Impeachable Offenses Page 3

January 05, 2006

Three GOP senators blast Bush bid to bypass torture ban

WASHINGTON -- Three key Republican senators yesterday condemned President Bush's assertion that his powers as commander in chief give him the authority to bypass a new law restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees.

January 04, 2006

Justices Order Padilla Terror Case Moved to Civilian Court

The order marked a major step in the odyssey of Padilla, whose arrest in Chicago in 2002 triggered a legal and philosophical battle over the government's power to detain Americans captured in this country. He was introduced to the public as a shadowy former gang member who converted to Islam and stood accused by top federal officials of plotting to detonate a radiological "dirty bomb." He was locked in the brig for more than three years. For much of that time, Padilla had no access to a lawyer, and he has never appeared in court to fight his detention.

January 04, 2006

Bush could bypass new torture ban

After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a "signing statement" -- an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law -- declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said.

January 04, 2006

NSA Spied on Americans Without Presidential Authority

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 - The National Security Agency acted on its own authority, without a formal directive from President Bush, to expand its domestic surveillance operations in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to declassified documents released Tuesday.

July Survey/Posted August 21, 2006

Survey: Evidence of Political Interference at FDA

I. Interference with Scientific Determinations at the FDA
Large numbers of agency scientists reported interference with their scientific work:

  • Almost one in five (18 percent) responded, "I have been asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or my conclusions in an FDA scientific document."
August 17, 2006

NSA Ruling(HTML) Wiretapping is Unconstitutional

The Government appears to argue here that, pursuant to the penumbra of Constitutional language in Article II, and particularly because the President is designated Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, he has been granted the inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself

August 11, 2006


THESE PEOPLE have no shame. Their contempt for democracy is so great they will stop at nothing to undermine it. Their adherence to fundamentalist beliefs that blinds them to reality is frightening. They must be stopped.

August 8, 2006

Administration seeks to weaken war crimes law

The Bush administration has drafted amendments to a war crimes law that would eliminate the risk of prosecution for political appointees, CIA officers and former military personnel for humiliating or degrading war prisoners, according to U.S. officials and a copy of the amendments.

July 30, 2006

Kennedy: Roberts and Alito Misled Us

Similarly, Alito had a pattern of ruling against individuals in Fourth Amendment cases -- including a case involving the strip-search of a 10-year-old girl. When questioned, he insisted that one of the judiciary's most important roles "is to stand up and defend the rights of people when they are violated." But Alito cast the deciding vote in Hudson v. Michigan , in which the court decided -- contrary to almost a century of precedent -- that evidence gathered during an unconstitutional search of a suspect's home could be used to convict him.

July 26, 2006

Stephen Hadley: Iraq not about terrorism, about suppressing religious violence

President Bush and national security adviser Stephen Hadley yesterday for the first time publicly acknowledged the momentous shift in the role for U.S. troops in Iraq, from fighting terrorists to trying to suppress religious violence.

July 28, 2006

Bush wants U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts

WASHINGTON - U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill

July 21, 2006
War crimes.

Soldiers Say Ordered to "kill all military age males"

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Four U.S. soldiers accused of murdering suspected insurgents during a raid in Iraq said they were under orders to "kill all military age males," according to sworn statements obtained by The Associated Press.

July 27, 2006

Bush Presidency: Failure Upon Failure

Imagine a surgeon who is completely clueless, who has no idea what he or she is doing.

Imagine a pilot who is equally incompetent.

Now imagine a president.

The Middle East is in flames. Iraq has become a charnel house, a crucible of horror with no end to the agony in sight. Lebanon is in danger of going down for the count. And the crazies in Iran, empowered by the actions of their enemies, are salivating like vultures. They can't wait to feast on the remains of U.S. policies and tactics spawned by a sophomoric neoconservative fantasy — that democracy imposed at gunpoint in Iraq would spread peace and freedom, like the flowers of spring, throughout the Middle East.

July 28, 2006

U.S. under fire for secret prisons

GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- The U.S. should immediately shut down any secret detention facilities and grant prompt access to the Red Cross to any person detained in connection with an armed conflict, a U.N. rights panel said in a report released Friday.

May 28, 2006

Cheney aide Addington is architect of illegal "signing statements"

The officials said Cheney's legal adviser and chief of staff, David Addington, is the Bush administration's leading architect of the "signing statements" the president has appended to more than 750 laws. The statements assert the president's right to ignore the laws because they conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution.

July 25, 2006

American Bar Association: Bush signing statements violate constitution

President George Bush's practice of writing exceptions to legislation as he signs it into law represents a violation of the constitution and a danger to democracy, America's leading lawyers alleged yesterday.

July 20, 2006

Lawmakers Chide Bush Over F-16 Sale

(AP) Lawmakers accused the Bush administration Thursday of rushing a sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying Congress' role in approving arms sales had been compromised. Opponents acknowledged they could do little stop the $5 billion deal.

Democrats and Republicans lashed out at the State Department for giving them only 30 days to consider the deal; that period runs out next week. The administration, they say, failed to provide a traditional extra 20 days.

