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Geneva Conventions

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Introducing the Constitution Restoration Act

– Say hello to Taliban America and goodbye to godless judges, courts and law.

by W. David Kubiak

March 24, 2005

Tired of waiting for the Second Coming to enforce Christ’s rule on Earth? Fortunately, so is your Congress and they know how to “bring it on.”

Just when you thought the corporatist/Christian Coalition had milked the 9/11 “surprise” for all it was worth in powers, profits and votes, we regret to report that you may have to think again. Just in case you’ve briefly fallen behind on your rightwing mailing lists, you might have missed the March 3rd filing of Senate bill S. 520 and House version is H.R. 1070, AKA the “Constitution Restoration Act” (CRA).

In the worshipful words of the Conservative Caucus, this historic legislation will “RESTORE OUR CONSTITUTION!”, mainly by barring ANY federal court or judge from ever again reviewing “any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity’s, officer’s, or agent’s acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.” [Emphasis demanded – see full text here.]

In other words, the bill ensures that God’s divine word (and our infallible leaders’ interpretation thereof) will hereafter trump all our pathetic democratic notions about freedom, law and rights — and our courts can’t say a thing. This, of… Continue reading

Stripping Rumsfeld and Bush of Impunity

by Matthew Rothschild
The Progressive
July 2005 issue

When Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last year, he was asked whether he “ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise, and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison.” Sanchez, who was head of the Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force-7 in Iraq, swore the answer was no. Under oath, he told the Senators he “never approved any of those measures to be used.”

But a document the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained from the Pentagon flat out contradicts Sanchez’s testimony. It’s a memorandum entitled “CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy,” dated September 14, 2003. In it, Sanchez approved several methods designed for “significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee.” These included “sleep management”; “yelling, loud music, and light control: used to create fear, disorient detainee, and prolong capture shock”; and “presence of military working dogs: exploits Arab fear of dogs.”

On March 30, the ACLU wrote a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, urging him “to open an investigation into whether General Ricardo A. Sanchez committed perjury in his sworn testimony.”

The problem is, Gonzales may himself have committed perjury in his Congressional testimony this January. According to a March 6 article in The New York Times, Gonzales submitted written testimony that said: “The policy of the United States is not to transfer individuals to countries where we believe they likely will be tortured, whether those individuals are being transferred from inside or outside the United States.” He added that he was “not aware of anyone in the executive branch authorizing any transfer of a detainee in violation of that policy.”

“That’s a clear, absolute lie,” says Michael Ratner, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is suing Administration officials for their involvement in the torture scandal.…

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Bush’s Absolute Power Grab

By Carla Binion
October 21, 2006
Consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: Many Americans are in denial about what
is happening to the United States. They don’t want to believe that a totalitarian
structure could be put in place in their own country. They don’t want to view
the various pieces of George W. Bush’s “anti-terror” system in that
broad a context. They hope that someone or something — the Supreme Court
maybe — will strike down the excesses of the Republican-controlled Congress
and the Executive Branch.

Though there are still obstacles that stand in Bush’s way — the Nov.
7 elections, for instance — America’s march down a road to a new-age totalitarianism
has advanced farther than many understand, as freelance reporter Carla Binion
argues in this disturbing guest essay:

On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act
of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or
Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those
of the KGB or Gestapo.

Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the “war on terror,”
but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said
the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods
to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)

Except for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered
to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system

and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October
17 Countdown program, the new act “does away with habeas corpus, the right
of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned.”

Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor,
was Olbermann’s guest.…

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Enforcers or Enablers? Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
November 9, 2006

It only took six years for Americans to comprehend George Bush and the Republican Party and to realize that the Republicans were not leading America in any promising directions.

Exit polls and interviews with voters across the country by CNN political analyst Bill Schneider show that the November 2006 election was a vote against both Bush and the war in Iraq. Schneider reports that voters did not even know the name of the Democrats for whom they voted. Voters said: “I am going to vote Democrat, because I don’t like Bush, I don’t like the war. I want to make a statement.”

I believe that voters recognized that the peril of one-party rule is that political accountability exists no where except at the ballot box. With the Republican built and programmed electronic voting machines, even accountability at the ballot box was disappearing.

Americans realized that they had made a serious mistake giving power to one party, and they rectified it.

