December 21, 2007
Judge Refuses to Order Hearing on C.I.A. Tapes
By DAVID STOUT and DAVID JOHNSTON
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Friday declined to rule immediately on
a request to compel the government to explain in detail the destruction of C.I.A.
videotapes showing the harsh interrogation of two suspected Al Qaeda operatives.
District Judge Henry H. Kennedy said he would rule later on a request by lawyers
for a dozen Yemeni prisoners being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that
he order such a hearing.
But Judge Kennedy, who heard a motion from the prisoners’ lawyers, appeared
at one point to be at least partly swayed by Bush administration lawyers that
he should not get more deeply involved while Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey
is undertaking one of the inquiries into the tapes’ destruction.
“Why should the court not permit the Department of Justice to do just
that?” Judge Kennedy asked David H. Remes, a lawyer for the detainees.
For Mr. Remes, the answer was simple. “Plainly, the government wants
only foxes guarding the henhouse,” he asserted in his motion. Considering
the government’s behavior so far, Mr. Remes argued, the Justice Department
is not entitled to a presumption that it will do the right thing.
The destruction in 2005 of the videotapes, disclosed earlier this month, has
caused a furor in the capital. Critics of the administration have seized on
the episode as further evidence that it may have a lot to hide in its treatment
of detainees. In… Continue reading
What is Probably in the Missing Tapes
By Naomi Wolf, Monday, December 13, 2007*
To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents – FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator “wish lists,” raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons — the typical “harsh interrogation” of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.
More is still being hidden as of this writing — as those in Congress now considering whether a special prosecutor is needed in this case should be urgently aware: “Through the FOIA lawsuit,” write the authors, “we learned of the existence of multiple records relating to prisoner abuse that still have not been released by the administration; credible media reports identify others. As this book goes to print, the Bush administration is still withholding, among many other records, a September 2001 presidential directive authorizing the CIA to set up secret detention centers overseas; an August 2002 Justice Department memorandum advising the CIA about the lawfulness of waterboarding [Italics mine; nota bene, Mr.…Continue reading
December 6, 2007
By MARK MAZZETTI
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Al Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about the C.I.A’s secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.
The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terror suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. They were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that tapes documenting controversial interrogation methods could expose agency officials to greater risk of legal jeopardy, several officials said.
The C.I.A. said today that the decision to destroy the tapes had been made “within the C.I.A. itself,” and they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value. The agency was headed at the time by Porter J. Goss. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Goss declined this afternoon to comment on the destruction of the tapes.
The existence and subsequent destruction of the tapes are likely to reignite the debate over the use of severe interrogation techniques on terror suspects, and their destruction raises questions about whether C.I.A. officials withheld information about aspects of the program from the courts and from the Sept. 11 commission appointed by President Bush and Congress. It was not clear who within the C.I.A. authorized the destruction of the tapes, but current and former government officials… Continue reading
The National Lawyers Guild on Friday unanimously and enthusiastically passed a resolution supporting the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.
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 Fourth Amendment
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Retroactive immunity for telecom companies who engaged in illegal spying at the behest of the NSA is at the heart of a bill currently being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill, even before having been officially introduced, is being hotly debated by bloggers, electronic privacy groups, and civil libertarians, as well as presidential contenders (CT Senator Chris Dodd has actually posted a petition at his election website, encouraging readers to support his threatened “hold” on the bill). We should compare the issues involved here with the retroactive immunity provided CIA interrogators in the September, 2006 Military Commissions Act, who could otherwise have been accused of war crimes.
Below, we direct readers to an important series of programs from PBS’ Frontline to help readers investigate the background of this issue, and a deeper consideration of some of what’s at stake in continually ceding power to a rogue Executive bent on dissolving the few civil liberties which currently remain untouched.
Lest readers be swayed by the Administration’s repeated argument that “9/11 makes this necessary,” the Rocky Mountain News reported (emphasis added) on October 11, 2007 that this spying was underway well before 9/11/01:
… Continue reading
“The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.
Watch the news video here: “Who Poisoned Local 9/11 Investigator Dr. David Graham?”
Who killed Dr. David Graham? That’s the question at the heart of a complaint filed with the Inspector General’s office at the U.S. Justice Department. It comes a year after Graham’s painful death that was never investigated.
Other examples of Mr. Ferrell’s reporting follow:Continue reading
By Ryan Singel
The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system
that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according
to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the
Freedom of Information Act.
The surveillance system, called DCSNet, for Digital Collection System Network,
connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches controlled by traditional land-line
operators, internet-telephony providers and cellular companies. It is far more
intricately woven into the nation’s telecom infrastructure than observers suspected.
It’s a “comprehensive wiretap system that intercepts wire-line phones,
cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems,” says Steven Bellovin, a
Columbia University computer science professor and longtime surveillance expert.
Snapshots of the FBI Spy Docs
DCSNet is a suite of software that collects, sifts and stores phone numbers,
phone calls and text messages. The system directly connects FBI wiretapping
outposts around the country to a far-reaching private communications network.
