June 17, 2006
Al-Qaeda in Iraq's State of Insurgency Document: "Situation Bleak"
Al-Qaeda in Iraq's "State of the Union" document which assesses the militant Islamic insurgency in Iraq was discovered in Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's hideout. The English translation of the undated document was provided by Iraqi National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie:
The situation and conditions of the resistance in Iraq have reached a point that requires a review of the events and of the work being done inside Iraq. Such a study is needed in order to show the best means to accomplish the required goals, especially that the forces of the National Guard have succeeded in forming an enormous shield protecting the American forces and have reduced substantially the losses that were solely suffered by the American forces. This is in addition to the role, played by the Shi'a (the leadership and masses) by supporting the occupation, working to defeat the resistance and by informing on its elements.
As an overall picture, time has been an element in affecting negatively the forces of the occupying countries, due to the losses they sustain economically in human lives, which are increasing with time. However, here in Iraq, time is now beginning to be of service to the American forces and harmful to the resistance for the following reasons:
1. By allowing the American forces to form the forces of the National Guard, to reinforce them and enable them to undertake military operations against the resistance.
2. By undertaking massive arrest operations, invading regions that have an impact on the resistance, and hence causing the resistance to lose many of its elements.
3. By undertaking a media campaign against the resistance resulting in weakening its influence inside the country and presenting its work as harmful to the population rather than being beneficial to the population.
4. By tightening the resistance's financial outlets, restricting its moral options and by confiscating its ammunition and weapons.
5. By creating a big division among the ranks of the resistance and jeopardizing its attack operations, it has weakened its influence and internal support of its elements, thus resulting in a decline of the resistance's assaults.
6. By allowing an increase in the number of countries and elements supporting the occupation or at least allowing to become neutral in their stand toward us in contrast to their previous stand or refusal of the occupation.
7. By taking advantage of the resistance's mistakes and magnifying them in order to misinform.
Based on the above points, it became necessary that these matters should be treated one by one:
1. To improve the image of the resistance in society, increase the number of supporters who are refusing occupation and show the clash of interest between society and the occupation and its collaborators. To use the media for spreading an effective and creative image of the resistance.
2. To assist some of the people of the resistance to infiltrate the ranks of the National Guard in order to spy on them for the purpose of weakening the ranks of the National Guard when necessary, and to be able to use their modern weapons.
3. To reorganize for recruiting new elements for the resistance.
4. To establish centers and factories to produce and manufacture and improve on weapons and to produce new ones.
5. To unify the ranks of the resistance, to prevent controversies and prejudice and to adhere to piety and follow the leadership.
6. To create division and strife between American and other countries and among the elements disagreeing with it.
7. To avoid mistakes that will blemish the image of the resistance and show it as the enemy of the nation.
In general and despite the current bleak situation, we think that the best suggestions in order to get out of this crisis is to entangle the American forces into another war against another country or with another of our enemy force, that is to try and inflame the situation between American and Iraq or between America and the Shi'a in general.
Specifically the Sistani Shi'a, since most of the support that the Americans are getting is from the Sistani Shi'a, then, there is a possibility to instill differences between them and to weaken the support line between them; in addition to the losses we can inflict on both parties. Consequently, to embroil America in another war against another enemy is the answer that we find to be the most appropriate, and to have a war through a delegate has the following benefits:
1. To occupy the Americans by another front will allow the resistance freedom of movement and alleviate the pressure imposed on it.
