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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Two Cents - Homeland Obscurity

When did we stop viewing American citizenship as something special, something sacred?

When did we stop caring about our country's sovereignty and safety?

Then again, maybe we didn't - but Washington sure did.

Last night, the President unveiled his plan to secure the borders - sort of. I was hoping for a clear message - "we will protect our country, we will close the avenues for illegal immigrants." But it was not to be. The grand plan was more half measures, more appeasement for Mexico, more talk.

Why are we so reluctant to take real action?

Part of it is the usual politics. One of the things I've always liked about our President was his commitment to do what he believes is right - the "damn-the-pundits-full-speed-ahead" style he's had. It was absent last night.

Things didn't start off so bad - …

Good evening. I have asked for a few minutes of your time to discuss a matter of national importance — the reform of America's immigration system.

The issue of immigration stirs intense emotions - and in recent weeks, Americans have seen those emotions on display. On the streets of major cities, crowds have rallied in support of those in our country illegally. At our southern border, others have organized to stop illegal immigrants from coming in. Across the country, Americans are trying to reconcile these contrasting images. And in Washington, the debate over immigration reform has reached a time of decision. Tonight, I will make it clear where I stand, and where I want to lead our country on this vital issue.

OK - so this says he knows we've got to do something, right? He's going to give a clear direction, right? Right? Wrong.

We must begin by recognizing the problems with our immigration system. For decades, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders. As a result, many who want to work in our economy have been able to sneak across our border - and millions have stayed.

Once here, illegal immigrants live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal. Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals ... strains state and local budgets ... and brings crime to our communities. These are real problems, yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life - but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.

We are a Nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We are also a Nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways. These are not contradictory goals - America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time. We will fix the problems created by illegal immigration, and we will deliver a system that is secure, orderly, and fair. So I support comprehensive immigration reform that will accomplish five clear objectives.

Uh-oh. Red Alert! Red Alert! Let's not forget that many who sneak in have NO intention of being a part of the system. Work in our economy, yes. But be a real part of this country, no way. 80% of the drugs coming into some states are brought in by illegal aliens.

And 'living in the shadows'? all those protesters lived in the shadows, eh? Yes, many use forged documents. So fix that. Create an electronic database, where ALL legal immigrants are registered. Create an ID, similar to a pistol permit, where all your information is on file and can be confirmed with no more time than it takes to log in and see if you've got email. We already have the ASVI system - just flippin' get it done.

And, by the way, the ALL illegal immigrants are criminals. That's what that "illegal" part means. Whether or not they are ‘decent’ people, they are here illegally. There is no grey area there. There is no obscurity there. They DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE if they have entered this country illegally. Yes, we are a nation of laws. So let’s enforce them. Illegal immigration is just that - illegal. 'Beyond the reach and protection of American laws'? How, exactly? Well, then again, 'beyond the reach,' maybe. But only because we can't get off our butts and just deal with them.

Beyond 'protection,' not so much.

They benefit from welfare, in some cases assisted housing, medical care, and the Miranda warning. They have the same rights in court. The same right to free assembly, clearly. In many cases, they can get drivers' licenses. And clearly, they can work.

First, the United States must secure its borders. This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign Nation. It is also an urgent requirement of our national security. Our objective is straightforward: The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration — and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists.

I was the governor of a state that has a twelve-hundred mile border with Mexico. So I know how difficult it is to enforce the border, and how important it is. Since I became President, we have increased funding for border security by 66 percent, and expanded the Border Patrol from about 9,000 to 12,000 agents. The men and women of our Border Patrol are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances - and over the past five years, we have apprehended and sent home about six million people entering America illegally.

Despite this progress, we do not yet have full control of the border, and I am determined to change that. Tonight I am calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border. By the end of 2008, we will increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we will have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my Presidency.

