Saturday, June 14, 2008

Impeachment, Kucinich and the Independents

By Meg White

with commentary by independents Unbound's D. A. Dedman

"This isn't just about impeachment. It's about reorienting our politics to a position which respects morality. Our moral compass needs to be reset here." -Rep. Dennis Kucinich

In an exclusive interview with BuzzFlash Friday, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed the 35 articles of impeachment he introduced against President George W. Bush earlier this week. Though the word on the Hill is that the call for impeachment will not go anywhere, the Ohio representative is undeterred.

"This is a very grave matter that cannot be and will not be swept under the rug by some kind of a legislative trap," he said.

Wow, does Kucinich know something that we don't about this? Becuase everything else has been swept under the national rug, as in going to committee, which has become another word for black hole, when it comes to justice for the Bush administraion and thier co-conspirators in and out of government.

Representatives Robert Wexler (D-FL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have signed on to the resolution, and Kucinich expects more co-sponsors in the coming days and weeks.

Can't wait to see who else has the intestinal fortitude and the simple morality to sign on.

"There will be more. I'm quite confident of that, and as members start to read the document it'll keep growing," he said.

The proposal is now in the Judiciary Committee, where many expect it to stay at least until after the November elections.

I am so sick and tired of everything from domestic legislation to troop movements revolving around politics and elections! Is there no one is D.C., with certain notable exceptions, who can stand up for justice and doing the right things for the people, for the country and for the world?

Maybe this is one of the reasons why I am a life long independent and maybe it is the reason that this new generation of Americans, who are coming of age now, are registering as independents in droves.

"Some bills are sent to committee to be acted upon," Kucinich said. "But in this case it's widely assumed, based on statements by House leaders, that it'll be sent to committee and nothing's going to happen."

Yep and I can certainly understand why. There is a long history of just that, unless sex is involved, of course.

Kucinich entered the articles of impeachment as a privileged resolution, which means it can be reintroduced. He said that if the committee does not act on the resolution within 30 days, he will bring the subject up again in more detail.

Way to go, Dennis. We can use all the details you have, because we don't plan to let go of this until our dying day.

"I think it's reasonable to give the committee 30 days," he said. "There are other areas of law that I have not, in the interest of time, put in the resolution that was introduced. But they will be put in the next one if no action is taken."

Good. That is what we need; more details about the laws involved. The more details the better.

When taking over as Speaker of the House in 2006, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said impeachment was "off the table." She has stuck to that statement thus far. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the man in charge of calling Kucinich's resolution up for debate, said at the Take Back America Conference earlier this spring that he would consider waiting until after the presidential elections to pursue impeachment.

Conyers seems to have been told to back off by someone, maybe Pelosi....or maybe the wiretappers.

Kucinich does not see this as an option.

"If we wait, we're licensing further abuses of power. There's been broad concern that this administration could attack Iran. Why should we give them the opening to do so by failing to challenge the lies that they told that took us into war with Iraq?" he asked. "We cannot wait for after the election. We don't know what could happen in the next six months with respect to a further erosion of our democratic process. And what the impeachment process would do would be to have a chilling effect on further abuses of the Constitution and on creating another war."

We all hope that impeachment hearings wold have that the effect Dennis Kunich believes that it would: Stop further abuses of power and, possibly, and esclation of the Neocons war on the Middle East, like bombing Iran back to the stone age. However, we are not as convinced as Mr. Kunich that it would. It could have just the opposite effect. The question becomes are we dealing with rational people in this administration? I am not conviced at all that we are.

Nevertheless, some of us believe it is a chance we have to take. One reason is that we have every indication that Bush intends to launch an air attack on Iran before he leaves office, no matter what and Cheney is is even more in favor of doing so. If I believed for one second that impeachment proceedings would cause an attack on Iran, I would be absolutely against it, but I think that an attack is inevitable and that impeachment is, maybe, the only chance we have of stopping it.

Then there is always the chance of another "terrorist" attack on American soil, leading to the public suspension of the constitution, martial law and, perhaps the postponement of elections, indefinitely. Think it can't happen? Just think about the last 7 years. How much has already happened that we thought never would?

We are at one of the most perilous times in our history. As one of our founders said, "These are the times that try men's souls. " I would add women to the list of souls being tried, but the fact that these are perilous times remains the point. In times such as these, I have found that it is always best to contemplate, as best we can, the facts as we know them and what we strongly suspect to be true and then do the next right thing. For Congress, that means impeachment. For the people it means insistng on impeachment and, if that doesn't happen, we go to plan B.

He's also concerned after the election there could be a drop-off in interest.

How could it get any lower than it has been?

Historically, such conditions led to President Gerald Ford's controversial pardon of his predecessor President Richard Nixon. In addition, Bill Clinton did not pursue the Reagan/Bush I violations of the law, particularly the Iran-Contra and BCCI illegal activity.

And all that led directly to the nightmare in which we currently find ourselves. Politicians are a lot like children. If we keep allowing them to get by with criminal behavior with pardons and the like, they will just do something even more horrible. Gerald Ford should have never pardoned Richard Nixon. I understand why he did it, but it was wrong. To just allow the Iran/Contra crimes to fade away as if they were nothing all that bad has led directly to the crimes of this administration. My God, many of the same people are involved, both in and out of the government.

We must hold these people accountable. I frankly don't care how. If we can do it by the book, if Congress wakes the hell up, fine. If not, we will try regular old law enforcement after the criminals leave office. If they won't do anything, then the people must act in the most lawful way we can find, but what is for sure, is the need to hold these people accountable to the fullest extent of International if not American law. If we have to look to other nations for justice, it will simply prove that we do, in fact, live in a lawless land where the wealthy, powerful and the elite can get by with just about anything, while the American people are almost as much victims of their ruthlessness as the Iraqis and many others around the world

"If they refuse to act, you know what'll happen. The election's over and it's like, 'Well, let's not go back. That was yesterday. Let's move forward.' That's what'll happen," he predicted. "The House leadership, which is above Congressman Conyers, and even the leadership of the Democratic Party now are joining in and saying, 'Well, we just can't do this.' Well, you know what? This isn't about politics anymore. This is about whether or not there's such a thing as the rule of law, and you can't have a political agreement to violate the law."

Yep, that is exactly what will happen. Let's just sweep this under the national rug and move forward. Problem is, there is already so much stinky garbage under the national rug that we may not be able to find a way forward, and I'm not sure we should be able to until the American people demand a real house cleaning.

People, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing the right thing, no matter how much it may hurt our pride as Americans and humilate some of us, because any pride we may feel now is most certainly false pride. The Bush administration has turned our beloved country into a pariah nation. We have lost what moral authority we may have had left after some of the other criminal acts of past administrations. Our national moral compass has been broken for a long time. The Bush administration is simply the last damn straw, or it should be unless we want our progeny to grow up in a world rightly hostile to Americans, because we sat on our over-fed, ignorant, lazy butts and did nothing about the criminals leading this nation and their co-conspirators both in and out of government, not to mention a nation which no longer honors the constitution as law, leaving them in a lawless land, where they could be busted for possessing an ounce of cannabis and never heard from again.

(It does appear that the Supremes did, in their ruling regarding the inmates at Guantanamo, reinstate habeas corpus, the Great Writ. But let us all note who voted against it. The usual suspects: Roberts, Alito, Scalia and, of course, Thomas. Kennedy was the swing vote. Thank You, Justice Kennedy and the rest of the justices who know what the the Great Writ means to the people and that includes even judges and justices who sometimes run afoul of the law themselves. for doing what the Congress did not have the will to do, but who pays any attention to congress any way?)

I love my country, but love of country, especially a country we bill as a Democratic Republic, means making things right when they are so clearly wrong. It doesn't take a federal prosecutor to understand that crimes, terrible crimes, have been committed by this administration and those crimes have led to the deaths of millions, including Americans. Those crimes have led to the horrible maiming of hundreds of thousands more, many of whom are American soldiers, coming home with some of the worst war injuries I have ever seen. These people's lives and those of their families are forever changed and for what? Lies, damned lies...the worst kind of lies; those which involve fear-mongering of the worst sort and those which encourage vengeance seeking.

Of all the lies the American people were told, over and over again, these two were the worst:

1) We don't want the smoking gun to be in the form of a mushroom cloud. The British have learned that Saddam is seeking yellow cake from Africa?

If you want to scare the wits out of Americans, just bring up a nuclear attack on American soil. Admittedly, this type of fear-mongering is an oldie but, apparently, still a goodie. It certainly kept us willingly feeding the beast, known as the military-industrial complex, for years during the cold war. Even after good intelligence had informed the Reagan administration that the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse, we began funding all kinds of new nuclear weapons and paying hundreds of dollars for toilet seats and hammers. If anyone thinks that war-profiteering has been criminal during this illegal, unjust war in Iraq, you must not have any idea about the money that was flushed down the toilet during the so-called cold war which, as I recall, was hot more than cold most of the time. 57,000 American soldiers, sailors and Marines died in Vietnam, alone. I don't know the death count in the Korean war, I'm ashamed to say, but one was too many. Then there were Reagan's "secret" wars in Central and South America, often covered by his "war on drugs" and God only knows how many innocent people were tortured and killed in those illegal "involvements," or how many innocent people are still dying, being imprisoned and having their lives ruined because of Reagan's war on inanimate objects. Of course, anyone with more than three neurons firing knows that the war on drugs is and was a war on people; people like our own young people, for example Those illegal "involvements" rarely made the news to any great extent, until news of the Iran/Contra crimes finally broke, unless nuns were raped and killed by the very people the administration were supporting with Iranian money which we received from arms sales, routed through Israel of all places, and drug money, in violation of the Boland amendment and all human decency, which forbade support for the Contras. This is just one more example of how Republicans, in particular, never let the law get in the way of their plans.

2) The lie about the connection, which aparently only existed in the twisted mind of Dick Cheney, between Saddam and Osama.

This whopper was necessary for two reasons. One, of course, was to whip the country into a frenzy of vengeance seeking, never a good idea. The second reason was a bit more legalistic. After 9/11 the Congress had O.K.ed money for military action against Al Qaeda and anyone associated with them who were responsible for the attacks on the U.S, such as other terrorist organizations and including states that supported or harbored them. The administration had to find or make up a link between Saddam and Osama because, without the knowledge of Congress, the administration was moving supplies and people in unifom to ready the military forces to attack Iraq, who had nothing to do with 9/11, long before attacking Iraq was even being talked about in Congress or among the people . They couldn't find any connection that would stand up to any real scrutiny, so they made one up. I do not recall any other member of the administration actually saying that there was hard proof of a connection with the exception of Dick Cheney, but other members of the administration played fast and loose with the truth, using a very old propaganda trick. If one continues, every chance one gets, to say Saddam and Osama in the same sentence or paragraph over and over again, along with 9/11, long enough, people will begin to link the two in their minds and the national opinion will be changed to support a war that we never should have started and for which there was little support before the P.R. machine in the White House got rolling.

The biggest problem with this kind of lie, is that a military force that the American president was saying was for purposes of national defense and for the liberation of the people of Iraq from an insane dictator and his sociopathic sons, becomes a war of vengeance and an illegal war....a war of aggression, the mother of all war crimes, which then leads to all kinds of horrific war crimes like those we saw at Abu Ghraib and that was only the tip of the iceberg.

What's worse, is that we later find out that Abu Ghraib and other horrors like it were not just a matter of "hicks with sticks"..."a few bad apples" or whatever. It was Bush administration policy, American policy. A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N policy. That, Dear and me and every other American citizen. You see, people, we now know all of this, with the exception of people who are clinically insane or suffer some form of retardation. We can no longer plead ignorance, as many Germans did after WWII, when asked about the concentration camps, where Jewish people and many, many others were used as slave labor for Hitler's war machine, treated as sub-human, used in medical experiments, starved and/or gassed and piled in mass graves. (Yes, President Ahmadinejad, it did happen. One of my uncles was with other Americans who liberated one of the concentration camps. He took pictures; pictures so horrible that I wasn't allowed to see them, until I was a teenager. My family shopped regularly at a dress shop that was owned by a very nice Jewish family. I saw the tatoo the Nazis put on the woman's forearm. I won't name the town or the couple who owned the shop, simply because they might not want to be named on the Net at this time in history. But I wlll never forget them and I will never forget what was done to them and millions of other people. Nevertheless, I will never forget the pictures of Jena several years back; a Palestinian ghetto, where the conditions are terrible and the people are treated inhumanely to say the least. Those news pictures are burned into my consciousness, President Ahamdinejad, in much the same way as my uncles pictures from WWII.

This is about whether or not there is law at all, anymore, in this nation. Does the Democratic Party want anarchy? What starts at the top will begin to happen all over the land, if nothing is done to uphold all the laws which have been broken by this administration.

Kucinich differs with those who have suggested that the hearings could be divisive. He sees impeachment as an opportunity for healing both the partisan divisions between people and the mistrust Americans have for their government.

