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Criminal Prosecution and Accountability
or so a good rumor has it
ABC The Note:
The grand jury investigating the CIA leak may meet this morning at the federal courthouse in Washington, DC.
Read this related Kos diary by Kagro X.
By Charlie Savage, The Boston Globe
President cites powers of his office
Washington - President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
By Rupert Cornwell, the Independent
The Pentagon has brought criminal charges against the second-ranking US intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib jail - the most senior figure yet to be accused in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal that shocked the world and left a black stain on America's human rights record.
The seven formal charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Jordan, who was in charge of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Centre at the prison near Baghdad during the second half of 2003, come two years after the scandal first became public. The 12 counts against him include cruelty, maltreatment of prisoners, dereliction of duty and three counts of lying to Major General Antonio Taguba, who conducted the first official probe into the events at the prison, and to a subsequent Pentagon investigation in 2004.
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Despite vehement denials by his attorney who said this week that Karl Rove is neither a "target" nor in danger of being indicted in the CIA leak case, the special counsel leading the investigation has already written up charges against Rove, and a grand jury is expected to vote on whether to indict the Deputy White House Chief of Staff sometime next week, sources knowledgeable about the probe said Friday afternoon.
By Congressman John Conyers, www.dailykos.com
As some of you may be aware, according to the President and Congressional Republicans, a bill does not have to pass both the Senate and the House to become a law. Forget your sixth grade civics lesson, forget the book they give you when you visit Congress - "How Our Laws Are Made," and forget Schoolhouse Rock. These are checks and balances, Republican-style.
By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
Karl Rove's appearance before a grand jury in the CIA leak case Wednesday comes on the heels of a "target letter" sent to his attorney recently by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, signaling that the Deputy White House Chief of Staff may face imminent indictment, sources that are knowledgeable about the probe said Wednesday.
It's unclear when Fitzgerald sent the target letter to Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin. Sources close to the two-year-old leak investigation said when Rove's attorney received the letter Rove volunteered to appear before the grand jury for an unprecedented fifth time to explain why he did not previously disclose conversations he had with the media about covert CIA operative Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who criticized the Bush administration's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence.
Seeking Accountability for Bloody Attacks:
* Fallujah, Iraq -- 2004
* U.N. Compound in Lebanon -- 1996
MARTI HIKEN, email@example.com, http://www.nlg.org/mltf
COLLEEN FLYNN, firstname.lastname@example.org
W. GORDON KAUPP, email@example.com
Hiken, a spokesperson and co-chair for the National Lawyers Guild
Military Law Task Force, is the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act
Ray Accuses Bush of War Crimes on Major TV Show: Transcript of Ray McGovern Interview on Jim Lehrer's News Hour
JIM LEHRER: A 20-year veteran of the agency, Mary McCarthy, was fired on Thursday for leaking information about CIA secret prison camps to the Washington Post. The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for those stories.
CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly told CIA employees Friday that McCarthy had failed a polygraph test and then admitted to unauthorized disclosures. There's no word on whether the government will take any further action against her.
Writing on behalf of his One America political action committee, former Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards sent an email Saturday seeking signatories in an effort to expand the powers of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate President Bush's role in the strategic leaking of information related to Iraq.
In the form letter on Edwards' site, he writes, "I urge you to extend Mr. Fitzgerald’s charter to include the behavior of the President in this disgraceful affair."
By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation
It is one of the most infamous incidents of the war in Iraq: On March 31, 2004, four private American security contractors get lost and end up driving through the center of Falluja, a hotbed of Sunni resistance to the US occupation. Shortly after entering the city, they get stuck in traffic, and their small convoy is ambushed. Several armed men approach the two vehicles and open fire from behind, repeatedly shooting the men at point-blank range. Within moments, their bodies are dragged from the vehicles and a crowd descends on them, tearing them to pieces. Eventually, their corpses are chopped and burned. The remains of two of the men are strung up on a bridge over the Euphrates River and left to dangle. The gruesome image is soon beamed across the globe.
Published on Thursday, April 20, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
by Larry Beinhart
During the first half of the 20th Century the United States spearheaded the movement to make war illegal.
Based on the standards that were set then, based on international and American law, and based on the facts, a clear-cut and convincing case can be made that the invasion of Iraq was a crime.
