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Impeachable Offenses Page 4

December 16, 2006

Bush accused of gagging critic of Iran policy

John Bolton when he served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security was famous for pounding intelligence officials hard until they coughed up intel reports and "frames" that fit the political objectives he had in mind.

The practice of politicizing intelligence in the Bush White House seems to be continuing with "friends lists" and "enemies lists" determining who should be rewarded or punished in the "secrets-clearing process" in cases where former government officials publish materials on U.S. foreign policy debates.

December 18, 2006

Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment

Detainee 200343 was among thousands of people who have been held and released by the American military in Iraq, and his account of his ordeal has provided one of the few detailed views of the Pentagon's detention operations since the abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib. Yet in many respects his case is unusual.

The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

On May 7, the Camp Cropper detention board met again, without either man present, and determined that Mr. Ertel was "an innocent civilian," according to the spokeswoman for detention operations. It took authorities 18 more days to release him.

December 18, 2006

EPA relaxes rules on reporting of release of toxic chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency approved new rules today that will quadruple the amount of some toxic pollutants that companies can release before they have to reveal the amounts to the public.

Federal officials originally proposed a 10-fold increase in the trigger for public reports on most chemicals covered by the the 20-year-old "Toxic Release Inventory" program. EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock said the revised limits will ease regulatory burdens on industry while giving companies an incentive to recycle or better manage toxic compounds.

November 30, 2006

Feds rate travelers for terrorism

WASHINGTON (AP) — Without notifying the public, federal agents for the past four years have assigned millions of international travelers, including Americans, computer-generated scores rating the risk they pose of being terrorists or criminals.

The travelers are not allowed to see or directly challenge these risk assessments, which the government intends to keep on file for 40 years.

January 4, 2007

Bush claims right to open people's mail

Washington - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the New York Daily News has learned.

The president asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.

That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it.

January 2, 2007

FBI Details Possible Detainee Abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI agents documented more than two dozen incidents of possible mistreatment at the Guantanamo Bay military base, including one detainee whose head was wrapped in duct tape for chanting the Quran and another who pulled out his hair after hours in a sweltering room.

Documents released Tuesday by the FBI offered new details about the harsh interrogations practice used by military officials and contractors when questioning so-called enemy combatants.

December 28, 2006

How Old is the Grand Canyon? Park Service Ordered to Pander to Creationists

HOW OLD IS THE GRAND CANYON? PARK SERVICE WON'T SAY — Orders to Cater to Creationists Makes National Park Agnostic on Geology

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

December 22, 2006

Homeland Security Admits Privacy Violation

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department admitted Friday it violated the Privacy Act two years ago by obtaining more commercial data about U.S. airline passengers than it had announced it would.

Seventeen months ago, the Government Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm, reached the same conclusion: The department's Transportation Security Administration "did not fully disclose to the public its use of personal information in its fall 2004 privacy notices as required by the Privacy Act."

Instead, the privacy office said, "TSA announced one testing program, but conducted an entirely different one." In a 40-word, separate sentence, the report noted that federal programs that collect personal data that can identify Americans "are required to be announced in Privacy Act system notices and privacy impact assessments."

December 8, 2006

GOP Senator: Iraq War "May Be Criminal"

Many things have been attributed to George Bush. I have heard him on this floor blamed for every ill, even the weather. But I do not believe him to be a liar. I do not believe him to be a traitor, nor do I believe all the bravado and the statements and the accusations made against him. I believe him to be a very idealistic man. I believe him to have a stubborn backbone. He is not guilty of perfidy, but I do believe he is guilty of believing bad intelligence and giving us the same.

I welcome the Iraq Study Group's report, but if we are ultimately going to retreat, I would rather do it sooner than later. I am looking for answers, but the current course is unacceptable to this Senator.

I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal . I cannot support that anymore . I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let's go home.

December 8, 2006

GOP Senator: Iraq War "May Be Criminal"

Many things have been attributed to George Bush. I have heard him on this floor blamed for every ill, even the weather. But I do not believe him to be a liar. I do not believe him to be a traitor, nor do I believe all the bravado and the statements and the accusations made against him. I believe him to be a very idealistic man. I believe him to have a stubborn backbone. He is not guilty of perfidy, but I do believe he is guilty of believing bad intelligence and giving us the same.

I welcome the Iraq Study Group's report, but if we are ultimately going to retreat, I would rather do it sooner than later. I am looking for answers, but the current course is unacceptable to this Senator.

I, for one, am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal . I cannot support that anymore . I believe we need to figure out how to fight the war on terror and to do it right. So either we clear and hold and build, or let's go home.

