Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General

19
May
09

Racial Profiling – Action Required

racial_profiling

icon_digg A number of social issues presented in both the Primary’s and General Election have been reviewed by our current Obama Administration; with some being overturned by the administration while others have been set aside and left as is.

One issue addressed recently by Attorney General Eric Holder and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), during Holder’s Confirmation Hearing, was that of “Racial Profiling”, which is a centralized issue I strongly disagree with and was condoned by, adhered to and practiced under the Bush White House approval and implemented throughout the Department of Justice.

We as Americans know it has existed for some time and have either seen it practiced or read about profiling during sometime in our lives.  We see it in local law enforcement agencies (traffic checks) to unwarranted data mining searches by our federal government.

As previously stated I disagree with this policy of categorizing groups of society by placing emphasis on associations or beliefs.  It was encouraging last fall to read a News Brief by the ACLU, entitled “Holder’s Statement Marks Clean Break With Bush Administration”, which in part:

In October, the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern over controversial changes made to FBI internal guidelines governing investigations that allow agents to use intrusive measures without evidence of wrongdoing. These changes, which went into effect in December, opened the door to racial profiling. In fact, FBI agents are now able to use these same intrusive techniques to investigate potential participants in public demonstrations.

The following can be attributed to Mike German, ACLU Policy Counsel and former FBI agent:

“Attorney General Holder’s statement set a new tone that racial profiling is unacceptable in all situations. The Bush administration had lowered the bar by allowing the use of race and religion as factors in national security and border integrity investigations. Holder sent a clear signal today that the FBI guidelines for investigations need to be redrafted. It makes no sense to use an ineffective law enforcement tool in our most important investigations.”

The following can be attributed to Jennifer Bellamy, ACLU Legislative Counsel:

“Attorney General Holder’s remarks on racial profiling should shut the door on the Bush administration’s use of race and ethnicity in the name of homeland security. Now it is time for Congress to follow the example of the top law enforcement officer and pass the End Racial Profiling Act.”

An excellent article, again by the ACLU, well worth reviewing is entitled “2004 DHS Program Used Racial And Ethnic Profiling” where the following is stated:

In 2001, President Bush declared that racial profiling was “wrong” and that he would “end it in America.”In 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, “Using race… as a proxy for potential criminal behavior is unconstitutional, and it undermines law enforcement by undermining the confidence that people can have in law enforcement,” and his Justice Department banned racial profiling by federal law enforcement in 2003. That ban, however, came with an exemption for national security investigations. Today’s New York Times article shows how DHS drove a truck through that loophole just one year later.

“Despite President Bush’s vow to end racial profiling, his administration embraced it,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “This program confirms that racial and ethnic profiling are not only wrong, but they don’t work. The time and resources spent by DHS rounding up, interrogating and investigating innocent American immigrants could have been spent dealing with actual threats to our country.”

Again, recently, we have seen campaign commitments reviewed and some recanted, I sincerely hope both our President and Attorney General will hold true to their promises of eliminating the usage of racial profiling.

Additional articles on Profiling:

Online News Service: Racism in Journalism

Talk – King Downing – Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work

Talk by King Downing National Coordinator of the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling on “Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work”

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18
May
09

The Torturous 13

DS002449

The following thirteen Bush Administration officials and advisors have been deemed those most responsible for advocating torture; according to Marcy Wheeler writing for Salon.com, in an article entitled: “The 13 people who made torture possible”  This article is excellently authored with respected references, clarity and thoroughness.

Personally, I believe we all are of the understanding that more culprits are involved, other than just those mentioned, but this is a very good “top – down” list of candidates that I feel should be made to answer for their involvement in front of our legislative branch of government.

