Thursday, January 22, 2009

Support Hr 104. What A Difference An Election Can Make and Don’t Miss The Virus Alert At This Post End. It Is Aimed At Us And Ours.

Support Hr 104.  What A Difference An Election Can Make and Don’t Miss The Virus Alert At This Post End.  It Is Aimed At Us And Ours.

Support HR 104 Independent Commission To Investigate Bush…Click Below



"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!"

- Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) – 


The End of the 'Black' Prisons
Washington Post - United States
Bush, Vice President Cheney and their advisers believe the policies were necessary and said that they had averted other terrorist attacks. ...See all stories on this topic


Magic Snake Oil: When You Are Suffering, Know That He Has Betrayed ...
By Caleb 
Great guy. Did I mention post-impeachment? Can we do that? Or should we just let him go down as the worst and greediest president ever? If you think I'm being harsh, consider the deaths associated with 'W' and "deadeye" Cheney...
Magic Snake Oil -


The BRAD BLOG : Lack of Pardon for Libby Ticks Off Supporters ...
According to conservative columnist and Cheney biographer Stephen F. Hayes, writing in the Weekly Standard, "Bush's decision not to pardon Libby has angered many of the president's strongest defenders. One Libby sympathizer, a longtime ...



Posted on January 22nd, 2009

by psburton in Civil RightsOp-edUS Politics


A small yet growing and surprising diverse chorus of voices is beginning to call for a D.O.J investigation of and if evidence warrants, Criminal prosecution of Mr. George W. Bush and dozens of men and women who served in the executive branch of the United States Government during his presidency.


These new calls come in addition to ramped up efforts by powerful congressional committee chairs to circumvent efforts by conservative blue dog democrats, to shieldBush and company from facing any consequences for eight years spent treating the constitution like oval office toilet paper. President Obama in a spirit of national reconciliation has made it clear, crystal clear if you like, that he opposes any activity that would amount to or give the impression of a partisan political witch hunt of republicans or those men and women on the front lines in the continued effort todefend against the acts of terrorists.

Civil libertarians, progressives and liberals by and large couldn’t agree more the hand of criminality in this drama did not in a majority of incidents, belong to folks on site. The villains responsible for war crimes and violations of the U.S. constitution, were far removed from the scene of the crime, and President Obama’s call for congressional bipartisanship does not conflict with the need to investigate and prosecute if prosecution is called for. Currently media Baron Sir Rupert Murdoch through his minions in the mainstream media, along with a few stale left over neoconservatives still in office have become George Bush and Richard Cheney’s final fire wall.


But I suspect when it’s officially disclosed, Even children were targets of torture in the Bush/Cheney white house, the official tone of cordial civility toward the last administration by the current will evaporate. I agree with conservatives and republicans who observe Obama is a President eager to move on with the business of the people, sincere in desire to hear all counsel in the most effective road map toward restoring economic prosperity and ending the war.


Were it simply the case of a few confirmed arch terrorist’s having been water boarded there would be no issue to debate, But when the American people learn through official pronouncement or unnamed but confirmed sources, that George Bush authorized the torture of children, even Sir Rupert’s vast media empire will be obliged to urge appropriate authorities to investigate.


The Bush administrations second favorite democrat after Joe Lieberman, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) conceded on FOX a few days back, prosecution of Bush administration officials may be required once the rule of law is restored. Speaker Pelosi, perhaps reading the writing on the wall, said she will now support congressional efforts to investigate current allegations against the past administration.


Since it was Pelosi herself who said “impeachment of Bush was off the table” when democrats took power in the 2006 midterms, her new attitude seems to signal she wants to get way ahead of the stench that will waft through the halls of congress when the secrets of George Bush begin filtering through the news cycle. Pelosi’s appearance of FOX also seemed to convey her awareness she is losing her base of support among democrats in her district and may need to begin the process of wooing GOP voters to remain a viable candidate.

