There may be hope for Democrats in Congress after all. Proof of the damage done by this presidential administration to both Congress and the Republican party after the past seven plus years of corporate controlled government became more evident today as House Republicans had a hissy fit and walked out — conveniently enough there was a stand with a microphone and reporters right on the steps in front of the building — in the middle of a session.
While the fear-mongering president continues to bellow and blow smoke up the publics’ collective butts, lying about the end of the world coming if the ‘Protect America Act’ expires and threatening worse attacks than the ones he allowed to happen on 9/11, Republicans reportedly put on a more brazen display of American fascism in Washington today.
Noted by Pensito Review:
“First, congressional Republicans put on a show by staging a walk-out to protest the fact that their corporate masters have been left unprotected from liability in the new FISA bill because they conspired with George Bush several years ago to violate federal wiretap laws and spy on Americans hundreds of times:
It’s political gamesmanship of the highest order.”
House Republicans walked out to protest the decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership to let the Protect America Act expire.
No big deal since even if the Protect America Act expired, all it means is that the Government would have to have judicial approval within 72 hours, meaning that it adds one more step and judicial oversight — as it has for the past 30 years, which has worked just fine — to the process.
House Republicans Want Senate Bill Approved
House Republicans, who have used filibusters a record number of times to purposely block passage of numerous bills, were upset because Pelosi and the Democratic leadership need more time to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions of the Protect America Act, deciding instead to debate contempt charges involving former White House officials.
President Bush and his corporate cronies are pushing Congress to pass the Senate version of the bill (pushed by Senator Rockefeller who received $44,000 from telecoms last year) which would provide retroactive immunity to all those — including himself and his administration — who helped ‘after’ the attacks of 9/11.
True to form, Republican leadership, reminiscent of the Bush administration, is trying to say that expiration of the Protect America Act jeopardizes national security.
In reality, nothing jeopardizes national security as much as an out-of-control president claiming to be above the law while overusing ‘executive privilege and state secrets’ — with the help of federal judges and the ‘justice’ system — to cover up the illicit activities and lies of the most corrupt presidential administration in the history of the United States.
In order to protect his corporate accomplices from accountability, again putting the telecom companies above American citizens, president Bush threatened to postpone his trip to Africa tomorrow.
Wiretaps Not Authorized By Court
After the Senate approved the bill granting retroactive immunity, the president reportedly admitted that the telecoms participated in the wiretaps which were not authorized by court-issued warrants. Like he’s telling us anything we didn’t already know…
Senator Reid filed for an extension of the bill which is set to expire Saturday, but of course president Bush says that’s not good enough and threatened to veto any revision not containing immunity.
Of course, vetoing would only damage the president more if anything were to happen because it would make him responsible for it so that will never happen.
House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly shown that they would rather cover up the illegal activities of this administration.
As I’ve noted several times in the past, people are awakening from the intentional fear-induced fog created by this administration as demonstrated by the record number of voters turning out. Maryland voters just elected a new representative, in essence holding their previous representative accountable. Somehow, I have the feeling that it’s just the beginning.
Links to More Information
Links to the information above as well as links to and snippets of other interesting information can be found below:
House GOPs Walk Out to Protect Telecoms’ Lack of Immunity in FISA Bill article from Pensito Review
Bush Spy Bill Stance Called Fear-Mongering article from CBS News
House Democrats Stand Up To Bush, Refuse to Rubber Stamp Domestic Spying article from Wired.com Threat Level
House GOP stages walkout over surveillance, contempt resolution article from USA Today
Tasers, Torture and Terror Tactics: America Becomes a Police State article from The Existentialist Cowboy Blogspot:
“Torture and atrocities are not confined to Abu Ghraib. In and out of the nation’s ‘out-sourced’ penal institutions, perverts with badges terrorize the nation, threatening innocent children, , women and the handicapped. Everyone is a target.
Being an innocent bystander, a model citizen, a Rotarian is not enough to keep you safe from rogue cops, tin-horn sheriffs, or other so-called law enforcement personnel. Who let these dogs out? Who uncorked this evil genie? What Nazi mentality makes a lethal enemy of those who had been sworn to “protect and serve” us? I am pissed!