The list of thirteen follows:

1. Dick Cheney, vice president (2001-2009)

Dick Cheney

On the morning of 9/11, after the evacuation of the White House, Dick Cheney summoned his legal counsel, David Addington, to return to work. The two had worked together for years. In the 1980s, when Cheney was a congressman from Wyoming and Addington a staff attorney to another congressman, Cheney and Addington argued that in Iran-Contra, the president could ignore congressional guidance on foreign policy matters. Between 1989 and 1992, when Dick Cheney was the elder George Bush’s secretary of defense, Addington served as his counsel. He and Cheney saved the only known copies of abusive interrogation technique manuals taught at the School of the Americas. Now, on the morning of 9/11, they worked together to plot an expansive grab of executive power that they claimed was the correct response to the terrorist threat. Within two weeks, they had gotten a memo asserting almost unlimited power for the president as “the sole organ of the Nation in its foreign relations,” to respond to the terrorist attacks. As part of that expansive view of executive power, Cheney and Addington would argue that domestic and international laws prohibiting torture and abuse could not prevent the president from authorizing harsh treatment of detainees in the war against terror.

But Cheney and Addington also fought bureaucratically to construct this torture program. Cheney led the way by controlling who got access to President Bush — and making sure his own views preempted others‘. Each time the torture program got into trouble as it spread around the globe, Cheney intervened to ward off legal threats and limits, by badgering the CIA’s inspector general when he reported many problems with the interrogation program, and by lobbying Congress to legally protect those who had tortured.

Most shockingly, Cheney is reported to have ordered torture himself, even after interrogators believed detainees were cooperative. Since the 2002 OLC memo known as “Bybee Two” that authorizes torture premises its authorization for torture on the assertion that “the interrogation team is certain that” the detainee “has additional information he refuses to divulge,” Cheney appears to have ordered torture that was illegal even under the spurious guidelines of the memo.

2. David Addington, counsel to the vice president (2001-2005), chief of staff to the vice president (2005-2009)

David Addington

David Addington championed the fight to argue that the president — in his role as commander in chief — could not be bound by any law, including those prohibiting torture. He did so in two ways. He advised the lawyers drawing up the legal opinions that justified torture. In particular, he ran a “War Council” with Jim Haynes, John Yoo, John Rizzo and Alberto Gonzales (see all four below) and other trusted lawyers, which crafted and executed many of the legal approaches to the war on terror together.

In addition, Addington and Cheney wielded bureaucratic carrots and sticks — notably by giving or withholding promotions for lawyers who supported these illegal policies. When Jack Goldsmith withdrew a number of OLC memos because of the legal problems in them, Addington was the sole administration lawyer who defended them. Addington’s close bureaucratic control over the legal analysis process shows he was unwilling to let the lawyers give the administration a “good faith” assessment of the laws prohibiting torture.

3. Alberto Gonzales, White House counsel (2001-2005), and attorney general (2005-2008)

Alberto Gonzales

As White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales was nominally in charge of representing the president’s views on legal issues, including national security issues. In that role, Gonzales wrote and reviewed a number of the legal opinions that attempted to immunize torture. Most important, in a Jan. 25, 2002, opinion reportedly written with David Addington, Gonzales paved the way for exempting al-Qaida detainees from the Geneva Conventions. His memo claimed the “new kind of war” represented by the war against al-Qaida “renders obsolete Geneva’s strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners.” In a signal that Gonzales and Addington adopted that position to immunize torture, Gonzales argued that one advantage of not applying the Geneva Convention to al-Qaida would “substantially reduce the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act.” The memo even specifically foresaw the possibility of independent counsels’ prosecuting acts against detainees.

Continue reading ‘The Torturous 13’

12
May
09

The Toughest Decision a President has to make

Statue_of_Liberty

icon_digg Our President has achieved a much needed start, over the past four short months, on rebuilding the functions of our government, as it was originally conceived by our forefathers, while returning our nation back to us, the common folks who comprise the mainstream of America.

Ahead, in my opinion, lies one of the most important aspects of the Presidency; deciding who sits on the Supreme Court.  As voters, we decide, at all levels, who represents us in our government, but only the President decides who is nominated as a Justice.  Since our country is governed by the “Rule of Law”, these nine Justices decisions affect our entire society and determine the way we live.

