Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: November 2007
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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Impeachment Stupid / and Then Some Other Matters and Choices




Could Dennis Kucinich be president?

Obviously, the American people haven't a clue.
In November 2007 they show a distinct preference for leaders who are even worse than the ones with whom they are currently dissatisfied.
What does this tell us about the American people and their commitment to be sufficiently informed for democracy to function?

It tells us that they are not up to the challenge. It is only a matter of time before America succumbs to the plutocracy, against which Warren Buffet recently warned Congress, or the fascist tyranny that Naomi Wolf sees in our future.

BUT LET’S GO VISIT WITH AN AMERICAN WHO SIMPLY TELLS IT LIKE IT IS….
Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney.

Dennis Kucinich’s vegan lunch is getting cold. The meal sits untouched in a Styrofoam box at his feet. There is little time to eat in the middle of his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, especially since he’s been labeled unelectable. But one night could prove every pundit wrong and make the candidate’s “in this to the end” talk reality.

“I don’t need their permission to be president of the United States,” Kucinich says. “I’m not going to campaign any less, and I couldn’t campaign more.”

Kucinich sees evidence that the media are shirking their responsibility to not just get his message out, but also to outline the issues that separate the candidates.

“Americans don’t want their ballot boxes stuffed at any point in the process,” Kucinich says.

“It’s inappropriate for any media corporation to try to determine who the president should be. It’s not their role,” he says. “They have an affirmative obligation to the American public to provide information from all viewpoints in a presidential campaign. They’re not doing it. They’re just not doing it,”

If the campaign is focused on endorsements, polls and money, no one has to talk about what’s happening in Iraq or why 45 million Americans do not have health insurance or why an alarming number of children are not graduating from high school, Kucinich says.

“There are issues that the American people deserve to have a discussion on that are often ignored in the media’s desire to talk about polls,” Kucinich says. “In a way, this obsession with polls makes a mockery of an election because instead of waiting for what the people say in the election, polls attempt to guide the people toward certain choices. Then the polls become the news instead of what people stand for.”

What Dennis Kucinich stands for has been called extremely progressive – pulling out of Iraq, providing universal single-payer health care and withdrawing from NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and Impeaching the Vice President. He is a believer – a passionate, deeply spiritual man with a sense of purpose. He believes his destiny is the White House. And he has a throng of supporters who believe in him.

“When you believe in what you’re doing and you’ve connected with your purpose in life, it’s effortless,” he says with a bold laugh.

Then let’s consider an American in wonderland, or somewhere…

The office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) denied an internet rumor suggesting that Rep. Pelosi would pursue an impeachment measure against Vice President Dick Cheney should she receive 10,000 handwritten letters in favor of the measure.

Pelosi spokesman Tim Idpol called the prospect "unthinkable." "Even if she received 10 million handwritten letters, personally hand-delivered by the letter-writers themselves by 9am PST tomorrow, she still would not consider uttering another word about impeachment in Congress. EVER. It's just too politically risky."
Well I guess it will have to be over her politically dead body.

OK, so that's not exactly how it happened.

But it's true there was an internet rumor as mentioned above, and Pelosi's office found itself having to deny it. (The first paragraph above is taken virtually verbatim from a report on TheRawStory.com. The second paragraph merely represents what Pelosi seems to be thinking.)

It all started the previous week on Nov. 6 when Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH!) introduced H Res 333 (now renamed H Res 799) to impeach Vice President Cheney, much to the horror of the "pragmatic" Democratic leadership. He had submitted it before, but this time it was brought forward as a "privileged resolution," meaning it had to be discussed on the House floor. Kucinich said the timing was motivated by the mounting danger of an attack on Iran, which Cheney is pushing.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tried to kill the resolution with a motion to table, but 86 Democrats broke with the "impeachment-is-off-the-table" leadership to keep the resolution alive. (A majority of Republicans also voted against tabling, indicating they are either interested in distancing themselves from the corrupt and widely unpopular Cheney, or they believe, like Pelosi, that impeachment proceedings could backfire on Democrats.)

Unable to kill the resolution, the impeachment-phobic Dems did all they could to bury it by sending it back to the Judiciary Committee, where it had languished since Kucinich first introduced it in April. But this time everybody was watching, a new focus was given the matter and a spotlight lit up on the Judiciary Committee Gold Fish bowl.

The attention garnered by the House floor debate, however brief, energized the growing impeachment movement, buoyed by the cracks beginning to show in the House's anti-impeachment edifice.

By the weekend, the 10,000-letters-to-Pelosi rumor began circulating on progressive blogs. A few days later, Cindy Sheehan, who will be challenging Pelosi for her seat next year, sent out an email repeating the rumor and requesting the letters be first sent to Sheehan to be counted, then delivered en masse to Pelosi's office.
Pissed me off because we had more important things to do than engage in that political theater, and in my less than humble opinion/assessment Cindy has more important things to do, like organize a real campaign!

Pelosi's staff was put in the interesting position of having to publicly deny that 10,000 handwritten letters would change the Speaker's mind on the matter.

Now this begs the question: Just what will it take to get Pelosi to allow impeachment proceedings to move forward? It will be up to the growing impeachment movement to find the answer to this question.

Mine? Oh….

CALL THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: (202) 225-3951

IT’S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID!

THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

REACH THE PRESS

http://courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes.blogspot.com/2007/11/its-judiciary-committee-stupid.html

Washington For Impeachment director Linda Boyd finds hopeful signs in the recent House vote. She notes that here in our state, in addition to resolution co-sponsor Jim McDermott, Jay Inslee and Norm Dicks also voted against tabling. It's significant that, nationwide, 64 Democrats who were not co-sponsors nevertheless resisted Pelosi's arm-twisting and voted against tabling the resolution. Those votes included Judiciary Chair John Conyers and other members of the Judiciary Committee. All this indicates to Boyd that the grassroots pressure for impeachment investigations is having an effect.

Boyd cites national opinion polls showing growing interest in impeachment, with more in favor of impeachment investigations than against. These numbers are already higher than the percentages that favored impeachment hearings against President Clinton in late 1998. And speaking of historical precedent, Boyd notes that even after Watergate, impeachment proceedings against Nixon were slow to get underway.

In addition to the opinion polls, Boyd notes that organized grassroots pressure for impeachment is building. Here in Washington state, 10 Democratic legislative districts and four counties have passed resolutions favoring impeachment. Democratic state parties in Oregon and California have come out in favor of impeachment. In Vermont, the state legislature passed a resolution urging Congress to take up impeachment. This is just a small sample; grassroots activities are underway all across the country.

Indeed, one has to wonder where fear of impeachment comes from among the House Democratic leadership. It can't be for lack of public sentiment, which would likely tip more toward impeachment once all the damning evidence is presented in public hearings. And it can't be for lack of evidence. Judiciary Chair Conyers himself had commissioned a report giving over 200 pages of evidence for impeachment back when Republicans controlled the committee. Now plenty of books and websites have laid out the case for impeachment on several different counts, including the Iraq war, torture, warrantless spying, and more.

Democrats who oppose impeachment don't argue the case for impeachment doesn't exist. They know the case is strong, as does most of the rest of America and the world.

Opposition is always couched in terms of having "other important matters" to attend to, fearing backlash, or tactical political considerations in the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign.

As if these things should trump the oath Congress members take to uphold the Constitution, or the importance of setting precedent to prevent future administrations from violating the Constitution and international law. Since when did this become a trivial concern?

Boyd says that now is the time to turn up the heat on our Congressional representatives. She notes that some of them may simply not want to be associated with a resolution introduced by Kucinich; in that case they should be encouraged to submit their own resolutions.

Kucinich focuses on the lies leading to the Iraq war; others could focus on warrantless wiretapping, illegal detentions, or torture. There's plenty for everybody.

And I just happen to have one to recommend….

http://alexandriaadvocatesalliance.blogspot.com/2007/06/alexandria-advocates-alliance-home-page.html

One thing that's clear is that Congressional leadership is going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming by public pressure to do the right thing and remove the criminals from the White House. And as Linda Boyd notes, "Impeachment is just the first step." Let's get busy.

Some helpful resources: Now remember there will be a host of internal links inside each of these, and seeing as we are “Cheney Hunting”, let’s use a firearms analogy. Just consider all the links as closets full of buck shot free for the use. Blast away! Good Hunting.

http://www.washingtonforimpeachment.org;

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org;

http://www.impeachbush.org;

http://www.impeachbush.tv.

http://courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes.blogspot.com/2007/01/court-of-impeachment-and-war-crimes.html

CLINTON 1ST, OBAMA 2ND, KUCINICH 3RD IN 'BUTTON BATTLE'
11/28/2007, 2:15 p.m. EST The Associated Press

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Never mind the polls. A company that supplies Democratic campaign paraphernalia has its own ideas about who the party's favorites are heading toward the presidential primary season.

Tigereye Design, (they have done good work for me) based in this city about 30 miles northwest of Dayton, produces buttons, bumper stickers, T-shirts and other Democratic candidate merchandise sold nationwide at party and union events. Sales numbers put U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York out in front among the presidential hopefuls, followed closely by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, said Tigereye owner Tony Baltes.

And, though U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland is barely registering in the national polls, he's third in sales. Hummmm…have some suspicion about the integrity and validity of the polling date? I do!

But Not This One!

KUCINICH WINS DFA ONLINE POLL...

Now that Dennis Kucinich has finished first in a major survey of Democratic activists, perhaps Democratic party bosses and their media acolytes will have to back off their efforts to marginalize him.

No, Kucinich's top-place finish in the Democracy for America online survey that attracted serious attention from major campaigns and drew more than 150,000 voters does not mean the anti-war congressman from Ohio is on a fast track to the nomination. But it does mean that Kucinich is displayed an ability to attract meaningful support from the party's activist base and that his "Democratic-wing-of-the-Democratic-Party" message has appeal.

Kucinich did not secure the 66-percent of the vote required to gain an official endorsement from DFA, the group founded by supporters of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid and their allies on the party's left flank. But he easily bested the other candidates and the unannounced "contender" who led in the early voting, former Vice President Al Gore.

The final totals were:

Kucinich 31.97% 49364

Al Gore 24.77% 38242

Former Senator John Edwards 15.6% 24078

Senator Barack Obama 13.86% 21403

Senator Hillary Clinton 4.21% 6504

Governor Bill Richardson 4.09% 6309

Other 2.05% 3171

Senator Christopher Dodd 1.56% 2415

Senator Joe Biden 1.12% 1723

Former Senator Mike Gravel 0.77% 1182

Kucinich beat the other candidates among voters from the first caucus state of Iowa and the first primary state of New Hampshire. He also won the early caucus state of Nevada, while Obama won the early primary state of South Carolina.

Notably, Gore won New York state.

And what of the "front-runner" for the nomination? Hillary Clinton lost every state in the DFA survey, which saw 95 percent of voters back someone other than the New York senator.

It is no secret that the powers that be in the party leadership and the boardrooms of the major networks have fixated on Clinton as the likely nominee.

Nor is it any secret that the party and media bosses would prefer to drop Kucinich from the roster of Democratic contenders who must be invited to join debates and participate in major events such as the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner.

Gravel was excluded from the most recent Democratic debate at Drexel University and moderator Tim Russert did everything he could during the course of that debate to read Kucinich out of the running.

But Kucinich's poll numbers in formal national and state surveys actually went up after the Drexel debate.

The congressman is polling ahead of Dodd and Biden -- as well as Gravel --in most national surveys of likely Democratic voters.

The same is true of many surveys from early caucus and primary states. And, with the DFA result, he can now point to an impressive finish in a test most of the major contenders took seriously. While Kucinich certainly campaigned hard to get votes in the DFA poll, Obama, Edwards, Richardson and Dodd made significant efforts -- by sending emails and cutting videos -- to encourage their backers to participate in the survey.

As such, Kucinich's win is meaningful -- and it should become at least a bit more difficult to dismiss the congressman's win, and his candidacy.
Posted by John Nichols at 11/06/2007 @ 10:38pm Email This Post

Is America Heading for the Trash Can of History?

In new books writers as disparate as Naomi Wolf and Pat Buchanan conclude that America as we know her is disappearing. Both writers hope, but are not confident, that enough Americans will catch on in time to find the leadership to pull America back from the brink.

If polls are reliable, a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Bush and Congress. However, Americans are far short of Wolf and Buchanan's grasp of our peril.

Americans are unable to connect their dissatisfaction with the current political leadership with their choice of new leaders. All polls show that Hillary Clinton is far in the lead for the Democratic presidential nomination and Rudy Giuliani is far in the lead for the Republican nomination These are the only two candidates guaranteed to be worse than Bush/Cheney.

Both Hillary and Rudy are committed to the war. Both refuse to rule out expanding the war to Iran and beyond. Both are totally in the pocket of the Israel Lobby. Indeed, practically every Giuliani advisor is a member of the Lobby. Both defend the police state measures that "protect us from terrorism." And neither gives a hoot for the US Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. The Republican Giuliani is likely to overturn the Second Amendment even quicker than the Democrat Hillary.

Both Hillary and Rudy are creatures of ambition, not of principle. Both are one up on Karl Marx. Marx said truth serves class interests. For Hillary and Rudy, truth is what serves their individual interests. They both wear black hats, and the horse they ride is called power.

Yet in November polls, Republicans prefer Giuliani by a margin of five or six to one over Ron Paul, the only principled Republican candidate and a person who without any doubt believes in the Constitution and would protect it.

Democrats polled prefer Hillary by a margin of twenty to one over Dennis Kucinich, the only member of Congress sufficiently concerned and courageous to introduce impeachment against the notorious war criminal Dick Cheney. By margins as much as forty-four to one, Democrats prefer Hillary to Senator Christopher Dodd, who promises to give America back its Constitution in the first hour of his administration. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel does not even register in the polls.

Obviously, the American people haven't a clue. In November 2007 they show a distinct preference for leaders who are even worse than the ones with whom they are currently dissatisfied. What does this tell us about the American people and their commitment to be sufficiently informed for democracy to function?

It Tells Us That They Are Not Up To The Challenge. It Is Only A Matter Of Time Before America Succumbs To The Plutocracy, Against Which Warren Buffet Recently Warned Congress, Or The Fascist Tyranny That Naomi Wolf Sees In Our Future.

And Let’s Take A Trip To Cleveland…
http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/3507

Enough, Already

Huntington Beach Impeachment Action.
The 2008 presidential election is almost upon us, and the end of the Bush administration is in sight—but that hasn’t deterred the Huntington Beach Impeachment Action group one bit.
They are still rallying to add Surf City to a list of 87 other cities in the nation that endorse the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Yes, it’s true they have participated in six consecutive Huntington Beach City Council meetings to no avail, but they are determined to show up at every meeting until the council takes notice.
Anyone who is interested can join the effort. All you have to do is show up perturbed and see if this slogan can get you thrown out: Impeachment is patriotic, bitches!
Huntington Beach Impeachment Action meeting, corner of Main Street and Yorktown Avenue, Huntington Beach. Every other Mon., 5 p.m.

—Amanda Parsons

And In Other News…

Impeach now, or Forever hold the Pieces
By Uptown Ruler

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. – Article II, Section 4 ...
Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

Why there is no impeachment: The Democrats are implicated in every ...
By CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD...(CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD...)

But for the reasons set forth above (and a full case would fill many volumes), the Democrats are not going to impeach any of these criminals, barring events entirely unforeseeable at present. And they will not for one overwhelmingly ...
CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE... - http://mparent7777-2.blogspot.com

ON THE ATTACK: ARE THE DEMS MOVING TOWARD A CONTEMPT VOTE?
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2007/11/contempt-leahy-summer-showdowns.html

Washington Dispatch: For months, the Democratic leadership has held off on a confrontation with the White House over the U.S. attorneys scandal. A ruling today may signal that they're returning to the offensive.

By Nick Baumann
November 29, 2007

Is this the return of the summer showdowns between Capitol Hill Democrats and the White House? Maybe a precursor to bigger and better things; we can hope.

The Senate Judiciary Committee moved a big step closer to contempt citations against top Bush administration officials today. Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) ruled that White House claims of executive privilege "are not legally valid." A Senate aide tells Mother Jones the committee could begin contempt proceedings as early as next Thursday if current and former administration officials do not comply immediately with the subpoenas.

More than four months have passed since the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers for contempt. Bolten, Miers, and other administration officials had refused to comply with congressional subpoenas for testimony and documents relating to the U.S. attorneys scandal. But with the committee vote a fading memory, the full House still has yet to vote on the measure.
On the Senate side, Leahy never followed through on vague threats to cite the President for contempt if the White House didn't provide the documents Congress had subpoenaed. And despite a letter House Oversight Committee chairman Henry Waxman sent three months ago (PDF) requesting information on the 5 million emails the White House "lost," they are still nowhere to be found.

The Democrats have made almost no progress in their efforts to obtain more information about the attorney firings. They have proven equally ineffective in holding the people stonewalling them accountable. The Democrats have been distracted by other issues, and they were outmaneuvered by a stubborn administration. For months, the Democratic leadership has held off on a confrontation with the White House, but Leahy's ruling today may signal that they're returning to the attack.

Some amount of distraction is understandable. With the much-hyped Petraeus report on Iraq in early September and the resignation and replacement of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Dems had a lot on their hands. But the heart of the U.S. attorneys scandal—and the part the Democrats are most interested in—lurks at 1600 Pennsylvania, and the White House remains implicated, even if Karl Rove has resigned.
If the Justice Department and Gonzales were fall guys to shift blame for the attorneys scandal away from the White House, as many on the left alleged, they did their job. Even after Gonzales' replacement, Michael Mukasey, was confirmed in early November, the Democrats still failed to press for answers.

On November 5, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers Jr. made what was widely reported as a "ninth and final" offer to the administration to stave off contempt citations for Miers and Bolten, agreeing to previous administration requests that interviews with senior White House staff not be conducted under oath.
He even went so far as to file the contempt report with the clerk of the House—a move toward a full House vote. "Subpoena Showdown in House Grows Near," CBS News reported. Conyers asked for a response from the administration by the end of the week. The White House quickly indicated it would not comply with Conyers' request. But no House vote on the contempt citations came. Instead, the Democratic leadership backed off, choosing to focus on Iraq and the budget.

That was just the opening the administration was looking for, says James Horney, director of fiscal policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "The president thinks it's in his political interest to have a confrontation with the Congress over budget issues.
Even if a majority of the people in the country doesn’t support what he's doing I suspect he'd rather have people reading press accounts about this than about Iraq and a number of other issues." Instead of battling over the attorneys scandal and voting on contempt charges or subpoenaing email records, Congress spent November bickering with the White House over budget issues and the war and didn't pass a single major bill.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been losing the battle on the president's chosen ground: spending. After making no progress on passing the $22 billion of extra domestic spending they want for FY 2008, Senate majority leader Harry Reid offered to split the difference.
But the White House, sensing weakness, held firm.
Now House Democrats are worried they're being lured into a repeat of the Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich clash that shut down the government in 1995. Between pay-as-you-go rules, Iraq war funding, and a White House that won't give an inch, the Democrats look increasingly trapped.

In recent months, outside groups have made the most progress on the accountability front. Earlier this year, two nonprofits, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive, sued to find out what happened to the missing emails. On November 12, they scored a big victory by obtaining a court order that forces the White House to maintain copies of all its emails.

Meredith Fuchs, the general counsel to the National Security Archive, says she was surprised Congress wasn't being more aggressive.
"It's pretty remarkable that the Congress hasn't done more," she comments. "Congress ought to be asking the White House to explain what its doing with its records.
These same kind of things happened with the Clinton administration and Congress was outraged." CREW chief counsel Anne Weismann says she'd like to see Congress subpoena more information.
"We have to operate within the court system and we have no way to compel a judge to rule on any of our motions," she said. "I'd like Congress to ask for some of the same documents we have. Ask the White House to give them documents that show what the White House knows."

Leahy's ruling today may be a signal that the process is finally moving again. If the Judiciary committee does debate contempt citations next week, the full Senate could conceivably be voting on the issue before the end of the year.
"The Senate Majority Leader has a very ambitious agenda for the next three weeks," says Erica Chabot, a spokeswoman for Leahy. "But that doesn't mean it can't change should something develop" before Congress recesses over the Christmas holidays.

The House leadership has also signaled a willingness to proceed with contempt proceedings in December, and Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House speaker Nancy Pelosi, says part of the delay was the time it took for the leadership to consult members and make sure they had the votes. "It appears that we do [have the votes] and the speaker said it's likely we'd go forward," he said.
Still, some in the blogosphere have questioned the leadership's commitment to the issue. On November 16, TAPPED's Adele Stan asked why freshman representatives had been asked to whip the contempt vote.

"Why, in the House, where seniority is everything, has the fate of the U.S. Constitution been left in the hands of the freshman members?. . .Why is this fight not being fought without quarter, floor vote after floor vote?" Daly says the freshmen were the perfect choice. "They are the ones that are very concerned about this.
Many of them got elected on restoring the integrity of the Congress and this is an important part of that." Still, the rhetoric at the top remains strong. "Pursuing contempt is crucial," Conyers said in an email to Mother Jones. And Daly, the speaker's spokesman, notes, "It's the integrity of Congress that's at stake here." But no one on either side of the Capitol was particularly committal about bringing contempt citations to a vote before the full Congress—or subpoenaing email records—before the end of the year.
And no one had a good answer for the most obvious question: If holding the administration accountable is so important, why is it taking so long?

Nick Baumann is Mother Jones' Washington Fellow.

And Let’s Close With A Little VOTING IN OHIO; that’s always interesting.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OH_VOTING_MACHINES_CHARGES_OHOL-?SITE=OHONN&SECTION=HOME

The Weekly Rasmussen Report: Click On The “More”..

Iowa: Huckabee 28% Romney 25%
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the Iowa caucus finds former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee with 28% of the vote, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney with 25% support, and everyone else far behind. National frontrunner Rudy Giuliani gets just 12% of the vote in Iowa at this time while former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is the only other candidate in double digits at 11%.
More..

TOP STORIES
Daily Presidential Tracking Poll The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Rudy Giuliani with 24% support in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Four candidates are closely bunched in a battle for second place nationally--Mitt Romney is supported by 15% John McCain by 14%, Mike Huckabee at 12% and Fred Thompson at 11%.
More..

What if Huckabee Wins Iowa? Until recently, one of the few settled features in the race for the Republican nomination was Mitt Romneys lead in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. That, along with Rudy Giuliani’s ongoing lead in the national poll, led some pundits to believe that the GOP nomination battle had come down to a two man race.
More..

45% Have Started Holiday Shopping; 13% Have Finished By the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 45% of American adults had started their holiday shopping. That’s up from 27% earlier in the month. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that half (50%) haven’t begun their shopping.
More..

Economic Confidence of Small Business Owners Continues Downward Trend Economic confidence among small business owners declined for the fourth straight month in November, as increased pessimism over the U.S. economy dragged down indicators of relative stability at the small business level, according to the Discover Small Business Watch.
More..

Health Care is Top Issue for Most Democrats, National Security for Most Republicans The latest Rasmussen Reports tracking poll of electoral issues confirms that Democrats tend to place the most emphasis on domestic issues, Republicans on national security and immigration. Voters as a whole continue to trust Democrats more on the issues most important to them, but by shrinking margins.
More..

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows Rudy Giuliani with 24% support in the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Four candidates are closely bunched in a battle for second place nationally--Mitt Romney is supported by 15% John McCain by 14%, Mike Huckabee at 12% and Fred Thompson at 11%.
More

Thursday, November 29, 2007

IT'S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID! Don't Get Distracted. Kucinich Is Still The Only One On Our Side!





































HEADLINE: INTERNET GOES NUTS AS FRUITCAKE SEASON BEGINS.

PLEASE PEOPLE GET REAL AND KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE!

CALL THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: (202) 225-3951

REACH THE PRESS

THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

IT’S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID!

FROM THE TOP OF THE PDA WEB SITE TODAY

Why Should PDA Support Dennis Kucinich?

By Steve Cobble (one of the original PDA members)
November 28, 2007

Camus once said, “I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice.” Most of us would like to vote for a President and still love peace.

That's why I support Dennis Kucinich. That's why I'm asking PDA activists to back Dennis in this week's online poll.

Like many of you, I was there at Roxbury in 7/04, watching Dean and Kucinich clasp hands as the crowd roared, while PDA was born from those grassroots activists in both campaigns who refused to settle for war.

