Thursday, December 13, 2007

The need for the Rule of Law to fight for the Rule of Law

Impeachment Will Trump Executive Privilege

Ted Lang

The arrogance and unrelenting contempt that the Cheney-Bush administration has for the American people and the people’s Congress continuously verified and on public display, has reached exceedingly dangerous levels. The administration’s contempt for Congress and its controlling Democrats is unprecedented in the history of this now rapidly failing experiment in republic-based individual freedom. It is contempt for the very foundation of our societal achievements, a pilgrims’ progress based upon creativeness and industry collectively enjoyed by a nation that formerly depended upon rugged individualism and hard work. It is a contempt that places parasitic bureaucracy and authoritarian government over the rights of individuals that built this nation and made it great. It is a contempt that grows daily and feeds upon itself capitalizing upon the treason and cowardice of the Democratic Party.

The power of Cheney-Bush is magnified not only by the groveling of despicable, treasonous Democrats in Congress, but also by the complacency of a fraudulent and non-existent American press and its highly paid journalistic charlatans. The mainstream press and media have been so incorporated into the arrogance and public contempt displayed by Cheney-Bush for what was once the most revered rule of law of this nation, a rule of law and its former successful implementation that became and was the envy of all other nations, that our government’s self-corrective piloting is fast becoming impossible. Seemingly overnight, after Clinton and especially now with Cheney-Bush, our nation and its people are increasingly hated, despised and feared. We have become the world’s fulcrum of international terror and invasion, horrifically punctuated by the carpet bombings and mass murder and liquidation of entire cities of defenseless, men, women and children.

It should be clear that by now the hatred, contempt and fear the international community once attributed solely to our government leaders, has progressed to where we as a people are the ones now being hated. What of our “checks and balances?” What about our “separation of powers?” What ever happened to our world class ability to correct errant government, never mind a rogue and out-of-control state run by mass murdering genocidal maniacs? Why hasn’t the people’s Congress removed these mass-murdering war criminals from power? Why? Because Democrats do not wish to jeopardize their chances in the 2008 presidential elections! Just think of what Hillary will do with all the unconstitutional and tyrannical “laws” created by Cheney-Bush. Why would any sane American vote for any Democrat ever again?

On Wednesday, December 5th, the American Civil Liberties Union was acting on a filed complaint ordering the release of documents held by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. Now where have we heard of that latter bureaucracy before? Wasn’t it relative to criminal Alberto Gonzales’ illegal firing of US Attorneys? And speaking of that gangster with a law diploma from Harvard, has this guy been charged with any crime yet? There sure are a lot of charges against him to choose from!

According to an ACLU report posted on CommonDreams.org, “ACLU Calls for Release of Three Secret Torture Memos,” the article opens: “The American Civil Liberties Union is in court today calling for the release of three documents issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that are believed to have authorized the CIA to use extremely harsh interrogation methods. The government failed to identify or provide the memos, which were issued in May of 2005, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the ACLU requesting information on U.S. treatment and interrogation of detainees.”

The article continues quoting an ACLU lawyer: “‘This is yet another example of the government’s attempt to bypass legal prohibitions on torture and while engaging in a cover-up of its illegal conduct,’ said Amrit Singh, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. ‘These memos must immediately be released to the public and high level officials must be held accountable for their role in spawning torture and prisoner abuse.’”

The article goes on, “The New York Times disclosed the existence of the first two memos in a front-page article on October 4, 2007. The Times reported that the first memo explicitly authorized interrogators to use combinations of harsh interrogation methods including waterboarding, head slapping, and exposure to freezing temperatures. The second memo, issued by OLC as Congress prepared to enact legislation prohibiting ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,’ declared that none of the CIA’s interrogation methods violated that standard.”

Astonishing!!!

Here are the words of law from the United States Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment - “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” And then there’s the Fifth Amendment: Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings – “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Although the Eighth Amendment specifically forbids cruel and unusual punishment, and those torture methods used by the CIA definitely fall under the description of “cruel and unusual,” it is really the Fifth Amendment that makes the case barring torture from any and all American court proceedings; specifically, testimony based upon even a written confession can be legally thrown out and excluded in a trial if the defendant can show that his confession was obtained under duress. Can any legal scholar dismiss cruel and unusual punishment to obtain information or a confession as not being the most violent form of duress?

