Thursday, December 29, 2005

British Used Info Based on Torture

Daily Kos: Leaked torture documents the UK Government are trying to block under Secrecy Act - published here

"Compare and Contrast the government's public position on Torture, with the information they were recieving at the time from their own Ambassador, and the legal advice they were seeking.
We have archived a selection of government spin and lies on the use of torture in these 4 pages:

and you can listen to Jack Straw and Tony Blair deny what you read in these hitherto 'secret' documents here.

What you can do:

We have published the documents in full here, and ask that anyone who can will do the same.

If you could publish, host and link to these documents on your own webspace, then it will be harder for anybody to be prosecuted here in the UK, and ensure that they get maximum coverage.

Craig Murray stood up for what many of us believe, and it cost him his Job, his health, and his professional reputation. The least we can do his stand by him as he defies the UK government's attempts at censorship, and possible prosecution.

Craig's own post on the subject can be found here:

I attach our latest post on the subject.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Look Who Lost the Iraqi Election.


Chalabi got less than one percent of the vote, missing gaining even one seat in the Iraqi Parliament by some 8000 votes. Meanwhile, the great former prime minister, the State Department's "boy in Baghdad" former interim Prime Minister, Allawi, didn't do very much better. Thus explains the leftcoaster.

So if Chalabi and Allawi both find themselves out of power this year, who will be left to steer Iraqi oil towards the United States? No one.

See, I have no doubt that the major reason why Cheney is fighting the release of his Energy Task Force documents isn't so much his long-standing belief in unfettered executive power, but rather the reality that months before 9/11, this group of oil men were told in the White House that the Bush Administration would topple Saddam and get its hands on Iraqi oil by hook or by crook. There were already stories in the media that among the documents being reviewed and discussed at these meetings were the maps of Iraqi oil fields, so it isn't a long shot that Cheney and the PNAC/AEI soulmates were telling the oil companies to start planning for how to access these new fields and break OPEC's stranglehold on world oil supplies and prices.

One of the things that these oil execs would have been told was the grand plan to get rid of Saddam one way or another, and have him replaced with someone like Chalabi or Allawi, two guys only too willing to take our offer of installing them at the head of a new government in exchange for an Oil Ministry that let American firms car
ve up the country. You can almost hear the speeches by the AEI and PNAC guys to these oil execs now, about how now with the Bush team in charge, a number of dreams could now come true for Big Oil, and as a sidelight, oh yeah, we'd "liberate" the Iraqis and bring the benefits of capitalism to them while their national resources are once again plundered for our benefit. And if we can help Israel and cripple the Palestinians at the same time, great. The PNAC guys and the AEI whiz kids like Ledeen and the others could become the new "Wise" mean.

One thing is for sure: the American people and the Iragi people have also been clobbered by a lawless administration out for control of the world, but who are too incompetent to control even the six mile road between the Green Zone and the Baghdad airport.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Democrats Report on Impeachable offenses

| House Judiciary Democrats issues report
alleging gross misconduct by Bush over Iraq

"There is at least a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violate a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence.

While these charges clearly rise to the level of impeachable misconduct, because the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have blocked the ability of Members to obtain information directly from the Administration concerning these matters or responding to these charges, more investigatory authority is needed before recommendations can be made regarding specific Articles of Impeachment. As a result, we recommend that Congress establish a select committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war detailed in this Report and report to the Committee on the Judiciary on possible impeachable offenses."
[Thanks to rawstory.coml


Rawstory reports an article in today's Washington Post by former Senate Majority Leader, Tom Daschle,which explodes the White House claim that the "Authorization of Force" resolution passed immediately after the September 11th, 2001 attacks gave the president authority to conduct warrantless surveillance within the United States:

"As drafted, and as finally passed, the resolution authorized the president "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons" who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words 'in the United States and' after 'appropriate force' in the agreed-upon text," Daschle wrote. "This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas -- where we all understood he wanted authority to act -- but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused."

