Saturday, June 30, 2007

Our Corporations Funding Brutal Militias

For Heaven's sake, what in the world is going on and why is our government not taxing/fining the hell out of these bastards, throwing their asses in jail and generally having a fit, like the one I feel like throwing?

The American middle-calls and the working poor should not foot the bill for this mess. We create it.

When will these sociopathioc instituions, called corporations, be held accountable?

Do, we the people, have to do everything? If, so, why in the hell are we paying those over-paid knot-heads in Washington?

US companies accused of funding militias
By NESTOR IKEDA,

Associated Press Writer
Thu Jun 28, 7:29 PM ET

The United States shares the blame for Colombia's suffering, a top Democrat said Thursday at a congressional hearing focusing on allegations that U.S. companies funded illegal right-wing militias. The deaths of union activists in the Andean nation have been linked to the militias.

"We are complicit in the devastation of that society," said Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass. "So it is a moral imperative that requires us to help Colombia end that cycle of violence"

Delahunt, who chairs the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, spoke during a hearing in which Chiquita Brands International Inc. and the Alabama coal company Drummond Co. Inc. were singled out as having close ties to Colombia's paramilitaries.

Chiquita has acknowledged having paid paramilitaries $1.7 million in protection money over six years. The company, which sold its operations in Colombia three years ago, was fined $25 million by the Justice Department this year for making the payments from 1997-2004.

Drummond has denied having made any payments. The Colombian arm of the Alabama coal company faces a trial next month in Birmingham in a lawsuit alleging it paid for the murder of three union activists in Colombia in 2001. In Colombia, a paramilitary leader has been charged with ordering the slayings of two union leaders at a Drummond mine. The company has not been charged with a crime, but a probe continues.

In a statement, Drummond said its Colombia division "is innocent of the allegations made in today's committee hearing as well as those in the pending civil suit."

"The allegations are completely without merit and have no basis in fact," the company said.
Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., said during the hearing that he had not heard any hard evidence that the transactions took place.

Burton said that Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, has put in place policies that led to the demobilization of more than 30,000 paramilitaries, a process he said has helped drastically reduce violence in the country.

Witnesses included Edwin Guzman, a former Colombian army sergeant who became a member of the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC. He said Drummond gave trucks and motorcycles to paramilitaries to patrol its mine grounds.

"There are links between the paramilitaries, Drummond, the army and politicians," Guzman said through an interpreter, admitting that he personally had no proof the company made payments to the paramilitaries. "At one point, the army captured 14 paramilitaries on Drummond property."

The president of Colombia's national mining union, Francisco Ramirez, claimed that other international companies were complicit in the killing of union activists in Colombia — either by paying paramilitaries or indirectly through the U.S. military aid for Colombian army units that he said committed the murders.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

What's This? Democrats Getting Serious?

Executive privilege won't fly if Bush forces Congress to announce that they are in the process of investigating a crime, which they are loathe to do, but well may, if Junior and Darth keep on with their imperial presidency/ vice-presidency vision.

What crimes, you might ask?

How about election manipulation through voter intimidation, caging, unequal access to voting machines....I could go on....the list is endless and using the Justice Department in this effort to subvert Democracy and deny voting rights to millions of eligible voters, a gross abuse of power.

If that's not a crime in this Democracy, or any other, I don't know what would be.


WASHINGTON — Democrats took the first steps Friday in what could be a long march to court in a tug-of-war between the White House and Congress over subpoenas and executive and legislative branch powers.

In a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding, the heads of the Senate and House Judiciary committees demanded an explanation in 10 days of why the White House claimed executive privilege on subpoenaed documents and vowed to invoke "the full force of law."

The White House _ echoing the senior Republican on the Senate panel _ urged the chairmen to accept the administration's earlier offer to allow private, off-the-record interviews with current and former aides to President Bush.

"If the committees just want the facts, then they should withdraw the subpoenas and accept the president's offer, instead of this continued pattern of gross overreach and confrontation," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

The fight centers on an investigation that Democrats initially undertook into the firings of several U.S. attorneys, but which has since branched out to scrutiny of the administration's terrorism-era warrantless wiretapping and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' stewardship of the Justice Department.

"The veil of secrecy you have attempted to pull over the White House by withholding documents and witnesses is unprecedented and damaging to the tradition of open government by and for the people that has been a hallmark of the republic," Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., told Fielding.

They gave the White House until July 9 to furnish the factual and legal bases for the executive privilege claim and documentation that President Bush personally signed off on it.

Whether or not the White House meets the deadline, "we will take the necessary steps to rule on your privilege claims and appropriately enforce our subpoenas backed by the full force of law," Leahy and Conyers wrote.

At issue is Congress' investigation of whether the White House improperly ordered the dismissals of U.S. attorneys _ and the committees' demands for internal Bush administration documents. Without an agreement on the subpoenaed documents, the dispute proceeded in slow motion toward contempt citations and, possibly, a constitutional showdown in federal court.
Fielding made clear a day earlier that he believes all of the subpoenaed documents are protected by executive privilege.

The very phrase amounts to fighting words.

Throughout the nation's history, presidents have repeatedly asserted executive privilege to keep secrets from the courts, the Congress and most anyone else.

Over the years, Congress and the White House have avoided a full-blown court test about the constitutional balance of power and whether the president can refuse demands from Congress. Lawmakers could vote to cite witnesses for contempt and refer the matter to the local U.S. attorney to bring before a grand jury. Since 1975, 10 senior administration officials have been cited, but the disputes were all resolved before getting to court.

Fielding on Thursday explained Bush's position on executive privilege this way: "For the president to perform his constitutional duties, it is imperative that he receive candid and unfettered advice and that free and open discussions and deliberations occur among his advisers and between those advisers and others within and outside the Executive Branch."

This "bedrock presidential prerogative" exists, in part, to protect the president from being compelled to disclose such communications to Congress, Fielding argued.

Democrats - and some Republicans - responded with a rhetorical lashing of the administration's "Nixonian" conduct.

"We urge the president to reconsider this step and withdraw his privilege claim so the American people can learn the truth about these firings," Conyers and Leahy wrote.

Those facts might have come out had the chairmen accepted Fielding's original offer to allow administration officials to testify in private, without a transcript, the president's lawyer pointed out Thursday. Lawmakers rejected that offer, however, demanding that a record be made of the interviews.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., urged a pragmatic response to Fielding's claim of privilege, saying that if the committee accepted the private-interview offer it could always issue subpoenas later.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Dean: Cheney a Criminal


Doesn't take a lawyer to figure that out!

When is something going to be done about it?

The Misunderestimated Mr. Cheney:The Vice President's Record of Willfully Violating the Law, And Wrongly Claiming Authority to Do So
By JOHN W. DEAN ----
Friday, Jun. 29, 2007


Vice President Dick Cheney has regularly claimed that he is above the law, but until recently he has not offered any explanation of why.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a law that Cheney believes does apply to him, whether that law be major or minor. For example, he has claimed that most of the laws passed in the aftermath of Watergate were unconstitutional, and thus implicitly inapplicable. His office oversees signing statements claiming countless new laws will not be honored except insofar as the President's extremely narrow interpretation allows. He does not believe the War Powers Act should be honored by the President. Nor, in his view, should the President be bothered with laws like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In fact, it appears Cheney has actively encouraged defiance of such laws by the Bush Administration.
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For Cheney, the Geneva Conventions - considered among the nation's most important treaties -- are but quaint relics that can be ignored. Thus, he publicly embraced their violation when, on an Idaho talk radio program, he said he was not troubled in the slightest by our forces using "waterboarding" -- the simulated drowning of detainees to force them to talk. There are serious questions as to whether Cheney himself has also conspired to violate the War Crimes Act, which can be a capital crime.

