Thursday, June 26, 2008

FAIR Action Alert: Talk Show Host Calls for Murder

[What is the difference between people who call for murder of dissidents, as Michael Reagan has done, and Nazis?

The reason why these right-wing mouthpieces indulge in not only intemperate rhetoric but outright explicitly violent and criminal advocacy is not primarily because they are uncouth and unreasonable people. They are that, but that's not the main point! The main reason they do this is because a) they are only able to get over with their claims and their worldview by degrading public discourse to very low and primitive sentiments in which positioning and the ability to out shout your opponents are what rule rather than a real examination of an argument's merits and b) they represent an ideology and a moral code in which might makes right, fear-mongering, and violent suppression of the other side are the rule.

They are engaging in the style of talk and reasoning that triggers and precedes murder, assassination and such wonderful activities as so-called "ethnic cleansing" in which one's opponents are accused of sedition, treason, and all other manner of terrible, unforgivable sins.]

Michael Reagan says activist should be killed for treason


Nationally syndicated conservative radio host Michael Reagan called for the murder of a political activist on June 10. Reagan, a frequent guest on cable news shows and the son of President Ronald Reagan, singled out 9/11 activist Mark Dice by name and called several times for his assassination.

Reagan had learned that political activists had reportedly been sending letters and DVDs to troops in Iraq, advancing the theory that the U.S. government had carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks. For promoting this unpopular view, the talkshow host advocated that these activists should be killed as "traitors":

"We ought to find the people who are doing this, take them out and shoot them. Really. You take them out, they are traitors to this country, and shoot them. You have a problem with that? Deal with it. You shoot them. You call them traitors, that's what they are, and you shoot them dead. I'll pay for the bullets."

Even more troubling was the call for violence against a specific individual: "How about you take Mark Dice out and put him in the middle of a firing range. Tie him to a post, don't blindfold him, let it rip and have some fun with Mark Dice."

Reagan subsequently had Dice on his show (6/16/08) as a guest and stated, "I'm sorry for what I said." As an explanation, Reagan offered, "Sometimes radio hosts we get fired up and angry and we say things that are actually stupid, and we make mistakes."

Reagan's "mistakes," unfortunately, have repeatedly involved advocating murder to his audience. On August 15, 2006, Reagan called for violently killing babies who were reportedly being named for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah:

"Naming their children 'Hezbollah.'You know what I'd get 'em for a first birthday? I'd put a grenade up their butts and light it. Happy birthday, baby. Bye bye."
In response to a caller who pointed out that children are not responsible for the names they are given, Reagan repeatedly asserted, "So what's wrong with killing the mothers and the babies?"

On December 5, 2005, Reagan said Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean "should be arrested and hung for treason or put in a hole until the end of the Iraq War." (Watch clip on the Media Matters website) This was in response to Dean's statement (WOAI-AM, 12/5/05) that "the idea that we're going to win this war is just plain wrong."

Reagan's distributor, Radio America, also distributes the G. Gordon Liddy Show. Liddy, a former Nixon aide sent to prison for the Watergate break-in, also has a history of calling for violence over the airwaves, repeatedly advocating that listeners shoot federal law enforcement officials in the head. For example, on August 26, 1994, Liddy told his listeners:

"Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests.... They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches."

Needless to say, calls for violence against those one disagrees with are dangerous and corrosive to the public discussion. A responsible distributor has rules against such on-air death threats--and consequences when such rules are violated.


Ask Radio America to explain its policies regarding calls for violence on its nationally syndicated programming. Does the company really permit its hosts to call for murder on the air?

Reagan's show is broadcast on "more than 150 stations," according to Radio America. If the show broadcasts near where you live, contact the local station management and ask them to stop broadcasting death threats on your local public airwaves.


Radio America President Jim Roberts
703-302-1000 ext 215.

This alert is available at:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Limits of Electoral Politics

At the end of this story from Politico is this quote from Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos: “Let’s be honest, it is either Obama or John McCain. So we really don’t have much of a choice.”

This reminds me of the point of a Simpson's episode that I close the Preface with in my book, Impeach the President:

"Homer finds himself in an alien spaceship orbiting Earth. The aliens have managed to kidnap the Republican and Democratic Party nominees for president and have them imprisoned in capsules on their ship. Hitting buttons randomly on the ship’s control, Homer inadvertently jettisons the two candidates into deep space. Doh! After this, Homer somehow manages to steer the spaceship back to Earth and upon landing in Washington, D.C. finds the two aliens, disguised as the two presidential candidates, giving campaign speeches together on the Capitol Steps. Homer unmasks the aliens, revealing them to be two very large, very grotesque, octopus-looking creatures. The crowd gasps. The aliens hesitate for a moment. Then one of them says to the crowd: 'It’s a two-party system; you have to vote for one of us!' There is a pause and then someone from the crowd says: 'He’s right!'

"Is he?" (p. xxiii)

So, the unmasking of Obama's truer nature will continue as time goes on, with his speech before AIPAC shocking many of his supporters for its belligerence and wholesale adoption of the Bush rationale for attacking Iran, and now his reneging on his promise to filibuster the FISA/telecom amnesty bill further alarming progressives. Daily Kos' founder's comments about our not having much of a choice here shows how bankrupt the this-party-or-that-party choice is. I want to say about that sorry statement: "Is that all there is? Is that what you will accept?"

We do have another path, if you choose to accept it, Mr. Phelps, and that is the independent actions of the people, not begging and pleading to one corporate party or the other, but demanding what is right and changing the game. It's happened before. Why shouldn't it happen now? What better time than this? What more important time than this?

Netroots feel jilted by Obama's FISA stand


When former Sen. John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race, the progressive Netroots took their affections to Barack Obama, defending him against attack from Hillary Rodham Clinton and others.

But with his support of a government surveillance bill that offers retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies — a bill that he vowed last year to filibuster — the honeymoon has ended.

Disappointed over his position on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the online activists feel jilted and betrayed and have taken to questioning his progressive credentials. One prominent blogger, Atrios, has even given him the moniker “Wanker of the Day.”

“He broke faith,” said Matt Stoller, a political consultant and blogger at “Obama pledged to filibuster, and he is part of that old politics, in this case, that he said he wasn’t. It will spur us to challenge him.”

The FISA debate marks the presumptive Democratic nominee’s first serious break from the liberal Netroots in the general election. He is still their candidate, but the FISA issue has reignited skepticism among major bloggers, who had largely pushed aside doubts about Obama when Edwards, their favored candidate, ended his bid in February.

See Also
Obama's aim: 14 Bush states and local races
Meet the make-believe strategists of TV
Obama: Help with Clinton's debt
Obama’s post-partisan persona hasn’t always meshed so well with the noisy and contentious Netroots, and his rise to prominence has come without their full-throated support. He told reporters in February that he doesn’t read blogs and has long been viewed as cool to the Netroots — a notion that the candidate’s new media director, Joe Rospars, disputed this week at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, saying Obama was a favorite of the readers of the major bloggers.

Either way, the Netroots eventually took Obama’s side against Clinton, and some came to view him as a champion of progressive causes.

His stance on the FISA bill, however, has brought Obama back down to earth, in part because the liberal blogosphere cares more about civil liberties than many of the other traditional issues that have long dominated the Democratic agenda. While the mainstream media fixated on Obama’s decision to opt out of the public financing system — and newspaper editorial boards eviscerated him — the Netroots commended Obama for showing political savvy. After all, the readers of liberal blogs are many of the small donors who gave Obama reason to reject public financing.

FISA, however, was different. Many of the most popular progressive blogs built their following by mining anger toward President Bush, the Iraq war and what bloggers view as his disregard of the Constitution and the civil liberties guaranteed by it. By granting immunity to telecom companies, civil courts will likely dismiss lawsuits that might unearth details about the administration’s activities, eliminating an opportunity to hold Bush accountable.

“It angers the blogosphere to its core,” said Jane Hamsher, founder of the popular blog “We want to be able to know: What did you do? If we can get that information, we can make sure they don’t do that again. We can get the public engaged.”

Obama’s decision to support the bill with the immunity provision was not surprising, she said. Republicans frame critics of such security measures as soft on terrorism, and the presumptive Democratic nominee probably does not want it used against him.

“[A] lot of people tried to convince themselves that he was a progressive hero, and I think they were disappointed,” Hamsher said. “You can feel a real shift in the zeitgeist online.”

Still, the disillusionment goes only so far. The liberal blogosphere’s most recognizable name, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos, said Monday on MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann”: “Let’s be honest, it is either Obama or John McCain. So we really don’t have much of a choice.”

