"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Monday, April 28, 2008

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Impeach, Bush, Cheney, Torture is Unconstitutional and the Rape of The Constitution is Unconscionable!

Intolerable In Any Degree.

Guilty Beyond A Reasonable Doubt!

Guilt Documented Up To The Hilt

These Are Dangerous Times

No idea, however powerful and seductive, is enough on its own.

THE RISE OF FASCISM IN AMERICA: It will all seem so normal.

walk2web : courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes.blogspot.com's Microblog
courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes. Anonymous Said: Reply This is one powerful site. Add Comment.

Proceedings on the Impeachment of Richard Nixon (These words rang true then and ring true this day.)

Opening Statement To The House
Judiciary Committee,
Proceedings On The Impeachment Of Richard Nixon

by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

July 25, 1974

Mr. Chairman, I join my colleague Mr. Rangel in thanking you for giving the junior members of this committee the glorious opportunity of sharing the pain of this inquiry. Mr. Chairman, you are a strong man, and it has not been easy but we have tried as best we can to give you as much assistance as possible.

Earlier today we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, "We, the people". It is a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed, on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that "We, the people". I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision I have finally been included in "We, the people".

Today I am an inquisitor. I believe hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemnness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.

"Who can so properly be the inquisitors for the nation as the representatives of the nation themselves?" (Federalist, no. 65). The subject of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men." That is what we are talking about. In other words, the jurisdiction comes from the abuse of violation of some public trust. It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the president should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn't say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of this body, the legislature, against and upon the encroachment of the executive.

In establishing the division between the two branches of the legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judges the same person.

We know the nature of impeachment. We have been talking about it awhile now. "It is chiefly designed for the president and his high ministers" to somehow be called into account. It is designed to "bridle" the executive if he engages in excesses. "It is designed as a method of national inquest into the public men." (Hamilton, Federalist, no. 65.). The framers confined in the congress the power if need be, to remove the president in order to strike a delicate balance between a president swollen with power and grown tyrannical, and preservation of the independence of the executive. The nature of impeachment is a narrowly channeled exception to the separation-of-powers maxim; the federal convention of 1787 said that. It limited impeachment to high crimes and misdemeanors and discounted and opposed the term "maladministration." "It is to be used only for great misdemeanors," so it was said in the North Carolina ratification convention. And in the Virginia ratification convention: "We do not trust our liberty to a particular branch. We need one branch to check the others."

The North Carolina ratification convention: "No one need be afraid that officers who commit oppression will pass with immunity."

"Prosecutions of impeachments will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community," said Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, no. 65. "And to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused." I do not mean political parties in that sense.

The drawing of political lines goes to the motivation behind impeachment; but impeachment must proceed within the confines of the constitutional term "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Of the impeachment process, it was Woodrow Wilson who said that "nothing short of the grossest offenses against the plain law of the land will suffice to give them speed and effectiveness. Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest may secure a conviction; but nothing else can."

Common sense would be revolted if we engaged upon this process for insurance, campaign finance reform, housing, environmental protection, energy sufficiency, mass transportation. Pettiness cannot be allowed to stand in the face of such overwhelming problems. So today we are not being petty. We are trying to be big because the task we have before us is a big one.

This morning, in a discussion of the evidence, we were told that the evidence which purports to support the allegations of misuse of the CIA by the president is thin. We are told that that evidence is insufficient. What that recital of the evidence this morning did not include is what the president did know on June 23, 1972. The president did know that it was Republican money, that it was money from the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, which was found in the possession of one of the burglars arrested on June 17.

What the president did know on June 23 was the prior activities of E. Howard Hunt, which included his participation in the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, which included Howard Hunt's participation in the Dita Beard ITT affair, which included Howard Hunt's fabrication of cables designed to discredit the Kennedy administration.

We were further cautioned today that perhaps these proceedings ought to be delayed because certainly there would be new evidence forthcoming from the president. The committee subpoena is outstanding, and if the president wants to supply that material, the committee sits here.

The fact is that yesterday, the American people waited with great anxiety for eight hours, not knowing whether their president would obey an order of the Supreme Court of the United States.

At this point I would like to juxtapose a few of the impeachment criteria with some of the president's actions.

Impeachment criteria: James Madison, from the Virginia ratification convention. "If the president be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him, he may be impeached."

We have heard time and time again that the evidence reflects payment to the defendants of money. The president had knowledge that these funds were being paid and that these were funds collected for the 1972 presidential campaign.

We know that the president met with Mr. Henry Petersen twenty-seven times to discuss matters related to Watergate and immediately thereafter met with the very persons who were implicated in the information Mr. Petersen was receiving and transmitting to the president. The words are "if the president be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter that person, he may be impeached."

Justice Story: "Impeachment is intended for occasional and extraordinary cases where a superior power acting for the whole people is put into operation to protect their rights and rescue their liberties from violations."

We know about the Huston plan. We know about the break-in of the psychiatrist's office. We know that there was absolute complete direction in August 1971 when the president instructed Ehrlichman to "do whatever is necessary." This instruction led to a surreptitious entry into Dr. Fielding's office.

"Protect their rights." "Rescue their liberties from violation."

The South Carolina ratification convention impeachment criteria: those are impeachable "who behave amiss or betray their public trust."

Beginning shortly after the Watergate break-in and continuing to the present time, the president has engaged in a series of public statements and actions designed to thwart the lawful investigation by government prosecutors. Moreover, the president has made public announcements and assertions bearing on the Watergate case which the evidence will show he knew to be false.

These assertions, false assertions, impeachable, those who misbehave. Those who "behave amiss or betray their public trust."

James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: "A president is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution."

The Constitution charges the president with the task of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, and yet the president has counseled his aides to commit perjury, willfully disregarded the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, concealed surreptitious entry, attempted to compromise a federal judge while publicly displaying his cooperation with the processes of criminal justice.

"A president is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution."

If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that eighteenth century Constitution should be abandoned to a twentieth-century paper shredder. Has the president committed offenses and planned and directed and acquiesced in a course of conduct which the Constitution will not tolerate? That is the question. We know that. We know the question. We should now forthwith proceed to answer the question. It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision."

Demand Accountability for Bush's Top-Down Torture Policy

In a stunning admission to ABC news, President Bush declared that he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details of the CIA's use of torture. Bush also defended the use of waterboarding - simulated drowning where the victim feels like they are about to die.

Congress should long ago have gotten to the bottom of which top officials approved, condoned and authorized U.S. involvement in torture. But, now that the President has admitted to a policy of top-down torture, it's even more critical that Congress get involved. Take action: tell your members of Congress you demand accountability for torture now! Or, read more first.

ACLU SOURCE PAGE Torture is Wrong, Illegal and Un-American

ACLU Demands Immediate Release of Inspector General Report on FBI's Role in Illegal Interrogations




On the heels of President Bush directly admitting that the White House was deeply and intimately involved in decisions about the CIA's use of torture, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request this week with the Departments of Justice and Defense for the release of a report on a long-running investigation of the FBI's role in the unlawful interrogations of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay.

The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) launched the investigation after internal government documents - uncovered by an ACLU lawsuit - revealed that FBI agents stationed at Guantánamo Bay expressed concern after witnessing military interrogators' use of brutal interrogation techniques.

According to recent media reports, the OIG investigation has been completed for months. The Defense Department, however, has blocked the OIG from releasing it, claiming that the report still needs to be reviewed and redacted by the Pentagon.

>> Read the documents received in the ACLU's FOIA litigation.

Documents Obtained By ACLU Describe Charges of Murder and Torture of Prisoners in Afghanistan

ACLU And HRF Ask Circuit Court To Reconsider Rumsfeld Torture Case (4/25/2008)
NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First (HRF) today filed an unusual motion in federal court in an effort to overturn the dismissal of a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The March 2005 lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine Iraqi and Afghan former civilian detainees who were tortured while in U.S. military custody and eventually released without being charged with a crime. The lawsuit charged that then-Secretary Rumsfeld was legally responsible for policies and practices leading to the torture and abuse of detainees.