July 18, 2006

Bush blocked Justice Dept. review of spy program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) President Bush prevented an investigation earlier this year by Justice Department ethics lawyers of his warrantless domestic spying program, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified on Tuesday.

July 19, 2006

Student protests on a database tracking foreign terrorism

A federal Department of Homeland Security agent passed along information about student protests against military recruiters at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, landing the demonstrations on a database tracking foreign terrorism, according to government documents released Tuesday.

July 12, 2006

Justice Department Lawyer To Congress: 'The President Is Always Right'

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday heard testimony from Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department's office of legal counsel. When questioned by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on whether the President's interpretation of the Hamdan case was right or wrong, Bradbury replied, "The President is always right."

July 12, 2006

Bush grants some rights to Guantanamo POWs

Defense and Justice Department lawyers stressed that the prisoners in military custody were not being granted prisoner-or-war status. Such status would entitle them to trials under rules similar to military courts martial with rules on evidence and access to counsel.

The lawyers also said the new rules did not apply to the few dozen high-profile prisoners, such as alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who are being held by the CIA at secret locations.

July 12, 2006

Novak confirms Rove was one of sources in outing CIA agent

In his latest syndicated column released Wednesday, columnist Robert Novak revealed his side of the story in the Plame affair, saying Mr. Rove was a confirming source for Mr. Novak's story outing the CIA officer, underscoring Mr. Rove's role in a leak President George W. Bush once promised to punish.

July 7, 2006

Secret Service Sued Over Anti-Bush Protest

The class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court contends that police acting on orders from the Secret Service used unreasonable force to move some 200 people peacefully protesting against the Iraq war in Jacksonville while allowing pro-Bush demonstrators to remain standing on sidewalks.

July 9, 2006

Congressman: failure to disclose the intelligence activities to Congress may be a violation of the law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration was running several intelligence programs, including one major activity, that it kept secret from Congress until whistle-blowers told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, the committee's chairman said on Sunday.

July 3, 2006

Spy Agency Sought U.S. Call Records Before 9/11

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. National Security Agency asked AT&T Inc. to help it set up a domestic call monitoring site seven months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, lawyers claimed June 23 in court papers filed in New York federal court.

The allegation is part of a court filing adding AT&T, the nation's largest telephone company, as a defendant in a breach of privacy case filed earlier this month on behalf of Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. customers. The suit alleges that the three carriers, the NSA and President George W. Bush violated the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and the U.S. Constitution, and seeks money damages.

June 30, 2006

Top falsehoods about NY Times Bush bank-tracking program

Falsehood: Times article tipped off terrorists to U.S. bank-tracking efforts.

June 20, 2006

Tanker Inquiry Finds Rumsfeld Was Clueless

The topic was the largest defense procurement scandal in recent decades, and the two investigators for the Pentagon's inspector general in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office on April 1, 2005, asked the secretary to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth.

June 25, 2006

The plot to topple Chicago's Sears Tower was not all that it seemed

When the dust had settled barely 24 hours later, a rather more modest version of events had emerged. The seven young black men arrested at a warehouse in Miami and Atlanta had never been in touch with al-Qa'ida, and had no explosives. Their "plan" to destroy America's tallest building was little more than wishful thinking, expressed by one of them to an FBI informant purporting to be a member of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organisation.

June 14, 2006

Journalists ordered out of Guantánamo

Journalists have been ordered to leave Guantánamo Bay and local military authorities have had their permission to invite reporters to the base overruled following last week's suicides at the US detention camp.

June 13, 2006

EPA Rule Loosened After Oil Chief's Letter to Rove

Environmentalists pointed to the Rove correspondence as evidence that the Bush White House, more than others, has mixed politics with policy decisions that are traditionally left to scientists and career regulators. At the time, Rove oversaw the White House political office and was directing strategy for the 2002 midterm elections.

June 16, 2006

Inquiry Finds Use of Abusive Interrogation Techniques in Iraq

WASHINGTON, June 16 — American Special Operations soldiers employed a set of harsh, unauthorized interrogation techniques against detainees in Iraq during a four-month period in early 2004, long after approval for their use was rescinded, according to a Pentagon inquiry released today.

June 11, 2006

Guantanamo Suicide not on military list

According to state-run SPA news agency, Saudi Interior Ministry announced the Guantanamo detainees that committed suicide were Manii Shaman al Utaybi (not on list) and Yaser Talal al Zahrani.

June 7, 2006

Senate Won't Ask Phone Companies About Illegal Spying

The United States Senate is backing away from plans to ask the heads of major telecommunications companies to testify about the National Security Agency's domestic spying program. Verizon, BellSouth and AT&T were accused in a USA Today report last month of sharing customer data with the NSA.

June 7, 2006

Specter: Cheney interfering with investigation

WASHINGTON — In an unusually pointed letter, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accused Vice President Dick Cheney of interfering with his panel's attempts to examine the National Security Agency's use of private phone records.

June 7, 2006

Europe played active or passive role in secret CIA flights

Poland and Romania were cited on the running of secret detention centres; Germany, Turkey, Spain and Cyprus for being "staging points" for flights; Ireland, Britain, Portugal, Greece and Italy for being "stopovers."

June 4, 2006

Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.

