Thursday, June 19, 2008

About Congressional Subpoenas

From David Swanson:

Nixon's Reputation Restored

By David Swanson

Once upon a time, the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary passed the following article of impeachment (one of three) against President Richard M. Nixon:

"In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. The subpoenaed papers and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President. In refusing to produce these papers and things Richard M. Nixon, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the powers of the Presidency against the the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by the Constitution in the House of Representatives. In all of this, Richard M. Nixon has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, Richard M. Nixon, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office."

In 2008, the same committee, now chaired by a congress member who served on the committee at the time of the Nixon impeachment proceedings, John Conyers, Jr., rehabilitated Nixon's reputation and in effect - apologized for having suggested that it might be an impeachable offense to refuse to comply with congressional subpoenas.

How so? Well, by refusing to impeach George W. Bush for repeatedly refusing to comply with subpoenas, or for ordering former employees to refuse to comply (arguably a felony known as obstruction of justice).

Ah, but these are not subpoenas issued by an impeachment committee, you say. These are just "ordinary" congressional subpoenas.

Not so fast! Actually, the article above refers to impeachable offenses, not the fact that the subpoenas were part of an impeachment investigation. If you have any doubt that the topics covered in the Bush subpoenas are impeachable offenses, you need go no further than John Conyers' book on the topic: "George W. Bush versus the U.S. Constitution." And if you want Bush to refuse to comply with a subpoena from an impeachment committee, just form one, send a subpoena, and wait a week. If he complies, miracles are possible and I'll multiply some bread and fishes for you.

Take a look at the following article of impeachment introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Monday along with 34 other articles, and then I'll tell you a secret.

Article XXVII

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas, and instructed former employees not to comply with subpoenas.

Subpoenas not complied with include:

1.A House Judiciary Committee subpoena for Justice Department papers and Emails, issued April 10, 2007;
2.A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoena for the testimony of the Secretary of State, issued April 25, 2007;
3.A House Judiciary Committee subpoena for the testimony of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and documents , issued June 13, 2007;
4.A Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for documents and testimony of White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, issued June 13, 2007;
5.A Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for documents and testimony of White House Political Director Sara Taylor, issued June 13, 2007 (Taylor appeared but refused to answer questions);
6.A Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for documents and testimony of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, issued June 26, 2007;
7.A Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for documents and testimony of White House Deputy Political Director J. Scott Jennings, issued June 26, 2007 (Jennings appeared but refused to answer questions);
8.A Senate Judiciary Committee subpoena for legal analysis and other documents concerning the NSA warrantless wiretapping program from the White House, Vice President Richard Cheney, The Department of Justice, and the National Security Council. If the documents are not produced, the subpoena requires the testimony of White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Cheney chief of staff David Addington, National Security Council executive director V. Philip Lago, issued June 27, 2007;
9.A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoena for Lt. General Kensinger.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.


OK, here's the secret I promised to let you in on. I only mentioned Bush's refusal to comply with subpoenas so that I could mention Nixon. In the pantheon of Bush crimes, this one hardly rises to the level of third-string. In fact, the current president not only flaunts the law. He openly rewrites it. Check this out. Read it carefully. It really does say what it looks like it says:

Article XXVI

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed", has used signing statements to claim the right to violate acts of Congress even as he signs them into law.

In June 2007, the Government Accountability Office reported that in a sample of Bush signing statements the office had studied, for 30 percent of them the Bush administration had already proceeded to violate the laws the statements claimed the right to violate.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Decidership & Democracy

From Steve Fournier:

Decidership and Democracy

From Current Invective *

In the neo-democratic institutions of the 21st Century, the inalienable right of the people to shirk civic responsibility has created a new social order: decidership. Americans live in a decidership and it has rather suddenly replaced the republic we have been relinquishing over the past 20 years or so.

The ruling class in a decidership names a decider and holds a sham election to confirm him. George W. Bush will be seen as the first in a line of deciders. We entrust our decider to select from the myriad policy options available to comfort the worried masses in a failing nation.

A decidership is entirely multiple-choice. Unlike dictators, who superimpose personal vision on the nations they rule, deciders have no vision but depend on others to supply it. Deciders resemble dictators only in the sense that they wield absolute power.

