Saturday, June 28, 2008

Huge Pay Out In Anthrax Case

This from the BBC.

Heard it barely mentioned last evening on the Boob Tube.

So, come Monday, I think we should all show a great interest in the anthrax mailer. Call your congress-critter/Senators, the FBI, The White House.....anyone else you can think to call.

Dr Steven Hatfill. File photo
Dr Hatfill has always denied any involvement in the attacks

The US justice department has agreed a multimillion-dollar settlement with a man it said was a "person of interest" in the US anthrax attacks in 2001.

Dr Steven Hatfill, a former US army scientist, sued the department, saying it violated his privacy rights by speaking to reporters about the case.

Court papers now say a deal has been reached and the case will be dismissed.

Five people were killed by anthrax mailed to lawmakers and media outlets in New York, Washington and Florida.

Hazardous materials workers outside Capitol Hill in Washington DC during the anthrax attacks in 2001
Eighteen people were infected by the anthrax-laced letters

According to the settlement documents filed on Friday, the justice department will pay Dr Hatfill $2.8m (£1.4m) upfront.

It will also buy Dr Hatfill a $3m (£1.5m) annuity that will pay him $150,000 (£75,000) each year for 20 years.

"The United States does not admit to any violation of the Privacy Act and continues to deny all liability in connection with Dr Hatfill's claims," Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Right, that's why we, the tax payers are out another few million.

Dr Hatfill has denied any involvement in the attacks.

(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.

MSM News Stars' Alarm Over Unfair Campaign Money

There was real emotion in his voice when ABC News anchor Charles Gibson used Friday night’s newscast to stand up for little-guy McCain against online-fundraising-powerhouse Barack Obama.

I imagine that it is frightening for corporate news anchor guy, Gibson, when non-corporate candidate guy, Obama, is able to raise phenomenal amounts of cash (averaging about $100.00/donation).

By opting out of public financing, Gibson intoned, the Democrat could obtain “two times, three times, four times, as much money as John McCain.”

It wasn't all that long ago, though it seems much longer given the hell we've through since then, that the Republicans were saying that contributions to political campaigns are the same thing as political speech. Perhaps, Mr. Gibson, we can say that the people have spoken.

“Let me ask you a question about basic fairness,” Gibson implored of chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos. “People in this country like to believe that people play on a level playing field and that a campaign will be about ideas and personality; if you start with that much more money, is it basically fair?”

Yes, people in this country would certainly would like to believe that we all, including our politicians, play on a level playing field, but we all know better than that, now don't we, Mr. Gibson.

In the first place, Gibson, Obama did not start out with "that much, much more money." What do you think he did, rob Bank of America? McCain has been the GOP presumptive nominee for months now, while Obama and Clinton have fought it out for the nomination, burning cash left and right. McCain has had plenty of time for fund raising while not only unopposed by anyone from his own party, but with his former opposition raising money for him, or trying. Perhaps your questions should be, why hasn't McCain been able to raise more money during this time period.

Given, however, some of your questions during the ABC Democratic Debate, especially questions directed to Obama, I'm not surprised by this one and, given to whom the question is directed, George "Does-Rev.-Wright-love-this-country-as- much-as-you-do" Stephanopolis, I doubt the answer was any better than the question.

It was more a statement than a question, like Brit Hume anchoring at Fox. (ABC has gone Fox-like in crusading over “Obama’s Switch” and “Back Flip” and “Flip-Flop” on public financing.)

Is Mr. Gibson at all concerned, I wonder, about McCain's gaming of the system; he's in the system in order to borrow money, but he is out of the system when he finds himself far behind in fund raising and wants Obama to give up millions, so he can have that imaginary level playing field . We've lost track of how many times he's been in and out of the system since the primaries began, but given McCain's history of pushing the envelope right up to, if not slightly over the line, the FEC should be checking out his latest shenanigans.

Gibson’s egalitarian “fretting” about fairness was too much for right-wing media critic Brent Baker, who belittled the anchor and McCain:

“If Obama can raise more than his opponent, it just reflects greater enthusiasm for him. And there's hardly any nobility in taking taxpayer money when you know you'll be challenged to raise a larger amount voluntarily.”


To me, the good news is that a network anchor was giving prominence to the plight of under-financed candidates.

The bad news is that it’s taken years to see an anchor make such a stand. And that Gibson (like other media voices in recent days) is making his stand for “fairness” against a candidate who has attracted 3 million contributions from 1.5 million donors giving an average donation of $91.

In other words, against a candidate who is arguably less beholden to big-moneyed interests than McCain. (The Gibson clip is at Crooks and Liars.)

And that's the real beef, is it not? Can it be that corporate interests are losing their hold on the American political system? (Oh, horror of horrors!) I seriously doubt that Mr Gibson or any other of the GOP corporate mouthpieces to be found at various and sundry anchor desks, anchoring or spewing pundit pap, have all that much to worry about, at least not for a while. Americans, in general, still don't get that as long as the relationship between the corporate and political worlds are so creepily intertwined, we will not have anything resembling a representative democracy. The fact will remain that our elected officials will be representing the scoundrels of K Street and the corporate interests they are paid big bucks to shove down our throats.

I have mixed emotions about big media’s newfound concern for under-funded candidates.

Beginning in 1992, Norman Solomon and I used our nationally-syndicated column to criticize mainstream media for their failure to focus on campaign spending inequities and the elite funders of corporate-friendly politicians.

Days after the 1992 election, we wrote that “national media seemed almost clueless to explain the triumph” of endangered U.S. Senate incumbents – with the New York Times blandly noting that many incumbents “somehow managed to survive.”

We mentioned several narrowly victorious Senators like corporate-backed sex-harasser Bob Packwood of Oregon, who outspent his Democratic challenger by more than 3 to 1. And ethically-challenged Al D’Amato of New York, who outspent his liberal opponent 2 to 1.

Our column – titled “We Need Term Limits for Political Pundits” – concluded that “big bucks special interests dominating Washington are almost a taboo subject.”

In that column and others, we urged political journalists to calculate and report which candidates won more “votes per dollar spent” – arguing that the “VPDS count would make it clear that many incumbents would have been defeated if not for their advantage in dollars.”

So here we are in 2008, and we’re witnessing an apparent flip-flop in mainstream news – with bleeding-heart appeals to “fairness” on behalf of the less-funded McCain enough to make a right-winger cringe.

From the same outlets that spent decades worshipping a politician’s corporate fundraising prowess as a sign of that candidate’s strength, seriousness, viability.

When longtime media lapdogs on campaign inequities transform into fierce watchdogs in the face of Obama’s online fundraising clout, the public is wise to be suspicious.

Are these elite voices truly upset because Obama shifted his position? Are they upset all of a sudden that one candidate has a financial advantage over another?

No and No, would be my guess.

Or is this just the fear and loathing of the Netroots resurfacing – like when establishment pundits went hysterical as Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary in 2006?

My guess would be YES. With each election that passes, we, the people, whether we be called the grassroots or the Netroots, are gaining more and more strength, as we have learned more, not only how to organize and inform on the Net, but how to transfer our on-line work to on-the-ground work; for issues and candidates.

It isn't the least bit surprising to me that Net Neutrality is a huge issue. Keeping the Internet neutral, insisting on more access not less, for all Americans, regardless of their socio-economic classification is our last, best chance of salvaging democracy in this land.

We have a tremendous amount of work to do in this regard. The U.S. ranks way down the list of developed nations when it comes to citizen access to broadband. I find this outrageous for a nation always ready to brag about how great we are. (We aren't doing any better in education or health care.)