2. To dissolve the cohesion between the Americans and the Shi'a will weaken and close this front.
3. To have a loss of trust between the Americans and the Shi'a will cause the Americans to lose many of their spies.
4. To involve both parties, the Americans and the Shi'a, in a war that will result in both parties being losers.
5. Thus, the Americans will be forced to ask the Sunni for help.
6. To take advantage of some of the Shia elements that will allow the resistance to move among them.
7. To weaken the media's side which is presenting a tarnished image of the resistance, mainly conveyed by the Shi'a.
8. To enlarge the geographical area of the resistance movement.
9. To provide popular support and cooperation by the people.
The resistance fighters have learned from the result and the great benefits they reaped, when a struggle ensued between the Americans and the Army of Al-Mahdi. However, we have to notice that this trouble or this delegated war that must be ignited can be accomplished through:
1. A war between the Shi'a and the Americans.
2. A war between the Shi'a and the secular population (such as Ayad 'Alawi and al-Jalabi.)
3. A war between the Shi'a and the Kurds.
4. A war between Ahmad al-Halabi and his people and Ayad 'Alawi and his people.
5. A war between the group of al-Hakim and the group of al-Sadr.
6. A war between the Shi'a of Iraq and the Sunni of the Arab countries in the gulf.
7. A war between the Americans and Iraq. We have noticed that the best of these wars to be ignited is the one between the Americans and Iran, because it will have many benefits in favor of the Sunni and the resistance, such as:
1. Freeing the Sunni people in Iraq, who are (30 percent) of the population and under the Shi'a Rule.
2. Drowning the Americans in another war that will engage many of their forces.
3. The possibility of acquiring new weapons from the Iranian side, either after the fall of Iran or during the battles.
4. To entice Iran towards helping the resistance because of its need for its help.
5. Weakening the Shi'a supply line.
The question remains, how to draw the Americans into fighting a war against Iran? It is not known whether American is serious in its animosity towards Iraq, because of the big support Iran is offering to America in its war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Hence, it is necessary first to exaggerate the Iranian danger and to convince America and the west in general, of the real danger coming from Iran, and this would be done by the following:
1. By disseminating threatening messages against American interests and the American people and attribute them to a Shi'a Iranian side.
2. By executing operations of kidnapping hostages and implicating the Shi'a Iranian side.
3. By advertising that Iran has chemical and nuclear weapons and is threatening the west with these weapons.
4. By executing exploding operations in the west and accusing Iran by planting Iranian Shi'a fingerprints and evidence.
5. By declaring the existence of a relationship between Iran and terrorist groups (as termed by the Americans).
6. By disseminating bogus messages about confessions showing that Iran is in possession of weapons of mass destruction or that there are attempts by the Iranian intelligence to undertake terrorist operations in America and the west and against western interests.
Let us hope for success and for God's help.
File under "Distroy the village to save the people." [JH]
Gates' Top Ten Flops
One day after Bill Gates announced plans to relinquished his day-to-day corporate responsibilities, his legacy is being examined in the tech press. See, for example, Bill Gates' Legacy: Microsoft's Top 10 Flops.
Medical Malpractice Awards, Insurance, and Negligence: Which Are Related?
From the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research:
A new study by two researchers from George Mason University, Alexander Tabarrok and Amanda Agan, examines the relationship between medical malpractice awards, insurance and negligence.
June 16, 2006
Which Federal Appellate Court Has the Best Web Site?
Howard J. Bashman, from How Appealing, judges the federal circuits' Web sites.
"The Web site of the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in my opinion, currently ranks as the best of all federal appellate court Web sites. The Web site's recently redesigned home page offers easy access to a wealth of information, including information about the court's judges, oral argument locations, hotels near those oral argument locations and an oral argument calendar."
Summer Reading: The Quantum Zoo
$22.45 | 0309096227 | National Academies Press, 2006
Quantum theory and Einstein s general theory of relativity, beyond the understanding of the average person? Author Marcus Chrome believes he can demystify both theories for the hard science challenged (like me). [JH]
Netscape Reinvented as Social News Site
In an attempt to snag eyeballs, AOL has reinvented Netscape as a social news site, a site that will only feature stories submitted by readers. Unlike otherwise similar social news sites, AOL will retain some editorial control over the site by featuring "anchors," staffers who will monitor and guide content that comes to the site. [JH]
AALL Hires Celeste Smith as Education Manager
Susan Fox, AALL Executive Director, recently announced that Celeste Smith has been hired to fill the new FT position of Education Manager. From the announcement:
Celeste comes to us from her own independent consultancy, and following six years with Productivity Point, International, a training company providing technology based solutions to the public and private sectors.
