8.4.06

Bush leak of Zarqawi Letter Riles Israelis

US leak of Zarqawi letter riles Israelis - Sunday Times - Times Online:

bush declassifies again and risks the lives of Israeli intelligence agents in Iraq....

ISRAELI military intelligence officials have accused President George W Bush’s administration of undermining their attempts to infiltrate Al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq by revealing the contents of a secret letter written by Osama Bin Laden’s second-in-command, writes Uzi Mahnaimi.

...

Bush then referred to it during his weekly address. “The Al-Qaeda letter points to Vietnam as a model,” the president declared. “Al-Qaeda believes that America can be made to run again. They are gravely mistaken. America will not run and we will not forget our responsibilities.”

Israeli intelligence sources said officials who had worked on “Operation Tiramisu” inside Iraq took emergency steps to protect their sources, but it was not clear how successful they had been in averting the damage to their intelligence network.

They said Bush’s indiscretion had undone months of painstaking effort.

Bush 'is planning nuclear strikes on Iran's secret sites'

Telegraph | News | Bush 'is planning nuclear strikes on Iran's secret sites':

"This newspaper disclosed recently that senior Pentagon strategists are updating plans to strike Iran's nuclear sites with long-distance B2 bombers and submarine-launched missiles. And last week, the Sunday Telegraph reported a secret meeting at the Ministry of Defence where military chiefs and officials from Downing Street and the Foreign Office discussed the consequences of an American-led attack on Iran, and Britain's role in any such action.

The military option is opposed by London and other European capitals. But there are growing fears in No 10 and the Foreign Office that the British-led push for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear stand-off, will be swept aside by hawks in Washington. Hersh says that within the Bush administration, there are concerns that even a pummelling by conventional strikes, may not sufficiently damage Iran's buried nuclear plants."

Maureen Dowd: Bush Should 'Fire Himself' For Libby/Miller Leak

Maureen Dowd: Bush Should 'Fire Himself' For Libby/Miller Leak:

"'W. subscribes to the Nixonian theory that when a president does it, it's not illegal — or maybe it's the divine right of kings. God has been pretty active in Republican politics lately: Tom DeLay said God told him to drop out of his re-election race.

'If the administration were seriously trying to declassify something in the national interest, wouldn't it have President Bush explain his decision or have his Scottish terrier yip it out from the podium, rather than having Scooter whisper it in Judy's ear?

'Instead, sounding very Lewis Carroll, the White House claims that when the president leaks something secret, it's not secret anymore. It's the Immaculate Declassification: intelligence is declassified by passing it on to a friendly reporter.'"

They Should Have Hissed Barack Obama

They Should Have Hissed Barack Obama:

The newest slimey Lieberman clone...

Here is Obama, endlessly hailed as the brightest rising star in the Democratic firmament, delivering (at a closely watched political dinner, with Lieberman's primary opponent, Ned Lamont, sitting in the crowd) a ringing endorsement of his 'mentor,' Lieberman, Bush's closest Democratic ally on the Iraq War, one of the architects of welfare 'reform' and overall pretty much a symbol of everything that's been wrong with the Democratic Party for the past twenty years. What a slimy fellow Obama is, as befits a man symbolizing everything that will continue to be wrong with the Democratic Party for the next twenty years. Every time I look up he's doing something disgusting, like distancing himself from his fellow senator Dick Durbin for denouncing the torture center at Guantanamo or cheerleading the nuke-Iran crowd.

Why the United States will attack Iran in 2006

Why the United States will attack Iran in 2006 - Pravda.Ru:

"Just when I was beginning to think that the precipitously declining support – down to about one third of the public – for the war in Iraq was an indication that Americans were wising up, recent polls suggest that more than half of Americans support a new war against Iran! How can they favor starting a new war even as their support for the last one is declining? I was baffled by this inconsistency until I realized that the declining support for the war in Iraq is not a rejection of war, but a rejection of losing wars. Americans are perfectly fond of war as long as they’re winning. In any case, there seems to be ample support from the American public for a new war against Iran. Another fake 9/11 attack is not necessary, though it may occur anyway in order to further the totalitarian ambitions of the government."

Rumsfeld 'messed up' Guantanamo trials: lawyers

ABC News: Rumsfeld 'messed up' Guantanamo trials: lawyers

Rumsfeld dumber than Bush? Nope...'fair trials! we don't need no stinkin' fair trial! this is america!'

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his appointees set rules that violate President George W. Bush's order to hold fair trials for prisoners charged with terrorism in the Guantanamo tribunals, a military defense lawyer said on Friday.

"We can't help it that the secretary of defense and his delegees (sic) have messed this thing up, but they have," military lawyer Army Maj. Tom Fleener told the presiding officer at one of the hearings.

"If the rules don't provide for a full and fair trial, then they violate the president's order."

Fleener was trying to persuade the presiding officer, Col. Peter Brownback, to let a Yemeni defendant act as his own attorney on charges of conspiring to attack civilians and destroy property.

U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord


U.S. Study Paints Somber Portrait of Iraqi Discord - New York Times:

An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces 'serious' and one 'critical.' The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top American politicians and military officials.

The patterns of discord mapped by the report confirm that ethnic and religious schisms have become entrenched across much of the country, even as monthly American fatalities have fallen. Those indications, taken with recent reports of mass migrations from mixed Sunni-Shiite areas, show that Iraq is undergoing a de facto partitioning along ethnic and sectarian lines, with clashes — sometimes political, sometimes violent — taking place in those mixed areas where different groups meet.