Decidership requires no public debate, and it countenances none. Visionaries representing privileged political patrons present their ideas in private to the decider's subordinates, who edit out the chaff and present what's left to the decider. The decider then presents his selections to the legislative branch for approval. In a decidership, approval is optional, since the decider is empowered by the sleepy populace to execute his selections with or without it.

There are courts in a decidership, but the decider decides when and in what manner court orders will be honored or enforced. Court orders adversely affecting the decider or his subordinates or patrons are routinely ignored. Standards, rules, and laws are altogether arbitrary in a decidership and can never be allowed to impede the decider or his patrons in any way. "The Constitution is a piece of paper," said the first decider not long ago.

In a decidership, the people must have enemies, and the decider chooses them for us. They are almost always ruled by cronies of the decider or his patrons, people like Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega. Deciders are licensed to kill the chosen enemies, but they usually do it through surrogates, typically decent young men who put on a military uniform every day out of a sense of duty and honor. When the decider's soldiers kill, they get a pat on the back. When they die, they must be buried in secret. The injured ones are discarded like refuse in a decidership, but who cares?

The who-cares ethic is really at the heart of a decidership. All power flows from the vacuum that informs public morality. In a decidership, the bombing of foreign cities and kindness to animals coexist comfortably. There are warriors for Jesus and vegans with pit bulls. Cognitive dissonance is treated with drugs, mostly by prescription, or with massage or meditation.

Nobody knows how long a decidership can endure. We know that it can overcome a hardy old constitution, 50 state governments and international organizations of every kind, including the one known, anachronistically, as the United Nations. We suspect decidership will survive another election and corrupt the winner irredeemably. The people will be asleep again within a month of the inauguration, if history's any guide. The big question is whether decidership can withstand the strains of an economy in catastrophic failure and an army in revolt, common hazards for nations that reject the duties of citizenship.

From Current Invective *

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

35 Articles of Impeachment Documented, Annotated, Videorecorded, Charted, Blogged, and Illustrated

From David Swanson via the New Broom Coalition:
Wouldn't it be nice....

if there were a page where you could see the titles of Dennis Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment against Bush, and where is you clicked on a title it took you to the full text, plus the video of Dennis reading that article, plus documentation of the facts in the article, plus links to blogs about that article, and updates on the particular offenses since the introduction of the article?

And what if you could add comments and links to the page yourself?

And what if there was a link at the bottom to pages where you could take action, get the latest news, read statements of support, and answer that hobgoblin of little minds: "What about Cheney?"

It'd be like a one-stop shop for hands-on training in the use of the United States Constitution.

There is:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Attack Iran? Cheney's Already Tried

My friend Mary Fox, of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee, forwards this:


Attack Iran? Cheney's Already Tried

By Gareth Porter, IPS News
Posted on June 10, 2008, Printed on June 14, 2008

WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials firmly opposed a proposal by Vice President Dick Cheney last summer for airstrikes against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) bases by insisting that the administration would have to make clear decisions about how far the United States would go in escalating the conflict with Iran, according to a former George W Bush administration official.

J Scott Carpenter, who was then deputy assistant secretary of state in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, recalled in an interview that senior Defense Department (DoD) officials and the Joint Chiefs used the escalation issue as the main argument against the Cheney proposal.

McClatchy newspapers reported last August that Cheney had proposal several weeks earlier "launching airstrikes at suspected training camps in Iran", citing two officials involved in Iran policy.

According to Carpenter, who is now at the Washington Institute on Near East Policy, a strongly pro-Israel think-tank, Pentagon officials argued that no decision should be made about the limited airstrike on Iran without a thorough discussion of the sequence of events that would follow an Iranian retaliation for such an attack. Carpenter said the DoD officials insisted that the Bush administration had to make "a policy decision about how far the administration would go - what would happen after the Iranians would go after our folks".

The question of escalation posed by DoD officials involved not only the potential of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq to attack, Carpenter said, but possible responses by Hezbollah and by Iran itself across the Middle East.

