The down-to-the-wire negotiations between Congress and the White House on a catchall spending bill produced an unexpected benefit--a dollop less pork. In normal years, negotiators at the end of such sessions slip in "special member requests," such as highway projects for individual districts. This year, deliberations over such major issues as immigration reform left Hill leaders with little time for even minimal scrutiny of the hundreds of dubious last-minute requests, such as a GOP pitch for a park visitor center to be located 40 miles outside the park boundary. Fearing embarrassment, House Republican leaders during a bleary-eyed 2 a.m. meeting suggested shelving everyone's lists. House Democrats and Senate Republicans agreed, as did (later and grudgingly) Senate Democrats. Alas, the final bill includes plenty of pork inserted earlier in the process, including $250,000 to help Alaskan natives hunt polar bears, sea otters and walruses.
from U.S. News Online - Washington Whispers
Over 140 repressors charged by Uki Goņi -Buenos Aires - 27 October 1996
Some 140 torturers and repressors from the military dictatorship which killed over 20,000 people in Argentina between 1976 and 1983 face trial in two European courts...
Among those accused in Spain and Italy are three former military presidents, Generals Jorge Videla, Leopoldo Galtieri and Reynaldo Bignone. More embarrassingly, the list also includes the current governor of Tucuman, retired General Antonio Bussi, who has already said he refuses to testify before the Spanish judge...
Among the charges contained in the Spanish summons is that of piracy, as understood by endangering the lives of aeroplane passengers. The preferred method of the military for getting rid of the thousands of the disappeared was to throw them alive out of aeroplanes into the Atlantic Ocean to be devoured by sharks.
Pentagon Notifies Veterans on Chemical Weapons 9/19
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - In a growing military controversy, the Pentagon said Thursday it was notifying 5,000 more U.S. Gulf War troops that they may have been exposed to chemical weapons in the destruction of an Iraqi ammunition dump.
The announcement vastly expanded the search for possible victims after the military said in June only 150 U.S. troops could have suffered exposure as they destroyed the Kamisiyah ammunition depot in southern Iraq in March 1991...
``The Defense Department will begin notifications immediately to about 5,000 service members who were in the possible dispersion area,'' the announcement said. ``Information currently being evaluated suggests low-level exposures may have taken place out to 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Kamisiyah complex on March 10, 1991.''
Bacon said he could not confirm reports that thousands of troops from the 24th Infantry Division might have been in the region at the time.
The Pentagon denied last month that it intentionally quashed a 1991 classified report suggesting that U.S. troops were exposed to Iraqi chemical weapons.
But it conceded that ``the full relevance of the report ... was not recognized at the time'' and it was not investigated until this year, providing indications that perhaps 150 soldiers were exposed to chemical agents when they blew up the Kamisiyah site.
from YAHOO Reuters Headlines
Gulf War Syndrome Covered Up - Chemical and Biological Agents Exposed by Dennis Bernstein
August 11, 1996
Gulf War Veterans Link Medical Problems to Destruction of Iraqi Bunker
By PHILIP SHENON
WASHINGTON -- After years of Pentagon denials, a group of veterans of the Persian Gulf War are offering the first compelling evidence that American troops were exposed to Iraqi chemical weapons, and say that nerve gas and other chemical agents have begun to ravage their bodies.
The soldiers and former soldiers were members of the 37th Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Army. And unlike thousands of other Americans who have complained that they suffer from the ailments collectively described as gulf war syndrome, the men of the 37th can pinpoint the time and place that they believe they were exposed to chemical weapons: 2:05 p.m. on March 4, 1991, when the battalion blew up 33 Iraqi bunkers in the southern Iraqi desert.
The Pentagon acknowledged this summer -- more than five years after the end of the war, more than four years after the United Nations made the first evidence public -- that one of the concrete bunkers probably contained shells containing sarin, a deadly nerve agent, and mustard gas, a blister agent that can burn flesh. The bunkers were destroyed to keep the Iraqis from re-arming immediately after the war.
The New York Times on the Web
CIA Probing Claims About Arms, Drug Smuggling Through Ark. Airstrip
By Susan Schmidt The Washington Post
AUGUST 7, 1996
WASHINGTON - The CIA's inspector general is investigating claims that U.S. intelligence agencies were involved in illegal arms shipments and drug smuggling at an isolated airstrip in Mena, Ark., during the years Bill Clinton was governor.
A spokesman for the CIA said Inspector General Frederick P. Hitz is preparing a report on allegations that the CIA was involved in arms shipments from Mena to the Nicaraguan rebels during the 1980s, and that pilots hired by the agency brought back large shipments of cocaine...
Hitz was asked to investigate the Mena airport by CIA Director John M. Deutch, who was acting on a request from House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach, R-Iowa. Leach's panel is looking into the possible laundering of drug money generated at Mena...
The latest Mena claims are contained in ``Boy Clinton,'' a book by American Spectator Editor R. Emmett Tyrrell published this week. In it, Tyrrell asserts that Clinton knew about CIA operations and cocaine smuggling at Mena. He cites as sources Arkansas state troopers, including one on the governor's security detail who says he was also a contract employee for the CIA during the mid-1980s and informed Clinton of what was going on at Mena.