The report, the first of its kind, was written over a six-week period by a joint civilian and military group in Baghdad that wanted to provide a baseline assessment for conditions that new reconstruction teams would face as they were deployed to the provinces, said Daniel Speckhard, an American ambassador in Baghdad who oversees reconstruction efforts.

Seymour Hersh: Bush to Bomb Iran, Possibly with Nuclear Weapons

The New Yorker: Fact:

Here comes World War III--

The Bush Administration, while publicly advocating diplomacy in order to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Current and former American military and intelligence officials said that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.


It seems that Bush has been talking to his god again...

Bush "believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that “a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.” He added, “I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’”

Halberstam Calls Iraq War 'Heartbreaking'

Halberstam Calls Iraq War 'Heartbreaking':

"'I'm a Vietnam-era journalist. I think most journalists were appalled as we moved toward war in Iraq,' he said, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. 'The worst mistake this administration made was not about weapons of mass destruction. It was the administration's view that we'd be welcomed as the great liberator. I think they were watching the movie 'Patton' when they should have been watching 'The Battle of Algiers' about urban insurgency...."

Another White House is buying silence

Another White House is buying silence - The Boston Globe:

"As the facts emerge, the possibility looms that while it is Libby who may be nailed for the crime, Bush and Cheney were the kingpins. Bush may or may not officially be a crook. The crooked road he chose to invade Iraq is becoming a crime against humanity."

7.4.06

The Deception Bush Can't Spin

Opinion: The Deception Bush Can't Spin - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News:

"Compared with other deceptions that George W. Bush has perpetrated in the years since he promised to restore honor and integrity to the Oval Office, this one cannot be spun away as a misunderstanding, a 'misunderestimate' or a mistake. From the moment that the Justice Department opened its probe of the disclosure of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert CIA identity to the press, Bush insisted that he wanted to find and punish the culprits, especially if any of them were among his White House staff. He claimed to consider the leaking of classified information to be a matter of the utmost seriousness.

And he let his press secretary insist repeatedly that the White House had absolutely no idea how this terrible thing had happened."

John W. Dean III: The Truth About Lewis "Scooter" Libby's Statements Claiming the President Authorized a Leak of Classified Information

FindLaw's Writ - Dean: The Truth About Lewis "Scooter" Libby's Statements to the Grand Jury Claiming the President Authorized a Leak of Classified Information

As always, John Dean writes a succinct, excellent column regarding these miscreants in the White House:

Assuming that Libby's testimony is accurate, did the President do anything wrong by so declassifying the NIE? Given the fact that the national security classification system is created by executive order of the president, it would appear logical that the president has authority to unilaterally and selective declassify anything he might wish. However, that is not the way any president has ever written the executive orders governing these activities. To the contrary, the orders set forth rather detailed declassification procedures.

In addition, there is law that says that when a president issues an executive order he must either amend that executive order, or follow it just as others within the executive branch are required to do. At present, we have so few facts it is difficult to know what precisely Bush did and how he did it, and thus whether or not this law is applicable. There is also the problem that no one has standing in court to challenge a president's refusal to follow his own rules. But voters may take note of the disposition of this administration to play by the rules, and put a Democratic Congress in place to keep an eye on the last two years of the Bush/Cheney presidency.

What is apparent, however, based on Fitzgerald's filing, is that no one other than Bush, Cheney, Libby and apparently Addington was aware of this unilateral and selective declassification - if, indeed, the NIE was declassified. The secrecy surely suggests cover-up. For example, Fitzgerald notes that Libby "consciously decided not to make [then Deputy National Security Adviser] Hadley aware of the fact that defendant [Libby] himself had already been disseminating the NIE by leaking it to reporters while Mr. Hadley sought to get it formally declassified." (Also, CIA Director George Tenet apparently was not aware of the partial declassification by Bush.)

Whatever authority Bush may or may not have had, however, it is crystal clear that Vice President Cheney did not have any authority to unilaterally and selectively declassify the NIE.

Recently, Cheney made the public claim (to Brit Hume of Fox News) that he had authority to declassify national security information. Learning of this, Congressman Henry Waxman asked the Congressional Reference Service of the Library of Congress, which issues non-partisan reports, whether Cheney was right. CRS found that the Vice President has limited declassification authority, generally speaking. And their report shows Cheney had no authority in this instance - only in situations where the Vice President had been the authority to classify the material in the first place, could the Vice President have the authority to unilaterally declassify it.

Jailed 4 1/2 Years in Land of the Free by the Sick Bastards in the Bush Administration

Jailed 4 1/2 Years in Land of the Free - Los Angeles Times:

A link to the Ninth Circuit opinion is here.

This from the Los Angeles Times:

'The young farmer from the Indian Ocean country of Sri Lanka wanted only to get to Canada to escape the torture. Instead, he has landed in the north Los Angeles suburb of Lancaster.

Accused of being a terrorist in his native country, Ahilan Nadarajah left in September 2001 and was guided by smugglers through Thailand, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico. He intended to sneak into the United States on his way to Toronto but was arrested at the border.

"He was twice granted political asylum by a U.S. immigration judge, but the Department of Homeland Security branded him a national security threat. He spent nearly 4 1/2 years in a U.S. jail while the government tried to deport him to Sri Lanka.

He was freed March 21 after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called his lengthy detention illegal in a bristling 37-page opinion that took aim at the Bush administration's controversial practice of indefinitely detaining immigrants accused of terrorism but not charged. The three-judge panel said keeping him jailed violated a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against indefinite detention in immigration cases. "

Bush, GOP Approval Ratings Hit New Lows

Bush, GOP Approval Ratings Hit New Lows - New York Times:

"-- Just 36 percent of the public approves of Bush's job performance, his lowest-ever rating in AP-Ipsos polling. By contrast, the president's job approval rating was 47 percent among likely voters just before Election Day 2004 and a whopping 64 percent among registered voters in October 2002.

