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My Country Has Been Hijacked
Munich Peace Rally Speech
By Cynthia McKinney
Thank you for allowing me to come from the United States and participate in this rally for peace.
My country has been hijacked by a criminal cabal intent on using the hard-earned dollars of the American people for war, occupation, and empire.
As a result, the national leadership of my country, both Democratic and Republican, became complicit in war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the peace.
As a Member of Congress from the Democratic Party, I drafted Articles of Impeachment against George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice. Later, when Democrats voted to support more war rather than take care of the needs of the people, I declared my independence from them and all national leadership; the Green Party nominated me to run for President, which I did on a platform of truth, justice, peace, and dignity.
I watched as Candidate Barack Obama came here to Germany to speak. I saw tears on the faces of many in the crowd who believed that, finally, there was something worth believing in again. That America had turned a page from its evil playbook that had so outraged and disappointed the world. That good was finally about to triumph over evil.
I know that beleaguered people all over the world, victims of cruel and deadly military, economic, imperial policies finally could believe in hope and change. And America could be believed in again.
Everywhere I went all over the world there were pictures of Barack Obama, slogans "Yes, We Can," and the words "Hope" and "Change" plastered everywhere.
And after eight years of George W. Bush, Barack Obama seemed to be the man the world was waiting for.
So when the Candidate became the President, we held our breath in anticipation.
That torture and rendition; spying on innocent, dissenting Americans; war and occupation; crimes against the U.S. Constitution and crimes against the peace would end and that the United States would finally join the community of nations.
Sadly, one year into the Presidency of Barack Obama, that is not the case.
Thus reports David Dayen, and apparently Nadler no longer has any opinion on impeaching Bybee. READ MORE.
Washington, DC--A campaign is building to demand the impeachment of Jay Bybee, a sitting federal judge and the former head of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Council (OLC), who wrote memos to facilitate offensive war and torture.
DisbarTortureLawyers, www.DisbarTortureLaywers.com, is joining with many allied organizations at www.impeachbybee.org to lobby for immediate impeachment hearings and the introduction of a bill that would create such hearings. Allies have planned protests at courthouses of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in three West Coast cities on Thursday, February 4th.
By Deborah Dupre'
Any act complicit in torture is a felony under US law. Thursday, February 4 at 9:00 a.m., human rights defenders in three cities plan to simultaneously participate in an action to demand the impeachment of 'Torture Judge' Jay Bybee, primary author of "legal" memos purporting to justify torture and still sitting on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. READ MORE.
By David Swanson
No one disputes that Jay Bybee's name is at the bottom of memos that were, and to some extent still are, treated as laws which legalized aggressive war at the pleasure of a president and a variety of acts of torture. For many months the House Judiciary Committee has had two excuses for not impeaching Judge Bybee, even while proceeding with the impeachments of a judge for groping and another judge for petty corruption. The private excuse has been that impeaching Bybee would be opposed by Fox News. The public excuse has been that the Justice Department has not yet released its Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) report on the crimes of Bybee and his former colleagues.
This is disgraceful for its ranking of petty corruption above the supreme crime of mass murder.
Here's the president:
"When this ruling came down, I instructed my administration to get to work immediately with Members of Congress willing to fight for the American people to develop a forceful, bipartisan response to this decision. We have begun that work, and it will be a priority for us until we repair the damage that has been done."
Forget the "bipartisan" BS, the point is that this statement advocates a forceful response from Congress. What could such a thing be? Legislation could lessen the damage, but not reverse it, and could hardly be seen as forceful. A Constitutional Amendment gets closer and is ultimately what's needed, but it requires that the states take action, as well as, or instead of, Congress. The only forceful response Congress can offer, regardless of whether it's uni-partisan, bi-partisan, tri-partisan, or non-partisan, is impeachment.
The case for "firing" Geithner is here. The tool for doing it, which goes unmentioned everywhere, is IMPEACHMENT.
Note: The interview starts about 8 minutes into the podcast
By David Swanson
Having denounced for years the presidential practice of altering laws with signing statements, I now want the practice restored, because the current president has created something even worse.
When Bush and Cheney left the White House, they left in place five general ways to make laws: instruct Congress what to do, rewrite what Congress does with a signing statement, by-pass Congress with an executive order (or executive decree, or unratified treaty), by-pass everybody with a secret memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), and simply create illegal practices without any justification.
Arguably, I have listed these approaches in order from closest to furthest from the Constitution. I have omitted, of course, the creation of laws by the courts, as well as the selective enforcement of laws by the Justice Department, the pardon, and the grant of retroactive immunity.
By Dave Lindorff
The Taliban suicide attack that killed a group of CIA agents in Afghanistan on a base that was directing US drone aircraft used to attack Taliban leaders was big news in the US over the past week, with the airwaves and front pages filled with sympathetic stories referring to the fact that the female station chief, who was among those killed, was the “mother of three children.”