December 22, 2006

Redacted Version of Original Op-Ed

Those who argue that Iran did not cause Iraq's problems and therefore can be of only limited help in dealing with Iraq's current instability must also acknowledge that Iran did not "cause" Afghanistan's deterioration into a terrorist-harboring failed state. But, when America and Iran worked together, Afghanistan was much more stable than it is today, Al Qaeda was on the run, the Islamic Republic's Hezbollah protégé was comparatively restrained, and Tehran was not spinning centrifuges. Still, the Bush administration conveyed no interest in building on these positive trends.

December 27, 2006

US tries to assure allies that extraordinary renditions are over

The US is telling its overseas allies that it has stopped "extraordinary renditions" and needs their help to empty Guantánamo's prison cells. But human rights groups dispute this assertion and a question mark hangs over 200 "war on terror" detainees who could be held indefinitely without trial.

European diplomats say Washington is reacting to pressure from parliamentary investigations, lawsuits from former prisoners, and calls by friendly governments, including the UK, to close Guantánamo, the prison camp at a US naval base in Cuba.

However, the administration's response is seen as confused and inadequate. Analysts attribute this to internal divisions over how far to roll back controversial counter-terrorism practices - including torture, secret prisons, detention without trial, and renditions - as the price for rekindling transatlantic relations.

December 19, 2006

European Commission Meets to Find Ways to Stop US Illegal Rendition

Following the publication of the first draft of Parliament's final report on CIA extraordinary renditions in Europe, European Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini met MEPs on 19 December to discuss future legal measures to prevent the use of European countries by the CIA for the illegal detention and transport of prisoners. MEPs highlighted the Commission's positive cooperation on this issue, contrasting it with the passivity of Council and most EU Member State government representatives.

December 4, 2006

Video Is a Window Into a Terror Suspect's Isolation

Now lawyers for Mr. Padilla, 36, suggest that he is unfit to stand trial. They argue that he has been so damaged by his interrogations and prolonged isolation that he suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and is unable to assist in his own defense. His interrogations, they say, included hooding, stress positions, assaults, threats of imminent execution and the administration of "truth serums."

In the brig, Mr. Padilla was denied access to counsel for 21 months. Andrew Patel, one of his lawyers, said his isolation was not only severe but compounded by material and sensory deprivations. In an affidavit filed Friday, he alleged that Mr. Padilla was held alone in a 10-cell wing of the brig; that he had little human contact other than with his interrogators; that his cell was electronically monitored and his meals were passed to him through a slot in the door; that windows were blackened, and there was no clock or calendar; and that he slept on a steel platform after a foam mattress was taken from him, along with his copy of the Koran, "as part of an interrogation plan."

Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of forensic psychiatry at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, N.Y., who examined Mr. Padilla for a total of 22 hours in June and September, said in an affidavit filed Friday that he "lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense."

"It is my opinion that as the result of his experiences during his detention and interrogation, Mr. Padilla does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation," Dr. Hegarty said in an affidavit for the defense.

December 3, 2006

Rumsfeld Memo Proposed 'Major Adjustment' in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 — Two days before he resigned as defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld submitted a classified memo to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq was not working and called for a major course correction.

"In my view it is time for a major adjustment," wrote Mr. Rumsfeld, who has been a symbol of a dogged stay-the-course policy. "Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough."

December 3, 2006

Blowing the Whistle on Big Oil

Auditing and compliance review had generated an average of about $176 million annually in the 1990s, with an extraordinary peak of $331 million in 2000, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Interior Department. But from 2001 through 2005, a period when energy prices soared to new highs, enforcement revenue averaged about $46 million a year.

In 2004, the Interior Department's inspector general issued a blistering report about the auditing system, saying that many auditors were unqualified, that essential documents were being lost and that the internal review process was "ineffective."

November 29, 2006

European parliament condemned Britain's role in CIA "torture flights"

Britain's role in CIA "torture flights" was roundly condemned yesterday by the European parliament in a scathing report which for the first time named the site of a suspected secret US detention centre in the EU - at Stare Kiejkuty in Poland.

It says EU governments, including the British, knew about the practice known as extraordinary rendition - secret CIA flights transferring detainees to locations where they risked being tortured - but made a concerted attempt to obstruct investigations into it.

November 29, 2006

German suing CIA wants apology, says mistreated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A German who says he was kidnapped three years ago, held by the CIA and tortured for months in Afghanistan personally sought an apology on Wednesday and an explanation for his arrest.

"I want to know why this was done to me," said Khaled el-Masri, a 43-year-old German of Lebanese origin. "I would like an explanation and an apology."

