In what is reported to be the bloodiest onslaught by the Israeli military, which is actually more of an ethnic cleansing, on blockaded Gaza since it was captured and occupied by Israel 41 years ago, more than 350 people have been killed and more than a thousand injured, resulting in World powers calling for an end to the fighting — it took awhile, but the U.S., after playing the usual propaganda-laden-rhetorical-blame-game that the western press picks up and runs with, has finally joined in — as worldwide protests against Israel mount.
Most Middle Eastern newspapers do not, as the Guardian Uk put it, habitually sanitize the barbarity meted out in the name of multiple wars on terror, unlike most of their brethren in the Western world.
Once again Israel embarked on more unnecessary acts of terrorism under the guise of politically motivated war. Israel is committing war crimes in retaliation of Hamas — a corrupt Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and political party — launching a series of rocket attacks into Israel, killing one Israeli. Hamas rockets are not nearly as effective as the ones supplied to Israel by the U.S. There are reports that blame Israel for breaking the previous ceasefire with Hamas on November 4, 2008 by destroying the ‘ticking tunnel.’ Israel fired missiles that were aimed at closing down a tunnel operation they believed Hamas was building in order to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Hamas allegedly launched their attack in retaliation of Israeli allegedly breaking the ceasefire. Retaliation between Hamas and Israel never ends.
Retaliation by Israel may or may not be justified, but the slaughter that has resulted since the Hamas rocket attack is inhumane, immoral and violates International law. Israel is now and has been committing numerous war crimes with British and American backing and blessings.
Good news for anyone concerned about President George W. Bush issuing blanket pardons to those who committed war crimes under his orders — although the president can’t issue pardons for crimes that he authorized and war crimes have no statute of limitations — it turns out that Presidential pardons can be revoked. President Bush said himself that the president can revoke pardons, which means that any pardon issued by Bush can be overturned by President-elect Obama.
President Bush issued a pardon to Mr. Isaac Robert Toussie, a Brooklyn Developer involved in a Long Island real estate fraud case. He reportedly reversed the pardon when “new information” came to light. It was revealed that the father of the subject granted the pardon donated $28,500 to the Republican National Committee last april and $2,300 to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Bush’s politicized Justice Department maintained that Toussie had no grounds to argue that the president could not take back a pardon because “a pardon isn’t official until the warrant is received by the person who requested it, and that hadn’t happened yet.” The White House claimed that Bush could reverse the pardon because Toussie was not formally, or “officially” notified of his pardon.
According to Associate Professor of Political Science and Author P.S. Ruckman Jr., that isn’t the case at all. An article by Mr. Ruckman at PardonPower.com explains what happens when the president issues a pardon:
As the end of Bush’s illegal appointment to the Presidency nears, many former and current Bush administration officials are busy trying to rewrite history while trying to justify the many illegal actions they conducted. Vice President Dick Cheney has recently admitted to committing numerous crimes while trying to justify them, and some of his ridiculous assertions are detailed below.
For years the Bush administration has blatantly disregarded the rule of law, oftentimes using the same flawed Nixon-era logic — while illegally expanding presidential powers, which is not surprising since Cheney worked for President Richard Nixon — that whatever the president does, especially during times of war is lawful. Never mind the fact that we’re involved in two wars that were illegally started. Hypocrisy has also played a major role in the Bush administration.
The attacks of 9/11 could have been prevented, but had Bush and his administration not been so complicit in allowing them to happen, all the illegal activities used to fight the “global war on terror” would have been virtually impossible to implement, making it more difficult to ‘justify’ their illegal actions that were planned long before Bush was illegally appointed to the presidency.
As noted by AlterNet, the vaguely defined “global war on terror” served as the catalyst Bush and Cheney felt they needed to assert that the President wields unlimited powers — this ‘war’ is theoretically everywhere and never-ending — meaning that principles of a free republic, with constitutional limits on executive powers, checks and balances and unalienable rights for everyone would be suspended not during a short-term emergency, but would virtually be eliminated forever.
An article from AlterNet explains how America has been punk’d on the fraudulent bailout by our federal government. Claims about a credit crisis used by Congress to justify giving a blank check to Wall Street are demonstrably false — as they have been all along — and this country has been subject to a smorgasbord of financial fraud that has never been seen before courtesy of political corruption and greed.
As noted by Paul Krugman in the New York Times, the financial services industry has claimed an ever-growing share of the nation’s income over the past generation, making the people who run the industry incredibly rich, despite the fact that at this point it looks as if much of the industry has been destroying value, not creating it while having a corrupting effect on our society as a whole.
An article from The New York Times details how salaries of financial CEO’s were merely play money — a pittance compared to bonuses. In the New York area especially, nearly $1 out of every $4 that companies paid employees last year went to someone in the financial industry. Earnings have gone down and in some cases been reversed, but not the bonuses.
An article from Reuters notes that the credit crunch is not nearly as severe as the U.S. authorities appear to believe and that it’s startling that many of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s remarks about the bailout are not supported or are flatly contradicted by the data provided by the very organizations they lead.
Senior citizens will receive an increase of $756 in Social Security next year, but lawmakers will reportedly receive an increase of $4,700 which will increase their annual salaries to $174,000 — an increase that will end up costing taxpayers more than $2.5 million on top of the trillions of dollars slapped onto taxpayers courtesy of the fraudulent financial bailout.
