Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bush Regime Scandals and Mismanagement Continues

Anyway,Obama has been left with what appears to be a daunting task to clean up the political, financial and legal mess left by the Bush Regime. Everone seems to agree on this point at least but the question where to strat rebuilding the country. First off Obama is not yet President but he can use his influence to put pressure on the Bush Regime and on the legislators in the Congress and senate. Can he put pressure on the Pentagon and the military to not get involved with more incursions into sovereign states or can he insist that detainees and POWs no longer be mistreated , abused or tortured . Can he insist that mercenary groups known as Private Contractors stop acting as if they are above the law and out of reach of American or Iraqi law. Maybe he could insist that no new monies be allocated to these groups and put a freeze on their money . Maybe he begin warning that judical proceedings will be set up to investigate wrongdoing by US Troops and especially for those officers in command who either gave orders to abuse detainees or by their silence gave tacit approval of such mistreatment, abuse and torture. If so those on such committees shouldn't get bogged down in semantics about abuses and torture in the way the Bush Regime did as a means to confuse the issue and try to escape culpability and criminal charges being laid against them later on. Remember Condoleeza Rice and Cheney and Rumsfeld thought the whole matter laughable and reduced it to a matter of semantics and a matter of the power of the executive to do whatever the hell it wanted to and accused anyone against such abuses and torutre as being in league with the terrorists or at least soft on terrorism. Maybe we could get them to volunteer as others have to be waterboarded to see if they can discern if it iit is abusive or torture or merely equivalent to a " Frat House Prank".

Returning to the rule of law

Friday, November 14, 2008 by The New York Times
Democratic Pressure on Obama to Restore the Rule of Law
by Adam Cohen

WASHINGTON - In a Senate hearing room in September, weeks before Barack Obama won the election, a series of law professors, lawyers and civil libertarians outlined one of the biggest challenges that will be facing the next president: bringing the United States government back under the rule of law.

Over the past eight years, they testified, American legal traditions have been degraded in areas ranging from domestic spying to government secrecy. The damage that has been done by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others is so grave that just assessing it will be an enormous task. Repairing it will be even more enormous.

This was not a new complaint. Civil liberties advocates have been sounding the alarm for years. The difference now is that a Democrat is about to assume the presidency, and one of the most ardent defenders of civil liberties in his party - Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin - is dedicated to putting the restoration of the rule of law on the agenda of the incoming government, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

Mr. Feingold has been compiling a list of areas for the next president to focus on, which he intends to present to Mr. Obama. It includes amending the Patriot Act, giving detainees greater legal protections and banning torture, cruelty and degrading treatment. He wants to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to restore limits on domestic spying. And he wants to roll back the Bush administration's dedication to classifying government documents.

Many reforms could be implemented directly by the next president. Mr. Obama could renounce Mr. Bush's extreme views of executive power, including the notion that in many areas, the president can act as he wants without restraint by Congress or the judiciary. Mr. Obama also could declare his intention not to use presidential signing statements as Mr. Bush did in record numbers to reject parts of bills signed into law.

Congress also has work to do. Many of the excesses of the last eight years have been the result of Mr. Feingold's colleagues' capitulation as much as presidential overreaching. He expects Congress to do more than just fix laws like the Patriot Act. He wants the Senate to question presidential nominees closely at their confirmation hearings about their commitment to the rule of law. And he hopes Congress will do its duty to impose the rigorous supervision it rarely imposed in the Bush years.

Restoring the rule of law will not be easy, Mr. Feingold concedes. Part of the problem is that it is hard to know how much damage has been done. Many programs, like domestic spying and extraordinary rendition - the secret transfer of detainees to foreign countries where they are harshly interrogated - have operated in the shadows.


More Allegations of Misconduct in Alabama Governor Case
Friday 14 November 2008 by: Adam Zagorin, TIME Magazine

Washington - Next month in Atlanta, a federal court will hear the high-profile appeal of former Alabama governor Don E. Siegelman, whose conviction on corruption charges in 2006 became one of the most publicly debated cases to emerge from eight years of controversy at the Bush Justice Department. Now new documents highlight alleged misconduct by the Bush-appointed U.S. attorney and other prosecutors in the case, including what appears to be extensive and unusual contact between the prosecution and the jury.

The documents, obtained by TIME, include internal prosecution e-mails given to the Justice Department and Congress by a whistle-blower during the last 18 months. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which investigated the Siegelman case as part of a broader inquiry into alleged political interference in the hiring and firing of U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department, last week sent an eight-page letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey citing the new material.

Conyers says the evidence raises "serious questions" about the U.S. Attorney in the Siegelman case, who, documents show, continued to involve herself in the politically charged prosecution long after she had publicly withdrawn to avoid an alleged conflict of interest relating to her husband, a top GOP operative and close associate of Bush adviser Karl Rove. Conyers' letter also cites evidence of numerous contacts between jurors and members of the Siegelman prosecution team that were never disclosed to the trial judge or defense counsel.


