Yes, the president committed a federal crime by wiretapping Americans, say constitutional scholars, former intelligence officers and politicians. What's missing is the political will to impeach him.
The notion of absolute executive power has a venerable history, but it lacks an American pedigree.
By Sidney Blumenthal, www.salon.com
Dec. 22, 2005 | President Bush's explanations of why he is justified in ordering domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency have shifted with every news cycle. He has sent out Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to bolster his justifications. (Rice averred that she was "not a lawyer" before repeating the talking points.) Bush personally tried to suppress disclosure by the New York Times, which had held the story for more than a year before breaking it, by summoning Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office on Dec. 6.
Traprock Peace Center has just published to the internet its
comprehensive coverage (audio, photos and video) of the London
International Peace Conference, held on December 10, 2005.
By Jason Leopold, www.RawStory.com
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is not expected to shut down his investigation into the leak of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson when he finishes his inquiry of White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove's role in the leak, lawyers close to the probe said.
By Ray McGovern
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
I'll say this for Vice President Dick Cheney: he puts it right out there, whether it is trying to ensure legal protection for those torturing prisoners, or insisting - as he did on Tuesday - that in wartime the president "needs to have his powers unimpaired." And Cheney and Bush would have us believe it is they who define the constitutional powers of the president.
AMY GOODMAN: We welcome you to Democracy Now!, Congressmember Conyers.
REP. JOHN CONYERS: Good morning, and it's always good to be with you, Amy. It’s a wonderful program that you have. Your earlier segment ties almost into this, with the groups being harassed, and tried to be connected to political -- to al-Qaeda when it's pretty clear that that's not the case. Now, what we're doing is trying to put this into a outline of moving forward, and so, on the closing hours of the session over the weekend, I introduced House Resolution 635, which creates a select committee to investigate the administration's intent to go to war before they received congressional authorization and manipulation of pre-war intelligence and encouraging and countenancing torture of detainees and retaliating against critics and to make recommendations regarding possible grounds for impeachment.
United Press International
Washington - Iraq's elections were marked by widespread intimidation and coercion by paramilitary groups, experts said Tuesday.
"This election appears to have suffered from very many problems. The reports have become overwhelming," Leslie Campbell, regional director of Middle East and North African programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, told a meeting at the Center for American Progress, a think tank headed by John Podesta, President Bill Clinton's former chief of staff.
By Larry C Johnson, NoQuarter
An old friend, Paul Kaihla, who writes for Business 2.0, reminded me he had published a piece 4 years ago that highlighted one of the challenges of tracking terrorist targets. While this example falls outside the current debate about phone intercepts inside the United States, the technological challenge is the same. The fundamental point is that the law enforcement and intelligence community can deal with the threat. If they need new authorities they should seek them. But ignoring laws is not a prerogative of the President or any leader for that matter.
Times don't get more serious than this; it is time for the most serious of measures.
Every American generation has a moment when it is called upon to do its part to preserve the freedom and higher values of our country. This is our moment.
Camp Casey Los Angeles
This week 12/23 Cindy Sheehan will be joining our vigil
Just a reminder that every friday Los Angeles area Gold Star Families for Peace along with Military Familes Speak Out, Orange County, Code Pink and the Camp Casey Peace movement are setting up a Camp Casey outside of Cal Sen. Diane Feinsteins office.We are now in the 4th week of our encampment. We will be there from 3pm to 6 pm waiting for her to answer the questions posed to her in September by Cindy Sheehan. For What Noble cause are our kids dying ? How many more lives are she willing to sacrifice for this Noble cause? And, what is she doing to bring an end to the US occupation of Iraq? Until she answers these questions we will be there.
By David Sirota
Another day, yet another new and wholly different explanation from the Bush administration about its illegal domestic spying operation.
Zogby Leads Winning Side, Calling for US Withdrawal
Contact: Mira H. Browne, (202) 429-9210, firstname.lastname@example.org
On December 31 and January 1, 2006, BBC World will air "The Doha Debates
By Drew Brown, Knight Ridder
WASHINGTON - Fewer African-Americans are joining the Army, a trend likely to make it harder to keep the all-volunteer military at full strength.
