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Nukes, Iraq Lawsuits, Terror Plots, Oil Prices,, Craig's Return, Sen. Johnson's Return

artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:26 PM
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U.S. bomber mistakenly flies with nuclear weapons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. bomber mistakenly flew with nuclear warheads over the United States last week, but the Air Force on Wednesday said the flight was not a threat to public safety.

The Air Force has started an investigation into the incident and a review of all operational procedures.

"All evidence we have seen so far points to an isolated mistake," said Lt. Col. Edward Thomas, an Air Force spokesman.

"It is important to note that munitions were safe, secure and under military control at all times. The error was discovered by airmen during internal Air Force checks. The weapons were safe and remained in Air Force control and custody at all times," Thomas said.

The U.S. military maintains a policy against discussing any nuclear weapons matters, and Thomas did not confirm the weapons aboard the B-52 were nuclear.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman also would not comment on the incident, citing that policy.

But one defense official confirmed the missiles were nuclear.

The B-52 flew from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana on Thursday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNew...522314720070905

MORE:

Air Force probes mistaken transport of nuclear warheads


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.

The plane took the cruise missiles from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base for decommissioning Thursday, the Air Force said.

"This is a major gaffe, and it's going to cause some heads to roll down the line," said Don Shepperd, a retired Air Force major general and military analyst for CNN.

The warheads should have been removed from the missiles before they were attached to the B-52 bomber, according to military officials.

The crew was unaware that the plane was carrying nuclear weapons, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the extraordinary sensitivity and security surrounding the case.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/09/05/loose...ef=mpstoryemail
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artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:27 PM
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Iraq Contractors Tap Law Firms

The war in Iraq has an army of high-profile attorneys working to steer defense contractors through a minefield of lawsuits and federal investigations involving war profiteering and fraud.

During the past year, several defense contractors hired to help rebuild Iraq have come under federal investigation or faced litigation for allegedly defrauding the government. Government officials estimate that $10 billion in Iraq-related contracts are unaccounted for and may have been lost to fraud or other misconduct.

Currently, about 80 federal investigations looking into contract fraud are under way, and more than 20 cases have been referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution, according to congressional testimony offered by federal auditors. During the last three years, contract fraud investigations have yielded 10 arrests, five indictments, five convictions and two imprisonments.

High-caliber law firms have lined up to help guide defense contractors through investigations and prosecutions and relieve their fears of prosecution, not receiving payment or being banned from doing business with the government.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Vinson & Elkins of Houston are representing former Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc., which is facing scrutiny over a $25.7 billion contract to help rebuild oil services in Iraq. continued............

http://www.law.com/jsp/llf/PubArticleLLF.j...d=1188896550947
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artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:28 PM
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Germans foil massive terror plot

BERLIN, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- German authorities arrested three men who planned to carry out massive, casualty-heavy bombings against U.S. institutions and other targets in Germany that could have been more deadly than the Madrid and London attacks, officials said Wednesday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised security authorities for their "great success," adding the arrest showed that "the terrorist threat in Germany is not abstract, but very real."

The three men, two Germans and a Turkish citizen ages 22 to 28, were planning "massive bomb attacks” that could have been more deadly than the Madrid and London bombings and surely would have killed “many, many people,” Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms said Wednesday in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe.

The three men planned to simultaneously detonate self-made explosives loaded in cars at "several locations throughout the country," Harms said. As possible targets, she named "discotheques, pubs and airports frequented by Americans."

The suspects belong to a German cell of the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad Union" and were united by "hatred against American citizens," said Joerg Ziercke, the president of Germany’s Federal Criminal Office. That hatred against the United States is also reflected by the other potential targets officials named: Ramstein Air Base, a major transit point for U.S. soldiers into the Middle East, and the nearby Frankfurt International Airport, one of Europe’s biggest travel hubs. continued.......

http://www.upi.com/International_Security/...assive_terror_p lot/2305/
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artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:29 PM
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U.S. crude tops $75 on hurricane fears

NEW YORK, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. oil prices closed at more than $75 a barrel on fears the hurricane season would be tough, even if Hurricane Felix spared Gulf of Mexico oil facilities.

A Colorado State University forecast team said Tuesday six more hurricanes were likely in 2007.

In addition, Qatar's energy minister said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries didn't plan to raise output when its members meet next week.

Light, sweet crude for October delivery rose $1.04, or 1.4 percent, to close at $75.08 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

It had climbed as high as $75.25 during the session. The contract hasn't traded or closed this high since Aug. 3.

October natural gas climbed 21 cents, or 3.88 percent, at $5.68 per 1,000 cubic feet. It had traded as low as $5.34.

Heating oil added 2.21 cents, or 1.07 percent, at $2.0795 a gallon.

