There is a very significant battle going on right now in Washington that involves every American. President Bush has continually used fear tactics and smear campaigns trying to force Congress into passing a law that rewards lawlessness. Since the Bush administration was appointed to the presidency, lawlessness, secrecy and lies have chipped away at the integrity of this great nation. In typical fashion, the ‘justice department‘ continues to help the president do whatever he feels like doing regardless of any law or the consequences.
Ever since the Protect America Act (PAA) expired this past month — which was hastily approved the last time the president used terror tactics, threats and lies to coerce Congress into passing it this past summer — the president and his administration have been spreading more manure to help further his illicit ways on an almost daily basis. The president could have prevented letting the PAA expire, but instead decided to veto it.
The PAA is illicit legislation designed to protect the telecoms and screw the American public.
It’s unknown if Congress will give in and help the president break even more laws, but you have to give Congress some credit for the good job they’ve done of standing up to the president’s lawlessness and trying to re-establish order.
Currently however, Congress is trying to break an impasse over legislation. Noted by Open Left:
“To break an impasse over legislation overhauling the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, House Democratic leaders are considering the option of taking up a Senate-passed FISA bill in stages, congressional sources said today. Under the plan, the House would vote separately on the first title of the bill, which authorizes surveillance activities, and then on the bill’s second title, which grants retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies that aided the Bush administration’s warrantless electronic surveillance activities. The two would be recombined, assuming passage of both titles. In this way, Democratic leaders believe they can give an out to lawmakers opposed to the retroactive immunity provision. Republican leadership sources said their caucus would back such a plan because not only would it give Democratic leaders the out they need, it would provide a political win for the GOP. It remains to be seen if such a move will placate liberal Democrats who adamantly oppose giving in to the Bush administration on the immunity issue.”
Granting immunity rewards lawlessness
Noted by Andrew P. Napolitano, a former superior court judge in New Jersey, in his commentary in the St. Louis Today News, when it was revealed by the Washington Post that for several years President Bush had been authorizing illegal wire taps, Bush tried to justify his actions by saying he had “authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al-Qaida and related terrorist organizations.” The president was wrong.
There was and is no U.S. law, and there is nothing in the Constitution, that authorizes warrantless wiretaps on Americans in the United States, no matter with whom they speak or e-mail. In fact, both the law and the Constitution prohibit such surveillance without a search warrant.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was enacted in 1978 after Nixon used the FBI and the CIA to spy on Americans. FISA prevents surveillance on Americans in this country under any circumstances, except in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment requires a warrant issued by a judge after the judge has found probable cause that a crime was committed.
FISA does permit surveillance of foreigners, here or abroad, without a warrant for three days. After three days a warrant based on probable cause must be sought.
The PAA legislation demanded by the president is a result of lawsuits that have been filed against the telecoms participated in the illegal demands of the Bush administration. If the lawsuits are dismissed by the ‘legal system’ because of illegal legislation passed by our lawmakers, details of the demands made by the administration will never be known. The Bush administration has a dubious, publicly well-documented record of lawlessness and secrecy at the cost of every American’s civil rights and liberties — regardless of the consequences.
Also noted by Mr. Napolitano: “Immunity doesn’t enhance freedom; it rewards lawlessness. If the government and the telecoms had obeyed the law, there would be no need for immunity. Show me the legal justification for illegal spying on Americans, and I’ll show you a government that just doesn’t care about the Constitution.
Every government official takes an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land. What kind of a country would we have if a president can persuade people to break the law and then help them get away with it? What laws will they break next?”
President Finally Tells the Truth
Noted by Glenn Greenwald of Salon News in his ‘George Bush told the truth yesterday’ article:
“In his Press Conference yesterday, Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush candidly explained why he was so eager to have Congress grant amnesty to telecoms:
Allowing the lawsuits to proceed could aid our enemies, because the litigation process could lead to the disclosure of information about how we conduct surveillance.