Carpenter suggested that DoD officials were shifting the debate on a limited strike from the Iraq-based rationale, which they were not contesting, to the much bigger issue of the threat of escalation to full-scale war with Iran, knowing that it would be politically easier to thwart the proposal on that basis.

The former State Department official said DoD "knew that it would be difficult to get interagency consensus on that question".

The Joint Chiefs were fully supportive of the position taken by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the Cheney proposal, according to Carpenter. "It's clear that the military leadership was being very conservative on this issue," he said.

At least some DoD and military officials suggested that Iran had more and better options for hitting back at the United States than the United States had for hitting Iran, according to one former Bush administration insider.

Former Bush speechwriter and senior policy adviser Michael Gerson, who had left the administration in 2006, wrote a column in the Washington Post on July 20, 2007, in which he gave no hint of Cheney's proposal, but referred to "options" for striking Iranian targets based on the Cheney line that Iran "smuggles in the advanced explosive devices that kill and maim American soldiers".

Gerson cited two possibilities: "Engaging in hot pursuit against weapon supply lines over the Iranian border or striking explosives factories and staging areas within Iran." But the Pentagon and the military leadership were opposing such options, he reported, because of the fear that Iran has "escalation dominance" in its conflict with the United States.

That meant, according to Gerson that, "in a broadened conflict, the Iranians could complicate our lives in Iraq and the region more than we complicate theirs".

Carpenter's account of the Pentagon's position on the Cheney proposal suggests, however, that civilian and military opponents were saying that Iran's ability to escalate posed the question of whether the United States was going to go to a full-scale air war against Iran.

Pentagon civilian and military opposition to such a strategic attack on Iran had become well-known during 2007. But this is the first evidence from an insider that Cheney's proposal was perceived as a ploy to provoke Iranian retaliation that could used to justify a strategic attack on Iran.

The option of attacking nuclear sites had been raised by Bush with the Joint Chiefs at a meeting in "the tank" at the Pentagon on December 13, 2006, and had been opposed by the Joint Chiefs, according to a report by Time magazine's Joe Klein last June.

After he become head of the Central Command (Centcom) in March 2007, Admiral William Fallon also made his opposition to such a massive attack on Iran known to the White House, according Middle East specialist Hillary Mann, who had developed close working relationships with Pentagon officials when she worked on the National Security Council staff.

It appeared in early 2007, therefore, that a strike at Iran's nuclear program and military power had been blocked by opposition from the Pentagon. Cheney's proposal for an attack on IRGC bases in June 2007, tied to the alleged Iranian role in providing both weapons - especially the highly lethal explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) - and training to Shi'ite militias appears to have been a strategy for getting around the firm resistance of military leaders to such an unprovoked attack.

Although the Pentagon bottled up the Cheney proposal in inter-agency discussions, Cheney had a strategic asset which could he could use to try to overcome that obstacle: his alliance with General David Petraeus.

As Inter Press Service reported earlier last week, Cheney had already used Petraeus' takeover as the top commander of US forces in Iraq in early February 2007 to do an end run about the Washington national security bureaucracy to establish the propaganda line that Iran was manufacturing EFPs and shipping them to the Mahdi Army militiamen.

Petraeus was also a supporter of Cheney's proposal for striking IRGC targets in Iran, going so far as to hint in an interview with Fox News last September that he had passed on to the White House his desire to do something about alleged Iranian assistance to Shi'ites that would require US forces beyond his control.

At that point, Fallon was in a position to deter any effort to go around DoD and military opposition to such a strike because he controlled all military access to the region as a whole. But Fallon's forced resignation in March and the subsequent promotion of Petraeus to become Centcom chief later this year gives Cheney a possible option to ignore the position of his opponents in Washington once more in the final months of the administration.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

(Inter Press Service)

© 2008 IPS News All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

"If the American people had ever known the truth about what we Bushes have done to this nation, we would be chased down in the streets and lynched."
      — George H.W. Bush, 1992

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
      — Winston Churchill

"The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it."
      — Edward Dowling, editor and priest, Chicago Daily News, July 28, 1941

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fwd: Kucinich Speaks The Truth About Bush, Get Your "Impeach Both!!!" Cap, We're Going To Keep On Fighting The Good Fight, And More

German Tedesco found this for us:

The Pen <> wrote:
Date: Tues, 10 Jun 2008 00:47:54 -0800
From: The Pen <>
Subject: Kucinich Speaks The Truth About Bush, Get Your "Impeach Both!!!" Cap, We're Going To Keep On Fighting The Good Fight, And More

We want to bring you up to date on the results of Shirley Golub's
primary challenge against Nancy Pelosi last week in San Francisco.

