Saturday, May 30, 2009

Neocon US Colonel Calls for Military Attacks on "Partisan Media" And I Give You Rush Limbaugh

Neocon US Colonel Calls for Military Attacks on "Partisan Media"

And I Give You Rush Limbaugh

The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine Would Make the Nazis Proud
By P.M. Carpenter, BuzzFlash
The Right is superb at crafting dangerous lies and repeating them ad nauseam -- just look at the misinformation being spewed about Sotomayor. Read more »

I Give You Rush Limbaugh

Neocon US Colonel Calls for Military Attacks on "Partisan Media"

By Jeremy ScahillRebel Reports. Posted May 25, 2009.


Col. Ralph Peters pens an outrageous essay, writing that journalists "have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants."

In the era of embedded media, independent journalists have become the eyes and ears of the world. Without those un-embedded journalists willing to risk their lives to place themselves on the other side of the barrel of the tank or the gun or under the airstrikes, history would be written almost entirely from the vantage point of powerful militaries, or—at the very least—it would be told from the perspective of the troops doing the shooting, rather than the civilians who always pay the highest price.

In the case of the Iraq invasion and occupation, the journalists who have placed themselves in danger most often are local Iraqi journalists. Some 116 Iraqi journalists and media workers have been 
killed in the line of duty since March 2003. In all, 189 journalists have been killed in Iraq. At least 16 of these journalists were killed by the US military, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The network that has most often found itself under US attack is Al Jazeera. As I wrote a few years ago in The Nation:

The United States bombed its offices in Afghanistan in 2001, shelled the Basra hotel where Al Jazeera journalists were the only guests in April 2003, killed Iraq correspondent Tareq Ayoub a few days later in Baghdad and imprisoned several Al Jazeera reporters (including at Guantánamo), some of whom say they were tortured. In addition to the military attacks, the US-backed Iraqi government banned the network from reporting in Iraq.

A new report for a leading neoconservative group which pushes a belligerent “Israel first” agenda of conquest in the Middle East suggests that in future wars the US should make censorship of media official policy and advocates “military attacks on the partisan media.” (H/T MuzzleWatch) The report for JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, was authored by retired US Army Colonel Ralph Peters. It appears in JINSA’s “flagship publication,” The Journal of International Security Affairs. “Today, the United States and its allies will never face a lone enemy on the battlefield. There will always be a hostile third party in the fight,” Peters writes, calling the media, “The killers without guns:”

Of course, the media have shaped the outcome of conflicts for centuries, from the European wars of religion through Vietnam. More recently, though, the media have determined the outcomes of conflicts. While journalists and editors ultimately failed to defeat the U.S. government in Iraq, video cameras and biased reporting guaranteed that Hezbollah would survive the 2006 war with Israel and, as of this writing, they appear to have saved Hamas from destruction in Gaza.


Although it seems unthinkable now, 
future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies. Such a view arouses disdain today, but a media establishment that has forgotten any sense of sober patriotism may find that it has become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.

The point of all this is simple: Win. In warfare, nothing else matters. If you cannot win clean, win dirty. But win. Our victories are ultimately in humanity’s interests, while our failures nourish monsters.

It is, of course, very appropriate that such a despicable battle cry for murdering media workers appears in a JINSA publication. The organization has long boasted an all-star cast of criminal “advisors.” Among them: Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, John Bolton, Douglas Feith and others. JINSA, along with the Project for a New American Century, was one of the premiere groups in shaping US policy during the Bush years and remains a formidable force with Obama in the White House. 

Reading Colonel Peters’s sick and twisted essay reminded me of the report that emerged in late 2005 about an alleged Bush administration plot to bomb Al Jazeera’s international headquarters in Qatar, which I covered for 
The Nation:

Britain’s Daily Mirror reported that during an April 2004 White House meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, George W. Bush floated the idea of bombing Al Jazeera’s international headquarters in Qatar. This allegation was based on leaked “Top Secret” minutes of the Bush-Blair summit. British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith has activated the Official Secrets Act, threatening any publication that publishes any portion of the memo (he has already brought charges against a former Cabinet staffer and a former parliamentary aide). So while we don’t yet know the contents of the memo, we do know that at the time of Bush’s meeting with Blair, the Administration was in the throes of a very public, high-level temper tantrum directed against Al Jazeera. The meeting took place on April 16, at the peak of the first US siege of Falluja, and Al Jazeera was one of the few news outlets broadcasting from inside the city. Its exclusive footage was being broadcast by every network from CNN to the BBC.

The Falluja offensive, one of the bloodiest assaults of the US occupation, was a turning point. In two weeks that April, thirty marines were killed as local guerrillas resisted US attempts to capture the city. Some 600 Iraqis died, many of them women and children. Al Jazeera broadcast from inside the besieged city, beaming images to the world. On live TV the network gave graphic documentary evidence disproving US denials that it was killing civilians. It was a public relations disaster, and the United States responded by attacking the messenger.

Just a few days before Bush allegedly proposed bombing the network, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Falluja, Ahmed Mansour, reported live on the air, “Last night we were targeted by some tanks, twice…but we escaped. The US wants us out of Falluja, but we will stay.” On April 9 Washington demanded that Al Jazeera leave the city as a condition for a cease-fire. The network refused. Mansour wrote that the next day “American fighter jets fired around our new location, and they bombed the house where we had spent the night before, causing the death of the house owner Mr. Hussein Samir. Due to the serious threats we had to stop broadcasting for few days because every time we tried to broadcast the fighter jets spotted us we became under their fire.”

On April 11 senior military spokesperson Mark Kimmitt declared, “The stations that are showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources. That is propaganda, and that is lies.” On April 15 Donald Rumsfeld echoed those remarks in distinctly undiplomatic terms, calling Al Jazeera’s reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable…. It’s disgraceful what that station is doing.” It was the very next day, according to the Daily Mirror, that Bush told Blair of his plan. “He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere,” a source told the Mirror. “There’s no doubt what Bush wanted to do—and no doubt Blair didn’t want him to do it.”

Lest people think that the views of people like Col. Ralph Peters and the JINSA/PNAC neocons are relics of the past, remember that the Obama administration includes heavy hitters from this world among its ranks, as well as fierce neocon supporters. While they may no longer be literally calling the shots, as they did under Bush/Cheney, their disproportionate influence on US policy endures.

See more stories tagged with: mediajinsamedia blackoutmilitary strategy

Jeremy Scahill, an independent journalist who reports frequently for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!, has spent extensive time reporting from Iraq and Yugoslavia. He is currently a Puffin Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. His writing and reporting is available at

Also in Media and Technology

How a Conspiracy Theorist Who Thought I Was the Zodiac Killer Almost Ruined My Life
Michael O'Hare

Right-Wing Hate Machine Launches Vicious Campaign of Racist and Sexist Attacks on Sotomayor
Faiz Shakir

Garrison Keillor's Prairie Torture Companion
Rory O'Connor

Newt Gingrich Is a GOP Nobody from the '90s -- Why Is He Quoted Like the Gospel?
Eric Boehlert

3 Good Reasons (and 1 Bad One) Why I Don't Buy Into Your Conspiracy Theories
Joshua Holland

More stories by Jeremy Scahill

 Media and Technology RSS Feed

 Main AlterNet RSS Feed


Big Noise Tactical Media



Democracy Now!

FlashPoints Radio

Free Speech Radio News

The Guardian

Haymarket Books

Huffington Post

NYC Indymedia

The Indypendent

The Nation Institute

The Nation

The Progressive


Tom Dispatch


Z Magazine/ZNet

Everything You Need To Know About The Wrong Headed Right This Week

Everything You Need To Know About The Wrong Headed Right This Week


href="" target="_blank">

POTUS Picks "Bigot" "Liberal" "Radical" "Racist" "Reverse Racist" "Activist" "Socialist" "Marxist" "Anti-Constitutionalist" "Affirmative Action" Nominee For SCOTUS

Be sure to bookmark Judicial Matters for the latest on conservative misinformation in media coverage of President Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

On Tuesday morning, President Obama announced his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. In the four short days that followed, understandably, most of the media's attention has centered on the nominee, though much of that attention has been riddled with conservative misinformation.

