Archives for FUBAR

Oil still contaminating Gulf coast

Much of the crude still in the Gulf and coastal areas more than three months after BP‘s blowout has permeated deep into marshes and wetlands, complicating cleanup. Crews are still finding plenty of crude in those interior areas, even as government officials say spotting oil from the air on the Gulf’s surface is taking longer on each trip. “The good news is people are seeing less oil, but the bad news is the oil trapped in the marshes is moving out with the tides and sticking on the marsh cane,” said Maura Wood, an oceanographer with the National Wildlife Foundation,
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CIA moved prisoners to circumvent court

Four of the nation’s most highly valued terrorist prisoners were secretly moved to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2003, years earlier than has been disclosed, then whisked back into overseas prisons before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers, The Associated Press has learned. The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA “black sites” for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.
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Pentagon wants leaked documents back

The Pentagon demanded Thursday that a website that solicits leaked government secrets cancel any plan to publish more classified military documents and pull back tens of thousands of secret Afghan war logs already posted on the Internet. The demand, which the Pentagon has no independent power to enforce, is primarily aimed at preventing release of approximately 15,000 secret documents that the website WikiLeaks has said it is holding. The Pentagon also hopes to stop WikiLeaks from making public the contents of a mammoth encrypted file recently added to the site. Contents of that file remain a mystery. “We are asking
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Ex-lobbyist indicted for illegal contributions

The head of a now-defunct lobbying firm was arrested on Thursday on charges he made illegal campaign contributions in an effort to build his clout and win more clients in the defense industry, the Justice Department said. Paul Magliocchetti, 64, was indicted on 11 counts of violating federal election laws that regulate and limit contributions to political candidates and parties for more than five years, stretching from January 2003 to November 2008. The indictment, in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, said Magliocchetti used personal and corporate money to finance campaign contributions made at his direction by
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Black tea party members: Racism? What racism?

Black members of the tea party movement on Wednesday rejected charges that the group’s activists are racist, saying they oppose President Barack Obama because of his policies not his skin color. The members gathered at a Washington news conference in the wake of allegations about its rank and file, heightened by the recent split with a Tea Party Express leader who had posted a letter on his blog written from “Colored People” to Abraham Lincoln. The post suggested that black people would choose slavery over having to do real work. The black members said the racism that has been attributed
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Is the oil spill over?

No more oil is likely to leak into the Gulf of Mexico now that efforts to plug the blown-out well are succeeding, the government’s point man on the spill declared Wednesday. A relieved President Barack Obama said the fight to stop the leak is “finally close to coming to an end.” At the White House, National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen said oil company BP‘s effort to plug the leak was progressing, giving officials “high confidence” that there will soon be no more oil leaking into the environment. The upbeat assessment came as a government report released Wednesday said only
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Court eats away at Miranda rights

You have the right to remain silent, but only if you tell the police that you’re remaining silent. You have a right to a lawyer — before, during and after questioning, even though the police don’t have to tell you exactly when the lawyer can be with you. If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you, which, by the way, are only good for the next two weeks? The Supreme Court made major revisions to the now familiar Miranda warnings this year. The rulings
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After 378 years, a family farm goes on the block

In 1632, John Tuttle arrived from England to a settlement near the Maine-New Hampshire border, using a small land grant from King Charles I to start a farm. Eleven generations and 378 years later, his field-weary descendants — arthritic from picking fruits and vegetables and battered by competition from supermarkets and pick-it-yourself farms — are selling their spread, which is among the oldest continuously operated family farms in America. “We’ve been here for 40 years, doing what we love to do,” said Lucy Tuttle, 65, who runs the 134-acre farm with brother Will. “But we’re not able to work to
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FBI snooping worries privacy advocates

Invasion of privacy in the Internet age. Expanding the reach of law enforcement to snoop on e-mail traffic or on Web surfing. Those are among the criticisms being aimed at the FBI as it tries to update a key surveillance law. With its proposed amendment, is the Obama administration merely clarifying a statute or expanding it? Only time and a suddenly on guard Congress will tell. Federal law requires communications providers to produce records in counterintelligence investigations to the FBI, which doesn’t need a judge’s approval and court order to get them. They can be obtained merely with the signature
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Immigration ruling sends ‘hands off’ message to states

States that had been watching Arizona’s immigration law in hopes of copying it received a rude awakening when a judge put most of the measure on hold and agreed with the Obama administration’s core argument that immigration enforcement is the role of the federal government. The ruling marked a repudiation of the Arizona law as U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton indicated that the government has a good chance at succeeding in its argument that federal immigration law trumps state law. It was an important first-round victory for the government in a fight that may not be settled until the U.S.
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