Congress completely capitulated to President Bush’s illegal actions these past eight years — authorizing illegal, unconstitutional ‘legislation’ such as the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act which thoroughly destroyed civil rights and freedom, The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 which sanctioned torture, the Real ID Act of 2005 that would threaten personal privacy if enacted, institutionalized illegal spying with the Protect America Act, destroyed Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure by authorizing the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, authorized illegal wars…the list goes on and on. Congressional deregulation of the financial industry played a major role in the financial meltdown.
Threatening Marshall Law if the fraudulent bailout wasn’t authorized gave Congress another black eye. Congressional leaders were notified of the illegal spying and torture authorized by President Bush long before the public was made aware of it, yet did nothing to stop or prevent it, going so far as encouraging more of it in some cases.
Corrupt Republicans in the Senate have been trying to destroy the United Auto Workers Union by claiming — falsely — that American auto workers are paid $73 an hour. Because auto workers “are paid too much,” the Senate purposely stalled a bill that would have aided ‘struggling’ automakers — although one wonders how much they’re actually struggling when GM’s parent company makes $100 billion a year and they’re gearing up for more production in Mexico — but Bush went ahead and announced that his administration would give automakers a loan with multiple contingencies.
The National Security Letter (NSL) — one of the many questionable parts of the egregious Patriot Act that was shoved down the American peoples’ collective throats after the 9/11 attacks that were allowed to happen by the complicit, corrupted Bush administration — has reportedly been ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
An NSL is a form of administrative subpoena used by the FBI and other federal governmental agencies to demand a particular entity or organization to turn over various records and data pertaining to individuals that requires no probable cause or judicial oversight. NSLs contain a gag order that prevents the recipient of the letter from disclosing that the letter was ever issued.
Despite the fact that the Bush administration established the precedent that it was okay to ignore subpoenas and completely disregard the rule of law, many people adhered to the standards of the gag orders and never said anything when they were served an NSL.
The USA Patriot Act was quickly passed by Congress with virtually no debate 45 days after the attacks of 9/11. The Patriot Act contains many significant flaws that destroy fundamental freedoms and civil liberties — allegedly, in the name of keeping us safe — by giving the government unlimited access to your medical records, tax records, information about the books you buy or borrow without probable cause, and the power to break into your home and conduct secret searches without telling you for weeks, months, or indefinitely among many other things. In reality, the Patriot Act has been used to cover the illegal activities of the federal government and to punish its dissenters. The Press Release on the ruling from The American Civil Liberties Union is below:
Hannah Garman is a 4-year-old who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare, incurable brain cancer in October. She was given about 12 weeks to live. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with Hannah. Doctors didn’t think her mother would survive the pregnancy without being treated so they took a chance and gave her chemo. She survived and gave birth to Hannah.
Hannah lost her mother to breast cancer when she was only 3.
When Hannah was asked what she wanted for Christmas she replied that she wanted to see how many Christmas cards she could get.
Hannah has lost most of her motor skills and is confined to bed. One of the few things she can do is open and play with the cards. Her room is full of them.
Hannah has an older brother and sister. Hannah’s father and her grandparents are caring for her.
One of the three addresses to send cards to Hannah is below:
259 North Reading Rd.
Ephrata, Pa. 17522
You can visit Hannah’s Caring Bridge page to see pictures of her and to get more information.
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Despite previous attempts by the Bush administration to blame subordinates for physically and mentally abusing detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, a bipartisan Senate panel reportedly blames the White House, saying the abuses were the direct result of Bush administration detention policies.
The Senate Armed Services Committee report — the result of a nearly two-year investigation that directly links President Bush’s policies after the 9/11 terrorist attack, legal memos on torture, which has led to many deaths, and interrogation rule changes with the abuse photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — concludes that harsh interrogations techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners.
The abusive techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which allegedly ended in. A lot of the report remains classified. The report was released last week by the Senate committee.
Obviously it comes as no surprise. The Bush administration continues trying to keep their crimes covered with constant stall tactics, and has barred members of Congress from gaining access to key legal documents and memos about the detainee program, including an August 2002 memo that evaluated the legality of the program. More information can be found from The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Kos, Media With Conscience News and Salon News. George Bush authorized the abuses and torture. Bush’s crimes are profoundly unlawful and there is no statute of limitations for war crimes. Despite confirming Bush’s illegal actions, the report did not recommend any type of accountability or corrective actions.
With less than two months to go before one of the most corrupted, criminal presidency in the history of the United States finally comes to an end, President Bush, his friends, numerous felonious former employees and other moronic, unethical cheerleadering sycophants of his administration are busy running a legacy campaign to spread their delusional fantasies and lies — attempting to rewrite history — to change Bush’s lame duck legacy.
In the words of Fire Dog Lake, Bush wants everyone to know how proud he is of his spectacularly successful presidency. Bush and his cronies will spend years trying to cover the fact that his legacy will be nothing but one massively felonious failure after another that Bush has never taken responsibility for. Bush’s blatant disregard for the law, America and the rest of the world has destroyed millions of lives.
Bush wants to be remembered (PDF) as “a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process.” According to Bush, he came to Washington with a set of values and is leaving with the same set of values and he “darn sure” wasn’t going to sacrifice those values.
Due to Bush’s illegal spying, lack of morals, torturing, warmongering and blatant disregard for the Constitution, a lot of loyal Bushies made a fortune at the expense of the rest of the country. The only thing Bush valued was killing innocent people, oil and making sure his rich corporate cronies became richer while blatantly lying to the American public as he morally and financially bankrupted them.