Will Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P Thomas prosecute these Scottsdale bureaucrats with felony charges of cruelty to animals?   I kind of doubt it. First they are fellow government bureaucrats. Second I doubt they had any real intent to cause pain to the ducks that died. I suspect it was just a stupid mistake on their part.


But that’s my point I suspect the felony animal cruelty laws will be selectively enforced. If they were shaking down Michael Jackson in Arizona instead of California and this happened on Michael Jackson Never Never Land Ranch I suspect County Attorney Andrew P Thomas would charge Michael Jackson with felony charge of animal cruelty just to give him a hard time. While I don’t think Andrew Thomas would ever consider shaking down his fellow bureaucrats with felony animal cruelty.




Young waterfowl can’t climb lake’s new wall

By John Leptich, Tribune

June 21, 2005


Chaparral Lake has become a killing pond for ducklings and goslings that can no longer reach an island that was supposed to protect them.


Fourteen of 15 baby ducks and geese born in the last month drowned because they couldn’t climb a retaining wall built around the island during recent renovations at the lake, said Lenny Beard, an activist who helps take care of lake wildlife.































"I watched one gosling die because he couldn’t get back to his mother on the island," said Beard, who walks his

dogs daily in the park. "He was frantically swimming back and forth but couldn’t make it."


The lake and some of the surrounding park area at Hayden and Chaparral roads in Scottsdale has been closed since November for a $850,000 restoration project to plug leaks caused by shoreline erosion.


Beard said there are more nests on the island and he worries more young waterfowl will go into the water and meet the same fate. Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross, who said she learned of the situation

Monday, said her staff is doing all it can to expedite a solution.


"They are going to take care of this right away," Manross said. "That’s what we have to do. To protect these animals is what we have the island for in the first place."


Rose Williams, Scottsdale’s parks and grounds manager, said the city worked closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department on renovation design.


"We’re looking into the possibility of trying to get (waterfowl) better access onto the island," Williams said. "Eric Swanson of Game and Fish said it was designed appropriately. We’re not ignoring it. Patience is a virtue."


But Beard said he is losing patience because he had previously let city workers know about the bird deaths, but nothing was done. Another problem with the





































renovation is that if the lake is filled completely, it overflows on the south end, he said.


Doug Nohren, senior recreation coordinator of Chaparral Park, referred questions about the overflow to Bill Peifer, a city project manager, who could not be reached.


During the renovation, the 32-year-old artificial lake was partially drained and cement was poured around the edges and the island. Clay and fabric liners were installed to stop the leaking.


Williams said a solution to the birds’ problem is being sought.


"We have some different ideas," she said. "Maybe we’ll use rocks, plankings for a ramp or something else. We’re looking into it."


On Saturday, Beard and Ahwatukee Foothills residents Paul Halesworth and Terry Stevens of East Valley Wildlife took matters into their own hands. They borrowed an inflatable boat, took some wood, bricks and rocks and threw the materials over a portable fence built in November. Halesworth scaled the fence and navigated to the island where he constructed a temporary 2-by-1-foot ramp so younger fowl can return from the water.


"When they’re young and unfeathered, they will drown," Halesworth said. "This happens all too frequently. I’ve done things like this before."


Beard hasn’t. "We stood there wondering when the police were going to come and get us for trespassing," Beard said. "It took 45 minutes for Paul to build something that can at least help some of these babies live."


Beard, who belongs to a local group called Webfoot Rescue of Scottsdale, said he tries to put out food weekly for the birds.


"But that doesn’t help all of them, especially the babies, unless they can get to and from the water safely," he said."


Contact John Leptich by email, or phone 480) 970-2333




Will Maricopa County Attorney Andrew P Thomas prosecute these Scottsdale bureaucrats with felony charges of cruelty to animals?   I kind of doubt it. First they are fellow government bureaucrats. Second I doubt they had any real intent to cause pain to the ducks that died. I suspect it was just a stupid mistake on their part.


But that’s my point I suspect the felony animal cruelty laws will be selectively enforced. If they were shaking down Michael Jackson in Arizona instead of California and this happened on Michael Jackson Never Never Land Ranch I suspect County Attorney Andrew P Thomas would charge Michael Jackson with felony charge of animal cruelty just to give him a hard time. While I don’t think Andrew Thomas would ever consider shaking down his fellow bureaucrats with felony animal cruelty.




Young waterfowl can’t climb lake’s new wall

By John Leptich, Tribune

June 21, 2005


Chaparral Lake has become a killing pond for ducklings and goslings that can no longer reach an island that was supposed to protect them.


Fourteen of 15 baby ducks and geese born in the last month drowned because they couldn’t climb a retaining wall built around the island during recent renovations at the lake, said Lenny Beard, an activist who helps take care of lake wildlife.


"I watched one gosling die because he couldn’t get back to his mother on the island," said Beard, who walks his dogs daily in the park. "He was frantically swimming back and forth but couldn’t make it."


The lake and some of the surrounding park area at Hayden and Chaparral roads in Scottsdale has been closed since November for a $850,000 restoration project to plug leaks caused by shoreline erosion.


Beard said there are more nests on the island and he worries more young waterfowl will go into the water and meet the same fate. Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross, who said she learned of the situation

Monday, said her staff is doing all it can to expedite a solution.


"They are going to take care of this right away," Manross said. "That’s what we have to do. To protect these animals is what we have the island for in the first place."


Rose Williams, Scottsdale’s parks and grounds manager, said the city worked closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department on renovation design.


"We’re looking into the possibility of trying to get (waterfowl) better access onto the island," Williams said. "Eric Swanson of Game and Fish said it was designed appropriately. We’re not ignoring it. Patience is a virtue."


But Beard said he is losing patience because he had previously let city workers know about the bird deaths, but nothing was done. Another problem with the renovation is that if the lake is filled completely, it overflows on the south end, he said.


Doug Nohren, senior recreation coordinator of Chaparral Park, referred questions about the overflow to Bill Peifer, a city project manager, who could not be reached.


During the renovation, the 32-year-old artificial lake was partially drained and cement was poured around the edges and the island. Clay and fabric liners were installed to stop the leaking.


Williams said a solution to the birds’ problem is being sought.


"We have some different ideas," she said. "Maybe we’ll use rocks, plankings for a ramp or something else. We’re looking into it."


On Saturday, Beard and Ahwatukee Foothills residents Paul Halesworth and Terry Stevens of East Valley Wildlife took matters into their own hands. They borrowed an inflatable boat, took some wood, bricks and rocks and threw the materials over a portable fence built in November. Halesworth scaled the fence and navigated to the island where he constructed a temporary 2-by-1-foot ramp so younger fowl can return from the water.


"When they’re young and unfeathered, they will drown," Halesworth said. "This happens all too frequently. I’ve done things like this before."


Beard hasn’t. "We stood there wondering when the police were going to come and get us for trespassing," Beard said. "It took 45 minutes for Paul to build something that can at least help some of these babies live."


Beard, who belongs to a local group called Webfoot Rescue of Scottsdale, said he tries to put out food weekly for the birds.


"But that doesn’t help all of them, especially the babies, unless they can get to and from the water safely," he said."


Contact John Leptich by email, or phone 480) 970-2333




County focuses on animal abuse

Task force to aid police, prosecutors


Linda Helser

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 20, 2005 12:00 AM


It's a case of simple math.


If you bring together more enlightened prosecutors and police through a newly formed animal cruelty task force, then you can put away more abusers of innocent creatures.


That's the intent of the new Law Enforcement for Animal Protection task force established last month by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.


County Attorney Andrew Thomas sees mistreatment of animals as the first step toward more violent crimes, and he wants to monitor and prosecute such cases to keep abusers off the streets.


"When I worked as a prosecutor in our juvenile division, I got to see the pattern of delinquents who commit this crime often go on to commit violent crimes against humans," he said.


So when members of the Arizona Humane Society asked him to champion and enhance a task force that the Humane Society had launched a year ago, Thomas agreed.


Advocates want improved communications between police departments and prosecutors, and they want to have law enforcement and justice-system personnel trained in how to better handle cruelty cases.


Twenty-six people have volunteered to take part, representing police, prosecutors, animal-control and shelter personnel from cities including Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Peoria and Surprise.


"Our first meeting is June 27, and one of the first things I want to do is to establish one special hot line number, like a graffiti hot line, for the public to report animal abuse," said Jana Sorensen, 50, task force chairwoman and an 18-year prosecutor in the County Attorney's Office.


Second on her agenda will be the creation of a comprehensive Web site, listing animal-abuse cases being handled by the County Attorney's Office, updates of cases and other information the public may find useful.


Duane Adams, 42, task force vice chairman and a 23-year employee of the Arizona Humane Society, is hopeful the group will address strengthening, fine tuning, clarifying and unifying abuse laws.


Before 1999, animal abuse was a misdemeanor. Since, it may be considered a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and $150,000 in fines.


"I'm looking to add some teeth to the laws and thereby help everybody," Adams said.


For instance, grounds for seizing a neglected or abused animal from an owner differ among law enforcement municipalities throughout the county.


"We need to get organized and set state guidelines for that," he said.


But the biggest objectives of the task force will be to make certain law enforcement officers understand the law when it comes to animal abuse.


"If we can educate police officers and communicate with them and let them know what investigation we need them to do to help us make our case, then we'll have a better chance of securing a conviction," said Tony Church, 28, a prosecutor with the County Attorney's Office.


Examples might include photographs of the abused animal and taped interviews from witnesses and abusers.


Church, who will serve as the task force liaison among the County Attorney's Office, law enforcement and private agencies, already has earned a reputation as a passionate prosecutor when it comes to animal-abuse cases. He routinely volunteers to take cases.


An admitted animal-lover with two formerly abused dogs of his own and eight cats rescued from the streets, Church has tallied 10 convictions of animal abuse since he prosecuted his first such case in November 2003.


Another 19 unresolved cases are on his caseload.


"Already I've noticed a significant increase," he said. "I was doing one or two a month before, and now there's at least one a week and some weeks two."


Stephanie Nichols-Young, 48, a Phoenix attorney in private practice, bets Church had better brace himself for even more if the task force accomplishes its mission.


"I suspect animal abuse has always been going on, but so many cases have just slipped through the cracks," she said. "If people don't know who to call to report it, if police don't investigate it properly, if a prosecutor doesn't get it, if a judge doesn't sentence appropriately, then at any point all the way along the line they can fall through the cracks."




sure we can trust the government to obey its laws




TSA collected data on airline passengers, documents show


Agency sidesteps vows, Congress to gather information





• The federal agency in charge of aviation security collected extensive personal information about airline passengers even though Congress forbade it and officials said they wouldn’t do it, according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.


   The Transportation Security Administration bought and is storing details about U.S. citizens who flew on commercial airlines in June 2004 as part of a test of a terrorist screening program called Secure Flight, the documents indicate.


   ‘‘TSA is losing the public’s trust,’’ said Tim Sparapani, a privacy lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. ‘‘They have a repeated, consistent problem with doing one thing and then saying they did another.’’


   Secure Flight and its predecessor, CAPPS II, have been criticized for secretly obtaining personal information about airline passengers and failing to do enough to protect it.


   The TSA and several airlines were embarrassed last year when it was revealed that airlines gave personal information on 12 million passengers to the government without the travelers’ permission or knowledge. An inspector general’s report found TSA misled the public about its role in acquiring the data .


   Class-action lawsuits have been brought against airlines and government contractors for sharing their passengers’ information. As a result, airlines agreed to turn over passenger data for testing only after they were ordered to do so by the government in November.


   According to the documents, which will be published in the Federal Register this week, the TSA gave the data , known as passenger name records, to its contractor, Virginia-based EagleForce Associates. Passenger name records can include a variety of information, including name, address, phone number and credit card information.


   EagleForce then compared the passenger name records with commercial data from three contractors that included first, last and middle names, home address and phone number, birth date, name suffix, second surname, spouse first name, gender, second address, third address, ZIP code and latitude and longitude of address. The reason for the comparison was to find out if the passenger name record data were accurate, according to the TSA .


   EagleForce then produced CD-ROMs with the information — except for latitude and longitude and spouse’s first name — ‘‘and provided those CD-ROMs to TSA for use in watch list match testing,’’ the documents said. TSA now stores that data .


   According to previous official notices, TSA had said it would not store commercial data about airline passengers.


   The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the government from keeping a secret database. It also requires agencies to make official statements on the impact of their record keeping on privacy.


   The TSA revealed its use of commercial data in a revised Privacy Act statement to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register.


   TSA spokesman Mark Hatfield said the program was being developed with a commitment to privacy, and that it was routine to change Privacy Act statements during testing.




Personal data collected on airline passengers


Associated Press

Jun. 20, 2005 12:21 PM


WASHINGTON - A federal agency collected extensive personal information about airline passengers although Congress told it not to and it said it wouldn't, according to documents obtained Monday by the Associated Press.


A Transportation Security Administration contractor used three data brokers to collect detailed information about U.S. citizens who flew on commercial airlines in June 2004 in order to test a terrorist screening program called Secure Flight, according to documents that will be published in the Federal Register this week.


The TSA had ordered the airlines to turn over data on those passengers, called passenger name records, in November.


The contractor, EagleForce Associates, then combined the passenger name records with commercial data from three contractors that included first, last and middle names, home address and phone number, birthdate, name suffix, second surname, spouse first name, gender, second address, third address, ZIP code and latitude and longitude of address.


EagleForce then produced CD-ROMS containing the information "and provided those CD-ROMS to TSA for use in watch list match testing," the documents said.


According to previous official notices, TSA had said it would not store commercial data about airline passengers.


The Privacy Act of 1974 prohibits the government from keeping a secret database.


"I'm just floored," said Tim Sparapani, a privacy lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. "This is like creating an FBI file, not just some simple check, and then they're storing the data."


TSA spokesman Mark Hatfield said the program was being developed with a commitment to privacy, and that it was routine to change the official definition of a system of records during a test phase.






Ex-officer is arrested in shooting of woman


Holly Johnson

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


Flagstaff police arrested a former Tolleson police officer Tuesday who is suspected of shooting and wounding his former girlfriend in Scottsdale earlier this month.


Michael Booth, 47, had been sought since June 14. He is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend, 24, outside her Scottsdale home as her 1-year-old son sat in a car seat a few feet away. Authorities are not releasing the name of the shooting victim.


Booth was armed and resisted arrest when captured as he was eating lunch at a restaurant, said Flagstaff police Sgt. Gerry Blair.


Booth could not be reached for comment. He resigned from the Tolleson Police Department in 1998 amid allegations that he violated police policy and slept with an 18-year-old woman in his police car while on duty.


"There's only one or two people who actually remember him," Tolleson police Sgt. Jeff Pizzi said.





























Police suspect Booth shot his ex-girlfriend twice, in the abdomen and shoulder, about 6:15 a.m. June 14 as she attempted to get into her car outside her home in the 8400 block of East Roosevelt Street.


The woman remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit at Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn. Her son is being taken care of by family, said Scottsdale police Sgt. Mark Clark.


Booth was treated for injuries sustained during his scuffle with police and will remain in police custody in Flagstaff until Scottsdale detectives arrive to question him, Blair said.




i may run for tempe city council. but it sure takes a lot of signatures.




Hopefuls eye Tempe council seats


Jahna Berry

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 22, 2005 12:00 AM


The March 14 primary is nine months away, but a few would-be candidates already are in the starting blocks.

On Monday, Jesse Hernandez, a Republican who unsuccessfully ran against state Sen. Harry Mitchell in






























2004, announced that he plans to run for the City Council. Hernandez said that many Tempe residents approached him about city issues while he was running for the state Legislature.


"I realized that there is a lot more that I could do on the city level," he told the Los Vecinos community group.


The terms of City Council members Ben Arredondo, Len Copple and Pam Goronkin will end next year. All three have said that they will seek re-election.


Some hopefuls have begun collecting the 932 signatures needed get on the ballot, even though the signatures aren't due until Dec. 14, City Clerk Kathy Matz said. Arredondo, Copple and Goronkin have formed campaign committees, which means they can collect donations, Matz said.


The field of contenders may include a newcomer to politics. Arizona State University faculty associate Corey Woods, 26, has requested paperwork to gather signatures. Hernandez said he would file election paperwork this week.


Hernandez, 44, said that he's concerned about retaining jobs, opposes incentives for developers, opposes abuse of eminent domain, and is worried about the estimated $6 million shortfall that Tempe faces next year.


Hernandez, executive director of the Arizona Latino Republican Association, said he already is taking heat for deciding to run against Arredondo, another Latino Republican. Some have told Hernandez that his campaign would decrease the chance that either man will snag one of the three at-large council seats.


"They say, 'Don't run, you will hurt the Latinos,' " Hernandez said. "I say I am adding value."






Supreme Court Rules Cities May Seize Homes


By William Branigin

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, June 23, 2005; 12:30 PM


The Supreme Court today effectively expanded the right of local governments to seize private property under eminent domain, ruling that people's homes and businesses -- even those not considered blighted -- can be taken against their will for private development if the seizure serves a broadly defined "public use."


In a 5-4 decision, the court upheld the ability of New London, Conn., to seize people's homes to make way for an office, residential and retail complex supporting a new $300 million research facility of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. The city had argued that the project served a public use within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution because it would increase tax revenues, create jobs and improve the local economy.


A group of homeowners in New London's Fort Trumbull area had fought the city's attempt to impose eminent domain, arguing that their property could be seized only to serve a clear public use such as building roads or schools or to eliminate blight. The homeowners, some of whom had lived in their house for decades, also argued that the public would benefit from the proposed project only if it turned out to be successful, making the "public use" requirement subject to the eventual performance of the private business venture.


The Fifth Amendment also requires "just compensation" for the owners, but that was not an issue in the case decided today because the homeowners did not want to give up their property at any price.


Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said the case turned on the question of whether New London's development plan served a "public purpose." He added, "Without exception, our cases have defined that concept broadly, reflecting our longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments in this field."


New London officials "were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to




















our deference," Stevens wrote. "The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including--but by no means limited to--new jobs and increased tax revenue."


Stevens added that "because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment."


He was joined in that view by justices Anthony Kennedy, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.


Dissenting were justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, as well as Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.


In a strongly worded dissenting opinion, O'Connor wrote that the majority's decision overturns a long-held principle that eminent domain cannot be used simply to transfer property from one private owner to another.


"Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power," she wrote. "Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded -- i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public -- in the process."


The effect of the decision, O'Connor said, "is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property -- and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment."


The ruling has broad potential implications nationwide, giving cities broader authority to condemn homes and businesses to make way for more lucrative developments.
























Supreme Court Abandons Constitutional Limit on Government Power


Posted by Clint Bolick - Goldwater Institute on Thursday June 23, 2005 at 10:14 am MST [ Send


"All Private Property Is Now Vulnerable"


PHOENIX—The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not protect property owners from government seizures for redevelopment purposes.


The ruling in Kelo v. City of New London is a defeat for Connecticut residents whose homes will now be razed to make room for an office complex. In speaking for the 5-4

majority, Justice Stevens held that “the city’s proposed disposition of petitioners’ property qualifies as a ‘public use’ within the meanings of the takings clause.”