At stake for Obama in the FISA vote is the intensity of support for Obama, Moulitsas said

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak Plenty Evil

This White House is so awfully good at losing hundreds of emails when subpoenaed and now we find out that it won't open emails it doesn't like! My, my. It's interesting that despite packing the EPA with people who they expect won't actually try to protect the environment, they still had some people there who found it impossible to do that completely.

From the NY Times, June 25, 2008:

White House Refused to Open Pollutants E-Mail


The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.

The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.

This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to that order by releasing a watered-down version of the original proposal that offers no conclusion. Instead, the document reviews the legal and economic issues presented by declaring greenhouse gases a pollutant.

Over the past five days, the officials said, the White House successfully put pressure on the E.P.A. to eliminate large sections of the original analysis that supported regulation, including a finding that tough regulation of motor vehicle emissions could produce $500 billion to $2 trillion in economic benefits over the next 32 years. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Both documents, as prepared by the E.P.A., “showed that the Clean Air Act can work for certain sectors of the economy, to reduce greenhouse gases,” one of the senior E.P.A. officials said. “That’s not what the administration wants to show. They want to show that the Clean Air Act can’t work.”

For the rest of this story, see here.

Serious Talk About War Crimes Prosecutions

By Debra Sweet
June 23, 2008

There are some rather extraordinary developments rapidly unfolding in Washington on one of those crimes that will forever be connected to the Bush regime: torture. More and more is coming out! Those of us determined to stop this need to perk up, pay attention, and make the most of this moment.

Lest you think I only read pieces that bolster what I already know, see The Wall Street Journal's editorial Tuesday, "The Torture Gambit." I think they are telling us something by their protesting too much!

Last week, the Supreme Court gave the Bush regime a third defeat in their attempt to deny Guantanamo detainees access to US courts. The Center for Constitutional Rights and others defending the detainees called it a surprising victory. As I've noted previously, the Mukasey Justice Department had to drop charges against one of the Guantanamo detainees they had before the Military Tribunal for trial, because the proceedings would certainly have revealed he was tortured.

Yesterday, Physicians for Human Rights released a stunning series of reports called "Broken Laws, Broken Lives" detailing the medical effects of so-called "Enhanced Interrogation" techniques planned in the White House.

Most extraordinary is that the preface to the reports is written by Maj. General Antionio Taguba who led the US Army's official investigation into the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, and was later fired by Donald Rumsfeld. Taguba says, "There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account."

Scott Horton, in his blog "No Comment" tackles the question: Could officials of the Bush Administration face war crimes charges? "In The New Republic, I examine that question and note that, far from this being an outlandish suggestion, criminal cases are in fact being prepared. Which is why the Bush Administration torture-team members need to think twice before boarding an airplane that will take them beyond the sheltering confines of the United States."

Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values was interviewed today on National Public Radio's Fresh Air.

Sands, an international lawyer, accuses former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of condoning sensory deprivation and humiliation during interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. And he has a huge amount of evidence about the interrogation methods used. He is another who makes a compelling case for war crimes prosecutions.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is holdling hearings this week onhow these interrogation methods were adopted in 2002. Spencer Ackerman writes in The Washington Independent, "Tuesday the Senate Armed Services Committee answered those questions. In a marathon hearing spanning eight hours and three separate panels, the committee revealed, in painstaking detail, how senior Pentagon officials transformed a program for Special Forces troops to resist torture -- known as Survival Evasion Resistance Escape, or SERE -- into a blueprint for torturing terrorism detainees."

Democracy Now reports today, "The Senate investigation confirmed the Pentagon sought the help of military psychologists as early as 2002 to devise so-called aggressive interrogation techniques. Dr. Steven Reisner is a psychoanalyst and a leading critic of the American Psychological Association's policy governing the role of psychologists in interrogations. He is running for president of the APA and has received more nominating votes than any other candidate." Listen to Dr. Reisner.

56 members of Congress wrote Mukasey this week asking for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the torture, saying "This information indicates that the Bush administration may have systematically implemented, from the top down, detainee interrogation policies that constitute torture or otherwise violate the law,"

And, at the top, a President who says he approved the interrogations. "WE DO NOT TORTURE" is one of his biggest lies.

Last night, David Swanson of interviewed me on The People Speak Radio. You can listen here. Thanks for the kind comments, Mom and Dad!

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bomb Iran? What's to Stop Bush?

By Ray McGovern, Consortium News
Posted on June 20, 2008

Unlike the attack on Iraq five years ago, to deal with Iran there need be no massing of troops. And, with the propaganda buildup already well under way, there need be little, if any, forewarning before shock and awe and pox -- in the form of air and missile attacks -- begin.

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

Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:

"We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House."

Does that sound like a man concerned that Bush is just bluff and bluster?

A member of Olmert's delegation noted that same day that the two countries had agreed to cooperate in case of an attack by Iran, and that "the meetings focused on 'operational matters' pertaining to the Iranian threat." So bring 'em on!

A show of hands please. How many believe Iran is about to attack the U.S. or Israel?

You say you missed Olmert's account of what Bush has undertaken to do? So did I. We are indebted to intrepid journalist Chris Hedges for including the quote in his article of June 8, "The Iran Trap."

We can perhaps be excused for missing Olmert's confident words about "Israel's best friend" that week. Your attention -- like mine -- may have been riveted on the June 5 release of the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding administration misrepresentations of pre-Iraq-war intelligence -- the so-called "Phase II" investigation (also known, irreverently, as the "Waiting-for-Godot Study").

Better late than never, I suppose.


Yet I found myself thinking: It took them five years, and that is what passes for oversight? Yes, the president and vice president and their courtiers lied us into war. And now a bipartisan report could assert that fact formally; and committee chair Jay Rockefeller could sum it up succinctly:

"In making the case for war, the administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed."

But as I listened to Senator Rockefeller, I had this sinking feeling that in five or six years time, those of us still around will be listening to a very similar post mortem looking back on an even more disastrous attack on Iran.

My colleagues and I in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) issued repeated warnings, before the invasion of Iraq, about the warping of intelligence. And our memoranda met considerable resonance in foreign media.

We could get no ink or airtime, however, in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) in the U.S. Nor can we now.

In a same-day critique of Colin Powell's unfortunate speech to the U.N. on Feb. 5, 2003, we warned the president to widen his circle of advisers "beyond those clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic."

It was a no-brainer for anyone who knew anything about intelligence, the Middle East, and the brown noses leading intelligence analysis at the CIA.

Former U.N. senior weapons inspector and former Marine major, Scott Ritter, and many others were saying the same thing. But none of us could get past the president's praetorian guard to drop a memo into his in-box, so to speak. Nor can we now.

The "Iranian Threat"

However much the same warnings are called for now with respect to Iran, there is even less prospect that any contrarians could puncture and break through what former White House spokesman Scott McClellan calls the president's "bubble."

By all indications, Vice President Dick Cheney and his huge staff continue to control the flow of information to the president.

But, you say, the president cannot be unaware of the far-reaching disaster an attack on Iran would bring?

Well, this is a president who admits he does not read newspapers, but rather depends on his staff to keep him informed. And the memos Cheney does brief to Bush pooh-pooh the dangers.

This time no one is saying we will be welcomed as liberators, since the planning does not include -- officially, at least -- any U.S. boots on the ground.

Besides, even on important issues like the price of gasoline, the performance of the president's staff has been spotty.

Think back on the White House press conference of Feb. 28, when Bush was asked what advice he would give to Americans facing the prospect of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

"Wait, what did you just say?" the president interrupted. "You're predicting $4-a-gallon gasoline? ... That's interesting. I hadn't heard that."

A poll in January showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans were expecting $4-a-gallon gas. That forecast was widely reported in late February, and discussed by the White House press secretary at the media briefing the day before the president's press conference.

Here's the alarming thing: Unlike Iraq, which was prostrate after the Gulf War and a dozen years of sanctions, Iran can retaliate in a number of dangerous ways, launching a war for which our forces are ill-prepared.

The lethality, intensity and breadth of ensuing hostilities will make the violence in Iraq look, in comparison, like a volleyball game between St. Helena's High School and Mount St. Ursula.

Cheney's Brainchild

Attacking Iran is Vice President Dick Cheney's brainchild, if that is the correct word.

Cheney proposed launching air strikes last summer on Iranian Revolutionary Guards bases, but was thwarted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff who insisted that would be unwise, according to J. Scott Carpenter, a senior State Department official at the time.

Chastened by the unending debacle in Iraq, this time around Pentagon officials reportedly are insisting on a "policy decision" regarding "what would happen after the Iranians would go after our folks," according to Carpenter.

