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Impeachable Offenses Page 13

Impeachable Offense

July 8, 2008

Free This Detainee

There's someone I'd like to introduce to President Bush. Also to Chief Justice John Roberts and Sen. John McCain. His name is Huzaifa Parhat, and that get-together might be tricky to arrange. Parhat is also known as ISN (Internment Serial Number) 320 at Guantanamo Bay.

Parhat is Uighur, a Muslim ethnic minority group from western China. He fled China for Afghanistan, and, when the camp he was living in there was bombed by U.S. forces, went to Pakistan. For a bounty, Parhat was turned over to U.S. authorities and shipped to Guantanamo.

He has been held as an enemy combatant for more than six years -- even though the government concedes he was never a member of the Taliban or al-Qaeda and never took part in any hostilities against the United States.

Impeachable Offense

July 8, 2008

One-Third of Guantanamo POWs to be Freed

WASHINGTON - U.S. and Yemen remain at odds over a proposal to release more than one-third of the detainees from Guantanamo Bay, officials said Monday, even as the Bush administration wrestles with the future of the military prison.

About 100 of the approximately 270 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo Bay are Yemeni nationals. A U.S. delegation visited the capital city of San'a last week to discuss the possible transfer of a few detainees to Yemen. Yemeni officials hoped to negotiate the release of all but the most dangerous prisoners.

The future of Guantanamo Bay has been in doubt since the Supreme Court ruled last month that detainees have the right to challenge their imprisonment in U.S. courts. A deal with Yemen could dramatically shrink the inmate population before the Bush administration is forced to explain to federal judges why the detainees are being held.

Impeachable Offense
July 8, 2008

Senate bows to Bush, approves surveillance bill

WASHINGTON - Bowing to President Bush's demands, the Senate approved and sent the White House a bill Wednesday to overhaul bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shield telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.

The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and heated debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president's warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Impeachable Offense
July 8, 2008

US Exported $158 Million to Iran

WASHINGTON - U.S. exports to Iran — including brassieres, bull semen, cosmetics and possibly even weapons — grew more than tenfold during President Bush's years in office even as he accused Iran of nuclear ambitions and helping terrorists. America sent more cigarettes to Iran , at least $158 million worth under Bush, than any other products.

Other surprising shipments to Iran during the Bush administration: fur clothing, sculptures, perfume and musical instruments. Top states shipping goods to Iran include California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of seven years of U.S. government trade data.

Impeachable Offense
July 7, 2008

Iraq floats US pullout timetable

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has raised the prospect of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

It comes as the US attempts to push through a new security deal before the end of 2008, when the UN mandate allowing a US presence in Iraq expires.

The Pentagon has played down the suggestion of a withdrawal timetable.

Impeachable Offense
June 18, 2008

U.S. hid suspects from Red Cross

WASHINGTON — The U.S. military hid the locations of suspected terrorist detainees and concealed harsh treatment to avoid the scrutiny of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), according to documents a Senate committee released Tuesday.

"We may need to curb the harsher operations while ICRC is around. It is better not to expose them to any controversial techniques," Lt. Col. Diane Beaver, a military lawyer who has since retired, said during an October 2002 meeting at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, prison to discuss employing interrogation techniques that some have equated with torture.

Beaver also appeared to confirm that U.S. officials at another detention facility — Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan — were using sleep deprivation to "break" detainees well before Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved that technique. "True, but officially it is not happening," she told another person at the 2002 meeting.

A third person at the meeting, Jonathan Fredman, chief counsel for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, said detainees were moved routinely to avoid the scrutiny of the ICRC, which keeps tabs on prisoners in conflicts around the world. "In the past when the ICRC has made a big deal about certain detainees, the [Defense Department] has 'moved' them away from the attention of the ICRC," Fredman said, according to the minutes.