A man who can so easily disregard the War Powers Act, FISA, the Geneva Conventions, and the War Crimes Act is merely flicking fleas when it comes to complying with laws like the Presidential Records Act, which requires him to keep records. Yet as CNN and other news organizations have reported, Cheney ordered the destruction of the visitor logs to his residence.

These, of course, are presidential records the law requires him to preserve and protect. (Indeed, neighbors of the Vice President were surprised when, in the past, a truck for a document shredding service would regularly visit the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory.)

Most recently, the Vice President has refused to comply with Executive Order 12958, as amended by his boss, George W. Bush. These orders were issued to implement the law adopted by Congress in 1995 to clarify the classification and protection of national security information.
Most interesting in Cheney's defiance is his absolutely absurd explanation of why the law is not applicable to him or his staff.

Cheney's Explanation(s) For Defying the National Security Classification Orders
Henry Waxman, who may be the nation's most diligent and vigilant member of Congress, recently reported that Vice President Cheney claims he is exempt from the presidential orders requiring government-wide procedures to safeguard classified national security information because he is not an "entity within the executive branch." According to information provided to
Chairman Waxman's Oversight committee, Cheney further claimed he was not an "agency" as set forth in the Executive Orders.Column continues below ↓

When Cheney was widely ridiculed by humorists, cartoonists, pundits, commentators and several members of Congress for his claim of not being an "entity within the executive branch," the Vice President's chief of staff and counsel David Addington responded by asserting that the Vice President is not subject to the order because he is not an "agency" as defined by the order. (Addington thus effectively dropped the claim that the Vice President is not an "entity.")
However, Addington does not cite any authority or language for his new claim that the Vice President is not an "agency." In fact, there is none. To the contrary, the order controlling national security classification states exactly the opposite of what Addington claims.
Executive Order 12958 states that the term "Agency" means any "Executive agency," as defined in the statutory language found at 5 U.S.C. 105, and it includes "any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information." An entity is any "body" or "unit" or "thing" within the executive branch, and to claim the Vice President's office is none of these is an insult to common sense. So is Addington's claim that the Office of Vice President is not an agency under the law.

Section 105 of Title 5 of the United States Code states that an "'Executive agency' means an … independent establishment" within the executive branch. Independent establishments are defined by Section 104 as "an establishment in the executive branch … which is not an Executive department [which are listed in Section 101, and include the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, etc.], military department, Government corporation, or part thereof, or part of an independent establishment."

The Justice Department issued an opinion in 1994 that the Vice President was not an "agency" under the Freedom of Information Act. That opinion was largely based on the Supreme Court ruling, in Kissinger v. Reporters Comm. for Freedom of the Press, that "agency" does not cover "the President's immediate personal staff or units in the Executive Office whose sole function is to advise and assist the President."

However, the agency definition in E.O. 12985 is very different from that in the Freedom of Information Act. If, as Addington claims, E.O. 12985 was intended to exempt the Vice President's office, why did it not so state? Or, why did Bush not exempt the Vice President when he amended that order in July 2005?

Cheney continues also to claim, with absolutely no evidence to support his claim, that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 and that terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi set up an al Qaeda operation in Iraq.

Needless to say, Cheney's claim - or Addington's claim, since Cheney appears to be backing away from his chief of staff and counsel on this issue - raises the question of what the vice president is. Legally, the vice president has only the most limited of powers and authority, unless the president empowers him.

The Limited Role the Constitution and a Federal Statute Envision for the Vice President
The Vice President's very limited but vital roles are set forth in the Constitution. He is the next in succession to become President, should there be a vacancy or should the president suffer from mental or physical inability to serve. And he is the president of the Senate, which means he can preside over the Senate but under the Senate Rules, he cannot take part in debate, and under the Constitution, he can only vote to break a tie.

In the event of a vacancy in the office of the president, under Article II and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, the Vice President becomes the Acting President. Also under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, the Vice President, when acting with a majority of the Cabinet, can also declare the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." If he so declares, then after so informing Congress, the Vice President becomes Acting President until the President notifies Congress that he is fine; if there is a dispute, the Congress resolves it.

The only other Constitutional duty of the Vice President is that set forth in Article I, Section 3, clause 4, which makes the Vice President the "President of the Senate, but [he/she] shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." Not since the nation's second Vice President, Thomas Jefferson, decided it was a waste of time to preside over the Senate has any Vice President done so -- other than to break ties or for ceremonial events, such as the State of the Union or the tallying of electoral college votes.

Since 1947, the Vice President has been given a number of statutory duties, when President Truman recommended, and the Congress agreed, that the Vice President should be a member of the National Security Council. This, however, is the most significant of his statutory assignments.

Thus, beyond the limited constitutional responsibilities, and the few statutory tasks, the Vice President's role comes down to whatever the President assigns him. Vice Presidents can have no role greater than the assignments given by the president -- or in the case of Dick Cheney, whatever he has been able to convince the President he can appropriately handle for him.
The Source of Cheney's Power: Influence, Not a Formal Grant of Authority

Washington insiders have long understood that Cheney's power stems from his knowledge of the way the White House and the Office of the President operate. This is knowledge he acquired as President Ford's Chief of Staff. With Bush's consent, much of the paper flow of the White House which heads up the chain of command toward the President goes through Cheney's office. In addition, Cheney's staff reaches down into the executive bureaucracy to shape the debate before it reaches the White House.

Those with whom I have spoken have serious doubt that Bush and the White House staff really knows what Cheney is doing, why he is doing it, or how he is doing it. From the outset of this administration, Cheney has been instrumental in placing people loyal to him throughout the Executive Branch. This is not to say that Bush is not "the decider," for he is, but by shaping the debate and controlling the paper flow, Cheney decides what the decider will decide.

It has long been apparent that Cheney's genius is that he lets George W. Bush get out of bed every morning actually believing he is the President. In fact, his presidency is run by the President of the Senate, for Cheney is its true center of gravity. That fact has become more apparent with every passing year of this presidency, and anyone who thinks otherwise has truly "misunderestimated" our nominal president and his vice president.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Goopers have lost the game on fiscal responsibility

Democrats See Chance to Fault Deficits and Pork

By Elizabeth Williamson and Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, June 29, 2007; A19

An industrial lubricants program, bus replacement -- and the Grout Museum. A $12 million earmark in an emergency defense bill for "industrial mobilization" on the Iowa border.
Democrats have pork spending on the menu for their grilling of Jim Nussle, President Bush's pick as White House budget director. Nussle's confirmation hearings will focus on the former congressman's pursuit of earmarks for Iowa, as well as ballooning deficits during his tenure as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The plan, Democratic strategists say, is to use the hearings to detail the collapse of fiscal discipline during the Bush administration and to grab the offensive from Republicans who are trying to turn the debate over Democratic spending bills into a morality play on thrift.