After this administration, it will be a cold day in hell before I can even think of trusting the government anymore, even to the rather small degree I did in the past. Frankly, I think this nation may well be beyond redemption, especially if the criminals in this administration are not held accountable under the law and to its fullest extent, no pardons or other legal/illegal wrangling, as happened with Scooter Libby.

While law enforcement has no choice but to respect pardons issued by a criminal president (or do they, in the final analysis?), the people of this country do not have to and should not respect such pardons.

"This war has been a wedge, which has driven Americans apart," he said. As for Congress, he said that "there is no logical explanation for their position. We cannot abdicate our responsibilities. If we abdicate our responsibilities, we end up being in collusion. Why are we not acting? There's a reason why the Congress is so low in polls and I think it's because the American people feel we won't stand up."

You got it, Mr. Kucinich. Congress can go straight to hell as far as we are concerned, right along with the criminals they are protecting, unless they get it together fast. For Congress to abdicate their constitutional responsibility does, in fact, make them complicit in some very high crimes and misdemeanors and, again, contributes to the lawlessness beginning to "trickle down," to coin a popular Republican phrase.

Kucinich said Congress is not living up to its responsibilities to the American people. But he has personal feelings about the resolution that drove him to move forward on impeachment.

"Where's our heart here? What is going on that we can't connect with the suffering of other people?" he asked. "We can't say, 'Oh, yeah, we went into a war, they didn't tell the truth and all these people died. Sorry about that. Pass the Grey Poupon.' We can't do that. We cannot become so callous that we don't care that innocent people are killed. This is what's driving me."

We are beginning to think that Congress is just a bunch of sociopathic fools. On the other hand, it may be that many of them know they have been being wiretapped since the early months of this administration and are afraid of what might come out in this election year if they dare take on the Bushes. But, as much as I can understand that, now is a time to set all of their fear aside and do their jobs. It is a time for courage, not only in the Congress but in the public as well.

Any casual reader of the articles of impeachment can tell the Iraq war figures heavily in the resolution. Of the 35 articles, Kunich said around half are at least tangentially related to Iraq. While some articles deal with election fraud and offenses against Medicare, Kucinich is clearly bothered by the lead-up to the war.

"I can't think of any more grave offense than that the people of this country, at a moment of peril in post 9/11, would be lied to in order to get their support for a war," he said. "There's a difference between just being wrong and lying. And there's a pattern of lies here."

I can think of one even more grave offense and that was allowing the events of 9/11 to happen in the first place, and that is exactly what they did and they did it knowingly and were complicit in the worst terrorist attack on America soil in history.

However, Kucinich said that the effort is not only about Constitutional law and his personal feelings. He wants to demonstrate to future U.S. presidents and the international community that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated by Congress.

Or by the people of the United States, so the Congresss or someone in law enforcement had better act or the people will have no choice. Has anyone read the declaration of Independence lately? If not, they should.

These are not just symbolic concerns; Kucinich raised the specter of international involvement:

"How awful it would be if the Congress looks the other way and within the next few years some nation decides to prosecute a member of the Bush Administration for war crimes at a time when we clearly knew that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with hearings?"

Awful? I think it would be awful if someone doesn't prosecute them. Clearly our own government doesn't have the moral compass nor any interest in holding to account some of the worst war criminals in recent history. These people who have attempted to destroy our constitution under the guise of a bogus war on terror should be tried, convicted in the senate and jailed. No more pardons. Let the people enforce it. They will all be safer in prison.

When this administration is finally over, there is going to be the worst economic collapse this world has ever seen, as our economy is pretty much gerry-rigged now, held together with bubble gum and bailing wire, while the Bushites hope and pray it will hold until they are gone.
There is going to be a huge mass of people who aren't going to take that very well at all and they aren't stupid enough to blame the new administration. Is there any wonder that the Bushes are buying land in Paraguay? It won't do them much good. They can run but they can't hide. Just like Poppy's old friend Pinochet, sooner or later they will be taken into custody somewhere, their assets stripped from them and justice will be done.

(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.

Breaking: Tim Russert Is Dead At 58

Tim Russert died A few ours ago, he slumped to the floor in his office at NBC just a few others.

Early indications are that it may have been heart-related. However, Tim did not smoke, he had no genetic links to heart disease, so seemed low risk, with the exception of his weight, which colleagues say was not ALL THAT much over-weight. I would have called him way over-weight, but I have only seen him on TeeVee and they say the camera piles on the weight. It does not take much "overweight," when that overweightness is caused by frequent doses of poison, like junk/fast, for example, or very fatty foods at home, especially when combined with work addiction. Yes, I said "addiction."

I'm not saying anything about Tim that I would not say about a family member or a good friend who had died, a 58 year old man with few of the markers of someone who might have a heart condition; few read flags that anyone knows of at the moment. It happens that way. Junk food and intensity just can't dance together forever.

No one knows why cardiac arrest takes some out of here instantly and some survive because it is caught before it can kill. It kills because it is electrical, not fat in the arteries.

Nevertheless. no sense in watching much news this evening, because it is all about the news.

When a news anchor gets this much coverage, no matter how great he was or wasn't, it just goes to show how TeeVee news media has gone to the dogs, or the grave.

Tim Russert was, for the most part, and considering the state of the news media today, a great guy and a very successful Newsman.

Before, anyone from the left comes after us with pitchforks, I am talking about a man who became successful during soundbite news, not Walter Cronkite News news. I have seen him go after the Right, lately.

Let's face it, corporate newsmen don't seem seem to get anything until the blogosphere gets it.

It is extremely rare when the news reports anything of a political nature that surprises me. Mainly, that is because I have already read it or have been called about it.

Anyway, Good Journey, Mr Russert. You will be missed.

(update: They are saying, on CNN that he did die from a massive heart attack or a cardiac arrest.)

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coming To A Gas Station Near You?

Police: Things get ugly at California gas pumps

CYPRESS, Calif. (AP) - Violence broke out at the gas pumps in Orange County. Police say a La Palma doctor waiting in line to buy gas at the Costco warehouse store in Cypress grabbed a tire iron and confronted a motorist who cut into the line. Sgt. Tom Bruce said the doctor was arrested and booked for investigation of brandishing a deadly weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner, a misdemeanor.

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

BBC Uncovers Lost Iraq Billions

By Jane Corbin
BBC News

Henry Waxman
Waxman: "It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history."

A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn (£11.75bn) may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq.

The BBC's Panorama programme has used US and Iraqi government sources to research how much some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding.

A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.

The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies.