Impeachment editorial sparks angry response
Nashua Telegraph - Nashua,NH,USA
The Telegraph's editorial "
Impeachment vote a pointless exercise" (April 16) is the perfect example of why we, the people, should proceed at this time. ...

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2008

Impeachment Editorial Sparks Angry Response

The Telegraph's editorial "Impeachment vote a pointless exercise" (April 16) is the perfect example of why we, the people, should proceed at this time.

Had the media (print, radio and TV) done their job and exposed the lies, power grab, and other high crimes against the Republic, instead of merely voicing ". . . having disagreements with the president . . ." this call for impeachment may not have been necessary.

What can you be thinking? Where were you when the president and vice president admitted to wiretapping American citizens without judicial approval?

Where were you when they admitted to authorizing torture?

Where were you when the president commuted a jail sentence for its own employee convicted of lying to cover up the treasonous act of outing a CIA operative?

You did not do your job. Did you call for President Nixon's impeachment? Most likely not. And here we are again with a president thinking he is above the law.

However, this time his illegal actions have resulted (so far) in the death of more than 4,000 brave military men and women and unknown thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

Maybe the next time a president decides to circumvent the Republic's laws more American lives will be squandered, not to mention other innocent lives in the country of our next folly.

Both houses of the U.S. Congress (Republican and Democratic members) are equally blameworthy.

Where were they then? And where are they now? Did they drink the "9/11 Kool-Aid" as well? They did not and they are not doing their job.

Not repudiating this repugnant, illegal and dangerous behavior of this president, no matter how long he has left in office, is folly of the highest degree. Inaction simply greases the slippery slope to constitutional crisis.

Are you willing to suspend the constitutionally prescribed process for waging war and treating human beings based on trumped up intelligence, speech innuendo and secret acts?

The president has diminished our Republic and sadly you have chosen to be silent; not only that, but you have chosen to side with those who would silence voices of sanity.

You should be ashamed of yourselves, professionally as journalists and personally as citizens of this country.

Joseph Distefano

NH State Democratic Party Convention Resolutions Committee to Vote on Impeachment Resolution

Submitted by Chip on Sun, 2008-04-27 17:59.

Impeachment GO BETTY! (Ed.)

Impeachment Resolution submitted to the New Hampshire State Democratic Party Convention Resolutions Committee for vote.

Brookline, New Hampshire — Rep. Hall submitted a resolution for consideration by the Democratic State Party Convention on May 17, 2008. The new resolution offered by Representative Hall will give the Democrats of New Hampshire a chance to support the efforts in the NH House of Representatives to remove HR24 from the table and encourage debate.

Representative Betty Hall D-Hillsborough, District 5 (Hollis, Brookline, Mason) sponsor of HR24 Petition to Commence Impeachment Procedures in the United States Congress was tabled by action of the NH State House of Representatives last Wednesday.

In 2006, a similar resolution was submitted to the Democratic Party by Representative Robert Perry (D) of Strafford, District 3 and was adopted by unanimous vote by the 2006 Convention. Since then Representative Perry and Representative Hall have continued to support efforts to start impeachment procedures in the United States Congress.

The Resolution Committee of the NH Democratic Party will hold a Public hearing on the resolutions at the NHDP Headquarters on 2 1/2 Beacon St., Concord, NH 03301 on May 6th at 7 pm. There will be an opportunity to renew support for resolutions favored by the previous conventions as were the Iraq war resolution and others.

NH House Rules and Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure published by the National Conference of State Legislatures provide the references.

Democrat Dennis Kucinich's proposal to Impeach Vice President Cheney HR 799 was introduced on a privileged motion last year in the United States Congress. An effort to table this motion in Congress (where a tabling motion effectively kills a Resolution) was defeated, with the support of 189 Republicans and 70 Democrats including Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter and Congressman Paul Hodes of NH. It was then sent to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House. No action has been taken by Chairman Conyers of the US House Judiciary Committee. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's opposition to impeachment is controversial within her own party.

Unlike The United States Congress, NH House rules permit removing a Bill or Resolution which has been put on the table by a majority vote, to be removed from the table by a majority vote. Action can then be continued subject to exactly the same requirements as when it was temporarily set aside by the motion to table. If a deadline has passed while it was on the table, then that deadline would require a suspension of the rules in order for the bill or resolution to proceed just as with any bill. This is often misunderstood because the deadlines do require a 2/3 vote majority to suspend. But since HR24 is not subject to a deadline and does not have to be sent to the Senate, any member can make a motion to take it off the table at any time right up to the end of the session.

HR24 will require just a majority of those present and voting when it is brought up. It is just resting while Representatives can listen to more input from constituents and gather a majority.

An Open Letter to Republican Members of the US House of ...
By Sue Serpa
Therefore we call upon you, congressman, to support the immediate commencement of impeachment hearings, first against Vice President Dick Cheney, then against President George W. Bush, based on the following articles: ...
- http://www.neimpeach.org/wp

Criminals in the White House?
Political Cortex - New York,NY,USA
I am calling for the immediate impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney." Just as the (so-called) Christian Crusaders have never been forgotten, ...
See all stories on this topic

Conway, Massachusetts


City/Town: Conway
County: Franklin
State: Massachusetts
Congressional District: (click to contact Rep.) 1

Population (2000 Census): 1,809
Date Passed: 04/12/04

Petition to the Select Board of Conway, Massachusetts

Approved by: Conway Town Meeting

Whereas several Acts and Orders recently enacted at the Federal level, including sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and several Executive Orders, now threaten many of our fundamental rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and by the United States Constitution Bill of Rights, including

•Freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy;
•The right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and
•Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and

Whereas these civil liberties are now threatened by

A. The USA PATRIOT Act, which

•All but eliminates judicial supervision of telephone and internet surveillance;
•Greatly expands the government's ability to conduct secret searches;
•Gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as "terrorist organizations"; and
•Grants the FBI broad access to sensitive medical, mental health, financial and educational records about individuals without having to show evidence of a crime and without a court order; and

B. Federal Executive Orders, which

•Establish secret military tribunals for terrorism suspects;
•Permit wiretapping of conversations between federal prisoners and their lawyers;
•Lift Justice Department regulations against illegal COINTELPRO-type operations by the FBI (covert activities that in the past targeted domestic groups and individuals); and
•Limit the disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act;

Therefore we place this article for the annual Town Meeting Warrant of April 12, 2004:

To see if the Town, honoring those who have sacrificed their lives to protect our liberties, will pass a resolution requesting:

1. That local law enforcement, to the extent legally permissible, continue to preserve residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and privacy; rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, even if requested or authorized to infringe upon these rights by federal law enforcement, acting under new powers granted by the USA PATRIOT Act or orders of the Executive Branch;

2. That our local, state and federal officials report regularly and publicly to the Town the ways in which they have acted in Western Massachusetts under the USA PATRIOT Act, new Executive Orders, or covert domestic intelligence regulations, including disclosing the names of any Conway area residents who have been detained;

3. That our Congressman and Senators monitor the implementation of the Acts and Orders cited herein, vote against any attempt to make the USA PATRIOT Act permanent, and actively work for the repeal of the parts of those Acts and Orders that violate our fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States; or take any action relative thereto.

Impeachment! Council okays resolution, 4-1

By baiano(baiano)
WILLITS, CA — By a 4-1 vote the Willits City Council approved a resolution recommending impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. The room was packed with impeachment supporters and about 20 ...
Bushit - http://bushit1.blogspot.com/

http://www.bordc.org/ Bill of Rights Defense Committee:

All Rights Reserved · info@bordc.org
8 Bridge St., Suite A · Northampton, MA 01060 · (413) 582-0110
Last Updated: March 21, 2008 8:07 PM

Dont Back Down When They Take Your Freedom Of Speech
Go back to a republic. Impeach President Bush and Vice President 'Dick' Cheney. Impeach the entire Administration. Including the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The CIA, FBI, DIA, and NSA will all need a good cleaning out as well. ...
Observations - http://rea1001.blogspot.com/

Don’t miss this next one!