My fellow Americans, we are being made war upon! And it is no coincidence that the culture of fear, hate, prejudice, perversion and violence unleased by the evil administration of one George W. Bush is largely to blame. The endemically corrupt GOP has ‘stunk up the place’ and no one is safe –not in your home, your car, your property! This is what it means to live in a police state.”
Treating the Constitution as a Doormat article by Scott Horton from Harper’s Magazine
American’s shame – GW Bush: A war criminal in the Whitehouse pictures from PresidentBush.com
Scalia: ‘So-called torture’ can’t be ruled out article from MSNBC News / The Associated Press
Another shining example for the argument that president’s should not be allowed to appoint ‘Supreme’ Court Justices — it’s also the reason we’re in the mess we’re in since the ‘Supreme’ Court appointed an incompetent war criminal in 2000. Time to impeach some Supreme Court Justices too.
Bush’s Dark Legacy Will be a Barrier to Change for the Next Administration article from AlterNet:
“The Bush/Cheney administration has opened a Pandora’s box of executive branch activity — from torture to anchoring the United States in Iraq — making George Washington’s ‘Farewell Address’ warnings about honesty and foreign entanglements as vital as ever, says Aziz Huq.
Most people who cast ballots on Super Tuesday believed they were voting not just for a new face in the White House but also for sweeping new policies. Few believe a President McCain, Romney, Obama or Clinton would hew to all of the policies of Bush and Cheney — and even fewer believe they should.
Yet that certainty may be misplaced. When the next President is sworn in, the clammy fingers of the Bush Administration may still be wrapped around vital national policies. Even in the past few weeks, the Administration began entrenching strategic policies that are core to its ideological commitments in national security.”
Bush to veto Senate ban on waterboarding article from Yahoo! News / AFP:
“WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President George W. Bush said Thursday he plans to veto legislation passed by the Senate to bar the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods including waterboarding.”
The War Crimes Act of 1996: Bush, Cheney and the Boys could be Indicted under US Law article from George Washington’s Blog from 2005:
“The War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.
The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.
18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.
The penalty may be life imprisonment or — if a single prisoner dies due to torture — death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan (see for example this report), that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.”
Not If — When article from OpEdNews:
The Progressive printed an article by Matthew Rothschild, “The FBI Deputizes Businesses”, 02/07/08. This is a very long excellent article delineating how the FBI and Homeland Security have formed a group called InfraGard within businesses that cooperate with the two agencies for an exchange of information, often of a sensitive nature. In fact, within the article it is stated that InfraGard on occasion receives information regarding security threats even before elected officials. Further, it is mentioned several times that members of InfraGard have the right to “shoot to kill” without fear of prosecution for the protection of their facilities.
Although this organization, InfraGard, is frightening enough, there is a small paragraph that mentions that at one meeting of InfraGard the members were given detailed information as to what their responsibilities would be when martial law is declared. The whistle blower had this information corroborated by another individual, and a third would not deny it.
The important point is, however, the statement reads not if – but “when.”
There have been so many excellent articles submitted to OpEdNews regarding George Bush’s Signing Statements, Executive Orders, and laws submitted to and passed by Congress, but I want to remind readers of just a few of these actions by this dangerous administration.”
Our Constitutional Liberty article from Populist America
Sen. Rockefeller Lets Slip the Spying Truth: Drift Nets To Be Legalized article from Wired.com Threat Level:
“In a Senate floor speech, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) inadvertently made plain that the proposed changes to the nation’s spying laws radically expand how the government wiretaps inside the United States. Rockefeller was decrying an amendment that would require the government to discard non-emergency evidence if a court later finds that the spying methods violate the law.
Rockefeller makes clear that the impending changes to the law aren’t about making it easier for the National Security Agency to listen in on a particular terrorism suspect’s phone calls. Instead, the changes are about letting the nation’s spooks secretly and unilaterally install filters inside America’s phone and internet infrastructure.
That NSA reports to a president who stands by his lawyers’ arguments that nothing – not even the Constitution – limits his authority during the permanent war he unilaterally declared against ‘terrorism.’