War profiteering

While President George W Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.

To date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq.

The president's Democratic opponents are keeping up the pressure over war profiteering in Iraq.

Henry Waxman, who chairs the House committee on oversight and government reform, said: "The money that's gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, it's egregious.

"It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history."

In the run-up to the invasion, one of the most senior officials in charge of procurement in the Pentagon objected to a contract potentially worth $7bn that was given to Halliburton, a Texan company which used to be run by Dick Cheney before he became vice-president.

Unusually only Halliburton got to bid - and won.

Missing billions

The search for the missing billions also led the programme to a house in Acton in west London where Hazem Shalaan lived until he was appointed to the new Iraqi government as minister of defence in 2004.

Judge Radhi Hamza al-Radhi
Judge Radhi al Radhi: "I believe these people are criminals."

He and his associates siphoned an estimated $1.2bn out of the ministry. They bought old military equipment from Poland but claimed for top-class weapons.

Meanwhile they diverted money into their own accounts.

Judge Radhi al-Radhi of Iraq's Commission for Public Integrity investigated.

He said: "I believe these people are criminals.

(I wonder, do all Iraqis have this talent for understatement?)

"They failed to rebuild the Ministry of Defence, and as a result the violence and the bloodshed went on and on - the murder of Iraqis and foreigners continues and they bear responsibility."

Mr Shalaan was sentenced to two jail terms but he fled the country.

He said he was innocent and that it was all a plot against him by pro-Iranian MPs in the government.

There is an Interpol arrest warrant out for him but he is on the run - using a private jet to move around the globe.

He stills owns commercial properties in the Marble Arch area of London.

Freeze the accounts of every company that was involved in no-bid contracts or anything else that might even appear suspicious. Put the CEOs and other company officers on trial for fraud, theft by deception and any other law a good prosecutor can think of (don't forget the RICO statutes) and if they are found guilty, dump the money back into the treasury, put the corporate officers in prison for about for as many years as possible, under the law, and make it damned clear that we will not tolerate these elite sons-of-bitches stealing the money of the working poor and the middle class.

Either the law handles it or there is no law and the people will deal with it, sooner or later!

And that includes you, Mr. Shalaan

(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.

McCain Makes Stuff Up

No, shit Sherlock. Teflon Johnny lies like a freakin' rug. He's better at it than Junior and The Dick put together.

What's worse, he would be much more of a danger to the people of this country. Does anyone out there believe he would hesitate to use the powers that Bush and Cheney have accrued to the Executive branch against the American people, especially those who dared be critical of him?

John McCain is a huge disaster just waiting to happen.

By Robert Parry

For years now, the U.S. political press corps has traveled with John McCain on his “Straight Talk Express,” buying into his image as a paragon of truth-telling. But the real truth is that McCain routinely makes stuff up, as he did on June 11 in lying about Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment.

During a political talk in Philadelphia, McCain claimed that Obama had described “bitter” small-town voters as clinging to religion or “the Constitution” – when the second item in Obama’s comment actually was “guns.”

But the Arizona senator didn’t stop with a simple word substitution. He added that he will tell these voters that “they have trust and support the Constitution of the United States because they have optimism and hope. … That’s what America’s all about.”

In other words, McCain didn’t just make a slip of the tongue. He willfully accused Obama of disparaging the U.S. Constitution, a very serious point that, if true, might cause millions of Americans to reject Obama’s candidacy.

Still, when some of the U.S. broadcast networks – including NBC evening news – played the clip of McCain lashing out at Obama’s purported dissing of the Constitution, they didn’t correct McCain's falsehood.

That fits with a long-standing pattern of the political press corps giving McCain a break when he makes statements at variance with the truth. Even in the rare moments when he is caught in an inaccuracy – such as accusing Shiite-ruled Iran of training Sunni extremists in al-Qaeda – the falsehood is minimized as an unintentional gaffe.

However, McCain actually seems to be following a trail blazed by George W. Bush, saying what’s useful at the time even if it’s not true and then counting on the U.S. press corps to timidly look the other way. [For details on Bush, see our book, Neck Deep.]

Through all his misstatements, McCain’s “straight-talk” reputation survives.

Sweeping Denials

In another instructive case, McCain got away with sweeping denials in his reaction to a New York Times article on Feb. 21. The story led with unsubstantiated suspicions among some McCain staffers that their boss had gotten too cozy with female lobbyist Vicky Iseman, but McCain went beyond simply denying any sexual improprieties.

He put out a statement declaring that in his quarter-century congressional career, he “has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists.” But that simply isn’t true.

As the Times story already had recalled, McCain helped one of his early financial backers, wheeler-dealer Charles Keating, frustrate oversight from federal banking regulators who were examining Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association.

At Keating's urging, McCain wrote letters, introduced bills and pushed a Keating associate for a job on a banking regulatory board. In 1987, McCain joined several other senators in two private meetings with federal banking regulators on Keating’s behalf.

Two years later, Lincoln collapsed, costing the U.S. taxpayers $3.4 billion. Keating eventually went to prison and three other senators from the so-called Keating Five saw their political careers ruined.

McCain drew a Senate reprimand for his involvement and later lamented his faulty judgment. “Why didn’t I fully grasp the unusual appearance of such a meeting?” he wrote in his 2002 memoir, Worth the Fighting For.

But some people close to the case thought McCain got off too easy.

Not only was McCain taking donations from Keating and his business circle, getting free rides on Keating’s corporate jet and enjoying joint vacations in the Bahamas – McCain’s second wife, the beer fortune heiress Cindy Hensley, had invested with Keating in an Arizona shopping mall.

In the years that followed, however, McCain not only got out from under the shadow of the Keating Five scandal but found a silver lining in the cloud, transforming the case into a lessons-learned chapter of his personal narrative.

McCain, as born-again reformer, soon was winning over the Washington press corps with his sponsorship of ethics legislation, like the McCain-Feingold bill limiting “soft money” contributions to the political parties.

However, there was still that other side of John McCain as he wielded enormous power from his position as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which helped him solicit campaign donations from corporations doing business before the panel.

The Times story reported that McCain did favors on behalf of Iseman’s lobbying clients, including two letters that McCain wrote in 1999 to the Federal Communications Commission demanding that it act on a long-delayed request by Iseman’s client, Florida-based Paxson Communications, to buy a Pittsburgh television station.

Rather than simply acknowledge this fact, McCain’s campaign issued another sweeping denial of impropriety, calling those letters routine correspondence that were handled by staff without McCain meeting either with Paxson or anyone from Iseman’s firm, Alcalde & Fay.