Serious concerns include the vulnerability of the critical U.S. supply line from Kuwait to Baghdad, our inability to reinforce and the eventual possibility that the U.S. might be forced into a choice between ignominious retreat and using, or threatening to use, "mini-nukes."

Pentagon opposition was confirmed in a July 2007 commentary by former Bush adviser Michael Gerson, who noted the "fear of the military leadership" that Iran would have "escalation dominance" in any conflict with the U.S.

Writing in the Washington Post last July, Gerson indicated that "escalation dominance" means, "in a broadened conflict, the Iranians could complicate our lives in Iraq and the region more than we complicate theirs."

The Joint Chiefs also have opposed the option of attacking Iran's nuclear sites, according to former Iran specialist at the National Security Council, Hillary Mann, who has close ties with senior Pentagon officials.

Mann confirmed that Adm. William Fallon joined the Joint Chiefs in strongly opposing such an attack, adding that he made his opposition known to the White House, as well.

The outspoken Fallon was forced to resign in March, and will be replaced as CENTCOM commander by Gen. David Petraeus -- apparently in September. Petraeus has already demonstrated his penchant to circumvent the chain of command in order to do Cheney's bidding (by making false claims about Iranian weaponry in Iraq, for example).

In sum, a perfect storm seems to be gathering in late summer or early fall.

Controlled Media

The experience of those of us whose job it was to analyze the controlled media of the Soviet Union and China for insights into Russian and Chinese intentions have been able to put that experience to good use in monitoring our own controlled media as they parrot the party line.

Suffice it to say that the FCM is already well embarked, a la Iraq, on its accustomed mission to provide stenographic services for the White House to indoctrinate Americans on the "threat" from Iran and prepare them for the planned air and missile attacks.

At least this time we are spared the "mushroom cloud" bugaboo. Neither Bush nor Cheney wish to call attention, even indirectly, to the fact that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last November that Iran had stopped nuclear weapons-related work in 2003 and had not resumed it as of last year.

In a pre-FCM age, it would have been looked on as inopportune, at the least, to manufacture intelligence to justify another war hard on the heels of a congressional report that on Iraq the administration made significant claims not supported by the intelligence.

But (surprise, surprise!) the very damning Senate Intelligence Committee report got meager exposure in the media.

So far it has been a handful of senior military officers that have kept us from war with Iran. It hardly suffices to give them vocal encouragement, or to warn them that the post WW-II Nuremberg Tribunal ruled explicitly that "just-following-orders" is no defense when war crimes are involved.

And still less when the "supreme international crime" -- a war of aggression -- is involved.

Senior officers trying to slow the juggernaut lumbering along toward an attack on Iran have been scandalized watching what can only be described as unconscionable dereliction of duty in the House of Representatives, which the Constitution charges with the duty of impeaching a president, vice president or other senior official charged with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Where Are You, Conyers?

In 2005, before John Conyers became chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, he introduced a bill to explore impeaching the president and was asked by Lewis Lapham of Harpers why he was for impeachment then. He replied:

"To take away the excuse that we didn't know. So that two, or four, or ten years from now, if somebody should ask, 'Where were you, Conyers, and where was the U.S. Congress?' when the Bush administration declared the Constitution inoperative ... none of the company here present can plead ignorance or temporary insanity [or] say that 'somehow it escaped our notice.'"
In the three years since then, the train of abuses and usurpations has gotten longer and Conyers has become chair of the committee. Yet he has dawdled and dawdled, and has shown no appetite for impeachment.

On July 23, 2007, Conyers told Cindy Sheehan, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, and me that he would need 218 votes in the House and they were not there.

A week ago, 251 members of the House voted to refer to Conyers' committee the 35 Articles of Impeachment proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, who sat on Judiciary with Conyers when it voted out three articles of impeachment on President Richard Nixon, spoke out immediately: "The House should commence an impeachment inquiry forthwith."

Much of the work has been done. As Holtzman noted, Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment, together with the Senate report that on Iraq we were led to war based on false pretenses -- arguably the most serious charge -- go a long way toward jump-starting any additional investigative work Congress needs to do.

And seldom mentioned is the voluminous book published by Conyers himself, Constitution in Crisis, containing a wealth of relevant detail on the crimes of the current executive.

Conyers' complaint that there is not enough time is a dog that won't hunt, as Lyndon Johnson would say.

How can Conyers say this one day, and on the next say that if Bush attacks Iran, well then, the House may move toward impeachment.

Afraid of the media?

During the meeting last July with Cindy Sheehan, Rev. Yearwood and me, and during an interview in December on "Democracy Now," Conyers was surprisingly candid in expressing his fear of Fox News and how it could paint Democrats as divisive if they pursued impeachment.

Ironically, this time it is Fox and the rest of the FCM that is afraid -- witness their virtual silence on Kucinich's very damning 35 Articles of Impeachment.

The only way to encourage constructive media attention would be for Conyers to act. The FCM could be expected to fulminate against that, but they could not afford to ignore impeachment, as they are able to ignore other unpleasant things -- like preparations for another "war of choice."

I would argue that perhaps the most effective way to prevent air and missile attacks on Iran and a wider Middle East war is to proceed as Elizabeth Holtzman urges -- with impeachment "forthwith."

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.

It is getting late, but this is due largely to Conyers' own dithering. Now, to his credit, Dennis Kucinich has forced the issue with 35 well-drafted Articles of Impeachment.

What the country needs is the young John Conyers back. Not the one now surrounded by fancy lawyers and henpecked by the lady of the House.

In October 1974, after he and the even younger Elizabeth Holtzman faced up to their duty on House Judiciary and voted out three Articles of Impeachment on President Richard Nixon, Conyers wrote this:

"This inquiry was forced on us by an accumulation of disclosures which, finally and after unnecessary delays, could no longer be ignored ... Impeachment is difficult and it is painful, but the courage to do what must be done is the price of remaining free."

Someone needs to ask John Conyers if he still believes that; and, if he does, he must summon the courage to "do what must be done."

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

© 2008 Consortium News All rights reserved.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

"A Pre-September 11 Mentality"

Rudy Giuliani, stumping for McCain, accuses Obama of a "pre-September 11 mentality." This is in response to the Supreme Court's decision that detainees have a right to habeas corpus - the right to challenge your detention - with McCain saying that he "disagrees with giving those rights to detainees, [because] they are 'unlawful combatants.'"

Let's start first with Giuliani's invoking of 9/11, something, of course, that he rarely does. (If you were to look at Rudy's refrigerator calendar, it would have only one day on it for the entire year!)

What did Rudy do about the prospect of another attack on the World Trade Center after the 1993 bombing? For one thing, he located the command HQ for another terrorist attack in, of all places, the WTC! And for another, he failed to fix the emergency radio network, leading directly to the needless deaths of the NYC firefighters on 9/11 who couldn't hear the evacuation order, even though the need to fix them was made explicit by the 1993 events.

Too bad Rudy didn't adopt a post-1993 mentality.

And, as for the pre-9/11 mentality that Rudy accuses Obama of, consider this short list of what Bush knew before 9/11:

"1996–2001: Federal authorities knew that suspected terrorists with ties to bin Laden received flight training at schools in the US and abroad. An Oklahoma City FBI agent sent a memo warning that “large numbers of Middle Eastern males” were getting flight training and could have been planning terrorist attacks. [CBS, 5/30/02]

One convicted terrorist confessed that his planned role in a terror attack was to crash a plane into CIA headquarters. [Washington Post, 9/23/01]

June of 2001: German intelligence warned the CIA, Britain’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01; Washington Post, 9/14/01; Fox News, 5/17/02]

June 28, 2001: George Tenet wrote an intelligence summary to Condoleezza Rice stating, “It is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.” [Washington Post, 2/17/02]

June-July 2001: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and national security aides were given briefs with headlines such as “Bin Laden Threats Are Real” and “Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks.” The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but according to the 9/11 Commission, they consistently predicted upcoming attacks that would occur “on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil, consisting of possible multiple—but not necessarily simultaneous—attacks.” [9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04 (B)]

July 26, 2001: Attorney General Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines due to a threat assessment. [CBS, 7/26/01] The report of this warning was omitted from the 9/11 Commission Report [Griffin 5/22/05]

Aug 6, 2001: President Bush received a classified intelligence briefing at his Crawford, Texas ranch, warning that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners, entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States." The entire memo focused on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US and specifically mentioned the World Trade Center. [Newsweek, 5/27/02; New York Times, 5/15/02, Washington Post, 4/11/04, White House, 4/11/04, Intelligence Briefing, 8/6/01]

August, 2001: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also later stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01]

September 10, 2001: a group of top Pentagon officials received an urgent warning that prompted them to cancel their flight plans for the following morning. [Newsweek, 9/17/01] The 9/11 Commission Report omitted this report. [Griffin, 5/22/05]"

The above is from Chapter 14, the "Global Dominance Group," by Peter Phillips, Bridget Thornton, Lew Brown, and Andrew Sloan
in Impeach the President, pp. 268-270.