In an article, authored by Geoffrey Stone, entitled: “The Next Justice: What Obama Wants”, presented within the Huffington Post, Mr. Stone surmises these five factors will be especially important to President Obama:

  • High level of intellectual ability
  • Moderate liberal
  • A strong voice about the role of the Supreme Court
  • Build consensus within the Court
  • Diversity

All of which I concur with, especially the fifth item of the aforementioned, which I feel would be a woman, a Hispanic, or an African-American.

Everyone as their own opinions on the issues which need attending to, by the Supreme Court; myself I list the following, some of which are currently ongoing within the court while some, I’m sure, will come into focus within President Obama’s Administration:

  • I believe in an exacting separation between “church” and “state”.  During the Bush years there seemed to persist an interwoven connection between the two which divided Americans instead of bonding us.
  • I believe Guantanamo Bay (Camp Delta) must be closed and the incarcerated be confined in prison(s) located within the continental US.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special” authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe those within the Bush Administration, responsible for authorizing “torture” should be accounted for.  This dose not necessarily mean imprisoned; instead the truth must be made available via the FOIA (pdf) so history can be documented correctly during this troubled chapter in our War on Terrorism.  Consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Change Starts by Correcting the Past” and “Torturing Democracy – The Film”, both authored by me, for additional details.
  • I believe our current Patriot Act, especially the FISA amendment, will present itself before the court.  Surveillance of expats and retirees living abroad who are loyal Americans need not be included within unsupervised “data mining” operations.  Again consider reviewing this posting, entitled: “Time for Another Review of the Patriot Act” and “Going Beyond the Limits Surveillance” authored by me, for additional details.

As you can easily ascertain, my views are liberal, which is contrary to the notion that “the older you become, the more conservative your beliefs are”.

As for my recommendations of who should to become our next Supreme Court Justice, I’ll have to punt and save that for an additional posting, once all the “chatter” on the net has subsided. However, I do believe President Obama’s choice will either come from the First or Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (map pdf).

Update 17 May09:

No Clamor for High Court Appointee to Be Woman, Minority
As in 2005, majority of Americans say gender, race, and ethnicity of appointee don’t matter
by Frank Newport | Gallup Polls

Despite the widely reported expectation that President Barack Obama will be looking for a qualified woman — perhaps from a minority racial or ethnic group — to fill the seat to be vacated by the retiring Justice David Souter, 64% of Americans say it doesn’t matter to them whether Obama appoints a woman, with slightly higher percentages saying the same about the appointment of a black or Hispanic.

bfo5_knocugaxq_ftqbfvw

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her resignation from the Court in 2005 and was replaced by a man (Samuel Alito), meaning that the Court today includes only one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who herself has been battling cancer. As a result, there has been much speculation that President Obama will almost certainly nominate a female justice to avoid the possibility that within the next several years, the Court would have nine male justices. Still, as was the case four years ago, when there were two vacancies on the court (after Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away and before O’Connor’s seat was filled), there is very little demand from the American public that Obama replace Souter with a woman.

For sake of reference, the following postings are provided:

Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices (courtesy of Cornell University)

Supreme Court Appointment Process – Roles of the President – Judiciary Committee and Senate (pdf)

A Brief Overview of the Supreme Court (pdf)

Possible Supreme Court Candidates for Justice David Souter (Salon.com)

Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Supreme Court Nomination Hearings (1971 – forward)

Past members of the Supreme Court of the United States (pfd)

Related Newswires Articles on the Supreme Court

As always a YouTube video (this time somewhat dated) regarding the Supreme Court decision for a candidate from the White House.

White House Talks Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement

After President Obama’s Announcement Of His Retirement – White House Talks About Supreme Court Justice Souter’s Replacement – 05/01/09

08
May
09

What Makes Guantanamo Bay Special

guantanmo

icon_digg For the most part there’s very little agreement that I have with the Bush Administration; especially there authored and enacted policies regarding offshore retention prisons and numerous violations in respect to torture in regards to the Geneva Convention.

