Sunday, January 18, 2009

Before Everyone Goes Jumping For Joy Over The Pelosi Statements On FOX News This Morning And ...

Before Everyone Goes Jumping For Joy Over The Pelosi Statements On FOX News This Morning And Goes Running All Over The Place To Emails, Faxes And Phone Calls; Everyone Should Brief Themselves On Precisely What Is Happening.  It Is All A Matter Of Who Is Talking.


You need to be aware of the players who are speaking out and be able to reference them.  The simple fact of the matter is that they are the potential witnesses.  Everyone can know what is going on, but quite frankly if everyone is going to keep their mouths shut our chances are as difficult as they have been for years.  We want the dam of silence to break wide open, and it is getting close!


Brief Yourself First Then…

Pelosi Does About-Face On Bush Prosecution By Ralph Lopez

Sun Jan 18, 2009 At 04:24:35 Pm Pst

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Keep The Pressure Going!  Everyone Reaching Out And Pushing The Little Snowball Makes It A Big Snowball!
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Place A Call To House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers: 202-225-5126

She got the memo; Pelosi Now Signals Support for Bush Probes
The Young Turks - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Her response led Peter Thottam, founder of the LA 
Impeachment Center, to demand Pelosi do her job and pursue impeachment hearings against Bush for launching ...

 DownWithTyranny!: The only thing scarier than wingnuts who think ...

By DownWithTyranny 
It doesn't matter that prosecuting the torturers might be inconvenient, as AG-designate Eric Holder seemed to be saying to the Senate
 Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearings. We are not only morally but legally required to ...
DownWithTyranny! -

Nancy Pelosi: We In Congress Might Not Have Any Choice But To ...
Are The Cheney-Bush Team Really Going To Rock Away Into Their Golden Years And Enjoy The View From Their Windows Without Iron Bars? Were you to listen to the.
The Gun Toting Liberal -


The Moral Clarity of Nancy Pelosi « Liberty Street
House Speaker 
Nancy Pelosi is receptive to the idea of prosecuting some Bush administration officials, while letting others who are accused of misdeeds leave office without prosecution, she told Chris Wallace in an interview on “FOX ...
Liberty Street -


Brad DeLong's Egregious Moderation: Steve Benen: Nancy Pelosi on ...
The Washington Monthly: 
PELOSI ON BYGONES.... There's been some discussion of late over whether alleged Bush administration crimes should be investigated after Barack Obama takes office. Speaker Pelosi made her opinion clear this ...
Brad DeLong's Egregious Moderation -


PELOSI ON BYGONES.... There's been some discussion of late over whether alleged Bush administration crimes should be investigated after Barack Obama takes office. Speaker Pelosi madeher opinion clear this morning on Fox News.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants an investigation into whether the Bush administration broke the law when it fired a group of federal prosecutors.


She says that what she calls the politicizing of the Justice Department cannot go unreviewed.


House Democrats last week recommended a criminal investigation to see if administration officials broke the law in the name of national security. The report cited the interrogation of foreign detainees, warrantless wiretaps, retribution against critics, manipulation of intelligence and the fired prosecutors.


Specifically, Pelosi argued, "Past is prologue. We learn from it." Asked about the different approaches voiced by Obama and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), the Speaker added, "I don't think Mr. Obama and Mr. Conyers are that far apart. I want to see the truth come forward."


Stay tuned.


The incoming Obama administration is coming under new pressure to investigate the treatment of terror detainees following a surprise public admission by a top Pentagon official that a high-profile detainee was "tortured" at Guantánamo Bay.


In an unusually candid interview, Susan J. Crawford, the convening authority for the U.S. military commissions, told the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that a number of "enhanced" interrogation techniques used against one Guantánamo detainee—Mohammed al-Qahtani—"met the legal definition of torture."


"We tortured al-Qahtani," Crawford told Woodward.

Just last weekend, Obama signaled in a television interview that he was not inclined to launch sweeping new criminal investigations of detainee treatment and interrogations that took place under the Bush administration. "My instinct is for us to focus on how do we make sure that moving forward we are doing the right thing," Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "That doesn't mean that if somebody has blatantly broken the law, that they are above the law. But my orientation's going to be to move forward."


But Crawford's comments could force the new administration to look backward, as well. As the senior Pentagon official in charge of the military commissions, Crawford had direct access to internal files on Qahtani's treatment that have never been publicly released, including practices that she says left the Saudi detainee in a "life-threatening condition."


"I expect that a next step is for the Justice Department of the new administration to take a look at all of the facts and to assess any senior-level accountability for the abuse of detainees," said Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in a statement to NEWSWEEK. (Levin recently released a report concluding that senior Bush administration officials were responsible for the abusive treatment of detainees.)


