You are hereImpeachment
This is a striking summary piece on how, in the Bush years, American war fighting was privatized and how the Pentagon was largely turned over to corporate contractors, hired guns, hired hands, private cubicle mercenaries, and private subcontracting warriors. This stand-alone, second part in Frida Berrigan's three-part TomDispatch series on the expansion of the Pentagon under George W. Bush reveals just how fully America's defenses have been contracted out to the private sector. It's also just the sort of post -- a major story of the Bush era -- that should be the subject of front-page pieces in newspapers across the country, as the dark legacy of the Bush presidency begins to be considered.
By David Swanson
Can President Bush pardon himself of crimes like warrantless spying, torture, and aggressive war? Can he pardon his subordinates for following his instructions, and do so before they're even indicted? There's a good chance he'll try it. There's also a chance some Congress members will preemptively push back against such preemptive pardons, by legislating limitations on pardons, by introducing an article of impeachment, or simply by staking out a public position.
If I were in Congress I'd send the president a note something like the following. You might want to ask your Congress member to do the same.
Dear Mr. President,
If you issue pardons that do not fit a reasonable definition of pardons, that in fact abuse the pardon power as you have abused so many other powers, we will support your immediate impeachment before or after you leave office.
False pardons that we will not accept from you or any future president include:
Rep. Kucinich, ImpeachBush press conference renews impeachment call
Yesterday, representative Dennis Kucinich submitted 50,000 more names to the clerk of the House demanding impeachment. On Tuesday, Rep. Jim McDermott (D.-WA) spoke on the House floor in favor of impeachment. As Rep. Kucinich said yesterday, more than 2 million Americans have signed petitions demanding impeachment, making it one of the greatest exercises in grassroots democracy in recent times.
Impeachment has become an unavoidable issue on the floor of the House of Representatives, despite the efforts to take impeachment “off the table.” This amazing development is the result of the work of ImpeachBush.org and others who are petitioning, and joining rallies in cities and towns across the country to demand impeachment. Please make a donation right now to keep up this momentum.
U.S.: Respect World-Wide Demands for Bush Impeachment
By Bob Kendall | PoliticalCortex.com
In the September 11 Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Levi Pulkkinen reveals that Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott is joining the call to oust Bush, stating:
"Impeachment group won't let even the election stop impeachment."
Cleveland Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has long advocated the impeachment of George Bush.
"Chiefly at issue, McDermott said, is Bush's decision to mislead the country to war with Iraq.
"'It's increasingly clear to me that we were led into a war without any justification whatsoever,' McDermott said in an interview Wednesday. 'And the president deliberately did this, it wasn't an accident of any kind.'"
Medvedev describes Georgia attack as Russia's 9/11
Jonathan Steele | The Guardian
Georgia's attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia was unnecessary and unprovoked and was encouraged by the United States, Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, said in an interview yesterday.
"For Russia, August 8 was like September 11 for the United States," he told a group of foreign journalists and academics. "I would like to see major lessons from it for the world."
He made clear that the lessons, as Russia sees them, are that the post-cold war "illusion" that a world with one super power is a safe and predictable place is now over.
On June 9, 2008, a counterrevolution began on the floor of the House of Representatives against the gas and oil crooks who had seized control of the federal government. This counterrevolution began in the exact place which had slumbered during the all-out assault on our liberties and the Constitution itself.
Tomgram: Slaughter, Lies, and Video in Afghanistan
The Value of One, the Value of None
An Anatomy of Collateral Damage in the Bush Era
By Tom Engelhardt | TomDispatch.com
In a little noted passage in her bestselling book, The Dark Side, Jane Mayer offers us a vision, just post-9/11, of the value of one. In October 2001, shaken by a nerve-gas false alarm at the White House, Vice President Dick Cheney, reports Mayer, went underground. He literally embunkered himself in "a secure, undisclosed location," which she describes as "one of several Cold War-era nuclear-hardened subterranean bunkers built during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, the nearest of which were located hundreds of feet below bedrock..." That bunker would be dubbed, perhaps only half-sardonically, "the Commander in Chief's Suite."
Oh, and in that period, if Cheney had to be in transit, "he was chauffeured in an armored motorcade that varied its route to foil possible attackers." In the backseat of his car (just in case), adds Mayer, "rested a duffel bag stocked with a gas mask and a biochemical survival suit." And lest danger rear its head, "rarely did he travel without a medical doctor in tow."
Fourteen people were killed in the northwestern Pakistani region of North Waziristan on Friday in a missile attack by a pilotless U.S. aircraft on suspected militants near the Afghan border, security officials said.