Why must Congress now enact a federal statute prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment when this prohibition is already in our Bill of Rights?! Is Congress familiar at all with the United States Constitution that Cheney, Bush and Gonzales have abolished relegating it to just a “goddamned piece of paper?” Is Congress attempting to rewrite the entire Constitution because Cheney-Bush ignore it and Congress is unfamiliar with it? It would seem that not only do we have just “a goddamned piece of paper” for our nation’s rule of law, but also a goddamned stupid, ignorant and treasonous Congress run by stupid, ignorant and treasonous Democrats as well!

“‘Through these memos, the Office of Legal Counsel created a legal framework that was specifically intended to allow the CIA to violate both U.S. and international law,’ said Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU’s National Security Project. ‘It’s clear that these documents are being kept secret not for national security reasons but for political ones.’”

And speaking of The New York Times [nytimes.con] on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, an article was published relating how the CIA deliberately destroyed vital evidence related to the ACLU’s efforts. The article by Mark Mazzetti, “C.I.A. Destroyed 2 Tapes Showing Interrogations,” begins: “The Central Intelligence Agency in 2005 destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogation of two Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody, a step it took in the midst of Congressional and legal scrutiny about its secret detention program, according to current and former government officials.

The videotapes showed agency operatives in 2002 subjecting terrorism suspects — including Abu Zubaydah, the first detainee in C.I.A. custody — to severe interrogation techniques. The tapes were destroyed in part because officers were concerned that video showing harsh interrogation methods could expose agency officials to legal risks, several officials said.”

Now offered, merely as a point of reference, is the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights: Search and Seizure – “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. [Emphasis mine.]

Here’s more from Mazzetti’s report: “In a statement to employees on Thursday, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, said that the decision to destroy the tapes was made ‘within the C.I.A.’ and that they were destroyed to protect the safety of undercover officers and because they no longer had intelligence value.”

This is the same four-star Bush servant who earned [?] both a bachelor and master’s degree in American history from Duquesne University. This is the same Michael Hayden, who at a press dinner was queried by a reporter concerning illegal searches and seizures and who insisted, repeatedly I might add, that the Fourth Amendment DID NOT contain the term “probable cause.” Obviously, just following orders and ignoring that “goddamned piece” of paper has its rewards if you want a position of stature in the Cheney-Bush administration!

Mazzetti continues: “The destruction of the tapes raises questions about whether agency officials withheld information from Congress, the courts and the Sept. 11 commission about aspects of the program. The recordings were not provided to a federal court hearing the case of the terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui or to the Sept. 11 commission, which was appointed by President Bush and Congress, and which had made formal requests to the C.I.A. for transcripts and other documentary evidence taken from interrogations of agency prisoners.

The disclosures about the tapes are likely to reignite the debate over laws that allow the C.I.A. to use interrogation practices more severe than those allowed to other agencies. A Congressional conference committee voted late Wednesday to outlaw those interrogation practices, but the measure has yet to pass the full House and Senate and is likely to face a veto from Mr. Bush.

The New York Times informed the intelligence agency on Wednesday evening that it was preparing to publish an article about the destruction of the tapes. In his statement to employees on Thursday, General Hayden said that the agency had acted ‘in line with the law’ and that he was informing C.I.A. employees ‘because the press has learned’ about the matter.”

I find it rather curious that the same level of concern exemplified by the destruction of these two torture tapes, produced, directed and enjoyed by the CIA goons for their private amusement, isn’t on a par with that used to out and expose CIA supervising operative Valerie Plame while in her capacity investigating claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iran and Iraq. And that is precisely the problem with the one-man-rule of Dick Cheney in this and any other authoritarian rogue state dictatorship – there is no fixed or equally applied standardized rule of law. The law is changed for the convenience of the dictatorship as needed.

Also posted on CommonDreams.com, on Wednesday, December 5th, in a report entitled “Leahy Plans Contempt Vote” by Even Lehmann and originating in The Brattleboro Reformer, it begins: “Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., scheduled a committee vote for Thursday to consider whether four White House officials, including Karl Rove, are in contempt for disobeying Senate subpoenas.

