Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bush: One Step Closer to Overt Dictatorship

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Former administration officials contend that just because Bush reserves the right to disobey a law does not mean he is not enforcing it: In many cases, he is simply asserting his belief that a certain requirement encroaches on presidential power. [Harrison: Don't worry, he won't actually use his dictatorial powers, he just likes the security... Bollocks.]

But with the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, in which he ignored a law requiring warrants to tap the phones of Americans, many legal specialists say Bush is hardly reluctant to bypass laws he believes he has the constitutional authority to override.

Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military.

Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts.

Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University law professor who has studied the executive power claims Bush made during his first term, said Bush and his legal team have spent the past five years quietly working to concentrate ever more governmental power into the White House.

''There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government," Cooper said. ''This is really big, very expansive, and very significant."

For the first five years of Bush's presidency, his legal claims attracted little attention in Congress or the media. Then, twice in recent months, Bush drew scrutiny after challenging new laws: a torture ban and a requirement that he give detailed reports to Congress about how he is using the Patriot Act.

Bush administration spokesmen declined to make White House or Justice Department attorneys available to discuss any of Bush's challenges to the laws he has signed.

Instead, they referred a Globe reporter to their response to questions about Bush's position that he could ignore provisions of the Patriot Act. They said at the time that Bush was following a practice that has ''been used for several administrations" and that ''the president will faithfully execute the law in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution."

But the words ''in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution" are the catch, legal scholars say, because Bush is according himself the ultimate interpretation of the Constitution. And he is quietly exercising that authority to a degree that is unprecedented in US history.

Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.

Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files ''signing statements" -- official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.

In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed.

''He agrees to a compromise with members of Congress, and all of them are there for a public bill-signing ceremony, but then he takes back those compromises -- and more often than not, without the Congress or the press or the public knowing what has happened," said Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio political science professor who studies executive power.

Military link
Many of the laws Bush said he can bypass -- including the torture ban -- involve the military. [Harrison: Why add a signing statement to a bill banning torture? Hmm. I wonder.]

The Constitution grants Congress the power to create armies, to declare war, to make rules for captured enemies, and ''to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." But, citing his role as commander in chief, Bush says he can ignore any act of Congress that seeks to regulate the military.

On at least four occasions while Bush has been president, Congress has passed laws forbidding US troops from engaging in combat in Colombia, where the US military is advising the government in its struggle against narcotics-funded Marxist rebels.

After signing each bill, Bush declared in his signing statement that he did not have to obey any of the Colombia restrictions because he is commander in chief.

Bush has also said he can bypass laws requiring him to tell Congress before diverting money from an authorized program in order to start a secret operation, such as the ''black sites" where suspected terrorists are secretly imprisoned.

Congress has also twice passed laws forbidding the military from using intelligence that was not ''lawfully collected," including any information on Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.

Congress first passed this provision in August 2004, when Bush's warrantless domestic spying program was still a secret, and passed it again after the program's existence was disclosed in December 2005.

On both occasions, Bush declared in signing statements that only he, as commander in chief, could decide whether such intelligence can be used by the military.

In October 2004, five months after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in Iraq came to light, Congress passed a series of new rules and regulations for military prisons. Bush signed the provisions into law, then said he could ignore them all. One provision made clear that military lawyers can give their commanders independent advice on such issues as what would constitute torture. But Bush declared that military lawyers could not contradict his administration's lawyers.

Other provisions required the Pentagon to retrain military prison guards on the requirements for humane treatment of detainees under the Geneva Conventions, to perform background checks on civilian contractors in Iraq, and to ban such contractors from performing ''security, intelligence, law enforcement, and criminal justice functions." Bush reserved the right to ignore any of the requirements.

The new law also created the position of inspector general for Iraq. But Bush wrote in his signing statement that the inspector ''shall refrain" from investigating any intelligence or national security matter, or any crime the Pentagon says it prefers to investigate for itself.

Bush had placed similar limits on an inspector general position created by Congress in November 2003 for the initial stage of the US occupation of Iraq. The earlier law also empowered the inspector to notify Congress if a US official refused to cooperate. Bush said the inspector could not give any information to Congress without permission from the administration.

Oversight questioned
Many laws Bush has asserted he can bypass involve requirements to give information about government activity to congressional oversight committees.

In December 2004, Congress passed an intelligence bill requiring the Justice Department to tell them how often, and in what situations, the FBI was using special national security wiretaps on US soil. The law also required the Justice Department to give oversight committees copies of administration memos outlining any new interpretations of domestic-spying laws. And it contained 11 other requirements for reports about such issues as civil liberties, security clearances, border security, and counternarcotics efforts.