Impeachable Offense
August 2008 issue (posted July 5, 2008)

Believe Me, It's Torture

You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it "simulates" the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure. The "board" is the instrument, not the method. You are not being boarded. You are being watered. This was very rapidly brought home to me when, on top of the hood, which still admitted a few flashes of random and worrying strobe light to my vision, three layers of enveloping towel were added. In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited for a while until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Determined to resist if only for the honor of my navy ancestors who had so often been in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and—as you might expect—inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face. Unable to determine whether I was breathing in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with mere water, I triggered the pre-arranged signal and felt the unbelievable relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and stifling layers pulled off me. I find I don't want to tell you how little time I lasted.

Impeachable Offense
June 15, 2008

America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men

American troops dragged Akhtiar out of his home in Gardez, Afghanistan, in May 2003, flew him to Guantanamo in shackles that July and held him there for more than three years. The tribal leader from eastern Afghanistan belonged to an insurgent group and had taken part in rocket attacks on U.S. forces, American officials said.

"He was not an enemy of the government, he was a friend of the government," a senior Afghan intelligence officer told McClatchy. Akhtiar was imprisoned at Guantanamo on the basis of false information that local anti-government insurgents fed to U.S. troops, he said.

An eight-month McClatchy investigation in 11 countries on three continents has found that Akhtiar was one of dozens and perhaps hundreds of men whom the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.

Impeachable Offense
July 2, 2008

Communist Interrogation Techniques at Guantánamo

WASHINGTON — The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of &'coercive management techniques' for possible use on prisoners, including "sleep deprivation," "prolonged constraint," and "exposure."

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

Impeachable Offense
June 29, 2008

U.S. 'preparing the battlefield' in Iran

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration has launched a "significant escalation" of covert operations in Iran, sending U.S. commandos to spy on the country's nuclear facilities and undermine the Islamic republic's government, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday.

White House, CIA and State Department officials declined comment on Hersh's report, which appears in this week's issue of The New Yorker.

Impeachable Offense
June 30, 2008

USS Cole mastermind tortured

The CIA has said it used waterboarding on al-Nashiri and he has alleged he was tortured.

Waterboarding is a form of simulated drowning that human rights activists say amounts to torture -- a label the Bush administration does not accept.

Hartmann told reporters at the Pentagon any questions about the admissibility of evidence obtained through waterboarding would be addressed when al-Nashiri came to trial.

Impeachable Offense
June 24, 2008

Housing Dive "worst in a generation"

NEW YORK — A bottom to the housing slump is nowhere in sight and, if history is any guide, a recession is most likely lurking around the corner, an academic study showed Monday.

Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies painted a bleak picture of the housing downturn, pegging it as possibly being "the worst in a generation" in its "The State of the Nation's Housing 2008" report.

Impeachable Offense
June 19, 2008

US torture methods 'endanger troops'

THE use by the United States of harsh interrogation methods against suspected terrorists has stained the country's image and is putting US soldiers' lives at risk, experts say.

"If we use torture when we question prisoners, we forfeit the right to demand that anyone treat our soldiers decently if they are taken prisoner," former army intelligence officer Stuart Herrington told Agence France-Presse at a forum in Washington DC on the use of torture in interrogations.

"If we engage in that kind of activity, we put our soldiers at increased risk," he said.

Impeachable Offense
June 12, 2008

'Special Weapons' Have a Fallout on Babies

FALLUJAH, Jun 12 (IPS) - Babies born in Fallujah are showing illnesses and deformities on a scale never seen before, doctors and residents say.

The new cases, and the number of deaths among children, have risen after "special weaponry" was used in the two massive bombing campaigns in Fallujah in 2004.

"We saw all the colours of the rainbow coming out of the exploding American shells and missiles," Ali Sarhan, a 50-year-old teacher who lived through the two U.S. sieges of 2004 told IPS. "I saw bodies that turned into bones and coal right after they were exposed to bombs that we learned later to be phosphorus.

"The most worrying is that many of our women have suffered loss of their babies, and some had babies born with deformations."

