Jan. 21st, 2010 01:13 pm
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'Oath Keepers' Leader Arrested for Child Rape; Cops Find Stolen Grenade Launcher In His House
We first noticed Marine Sgt. Charles Dyer, aka "July4Patriot," back in March, when we ran one of the first reports on the "Oath Keepers" bloc of the Tea Party movement -- an organization devoted to recruiting military and police-force veterans into a Patriot-movement belief system predicated on a series of paranoid conspiracy theories, especially the notion that the federal government intends to begin rounding up citizens and putting them in concentration camps.
Dyer played a prominent role in connecting the Oath Keepers to the Tea Party movement, speaking at a July 4 Tea Party rally in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. And he's been involved in organizing militia "maneuvers" in Oklahoma.
Dyer cropped up again in the news -- this time in the police blotter for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl:
An ex-military man has been arrested on charges of rape of a child and forcible sodomy.
Charles Alan Dyer, 29, of Marlow, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. Dyer served in the United States Marines in Iraq.
Oh, and guess what police found when they searched his home:
During the search the sheriff’s deputies noted several firearms and a device believed to be a Colt M-203, 40-millimeter grenade launcher, a complaint filed in the United States District Court of Western Oklahoma by Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco Special Agent Brett Williams said.MORE

I am so sick and tired of white people screaming about how they are at risk of being enslaved. Seriously. And the idea of him not liking foreign troops coming here to occupy here is highly highly amusing, considering events around the world. And considering the news that just came down from the Supreme Court, his screaming about the government threat!!! is even MORE hilarious. And finally, dear black guy holding the umbrella for him. You do know that he doesn't mean you when he's talking about Americans, righhtttt?

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Listening Post / Listening Post - Yemen news coverage

Media coverage of Yemen and terrorism, Media in China and India, Irish Atheists challenging Blasphemy Law, Macau ten years since the handover of Macau to China.

Read more... )
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Are you listening Americans? The press? The President? WHAT THE FUCK?????

Fer instance:
No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as the result of mistreatment. In the first case, an unnamed detainee under C.I.A. supervision in Afghanistan froze to death after having been chained, naked, to a concrete floor overnight. The body was buried in an unmarked grave. In the second case, an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died on November 4, 2003, while being interrogated by the C.I.A. at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad. A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs. Military pathologists classified the case a homicide. A third prisoner died after an interrogation in which a C.I.A. officer participated, though the officer evidently did not cause the death. (Several other detainees have disappeared and remain unaccounted for, according to Human Rights Watch.)
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from [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political
Randall Terry, Operation Rescue Founder,
Says He's More Concerned About Obama's Reaction Than Tiller's Murder
Randall Terry, the founder of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who led protests against George Tiller's clinic in Wichita, Kansas in 1991, issued a statement about today's killing of the abortion doctor.

In his comments, Terry does not grieve for Tiller or denounce the murder but seems more concerned about President Obama's reaction and what it bodes for the pro-life movement.

"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder.

Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."

An article on what Operation Rescue put Dr. Tillman and his staff through

Newman and his small staff of zealous pro-lifers are buzzing with the news that the clinic's office manager has quit -- a result, they believe, of their name-and-shame campaign. The manager had been accosted by a neighbor in a grocery store who recognized her from an Operation Rescue flier that featured her photo. "You're that baby killer!" the neighbor screamed at her. Then Newman, through investigative methods he'd rather not reveal, discovered where the woman's husband works. "We think that's what clinched it," he says. "He probably realized we were going to picket his workplace. I imagine he's the major breadwinner in the family, and he didn't want to risk his job."" If you read the whole story, you can find out how Newman threatened the Tillers' dry cleaner and a cab company that sometimes took patients to and from the clinic:
"Newman then tells him, in the most courteous tone imaginable, that he might see a few people outside the company holding signs. Just to let everybody know what he's participating in. "It's not personal," Newman says gently."
They also go through employees' trash, and offer rewards for incriminating information. They stop children on sidewalks and tell them their neighbors kill little babies.