We knew the war on Iraq was based on lies. Dennis led the House opposition.

We knew it was “blood for oil”--only Dennis said so in Congress.

We marched on the day “the world said no to war”--but of the candidates, only Dennis rallied for peace on 2/15/2003.

PDA fights to end funding for the occupation, stands up for impeachment, challenges the illegitimate Ohio vote count, opposes the Patriot Act, and organizes fiercely for single-payer health care.

Of those Democrats now running, only Dennis Kucinich stands with us on everything.

Only Dennis Kucinich supports all five of PDA's core priorities.

On 10/24/2001, a time of terror and intimidation, Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act-the only Democrat running who did so. A year later, he voted against war on Iraq-the only Democrat running who did so. Just a few weeks ago, he stood up alone in Congress to call for Dick Cheney's impeachment.

Dennis has kept faith on PDA's core issues. Please say yes to those same key issues, by supporting the one candidate who has stood up for us every single time.

The primaries are the time to state what PDA believes. If we do so, there is only one name to click on-Dennis Kucinich.

If you are a PDA member click here and vote: https://www.pdamerica.org/polls/poll-pres-2008-1.php

Note: Please leave your comments on our blog.
The headline on a link at Memeorandum this morning caught our eye: "Kucinich poses 2-way ticket."

It leads to this post at a blog on GoErie.com , the website of the the Erie Times-News. "The race goes on, but one thing that can be said for U.S. Rep. and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, and that is he is always proposing something new," the post reads. "This time he mentioned a possible Democrat-Republican ticket. The Republican he is suggesting, Ron Paul, is a congressman from Texas."

Bryan Preston at the conservative heavyweight blog Hot Air spotted that entry and had this to say this morning: "The blog that posted this doesn't source its claim and I've never heard of the blog before, so I can't vouch for its word one way or the other. But come on. It just makes a warped kind of sense to put these two on a ticket."

We did some digging around and discovered that this report, from the The Plain Dealer's Opener blog on Sunday, is likely what started it all. From New Hampshire, Opener wrote:

Call it the liberal-libertarian ticket, where left meets right and Democrat Dennis Kucinich picks Republican Ron Paul to be his vice president.

Kucinich, the Cleveland congressman running in a longshot bid to become president, suggested it himself today.

"I'm thinking about Ron Paul" as a running mate, Kucinich told a crowd of about 70 supporters at a house party here, one of numerous stops throughout New Hampshire over the Thanksgiving weekend. A Kucinich-Paul administration could bring people together "to balance the energies in this country," Kucinich said.

Kucinich's audience of roughly 70 people who gathered at Joanna Dennett's house in Acworth seemed to like the notion of a Kucinich/Paul ticket, although Ron Paul's press spokesman shot it down when The Plain Dealer asked about it later in the day. http://blog.cleveland.com/openers/2007/11/exclusive_audio_kucinich_consi.html

On Tuesday, the National Jewish Democratic Council released a statement that criticized the Cleveland congressman for saying he'd consider the Texas Republican congressman as his vice president if he wins the Democratic party's nomination.

"Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect," Paul communications director Jesse Benton said in an e-mail when asked whether a running-mate spot on the Kucinich ticket would be attractive to Paul. "They have worked, and will continue to work, together on the ending the war and protecting civil liberties.

"However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible."

But what about it, Kucinich and Paul supporters? Any support for a Kucinich-Paul or a Paul-Kucinich ticket?
Update at 1:40 p.m. ET:

Sabrina Eaton, the Plain Dealer reporter who posted the news about what Kucinich said, e-mailed us to say she has now put some audio online. As she notes, "after spotting numerous blog postings that question whether Democrat Dennis Kucinich in fact said he'd consider Republican Ron Paul as his running mate, The Plain Dealer is posting exclusive audio of the remarks Kucinich made on Sunday."

Hygeianwnh@aol.com
Look, boys, unless you have talked with Kucinich personally, or actually know some of the background about the issues, you would not be saying that DK abandons his supporters. (This is a lie that is being perpetuated by the right wing & 1/2 the DINOS (Dems in Name Only)/ He's the only one who spoke up, supports and actually got the horrendous Holt bill exposed for the shame that it is.....(presently on ice in the House). Last cycle he brought election integrity front and center, and gave Bev Harris much support to get Diebold off her back for exposing their dirty dealings with electronic voting machines.

He's the only one to speak about support for family farms, sustainable small family farmers, non GMO foods, not privatizing water rights here in NH. He has now responded to OUR asking him to speak out about the impeachment issue!!!

I am a supporter of Kucinich, was a Dean supporter in 2004 and you are being absolutely ridiculous to think that WOMEN will be voting for Hillary, from the Kucinich camp.

Get real, fellas!

Hills does NOT represent me, the issues that I care about, nor what most women care about. Believe me. Yes, it's splashy to think that a woman could become elected as a US Prez, but this one is a hawk, receiving LOTS of $ from the corporate war profiteers, embedded with Rupert Murdock! This is NOT the person who I resonate with in my heart.

It is becoming obvious that the impeachment issue is #1 priority now.....get real....and THANK Kucinich for bringing this front and center....he is not going to abandon this issue nor his supporters. Where are YOU.....sounds like YOU'VE abandoned HIM, not the other way around.

Read Naomi Wolf's book, or any of the other 14 books on our very own NEIC book list about impeachment to realize how our country is slipping into a Fascist state.

Nancy White

And If You Want To See What A Real Advocate Is Like Just Click Here And Below Here For A Guy That Not Only Has Bush And Cheney Impeached; He Has Them Swinging At The End Of A Rope Outside The Hague Court!

My Mom Knew Him At Kent State Way Back When And She Says This Is A Guy You Don’t Want F@#K With.

He May Be Smiling; But He’ll Be Planning.

I’ll Bet He Thinks Some Of Us Are Real Ass Holes.

GOOGLE ALERTS: IMPEACHMENT, BUSH, CHENEY, WAR CRIMES
Etta Samene: Post: Re: Get Real, guys!!! Nov 29, 2007 11:31 AM Alert

Ed’s Response…I’ve been patient and am still working within the system for the MOMENT and only the moment. When Fascism Comes To America wrapped in the flag carrying a cross; I will be wrapped in The Declaration of Independence carrying a Gun as our streets become a gathering of Fire, Steel and Blood! Is That Clear enough?

No! Then try this. Chicken Shit might be great for a lovely Flower Garden, but it won’t nourish a nation. Got it now?

Elizabeth de la Vega On Culture Project

tompage1@yahoo.com
This is a forum about impeachment. Ron Paul does NOT support impeachment. Last month, Ron Paul voted to KILL H.Res. 333 - the Kucinich bill for impeachment of Cheney. 'Nuff said. See: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll1037.xml

Jonathan, you were asked a month ago to stop posting your Ron Paul propaganda on this discussion list. It has no place on a PRO-IMPEACHMENT discussion list. You've said that you don't support impeachment and neither does Ron Paul. It's clear that you are here only to promote your candidate and bash Democratic candidates.

Let me set the record straight (so no one is duped by your propaganda):

Ron Paul may talk a good game, but his votes speak for themselves.
http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=296

Beyond the (pro-corporate) freedom rhetoric, if you actually take the time to look up his record you'll find: Ron Paul has also sponsored a bill to give away MORE tax dollars to Blackwater & Halliburton. He thinks corporate control of our military and outsourcing the Pentagon is a GOOD thing and America should have more of it. If fact, he was the ONLY member of Congress last year to get a perfect 100% rating on his votes from the ultra-conservative John Birch Society! (Neo-fascist Tom Tancredo came in second with just 77%).

And, you think that political PROGRESSIVES should SUPPORT Ron Paul? Insane. Libertarianism is regressive (as in back to the 18th century, NOT progressive.)

Why don't you go peddle your stuff over on FreeRepublic or NewsMax with your Republican Libertarian friends? I'm sure they'd all be happy to read about the coming corporate utopia under Ron Paul when "government oversight [of corpoations] won't be needed" - when the Enron, Blackwater, Halliburton, Arthur Anderson, and my HMO will all be FREE & will just magically regulate themselves, & all for the public good! Hallelujah. Pass the Kool-Aid.

Please, spare us the anti-tax pro-corporation drivel. If you persist in posting nothing but propaganda and accusing others who disagree with your rightwing ideology as being part of a "partisan slander machine" (how ironic), then you should be kicked off this discussion list.

This discussion list is for discussions on impeachment and impeachment activism ONLY. (At least Kucinich actually supports impeachment.) It is not the appropiate place to post pro-Ron Paul BS. (He's a Republican. He doesn't support impeachment. He votes WITH Bush about two-thirds of the time.) I don't care if you love Ron Paul and Bush's corporate deregulation agenda. You can write about your love of Ayn Randian free market capitalism or Ron Paul's coming utopia all you like, I just don't see how its at all relevant here & I don't care to read about it on this IMPEACHMENT DISCUSSION LIST.

Posted by Plain Dealer staff November 27, 2007 19:25PM
Categories: Kucinich

While most political junkies are looking forward to Wednesday night's CNN-YouTube Republican debate in St. Petersburg, Fla., Dennis Kucinich will try to grab the media spotlight that night for at least a few minutes. He's holding a town hall meeting at 8 p.m. in Manchester, N.H., that will be broadcast live on the Internet Kucinich television network. The GOP presidential debate begins at the same time.

(More than 3,500 video questions were submitted and are being reviewed by CNN producers, with about 40 videos expected to be played during the two-hour debate. We'll have to wait to find out whether the snowman will be back. A melting snowman frightened about global warming was among the questioners at the Democrats' CNN-YouTube debate in June.

Kucinich did get the interest of national writer Gore Vidal whose The Nation interview with the Democratic presidential candidate is also at Pacific Free Press.com.
Vidal notices that although Kucinich is now at least visible in lineups of the Democratic candidates; he tends to be the most eloquent of the lot.

Kucinich's admission over the Thanksgiving weekend that "I'm thinking about Ron Paul" as a running mate, sent some bloggers over the edge.

Joseph Cannon at cannonfire.blogspot says that his crush on Kucinich's wife, Elizabeth ended when she confirmed that Dennis would "absolutely" consider running with Paul.

Cannon, in The Kucinich Kon: rants that Fair Elizabeth -- more puppeteer than partner, it seems -- is perfectly willing to ally her husband with Ron Paul, a man who wants an end to Social Security. And Medicare. And OSHA. And all regulation on business.

And Kucinich himself fights back after he was excluded from Joe Biden's new "Joe is Right" ad that features complimentary quotes from six of the senator's seven Democratic presidential rivals.

"If I weren't so darned wonderful myself, I'd be supporting Joe," reads the Biden print ad in seven papers in Iowa. Per his website, the buy required about $50,000 in fundraising to get placed. The web video montage, which birthed the idea, now has 42,000 hits on YouTube.

Kucinich noticed that he was left out. And he's mad as hell.

Per a release issued by his campaign, he complained that deliberately - and revealingly - missing from the political cast of characters in Biden's approving/adoring love-fest among the Democratic candidates is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. ...Kucinich crows that he was excluded from the "love-fest" because his policies differ so much from rivals who, he says, have supported the war and harmful trade policies.

And, finally, blogger Lucia Bill asks Can a Hillary Supporter and a Kucinich Devotee Find True Love? Bill, herself a Hillary supporter says, I didn't know how close to the dark side I am until I started dating a Dennis Kucinich devotee. ...While a relationship between a Hillary and Dennis fan sometimes feels like proof that love conquers all, it all rests on priorities and values that transcend politics. There are those who are not capable of dignified disagreement or civilized criticism, and having a partner who does not respect your choice and judgment is bound to be a story without a happy ending.

Speculation of a Kucinich-Paul ticket has surfaced on the Internet, where it also has been shot down. But Kucinich's wife, Elizabeth, did not dismiss it when asked about it after a recent Democratic candidates' debate in Las Vegas. Speaking to the website RawVegasTV, she called Paul "a great truth-teller," adding that Paul has "voted 100 percent right on the war."

Dennis Kucinich

By Gore Vidal

11/28/07 "The Nation" -- --- For the past two years I've been crisscrossing the United States speaking to crowds of people about our history and politics. At the same time, would-be Presidents of the greatest nation in the country, as silver-tongued Spiro Agnew used to say, have been crowding the trail, while TV journalists sadly shake their heads at how savage the politicos have become in their language. But then, it is the task of TV journalists to foment quarrels where often none properly exist.

As I pass through the stage door of one auditorium after another, I now hear the ominous name of Darth Vader, as edgy audiences shudder at the horrible direction our political discourse has taken.

Ever eager as I am to shed light, I sometimes drop the name of the least publicized applicant to the creaky throne of the West: Dennis Kucinich. It takes a moment for the name to sink in. Then genuine applause begins.

He is very much a favorite out there in the amber fields of grain, and I work him into the text.
A member of the House of Representatives for five terms since 1997, although many of his legislative measures have been too useful and original for our brain-dead media to comprehend.

I note his well-wrought articles proposing the impeachment of Vice President Cheney, testing the patriotic nerves of his fellow Democrats, but then the fact of his useful existence often causes distress to those who genuinely hate that democracy he is so eager to extend. "Don't waste your vote," they whine in unison--as if our votes are not quadrennially wasted on those marvelous occasions when they are actually counted and recorded.

Meanwhile, Kucinich is now at least visible in lineups of the Democratic candidates; he tends to be the most eloquent of the lot.

So who is he? Something of a political prodigy: at 31 he was elected mayor of Cleveland. Once he had been installed, in 1978, the city's lordly banks wanted the new mayor to sell off the city's municipally owned electric system, Muny Light, to a private competitor in which (Oh, America!) the banks had a financial interest.

When Mayor Kucinich refused to sell, the money lords took their revenge, as they are wont to do: they refused to roll over the city's debt, pushing the city into default. The ensuing crisis revealed the banks' criminal involvement with the private utility of their choice, CEI, which, had it acquired Muny Light, would have become a monopoly, as five of the six lordly banks had almost 1.8 million shares of CEI stock: this is Enronesque before the fact.

Mayor Kucinich was not re-elected, but his profile was clearly etched on the consciousness of his city; and in due course he returned to the Cleveland City Council before being elected to the Ohio State Senate and then the US Congress. Kucinich has also written a description of his Dickensian youth, growing up in Cleveland.

He has firsthand knowledge of urban poverty in the world's richest nation. Born in 1946 into a Croatian Catholic family, by the time he was 17 he and his family had lived in twenty-one different places, much of which he describes in Dreiserian detail in a just-published memoir.

Kucinich is opposed to the death penalty as well as the USA Patriot Act. In 1998 and 2004 he was a US delegate to the United Nations convention on climate change. At home he has been active in Rust Belt affairs, working to preserve the ninety-year-old Cleveland steel industry, a task of the sort that will confront the next President should he or she have sufficient interest in these details.

I asked a dedicated liberal his impression of Kucinich; he wondered if Kucinich was too slight to lead a nation of truly fat folk.

I pointed out that he has the same physical stature as James Madison, as well as a Madisonian commitment to our 1789 Constitution; he is also farsighted, as demonstrated by his resolute opposition to Bush's cries for ever more funding for the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More to the point, in October 2002 he opposed the notion of a war then being debated. For those of us at home and in harm's way from disease, he co-wrote HR 676, a bill that would insure all of us within Medicare, just as if we were citizens of a truly civilized nation.

Dear, dear friends of Dennis Kucinich,

On behalf of Dennis and Elizabeth, we wish to extend warm and heartfelt gratitude for attending one or more of the events of their whirlwind tour on Sunday.

The strong turnout and enthusiastic response to Dennis’ message was a strong confirmation of your desire for a true change in the direction of this nation. For those of you who were not able to hear Dennis and Elizabeth on Sunday, you are receiving this because you have previously spoken your support for Dennis.

It has become apparent that a growing number of us really do want to move forward using “Strength through Peace" as the foundation for reconciliation, prosperity, education, health, freedom and a return to the rule of law as provided in the US Constitution.

It is also evident we must be willing to be pro active to see him elected. We are his “media” now and we are part of the strong tradition that says that New Hampshire voters will choose for themselves; that we reject being told by any corporate entity who New Hampshire wants and will have as our next president.

We New Hampshire voters play a very important role in determining who sits in the White House come January, 2009. We have the power to turn the tables on the corporate sponsored candidates, the media darlings whom they promote, based on artificial issues such as access to money and mass visual appeal, over substance and principled positions on the important issues facing our nation.

We have a remarkable opportunity to transform Dennis into a competitive major candidate, a man who by his very nature is incapable of being owned by corporate interests. He comes with no strings attached, freeing him to accomplish his commitment to serve you and no one else.

As Elizabeth pointed out numerous times, Dennis can only win with our involvement. You have already expressed your willingness to do just that, so here are a few things for your consideration.

Imagine what would happen if you could devote two hours per week of your precious time to participating in activities organized or sponsored by our local committee; things like taking part in our Tuesday Railroad Square visibility and tabling event at noon; like holding a totem sign at Central Square on Wednesdays; like manning the office at 29 Center St. for 2 hours a week.

People are influenced when they believe the candidate has a strong and vibrant campaign.

Our goal is to have these visibility events take place at least three times a week and in several locations. We also need people to write letters to the editors of all the regional newspapers. We need to place lawn signs on the premises of each and every supporter and bumper stickers on their cars, as well. Every little bit helps to make a big impact. Let’s take advantage of the momentum created on November 25 and continue to build on it.

Dennis has committed to spending 24 to 28 days in New Hampshire between now and the primary election, which is scheduled to take place on January 8th. We will soon be making a huge effort to ‘canvas’ throughout Cheshire County. Support for Dennis is growing and with your help he can garner enough votes to make the pollsters and the pundits and the rest of the country sit up and take notice.

Please reply to this e-mail if you can help at all. Leave your name, phone number and a rough idea of when you could be available to participate as a volunteer. One of our committee members will contact you, so please mention a good time to reach you.

A great big thanks from the Cheshire County Committee to Elect Dennis Kucinich President, 2008
29 Center St.
Keene, NH 03431
603-283-0373
keenenh@kucinich.us

IN DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACY

We all know that something is very wrong in our country. The Rule of Law, the Balance of Powers, and our Constitutionally guaranteed Civil Liberties have been under sustained assault by an Administration that is brazen and unrepentant in its abuses of our rights and our founding principles. And, to make matters worse, the Democratic leadership of the House and the Senate have failed to exercise the Constitutional authority granted to Congress to stop those abuses and hold violators accountable.

The results? The powers of the Executive Branch have gone unchecked and its policies unchallenged. The Congress and the American people were deceived into an illegal and immoral war in Iraq, and those same deceptions and manipulations are being used to justify a new war in Iran. The government is spying on its own citizens, ignoring judicial protections and due process, denying the right of habeas corpus, and refusing to abide by international laws, treaties, and principles.

Our nation faces a crisis, yet its leaders, and the candidates campaigning for the Presidency, refuse to acknowledge or address it in any substantive way. That's why it's time for: A DIALOGUE FOR DEMOCRACY.

This Thursday, November 29, Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich will host an unprecedented "Dialogue for Democracy" forum that will be streamed LIVE on the Internet at KucinichTV.com. Along with invited guests, Dennis will bring this crisis to the attention of the nation and the world so we can better understand what's wrong, and, more importantly, what we can do about it. The first segment of the LIVE broadcast begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m. The LIVE forum will resume at 5 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.

AN INVITATION TO SPEAK OUT! The Kucinich campaign is also extending this open invitation to representatives of interested organizations and concerned citizens to participate in this "Dialogue" by sending an email to dialogue@kucinich.us. Tell us who you are, the issues you want discussed, and whether you or your organization would like to participate directly during any of the LIVE broadcasts.

OUR DEMOCRACY - YOUR DEMOCRACY - is at stake in this election. And there's something you can do about it. You can stand with the candidate who stands with you. The one candidate who isn't afraid to speak the truth, to give honest answers, and to lay out real solutions that don't protect the status quo. If that's the kind of leader you want, someone who will protect and defend YOUR interests and rights under the Constitution, consider making a contribution to the Kucinich for President Campaign today. It's your way of ensuri ng that your voice will continue to be heard throughout the debates, the primaries, and the caucuses.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT! Any contribution you make now through November 29th is eligible for federal matching funds. That means your $50 contribution becomes a $100 contribution. A $100 contribution becomes $200. BUT THE DEADLINE IS THURSDAY NIGHT, so please don't wait.

Click here to double the impact of your contribution so you can have an even bigger impact on the campaign, and on the future of our nation.
Defend the ConstitutionThe Kucinich Campaign
http://www.dennis4president.com

MCCLELLAN REVELATIONS DEMAND IMMEDIATE IMPEACHMENT, SAY GREENS
Green Party US (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
What will it take for the Democratic Party to move on impeachment? By refusing to impeach, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer [D-Md.], Rep. ...
See all stories on this topic Conclusion –

The Bush/Cheney torture policies do what they were ...
Democratic Underground - Washington,DC,USA
There is only one appropriate way for Congress to respond to that, and that is impeachment and removal from office. There is no excuse for their failure to ...
See all stories on this topic

Impeachment Forum in Bucks County PA, with Rob Kall, Dave Lindorff ...
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
Why the US Congress is not acting on the impeachment resolutions which have been introduced? Dave Lindorff, investigative reporter, columnist for

Kucinich Town Hall on Impeachment Televised Live Tonight
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
by David Swanson Page 1 of 1 page(s) MANCHESTER, NH - Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has been crisscrossing the state of New Hampshire ...
See all stories on this topic

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Time%20for%20change/250

Congressman Dennis Kucinich Speaks Out at Impeachment Teach-In at ...
Associated Content - Denver,CO,USA
By David Anderson Earlier this week, Congressman Dennis Kucinich told listeners gathered at the Impeachment Teach-In at New Hampshire's Dartmouth College ...

Kucinich Strengthens Impeachment Campaign
Kucinich committed himself to the issue of impeachment after he read the Defense Budget; it called for $10 million for retrofitting B2 stealth bombers that could drop bunker-buster bombs on nuclear research facilities in Iran.

Digg - http://digg.com / Baldwin, Thoms etc Join 'A Question of Impeachment' Series
Culture Project has announced new participants for their ambitious and unique new series, "A Question of Impeachment," which explores and debates the case for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney.
BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content - http://www.broadwayworld.com

Impeachment Resolution passes at National Lawyers Guild!
By Global Evildoer Fighter
The resolution lists more than a dozen high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush and Cheney administration and "calls upon the US House of Representatives to immediately initiate impeachment proceedings, to investigate the charges, ...See Text Here!
Suzie-Q - http://suzieqq.wordpress.com

DOES TAKING IMPEACHMENT OFF THE TABLE MAKE NANCY PELOSI A CRIMINAL?
By DownWithTyranny (DownWithTyranny)
Impeachment was designed with Bush in mind. Today David over at Art of Mental Warfare has a stunning and mind-boggling statement from an American covert operative who Nancy Pelosi ought to get to know. So should all Americans. ...
DownWithTyranny! - http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com

Presidential Hopeful Pushes Impeachment At Dartmouth Forum
A month ago, a Channel 3 News poll found Vermonters favor the impeachment of the president and vice president by a margin of nearly two to one. Monday night, the leader of that initiative in Congress spoke at Dartmouth. Rep. ...
AfterDowningStreet.org - Impeach... - http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

The Impeachment Imperative

I acknowledge even as I write this that it may be too late to save the soul of America. Our cause may in fact already be lost. It is in the spirit of ‘never say die’ that I undertake this post.

I’ve heard all the excuses, all the reasons why we can’t or it wouldn’t be wise or politic to impeach the criminal traitors who have seized control of our country. I reject them every one, and suspect active rightwing participation in planting them within the Democratic Party and within our community. They’ve never made sense and only serve to perpetuate the despotic regime of the neocon corporatists who have brought such joy to our nation and our world.

All of our counters to the arguments against impeachment boil down to the following few points:

The Clinton ‘impeachment’ was a damned joke on the American people and a flagrant abuse of the Constitution which bears no comparison to the present circumstances.

One does not count the likely votes prior to impeachment proceedings and make a go/no go decision based on that.

That would be like having jurors vote for guilt or innocence in a criminal trial without ever presenting evidence or arguments – without ever actually conducting a trial.

