Archive for October 27th, 2007

We the People….will not Comply to Tyranny!

by GEF @ 7:02 PM MST


Editorial Oct. 24, 2007


It took common people – farmers, brewers, printers, silversmiths – to write the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights some 218 years ago. And it looks as if it’s up to the common people to try to defend those principles.

Somebody has to step up here.

The Bush administration mocks each provision of the Bill of Rights that protects private citizens from their government, and likewise pushes past constitutional constraints that protect other branches of government from the presidency.

Meanwhile, most federal courts equivocate their way to approve most of these actions, and Congress, even though in control of the opposition party, dithers and compromises away our basic rights for fear of accusations of being soft on terror. The media, meanwhile, fawns and yawns its way through this immense power grab, distracted by the search for another faux pas by Britney Spears or startling new evidence about who killed Princess Diana.

The good news comes out of 12 jurors in a Dallas courtroom on Monday. The jury sat and listened for two months to the testimony of federal agents, Israeli intelligence officers, wiretaps, videotapes and saw thousands of documents produced by government prosecutors. They worked their way through 197 counts of charges against a charitable fundraising organization called the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Muslim organization that says it directs funds to the construction of hospitals and providing food for the poor in Palestine.

The Bush Administration closed the group down and froze its assets in December 2001 for supposedly financing terror attacks and murder around the world. The case against the Holy Land Foundation was the largest prosecution case by the U.S. government against an Islamic fundraising group.

Instead, a jury of common people told the judge, after two months of testimony and 19 days of sifting through testimony and evidence, that they were ready to acquit three of five defendants on almost all charges and could not reach a verdict on the other defendants or charges. The judge declared a mistrial and threw the case out.


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Rumsfeld hit with torture lawsuit while visiting Paris

anthony @ 22:05 BST

Jason Rhyne | Raw Story | Friday October 26, 2007

Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s jaunt to France was interrupted today by an unscheduled itinerary item — he was slapped with a criminal complaint charging him with torture.

Rumsfeld, in Paris for a discussion sponsored by the magazine Foreign Policy, was by tracked down by representatives of a coalition of international human rights groups, who informed the architect of the US invasion of Iraq that they had submitted a torture suit against him in French court.

The filed documents allege that during his tenure, the former defense secretary “ordered and authorized” torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military’s detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (more…)

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The New York Times, Iran, and International Law

Sudhan@21:40 CET

By Howard Friel | October 25, 2007

Once again, an American president is threatening to use force against another country; in this case, the Bush administration is threatening, at a minimum, to launch cruise missiles into Iran. President Bush also recently said that a military confrontation with Iran could lead to World War III. And once again, such threats demonstrate that the U.S . news media is content to permit the president to operate outside the U.S. Constitution and the UN Charter when it comes to one of the most important and momentous foreign policy decisions-when to resort to the threat and use of force against another country. How can it be that one person, given our well-established system of constitutional checks and balances, can make that decision alone without any immediate need to defend the territorial borders of the United States against an armed attack?

It is clear that the president has no legal authority under the Constitution or the Charter to decide whether to attack another country. According to the Constitution’s delegation of war powers, only the Congress is authorized “to declare war,” while the president as “Commander in Chief” has the authority to conduct war once it is declared by Congress. Referring to the constitutional limitations placed upon the president, James Madison wrote: “Those who are to conduct war cannot in the nature of things be the proper judges whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded.”

Keep reading . . .

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Extraordinary Powers of the Unitary Executive

by Geezer Power …11:15 am

The Path to Power

October 26, 2007

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL.

For our friends in California, we begin with condolences for the miseries of fire, fear, and evacuations. And to those of you living in the Southeast, where suddenly people are talking about an epic shortage of water, we’ll be watching and hoping you show the rest of us how to meet one of the century’s looming challenges. Where I grew up in Texas farmers would look up at the scorching skies and say: “You never miss the water until the well runs dry.”

Now on to our report this week. Some of you will remember that back in July the conservative scholar Bruce Fein was here on the JOURNAL expressing outrage over expansion of presidential powers under Bush and Cheney.

BRUCE FEIN: Take for instance the assertion that he’s made that when he’s out to collect foreign intelligence, no other branch can tell him what to do. That means he can intercept your emails, your phone calls, open your regular mail, he can break and enter your home, he can even kidnap you, claiming I’m seeking foreign intelligence there is no other branch – Congress can’t make it illegal, judges can’t say this is illegal. I can do anything I want.

BILL MOYERS: Many others have joined Bruce Fein’s chorus of concern. This week it’s the muckraking populist Jim Hightower. Writing in his newsletter the Hightower Lowdown, shown here on the Web site Alternet, he asks the question: “Is a presidential coup under way?”

He goes on to say, “The Constitution is being trampled, the very form of our government is being perverted, and nothing less than American democracy itself is endangered.”

We’ve posted Jim Hightower’s Lowdown on our web page at pbs.org so that you can read the whole of his argument about it.

But here’s some background as to why so many people of different political stripes are alarmed. President Bush and Vice President Cheney espouse the theory of the unitary executive. That means the President’s orders can’t be reviewed, questioned, or altered by the other two branches of government. He alone can say what the law means, or whether or not it will be enforced or ignored. In effect, George W. Bush says his powers must be unilateral and unchecked.

Critics claim the President has used the war on terror to put himself above the law and that he has created a secret presidency of classified decisions and orders, that approve extraordinary renditions, torture, illegal detentions, and wiretapping without warrants with the collaboration of big telecom companies. This boundless secrecy and surveillance evokes images counter to American values.

~Read More~


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Alex Jones’ Endgame

anthony @ 18:00 BST

A high-definition version of this film is available for download at prisonplanet.tv along with many other Alex Jones documentaries.

Alternatively, visit newly-opened Friends of the American Revolution Bookstore to purchase the video.

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anthony @ 12:50 BST

…the day stays grey and lonely for Little Orphan Annie and Sandy gets sent to the pound and eternal sleep!

Daddy Warbucks

Excerpt: “I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System. We were told to leave our last names behind us. We were told further that we should avoid dining together on the night of our departure. We were instructed to come one at a time and as unobtrusively as possible to the railroad terminal on the New Jersey littoral of the Hudson where Senator Aldrich’s private car would be in readiness attached to the rear-end of a train to the south. Once aboard the private car we began to observe the taboo that had been fixed on last names. We addressed one another as Ben, Paul, Nelson and Abe. Davison and I adopted even deeper disguises abandoning our first names. On the theory that we were always right, he became Wilbur and I became Orville after those two aviation pioneers the Wright brothers. The servants and train crew may have known the identities of one or two of us, but they did not know all and it was the names of all printed together that would’ve made our mysterious journey significant in Washington, in Wall Street, even in London. Discovery we knew simply must not happen.” (Frank Vanderlip, Saturday Evening Post, February 9, 1935)


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Reducing US Casualties By Killing More Civilians

Sudhan@10:35 CET

Home of the Brave?


Several years ago, I warned that as the Bush/Cheney administration sought to reduce politically problematic casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would resort to increased use of air attacks to combat the growing insurgency in Iraq and the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

I also predicted that the result of this switch in tactics would lead to higher civilian casualties in those two countries.

We’re now seeing those results.

In the latest reports from Iraq, we had 15 women and children slain, mostly in their homes by rockets and bullets fired from helicopter and fixed-wing gunships which were allegedly in pursuit of some supposed “al Qaeda” fighters, and as many as 17 civilians killed in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood when US forces called in air strikes after seeing a group of men they deemed to be hostile. Again those airstrikes ended up killing more civilians than alleged enemy fighters.

Keep reading . . .

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