Many of the details of the system and its full capabilities were redacted from
the documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but they show
that DCSNet includes at least three collection components, each running on Windows-based
The $10 million DCS-3000 client, also known as Red Hook, handles pen-registers
and trap-and-traces, a type of surveillance that collects signaling information
— primarily the numbers dialed from a telephone — but no communications content.
(Pen registers record outgoing calls; trap-and-traces record incoming calls.)
DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, captures and collects the content of phone
calls and text messages for full wiretap orders.… Continue reading
By Peter Phillips
Published Friday, September 07, 2007
We need to broaden our understanding of censorship in the United States. No
longer is the dictionary definition of direct government control of news adequate.
The private corporate media in the United States significantly under-cover and/or
deliberately censor numerous important news stories every year as well.
Project Censored at Sonoma State University has annually researched these stories
for 31 years. Over 200 faculty, community experts, and students, select and
rank the stories the media failed to cover. Hundreds of uncovered news stories
are evaluated. The result is the annual listing of the top 25 most important
ones that were censored.
The systemic erosion of human rights and civil liberties in the United States
is the most common theme of censorship for 2006-07.
The corporate media last year ignored that habeas corpus can now be suspended
for anyone by order of the president. With the approval of Congress, the Military
Commissions Act MCA of 2006 allows for the suspension of habeas corpus for U.S.
citizens and non-citizens alike. While media, including a lead editorial in
"The New York Times" October 19, 2006, have given false comfort that
American citizens will not be the victims of the measures legalized by this
act, the law is quite clear that "any person" can be targeted. The
text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the
constitutional justice system for "any person" regardless of American
citizenship. The MCA effectively does away… Continue reading
Osama bin Laden organized the 9/11 attacks right?
What is implied on TV is very different from the actual actions the US government
has taken in “pursuit” of the 9/11 conspirators.
Six years later, the US has filed no charges, presented no evidence and in
fact is not even seeking Bin Laden in connection with the crime!
Courageous investigative reporting by KSLA TV in Shreveport, LA (search youtube.com for even more of this from KSLA!):
Youtube description: Original Link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6443576002087829136.
The government has yet to properly explain why our generation’s Pearl Harbor, 9/11, is never mentioned on the FBI‘s Most Wanted poster of suspected mastermind Usama (Osama) Bin Laden. Reporter Jeff Ferrell, who recently broke the story on Homeland Security’s “Clergy Response Team” To Quell Public Dissent During Martial Law, investigates what on the surface seems to be a simple question: Why no mention of 9/11. The answers, or lack of them, are anything but simple.
See for yourself: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm. See also this article from Muckraker Report: FBI says, “No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11″
Source URL: http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/150.html
By David Kravets
August 13, 2007
The Bush administration said Monday the constitutionality
of its warrantless electronic eavesdropping program cannot be challenged.
The government is taking that position in seeking the dismissal of federal
court lawsuits against the government and AT&T over its alleged involvement
in the once-secret surveillance program adopted after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The strategy was first recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in a McCarthy-era
lawsuit. It has been increasingly invoked in a bid to shield the government
from legal scrutiny.
Two senior Justice Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity
in a teleconference with reporters, reiterated the administration’s position
that it was invoking the so-called “state secrets privilege” in arguing
that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must dismiss the cases because they
threaten to expose information authorities say is essential to the nation’s
“The case cannot be litigated in light of the national security interest
involved,” one official said.
The officials spoke on the condition that their names would not be published
because, they said, it was the government’s protocol not to comment on pending
The Bush administration has invoked the state secrets defense often, from spy
cases and patent disputes to employment discrimination litigation.
Still, two judges have ruled recently that the defense does not apply in two
lawsuits challenging Bush’s surveillance program. President Bush acknowledged
in 2005 that the government was eavesdropping without warrants on communications
in the United States as long as one of the parties to… Continue reading
The Timeline to Tyranny
Ten advances towards the end of freedom and privacy in the United States
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The top ten advances towards tyranny in the United States during the tenure
of the Bush administration, from the Patriot Act to the latest expansion of
the illegal eavesdropping surveillance program.
1) The USA Patriot Act
The party line often heard from Neo-Cons in their attempts to defend the Patriot
Act either circulate around the contention that the use of the Patriot Act has
never been abused or that it isn’t being used against American citizens. Here
is an archive of articles that disproves both of these fallacies.
The Patriot Act was the boiler plate from which all subsequent attacks on the
Constitution were formed.
2) Total Information Awareness
"Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription
you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail
you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you
make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions
and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as "a
virtual, centralized grand database," infamously wrote New York Times writer
William Safire, announcing the birth of Total Information Awareness, a kind
of Echelon on steroids introduced a year after 9/11.