Yesterday, Media Matters released a special report noting that in coverage of Obama's announcement, the media have advanced numerous myths and falsehoods about Sotomayor. In some cases, the media assert the falsehoods themselves; in others, they report unchallenged the claims of others.

The report suggests that in addition to evaluating these claims on their merits, the media should also consistently report that conservatives were reportedly very clear about their intentions to oppose Obama's nominee, no matter who it was. Their attacks must be assessed in the context of their reported plans to use the confirmation process to, among other things, "help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats."

As documented in the report, the myths that have emerged or resurfaced since Sotomayor's nomination was announced include:

  • Sotomayor advocated legislating from the bench
  • Sotomayor said, "Latina judges are obviously better than white male judges"
  • Sotomayor's Supreme Court reversal rate is "high"
  • Liberal judges like Sotomayor are "activist[s]"
  • Sotomayor was "[s]oft on New Jersey [c]orruption"
  • New Haven firefighters case shows Sotomayor is an "activist"
  • Sotomayor lacks the intellect to be an effective justice
  • Sotomayor is "domineering" and "a bit of a bully"
  • "Empathy" is code for "liberal activist"

Be sure to read the entire report for a detailed breakdown of the facts dispelling these right-wing myths and falsehoods.

In all, this week, Media Matters released more than 100 research items, blog posts, video clips, and columns surrounding media coverage of the Supreme Court and Sotomayor's nomination.

As the week went on, it became clearer that Sotomayor would be a victim of attacks from conservatives in the media reminiscent of those on Obama:

  • MSNBC's Pat Buchanan called Sotomayor a "lightweight," "an anti-white, liberal judicial activist." He and his sister Bay both claimed that Sotomayor's nomination was the result of "affirmative action."
  • Media Matters' Eric Boehlert went head-to-head with former Rep. Tom Tancredo on CNN over the context of Sotomayor's past comments. During the segment, Tancredo claimed Sotomayor was a member of the "Latino KKK," earning the right-wing former congressman the mocking of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
  • Jeffrey Kuhner, filling in for right-wing radio host Michael Savage, claimedSotomayor believes "that America is a racist, sexist, homophobic and misogynist society."
  • Fox News' Glenn Beck said Sotomayor's appointment was more evidence of a Marxist "hostile takeover" of the United States. He also called her a "racist," who "is not that bright" and "divisive."
  • Savage described Sotomayor as "Chairman O's pick for the Supreme Court" and a "radical activist."
  • Radio host and conservative movement leader Rush Limbaugh called Sotomayor "an angry woman," "bigot," and "racist."
  • Mark Krikorian, over at the National Review Online, had an issue with the pronunciation of Sotomayor's name, writing that "it sticks in my craw."
  • Fox News' Sean Hannity claimed Obama turned "his back on Mainstream America" by nominating "the most divisive nominee possible," a "radical."
  • Politico's Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin initially reported that Sotomayor was "a Latina single mother" despite the fact that Sotomayor has no children.

If media coverage of week one of the Sotomayor nomination is any indication, it's going to be a long, hot summer. Fear not, though -- Media Matters will be there through it all.

Other major stories this week:

Is there something in the water at Fox Nation?

Back in March, while promoting its newly launched website,, Fox News ran advertisements telling viewers that "[i]t's time to say 'no' to biased media and 'yes' to fair play and free speech." In the weeks since the website's launch, Media Matters hasdocumented more than 50 instances where Fox Nation failed to come close to the bias-free, "fair play" standard set out by Fox News.

This week has been particularly awful. Case in point:

Be sure to check out the Media Matters archive on Free Republic ... er, Fox Nation.

Rush Limbaugh's Failure-palooza

By now, everybody watching the Obama administration remembers Rush Limbaugh's well wishes for the new president the day before his inauguration -- that's when El Rushbo said, "I hope Obama fails." The comment picked up a head of steam in the press, provoking Limbaugh to elaborate two days later, saying, "We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles ... because his father was black." A month later, Rush let us all in on "the dirty little secret," as he described it, that "every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so; I am willing to say it."

Since then, Rush has been quick to wish failure on all kinds of things. For example, back in February, Limbaugh said, "I want the stimulus package to fail." In March, he strangelycompared his hope for Obama's failure to a Steelers fan wanting the Cardinals' QB to fail in the Super Bowl. The same month, he seemed to offer up some reverse psychology,claiming, "If there's anybody who wants America as it was founded to fail, it's Barack Obama."

And so, Rush Limbaugh's failure-palooza marched on this week as news of Obama's selection of Sotomayor for a seat on the Supreme Court was reported. Without skipping a beat, Limbaugh said of the president's nominee: "Do I want her to fail? Yeah."

To give you an idea of how completely warped Rush's thinking is, two days after his Sotomayor "fail" comments, Limbaugh claimed, "This country is failing because President Obama is succeeding."

So, Was It Sasquatch Or Chupacabra Driving The Chrysler?

Another Week, Another Bizarre Conspiracy Theory From The Right.

Eric Boehlert brings us the story of the budding Obama scandal that's been hatched this week within the right-wing blogosphere, which has all the hallmarks of previous failed Obama conspiracy theories. The latest centers on the idea that Obama's White House, as part of the automaker's restructuring, personally selected which Chrysler dealership would be closed. Not only that, but the Obama White House punished dealerships whose owners gave campaign contributions to Republicans. The horror!

Conservative bloggers excitedly claim that their research proves a massive conspiracy's afoot. Their research? A laundry list of names of dealers who have indeed given money to the GOP and have indeed been closed down as part of the GM restructuring. So why doesn't that prove Obama has a hit list? First, because nearly 800 dealerships are being closed down, yet bloggers detail campaign contributions for less than 10 percent of those dealership owners. Second, all the bloggers actually prove is that a lot of dealership owners are Republicans. Does that surprise anyone?

Statistician Nate Silver demolishes the theory with actual research, noting, "It shouldn't be any surprise, by the way, that car dealers tend to vote -- and donate -- Republican. They are usually male, they are usually older (you don't own an auto dealership in your 20s), and they have obvious reasons to be pro-business, pro-tax cut, anti-green energy and anti-labor. Car dealerships need quite a bit of space and will tend to be located in suburban or rural areas. I can't think of too many other occupations that are more natural fits for the Republican Party."

This Week's Media Columns

This week's media columns from the Media Matters senior fellows: Eric Boehlert asks why Washington Post columnists didn't call Cheney a disgrace; Jamison Foser looks at how suddenly it's OK to call a judicial nominee a racist; and Karl Frisch discusses the Right's supremely flawed opening argument against Sotomayor.


Wilkerson: Cheney "Lonely, Paranoid, Frightened"


By The Huffington Post News Team 


The night after Colin Powell delivered his infamous argument to the United Nations justifying the invasion of Iraq, Lawrence Wilkerson, his chief of staff, sat down and wrote a letter of resignation. It was, said Wilkerson Friday, " the lowest point in my professional and my personal life." 

He stuffed the letter in his desk drawer. And left it there. 

"If I have a regret when I go to my grave, it is that I did not resign," said Wilkerson, because of course Powell's speech turned out to be almost entirely false. 

Wilkerson told the story during a Friday taping of a town hall debate on torture, filmed at the Newseum for Al Jazeera's "Fault Line" show in Washington, D.C. The show airs on Saturday. 

The debate was hosted by Josh Rushing, former military flak and now a top Al Jazeera reporter. It also featured Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), human rights attorney Jumana Musa and outspoken former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer, who formerly ran the unit in charge of capturing Osama bin Laden. 

Six years after the UN speech, the group also debated Dick Cheney and his legacy -- and whether he should be prosecuted. Wilkerson told the Qatar-based news network than he thought it was impractical to charge former vice president with a crime, regardless of his own preference. He would rather, he said, see the administration's lawyers disbarred before going after "lonely, paranoid, frightened Dick Cheney." 

Scheuer had sharp words for Cheney, too. "I think Mr. Cheney is a despicable, reptilian person," he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. 

Moran apportioned the blame for torture on the Bush administration generally, but Rushing pressed him to "name names." 