With Republican control of the legislative branch ended, Pentagon Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was immediately swept from power. With the troops, generals, and the service newspapers calling for Rumsfeld’s head, only the delusional warmonger, Vice President Richard Cheney, wanted to keep Rumsfeld in power.

It was a battle that Cheney lost. Cheney’s defeat is an indication that reality has elbowed its way back into Republican consciousness, pushing hubris and delusion away from the control they have exercised over political power.

The lust for unbridled power proved to be too strong a temptation for normally cautious Republicans.…

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Defeating the Bill of Rights–Bush’s Lone Victory

November 22, 2006

Defeating the Bill of Rights
Bush’s Lone Victory

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

George Orwell warned us, but what American would have expected that in the
opening years of the 21st century the United States would become a country in
which lies and deception by the President and Vice President were the basis
for a foreign policy of war and aggression, and in which indefinite detention
without charges, torture, and spying on citizens without warrants have displaced
the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution?

If anyone had predicted that the election of George W. Bush to the presidency
would result in an American police state and illegal wars of aggression, he
would have been dismissed as a lunatic.

What American ever would have thought that any US president and attorney general
would defend torture or that a Republican Congress would pass a bill legalizing
torture by the executive branch and exempting the executive branch from the
Geneva Conventions?

What American ever would have expected the US Congress to accept the president’s
claim that he is above the law?

What American could have imagined that if such crimes and travesties occurred,
nothing would be done about them and that the media and opposition party would
be largely silent?

Except for a few columnists, who are denounced by “conservatives”
as traitors for defending the Bill of Rights, the defense of US civil liberty
has been limited to the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International,
and Human Rights Watch. The few federal judges who have refused to genuflect
before the Bush police state are denounced by attorney general Alberto Gonzales
as a “grave threat” to US security.…

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Impeachment — Write Pelosi TODAY! Right now!!

Send 500,000 impeachment letters to Pelosi by her first day as speaker,
January 3

While arguing about whether we should demand impeachment in another thread,
someone said there had to be a “groundswell of support” like there
was for the impeachment of Nixon and cited this article:

“More than 50,000 telegrams poured in on Capitol Hill today, so many,
Western Union was swamped. Most of them demanded impeaching Mr. Nixon.”
John Chancellor, NBC News on a Special Report on October 20, 1973

We already have more support than that. When John Conyers took Bush his petition
demanding he answer questions about the Downing Street Memo, it had 540,000 signatures, over
ten times as many as wrote about Nixon. I would bet most of those people would
write to demand impeachment of Bush, probably more.

The great thing is, now we have someone to focus this demand on who can and
possibly will act (in spite of her protests to the contrary): Nancy Pelosi.

She should have a half million signatures waiting for her her first day as
Speaker of the House.

I think she and the many of the Democrats want to do this, but to overcome
the reluctance of the DC establishment and big money interests who are afraid
their ox will be gored along with Bush & Cheney, she needs constant overwhelming
evidence of public DEMAND not just support for impeachment.

Fax or snail mail the letter below or your own variation to:

FAX: 202-225-8259

Nancy Pelosi
2371 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

District Office:

450 Golden Gate Ave.…

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Kucinich Files Articles of Impeachment Against Cheney

Impeachment IS on the Table!!!

Yesterday, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced House Resolution 333,
Articles
of Impeachment Against Richard B. Cheney. The three articles accuse
Cheney of
deceiving the public and Congress about Iraq WMD and a link between
Iraq
and
al Quaeda, and of publicly threatening agression against Iran,
“absent
any real threat to the United States.” You can read a Synopsis,
the
full
Resolution, and supporting documentation at href="http://kucinich.house.gov/SpotlightIssues/documents.htm"
target="_blank"Kucinich’s
House website.Track this bill (has your Rep cosponsored?) at href="http://www.thomas.gov" target="_blank"thomas.gov
(enter HRes 333 in the search bar, then click “Bill Summary and
Status”
to see cosponsors, committee assignment, etc.) We’ll need to lend
massive support
to this effort if it’s to succeed. Kucinich’s staff has said they need
us to
call and write members of the House Judiciary Committee, and our own
Representatives
right now! In addition, we need to heavily contact the media — an
internet search brings up almost nothing about either Kucinich’s press
conference held last night at 5pm, nor anything about the Articles
themselves. This is outrageous! If you’re subscribing to a “news” outlet
that’s not reporting on this important news, this is surely the time to
cancel your subscription and tell them why.