The bit about Helping the Enemies is purely false, just standard Bush fear-mongering. Federal courts receive and rule on highly classified information with great regularity without any public “disclosure.” FISA (in 50 USC 1806(f)) specifically provides that secret information can be submitted to the Judge without even the other side having access to it. If — as the President suggested — courts can’t be trusted with national security secrets, then it would mean, just as he intends and just as much of the press has accepted, government officials are free to break the law in secret by claiming that national security concerns prevent courts from ruling on what they did. In a Super Scary World, the need for secrecy outweighs all.
But on a more important level, Bush is finally being candid about the real reason the administration is so desperate to have these surveillance lawsuits dismissed. It’s because those lawsuits are the absolute last hope for ever learning what the administration did when they spied on Americans for years in violation of the law. Dismissal via amnesty would ensure that their spying behavior stays permanently concealed, buried forever, and as importantly, that no court ever rules on the legality of what they did. Isn’t it striking how that implication of telecom amnesty is never discussed, and how little interest it generates among journalists — whose role, theoretically, is to uncover secret government actions?”
Mr. Greenwald goes on to note the usual antics of the press and their usual manipulation of misinformation while at the same time purposely keeping other details quiet and covered up. For more information, see the article on Salon News.
Links to More Information
Links to the information above as well as NUMEROUS links to other misadventures of our lawmakers and ‘elected’ officials and other interesting tidbits can be found below:
George Bush Is Engaged in an Epic Battle to Cover His Ass article from AlterNet
Mukasey refuses probe of Bush aides article from The Raw Story
Granting immunity rewards lawlessness article from St. Louis Today News
Treating the Constitution as a Doormat article by Scott Horton from Harper’s Magazine
Was the 2004 Election Stolen? article from Rolling Stone
FISA Update…Moves to Resolve? article from Open Left
George Bush told the truth yesterday article by Glenn Greenwald of Salon News
FISA Fight: A plaintiff speaks article from Daily Kos:
“Peter Y. Sussman is a journalist, a former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, who writes about the American justice system and prisons. He’s also a plaintiff in the ACLU’s pending case against AT&T. His private records were among those that AT&T shared, illegally, with the Bush administration.
This case, the only avenue left for remedy for this American and all Americans who had their private calling records illegally surveilled, is at the heart of the effort by the administration to grant the telcos amnesty for their illegal activity. Here are Sussman’s thoughts as a plaintiff:
After Saddam Hussein was executed, President Bush reassured the world that the Iraqi dictator received “a fair trial – the kind of justice he denied victims of his brutal regime.”
The Bush administration has similarly promoted “the rule of law” and “an independent judiciary” for countries such as Cuba, Burma and Iran.
Yet that same president is pressuring Congress to deny Americans our day in court before an independent judiciary by repealing the rules of law that guarantee the right to sue a private company for illegal infringements on our privacy rights.”
FISA Fact Check: Setting the Record Straight on the White House article from the ACLU
Signing Statements and the Rollback of American Law article from AfterDowningStreet
Unembedded – previouly unseen pictures of the Iraq war (CAUTION: graphic) – also a book and exhibition project
Pope fears Bush is antichrist, journalist contends article from FindArticles.com (2003)
EARLY WARNING / State Department memo warned of terrorist threat article from The San Francisco Chronicle (from 2001)
America the beautiful has never been more hideous article from WhiteHouser.com
Bush saw the first plane hit live on tv video from Google (1min)
Bush admits he watched the 1st plane hit the 1st tower live BEFORE going into the Florida classroom.
Rumsfeld Says Flight 93 was shot down video from Google (30sec)
Rumsfeld Says Missle Hit Pentagon – Transcript of an interview given by Rumsfeld to Parade Magazine
More information can be found from The7thFire.com
NYC Mayor Slips- Knew Collpase in Advance – 9/11 WTC Giuliani was warned video from InfoDebug.com on YouTube (25sec)
Larry SilverStein Admits to Demolishing World Trade Center 7 on 9/11 video from YouTube (23sec)
EyeWitness Said Missile, eh Plane Hit pentagon video from YouTube (30sec)
Bush is scared: Bush Addresses the U.N. – tells the world no 911 discussions video from YouTube (15sec)
BBC Reported WTC-7 Collapsed 20 minutes before it fell video from YouTube (7:15)
Fox News Reports WTC-7 Collpase Before Actual Event video from YouTube (3:27)
Buried 60 Minutes Interview with Paul O’Neil video from YouTube (7:03)
This is a great video that everyone needs to watch that shows the Bush regimes main goal from day 1 in office.