So, the Bush White House knew all of these things, and more, and chose to do what? I hear it induced George to more feverishly clear brush from around his Crawford ranch.

Now, as to McCain's conclusion that all of those being detained by the US are "unlawful combatants." This is sophistry of the highest order. First, just because you detain someone doesn't mean they're guilty. This is a fundamental principle of the law, which apparently McCain doesn't understand or else he chooses to ignore. The absence of habeas corpus is a sure indicator of a tyrannical government. Second, the vast majority of people being held are demonstrably innocent and were taken as a result of bounties and so on. Third, the category of "unlawful combatant" is a creation of the Bush regime, including such luminary defenders of the law, the Constitution and due process as John Yoo, David Addington, Dick Cheney and George Bush. It was created by them as a way to try to dodge the Geneva Conventions.

Ray McGovern in Detroit Free Press Asks Conyers to Impeach to Avoid Attack on Iran

Impeach Bush now?
Congressional proceedings would help prevent another mistaken war
BY RAY McGOVERN • Detroit Free Press

United States Rep. John Conyers, the Detroit Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, has a rendezvous with destiny. He is uniquely placed to thrust a rod through the wheels of a White House juggernaut to war with Iran by commencing impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush.

A move to impeach would bolster the resistance to Bush among our senior military leaders who know that attacking Iran at this time would be the strategic equivalent of the marches into Russia by Napoleon and Hitler.

Since Conyers took the helm of Judiciary in January 2007, the train of abuses and usurpations by the Bush administration has gotten even longer. But oddly, Conyers has lost his earlier appetite for impeachment and begun offering all manner of transparent excuses not to proceed. On July 23, 2007, for example, Conyers told Cindy Sheehan, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood and me that he would need 218 votes in the House, and vociferously claimed the votes were not there.

Well, they are now. Last week, 251 members of the House voted to refer to Conyers' committee the 35 Articles of Impeachment offered by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. Conyers should take them up.

When bombs are falling on Iran, it will be too late -- and our commander in chief is likely to give that order within the next couple of months. As former White House press secretary Scott McClellan reminds us, when the president sets his mind on something, he is not going to let anything stop him.

What seems to be driving Bush comes through best when he ad-libs at press conferences. On June 10, in Slovenia, he was asked about the intensifying debate in Israel about a military option against the nuclear installations in Iran. Bush responded: "If you go to Israel and listen carefully, you'll hear the urgency in their voice."

What's so urgent? Israel's ambassador to the United States, speaking at an American Jewish Committee luncheon last Oct. 22, said the Iranians must not be permitted to conclude that, "come January '09 (after Bush leaves office), they have it their own way."

Vice President Dick Cheney last summer pushed for air strikes on Revolutionary Guards bases in Iran, but was thwarted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to J. Scott Carpenter, a senior State Department official working on the Middle East at the time.

The Joint Chiefs also have strongly opposed attacking Iran's nuclear sites, according to a former Iran specialist at the National Security Council, Hillary Mann, who has wide contacts among senior Pentagon officials. Mann reports that Admiral William Fallon, the former CENTCOM commander, joined the Joint Chiefs in opposing such an attack and made his views known to the White House. Fallon was forced to resign in March and will be replaced as CENTCOM commander by Gen. David Petraeus.

A "political general," Petraeus has already demonstrated his willingness to do Cheney's bidding -- by, for example, making demonstrably false claims about Iranian weaponry in Iraq. Nonetheless, the U.S. military in Baghdad apparently remains under orders to blame any serious violence on "special groups" -- code for those said to be supported by Iran.

Before the smoke had cleared after Tuesday's bombing in Baghdad that left at least 63 dead and 78 wounded, U.S. spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Stover announced that the U.S. command believed one of those "special groups" was behind the bombing.

The corporate media are already launched in their pre-attack mode, providing stenographic services for the White House to indoctrinate Americans on a synthetic "threat" from Iran. So far, though, we have been spared the "mushroom cloud" imagery. Neither Bush nor Cheney want to risk drawing attention to the fact that all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last November that Iran stopped nuclear weapons-related work in 2003 and has not restarted it.

Conyers may say there's not enough time to begin impeachment, with only seven months left to this administration. But how could Conyers say this one day, and on the next say that if Bush attacks Iran, well then the House may move toward impeachment? His nonchalance regarding what an attack on Iran would mean is mind-boggling. You impeach the scoundrels before they start another war.

At a similarly critical juncture in our nation's history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was characteristically direct: "There is such a thing as being too late. ... Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with lost opportunity. ... Over the bleached bones of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: 'Too late.'"

RAY MCGOVERN, an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then CIA analyst for 27 years, is on the Steering Group of VIPS -- Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. Contact him at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Debra Sweet, Nat'l Director of World Can't Wait, live on the radio, tonight

From 8-9 pm EST. Listen and call in!

On CNN: Physicians for Human Rights Report on US Torture

Retired U.S. Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, forced into retirement by the Pentagon after he did his job honorably and truthfully (something the Pentagon and the White House can't stand), investigating the Abu Ghraib prisoner torture - it's torture, not abuse - scandal in 2003, is quoted in today's CNN story from his preface to the PHR report:

"There is no longer any doubt that the current administration committed war crimes," Taguba says. "The only question is whether those who ordered torture will be held to account."

"In a 121-page report, the doctors' group said that it uncovered medical evidence of torture, including beatings, electric shock, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, sodomy and scores of other abuses."


"Among the ex-detainees was an Iraqi in his mid-40s, identified only as Laith, whom U.S. soldiers took into custody in October 2003 and who was released from Abu Ghraib in June 2004. According to the report, Laith was subjected to sleep deprivation, electric shocks and threats of sexual abuse to himself and his family.

"'They took off even my underwear. They asked me to do some movements that make me look in a very bad way so they can take photographs. ... They were trying to make me look like an animal,' Laith told examiners, according to the report.

"According to the report, Laith said the most 'painful' experiences involved threats to his family: 'And they asked me, "Have you ever heard voices of women in this prison?" I answered, "Yes." They were saying, "Then you will hear your mothers and sisters when we are raping them."

"The examiners concluded in the report that 'Laith appears to have suffered severe and lasting physical and psychological injuries as a result of his arrest and incarceration at Abu Ghraib prison.'"


Yesterday, torturer-advocate/architect John Yoo, Professor of [Un]constitutional Law at UC Berkeley, wrote a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed bemoaning the Supreme Court's recognition of habeas corpus rights for detainees. Glenn Greenwald at writes:

"One of the most reliable methods for knowing that a position is unsustainable is that its advocates must employ outright falsehoods in order to support it. In a Wall St. Journal Op-Ed today, John Yoo defends the right of the Bush administration to imprison people at Guantanamo indefinitely with no judicial review and condemns last week's Supreme Court habeas corpus ruling as 'judicial imperialism of the highest order.' To do so, Yoo asserts what have become the now-standard though still-blatant falsehoods on this issue.

"Yoo, for instance, claims that the Supreme Court in Boumediene allows 'an alien who was captured fighting against the U.S. to use our courts to challenge his detention.' But huge numbers of detainees in U.S. custody weren't 'captured fighting against the U.S.' at all. Many were taken from their homes. Others were just snatched off the street while engaged in the most mundane activities. Still others were abducted while in airports or at work."

See the rest of Greenwald's excellent essay here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Insights on McCain from a fellow POW

Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain


Phillip Butler | March 27, 2008

As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.

See link to read the rest.

Gore Endorses Obama and Tells Us "Elections Matter"

"Take it from me, elections matter," Gore said.

"If you think the next appointments to our Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter. If you live in the city of New Orleans, you know that elections matter. If you or a member of your family are serving in the active military, the National Guard or Reserves, you know that elections matter.

"If you are a wounded veteran, you know that elections matter. If you've lost your job; if you're struggling with a mortgage, you know that elections matter."

To which I would add:

If elections matter and they decide public policy, then why didn't you, Al Gore, fight harder in 2000 when the election which you won was stolen? Why didn't you call upon your supporters to march on the Supreme Court and demand that the vote count be continued and that all the votes be counted?

If elections matter, then how come John Kerry didn't fight harder in 2004 to make sure that the votes were counted, and why did he give up even though he actually won the election?

If elections matter and you want your vote to count, how come the Democrat-controlled Congress in 2007 decided that it wasn't going to do anything about the hackable electronic voting machines and other disenfranchishment issues until at least 2010?

