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tsunami: 26 Dec 2004

One year ago, a surprise tsunami crossed the Indian Ocean following a 9.2-richter Earthquake at day break.

An estimated 225,000 lost their lives.

The tragedy of the greatest natural disaster of my lifetime did change the world; or at least exposed how the world has shrunk.

The best is yet to come, no doubt — there will never be another 2005.

Stormtrack has an archive of the footage that changed our perception of the world and human vulnerability here.

The Malkin Cartel links to a Flickr gallery of the missing….

Appreciated in light of the disrespectful strategy of her hard-right-blogging comrades in trashing the UN for not saving the world according to this UPI release. All I can say is: ask John Bolton to name three catastrophic humanitarian disasters that have occurred in 2005.

Let us celebrate the end of another year…. and hold the faux glamorization.

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Barron’s Bearish on Bush

“….Administration lawyers and the president himself have tortured the Constitution and extracted a suspension of the separation of powers,” writes Thomas Donlan in Barron’s Online.

Bush spying on Americans was no shocker, but to operate in suspicious cognito…

Dec. 26 Barron’s goes with it: “The administration is saying the president has unlimited authority to order wiretaps in the pursuit of foreign terrorists, and that the Congress has no power to overrule him.

As AG Ashcroft laid it down in 2002:

“The Constitution vests in the president inherent authority to conduct warrantless intelligence surveillance (electronic or otherwise) of foreign powers or their agents, and Congress cannot by statute extinguish that Constitutional authority.”

Gonzales last week declined to declassify relevant legal reviews made by the Department of Justice.

Get out the megaphone, and repeat with me:

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later.

Could it be… Merry Christmas and Impeach in the New Year???

[via Atrios as dug by Barry]

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WaPo reports on November U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq

The RQ-1 Predator Drone drops Hellfire missilesThe Washington Post goes A-01 Saturday with details from the U.S. -Iraqi offensive in Iraq’s western Anbar province, which included significant airstrikes that went largely unreported in the mainstream U.S. media.

Following the AP report earlier this week that U.S. airstrikes increased almost fivefold in the past year, The Post’s Ellen Knickmeyer reports:

Just how many civilians have been killed is strongly disputed by the Marines, and, some critics say, too little investigated. But townspeople, tribal leaders, medical workers and accounts from witnesses at the sites of clashes, at hospitals and at graveyards indicated that scores of noncombatants were killed last month in fighting, including airstrikes, in the opening stages of a 17-day U.S.-Iraqi offensive in Anbar province.

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Stolen Explosives Recovered; Four Suspects in custody

An unspecified tip led to the arrest Friday of four men in connection with the recent theft of a large quantity of high explosives and supplies that could enable the flattening of a large building, according to federal officials.

According to the limited details released by the FBI Friday, the explosives were recovered intact. Two unidentified suspects and one David Brown were arrested in Bloomfield, New Mexico, a small town 170 miles northwest of Albuquerque near the Colorado border. Brown’s brother Leslie Brown, was also arrested 60 miles further north, in Ignacio, Colo. The brothers were previously convicted of felonies and now face federal charges. Investigators are still searching for a fifth suspect in Bloomfield, according to Albuquerque’s Action 7 News.

The police report issued earlier this week indicated that thieves used blowtorches to cut the locks at Cherry Engineering Inc.’s explosives depot, eight miles south of Albuquerque. There are over a dozen trailers on the property owned by various companies, but, “the theft was from Mr. Cherry’s two explosive magazines,” said Tom Mangan, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. “That’s where all the explosives, high explosives, were taken from.”

Mangan confirmed only that the theft took place sometime between December 13-18, giving the vandals a “huge head start.”