-- Only 40 percent of the public approves of Bush's performance on foreign policy and the war on terror, another low-water mark for his presidency. That's down 9 points from a year ago. Just before the 2002 election, 64 percent of registered voters backed Bush on terror and foreign policy.

-- Just 35 percent of the public approves of Bush's handling of Iraq, his lowest in AP-Ipsos polling."

6.4.06

The White Rose [Leaflet One]

The White Rose [Leaflet One]:

From a link on Mike Malloy's site:

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct. It is certain that today every honest German is ashamed of his government. Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes - crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure - reach the light of day? If the German people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order of history; if they surrender man’s highest principle, that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall. Goethe speaks of the Germans as a tragic people, like the Jews and the Greeks, but today it would appear rather that they are a spineless, will-less herd of hangers-on, who now - the marrow sucked out of their bones, robbed of their center of stability - are waiting to be hounded to their destruction. So it seems - but it is not so. Rather, by means of gradual, treacherous, systematic abuse, the system has put every man into a spiritual prison. Only now, finding himself lying in fetters, has he become aware of his fate. Only a few recognized the threat of ruin, and the reward for their heroic warning was death. We will have more to say about the fate of these persons. If everyone waits until the other man makes a start, the messengers of avenging Nemesis will come steadily closer; then even the last victim will have been cast senselessly into the maw of the insatiable demon. Therefore every individual, conscious of his responsibility as a member of Christian and Western civilization, must defend himself as best he can at this late hour, he must work against the scourges of mankind, against fascism and any similar system of totalitarianism. Offer passive resistance - resistance - wherever you may be, forestall the spread of this atheistic war machine before it is too late, before the last cities, like Cologne, have been reduced to rubble, and before the nation’s last young man has given his blood on some battlefield for the hubris of a sub-human. Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure!

Detainee Says He Was Tortured by Moroccans after Renditioned there by the CIA

Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Detainee Says He Was Tortured by Moroccans:

"Binyam Muhammad, who has been accused of plotting al-Qaida attacks in the United States, was tortured with a scalpel after American authorities handed him over to Moroccan interrogators, according to an account provided by his lawyer.

Muhammad made his first appearance in the U.S. military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay on Thursday, charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders to attack civilians and other crimes.

Wearing a long, orange collarless shirt and a black skullcap, the 27-year-old detainee told the judge that he has been tortured. He criticized U.S. authorities for getting his name wrong, claimed he was not the person they sought and bitterly suggested the court refer to him as Count Dracula.

"After four years of torture and rendition, you have the wrong person in the stand,'' Muhammad said. Military documents spell his name variously as Muhammad and Mohammad. The judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, told Muhammad it was the prosecutor's job to establish his identity during trial.'

Gonzales: Bush Could Order Domestic Wiretaps

Gonzales: Bush Could Order Domestic Wiretaps:

"Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today left open the possibility that President Bush could order warrantless wiretaps on telephone calls occurring solely within the United States, dramatically expanding the potential reach of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program.

In response to a question from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) during an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Gonzales said the government would have to determine if a conversation was related to al-Qaeda and crucial to fighting terrorism before deciding whether to listen in without court supervision.

'I'm not going to rule it out,' Gonzales said, referring to the possibility of monitoring purely domestic communications.

...

During today's testimony, Gonzales also reiterated earlier hints that there may be another program, or an expanded version of the NSA program, that has not been revealed publicly. While acknowledging disagreements among officials over the monitoring efforts, Gonzales disputed some published reports that have detailed the disputes.

"They did not relate to the program the president disclosed," Gonzales testified. "They related to something else and I can't get into that.

U.S. Rolls Out Nuclear Plan | Warmongers Need 125 New Nuclear Bombs Each Year until 2022

U.S. Rolls Out Nuclear Plan - Los Angeles Times:

"The Bush administration Wednesday unveiled a blueprint for rebuilding the nation's decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing capacity.

The plan calls for the most sweeping realignment and modernization of the nation's massive system of laboratories and factories for nuclear bombs since the end of the Cold War.

Until now, the nation has depended on carefully maintaining aging bombs produced during the Cold War arms race, some several decades old. The administration, however, wants the capability to turn out 125 new nuclear bombs per year by 2022, as the Pentagon retires older bombs that it says will no longer be reliable or safe."

U.S. Marines say can keep Iraq levels indefinitely

Reuters.com:

"Gen. Robert Magnus, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, also said the Marines do not plan to prohibit troops from having commercial body armor while deployed, as the Army did last week. Some troops and their families have bought body armor because of concern that what the military was providing was insufficient.

There are about 24,500 Marines serving in the U.S. force of about 132,000 in Iraq, defense officials said.

'To our own surprise, we are able to sustain this tempo, we think, probably indefinitely,' Magnus told reporters. 'We can sustain 20-25,000 in Iraq indefinitely,' he added."

The new Bush mantra: ‘It’s hard out here for a pimp’

The new Bush mantra: ‘It’s hard out here for a pimp’:

"Conveniently ignoring the Coalition death toll that has quietly passed the 2,500 milestone (maybe the Bush administration doesn’t count suicides or accidental deaths), the President is presently pimping the Vice President, having Mr. Cheney trumpet a new party line that suddenly implores the country to be patient about an exit strategy for Iraq.

