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Judge yourself before judging others.

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The boyfriend of a Kansas woman who sat on his toilet for so long that her body became stuck to the seat should face charges, the local sheriff has said. 

Sheriff Bryan Whipple, the second officer who arrived at the mobile home in Ness City where Pam Babcock was sitting on the toilet, asked prosecutors to charge Kory McFarren with mistreatment of a dependent adult.


However, Mr McFarren said his 35-year-old girlfriend - whom he had been looking after for 16 years - had a phobia about leaving the bathroom because of beatings she received in her childhood.

"I didn't do this to her. It was her choice. She is an adult, she made her own decision.

"It was my fault I should have gotten help for her sooner - I admit that," he added. "But after a while, you kind of get used to it."

Initially he told police that she had been on his toilet for two years, but yesterday he said he could not be sure: "Time just went by so quick I can't pinpoint how long."

"It just kind of happened one day; she went in and had been in there a little while, the next time it was a little longer. Then she got it in her head she was going to stay - like it was a safe place for her,"

Mr Whipple, who pried the seat from the toilet with a crow bar so doctors could surgically remove it from Miss Babcock, said the house was "cluttered but not in shambles" when he arrived.

"The smell was overpowering - a terrible smell about the house, obviously coming from where she was at."

Miss Babcock had open sores on which the toilet seat became stuck, suggesting that she had sat on it for at least a month at a time, the sheriff said.

"She would have to be sleeping on the toilet," he added. "She hadn't bathed for quite some time, I am safe in saying. She obviously was not keeping herself up."

But Mr McFarren said his girlfriend moved around the bathroom, bathed and changed into fresh clothes he brought her. He claimed they had conversations and a normal relationship - except it all took place in the bathroom.

The case has been the talk of Ness City, a town with 1,500 residents, and has made headlines around the world.

The county attorney, who is due to decide whether to charge Mr McFarren, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

"The unfortunate thing is this truly is a case of two people, in my opinion, with diminished mental capacity," Mr Whipple said.

Mr McFarren said he decided to call police on Feb 27 when Miss Babcock became groggy - as if she was confused, but awake.

Emergency responders found her fully dressed on the toilet, except for her tracksuit bottoms that was pulled down to her mid-thigh.

According to Mr McFarren, his girlfriend was unaware that she had lost feeling in her legs due to an infection that damaged her nerve endings. Doctors told him that she could end up in a wheelchair.

Mr McFarren, who works in an antique store, said he would still take care of his girlfriend if she came home.

He claimed he tried to coax her out of the bathroom every day. "And her reply would be, 'Maybe tomorrow,"' Mr Whipple said.


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The leader of a body-snatching ring, which stole the bones of veteran broadcaster Alistair Cooke and over 1000 other victims, has pleaded guilty.

The ring were thought to have made more than £2million from selling the parts on for transplant.

Medical supplies boss Michael Mastromarino came to a deal with US prosecutors who investigated his role in the hacking up of hundreds of corpses before forging donor consent forms and selling the parts.

He will be sentenced at Brooklyn Supreme Court to between 18 and 54 years in jail on May 21 and must forfeit the 4.6 million dollars (£2.3m) made from the operation.

Lawyers believe that around 40 unsuspecting British patients received the bone graft material stolen by the 44-year-old former dentist and his team of more than 12 body-cutters.

Mastromarino, who sat at the back of the court with his lawyer during the 90-minute hearing, was accused of the "systematic harvesting of tissues without consent".

When asked if he was guilty by Brooklyn District Attorney Josh Hanshaft, Mastromarino answered a long series of questions about his criminal operation with a single word: "yes".

The prosecution read out the charges relating to some of the more than 1,000 victims. When asked if he had harvested tissue from "several hundred others, some of these names including Alistair Cooke," Mastromarino again said "yes".


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A chauffeur to a multi-millionaire has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in a case where police believe he may have been hired by his employer to kill him.

Driver Carlos Trujillo, 47, was arrested last week along with his cousin and charged over the death of Andrew Kissel, a wealthy property developer found tied up and stabbed to death in his mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, in April 2006.

At the time of his death, Kissel was had been charged with real estate fraud and grand larceny for allegedly stealing nearly $4 million from a Manhattan apartment company.