"We're not going to let these guys act like the protectors of fiscal prudence here when they've left a sea of red ink," said Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.). He said that the as-yet-unscheduled hearings create an opportunity to give "the president's fiscal management, and what's happened to the budget, a showcase."

Nussle, an eight-term congressman who left the House last year to make an unsuccessful run for governor, was named Budget Committee Chairman in 2001, at the dawn of the Bush administration. During three of his six years at the helm, Congress did not pass a budget blueprint. Meanwhile, big spending increases and huge tax cuts sent the budget spinning from a $128 billion surplus in fiscal 2001 to a $248 billion deficit in 2006, with the red ink hitting an all-time high of $413 billion in 2004.

Nussle's critics call him an inveterate partisan who rubber-stamped Bush's unrealistically austere budget requests and pushed through tax cuts without considering the consequences for popular government programs.

"If the past is prologue, the future doesn't look bright for agreement," House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said.

Nussle's defenders say the 2000 stock market collapse and the 2001 terrorist attacks strained the economy and put new demands on federal spending, driving up the deficit. Meanwhile, they say, a closely divided Senate stymied agreement on many budget issues.

"We got thrown the biggest fiscal curve ball in modern history under his tenure," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), who served with Nussle on the Budget Committee and is now its ranking Republican.

Two lawmakers with whom Nussle frequently sparred -- former Senate Budget Committee chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and current House Budget Committee Chairman John M. Spratt Jr. (D-S.C.) -- defend Nussle. Spratt has even bucked fellow Democrats by offering to testify on Nussle's behalf, calling him "a fair and honorable chairman."

Democrats are also trying to call attention to Nussle's pursuit of earmarks at a time when Bush is threatening to veto House spending bills that exceed his requests, and is scolding Democrats for an "earmarking process that has led to wasteful and unnecessary spending." Yet Bush's own nominee for budget adviser, Emanuel and others point out, committed a cardinal sin in Bush's book: adding pet projects to an emergency defense bill.

According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the number of earmarks in House spending bills exploded under Republican control, from 3,000 in 1996 to 15,000 in 2005. Infuriated by what they say is GOP hypocrisy on the issue, Democrats have been digging through Nussle's old press releases for earmarks he sponsored.

They found plenty. As budget chief, Nussle secured tens of millions of dollars for Iowa roads, bridges and buses, as well as $500,000 for an addition and exhibit at the Grout Museum, a history and science museum in northeastern Iowa.

In 2005, Nussle tucked language into an emergency war spending bill that channeled $12 million to the Rock Island Arsenal for "industrial mobilization capacity." Inconvenient, Democrats say, considering that Bush lashed out at Democrats for adding "pork projects" to last month's emergency Iraq spending bill.

Nussle's defenders say he acted like any other lawmaker -- and by heralding his successes has not undermined the president's demand for greater transparency regarding earmark requests.
"Any member of Congress would be proud of things that have to do with feathering their district," said White House budget office spokesman Sean Kevelighan. "If a member of Congress is writing press releases, they're not trying to hide much."


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hippies Right Again.

Bob Shrum on The Daily Show a few weeks ago talking about the DC consultants on the war and the decisions that are influenced by them:

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Shrum: The blogosphere was a lot more right about Iraq than all the experts in the Democratic party.

Stewart: So why then do they keep hiring these experts…..

Shrum uses the argument that consultants are experts and you need them to run campaigns against the Rove’s in the GOP. There is a place for consultants I would think, but not the ones the Democratic Party has been hiring for the last decade. Josh Marshall talks about the Washington Post series on Dick Cheney and how frustrating it is to get our information across which relates to Shrum’s observation about the blogosphere..

But this is far too easy. Because the simple fact is that we’ve known almost all of this for years.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the series, which is quite good. In journalism, details, the specifics are all. But the story in general has been out there for years, as well as a good number of the specifics, strewn over hundreds, probably thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, online and off…read on

As a member of The Dirty F*&king Hippie Caucus I agree. Shrum admitted we were right on the war so I guess that’s a start.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hooray For Karen Finney!

Since the failed car bomb plot was uncovered in London the cable news networks have gone wall to wall terror. “Hardball” host, Chris Matthews brought in DNC Communications Director, Karen Finney to discuss the politics of terror with her counterpart from the RNC. Finney makes quick work of the RNC hack, slapping down her talking points about the Iraq war the second they spewed from her mouth. This is exactly how you deal with right wing spin and lies — come armed with the truth and never back down.

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Major kudos to the DNC for hiring Finney, they could use a few more just like her.

John Amato: I usually like to wait a bit before I post anything about these attacks because the wall to wall coverage on teevee is so full of idiotic speculation. I found this quote quite interesting though:

Londoners seemed relatively unfazed by the news. People crowded onto buses and subway trains during the afternoon rush hour, shopping streets were busy and sidewalk cafes did brisk business.

“Sure, it’s disturbing, and obviously it reminds everyone of 7/7,” said Ian Hiskos, 32, eating at a cafe across the block from the police cordon on Haymarket. “I try not to think about these things.”

That’s not the attitude the bed-wetting wingnutosphere embraces or one Rudy can run on…

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Boiling Americans; one way or the damn other

Are Americans Unready to Boil?
Written by
Joel S. Hirschhorn
Published June 28, 2007

See also:» Americans Unready to Revolt, Despite Revolting Conditions» Ann the C's McCarthy Moment» An Open Letter to Congressman Ron Paul


The frog-in-boiling water model helps us understand political upheavals: how citizens wake up early enough (or too late) to respond to social and economic oppression. Sometimes the greed and arrogance of Ruling Classes makes them careless and social waters heat too quickly. Sensing doom, alert citizen-frogs escape or revolt. Or they stay complacent and boil.

The Bush Administration has turned the heat up on us, explaining why nearly 75 percent of Americans believe their country is on the wrong track and 70 percent think the economy is worsening.

Mexico is the richest Latin American country but has extreme economic inequality, which measures social temperature. Mexicans are jumping out of oppressive waters en masse, right into the U.S., exacerbating our rising inequality. The Chinese have learned to offset oppressive communist forces with materialistic capitalism - like our affordable materialism keeps Americans distracted and docile (with help from Chinese imports). In colonial America the greedy British motivated our Revolutionary War, but with oppression now coming from within, will Americans wait too long?

Some Americans keep warning us - people like Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, Aaron Russo, Dennis Kucinich, Lou Dobbs, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Bill Moyers, Jon Stewart, and Keith Olbermann. They entertain complacent "frogs" and preach to the choir of alert "frogs" that also know the temperature is rising dangerously. Many of the former keep hoping that putting better Democrats or Republicans in office will get us back on the right track. Many of the latter are ready to jump to what our Constitution offers us: an Article V convention.
And once you know that plutocratic elites from both major parties have for decades opposed the Article V convention to propose constitutional amendments, YOU should favor what THEY oppose.

We frequently see a knee-jerk fear reaction to an Article V convention. Such fear is misplaced and baseless. Only the rich and powerful elites running and ruining our nation should fear a convention.

