Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: More Of The SOS from the same old SOBs! Impeach Hell; Arrest and Imprison!
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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!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Of The SOS from the same old SOBs! Impeach Hell; Arrest and Imprison!




More Of The SOS from the same old SOBs! Impeach Hell; Arrest and Imprison! Spy, Collaborate, and above the law! What The Hell Are We Waiting For?


Centers Tap Into Personal Databases State Groups Were Formed After 9/11

By Robert O'Harrow Jr.

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page A01

Intelligence centers run by states across the country have access to personal information about millions of Americans, including unlisted cellphone numbers, insurance claims, driver's license photographs and credit reports, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post.

One center also has access to top-secret data systems at the CIA, the document shows, though it's not clear what information those systems contain.

Dozens of the organizations known as fusion centers were created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to identify potential threats and improve the way information is shared. The centers use law enforcement analysts and sophisticated computer systems to compile, or fuse, disparate tips and clues and pass along the refined information to other agencies. They are expected to play important roles in national information-sharing networks that link local, state and federal authorities and enable them to automatically sift their storehouses of records for patterns and clues.

Though officials have publicly discussed the fusion centers' importance to national security, they have generally declined to elaborate on the centers' activities. But a document that lists resources used by the fusion centers shows how a dozen of the organizations in the northeastern United States rely far more on access to commercial and government databases than had previously been disclosed.

Those details have come to light at a time of debate about domestic intelligence efforts, including eavesdropping and data-aggregation programs at the National Security Agency, and whether the government has enough protections in place to prevent abuses…..more

FCC Chairman to Seek Dismissal of Skype's Plea for Open Access to Wireless Networks

By Cecilia Kang

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page D04

LAS VEGAS, April 1 -- Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin said Tuesday that he will seek to dismiss a petition from Internet phone provider Skype asking the agency to force wireless carriers to open their networks to all devices and software applications.

In a keynote speech at the CTIA Wireless convention, Martin said recent moves by such carriers as Verizon Wireless and AT&T to open their networks show that the industry doesn't need such regulatory action.

"In light of the industry's embrace of a more open wireless platform, it would be premature to adopt any other requirements across the industry," Martin said to applause from the audience of industry executives.

Skype's petition, filed in February 2007, was part of a push for wider access to telecommunications networks and the Internet, also known as net neutrality. Its proponents have argued that such measures would promote more innovation and choice for consumers.

The biggest wireless carriers restrict their networks to approved devices and software applications sold in their retail stores. But Verizon and AT&T have said that they would begin testing new devices and software on their networks.

In an earlier speech, Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam called for other industry players to open their networks to forestall regulatory action. He said open networks could bring new consumer-focused products and applications, such as bracelets that monitor the health of hospital patients, that go beyond cellphones.

Martin's comments drew criticism from consumer groups and from within the commission. The groups called the order to dismiss the petition premature and said the agency needed to ensure that the carriers fulfill their promises.

"Without the commission's oversight in this area, the FCC will have taken a step backward away from openness and toward a policy of 'trust the carriers,' " said Christopher Libertelli, senior director of government and regulatory affairs for Skype, a unit of eBay.

Democratic Commissioner Michael J. Copps criticized the comments made by Martin, a Republican, saying the same open policies for wireline broadband should apply to wireless networks, particularly as wireless devices become more like portable computers.

"American consumers are used to downloading any legal software or content they want, on any computer they want, without seeking prior approval from their Internet provider,'' Copps said in a statement. "Why shouldn't they be able to do the same on their wireless device?"

I wonder how McDermott feels about this issue now!

Congressman Ordered to Pay in Wiretap Case

By Paul Kane

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page A04

A federal judge has ordered Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) to pay nearly $1.2 million to House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), settling a legal dispute over McDermott's actions in leaking the contents of an intercepted 1996 conference call involving Boehner and other Republican leaders.

Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in a ruling issued Monday evening, ordered McDermott to pay legal fees, interest and fines accrued by Boehner over the last 10 years.

McDermott may pay the penalty with campaign funds and money from a defense fund he created in 2000. It will go to Boehner's campaign committee, which paid his legal bills throughout the case.

Hogan had already levied a $60,000 civil fine against McDermott in 2004 for violating federal wiretapping statutes by receiving the intercepted audiotape of the conference call and releasing its contents to several members of the media. McDermott appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which last year refused to hear the case.

McDermott said he exercised his First Amendment rights to disclose the contents of the call because Boehner was discussing with other Republican leaders how to handle an ethics committee reprimand of former representative Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who was speaker at the time. Boehner was speaking on a cell phone in Florida, where his conversation was illegally recorded by a couple who heard it on a radio scanner.