Impeachable Offense
June 22, 2008

Inside a 9/11 Mastermind's Interrogation

WASHINGTON — In a makeshift prison in the north of Poland, Al Qaeda's engineer of mass murder faced off against his Central Intelligence Agency interrogator. It was 18 months after the 9/11 attacks, and the invasion of Iraq was giving Muslim extremists new motives for havoc. If anyone knew about the next plot, it was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

The interrogator, Deuce Martinez, a soft-spoken analyst who spoke no Arabic, had turned down a C.I.A. offer to be trained in waterboarding. He chose to leave the infliction of pain and panic to others, the gung-ho paramilitary types whom the more cerebral interrogators called "knuckledraggers."

Impeachable Offense
June 18, 2008

General who probed Abu Ghraib says Bush officials committed war crimes

WASHINGTON — The Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison accused the Bush administration Wednesday of committing "war crimes" and called for those responsible to be held to account.

The remarks by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who's now retired, came in a new report that found that U.S. personnel tortured and abused detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, using beatings, electrical shocks, sexual humiliation and other cruel practices.

"After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes," Taguba wrote. "The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Impeachable Offense
June 18, 2008

Militants found recruits among Guantanamo's wrongly detained

GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Mohammed Naim Farouq was a thug in the lawless Zormat district of eastern Afghanistan . He ran a kidnapping and extortion racket, and he controlled his turf with a band of gunmen who rode around in trucks with AK-47 rifles.

U.S. troops detained him in 2002, although he had no clear ties to the Taliban or al Qaida. By the time Farouq was released from Guantanamo the next year, however - after more than 12 months of what he described as abuse and humiliation at the hands of American soldiers - he'd made connections to high-level militants.

Impeachable Offense
June 17, 2008

Ex-Pentagon Lawyers Face Inquiry on Interrogation Role

WASHINGTON — Senior Pentagon lawyers played a more active role than previously known in developing the aggressive interrogation techniques approved for use in 2002 at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, according to officials familiar with a Senate investigation.

Investigators with the Senate Armed Services Committee have found documents from July 2002 showing that Pentagon lawyers working for William J. Haynes II, then the Defense Department general counsel, gathered information about a program used to train American pilots to withstand captivity, according to the officials.

June 19, 2008

Exams Back Up Reports of Detainee Abuse

The assessments of 11 men formerly held in U.S. detention camps overseas revealed scars and other injuries consistent with their accounts of beatings, electric shocks, shackling and, in at least one case, sodomy, according to the report by Physicians for Human Rights. Most also had symptoms of long-term psychological damage, including post-traumatic stress disorder, the group said.

The physicians' group, which in recent years has been critical of the administration's detention policies, arranged for a battery of exams for 11 former detainees who had spent an average of three years in detention at U.S. facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Teams of medical specialists conducted physical and psychological tests, including exams intended to assess if the subjects were lying.

Impeachable Offense
June 5, 2008

Bush Oversimplified Iraq Intelligence, Report Says

June 5 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell exaggerated and oversimplified intelligence about the threat Iraq posed before the U.S. invaded the country in March 2003, according to a Senate report.

In their speeches, Bush and his deputies failed to note disagreements among intelligence agencies and made too much of links between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and al- Qaeda, said the report, which the Senate Intelligence Committee released on its Web site this morning.

June 11, 2008

Articles of Impeachment

Mr. KUCINICH. Madam Speaker, pursuant to clause 2 of rule IX, I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of the House.

The form of the resolution is as follows:

Resolved, That President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has committed the following abuses of power.

Impeachable Offense
June 12, 2008

Supreme Court ruling cripples Guantanamo trials


detainees (15K)

The future of President Bush's controversial military trial system for terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay has been dealt a potentially terminal blow by the US Supreme Court.

In its third rebuke of the Bush Administration's treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the court ruled that the 270 foreign terror suspects have the right under the US Constitution to challenge their detention in civilian courts on the American mainland.

Impeachable Offense
June 12, 2008

Supreme Court Says Guantanamo Inmates May Seek Release

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Guantanamo Bay inmates have constitutional rights and may seek release in federal court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a rebuke to the Bush administration and Congress on their handling of accused terrorists.

The justices, voting 5-4, said a 2006 law unconstitutionally stripped Guantanamo prisoners of the right to file so-called habeas corpus petitions. The majority rejected arguments that a system of limited judicial review set up by Congress was adequate to protect inmate rights.