May 29, 2006

Bush 'Planted Fake News Stories on American TV'

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies' products.

May 28, 2006

Bush Administration Wants Spy Lawsuits Dismissed

NEW YORK — The Bush administration has asked federal judges in New York and Michigan to dismiss a pair of lawsuits filed over the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, saying litigating them would jeopardize state secrets.

May 27, 2006

More than 60 children have been held at Guantanamo Bay

LONDON (AFP) - More than 60 minors, some as young as 14, have been held as prisoners at the US detention facility for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a London-based human rights group claimed in a report published.

Those detainees were under 18 when they were captured by US forces, and at least 10 of them still being held at Guantanamo were 14 or 15 when they were seized, held in solitary confinement, subject to repeated interrogation and allegedly tortured, the charity Reprieve was reported as saying.

May 28, 2006

The Shame Of Kilo Company - murder and coverup of 24 Iraqi civilians deaths

But one morning last November, some members of Kilo Company apparently didn't attempt to distinguish between enemies and innocents. Instead, they seem to have gone on the worst rampage by U.S. service members in the Iraq war, killing as many as 24 civilians in cold blood. The details of what happened in Haditha were first disclosed in March by TIME's Tim McGirk and Aparisim Ghosh, and their reporting prompted the military to launch an inquiry into the civilian deaths. The darkest suspicions about the killings were confirmed last week, when members of Congress who were briefed on the two ongoing military investigations disclosed that at least some members of a Marine unit may soon be charged in connection with the deaths of the Iraqis--and that the charges may include murder, which carries the death penalty. "This was a small number of Marines who fired directly on civilians and killed them," said Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican and former Marine who was briefed two weeks ago by Marine Corps officials. "This is going to be an ugly story."

May 28, 2006

Raid Was Tipping Point For an Angry Congress

When President Bush set up his own new military justice system for detainees, or invited industry lobbyists to secretly help shape energy policy, or declared he would ignore bills he signed into law if he deemed them out of bounds, Congress stepped aside.

May 26, 2006

Iraq Civilian Deaths Unjustified

WASHINGTON May 26, 2006 (AP)— Investigators believe that their criminal investigation into the deaths of about two dozen Iraqi civilians points toward a conclusion that Marines committed unprovoked murders, a senior defense official said Friday.

May 25, 2006

White House Leak to ABC Meant to Intimidate Speaker of the House

On Thursday, Hastert accused the Justice Department of trying to intimidate him after ABC News quoted unnamed top law enforcement officials as saying Wednesday the speaker was being investigated in a broad influence-peddling probe centered on convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

May 25, 2006

General urged use of dogs at Abu Ghraib

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, former head of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, was sent to Iraq to try to improve information gathering as the insurgency intensified after the March 2003 invasion.

The former commander of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay urged the use of dogs to the "maximum extent possible" to control detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

May 23, 2006

Government keeps info from defense lawyers in terror cases

Government lawyers are refusing to allow defense attorneys in terrorism-related cases to see court filings on whether warrantless surveillance was used to obtain information against their clients, defense attorneys said.

The legal disputes represent a new obstacle for defense attorneys in terrorism cases as the legality of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs is challenged in U.S. courtrooms.

May 23, 2006

FCC chief says won't probe NSA call program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission will not pursue complaints about a U.S. spy agency's access to millions of telephone records because it cannot obtain classified material, the FCC chairman said in a letter released on Tuesday.

May 23, 2006

Intelligence Czar Can Waive SEC Rules

President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations. Notice of the development came in a brief entry in the Federal Register, dated May 5, 2006, that was opaque to the untrained eye.

May 24, 2006

Did the Saturday Night Raid of Congress Trample the Constitution?

Historians say the search was the first of its kind in Congress' 219-year history. Reaction has crossed party lines and brought in all three branches of government.

May 23, 2006,

Guantanamo, Target of World Criticism, Seems Set for Long Life

Guantanamo presents the Bush administration with a military and legal quandary. The war-crimes trials the military plans to hold for some detainees may be halted by the U.S. Supreme Court, while the release of other prisoners is being stymied by concern that they may be tortured by their governments or resume terrorist activities.

"No one would like to shut down Guantanamo more than this administration," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on May 21. The problem, she said, is what to do "with the hundreds of dangerous people there who were caught on the battlefield, who are known to have connections, who regularly say that, if they're released, they're going to go back to killing Americans."

January 13, 2006

John Dean: The Problem with Presidential Signing Statements

By Cooper's count, George W. Bush issued 23 signing statements in 2001; 34 statements in 2002, raising 168 constitutional objections; 27 statements in 2003, raising 142 constitutional challenges, and 23 statements in 2004, raising 175 constitutional criticisms. In total, during his first term Bush raised a remarkable 505 constitutional challenges to various provisions of legislation that became law.

May 22, 2006

AT&T Whistle-Blower Mark Klein

I wrote the following document in 2004 when it became clear to me that AT&T, at the behest of the National Security Agency, had illegally installed secret computer gear designed to spy on internet traffic. At the time I thought this was an outgrowth of the notorious Total Information Awareness program, which was attacked by defenders of civil liberties. But now it's been revealed by The New York Times that the spying program is vastly bigger and was directly authorized by President Bush, as he himself has now admitted, in flagrant violation of specific statutes and constitutional protections for civil liberties. I am presenting this information to facilitate the dismantling of this dangerous Orwellian project.

