A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”
In their testimony, both men also allege that Blackwater was smuggling weapons into Iraq. One of the men alleges that Prince turned a profit by transporting “illegal” or “unlawful” weapons into the country on Prince’s private planes. They also charge that Prince and other Blackwater executives destroyed incriminating videos, emails and other documents and have intentionally deceived the US State Department and other federal agencies. The identities of the two individuals were sealed out of concerns for their safety.
For more than two years, the association has drawn attention to a statistic that one blogger today termed “a big old lie” — that college students were responsible for 44 percent of the movie industry’s claimed domestic losses, because of prodigious illegal downloading.
On Tuesday, reports confirmed that the crow-eating had commenced, starting with this sharper-than-usual lead paragraph from The Associated Press:
Hollywood laid much of the blame for illegal movie downloading on college students. Now, it says its math was wrong.
he math was wrong by a factor of three; the new estimate is down to 15 percent of the industry’s losses. The A.P. deemed that a “mistake” in its headline, while bloggers joyously chose words like “bogus,” “botched,” “grossly inflated” and “lying” in theirs.
My guess is the “corrected” numbers are still simply pulled out of their ass.
cientists have discovered that the spleen, long consigned to the B-list of abdominal organs and known as much for its metaphoric as its physiological value, plays a more important role in the body’s defense system than anyone suspected.
Reporting in the current issue of the journal Science, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School describe studies showing that the spleen is a reservoir for huge numbers of immune cells called monocytes, and that in the event of a serious trauma to the body like a heart attack, gashing wound or microbial invasion, the spleen will disgorge those monocyte multitudes into the bloodstream to tackle the crisis.
“The parallel in military terms is a standing army,” said Matthias Nahrendorf, an author of the report. “You don’t want to have to recruit an entire fighting force from the ground up every time you need it.”