The legislation proposed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and supported by progressives and liberals calls for creation of a 9-11 style blue-ribbon panel of outside experts to probe the “broad range” of policies pursued by the Bush administration “under claims of unreviewable war powers,” including torture and warrant-less wiretaps and is going forward whether the speaker likes it or not. People working closely with Conyers on legislation to form the panel to investigate Bush’s policies have confirmed Conyers office contacted Obama during the transition to discuss their intent to investigate.


But Obama’s people simply “listened” to what they had to say and did not verbalize whether they supported the proposal or not.

While President Obama controls to some degree the zeal his Justice department focuses on criminal investigation, If congressional activity begins to cast a negative reflection on the scope and pace of the executive branch the President will be compelled to appoint a special prosecutor to avoid the appearance he is attempting to white wash the sins of his predecessor and action that cost President Ford a second term.


That’s my view, yours may be different




John Cornyn, R-Texas, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he wanted to know more after Holder sidestepped questions about whether he intends to prosecute officials who condoned or carried out the interrogations. ...


Today is an extraordinary day for civil liberties and our country. And we should all pat ourselves on the back for helping make this moment happen. 

Just 48 hours into his presidency, Barack Obama took decisive action on civil liberties -- issuing four executive orders that set a new path towards an America we can be proud of. 

All those petitions you’ve signed, actions you’ve taken and contributions you’ve made are paying off in dramatic fashion. Because -- make no mistake -- President Obama’s decisive acts of leadership wouldn’t be possible without you and other ACLU supporters laying the groundwork. 

You refused to listen to those who said the ACLU was being idealistic, unrealistic and even crazy to expect a new President to act this quickly. And by acting on your convictions, you have helped make this a remarkable day for the Constitution and the rule of law. 

Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward.

With four executive orders today, our new President:

  • Ordered Guantánamo Bay shut down

  • Banned torture

  • Ordered a full review of U.S. detention policies and procedures, and

  • Delayed the trial of Ali al-Marri, an ACLU client whose case is at the center of the Supreme Court’s review of indefinite detention policies.

We’re seeing -- right before our eyes -- what it means to have a President who respects the Constitution and honors the rule of law. Please sign our “Thank You for Acting” message to President Obama-- not simply because he has earned our gratitude, but because he will need our ongoing support if we want him to follow through on crucial civil liberties and human rights priorities. 

This isn’t just about sending a message of thanks to Obama. It’s about sending a message to anyone who dares to stand in our way as we act to restore the Constitution and reclaim America’s reputation.

Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward. 

In the last 24 hours, more than 30,000 ACLU supporters have already signed our “Thank You for Acting” message to the President. Count yourself among them. Please act right now.



Brad Warthen's Blog: McCain, Graham support Obama on Gitmo
In other words, while may not want to move on, Obama does. And I think he'd be very happy for Lee to move on with him... Posted by: Brad Warthen | Jan 22, 2009 3:55:14 PM. Indeed. Here's an interesting little article I found ...
Brad Warthen's Blog -


Click Here To Read The New York Times Article About The Executive Orders


This is a step in the right direction but more work needs to be done. SOA Watch beliefs that for justice to take root, those responsible for authorizing torture need to be held accountable. 

A clean break with the tragic history of U.S. involvement in torture will also require the closing of the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) and an investigation into the connection between U.S. foreign military training and human rights violations.(SOA Watch is convening a Strategy Meeting on February 15, 2009, at which we will discuss these issues. Join us in Washington, DC.)

Please take a few minutes now and leave a short message for President Obama:

White House Comment Line:
 (202) 456-1111
White House Email: 

Express your appreciation for following through on his promise to close Guantánamo and to ban torture. But also, state your hope that he will make a complete break with our country's past history of torture by issuing an executive order to close down the School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC). 

Make plans to come to Washington, DC from February 15-17, 2009 for the SOA Watch Encuentro, the Lobby Days to close the SOA, a panel on Anti-Militarization and an Arts and Action Workshop! Visit for more information.



