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Tuesday, Jun 28th

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Obama Weighs Plan Allowing 9/11 Suspects to Plead Guilty

The Obama administration is considering a change in the law for the military commissions at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that would clear the way for detainees facing the death penalty to plead guilty without a full trial.

Much of the evidence against the men accused in the Sept. 11 case, as well as against other detainees, is believed to have come from confessions they gave during intense interrogations at secret C.I.A. prisons. In any proceeding, the reliability of those statements would be challenged, making trials difficult and drawing new political pressure over detainee treatment.

Some experts on the military commissions said such a proposal would raise new questions about the fairness of a system that has been criticized as permitting shortcuts to assure convictions.

TVNL Comment: Guilty, by any means necessary! Creating the 9/11 patsies.

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Bankruptcy filings rise to 6,000 a day as job losses take toll

Consumer and commercial bankruptcy filings are on pace to reach a stunning 1.5 million this year, according to a report from Automated Access to Court Electronic Records.

But filings are surging back in part because of rising job losses. The unemployment rate could hit 10% this year. And tighter credit, dwindling 401(k) accounts, smaller paychecks and less savings have left unemployed workers and those who are working but struggling with fewer financial resources to keep creditors at bay.

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How the Vatican sold its soul

A new book by the journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi lays bare a history of political bribes being paid through the Vatican's central bank.

Nuzzi's allegations are based on internal IOR documents, more than 4,000 in all, that were smuggled out of the Vatican by a disgruntled employee. This unique violation of IOR confidentiality was made possible by an unlikely whistleblower, Monsignor Renato Dardozzi. An electronic engineer who held a top job at the state telecommunications company, Dardozzi discovered his vocation late in life and was ordained a priest at the age of 52.

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Wauseon plant to open Monday for 110-mpg car engines

The man who drove his 20-year-old Mustang from Napoleon, Ohio, to Las Vegas and back last year on 39 gallons of fuel will open his first manufacturing facility Monday to allow others to get 110 miles per gallon.

A Decatur, Ind., specialty car company, Revenge Designs Inc., has contracted with Mr. Pelmear to purchase 2,000 engines for use in a new vehicle it plans to unveil at the end of this year at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The vehicle is to be called the Revenge Verde Super Car, which will use Mr. Pelmear's 400-horsepower engine and its 500 foot-pounds of torque to travel up to 200 mph and get 110 mpg - though admittedly not at the same time.

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Obama: First president to admit role in '53 Iran coup

President Obama Thursday became the first president to acknowledge responsibility for the 1953 CIA-led coup that overthrew the elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh.

"In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government," Mr. Obama said, alluding to the 1953 coup. Funded and egged on by the CIA, Iranian monarchists removed Mr. Mossadegh - who had nationalized a British-owned oil company. The coup reinstalled Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, an autocratic ruler who was subsequently overthrown in a popular revolution in 1979.

Until Thursday, the most senior U.S. official to express regret for the coup was Madeleine Albright in 2000 when she was secretary of State.

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Liz Cheney Restates Iraq-9/11 Link Her Father Disavowed, Chides Mitchell For Disagreeing

Liz Cheney continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Today's installment is downright Orwellian, In an interview with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, Cheney insisted that her father had always disavowed the notion that there was a link between Iraq and al Qaeda and September 11th, while simultaneously suggesting that such a link was true. Then she sort of got snippy with Mitchell for the way she kept intimating that maybe this was all a little nonsensical.

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Rumsfeld to 'face difficulties' over Guantanamo: UN expert

Former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld could soon be in trouble for the role he played in human rights abuses committed in the Guantanamo prison, a United Nations expert said Wednesday.

"In a year or two, his responsibilities will be established. Wherever he goes, he will face difficulties," Leandro Despouy, who is Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, told journalists in Geneva.

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Baker’s Ghost in Cairo

I hope President Obama has been reading James Baker in preparation for his speech Thursday to the Muslim world. It was in the time of the former secretary of state, two decades ago, that the United States last had a balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Here’s what Baker told the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee — the pro-Israel lobby — on May 22, 1989: “For Israel, now is the time to lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel.”

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Journalist claims papers turned down story about Bush’s desire to invade Iraq

An investigative journalist who authored a controversial book on the Bush dynasty says he approached major US newspapers about publishing a story regarding President George W. Bush’s alleged intent to invade Iraq before the 2004 election but was rebuffed.

The journalist and author, Russ Baker, says he had a taped interview of Bush’s onetime biographer in which he says Bush told him he intended to invade Iraq as early as 1999, during his presidential campaign. The interview with former Bush ghostwriter Mickey Herskowitz took place before the 2004 election.

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