When the evidence properly presented begins to form a monstrous pile of reeking guilt, the steely resolve of the Republican hyenas will weaken. They will falter and fail as the entire country comes to an awareness of the virtually endless list of the administration’s constitutional and war criminal Murderous offenses such as:

Purposely lying the country into launching an aggressive war of choice.

The sanctioned and hideous torture of helpless prisoners.

The rampant theft and misappropriation of billions of taxpayer dollars.

The willful dismantling and crippling of government agencies and services.

Unbridled and shameless vote fraud and election theft.

Repeated nefarious blows to American freedoms delivered in utter secrecy.

The naked seizure of unauthorized Executive power,

And all the other high crimes and misdemeanors too numerous to list that anyone paying half-assed attention already knows about.

Even the staunchest Republican Bush supporters will begin to peel away as the glare of public inquiry reveals the perverted and unbearable truth – just as they did when the full extent of Nixon’s crimes finally came to light. And Bush’s insults to the constitution, the world and the American people make Nixon pale in comparison.

Many people seem to believe that if we don’t impeach Bush and company that it’s no big deal, they’ll be gone come 2009 anyway goes that line of thought. They are fools!

This is monumentally wrong, ignorant and seriously misguided. Anything Bush gets away will become precedent for all who follow in the office of President. Not to impeach Bush and Cheney will sanction tyranny in America and guarantee its ascendancy for as long as the world lasts (which won’t be long).

Impeaching Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, et al is the only way we will ever restore our freedoms and civil rights. It is the only way we will ever salvage our self-respect and our international reputation. It is the only way we will ever make things right with our allies and the rest of the world. We absolutely owe them this much. It would be unconscionable not to deliver.

Justice, after all, still matters.

Of all the pressing issues that we face, from ending the abomination in Iraq to ameliorating the oncoming disaster of global warming, none are more important than removing Bush and company from power ASAP and restoring democracy to America – for if we fail at that we’ll fail at everything that follows.

This is America’s last gasp. Let’s take a chance and do the right thing.

Forget all the crap about who is going to be the next President. If we don’t change anything it won’t matter because it will merely be a name change, or put another way by way of a question and answer: What is the difference between a Democrat and a Republican? One is in power and the other is not! And even that fact is confused!

Impeach the criminal murdering rat bastards and do it NOW!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

IT’S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID! IT’S EITHER IMPEACHMENT OR INSURRECTION!




IT’S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID! IT’S EITHER IMPEACHMENT OR INSURRECTION!


It’s The Judiciary Committee Stupid! It’s Time To Take Back This Nation By Whatever Means Necessary. That Is Our Right; That Is Our Duty! Our Loyalty Is To This Nation, Not To Any Party Or Candidate…They Can Wait!

Please Be Sure To Click On The Graphics For A Full Viewing!

A Post Such As This One Requires Reading And A Great Deal Of Link Following As It Presents Materials That Are Serious And Controversial, Matters That Demand That One Permit Themselves To Consider Longer Range Perspectives On The Problems Of This day.

They Are Not Of An Over Night Or Single Administration Creation.

That We Must Understand.

We must Also Understand, However, That The Accumulation Of Power Within The Executive Branch Of Our Government Has Accelerated During The Bush Administration By Design And Potentially Horrific Consequences For This Nation, And The World As Well.

Those who disagree with us will label the views, sentiments and advocacies of this posting as that of moonbats, lunactic fringe, traitorous and alarmist. I stand behind all I write with great fervor and invite their attacks.

There are shadows in the world, this nation, shadows that never bode well for harmony. A Shadow Government does not serve the people. A Shadows dwelling resistance does not serve system oriented solutions, but those who dwell there and plan there are willing to accept the responsibility for their actions as they unfold. They have been patient….

IT’S THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUPID!

http://courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes.blogspot.com/2007/11/its-judiciary-committee-stupid.html

THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE

REACH THE PRESS

Follow The Money. Make A Difference. It Still Matters. Make A Commitment And Hit Them Where It Hurts. Spread The Word On Every Politician That Is Standing In The Way Of The American People And Continues To Advocate Killing In Iraq To Garner Votes In 2008.

Make A Vow, Regardless Of Party Or Person To Take Out The Political Trash In 2008.

Washington Needs To Be Shaken With A Horrific Revolutionary Tectonic-Quake-Like Shock That Just Levels The System As We Know It Today.

The Mess Of The Aftermath Will not Be Any Worse Than The Epidemic DC Political Plague Poisoning The Fabric Of This Nation And Our Every Hope And Dream As A People, Every Ideal We As A People Strive For, Ignoring Our Rights And Duties As Defined In The Declaration Of Independence And As Provided For In The Constitution Of The United States, Both Of Which Our Elected Leaders In Their Arrogance And Mediocre Minds Have Either Actively Or Passively Consigned As Old Trash To The Sewer Of History.

They Are The Ones Who Need To Be Hauled Kicking And Screaming From Their Offices To Court Rooms And Bleak Prisons Worse Than The Ware Houses of Medical Care Provided For Our Servicemen They Hail As Heroes And Laugh About Over Their Evening Martini’s. THEY MUST GO!

Another Way To Keep In Touch
With Actions At The courtofimpeachmentandwarcrimes


Please study the following 3 bar graphs:

1. http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=Q05

2. http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?ind=D&cycle=2008

3. http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?cycle=2008&ind=E01

http://yaliesforimpeachment.org/polisjudiciary.html

AND THE FULL PICTURE OF CASH FOR BLOOD HERE!

WHO GIVES!

WHO GETS!

Links to help you compose your letter/email (cutting and pasting is fine):

Impeach Investigations? Here, They're Done! The Public Evidence for Impeachment
http://ralphlopezworld.com/publicevidence.html

The President Himself
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/23/134745/95

Enormous thanks to the patriots at the non-profit
http://opensecrets.org , who did the real work of
putting this info online. It has no value until we
USE it.

LINKS AT
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/11/27/124940/43

AND WHO GETS SCREWED?

The Republicans vote for war and more war to keep #2 & #3 happily filling
their campaign WAR CHEST COFFIN COFFERS.

The Democrats yank impeachment off the table and vote for war, while PAYING lip service to troop withdrawal at a time uncertain, to keep #1 happily writing blood dripping campaign WARCHEST CHECKS.

Both Democrats and Republicans fear impeachment, because their GREEN BLOOD donors want Bush/Cheney kept in office to continue the Iraq occupation and bomb Iran, the 3rd largest oil supplier, into the stone age.

This is why the Republicans thought, on the spur of the moment, that it would be great fun to vote against tabling H.Res. 333. They knew that the Pelosicrat Democrats desperately didn't want to offend their CASH-FOR-BLOOD-donors.

This maneuver forced the Democrats to be the ones who would have to vote to table H. Res. 333, which would, in turn, irritate their liberal base. They did that for sure!

The Democrats would have to choose between supporters. They, by and large, sided with the supporters with the deepest pockets, so the Democrats swept impeachment off the table and under the House Judiciary Committee rug. But we saw where the pea was under the shell and they gave us a manageable target to strike at…The Judiciary Committee!


Brilliant politics? Yes and no. The Republicans did give the Democrats an Embarrassing bruising and left Hoyer standing there looking like a fool but it made both parties look absolutely disgusting in the eyes of American voters.

They made it clear that we the voters don’t matter. They take us for fools. They fully calculate that when everything is said and done, that we will fall in line, open our wallets and purses and march placidly to the polls in 2008 like holocaust victims to the Gas Chambers.

The average citizen did not fully understand why or how it happened, but could smell the overall stench like death on a battle field. This is why Congress's approval rating is in the basement with We the People.

We are told to call Congress, which we should, but we know they aren't listening to us, because we are not BIG BLOOD BUCKS DONOR lobbyists.

WE MUST MAKE THEM LISTEN TO US!!! TAKE THE GLOVES OFF!!!

When we call Congress, we should say, "LISTEN OR WE’RE GOING TO GET RID OF YOUR SORRY ASS”.

We the People DEMAND that you initiate Impeachment hearings. We the people DEMAND you stop taking BLOOD MONEY and killing our kids for it. That conduct is not business-as-usual; it is criminal and you ought to be indicted and prosecuted in a civil court and be imprisoned.

We are on to you, and we still have the right to vote. This is why Congress's approval rating is in the low 20's and sinking fast. We are on to you and we still have the right to protect, defend, and restore this nation in THE STREETS with Steel, Fire and Blood.

The majority of patriotic Americans of both political parties want you to start impeachment hearings on Bush/Cheney for undermining our Constitution.

Do your job. Abide by your oath of office. Get your nose out of the lobbyist troughs and do the patriotic thing to save our country.

If you do not, you will be known as a traitor, who listened to international companies & outside interests, not your fellow countrymen!

Your names shall be engraved on the plaque with those of Arnold and Judas! You will be written off with the quill of treason and your family name shall be stained for generations to come, so long as America survives your betrayal, and the stories of those who saved this land from you are recalled.

Think carefully about your allegiance to AMERICA FIRST!!!!"

You Are Either With Us Or Against Us. You Either Respect The Laws Of This Land Or Hold Them In Contempt. You Either Honor Your Oath Or You Betray It. You Either Respect The Constitution Or You Reject It. The Choice Is Yours. Our Actions Will Be Dictated By Your Choices And If The Blood Of This Nation Must Flow Again In Our Streets; It Will Be On Your Hands And Spell Your End!

Remember That: The Dream Is Not Dead Unless We Let It Die. The Great Experiment Is Not Over Unless We Permit It To Be Thrown Away. We Are Better Than The Criminals Who Pretend To Be The Servants Of The People And Protectors Of The Law. We Can Take Them All Down Even If It Means We Become This Generation’s Sons Of Liberty. We May Well Have To Become The Sons Of Liberty To Rid Ourselves Of Those Son Of A Bitches!

This is our nation and we simply must do what is necessary to protect and defend it from those who would surrender it from within in the name of political gamesmanship. It is not a game! Resistance, rebellion, revolt and revolution are matters of conviction and conscience. Some may die in the name of conscience and conviction, but the nation will live as learn anew the price for failing our duty of constant vigilance.

“THE PRICE OF LIBERTY IS ETERNAL VIGILANCE”

DEDICATED TO THE MODERN-DAY “MINUTEMEN” WHO ARE KEEPING WATCH.


http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall96/sons.html


http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/sonsof.htm

“The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance”

“God who gave thy fathers Freedom.
God who made thy fathers brave;
What they built with love and labor let thy children watch and save.
For thy fathers long before the earmed with Freedom faced the deep;
What they won with love and anguish let thy children watch and keep.”
Anon.

In the ancient democracies of Greece and the Republic of Rome on “Freemen” were allowed to be armed; slaves then, as now, were never allowed to carry weapons. The founding fathers of the Republic of the United States of America recognized that a government that feared an armed citizenry of free individuals was a government to be feared by that citizenry.

So vital was the assurance of human liberty’s continual triumph over any form of tyranny that its fate could not be allowed to rest in any but the hands of an informed and enlightened people. Thus, it is that immediately following and protective of the First Amendment guarantees of the Rights of Freedom of Religion, Speech, the Press, Assembly and to Petition Governments comes the inviolate Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms. The original definition of “Militia” was, and still is automatically inclusive of every male citizen age sixteen to forty-five (age sixty-five for those having served in the armed forces) and now, with equality under the law this includes women citizens, as well.

The original citizen’s Militia were first organized by towns, then counties, then colonies, and finally by states.

In the long tradition of American Independence everything had local its foundation at the local level of the individual. From the times of the Indian troubles, each local company had within it a contingent of “minutemen” who were required to be fit and ready those patriots of the political movement whose purpose it was to gain and protect Liberty at all levels within, and without, government by peaceful means wherever possible.

The sum total of all these freedom-living and courageous individuals called themselves “Sons of Liberty.”

In addition to personal arms of every caliber, make and description, in 1775 the predominant military long arm was the “Brown Bess” musket. The first model or “Long Land adopted during the reign of King George I, had a 46 inch barrel of .75 cal. and, as depicted, was the most familiar, available and widely used firearm of the militia even after a 42 inch barrel “Short Land” model of 1740 was adopted by the British in 1765.

The brown finish on the gun stocks gave them the nick-name “Brown Bess,” as previous British muskets had the wood painted in black. Powder and ball were carried either separately in a powder horn and pouch or, preferably, in the military cartridge box in the form of pre-made paper or linen cartridges. By way of comparison, a modern day descendant and heir to the title of “Sons of Liberty” might typically be equipped with the now ubiquitous Colt’s Model M-16/AR-15 in .223 cal. with spare cartridges carried in a cloth bandolier or in magazine pouches.

In either era these noble patriots’ rock-solid stand in the path of Tyranny symbolizes not a threat but a warning.

As Thomas Jefferson professed: “The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort against tyranny in government.

One must be aware of the dearth of law and the accumulation of Presidential Power that have taken place and that we face in a serious uprising against this administration!

VIRGINIA REMEMBERS!

Patrick Henry

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.

Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
Patrick Henry's"GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!"(War Inevitable!)
The Speech and the Inspiration behind it

In March of 1775, attorney Patrick Henry, rode into the small town of Culpepper, Virginia. As he rode into the town square, he was completely shocked by what he witnessed. There, in the middle of the square, was a man tied to a whipping post, his back laid bare, with bones exposed. He had been scourged mercilessly, with whips laced with metal. When they stopped beating him, Patrick Henry could plainly see the bones of his rib cage. He turned to ask someone in the crowd, "What has the man done to deserve such a beating as this?" The reply given him was that the man being scourged was a minister. He was one of twelve preachers, locked in jail, because they refused to take the king's license to preach the gospel.

The governor was under orders from King George to compel all preachers to take the license. While being tried, without the benefit of a jury, the minister stated, "I will never submit to taking your license. I am controlled by the Holy Spirit, and authorized by God Almighty, and will not allow you to control me by a license, no matter what you may do to me." Three days later, he was scourged to death, and such was the fate of the other ministers, as well. This was the incident that sparked Patrick Henry to write the famous words, which later became the rallying cry of the American Revolution,

"What is it that the gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to purchase at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

THE WAR INEVITABLE SPEECH March 1775 Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as the abilities of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights, and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do, opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I should speak forth my sentiments freely, and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

Mister President, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth - and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the house? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet.

Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation - the last arguments to which kings resort.

I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can almost be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains, which the British ministry have been so long forging.

And what have we to oppose them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it was capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find that we have not already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

Sir, we have done everything that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on.

We have petitioned - we have remonstrated - we have supplicated - we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, we may indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation.

There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained - we must fight! - I repeat, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak - unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be next week or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means the God of Nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.

Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we are base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery!

Our chains are forged. Their clanking may heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it the gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Forbid it, Almighty God - I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

I have always felt that my understanding of this moment and my ability to convey the emotion of this moment in history would never had existed had it not been for the following account.

To completely appreciate this most famous speech, I believe that it is necessary to also read the observations of John Roane who was present and heard the speech, and had the great pleasure of watching Patrick Henry give his great oration.

"You remember, sir, the conclusion of the speech, so often declaimed in various ways by schoolboys, 'Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God! I know now what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!'

He gave each of these words a meaning which is not conveyed by the reading or delivery of them in the ordinary way. When he said, 'Is live so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?' he stood in the attitude of a condemned galley slave, loaded with fetters, awaiting his doom.

His form was bowed; his wrists were crossed; his manacles were almost visible as he stood like an embodiment of helplessness and agony.

After a solemn pause, he raised his eyes and chained hands towards heaven, and prayed, in words and tones which thrilled every heart, 'Forbid it Almighty God!'

He then turned towards the timid loyalists of the house, who were quaking with terror at the idea of the consequences of participating in proceedings which would be visited with the penalties of treason by the British crown; and he slowly bent his form yet nearer to earth, and said, 'I know not what course others may take,' and he accompanied the words with his hands still crossed, while he seemed to be weighted down with additional chains.

The man appeared transformed into an oppressed, heart-broken, and hopeless felon. After remaining in this posture of humiliation long enough to impress the imagination with the condition of the colony under the iron heel of military despotism, he arose proudly, and exclaimed, 'but as for me,' –

and the words hissed through his clenched teeth,

while his body was thrown back, and every muscle and tendon was strained against the fetters which bound him, and, with his countenance distorted by agony and rage,

he looked for a moment like Lacoon in a death struggle with coiling serpents; then the loud clear, triumphant notes, 'give me liberty' electrified the assembly.

It was not a prayer, but a stern demand, which would submit to no refusal or delay. The sound of his voice, as he spoke these memorable words, was like that of a Spartan paean on the Field of Plataea, and, as each syllable of the word 'liberty' echoed through the building, his fetters were shivered; his arms were hurled apart, and the links of his chains were scattered to the winds.

When he spoke the word 'liberty' with an emphasis never given it before, his hands were open, and his arms elevated and extended; his countenance was radiant; he stood erect and defiant; while the sound of his voice and the sublimity of his attitude made him appear a magnificent incarnation of Freedom, and express all that can be acquired or enjoyed by nations and individuals invincible and free.

"After a momentary pause, only long enough to permit the echo of the word 'liberty' to cease, he let his left hand fall powerless to his side, and clenched his right hand firmly, as if holding a dagger with the point aimed at his breast.

He stood like a Roman senator defying Caesar, while the unconquerable spirit of Cato of Utica flashed from every feature, and he closed the grand appeal with the solemn words, 'or give me death!' which sounded with the awful cadence of a hero's dirge, fearless of death, and victorious in death, and he suited the action to the word by a blow upon the left breast with the right hand, which seemed to drive the dagger to the patriot's heart."

I hope that the reading of this will give you some concept of the depth of meaning that liberty had to those who fought so valiantly for it, and passed it on to us.

There are now, those among us who have the same unquenchable thirst for liberty and the dignity of a free people and who are just as fearful of the usurpations of liberty as those who have gone before.

It is to these ends: life, liberty and the pursuit of justice that the common law courts have come back into existence. Not for the selfish avoidance of law, but to uphold the law and to dignify all men and for the preservation of liberty for everyone.

Patrick Henry quotes"

The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance."

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?

It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. ... Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things, which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves.

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue…

THE GREAT OBJECT IS, THAT EVERY MAN BE ARMED.

In the ancient democracies of Greece and the Republic of Rome on “Freemen” were allowed to be armed; slaves then, as now, were never allowed to carry weapons.

The founding fathers of the Republic of the United States of America recognized that a government that feared an armed citizenry of free individuals was a government to be feared by that citizenry.

So vital was the assurance of human liberty’s continual triumph over any form of tyranny that its fate could not be allowed to rest in any but the hands of an informed and enlightened people.

Thus, it is that immediately following and protective of the First Amendment guarantees of the Rights of Freedom of Religion, Speech, the Press, and Assembly and to Petition Governments comes the inviolate Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms.

The original definition of “Militia” was, and still is automatically inclusive of every male citizen age sixteen to forty-five (age sixty-five for those having served in the armed forces) and now, with equality under the law this includes women citizens, as well.

The original citizen’s Militia were first organized by towns, then counties, then colonies, and finally by states.

In the long tradition of American Independence everything had local its foundation at the local level of the individual. From the times of the Indian troubles, each local company had within it a contingent of “minutemen” who were required to be fit and ready those patriots of the political movement whose purpose it was to gain and protect Liberty at all levels within, and without, government by peaceful means wherever possible.

The sum total of all these freedom-living and courageous individuals called themselves “Sons of Liberty.”

In addition to personal arms of every caliber, make and description, in 1775 the predominant military long arm was the “Brown Bess” musket.

The first model or “Long Land adopted during the reign of King George I, had a 46 inch barrel of .75 cal. and, as depicted, was the most familiar, available and widely used firearm of the militia even after a 42 inch barrel “Short Land” model of 1740 was adopted by the British in 1765.

The brown finish on the gun stocks gave them the nick-name “Brown Bess,” as previous British muskets had the wood painted in black.

Powder and ball were carried either separately in a powder horn and pouch or, preferably, in the military cartridge box in the form of pre-made paper or linen cartridges.

By way of comparison, a modern day descendant and heir to the title of “Sons of Liberty” might typically be equipped with the now ubiquitous Colt’s Model M-16/AR-15 in .223 cal. with spare cartridges carried in a cloth bandolier or in magazine pouches.

In either era these noble patriots’ rock-solid stand in the path of Tyranny symbolizes not a threat but a warning.

As Thomas Jefferson professed: “The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort against tyranny in government.

And as I have often quoted Sinclair Lewis, that: “When Fascism comes to America, it shall wrapped in the flag carry a cross.”

Likewise I declare again, that when that day comes, and every remedy to restore the Constitutional government of this nation, when the criminals of constitutional corrosion and corruption escape justice, then….

I shall be wrapped in The Declaration Of Independence and carrying a gun…as all Sons of Liberty should.

It is our right; it is our duty…

Additional Perspectives from my notebook:

THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT ENTER INTO THAT DECISION AND MANY THINGS THAT WE AS AMERICANS NEED TO CONSIDER AS MATTERS OF FACT IN A SERIOUS MYTH DISMISSING REALITY CHECK ABOUT OUR NATION AND PRECISELY WHERE WE ARE.

Are You Ready for a Second American Revolution Yet?

"THIS LAND WAS YOUR LAND; NOW IT IS THEIR LAND”.

Once the Republicans seated Justices Alito and Roberts , they had a compliant Supreme Court to join their compliant Congress, and they can thus enable their long-planned "permanent Republican majority" or one-party state, ruled by a president who is already demonstrating that he is above the law, that he in fact is the sole arbiter of what the law is, and that he is accountable to no one.

The question is What is the next step for those Americans who won't be Bush's willing executioners? Do we leave now, heading to Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the Czech Republic, wherever, like so many people left Germany in the 1930s, comfortable in the fact that, unlike the Nazis, Bush doesn't have designs on those places, and that there are good jobs and lives to be had?

Or do we stay and fight? And it won't be a battle fought with pickets and blog diaries and private fuming, but an armed insurrection, a second American Revolution.

Bush is criminalizing protest, declaring from the White House that those who dissent are essentially enemies of the state, and engaging in tactics similar to those of a secret police, and there is no reason to believe crackdowns won't begin, although I suspect Bush will first re-enact the Alien and Sedition Laws to make his tyranny more palatable to those he still feels some need to mollify.

In this world, then, why stop at the petty crime of simply speaking out? If you're going to jail anyway, it might as well be for something big. And we still have our Second Amendment rights to help prepare the way.

What's your choice? Are there any others? Or do we wait to choose after Bush cancels the 2008 elections as an unnecessary distraction in a time of grave national peril?

Please forgive me but the spirits of Edgar Cayce, the Delphic Oracle, and Alvin Toffler have possessed me lately, and I am moved to prognosticate.

It's hard not to let the light, ironic tone seep into my voice, but do not be fooled by this. I am dead serious, and I have a conviction that my perception is an accurate extrapolation of real future events — if no actions are taken deliberately to forestall or change those events.

AND WHAT I SEE IS REVOLUTION.

Robert Heinlein characterized revolution as "a freak, a mutant, a monstrosity, its conditions never to be repeated and its operations carried out by amateurs and individuals." A colorful way of saying that, like Tolstoy's unhappy families, each is unique.

The coming revolution, therefore, won't look like the Boston Tea Party, or the rush to the barricades in 1789, or the storming of the Winter Palace in 1917. It won't even look like the labor unrest of the 1920s or the long, hot summers of the 1960s in America.

A few months ago I didn’t know what it will look like, exactly. However, revolution, real revolution, is rarely pretty, but slowly the forces have been emerging from the shadows which I frequently reference.

Many would prefer to be parlor Pinks. Most people don't like violence, and don't like people thinking they know better (even when they do) and being willing to impose their 'knowing better' by any kind of force.

They would prefer the voice of sweet reason, enlightened self-interest, and simple, but all too rare, logic to prevail.

But as every physician knows, there comes a point in the course of a malady where gentle, non-invasive methods can no longer suffice, and the choice is between radical therapies or letting the patient die.

We all know the mechanism that brings folks to that point: ignorance and/or denial of the malady and failure to respond to the disease in a timely fashion.

America is progressing toward that point, and we are picking up speed.

There are still a few, very few, places where we can make choices, take alternate routes, save ourselves the pain and risk, but as we gather momentum from day to day, our choices are narrowing and the options are diminishing.

No, I’m Not Wearing A Tinfoil Hat, And Crying Wolf, Exaggerating Or Demonizing Are Not My Normal Idioms, However, I Find As A matter of fact and conscience and candor that my words have become increasingly shrill and dark to the point where the word : “words” has taken on a one letter switch and become “sword”!.

