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Click to visit VeggieCooking.com ARCHIVES 2009

5-August-2009, Wednesday:

In Explosive Allegations, Ex-Employees Link Blackwater Founder to Murder, Threats [DN]
�In sworn statements, two ex-employees claim Blackwater's owner, Erik Prince, murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. One also charged Prince �views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.� We speak with investigative journalist and bestselling author Jeremy Scahill, who broke the story for The Nation magazine.

�Murder, destruction of evidence, weapons smuggling, corruption�those are just some of the explosive allegations made by two former employees of the private military contractor formerly known as Blackwater. The claims were made in sworn statements filed on August 3rd in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim Blackwater�s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. One also alleges that Prince �views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe� and that Prince's companies �encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.�

�The identities of the two men�a former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company�were sealed out of concerns for their safety. In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting �illegal� or �unlawful� weapons into the country on Prince's private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies.

�The allegations, and a series of other charges, are contained in sworn affidavits, given under penalty of perjury, as part of a seventy-page motion by lawyers for Iraqi civilians suing Blackwater for alleged war crimes and other misconduct. Blackwater now operates under the name Xe�spelled X E.

�We contacted the company about the allegations but they did not return our calls. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill broke the story in The Nation Magazine yesterday. Jeremy is the author of the bestseller, �Blackwater: The Rise of the World�s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.� His writing and reporting is also available at RebelReports.com. . .�

(They discuss the new allegations with investigative journalist and bestselling author Jeremy Scahill, who broke the story for The Nation magazine. You can watch the video of the interview or read the transcript.)

Study: Cholesterol levels tied to increased risk for dementia
�People as young as 40 with borderline or high cholesterol levels are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia, said a Kaiser Permanente study released Tuesday.

�Researchers tracked nearly 10,000 people for four decades, starting when the participants were between 40 and 45. After controlling for weight, hypertension and diabetes, researchers discovered a significant link between borderline-high cholesterol and dementia, according to the study.

�Although previous studies have linked heart and brain health, researchers said this study is the first to examine the association between borderline cholesterol levels and dementia.�

Clinton, two pardoned journalists return to U.S.
�Two American journalists freed by North Korea returned home to the United States on Wednesday for a jubilant, emotional reunion with family members and friends they hadn't seen in nearly five months. �The jet carrying Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV, and former president Bill Clinton arrived at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport at dawn. Clinton met with communist leader Kim Jong Il on Tuesday to secure the women's release.

PAM COMMENTARY: After eight years of Bush, it�s almost shocking when a President knows how to do his job, or bothers to do his job, or sends someone competent to do the job. Also, although the women were called �journalists,� I don�t know what evidence North Korea had against them. It�s best not to assume that �our� government is being honest with us -- they never admit when a CIA agent is busted while working for the CIA. And not every country has freedom of speech or protections for journalists as we have here, so simple journalistic practices may have been illegal there. Notice that former Pres. Bush and other traitors to this nation wanted to end our First Amendment freedoms of speech and the press. (Why don�t they just admit that they hate this country and LEAVE?)

I was also kind of surprised that Al Gore didn�t do anything about their arrest at first, with the story not even appearing on the front page of the news service they were working for. That may have been a diplomatic strategy -- or perhaps the company was just freaking out and couldn�t handle it.

Alleged North Carolina Jihadists to be Tried with Secret Evidence [AJ]
�The Associated Press reports today that the supposed North Carolina terrorism suspects may be tried with secret evidence. The case may involve �classified material that will raise national security issues if given to their defense attorneys,� federal prosecutors told the AP. The men charged in the case are to appear in federal court on Tuesday.

�The government filed a motion under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), which sets guidelines for the disclosure of sensitive information. CIPA is not intended to infringe on a defendant�s right to a fair trial or to change the existing rules of evidence in criminal procedure, but it appears that is precisely what will happen if the government is permitted to keep evidence secret in the case. . .�

PAM COMMENTARY: Yeah, usually �secret evidence� means �Evidence -- What�s that?�

Scientists study 'garbage patch' in Pacific Ocean
�It is a problem of massive plastic proportions -- a giant floating debris field, composed mostly of bits and pieces of plastic, in the northwest Pacific Ocean, about a thousand miles off the coast of California.

�It's called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and it covers a vast area of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of miles of open ocean. . .�

Scientists uncover lost Venetian city
�Venice, the floating city, owes a curious debt to Attila the Hun. �The Scourge of God� sent the Venetians fleeing in 452 A.D. from their city, Altinum, to found Venice deep in the marshes on the edge of the Adriatic.

�But despite the best efforts of Attila (and the Venetians, who carted away the stones of their sacked home to build Venice), archaeologists have mapped the lost city, detailed in the current Science. . .�

Dog domestication likely started in N. Africa; DNA was compared in dogs in several African areas with those elsewhere
�Modern humans originated in Africa, and now it looks like man's best friend first emerged there too.