Among the murder theories investigated, Greenwich Police chief David Ridberg said, was that Kissel’s death was a “suicide-for-hire”, in which the 46-year-old arranged for his own death so that relatives could benefit from his life insurance.

“If it ends up being the case, that’s fine,” he said.“If it doesn’t end up being the case, that’s fine, too.” Kissel’s death was the second gruesome episode in the family. In 2003 his brother, Robert, was drugged via a milkshake and then beaten to death by his wife, Nancy.

She was convicted in Hong Kong in 2005 and sentenced to life in prison.

Andrew Kissel and his estranged wife, Hayley, cared for Robert Kissel’s three children until they were handed over to the custody of another relative. The couple’s divorce was heating up before he was killed.

In divorce papers, his wife had accused her husband of being a belligerent alcoholic.Trujillo, the last person to see Kissel alive, had been interviewed by police several times and had given them samples of his DNA, fingerprints and some personal documents, his lawyer Lindy Urso has said.

“He was very close to Andrew. At the end, I think nobody was closer.” Trujillo has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder.“I can emphatically state he has maintained from day one he had nothing to do with this,” Ms Urso said.

“It’s hard for me to believe this guy committed a murder.”

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: make me a martyr for 9/11...

WEARING thick glasses and fussing with his turban, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed bore little resemblance to the slovenly, scruffy man whose image was beamed around the world following his capture in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi five years ago.

Then, the self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks was overweight and unshaven.

Yesterday, following two years of incarceration at Guantanamo Bay, a notably thinner, grey-haired Mohammed emerged dressed in a neat white tunic as the long-awaited military tribunal into his involvement in the attacks began.

There was a dramatic beginning to the war crimes trial as he declared that he wanted the death penalty for his part in 9/11, for which he is said to have claimed responsibility "from A to Z". "Yes, this is what I wish, to be a martyr for a long time," Mohammed announced.

The judge, Ralph Kohlmann, had warned him he faced execution if convicted of organising the attacks that claimed 2,973 lives at the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania where passengers forced down their hijacked plane. "I will, God willing, have this, by you," Mohammed said.

He may be seeking martyrdom, but he expressed concern for his appearance while in this world. A court artist employed was told to redraw her work after Mohammed said she'd made his nose look too big.

He and his four alleged co-conspirators each face death if convicted of war crimes, including murder, conspiracy, attacking civilians and terrorism by hijacking planes to attack the US landmarks. The proceedings represent a milestone for the US authorities, who have been on Mohammed's tail for 15 years.

But the military tribunal has been mired in controversy, with lawyers and human rights campaigners declaring that the hearing is fundamentally unfair and seriously harmful to America's already damaged image as a defender of freedom.

It has declared Mohammed and other al-Qaeda accused to be "illegal enemy combatants", stateless individuals who should not be afforded the usual protections given to prisoners of war.

None of the defendants wore handcuffs yesterday, but retractable leg chains hidden beneath the raised courtroom floor were available to restrain them if they became unruly.

Mohammed defiantly sacked his defence team and insisted he wanted to represent himself.

Joining him at the long-awaited hearing were Ramzi Binalshibh, who is said to have been the main intermediary between the hijackers and al-Qaeda leaders; Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, known as Ammar al-Baluchi, a nephew and lieutenant of Mohammed; Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi, al-Baluchi's assistant; and Waleed bin Attash, who allegedly selected and trained some of the 19 hijackers who turned planes into missiles in the attacks. Mohammed was dramatically captured in March 2003, when Pakistani agents in bullet-proof vests scaled the wall of his al-Qaeda safe house and handcuffed him, placing a black hood over his head.

The operation, thought to have been guided by the FBI, followed an international hunt for a man said to have confessed to being involved in more than 30 terrorist plots worldwide, including plans to attack Big Ben and Canary Wharf in London.

BROUGHT up in Kuwait in a family whose roots lie in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan, Mohammed developed extremist Islamic beliefs as a teenager. He claims to have joined the Muslim Brotherhood at 16 and to have fallen for violent jihad at youth camps in the desert.