"No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," his campaign said.

McCain’s Own Words

But that also turned out not to be true.

Newsweek’s investigative reporter Michael Isikoff dug up a sworn deposition from Sept. 25, 2002, in which McCain himself declared that “I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue. … He wanted their [the FCC’s] approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint.”

Though McCain claimed not to recall whether he had spoken with Paxson’s lobbyist [presumably a reference to Iseman], he added, “I’m sure I spoke to [Paxson],” according to the deposition. [See Newsweek’s Web posting, Feb. 22, 2008]

McCain’s letters to the FCC, which Chairman William Kennard criticized as “highly unusual,” came in the same period when Paxson’s company was ferrying McCain to political events aboard its corporate jet and donating $20,000 to his campaign.

After the Feb. 21 Times article appeared, McCain’s spokesmen confirmed that Iseman accompanied McCain on at least one of those flights from Florida to Washington, though McCain had said in the 2002 deposition that “I do not recall” if Paxson’s lobbyist was onboard.

First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who conducted the deposition in connection with a challenge to the McCain-Feingold law, asked McCain if the benefits that he received from Paxson created “at least an appearance of corruption here?”

“Absolutely,” McCain answered. “I believe that there could possibly be an appearance of corruption because this system has tainted all of us.”

When Newsweek went to McCain’s 2008 campaign with the seeming contradictions between the deposition and the denial of the Times article, McCain’s people stuck to their story that that the senator had never discussed the FCC issue with Paxson or his lobbyist.

“We do not think there is a contradiction here,” campaign spokeswoman Ann Begeman told Newsweek. “It appears that Senator McCain, when speaking of being contacted by Paxson, was speaking in shorthand of his staff being contacted by representatives of Paxson. Senator McCain does not recall being asked directly by Paxson or any representative of him or by Alcalde & Fay to contact the FCC regarding the Pittsburgh license transaction.”

That new denial crumbled, too, when the Washington Post interviewed Paxson, who said he had talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before McCain sent the letters to the FCC.

The broadcast executive also believed that Iseman had helped arrange the meeting and likely was in attendance. “Was Vicki there? Probably,” Paxson said. [Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2008]

So, in the months ahead, there’s urgency for American voters to figure out whether John McCain is the maverick “straight-shooter” of his usual press clippings or a sanctimonious phony who’s just masquerading as the guy who tells it like it is.

Is John McCain like George W. Bush, someone who has learned that the mainstream news media – ever sensitive to accusations of “liberal bias” – is hesitant to call a prominent Republican politician a liar, regardless of the facts and the circumstances?

In this political/media climate, McCain appears to believe he can get away with falsifying key details of something even as heavily reported as Obama’s infamous “bitter” remark.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to

(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.

More evidence of U.S. Corporate Media Corruptrion

MEDIA CAUGHT! Irrefutable Evidence of US Media Deception, Bias & Coverup

Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush for high crimes ranging from creating a false propaganda campaign to lead the country into an illegal war to felony treason in leaking classified information of CIA operative Valerie Plame to obstructing justice of the investigation of the attacks of September 11th. You can read the articles of impeachment HERE.

The allegations are EXTREMELY serious. If even HALF of them are true (and it's obvious that they are) the president should not only be impeached but should be put in JAIL. George Bush has the lowest approval rating of any sitting president and most of the country believes that he either intentionally lied us into Iraq or did not tell us the whole story. One might think that this is a proposal that would gain massive support. One might think that this would be on the front page of every newspaper and website as well as the lead story on all the major networks. THE STORY IS NOT BEING COVERED even though tonight the articles for impeachment received a co-sponsor. Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida has cosigned the article with Dennis Kucinich.
What is the function of the media if not to inform the people about important decisions facing our country? How are we to take part in a participatory democracy if the media is unwilling to give us all of the information needed to make decisions?

A functioning democracy CAN NOT EXIST without a functioning media.

(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 The People Think About Impeachment....

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? * 698116 responses
Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.
No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."
No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.
I don't know.

But who cares, right? What the people think hasn't mattered in a very long time.

Impeach and try the bastards now, and Bush will pardon all of them, including himself.

The man doesn't give a damn and he never has, what we think.

(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.

McCain Really Is An Idiot

As is anyone who honestly believes that Iraq is anything like Germany, Japan or Korea. There is a huge difference in the times and the scenarios. For one Hitler was real, as was the bombing of Pearl harbor. There were no lies about either one. As far as I know, no one lied us into Korea and then bombed the hell out of their capitol city as a form of liberation, calling it, very publicly "shock and awe."

Iraq is a country, already bombed to hell and back by Bush I and then put under some of the cruelest sanctions imaginable by the U.N., as backed by the U.S.

Those wanting to overthrow Saddam were betrayed by Bush I, as was Saddam, quite frankly, and the entire Arab world knows it. The Iraqis do not trust anyone named Bush and who could possibly blame them?

So, how is Iraq anything like the pacification of Europe and Japan or the Korean war?

Yesterday we witnessed John McCain beating himself, again, and his performance fit the widely predicted template of the next five months.

The man just cannot keep his mouth shut at critical moments, nor phrase his policies as already commonly understood in politically delicate, which is to say, diplomatic, terms.

Yesterday, as I'm sure you know by now, there came yet another such moment. He was asked in so many words on NBC's "Today" show if by now he had a better inkling as to when, as commander in chief, he might call home our troops in Iraq.

"No, but that’s not too important," replied Mr. McCain, seemingly oblivious to his rather insensitive wording.

Was what he said actual news, in the sense, that is, of being new? No, not really; it was just the way he said it. What he said was, in fact, old stuff, but McCain somehow always finds a way to reword detestable policies in freshly detestable ways -- and thereby keeps them dangling as raw meat.

And that, if nothing else, is what will beat John McCain.

It wasn't enough for him that this is almost an underailable Democratic year, or that he's attempting to succeed his own party's "worst president ever," or that he's confessed he knows little about the Number One issue of the campaign -- the economy -- and proves it every day, or that literally only eight percent of George Bush's major donors are tossing him some cash.

No, those weren't enough of a challenge for the flyboy-macho maverick. So, with goggles fixed and scarf flying, he has added his unruly mouth.

There was, actually, at least the opportunity for news yesterday morning, the pursuit of which journalists, for unknown reasons, persist in postponing.

For I've never heard Mr. McCain pressed in person on the matter of his circular logic.

He says, on the one hand, that we should stay in Iraq for upwards of 100 years, perhaps even longer, but only if American troop casualties are remarkably low or non-existent. This, of course, implies a peaceful Iraq.