But the evidence is piling up. Doesn't anyone else see it?

It's not rocket science: Revolutions happen when a critical mass of the citizenry feel (not think, necessarily, but feel,) that they have no other way to secure the future they expect, the future to which they feel entitled, than to take direct action to make fundamental structural change in their government.

Those expectations change from generation to generation, from place to place and even from social stratum to social stratum. But when a sufficient number of people reach that conclusion, the change will happen.

America has been staving it off for some decades, now.

We came very close to real revolution in the first quarter of the 20th Century; the Progressive movement and, ultimately, the New Deal reversed the tide.

Post-WWII economic prosperity delayed it further, but things began to unravel again in the 1960s.

The Great Society attempted to recapitulate the earlier success of the New Deal, but the haves and the have-mores didn't have enough conviction to sustain the momentum.

The Reagan Reaction changed America's direction and began the slide back toward the levels of social inequity and frustration that foster revolution.

There is a point where governments become so anesthetized to the will and the needs of the people, and the mechanisms for redress of wrongs and corrections of course no longer function, no longer have relevance, that to pursue them is a stoic pompously polite, proper, pretentious act of suicidal surrender.

The 1990s may have briefly masked those conditions with a high fever of unsustainable capitalist expansion, but with the collapse of that bubble, the underlying problems have only become more acute.

More and more Americans are starting to notice, and we will soon reach that critical mass. Disturbingly, the disaffection is now spreading so widely that small band-aid measures aimed at this group or that group are not only ineffective, they are promoting an increasing dissatisfaction.

The Poor

Nothing much has changed for the poor; but then, nothing ever does. The poor alone do not make a revolution, but their numbers and the bitterness of their commitment once aroused (combined with the scary reality that they have, literally, nothing to lose — no investment at all in the status quo that leaves them at the bottom of the heap) make them the natural shock troops of revolution — those most likely to engage in violent and destructive action.

They become a factor when enough other citizens begin to see revolution as the only viable option.

The numbers of the poor are again on the rise, and the erosion of "last resort" social safety net programs is increasing their sense of misery, futility, and injustice. Their silent acceptance and acquiescence to their condition. The poor are now desperate and hold this government in contempt. They are not silent and their ranks are being spurred on to the finish line of revolt by the whip racism again in full view in our society.

The Working Class

The working class is not the decisive factor in the development of revolution, especially since there is often a strong mutual antipathy between them and the poor, an antipathy that prevents them from making common cause until conditions have deteriorated beyond their ability to tolerate circumstances.

But the American working class has been losing ground for thirty years. They are fast losing hope that successive generations will do better economically, and indeed, are increasingly seeing the traditional American dream of social mobility as a mocking and unreachable chimera.

Current issues of immigration, job loss, the loss in real value of wages, the vanishing social safety net and the increasing unavailability of affordable housing and health care are escalating their discontent.

The Middle Class

The huge bulge of middle-class baby boomers is facing retirement.

They grew up with the expectation that they would follow their parents' pattern, and even improve upon it.

They expected comfortable retirement at 65, without worries about how to obtain health care, housing, etc.

That expectation is being increasingly confounded as defined benefit pension plans are looted, the value of Social Security loses ground against inflation, and Social Security itself is threatened and fast-escalating costs for health care, transportation, and housing spiral upwards.

They, too, see the vanishing probability that their children will be able to even retain the economic ground they staked out for their families, much less make any gains. That is a dangerous ingredient. Unfulfilled expectations are always the most dangerous ingredient in a society poised for resistance, rebellion, revolt and revolution.

The Professional Class

Doctors are sinking under a sea of "managed care" paperwork, rising costs and declining revenues.

Teachers have lost satisfaction in their jobs as the creativity and passion is leached away by legislative and religious mandates. They are rising from their doldrums and a new wave of militancy is forming up in their ranks as they are rejecting the role of being compliant scapegoats for government and self anointed bizarre babbling educational critics.

Scientists are confronting a new Dark Age of ideological suppression and distortion, combined with the heavy hand of capitalism directing them away from creative discovery and pure research.

Artists are confronted by the new Puritanism, growing tolerance for censorship, and the increasing control of creative outlets by commercial interests. This comparatively small segment of the population nevertheless represents a key resource-a resource that is becoming increasingly disconnected from any investment in the status quo.

Thus far, the controlling classes have been able to keep the critical mass from developing by setting these various groups against one another, fomenting class warfare amongst them and playing shell games with blame.

But as conditions continue to deteriorate, the sustained fury a-building will forge alliances among key segments of each group. The critical mass will coalesce, with terrifying suddenness. I know this because I walk among those in the shadows of our society. I know their thoughts; I know their dreams; I know their vision; I know their plans…I am one with them.

Perhaps revolution really is the only way to restore the American Dream of a just, equitable society offering opportunity, social mobility, and a basic standard of living to all.

But still, while I am prepared, even willing to go there; I shudder when I think of the price.

I remember Kent State, I remember the long, hot summers.

I've studied and taught history and I know the kinds of body counts and horrors that even 'successful' revolutions produce.

It's possible to re-create a society without that massive upheaval-many European countries have done it; the British Empire devolved successfully without blood in the streets of London. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have re-invented themselves.

I wish I could see America following a similar course, but right now all I see is the gathering storm.

The thunder on the right is only a faint, distant rolling now, but it gets closer and more ominous every year. The gathering of arms and incendiary tools grows. The munitions of Revolution are being warehoused and readied in basements, attics, garages, barns and sheds, not with the fanfare of survivalists but with the stealth of revolutionaries.

The check list of weaponry has been prepared and is circulating. You are warned. The flash point will be no accident and the resistance will be armed for combat at the moment of violent confrontation.

Is anybody listening?

Imagine A Second American Revolution — Should The People Rise Up To Kick The Ass Of A New King George? Written by Adam AshPublished February 16, 2006



See also:
» Satire: Bush Comes Clean On War: "Of Course I Invaded Iraq For The Oil"

» Markos Moulitsas Zúniga: Another Darth Nader?

» On William Jefferson And Office Searches


Let me ask you to undertake an exercise in pure imagination.

Imagine an America in which a new King George can steal from the poor to give to the rich.

Imagine this new King George can attack another country that presents no imminent threat to us.

Imagine this new King George can listen to your phone conversations, go through your mail, read your email, arrest you, torture you, and jail you for life without the intervention of the courts.

Imagine this wasn't England a few centuries ago. Or Stalin's Russia. Or Pinochet's Chile. Imagine this was America in the 21st century. The actual country you live in, that people call a democracy.

Imagine some blogger wrote that it's time for you to wake up and smell the royalist takeover. Imagine this blogger claimed a royalist coup was taking place in the name of a so-called "war on terror."

Imagine this "war on terror" was a total hype. Imagine it could not be called a war, because the terrorists didn't have a country to have a war against. Imagine the terrorists were simply a bunch of bad guys - no more than 10,000 criminals - hunted by the world's cops.

Imagine that the number of Americans killed by international terrorists since the 60s, including those killed on 9/11, was about the same as those zapped by lightning, or by accident-causing deer, or by allergic reactions to peanuts.

Imagine a certain John Mueller wrote: "In almost all years, the total number of people worldwide who die at the hands of international terrorists is not much more than the number who drown in bathtubs in the United States."

Imagine that this scattered, limited phenomenon was hyped by the new King George into a huge and scary thing.

Imagine that when the US was threatened by something far worse than a few thousand terrorists — to wit, countlesss nuclear warheads aimed at our cities — our leaders never felt they needed the right to lock up people on their say-so alone, or the right to put prisoners beyond the reach of our courts with the legal trick of calling them "enemy combatants."

Imagine our country occupied another country, and some of the people in that country kept on fighting against us, because they wanted us out of their country. If foreigners occupied America - wouldn't you want to fight against them?

Well now, imagine there WERE people occupying your country.

Imagine they called themselves Americans, but there was this blogger who called them royalists. Heck, he said he sometimes felt like calling them "enemy combatants." Imagine they had actual names like George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales, as well as a few other names not fit for children's ears.

Imagine this blogger said it was appropriate to call them royalists because they were assuming royal powers with the Patriot Act, warrantless spying on US citizens, extraordinary rendition, torture, the locking up of innocent people, and so on.

Imagine this blogger reminded you that former US presidents tried similar power grabs. John Adams had his Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 with which he threatened newspapers and deported foreigners. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in the Civil War. Roosevelt rounded up Japanese-Americans in concentration camps in WW2.

These actions were undertaken against scarier threats than a few thousand terrorists, yet today they look somewhat unbalanced. In fact, they look downright hysterical. A blot on the names of Adams, Lincoln and Roosevelt — good men who gave in to popular fears, and brought themselves shame for this.

Imagine we had leaders today who were bringing shame on themselves — and us — again, this time because of fears manufactured by these leaders themselves.

Imagine these leaders were royalists who said America needed an executive of "unitary" power. Imagine these royalists believed the President had the right to turn Congress and the courts into lackeys, and could sign a law with a "signing statement" that claimed the law did not apply to him. Imagine these royalists declared a long and permanent "war on terror," to make us believe we needed a president who was permanently above the law.

Imagine, finally, that America started with a document called the Declaration of Independence, which contained the following kicker, capitalized for your reading convenience, about what the people could do if they felt they were being abused:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ... BUT WHEN A LONG TRAIN OF ABUSES AND USURPATIONS, PURSUING INVARIABLY THE SAME OBJECT EVINCES A DESIGN TO REDUCE THEM UNDER ABSOLUTE DESPOTISM, IT IS THEIR RIGHT, IT IS THEIR DUTY, TO THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT ..."

Now that you've imagined all this, here are two questions:

1) How long will you let this design evince itself?

2) How much will you have to suffer before you exercise your right and your duty?

Just asking.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If Jefferson were alive today, he'd lead a revolution to overthrow our new King George

Take the Revolutionary Road

The US has been the world’s principal anti-revolutionary force for almost a century.

As Thomas Jefferson would have said, it’s time to rebel.

by Michael Hardt / the Guardian/UK

It cannot but feel rather odd discussing Thomas Jefferson , who occupies such a central position in the US national pantheon, as a figure of modern revolutionary thought.

For almost a century, after all, the United States government has served as the principal anti-revolutionary force in the world, striving to suppress revolutionary movements, openly plotting to overthrow successful revolutionary governments, and supporting surrogate counter-revolutionary forces in countries throughout the globe.

National political traditions, however, are not cut of whole cloth but rather contain sometimes surprising divergences and contradictions. The present anti-revolutionary vocation of the United States, in fact, makes it all the more interesting to find the thought of a revolutionary such as Jefferson at its core.

When reading some of Jefferson’s most radical writings it is hard not to be struck by the vast gulf that separates his thinking from that of the current United States, its ideology, its constitution, and its political system and culture. After this initial surprise at the fact that Jefferson’s thought belongs to the revolutionary tradition, we should recognise how it still has important contributions to make, and can help us move beyond some of the central obstacles to thinking about revolution today.

Jefferson’s declarations of independence throughout his life not only mark the separation of the colonies from the colonial power but also, and more importantly, seek to keep alive the pursuit of freedom within society - striving to conceive of how the revolutionary process can continue indefinitely, how what 18th century revolutionaries called “public happiness” can be instituted in government, and ultimately how self-rule and democracy can be realized.

Like all great revolutionary thinkers, Jefferson understood well that the revolutionary event, the rupture with the past and the destruction of the old regime, is not the end of the revolution but really only a beginning.

The event opens a period of transition that aims at realizing the goals of the revolution.

The concept of transition, however, is today a fundamental stumbling block of revolutionary thought and practice. The (often authoritarian) means employed during revolutionary transitions frequently conflict with and even contradict the desired (democratic) ends; moreover, these transitions never seem to come to an end.

The travelers on the long journey through the desert end up getting completely lost, no nearer to the promised land, and that leader with a big stick starts looking a lot like the old Pharaoh. In fact, whenever revolutionaries start talking to you about “transition” today, you had better watch out: they are probably trying to put one over on you.

Jefferson’s thought, however, poses a novel conception of transition, which can help steer revolutionary thought around its current obstacles. He provocatively brings together, on the one hand, constitution and rebellion and, on the other, transition and democracy.

The work of the revolution must continue incessantly, periodically reopening the constituent process, and the population must be trained in democracy through the practices of democracy.

The first key to understanding Jefferson’s notion of transition is to recognize the continuous and dynamic relationship he poses between rebellion and constitution or, rather, between revolution and government. A conventional view of revolution conceives these terms in temporal sequence: rebellion is necessary to overthrow the old regime, but when it falls and the new government is formed, rebellion must cease. In contrast to this view, Jefferson insists on the virtue and necessity of periodic rebellion - even against the newly formed government.

The processes of constituent power must continually disrupt and force open an establishment of constituted power. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then.

It is like a storm in the atmosphere.” Rebellion against the government, he maintains is so virtuous that it should not only be tolerated but even encouraged. Rebellion is not just a matter of correcting wrongs committed by the government, and thus only valuable if its cause is just; it has an intrinsic value, regardless of the justness of its specific grievances and goals.

Periodic rebellion is necessary to guarantee the health of a society and preserve public freedom. “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion,” he writes. In Jefferson’s view, rebellion should not become our constant condition; rather, it should eternally return.

By my calculation we are well overdue. (Michael Hardt is a literary theorist and political philosopher. Associate Professor of Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University, USA, his recent writings deal primarily with the political, legal, economic and social aspects of globalisation. He has written several books, including the world renowned Empire. His most recent is a new edition of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence)

Time for Another Revolution

There was a time when the world was so huge that everyone in Europe thought it was flat. It was also so scary that no one felt safe except under the protection of a strongman, so they allied as city states. Because the economy was agriculturally based it was necessary for most people to live on the land, but pledging allegiance to a lord in a fortress gave them a place to run to when attacked and a body of troops to fend off the attackers.

And attackers were pretty common then If it wasn’t a neighboring city-state raiding to take crops, it was a glorified rowboat loaded with Vikings come to rape and pillage. Under those conditions city-states made sense, and each neighborhood had its own fortress and army.
As inter-state trade grew it became more sensible for city-states to join forces and form nation-states to expand their ability to engage in profitable trade. The world was shrunk to more manageable size by the sailing ships that plied the seas carrying trade goods to and from distant lands.

As the distances shrank due to more and more efficient means of travel and communication, more trade ensued and nations worked out treaties and alliances designed to convert warring enemies into trade partners. Alliances were necessary, too, in order to join forces against the occasional rogue states who rose up in an attempt to conquer and take over other states ala the Roman and the Ottoman Empires and ultimately Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan.On July 4 in 1776, the American colonists rose up through the Declaration of Independence declaring to the England and it’s king that they would no longer bear the yoke of colonial rule.

Those wise and brave souls thus marked the beginning of the end of the colonial era, and formed their own nation-state to be called the United States of America.Ultimately, they formed that union under the auspices of Articles of Confederation. Later, against the strong advice of one of the principle leaders of the revolution, Patrick Henry, they abandoned the Articles in favor of the Constitution that still serves as our principal law today.

Patrick Henry’s objection to the constitution was that it would take power out of the hands of the people and put it, unacceptably, in the hands of a centralized government that would ultimately usurp all power and abuse the people.

Once again, as so often in his support for revolution, Patrick Henry was right. What we see in Washington, D.C. today is the embodiment of his understanding of the abuse enabled by our constitution.I have long argued that if the constitution were followed in its original spirit, Henry’s opinion would not be vindicated, but I have arrived at a perspective from which I can no longer celebrate the colonist’s liberation with the same fervor.

I have been transported by the Bush administration and the last several Congresses from my belief in the myth that America is a morally motivated land to the understanding of the gross abuses of our long practiced imposition of our will on weaker lands for economic gain through the military.I no longer believe that a rising tide floats all boats.

I no longer believe that capitalism and freedom are the same thing.

I no longer believe that any nation-state has any right to exclude itself from any aspect of international law.

In fact, I no longer believe that the nation-state has any more legitimate right to existence than city-states do.

The nation-state is the same kind of dinosaur as the city-state by virtue of a shrunken world and shrunken resources to serve the needs of that world.The time has come for the world to abandon the nation-state concept; for America to recognize that God doesn’t bless it any more than it blesses anyone else; and especially to recognize that our continued use of the limited resources of the world in such a gluttonous manner is anything but moral world leadership.It is time for us to furl our national flag and quit waving it in the world’s face as though we were something special in God’s eyes.

It is time for us to have another revolution; this time a revolution based on a different realization about our role on the world stage.

Not the role of dominating nation, but the role of cooperative, convivial arbitrator. National pride must give way to world pride. National gluttony must give way to international cooperation before we have passed the point of no return in terms of energy, water and food resources.
This Fourth of July my American flag, trimmed in black for the past seven years in mourning for its many losses in that period, stays in the closet.

In its place, my front porch displays a multi-colored Wiphala – symbol of unity of all races and nations as flown by the indigenous peoples of South America. I don’t expect it in my lifetime, but I believe that unless the United States acts in some way as the world’s leader in cooperative international action, this country is, at best, doomed to destruction whether self-inflicted or inflicted by the rest of the world in defense of their right to the resources we horde.

At worst the entire planet will succumb to the pollution most nations create daily through our abuse of it whether through conventional warfare, nuclear warfare, or just plain pollutant overload.

So it is indeed time for another revolution, but it will have to start with the American people standing up and declaring that they have had enough of this tyranny just the same as they did in 1776. I wish I could say I can see it brewing, but so far all I see is more of the same in Washington, D.C. and a majority of American people willing to wave the stars & stripes and shout God bless America.

Those of us who don’t believe it are still a tiny minority with no power to achieve the needed changes.

I look forward to the day when I see Wiphalas flying from lots of porches.

INDIVIDUALLY WE HAVE LITTLE VOICE. COLLECTIVELY WE CANNOT BE IGNORED. BUT IN SILENCE WE SURRENDER OUR POWER.

We have a big problem in the United States. It goes deeper than the vast array of serious issues many work tirelessly to fix. At root it's not a political, economic, social or even ecological problem.

It is a problem of contradictory beliefs: Namely the belief of some, on the one hand, that the U.S.A. is, or once was, a democracy with a constitution that guarantees that the people lead and the leaders follow; and the belief of others, on the other hand, that the U.S.A. has never experienced democracy and never will.

I think we need to take an open-eyed look at the reality of a Constitution that was, from the get-go, a class compromise.

We need to delve into the ways in which the original Constitution was designed to protect property rights over people's rights, maintain slavery, and keep a lid on genuine democracy.

We have to recognize the more progressive elements of the Constitution -- a weak executive branch and less centralized government, the lack of a standing army, the safeguards against imperialism, and most of the Bill of Rights -- and the ways in which those elements have been undermined and violated by those in power.

Privateering, the American Revolution, and the Rules of War: The United States Was Born in "Terrorism" and Piracy

By Jesse Lemisch

Mr. Lemisch is Professor Emeritus of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. He is author of Jack Tar vs. John Bull (1997); On Active Service in War and Peace: Politics and Ideology in the American Historical Profession (1975); and numerous articles on history and left politics and culture, in academic journals and journals of opinion. In this article, he borrows from his "Listening to the 'Inarticulate': William Widger's Dream and the Loyalties of American Revolutionary Seamen in British Prisons," Journal of Social History, III (Fall 1969), 1-29.

The rules of war are laid down by militarily strong nations.

These nations define their modes of making war as legal (although they do not always abide by their own rules), while criminalizing alternate modes of warfare rising from the limited strength of the militarily weak.

During the American Revolution, the U.S. was militarily weak.

It compensated for that weakness at sea by engaging in a very effective form of legalized piracy called privateering. Privateers were denounced by the British in ways that resonate with the denunciation of terrorists that we hear these days.

When these Americans were captured by the British, they were not recognized as legitimate prisoners of war but were rather held in special camps, with reason to expect they would be hanged.

After the Revolution, the U.S., as a small-navy nation, continued to cling to this mode of warfare, and refused to abide by international bans of privateering until it became a large-navy power and finally rejected privateering.

By the time of the Revolution (1776--1783), privateering had become an old American institution and industry, which lured the young to sea with seductive promises of a share of the booty. Although privateers were private vessels, they were armed and governmentally licensed, with "Letters of Marque." (In the Revolutionary era, Congress authorized privateering in March 1776; and Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.")

Heroic tales of John Paul Jones aside, there was not much of a U.S .Navy during the Revolution. The U.S. forces at sea were primarily privateers, preying on British commerce. They were extremely effective in capturing British merchant ships, cutting off British supplies and raising insurance rates for shipping. Although they did not constitute a US Navy, American privateers were a significant presence at sea, and played an important role in the success of the Revolution.

When privateersmen were captured, they were not recognized as prisoners of war, since they were civilians, and civilians of rebellious colonies to boot.

They were held indefinitely in special camps, in particular the notorious prison ship Jersey, in the Wallabout Bay off Brooklyn, and in Mill and Forton Prisons in England. These were places of bad food, overcrowding, bad health, brutal guards and harsh punishment. (A British Peer, friendly to the American prisoners, responded to the statement that Mill was run by a "dirty fellow": "Government keeps dirty fellows, to do their dirty Work.")

During the Revolution, these three complexes held upwards of ten thousand and perhaps as many as twenty or thirty thousand captured American seamen. The Americans were not granted the recognition of prisoner-of-war status, but were rather deemed rebels, pirates, murderers, candidates for hanging, detained under a suspension of habeas corpus and ineligible for exchange during most of the war.

Prisoners taken into Mill were told that they were committed "for rebellion, piracy, and high treason on his Britannic Majesty's high seas, there to remain during his Majesty's pleasure, until he sees fit to pardon or otherwise dispose of you." Americans used what the British defined as illegitimate means in their quest for legitimacy and independence. Today's detentions by the U.S. are very similar to what was done to Americans by the British during the Revolution.

At the end of the War for Independence, Benjamin Franklin -- who had done his best to help captured Americans in British prisons -- attempted unsuccessfully to write into the Peace Treaty an article banning privateering in future wars. Although American privateers had been effective, Franklin had admirable and prescient Enlightenment feelings about the involvement of civilians in wars. But Franklin's idealism got noplace. And, so long as the U.S. remained a small-navy nation, it continued to rely on this method of warfare, in the War of 1812 (with Jefferson's endorsement) and beyond.

As late as 1856, the U.S. refused to abide by an international treaty banning privateering, stating that, as a small-navy nation, it needed privateers. In the Civil War, Congress authorized the president to commission privateers, and the Confederacy made use of privateers. (Today, there are calls for revival from a few ultra-free-marketers and, from the Nixon Center, as a weapon against terrorism.)

Today's disputes around indefinite detention and the use of terror against civilians should take note of the fact that American civilians were victims of this kind of detention during the Revolution, and the U.S. was born in what was seen at the time by its more powerful adversary as a form of terrorism.

Although we are rightly revolted by suicide bombing and other attacks on civilians, this is clearly a method that helps weak powers do battle with stronger powers, partly correcting the military imbalance -- as did privateering. And our country has an extraordinary and continuing record of killing civilians in warfare.

Among the powers of the strong is the power to deem such killings by themselves to be legal and proper, while killings by the weak are deemed improper.

Comments (32)
The very idea of an armed Revolution to address the lawlessness and unconstitutionality of life in the United States of America may seem to be a bit extreme. In fact, it is extreme. Possibly even more than “a bit”.

Of all the possible choices, armed revolution must be classified as a distant and last resort! Such revolution, from most all perspectives, is not a good idea. It is simply not something one does lightly, or without ample justification.

However, it must be remembered that the freedoms and quality of life that we enjoy in the united States is due to the fact that a couple of hundred years ago, there was a Revolution -- The American Revolution.

The reasons for such an extreme action at that time (by people previously loyal to the Crown of England) is summarized rather succinctly in the Declaration of Independence. (Or if you prefer the reasons in greater detail, read also the Original Declaration of Independence.)

As for now, what is the distinction between being enslaved by a foreign power and a domestic power -- particularly, if the domestic power may ultimately derive its power from foreign sources? Even the same source?

Read the American Declaration of Independence. Study it. Consider each word, each phrase, the justification for each statement. Think about it.

Do it now. Take the link(s) above, and then come back.

I’ll wait for you.

Note a couple of things in the Declaration of Independence:

One, the necessity for everyone to assume “the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.” These words are a charge to everyone who reads them. In other words, take personal charge of your freedom. Do not presume that someone else will do it for you. It’s called Creating Reality! Yours!