Here is a fresh, outsider candidate – like Dean in 2003 – with a powerful grassroots funding base that goes way beyond the corporate sponsors of the nightly news. To the old-line media establishment, that’s scary.

You bet it is. It could well be the beginning of the end of corporatism in America (or as it was called 60 years ago, Fascism), but not unless we all keep up the hard work it will take to carry on with this non-violent, peaceful revolution. The hard work we are required to do is much less than will be required in a bloody revolution.

If network anchors want to be taken seriously on campaign “fairness,” they might propose common-sense reforms. For starters: free TV and radio airtime to candidates.

I'm afraid it is going to take much, much more than free airtime (since the airwaves used by the MSM and radio belong to the people anyway). As a matter of fact, it may well be too late for the old media and that may be what scares them more than anything else. The anchors and pundits on all three of the major networks, as well a cable news and the national press, with the notable exception of Knight-Ridder, now McClatchy News, sold us all down the river, beginning with election election 2000 and on to this very day. Of course, the worst betrayal was their timidity in investigating the "reasons" we were given for the invasion of Iraq.

I don't know anyone who trusts them anymore. Perhaps they are just now realizing that they aren't going to get away with misinforming, or simply refusing to inform the American people about what others all over the world already know.

Jeff Cohen is the director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. In 1986, he founded the progressive media watch group FAIR.

(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.

Bush Torture Lawyers Duck Questions

A strange and scary couple of nerds.

Mixing haughty disdain with semantic quibbling, two key legal architects behind George W. Bush’s “war on terror” tactics brushed aside congressional questions about how the administration fashioned its harsh interrogation policies that human rights experts say crossed the line into torture.

Former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo and Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff David Addington also downplayed their roles in formulating the theories of presidential power that gave Bush wide latitude to order that detainees be subjected to painful treatment to break them down.

Yoo, who is now a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, insisted that he only drafted the legal memos – from his post as a deputy in the Justice Department’s powerful Office of Legal Counsel – and that other officials decided what interrogation techniques were permissible.

“Decisions about interrogation methods at Guantanamo Bay were made by the Defense Department,” said Yoo in Thursday’s testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution.

But Yoo appears to have been splitting hairs. While it may be true that higher-ups in the Bush administration, including President Bush, had greater responsibility for approving the techniques, Yoo was not just the detached legal scholar that he portrayed at the hearing.

In his 2006 book, War by Other Means: An Insider’s Account on the War On Terror, he described his participation in meetings that helped develop the controversial policies for the treatment of detainees.

For instance, Yoo wrote about a trip he took to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with other senior administration officials to observe interrogations and to join in discussions about specific interrogation methods.

At Thursday’s hearing, Addington, who was Vice President Cheney’s legal counsel at the time of the administration’s internal torture debate, also disputed some of the press reports that depicted him as the mastermind behind Bush’s imperial presidency.

Cheney’s Cheney

Yet, while Yoo relied on semantics and assertions of executive privilege to duck many congressional questions, Addington responded with bluster and contempt toward many of his Democratic inquisitors.

Addington is NUTZ.

Addington, who is often called “Cheney’s Cheney” for his bullying style, displayed his displeasure at being subpoenaed. He submitted no prepared testimony and made no opening comment beyond correcting introductory comments by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, the panel’s chairman.

"Is that the entirety of your statement?" Nadler asked.

"Yes, thank you," Addington said. "I'm ready to answer your questions."

But that wasn’t entirely true, either. Throughout the hearing, Addington did more fencing with the committee Democrats than sharing meaningful information about how the presidential policies on interrogations were devised.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, the courtly House Judiciary Committee chairman, asked about the “unitary executive theory,” a key tenet of right-wing legal reasoning for granting the President extraordinary powers. Though Addington has long been a chief advocate of this concept, he quibbled over the words.

"I frankly don't know what you mean by unitary theory," Addington said.

"Have you ever heard of that theory before?" Conyers asked.

"I see it in the newspapers all the time," Addington replied.

"Do you support it?"

"I don't know what it is."

In disbelief and with his voice rising, Conyers asked, "You're telling me you don't know what the unitary theory means?"

"I don't know what you mean by it," Addington answered.

"Do you know what you mean by it?"

"I know exactly what I mean by it," Addington said, and then cited constitutional language that he said grants the President the “unitary” – or total – executive authority of the U.S. government.


Often as Democrats were asking questions, Addington would slouch in his chair, rub his beard or write notes to himself as if he wasn’t paying attention.

When asked why the administration developed its own legal definition of torture rather than consult with members of Congress who had enacted anti-torture statutes, Addington called the idea “irrelevant” – much like his boss Cheney once reacted to a question about an opinion poll showing popular opposition to the Iraq War with a blunt, “So?”

At one point, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Florida, expressed disbelief about Addington’s assertion that he couldn’t remember discussions about methods of interrogation. “Is there a question pending, ma’am?” Addington responded petulantly.

Yoo presented a sharply different persona, offering a pained expression whenever he insisted that he wanted to cooperate but was constrained by the Justice Department’s demand that he not divulge details about the formulation of the interrogation policies.

But Yoo also played word games with the Democrats, much as Addington did.

When Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, asked a question about whether Yoo’s memo on torture was “implemented,” Yoo retreated to a muddled academic discussion of what “implemented” meant.

"What do you mean by 'implemented'?" Yoo asked.

An astonished Ellison responded, "Are you denying knowledge of what the word 'implement' means?"

"You're asking me to define what you mean by the word?"

"No, I'm asking you to define what you mean by the word 'implement,'" Ellison said, exasperation in his voice.

"It can mean a wide number of things," Yoo observed. [For more on Yoo's dissembling, see's "Defending the President as Tyrant" or Washington Post, June 27, 2008]

Unprepared Democrats

Based on the generalities of many questions directed at Yoo, it also appeared that Democratic committee members were unfamiliar with the contents of Yoo’s book, in which he discusses in far greater detail how he formed legal opinions on torture, his reasons for recommending that the White House ignore the Geneva Conventions, and warrantless wiretaps.

Yoo was the author of an August 2002 legal opinion widely referred to as the
”torture memo” that gave CIA interrogators legal cover to implement brutal methods during the interrogations of suspected terrorists. He also drafted a second, similar opinion for military interrogators in March 2003.

Yoo’s book offers some clues behind the genesis of the August 2002 torture memo.

He wrote that in December 2001 “senior lawyers from the Attorney General’s office, the White House counsel’s office, the Department’s of State and Defense, and the [National Security Council] met to discuss the work on our opinion” regarding whether the Geneva Convention applied to members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Yoo wrote that he, too, participated in the meetings.

“This group of lawyers would meet repeatedly over the next months to develop policy on the war on terrorism,” Yoo wrote. “Meetings were usually chaired by [White House counsel] Alberto Gonzales...his deputy, Timothy Flanigan, usually played the role of inquisitor, pressing different agencies to explain their legal reasoning to justify their policy recommendations.”

Yoo wrote that the Defense Department was represented by its general counsel William “Jim” Haynes, the State Department by legal adviser William House Taft IV, and the NSC by John Bellinger, that agency’s legal adviser.

The meetings that Yoo described appear similar to those disclosed by ABC News last April.

“The most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al-Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA,” ABC News reported, citing unnamed sources.

“The high-level discussions about these ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed – down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

“These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al-Qaeda suspects – whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC News.”