On the other hand, he argues that we should never leave -- never surrender, as he puts it -- as long as Iraq is unpeaceful, which could very well translate into the same occupational duration that, ostensibly, only his first stipulation allowed.

In short, he says, we can stay in Iraq on good terms, which can only be achieved through bad terms, whose terms naturally force abiding troop casualties, which is obviously the reason we cannot stay, but which is just as obviously the reason we must -- indefinitely.

Maybe I'm just stupid. Maybe John McCain comprehends some inner and consistent and profound logic in what seems to me simple gibberish -- as contradictory as it is circular. Maybe he's really on to something. But I'll be damned if I can decipher it.

Yet if that's the case, I would also think there is, somewhere out there, a journalist just as dimwitted as I, and one who might feel compelled to actually ask Mr. McCain to clear up his or her confusion.

But no dice. Not yet, anyway. Every time he's asked about when the troops might come home, he offers the same, blissful analogy of Western Europe and South Korea, and the inquisitor accepts it. Next topic.

On occasion, such as yesterday's, he offers it in breathtakingly insensitive ways. I happen to find his logic far more disturbing than the ways in which he expresses it. Nevertheless it's his gaffe-prone mouth -- whether exercised in network interviews or town hall meetings or formal debates -- that will sink Senator John McCain.

Poor man, he just can't help himself.

Please respond to P.M.'s commentary by leaving comments below and sharing them with the BuzzFlash community. For personal questions or comments you can contact him at

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

Impeachment For 9/11: Three Articles

Blaming Bush for His Greatest Achievement

By David Swanson

For those who stayed riveted through the end of Congressman Dennis Kucinich's five-hour reading of his 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush on Monday night, the three articles at the very end of the list must have come as something of a jarring surprise. As everyone knows, managing to get the World Trade Center blown up, or at least just BEING president when it happened, is George W. Bush's greatest all-time achievement, the only action (or nonaction) that has ever made him truly popular with the American public, the one thing he will brag about until the day he dies. How, then, could Kucinich propose to impeach Bush for such stupendous success? Here's how:

Article XXXIII

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, failed in his Constitutional duties to take proper steps to protect the nation prior to September 11, 2001.

The White House's top counter-terrorism adviser, Richard A. Clarke, has testified that from the beginning of George W. Bush's presidency until September 11, 2001, Clarke attempted unsuccessfully to persuade President Bush to take steps to protect the nation against terrorism. Clarke sent a memorandum to then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on January 24, 2001, "urgently" but unsuccessfully requesting "a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack."

In April 2001, Clarke was finally granted a meeting, but only with second-in-command department representatives, including Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, who made light of Clarke's concerns.

Clarke confirms that in June, July, and August, 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) warned the president in daily briefings of unprecedented indications that a major al Qaeda attack was going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead. Yet, Clarke was still unable to convene a cabinet-level meeting to address the issue.

Condoleezza Rice has testified that George Tenet met with the president 40 times to warn him that a major al-Qaeda attack was going to take place, and that in response the president did not convene any meetings of top officials. At such meetings, the FBI could have shared information on possible terrorists enrolled at flight schools. Among the many preventive steps that could have been taken, the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines, and airports might have been put on full alert.

According to Condoleezza Rice, the first and only cabinet-level meeting prior to 9/11 to discuss the threat of terrorist attacks took place on September 4, 2001, one week before the attacks in New York and Washington.

On August 6, 2001, President Bush was presented a President's Daily Brief (PDB) article titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." The lead sentence of that PDB article indicated that Bin Laden and his followers wanted to "follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and 'bring the fighting to America.'" The article warned: "Al-Qa'ida members—including some who are US citizens— have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks."

The article cited a "more sensational threat reporting that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft," but indicated that the CIA had not been able to corroborate such reporting. The PDB item included information from the FBI indicating "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York." The article also noted that the CIA and FBI were investigating "a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives."

The president spent the rest of August 6, and almost all the rest of August 2001 on vacation. There is no evidence that he called any meetings of his advisers to discuss this alarming report. When the title and substance of this PDB article were later reported in the press, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice began a sustained campaign to play down its significance, until the actual text was eventually released by the White House.

New York Times writer Douglas Jehl, put it this way: "In a single 17-sentence document, the intelligence briefing delivered to President Bush in August 2001 spells out the who, hints at the what and points towards the where of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that followed 36 days later."

Eleanor Hill, Executive Director of the joint congressional committee investigating the performance of the US intelligence community before September 11, 2001, reported in mid-September 2002 that intelligence reports a year earlier "reiterated a consistent and constant theme: Osama bin Laden's intent to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States."

That joint inquiry revealed that just two months before September 11, an intelligence briefing for "senior government officials" predicted a terrorist attack with these words: "The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning."

Given the White House's insistence on secrecy with regard to what intelligence was given to President Bush, the joint-inquiry report does not divulge whether he took part in that briefing. Even if he did not, it strains credulity to suppose that those "senior government officials" would have kept its alarming substance from the president.

Again, there is no evidence that the president held any meetings or took any action to deal with the threats of such attacks.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

Article XXXIV


In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, obstructed investigations into the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Following September 11, 2001, President Bush and Vice President Cheney took strong steps to thwart any and all proposals that the circumstances of the attack be addressed. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell was forced to renege on his public promise on September 23 that a "White Paper" would be issued to explain the circumstances. Less than two weeks after that promise, Powell apologized for his "unfortunate choice of words," and explained that Americans would have to rely on "information coming out in the press and in other ways."

On Sept. 26, 2001, President Bush drove to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Langley, Virginia, stood with Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and said: "My report to the nation is, we've got the best intelligence we can possibly have thanks to the men and women of the C.I.A." George Tenet subsequently and falsely claimed not to have visited the president personally between the start of Bush's long Crawford vacation and September 11, 2001.

Testifying before the 9/11 Commission on April 14, 2004, Tenet answered a question from Commission member Timothy Roemer by referring to the president's vacation (July 29-August 30) in Crawford and insisting that he did not see the president at all in August 2001. "You never talked with him?" Roemer asked. "No," Tenet replied, explaining that for much of August he too was "on leave." An Agency spokesman called reporters that same evening to say Tenet had misspoken, and that Tenet had briefed Bush on August 17 and 31. The spokesman explained that the second briefing took place after the president had returned to Washington, and played down the first one, in Crawford, as uneventful.