Two, we are endowed by our “Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. No government, ruler, monarch, president, attorney general, supreme court, governor, legislature, congress, parliament, or local Gestapo allowed or granted us these rights. They’re ours, and all of the above cannot take them from us without our individual consent. Nor can a consenting “majority” take them from us.

Three, governments derive their powers -- their very existence -- from the “Consent of the Governed.” We created them! They should do what we tell them. And based on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, we don’t tell them to create inequality among the governed by creating laws which are biased, prejudicial, racist, chauvinistic, or otherwise. We don’t allow them to ignore Common Law, or the attributes of Restorative Justice. We simply stand up for our rights. We don’t acquiesce to their tyranny.

Four, we can abolish a government which becomes destructive to our chosen paths. We have that right. It may require courage to exercise that right, but such is nature of life. If we do not have the courage, then it is perhaps only proper that we lose such rights.

Five, we don’t attempt to abolish and institute a new government on a whim, or without just cause. But if such cause exists... If the same reasons exist which caused the founders of our country, i.e. “when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations... evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Depotism”, then it’s time to take action.

Does such just cause exist? Does Corporate Rule, the bribery of elected officials via Corporate Politics, the creation of a Corporate State, the unconstitutional imposition of “colored” Money, the fraud of Social InSecurity, the illegal extension of a State of Emergency, the violation of basic rights and freedoms in allegedly fighting 9-11-2001 terrorism, the essence of Shredding of the Magna Carta, the unreasonable designation of Enemy Combatants, a plethora of potential Conspiracies (including LIHOP) -- to mention only a few crimes...

Do these actions by our government(s) constitute just cause to initiate a Revolution?

Clearly, any answer will be a subjective one -- based as likely on experiences in one’s own life and the degree to which they have thus been victimized. It is curious, however, that one of the principal reasons for the American Revolution which began on July 4, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence, is that the Crown-Chartered Corporations were using monopolistic and other blatant tactics to effectively treat the colonists as slaves.

In today’s world, in what manner does the Corporate Rule and/or Corporate State of the modern world differ -- other than perhaps in sophistication and covert activities?

But, before anyone goes rushing off to do battle with the powers that be, it might be wise to ask the bottom line question: In what form should the Revolution be prosecuted?

In other words, do we really need to use guns? Isn’t that a bit old-fashioned? Doesn’t that pretty much play into the hands of governments which have a whole lot more guns, bombs, trained soldiers, etc., than you and your friends could ever hope to challenge? This would represent the common response to such discussions, and might I add some of the assumptions are dead wrong. A citizenry prepared for armed insurrection can take the police powers of the state by surprise and the assumption that such powers will automatically respond loyally to this government cannot be made.

If we are truly up to Creating Reality, can we avoid even the necessity for an armed revolution? Can we dismiss the idea in much the same manner as the little King of The Wizard of Id cartoon strip did, when being informed that “The peasants are revolting!”, replied “They always have been.” Can we do a peaceful, one citizen at a time, revolution? We are beyond that moment and foolish syndrome.

In effect, can we for a time do as Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot did by simply refusing to become involved. By not allowing their reality to infringe upon our reality; avoiding the possible downside of Intermingled Realties? It’s a possibility. But it’s also much the same question as was prompted during Nazi Germany’s efforts to eradicate the Jews, Gypsies, and mentally handicapped. In other words, do we only become involved when they finally come after us? I am very much afraid that is our current mentality as a nation and that means that those who do not want the day of “coming for us” to ever material in full bloom, must ignore the timid and seize the streets when we are ready.

What and when do we do something?

“When” is probably easy. As soon as you are convinced of the need. When they’ve come after you in sufficient degree that it’s become intolerable.

*“What” is harder. But a non-violent, highly creative approach is probably the best bet the drugged masses would argue as reasonable/rational. Sufficiently creative, in fact, that you encourage others to do the same, until it becomes positively the fad!

It’s Creating Reality that is so delightful, that others will want to do likewise. That, in fact, the “enemy” will begin to wonder why you’re always smiling. If you are truly Acting the part, it’s amazing what can happily transpire!

The key is: don’t bother to try to “save others”. Set an example, and leave it at that! Otherwise you infringe upon their Free Will.

‘Nuf said.

The need for this suggestion is due in part to the grotesque manner in which governments of the world have used law and order to deny, distort, and demean virtually any hint of justice. In many respects, the government of the United States of America has led the way. As the increasingly popular bumper sticker on the automobiles of America says, “I love my country, but I fear my government.” Now, more than ever.

There are two ways of approaching such a comment. One is based on Samuel Adams’ belief that “..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds..” If anything is to be done about the current state of affairs in the arenas of Justice, Order, Law, and government -- where people fear their government and its laws and order -- then this seems to be good advice.

However, it is essential to consider Henry David Thoreau’s observation as well, i.e. “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” In other words, it is necessary that one does their homework prior to lashing out as an “irate, tire-less minority”. It does questionable good to hack away at the symptoms, when the cause of the deadly disease is where action can actually accomplish something. And ultimately, there will come the time when each of us must set about accomplishing something. Even if the means by which we accomplish our goals are enormously unique and diverse.

Perhaps the best place to begin is with the concepts of Justice and independently Liberty, followed in quick succession by the Declaration of Independence -- as well as the Original Declaration of Independence -- and the Constitution for the United States of America The latter constitute a wonderful set of documents containing within them some of the more enlightened thinking on the planet. Unfortunately, the laws of the United States, the statutes of the various States themselves, and the ordinances, rules, and other regulations, orders, rulings, decrees, guidelines, and precepts of local, State and Federal so-called authorities have removed the citizenry so far from the principles enumerated within these documents as to make a mockery of them.

This is not to lay a charge of treasonable activity just against the Congressional, Executive and Judicial branches of the United States, the Governors and Legislatures of each of the individual States, and the local governmental authorities -- the people of the United States deserve some credit as well for allowing it to happen with barely an audible whimper. (Although if the truth be known, the vast majority of unconstitutional law making has been so camouflaged and distorted, that its lack of notoriety is easily understood.)

The Supreme Court of the United States, for example, the branch of government designed as the logical protector of individual rights, has in fact been one of the more corrupting influences. Not just in terms of its recent, politically inspired travesties of justice, but early in its history when it began as series of ruling in favor of the Corporate Rule of our lives, including the horrendous 1886 ruling that held that a private corporation was a natural person under the U. S. Constitution. This has led to a horrific consequences, in that fictitious entities with limited liability have all the rights and privileges of citizens, and thus can purchase favorable legislation via Corporate Politics.

Conspiracies by their very nature are not good news. And the lack of responsible and/or fiduciary duty by the Media and/or Public Education has contributed substantially to the success of whatever conspiracies might actually be a real and valid threat.

However, rather than concentrate on the evils of the evil empires of evil governments and their evil co-conspirators the world over, perhaps it would be preferable to accentuate the positive, and reduce the negative rumblings to a minimum. In other words, concentrate on a system of Justice and/or Restorative Justice (as opposed to law and order). It won’t be possible to totally eliminate any negative comments on the current State-of-affairs, if only because the reason and logic for doing things differently might not be self-evident as a means of avoiding problems.

Just as in The Fool’s Journey, it is necessary in making choices to not only choose the positive choice, but to have an understanding of the negative choice. Choosing to be a Pollyanna is not necessarily naive -- if one knows why they are choosing to be the eternal optimist. Being foolish and naive is one thing. But if one chooses to be the Fool, knowing full well in what they are not choosing to participate, then the Fool is truly the Wise.

In this regard, one might keep in mind the sage advice of Lao Tzu (c. 600 B.C.E.) and more recently, Frank Zappa (May 1977):

"The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be."

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see a brick wall at the back of the theater."

ISSUES IN THE NEWS IN VIRGINIA AS RECENT AS YESTERDAY 11/27/07:
FEDERALIZATION OF TROOPS

Palladium of Liberty?Causes and Consequences of theFederalization of State Militias in theTwentieth Century
Brannon P. Denning[*]

John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 H.R. 5122

http://www.fcnl.org/pdfs/civ_liberties/Usurpation_of_Power.pdf

Federal law was changed so that the Governor of a state is no longer the sole commander in chief of the National Guard during emergencies within the state. The President of the United States will now be able to take control of a state's National Guard units without the governor's consent.[3] In a letter to Congress all 50 governors opposed the increase in power of the president over the National Guard.[4]

President's Statement on H.R. 5122, the "John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007"
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061017-9.html

The Day Presidential Powers Were Increased To Suppress Uprisings, Revolt, Even Protest
http://www.towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911

In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law (1). It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions.

Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

President Bush seized this unprecedented power on the very same day that he signed the equally odious Military Commissions Act of 2006. In a sense, the two laws complement one another. One allows for torture and detention abroad, while the other seeks to enforce acquiescence at home, preparing to order the military onto the streets of America. Remember, the term for putting an area under military law enforcement control is precise; the term is "martial law."

For the current President, "enforcement of the laws to restore public order" means to commandeer guardsmen from any state, over the objections of local governmental, military and local police entities; ship them off to another state; conscript them in a law enforcement mode; and set them loose against "disorderly" citizenry - protesters, possibly, or those who object to forced vaccinations and quarantines in the event of a bio-terror event.

The law also facilitates militarized police round-ups and detention of protesters, so called "illegal aliens," "potential terrorists" and other "undesirables" for detention in facilities already contracted for and under construction by Halliburton. That's right. Under the cover of a trumped-up "immigration emergency" and the frenzied militarization of the southern border, detention camps are being constructed right under our noses, camps designed for anyone who resists the foreign and domestic agenda of the Bush administration.

Senator Leahy On The Insurrection Act “Rider”
http://leahy.senate.gov/issues/InsurrectionAct/index.html

Oh, and how does this work when exercised by even a Governor? Remember Kent State University?
http://dept.kent.edu/sociology/lewis/LEWIHEN.htm

The Insurrection Act governs when the President can declare a form of martial law. When the act is invoked, the military, including the National Guard, can carry out law enforcement functions without the consent of a Governor. Posse comitatus, a broad law that generally prevents the military from policing within the domestic United States, does not apply when the act is invoked.

Until the “Insurrection Act Rider” was enacted in the fall of 2006, U.S. law focused on enabling the President to invoke the Insurrection Act during violent situations where the states or local communities were resisting lawful orders. The intent of the law, as the title suggests, was to deal with insurrection from individuals or groups. The law was not designed to address other situations, including natural disasters, or attacks from outside the country.

In its original form, the Act has been invoked sparingly -- only ten times in the past five decades. Over the past 40 years, the act has only been invoked with the consent of the governors, using authorities under other sections of the U.S. Code that allow states to invite in federal military forces for police functions.

Under the new language, added to the law in the fall of 2006, the President can invoke the act and declare martial law in cases where public order breaks down as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, terrorist attack, or under the nebulous term of “other conditions."

This change makes it easier for the President to invoke the Act in cases beyond an insurrection – cases which were not intended under the previous purpose of the Act. With these succinct but sweeping changes, the President now does not have to contact or collaborate with any state agency in taking control of the Guard and injecting federal military forces, to carry out patrols or make arrests. The President has to notify but not explain to Congress that he or she believes that states cannot handle the situation.
The history of the Insurrection Act
http://www.workers.org/2005/us/insurrection-0922

By Deirdre Griswold
Published Sep 17, 2005 10:55 AM

Just two days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, President George W. Bush began demanding that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco yield to him the command over any National Guard troops sent to the area, according to reports in the leading establishment newspapers.

Bush wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would have allowed him to take control over all armed forces deployed, including Louisiana’s National Guard troops. But under the terms of the act, he had to get the assent of the legislature or the governor of the state. The legislature was not in session and Blanco refused.

The governor kept calling on the federal government to send in all the assistance it could muster. Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans repeatedly sent out an SOS as the situation became increasingly desperate for tens of thousands of people in the Superdome, the Convention Center, and on the elevated highways and bridges of the city.

But no significant aid came for days—no buses or boats to move people out of the city, no food or water or temporary shelter. Civilian volunteer medical and emergency workers were being turned back from the city, even as the most vulnerable people were beginning to die. A pressure cooker situation was developing.

And as the anger rose, it became the excuse for not providing relief. It was too “dangerous” to go in. The area had to be “secured” by troops first. The Black people of New Orleans—who made up the vast majority of those unable to evacuate—were being treated as “the enemy,” not as desperate survivors.

George Bush has not yet invoked the Insurrection Act, but his administration is still discussing how to make it easier for the federal government to override local authorities in the future. (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 11)

The exercise of government and control by military authorities over the civilian population of a designated territory.

Martial law is an extreme and rare measure used to control society during war or periods of civil unrest or chaos. According to the Supreme Court, the term martial law carries no precise meaning (Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 66 S. Ct. 606, 90 L. Ed. 688 [1946]). However, most declarations of martial law have some common features. Generally, the institution of martial law contemplates some use of military force. To a varying extent, depending on the martial law order, government military personnel have the authority to make and enforce civil and criminal laws. Certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION, and freedom of movement. And the writ of HABEAS CORPUS may be suspended (this writ allows persons who are unlawfully imprisoned to gain freedom through a court proceeding).

In the United States, martial law has been instituted on the national level only once, during the Civil War, and on a regional level only once, during WORLD WAR II. Otherwise, it has been limited to the states. Uprisings, political protests, labor strikes, and riots have, at various times, caused several state governors to declare some measure of martial law.

Martial law on the national level may be declared by Congress or the president. Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15, of the Constitution, Congress has the power "[t]o provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel Invasions." Article II, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Constitution declares that "[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." Neither constitutional provision includes a direct reference to martial law. However, the Supreme Court has interpreted both to allow the declaration of martial law by the president or Congress. On the state level, a governor may declare martial law within her or his own state. The power to do so usually is granted in the state constitution.

Congress has never declared martial law. However, at the outset of the Civil War, in July 1861, Congress ratified most of the martial law measures declared by President ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Its martial law declaration gave the Union military forces the authority to arrest persons and conduct trials. However, Congress initially refused to ratify Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. This refusal created friction between Congress and the president and raised the question of whether unilateral suspension of the writ under martial law was within the president's power. The Supreme Court reviewed the issue and ruled in Ex parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861) (No. 487), that only Congress had the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. After Congress approved Lincoln's suspension of the writ in 1863, Union forces were authorized to arrest and detain Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, but only until they could be tried by a court of law.

The martial law declared by Lincoln during the Civil War spawned another legal challenge, this one to the military courts: EX PARTE MILLIGAN, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2, 18 L. Ed. 281 (1866). Lamdin Milligan, a civilian resident of Indiana, was arrested on October 5, 1864, by the Union military forces. Milligan was charged with five offenses: conspiring against the United States, affording AID AND COMFORT to rebels, inciting insurrection, engaging in disloyal practices, and violating the laws of war. Milligan was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to prison by a military court.

Although the habeas corpus petition had been suspended, the Supreme Court accepted Milligan's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court held that neither the president nor Congress could give federal military forces the power to try a civilian who lived in a state that had federal courts. Milligan firmly established the right of the U.S. Supreme Court to review the propriety of martial law declarations.

The next large-scale martial law declaration took place 80 years later. On December 7, 1941, the day that Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor in what was then the territory of Hawaii, Governor Joseph B. Poindexter, of Hawaii, declared martial law on the Hawaiian Islands. The governor also suspended the writ of habeas corpus. The commanding general of the Hawaiian military assumed the position of military governor. All courts were closed by order of the military governor, and the military was authorized to arrest, try, and convict persons. Under Poindexter's martial law order, approved by the president, the military courts were given the power to decide cases without following the RULES OF EVIDENCE of the courts of law, and were not limited by sentencing laws in determining penalties.

In February 1942 the Department of War appointed General John L. DeWitt to carry out martial law in California, Oregon, Washington, and the southern part of Arizona. In March 1942 DeWitt announced that the entire Pacific Coast of the United States would be subject to additional martial law measures. Later that month he declared that all alien Japanese, Germans, and Italians, and all persons of Japanese descent, on the Pacific Coast were to remain inside their home between 8:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M..

These martial law measures were challenged by criminal defendants shortly after they were put in force. In Duncan v. Kahanamoku, 327 U.S. 304, 66 S. Ct. 606, 90 L. Ed. 688 (1946), the Supreme Court held that the military tribunals established under martial law in Hawaii did not have jurisdiction over common criminal cases because the Hawaiian Organic Act (31 Stat. 141 [48 U.S.C.A. § 532]) did not authorize the governor to close the courts of law when they were capable of functioning. In Duncan the Court ordered the release of two prisoners who had been tried and convicted of EMBEZZLEMENT and assault by military courts.

In other cases the High Court was more tolerant of CIVIL RIGHTS deprivations under martial law. In Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81, 63 S. Ct. 1375, 87 L. Ed. 1774 (1943), the Court upheld a curfew placed on Japanese Americans during the war, on the ground of military necessity, and in KOREMATSU V. UNITED STATES, 323 U.S. 214, 65 S. Ct. 193, 89 L. Ed. 194 (1944), the Court justified the random internment (imprisonment) of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans during the war.

At least one governor has used martial law to enforce state agency regulations. In 1931 Governor Ross S. Sterling, of Texas, sent Texas NATIONAL GUARD troops into east Texas oil fields to force compliance with limits on the production of oil and an increase in the minimum number of acres required between oil wells. The regulations had been drawn up by the Texas Railroad Commission with the approval of the Texas Legislature, but similar regulations had been enjoined (stopped) by a federal court just four months earlier. In 1932 the Supreme Court invalidated Sterling's use of martial law, holding that it violated the constitutional DUE PROCESS rights of the property owners (Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 53 S. Ct. 190, 77 L. Ed. 375 [1932]).

Another governor declared martial law in response to an assassination and rumors of political corruption. In June 1954 Albert Patterson, a nominee for state attorney general in Alabama, was shot to death on a street in Phenix City. Alabama governor Gordon Persons declared martial law in Phenix City and dispatched General Walter J. ("Crack") Hanna and the Alabama National Guard to take over the city. Hanna appointed a military mayor, and the troops took control of the county courthouse and city hall. The troops physically removed certain officials from the courthouse and city hall, seized gambling equipment, and revoked liquor licenses.

Martial law usually is used to try to restore and maintain peace during civil unrest. It does not always yield the desired results. In May 1970, for example, Ohio governor James Rhodes declared limited martial law by sending in National Guard troops to contain a Kent State University protest against the VIETNAM WAR. Four protestors were shot and killed by the troops. In a case brought by their survivors, the Supreme Court held that the governor and other state officials could be sued if they acted beyond the scope of state laws and the federal Constitution (Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 94 S. Ct. 1683, 40 L. Ed. 2d 90 [1974]).

Martial law is generally an act of last resort. Courts will uphold a decision to use troops only if it is necessary and proper.

In 1970, the United States was in the middle of the VIETNAM WAR, and anti-war demonstrations among students around the country were frequent. However, one at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio (near Akron) turned deadly. In 13 seconds of rifle fire, four students were killed and nine others injured by a NATIONAL GUARD contingent called in to quell the crowd. The tragic event cast the university into the international spotlight, and changed the face of student demonstrations forever.

The rioting had begun on Friday, May 1, 1970, when several students organized an on-campus demonstration to protest U.S. troops entering Cambodia. That evening, a crowd of drinking and agitated students moved off campus and began breaking windows in the center of town. Police were called in to disperse the crowd. The Kent city mayor, having heard rumors of a radical plot in the making, declared a state of emergency and Ohio officials called in the National Guard. Local bars were closed by authorities, and rioters were herded back toward the campus with tear gas.

By Saturday, the agitated demonstrators had threatened local merchants and surrounded the on-campus barracks of the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), setting the building on fire. When firemen attempted to extinguish the blaze, the rioters punctured or cut open their water hoses. National Guard troops again cleared the campus. The hostility intensified on Sunday, when the crowd failed to disperse on orders to do so. The Ohio Riot Act was read to them and tear gas was fired. The hostile rioters regrouped and moved into town, where the Riot Act was again read to them and tear gas was again used. Several persons, including guardsmen, were injured.

By noon on Monday, May 4, approximately 2,000 demonstrators gathered and were ordered to disperse. They responded with curses and rocks. Eventually, tear gas was again employed but was ineffectual in the afternoon breeze. As the crowd grew more agitated, it was herded by guardsmen toward an athletic practice field surrounded by fence. After being pelted with rocks, the guardsmen receded but were followed by angry demonstrators, some as close as 20 yards. Guardsmen turned and fired several shots toward the demonstrators, felling several of them. Within seconds, four persons lay dying and nine more were wounded; all 13 were students. A University ambulance moved through the crowd, announcing over a public address system that demonstrators were to pack their things and leave the campus immediately.

Shock and disbelief of the tragic events spread worldwide within hours. By the following morning, James A. Rhodes, governor of Ohio, had called in the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI). RICHARD M. NIXON, president of the United States, invited six Kent student representatives to meet with him after their meeting with a state congressman.

On May 21, 1970, Attorney General JOHN MITCHELL announced that the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT would investigate the shootings to determine whether there had been criminal violations of federal laws. Two weeks later, the Ohio legislature passed a new campus riot bill providing for swift action and stiff penalties for those charged in connection with disturbances at state-assisted COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES.

By June 10, the first private lawsuit for WRONGFUL DEATH was filed in federal court by the father of a killed student. Governor Rhodes and two Ohio National Guard commanders were named as defendants. The parent also filed a second suit against the state of Ohio in local Portage County Court of Common Pleas. A few days later, the White House announced the naming of a special commission to investigate campus unrest at Kent, as well as the deaths of two black students at Jackson State University in Mississippi.

In September 1970, the President's Commission on Campus Unrest released its general report, which found the National Guard shootings "unwarranted." The report also found that the "violent and criminal" actions by students contributed to the tragedy and caused them to bear responsibility for deaths and injuries of fellow students. According to Kent State University Library archives, the report concluded that "The Kent State tragedy must surely mark the last time that loaded rifles are issued as a matter of course to guardsmen confronting student demonstrators."

A special state GRAND JURY issued indictments against 25 persons in October 1970, but found, in its 18-page report, that the guardsmen were not subject to criminal prosecution because they "fired their weapons in the honest and sincere belief … that they would suffer serious bodily injury had they not done so." A federal district judge upheld the indictments against the individuals in January 1971. However, several private lawsuits against the state of Ohio were dismissed on grounds of SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY. Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals then ordered a lower court to consider on the merits any suits in which liability was based on the actions of individual Ohio state agents.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, meanwhile, upheld the Portage County Court's GAG ORDER prohibiting discussion of the shootings by 300 witnesses and others connected with the grand jury indictments. It also upheld the federal grand jury's 25 indictments and the district court's order to destroy the grand jury's report as prejudicial.

Going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court was a challenge to Ohio's new anti-riot laws, but the Court, in a 6–1 decision, took no action and refused to delay scheduled trials. In November 1972, the first student was tried and convicted of the misdemeanor of interfering with a fireman. The jury could not reach a verdict on felony charges of ARSON, rioting, and throwing rocks at firemen. A few more students pleaded guilty to first-degree riot charges. Prosecutors then dropped all charges against 20 remaining defendants on grounds of lack of evidence, having put their strongest cases first and not being successful in any felony convictions.

In May 1972, the AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION (ACLU) filed several suits totaling $12 million in damages in federal district court against the Ohio National Guard and the State of Ohio. More than a year later, in August 1973, the Justice Department announced that it would reopen its investigation. Also in 1973, a federal grand jury reviewed Justice Department evidence and issued indictments against eight former guardsmen, officially charging them with violating the CIVIL RIGHTS of students. In 1974, a federal district judge acquitted the guardsmen of all charges, ruling that U.S. prosecutors failed to prove willful or intentional deprivation of civil rights.

Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision related to the tragedy. In the 1974 case of Scheur v. Rhodes, the Court reversed a lower court that found state officials immune from private suits by the parents of slain students. In 1975, all individual civil suits were consolidated into one case, Krause v. Rhodes. Following a 15-week trial, a federal jury, by a 9–3 vote, acquitted all 29 defendants, including Ohio Governor James Rhodes. The decision was appealed and in 1977, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ordered a retrial, based on evidence that at least one member of the jury had been threatened and assaulted. In January 1979, an out-of-court settlement was reached in all of the consolidated civil cases and approved by the Ohio State Controlling Board.