Mark Kleinman points out

Remember how Repubicans in Congress were all in a dither about the DHS report on right-wing extremist organizations as potential terrorist threats? The Tiller gunman was affiliated with at least two of those organizations. In addition to his connection with Operation Rescue, he was a tax protester, a "sovereign citizen," and a member of the Freemen. Maybe someone should ask Rep. Peter King of New York (ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee) and John Hinderaker of PowerLine whether they still consider the threat of right-wing terrorism to be mere Obama Administration fantasy. (That's beside the fact that the report was ordered up during the Bush Administration.)
And I wonder, now that someone labeled a "baby killer" by people like Bill O'Reilly has been murdered, whether the official McCain-for-President website might want to take down a post calling the President a "baby killer."
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The fuck is it that every goddamn time I leave the internets for teh weekend I come back to blood and gore and fuckitude? DAMN you people for being so goddamn intolerant and fucked up that you have to KILL people who are providing a service that your murderous version of God don't like. You goddamn zealots and fanatical assholes! Time to call it what it is: Christian Fundamentalist Terrorism. And its funny as hell how the right wing media, blogs and Fox News, won't betaking ANY responsibility for this shit that they have helped to incite. Fuck you all.

Oh yes. Remember that report conducted about Right Wing Terrorists in these here United States? Rememebr how the right wing screamed discrimination? Well?
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So say the Spanish:
Spanish prosecutors will recommend against opening an investigation into whether six Bush administration officials sanctioned torture against terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, the country’s attorney-general said Thursday. Candido Conde-Pumpido said the case against the high-ranking U.S. officials — including former U.S. Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales — was without merit because the men were not present when the alleged torture took place.
“If one is dealing with a crime of mistreatment of prisoners of war, the complaint should go against those who physically carried it out,” Conde-Pumpido said in a breakfast meeting with journalists. He said a trial of the men would have turned Spain’s National Court “into a plaything” to be used for political ends.

The Prosecution Conundrum: Torture Detailed, "Nuremberg Defense" Revived & Blanket CIA Immunity

Yesterday, the torture condundrum was spelled out in vivid detail: Spain's Attorney General said prosecutors are recommending against opening an investigation into whether the top-level "Bush Six" sanctioned torture because they were not present when the alleged torture took place. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said that the CIA officials carrying out torture policies crafted and approved by the Justice Department will not be prosecuted.
Crystal eyes note the absurdity: Absolved because you were ordered to torture by those who are absolved because they were not there.
A brilliant piece of twisted dark logic that renders justice not only blind but impotent.

An entire class of CIA operatives get blanket immunity while people like myself, Thomas Tamm and others who exposed Bush illegality were criminally investigated and are still suffering the fallout.
No one is accountable. Everyone's hands are still dirty.


One law for the rich and powerful, another law for the not so rich and powerful.
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From Times online

AMERICAN drone attacks on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan are causing a massive humanitarian emergency, Pakistani officials claimed after a new attack yesterday killed 13 people.

The dead and injured included foreign militants, but women and children were also killed when two missiles hit a house in the village of Data Khel, near the Afghan border, according to local officials.

As many as 1m people have fled their homes in the Tribal Areas to escape attacks by the unmanned spy planes as well as bombings by the Pakistani army. In Bajaur agency entire villages have been flattened by Pakistani troops under growing American pressure to act against Al-Qaeda militants, who have made the area their base.


Pakistani forces say they have killed 1,500 militants since launching antiTaliban operations in Bajaur in August. Locals who fled claim that only civilians were killed. MORE
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My report for the Cato Institute on the effects of full-scale drug decriminalization in Portugal -- the background for which I wrote about here -- is now available online. It can be read here, and the .pdf is here. I'll be at Cato tomorrow to present the report at noon, and the event can be watched live here. Drug policy is being more openly debated than ever before in the U.S. (Time 's Joe Klein just wrote a column advocating marijuana legalization), and the unambiguous success of Portugal's 2001 decriminalization -- which is what enabled the Portuguese Government to address their exploding drug problems in the 1990s and to achieve far better results than virtually every other Western country -- provides a compelling empirical basis for understanding the profound failures of the American approach.

I'm traveling today and it's unlikely I'll be able to write again, but today is the deadline for the Obama DOJ either to release 3 key, still-secret OLC torture memos or explain to the court why they refuse to do so. A report two weeks ago from Newsweek's Michael Isikoff (which quoted an anonymous Obama official as describing the memos as "ugly") claimed that Obama had disregarded the emphatic objections from ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden and others in the intelligence community and had decided to disclose the documents in full, but a New York Times article this week indicated that no decision has been made because of very adamant objections to disclosure from the likes of Obama counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan (whose pending appointment to be CIA Director, it's worth recalling, was opposed precisely because he was clearly an advocate for some of the worst CIA abuses of the Bush era). MORE