At the same time, we are launching the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history. We will construct high-tech fences in urban corridors, and build new patrol roads and barriers in rural areas. We will employ motion sensors - infrared cameras - and unmanned aerial vehicles to prevent illegal crossings. America has the best technology in the world - and we will ensure that the Border Patrol has the technology they need to do their job and secure our border.

Six million down, eleven million to go. The Border Patrol has, in the past, estimated they need about 10,000 more officers to even make a dent. Yes, they are doing a fine job in difficult circumstances. And we owe them the full resources and commitment in order to allow them to get the job done. Yes, we will have more than doubled the man-power. But we still will not have enough. So we're aspiring to be less inadequate. That's like aspiring to reduce your cancer - not cure it.

Hi-tech fences? How about a big, honkin' 40 foot high, electrified, concrete fence with a moat. Not very hi-tech, but it works for me. Despite the nice sound of hi-tech fences, note the gaps. Fences in urban corridors, motion sensors, cameras - but not enough Border Patrol agents to be effective. So 30 minutes after the camera picks up something on the border, the agents will arrive to find - what? Illegal immigrants hanging around waiting for them?

Training thousands of new Border Patrol agents and bringing the most advanced technology to the border will take time. Yet the need to secure our border is urgent. So I am announcing several immediate steps to strengthen border enforcement during this period of transition:

One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard. So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border. The Border Patrol will remain in the lead. The Guard will assist the Border Patrol by operating surveillance systems, analyzing intelligence, installing fences and vehicle barriers, building patrol roads, and providing training. Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities - that duty will be done by the Border Patrol. This initial commitment of Guard members would last for a period of one year. After that, the number of Guard forces will be reduced as new Border Patrol agents and new technologies come online. It is important for Americans to know that we have enough Guard forces to win the war on terror, respond to natural disasters, and help secure our border.

OK, I'm all right with the National Guard helping with immigration control. After all, they're the National Guard, and this is guarding the nation. But 'Guard units will not be involved in direct law enforcement activities' - Oh, great, so it's the U.N. method of doing business - that always works well. Here, you've got guns, equipment, armor - but no authority. This is the worst kind of military employment - all dressed up and absolutely no authority.

I tend to disagree with the people who say we have a large enough military, so we're fine. I think we should always have MORE than enough.

And then came the thing that REALLY ticks me off - appeasement of a country that is assisting its citizens in breaking our laws:

The United States is not going to militarize the southern border. Mexico is our neighbor, and our friend. We will continue to work cooperatively to improve security on both sides of the border ... to confront common problems like drug trafficking and crime ... and to reduce illegal immigration.

Ah, yes. Right back to appeasement. Well, why the hell not militarize the border? Tanks, planes, helicopters, whatever - I say, lock the thing down - NOW. This SHOULD be more than a police issue. It involves national security. And with friends like this, who needs enemies?

'Continue to work cooperatively' - I've got a slight grammatical problem with that - when did we ever START working cooperatively? Mexico is helping their citizens break the laws of this country - helping them sneak in here, and all but demanding that we give them free license to come in whenever they want. Oh, and let's not forget that the border patrol had a teeny little issue with getting shot at by people in Mexican military uniforms, and questions surrounding that little piece of joy have never been answered to my satisfaction. How, exactly, are we working cooperatively?

And 'reduce' illegal immigration? Well, I'm aiming high on this one. I want to END illegal immigration. Period. No mas.

Which, of course, brings me to the next thing that raised my blood pressure.

Another way to help during this period of transition is through state and local law enforcement in our border communities. So we will increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions. And we will give state and local authorities the specialized training they need to help federal officers apprehend and detain illegal immigrants. State and local law enforcement officials are an important resource - and they are part of our strategy to secure our border communities.