Gone-tanamo Bay: the Right Decision

Rep. John Murtha

President Obama took the first key step in restoring America's image and credibility in the world by issuing an Executive Order to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay and to prohibit the use of torture by U.S. personnel.


I applaud his judgment and I wholeheartedly support this decision.


The Bush administration never understood what the Guantanamo detention facility symbolized to the rest of the world. They saw it as simply a prison, and just weeks ago, Dick Cheney commented that he thought "Guantanamo has been very well run." The problem with Guantanamo was never about its bricks and mortar. The problem with Guantanamo is that its very existence stains and defies the moral fiber of our great nation….


Nathan Gardels: Obama Should Quit War on Terror, Talk to Hamas and Taliban

Dealing with Hamas or the Taliban doesn't mean that if Obama talks to them they will roll over. It means that the use of force alone cannot work and that ignoring them won't make them go away 


One of the guiding principles of Rabbis for Human Rights-North America and K'vod Habriot:  A Jewish Human Rights Network is "Do what is just and right (la'asot tzedek u'mishpat): For a nation to have legitimacy, it must enforce a system of law that is fair, equitable, and just." Since 2005, we have fought for the United States to uphold the moral values at the core of our nation by ending the torture of detainees held in America custody. We have demanded that our country honor the image of God found in every person by ending harsh interrogation techniques and the practice of extraordinary rendition. 

And today, we can announce some success. This morning, President Obama issued an  Executive Order that will bring an end to this terrible chapter in our history. This order bans torture by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terror interrogations. The order essentially ends the Bush administration's CIA program of enhanced interrogation methods, though it falls short of declaring these methods to be torture. Orders issued today also end the CIA's ability to keep terrorism suspects in indefinite secret custody, by closing CIA secret prisons and prohibiting the CIA from operating detention facilities in the future.

Details of the Executive Order

Today's Executive Order revokes Executive Order 13440 that interpreted Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to allow a broad variety of harsh techniques.  It requires that all interrogations of detainees in armed conflict, by any government agency, follow the Army Field Manual interrogation guidelines. The Order also prohibits reliance on any Department of Justice or other legal advice concerning interrogation that was issued between September 11, 2001 and January 20, 2009. The Order requires all departments and agencies to provide the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) access to detainees in a manner consistent with Department of Defense regulations and practice. 

President Obama's order also creates a Special Task Force to both conduct a review of the Army Field Manual interrogation guidelines to determine whether different or additional guidance is necessary for the CIA, and to at the practice of rendition. This Task Force will ensure that American policies and practices comply with all obligations and are sufficient to ensure that individuals do not face torture and cruel treatment if transferred. We are encouraged by the fact that this Task Force will be led by the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, who has been so forceful in his rejection of waterboarding and other torture techniques. This Task Force will be led by the Attorney General with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence as co-Vice Chairs.
As he issued the Executive Order, President Obama cited the need for the United States to comply with all international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions, and that the United States can abide by a rule that says that we do not torture and still get effective intelligence. He called for American adherence to "core standards of conduct, not just when it was easy but also when it was hard." He was surrounded by a group of retired military flag officers, who had urged him to uphold our constitutional ideals as a nation and protect American troops by ending the practice of torture. 

In her conference call with the Transition Team, Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster reminded the new Administration that President Obama, who had spoken about tikkun olam during the campaign, had the ability to repair the world immediately upon taking office by ending U.S.-sponsored torture. And today he has taken that step: he has helped to bring healing to our world. No longer will the United States' moral standing be compromised by the degrading, ineffective techniques that we have employed out of a place of fear.

But there is still more work to be done. We call on President Obama to publicly affirm that any and all interrogation techniques used by the United States, from this day forward, comply with a "golden rule" standard. We must pledge to never use techniques on our enemies that we would not consider moral or legal if used upon a captured American. It is also essential that any additional techniques determined by the Special Task Force are humane, effective, and available for public scrutiny.  Anything less--for any branch of government, including the CIA--risks a return to the secret abuses of the past. Those responsible for the abuses of the past must also be investigated and held accountable.

