By Jonathan Schell, The Nation
When the New York Times revealed that George W. Bush had ordered the National Security Agency to wiretap the foreign calls of American citizens without seeking court permission, as is indisputably required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed by Congress in 1978, he faced a decision. Would he deny the practice, or would he admit it? He admitted it. But instead of expressing regret, he took full ownership of the deed, stating that his order had been entirely justified, that he had in fact renewed it thirty times, that he would continue to renew it and-going even more boldly on the offensive-that those who had made his law-breaking known had committed a "shameful act." As justification, he offered two arguments, one derisory, the other deeply alarming. The derisory one was that Congress, by authorizing him to use force after September 11, had authorized him to suspend FISA, although that law is unmentioned in the resolution. Thus has Bush informed the members of a supposedly co-equal ranch of government of what, unbeknownst to themselves, they were thinking when they cast their vote. The alarming argument is that as Commander in Chief he possesses "inherent" authority to suspend laws in wartime. But if he can suspend FISA at his whim and in secret, then what law can he not suspend? What need is there, for example, to pass or not pass the Patriot Act if any or all of its provisions can be secretly exceeded by the President?
By Monica Davey, The New York Times
Duluth, Minn. - As those thinking of becoming soldiers arrive on the slushy doorstep of the Army recruiting station here, they cannot miss the message posted in bold black letters on the storefront right next door.
Bush’s Uranium Lies: The Case For A Special Prosecutor That Could Lead To Impeachment
Written by Francis T. Mandanici, June 29, 2005,
revised December 27, 2005
In the indictment of I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, the special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald charged that Libby violated various criminal statutes when he made false and fraudulent statements to FBI agents and when he basically repeated those statements to a grand jury and thereby obstructed grand jury proceedings.
Latest on NoQuarter.
By Larry C. Johnson
Do you think that John Woo, the guy who authored the Department of Justice memo justifiying torture, believes that pedophilia is okay as long as the President believes it is necessary to save the nation? That my friends, as absurd as it sounds, is the thrust of the logic underpining the arguments Woo and his buddies are making. Their assault on the traditional conservative view that the power of Federal Government should be limited is truly frightening. In the name of saving the nation they insist that international accords against torture and inhumane treatment no longer apply. They are also on board for holding American citizens in prison indefinitely without a chance to confront their accusers in court. If it is done in the name of "national security" it is okay.
Online document: The text of the memorandum detailing the US plan to bug the phones and emails of key Security Council members, revealed in today's Observer
By Ruth Conniff, http://progressive.org
What sense does it make that some of the same Washington media and political leaders who countenanced the Clinton impeachment over a semen-stained dress, somberly intoning about the "rule of law," consider impeaching Bush beyond the pale?
Over 20 Dead, 46 Wounded in Guerrilla War; Governor of Diyala Wounded in Assassination Attempt, Sunnis Threaten Boycott
A wave of guerrilla bombings and apparently coordinated small arms attacks around north-central Iraq left over 20 dead and over twice as many wounded on Monday. (Actually, it is worse; the average estimated dead in the guerrilla war ranges between 38 and 60 per day, but wire services seldom report more than a fraction of these deaths).
By Shankar Vedantam, The Washington Post
As claims rise, VA takes stock.
The spiraling cost of post-traumatic stress disorder among war veterans has triggered a politically charged debate and ignited fears that the government is trying to limit expensive benefits for emotionally scarred troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Peter Slevin, The Washington Post
Former justice official says he was interpreting law, not making policy
John Yoo knows the epithets of the libertarians, the liberals and the lefties. Widely considered the intellectual architect of the most dramatic assertion of White House power since the Nixon era, he has seen constitutional scholars skewer his reasoning and students call for his ouster from the University of California at Berkeley.
By Richard A. Oppel Jr., The New York Times
Baghdad, Iraq - An analysis of preliminary voting results released Monday from the Dec. 15 parliamentary election suggests that in contrast to the remarkable surge in Sunni Arab participation in the political process, the Sunnis still have comparatively little representation in the Iraqi security forces.
By John MANNING, Portside
Both our country and Japan, the two most economically
dominant and militarily armed countries of the present
world, are approaching elections in which both peoples,
By John Crewdson, The Chicago Tribune
CIA agents' use of cell phones during mission lets police in Italy identify them, spurring agency review.
Milan - The trick is known to just about every small-time crook in the cellular age: If you don't want police to know where you are, take the battery out of your cell phone when you're not using it.
By John Nichols, Capital Times
As President Bush and his aides scramble to explain new revelations regarding Bush's authorization of spying on the international telephone calls and e-mails 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.
BAGHDAD—At least two dozen people and a U.S. soldier were killed yesterday in shootings and bombings mostly targeting the Shiite-dominated security services.