In response to a question about whether we’re witnessing the outbreak of civil war in Iraq, Mr. Cheney deflected attention from the rapidly disintegrating state of affairs, with the cavalier remark that “It’s not about just today’s situation in Iraq, it’s about where we’re going to be 10 years from now.” In other words, brace yourself for another decade of boys and girls arriving home in body bags, all in the name of war-profiteering for Halliburton and like-minded mega-corporations."

U.S. Says It Won't Be Candidate for U.N. Rights Council

U.S. Says It Won't Be Candidate for U.N. Rights Council - New York Times:

"Among the Republican critics who had counseled joining the panel despite its acknowledged flaws were Senators Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the foreign relations committee chairman, and Representatives Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey and Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, who is chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

When the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, proposed a resolution calling for an American boycott of the new council on March 31, Representative Smith put out a statement calling for the measure's defeat.

Human rights groups speculated that the United States was worried that revelations of abuses of detainees in Iraq and of clandestine prisons abroad had raised fears in the Bush administration that it could not get the needed 96 votes for membership.

'It's childish for the U.S. government not to cooperate with the new Human Rights Council when it cooperated for decades with the vastly inferior Human Rights Commission,' said the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth.

'It's unfortunate that the Bush administration's disturbing human rights record means that the United States is today hardly a shoe-in for election to the council,' he added."

Bush has no Shame

Bush defends surveillance policy:

"A man who identified himself as Harry Taylor rose at a forum here to tell Bush that he's never felt more ashamed of the leadership of his country. He said Bush has asserted his right to tap phone calls without a warrant, to arrest people and hold them without charges and to revoke a woman's right to an abortion, among other things.

He was booed by the audience, but Bush interrupted and urged the audience to let Taylor finish.

'I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administraiton,' Taylor said, standing in a balcony seat and looking down at Bush on stage. 'And I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and grace to be ashamed of yourself.'

Bush defended the National Security Administration's survelliance program, saying he authorized the program to protect the country.

'You said would I apologize for that?' Bush told him. 'The answer is absolutely not."

Libby Says Bush Authorized Leaks


Libby Says Bush Authorized Leaks
:

Exhibit #1,000,404,000 | George Bush is a lying bastard

These quotes are from the Think Progress site:

“There’s just too many leaks, and if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.” [Bush, 9/30/03]

“I want to know the truth. … I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.” [Fox News, 10/8/03]

I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.” [Bush, 10/28/03]

This excerpt is from the National Journal article:
"Two days after Wilson's op-ed, Libby met with then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller and not only disclosed portions of the NIE, but also Plame's CIA employment and potential role in her husband's trip.

Regarding that meeting, Libby 'testified that he was specifically authorized in advance... to disclose the key judgments of the classified NIE to Miller' because Vice President Cheney believed it to be 'very important' to do so, the court papers filed Wednesday said. The New York Sun reported the court filing on its Web site early Thursday.

Libby 'further testified that he at first advised the Vice President that he could not have this conversation with reporter Miller because of the classified nature of the NIE,' the court papers said. Libby 'testified that the Vice President had advised [Libby] that the President had authorized [Libby] to disclose relevant portions of the NIE.'

Additionally, Libby 'testified that he also spoke to David Addington, then counsel to the Vice President, whom [Libby] considered to be an expert in national security law, and Mr. Addington opined that Presidential authorization to publicly disclose a document amounted to a declassification of the document.'"

US opposes British list for Sudan war crime sanctions | Bush Enables Genocidal Sudanese War Criminals--Again.

US opposes British list for Sudan war crime sanctions:

US opposition may force Britain to remove any Sudanese government officials from a first list of names slated for United Nations sanctions over war crimes in Darfur


"Indicating differences within Washington, a Bush administration source said the State Department was pushing very hard to include more names on the list but there was resistance from other US agencies, including the Treasury.

This is consistent with the US abstaining to vote for the initial referral of Sudan to the International Criminal Court last year:

Sudan: The United States of America must not block justice for the Sudanese people

"The Sudanese people deserve justice and redress. It should not be denied them just because it does not sit comfortably with the USA’s political agenda," said Kolawole Olaniyan. "The latest draft resolution to the Security Council to be put forward by the USA simply states that perpetrators be brought to justice by 'internationally acceptable means'. To ignore the ICC in this case would mean that the USA believes that the fight against impunity is a secondary consideration to its own interests."

5.4.06

Don't mess with Geneva Convention

New Statesman - Don't mess with convention:

If any of the rules of war are to be rewritten, the UK and US are the countries least suitable to assume that task


In Washington, it has long been axiomatic among neo- conservatives to argue that the Geneva Conventions are no longer valid. Reid - one must assume at the behest of that close friend of his, the Prime Minister - has lent his support. The conventions, he says, were created more than half a century ago, "when the world was almost unrecognisable", and when states abided by their obligations to others. Even a cursory knowledge of history would suggest that the Nazis, whose ultimate defeat created the new world order, might have abided by certain (but not all) conventions on the battlefield, but were responsible for the single greatest crime of the 20th century. Now, Reid argues in the same vein, "We are finding an enemy which obeys no rules whatsoever.

...

The second reason Reid is wrong is that if any rules are to be rewritten, the UK and US are the countries least suitable to assume that task. On virtually every count, the proselytising for and prosecution of the Iraq war either bent or broke acceptable codes of behaviour.

Blair and those around him like to talk of values. They are right to identify possibly the sole criterion by which voters now judge politics. And yet, on matters of warfare, they fall terribly short. It is shameful for the Labour Party that in recent years it is often Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs who have taken it upon themselves to stand up for basic rights. Guantanamo's 'procedures and presence offend every principle of international jurisprudence', parliament heard in February. The MP speaking was Tony Baldry, a Tory.

