nuclear Strike Plan
September 11, 2005, MSNBC/Washington Post

The Pentagon has drafted a revised doctrine for the use of nuclear weapons that envisions commanders requesting presidential approval to use them to preempt an attack by a nation or a terrorist group using weapons of mass destruction. The draft also includes the option of using nuclear arms to destroy known enemy stockpiles of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The draft, dated March 15, would provide authoritative guidance for commanders to request presidential approval for using nuclear weapons, and represents the Pentagon's first attempt to revise procedures to reflect the Bush preemption doctrine. The first example for potential nuclear weapon use listed in the draft is against an enemy that is using "or intending to use WMD" against U.S. or allied, multinational military forces or civilian populations.

Weldon doubts DoD on Able Danger
September 8, 2005, UPI

The congressman who first made public claims that a secret Pentagon data mining project linked the Sept. 11 attacks ringleader to al-Qaida more than a year before the attacks took place says he does not believe the military's account of how the results of the project's work came to be destroyed. "I seriously have my doubts that it was routine," Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., told United Press International. Weldon said he had asked the Pentagon for the certificates of destruction that military officials must complete when classified data is destroyed. He said that there had been "a second elimination of data in 2003," in addition to the destruction acknowledged last week. "For some reason, the bureaucracy in the Pentagon -- I mean the civilian bureaucracy -- didn't want this to get out," he said.

Note: The New York Times reported that the 9/11 Commission was informed of Able Danger and of lead hijacker Mohamed Atta being identified as a threat and an al Qaeda member more than a year before 9/11. Why was this crucial fact not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report?

Bush Renews Sept. 11 Emergency Declaration
September 8, 2005, Washington Post/AP

President Bush on Thursday renewed the national emergency he declared after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a letter to Congress, Bush said the nation is still under the terrorist threat that led him to declare a national emergency three days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The president's declaration allows for the mobilization of reserve military forces and other steps. By law, a national emergency declaration automatically expires on the anniversary date of its declaration unless the president renews it. Bush's action will renew the declaration for another year.

Report: Gov't Secrecy Grows, Costs More
September 3, 2005, Washington Post/AP

The government is withholding more information than ever from the public and expanding ways of shrouding data. Last year, federal agencies spent a record $148 creating and storing new secrets for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, a coalition of watchdog groups reported Saturday. In the late 1990s, the ratio was $15-$17 a year to $1, according to the secrecy report card by Overall, the government spent $7.2 billion in 2004 stamping 15.6 million documents "top secret," "secret" or "confidential." That almost doubled the 8.6 million new documents classified as recently as 2001. Last year, the number of pages declassified declined for the fourth straight year to 28.4 million. In 2001, 100 million pages were declassified; the record was 204 million pages in 1997. These figures cover 41 federal agencies, excluding the CIA, whose classification totals are secret. The report also noted the growing use of secret searches, court secrecy, closed meetings by government advisory groups and patents kept from public view. J. William Leonard, director of the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office,...said, "the great lesson of 9-11 is that improper hoarding of information can cost lives and harm national security."

Senate must look at tougher mileage rules
September 6, 2005, Reuters

Faced with a record-high national gasoline price of $3.07 per gallon, a senior Republican senator said on Tuesday it was time for lawmakers to take another look at imposing stricter mileage standards on mini-vans and other vehicles. Most Republicans and the White House oppose significantly higher mileage requirements because of the potential impact on U.S. automakers and passenger safety. On Tuesday, the U.S. government reported that the average U.S. weekly retail gasoline price rocketed to $3.07 cents per gallon, up nearly 46 cents from last week, because of Katrina's damage to refineries and pipelines. In June, the Senate voted to reject a Democratic amendment to the energy bill to require better mileage for new gas-guzzling sport utility and other vehicles. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin had proposed that the standards be revised to boost the fuel economy of passenger cars to 40 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016, and sport utility vehicles to 27.5 mpg. The proposal was defeated.

Note: Why did no major media pick up on this important story from one of the most watched news services in the world? For more:

When sluggishness isn't OK
September 4, 2005, Chicago Tribune,1,3926343.column

E-mailers sent me copies of two news photos that revealed an apparent double standard regarding black and white flood victims in New Orleans. One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for The Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. In the other, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a similarly light-skinned woman also waded through chest-deep water after "finding" goods that included bread and soda in a local grocery store, according to the caption. Apparently, quipped a cynical blogger at Daily Kos, "It's not looting if you're white."

UFOs are real, but the Tories are acting
September 3, 2005, Globe and Mail
(One of Canada's Leading Newspapers)

Paul Hellyer has been a Liberal and a Conservative, has run for the leadership of both parties and founded two more, and will announce this month that he believes UFOs exist. Yes, indeed, the 82-year-old former defence minister in Lester Pearson's government is to address the Exopolitics Toronto Symposium on UFO Disclosure and Planetary Directions. "My role is really to say publicly for the first time that I believe that what we call unidentified flying objects are real," he said, ". . . and that people should know more about them and some of the implications of the fact they exist and that they've been observing our planet for more than half a century now."

Study: Ozone layer has stopped shrinking
August 31, 2005, CNN/Reuters

The ozone layer has stopped shrinking but it will take decades to start recovering, U.S. scientists reported on Tuesday. They said an international agreement to limit production of ozone-depleting chemicals has apparently worked, but the damage to ozone has not been halted completely. An analysis of satellite records and surface monitoring instruments shows the ozone layer has grown a bit thicker in some parts of the world, but is still well below normal levels, the scientists report in Wednesday's issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. The experts credited, at least in part, the 1987 Montreal Protocol which was ratified by more than 180 nations and set legally binding controls for on the production and consumption of ozone-depleting gases containing chlorine and bromine.

Out-of-body experiences 'probed'
August 27, 2005, BBC

UK researchers are asking for your help to find out exactly what is behind out-of-body experiences (OBEs). Psychologists at Manchester University have set up an online survey that they hope about 3,000 people will fill out. About one in 10 people claim to have had an OBE at some time, typically involving a sensation of floating and seeing the physical body from outside. For some, the phenomenon occurred spontaneously, while for others it was linked to dangerous circumstances, a near-death experience, a dream-like state or use of alcohol or drugs. The anonymous survey, funded by the Bial Foundation, can be accessed at

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Cover-up News Summary