Resistance on Torture

Yoo wrote that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) often clashed with the State Department over international laws banning torture.

“In our arguments, State would authoritatively pronounce what the international law was,” Yoo wrote. “OLC usually responded ‘Why?’—as in why do you believe that, why should we follow Europe’s view of international law, why should we not fall back on our traditions and historical state practices?”

Yoo wrote that the policies he and other senior administration officials recommended, that al-Qaeda and the Taliban were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva Convention, also rankled military lawyers.

“Judge Advocates General [JAG’s] worried that if the United States did not follow the Geneva Conventions, our enemies might take it as justification to abuse American POW’s in the future,” Yoo wrote. “From what I saw the military had a fair opportunity to make it’s views known. Representatives from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including uniformed lawyers, were present at important meetings on the Geneva question and fully aired their arguments.”

The consensus among the officials who participated in the December 2001 meetings formed the basis of a legal memo sent to Gonzales that advised the White House that al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners were not entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status or the Geneva Convention.

President Bush accepted that legal opinion verbally on Jan. 18, 2002.

“The only way to prevent future September 11s will be by acquiring intelligence,” Yoo wrote. “The main way of doing that is by interrogating captured al-Qaeda leaders or breaking into their communications.... In an opinion eventually issued on Jan. 22, 2002, OLC concluded that al-Qaeda could not claim the benefits of the Geneva Conventions.”

Yoo also wrote that in January 2002 he and the other administration officials who participated in the December 2001 meetings took a trip to Guantanamo Bay to observe the interrogations of several detainees

The trip took place seven months before he drafted the first of two legal opinions that were later withdrawn.

“A gust of warm, humid air embraced us as we disembarked at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay,” Yoo wrote in his book. “I was the junior person on the flight among the senior lawyers there from the White House, Departments of Defense, State and Justice.

“The group of us who landed that day had no idea that the ‘front’ in the war on terrorism would soon move from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the cells of Gitmo.”

Geneva Protections

In the context of explaining why the prisoners were not entitled to the benefits of the Geneva Convention or prisoner of war status, Yoo wrote:

“When our group of lawyers visited Gitmo, the Marine general in charge told us that several of the detainees had arrived screaming that they wanted to kill guards and other Americans. …

“Many at Gitmo are not in a state of calm surrender. Open barracks for most are utterly impossible; some al-Qaeda detainees want to kill not only guards, but their peers who might be cooperating with the United States. The provision of ordinary POW infeasible.”

Yoo’s argument that only quiet POWs “in a state of calm surrender” should qualify for Geneva protections might be news to many former U.S. POWs, including Sen. John McCain, who have boasted about their various forms of resistance to their captors.

Yoo added that a few weeks after he returned from Guantanamo “the lawyers met again in the White House Situation Room to finally resolve the issue for presidential decision.”

“If Geneva Convention rules were applied, some believed they would interfere with our ability to apprehend or interrogate al-Qaeda leaders,” Yoo wrote. “We would be able to ask Osama bin Laden loud questions and nothing more. Geneva rules were designed for mass armies, not conspirators, terrorists or spies.”

However, consensus eluded the group, according to Yoo.

“Gonzales had the unenviable task of summarizing the different positions for President Bush and attempting to forge a consensus,” Yoo wrote. “[Gonzales recommended that the President find that neither al-Qaeda nor the Taliban were covered by Geneva.”

However, Secretary of State Colin Powell urged President Bush to reconsider, according to Yoo.

On Feb. 7, 2002, President Bush sent a memo to Cheney, Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, Attorney General John Ashcroft, General Richard Myers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which said, “the Geneva Conventions only applied to conflicts involving states fighting with regular armed forces,” according to Yoo’s book.

Yoo wrote that Bush believed that “the war on terrorism ushered in a new paradigm, one in which groups with broad, international reach commit horrific crimes against innocent civilians, sometimes with the direct support of states. [Bush] accepted that he could suspend the Conventions with regard to Afghanistan, but decided not to.

“Instead, he found that the Taliban were ‘unlawful combatants’ [and] also found that Common Article 3 applied only to an ‘armed conflict not of an international character,’ and hence neither to the war with al-Qaeda nor the Taliban.”

However, little of this history found its way into the congressional hearings. Between the bluster and the legalisms, Addington and Yoo managed to fend off most of the questioning.

Jason Leopold has launched a new Web site, The Public Record, at

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(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.

de la Varga and Kunnich: Inpeachment

Good read and may well be helpful, whether there is impeachment or not, and the chances are good that there will be no "legal action" taken against the Bush administration criminals while they are still in office.

It will may be well up to the people to take action once they are all out of office.

Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment: A Three-Part Guide by Elizabeth de la Vega

For the past seven years, we have watched as evidence of President Bush’s deceit, contempt of Congress and abuse of power has piled up like rank seaweed on a beach. We cannot, in this summer of 2008, simply step around it and pretend it’s not there. There is a constitutional process to follow and we must follow it. If the threat of terrorism is not a reason to disregard the constitution – and it is not – then surely neither is an election. So I have decided to offer some help, a modest contribution in the one area I know best: the presentation of charges. It’s a Three-Part Guide to the Articles of Impeachment. There is nothing fancy here -- no sarcasm, no vitriol and no cynicism. Part I is a chart that itemizes the Articles of Impeachment with a subheading and a longer description. Part II is also a chart which itemizes U.S. and international laws that are implicated by the charges in the Articles of Impeachment.

(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 27, 2008

Wexler: McCain's 'calculating the value of a terrorist attack' is 'eerie'

So, if it happens now, we know just where to head with our torches and pitchforks!

06/26/2008 @ 9:37 am

Filed by David Edwards and Muriel Kane

When McCain's top strategist Charlie Black was quoted as saying that a new terrorist attack would "be a big advantage" to the McCain campaign, McCain responded that "I cannot imagine why he would say it. It's not true."

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann pointed out on Wednesday that several examples have now emerged of McCain himself suggesting that terrorism could be good for the GOP. For example, in 2004, a Connecticut paper quoted McCain as saying during a local campaign stop that thanks to the release of an alleged al Qaeda tape, "Bin Laden may have just given us a little boost."

Olbermann asked Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) whether Senator Barack Obama is right when he suggests playing the terror card won't work this time around.

"He is right about the shift," Wexler replied, "The Bush administration and Senator John McCain have lost their credibility -- but still Senator Obama has to go out and aggressively make the argument."

"If this were just one comment by John McCain, or one comment by his chief strategist, that might be forgivable," Wexler continued. "But this is now the second, possibly the third instance in which the mindset of John McCain is becoming quite evident. ... He appears to be calculating the value of a terrorist attack or an assassination to his campaign, and that's quite eerie."

"I don't think we should just focus on Mr. Black," Wexler emphasized. "We ought to focus on Senator McCain himself, because this seems to be a joint effort."

"Why is nobody calling McCain on any one of those remarks?" Olbermann asked.

"When we thought it was only once, you could forgive it," Wexler stated. "But now when I hear you talk about what is the third instance, that's a pattern of attempting to use fear."

Wexler suggested that "Senator Obama needs to go out and say, 'You know what? These guys' credentials on security matters aren't any good anyway. Senator McCain, President Bush, they were wrong on the Iraq War ... taking our sights off Osama bin Laden. ... they put all their eggs in Musharraf's basket. ... The McCain-Bush policies have not made America safer.'"