After signing the bill, Bush issued a signing statement saying he could withhold all the information sought by Congress.

Likewise, when Congress passed the law creating the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, it said oversight committees must be given information about vulnerabilities at chemical plants and the screening of checked bags at airports.

It also said Congress must be shown unaltered reports about problems with visa services prepared by a new immigration ombudsman. Bush asserted the right to withhold the information and alter the reports.

On several other occasions, Bush contended he could nullify laws creating ''whistle-blower" job protections for federal employees that would stop any attempt to fire them as punishment for telling a member of Congress about possible government wrongdoing.

When Congress passed a massive energy package in August, for example, it strengthened whistle-blower protections for employees at the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The provision was included because lawmakers feared that Bush appointees were intimidating nuclear specialists so they would not testify about safety issues related to a planned nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada -- a facility the administration supported, but both Republicans and Democrats from Nevada opposed.

When Bush signed the energy bill, he issued a signing statement declaring that the executive branch could ignore the whistle-blower protections.

Bush's statement did more than send a threatening message to federal energy specialists inclined to raise concerns with Congress; it also raised the possibility that Bush would not feel bound to obey similar whistle-blower laws that were on the books before he became president. His domestic spying program, for example, violated a surveillance law enacted 23 years before he took office.

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive-power issues, said Bush has cast a cloud over ''the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore.

''Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional," Golove said.

Defying Supreme Court
Bush has also challenged statutes in which Congress gave certain executive branch officials the power to act independently of the president. The Supreme Court has repeatedly endorsed the power of Congress to make such arrangements. For example, the court has upheld laws creating special prosecutors free of Justice Department oversight and insulating the board of the Federal Trade Commission from political interference.

Nonetheless, Bush has said in his signing statements that the Constitution lets him control any executive official, no matter what a statute passed by Congress might say.

In November 2002, for example, Congress, seeking to generate independent statistics about student performance, passed a law setting up an educational research institute to conduct studies and publish reports ''without the approval" of the Secretary of Education. Bush, however, decreed that the institute's director would be ''subject to the supervision and direction of the secretary of education."

Similarly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld affirmative-action programs, as long as they do not include quotas. Most recently, in 2003, the court upheld a race-conscious university admissions program over the strong objections of Bush, who argued that such programs should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Yet despite the court's rulings, Bush has taken exception at least nine times to provisions that seek to ensure that minorities are represented among recipients of government jobs, contracts, and grants. Each time, he singled out the provisions, declaring that he would construe them ''in a manner consistent with" the Constitution's guarantee of ''equal protection" to all -- which some legal scholars say amounts to an argument that the affirmative-action provisions represent reverse discrimination against whites.

Golove said that to the extent Bush is interpreting the Constitution in defiance of the Supreme Court's precedents, he threatens to ''overturn the existing structures of constitutional law."

A president who ignores the court, backed by a Congress that is unwilling to challenge him, Golove said, can make the Constitution simply ''disappear."

Common practice in '80s
Though Bush has gone further than any previous president, his actions are not unprecedented.

Since the early 19th century, American presidents have occasionally signed a large bill while declaring that they would not enforce a specific provision they believed was unconstitutional. On rare occasions, historians say, presidents also issued signing statements interpreting a law and explaining any concerns about it.

But it was not until the mid-1980s, midway through the tenure of President Reagan, that it became common for the president to issue signing statements. The change came about after then-Attorney General Edwin Meese decided that signing statements could be used to increase the power of the president.

When interpreting an ambiguous law, courts often look at the statute's legislative history, debate and testimony, to see what Congress intended it to mean. Meese realized that recording what the president thought the law meant in a signing statement might increase a president's influence over future court rulings.

Under Meese's direction in 1986, a young Justice Department lawyer named Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote a strategy memo about signing statements. It came to light in late 2005, after Bush named Alito to the Supreme Court.

In the memo, Alito predicted that Congress would resent the president's attempt to grab some of its power by seizing ''the last word on questions of interpretation." He suggested that Reagan's legal team should ''concentrate on points of true ambiguity, rather than issuing interpretations that may seem to conflict with those of Congress."

Reagan's successors continued this practice. George H.W. Bush challenged 232 statutes over four years in office, and Bill Clinton objected to 140 laws over his eight years, according to Kelley, the Miami University of Ohio professor.

