Sunday, July 29, 2007

The leak designed to save Alberto Gonzales

Glenn Greenwald
Sunday July 29, 2007 08:21 EST

(updated below - updated again)

Anonymous sources seeking to protect Alberto Gonzales have leaked to the NYT the claim that what triggered the 2004 DOJ dispute over the NSA program "involved computer searches through massive electronic databases" -- i.e, "data mining" of the "records of the phone calls and e-mail messages of millions of Americans." The Post has amplified the leak.

The claim, passed on by anonymous pro-Bush sources, is rather obviously intended to exonerate Alberto Gonzales by claiming that he told the truth when he said that the 2004 DOJ dispute did not involve the NSA's warrantless eavesdropping program (because, instead, the dispute concerned "data mining"). Like the well-trained followers that they are, authoritarian Bush supporters are already seizing this leak to proclaim Alberto Gonzales vindicated.

For multiple reasons -- many of them obvious -- these stories accomplish no such thing. Can reporters covering the Gonzales story please do something other than write down the claims of pro-Gonzales sources and just use your brains a little bit:

(1) Anonymous Liberal points out the painfully obvious:

Let me start by pointing out what seems to be a flaw in this argument. For this defense to even arguably work, it has to be true that Comey and Goldsmith's objections were limited to data-mining activities and in no way pertained to any of the activities the President confirmed in December of 2005. But this graf from the Post piece seems to undercut that claim:
One source familiar with the NSA program said yesterday that there were widespread concerns inside the intelligence community in 2003 and 2004 over how much Internet and telephone data mining could occur, as well as about the NSA's direct intercepts of communications without court approval.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"Sick0" in it's entirety, no Quicktime req'd:


Bill Moyers Shames Corporate Media and Speaker Pelosi over Impeachment

Bill Moyers Shames Corporate Media and Speaker Pelosi over Impeachment
Submitted by dlindorff on Sat, 2007-07-14 22:50. by Dave Lindorff

Bill Moyers has put impeachment in the news, in the process shaming both the national media and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Congressional leadership.

In his Saturday program, Bill Moyers Journal, Moyers and guests John Nichols, the Nation's Washington correspondent and author of The Genius of Impeachment and Bruce Fein, a former attorney in the Ronald Reagan Department of Justice, made it clear that the Bush/Cheney administration has gravely threatened the Constitution and the survival of tripartite, devided government.

Moyers, feigning astonishment at the arguments of Nichols and Fein, asked if it might be justified for the Bush administration to grab special dictatorial powers in order to combat terrorism. His argument was demolished by both Nichols and Fein.

Nichols explained that the Constitution had been designed by the Founders to be a "fighting" document, capable of handling dangerous times. He noted that the Constitution actually provides for the temporary barring of habeas corpus (the right to have one's imprisonment brought before a court and adjudicated), but he said that this was something that a president had to do witht the approval of Congress, and only if the Country was under attack, which is of course not the case right now.

Fein for his part noted that most of Bush's and Cheney's abuses of power and violations of the Constitution and the rule of law have been done not openly and in consultation with Congress, but in secret and in the dark of night. His secret monitoring of American's communications--phones, mail and internet--for example, went on in for four years before it was exposed in an article in the New York Times. And the president has still not explained to anyone why he felt the need to break the law.

Fein and Nichols both blasted the current Democratic leadership of Congress for cowardice, lack of principle, and a basic failure to honor their oaths of office to uphold and defend the Constitution, in refusing to impeach the president. Fein said that in earlier administratiions, there were always at least a few members of Congress who were honorable enough to put country and the Constitution above party. "We don't have anyone like that in Congress now," he said.

Actually, it was one failing of Moyers' program that neither he nor his two guests mentioned that there actually are some such honorable members of the current congress. They did not mention that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), has filed a bill of impeachment against Vice President Cheney, and that his bill currently has 14 co-sponsors, with more people signing on every week. They also failed to mention that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) only days before the program, declared in no uncertain terms that Bush and Cheney should be impeached, saying that the country was "closer to dictatorship than it has ever been" because of the president's assertion of "unitary executive" powers to ignore laws passed by the Congress."

Despite this one shortcoming, Moyers' program is a public shaming of the tawdry and shameless corporate media, which has ignored the exploding impeachment movement blossoming across the nation, pretending that it doesn't even exist, or that it is the province of a few leftist wackos.

In fact, as Moyers noted, the most recent poll on the issue shows that half of Americans want both Bush and Cheney impeached and removed from office.

It will be interesting to see what impact the powerful Moyers program has.

While not watched by too many ordinary Americans, the program is influential among professional journalists and editors, and among liberals and progressives, who will be increasing their pressure on Democratic leaders to act.

Pelosi's efforts to block impeachment and keep it "off the table", will continue to look more and more pitiful and self-serving.

The next challenge will be a march on July 23 from Arlington Cemetary to the office of Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and the man who has the power to kick-start hearings on impeachment--in particular to schedule hearings on the Kucinich bill (H Res. 333). (Click on the banner to the left for more information.)

A sit-in is planned in Conyers' office if he won't meet with the delegation, which will be headed by Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war and impeachment activist whose son was killed in action in Iraq.

DAVE LINDORFF is co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006, and is now available in paperback edition). His work is available at

Bruce Fein,and Bill Moyers on Impeachment!