Officials blamed the surge in violence on insurgent efforts to deepen the political turmoil surrounding the contested Dec. 15 vote. Preliminary figures have given a big lead to the religious Shiite bloc that controls the current interim government.
By Norman Solomon
Despite all the news accounts and punditry since the New York Times
published its Dec. 16 bombshell about the National Security Agency's
domestic spying, the media coverage has made virtually no mention of
By Doug Ireland
The Bush administration is twisting itself into a pretzel trying to find ways not to diagnose soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including altering the diagnostic criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association. READ THE REST
On the Iraq Election, Noam Chomsky interviewed by Andy Clark
Radio Netherlands, December 18, 2005
Andy Clark: But what do you think would happen if the process now goes forward and the Iraqi government is formed and the new parliament turns around and passes a majority motion for the coalition-led troops to withdraw within six months? What do you think would happen?
From the Impeach Bush Coalition:
Tom Delay (R-TX):
"This nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law. Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth.
Published on Monday, December 26, 2005 by the Miami Herald
By Robert Steinback
One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn't win after all. He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.
By David Swanson
Kurt Vonnegut, at age 82, has published over two dozen books. His latest is called "A Man Without a Country." It's a book that is brutally honest in its hopelessness, in fact – I think – overly hopeless, and yet humorous. It may even be hopeless in order to better be humorous. Vonnegut discusses in the book the use of tragedy to heighten laughter. But certainly the humor works to lighten the load of dismay and despair that this book ever-so-lightly dumps on us.
by Kagro X, www.dailykos.com
Have you heard the news? Daniel Schorr says "nobody's talking about impeachment." Charles Krauthammer says impeachment talk is "nonsense." And Jonah Goldberg says impeachment will actually help W's poll numbers.
By David Swanson
The U.S. military used white phosphorous as a weapon in Fallujah, and the U.S. military says such use is illegal. That's one heck of a fog fact (Larry Beinhart's term for a fact that is neither secret nor known). This fact has appeared in an article in the Guardian (UK) and been circulated on the internet, but has just not interested the corporate media in the United States.
WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy, Part 4A -- CIA's WINPAC and Uranium from Africa
By Marty Luster, Ithaca Journal (New York)
As if the lies that took us to Iraq were not enough. As if the knowing use of bad intelligence wasn't enough. As if the ever- shifting justifications for this war were not enough. As if the use of torture by and at the behest of the United States was not enough. As if the disclosure of classified information to retaliate against a critic of the war policy was not enough. As if the shroud of secrecy that binds this administration was not enough. As if the squandering of hundreds of billions of dollars in support of this war at a time when we can't find the money to rebuild one of our great cities, when millions of us go without health care and when the federal government has reneged on its commitment to public education was not enough.
By Katrina vanden Heuvel, Huffington Post
In the late 1990s, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, currently under indictment on corruption charges, proclaimed: "This nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law.... The other road is the path of least resistance" in which "we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us...[and] close our eyes to the potential lawbreaking...and tear an unfixable hole in our legal system." That arbiter of moral politics, Tom DeLay, was incensed about the danger of letting Bill Clinton escape unpunished for his "crimes"--lying about sex.
By Haider Rizvi, OneWorld.net
United Nations - Twenty-six years ago, the United Nations adopted a treaty that is often described by human rights experts as the international "Bill of Rights" for women.
The Face and Voice of Civilian Sacrifice in Iraq
By JOHN F. BURNS
IN Iraq, nobody knows, and few in authority seem concerned to count, just how many civilians have been killed and injured. Soon it will be three years since the American-led invasion. The estimates of those killed run into the tens of thousands, the numbers of wounded two or three times the number who lost their lives. Even President Bush, estimating recently that 30,000 civilians may have been killed, acknowledged that was no more than an abstraction from unofficial calculations, not a Pentagon count.
Elsy Fors (Prensa Latina)
Next year might be decisive for US President George W. Bush, accused of lying, showing total disregard for US and international laws, Constitution violations, living in a bubble, promoting abuses, torture, indefinite detention of and spying on US citizens and foreigners.
By William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
The first paragraph of the story reads, "An Ohio soldier was killed in Iraq on Christmas Eve when he was attacked by enemy forces, the Department of Defense announced Sunday." This lost soldier from Ohio is one of 2,168 who have died in Iraq. His death is no harder than all the others, no less wrenching for his family. Somehow, however, this death on Christmas Eve brought an extra twist of the knife for me, though I did not know the man, and now, never will.
By Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press
Gunmen shot and killed five police officers at a checkpoint north of Baghdad on Monday, and six vehicle bombs exploded in the capital, leaving another five people dead and wounding more than 40.