Many of the challenges involved longstanding legal ambiguities and points of conflict between the president and Congress.

Throughout the past two decades, for example, each president -- including the current one -- has objected to provisions requiring him to get permission from a congressional committee before taking action. The Supreme Court made clear in 1983 that only the full Congress can direct the executive branch to do things, but lawmakers have continued writing laws giving congressional committees such a role.

Still, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton used the presidential veto instead of the signing statement if they had a serious problem with a bill, giving Congress a chance to override their decisions.

But the current President Bush has abandoned the veto entirely, as well as any semblance of the political caution that Alito counseled back in 1986. In just five years, Bush has challenged more than 750 new laws, by far a record for any president, while becoming the first president since Thomas Jefferson to stay so long in office without issuing a veto.

''What we haven't seen until this administration is the sheer number of objections that are being raised on every bill passed through the White House," said Kelley, who has studied presidential signing statements through history. ''That is what is staggering. The numbers are well out of the norm from any previous administration."

Exaggerated fears?
Some administration defenders say that concerns about Bush's signing statements are overblown. Bush's signing statements, they say, should be seen as little more than political chest-thumping [Harrison: try Nazi goose-stepping] by administration lawyers who are dedicated to protecting presidential prerogatives.

Defenders say the fact that Bush is reserving the right to disobey the laws does not necessarily mean he has gone on to disobey them.

Indeed, in some cases, the administration has ended up following laws that Bush said he could bypass. For example, citing his power to ''withhold information" in September 2002, Bush declared that he could ignore a law requiring the State Department to list the number of overseas deaths of US citizens in foreign countries. Nevertheless, the department has still put the list on its website.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who until last year oversaw the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel for the administration, said the statements do not change the law; they just let people know how the president is interpreting it.

''Nobody reads them," said Goldsmith. ''They have no significance. Nothing in the world changes by the publication of a signing statement. The statements merely serve as public notice about how the administration is interpreting the law. Criticism of this practice is surprising, since the usual complaint is that the administration is too secretive in its legal interpretations."

But Cooper, the Portland State University professor who has studied Bush's first-term signing statements, said the documents are being read closely by one key group of people: the bureaucrats who are charged with implementing new laws.

Lower-level officials will follow the president's instructions even when his understanding of a law conflicts with the clear intent of Congress, crafting policies that may endure long after Bush leaves office, Cooper said.

''Years down the road, people will not understand why the policy doesn't look like the legislation," he said.

And in many cases, critics contend, there is no way to know whether the administration is violating laws -- or merely preserving the right to do so.

Many of the laws Bush has challenged involve national security, where it is almost impossible to verify what the government is doing. And since the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, many people have expressed alarm about his sweeping claims of the authority to violate laws.

In January, after the Globe first wrote about Bush's contention that he could disobey the torture ban, three Republicans who were the bill's principal sponsors in the Senate -- John McCain of Arizona, John W. Warner of Virginia, and Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina -- all publicly rebuked the president.

''We believe the president understands Congress's intent in passing, by very large majorities, legislation governing the treatment of detainees," McCain and Warner said in a joint statement. ''The Congress declined when asked by administration officials to include a presidential waiver of the restrictions included in our legislation."

Added Graham: ''I do not believe that any political figure in the country has the ability to set aside any . . . law of armed conflict that we have adopted or treaties that we have ratified."

And in March, when the Globe first wrote about Bush's contention that he could ignore the oversight provisions of the Patriot Act, several Democrats lodged complaints.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, accused Bush of trying to ''cherry-pick the laws he decides he wants to follow."

And Representatives Jane Harman of California and John Conyers Jr. of Michigan -- the ranking Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, respectively -- sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales demanding that Bush rescind his claim and abide by the law.

''Many members who supported the final law did so based upon the guarantee of additional reporting and oversight," they wrote. ''The administration cannot, after the fact, unilaterally repeal provisions of the law implementing such oversight. . . . Once the president signs a bill, he and all of us are bound by it."

Lack of court review
Such political fallout from Congress is likely to be the only check on Bush's claims, legal specialists said.

The courts have little chance of reviewing Bush's assertions, especially in the secret realm of national security matters.

''There can't be judicial review if nobody knows about it," said Neil Kinkopf, a Georgia State law professor who was a Justice Department official in the Clinton administration. ''And if they avoid judicial review, they avoid having their constitutional theories rebuked."

Without court involvement, only Congress can check a president who goes too far. But Bush's fellow Republicans control both chambers, and they have shown limited interest in launching the kind of oversight that could damage their party.