There is no reason why the rules should not be adapted to suit the altered circumstances, as long as they reinforce consistency and fairness. However, there is every reason why Britain, one of the worst flouters of those rules, should not be one of the countries to lead that process. Only the international diplomatic/legal forums and, in particular, the United Nations can be trusted to enact such a change.

Boycott Threat Roils Guantanamo Hearing

Boycott Threat Roils Guantanamo Hearing - New York Times:

"Mr. Khadr's chief defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, answered most of the presiding officer's complaints by suggesting that the proper procedures — if there were any — were far from clear. The presiding officer did not always disagree.

'I don't know, quite frankly, what the procedure would be,' the presiding officer, Col. Robert S. Chester, acknowledged at one point in an argument over how the defense should seek permission to take on a foreign lawyer as an adviser.

The Bush administration established the commissions in the hope that a new, military-run judicial system, for which it could devise its own rules, could prosecute terrorists more effectively than existing courts.

But the tribunals have been beset from the start by procedural confusion and disorganization, and the hearing on Wednesday brought more of the same. With Mr. Khadr sitting demurely at the defense table in a blue and white button-down shirt, his lawyer and the presiding officer, both marines, conducted a heated dispute over whether the defense had duly notified the commission of Mr. Khadr's threat to boycott the proceedings unless he was transferred out of a solitary confinement cell into which he said he was moved without explanation last week.

'If you want relief from me on this issue, it's incumbent upon you to give me a heads-up,' Colonel Chester told the defense lawyer sternly.

'No sir, I don't have to do that!' Colonel Vokey shouted, slamming his hand down on the defense table."

Iran: The Logic of Deterrence -- Tehran’s quest for nuclear weapons is a rational response to a real threat of a US invasion

Iran: The Logic of Deterrence:

During the 1990s, however, Iran and the U.S. were not drifting toward war. The obvious question, then, is what has changed? The answer is to be found in George W. Bush’s grand strategy, the so-called Bush Doctrine, the three key components of which are rejection of deterrence in favor of preventive/pre-emptive military action; determination to shake up the politics of the Persian Gulf and Middle East; and extension of U.S. dominance over that region. Here, administration officials betrayed a naivete about international politics. States and the regimes that rule them want to survive, which means they are very sensitive to external threats to their security. The Bush Doctrine heightened Iran’s sense of vulnerability, which resulted in an acceleration of its nuclear program. In this respect, the administration’s policy—particularly President Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech—had the effect of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy: it made U.S. relations worse than they already were and triggered a self-defensive reaction by Tehran.

9/11 Detainees in New Jersey Say They Were Abused With Dogs

9/11 Detainees in New Jersey Say They Were Abused With Dogs - New York Times:

"Until now, lawsuits brought by former detainees against top American officials have focused attention on the maximum security unit of a federal detention center in Brooklyn where the Justice Department's inspector general found widespread abuse. But today in Toronto, as Mr. Sachdeva, a Canadian citizen born in India, gives his first deposition for the class-action lawsuit, the spotlight will shift to the New Jersey jail.

There, about 400 of the 762 mainly Muslim detainees rounded up in the United States after 9/11 were held. The lawsuit charges that the detainees' confinement was arbitrary, illegally based on their religion or national origin, and that guards routinely terrorized them with aggressive dogs.

In November 2004, federal officials who oversee the detention of immigrants facing deportation said they would no longer send detainees to jails that used dogs to patrol inside. That decision by the Department of Homeland Security came a day after National Public Radio broadcast an investigative report saying that the dogs had been used over a three-year period to intimidate, attack and, in at least two cases, bite immigrant detainees in the Passaic County Jail.

'To hear about the use of dogs in this way within the United States is truly shocking,' said Jonathan Turley, a professor of national security and constitutional law at George Washington University, who is not involved in the case. 'But Abu Ghraib didn't spring from the head of Zeus.'"

Attorneys from CCR Respond to Amnesty International Report regarding US Renditions

CCR

These new disclosures again demonstrate our contention that the U.S. government is systematically outsourcing torture. The flight records reveal a disturbing pattern of secret human rights abuse around the world, from the U.S. to Guantánamo Bay to Djibouti. It is shameful that the Bush Administration has used the CIA and private aircraft operators to send people abroad for torture, and now that these practices have been exposed, the Administration and these companies must be held accountable. Congress overwhelmingly voted to ban torture and the American people do not want torture practiced in their name - not on our soil, and not hidden in another country.

The Second Sexual Deviant from the DHS Pleads 'No Contest' to Masturbating at a Mall in Front of a Sixteern-year-old

Latest News Reports -- TBO.com Blogstitle:

"The man who headed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Tampa has pleaded no contest to charges he exposed himself to a girl in a mall food court and ran away from security guards.

Frank Figueroa, 49, originally said he was not guilty. His trial was expected to begin tomorrow.

Figueroa, once one of Florida’s highest-ranking federal law enforcement officers and the former head of a national program formed to target child sex predators, was arrested Oct. 25 at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando...

...

the 16-year-old who reported the incident, said Figueroa pulled up a leg of his shorts, exposed himself and masturbated for about 10 minutes

Homeland Security Official Arrested for on-line sexually solicting and exposing himself to a 14-year old girl who claimed to be a leukemia victim

Homeland Security Official Arrested in Polk Case | theledger.com:

the party of values... and, lots of stupidity.

