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Archive for June 7th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:55 PM MST

From: Think Progress

By Satyam at 5:55 pm

McCain: It’s ‘Ambiguous’ Whether Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program Was Illegal, ‘Let’s Move Forward’»

Yesterday, the New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported that in a recent letter, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, top aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), said McCain believes that the Constitution gave President Bush the authority to wiretap Americans without warrants. The actions “were Constitutional and appropriate in the wake of the attacks on September 11, 2001,” Holtz-Eakin said.

At a news conference yesterday, a reporter asked McCain whether Bush’s warrantless National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, exposed in December 2005, was illegal. McCain said it’s unclear whether Bush broke the law by spying on Americans without court approval. The Times reports:

It’s ambiguous as to whether the president acted within his authority of not,’’ he said, saying courts had ruled different ways on the matter. “I’m not interested in going back. I’m interested in addressing the challenge we face to day of trying to do everything we can to counter organizations and individuals that want to destroy this country. So there’s ambiguity about it. Let’s move forward.’’

It’s not ambiguous as to whether spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 specifically states that the President can authorize spying without a court order only if:

–”There is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party

– “The acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers

In contrast, Bush’s warrantless spy program, as the New York Times explained in December 2005, authorized “warrantless eavesdropping on those inside the United States – including American citizens.”

In fact, in August 2006, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor declared the program unconstitutional, as it “violates the separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.” Taylor added that “the president of the United States…has undisputedly violated the Fourth [amendment] in failing to procure judicial orders.”

McCain has also recently embraced retroactive immuity for telecommunications companies that helped the Bush Administration target Americans without court orders. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation noted yesterday, McCain’s campaign is staffed by aides with close ties to the telecom industry.

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Evening Jukebox… Radar Love

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:45 PM MST

Golden Earring- Radar Love

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The Hillary as “Commander in Chief ” Fiasco

by Geezer Power…1:42 pm

Well, in case you were wondering about Hillary as “Commander in Chief”, the concept has been around for a while, as shown by the show premiered on ABC in September 2005. It didn’t last long though and ended in early 2006. A sad commentary on our controlled media that shows ABC and Disney were testing out the TV audience two years before the primaries.

So today we see Hillary still spinning the “Commander in Chief” concept while telling the people what she will do for them. She doesn’t seem to be operating in the here and now, and Obama has left her in the dust by including “We The People” in the role of what will be done in his administration. A giant step toward change that has gone
unnoticed by her advisers.

Hillary’s Show: Commander in Chief gets the Axe!

Well, it looks like America has rejected the new ABC show Commander in Chief. I have to admit I’ve never seen the show but it was obvious it was an attempt to get the population accustomed to a female President. The reason I feel confident to make that statement is due to the show having Hillary’s fingerprints all over it.
ABC insiders denied there’s any connection between the Hillary Campaign and the series. But look who was one of the main writers in the show, turns out to be Steve Cohen who served as the then first lady’s deputy communications director throughout the 1990’s!

More

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Casus Bellie

anthony @ 16:48 BST

Former anti-terror czar: ‘Someone should have to pay’ for Bush administration lies

David Edwards and Muriel Kane | therawstory | Friday June 6, 2008

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released the long-delayed final phase of its report on prewar intelligence, highlighting the Bush administration’s misuse of that intelligence to lead us into war in Iraq. Richard Clarke, former counterterrorism advisor to both the Clinton and Bush administrations, appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the implications of the report.

Clarke stated unequivocally that figures in the administration lied then and that Senator John McCain is not telling the truth now when he defends them. “Someone should have to pay in some way,” Clarke emphasized. “I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society.”

“The report does not use the word ‘lie,’ Olbermann began. “Are there lies?”

“There certainly are,” Clarke replied. “This is a big report, but what it says is ‘statements by the president were not substantiated by intelligence … statements by the president were contradicted by available intelligence. In other words, they made things up … that people in the intelligence community at the time knew were not true. … To say that this is only something we could have known years later is just not true.”

“What are we to make now of Senator McCain’s … remarkable claim that every intel assessment of the time was screaming ‘WMD’?” asked Olbermann.

“Senator McCain’s statements are contradicted by the facts, too,” Clarke replied firmly. “He’s also now justifying the intelligence statements of the president. … We have the proof, four years too late, that those statements were flat out wrong.”

“Prominent Democrats said today that impeachment was not a remedy to this,” Olbermann continued. “Is there some other kind of remedy?”