The steps I have outlined will improve our ability to catch people entering our country illegally. At the same time, we must ensure that every illegal immigrant we catch crossing our southern border is returned home. More than 85 percent of the illegal immigrants we catch crossing the southern border are Mexicans, and most are sent back home within 24 hours. But when we catch illegal immigrants from other countries, it is not as easy to send them home. For many years, the government did not have enough space in our detention facilities to hold them while the legal process unfolded. So most were released back into our society and asked to return for a court date. When the date arrived, the vast majority did not show up. This practice, called "catch and release," is unacceptable — and we will end it.

We are taking several important steps to meet this goal. We have expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more. We have expedited the legal process to cut the average deportation time. And we are making it clear to foreign governments that they must accept back their citizens who violate our immigration laws. As a result of these actions, we have ended "catch and release" for illegal immigrants from some countries. And I will ask Congress for additional funding and legal authority, so we can end "catch and release" at the southern border once and for all. When people know that they will be caught and sent home if they enter our country illegally, they will be less likely to try to sneak in.

Funding is good. I like more funding for immigration control. But as far as the how do we send them home thing, I'm aghast.

Frankly, I don't care if we send them home or not. Put them on a boat and push them out to sea. Give them a plane ticket to another country that doesn't care about immigration. Oh, wait, there probably AREN'T ANY. Canada, Mexico, France - name just about any country you want - most have STRICT GUIDELINES for who can and can't get in. And most enforce them. I'm for the "I don't care where you go, but you can't stay here" philosophy.

'We have ended "catch and release" for some countries. Some? Some?!? So more half measures. Catch and release should be ended for ALL countries. England, Germany, Mexico, East Timor - I don't care. Catch and release works for fishing, not immigration. Never saw a bass that demanded rights it hadn't earned - and at least they're here legally.

Maybe knowing that you will be caught and sent home is somewhat of a deterrent. But then again, that's what's supposed to be happening now, isn't it? I think crossing the border illegally is tantamount to an act of war. Certainly where Mexico's concerned. Massive illegal immigration is having distinct effects on our economic system, our health care system - it's compromising the infrastructure. And there's that shooting at the border patrol thing...… Posse comitatus indeed - when did this prevent us from taking ation to ensure that our citizens are safe from border incursions? These are small-scale invasions, granted - but they're invasions nonetheless.

How much of a deterrent would it be if you knew you could get shot crossing the border illegally? Thrown in prison for 20 years? How much of a deterrent is it really to say that if you cross illegally, we'll send you home so you can try again? If you don't succeed, try, try again...…

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop. To secure the border effectively, we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across.

Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law. A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers - and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border. It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers. And above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.

No, No, a thousand times - NO! We HAVE temporary programs - they're called Visas. And it works so well that some of the 9/11 hijackers were able to overstay theirs and 'create a better life' by flying planes into buildings and killing 3,000 people - something you'll be reminded of when the film of the plane hitting the Pentagon is released today.

Criminal background checks. Ah, yes - the panacea. Well, here's the problem with that: As part of my daily job, I do criminal checks every day. The issue with someone who is from another country is that many countries do not keep adequate records to allow for a good, accurate criminal check. And do we really believe that Al Qaeda isn't smart enough to make sure they have some "clean" people to send here?

Heck, I've even seen U.S. criminals that had gaps in their records - that is to say, that a conventional background check didn't turn up something on their record.

What database is going to be used? National databases are notoriously unreliable - only as good as the counties entering data. The most accurate check is of the actual criminal court records, and again, many countries don't keep adequate records. So how are you going to absolutely make sure that you catch every criminal coming in? You're not. It's not going to happen. But it sure sounds good, doesn't it?

Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law - and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.

Agreed - we need to hold employers accountable. But don't tell me that employers don't know they're hiring illegals. Yes, they do. They know as soon as they offer a ridiculously low wage that someone accepts. Most employers who habitually hire illegals are not naive innocents. Give me a break. How about, if we prove you knowingly hire an illegal, you'll face hefty fines and revocation of your license to do business.

Part of the problem is forged documents. Solved with another document they can forge. OK. 'should use biometric technology' - not MUST, I note.