"Dick Cheney," said Moran in response. "Bybee (and) the poor lawyer who can't get a job so I'm not going to mention his name." He was referring to Judge Jay Bybee, a chief architect of the legal rationale for the Bush administration's program of torture who is now on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, still unemployed. 

Scheuer, however, rejected Moran's effort to blame Bush and his attorneys. "He's talking about nonsense," said Scheuer of "Ultimately who's responsible for everything that goes on in the foreign policy realm is Congress. They can cut off money tomorrow."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Idiots, Fools, Egomaniacs, Incompetents, Jackasses And Ass Protectors.

Idiots, Fools, Egomaniacs, Incompetents, Jackasses And Ass Protectors.


Everybody knocks damned well that Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed and all the Republican Ranting And Raving Is Already Falling On Deaf Ears Having.  Only the media who must be classified as totally incompetent at this point are going to page homage to the Republican Rubbish through the talking head telecasts of Sunday.  What a colossal waste of time.  Let’s talk about photographs instead.

Talk about ratings…sodomy, bestiality, forced homo sexuality. Wow the TV ministers should be up in arms Sunday.  Oh by the way; every right wing organization is asking for money to stop the confirmation.  With a fore gone conclusion I would call this fraud. 

The Republican problem with Sotomayor is simple; She is a woman, a Hispanic, a Liberal…NOT A WHITE CONSERVATIVE MAN!

Powhatan Democrats Blog: Republican Tom Tancredo: Bitter Racist?
By Vox Populi 
Still not convinced? His buddy pleads guilty of assaulting an African-American woman after calling her the "N" word! Yeah, he knows a racist when he sees one!!! Read it.

...Powhatan Democrats Blog -


There Are Times I Feel That Len Hart And I Are Related!



Neocon Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - Washington,DC,USA
Two of FPI's three staffers, policy director Jamie Fly and Christian Whiton, have come directly from foreign policy posts in the Bush administration 

Docudharma:: Confirmed: Abu Ghraib abuse included rape

Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba — who conducted the Abu Ghraib investigation — confirmed the photographs' authenticity to the Telegraph, telling the paper that they "show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency." Still, Taguba said he agreed with President Obama's decision to reverse course and not release additional photos of prisoner abuse.

U.S. slams British press over report of abuse photos

By Andrew Gray and Ross Colvin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration strongly denied a British report on Thursday that images of apparent rape and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners are among photographs that it is trying to prevent being made public.

In unusually forceful terms, the Pentagon attacked the report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper while the White House went so far as to cast doubt on the accuracy of the British press in general.

The Telegraph quoted retired U.S. Army Major General Antonio Taguba as saying the pictures showed "torture, abuse, rape and every indecency." Taguba conducted an investigation in 2004 into abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the Telegraph had shown "an inability to get the facts right."

"That news organization has completely mischaracterized the images," he told reporters. "None of the photos in question depict the images that are described in that article."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs went further.

"I think if you do an even moderate Google search you're not going to find many of these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 words of each other," he said.

"Let's just say if I wanted to read a write-up today of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I might open up a British newspaper. If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I'm not entirely sure it'd be the first stack of clips I picked up," Gibbs said.

The Obama administration has been on the defensive over its refusal to release the pictures, which were gathered as part of U.S. military investigations into prisoner abuse.

The administration at first agreed to release the pictures, which the American Civil Liberties Union is seeking to obtain through legal action, but then reversed course, citing a likely backlash that would put U.S. troops abroad at greater risk.


The Telegraph said at least one picture showed an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Others were said to depict sexual assaults with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

The Pentagon's Whitman said he did not know if the Telegraph had quoted Taguba accurately. Whitman said he was not aware that any such photographs had been uncovered as part of the investigation into Abu Ghraib or abuses at other prisons.

In an interview with the New Yorker magazine published in 2007, Taguba was quoted as saying that he saw a video of a male American soldier in uniform sodomizing a female detainee.  Continued...


The U.S. Constitution: Living, Breathing Document or Dead Letter?

In the concluding paragraph of my article about President-elect Obama’s constitutional philosophy, I opined: “Our Constitution has been terminal for a long time.” President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court provides a timely opportunity for me to explain what I meant.

Liberals and progressives believe that the Constitution is a living, breathing document that should evolve with the times. They want Supreme Court justices to be flexible in interpreting the Constitution and adapting 18th-century language to 21st-century applications. Conservatives, on the other hand, are said to believe in “the original intent” of the Constitution. They oppose Supreme Court justices’ creative interpretations of the Constitution.

It is unfortunate that the fundamental difference in constitutional philosophy—what used to be called “loose construction” (favoring expanded government powers) vs. “strict construction” (favoring limited government powers)—has been cast in these terms. The left cleverly has employed a winning straw-man argument—a truism—in asserting that America should not be trapped by the past. Of course we shouldn’t. By contrast, paying homage to the Founding Fathers, and invoking their “original intent” of the Constitution, makes the right seem backward-looking.

If today’s Americans knew their history better, they would realize how wise the Founding Fathers were, and that we depart from their principles of governance at our peril. Nevertheless, the founders themselves would heartily agree with the left that times change, and so do constitutions. That is why they included a provision in the Constitution for amending it.

Constitutional mischief occurs when ambitious, impatient politicians appoint activist justices who willfully defy, disregard, and reinterpret the Constitution, rather than insist that it be changed lawfully, i.e., through the amendment process.

Conservatives rightly oppose such judicial activism. But the right’s focus shouldn’t be so much on trying to preserve an 18th-century worldview that—for all its wisdom—included treating women and racial minorities as less-than-full citizens. Instead, conservatives’ main argument should be to insist that Supreme Court justices uphold the principle that all laws and policies conform to the letter of the Constitution. If 1780s-vintage phraseology is ambiguous or opaque to modern usage, then amend the wording to make explicit its objective meaning; don’t let nine people (actually, five) divine implicit, subjective meanings as if the Constitution were so many tea leaves. Such judicial malfeasance over many decades has led to laws, policies, and government programs that clearly contradict the plain language of the Constitution.

Here are some examples:

1) Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution grants Congress the exclusive authority “to coin Money [and] regulate the Value thereof.” Article I, Section 10, Paragraph 1 stipulates, “No State shall coin Money; … make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” When is the last time your state income tax refund was payable in gold or silver coin? We all use unconstitutional money. (Eventually, we will suffer the pain of hyperinflation, just as the founders did during the Revolutionary War due to the continental dollar debacle, despite our founders’ best effort to spare us that hell.)

2) The Tenth Amendment plainly states, “The powers not delegated to the United States [i.e., the federal government] by the Constitution … are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Article 1, Section 8 enumerates the several powers of the United States government. No authority is given there for government programs in agriculture, education, energy, health, housing, etc. The Constitution was never amended to authorize these unconstitutional federal activities.

3) Both the preamble and Article 1, Section 8, stipulate that Uncle Sam is to perform only those few functions that provide for the “general welfare.” There is no constitutional authority for “special interest” legislation, yet the latter comprises most federal action today.

Clearly, the plain language of the Constitution has not kept ambitious officeholders from expanding their powers. Those who have regarded the constraints of the Constitution as inexpedient have simply ignored them. This should alarm any Democrat or Republican who values liberty. If the Tenth Amendment can be bypassed today, who is to say the First Amendment (free speech, religious freedom, etc.) won’t be trampled underfoot tomorrow?

The egregious examples of constitutional mutilation cited above are the fruit of the left’s doctrine that the Constitution is a living, breathing document. There is grim irony in this. Treating the Constitution like a living, breathing document has rendered it a dead letter. A Constitution whose provisions can be selectively ignored is a weak guarantor of anyone’s rights. We are no longer governed by the impartial, objective rule of law, but by partial, subjective and capricious men and women. Justice has given way to privilege; our constitutional republic has decayed into a dangerous democracy; the primacy of individual God-given rights has been supplanted by the primacy of government power.