The percentage of African-Americans among all those who signed up for active-duty Army service fell from 24 percent in 2000 to 14 percent in 2005, according to Army statistics. That's the lowest percentage since 1973, when the draft ended and the all-volunteer military began, say David R. Segal and Mady Wechsler Segal, sociologists with the University of Maryland's Center for Research on Military Organization.
By Dahr Jamail and Arkan Hamed
Inter Press Service
Baghdad - Despite the parliamentary elections last week and temporary ease in violence, Iraqis remain bitter about the outgoing year, and sceptical of 2006.
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Perspective, www.truthout.org
The framers of the Constitution devised an elaborate system of checks and balances to ensure our liberty by making sure that no person, institution or branch of government became so powerful that a tyranny could be established in the United States of America. Impeachment is one of the checks the framers gave the Congress to prevent the executive or judicial branches from becoming corrupt or tyrannical.
We speak with Congressman John Conyers (D - MI) introduced measures to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney for misleading lawmakers on the decision to go to war in Iraq. Conyers is also seeking the creation of a select committee to investigate the Administration's possible crimes and make recommendations regarding grounds for impeachment.
David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet, and John Rees, Stop the War Coalition. photos © 2005 Charles Jenks
By Associated Press
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., called Tuesday for Congress to censure President Bush and Vice President Cheney, saying they misled lawmakers on the decision to go to war in Iraq.
By Larry C. Johnson, NoQuarter.typepad.com
Having watched former Deputy CIA Director John Mclaughlin spend the day trying to back and fill for President Bush's decision to circumvent the FISA Court procedure (which occurred during Mclaughlin's tenure), we begin to understand why the CIA declined so badly under his watch. Mclaughlin argues, as always, in a calm, polite voice--the quintessential bureaucrat--that the threat is new and terrorists move too quick. Now, either he's lying, which I don't think, or he spent too much time cloistered at the Headquarters in McLean and is sadly misinformed. The so-called "new practice," where terrorists call on one phone, dump it, pick up a new phone, dump it, and so on, was pioneered by the Colombian drug cartels, among others, more than ten years ago. DEA, while facing some challenges, has actually become quite adept at chasing these guys while working within the constraints of FISA. Surely Mclaughlin is not asking us to believe that the intelligence community is too stupid to learn lessons from DEA?
Our good friend Michael Jay sent us this audio recording and transcript of Bush saying, last year, that wiretaps require a court order and that nothing has changed, "because we value the
In a brief judgment today, Madam Justice Deborah Satanove of the Supreme Court of British Columbia rejected an appeal by the Canadian-based Lawyers Against the War (LAW) against the staying of torture charges laid against President George W. Bush last year. The judgment, which came after three weeks of deliberation but was less than five pages in length, declared the appeal "an abuse of process". Relying on a contested nine-word passage in the transcript of the secret hearing held last year, Judge Satanove declared that the real intentions of LAW were "to use the criminal procedure as a forum to express political views". According to the court, the passage could be read as a disavowal by LAW of any intention to seek the issuance of a summons or warrant against the US President. The judge ignored all the other arguments on both sides of the case.
Censure and Impeachment
By David Swanson, censurebush.org
Censure is not the enemy of impeachment, any more than impeaching Bush prevents impeaching Cheney. We have a tendency to jump five steps ahead of ourselves in order to find imaginary problems.
"A record 55% say the war in Iraq is entirely separate from the war on terrorism that began with the Sept. 11 attacks, the first time a majority has held that opinion."
Raising the Issue of Impeachment
By John Nichols, The Nation
As President Bush and his aides scramble to explain new revelations regarding Bush's authorization of spying on the international telephone calls and emails of Americans, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, has begun a process that could lead to the censure, and perhaps the impeachment, of the president and vice president.
There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President
and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws,
including (1) Committing a Fraud against the United States; (2) Making False
LINK TO UPDATED REPORT FROM AUGUST 2006:
INITIAL REPORT FROM DECEMBER 2005:
The following are links to the Investigative Status Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff
The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War (This Report is 273 pages.)
When Richard Nixon abused power, Congress held a serious, bi-partisan investigation that resulted in articles of impeachment. Strong evidence suggests that George Bush and Dick Cheney launched an illegal war and lied to Congress, spied on Americans without court approval, leaked classified information, produced phony news reports, imprisoned without charge and tortured, targeted civilians and used illegal weapons. Ask your Congress Member to cosponsor House Resolution 635 for an investigation.