ACTION REQUEST: 911Truth.org is working on preparing
impeachment
materials very specific to crimes committed by Cheney on 9/11–if you
live
in the district of one of the Judiciary Committee members and can help,
please contact Janice@911truth.org immediately. Thank you.

MORE IMPEACHMENT RESOURCES: AfterDowningStreet.org has posted an
excellent list of action
steps and links to more information at: href="http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/cheney"
target="_blank"www.afterdowningstreet.org/cheney.…

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Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’ / Nuremberg prosecutor says Guantánamo trials unfair

June 12, 2007
Judges Say U.S. Can’t Hold Man as ‘Combatant’
By ADAM LIPTAK

Background: Ali al-Marri, a citizen from Qatar, was arrested on Dec. 12, 2001 in Peoria, Ill., where he was living with his wife and five children while studying computer science at Bradley University. He was initially charged with credit card fraud and lying to federal agents. Then in 2003, he was transfered to military custody and designated an enemy combatant. Government officials contended that he was an al-Qaeda sleeper agent, sent to the United States to commit mass murder and disrupt the banking system. Mr. al-Marri denied the charges and challenged his detention. His case took on added significance when Mr. al-Marri was left as the only enemy combatant being held in mainland America.

The federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled yesterday that the president may not declare civilians in this country to be “enemy combatants” and have the military hold them indefinitely. The ruling was a stinging rejection of one of the Bush administration’s central assertions about the scope of executive authority to combat terrorism.

The ruling came in the case of Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., who is the only person on the American mainland known to be held as an enemy combatant. The court said the administration may charge Mr. Marri with a crime, deport him or hold him as a material witness in connection with a grand jury investigation.

“But military detention of al-Marri must cease,” Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote for the majority of a divided three-judge panel.…

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Gonzales, Pelosi, and the Survival of Congress

David Swanson
August 1, 2007

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today that if she were not Speaker she would probably back impeachment. Other Congress Members are of course free to do what even she admits she would do in their position. They should, I think, start taking her advice and ignoring her ban on impeachment.

The reason Pelosi is being questioned about impeachment has to do with Gonzo, Alberto Gonzales, and a proposal just introduced to impeach him. In the movement to impeach Cheney and Bush, is this a distraction or an opening act?

Fifteen principled members of Congress, all Democrats, have signed a bill to begin the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Hundreds of other Congress Members have stubbornly refused to heed the clear demand of the majority of their constituents.

But suddenly a completely new group of Congress Members, again all Democrats, has announced support for impeaching Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. This groups includes Congress Members who are not usually leaders in the cause of justice. And it includes Members who have been lobbied intensely to impeach Cheney and Bush but who have resisted in favor of heeding Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ban on using the Constitution in Congress.

The initial sponsor is Jay Inslee of Washington State who less than six months ago had to lobby the leadership of his state’s legislature not to permit a vote on a pro-impeachment resolution. One of the initial cosponsors is Tom Udall of New Mexico, whose state legislature also came close… Continue reading

Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable on Constitution Day

Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable on Constitution Day
By Stephen Rohde and Peter Thottam

Monday 17 September 2007

On this day 220 years ago, thirty-nine delegates in Philadelphia approved the United States Constitution. In honor of that historic event, September 17 has been designated Constitution Day.

Auspicious celebrations are planned around the country. President Bush will likely extol the wisdom of the founding fathers and the genius of the Constitution. But James Madison warned that the Constitution would be but a mere “paper barrier” to tyranny unless the people saw to it that its limitations on the exercise of excessive power by the government were enforced.

To that end, Madison and his colleagues included the powerful remedy of Impeachment, using the term no less than six times. In Article II, Section 4, they provided that “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Today, as we celebrate Constitution Day, many Americans are asking whether President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have committed “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” justifying their impeachment and removal from office.

Have Bush and Cheney abused their powers of office by using information they knew to be false as justification for the US invasion of Iraq; condoning and authorizing the torture of prisoners of war and rendering detainees to foreign countries known to torture; maintaining secret prisons and other detention facilities in violation of the Geneva… Continue reading

National Lawyers Guild Unanimously Passes Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
 

Editor’s Note:
At the National Lawyers Guild 70th Anniversary Law for the People Convention, being held October 31 – November 4 in Washington DC, the membership “unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.” While alleged crimes relating to 9/11/01 are inexplicably omitted from the points of this resolution, it is nonetheless an extremely significant undertaking, including powerful implementation resolutions to demand investigation, support and work with impeachment efforts, and encourage all other groups and citizens “to adopt similar resolutions and to use all their resources to build the campaign demanding that Congress initiate impeachment investigation, impeach, and remove Bush and Cheney from office without further delay.” We applaud the courage and strength of the National Lawyers Guild, and are grateful for their continuing work on behalf of all of us.