“It’s a tragic day when the U.S. Supreme Court drains a constitutional guarantee of meaning,” explains Goldwater Institute senior fellow Clint Bolick. “That’s the worst type of judicial activism.”


In her stinging dissent, Justice O’Connor wrote, “Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded . . . [T]he fallout will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process.”


The Goldwater Institute filed an amicus brief in the landmark case contending that the use of eminent domain for redevelopment purposes violates Fifth Amendment private property protections, which state that “no person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty or property, without

due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”





















Goldwater Institute president and CEO Darcy Olsen observes that “the U.S. Constitution is a floor, not a ceiling. We will continue fighting against unjust takings under the Arizona State Constitution, which contains stringent protections for private property owners.”






Grant to help police fight Internet crimes


PHOENIX - Phoenix police will receive $450,000 as part of a federal grant aimed to curb crimes against children on the Internet, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.


More than $13 million was awarded to state and local agencies to fund Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.






Couple settle suit alleging profiling


Daniel González

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 23, 2005 12:00 AM


A Phoenix couple jailed for two hours in 2003 after a Parker police officer mistook them for undocumented immigrants have settled a wrongful-arrest lawsuit with the town for $75,000.


Raymundo and Eufemia Espinoza contended in a federal lawsuit that they were singled out solely based on their skin color when they were arrested while dining at a restaurant in Parker on Nov. 2, 2003.


The couple, along with Eufemia's brother, Dario Montes, 41, of Lake Havasu City, were jailed for about two hours until Parker police determined they were indeed legal residents of the United States. Montes will share in the settlement. advertisement


Parker Town Manager Lanny Sloan and Police Chief Rodney Mendoza did not return phone calls Wednesday seeking comment.


The settlement comes amid a growing national debate over whether local police should be involved in trying to enforce federal immigration laws.


The Espinozas and Montes and his wife, Maria Luisa, had just attended a wedding in Parker when they stopped to eat at Ruperto's, a local restaurant.


While dining, they were approached by Parker police Officer Michael Harris, who called them outside and demanded to know whether they were U.S. citizens, Eufemia, 45, said in an interview. Harris was at the restaurant investigating a fight.


Eufemia said she told Harris, "No, we are not, but we have papers," to which he replied, "I didn't ask you if you had papers. I asked you, are you American citizens?"


The three were handcuffed and taken to jail, Eufemia said. Maria Luisa Montes, a U.S. citizen, was not arrested because she happened to be carrying her birth certificate, Espinoza said.


Eufemia said she and her husband, 46, have lived in the United States since they were children and have had green cards for more than 25 years.


The Espinozas and Monteses were victims of racial profiling, said Alfred Flores, a Phoenix lawyer who represented the three.


"They were asked (about their citizenship) because of the color of their skin," Flores said. "If they were Anglos, that question would never have been asked."


Flores said he hopes the settlement will send a message that local police should not be enforcing immigration laws without proper training. Federal law prohibits local police from enforcing immigration laws without prior agreements.


"If they want to enforce immigration laws, the enforcement needs to be done systematically and uniformly and by way of agreement with the federal government," Flores said.


Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed a bill authorizing police officers to investigate, arrest, detain or deport undocumented immigrants. The bill was vetoed by Gov. Janet Napolitano.


Most local police departments across the country have resisted trying enforce immigration laws out of concern it will damage community relations and hurt efforts to fight crime and divert limited resources, said Angela Kelley, deputy director of the National Immigration Forum, a Washington, D.C., immigrant advocacy organization.


A few agencies, however, have entered partnerships with the federal government to train some officers to enforce immigration laws as part of focused efforts to combat gangs and other specific crimes, she said.




aint you proud to be a member of the american empire???




U.S. rates few fans around the world


Will Lester

Associated Press

Jun. 24, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - "The U.S. image has improved slightly, but is still broadly negative," said Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, on Thursday of the center's poll results. "It's amazing when you see the European public rating the United States so poorly, especially in comparison with China."


In France, 58 percent had an upbeat view of China, compared with 43 percent who felt that way about the United States. The results were nearly the same in Spain and the Netherlands, the Pew poll found.


The United States' favorability rating was lowest among three Muslim nations that are also U.S. allies, Turkey, Pakistan and Jordan, where only about one-fifth of those polled viewed the United States in a positive light. Only India and Poland viewed the United States more positively than they viewed China.


"Clearly, with or without this poll we know we have a public diplomacy challenge, and that challenge is not lessening by the day," said State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.


He said the United States is trying to combat that image problem, citing the frequent travels of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who just ended a six-day swing through the Middle East and Europe.


The poll found suspicion of the United States in many countries where people question the war in Iraq and are growing leery of the U.S.-led war on terror.


"The Iraq war has left an enduring impression on the minds of people around the world in ways that make them very suspicious of U.S. intentions and makes the effort to win hearts and minds far more difficult," said Shibley Telhami, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.


Support for the U.S.-led war on terror has dipped in European countries like Britain, France, Germany and Spain as well as in Canada, while it remains low in the Muslim countries surveyed, such as Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey.


The poll found a positive reaction in European countries to President Bush's campaign for more democracy in countries around the world. People in Muslim countries were cautious about the U.S. campaign but supportive of the idea of democracy in their own countries.


The polls were taken in various countries from late April to the end of May with samples of about 1,000 in most countries, with more interviews in India and China and slightly fewer than 1,000 in the European countries. The







Tax activist wins

in federal court

Ex-IRS agent says Congress has no power to collect levy on income


Posted: June 23, 2005

6:30 p.m. Eastern


© 2005 WorldNetDaily.com


A former IRS agent who believes citizens are not required to pay federal income taxes was acquitted today on charges he attempted to defraud the government.


Joseph Banister, a certified public accountant in San Jose, Calif., had been telling his clients they don't need to file federal income tax returns because the 16th Amendment, which gives Congress "power to lay and collect taxes on incomes," was never properly ratified.


A leading figure in the "tax honesty" movement, Banister was taken into custody Nov. 19 by IRS agents and released on $25,000 bond after pleading not guilty.


A jury in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento found him not guilty on a charge of conspiracy to defraud the government and on all three counts of aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns for a client.


Banister's attorney, Robert Bernhoft, told WorldNetDaily the result has no direct bearing on the legitimacy of the 16th Amendment, but he insisted the implications are bigger than the issue of taxes.


"The outcome shows that average, law-abiding, hard-working citizens are not going to criminalize speech -- they're not going to send a man to prison for asking the federal government serious questions about a serious subject," he said.


Last fall, IRS spokesman Anthony Burke insisted Banister's arguments against the federal income tax already had been thoroughly vetted.


"Many constitutional or legal arguments have been tried in the courts, and without fail, they have been held to be without merit," he told WND.


Banister's website offers a defense of his views, including an 85-page report titled "Investigating The Federal Income Tax: A Preliminary Report."


The federal indictment accused Banister and co-defendant Walter A. Thompson, of Redding, Calif., of conspiring to defraud the United States of approximately $259,669 in income and employment taxes. In a separate trial, Thompson was acquitted of conspiracy and found guilty on charges unrelated to Banister.


If Banister had been convicted of all counts, he could have been sentenced to 14 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.


Banister left public practice as a CPA in 1993 to become an armed, criminal investigator in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. But he says he resigned after six years because he was "unable to resolve conflicts" between the way the IRS administered the federal income tax and his oath of office.


As WorldNetDaily reported in March 2004, Banister claimed the IRS was illegally using "enforcers" to monitor his political activities and build its case against him. The IRS filed a complaint March 19, 2003, and began what he calls the agency's "mission to silence and discredit me."


In 1996, while working for the IRS, Banister says his view of tax law was jolted when he heard radio talk host Geoff Metcalf interview activist Devvy Kidd on KSFO in San Francisco.


After receiving information from Kidd, Banister used his spare time over two-and-a-half years to compile a report for his superiors, telling them that if they cannot find anything wrong with his analysis, he would have to resign.


Banister said his superiors refused to respond to his report and told him they would facilitate his resignation.




Press Release Contact Information:

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We The People Foundation


2458 Ridge Road

Queensbury, NY

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Former IRS CID Special Agent Acquitted of Tax Fraud and Conspiracy

Government Unable To Prove U.S. Law Requires Income Tax Withholding or Filing


We The People Foundation For

Constitutional Education, Inc.

2458 Ridge Road, Queensbury, NY 12804

Phone: (518) 656-3578

Fax: (518) 656-9724




June 23, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Robert Schulz

(w) 518-656-3578

(c) 518-573-8046


Sacramento California -- On Thursday June 23, a jury found former IRS Criminal Investigative Division (CID) Special Agent and CPA Joseph Banister not guilty of all counts alleging federal criminal tax fraud and conspiracy related to actions he took on behalf of a California business owner who had openly defied the IRS by stopping withholding of all income and employment taxes from the paychecks of his workers.


During the trial the Department of Justice was unable to put forth any evidence that Banister had either engaged in a conspiracy or had acted unlawfully when he shared legal research with business owner Al Thompson concluding that he had no legal obligation to withhold taxes from his workers, or when he (Banister) prepared corrected tax returns for Thompson claiming his taxable income was, under U.S. law, zero.


During the trial, Banister's former supervisor at IRS's San Jose CID office, Robert Gorini (who testified via video recording) when pointedly asked, was unable to cite any U.S. law that explicitly required Banister to pay income taxes.


Banister, who was forced to resign in 1999, gave Thompson's worker's a presentation in 2000 which reviewed his detailed investigative research of U.S. tax law which concluded that not only did the IRS lack any authority to impose income taxes on the workers, but there was no legal requirement for the business to withhold any taxes from the worker's paychecks.


Banister is part of a several year, nationwide effort seeking to force the U.S. Government to respond to a series of detailed legal Petitions for Redress of Grievances directly challenging the authority of the IRS. Last summer, the We The People Foundation initiated a landmark lawsuit with 2000 plaintiffs against the government because it has refused to answer the Petitions.


The Right-To-Petition lawsuit, of which Banister is a plaintiff, is the first time in history that U.S. courts have been asked to define the meaning of the final ten words of the First Amendment.


Court documents for the RTP lawsuit and scholarly research regarding the Right to Petition can be downloaded from the Lawsuit Information Center on www.GiveMeLiberty.org.


In January of this year, Schulz obtained a ruling from the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that IRS must have an order from a U.S. District Court before it can injure a taxpayer by utilizing administrative enforcement actions such as summons, liens or levies. The record of that case and the Court of Appeals Order are available on the website as well.






Protesters Win a Case Over I.R.S.



Published: June 24, 2005

The federal government's campaign against income tax protesters suffered a major setback yesterday when a federal jury in Sacramento acquitted a former Internal Revenue Service investigator on charges of helping to prepare false tax returns.


The former investigator, Joseph R. Banister, 42, of San Jose, Calif., has become a hero to the tax protest movement, even though two of his clients are serving long prison sentences after following his advice.


Mr. Banister was acquitted on charges of conspiracy and helping to prepare three false tax returns for a small California manufacturer.


"Everything I have done in my entire career at the I.R.S. and after, I've done with integrity and honesty," Mr. Banister said after the verdict. "My clients wanted some answers to questions about what was required."


He added: "As a C.P.A., my duties are to my clients, to make sure they get the best results."


Mr. Banister resigned from the I.R.S. criminal investigation division in 1999 after he wrote a lengthy report asserting that no law requires the payment of taxes and that Americans were being tricked into paying them. The theories he has put forth have been uniformly rejected by the courts.


The I.R.S. declined to comment on the verdict. The prosecutor, Robert Twiss, said the verdict showed only that the jury did not believe the government had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.


The jury verdict appeared to reflect the different way criminal tax laws apply to taxpayers and to professional advisers who promote tax cheating, said Jay Adkisson, a tax lawyer in Laguna Nigel, Calif., who tracks tax protesters at the Web site quatloos.com.


"It is hard to convict promoters," Mr. Adkisson said. "Promoters make a lot of money off their marks, watch their marks go to jail for not paying taxes and then take advantage of a loophole that lets them prepare bogus returns that they characterize as protest returns" prepared at the direction of the client.


Mr. Banister was not charged with any failure to pay taxes.


Defense lawyers said that as a certified public accountant, his only duty was to prepare a return that accurately reflected the tax positions of his clients and to disclose them to the I.R.S.


The defense relied heavily on the testimony of the government's main witness, Dennis Brown, a longtime I.R.S. agent, who said it was proper for people to file protest returns as way to get their tax questions answered. The defense said that was what Mr. Banister and his client, Walter Thompson, had done.


Mr. Thompson, who was convicted in January, is serving six years for failure to withhold and turn over taxes from paychecks of workers at his Cencal Aviation Products in Lake Shasta, Calif.


Both men were charged with conspiracy, but acquitted of that charge in separate trials.


Mr. Banister was charged with helping to prepare three false tax returns, which said that no withheld taxes were due, and seeking reimbursement of taxes already paid.


Mr. Banister was greeted by cheers from more than a dozen fellow tax protesters and family members as he emerged from the courtroom of Judge William B. Shubb of United States District Court in Sacramento after the four-day trial ended, according to accounts by people who were there.


Judge Shubb had bailiffs remove two women from the courtroom for outbursts as the four verdicts of not guilty were read.


The verdict stirred concerns that it would encourage more Americans to refuse to pay taxes, which the Treasury, I.R.S. and the Justice Department have all acknowledged is a growing problem. The problem has prompted a renewed effort to seek civil injunctions against promoters like Mr. Banister and in some cases prosecutions of both tax protesters and their professional advisers.


"This is going to encourage thousands more people who were on the fence, who were paying taxes only because they were afraid they would be criminally prosecuted," said J. J. MacNab, a Maryland insurance analyst. She is writing a book about people who deny the legitimacy of the tax laws and attended the trial, which began June 14.


"If too many people do this, the tax system will collapse because it is based on people voluntarily complying" with the law, Ms. MacNab said.


Mr. Banister's lawyer, Robert Bernhoft, said the verdict was a sign that other taxpayers need not be afraid of confronting the government.


He said the case did not set a precedent.


"It just means that Joe Banister is not guilty of misconduct," Mr. Bernhoft said. "But I hope it sends a message to policy makers in Washington that they need to re-evaluate their policies in these cases."


Mr. Bernhoft said that "American citizens have the right to ask the government questions and the government has a duty to answer in good faith."


He added that "to proceed against Joe Banister with an indictment rather than simply answering his questions is un-American."






Jun 24, 3:24 PM EDT


Italy Judge Orders Arrest of 13 CIA Agents



Associated Press Writer


ROME (AP) -- An Italian judge on Friday ordered the arrests of 13 CIA officers for secretly transporting a Muslim preacher from Italy to Egypt as part of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts - a rare public objection to the practice by a close American ally.


The Egyptian was spirited away in 2003, purportedly as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program in which terror suspects are transferred to third countries without court approval, subjecting them to possible torture.


The arrest warrants were announced Friday by the Milan prosecutor's office, which has called the disappearance a kidnapping and a blow to a terrorism investigation in Italy. The office said the imam was believed to belong to an Islamic terrorist group.


The 13 are accused of seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt, where he reportedly was tortured, Milan prosecutor Manlio Claudio Minale said in a statement.


The U.S. Embassy in Rome and the CIA in Washington declined to comment.


The prosecutor's statement did not name the suspects, give their nationalities or mention the CIA by name. But an Italian official familiar with the investigation confirmed newspaper reports Friday that the suspects worked for the CIA.


The official also said there was no evidence Italians were involved or knew about the operation. He asked that his name not be used because official comment was limited to the prosecutor's statement.


Minale said the suspects remain at large and Italian authorities will ask the United States and Egypt for assistance in the case.


The prosecutor's office said Nasr was released by the Egyptians after his interrogation but was arrested again later.


The statement said Nasr was seized by two people as he was walking from his home toward a mosque and bundled into a white van. He was taken to Aviano, a joint U.S.-Italian base north of Venice, and flown to a U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany, before being taken to Cairo.


It said investigators had confirmed the abduction through an eyewitness account and other, unidentified witnesses as well as through an analysis of cell phone traffic.


In March 2003, "U.S. authorities" told Italian police Nasr had been taken to the Balkans, the statement said. A year later, in April-May 2004, Nasr phoned his wife and another unidentified Egyptian citizen and told them he had been subjected to violent treatment by interrogators in Egypt, the statement said.


Italian newspapers have reported that Nasr, 42, said in the wiretapped calls that he was tortured with electric shocks.


On Friday, the Milan daily Corriere della Sera cited another Milan-based imam as telling Italian authorities Nasr was tortured after refusing to work in Italy as an informer. According to the testimony, he was hanged upside down and subjected to extreme temperatures and loud noise that damaged his hearing, Corriere reported.


Minale said the judge rejected a request for six more arrest warrants for suspects believed to have helped prepare the operation.


Judge Chiara Nobile ordered the arrests after investigators traced the agents through Milan hotels and Italian cell phones, said reports in Corriere and another daily, Il Giorno.


Il Giorno said all the agents were American and three were women.


Minale said a judge also issued a separate arrest warrant for Nasr on terrorism charges. In that warrant, Judge Guido Salvini said Nasr's seizure violated Italian sovereignty, according to Italian news agency Apcom.


Nasr was believed to have fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia and prosecutors were seeking evidence against him before his disappearance, according to a report in La Repubblica newspaper, which cited intelligence officials.


Corriere said Italian police picked up details, including cover names, photos, credit card information and U.S. addresses the agents gave to five-star hotels in Milan around the time of Nasr's alleged abduction. It said investigators also found the prepaid highway passes the agents used for the journey from Milan to the air base.


The report said investigations showed the agents incurred $144,984 in hotel bills in Milan, and that two pairs of agents took holidays in northern Italy after delivering Nasr to Aviano.


Italian-U.S. relations were strained after American soldiers killed an Italian intelligence agent near Baghdad airport in March. He was escorting a kidnapped Italian journalist after he had secured her release from Iraqi captors.


Germano Dottori, a political analyst at the Center for Strategic Studies in Rome, said it is not unusual for intelligence agencies to have squabbles with allied countries but that he could not recall prosecutors directly involved in investigating or apprehending agents involved.


"At some point the Americans will begin to think they can't trust the Italians," Dottori said.






Phoenix set to seize 5 acres for downtown ASU campus


Ginger D. Richardson

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


Phoenix plans to seize nearly 5 acres to build the new Arizona State University Downtown Phoenix Campus.


After months of failed negotiations, the city's attorneys filed the condemnation notices this week in Maricopa County Superior Court against eight downtown property owners. The land the city wants ranges from vacant parking lots to a three-story office building. More filings are expected. The city anticipates that it will need to use eminent domain to acquire a little more than 25 percent of the campus.


"We will continue to negotiate with people, of course," Assistant City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. "But we do have to proceed and move forward on this."


The City Council authorized the use of eminent domain, which allows governments to take private property by force, more than six months ago to assemble land for the campus.


But even though the move was expected, it is doing little to cool the ire of those about to lose their property.