However, I do subscribe to the fact there are organizations and individuals with the devoted intent to destroy our beloved country at any means possible.

Furthermore, these aforementioned leaders of these organizations and their members must be found, brought to justice in a court of law and sentenced accordingly.

As for the trial proceedings, I’ll trust and place my faith in President Obama and Attorney General, Eric Holder’s decision(s) to choose the correct course of action, which at the time of this posting is being decided.

For the incarceration phase of punishment, it must be within the continental United States!  Meaning, in my own personal opinion “Guantanamo Bay, Camp Delta” must be closed.

I cannot comprehend that we do not have a facility secure enough to house these convicted terrorists.  Within our penal system, in the US, we confine the likes of serial killers, psychopaths, treasoners, drug lords and mafia bosses without one of these criminals ever escaping and endangering the public.

So to me, Guantanamo is just a blight on our country’s reputation of justice and fairness.

There are others who feel the same as I; and yet others within the GOP especially who are using their same old scare tactics that has got us into our current mess with the international community.  An article posted on the Huffington Post, entitled: “On Guantanamo, The GOP Attacks Hard Working Americans” and authored by Adam Blickstein has the following to say (excerpt):

After failing for 8 years to actually keep the world safe from terrorism, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and especially Dick Cheney, are embarking on a renewed push to rehabilitate their failed reputations and political prospects.

In going on the offensive on Guantanamo and torture, though, they not only expose themselves to the American people who see through these transparent attacks, but also to the reality that America has successfully held dangerous terrorists within our own criminal justice system for decades now, some of whom executed attacks on American soil.

They are: Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, who was incarcerated for a time in the nation’s largest city, New York, and now resides in it’s most secure prison, the Supermax facility in Florence, CO where according to a former warden he has never left his cell; also at Supermax, Zacharias Moussaoui, convicted of conspiring to kill Americans for his role in the 9/11 attacks; the 6 perpetrators of the East African embassy bombings are also there, as is the shoe bomber Richard Reid.

All these dangerous men have been kept in secure facilities for years now with none of these terrorists being released into our “backyards” as the GOP would like us to think. So how would the transfer of Guantanamo detainees be any different?

Within an additional article, again on the Huffington Post website, and article entitled: “GOP Promotes ‘Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act’ To Prevent Gitmo Closure”, authored by Jason Linkins, which basically states the same as my beliefs and those of Adam Blickstein. Here is an excerpt from Jason’s posting:

The new and exciting idea from your House GOP is a bill called the Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act, which is SUBLIME. At long last, someone had the guts to stand up and express the visionary idea that terrorists should be kept out of America. This will finally keep terrorists out of America, unless they somehow start dealing in subterfuge, or something.

Actually, the bill is merely a backhanded attempt to prevent the closure of Guantanamo Bay, by turning the matter into an internecine war between state governments over who shall house the prisoners presently in detention at the GITMO facility. Greg Sargent summarizes thusly:

The bill attempts to place restrictions on transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States, and has two primary features:

It prohibits the Obama administration from transferring any Guandetainee to any state without approval from that state’s legislature and governor

Before transferring any detainee to any state, it requires the administration to notify Congress of the name of the detainee, and to stipulate to Congress that the release would not hamper continued prosecution of the detainee and wouldn’t negatively impact the state’s population.

During World War II we had the “Japanese Inurnment Camps”, which after forty years we apologized to those loyal Japanese-Americans who suffered are mistakes in political policy.

I’m not comparing the individuals in the Inurnment Camps to those individuals housed at Guantanamo Bay, instead I am comparing the concept of “specialized confinement centers” during war and holding people in legal limbo outside of our justice system in camps and under conditions, which prevents the American public, news media and international organizations access to it’s inhabits.

