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May 5th, 2009
…will it prevent a public accounting?
While both houses of the U.S. Congress are busily debating whether or not possible investigations of the Bush administration’s policies on the torture of prisoners and detainees in its wars on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan should be held at all, and if held whether or not they should be public, California Senator Diane Feinstein has managed to forestall the public possibility for a year. Democrat Feinstein and Republican Kit Bond of Missouri as chair and co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee announced on March 5 a Committee review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program.
The probe is designed to discover new information about the origins of the programs as well as to scrutinize their operations. The five specified areas of investigation include:
• The creation, operation and maintenance of the CIA interrogation program.
• How detainees were assessed as to who possessed information valuable enough to require “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
• Whether the Intelligence Committee, Office of Legal Counsel and other responsible offices of government received accurate information from the CIA about its detention and interrogation programs.
• Whether the programs were implemented in compliance with guidance issued by the pertinent government offices.
• Whether information gained through the programs was valuable enough to justify the programs themselves.Bush, Immunity, Intelligence, Torture, War Crimes | Comment (0)
August 12th, 2008
Wow. That’s a real photograph of our dear President representing America at the Olympic Summer Games in Bejing. Pay particular attention to the look on daughter Barbara next to him… Even as Chinese police are slaughtering protesters north of the city and censoring internet access for people from all over the world. Some athletes and journalists covering the games can’t even get their own blogs…
Just for coming-in-January nostalgia’s sake, check out the rest of these fun photos over at Gawker. At the very least it’ll make you not feel so bad about those debate drinking games where you have to chug every time John McCain mentions being a tortured Vietnam veteran or Obama says “we can.”
Link:Bush, Diplomacy, Humor, Media, Snark | Comment (0)
July 31st, 2008
…this one is ominous!
Yahoo News reported: White House unveils intelligence powers overhaul.
“Unveils?” Is this some sort of proposal? Nope. It’s a done deal, no oversight or even prior notice required…
The action by Bush provoked bipartisan anger among House of Representatives lawmakers who said they were not properly consulted or briefed on the planned changes.
“We were only shown the document after it was complete and on its way to the president for his signature,” said Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a Texas Democrat who heads the House Intelligence Committee.
“Given the impact that this order will have on America’s intelligence community, and this committee’s responsibility to oversee intelligence activities, this cannot be seen as anything other than an attempt to undercut congressional oversight,” said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the panel.
So. What exactly does this done deal include? Over at AFP the story is entitled: Bush orders overhaul of US intelligence. But don’t bother, it’s mostly a pro-fluff piece. Better is the offering by Raw Story: Watchdog: Bush turning intelligence agencies on Americans…
“This kind of concentrated power, exercised in secret, is a lit fuse with our Constitution likely in danger of being burned,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington legislative office.
Another interesting analysis appears in cskendrick’s DKos diary, Who Needs Congress? Bush Reorgs Intel Services by Decree. The logical next question for any citizen concerned about civil liberties, the US Constitution, and things like the orderly transfer of power to the next duly elected President is,
Are they doing this for Barack Obama’s benefit?
P.S. Check out Pulitzer winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s report in the New Yorker (analyzed at Think Progress) about how VP Dick Cheney proposed a “false flag” operation to provoke war with Iran To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal to Dress Up Navy Seals as Iranians and Shoot at Them. Is it likely these guys are tired of All The Power In The World yet?Filed under Appointees, Bush, Intelligence, Outrage, War | Comment (0)
July 21st, 2008
…advocates Bush as “President-for-Life”
No, it’s not a joke from the late-nighters, or even one of the stand-ups at Comedy Central. A Cheney-linked neocon “think tank” called Family Security Matters issued an article last August by Philip Atkinson, opining that G.W. Bush would fail the country if he didn’t declare himself “President-for-Life” and refuse to step down next January to let his duly elected replacement take the reins of the executive branch.
The article, entitled Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy, was removed from the Family Security Matters website – and its author disappeared from an author list that includes such brainy luminaries as Newt Gingrich, Ed Koch, Michelle Malkin and Dick Morris, no doubt due to coverage at the time at Rogue Government, and lately in the progressive blogosphere in such places as Daily Kos, and at-Largely. Luckily (or not, depending on how strong your stomach is), MadCityRag caught the whole thing before it disappeared.
Some of the juciest tidbits are true keepers, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves why we should care about the U.S. Constitution and the democratic republic gifted to us by our wise founding fathers more than 230 years ago when the citizens of this new nation threw off the shackles of crazy King George. For instance…
President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.
No, thanks. Atkinson goes on to suggest that Bush should also copy Julius Caesar and order the army to simply kill everyone in Iraq so it could be repopulated with Americans as a 21st century colony. We’ve known for a long time that neocons are anti-Americans with seriously traitorous leanings, but it’s good to remind ourselves occasionally just how insane they really are. Yet another juicy tidbit to leave readers with…
Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.
Mister <27% WILL step down on January 20, 2009 as his elected successor is sworn in to the office of Presidency. Now, he can throw a hissy fit and chain himself to one of the White House pillars, but it won’t work. I’d suggest his smartest move would be to go ahead and fly down to his private ‘preserve’ in Paraguay about a week early and just skip the ceremony. Otherwise he just might find himself (along with his puppeteer Dick) being shuffled unceremoniously off to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity.Filed under Bush, Constitution, Outrage, Treason, War | Comment (0)
June 16th, 2008
It seems that Bush’s visit to Europe last week has produced some recommitment to his ever-expanding Mid-East War, at least from the Brits. I’m figuring that Palau isn’t quite ready to invade Iran for us. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, however, did promise tougher sanctions on Iran and an increase in its troop strength in Afghanistan. Brown announced that he has ordered a freeze on the assets of Iran’s biggest bank.