Fourth, we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it. Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully, and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration.

Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant, and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes that there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently - and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record. I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, to pay their taxes, to learn English, and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship - but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law. What I have just described is not amnesty - it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society, and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.

OK, maybe it isn't 'wise or realistic to round up millions of people.' I'll give you that. But how about this option: cut them off. No welfare. No medical assistance unless your life is in immediate threat. No housing. No work. That ought to point out the illegals really quick, and make rounding them up a lot more 'realistic.'

And unwise? Why? Because you're going to anger a minority group that seems to be getting all the airplay these days? Because you're going to be ticking off people who are aiding and abetting criminals (again, illegal immigrants are criminals). Oh, and while we're at it, if you enter this country illegally, I'm not sure you should EVER be eligible for citizenship.

The lack of enforcement and the continued return to discussions of amnesty create an environment where people see it as a good idea to take their chances. If they come in illegally and manage to stay under the radar long enough, they'll probably eventually be able to stay here. How about this - NO. Break the law on the way in the door, and we'll tell you not to let it hit you in the butt on the way out. You get here legally, or not at all.

Certainly, I'm for streamlining the process for people who enter legally. Get them in, and let them start their new life.

As part of doing that though, most countries require certain conditions. A marketable job skill. The ability to speak the language. In some cases, a job in place, and money in the bank in case that doesn’t work out. I'm not for all of those, but I'm certainly for making sure that an immigrant is going to support the system, not drain it.

Rather than decreasing the quotas for places like Ireland, where we have few issues with illegals, let's cut that sucker down for habitual violators like Mexico. Or, better yet, give everyone an even playing field. This is how many we let in a year. First come, first served.

Any more than that, and you wait.

I'm tired of this 'middle of the road' stuff. All that happens when you stand in the middle of the road is you create a high risk of getting run over.

Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one Nation out of many peoples. The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America. English allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening a grocery, from cleaning offices to running offices, from a life of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of their own. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams ... they renew our spirit ... and they add to the unity of America.

Ah, yes, the appeasement part of the speech again. We're a melting pot. Yes, I know. But MY relatives got here legally, and worked their butts off to integrate. I agree - we welcome newcomers. But LEGAL newcomers. We don't need more criminals - we've got plenty.

As far as English goes, we still have one important problem, in that we've NEVER really taken to steps to make it an official language. For instance, we have signs, airport announcements, all sorts of things, in Spanish as much as English. That needs to end. You need to speak English here. Period.

Which, of course, means that we need to set up a system for immigrants where the first stop in the door is English instruction. Not optional ASL classes - make it a requirement. You will demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English, or you will not stay here.

Of course, many of our own citizens can't speak functional English, but that's another story...

And we need to deal with our quota system. Rather than decreasing the quotas for places like Ireland, where we have few issues with illegals, let's cut that sucker down for habitual violators like Mexico. Or, better yet, give everyone an even playing field. This is how many we let in a year. First come, first served. Any more than that, and you wait.

And then we have the tepid closing:

Tonight, I want to speak directly to Members of the House and the Senate: An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together - or none of them will be solved at all. The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month, so we can work out the differences between the two bills, and Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law.

America needs to conduct this debate on immigration in a reasoned and respectful tone. Feelings run deep on this issue - and as we work it out, all of us need to keep some things in mind. We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain. We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say.

I know many of you listening tonight have a parent or a grandparent who came here from another country with dreams of a better life. You know what freedom meant to them, and you know that America is a more hopeful country because of their hard work and sacrifice. As President, I have had the opportunity to meet people of many backgrounds, and hear what America means to them. On a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Laura and I met a wounded Marine named Guadalupe Denogean. Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean came to the United States from Mexico when he was a boy. He spent his summers picking crops with his family, and then he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps as soon as he was able. During the liberation of Iraq, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean was seriously injured. When asked if he had any requests, he made two - a promotion for the corporal who helped rescue him, and the chance to become an American citizen. And when this brave Marine raised his right hand, and swore an oath to become a citizen of the country he had defended for more than 26 years, I was honored to stand at his side.