Feb. 18th, 2009 11:35 pm
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How Regulation came to be: 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
According to an AP article that appeared in our local daily this morning, one of the tools the federal government may use in going after Stewart Parnell and other management of the Peanut Corporation of America is the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938. Ironically, the 1938 law has its roots in an incident of corporate hubris and disregard for public safety not unlike the present salmonella-tainted peanut butter case.
"A spoonful of sugar," Julie Andrews sang in her role as Mary Poppins, "Helps the medicine go down." In the middle of the Great Depression, the S. E. Massengill Company found something much better than sugar. Or so they thought. The disaster unfolds on the flip.MOREblockquote>

Chicken in America: A Lesson In Irony (And Bad Taste).

There are a lot of reasons why chicken today has no taste, but the main one is because someone seems to have decided that chicken must be cheap. And for chicken to be cheap, each chicken must be cheap to raise, which is to say quick and easily-managed. Thus, for starters, you need to get rid of genetic diversity, which is what occurred in the 1950’s with the wide-scale commercial production of chickens. In a recently-published study by William Muir of Purdue University, it was found that more than 50% of the diversity of ancestral breeds has been lost. See Native birds might restock poultry industry's genetic stock, Add to this the fact of commercial chickens being fed a diet of "super-grow" chicken feed, which is typically 70% corn, 20% soy, and 10% other ingredients such as vitamins and minerals, and you have the perfect recipes for chickens that grow quickly but taste like nothing.
It need not be this way, however. And in France, it is not. There, chickens that have earned the designation "Label Rouge" are guaranteed to taste not just better than commercially-raised chickens, but to actually taste like chicken. The label started in the early sixties when French chicken farmers banded together in cooperatives to protect the traditional methods of raising chickens on small farms. To be entitled to the coveted red-sticker that is the Label Rouge, farmers must comply with a long list of strict requirements, including the raising of only slow-growing breeds suited for living outdoors, which is what the chickens do, roaming in the open air for their relatively long lives. For a longer discussion of Label Rouge and Chickens, and other quality-labels prevalent in the European Union, please see Sticker Shock, by Barry James MORE

Green Energy and the Stimulus - the details

The American Recovery and Investment Act contains $61.9 billion in energy-related public spending and industry building tax credits and bond provisions estimated at $20 billion over a ten year period (in reduced tax revenues).
So lets take a look at that $61.9 billion
1. R&D total : $8.2 billion
$8.2 billion has been set aside for research into renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. This will be administered by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
Of this research funding, $800 million is to be spent on biofuel research, $400 million on geothermal projects, and $50 million on the integration of the grid with information technology. I assume this last provision is related to the "smart grid".
$3.4 billion of the R&D total is fossil fuels related including clean coal (what a waste) ... $1 billion for fossil energy R&D programs, $1.52 billion for carbon capture, $800 million for Clean Coal, and $70 million for geologic carbon sequestration.MORE

Meet the Stans: Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan lies on the Eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, with Iran to its southwest, Afghanistan to its southeast, and Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to its north. The country is dominated by the massive, flat Kara Kum desert, which takes up over 80% of the country. The Kopat Dag mountain chain runs along the south of the country, forming the border with Iran and home to the capital city, Ashgabat (whose name, supposedly, means "city of love"). The other major mountain range is the Kugitangtau chain in the southeast, which contains the country's highest elevation, 10,290 ft, at Mt. Ayrybaba. In total land area, the country is slightly larger than California.
According to the CIA world factbook, most (85%) of the population are ethnic Turkmens. Their language, Turkmen, is similar to Turkish (I've read there is a degree of mutual intelligibility, but knowing neither language I can't say for certain). The country also possesses small minorities of Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Russians. Most Russians are Orthodox Christian, and the other inhabitants are mainly Sunni Muslim. The total population is slightly over five million.MORE

Steelworkers, Hip-Hoppers and Tree-Huggers Get It On at 'Green Jobs 2009'!

When you walk into a large and stately Washington, DC hotel lobby and find it teeming with thousands of smiling, buzzing people-half in labor union jackets and ball caps, the other half dressed in 30-something hip-hop causal-you know some special is happening.

This was the lively, energized scene for three cold wintry days this Feb 4-6 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, as nearly 3000 activists and organizers gathered for the "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" National Conference. The gathering was convened by more than 100 organizations, representing every major trade union and every major environmental group in the country, among others.