In 1983, he left Kuwait to enrol at a small Baptist school in North Carolina, later transferring to a university in Greensboro, which he attended with the brother of his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, another al-Qaeda member in the making.

Mohammed came to the attention of the US over his role in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing – he provided financial support to the bombers. That inspired him to become more heavily involved in terrorism and he developed into a capable and respected al-Qaeda plotter.

Among many other operations, he masterminded the "Bojinka" plot – the intended bombing of 12 commercial US jets over the Pacific.

After his arrest, Mohammed was held at a CIA secret prison, where he was subjected to controversial interrogation techniques and a practice known as waterboarding, that simulates drowning, until he was moved to Guantanamo Bay two years ago.

His capture provided an intelligence bonanza for the US as he had links to almost every aspect of al-Qaeda. His arrest led authorities to terrorists' mobile phones and computers, allowing them to break up rings in Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Qatar and Indonesia.

In March 2007, the Pentagon released an apparent confession from Mohammed, in which he claimed overall responsibility for the Twin Towers attacks. He expressed sorrow for those who died and said he "did not like to kill children" but that "in war, there were always victims".

Yesterday, as the judge asked him whether he was satisfied with the US military lawyer appointed to defend him, Mohammed stood and began to sing in Arabic, cheerfully pausing to translate his own words. "My shield is Allah most high", he said, adding that his religion forbade him from accepting a US lawyer and that he wanted to represent himself.

He criticised America for fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, waging what he called "a crusader war", and for enacting illegal laws, including those authorising same-sex marriages.

Mohammed seemed calm during most of yesterday's proceedings, but denounced the tribunal as unfair after the judge told defence lawyers to be quiet. "It's an inquisition. It's not a trial," he said. "After torturing, they transfer us to inquisition land in Guantanamo."

He added: "All of this has been taken under torturing. You know that very well."

The five accused, sitting at separate tables, speaking to each other in Arabic, appeared to pass notes and at one point looked back and chuckled at reporters watching from behind a courtroom window. All appeared to be in robust health, except for al-Hawsawi, who looked thin and frail and sat on a pillow on his chair.

CALMLY propping his glasses on his turban to peer at legal papers, Mohammed grinned at times and insisted that he would not be represented by any lawyers, telling judge that he could "only accept Sharia law". He sang "There is no God but him, in him I have put my trust", until the judge asked him to stop.

Mohammed told the judge he understood there were certain subjects he should not bring up in court, but said the Koran should be within the "green line", or permitted. "I can't mention about the torturing," he said in broken English. "I know this is the red line."

He also sought to cast doubt on last year's "confession" to a military review panel. "They mistranslated my words and put many words in my mouth," he said. The arraignment marked the beginning of the highest-profile test of the US military's controversial tribunal system, which could yet be halted by a US Supreme Court ruling later this month on the rights of Guantanamo prisoners. Fearing the possibility of the trial backfiring by allowing Mohammed to spread anti-Western propaganda in courtroom speeches, the judge revealed journalists would be prevented from hearing classified information, thanks to a 20-second delay on the closed-circuit video feed of the proceedings.

Professor Paul Wilkinson, one of the UK's leading terrorism experts, said the US military was acting "as judge and jury", and he highlighted the denial of rights given to those in civilian courts. These include not being able to appoint their own lawyers and a lesser burden of proof on the prosecution.

Huge list of charges includes 2,973 counts of murder

KHALID Sheikh Mohammed and co- defendants Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Walid bin Attash were yesterday charged with committing terrorism and conspiring with al-Qaeda to murder civilians in attacks which launched George Bush's global "war on terrorism".

They also face 2,973 counts of murder, one for each person killed in 2001 when hijacked passenger planes slammed into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Mohammed has, however, attempted to take "credit" for many more al-Qaeda-related plots and attacks across the world. In March 2007, Mohammed testified before a closed-door hearing in Guantanamo Bay. An edited transcript of his testimony was subsequently released by the Pentagon.

Although Mohammed yesterday denied some of the comments attributed to him from the transcript, it is inconceivable it was an entire work of fiction.

Too numerous to list in their entirety, the attacks detailed in the 2007 statement included the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York; the November 2002 suicide bombing of a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya; the beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002; Richard Reid's shoe-bombing attempt to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic; and the Bali nightclub bombing.