And for the record, Sen. Jay Rockefeller denies that intriguingly-timed AT&T and Verizon contributions to his re-election campaign bought his support for amnesty for spying telcos.
Hat Tip to emptywheel for noting Rockefeller’s remarks.”
Bush Presses House to Approve Bill on Surveillance article from The New York Times:
“The Senate plan also adds the provision that was considered critical by the White House: shielding phone companies from legal liability. That program allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without warrants on the international communications of Americans suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda.
AT&T and other major phone companies are facing some 40 lawsuits from customers who claim their actions were illegal. The Bush administration maintains that if the suits are allowed to continue in court, they could bankrupt the companies and discourage them from cooperating in future intelligence operations.
Democratic opponents, led by Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, have argued that the plan effectively rewarded phone companies by providing them with legal insulation for actions that violated longstanding law and their own privacy obligations to their customers. But immunity supporters said the phone carriers acted out of patriotism after the Sept. 11 attacks in complying with what they believed in good faith was a legally binding order from the president.
“This, I believe, is the right way to go for the security of the nation,” said Senator John D. Rockefeller, the West Virginia Democrat who leads the intelligence committee. His support for the plan, after intense negotiations with the White House and his Republican colleagues, was considered critical to its passage but drew criticism from civil liberties groups because of $42,000 in contributions that Mr. Rockefeller received last year from AT&T and Verizon executives.”
Col. Bob Bowman’s Open Letter To US Military Officers article from Rense.com:
“Our oath of office is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Might I suggest that this includes a rogue president and vice-president? Certainly we are bound to carry out the legal orders of our superiors. But the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which binds all of us enshrines the Nuremberg Principles which this country established after World War II (which you are too young to remember). One of those Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order. It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were “only carrying out their orders.”
The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the “highest law of the land,” equivalent to the Constitution itself. Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention.
Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty- bound to refuse that order. I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.”
The Three Irrefutable Facts That Shatter Bush’s Official 911 Theory article from The ExistentialistCowboy Blogspot
Lies, Damn Lies and the Murdoch Empire article from The Intelligence Daily
Ex-Spook Blasts New Net-Spying Plan article from Wired.com Danger Room:
“It’s bad enough that the Director of National Intelligence is trotting out a bogus threat so the government can snoop on all Internet traffic. What’s worse is that this kind of mass surveillance is a pretty lame way to catch the honest-to-God bad guys.
Of more interest to observers of intelligence activities is the issue of quality vs. quantity and the slow creep towards doom that these efforts foretell. The fact that we are essentially attempting to gill-net bad guys is a fairly strong indicator that the intelligence community has yet to come up with an effective strategy against information-age threats.
This image is why the government is arguing that it needs more insight into what flows across the wires and cables and airwaves of this country. Its not a question of listening in to you whispering sweet nothings into the ear to your significant other, it is simply a case of – as the late Sam Kinison joked – going where the food is. That our intelligence agencies can intercept adversary communications is largely a given, they just want to do it from the convenience of the homeland, not some remote switch in the darkest hinterlands.
And quite a lot of data there is too. This is not a needle in a haystack problem; it’s a needle somewhere in an unidentified field in the western portion of Nebraska. The problem with vacuuming up data wholesale is that even with a lot of machine-based filtering, an intelligence analyst is left with a massive pile of rock in which may lay a speck of gold. Intelligence does not want, need, look at or even retain the VAST majority of what passes through the ‘Net, which is something privacy mavens conveniently leave out of their angrily worded press releases.”
9/11 Truth has the Power to Stop Fascism article from OpEdNews
More Questionable Al-Qaeda Videos Surface article and video from RogueGovernment.com
The Chicken Doves article from Rolling Stone:
“Quietly, while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been inspiring Democrats everywhere with their rolling bitchfest, congressional superduo Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have completed one of the most awesome political collapses since Neville Chamberlain. At long last, the Democratic leaders of Congress have publicly surrendered on the Iraq War, just one year after being swept into power with a firm mandate to end it.
