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Remains of Our Open Society: FISA's Real Target

FISA Bill's Real Target: What Remains of Our Open Society
by Chris Hedges
If the sweeping surveillance law signed by President Bush on Thursday -- giving the U.S. government nearly unchecked authority to eavesdrop on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans -- is allowed to stand, we will have eroded one of the most important bulwarks to a free press and an open society.

The new FISA Amendments Act nearly eviscerates oversight of government surveillance. It allows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review only general procedures for spying rather than individual warrants. The court will not be told specifics about who will be wiretapped, which means the law provides woefully inadequate safeguards to protect innocent people whose communications are caught up in the government's dragnet surveillance program.

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Date with the Crown: First Nations Elders Assaulted by CBSA Now Charged

Statement of People Concerned About the Rights of Two  Women  Who Were Brutally Assaulted by Canada Border Services Agents
by MNN
On June 14th 2008 Katenies and Kahentinetha – who are both writers and contributors to Mohawk Nation News were handcuffed and tackled to the ground at the Cornwall border checkpoint.

The Canada Border Services agents acted as though they had lost control of themselves, or they had no regard for legal propriety. Neither woman did anything wrong.  The attacks were unprovoked but seems to have been directed by whoever was at the other end of the cell phone.
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Karl's Skeletons: American Justice Betrayed

Progress in the Paul Minor Case?
by Roger Shuler
The Paul Minor case has a special resonance here at Legal Schnauzer. And word comes today we have reached a landmark on the road to possible justice in a case that can only be described as gruesome.

Attorneys for Minor have filed an appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. We will look at some of the key issues on appeal in a moment. But first, a word about why this case matters so much to us--and why it should matter to all Americans.

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The Not-So-Historic Talabani-Barak Handshake

A Kodak Moment: The Not-So-Historic Talabani-Barak Handshake
by Ramzy Baroud
Most people would not have even realised that the 23rd congress of the Socialist International was being held near Athens were it not for the moment when Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak shook the hand of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

An Associated Press report, published in the Israeli daily Haaretz, dubbed the handshake "historic". History was supposedly made in Athens on 1 July 2008. Centred in a photo, featuring a widely grinning Barak and Talabani, is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who was credited for introducing the two.

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Obama: Rendering Unto Jesus

On the Peace Born of Faith
by Scott Horton
Max Blumenthal reports last week in The Nation on a hushed meeting convened on June 10 in the plush conference room of a Chicago law firm. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama met with thirty leading figures from the evangelical community. The show was stolen by the Rev. Franklin Graham, the son and successor of the evangelical world’s hottest seller, Billy Graham, better known for his highly inflammatory comments about Islam—which he once called a “very evil and wicked religion.” According to Blumenthal, Graham, who sat next to the candidate,

  • "directly confronted Obama about his supposedly Muslim background and Christian authenticity. . . He peppered Obama with pointed questions, repeatedly demanding to know if the senator believed that “Jesus was the way to God or merely a way.”

It appears that Obama impressed many with his depth in Protestant theology, but in the end failed to satisfy his socially conservative, white southern audience with answers about abortion and gay marriage.

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Taliban "Franchises" Open Broader Battle in Afghanistan

Carnage in Kabul: Graeme Smith: Taliban forces 'franchised' and Mostly Afghan Based
by The Real News
A suicide car bomb ripped through the gates of the Indian Embassy in Kabul on Monday. Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned the attack that killed 41 people and wounded 150.
It was the deadliest blast in Kabul since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Afghanistan was quick to blame Pakistan but Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gillani denied that its intelligence service was behind the attack. The Real News spoke with Graeme Smith of the Globe and Mail in Kandahar to learn more.
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'Public Opinion and Bear Mountain' – Now Available!

Public Opinion and Bear Mountain – Now Available!
by Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network
It took more than 6 months (and many hundreds of hours) compiling your comments about Bear Mountain Resort, the interchange, Langford's council, and all the controversy surrounding them.
Now - finally! – Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network is pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive report on public opinion and Bear Mountain.
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Somalia's American-Made Road to Perdition

The Forgotten: Somalia's American-Made Road to Perdition        
by Chris Floyd     
The on-going, American-backed atrocity continues to rage in Somalia, where George W. Bush has launched a third "regime change" front in his global Terror War, with the help of one of his many pet dictators, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

This week the head of the UN Development Program in Somalia, Osman Ali Ahmed, was shot dead as he left evening prayers at a mosque near his home in Mogadishu. The Bush Administration immediately blamed insurgent factions fighting against the Ethiopian-imposed government; insurgent leaders immediately denied the charge: "All the Mujahedeen are not behind his killing and it is not becoming of them to kill important persons who help the Somali people on whose behalf we are fighting," said a spokesman for one of the Islamist factions opposed to the Ethiopian-imposed government.
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Why the U.S. Won't Attack Iran

Reality Bites Back: Why the U.S. Won't Attack Iran
by Tom Engelhardt
Possessing the world's second largest reserves of oil and natural gas, Iran is no speed bump on the energy map. The National Security Network, a group of national security experts, estimates that the Bush administration's policy of bluster, threat, and intermittent low-level actions against Iran has already added a premium of $30-$40 to every $140 barrel of oil.
Then there was the one-day $11 spike after Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz suggested that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities was "unavoidable."

Given that, let's imagine, for a moment, what almost any version of an air assault -- Israeli, American, or a combination of the two -- would be likely to do to the price of oil. When asked recently by Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News about the effects of an Israeli attack on Iran, correspondent Richard Engel responded: "I asked an oil analyst that very question. He said, 'The price of a barrel of oil? Name your price: $300, $400 a barrel.'" Former CIA official Robert Baer suggested in Time Magazine that such an attack would translate into $12 gas at the pump. ("One oil speculator told me that oil would hit $200 a barrel within minutes.") 

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B.C.'s Species at Risk: There Oughta be a Law

“There Oughta Be a Law, and This Ain’t It”
by Forest
The provincial government's “underwhelming” response today to a groundbreaking report on the precarious state of wildlife and wilderness in BC recycles failed policies and underscores the urgent need for a species at risk law for the province, says a coalition of leading environmental organizations.
“British Columbia is in desperate need of an endangered species law to recover our species at risk, and to prevent species from becoming at risk in the first place,” said Devon Page of Ecojustice. “We need a law that compels habitat protection. Unfortunately that’s not what was announced today.”
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The Eight Mistaken Theses of Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro and the FARC: Eight Mistaken Thesis of Fidel Castro
by James Petras
I have been a supporter of the Cuban Revolution for exactly fifty years and recognize Fidel Castro as one of the great revolutionary leaders of our time.  But I have never been an uncritical apologist: On several crucial occasions I have expressed my disagreements in print, in public and in discussions with Cuban leaders, writers and militants. 
Fidel Castro’s articles and commentaries on the recent events in Colombia, namely his discussion of the Colombian regime’s freeing of several FARC prisoners (including three CIA operatives and Ingrid Betancourt) and his critical comments on the politics, structure, practices, tactics and strategy of the FARC and its world-renowned leader, Manuel Marulanda, merit serious consideration.
Castro’s remarks demand analysis and refutation, not only because his opinions are widely read and influence millions of militants and admirers in the world, especially in Cuba and Latin America, but because he purports to provide a ‘moral’ basis for opposition to imperialism today. 
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