Methodists still resisting Bush Library at SMU
By Mikael
torture.jpg Subject: AN APPEAL TO SMU PETITION SIGNERS April 24, 2008 Reply-To: listmanager@vitalvisuals.com. I am Andrew J. Weaver, who organized the petition at www.protectSMU.org. I am an ordained United Methodist minister and ...
Impeach Bush For Peace - http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog

The Tarnished Brass

As it prepared to invade Iraq five years ago, the Bush administration called up retired military officers to help sell the war. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his propaganda team courted as many as 75 retired military officers who could best market the Pentagon line, particularly on television. As detailed in The Times on Sunday, many of these officers used their access to Pentagon bigwigs to promote their private businesses.

The deal was simple: Offer good news on Iraq, even when the news is bad.

All administrations try to spin, or even manipulate, the news media, but this White House has taken that to a new low. The Bush administration has hired actors to pose as journalists. It has produced mock news bulletins to promote its view of the Iraq war. At least one conservative commentator was paid $240,000 to go on television to promote President Bush’s education policies. Now, based on thousands of e-mail messages and other documents, The Times’s David Barstow has outlined how the Pentagon used a “Trojan horse” of former military officers to parrot falsely positive messages.

These willful distortions only undermine any remaining shreds of the administration’s credibility and demean the former officers. They also failed to fool the public.

Mr. Bush’s national security team — and many Pentagon officers — continues to labor under the tragic delusion that negative coverage, rather than the bad news itself, undermined public support for the war in Vietnam. So the propaganda experts created the instant commentariat of decorated retired generals and admirals who could seem to be strong and independent voices.

Elect to End Torture:Sign the Petition Today

Join these 65,052 other Americans for Human Rights and stand against torture.

The Bush Team's Geneva Hypocrisy

Sat, 2008-04-26 04:13.

By Jason Leopold

Newly released U.S. government documents, detailing how Bush administration officials punched legalistic holes in the Geneva Convention’s protections of war captives, stand in stark contrast to the outrage some of the same officials expressed in the first week of the Iraq War when Iraqi TV interviewed several captured American soldiers.

Then, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush and other administration officials orchestrated a chorus of outrage, citing those TV scenes as proof of the Iraq’s government contempt for international law in general and the Geneva Convention in particular.

“It is a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention to humiliate and abuse prisoners of war or to harm them in any way. As President Bush said yesterday, those who harm POWs will be found and punished as war criminals,” Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said on March 24, 2003.

That same day, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the BBC that “the Geneva Convention is very clear on the rules for treating prisoners. They're not supposed to be tortured or abused, they're not supposed to be intimidated, they're not supposed to be made public displays of humiliation or insult, and we're going to be in a position to hold those Iraqi officials who are mistreating our prisoners accountable, and they've got to stop.”

At a March 25, 2003, press briefing about progress in the U.S.-led invasion, Secretary Rumfeld said, “This war is an act of self defense, to be sure, but it is also an act of humanity. … In recent days, the world has witnessed further evidence of their [Iraqi] brutality and their disregard for the laws of war. Their treatment of coalition POWs is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.”

The U.S. news media also assisted in this one-sided indictment by uncritically reporting the administration’s complaints while staying silent on the fact that just days earlier, American TV had run scenes of captured Iraqi soldiers, some forced to kneel down at gunpoint to be patted down by U.S. soldiers.

This behavior of the U.S. news media during the early phase of the Iraq War fit with its lack of skepticism in the months leading up to the March 19, 2003, invasion as Bush administration officials spoon-fed the press false intelligence alleging secret Iraqi WMD stockpiles and covert links to al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

So, perhaps it should have come as no surprise when the U.S. news media treated the TV footage of American POWs as further evidence that Iraq was run by a lawless regime with no respect for the rules of war. [For a contemporaneous account of the POW issue, see Consortiumnews.com’s “International Law a la Carte.”]

Stunning Hypocrisy

In retrospect – now with much more of the documentary record available – the disparity between the administration’s outrage toward the Iraqis for showing the video and the abuse inflicted by the U.S. government on captives from the Iraq and Afghan wars is stunning.

Declassified documents reveal that the Bush administration concocted legal theories to justify sidestepping the Geneva Convention when it came to prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, at secret CIA prisons and at various locations in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib where shocking photos were leaked of sexual and physical abuse in 2004.

Indeed, while U.S. government officials were preaching to Iraqis about the rules of war, the Bush administration was seven months into a secret interrogation program that authorized CIA interrogators to question Afghan and al-Qaeda detainees using brutal methods.

The techniques included painful “stress positions,” forced nudity in cold conditions and the simulated drowning of waterboarding, practices that human rights organizations say violated Geneva and anti-torture laws.

The Bush administration also ordered the CIA to engage in “extraordinary renditions,” which involved kidnapping terror suspects and shipping them to countries that are known to practice torture.

If held to the same standards that the Bush administration demanded of the Iraqi military, U.S. officials implicated in these policies would be guilty of violating the Geneva Convention, said Claire Tixeire, a human rights attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.

“They clearly knew that the laws of war were supposed to apply to prisoners apprehended by the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they found every legal loophole to find ways it didn't apply to the U.S. side,” Tixeire said in an interview.

Tixeire, whose organization is defending some of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, said that while U.S. officials may have had a point in accusing the Iraqi military of violating the Geneva Convention over the TV interviews, the way the U.S. treated Iraqi captives was much worse.

“It’s clear to me these actions came down from the very top,” Tixeire said. “Denying prisoners of war humane treatment is the greatest breach of the Geneva Convention. It's a war crime. They put U.S. troops at risk for being treated inhumanely if they were captured.”

When asked recently about the past statements about Iraqi violations of the Geneva Convention, representatives for Clarke, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld said the now-former officials would not comment for this story.

Anti-Torture Laws

The actions of the Bush administration also flouted the 1984 "Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," which was approved by 145 nations, including the United States. It declares that:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Moreover, the convention says individuals who resort to torture cannot defend their actions by saying they were acting on orders from superiors and it mandates that torturers be prosecuted wherever they are found.

The United States signed the Convention Against Torture in 1988 under President Ronald Reagan, who hailed it as “a significant step” in preventing torture, which he called “an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.”

In a May 20, 1988, message to the U.S. Senate, Reagan noted that “the core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called ‘universal jurisdiction.’”

According to that provision, “each state party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.”

It was this Convention, ratified by the Senate in 1994, that Bush administration officials sought to bypass with legal memos, many drafted by John Yoo of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

The administration memos argued that the Geneva Convention did not apply to detainees in the “war on terror” and that President Bush’s commander-in-chief powers allowed him to ignore laws in the interest of protecting the nation.

The record now shows that during the same week in March 2003 – when Rumsfeld was publicly berating Iraq for violating the Geneva Convention by broadcasting footage of American POW’s – he was engaged in drafting a top-secret plan that would give military interrogators at Guantanamo wide latitude to use harsher techniques to obtain information from prisoners.

Rumsfeld signed off on the plan on April 2, 2003, according to documents declassified and turned over to the American Civil Liberties Union last month in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Though some of the more extreme techniques were dropped as the list was winnowed down to 24 from 35, the final set of interrogation methods Rumsfeld approved still included tactics for isolating and demeaning a detainee, known as "pride and ego down."

Such degrading tactics would appear to contravene the Geneva Convention, which bars abusive or demeaning treatment of captives.

Reports of Abuse

Weeks after the Iraq invasion, human rights groups started receiving information about the abuse of dozens of Iraqi prisoners at Camp Cropper, Camp Bucca and Abu Ghraib, and the deaths of two prisoners, one of whom died of a crushed larynx, and the other with a hard blow to the head.

