Halliburton On The Hot Seat

Halliburton is charged with selling nuclear technology to Iran.  There is a loophole in the law that allows the foreign subsidiaries of American corporations that allows them to do business with countries like Iran, North Korea and Cuba.

(Thanks to Stranded Wind at DailyKos)

That was close..

The New York Times reports:

Top Bush administration officials in 2002 debated testing the Constitution by sending American troops into the suburbs of Buffalo to arrest a group of men suspected of plotting with Al Qaeda, according to former administration officials. (read story)

Cheney was all for it? Surprise, surprise. Some more familiar names crop up John Yoo or Alberto R. Gonzales. Condi was against it.

Your Constitution took a couple of hits during the Bush years, but this is proof how close they were to disband it altogether.

And this is what it was all about.

Former officials said the 2002 debate arose partly from Justice Department concerns that there might not be enough evidence to arrest and successfully prosecute the suspects in Lackawanna. Mr. Cheney, the officials said, had argued that the administration would need a lower threshold of evidence to declare them enemy combatants and keep them in military custody.

To think it would have been only “enemy combatants” who were the ultimate target of the “lower threshold of evidence” would be naive in the extreme. That was meant for you all.

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“Torture Works” vs. “I Make Up Stories”

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Dick Cheney has been trying to tell us that torture works (okay, he still refuses to use the word “torture”, but in the interests of accuracy and clarity, I will substitute the word “torture” for any other euphemism they may utilize), that we gained valuable intelligence from its use, and that “it saved lives.” Did it, Dick? Did it really save lives? Or did it cost lives? American lives? Americans in uniform? Did your insistence on the use, and staunch defense, of a series of illegally-authorized interrogation techniques, which were based on methods known to elicit false confessions, actually end up getting one or more of our soldiers killed?

Thanks to the ACLU, we now know that Dick Cheney was lying through his gritting teeth when he said we received valuable intelligence through the use of torture, particularly in the case of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (also, and more conveniently, known as “KSM”.) He claimed that intel “saved lives.” Given Dick’s well-documented history of spreading falsehoods, I have every reason in the world to believe that not only was this statement a lie, it was actually the opposite of the truth. I have reason to believe that people died because of the information we gained through torture. And the reason is a very simple one. KSM himself said, in his statement at his “Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing” (Pg 15):

I ah cannot remember now…I be under questioning so-many statement which been some them l make up stories just location UBL. Continue reading

Had Enough of This?

I’ve had enough of the Republicans and their lapdog media yapping about  Nancy Pelosi and what and when she was told about torture in 2002.   These Republicans and media pals have memories shorter than a worm’s.  It was Dennis Hastert (R) that was Speaker of the House in 2002 and he led the actions or better yet, led the inactions of Congress during the Bush/Cheney years.  Nancy Pelosi was not in a position of power during the Republican dominated Congress.  There was little that she could do at that time.  It was the responsibility of Dennis Hastert to speak up against torture.  Instead, Hastert and the Republicans in Congress along with their friends in the media turned their backs on the Constitution and the American people and did nothing.

Ultimately, however, the greatest horror of Hastert’s House was not confirmed by its specific failures to serve the American people who most needed a Congress to counter the malignant neglect of the Bush-Cheney administration. Rather, it was defined by the remaking of an essential legislative chamber as nothing more than an extension of the executive branch of the government. The damage to the Congress has been severe, as has been the damage to the Republic.

All this talk about Nancy Pelosi is a diversionary tactic by Republicans that are guilty of negligence.

Hastert’s House was a crude and unworkable place, where members who sought to uphold their oaths to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic” were held up to ridicule and forced to hold hearings on issues involving the most extreme abuses of presidential authority — lying to the Congress and the American people about matters of war and peace — in basement rooms.

So what exactly did Dennis Hastert know about torture?  When did he know it and why didn’t he do something about it?  Nothing more than Republican lies.  I’ve had enough of it.

(cross posted at PennsylvaniaforChange)

Send Bush to jail (and throw away the key)

I wrote in an earlier post, that one of my wishes for the Obama Presidency was signature and ratification of the Rome Statute which constitutes the International Criminal Court in The Hague. I still believe this should be done to restore the trust of the world in American politics by accepting accountability to international standards.  Initially my idea was to find a way to hold President Bush accountable and try him for his crimes in a court of law. However, after some research, I doubt that end would be achieved by joining in the ICC. The Rome Statute states explicitly that it’s rules apply to the signatory states only after the ratification unless it’s jurisdiction was approved retroactively by the signing state.  At least that is how I understood the text.  There may be lawyers among you who know better than me and I would very much appreciate to learn more from you.