''The president is daring Congress to act against his positions, and they're not taking action because they don't want to appear to be too critical of the president, given that their own fortunes are tied to his because they are all Republicans," said Jack Beermann, a Boston University law professor. ''Oversight gets much reduced in a situation where the president and Congress are controlled by the same party."

Said Golove, the New York University law professor: ''Bush has essentially said that 'We're the executive branch and we're going to carry this law out as we please, and if Congress wants to impeach us, go ahead and try it.' "

Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch ''to exercise some self-restraint." But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.

''This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy," Fein said. ''There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Ahmadinejad You Thought You Knew

That's right. The "hardline" Iranian President. When are journalists going to start referring to Mini-Bush by this title? "Hardline American President Invades Another Middle Eastern Country." Anyways, Jeff Wells wrote an interesting blog recently. Follow the imbedded links to disavow yourself of a few more imbedded lies. See the spin in action:

Yesterday morning I was watching a streaming English-language news broadcast from Russia. (And I expect that's enough cause right there for the telecommunication giants to seek the end of the Internet as we know it.) The lead story was the press conference of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the main points hit by the Russia Today correspondent were Ahmadinejad's renouncing nuclear weapons as contrary to Islam and his reiteration of Iran's 30-year commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, though Iran reserved the right to revisit its commitment if adherence to the treaty imperiled its sovereignty.

It was an unexpectedly optimistic piece. Ahmadinejad was allowed to speak at length and appeared relaxed and informed while fielding questions. If the excerpts were representative and the translation accurate, he appeared to be credibly attempting to defuse the crisis.

Naturally we need to compensate for spin whatever the source, and Russian news tailored for a foreign audience has a spin no less than Wolf Blitzer's Panic Room. Knowing that, I was still taken aback by the absolute unfamiliarity of the same press conference when soon after I started reading accounts of it in the Western media. The accent was almost entirely upon provocation, not concilation: the UN "lacks guts" to impose sanctions; "Defiant Iran in threat to quit nuclear treaty"; and "Iranian President insists 'Israel can not continue to live.'"

[...]But did he really say that? Did he insist that Israel must die? The headline is drawn from this quote, provided without context: "We say that this fake regime cannot logically continue to live." To arrive at the headline, the government has to be conflated with the nation. Likewise we could say about the Bush administration, and with considerable accuracy, that "this fake regime cannot logically continue to survive." (Without knowing Farsi I'll presume that the original could be translated as either "to live" or "to survive.") And is that the same as saying America must die?

Ahmadinejad says the darnedest things, but perhaps, when translated, his rhetoric is subject to overinflation by parties interested in conflict.

Still Believe Iraqis Hate Each Other?

Because that's what you're supposed to think; US troops are embroiled in a hotbed of Iraqi insurgents who randomly and repeatedly blow themselves and their fellow Iraqis up for now good reason, usually missing any occupying troops. It must be because them Godless ragheads are just too darn dumb to realize what the damnation they're doing! They'll blow up their own Mosques, kill their neighbours, and who knows what else?! (They probably eat their babies and sacrifice them to their false-idol God!)

I hope you don't believe that nonsense. Here's a neoconservative (I mean fascist twerp) describing what's really going on:

In an article posted on the Hoover Digest website, Henriksen “explains how to adapt [subversion and deception] to the war on terror, exploiting the ideological and religious differences of our enemies,” in other words implementing the dirty work of P2OG (Proactive Preemptive Operations Group), a psychological operation designed to “stimulate reactions” on the part of “terrorists,” in this instance the Iraqi resistance struggling against the illegal invasion and occupation of their country. “In the current anti-terrorist campaign,” Henriksen writes in an appropriately entitled essay (Divide et Impera, or divide and conquer), “small groups of Special Operations Forces (SOF) will continue to find themselves up against insurgents in societies marked by tribal and sectional differences that could be turned to the advantage of the special forces,” a situation “ideally suited to the world of stealth and counter-subversion,” or killing Iraqi patriots opposed to neocons and neolibs destroying their country.

Mr. Henriksen writes:

Sowing divisions among enemies is as old as warfare. By the time Niccolò Machiavelli cited the ancient political maxim divide et impera, the strategy of dividing to conquer had long been accepted in statecraft and warfare. U.S. military forces have not ignored the tactics associated with pitting one enemy against another. But those tactics have often been subordinated to the American way of war that relies on massive firepower. The global struggle against violent extremism is a highly political conflict where overwhelming combat “punch” is less applicable. By the same token, the extreme ideological and political divisions among the terrorists and insurgents open chinks to savvy and adaptable forces. [...]