But first, on June 9, 2008, a day that will live in valor, Dennis
Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against George W. Bush,
just as he had done against Richard B. Cheney late last year.

It was truly stunning to hear him recite all the undisputed evidence
against Bush himself, which took 4 hours on the House floor. Even
more stunning is the fact that the House at large has still taken no
action to actually stand up for itself as a co-equal branch of our

Tell Congress To Impeach Now:

Nixon was threatened with impeachment in large part for defying
subpoenas. The Cheney/Bush administration has gone even further than
that, displaying total contempt for congressional oversight, even to
the point of instructing all executive branch former employees to
refuse to testify themselves. Only impeachment can correct this
outrage, which makes a arrogant mockery of the balance of
Constitutional powers. And that is just ONE of the 35 well-founded
grounds for immediate hearings.

Congress must act now, or Congress has reduced itself to a ceremonial
role under whatever despot may occupy the White House in the future.

And if you have not yet gotten your new bright orange "IMPEACH
BOTH!!!" cap, you can use this page to get one for any donation of
any amount. Your call. We just want as many people as possible to be
out there wearing these caps demonstrating the support for
impeachment is strong and is not going to go away.

New Impeach Both Caps:

Thanks to your valiant donations, Shirley Golub was able to make a
substantial dent in support for Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. This
is despite the fact that Golub was given virtually NO press coverage,
and that mostly dismissive and defeatist. Here is the thank you
message that Shirley wants to share with you.

"By now many of you have probably learned that my goal of unseating
of Nancy Pelosi did not happen. But we did ruffle a few feathers, to
say the least! My getting 10.83% of the vote was a victory in a sense
because this was based solely on advertising purchased with your many
generous contributions and by individual voters contacted by me and
some very wonderful & dedicated volunteers.

The media, and especially the progressive media, were noticeably
absent. That tells us where some of our efforts should be directed,
now doesn't it? But more than that, I was particularly humbled, and
touched, by your sharing your wishes and thoughts for the campaign
and the situation in the world today. I feel I now have friends all
over the country, united in this great cause of saving, not only our
country, but the world from destruction by a few greedy and powerful
individuals, and for my part I promise I am going to remain very
active on all the issues we founded this candidacy on.

Remember, there are more of us than there are of them! So I truly
hope you will continue to remain engaged and connected with others to
work towards peace, justice & equality for all. My love to you all.
Shirley G."

And now we'd like to add a couple choice words of our own.

We threw everything we had behind this primary challenge, even though
we only had a couple of months to pull it together. For we clearly
saw that unless Pelosi was defeated Congress would proceed to cave in
again on another year of occupation funding for the usual gang of war
profiteers. And even now you see them straining to cut unemployment
benefits and everything else to keep feeding this monstrous ongoing
war crime.

At the end of the day, people will remember the valor of our
resistance much longer than the results of a particular election. And
for those of you who donated even a small amount from your limited
resources in this urgently needed initiative, we want you to know
that those funds were well spent and will reap further benefits in
the near future as you will shortly see.

We expected the right wing media to do us no favors. But what frankly
shocked us was the fact that we could not get any of our major
so-called progressive radio personalties to even cover fact that
Shirley was running, let alone book her for an appearance to talk
about what she was doing. This in spite of the fact that we had at
LEAST four, count them four, stories worthy of national media

1. This was the first congressional primary challenger to Pelosi in
20 years. That's not a national story? Regardless of the odds, when
members of Congress won't do their job, they MUST be challenged, and
never let them think that they won't be.

2. Shirley produced a "Rubber Chicken" TV spot that was so
controversial it was featured in the local San Francisco TV news AND
that story was picked up by thousands of web sites, INCLUDING The
Hill in Washington, DC. That's not a national story?