Wexler concluded by noting that Congress also has an important role to play. "We need to hold the Bush-McCain positions accountable and engage, in my view, in inquiry of impeachment with respect to the lies that the Bush administration foisted on the American people as they took us to war in Iraq."

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast June 25, 2008.

Download video

(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.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Army General Says Bush Guilty Of War Crimes.

I post these kind of articles for purely moral reasons and because some of our number believe that gaveling-into-order impeachment hearings is the only way to stop BushCo to from obliterating Iran.

I'm not sure it would have that effect. It is clear we are not dealing with rational people.

There are several reasons why I don't think Impeachment is our best option now.:

1) The Bushites are NUTZ and would not blink at taking out several hundred thousand American and Iranian lives to stay in power. Remember, Karl Rove was and is fighting for one party rule in America and Cheney is humping for Unitary Executive.

2) Even by the time that election 2006 gave the Democrats a good majority in the House and a very slim-to-no majority in the Senate, it was too late for impeachment and trial by the Senate, as it was clear that the Bushites were going to be fighting for the clearly unconstitutional "Unitary Executive," or imperial presidency, and would fight for or destroy every last smidgen of paper or electronic communications without so much as a twinge of conscious. That battle, I am afraid, would cause BushCo to go on a major offensive against political opposition at home and Neocon targets abroad. After the last 7 years, I would not put anything past the evil creatures in this administrations and their enablers in Congress, as well as their advisers/co-conspirators outside government.

3) Impeachment and trial by the Senate is only meant to remove elected officials from office, at which point they can be tried in a court of law, for crimes against the constitution/and or the people. This bunch has done those crimes and much worse. They have committed international crimes, serious war crimes.

No matter what the Congress does or does not do about BushCo, they will be out of office in less than 7 months and free to be tried, if not here, the Hague. As I see it, The International Court has the dibs on BushCo, as it is the international crimes that have caused the most death, maiming and mayhem.

It may well be up to the people to see that justice is served.

Bush is on a war crime spree, and only impeachment can stop him

Over the last three days, many tens of thousands of impeachment supporters have written and called Congress demanding accountability for Bush's war crimes. In a Physicians for Human Rights report published yesterday, entitled "Broken Laws, Broken Lives," two-star former General Anthony Taguba, wrote, "After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Make an urgently needed donation right now to help us publicize the message of impeachment, including the powerful words of General Taguba about war crimes. We are in a full mobilization mode printing leaflets, posters, organizing lobbying teams, and much more. We can't do it without your help.

What we can all do right now

The impeachment movement has hit the streets with a new flyer to let the American public know about the necessity of impeachment. We've been calling our representatives, sending letters, and building up our resources so we can carry this historic movement forward.

1) Click this link to make a donation to the impeachment movement right now, when we need it most.

2) Please click here to send a letter to your Congressional representative.

3) Click this link to download the flyer to distribute.

Gen. Taguba's words could easily have come from of an impeachment activist, or excerpted from the 35 Articles of Impeachment introduced last week. But instead they came the Army general who led the investigation into the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib. Taguba's comments shed new light on the horror of Bush's crimes, and are a striking confirmation of what the impeachment movement has been saying for years. Taguba's report comes right on the heels of a McClatchy newspaper report that showed gross abuses of human rights occurred under Bush's watch, primarily at prisons in Afghanistan where detainees were held en route to Guantanamo — and that many of the prisoners were wrongly detained.

In the report released yesterday, Taguba said, "This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture." After submitting his original report, General Taguba was predictably forced into retirement.

Taguba closed his comments with a direct call to action: "These men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution." There is only one way for the Constitution to be brought into force and restore justice to the Bush administration's many victims: impeachment.

The House Judiciary Committee has the power to initiate impeachment hearings immediately, and act on the 35 Articles of Impeachment for George W. Bush. This is a time fraught with not only great challenges, but great opportunity. The impeachment movement has hit the streets with a new flyer to let the American public know about the necessity of impeachment. We've been calling our representatives, sending letters, and building up our resources so we can carry this historic movement forward. Click this link to make a donation to the impeachment movement right now, when we need it most.

Please click here to send a letter
to your Congressional representative urging them to co-sponsor impeachment, to pressure the Judiciary Committee, and to fulfill their Constitutional obligations.

(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 Are The New Nazi Germany.

And, unlike the Germans, we have no one but ourselves to count on for liberation.

America Is Starting To Resemble Germany Before The Reichstag Fire

June 23rd, 2008 ·

There’s no doubt that we live in political times that are highly charged; Right-wing pundits dominate the radio and TV while the majority of Americans believe that America is heading in the wrong way by a whopping 81%, yet what we are assailed with on a regular basis are the 19% that support the Bush administration and seem intent on starting another war - proof positive that the White House’s propaganda machine and corporate America are bound and determined to have their way in spite of overwhelming condemnation from the majority of America. It seems that “the people” no longer have a voice, ignored by Congress and the Presidency - and a Speaker of The House that for all practical purposes, appears to be a rabid Bush supporter rather than a Democrat - a symptom that America is definitely headed on the wrong path, compliments of a Congress and Judiciary that have turned their back on their oaths of office and seem intent on destroying our economy, our belief(s) in the constitution, and the rule of law.

To the rest of the world, it must appear that America is imploding from within - and our enemies, who are real and standing on the sidelines wondering how to deal with a military giant that seems out of control, are likely in hushed meetings and conferences asking themselves how 19% of the population have obviously taken control over what used to be the world’s premier superpower which now is in disarray and chaos; our Congress is rubber-stamping whatever the Bush administration wants, and Democrats like Pelosi and Hoyer are giving in to a lame-duck that still has the ability to plunge the US into another war that could thrust the Middle-East into a “ball of fire”. We know that the fear of war is real, especially when the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog chief stated that attacking Iran could force him to resign:

ElBaradei: Mideast could burn if Iran attacked

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
Sat Jun 21, 11:59 AM ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief warned in comments aired Saturday that any military strike on Iran could turn the Mideast into a “ball of fire” and lead the country to a more aggressive stance on its controversial nuclear program.

The comments by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, came in an interview with an Arab television station aired a day after U.S. officials said they believed recent large Israeli military exercises may have been meant to show Israel’s ability to hit Iran’s nuclear sites.

“In my opinion, a military strike will be the worst … it will turn the Middle East to a ball of fire,” ElBaradei said on Al-Arabiya television. It also could prompt Iran to press even harder to seek a nuclear program, and force him to resign, he said. MUCH MORE

How have 19% of the right-wing haters of democracy and freedom managed to take-over our airways and are pushing, against the majority of America, for another war that could easily escalate to World War III??? Why aren’t Americans refusing to buy gas that is inflated by oil speculators and staging a general strike, now, while we still have the ability to stop the warmongers from destroying the rest of our economy and sentencing our children to a future that may entail the destruction of democracy and freedom is the United States? I support, but they propose to strike on September the 11th, and if you read the news the MSM won’t reveal, it indicates that September the 11th may be too late to stop the carnage that Bush and Cheney are planning while our Congress refuses to honor their oath of office and impeach the traitors that are attempting to destroy the American way of life!

The leading Neo-conservative, Bill Kristol, is stating that Bush will attack Iran if it looks like Obama may win the Presidency. If a general strike is planned for 9-11-08, why do we believe the Bush administration will wait until then to begin their attack - especially when Obama is leading McCain is almost all of the polls?

Kristol: Bush might attack Iran if he thinks Obama will win

By Andrew McLemore, Sunday, 22 June 2008

President Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he thinks Senator Barack Obama may be elected, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol told FOX News Sunday morning.