Amnesty International sent a letter to the head of the U.S. occupation, Paul Bremer, on June 26, 2003, raising concerns about abuses during house searches, treatment during arrest and detention, people being forced to lie face down on the ground; use of hoods or blind folds, exposure to sun and heat for hours, limited amount of water supplied, and lack of proper washing and toilet facilities.

One month later, Amnesty International released a report, "Iraq: memorandum on concerns relating to law and order," warning of allegations of torture and abuse in U.S. prisons, including Abu Ghraib.

"Regrettably, testimonies from recently released detainees held at Camp Cropper and Abu Ghraib Prison do not suggest that conditions of detention have improved," the report said.

There are "a number of reports of cases of detainees who have died in custody, mostly as a result of shooting by members of the Coalition forces." A Saudi national "alleged that he was subjected to beatings and electric shocks."

Photographs backing up these allegations would surface a year later in two investigative news reports, one by Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker and the other by "60 Minutes II," which detailed the systematic abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Months before the worldwide condemnation of the treatment of the Abu Ghraib prisoners, Rumsfeld sent Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller was sent to Baghdad from Guantanamo Bay to “hit back at the [Iraqi] insurgents...through unorthodox means,” according to a May 10, 2004, front-page story in the Washington Post.

"He came up there and told me he was going to 'Gitmoize' the detention operation," turning it into a hub of interrogation, said Brig. Gen. Janis L. Karpinski, then commander of the military prison system in Iraq, according to the Post.

Hersh wrote in The New Yorker’s May 24, 2004, issue that “the roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year [2003] by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focused on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. …

“The solution, endorsed by Rumsfeld and carried out by Stephen Cambone, was to get tough with those Iraqis in the Army prison system who were suspected of being insurgents. … Rumsfeld and Cambone went a step further, [bringing] unconventional methods to Abu Ghraib. … The male prisoners could be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual humiliation.”

Tarnished Image

Amrit Singh, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project and the co-author of Administration of Torture, added that Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials by “holding up the Geneva Convention and saying it did not apply to some prisoners have tarnished the image of the U.S. throughout the world.”

Even after the programs governing interrogations were exposed, Rumsfeld made sure that a loophole in a new Defense Department policy issued in November 2005, which barred torture and called for the "humane" treatment of detainees, gave him and his deputy the authority to override it.

"Intelligence interrogations will be conducted in accordance with applicable law, this directive and implementing plans, policies, orders, directives, and doctrine developed by DoD components and approved by USD (I), unless otherwise authorized, in writing, by the secretary of defense or deputy secretary of defense," the policy says. "USD (I)" refers to the undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

Rumsfeld resigned in November 2006.

Investigative reporter Jason Leopold is the author of News Junkie, a memoir. Visit http://www.newsjunkiebook.com for a preview.

Conyers Must Subpoena Ashcroft and Yoo Under Threat of Impeachment

Against the Tide
By Ché Pasa(Ché Pasa)
Cheney, the news broke: the US Supreme Court had declared the Florida recount unconstitutional. The Court authorized Katharine Harris, Florida's Republican secretary of state,to declare Bush and Cheney victorious. ..
Ché (What You Call Your) Pasa - http://chewhatyoucallyourpasa.blogspot.com/


Telephone records are just the tip of NSA's iceberg

The National Security Agency and other U.S. government organizations have developed hundreds of software programs and analytic tools to "harvest" intelligence, and they've created dozens of gigantic databases designed to discover potential terrorist activity both inside the United States and overseas.

These cutting edge tools -- some highly classified because of their functions and capabilities -- continually process hundreds of billions of what are called "structured" data records, including telephone call records and e-mail headers contained in information "feeds" that have been established to flow into the intelligence agencies.

The multi-billion dollar program, which began before 9/11 but has been accelerated since then. Well over 100 government contractors have participated, including both small boutique companies whose products include commercial off-the-shelf software and some of the largest defense contractors, who have developed specialized software and tools exclusively for government use. [complete article] (Including a list of some 500 software tools, databases, data mining and processing efforts contracted for, under development or in use at the NSA and other intelligence agencies today)

Pelosi: Who’s Afraid OF The Big Bad Sheehan” (Damn I am so sick of Pelosi! Ed.)

Larry King: You mention Iraq. I guess the most famous anti-war activist, Cindy Sheehan, is going to run against you.

Speaker Pelosi: Yes, she certainly is.

Larry King: In the Democratic primary?

Speaker Pelosi: No, as an independent.

Larry King: She's running as an independent. Would you debate her? How do you view that?

Speaker Pelosi: Well -- (CROSSTALK)

Larry King: I guess you share her views, don't you?

Speaker Pelosi: Yes, well, God bless her. And I think it's a reflection of the dissatisfaction that people have that we have not been able to end the war. But we were hoping that the president would pay more attention to the wishes of the American people, not turn a tin ear to them and a blind eye to what's actually happening in Iraq, but God bless her for her advocacy. Cindy Sheehan lost her son in Iraq. And so she has all of my sympathy, respect for her sacrifice that her family has made.

Larry King: Are you surprised she picked you to run against?

Speaker Pelosi: I don't even think about it much. You know, I have a day job. We're here trying to –

Larry King: OK.

Sympathy for Dick Cheney

Submitted by davidswanson on Fri, 2008-04-25 14:52.


By David Swanson

Remarks delivered in Oakland, Calif., on April 24, 2008.

It's wonderful to be here in the Bay Area and to discover that wherever Nancy Pelosi gets her ideas from, it's not from her constituents. But I have some bad news for you. Last night I spoke in San Luis Obispo on why we should impeach Dick Cheney. The night before that was a speech in Ventura on why we should not dump another $178 billion into the occupation of Iraq and why we should impeach Dick Cheney. But on the drive up here from San Luis Obispo I had a long conversation with someone who began to change my mind. I confess that I had, prior to today, not given proper consideration to how impeaching Dick Cheney could backfire, namely by turning Dick Cheney into a figure of sympathy.

Imagine if we held impeachment hearings on Cheney's support for torture, for example. This could involve dragging across our television screens and newspaper front pages accounts, and possibly videos, of meetings in which Cheney and his lawyer and his close associates discussed and dramatized and gave approval for specific acts of torture, including some very intense and in some cases probably sexual acts of torture performed on some very exotic and thrillingly frightening evildoers. The personal pleasure that Dick Cheney may have derived from these torture approval sessions is as private an affair as some past president's oral sexcapades, and sticking the public's nose where it doesn't belong is likely, I now realize, to result in comparisons being drawn between the victimization of Dick Cheney and that of Princess Diana.

Or imagine if we were to hold impeachment hearings that meticulously laid before the public the lead role Cheney played in fabricating a false case for attacking Iraq. Americans admire a strong work ethic, and Cheney worked very long hours for many months without a break, relentlessly badgering the CIA, the Pentagon, Congress, and the media. And we put him to all that trouble because of our predictable failure to understand the need to attack Iraq for the reasons Cheney and his friends had so straightforwardly presented in the papers of the Project for a New American Century. If we had supported the real reasons, Cheney would never have had to go to all that trouble to invent fake ones. Now guilt may begin to set in, which will only add to the sympathy we feel for Dick Cheney.

And, remember that when certain busybodies exposed some of Cheney's laboriously constructed lies, he was forced to go to even more trouble to destroy their careers or expose their wives as secret agents. Do you think that was pleasant? Do you think Cheney enjoyed exposing a CIA agent? This is the same man who is presently constructing a multi-million dollar house in Virginia just a few minutes' walk from CIA headquarters. Don't you think he'd prefer to get along with the neighbors and not have been caused all that grief? Imagine the sympathetic figure Dick Cheney might become if impeachment hearings examined where he obtained his millions of dollars, profiting from a company to which he directed no-bid contracts for the work of pretending to reconstruct a country he had just destroyed.