Complementing my posting, for reference, are the following pdf documents and YouTube Video:

JTF-GTMO Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Camp Delta

International Committee of the Red Cross (Guantanamo Bay Report)

The Complete List of Congressional Leaders Briefed on Torture (pdf)

Related Newswire Articles regarding Guantanamo Bay

GOP’s Anti-Guantanamo Scare Campaign Parodied

07
May
09

Time for Another Review of the Patriot Act

costoffreedom2

icon_digg1 As of late the CIA and other governmental Intel agencies have taken the long overdue and justified theoretical “hits” from a various number of congressional leaders, the presidential executive branch, news media and most importantly the American public for these agencies institutionalizing torture as a means of “hopefully” obtaining timely and accurate information from captured terrorists.

As mentioned the News media and bloggers have jumped at the opportunity to post their stories and opinions, myself included:

With the last, aforementioned link regarding a short reference capsule of articles published over the past several months by nationally recognized news sources.Unfortunately there’s more work required to correct the past injustices of the Bush Administration than has been started by the Obama Administration; namely issues regarding the FISA (part of the Patriot Act) and the FBI’s list of 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list.  This list is in dire need of being revised and updated based on the number of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information, while missing people with genuine ties to terrorism who should have been on the list.

In a recent article, published in the New York Times, entitled: “Justice Dept. Finds Flaws in F.B.I. Terror List”, authored by authored by Eric Lichtblau; here are some of the excerpts of what I feel of importance (high lighted revisions by myself):By the beginning of 2009, the report said, this consolidated government watch list comprised about 400,000 people, recorded as 1.1 million names and aliases, an exponential growth from the days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But the new report, by the office of the Justice Department’s inspector general, provides the most authoritative statistical account to date of the problems connected with the list. An earlier report by the inspector general, released in March 2008, looked mainly at flaws in the system, without an emphasis on the number of people caught up in it.

The list has long been a target of public criticism, particularly after well-publicized errors in which politicians including Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Representative John Lewis showed up on it. People with names similar to actual terrorists have complained that it can take months to be removed from the list, and civil liberties advocates charge that antiwar protesters, Muslim activists and others have been listed for political reasons.

The inspector general looked at a sampling of 216 F.B.I. terrorism investigations and found that in 15 percent of them, a total of 35 subjects were not referred to the list even though they should have been.

In one case, for instance, a Special Forces soldier was investigated and ultimately convicted of stealing some 16,500 rounds of ammunition, C-4 explosives and other material from Afghanistan and shipping them to the United States in what investigators suspected might be the makings of a domestic terrorist plot. Yet the suspect was not placed on the watch list until nearly five months after the investigation opened.

Coinciding with this Times story is a YouTube video showing just how bad things can happen for a family who falls under FBI suspicion implementing the provisions provided within The Patriot Act:

USA using Patriot Act against its own citizens

Sixteen-year-old Ashton Lundeby’s bedroom in his mother’s Granville County home is nothing, if not patriotic. Images of American flags are everywhere on the bed, on the floor, on the wall.

But according to the United States government, the tenth-grade home-schooler is being held on a criminal complaint that he made a bomb threat from his home on the night of Feb. 15.

An additional, but somewhat dated video on the Patriot Act is also provided here:

Obama, Clinton, McCain – The Patriot Act

Finally an abbreviated pdf copy of the Patriot Act, as it pertains to wire taps (foreign and domestic) can be view:

The USA PATRIOT Act – A Sketch

Newswire Updates:

Claims Graham Briefed About Domestic Spying in 2001 and 2002 Were Also Bogus
from The Public Record | Jason Leopold

Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham disclosed in 2007 that an intelligence document which claimed he was briefed about the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program on two dates in 2001 and 2002 were untrue when compared to his own records, which showed that no such briefings ever took place.

Graham also said at the time that he was never told during briefings he attended that were chaired by Vice President Dick Cheney, then-National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, and then-CIA Director George Tenet, that the Bush administration planned to spy on American citizens.

The statements Graham made in 2005 are virtually identical to the denials he has recently made in response to claims by the CIA that he and other Democratic and Republican lawmakers were told in classified briefings that the agency had been using so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” against high-value detainees.