The $675,000 settlement was dispersed among 13 plaintiffs, the largest amount going to an injured student who was paralyzed in the incident. According to Kent University Library archived documents, the compensation was accompanied by a statement from the defendants that the May 4, 1970, tragedy "should not have occurred." The statement also noted that the Sixth Circuit had upheld as "lawful" the university's ban on rallies and its May 4 order for the students to disperse. The statement concluded, "We hope that the agreement to end this litigation will help assuage the tragic moments regarding that sad day."

FURTHER READINGS

Martial Law - Further Readings

http://www.may4.org/4.html

Kent State University Libraries and Media Services, Department of Special Collections and Archives. 1995. Legal Chronology May 5, 1970–January 4, 1979. Web site homepage at <www.library.kent.edu> (accessed August 3, 2003).

WARNING: You Are Under Martial Law
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0823-30.htm

by Karen Kilroy

The title of this article is what the notice read on the morning of May 4, 1970 – it sat largely unread in the mail boxes of Kent State University students. Later that day, four students were murdered when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a hillside filled with students – some protesting, some watching, others merely changing classes.

Whether or not you are old enough to remember the tragedy at Kent State (http://www.may41970.com), please pay attention to this history. As we head into the age of aggressive protests, the police response is becoming more violent, such as in Saturday’s actions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (http://pittsburgh.indymedia.org/). In Pittsburgh, protestors marched the wrong way up a one way street to close down an army recruiting office. Police used both tear gas and tasers to subdue the protestors, and one 68-year-old woman was even bitten by a police dog – she was also arrested.

This is a war against war. This is a war to end all wars – as the saying goes. We are on the side that is not armed. But just like the students at Kent State a few short years ago, if our right to protest is denied we have little choice other than to assert ourselves. If we are brutalized, we must fight it in the courts, call Congress, and insist that the brutality come to light in the media before it is allowed to progress to even more severe levels.

Many people in Kent, Ohio want everyone to remember what happened there in 1970 so it will never be allowed to happen again. When political spoken-word artist Chris Chandler and I went to Kent to recruit volunteers for an anti-war music video for Chris’ song “Something’s In the Air / But It’s Not on the Airwaves,” we found plenty of people willing to volunteer so long as they were cast as demonstrators – we had NO volunteers for “counter-demonstrators” so we eliminated the scene.

We cast one young woman, Sarah Rolan, into a role where she would dance while listening to her iPod, to the sound of various 60’s protest songs. We would mix this dancing with modern protest footage, which includes footage from Kent, Ohio on May 4, 2003 when the police brutalized and arrested numerous people during a peaceful protest.

On the afternoon of Monday, August 1, I kept envisioning a scene with a tri-fold U.S. flag, like the one my family has for my father who was a U.S. Marine. In response, Chris wrote a graveyard scene in which Sarah was cast as a modern war widow, and would place the flag on a headstone and mourn.

On Tuesday morning, Sarah showed up to film the scene - she was pale and trembling. Sarah had just learned that her close friend, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Daniel “Nate” Deyarmin had been killed in active duty in Iraq on Monday. At Sarah’s request, the film is dedicated to Nate.

Sarah filmed the graveyard scene despite her grief. As you might imagine, the result is quite moving. Watch the video here: http://chrisvids.org – and forward it to friends.

A total of 14 U.S. soldiers from Ohio were killed in our 3 days of casting and filming, and at least one more was severely maimed.

Nate Deyarmin’s mother Edie stood at last week’s “Cindy Sheehan Vigil” in downtown Akron, Ohio, wearing a badge bearing her handsome and well-liked son’s picture. I wept when I saw her – for her child and for all our lost children – Nate had just turned 22 a day before he was killed. How remarkably brave this woman is to be coming out to a public gathering when her grief must be so deep. The sight of her filled me with the hope that the Cindy Sheehans of this nation will be coming forth to demand that President Bush stop killing our children.

A broad movement is our best way of minimizing future tragedies like Kent State. Each one of us must come forward and do something to bring a stop to this war. Call your Congressperson, attend a peace vigil, show your support by making a contribution to your favorite anti-war organization. Speak out. You ARE the grassroots, you CAN make a difference.

Karen Kilroy is webmaster for DemocracyRising.US and other political websites. She also co-produced the antiwar music video “Something’s In the Air / But It’s Not on the Airwaves” (http://chrisvids.org) by Chris Chandler (http://chrischandler.org)

http://www.democrats.com/node/13008

Bush Prepared to Assume Dictatorial Powers

By now it is clear to most everyone even remotely familiar with American politics that both the 2000 and 2004 national elections were software-engineered G.O.P. triumphs that permitted the regime of George W. Bush to enact and sustain a petro-war profiteering agenda. What remains unclear is why anyone should assume that Bush and company have any intention of relinquishing control of that criminal agenda. A distinct possibility exists that this administration will in fact implement martial law before January 20, 2009.

Consider: a year after George H.W. Bush almost assumed the presidency following the near-fatal shooting of Ronald Reagan, Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) chief Louis Giuffrida, aided by deputy, John Brinkerhoff, drafted an executive order for government continuity in time of emergency, calling for "suspension of the Constitution" and "declaration of martial law." Three years later, Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 188, one in a series of orders authorizing ongoing planning for continued governance by a private non-governmental parallel agency that included then-G.D. Searle CEO, Donald Rumsfeld and Wyoming congressman, Dick Cheney.

Nine years later, with Bush administration officials returned to power, destruction of the Twin Towers and Pentagon accounting offices on September 11, 2001 brought forth new martial law plans similar to those of FEMA in the 1980s. In January 2002, Rumsfeld’s Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets, followed by John Brinkerhoff’s article arguing for the legality of such use to ensure domestic security.

Within 90 days Defense Department officials implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations under a new U.S. Northern Command (CINC-NORTHCOM) for the continental U.S. Secretary Rumsfeld called it, "the most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946,” stating, the NORTHCOM commander is responsible for "homeland defense and also serves as head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).... He will command U.S. forces that operate within the U.S. in support of civil authorities. The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters."

Months later, a year after 9-11, Attorney General John Ashcroft suggested internment of even American citizens deemed by the administration to be “enemy combatants.” Last September in Washington, NORTHCOM conducted a highly classified exercise, “Granite Shadow,” described as “yet another new Top Secret and compartmented operation related to the military's extra-legal powers regarding weapons of mass destruction. It allows for emergency military operations in the U.S. without civilian supervision or control." Clearly, given power, Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Brinkerhoff and their ilk have steadily advanced plans for possible implementation of martial law and military force.

In November of 2006, overwhelming public opposition to Bush administration policies and attendant G.O.P. governmental corruption permitted the Democratic Party to disrupt years of rightwing-engineered governmental dominance by Republican Party members. In January 2007 new House and Senate Democrats were sworn into office, providing America with its first legal semblance of checks and balances against rampant abuse of power enacted for six long years by the Bush administration.

Within days the Bush-Cheney administration’s Department of Homeland Security struck back, awarding to Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown Root, a $385 million contract to build internment centers, ostensibly “to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S.,” as well as “to support the rapid development of new programs."

Under this contract, the new facilities can be used in case of a national disaster (ala Katrina) or (as the Bush administration has already done with 'special registration' detention of immigrant men from Muslim countries and at Guantanamo") round-up of Islamic Americans or other U.S. citizens arbitrarily declared "enemy combatants.” The new "immigration emergency" plans and the Halliburton contract more than suggest potential suspension of Constitutional rights for citizens and immigrants as the use of military personnel and military contractors in the event of a Katrina-like disaster allows for virtual martial law, whether officially declared or not.

Now, on May 9, in defiance of the provisions of the National Emergency Act, George W. Bush has signed the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive granting him virtual dictatorial powers in the event of a declared national emergency.
This Executive Order permits Bush to assume power to direct any and all government and business activities without congressional approval or oversight until the emergency is declared over, and further establishes under his command, a new national continuity coordinator, Frances F. Townsend, (Bush’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism aide), to make plans for "National Essential Functions" of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to function under Bush’s directives in the event of a “catastrophic national emergency” loosely defined as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

This arbitrary unilateral directive ignores the National Emergency Act which requires that such proclamation "shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register" in order to establish the legislative branch as a balance empowered to "modify, rescind, or render dormant" such emergency authority if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately. Bush’s directive, drafted and signed to supersede the National Emergency Act, makes no reference to Congress, and instead creates the new position of national continuity coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing it. The directive’s language negates any requirement that Bush submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists and implements the president’s powers without congressional approval or oversight.

Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke has affirmed his Department’s intention to implement, if necessary, the requirements of the order under Townsend's direction. Not surprisingly, the White House has declined comment on the directive.

With Democrats and the majority of Americans opposing Bush’s continuance of war in Iraq and his sword-rattling over alleged nuclear materials in Iran, he has now put in place power to arbitrarily and unilaterally impose martial law, suspend the Constitution, assume virtual dictatorial power, deploy under his command military forces into U.S. cities to round up citizens declared by his regime to be enemy combatants or security threats, and to retain control of all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, military personnel, law enforcement agencies, and private sector organizations until he and/or a private non-governmental parallel agency of his making deems his declared state of emergency to be over.

With what has happened in America over the last six years under this corrupt, illegal regime, should anyone doubt that the Bush administration and its electively-doomed Republican Party is thinking seriously about imposing martial law? America, beware!

Dave Lindorff: Martial Law Threat is Real
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Sat, 07/28/2007 - 8:22pm. Dave Lindorff

The looming collapse of the U.S. military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it may be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim -- improperly, but so what -- that the whole world, including the U.S., is a battlefield in a so-called "War" on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the U.S. is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, "since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he'd need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S."

The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the Administration's political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised any objections to spying on potential terrorists. (It, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government having a list now of some 325,000 "suspected terrorists"!)

The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government within a government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called "Continuity of Government" protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the "government" functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months.

It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge -- mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens -- and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

The following year, Attorney General John Ashcroft began his program to develop a mass network of tens of millions of citizen spies -- Operation TIPS. That program, which had considerable support from key Democrats (notably Sen. Joe Lieberman), was curtailed by Congress when key conservatives got wind of the scale of the thing, but the concept survives without a name, and is reportedly being expanded today.

Meanwhile, last October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states, even over the objections of the governors of those states.

Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way -- courtesy of a $385 million grant by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc -- of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing "insurgency" within the U.S, and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.

As we go about our daily lives -- our shopping, our escapist movie watching, and even our protesting and political organizing -- we need to be aware that there is a real risk that it could all blow up, and that we could find ourselves facing armed, uniformed troops at our doors.

Bruce Fein isn't an alarmist. He says he doesn't see martial law coming tomorrow. But he is also realistic. He says, "This is all sitting around like a loaded gun waiting to go off. I think the risk of martial law is trivial right now, but the minute there is a terrorist attack, then it is real. And it stays with us after Bush and Cheney are gone, because terrorism stays with us forever." (It may be significant that Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, has called for the revocation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, but not of the earlier 2001 AUMF, which Bush claims makes him commander in chief of a borderless, endless war on terror.)

Indeed, the revised Insurrection Act (10. USC 331-335) approved by Congress and signed into law by Bush last October, specifically says that the president can federalize the National Guard to "suppress public disorder" in the event of "national disorder, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack, or incident." That determination, the act states, is solely the president's to make. Congress is not involved.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has added an amendment to the upcoming Defense bill, restoring the Insurrection Act to its former version -- a move with the endorsement of all 50 governors -- but Fein argues that would not solve the problem, since Bush still claims that the U.S. is a battlefield. Besides, a Leahy aide concedes Bush could sign the next Defense Appropriations bill and then use a signing statement to invalidate the Insurrection Act rider.

Fein argues that the only real defense against the looming disaster of a martial law declaration would be for Congress to vote for a resolution determining that there is no "War" on terror. "But they are such cowards they will never do that," he says.

That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our "heroes" in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to "uphold and defend" the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves -- especially mid-level officers.

If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it's broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.

DAVE LINDORFF, a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist, is author, most recently, of "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now in paperback), co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. A veteran investigative journalist and columnist, his work is also available at thiscantbehappening.net.

Think Again: Signing the Constitution Away
By Eric Alterman
May 3, 2006

Last Sunday, the Boston Globe’s Charlie Savage broke a story that should be shocking to all of us had we not grown inured to the casual contempt toward the Constitution that the Bush administration deems to be its droite d’etat. Connecting dots in an incredibly dogged fashion over nearly 4,000 words, Savage reported that, "President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution."

At issue is the president’s preference to simply ignore the content of laws of which he does not approve via the vehicle of the “signing statement.” In a nutshell, these assert that the president isn’t actually bound by the laws he just put into effect. On Tuesday, Savage followed up his own reporting with a piece giving voice to Senate minority leader Harry Reid, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s criticisms of the president’s actions. Both the April 30 and May 2 pieces were themselves follow-ups to Savage’s March 24 scoop in which he explained, “When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act this month, he included an addendum saying that he did not feel obliged to obey requirements that he inform Congress about how the FBI was using the act's expanded police powers.”

Taken together, Savage’s articles offer a sobering overview of the gross misuse of power the Bush administration has conducted out of the public eye. Amazingly, most of the mainstream media does not appear to think this is much of a story

National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51

HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20

LAW OF THE LAND
Bush grants presidency extraordinary powersDirective for emergencies apparently gives authority without congressional oversight.

President Bush has signed a directive granting extraordinary powers to the office of the president in the event of a declared national emergency, apparently without congressional approval or oversight.

Subject: National Continuity Policy

George has another grab at absolute power with this National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive.

So here's a scenario. It is September 2008. The Democratic party nominee for President is leading the Republican nominee 65 to 28 in the polls.

Al-Qaeda hates America and are planning attacks. We are fighting them over there (still) and the numbers haven't changed. We're still losing a hundred soldiers a month plus upwards of 1,000 Iraqis a month. We're turning the corner, if we just give it some more time there is light at the end of the tunnel. The insurgency is in it's last throes.

Suddenly and without warning, the attack occurs. The congressional cafeteria. Freedom fries have been prepared with contaminated oil. The oil contains high levels of trans fats. Congressmen and women immediately blow up to Hastert size and are incapable of performing their job functions. They either cannot get out of the cafeteria or cannot get into the capitol because they have exceeded the size of the entrances. Even if they could, they cannot be present in the same room due to floor loading issues.

The Supreme Court is out of session and justices have returned to their homes for some well deserved R&R after some rigorous right wing justicing. Mysteriously, they are all afflicted with serious cases of Restless Leg Syndrome. The Supremes are physically incapacitated.

Congress cannot function. The Supreme Court is "down". Who perpetrated this ghastly attack that has brought the government to it's knees?

The President declares an emergency and assumes absolute control.

As we all know, a win for the Democrats is a win for Al-Qaeda. The president cannot allow Al-Qaeda to win the General Election.

The president issues a directive that confers the powers of the Supreme Court on the Attorney-General, Alberto Gonzales. Gonzo has weathered a few storms so is battle hardened and up to the challenge of impersonating the Supremes with no problem.

Since we are a "Nation Of Laws", the President goes to the AG with a case to indefinitely suspend the general election due to the crisis in the congress and "clear and present danger" that the Al-Qaeda candidate will win the presidency.

The AG (aka The Supreme Court) ponders the issue long and hard (for about 0.3 milliseconds) before deciding that in this time of emergency, this heinous attack on the "American way of life" and our civilization, the President has made his case and the General Election is suspended indefinitely.

The President gives himself the power to suspend specific clauses of the constitution in times of war. This is challenged by some but ultimately the Supreme Court (the AG) rules in favor of the President. Many laws can already be usurped due to the President's clever foresight in the use of signing statements in previous years.

Since Congressmen cannot be replaced unless elected and the election has been suspended, another presidential directive is necessary in this dire emergency. This time the President gives himself the power to appoint replacement "interim" congressmen. He immediately delegates this task to Karl Rove and Monica Goodling.

Certain media outlets are assessed to be promoting enemy propaganda and talking points thus providing aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war. A presidential directive creates a new agency and provides that Roger Ailes be appointed as the "media content czar". All content intended to be available to the public via any media format must be approved by the new agency FUCIT (Federal Universal Content and Information Transfer Agency).

The president appears on national TV to smooth our furrowed brows by assuring us that he will leave no stone unturned and will not rest until the last "America Hater" is brought to justice or killed. The President says that "only when this solemn promise to the American People has been delivered upon, only when our way of life has been successfully defended can we expect a return to something resembling normalcy". The President will defend us in this "War on America".

The first task for the "new" congress is to pass a law that allows the President's term to be extended indefinitely in a time of war.

Fast forward a couple of years. The Supreme Court has been reconvened although justices have been sent to undisclosed locations to assure continuity of the court. Mysteriously, the four most moderate justices have disappeared and been replaced by Wolfowitz, Feith, Miers and Rumsfeld via interim appointments. There is rumor that a justice is about to retire and Gonzo will be appointed to the bench. Bernard Kerik will replace Gonzales as the new AG (Tony Soprano was not available). Rush Limbaugh has become the Special Secretary for Truth-Telling.

The people are agitated. A revolution is brewing. The CIA, FBI and ASS (American Security Services), with total freedom to monitor every communication and every person, has no trouble in rounding up the "domestic terrorists" and sending them to the mass internment camps in the north. The main camp, formerly the state of Massachusetts, now holds 12 million "Enemies of America".

Periodically, the government allows an armed "uprising" to occur. This provides the opportunity for the uprising to be squashed with "shock and awe" like tactics. Typical of the response, Rhode Island is now pretty much a deserted wasteland. This serves as a warning to other Enemies of America that attacks on America will be met with a steadfast and determined response.

Be afraid America... be very afraid.

Purpose

(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.

Definitions

(2) In this directive:

(a) "Category" refers to the categories of executive departments and agencies listed in Annex A to this directive;

(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;

(c) "Continuity of Government," or "COG," means a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency;

(d) "Continuity of Operations," or "COOP," means an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that Primary Mission-Essential Functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies;

(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;

(f) "Executive Departments and Agencies" means the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1), and the United States Postal Service;

(g) "Government Functions" means the collective functions of the heads of executive departments and agencies as defined by statute, regulation, presidential direction, or other legal authority, and the functions of the legislative and judicial branches;

(h) "National Essential Functions," or "NEFs," means that subset of Government Functions that are necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency and that, therefore, must be supported through COOP and COG capabilities; and


(i)"Primary Mission Essential Functions," or "PMEFs," means those Government Functions that must be performed in order to support or implement the performance of NEFs before, during, and in the aftermath of an emergency.

Policy

(3) It is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs in order to ensure the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions.

Implementation Actions

(4) Continuity requirements shall be incorporated into daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions. Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.

(5) The following NEFs are the foundation for all continuity programs and capabilities and represent the overarching responsibilities of the Federal Government to lead and sustain the Nation during a crisis, and therefore sustaining the following NEFs shall be the primary focus of the Federal Government leadership during and in the aftermath of an emergency that adversely affects the performance of Government Functions:

(a) Ensuring the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government;

(b) Providing leadership visible to the Nation and the world and maintaining the trust and confidence of the American people;

(c) Defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and preventing or interdicting attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(d) Maintaining and fostering effective relationships with foreign nations;

(e) Protecting against threats to the homeland and bringing to justice perpetrators of crimes or attacks against the United States or its people, property, or interests;

(f) Providing rapid and effective response to and recovery from the domestic consequences of an attack or other incident;

(g) Protecting and stabilizing the Nation's economy and ensuring public confidence in its financial systems; and

(h) Providing for critical Federal Government services that address the national health, safety, and welfare needs of the United States.

(6) The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.

(7) For continuity purposes, each executive department and agency is assigned to a category in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and responsibilities in support of the Federal Government's ability to sustain the NEFs. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall serve as the President's lead agent for coordinating overall continuity operations and activities of executive departments and agencies, and in such role shall perform the responsibilities set forth for the Secretary in sections 10 and 16 of this directive.

(8) The National Continuity Coordinator, in consultation with the heads of appropriate executive departments and agencies, will lead the development of a National Continuity Implementation Plan (Plan), which shall include prioritized goals and objectives, a concept of operations, performance metrics by which to measure continuity readiness, procedures for continuity and incident management activities, and clear direction to executive department and agency continuity coordinators, as well as guidance to promote interoperability of Federal Government continuity programs and procedures with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate. The Plan shall be submitted to the President for approval not later than 90 days after the date of this directive.

(9) Recognizing that each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity programs, an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall ensure that the executive branch's COOP and COG policies in support of ECG efforts are appropriately coordinated with those of the legislative and judicial branches in order to ensure interoperability and allocate national assets efficiently to maintain a functioning Federal Government.

(10) Federal Government COOP, COG, and ECG plans and operations shall be appropriately integrated with the emergency plans and capabilities of State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to promote interoperability and to prevent redundancies and conflicting lines of authority. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate the integration of Federal continuity plans and operations with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency.

(11) Continuity requirements for the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and executive departments and agencies shall include the following:

(a) The continuation of the performance of PMEFs during any emergency must be for a period up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed, and the capability to be fully operational at alternate sites as soon as possible after the occurrence of an emergency, but not later than 12 hours after COOP activation;


(b) Succession orders and pre-planned devolution of authorities that ensure the emergency delegation of authority must be planned and documented in advance in accordance with applicable law;

(c) Vital resources, facilities, and records must be safeguarded, and official access to them must be provided;

(d) Provision must be made for the acquisition of the resources necessary for continuity operations on an emergency basis;

(e) Provision must be made for the availability and redundancy of critical communications capabilities at alternate sites in order to support connectivity between and among key government leadership, internal elements, other executive departments and agencies, critical partners, and the public;

(f) Provision must be made for reconstitution capabilities that allow for recovery from a catastrophic emergency and resumption of normal operations; and

(g) Provision must be made for the identification, training, and preparedness of personnel capable of relocating to alternate facilities to support the continuation of the performance of PMEFs.

(12) In order to provide a coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies, the Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system establishes executive branch continuity program readiness levels, focusing on possible threats to the National Capital Region. The President will determine and issue the COGCON Level. Executive departments and agencies shall comply with the requirements and assigned responsibilities under the COGCON program. During COOP activation, executive departments and agencies shall report their readiness status to the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary's designee.

(13) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall:

(a) Conduct an annual assessment of executive department and agency continuity funding requests and performance data that are submitted by executive departments and agencies as part of the annual budget request process, in order to monitor progress in the implementation of the Plan and the execution of continuity budgets;

(b) In coordination with the National Continuity Coordinator, issue annual continuity planning guidance for the development of continuity budget requests; and

(c) Ensure that heads of executive departments and agencies prioritize budget resources for continuity capabilities, consistent with this directive.

(14) The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy shall:

(a) Define and issue minimum requirements for continuity communications for executive departments and agencies, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President;

(b) Establish requirements for, and monitor the development, implementation, and maintenance of, a comprehensive communications architecture to integrate continuity components, in consultation with the APHS/CT, the APNSA, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff to the President; and

(c) Review quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities, as prepared pursuant to section 16(d) of this directive or otherwise, and report the results and recommended remedial actions to the National Continuity Coordinator.

(15) An official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall:

(a) Advise the President, the Chief of Staff to the President, the APHS/CT, and the APNSA on COGCON operational execution options; and

(b) Consult with the Secretary of Homeland Security in order to ensure synchronization and integration of continuity activities among the four categories of executive departments and agencies.

(16) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall:

(a) Coordinate the implementation, execution, and assessment of continuity operations and activities;

(b) Develop and promulgate Federal Continuity Directives in order to establish continuity planning requirements for executive departments and agencies;

(c) Conduct biennial assessments of individual department and agency continuity capabilities as prescribed by the Plan and report the results to the President through the APHS/CT;

(d) Conduct quarterly and annual assessments of continuity communications capabilities in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(e) Develop, lead, and conduct a Federal continuity training and exercise program, which shall be incorporated into the National Exercise Program developed pursuant to Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8 of December 17, 2003 ("National Preparedness"), in consultation with an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President;

(f) Develop and promulgate continuity planning guidance to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators;

(g) Make available continuity planning and exercise funding, in the form of grants as provided by law, to State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators; and

(h) As Executive Agent of the National Communications System, develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive continuity communications architecture.

(17) The Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall produce a biennial assessment of the foreign and domestic threats to the Nation's continuity of government.

(18) The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall provide secure, integrated, Continuity of Government communications to the President, the Vice President, and, at a minimum, Category I executive departments and agencies.