“There may be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission process,” Clarke said, referring to the system used in South Africa to expose and resolve the atrocities of the apartheid era. “If you come forward and admit that you were in error … then you are forgiven. Otherwise, you are censured in some way.”

“I just don’t think we can let these people back into polite society,” continued Clarke, “and give them seats on university boards and corporate boards and just pretend that nothing ever happened, when there are 4000 American dead and 25,000 Americans grievously wounded. … Someone should have to pay in some way for the decisions that they made to mislead the American people.”

Clarke concluded by pointing out that even former White House press secretary Scott McClellan is now expressing remorse for his role in the administration’s deceptions. “He asked me to forgive him, and I think we do have to forgive people who ask for forgiveness,” Clarke stated. “But first they have to admit they lied.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast June 5, 2008.

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The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

anthony @ 15:30 BST

Vincent Bugliosi | HuffPost | June 7, 2008

The Legal Framework for the Prosecution

That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution. -Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765

No living Homo sapiens is above the law. -(Notwithstanding our good friends and legal ancestors across the water, this is a fact that requires no citation.)

With respect to the position I take about the crimes of George Bush, I want to state at the outset that my motivation is not political. Although I’ve been a longtime Democrat (primarily because, unless there is some very compelling reason to be otherwise, I am always for “the little guy”), my political orientation is not rigid. For instance, I supported John McCain’s run for the presidency in 2000. More to the point, whether I’m giving a final summation to the jury or writing one of my true crime books, credibility has always meant everything to me. Therefore, my only master and my only mistress are the facts and objectivity. I have no others. This is why I can give you, the reader, a 100 percent guarantee that if a Democratic president had done what Bush did, I would be writing the same, identical piece you are about to read.

Perhaps the most amazing thing to me about the belief of many that George Bush lied to the American public in starting his war with Iraq is that the liberal columnists who have accused him of doing this merely make this point, and then go on to the next paragraph in their columns. Only very infrequently does a columnist add that because of it Bush should be impeached. If the charges are true, of course Bush should have been impeached, convicted, and removed from office. That’s almost too self-evident to state. But he deserves much more than impeachment. I mean, in America, we apparently impeach presidents for having consensual sex outside of marriage and trying to cover it up. If we impeach presidents for that, then if the president takes the country to war on a lie where thousands of American soldiers die horrible, violent deaths and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, even babies are killed, the punishment obviously has to be much, much more severe. That’s just common sense. If Bush were impeached, convicted in the Senate, and removed from office, he’d still be a free man, still be able to wake up in the morning with his cup of coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice and read the morning paper, still travel widely and lead a life of privilege, still belong to his country club and get standing ovations whenever he chose to speak to the Republican faithful. This, for being responsible for over 100,000 horrible deaths?* For anyone interested in true justice, impeachment alone would be a joke for what Bush did. (more…)

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Searching For The ‘Great Whitey Tape’

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:30 AM MST

From: Carpetbagger Report

Thar she blows!: Searching for the ‘Great Whitey Tape’

Guest Post by Morbo

Herman Melville’s Captain Ahab became obsessed with searching for a great white whale. These days, some right-wingers are obsessing over the “great whitey tape.” Ahab’s search led him to a bad end, and I suspect the right wingers’ will as well.

If you’re just joining us, the “great whitey tape” (GWT) is an alleged recording of Michelle Obama at a conference in Chicago ranting about how “whitey” has done a lot of bad things to African Americans. As the legend goes, she was standing alongside Louis Farrakhan when she said this. Or maybe his wife. Or his sister. Or maybe his third cousin twice removed from Hoboken.

Promotion of the GWT started out as the project of a small nest of Obama-hating Clinton partisans, led by Larry Johnson. They were sure it was going to surface any day and destroy Obama’s campaign. Johnson apparently had plans to unveil the tape, but then took to saying he had merely talked to people who had heard it. I first heard about it this week, but the Carpetbagger has assured me that rumors about the GWT have been circulating for months.

Now right-wingers are getting in on the act. Alleged transcripts can be found on Free Republic, and the National Review Online’s blog has fixated on the matter lately, although writer Jim Geraghty seems skeptical.

A few people claim to have heard the tape. They describe it as “explosive” or “jaw-dropping.” But no one ever seems able to lay hands on it. That’s a good sign that it doesn’t exist.