November 27, 2006 Impeachable Offenses

They lied their way into Iraq. Now they are trying to lie their way out

It is absurd to suggest that the Iraqis - who have been invaded, whose country is currently occupied, who have had their police and army disbanded and their entire civil service fired - could possibly be in a position to take responsibility for their future and are simply not doing so.

For a start, it implies that the occupation is a potential solution when it is in fact the problem. This seems to be one of the few things on which Sunni and Shia leaders agree. "The roots of our problems lie in the mistakes the Americans committed right from the beginning of their occupation," Sheik Ali Merza, a Shia cleric in Najaf and a leader of the Islamic Dawa party, told the Los Angeles Times last week.

November 22, 2006 Impeachable Offenses

Rumsfeld's Abuses Must be Investigated: Karpinski's Got The Goods

Among other things...
* General Geoffrey Miller developed torture tactics in Guantanamo.
* Rumsfeld knew of it.
* Miller was told to bring those same tactics to Abu Ghraib.
* He was told by Rumsfeld.
* Miller brought in outside military contractors, ignored by the Justice Department, who answered to no one and were not held exempt for any crimes they might commit in Iraq ? including murder.
* Outside military contractors oversaw and suggested much of the tactics the low level servicemen were charged and found guilty of.
* Chief of Staff of the Army, General Cody, the man who actually stopped requests for armored vehicles and protective vests to be prioritized for our soldiers in Iraq.
* Rumsfeld knew it. He wanted it just that way.
* For that, General Cody picked up an additional star.
* Every investigation into the military and Rumsfeld's Defense Department's responsibility for malfeasance was run by people who could have lost their job with Rumsfeld's say so.

November 22, 2006 Impeachable Offenses

The Long Slog of Rebuilding American Democracy

Newly leaked audiotapes of military tribunals held at Guantánamo Bay concentration camp shared the eerie quality of the Soviet show trials of the 1930s. Once again the men are accused of membership in a shadowy terrorist conspiracy. The evidence against them consists of hearsay--the testimony of other misérables giving them up in order to save themselves. They have been beaten, abused and probably tortured.

Murat Kurnaz, 24, a German cititzen held for four years without being charged with so much as a traffic violation, described life at Gitmo to CNN after being sent back to Germany. Among the "many types of torture" he endured were "electric shocks to having one's head submerged in water, (subjection to) hunger and thirst, or being shackled and suspended [hung from the ceiling]."

November 27, 2006 Impeachable Offenses

Maybe Bush's People Will Follow the Law Now

No appointment was so unreasonable that the Republican- controlled Congress wouldn't rubber-stamp it. Often, President George W. Bush chose a nominee whose views were at war with the agency he was being assigned to head.

I'm thinking of the Exxon Mobil Corp. lobbyist chosen as chief of staff on the Council on Environmental Quality who blacked out of official documents the scientific findings on global warming that he didn't like. Or the mining industry executive chosen to oversee the safety of those who descend into ever-more-perilous mines each day. The Bush administration filled the Energy Department with oil producers and the Agriculture Department with corporate farmers and meat processors.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in matters having to do with family planning. Most of the money the Bush administration controls for reproductive health, HIV testing, sexually transmitted diseases and the like has gone to abstinence-only programs whose efficacy and scientific foundation are under question by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

November 25, 2006

Rumsfeld okayed abuses says former U.S. general

MADRID (Reuters) - Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the prison's former U.S. commander said in an interview on Saturday.

Former U.S. Army Brigadier General Janis Karpinski told Spain's El Pais newspaper she had seen a letter apparently signed by Rumsfeld which allowed civilian contractors to use techniques such as sleep deprivation during interrogation.

November 25, 2006

US interference allowed liquid explosive gang to escape

A team of suspected terrorists involved in an alleged UK plot to blow up trans-atlantic airliners escaped capture because of interference by the United States, The Independent has been told by counter-terrorism sources.

An investigation by MI5 and Scotland Yard into an alleged plan to smuggle explosive devices on up to 10 passenger jets was jeopardised in August, when the US put pressure on authorities in Pakistan to arrest a suspect allegedly linked to the airliner plot.

November 22, 2006

Doctors are reportedly fleeing Iraq

VIENNA, Austria - Iraq's top doctors are under threat and are fleeing the country, leaving hospitals in the hands of medical students or junior physicians, an Iraqi lawmaker said Wednesday.

"They have been targeted since the fall of the regime," she told The Associated Press during a visit to Austria. "Some of them have been kidnapped and found dead in the streets, some have been released after paying a ransom."