The strike, near the town of Miranshah, was the first since a recent surge in tension between Pakistan and the United States over how to tackle the Taliban and al Qaeda on the Pakistani side of the border.
"We confirm a missile attack at around 5.30 in the morning (2330 GMT on Thursday) ... We have informed the government," said military spokesman Major Murad Khan.
The military, apparently reluctant to highlight infringements of sovereignty, has rarely confirmed such attacks.
Khan gave no more details but security officials in the region said 14 people had been killed and about 12 wounded.
Residents said two missiles were fired at a former government school where militants and their families were living.
An intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan has raised fears about its prospects seven years after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban. That worry has compounded pressure on Pakistan to go after militants operating from enclaves on its side of the border, including in North Waziristan.
Bush Secret Order To Send Special Forces Into Pakistan : Fear of escalating regional conflict
by Simon Tisdall | Guardian.co.uk
A secret order issued by George Bush giving US special forces carte blanche to mount counter-terrorist operations inside Pakistani territory raised fears last night that escalating conflict was spreading from Afghanistan to Pakistan and could ignite a region-wide war.
The unprecedented executive order, signed by Bush in July after an intense internal administration debate, comes amid western concern that the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and its al-Qaida backers based in "safe havens" in western Pakistan's tribal belt is being lost.
A single Vermont community's call for the impeachment of President Bush turned into a chorus Tuesday night, with town meetings across southern Vermont echoing the demand that Congress act to remove the president.
Voters in the town of Newfane, where the movement began, endorsed impeachment by a resounding margin. The paper ballot vote was 121-29 for a slightly amended version of the resolution that had been submitted by Dan DeWalt, an elected member of the town's select board. DeWalt's initial resolution declared:
Whereas George W. Bush has:
1. Misled the nation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;
2. Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda;
3. Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;
4. Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and
While it wasn’t her point, Nell’s excellent post earlier this week ("Prepare to Dare or Prepare to Despair") reminds me that I’ve been less energetic than I should have been in supporting and discussing Dennis Kucinich’s H.Res. 1258 resolution calling for George Bush’s impeachment. The lengthy resolution presents 35 articles of impeachment, leading with Bush’s propaganda campaign for the Iraq war:
In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in
Email conversation with Thomas Nephew about the Million Doors for Peace effort got me to pull together some thoughts I've only let myself reflect on briefly over the last few months.
There's been a divide among antiwar activists -- between those who are serious about ending the occupation of Iraq and those who’d like to do that but only if it doesn’t cost Democrats politically. Depending on the size of the Democratic majorities in Congress, and assuming an Obama administration, that divide might be less important in 2009 than it's been for the last two years.
The US military provided combat training to 80 Georgian special forces commandos only months prior to Georgia's army assault in South Ossetia in August.
The revelation, based on recruitment documents and interviews with US military trainers obtained by the Financial Times, could add fuel to accusations by Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister, last month that the US had "orchestrated" the war in the Georgian enclave.
The training was provided by senior US soldiers and two military contractors. There is no evidence that the contractors or the Pentagon, which hired them, knew that the commandos they were training were likely be used in the assault on South Ossetia.
Constitutional Law & Congress - John Nichols, Keith Ellison, Steve Cobble, LeslieCagan, Jamie Raskin
President Bush authorized U.S. special forces to conduct ground assaults inside Pakistan without seeking Islamabad's permission first, a senior American intelligence official said Thursday.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said better U.S.-Pakistan cooperation is needed to fight terror.
"We have had the president's OK for months," said the official, who declined to be identified because the order is classified. "It is my understanding that the Pakistanis are well-aware of the change."
"The events of the past seven years," Andrew Bacevich begins in his new piece at TomDispatch.com, "have yielded a definitive judgment on the strategy that the Bush administration conceived in the wake of 9/11 to wage its so-called Global War on Terror. That strategy has failed, massively and irrevocably. To acknowledge that failure is to confront an urgent national priority: to scrap the Bush approach in favor of a new national security strategy that is realistic and sustainable -- a task that, alas, neither of the presidential candidates seems able to recognize or willing to take up."
This post represents a powerful analysis from an important critic of the Bush administration's Global War on Terror -- of just how a small group of Washington officials, dreaming of "transforming" the political and military map of the Middle East and deeply convinced of their own perspicacity, led us into disaster. They were, Bacevich writes, believers in the deepest sense. "They worshipped in the Church of the Indispensable Nation, a small but intensely devout Washington-based sect formed in the immediate wake of the Cold War. Members of this church shared an exalted appreciation for the efficacy of American power, especially hard power. Their strategy of transformation emerged as a direct expression of their faith."