What set Celeste apart in a highly competitive field was her in-depth understanding of adult learning strategies and instructional design, her experience with interactive e-learning initiatives, and her keen interest in the field of legal information and information policy.
Democrats Get Cozy with Bloggers at Las Vegas Conference
Check out the New York Times article. [RJ]
Opening: Catalog and Information Management Librarian (Virginia)
The University of Virginia School of Law seeks a catalog and information management librarian, a position with direct contact with patrons. Responsibilities include: manage cataloging services; develop and implement cataloging policies and practices; catalog materials in all formats; establish and coordinate new cataloging initiatives and projects; provide leadership in the management of electronic text; assist the research department with empirical research and data analysis; supervise one librarian and one paraprofessional. Qualifications include MLS degree from an ALA accredited library school with a J.D. or business/economics background preferred; familiarity with electronic publishing and cataloging of electronic resources; 5 years experience in an academic research library. Competitive salary with excellent benefits. Open until filled. Submit letter of interest, resume, and references to: Catalog Librarian Search Committee; University of Virginia School of Law; 580 Massie Road; Charlottesville, VA 22903-1789.
The University of Virginia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
June 15, 2006
Kennedy Presidential Library to be Digitized
Kennedy Presidential Library Announces Ground Breaking Initiative to Permanently Preserve the Archives of JFK.
From the press release:
"Twenty-nine years after participating in the formal groundbreaking of the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Columbia Point, Senator Edward M. Kennedy today announced a major and unprecedented effort by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to build a new library – a digital one consisting of the entire collection of papers, documents, photographs and audio recordings of President John F. Kennedy, eventually making them accessible to citizens throughout the world via the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s website."
The Quotable Jefferson
The Quotable Jefferson
Collected and Edited by John P. Kaminski
576 pp. | Princeton University Press | 2006 | $19.95 / £12.95 | ISBN: 0-691-12267-9
From the publisher's blurb: More than any other Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson made his reputation on the brilliance of his writing. John Adams chose the 33-year-old Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence largely because of his "masterly Pen." The genius of the Declaration and Jefferson's later writings amply confirmed Adams's judgment. Few writers have said so much on so many subjects--and said it so well--as Jefferson. The Quotable Jefferson--the most comprehensive and authoritative book of Jefferson quotations ever published--demonstrates that as does no other book.
Drawing primarily on The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, published by Princeton University Press, John Kaminski has carefully collected and cleverly arranged Jefferson's pronouncements on almost 500 subjects, ranging from the profound and public--the Constitution--to the personal and peculiar--cold water bathing.
The Quotable Jefferson is the first book to put Jefferson's words in context with a substantial introduction, a chronology of Jefferson's life, the source of each quotation, an appendix identifying Jefferson's correspondents, and a comprehensive index. The main section of Jefferson quotations, which are arranged alphabetically by topic, is followed by three other fascinating sections of quotations: Jefferson on his contemporaries, his contemporaries on him, and Jefferson on himself.
This book will delight the casual reader and browser, but it is also a serious and carefully edited reference work. Whatever the subject, if Jefferson said something memorable about it, you are likely to find it here.
Improper and Potentially Fraudulent Disaster Relief FEMA Payments
From the GAO:
"We estimate that through February 2006, FEMA made about 16 percent or $1 billion in improper and potentially fraudulent payments to registrants who used invalid information to apply for disaster assistance. Based on our statistical sample, we are 95 percent confident that the range of improper and potentially fraudulent payments is from $600 million to $1.4 billion."