"We were promised, or we believed, that we would have many new hospitals being built, and many health centers ... but none of this has been done," she said. "No hospitals have been built so far; only some of the hospitals have been serviced."

November 17, 2006

Gitmo detainees denied access to witnesses

Twenty-one first-year law students at Seton Hall University in Newark, N.J., analyzed the documents to create a database analyzed by eight second- and third-year students.

Among their findings:

  • The government did not produce any witnesses in any hearing.
  • The military denied all detainee requests to inspect the classified evidence against them.
  • The military refused all requests for defense witnesses who were not detained at Guantanamo.
  • In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison.
  • In 91 percent of the hearings, the detainees did not present any evidence.
  • In three cases, the panel found that the detainee was "no longer an enemy combatant," but the military convened new tribunals that later found them to be enemy combatants.
November 16, 2006

CIA FLIGHTS: EX-GUANTANAMO DETAINEE RE-LIVES HIS ORDEAL

Ruhal was speaking at the presentation of an Amnesty report on the alleged illegal abduction of terror suspects in Europe by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and their interrogation and detention in secret jails in Europe and elsewhere.

In his testimonial, Ahmed, 24, described his arrest, along with two friends, in Afghanistan in October, 2001, their imprisonment there in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, transfer to and detention at Guantanamo, return to Britain, their arrest by British anti-terror police and release 24 hours later - without ever being charged or told why he was detained. "I have received no compensation to this day, although the British government promised to help us," he said.

November 8, 2006

150,000 Iraqis killed by insurgents

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Nearly simultaneous car bombs struck two markets in predominantly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 16 people. Iraq's health minister said about 150,000 have been killed by insurgents since the war started, giving the government's first overall casualty estimate.

November 4, 2006

Court Is Asked to Bar Detainees From Talking About Interrogations

The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them to talk.

November 14, 2006

US Government Fights Guantanamo Detainee Cases

Lawyers for the prisoners have argued the new law does not give the US government the power to arrest suspects overseas and imprison them indefinitely without any charges and without allowing them to challenge their detention in US court.

They say a provision of the law unconstitutionally suspends the right under habeas corpus, a long-standing principle of American law, for detainees to contest their imprisonment.

November 12, 2006

Baghdad's morgues so full, bodies being turned away

The city's network of morgues, built to hold 130 bodies at most, now holds more than 500, he says.

Bodies are sent for burial every three or four days just to make room for the daily intake, sometimes making corpse identification impossible.

November 8, 2006 An Impeachable Offense - another military coverup

Startling findings from Pat Tillman investigations

All four failed to identify their targets before firing, a direct violation of the fire discipline techniques drilled into every soldier.

--Tillman's platoon had nearly run out of vital supplies, according to one of the shooters. They were down to the water in their Camelbak drinking pouches, and were forced to buy a goat from a local vendor. Delayed supply flights contributed to the hunger, fatigue and possibly misjudgments by platoon members.

--A field hospital report says someone tried to jump-start Tillman's heart with CPR hours after his head had been partly blown off and his corpse wrapped in a poncho; key evidence including Tillman's body armor and uniform was burned.

November 6, 2006

Feds Refusing FBI Terror Cases

Prosecutors declined to bring charges in 131 of 150, or 87 percent, of international terrorist case referrals from the FBI between October 2005 and June 2006, according to the report. The study was based on the most recent data available from the Justice Department's executive office for U.S. attorneys.

October 12, 2006

Co-Author of Medical Study: 600,000 Iraqis Died From Violence

And our conclusion was comparing the death rate for that 14 months before the invasion, with the 40 months after, that the death rate is now about four times higher. And, in fact, it's twice as high as when we last spoke two years ago and when we did our first study. So, things have gotten bad, as you stated. We think about 650,000 extra people have died because of this invasion, and about 600,000, some 90%, are from violence.

November 2, 2006

War Tribunal Targets: Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration

On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts will come before the German federal prosecutor and ask him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The recent passage of the Military Commissions Act provides a central argument for the legal action, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction: It demonstrates the intent of the Bush Administration to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes.

October 26, 2006

CIA tried to silence EU on torture flights

The disclosure is among fresh revelations about how the CIA flew terrorist suspects to locations where they were tortured, and Britain's knowledge of the practice known as "secret rendition". They are contained in Ghost Plane, by Stephen Grey, the journalist who first revealed details of secret CIA flights in the Guardian a year ago. More than 200 CIA flights have passed through Britain, records show.

November 2, 2006

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Secrets

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended "pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing."

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency's technical experts "were shocked" at the public disclosures.