Crawford's willingness to publicly use the word "torture" could have immediate legal implications. Torture is not just a violation of international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions; it is also a federal crime prosecutable by the Justice Department. In fact, just last week, Justice put out a press release highlighting its successful prosecution of Roy M. Belfast (a.k.a. "Chuckie Taylor"), the son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, for acts of torture committed under his father's regime during the 1990s. Belfast, who headed a paramilitary organization known as the Anti-Terrorist Unit, was sentenced to 97 years in prison for acts that included burning victims with molten plastic, lit cigarettes and scalding water as well as severely beating them with firearms and shocking them with an electric device. "Our message to human rights violators, no matter where they are, remains the same: We will use the full reach of U.S. law, and every lawful resource at the disposal of our investigators and prosecutors, to hold you fully accountable for your crimes," acting assistant attorney general Matthew Friedrich of the criminal division said in the press release.


While not nearly as gruesome, the treatment of Qahtani included a range of highly aggressive—and controversial—interrogation practices that were not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual but were personally approved by then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. These techniques included sleep deprivation, forced nudity, prolonged exposure to cold, the use of a ferocious guard dog to induce phobias and prolonged isolation.


A 2005 Pentagon report documented that Qahtani was also tied to a leash and made to perform dog tricks, forced to stand naked in front of female interrogators and forced to wear a woman's bra and a thong on his head during the course of his interrogation. The report conceded that Qahtani was subjected to "degrading and abusive" treatment. But it held that there were no violations of law; the Pentagon general in charge of the review, Gen. Bantz Craddock, overruled a recommendation that the Guantánamo commander at the time, Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, be disciplined for failing to properly supervise the handling of Qahtani's interrogation.


Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that Crawford's statements appeared to have elements of "CYA [cover you're ass]." Even so, Romero believes that Obama cannot simply look past her assessment. "When you have an admission of violation of law, you have to look backward. You're going to have to appoint a prosecutor. You can't just say that was then, this is now."


In her Post interview, Crawford said that her finding that Qahtani was tortured prompted her to block a request by Pentagon prosecutors to bring charges against him for being part of the 9/11 plot. (Qahtani had unsuccessfully tried to enter the country at the Orlando airport in August 2001; the 9/11 commission—and other investigators—later concluded that he was seeking to become the 20th hijacker.) Her statements to Woodward about how the treatment of Qahtani in 2002 had forced him to be hospitalized with bradycardia, a heart condition that is potentially fatal, also seems to raise questions about the accuracy of the earlier Pentagon report on the detainee. That report had stated that a January 2003 medical examination of the detainee (who was not publicly named at the time, but has since been acknowledged to be Qahtani) "found no medical conditions of note."


In a statement, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell continued to maintain that Qahtani's treatment was legal and repeated the Obama team's mantra that the new administration—which will retain Bush's current Defense Secretary, Robert Gates—intends to look forward, not backward. "We have conducted more than a dozen investigations and reviews of our detention operations, including specifically the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker. They concluded the interrogation methods used at GTMO [Guantánamo], including the special techniques used on Qahtani in 2002, were lawful. However, subsequent to those reviews, the Department adopted new and more restrictive policies and procedures for interrogation and detention operations." But, Morrell added: "Some of the aggressive questioning techniques used on al-Qahtani, although permissible at the time, are no longer allowed in the updated Army field manual."


Qahtani was never subjected to waterboarding, the most extreme of U.S. government interrogation methods that involves pouring water into the nose and mouth of a subject until the he gasps for air, forcing water into his lungs. That technique was used against three other high-value detainees who were in CIA custody—Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abd al-Rahm al-Nashiri. Crawford said in her interview that "I assume torture" took place in the interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed—a comment that defense lawyers took to mean that she was never actually provided access to the files on him and the other detainees in CIA custody.


In approving charges against some of them (Abu Zubaydah has never been charged), she apparently relied on FBI reports on interviews with detainees that took place after they were transferred from CIA "black" prisons overseas to Guantánamo in September 2006. In those cases, Crawford indicated that there was evidence in statements gleaned from the noncoercive FBI interviews that supported the charges while Qahtani had recanted the statements he made to his interrogators. Still, on Wednesday a military lawyer for Nashiri formally filed a request that she withdraw the charges against their client as well on the grounds that he too was tortured. "By itself, waterboarding amounts to torture," Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Reyes wrote in a memo to Crawford.


He added that defense lawyers believed that information about Nashiri's treatment, including his waterboarding, was not made available to Crawford before she recently referred capital charges against him to a military commission for a trial accusing him of responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000. "In light of your recent comments [to The Washington Post,] it seems that such evidence would have been crucial to your referral decision."