"It's pretty clear . . . that the city has carte blanche to take the land," said landowner Norman Fox, referring to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that further strengthened the law that allows cities to seize homes and businesses in the name of redevelopment. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't be treated fairly."


The most critical case involves the Park Place building at 500 N. Third St., which is slated to become ASU's College of Nursing. City officials say they need to start renovation work by fall in time for the first classes in August 2006.


"We are really up against a deadline here," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said of the building. "We can't miss this opportunity."


The city also filed an order asking for immediate possession of that property and all the other parcels. It wasn't clear Friday how soon Phoenix could take control of them, but City Attorney Gary Verburg said he hopes Phoenix will have possession of at least Park Place by the end of summer.


"We can take possession as soon as the judge says we can take possession," he said. "We can fight about value later."


Property owners must be served notice of the condemnation filings and then will have 20 days to respond before a hearing can be scheduled. However, almost everyone agrees that the city has a legal right to take the property. The fight is expected to be over how much Phoenix will pay for it.


In total, the ASU campus will stretch over about 20 acres of prime real estate. The school will be bordered by Van Buren Street on the south, First Avenue on the west, Second and Third streets on the east and Fillmore Street on the north.


The city already has purchased some of the land; other parcels are being developed under public-private deals that are being worked out with property owners.


Phoenix has hired an outside firm to appraise each of the properties being condemned. According to records obtained Friday by The Arizona Republic, the city is offering anywhere from $35 to $115 per square foot for each property.


Some question whether those are fair prices.


Anthony Olivieri, for example, said he bought some land and a commercial building on Central Avenue for $490,000 back in 2003. On April 1, the city offered him about $440,000.


"I wouldn't say that I am being treated unfairly, but it does bother me the way that the city is handling this whole thing," said Olivieri, who hoped to build a high-rise development on the site in a partnership.


Others are more blunt.


"All I know is that I've been notified in writing that the city is going to take my land, and I am not happy about it," said Leon Woodward, who owns a building rented by a dry cleaner and a parking lot at 501 and 509 N. First St.


Woodward's case wasn't among this week's filings, but the city is already preparing an appraisal of his land to be used in condemnation proceedings.


Woodward said he expects that the appraisals will be too low and vows that he will start a public campaign against the city's upcoming bond program if he isn't treated fairly.


The city hopes to roll $233 million worth of land acquisition and associated costs for the ASU campus into the bond package, which goes before voters in March. If voters don't approve it, it will make it difficult for the city and ASU to build the second phase of the campus, which is expected to have 8,000 students.


Woodward and other landowners wouldn't say specifically what they thought their land is worth. But they think a fair market rate is well over $100 a square foot. They cite recent sales of downtown property that netted $120 to $144 per square foot.


"Why can't the landowners hire their own appraisers to come up with a value that we think is fair?" asked Norman Fox, who owns a 7,250-square-foot parcel along Central Avenue. The land is vacant, but Fox said he had wanted to partner with Olivieri to develop the site. The city has offered him $40 a square foot.


"I am willing to give up the high-rise for the progress," he said. "But don't steal it from me."


Phoenix officials contend that their offers are fair. They believe that all the announcements about downtown, from the university campus to a $600 million renovation of Phoenix Civic Plaza to light rail, have fueled rampant speculation. Officials don't believe they should be victimized by the artificially inflated costs.


But they do say they will continue to negotiate with landowners.






Romania stunned by nun's bizarre death in exorcism


Associated Press

Jun. 24, 2005 12:15 PM


TANACU, Romania - The whispers started in April in the mind of the 23-year-old nun.


In the heart of an Orthodox convent in Romania's impoverished northeast, doctors say, Maricica Irina Cornici believed she heard the devil talking to her, telling her she was sinful.


She was treated for schizophrenia, but when she relapsed, a monk and four nuns tried a different method: exorcism.


Last week, Cornici was bound to a cross, gagged with a towel and left in a dank room at the convent for three days without food - where she died of suffocation and dehydration.


The case has stunned this impoverished nation where rural youths, many raised in orphanages like Cornici, have flocked to Orthodox monasteries and convents for spiritual help or food and shelter. Polls show the Orthodox Church to be the nation's most trusted institution.


In April, Cornici was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in the northeast city of Vaslui.


"She thought the devil was talking to her and told her that she was a sinful person," said Dr. Gheorghe Silvestrovici, a psychiatrist who treated her. "It's a symptom of schizophrenia, and she was probably having her first episode."


The nun was given medication and released on April 20 to the care of the Holy Trinity convent in the nearby village of Tanacu, an isolated community of about 1,000 people in a hilly area cultivated with vineyards and corn.


She was supposed to return in 10 days, but never did.


Daniel Petru Corogeanu, a 29-year-old red-bearded monk who served as the convent's priest and allegedly led the exorcism, told the media he was trying to take devils out of the nun. He said she had to be restrained because she was violent and that she refused to drink holy water.


Corogeanu and the four nuns were charged with aggravated murder on Wednesday in Cornici's death after testifying for 11 hours to prosecutors. If found guilty, they could face up to 25 years in prison.


Their lawyer has asked for the case to be moved to a different location, citing the intense media and public scrutiny in the area. Romania's Supreme Court is expected to rule on a location for the trial.


"I am scared that if I went to the monastery they would crucify me, too," said Ioan Hristea, a 52-year-old former welder who suffers from epilepsy and said he was hospitalized with Cornici.


Others said the prosecutors were swayed by the public pressure and went too far by charging the suspects with aggravated murder, and that a lesser charge of manslaughter would have been more appropriate.


"Aggravated murder implies intention and committing the crime with intentional sadism," said Aurelian Pavelescu, a lawyer and member of Romania's parliament. "But they believed they were helping the woman, that they were curing her from her pains."


In Tanacu, a couple said they met Corogeanu when he baptized their godson at the convent, a wooden building with a metal roof that overlooks a rolling hill.


"He held a beautiful service," said Petrica Pintilie. "Who knows what happened there?"


The church has closed the convent, and its gates were chained Friday. A nearby sign warns that no men are allowed in after 4 p.m. and that only Orthodox believers who are properly dressed can enter.


"Here we only talk to God and we sing with the angels in silence and with much prayer," says another sign posted on the convent's white fence.


The Orthodox Church has strongly condemned the exorcism ritual in Tanacu as "abominable." It has banned Corogeanu from the priesthood and excluded the four nuns from the church.


Orthodox monasteries and convents have flourished in Romania since the 1989 fall of Nicolae Ceausescu's brutal communist regime, which suppressed religion.


The Tanacu convent was built in 2001 by a private donor and had not yet been sanctified by the church.


Cornici's death and the revelation that Corogeanu was ordained as a priest without having finished his theological studies have prompted the church to impose stricter rules for entering monasteries, including psychological tests.






Edición en línea - Comunidad

Edición: 716. Del 22 de junio al 28 de junio del 2005

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Dice el jefe Harris Está lista la policía para evitar persecuciones


El jefe del Departamento de Policía de Phoenix, Jack Harris informó que sus agentes están listos para comenzar a aplicar la nueva política que prohíbe las persecuciones policíacas sobre carretera a alta velocidad.


Actualmente los agentes pueden aplicar su criterio para decidir si realizan una persecución a un vehículo sospechoso, pero esto cambiará a partir del 1 de agosto próximo, cuando entre en vigor la nueva política.


Harris prohibió que los agentes participen en persecuciones a alta velocidad, debido a que ponen en peligro la vida de automovilistas inocentes, y por el alto costo económico que representa para el Departamento de Policía el pago de reparaciones a unidades chocadas.

Reconoció que en el pasado el Departamento de Policía ha tenido que desembolsar cantidades millonarias para el pago de reparaciones y en algunos casos para resarcir los daños a víctimas inocentes.


Pero lo más grave de la situación es que muchas de las persecuciones que terminaron en tragedia, realmente eran innecesarias.


Harris admitió que muchas de las persecusiones a alta velocidad se han dado a causa de infracciones de tránsito menores.

El resultado en varios casos ha sido catastrófico, por lo que se pretende evitar que vuelvan a suceder accidentes a causa de persecuciones policíacas.


El jefe policíaco aclaró que la prohibición de las persecuciones no significa que la policía dejará que los infractores anden impunemente por las calles.


“Se trabajarán estrategias para arrestar a aquellos que cometan una infracción o un delito, sin poner en riesgo a personas inocentes”, manifestó.


Harris mencionó que la Policía cuenta con helicópteros para rescates y localización de delincuentes, por lo que tal vez, y solamente en situaciones especiales, hagan uso de ellos para perseguir a sospechosos.

Lo más importante de esta nueva política es que la Policía está tratando de prevenir accidentes fatales, destacó.


Por ello se pide la cooperación de los ciudadanos para que traten de ser más responsables al conducir y que eviten huir cuando cometen una infracción y son detectados por la policía.


Situaciones como esta son las que pretende evitar la Policía con la nueva política que prohibe a los agentes participar en persecuciones a alta velocidad.






Careers linked to Arpaio support

By Mark Flatten, Tribune

June 26, 2005


Robert Parrish was an open supporter of Dan Saban in his bid to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio last year. Though he did not show his preference on duty, Parrish did paste Saban bumper stickers on his personal cars.


Parrish was a captain in the sheriff’s office, in charge of the coveted unit that patrols the county’s lakes and rivers. Last November, just weeks after Arpaio won re-election, Parrish was transferred, put in charge of booking inmates into the county jails. It is one of the least desired assignments in the sheriff’s office.


Parrish was not alone. Almost all of those who openly backed Saban, a career Mesa police commander who challenged Arpaio in the Republican primary, found themselves filling some of the least sought-after jobs in the sheriff’s office after the November general election, an extensive review of public records by the Tribune has found.


Those who worked to reelect the sheriff moved into more prized positions. A halfdozen of the sheriff’s staunchest backers in the ranks of sworn officers were promoted shortly after the election, county records show. Three others were promoted in April 2004 after either giving money to Arpaio’s campaign or filing nominating petitions on his behalf. One was promoted earlier this month.


No one who donated to Saban’s campaign was promoted after making their contributions.


Arpaio refused repeated requests for an interview.


Jack MacIntyre, director of intergovernmental relations for the sheriff, said Arpaio deferred to his command staff for comment. While Arpaio approved of the overall restructuring, specific transfer decisions were left to his staff, MacIntyre said.


Larry Black, chief of enforcement for the sheriff’s office, said he drew up the transfer list for sworn officers and that politics played no role. Black said he never checked the list of donors to either the Arpaio or Saban campaigns.


"There is no correlation one way or another," Black said of the transfers and promotions of those who were active in the campaign. "You are giving us far more credit for being devious. It’s ridiculous."




More than 300 sheriff ’s officers were transferred on Nov. 22, three weeks after the general election. About 140 of those were sworn peace officers and supervisors. That is about a fourth of the sheriff’s sworn staff. The rest were corrections officers in the county jails.


Such mass transfers are virtually unheard of among other law enforcement agencies surveyed by the Tribune, including those in major East Valley cities, Phoenix, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Pima County Sheriff’s Office in Tucson.


Several Maricopa County officers told the Tribune they believe the deputies were sent to less desirable jobs because of their support for Saban. None would agree to be quoted for this story, with several citing fear of retaliation. Parrish, who retired this month after 22 years with the sheriff ’s office, also would not comment.


An analysis of the transfers of sworn officers by the Tribune shows deputies who backed Saban, Arpaio’s rival in the Republican primary last September, were moved to such jobs as transporting prisoners or standing watch in courtrooms. After receiving complaints from deputies, the Tribune analyzed transfer and promotion lists, personnel records of key sworn officers, and campaign documents related to both the Saban and Arpaio campaigns.


Among the sheriff’s officers who openly supported Saban:


• Sgt. Mike McGhee, who gave $100 to the Saban campaign, was transferred from patrol to the property room, then moved to a training unit. Black said McGhee was transferred sometime before November.


• Sgt. Jerry Bruen, who gave $350 to Saban, was transferred out of the detective bureau to patrol.


• Sgt. Craig Thatcher, who gave $350 to Saban, was transferred from patrol to the special enforcement division, where he was put in charge of taking telephone reports on minor crimes.


• Deputy Clinton Doyle, who gave $350 to Saban, was transferred from patrol to court security.


• Deputy David Parra, who gave $120 to Saban, was transferred from patrol to court security.


• Deputy Tehran Ryles, who gave $100 to Saban, was moved from patrol to court security.


• Deputy Christopher Pittmann, who gave $100 to Saban, remained in patrol. However, his wife, also a sheriff’s deputy, was passed over for promotion to sergeant. Jennifer Pittmann ranked higher on the promotion list than Aaron Brown, the deputy promoted in November, who gave $100 to the Arpaio campaign.


One donor to the Saban campaign, Lt. Daniel Jones, shows up on the sheriff ’s transfer list as being sent to the civil process unit. However, Jones’ personnel file shows he had been in that unit since 2001. Jones gave $350 to the Saban campaign.


Others who showed support for Saban, but did not give money, also were bumped from specialized and prestigious positions. Capt. Dan Whalen had been in charge of the intelligence unit for the sheriff ’s office before the November transfers. But after he attended a Saban primary election night rally in Mesa, he was transferred to the property room.




Deputy Sean Pearce, whose wife gave $50 to Saban, was on the sheriff’s SWAT team when the November transfers went through. Pearce, who lives in Mesa, was given a patrol assignment in Sun City but remained on the tactical unit. He was shot during a SWAT operation in December, and the old SWAT team was replaced a few weeks later. Pearce remains in the special enforcement unit, but is off the SWAT team.


Officers who said they feared retaliation if they spoke with the Tribune cited what happened to Pearce, who spoke critically of his newly installed SWAT commanders — both Arpaio supporters — during an interview with the Tribune in January. The day after that interview, Pearce and other members of the SWAT team were put under internal investigation.


That investigation remains open.


Two deputies who donated to Saban, Lance Novasad and Jack Heywood, remain patrol officers and do not appear to have been affected by their campaign contributions. Novasad gave $60 to the Saban campaign while Heywood gave $40, county records show.


Two other deputies who donated to Saban were already in the units that guard courtrooms and transport prisoners before the November election.


Deputy Michael Culhane, who gave $350 to Saban, was moved out of lake patrol and into court security in 2002, according to his personnel records. Culhane is head of the Deputies Law Enforcement Association, a union representing sheriff’s deputies.


Deputy Michael Pennington, who gave $140 to Saban, was moved to court security in 2001, records show. Pennington is president of a Fraternal Order of Police lodge that endorsed Saban in the primary last year. In 2000, a year before he was moved to court security, Pennington’s lodge issued a "vote of no confidence" against Arpaio.


It is a violation of county employee merit rules to discriminate against workers who engage in permitted political activity, which includes donating money or expressing support for a candidate while off duty.




Black said large-scale transfers are done periodically in the sheriff’s office. Last year, the office hired about 40 officers, who had been assigned to the jail and prisoner transport units after they graduated from the academy, Black said.


Some transfers were done to free patrol positions so those new deputies could get training in the field, he said. That required some experienced deputies to be transferred to prisoner transport and court security, Black said.


Three deputies who donated to Saban and were moved off patrol were experienced field training officers — deputies who are qualified to train new patrol officers.


Though Black said he could not speak to all of the transfers, he did say some individuals were moved because their experience and expertise were needed in specialized assignments.


As for the patrol officers reassigned to the jails and courts, Black said that was a natural consequence of moving the new deputies into the field for training. He acknowledged that some of the positions are less desired than others.


"Unfortunately, some of the older guys don’t like getting moved back down to transportation and we try to avoid doing it as much as we can," Black said. "The transfers had nothing to do with any list, including a contributions list."


Saban, now chief of police in Buckeye, said arbitrarily transferring experienced officers is bad policy because it robs the agency of expertise in specialized assignments that took years to build.


"You’ve got to judge people on their work performance and their value within the organization, not what they do personally in a political setting. That’s inappropriate," Saban said.




While Saban backers fared poorly in the November transfers, those who worked to reelect Arpaio either stayed put or ended up in choice assignments. Most of the top commanders in the sheriff’s office either gave money to the Arpaio campaign, circulated nominating petitions, or did both, according to election records.


The Tribune matched the names of people who circulated petitions or gave money to Arpaio with the personnel files and transfer lists. That comparison shows that after aiding Arpaio’s campaign, three of those officers were promoted to sergeant, three to lieutenant, three to captain and one to deputy chief.


In all, the Tribune identified 40 sheriff’s office employees who either donated to Arpaio or circulated his nominating petitions. Almost half were on the transfer lists.


Among the most active supporters of the sheriff was Lt. Paul Chagolla, who was promoted in November. Chagolla filed about 30 nominating petitions for Arpaio and gave $100 to his campaign. Though he was promoted, Chagolla was not transferred from his job as public information officer.


Other political supporters of Arpaio who were promoted in November: Deputy chief Brian Sands, who filed 22 nominating petitions; Capt. Terry Young, who filed five petitions and gave $200; Lt. David Letourneau, who donated $100; Sgt. Bryan Todd Whitney, who filed one petition; and Brown, who was promoted to sergeant.


Capt. Joel Fox and Sgt. Travis Anglin, who filed nominating petitions for the sheriff, were promoted in April. Also promoted in April was Lt. Kenneth Holmes, who gave $200 to the sheriff’s campaign two months earlier, according to county records.


Earlier this month, Capt. Edward Lopez, who filed nominating petitions for the sheriff, was promoted and given Parrish’s old job.


While Black characterized the post-election shake-up as routine, no other police agency contacted by the Tribune has transferred such large numbers of sworn officers, according to department officials. Transfers are typically done on a case-by-case basis as positions come open, with applicants judged on factors such as seniority, test scores and oral boards. Most police departments, including those in the East Valley, also periodically allow patrol officers to apply for different shifts or patrol sectors.


"Our policy has pretty much been that if people are happy in their position, they are allowed to stay," said deputy Dawn Barkman, spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.


Louis Mayo, a police management consultant and cofounder of the Virginia-based Police Association for College Education, said large-scale transfers are seldom done in major police agencies.


"Just shaking things up is not good policy," Mayo said. "If you are going to do reassignments, it should be done with clear criteria of what the problem is, what is the purpose and what is the good for the organization. Just moving people around is not good management."


Contact Mark Flatten by email, or phone (602) 542-5813






Bush administration facing a credibility problem


Doyle McManus

Los Angeles Times

Jun. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - President Bush has struggled for months to maintain public support for the war in Iraq in the face of some battlefield setbacks. Now he faces a second front in the battle for public opinion: charges that the administration is not telling the truth about how the war is going.


Bush and his aides have delivered a positive, if carefully calibrated, message: The war is not yet won, they acknowledge, but progress is being made.


"We can expect more tough fighting in the weeks and months ahead," the president said in his weekly radio address Saturday. "Yet I am confident in the outcome."


Veering off 'message'

But last month Vice President Dick Cheney broke from the administration's "message discipline" and said the insurgency was in its "last throes." And the White House has been paying a price ever since.


Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who supported the decision to go to war in Iraq, complained that the White House was "completely disconnected from reality." Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., another war supporter, charged that Bush had opened not just a credibility gap, but a "credibility chasm."


Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld distanced himself from the vice president's words.


"I didn't use them, and I might not use them," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. Rumsfeld said the insurgency could "go on for four, eight, 10, 12, 15 years, whatever. . . . We don't know. It is going to be a problem for the people of Iraq."


Historian Robert Dallek, a biographer of President Lyndon Johnson, said: "Analogies are imperfect, and I hate to press this one, but this is so much like Vietnam. It has echoes of the Vietnam experience when senators like (Arkansas Democrat J. William) Fulbright began to hammer Johnson on our aims and goals and credibility.


"It's a cumulative process. It takes time. We're not at the full-blown stage on this yet. But it's heading in that direction."


Cheney spokesman Steve Schmidt said the vice president thinks the controversy is mostly partisan politics. "He understands that it's natural for political opponents to seize on a statement and try to make political hay of it," he said.


But other administration officials and Republican elders, who spoke anonymously because they feared retribution from the White House, said the vice president had blundered.


'It's a problem'

"This is like the aircraft carrier," former President Reagan aide Michael Deaver said, referring to Bush's announcement of victory from the deck of the Abraham Lincoln in 2003. "It simply has given an extended talking point to those people who are opposed to the war and want to make the administration look bad. . . . I don't think it's a big problem. It's a problem."


Deaver declined to criticize Cheney directly.


"He always says what he wants to say," he said.


But complaints about the administration's credibility came last week from some supporters of the war as well as opponents, and from Republicans as well as Democrats.


Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a supporter of the war, called on Bush to deliver a tougher message to the public about the danger of losing in Iraq. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., another supporter, complained that although the Pentagon claims it has trained 170,000 Iraqi security forces, it refuses to say how many are ready for military operations, "the key element to success," McCain said.


Underlying their criticism was a steady erosion in public support for the war.


"We will lose this war if we leave too soon. And what is likely to make us do that? The public going south," Graham told Rumsfeld. "And that is happening, and that worries me greatly."


Several recent polls have found that a majority of Americans believe that the United States made a mistake going to war in Iraq, and increasing numbers, but not a majority, said they want U.S. troops withdrawn immediately.


Public support slipping

"What's interesting in this decline in support for the war is that it has sprung from the public itself," said pollster Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center. "It wasn't led by politicians or by an antiwar movement. It started back in May, when the focus in Washington was on other issues."


Bush acknowledged Saturday that maintaining U.S. public support for the war is critical. "The terrorists' objective is to break the will of America and of the Iraqi people before democracy can take root," he said.


Bush will try to repair the damage Tuesday evening when he speaks at Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne Division. Aides say that in the nationally televised speech, the president will point to reports that an increasing number of insurgents in Iraq appear to be fighters from other Arab countries as a way of bolstering his argument that Iraq is "a central front in the war on terrorism."


But officials acknowledged that the underlying problems, from car bombs in Baghdad to sagging public support at home, will take more than one speech to dispel.


"Senators are hearing from back home: If things are going so well, why do we hear every morning that 30 people have been killed in Baghdad?" said a top Republican adviser who refused to be identified by name. "Tell me how the situation is on the ground, and I'll tell you how soon they recover."


Meanwhile, leading Democrats, who had largely fallen silent on Iraq earlier in the year after elections were held successfully there Jan. 30, have been emboldened to step up their criticisms. Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on the administration to consider setting a timetable for withdrawing troops if Iraq's constitutional negotiations bog down.


Biden, who is considering a run for the presidency, said he opposed setting a timetable but called on the administration to set clearer benchmarks for progress and to be more candid about its failures.


In the Democrats' official response Saturday to Bush's radio address, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Carter, said: "This war has been conducted with tactical and strategic incompetence. . . . The president should provide the American people with a plan describing the key elements of a successful strategy in Iraq."






Warrants from Italy expose CIA actions

Agents' hotel bill totaled $150,000 during operation


Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times

Jun. 26, 2005 12:00 AM


MILAN, Italy - They ran up tabs of thousands of dollars at some of Milan's best hotels and restaurants. They chatted easily on their cellular telephones and gave out passport, frequent-flier and driver's license numbers when booking flights or renting cars.


And now they are fugitives.


If Italian authorities are right, a CIA operation has been exposed here that on some levels was brazen and perhaps reckless, even as it successfully spirited away a reputedly notorious Egyptian imam.


Italian arrest orders have been issued for 13 CIA operatives, and additional warrants are possible, in what might be the first time an ally of Washington, D.C., has attempted to prosecute its spies. The suspects face kidnapping charges that carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.


Judicial authorities said Saturday that they also might seek the arrest of a senior U.S. Air Force commander who they say allowed the U.S.-run Aviano air base in northern Italy to be used in the abduction of Hassan Osama Nasr, a radical cleric known as Abu Omar.


Italian authorities contend Abu Omar was kidnapped by the American agents 2 1/2 years ago and taken to Egypt, where he was tortured. His whereabouts remain unknown.


Abu Omar had been long suspected of terrorist activities by Italian authorities, who had him under surveillance themselves as part of an investigation into an Islamic cell accused of recruiting and sending suicide bombers and fighters to Iraq.


The former CIA station chief in Milan, a 51-year-old Honduran-born American who is among those named in the arrest warrants, is believed to have accompanied or followed Abu Omar to Egypt and to have been present for some of the interrogations, a senior Italian judicial official said Saturday.


That raises the possibility that the American agent was aware of the reputed torture, the Italian official said. The man's movements were tracked by his use of a cellular telephone to make calls from Egypt in the two weeks after the disappearance of Abu Omar, the official said.


"He was the one who knew everything about Abu Omar," the official said, referring to the ex-station chief, "and so he would have been very useful in the interrogation."


Abu Omar, during a brief period of freedom in 2004, told associates that he was tortured with electrical shocks to his genitals and beatings during the interrogations in Egypt.


It remains unclear whether the pro-U.S. right-wing government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi signed off on the Milan abduction. Several former U.S. intelligence officials consulted said it was virtually impossible that the operation would have been launched without Italian permission at some level.


All told, 19 American operatives, 13 men and six women, mounted the mission to capture Abu Omar, according to the warrants and other court documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, as well as interviews with several Italian officials involved in the case.


The abduction was an example of the U.S. "extraordinary rendition" program, a highly controversial tactic used with increasing frequency since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States to pursue suspected terrorists. Dozens of people have been seized by CIA operatives in foreign lands and bundled off to third countries, according to officials and human rights organizations.


Many of the names, U.S. addresses and telephone numbers in the indictment appear to be false or have been changed. In hotel bills, the group ran up a tab of $150,000, the documents indicate.


Armando Spataro, the lead prosecutor on the case, has said he would like to seek the extradition of the suspects, and the warrants have been forwarded to European police agencies, meaning the named men and women could be arrested anywhere in Europe.


But Italian judicial officials acknowledge that it is unlikely that a single CIA agent ever will be brought to trial. The U.S. government publicly has refused to comment on or even acknowledge the warrants.




government buerocrats refuse to admit they f*cked up




Man settles suit after imprisonment

Authorities held wrong suspect for 9 days

By Nancy Bowman


Dayton Daily News


TROY | — A Darke County man sat in the Miami County Jail for nine days in December after being arrested on a warrant for felony forgery charges filed against the wrong person.


Richard Gilroy will receive $2,500 in compensation from Miami County, whose commissioners agreed June 14 to settle legal claims out of court while denying any liability by the sheriff's office or the county.


Gilroy was arrested in early December in Darke County on the warrant on three forgery charges filed by Troy police in 2002.


He was brought to the county jail where he told jail officers he couldn't be the accused because he was incarcerated in Tennessee at the time of the Feb. 20, 2002, offenses, said his lawyer, Dennis Lieberman.


"They told him to, 'Tell it to the judge,' " Lieberman said. Bail was set at $30,000, 10 percent cash. Gilroy couldn't pay, so he sat in jail.


While there, Gilroy repeatedly asked people at the jail to call his parole officer to confirm his whereabouts in February 2002, but that wasn't done, Lieberman said.


At the Municipal Court preliminary hearing before Judge Elizabeth Gutmann, Gilroy got to tell his story.


The judge asked the police detective to check, and Gilroy was released the following day, Dec. 14, when his claim was confirmed.


Lieberman said Gilroy missed one week of work, was placed in jeopardy of having his parole revoked and his young son was placed in emotional distress, fearing his dad would go back to prison.


The commissioners met in a closed session with Mark Altier, an assistant county prosecutor, before voting unanimously to settle.


He said the commissioners and sheriff were reluctant to settle, but saw payment as the most economical way to deal with the matter.


"We do not feel the sheriff's office, the county are liable. ... If there was fault, it may lay elsewhere," Altier said.


Altier said Gilroy's basic claim was that someone should have listened to him sooner. "I understand. If I were in jail one week, I'd be frustrated too," Altier said.


Troy police Capt. Joe Long said Gilroy was charged in the case involving forged checks to businesses because of factors including a license plate number in his name and a witness in the case identifying him from a photo as a potential suspect.


Police later found Gilroy had sold the truck, but the plates were left on it, Long said. The forgery case remains open, he said.




5, 6, 8, 10, 12 more years of war. gee! something to get war monger john mccain elected with.




Rumsfeld Speaks Cautiously on Strength of Insurgency



International Herald Tribune

Published: June 26, 2005


WASHINGTON, June 26 - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld insisted today that United States-led forces were making significant progress in Iraq, but he spoke with deliberate caution about how long and forcefully insurgents were likely to resist and noted that such resistance movements can last a dozen years.


"The insurgency will be put down by the Iraqi people over time," Mr. Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday." "It won't be won by the coalition forces." He added that "insurgencies tend to go on 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 years." And violence, he said, might increase ahead of national elections set for December.


But Mr. Rumsfeld expressed nothing but certainty about the final outcome: The insurgents, he said, were "losers, and they're going to lose."


Mr. Rumsfeld's appearances on three television programs, and the appearances of Gen. John Abizaid, the military commander responsible for Afghanistan and Iraq, on two other programs seemed intended to lay the groundwork for a major prime-time speech on Tuesday by President Bush. Both Mr. Rumsfeld and General Abizaid sought to sound reassuring tones, while preparing the public for a long and difficult struggle.


Some in Congress have sharpened their criticism of the war and called for the administration to outline a clear strategy for withdrawal. In one exchange last week, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts suggested to Mr. Rumsfeld, and not for the first time, that he resign. Meanwhile, opinion polls show public confidence in the war at all-time lows.


Mr. Bush said Friday that he was "not giving up on the mission." He is expected to ask Americans for patience and forbearance.


General Abizaid expressed calm confidence today about the war but cautioned against hoping for short-term results.


"There's no way the United States military in either Iraq or Afghanistan is going to be pushed into the sea," he said on the CBS News program "Face the Nation." "The insurgents don't have a chance."


He said that Iraqi forces could begin taking a lead role by next spring or summer, but that reductions in American forces would probably not come for a year after that.


"We don't kneed to have the same number of troops in the region 10 years from now or 5 years from now or even 2 years from now," said General Abizaid, who heads the United States Central Command.


Mr. Rumsfeld, expressing similar confidence, characterized the insurgents as outsiders with scant domestic support.


Unlike past revolutions in Vietnam and China, he said, there was no charismatic national leader. "There is no Ho Chi Minh or Mao there," he said. "There's a Jordanian terrorist who's killing Iraqi people," a reference to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who is considered a leader of the insurgency.


Moreover, Mr. Rumsfeld said, the insurgents' ability to kill large numbers of people was a poor indicator of Iraqi support for their cause.


"It doesn't take a genius to go blow up a restaurant," he said on Fox. "A kid with a suicide vest can kill a lot of people."


He described overall progress in Iraq as "solid," adding: "It's amazing. It's historic."


Mr. Rumsfeld was asked to square a comment last week by Vice President Dick Cheney, who said that the insurgency was in its "last throes," with General Abizaid's testimony on Thursday to Congress that the insurgency's "overall strength is about the same" as six months earlier and that the flow of anti-American fighters into the country had grown.


Mr. Rumsfeld, noting that the word "throes" can encompass violent spasms, said that there was "no contradiction at all" between Mr. Cheney's and General Abizaid's comments.


Mr. Rumsfeld was also asked about the accusations of abuse of detainees at the United States base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He categorically denied that there was "any policy of abuse or policy of torture."


"There have been, I believe, 50 convictions of people for not obeying the rules that have been established," he said on Fox News. "The prisoners in Guantánamo Bay are being treated humanely.


"The idea that there's any policy of abuse or policy of torture is false, flat false."


Mr. Rumsfeld also confirmed, but played down, a British press report that American officials had negotiated recently with Iraqi insurgents in two meetings in a villa north of Baghdad.


"Sure, my goodness, yeah," Mr. Rumsfeld said of a report about the meetings in The Sunday Times of London. "The first thing you want to do is split people off and get some people to be supportive. The same thing's going on in Afghanistan."


But he added, "I would not make a big deal out of it."


Both Mr. Rumsfeld and General Abizaid suggested that the meetings were intended largely to improve contacts with Sunni Muslims in central Iraq - where the insurgency has proved most intractable - to urge them to play a larger role in the political process.


But this, General Abizaid said on CBS, "doesn't mean we're talking to people like Zarqawi."


Such meetings were reported early this year by Time magazine






Rights Groups Fault White House for Jailing of Terror Suspects



Published: June 26, 2005


WASHINGTON, June 26 - Two leading civil rights groups charge in a new study that the Bush administration has twisted the American system of due process "beyond recognition" in jailing at least 70 terror suspects as "material witnesses" since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the groups are calling on Congress to impose tougher safeguards.


The report, which is to be released on Monday by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, found that the 70 suspects, a quarter of them American citizens and all but one Muslim men, were jailed often for weeks or months at a time in American facilities without being charged with a crime. Ultimately, only seven men were charged with supporting terrorism, with four convicted so far, the report said.


The report charges that many of the men who were held as material witnesses were "thrust into a Kafkaesque world of indefinite detention without charges, secret evidence, and baseless accusations."


With Congress now locked in a fierce dispute over the government's counterterrorism powers under the Patriot Act, the new report reflects an effort by civil rights groups to expand the debate to a range of other legal tools that the Bush administration is using in its campaign against terrorism. Aides to Senator Patrick J. Leahy, ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee, said he would introduce legislation aimed at limiting the government's ability to detain a material witness indefinitely.


The material witness law, enacted by Congress in 1984, allows federal authorities to hold a person indefinitely if they suspect he has information about a crime and may be unwilling to cooperate or poses a risk of fleeing.


The law has been used for many years to compel the testimony of thousands of illegal immigrants whom authorities feared would flee the country rather than cooperate in investigations into border smuggling and other crimes. But since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has significantly expanded its use in terrorism investigations, and Bush administration officials acknowledge that they see the law as a valuable tool in detaining American citizens and others whom they view not merely as witnesses, but terror suspects.


Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, in a speech last year in Washington while he was still serving as White House counsel, said that when the authorities took into custody an American citizen who was a suspected terrorist, they would consider a range of options, "including the potential for a criminal prosecution, detention as a material witness, and detention as an enemy combatant."


Justice Department officials defended their expanded view of the law in interviews and recent congressional testimony, saying that they have sought to use it sparingly and to follow all legal safeguards allowing those material witnesses who are jailed to contact lawyers and to challenge their detention.


In testimony last month before a House subcommittee, Chuck Rosenberg, a former senior Justice Department official in Washington who is now interim United States attorney in Texas, called the material witness law "an important, constitutional tool to secure the testimony of a witness whose testimony might otherwise not be available." The only appellate court to rule on the law since the Sept. 11 attacks upheld its use in the case of a permanent resident from Jordan who had contact with a Sept. 11 hijacker while a student in San Diego.


Kevin Madden, spokesman for the Justice Department, said in response to the report's accusations that "critics of law enforcement fail to recognize that material witness statutes are designed with judicial oversight safeguards and are critical to aiding criminal investigations ranging from organized crime rackets to human trafficking."


But in their new report, Human Rights Watch and the A.C.L.U. charged that the Justice Department has abused the law in order to detain people as witnesses whom it does not otherwise have enough evidence to charge with terrorism.


The Justice Department has essentially succeeded in setting a precedent for lowering the standard they have to meet to jail someone," said Anjana Malhotra, who wrote the report, which was financed in part by George Soros's Open Society Institute.


Human rights groups have complained since soon after the Sept. 11 attacks that people regarded as terrorist suspects were being unfairly detained with insufficient evidence and mistreated while in American custody. But their findings and accusations have taken on greater prominence in the last year in the eyes of both critics and supporters amid evidence of abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Amnesty International's recent characterization of Guantánamo Bay as a "gulag" drew particularly strong attacks from the Bush administration and other conservatives.


The Justice Department has not given a public accounting of jailed material witnesses since early 2003, when it told Congress it had detained fewer than 50.


The new study sought to catalogue and quantify the treatment of the witnesses, and it found that a third of the 70 material witnesses it identified were jailed for at least two months. The study found that there might well have been more than 70 material witnesses, but secrecy provisions prevented a definitive tally. Of the 70 who were positively identified, 42 were released without any charges being filed, 20 were charged with non-terrorist offenses like bank or credit card fraud, four were convicted of supporting terrorism, and three others are awaiting trial on terrorism charges. More than a third were ultimately deported. None are still known to be held as witnesses.


Few of the material witnesses made national headlines. Among the notable exceptions were Zacarias Moussaoui, recently convicted of terrorism in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks; Jose Padilla, who was later declared an enemy combatant after authorities accused him of plotting to build a "dirty bomb;" and Brandon Mayfield, a Muslim lawyer in Portland who was jailed in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings after the F.B.I. mistakenly matched a fingerprint of his to the scene.


In the end, government officials apologized to Mr. Mayfield and at least a dozen other material witnesses who they admitted had been wrongfully detained, the report said. "But," it added, "apologies are poor compensation for loss of liberty, as well as the emotional toll that incarceration has had on the detainees and their families."






High court splits on Ten Commandments


Associated Press

Jun. 27, 2005 09:05 AM


WASHINGTON - A sharply divided Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutionality of displaying the Ten Commandments on government land, but drew the line on displays inside courthouses, saying they violated the doctrine of separation of church and state.


Sending dual signals in ruling on this issue for the first time in a quarter-century, the high court said that displays of the Ten Commandments - like their own courtroom frieze - are not inherently unconstitutional. But each exhibit demands scrutiny to determine whether it goes too far in amounting to a governmental promotion of religion, the court said in a case involving Kentucky courthouse exhibits.


In effect, the court said it was taking the position that issues of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses should be resolved on a case-by-case basis.


In that 5-4 ruling and another decision involving the positioning of a 6-foot granite monument of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas capitol, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the swing vote. The second ruling, likewise, was by a 5-4 margin.


Justice Antonin Scalia released a stinging dissent in the courthouse case, declaring, "What distinguishes the rule of law from the dictatorship of a shifting Supreme Court majority is the absolutely indispensable requirement that judicial opinions be grounded in consistently applied principle."


The justices voting on the prevailing side in the Kentucky case left themselves legal wiggle room, saying that some displays inside courthouses - like their own courtroom frieze - would be permissible if they're portrayed neutrally in order to honor the nation's legal history.


