Monthly Archives: April 2008

Justice Department Justifies Torture

Recent letters written by the Justice Department were reportedly sent to Congress alleging that American intelligence operatives can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law if the operatives are attempting to thwart terrorist attacks — translation: the Justice Department is effectively continuing to redefine the meaning of justice, showing how highly politicized it has become and using delusional ‘legal rationale’ to obstruct justice while helping the Bush administration keep their illicit activities covered up.

The legal interpretation outlined in the letters sheds new light on rules for interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)…which still remain secret. The Bush administration argues that boundaries for interrogations should be subject to some latitude, even under an executive order issued last summer that President Bush said meant that the CIA would comply with international strictures against harsh treatment of detainees.

Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity.” A March 5 letter sent to Congress by the Justice Department makes clear that the Bush administration has not drawn a precise line in deciding which interrogation methods would violate that standard and is reserving the right to make case-by-case judgments.

Some legal experts are critical of the Justice Department interpretation — and that’s all it is — that seems to be arguing that the prospect of thwarting a terror attack could be used to justify interrogation methods that would otherwise be illegal. The Justice Department says that the purpose of the interrogation would be just one among many factors weighed in determining whether or not a specific procedure could be used.

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The Costly Price of Political Propaganda

A recent lengthy, detailed report from The New York Times (NYT) revealed a Pentagon propaganda machine that, aided by the Bush administration, was used to sell the “war on terror,” starting with fanning the flames to illegally invade Iraq that still continues to this day, effectively transforming “military analysts” into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks — while exemplifying the complicity of major media.

These ‘military analysts’ were reportedly presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio to give ‘authoritative and unfettered judgments’ about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

An investigation by the NYT revealed that hidden behind the appearance of objectivity is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those ‘military analysts’ in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the Bush administration’s wartime performance.

Most of the ‘military analysts’ have ties to military contractors — although they rarely if ever disclosed that information to the viewers — vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air, representing more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. As noted by the Nation, spreading “covert propaganda” is illegal under federal law. More information can be found in the article from the NYT. It’s a lengthy report, but well worth the read.

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“Get Over It. It’s So Old By Now.”

Get over it. It’s so old by now” said Supreme Court Justice when asked about critics who say the 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court to appoint President Bush was based on politics and not justice, despite the facts showing the exact opposite. Scalia will be on 60 minutes this coming Sunday night.

This from the ‘Justice’ who was so anxious to shut the Florida recount down during the 2000 presidential ‘election’ that he pressured his colleagues to do so — the Bush legal team went running back to the Supreme Court asking for a stay to stop the recount (about the point in time when Bush’s lead had withered to 154 votes) — even before the Gore legal team had a chance to respond. The lawsuit was Bush v. Gore (meaning Bush was the petitioner and Gore was the respondent), but according to Scalia, Al Gore was the one who ultimately put the issues in front of the court.

Blatant partisanship dealt a harsh blow to the integrity of the Supreme Court. Justices in the majority contorted the law to reach the result they wanted — no precedent, just convenient law made for one occasion. Though the Supreme Court stepped into the Florida recount twice, four of the Justices thought the court should never have taken the case in the first place.

Justice John Paul Stevens even bemoaned the legal legerdemain in his dissent, noting that the nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law was the real loser — knowing full well what went on behind the scenes and just how politicized and results-oriented the case’s consideration had been.

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A Smorgasbord of Presidential Crimes

The list of offenses and crimes committed by President Bush and his administration — aided in part by a complacent Judicial system that willingly and knowingly allows President Bush to abuse rights of ‘suspected terrorists’ and a complicit Congress willing to roll over and give the president virtually everything requested regardless of the cost of human rights, liberties and laws — continues to grow at an alarming rate. The complicity of corrupted corporate media as well as numerous corrupted Congress persons has aided and abetted the Bush administration for years.

After being illicitly appointed by the Supreme Court to the Presidency in 2000 and fraudulently winning the 2004 elections, George Bush has done his best to keep corporate media quiet, illegally imprison political opponents, destroy the Constitution, had nothing but contempt for the law while delusionally believing he is above it, bankrupted America while terrorizing it and killed too many American soldiers — not to mention the death toll to the Iraqi’s and other Middle Easterners — while doing his best to destroy the military with an illegal occupation, Bush has attempted to keep everything his administration has done covered up.

House Republicans (and a couple Democrats) are willing to spend $12 Billion a month on an illegal war but calls $685 Million for funding paper ballots extravagent. Maybe they don’t want to have an honest election since they know they can’t win that way. I don’t know. Once again, several voters in the U.S. will pick a president using electronic voting machines that can be hacked. An article from AlterNet details how Republicans quietly hijacked the Justice Department to swing elections.

A recent report from ABC News details dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House where the most senior Bush administration officials — Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet and John Ashcroft — discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects could be interrogated, almost to the point of being choreographed, down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

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Misadventures in Politicized Justice

The list of crimes committed by the Bush administration continues to grow while Congress idly sits by and does nothing about it. President Bush has done a thorough job of politicizing virtually every facet of his administration, including the ‘Justice’ Department.

As noted by Daily Kos, crimes include warrantless wiretapping, retroactive immunity, Operation Total Information Awareness, passport file breaches, meaningless oversight committees stacked with crooked cronies, and a plethora of war crimes, including illegally starting a war. Each crime is part of the monster known as the Bush administration’s approach to intelligence that trumps the Constitution every time.

Typical of the Bush administration is the preference to place the blame for their horrific idiocies on everyone else, not taking any responsibility for their incompetence or stupidity and the consequences of their actions.

As noted by Vanity Fair, the Bush administration has always taken refuge behind a “trickle up” explanation: that is, the decision was generated by military commanders and interrogators on the ground. This explanation is made up of falsehoods and lies. The origins lie in actions taken at the very highest levels of the administration — by some of the most senior personal advisers to the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense. In some cases, origins lie in actions taken by the President and politically appointed lawyers from the Justice Department.

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