By Deb McKee
WEST TERRE HAUTE — Two men walking across the nation to protest the Iraq war say police officers in West Terre Haute violated their constitutional rights last week when one of the men was arrested for failing to produce identification.
Police say the request for identification was legitimate, and the arrest lawful.
For nearly four months, Raymond Schwab, 32, of Loveland, Colo., and Elliott Nesch, 22, of Fort Collins, Colo. — Brother Raymond and Brother Elliott, to their followers — have been walking from Denver on their way to Washington, D.C., sharing their religious and pacifist beliefs.
They belong to Beit Shalom Ministries, an outreach of the Protestant Free Church Movement, according to their Web site, www.beitshalomministries.org, which is sponsoring the walk.
On the evening of July 8, the two had just crossed the border from Illinois into Indiana when Nesch was stopped by a West Terre Haute police officer.
That in itself is not unusual for the pair.
Nesch said during an interview Friday afternoon that since they began walking, they have been stopped daily by members of various police agencies.
But this week was the first time either of the two ended up in a jail cell.
Carrying signs and often wearing bright orange, prison-type jumpsuits, Nesch and Schwab rarely fail to be noticed as they walk — separately, about five miles apart — along the nation’s roads. The jumpsuits are imprinted with large letters saying, “God is Love,” and “Real Christians Don’t… Continue reading
Tonight on PBS: Tough Talk on Impeachment
July 13, 2007
UPDATE 7/14: If you missed this, you can watch it online at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/images/profile_options_01.gif. Very, very worthwhile hour of your time! (Janice)
A public opinion poll from the American Research Group recently reported that more than four in ten Americans — 45% — favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half — 54% — favored impeachment for Vice President Cheney.
Unhappiness about the war in Iraq isn’t the only cause of the unsettled feelings of the electorate. Recent events like President Bush’s pardoning of Scooter Libby, the refusal of Vice President Cheney’s office to surrender emails under subpoena to Congress and the President’s prohibition of testimony of former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers in front of the House Judiciary Committee have caused unease over claims of “executive privilege.” In addition, many of the White House anti-terror initiatives and procedures — from the status of “enemy combatants” in Guantánamo to warrantless wiretapping — have come under legal scrutiny in Congress and the courts.
Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION’s John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.
… Continue reading
“The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch… They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check.” — Bruce Fein
“On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined.
RELATED STORY UPDATE: Many of you will recall the rather impassioned little piece Janice posted at the site last week, re. the State of Kansas, through their corporate foster care evildoers, having taken Raymond’s six year old son . . . Great, great news!! Last night, Deven was returned to his mother’s loving arms!! Hallelujah! Thanks to everyone who made those calls. Now–let’s continue to keep an eye on the corporate and state bodies who have quietly taken this level of power through our own negligence. While we’re grateful Deven is home, there are many, many other children, such as those of loving immigrant families, who are being taken without merit. We must work for all of the children! –Janice
Sunday, July 8, 2007
by Michael Wolsey
NOTE: Time sensitive: Hearing to be held tomorrow morning.
UPDATE 7/9 2:15 CDT: This email message just in:
Once again I hope people see that what we are doing is not illegal. This morning the County Attorney dismissed all charges against Elliott because the Police actions were unconstitutional. as the neo-cons would say as they enslave and destroy Iraq, freedom isn’t free and if we desire to have liberty in this country it is only through people being willing to suffer for the truth. Thank you for your prayers. Shalom, Brother Raymond
Written by Robert Kubey, EXTRA!
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Read the full article (below): Bush Moves Toward Martial Law by Frank Morales, published in TowardFreedom.com on October 26, 2006.
The article below is reprinted from EXTRA! Magazine
On October 17, 2006, when George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007–a $538 billion military spending bill–he enacted into law a section called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” In the view of many, this Act substantially changed fundamental laws of the United States, giving Bush–and all future U.S. presidents–new and sweeping powers to use the U.S. military anywhere in the United States, virtually as he sees fit–for disaster relief, crowd control, suppression of public disorder, or any “other condition” that might arise.
News coverage of these significant changes in the law has been virtually nonexistent. At nearly every stage when it might have received coverage, the news media have completely ignored the story: When the NDAA was debated, when it was passed in the House on September 29 and in the Senate on Sept.… Continue reading
By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, June 24, 2007
“Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification
and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets”
(Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)
The US media consensus is that “the United States faces its greatest
threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks” (USA Today,
12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by ” Islamic terrorists”,
allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.
America is under attack” by an illusive “outside enemy”.
Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. “Offense” becomes
a legitimate means of “self-defense”. In the words of President Bush:
“Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response:
We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them.”