In Congress, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Michigan Rep John Conyers, earlier this week issued a lengthy report cataloging alleged abuses by what he termed Bush's "imperial presidency," including alleged detainee detention and interrogation abuses and warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens. Conyers and a handful of other House Democrats have introduced legislation to set up a tribunal, modeled after the 9/11 Commission, to investigate alleged Bush administration abuses of power.


However, neither Obama nor Democratic congressional leaders have so far indicated any enthusiasm for creating such a tribunal. Two sources familiar with the incoming administration's views indicated that, until now, Obama's team has been reluctant to launch broad investigations of the intelligence agencies that could damage morale and slow down intelligence gathering. But one of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity about sensitive matters, said that the incoming administration certainly would not turn away from examining any evidence of wrongdoing that it might run across.


Crawford's new public statements would certainly seem to meet that standard.


Tension Is Building Behind The Scenes among Barack Obama's advisers over whether the new administration should investigate allegations of torture and other Bush administration misdeeds. Obama has said he wants to "move forward," but pressure on his team has increased thanks to recent comments in The Washington Post by a top Pentagon official that the treatment of one Guantánamo detainee "met the legal definition of torture."


One transition source, who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive matters, said that Attorney General-designate Eric Holder may be more inclined than other Obama aides to press the matter. Last week Holder told a Senate panel that he considers waterboarding, which was used on three Qaeda suspects held by the CIA, to be torture. "We will follow the evidence, the facts, the law, and let that take us where it should," he said, adding that he did not believe waterboarding yielded reliable intelligence.


Fearing a witch hunt, intel officials are pushing back hard against the threat of a sweeping investigation. 


Last week outgoing CIA chief Michael Hayden told reporters that enhanced interrogation techniques "worked," though he reiterated that the CIA no longer uses waterboarding.


A classified review by the agency's inspector general determined that CIA interrogations produced "thousands" of intel and analytical reports, leading to the capture of suspects and the foiling of plots, according to a person familiar with the document who also declined to be named. Both Hayden and Mike McConnell, the outgoing intel czar, said last week that the Obama administration should leave the CIA with the option of using interrogation methods outside the scope of a U.S. Army interrogation manual; legislation proposed by congressional Democrats would prohibit any methods not outlined in the manual. "We're a secret intelligence service," Hayden said. "We are asked to do things routinely that … no one else [is] ever asked to do. We have to take risks."


Most Valuable Progressives: Code Pink's Transition
The Nation. - New York,NY,USA
During the course of the soon-to-be-former 
Bush-Cheney interregnum, millions of Americans resisted the worst excesses of a lawless and irresponsible ...


At almost every stop on the contemporary underground railroad of righteous rebellion against wrongheaded governance, I found myself in the company of Media Benjamin, Jodie Evans, Gael Murphy and all the other remarkable women who make Code Pink the most valuable progressive organization of the Bush-Cheney years.

Taking its name from the Department of Homeland Security's color-coded alert system for scaring Americans into accepting unnecessary wars and giving up necessary freedoms, Code Pink: Women for Peace declared: "While Bush's color-coded alerts are based on fear and are used to justify violence, the CODEPINK alert is a feisty call for women and men to "wage peace.'"

AND don’t let this kind of dismissive drivel get by!

Find it and fight it!


Kucinich bid to impeach Bush running a little short on time


Kucinich bid to impeach Bush running a little short on time ...
Just a little update:Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who came within nearly 2000 delegates of beating Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president, is still.
Barack Obama - Sharpy News -


This comes as close to misinformation as one can get without being totally wrong. Post-Office Impeachment is quite possible and I assure you that the Inauguration will not mark the end of the drive to hold Mrs. Bush and Cheney accountable in the judgment of history and accountable in civil actions that can follow. In addition there are legal groups/advocates who have waited out Impeachment efforts to this point who will now turn their long prepared materials towards the Hague in pursuit of War Crimes charges. There is no statute of limitations in this regard.


Bush and Cheney may ride off into the sunset but they had best look over their shoulders at those not far behind them. The crimes of this administration cannot be allowed to be simply a matter of complaint and historical footnote. To do nothing more is to legitimize their corruption and the undermining of The Constitutional Rule Of Law in this nation.


For those who don't care, or their caring ends with their departure from office I would say; you are a part of the problem. Your "Ostrich Syndrome" denial is an act of collaboration with the disease with which this administration has infected this nation.


All the spin and seemingly logical rationale to just let all this go is an act of negation of every moral principle that this nation and its citizens profess to honor.


Martin Luther King would not surrendered as many have and are prepared to do! Ed.

Posted by: Ed.Dickau | January 18, 2009 at 07:39 AM


Ending On A Peaceful Note!


'Anything Possible,' Obama Tells Joyous Crowd

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