May 17, 2006

Court Was Briefed on Surveillance, but, Did Not Consent

Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said that at least two of the chief judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been informed since 2001 of White House-approved National Security Agency monitoring operations.

Asked if the judges somehow approved the operations, Hatch said, "That is not their position, but they were informed."

May 19, 2006

German to fight on after CIA torture lawsuit fails

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man who says he was abducted and tortured by the CIA will consider taking his case to a higher court after a U.S. district judge dismissed it on national security grounds, his lawyer said on Friday.

In a case that has sparked fierce criticism of U.S. methods in the "war on terror", Masri says he was flown by the Central Intelligence Agency from Macedonia to Afghanistan in 2004 and jailed for months as a terrorist suspect before being freed without charge and dumped in Albania.

Gnjidic said the judge's decision that U.S. national security took precedence over Masri's interests effectively granted a license to the CIA to act outside the law.

May 18, 2006

UN Committee against Torture: Shut down Guantanamo Bay

It was blunt about the Guantanamo Bay camp: "The state party should cease to detain any person at Guantanamo Bay and close the detention facility."

Prisoners there should be given access to a "judicial process" or released, and not sent anywhere they could face torture.

It also said that the United States should not send any prisoner to any state where they could be tortured, a reference to the practice of "rendering" suspects, often secretly, from one country to another.

It called for any secret detention camps to be disclosed.

May 17, 2006

Haditha Massacre - Murtha Speaks Out

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon probe into the death of Iraqi civilians last November in the Iraqi city of Haditha will show that U.S. Marines "killed innocent civilians in cold blood," a U.S. lawmaker said Wednesday.

From the beginning, Iraqis in the town of Haditha said U.S. Marines deliberately killed 15 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including seven women and three children.

May 18, 2006

US 'to circumvent Geneva Conventions

A law passed by Congress in December bans the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in US custody anywhere in the world. It also limits US military interrogators to procedures and techniques spelled out in the army field manual.

April 25, 2006, posted May 16, 2006

Tice Letter to Warner - Whistleblower Act

Under the provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act
(ICWPA) and in the absence of an official response from the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence (SSCI), I intend to report to the Armed Services Committee probable unlawful
and unconstitutional acts conducted while I was an intelligence officer with the National
Security Agency (NSA) and with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).

May 14, 2006

Mary O. McCarthy Says CIA Lied to Congress

That CIA officer was Mary O. McCarthy, 61, who was fired on April 20 for allegedly sharing classified information with journalists, including Washington Post journalist Dana Priest. A CIA employee of two decades, McCarthy became convinced that "CIA people had lied" in that briefing, as one of her friends said later, not only because the agency had conducted abusive interrogations but also because its policies authorized treatment that she considered cruel, inhumane or degrading.

May 11, 2006

Gathering phone data could be illegal

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government's secret collection of Americans' phone records may not breach the Fourth Amendment's privacy guarantee, legal analysts said Thursday, but it could violate federal surveillance and telecommunication laws.

More broadly, USA TODAY's report about the National Security Agency's deal with three major phone companies fed a debate over whether the Bush administration is going too far — and setting dangerous precedents — in trying to protect the nation from terrorism.

"This may well be another example where the Bush administration, in secret, decided to bypass the courts and contravene federal law," said Georgetown University law professor David Cole.

May 6, 2006

Bush Says He Tried to Avoid War Diplomatically

NEW YORK President Bush today said he had tried to avoid war with Iraq "diplomatically to the max."

May 5, 2006

Minority contractors seeking government contracts must support Bush

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

December 7, 2005, posted May 9, 2006

Rendition: Tales of torture

The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has defended the US against allegations that it ran a network of "ghost flights" and secret prisons around the world where terror suspects could be interrogated with little concern for international law.

The BBC News website profiles some of the detainees who say they were victims of the US' secret "extraordinary rendition" policy.

May 3, 2006

Key Bush judge under ethics cloud

May 3, 2006 | Key Democrats denounced Terrence Boyle on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, after a Salon report revealed that the controversial judge, nominated to one of the nation's highest courts by President Bush, violated federal law on conflicts of interest. As the debate over Boyle heated up, the White House acknowledged that Boyle should have recused himself in cases involving companies in which he owned stock -- but continued its support of the nominee.

Leahy called it "chutzpah beyond all understanding" that Boyle, in one case, bought stock in General Electric while presiding over a lawsuit against the company -- and just two months later threw out most of a disability claim against the company. "Now, in the first year of law school you might get an example like this because it is so clear-cut and easy to understand," Leahy said. "This is amazing -- amazing -- notwithstanding all the other conflicts of interest he had in other cases. Whether or not it turns out that Judge Boyle broke federal law or canons of judicial ethics, these types of conflicts of interest have no place on the federal bench."

May 4, 2006

Senator Specter questions bypassing of law

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing the White House of a "very blatant encroachment" on congressional authority, said yesterday he will hold an oversight hearing into President Bush's assertion that he has the power to bypass more than 750 laws enacted over the past five years.