(19) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall execute their respective department or agency COOP plans in response to a localized emergency and shall:

(a) Appoint a senior accountable official, at the Assistant Secretary level, as the Continuity Coordinator for the department or agency;

(b) Identify and submit to the National Continuity Coordinator the list of PMEFs for the department or agency and develop continuity plans in support of the NEFs and the continuation of essential functions under all conditions;

(c) Plan, program, and budget for continuity capabilities consistent with this directive;

(d) Plan, conduct, and support annual tests and training, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, in order to evaluate program readiness and ensure adequacy and viability of continuity plans and communications systems; and

(e) Support other continuity requirements, as assigned by category, in accordance with the nature and characteristics of its national security roles and responsibilities

General Provisions

(20) This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions.

(21) This directive:

(a) Shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and the authorities of agencies, or heads of agencies, vested by law, and subject to the availability of appropriations;

(b) Shall not be construed to impair or otherwise affect (i) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, and legislative proposals, or (ii) the authority of the Secretary of Defense over the Department of Defense, including the chain of command for military forces from the President, to the Secretary of Defense, to the commander of military forces, or military command and control procedures; and

(c) Is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(22) Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.

(23) Annex A and the classified Continuity Annexes, attached hereto, are hereby incorporated into and made a part of this directive.

(24) Security. This directive and the information contained herein shall be protected from unauthorized disclosure, provided that, except for Annex A, the Annexes attached to this directive are classified and shall be accorded appropriate handling, consistent with applicable Executive Orders.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6377

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, July 20, 2007


The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.
A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's military agenda in Iraq.

The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq:

"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act.
The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.

Bush Executive Order: Criminalizing the Antiwar Movement
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6377

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, July 20, 2007
The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of whoever opposes the US led war.

A presidential Executive Order issued on July 17th, repeals with the stroke of a pen the right to dissent and to oppose the Pentagon's military agenda in Iraq.

The Executive Order entitled "Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq" provides the President with the authority to confiscate the assets of "certain persons" who oppose the US led war in Iraq:

"I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people."

In substance, under this executive order, opposing the war becomes an illegal act. The Executive Order criminalizes the antiwar movement. It is intended to "blocking property" of US citizens and organizations actively involved in the peace movement. It allows the Department of Defense to interfere in financial affairs and instruct the Treasury to "block the property" and/or confiscate/ freeze the assets of "Certain Persons" involved in antiwar activities. It targets those "Certain Persons" in America, including civil society organizatioins, who oppose the Bush Administration's "peace and stability" program in Iraq, characterized, in plain English, by an illegal occupation and the continued killing of innocent civilians.

The Executive Order also targets those "Certain Persons" who are "undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction", or who, again in plain English, are opposed to the confiscation and privatization of Iraq's oil resources, on behalf of the Anglo-American oil giants.

The order is also intended for anybody who opposes Bush's program of "political reform in Iraq", in other words, who questions the legitimacy of an Iraqi "government" installed by the occupation forces.

Moreover, those persons or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), who provide bona fide humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians, and who are not approved by the US Military or its lackeys in the US sponsored Iraqi puppet government are also liable to have their financial assets confiscated.

The executive order violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution. It repeals one of the fundamental tenets of US democracy, which is the right to free expression and dissent. The order has not been the object of discussion in the US Congress. Sofar, it has not been addressed by the US antiwar movement, in terms of a formal statement.
Apart from a bland Associated Press wire report, which presents the executive order as "an authority to use financial sanctions", there has been no media coverage or commentary of a presidential decision which strikes at the heart of the US Constitution..

Broader implications

The criminalization of the State is when the sitting President and Vice President use and abuse their authority through executive orders, presidential directives or otherwise to define "who are the criminals" when in fact they they are the criminals.
This latest executive order criminalizes the peace movement. It must be viewed in relation to various pieces of "anti-terrorist" legislation, the gamut of presidential and national security directives, etc., which are ultimately geared towards repealing constitutional government and installing martial law in the event of a "national emergency".

The war criminals in high office are intent upon repressing all forms of dissent which question the legitimacy of the war in Iraq.

The executive order combined with the existing anti-terrorist legislation is eventually intended to be used against the anti-war and civil rights movements. It can be used to seize the assets of antiwar groups in America as well as block the property and activities of non-governmental humanitarian organizations providing relief in Iraq, seizing the assets of alternative media involved in reporting the truth regarding the US-led war, etc.

In May 2007, Bush issued a major presidential National Security Directive (National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20), which would suspend constitutional government and instate broad dictatorial powers under martial law in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency" (e.g. Second 9/11 terrorist attack).

On July 11, 2007 the CIA published its "National Intelligence Estimate" which pointed to an imminent Al Qaeda attack on America, a second 9/11 which, according to the terms of NSPD 51, would immediately be followed by the suspension of constitutional government and the instatement of martial law under the authority of the president and the vice-president. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran? June 2007)

NSPD 51 grants unprecedented powers to the Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security, overriding the foundations of Constitutional government. It allows the sitting president to declare a “national emergency” without Congressional approval. The implementation of NSPD 51 would lead to the de facto closing down of the Legislature and the militarization of justice and law enforcement.

"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government...."

Were NSPD 51 to be invoked, Vice President Dick Cheney, who constitutes the real power behind the Executive, would essentially assume de facto dictatorial powers, circumventing both the US Congress and the Judiciary, while continuing to use President George W. Bush as a proxy figurehead.
NSPD 51, while bypassing the Constitution, nonetheless, envisages very precise procedures which guarantee the powers of Vice President Dick Cheney in relation to "Continuity of Goverment" functions under Martial Law:

"This directive shall be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and facilitates effective implementation of, provisions of the Constitution concerning succession to the Presidency or the exercise of its powers, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. 19), with consultation of the Vice President and, as appropriate, others involved. Heads of executive departments and agencies shall ensure that appropriate support is available to the Vice President and others involved as necessary to be prepared at all times to implement those provisions." (NSPD 51, op cit.)

The executive order to confiscate the assets of antiwar/peace activists is broadly consistent with NSPD 51. It could be triggered even in the absence of a "Catastrophic emergency" as envisaged under NSPD 51. It repeals democracy. It goes one step further in "criminalizing" all forms of opposition and dissent. to the US led war and "Homeland Security" agenda.

ANNEX

TEXT OF THE EXECUTIVE ORDER
July 17, 2007

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, find that, due to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by acts of violence threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq and to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, it is in the interests of the United States to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004. I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(1), (3), and (4) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1), (3), and (4)), or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order, all property and interests in property of the following persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of United States persons, are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense,

(i) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or

(B) undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section include, but are not limited to, (i) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order, and (ii) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 2. (a) Any transaction by a United States person or within the United States that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 3. For purposes of this order:

(a) (a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;

(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization; and

(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.

Sec. 5. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that, because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render these measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1(a) of this order.

Sec. 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government, consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order and, where appropriate, to advise the Secretary of the Treasury in a timely manner of the measures taken.

Sec. 7. Nothing in this order is intended to affect the continued effectiveness of any rules, regulations, orders, licenses, or other forms of administrative action issued, taken, or continued in effect heretofore or hereafter under 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as expressly terminated, modified, or suspended by or pursuant to this order.

Sec. 8. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right, benefit, or privilege, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
July 17, 2007.

Below is the text of the Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

[There has been no response by the US congress or commentary by individual Senators or Representatives.]

Office of the Press Secretary July 17, 2007

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding International Emergency Economic Powers Act

White House News

Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.)(IEEPA), I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order blocking property of persons determined to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

I issued this order to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, and expanded in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004.

In these previous Executive Orders, I ordered various measures to address the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in that country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq.

My new order takes additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13303 and expanded in Executive Order 13315 by blocking the property and interests in property of persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.

The order further authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to designate for blocking those persons determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, logistical, or technical support for, or goods or services in support of, such an act or acts of violence or any person designated pursuant to this order, or to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

I delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the authority to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of my order. I am enclosing a copy of the Executive Order I have issued.

GEORGE W. BUSH
The White House,
July 17, 2007.
Bush challenges hundreds of laws : President cites powers of his office
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/april2006/300406challenges.htm

Boston Globe / Charlie Savage April 30 2006

Comment: The headline should read "Bush BREAKS hundreds of laws". If you or I "challenged" the law in the way Bush has we would be in jail.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Former administration officials contend that just because Bush reserves the right to disobey a law does not mean he is not enforcing it: In many cases, he is simply asserting his belief that a certain requirement encroaches on presidential power.

But with the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, in which he ignored a law requiring warrants to tap the phones of Americans, many legal specialists say Bush is hardly reluctant to bypass laws he believes he has the constitutional authority to override.

Far more than any predecessor, Bush has been aggressive about declaring his right to ignore vast swaths of laws -- many of which he says infringe on power he believes the Constitution assigns to him alone as the head of the executive branch or the commander in chief of the military.

Many legal scholars say they believe that Bush's theory about his own powers goes too far and that he is seizing for himself some of the law-making role of Congress and the Constitution-interpreting role of the courts.

Phillip Cooper, a Portland State University law professor who has studied the executive power claims Bush made during his first term, said Bush and his legal team have spent the past five years quietly working to concentrate ever more governmental power into the White House.

''There is no question that this administration has been involved in a very carefully thought-out, systematic process of expanding presidential power at the expense of the other branches of government," Cooper said. ''This is really big, very expansive, and very significant."

For the first five years of Bush's presidency, his legal claims attracted little attention in Congress or the media. Then, twice in recent months, Bush drew scrutiny after challenging new laws: a torture ban and a requirement that he give detailed reports to Congress about how he is using the Patriot Act.

Bush administration spokesmen declined to make White House or Justice Department attorneys available to discuss any of Bush's challenges to the laws he has signed.

Instead, they referred a Globe reporter to their response to questions about Bush's position that he could ignore provisions of the Patriot Act. They said at the time that Bush was following a practice that has ''been used for several administrations" and that ''the president will faithfully execute the law in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution."

But the words ''in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution" are the catch, legal scholars say, because Bush is according himself the ultimate interpretation of the Constitution. And he is quietly exercising that authority to a degree that is unprecedented in US history.

Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.
*
Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files ''signing statements" -- official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.
In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills -- sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed.
''He agrees to a compromise with members of Congress, and all of them are there for a public bill-signing ceremony, but then he takes back those compromises -- and more often than not, without the Congress or the press or the public knowing what has happened," said Christopher Kelley, a Miami University of Ohio political science professor who studies executive power.

Military link

Many of the laws Bush said he can bypass -- including the torture ban -- involve the military.

The Constitution grants Congress the power to create armies, to declare war, to make rules for captured enemies, and ''to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces." But, citing his role as commander in chief, Bush says he can ignore any act of Congress that seeks to regulate the military.

On at least four occasions while Bush has been president, Congress has passed laws forbidding US troops from engaging in combat in Colombia, where the US military is advising the government in its struggle against narcotics-funded Marxist rebels.

After signing each bill, Bush declared in his signing statement that he did not have to obey any of the Colombia restrictions because he is commander in chief.

Bush has also said he can bypass laws requiring him to tell Congress before diverting money from an authorized program in order to start a secret operation, such as the ''black sites" where suspected terrorists are secretly imprisoned.

Congress has also twice passed laws forbidding the military from using intelligence that was not ''lawfully collected," including any information on Americans that was gathered in violation of the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches.

Congress first passed this provision in August 2004, when Bush's warrantless domestic spying program was still a secret, and passed it again after the program's existence was disclosed in December 2005.

On both occasions, Bush declared in signing statements that only he, as commander in chief, could decide whether such intelligence can be used by the military.

In October 2004, five months after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal in Iraq came to light, Congress passed a series of new rules and regulations for military prisons. Bush signed the provisions into law, then said he could ignore them all. One provision made clear that military lawyers can give their commanders independent advice on such issues as what would constitute torture. But Bush declared that military lawyers could not contradict his administration's lawyers.

Other provisions required the Pentagon to retrain military prison guards on the requirements for humane treatment of detainees under the Geneva Conventions, to perform background checks on civilian contractors in Iraq, and to ban such contractors from performing ''security, intelligence, law enforcement, and criminal justice functions." Bush reserved the right to ignore any of the requirements.

The new law also created the position of inspector general for Iraq. But Bush wrote in his signing statement that the inspector ''shall refrain" from investigating any intelligence or national security matter, or any crime the Pentagon says it prefers to investigate for itself.

Bush had placed similar limits on an inspector general position created by Congress in November 2003 for the initial stage of the US occupation of Iraq. The earlier law also empowered the inspector to notify Congress if a US official refused to cooperate. Bush said the inspector could not give any information to Congress without permission from the administration.

Oversight questioned

Many laws Bush has asserted he can bypass involve requirements to give information about government activity to congressional oversight committees.

In December 2004, Congress passed an intelligence bill requiring the Justice Department to tell them how often, and in what situations, the FBI was using special national security wiretaps on US soil. The law also required the Justice Department to give oversight committees copies of administration memos outlining any new interpretations of domestic-spying laws. And it contained 11 other requirements for reports about such issues as civil liberties, security clearances, border security, and counternarcotics efforts.

After signing the bill, Bush issued a signing statement saying he could withhold all the information sought by Congress.

Likewise, when Congress passed the law creating the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, it said oversight committees must be given information about vulnerabilities at chemical plants and the screening of checked bags at airports.

It also said Congress must be shown unaltered reports about problems with visa services prepared by a new immigration ombudsman. Bush asserted the right to withhold the information and alter the reports.

On several other occasions, Bush contended he could nullify laws creating ''whistle-blower" job protections for federal employees that would stop any attempt to fire them as punishment for telling a member of Congress about possible government wrongdoing.

When Congress passed a massive energy package in August, for example, it strengthened whistle-blower protections for employees at the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The provision was included because lawmakers feared that Bush appointees were intimidating nuclear specialists so they would not testify about safety issues related to a planned nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada -- a facility the administration supported, but both Republicans and Democrats from Nevada opposed.

When Bush signed the energy bill, he issued a signing statement declaring that the executive branch could ignore the whistle-blower protections.

Bush's statement did more than send a threatening message to federal energy specialists inclined to raise concerns with Congress; it also raised the possibility that Bush would not feel bound to obey similar whistle-blower laws that were on the books before he became president. His domestic spying program, for example, violated a surveillance law enacted 23 years before he took office.

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive-power issues, said Bush has cast a cloud over ''the whole idea that there is a rule of law," because no one can be certain of which laws Bush thinks are valid and which he thinks he can ignore.

''Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional," Golove said.

Defying Supreme Court

Bush has also challenged statutes in which Congress gave certain executive branch officials the power to act independently of the president. The Supreme Court has repeatedly endorsed the power of Congress to make such arrangements. For example, the court has upheld laws creating special prosecutors free of Justice Department oversight and insulating the board of the Federal Trade Commission from political interference.

Nonetheless, Bush has said in his signing statements that the Constitution lets him control any executive official, no matter what a statute passed by Congress might say.

In November 2002, for example, Congress, seeking to generate independent statistics about student performance, passed a law setting up an educational research institute to conduct studies and publish reports ''without the approval" of the Secretary of Education. Bush, however, decreed that the institute's director would be ''subject to the supervision and direction of the secretary of education."

Similarly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld affirmative-action programs, as long as they do not include quotas. Most recently, in 2003, the court upheld a race-conscious university admissions program over the strong objections of Bush, who argued that such programs should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Yet despite the court's rulings, Bush has taken exception at least nine times to provisions that seek to ensure that minorities are represented among recipients of government jobs, contracts, and grants. Each time, he singled out the provisions, declaring that he would construe them ''in a manner consistent with" the Constitution's guarantee of ''equal protection" to all -- which some legal scholars say amounts to an argument that the affirmative-action provisions represent reverse discrimination against whites.

Golove said that to the extent Bush is interpreting the Constitution in defiance of the Supreme Court's precedents, he threatens to ''overturn the existing structures of constitutional law."

A president who ignores the court, backed by a Congress that is unwilling to challenge him, Golove said, can make the Constitution simply ''disappear."
Common practice in '80s
Though Bush has gone further than any previous president, his actions are not unprecedented.

Since the early 19th century, American presidents have occasionally signed a large bill while declaring that they would not enforce a specific provision they believed was unconstitutional. On rare occasions, historians say, presidents also issued signing statements interpreting a law and explaining any concerns about it.

But it was not until the mid-1980s, midway through the tenure of President Reagan, that it became common for the president to issue signing statements. The change came about after then-Attorney General Edwin Meese decided that signing statements could be used to increase the power of the president.

When interpreting an ambiguous law, courts often look at the statute's legislative history, debate and testimony, to see what Congress intended it to mean. Meese realized that recording what the president thought the law meant in a signing statement might increase a president's influence over future court rulings.

Under Meese's direction in 1986, a young Justice Department lawyer named Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote a strategy memo about signing statements. It came to light in late 2005, after Bush named Alito to the Supreme Court.

In the memo, Alito predicted that Congress would resent the president's attempt to grab some of its power by seizing ''the last word on questions of interpretation." He suggested that Reagan's legal team should ''concentrate on points of true ambiguity, rather than issuing interpretations that may seem to conflict with those of Congress."

Reagan's successors continued this practice. George H.W. Bush challenged 232 statutes over four years in office, and Bill Clinton objected to 140 laws over his eight years, according to Kelley, the Miami University of Ohio professor.

Many of the challenges involved longstanding legal ambiguities and points of conflict between the president and Congress.

Throughout the past two decades, for example, each president -- including the current one -- has objected to provisions requiring him to get permission from a congressional committee before taking action. The Supreme Court made clear in 1983 that only the full Congress can direct the executive branch to do things, but lawmakers have continued writing laws giving congressional committees such a role.

Still, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton used the presidential veto instead of the signing statement if they had a serious problem with a bill, giving Congress a chance to override their decisions.

But the current President Bush has abandoned the veto entirely, as well as any semblance of the political caution that Alito counseled back in 1986. In just five years, Bush has challenged more than 750 new laws, by far a record for any president, while becoming the first president since Thomas Jefferson to stay so long in office without issuing a veto.

''What we haven't seen until this administration is the sheer number of objections that are being raised on every bill passed through the White House," said Kelley, who has studied presidential signing statements through history. ''That is what is staggering. The numbers are well out of the norm from any previous administration."

Exaggerated fears?

Some administration defenders say that concerns about Bush's signing statements are overblown. Bush's signing statements, they say, should be seen as little more than political chest-thumping by administration lawyers who are dedicated to protecting presidential prerogatives.

Defenders say the fact that Bush is reserving the right to disobey the laws does not necessarily mean he has gone on to disobey them.

Indeed, in some cases, the administration has ended up following laws that Bush said he could bypass. For example, citing his power to ''withhold information" in September 2002, Bush declared that he could ignore a law requiring the State Department to list the number of overseas deaths of US citizens in foreign countries. Nevertheless, the department has still put the list on its website.

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor who until last year oversaw the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel for the administration, said the statements do not change the law; they just let people know how the president is interpreting it.

''Nobody reads them," said Goldsmith. ''They have no significance. Nothing in the world changes by the publication of a signing statement. The statements merely serve as public notice about how the administration is interpreting the law. Criticism of this practice is surprising, since the usual complaint is that the administration is too secretive in its legal interpretations."

But Cooper, the Portland State University professor who has studied Bush's first-term signing statements, said the documents are being read closely by one key group of people: the bureaucrats who are charged with implementing new laws.

Lower-level officials will follow the president's instructions even when his understanding of a law conflicts with the clear intent of Congress, crafting policies that may endure long after Bush leaves office, Cooper said.

''Years down the road, people will not understand why the policy doesn't look like the legislation," he said.

And in many cases, critics contend, there is no way to know whether the administration is violating laws -- or merely preserving the right to do so.

Many of the laws Bush has challenged involve national security, where it is almost impossible to verify what the government is doing. And since the disclosure of Bush's domestic spying program, many people have expressed alarm about his sweeping claims of the authority to violate laws.

In January, after the Globe first wrote about Bush's contention that he could disobey the torture ban, three Republicans who were the bill's principal sponsors in the Senate -- John McCain of Arizona, John W. Warner of Virginia, and Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina -- all publicly rebuked the president.

''We believe the president understands Congress's intent in passing, by very large majorities, legislation governing the treatment of detainees," McCain and Warner said in a joint statement. ''The Congress declined when asked by administration officials to include a presidential waiver of the restrictions included in our legislation."

Added Graham: ''I do not believe that any political figure in the country has the ability to set aside any . . . law of armed conflict that we have adopted or treaties that we have ratified."

And in March, when the Globe first wrote about Bush's contention that he could ignore the oversight provisions of the Patriot Act, several Democrats lodged complaints.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, accused Bush of trying to ''cherry-pick the laws he decides he wants to follow."

And Representatives Jane Harman of California and John Conyers Jr. of Michigan -- the ranking Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, respectively -- sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales demanding that Bush rescind his claim and abide by the law.

''Many members who supported the final law did so based upon the guarantee of additional reporting and oversight," they wrote. ''The administration cannot, after the fact, unilaterally repeal provisions of the law implementing such oversight. . . . Once the president signs a bill, he and all of us are bound by it."

Lack of court review

Such political fallout from Congress is likely to be the only check on Bush's claims, legal specialists said.

The courts have little chance of reviewing Bush's assertions, especially in the secret realm of national security matters.

''There can't be judicial review if nobody knows about it," said Neil Kinkopf, a Georgia State law professor who was a Justice Department official in the Clinton administration. ''And if they avoid judicial review, they avoid having their constitutional theories rebuked."

Without court involvement, only Congress can check a president who goes too far. But Bush's fellow Republicans control both chambers, and they have shown limited interest in launching the kind of oversight that could damage their party.

''The president is daring Congress to act against his positions, and they're not taking action because they don't want to appear to be too critical of the president, given that their own fortunes are tied to his because they are all Republicans," said Jack Beermann, a Boston University law professor. ''Oversight gets much reduced in a situation where the president and Congress are controlled by the same party."

Said Golove, the New York University law professor: ''Bush has essentially said that 'We're the executive branch and we're going to carry this law out as we please, and if Congress wants to impeach us, go ahead and try it.' "

Bruce Fein, a deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration, said the American system of government relies upon the leaders of each branch ''to exercise some self-restraint." But Bush has declared himself the sole judge of his own powers, he said, and then ruled for himself every time.

''This is an attempt by the president to have the final word on his own constitutional powers, which eliminates the checks and balances that keep the country a democracy," Fein said. ''There is no way for an independent judiciary to check his assertions of power, and Congress isn't doing it, either. So this is moving us toward an unlimited executive power."

Bush could bypass new torture ban: Waiver right is reserved
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2006/040106couldbypass.htm

Boston Globe/Charlie Savage January 4 2006

WASHINGTON -- When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief.

After approving the bill last Friday, Bush issued a ''signing statement" -- an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law -- declaring that he will view the interrogation limits in the context of his broader powers to protect national security. This means Bush believes he can waive the restrictions, the White House and legal specialists said.

''The executive branch shall construe [the law] in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President . . . as Commander in Chief," Bush wrote, adding that this approach ''will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President . . . of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

Some legal specialists said yesterday that the president's signing statement, which was posted on the White House website but had gone unnoticed over the New Year's weekend, raises serious questions about whether he intends to follow the law.

A senior administration official, who spoke to a Globe reporter about the statement on condition of anonymity because he is not an official spokesman, said the president intended to reserve the right to use harsher methods in special situations involving national security.

''We are not going to ignore this law," the official said, noting that Bush, when signing laws, routinely issues signing statements saying he will construe them consistent with his own constitutional authority. ''We consider it a valid statute. We consider ourselves bound by the prohibition on cruel, unusual, and degrading treatment."

But, the official said, a situation could arise in which Bush may have to waive the law's restrictions to carry out his responsibilities to protect national security. He cited as an example a ''ticking time bomb" scenario, in which a detainee is believed to have information that could prevent a planned terrorist attack.

''Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, [but] he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case," the official added. ''We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will."

David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that the signing statement means that Bush believes he can still authorize harsh interrogation tactics when he sees fit.

''The signing statement is saying 'I will only comply with this law when I want to, and if something arises in the war on terrorism where I think it's important to torture or engage in cruel, inhuman, and degrading conduct, I have the authority to do so and nothing in this law is going to stop me,' " he said. ''They don't want to come out and say it directly because it doesn't sound very nice, but it's unmistakable to anyone who has been following what's going on."

