Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cheney to Elderly: KMA, YOYO

Big Time breaks a Senate tie to cut funding for the elderly, the sick and the poor.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Grounds for Impeachment

House Judiciary Democrats have issued a report alleging gross misconduct by Bush. The Report was produced at the request of Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. He made this request in the wake of the President’s failure to respond to a letter submitted by 122 Members of Congress and more than 500,000 Americans in July of this year asking him whether the assertions set forth in the Downing Street Minutes were accurate.

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war with Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and other legal violations in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration.

There is at least a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President and other members of the Bush Administration violate a number of federal laws, including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False Statements to Congress; (3) The War Powers Resolution; (4) Misuse of Government Funds; (5) federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; (6) federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals; and (7) federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence."

Read the full Report here.

"Terrorists" Now Include Catholic Workers, Environmentalists, Poverty and Animal Rights Groups

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 - Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.

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One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Conyers Introduces Resolutions to Censure Bush and Cheney

The Bush Resolution here.

The Cheney Resolution here.

House Resolution 636 seeks to censure the President for failing to respond to repeated requests for information on pre-war intelligence, possible war crimes against detainees and violation of international law, and retaliatory action against critics of the administration. House Resolution 637 seeks censure the Vice President for the same alleged abuses of power and failure to respond to repeated requests for information and testimony.

Bush Flip-Flops on Search Warrants

Bush, April 2004:

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution."


Bush, December 2005:

“To save American lives, we must be able to act fast and to detect these conversations so we can prevent new attacks. So, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, I authorized the interception of international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations. … This program has targeted those with known links to al Qaeda. I've reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for so long as our nation is -- for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens.”

'Berto: Congress Authorized Us to Wiretap Americans, But We Didn't Ask for Such Authorization Because We Were Afraid Congress Wouldn't Give It

"Q You have stretched this resolution for war into giving you carte blanche to do anything you want to do.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, one might make that same argument in connection with detention of American citizens, which is far more intrusive than listening into a conversation. There may be some members of Congress who might say, we never --

Q That's your interpretation. That isn't Congress' interpretation.

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: Well, I'm just giving you the analysis --

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Q If FISA didn't work, why didn't you seek a new statute that allowed something like this legally?

ATTORNEY GENERAL GONZALES: That question was asked earlier. We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be -- that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that -- and so a decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program."

Bush: "Get Lost Judiciary, I Interpret the Law"

"The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law."

—GWB, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000

Who could have imagined he was serious?

John Dean: Bush Has Admitted to an Impeachable Offense

Raw Story reports:

"Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has become the first in the Senate to raise consideration of impeachment of President George W. Bush for authorizing spying on Americans without warrants, RAW STORY has learned.

In a release issued this evening, Boxer said she's asked "four presidential scholars" for their opinion on impeachment after former White Housel counsel John Dean -- made famous by his role in revealing the Watergate tapes -- asserted that President Bush had 'admitted' to an 'impeachable offense.'"

More here.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bush and Nixon: Above the Law

David Frost Interview of Richard Nixon, May 19,1977:

FROST: So what in a sense, you're saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it's in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.


NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.


FROST: By definition.


NIXON: Exactly. Exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president's decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they're in an impossible position.

Alberto Gonzalez, December 19, 2005:
"We believe that the president has the inherent authority as commander in chief under the Constitution to engage in signals intelligence of our enemy, against al Qaeda, but we also believe the president has statutory authority."

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