May 3, 2006

Key Bush judge under ethics cloud

May 3, 2006 | Key Democrats denounced Terrence Boyle on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, after a Salon report revealed that the controversial judge, nominated to one of the nation's highest courts by President Bush, violated federal law on conflicts of interest. As the debate over Boyle heated up, the White House acknowledged that Boyle should have recused himself in cases involving companies in which he owned stock -- but continued its support of the nominee.

May 3, 2006

Secret Service records of Abramoff visits to White House will be incomplete

WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday the list the Secret Service has been ordered to release concerning convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff's contacts with the Bush administration will be incomplete.

But spokesman Scott McClellan declined to say what is wrong with the Secret Service list, why it is inaccurate and whether it includes far fewer meetings than took place.

May 03, 2006

Group Says U.S. Hasn't Stopped Torture

May 03,2006 | LONDON -- The United States has failed to eradicate "widespread" torture of prisoners in its war on terrorism despite the international outcry over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal and abusive behavior at U.S. detention facilities in Cuba and Afghanistan, Amnesty International charged Wednesday.

May 1, 2006

FBI sought information on 3,501 people last year without a court's approval

WASHINGTON — The FBI secretly sought information last year on 3,501 U.S. citizens and legal residents from their banks and credit-card, telephone and Internet companies without a court's approval, the Justice Department said on April 28.

It was the first time the Bush administration had publicly disclosed how often it has used the administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter, which allows the executive branch of government to obtain records about people in terrorism and espionage investigations without a judge's approval or a grand jury subpoena.

May 1, 2006

Iraq Inspector Says Rebuilding Lags as Handover Deadline Nears

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is running out of money and hundreds of projects are at risk of going unfinished as the year end deadline approaches for handing off most of the work to the Iraqis, according to the U.S. inspector overseeing the effort.

The rebuilding has been beset by mismanagement, corruption and crime as well as insurgent attacks and sectarian violence, Inspector General Stuart Bowen said in a report to Congress today.

April 29, 2006

20 of 150 Health Clinics Finished

WASHINGTON — Parsons Corp., the Pasadena engineering firm that won one of the largest rebuilding contracts in postwar Iraq, fell dramatically short of a number of goals, according to interviews and documents that cite shoddy work and negligent government oversight.

April 28, 2006

U.S. Steps Into Wiretap Suit Against AT&T

The class-action suit, which seeks an end to the collaboration it alleges, is based in part on the testimony of Mark Klein, a retired technician for the company who says Internet data passing through an AT&T switching center in San Francisco is being diverted to a secret room. There, Mr. Klein says, the security agency has installed powerful computers to eavesdrop without warrants on the digital data and forward the information to an undisclosed place.

April 30, 2006

Bush challenges hundreds of laws

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty "to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to "execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

April 23, 2006

A Spy Speaks Out - Bush Knew Intelligence Was Bad.

"He told us that they had no active weapons of mass destruction program," says Drumheller.

"So in the fall of 2002, before going to war, we had it on good authority from a source within Saddam's inner circle that he didn't have an active program for weapons of mass destruction?" Bradley asked.

"Yes," Drumheller replied. He says there was doubt in his mind at all.

"It directly contradicts, though, what the president and his staff were telling us," Bradley remarked.

April 24, 2006

Retired chief justice for third circuit says Rumsfeld shows 'disregard' for military law

"The recent disclosure of testimony from the Army Inspector General's 391-page report from December 2005 indicates that Secretary Rumsfeld had far more knowledge of and responsibility for degrading and abusive treatment of my client than he previously acknowledged. The Army's own reports reveal a Defense Secretary showing a disturbing disregard for military law.

"As a retired judge, a lawyer and a veteran, I have the utmost respect for our country's laws and our commitment to civilian control of the military. Those obligations are consistent with an honest public debate about our country's leadership and U.S. policy."

April 22, 2006

Rice Allegedly Leaked Defense Info

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaked national defense information to a pro-Israel lobbyist in the same manner that landed a lower-level Pentagon official a 12-year prison sentence, the lobbyist's lawyer said Friday.

The allegations against Rice came as a federal judge granted a defense request to issue subpoenas sought by the defense for Rice and three other government officials in the trial of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. The two are former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who are charged with receiving and disclosing national defense information.

April 22, 2006

White House knew there were no WMD

The CIA had evidence Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction six months before the 2003 US-led invasion but was ignored by a White House intent on ousting Saddam Hussein, a former senior CIA official said, according to CBS.

April 20, 2006

US reveals names of Guantánamo detainees

The US government has released its first official list of detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

The list of 558 people comprises three-quarters of the total number of detainees who have passed through the camp, which was set up in 2002 after the end of the war in Afghanistan.