Kristol added that if Senator John McCain was going to win the presidency, Bush would “think it more appropriate” to let him deal with the issue.

Senators McCain and Obama have often sparred about whether military force or diplomacy should be the primary way of dealing with Iran, according to an article by the Los Angeles Times. MUCH MORE

Further, an ex-CIA Agent, Ray McGovern, recently published an editorial wherein he stated that an attack against Iran could be launched in “late summer” or “early fall.”

McGovern: Iran attack coming soon

Stephen C. Webster
Published: Sunday June 22, 2008

In a new editorial published by, former CIA officer Ray McGovern states that he believes “a perfect storm seems to be gathering in late summer or early fall,” when the Bush administration and allies in Israel will launch attacks against Iran.

“This time it will be largely the Air Force’s show, punctuated by missile and air strikes by the Navy,” writes McGovern. “Israeli-American agreement has now been reached at the highest level; the armed forces planners, plotters and pilots are working out the details.”

“Does Conyers not owe at least that much encouragement to those courageous officers who have stood up to Cheney in trying to prevent wider war and catastrophe in the Middle East? Scott McClellan has been quite clear in reminding us that once the president decided to invade Iraq, he was not going to let anything stop him. There is ample evidence that Bush has taken a similar decision with respect to Iran – with Olmert as his chief counsel, no less. MUCH MORE

In a move that is refreshing from the standpoint of accountability, Lawrence Velvel, the dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, is planning to convene a “convention” that will discuss and plan ways of prosecuting members of the Bush administration for War Crimes. While I support this conference wholeheartedly, place yourself in the shoes of Bush and Cheney, and ask yourselves if starting another war and declaring martial law would be a viable method of stopping this proposed “conference” which could easily lead to investigations - and maybe land some of those who have defied our constitution and rule of law into not-so-comfortable prosecutions, and could influence their decisions in regard attacking Iran that are based on their own self-preservation rather than national security!

Bush ‘war crimes conference’ to convene in Mass., plan prosecution of admin. officials

Stephen C. Webster
Published: Sunday June 22, 2008

On September 13-14, 2008, Lawrence Velvel, the dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, plans to convene a ‘convention’ at the school’s facilities; the attendees of which will plan strategies to prosecute members of the Bush administration for war crimes.

“This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred,” stated Velvel in a press release. “It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth.

“We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice. And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940’s.” MUCH MORE

If you read all of these stories and meld them together, it reveals the “big picture” of a country that seems hell-bent on starting another war, and if you consider the flooding in the Mid-West, which is guaranteed to raise our food prices even more, the food riots that have been occurring in other countries could easily come home to roost in the United States! The Associated Press published an article entitled “Everything seemingly is spinning out of control.” In my opinion, the AP did a wonderful job in taking most of the recent events and which have Americans wondering “what’s next” and demonstrated that indeed, we are all in for some extremely rough times, and to start a war when disaster is literally on our doorstep is insanity, and life in these United States could change forever if the “people” don’t wake-up and take action that will force Congress to protect the people, not corporate America or Israel! There comes a time when we have to protect ourselves, because if we don’t, we will not be in the position to help others - but will join them in their misery! Remember, it’s the United States that traditionally comes to the rescue of nations that are suffering from famine or disease, but who will come to our aid? Historically speaking, the U.S. is at an all-time low in global opinion, and several countries would gloat and revel in our demise, not reach-out to help. The Bush administration has destroyed our credibility and the United Sates is now one of the least trusted nations on earth, so isn’t it time to make back-up plans so we don’t wind-up as another third-world nation and suffer accordingly? Below are a couple of excerpts from the AP story mentioned above, and it’s sobering stuff, words we should all consider and act upon instead of believing that “it could never happen to us.”

Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive on a worldwide scale, due to increased consumption in growing countries such as China and India and rising fuel costs. That can-do solution to energy needs — turning corn into fuel — is sapping fields of plenty once devoted to crops that people need to eat. Shortages have sparked riots. In the U.S., rice prices tripled and some stores rationed the staple.

American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

“All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored,” he said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen again.”

The above article is intense and is a must-read if you’re hoping that things will get better, because right now, there’s absolutely no evidence that it will, and if recent patterns persist, it will get much worse before it gets better - and if we add another war to the mix, you can bet that America will never be the same again!

I don’t like to be the harbinger of bad news, but if you read all of the articles that are quoted above, our situation is dire, and another “Reichstag Fire” appears to be simmering, ready to destroy everything our forefathers fought and died for; complacency is a disease, and in this case, the damage it will inflict on you and your families may be irreversible, so now is the time to take action - and if you don’t, the future will be one that we brought upon ourselves by refusing to listen to reality which isn’t knocking on the door, but is attempting to break it down while Congress still stubbornly refuses to impeach or do anything else that will halt the coming disaster that is aimed directly at America!

Remember, it is “we the people” that make this country run, and when enough of us wake-up and understand that Bush and Cheney are bent on destroying everything we cherish, including your own family, failing to take action is a guarantee that tomorrow will be far worse than today, and from my viewpoint, “today” may be the last chance we have at stopping an inevitable march to disaster and doom.

William Cormier

(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.

It's Official: 44% of us have lost our minds

Those 44% should be with Junior, the Dick and others in the Dock at the Hague.

Have Americans Lost Thier Collective Minds? Torture Is OK???

To know that 44% of Americans now believe that torture is OK signals that Al Qaeda has effectively won the war on terror, and instead of defeating the enemy, we are becoming what we feared. This is evidence that Bush's politics of fear is working, and Americans need to do some soul-searching and understand what set the US apart from the many enemies we have fought against and prevailed in the name of freedom and democracy - and believe me, it wasn't torturing our enemies!

(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.

Charlie Black "Invited Terrorists To Manipulate Our Politics"

Black may have done just what Clarke said he did, but this is not the first time that a Wingnutter has said something similar and got caught at it. Can't remember the details now, but a GOP chair in a southern state went so far as to say that a terrorist attack was what we, dim-witted Americans, need, so that we would all wake the hell up, realize what a genius Junior is and vote GOP. I'm thinking that this fine pronouncement was made during campaign 2006 but before the 2006 elections.

Perhaps that was why Clarke couldn't come up with anything better to say about Black's comments.

The simple fact is, the "terrorists" already know that they can scare the hell out of the American voter or simply have Osama say insulting things about Bush and get him re-elected. Even the CIA critters were unanimous that, in 2004, only days before the election when Osama appeared with a message for Americans, during which he insulted Bush and made fun of him reading "a book about a child's pet goat" while the country was under attack, Al Qaeda had voted and they were voting for Bush.

Whatever else may be said of Osama bin Laden, and I have quite a few choice words, he isn't stupid. He has been studying us for years, while we knew next to nothing about him. He knew damn well that the best way to get Bush re-elected, in a close campaign, was to insult him.

Osama needs Bush as Bush needs Osama. Why else would the Bush administration allow him to escape at Tora Bora in December, 2001 and, unless they are cretin idiots, that is exactly what they did.

Wanted Dead Or Alive. Uh huh.

Here's what I can't figure out. The worst foreign attack on U.S. soil since the war of 1812 happens during a Republican administration, the people, whom we are told are responsible for those attacks, are still free and yet Americans, according to the latest polls, trust McCain more than Obama on terrorism. Why?