It is fatalistic to fear that a convention could make things worse by removing valued parts of the Constitution or adding terrible things. Naturally, no one knows with certainty what a convention might propose. But we do know with certainty that whatever a convention proposes must satisfy the Constitution's rigorous ratification requirement. That two step process is part of the genius of the Constitution. Recall that a convention is the alternative to Congress proposing amendments. And what do Americans think of Congress?

A measly 23 percent view Congress positively. Expecting Congress to enact really good laws, spend our taxes wisely, and keep the president and executive branch agencies from abusing us is like a joke on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It is laugh-at-loud funny to put trust and faith in Congress. It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress. Nearly all members are under the thrall of moneyed interests. Congress is a national embarrassment. Our misrepresentatives are partners in corruption, dishonesty and oppression. Over decades they have allowed the presidency to accumulate imperial powers. Do you really believe they are worth $165,200 a year, with generous health and pension benefits?

Still, we live in a great nation. But great nations rise and fall.

America is no longer close to what it should be - or once was. It no longer fairly serves and protects all Americans. Too many Americans are working poor, hungry, homeless, poorly educated, imprisoned, debt-ridden, crime victims, facing economic insecurity, nonvoters, and lacking health care.

What we have is a plutocracy run by and for the Upper Class that sucks up a huge fraction of the nation's wealth. Lobbyists ensure that public policy increases economic inequality and rewards corporate interests, even if it requires preemptive wars like the Iraq fiasco, sanctions massive illegal immigration, and sends good jobs overseas. That so many people escaping other nations (with hot or boiling water) want to come to the USA should not blind us to the creeping decline of our democracy and the heating of our social waters.

How much worse does American democracy have to get before public outrage demands what the Constitution's Framers gave us in case citizens lost confidence in the federal government? Haven't Americans lost enough trust to use what elites have fought and feared? Can't we trust ourselves to have a peaceful populist rebellion through an Article V convention before we boil?
If America's distracted citizen-frogs stay glued to their large plasma TVs, SUVs, electronic devices, and obese-friendly foods they may find themselves boiled. Our constitutionally protected freedoms will be gone. George W. Bush has shown how easily that is done. Our middle class will be gone. Our national sovereignty will be gone - sold out through globalization chicanery. For all but the rich, our quality of life and standard of living will be gone. The Upper Class will be richer and happier in their opulent gated McMansions and private entertainment and vacation spots, protected and pampered by their private police and servants.

If Congress finally obeys the Constitution some fear that convention delegates will be corrupted through special interest money just like current politicians. That is highly unlikely.

First, many Americans will actively watch and influence how state legislatures select one-time delegates. Second, the incredible novelty of the nation's first Article V convention will ensure intense coverage by domestic, foreign and Internet media. Third, that novelty will also engage enormous numbers of Americans - especially school and college students - now rightfully turned off by our political system, ensuring citizen oversight of delegates and the convention. Fourth, the only group working for the first convention - Friends of the Article V Convention - has committed itself to creating and ensuring strong oversight of the convention process.

Imagine our first Article V convention under intense scrutiny in today's techno-media world. It will be the ultimate reality show, enticing Americans to use their brains over shopping and mindless entertainment. Conversations about possible amendments will flourish. Surveys and polls will constantly determine what Americans support and oppose. The convention will remind Americans that citizenship requires civic engagement. Convention delegates will know that they are being scrutinized. They will know that their proposals must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. They will be listening to US. In sum, we have more than enough safety nets to prevent the convention harming our Constitution.

Why not dream about a restorative convention with hundreds of smart, patriotic Americans as delegates? We have enormous numbers of brilliant, wise and honest Americans - just not in politics anymore. If we can trust the lives of people to juries, we can trust carefully selected convention delegates to find intelligent ways to improve our government and political system through amendments. In the last part of the process, we can tell our state legislators whether we want them to ratify specific proposed amendments.

Will the first convention be mesmerizing and entertaining? Will it help educate and inform Americans about our Constitution and government? Will it put Ruling Class elites on notice that we the people are seriously pursuing governance we can trust? Yes, yes and yes.
Should we wait until 95 percent of Americans think the nation is on the wrong track? Until just 5 percent approve of Congress? Until we belatedly find ourselves boiled?

No, no and no.

Support the effort to get the nation's first Article V convention, especially if you sense our societal waters becoming hotter - sometimes faster, as under Bush. Sign up at www.foavc.org. Don't let self-delusion and false hope in Republicans or Democrats blind you. Let freedom ring. Make Thomas Jefferson proud.

Author of Delusional Democracy - Fixing the Republic Without Overthrowing

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

How Dick Cheney Broke River's Mind....and mine as well.

How Dick Cheney Broke My Mind
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t Columnist
Tuesday 26 June 2007


I was absolutely savaged by an unexpected emotional detonation on Thursday. Every rough emotion I am capable of experiencing - anger, fear, sorrow, rage, bitterness, despair, loathing, astonishment, woe, regret, horror, fury - erupted within me at the same time that day. I spent hours in the aftermath trying to type an accurate description of what had happened to me and why, but I failed. For the first time in a long, long while, I was completely unable to write.

What could have been powerful enough to huff and puff and blow my house down? What manner of mind bomb could hurl me so far off kilter that I was incapable of explaining it on paper?

It was, of course, Dick Cheney.

The news story that started it all was just another report on Dick being Dick, doing his Dick thing the way Dick always does. If they ever hold a contest to decide which politician has the most appropriate first name, you should bet the farm, the barn, the house, the cow, every crop, every truck, and throw in all your shoes besides, on Dick winning in a walk. Dick would win in such a dominant fashion that the NBA Finals would appear competitive by comparison.

It was Dick, and he got me on Thursday but good. You've probably heard the news story by now, and maybe you reacted to it like I did.

The National Archives is basically the federal filing cabinet where all governmental paper records are stored and organized. The Archives is an invaluable repository of our governmental history. These documents are publicly available, and are a giant treasure trove for historians, biographers or anyone who loves to feel a bit of history between their fingers.

So the Archives people had asked Cheney's office for his papers, because it was time to do so, because doing so is the law, because those papers are the property of the people. We pay for their printing and we pay for their storage, and the return on our investment can be found in the History/Biography/Politics section of any bookstore in America.

Dick turned the National Archives down flat, and this is what destroyed me on Thursday. Not only did he turn them down, his office wrote - actually wrote on paper in a letter to the Archives - their amazing explanation for refusing to hand over the papers. If you've not heard this, brace yourself.

Dick had the fire-breathing gall, the awe-inspiring temerity, the light-bending arrogance to put forth the argument - which was actually written down - that the office of The vice president of the United States is not actually part of the executive branch of the federal government, and is therefore not required to give any papers to anyone, ever.


Breathe. Breathe. It'll pass.

I could use a thousand words to describe what this thing did as it ripped through me. I tried all Thursday to do it, and failed time and again. I have finally fixed upon the one word that truly explains how I felt once the shock had passed.

I was offended.

These people offend me on a daily basis, but for some reason, this was too much. The vice president of the United States actually defended his insane lust for secrecy by claiming, with his bare face hanging out, that the OVP is not a part of the executive branch. Cheney is covered by executive privilege, and he is a member of the presidential cabinet, yet somehow his office is not part of the executive branch.