November 1, 2006

State Department screened speakers for possible dissent

WASHINGTON - An internal State Department review has found that U.S. officials screened the public statements and writings of private citizens for criticism of the Bush administration before deciding whether to select them for foreign speaking projects.

The screenings amounted to "virtual censorship" in the State Department's selection of speakers, said a report by the department's Inspector General's Office. McClatchy Newspapers obtained a copy of the 22-page report, which was completed in September.

November 1, 2006

Investigations begin into whether Bush administration muzzled climate research

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, (D-N.J.), said he was informed that the inspector generals for the Commerce Department and NASA had begun "co-ordinated, sweeping investigations of the Bush administration's censorship and suppression" of federal research into global warming.

October 28, 2006

GAO chief warns economic disaster looms

Democrats and Republicans talk of cutting taxes to make life easier for the American people.

What they don't talk about is a dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at least should. The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it.

October 29, 2006

The retreat of the coalition & rise of the militias

This is a shadowy struggle, which involves tortured prisoners huddled in dungeons, murder victims mutilated with knives and electric drills, and distraught families searching for relations who have been "disappeared".

Iraq's savage sectarian war is now regarded as a greater obstacle to any semblance of peace returning than the insurgency, and was the main reason for the Americans recently pouring 12,000 troops into the capital - an operation that, they now acknowledge, has failed.

October 25, 2006

Some contracts in Iraq spend over 50% on overhead

The report by a federal oversight agency provides the first official estimate that in some cases, more money is being spent on things like housing and feeding employees, completing paperwork and providing security than on actual construction.

Posted October 26, 2006 Impeachable Offenses

Presidential Signing Statements

Presidential Signing statements from March 20, 2001 through October 13, 2006 As of October 4, 2006, Bush had signed 134 signing statements challenging 810 federal laws.

October 18, 2006

Bush Moves to Put Arms in Space

The new policy was applauded by defense analyst Baker Spring of the conservative Heritage Foundation. He said that he supported the policy's rejection of international agreements or treaties . . . .

October 17, 2006

Bush signs torture bill; Americans lose essential freedom

Reuters: The law also "establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion [that is, torture], but would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them.

October 18, 2006

Habeas Corpus Ends: No Prisoner May Invoke the Geneva Conventions

Prisoners whom the president has decided can be held indefinitely have other problems, too. Although Bush boasted Tuesday that "this bill complies with both the spirit and the letter of our international obligations," the Military Commissions Act states flatly, "no alien unlawful enemy combatant . . . may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights."

October 13, 2006

UN: 40,000 people flee Iraq every month

GENEVA (AFP) -Iraq is suffering from a "steady, silent exodus" of more than 40,000 people a month fleeing violence and the flow of refugees towards Europe is growing, the UN refugee agency has said.

Asylum claims by Iraqis in mainly European industralised countries in the first six months of the year grew by more than 50 percent compared to the first half of 2005 to reach 8,100, Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Friday.

October 10, 2006

The United States has ceded the moral high ground to its enemies

It doesn't matter how much food aid we ship to the victims of the next global natural disaster, or how diplomatic our next president is, or whether we come to regret what we have done in the name of law and order. Our laws permit kidnapping, torture and murder. Our laws deny access to the courts. The United States has ceded the moral high ground to its enemies.

October 14, 2006 An Impeachable Offense - another military coverup

British journalist 'unlawfully killed' by US forces

US forces unlawfully killed a British television journalist in the opening days of the Iraq war, a coroner ruled on Friday.

Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said he would ask the attorney-general to take steps to bring to justice those responsible for the death of Terry Lloyd, 50, a veteran reporter for the British television network ITN.

October 5, 2006

Bush asserts right to rewrite Homeland Security privacy laws

WASHINGTON - President Bush, again defying Congress, says he has the power to edit the Homeland Security Department's reports about whether it obeys privacy rules while handling background checks, ID cards and watchlists.

Privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg said Bush is trying to subvert lawmakers' ability to accurately monitor activities of the executive branch of government.

"The Homeland Security Department has been setting up watch lists to determine who gets on planes, who gets government jobs, who gets employed," said Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

October 7, 2006

Pentagon to Probe Gitmo Beatings Claim

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) - The Pentagon said Friday that it will investigate a Marine's sworn statement that guards at Guantanamo Bay bragged about beating detainees and described it as a common practice.

October 5, 2006

Signing Statements: Abuse of Power

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to assert that he has the power to disobey newly enacted laws is "an integral part" of his "comprehensive strategy to strengthen and expand executive power" at the expense of the legislative branch, according to a report by the non partisan Congressional Research Service.