In his book, At the Center of the Storm, (2007) Tenet, refers to what is almost certainly his August 17 visit to Crawford as a follow-up to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US" article in the CIA-prepared President's Daily Brief of August 6. That briefing was immortalized in a Time Magazine photo capturing Harriet Myers holding the PDB open for the president, as two CIA officers sit by. It is the same briefing to which the president reportedly reacted by telling the CIA briefer, "All right, you've covered your ass now." (Ron Suskind, The One-Percent Doctrine, p. 2, 2006). In At the Center of the Storm, Tenet writes: "A few weeks after the August 6 PDB was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure that the president stayed current on events."

A White House press release suggests Tenet was also there a week later, on August 24. According to the August 25, 2001, release, President Bush, addressing a group of visitors to Crawford on August 25, told them: "George Tenet and I, yesterday, we piled in the new nominees for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Vice Chairman and their wives and went right up the canyon."

In early February, 2002, Vice President Dick Cheney warned then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle that if Congress went ahead with an investigation, administration officials might not show up to testify. As pressure grew for an investigation, the president and vice president agreed to the establishment of a congressional joint committee to conduct a "Joint Inquiry." Eleanor Hill, Executive Director of the Inquiry, opened the Joint Inquiry's final public hearing in mid-September 2002 with the following disclaimer: "I need to report that, according to the White House and the Director of Central Intelligence, the president's knowledge of intelligence information relevant to this inquiry remains classified, even when the substance of the intelligence information has been declassified."

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was created on November 27, 2002, following the passage of congressional legislation signed into law by President Bush. The President was asked to testify before the Commission. He refused to testify except for one hour in private with only two Commission members, with no oath administered, with no recording or note taking, and with the Vice President at his side. Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton has written that he believes the commission was set up to fail, was underfunded, was rushed, and did not receive proper cooperation and access to information.

A December 2007 review of classified documents by former members of the Commission found that the commission had made repeated and detailed requests to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 for documents and other information about the interrogation of operatives of Al Qaeda, and had been told falsely by a top C.I.A. official that the agency had "produced or made available for review" everything that had been requested.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

Article XXXV


In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the Vice President, recklessly endangered the health of first responders, residents, and workers at and near the former location of the World Trade Center in New York City.

The Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) August 21, 2003, report numbered 2003-P-00012 and entitled "EPA's Response to the World Trade Center Collapse: Challenges, Successes, and Areas for Improvement," includes the following findings:

"[W]hen EPA made a September 18 announcement that the air was 'safe' to breathe, it did not have sufficient data and analysis to make such a blanket statement. At that time, air monitoring data was lacking for several pollutants of concern, including particulate matter and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Furthermore, The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) influenced, through the collaboration process, the information that EPA communicated to the public through its early press releases when it convinced EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones."

"As a result of the White House CEQ's influence, guidance for cleaning indoor spaces and information about the potential health effects from WTC debris were not included in EPA- issued press releases. In addition, based on CEQ's influence, reassuring information was added to at least one press release and cautionary information was deleted from EPA's draft version of that press release. . . . The White House's role in EPA's public communications about WTC environmental conditions was described in a September 12, 2001, e-mail from the EPA Deputy Administrator's Chief of Staff to senior EPA officials:

"'All statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC [National Security Council] before they are released.'

"According to the EPA Chief of Staff, one particular CEQ official was designated to work with EPA to ensure that clearance was obtained through NSC. The Associate Administrator for the EPA Office of Communications, Education, and Media Relations (OCEMR) said that no press release could be issued for a 3- to 4-week period after September 11 without approval from the CEQ contact."

Acting EPA Administrator Marianne Horinko, who sat in on EPA meetings with the White House has said in an interview that the White House played a coordinating role. The National Security Council played the key role, filtering incoming data on ground zero air and water, Horinko said: "I think that the thinking was, these are experts in WMD (weapons of mass destruction), so they should have the coordinating role."

In the cleanup of the Pentagon following September 11, 2001, Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws were enforced, and no workers became ill. At the World Trade Center site, the same laws were not enforced.

In the years since the release of the EPA Inspector General's above-cited report, the Bush Administration has still not effected a clean-up of the indoor air in apartments and workspaces near the site.

Screenings conducted at the Mount Sinai Medical Center and released in the September 10, 2004, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) of the federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), produced the following results:

"Both upper and lower respiratory problems and mental health difficulties are widespread among rescue and recovery workers who dug through the ruins of the World Trade Center in the days following its destruction in the attack of September 11, 2001.

"An analysis of the screenings of 1,138 workers and volunteers who responded to the World Trade Center disaster found that nearly three-quarters of them experienced new or worsened upper respiratory problems at some point while working at Ground Zero. And half of those examined had upper and/or lower respiratory symptoms that persisted up to the time of their examinations, an average of eight months after their WTC efforts ended."

A larger study released in 2006 found that roughly 70 percent of nearly 10,000 workers tested at Mount Sinai from 2002 to 2004 reported that they had new or substantially worsened respiratory problems while or after working at ground zero. This study showed that many of the respiratory ailments, including sinusitis and asthma, and gastrointestinal problems related to them, initially reported by ground zero workers persisted or grew worse over time. Most of the ground zero workers in the study who reported trouble breathing while working there were still having those problems two and a half years later, an indication of chronic illness unlikely to improve over time.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

(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.

Monday, June 9, 2008

W.H. Lawyers Are Concerned?

Why should they be?

If Waxman and others keep pushing this, Bush will pardon everyone he ever knew as he walk out of the W.H.

Of course, he may do that anyway, as he knows full well that he and his administrations have committed crimes for which they could be hung.

If he does so, he leaves the American people no legal way out of complicity in all of his crimes.

If he does so, the people may not care about legalities any more than he and his administration do.

Duffy: ‘White House Lawyers Are Concerned’ McClellan’s Book Will Reignite ‘The Valerie Plame Business’»

In his explosive new memoir, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan claims that Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, “and possibly Vice President Cheney” encouraged him to “repeat a lie” to the American people about the administration’s role in the leaking of Valerie Plame’s identity. This assertion, along with others, has led members of Congress, like House Oversight Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA), to again ask questions about the CIA leak scandal.

On NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show today, Time magazine assistant managing editor Michael Duffy said that the renewed attention to the scandal is causing White House lawyers to be “very concerned”:

DUFFY: White House lawyers are concerned, very concerned, now that Scott McClellan’s book has led Henry Waxman and John Conyers to take another look at the Valerie Plame business. There may be hearings. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may be called. Just another way in which a Democratic Congress might make a difference during the fall.