His most famous quote from the transcript concerns al-Qaeda's biggest ever attack: "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z." He also apparently confessed to being a member of the al-Qaeda council and "military operational commander for all foreign operations".

In all, he allegedly confessed to being responsible for 31 attacks or planned attacks, including ones on Heathrow airport, Canary Wharf and Big Ben.

Of beheading Mr Pearl, he said: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew."

Court artist 'got the nose wrong'...

KHALID Sheikh Mohammed complained a courtroom artist had made his nose look too big.

No photographers were allowed in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base courtroom for the first appearance of Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators on war crimes charges.

So it fell to artist Janet Hamlin to provide the world with the first image of the al-Qaeda kingpin since his capture in Pakistan in 2003. Her rendering was reviewed to make sure it did not include classified information, and wound up in Mohammed's hands when his defence team was given a look. But Mohammed wasn't pleased.

"I heard he said I should compare it to the FBI photo of him," Ms Hamlin said, clutching a copy of the capture photo that showed Mohammed in a T-shirt and looking dishevelled.

Asked if Mohammed had a point, Ms Hamlin said: "I agree," before rushing back to the courtroom to downsize his nose.

How trial will be conducted – with life or death in hands of president

Where is the trial being held?

Under the terms of the Military Commissions Act passed by the US Congress in 2006, trials are held at Camp Justice.

This is a huge tent city at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, which will provide sleeping, living and working quarters for up to 500 people involved with the military commission process.

How will the tribunal work?

The military commission will be made up of US armed forces officers. If the death penalty is sought, at least 12 members have to be on the commission. A qualified military judge is presiding over the hearing.

To get a conviction, at least two-thirds of the commission members have to be in favour.

For a sentence of death, which can be sought if death occurred as a result of a defendant's action, all 12 commission members have to agree. The final decision on carrying out an execution will be taken by the US president.

What safeguards are there for the defendant?

Some basic requirements of US criminal law have been kept.

The accused will have the presumption of innocence and proof of guilt will have to be "beyond reasonable doubt".

He cannot be forced to testify against himself. He will have a military lawyer and can also have a civilian one.

The accused will be able to be present for the proceedings unless he is ruled disruptive, and will be able to present evidence and witnesses in his defence and cross-examine any witnesses against him. He will have the right to be shown the evidence against him, though this will be in summary form if the judge decides that sources are to be kept secret for security reasons.

What drawbacks are there for the defendant in the case?

There are some serious differences between the commissions and normal US law.

The decision to convict is by two-thirds vote, not unanimity as in a US jury trial. The commission itself, in effect the jury, is made up of military officers, not members of the public.

Also, a key difference is that any evidence, including hearsay, and some obtained by coercion, will be allowed, "if the military judge determines that the evidence would have probative value to a reasonable person".

Evidence that contains classified information will be summarised to protect its sources, so the accused will not have a complete picture of the case against him.

What about evidence obtained by torture or coercion?

Evidence obtained under torture will not be permitted, but evidence obtained by "coercion" could be. One problem is that "water-boarding" – simulated drowning to elicit information – is not classified as torture by the Bush administration and it admits that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to it. If evidence was obtained before 30 December 2005, (that is, the date when the Detainee Treatment Act came into force, outlawing "cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment") the military judge can allow the evidence if "the totality of the circumstances renders the statement reliable" and "the interests of justice would best be served". This suggests that some evidence obtained in the so-called "secret prisons" operated by the CIA might be admissible.

Will his alleged previous confession be admissible?

This remains to be determined and will probably be argued out in the court. He is quoted in a transcript of a review hearing that he was "responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z".

What about legal objections to the tribunals?

They are being challenged in the US Supreme Court. Lawyers for two prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Lakhdar Boumediene and Fawzi al-Odah, argue that the Military Commissions Act (MCA) unlawfully deprives them of their right under habeas corpus – concerning the state's authority to detain – to have their cases heard by a US civilian court.

This right was acknowledged in an earlier Supreme Court ruling but the MCA removed it, claiming the suspects are illegal enemy combatants and "stateless". The prisoners say habeas corpus should extend to Guantanamo even though it is technically not US territory. The Supreme Court is to issue a ruling by 30 June.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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Gary McKinnon, could face extradition from Britain to the United States, where he would stand trial for hacking into US government computers and could face a sentence of up to 60 years.