I do think it is possible that an Obama Administration signs the statute (or re-signs it, it has already been signed by the Clinton Administration, but the Bush Administration “un-signed” it) and the Democratic Congress ratifies it. I don’t believe it would be made retroactive though, because that would amount to handing Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and some more to The Hague. Barack Obama, among other things, has stressed bi-partisanship and just imagine the Republican’s and their voters’ reaction.

So where does that leave you? You will have to go it alone. And the Bush Administration must be held accountable for their actions. There is a number of crimes that have been assembled by the National Lawyers Guild in an attempt to impeach Bush. In November Joel S. Hirschhorn wrote an article in MWCnews saying:

I want President Obama soon after taking office to go on television and announce the formation of a special group of outstanding jurists and attorneys to make a recommendation whether or not the US Justice Department should bring criminal charges against George W. Bush.  Based on earlier analyses, including work by the American Bar Association, I have no doubt they will recommend indictment.

I could not agree more. The documentary “Taxi to the Dark Side” ran on a German tv-channel yesterday and it brought back the atrocities of the “War on Terror”. And yes, I would like to see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo and some more held accountable for these crimes and more in a court of law.

Undecided Voters: McCain’s “That One” Remark – Their Verdict How “Childish”

McCain Refers To Obama “That One”

I know you grow a little weary with this back-and-forth. It was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies, and it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney.

You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one. You know who voted against it? Me. I have fought time after time against these pork barrel — these bills that come to the floor…


Undecided Voters: McCain’s ‘That One’ Remark Was “Over The Top”

The undecided voters thought it was very “childish” of McCain to make that remark. Their thoughts were it was over the top and they have put up with this for eight years, that’s enough.   What a jerk.

Bush to Blame-For Iraq Awash in Blood & “Missing” Weapons

This administration has set up very few systems to track weapons after they have been delivered. The million guns that Taos and other companies sold to Iraq in the last five years have been in danger of falling into the hands of sectarian or insurgent groups. An Amnesty International investigation found that, illicit gun suppliers, funded by the US and Iraqi governments, have inundated Iraq with a million guns since 2003.

Because of faulty or non-existent government tracking systems, many of those guns have gone missing, and some have turned up in the hands of insurgents.

Contracts with one of these companies, Taos Industries, account for almost half of the 217 million dollars Baghdad and Washington have officially spent to arm the Iraqi army, police and security forces employed by various Iraqi ministries.

Amnesty’s new report “Blood at the Crossroads: Making the Case for a Global Arms Trade Treaty” shines a light on the catastrophic human rights consequences of the kind of unrestrained arms trading that forms much of Taos’s business.

Taos Industries

David Hogan had been chief of foreign intelligence for the U.S. Army Missile Command at the Redstone Arsenal and retired from the military in 1989. He founded Taos Industries shortly after his retirement from the military. His corporation is the largest supplier of arms to Iraq since 2003.

From his vantage point as a former intelligence official in the missile command with knowledge of the “black budget” or secret military contracts used to buy such systems, Hogan was well aware that such opportunities could be very profitable.

Continue reading

About Sarah Palin

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Thanks to My2Buck$ for posting this letter. There’s not too much to say about this except that the media and McCain, who is always two steps behind every one else, is still focused on Palin’s family while we liberal bloggers, have moved on to other more important issues. If you thought that Dick Cheney was evil, well, Sarah Palin comes with similar baggage. And she is a true Republican that has taxed the poor and middle class and given tax relief to corporations. Sarah also has a history of throwing people, even friends, under the bus. Sounds like another McCain/Bush marriage.

This is a long letter and well worth reading.

Dear friends,

So many people have asked me about what I know about Sarah Palin in the
last 2 days that I decided to write something up . . .

Basically, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have only 2 things in
common: their gender and their good looks. 🙂

You have my permission to forward this to your friends/email contacts
with my name and email address attached, but please do not post it on
any websites, as there are too many kooks out there . . .



I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992.
Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a
first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her
father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a
first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more
City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the
residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular
girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and
won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because
she is a “babe”.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She
kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents
for seven months.

She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby.
There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby.

She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out
there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit.

Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a
champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly
sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his
work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or
so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their
major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything
like that of native Alaskans.

Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters.

She’s smart.
Continue reading

A Post-Bush/Cheney To-Do List

via: OpEdNews
by Rob Kall (executive editor and publisher of OpEdNews)

As soon as Bush slithers out of the Whitehouse, the next president, presumably a Democrat, unless the Dems totally screw up, will have a huge cleanup job.

Hillary and Barack both talk about the mess they’ll need to clean up. It would be useful to put together a list of things to-do, to recover from the Bush-Cheney disaster.

