Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Questions for Diane, June 27, 2008

Former UN ambassador John Bolton told the London Telegraph that Israel will attack Iran after U.S. elections but before Bush Cheney leave office.

Between executive orders and portions of defense spending bills, could the Bush administration claim martial law is necessary if the U.S. attacks Iran? Could that be this administration's "October Surprise"?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bush Administration Losing Control of Media: Fresh Air Breaks Through

Fresh Air Breaks Through With Phillipe Sands - the International Human Rights Lawyer Senate Republicans tried to Silence!

Did you hear NPR’s Fresh Air on Thursday, June 19th

If you did, you heard that for the rest of their lives, those who authorized, ordered and/or assisted with the decision to use the interrogation techniques that have been found to be TORTURE – which means Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and a team of lawyers that includes Addington, Bybee, Haynes, Yoo and more – cannot step outside the United States without being vulnerable to arrest and prosecution for war crimes.

It appears there is accountability beyond Pelosi’s table, with no time limit.

Dave Davies, sitting in for Terry Gross, interviewed Phillipe Sands, international human rights lawyer, British Queen’s Counsel, Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals, Professor of International Law at University College London, and most recently author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.

This was a lot more than a "driveway moment."

After a review of the evidence of Torture, particularly in relationship to Mohammed al-Qahtani, often referred to as 911's 20th highjacker, Sands used the example of Augusto Pinochet’s arrest in London decades after his reign of terror in Chile as the precedent for the detention of former heads of state.

He explained to Davies that these interrogation techniques fall within a universal jurisdiction of international crimes against humanity which any country has an OBLIGATION TO PROSECUTE if a person who was complicit in authorizing or ordering the crime to be committed shows up in that country – OR to EXTRADITE for such prosecution – even decades later – and that any immunity or pardoning that Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, and their lawyers are currently trying to put in place will have absolutely no affect in the rest of the world.

Can we hear this? Bush/Cheney, and so many on their teams, cannot travel abroad without the possibility of being arrested – for the rest of their lives.

Hear that? It’s the truth busting through.

You should also know that Sands testified before the House Judiciary Committee on May 6 and the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 10th. Republican Senator Thad Cochran made an obnoxious attempt to shut down that Senate Hearing, but failed.

This is billions of points for our side, the side of knowing the truth.

And so we point it out. . .


Archie commented: Isn't it wonderful, as every American knows, that there is absolutely nothing of value to see and do outside the U.S. so why would any of these august gentlemen ever want to leave?

I replied:

So Much for Dubai - Well, it does blow the escape to Dubai, which has no extradition agreement with the U.S., where Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and their law team would have run into Halliburton CEO David J. Lesar, who conveniently and abruptly moved to a new corporate in Dubai in May 2007, just as investigations into Halliburton contracts, accounting and more were ramping up. Without testimony from the CEO, Halliburton remains unaccountable.
And that's the way these guys -- august or slimy -- like it.

See, the more Americans recognize what has occurred, the greater the possibility that we, like many current Republican candidates, seek to distance ourselves from Bush/Cheney and their policies, and define our principles by facilitating justice.

That means indictment for those who have broken laws.

That threat made David Lesar hop a plane.

But Mr. Sands, speaking up and speaking out, may well have grounded that planned plane for the Torture Team.

* * * * * * *

Originally published at June 23, 2008.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Questions for Diane, June 20, 2008

08.0620 - Yesterday, on NPR’s Fresh Air, Philippe Sands, international lawyer, Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals, and author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values, told Dave Davies that the interrogation techniques that the Bush Cheney administration has used, which have by now been well documented to have been torture, fall within a universal jurisdiction of international crimes against humanity which any country has an OBLIGATION TO PROSECUTE if a person who was complicit in authorizing or ordering the crime to be committed shows up in that country – OR to EXTRADITE for such prosecution – even decades later

And that any immunity or pardoning that Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, and their lawyers, try to claim will have no affect in the rest of the world.

