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Laura’s Story: Deadly Intersections
By Missy Comley Beattie
I suppose Laura Bush will go to her grave defending her husband’s presidency and the decisions considered criminal by most of the world. In her book, “Spoken From the Heart,” the former first lady describes how competently George handled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by flying over, rather than walking beside, the shell-shocked. After all, had he been on the ground, face-to-face with the despair, his entourage would have prevented necessary supplies from arriving. “He did not want one single life to be lost because someone was catering to the logistical requirements of the president,” Laura reasons. Of course, we know the REAL story. The recipient of George's compassion was revealed when he spoke about Trent Lott, whose beach house was a casualty of nature. Bush said he looked forward to sitting on the porch when the house was rebuilt.
In “Spoken From the Heart,” Mrs. Bush provides a glimpse into the agony she felt after flying through a stop sign at an intersection, plowing into another car, and killing a young man, Mike Douglas, a popular student at her school. This was/is a life-changing event, a tragedy for Laura and her family, the victim’s family, and for the community. Yet, despite Laura’s acknowledgement of the guilt she felt, she offers a litany of explanations for the wreck and the death. It was dark. The stop sign was small. And, yes, she even tells us that the car she hit was a make and model investigated for a rollover problem. I can almost hear, “Sorry for your loss, Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, but, really, if Mike had been in a safer car.” One that could have withstood Laura’s negligence.
Remind you of anyone? Someone who offered excuse after excuse to justify the killing and maiming of now more than a million Iraqis and Afghans? Someone whose criminal choice has resulted in the deaths of nearly 6500 coalition troops? Someone whose decision has caused a multitude of amputees, brain injured, and post-traumatic stress disordered military men and women? Someone who said we don’t torture—while we were? Yes, this someone is Laura Bush’s husband George—the man her memoir exalts and protects.
First look at George Bush's memoirs
The former US president's memoirs are to be published in November, and will consist of an account of his key decisions. Below is an exclusive preview from the first draft . . .
By Tim Dowling || Guardian.co.UK
Point 1 One of the biggest decisions of my life was the day I decided not to be an alcoholic any more. I don't remember any decisions before that.
Point 2 Everybody remembers where they were on September 11, 2001. And everybody remembers where I was, including me. I was in a school in Florida, listening intently as some children read a story called The Pet Goat. It was about a little girl who had a goat that ate everything. Her parents wanted to get rid of it.
At some point my chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered to me that America was under attack. Immediately I made the decision to carry on listening to the children. I've faced some criticism for that, but I knew then that I was facing the hardest day of my presidency, with some tough choices ahead of me. I would need all my powers of concentration and judgment, and I couldn't afford to be distracted by wondering how the story ended. I had to find out what happened to that goat. Read more.
By Dave Lindorff
Back in 2005-06, I wrote a book, The Case for Impeachment, in which I made the argument that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as other key figures in the Bush/Cheney administration--Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales--should be impeached for war crimes, as well as crimes against the Constitution of the United States.
These days, when I mention the book’s title, people sometimes ask, half in jest, whether I’m referring to the current president, Barack Obama.
Sadly, it is time to say, just 14 months into the current term of this new president, that yes, this president, and some of his subordinates, are also guilty of impeachable crimes--including many of the same ones committed by Bush and Cheney.
By Cynthia Papermaster, National Accountability Action Network & CODEPINK
Susan Harman and I sat in Courtroom 2 at the Ninth Circuit for three hours on Wednesday morning in order to speak to Judge Jay Bybee and his two fellow judges at the conclusion of their hearing. I quietly held up a Bybee "wanted poster" advertising a $3,000 bounty for his arrest and conviction for war crimes and crimes against humanity. I was hoping Bybee could see it from the bench. It surprised me that the four or five U. S. Marshals didn't come over and ask me to put it away. Susan was staring intently at Bybee most of the time.
In the past we've had only a few seconds to say something before Bybee disappeared at the end, but this time we caught a break when the gavel came down. Proctor Hug, the first of the three judges headed for the exit, was moving very slowly, leaving Bybee waiting and fully exposed for at least three minutes, during which time Susan and I loudly told him he's a war criminal for authorizing aggressive war and torture, he's not fit to be a judge, he should resign and should be impeached. During this time the marshals just stood in front of us. They didn't ask us to leave or be quiet. I think this is due to the face-to-face discussions Joe in Portland and Susan have had with Chief Judge Kozinski and Cathy Catterson, the circuit and court of appeals executive, over the issue of rough treatment of protestors in the past.
Pelosi: All the Evidence Shows War Lies / Couldn't Impeach Because No Evidence (Both In 1 Breath) - Plus It's Obama's Fault
Watchdog Group Calls On Lawyers Practicing In The Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals To Reject Judge Jay Bybee
Newly Released Department of Justice Report Further Discredits the Former Bush Administration Torture Lawyer
Washington, DC: On Friday, Department of Justice Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis found that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jay Bybee exercised “poor judgment” when preparing legal memos advocating torture of detainees in US custody. Mr. Margolis also released a report from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which found that Mr. Bybee engaged in “unprofessional conduct.” That 300-page OPR report is a blistering indictment against Mr. Bybee, accusing him of ethical transgressions such as intentionally ignoring established case law‑‑including that from the Supreme Court‑‑that directly contradicted his position.
By David Swanson
Everything you're reading about torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee getting off the hook is wrong. They are not torture lawyers, they are not off the hook, there never was any hook, they may not be lawyers for long, impeachment and indictment are on the agenda, and you have a role to play.
A Wisconsin man thinks President Obama should be impeached and he's taking an unusual step to let everyone know it.
Attorney Tom Wrobelewski of Menasha put up a billboard along highway 41 in Oshkosh.
It reads "Impeach Obama", with the tagline: "America's Small Businesses are Failing. Help Us Spread the Message".
The sign just went up a couple of days ago, and is expected to be there for at least six months.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this looks like the first polling funded by DailyKos on impeaching Bush or Cheney or Obama, and guess which one it is.
Try to remember how limited polling was on impeaching Bush and Cheney, how much of it we had to pay for, and how many organizations refused to touch it.
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.