We will always be proud to welcome people like Guadalupe Denogean as fellow Americans. Our new immigrants are just what they have always been - people willing to risk everything for the dream of freedom. And America remains what she has always been: the great hope on the horizon; an open door to the future; a blessed and promised land. We honor the heritage of all who come here, no matter where they are from, because we trust in our country's genius for making us all Americans - one Nation under God. Thank you, and good night.

Respectful tone? How about Washington shows the people of this country - the CITIZENS of this country, some respect. Don't treat me like you think I'm stupid enough to believe that any of these half measures are going to work, because they're not.

Absolutely, immigrants who come here legally and serve bravely in our Armed Forces are worthy of respect. Immigrants who come here legally and work to make this country a better place - without serving - are worthy of respect. And the citizens born here are worthy of respect too.

So don't sell the privileges of belonging in this country to people who don't respect the laws.

You know what I want for border control? Fences - big ones - electrified if possible. Sufficient border agents to deal with any and all breaches. Even-handed, firm, harsh penalties for anyone who breaks the immigration laws. Immediate deportation for anyone caught. I want a policy that says "Either you come here legally, or not at all."

I wanted our President to say "I will do all that is necessary to secure our border and protect this country."

And it just didn't happen.

Don't get me wrong - I still like our President. I don't regret voting for him. I still believe that as a nation at war, there was no better person to lead us.

But this is a front on that war, and in effect, a war in and of itself - a war to protect the identity and security of our nation. Are we going to be a land that enforces its laws and has its own identity, or are we going to cave to the agendas of particular groups and dangerous collective and relative thought? This country became great by allowing people to come here and work within the best system in the world - not by allowing people to flaunt that system and get ahead.

It's time for Washington to stop being concerned with what is going to play well in the political scene - and time to be concerned with doing what is right. The President seems to have lost sight of that in the sea of obscurity that permeates Washington.

Do I sound to harsh? Too black and white? Well, at least I am capable of delivering a clear message:

Secure the borders. Completely. Now.

Michelle Malkin gives her thoughts on the speech here, and has an amusing view of how the moonbats are going to handle troops being utilized at home.

David over at The Thunder Run adds his thoughts

and for a dissenting opinion, Uncle Jimbo scores the speech an A.

Also check out blog posts on immigration at The Truth Laid Bear

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Pensacola, Fla. (May 15, 2006) - Sailors who were once stationed aboard the now decommissioned aircraft carrier Oriskany (CVA 34) reminisce about their days aboard ship. Oriskany is schedule to be scuttled 22 miles south of Pensacola in approximately 212 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico, where it will become the largest ship ever intentionally sunk as an artificial reef. After the Oriskany reaches the bottom, ownership of the vessel will transfer from the Navy to the State of Florida. The public will be allowed to fish and dive on the ship two days later. Known as the "Big O," the 32,000-ton, 888-foot aircraft carrier was built at the New York Naval Shipyard and delivered to the Navy in 1950 where it later became a highly decorated veteran during conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Jackey Bratt

USMC Parade Schedule

Forwarded by Seamus

For those who may be coming to Washington this summer, the following information is provided for the Evening and Sunset Parade schedules:



If there is ANYBODY out there who hasn't seen either of these performances, take advantage of it while you're here. Your Marines are excellent and you'll never forget the experience.
CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY — Iraqi army soldiers perform a pass and review during a change of command ceremony at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 15, 2006. The Iraqi army 2nd Brigade, 9th Mechanized Division is assuming the command of the Sabeaa Al-Boor and Hora Al-Bash battlespace from U.S. Army soldiers with 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Larson

