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White House

Eric Holder Signals No Prosecutions of Bush War Criminals

By Dennis Loo
January 30, 2009

Attorney General nominee Eric Holder in written response to a question posed to him during his Senate confirmation hearing by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stated:

“Prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law. But where it is clear that a government agent has acted in ‘reasonable and good-faith reliance on Justice Department legal opinions’ authoritatively permitting his conduct, I would find it difficult to justify commencing a full-blown criminal investigation, let alone a prosecution.”

Newsweek described
this written statement as “carefully vetted by Obama’s White House lawyers.”
In other words, Holder’s statement fairly reflects Obama’s and Holder’s intentions
in this regard.…

Rehearsing 9/11: How Training Exercises Foretold the Attacks of September 11

by Shoestring

The idea of such an attack was well known [and] had been
wargamed as a possibility in exercises before September 11.

– Professor John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate
School, Monterey, California

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, senior U.S. government and military officials repeatedly claimed that what happened that day was unexpected. In May 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” [1] Two years later, President Bush stated, “Nobody in our government, at least, and I don’t think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale.” [2] General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD on September 11, said, “Regrettably, the tragic events of 9/11 were never anticipated or exercised.” [3]

Yet these claims were untrue.…

Obama and 9/11

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.…

Obama order could present problems for Rove

John Byrne
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
from testifying.…

A few items of potentially good news today …

Obama limits ex-presidents’ discretion on records

January 21, 2009
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has issued an executive order that limits the ability of former presidents to block the release of sensitive records of their time in the White House.

Obama’s action Wednesday in his first full day in office overturns an earlier order issued by George W. Bush.

Obama said former presidents may ask to have certain documents kept private, but they no longer may compel the National Archives to do so.…

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Barack Obama calls halt to Guantánamo trials

January 21, 2009
by Philippe Naughton

Barack Obama has wasted no time in getting down to the business of government,
asking prosecutors to halt controversial military trials at Guantánamo Bay within
hours of his inauguration.

The request was issued via the Department of Defence even as President Obama
and his wife Michelle waltzed their way through a series of glitzy inaugural

Mr Obama pledged during his campaign to close the prison camp on Cuba set up
in 2001 to hold detainees from the ‘War on Terror’.…

Paul Krugman on our Need to Know What Happened These Last 8 Years

What Obama Must Do A Letter to the New President

Rolling Stone

Dear Mr. President:

Like FDR three-quarters of a century ago, you’re taking charge at a moment when all the old certainties have vanished, all the conventional wisdom been proved wrong. We’re not living in a world you or anyone else expected to see. Many presidents have to deal with crises, but very few have been forced to deal from Day One with a crisis on the scale America now faces.…

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Day 20 of Israel’s Genocidal Slaughter of Gaza

Kucinich: UN should investigate Israeli Gaza strikes
by Nick Juliano

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called for an independent investigation to be led by the United Nations into the recent eruption of violence between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza strip that has killed scores of innocent civilians.

Monday brought a third day of Israeli bombing Gaza in what the state is calling its “all-out” war on Hamas. So far, 345 people have been killed by the bombs.…

New information sheds more light on GOP IT guru’s tragic death

January 13, 2009
by Larisa Alexandrovna

New information surrounding the December plane crash which killed GOP internet consultant Michael Connell casts doubt on some of the rumors and speculation surrounding his death but doesn’t close the books on the circumstances surrounding the Republican technology star’s tragic end.

Michael Connell, a high-level IT guru for the Republican National Committee and the US Chamber of Commerce, died Dec. 19, 2008 at 5:53 PM ET when his airplane crashed near Ohio’s Akron-Canton airport.…

Center for Constitutional Rights Call to Action

January 13, 2008
Center for Constitutional Rights

The inauguration is almost upon us, and I am writing you with two important related matters. The first is a call to action to phone your senators with questions for Eric Holder’s hearing on his nomination to be the next Attorney General. The second is to send you a link to a report we released yesterday on the simple steps to closing Guantánamo.

While President-Elect Obama has said he will close the base,he has yet to say how or when, which are the most important questions.…

Will We Get Accountability? Obama’s Reply to Blogger Bob Fertik’s Special Prosecutor Question

by Meg White

As Bush gives his final press conference today, lamenting the “mistakes” of his presidency, some are wondering if he and other members of his administration will get a chance to tell such tales to a special prosecutor.

“History will look back,” he told reporters, most likely hoping the next administration’s Justice Department will solely look forward. Judging from the most recent comments from his successor, that may very well be the case.…

Former Navy Pilot Cautions Congress: Arrogance Endangering American Lives

by Janice Matthews (link to article) 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.

White House: Increase in terror attacks since 9/11 a success

Eric Brewer
Saturday January 10, 2009

One of the many sad ironies of the Bush era that is rapidly and mercifully drawing to a close is that after the president created a “central front in the war on terror” by invading Iraq, the amount of “terrorism” in the world skyrocketed. I call it the Bush Bubble:

At first, the administration seemed a little embarrassed by this result, and it engaged in various attempts, which I’ve documented over the years and summarized here, at disguising the increase.…

Obama-Bush teams to stage ‘disaster’ exercise

21 hours ago
AFP at

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.…

Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

by Peter Dale Scott
January 7, 2009

Paulson’s Financial Bailout

It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.

The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency.…

Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House,
and What Their Influence Means for America

Cover photo of Family of Secrets BLOOMSBURY PRESS

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,

Contact: Gene Taft,, m: 917/701-4072, p: 301/593-0766 Peter Miller,, 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?…

Joel Brinkley’s Article on Richard Falk: Does It Demonstrate the Right “Frame of Mind” to Teach Journalism at Stanford?

Elizabeth Woodworth

In a companion essay (reprinted below), I discussed the response of some articles in the mainstream press to the claim, made by some defenders of Israel, that Professor Richard Falk should be removed from his current position of UN rapporteur on human rights abuses in the Palestinian Territories — a claim that was reflected in the refusal of Israel on December 14, 2008, to allow him to enter the country. I included in this essay a discussion of an article by reporter Joel Brinkley because, although it was published before Israel’s action against Falk 1 , it could be read as a defense of that action.…

ISRAEL, STOP NOW!!! US gives Israel free reign on whether to invade Gaza

Friday January 2, 2009

Image of Thous Shalt Not KillThe United States gave Israel free reign Friday on whether to send troops into the Gaza Strip, insisting that the key to a ceasefire is an Israeli demand for Hamas to permanently halt rocket fire.

But the White House said it has asked Israel to try hard to avoid civilian casualties as reserves were called up for an expected ground incursion on top of a week of air strikes that has killed more than 400 Palestinians.…

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