Clinton has said he had nothing to do with any activities at Mena. ``Mena is the darkest backwater of the right wing conspiracy industry,'' said White House spokesman Mark Fabiani. ``The allegations are as bizarre as they are false.''
posted to alt.conspiracy by Larry-Jennie
Feds Announce $45 Million Settlement for Atoll Dusted with H-Bomb Fallout
Associated Press, 09/20/96; 18:05
HONOLULU (AP) - The people of Rongelap Atoll, dusted with radioactive fallout from a 1954 hydrogen bomb test, can go home again under a $45 million resettlement agreement with the United States...
On March 1, 1954, U.S. nuclear test Bravo detonated on Bikini Atoll with three times the force planned. Within five hours, children on Rongelap, to the southeast, were playing in a fine, white, powdery, ``snow.''
Two days later, 64 people were evacuated. Some suffered cancers of the thyroid gland associated with radiation. Three years after their evacuation, in 1957, it was decided they could return...
The atoll is part of the Marshall Islands, 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii, which were administered by the United States during nuclear tests from 1946 to 1962.
Some islands in the archipelago are still highly radioactive and no longer inhabited.
In 1983, the U.S. government paid the Marshall Islands $183.7 million in compensation.
from AP on the Globe Online
Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion - by Gary Webb
For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found. This drug network opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the crack capital of the world.
from San Jose Mercury News
Ex-Agent Contends DEA Knew of Human Rights Abuses
By Associated Press, 07/23/96
HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) - The Drug Enforcement Administration knew about and helped cover up the CIA's involvement in Guatemala's drug war murders, a former DEA agent said Tuesday. The DEA denied the allegations.
Celerino Castillo said he and other DEA agents were aware of specific murders committed by the Guatemala military with CIA involvement and were ordered to lie to keep the crimes secret.
Castillo said a panel appointed by President Clinton to look into U.S. involvement in Guatemala focused on the CIA and overlooked the DEA. The panel concluded last month that the CIA took part in tortures and murders in 1984...
Last month, the Intelligence Oversight Board issued a report stating that several CIA agents in Guatemala ``were credibly alleged'' to have ordered, planned or participated in human rights violations such as murder, torture and kidnapping.
from AP on the Globe Online
THE PENTAGON'S NEW PRIORITIES: THE BUDGET YOU CAN'T SEE
The Washington Post July 07, 1996
By Bill Sweetman
The massive growth of a clandestine military was one of the most criticized features of the Reagan-Bush defense build-up. Over 12 years, hundreds of billions of dollars were spent in secret on airplanes and spacecraft, on test facilities and bases and on covert operations. With the end of the Cold War and a new administration, some people predicted that the Pentagon might cut back and bring these projects into the light.
They were wrong. Under the Clinton administration, clandestine projects are still expensive and still secret. That part of the black military budget that can be glimpsed stands at more than $14 billion -- close to its 1980s peak. But this is mostly for research and development as well as some production. It does not include undiscoverable billions spent for operations, support and construction projects...
Area 51 was significantly expanded just after the Whale -- its most recent known resident -- ended its flying career. Another enigma centers on the secure air base at Tonopah, Nev., where the F-117 Stealth fighter became operational in 1983. Just after the Gulf War, the Stealth fighters were evicted and moved to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Yet Tonopah is still active...
Accountability is the real issue. Congressional national security and intelligence committees, in theory, oversee black programs. Judging by the fact that the NRO has confessed to losing track of $4 billion in surplus funds, this oversight seems less than effective. It does not cover the blackest of all black projects -- the "waived" programs, which are secret even from the committees.
from The Internet UFO Group - Headlines
There's been a steady decline in real wages in the United States since 1973. That's absolutely without any historical precedent.
Chronicles of Dissent - Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian p.178
Hayes has previously testified with respect to the Inslaw case, most notably before a Chicago grand jury in August 1992. Hayes' extensive testimony in that case was
redacted under the National Security Act. The reasons for the redaction are not known, but apparently the grand jury's questions lead far afield from the principal topic of
the Justice Department's apparently illegal sales of Inslaw's PROMIS software, and got into topics related to a tangled web of freelance arms dealers, drug runners, assassins, and government miscreants--whose murky and disparate interrelationships Hayes dubbed "the Octopus"--a term adopted and popularized by freelance journalist Danny Casolaro , who used Hayes as a frequent source of information. Hayes is said to have testified to detailed criminal violations of U.S. law by employees of the
Department of Justice and other government agencies.
Angel of Death Gives Deposition to Justice Department in Inslaw Case by J. Orlin Grabbe
5/8 UNITED NATIONS (Reuter) - The United Nations says Israel's shelling of a U.N. camp in southern Lebanon that killed about 100 civilians was unlikely to have been the result of gross technical or procedural errors, although that could not be completely ruled out.
The report stopped just short of accusing Israel of deliberately shelling the U.N. base at Qana village, the bloodiest episode in its April 11-27 blitz against Hizbollah guerrillas who had fired Katyusha rockets into northern Israel.
But it repeatedly took issue Tuesday with Israel's account that the April 18 incident was the result of errors when its artillery shelled two positions near the U.N. camp from which mortar fire was directed at an Israeli patrol.
``While the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, it is unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of gross technical and/or procedural errors,'' said the report, drafted by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's military adviser, Maj. Gen. Frank van Kappen of the Netherlands.
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