Gary has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, which is why I and his family and his many friends and supporters around the world are arguing that he should be allowed to stay in the UK and face the courts in the country where the offence – if offence there was – was committed.

The US authorities waited two years to call for Gary's arrest because of a then-unratified, unsigned extradition treaty between the two countries, which would make it easier for them to have a British citizen sent for trial in the US. Yet, when he was first arrested in London, six years ago now, Gary was told he would probably get a sentence of community service for his hacking activities.

He naively admitted computer misuse before he had engaged a lawyer and without a lawyer even being present. We were still unaware at that time that he had Asperger's syndrome.

Gary gained no leniency for his honesty and on the contrary, his extradition has been relentlessly pursued by the British and American authorities, despite the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) declining to prosecute him in Britain. This attitude will hardly encourage British citizens to come clean regarding any crimes they may have committed. If no leniency or consideration is given when a person accused of a crime immediately and openly tells the truth, there is little point in them admitting to anything.

The CPS's decision not to to prosecute Gary here was clearly made to allow the Americans to arrest him two-and-a-half years later, once the one-sided extradition treaty was introduced and then made retrospective.

In addition, in order to indict Gary, the US authorities had to claim a specific amount of financial damage. Gary has always denied causing damage and without proof of such, the US could not prosecute him. Just a month ago the US prosecutors stated in an interview that once Gary was extradited, the most difficult thing to prove would be the damage!

Several weeks ago the goalposts were moved yet again when the US introduced a new law whereby no proof of damage was required where military computers were concerned. For the American law to then have been conveniently changed at such a crucial time does little to give us any faith in such a legal system.

There is a London demonstration outside the US embassy, scheduled for 4pm on September 28 in Grosvenor Square. See the campaign website for more details.


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Nixon wanted to 'decimate' North Vietnam...

President Nixon wanted to "decimate" North Vietnam and viewed university professors as "enemies", new Oval Office tapes tapes have revealed.

President Richard Nixon greets John McCain after he was released in 1973
President Nixon greets John McCain after he was released from a North Vietnamese prison camp...

The newly declassified discussions with close aides such as Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig also reveal the president's contempt for colleagues and his vitriol for critics.

"Never forget, the press is the enemy. The establishment is the enemy. The professors are the enemy," he told Mr Kissinger, his national security adviser, in Dec 1972.

"Professors are the enemy," he repeated. "Write that on a blackboard 100 times and never forget it."

A few days later, Mr Haig, then the deputy assistant for National Security Affairs, told Mr Nixon that his vice president, Spiro Agnew, disagreed with Mr Kissinger on Vietnam.

Mr Nixon replied that his VP "is a goddamned fool" who "doesn't know a goddamned thing. He bores the hell out of me. Christ... I'll have to have him come in here."

Within days, in one of the most controversial US acts of the war, it had carried out a series of intense air attacks on North Vietnam aimed at forcing the country to come to the table for peace talks.

"We're going to bomb them. We'll take the heat right over the Christmas period, then on January 3, it's Christmas withdrawal," the president told Mr Kissinger and Mr Haig. He called the North Vietnamese communists "filthy bastards".

Although Mr Nixon sought reassurance from aides that the US was "punishing the hell out of the enemy", he stressed his forces were trying to avoid civilian casualties.

When an adviser said Americans wanted reassurance that the bombing was simply an attempt to "decimate" the North Vietnamese, Mr Nixon snapped: "It's too damned bad we aren't decimating the country... with all the screaming about civilians, believe me: if we were trying, the goddamned place would be levelled. Levelled!" Nearly 200 hours of tapes and 90,000 pages of text have been released by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and the US National Archives.

The tapes include a conversation Mr Nixon had with Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador, at a time when the president wanted Moscow to put pressure on the Vietnamese to negotiate.

"Your government and I – we've got bigger fish to fry than this damn thing," Mr Nixon told him, referring to the war as an "irritant".

The new documents also show that Mr Nixon's siege mentality was shared by his closest advisers.

