Judge Bars Internet Access
To Indian Trust Information
A federal judge yesterday ordered the Interior Department to disconnect from the Internet any computers that provide access to records of individual Indian trust accounts. It was the fourth time since 2001 that Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered such a shutdown amid concerns that records detailing millions of dollars owed to Native Americans could be vulnerable to computer hackers.
Lamberth's most recent order was in March 2004, but an appeals court overturned it. Past shutdowns have made it difficult for people to get online information about national parks and monuments as well as for Interior offices to communicate with one another, but the new order is more limited.
The order is the most recent development in a long-running lawsuit in which a group of Indians are trying to force Interior to produce an accounting of all the grazing, energy and mineral royalties from Indian lands that the department had been managing since 1879.
Senate Votes to End 6-Year
Probe of Clinton Official
The Senate voted to end a long and costly federal investigation of former Clinton administration official Henry G. Cisneros, who pleaded guilty six years ago to a misdemeanor charge of lying to the FBI.
Cisneros served as housing secretary during President Bill Clinton's first term.
A former mayor of San Antonio who was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to charges that he lied to the FBI during a 1993 background check about payments he made to a former mistress. Clinton pardoned Cisneros in 2001.
Independent counsel David M. Barrett, who has continued operating at a cost of millions of dollars, has yet to submit a final report.
Report Says National Guard
Has Equipment Shortage
Army National Guard units are short of equipment at home because they have been told to leave such vital items as armored Humvees in Iraq for replacement troops, congressional investigators said.
As of June, Army National Guard units had left overseas more than 64,000 pieces of equipment worth more than $1.2 billion, and the Army cannot account for more than half, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
-- By Staff Reports and News Services