Clarke: Charlie Black Basically Said To Terrorists, ‘Yes You Can Manipulate Our Politics, Come And Do It’»

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) distanced himself from chief strategist Charlie Black’s comments that a terrorist attack would be a “big advantage” to the McCain campaign. “If he said that, and I do not know the context, I strenuously disagree,” McCain told reporters.

Later in the day on MSNBC, former counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke told Keith Olbermann that if McCain was serious in his outrage, he should fire Black immediately. He also criticized Black for basically encouraging terrorists such as Osama bin Laden to manipulate American politics:

CLARKE: Well, Charlie Black knows a lot about politics but he doesn’t know much about terrorism. If he did, he would know that Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and all the al Qaeda leadership, watch U.S. politics very closely. We’ve even had cases where in interviews, bin Laden quoted opinion polls from European public opinion polls.

(It doesn't take a terrorism expert to know that.)

So, yes, they understand that they can manipulate politics as they tried to in the Spanish election with the attacks there. And to say, “Yes, you can manipulate our politics, come and do it,” is an invitation that the McCain campaign shouldn’t be anywhere near.

Unfortunately, conservatives are often putting out such invitations. Last week, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton said that if Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is elected president, the United States would “simply have more embassy bombings, more bombings of our warships like the Cole, more World Trade Center attacks.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that such a result would lead to terrorists declaring “victory in this war on terror.”



OLBERMANN: Did Charlie Black just erase any remaining line between counterterrorism and scaring people for political gain?

CLARKE: I think that line was erased in 2004. It`s been erased in every election since 9/11. Now, what Charlie Black did is reveal their thinking, not that they wanted a terrorist attack, but that they do plan to run by scaring us. They`re using the same playbook they`ve been using for years because it works.

And if McCain is sincere in saying that he`s shocked, that there`s gambling going on in his casino, then he ought to part with Charlie Black. I mean, Charlie Black ought to be gone tomorrow morning so that we can say, once and for all, that this campaign is not going to be a campaign about fear and about saying that one guy is soft on terrorism and if you vote for him, there will be another terrorist attack; all the sorts of things that we`ve heard in the past.

OLBERMANN: Yes, just somebody once saying, this is not going to be a mixture of politics, presidential politics and the necessary counterterrorism because this is the darkest part of it. You can argue the politics forever and blame game forever, but — the darkest part of this, I think, and I`d like your opinion on it, is that we`re necessarily faced with, if there are any legitimate warnings or any plots that come up between now and November, they now have to be seen through the prism of what Black has just said.

CLARKE: Well, that`s right. And the fact that we now know from Tom Ridge and others, that when there were threats released in 2004, well, they were largely exaggerated and blown up. So, we`re now in the situation where the American people won`t believe a warning, if there were a real one — but McCain can stop all of that. He can stop talking about Hamas has endorsed Obama; he can stop all of this sort of innuendoes and go to the issues-based campaign he said he was going to do.

And the way he does that is by tomorrow morning announcing the resignation of Charlie Black and saying that he wants to run on the issues and not as the “scare candidate,” not as the scaremonger and not as the scarecrow. […]

CLARKE: Well, Charlie Black knows a lot about politics but he doesn’t know much about terrorism. If he did, he would know that Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and all the al Qaeda leadership, watch U.S. politics very closely. We’ve even had cases where in interviews, bin Laden quoted opinion polls from European public opinion polls.

So, yes, they understand that they can manipulate politics as they tried to in the Spanish election with the attacks there. And to say, “Yes, you can manipulate our politics, come and do it,” is an invitation that the McCain campaign shouldn’t be anywhere near.

(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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is McCain, The Rage-aholic, The Guy We Want With His Finger On The Button?

No, I don't this so, Tim.

Elliot D. Cohen: POW/MIA Families Alleged McCain Assault: Senate Ethics Committee Failed to Investigate

by Elliot D. Cohen

On June 20, 1996, Senator John McCain allegedly assaulted a family member of a Vietnam War prisoner of war (POW) who was missing in action (MIA), as a group of about 15 family members of POW/MIAs watched in astonishment. Within about one month, five ethics complaints had been filed with the Senate Ethics Committee by five eyewitnesses. But the Senate Ethics Committee refused to investigate the matter.

According to eyewitness Carol Hrdlicka, wife of Vietnam War POW/MIA air force pilot Col. David Hrdlicka, the group had been waiting in the hall of the Russell Office Building in Washington, D.C. for McCain to come out of an office in order to hand deliver letters asking him to forego an amendment to the Missing Service Personnel Act (MSPA) of 2005. The MSPA had been signed into law in February 1996 as part of the Defense Authorization Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-106). This law, which updated a 1942 law, had been a major victory for the families of POW/MIAs who worked tirelessly to get it through Congress.

The MSPA required the Pentagon to beef up its resources to find and rescue missing service
personnel in a timely manner. For instance, it required the filing of reports on missing persons within 48 hours. Among other substantive provisions, it also criminalized withholding information from the families of POWs by broadly stipulating that "any person who knowingly and willfully withholds from the personnel file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." McCain's amendment eviscerated these new changes. For instance, it increased the reporting time to 10 days, and it deleted entirely the stated provision penalizing the withholding of information.

These family members of POW/MIAs had come to speak with McCain to try to convince him to leave the law alone. Mrs. Hrdlicka gives the following description of what happened:

When he [McCain] realized who we were, his face turned red and he became enraged. He would not accept the letters we had brought, he burst through our group assaulting the niece of Jane Duke Gaylor, mother of a MIA. I followed Senator McCain down the hall asking that he leave the legislation alone and all the while he is denying that he knew anything about the Missing Personnel Act. ...As we reached the elevator he said to me that I didn't know what he had been through ... I then stated I understood what he had been through and David Hrdlicka was still going through it. I had the capture picture of my husband and tried to show the picture to him but he would not look at it. ...The elevator arrived and Senator McCain quickly jumped in -- that ended our conversation. After this incident we went to the Capitol Police and filed a report. We also sent complaints to the ethics committee on the Senator's behavior.

"He went from a smiling, congenial, happy face to a beet red, totally enraged face in an instant," she said. "I have never seen a senator act in this way. We were all dumbfounded how this happened. He threw his arm up, and she goes flying and Jane [who was in a wheelchair] gets pushed aside as he brushes by her. All I see is people flying and I'm behind him [McCain]... This was assault."

According to Black's Law Dictionary (6th Edition) assault and battery consists of "any unlawful touching of another which is without justification or excuse. ... battery requires physical contact of some sort (bodily injury or offensive touching), whereas assault is committed without physical contact...." Given Mrs. Hrdlicka's description of what happened (which was generally consistent with that given by other eyewitnesses), it would appear that McCain engaged in "offensive touching" of another "without justification or excuse." Yet neither the Capitol Police nor the Senate Ethics Committee investigated the incident.

An August 2, 1996 letter to Hrdlicka from the Senate Ethics Committee stated, "To the extent that your complaint appears to relate to alleged physical acts, it would appear that appropriate action has been taken by informing the Capitol Police of the alleged incident. Thus, based upon the information which you have provided, no further action is intended with respect to this matter." The Committee therefore claimed to have rested its decision not to take any action regarding the "alleged physical acts" entirely on the fact that these acts were reported to the Capitol Police. However, the fact that a case is reported to the Capitol Police does not in and of itself constitute an adequate disposition of an ethics problem.