3. When Comcast tried to censor the ad from their cable system,
Shirley Golub generated over 6,000 personal messages of protest to
the Comcast CEO and the completely backed down and were forced to run
the ad. That's not a national story?

4. She produced a full theatrical production of a play on impeachment
in a beautiful 500 seat legit theater in San Francisco. What
candidate for any office has ever produced a major play on an issue
they were taking a stand on? That's not a national story?

Looking ahead, of course we will do everything we can to help Cindy
Sheehan in her general election challenge as an independent in
November in the same district. But nothing would have boosted the
expectations for Cindy's chances MORE than the strongest possible
showing for Golub in her own challenge. That's why we did it, that's
why we had to do it, and we COULD have won it all outright on June 3,
if just more people had believed it could be so.

And for those of you who did believe, we thank you from the bottom of
our hearts. We are believers too. And we will keep on believing until
truth ultimately does prevail.

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed
to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.

If you would like to get alerts like these, you can do so at

Or if you want to cease receiving our messages, just use the function


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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment

Dear Impeachment Person,
Dennis Kucinich is first again, this time with 35 articles of impeachment against Bush, as you may have seen on C-span yesterday. The following is one summary that includes the brief titles of the 35 articles. There's lots more on the internet but nothing on the usual news, as usual.
From the Belfast Telegraph: 

US congressman moves to impeach Bush

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Former Democratic presidential contender, Dennis Kucinich, has called for the impeachment of George W Bush claiming that the president set out to deceive the nation, and violated his oath of office with the Iraq war.

The Ohio representative yesterday introduced 35 articles of impeachment against Bush on the floor of the US House of Representatives.

Kucinich unveiled a list of alleged illegal and improper acts by Bush, including war crimes.

He accused Bush executing a "calculated and wide-ranging strategy" to deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.

He went on to say that Bush and Cheney lied to Congress and the American public about the reasons for invading Iraq in 2003 and abused their offices in order to conduct the "War on Terror" following the 9/11 attacks.

"Bush misled the American people and members of Congress to believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction so as to manufacture a false case for war. President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office," Kucinich said.

He has already introduced a similar impeachment resolution against Vice President Cheney.

Bob Fertik, President of, said: "We've waited seven years to find one Member of Congress brave enough to stand up for our Constitution, for which generations of Americans have fought and died.

"We are thrilled and honored that Dennis Kucinich has chosen to be that one genuine patriot.

"We congratulate him on his historic leadership, and pledge to do everything in our power to persuade Congress to adopt all 35 Articles and put George W Bush on trial before the Senate of the United States, exactly as the Founding Fathers wanted."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that there will be no consideration of impeachment proceedings against Bush and said the idea was "off the table."

Kucinich's case: the 35 points

Article I

Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II

Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

Article III

Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV

Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V

Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI

Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII

Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII

Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX

Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X

Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI

Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII

Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation's Natural Resources

Article XIIII

Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV

Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV

Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI

Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII

Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII

Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX

Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to " Black Sites" Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX

Imprisoning Children

Article XXI

Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII

Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII

Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV

Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV

Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens

Article XXVI

Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII

Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII

Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX

Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article XXX

Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article XXXI

Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII

Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII

Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV

Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV

Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders

Friday, June 6, 2008

Permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq


Secret Security Pact Will Ensure Permanent Iraq Occupation
Election of new U.S. president will not change policy

Steve Watson
day, June 5, 2008

The London Independent reports:

The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country. [...]

Under the terms of the new treaty, the Americans would retain the long-term use of more than 50 bases in Iraq. American negotiators are also demanding immunity from Iraqi law for US troops and contractors, and a free hand to carry out arrests and conduct military activities in Iraq without consulting the Baghdad government.

Further details have emerged from senior Iraqi military sources who have detailed the wish on behalf of the White House to control Iraqi airspace below 29,000ft and secure the right to launch military campaigns against other countries from inside Iraq:

The military source added, "According to this agreement, the American forces will keep permanent military bases on Iraqi territory, and these will include Al Asad Military base in the Baghdadi area close to the Syrian border, Balad military base in northern Baghdad close to Iran, Habbaniyah base close to the town of Fallujah and the Ali Bin Abi Talib military base in the southern province of Nasiriyah close to the Iranian border."