(President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)
The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.
A “terrorist attack on America” could be used to justify, in the
eyes of an increasingly credulous public opinion, on “humanitarian grounds”,
the launching of a major theater war directed against Iran and Syria.
Allegedly supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear capabilities.
They are supposedly planning to explode “radiological dispersion devices”
(RDD) or “dirty bombs” in densely populated urban areas in the US.… Continue reading
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer
June 25, 2007
– Ex-EPA chief Christie Whitman was bombarded by boos and a host of accusations
Monday at a hearing into her assurances that it had been safe to breathe the
air around the fallen World Trade Center.
The confrontation between the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency
and her critics grew heated at times. Some members of the audience shouted in
anger, only to be gaveled down by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who chaired the
For three hours Whitman faced charges from Nadler and others that the Environmental
Protection Agency’s public statements after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks gave
people a false sense of safety.
Whitman maintained the government warned those working on the toxic debris
pile to use respirators, while elsewhere in lower Manhattan the air was safe
to the general public.
“There are indeed people to blame. They are the terrorists who attacked
the United States, not the men and women at all levels of government who worked
heroically to protect and defend this country,” Whitman said.
Since the attacks, independent government reviews have faulted the EPA’s handling
of the immediate aftermath and the agency’s long-term cleanup program for nearby
A study of more than 20,000 people by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York
concluded that, since the attacks, 70 percent of ground zero workers have suffered
some sort of respiratory illness. A separate study released last month found
that rescue workers and firefighters contracted… Continue reading
From the National
Whistleblower Center, June 19, 2007:
Take Action Now to ensure that S.274, the Senate whistleblower protection bill,
The Good News:
Last week, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
voted to approve S.274 and send it to the Senate floor for debate. S.274 is
the Senate companion to the House bill H.R. 985. This legislation, if passed,
would constitute an important and hard fought victory for Federal employees.
S.274 has thus far drawn significant bi-partisan support, and should it reach
the Senate floor, is almost certain to pass with a veto-proof majority.
The Bad News:
After the vote, committee member Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) placed a hold on the
legislation, which, unless lifted by Sen. Coburn, could effectively kill the
This is a classic case of a Republican Senator carrying water for an administration
which has already issued a veto threat to the House version of this bill. It
is clear that the Bush Administration fears the type of effective oversight
that S.274/H.R.985 would provide. Those in power desperately want to hold on
to the current laws, because if these improvements to the whistleblower protection
laws were to pass, it would give employees the courage to speak the truth about
corruption and malfeasance that this administration has tried so hard to cover
ACLU of Arizona Sues County Officials Over Inhumane Confinement of TB Patient (5/31/2007)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX, AZ — The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona today filed a lawsuit on behalf of Robert Daniels, a tuberculosis patient who has been held in the jail ward at the Maricopa Medical Center for the past nine months, charging that treating a severely ill patient like a criminal is inhumane and unconstitutional.
“Individuals quarantined because of public health risks are held under civil rather than criminal laws,” said Daniel J. Pochoda, ACLU of Arizona Legal Director. “Robert Daniels is a sick patient who has been detained for non-punitive purposes and public health officials are legally and morally obligated to treat him in a humane manner.”
Daniels was placed in quarantine at the jail ward of the county hospital in August 2006. He was diagnosed with an extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (TB) that he will probably live with for his entire life, even if he becomes non-contagious. At a hearing in July 2006, Daniels was involuntarily committed after Maricopa County Public Health Department officials claimed he was a serious public health risk for not wearing a mask while visiting a local convenience store. One month later he was thrown in jail.
“I’m slowly dying in this room,” said Daniels, who has a wife and daughter in his native Russia. “I didn’t realize how serious this was, and I regret that, but nothing justifies the kind of treatment I’ve received in here.…Continue reading
May 24, 2007
For the First Time, New York Links a Death to 9/11 Dust
By ANTHONY DePALMA
New York City’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, has for the first time directly linked a death to exposure to dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center.
In a letter made public yesterday, Dr. Hirsch said that he was certain “beyond a reasonable doubt” that dust from the twin towers contributed to the death of Felicia Dunn-Jones, 42, a civil rights lawyer who was engulfed on Sept. 11 as she ran from her office a block away from the trade center.
She later developed a serious cough and had trouble breathing, and she died five months after the terrorist attack.
Dr. Hirsch said he had decided to amend Mrs. Dunn-Jones’s death certificate to indicate that exposure to trade center dust “was contributory to her death.” The manner of death will be changed from natural causes to homicide.
Her name will be added to the official list of World Trade Center victims, and the official number of people who died as a result of the attack on the twin towers will be increased to 2,750.