October 7, 2006

Guards Beating POWs Common at Guantanamo Bay

CAMP PENDLETON — A sworn statement from a Marine sergeant alleging that guards at the U.S. military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, regularly beat terrorism detainees — and bragged about it — has been turned over to Pentagon investigators.

October 3, 2006 Possible Impeachable Offense

Miami Herald Publisher Resigns After Reporters Took Government Money

Diaz authorized the firings and he said he still believes the reporters in question had a conflict of interest in accepting payments from the government's Office of Cuba Broadcasting. But he said in a letter to readers the fired reporters will be allowed to return to the newspaper.

The OCB paid the journalists to appear as guests on programs of U.S. government to Cuba.

October 3, 2006 An Impeachable Offense

Records Show Tenet Briefed Rice on Al Qaeda Threat

The FBI acknowledged yesterday that it did not begin an investigation in late July after receiving copies of e-mails sent in 2005 by then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a Louisiana teenager -- messages that troubled the boy's parents.

October 1, 2006

CIA Torture Chambers Likely Restarting

What the legislation is likely to do even sooner is put the CIA's secret-prison program back online. That's right: back online.

Porter Goss feared that the amendment, sponsored by McCain, might undercut the legal authority for CIA interrogations. So Goss put those procedures on hold while seeking a legal opinion from the Justice Department.

For the next nine months, says a person briefed on activity in the program, some at the agency developed a bias for killing its targets instead of bringing them in for questioning

October 1, 2006 An Impeachable Offense

Two Months Before 9/11, an Urgent Warning to Rice

On July 10, 2001, two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet met with his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, at CIA headquarters to review the latest on Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist organization. Black laid out the case, consisting of communications intercepts and other top-secret intelligence showing the increasing likelihood that al-Qaeda would soon attack the United States. It was a mass of fragments and dots that nonetheless made a compelling case, so compelling to Tenet that he decided he and Black should go to the White House immediately.

September 23, 2006 An Impeachable Offense - Another Bush Lie

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 — A stark assessment of terrorism trends by American intelligence agencies has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.

September 23, 2006

Australian lawyers forced to give up their rights

Hicks's previous Australian lawyer, Stephen Kenny, was required to sign a similar document in 2003, but insisted that the extradition clause be struck out. That change was accepted.

"I was told about it when I first arrived [in the US to represent Hicks] and found myself in front of some general from the Pentagon," Mr Kenny said. "I told him, 'I'm not giving up my rights, no matter what you think. I'm an Australian citizen and you can't ask me to do that.' They're bullies."

September 25, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
We're led to believe chemists didn't know this was a farce and it took the FBI six weeks to figure this out.

Liquids not risky on planes

Testing by the FBI and at government labs showed that small containers of liquids "don't pose a real threat," Hawley said.

Jim Kapin, head of health and safety for the American Chemical Society, said small quantities of liquids could not seriously damage an airplane. Even if several terrorists smuggled liquid explosives on board, it is "practically speaking, impossible" to make a bomb on an airplane because of the equipment and expertise required, Kapin said.

September 21, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
For the GOP the role of government is to enrich their friends - that's why they hated government when they were the minority.

HUD Secretary Awarded Contracts Awarded on Political Leanings

The findings led Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., to call Thursday for Jackson's resignation.

The inspector general's investigation was launched following an exclusive Dallas Business Journal report on comments Jackson made at an April 28 real estate gathering in Dallas. At the private event, Jackson, former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority, told attendees he canceled a contract with a contractor who had criticized President Bush.

September 21, 2006

Suits Say Interior Department Impeded Audits for Oil Leases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 — Four government auditors who monitor leases for oil and gas on federal property say the Interior Department suppressed their efforts to recover millions of dollars from companies they said were cheating the government.

September 21, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Under the Geneva Conventions an "occupying power" is responsible for security.

Torture in Iraq 'worse than under Saddam'

Torture in Iraq is worse now than it was under the regime of Saddam Hussein and "is totally out of hand", according to a United Nations investigator.

"The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it has been in the times of Saddam Hussein," said Manfred Nowak, a UN special investigator on torture, at a press conference in Geneva.

September 20, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
A lie - false threat national security threat

Police call August terror plot 'fiction'

British Army expert casts doubt on 'liquid explosives' threat, Al Qaeda network in UK Identified

Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer, has suggested that the police and government story about the "terror plot" revealed on 10th August was part of a "pattern of lies and deceit."

September 18, 2006

Canadians Fault U.S. for Its Role in Torture Case

OTTAWA, Sept. 18 — A government commission on Monday exonerated a Canadian computer engineer of any ties to terrorism and issued a scathing report that faulted Canada and the United States for his deportation four years ago to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.