Naturally, the details have provoked strong reaction from the Iranian government. Iraq's most revered Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has stated that he will not allow Iraq to sign the deal with "the US occupiers" as long as he was alive.

It is thought that the Iraqi government will do so as it is effectively powerless without U.S. backing and would almost certainly be ousted.

Even both Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have previously asserted that the Bush junta is trying to lock a new president into a long-term presence. The security pact would mean any proposals to withdraw troops from Iraq by Obama, should he be elected, would effectively be scuppered.

The neocon militaristic approach to globalist domination of the region would therefore continue into a Obama presidency, whether his own power brokers and kingpins, such as Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, liked it or not.

Bush-a-like John McCain's views on the occupation are now legendary thanks to his "100 years is fine" comments.

Earlier this year, White House Press Secretary Perino provided an example of the administration's incredible doublespeak on permanent bases, arguing the White House does not view any U.S. military installations overseas as being "permanent":

"The United States, where we are, where we have bases, we are there at the invitation of those countries. I'm not aware of any place in the world — where we have a base — that they are asking us to leave. And if they did, we would probably leave," said spokeswoman Dana Perino. […]

Top aides to US President George W. Bush have countered that the strife-torn country's government could ask US forces to leave at any time, meaning that bases are not technically "permanent."

Administration officials have keenly used the words "continuing" or "enduring" in reference to bases, rather than "permanent" bases.

Though Congress voted to ban permanent bases in Iraq last year, the administration effectively ignored the ruling as the President issued a "signing statement" claiming he reserved the right to disregard a section that bars funding for permanent bases as he signed the fiscal year 2008 defense authorization bill into law.

Defense Secretary Gates commented in January "I think it is pretty clear that such an agreement would not talk about force levels. It would not involve -- we have no interest in permanent bases,".

Back in February, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote in the Washington Post, "nothing will authorize permanent bases in Iraq (something neither we nor Iraqis want)."

Despite this empty rhetoric, the Pentagon continues to spend billions on the construction of permanent bases. And still the military continues to deny that it has plans for any permanent military bases.

Many analysts have documented the desire to establish a long-term military presence in Iraq as one of the primary reasons behind the 2003 neocon led invasion. Joseph Gerson, a historian of American military bases, said:

"The Bush administration's intention is to have a long-term military presence in the region ... For a number of years the US has sought to use a number of means to make sure it dominates in the Middle East ... The Bush administration sees Iraq as an unsinkable aircraft carrier for its troops and bases for years to come."

Zoltan Grossman, a geographer at Evergreen State College in Washington, said:

"After every US military intervention since 1990 the Pentagon has left behind clusters of new bases in areas where it never before had a foothold. The new string of bases stretch from Kosovo and adjacent Balkan states, to Iraq and other Persian Gulf states, into Afghanistan and other central Asian states ... The only two obstacles to a geographically contiguous US sphere of influence are Iran and Syria."

Former President Jimmy Carter has also spoken of the plan for permanent bases in the region:

"[T]here are people in Washington … who never intend to withdraw military forces from Iraq and they're looking for ten, 20, 50 years in the future … the reason that we went into Iraq was to establish a permanent military base in the gulf region, and I have never heard any of our leaders say that they would commit themselves to the Iraqi people that ten years from now there will be no military bases of the United States in Iraq."

Congressman Ron Paul also highlighted the ongoing effort to establish a permanent occupation during the presidential debates last year when he said:

"They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years. … We've been in the Middle East," Paul said in explaining his opposition to going to war in Iraq. "Right now, we're building an embassy in Iraq that is bigger than the Vatican. We're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting.

We have previously covered in depth the documented Pentagon programs to stoke violence and civil war in Iraq as a pretext to stay there, build permanent bases and dominate the region.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was never about the "democracy crap", as one unnamed official so succinctly put it. The neocon architects of the invasion always intended to gain total control over the country in order to secure a permanent ability to launch attacks and military interventions anywhere in the region, be it Iran, Syria, or any other nation who might challenge the new world order President H.W. Bush so proudly announced in 1991.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

John Pilger: From Kennedy To Obama; Liberalism's Last Fling

Hi, Impeachment Person,
I do not know a better reporter than John Pilger. He always hits the nail on its head. Allan Brison spotted and forwarded it.

