October 7, 2008
By William Glaberson
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Bush administration to release 17 detainees at Guantánamo Bay by the end of the week, the first such ruling in nearly seven years of legal disputes over the administration’s detention policies.
The judge, Ricardo M. Urbina of Federal District Court, ordered that the 17 men be brought to his courtroom on Friday from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where they have been held since 2002. He indicated that he would release the men, members of the restive Uighur Muslim minority in western China, into the care of supporters in the United States, initially in the Washington area.
“I think the moment has arrived for the court to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for detention,” Judge Urbina said.
Saying the men had never fought the United States and were not a security threat, he tersely rejected Bush administration claims that he lacked the power to order the men set free in the United States and government requests that he stay his order to permit an immediate appeal.
The ruling was a sharp setback for the administration, which has waged a long legal battle to defend its policies of detention at the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, arguing a broad executive power in waging war. Federal courts up to the Supreme Court have waded through detention questions and in several major cases the courts have rejected administration contentions.
The government recently conceded that… Continue reading
U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers By Brian Ross, Vic Walter and Anna Schecter
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations “extremely disturbing” and said the committee has begun its own examination.
“We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration,” Rockefeller said Thursday. “The Committee will take whatever action is necessary.”
WATCH THE NIGHTLINE STORY
“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.
Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”
WATCH Kinne discuss why it was ‘awkward’ listening to her fellow Americans.
She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States.
Watch “World… 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?
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
by Justin A. Martell
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) took one of the first steps in holding the Bush Administration accountable when he introduced House Resolution 1531 on Thursday.
The official title of HR 1531, which was introduced to the House Judiciary Committee, is “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the President of the United States should not issue pardons to senior members of his administration during the final 90 days of his term of office.”
The resolution notes, “President George W. Bush may have committed crimes involving the mistreatment of detainees, the extraordinary rendition of individuals to countries known to engage in torture, illegal surveillance of United States citizens, unlawful leaks of classified information, obstruction of justice, political interference with the conduct of the Justice Department, and other illegal acts,” and that, “Bush has been urged to grant preemptive pardons to senior administration officials who might face criminal prosecution for actions taken in the course of their official duties.”
Rep. Nadler is the current chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties . According to an email sent out by Democrats.com, Nadler’s leadership on this issue is crucial because he “can use his credibility and clout to move the resolution forward either during the lame duck session in December or when the next Congress convenes on January 6.”
Democrats.com has also urged the public to persuade their representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1531. You can contact your representative on your… Continue reading
by Michael Parenti
December 7, 2008
Author’s website: www.michaelparenti.org.
Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan.
Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something
about recent Afghan history and the role played by the United States.
Less than a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon, US leaders began an all-out aerial assault upon Afghanistan,
the country purportedly harboring Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist
organization. More than twenty years earlier, in 1980, the United States intervened
to stop a Soviet “invasion” of that country. Even some leading progressive
writers, who normally take a more critical view of US policy abroad, treated
the US intervention against the Soviet-supported government as “a good
thing.” The actual story is not such a good thing.
Some Real History
Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan had remained unchanged,
with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords who comprised only
3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary
elements coalesced to form the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 1973,
the king was deposed, but the government that replaced him proved to be autocratic,
corrupt, and unpopular. It in turn was forced out in 1978 after a massive demonstration
in front of the presidential palace, and after the army intervened on the side
of the demonstrators.
The military officers who took charge invited the… Continue reading
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
by Michael Collins
An Amendment -
The president shall
not have the right to
grant pardons or
(Wash. DC) The prospect of the criminal in
chief, George W. Bush, issuing pardons to his
co-conspirators is repugnant to all citizens who’ve paid any
degree of attention over the last eight years.
neglected his duty prior to 911 resulting in a devastating
attack on the nation.
He started an illegal war based on
lies that caused injury and death to tens of thousands of
U.S. soldiers and the deaths of over 1.2 million Iraqi
He ordered the illegal wire tapping of
citizens, a clear violation of law.
He stopped scientific
research causing the suffering unto death of those with
illness and injury that could have been healed during his
The list goes on. Bush ruled like a tyrant with the
wisdom of an adolescent sociopath.