Going forward, we may wonder which of the three branches of government is most likely to slow the expansion of government power by honoring the letter of the United States Constitution. President Obama and the executive branch? The Pelosi/Reid Congress? Hardly. And with one more Obama appointment, neither will the Supreme Court. Sad to say, there will be no brakes left to prevent a constitutional train wreck.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and contributing scholar with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.

Wash. Times article allows unnamed critics to smear Sotomayor as ...
Media Matters for America - Washington,DC,USA
Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who recently became the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Judge Sotomayor that she was out of ...
See all stories on this topic

Blown circuits: Rove levels attack on Sotomayor based on false claim that she and Alito were colleagues

On May 26, Karl Rove claimed that while reviewing Samuel Alito's record for a possible Supreme Court nomination, he "got wind of" allegations that 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor -- who Rove claimed was Alito's "colleague" on the 2nd Circuit -- "was combative, opinionated, argumentative, and as a result, was not able to sort of help create a consensus opinion on important issues." In fact, contrary to Rove's claim that Alito was Sotomayor's "colleague on the [2nd Circuit] court," Alito served on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- a fact that seriously undermines Rove's anonymously sourced allegations about Sotomayor's temperament.

On the May 26 edition of Fox News' On the Record, Rove said:

We know from her record on the 2nd Court of Appeals that she's not a particularly effective colleague. I first got wind of this when Sam Alito, who was her colleague on the court while we were reviewing his record, it -- you know, people who were familiar with the workings of the court said that she was combative, opinionated, argumentative, and as a result, was not able to sort of help create a consensus opinion on important issues.

Later in the interview, host Greta Van Susteren asked, "What did Justice Alito say about working with her?" Rove replied:

Well, I'm not going to comment on what he said about her, because I didn't hear him say anything specifically about her, but when I was talking to people about the 2nd Court of Appeals -- for example, look, as you know, justices circulate opinions and -- to their colleagues to get their feedback and to act as, you know, sort of a prompt for discussions when they meet in chambers.

Well -- in conference, excuse me -- what she would do is she would mark them up like she was your English school teacher and -- with your typos and misspellings and other words that she wanted to have changed, and send them back to her colleagues -- not exactly the best way to ingratiate yourself with your colleagues.

Rove's anonymously sourced allegations follow a pattern in which media figures repeat anonymous smears about Sotomayor's temperament and intellect.

From the May 26 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren:

VAN SUSTEREN: Not to take away from her accomplishments and not to sort of poison the process, but to what extent the fact that she is Hispanic does this become -- you know, is this a partial political decision or a total political decision?

ROVE: Well, they clearly said that they were sensitive to the criticism that they've received from Hispanic groups for the failure of the Obama administration to make more Latino appointments. So they not only get to put -- appoint a woman, but a Latino woman, and this is obviously a political advantage to them. They've gone out of their way to emphasize that.

What's interesting to me, though, is the question of how effective she's going to be on the Supreme Court. We know that David Souter was a cipher. We know from her record on the 2nd Court of Appeals that she's not a particularly effective colleague. I first got wind of this when Sam Alito, who was her colleague on the court while we were reviewing his record, it -- you know, people who were familiar with the workings of the court said that she was combative, opinionated, argumentative, and as a result, was not able to sort of help create a consensus opinion on important issues.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it consensus opinion we're looking for or do we want some independent thought? Do we also, I mean, in an ideal situation, do we want -- also want someone who's, you know, strong in his own or his own convictions as how the law should be properly applied?


VAN SUSTEREN: What did Justice Alito say about working with her?

ROVE: Well, I'm not going to comment on what he said about her, because I didn't hear him say anything specifically about her, but when I was talking to people about the 2nd Court of Appeals -- for example, look, as you know, justices circulate opinions and -- to their colleagues to get their feedback and to act as, you know, sort of a prompt for discussions when they meet in chambers.

Well -- in conference, excuse me -- what she would do is she would mark them up like she was your English school teacher and -- with your typos and misspellings and other words that she wanted to have changed, and send them back to her colleagues -- not exactly the best way to ingratiate yourself with your colleagues. Rather than saying, "Oh, well, I thought you had an interesting legal argument here, and I'd like to talk to you more about this here." She was acting like sort of the schoolmarm.

We've gotten a taste of this in the clips that we've seen, for example, at the Duke Law Conference where she says, we write policy; we're not supposed to say it but we do write law, you know, which is not exactly how the American people view what judges ought to be about. But you get a sense of this sort of brashness that, sometimes, in the close quarters of a conference, can rub other justices the wrong way.

VAN SUSTEREN: You make me nervous about the times I correct people for grammatical errors. I'm not going to do it anymore.

ROVE: Well, you should.

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm going to take that as a --

ROVE: No, no, no, you should. But if they're colleagues, if they're equals, I mean, you've got to be very careful about [unintelligible] getting out your red pen and marking it up like you're their English teacher.

No Empathy Defense for Dick Cheney |
By Chip 
Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney," edited by Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips, with an introduction by Howard Zinn, a wonderfully well written collection of essays organized around a list of 12 grounds for ... - Bush-Cheney... -

Supporting Democracy: George Soros on Democracy 
The Century Foundation and Germany’s Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organized a day-long conference addressing the future focus of international support for democracy as new leaders take stock of the efforts of recent decades.  Participants discussed recent disillusionment and a resurgent “realism”; the symbiosis between democracy and people’s economic prospects; the special issues of democratic governance in the turbulent Middle East; and strategies going forward. View a new highlight video from the event, featuring George Soros.

Russia Working Group
Gordon Hahn | May 21, 2009

Issue to be addressed: Political Islam under the sway of fundamentalist radicals long posed a regional and a domestic security concern for Russia, of which the eagerness with which Russians embraced the Bush administration's counterterrorism agenda following September 11th was a testament. How widespread, and well-founded, is the Russian fear of increased Islamic radicalization in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia becoming a frontline Russian challenge when NATO forces exit Afghanistan? To what extent do American and Russian concerns about political Islamism still coincide, and how much do they diverge based on differing threat perceptions from various conflicts and regimes in the Middle East? Download the report.




You all need - each and every one of you - need to watch "A Few Good Men" as soon as you have time. Even if you own it, get it out and play it. If you don't own it, for less than ten bucks, it's the best fictional account of what you are watching your country deal with right now at the level of President/Vice President/Attorney General, and who knows how many else.

For eight years, the leaders of your country have acted in your name, and mine. We cannot disown history, but we can face up to our part in it.

I've read things here in the last few days that really break my heart. I want to make the case that we - you - all of us - are in deeper shit now than ever before if we don't take Bush/Cheney to the fullest extent of US law, international law, and the law of the conscience that so many people still convince themselves they have.


My last diary was about the same, but my conscience will not allow me to get past thisl

Just watch this five minutes - and try to tell me that what Col. Jessup's argument is not the same argument we're getting from Cheney.

(for some reason whenever I copy the embed code from Youtube, the script on this website won't let me publish the diary)

Killing people - even if it's the wrong people or done for the wrong reasons - saves lives.

I'm hearing from my neighbor and listening in the media that whatever Bush/Cheney did was all well and good because it kept us safe.

At the same time, their whole argument is that "keeping us safe" meant that the United States had to be policemen to the world and go beat up any other leader who didn't follow the rules. (and if innocent civilians were killed in the process, so be it,  because we just couldn't risk it).

Are you really able to grasp what we're now confirming through these memos - the argument that some of us have been making all along - that the real war criminals on Earth were the President and Vice President of this country and all those agents who justified and abetted their messianic crusade to go into Iraq?

Are you?

Because this website is taking shit in the media from the rabid Rpundits that we're all KoolAid drinking clones of ditator Markos who gives us marching orders and forbids dissent. Now I've known that was bullshit since day one, but there have been a few commenters who have responded to me in recent days that make my stomach turn.

It doesn't matter how we are treated by the world (0+ / 0-) 
This nation is what it is, and the Bush regime is not and never was a part of that.  You say we could have stopped them, and I agree - so say that "we" are lazy in defense of others when our own interests are not directly threatened, not that "we" are guilty of the crimes of the Bush regime.  Yes, "we" do say things like "we won WW2," because those things actually sprang from our country - and the same is true of bad things, as "we" did indeed allow slavery as part of a necessary compromise so that our nation could form. But "we" did not choose George W. Bush, "we" did not invade Iraq, and "we" don't torture people.