Solidifying his reputation as one of the biggest pussies in U.S. political history, Reid explained his decision to refocus his party’s energies on topics other than ending the war by saying he just couldn’t fit Iraq into his busy schedule. “We have the presidential election,” Reid said recently. “Our time is really squeezed.”
There was much public shedding of tears among the Democratic leadership, as Reid, Pelosi and other congressional heavyweights expressed deep sadness that their valiant charge up the hill of change had been thwarted by circumstances beyond their control — that, as much as they would love to continue trying to end the catastrophic Iraq deal, they would now have to wait until, oh, 2009 to try again. “We’ll have a new president,” said Pelosi. “And I do think at that time we’ll take a fresh look at it.”
Pelosi seemed especially broken up about having to surrender on Iraq, sounding like an NFL coach in a postgame presser, trying with a straight face to explain why he punted on first-and-goal. “We just didn’t have any plays we liked down there,” said the coach of the 0-15 Dems. “Sometimes you just have to play the field-position game….”
Before 9/11 article from George Washington Blog
Secret Phone Slip Shows Telcos Called for Spy Help article from Wired.com Threat Level
CEOs Given License to Kill article from AfterDowningStreet
Conyers: On ‘Edge’ of Starting Impeachment article from ImpeachForPeace.org:
“A number of organizations will be sending their members this alert Monday morning:
Let’s push Conyers over the edge by flooding his office with phone calls, faxes, and Emails on Monday and Tuesday. Let him know that only impeachment hearings:
1-will make it on TV,
2-will force compliance with subpoenas by eliminating “executive privilege”,
3-will hold brazen criminals accountable, and
4-will convince voters that Democrats care about the Constitution.
George W. Bush’s Resume: This individual seeks an executive position. He will be available in January 2009…article from GlobalResearch.ca
Army Buried Study Faulting Iraq Planning article from The New York Times
Loss of Civil Liberties Since 9/11 article from Cooperative Research History Commons
Thank You, Mr. President article from The Weekly Rant Blogspot
The Murder of America article from Texe Marrs – The Plot to Dissolve the United States and Establish a North American Union:
“This is Nothing Short of Treason!
As shocking as the CFR plot is, equally upsetting is that President George Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin met in Waco, Texas, March 23, 2005, and signed a secret pact called the Security and Prosperity Partnership. That pact, prepared by CFR and Bilderberg administrators, sets forth step-by-step what each nation must do to insure the new, merged slave “nation,” the North American Union, is fully operational by the year 2010.
Forget about the fact that the U.S. Consitution requires the President to submit treaties such as this to the Senate for a vote. Imperial dictator Bush knows that no U.S. Senator dare utter one word of protest against the CFR Plot. That would be the kiss of death for his or her senatorial career.”
San Francisco Chronicle Acknowledges ENDGAME By Homeland Security article from OpEd News
Rule by fear or rule by law? article from The San Francisco Chronicle
Our Right to Know? Over Whose Dead Body? article from Watchdog Blog:
“Bush recently told Israeli reporters: “I’ll be dead before the true history of the Bush administration is written.”
Over his dead body? Perhaps he meant that his “good works” would be told later, but as long as we let him keep his iron grip on presidential records, it could be several generations of Bushes before we know much of anything.
In 2001, Bush signed Executive Order 13233 to allow current and previous presidents to withhold documents and records without explanation INDEFINITELY. What’s more, the order extends the presidents’ authority to control the records under to presidential family members, and vice presidents.
This unprecedented expansion of executive power flouts FOIA, precedent, and the principles of the Constitution. The order, drafted by former Attorney General and close Bush friend Alberto Gonzales, eviscerates the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act, which made presidential records the property of the government, and then the public. Our right to know should not be subject to the whims of the executive.”
With Waziristan, Pakistan sliding further into chaos, the CIA seems to be taking matters into its own hands article from Reuters
Was 9/11 Truth Giuliani’s Demise? You’ll be AMAZED What Corporate Media Hid from YOU! article and videos from Prison Planet
Whitehouse.gov robots.txt seems to be hiding a lot of very interesting things
Testimony of a US ex-marine article from InformationClearingHouse
What Our Top Spy Doesn’t Get: Security and Privacy Aren’t Opposites article from Wired.com