It offended me. It offended my patriotism, it was a rank insult to anyone who took grade-school civics, and it was pure horrid hubris-flecked power run amok, power so deranged that it is dangerous to every American. I have no context to place this in, but maybe context isn't required. Lawyers use a Latin phrase, "Res ipsa loquitor," which means "The thing speaks for itself." That's pretty much exactly correct, as far as this mayhem is concerned.

Cheney's argument, by the way, is prima facie cause for his removal from office. Simply, his office exists in the first place because all presidents are mortal, and so require a waiting replacement should the need arise. It sounded on Thursday like Dick pretty much quit his constitutionally-mandated next-in-line post. If he's not doing that job anymore, he should go home.


This is a personal matter now.

Somehow, another news story about Cheney just being Cheney while doing his Cheney thing caused a tectonic shift. Encompassing the awesome, towering, astonishing, awful, brutal, sick, deadly thing that is alive within the man; a thing that once was mistaken for mere arrogance, was enough to get me thinking in Biblical terms. There are stories in the Book describing people confronted by the very face of God. They tend to have a common theme: The moment they actually see I Am Who I Am, they wind up getting clobbered for their trouble.

I saw the true face of Dick Cheney on Thursday, undistilled Cheney: The core essence and clearest example of what imperils us all. The monstrous things perfectly revealed by Cheney's actions left me writhing like Saul in the dust of that Damascus road. It was holy, in a weird way, because it brought about a profound experience that hurt even as it cleansed. I now know that a glimpse of evil can also be a holy and spiritual moment, if you make it through the aftermath.

The difference, perhaps, is that anyone who sees God is blinded by the sight. I got a look at evil walking like a man, and I see so much now that I didn't see before.

I actually owe Cheney a bit of gratitude. I was worried that his actions, and the actions of his crew, had abused the fabric of my capacity for surprise beyond the limit, had worn down one of the better human emotions by just being Cheney. I was wrong. He proved I am still capable of awe.

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know" and "The Greatest Sedition Is Silence." His newest book, "House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation," is now available from PoliPointPress.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.
The Democratic Party and the Infantile Omnipotence of The Ruling Class.
By PhilRockstroh 06/26/2007 10:16:46 PM EST

This may help to better understand the Washington establishment and its courtesan punditry who serve to reinforce their ceaseless narrative of exceptionalism. This is why they've disingenuously covered up the infantilism of George W. Bush for so long: Little Dubya is the id of the ruling class made manifest -- he's their troubled child, who, by his destructive actions, cracks the deceptively normal veneer of a miserable family and reveals the rot within. At a certain level, it's damned entertaining: his instability so shakes the foundation of the house that it causes the skeletons in its closets to dance.

Why did the Democratic Congress betray the voting public?

Betrayal is often a consequence of wishful thinking. It's the world's way of delivering the life lesson that it's time to shed the vanity of one's innocence and grow-the-hell-up. Apropos, here's lesson number one for political innocents:

Power serves the perpetuation of power. In an era of runaway corporate capitalism, the political elite exist to serve the corporate elite. It's that simple.

Why do the elites lie so brazenly? Ironically, because they believe they're entitled to, by virtue of their superior sense of morality. How did they come to this arrogant conclusion? Because they think they're better than us. If they believe in anything at all, it is this: They view us as a reeking collection of wretched, baseborn rabble, who are, on an individual level, a few billion neurons short of being governable by honest means.

Yes, you read that correctly: They believe they're better than you. When they lie and flout the rules and assert that the rule of law doesn't apply to them or refuse to impeach fellow members of their political and social class who break the law -- it is because they have convinced themselves it is best for society as a whole.

How did they come by such self-serving convictions? The massive extent of their privilege has convinced them that they're the quintessence of human virtue, that they're the most gifted of all golden children ever kissed by the radiant light of the sun. In other words, they're the worst sort of emotionally arrested brats -- spoiled children inhabiting adult bodies who mistake their feelings of infantile omnipotence for the benediction of superior ability: "I'm so special that what's good for me is good for the world," amounts to the sum total of their childish creed. In the case of narcissists such as these, over time, self-interest and systems of belief grow intertwined. Hence, within their warped, self-justifying belief systems, their actions, however mercenary, become acts of altruism.

The elites don't exactly believe their own lies; rather, they proceed from the neo-con guru, Leo Strauss' dictum (the modus operandi of the ruling classes) that it is necessary to promulgate "noble lies" to society's lower orders. This sort of virtuous mendacity must be practiced, because those varieties of upright apes (you and I) must be spared the complexities of the truth; otherwise, it will cause us to grow dangerously agitated -- will cause us to rattle the bars of our cages and fling poop at our betters. They believe it's better to ply us with lies because it's less trouble then having to hose us down in our filthy cages. In this way, they believe, all naked apes will have a more agreeable existence within the hierarchy-bound monkeyhouse of capitalism.

This may help to better understand the Washington establishment and its courtesan punditry who serve to reinforce their ceaseless narrative of exceptionalism. This is why they've disingenuously covered up the infantilism of George W. Bush for so long: Little Dubya is the id of the ruling class made manifest -- he's their troubled child, who, by his destructive actions, cracks the deceptively normal veneer of a miserable family and reveals the rot within. At a certain level, it's damn entertaining: his instability so shakes the foundation of the house that it causes the skeletons in its closets to dance.

By engaging in a mode of being so careless it amounts to public immolation, these corrupt elitists are bringing the empire down. There is nothing new in this: Such recklessness is the method by which cunning strivers commit suicide.

Those who take the trouble to look will apprehend the disastrous results of the ruling elites' pathology: wars of choice sold to a credulous citizenry by public relations confidence artists; a predatory economy that benefits one percent of the population; a demoralized, deeply ignorant populace who are either unaware of or indifferent to the difference between the virtues and vicissitudes of the electoral processes of a democratic republic, in contrast to the schlock circus, financed by big money corporatist, being inflicted upon us, at present.

Moreover, the elitist's barriers of isolation and exclusion play out among the classes below as an idiot's mimicry of soulless gated "communities" and the pernicious craving for a vast border wall -- all an imitation of the ruling classes' paranoia-driven compulsion for isolation and their narcissistic obsession with exclusivity.

Perhaps, we should cover the country in an enormous sheet of cellophane and place a zip-lock seal at its southern border, or, better yet -- in the interest of being more metaphorically accurate -- let's simply zip the entire land mass of the U.S. into a body bag and be done with it.

What will be at the root of the empire's demise?

It seems the elite of the nation will succumb to "Small World Syndrome" -- that malady borne of incurable careerism, a form of self-induced cretinism that reduces the vast and intricate world to only those things that advance the goals of its egoist sufferers. It is an degenerative disease that winnows down the consciousness of those afflicted to a banal nub of awareness, engendering the shallowness of character on display in the corporate media and the arrogance and cluelessness of the empire's business and political classes. It possesses a love of little but mammon; it is the myth of Midas, manifested in the hoarding of hedge funds; it is the tale of an idiot gibbering over his collection of used string.

