January 27, 2009
A little-noticed twist in an order issued by President Barack Obama the day
after his inauguration may present problems for former White House Deputy Chief
of Staff Karl Rove and other Bush Administration officials that have been targeted
for their alleged role in various scandals.
Rove was subpoenaed Monday afternoon by House Judiciary Committee Chairman
John Conyers (D-MI). When the dogged Democrat subpoenaed him last year, Bush
Administration lawyers invoked “executive immunity” to prevent Rove
This year, however, George W. Bush is no longer in the president’s chair. Determination
of executive privilege must now also be examined by President Obama’s lawyers.
In fact, Rove’s lawyer made direct reference to Obama’s role in any future decision
to enjoin Rove’s appearance on the congressional witness stand Monday night.
“It’s generally agreed that former presidents retain executive privilege
as to matters occurring during their term,” Rove’s lawyer, Robert Luskin,
told The Washington Post. “We’ll solicit the views of the new White House
counsel and, if there is a disagreement, assume that the matter will be resolved
among the courts, the president and the former president.”
Luskin doesn’t concede that Rove isn’t covered by Bush’s blanket immunity,
but appears to acknowledge that the question of keeping Rove off the witness
stand has become more complex.
“The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise
of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection
(a) of this section, may jointly determine that… Continue reading
By Columbia Journalism Review
January 14, 2009
Advocates for open and transparent government are quick to note that no American
presidential administration has, in practice, been enthusiastic about reducing
secrecy in the executive branch–for some obvious and sometimes quite legitimate
reasons. There are secrets that almost everyone agrees should remain secret.
But secrecy must be balanced with the citizens’ right to examine the operations
of their government–to learn, to improve, to enforce, and sometimes to
shame. That’s especially true when there are political or bureaucratic
incentives for secrecy that deserve far less respect than true matters of national
security. And despite the bipartisan resistance from those in power, the arc
of history has trended, if unevenly, toward openness. Claims of excessive secrecy
have become a tried and true political battering ram, easily wielded by the
party in opposition. Technological evolution has not only made the dissemination
of information easier and faster, but also has heightened our appetite for disclosure.
The trend isn’t confined to the political sphere. Betty Ford’s frank
discussion of her struggles with cancer and alcoholism in the 1970s marked a
new era of openness in our personal medical lives, and the invention of the
personal video camera spawned a cottage industry around moments–gaffes,
goofs, tragedies–that were once private.
Against that backdrop, there is wide agreement among journalists and openness
advocates that the administration of George W. Bush was an aberration, at least
in the modern era. Bush and his advisers came into office with a broad vision… Continue reading
By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantánamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”
“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.
Crawford, a retired judge who served as general counsel for the Army during the Reagan administration and as Pentagon inspector general when Dick Cheney was secretary of defense, is the first senior Bush administration official responsible for reviewing practices at Guantánamo to publicly state that a detainee was tortured.
Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health led to her conclusion. “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his… Continue reading
Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush’s 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution (“VR”), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell’s activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how to tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that the George Bush and Dick Cheney would “throw [him] under the bus.”
A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell’s life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR’s attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell’s not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside… Continue reading
Stephen C. Webster
A career Army officer who survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claims that no evacuation was ordered inside the Pentagon, despite flight controllers calling in warnings of approaching hijacked aircraft nearly 20 minutes before the building was struck.
According to a time-line of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD that American Airlines Flight 77 had been hijacked at 9:24 a.m. The Pentagon was not struck until 9:43 a.m.
On behalf of retired Army officer April Gallop, California attorney William Veale has filed a civil suit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and former US Air Force General Richard Myers, who was acting chairman of the joint chiefs on 9/11. It alleges they engaged in conspiracy to facilitate the terrorist attacks and purposefully failed to warn those inside the Pentagon, contributing to injuries she and her two-month-old son incurred.
“The ex-G.I. plaintiff alleges she has been denied government support since then, because she raised ‘painful questions’ about the inexplicable failure of military defenses at the Pentagon that day, and especially the failure of officials to warn and evacuate the occupants of the building when they knew the attack was imminent” said Veale in a media advisory.
Gallop also says she heard two loud explosions, and does not believe that a Boeing 757 hit the building. Her son sustained a serious brain injury, and Gallop herself was knocked unconscious after the roof collapsed onto her office.