Impeachable Offense
June 9, 2008

U.S. seeking 58 bases in Iraq, Shiite lawmakers say

BAGHDAD -Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties said in a series of interviews the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would have effectively handed over to the United States the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq. Lawmakers said they fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran.

Impeachable Offense
June 5, 2008

Iranian agents dupe Pentagon officials

WASHINGTON — Defense Department counterintelligence investigators suspected that Iranian exiles who provided dubious intelligence on Iraq and Iran to a small group of Pentagon officials might have "been used as agents of a foreign intelligence service ... to reach into and influence the highest levels of the U.S. government," a Senate Intelligence Committee report said Thursday.

A top aide to then-secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, however, shut down the 2003 investigation into the Pentagon officials' activities after only a month, and the Defense Department's top brass never followed up on the investigators' recommendation for a more thorough investigation, the Senate report said.

Impeachable Offense
June 16,, 2008

Soldiers' Self-Harm: Anything Not to Go Back

As an internist at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Stephanie Santos is used to finding odd things in people's stomachs. So last spring when a young man, identifying himself as an Iraq-bound soldier, said he had accidentally swallowed a pen at the bus station, she believed him. That is, until she found a second pen. It read 1-800-GREYHOUND. Last summer, according to published reports, a 20-year-old Bronx soldier paid a hit man $500 to shoot him in the knee on the day he was scheduled to return to Iraq. The year before that, a 24-year-old specialist from Washington state escaped a second tour of duty, according to his sister, by strapping on a backpack full of tools and leaping off the roof of his house, injuring his spine.

Such cases of self-harm are a "rising trend" that military doctors are watching closely, says Col. Kathy Platoni, an Army Reserve psychologist who has worked with veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. "There are some soldiers who will do almost anything not to go back," she says. Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the Army's top psychologist, agrees that we could see an uptick in intentional injuries as more U.S. soldiers serve long, repeated combat tours, "but we just don't have good, hard data on it." Intentional- injury cases are hard to identify, and even harder to prosecute. Fewer than 21 soldiers have been punitively discharged for self-harm since 2003, according to the military. What's worrying, however, is that American troops committed suicide at the highest rate on record in 2007—and the factors behind self-injury are similar: combat stress and strained relationships. "It's often the families that don't want soldiers to return to war," says Ritchie.

Impeachable Offense
June 4, 2008

Iraq lawmakers want U.S. forces out

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of the Iraqi parliament has written to Congress rejecting a long-term security deal with Washington if it is not linked to a requirement that U.S. forces leave, a U.S. lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat and Iraq war opponent, released excerpts from a letter he was handed by Iraqi parliamentarians laying down conditions for the security pact that the Bush administration seeks with Iraq.

"The majority of Iraqi representatives strongly reject any military-security, economic, commercial, agricultural, investment or political agreement with the United States that is not linked to clear mechanisms that obligate the occupying American military forces to fully withdraw from Iraq," the letter to the leaders of Congress said.

Impeachable Offense
June 5, 2008

Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control

A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November.

The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq's position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country.

Impeachable Offense
June 2, 2008

NASA Misled On Global Warming

WASHINGTON - NASA's press office "marginalized or mischaracterized" studies on global warming between 2004 and 2006, the agency's own internal watchdog concluded.

In a report released Monday, NASA's inspector general office called it "inappropriate political interference" by political appointees in the press office. It said that the agency's top management wasn't part of the censorship, nor were career officials.

Impeachable Offense
June 4, 2008

The Science of Denial on Global Warming

The Bush administration has worked overtime to manipulate or conceal scientific evidence — and muzzled at least one prominent scientist — to justify its failure to address climate change.

Its motives were transparent: the less people understood about the causes and consequences of global warming, the less they were likely to demand action from their leaders. And its strategy has been far too successful. Seven years later, Congress is only beginning to confront the challenge of global warming.

