Would we Tolerate Rockets Fired from Culver City?

venice beach, hezbollah protestersIts true — Lebanon was growing into a jewel of the Mediterranean — apparently hundreds of tourists were airlifted out today by Italian airlines.

But Haifa and Tiberias in Israel hadn’t seen attacks of this sort in over 30 years, probably not since the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when Israel was a wee 25 years young.

This sign was spotted amid several others protesting Hezbollah and questioning global response to this conflict. A group of men who said they were Black Hebrews bandied about Venice Beach boardwalk for about an hour this afternoon, signs raised high.

Miss the news of the past 5 days? BBC News has this comprehensive timeline of the recent conflict.

Ha’aretz has a solid breaking news ticker (Israel time is PDT +10).

Plame & Wilson Sue Cheney

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney joins Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as the second high-ranking Bush administration official to be sued this week, as former CIA officer Valerie Plane and her husband, former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson have filed suit accusing Cheney, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby with revealing Plame’s CIA classified identity in response to Wilson’s criticism of the Bush administration’s Iraq shenanigans…

The official complaint can be viewed here (.pdf). [thanks, OTB]

Very complete coverage, with updates, here.

More craziness in the world of law:

The EU has annulled the 2004 merger of Sony and BMG. Finally the sabertoothed music industry juggernauts have been rattled, as EMI, Warner Music Group and Vivendi’s Universal Music Group are all in for a wake-up call on this news.

Finally, after nearly 4 years as an “enemy combatant,” one-time American dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla has been allowed to view “classified” documents and video detailing his statements when he was detained in a maximum security brig by the DoD.

EVEN MORE on This day in The Law:

AP reports: “President Bush has agreed conditionally to let a court review his eavesdropping operations under a deal that, for the first time, would open an important part of his once-secret terrorism surveillance to a constitutional test.”

Wow, is justice making a comeback or is it just my ‘magination?

Pioneertown Burning

PioneertownPioneertown, created out of high desert dust as an on-location Western movie town for the likes of Gene Autry and the Cisco Kid in the 1940s, is under siege! The home of the Sunday afternoon shootout reenactment, complete with “Amazing Grace” may never be the same. The fire blazes on with minimal containment — and pray it doesn’t threaten Joshua Tree NP.

Halliburton… Cut (and Run)???

If the murmurings in the news today are true, the Pentagon is set to end its most controversial wink-wink contracts in Iraq with gargantuan oil services corp Halliburton:

The decision on Halliburton comes as the U.S. contribution to Iraq’s reconstruction begins to wane, reducing opportunities for U.S. companies after nearly four years of massive payouts to the private sector.

After a $14.5 billiion payout, and a plethora of unfinished business — could there be less expensive contractors out there to NOT do the job?

The fact that Halliburton has overcharged the government despite winning no-bid contracts has been well-documented. Among the least impressive accomplishments of Halliburton (and let’s not forget to mention its ties to its recent CEO and current U.S. VP Dick Cheney) and its subsidiaries:

-charging $45 for a case of soda
-building only 20 of 142 contractually agreed upon health care center and then “running out of money”
-double billing for soldiers? meals
-using contaminated water for troop bathing needs

The Democrats.org blog highlights the “maybe-ness” of these contract terminations.

Personally, I’m wondering if an internal Pentagon investigation, or otherwise is finally gonna crack down on the illegally awarded contracts to Halliburton, not to mention the highway robbery that followed.

The outcome I envision — and the reason that this is not truly ground-breaking news — is that Halliburton will be awarded revised contracts after a session of supposedly “open” building.

Adele at TAPPED broadens the scope of the DoD’s chicanery, bringing up union appeals to the Pentagon’s new National Security Personnel System, which is designed to impede upon worker protections.