So, I now take my friend's concerns very seriously. Impeachment, I now see, might very well backfire. In fact, I think it might go even worse. Along with Dick Cheney, we might very well turn John McCain into a figure of sympathy. An impeachment hearing on torture, for example, would bring back into the news that unfortunate incident in which Cheney lobbied Congress not to absurdly and redundantly re-criminalize torture, but McCain lobbied successfully to do so. Bush signed the bill into law and added a little "signing statement" drafted by Cheney's lawyer that said, effectively, "We'll torture if we want to, and we'll start with you, John McCain, if you make a peep about it." OK, it didn't actually say that last bit, but from that moment on, McCain became a supporter of torture.

Imagine if the media were forced to drop its fascistic fetishes with flag pins and religions and instead ask John McCain if he would torture as president, and how a supposed victim of torture who used to condemn it as both evil and useless can justify that, and if he can justify that how there can possibly be anything he couldn't justify. If those mean reporters make John McCain scream or cry, he might not stand a snowball's chance in hell of being elected president, but he'll become a figure of sympathy. I feel sorry for the poor gutless murdering bastard myself already.

You know who else I feel sorry for - seriously - Nancy Pelosi, because she has Shirley Golub and Cindy Sheehan and all of you to contend with. When you get your so-called economic stimulus tax rebate checks in the mail, I recommend signing them over to one or both of those candidates. And write in the memo line "FOR IMPEACHMENT." And photocopy the check, and send photocopies to Nancy Pelosi and to newspapers.

Almost three years ago, on May 1, 2005, the Downing Street Minutes were published, and a lot of us worked for a year together with John Conyers pushing for impeachment. Well, we were pushing for impeachment. Conyers may have just been pushing for our votes to make him a chairman and give him a bigger office. Because guess what happened in the first week of May 2006? Actually two things happened, but I've come to think of them as one. First, the Republican National Committee released a statement announcing that any talk of impeachment would backfire and benefit Republicans in the 2006 elections. This statement did not even pretend to be based on any evidence, and it flew in the face of every relevant poll. In fact, as it turned out, a poll not long before the elections found that a majority of Americans believed that giving the Democrats a majority would mean impeachment. And what happened? Americans gave the Democrats 30 new seats and the Republicans not a single one (or possible 40 or 50 new seats if we had elections that based the outcomes on - you know - who got the most votes).

So, the RNC's statement looked like a bluff, and it proved to be baseless. But I forgot to mention the second thing that happened that first week of May 2006: Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the table, in obedience to the RNC. And from that moment on, John Conyers' position on impeachment has paralleled John McCain's on banning torture.

But the movement for impeachment has grown anyway, with leaders in Congress including Dennis Kucinich (ask him to please introduce the articles of impeachment he has drafted on George W. Bush!) and Robert Wexler, who is pushing for impeachment hearings from within the Judiciary Committee. Those supporting impeachment include Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, and more recently Pete Stark. Barbara Lee was invited here tonight and did not come. Brad Newsham did come and is running against her in the primary on June 3rd because, while she's put her name on a resolution, she has not spoken out for impeachment, lobbied her colleagues for it, or introduced a new resolution or articles of impeachment. And Brad is going to be a write-in candidate, something that any of you can be in any California district by collecting 40 signatures by May 20th.

Another Brad, Brad Sherman, has been moved by his constituents and by new revelations regarding torture, and he is moving in the direction of supporting impeachment. And Pete Stark signed onto Kucinich's resolution because the amazing Cynthia Papermaster threatened to run against him. Having won that battle, Cynthia announced she would run against Zoe Lofgren instead. And Lofgren's constituents are pushing her too, and she's starting to come around.

Other pro-impeachment candidates I know of include Bill Callison challenging George Miller, Eugene Ruyle challenging Ellen Tauscher, and Republican Mike Moloney and Barry Hermanson, both in the 12th district. And Carol Brouillet who is here tonight and running in the 14th. Support these candidates!

And don't imagine that we can't accomplish anything. Last week Senator Hillary Clinton gave the peace movement credit for defeating her campaign. She didn't concede yet, although mathematically she has no chance, but she made clear who will get the credit for it when she does. She blamed the Democratic Party's activist base, which she said turns out in annoyingly large numbers and disagrees with her on foreign policy. She meant you. Give yourselves a round of applause.

Now the Democrats are hurting their own chances in 2008 by failing to do what we elected them to do in 2006 on impeachment and on peace. And we are losing the power we gained in 2006 by not forcing them to do so. Impeachment hearings would benefit Obama and the Democrats as well as restoring the rule of law to Washington. A commitment by Obama to prosecute Bush and Cheney for their crimes would give him a landslide. A serious effort by Obama to block the next $178 (or so) billion for Iraq would also give him a landslide. Have you noticed that the White House wants another war money vote just before the elections, and the Democrats don't? Obama won't understand unless we show it to him. Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney are trying to show it to him, and they could use our help. We need to make clear to the Democrats that they cannot fund another year and a half of slaughter, spending our grand children's borrowed treasure, and still call themselves opponents of what they are funding.

Imagine if Nancy Pelosi were to mortgage her house, empty her bank accounts, max out her credit cards, and give all that money to Halliburton with a little gift card expressing her sincere opposition to everything Halliburton does. She would look no more foolish than she does right now, and I'd prefer that scenario because she'd be leaving the rest of us out of it.

With apparently no awareness of irony, Pelosi apparently now wants to include unemployment benefits in this latest bill to fund a war that is wrecking our economy.

If we do not push back against this funding, we lose all credibility and we lose any momentum to push back next year should we fail this time. And do not doubt for a minute that we will have to keep pushing hard next year to end the occupation of Iraq no matter who gets elected. It may be Obama and he may prove to be a better president than he currently lets on, but if so it will be because we built the movement to compel him / allow him to be a great president.

We also must keep up the pressure on the counter-recruitment front. Medea tells me that San Francisco may ban the JROTC. Those are the steps that will make a difference. Wars begin in our schools, and they cannot be fought without troops to fund them.

And I have a support-the-troops proposal for you. If Speaker Pelosi insists that the $178 billion is for the troops in Iraq, then I say give it to them. That's roughly a million dollars per troop. The troops that want to give part or all of their share to the contractors and mercenaries and profiteers can do that. Those that want to fund a continued occupation can do that. And those who choose to can buy a plane ticket home. Remember Petraeus bragging about how the United States is selling commercial airplanes to Iraq. Somebody has to use them.

Support the troops. Bring them home.

I want to close by mentioning the first of May which is fast approaching. May Day is the original Labor Day, 122 years since the Haymarket Massacre during the successful struggle for the 8-hour day. Imagine if those who struggled for generations had said "I'd really like an 8-hour day but I know it's not likely to ever happen and we'd just look foolish asking for it."

This May Day is 5 years since Mission Accomplished Day, 3 years since Downing Street Minutes Day, and 2 years since Pelosi desecrated our Constitution by stripping out the power of impeachment. The International Longshoremen's and Warehouse Workers Union (ILWU) plans to block the ports in opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Finally, after five years, we have a labor movement worthy of the name! Other unions and peace and impeachment groups and immigrants rights groups plan a day of resistance. I know there are a lot of events planned in the Bay Area, but I encourage you to go to http://Democrats.com/mayday and post there that you will go at some time on May 1st to the nearest office of your congress member and demand impeachment hearings for Dick Cheney.

We have killed over a million people in Iraq and probably injured 10 million more and made 4 million refugees. We have ruined or ended the lives of at least half the population of Iraq, and we are committing these crimes right now. Impeachment and only impeachment can halt the slaughter and prevent similar future wars, including the "obliteration" of Iran. Impeachment and only impeachment can give us once again a government of, by, and for the people. Let's save our country. Let's keep our republic. Thank you for everything you do.

Our only Constitution and our only chance at the Rule of Law

Submitted by channing on Fri, 2008-04-25 19:30.

"I feel sorry for the poor gutless murdering bastard myself already."

