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Woman loses her job over coffins photo
(Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, April 22, 2004)
A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday's edition of The Seattle Times. . . . "I feel like I was hit in the chest with a steel bar and got my wind knocked out. I have to admit I liked my job, and I liked what I did," Silicio said. . . . Her photograph, taken earlier this month, shows more than 20 flag-draped coffins in a cargo plane about to depart from Kuwait. Since 1991, the Pentagon has banned the media from taking pictures of caskets being returned to the United States. . . . Silicio said she never sought to put herself in the public spotlight. Instead, she said, she hoped the publication of the photo would help families of fallen soldiers understand the care and devotion that civilians and military crews dedicate to the task of returning the soldiers home. . . . In Kuwait, Silicio pulled 12-hour night shifts alongside military workers to help in the huge effort to resupply U.S. troops. These workers also helped transport the remains of soldiers back to the United States. . . . Her job put her in contact with soldiers who sometimes accompanied the coffins to the airport. Having lost one of her own sons to a brain tumor, Silicio said, she tried to offer support to those grieving over a lost comrade.
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posted by Lorenzo 3:01 PM

An Eye on the Federal Justice System

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) plays a significant and singular role in shaping and enforcing the nation's policies through litigation, regulation, investigation, and implementation of laws. Watching Justice's mission is to keep a vigilant and long-term eye on Americans' fundamental rights and liberties by providing a forum for analysis, praise, and criticism of the department's actions. Watching Justice also monitors those offices in the Department of Homeland Security that were previously based in the DOJ.
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 3:04 PM

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004 Makes the Bible the Law of the Land
(Katherine Yurica, February 19, 2004)
On January 6, 2004, the Yurica Report published "America Stands on the Edge of a Grave Constitutional Crisis Linked to Pat Robertson." In that article we reported that televangelist Pat Robertson devised a number of ways of limiting the power of the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal courts of America. . . . On February 11, 2004, we published "The Despoiling of America" by Katherine Yurica. To quote Robertson from this article, "God's plan is for His people, ladies and gentlemen to take dominion...to reign and rule...There'll be a reformation....We are not going to stand for those coercive utopians in the Supreme Court and in Washington ruling over us any more. . . . Both these articles reported a crisis in our government and revealed the plan of the far right Dominionists who control Congress to reconstruct our constitution and "restore" it to subservience to a theocratic religion under God and under biblical law. . . . On February 11 , 2004 Dominionist leaders in congress made their move; they introduced a bill in both houses called The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. . . . The House version is H.R. 3799 and the Senate version is S. 2082. The bill limits the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts to hear cases involving "expressions of religious faith by elected or appointed officials." . . . Although the claim by its sponsors appears to be that the intention is to prevent the courts from hearing cases involving the Ten Commandments or a Nativity Scene in a public setting from being reviewed, the law is drawn broadly and expressly includes the acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law by an official in his capacity of executing his office. . . . if it becomes law, may allow any judge to institute biblical punishments without being subject to review by the Supreme Court or the federal court system. . . . So important is the passage of this bill to Dominionists one of their activists said, "The passage of this bill should be regarded as the most important item on the conservative agenda this year! It'is...more important than who wins the White House this November."
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posted by Lorenzo 7:19 PM

White House vetting could delay 9/11 report until after election
The chairman of an independent commission looking into US counterterrorism activities prior to the September 11 attacks said he could not guarantee that the panel's report will be released before the November presidential election because of a protracted White House vetting process. . . . The probe, which President George W. Bush initially opposed but later agreed to under pressure, has turned in to a political hot potato after former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke accused Bush of doing a "terrible job" of fighting terrorism prior to the strikes on New York and Washington in September 2001. . . . In a new book and public testimony before the commission, Clarke, who left his White House job last year, said the administration did not treat terrorism as an urgent matter before the attacks. . . . The accusation has sparked a fierce round of finger pointing and propelled counterterrorism to the forefront of the US political campaign. . . . But the report, expected to contain hundreds of pages of findings and testimony, is unlikely to be finished before July, according to congressional officials. . . . That will leave the vetting team only three to four months to complete its work, if American are to see the document before they go to the polls on November 2. . . . It took the White House close to seven months to clear a congressional report on US intelligence in the lead-up to the attacks, which killed all the occupants of four passenger jets, destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and severely damaged the Pentagon. . . . Moreover, the congressional account emerged from that vetting last July with dozens of blacked-out pages . . . Bush opposed the commission entirely, he initially didn't include funding they requested after they were established, he still has not provided documents the commission has said are necessary for their work," said the campaign of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
. . . Read more!

posted by Lorenzo 4:26 PM

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