It is impossible to imagine that George Bush and Dick Cheney and the rest of their group will actually be brought into court and charged, and perhaps that is the reason that the response has been silence. We do not even discuss what makes a war legal or illegal. It has not and will not be debated on the floor of the US Senate. It won’t be the subject of an investigation in the Washington Post or the New York Times. It won’t be a segment on 60 Minutes or an item the NBC Nightly News. Anyone who says that the invasion of Iraq was a war crime will probably be dismissed as a member of the loony left.
Blackwater in the Crosshairs: Families of Four Private Security Contractors Killed in Fallujah File a Ground-Breaking Lawsuit
The families of four private security contractors killed in Fallujah in
March 2004 have filed a ground-breaking lawsuit charging Blackwater USA with
fraud and wrongful death. Blackwater has fought to have the case dismissed
by claiming that all liability lies not with the company but the U.S.
In an expose in the new issue of the Nation magazine, independent journalist
By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
It's not Donald Rumsfeld's colossal arrogance or his glaring misjudgments we should be focusing on. It's his potential crimes.
The mainstream media in the U.S. is giving enormous attention to the retired generals who are demanding Donald Rumsfeld's resignation because of his autocratic style and his bungling in Iraq.
But the mainstream media is barely discussing Rumsfeld's alleged culpability in the abusive treatment of detainees, up to and including torture.
By R. Lane Anderson
Yesterday I spent about six hours talking to people who were passing Arlington West and who stopped to ask questions or comment.
Like my comrads here, I begin by asking them questions, where ya from?...do you know anyone in the military?...etc. ONLY if they ask me whats the solution or how do we get out or how do we keep America safe do I frame my solution, but yesterday I did not have one person disagree with my solution....one said "I don't know" but that was a close to dissent as I had....I may have talked to about a hundred individuals.
Intelligence on Iraq: The Bush Administration on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Capabilities, Prepared by Christina Andersson for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Excepts, complete listing with several quotes from other officials: carnegieendowment.org)
We have compiled statements from the Bush Administration primarily on Iraq's previous and current ability to manufacture and hide chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons as well as delivery systems. We have also included statements on the relationship between intelligence and post-war evidence of such capabilities.
By Mike Hersh, Progressive Democrats of America,
Karen Bradley, Democracy Cell Project
March 8 2006 - Washington, DC: Five women from Iraq discussed their experiences and explained the situation in Occupied Iraq at a press conference facilitated by Code Pink and Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson. Dr Entisar Mohammad Ariabi delivered their conclusion: "The central cause of tragedy in Iraq is the occupation." Noting that the event promoted a Women's Call for Peace on International Women's Day, Dr. Ariabi described the current conditions: "Iraqi women are looking for their children under rubble, and looking for their husbands in prison. Pregnant women cannot find sufficient care. No hospital or delivery room. Ambulances are shot."
From: Supreme Law Firm
Subject: LEGAL NOTICE to Rep. Dennis Hastert
in re: Presidential Succession and authorization to impeach
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006
[this message transmitted earlier today via email server at House of Representatives]
Greetings Rep. Hastert:
Please prepare yourself to occupy the Office of the President.
My office now plans to charge George W. Bush with being an accessory to premeditated murder in the first degree, and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder in the first degree, in connection with abuses of U.S. prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere.
Cindy Sheehan asks: And these criminals are still in power? why? [After reading: AP: Video Contradicts Bush Katrina Statements - Bush ... assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared".]
Mike Hersh replied: Just when I think they can't get any worse, somehow they manage to shock even me. He clearly promises on the video tape that they were "fully prepared to prevent loss of property" and "we all pray of course there'll be no loss of life." Something like that.
AP: Video Contradicts Bush Katrina Statements
by Margaret Ebrahim and John Solomon
Bush didn't ask a single question during the final government-wide briefing the day before Katrina struck on Aug. 29 but assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared".
WASHINGTON — In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, risk lives in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage of the briefings.
Bucks County history professor Chuck Pennacchio, trying to wrest the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate from Bob Casey Jr., called President Bush a "criminal president" Saturday and said his own goal to unseat U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum "will be showered with millions" if Pennacchio can just win the primary election.