From Kennedy To Obama; Liberalism's Last Fling

By John Pilger

In this season of 1968 nostalgia, one anniversary illuminates today. It is the rise and fall of Robert Kennedy, who would have been elected president of the United States had he not been assassinated in June 1968. Having travelled with Kennedy up to the moment of his shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on 5 June, I heard The Speech many times. He would 'return government to the people' and bestow 'dignity and justice' on the oppressed. 'As Bernard Shaw once said,' he would say, ''Most men look at things as they are and wonder why. I dream of things that never were and ask: Why not?'' That was the signal to run back to the bus. It was fun until a hail of bullets passed over our shoulders.

Kennedy's campaign is a model for Barack Obama. Like Obama, he was a senator with no achievements to his name. Like Obama, he raised the expectations of young people and minorities. Like Obama, he promised to end an unpopular war, not because he opposed the war's conquest of other people's land and resources, but because it was 'unwinnable'.

Should Obama beat John McCain to the White House in November, it will be liberalism's last fling. In the United States and Britain, liberalism as a war-making, divisive ideology is once again being used to destroy liberalism as a reality. A great many people understand this, as the hatred of Blair and new Labour attest, but many are disoriented and eager for 'leadership' and basic social democracy. In the US, where unrelenting propaganda about American democratic uniqueness disguises a corporate system based on extremes of wealth and privilege, liberalism as expressed through the Democratic Party has played a crucial, compliant role.

In 1968, Robert Kennedy sought to rescue the party and his own ambitions from the threat of real change that came from an alliance of the civil rights campaign and the anti-war movement then commanding the streets of the main cities, and which Martin Luther King had drawn together until he was assassinated in April that year. Kennedy had supported the war in Vietnam and continued to support it in private, but this was skillfully suppressed as he competed against the maverick Eugene McCarthy, whose surprise win in the New Hampshire primary on an anti-war ticket had forced President Lyndon Johnson to abandon the idea of another term. Using the memory of his martyred brother, Kennedy assiduously exploited the electoral power of delusion among people hungry for politics that represented them, not the rich.

'These people love you,' I said to him as we left Calexico, California, where the immigrant population lived in abject poverty and people came like a great wave and swept him out of his car, his hands fastened to their lips.

'Yes, yes, sure they love me,' he replied. 'I love them!' I asked him how exactly he would lift them out of poverty: just what was his political philosophy?

'Philosophy? Well, it's based on a faith in this country and I believe that many Americans have lost this faith and I want to give it back to them, because we are the last and the best hope of the world, as Thomas Jefferson said.'

'That's what you say in your speech. Surely the question is: How?'

'How? . . . by charting a new direction for America.'

The vacuities are familiar. Obama is his echo. Like Kennedy, Obama may well 'chart a new direction for America' in specious, media-honed language, but in reality he will secure, like every president, the best damned democracy money can buy.

As their contest for the White House draws closer, watch how, regardless of the inevitable personal smears, Obama and McCain draw nearer to each other. They already concur on America's divine right to control all before it. 'We lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good,' said Obama. 'We must lead by building a 21st-century military . . . to advance the security of all people [emphasis added].' McCain agrees. Obama says in pursuing 'terrorists' he would attack Pakistan. McCain wouldn't quarrel. Both candidates have paid ritual obeisance to the regime in Tel Aviv, unquestioning support for which defines all presidential ambition. In opposing a UN Security Council resolution implying criticism of Israel's starvation of the people of Gaza, Obama was ahead of both McCain and Hillary Clinton. In January, pressured by the Israel lobby, he massaged a statement that 'nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people' to now read: 'Nobody has suffered more than the Palestinian people from the failure of the Palestinian leadership to recognise Israel [emphasis added].' Such is his concern for the victims of the longest, illegal military occupation of modern times. Like all the candidates, Obama has furthered Israeli/Bush fictions about Iran, whose regime, he says absurdly, 'is a threat to all of us'.