"On March 12, Doyle contacted a 14-year-old girl whose profile was posted on an AOL Web site, according to the Sheriff's Office release.

Initially, detectives thought Doyle was posing as someone working for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. But they soon learned otherwise when he sent a picture to the girl over the Internet wearing an official ``DHS tag'', Judd said.

Judd said the character detectives created told Doyle she was recovering from leukemia.

``He sent her his condolences,'' Judd said.

Doyle sent the ``girl'' a box of chocolates and mentioned that he knew someone in the Tampa Bay area, Judd said.

Then the conversations got vulgar and the gestures got bolder, Judd said.

Doyle sent the ``girl'' 16 ``hard core'' pornographic images through the Internet and ``asked if she would engage in those kind of acts with him,'' Judd said."


the party of national security:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Doyle's actions were ``vile and inexcusable.''

``We will go after child predators, no matter where they live, to protect our innocent children,'' Judd said in a released statement. ``This investigation shows that the long arm of the law can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime, who tries to harm our youth.''

Judd also mused about the potential threat to national security of Doyle's behavior, particularly if the fictional girl had been a terrorist.

4.4.06

Amnesty International Releases: "USA--Below the Radar: Secret Flights to Torture and 'Disappearance'"

USA: Exposing Renditions:

"In a new report published today, 'USA - Below the radar: Secret flights to torture and ‘disappearance’', Amnesty International gives comprehensive information concerning rendition flights and describes the conditions under which victims were held.

The USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using planes leased by front companies as well as legitimate aviation firms, has secretly transferred terror suspects into the custody of other states – including Egypt, Jordan and Syria – where torture is known to accompany interrogation.

The rendition programme has also delivered people into US custody, whether at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, detention centres in Iraq and Afghanistan, or secret CIA-run facilities known as “black sites” around the world.

Rendition is sometimes presented by officials as simply an efficient means of transporting terror suspects from one place to another without red tape. Such descriptions are a feeble attempt to hide the truth about a system that puts the victims beyond the protection of the law and sets the perpetrators above it.

Renditions involve multiple human rights violations and thrive on secrecy. Most victims have been detained illegally in the first place -- some were abducted, others were refused access to any legal process to challenge, for example, their transfer to countries where torture is rife. Many of those illegally detained in one country and illegally transported to another have subsequently “disappeared”, including in US custody. Their whereabouts remain undisclosed. Every one of the victims of rendition interviewed by Amnesty International has said they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated.

Secret detention is the corollary of renditions. Renditions have allowed the USA to transport so-called high-value detainees – people thought to have intelligence information too sensitive to be entrusted to client states -- to the CIA-run “black sites” in various parts of the world that are so secret that they are in effect beyond the reach of US and international law.

Idiot Military Judge at Guantanamo Unsure of what Laws Govern Detainee Trial. Amazing!

JURIST - Paper Chase:

"A US military judge presiding over one of the military commission proceedingsat Guantanamo Bay Tuesday appeared unsure of exactly what body of law would be applied in the case against Abdul Zahir, one of ten detainees who have been charged with war crimes. When asked by Zahir's military counsel, judge Col. Robert Chester said 'Obviously military law is going to have some application. I suppose we will look at military criminal law and federal criminal laws and procedures.' Asked to be more specific, he later shot back 'I'm not going to speculate as to what is or what is not controlling.' No trial date was set, and Zahir did not enter a plea."

I will not be forced out by US and UK, says Iraqi PM

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | I will not be forced out by US and UK, says Iraqi PM:

"Using the argument that the US and Britain had toppled Saddam in order to bring democracy, he turned it against them. 'There is a decision that was reached by a democratic mechanism and I stand with it ... We have to protect democracy in Iraq and it is democracy which should decide who leads Iraq. We have to respect our Iraqi people,' he said.

Tampering with democracy was risky, he insisted. 'People will react if they see the rules of democracy being disobeyed. Every politician and every friend of Iraq should not want people to be frustrated,' he said. 'Everyone should stick to democratic mechanisms no matter whether they disagree with the person,' he added pointedly."

Jack Cafferty is Brilliant!

This is a transcript of Mr Cafferty's take on the resignation of that human slug, that slimey, shit-stained, arrogant, ignorant, repugnant, extremist neoconservative evil bastard, tom delay:

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, in the end, all the tough talk was reduced to, "I quit." To borrow a phrase from Roberto Duran, "No mas."

When a second aide to Congressman Tom DeLay pled guilty in the Abramoff investigation and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, Mr. DeLay suddenly became just another disgraced public servant who couldn't take the heat. DeLay is also under criminal indictment in a separate case in Texas.

He was known as "The Hammer" when he was majority leader in the House. A big, tough-talking, strong-arm artist who could deliver votes to the Bush White House. He would strut around on Capitol Hill like a cocky little bandy rooster. But today he slithered away from Congress to await his fate at the hands of the criminal justice system.

Good riddance.

'Come Home, America': Progressives need another McGovern...now.

Come Home, America

McGovern was correct then, and he is now:

“Come home, America,” McGovern pled in that 1972 campaign. “Come home from the wilderness of needless war and excessive militarism.”

3.4.06

Tom Delay, Neoconservative Cover Boy and Soon-to-be-Felon, Quits and Slithers off to his Fetid Pit in Texas

The Hammer Goes Down:

One of the deepest, darkest, ugliest stains in the political history of the United States has announced he is quitting the House of Representatives. A great stench will be lifted. One can only hope that we will next see this evil person in handcuffs.