McDermott will be hard-pressed to pay the penalty quickly. At the end of 2007, his campaign had $612,000 in cash, according to the Federal Election Commission. The total penalty is roughly equal to the total he raised in the previous three years.

McDermott's lawyers have also drained his defense fund and campaign of $573,000 through the end of 2007, according to records.

Memo: Laws Didn't Apply to Interrogators

Justice Dept. Official in 2003 Said President's Wartime Authority Trumped Many Statutes

By Dan Eggen and Josh White

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, April 2, 2008; Page A01

The Justice Department sent a legal memorandum to the Pentagon in 2003 asserting that federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes.

The 81-page memo, which was declassified and released publicly yesterday, argues that poking, slapping or shoving detainees would not give rise to criminal liability. The document also appears to defend the use of mind-altering drugs that do not produce "an extreme effect" calculated to "cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality."

Although the existence of the memo has long been known, its contents had not been previously disclosed.

Nine months after it was issued, Justice Department officials told the Defense Department to stop relying on it. But its reasoning provided the legal foundation for the Defense Department's use of aggressive interrogation practices at a crucial time, as captives poured into military jails from Afghanistan and U.S. forces prepared to invade Iraq.

Sent to the Pentagon's general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. It contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations in foreign lands because of the president's inherent wartime powers.

"If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network," Yoo wrote. "In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions."

Interrogators who harmed a prisoner would be protected by a "national and international version of the right to self-defense," Yoo wrote. He also articulated a definition of illegal conduct in interrogations -- that it must "shock the conscience" -- that the Bush administration advocated for years.

"Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification," Yoo wrote, explaining, for example, that it would have to be inspired by malice or sadism before it could be prosecuted.

The declassified memo was sent by the Defense and Justice departments late yesterday to Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), who had seen the document in classified form and pushed for its release.

The document is similar, although much broader, than a notorious memo primarily written by Yoo in August 2002 that narrowly defined what constitutes illegal torture. That document was also later withdrawn.

In his 2007 book, "The Terror Presidency," Jack Goldsmith, who took over the Office of Legal Counsel after Yoo departed, writes that the two memos "stood out" for "the unusual lack of care and sobriety in their legal analysis."

The documents are among the Justice Department legal memoranda that undergirded some of the highly coercive interrogation techniques employed by the Bush administration, including extreme temperatures, head-slapping and a type of simulated drowning called waterboarding.

The 81-page memo, which was declassified and released publicly yesterday, argues that poking, slapping or shoving detainees would not give rise to criminal liability. The document also appears to defend the use of mind-altering drugs that do not produce "an extreme effect" calculated to "cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality."

Although the existence of the memo has long been known, its contents had not been previously disclosed.

Nine months after it was issued, Justice Department officials told the Defense Department to stop relying on it. But its reasoning provided the legal foundation for the Defense Department's use of aggressive interrogation practices at a crucial time, as captives poured into military jails from Afghanistan and U.S. forces prepared to invade Iraq.

Sent to the Pentagon's general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. It contends that numerous laws and treaties forbidding torture or cruel treatment should not apply to U.S. interrogations in foreign lands because of the president's inherent wartime powers.

"If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate a criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network," Yoo wrote. "In that case, we believe that he could argue that the executive branch's constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions."

Interrogators who harmed a prisoner would be protected by a "national and international version of the right to self-defense," Yoo wrote. He also articulated a definition of illegal conduct in interrogations -- that it must "shock the conscience" -- that the Bush administration advocated for years.

"Whether conduct is conscience-shocking turns in part on whether it is without any justification," Yoo wrote, explaining, for example, that it would have to be inspired by malice or sadism before it could be prosecuted.

The declassified memo was sent by the Defense and Justice departments late yesterday to Democrats on Capitol Hill, including Sens. Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.), who had seen the document in classified form and pushed for its release.

The document is similar, although much broader, than a notorious memo primarily written by Yoo in August 2002 that narrowly defined what constitutes illegal torture. That document was also later withdrawn.

In his 2007 book, "The Terror Presidency," Jack Goldsmith, who took over the Office of Legal Counsel after Yoo departed, writes that the two memos "stood out" for "the unusual lack of care and sobriety in their legal analysis."

The documents are among the Justice Department legal memoranda that undergirded some of the highly coercive interrogation techniques employed by the Bush administration, including extreme temperatures, head-slapping and a type of simulated drowning called waterboarding.

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