What can be done? In these dangerous times, credulousness to party dogma is as dangerous as a fundamentalist Christian's literal interpretation of The Bible: There is no need to squander the hours searching for an "intelligent design" within the architecture of denial and duplicity built into this claptrap system -- a system that we have collaborated in constructing by our loyalty to political parties that are, in return, neither loyal to us nor any idea, policy nor principle that doesn't maintain the corporate status quo.

Accordingly, we must make the elites of the Democratic Party accountable for their betrayal -- or we ourselves will become complicit. The faith of Democratic partisans in their degraded party is analogous to Bush and his loyalist still believing they can achieve victory in Iraq and the delusion-based wing of the Republican Party who, a few years ago, clung to the belief, regardless of facts, that Terri Schiavo's brain was not irreparably damaged and she would someday rise from her hospital bed and bless the heavens for them and their unwavering devotion to her cause.

Faith-based Democrats are equally as delusional. Only their fantasies don't flow from the belief in a mythical father figure, existing somewhere in the boundless sky, who scripture proclaims has a deep concern for the fate of all things, from fallen sparrows to medically manipulated stem cells; rather, their beliefs are based on the bughouse crazy notion that the elites of the Democratic Party could give a fallen sparrow's ass about the circumstances of their lives.

In the same manner, I could never reconcile myself with the Judea/Christian/Islamic conception of god -- some strange, invisible, "who's-your-daddy-in-the-sk y," sadist -- who wants me on my knees (as if I'm a performer in some kind of cosmic porno movie) to show my belief in and devotion to him -- I can't delude myself into feeling any sense of devotion to the present day Democratic Party.

Long ago, reason and common sense caused me to renounce the toxic tenets of organized religion. At present, I feel compelled to apply the same principles to the Democratic Party, leading me to conclude, as did Voltaire regarding the unchecked power of The Church in his day, that we must, "crush the infamous thing."

Freedom begins when we free ourselves from as many illusions as possible -- including dogma, clich├ęs, cant, magical thinking, as well as blind devotion to a corrupt political class.

I wrote the following, before the 2006 mid-term election: "[...] I believe, at this late hour, the second best thing that could come to pass in our crumbling republic is for the total destruction of the Democratic Party -- and then from its ashes to rise a party of true progressives.
"[...] I believe the best thing that could happen for our country would be for the leaders of The Republican Party -- out of a deep sense of shame (as if they even possessed the capacity for such a thing) regarding the manner they have disgrace their country and themselves -- to commit seppuku (the act of ritual suicide practiced by disgraced leaders in feudalist Japan) on national television.

"Because there's no chance of that event coming to pass, I believe the dismantling of the Democratic Party, as we know it, is in order. It is our moribund republic's last, best hope -- if any is still possible."

I received quite a bit of flack from party loyalist and netroots activists that my pronouncement was premature and we should wait and see.

We've waited and we've seen. Consequently, since the Republican leadership have not taken ceremonial swords in hand and disemboweled themselves on nationwide TV, it's time we pulled the plug on the Democratic Party, an entity that has only been kept alive by a corporately inserted food-tube. In my opinion, this remains the last, best hope for the living ideals of progressive governance to become part of the body politic.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: philangie2000@yahoo.com

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

There he goes again!

With the Al Qaida Crap!

WASHINGTON — Facing eroding support for his Iraq policy, even among Republicans, President Bush on Thursday called al Qaida "the main enemy" in Iraq, an assertion rejected by his administration's senior intelligence analysts.

The reference, in a major speech at the Naval War College that referred to al Qaida at least 27 times, seemed calculated to use lingering outrage over the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to bolster support for the current buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq, despite evidence that sending more troops hasn't reduced the violence or sped Iraqi government action on key issues.

Bush called al Qaida in Iraq the perpetrator of the worst violence racking that country and said it was the same group that had carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
"Al Qaida is the main enemy for Shia, Sunni and Kurds alike," Bush asserted. "Al Qaida's responsible for the most sensational killings in Iraq. They're responsible for the sensational killings on U.S. soil."

U.S. military and intelligence officials, however, say that Iraqis with ties to al Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops. The group known as al Qaida in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides.

Bush's references to al Qaida came just days after Republican Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and George Voinovich of Ohio broke with Bush over his Iraq strategy and joined calls to begin an American withdrawal.

"The only way they think they can rally people is by blaming al Qaida," said Vincent Cannistraro, a former chief of the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center who's critical of the administration's strategy.

Next month, the Senate is expected to debate the Iraq issue as it considers a Pentagon spending bill. Democrats are planning to offer at least three amendments that seek to change Iraq strategy, including revoking the 2002 resolution that authorized Bush to use force in Iraq and mandating that a withdrawal of troops begin within 120 days.

Bush's use of al Qaida in his speech had strong echoes of the strategy the administration had used to whip up public support for the Iraq invasion by accusing the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of cooperating with bin Laden and implying that he'd played a role in the Sept. 11 attacks. Administration officials have since acknowledged that Saddam had no ties to bin Laden or 9-11.

A similar pattern has developed in Iraq, where the U.S. military has cited al Qaida 33 times in a barrage of news releases in the last seven days, and some news organizations have echoed the drumbeat. Last month, al Qaida was mentioned only nine times in U.S. military news releases.

In his speech, Bush referred only fleetingly to the sectarian violence that pits Sunni Muslim insurgents against Shiite Muslim militias in bloody tit-for-tat attacks, bombings, atrocities and forced mass evictions from contested areas of Baghdad and other cities and towns.

U.S. intelligence agencies and military commanders say the Sunni-Shiite conflict is the greatest source of violence and insecurity in Iraq.

"Extremists — most notably the Sunni jihadist group al Qaida in Iraq and Shia oppositionist Jaysh al-Mahdi — continue to act as very effective accelerators for what has become a self-sustaining struggle between Shia and Sunnis," the National Intelligence Council wrote in the unclassified key judgments of a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq published in January. Jaysh al Mahdi is Arabic for the Mahdi Army militia of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr.

The council comprises the top U.S. intelligence analysts, and a National Intelligence Estimate is the most comprehensive assessment it produces for the president and a small number of his senior aides. It reflects the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

In his speech, Bush made other questionable assertions.

He claimed that U.S. troops were fighting "block by block" in Baqouba, a city northeast of Baghdad, as part of an offensive to clear out al Qaida fighters.

But Gen. Raymond Odierno, the U.S. ground commander in Iraq, said earlier this month that 80 percent of the insurgents American troops expected to encounter in Baqouba had fled before the operation began, including much of the insurgent leadership.

There was little heavy fighting. Out of 10,000 U.S. troops involved, only one has been killed.
Bush categorically blamed al Qaida for the Feb. 22, 2006, bombing of the Askariya mosque, a sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra whose destruction accelerated sectarian bloodshed.

But no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and U.S. officials say there's no proof that al Qaida in Iraq was responsible, only strong suspicions.

Critics of the war are questioning the administration's increasing references to al Qaida.

"We cannot attribute all the violence in Iraq to al Qaida," retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq before becoming an opponent of Bush's strategy there, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. "Al Qaida is certainly a component, but there's larger components."

(Mike Drummond of The Charlotte Observer in Baghdad and Nancy A. Youssef contributed to this report.)
McClatchy Newspapers 2007



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Friday, June 29, 2007

It's Blackwater Again!