Histories of this dark passage in the American story will record that no political figure fought harder or longer to dismantle traditions of compromise and cooperation in Congress than DeLay, a man who targeted those with whom he disagreed as zealously as he had once gone after the vermin he chased in his previous career as an extreminator. As far as DeLay was concerned, the niceties of democracy were cruel impediment to his new career path. So he went to war with the process itself on behalf of his own political advancement -- and that of the paymasters in the industries he served more diligently than his Texas constituents, his conservative ideology or his Republican Party.

This story needs repeating:

But DeLay's crudest assault on American democracy will be little mentioned now, as it has been since he waged it.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, 2000, when the eyes of the nation were fixed on the Stephen P. Clark Government Center in downtown Miami, where a Dade County canvassing board was reviewing 10,750 uncounted ballots in Florida's disputed presidential contest between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, a riot orchestrated by DeLay's top aides and allies and carried out by Republicans flown in from Washington stopped the count. In so doing, DeLay's minions assured that the Bush campaign's Florida co-chair, Katharine Harris, would, in her capacity as secretary of state, be able to certify a 537-vote "win" for the Republican when the recount deadline arrived. It was that certification that allowed Florida Governor Jeb Bush to sign a Certificate of Ascertainment designating 25 Florida electors pledged to his brother. The paperwork was immediately transferred to the National Archives, where it would eventually be cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision to award the Florida electoral votes, and with them the presidency, to George W. Bush.

DeLay's role in the recount, though little reported and even now little understood outside the inner circles of the Republican and Democratic parties, was definitional.

Bush's Paper Trail Grows; But Does it Really Matter?

TomPaine.com - Bush's Paper Trail Grows:

"On balance the newly revealed record of President Bush’s secret meeting of January 31, 2003, confirms that by that date Bush’s Iraq war was certain. The Manning memo supplies an explicit picture of Bush not merely cherrypicking only the intelligence he wanted to use, but scheming to overcome the consequences of not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

In all likelihood the debate over the Iraq war will come to center on the question of how much sooner than January 2003 was Bush’s war policy cast in stone. Was it September 2002, when Bush blurted out “I don’t know what more evidence we need” and set up the White House Iraq Group to sell the war? Was it April at a previous Bush-Blair summit in Crawford or December 2001 when General Franks presented the first war plan to the president? Was it on or immediately after 9/11 or was it the day George W. Bush took the oath of office as President of the United States? "

UK Joins the Coalition of the Lawless: Jack Reid says International laws hinder UK troops from Torturing, American Style

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | International laws hinder UK troops - Reid:


"John Reid demanded sweeping changes to international law yesterday to free British soldiers from the restraints of the Geneva conventions and make it easier for the west to mount military actions against other states.

In his speech, the defence secretary addressed three key issues: the treatment of prisoners, when to mount a pre-emptive strikes, and when to intervene to stop a humanitarian crisis. In all these areas, he indicated that the UK and west was being hamstrung by existing inadequate law.

Mr Reid indicated he believed existing rules, including some of the conventions - a bedrock of international law - were out of date and inadequate to deal with the threat of international terrorists."

The Neoconservative Jihad on the Web is soon to be Complete

Neoconservative Jihad on the Web is soon to be Complete:

THE END IS NEAR

One can never put anything beyond these radical extremists. The war of religious extremism is here, and not there and no one can stop the spread of these vile, sick, religous extremists comnonly called 'neoconservatives'.

"IMAGINE a world where wars are fought over the internet; where TV broadcasts and newspaper reports are designed by the military to confuse the population; and where a foreign armed power can shut down your computer, phone, radio or TV at will.

In 2006, we are just about to enter such a world. This is the age of information warfare, and details of how this new military doctrine will affect everyone on the planet are contained in a report, entitled The Information Operations Roadmap, commissioned and approved by US secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld and seen by the Sunday Herald.

The Pentagon has already signed off $383 million to force through the document’s recommendations by 2009. Military and intelligence sources in the US talk of “a revolution in the concept of warfare”. The report orders three new developments in America’s approach to warfare:

lFirstly, the Pentagon says it will wage war against the internet in order to dominate the realm of communications, prevent digital attacks on the US and its allies, and to have the upper hand when launching cyber-attacks against enemies.

lSecondly, psychological military operations, known as psyops, will be at the heart of future military action. Psyops involve using any media – from newspapers, books and posters to the internet, music, Blackberrys and personal digital assistants (PDAs) – to put out black propaganda to assist government and military strategy. Psyops involve the dissemination of lies and fake stories and releasing information to wrong-foot the enemy.

lThirdly, the US wants to take control of the Earth’s electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America."

2.4.06

Melting Ice Caps: Good Thing for the Oil Companies

Project Syndicate:

"One of the more surreal sessions at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos had oil industry experts explaining how the melting of the polar ice cap – which is occurring faster than anyone anticipated – represents not only a problem, but also an opportunity: vast amounts of oil may now be accessible.

Similarly, these experts concede that the fact that the United States has not signed the Law of the Sea, the international convention determining who has access to offshore oil and other maritime mineral rights, presents a risk of international conflict. But they also point to the upside: the oil industry, in its never-ending search for more reserves, need not beg Congress for the right to despoil Alaska."

Russian expert says U.S. test explosion is "political" move

RIA Novosti - Russia - Russian expert says U.S. test explosion is "political" move:

"The U.S. earlier told Russia it planned to detonate 700 tons of TNT during the Divine Strake test as part of a program to develop weapons capable of destroying facilities buried deep underground.

The experiment is sponsored by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and is scheduled for June 2, 2006 at the Nevada Test Site.

Tsiganok said Russia was unlikely to follow the U.S. example, and would not conduct similar tests.