This is an age where just about everything everybody does ends up on You Tube, yet something this shocking remains in the same class as the Loch Ness Monster — lots of claimed sightings but no corpse.

Some bloggers seem to think the tape may exist but argue that Obama was saying “why’d he” (in a reference to Bush), not “whitey.” It’s an interesting argument but irrelevant as long as we have no tape.

Some advice for the kooks: Ahab’s obsession put him in a bad place; don’t go there.

Instead of praying for bigfoot to ride out of the Pacific Northwest in a UFO bearing the Michelle Obama tape, maybe you guys should engage Barack Obama on the issues. Try explaining to the American people why your guy McCain and the Republican Party have a great plan for the country. Tell us why you deserve to retain control of the White House. Defend President George W. Bush and defend his achievements. Explain why they are worth preserving and indeed continuing. Let us know why you’re better than Obama and the Democrats. Try winning an election on issues, not mud-slinging.

Or are you afraid?

Post Script: Given the evidence, the non-existent tape appears to be a work of fiction. In this case, I mean that literally — the rumors appear to have originated in a novel, published two years ago, about an African-American presidential candidate seeking the Democratic nomination. In the fictional story, the candidate’s enemies find a video of the presidential hopeful telling a radical black minister how he will “f**k whitey” if elected.

Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld concluded, “If this was the basis for the rumor, Obama was forced to respond not just to a rumor, but to one that was consciously based on a published work of fiction. Welcome to General Election 2008, everyone!”

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anthony @ 14:35 BST

Andrew McLemore | Rawstory | Friday June 6, 2008

The 56th Bilderberg Meeting, an annual conference of influential politicians and businessmen, began Thursday in Chantilly, Virgina, according to a press release from the organization.

The Conference will end Sunday and deals mainly with a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, US-EU relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran.

According to the press release, the meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.

About 140 participants will attend, of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America. About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education and communications.

An official list of the attendees can be found at Alex Jones’ Infowars.

Although it is an international forum, many prominent American officials and politicians attend the conference, including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and Paul Wolfowitz.

James Johnson, the man tasked with selecting Barack Obama’s running mate, is also on the list to attend the conference.

InfoWars also reported that Senator Barack Obama’s office has refused to deny that the Democratic nominee attended Bilderberg last night following reports that he and Hillary Clinton were present at “an event in Northern Virginia.”

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say where the former rivals met, except that it was not at Clinton’s home in Washington, reported the Associated Press.

“Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane,” the Associated Press reported.

Bilderberg takes its name from the hotel in Holland, pictured above, where the first meeting took place in May 1954. That meeting grew out of the concern expressed by leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should on common problems of critical importance, according to the group’s press release.

The organization has sometimes drawn speculation that it forms a “shadowy global government,” the BBC reported.

Coverage of the Bilberberg conference can be found at Infowars.

Excerpts from Bilderberg’s press release, available in full here, follow… (more…)

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Sudhan @10:50 CET

By Ivan Eland | Antiwar.com, June 7, 2008

President George W. Bush and Democratic and Republican luminaries broke ground recently at the future gleaming home of the United States Institute of Peace on the National Mall. After absorbing the speeches and, on the same day, the rather partisan Senate Intelligence Committee’s report that concluded the Bush administration lied to the United States regarding its ill-fated invasion and occupation of Iraq, one needs to dig just a bit to see what a bipartisan policy of interventionism the United States really has. The existence of bipartisan support for meddling in the business of other countries stands in stark contrast to the President’s remarks, which stated that he feared the U.S. was becoming “isolationist and nervous.”

Despite attending the launch of a government-funded organization ostensibly dedicated to peace, former Republican Secretary of State George P. Shultz praised President Bush’s policy of preventive war, saying, “In your time, I think this is one important idea that has real legs and staying power.” But the international community has long dreaded such wars because threats are often invented or wildly exaggerated to justify questionable “preventive” aggression, as demonstrated by the Senate Intelligence Committee’s findings about the inflated threats during the run up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

At the groundbreaking, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) made an attempt to make us believe the two parties have opposing foreign policies. Quoting Democratic President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 words, “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war,” was a veiled jab at the President’s Iraq policy. Of course, Pelosi didn’t mention that in 1961, Kennedy himself orchestrated the botched CIA attempt to invade Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro. Later, in 1962, he nearly initiated a nuclear world war for no strategic reason after the Soviets installed missiles in Cuba, a move intended to counter future U.S. invasions of the island.

Continued . . .

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