Right now this man who
should have been impeached and subsequently jailed for his
crimes is planning last minute pardons and acts of clemency
for his friends, co-conspirators, and others who meet his
deviant criteria for release from legal
Highly motivated citizens and legislators are
seeking legal precedents and rationales to stop Bush from
pardoning his collaborators.
Hopefully, their efforts, one
of which is impeachment, will meet with success. Allowing
those who attacked the people to walk away free after the
death, destruction and ruin they’ve caused… Continue reading
by Nat Hentoff
December 10, 2008
Since I live in the Village, my Congressman is Jerrold Nadler, a civil libertarian
for all seasons. Unlike many of his Democratic colleagues, he has never been in
fear of being targeted as "soft on terrorism" for opposing the Bush-Cheney
war on the Bill of Rights. Nadler certainly does not underestimate the jihadists:
The 9/11 attacks exploded in his district.
In The Almanac of American Politics, Michael Barone describes Nadler’s reaction
to that day of terror: Securing "$20 billion for the cleanup and eventual
rebuilding, he spearheaded numerous actions on behalf of affected families .
. ." but "Nadler remained true to his civil libertarian views. He
vigorously opposed the USA Patriot Act and the Iraq War Resolution." And
since 2007, he has chaired the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights,
and Civil Liberties.
In that subcommittee, and on the floor of the House, he fought Bush (and some
Democrats) in order to give "enemy combatants" their habeas corpus
rights. (The Supreme Court has agreed.) And, unlike many Democrats, he has worked
to narrow the very definition of "enemy combatant," which is especially
important. Under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, voted for by too many
Democrats, anyone held as a captured "detainee" in a military prison
can be charged with giving "material support" to the enemy and can
be locked up indefinitely. American citizens have also been held on this charge–which
could include giving money to a charity they weren’t aware… Continue reading
December 14, 2008 Associated Press
An Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at President Bush during a news conference Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The president was not hurt in the incident.
Muntadar al-Zaidi Did What We Journalists Should Have Done Long Ago
Mon, 12/15/2008 David Lindorff ThisCan’tBeHappening.net
When Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi heaved his two shoes at the head of President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, he did something that the White House press corps should have done years ago.
Al-Zaidi listened to Bush blather that the half-decade of war he had initiated with the illegal invasion of Iraq had been “necessary for US security, Iraqi stability (sic) and world peace” and something just snapped. The television correspondent, who had been kidnapped and held for a while last year by Shiite militants, pulled off a shoe and threw it at Bush–a serious insult in Iraqi culture–and shouted “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” When the first shoe missed its target, he grabbed a second shoe and heaved it too, causing the president to duck a second time as al-Zaidi shouted, “This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq!”
I’ll admit, listening to Bush lie his way through eight years of press conferences, while pre-selected reporters played along and pretended to get his attention so they could ask questions which had been submitted and vetted in advance, I have felt like throwing my shoes at the television set.…Continue reading
FAMILY OF SECRETS: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America
By award-winning investigative journalist Russ Baker
ISBN: 1-59691-557-9; $30.00; Pub January 2009, familyofsecrets.com
Contact: Gene Taft, GeneTaftPR@aol.com, m: 917/701-4072, p: 301/593-0766 Peter Miller, Peter.Miller@bloomsburyusa.com, 646-307-5579
Revelatory new book on Bush family
publishing January 2009
How did Bush happen? How did George W. Bush, of all people, rise to the most powerful position in the world? This simple question sparked a five-year investigative odyssey by Russ Baker. What he found will force us to rethink virtually everything we thought we knew about the Bush family and its role in shaping recent American history.
In FAMILY OF SECRETS, Baker reveals that Bush, the people around him, and his policies are but an extreme, very public manifestation of what his family and its circle have always been about: an interlocking web of covert and overt machinations on behalf of a small cluster of elites-social, financial, industrial, military, intelligence-that enabled the Bush dynasty and propelled George W. Bush to the top.