New from the National Security Archive
Prison Commission Releases Report, "Confronting Confinement"
The Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons released "Confronting Confinement", a report on violence and abuse in U.S. jails and prisons, the broad impact of those problems on public safety and public health, and how correctional facilities nationwide can become safer and more effective. The report reflects the Commission's work over more than a year — an inquiry that featured four public hearings in cities around the country where nearly 100 people testified, visits to jails and prisons, conversations with people about their experience of life behind bars, discussions with current and former corrections officials and experts working outside the profession, and a thorough review of available research and data. [RJ]
Opening: Access Services Librarian, SIU
The School of Law Library at Southern Illinois University is accepting applications for Access Services Librarian as an assistant professor in a tenure-track position. The library staff includes six professional librarians and ten civil service support staff. The library is administratively independent and serves a law school faculty of about 35, a law student body of about 360, a university community of more than 20,000, and the legal community and general public of the entire southern Illinois region. The library holds more than 400,000 volumes and volume-equivalents, uses the OCLC and INNOPAC automated systems, and actively incorporates access to electronic materials into its information resources and technological solutions into its daily operations. Further information about the Library and the School is available at http://www.law.siu.edu.
POSITION. Access Services Librarian, Southern Illinois University School of Law Library, Carbondale, Illinois
QUALIFICATIONS. Required: J.D. degree from ABA-accredited school by date of hire, although substantial or significant relevant experience may be substituted; M.L.S., M.L.I.S., M.I.S., or equivalent degree from ALA-accredited school by date of hire; knowledge of legal materials and research methodology, including traditional resources, commercial online services, and Internet resources; excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with faculty, students, and staff; ability to establish and maintain a good working relationship with colleagues and to work effectively in both a team setting and independently; and strong public service philosophy and a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.
Preferred: Professional library reference experience, preferably in an academic law library; library supervisory and managerial experience that demonstrates creativity and innovation; experience with administering or using a complex integrated online library system; library circulation experience; and teaching experience.
RESPONSIBILITIES. Chiefly responsible for managing, coordinating, and supervising the Access Services operations of the law library, including circulation, interlibrary loan, document delivery, reserve, microform/audiovisual, and stacks maintenance. Also participates in the reference and instructional services provided by the law library faculty. Complete job description available at http://www.law.siu.edu/employment.
AVAILABLE. August 1, 2006. Review of applications begins July 1, 2006 and will continue until the position is filled.
SALARY. Competitive and commensurate with qualifications
TO APPLY. Applications should be submitted electronically at http://www.law.siu.edu/employment. A complete application will require a letter of application, résumé, and the names of three references. The letter should be addressed to:
Frank G. Houdek
Law Library Director and Professor of Law
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
School of Law Library, Mail Code 6803
1150 Douglas Drive
Carbondale, Illinois 62901
SIUC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer that strives to enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff and to increase its potential to serve a diverse student population. All applications are welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.
June 14, 2006
ILR/Harris State Liability Systems Ranking Study for 2006
The ILR /Harris Poll ranks the 50 states based on how fair their court systems are perceived to be. The study is based on a survey of over 1,400 practicing corporate attorneys and general counsels who answered a comprehensive battery of questions. [RJ]
Directory of Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs
- General Alternative Dispute Resolution Blogs
- ADR-Friendly Blogs
- ADR Marketing Blogs
- Arbitration Blogs
- Conflict Resolution & Peace Blogs
- Mediation Blogs
- Negotiation Blogs
- Online Dispute Resolution Blogs
- Restorative Justice Blogs
Are Judges Political? An Empirical Analysis
Are Judges Political?
An Empirical Analysis of the Federal Judiciary
Cass R. Sunstein, David Schkade, Lisa M. Ellman, and Andres Sawicki
Brookings Institution Press 2006
Trade Cloth, 0-8157-8234-9, $24.95
From the blurb:
Americans are engaged in an intense debate about their judicial branch of government. Some people worry about "activist" judges who are "legislating from the bench," making an end run around electoral democracy, while others feel that the judiciary is properly protecting fundamental rights. How do the political leanings of judges affect their activity on the bench? To put it another way, Are Judges Political? And to what degree? This provocative book produces real answers by looking at what judges actually do, injecting fact and analysis into a discussion that is all too often overwhelmed by sound bites and ideological howling.