In Today's News - Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Quote of the Day
“No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand."
-- J. Michael Straczynski

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Six Iraqi Civilians, U.S. Soldier Killed in Baghdad Gunbattle
Relatives Testify in Saddam Trial
Researchers find no signs of "Iraq War Syndrome"
Defense witnesses take stand as Saddam trial resumes - Video
In Iraq war, time is a weapon

Operation Enduring Freedom

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Most Notorious Terrorists Not Held at Guantanamo
US releases fullest Guantanamo jail list to date
Beslan rebel committed terrorism: Russian judge
US renews ties with Libya - Video

Standing Firm - Video - Transcript
Special Section on Immigration
Raw Data: President's Speech
Speech Starts Early on Miscue
Video: Border Troops a Good Idea?
Video: Representatives React
Video: Frist Reacts to Speech

BellSouth: We Didn't Give NSA Customer Call Records

Worldwide Wackos
China backs EU plan on Iran stand-off
US bans arms sales to Venezuela
Chavez ridicules Washington's weapons ban
Latin America spats reveal Chavez reach - and limits
Castro Denies Forbes Report on His Wealth

Rove Blames Iraq War for Low Bush Numbers

Bookmaker has eyes on strip-poker record
Lingering longer in the lingerie
Golfer Not Liable for Errant Golf Ball
Thieves Steal Hilton's Mother's Day Gifts

News from My Neck of the Woods
New England Still Submerged
Rivers overflow, force evacuations
New England Sees Worst Floods in 70 Years

Other News of Note
Third Duke Lacrosse Player Charged in Alleged Rape
Video: Suspect Speaks Out
Radioactive Water Leaks From Japanese Nuke Plant

Fox News
Powerful Quake Strikes Deep Under South Pacific
Amputee Climbs Mt. Everest
NASA Spacecraft Crashed Into Satellite, Investigation Finds
'American Idol' Center

Reuters: Top News
Energy costs lift producer prices
New England hit by worst floods in 70 years
Lava flows down sides of Indonesian volcano
Sony to launch first Blu-ray notebook PC
Nokia launches Google Talk on Web tablet
Archive unlocks secrets of Holocaust bureaucracy
HIV drugs for children badly needed in China
Four million infected with hepatitis C in US
Bono turns newspaper editor for the day
Cannes to kick off with Da Vinci Code controversy
Recovering Perry set for center stage at Colonial
Neurocrine, Pfizer fall on FDA decision
Cognos slides 11 pct as filing delayed
Stock futures rise after housing, price data - Video
Nikkei falls for sixth session, energy firms down
Metals shares fall as copper, gold sell off
Oil, metals fall a correction, not meltdown
Latin America elections 06: Full coverage

AP World News
Wholesale Prices Jump 0.9 Percent in April
Mavs Ride Guards to OT Win Over Spurs
Gang Attacks in Brazil Kill More Than 80
Scientists Create World's Smallest Brush
Wallace Eats Words As Cavs Beat Pistons
Multimedia Babies: Good News, Bad News
Bush: 6,000 Troops to Border
Blog: The Battle of Yusifayah
New Blueprint for Irregular Warfare
Army Issues Warning About Iraq Documentary
Mexicans Say Guard Won't Slow Migrants
Military Unready for Another Katrina

CENTCOM: News Releases







Department of Defense
U.S., Libya Restore Diplomatic Relations - Story
Officials Release More Names of Detainees - Story
Rockets Injure Afghans; IED Makers Held - Story
Coalition Forces in Iraq Kill, Detain Terrorists - Story
Casey: Iraqis 'Hopeful About Their Future' - Commentary

Tank Brigade Assumes Combat Responsibility - Story - On Assignment

Al-Amarah Province Fire Station Renovated - Story

New Radio Station Opens in Afghan Province - Story
Army Secretary Harvey Visits Troops in Iraq - Story
Marines Aid Wounded, Ailing Iraqi Civilians - Story