Russ Baker’s deep background profile of the Bushes reveals a family with ongoing connections to the shadow world of intelligence, utilizing the dark arts of the trade to achieve their positions at the pinnacle of America’s political elite. Baker lays bare the stealth substructure that created the Bush dynasty, powered its rise, and brought America to its current state of crisis. Given the disastrous results of the last… Continue reading
I’m posting Michael Heart‘s new video with a special dedication today, just from this mother in Kansas, for all the mothers (and others) in Gaza …
Why? Because yesterday “our” Senate unanimously affirmed, by cowardly “voice vote” (meaning there is no written record and we can’t know who represented humanity vs. who represented Israel), “Recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States’ strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
Reuters reports, in “US Senate supports Israel’s Gaza incursion”: “The Senate resolution encourages President George W. Bush ‘to work actively to support a durable, enforceable and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza as soon as possible that prevents Hamas from retaining or rebuilding the capability to launch rockets or mortars against Israel,’ Reid said. (emphasis added) The article goes on to report the current death toll (without mentioning numbers of injured, or the overwhelming number of women and children) as 700 Palestinians : 11 Israelis (4 by friendly fire).
Therefore, this Special Dedication From Janice goes out to all you Senators (especially “AIPAC bill” S.Res.10 sponsors Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, and you 31 cosponsors); to H.Res.34 sponsor Nancy Pelosi (and your 11 cosponsors); to Bush & Cheney who have perpetuated this for eight long years and truly re-defined “war crime”; to Obama, who believes that blowing up children cowering in a UN school warrants no response beyond vague support for this crime against humanity; and perhaps especially to Condoleeza Rice, who has the gaul to shamefully “represent” US to the world as not wanting to stop the MASSACRE until she’s convinced it will ensure a “lasting peace” — even while thousands of children and other innocent citizens of Gaza starve, bleed, and die … This one’s for you.…Continue reading
21 hours ago
AFP at www.google.com/hostednews
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The outgoing White House administration will next
week hold a joint “disaster scenario” exercise with top members of
the incoming team of president-elect Barack Obama, US officials said Friday.
“I’m not going to go into the details of it, but it is a disaster scenario
where the government would be very much tested,” White House spokesman
Scott Stanzel said.
“It is an exercise scenario, a hypothetical scenario that is designed
to test and tax the capabilities of the federal government,” he added.
He did not specify whether Obama or vice president-elect Joe Biden would take
part in Tuesday’s three-hour long exercise, saying merely it was part of regular
training events and had not been motivated by any specific threat.
A huge security blanket is being thrown over Washington for Obama’s inauguration
on January 20, with up to two million people planning to converge on the US
capital to witness the nation’s first African-American president being sworn
“It is a very public event … and one that gathers, you know, leaders
in a very small environment, essentially. So obviously we have a lot of concern
about it,” Stanzel said.
“But there is no credible threat at this point to the inauguration that
is precipitating this.”
Stanzel said Tuesday’s exercise was part of President George W. Bush’s commitment
to ensuring a smooth handover of powers in the first transition to take place
since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
He said senior… Continue reading
January 10, 2009
by Janice Matthews
911truth.org (link to article)
911truth.org was contacted this week by Charles W. (Bill) White, of Houston,
who provided extensive information to Russ Baker in the writing of his explosive
new Bush dynasty historical expose, Family Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful
Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. More about him is in his letter to Senator Levin, below, wherein he expresses grave concern for the safety of nearly 6,000 Sailors and Marines
who will carry out their duties aboard the Navy’s new nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush.
Today, that ship was christened in spite of White’s caution. An AP article,
“Bush Visits Aircraft Carrier Named After Father,” describes the new
ship and her christening thus:
It’s the perfect gift for an old Navy flier: 1,092 feet of flattop.
“What do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything
he has ever needed?” asked President George W. Bush from aboard the Navy’s
newest ship. “Well, an aircraft carrier.”
The USS George H.W. Bush, a steel-gray vessel longer than three football
fields and built at a cost of $6.2 billion … is one of the Nimitz class
of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the largest warships in the world.