From the introduction to: "Report in Support of Articles of Impeachment Against President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney for Making False and Fraudulent Statements to Congress and or Conspiring to Defraud Congress Regarding the Most Notorious of the Grounds for the War in Iraq: the Grounds that Iraq Had Sought Uranium for a Nuclear Weapon, And Articles of Impeachment" by Francis T. Mandanici.
In his recent book entitled What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan describes the White House’s deceptive campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people.1
A 2-page flyer/media alert is now available to print and fax to your local media outlets and elected officials for the Justice Robert Jackson Conference on the Planning for Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals this weekend.
The event will be live-streamed over the internet and will be available by recorded video post-event. Viewers need to pre-register, so allow a few minutes to do that.
For your quick reading, I've listed key statistics about the Iraq War, taken primarily from data analyzed by various think tanks, including The Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, and from mainstream media sources. Data is presented as of August 27, 2008, except as indicated.
U.S. SPENDING IN IRAQ
Spent & Approved War-Spending - About $600 billion of US taxpayers' funds. In June 2008, President Bush signed a bill approving about 200 billion more for 2008, which brings the cumulative total to close to $800 billion.
U.S. Monthly Spending in Iraq - $12 billion in 2008
U.S. Spending per Second - $5,000 in 2008 (per Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on May 5, 2008)
On August 15, 2008, Russia dropped cluster bombs on civilian areas in the neighboring country of Georgia, killing at least 14 civilians and wounding dozens more. This weekend, the Georgian government admitted to having dropped cluster bombs in certain locations between the Roki tunnel and Dzara road. This area links Georgia's South Ossetia with North Ossetia, which is Russian territory. Georgia claims not to have dropped any cluster bombs in civilian areas.
On August 7, 2008, Russia began an armed offensive against Georgia over South Ossetia, a region long recognized as part of Georgia but home to an ethnic minority with close ties to Russia.
Keti Javakhishvili, a twenty-five year-old woman in Gori, Georgia, barely survived a cluster bomb attack. She was walking with neighbors to get bread when the cluster bombs fell. “I heard an explosion and dropped to the ground,” she told Human Rights Watch researchers from her hospital bed.
Reflections on 9-11
Cindy Sheehan | www.CindyforCongress.org
The 7th anniversary of September 11, 2001 is approaching and it seems like a good time to reflect on what our nation has lost since that tragic day and what we can do to go forward.
I do not think that anyone alive on that day will forget the shock that struck our nation when the symbols of US capitalism and militarism were struck out of the clear blue sky. I was in panic mode for a few days, because I did not hear from Casey who was stationed at Ft. Hood on that day and his base went into lock-down and he was too busy to call. Even though we mourn with our fellow Americans, the loss of over 3000 innocent people and the pain their families have had to deal with, the attacks of 9-11 have touched every American.
There are several ways to look at 9-11:
- 9-11 was planned and executed by the US government.
Iran’s Road Less Traveled to Nukes
By Ray McGovern
Thomas Fingar, the U.S. government’s top intelligence analyst, in a public speech on Sept. 4, repeated the intelligence community’s key judgment that Iran’s work on the “weaponization portion” of its nuclear development program “was suspended” in 2003.
Not that the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) has exactly trumpeted this important conclusion. One has to read down to paragraph 16 of an article titled “Reduced Dominance Is Predicted for the U.S.”, but there it is, right there on an inside page of September 10’s Washington Post. The New York Times did not consider Fingar’s remarks fit to print.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) says he won't cease his efforts to hold the president and his administration accountable for their alleged abuses of power just because George W. Bush will be returning to his Texas ranch come January.
Kucinich says he wants Congress to create a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to examine what really went on within the Bush White House in the aftermath of 9/11 and the lead up to the Iraq war. He says only an independent body with truth-seeking as its goal -- rather than "fake political unity" -- can repair divisions that have emerged in an increasingly polarized nation.
Kucinich Announces New Effort
Grassroots Leaders, 2 Million Supporters, Rally Behind Impeachment
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 10, 2008) -- On the day before the observance of 9/11, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has led Impeachment efforts in Congress over the past two years, will announce a new effort toward establishing a process of national truth and reconciliation.
WHEN: Wednesday, September 10, 2008 1:00 -1:30 P.M
WHERE: Room 2456 of the Rayburn House Office Building
"Before the Congress adjourns, I will bring forth a new proposal for the establishment of a National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, which will have the power to compel testimony and gather official documents to reveal to the American people not only the underlying deception which has divided us, but in that process of truth-seeking set our nation on a path of reconciliation.