“From the founding of the United States, the federal government has relied on subterfuge, skullduggery, and secret operations to advance American interests,” Henriksen notes, dispensing with the normal neocon tendency to avoid history or at best gloss over it. “Even in the midst of World War II, America’s greatest conventional war of the twentieth century, the United States resorted to cloak-and-dagger missions under the Office of Strategic Services.

While Henriksen is being pretty open (for a neoconservative, that is), he fails to mention a few things, as Nimmo points out:

States considered “hostile” (or had their own ideas about how to run their countries) included Iran, Guatemala, Hungary, Laos, Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Congo, Brazil, Indonesia, Greece, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, Angola, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Iraq, and others. The CIA’s “secret operations” and “skullduggery” included assassination (for instance, the CIA had the democratically elected leader of the Congo, later Zaire, Patrice Lumumba assassinated—other victims include Dominican Republic President Trujillo, South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem, and Chilean Rene Schneider), torture, and death squads (the CIA put Brazil’s General Castelo Branco in the torture and death squad business in 1964—the effort was so successful at generating dread and fear the spook and subversion agency used it as a matter of course over the years). Henriksen mentions none of this—or does he bother to make note of the Pentagon’s various “counter insurgency” programs, including Operation Phoenix in Vietnam (an assassination program “plain and simple,” as Mark Zepezauer comments).

Just to remind you: Israel created Hamas to oppose the PLO, America created Al Qaeda to defeat the Russians. Is it starting to make sense yet?

The Chavez Corporate-Sponsored Propaganda Doesn't Want You To See

Terrorist? Dictator? If you think so, sorry, but you've been royally duped. Get a clue, please:

How'd You Like To Live In A Free Country With A Leader And Government Working For The People

The great majority of the Venezuelan people would and here's why. Any idea what it's like to be impoverished, not know where your next meal is coming from, live in a shack for a home or not even have that much, and have no access to even minimum medical care or education? These people do. Ask them, they'll explain it to you. Hugo Chavez has given them what they never had before. Think they won't fight to keep it and him? Wouldn't you in their place if the alternative was desperate poverty? That's what 80% of them had before, they're still poor and deprived, but everyone gets free first rate health and dental care and education through as high a level as they can attain. They also get subsidized food, the legal right they never had before to own the land their homes were built on and lots more. The result is a significant improvement in the lives and welfare of the Venezuelan poor that comprise the great majority of the population and Chavez's base of support. The population is healthier, no one need go hungry, and illiteracy in the country is almost nil. In the US it's around 20%, and millions more can barely read and write at a grammar school level.

Also in the US, our land of opportunity and richest country in the world, we have 46 million people with no health insurance, many millions more with too little and by conservative estimates 12 million American families, over 10% of all households, struggle to feed themselves and often go hungry. They can't afford the high price of insurance that keeps becoming more unaffordable or even to buy enough food for their families. They should be getting federal aid, but how can they when our government spends all it has and can borrow on imperial wars of conquest without end to enrich big corporations. The cupboard is bare for anything else, so we're all on our own, like it or not. If the country had a motto or slogan it might be you can have anything you want as long as you can pay for it. If not, you're on your own. It's called "the free market." Ask one of the millions of poor, single black mothers with young children how "free" it is and what it's like trying to figure out how to get the next meal on the table and pay the rent. She could only dream of the way things are in the land of the Bolivarian Revolution and a leader who really cares about all his people - if she knew about it.

Jeez! No wonder Mini-Bush and the gang sponsored a coup attempt on him in 2002! He gives them non-psychopaths what they want! The nerve! Proles aren't supposed to like their superiors. Leaders must have no compassion and keep their subjects in abject poverty, unable to read any more than the slick propaganda provided for them! When will Chavez learn to ride with the big boys and be a spineless psychopath?!

Hopefully never. He'll probably be assassinated before he gets the chance...

Monday, April 24, 2006


It is becoming increasingly clear that Thermite was used to demolish the World Trade Centers. Here are some excerpts from Paul Watson's latest, which you should read in its entirety. The original article has links to various videos of Thermite being used in action.

Brigham Young University physicist Professor Steven Jones told peers at a Utah meeting that, "while almost no fire, even one ignited by jet fuel, can cause structural steel to fail, the combination of thermite and sulfur "slices through steel like a hot knife through butter."

