Friday, January 30, 2009

There Is No Question. Democrats Are On Their Own And We Need A Special Prosecutor To Investigate Domestic Spying, War Crimes And Torture…o Begin With

There Is No Question.  Democrats Are On Their Own And We Need A Special Prosecutor To Investigate Domestic Spying, War Crimes And Torture…To Begin With.


 "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) –

No Republicans |
 Bush & Cheney! Visit the Democratic Party ... Ten Reasons to Impeach Bush & Cheney. 64.3%. Ten Reasons to Impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. Goal: 250000. Now: 160674 ... - The Aggressive... -


Hi Ed,

We're into our second week of President Obama's new administration and are already seeing signs of change. Yet many activists want to make sure we as a nation don't forget the possible crimes committed under the last administration in the name of the "war on terror." That's why we're sharing with you this action alert from our friends at Sign their petition to call on our new Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in torture and other war crimes. Thanks!


As Major General Antonio Taguba, the Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison has stated:


"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."


The United States is a representative democracy. The actions of our government officials are done in the name of its citizens. We are outraged that torture been committed in our name. Join us in urging Attorney General Holder to appoint a Special Prosecutor to prosecute those responsible for torture to the fullest extent of the law.


Thanks for everything you do.

Bob Fertik, President


Senate's 'Gang of 14' May Be Poised to Strike Again, Over Stimulus Bill


The 'Gang of 14' compromise in 2006 displeased many conservatives -- now, with Democrats in power, a similar compromise may be brewing for Obama's $819 billion economic stimulus bill.


Senate Republicans and some Democrats aren't happy that the $819 billion economic stimulus bill that the House passed Wednesday contains billions of dollars for programs that arguably won't spark much job growth.


As a result, one moderate Democrat is looking to bring some of his colleagues together, as was done in the past on the issues of judicial appointments and energy policy, to find some common ground on how the stimulus bill might be improved, Fox has learned.


Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who famously gathered Republicans and Democrats in a so-called "Gang of 14" to avert a shutdown of the Senate over judicial nominations, is aiming for similar bipartisanship in the stimulus debate. Nelson told FOX News he has invited a group to his office Friday to see if more can be done to create jobs in the stimulus bill -- such as a major boost in funding for infrastructure projects, which appeal to many of his colleagues.


"We need to focus this on getting people back to work quickly," Nelson said.


The "Gang of 14" compromise in 2006 displeased many conservatives. Republicans controlled both houses of Congress at the time, and those involved in the compromise group agreed to take some of the party's power options off the table in exchange for Democratic promises not to filibuster Bush's judicial nominees except under "extreme circumstances."


Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who was a member of the original "Gang" and a close friend of Nelson's from their time on the Senate Armed Services Committee, got an invite, as has Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Nelson's energy compromise group colleague. On the Democratic side, Nelson has reached out to Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., a strong ally of President Obama, as well as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and freshman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.


"Warner's a former governor, so he gets it," said Nelson, himself a popular former governor, in Nebraska.


One item that likely will be discussed is an amendment that would add billions of dollars to infrastructure projects. Nelson is crafting that measure with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, both on the Appropriations Committee.


And Nelson doesn't want to stop there. He wants to pluck out what he says are extraneous projects in the stimulus bill to pay for the amendment. Providing hundreds of millions of dollars for prevention of smoking and sexually-transmitted disease -- though they may be worthy causes -- does not create jobs. Nelson even is willing to remove popular Pell Grant increases, saving them for annual spending bills later in the year.


"We need to sit down and see who owns these projects," Nelson said, and see if they can be removed from the bill. "We need to keep (the bill's cost in check) and see if we cant change around what's underneath that to create more jobs."

 Soleful tribute: Bush shoe-throwing now a work of art


A statue of a giant shoe has been unveiled in Saddam Hussein's hometown in honour of the Iraqi journalist who threw his footwear at the former US president George Bush.

The statue also features a poem honouring Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who shot to international fame last month when he hurled his shoes at Bush during a farewell press conference.


The shoes narrowly missed the then president and Zaidi was quickly bundled to the ground by security staff.


The public artwork went on display in Tikrit, 90 miles north-west of Baghdad.


The Baghdad-based artist, Laith al-Amari, said his fibreglass-and-copper work was a homage to the pride of the Iraqi people.


Zaidi, who has since been dubbed by some as the Baghdad Clogger, was charged with assaulting a foreign leader and is in detention awaiting trial.




The Torture State Endures

Nil desperandumconservative defenders of the Torture State

The institutions of the Imperial Executive remain intact. And although the Soviet- and Nazi-inspired "enhanced interrogation techniques" ("verscharfte verernehmung," in theoriginal German) have been put on the shelf, there is every reason to expect that they will quietly be pulled back down when the Anointed One, the Last Son of Krypton, He Who Will Bring Balance to the Force, even Barack the Blessed, considers them necessary.

You see, the key to understanding Obama's method of consolidating power is this: When he speaks, the masses listen to the "music" and ignore the lyrics. Blessed with a mellifluous voice and an appealing mien, Obama has a gift – I'm tempted to call it Reaganesque – for political misdirection.

His thematic pronouncements on matters of principle resonate so strongly with the hopes of his most ardent supporters, and even some cynics, that little notice is taken of slight but important discordances in the substance of his actions.

In the specific matter of torture, all Obama's executive order has done is to suspend the CIA's use of patently illegal torture techniques and to move "expeditiously" to close down illegal torture facilities – pending the announcement of new policies on these matters by a special panel that won't report its findings for at least six months. Until then, interrogations will be conducted in harmony with the restrictions of the U.S. Army Field Manual, and the requirements of Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions…


McConnell Calls on Republicans to Maintain Core Values but Rethink Sales Pitch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said his party will also have to do a better job of targeting minority voters, particularly Hispanics, who in 11 years will constitute one-fifth of all voters. READ MORE


House GOP Hopes to Continue United Front

The GOP swing to the right could be risky because it puts Republicans in a head-to-head confrontation against President Obama, his high public approval ratings and his bipartisan outreach efforts. READ MORE


Obama May Be Looking at Gregg as Pick for Commerce

All eyes in the Senate were on Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire amid speculation that President Obama is seriously considering him as his Commerce secretary. If Obama were to nominate Gregg, and if Al Franken prevails in the Minnesota Senate race, the Democrats would have a chance of reaching the 60 seat majority that would allow them to choke off filibusters. READ MORE


Marie Cocco on the Stimulus Bill
Economic Policy That Might Actually Work? Who Knew?" -- After eight years of trickle-down tax cuts that pushed the prosperous up and left most everyday Americans sliding further down, the stimulus bill now moving swiftly through Congress is more than a reversal of political course. Let’s hope it’s not too late.


Eugene Robinson on the GOP Implosion
The GOP’s Soundproof Room" -- Unbeknown to the House Republicans who voted unanimously against President Obama’s stimulus package, we are in the midst of a rare fundamental shift in American politics.

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