It's called the "blue-green alliance," the core of which is the United Steel Workers and the Sierra Club, which jointly launched the "Green Jobs" movement nationally at a conference in Pittsburgh, PA a year ago. The turnout this year is triple in size and highly energized by both the victory of President Barack Obama and the looming onset of an economic crisis unmatched in scope since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In addition to the steelworkers, the building trades were well represented, and the green groups spanned a wide range of concerns, for toxics to alternative energy to climate change. Also notable was the participation of a contingent of "high road" corporations rooted in the growing "green economy." Gamesa, a major Spanish firm specializing in wind turbines, and Piper Jaffray, a large paper company focused on recycled paper products, are two examples.

But a critical new dimension was added by Green For All, an organization rooted among inner city youth, and headed up by Van Jones. Jones is the author of "The Green Collar Economy" and an inspirational voice for a rising generation of multinational, multicultural insurgent youth.MORE

Going EV #13: Everything you ever wanted to know about the Aptera electric car (almost!)

How to obtain Medical/Prescription assistance in this financial crisis

Food Democracy Now: 10 Ideas for a Sustainable Future

Unschooling Instead of High Schooling

Solar vs Coal, Land Area Comparison.

Behind The Great Firewall

Historic firsts in labor history

Big business using civil rights imagery to fight EFCA/UPDATR

United Healthcare Workers Holding Our Ground

The Myth of Data Mining
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Arab-Americans look to Obama - 15 Jan 09

Shihab Rattansi speaks to a panel of leading Arab-Americans in Washington DC about their hopes for the Obama administration, the Middle East crisis and more.

No place is safe for Gazans:

Mosques, hospitals, schools and homes have been hit as the Israeli air raids in Gaza City become more intense.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Gaza on the 20th day of the war, says there is no place of refuge left for Gazans in the densely populated territory.

It is speculation for the most part, cause Israel is not allowing foreign journalists in. What I am paying attention to is the weapons. And this is the article that completely crystallized my anti-war stance. These weapons? Are horrific. And abominable. And inhuman. And I can't believe that people are actually conceptualizing and building these weapons, much more using them. Is Israel using illegal weapons in its offensive on Gaza?

Last Saturday HRW hastened to publish a call to Israel to "stop unlawful use of white phosphorus in Gaza." The use of white phosphorus is permitted on the battlefield, explains Garlasco, but the side effects on humans and the environment are severe and highly dangerous. The statement notes that the "potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza's high population density, among the highest in the world."

The fireworks-like explosions, the thick smoke, suffocating gas, and flames that are not extinguished by water, but rather are heightened by it - all of these are characteristic of the white phosphorus bombs the IDF is using. Garlasco believes the decision to make such extensive use of these bombs, manufactured by America's General Dynamics Corporation, stems from conclusions drawn from the Second Lebanon War, in which the IDF lost many tanks.

"The phosphorus bombs create a thick smokescreen and if Hamas has an anti-tank rocket, the smoke prevents the rocket from tracking the tank," he explains. There are two ways to use the bombs: The first is to impact them on the ground, in which case the resulting thick smokescreen covers a limited area; the second way is an airburst of a bomb, which contains 116 wafers doused in phosphorus. The moment the bomb blows up and the phosphorus comes in contact with oxygen - it ignites. This is what creates the "fireworks" and billows of jellyfish-shaped smoke. The fallout covers a wide area and the danger of fires and harm to civilians is enormous. The phosphorus burns glass, and immediately ignites paper, trees, wood - anything that is dry. The burning wafers causes terrible injury to anyone who comes in contact with them. The irony is that tear gas is included in the Chemical Weapons Convention and is subject to all kinds of restrictions, whereas phosphorus is not.

And in the meantime, in the hospitals in Gaza there are people lying in beds - among them many children - whose severe injuries and burns have appalled the medical teams.


DIME - the dense inert metal explosive, consisting of 25 percent TNT and 75 percent tungsten, a heavy metal. You mix the two, in a fine grain, like pepper, and when the bomb hits the ground it aerosolizes. In less than a second, the mist dissipates and explodes."

He says the advantage of DIME is that "it strikes a very small area, 10 to 20 meters, and the fire it ignites burns out very quickly; if it hits us now, we will die, but no one around us will be hurt. The problem is that when you are killed - you are ripped to shreds and there is nothing left." Indeed, the injuries DIME causes are in general more severe than those caused by a "regular" bomb.