Jones points to a video (click here to watch) which shows a bright yellow molten substance dripping from the south tower minutes before its collapse. Government investigators claimed that this was aluminum from Flight 175 but Jones is adamant that aluminum is silvery in appearance and doesn't turn yellow.

Jones also told the Deseret News that sulfur traces found at ground zero indicates the thermite was combined with sulphur to make it burn even hotter than the normal 2500 degrees Celsius.

Jones stated that thermite was a "clever" choice because its ingredients, aluminum and iron oxide do not require identifying tags by law, meaning they couldn't be traced back to their manufacturers. [...]

American Free Press writer Christopher Bollyn discusses evidence of thermite used to sever the twin tower's steel support columns in the picture below.

"In this photo, for example, the column directly above the fireman's helmet shows that it was cut with thermite. There is a substantial amount of hardened molten iron which can be seen on both the inside and outside of the box column. This is precisely what one would expect to find on a column which had been cut with thermite," says Bollyn. [...]

The What Really Happened website created a page giving more proof that thermite was used and how it runs parallel with eyewitness reports of explosions and pieces being sheered off the towers. An additional video shows white smoke at the base of the north tower moments before its collapse. White smoke also rose from the wreckage of the towers.

It is now all but conclusive that the master architects of 9/11 used thermite to implode the towers, going the extra length to pull off the pyrotechnic horror show and enhance the media spectacle of 'the new Pearl Harbor,' instilling greater fear and fealty that enabled them to subsequently enact their domestic and geopolitical agenda.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Making War Crimes Legal, One Day at a Time

From Laura Knight-Jadczyk's latest commentary:

War Crimes: A Question of Conscience

Yesterday's UK Daily Mail informs us that RAF doctor Malcolm Kendall-Smith has been sentenced to eight months in jail after being found guilty by a court martial of failing to comply with "lawful orders" after refusing to serve in the Iraq war.

Kendall-Smith is said to have told a pre-trial hearing last month that he refused to go to Iraq because he believed the war was illegal and he did not want to be complicit with an act of aggression contrary to international law. He reportedly said that he had "evidence that the Americans were on a par with Nazi Germany with its actions in the Persian Gulf. I have documents in my possession which support my assertions. This is on the basis that on-going acts of aggression in Iraq and systematically applied war crimes provide a moral equivalent between the US and Nazi Germany."

Kendall-Smith is absolutely correct. There is ample evidence – growing in volume and quality every day – that the U.S. and its lap-dog, Great Britain, went to war on trumped up charges, lies and with illegal intentions. There is, for example, the "Downing Street Memo," and the more recent evidence that George Bush not only knowingly used "cooked" intelligence, but that he also deliberately attempted to destroy the lives of those individuals who sought to expose this hoax. [...]

When sentencing Kendall-Smith, Judge Advocate Bayliss told him: "You have, in this court's view, sought to make a martyr of yourself. You have shown a degree of arrogance that is amazing." The news reports tell us that Judge Advocate Bayliss further said that Kendall-Smith may have acted out of his moral viewpoint but his interpretation of the presence of British forces in Iraq as illegal was incorrect. [...]

As Laura points out, here's something Bayliss should keep in mind:

From Mar. 5,1947 to Dec. 4, 1947, nine members of the Reich Ministry of Justice and seven members of the People's and Special Courts, were by the Nuremberg Tribunal with using their power as prosecutors and judges to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. [...]

The Justice Trial is one of the most interesting of the Nuremberg trials. This trial raised the issue of what responsibility judges might have for enforcing grossly unjust - but arguably binding - laws. [...]

Ingo Muller's book, "Hitler's Justice: The Courts of the Third Reich", provides analysis of the evidence suggesting that most German judges were ultraconservative nationalists who were sympathetic to Nazi goals. In other words, the "Nazification" of German law occurred with the willful cooperation of judges. Judge Advocate Jack Bayliss might want to sit up and take notice. [...]

In order to convict, it was only necessary that the defendant consciously furthered these human rights abuses; that is, that they had been notified, at some point, that there were those who considered the acts such abuses.

For example, jurist Franz Schlegelberger served in the Ministry of Justice from 1931-1942. For the last period of his service, Schlegelberger was Director of the Ministry of Justice. He wrote legal books and was honored as a great jurist. Schlegelberger's defense was that he was bound to follow the orders of Hitler, the "Supreme Judge" of Germany, but that he did so reluctantly. Schlegelberger argued that he did not join the Nazis until 1938, and then only because he was ordered to do so by Hitler. Schlegelberger argued that he had "sympathy for the Jews" and that he "resisted" certain legal measures against them. He also argued that he continued to serve as long as he did in order to prevent the appointment of a less sympathetic judge.