 

Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney

Whereas George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney:

1. deliberately misled the nation and doctored intelligence, as described in the Downing Street minutes, http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/memos.html about the threat from Iraq in order to justify a war of aggression and an occupation of Iraq, as further described in House resolution H.Res. 333: http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int3.pdf and as listed in House Resolution H. Res. 635: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr109-635

2. committed crimes against peace by initiating war against Iraq in violation of the UN Charter http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/ ;

3. committed crimes against humanity in… Continue reading

The Fraudulent War on Terror

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
October 27, 2007

Americans had best rethink the “war on terror” while they still have
the liberty to do so. For all of President Bush’s blah-blah talk about bringing
democracy to the world, the Bush administration has proved that it is no friend
of liberty at home.

The Bush administration has violated constitutional principles, US law, and
the Geneva Conventions as no previous administration has done. Here is a short
list of the Bush administration’s crimes:

Spying without court warrants on Americans in violation of both the US Constitution
and the FISA statute.

The denial of habeas corpus, attorney-client privilege, due process, and Geneva
Conventions protections to those, American or foreign, designated without evidence
as terrorists or enemy combatants.

The justification and use of torture to coerce confessions and the kidnapping
of foreign nationals who are sent to be tortured in foreign prisons.

The initiation of military aggression against states based on intentional deception
by the Bush administration of the US public and the United Nations, and the
intentional fabrication of “evidence” to justify unprovoked aggression
against sovereign states, which is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard
established by the US.

Violation of the oath of office to defend the US Constitution by practically
every member of the Bush administration and Congress.

Bush has assaulted the separation of powers and the rule of law with “signing
statements” and “executive orders” that President Nixon’s White
House Counsel John Dean says are commands that treat the co-equal… Continue reading

Extinguishing Liberty’s Light and Independent Views–Thinking for yourself is now a crime

By Paul Craig Roberts

01/04/08 “ICH ” — — What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.

The American people’s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.

The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.

Harman’s bill is called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.…

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Why Were The Tapes Destroyed?

Paul Craig Roberts
February 2, 2008

Many Americans are content with the 9/11 Commission Report, but the two chairmen of the commission, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are not. Neither was commission member Max Cleland, a US Senator who resigned from the 9/11 Commission, telling the Boston Globe (November 13, 2003): “This investigation is now compromised.” Even former FBI director Louis Freeh wrote in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 17, 2005) that there are inaccuracies in the commission’s report and “questions that need answers.”

Both Kean and Hamilton have twice stated publicly, once in their 2006 book, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, and again in the January 2, 2008, New York Times, that there are inaccuracies in their report and unanswered–or mis-answered–questions.

On the second day of this new year, Kean and Hamilton accused the CIA of obstructing their investigation: “What we do know is that government officials decided not to inform a lawfully constituted body, created by Congress and the President, to investigate one of the greatest tragedies to confront this country. We call that obstruction.”

In their book, Kean and Hamilton wrote that they were unable to obtain “access to star witnesses in custody who were the only possible source for inside information about the 9/11 plot.”

The only information the commission was permitted to have about what was learned from interrogations of alleged plot ringleaders, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, came from “thirdhand” sources. The commission was not permitted to… Continue reading

‘The Reflecting Pool’ A New 9/11 Investigative Drama That Challenges The Official Version Of 9/11 Events, Released on DVD

A new 9/11 investigative drama that challenges the official version of 9/11 events, ‘The Reflecting Pool’, is now available on DVD from reflectingpoolfilm.com. ‘The Reflecting Pool’ follows a journalist who teams up with the father of a 9/11 victim to investigate the official version of the events. Their findings pose a disturbing question that has no easy answer: To what extent was the U.S. Government at fault for the attacks?

New feature film ‘The Reflecting Pool’ may just be the ‘All the President’s Men’ of our time. No, it doesn’t have Hoffman and Redford. But it is a chilling and important fact-based investigative drama.