Are Judges Political? injects precision into an impassioned but often impressionistic discussion by quantifying how ideology affects legal judgments. Interestingly, even in the most controversial cases, Republican and Democratic appointees agree more than they disagree. When they do disagree, however, the analysis of who votes how (and under what circumstances) can be quite illuminating and tells us a great deal about human nature as well as politics and justice in America.
Are Judges Political? finds that judges do adhere to the law, but where the law is not plain, political convictions clearly play a role. And when like-minded judges sit together, they may well go to extremes.
War, Terrorism and Torture: Limits on Presidential Power in the 21st Century
From the ACSBlog:
"Today, ACS distributed the latest in a series of law review articles emerging from an October 7, 2005 symposium and soon to be published by the Indiana Law Journal, addressing some controversial policies pursued by the Bush Administration in the name of national security. The symposium, titled "War, Terrorism and Torture: Limits on Presidential Power in the 21st Century," was jointly sponsored by Indiana University School of Law–Bloomington and ACS, whose Constitution in the 21st Century project's Separation of Powers and Federalism Issue Group produced the symposium."
Recent CRS Reports on Veteran Affairs
Recent CRS Reports on Veteran Affairs include the following:
- POWs AND MIAs: STATUS AND ACCOUNTING ISSUES
- MILITARY RETIREMENT: MAJOR LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
- MILITARY MEDICAL CARE SERVICES: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
- PERIODS OF WAR
POWs AND MIAs: STATUS AND ACCOUNTING ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 06/01/2006
Document No.: RL33452
Author(s): Charles A. Henning, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: This report summarizes numbers of U.S. prisoners of war (POWs) and servicemembers missing in action (MIAs) lost during the Vietnam War (1961-1973) and the Korean War (1950-1953), compares these losses to other 20th century American wars, and describes the POW/MIA investigation and policy process. It discusses reports asserting that some POWs from these wars were not returned to U.S. control when the wars ended, and that some of these individuals may still be alive. Further, it discusses Americans possibly captured by communist countries during Cold War incidents, or after being liberated from German POW camps at the end of World War II, and whether any such Americans could still be alive. It also summarizes POW/MIA matters and controversies related to post-Cold War U.S. military operations, particularly the 1991 Persian Gulf War; the ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom that began on October 7, 2001, when the United States began combat operations against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan; and Operation Iraqi Freedom that began on March 19, 2003. Finally, the report describes legislation and congressional oversight concerning the POW/MIA issue.
MILITARY RETIREMENT: MAJOR LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
CRS Publication Date: 06/01/2006
Document No.: RL33449
Author(s): Charles A. Henning, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: The FY2006 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been enacted. However, with the recruiting and retention challenges being faced by the military (especially the Army and Marine Corps), it is anticipated that military personnel benefits, to include retirement, will continue to be advanced and advocated by the Department of Defense (DOD) and veteran's organizations. It is further anticipated that the reserve retirement age (the age at which a retired reservist begins receiving retired pay) will remain an issue for the 109th Congress.
MILITARY MEDICAL CARE SERVICES: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
CRS Publication Date: 05/23/2006
Document No.: IB93103
Author(s): Richard A. Best, Jr., Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Abstract: As part of the budget submission for FY2007, the Administration is proposing significant increases in enrollment fees and co-payments for military retirees under the age of 65. Active duty beneficiaries and Medicare-eligible retirees would be unaffected (except for relatively small increases in pharmacy co-pays). DOD proposes that retirees not eligible for Medicare would pay a larger share of their total health care costs and that cost shares be adjusted annually for inflation. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has expressed concern that corporations and state and local governments are encouraging employees who are military retirees to rely on Tricare, with DOD thus indirectly subsidizing the health care costs of other employers at the expense of other defense requirements.
PERIODS OF WAR
CRS Publication Date: 05/01/2006
Document No.: RS21405
Author(s): Barbara Salazar Torreon, Knowledge Services Group
Abstract: This report lists the beginning and ending dates for periods of war found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.