So even if Nancy Pelosi ignores the evidence and continues to say that impeachment is off the table, the rest of the world is obligated to hold these people accountable, with no time limit.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Questions for Diane, June 13, 2008

1. Congressman Kucinich’s 35 Articles of Impeachment include the charge of that Mr. Bush "willfully corrupted and manipulated the electoral process of the United States" and failing to protect the civil rights of African-American voters and others" and impeding "the right of the people to vote and have their vote properly and accurately counted, citing, among many issues, the continuing inappropriate purging of voter registration roles, particularly in urban minority areas, and the failure to count provisional ballots.

Meanwhile, Mark Crispin Miller, from NYU, with his new collection of essays, Loser Take All, by various authors, is aggressively speaking out to inform the public about the evidence that our election results are completely at risk.

How do we get the media to investigate and report on this?

* * * * * * *

In his dissent to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision regarding detainees, once again Antonin Scalia has said something that reveals his prioritizing immediate partisan ideology and lack of concern for the broader principles and integrity the Supreme Court should represent. Six weeks ago, in an interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, he revealed the irrational logic he must use to defend torture, nitpicking over the meaning of the word "punishment".

Given his increasingly anti-Justice stance – and the premise that the Supreme Court is untouchable, is there no way to keep these people accountable to higher principles?

* * * * * * *
What must we do to stop Bush and Cheney from attacking Iran? We cannot assume that an air strike will not lead to other country's responding against the U.S. for its ongoing bullying.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Shining the Blues -- With Diligence

It is actually more possible than ever before for this kind of whole-nation response.

All that is needed is:

1. Thorough reporting on the hypocrisy, lies, and damages of this Republican Bush Cheney administration, and how the same people and entities are working to put McBush, er, McCain in the front-man position (and crushing any of the maverick tendencies that once gave him credibility).

2. Diligent attention to make sure that all eligible voters are allowed to vote and that their votes are counted. This means that we not only need to make sure voters are registered AND that there are frequent checks in every state to make sure that voter registration lists include all new registrations and that no names are removed without documented evidence that the voter is no longer a legal voter in that precinct.

It's that simple. If the people know the truth about who has taken over the Republican party, and how they have thwarted the principles Americans believe make this country great -- and the election results reflect the choice of the majority of this informed citizenry. . .
All 50 states will shine BLUE next November.
So, now we know our job, right?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday Questions for Diane, June 6, 2008

Regarding Senator Clinton as Obama’s veep, I would like to shine a light on the McCain campaign’s hiring of Timothy Griffin. Mr. Griffin was one of those chosen to replace the fired U.S. Attorneys – he was the one known as “Karl Rove’s assistant” and he was specifically put in Arkansas, the better to dig up Clinton dirt. He also resigned suddenly on the day investigative reporter Greg Palast turned over Griffin’s emails from the RNC full of voter caging lists to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr.
Isn’t it clear that Rove is drooling over the concept of Clinton ruining the Obama ticket?

Here's someone who could further energize Obama's ticket and would fit in perfectly with his announced intention to not accept lobbyist money: ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR.

That would be a powerful and deeply satisfying Democratic ticket.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bobby, we hardly knew you. . .

“Our brave young men are dying in the swamps of Southeast Asia.

Which of them might have written a poem?

Which of them might have cured cancer?
Which of them might have played a World Series, or given us the gift of laughter from the stage, or helped build a bridge or a university?

Which of them could have taught a child to read?

It is our responsibility to let these men live . . . It is indecent if they die because of the empty vanity of their country.”
Robert F. Kennedy

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

June 3, 2008 - A Change We Can Celebrate

Questions for Diane's Guest, David Iglesias

It was just a year ago that American BBC reporter Greg Palast handed over to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. copies of emailed voter caging lists sent by Timothy Griffin at the RNC. On that same day, Mr. Griffin suddenly resigned as the replacement U.S. Attorney in Arkansas. Would you please explain to the audience the significance of this, especially since the U.S. press failed to report the story. Also, are you aware that Mr. Griffin recently joined Senator McCain’s team?

(Also, would you please encourage Diane to break down the wall that keeps Greg Palast’s award-winning reporting away from the Americans who need to hear it?)

* * *

The White House is so defiant on the U.S. Attorney scandal. Is it because it has been caught in the cookie jar of election theft? Wouldn’t that take the wind out of the claimed Bush foreign policy goal of "spreading democracy"?