Together, they collected dirt on the president's critics and public figures, including their marital, mental and drink problems.

Luke Nichter, a Nixon scholar, said the tapes would mean that "one of the most secretive presidential administrations in American history will over time become the best chronicled".

The TRUTH is out there...........

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 Shit Happens

Well Wadda Ya Know?

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American justice right enough T


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The TRUTH is out there...........

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George Bush's 20 worst moments...

Any list of errors is unflattering, but President George W Bush's catalogue of mistakes is particularly impressive.

Some may argue that some entries here, such as not signing Kyoto, belong in a best moments list. Others even the president has admitted were cock-ups.

1) No WMDs

Mr Bush built his entire case for war on the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. However, he chose to ignore conflicting evidence and forever undermined not only his presidency, but the reputation of US intelligence agencies and his country in much of the world.

2) "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job"

Mr Bush could not control the weather, but he had control in naming the director of FEMA, the agency in charge of disaster mitigation. His appointee, Mike Brown, was woefully underprepared and failed to facilitate proper aid to the stranded victims of Hurricane Katrina. Despite his tragic miscues, Mr Bush famously told his pall "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."

3) No Post-War Plan for Iraq

The outgoing president achieved his goal of ousting Saddam Hussein but had little planned for a destabilised post-Saddam Iraq. After six years, thousands of military casualties, an untold amount of Iraqi civilian deaths, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the war is still not over.

4) Permitting Torture

By stating that the Geneva Convention did not apply to "enemy combatants," Mr Bush paved the way for waterboarding, attack dogs, and other draconian interrogation tactics that will forever be associated with his presidency.

5) Ignoring Pre-9/11 Terror Memo

Just weeks before 9/11, while spending a holiday at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Mr Bush received a memo from the CIA entitled, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US". While the President cannot respond to every single threat presented to the country, the timing and nature of this particular warning will forever blight his legacy.

6) "Mission Accomplished"

Mr Bush's bombastic declaration of victory in Iraq while aboard an aircraft carrier in May 2003 was premature to say the least: the vast majority of war casualties have occurred since the unfurling of the "mission accomplished" banner. He has admitted this was one of his biggest mistakes.

7) Entering Iraq without a UN mandate.

After months of deliberation, the UN Security Council could not come to an agreement over the proposed invasion of Iraq. Mr Bush impatiently led a "coalition of the willing" into the country and his decision is still considered by the UN to be illegal.

8) Insisting there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda

Mr Bush aimed to strengthen his case for war by linking the perpetrators of 9/11 to Saddam Hussein. As of today there is little to no evidence supporting his claim.

9) Failing to capture Osama bin Laden

After 9/11, Mr Bush's primary goal was to capture al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. More than seven years have passed and the only evidence of Bin Laden is a series of grainy video tapes taunting Mr Bush and the United States.

10) Abandoning the Kyoto Protocol

In 2001, Mr Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that requires participating countries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. He cited its effect on the economy, but the auto industry is already on the brink and global climate change is a real problem. Even merely as a sign of intent, his signature would have been helpful.

11) Refusing to let Katrina ruin his holiday

Hurricane Katrina hit towards the end of a long summer holiday for Mr Bush. His immediate response was not to view the damage personally, but at five miles high through the window of Air Force One on his way back to Washington.

12) Underestimating the cost of the war

Like a contractor's ever-inflating estimates of a home renovation, Mr Bush's original $50-$60 billion price tag on the Iraq war sounds like a steal now. The current cost is closer to $600 billion.

13) Lack of body armour for US troops

Due to the budget constraints of an expensive war, many US troops lacked proper armour for the challenges in Iraq. There have been reports of families turning to eBay to purchase protective gear for their sons and daughters stationed in the Middle East.

14) Failure to include Louisiana's coastal parishes in state of emergency plan

On August 27, 2005, two days before Hurricane Katrina hit, President Bush declared a state of emergency for parts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Not included on that list were the coastal areas of Louisiana that included New Orleans, the city hit hardest by Katrina.

15) Tax cuts for the wealthy

Believing wealthy Americans would take their fortunes to tax shelters, Mr Bush granted large tax cuts to keep their cash in the US. Critics contend it disproved the trickle down theory, as the economy headed into recession.