Reformulated-gasoline blendstock for oxygen blending added 2.65 cents, or 1.35 percent, to $1.991 a gallon.

AAA said the average U.S. retail regular unleaded gasoline price was $2.779 a gallon, down 2.1 cents from Monday's $2.80 a gallon.

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Business/2007...ane_fears/9373/
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artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:29 PM
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Craig Moves to Block Senate Ethics Panel Complaint

Lawyers for Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho delivered a letter to the Senate ethics committee today asking the committee to reject a complaint relating to his guilty plea in an airport sex sting operation. The move opens a potentially ugly battle between Mr. Craig and the Republican leadership, as Mr. Craig reconsiders his plans to resign from the Senate.

Mr. Craig stunned Washington late yesterday with an announcement through his spokesman that he may return to the Senate despite announcing Saturday “my intent to resign from the Senate effective September 30.”

His spokesman, Dan Whiting, said Mr. Craig is fighting the ethics and misdemeanor charges “and should he be cleared before then, he may, and I emphasize may, not resign.”

The lawyers, Stanley M. Brand and Andrew D. Herman of The Brand Group, wrote that there is no precedent for a Senate ethics review of “purely personal conduct unrelated to the performance of official Senate duties.”

Investigating such a complaint, they warned, would draw the Senate into “reviewing and adjudging a host of minor misdemeanors and transgressions” even if “minor or professionally irrelevant.” Mr. Craig has also hired lawyers to review the Minneapolis airport case, saying that he made a mistake pleading guilty and that he is, in fact, innocent.

continued...............

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/05/washingt...&hp&oref=slogin
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artinser
post Sep 5 2007, 02:30 PM
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Senator Johnson Returns to the Senate

With television cameras recording every spin of his wheelchair, Senator Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, sported a wide grin as he officially returned to his offices today on Capitol Hill.
The senator has been recovering from a crippling brain hemorrhage that he suffered last December. His illness had threatened the extremely thin majority won by Democrats in the midterm elections, but today, he was to resume his duties in the Senate. According to his office, he’s expected to go to the floor of the Senate this afternoon, after attending the Democratic caucus luncheon.
His fellow senators — on the Democratic side — are welcoming him back with appeals to contribute to a fund for his re-election, at a “Welcome Back Tim” site sponsored by ActBlue.
In an appeal mentioning the site, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts wrote:
Even though Tim will be able to hit the campaign trail, this race will be far from easy. South Dakota Democrats have been a major target for the Republican Party in recent years, and the GOP is hoping to win back this seat in 2008.
In 2002, Tim Johnson won his race by only 524 votes. In 2004, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle lost his seat by a 51-49% margin. And in 2006, South Dakota received national attention for a radical right-wing challenge against Roe v. Wade.
Once again, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has made Tim Johnson’s seat a top priority.
As he said last week during his first public appearance: “With patience, persistence and faith, I have fought back, and my will to keep fighting for you has never been stronger. I believe I have been given a second chance at life….and as I stand here tonight, let me say this: I will take that second chance and work harder than ever to be the best I can be for each and every South Dakotan.”

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09...-to-the-senate/
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Sanders
post Sep 5 2007, 02:55 PM
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Befuddled.


How can you "mistakenly" fly with nuclear weapons? Seems like something someone would have noticed. doh1.gif

I didn't read all the posts thoroughly, but that statement just floored me.
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Devilsadvocate
post Sep 5 2007, 08:22 PM
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Yeah. And that's then followed by the standard litany "...at no time was there any danger to the public".
Some years ago, there was a fire in a railwaystation in Germany- a cargo-car had caught fire.
The local firebrigade tried to extinguish the flames, and one of the firefighters went off to find out what exactly the train was loaded with.
By the time he came back, his colleagues were gone- the train had blown up on them. It turned out that it had carried ammunition for the US-army:
Those transports were always carried out with the utmost secrecy, for security-reasons.
Some of those transports also included chemical ammunition- which officially didn't even exist.
After that accident, this stuff was transported with 'Chinook'-helicopters.
Not that this was safer- but there was no way to ask stupid questions about the nature of the cargo...
And there never, ever was any danger to the public. Goes without saying.
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lunk
post Sep 5 2007, 09:34 PM
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QUOTE (Sanders @ Sep 5 2007, 01:55 PM)
How can you "mistakenly" fly with nuclear weapons? Seems like something someone would have noticed. doh1.gif

That's the excuse I would make
if my covert plan was discovered.

imo lunk
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barney_rebel
post Sep 6 2007, 12:58 PM
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http://cryptogon.com/?p=1265

Sept 14 - That would be a good day to stay home if you can.

Well one good news out of all of this, at least they've found the WMDs they've been looking for all this time.
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