But framed copies in two Kentucky courthouses went too far in endorsing religion, the court held. Those courthouse displays are unconstitutional, the justices said, because their religious content is overemphasized.


In contrast, a 6-foot-granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol - one of 17 historical displays on the 22-acre lot - was determined to be a legitimate tribute to the nation's legal and religious history.


"Of course, the Ten Commandments are religious - they were so viewed at their inception and so remain. The monument therefore has religious significance," Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the majority in the case involving the display outside the state capitol of Texas.


"Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment clause," he said.


Rehnquist was joined in his opinion by Scalia, and Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Justice Stephen G. Breyer filed a separate opinion concurring in the result.


The rulings were the court's first major statement on the Ten Commandments since 1980, when justices barred their display in public schools. But the high court's split verdict leaves somewhat unsettled the role of religion in American society, a question that has become a flashpoint in U.S. politics.


"While the court correctly rejects the challenge to the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas Capitol grounds, a more fundamental rethinking of our Establishment Clause jurisprudence remains in order," Thomas wrote in a separate opinion.


Dissenting in the Texas case, Justice John Paul Stevens argued the display was an improper government endorsement of religion. Stevens noted in large letters the monument proclaims 'I AM the LORD thy God.' "


"The sole function of the monument on the grounds of Texas' State Capitol is to display the full text of one version of the Ten Commandments," Stevens wrote.


"The monument is not a work of art and does not refer to any event in the history of the state," Stevens wrote. "The message transmitted by Texas' chosen display is quite plain: This state endorses the divine code of the Judeo-Christian God."


Justices O'Connor, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg also dissented.


The case was one of two heard by the Supreme Court in March involving Ten Commandments displays, in a courtroom boasting a wall carving of Moses holding the sacred tablets.


In Texas, the Fraternal Order of Eagles donated the exhibit to the state in 1961, and it was installed about 75 feet from the Capitol in Austin. The group gave thousands of similar monuments to American towns during the 1950s and '60s.


Thomas Van Orden, a former lawyer who is now homeless, challenged the display in 2002. He lost twice in the lower courts in holdings the Supreme Court affirmed Monday.


Meanwhile in Kentucky, two counties originally hung the copies of the Ten Commandments in their courthouses. After the ACLU filed suit, the counties modified their displays to add other documents demonstrating "America's Christian heritage," including the national motto of "In God We Trust" and a version of the Congressional Record declaring 1983 the "Year of the Bible."


When a federal court ruled those displays had the effect of endorsing religion, the counties erected a third Ten Commandments display with surrounding documents such as the Bill of Rights and Star-Spangled Banner to highlight their role in "our system of law and government."


The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal subsequently struck down the third display as a "sham" for the religious intent behind it.


Ten Commandments displays are supported by a majority of Americans, according to an AP-Ipsos poll. The poll taken in late February found that 76 percent support it and 23 percent oppose it.


The case is McCreary County v. ACLU, 03-1693.


On the Net:


Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/




Tempe to boost salaries for officers, firefighters


Katie Nelson

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 27, 2005 12:00 AM


TEMPE - Keeping up with the Joneses is pushing Tempe to increase salaries for police officers and firefighters this year in an attempt to fight for recruits as other public safety departments across Arizona do the same.


A state retirement program that extends retirement dates in order to keep expertise on the streets will begin having the opposite effect as the retirement dates approach en masse. As a result, police and fire departments across the state are vying for qualified prospects to fill the void using starting salaries and benefits.


"Losing out creates kind of a brain drain that we don't want to see," said Kerby Rapp, president of the Tempe Officers Association. "It's a serious problem when the best and brightest are being drawn away by better money elsewhere." advertisement


To address the problem, the Tempe City Council has approved pay increases for the police and fire departments in their new contracts. Despite a looming budget deficit, Tempe officials say the city could save money because of a new way to distribute raises.


The city could lose out on $3 million to $6 million in state-shared revenue, or money distributed based on population, depending on the mid-decade census tally and the state Legislature, City Manager Will Manley said.


To combat the cuts, the city switched to basing pay increases on the "market" rather than the "cost of living." That means that instead of doling out raises across the board based on how much the cost of living went up, the city would increase pay only for those whose jobs demand an increase to stay competitive.


Most city employees, except police and firefighters, won't be seeing much in the way of raises as a result of the new method. The move became official when the council recently approved the contracts after about eight months of negotiations.


The new contracts include a 7.5 percent increase in the caps for each police salary range, and an across-the-board 2.5 percent increase for firefighters.


This year, Tempe ranked about 17th in the state in starting pay, paying new officers $40,751 a year. The change will bring Tempe up to about No. 3 and will add about $3,600.


The move is hoped to lure recruits to Tempe, said Rapp, who served as the Tempe association's lead negotiator.


The firefighter pay raise was handed out for similar reasons, said Rich Worth, who led the negotiations for the fire union.


It's not unusual to lose prospective firefighters to better-paying cities such as Phoenix or Chandler, he said. The move will bring Tempe up to the fourth- or fifth-highest pay in the Valley.


That's not to say the rest of Tempe's employees are missing the gravy train that's handing out this year's raises. Public Works employees negotiated a perk that was later passed on to Tempe's entire workforce: A one-time 1 percent pay increase for workers who won't get a step increase or "market" raise. The increase will come in the form of a bonus paycheck, union negotiator Gail Gabler said.






Phoenix strip club ban is proposed

City targeting downtown areas


Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor

The Arizona Republic

Jun. 27, 2005 12:00 AM


Phoenix leaders know what they want downtown - and what they don't.


Officials are looking to keep sexually oriented businesses out of parts of downtown, saying such shops clash with the image the city is trying to promote: a family-friendly destination with sports and entertainment venues, a new and improved convention center nestled among a university campus, a bioscience research center and new housing.


"The image of downtown is science, research and education-based and a mixed-use of businesses and residential that will support that," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. "That doesn't include adult businesses that prey on university students or make mothers and fathers have to explain what nude dancing is to their child.


"That's not what the city wants. That's not what I want."


On Wednesday, the city Planning Commission approved, by a 7-2 vote, a measure that would essentially ban new strip clubs and other sexually oriented businesses from the downtown core and the warehouse district. Existing sex-based businesses would be allowed to keep their doors open.


The City Council will vote on the measure Friday.


"It's a real slam on us," said Mark Bobka, general manager of the Jungle Cabaret, at 426 N. Central Ave. "It's really kind of weird. They're trying to blame stuff on us, but it's not like people are walking by and we're grabbing them by the shirts and dragging them in."


The Jungle Cabaret, a topless club, has been downtown since 1994.


"It's not like we're outside soliciting people to come in," Bobka said. "It's not like we've got naked people out in front of the building. . . . People come in because they want to come in, out of their own free will, just like going to a baseball game."


City Planning Commissioner Joan Kelchner said she worries that creating such specific boundaries outlawing new sex shops could push those businesses into nearby neighborhoods.


"It puts every other neighborhood at risk of getting these," Kelchner said. "All of us who live in downtown communities may see more of them."


City zoning laws already restrict adult businesses to commercially zoned areas and prohibit them from opening within 1,000 feet of one another. City laws also require a 500-foot buffer between those businesses and schools and residential areas, whether they have single- or multiple-family homes.


At Wednesday's Planning Commission meeting, Kelchner called the move shortsighted and nothing more than knee-jerk reaction to a spat between the city and the owner of Palace Cabaret, an all-nude strip club that opened briefly across from Civic Plaza.


"This is because one business downtown made the City Council mad," Kelchner said.


Stuart Char, the owner of Palace Cabaret, met resistance when he transformed an adult bookstore into the nightclub with naked dancers. Although he received his business license to run the cabaret, located a few blocks from America West Arena, his certificate of occupancy was withheld because the building didn't comply with building codes.


Police arrested Char in February when he opened his door without the proper permits. That case has been tied up in court, and a decision is expected the first week of July.


It's unclear what effect the proposed changes would have on Char's case.


He could not be reached for comment, but he has argued that the location is perfect because conventioneers are a big clientele base for such businesses.




Sheriff Joe says his piggys are perfect and never make mistakes. So don't every accuse them of doing anything wrong! They can't!




Arpaio’s feud with Carefree has a history

By Amanda Lee Myers, Tribune

June 27, 2005


Comments made by Carefree officials at a recent meeting may have pushed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio over the edge, but the so-called "America’s toughest sheriff" has had a bone to pick with the town for years.


Arpaio is angry with Carefree not only for comments Mayor Edward Morgan and Councilman Mike Eicher made at a June 7 meeting, but for what Arpaio said has been constant criticism of his deputies, who provide protection and enforcement for the 3,000-person town.


"This has been festering for years," he said. "Anytime they get a complaint, they take it out on my deputies."


At the meeting, Morgan and Eicher questioned Sgt. Joseph Sousa about the office’s alleged slow response time to a 911 call. Later, Eicher suggested the town should think about getting its own police force, to which Morgan said, "That’s a valid recommendation."


On June 14, Arpaio sent a letter to Morgan putting the town on six months’ notice to put together its own police force or contract with another police agency for law enforcement services. Morgan called the decision an overreaction.


Arpaio said that’s just damage control.


"I would never overreact to just one incident," Arpaio said. The sheriff was unable to name any other specific incidents in which his deputies were criticized.


While he could not cite specific incidents either, Carefree Councilman Bob Coady said Morgan and Eicher have been putting down sheriff’s deputies for the past six years he’s been on the council.


"I can’t recall any meeting with the sheriff’s department or a Town Council meeting or a budget meeting where something was not said against the sheriff ’s department," said Coady, liaison between the council and the sheriff’s office. "Whether it was that they were too slow, they weren’t fast enough, there wasn’t enough coverage or they were too expensive."


Coady said the sheriff ’s decision to put the town on notice is justified.


"I’m not sure the council understands the workings of a police department and what these guys do," he said. "They put on a badge, they put on a gun and they put their life on the line. I don’t think we should be second-guessing them."


Other councilmen said the relationship between the sheriff’s office and the town has never been contentious, although Arpaio may have been upset that the council eliminated a $60,000 sheriff’s deputy post from the budget.


The council made that decision because the position had been vacant for a couple of months, said Councilman Greg Gardner.


The position was open because officials put deputy David Mansur on administrative leave after four women accused him of offering to not ticket them in exchange for going out with him.


Gardner said that decision, along with the council’s discussions of how much the sheriff’s service costs, may actually be what is irking Arpaio the most.


Last year, the town paid $301,564 for its contract with the office. This year’s contract, minus the deputy, is $324,434 and includes a new patrol car.


Gardner said the council simply discussed the deal it was getting. "We’re just trying to get the best price for our citizens."


He said comments made by Coady in the past week about some officials’ irresponsibility appear to be a personal vendetta.


"I don’t think (Coady is) working for the good of Carefree when he says some of those things," Gardner said. "I don’t think it’s respectful of the office of the mayor."


Coady, who said he has been wrongfully excluded from meetings with or about the sheriff’s department in the last week, was the only council member to vote against reelecting Morgan as mayor at the June 7 meeting.

Contact Amanda Lee Myers by telephone at (480) 970-2330.






Press Release


For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media

For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media


Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.


Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.


On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.


Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.


The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."


Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.


"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."


Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.


# # #


Logan Darrow Clements

Freestar Media, LLC


Phone 310-593-4843






bush says trust me. didnt nixon say that




Bush: Bloodshed in Iraq Is 'Worth It' By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer


FORT BRAGG, N.C. -     President Bush on Tuesday appealed for the nation's patience for "difficult and dangerous" work ahead in     Iraq, hoping a backdrop of U.S. troops and a reminder of Iraq's revived sovereignty would help him reclaim control of an issue that has eroded his popularity.


In an evening address at an Army base that has 9,300 troops in Iraq, Bush was acknowledging the toll of the 27-month-old war. At the same time, he aimed to persuade skeptical Americans that his strategy for victory needed only time — not any changes — to be successful.


"Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying and the suffering is real," Bush said, according to excerpts released ahead of time by the White House. "It is worth it."


It was a tricky balancing act, believed necessary by White House advisers who have seen persistent insurgent attacks eat into Americans' support for the war — and for the president — and increase discomfort among even Republicans on Capitol Hill.


Bush marked the first anniversary of the transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to Iraq's interim government by focusing on progress in the past year and promising success against the still-potent insurgency.


"The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom," he said in a speech that was to be attended by 750 soldiers and airmen. "They will fail."


He was rejecting calls to set a timetable for withdrawing 135,000 American troops. Instead, he argued for maintaining the present two-pronged strategy: equipping Iraqi security forces to take over the anti-insurgency fight and helping Iraqi political leaders in the transition to a permanent democratic government.


"The work in Iraq is difficult and dangerous," the president said. "We have more work to do and there will be tough moments that test America's resolve."


Bush's repeated acknowledgment of death and difficulty came less than a month after Vice President     Dick Cheney proclaimed the Iraq insurgency "in the last throes." Still, the president's overriding message was one of optimism.


"The American people do not falter under threat, and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins," he said.


Democrats and other critics said the country needed more specifics than Bush has been giving.


"We just don't have a clue what the criteria for success is," said Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., a Vietnam combat veteran. "People are still willing to give the president time if he would just level with them."


Outside the base, opponents of the war planned protests.


The liberal group MoveOn.org also unveiled television advertisements that call the Iraq war "a quagmire." "We got in the wrong way. Let's get out the right way," say the ads running in several contested congressional districts.


Bush reserved a few hours before the speech for a private session to console the loved ones of fallen soldiers. Though he often holds these meetings when visiting military bases, the White House's decision to schedule time with 33 grieving families on the same day as the major address underscored the president's plan to offer a more somber assessment than usual of a war that has killed over 1,740 U.S. military personnel and 12,000 Iraqi civilians.


The Iraqis face the next milestone in their rocky transition to democracy on Aug. 15, the deadline to produce a draft of a new constitution.


Earlier Tuesday, a suicide car bomb attack was a reminder of the difficulties. An influential Shiite member of parliament, his son and two bodyguards were killed.


A recent Associated Press/Ipsos poll found a majority of Americans now think the war was a mistake.


Public patience is even being tested here in military-friendly North Carolina, where signs along the streets of nearby Fayetteville show steadfast support of the armed forces. In the past year, 100 troops from the several North Carolina bases have died in the war, trailing only the toll from California, according to an Associated Press analysis. A new statewide poll released Tuesday showed that, for the first time, more North Carolinians think the war is not worthwhile than think it is.


"We told them if they established a government we would back off," said 26-year-old Carrie Dimmick. "They established a government, but we're still there. I feel like the war is doing more harm than good."


On the Net:


White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov


Fort Bragg: http://www.bragg.army.mil






Court rules in favor of police


Wire services

Jun. 28, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm, even a woman who had obtained a protective order against a violent husband making an arrest mandatory for a violation.


The 7-2 decision overturned a ruling by a federal appeals court. That court had permitted a lawsuit against Castle Rock, Colo., for the failure of the police to respond to a woman's pleas for help after her estranged husband violated a protective order.


In another case, the court refused to hear an appeal from two reporters who say they should not be forced to reveal their sources to a prosecutor investigating whether senior Bush administration officials illegally leaked a covert CIA operative's name.


The high court's order leaves New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper facing jail time.


Both have declined for more than a year to identify confidential sources they spoke with in 2003 about government efforts to discredit a high-profile critic of President Bush's argument for going to war with Iraq: ex-Ambassador Joseph Wilson, husband of CIA operative Valerie Plame.


The Los Angeles Times and Washington Post contributed to this article.






County picking up on 911 cell calls

By Katie McDevitt, Tribune

June 28, 2005


Emergency dispatch centers in Maricopa County will soon be able to locate people calling 911 from cell phones — a task that used to be difficult.


The changes, pioneered by the Federal Communications Commission, mean callers’ cell phone numbers will be displayed for dispatchers upon dialing 911 and a map showing their location will help paramedics locate them within a range of 50 to 300 meters, according to the plan.


An exact date for implementing the new capabilities is not planned, but Valley cities intend to beat the national Dec. 31 deadline.


"This will be helpful because if somebody needs our assistance and can’t tell us where they are, then we can still get to them," said Vicki Szczepkowski, Chandler’s communications manager.


Traditionally cell phone callers had to report their location to get help. Chandler police had an incident involving a man who was kidnapped, trapped in the trunk of a car and had no idea where he was. He had to listen for helicopters and direct them to his rescue, said detective George Arias.


"A lot of work has to be done on the back ends of both the dispatch centers and the cell phone companies," said Jenny Weaver, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman. "We had to make sure people have updated cell phones and good coverage."


The process is being implemented in two phases. The first requires carriers to provide cell phone numbers to 911 dispatch centers and the more complex second phase requires carriers to more precisely locate callers.


To take advantage of the new program, cell phones must be equipped with global positioning systems. Most newer phones have the necessary chip, so it’s important for people to update their cell phones regularly, Weaver said.


Pima County has been using the technology for months and Maricopa and Pinal counties are going to implement the second phase in the next few months, officials said. Nationwide, about 60 percent of the country’s total population isn’t covered by enhanced 911.


Contact Katie McDevitt by email, or phone (480) -898-633




Italians demand to try CIA suspects

Prosecutor asks for extradition


Tom Hundley and John Crewdson

Chicago Tribune

Jun. 29, 2005 12:00 AM


MILAN, Italy - An Italian prosecutor will demand that the United States honor its treaty obligations with Italy and extradite more than a dozen suspected CIA operatives to stand trial on charges of kidnapping a radical imam two years ago.


"We will ask for the extradition of all suspects named in the warrants," Armando Spataro, the deputy chief prosecutor in this northern Italian city, declared in an interview Tuesday.


An Italian judge on Thursday signed warrants requested by Spataro for 13 suspected U.S. intelligence operatives, but the preparation of extradition requests is expected to take a few weeks. advertisement


Prosecution officials also said they would enlist Interpol, the international police organization, to help track down any of the suspects outside the United States.


Other suspects have not been charged. Spataro is expected to ask the court later this week for warrants accusing six other operatives of laying the groundwork for the abduction by following the imam's movements, but not of taking part in the abduction.


The total charged could rise to 25, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune. At least four suspects have not been identified by police, and some of the cellphones used in the operation were purchased by two U.S. diplomats posted to the U.S. Embassy in Rome. Their names are also on the list of potential suspects.


One of those diplomats was known to Milan police as a CIA officer, the documents said. An embassy spokesman did not return a call Tuesday, but an embassy operator said the two diplomats no longer worked there.


Over the past two years, Spataro's investigators have garnered the names used by the suspects from hotel, rental car and cellphone records and painstakingly pieced together the operation in an 80,000-word report.


What emerges from the report, which has not been made public, is a far more audacious covert operation than any previously known "rendition," the CIA's term for forcibly transporting a suspected terrorist from a foreign country to his or her homeland, usually for prearranged imprisonment and interrogation.






Police group mulls complaint against sheriff

By Mark Flatten, Tribune

June 30, 2005

A police union is considering a legal challenge to the mass transfers in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that landed those who opposed Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s re-election in some of the least desired jobs in the agency.