9/11: Why the World is Demanding a Criminal Investigation video from YouTube (5:05)
List of Morons Who Slipped Up And Practically Admitted 9/11 Was An Inside Job videos from 100777.com
Bin Laden says he wasn’t behind attacks article from the CNN archives (2001):
“DOHA, Qatar (CNN) — Islamic militant leader Osama bin Laden, the man the United States considers the prime suspect in last week’s terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, denied any role Sunday in the actions believed to have killed thousands.
In a statement issued to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said, “The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it.
“I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons,” bin Laden’s statement said.
“I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders’ rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations,” bin Laden said.”
Hijack ‘suspect’ alive in Morocco article from The BBC News (2001)
9/11 Insider Trading – Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA’s Highest Ranks
Pentagon 9/11 collapse video from YouTube (9sec)
Pentagon collapse 2 (rare footage) video from YouTube (3sec)
Welcome to 1984 article from ReOpen911.org
Lawyer Says Bin Laden Did Not Orchestrate 9/11 During Terror Trial article and video from Prison Planet:
“Skepticism towards the 9/11 official story reached the Australian Supreme Court this week after a lawyer asserted that the attacks were not orchestrated by Osama bin Laden during the trial of an alleged terror group in Melbourne.
“To say that this was all orchestrated by Osama bin Laden is a silly thing to do. He’s never claimed responsibility for it,” Remy van de Wiel QC told the Australian jury.
Unless you accept the credibility of a dodgy videotape of a fat Bin Laden doppelganger “miraculously discovered” in a house in Jalalabad by U.S. troops and pushed as authentic by the ever-honest U.S. government, then van de Wiel has a point.”
FBI documents contradict 9/11 Commission report article from The Raw Story
9/11 Redux: ‘Thousands of Aliens’ in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally article from ABC News
Project for the New American Century information from Wikipedia
Fury as academics claim 9/11 was ‘inside job’ article from The Daily Mail UK (2006)
“Around 75 top professors and leading scientists believe the attacks were puppeteered by war mongers in the White House to justify the invasion and the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries.
The claims have caused outrage and anger in the US which marks the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Monday.
But leading scientists say the facts of their investigations cannot be ignored and say they have evidence that points to one of the biggest conspiracies ever perpetrated.”
But Could This Really Happen In Modern America? article from 911 Proof
TRACES OF TERRORISM: THE WARNINGS; F.B.I. Knew for Years About Terror Pilot Training article from The New York Times (2002)
Senator Accuses Bush of Cover-Up article from The New York Times (2004)
There Is No War On Terror, It Is A Scam, 9/11 Was an Inside Job information from Christian-Forum.net
9/11 Truth: What’s Being Covered Up? video from YouTube (2:52)
The 9/11 Report Raises More Serious Questions About The White House Statements On Intelligence article by John Dean from FindLaw.com (2003)
This war on terrorism is bogus article from The Guardian UK
Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials Question the 9/11 Commission Report article from Patriots Question 911
World Trade Center Building 7 – the Smoking Gun of 9/11 part 1 of 2 video from YouTube (8:12)
WTC Building 7 – the smoking gun of 9/11 part 2 of 2 video from YouTube (8:07)
Bush White House, Corrupt Throughout article from The Information Paradox
Department of Pre-Crime article from Mother Jones
Telecom immunity is Bush immunity – the proof article from Daily Kos:
“We really have to look at this FISA battle in a completely new way in the context of today’s New York Times story (emphasis mine).