Sounds perfectly heartbreaking, eh? Like being stuck between a rock and a hard place?

His arguments may have saved him from death, but they didn't mitigate his responsibility. In its decision, the Justice trial tribunal pointed out that the decision of a man of his stature to remain in office lent credibilty to the Nazi regime. More than that, Schegelberger did sign his name to orders that, in the tribunal's judgment, constituted crimes. [...]

The fact is, no person who knowingly commits the acts made punishable by C.C. Law 10 can assert that he did not know that he would be brought to account for his acts because notice of intent to punish is being repeatedly given by the only means available in international affairs, namely, the solemn warning of the people.

This is what Malcolm Kendall-Smith has done: as a man of conscience, he has officially notified the British Court System - and the World - that, one day, in the not-too-distant future, the people of this Earth will take back control of their lives; they will reject utterly the rule of conscienceless Pathocrats, and there will be Justice for humanity.

In the words of Dave McGowan:

What the hell does it take to get a reaction out of you? Let's quickly run through a partial list of things that, thus far, have failed to inspire you to summon your inner Howard Beales: two consecutive stolen presidential elections; back-to-back wars, both of them unprovoked and brazenly illegal, with more on the horizon; the deaths of well over two thousand of your sons and daughters in Central Asia and the Middle East, and the maiming and disfiguring of thousands more; the ongoing slaughter of tens of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis; countless corporate/political scandals directly tied to the Bush mob; diligent efforts by a veritable army of 9-11 skeptics (including a growing list of people that some of you might find more credible than us wacky Internet 'conspiracy theorists') to convince you that the official story of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of September 11 is a nothing more than a fairy tale; passage of the Patriot Act, and various other attacks on your civil, privacy, and due process rights; the entirely preventable deaths of an unknown number of people in New Orleans; military occupation of southern Louisiana; sanctioning of secret military tribunals; revelations of the widespread use of, and official sanction of, various forms of torture; getting slapped in the face with the Abu Ghraib photos; indefinite, warrantless detentions without access to legal counsel; illegal domestic surveillance; open witch-hunting of ‘liberal’ members of academia (though it is perfectly acceptable for a former Phoenix Program assassin and torturer to educate your children); gross invasions of your privacy – at airports, at sporting events, when entering many public buildings, even when sitting at home on your computer; massive cuts in social spending, even while hundreds of billions of dollars are spent waging war and militarizing domestic law enforcement; massive tax cuts that primarily benefit corporate America; the steady erosion of the nation’s education and healthcare systems; trashing of the environment and environmental protections; the accumulation of an almost unfathomable level of debt; and the act of grand theft masquerading as Medicare ‘reform.'

Through all of this and more, you have sat silently by. So again I must ask: what the hell will it take? How much worse does it have to get? How much worse will you allow it to get? And if you continue to sit by and do nothing, who do you think is going to save you from the increasingly bleak future we face? Who do you think is going to stop all the madness for you?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bush's Guernica

Watch this video and ask yourself why you didn't already know of the extent of this atrocity. This is Bush's Guernica. Please, watch the entire video. It is only an hour of your life. Those in the video have lost so much more than one hour. We owe it to them to witness and expose the carnage that the American, British, and Israeli butchers evoked upon the women and children of Falluja. Notice who their snipers targeted: fleeing boys and girls. Notice who their cluster bombs tore to pieces: women clutching their infant children.

To understand why this continues to happen, why war prevails when there is seemingly NO ONE who wants it, it is imperative for you to read this book: Political Ponerology. It will become increasingly more difficult to keep sane in the coming years and this book is essential to maintain some semblance of mental hygiene.

The Scientific Study of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes

by Andrew M. Lobaczewski

The first manuscript of this book went into the fire five minutes before the arrival of the secret police in Communist Poland. The second copy, reassembled painfully by scientists working under impossible conditions of repression, was sent via a courier to the Vatican. Its receipt was never acknowledged, no word was ever heard from the courier - the manuscript and all the valuable data was lost. The third copy was produced after one of the scientists working on the project escaped to America in the 1980s. Zbigniew Brzezinski suppressed it.

Political Ponerology: The scientific study of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes was forged in the crucible of the very subject it studies. Scientists living under an oppressive regime decide to study it clinically, to study the founders and supporters of an evil regime to determine what common factor is at play in the rise and propagation of man's inhumanity to man.

