Saturday, December 24, 2005

Barron’s: Congress Should Consider Impeacment… | The Huffington Post

Barron’s: Congress Should Consider Impeacment… | The Huffington Post:
[...] Surely the 'strict constructionists' on the Supreme Court and the federal judiciary eventually will point out what a stretch this is. The most important presidential responsibility under Article II is that he must 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' That includes following the requirements of laws that limit executive power. There's not much fidelity in an executive who debates and lobbies Congress to shape a law to his liking and then goes beyond its writ.

Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment.

It is important to be clear that an impeachment case, if it comes to that, would not be about wiretapping, or about a possible Constitutional right not to be wiretapped. It would be about the power of Congress to set wiretapping rules by law, and it is about the obligation of the president to follow the rules in the Acts that he and his predecessors signed into law. ...
Even the business people are at their limit about the pResident's willful disregard for the law and all that is sacred to freedom and democracy. Let's face it, even corporations don't like being spied on, especially when even their lawyers don't know about it. The writing's on the wall. It will take impeachment to make Bush see it, let alone bother to read it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Italian Judge Issues New Warrants For CIA Operatives

CBS News | New Warrants For CIA Operatives | December 23, 2005 08:03:39:
(CBS/AP) A judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives in connection with the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in 2003, a prosecutor said Friday.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants allowed for the arrest of the suspects in any of the 25 EU member countries. Previously, Italy had issued arrest warrants for the 22 inside Italy.

Spataro has already sought the extradition of the 22 from the U.S. However, the request has remained with Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has sought more court documentation on the case before making any decision on whether to forward it to Washington, Spataro said.

Earlier this week, Premier Silvio Berlusconi, a top U.S. ally, suggested the government may not push the prosecutors' request with Washington saying, 'I don't think there is any basis in the case.'

Castelli, for his part, has also questioned Spataro's motives in the case, suggesting the prosecutor was a leftist militant and anti-American.

Milan's chief prosecutor responded by saying he fully supported Spataro, the investigation and its findings.
Ironically, it was Berlusconi who started this when he said he had no knowledge of the operation back in June, and that therefore it was not possible for Italy to have given authorization. He can't use the Woodward Maneuver now, trying to play down the importance of the case, when the justice people are the ones issuing the warrants. They obviously feel it's important. Maybe Silvio shouldn't have been so quick to believe Condoleeza.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

U.S. Appeals Court: Oh, No! Not This Time!

My Way News:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration, a U.S. appeals court refused on Wednesday to transfer Jose Padilla from U.S. military custody to federal authorities in Florida until the Supreme Court considers his case.

The high court said bringing criminal charges against Padilla in Florida after he had been held by the U.S. military for more than three years as an enemy combatant created the appearance that the government may be attempting to avoid Supreme Court review of the case.
Another court sides with reason and the Constitution. Feel the burn!

CBS News | Judge Quits Spy Court | December 21, 2005 11:36:26

CBS News | Judge Quits Spy Court | December 21, 2005 11:36:26:

(CBS/AP) A federal judge has resigned from a special court set up to oversee government surveillance, apparently in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program on people with suspected terrorist ties.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson would not comment Wednesday on his resignation, but The Washington Post reported that it stemmed from deep concern that the surveillance program Mr. Bush authorized was legally questionable and may have tainted the work of the court.
Well, well. He was probably the one with a conscience. Good for him! Bad for us.

Cheney Scrooges The Nation

My Way News:

Dec 21, 2:20 PM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-controlled Senate passed legislation to cut federal deficits by $39.7 billion on Wednesday by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Tiny Revolution: Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney

A Tiny Revolution: Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney:
Conyers Introduces Resolution Censuring Bush & Cheney

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, just introduced a resolution of censure for both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney in the House of Representatives. He also is asking Congress to create a select committee (ie, like the Ervin Committee, which investigated Watergate) to investigate whether Bush's actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses.

Simultaneously, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have released a report called The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War. You can download it here.

You can find out more, and sign a petition supporting Conyers, here.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at December 20, 2005 11:52 AM
Wow again! Sic 'em, John!

DeLay's Hubris Overwhelms

My Way News:
HOUSTON (AP) - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, facing trial on charges of money laundering, officially filed Tuesday to run for a 12th term in his suburban Houston district.

The filing was not unexpected.
Of course not. Hubris doesn't go away, but it can go to prison.

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show

F.B.I. Watched Activist Groups, New Files Show - New York Times: "WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 - Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show.


The F.B.I. had previously turned over a small number of documents on antiwar groups, showing the agency's interest in investigating possible anarchist or violent links in connection with antiwar protests and demonstrations in advance of the 2004 political conventions. And earlier this month, the A.C.L.U.'s Colorado chapter released similar documents involving, among other things, people protesting logging practices at a lumber industry gathering in 2002.

The latest batch of documents, parts of which the A.C.L.U. plans to release publicly on Tuesday, totals more than 2,300 pages and centers on references in internal files to a handful of groups, including PETA, the environmental group Greenpeace and the Catholic Workers group, which promotes antipoverty efforts and social causes.

Many of the investigative documents turned over by the bureau are heavily edited, making it difficult or impossible to determine the full context of the references and why the F.B.I. may have been discussing events like a PETA protest. F.B.I. officials say many of the references may be much more benign than they seem to civil rights advocates, adding that the documents offer an incomplete and sometimes misleading snapshot of the bureau's activities.
Because, you know, we wouldn't want to look benign or anything. Misleading, sure! But not benign!

Senate Plans Bush Hearings

CBS News | Senate Plans Bush Hearings | December 19, 2005 05:03:41:
(CBS/AP) Democrats and Republicans called separately Sunday for congressional investigations into President Bush's decision after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to allow domestic eavesdropping without court approval.

"The president has, I think, made up a law that we never passed," said Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis.


Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he intends to hold hearings.

"They talk about constitutional authority," Specter said. "There are limits as to what the president can do."


First Amendment legal expert Floyd Abrams told CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston the president is attempting to mitigate his sidestepping of Congress by saying he had informed some lawmakers.

"It is mitigated in the sense that Congress was not completely uninformed," Abrams said. "As a legal matter though, what the president has authorized 30 times may have been illegal 30 times."
Wow! Thirty times? Looks like the pResident has hit a homerun. Not!

Still Lying, I See

CBS News | Dems Say They Never OK'd Spy Plan | December 20, 2005 11:03:37:
(CBS/AP) Some Democrats say they never approved a domestic wiretapping program, undermining suggestions by President Bush and his senior advisers that the plan was fully vetted in a series of congressional briefings.

'I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse, these activities,' West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said in a handwritten letter to Vice President Dick Cheney in July 2003. 'As you know, I am neither a technician nor an attorney.'

Rockefeller is among a small group of congressional leaders who have received briefings on the administration's four-year-old program to eavesdrop — without warrants — on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al Qaeda.

Score One For Sanity

My Way News:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - 'Intelligent design' cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.

Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives, he said.

The ruling will not likely be appealed by the slate of new board members, who in the November election ousted the group that installed intelligent design, the new board president said Tuesday.


Blog Archive