If elections matter, then why hasn't the 2006 mid-term election that gave the Democrats back the majority in Congress produced any of the changes that people thought they were voting for when they voted for Democrats?

If elections matter, then how come the Democratic party won't listen to majority sentiment that demands impeachment and an end to the war?

If elections matter, how come Sen. Barack Obama, elected to serve the people and the Constitution, doesn't understand what "high crimes and misdemeanors" are, and won't do anything NOW about a president and vice-president who are flagrantly and repeatedly violating the law, carrying out invasions based on lies, threatening to do it again any week now, and who have admitted torturing people?

If elections matter, then how come we always hear it said: "Vote. It doesn't matter who you vote for. Vote." How come it doesn't matter who we vote for?

Oil-buying craze tops excess of dot-coms

And the speculator bubble is due to burst, analysts say

[The silver lining in high oil prices is that those damn SUVs are becoming increasingly undesirable to people and they're trying to trade them in for Hondas. I hear from Honda dealers that they're offering SUV trade-ins of $2k and the sellers can't believe it - DL]


The rally that recently drove oil to a record $139.12 a barrel has surpassed the gains in Internet stocks that preceded the dot-com crash in 2000.

Crude has risen 697 percent since trading at $17.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in November 2001 and reached 28 record highs this year. The last time a similar pattern was seen in equities was eight years ago, when Internet-related stocks sent the Nasdaq Composite Index up 640 percent to its highest level ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Bespoke Investment Group LLC.

The Nasdaq has tumbled 78 percent from its March 2000 peak, erasing about $6 trillion of market value, as investors concluded that prices weren't supported by profits at companies such as Broadcom Corp. and Inc.

But billionaire investor George Soros and Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., say oil is ready to tumble because prices aren't justified by supply and demand.

"There's nothing different between this mania, the dot-com mania, the real estate mania, the Dow Jones mania of the 1920s, the South Sea bubble and the Dutch tulip-bulb mania," said Schork, whose Villanova, Pa.-based firm advises the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Wall Street firms and oil companies on the outlook for energy prices. "History repeats itself over and over and over again."

Oil has climbed on growing demand from China and India, whose economies have expanded the past seven years at an average annual pace of 10.2 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Supply disruptions in Nigeria and Iraq and declining production in Russia also have boosted prices. Investors have added about $250 billion to commodity index trading strategies since 2003, according to Mike Masters, president and founder of Masters Capital Management, a St. Croix-based hedge fund.

Money is flowing into oil as the global economy slows. The worst U.S. housing slump since the 1930s and more than $390 billion of write-downs and credit losses at banks will slow global growth to 2.7 percent this year from 3.7 percent in 2007, according to the World Bank.

The U.S. economy's expansion may slow to 1.3 percent this year from 2.2 percent in 2007, dragging down oil demand by 240,000 barrels a day, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg and Energy Department data. In China, the second-biggest fuel consumer after the U.S., economic growth may fall to 10.1 percent from 11.9 percent, the Bloomberg survey shows.

"I don't know if you can classify it as a bubble or not," said Masters. "But there is no question that investor demand is having an effect on price. Very little of it has to do with physical supply and demand of crude oil."

Gains in oil are the result of a "bubble" caused by speculation from index funds and a tight balance between supply and demand, Soros said in testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on June 3. "The bubble is superimposed on an upward trend in oil prices that has a strong foundation in reality," he said.

Commodity index traders account for about 40 percent of the open interest, or outstanding contracts, in the 12 agricultural commodities for which the Commodity Futures Trading Commission reports data, according to Chicago-based Bianco Research LLC.

Crude futures more than doubled in the past year and surged $10.75 a barrel on June 6, the biggest rise on record and the largest in percentage terms since June 1996. Robert Aliber, a professor of economics emeritus at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, says the risk of a "correction" has increased because prices climbed so fast.

"You've got speculation in a lot of commodities and that seems to be driving up the price," Aliber, co-author of "Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises," said in an interview from Hanover, N.H.. "Movements are dominated by momentum players who predict price changes from Wednesday to Friday on the basis of the price change from Monday to Wednesday."

Burton Malkiel, a Princeton University economics professor and author of "A Random Walk Down Wall Street," said the rise in oil may be justified because supplies are limited and demand in developing economies is increasing. That distinguishes oil from the market for technology stocks in the 1990s, where supply "could be expanded infinitely" and new stock issues helped push down prices, he said.

"The picture is fundamentally different than the Internet picture," Malkiel said in an interview from Princeton, N.J. "I'm not saying we're running out of oil, but we're clearly supply-constrained. Five and 10 years from now, the price is going to be higher than $134."

"You can look at the chart and say oil's taking on the characteristics of a bubble," said James Bianco, the president of Bianco Research. Still, "it may have a long way to go before it eventually peaks," he said.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Congress on Verge of Giving Telecoms Get Out of Jail Free Card

Thomas Ferraro of Reuters, reporting today:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House and congressional negotiators have reached a tentative agreement on an anti-terror spy bill that would permit court dismissal of potentially billions of dollars in lawsuits against phone companies, sources familiar with the talks said on Friday.

Under the possible accord, a federal court could immunize a company by ruling it had been given written assurances that its participation in the U.S. government's warrantless domestic spying program was legal and authorized by President George W. Bush, one source said.

For the rest of the article, go here.

When Bush was caught red-handed "persuading" the major telecoms such as AT&T, Bell South and ("Can you hear me now?") Verizon into engaging in massive, illegal, warrantless surveillance of Americans' phone calls and Internet activity beginning - get this - in February 2001, seven months before 9/11, he first lied about it and claimed that it was only a small number of international phone calls and that it involved known or suspected terrorists.

Then when more revelations came out, revealing his first cover story to be utterly false, he changed his tune and said that all of this surveillance was necessary in the war on terror and that FISA's rules couldn't be abided by against such an implacable enemy. Those rules, for those who don't know, included retroactive permission for government spies to do their surveillance. The FISA court meets in secret and provides a means for the government to carry out national security surveillance, but also provides a means by which the government, if it's engaging in surveillance of its political rivals (such as what Nixon got caught doing against the Democrats and against the anti-war movement and civil rights movement), will be curbed.

The whole notion propagated by people like Bush, Cheney and former A.G. "Torture Boy" Alberto Gonzalez that FISA interferes with their holy war on terror is, in other words, transparently ridiculous and obviously false.

Yet the mass media for the most part has been unable and/or unwilling to make this simple point clear.

This telecom amnesty bill gives the companies who went along with this felonious behavior - the one company that refused, QWest, was punished by the White House and its CEO has been prosecuted in revenge - a free pass for their knowingly violating the law. The cowards and the criminals get rewarded and the one company with courage to stand up for the law and against unconstitutional invasions of our privacy gets punished. This is the world under Bush and Cheney, the Congress and both major political parties.

This is how far things have come.

The felons in charge of our country get caught, they lie about it, then they get caught with their hands even deeper in the cookie jar than was previously known, and unable to lie anymore, scream "national security," and the people charged with supervising the executive branch, decide to make what was previously illegal, legal. "You want cookies from the cookie jar?" Congress says, "Here, have more cookies. In fact, we'll give you the cookie jar and the cookie company FOR FREE. Anytime who're feeling the need for cookies, feel free. In fact, here's my daughter. You're feeling horny, take her. Rape her all you like. You need a place to sleep? Take my bed. Take my wife. Beat her and rape her too, as you please. Take my house. Take anything you want. It is, after all, a free country. And we're living proof of that fact."

Of Whales and Worms: the 2008 Election

Many people regard Obama’s upcoming nomination for president as a sign that change is underway and that the nightmare of Bush and Cheney will be over beginning in late January 2009. New York Times columnist Frank Rich, for example, sees Obama’s emergence as a changing of the guard. Others have cited Obama’s campaign as indicative of millennials beginning to take the political stage. Millions are pleased that finally an African-American is going to be nominated by one of the two major parties and see this as in and of itself a step forward.

For the well-meaning people who are feeling this way, I have this question: How can the same Democratic Party, and the same specific individuals, who have co-operated in, permitted and/or legalized the Bush regime’s atrocities – including torture and war crimes – now tell us that the candidate that they endorse is the solution to the horrid things that this system and these individuals have themselves facilitated and colluded in?

This is like the offspring of the Alien mother in the movie Alien coming out not hellishly grotesque looking and drenched in saliva but instead a fuzzy Beagle puppy.

This is like George W. Bush delivering a poetic and surpassingly beautiful two-hour speech extemporaneously.

This is like a worm giving birth to a full-grown whale.