Gazan babies born into war - 15 Jan 2009

Many of the more than 40,000 pregnant women in Gaza are unable to leave their homes for medical treatment because of the Israeli onslaught and hospitals swamped with the thousands of injured.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros has the story of one mother who has not seen her baby since he was born on the first day of Israel's offensive.
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Nazis in the military I'm so proud of my kills

Shawn Stuart-764380_36d56.jpg

[Shawn Stuart, Iraq War veteran, at a 2006 neo-Nazi rally in Olympia, WA.]

Two years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center ran a devastating report describing the infiltration of neo-Nazis into the ranks of the American military. The Pentagon's official response was steadfast denial of the problem.
The SPLC's David Holthouse just published a follow-up report, and found, predictably, that the problem is getting worse as the conflict in Iraq drags on:
A new FBI report confirms that white supremacists are infiltrating the military for several reasons. According to the unclassified FBI Intelligence Assessment, "White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel Since 9/11," which was released to law enforcement agencies nationwide: "Sensitive and reliable source reporting indicates supremacist leaders are encouraging followers who lack documented histories of neo-Nazi activity and overt racist insignia such as tattoos to infiltrate the military as 'ghost skins,' in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement."
The FBI report details more than a dozen investigative findings and criminal cases involving Iraq and Afghanistan veterans as well as active-duty personnel engaging in extremist activity in recent years. For example, in September 2006, the leader of the Celtic Knights, a central Texas splinter faction of the Hammerskins, a national racist skinhead organization, planned to obtain firearms and explosives from an active duty Army soldier in Fort Hood, Texas. That soldier, who served in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, was a member of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi group.
I observed at the time that one of the uglier aspects of the presence of neo-Nazis in Iraq would be the behavior of American soldiers among civilians there: ... The source of the problem, as the report explained, was the extreme pressure military recruiters were under to fill their recruitment quotas. "Recruiters are knowingly allowing neo-Nazis and white supremacists to join the armed forces," said Barfield, "and commanders don’t remove them . . . even after we positively identify them as extremists or gang members." The military downplayed a neo-Nazi presence in the ranks, Barfield added, "because then parents who are already worried about their kids signing up and dying in Iraq are going to be even more reluctant about their kids enlisting if they feel they’ll be exposed to gangs and white supremacists."


... This has the deadly potential to become a significant component of the predictable surge in far-right activity likely to manifest itself in the United States in the coming months and years, especially as Democrats and liberals expand their hold on power. We run the risk of re-creating the conditions that arose in Germany and Italy after World War I: the presence of scores of angry, disaffected, and psychologically damaged war veterans, fed a steady diet of "Dolchstosslegende," poised to organize into a political force aimed at "rebirthing" the nation and its heritage.

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{Rachel Maddow} Lame Duck Watch: Congressional Report Blames Top Bush Officials For Prisoner Abuse
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In and article subtitled A bipartisan Senate report calls decisions made by the former Defense secretary a 'direct cause' of inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. Other Bush officials also are faulted, the Los Angeles Times reported that a bipartisan Senate report puts a great deal of blame for prisoner abuse on former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:
The report, which was endorsed by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the most forceful denunciation to date of the role that Rumsfeld and other top officials played in the prisoner abuse scandals of the last five years. In several of its findings, the document also challenged the frequent assertions of senior Bush administration officials that the most egregious cases of prisoner mistreatment were isolated incidents of appalling conduct by U.S. troops.
...The document aimed its harshest criticism at Rumsfeld's decision in December 2002 to authorize the use of aggressive interrogation techniques at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The New York Times adds:
The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the report says, "was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own" but grew out of interrogation policies approved by Mr. Rumsfeld and other top officials "conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees." By the time of the abuses at Abu Ghraib, Mr. Rumsfeld had formally withdrawn approval for use of the harshest techniques, which he authorized in December 2002 and then ruled out a month later. But the report said that those methods, including the use of stress positions and forced nudity, continued to spread through the military detention system. It added that their use "damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority."
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Nations sign cluster-bomb ban,US and Russia refuse

via:[livejournal.com profile] bradhicks

Washington, Moscow and other non-signers say cluster bombs have legitimate military uses such as repelling advancing troop columns. But according to the group Handicap International, 98 percent of cluster-bomb victims are civilians, and 27 percent are children.

The Bush administration has said that a comprehensive ban would hurt world security and endanger U.S. military cooperation on humanitarian work with countries that sign the accord.MORe


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