But the apparent mass murder of Afghan school children, including one as young as 11 years old, by a US-led group of troops, was pretty much blacked out in the American media. Especially blacked out was word from UN investigators that the students had not just been killed but executed, many of them after having first been rousted from their bedroom and handcuffed.
Impeachment: Congress must use this tool to keep high officials in check
By David Swanson, Seattle Times
FOR 220 years, power has moved from Congress, courts, states and the people to the presidency, a trend that has taken giant steps during the Bush and Obama years. Presidents rewrite laws with signing statements or create them with executive orders. They make treaties with occupied governments and no Senate consent. They spend money in secret. They launch and escalate military actions at will. They spy without warrants and imprison without charges. They grant immunity for criminal offenses.
The height of congressional push-back came in 2007-2008, when Congress was Democratic and the president Republican. And by "height" I mean to suggest more of a molehill than a mountain. During that two-year period, dozens of top officials who refused to comply were subpoenaed by congressional committees.
Yemen will become a battleground for a proxy war between the United States and Saudi Arabia - whose state-to-state relations are among the strongest and most durable of the entire post-World War II era - on one hand and Iran on the other.
It is perhaps impossible to determine the exact moment at which a U.S.- supported self-professed holy warrior - trained to perpetrate acts of urban terrorism and to shoot down civilian airliners - ceases to be a freedom fighter and becomes a terrorist. But a safe assumption is that it occurs when he is no longer of use to Washington. A terrorist who serves American interests is a freedom fighter; a freedom fighter who doesn't is a terrorist.
Yemenis are the latest to learn the Pentagon's and the White House's law of the jungle. Along with Iraq and Afghanistan which counterinsurgency specialist Stanley McChrystal used to perfect his techniques, Yemen is joining the ranks of other nations where the Pentagon is engaged in that variety of warfare, fraught with civilian massacres and other forms of so-called collateral damage: Colombia, Mali, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Uganda.
BBC News reported on December 14 that 70 civilians were killed when aircraft bombed a market in the village of Bani Maan in northern Yemen.
The nation's armed forces claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but a website of the Houthi rebels against whom the bombing was ostensibly directed stated "Saudi aircraft committed a massacre against the innocent residents of Bani Maan." 
The Saudi regime entered the armed conflict between the (eponymous) Houthis and the Yemeni government on behalf of the latter in early November and since has been accused of launching attacks inside Yemen with tanks and warplanes. Even before the latest bombing scores of Yemenis have been killed and thousands displaced by the fighting. Saudi Arabia has also been accused of using phosphorous bombs.
Moreover, the rebel group known as Young Believers, based in the Shi'ite Muslim community of Yemen which comprises 30 percent of the country's population of 23 million, claimed on December 14 that "US fighter jets have attacked Yemen's Sa'ada Province" and "US fighter jets have launched 28 attacks on the northwestern province of Sa'ada." 
Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush and the Obama administration is searching for dozens more days' worth of potentially lost e-mail from the Bush years, according to two groups that filed suit over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system.
The two private groups — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive — said Monday they were settling the lawsuits they filed against the Executive Office of the President in 2007.
It will be years before the public sees any of the recovered e-mails because they will now go through the National Archives' process for releasing presidential and agency records. Presidential records of the Bush administration won't be available until 2014 at the earliest. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Most Americans are blissfully in the dark about it, but across the Atlantic in the UK, a commission reluctantly established by Prime Minister Gordon Brown under pressure from anti-war activists in Britain is beginning hearings into the actions and statements of British leaders that led to the country’s joining the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Even before testimony began in hearings that started yesterday, news began to leak out from documents obtained by the commission that the government of former PM Tony Blair had lied to Parliament and the public about the country’s involvement in war planning.
Britain’s Telegraph newspaper over the weekend published documents from British military leaders, including a memo from British special forces head Maj. Gen. Graeme Lamb, saying that he had been instructed to begin “working the war up since early 2002.”
Here's his story.
By David Swanson
Around the United States, peace groups are engaged in effective campaigns against proposed new military installations, local funding of weapons companies, and the routine destruction of the environment and of workers' health by such companies. Activists are building better media outlets, educating young people, educating old people, keeping military testing and recruiting out of schools, and discouraging the Army from building real-weapon video arcades in shopping malls. But when it comes to stopping our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, our citizens are less clear how to go about it.
By David Swanson
There is strong evidence that John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, and most of the rest of us are in love with torture-lawyer Jay Bybee. I'm not talking about sexual love and wouldn't, because people's lives are lost to such bread-and-circuses journalism every day. I'm talking deep personal devotion.
Let's examine the evidence.