See the rest of my essay at Counterpunch.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rage Against the Machine in the Netherlands

RATM came on stage in solidarity with the prisoners being tortured by the US government, wearing black hoods and orange jumpsuits.

David Stern's Feeling the Heat

Yesterday, during half-time of the NBA finals (the outcome of the game I'd rather not even talk about, thank you very much!), Commissioner David Stern announced that he would go back and re-interview the NBA officials so that he could then come back and tell us all again - as he declared, remarkably - that no, no, no, there hasn't been any cheating and fixing of games.

(I'm not making this up or embellishing upon it. Stern said this. I have now found the relevant transcript excerpt:

"I ... didn't think it was fair for them [NBA officials] to have to respond ... against the allegations by an admitted felon that somehow all or a large swath of NBA officials had engaged in illegal conduct. But I would just say ... we will go back and prospectively ask the questions of officials in effect again with respect of specific acts, even though they've all been interviewed, so that I could sit here in front of you, really on behalf of our officials, who don't engage with you on a regular basis, to say no, no, a thousand times no...")

So nice to know that the outcome of those interviews - unlike, of course, the games themselves - is predetermined!

(In looking at articles about Stern's press conference, I have not yet found anyone commenting on this remarkable statement by Stern. It's possible that someone's written about it, but I haven't seen it yet.)

Tortured Logic

Yesterday, by the narrowest of margins (5-4), the US Supreme Court found the Bush regime's indefinite holding of detainees at Guantanamo to be unconstitutional, ruling that the detainees had a right to the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus to challenge their detentions in US civilian courts.

This is, of course, a very good thing since the opposite finding would have been devastating.

I have two observations to make about this.

First, there shouldn't have even been a debate about this. The decision should have been unanimous. The fact that it wasn't is very ominous and revealing.

Scalia, writing for the minority, stated that this decision meant that more Americans would be killed by the terrorists. See his further comments here:

“If the understood scope of the writ of habeas corpus was ‘designed to restrain’ (as the Court says) the actions of the Executive, the understood limits upon that scope were (as the Court seems not to grasp) just as much ‘designed to restrain’ the incursions of the Third Branch [i.e. the Judiciary].

“‘Manipulation’ of the territorial reach of the writ by the Judiciary poses just as much a threat to the proper separation of powers as ‘manipulation’ by the Executive,” Scalia continued. “The understood limits upon the writ deny our jurisdiction over the habeas petitions brought by these enemy aliens, and entrust the President with the crucial wartime determinations about their status and continued confinement.”

Two things stand out about (In)justice Scalia's remarks here.

One, he concludes and asserts as a settled question that the detainees are enemies. As Michael Rapkin has pointed out, by the government's own admission, 70% of the GITMO detainees are innocent. Many of them have been there for six years, tortured by the US military the entire time.

The government won't charge most of these detainees.

Why is that?

Because they haven't got anything on them.

Contrary to most Americans' perception, based on the lies purveyed by Bush et al, these detainees haven't all been picked up on a battlefield. Most of them have been turned in for bounties by neighbors or rivals.

This is an extraordinary gaff from a judge to render judgment from the bench without a trial and without charges being even filed that these detainees are all guilty of terrorism. Except that it's not a gaff.

Two, Scalia, as he characteristically will do, bends his reading of the law and the Constitution to suit his politics. He has previously publicly mused that "so-called torture" isn't cruel and unusual punishment because - you're going to love this - it isn't carried out within the framework of crime and punishment and since the "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibition refers only to that, presto, "so-called torture" isn't by definition cruel and unusual.

In the instant case, Scalia is claiming that the Judiciary is overreaching by upholding the Great Writ (as it is described in the Declaration of Independence) against the Executive branch's negation of habeas corpus.

The Court, in other words, according to Scalia, should not restrain a President who is "entrust[ed]" with "crucial wartime determinations." The American colonists who broke with King George over his abolition of habeas corpus were, therefore, wrong to do so because they were restraining an executive who should rightly make these decisions by himself. What would Scalia say about Alexander Hamilton's remarks that “the practice of arbitrary imprisonments has been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny"? (THE FEDERALIST NO. 84, at 533 (Alexander Hamilton) (Benjamin Fletcher Wright ed., 1961).

The second observation I would make here is by way of addressing those who say that this razor's edge decision means that we have to make sure that McCain doesn't get a chance to appoint more judges like Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito. That is, make sure Obama gets elected.

We need to understand how the Court got packed the way that it has. Of course, the President gets to appoint them. But the Judiciary acts within the parameters of not principally what the President - and to a lesser degree because of "advise and consent," the Congress - wants but the political atmosphere in the country.

What would be more meaningful: an Obama presidency who is a little to the left of McCain on certain matters, or a mass movement spearheading a majority sentiment in the country that demands that habeas corpus be sustained and that demands that illegal and indefinite detentions, extraordinary rendition, torture as policy, and the phony war on terror (a justification for wars of conquest such as Afghanistan, Iraq, soon Iran and not long after that probably Pakistan) be ended?

Obama has, as readers know, signed onto the foreign policy of Bush and Cheney with regards to Iran. He has said that he admires the foreign policy of George's father.

If the "war on terror" that Bush and Cheney have used to justify all of their unjust wars and rumors of (another) war is also Obama's credo, and that forms the rationale and backdrop to the conservative majority in the Supreme Court, then how perilous is the fate of habeas corpus and the rest of the Bill of Rights (save the 2nd Amendment which the right wing will NEVER abrogate)?

Even if Obama were a liberal, which he is not, and wanted to save habeas corpus and move the Supreme Court away from the radical right, could he do so in a country in which the mobilized forces are the right wing and the demobilized forces of the left and the majority sentiment are absent except as voters?

The radical right has been mobilizing its forces and creating public opinion via their right wing media empire and their various "think tanks" et al for two plus decades.

They recognize correctly that who is in office and what their party affiliation is matters much less than what the parameters of public discourse are. They have been dominating that public discourse such that even those individual Democratic officials who differ with them feel it necessary to endorse and legitimate the parameters of debate set by the radical right.

This will continue to be the case even if Obama were elected absent a mass movement coming from the left. In fact, it would continue to be the case even if Ron Paul or Ralph Nader were elected. Look at how unambiguously Obama stated his support for Israel at AIPAC. Look at how Hillary Clinton declared her enthusiasm for the Bush doctrine by declaring that if she were president she'd "obliterate" Iran.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the views of many of those who support Obama today is their stance of "give him the benefit of the doubt," sure what he says is "worrisome, but he has to say some of these things to get elected."

This is an extraordinarily thin reed of hope in the face of the storms coming from the right. If your candidate can't even say the right things before he becomes president, what will he do when he becomes the next Chief Executive of the Biggest Empire in History?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The NBA Fixes Games? Say It Ain't So!

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's court briefs filed June 10, 2008 allege that NBA executives and certain referees manipulated games in order to foster more ticket sales and revenue. He specifically cites several instances - one of them a 2002 playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Sacramento Kings in which the Lakers were given favorable treatment that ultimately led to them winning game 6 and then the series in 7.

From today's NY Times article by Howard Beck:

"According to Lauro’s letter: 'Tim learned from Referee A that Referees A and F wanted to extend the series to seven games. Tim knew Referees A and F to be "company men," always acting in the interest of the N.B.A., and that night, it was in the N.B.A.’s interest to add another game to the series.' The game was refereed by three tenured veterans, Dick Bavetta, Ted Bernhardt and Bob Delaney.

"The Kings, their fans and many in the news media were outraged by the officiating that night. Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate, weighed in, urging Stern to conduct a review. [The Lakers shot 40 free throws — 27 in the fourth quarter — and beat Sacramento, 106-102. I'm a Lakers fan. I badly wanted them to beat the Kings. I saw that series and I have to say, at the time, it looked to me that the Kings' "was robbed."]

"Stern did not respond to specific allegations but said that the N.B.A. had fully cooperated with the government since last summer.

“'He turned on basically all of his colleagues in an attempt to demonstrate that he is not the only one who engaged in criminal activity,'” Stern said. “'The U.S. attorney’s office, the F.B.I. have fully investigated it, and Mr. Donaghy is the only one who is guilty of a crime.'"

The only one.

Who believes this?

There's only one ref who has been doing improper things.

Just like Lee Harvey Oswald was the only one.

And the soldiers caught on camera torturing Iraqis at Abu Ghaib were just rotten apples, acting on their own.

And the individuals caught in 2000 and 2004 fixing the votes by destroying registration forms for people registering as Democrats in the presidential race were acting alone. And so on.

Yep. They're all acting as individuals, all alone, nobody else.