Related Links

Careers linked to Arpaio support

The Deputies Law Enforcement Association, which represents Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies, will decide by August whether to file a discrimination complaint against the sheriff’s office, said Dale Norris, a lawyer who represents the union.


The Tribune reported Sunday that deputies and supervisors who donated to the campaign of Dan Saban, Arpaio’s strongest challenger in the 2004 Republican primary, were moved to less prestigious jobs like transporting prisoners and guarding courtrooms after the general election. The sheriff’s office transferred more than 300 people Nov. 22. Almost half of them were sworn officers and supervisors. The rest were detention officers who work in the county jails.


In the same transfers, officers who actively supported the Arpaio campaign were given more sought-after jobs in units like the SWAT team and lake patrol.


The Tribune also reported that 10 of those who circulated petitions for Arpaio or contributed to his campaign have since been promoted. No one who gave money to the Saban campaign was later promoted, according to a Tribune analysis of county personnel and election records.


Norris said he reviewed many of those same records after the transfers.


"We have concerns about the treatment some employees have received and any relationship that treatment may have to their support or opposition to the re-election of Sheriff Arpaio," Norris said in a written statement.


Though he would not say whether a legal challenge will be mounted, Norris did say in a later interview that if action is taken, it might include a civil rights claim in federal court.


"It’s a First Amendment issue," he said of the officers who openly supported Saban. "Making contributions to political candidates is a protected First Amendment right."


County merit rules specifically prohibit rewards or retaliation for engaging in permitted political activity, which includes making campaign contributions.


Sheriff ’s deputies have merit protections separate from other county employees, though the section protecting political activity is virtually identical. There is also a separate merit commission to hear personnel disputes involving sheriff’s deputies, but Norris said it has not been effective in recent cases.


Only the sheriff and his chief deputy are exempt from merit rules, which govern how deputies are hired, fired, promoted, demoted or transferred.


Deputy chief MaryEllen Sheppard of the sheriff ’s office, in a written response to Tribune inquiries about possible merit rule violations, said: "The sheriff and his office are in full compliance with the merit system rules established by the Law Enforcement Officers Merit System. We fully believe in the merit principles upon which the rules are based and we follow them."


Earlier this month, the Maricopa County Law Enforcement Officers Merit System Commission concluded it had no authority to adopt a formal grievance policy that had been requested by the deputies union. Pat Soria, merit system administrator for the county, said state law gives the commission authority to hear appeals of only firings, demotions or suspensions. The commission, acting on advice from its lawyers, concluded it does not have the power to hear grievances from deputies alleging violations of the merit rules.


If deputies believe they have been discriminated against, they can take their complaints to the county ombudsman, the county personnel office or the courts, Soria said.


That leaves the commission without authority over many complaints from deputies who allege merit rules were violated, Norris said.


"We don’t see any willingness to take on violations of their own rules," Norris said of the law enforcement merit commission. "You are dealing with an elected official who has powers and authorities given to him by state law. And you have a merit commission that has powers under state law. There is a conflict where their powers are not clearly defined."


Contact Mark Flatten by email, or phone (602) 542-5813






Jun 30, 9:08 AM EDT


Prisoner Details Bogus Tax-Return Scheme



AP Economics Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A South Carolina prison inmate told a rapt House panel Wednesday about how he defrauded the U.S. government of $3.5 million by filing bogus tax returns.


The man, an anonymous 37-year-old inmate dubbed "John Doe," testified behind a partition to prevent him from being photographed or videotaped during the House Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight hearing.


He said he started out by filing phony returns for 10 inmates in 1991, which netted $4,200 to $5,400. He kept a $1,000 commission on each return.


"Over the years, I filed six to seven hundred returns," Doe said. "The total dollar amount would be approximately $3.5 million, face value," of which he netted $600,000 to $700,000.


Doe said inmates spent most of the ill-gotten tax return money to buy illegal drugs.


"The money and drugs eventually lead to beatings, stabbings and extortion," he said. "With the money I personally made, I often looked out for poor or indigent inmates who got no help from home." But he conceded he also used the money to buy sneakers, a color TV and "lots of drugs."


The Internal Revenue Service estimates that 15 percent of all tax fraud is committed by prison inmates.


"Tax fraud in any form is unacceptable and illegal," said the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jim Ramstad, R-Minn. "But it is particularly outrageous when it is committed by prison inmates while they are behind bars."


In the typical scam, the inmate fills out a tax form with phony income and withholding information, and then claims a large refund.


Nancy J. Jardini, chief of criminal investigation at the IRS, said one obstacle to cracking down on the problem is a section of the IRS code which prevents the agency from disclosing tax information, with a few exceptions.


"None of the exceptions permit the IRS to refer refund fraud information to prison officials for the imposition of administrative sanctions," she said.


J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for taxation, said IRS figures show that the number of fraudulent tax returns filed by prisoners quadrupled from 4,300 in 2002 to 18,000 last year.


"Of particular concern is the fact that the IRS frequently pays refunds on returns it has identified as fraudulent," George said. "In 2004, the IRS paid 36,000 refunds on returns that it determined to be fraudulent; 4,100 of these were issued to prisoners."


Doe, who is serving a 25-year sentence for burglary, grand larceny and arson, said he will have to serve five years in federal prison for tax fraud. He said the practice is widespread, based on conversations he's had with friends in other states.




the patriot act says the bill of rights is null and void




Jun 30, 11:31 AM EDT


Border Patrol traffic stops near Santa Fe alarm some


SANTA FE (AP) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents are conducting traffic stops farther north to find smugglers of illegal immigrants, a move that alarms immigrant advocates.


Border Patrol agents have been operating near Santa Fe and elsewhere in northern New Mexico this week to gauge the extent of human smuggling in areas farther from the Mexican border, Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier said.


Immigrant-rights advocates, however, said the patrols are causing worry among Santa Fe-area immigrants.


Marcela Diaz, director of the immigrant-rights group Somos un Pueblo Unido, said her office received calls all day Tuesday and Wednesday about agents stopping motorists on Interstate 25.


Diaz said the agents' presence along the main route between Santa Fe and Albuquerque has had a chilling effect on some immigrants and their families.


"When people see border-patrol agents, especially when they are looking out, they get nervous and don't want to go to work and leave the house," Diaz said.


Mosier said the federal agency began an "enforcement action" based out of Albuquerque earlier this week, but he refused to supply details of the operation.


"I don't want smugglers to know anything about our operation and our resources," he said.


Mosier said agents were looking for anything that falls "under the umbrella of homeland security," which could include human, drug or weapons smuggling.


The operation is part of a nationwide effort, he said, and is unrelated to any terrorist threat or Independence Day.






Display not to be seen at some churches


CONTACT WRITER: (480) 898-6426 or ssmith@aztrib.com


   On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in separate cases that the Ten Commandments can and can’t be displayed in government buildings.


   While the court ruled that the Ten Commandments could continue to be displayed at the Texas Capitol because the display did not endorse a religion, the court ruled in another case that displays at two Kentucky county courthouses must be removed because they do endorse a religion.


   Many Christian groups have objected strenuously to the court’s ruling in Kentucky.  "Our spirits are grieved a little bit,’’ said Bobby Brewer, pastor at Mountain View Church in Scottsdale. "We feel it in the pit of our stomachs.’’


   Jim Wood, assistant pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Mesa, said the Kentucky ruling is the continuation of a disturbing trend.


   "I think the concern is, little by little, religious freedom is being chipped away at in the United States,’’ Wood said. "It’s a chipping away at what we believe and our freedom to express what we believe.’’


   So it’s an important issue, right?


   Funny, though, as I was considering the impact of the court’s ruling Tuesday morning, it occurred to me that my church doesn’t have the Ten Commandments posted permanently. I wondered just how many churches do have the Ten Commandments on display .


   So I called 16 churches from numerous denominations. From that sampling, I found only one Christian church that had the Ten Commandments posted. Arizona Community Church in Tempe has a framed copy of the Ten Commandments in its welcome center.


   "We don’t have it here,’’ said the Rev. Chris Carpenter of Christ the King Catholic Church in Mesa. "Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it posted in any of the churches I’ve been to.’’


   This seems a startling omission and, for some, it may only serve to undermine the argument that public displays of Ten Commandments are vital to preserving the faith.


   "I could see how that might make things a little awkward,’’ Carpenter said.


   While Christian churches appear to be unlikely to feature displays of the Ten Commandments, they are a fixture at Jewish synagogues. Interestingly, though, the fight to keep the Ten Commandments before the public eye has been an almost exclusively Christian crusade.


   "We think (the displays ) are a good thing,’’ said Rabbi Mendy Deitsche, director of Chandler’s Chabad of the East Valley. "But unlike the Christian churches, we don’t proselytize.’’


   Brewer thinks the absence of the Ten Commandments is probably just an oversight.


   "I think it’s something that maybe we’ve taken for granted,’’ he said.


   That’s too bad.


   Because you shouldn’t have to go to court to see the Ten Commandments.







ray krone was lucky by this guys standards




Deadly consequences if justice fails

Dwight DanielsChina Daily  Updated: 2005-06-23 05:53


Since the day 15 years ago when Teng Xingshan, a meat cutter in Mayang County in Central China's Hunan Province, was executed, Teng's son and daughter have lived in pain, wondering why he was taken from them.


Teng was wrongfully convicted, executed for a crime he didn't commit. We know this now because the woman Teng "murdered" has suddenly resurfaced, alive and well. But it's too late for Teng. How did he become a victim of such ineptness by the justice system? Only a careful and thorough investigation will answer that question. But larger issues are at stake and also require examination.


First, admissions must be made. The justice system is run by human beings. With the millions of cases heard, judges, courts and police will make errors. Another case in point made headlines a couple of months ago. She Xianglin served 11 years in prison for murder until his "victim," his wife, suddenly appeared alive and well in their hometown in Hubei Province. The former security guard was freed and is now seeking "compensation" from the government. If there is a way to adequately compensate him for 11 years of his life, the authorities will try.


But what about executed people? There is no bringing them back. When Teng Xingshan died 15 years ago, he pleaded with his dying breath that he was innocent. No one listened. A tragedy was completed.


Teng's troubles first started when a woman's dismembered body was found floating in a river in April 1987. She was identified as Shi Xiaorong, a local missing woman. Authorities investigating the crime targeted Teng and later testified at a trial that the murderer must have been someone experienced with a knife - someone like a meat cutter - because the techniques used to dissect the body were "very professional."


As the story played out in court, Teng was supposed to have had sex with Shi and then killed her because he suspected she had stolen some of his money. In retrospect, this could have been a concoction by police and prosecutors.


Yet we now know that the corpse discovered in the river wasn't Shi's. All these years later, Shi - the so-called murdered woman - is sitting in a Guizhou jail charged with drug trafficking. Shi says she didn't even know Teng, her purported "murderer." In fact, Shi had been kidnapped and sold into a marriage and was taken to Eastern China's Shandong Province at least a month before the murdered woman's body was even found.


In 1993, Shi returned to her hometown in Southwest China's Guizhou Province. A year later, Teng's children first heard rumours that Shi was alive. It took them years to know for sure. They, according to media reports, have recently lodged an appeal to the Hunan Provincial High People's Court for a reinvestigation of their father's case.


What all this shows is that the calls for reform still reverberating throughout China's halls of justice in the wake of the She Xianglin case are long overdue. But special care and attention must be given to death penalty cases in China, especially given that there are 68 particular crimes for which people can receive capital punishment here.


Premier Wen Jiabao said at his annual national press conference in March that the nation is fully committed to the use of the death penalty. But, the premier added, China wants to ensure such sentences are "given carefully and fairly." As such, the Supreme People's Court, which relinquished its powers of final review in such cases during a crime-fighting campaign in the 1980s, is hard at work studying how to overcome concerns about inconsistencies by lower, less professionally run courts issuing sentences.


Supreme court officials have said that restoring the right to review such cases could come as early as next year, and a special death penalty review tribunal may be needed to handle the new workload. It may also be time for lawmakers to review the number of crimes that merit the penalty.


Much more thought and care should go into handing out sentences.


(China Daily 06/23/2005 page4)






Stolen truck barrels past jets at airport

Breach prompts security review


Jack Gillum and Shaun McKinnon

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


Phoenix officials pledged to further tighten barriers around Sky Harbor International Airport after a driver crashed through a wrought-iron fence and sped past passenger-filled airliners Thursday morning, the second time in two years a vehicle has breached airport security.


The driver led authorities onto a taxiway, delaying at least 50 departing flights at the start of a busy July 4 air-travel season. Police fired several rounds at the truck, which crashed through another fence west of Terminal 2 before stopping. Damian Holmes, 28, was taken into custody at the scene.


Airport officials said they believe their security measures are more than adequate. But they acknowledged it never occurred to anyone that someone would crash a truck through that fence, located in a fire station parking lot.


"Obviously, we would be silly not to go back and look at this area," Aviation Director David Krietor said. "We are intensely - and intensively - evaluating all aspects of our security."


He said the airport has spent an "extraordinary amount of money" upgrading security since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. About $100 million was earmarked over 10 years for such improvements.


The pickup crashed through one of the improvements, an 8-foot wrought-iron fence that had replaced a shorter fence on a portion of the airport's perimeter. However, concrete barriers designed to further strengthen the fence had not been installed.


Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said Sky Harbor security now exceeds federal standards, but "the airport is already reviewing (its procedures) to see how and where to make further improvements."


"This will result in additional (security) measures being taken," Gordon said.


In November 2003, two men were arrested after stealing a car, crashing through a chain-link fence and leading officers onto an airfield near Terminal 3. At the time, airport authorities said that security worked well but that they were evaluating whether a chain-link fence, the most required by federal Transportation Security Administration standards, was adequate.


As part of an overall security review, Sky Harbor officials decided to raise perimeter fences to 8 feet in height, 2 feet higher than federal standards. The airport has also been replacing barbed wire required along the top of the fence with razor wire, Krietor said. The project, which began about a year ago, is about 60 percent complete.


The improvements called for concrete barriers, many of which have already been installed. But there were no such barriers where the truck burst onto the airfield near Fire Station No. 19.


Additional precautions have been taken at other places where the fence is considered particularly vulnerable, such as those nearest to the roadway.


Perimeter security was found lacking at many of the nation's major airports in a review by the Government Accountability Office last year. Investigators found that most efforts had focused on the screening of passengers, employees and baggage, leaving some vulnerabilities in protecting airports' perimeters.


Krietor said the stolen pickup truck presented no danger to passengers. But video footage shows the late-model Nissan Titan speeding past several aircraft, which had been stopped after the Federal Aviation Administration halted ground traffic for seven minutes.


An FAA controller saw the truck crash through the fence after authorities alerted the tower and requested permission to fly a police helicopter over the airport. The tower immediately ordered all aircraft on the ground to stop, said Donn Walker, the FAA's regional media relations manager. There were six or seven planes lined up ready to depart and an additional 10 to 12 moving toward the runway.


Arriving flights were unaffected because they landed on the airport's North Runway. But the FAA reported that 50 departing flights experienced delays of at least 15 minutes, Walker said. The longest delay was 25 minutes.


Police say Thursday's incident began after Holmes stole the vehicle about 7:45 a.m. at a convenience store near Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road. Officers responding to a subsequent 911 call spotted the vehicle but soon stopped the chase because no violent crime had been committed, said Sgt. Randy Force, a police spokesman.


A police helicopter followed Holmes to Sky Harbor, where he then circled the streets outside the airport several times, Force said. He then drove through a fence after a brief standoff with officers shortly after 9 a.m. just south of Terminal 3. The pickup then sped down a taxiway, passing six or seven commercial aircraft, authorities said.


The chase ended when the truck crashed through a chain-link fence just west of Terminal 2.


Police fired several rounds at the truck when it entered the airfield and after it crashed through the fence near Copperhead and Buckeye roads on the airport's western side. Holmes was not struck.


Officer Dwain Pickens, a 16-year Phoenix police veteran, was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital after his motorcycle was knocked over.


Holmes had been arrested on drug charges in 2002 and was sentenced to probation, Maricopa County Superior Court records show.


Force said Holmes will be booked on several felony counts, including aggravated assault on a police officer and theft of means of transportation.


It was unknown what federal charges Holmes may face.


Staff reporters Ginger D. Richardson and Jon Kamman contributed to this article.






FDA knew of Viagra problems


Marc Kaufman

Washington Post

Jul. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - More than 13 months before a scientific journal reported that Viagra had been linked to a rare form of blindness in some men, a Food and Drug Administration safety officer made the same observation from monitoring adverse event reports and told her supervisors that doctors and patients should be warned of the findings.


Her recommendation was well received, she told congressional investigators, but nothing happened. The FDA issued no public notice or proposed changes to the Viagra label.


That came only following widespread publicity last month about the journal article and public concerns about the possible blindness-Viagra link.


The safety officer's experience was outlined in a letter last week to FDA Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford from Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who said the agency had moved far too slowly on an emerging safety concern.


Criticism of the FDA's response to potentially harmful drug side effects has been frequent and sharp since Merck & Co. took its popular arthritis painkiller, Vioxx, off the market last fall after studies indicated that it increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The FDA has sought to tighten its drug safety oversight since then, but some critics say the agency is doing too little and still puts more emphasis on reviewing and approving new drugs than on safety concerns.


"I am troubled by the FDA's action, or lack thereof, relating to the updating of Viagra's product label," Grassley wrote. He said the agency's Office of New Drugs (OND) had done nothing "despite OND's knowledge of the blindness risks since January 2004 and general agreement among FDA staff last spring that the label should be updated."


Grassley also wrote that the safety officer, whose name was not disclosed, explained the agency's inaction by saying the Office of New Drugs "is under such time pressure to approve new drugs, often safety concerns needed to be 'fit in' where they could."


"What we appear to have here, Dr. Crawford, is yet another example of the 'separate but unequal' relationship" between the Office of New Drugs and the Office of Drug Safety, Grassley wrote.




this proves they cant protect us from terrorists. i guess if you started a pile of car tires on fire under some high voltage power transmission lines the smoke could cause the power lines to short out and fall down as they almost did in this fire.




'Cave Creek' fire smoke shut down Glen Canyon Dam power turbines


Shaun McKinnon

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


Smoke from the "Cave Creek Complex" fire didn't make it all the way to Page last weekend, but it still shut down power turbines at Glen Canyon Dam, briefly slowed the flow of the Colorado River and even affected downstream fishing.


Operations at the dam, about 275 miles north of the fire, were disrupted intermittently from late June 23 through Sunday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.


Engineers are still examining equipment to see if any damage occurred.


The fire burned close to high-voltage power lines that bring electricity from Glen Canyon Dam to the Phoenix area, but it was the smoke and not the flames that caused the problems, said Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Barry Wirth.


Smoke created a path that allowed electricity to arc between the lines. That halted transmission of power, which, in turn, triggered an automatic shutdown of the dam's power turbines.


Scattered power outages were reported in Page, but the effects weren't felt in the Valley.