Obama Administration Will Not Ask Supreme Court To Take Up National Security Letter “Gag Order” Decision
from ACLU Newsroom

The government will not ask the Supreme Court to review a decision that struck down Patriot Act provisions that allow the government to impose unconstitutional gag orders on recipients of national security letters (NSLs). NSLs issued by the FBI require recipients to turn over sensitive information about their clients and subscribers. A lower court ruled in 2007 that the gag order provisions were unconstitutional, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld that ruling in 2008. The government’s time for petitioning the Supreme Court for review has now expired.

05
May
09

Change Starts by Correcting the Past

rumsfeld

icon_digg In the recent past I’ve posted articles on the former Administration’s authorization of torture and its associated cover-up by invoking Executive Privilege (here) along with authoring numerous articles encouraging our newly elected President and his administration the need for “change” within our country (here).

The issue of torture must be resolved and the “Rule of Law” has to be enforced against those responsible, if we as a nation expect to once again have the respect of our fellow countrymen and that of the international community.  Knowing we can correct our past misdeeds provides trust in our government to plan for the heavy tax burdens of the future, such as, universal health care, a greener environment, an improved educational system at a lowered cost of tuition, a safe removal of our troops from Iraq, to name just a few pressing issues, which lay ahead of our country.

A host of articles has been written over the past two weeks regarding the release of what I refer to as the torture authorization memorandums, and after their release President Obama has somewhat backtracked on what should logically follow, which in my opinion, is a congressional inquiry as to the extent of law(s) that were possibly broken and who is primarily responsible. (for me this is a good starting point here).

In a supporting post to my feelings is an article entitled “Those Who Approved Torture “Must Be Held Accountable”, authored by Marlene H. Phillips, and published here on Huffington Post.  The posting is an interview with Retired Brigadier General John Adams who has something in common with his namesake and distant relative.

Like the second president of the United States, the retired brigadier general adheres to one basic principle in his professional actions and beliefs: defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. He stands convinced that those that have acted in a way that would, as he put it, “triage the Constitution” must be brought to justice, including those who approved of and authorized the use of torture on U.S. held detainees.

Said Adams:

“I have never known anyone in a leadership position in the military who would condone torture. They would never do it. It would go against all the training we had, and against what we were trained to do, which is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Regarding President Obama Adams had the following comment:

I trust President Obama’s judgment, I trust the people he has around him. I know some of them, and they are among the best people I’ve ever known in my life,” said Adams. Adams felt Obama’s actions show that he regards the issue as urgent and important, as evidenced by the speed with which he released classified information and by his meeting with generals to discuss the use of torture less than a week after assuming office. “Obama’s moving ahead and doing so with deliberate speed, which is exactly what’s warranted,” he said.

Related Newswires Stories on Torture

The Complete List of Congressional Leaders Briefed on Torture (pdf)

Complementing and driving this posting is the following YouTube video that I bumped into last night, which once again (has in the past several years) started my blood to boil.

Obama and The War Criminals

Five Things You Should Know About the Torture Memos

No. 1. I have read the 175 pages of legal memoranda (the memos) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) released last week. They consist of letters written by Bush DoJ officials to the Deputy General Counsel of the CIA concerning the techniques that may be used by American intelligence agents when interrogating high value detainees at facilities outside the U.S. The memos describe in vivid, gut-wrenching detail the procedures that the CIA apparently inquired about. The memos then proceed to authorize every procedure asked about, and to commend the CIA for taking the time to ask.

No. 2. In the process of explaining to the CIA Deputy General Counsel just what his folks could do in order to extract information from uncooperative detainees, it is immediately apparent that the writers of the memos are attempting to find snippets of language from other memoranda that they or their colleagues have prepared and from unrelated judicial opinions that justify everything that the CIA wants to do. “This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it.”

The bias in favor of permitting torture may easily be concluded from a footnote in one of the memos. In that footnote, the author, now-federal judge Jay Bybee, declines to characterize such notorious medieval torture techniques as the thumbscrew and the rack as torture. With that incredible mindset, he proceeds to do his Orwellian best to define away such terms as pain, suffering, and inhumane in such a way as to require that the interrogators produce near death experiences in order to have their behavior come under the proscriptions of the federal statute prohibiting torture, and the Convention (treaty) Against Torture, which was negotiated by and signed in behalf of the U.S. by President George H.W. Bush.