We ask you to call the White House today at 202-456-1111. Thank the President for his efforts to end U.S.-sponsored torture and for today's Executive Orders. Ask him to publically commit to a Golden Rule standard for American detention and interrogation policy: that we will not use techniques on any detainee that we would not consider legal or moral if used on our own troops and citizens. Please also ask for accountability at the highest levels for previous abuses.

Did you call the White House? Let us know!

It is wonderful to be able to share today's news with you. Thank you so much for the sacred work you have done to honor the image of God found in every person and bring about an end to U.S.-sponsored torture. We look forward to continuing to work together, along with our new President, to heal our world.

Kol tuv,
Rabbi Brian Walt
Executive Director

Rabbi Gerry Serotta

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster
Director of Education and Outreach


Obama Halts Attack on Gray Wolves, Other Bush Misdeeds


CNN, AP falsely claim that Pentagon says 61 Guantánamo detainees have returned to terrorism

Summary: The Associated Press falsely stated, "The Pentagon recently reported that 61 former prisoners at Guantanamo have returned to the fight against the U.S. and its allies." Similarly, on CNN Newsroom, anchor Kyra Phillips asserted, "New Pentagon figures actually say 61 released detainees have been linked to some kind of terror activity." In fact, the Pentagon's figure includes 43 former prisoners who are suspected of, but not confirmed as, having, in the AP's words, "returned to the fight."


Scarborough shares Gibson's view that "it's on Barack Obama" if he abandons Bush policies that "kept us safe"


Summary: Fox News' John Gibson and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough each asserted that if President Obama abandons Bush administration policies and procedures "which kept us safe for the last seven, eight years," in Gibson's words, Obama will bear responsibility for any future act of terrorism. However, neither mentioned evidence that President Bush's policies did not eliminate the terrorist threat to America and that some Bush policy decisions, such as the invasion and occupation of Iraq, may, in fact, have aggravated the threat.


MotherJones Blog: Obama to Bush: I Can Release Your Records. Don't ...
The Republicans in Congress and all those Republicans who stood idly or, even worse, DEFENDEDBush and Cheney's actions as Constitutional while the two of them hid their records or tried to erase their records... will of course ... | MoJoBlog -... -


Cheney: Libby Deserved a Pardon
Washington Post - United States
But he refused to pardon Libby, a decision that angered many of Bush's supporters -- including, we now know, Cheney. In an interview Wednesday with Stephen ...See all stories on this topic


CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive ...
The real miscarriage of justice is the fact that you and Bush were never impeached for being criminals and the whole world had to suffer for it. Go back to your cave, hang upside down for a while and shut the hell up! REG in AZ, January 22nd, 2009 12:44 pm ET .... The problem as I see it is that Cheney andBush should have been found guilty of the same crimes and all three should have spent time in a regular prison and not a country club prison. ...
CNN Political Ticker -


Hung Out to Dry : CJR
BUSH was Lucy holding the football to the DEMS being Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown always falls for it, and winds up on his back, EVERY TIME. That the thought that Bush/Rove/Cheney wouldnt spy on political enemies is like being "shocked" that gambling is going on in Casablanca. ... When you think of it in the context of Pelosi's "impeachment if off the table" stand, it sort of makes sense. Posted by WestCoastLiberal on Thu 22 Jan 2009 at 03:34 PM ...


Bush Used Domestic Spy Program On American Journalist! « Dandelion ...
The Largest Minority · The Daily Show - Barack’s “New” Message For America, Which Is In No Way The Same As Bush’s · RSS Citizens for a Legitimate Government · Guantanamo war crimes trials in limbo · Obama orders Guantanamo prosecutor to ...
Dandelion Salad -


Buried in the Bush 
During its final days in power, the Bush administration released (and tried to bury)four studies about the impacts of climate change



Obama Orders GTMO Closed and Suspends Proceedings; More Detainee News

This morning, the Obama administration signed executive orders to close Guantanamo within a year, shut down the CIA's secret prisons, comply with the Geneva conventions, and halt prosecutions by "military commissions." However, the orders leave the door open for the administration to create "national security courts" - hybrid tribunals that neglect basic and fundamental principles of American constitutional law.