The suit also named… Continue reading
By Ray McGovern
Without integrity and courage, all virtue is specious, and no amount of structural or organizational reform will make any difference.
Though a 2004 law gave most of the DCI’s intelligence community-wide authority to the new position of Director of National Intelligence — after the failure to prevent the 9/11 attacks and after the false intelligence analysis on Iraq’s WMDs — the same principles regarding integrity and courage apply to the DNI.
Instructive lessons can be drawn from the performance of George Tenet, the sixteenth CIA director since the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947, and from his predecessors regarding what attributes a director needs to discharge the duties of the office as the National Security Act of 1947 intended.
Consortiumnews.com Editor’s Note:
An underlying factor in the national security crises confronting the United States has been the corruption of the U.S. intelligence process, with analyses tailored to fit the desires of the policymakers and with laws bent to permit torture and other abuses.In this guest essay, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects on what went wrong and what now needs to go right.
911truth.org Editor’s Note:
Ray McGovern is now a regular guest on “Tell Somebody,” hosted by Tom Klammer, broadcasting Tuesday evenings from 6-7pm CENTRAL time.… Continue reading
Debunking the ‘9/11 Debunkers’ With Stewart Bradley
by John-Michael Talboo
Debunking the Debunkers
John-Michael Talboo (JMT)-Q:
November 21, 2008
By William Glaberson
New York Times
A federal judge issued the Bush administration a sharp setback on Thursday, ruling that five Algerian men have been held unlawfully at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp for nearly seven years and ordering their release.
It was the first hearing on the government’s evidence for holding detainees at Guantánamo. The judge, Richard J. Leon of Federal District Court in Washington, said the government’s secret evidence in the case had been weak: what he described as “a classified document from an unnamed source” for its central claim against the men, with little way to measure credibility.
“To rest on so thin a reed would be inconsistent with this court’s obligation,” Judge Leon said. He urged the government not to appeal and said the men should be released “forthwith.”
The habeas corpus case was an important test of the administration’s detention policies, which critics have long argued swept up innocent men and low-level foot soldiers along with hardened fighters and terrorist commanders.
The judge also ruled that a sixth Algerian man was being lawfully detained because he was a facilitator for Al Qaeda, arranging travel for others to fight the United States, and planned to become a fighter himself.
The six men are among a group of Guantánamo inmates who won a 5-to-4 Supreme Court ruling in June that the detainees had a constitutional right to seek their release in federal court. The decision said a 2006 law unconstitutionally stripped them of their right to contest their imprisonment in habeas corpus lawsuits.…Continue reading
From Donna Marsh O’Connor
First let me say, after years of skepticism re the Democratic Party, I am a Progressive Democrat and so my comments reflect that. Someday perhaps someone more powerful than I will be able to dismantle the two party system, and make more genuine choice possible in this country. Right now, there are two parties. For eight years George W. Bush and Dick Cheney impostered as Republicans. I have said before and will say again, they would not have fit into my party and of this I am proud. They led a band of rogues that brought this country to the brink of absolute despotism. Let the Republicans worry about that mess. I remember telling my students long ago, I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton for what he would do, I voted for Bill Clinton for what he said, for the values he espoused, for the way his insistence on social justice resonated. After his election, his actions were, indeed, another matter.
The good news: Barack Obama seems to be a decent man, tough enough to steer this nation in the left direction, confident enough to know he will succeed, smart enough to know that the powerful right still has the means to inflict great pain and re-enter greater and stronger. His election has elated many, particularly me, for a whole host of reasons, but for our purposes the following two:
The reign of Bush/Cheney/Rove (given a peaceful transition) is over.
Though I don’t believe that this… Continue reading
© Diana Ralph, Ph.D.Abstract
The 9-11 attacks were the pretext which sold the myth of evil Muslim terrorists imminently threatening Americans. That tale allowed the Cheney-led members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) to implement their 1990 DPG plan for world control. The “war on terror” has nothing to do with protecting the U.S. and world’s people from “terrorists”, and everything to do with securing the American empire abroad and muzzling democracy and human rights at home. Designed to inspire popular support for U.S. wars of world conquest, it is modeled on Islamophobic stereotypes, policies, and political structures developed by the Israeli Likkud and Bush Sr. since 1979. To defeat this plan, we must overcome our Islamophobic fear of “terrorists” and stand in solidarity with Muslims.
