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Posts Tagged ‘Illegal Wiretapping’

Pelosi: Bush Administration lawbreakers should face prosecution, not immunity

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Thursday February 26, 2009

Not so fast.

Bush administration officials who broke the law should face criminal prosecution and shouldn’t get immunity in exchange for testimony under a proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission being discussed in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in an interview broadcast late Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) yesterday announced his committee will hold hearings on creating a panel to investigate alleged crimes committed by Bush administration officials, including torture of detainees and illegal wiretapping. Leahy has said the panel would avoid criminal charges except in cases of perjury.

Pelosi said she supported the investigation, but any plan should hold open the possibility of prosecution.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Civil rights group to Obama: Release secret Bush memos

Raw Story- Mike Sheehan
Published: Wednesday January 28, 2009

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is calling on the Justice Department to release Bush administration documentation pertaining to torture, surveillance and other controversial national security policies.

The civil rights watchdog sent a letter today to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, the same office that provided legal advice to the White House under George W. Bush.

The secret memos were essentially the legal foundation for many of the Bush adminstration’s questionable practices, says the ACLU in a news release received by Raw Story.

The Bush White House vigorously fought the release of such revealing (some would say, damning) documentation in the interests, it insisted, of protecting national security and other factors.

The ACLU’s filing of the Freedom of Information Act request follows President Obama’s recent directive to minimize federal secrecy and “usher in a new era of open government.”

The request is seen as a test of the freshly inaugurated president’s transparency policy. “The ACLU now sees a new opening,” writes Marisa Taylor of McClatchy Newspapers.

The new policy is a promise by Obama that the rights group hopes he follows through with. “President Obama should be commended” for his commitment to openness, said an ACLU director. “We’re eager to see this commitment put into practice.”

The release of the secret documentation will help the nation–and the world–move on from the “lawless conduct” of the Bush administration, the ACLU argues.

More details on the ACLU’s pursuit of the information release is here. Excerpts from their press release today follow…

MORE HERE

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Conyers publishes massive report on ‘Imperial Presidency’

Raw Story- Stephen C. Webster
Published: Tuesday January 13, 2009

Report demands investigation of Bush administration’s abuses of power

Everyone wants to know: will Obama order investigations into the Bush administration’s abuses of power? But, perhaps a better question would be: if he doesn’t, who will?

House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), it appears, will at least try.

Conyers published a 487-page report (PDF link) Tuesday titled, “Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the presidency of George W. Bush.”

Conyers’ report makes 47 recommendations “designed to restore the traditional checks and balances of our constitutional system,” reads the foreward. Recommendations include the establishment of a ‘blue ribbon’ commission to fully investigate the Bush administration, and the launch of criminal probes.

“Even after scores of hearings, investigations, and reports, we still do not have answers to some of the most fundamental questions left in the wake of Bush’s Imperial Presidency,” Conyers said in a release. “Investigations are not a matter of payback or political revenge – it is our responsibility to examine what has occurred and to set an appropriate baseline of conduct for future administrations.”

On Jan. 6, Conyers introduced a bill that, if passed, would create the “Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties,” which would seek to root out President Bush’s abuses.

MORE HERE

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Think Progress- By Satyam Khanna at 4:32 pm

Conyers introduces bill creating commission to investigate Bush’s torture and wiretapping policies.»

TPM notes that House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced legislation setting up a National Commission on Presidential War Powers and Civil Liberties. The panel’s goal is to “establish a Blue Ribbon Commission comprised of experts outside government service to investigate the broad range of policies of the Bush administration that were undertaken by the Bush administration under claims of unreviewable war powers.” While he is unlikely to prosecute Bush officials for war crimes, President-elect Obama has hinted at support for such a commission.

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Conyers On Prosecuting Bush Team: “Stay Tuned”

January 9, 2009 10:08 AM

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

Rep. John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is still invested in prosecuting members of the Bush administration once they leave office.

In an interview on the “Bill Press Show” Friday, the Michigan Democrat floated the notion that the Bush team’s illegal wiretapping, torture, detention, and other practices could land some members in an international tribunal.

“I don’t want to get too speculative on that, because it’s still under review,” said Conyers on the radio show. “Now, remember, violation of the federal criminal code doesn’t end because you leave office. If a crime has been committed and there seems to be reasonable evidence that it did get committed, there’s nothing for a person to be prosecuted… Leaving office doesn’t free you up from what you may have done wrong … Anyone that leaves office, including [the] President … there’s the World Court … They have tribunals … This thing is not over with. As they say: Stay tuned.”

MORE HERE

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