I feel sorry for the all those Rich gutless murdering bastards too, I mean it really hurts when these Congressional representatives and Vice Presidents of the Military Industrial Complex have to continually receive their Dividend Checks and Campaign Donations, those Invitation-Only $2,500/pop sitting-next-to-the-prince/princess dinners, and super-reclusive lifestyles that is just plane part of the sacrifice they must make on our behalf... errr

Pelosi's head is "light" with power, thinking she is the 1st woman blah, blah, blah, and failing to recognize what a disgrace to women-in-politics she's become to this 100+year movement. Single-handedly, she's established as fact that greed, corruption and self-importance is more powerful than gender. That a sliver of hope in women as being intrinsically capable of greater compassion is complete bunk.

Cheney is a War Criminal on the Loose, given red-carpet protection by a fascist military-industrial-security complex incapable of upholding domestic or international law, even buffering his private residence (and Rumsfeld's btw) with a new, improved No-Fly Zone protected airspace. But that's just because someone, some Constitution-Lover, some self-appointed radical with a $10,000 plane was bound to martyr himself into his roof or something, and we all know Cheney can't get his sleep without Protected Airspace.

McBomb has decided in the end of his days to throw himself into the whirlwind that is the PNAC-NeoConism, his last ditch effort to finally give himself and his family all the self-importance of the Shadow-Elite by, well, kissing their every ass. He's making the ultimate sacrifice by flipping and flopping on every fundamental issue of law and history knowing full well he neither has a chance at a popular election nor a restoration of his once-solid personal reputation. Karl Goebbels Rove needs McBomb in the race to whip out all the PNAC dirt, all the shallow deceptions and debunked facts, and to lend a "soldiers honor" in support of the pathetic ideology that is NeoConism. McBomb is a Political-Patsy and will be sacrificed while Rove&Co rig the elephantitis-like democratic primary to safely get Mrs. Hillary Obliterate-Iran Clinton into the presidential slot so she can choose Liebermaniac as VP and continue the MIC-Coup Cheney has so well established.

With John Conyers we have our only peaceful" chance at restoring the rule of law. This is not good at all. One man, within the Detroit main-frame, fragile in his relationship with the Shadow-Elite Circus, and so near the finish-line... he just can't sacrifice the composure of his family's immense achievements for a quick-strike on the Executive-Liars. He knows the threats that would come in (probably already had them), he doesn't know if he would survive. But this is the real patriotism: Laying down your life for your Constitution, for Generations, for Liberty.

John Conyers, please help us in this dire hour, please help Restore our Constitution, please prove we are the Home of the Brave once again... This is our only Constitution and our only chance at the Rule of Law.

The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why the U.S. Has Gone Broke

By Chalmers Johnson, Le Monde diplomatique
Posted on April 26, 2008, Printed on April 26, 2008



Gerhardt, Michael J. The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis. Second Edition. 271 p. 6 x 9 2000


Joint Chiefs Chairman Says US Preparing Military Options Against Iran
By davidswanson
By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post. The nation's top military officer said today that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government's "increasingly ...

The Clock is Ticking for A US Attack on Iran

By Dave Lindorff

I admit to feeling a little like the weatherman who keeps saying it's going to rain, and who eventually is proven correct. I feel certain that the Bush/Cheney regime is going to launch a disastrous attack on Iran, but have made several calls, which have been proved wrong, beginning back in October 2006, when I wrote that it looked like several aircraft carrier battle groups were being put in position for the assault, but then it was called off.

Now it looks like the attack is coming soon.

The Washington Post's Ann Scott Tyson is today reporting in an article headlined, Joint Chiefs Chairman Says US Preparing Military Options Against Iran, that Admiral Michael Mullen, the nation's top military officer, thinks the US military is not stretched too thin to take on Iran, and that Iran is becoming an "increasingly lethal and malign influence" in Iraq.

This article comes only a day after a US civilian ship under contract to the US military to deliver supplies to Iraq fired on Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf--just the kind of aggressive action that could lead to an Iranian reaction and trigger a full-blown US response.

The Persian Gulf is now crammed full of US attack ships, ranging from a missile-armed nuclear sub to aircraft carriers packed with tomahawk cruise missiles and fleets of attack aircraft larger than most nation's entire air forces (and also with nuclear weapons).

Other things also point to an attack, most significantly the pushing out of Adm. William Fallon as Central Command chief, and now his replacement by Gen. David Petraeus, who is widely seen as a "political" general who is essentially a yes-man for Bush and Cheney.

I would say the die is cast, and that it awaits only the pretext.

There would be no melodramatic Congressional debate over the reasons for going to war against yet a third nation this time around. Thanks to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in October 2001 to authorize the attack on the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Iraq, which Bush and Cheney have illegally and outrageously interpreted as a declaration of a global and unending "War on Terror," the administration is claiming it has the right to attack any nation it defines as "terrorist" at any time, without authorization. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton helped promote war against Iran a few months ago by backing a Senate resolution authored by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyle that defined the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a "global terrorist" organization. That was all Bush and Cheney needed, as Clinton, Lieberman and Kyle clearly knew.

In what has to be one of the understatements of the century, Adm. Mullen said he knew that conflict would be "extremely stressing" and "disastrous on a number of levels."

Indeed it would. Troops in Iraq are already on their fourth and even fifth rotation, and the "surge" troops in Iraq for the past year are being sent home, not because their job of "stabilizing" Baghdad is done (hardly! violence is increasing!), but because there's nobody left to replace them, and they've been there for 15 brutal months.

Worse yet, oil prices have hit a record $122/barrel and are causing a US and even a global recession--but that figure will be doubled the minute any US attack on Iran begins. This is because war with Iran would immediately bring all oil shipments through the Persian Gulf, which supplies 20-25 percent of the world's oil, to a halt. Even if not one tanker were sunk, no insurer would cover a tanker in that region. Moreover, Iranian sappers, and their allies in Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, could be expected to take out vulnerable pipelines, refineries and even well-heads in retaliation to any attack.

So an attack on Iran would mean global economic collapse.

Hold on to your hats. I hope I'm proved wrong yet again, but I'm afraid we're in for a bumpy ride. Even if there is no attack, the level of threats against Iran now emanating from the White House and the Pentagon are sufficient to keep driving oil prices skyward.

Americans should look at those pump prices and see Bush's and Cheney's faces in the digital display.

They should also think of the gas they pump as blood, because it is going to be spilled in prodigious quantities if the US goes through with an attack. Not only would countless innocent Iranians be killed by US bombs and rockets and by any radiation released by attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities (the more so if the US or its Israeli ally use nuclear bombs in that attack), but the toll of US military casualties could be expected to soar, as Iran's Shia allies in Iraq predictably turn on American forces in support of Iran.

Clearly this is all madness, but it is also predictable madness. The Bush/Cheney regime is finishing out its last year as the most disastrous, most unpopular, most loathed presidency in the nation's history, and may even be facing criminal prosecution once out of office. It has approached each election since taking office by upping the military jingoism. I see no reason to see their political strategy changing. It is critical to them that John McCain and the Republican Party hang onto the White House, and in their view, getting the US into an all-out war with Iran is just the way to do that.

They may be right.

Conyers: Impeachment If Bush Invades Iran (It’s a Little Late Then; Don’t you Think?)
By emiwest
March 19, 2008. By Sam Stein. Buzz up!on Yahoo!Speaking on Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers said that serious legal challenges to the Bush administration would not be off the table both before the president left office and after. (more…)
Massachusetts Impeachment Coalition - http://www.mass-impeach.org

Conyers Must Subpoena Ashcroft and Yoo Under Threat of Impeachment
By Bob Fertik
Our friends at the American Freedom Campaign think it's long past time for Conyers to subpoena Ashcroft and Yoo over torture - and if they refuse to appear, begin
impeachment hearings. We couldn't agree more. ...
Democrats.com - The Aggressive... - http://www.democrats.com

US engaged in torture
Longview Daily News - Longview,WA,USA
When questioned by Congressman Robert
Wexler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller refused to give a satisfactory ...