April 18, 2006

UN torture panel presses US on detainees

GENEVA - The United Nations committee against torture has demanded that the United States provide more information about its treatment of prisoners at home and foreign terrorism suspects held in Iraq , Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

In questions submitted to Washington, the panel also sought information about secret detention facilities and specifically whether the United States assumed responsibility for alleged acts of torture in them, U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

April 14, 2006

What Rumsfeld knew about torture

According to Hill's account of that call, Miller advised that the harsh interrogation of Kahtani should continue, using the techniques Rumsfeld had previously approved. "We think we're right on the verge of making a breakthrough," Hill remembered Miller saying. Hill said he called Rumsfeld back with the news. "The secretary said, 'Fine,'" Hill remembered.

Nonetheless, several days later Rumsfeld revoked the harsher interrogation methods, apparently responding to military lawyers who had raised concerns that they may constitute cruel and unusual punishment or torture.

April 12, 2006

A clear pattern of deception

If we are to believe White House spokesman Scott McClellan, President Bush authorized the disclosure of selected classified intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs to certain reporters because "it was in the public interest."

April 11, 2006

Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House

WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 — as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.

April 11, 2006

Pentagon admits to surveillance of gay groups

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network has released documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act from the Department of Defense, which confirm the military's surveillance of organizations working to repeal the Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy, PageOneQ has learned.

April 10, 2006

Bush declassified to hurt Wilson

WASHINGTON, April 9 — A senior administration official confirmed for the first time on Sunday that President Bush had ordered the declassification of parts of a prewar intelligence report on Iraq in an effort to rebut critics who said the administration had exaggerated the nuclear threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

April 9, 2006

Iraq Findings Leaked by Cheney's Aide Were Disputed

WASHINGTON, April 8 — President Bush's apparent order authorizing a senior White House official to reveal to a reporter previously classified intelligence about Saddam Hussein's efforts to obtain uranium came as the information was already being discredited by several other officials in the administration, interviews and documents from the time show.

April 9, 2006

Impeachment clock moved several minutes closer to midnight

The national impeachment clock moved several minutes closer to midnight this week, with word from special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's Plamegate investigation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's leaking of classified information to New York Times reporter Judy Miller and other journalists was approved by President George Bush himself.

What makes this latest revelation important is that if Libby's claim is correct, it means the president has lied about his role, both to Fitzgerald's federal investigators, and to the American people. The former act--lying to a federal agent--could be a federal crime even though the president was not under oath. The latter--lying to the American people--was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee as in the case of President Richard Nixon, and was one of the counts approved by the full House of Representatives against President Bill Clinton. While not a statutory crime, Congress has long held that lying to the public can be a "high crime" meriting of impeachment under the Constitution.

April 6, 2006
If Bush declassified this intelligence, then there was no leak. So why did he lie?

Bush Authorized Leak

Dick Cheney authorized Cheney's top aide to launch a counterattack of leaks against administration critics on Iraq by feeding intelligence information to reporters, according to court papers citing the aide's testimony in the CIA leak case.

April 7, 2006

White House won't rule out domestic spying

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told lawmakers Thursday that warrantless spying on purely domestic phone calls between Americans on U.S. soil is an option in the war against terror.

"I'm not going to rule it out," he said in a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.

April 6, 2006

Chairman Criticized Gonzales for 'Stonewalling'

WASHINGTON — The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee pointedly criticized Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Thursday for "stonewalling" by refusing to answer questions about the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program.

April 4, 2006

Amnesty report claims CIA used private flights to hide terror rendition

The report includes a lengthy account drawn upon the only public testimony of detainees held at "black sites," that of three Yemeni nationals who "disappeared" in U.S. custody for more than eighteen months but were never charged with any terrorism-related offenders.

"During their 'disappearance,' the three men were kept in at least four different secret facilities, likely to have been in at least three different countries, judging by the length of their transfer flights and other information they have been able to provide," the report states. "Although not conclusive, the evidence suggests that they were held at various times in Djibouti, Afghanistan and Eastern Europe."

April 2, 2006

CIA wanted informers. Held Three Arabs since Nov. 2002

When they arrived on Nov. 8, they were detained by Gambian and U.S. intelligence operatives, who interrogated them again, this time for a month, British and U.S. documents show. Then two of the men, Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna, disappeared into the netherworld of the U.S. government's battle against terrorism, taken first to a prison in Afghanistan, then to the Naval detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The primary purpose of this elaborate operation, documents and interviews suggest, was not to neutralize a pair of potential terrorists -- authorities have offered no evidence that they were planning attacks -- but to turn them into informers.

April 5, 2006

15-year old Canadian, one of only 10 so-called terrorists charged

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE, Cuba (Reuters) - A Canadian teen charged with killing a U.S. Army medic in Afghanistan told a Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on Wednesday that he was being unfairly punished and would no longer participate.

April 9, 2006


In ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH, the experts at one of our nation's leading institutions of constitutional scholarship, the Center for Constitutional Rights, set out the legal arguments for impeachment in a clear, concise, and objective discussion. In four separate articles of impeachment detailing four separate charges –warrantless surveillance, misleading Congress on the reasons for the Iraq war, violating laws against torture, and subverting the Constitution's separation of powers – it is, say the CCR attorneys, a case of black letter law, with abundant evidence.