If I'm reading these people's sentiments correctly, they think Gerald Ford was a genuine hero and did in fact "spare this country it's long national nightmare" by pardoning Nixon.

I refuse to be quiet when anyone tries to tell me the best past for America right now is to close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears, and scream "la la la la la la I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when it comes to the now near certain truth that our leaders were sick bastards who comitted war crimes in our name.

5,000 US dead, 25,000 crippling injuries and wounds; how many PTSD and broken many hundred thousand dead Iraqis - and Iraq was the wrong goddamn country...torture, rendition, the suspension of Habeas Corpus - A US citizen arrested in O'Hare airport who spent years at Gitmo and in military commissions.

And here's another quote today: Read my comment first, but check the line I have in bold at the end of the response -   

We impeach for a lie about a blowjob; war crimes (13+ / 0-)

we hope we can bury and cover up.

I'm sick - I'm disgusted more - over this country's collective denial that we would/could ever do this when the evidence has been so strong all along.

Think back to Abu Ghraib - I can say with a clear conscience that I pissed off my (former) friends and alienated my family and neighbors who fell for the "bad apples" defense.

First rule - when we saw the pictures, as Janis Karpinski pointed out when she did her book tour - only England and Grainer were punished, and Karpinski was lowered in rank - but how many boots were in the pictures?

Why were none of those other soldiers ever charged with "dereliction of duty" for not stopping it? All those MP's were just too cowardly to take on Lynndie England?

It was obvious from the beginning that all the torture and abuse was ordered from the top, and it should  have been expected since Darth Cheney said within days of 9/11 "we had to take the gloves off" and "go to the dark side".

The evil of the Bush administration is one thing.

The country's denial and some people's continued defense of it is unconscionable, unforgivable, and it will be our greatest shame yet to come.

Read my last diary.

George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

by snafubar on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:41:16 AM EDT

* [new] Well, we actually impeached (0+ / 0-) 
for obstruction of justice.  Some years before, we didn't impeach to save a senile, but much liked, old man's reputation.  

Proprietorial discretion applies here.  In this case, do we want the world to know how bad this was or do we want to fix the problems going forward? 
by John Minehan on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:51:11 AM EDT

[ Parent | Reply to This | RecommendHide ]

And I leave you with this, my response before I go back outside and try to clear my head, because I am disgusted.

You shame us all. (1+ / 0-) 
Recommended by:mattman 
You just made my point - obstruction of justice/perjury is somehow ranking highe than war crimes committed in the process of conducting an illegal war; and these torture memos are suggesting the torture was implemented not to keep us safe but to justify the illegitimacy of the war in the first place -

And CLINTON was guilty of obstruction of justice?

I guess that makes Bush/Cheney et all guilty of "abandonment and obliteration of jusice"

There are six and a half billion people on this planet.

how long do you think you can keep a secret?

And are you now willing to sell my soul along with yours and insist that's the right path to take here? Because I'f that's the case, I'm here to shout you down.

And let me ask you - if you read my last diary about my neighbor - you sound sickeningly like him.

He says, "So what if we tortured? If that's what it takes to keep us safe, I feel more comfortable that it worked"

And now we're finding out that these tortures were to force false confessions to justify the falsely demanded invasion of Iraq?

Let me throw this at you - the cat is out of the bag already. What we know this already makes it impossible for a lid being put on this and the world will go back to sleep without knowing.

Your country conducted a war that killed hundreds of thousands of people - including 5,000 of it's own cherished warriors, permanently crippling or disfiguring 20,000 more - and you actually have the unthinkable arrogance that if it was all done for the glory of one sick man's reputation or to satisfy his own delusions or messianic aspirations to do "G"od's will, you don't want the world to know???? that's going to happen.


I am so disgusted.

We're bragging to the world that were the greatest country ever, and now that the evidence that such a great country would do such unthinkable things (the kinds of things that we would declare war on another country had they done it) we're going to say, "Nothing to see here, move along."

Proprietal discretion?

I am so utterly disgusted.

"Fix the problem" means having the courage, the integrity to face our past.

Anything else you have to say will get past me; because if this country is so great, we can at least have the courage and the integrity to face our own history.

No country which cannot do that can ever be considered great; if they can even be considered forgivable.

Maybe you think otherwise. I guess we try to forget what we did to the native American Indians; we've made VietNam a movie script, and some still think Gerald Ford did the country a great favor by pardoning Nixon and declaring "Our long national nightmare is over".


Hey - do me a favor - send me a prescription for whatever drugs you're getting - because if you can watch all that has happened in the last eight years and think "going forward" is going to make that go away, I'm going to need to be severely sedated or smoking whatever you're loaded on.

We are a country of kill-em-all cowards. Death for everyone else; justice for whoever we feel in the mood to be honest about.


Proprietal Discretion.

Who are you, a sockpuppet for Frank Luntz?

"Fixing the problem" is punishing the guilty - and if you really want to try to say you don't believe that, then we can just open all the prisons and say "you're free to go, we're moving forward"...

I can't believe I'm reading that on this website.

The Republican Party Is A Racist Organization. Fact, Not Opinion.

by: Something The Dog Said

Yes the title is pretty strong, but there is no other way to say it, the Republican Party is at the very best a tacitly racist organization. Those of you who read the Dog's posts on a regular basis (HI! BTW to all six of you!),  know he is not one to say inflammatory things just to be inflammatory. The Dog knows that people who read this and do not agree are going to be very unhappy, but this is not something the Dog has come to all at once, this is based on observation of data.  

Something The Dog Said :: The Republican Party Is A Racist Organization. Fact, Not Opinion.

There is a saying in the Dog's work that any occurrence is just one data point. Two occurrences could very easily be coincidence, three points of data are enough for a pattern and four or more make a trend. There is more than enough evidence to provide a trend line for the Republican Party on issues of race and gender.

The Dog wonders if bigoted is not a better description for the Republican Party, as they do seem to be equal opportunity haters and denigrators of anyone one not White, Male and Christian. Racist seems to imply it is all about the descent of genetic traits which would make one look a particular way, say the way our President who came from parents with very different skin colors is identified racially by the characteristics that most probably come from his Kenyan father.

In any case let the Dog lay out why he is ready to say the Republican Party is a racist organization. There is a long history of racist acts and statements in the Republican Party but you can hardly hold an organization liable for the actions of those in history. In fact the founding of the Republican Party and the actions of one of its greatest presidents have long shielded the Party from this accusation, but the Civil War and President Lincoln are now gone more then 150 years so anything that might attach to the current Party in the way of good will has surely gone past its sell-by date.

Instead let's just look at the past couple of years. It is little surprise that having the top two most likely Democratic nominees being a woman and an African American man has brought out the smoldering racism of the Republican Party and brought it the fore. We had the whispering campaign about Candidate Obama being a closet Muslim. As if there is anything wrong with a Muslim American being our president. There is one point of data.

We had the Barack the Magic Negro song, comparing him to the frankly racist depiction of a wise African American charterer who though downtrodden and ignored gives the hero (always white) the advice they need to succeed. Not only was this not decried by the Republican Party but one of the men who ran for RNC Chairman reissued it on a CD of songs as an election piece. Add the Watermelons on the White House lawn picture and the campaign piece that had Candidate Obama juxtaposed with a noose, neither of which cause more than a lip service condemnation of the purveyors, and we have our second data point.

The election of Michael Steele to head the RNC could be read as a moderation of the Party's racist tendencies, if it were not so clear it came about in the worst kind of tokenism. He is one of the African Americans the Republicans can point to as theirs. This would be far more convincing if Chairman Steele were not constantly under fire from Boss Limbaugh and other Republicans. It seems to the Dog no matter how bad an RNC Chairman has been in the past none have been threatened with losing the only real power the Chairman has, the deployment of money, yet the Republican Party is on the verge of doing this. It is fair to ask if Mr. Steele were not African American would the Party even consider this move? This is the third data point, and the confirmation of a  pattern .