“The ship that bears our dad’s name is more than 95,000 tons of aluminum
and steel,” Bush said from a podium tucked under the flight deck. “She
will… 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 Michael Hasty Sunday
Although I was as happy as most Americans that Barack Obama took the oath of office last week, rather than his Republican alternative, there is a major reason that he did not get my vote in November, which went instead to Cynthia McKinney: Obama is unlikely to re-open an investigation into what really happened on September 11, 2001–an investigation that needs to happen.
According to polls, about four in ten Americans are suspicious that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks–either by deliberately ignoring intelligence that warned an attack was coming and allowing the terrorists to strike, to gain public support for the neoconservative foreign policy agenda of increasing American military power in the Middle East; or by actively coordinating the attacks themselves, for the same reason. As Time magazine, in a rare acknowledgement of the 9/11 truth movement, said: “This is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a mainstream political reality.”
It’s easy to understand, however, why a majority of Americans have such a hard time getting their minds around the idea that their government may have some involvement in such a horrendous crime. Americans are conditioned from an early age to think of themselves as “the good guys,” living in a “democracy”–which, however imperfect, has always been primarily motivated by the desire to advance the core national principle of “freedom,” both at home and abroad. And the actions of the government are closely monitored by a diligent “free press.”
It’s a… Continue reading
IMAGE OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY AND FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
appeared on the bills distributed in Kennard.
February 17, 2009
By Matt Hrodey
KENNARD – James Dudley found something he didn’t expect when he walked out
to get his Monday edition of The Courier-Times.
Sitting on top of his paper was a fake, oversized bill bearing the faces of
former Vice-President Dick Cheney and former President George W. Bush. Instead
of a dollar amount, the bill was marked "9-11."
The realistic feel and color of the note impressed Dudley, who said it felt
like a new bill freshly released from an ATM. It bore words at the top reading
"Fraudulent Event Note," ones at the bottom saying "One Deception"
and several Web site addresses.
Cause stir in Kennard
Charles Millis, another recipient of the bill, was moderately impressed by
its realism. "It’s fairly realistic," he said. Millis called a couple
people he knew who lived on the south side of town, but they hadn’t gotten anything
like the "9-11" dollar with their newspaper.
Managing Editor Randy Rendfeld said the newspaper didn’t deliver the bills,
which had also found their way into several other newspaper boxes in Kennard.
So where did they come from?
He lives in Kennard and said he… Continue reading
We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.
UPDATE 2/27/09 6pm: In response to the many email questions we’ve received asking why we have not endorsed this call for a Special Prosecutor: On 2/24, when this statement/petition was posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, 911truth.org immediately signed on as an endorsing organization via the signup at that site. As of now, our name does not appear on that list. Nonetheless, we did submit endorsement. We are not, yet, encouraging 9/11 truth advocates to politely contact David Swanson asking him why he would permanently post a video statement from Willie Rodriguez on the front page of his site, yet continue to ignore/ban the burgeoning 9/11 truth movement from being heard as the powerful voice we are, in calling for truth and accountability. We believe that Mr. Swanson is acting in good faith, all in all, and will post our endorsement with the others on the list shortly.
Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations.…Continue reading
Missing email includes day Cheney’s office told to preserve emails in CIA leak case WASHINGTON — Welcome to change.
The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails in a stunning reversal of Obama’s rhetoric about Bush secrecy on the campaign trail.
Two advocacy groups suing the Executive Office of the President, including one of the groups that helped derail former House Speaker Tom DeLay, say that large amounts of White House e-mail documenting Bush’s eight years in office may still be missing, and that the government must undertake an extensive recovery effort. They expressed disappointment that Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the Bush administration’s bid to get the lawsuits dismissed.
During its first term, the Bush White House failed to install electronic record-keeping for e-mail when it switched to a new system, allegedly resulting in millions of messages that could not be found.
The Bush White House “discovered the problem” in 2005 and rejected a proposed solution.
The exact number of missing e-mails is unknown, but several days on which e-mails were not archived covered key dates in a Justice Department inquiry into the roles of Vice President Dick Cheney and his aides in leaking the identity of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.
Ironically, Cheney’s office is missing emails from the very day President Bush told reporters he’d “take care of” whatever staff member had actually… Continue reading