The league doesn't respond to economic incentives and the gate and TV revenues for extra playoff games and the more storied and bigger market teams aren't an issue and these factors don't play into the picture at all.

Of course not!

* * *

At half time in the game last night between the Lakers and the Boston Celtics, part of the Donaghy story was covered and Commissioner David Stern and ex-Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy, who was fined $100k for his allegations about center Yao Ming being unfairly singled out in the 2005 playoffs between the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks, were interviewed. Van Gundy repeated his 2005 statements in essence, but carefully stated that he didn't want to lend credibility to Donaghy's overall allegations. In other words, what Donaghy alleged in specifics about the 2005 series was true, but Van Gundy, who is now doing color commentary for ABC, didn't want to say that Donaghy's general allegations were true.

I think Van Gundy likes his gig as a commentator.

* * *

I love sports and I love basketball and I am still a Lakers fan (although during the 1980s I was a "bad boys" Pistons' fan - loved their work ethic, their "D," and Dennis Rodman before he started coloring his hair). I love playing the game and I have done some coaching - no big deal, at the Y.

I badly want to see the Celtics beaten. Have always hated them and still do, even now that they've gone from being 80% white during Larry Bird's days (when the rest of the league was 80% black) to being mainly black. I like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, but there's something about seeing them in Celtic Green. I don't know. They don't look right.

But I have to say, I don't think that the refs are going to favor the Lakers this time.

If you've been watching any playoffs at all, during the early rounds especially, you will have seen one of those incessant Gatorade ads featuring the Celtics' Kevin Garnett. The ad looks like a coronation. And much as I love Bill Russell, I found those conversations between him and KG during the prior rounds hard to take. Russell, among other things, promised KG that if KG didn't win a ring this year, that he'd give him one of his. And this was supposed to make you feel all warm and rosy inside!

In game two of the current finals, the first two fouls called on the Lakers' Kobe Bryant were ridiculous. He had to sit out precious minutes and the game got away from them. The Lakers managed to put on a furious run in the fourth quarter and got within two points, after being down by big double digits, but ended up losing. In last night's game at least one other phantom foul was called on Kobe and he didn't get a number of "and one" foul shots while scoring that he and other Lakers should have. They still won the game and their play, especially that of Odom and Gasol, kinda stunk, with the exception of "the Machine" Sasha and clutch Kobe. But I have to say that the series doesn't have the appeal for me that it should, knowing that the end result seems foregone.

I know, for those of you who are students of the game, the Lakers' play hasn't been that good and the foul shot discrepancy in the first two games, and especially the second game in Boston, is in part due to a lack of aggressiveness by the Lakers.

The Lakers do have to find a solution to guarding Paul Pierce and Gasol has to be aggressive (he showed some signs of this in game two, but reverted back to form in game 3) and Lamar Odom has to stop barging into the lane horizontally and elevate.

But you can't tell me that the calls are not favoring Boston!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich Introduces 35 Articles of Impeachment of George W. Bush

Text of the Articles of Impeachment are here.

Salem-News article on the suspicious tampering that caused Kucinich's webpage to crash within hours of his introducing the resolution for impeachment.

Statements on the Introduction of Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Articles of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush:

"More than two centuries ago, the Founders of this country set forth a procedure for Congress to follow in the event of grave abuse of power by the Chief Executive. That process is impeachment. In the face of the monumental deceit and disregard for the Constitution that we have witnessed on the part of the President over the past seven years, Congressman Kucinich's initiation of this process is neither fanciful nor futile, neither vengeful nor vindictive; it is the sober fulfillment of his sworn duty as a Congressman to follow the law without regard to personal consequence and misguided political stratagem. It is, quite simply, an act of patriotism."

Elizabeth de la Vega, Former Federal Prosecutor and Author of United States v. George W. Bush et. al.

"This thick collection of impeachable offenses could be expanded dramatically and should be viewed as a sampling of the crimes and abuses of President George W. Bush and his subordinates. Bush has had many accomplices -- first and foremost Vice President Cheney. But our Founders created a single executive precisely so that we could hold that one person accountable for the actions of the executive branch. It is high time we did so, and millions of Americans will be urging their representatives to support the effort being led by Congressman Kucinich.

"These articles establish, and hearings would establish further, that President Bush was decidedly in the loop and effectively 'the decider' behind countless abuses of power. And, of course, his public comments have time and again advertised his indifference to the laws he is violating. Not only does overwhelming evidence show us that Bush knew his claims about WMDs to be false, but the president has shown us that he considers the question of truth or falsehood to be laughably irrelevant.

When Diane Sawyer asked Bush during a televised interview after the war was underway why he had claimed with such certainty that there were so many weapons in Iraq, he replied: "What's the difference? The possibility that [Saddam] could acquire weapons, If he were to acquire weapons, he would be the danger."

"What's the difference? Hundreds of thousands of corpses and a fatal blow to the rule of law among nations. That's the difference. Unless we remove impeachment from the Constitution by failing to exercise it, in which case truth will no longer matter any more than justice or peace."

David Swanson, creator of, Washington Director of and co-founder of the coalition, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, of the Backbone Campaign, and of Voters for Peace, serves on the legislative working group of United for Peace and Justice.

"Overload is the main problem—I call it outrage fatigue. The sheer multitude, not to mention magnitude, of impeachable offenses tends to dull the senses. The opportunity to dig into just one or two provided some space and focused the mind.

"At the same time, the deeper one digs, the more unimaginable the dirt that comes up. Earlier, I had not taken the time to sift through the abundant evidence of the unconscionable ways in which George Bush and George Tenet teamed up—including, in Tenet’s case, lying under oath—to stave off charges of misfeasance/malfeasance before the attacks on 9/11.

"Since January 2003, my colleagues and I in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity have felt duty-bound to turn our analytic skills onto the issue of how our country could have launched what the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal called the 'supreme international crime' — a war of aggression. 'Supreme,' said Nuremberg, because unlike other war crimes, this one 'contains the accumulated evil of the whole.' (Think torture, for example.)

"Intelligence officers take very seriously our Oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Our country's Founders, keen observers of the ways of power and human nature, anticipated there would be a time when a president would attempt to act like a king, and so they wrote into the Constitution an orderly way to remove a president and/or other high officials for high crimes or misdemeanors—impeachment in the House, conviction in the Senate.

"The Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to create a system in which we could protect ourselves from unbridled power. Today, we cannot let a 21st Century string of abuses and usurpations stand without challenge.

"But the experience of the past several years shows that there is a very high hurdle in our way: no Common Sense. I refer, of course, to the courageous independent journalism of the likes of Tom Paine who stirred the innate dignity of Americans toward sacrifice for independence and freedom. Tom Paine would be horrified to see what has become of his profession today—with browbeaten journalists and former general officers doing the bidding of the corporations that own/pay them.

"In my view, impeachment proceedings are essential to:

--Reestablish the separation of powers in our Constitution as a check on the so-called “unitary executive;”
--Prevent a budding—and catastrophic—U.S. attack on Iran by exposing it as yet another war of aggression against a country posing no threat to the U.S.;
--Call attention to the blood already drained from our civil liberties and stanch the bleeding.

"Impeachment proceedings may be the only way to force the captive media to inform normal citizens about what has been going on in our country. Thomas Jefferson underscored the importance of this when he said: 'Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.'"

Ray McGovern; former Army officer and CIA analyst; co-founder, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; writer/speaker with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington, D.C.

"All of these Articles of Impeachment together are only the tip of the iceberg of the High Crimes committed by the Bush-Cheney administration. Yet this administration remains in power and immune from prosecution. Congress must impeach Bush and Cheney now - before they issue themselves full pardons for all of their crimes."

Bob Fertik, President of, Cofounder of

"President Bush, Cheney and other U.S. officials have violated numerous domestic and international laws governing crime of aggression, war crime, torture, etc., and they should be not only impeached by the US Congress but also be prosecuted by a special prosecutor, to the full extent of the law before or after impeachment. That is the best way to uphold the US Constitution and the rule of law at home and abroad."

John Kim, Esq., Attorney; participated in the World Tribunal on Iraq; and author of The Crime of Aggression Against Iraq.

"Americans are looking forward to an early end to the Bush administration, but unless we as a people force the current Congress to live up to its Constitutional duty to defend the Constitution against seven years of unremitting assault by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the gang of 'mob lawyers' who have abetted their crimes, the next administration, and the next Congress will inherit a government that would be unrecognizable to the Founders. The only way to re-establish the concept of a tri-partite government of checks and balances, of, by and for the people, a free nation dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal, and a country that again has the respect of the rest of the world, is to impeach those who have been trying to destroy those things."