Blackwater involved in rendition of prisoners.

Company headed by right-wing Christian lunatic supports Bush administration's torture program. Very Christian. It's what "Jaysus" would do.


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Some Dems Vote For Hate-mongers

Find ut who.......

House, including 113 Democrats, vote against FCC Fairness Doctrine and for Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Savage, Boortz, Bennett, Schlesinger, O'Reilly, and the other right-wing PUBLIC airwaves blatherers.

Here is a list of the Democrats who voted to keep your airwaves in the hands of the right-wing (they are in the non-italicized print).


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderer
s.

Siegelman gets over 7 years....meanwhile

Karl Rove still has a security clearance and a job in the White House.

Lil Alberto still has a job, which aparently includes running like a little boy from a few hundred protesters, as does Dick Cheney, whose job no one appears to be clear about, except Dick Cheney, but his job does seem to have someting o do with ridding us of that dastardy piece of paper, the Constitution

I'm not saying that Seligman isn't a crook. I'm just saying there are far bigger ones.

Ex-Alabama Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman gets over 7 years in prison.

There is evidence that Siegelman was targeted by Karl Rove in political use of Justice Department prosecutors. Unlike Scooter Libby, Siegelman goes directly to prison without any letters of support from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman or James Carville.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers

Ex-Reagan Legal Official: Impeach Cheney!

Too Expensive.

Just waterboard him until he spills his, apparently, very full guts.

Then we can move on, using the intelligence gathered from Dicks grossly distended midsection, to destroying the Bushites, Neoconseratives and other enemies of our constitution who hate us for our freedoms, which we are supposed to be protecting, I believe, from domestic as well as foreign enemies.

Ex-Reagan Associate Deputy Attorney General: Impeach Cheney
Josh Catone

Published: Thursday June 28, 2007

Bruce Fein, who served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, in a scathing editorial today called for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.
"Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III," he writes.

This is not the first time that Fein has taken on the Bush administration. In March 2006, Fein appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on Senate Resolution 398, which called for the censure of George Bush over the warrantless wiretap program.

Fein said in his 2006 testimony that by authorizing the domestic spying program, President Bush sought to "cripple the Constitution’s checks and balances and political accountability."

In October 2006, Fein ripped into Bush for his "alarming usurpations of legislative prerogatives," and into the then-Republican controlled Congress for sitting idly by and "placing party loyalty above institutional loyalty, contrary to the expectations of the Founding Fathers."

With the wiretap program back in the news following this week's congressional subpoenas of the
White House and the office of the Vice President, and a subsequent refusal to cooperate, Fein unleashed his highly critical philippic.

Fein details "multiple crimes against the Constitution" committed by Cheney, including the creation of military commissions, the "kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists," the advocation of "signing statements" to ignore pieces of legislation, and the encouragement of the use of torture.

"The vice president has maintained that the entire world is a battlefield," writes Fein, saying the vice president has used the bugaboo of terrorism to justify a shoot first, ask questions later approach to dealing with suspected terrorists, even when that includes American citizens.

Fein also touches on the hot-button warrantless wiretapping program, over which he has butted heads with the administration in the past. He argues that Cheney engineered the program and has "orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege" to conceal information about it from Congress.

In the end, Fein makes the case that "Bush has ceded vast domains of his powers to Vice President Cheney," in violation of the US Constitution.

"President Bush regularly is unable to explain or defend the policies of his own administration, and that is because the heavy intellectual labor has been performed in the office of the vice president," he concludes. "Cheney is impeachable for his overweening power and his sneering contempt of the Constitution and the rule of law."

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

The CIA Document Dump is Like The Twilight Zone

Lessons of the CIA 'Family Jewels'

The CIA says it has left its shady past behind. But has the agency learned from its mistakes—and how much has really changed?

One of the more intriguing items is an internal memo recording how the agency’s "Division D"—its supersecret eavesdropping branch—had begun intercepting telephone calls between suspected Latin American drug traffickers and individuals living in New York in late 1972.

A May 7, 1973, memo, entitled “Potentially Embarrassing Activities Conducted by Division D,” records that officials in the division had questions about “the legality of this activity.”
The reason for the concern: even though the phone calls involved at least one party outside the
United States, the agency was still eavesdropping on the conversations of citizens inside the country without a judicial warrant.

“This is totally relevant to what is going on today,” said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a nonprofit group that filed the original Freedom of Information Act request for the family jewels file 13 years ago.

Fallout From Release of the CIA's 'Family Jewels'

Blanton notes that the legal issues of concern to the Division D eavesdroppers are the same as those involved in the intense, ongoing debate about the legality of President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program. The still-classified operation, in which the National Security Agency intercepted phone conversations between suspected foreign terrorists and individuals within the United States without judicial warrants, was first conducted under Hayden's leadership. (Just today, the Senate Judiciary Committee—frustrated by the Bush administration’s refusal to turn over key material about the program — subpoenaed documents about it, setting up a potential court clash.)

CONTINUED

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

W.H.Must Be Feeling The Heat: They are screwing up, big time.

This just gets more whacko by the day.

By asserting executive privilege, in the way that they did, the White House admits improper involvement in the firings of the U.S. attorneys; the very thing of which they are being accused.

God, these people give me a headache!

Oh, and it gets even worse....read on

Legal Memo Confirms White House Led Effort To Target And Remove U.S. Attorneys

Today, White House counsel Fred Fielding released a letter informing Congress that President Bush will assert executive privilege over White House documents relating to the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Fielding attached a legal memorandum written by Solicitor General Paul Clement, laying out the legal basis for the executive privilege claim.

Clement reviewed the documents that the Congress subpoenaed. In his letter, Clement reveals what investigators have suspected from the very beginning — that the White House was intimately involved in the attorney scandal. Upon examination of the White House documents,
Clement writes:

Among other things, these communications discuss the wisdom of such a proposal, specific U.S. Attorneys who could be removed, potential replacement candidates, and possible responses to congressional and media inquiries about the dismissals.

The White House had “said that Mr. Bush’s aides approved the list of prosecutors only after it was compiled.” President Bush himself said that “the Justice Department made recommendations, which the White House accepted” regarding the removal of the attorneys.

On a related point, Marcy Wheeler writes that it is a serious conflict of interest for Clement to be advising Bush to assert executive privilege in the very same scandal that Clement is supposed to be investigating.

Paul Clement, as you’ll recall, is the guy currently in charge of any investigation into the US Attorney firings, since Alberto Gonzales recused himself some months ago. He’s the one who technically oversees the Office of Special Counsel investigation into whether politics played an improper part in Iglesias’ firing or the hiring of career employees in DOJ, he’s the one who oversees the joint Office of Professional Responsibility and Inspector General investigations into whether anything improper–including obstruction of justice–occurred in the hiring and firing of USAs. And now, he’s the guy who gets to tell the President that he doesn’t have to turn over what might amount to evidence of obstruction of justice in the Foggo and Wilkes case, among others.