'We have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the use of conventional explosives with yield comparable to that of a small nuclear bomb could be regarded as a violation of the treaty,' he said.

The expert said that the U.S. move could 'provoke an escalation of tensions in the world, and particularly in the Middle East."

Iran then Syria, of Syria then Iran? Take your pick...

Syria In Their Sights:

"Three years ago, the U.S. invasion of Iraq was widely viewed as the first chapter of a region-wide strategy to redraw the entire map of the Middle East. After Iraq, Syria and Iran would be the next targets, after which the oil-rich states of the Arabian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, would follow. It was a policy driven by neoconservatives in and out of the Bush administration, and they didn’t exactly make an effort to keep it secret. In April 2003, in an article in The American Prospect entitled “Just the Beginning,” I wrote, “Those who think that U.S. armed forces can complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq’s borders, are likely to be mistaken.” The article quoted various neocon strategists who sought precisely that. Among them was Michael Ledeen, the arch-Machiavellian and Iran-Contra manipulator-in-chief, who argued from his perch at the American Enterprise Institute: “I think we’re going to be obliged to fight a regional war, whether we want to or not. As soon as we land in Iraq, we’re going to face the whole terrorist network. It may turn out to be a war to remake the world.”"

Not everyone buys the sales pitch of war lovers:

New Statesman - John Pilger doesn't buy the sales pitch of war lovers:

"How many men, women and children will be killed, maimed or sent mad if Bush attacks Iran? The prospect of an attack is especially exciting for those war lovers understandably disappointed by the turn of events in Iraq. 'The unimaginable but ultimately inescapable truth,' wrote Gerard Baker in the Times last month, 'is that we are going to have to get ready for war with Iran . . . If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik revolution and the coming of Hitler.' Sound familiar? In February 2003, Baker wrote that 'victory [in Iraq] will quickly vindicate US and British claims about the scale of the threat Saddam poses'."

Fool Me Twice: Neoconservative Extremists to use the Same Technique to Lead America into Iran as used in Iraq

Foreign Policy: Fool Me Twice:

"The unfolding administration strategy appears to be an effort to repeat its successful campaign for the Iraq war. It is now trying to link Iran to the 9/11 attacks by repeatedly claiming that Iran is the main state sponsor of terrorism in the world (though this suggestion is highly questionable). It is also attempting to make the threat urgent by arguing that Iran might soon pass a “point of no return” if it can perfect the technology of enriching uranium, even though many other nations have gone far beyond Iran’s capabilities and stopped their programs short of weapons. And, of course, it is now publicly linking Iran to the Iraqi insurgency and the improvised explosive devices used to kill and maim U.S. troops in Iraq, though Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace admitted there is no evidence to support this claim."

UK Government in secret talks about impending US strike against Iran

Telegraph | News | Government in secret talks about strike against Iran:

"The Government is to hold secret talks with defence chiefs tomorrow to discuss possible military strikes against Iran.

A high-level meeting will take place in the Ministry of Defence at which senior defence chiefs and government officials will consider the consequences of an attack on Iran.

It is believed that an American-led attack, designed to destroy Iran's ability to develop a nuclear bomb, is 'inevitable' if Teheran's leaders fail to comply with United Nations demands to freeze their uranium enrichment programme."

US and UK forces establish 'enduring bases' in Iraq

Independent Online Edition > Middle East:

"The Pentagon has revealed that coalition forces are spending millions of dollars establishing at least six 'enduring' bases in Iraq - raising the prospect that US and UK forces could be involved in a long-term deployment in the country. It said it assumed British troops would operate one of the bases."

Official: UK's Membership in the 'Coalition of the Willing' led to July bombings

The Observer | UK News | Official: Iraq war led to July bombings:

"Despite attempts by Downing Street to play down suggestions that the conflict has made Britain a target for terrorists, the Home Office inquiry into the deadliest terror attack on British soil has conceded that the bombers were inspired by UK foreign policy, principally the decision to invade Iraq."

Iran has been on the neoconservative 'to-do' list for a long time

CNN.com - Journalist: U.S. planning for possible attack on Iran - Jan 17, 2005:

If there is anyone remaining deluded by the Bush Administration on Iran, and think he is taking the high road of diplomacy on Iran, think again...

"The secret missions in Iran, Hersh said, have been authorized in order to prevent similar embarrassment in the event of military action there.

'The planning for Iran is going ahead even though Iraq is a mess,' Hersh said. 'I think they really think there's a chance to do something in Iran, perhaps by summer, to get the intelligence on the sites.'

He added, 'The guys on the inside really want to do this.'

Hersh identified those inside people as the 'neoconservative' civilian leadership in the Pentagon. That includes Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith -- 'the sort of war hawks that we talk about in connection with the war in Iraq.'

And he said the preparation goes beyond contingency planning and includes detailed plans for air attacks:

'The next step is Iran. It's definitely there. They're definitely planning ... But they need the intelligence first.'"


Hersh then discussed whether Bush is listening to any voice of reason regarding Iran:

"...[O]fficials have chosen not to include conflicting points of view in their deliberations -- such as predictions that any U.S. attack would provoke a wave of nationalism that would unite Iranians against the United States.

"As people say to me, when it comes to meetings about this issue, if you don't drink the Kool-Aid, you can't go to meetings," he said. "That isn't a message anybody wants to hear."


If the invasion and occupation of Afhanistan and Iraq, and soon Iran is not enough evidence of Bush's religious extremism, Hersh suggests we stay tuned for more invasions after Iran:

The plans are not limited to Iran, he said.