Daschle wrote that Congress also rejected draft language from the White House that would have authorized the use of force to "deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States," not only against those responsible".,

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Impeach, Convict, Remove

Restore Democracy

Impeach Bush &Cheney

President Bush has publicly admitted to authorizing the warrantless surveillance of American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) He said he had re-authorized the warrantless surveillance more than 30 times. The 1978 Act makes it a felony with a five year maximum and a $10,000.00 fine for each violation of the statute.

FISA creates a secret federal court to rule on warrant applications under FISA. Since 1978, over 19000 warrant applications have been made to the court. Up to 2002, no warrant applications had been refused. Since 2002 and under the Bush administration some 4 applications have been questioned by the court, while one was denied. That denial was appelled to a special appellate court, the first such appeal in the FISA court's history. The appellate court reversed the district court's denial of the warrant.

The FISA act provides that it is the exclusive procedure for the authorization of foreign intelligence surveillance involving American citizens on American territory.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Bush is claiming that as commander in chief of the military, as conferred by Article II of the Constitution, and under the September, 2001 Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against those who committed the 9-11 attacks and their supporters, he has the inherent right to authorize warrantless searches without applying for FISA warrants through the FISA court. Initially he claimed that the government had to act very swiftly to surveil potential terrorists and this need for speed obviated the requirement to get warrants from the FISA court.

When confronted by the provision in the FISA statute which allowed the government to begin surveillance immediately without a warrant so long as they applied for a warrant within 72 hours, General Michael Hayden then claimed that doing the paperwork for the FISA warrant was "inconvenient".

Bush is claiming the right to ignore any statutes which he decides interfer with his ability to
conduct the war on terror. He successfully claimed, in the Padilla case, that he had the right to detain an American citizen as an "enemy combatant" without charging him with a crime or according him the right to counsel, the right to trial by jury, the right to bail, or any of the other rights according to American citizens in our Bill of Rights. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed that Bush had that power. Padilla has since sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court has not yet indicated whether it will review the lower court's decision.

The Bush administration has made no effort at all to ask the Congress to amend the FISA Act to make it more "convenient" for conducting surveillance. They have chosen to simply ignore FISA and the warrant requirement.

Bush's theory that he has the right to surveil without warrants and detain American citizens without according him normal constitutional rights, suggests that Bush is claiming that he has
the right to ignore any Constitutional provisions or criminal laws which he considers inconvenient. This is contrary to the fundamental structural underpinning of the American government of checks and balances in which the Congress is given the power to create the laws and the president has the authority to carry out those laws; both to be subject to review by the judicial branch.

Bush has sought to avoid judicial review of questionable policies by locating imprisonment of detainees from Afghanistan and elsewhere in Cuba and in secret prisons in eastern Europe, Asia, and Diego Garcia island, among other places. He has employed extreme interrogation methods in those secret prisons, as well as sending detainees to countries who employ torture for interrogations. Bush and Cheney adamently opposed Senator John McCain's bill prohibiting the use of torture against any detainee.

In Bush's State of the Union speech in 2003, he suggested that his administration had arranged for terrorists to "disappear", a practice formerly associated only with Latin American dictatorships. This president and his administration believe that they have the right to violate U.S. laws with impunity.

Since coming to office, President Bush has consistently attempted to avoid congressional and judicial oversight. He claims the right to an imperial presidency under color of his "commander in chief" role. No U.S. Supreme Court decision has ever held that the president has the authority to ignore U.S. statutes or constitutional provisions. He took an oath to execute the laws faithfully, not to assassinate them.

The Constitution provides that the president, vice president and all government officers can be impeached for commiting treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors.

Bush has admitted to violating the FISA criminal statute on 30 or more occasions, which amounts to 30 or more felonies. Oversight of the warrantless surveillance took place in the vice president's office. Both Bush and Cheney must be impeached and removed.