The warnings from President Bush and his senior aides have grown more urgent over the last few weeks, now that Congress has let a temporary wiretapping law expire. But there is little sign of anxiety among many intelligence and phone industry officials.
Yes, the telecom industry is largely unconcerned about nullifying billion-dollar lawsuits against them.”
Rhetoric: High; Anxiety: Low article from The New York Times
The War On Democracy by John Pilger video from Google Video (1hr:34min)
Bush uses briefing as ‘megaphone’ to push Congress on telecom immunity article from The Raw Story
Republican FISA Logic: It is OK to Risk Lives for Corporations article from The Political Affairs Editors Blog
ACLU Refutes President’s Claims on FISA, Telecom Immunity article from the ACLU
917,000 Terrorists Poised and Ready to Strike America! article from The American Civil Liberties Union
Unlikely Terrorists On No Fly List, Steve Kroft Reports List Includes President of Bolivia (who is now deceased) from CBS News
Secret Spy Ruling Contaminates Debate article from Wired.com Threat Level:
“Last spring the ultra-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled against the Bush Administration’s “innovative” wiretapping program, setting in motion the Administration’s frenzied push last summer for widespread powers to install wiretapping equipment inside the United States with only minimal court oversight.
During that push, Republicans let slip that the secret court had ruled against the Administration in some wiretapping case, but the Administration refuses to release or actually describe what the ruling says.
The closest anyone has come to actually describing the ruling is from a New Yorker profile of the Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell:
McConnell said that federal judges had recently decided, in a series of secret rulings, that any telephone transmission or e-mail that incidentally flowed into U.S. computer systems was potentially subject to judicial oversight. According to McConnell the capacity of the NSA to monitor foreign-based communications had consequently been reduced by seventy per cent.
Essentially McConnell is saying that the secret court not only decided that the domestic wiretapping program was illegal, it also decided that virtually everything the NSA had done over the last 30 years overseas was illegal.”
Letter to the president article from The Information Paradox
Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba memo (PDF) from George Washington University
For those who think the American government won’t kill its own people, you need to read this.
Disturbing New Photos From Abu Ghraib article with graphic pictures of abuse from Wired.com
President Bush: Holding telecoms accountable is “patently unfair” article from Crooks and Liars
So is stealing two elections and running a country into the ground.
Bill O’Reilly calls Arianna Huffington a Nazi and a KKK’er article and video from Crooks and Liars
It’s time for this moron to lose his job. He continues to prove how racist he really is.
Is Al Qaeda Just a Bush Boogeyman? article from CommonDreams.org:
“The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear,” a three-hour historical film by Adam Curtis recently aired by the British Broadcasting Corp., argues coherently that much of what we have been told about the threat of international terrorism “is a fantasy that has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services and the international media.”
Stern stuff, indeed. But consider just a few of the many questions the program poses along the way:
If Osama bin Laden does, in fact, head a vast international terrorist organization with trained operatives in more than 40 countries, as claimed by Bush, why, despite torture of prisoners, has this administration failed to produce hard evidence of it?”
Jesse Ventura Beats Up Bush Over War on Terror video from KingMonkeyPaw Blogspot
GOP Uses Surveillance Bill to Bash Democrats article from The Washington Post:
“Republicans are convinced that highlighting their counterterrorism policies will be a political winner in this presidential election year, and they have focused this week on Democratic opposition to their version of a new surveillance bill as a way to paint Democrats as soft on national security, according to GOP lawmakers and their aides.
Democrats respond that they are unfazed by the attacks, arguing that most Americans doubt the credibility of President Bush and Republicans when it comes to warning about security threats.
Bush and GOP lawmakers have been releasing a blizzard of public statements and organizing multiple news conferences to pressure the House to adopt a Senate bill renewing and expanding a temporary surveillance law called the Protect America Act. The measure would grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies over their cooperation in warrantless wiretapping done after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
House Democratic leaders oppose the immunity provision and maneuvered to allow the temporary statute to expire on Feb. 16. The administration has repeatedly said that telecom firms need protection from lawsuits in order to cooperate with the government.”