Impeaching Paradise: Why Hasn't It Happened Yet?
The new "Nixon Plan" calls for a flood of impeachment resolutions from concerned members of Congress. Please call the Judiciary Committee and urge them to join Rep Wexler in his call for impeachment hearings. Bush and Cheney have only 8 ...
The Devil and Dan Vojir - http://thedevilanddanvojir.blogspot.com/

Blood, Oil, & Climate
Mama Gaia is laughing at us. She’s just thrown yet another feedback loop our way. Step on the carousel and hold on tight. Record Arctic heating equals thawing Tundra soil, which, regrettably, equals melting Mammoth goo. This equals massive Methane output, which equals, well, record Arctic heating. And round we go. The deposits of frozen elephant dung had been sequestered but the melt puts the glop back into the cycle. Word has it that there is a lot of CH4-releasing excrement, so much that it’ll join forces with the darkening polar albedo to speed things up even faster. Call it the poop loop.

Somehow September is good for the soul — it’s confession time! But first the records. The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, after the three climate records jointly held by Dean and Felix (thanks to Henrietta in the Pacific), sprung a fourth climate record on us with Humberto, which evolved in 16 hours from tropical depression to full-scale hurricane landfall. The AP newsblurb notes that this evolution “was faster than any storm on record” and says “meteorologists were at a loss to explain” this. O really? It’s still a big mystery, eh?

How about this: after the record-breaking 2007 drought in California, and LA without a drop of rain since April, the Angelenos are now battening down for a winter storm and temperatures 15 degrees below normal when it’s barely fall yet. In Colorado, the bears are freaking out. In Montana, Glacier National Park, with 150 glaciers in 1850, has now 26 left.

Or this: South Asia is experiencing a monsoon that is the worst in decades, and that has by now cost more than 3,000 lives.

Or this: Australia, after suffering through an unprecedented drought, passed new regulations that made some water cuts permanent.

Or this: Africa suffers record rains; Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and the Sudan have declared emergencies because they are hit by unusual weather patterns.

Or this: the Arctic tipping point of the last post is no hallucination–ESA satellites “witness the lowest Arctic ice coverage in history”; the melt is happening so rapidly that it triggers earthquakes in Greenland; the Northwest Passage is completely ice-free, and Greenland eskimos have started farming potato and broccoli.

The new reckoning is that while the US republicans, their media serfs, and the gringo consumers were off in lala land, not even the United Nations got it right, because the UN IPCC predictions had been too conservative. Already in March, the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel (PhD physics), called the situation five minutes past midnight. Today, a University of Melbourne researcher, the “Australian of the Year”, declared that climate change is worse than feared. A researcher with the UK Met Office and co-chair of the IPCC working group dealing with the necessary corrections states that destructive changes in temperature, rainfall, and agriculture were now forecast to occur several decades earlier than thought. The IPCC report states that the outlook is grim.

Shell concedes that peak oil is around the corner. The corporate press admits that Dick Cheney vehicles were not such a good idea after all. The alternative press admits that the suburban lifestyle, favored by many self-described liberals, wasn’t such a great idea either. Nor is eating meat, by the way; bad news for Atkins-diet loving Americans. And the U.S. Federal Reserve acknowledges that Iraq was a blood-for-oil gamble. With oil money draining from Bagdhad and flowing toward Kurdistan, even the corporate confession is in: the gamble is lost.

To the chagrin of the postmodern presidency, for which truth is spin, Greenspan fessed up: true to his principles as an ethical egoist, he had been the one who advised the White House that the removal of Saddam was “essential” to secure oil supplies. Greenspan published the admission noted throughout the world: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows — the Iraq war was largely about oil.”

Right now, the price of oil stands at $83 a barrel, at 2,000,000 refugees, at 1,200,000 civilian deaths, and at 3,800 military deaths, and wrenching, brutal personal costs, such as this and this.

Meanwhile the Brits call the climate-changer-in-chief a jihadist and reveal that a journalist appears to be dying in the concentration camp offshore Florida; the French are blowing the whistle on US concentration camps in Poland and Romania ; and the Germans report that calling for impeachment gets you tasered in Florida. Amnesty International calls out the Senate for not restoring habeas corpus. The blood-for-oil traders Bush, Cheney, and Altair Voyager are not in jail, but at least the Pope refuses to meet with thugs. And thanks to the climate-changer in chief, his snarling Nazi sidekick, and the oil tanker lady, the dollar is in free fall.

And the worst thing about all this is that it’s so unnecessary. My battered old copy of the Field Guide to Florida, by the National Audobon Society, has an entry on global warming effects on page 19 that says it all. That copy was published in 1998. We could have decided to evolve to a higher IQ then, and many nations gave it a try. But the US neocons didn’t want to; they flamed Kyoto and shot down the Bonn meeting. The ideas of climate dynamics, human-nature interplays, and deep ecology just don’t compute. They don’t fit the protestant work ethic and the postmodern relativism of the consumer society. So now the species lost ten years, with the USA jerking off the Global Village. Mama Gaia is laughing at us. Call it the poop loop.

Editor’s Note: In Washington and Tel Aviv, war drums are beating again regarding Iran, as the Bush administration and Israel’s Olmert government see the window closing on the time frame for confronting Teheran with George W. Bush in the White House.

In this guest essay, the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland looks at how – in support of this political need – the ever-shifting enemy in Iraq has become Iran:

According to General David H. Petraeus’s progress report to Congress on Iraq, the latest worst threat to the shaky U.S. position is Iranian-backed “special groups.”

"...as long as she keeps trying to act like she is God and she is ...
Bush and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz on down the line have a lot to apologize for, along with a lot to be impeached for. Even John McCain was apologizing for the abject failures of the Bush administration this ...
fortboise.org - http://fortboise.org/

Gallup Daily: Obama and Clinton Tied at 48% to 47% (Read the concluding piece in this post before you give up hope!)

Force Congress to Impeach Bush/Cheney: Step One
By The Unknown Candidate(The Unknown Candidate)
When you signed your pledge to participate in a strike to force Congress to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney, we promised you that your pledge would only be called in if we knew we had enough people on board to effectively shut down ...
The Unknown Candidate - http://theunknowncandidate.blogspot.com/

John Adams Project - Statement of Anthony D. Romero

There are times in this country when we find ourselves at a crossroads – where the path we choose has the potential to define us as a nation for generations to come.

No doubt we've been at a critical juncture since September 11. How we respond to the atrocities thrust upon us after that terrible day says everything about who we are as Americans – what values we defend, how the world sees us, and how history will remember us.

The manner in which we seek justice against those accused of harming us will determine whether the United States will be seen at home and abroad as a nation of laws. We must decide whether we live the values of justice that make us proud to be Americans, or whether we will forsake those values and continue down a path of arbitrary rules and procedures more befitting those who are our enemies. Because we are a great nation, true to our founders' vision, we must uphold our core values even in the toughest of times. The right to a speedy trial in a court of law before an objective arbiter; the right to due process; the right to rebut the evidence against you; the right not to be tortured or waterboarded, or convicted on the basis of hearsay evidence are what truly define America and our commitment to the rule of law and our founders' aspirations.

The military commissions set up by the Bush administration for the men imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay – including those it suspects were involved in the September 11 attacks – are not true American justice. These trials should represent who we are, what America stands for, and our commitment to due process. They are not about how civilized the accused are, but how civilized we are. America does not stand for trials that rely on torture to gain confessions, or on secret evidence that a defendant cannot rebut, or on hearsay evidence.