Now we have the nomination of Judge Sotomayor. While there are no actual Constitutional qualifications for a Supreme Court Justice other than good behavior while they are judges, Judge Sotomayor is comes to the nomination with more experience as a trail lawyer, a district judge and an Applet Court Judge than any other Justice in the last 50 years. Instead of going after her opinions from the bench the Republican Party has allowed their unelected mouth pieces to have free reign to call her racist. All of this based on an out of context quote from eight years ago, a quote which Glen Greenwald has shown to be very similar to what the last nominee for the High Court gave when he was nominated.

The racism here is subtle in that their argument is pride of heritage and overcoming personal adversity is a negative in a woman of color, but a virtue in a white man like Justice Alito.

Tom Tancredo made it explicit when he said the "a brown woman could get away with saying things that a white man never could" . His racism comes out very clear in his failure to understand that Justice Alito has made the same kind of comparison to his own life and status as the child of immigrants and it was seen as virtue. The only difference, that a "brown woman" thought her heritage might inform her positions on the court. He said this on Monday on the Ed Show on MSNBC and no one from the elected branch of the Republican Party has called him out on it. This is the fourth data point that confirms a trend.

You could say, these are the statements and acts of individuals and it is unfair to paint a Party with the broad brush of the assholes at the fringe. After all, the Dog does not like it when others paint him with the less...reasoned of the Left, why should it be okay to do so on the Right? The issue here is the fact the Republican Party is not disavowing these people. They have been completely silent on the actions of their surrogates. It plays to the Southern Strategy of Nixon and Regan to allow this tacit acceptance of racism as a characteristic of their Party.

This is no longer acceptable. If we as Liberals and Democrats fail to point out the very real and very clear pattern of racism inherent in the Republican Party then we are to some small degree complicit. It is time to say it clearly; the Republican Party, as a whole is willing to accept racism as part of their Party. This makes the Republican Party a racist organization. To be clear the Party can not control what individuals say, but they can make it clear it is not acceptable to the over all organization. It is the failure to do so, over and over and over again that taints the Republican Party as a whole.

This is a strong statement, but the Dog is making it and will stand by it. If the Republican Party does not like this characterization based on data, they can change their actions, but in the end this is not an opinion it is a fact based assertion. Until there are new facts that dispute this and in numbers similar to the many the Dog has left out of this analysis, the Dog will continue to say it.

The floor is yours.  


Hour 1: Limbaugh: "This Country Is Failing Because President Obama Is Succeeding"

Published Thu, May 28, 2009 1:42pm ET

This hour of the Limbaugh Wire brought to you by Rush Limbaugh: Founding Father
By Simon Maloy

OK, so now we've had two days to ruminate on Rush's reasons why the GOP should take it to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and it makes even less sense to us than it did yesterday. As Rush tells it, George W. Bush and John McCain tried appealing to Hispanic voters by leading the fight for "amnesty," and Bush is still riotously unpopular while McCain got thumped in 2008. In other words, Republicans aren't going to win over Hispanics by being nice to them, so they might as well take it to Sotomayor. Rush seems to have forgotten, however, that Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, "more than any Republican presidential candidate in at least three decades." In 2008, however, McCain garnered just 31 percent of Hispanic voters. What happened in the interim? Well, the immigration debate in Congress was led by Tom Tancredo and James Sensenbrenner, who wanted to prosecute as many illegal immigrants as humanly possible (Tancredo refused to appear on Univision because people for whom Spanish is their primary language are a "problem"). And, as we pointed out yesterday, candidate McCain abandoned comprehensive immigration reform in order to more closely align himself with the Tancredo wing of the party. So Hispanic Americans are pretty clearly miffed with the GOP already, and, if history is a guide, suggesting Sotomayor will be unduly influenced by "her own personal race [and] gender" won't help to ameliorate things. But in Rush's world, that sort of reaction doesn't go far enough.

Rush kicked things off in high dudgeon today, as he was mightily upset that President Obama, at a fundraiser in California last night, said the economy has "stepped back from the brink." It's an "out-and-out lie," Rush said. Then he got distracted for a moment, claiming that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs "threatened" conservatives and Republicans yesterday when he said that "it is probably important for anybody involved in this debate to be exceedingly careful with the way in which they've decided to describe different aspects of this impending confirmation," responding Newt Gingrich's smear of Sotomayor as a "racist." This is a threat from the "Office of Dictates," said Rush.

Then it was back to the economy, as Rush read from an Associated Press story on how a "record 12 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the housing crisis spreads to borrowers with good credit." Rush wanted to know how much money has been spent to keep people in their homes, now that a record 12 percent of homeowners are behind in payments or in foreclosure. And Obama said we ain't seen nothing yet, which Rush said scares the hell out of him.

None of the "political fixes" for the economy have worked, and according to the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of Obama Chaos, this is good news for Obama: "The sad reality is that when they don't work, it is good news for President Obama. It's more chaos. It is the need, he thinks, that people will have for more government intervention and more tax increases and an ever-growing government to fix the problems. He feeds off the crisis. He feeds off the chaos." Rush wanted someone to tell him where the hell these trillions of dollars went, because it obviously did not help the auto industry, the banks, or Wall Street. It's all just "smoke and mirrors."

After the break, Rush was still harping on Obama's comments in California last night, saying that the state is tanking and falling apart, and Obama is saying they ain't seen nothing yet. Rush said that if he were in California, he'd grab his cash and his gun and get out of there. Then Rush read extensively from a USA Today article, "Stimulus projects bypass hard-hit states," saying that we get nothing but "lies" and "empty promises" from the administration. Then it was on to an AP article reporting that "[s]ome of the $4 billion from President Barack Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan that was budgeted to renovate public housing will be spent to create so-called "green jobs" by making the dwellings more energy efficient." This isn't going to happen, and it wouldn't do anything anyway, said Rush.

Refusing to stay focused in any serious way, Rush then moved on to a Sacramento Bee story on how the "steady increase of mentally ill residents combined with Sacramento County's budget woes forced the county's main psychiatric hospital late Friday to close its doors to new patients." What this story is pointing out, said Rush, is that socialism and big government do not work. It's a "teachable moment" -- the government taking tons of money to take care of the mentally ill does not work. The point of this story is that you're going to have lunatics running loose all over California because people won't pay taxes, said Rush. This is intended to scare you so leaders can create their green programs.

After another break, Rush apologized for "shouting" earlier in the program, but he's frustrated at watching the greatest economy in the world fail right before our eyes. And what angers Rush is that he thinks this is by design. Everyone with half a brain knows that what's being done now does not fix an economy, said Rush. He also continues to see people on TV and the internet hold up his "I hope he fails" comment as an example of Rush alienating moderates, wishing the country would fail, etc. According to Rush, virtually everybody who heard Rush's comment knows exactly what he meant. There is not a sane person in this country who believes Rush wants the country to fail. As we enjoy pointing out, Rush wished that Obama's economic policies would "prolong[] the recession." And it seems that Rush's bleak hopes for the country have been fulfilled, as he went on to say: "Ladies and gentlemen, this country is failing because President Obama is succeeding. I don't care how you choose to measure it. There is no hope on the horizon for a job. There is no hope on the horizon for renewed prosperity. There is no hope on the horizon for economic growth. It's not there." The one way in which Obama's policies will succeed, Rush said is in "impoverishing and enslaving" more and more Americans.

After more harping about how the government can't fix anything and how socialism is a terrible thing, Rush returned to Robert Gibbs "threatening" conservatives over Sotomayor. In keeping with this threat, Rush whispered this next bit so the White House wouldn't hear: "From the year 2004: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled that ownership of a gun is not a constitutional right. That case is at present being appealed before the U.S. Supreme Court, as are a couple other of her cases. 2004: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said owning a gun is not a constitutional right. She ruled in this fashion as a judge." He's referring to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in United States v. Sanchez-Villar. However, in that ruling, Sotomayor and the other judges cited precedent in ruling that "the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right." Here's the ruling:

We reject Sanchez-Villar's argument that New York's statutory scheme offends the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. See U.S. Const. amend. II; United States v. Toner, 728 F.2d 115, 128 (2d Cir.1984) (stating that "the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right").

And here's the case they cited.