Golove and other legal specialists compared the signing statement to Bush's decision, revealed last month, to bypass a 1978 law forbidding domestic wiretapping without a warrant. Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans' international phone calls and e-mails without a court order starting after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The president and his aides argued that the Constitution gives the commander in chief the authority to bypass the 1978 law when necessary to protect national security. They also argued that Congress implicitly endorsed that power when it authorized the use of force against the perpetrators of the attacks.

Legal academics and human rights organizations said Bush's signing statement and his stance on the wiretapping law are part of a larger agenda that claims exclusive control of war-related matters for the executive branch and holds that any involvement by Congress or the courts should be minimal.

Vice President Dick Cheney recently told reporters, ''I believe in a strong, robust executive authority, and I think that the world we live in demands it. . . . I would argue that the actions that we've taken are totally appropriate and consistent with the constitutional authority of the president."

Since the 2001 attacks, the administration has also asserted the power to bypass domestic and international laws in deciding how to detain prisoners captured in the Afghanistan war. It also has claimed the power to hold any US citizen Bush designates an ''enemy combatant" without charges or access to an attorney.

And in 2002, the administration drafted a secret legal memo holding that Bush could authorize interrogators to violate anti torture laws when necessary to protect national security. After the memo was leaked to the press, the administration eliminated the language from a subsequent version, but it never repudiated the idea that Bush could authorize officials to ignore a law.

The issue heated up again in January 2005. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales disclosed during his confirmation hearing that the administration believed that anti torture laws and treaties did not restrict interrogators at overseas prisons because the Constitution does not apply abroad.

In response, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, filed an amendment to a Defense Department bill explicitly saying that that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees in US custody is illegal regardless of where they are held.

McCain's office did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

The White House tried hard to kill the McCain amendment. Cheney lobbied Congress to exempt the CIA from any interrogation limits, and Bush threatened to veto the bill, arguing that the executive branch has exclusive authority over war policy.

But after veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress approved it, Bush called a press conference with McCain, praised the measure, and said he would accept it.

Legal specialists said the president's signing statement called into question his comments at the press conference.

''The whole point of the McCain Amendment was to close every loophole," said Marty Lederman, a Georgetown University law professor who served in the Justice Department from 1997 to 2002. ''The president has re-opened the loophole by asserting the constitutional authority to act in violation of the statute where it would assist in the war on terrorism."

Elisa Massimino, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, called Bush's signing statement an ''in-your-face affront" to both McCain and to Congress.

''The basic civics lesson that there are three co-equal branches of government that provide checks and balances on each other is being fundamentally rejected by this executive branch," she said.

''Congress is trying to flex its muscle to provide those checks [on detainee abuse], and it's being told through the signing statement that it's impotent. It's quite a radical view."

Day After Planning
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/05/11/MNG2OPP22R1.DTL&hw=contingencies%2Bfor%2Bnuclear%2Battack&sn=001&sc=1000

Contingencies for nuclear terrorist attack

Government working up plan to prevent chaos in wake of bombing of major city.

As concerns grow that terrorists might attack a major American city with a nuclear bomb, a high-level group of government and military officials has been quietly preparing an emergency survival program that would include the building of bomb shelters, steps to prevent panicked evacuations and the possible suspension of some civil liberties.

Many experts say the likelihood of al Qaeda or some other terrorist group producing a working nuclear weapon with illicitly obtained weapons-grade fuel is not large, but such a strike would be far more lethal, frightening and disruptive than the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Not only could the numbers killed and wounded be far higher, but the explosion could, experts say, ignite widespread fires, shut down most transportation, halt much economic activity and cause a possible disintegration of government order.

The efforts to prepare a detailed blueprint for survival took a step forward last month when senior government and military officials and other experts, organized by a joint Stanford-Harvard program called the Preventive Defense Project, met behind closed doors in Washington for a day-long workshop.

The session, called "The Day After," was premised on the idea that efforts focusing on preventing such a strike were no longer enough, and that the prospect of a collapse of government order was so great if there were an attack that the country needed to begin preparing an emergency program.

One of the participants, retired Vice Adm. Roger Rufe, is a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security who is currently designing the government's nuclear attack response plan.

The organizers of the nonpartisan project, Stanford's William Perry, a secretary of defense in the Clinton administration, and Harvard's Ashton Carter, a senior Defense Department official during the Clinton years, assumed the detonation of a bomb similar in size to the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II.

Such a weapon, with a force of around 10 to 15 kilotons, is small compared with most Cold War-era warheads, but is roughly the yield of a relatively simple bomb. That would be considerably more powerful and lethal than a so-called dirty bomb, which is a conventional explosive packed with some dangerous radioactive material that would be dispersed by the explosion.

The 41 participants -- including the directors of the country's two nuclear weapons laboratories, Homeland Security officials, a number of top military commanders and former government officials -- discussed how all levels of government ought to respond to protect the country from a second nuclear attack, to limit health problems from the radioactive fallout and to restore civil order. Comments inside the session were confidential, but a number of the participants described their views and the ideas exchanged.

A paper the organizers are writing, summarizing their recommendations, urges local governments and individuals to build underground bomb shelters, much as people did in the early days of the Cold War; encourages authorities who survive to prevent evacuation of at least some of the areas attacked for three days to avoid roadway paralysis and damage from exposure to radioactive fallout; and proposes suspending regulations on radiation exposure so that first responders would be able to act, even if that caused higher cancer rates.

"The public at large will expect that their government had thought through this possibility and to have planned for it," Carter said in an interview. "This kind of an event would be unprecedented. We have had glimpses of something like this with Hiroshima, and glimpses with 9/11 and with Katrina. But those are only glimpses."

Perhaps the most sobering issue discussed was the possibility of a chaotic, long-term crisis triggered by fears that the attackers might have more bombs. Such uncertainty could sow panic nationwide.

"If one bomb goes off, there are likely to be more to follow," Carter said. "This fact, that nuclear terrorism will appear as a syndrome rather than a single episode, has major consequences." It would, he added, require powerful government intervention to force people to do something many may resist -- staying put.

Fred Ikle, a former Defense Department official in the Reagan administration who authored a book last year urging attack preparation, "Annihilation from Within," said that the government should plan how it could restrict civil liberties and enforce a sort of martial law in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, but also have guidelines for how those liberties could be restored later.

That prospect underscored a central divide among participants at the recent meeting, several said.

Some participants argued that the federal government needs to educate first responders and other officials as quickly as possible on how to act even if transportation and communication systems break down, as seems likely, and if the government is unable to issue orders.

"There was a clear consensus that a nuclear bomb detonated in the United States or a friendly country would be an earth-shaking event, and we need to know how we will respond beforehand," said Ikle. "I wish we had started earlier, because this kind of planning can make an important difference."

But others said the meeting made it clear that the results of any attack would be so devastating and the turmoil so difficult to control, if not impossible, that the lesson should have been that the U.S. government needs to place a far greater emphasis on prevention.

"Your cities would empty and people would completely lose confidence in the ability of the government to protect them," said Steve Fetter, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. "You'd have nothing that resembles our current social order. I'm not sure any preparation can be sufficient to deal with that."

Fetter added, "We have to hold current policymakers more responsible" for taking all out measures to prevent a nuclear attack.

Raymond Jeanloz, a nuclear weapons expert at UC Berkeley and a government adviser on nuclear issues, said that California might be better prepared than most states because of long-standing plans for dealing with earthquakes and other natural disasters. Those plans, he said, could be a useful model for first responders.

He added, as others did, that the dislocation and panic caused by a nuclear strike could make any responses unpredictable.

"The most difficult thing is the fear that this kind of planning, even talking about it, can cause," Jeanloz said.

Michael May, a former director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, defended the survival planning, saying that people should get used to the idea that such a crisis, while dire, could be managed -- a key step in restoring calm.

"You have to demystify the nuclear issue," said May, who now teaches at Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation. "By talking about this, you take away the feeling of helplessness."

E-mail James Sterngold at jsterngold@sfchronicle.com.

In alliance with these open declarations of martial law and the 1947 National Security Act, http://www.intelligence.gov/0-natsecact_1947.shtml bills such as the Patriot Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act and the Military Commissions Act have all put the final jigsaw pieces in place to complete an infrastructure of dictatorship since 9/11.

Last month it was also reported that a high-level group of government and military officials has been quietly preparing an emergency survival program named "The Day After," which would effectively end civil liberties and implement a system of martial law in the event of a catastrophic attack on a U.S. city.

Though anathema to any notion of liberty or freedom, this new legislation has not come out of the blue, it is merely an open declaration of the infrastructure of martial law that the federal government has been building since the turn of the last century, which was first publicly codified in the 1933 war powers act under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Senate Report 93-549, which was presented at the first session of the 93rd Congress, outlines just a handful of the declared national emergencies or martial law declarations that preceded the latest one.

"Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially-proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the national emergency declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Harry S. Truman on December 16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Richard M. Nixon on March 23, 1970, and August 15, 1971."

In alliance with these open declarations of martial law and the 1947 National Security Act, bills such as the Patriot Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act and the Military Commissions Act have all put the final jigsaw pieces in place to complete an infrastructure of dictatorship since 9/11.

We're already living under an infrastructure of martial law and have been since 1933, all that remains for it to be fully implemented is a big enough natural disaster, mass terror attack or other catastrophe that will cause the necessary carnage and panic that affords the federal government enough leeway to implement open dictatorship with the least possible resistance.

New revelations that Cheney and Bush have openly declared themselves to be have total power and the ability to bypass law and oversight should be a code red emergency. They are moving to implement everything necessary for a total takeover should a catalyst event provide the opportunity. Given that this administration has a history of cooking up its own catalysts we should be very wary indeed.

President George W. Bush has sparked much alarm by openly declaring himself to be a dictator in the event of a national emergency under new provisions that will effectively nullify the U.S. constitution, but such an infrastructure has been in place for over 70 years and this merely represents a re-authorization of the infrastructure of martial law.

New legislation signed on May 9, 2007, declares that in the event of a "catastrophic event", the President can take total control over the government and the country, bypassing all other levels of government at the state, federal, local, territorial and tribal levels, and thus ensuring total unprecedented dictatorial power.

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, which also places the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic "security", was signed earlier this month without the approval or oversight of Congress and seemingly supercedes the National Emergency Act which allows the president to declare a national emergency but also requires that Congress have the authority to "modify, rescind, or render dormant" such emergency authority if it believes the president has acted inappropriately.

Journalist Jerome Corsi, who has studied the directive also states that it makes no reference to Congress and "its language appears to negate any requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists."

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive , signed on May 9, 2007 declares that in the event of a "catastrophic event", George W. Bush can become what is best described as "a dictator":
"The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government." This directive, completely unnoticed by the media, and given no scrutiny by Congress, literally gives the White House unprecedented dictatorial power over the government and the country, bypassing the US Congress and obliterating the separation of powers. The directive also placed the Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of domestic "security".

Rumsfeld 'kept up fear of terror attacks'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/02/wgulf402.xmlBy Alex Spillius in Washington
Last Updated: 3:06am GMT 03/11/2007

Donald Rumsfeld, the former United States defence secretary, tried to maintain an atmosphere of fear in America as part of the Iraq war propaganda campaign, a series of leaked memos has shown.

One memo, written in April 2006, contained a list of instructions to Pentagon staff including "Keep elevating the threat" and "Talk about Somalia, the Philippines etc. Make the American people realise they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists".

Another said "link Iraq to Iran. Iran is the concern of the American people, and if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran". He also urged staff to produce "bumper sticker statements" to rally the public around the war.


http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hvvy4BiuLvA5z9B2b_Fw89PMEc6AD8SL2UQ00

Rumsfeld Notes Hit The Fan
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003666861

Bush Lies
http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/07/22_lies.html
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20031013/corn

domestic spying
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10488458

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/16/AR2005121600021.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010601772.html

torture
http://www.talkleft.com/story/2006/09/13/580/90320

http://www.nolanchart.com/article260.html

George W. Bush got what he wanted, ostensibly as a tool in his unfocused "war on terror": By signing into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Bush has made it legal for the C.I.A. to continue operating torture facilities in undisclosed, foreign countries, and for the writ of habeas corpus to be suspended for individuals who are designated "enemy combatants" against the U.S. (Designated by whom? That question remains unanswered.) The law also "establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion [that is, torture], but would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them." (Reuters)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=15archive/&entry_id=9952
Bush signs torture bill; Americans lose essential freedom

George W. Bush got what he wanted, ostensibly as a tool in his unfocused "war on terror": By signing into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Bush has made it legal for the C.I.A. to continue operating torture facilities in undisclosed, foreign countries, and for the writ of habeas corpus to be suspended for individuals who are designated "enemy combatants" against the U.S. (Designated by whom? That question remains unanswered.) The law also "establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion [that is, torture], but would give defendants access to classified evidence being used to convict them." (Reuters)

AP
Bush's torture bill purports to "protect America," even though it appears to be designed to help protect Republicans instead.

The provisions of Bush's new torture law mean that Americans have lost the key, constitutional right on which Anglo-American criminal law (and criminal-law procedures in true democracies in general) is founded; that's the basic right of an individual to know why he or she is being apprehended and detained. Now, technically, as in Stalin's Soviet Union, Hitler's Germany, Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia, anyone labeled an "enemy combatant" - again, by whom; by Bush? - can be whisked away and never heard from again. That kind of authority, in the hands of corrupt or untruthful politicians, may or may not be an effective tool in some kind of "war on terror," but it certainly can be a useful tool when it comes to silencing their opponents.

Ron Edmonds/AP
Three men who've played key roles in the Bush administration's ongoing defiance of the U.S. Consitution looked on as Bush signed the torture bill into law: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice-president Dick Cheney.

"Officially, the Military Commissions Act protects detainees from blatant abuses during questioning, such as rape, torture and 'cruel and inhuman' treatment, but it does not require that any of them be granted legal counsel....Bush said that it was 'fair, lawful and necessary.'" (Times)

During the bill-signing ceremony yesterday, religious groups protested outside the White House. Demonstrators declared, "Bush is the terrorist" and "Torture is a crime."

In an Orwellian pronouncement dutifully reported by Voice of America, the taxpayer-funded "news" service that acts as a mouthpiece for the administration, Bush said: "The United States does not torture....It is against our laws and it is against our values. By allowing the C.I.A. program to go forward, this bill is preserving a tool that has saved American lives." Bush's claim flies in the face of numerous reports of torture conducted by American officials at U.S. military prisons or secret locations overseas. (See Human Rights Watch)

AP
The prison at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

China's Xinhua, the state-controlled news agency of a country that knows a thing or two about suppressing human rights, reports: "Of the hundreds of detainees being jailed at the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, only ten have been selected for trial. The indefinite detention of others has been condemned by human-rights groups as violating international law." Xinhua adds: "Some or all of the 14 suspects held by the C.I.A. in secret prisons [outside the U.S.] and recently transferred to military custody at Guantánamo might also be tried." (And then again, given the imprecision of Bush's new law and the ever-greater power that he keeps claiming as president, they might not.)

Habeus Corpus

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006)
With a smug stroke of his pen, President Bush is set to wipe out a safeguard against illegal imprisonment that has endured as a cornerstone of legal justice since the Magna Carta. by Molly Ivins
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0928-20.htm

Death by torture by Americans was first reported in 2003 in a New York Times article by Carlotta Gall. The military had announced the prisoner died of a heart attack, but when Gall saw the death certificate, written in English and issued by the military, it said the cause of death was homicide. The “heart attack” came after he had been beaten so often on this legs that they had “basically been pulpified,” according to the coroner.

Jose Padilla and The Death of Liberty

"The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive." Judge Antonin Scalia
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10223.htm
I had to sit down when I heard the Padilla case had been settled. I literally felt sick to my stomach, like I was gasping for air.

The case of Jose Padilla is quite simply the most important case in the history of the American judicial system. Hanging in the balance are all the fundamental principles of American jurisprudence including habeas corpus, due process and "the presumption of innocence". All of those basic concepts were summarily revoked by the 3 judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court.

The Court ruled in favor of the Bush administration which claimed that it had the right to indefinitely imprison an American citizen without charging him with a crime. The resulting verdict confers absolute authority on the President to incarcerate American citizens without charge and without any legal means for the accused to challenge the terms of his detention.

It is the end of "inalienable rights", the end of The Bill of Rights, and the end of any meaningful notion of personal liberty.

Bush challenges hundreds of laws
President cites powers of his office
By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/59/19450
Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ''whistle-blower" protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty ''to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to ''execute" a law he believes is unconstitutional.

A BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS

We have crossed over into the first stage of a dictatorship when American citizens can no longer exercise their First Amendment rights in the presence of an unelected president who, by his own admission, prefers dictatorships to democracies.
http://www.buzzflash.com/analysis/2002/06/17_Dictatorship.html

"OHIO STATE GRADUATES WERE THREATENED WITH ARREST AND EXPULSION IF THEY PROTESTED BUSH'S SPEECH. (READ TO BOTTOM OF STORY). THEY WERE "URGED" TO GIVE HIM A 'THUNDEROUS OVATION'"

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020614/ap_to_po/bush_7

We included a first hand account:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/duboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=27823&forum=DCForumID35

We also included the Ohio State University ad hoc site that organized the protest crushed by a regime that has thrown the First Amendment out of the Constitution when the dimwitted prince makes a royal appearance:

http://www.turnyourbackonbush.com/

It's hardly the first such incident of trampling on the First Amendment by the Bush royalists. For instance, in June of 2001, three people (two senior citizens and a gay man) were arrested for merely holding signs at a public event for Bush:

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."

James Madison, while a United States Congressman

http://www.hermes-press.com/militarismindex.htm

We usually think of a nation being controlled by a military dictatorship when a military leader seizes control through a putsch, as in the case of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan or Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The previous government is overthrown and a military strong man places himself in power with few if any constraints from judicial or legislative oversight.
But we must look for the essence of a military dictatorship, those features which are present whenever this form of oppression occurs. In essence, a military dictatorship is a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a repressive ruler or a small clique who use military and police power to dominate the people mentally and physically.

Taking this definition as our touchstone, in the United States we know we're living under a military dictatorship when we see:

· disaster aid deliberately withheld by White House and Pentagon to impose unfettered military control

· a leader retaining power through stealing the election of 2004 and put into power in 2000 by a coup d'etat, not through democratic elections

· the military used to control the civilian population in violation of the U.S. Constitution

· the president ordering a US citizen held indefinitely by the military

· a shadow government being set up consisting entirely of executive branch officials in violation of the Constitution
·
· government informants spying on fellow citizens

· the highest amount of government funds going to military initiatives:

o taxpayer money being used to subsidize and fund domestic and foreign "defense" corporations

o taxpayer money being used to subsidize and fund domestic and foreign military operations: wars, embargoes, training, etc.

· a dictatorial ruling clique creating unnecessary, homocidal wars as a way of remaining in power

· the spread of militaristic values and the increasing power of the military in our society

All these conditions are now present in the United States.

"Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief,
from Gilbert, G.M. (1947). Nurenberg Diary, New York: Signet
About our 'dictator'

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist July 5, 2006

IN MANY QUARTERS it has long been taken for granted that George W. Bush is an aspiring dictator, ravenous for power and all too willing to shred the constitutional checks and balances that restrain presidential authority. Of course this kind of paranoia is routine in the ideological fever swamps . But you can hear such things said about Bush even in respectable precincts far from the fringe.

For example: When it was reported in May that the National Security Agency has been analyzing a vast database of domestic telephone records for possible counterterrorism leads, CNN's Jack Cafferty went ballistic. Thank goodness Senator Arlen Specter was asking questions, Cafferty fumed. ``He might be all that's standing between us and a full-blown dictatorship in this country."

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/07/05/about_our_dictator
During the 2004 campaign, Judge Guido Calabresi of the US Court of Appeals told a lawyers' conference that the Supreme Court decision deciding the 2000 election for Bush was ``exactly what happened" when Mussolini and Hitler came to power in the '30s. And ``like Mussolini," Calabresi said, Bush ``has exercised extraordinary power -- he has exercised power, claimed power for himself."

A year before, Michael Kinsley wrote in Slate that ``in terms of the power he now claims, without significant challenge, George W. Bush is now the closest thing in a long time to dictator of the world."

Time and again the D-word or its equivalent has been invoked to describe the Bush presidency. On issues ranging from his ``signing statements" to the treatment of enemy combatants and his defense of the Patriot Act, Bush has regularly been accused of harboring totalitarian impulses. ``We're seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator," wrote Jonathan Alter in Newsweek last December. Just the other day, The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner warned that the Bush administration has been ``a slow-rolling coup d'etat" but that ``people are afraid to say so."

None Dare Call It Dictatorship
http://www.geocities.com/fountoftruth/dictator.html

A few years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor about a woman who ran afoul of the authorities when she refused to rent a room to a couple who were shacking up out of wedlock. She was charged with discrimination, and had appealed the decision to the level of a federal circuit court. When the circuit court ruled against her, she appealed to the Supreme Court, which decided not to take the case.

I sent the letter to my e-mail list, and got the following response from a recipient: "What kind of government would do something as outrageous as this?"

I replied, "A dictatorship would do this."

Such was my reaction this past week when President Bush announced a decision to impose a 30 percent tariff on imported steel. Did anyone notice how president simply imposed a tariff without a vote by Congress? There was no debate, no nothing. The president simply raised taxes. What kind of president would do something as outrageous as this?

A dictator would.

The Secret Government:The Constitution in CrisisA PBS Documentary
http://www.wanttoknow.info/050423secretgovernment

“The National Security Act of ‘47 gave us the National Security Council. Never have we had a National Security Council so concerned about the nation’s security that we’re always looking for threats and looking how to orchestrate our society to oppose those threats. National Security was invented, almost, in 1947, and now it has become the prime mover of everything we do as measured against something we invented in 1947." -- U.S. Navy Admiral Gene La Rocque in PBS Documentary "The Secret Government" (view free)

In the revealing 22-minutes of the PBS documentary The Secret Government available for free viewing below, host Bill Moyers exposes the inner workings of a secret government much more vast that most people would ever imagine. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government.

If you take time to watch this engaging documentary and further explore some of the vast amount of reliable, verifiable information on WantToKnow.info, you will very likely come to the conclusion that there is a powerful shadow or secret government which manipulates global politics behind the scenes. Government bureaucracies are known for their inefficiency, yet it is their very well-organized and hierarchical military and intelligence services through which those involved with the secret government are able to implement their secret plans.

The text of "The Secret Government" is also provided below for your convenience. Please help to strengthen democracy and educate others by spreading this important information. For suggestions on how each of us can work towards a better way, click here. Together, we can and will build a brighter future for us all.

Special Note: The above text and videos are excerpts of the full 90-minute version of "The Secret Government." To see the entire broadcast, click here or search for the 90-minute version here.

Did you know that:
Twenty leading journalists, including winners of several Emmys and a Pulitzer, have described being prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting riveting stories on major cover-ups.

BBC News has exposed plans of the U.S. military to "provide maximum control" of the Internet, as detailed in a declassified secret Pentagon document signed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2003.

A CBS News report quotes former U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, "According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." That's $8,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

Government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act show that the top Pentagon generals once approved plans to foment terrorism in major U.S. cities and even kill innocent Americans.

Multiple, reliable sources show that you may be eating genetically modified food every day which scientific experiments have repeatedly demonstrated can cause sickness and even death in lab animals.

Detroit's leading newspaper reported that the 1908 Ford Model T boasted a fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon. Yet almost 100 years later, the EPA average mileage for all cars is under 21 mpg.

A highly decorated US General wrote a book titled War is a Racket, which clearly depicts how he was manipulated and how most wars are waged largely to keep the coffers of the big corporations filled.

The former chief of a prestigious medical journal has revealed that the total profits of the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the profits of the other 490 businesses combined.

London Times reported that several 9/11 hijackers listed in the 9/11 Commission Report are alive. "Five of the alleged hijackers have emerged, alive, innocent and astonished to see their names and photographs appearing on satellite television. The hijackers were using stolen identities." See also BBC report on this.

More than 50 senior government officials and 100 professors have publicly expressed significant criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report. Many even allege government complicity in the 9/11 attacks.

For more highly revealing media articles hidden in plain sight with links for verification, click here.


AND ARE YOU STILL WILLING TO BELIEVE: “IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE.”

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