Here’s my shot at it. I’m hoping you’ll help fill it in using the comments.

-Get projections of the impact of continued problems caused by Bush Admin policy and widely report them as soon as possible so the public knows what to expect and who to blame.

-Reach out to leaders who are further left than your inner circle in building your team. Liberals and progressives are a growing portion of the population. If Obama is the winner, then part of his defeat of Hillary will be a repudiation and rejection of the right wing DLC policies she championed.

-Dump all of Bush’s political appointees. Do it immediately, in the first weeks in office. These political hacks, many former directors or lobbyists for industries they are supposed to regulate, have little or no retention value. Fire them all on Day One. Use career employees temporarily, replacing them with qualified appointees as soon as possible. Draw upon leaders who have advocated for stronger regulation.

-Urgently re-evaluate all the most important statistics used to report key numbers the people, businesses, industries and others depend upon. Identify changes in policies for calculating those numbers. Assume that Bush and Cheney have used statistics and revisions of the way things are counted to mislead and lie. Re-calculate them using the older, former formulae and policies to see just how bad the situation is, compared to the lies, distortions and deceptions Bush and company have perpetrated.

-Call for whistleblowers. Declare a period where whistleblowers are safe from repercussions and will be secure in their jobs. Ask them to identify any partisan activities, any policies of hiding or partially reporting important information. Congress should hold hearings on this. Whistleblowers should be offered large rewards for coming forward.

Read entire article.. (Excellent!! Lengthy, but thorough list!)

Breaking: Cheney considers to stay as a VP

*nudge*,*nudge* – *wink*,*wink*

(source: avantnews )

Cheney Offers to Stay on as Veep

Posted by admin on 2008/2/1 16:34:39 (292 reads)

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008

In a move that surprised most pundits, Dick Cheney has offered to “stay on” as Vice President following the conclusion of President Bush’s final term. The offer, which the vice president announced during his regular 7:30 am interview on Fox Morning Talking Points, was extended to both Republican nominee John McCain and Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

“You know, if I look around and try to figure out which of the possible running mates for either party has the most stature, the meatiest experience, the heaviest gravitas, I keep coming back to me,” Mr. Cheney, who originally headed up the vice presidential selection committee for outgoing president George W. Bush, said. “I’ve had a lot of experience picking out vice presidents.”

“Hey, it’s an idea. I’m just throwing it out there. As far as I know, the constitution doesn’t say anything about term limits for a vice president. You don’t need to decide right away, but promise me you’ll think about it,” the elderly statesman said, his beady eyes searing directly into the lens of camera two. A jumpy Fox Morning Talking Points producer immediately switched to camera three.

“John McCain and I, after all, go way back. We agree on a lot of things. The Iraq war, for example. And…. Grraarrrh. We’re both getting pretty old, which means we’ve lost about an equal number of brain cells,” Mr. Cheney said.

“And Barack Obama and I are distant cousins, so it’d be keeping it in the family if he happens to clinch the election. I think it’s win-win across the board.”

Neither the Barack Obama campaign nor the John McCain campaign have as yet indicated whether they plan to accept the vice president’s offer.

Senate Poised to Capitulate to Cheney’s Fear-Mongering

by Marjorie Cohn

After a January 24 debate in the Senate on amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Senate appears ready to capitulate once again to the Bush administration’s agenda of sacrificing liberty for questionable security.

On the day before Congress was slated to take up this issue, Dick Cheney addressed the Heritage Foundation, the most influential right-wing think tank. He was given a thunderous reception, to which he quipped, “I hold an office that has only one constitutional duty – presiding over the Senate and casting tie-breaking votes.” But the most powerful vice president in this nation’s history was about to strong-arm Congress into doing the administrations’ bidding.
Continue reading

Vermont Town Seeks Bush & Cheney Arrests

From Raw Story:

Maybe I’ll move to Vermont when I’m done with school. They’ve got spunk!

President Bush may soon have a new reason to avoid left-leaning Vermont: In one town, activists want him subject to arrest for war crimes.
A group in Brattleboro is petitioning to put an item on a town meeting agenda in March that would make Bush and Vice President Cheney subject to arrest and indictment if they visit the southeastern Vermont community.

“This petition is as radical as the Declaration of Independence, and it draws on that tradition in claiming a universal jurisdiction when governments fail to do what they’re supposed to do,” said Kurt Daims, 54, a retired machinist leading the drive.

As president, Bush has visited every state except Vermont.

The town meeting, an annual exercise in which residents gather to vote on everything from fire department budgets to municipal policy, requires about 1,000 signatures to place a binding item on the agenda.

The measure asks: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?”

Read the rest of the story here.