Blackwater Likely to Be Fined Millions in Iraq Weapons Case
Wednesday 12 November 2008 by: Warren Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington - The State Department is preparing to slap a multi-million dollar fine on private military contractor Blackwater USA for shipping hundreds of automatic weapons to Iraq without the necessary permits.
Some of the weapons are believed to have ended up on the country's black market, department officials told McClatchy, but no criminal charges have been filed in the case.

The expected fine is the result of a long-running federal investigation into whether employees of the firm shipped weapons hidden in shrink-wrapped pallets from its Moyock, N.C. headquarters to Iraq, where Blackwater is the State Department's largest personal security contractor

and it appears Blackwater was selling silencers to Iraqis or were using them for assassinations in the old tradition of Death Squads. Death Squads were supported by the US or CIA operatives in countries such as El Salvadore , Guatemala , in Chile, Angola & Apartheid South Africa with the help of people like Abramoff and McCain .
According to the Bush doctrine Americans such as Abramoff who helped a terrorist group or regime is as guilty as terroists - that's logic for you.

New Blackwater Iraq Scandal: Guns, Silencers and Dog Food
Friday 14 November 2008 by: Brian Ross and Jason Ryan, ABC News

Ex-employees tell ABC News the firm used dog food sacks to smuggle unauthorized weapons to Iraq.

A federal grand jury in North Carolina is investigating allegations the controversial private security firm Blackwater illegally shipped assault weapons and silencers to Iraq, hidden in large sacks of dog food, has learned.
Under State Department rules, Blackwater is prohibited from using certain assault weapons and silencers in Iraq because they are considered "offensive" weapons inappropriate for Blackwater's role as a private security firm protecting US diplomatic missions.

"The only reason you need a silencer is if you want to assassinate someone," said former CIA intelligence officer John Kiriakou, an ABC News consultant.

McCain's connection with brutal insurgent Terrorist group RENAMO in Mozambique see:
At Huffington Post
McCain Urged Reagan Admin To Meet Terror Groups Without Pre-Conditions

and his connections to the Contras and El Salvadore's Death Squads- A True Patriot and believer in Freedom is this why he's called a maverick.

John K. Wilson October 9, 2008 John McCain's Terrorist Connections at Huffington Post

John McCain has made the distant connections from years ago between Barack Obama and "unrepentant terrorist" Bill Ayers a centerpiece of the McCain-Palin campaign.

But McCain has much closer, more direct, and more recent connections to terrorists who committed acts far worse than Ayers, yet McCain's links to "unrepentant terrorists" are completely ignored by the media. And although Obama has forcefully condemned the past actions of Ayers, John McCain has never denounced his terrorist friends.

In the 1980s, McCain personally funded a guerrilla group (the Contras) that engaged in terrorist acts. Just last year, McCain expressed how "proud" he was of an ex-felon who urged shooting law enforcement agents in the head (G. Gordon Liddy). And earlier this year, the McCain campaign trumpeted the endorsement of a man who illegally provided weapons and money to terrorists; when a reporter questioned this, the McCain campaign refused to even criticize this criminal (Oliver North).
In February 1988, the Washington Post reported that McCain personally (and relatively "recently") gave the Contras $400.

No one can doubt that acts of terror were committed by the Contras. Human Rights Watch concluded in 1989 that "the Contras were major and systematic violators of the most basic standards of the laws of armed conflict, including by launching indiscriminate attacks on civilians, selectively murdering non-combatants, and mistreating prisoners." Human Rights Watch also criticized acts of terror by the Sandinista government, but called the Contras "a force that has shown itself incapable of operating without consistently committing gross abuses in violation of the laws of war."

...A congressional committee confirmed at the time that the Contras "raped, tortured and killed unarmed civilians, including children" and that "groups of civilians, including pregnant women and children were burned, dismembered, blinded and beheaded."

And more on the Wall Street Pirates and their co-conspirators Bush &Co. ripping off America . Have the Democrats and Obama no legal way to interfer in all this. Just speaking out about it making it public doesn't work as adeterent for them to do as they please . Nothing can shame them. They are proud of the deal they got.

Lawmakers Critique Treasury Department's Handling of Bailout Friday 14 November 2008 by: Phil Mattingly, CQ Politics

Lawmakers continued to lash the Treasury Department on Friday for abandoning a centerpiece of the bailout plan it pitched to Congress and for failing to rein in lavish executive pay at AIG and other corporate beneficiaries of federal aid.

Republicans and Democrats on a House Government Oversight and Reform panel criticized Treasury's handling of the crisis at a hearing on the $700 billion rescue program (PL 110-343) Congress approved last month.
Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. "rendered obsolete entire sections" of the law when he formally announced this week that the department was sidelining a plan to purchase mortgage-backed securities and other troubled assets in favor of other measures, domestic policy subcommittee Chairman Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio, charged

and so it goes,

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