�An extensive genetic study on the ancestry of African village dogs points to a Eurasian � possibly North African � origin for the domestication of dogs.

�Prior research concluded that dogs likely originated in East Asia. However, this latest study, the most thorough investigation ever on the ancestry of African village dogs, indicates otherwise. . .�

Griffin O'Neal: Dad cheated on Farrah, did drugs with Redmond
�In an emotionally explosive interview with CNN's Larry King that aired Monday night, Griffin O'Neal claimed that:
� His father attempted to shoot him and injured Griffin's wife and him with a fireplace poker.
� Ryan was habitually unfaithful to his partner Farrah Fawcett, who died of cancer June 25.
� Ryan partied with Griffin's half-brother, Redmond, and said his father was responsible for Redmond's drug problems.
� Ryan didn't recognized his own daughter, Tatum, at Farrah's funeral and asked her for a drink.

PAM COMMENTARY: I normally won�t be covering �entertainment� news, but I thought this was interesting in light of stars� real home lives, vs. the happy faces they paint on in public. And this was on top of the failed cancer treatments Farrah had to put up with. At least I didn�t have to go through that when I thought I had cancer (see my page on alternative cancer treatments and the protocols I used), and I feel sorry for people who can�t find a better method that works for them.

Federal judges order California to release 43,000 inmates [R]
�California must shrink the population of its teeming prisons by nearly 43,000 inmates over the next two years to meet constitutional standards, a panel of three federal judges ruled Tuesday, ordering the state to come up with a reduction plan by mid-September.

�The order cited Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's own words when he proclaimed a state of emergency in the corrections system in 2006 and warned of substantial risk to prison staff, inmates and the general public, saying �immediate action is necessary to prevent death and harm. . .�

PAM COMMENTARY: Hopefully they�ll let the most harmless out first. But yes, it�s become way too fashionable among politicians to throw government money toward the prison industry and lock people up for nothing.

And anyway, California was particularly bad in its implementation of Clinton�s �three strikes you�re out� law. Clinton sold that crime bill to the public as for VIOLENT criminals, but as soon as states like California got the money, they put more cops on the beat to write TRAFFIC tickets. I remember when I lived in Malibu -- everyone in town was complaining that we got tickets even when we weren�t speeding. (Yes, I�m accusing them of lying, because they did lie about my speed and my neighbors� all the time.) I remember one of the few speeding tickets that stuck for me -- few because the cops rarely showed up to court after writing their bogus tickets. I was really going 45 mph because the cops in that district were so bad that I was extra careful to drive UNDER the speed limit. How did the cops deal with me driving 10 miles under? They pulled me over and accused me of going 80. You couldn�t drive 80 on that stretch of PCH between Oxnard and Malibu without dying, there were so many twists and turns near steep cliffs into the ocean. (I challenge any cop who writes crooked traffic tickets to drive 80 down PCH between Oxnard and Malibu. Just go ahead, do it! Prove me wrong! Go ahead, get in the car RIGHT NOW. Come on. . . why aren�t you doing it?)

Next thing you know, California was locking people up under the �three strikes� law for petty things like stealing quarters out of washing machines at the laundry. I know this because a friend of mine was helping to support a lady whose husband went to jail in the 90s under the 3 strikes law for just that. The family was poor and desperate, so the man broke into the washers for some quarters, and happened to have a past conviction -- so �three strikes� was used to lock him up for a long time. No consideration from the court for the fact that he had kids to support. Hence my friend took pity on his family, and did his best to bear the burden that the state created in removing the father from that family. All for a few bucks in change!

Spill an 'unusual event' or business as usual? [R]
�. . .The steam released into the air from Braidwood Generating Station in Braceville, contained 11,500 to 38,000 picocuries of tritium per liter of water.

�Tritium is a radioactive hydrogen isotope that is a byproduct created when nuclear reactors produce electricity. Exposure reportedly can increase the risk of cancer, birth defects and genetic damage.

�Neighbors described the sound as similar to a 747 taking off and lasted for more than an hour, they said. . .�

Residents flee China's quarantined plague town [R]
�Frightened residents of a Chinese town sealed off after an outbreak of pneumonic plague have begun to flee under cover of darkness, sneaking around checkpoints set up to stop the spread of one of the world�s deadliest diseases.

�Residents said that the streets of Ziketan, a town in a mainly ethnically Tibetan region of western China, were deserted as medical staff raced to disinfect the area amid reports a third person had died of the highly contagious illness.

�After the outbreak was detected last Thursday, police set up checkpoints in a 17-mile radius of the farming community of about 10,000 people. But Tibetan residents familiar with the rugged and wild terrain have begun to slip out of the town, evading the checkpoints. . .�

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Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com


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All original content including photographs © 2009 by Pam Rotella. (News excerpts copyright by their corresponding authors, news organizations, or other copyright holders, and quoted here typically as "fair use" or "teaser" paragraphs to generate interest in the full articles.)