April 3, 2006

9/11 Detainees in New Jersey Say They Were Abused With Dogs

Until now, lawsuits brought by former detainees against top American officials have focused attention on the maximum security unit of a federal detention center in Brooklyn where the Justice Department's inspector general found widespread abuse. But today in Toronto, as Mr. Sachdeva, a Canadian citizen born in India, gives his first deposition for the class-action lawsuit, the spotlight will shift to the New Jersey jail.

April 2, 2006

Nonpartisan science

Griffin termed as "unfortunate" the action by former NASA public information officer George Deutsch, who attempted to prevent a National Public Radio reporter from interviewing Hansen about global warming. According to a colleague, Deutsch explained that NPR was the most liberal media outlet in the United States, and his job was to make President Bush look good. The Bush administration has downplayed the threat associated with climate change.

March 29, 2006

Judges on Secretive Panel Speak Out on Spy Program - it's illegal

WASHINGTON, March 28 — Five former judges on the nation's most secretive court, including one who resigned in apparent protest over President Bush's domestic eavesdropping, urged Congress on Tuesday to give the court a formal role in overseeing the surveillance program.

March 28, 2006

Halliburton overcharged for Iraq oil work-report

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - Oil services company Halliburton Co. repeatedly overcharged taxpayers and provided substandard cost reports under a $1.2 billion contract to restore Iraq's southern oil fields, according to a new report by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman.

March 28, 2006

Britain 'complicit' in human rights abuses at Camp Delta

Britain has been complicit in the human rights abuses committed by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay prison camp, according to a report released today.

Drawing on exhaustive interviews with detainees and evidence from security services, the dossier gives the complete picture of the British government's co- operation with the US over a camp it now says should be closed.

March 27, 200


25. What is the limiting principle of the President's claimed inherent authority as commander-in-chief? For example, does this interpretation of the law authorize the opening of first-class mail of U.S. citizens under the DOJ's interpretation, and if not, why not?

The Terrorist Surveillance Program intercepts only communications where one party is outside the United States and there is probable cause to believe that at least one party is a member or agent of al Qaeda or an affiliated terrorist organization. The Program does not include the opening of first-class United States mail. 13.

March 2006


9. In a January 6, 2006 letter from Professor Laurence Tribe to Congressman
Conyers, the Professor states that the National Security Agency program "in question, far from being authorized by Congress, flies in the fact of an
explicit congressional prohibition and is therefore unconstitutional without regard to the Fourth Amendment. . . The inevitable conclusion is that the
AUMF did not implicitly authorize what the FISA expressly prohibited. It follows that the presidential program of surveillance at issue here is a separation of powers as grave an abuse of executive authority as I can recall ever having studied."16 Do you agree that FISA "expressly prohibits" the specific activities authorized under this program?

March 27, 2006

Iraq parties demand U.S. cede control

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's ruling parties demanded U.S. forces cede control of security on Monday as the government launched an inquiry into a raid on a Shi'ite mosque that ministers said saw "cold blooded" killings by U.S.-led troops.

March 27, 2006

Bush Was Set on Path to War, British Memo Says

Oval Office on Jan. 31, 2003: "The start date for the military campaign was now penciled in for 10 March."

The timetable came at an important diplomatic moment. Five days after the Bush-Blair meeting, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was scheduled to appear before the United Nations to present the American evidence that Iraq posed a threat to world security by hiding unconventional weapons.

March 27, 2006

Iraqi Police Say U.S.-Led Raid Kills at Least 17 at Shiite Mosque

BAGHDAD — At least 17 Iraqis were killed Sunday night when U.S. and Iraqi special forces stormed a mosque and clashed with Shiite Muslim militiamen, police officials said, further inflaming the country as its leaders struggled to form a new government and stem sectarian violence.

An Iraqi police official said the dead were Shiite worshipers at the Mustafa mosque in northeast Baghdad. State-owned Al Iraqiya television showed more than a dozen male corpses, at least one of them elderly, laid out in what appeared to be a prayer room as a grieving man in white robes stepped among them on a blood-smeared concrete floor.

March 25, 2006
Bush has surrounded himself and filled the courts with corrupt and immoral judges and lawyers. Nothing is sacred to America's Hitler. The letter in this article will be online in a day or two.

Senate hearing set on move to censure Bush

WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency could have legally monitored ordinarily confidential communications between doctors and patients or attorneys and their clients, the Justice Department said Friday of its controversial warrantless surveillance program.

March 22, 2006

Iraqi police report details civilians' deaths at hands of U.S. troops

At 230 of 15/3/2006, according to the telegram (report) of the Ishaqi police directorate, American forces used helicopters to drop troops on the house of Faiz Harat Khalaf situated in the Abu Sifa village of the Ishaqi district. The American forces gathered the family members in one room and executed 11 people, including 5 children, 4 women and 2 men, then they bombed the house, burned three vehicles and killed their animals (map coordinates 098702). (names of the murdered follow).

March 22, 2006

Rewriting The Science

"In my more than three decades in the government I've never witnessed such restrictions on the ability of scientists to communicate with the public."

March 27, 2006 (issue)

DOJ Concedes Warrantless Searches Were Illegal

Martin, who has handled more intelligence-oriented criminal cases than anyone else at the Justice Department, puts the issue in stark terms: "The failure to allow it [information obtained from warrantless surveillance] to be used in court is a concession that it is an illegal surveillance."