The Reflecting Pool Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 19, 2008 – The first edition DVD of ‘The Reflecting Pool’, a new 9/11 investigative drama that challenges the official version of 9/11 events, is now available from reflectingpoolfilm.com. ‘The Reflecting Pool’ follows an investigation by a skeptical Russian-American journalist who teams up with the father of a 9/11 victim to “fact check” the official version of the tragedy as documented in the 9/11 Commission Report. As they examine evidence and interview key eyewitnesses, the official story begins to crumble. ‘The Reflecting Pool’ is the first investigative drama to present this issue in the spirit of such films as ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘JFK’. The movie’s theme reflects the recent New York Times/CBS News opinion poll, in which the majority of Americans believe the Bush administration is not telling the truth about the September Eleven events.

Writer/Director Jarek Kupsc plays… Continue reading

Civil Liberties Destroyed Well Before Previously Thought

Post-9/11 Memo Indicates View Around Constitution

Associated Press
Thursday, April 3, 2008

For at least 16 months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the Bush administration
argued that the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures on U.S. soil did not apply to its efforts to protect against terrorism.

That view was expressed in a secret Justice Department legal memo dated Oct.
23, 2001. The administration stressed yesterday that it now disavows that view.

The October 2001 memo was written at the White House’s request by John Yoo,
then the deputy assistant attorney general, and addressed to Alberto R. Gonzales,
then the White House counsel. The37-page memo has not been released.

Its existence was disclosed Tuesday in a footnote of a separate secret Justice
Department memo, dated March 14, 2003, that discussed the legality of various
interrogation techniques. It was released by the Pentagon in response to an
ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

“Our office recently concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application
to domestic military operations,” the footnote in that memo states, referring
to a document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist
Activities Within the United States.”

Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear.

Source URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/03/AR2008040300067.html


2003 Justice Department memo justifies torture, presidential dictatorship
By Joe Kay
4 April 2008

On Tuesday, the Defense Department released a 2003 memo asserting the right
of the US president to order the military to torture prisoners.

The memo is signed by then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo and is
dated March 14, 2003, one week before the launch of the Iraq war.…

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Lawyers want 9/11 trial dismissed (and related articles)

By Andrew O. Selsky
May 29, 2008

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Defense lawyers accused the government of rushing the Sept. 11 defendants to trial at Guantánamo to influence the U.S. presidential elections, and asked the military judge to dismiss the case in a court filing obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

The filing also shows that the former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo, who resigned in October over alleged political interference, was sanctioned by the military on May 23 after testifying for the defense in a Guantánamo hearing.

The former prosecutor, Air Force Col. Morris Davis, wrote that the action will discourage any other military members from providing information about the controversial war-crimes tribunals. The tribunals’ legal adviser, Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, told the AP Davis was sanctioned because of poor job performance and not because he testified.

Military lawyers for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four co-defendants revealed that prosecutors are seeking a Sept. 15 trial date — weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

The five men accused of mounting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed almost 3,000 people are to be arraigned June 5 at the U.S. Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the most high-profile of the military commissions, as the war-crimes proceedings are called.

“It is safe to say that there are senior officials in the military commission process who believe that there would be strategic political value to having these five men sitting in a death chamber… Continue reading

Legislating Tyranny

by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton
Posted at Lewrockwell.com
June 7, 2008

The George W. Bush administration responded to the 9/11 attack on the World
Trade Center and Pentagon with an assault on U.S. civil liberty that Bush justified
in the name of the “war on terror.” The government assured us that
the draconian measures apply only to “terrorists.” The word terrorist,
however, was not defined. The government claimed the discretionary power to
decide who is a terrorist without having to present evidence or charges in a
court of law.

Frankly, the Bush administration’s policy evades any notion of procedural
due process of law. Administration assurances that harsh treatment is reserved
only for terrorists is meaningless when the threshold process for determining
who is and who is not a terrorist depends on executive discretion that is not
subject to review. Substantive rights are useless without the procedural rights
to enforce them.

Terrorist legislation and executive assertions created a basis upon which federal
authorities claimed they were free to suspend suspects’ civil liberties
in order to defend Americans from terrorism. Only after civil liberties groups
and federal courts challenged some of the unconstitutional laws and procedures
did realization spread that the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill
of Rights is a greater threat to Americans than are terrorists.

The alacrity with which Congress accepted the initial assault from the administration
is frightening. In 2001, the USA PATRIOT Act passed by a vote of 98 to 1 in
the… Continue reading

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