No. 3. The logic in the memos is simple: The government may utilize the ten procedures inquired about (all of which were publicly known except confinement on a coffin, bound and gagged, and in the presence of insects), so long as no one dies or comes close to death. This conclusion is startling in the case of walling (banging a detainees head against a solid but moveable wall) and waterboarding (near drowning) since the federal governments own physicians, cited in the memos themselves, have concluded that both techniques are always a near occasion of death. The conclusion is also startling since it fails to account for numerous federal and state prosecutions, and prosecutions in Thailand — where these torture sessions apparently occurred — that have defined torture according to its generally accepted meaning:

Any intentionally inflicted cruel or inhumane or degrading treatment, unauthorized by a court of law, perpetrated for the punishment of the victim, to extract statements from the victim, or to gratify the perpetrator.

This universally-accepted definition makes no reference and has no condition that anything goes short of a near occasion of death.

No. 4. The memos also fail to account for the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled govern American treatment of all foreign detainees, lawful or unlawful. The third of those conventions PROHIBITS TOUCHING the detainee in any way, other than for the purpose of moving him from place to place, if he refuses to go voluntarily and when told to do so.

No. 5. The memos place Attorney General Holder, who argued for their release, in an untenable situation. He has stated under oath, at his confirmation hearings, that waterboarding is torture and torture is prohibited by numerous federal laws. He has also taken an oath to uphold all federal laws, not just those that are politically expedient from time to time. He is correct and he must do his moral and legal duty to reject any Nuremberg defense. This is not rocket science and it is not art. Everyone knows torture when they see it; and no amount of twisted logic can detract from its illegal horror, its moral antipathy, and its attack at core American values.
By Judge Andrew Napolitano

Visit: http://www.puppetgov.com

The following video, released from the White House on May 21, 2009, President Obama speaks to the American people regarding his intentions on Guantanamo Bay and national Security:

President Obama: Our Security, Our Values

The President speaks at length on how American values and security are intertwined, touching on issues form closing Guantanamo to State Secrets. May 21, 2009.

24
Apr
09

Like Father – Like Daughter

Cheney

icon_digg13 I to would like to see Donald Rumsfelt, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet face charges, but first I want to see how our current administration handles this black mark on our country’s history, without outside interference. Basically, whose going to align themselves on whose side.

Think about it for a moment – Here’s Dick Cheney with every opportunity he can get a hold of, to voice his displeasure with any and all of Obama’s policies with the media; what other former Vice Presidents has done that? Not a one!

Now his daughter is getting into the act:

Liz Cheney Defends Father ‘Dick Cheney’ Torture Legacy/Policies

So Why, easy, to confuse along with attempting to defuse the issue at hand, his own personal involvement with authorizing torture.

Unapologetic and Unrestrained: Cheney Unbound
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG | NY Times

In the three months since leaving office, Mr. Cheney has upended the old Washington script for former presidents and vice presidents, using a series of interviews — the first just two weeks after leaving office — to kick off one last campaign, not for elective office, but on behalf of his own legacy. In the process, he has become a vocal leader of the opposition to President Obama, rallying conservatives as they search for leadership and heartening Democrats who see him as the ideal political foil.

Rice, Cheney Approved Waterboarding
Associated Press

The Director of Central Intelligence in the spring of 2003 sought a reaffirmation of the legality of the interrogation methods. Cheney, Rice, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales were among those at a meeting where it was decided that the policies would continue. Rumsfeld and Powell weren’t.

Update 25 Apr 09:

Cheney Starts Pro-Torture Facebook Page
Andy Borowitz | BorowitzReport.com

In his most aggressive public relations move since leaving office, former Vice President Dick Cheney today established a Facebook page for fans of torture.




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