"Watching these people work is a study of the inner circle at the top of American politics. The journalist Sidney Blumenthal, writing on Salon.com, reminds us of the relationship between the Armstrong dynasty and the Bush family and its retainers. Armstrong's father invested in Rove's political consulting firm that managed George W. Bush's election as governor of Texas and as president. Her mother, Anne Armstrong, is a longtime Republican activist and donor. Ronald Reagan appointed her to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board after her tenure as Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Ford, whose chief of staff was a young Dick Cheney."
I will leave to Jon Stewart the rich threads of humor to pluck from the hunting incident in Texas. All of us are relieved that the Vice President's friend has survived. I can accept Dick Cheney's word that the accident was one of the worst moments of his life. What intrigues me as a journalist now is the rare glimpse we have serendipitously been offered into the tightly knit world of the elites who govern today.
By Missy Comley Beattie
I know we’re not supposed to wish that time will pass more quickly. But with George Bush in the highest office, I find myself wanting the days to spin faster towards the midterm elections in hopes of, finally, seeing some Democrats take back Congress so that we have checks and balances. That would mean, though, that Dems must come together instead of acting like scattering roaches, speeding across the linoleum when the light is turned on in the kitchen. First, though, Republican opponents will have to agree on a platform that is a departure from Bush and business as usual.
By Alan Gray, NewsBlaze
Scott Tooley, a Republican, and former Congressional aide and law school graduate, educated at renowned Christian universities, has filed suit against the President, Vice President and relevant federal agencies for their illegal surveillance programs.
By Neil A. Lewis, New York Times
Washington - A federal prosecutor has said I. Lewis Libby Jr., former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is trying to sabotage the criminal case against him by insisting through his lawyers that he be given sensitive government documents for his defense.
by Katherine Brengle Op-Ed News February 16, 2006
My country is dying. My country has become cruel, and dangerous, and fraught with corruption. The promise that was America has dwindled from a blazing fire to a pale fluorescent flicker...
Once upon a time, the world looked to us for leadership, for strength and integrity, for hope, for compassion. This image has been shattered. When the United States invaded the nation of Iraq on March 19th, 2003, we shattered that image. When the first photos of prisoners being tortured at Abu Ghraib prison were broadcast on April 30th, 2004, the shards were shattered further. Yesterday, the image finally evaporated.
By Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (Cross-posted at DailyKos)
You may recall that a few weeks ago I introduced a resolution of inquiry to obtain Justice Department documents about the President's domestic spying program.
Many of you are no doubt familiar with the procedure for resolutions of inquiry; however, for those who are not, a brief explanation. A resolution of inquiry requests information or documents from the Executive Branch. The Committee to which it is referred must vote on it within a specified period of time or the full House must consider it.
As a practical matter, if the Republicans want to dodge an issue, they refer the bill to Committee and then "adversely report" it, which kills it, stopping the request for documents and protecting every non-Committee Republican from having to vote on it.
Today, the House Judiciary Committee considered my resolution of inquiry on the domestic spying program. The Resolution was rejected 16 to 21, with all Democrats and one Republican (Congressman Hostetler) voting for it.
Cheney Lacked $7 Hunting Credential by Nicholas Riccardi and James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writers
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Although he was not cited with breaking any laws, Vice President Dick Cheney did not have proper hunting credentials when he accidentally shot a fellow hunter at a private ranch over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
The accident occurred on a ranch Saturday when the vice president wheeled to shoot at a covey of quail and accidentally sprayed his hunting partner, 78-year-old lawyer Harry Whittington, with shotgun pellets, authorities said.
[I]t has forced a White House already under fire for secrecy to explain why it made no mention of the shooting until the ranch owner disclosed it to a local newspaper, 18 hours after the incident.
The L.A. Times is edging closer to the most likely reason for the 18 hour delay in reporting that the Vice President of the United States shot someone:
"This was a hunting accident," said Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy of the Kenedy County Sheriff's Office. "There was no alcohol or misconduct."
How do we know there was no alcohol? Cheney refused to talk to local authorities until the next day. No point in giving him a breathalyzer then. Every lawyer I've talked to assumes Cheney was too drunk to talk to the cops after the shooting. The next question for the White House should be: Was Cheney drunk?
WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald is raising the possibility that records sought in the CIA leak investigation could be missing because of an e-mail archiving problem at the White House.
The prosecutor in the criminal case against Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff said in a Jan. 23 letter that not all e-mail was archived in 2003, the year the Bush administration exposed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.