Last week, Waxman sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, requesting that the Justice Department turn over FBI interviews of President Bush and Cheney that were conducted during the CIA leak scandal investigation. In the letter, Waxman cited “new revelations” from McClellan’s book, including the claim that “[t]he President and Vice President directed me to go out there and exonerate Scooter Libby.”

Additionally, White House lawyers are likely “concerned” that CIA leak special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicated this week that he would be willing to testify before Congress about alleged efforts to push him off of politically sensitive cases like the leak scandal.

As Duffy said, this “could make things rough for everyone who was affiliated with the Plame affair.”

(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.

Americans Beware! Democracy Theft 2008

What to do....what to do?

How can we stop another election from being stolen?

Seems we all know the dangers for 2008. Anyone who doesn't can read the article below, which pretty much covers it, except for one possibility: Another "terrorist strike," as several Republicans have suggested would be helpful, a declaration of martial law, and no election at all.

The question is how can we stop machine, telephone line and/or central scanner hacking, as well as other forms of election tampering, legally?

Until someone comes up with a fool proof plan, and it doesn't look as if our Congress has any real plan, I can think of only one thing we can do. We, as bloggers, citizen journalists, diarists, email writers and the like can make it very clear that if there is any reason to even suspect that the election has been stolen, all hell is going to break loose.

So, Powers-that-be, is anarchy what you want? Do you think that will help your beloved corporations and their bottom line? Do you have any idea how it feels to be surrounded by people who hate you? Have you ever felt that kind of fear?

Personally, I hope you never have to go through anything like that. So, don't mess with election 2008, unless you want a real American revolution.

The Bush/McCain Game Plan:

What May Be in Store for Obama -- And the Rest of America

by Elliot D. Cohen

Now that Barack Obama has secured the Democratic nomination, many of his supporters are looking forward with guarded optimism to a victory in November. However, while they assume that the road ahead will be a challenging one, and that the outcome may rest with key battleground states such as Ohio, what they may fail to anticipate are the kinds of obstacles that the McCain campaign in tandem with the Bush Administration might, in the coming months, place between them and victory.

It is easy enough to take one's eyes off the ball when concentrating on campaign speeches and strategies for winning over the hearts and minds of Americans. So what things might change the landscape of the current contest and tilt it in favor of the McCain camp?

First, the guarded optimism of Obama supporters assumes that the voting process will be largely a fair one. However, attention to past irregularities suggests otherwise. There are several familiar ways in which the election could be stolen. Some of these ways would be to disenfranchise African American voters and other would-be Obama supporters by purging them from voting lists, losing or failing to send out their registrations, deceiving these citizens about their proper voting precincts, and mis-allocating voting machines in precincts likely to go for Obama.

These, among other illegal and unethical tactics, were employed in key battleground states such as Florida and Ohio in both the 2000 and 2004 elections. It is pie-in-the-sky optimism to think that these same tactics won't be used, perhaps even more systematically, again in 2008. Meanwhile, faulty, insecure, and hackable electronic voting machines attached to malfunctioning printers will be used to record ballots.

In addition to these more conventional manners of voter fraud, there are also other possible ways to steal the election. All electronic voting machines transport their data over telephone lines to a central computer where tabulations of votes are made. These telephone lines are not secure, however, because, in putting into operation its unlawful warrantless surveillance program, the Bush Administration had installed computer technology at major telecom company hubs, such as those of AT&T, which intercepts and reads messages before they reach their final destination. It is therefore quite conceivable that the balloting data being transported from individual voting precincts could be intercepted and reconfigured before it reaches its main tabulation point.

Unless adequate legal protections are enacted to protect against such possibilities, we may never know whether votes were changed even before they were tabulated. Unfortunately, the Senate version of proposed legislation (S.2248) that is supposed to protect against abuses of privacy, gives telecom companies immunity against criminal and civil liability for participating in unlawful electronic searches and seizures, and does not offer adequate safeguards against the possibility of such illegal tampering with votes.

As if this wasn't unsettling enough, while the Senate and House debate the final disposition of S.2248, the possibility remains of government interception of all e-mails and phone calls sent through the phone lines, including the messages sent by the presidential candidates and their representatives. Thus, while the Nixon Administration had to break into Democratic National Headquarters in order to get the lowdown on its Democratic opponents, the McCain camp, with the assistance of the Bush Administration, may now have only to go online to read about Obama's latest strategy for winning the election; thereby giving it the potential to thwart this strategy before it succeeds. Again, it is pie-in-the-sky optimism to suppose that such tactics as this will not be used by what can arguably be regarded as the most corrupt administration in the history of America.

As recently learned, there is currently a secret deal being transacted between the Bush Administration and the Iraq government that would establish permanent military bases in Iraq, thereby nominalizing Obama's promise to withdraw troops from Iraq and giving greater credence to the stalwart position of McCain to keep American troops in Iraq.

The strategy of the McCain camp will undoubtedly include stressing McCain's military and foreign affairs experience and emphasizing Obama's lack thereof. With the establishing of permanent military bases in Iraq, this emphasis will be further vindicated.

Notwithstanding a National Intelligence Estimate according to which Iran discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Bush has stepped up his rhetoric against Iran. He recently proclaimed, "Iraq is the convergence point for two of the greatest threats to America in this new century: al-Qaida and Iran," and he threatened, "If Iran makes the right choice, America will encourage a peaceful relationship between Iran and Iraq. If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners."

The Obama camp, not to mention every U.S. citizen, should be prepared for the possibility that prior to the November election, Bush will attempt to use his "war powers" to sidestep Congressional authority and launch an attack on Iran. From a purely logistical perspective, with simultaneous wars going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, including a permanent presence in Iraq, it would make sense to have a commander in chief who is experienced in warfare. Obviously, this would place McCain in the enviable position of being able to boast of his wartime experiences and would leave Obama grasping for a response.

For the Obama camp, trying to win a victory against McCain and his Bush Administration support system may be like trying to play cards against an opponent who is using a loaded deck. But all American citizens on either side of the political divide should be concerned about the prospects of the 2008 presidential race becoming a power grab where the lives and liberties of all of us are used and abused to amass power and dominance, both here and abroad.

Those who support Obama need to beware. But those who support McCain need equally to beware, for winning a contest that is fixed is not really winning; and when the contest in question involves the defiling of the U.S. Constitution and the destruction of democracy, there are values at stake that far transcend one's party affiliation.


Elliot D. Cohen is a political analyst and media critic. His most recent book is The Last Days of Democracy: How Big Media and Power-Hungry Government are turning America into a Dictatorship. He is the first-prize winner of the 2007 Project Censored Award.

(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.