Ditching the whispering schtick, Rush decreed: "President Obama could have chosen a different Hispanic or a different female, but he chose Sonia Sotomayor because she reflects his own racial attitudes. Let's be honest about this. He's got anger about race in this country; so does she. It cannot be denied." From there, he praised the Founding Fathers for their powers of prognostication, and placed himself in their league: "I'm very much like these people, my friends, in my ability to prognosticate and prophet the future. Thomas Jefferson warned 188 years ago that the federal government and the germ of its dissolution is in the way the federal judiciary is constituted. Ergo, 188 years later, he's right: We have Sonia Sotomayor, who thinks that the court is where policy is made."

Now, it must be said, given this silliness over attacking Sotomayor for saying that the federal appeals courts make policy, another influential judge once wrote something very similar: "In fact, however, the judges of inferior courts often 'make law,' since the precedent of the highest court does not cover every situation, and not every case is reviewed." That judge was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who, among other things, is one of two people whose brain Rush Limbaugh wouldn't mind having in his own skull.

Highlights from Hour 1

Outrageous comments

LIMBAUGH: It isn't working. The automobile bailouts did not work. The bailout of the banks has not worked. The bailout of the mortgage industry has not worked. Stemming foreclosures has not worked. The economy is not back from the brink. None of it has worked. All of the political fixes have not worked. The sad reality is that when they don't work, it is good news for President Obama. It's more chaos. It is the need, he thinks, that people will have for more government intervention and more tax increases and an ever-growing government to fix the problems. He feeds off the crisis. He feeds off the chaos.


LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, this country is failing because President Obama is succeeding. I don't care how you choose to measure it. There is no hope on the horizon for a job. There is no hope on the horizon for renewed prosperity. There is no hope on the horizon for economic growth. It's not there.


LIMBAUGH: President Obama could have chosen a different Hispanic or a different female, but he chose Sonia Sotomayor because she reflects his own racial attitudes. Let's be honest about this. He's got anger about race in this country; so does she. It cannot be denied.

Ego on loan from Narcissus

LIMBAUGH: Our Founding Fathers were fortune-tellers, they were prophets, they were wise beyond measure. Never fails to amaze me when I go back and read their warning of the future after they had crafted the U.S. Constitution. I'm very much like these people, my friends, in my ability to prognosticate and prophet the future. Thomas Jefferson warned 188 years ago that the federal government and the germ of its dissolution was in the way the federal judiciary is constituted. Ergo, 188 years later, he's right: We have Sonia Sotomayor, who thinks that the court is where policy is made.

America's Truth Rejector

LIMBAUGH: In the year 2004: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled that ownership of a gun is not a constitutional right. That case is at present being appealed before the U.S. Supreme Court, as are a couple other of her cases. 2004: Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor said owning a gun is not a constitutional right. She ruled in this fashion as a judge.

Wash. Times claims "extraordinary rebuke" for Sotomayor if Ricci is reversed

In a May 27 editorialThe Washington Times wrote of the 2nd Circuit decision joined by Judge Sonia Sotomayor in the New Haven firefighters case: "The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Ricci v. DeStefano before the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor's nomination. It would be an extraordinary rebuke were a current nominee to be overruled on such a controversial case by the very justices she is slated to join." But whether or not a majority of the court votes to reverseRicci, at least one justice, David Souter -- whom Sotomayor would replace -- made comments in oral argument that were supportive of the position taken by the 2nd Circuit in the case. Moreover, it is not unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to have been rebuked for an appellate court opinion. Indeed, Justice Samuel Alito received a "rebuke" as an appeals court judge, by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, whom he replaced. Nor would it be unprecedented for a justice to have a ruling he or she reached as an appellate court judge subsequently reversed.

As Media Matters for America has noted, during the Supreme Court's April 22 oral argument in the case, Souter asked the counsel for the firefighters, "Why isn't the most reasonable reading of this set of facts a reading which is consistent with giving the city an opportunity, assuming good faith, to start again? ... [I]sn't that the only way to avoid the damned if you do, damned if you don't situation?"

In his book The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (Doubleday, 2007), New Yorker staff writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote that in 1992, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had "excoriated" the "logic, approach, and conclusions" of her eventual successor, then-3rd Circuit Court of Appeals judge Alito, in her opinion for the abortion-rights case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In his 3rd Circuit opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, Alito had argued that Pennsylvania's spousal notification law was constitutional "because it is 'rationally related' to a 'legitimate' state interest" and does not pose an "undue burden." Joining Justices Anthony Kennedy and Souter in a plural opinion, O'Connor affirmed the 3rd Circuit's finding that the spousal notification law was unconstitutional, finding the statute "repugnant to our present understanding of marriage and of the nature of the rights secured by the Constitution. Women do not lose their constitutionally protected liberty when they marry. The Constitution protects all individuals, male or female, married or unmarried, from the abuse of governmental power, even where that power is employed for the supposed benefit of a member of the individual's family."

Moreover, it also would not be unprecedented for the court to reverse a ruling reached by a justice before their elevation to the Supreme Court. Then-appeals court judge John Roberts was a member of a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court, which, in its July 2005unanimous ruling on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, overruled a district court's holding that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemini national, "could not be tried by a military commission unless a competent tribunal determined that he was not a prisoner of war under the 1949 Geneva Convention governing the treatment of prisoner." The panel found that "the 1949 Geneva Convention does not confer upon Hamdan a right to enforce its provisions in court" and that "the 1949 Convention does not apply to al Qaeda and its members."

Roberts was elevated to chief justice of the United States several months later, in September 2005. Then, in 2006, the Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's decision on a 5-3 ruling. In reversing the ruling, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion that the circuit court's ruling with regard to whether Hamdan had a right to enforce the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was based upon a footnote which "does not control this case" and stated that the panel's "reasoning" with regard to whether members of the Conventions applied to members of Al Qaeda was "erroneous." The court further found that "the military commission convened to try Hamdan lacks power to proceed because its structure and procedures violate both the UCMJ [Uniform Code of Military Justice] and the Geneva Conventions." Roberts recused himself from participation in the Supreme Court's ruling.

From the Times editorial:

Judge Sotomayor seems to favor racial discrimination. Consider the case of Ricci v. DeStefano. In that controversial case, 19 white firemen were denied promotion because no blacks scored high enough on a race-neutral test to also be promoted. Judge Sotomayor ruled against the white firefighters.

If Mr. Obama wanted a judge with the right "empathy," he struck out with Judge Sotomayor. One of the white firefighters denied promotion, Frank Ricci, is dyslexic. In order to ace the promotion exam, he quit a second job, spent $1,000 for instruction materials, and spent many hours reading those books into an audio tape to help him study. For his extraordinary efforts, he finished sixth out of 77 applicants for promotion -- but then was denied, simply because he is white.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jose Cabranes, appointed by a Democratic president, complained that the ruling written by Judge Sotomayor and two other judges "contains no reference whatsoever to the constitutional claims at the core of this case."

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Ricci v. DeStefano before the Senate votes on Judge Sotomayor's nomination. It would be an extraordinary rebuke were a current nominee to be overruled on such a controversial case by the very justices she is slated to join.

Judge Sotomayor seems to be the most radical person ever nominated for the high court. To continue to command public respect, the Senate will have to ask her some hard questions. The simplest one to ask will be the hardest one for her to answer: Given her statements against whites and males, can she be fair to all Americans?

 All the News that's Fit to Be Killed

Fifty-five days shy of the Rocky Mountain News' 150th anniversary, the paper's corporate owner shut it down. Executives of the E.W. Scripps Company said it had to be done. That's one way of looking at it.

Page 1 of 12

Newspaper editors, those who still have jobs anyway, tend to be relentlessly literal. If your mother tells you she loves you, so goes the old newsroom adage, check it out. The trait is a professional necessity. After all, the aim of the newspapering game is to track down the answers to the "Five Ws" (who, what, when, where, and why); put that reporting into an inverted pyramid, a story with the most salient facts first and the less critical information in subsequent paragraphs; and do it for dozens of breaking stories every day. Newspaper editors have neither the need nor the time for literary luxuries. And so, the senior-most editors of the Rocky Mountain News worked right through the tragic metaphor flashing before their eyes on the afternoon of January 15, 2009.