This follows an instruction late on Tuesday, following Obama's inauguration, for military prosecutors to seek a 120-day suspension in the military commission proceedings for Guantanamo detainees. This suspension will give the new administration time to review the military commission process generally as well as the specific pending cases. Early Wednesday morning, a military judge granted the prosecutors' suspension requests. Hopefully, the suspension order will be a first step towards ending military commissions. The Constitution Project has called for all prosecutions of terrorism cases to be conducted in our traditional federal courts, and, as part of recommendations for the new administration by a broad coalition of organizations, has urged therepeal of the Military Commissions Act and an end to the military commissions established by that Act. 


Last week, Susan Crawford, the top Bush administration official responsible for approving charges against detainees for military commission trials, stated publicly that the reason why she did not refer Mohammed al-Qahtani's case for prosecution was that the U.S. military tortured him. Two days later, Col. Peter Masciola, Chief Defense Counsel for the Department of Defense's Office of Military Commissions, wrote to Judge Crawford requesting that she withdraw all remaining referrals for prosecution of detainees before the military commissions. The letter noted that "the perception of pervasive torture now saddles the incoming Administration and its efforts to set these proceedings on a just course." Meanwhile, in the habeas challenges that have been proceeding in federal district court in Washington, Judge Richard J. Leon ordered the release of Mohammad El-Gharani, a citizen of Chad, finding the government's evidence either unreliable or "woefully deficient." Of the 26 habeas cases decided thus far, the District Court has ordered 23 detainees released.


U.S. Supreme Court Hears Argument on Federally Funded Counsel for State Clemency Proceedings.


On January 12, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in Harbison v. Bell concerning the right of prisoners to obtain federally funded counsel in state clemency proceedings. The Constitution Project submitted an amicus brief to the High Court that highlighted the twin functions of clemency proceedings as the final opportunity to correct errors and the last chance for state executives to engage in acts of mercy otherwise unavailable from the courts. 


"The Abuse of Immigration Law in Counterterrorism Efforts" Panel Discussion a Success.


More than 70 people packed a room at Georgetown University Law Center to attend a panel discussion on the abuse of immigration law in counterterrorism efforts. The event, co-hosted by the Constitution Project and Georgetown University Law Center's Human Rights Institute, used the Constitution Project's newly released report as a starting point to urge the incoming administration to critically reassess immigration-related measures enacted in the name of national security. This news story summarizes the comments by panelists Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, the Cato Institute; Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum; Wendy Patten, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Policy Center; Shoba Wadhia, Director, Center for Immigrants' Rights, Penn State Dickinson School of Law; and moderator Becky Monroe, Policy Counsel, the Constitution Project.


MD Governor Calls for Repeal of State's Death Penalty


On January 15, Maryland governor Martin O'Malley said he will do "everything in my power" to end the state's death penalty, indicating he will make its abolition one of his top priorities. The Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, led by former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti, issued a report in December 2008 that recommended that the state abolish its death penalty system. The Constitution Project issued its comprehensive report on the administration of the death penalty, Mandatory Justice: The Death Penalty RevisitedinJuly 2005.


CP Participates in Human Rights Summit, Releases Joint Statement

On January 14, the Constitution Project took part in a human rights summit, organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights, entitled The First 100 Days: Bringing Human Rights Home. Senior Counsel Sharon Bradford Franklin participated in a panel discussion on "Ending the Imperial Presidency," where she discussed the need to restore checks and balances in the areas of war powers and the state secrets privilege. In connection with the summit, the eleven participating organizations issued a joint Call to Action, which urges the incoming Obama administration "to restore, protect and expand human rights." The Constitution Project issued an additional statement, pointing out that "even with the change of administration . . . we must remain vigilant in defending constitutional safeguards." 