With the turbines idle, the flow of water from Lake Powell into the Colorado River was also halted. Because the bureau is required to maintain a minimum flow of water into the river, dam operators had to switch on the bypass tubes on each side of the giant structure until the turbines could be restarted.


"It was a scramble for us for a couple of days," Wirth said. "These interruptions would hit without warning. We wouldn't know when we'd be able to get back on line."


Releasing water from the bypass tubes set off another series of events. Raft concessionaire Wilderness Adventures had to move some of its tour rafts from docks at the base of the dam, where the company offers regular river tours.


The rush of water from the tubes also stirred sediment and other material in the river, which apparently increased activity among the trout and gave fisherman near Lees Ferry an unexpected assist.


"It really improved conditions there," said Rory Aikens, spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. "The trout were biting better for a while."


Opening the bypass tubes doesn't result in any lost water because it simply flows down the Colorado, through the Grand Canyon and into Lake Mead, where ample storage space is available to hold onto it. But the water didn't generate any electricity, which will mean financial losses to the bureau, Wirth said.


The total amount lost isn't available yet.


Wirth said the dam's systems operated exactly as they were designed, protecting the turbines and other equipment from power surges when transmissions on the high-voltage lines stopped. Dam workers are trained for such situations, he said, and reacted quickly.


The equipment probably shut down and restarted more in 72 hours than it does in a typical year, Wirth said, which is why engineers will watch it carefully to see if any repairs are needed.




Religion makes people do stupid things




7-year-old adjusting to his loss

Tsunami killed Swede's family


Mattias Karen

Associated Press

Jun. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Tragedy has forced Karl Nilsson to grapple with some of life's deepest enigmas at a tender age.


The 7-year-old boy everybody calls Kalle captured the world's heart when he was found dazed, battered and alone in a Buddhist temple after the tsunami swept his parents and two brothers away from the Thai resort town of Phuket six months ago.


Asians accounted for most of the approximately 180,000 known dead in the catastrophe, but Swedish vacationers suffered some of the heaviest losses among Westerners.


Marie Guldstrand, a Swedish doctor whose family brought Kalle back to Sweden, said he once asked that since Jesus was raised from the dead, "wouldn't it be possible to do that with my parents?"


"He had those existential questions that are completely impossible to answer," Guldstrand said.


Today, Kalle lives with his grandparents in Boden, about 600 miles north of Stockholm, and Guldstrand regularly keeps in touch.


Cold reality has started to sink in for the boy, she said.


"He has realized the full extent of what has happened, even though he, like many others, held out hope for a long time that his family would be found," Guldstrand said.


But he also has times when he can forget the pain and play like an ordinary child.


After a memorial service this month for the boy's lost family, parents Thomas and Asa, and brothers Olof, 5, and Vilgot, 3, Kalle played soccer with other children in the summer sun.


"I have high hopes for Kalle," Guldstrand said. "I think there's high hope when it comes to the children. I think it's harder for adults to handle their grief. They have so many memories ... while children live much more in the present."


Kalle was pictured in newspapers around the world in the days after the Dec. 26 tsunami, holding a sign in English asking about the whereabouts of his family.


When the Guldstrand family found him in the temple, which was temporarily converted into a shelter, he was wearing only underwear and had a broken collarbone, bruises and cuts. He screamed as a medical worker stitched his torn feet without anesthetic.


The following day, he told his story.


He'd been in a hotel room Sunday morning with his brothers, and his parents were outside. Suddenly water gushed into the room. When the waves subsided, he thought he had been transported to another city.


Wandering alone, he was eventually helped by some Thai people and a Swedish couple who took him to the temple.


So far, 461 Swedes have been confirmed dead, and 82 more are listed as missing and presumed dead. Like Kalle's family, most were in Thailand, a popular destination for Scandinavians escaping the darkness and cold of the winter back home.


Although mourning has slowly retracted into the private homes of Swedes who lost family members and friends, the disaster still hangs over the country.


There is lingering resentment toward the government, which many Swedes feel was too slow in providing medical help. As in other Nordic countries, the government has been criticized for waiting several days before sending air ambulances to bring victims home.


For Michael Bergman and his two toddler sons, the horrific memories are starting to subside.


"It was really tough the first three or four months, with nightmares," said Bergman, whose wife, Cecilia, died in the waves. "I couldn't sleep at all. They were waking up all the time. Now they're starting to relax."




you can always trust the government to do jobs better and more honestly then the private sector :)




Report faults contractor

Many bills not justified, auditors say


Scott Higham and Robert O'Harrow Jr.

Washington Post

Jul. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


WASHINGTON - The audit, performed by the Defense Contract Audit Agency at the Transportation Security Administration's behest, spotlights scores of expenses unsupported by the TSA's contract: $20-an-hour temporary workers billed to the government at $48 per hour, subcontractors who signed out $5,000 in cash at a time with no supporting documents, $377,274 in unsubstantiated long-distance phone calls, $514,201 to rent tents that flooded in a rainstorm, $4.4 million in "no show" fees for job candidates who did not appear for tests.


The audit faulted the prime contractor, NCS Pearson Inc., which was hired by the TSA to test, interview, fingerprint, medically evaluate and pre-certify the candidates. The audit said Pearson failed to properly justify costs and improperly awarded subcontracts without competitive bidding. The audit said the company demonstrated a "lack of management or oversight of subcontractors."


One of the audit's key revelations is that a decision to move the hiring process from Pearson's 925 U.S. private assessment centers to 150 hotels and other meeting facilities added at least $343 million to the cost of the contract, according to an estimate by Pearson. The company said it was ordered to make the change by the TSA, which said it made the decision in collaboration with Pearson. advertisement


The decision also reduced the time Pearson had to evaluate and hire 60,000 screeners from 32 weeks to 14 because the TSA delayed the schedule, the company said. Pearson later said the decision forced the company to hire a small army of subcontractors, whose invoices and charges are at the heart of the spending highlighted in the audit.


"It was a waste of taxpayer's money," said Patrick Cowan of Denver, who supervised hiring efforts for Pearson at 43 sites in the central part of the country. "There was abuse of the taxpayers' trust. We didn't get the bang for our buck."


While government officials in the past have hinted at problems with the contract, which rose to $741 million in April 2003 from $104 million in February 2002, the extent of the questionable spending has never been disclosed. Only a few details have emerged in brief congressional testimony and scattered news reports. Government officials have repeatedly denied media requests for access to the audit, which was completed last year and labeled "For Official Use Only." A copy was obtained by the Washington Post.


The audit scrutinized expenses as small as $2.95 paid for a soft drink and as large as $114 million spent on all subcontractor labor, sampling expenses and finding a consistent theme of a failure to follow federal contracting rules for documenting and justifying expenses and cost increases.


The audit refers to internal Pearson reports that sharply criticized the behavior of some of the 168 subcontractors hired to help complete the contract. One Pearson official, referring to a security company hired to provide services, wrote: "There appeared to be serious fraud occurring."


Government managers and Pearson executives have long maintained that they performed a "major and historical accomplishment" by replacing an inefficient patchwork of private passenger screeners with a more professional federal workforce. They said they did the best they could under difficult circumstances and spent taxpayer money wisely.


"We are a threat-driven, risk-management organization," said Tom Blank, the TSA's acting deputy administrator. "We knew we were threatened. There were bad guys out there. We never questioned that we needed to do this within the time frame Congress mandated. ... Anytime you are on a war footing, you will pay a premium for products and services."


Last year, in a 204-page response to the audit, Pearson said the document was "fundamentally flawed" and "distorted" and should be withdrawn. Pearson pointed out that the auditors did not "question" their costs as unreasonable, but instead called them "deficient," a term that means unsubstantiated or not properly documented.


Pearson President Mac Curtis defended his company's handling of the contract in a written statement.


"Under a time of national urgency and constantly changing circumstances, Pearson met the mandate and delivered a federal screener force by a deadline which many thought was impossible," Curtis said. "In the end, Pearson was required to do four times the originally requested work in less than half the originally allotted time."






Tempe loses bias lawsuit


Jahna Berry

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 1, 2005 12:00 AM


One community activist who closely followed a federal court trial against Tempe wasn't surprised that a jury Thursday awarded $2.4 million to nine current and former Hispanic workers.


The workers testified that they faced years of racial discrimination while they worked for Tempe's Public Works Department.


"I think that it's a just verdict," said Cecilia Esquer, a Tempe activist.


Esquer is an attorney who was the former chief counsel for the Attorney General's Public Advocacy Division. She has been following the controversy for years and was present in the courtroom when the verdict was read.


"The suffering that these men went through can't be compensated with money," Esquer added.


The jury weighed whether Tempe discriminated against the nine workers. The plaintiffs said they were the subject of racial slurs and treated more harshly than Anglo co-workers in Public Works. Tempe attorneys said the city did not discriminate.


Retired city worker John Aguilar, who says he helped the plaintiffs voice complaints to the City Council before the lawsuit was filed, said that the verdict should be a wake up call for Tempe.


"What these people went through is still going on," said Aguilar, who worked for Tempe for 23 years, including a stint as an assistant to former City Manager Ken McDonald. "A lot of changes have been cosmetic."


Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said that the city has changed dramatically in recent years, in part because of city workers such as co-plaintiff Daniel Dominguez, who brought discrimination concerns to city leader's attention.


"Are we perfect? No," Hallman said.


He said that as a Tempe resident he is sorry that the nine plaintiffs were mistreated.


"There have been significant changes," Hallman said, noting that the city's most recent diversity audit indicated much progress has been made. "This organization has been investigated from top to bottom."






Here's hot news: Rich people more equal than others


Jun. 25, 2005 12:00 AM


This just in: The United States Supreme Court has proclaimed that some people - rich people - are more equal than others. That developers, with their deep pockets, are worth more than mere residents, with their piggybanks.


That no longer is a man's home his castle. Not if somebody better connected covets his kingdom.


What, this is news?


For years, the little guy has had to fight as cities - in hot pursuit of sales taxes and world-class strip shopping - plot ways to wrest land from residents who bring nothing to the table other than their citizenship, their loyalty and, oh yes, the DEED TO THE PROPERTY.


Thursday's Supreme Court ruling just makes it easier to give the little guy the bum's rush.


But not in Arizona. In Arizona, the ruling shouldn't have any impact, not that that'll stop cities from eyeing your digs if you happen to be in the way.


It used to be that what's yours was yours. The only reason our leaders could take your land was for a truly public purpose: to build a road or a library or to clear out a slum. But over time, cities and the courts have loosened our protections. No longer does the rat have to be in a slum to condemn your land. More likely now, the critter resides at City Hall, or maybe inside that hall we laughingly call justice.


In Thursday's 5-4 ruling, the court decreed that it's OK for a Connecticut city to seize a working-class neighborhood, then rent it to a developer for $1 a year so he can build an office park. This, the court's liberal wing said, does not violate the Fifth Amendment ban on taking one man's land and giving it to another guy simply because you prefer what he'd do with it. "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long accepted function of government," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote.


But Stevens also said states are free to add protections beyond what the Fifth Amendment requires.


"Indeed," he wrote, "many States already impose 'public use' requirements that are stricter than the federal baseline."


Like Arizona.


Here it's pretty clear when a government is entitled to take your property. At least, it should be clear. Article 2, Section 17 of the Arizona Constitution says, "Private property shall not be taken for private use, except for private ways of necessity, and for drains, flumes, or ditches, on or across the lands of others for mining, agricultural, domestic, or sanitary purposes."


Note that it says nothing about hardware.


That didn't stop Mesa from trying to seize Randy Bailey's brake shop a few years ago at the request of a prominent hardware-store owner who wanted Bailey's corner. This, the city proclaimed, was for the greater public good. This, it said, would be the "gateway" into downtown Mesa.


Fortunately, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the public's pressing need for an expanded selection of nuts and bolts does not supersede a man's right to keep his own land.


And that, in Arizona, is the law.


Of course, that hasn't slowed down cities. They just come up with more creative ways to seize your property. Like Tempe, which recently condemned land for environmental cleanup (read: a shopping center). Or Peoria, which tried several years ago to take an old couple's land for a road (read: a road into a resort that a developer wanted to build).


Supreme Court or no Supreme Court, heaven help the poor property owner who stands between a city and its never-ending search for sales taxes.


Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com or (602) 444-8635.






Less than a week ago, the Supreme Court struck a blow against the  rights of all Americans in Kelo v. New London.  In response, the court of public opinion has spoken loud and clear that the right to hold on to one's home or business is sacred to the American people and the fight will continue. We couldn't agree more.  The Institute for Justice is committed to ending eminent domain abuse, and we need your help!


CAMPAIGN: Tomorrow, we will announce a major national effort to combat eminent domain abuse at the local, state and national level.  Through IJ's Castle Coalition - a nationwide network of citizen activists determined to  stop the abuse of eminent domain in their communities - IJ's "Hands Off My Home" campaign will give ordinary citizens a voice, and the means to protect their homes from government-forced takings for private development.  We're holding a press conference at 10 AM tomorrow at the National Press Club to announce the campaign, and we've added a special phone line so our friends across the country can listen in.  To do so, call (800)633-8680 tomorrow at 10 AM EDT.  IJ Senior Attorneys Scott Bullock and Dana Berliner will explain IJ's plans to continue the fight to preserve property rights.  Tomorrow, we'll send you more information on how YOU can help defend the rights of everyone in your state.  In the meantime, continue to check www.castlecoalition.org for ideas and insight on protecting your home, church and small business.


NEW LONDON RALLY: On July 5th, New London will hold a city council  meeting and we are coordinating a rally beforehand to ask city council to save the homes of Susette Kelo and the New London residents.  If you are anywhere near Connecticut, we hope you'll join us and voice your support for the homeowners and property rights.  The rally will be held at 6pm at New London City Hall, 181 State Street, New London, CT.  By saving these homes, we can show the country that, regardless of what the Supreme Court says, eminent  domain abuse is wrong.  For more information, contact us (see below).


NATIONAL PROTEST: To show solidarity with other property owners around the country, we're suggesting folks do something simple on the Fourth of July as well - fly a Gadsden ("Don't Tread on Me") flag, post a sign (e.g., "Hands  Off My Home," "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Develop, Don't Destroy") in your window or join your local Independence Day celebration, or anything else you think would work, making sure to highlight the abuse of eminent domain.  We can provide some materials, but homemade signs are the best.  Again, contact us for more information.


Thank you for all the op-eds, letters to the editor, and support you've offered over the last week.  Keep it up!  Together, we will win the battle to defend property rights.


Best wishes,

Steven Anderson

Castle Coalition Director



Elizabeth Moser

Outreach Coordinator



Institute for Justice

1717 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Suite 200

Washington, DC 20006


fax 202-955-1329

Litigating for Liberty: www.IJ.org




Bible bashing City of Phoenix Council flushes 1st Amendment down the toilet and bans sex businesses in Downtown Phoenix




City bans new sex businesses in downtown


Connie Cone Sexton

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


DOWNTOWN - Don't look in downtown Phoenix for new adult bookstores, adult theaters or other sexually oriented business. The City Council on Friday voted to shut out any new businesses.


About a half-dozen people connected with the industry protested the change during the council meeting, some saying it would impede the downtown economic push. But Mayor Phil Gordon disagreed, saying after the meeting that if the city had to solely rely on such businesses, "Shame on us."


The council voted to amend a zoning ordinance prohibiting sexually oriented businesses from opening within the city's downtown redevelopment area and the warehouse overlay districts. The areas are roughly bounded by Fillmore, Lincoln and Seventh streets and Third Avenue; and Madison and Harrison streets and Seventh and Third avenues.


"These clubs are a place of business for thousands of Arizonans" who work in the industry or visit the establishments, said Damian Hartze, president of Arizona Rights, a non-profit trade association for the adult-business industry.


Hartze, who owns an adult club outside downtown, said the city should broaden its appeal, not limiting the core to family entertainment. "The nightlife continues long after responsible parents have put their children to bed," Hartze said.


But council members have said they want to promote a family friendly destination with sports and entertainment venues.


Existing sex-based businesses can stay open. Jungle Cabaret is the only one in the zoning area.




I beleive this is where Laro is being held. And it is odd because the prison is for low risk inmates.




Tucson prison to get 'stun-lethal' fences


Mark Scolforo

Associated Press

Jul. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


Seven high-security federal prisons, including one in Tucson, will be getting fences that can kill prisoners who touch them, a $10 million project intended to allow the prisons to operate with fewer perimeter guards.


The 12-foot-high "stun-lethal" fences, similar to ones in use at some state prisons, can be set to deliver electrical shocks to prisoners who touch them once and fatal shocks if they are touched a second time. The federal Bureau of Prisons expects to award contracts for the fences in late fall, bureau spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said.


"This new technology will serve as new security and help us to deter potential escapes (and) allow us to operate more cost-effectively by reducing the guard towers, the staffing at some of our guard towers," Billingsley said Thursday.


Judy Freyermuth, executive director of the Federal Prison Policy Project, a non-profit prison reform advocacy group in Atlanta, predicted that the Bureau of Prisons' hoped-for savings will never materialize.


"How many times have you read of an escape from a federal prison? None," said Freyermuth, who said she fears the fences will cause accidental injuries.


Stun-lethal fences were pioneered in South Africa and used to protect utility buildings and other infrastructure, said Mike Allen, president of Crowley Co. Inc. in Minneapolis. Crowley is part of a team of companies that is putting together a bid for the federal-prison job.


"If they come up and attempt to make any kind of escape, they'll get knocked on their tail end first, and it will literally knock them down because it's enough juice to do so," Allen said. "Theoretically, that would have knocked some sense into their head not to come at it again."


The Bureau of Prisons plans to install the fences at prisons in Terre Haute, Ind.; Pine Knot, Ky.; Pollock, La.; Tucson; Hazelton, W.Va.; and two prisons in Coleman, Fla. The bureau has told interested contractors it intends to spend more than $10 million putting the charged barriers between existing parallel chain-link fences.


State prisons in Florence, Boscobel, Wis.; Sterling, Colo.; currently operate stun-lethal fences, and several states, including California, have lethal-only prison fences.


The Arizona Department of Corrections has encountered no problems with an 8,000-volt stun-lethal fence it installed around the maximum security section of its Florence prison last August, said department construction manager Tony Zelenak. The Florence prison fence is at the top of a 17-foot-high concrete wall and had initially been conceived as a lethal-only barrier.


"At the last minute our director said, 'Try to stun them and then go after the kill,' " Zelenak said.






Decidirá jurado si Tempe discriminó a trabajadores latinos


Por Valeria Fernández

La Voz

Junio 29, 2005


Un jurado que decidirá si la Ciudad de Tempe discriminó contra 9 empleados hispanos en el Departamento de Obras Públicas todavía se encontraba deliberando hacia el cierre de esta edición el día de ayer.


El juicio civil que se inició en la Corte Federal del Distrito de Arizona el 24 de mayo, llegó a su fin la semana pasada y desde entonces un jurado de 8 integrantes se encuentra evaluando el caso.


Si la decisión es en favor de los demandantes, el jurado podría dictaminar que la ciudad les otorgue una compensación monetaria.