The move comes after the officials failed to respond to Leahy’s demand last week that they immediately provide testimony and documents related to an investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys last year.

The officials had previously failed to obey the subpoenas, which the committee issued last summer.

‘They have still not complied with the subpoenas,’ said Erica Chabot, a spokeswoman for Leahy, who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The Thursday vote accelerates the possibility of a legal collision between the Senate and White House over the president’s claim that the officials are protected by executive privilege.”

“Executive privilege,” huh? And failed to obey subpoenas since last summer? Perhaps Leahy’s committee should wait until after Christmas; that is, NEXT Christmas in 2008!

Can you see this nonsense going on during the time of Nixon, or even for that matter, during the reign of “Slick Willie?” This is absolutely outrageous! Are Leahy and the Democrats even aware that Karl Rove has resigned? And where’s Gonzales? And what about that impending book and the revelations by Scott McClellan? Why haven’t his revelations regarding Rove and Libby in outing Plame been taken seriously and acted upon? And remember how Bush commuted Libby’s sentence.

Constant and continuing “in your face” violations of national law and the flipping off of both Congress and the American people. When will these pompous, arrogant, low-life criminals be held accountable? Here’s a clue!

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Thursday postponed a vote on contempt resolutions against former White House adviser Karl Rove and Chief of Staff Josh Bolten after Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) objected to language in the measures. Committee rules allow for a one-week delay, so the vote will likely take place next Thursday. Committee approval of the resolution would trigger a full Senate vote on the resolutions early next year,” reports Susan Crabtree in her article for The Hill of December 6th entitled “Leahy postpones contempt vote.”

Arlen Specter, the Congressional phantom and ghost of investigations, entered upon his career as a federal investigator for the Warren Commission, then looking into the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was phantom Specter who concocted the ridiculous single bullet theory of that fraudulent cover-up.

Isn’t it just the height of Beltway and MSM convenience that all this CIA dirty laundry is just now hitting the Beltway fan? How convenient for the Beltway Buffoons to have all this marvelous dirt on the rotten CIA! And how convenient to have this all out right after the Monday, December 3rd CIA National Intelligence Estimate exonerating Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Russian President Vladimir Putin and proving again that Cheney-Bush are liars?! The NIE, citing no nukes in Iran, was immediately refuted by Cheney’s stooge Bush and Con-the-Loser Rice! They don’t care what the CIA report presented, because they just know in their hearts that Iran is very, very evil. Iran is most certainly THINKING about acquiring nukes in 2015!

That’s why Cheney and Israel are plotting to bomb them now! Why wait for the smoking gun and the mushroom cloud? And that’s why it’s vital for Cheney-Bush and the MSM to convince US all that we must act now, and not wait for Iran to acquire even just one nuke in 2015! And never mind that Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Traety and Israel did not. Never mind that Israel has somewhere between 200 and 400 nukes, didn’t sign NPT, and has never allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its nuclear activities as Iran has. Israel and Cheney just know Iran is bad and needs a preemptive attack with real nukes to avoid the risk posed by Iran’s thinking about them!

The MSM’s striking contrast of on-demand reporting to defend, apologize and prop up the despicable American dictatorship has now provided for the added secondary distraction in providing delay and stall tactics by redirecting America’s focus away from the NIE. Cheney-Bush will need time to work out a way to start World War III. Russia, China and Pakistan would be fools not to act to stop the world’s now most dangerous rogue nation. Perhaps after the sinking of the Fifth Fleet, they will act against an Iraqi War-weakened America and Israel to save what will be left of humanity.

Of course, the only blame for the American dictatorship’s successful launch of World War III will now rest entirely on the backs of the despicable Democrats who support Cheney-Bush’s need for time to construct the needed agitprop for the war with Iran. Only the Democrats are left to stop Cheney-Bush! Will Democrats act? Will they finally come through for US and impeach Cheney-Bush? Consider their leadership: Pelosi, Reid and Leahy. Pogo was right: “We have met the enemy and they is US!”

Original article posted here.

1 comment:

Alex said...

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?