On the war in Iraq, Obama the dove and McCain the hawk are almost united. McCain now says he wants US troops to leave in five years (instead of '100 years', his earlier option). Obama has now 'reserved the right' to change his pledge to get troops out next year. 'I will listen to our commanders on the ground,' he now says, echoing Bush. His adviser on Iraq, Colin Kahl, says the US should maintain up to 80,000 troops in Iraq until 2010. Like McCain, Obama has voted repeatedly in the Senate to support Bush's demands for funding of the occupation of Iraq; and he has called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His senior advisers embrace McCain's proposal for an aggressive 'league of democracies', led by the United States, to circumvent the United Nations.
Like McCain, he would extend the crippling embargo on Cuba.

Amusingly, both have denounced their 'preachers' for speaking out. Whereas McCain's man of God praised Hitler, in the fashion of lunatic white holy-rollers, Obama's man, Jeremiah Wright, spoke an embarrassing truth. He said that the attacks of 11 September 2001 had taken place as a consequence of the violence of US power across the world. The media demanded that Obama disown Wright and swear an oath of loyalty to the Bush lie that 'terrorists attacked America because they hate our freedoms'. So he did. The conflict in the Middle East, said Obama, was rooted not 'primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel', but in 'the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam'. Journalists applauded. Islamophobia is a liberal speciality.

The American media love both Obama and McCain. Reminiscent of mating calls by Guardian writers to Blair more than a decade ago, Jann Wenner, founder of the liberal Rolling Stone, wrote: 'There is a sense of dignity, even majesty, about him, and underneath that ease lies a resolute discipline . . . Like Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama challenges America to rise up, to do what so many of us long to do: to summon 'the better angels of our nature'.' At the liberal New Republic, Charles Lane confessed: 'I know it shouldn't be happening, but it is. I'm falling for John McCain.' His colleague Michael Lewis had gone further. His feelings for McCain, he wrote, were like 'the war that must occur inside a 14-year-old boy who discovers he is more sexually attracted to boys than to girls'.

The objects of these uncontrollable passions are as one in their support for America's true deity, its corporate oligarchs. Despite claiming that his campaign wealth comes from small individual donors, Obama is backed by the biggest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as the huge hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. 'Seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors,' wrote the investigator Pam Martens, 'consisted of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged time and again with looting the public and newly implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages.' A report by United for a Fair Economy, a non-profit group, estimates the total loss to poor Americans of colour who took out sub-prime loans as being between $164bn and $213bn: the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded for people of colour in the United States. 'Washington lobbyists haven't funded my campaign,' said Obama in January, 'they won't run my White House and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president.' According to files held by the Centre for Responsive Politics, the top five contributors to the Obama campaign are registered corporate lobbyists.

What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's. By offering a 'new', young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US anti-war and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.

America's war on Iran has already begun. In December, Bush secretly authorised support for two guerrilla armies inside Iran, one of which, the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, is described by the state department as terrorist. The US is also engaged in attacks or subversion against Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bolivia and Venezuela. A new military command, Africom, is being set up to fight proxy wars for control of Africa's oil and other riches. With US missiles soon to be stationed provocatively on Russia's borders, the Cold War is back. None of these piracies and dangers has raised a whisper in the presidential campaign, not least from its great liberal hope.

Moreover, none of the candidates represents so-called mainstream America. In poll after poll, voters make clear that they want the normal decencies of jobs, proper housing and health care. They want their troops out of Iraq and the Israelis to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbours. This is a remarkable testimony, given the daily brainwashing of ordinary Americans in almost everything they watch and read.

On this side of the Atlantic, a deeply cynical electorate watches British liberalism's equivalent last fling. Most of the 'philosophy' of new Labour was borrowed wholesale from the US. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were interchangeable. Both were hostile to traditionalists in their parties who might question the corporate-speak of their class-based economic policies and their relish for colonial conquests. Now the British find themselves spectators to the rise of new Tory, distinguishable from Blair's new Labour only in the personality of its leader, a former corporate public relations man who presents himself as Tonier than thou. We all deserve better.
- John Pilger is a world-renowned journalist, author and documentary filmmaker
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