1. As head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Jay Bybee committed felonies in exchange for being nominated to a life-time seat on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Bybee violated the Anti-Torture Statute and the War Crimes Statute by facilitating torture through secret memos purporting to legalize specific criminal acts. Bybee also played a leading role in a conspiracy to violate the UN Charter, the US Constitution, and the War Powers Act by signing a secret memo purporting to give presidents the unrestricted power to launch aggressive wars.
By Dave Lindorff
The way I see it, President Obama has a couple of months to turn his failing administration around.
The war in Afghanistan is going south, and within a couple of weeks, his General William Westmoreland, Gen. Stanley McCrystal, will be coming to him asking for more troops. Things are getting hairier in Iraq too.
His signature health care initiative is foundering, with Republicans working in lockstep to see to it that it fails.
Pressure is mounting for an honest probe into the criminality of the prior administration in its authorization and promotion of torture against captives--most of them innocent--in the Bush/Cheney "war" on terror.
The stock market, which by climbing back 50% from its collapse and the bottom it hit on March 9, gave the president a breather, is showing signs of exhaustion, and is likely to start sinking again, as investors realize that there is no end in sight for the recession in the real economy.
By David Swanson
Hurricane Katrina is not as sexy as torture, but has killed more people and ruined more lives, and -- like many non-natural disasters in recent years -- has a chief culprit who has now settled in at 10141 Daria Place, Dallas, Texas, where he clears very little brush and where -- to my knowledge -- not a single politician or journalist or author has sought his wisdom on the affairs of the past seven months. George W. Bush, who should face nonviolent protest every minute of his life while he remains at liberty, knowingly abandoned an American city and nearby towns to a predictable and predicted natural disaster four years ago this week, and for years refused to repair the damage.
By Dave Lindorff
You see, here's the thing. When you hear about the sick, twisted things that America's torturers have been doing, courtesy of President George W. Bush and Vice President Darth Cheney, you have to remember that the US military and the CIA were not really all that reliable when it came to picking up the real terrorists. In fact, their batting average was pretty lousy.
Pelosi Is an Expert at 'Drowning Out Opposing Views'
by Jodie Evans | Common Dreams
Disruption of the health care town hall meetings has triggered some rich debate about free speech in the U.S. In these discussions, CODEPINK has been referenced several times as the group that has most often tested the boundaries of free speech. Over the years, we've been chided and insulted by the media, Members of Congress, former Press Secretaries, and even President Bush himself. However, when Nancy Pelosi weighed in recently on the town hall "mobs," saying that "drowning out opposing views is un-American," I was compelled to respond.
While the frequent mentions of CODEPINK in these discussions do not surprise me, it saddens me that there are so few groups from the past decade to reference when talking about pushing the edge of healthy debate. Congress has been failing the people in so many ways for so long that there should have been be a non-stop primal scream from the people to wake the our representatives up from their corporate-funded stupor.
But who would have heard them? For far too long, the American people have been cut off from and out of the political process without any real avenues of letting their voices be heard. So when Speaker Pelosi -- no stranger to drowning out opposing views -- talks about "drowning out opposing views is un-American," the statement is steeped in irony.
"Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union," by David Swanson is due in stores September 1st, but the publisher has it now and you can get it straight from Seven Stories Press.
Those of us who proposed the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney for violating his oath of office and engaging in a Nixon-on-steroids spree of high crimes and misdemeanors began to recognize the abusive nature of the previous administration when Cheney refused to release details of the industry insiders with whom he met to craft energy policies.
The refusal of the Bush-Cheney administration to permit public review of White House visitor logs detailing who was meeting with the vice president's energy task force during the very first weeks of their tenure was a deliberate decision made to cloak dirty dealing by officials who were determined to serve corporate rather than public interests.
It also provided an early indicator that darker and dirtier deeds would eventually be done by Cheney and his compatriots. And they were. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Bill Clinton was the worst thing to happen to the Democratic Party and to progressives since that racist warmonger Woodrow Wilson won the presidency and dragged the US into the utterly pointless and incredibly bloody First World War.
Clinton, by posing as a progressive, confused and undermined, and ultimately betrayed the liberal/progressive wing of the party, shattering what was left of the New Deal coalition and leaving the American left adrift and riven by the conflict between those who thought the Democratic Party was the only viable vehicle for progressive reform and those who thought it was hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests.
Barack Obama offers the hope of bringing that era of debilitating confusion to an end.
By David Swanson
Drafted in preparation for panel discussion at Veterans for Peace national convention August 7, 2009, on topic of "Holding the Architects of Illegal Wars and War Crimes Accountable."
Seven years to the day after the Downing Street Minutes meeting at which top British officials famously discussed U.S. President George W. Bush's intent to launch a war against Iraq whether or not any means could be found to legalize it, on July 23rd, the United Nations hosted a discussion of ways in which wars of aggression are given pseudo-legal cover. Included were remarks by Jean Bricmont and Noam Chomsky. It is not hard to imagine how different such discussions would be were the architects of the Iraq War ever held accountable for it in any way.