Clement’s letter reveals the White House was deeply involved in selectively targeting attorneys for removal. These documents presumably reveal the motives of the White House in purging the U.S. attorneys. Now Clement is working to ensure those documents never become public.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Iran, Again: This is not going away, Folks

Hersh: ‘Bush And Cheney’s Wet Dream Is Hitting Iran’ »

In February, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote a piece in The New Yorker revealing that the Bush administration was setting its sights heavily on Iran, planning for a “possible bombing attack“:

Still, the Pentagon is continuing intensive planning for a possible bombing attack on Iran, a process that began last year, at the direction of the President. In recent months, the former intelligence official told me, a special planning group has been established in the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, charged with creating a contingency bombing plan for Iran that can be implemented, upon orders from the President, within twenty-four hours.

On Tuesday, Hersh spoke more on the Bush administration’s focus on Iran at the Campus Progress National Conference. He said that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are ignoring the actual intelligence on Iran. The “intelligence community keeps on saying, ‘There’s no bomb there.’ And Cheney keeps on saying to the young briefing officers, ‘Thank you son, I don’t buy that.’” Hersh added, “George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s wet dream is hitting Iran.”

Hersh also stated that Bush likes to compare himself to Winston Churchill. Sources close to the President have heard him “say things like, ‘It’ll be 20 years before they appreciate me. … Yes, I may be at 30 percent in the polls, but in 20 or 30 years, they’ll appreciate what I’ve done.

Transcript:

HERSH: He also believes — and this I know from people — You know, one of the reasons I’m a good reporter is I have a lot of access to people that don’t talk otherwise. So I have over the years developed people that I talk to, and people have heard him say things like, “It’ll be 20 years before they appreciate me.”

He talks a lot about Winston Churchill. Churchill ran — he’s the guy who pulled England up during World War II. You’ve all read about him. But after the war — he was a Tory — a Conservative…everybody came home from the wars, scared to death about jobs, and they voted Labor. He was — Churchill was kicked out of office in ‘46. And that was an amazing thing because he had been such a hero to the English people. He got back in in ‘52 and then became a hero again.

Bush sees himself as somebody — that “yes, I may be at 30 percent in the polls, but in 20 or 30 years, they’ll appreciate what I’ve done.” And what they believe, he and Cheney — and I just know this in a first-hand way, I know what they’ve said in a first-hand way — they believe that whether Iran has a bomb or not — and there’s no evidence Iran does and it’s plenty of time and Iran may have all sorts of ambitions. And if I were in Iran, I’d be after what they say, all the threats they make.

Anyway, Iran is nowhere near a bomb, despite what you’ve heard. They’re years and years away and would stop tomorrow if you gave them a peace guarantee. They tried to do this in ‘03, as you remember. Anyway, they believe — the intelligence community keeps on saying, “There’s no bomb there.” And Cheney keeps on saying to the young briefing officers, “Thank you son, I don’t buy that,” in that nice pleasant tone.

And they believe that whether Iran has a bomb now or not, they can get one from Pakistan, from the Russian black market, and Nasrallah - the Hezbollah terrorist group — is embedded in America, even though there’s no evidence of that. They would be capable of getting a bomb smuggled into New York or Washington or wherever.

And so, what they think they’re doing — and you can’t use the word “delusional,” it’s actually in the DSM, it’s a medical term — wacky. And that’s a fair word. They believe they are protecting us from them. It’s not just keeping them from our shores, it’s protecting us from a nuclear holocaust. They really believe that — they don’t want to say so — they believe it. They’re not going to be persuaded otherwise.

And that’s why people like me, I’m going to get up in the morning — I’ve got a cold, so I might not have thought, but usually I have the thought that there are 554 days, that’s the bad news, the good news is I’m up today, that’s another day less. That’s about it. These guys are scary as hell.

QUESTION: In dealing with Iran, the U.S. finds itself handicapped at the negotiating table due to a lack of diplomatic dialogue between the countries for so long. What must America do, and who must do it, and who must it work with to diffuse tensions without resorting to military force?

HERSH: Well, you’ve got to have a coup to overthrow this guy. He’s not going to talk to Iranians. I don’t think he is no matter what, and that’s terrifying because the Iranians are more than willing to talk. America is a pretty powerful enemy, and I’ve been writing about this for two years in the New Yorker, and initially, everybody thought it was loony. It’s less loony now. I don’t know how to put it — George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s wet dream is hitting Iran. Maybe I should rephrase that.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

We, our children and grandchildren are being robbed

Oh, what to do....how can Congress clean up this mess?

Well, Let's see. Harry S. Truman is famous for saying that war-profiteering is nothing short of treason. Of course, Harry was never a CEO and I doubt seriously that he had many corporate officer types as close family friends, which made him above the corrupt, bottom-line feeders, like the ones who currently occupy the White House and who own quite a few of our congress-critters.

It's not only treasonous, it's nothing short of running a protection racket. Bring on the RICO prosecutors, when you are dealing with organized crime.

So here are my suggestions: 1) Get the damn money back, in someway that doesn't hurt the worng people, like minor-stockholders and employees, and put the CEOs and other corporate officers of the corporations, who are found guilty of fruad and bilking the American taxpayers, in prison.

We put people in jails and prisons every day for victimless crimes. These people are victimizing the entire nation of taxpayers and their progeny for generations. Why can we not put these greedy decision-makers in prison for grand theft, fraud, racketeering...whatever laws we can find.

Do this just once, like right now, and it will be awhile before it happens again.

Report: ‘Shadow Goverment’ Of Private Contractors Explodes Under Bush

A new report by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concludes that, under the Bush administration, the “shadow government of private companies working under federal contract has exploded in size. Between 2000 and 2005, procurement spending increased by over $175 billion dollars, making federal contracts the fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending.”

But while private contractors — such as Halliburton and AshBritt — have been reaping huge profits, “billions of dollars of taxpayer money have been squandered.” Some highlights from the report:

– Halliburton has been the “fastest growing contractor.” Under the Bush administration, federal spending to Halliburton “increased over 600% between 2000 and 2005.” The Government Accountability Office recently found that the government has wasted at least $2.7 billion to Halliburton on “overpriced contracts or undocumented costs.” At the end of 2005, Cheney’s stock options were valued at more than $8 million, a 3,281 percent gain from 2004.

– Growth in federal contracting exceeds inflation rate. In 2000, the value of federal contracts totaled $203 billion. By 2005, the value was $377.5 billion, an 86 percent increase. The new report notes that this “growth in contracting was over five times faster than the overall inflation rate and almost twice as fast as the growth in other discretionary federal spending over this period.” A record level of “nearly 40 cents of every discretionary federal dollar now goes to private contractors.”

– Noncompetitive contracts skyrocket. Sole-source and noncompetitive contracts grew by “an even faster rate than overall procurement spending, rising by 115% from $67.5 billion in 2000 to $145 billion in 2005.” Many of these no-bid contracts during the Iraq war and Katrina reconstruction went to Bush administration cronies who wasted money and performed shoddy work.

In the report’s review of 500 contracts, 118 contracts worth $745.5 billion “experienced significant overcharges, wasteful spending, or mismanagement over the last five years.” A recent report by American Progress Senior Fellow Scott Lilly has more details about the Bush administration’s procurement process problem and what Congress can do to clean up the mess.

UPDATE: The Gavel has video of House oversight chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) discussing the new report.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.