En la demanda, los empleados acusaban a la ciudad de Tempe de permitir un ambiente hostil donde eran sujetos a insultos racistas por parte de sus propios supervisores, y de tomar represarías cuando se quejaban negándoles promociones y dándoles los peores trabajos.


La demanda presentada en el año 2000 fue el punto cúspide de una serie de investigaciones y quejas acusando a la ciudad de discriminar contra los empleados del Departamento de Obras Públicas.


Durante ese año la Procuraduría General realizó una encuesta en que se descubrieron instancias de discriminación, entre otras cosas que los empleados hispanos de ese departamento eran puestos a trabajar en una de las peores unidades de limpieza.


Al menos 5 de los demandantes todavía continúan trabajando para la ciudad.


Pedro Amaya, de 54 años, aseguró que en sus 24 años de trabajar en Tempe jamás recibió una promoción si no todo lo contrario.


Amaya declaró que cuando se quejó por discriminación lo cambiaron de sus quehaceres como operador de barredoras a trabajar recolectando basura en callejones y parques.


“Ningún dinero en el mundo puede reparar mi corazón”, dijo Eddy Fernández, otro de los demandantes que todavía trabaja para la ciudad.


Fernández aseguró que muchos de los empleados en su unidad eran insultados por su origen étnico.


“Cuando a uno le dicen que es lo peor que hay y lo insultan uno se empieza a creer eso”.


Las controversias que provocaron las quejas de los empleados y los reportes en varias investigaciones que detectaron discriminación en el Departamento de Obras Públicas resultaron en el despido de algunos trabajadores e incluso la creación de la Oficina de Diversidad en la ciudad.


Querían disculpas


Durante los argumentos finales del juicio, la semana pasada, el abogado de los demandantes, Stephen Montoya, criticó a la ciudad por no haber presentado a testigos que consideró claves. Entre ellos, algunos de los supervisores que fueron acusados de discriminar contra los empleados.


Montoya enfatizó que los 9 empleados al menos merecían una disculpa por parte de la Ciudad la cual jamás les fue dada.


Por su parte, Andrew Ching, abogado de la Ciudad de Tempe, señaló que la ciudad les había ofrecido más que suficientes maneras para presentar sus quejas y negó que la administración hubiera perpetuado un clima de discriminación.


“Nosotros nos quejábamos pero nadie hacía nada”, dijo Daniel Domínguez, de 60 años, otro de los demandantes que se jubiló hace dos años. “Todo lo que queríamos por un tiempo es que la gente que estaba tratándonos mal se disculpara. Pero ni eso hicieron, por eso los demandamos”, agregó.


Entre una de varias quejas los demandantes que trabajaban para una unidad en especial de Obras Públicas, acusaban a la ciudad de segregarlos y darles trato diferencial a la hora de recibir promociones.


“La ciudad podría haber corregido este problema inmediatamente pero en cambio perpetuaron la discriminación”, dijo Ed Valenzuela, ex director de la Oficina de Igualdad de Empleos (EEOC, por sus siglas en inglés).


Valenzuela asistió a los trabajadores en el 2000 a través de la organización Hispanic Forum. El grupo intentó negociar con el administrador de la ciudad en ese entonces sin llegar a un acuerdo.


Finalmente los trabajadores presentaron una queja con la EEOC que en un tiempo record investigó sus denuncias y encontró instancias de discriminación.


Desde comienzos del año 2000 hasta la fecha la Ciudad de Tempe fue demandada en 7 ocasiones por discriminación. Seis de estos casos fueron resueltos mediante compensaciones monetarias entre los dos mil 100 dólares hasta los 30 mil.


La mayoría de las demandas por discriminación contra una ciudad se resuelven mediante acuerdos que acaban en una compensación monetaria, por eso es poco frecuente que los municipios lleguen a tener que defenderse ante un tribunal y un jurado, como en este caso, dijo Phill Austin, abogado y director de la Asociación de Ciudadanos Hispanos de Mesa.






La herencia de la tortura


Por Luis Avila

La Voz

Junio 29, 2005


La tortura es un método que proviene de épocas ancestrales, y que penosamente sigue siendo parte de nuestra vida diaria.


El pasado 25 de junio se celebró el día internacional en contra de la tortura, y en la ciudad de Tempe, Amnistía Internacional organizó un evento en el que durante todo el día se conversó acerca de la injusticia y barbaridad de este procedimiento, así como también de casos específicos de tortura en otros países.


En el descanso del día se comió pan y agua como símbolo de humildad, dado que es lo que en la mayoría de los países se ofrece a los prisioneros torturados.


Tal es el caso de Katluk, un ciudadano Sudanés asesinado a golpes en 1988, acusado de adulterio, pero nunca comprobado. La denuncia vino de un vecino quien nunca lo aceptó por ser parte de los sureños de Sudán, un grupo predominantemente cristiano, que durante décadas y hasta hace apenas unos meses estuvo en conflicto con los norteños de Sudán, en su mayoría de creencias islámicas.


Su sobrino William Makuet ahora vive en Phoenix con los “Niños Perdidos”, una organización de más de 450 jóvenes sudaneses que viven en el estado después de escaparse de su país por la guerra civil que empezó en 1959.


En la conferencia en contra de la tortura se habló de casos en Chile a mediados del siglo 20, de casos en Egipto a finales de los 70s, y sorprendentemente de 2005, la bahía de Guantánamo y otros prisioneros de guerra en Irak, detenidos por la milicia americana.


En su página en Internet, Amnistía Internacional asegura que el trato del equipo militar americano hacia los prisioneros de guerra es inhumano, y que la guerra contra el terrorismo ha usado solamente la tortura y “medios enfermos” para obtener información.


La tortura es un proceso de mutilación, quemaduras, abuso sexual, psíquico y psicológico en una persona para obtener información o para obligar que la persona se inculpe de algo que realmente no es su falta.


Tal es el caso de cientos de prisioneros en Ciudad Juárez, México, quienes han comentado que el gobierno mexicano los ha detenido supuestamente como chivos expiatorios para culparlos de los asesinatos de las más de 400 mujeres en los últimos 12 años.


El pasado mayo, el presidente Bush calificó de absurdas las acusaciones de Amnistía Internacional, que menciona en un comunicado de prensa el trato inhumano que supuestamente han pasado los prisioneros de guerra en Irak y la bahía de Guantánamo.


“Es absurdo, Estados Unidos es un país que promueve la libertad alrededor del mundo”, dijo el presidente Bush.


Pero Amnistía Internacional dice que no se quedará con los brazos cruzados, e invita a todos sus integrantes a unirse en una lucha en contra de la tortura y el trato inhumano de los prisioneros de guerra.


William Makuet, miembro de los “Niños Perdidos”, y ahora con 26 años concluyó: “Yo creo que sacarle información a la gente por medio de la fuerza, el dolor y la presión está mal. Estamos hablando de una vida, de un ser humano”.


Los procedimientos de tortura son tan antiguos como la ley misma, y han sido una herramienta útil pero brutal en investigaciones y complots de inculpación






Officer-involved shootings leave 2 men dead, 1 injured


Jack Gillum

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


PHOENIX - Phoenix police shot two men dead and a third in the leg in separate incidents on Friday.


The incidents began about 1:45 a.m. when an officer shot and killed a man outside a house at 37th Avenue and Moreland Street in Maryvale.


Sgt. Randy Force, police spokesman, said two officers had been looking for the man to question him about a stolen car when a struggle began and he pulled a handgun on them.


Officer Pete Borquez Jr., 23, who has been on the force for two years, was placed on administrative duty pending investigation of the incident.


The suspect wasn't identified.


About 7:30 a.m., police responded to a 911 hang-up call from a home near 47th Avenue and Poinsettia Lane in northwest Phoenix. Force said officers entered the front door, which showed signs of forced entry.


They were confronted by a 30-year-old man, identified as Dean Braudrick, who was holding a military-style rifle. Officers Chris Holcomb, 33, and Tom Hitaffer, 43, shot and killed the suspect.


Holcomb is a nine-year veteran, and Hitaffer has been on the force 16 years.


About 2:30 p.m., police shot and wounded a suspect in the leg after he ran from officers during a traffic stop near 64th and Clarendon avenues, Sgt. Lauri Williams said.


Few details were available, pending the investigation.


The shootings bring to eight the number of incidents this year in which a Phoenix police officer has wounded or killed a suspect, according to Arizona Republic records. Official statistics weren't available Friday.


Force said it can be "misleading to look at total numbers" of officer-involved shootings.


He emphasized that deadly-force incidents are investigated on a case-by-case basis.


"In these instances, we are sure to give suspects a chance to give up peacefully," Williams said, "It's always tragic when (police shootings) happen, but we want our officers to come away safely."


Jake Jacobsen, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, said officers are encountering more violent confrontations with suspects, many of whom are more willing to "take on" an officer than in the past.


"Today we're seeing a much more brazen attitude among suspects," he said.


Three Phoenix officers have been shot to death in the line of duty since last August. The most recent shooting death occurred in May when Officer David Uribe was shot during a traffic stop in the 3400 block of West Cactus Road.






Arizona to allow various voter IDs

Credential types under discussion


Robbie Sherwood

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 2, 2005 12:00 AM


Secretary of State Jan Brewer and other key Arizona leaders said Friday that they have agreed on a plan to carry out Proposition 200's requirement that voters show identification before casting ballots at the polls.


The strategy calls for voters to be given more ways to prove their identity. But those with no identification could not cast a ballot.


Voters would need to show one piece of photo identification with an address or at least two forms of non-photo ID. Those could include utility and cellphone bills, tribal enrollment and Indian census cards, or bank and credit-union statements.


Brewer said the agreement was negotiated Thursday night among her, Attorney General Terry Goddard and Rep. Russell Pearce, Proposition 200's author.


Goddard said that, although progress was made during the session, more details still need to be worked out before the plan can be used in elections this year. He also noted that Gov. Janet Napolitano must still sign off on the agreement, and she wasn't invited to Thursday night's negotiations.


The voting requirements of Proposition 200, the anti-illegal immigration measure approved by voters in November, have not been applied to elections this year because of a stalemate over the forms of identification required at the polls.


Goddard and Napolitano have worried that legitimate voters throughout the state could be denied the right to vote under a plan proposed earlier by Brewer. A main concern was that many Arizona citizens do not have forms of identification containing their home addresses, as an earlier plan would have been required. The new strategy addresses that concern, but Goddard said other matters remain to be resolved.


"I would say it's not soup yet, but we made a tremendous amount of progress," Goddard said. "I thought we had a conceptual understanding, but the devil's in the details of the language. It still needs work. We have to figure out what various forms of ID are going to allow the maximum of eligible voters to vote without having to go through elaborate contortions to get the right documents."


One problem Goddard said was still unresolved: What happens to those voters with a legal driver's license carrying a former address?


"That's a lot of people, and it can be argued that you have an ID and it has an address, so under Proposition 200 it should be allowed," Goddard said.


An agreement on the proper forms of identification is considered essential this summer so that any glitches in the new system can be worked out in this year's smaller elections. Goddard has warned that chaos could result if Proposition 200 goes into effect for the first time during the 2006 statewide primary and general elections.


Meanwhile, Pearce said the most important part of the strategy remains the same: to keep people from casting fraudulent votes.


"If you don't have ID, you don't vote at the polls," said Pearce, R-Mesa, who crafted that portion of the voter-approved measure to help prevent undocumented immigrants and others from committing voter fraud.


A spokeswoman for Napolitano said she had no comment about the proposal because the governor had not seen it.


Goddard said he did receive a call from Napolitano seeking details after Brewer's announcement.


Deputy Secretary of State Kevin Tyne disputed Goddard's assertion that substantial parts of the plan still need to be worked out.


"He shook hands," Tyne said. "And it was very clear to Secretary Brewer and everybody there that shook hands that there was an agreement, and that agreement included ID at the polls. Maybe I'm old school, but when people shake hands, that to me signals a deal. And we have not heard otherwise (from Goddard)."


Napolitano twice vetoed Brewer's Republican-backed bills related to voter identification because they wouldn't allow registered voters who lost or forgot their identification to cast a provisional ballot that could later be verified.


Napolitano felt some duly registered citizens could be disenfranchised by the new rules.


Even if Napolitano signs off, it's still unlikely the new rules will get state and federal approval before the Sept. 13 Phoenix city election, Tyne said.


But if Napolitano signs off and it gains clearance from the Voting Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, it may be ready for other municipal and local elections in November and May.


That would give election officials a chance to work out any glitches before the statewide 2006 elections.






Jul 2, 11:16 AM EDT


'Hunt for Cops' Claims 26 in Dagestan



Associated Press Writer


MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) -- Residents of the capital of the poor and chaotic Russian province of Dagestan have come to call it "the hunt for cops" - more than two years of bold and brutal attacks on police.


Who's conducting it, what the motives are and even if it's a coordinated campaign are unknown. But the violence proceeds. On Friday, 10 soldiers were killed when their truck was blown up as it pulled up to a public bath house, not 11 as reported earlier, rescue officials said.


Col. Akhberdilav Akilov was one of the first to feel the fury of the attacks. In September 2002, as his car approached his office at the regional police headquarters, masked gunmen in a passing car opened fire from Kalashnikov assault rifles, instantly killing the head of the police's anti-extremism and anti-terrorism department. The assailants, who also killed Akilov's driver and a passer-by, made a safe getaway.


The bold, daylight killing was seen as a reflection of the high level of everyday violence in the mostly Muslim Dagestan region, which borders on Chechnya. But it also marked the opening salvo in what has become a long series of murders specifically targeting police in Dagestan, a mountainous region of numerous small ethnic groups bordering the Caspian Sea.


Six officers from Akilov's department were killed in the three months following his murder; 26 police officers have been killed in gun and bomb attacks this year alone in "the hunt for cops."


The motives behind the attacks are unclear. Some blame the killings on Islamic militants working in cahoots with Chechen rebels attacking military targets while others say the violence could be rooted in rivalry between some of Dagestan's clans and ethnic groups.


Still others, including some prosecuted for the crimes, say the attacks are revenge for unbridled police brutality.


"I did not kill your son," suspect Gadzhi Abidov told the parents of a murdered police officer during a court hearing last year, before he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the killing. "But believe me, if I'd had a weapon, if I'd had the slightest possibility, I would have killed him. If you knew how he treated people in the interrogation cells, you'd have cursed him."


The roots of the hunt reach back to fall 1998, when Dagestani authorities moved to fight back against growing criminality by forming a special police division to combat kidnapping. It was soon expanded to work against extremism and terrorism - the biggest threats facing the southern Russian republic, which suffered a spate of abductions, explosions and contract killings. The following year, Chechnya-based rebels raided Dagestan twice before being forced out.


The new division was under pressure to show results, and its officers regularly started employing torture to squeeze confessions out of suspects, said an officer in the regional prosecutor's office who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.


Abidov testified that his interrogators had put a plastic bag over his head and beat him about the head and kidneys with a plastic bottle filled with water, that he had been hung upside down, had his head put in a gas mask, from which the air supply was cut off temporarily, and was subjected to electric shocks.


The drive for revenge for such treatment coincided with another push by Islamic insurgents to expand the zone of conflict outward from Chechnya. In July 2002, top Chechen rebels including Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev held a shura, or conference, in the Chechen town of Duba-Yurt and decided to create diversionary groups in Dagestan, said Abdurashid Magomedov, deputy chief of the Dagestani criminal police.


Soon news began filtering back to police that young men recruited from Dagestani villages bordering Chechnya had spent two to three months in a rebel camp outside Duba-Yurt, where they underwent training in using explosives. Their assignment upon returning home was to attack police and military troops.




hmm... you have to pay a fee to take a emissions test for 5 years even though your not required to take the test - i guess thats why they call people   in government theives




Emissions fee will end for new cars


Mary Jo Pitzl

The Arizona Republic

Jul. 4, 2005 12:00 AM


Starting next year, new-car buyers no longer will have to pay the fee for an emissions test they don't have to take.


But it will come at the expense of clean-air programs in the state's urban counties, which are struggling to maintain or meet federal health standards.


To Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Mesa, the policy change he authored is a breath of fresh air. And any turbulence the counties suffer is their problem, not the state's, he said.


For Gray, it started in 2002 when he bought a new Chevrolet Tahoe. Included in his registration tab was a $25 fee for the vehicle-emissions test, along with a disclaimer that new cars are not required to take the test.


He stumbled across it again last year, when high fuel prices compelled him to buy a more efficient car, this time a Hyundai Sonata.


"I thought it was totally unjust to require me to pay a fee to keep the air clean," Gray said. After all, by buying new cars, he's contributing fewer pollutants to the Valley air shed than if he kept driving older models.


That was the thinking of the Legislature eight years ago, when lawmakers decided to exempt cars in their first five years from the emissions test. Their thinking was newer cars are clean-burning, and the test is a waste of time.


But lawmakers decided to keep charging the fee and use it to pay for the state's fledgling alternative-fuel program.


In recent years, the fee has reaped about $13 million a year, based on a $25 fee in Greater Phoenix and $9 in Pima County.


When the alt-fuel program collapsed because of overblown subsidies, lawmakers redirected the emissions fee into clean-air programs, such as incentives for don't-drive programs, grants to clean up diesel engines and a repair program for older cars that failed the emissions test.


Those programs are run by Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties, which are home to the state's biggest air-pollution problems. Without state funding, the programs may shut down, which could jeopardize the ability of the metropolitan areas to meet clean-air guidelines.


County officials already are talking about going back to lawmakers for replacement dollars.


In Pima County, Larry Hawke says he can make a good argument for continuing to the collect the emissions fee, even while exempting newer cars.


That's because new cars, although clean, still emit pollution. And they contribute to road congestion, which adds up to more pollution due to stop-and-go traffic. Therefore, even those cleaner cars should contribute to pollution-fighting programs, he said.


"If the mobile sources we were talking about weren't part of the problem, (OK)," said Hawke, director of intergovernmental relations for the county's Department of Environmental Quality. "But they are part of the problem."


The fee program will end June 30, 2006, giving counties less than a year to find replacement funds.


As far as Gray is concerned, the counties can save the gas, and the emissions, of taking their case to the Statehouse.


"That's a county program, and the counties are going to have to pay for that on their own," he said.


His goal was to make government more "transparent" by making a direct link between what taxpayers pay and the service they get in return. Collecting an emissions fee in exchange for not taking a test doesn't pass his transparency test, he said.


Reach the reporter at maryjo.pitzl@arizonarepublic.com.




Prisons can be a real plus in political terms. First they help “integrate” the lily-white farm towns of rural American, bringing in blacks and Latinos. Second since the U.S. has all but dropped the goal of rehabilitation, prisons are now set up to warehouse convicts, which spells long-term growth. In terms of the census, prisoners swell the population, and since most of them are poor, they reduce the overall income level, making communities eligible for federal and state economic aid that they otherwise would not receive. In addition, if a prison operates industry, it can attract related business. Best of all, except in Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts, inmates can’t vote.


Of course, one state’s gains in prison population are another’s lost prisoners – mostly from urban areas. This worries big-city politicians since loosing population in inner-city neighborhoods can lead to loss of seats in Congress.


From the book “You can’t win” by James Ridgeway