First, as the Senate Ethics Manual explicitly acknowledges, findings of law and findings of ethics are not necessarily the same. Even in cases where a senator may not have violated a specific law, he or she may still have acted unethically or in a manner unbefitting a member of the Senate. For example, when Senator Larry Craig was arrested by police for disorderly conduct in a police sex sting at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, the Senate Ethics Committee eventually sent Craig a letter of admonition. The letter did not merely admonish Craig for unlawful activity (he had originally pleaded guilty but then attempted to withdraw his guilty plea) but for bringing discredit to the Senate. Citing the Senate Ethics Manual, the Committee stated that Senate Resolution 338 (S. Res. 338) "gives the Committee the authority to investigate Members who engage in "improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate," regardless of whether such conduct violates a specific statute, Senate Rule, or regulation." And it added, "the Committee has stated that the Senate "may discipline a Member for any misconduct, including conduct or activity which does not directly relate to official duties, when such conduct unfavorably reflects on the institution as a whole."

Craig had allegedly tapped his fingers under an adjacent toilet stall occupied by a police officer. But McCain had allegedly assaulted and battered a woman who came to speak to him about a matter of State. In its August 2, 1996 letter to Hrdlicka, the Committee also cited S. Res. 338 as giving it the authority to "receive and investigate allegations of improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate." Yet, in McCain's case, the Ethics Committee did not perceive the need to investigate this serious complaint, nor to take issue with McCain's conduct.

Second, according to Hrdlicka and two other complainants, Capitol Police did not investigate the matter after the incident was reported. On this assumption, there appears to be no evidentiary basis for the Senate Ethics Committee to have concluded that the matter was appropriately resolved. If the Ethics Committee wished to rest its conclusion on the fact that a report was filed with the Capitol Police, then it needed at least to order an investigation. The mere filing of a report does not itself dispose of a complaint.

Hrdlicka's burning question regarding McCain has been a resounding "Why?" Why did the Senator deny that he knew anything about the Missing Personnel Act? "That," she said, "was a lie," because "at that moment he was working behind the scenes to gut the legislation."

And she queried, "Why does he get so angry at the families? The only thing the families are trying to do is get the truth. He of all senators ought to understand and ought to try and help us because he knows what it is to be a POW. We fought for his rights when he was in captivity." As late as 1992, Hrdlicka said she had received documented reports of live sightings of her husband. So, after three decades of living with the uncertainty of whether she would ever see her husband alive again, it was reasonable for her to expect a compassionate hearing from the Senator known to be an ardent supporter of the rights of POW/MIAs and their families.

The callous, hostile reception Hrdlicka described was anything but compassionate: physical assault on a family member of a POW/MIA; a concerted effort to eviscerate law that protects POW/MIAs and their families; refusal to speak candidly to those who have suffered for decades; lying about knowledge of the MSPA while all along working to dismantle it -- all of these allegations, viewed in relation to one another, paint a coherent, unsettling picture that belies basic tenets of human decency such as doing for others what you would have others do for you. This portrays John McCain in a way that an Ethics Committee with jurisdiction over "improper conduct" of senators sworn to uphold a sacred public trust should not ignore, especially when this profile include allegations of assault and battery.

Hrdlicka finds it hard to palate the possibility that John McCain, the man she says assaulted a family member of a POW/MIA right before her eyes, could be the next Commander in Chief of the United States. Contemplating what a McCain Presidency might portend, Hrdlicka asks, "If he [McCain] will not support the family members of our MIAs, what makes anyone think he will show compassion to any of the people he will be sending off to get maimed?"

So it is understandable why she would see the need to speak out now about the 1996 incident. Viewed in the context of the upcoming Presidential election, the failure of the Senate Ethics Committee to pursue these allegations back in 1996 underscores the present urgency to bring the matter into public view. The court of public opinion may now be the only court left through which a sound verdict might be reached.

Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. 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.

Bushies Unable To Verfy Killing 11 Pakistani Troops

Pardon me, but Holy Crap!

Is this for real? If so, what in the hell were our guys taking/on this time. Let's see, wasn't it amphetamines when they shot up the Canadians in Afghanistan?

Meanwhile, Back In Pakistan

President Bush's national security adviser said Thursday that U.S. officials "have not been able to corroborate" claims by Pakistani officials that a U.S. skirmish with militants along the Afghan-Pakistani border killed 11 Pakistani troops.

(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.

"Bush Broke The Law"

No kidding!

Sen. Feingold: FISA a mistake, Bush broke the law

by Amy Weiss

In a streaming press conference hosted by The Washington Note, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) outlined the recent Feingold-Hagel bill proposing the creation of an independent intelligence commission and also admitted his outrage at the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that passed the House last week and is expected to pass the Senate.

After explaining the need for a commission to assess and improve intelligence gathering procedures, Sen. Feingold took questions that immediately went to FISA. When asked what he thought about Republicans and many Democrats willing to sign the bill, Feingold expressed deep disappointment and frustration.

"This legislation gets it totally wrong," he said. He acknowledged that the primary source of media attention has been immunity for the telecommunications companies, something he calls a "farce."

He feels the rest of the bill, however, is equally if not more reprehensible.

"The president ran an illegal program -- equivalent to an impeachable offense," he said, later adding, "I'm blue in the face already trying to tell people this has happened to you."

Feingold continued to express his contempt for the bill, and his aggravation with many "rank and file" Democrats who approved it. He wouldn't speak directly to the possibility of a filibuster, but said he and Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) planned on spending a lot of time on the Senate floor talking about the problems with FISA and are "not going to let it quickly pass."

He responded to one question referencing an op-ed piece he wrote in Friday's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. He said he hopes the next president will be Barack Obama, but either way he hopes the next administration will return to an equal executive branch as the founders intended and roll back some of the outrageous policies of the Bush Administration.

In the op-ed, he wrote:

"The speech we hear in January, I hope, will be many things: honest, hopeful, inspirational. But above all, I hope it will be candid about the need to reverse the Bush administration's abuse of executive power and to uphold the presidential oath of office that our framers crafted so simply and so well."

In response to a question that addressed statements that claim this FISA deal is in fact a compromise and an improvement in many areas, Feingold responded: "Anybody who says this is an okay bill, I question if they've even read it."

(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.

Right Wing Thuggery Targets Michelle Obama

Here we go again!

The Swiftboat of fools are at it again, as predicted. Everyone knew it was coming.

After what they did to John Kerry (and Theresa, to some extent), it is reasonable to expect that this general election is going to be much worse. If they can go after a man who volunteered to serve in Vietnam (when he did not have to), claiming falsely that his medals were bogus and that he "got himself shot so he could someday be president," they are literally capable of anything.

What's worse, there are Americans who actually believed that claptrap, maybe because they wanted to believe it, needed to believe it or because they are simply mentally challenged and constantly subject themselves to Pravda AM Radio and Faux Noise.

These Americans, sad to say, are already being convinced that Barack is a Marxist Muslim and that Michelle is a racist who hates America.

Check out the link below to Obama's "Smear Page" and you will see what I mean. There you will find the smears and the truth regarding them.

Some of the usual suspects are involved, but I am surprised and saddened to see the hate and misinformation being spread over at Larry Johnson's "No Quarter."