Shocking in its clinically spare descriptions of the true nature of evil, poignant in the more literary passages where the author reveals the suffering experienced by the researchers who were contaminated or destroyed by the disease they were studying, this is a book that should be required reading by every citizen of every country that claims a moral or humanistic foundation. For it is a certainty that morality and humanism cannot long withstand the predations of Evil. Knowledge of its nature, how it creates its networks and spreads, how insidious is its guileful approach, is the only antidote.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thank You, Harry Taylor!

My wish has come true. I now have all the personal confirmation I need that Bush is a raving psychopathic lunatic, and I have Harry Taylor to thank for this. Two days ago, our Most High Shrubbery graced Charlotte with his odious presence. In a Q&A session, 61-year old Harry Taylor let Bush know what millions of us already know:

HT: What I wanted to say to you is that I — in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and –


THE PRESIDENT: No, wait a sec — let him speak.

HT: And I would hope — I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I’m saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.

The full transcript is available here. And the video can be found here. As you can tell by watching the video, Bush will feel ashamed of his crimes when Hell freezes over (or when he gets "raptured" up to heaven, as both options are equally likely). He does not have a conscience. When will people understand this? The man ENJOYS what he does, just like he enjoyed blowing up frogs as a child. Just look at the sick smirk he gets when reminded that HE, among all these simple sheep, has the POWER to spy on them, arrest them, torture them, hold them for years in a foreign prison without trial. And no, he will not apologize for his depravity. He is a psychopath.

Unfortunately, Harry Taylor's freedom of speech is nothing like what Norman Rockwell was attempting to portray in his painting (see the this link for the striking resemblance to Mr. Taylor). In America, there is only the illusion of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is the freedom to say whatever you want and have nobody listen to you; to be among the majority and have the president tell you that it's so great that in "this country" we have such freedoms, but "I'm the president" and "I'm not going to apologize for robbing you of your other basic freedoms." In other words, you have every right to complain that you are completely controlled by psychopaths, and there's not a goddamned thing you can do about it. Some freedom.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Ever-Growing List of Non-Idiots

Now, to be a non-idiot is not necessarily a totally redeeming quality. As you will see, even the father of Reagonomics is a non-idiot. But, with this in mind:

The former head of the Star Wars missile defense program under Presidents Ford and Carter has gone public to say that the official version of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory and his main suspect for the architect of the attack is Vice President Dick Cheney.

Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret. flew 101 combat missions in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Eisenhower Medal, the George F. Kennan Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Veterans for Peace, the Society of Military Engineers Gold Medal (twice), six Air Medals, and dozens of other awards and honors. His Ph.D. is in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering from Caltech. He chaired 8 major international conferences, and is one of the country’s foremost experts on National Security.

As the article states further on, Dr. Bowman is only the latest in a long stream of "credible" sources who believe 9/11 was a false-flag operation:

Physics Professors, former White House advisors and CIA analysts, the father of Reaganomics, German Defense Ministers and Bush's former Secretary of the Treasury, have all gone public on 9/11 but have been uniformly ignored by the majority of the establishment press.

It seems that there are reports like this published daily. Just recently it was revealed that the white-wash 9/11 Commission Report was what we all thought it was from the get-go, a complete fraud. I wonder who else the corrupt boot-lickers responsible for that exemplar of wasted paper accepted bribes from?

New Delhi, March 12: The Pakistan foreign office had paid tens of thousands of dollars to lobbyists in the US to get anti-Pakistan references dropped from the 9/11 inquiry commission report, The Friday Times has claimed. [...]

It claimed that some of the commission members were also bribed to prevent them from including damaging information about Pakistan. [...]

“The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 inquiry commission and, above all, the authenticity of the information in their final report,” [the report] said.

The report quoted an officer as saying that dramatic changes were made in the final draft of the inquiry commission after the lobbyists got to work. The panel was formed to probe the September 11 terror attack and make suggestions to fight terrorism.

So what did they leave out? Maybe this has something to do with it?

The purported 9-11 ringleader - Mohammed Atta - according to ABC news, was financed by "unnamed sources in Pakistan." According to Agence France Presse and the Times of India, an official Indian intelligence report informs us that the 9-11 attacks were funded by money wired to Mohammed Atta from Pakistan, by Ahmad Umar Sheikh, under orders from Pakistani intelligence chief General Mahmoud Ahmad. The report said: "The evidence we have supplied to the U.S. is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism." [Michel Chossudovsky]