Bruce Fein is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on Constitutional law. Graduating from Harvard Law School in 1972, Fein became the assistant director of the Office of Legal Policy in the U.S. Department of Justice. Shortly after that, Fein became the associate deputy attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan. His political law career would take him to various outlets, including general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, followed by an appointment as research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Bookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Fein has also penned a number of volumes on United States Constitution, Supreme Court, and international law, as well as assisted three dozen countries in constitutional revision, including Russia, Spain, South Africa, Iraq, Cyprus, and Mozambique. Fein currently writes weekly columns for THE WASHINGTON TIMES and CAPITOL LEADER, and a bi-weekly column for the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER devoted to legal and international affairs. Recently, Fein has been in the national spotlight after his editorial in the online newsmagazine SLATE called for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, in which he outlines the various cases against the Vice President. Fein also testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on June 27, 2007 about President Bush's use of "signing statement." According to Fein, Cheney has: Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes. Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone. Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists. Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties. Engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications. Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force. Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq. (Read Fein's SLATE article) Link WATCH BILL MOYERS JOURNAL - link is available from ENOUGH. Please Impeach!! Thank you,Michael Flanagan.

My Latest Letter to Susan Davis-D-CA.

Why Are Dems Such Cowards on Impeachment?
Submitted by MMRules on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 8:21am.
Why Are Dems Such Cowards on Impeachment?
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2007-07-14 04:23. Impeachment
By M.J. Rosenberg, TPM

I don't get it.

The Constitution prescribes a remedy when a President or Vice-President commits "high crimes and misdemeanors."

It is impeachment.

And everyday we learn more about the unconstitutional behavior of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Every poll on the subject indicates strong support in the country for impeaching the Veep (who has a 13% approval rating.)

But Democrats do nothing, thereby themselves thwarting the Constitution and allowing to stand the idea that impeachment is appropriate when a President lies about his sex life but not when a Vice President operates entirely outside of the law.

I know why they are ducking the I word.

The Democrats in Congress are focused on only one thing: holding Congress next year and winning the Presidency.

I'm down with that.

But I have to wonder about a party that, in pursuit of victory, would join Republicans in trampling the Constitution by not applying the prescribed Constitutional remedy for criminal behavior.

I also reject the idea that impeachment would hurt the Democrats. Public approval of the Democratic Congress is in the basement. And that is because Congress appears to be doing nothing about anything.

Of course, the reason Democrats reject impeachment is that they continue their quixotic pursuit of the Republican vote. The DLC types are always pushing Dems to pursue evangelicals, gun owners, tough white males, hawks, people uncomfortable with gays, African-Americans, etc.

The thought of impeachment terrifies those determined to seek votes from people who would never vote Democratic anyway.

Think of it this way. Any voter turned off by impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney is not voting Democratic in 2008.

So why not do the right thing? Read the Constitution and then do what James Madison is telling you to do.

At the very least, the initiation of impeachment proceedings would shut Cheney down for the remainder of the Bush term. Remember what they did to Clinton and how he was forced to devote almost all his time to his own defense?

More likely impeachment would succeed, with Republicans joyfully using it as an opportunity to distance themselves from a failed administration while not directly turning on their President.

Just do it, Dems. You can't be wusses forever!

Senator Barbara Boxer now thinks Impeachment Should Be Put Back On The Table!
Are you going to continue showing Weak Leadership by Sitting on Your Hands While The Bush Adminastration Tears to Shreads The Constitution,by Breaking Laws Left,and Right.
By Doing Nothing,you are Causing Years,and Years of Pain to Our Country!
Get Behind Impeachment,or Resign!
Your Just wasting space!

Please Impeach!!
Thank you,

My Latest Email to The Weak One;Pelosi

Again.Please Start Impeachment Proceedings!!

Senator B.Boxer CA.Thinks Impeachment Should Be Put Back On The Table!
If You Don't Start Impeachment,History will show what we already know!Your Weak Leadership is Allowing The Bush Administration to Tear The Constitution to Shreads!!
You looked so happy on C-span when the Little time line Iraq bill passed the other day.You call That Stong Leadership?Will that bill pass The Senate??No!It's a waste of time!
Stop The War Funding would be Strong Leadership!!
Your Pathetic Leadership will Cause This Country years,and years of Pain!
Start Impeachment,or Resign!
Do Something Good For Our Country!!

Thank you,.

Barbara Boxer-On Ed S.Show.--Thanks ToniD :)

Impeachment is now, I think, a necessity. The powers this admin has taken for the President and the Vice-President is, as Barbara Boxer said "This is as close as we’ve ever come to a dictatorship".

Here's more of what she said to Ed Schultz on his radio show:

BOXER: Yeah. I mean, you left out a bunch of things — spying on citizens without a warrant, going around FISA, on and on. Look, I have always said it should be on the table. Ed, I’ve always said it. I was on a book tour and I ran into John Dean of Watergate fame. He was on the book tour that I was on, for his book. And it was right after we discovered that the administration was spying on our people without a warrant. And he just said, he looked at me and basically just said, as far as he could see, unless there was some explanation for this, this was impeachable.

I’ve always said that you need to keep it on the table, and you need to look at these things, because now people are dying because of this administration. That’s the truth. And they won’t change course. They are ignoring the Congress. They keep signing these signing statements which mean that he’s decided not to enforce the law. This is as close as we’ve ever come to a dictatorship. When you have a situation where Congress is stepped on, that means the American people are stepped on. So I don’t think you can take anything off the table. Because in fact the Constitution doesn’t permit us to take these things off the table.

To give this much power to future presidents is like giving our country away. This administration swore to protect our constitution but instead they tore it up!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Scooter Skates !!


Art Bell's Retirement

At the start of Sunday's program, Art Bell announced his retirement from hosting the weekend version of Coast to Coast AM. "I really want to spend my time with my wife and newborn daughter," he explained, adding that his association with Premiere Radio will continue and he'll be back to occasionally fill in or host special shows.
Bummer! Beam me up Scooty!