1. Why a 9-11 Pretext?
…the War… Continue reading
by Jon Gold
Latest Update 11/08/08
Thanks to www.historycommons.org, DHS, and simuvac. This is dedicated to the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Before I begin, I would like to say that theorizing about what happened on 9/11, when you’re not being given answers to your questions about that day by the people who SHOULD be able to do so, is PERFECTLY normal. As is suspecting that the reason these answers aren’t being given is “sinister” in nature. As Ray McGovern said, “for people to dismiss these questioners as “conspiratorial advocates”, or “conspiratorial theorists”… that’s completely out of line because the… The questions remain because the President who should be able to answer them, WILL NOT.” When you think about everything this Administration has done in almost 8 years, the idea that they might not be giving us the answers we seek because of something “sinister” is not crazy. In fact, it’s the most logical conclusion one can come to at this point. After seven plus years of obfuscation, spin, lies, and cover-ups regarding the 9/11 attacks, it is unavoidable to think that criminal complicity is the reason why.
That being said, we have not proven it beyond the shadow of doubt. We do not have documentation that shows they planned it. We do not have a signed confession from someone. We have pieces of the puzzle, and to most of us that have been doing this a long time, those pieces point to more than just Osama Bin Laden,… Continue reading
Andrew J. Bacevich
As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better “Commander in Chief,” Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.
Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: “Put thine house in order.” Bacevich explained his choice to Bill Moyers:
I’ve been troubled by the course of U.S. foreign policy for a long, long time. And I wrote the book in order to sort out my own thinking about where our basic problems lay. And I really reached the conclusion that our biggest problems are within.
I think there’s a tendency in the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of many Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we’ll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it’s fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are here at home.
Bacevich sees three crises looming in the United States today, as he explains in the introduction to THE LIMITS OF POWER.
… Continue reading
The United States today finds itself threatened by three interlocking crises. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.
October 6, 2008
by Tom Burghardt
Ten months before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved an updated version of the U.S. Army’s secret operational Continuity of Government (COG) plans.
A draft document published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks entitled, “Army Regulation 500-3, Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources. Army Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program,” dated 19 January 2001, spells out changes in Army doctrine.
Issued by Headquarters, Department of the Army and signed off by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Secretary of the Army, the document is affixed with a warning: “Destruction Notice: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.” The restricted document as published by Wikileaks states:
History. This regulation is a revision of the original regulation that was effective on 10 July 1989. Since that time, no changes have been published to amend the original.
Summary. This regulation on the Army Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program has been revised to update Army COOP policy and extend the requirement for all-hazards COOP planning to all Army organizations. Classified information contained in the 1989 version of this AR has been removed and placed in a classified HQDA Operations Plan (OPLAN).
Applicability. This regulation applies to the Active Army, the U.S. Army Reserve (USAR), and when federalized to the Army National Guard (ARNG). In the event of conflict between this regulation and approved OSD or JCS publications, the provisions of the latter will… Continue reading
This is a news item pertaining to the Complete 911 Timeline investigative project, one of several grassroots investigations being hosted on the History Commons website. The
data published as part of this investigation has been collected, organized, and published by members of the public who are registered users of this website.
9/28/2008: Pentagon on 9/11, Shoe Bombing, Bin Laden in the Soviet-Afghan War and More – Additions as of September 28, 2008
This week, a massive amount of new entries have been added to the timeline, dealing with a whole range of different issues. We will start with the day of 9/11, in particular the Pentagon, which a fire chief warned could be a target nearly 20 minutes before it was hit. The attack itself created confusion by setting off 300 fire alarms, although some medical workers thought the ensuing evacuation was a drill. After wandering about outside the building, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld refused to follow the established emergency plan and evacuate, instead sending deputy Paul Wolfowitz to an alternate military command center, where the computers and communication systems did not work.
The first fighter was seen arriving over the Pentagon at around 10:40 a.m., the FAA sent the White House incorrect details of the hijacked planes in the early afternoon, and astronauts viewed the devastation in New York from space. Meanwhile, the FBI established a command post near the Pentagon and limited the evidence that needed to be photographed there.
The… Continue reading
by Bill Simpich tr u t h o u t | Report
The Congressional anthrax hearings of September 16-17 revealed that public pressure is keeping the doors open in the anthrax case. FBI Director Robert Mueller promised that the FBI will provide their evidence to a panel of experts for scientific evaluation. The battle will now turn to the independence of this panel, and whether “all evidence” or merely “scientific evidence” will be under review.