16) Losing focus on Afghanistan

The early campaign in Afghanistan was relatively successful. Rather than continuing the effort there however, Mr Bush quickly switched focus to Iraq. Many, including President-Elect Barack Obama, believe that a greater presence in Afghanistan would be more effective in the war on terror.

17) Limiting stem cell research

One of President Bush's earliest decisions was to restrict the research of embryonic stem cells. These types of studies have shown tremendous results in lab rats (such as reversing the course of Parkinson's in the rodents). Humans will have to wait for his policy to be annulled before seeing any benefits.

18) Appointment and backing of Alberto Gonzales

Mr Bush appointed an old Texan friend Alberto Gonzales as his Attorney General after the resignation of John Ashcroft. Widely criticised as a sycophantic foil to "Dubya", Mr Gonzales oversaw questionable US attorney dismissals and the NSA's warrantless wiretapping before eventually resigning. Along with Mike Brown, Alberto Gonzales is an example of Mr Bush's perceived penchant for surrounding himself with "yes men" rather than qualified individuals.

19) Awarding lucrative Iraq reconstruction contracts to Halliburton

Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's old employer, received a large reconstruction contract in Iraq shortly after the onset of the war. Rumours of it not having to bid are unfounded, but claims of a conflict of interest remain. In addition, their exportation of the country's oil has been a largely unsuccessful endeavour.

20) Warrantless Wiretapping

Shortly after 9/11, President Bush authorised the warrantless wiretapping of certain telephone calls for the sake of national security. Eavesdropping would often top most Presidents' list of reprehensible acts but Mr Bush, supported by Congress, contended that it helped keep America safe.

The TRUTH is out there...........

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This latest development is a serious worry that both the US & UK will be targeted again by fanatics by admitting torturing people!!!

Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Minister admits terror transfer

John Hutton's Commons statement

Ministers have admitted they handed over terror suspects in Iraq to US authorities, sparking claims of collusion in extraordinary rendition.

Defence secretary John Hutton said two men detained in 2004 were transferred to US custody and were then transported to Afghanistan, where they remain.

He said he was reassured they had been treated humanely but apologised for past incorrect answers given to MPs.

The Tories said the UK faced charges of being "complicit with serious abuse".

The Lib Dems said Mr Hutton's comments raised "as many questions as answers" and called for all relevant documents in the case to be published.

Mr Hutton said that contrary to previous statements he now knew UK officials were aware that the two men, understood to be Pakistani nationals, had been transferred to US custody in 2004 but that no action had been taken on the issue.

New evidence

He said "brief references" to the case had been included in papers sent to then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Home Secretary Charles Clarke in April 2006 but its significance had not been highlighted at the time.

The UK has always denied allegations of collusion in extraordinary rendition - the term used for sending terror suspects for interrogation in countries where torture is not illegal - despite frequent claims to the contrary.

In a statement to MPs, Mr Hutton said a review of detainees held by the UK forces in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 had uncovered the case of the two men, members of the banned group Lashkar e Tayyiba, which has links to al-Qaeda.

I regret that it is now clear that inaccurate information has been given to the House by my department
John Hutton

They are still being held in Afghanistan, where they are classified as "unlawful enemy combatants".

Mr Hutton said there was no "substantiated evidence" that they had been mistreated or subjected to abuse there.

But he added: "I regret that it is now clear that inaccurate information on this particular issue has been given to the House by my department.

"I must stress that this was based on the information available to ministers and those who were briefing them at the time.

"My predecessors as defence secretary have confirmed to me that they had no knowledge of these events."

'Not candid'

The Conservatives said that although the case was a "specific rather than a systemic failure", it raised serious questions about the practice of extraordinary rendition.

Shadow security minister Crispin Blunt said Mr Hutton's remarks seemed to contradict assurances given in 2006 and ministers were wrong to "overlook" the importance of the case.

"It is of serious concern that there is a underlying charge of complicity with serious abuse of people detained by British forces on operations overseas," he said.

It is of serious concern that there is a underlying charge of complicity with serious abuse of people detained by British forces on operations overseas
Crispin Blunt
Shadow security minister

Former shadow home secretary David Davis said the case was the "latest in a series of issues where the government has been less than straightforward" in regard to allegations of torture.