Our posting has been slight of late and one of the reasons for that has been that our usual posters and researchers (which are usually the same people, especially during the summer months) is that we have been doing due diligence for our community to track down some of the rumors that are flying and trying to find out the truth; the truth about where they are coming from and the validity, or more likely the invalidity, of the claims about Michelle and Barack Obama. (I would not doubt that there will be rumors about their little girls next. I guess it's a good thing that some controversial friend of the family hasn't given the girls a dog. I can see it on Fox Noise: BREAKING NEWS "Obama's daughters associated with a Muslim, racist, marxist Labrador Retriever" )

On a personal note:
My cousin, who was more like an older brother to me when I was a kid and to whom I will refer to as G., came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. I had not seen him since my father died slightly over 11 years ago. When we were still young my aunt, finally, insisted that she and the boys light somewhere. Their father was in the U.S. Army for years and then with the civil service. His work made it necessary for him to travel, until the day he retired, often in other countries. From the time she and the boys moved into a house about 2 to 3 miles from ours, I had what I always wanted, brothers.

I write all this personal stuff because it is the first time I have had to face the results of the right-wing propaganda machine in someone I love and from whom I just cannot simply walk away.

During our times alone, our conversation eventually turned to politics. Not far into the conversation he stated that Obama is a Marxist. My mouth /speech mechanism failed me. I guess I was stunned. After what seemed longer than it probably was, my speech facilities returned. Much to my surprise no insulting rant flew out. Instead, I asked? Do you really think that, G? He said that that is what he has heard and that it makes sense to him. "Where did you hear that....who told you that,? I asked. "Neale Boortz (not sure of spelling) on the radio," said he. Not one to listen to the radio any more, I wasn't sure who Neale Boortz is, but I had a feeling he was part of the right-wing-propaganda-machine. Still, I said, " Well, G., if you really think there is something to this, I am going to get down to some heavy duty research after you leave. I promise, I will study the matter. He was going to be here for a week and much of that time was taken up with tourist stuff. At times unfortunately, I live in one of those places. Whether or not Obama is a Marxist could wait.

We had several conversations, while he was here about politics, and the state of the union. The topic certainly came up when my youngest cousin and his wife showed up as well. It sounds strange talking about my youngest cousin, whose hair is whiter than mine and who has turned into one of the most fun and fascinating characters I have ever known. His wife fits him well. They are one of those few couples who you may know or have met somewhere. You look at them and know that they were truly meant for each other.

I will refer to him as D.D. and her as E.Z.. ...

No less than three times he announced to us that he is a Republican. What followed each time was total dismay and real fear for the country. It was not Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group of whom my cousin and his wife are frightened. It is the Republican party of today and the authoritarians who are controlling D.C.. "Some of the Democrats are just as bad," he said, in a tone of voice that was not politically accusatory, but reasonable and sad more than anything else. D.D. is a very successful business man. It is no surprise that he is a Republican; the kind of Republican my father was, a full generation ago. I guess if there is still such a thing, he is a Goldwater Republican. D.D. is 5 years younger than I am. I came of age in the 60s. Back then the voting age was 21. If I could have, I would have voted for Bobby Kennedy, had I been one year older and not robbed of my ballot by a bullet. I don't recall that D.D. was all that interested in politics at the time.

I saw three good men (warts and all), gunned down because they told the truth about America's warts, they talked about change; change for the good of all. As Bobby once quoted someone (I don't remember whom): "Some see what is and ask, why? I see what can be and ask, why not?) D.D was just young enough that he was not as emotionally effected by those murders. Even my father, after Bobby's death, wondered allowed if the U.S. was anything but a big banana republic. What he was wondering was if there had been a coup in America.

Little did we know.

My father voted Republican all of his life. My first exposure to politics was from my father's shoulders in downtown Birmingham. We "liked Ike" and Eisenhower is the only president or presidential candidate, to this day, that I have seen, personally. Nevertheless, Bobby was murdered, I felt helpless and hopeless and my mother taught me the importance of being an independent, not that the two events had anything to do with one another. They just happened around the same time.

Now, all these years later, D.D. and E.Z drove 30 miles and stood in line for three hours to see Obama. They didn't have tickets. They got to see him nonetheless. They were impressed.

There is no doubt for whom they will be casting their ballot. McCain, D.D. says, is more of the same but worse, and certainly more than the nation can endure and that he is not fit for the job at such a perilous time as this. He wasn't ranting, making false accusations that are on the face of them half truths at best. (A half truth is, in many ways, more dangerous than a bald face lie. Think about it.) He noted Obama's lack of experience in Washington, D.C and his apparent lack of foreign policy experience. Then he said exactly what I have been thinking and sharing with my friends:

He said that he would rather have a smart, very sharp person in charge and a smart group of problem solvers around him, people who have no real conflicts of interest between their own well-being and the job they are asked to do. The best people will be people who realize, as we all do, that the nation is in very deep trouble and that there is no easy way out of this mess, people who will tell us the truth about the state of our union and then set about to lead, responsibly and selflessly, as people often do in times of great crisis.

The time for silly campaigns and average to completely inadequate to actually criminal presidents is over for the foreseeable future as far as I'm concerned. As I told my cousin, I do not want a president I can have a beer with, or a glass of wine or a Margarita for that matter.

I would just as soon he stay sober, thank you very much. I do not care if he is elite when it comes to smarts, if that is what makes a person elite. Obama was a very big deal at Harvard, no slouch he.

If that makes some of us feel inadequate to the point that he or she feels the need to smear him, I can only say, "try to resist." As you can see, it only reflects badly on you and shines a spotlight on your inadequacy, real or imagined. Try to understand that it is a very primitive type of motivation and behavior, adapted long ago from out-right murder to throwing stones and slinging mud at that which threatens not your life, as in our more primitive years, but your obviously fragmented ego/personality.

The last thing I want is a man or woman in the White House who is considerably more stupid than I am. I don't want a "regular guy" in the White House and anyone who does is a damn fool.

Unfortunately, the job of being president is very isolating and anyone to whom we give that job has to make an effort to stay in touch with the people and their lives. It seems to me that a president's spouse is a natural liaison with ordinary Americans; meaning those who are not bound up in the D.C. bubble.

When I sit here and think about a president's liaison with the people being his spouse (I say this because Hillary has more or less conceded to Obama), I know with whom I, personally, would rather be having a town hall meeting. That spouse would be Michelle Obama. I don't have a damn thing in common with Mrs. McCain except our color and that is just not enough, no, just as Barack being just any black person would be enough to win my support for president of our very broken Democratic Republic.

The simple fact is that though I am a nearly 60 year old, white woman from the deep south, I would feel more comfortable with Michelle Obama. I have more in common with her. The really funny thing is that every time I hear a "Michelle Obama is such and angry person" smear, I know that that is one of those dangerous half truths. I have never met Michelle Obama in my life, but I would be willing to bet that she does get angry. Hell, so do I. I was angry yesterday; so angry that I didn't feel all that comfortable posting. Nevertheless, I did post about what had made me so damned angry.

So what, if Michelle Obama finds herself being really proud of her country for the first time in her adult life? I'm feeling hope again for the first time in 40 years and I know people who haven't voted in 30 to 40 years who flat intend to vote for Obama this year. I see and hear about our young people getting involved in politics because of Obama's campaign. That alone gives me hope and it makes me proud, that our grandkids are trying to take up help us realize that dream we all shared in one way or the other, back in the day, when it all blew up in our faces, 40 years ago.

So, click on over and take a look at what the RWPM has managed to fling so far. My strong hunch is, this is nothing compared to what's coming.

Forgive me, but it makes me feel like grabbing someone by the ears and slamming his or her head against a wall. Seems that should be the treatment for concrete brains or brains so ideologically rutted as to be dangerously dysfunctional.

Makes me wonder if this union can endure.

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