News in Brief


  • VideoPrivacyThe Department of Homeland Security's Privacy Office recently published a report on video surveillance, CCTV: Developing Privacy Best Practices, developed from a December 2007 public workshop that featured CP Senior Counsel Sharon Bradford Franklin as a participant in a panel discussion on developing best practices. The CP had previously released a report on that subject entitledGuidelines for Public Video Surveillance.



More information is available on the Constitution Project's web site, including how to subscribe to our newsletter and a way for you toshow your financial support.




When Nixon was about to be impeached, he or his aides must have glanced at the Constitution and realized there is no pardon after impeachment. He agreed to resign, be pardoned and that would be the end of it. Many of us protested this ploy, but the Ford Admin said, “We must move on and put this behind us,” and, “Impeaching the President would denigrate the Presidency!”


What could denigrate the Office of the President more than letting murderous, thieving crooks rob the treasury, lie us into wars and condemn millions to death or ruin? What is more impeachable than to take an oath to “Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” then refer to it as a “Just a God-damned piece of paper.”?


The Constitution lays out the use and need for impeachment and if you read it closely, it amounts to a way of removing forever from office one who has breached the public trust. Most of the Legislature as well as the Executive realizes that they would all be subject to impeachment, removal from office and trial for their breaches of public trust, the lies, evasions, sweetheart bills and kickbacks.


My “Democratic” Congressman wrote me back in 2006 and told me that we had re-elected him, not to end the war or impeach the President, but to add a few cents to the minimum wage and other such great services to the people. He also said he was not convinced that the President had broken any laws! I sent him quotations from the Constitution and Bill of Rights with the things Cheney/Bush had authorized or ordered alongside it. He never responded. When I ran into him at a Democratic BBQ, he turned his back on me and walked off.


In my opinion, they don’t want an impeachment, or anything that will bring the Constitution back into the government because whoever gets to run the show wants to inherit this current criminal mess to use for their own ends, which are probably not far from what the current gang is doing.


Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”


What has been happening for the past several decades is that those chains have been shattered, link by link, by the government; so we now have in place exactly what Jefferson was warning against. There is no way We the People will ever get our Constitution and Bill of Rights back unless we perhaps take another Jefferson quote seriously.


“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”


I do not see the power elite that controls this country ever giving up its illegal power without a fight.


FRAUDRED — Breaking Fraud Alerts from Identity Theft 911

Beware: Obama Acceptance Speech Virus Spreading

Trojan steals usernames and passwords

January 9, 2009

Excited to relive Obama’s historic acceptance speech? Look it up on YouTube. DO NOT open any e-mail links. Security professionals are warning that e-mail messages purporting to link to a video of President-elect Barack Obama’s acceptance speech actually connect users to a Web page designed to install a Trojan horse on computers. The site disguises the malware as a supposedly updated version of Flash, with the filename “Adobe_flash9.exe.”

And lest this sound like a hoax e-mail, check out and’s Urban Legends headquarters. Both attest to the story’s veracity.  

Obama-mania has been a hot commodity for spammers since the November election.  Cybercrime blogger Gary Warner noted that less than twelve hours after the president-elect’s acceptance speech, a University of Alabama computer forensics research facility detected more than 300 spam messages inviting readers to view the speech online.  

Watch List

Snopes includes a list of election-related subject lines known to carry viruses (“Priorities for the New President – TIME” or “The new President’s cabinet,” for example). The site notes that “Messages purporting to offer links to news sites or videos with information about a current news event of great importance have long been used as successful virus lures, and the U.S. presidential election of November 2008 offered another prime opportunity for a renewed flood of malware-reading spam.” 

By now, most Internet users should know not to open e-mail attachments from unknown sources. But the advice bears repeating: if you don’t know who sent you the attachment, do not open it. Whether or not you’re an Obama supporter, don’t let e-mailed promises of presidential hope lead you down a path of regret.   

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