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Archive for December 7th, 2007

Bush Administration Admits they are Above the Law!

by GEF @ 8:48 PM MST

via: TPM

Whitehouse Discloses DoJ Legal Opinions on Executive Power

Earlier today, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-WA) took to the Senate floor to explain why he thinks it’s important to actively counteract the administration’s continual exertions of executive power. A telling illustration of that continual effort is what they do “when they think no one is looking,” he said.

He then went on:

For years under the Bush Administration, the Office of Legal Counsel within the Department of Justice has issued highly classified secret legal opinions related to surveillance. This is an administration that hates answering to an American court, that wants to grade its own papers, and OLC is the inside place the administration goes to get legal support for its spying program. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I was given access to those opinions, and spent hours poring over them. Sitting in that secure room, as a lawyer, as a former U.S. Attorney, legal counsel to Rhode Island’s Governor, and State Attorney General, I was increasingly dismayed and amazed as I read on.

To give you an example of what I read, I have gotten three legal propositions from these OLC opinions declassified. Here they are, as accurately as my note taking could reproduce them from the classified documents. Listen for yourself. I will read all three, and then discuss each one.

1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under Article II.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President’s legal determinations.

Those three principles, he said, boiled down to:

1. “I don’t have to follow my own rules, and I don’t have to tell you when I’m breaking them.”2. “I get to determine what my own powers are.”

3. “The Department of Justice doesn’t tell me what the law is, I tell the Department of Justice what the law is.”

You can read the entirety of his remarks here.

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737s not 767s used in Twin Towers Attacks

anthony @ 17:35 GMT, updated 14:27 GMT, December 7, 2007

The planes which flew into the Twin Towers on 9/11 could not possibly have been Boeing 767s, as we have been led to believe.

In the first place, the planes which hit the Twin Towers were estimated to be doing more than 500 miles per hour, an impossible speed for Boeing 767s to be flying at at an altitude of 700 ft (they would simply disintegrate at that speed because of the density of the air), a fact established by Joseph Keith and confirmed by Boeing spokeswoman Leslie Hazzard and Boeing engineer Lori Bechtold in this video.

That immediately rules out flights 11 and 175 which were both Boeing 767s.

Secondly, the planes which hit the Twin Towers were seen to penetrate the wall of the buildings leaving a huge gaping hole. This, a Boeing 767, which is constructed of aluminium, could not do unaided by some other agency. I earlier speculated whether some kind of laser weapon like the one mounted on the 747 was used, but I think we can discount this possibility in the light of Jaclyn Cady’s comments. It would appear, then, that some more conventional weapon mounted on the plane’s fusilage was used. It is interesting in this respect in that videos of the planes hitting the Twin Towers show a bright flash just before the moment of impact.

Thirdly, eyewitnesses reported that both planes did not have commercial markings and did not have windows.

Fourthly, the aircraft engine found at the site of the South Tower was a CMF-56, which does not have enough power to lift a Boeing 767 off the ground!

Lastly, Flight 93, the plane purportedly shot down over Pennsylvania was spotted at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on April 10, 2003, and according to the FAA, Flights 93 and 175 are still valid.

As to the kind of plane used in the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks, the most likely culprit would seem to be the Boeing 737. Compare this video of the South Tower aircraft and pictures of the South Tower plane below with the pictures of a Boeing 737 plane above and a Boeing 767 further below:

Look especially at the engines on the South Tower plane and how on the 737 they are on pods below the wings whereas on the 767 they are integrated with the wing.

And BTW, what engine does a Boeing 737 use? Yes, you’ve guessed it, a CMF-56!

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Olbermann Puts NIE/Bush into Perspective!

by GEF @ 06:08 AM MST

Via: C&L

Countdown Special Comment: The NIE Reflects An “Unhinged, Irrational Chicken Little Of A President”

Video Here

Far more scary than the nuclear threat presented by Iran, the NIE report released this week reveals a more domestic threat to the republic:

We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.

A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.

Transcripts below the fold

(Read the rest of this story…)

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Blackwater’s Bu$ine$$

Sudhan @10:45 CET

Jeremy Scahill | The Nation, posted December 6, 2007 (December 24, 2007 issue)

Gunning down seventeen Iraqi civilians in an incident the military has labeled “criminal.” Multiple Congressional investigations. A federal grand jury. Allegations of illegal arms smuggling. Wrongful death lawsuits brought by families of dead employees and US soldiers. A federal lawsuit alleging war crimes. Charges of steroid use by trigger-happy mercenaries. Allegations of “significant tax evasion.” The US-installed government in Iraq labeling its forces “murderers.” With a new scandal breaking practically every day, one would think Blackwater security would be on the ropes, facing a corporate meltdown or even a total wipeout. But it seems that business for the company has never been better, as it continues to pull in major federal contracts. And its public demeanor grows bolder and cockier by the day.

Keep reading . . .

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