The New York Times reported Monday that Brown sought to speak directly to the Iranian people during the joint Bush/Brown press conference.
“We will take action today that will freeze the overseas assets of the biggest bank in Iran, the Melli bank, and secondly, action will start today for a new phase of sanctions on oil and gas.”
Bush reiterated that “all options” were on the table in regards to U.S. actions against Iran, which includes military strikes. Brown committed to increased troop strength in Afghanistan as NATO began redeploying forces to meet a new threat there as hundreds of Taliban fighters took over villages in the south over the weekend during heavy fighting, releasing hundreds of insurgents from the Kandahar prison.
U.S. troops are primarily bogged down in Iraq, supplying the bulk of troops in that country, with fewer than 20,000 troops in Afghanistan. This years after “success” of the missions was declared – it looks like we’ve had less trouble ejecting leadership in those countries than we’ve had in “securing the peace” in either. Some troops have done as many as six tours of duty and are being prevented from leaving the service by “stop loss” directives.
Where the heck is he planning to get troops to deal with Iran? I mean, if he just sends in the Air Force to bomb them, what makes him think the Iranian Army won’t cross into Iraq and Afghanistan to wreak havoc on our troops there?
Despite Bush’s desire to leave America in much, much worse shape than he found it in 2000, opening yet another front in his ‘forever-war’ isn’t a very good idea. Will Congress act to prevent it this time?Filed under Bush, Counterproliferation, Military, Policy, War | Comment (0)
April 4th, 2008
Congressman John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee has forwarded a formal request for answers from Attorney General Michael Mukasey about his assertion in a speech last week in San Francisco that a phone call from an Al Queda safe house in Afghanistan to someone in the U.S. was not monitored prior to 9-11.
The full text of the letter is below the fold:9-11, al Quaeda, Balance of Power, Bush, Intelligence, Policy | Comment (0)
March 31st, 2008
Treas. Sec. Henry Paulson
It seems the recent recognition by Wall street’s overzealous speculators that the nation is in deep recession (something they’ve ignored for years despite it being a regular big deal out amongst the real people who do real work when they can find it) has led to yet another opportunity for the Bush Administration to make an unprecedented power-grab. And predictably, they’ve leapt at the chance.
From the New York Times:
The Bush administration on Monday rolled out the broadest overhaul of Wall Street regulation since the Great Depression, presenting a series of proposals that would, for the first time, create a set of federal regulators with authority over all players in the financial system.
But the proposal will do almost nothing to regulate the alphabet soup of sophisticated financial products that have fueled the current financial crisis. And it will not rein in practices that have been linked to the mortgage crisis, like packaging risky loans into securities carrying the highest ratings.
[Emphasis mine] Well. There you have it. The overwhelming greed of the financial sector has led to serious financial troubles, so the Bushies want to claim more power while at the same time doing nothing at all about the greed that will by summer (if projections are correct) have millions of hard working Americans homeless in the streets.Appointees, Bush, Economics, Market Crash, Recession | Comment (0)
March 19th, 2008
What did they do to us, again? I forget…
Two “Unknown” Iraqi Casualties
American Dead: 3,990
American Casualties: 40,229
Iraqi Dead: Unknown
Iraqi Casualties: Unknown
Cost to the US: $504,000,000,000.00Filed under Bush, History, Memorials, War | Comment (0)
January 28th, 2008
Senator Chris Dodd made a statement on the Senate floor on Friday, January 25th during the cloture debate on Bush’s FISA bill – the one granting retroactive immunity to America’s telecom giants for aiding and abetting Bushco’s rampant lawbreaking. The statement well explains what’s wrong with the entire situation in which we find ourselves after 7 long years of the decidedly un-American “Unitary Executive” – a.k.a. “The Deciderer.”
Dodd had threatened to filibuster the bill last month, so Harry Reid was forced to withdraw it from debate until last Friday, when Dodd again threatened filibuster. Reid then put off the cloture vote until today, January 28th. Senators Clinton and Obama, who were out of town campaigning in South Carolina on Friday, are scheduled to be present for this afternoon’s cloture vote (and filibuster, should that ensue).
Dodd noted that it wasn’t his colleagues in Congress – either house – who convinced him of the unacceptability of telecom immunity, it was the many citizens he met in his recently aborted campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination…Analysis, Bush, Corruption, History, Intelligence, Torture, Treason | Comments (2)
December 15th, 2007
Torture as U.S. Policy and Practice
The recent hoopla about videotapes of the torture of ‘War on Terror’ prisoners Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri by CIA interrogators has drawn some odd denials from people who ought to know better by now. White House press spokesbot Dana Perino kept insisting to all questions that the US does not torture. Period, end of discussion.
What American with an IQ of over 75 believes this garbage, or the George W. Bush “doesn’t remember” knowing about those torture tapes – or ordering their destruction? Anyone who doubts US involvement in torture (and, too often, murder) should read Jennifer Hardbury’s Interview with Buzzflash for realistic background on this issue.Analysis, Books, Bush, Intelligence, Media, Torture, War | Comments (2)