Previous Link - 2004: US Sends Canadian to Syria to be Tortured

September 18, 2006

UK accused of Guantánamo collusion

More than 100 senior doctors today accused the government of colluding in war crimes by refusing to give medical aid to British residents detained at Guantánamo Bay.

The doctors called for an urgent independent investigation into the medical needs of the detainees at the camp.

September 20, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
No one caught the error? Give me a break.

VA used prewar data to estimate the cost of caring for veterans

WASHINGTON - The government used prewar data to estimate the cost of caring for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, contributing to a $3 billion budget shortfall at the Veterans Affairs Department since 2005, congressional investigators say.

September 17, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Very long but good!

Ties to GOP Trumped Know-How Among Staff Sent to Rebuild Iraq

To pass muster with O'Beirne, a political appointee who screens prospective political appointees for Defense Department posts, applicants didn't need to be experts in the Middle East or in post-conflict reconstruction. What seemed most important was loyalty to the Bush administration.

To recruit the people he wanted, O'Beirne sought résumés from the offices of Republican congressmen, conservative think tanks and GOP activists. He discarded applications from those his staff deemed ideologically suspect, even if the applicants possessed Arabic language skills or postwar rebuilding experience.

September 19, 2006

The GOP's tortured logic

As he announced at a press conference earlier this month, President Bush wants to change U.S. law in two different ways that he says will allow CIA officials to keep conducting interrogations that he claims have produced valuable intelligence in the "war on terror." He has asked Congress to pass legislation that would sidestep the part of the Geneva Conventions that prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity," and he also wants Congress to rewrite the 1996 War Crimes Act in such a way that the Geneva Conventions would no longer be enforceable.

September 19, 2006

Scientist barred from speaking to press about global warming

The individual who went "off the menu" could have been researcher Thomas Knutson, whose published research indicates that hurricanes will grow stronger because of global warming. But when NOAA press officers asked if Knutson could appear on CNBC, Fuqua asked if Knutson had the same opinion as Landsea. When he learned that Knutson had published research suggesting that hurricanes will be getting stronger, he responded, "Why can't we have one of the other guys on then?"

September 09, 2006

Gov't taxes us so it can persuade us Iraq war is justified

That may be what prompted the United States military to seek bids on a $20-million public-relations contract for the next two years designed to encourage more positive coverage of Iraq. Reporter Walter Pincus wrote about that plan in Thursday's issue of the Washington Post.

September 17, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
The US military also murdered a Reuters reporter
In Fallujah, the US military used napalm, a WMD.

U.S. holds AP photographer in Iraq 5 months

The U.S. military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing.

September 15, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
The Geneva Conventions can't be revised by Congress.

The president goes to Capitol Hill to lobby for torture

He wants permission to interrogate those detainees with abusive practices that in the past have included induced hypothermia and "waterboarding," or simulated drowning. And it wants the right to try such detainees, and perhaps sentence them to death, on the basis of evidence that the defendants cannot see and that may have been extracted during those abusive interrogation sessions.

September 13, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
What law did they use to spend our money on right wing tripe.

Lawsuit Says Gov't Funds Christian Goals

The Northwest Marriage Institute received $97,750 last year from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

On its Web site, the institute quotes several Bible verses, including one that urges wives to win over their husbands with a "quiet spirit." It also says wives should serve their husbands and make them happy as a way of honoring God.

September 11, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
The CIA breaks the law and we pay their bills.

Worried CIA Officers Buy Legal Insurance

CIA counterterrorism officers have signed up in growing numbers for a government-reimbursed, private insurance plan that would pay their civil judgments and legal expenses if they are sued or charged with criminal wrongdoing, according to current and former intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the program.

September 10, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Bush lied when he said Abu abuse was isolated.

FBI, CIA Dispute Use of Torture

The events that unfolded at the safe house over the next few weeks proved to be fateful for the Bush administration. Within days, Mr. Zubaydah was being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques — he was stripped, held in an icy room and jarred by earsplittingly loud music — the genesis of practices later adopted by some within the military, and widely used by the Central Intelligence Agency in handling prominent terrorism suspects at secret overseas prisons.

September 9, 2006

Rockefeller: Bush Duped Public On Iraq

But after 2 1/2 years of reviewing pre-war intelligence behind closed doors, the lead Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia, who voted for the Iraq War, says the Bush administration pulled the wool over everyone's eyes.

"The absolute cynical manipulation, deliberately cynical manipulation, to shape American public opinion and 69 percent of the people, at that time, it worked, they said 'we want to go to war,'" Rockefeller told CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. "Including me. The difference is after I began to learn about some of that intelligence I went down to the Senate floor and I said 'my vote was wrong.'"