March 19, 2006

In Secret 'Black Room,' a Portrait of U.S. Abuse

As the Iraqi insurgency intensified in early 2004, an elite Special Operations forces unit converted one of Saddam Hussein's former military bases near Baghdad into a top-secret detention center. There, American soldiers made one of the former Iraqi government's torture chambers into their own interrogation cell. They named it the Black Room.

March 19, 2006

US took over Saddam's torture chamber

The new account reveals the extent to which the unit members mistreated prisoners months before and after the photographs of abuse from Abu Ghraib were made public in April 2004, and it helps belie the original Pentagon assertions that abuse was confined to a small number of rogue reservists at Abu Ghraib.

March 19, 2006

Corporations Stiffing Government on Fines

When coal firms' violations were blamed for deaths, injuries and risks to miners from Alabama to West Virginia, they were slapped with more than $1.3 million in penalties.

What happened next with these no-nonsense enforcement efforts? Not much. The pipeline tab was eventually reduced by 92 percent, the labs' assessments were waived as soon as they were issued, and the mine penalties largely went unpaid.

March 18, 2006

Court Says Changes By EPA Violated Clean Air Act

A federal appeals court blocked the Bush administration's four-year effort to loosen emission rules for aging coal-fired power plants, unanimously ruling yesterday that the changes violated the Clean Air Act and that only Congress could authorize such revisions.

March 9, 2006

Justice Dept. Cites F.B.I. Wiretapping Violations

In one instance, the F.B.I. received the full content of 181 telephone calls as part of an intelligence investigation, instead of merely the billing and toll records as authorized, the report found. In a handful of cases, it said, the bureau conducted physical searches that had not been properly authorized.

March 2006

Detainee Deaths in U.S. Custody in Iraq and Afghanistan

Despite these numbers, four years since the first known death in U.S. custody, only 12 detainee deaths have resulted in punishment of any kind for any U.S. official. Of the 34 homicide cases so far identified by the military, investigators recommended criminal charges in fewer than two thirds, and charges were actually brought (based on decisions made by command) in less than half. While the CIA has been implicated in several deaths, not one CIA agent has faced a criminal charge. Crucially, among the worst cases in this list – those of detainees tortured to death – only half have resulted in punishment; the steepest sentence for anyone involved in a torture-related death: five months in jail.

March 8, 2006

State Department: Iraqi Police Murder Civilians

"Police abuses included threats, intimidation, beatings, and suspension by the arms or legs, as well as the reported use of electric drills and cords and the application of electric shocks," the State Department said of Iraqi human rights three years after U.S. troops invaded to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

March 4, 2006

Iraq Prison Torture Increases

In a report published on Monday the human rights group suggests that many detainees being held by the US-led multinational force (MNF) are trapped in a system of arbitrary detention with some being held without being charged for more than two years.

March 5, 2006

McCarthyism: Bush attacks whistleblowers

In recent weeks, dozens of employees at the CIA, the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have been interviewed by agents from the FBI's Washington field office, who are investigating possible leaks that led to reports about secret CIA prisons and the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance program, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the two cases.

March 5, 2006

Thousands of Federal Cases Kept Secret

WASHINGTON - Despite the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts over the last three years. Instances of such secrecy more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.

March 5, 2006

Torture of Walid Al-Qadasi Revealed

al-Qadasi says that he remembers almost nothing of the unexpected move. He recalls being given an injection at Guantanamo and then simply waking up in another cell in what turned out to be Yemen. (Other detainees have also spoken of being drugged during transfers.) Once in Yemen, al-Qadasi said, he was "routinely beaten" by guards. Yemeni officials insist al-Qadasi is being held at the request of the United States, an assertion the Pentagon denies. Whatever the case, al-Qadasi has now been sitting in that jail for two years without a lawyer or prospects for a trial.

March 3, 2006

Resolution to Impeach Bush-Cheney Passes 7-3

On Tuesday, February 28, 2006, the City and County of San Francisco became the first large municipality to call for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney, by a 7-3 vote. Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Michela Alioto-Pier, and Sophie Maxwell cast the dissenting votes (Sup. Jake McGoldrick was absent for the vote). Sup. Chris Daly commenced his introduction of Agenda Item 27 with "I initially thought this ... would be a noncontroversial piece of legislation. Perhaps it still is, maybe not-a-unanimous-vote piece of legislation. But if you remember when we took our oath of office we swore to uphold the Constitution."

March 3, 2006

Bush Cites Exception in Torture Ban

Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.

March 1, 2006

Missing Katrina transcripts: Who know what

Congressional investigators say they can't recall seeing a transcript of this Aug. 31 conference call. An administration official said the White House is withholding the Aug. 31 transcript in order to protect the confidentiality of communications between the president and his advisers.

March 2, 2006

Bush Told About Intelligence Problems

The disclosure that Bush was informed of the DOE and State dissents is the first evidence that the president himself knew of the sharp debate within the government over the aluminum tubes during the time that he, Cheney, and other members of the Cabinet were citing the tubes as clear evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program. Neither the president nor the vice president told the public about the disagreement among the agencies.