Quick Reaction Force Secures Ops Areas
4th Infantry Division Troops Can See Kids Graduate

Soldier Runs 5K Race to Honor Grandmother
Army Chief of Staff Visits U.S., Afghan Troops

Task Force Commander Thanks Military Spouses
U.S. Trains Djiboutians in Border Security

War Steers Airman to Medicine - Story

Trio Riding for America's Patriots - Story
'Soldier Ride' Takes Off

Six Servicemembers Killed
U.S. Troops Conduct Patrol
Terrorists Kill Civilians in Baghdad
Transition Teams Mentor Iraqis
Council Discusses Security
Iraqi Calls for Cultural Awareness
Renewal In Iraq
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (PDF)
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

IED Injures Two Afghan Civilians
U.S. General Notes Progress
Air Strike Kills 4 Enemy Fighters
'Mountain Lion' Roars Into Valley
Afghan Police Discover IED
Afghanistan Update

Decatur Joins French-Led Force
House Votes on Border Security
Submarine USS Memphis Deploys
Rumsfeld Cites Intel Challenges
Guam Unit Trains for OEF Duty
Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Guard Likely to Get Border Tasking
Carrier Hosts Moroccan Dignitaries
National Guard Responds to Floods
Top Doc Talks Mental Health Issues
Pentagon Channel Marks 2nd Year
National Guard, Reserve Update

Defense Officials Identify Casualties - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1770 - Marie Antoinette marries future King Louis XVI of France.
1863 - At the Battle of Champion's Hill, Union General Grant repels the Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg.
1868 - President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during impeachment by one vote.
1879 - The Treaty of Gandamak (Russia / England) sets up the Afghan state.
1920 - Joan of Arc is canonized in Rome.
1943 - A Royal Air Force squadron destroys two river dams in Germany; Germans launch Operation Gypsy Baron.
1951 - Chinese Communist Forces launch a second step, fifth-phase offensive, gaining as much as 20 miles of territory.
1960 - A Big Four summit in Paris collapses in the wake of the USSR's downing of an American U-2 spy plane.
1963 - Gordon Cooper returns to Earth, after Project Mercury's last mission.
1968 - U.S. Navy Corpsman Donald E. Ballard earns the Medal of Honor for action in Quang Tri Province. When his unit was ambushed, an enemy soldier tossed a grenade into the midst of his unit and wounded men. He pulled the grenade under his body to sheild them. Fortunately, if failed to explode.

1801 - William Henry Seward, U.S. Secretary of State.
1824 - Edmund Kirby-Smith, CSA General.
1912 - Studs Terkel, author / historian.

1932 - Ki Imukai, premier of Japan, murdered.
1957 - Eliot Ness, of "The Untouchables" fame.
1989 - Hassan Khaled, sheik of Lebanon, murdered.
1996 - Pierre Debizet, residtance fighter / special agent.
1996 - Mike Jeremy Boorda, NATO commandant, suicide.

Reported Missing in Action
Crosson, Gerald J., USAF (NY); F4D shot down (w/Rickel)

Rickel, David J., USAF (FL); F4D shot down (w/Crosson)

Roark, Anund C., US Army (CA); KIA - threw self on grenade to protect comrades (w/Romine) - remains returned May, 1968

Romine, Albert W., US Army (KS); KIA in grenade explosion - remains returned May, 1968 - ID'd November, 1979

Conner, Edwin Ray, USN (TX); EKA3B crashed at sea (w/Skeen), Killed / BNR

Skeen, Richard Robert, USN (CA); EKA3B crashed at sea (w/Conner), Killed / BNR

The following US Army personnel reported MIA when their UH1H crashed, all Killed / BNR:
Crook, Elliott (AZ); crewchief

Farlow, Craig L. (OH); aircraft commander

Jacobson, Timothy J. (CA); door gunner

Nolan, Joseph P., Jr. (IL); pilot