Seymour Hersh Reveals Rumsfeld Misled Congress over Abu Ghraib article from Democracy Now:
“And, how Gen. Taguba was Forced to Retire over his Critical Abu Ghraib Report; and the Site of Another Secret U.S. Prison (Mauritania)”
Chief Justice Roberts defends Exxon article from Think Progress:
Why is the Supreme Court Chief Justice so concerned about the financial affairs of extremely large corporations who have gouged the American public for years?
“What bothered the chief justice was that Exxon was being ordered to pay $2.5 billion – roughly three weeks’ worth of profits – for destroying a long swath of the Alaska coastline in the largest oil spill in American history.
“So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?” Roberts asked in court.
The lawyer arguing for the Alaska fishermen affected by the spill, Jeffrey Fisher, had an idea. “Well,” he said, “it can hire fit and competent people.”
The rare sound of laughter rippled through the august chamber. The chief justice did not look amused.”
NOW – Crude Awakening – Whistleblower: A Former Government Employee Speaks Out article from PBS:
“Kevin Gambrell was the director of the Federal Indian Minerals Office in Farmington, New Mexico from 1996 to 2003. He spoke to NOW’s Maria Hinojosa about what he describes as widespread abuse by oil and gas companies in their efforts to avoid royalty payments. Gambrell accuses some of these companies of lying and cheating, which he says could cost American taxpayers billions of dollars as a result. Gambrell also says that the Minerals Management Service, the governmental bureau in charge of collecting such royalties, “fail in their duties to protect taxpayers.”
Premeditated Merger: N. American Army created without OK by Congress article from Sanders Research Association
Fact Check on Wiretapping Law Claims article from The Associated Press
Petition from the ACLU to tell House Leaders to keep standing up to Bush
Bush’s Newest Secret: Who’s Funding His Library? article from Mother Jones
Keeping Secrets in the Kennedy Assassination article from the Future of Freedom Foundation
The Silent Coup – How a nation ruled by law, becomes a nation ruled by men article from OpEd News
Petards of Mass Destruction article from OpEd News
George W. Bush Interview (Israeli TV 2008) video from YouTube (10:46)
Notice the comments about starting World War III
Cheney’s subpoenaed e-mails missing article from MSNBC News / The Associated Press
Defense Stalls in Sept. 11 Case at Gitmo article from The New York Times
GOP Halts Effort to Retrieve White House E-Mails article from The Washington Post
A tortured defense article from USA Today:
“The guessing game is over. We know the U.S. government OK’d and utilized waterboarding. So what – if anything – are we going to do about it?
Even our closest allies, such as Britain, have stated the obvious: The United States is now an official member of torture-practicing nations. We share this distinction with such kindred spirits as North Korea, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Burma. It has been disclosed that both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have known for years about the torture program. Current and former officials have confirmed the use of waterboarding. One of the CIA’s interrogators, John Kiriakou, publicly discussed the use of waterboarding on detainees and agreed that it was torture.
The question now is how do you ignore a torture program that is hiding in plain view? After all, Bradbury did everything short of cheerfully demonstrating the technique on a detainee for the education and amusement of House members.
In refusing to allow a criminal investigation, therefore, Mukasey has chosen an argument often used by criminal defendants: He blamed the lawyers. It was not a crime, Mukasey has said, because Bush relied on advice from his handpicked lawyers. Because the lawyers said it was OK, it was: “Whatever was done as part of a CIA program at the time that it was done was the subject of a Department of Justice opinion through the Office of Legal Counsel and was found to be permissible under the law as it existed then.”
Of course, any crime could be magically transformed into a non-crime by simply hiring clueless or collusive counsel. Ironically, while Bradbury was one of those misguided lawyers, Mukasey is seeking his confirmation as one of his top lawyers. It is enough to make the most mobbed-up lawyer blush.”
Transcript from Bill Moyers Journal from April 25, 2007 called “Buying the War” from PBS