It was a Thursday, and as on most weekdays since 1998, when John Temple became the Rocky's editor, he was leading the 3:30 p.m. meeting of his top editors. The agenda was the news of the day and how it ought be presented, particularly on the front page. The 10 or so editors were huddled around one end of a 40-foot, oblong table in a conference room on the fifth floor of a lavish leviathan called the Denver Newspaper Agency building. The DNA building, which oddly enough also houses the Rocky's competitor, the Denver Post, was completed nearly three years ago at the newsworthy cost of $100 million. Erected on the corner of Broadway and Colfax Avenue, at the intersection of power between the Denver City and County Building and the state Capitol, it was equipped with virtually every state-of-the-art newsgathering gizmo, along with some pricey comforts. On the conference room walls hung four flat-panel televisions attached to cable news feeds from around the globe. Circling the long table were some 20 Herman Miller chairs, each retailing for hundreds of dollars.

Shortly into the meeting Temple blurted a "Wow!" intended to rouse his editors' attention. He was looking at one of the TVs, remarking on CNN's coverage of a commercial plane that a few hours earlier had emergency-landed in New York City's Hudson River. Within minutes, a Rocky photo editor had a laptop pulling wire-service photographs of the event and was feeding the images to another TV screen for the editors to see. Each picture was more astounding than the last, with passengers emerging from the fuselage onto the wings, preparing to board approaching rescue boats. The Five Ws of this one were something else: During takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, US Airways Flight 1549 hit some birds, which triggered engine failure, and the pilot, captain Chesley Sullenberger, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, executed a miraculous water landing, saving all 155 people onboard. Before climbing onto a rescue boat himself, Sullenberger walked through the sinking aircraft, twice, to ensure that everyone had been evacuated. One of the pictures, a shot of 1549's tail dipping beneath the Hudson as passengers squeezed onto the wings, would be the front page of the next day's Rocky. The headline: "Wing. Prayer. Rescue."

If any of the editors in the room noted the parallels between Flight 1549 and their own predicament, they kept it to themselves. The Rocky, too, had crashed. About six weeks earlier, on December 4, 2008, executives of the E.W. Scripps Company, which owned the paper, announced that the Rocky's moneymaking engines had failed and the company was putting it up for sale. The suits, who had flown in from Scripps' Cincinnati headquarters, said if they were unable to find a buyer within a month—on or about that very January Thursday—the company would close the paper. Announcing the Rocky's status as a money-losing proposition as the reason for the sale effectively had left the paper stranded and about to sink, with staffers anxiously waiting on the wings. The Rocky's captain, Temple, had been walking the newsroom, telling his staff "anything is possible," only here there were no rescue boats in sight, no buyers to be had.

On February 27, 2009, just 55 days shy of the paper's 150th anniversary, the Rocky went under, swallowed into the abyss of America's failing newspaper industry. Scripps executives again came to town. They provided answers to the Five Ws of the closure, and the Rocky reporters wrote it all down, a final assignment for a final edition. The paper had been hemorrhaging millions of dollars, the executives said. They said they'd had a "strategy," but then the "ground shifted beneath our feet"—the U.S. economy's plunge and the increasingly devastating power of the Internet—and it simply became too much to overcome. "We did all we could," the suits said. "It's nobody's fault." As a headline in the final edition put it: "Dismal economy, changing world halt Rocky's near 150-year run."

As first drafts of history go, it wasn't bad, as it had just enough of the facts. As corporate spin goes, however, it was flawless, as it omitted just enough of the unpleasant truths. The Scripps party line avoided the fact that this once-great newspaper company long ago had begun turning away from print; that it was casting aside yet another journalistic institution like an emptied piggy bank. And there was no reason to wonder aloud if the Rocky's esteemed editor had put his own corporate concerns above his journalistic ethics.

-Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Torture News 5/24/09

Submitted by Bob Fertik

Dick Cheney


Iraq-Torture Scandal



Liz Cheney accidentally admitted the truth: her dad's greatest fear is prosecution

The Pentagon Post keeps on lying about Pelosi. (This time it's Paul Kane and Joby Warrick.) Marcy Wheeler documents all their lies.

Chicago radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller thought he was tougher than waterboarding. Surprise! He lasted 6 seconds, then declared it's "absolutely torture."

Bob Fertik's blog  

Karen Hughes Spills Some Important Torture Beans

Submitted by Bob Fertik on May 19, 2009 - 5:53pm. 

Bush Prosecution 

Iraq-Torture Scandal

Karen Hughes was closer to George Bush than anyone except Karl Rove - perhaps even closer. She was Bush's press pitbull during his six years as governor and during his Presidential campaign, then became "Counselor to the President." So this is a startling revelation (h/t Ben Armbruster):

She acknowledged the current uproar over interrogation tactics and allegations of prisoner torture during the Bush years. 


Torture is what distinguishes civilization from barbarism. It is a moral issue that allows no compromise. Who supports torture, or refuses to oppose it?


Wall Street Journal (1/6/09
Washington Post (1/7/09,1/10/09 

"Pundits" and "Experts"

Iraq Torture Timeline

Iraq-Torture Evidence 

Iraq-Torture Scandal

This timeline focuses on the Iraq-Torture Scandal: the Bush Administration's use of torture to elicit false "confessions" linking Al Qaeda to Iraq, to create false propaganda (a "smoking gun") that would allow Bush to "sell" the invasion of Iraq to Congress, the American people, and the world.

Timeline sources: Marcy WheelerDan K is BackDan K is BackJordan Paust,

Torture News 5/15/09

I discussed the latest torture revelations on the radio with Keith Murphy of The Urban Journal.

In response to questions by Spencer Ackerman, Lawrence Wilkerson revealed new details of how former CIA director George Tenet lied to Colin Powell about al-Libi just 4 days before his history-changing U.N. speech:


Charles Duelfer Adds Fuel to Iraq-Torture Scandal

Iraq-Torture Evidence 

Iraq-Torture Scandal

Former NBC News investigative producer Robert Windrem today tied Dick Cheney's office to a waterboarding request after the invasion of Iraq in April 2003:

*Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection.

*The former chief of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, in charge of interrogations, tells The Daily Beast that he considered the request reprehensible.

Lawrence Wilkerson Drops an Iraq-Torture Bombshell

Submitted by Bob Fertik on May 14, 2009 - 10:12am. 

Iraq-Torture Evidence 

Iraq-Torture Scandal

On Wednesday, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson dropped a bombshell (h/t Heather):

what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 -- well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion -- its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

Was al-Libi Tortured So Bush Could Invade Iraq?

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the little-known man who died mysteriously in a Libyan prison, has a crucial place in world history. Without his tortured false confession - that Saddam Hussein had offered to train two al-Qaeda operatives in the use of chemical and biological weapons - the U.S. might never have invaded Iraq.

George Bush relied on his false confession for his crucial speech in Cincinnatti on October 7, 2002, just days before Congress voted on the Iraq War resolution. Bush declared, "We’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases."

Was al-Libi Murdered?

On Sunday, Andy Worthington first reported the sudden and strange "suicide" death of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Given his crucial role in history, there will be a lot of speculation whether he was murdered.

Al-Libi was an Al Qaeda member from Libya who was captured in Pakistan in late 2001, and questioned by CIA in Afghanistan. In January 2002, he was sent to Egypt for torture, where he "confessed" Iraq trained Al Qaeda in WMD use.

Did Doug Feith Write the Iraq-Torture Scripts?

Submitted by Bob Fertik on May 7, 2009 - 12:13am. 

Marcy Wheeler digs up some tidbits from Dougie Feith’s Little Shop of Tortures. His Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG) "helped formulate policy" on:

  1. DoD response to the presence in Iraq of the al-Qaida affiliated Ansar al-Islam terrorist group.
  2. DoD response to the presence in Iraq of al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his CB W network.
  3. Helping to formulate requirements for the debriefings of al-Qaida fighters detained at Guantanamo and Bagram.

Marcy focuses on #3:


Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.