For the Lib Dems, security spokesman Nick Harvey asked the defence secretary to state categorically that UK forces were explicitly told not to be complicit in "abduction, rendition or torture".

"I would like you to tell this House that you are absolutely confident that nothing will come to light subsequently which might cause you or any other minister in the future to have to come to the despatch box and acknowledge that we haven't had as comprehensive a version of the truth today as you might like to think," he said.

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Cambell pressed ministers on whether the UK had sought assurances that the two men would not be tortured before they were handed over.


Civil liberties campaigners said they were "shocked but not surprised" by Mr Hutton's statement.

"This was rendition," said Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti.

"It was transfer of prisoners of a kind which had previously been denied."

The government admitted last year that two US flights carrying terror suspects for interrogation landed on UK territory in 2002, contradicting previous ministerial statements on the matter.

Foreign secretary David Miliband said the planes had refuelled on the UK dependent territory of Diego Garcia.

British soldier in Iraq
The suspects in question were detained in Iraq by UK forces in 2004

He said he was "very sorry" previous denials about rendition flights by among others, former prime minister Tony Blair, had been wrong but said they were made in good faith at the time.

In December 2005, Tony Blair told MPs the practice of rendition - moving suspects from one country to another - had been US policy for "many years".

He added: "It is not something that I have ever actually come across until this whole thing has blown up (the row at the time about whether US extraordinary rendition planes had passed through the UK) and I don't know anything about it, and the reason why I am not going to start ordering inquiries is that I can't see a reason for doing it, I am afraid."

The latest revelation comes days after Binyam Mohamed, the former Guantanamo detainee who claims UK intelligence agencies colluded in his torture, returned to the UK.

BBC NEWS | Politics | UK apology over rendition flights
Outlawed: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances ...

One of these days.....

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Reply with quote  #43 
Very interesting quote> Prime Minister Tony Blair:
"First, let me draw a very clear distinction indeed between the idea of suspects being taken from one country to another and any sense whatever that ourselves, the United States or anyone condones the use of torture. Torture cannot be justified in any set of circumstances at all. The practice of rendition as described by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been American policy for many years. We have not had such a situation here, but that has been American policy for many, many years. However, it must be applied in accordance with international conventions, and I accept entirely Secretary of State Rice's assurance that it has been."

One of these days.....

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Reply with quote  #44 
It is of serious concern that there is a underlying charge of complicity with serious abuse of people detained by British forces on operations overseas
Crispin Blunt
Shadow security minister
great post max


Posts: 147
Reply with quote  #45 
Somebody please correct me if I'm missing something here-

Certain (almost all?) muslim countries routinely practcise what the west considers "torture". These countries don't pretend to operate based on universalist, humanitarian principles. They don't have any semblance of transparent decision-making, accountablity and a free press to publically scrutinise policy makers. Turkey, for example, perhaps the most "secular" muslim country, regularly and openly jails writers and journalists for simply printing about the kurds or armenians. None of this is hidden and secret, it's all open, explicit and admited by Turkey, who, as i say, is among the "gentlest" non-western nations.

Now, certain terrorist suspects, who come from, for example, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Algeria, all miraculously are found deep within the most taliban-friendly areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They say they are tourists, they are attending a wedding, they are on a fact-finding mission etc. The west doesn't believe them. Authorities in some north African country say they want to interrogate these people for alleged crimes commited there. The suspects claim they have been "tortured" by these muslim authorities and that the west knew fine well this was likely to happen.


Defenders of "civil liberties" (only in the west) loudly condemn (without verifiable evidence) the west for its part. No similar protest is heard in the countries themselves, for some strange reason. Virtually no-one condemns the country with carried out the alleged torture, and, 99 times out of 100, the "victim" after condemning the UK, and trying to sue the government in the courts for money, wishes to apply for British citizenship!! All this occurs in a context where we are told that all cultures deserve our respect and admiration, but that numerous countries routinely sanction treatment of suspects that amounts to torture.

If this isn't an example of Orwellian double-speak then ...

Of all the forms of intelligence hitherto discovered, by far the most intelligent has been instinct.
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