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
For Immediate Release
What: Impeachment Rallies
When: Friday July 27
Where: Across America
Contact: Debra Sweet, World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime
Calls for Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney Spreading
Declare It Now: Wear Orange! Drive Out the Bush Regime Campaign Launches
Asking, “Do you want to see the Bush regime impeached and driven from office? Do you want the war in Iraq ended?” a new campaign challenges people to “Declare It Now! Wear Orange.” Proponents of removing Bush and Cheney from office are wearing bright orange shirts, bandanas, ribbons and buttons, wrapping trees and cars in orange tape, and holding bright orange signs.
Launch events Friday July 27 will inaugurate “Orange Fridays” on which people are especially urged to wear orange and gather in public places. According to Dr. Dennis Loo, of California State University Pomona, the Declare It Now campaign is “a way of publicly declaring ourselves, seizing the moral high ground and showing our collective determination to bring the crimes of the Bush administration to a halt NOW. People will stand out loud in the crowd, making their sentiments visible as more people associate orange with ‘Bush & Cheney must go,’ and find people who think as they do.”
Wednesday the Washington Post reported a poll showing that President Bush has a disapproval rating of 65%, nearly equal to Richard Nixon’s 66% rating, four days before he resigned the presidency, and reporting that this is the longest sustained disapproval rating in modern history.…Continue reading
Editor’s comments, continued:
The partisan circus that spent $80 million+ to investigate and impeach Clinton (compare to the $3 million originally alloted to the 9/11 Commission mandated “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks”) for perjury, rather than pursuing his myriad other crimes, certainly cheapened the weighty Constitutional duty of impeachment. Elizabeth Holtzman, a member of the House Panel that impeached Richard Nixon, thoroughly discusses this in her excellent book, “The Impeachment of George W. Bush.” In her article, “Impeachment: The Case in Favor” published in the February, 2007 issue of “The Nation,” she states:
Our country’s Founders provided the power of impeachment to prevent the subversion of the Constitution. President Bush has subverted and defied the Constitution in many ways. His defiance and his subversion continue. (emphasis added)
“Failure to impeach Bush would condone his actions. It would allow him to assume he can simply continue to violate the laws on wiretapping and torture and violate other laws as well without fear of punishment. …
“There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President, whose ability to cause damage in the next two years is enormous. If we do not act against Bush, we send a terrible message of impunity to him and to future Presidents and mark a clear path to despotism and tyranny. Succeeding generations of Americans will never forgive us for lacking the nerve to protect our democracy.”
From the Washington Post, Friday July 20: “Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S.…Continue reading
We Will Sit In for Impeachment
David Swanson, 07/05/07
On July 23rd phone John Conyers at 202-225-5126 or send him a fax with one click.
Cindy Sheehan to Lead March for Impeachment, Arlington to Capitol Hill, July 23rd
WHAT: March from Arlington National Cemetery to the Capitol Hill Office of Congressman John Conyers to ask him to begin impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney or President George W. Bush or both. Participants hope to meet with Congressman Conyers and receive his assurance that impeachment proceedings will begin at once in the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs. Many of those participating have commited to only leave if Conyers agrees to begin impeachment or they are arrested.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been the driving force against impeachment in Congress. If there is no agreement to begin impeachment proceedings by Monday, Sheehan will announce her candidacy challenging Pelosi for election in California’s 8th Congressional District.
WHO: Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey Sheehan, KIA in Iraq 2004, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace and of the Camp Casey Peace Institute; Ray McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA and cofounder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity; Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President of the Hip Hop Caucus; Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Colonel and diplomat who resigned in protest the day the U.S. invaded Iraq; Debra Sweet, national coordinator of the World Can’t Wait; Dave Lindorff, author of “The Case for Impeachment,” David Swanson, cofounder of AfterDowningStreet.org; Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin, both cofounders of Code Pink; Kevin Zeese, director of Democracy Rising; Tina Richards, military mother and creator of GrassRootsAmerica4Us; and many many others.…Continue reading
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 Steve Watson
Is it possible that the anthrax attacks were launched from within our own government? A former Bush 1 advisor thinks it is.
Francis A. Boyle, an international law expert who worked under the first Bush Administration as a bioweapons advisor in the 1980s, has said that he is convinced the October 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people were perpetrated and covered up by criminal elements of the U.S. government. The motive: to foment a police state by killing off and intimidating opposition to post-9/11 legislation such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the later Military Commissions Act.
“After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration tried to ram the USA PATRIOT Act through Congress,” Boyle said in a radio interview with Austin-based talk-show host Alex Jones. “That would have set up a police state.
“Senators Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) were holding it up because they realized what this would lead to. The first draft of the PATRIOT Act would have suspended the writ of habeas corpus [which protects citizens from unlawful imprisonment and guarantees due process of law]. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, come these anthrax attacks.”
“At the time I myself did not know precisely what was going on, either with respect to September 11 or the anthrax attacks, but then the New York Times revealed the technology behind the letter to Senator Daschle. [The anthrax used was] a trillion spores per gram, [refined with] special electro-static treatment.…Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.
It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 28 June 2007
The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.
There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.
The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.
These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.
Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”
The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…Continue reading