September 8, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Journalists or paid propagandist?

10 Miami journalists take pay from U.S. government

At least 10 South Florida journalists, including three from El Nuevo Herald, received regular payments from the U.S. government for programs on Radio Martí and TV Martí, two broadcasters aimed at undermining the communist government of Fidel Castro. The payments totaled thousands of dollars over several years.

September 8, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Also, McCain has joined the pro-torture fascist camp.

Bush Wants Interrogation Methods Rejected by Military

Many of the harsh interrogation techniques repudiated by the Pentagon on Wednesday would be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration. And the courts would be forbidden from intervening.

But the new legislation would interpret "outrages upon personal dignity" relatively narrowly, adopting a standard enacted last year in an amendment to the Detainee Treatment Act proposed by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. The amendment prohibits "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and refers indirectly to an American constitutional standard that prohibits conduct which "shocks the conscience."

September 8, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Halliburton is corrupt.

Whistle-Blower Slams Halliburton for services never provided to U.S. troops

Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root charged millions to the government for recreational services never provided to U.S. troops in Iraq, including giant tubs of chicken wings and tacos, a widescreen TV, and cheese sticks meant for a military Super Bowl party, according to a federal whistle-blower suit unsealed Friday.

September 6, 2006

9/11 Loans: "every small business. . .became eligible to participate."

The Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee sharply criticized the Bush administration's primary terrorism relief loan program, saying it was so loosely managed that "conceivably every small business in the country became eligible to participate."

September 6, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
The government and the military lied.

August Death Total in Baghdad Morgue Triples

Violent deaths in August was just revised upwards to 1535 from 550, tripling the total. But this means that a much-publicized drop-off in violence in August – heralded by both the Iraqi government and the US military as a sign that a new security effort in Baghdad was working -- apparently didn't exist.

September 6, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Violation of the Geneva Conventions

Bush admits CIA secret prisons

GEORGE BUSH admitted yesterday for the first time that terror suspects had been held in secret CIA prisons outside US borders, saying that they were now being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba, where he hoped that they would be tried for war crimes.

September 8, 2006

Behind the scenes as U.S. empties CIA's secret prison sites

Shackled and hooded, 14 men in secret CIA custody were gathered one by one from locations across the world last weekend and flown to a rallying point to await one more flight. For some of the prisoners, it was their third or fourth journey to yet another unknown destination since President Bush approved a covert plan for them to disappear into CIA facilities hidden throughout Eastern Europe and Asia.

August 29, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Bush continues to hire and keep in office known criminals.

Inquiry Criticizes U.S. Broadcasting Official Over Hiring

r. Tomlinson, whose job puts him in charge of the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, used his government office for personal business, including running a "horse racing operation" in which he supervised a stable of thoroughbreds he named after leaders from Afghanistan, including President Hamid Karzai and the late Ahmed Shah Massoud, that have raced at tracks across the United States. They also said that Mr. Tomlinson repeatedly used government employees to do his personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit.

August 25, 2006 The era of lawlessness continues. Anyone at the EPA who obeys the order (without congressional authority) should be fired. An Impeachable Offense.

The Ministry of Truth Strikes Again, and Again, and Again...

The Environmental Protection Agency has been ordered by the White House to "shut down [its] libraries, end public access to research materials and box up unique collections on the assumption that Congress will not reverse President Bush's proposed budget reductions." Fifteen states will lose library service immediately, the rest will follow, and the public is to be turned away as soon as possible.

August 29, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Bush planned to move his rally to a military base, which is illegal. Military bases can't be used for political rallies.

Pro-Bush rally on 'Rocky's turf'

Republicans will keep their pro-President Bush rally Wednesday at the City-County Building's Washington Square. Organizers had considered moving it to the Utah Air National Guard base so that the crowd could welcome Bush as he arrived on Air Force One.

August 27, 2006 An Impeachable Offense
Murder is still a crime.

Reuters seeks Pentagon probe on journalist's death

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Reuters news agency urged the U.S. military on Sunday to investigate the killing of one of its journalists by American troops in Baghdad a year ago.

An independent inquiry commissioned by Reuters concluded that the soldiers' shooting of television soundman Waleed Khaled on August 28 last year appeared "unlawful."

August 25, 2006

Bush is going to leave Iraq for the next president

WE'RE not leaving, so long as I'm the President." There in nine words is the exit strategy for the United States involvement in Iraq. Depending on your viewpoint, it's either a commitment or an admission of defeat.