Impeachable Offense
May 23, 2008

Republicans and Our Enemies

Instead, Mr. Bush has turned a small number of radical groups that hate America into a 10-foot tall existential monster that dictates every move we make.

Beyond Iran, al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan – the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 – are stronger now than at any time since 9/11. Radical recruitment is on the rise. Hamas controls Gaza and launches rockets at Israel every day. Some 140,000 American troops remain stuck in Iraq with no end in sight.

Impeachable Offense
May 23, 2008

Pentagon Ignored Spending Rules

A Pentagon audit of $8.2 billion in American taxpayer money spent by the United States Army on contractors in Iraq has found that almost none of the payments followed federal rules and that in some cases, contracts worth millions of dollars were paid for despite little or no record of what, if anything, was received.

The audit also found a sometimes stunning lack of accountability in the way the United States military spent some $1.8 billion in seized or frozen Iraqi assets, which in the early phases of the conflict were often doled out in stacks or pallets of cash. The audit was released Thursday in tandem with a Congressional hearing on the payments.

Impeachable Offense
May 22, 2008

Our $48 trillion debt

What inspired me to draw the cartoon with the family camped out in their van in a post-financial-collapse nation, America, 2018?

In part, it was an intriguing commentary by Kevin Phillips in the Washington Post. I encourage you to find it here.

Phillips asks if the USA is nearing the sort of economic freefall that knocked past dominant societies off the top of the international heap. The $48 trillion debt referenced in the cartoon is the total debt, public and private, for all Americans, not just the government debt. That debt is just one of many factors that could be driving us toward decline. Phillips puts today's situation in historical perspective:

Impeachable Offense
May 20, 2008

Megabubble waiting for new president in 2009

Yes, the lead character pulling back the curtain is none other than Kevin Phillips, a former Republican strategist for Nixon, and today America's leading political historian. Phillips just published "Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics & the Crisis of American Capitalism," everything you need to know about today's credit meltdown.

Scene 1: Numbers racket hiding behind Washington curtain

Opening shot: Phillips pulling back the curtain, exposing charlatan Wizards in a brilliant Harper's Magazine article: "Numbers Racket: Why the economy is worse than we know." Far worse. Buy it, read it -- this is essential reading if you really want to understand the depth of today's political as well as economic impending meltdown, and the harsh realities facing Washington, Wall Street, Corporate America, and Main Street in 2009 and beyond ... harsh because we cannot cover up the truth much longer.

Scene 2: Statistics, Washington's new WMDs, a time bomb

"If Washington's harping on weapons of mass destruction was essential to buoy public support for the invasion of Iraq, the use of deceptive statistics has played its own vital role in convincing many Americans that the U.S. economy is stronger, fairer, more productive, more dominant, and richer with opportunity than it really is. The corruption has tainted the very measures that most shape public perception of the economy," especially three key numbers, CPI, GDP and monthly unemployment statistics.

Impeachable Offense
May 22, 2008

FBI too badly organized to stop attacks

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The FBI's counterterrorism section is too badly organized and too understaffed to be able to protect the United States effectively against attack, an FBI agent told lawmakers.

"The FBI's counterterrorism division is ill-equipped to handle the terrorist threat that we're facing," Bassem Youssef, a top agent within the FBI's communications analysis unit, told a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

"FBI's counterterrorism program cannot properly protect the United States from another catastrophic and direct attack from Middle Eastern terrorists," he added.

Egyptian-born Youssef, who has been an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 1988, said only 62 percent of posts were filled in the counterterrorism unit.

This chronic staff shortage was forcing the FBI to recruit staff with no relevant experience, specifically with Middle Eastern counterterrorism, possibly lacking pertinent language skills and cultural understanding.

"In the FBI, everyone who is interested in moving up the ladder of promotion would want to be jockeying for positions and the number-one priority of the investigations being worked by the FBI.

"The counterterrorism division is unable to keep agents, supervisors and analysts within the division, and 62 percent is an alarmingly low figure," he told a House subcommittee hearing on FBI whistleblowers.