Dave Lindorff, veteran investigative reporter from Philadelphia, co-author (with Barbara Olshansky) of The Case for Impeachment, working on a book about the Bush administration's war crimes.

"Impeachment is necessary. It is not a matter of politics, of right versus left, Democrat versus Republican. Rather, it is a matter of law. The current administration has repeatedly violated the Constitution and civil law. If there is no accountability for these violations, then why have a Constitution? Why have laws? The Constitution cannot protect itself. Nor can the Rule of Law. It is up to 'We, the People,' to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. I therefore urge the House and the Senate to do their sworn duty and impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors."

Stephen Heller, formerly known as the "Diebold Whistle-blower," is an election integrity activist and a member of Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force team.

"The breadth of impeachable offenses committed by the Bush/Cheney administration is likely unparalleled in our nation's history. Equally unparalleled, and in many cases even more alarming and outrageous, is the lack of accountability brought to the perpetrators of these High Crimes and Misdemeanors. It is the Constitutional duty of members of Congress -- members from any political party -- to bring such accountability, particularly when the list of crimes began with the very acts that brought this administration into office during their elections, and right up through today when the same sort of crimes continue, and are in place to try and affect our next Presidential Election.

"This is not about politics, it's about the Constitutional duty of Congress. If a line in the sand is not drawn immediately and clearly in the face of such corruption and disdain for our American values, such as the Rule of Law, the historical bar for criminality in our Executive Branch will have been forever lowered, no matter who happens to serve in the White House in the future."

Brad Friedman, investigative journalist, creator/ editor of The Brad Blog, an expert in election integrity issues, and co-founder of the non-partisan watchdog organization

"Our country was built upon the Constitution. It's the foundation of who we are as a free people. If Congress continues to disregard its relevance as a living document, and the Bush White House continues to shred it before they leave office, then we have lost everything precious that the Founders sacrificed and fought for. They fought for our future. They understood that there could be no peace without justice. They knew how fragile their republic would be without the Constitution as its anchor. Yet even with their farsighted wisdom, they couldn't have foreseen the numerous crimes that George W. Bush committed in just seven and a half years of his being in office.

"If we take our place in history seriously, if we want to heal our country and honor what the Constitution has given us, then the only prescribed remedy is impeachment of Bush and Cheney. In that way we will restore our nation to its rightful place in the world."

Sophie de Vries, National Impeachment Coordinator for and project manager for the articles of impeachment.

"I fully support Rep. Kucinich's efforts to uphold the Constitutional basis of our Democratic Republic. Absent accountability, the rule of law, and the other underpinnings of our system, we'll devolve into tyranny. We're seeking to halt and reverse the dangerous trends outlined in the articles of impeachment. Hopefully it's not too late."

Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America National Staff and Executive Director of

"In Ohio's 2004 election, we witnessed unprecedented partisan purging of voters from the rolls, suppression of minorities at the polls, and voting machine irregularities -- all favoring Bush. These new high-tech Jim Crow tactics embraced by Bush and his campaign are impeachable offenses."

Robert Fitrakis, Ph.D., J.D., professor of political science, award-winning investigative journalist, editor of the Columbus Free Press and, and an election rights attorney.

"In the past four years, my academic research has touched on many troubling areas of what appears to be a shining democracy in its waning years. I have investigated issues regarding federal surveillance on civilians, arrogation of unrestrained executive power, use of the military as a posse comitatus, the withholding of public information, and the aggressive dismantling of the system of checks and balances that holds our fragile system together.

"My research has taken me through a clandestine labyrinth of maneuvers led by an executive branch that will go down famously in history for its numerous crimes, not the least of which is its attempt to dismantle our democracy. Without impeachment hearings, the full spectrum of the crimes of the Bush administration may never be known, and many of the incursions it has made on our democratic society will be hidden in the legal and bureaucratic structures they have developed. Without holding this administration accountable, many of the victims of this administration will forever be forgotten to history. For the sake of all those who have been its victims, for the sake of the maintenance of our democracy, we must impeach this administration."

Barbara Bowley, Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Information Literacy at Woodbury University in Burbank, California. She is author of "The Campaign for Unfettered Power: Executive Supremacy, Secrecy and Surveillance" in Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, edited by Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips.

"Using impeachment to get Bush out of office is not what is most important since he is going out anyway. I want to see him impeached even if it happens on his last day in office because we need to set a precedent that this abuse of power will never be considered acceptable."

Richard Mathews, alternate member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee.

"Hundreds of innocent civilians die daily because of the US occupation of Iraq. Over a million have died since the US invasion and more will die if the Bush administration ignites a war with Iran. We cannot wait until January 2009 for a new president to decide to phase down the war. Impeachment is the only way to stop the on-going slaughter and end the war immediately. After Impeachment we must move to indict the US war criminals who lied us into this terrible period."

Peter Phillips, Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored, editor of 14 books including Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, with Dennis Loo.

"The situation today is more serious than the conditions that provoked the American Revolution. If we stand by now and allow this government to openly torture, abrogate habeas corpus, carry out unjust, illegal and immoral wars, and spy on all Americans, may we be damned by history."

Dr. Dennis Loo, co-editor/author of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney, Associate Professor of Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona, serves on the National Steering Committee of the World Can’t Wait.

"Impeachment is the most important item on the national agenda. This moment in history determines whether our nation will be governed by the rule of law or not. The people of Washington State are honored to be counted among those who stand now to defend the laws and principles established in our constitution."

Linda Boyd
Director, Washington For Impeachment

"For the last year and a half, I have somehow managed to balance work and a full time college course load with impeachment advocacy because I believe that this administration’s subversion of the Constitution is the single most important issue facing this country. The founders of the Republic and architects of its democratic tripartite form of government clearly intended impeachment to serve as the legal means to address executive aggrandizement and violation of the rule of law. I have been dismayed at Congress’ unwillingness to fulfill its oath of office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. It has been particularly upsetting when my Congressional representative, who is the Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Sub-committee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, has intransigently refused to support the call for impeachment hearings even while acknowledging that the Bush administration has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” as specified in the Constitution. However, taking to heart former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman’s words that impeachment must come from the grassroots, I have steadfastly continued to lobby Congress to undertake impeachment hearings.

"I am deeply grateful to Congressman Kucinich for his admirable work to preserve and protect the Constitution and am honored to contribute to this effort. It is essential to the future of our country as a democracy that we hold a rogue executive in check and restore the balance of power. Only by putting this administration on notice through impeachment hearings will we reclaim our civil rights, restore the rule of law, extricate ourselves from the illegal occupation of Iraq, stop the killing, wounding and displacement of countless American and Iraqi lives, and prevent an illegitimate and unprovoked attack on Iran. Quite simply, without impeachment there is no democracy.

"Thank you, Congressman Kucinich, you are a true American hero."
Sharon Lynch, NY CD-08 Progressive Democrats of America Chapter Chair

"I believe impeachment of Bush/Cheney is not only the right thing to do for our national well-being, but it must be done if we truly are a nation of laws. The Bush regime has shattered any moral authority America may have had, and we should never again claim superiority to any other nation. I am ashamed of our country's brutality and of its global arrogance and ignorance. I'm ashamed that our elected representatives have not yet impeached this administration. It is unthinkable to have a president who calls the Constitution, the same one he sends our young men and women to kill and die for, 'just a goddamned piece of paper.' When our veterans' pleas to impeach their commander in chief continue to be disregarded, how can we possibly claim we support our troops?

"If this administration is allowed to leave office without answering for its illegal and immoral activities, America will forever forfeit its standing in the world, and citizens will never again be able to take pride in their country."

Tobi Dragert, Director
Los Angeles Area Impeachment Center

"In light of the illegal war in Iraq, the systematic torture of prisoners in US custody, the illegal surveillance of Americans, and George W. Bush's refusal to carry out his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws, impeachment proceedings should be initiated immediately and a criminal investigation launched against the President of the United States."

Marjorie Cohn, President, National Lawyers Guild

"Good government requires constant maintenance. We must notice problems when they occur and to try to fix them. That is how we can best express our love for our country. We are at a critical time as a nation. The system of government brilliantly conceived by our Founding Fathers is crumbling. The Executive Branch is expanding its powers far beyond its Constitutional role and at the expense of Congress and the American people. Other nations, who once admired America, now watch with horror as we start preemptive wars and torture prisoners who are held without charge.

"According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach. The House must, therefore, fully investigate the various charges, well known to the public, and then fulfill their oath to protect the Constitution by impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney. It is critical that this be done before Bush and Cheney leave office. Otherwise future Presidents will inherit these awful powers and the bar will have been set so high that it will be nearly impossible to impeach them."

Phil Burk,
"because we love America"