During the hearings, Mueller found himself under fire by Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman John Conyers for not having answers to their questions. Republican Arlen Specter was furious at Mueller for his unwillingness to assure them that Congress would have a role in determining the panel’s composition.
Meanwhile, new evidence shows just how deeply wrong ABC and Washington Post reporters have been over the years on their coverage of the anthrax attacks. They can’t have it both ways: Either they made repeated “mistakes” by relying on their sources, or several people deliberately lied in order to advance war on Iraq.
In his recent book Taking Heat, former White House secretary Ari Fleischer wrote that Bush was more shook up by the anthrax attacks than by any other event. White House officials repeatedly pressed Mueller to prove it was a second-wave assault by al-Qaeda or Iraq. After days of provocative statements designed to scare the American people, Cheney himself believed that he had been exposed to anthrax. Although the test… Continue reading
by Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, September 13, 2008
PROGRAM WILL RETURN SUNDAY, 9 A.M. Eastern
Saturday morning, the dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will convene a two day planning session with a single focus: To arrest, put to trial and carry out sentence on criminals in the Bush Administration.
The conference, arranged by Lawrence Vevel, cofounder of the Andover school, will focus on which of Bush’s officials and members of Congress could be charged with war crimes. The plan also calls for “necessary organizational structures” to be established, with the purpose of pursuing the guilty “to the ends of the Earth.”
“For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders,” Velvel said in a media advisory.
“He is a former drunk, was a serial failure in business who had to repeatedly be bailed out by daddy’s friends and wanna-be-friends, was unable to speak articulately despite the finest education(s) that money and influence can buy, has a dislike of reading, so that 100-page memos have to be boiled down to one page for him, is heedless of facts and evidence, and appears not even to know the meaning of truth,” said Vevel.…Continue reading
Live Broadcast — 2 Day Conference — All Day Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13-14th
Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 13-14th
6am Pacific – 9am Eastern – 13:00 GMT
LIVE 2 DAY CONFERENCE direct from Andover, Mass.
A two-day conference on obtaining prosecutions of high level
American war criminals will open September 13th, in Andover, Mass. The conference
will explore the legal grounds for, and plan for, obtaining prosecutions of
President Bush and top officials of his Administration for war crimes.
In the tradition of America’s Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials
after World War II, Justice Robert Jackson, the Conference’s purpose is “to
hold high U.S. officials accountable in courts of law and, if guilt is found,
to obtain appropriate punishments. Otherwise,” said the Conference’s convener,
Lawrence Velvel, “the future will be threatened by additional examples
of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences”
for their actions, leading to the “possibility of more Viet Nams, more
Iraqs, and more repression.”
Velvel emphasized: “This is intended to be a planning conference, one at
which plans will be laid, and necessary organizational structures will be set
up, to seek prosecutions to determine guilt and, if guilt is found, appropriate
Attendees will hear from prominent authorities on international law, criminal
prosecutions, and constitutional rights who are determined to give meaning to
Justice Jackson’s words: “The common sense… Continue reading
By Tod Fletcher
September 11, 2008
In THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED , David Ray Griffin provides a brilliant and much-needed companion to his path-breaking and movement-building book on 9/11, The New Pearl Harbor (NPH; 2004). Now, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of those horrific events, Griffin surveys in detail all the main lines of evidence against the official account of 9/11 to have emerged during the last four years. THE NEW PEARL HARBOR REVISITED (NPHR) has been designed as volume 2 of a two-volume set with NPH as volume 1; together they provide a thorough and up-to-date case against the official conspiracy theory (they can be bought separately, of course).
Griffin has already published four other books that provide in-depth analysis of most of the evidence to have emerged since 2004. NPHR’s main purpose is to provide an easily accessible survey of all of the new evidence, so that it is now possible for a beginner to the subject (including journalists and members of Congress) to master its enormous complexity simply by reading two books. NPHR is structured identically to NPH; each chapter in NPHR comments and builds on the corresponding chapter in NPH. Much of the content is entirely new; there are many facts and analyses in NPHR which Griffin presents for the first time, and which literally make the book an up-to-the-minute statement of the case.
In the Preface, Griffin explains why he undertook to “update” The New Pearl Harbor . In the Introduction he… Continue reading