By making a formal connection between Mrs. Dunn-Jones’s death and her relatively brief exposure to the dust, the medical examiner’s decision could have a wide impact on how the city deals with the growing number of illnesses and deaths linked in some way to ground zero.
The city is already under pressure to re-examine the deaths of people like James Zadroga, 34, a New York police detective who worked at the debris pile in the months after the towers fell.…Continue reading
by Adam Liptak
The New York Times
Trials are on the verge of extinction. They have been replaced by settlements
and plea deals, by mediations and arbitrations and by decisions from judges
based only on lawyers’ written submissions.
More from the New York Times
Federal courts conducted about 3,600 trials in civil cases last year, down
from 5,800 in 1962. That is not an enormous drop— until you consider that
the number of cases has quintupled in the meantime.
In percentage terms, only 1.3 percent of federal civil cases ended in trials
last year, down from 11.5 percent in 1962.
The trends in criminal cases and in the state courts are broadly similar, though
not always quite as striking. But it is beyond dispute that even as the number
of lawyers has grown twice as fast as the population and even as the number
of lawsuits has exploded, actual trials have become quite rare.
Instead of hearing testimony, ruling on objections and instructing jurors on
the law, judges spend most of their time supervising the exchange of information,
deciding pretrial motions and dealing with settlements and plea bargains.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with settlements, at least when they are
the product of reasoned and sensible compromise between evenly matched adversaries.
But trials are not disappearing simply because more cases are being settled.
Instead, they are increasingly being replaced by summary judgments, in which
judges evaluate evidence submitted to them on paper.
“During the last years of the 20th century, summary judgment in the federal
courts moved from a small fraction of dispositions by trial to a magnitude several
times greater than the number of trials,” Marc Galanter, who teaches law at
the University of Wisconsin and the London School of Economics and Political
Science, wrote last year in The Journal of Dispute Resolution.…
by Matthew Rothschild
With scarcely a mention in the mainstream media, President Bush has ordered up a plan for responding to a catastrophic attack.
In a new National Security Presidential Directive , Bush lays out his plans for dealing with a “catastrophic emergency.” (Ed.: Full text appended at end of this article.)
Under that plan, he entrusts himself with leading the entire federal government, not just the Executive Branch. And he gives himself the responsibility “for ensuring constitutional government.”
He laid this all out in a document entitled “National Security Presidential Directive/NSPD 51″ and “Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-20.”
The White House released it on May 9.
Other than a discussion on Daily Kos led off by a posting by Leo Fender, and a pro-forma notice in a couple of mainstream newspapers, this document has gone unremarked upon.
The subject of the document is entitled “National Continuity Policy.”
It defines a “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.”
This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include “localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.”
The document emphasizes the need to ensure “the continued function of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government,” it states.
But it says flat out: “The President shall… Continue reading
By Peter Phillips, Lew Brown and Bridget Thornton
January 9, 2007
Project Censored Releases a New study on the History of US Intelligence Community
Human Rights Violations and Continuing Research in Electromagnetic Weapons.
CLICK HERE TO READ COMPLETE STUDY (pdf):
US Electromagnetic Weapons and Human Rights – application/pdf 308K
This research explores the current capabilities of the US military to use electromagnetic
(EMF) devices to harass, intimidate, and kill individuals and the continuing
possibilities of violations of human rights by the testing and deployment of
these weapons. To establish historical precedent in the US for such acts, we
document long-term human rights and freedom of thought violations by US military/intelligence
organizations. Additionally, we explore contemporary evidence of on-going government
research in EMF weapons technologies and examine the potentialities of continuing
human rights abuses.
In the 1950s and 60s the CIA began work to find means for influencing human
cognition, emotion and behavior. Through the use of the psychological understanding
of the human being as a social animal and the ability to manipulate a subject’s
environment through isolation, drugs and hypnosis, US funded scientists have
long searched for better means of controlling human behavior. This research
has included the use of wireless directed electromagnetic energy under the heading
of “Information Warfare” and “Non Lethal Weapons.” New technological capabilities have been developed in black budget projects over the last few decades — including the ability to influence human emotion, disrupt thought, and present excruciating pain through the manipulation of magnetic fields.…
By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
Thu May 3, 2:31 PM ET
Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren’t
sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don’t trust reporters
or the federal government.
“There are too many ifs, too many things going on,” one male juror
said. “I don’t know the whole story.”
Others say they just don’t pay close enough attention to world events to be
“I’m oblivious to that stuff,” one prospective female juror said
during questioning this week. “I don’t watch the news much. I try to avoid
The doubts were noted by a significant portion of the more than 160 people
who have been questioned individually since jury selection in the case began
Padilla and two co-defendants are charged with being part of a North American
support cell for Islamic extremists. A jury is expected to be seated next week,
with testimony to begin May 14.
Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant, is accused
of applying for an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. He was previously
accused of an al-Qaida plot to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb”
in a U.S. city, but that allegation is not part of the Miami case.
Before they came to court, each of the jurors filled out a 115-question form
asking about a wide range of legal, political and religious topics, particularly
their views of Arabs, Muslims and Islamic radicals. On question No.…
By Naomi Wolf, Chelsea Green Publishing
April 28, 2007
Alternet Editor’s note: This is adapted from Wolf’s forthcoming book “The
End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.”
autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took
a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In
a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down —
the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential
areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened
some limits on travel and took certain activists into custody.
They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at
history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open
society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in
more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective.
It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy, but history
shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to
take the 10 steps.
As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are willing to
look, that each of these 10 steps has already been initiated in the United States
by the Bush administration.
Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering
that… Continue reading
Working for the Clampdown: What might the president do with his new power to declare martial law?
By James Bovard
04/25/07 “American Conservative” — – How many pipe bombs might it take to end American democracy? Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago.
The Defense Authorization Act of 2006 [Ed.: Details at http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1815], passed on Sept. 30, empowers President George W. Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist “incident,” if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of “public order,” or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.
The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power. But now that the president’s arsenal of authority is swollen and consecrated, a few voices of complaint are being heard. Even the New York Times recently condemned the new law for “making martial law easier.”
It only took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to raze one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president’s ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the express permission of Congress. But there is a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.
Section 1076 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 [Ed.: Details at www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-5122"] changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from “Insurrection Act” to “Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act.” The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only “to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy.” The new law expands the list to include “natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition”–and such “condition” is not defined or limited.…Continue reading
By SUSAN EDELMAN
April 22, 2007 — Twenty-six firefighters who toiled at Ground Zero came down with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory illness that often attacks the lungs, in the five years after 9/11 – a significant increase, a new study has found.
The study has angered the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which complains that the NYPD has refused to acknowledge that 9/11 caused sarcoidosis in cops.
Half the firefighter cases were diagnosed in the first year after 9/11 – a rate six times higher than the average for the Bravest in the 15 years before 9/11, according to a paper to be published in CHEST, a medical journal.
The results “strongly argue for improved respiratory protection” at future fires, disasters and toxic sites, says the report, whose authors include FDNY top doctors David Prezant and Kerry Kelly.
The PBA, which has its own registry of ailing WTC responders, counts 19 cops with sarcoidosis.
Unlike the FDNY, the NYPD has been reluctant to link the disease to 9/11.
The NYPD has also rejected some cops’ medical bills for sarcoidosis.
“First they denied any connection between the WTC and sarcoidosis. Now that there’s scientific evidence, they refuse to accept it,” PBA president Patrick Lynch told The Post.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Commissioner Ray Kelly welcomed line-of-duty death benefits recently given the daughter of detective James Zadroga, 34, a 9/11 responder who died of respiratory illness.
“The department hasn’t refused to acknowledge a link. The medical division is reviewing the cases,” Browne said.
Source URL: http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/04222007/news/regionalnews/9_11_firefighter_lung_ailments_on_the_rise_regionalnews_susan_edelman.htm
Apr 20, 2007
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK An appeals court ruling could spell trouble for New Yorkers
suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its former chief for saying that
sooty Lower Manhattan air was safe to breathe after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
A three judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared this
week that EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman and other agency officials
can’t be held constitutionally liable for making rosy declarations about air
quality in the days following the World Trade Center’s destruction.
The opinion, written by the court’s chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, said opening
EPA workers up to lawsuits for giving out bad information during a crisis could
have a catastrophic side effect.
“Officials might default to silence in the face of the public’s urgent
need for information,” Jacobs wrote.
The ruling, filed Thursday, applied only to a suit brought by five government
employees who did rescue and cleanup work at ground zero, but it contained language
suggesting that similar legal claims could face trouble.
It specifically mentioned a class action lawsuit brought by lower Manhattan
residents who claim Whitman jeopardized their health by declaring that “the
air is safe to breathe” at a time when, according to the EPA inspector
general, a quarter of dust samples were recording unhealthy asbestos levels.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts, refused to dismiss that case,
calling Whitman’s statements “conscience-shocking.”
That decision is now on appeal and has yet to be argued before the 2nd… Continue reading
Terrorized by ‘War on Terror': How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The “war on terror” has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration’s elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America’s psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done — a classic self-inflicted wound — is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare — political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.
But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a “war on terror” did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.…Continue reading