For these reasons, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers have taken on the task of assembling defense teams to be available to assist in the representation of those Guantánamo detainees who have been charged under the Military Commissions Act, subject to the detainees' consent. More than 30 lawyers have agreed to work on this important endeavor, including such experts as:

In addition to these leading criminal defense and death penalty lawyers with unparalleled expertise in national security issues who have been tapped by the ACLU and NACDL, there are more than 20 lawyers at the ACLU who stand ready to assist with the effort. The ACLU/NACDL cooperating lawyers have defended cases such as those involving David Hicks, Lynne Stewart, Zacarias Moussaoui, the Texas Holy Land Foundation, Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, and Abdelhaleem Ashqar, among others. The ACLU and NACDL have assembled the "dream team" of criminal defense lawyers not only because of the seriousness of the charges – the government has stated that it intends to seek the death penalty – but because America deserves the best and brightest of advocates defending our values.

The ACLU and NACDL do not agree with how the government is conducting these commissions. Nonetheless, we believe in vigorously pressing our cases, defending fundamental American values, and challenging the government's attempts to stack the deck in its favor.

We take this step because we simply cannot stand by and allow the Bush administration's military commissions to make a mockery of our Constitution and our values. We believe in the American justice system – despite its imperfections and distortions by pundits, politicians and ideologues – and we believe we can make the system stronger by engaging it and fighting for what is right, fighting for fair trials and for America's reputation.

The prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the military commission proceedings set to occur there, were set up to evade the American justice system and the rule of law. The proceedings, as proposed under the Military Commissions Act and run by the Department of Defense, are nothing like the trials guaranteed by our Constitution or the long-established military commissions promulgated by the Uniform Code of Military Justice – the finest system of military justice in the world.

The Bush administration decided to scrap both time-tested systems of justice. Instead, the Administration made its own rules. The President alone has the power to determine who will be tried by the Guantánamo military commissions. These commissions ignore the fundamental tenets of due process and were set up to convict detainees based on secret evidence that they cannot rebut, hearsay evidence, and confessions that could be based on torture.

At Guantánamo, the government has been making up the rules as it goes along. This should be shocking and unacceptable to all Americans.

In America, we do not believe in having fair trials for some defendants but not for others.

The defendants in these proceedings have been charged with horrendous crimes. Any person found guilty of a crime in a legitimate proceeding before a court of law deserves to be punished appropriately; however, it is a central tenet of our system of justice that guilt must only be decided after a fair trial, not beforehand. A defendant's guilt – or lack thereof – should be determined in a manner consistent with our Constitution and proper due process protections. A guilty verdict obtained any other way would rob this country, and the world, of any true sense of justice.

While the ACLU and NACDL are preparing to provide for a vigorous legal defense in keeping with the best of American values in a military commission process we believe is deeply flawed, we also believe there are other options. The perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 were tried and convicted in our civilian court system, as were the perpetrators of the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. The Uniform Code of Military Justice also sets forth procedures with adequate protections of due process.

These prosecutions are some of the most important criminal proceedings in our nation's history. There is no reason to make up new rules for these trials. Fairness and due process do not weaken our justice system – they are what make it strong – and Americans deserve better than to have these deeply flawed commissions carried out in our names.

To date, calls to close Guantánamo and to give legitimate, fair trials to those individuals imprisoned there by our government– most of whom have been detained for years without charge – have gone unheeded. As the government prepares to commence these proceedings, the ACLU and NACDL will prepare a robust legal defense while simultaneously working to expose how fundamentally flawed Guantánamo's military commissions are.

The ACLU and NACDL will offer our services to the so-called "high-value" detainees and we will endeavor to secure their consent to our legal representation of them. This has not yet occurred, as ACLU and NACDL lawyers have not yet had access to the Guantánamo detainees. We hope to ensure that those prosecuted in the military commission proceedings receive a fair trial and have qualified counsel. As it stands right now, the accused are provided with one military JAG lawyer, while the prosecution has well-equipped teams with the resources of the entire U.S. government behind them. We will attempt to ensure that the accused are provided with the best legal teams not only to prepare their defense, but – critically – to challenge the existence and procedures of the Guantánamo military commissions themselves.

There are those who might ask why the ACLU and NACDL would get involved in such difficult cases with controversial clients. We have chosen to become involved in these cases because Guantánamo has shown us that, as far as our government is concerned, the Constitution does not matter, human rights do not matter and due process does not matter. And when our constitutional values are most seriously threatened, we believe that we must step into the fray. That's what we're here for, what we've always done for generations before us, and what will be certainly expected from us for generations to come. Our founders did as much – like John Adams who defended the British soldiers charged with killing Americans in the Boston Massacre, and said that the case was "one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country." Our founders would expect nothing less from 21st century Americans. We are proud – and not cowed – to fulfill that dream of a democratic republic governed by the rule of law – and not the whims of leaders.

The NACDL has always believed that the rights of the criminally accused define the rights of all people. The ACLU has a proud history of standing up for civil liberties, even when it has the potential to be unpopular. During World War II, the San Francisco office of the ACLU represented Fred Korematsu, who was charged with the crime of violating curfew orders during Japanese internment. We also defended the rights of free speech and association during the decades when Communism provoked as much hatred and fear as al Qaeda does today. In 1977, the ACLU defended the right of Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, a substantially Jewish community with as many as 1200 survivors of the Holocaust. There was public outcry, but with time our principled stand was largely understood and vindicated. These cases were clearly controversial as they – like the situation we face today – involved a public that understandably felt injured, threatened and maybe even scared.

But it is when the stakes are the highest and when tempers run the hottest that we must work doubly hard to keep a check on our government and prevent it from trading in our values for visceral and political motives – no matter what the motivation. It is during the most challenging situations that our country's values are most intensely tested, and along with them, the ACLU's commitment to its core principles. We are determined, as we have always been, to meet this challenge. We trust you will respect the work we do, why we do it, and even join us in reclaiming what America stands for.

American Freedom Campaign Finally Uses the I Word to Promote Petition, But Letter Sent to Congress Actually Says Not to Bother (And People Wonder Why I Am Saying It’s Going To Be A Long Hot Summer. The “Shadows Are Tired Of This S#*T!)

Submitted by davidswanson on Wed, 2008-04-02 21:01.



Below is the latest pitch from the American Freedom Campaign, in which they finally dare to say "impeach". But if you fall for it and go sign their petition to Congress you'll notice that their actual letter to Congress says not to bother, that it's too late. What ever happened to honesty in advertising? Sick. Contact them at: info@americanfreedomcampaign.org

From American Freedom Campaign:

It has been said in the past that the Bush administration is not only reckless but lawless. The extent of this lawlessness was made abundantly clear yesterday.

In what we could only wish had been an April Fool's Day joke, the Department of Justice declassified and released a 2003 Office of Legal Counsel memo advising the Pentagon that laws and treaties forbidding torture and other forms of abuse did not apply to U.S. interrogators because of the president's wartime power.

What kind of harm, you might ask, would be prohibited under the standard established by this memo? Very little, it turns out. It declared that an interrogation technique must "shock the conscience" in order for it to be illegal. But it gets even worse. The memo also asserted, "Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification."

Just because one lawyer at the Justice Department wrote a memo asserting that certain conscience-shocking actions were justified and therefore legal does not change the real truth here: The Bush administration has flagrantly violated domestic law and international treaties.

The only question now is what should be done.

Prosecutions may be appropriate. Impeachment should not be out of the question. But what is needed immediately is a thorough investigation into the Bush administration's understanding of the extent of the president's power as commander-in-chief.

Please send an email to your representatives in Congress, urging them to support wide-ranging hearings into the abuses of executive power that have occurred over the past seven years. Just click here to get started:


At this point in history, we must be concerned not only with punishing Bush administration officials for wrongdoing, but also with setting standards for the next administration. We must establish now that the "war on terror" has NOT created a "wartime president" with unlimited powers. If we do not, then we can only expect executive power to expand in the future.

Tell your representatives in Congress you are concerned about excessive executive power by sending an email today:


And after you have sent your email, please use our Tell-A-Friend option to encourage others to do the same.

Thank you for taking action. (Do You Know What Real Action Is Steve?)


Steve Fox
Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund


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