Impeachable Offense
May 17, 2008

US unveils deals with Saudi on nuclear power

RIYADH (AFP) — The White House announced major new cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia on Friday as US President George W. Bush made his second visit to the oil superpower this year.

The agreements cover cooperation on civil nuclear power and protecting the kingdom's oil infrastructure which has come under attack by Islamist militants.

Impeachable Offense
May 21, 2008

Report Details FBI Complaints Over Interrogations

WASHINGTON — F.B.I. agents complained repeatedly, beginning in 2002, about the harsh interrogation tactics that military and C.I.A. interrogators were using in questioning terrorism suspects, like making them do dog tricks and parade in the nude in front of female soldiers, but their complaints appear to have had little effect, according to an exhaustive report released Tuesday by the Justice Department's inspector general.

The report describes major and repeated clashes between F.B.I. agents and their counterparts over the rough methods being used on detainees in Guantánamo Bay, Afghanistan and Iraq — some of which, according to the inspector general, may have violated the Defense Department's own policies at the time.

Impeachable Offense
May 16, 2008

Iraq Veterans Describe Atrocities

"On several occasions our convoys came upon bodies that had been lying on the road, sometimes for weeks," said Marine Corps veteran Vincent Emanuele, who served in al-Qaim near the Syrian border in 2004 and 2005.

"When encountering these bodies standard procedure was to run over the corpses, sometimes even stopping and taking pictures, which was also standard practice when encountering the dead in Iraq," he told the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which organized the hearing.

Emanuele also said that U.S. military personnel often took "pot shots" at cars passing by.

Impeachable Offense
May 16, 2008

Official Urged Fewer Diagnoses of PTSD

A psychologist who helps lead the post-traumatic stress disorder program at a medical facility for veterans in Texas told staff members to refrain from diagnosing PTSD because so many veterans were seeking government disability payments for the condition.

"Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out," Norma Perez wrote in a March 20 e-mail to mental-health specialists and social workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs' Olin E. Teague Veterans' Center in Temple, Tex. Instead, she recommended that they "consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder."

Impeachable Offense
May 14, 2008

Some Detainees Are Drugged For Deportation

The U.S. government has injected hundreds of foreigners it has deported with dangerous psychotropic drugs against their will to keep them sedated during the trip back to their home country, according to medical records, internal documents and interviews with people who have been drugged.

The government's forced use of antipsychotic drugs, in people who have no history of mental illness, includes dozens of cases in which the "pre-flight cocktail," as a document calls it, had such a potent effect that federal guards needed a wheelchair to move the slumped deportee onto an airplane.

Impeachable Offense
May 9, 2008

Housing aid bill faces veto by President Bush

WASHINGTON - Democrats' plans to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners struggling with rising subprime mortgage rates and plummeting house values could be sidetracked by President Bush's threatened veto and the backing of many congressional Republicans.

Opponents of the plan say more prudent homebuyers and renters shouldn't be called upon to bail out borrowers who gambled on ever-rising housing prices and lost.

Impeachable Offense
May 6, 2008

White House Admits It Is Missing Email Backup Tapes From Start of Iraq War

The White House acknowledged in a court filing last night that it no longer has backup tapes of email from between March 1 and May 22, 2003, a period that includes the beginning of the Iraq war.

Yesterday's filing (PDF) is the latest development in the ongoing White House emails lawsuit, in which two non-profits, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (NSA), are suing to force the administration to recover any missing emails and institute a more effective email archiving system. (For the full story on the missing emails, check out our missing White House emails index.) The filing comes on the heels of several seemingly contradictory statements by administration officials about whether the allegedly missing emails are available on backup tapes. The court had asked the administration to clear up the confusion by clearly stating which backup tapes it does and does not have for the period between March 2003 and October 2005.

Impeachable Offense
May 6, 2008

Committee chairman accuses VA of criminal negligence

WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs' top mental health official said Tuesday he made a poor choice of words when he sent his colleagues an e-mail about suicide data that started out with "Shh!"

Dr. Ira Katz, the VA's mental health director, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee that the e-mail was in poor tone — even though the body contained "appropriate, healthy dialogue" about the data.