Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cheney's staffers read all e-mails from NSC staff

* wapo:
"There's also a shocking revelation when Wilkerson says that Cheney's staffers read all the e-mail traffic of the National Security Council staff. "Members of the president's staff sometimes walk from office to office to avoid Cheney's people monitoring their discussions," he tells the authors."
i think we kinda knew that, didn't we?

* amy:
"OAS to U.S.: Don’t Meddle in Nicaraguan Election
Election monitors from the Organization of American States have warned the Bush administration not to interfere in the upcoming presidential election in Nicaragua. The Bush administration has openly opposed the current front-runner, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega. The Organization of American States singled out Paul Trivelli, the U.S. ambassador to Nicaragua, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez for meddling in the November 5th election. Last week Gutierrez said an Ortega victory could scare off foreign investors and jeopardize Nicaragua's participation in the CAFTA free-trade accord with the United States. New opinion polls show Ortega has taken a strong lead and could win the election in one round. Meanwhile a leading Nicaraguan human rights activist – Vilma Nunez -- is scheduled to testify this week about the U.S. interference before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington."

* amy:
"Israeli Military Hides Report Confirming Expanded Settlements
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that the Israeli military is withholding the release of a secret study that confirms there has been rampant illegal new construction in dozens of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Some of the expanded settlements has occurred on privately owned Palestinian land. Security sources familiar with the study described the study as "political and diplomatic dynamite." Sources in the Israeli military said the report is not being made public in order to avoid a crisis with the U.S. government."

* amy:
"Italy’s top spy is expected to soon be indicted on charges connected to the CIA’s kidnapping of an Islamic cleric from the streets of Milan in 2003. If indicted, Nicolo Pollari would become the most prominent official ever charged in connection with the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program. Pollari has been the head of Italy’s military intelligence for five years. According to the New York Times, the case marks the first time a foreign government official has been charged, essentially, with cooperating with the United States to violate their own country’s laws."

* meanwhile IHT:
"Perhaps most difficult for Italy, any (pollari) trial raises the possibility of showing collusion at the highest levels of the government under the prime minister at the time, Silvio Berlusconi. Many intelligence experts say it is highly unlikely that Italy did not give explicit approval for the operation, especially since the kidnapping took place right before the invasion of Iraq - and Italy was one of only a few European government that supported the war.

"The idea that either the director of Central Intelligence or the White House - and this would have had to go to the president - would have agreed to conduct the operation unless they were absolutely sure the Italian government was behind it is laughable," said Michael Scheuer, a former senior American intelligence agent and author of "Imperial Hubris" (Potomac Books: 2004). "It's not even in the realm of possibility," he said in an interview.
One of (pollari's) lawyers, Titta Madia, said that his actions "must be seen within a "larger picture" in which he must maintain secrecy. "It's a delicate theme because it pertains to international relations and national security in a tragic political moment," he said.
"I think that the leaders of European governments should cooperate with the United States, but within the law," said Terry David, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, in an interview. "There is no small print in the European Convention of Human Rights to the effect that human rights do not apply if you are cooperating with the United States of America.""

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